1 Thursday, 4 September 2008 2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.30 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Mr. Cepic, you have a preliminary matter?
6 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, with your leave, yesterday I forgot to
7 request admission of some documents. I spoke already with my learned
8 friend Mr. Groome and he will have no objection about that. That is the
9 testimony -- transcript of testimony of VG-13 [Realtime transcript read
10 in error "VG-14"] from Vasiljevic case and information sheet for some
11 witnesses which I'd shown to VG-13 during the examination.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We'll admit those.
13 MR. CEPIC: In transcript is an error, line 9, VG-13, not 14. My
14 pronunciation of English is not perfect. Thank you.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the pseudonym sheet become exhibit
16 number 2D7; 1D10-0049 will become Exhibit 2D8; 1D10-0149 will become
17 Exhibit 2D9, all under seal.
25 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 WITNESS: WITNESS VG-32
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
24 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
1 And you may begin, Mr. Groome.
2 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Examination by Mr. Groome:
4 Q. VG-32, the Court has ordered certain protective measures with
5 respect to your identity and your testimony here today, so I will be
6 referring to you as VG-32 during your evidence.
7 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'd ask that we go into private session
8 briefly before I show the witness the pseudonym sheet.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session.
10 [Private session]
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in public session.
4 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, could I ask the usher to please hand
5 the witness a pseudonym sheet.
6 Q. VG-32, can I ask that you look at the paper that you've just been
7 handed and ask you is that your name indicated on that sheet?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And is that your date of birth on that sheet?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I'd ask that you sign the sheet with your signature.
12 A. [Marks].
13 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, after the document has been shown to
14 Defence counsel and the Chamber I'd ask that it be admitted into evidence
15 under seal.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will be admitted as P64 under
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
19 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I apologise. I haven't heard it being
20 assigned an exhibit number yet. Is that something we need to do before
21 we proceed?
22 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit will become P64 under seal.
23 MR. GROOME: Thank you.
24 Q. VG-32, as you can see on the bottom of the pseudonym sheet that
25 you have there are the pseudonyms of two other people who you may refer
1 to in your testimony. I would ask you to please remember to do -- to
2 refer to them by their name.
3 Your Honour, the witness has a considerable amount of evidence to
4 give today. It expedite matters if I were permitted to lead the witness
5 on some background information and some information that is -- I don't
6 believe is in issue in the case, so with the Court's leave I would seek
7 to be able to lead him on his background and some background information
8 about Visegrad.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. That would be -- that will be allowed, but
10 should Defence -- should the Defence team believe that any matter that
11 you raise is a controversial matter, then they are entitled to bring it
12 to my attention.
13 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
14 Q. VG-32, to expedite matters I'm going to summarise some
15 information that you have provided both in your testimony in the past and
16 in your statements and ask you whether I have recounted that information
18 With respect to your educational and professional background, is
19 it true that you were born in 1965 in the Visegrad area, you completed
20 your primary education in Visegrad and your secondary education in
22 not a medical doctor, you did receive training in one of the health
23 professions. You returned to the town of Visegrad where you worked in
24 the health centre there. In 1988, you returned to school to do
25 additional studies in a related or another health care field.
1 Is all of this information correct?
2 A. It is. My apologies, Your Honour. The year 1988 should in fact
3 be 1998, I believe.
4 Q. Okay. With that correction, was the rest of the information
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Now, in the spring of 1992, you left Visegrad sometime between
8 the 10th and the 12th of April, 1992, when the conflict broke out in
9 Visegrad. The conflict first broke out in the areas outside of the town
10 of Visegrad but then soon came to the town itself. You did not want to
11 take part in the conflict and were opposed to violence of any kind. Out
12 of concern for your wife and your young family, you decided to leave
13 Visegrad and go to Gorazde; is that correct?
14 A. It is.
15 Q. In the spring of '92, were you married and did you have a child?
16 A. Yes. I was married with one child, a daughter.
17 Q. And how old was your daughter at that stage?
18 A. This was in -- if -- if you count it from early spring, then she
19 was 20 months old. If late spring, then 22 months old. So under -- just
20 under two years.
21 Q. Is it true that while you were in Gorazde you saw media reports
22 that the Uzice Corps of the Yugoslav People's Army had entered the town
23 and that the town had been secured and that the town authorities had
24 guaranteed the safety of all those who returned to the town regardless of
25 their ethnic background? Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Was the media used to notify those Visegradians who had left the
3 town that they had a work obligation?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What did you understand that to be?
6 A. My understanding was, and that's in fact what I did, was that I
7 should go back to the town of Visegrad and report to my workplace at the
8 health centre. I realised that unless I went back to my work I'd lose my
9 job. I did not believe that the war would break out the way it did. I
10 believed that with my return to Visegrad the war would end.
11 Q. You've told us that you have returned to Visegrad. Do you
12 remember the approximate dates of when you returned to Visegrad from
14 A. I don't recall the exact date. It was roughly two weeks later
15 that I returned to Visegrad. Therefore, sometime on the 25th or 26th of
17 Q. When you returned to Visegrad was the Uzice Corps still occupying
18 the town?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. On your way back to Visegrad did you encounter any check-points?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Other witnesses have testified about what these check-point were,
23 so it may not be necessary for you to go into any great detail about the
24 check-points you went through, but could I ask you to simply tell us
25 approximately how many check-points were you stopped at on your way into
2 A. I was stopped at five check-points. The last check-point, the
3 fifth one, was at the very entry to Visegrad just before the Drina
4 Bridge. If you want me to, I can list the places where I was stopped.
5 Q. I don't believe that's necessary at this point. If it becomes
6 relevant perhaps we'll ask you then. Is it true that after your return
7 you did not feel safe because you learned that people of Muslim ethnicity
8 were being required to report to the police station and very often those
9 that reported did not return? Further, on one occasion outside the
10 Visegrad medical centre where you worked you witness a soldier shoot an
11 entire clip of ammunition from his automatic weapon into the air. Is
12 this correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Did both of these events occur while the Uzice Corps was still in
15 the town?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you personally know some of the people who went to the police
18 station and were not seen again?
19 A. Yes, I did. I knew quite a few of them. I had been friends with
20 some. With others I knew them as acquaintances.
21 Q. Were you aware of any Muslim houses that were being burned during
22 this period?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. While the Uzice Corps was present in the town, did you observe
25 any paramilitary groups in the town?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you tell us the name or names that the group or groups were
3 referred to?
4 A. The groups that were present in the town of Visegrad shared a
5 common name of White Eagles. That's how we referred to them regardless
6 of the group they belonged to. I believe that there were more than one
7 group in Visegrad. There was also mention of there being Seselj's men
8 and Arkan's men too. I also heard at some point that there was a group
9 called Garavi Sokak. So there were several names that circulated in
10 reference to these groups. I'm speaking about that time period and the
11 circumstances prevailing at the time.
12 Q. Did you know any of the locations in which the paramilitaries
13 used to sleep or use as their headquarters?
14 A. One of the locations that was widely known that I had to pass by
15 every day is the Visegrad Hotel, which is right next to the Visegrad
16 bridge on the right-hand side. Every morning I had to go past the hotel
17 on my way to work. There was always a guard standing outside the hotel,
18 sometimes just outside the hotel and at other times on the sidewalk by
19 the road some ten metres away from the hotel. I only knew one of those
20 who was a local. Others were unknown to me.
21 Q. The Visegrad Hotel, is that also known as the New Hotel?
22 A. Yes. That's how it was called.
23 Q. Did there come a time when you were stopped by members of a
24 paramilitary group while the Uzice Corps was still in town?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you please describe when that happened and what happened in
2 that event?
3 A. I really don't know the date itself. I know that the Uzice Corps
4 was still present there. As I was on my way back from work, I was
5 stopped. Let me just note that during a period of time the safest way of
6 one to go to work would be to take the car, because it would just take me
7 a moment to get to the other bank of the Drina where I worked, and the
8 same was true for my journey home. However, one day as I was going back
9 from work, I was stopped by two individuals outside the hotel. I think
10 that they treated me properly. They asked me to show them my ID, to open
11 the car boot and then to open the front engine boot. One of them took my
12 ID papers and went into the hotel while the others -- the other ones
13 stayed outside with me.
14 He came back several minutes later, told his colleague, "He's not
15 there," returned my ID to me and told me that I was free to go.
16 Q. When he said, "He's not there," what did you understand that to
18 A. My logic was that if he took my ID and went into the hotel, most
19 probably he had a list in the hotel and went there to check whether my
20 name was on it. As he went back and said, "He's not there," he must not
21 have found my name on the list. I don't know why else he would have
22 taken my identity card.
23 Q. After that date did you ever drive your car again?
24 A. No, I never drove to work from that day on.
25 Q. Do you know the name -- or a person by the name of Dr. Safet
1 Sahilovic? Was he a colleague of yours at the medical centre?
2 A. Let me just make a correction. Safet Zejnilovic. Yes, I know
3 him very well. We are very good friends.
4 Q. Could I ask you to spell his last name so the record records it
6 A. Safet Zejnilovic.
7 Q. Do you know what happened to Dr. Zejnilovic?
8 A. Yes. I know very well what happened to him.
9 Q. Can you please describe that to the Chamber?
10 A. Dr. Safet Zejnilovic was in the town of Visegrad before the war,
11 and before the Uzice Corps came to town he went to Gorazde together with
12 the head of the health centre across Cajnice and Pljevlja. He went on to
13 his native birthplace Bijelo Polje and doctor -- the other doctor, the
14 head of the centre, he went on to Tara, Dr. Uljarevic. He stayed there
15 until the Uzice Corps came to town. At the initiative of the then war
16 commander of the wartime hospital they managed to persuade his wife, also
17 a doctor, medical doctor, and they even provided them with a driver to go
18 and collect Dr. Safet and provide him with all the guarantees for his
19 safety but that his services were needed in the town.
20 They did so, managed to persuade him to come back to town. As he
21 returned home an hour or two later, a group of armed individuals came and
22 took him away. She told him that they manhandled him at the time, and
23 unfortunately I must say that the doctor's body was identified at the
24 Visoko cemetery. His remains were recovered.
25 Q. What happened to his house?
1 A. Some two days after he had been taken away his house was set on
3 Q. How long had he returned to Visegrad before he was taken away by
4 the men who ultimately killed him?
5 A. According to the story of his wife, some three or four hours
6 later. The same evening practically of his arrival.
7 Q. Up until now you've been describing to us events that occurred
8 while the Uzice Corps of the Yugoslav People's Army was in Visegrad,
9 ostensibly to safeguard and protect all Yugoslav citizens regardless of
10 ethnicity. Do you remember what happened the day the Uzice Corps left?
11 A. When the Uzice Corps left I was woken one morning by fierce
12 shooting in the town. The shooting could be heard from all the different
13 quarters, and it came from sidearms. As I was on my way to work coming
14 out of a side street onto the main street I saw a large column of
15 military vehicles which indicated to me that the Uzice Corps was leaving
16 the town of Visegrad
17 I went back home and informed my family about this. At my
18 insistence and the insistence of my mother they left the town of Visegrad
19 on the same day the Uzice Corps did. They took a bus at 10.00 in the
20 direction of Uzice.
21 Q. Did your daughter go with your wife and your -- did your daughter
22 travel with your wife out of Visegrad?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. When you Uzice Corps left Visegrad did the paramilitary groups
25 leave as well?
1 A. Unfortunately, although we thought the paramilitaries left town
2 too, that day at the meeting in the health centre, since the war command
3 had gone, the new administrator remained working in the health centre,
4 and he held a briefing, gathering all of us and told us that we need not
5 be afraid for our safety, that a Territorial Defence was there for the
6 town of Visegrad, and the Uzice Corps will return if necessary, but I
7 believe he was trying a speech of appeasement or something. He was
8 comforting us and he told us that the paramilitaries had left town as
9 well, but unfortunately that wasn't true.
10 Q. After the Uzice Corps left town, did you have another incident
11 with a group of armed men or -- in Visegrad?
12 A. I don't know which one you mean. There were several. Do you
13 mean the incident in my apartment?
14 Q. Yes. Could you tell us about the incident that occurred inside
15 your apartment.
16 A. Yes. I initially thought you mean something else.
17 There was an incident at my apartment. As I wasn't feeling quite
18 safe at my home, I spent time at the house of my father-in-law, and one
19 day I got a call from the owner of the building where I lived, who told
20 me that unidentified persons had broken into my apartment. She doesn't
21 know whether they had taken anything, but the door was broken in, and it
22 would be a good idea for me to come to the apartment and shut the door
24 I used byroads from Bikavac to reach my home, and while I was
25 repairing the lock, a car stopped outside the house. Two soldiers came
1 out armed. They asked, "Where is the key from the Mercedes in the
2 garage?" I answered, "I really don't know. I just live here. You
3 should perhaps ask upstairs," and at that moment the owner of the
4 apartment building came with her daughter-in-law. They said they don't
5 have the key, that their son, the owner of the Mercedes, had tried to
6 leave town the day before, but in Dragobilje he and a large group of men
7 were taken off the bus, and she doesn't have the keys, briefly.
8 They left after leaving a piece of paper tacked on the garage
9 door saying, "Occupied," with a signature Buco, B-u-c-o, and they came
10 back with a man from a garage who tried to force open the door of the
11 Mercedes and start it. All the while I was still there. I hadn't left
12 yet. And the wife of the man who owned the house asked what happened to
13 the men from that bus, and he said, "Dear lady, I really don't know if
14 you had any family on that bus, but if you had, my condolences because
15 none of them are alive." The woman started crying, of course. She broke
16 down in a state of shock, and he said to me, "Would you come with me for
17 a minute?" He took me into my apartment. We sat down at the dining-room
18 table, and then he told me, "Do you want to buy your head?" I said,
19 "What do you mean?" And he said, "Don't pretend you don't understand me.
20 Give me all the valuables, the money, the hard currency, whatever you
21 have; otherwise, I'll turn you over to the people -- to the men from
22 Obrenovac and that's the end of you."
23 I gave him the money I had, around 50 Deutschmarks, my wedding
24 ring and that was it. Then we left my apartment again and went outside
25 of the building.
1 Q. I'm going to ask you a specific question. When you were speaking
2 the words "Turn you over to the guys from Obrenovac," you took your right
3 index finger and you drew it across your neck. Is that what one of these
4 men did, draw his finger across his neck?
5 A. It's a gesture that means you will be killed. That's how I
6 understood it.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. I'm sorry, it doesn't have to mean necessarily that I'll have my
9 throat slit. It just means that's it with you, that you'll be killed.
10 Q. Now, are you familiar with a cherry red Passat that was readily
11 recognisable in the Visegrad area?
12 A. Yes, very familiar. It's not exactly cherry red. It's dark,
13 ripe cherry, burgundy red.
14 Q. Did you know who owned that car?
15 A. Yes, I know the owner of the vehicle was Behija Zukic and her
16 husband Dzemo. They owned a grocery shop not far from me. I shopped
17 very often there even on the day when Dzemo had bought that car I went to
18 congratulate them.
19 Q. Did there come a time when you heard that Behija Zukic had been
21 A. Yes. I found out at the health centre from my colleagues. They
22 told me that Behija Zukic had been brought in to the morgue. She was
23 brought dead. They also told me that the man at the mortuary who saw her
24 said that she was butchered, that she had practically half her head
1 Q. On the day that you learnt that she was brought to the morgue,
2 were you at the medical centre?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you see that car on the day that she was killed?
5 A. I cannot say with certainty whether it was on the same day or the
6 day after, but I saw the car. I'm quite sure of that.
7 Q. Can you tell us the circumstances under which you saw the car?
8 A. It was around 10.00. Usually at the health centre breakfast is
9 from 9.30 to 10.00, and the breakfast was usually served in the
10 administration building. After that breakfast, I was meeting up with
11 some friends because we usually had 10 or 15 minutes off after breakfast,
12 and we met up in the secretary's office. From that office you have a
13 good view of the entrance, the emergency entrance, and the parking lot
14 outside the health centre.
15 At one point that vehicle we're talking about drove in, and when
16 you know who the owner of the vehicle is and that she's lying in the
17 mortuary of the health centre, you become very curious to know who's
18 driving the car now.
19 Q. Did you see who was driving the car?
20 A. It was a soldier in a camouflage uniform wearing trainers. I had
21 seen the man a few times before, and from what I knew it was Milan Lukic.
22 Q. Did there come a time when you decided it was no longer safe to
23 stay in your apartment and you left your apartment?
24 A. I realised it was not safe to stay at my apartment, and I decided
25 to move to the house where my wife was born to live with my
2 Q. And after you moved to that location did you still go to work?
3 A. Yes, I did. I continued to go to work. But the reason I moved
4 from my apartment was that in order to go to work from my apartment, I
5 had to go through the entire high street and meet a lot of people,
6 whereas from Bikavac I just had to cross a small bridge and I was already
7 quite close to work.
8 Q. Did there come a time when you decided that you could no longer
9 safely go to your workplace?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What happened that made you decide you could no longer safely go
12 back and forth from work?
2 Please continue. Can I ask you, though, this man you were
3 referring to, what was his ethnicity?
4 A. Thank you. He was a Serb, but we knew each other well. We often
5 played billiards together, and he said, "What on earth are you doing
6 here, man?" I said, "I'm going home from work." And he says, "You must
7 be insane. If these men from Obrenovac catch you it's the end of you.
8 You're done in." And I said, "What should I do?" And he says, "Go into
9 hiding. I don't know. Do something. Go wherever you like, but don't
10 stay here." And from then on I was in a daze. I hardly found my way
11 home. And they saw the state I was in, so they escorted me almost all
12 the way to the house where I was living then.
13 Q. Did there come a time when you tried to leave Visegrad?
14 A. Yes. I tried twice. Once I tried to leave, and the second time
15 I made an attempt it was under very special circumstances, but if you
16 want to hear about my first attempt, I had --
17 Q. Can I draw your attention -- was there a time that when you tried
18 to leave, you were turned back at a check-point when you tried to leave
19 the town or tried to leave the area?
20 A. Yes, yes, precisely.
21 Q. Why were you turned back at the check-point?
22 A. I'm sorry, I was just going to say that. I had decided to risk
23 everything and leave town after that warning I had received, and the only
24 way was to take the bus, risk everything, go to the bus terminal and take
25 the bus, and that's what I did. And whatever happens, at least I'll know
1 that I have tried.
2 We reached the check-point in Dobrun. When the bus was stopped,
3 of course they wanted to see IDs and permits to leave town. Since at
4 that time I did not have a permit to leave town, I was told that I
5 couldn't go on, that I had to go back. They simply took me off the bus
6 and said, "Be on your way." So they left me on the road 26 kilometres
7 away from town, and they told me to go back. The only way to go back was
8 to walk. And after half a kilometre, a kilometre, perhaps, a car passed
9 by. I sort of hailed it by raising my arm. It was a very nice lady at
10 the wheel, and she gave me a lift to Visegrad, for which I'm eternally
12 Q. At Visegrad were you told where you needed to go to try to obtain
13 a permit to leave the town?
14 A. They told me, "You don't have the permit." I said, "No. Where
15 should I get one?" And they had said at the check-point, "You get it
16 from a police station. Unless you do so, we can't let you through."
17 They were rather polite and everything at the check-point, but they said,
18 "Unfortunately, you will have to go back."
19 Q. Did you go to the police station in Visegrad town and try to
20 obtain a permit to leave the town?
21 A. Yes. Since that lady who gave me a lift back to town lived close
22 to my father-in-law's apartment, and that is close to the police station,
23 I thought While I'm here, let me try. I went to the police station, and
24 outside the police station there was a crowd, mainly women and children,
25 and it was practically impossible to get to the door. Everybody was
1 standing there and waiting. So I joined that crowd, started waiting, not
2 knowing exactly what I was waiting for, and at one point one employee of
3 the police station, a very good friend of mine, came by and said, "What
4 are you doing here?" And I said, "I came here to get a certificate, a
5 permit to leave town." And then he ushered me into the station. I
6 stayed there perhaps half an hour. He arranged it all for me. He had to
7 take the paper to the commanding officer to sign. At any rate, I got
8 this certificate allowing me to leave the town issued by the official
9 police authorities. That friend saw me out of the police station, wished
10 me luck and that's how I left.
11 Q. I would like to now draw your attention to the 7th of June, 1992,
12 the date that's the subject of the indictment against one of the accused.
13 Do you recall that day?
14 A. Yes, I remember that day very well.
15 Q. Could I ask you to describe what happen in the afternoon of that
17 A. As I said, I was in hiding that last week. I stayed at my
18 father-in-law's house, not going out, and there was a friend with me
19 hiding as well. We were hiding in the basement of my father-in-law's
20 house. It was a small basement, very dark, and in the back there was an
21 old cupboard where they were keeping some old stuff, and we hid behind
22 that cupboard. He would go in first because he was a larger man than I
23 and I followed.
24 On the 7th of June, I can't tell you the exact time but it was
25 sometime in the afternoon, I heard a car stopping, and we got into the
1 basement. The house overlooks an intersection -- or, rather, a fork in
2 the road, one going left, one going right. That car stopped for a while
3 and then went on right towards Ban Polje. I could see then that it was
4 my own car.
5 The two of us did not dare get out of the basement. We didn't
6 know how long they -- he would stay. I don't know how long we were
7 waiting for, but the car eventually came back. This time the engine was
8 turned off. Then since the road went downhill he just let it slide and
9 stopped at the same intervention.
10 He got out of the car, and at that time an old woman was passing
11 by. I have to note at this point that there were many refugees in
12 Visegrad from surrounding villages, so I didn't know that woman. It was
13 just an old woman.
14 That man asked her about me and she said, "I have no idea." And
15 I heard him saying, "He must be around here somewhere." And then he got
16 into the car again and continued slowly by car.
17 Since if I get out of the house I can see the rest of the street
18 leading to Visegrad Hotel, and for a while I did indeed look at the car,
19 where it was going. The car stopped at the next house in the row. They
20 got out, banged at the garage door, then got back into the car again and
21 went on.
22 Q. Whose car was this?
23 A. I've said already it was my own car.
24 Q. Please continue what happened then after the men left.
25 A. At that moment, seeing that the car is receding in the distance,
1 I sat at a little bench outside and lit a cigarette. My friend was still
2 in the basement. He hadn't got out at all. If you mean how long it all
3 lasted, it was just a few minutes.
4 My father-in-law was also there, and he said, "They're gone."
5 And then he walked to the building, the structure nearby, his own
6 outhouse, and I could see him walking for a while. He was keeping his
7 hands behind his back. And at one moment he signed to me that I should
8 get out of the way and hide. I did so because I couldn't see what he was
9 seeing. And to get back into the basement I had to go through that
10 opening, and as I was trying to cross to the basement I saw that from the
11 direction of Mejdan four men in a row, side by side, that is, with just a
12 couple of metres between them, were walking towards us, and I decided not
13 to go into the basement because if they had seen me, my friend in the
14 basement still has a chance of remaining undetected, and then, I don't
15 know why, my friend also got out of the basement.
16 Q. VG-32, if I could stop you there, and if I can ask briefly to go
17 into private session?
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
19 [Private session]
11 [Open session]
12 MR. GROOME:
13 Q. VG-32, you were just beginning to describe what happened when
14 your friend came out of the basement. Could you please continue to tell
15 us what happened.
16 A. As I said, I saw these four persons coming towards us. One of
17 them passed us by, got into the basement. Not the basement where we were
18 hiding but the basement of the entire house. It was also like an
19 underground apartment. Another one stopped and stood by us. The third
20 one did not even approach all the way but stood -- stopped and stood a
21 few metres away, and the fourth one whom I had seen at the health centre
22 passed by us and went upstairs.
23 I don't know exactly how much time elapsed, perhaps a few minutes
24 before they all came back, the one from upstairs and the one from the
25 basement, and then we were three standing outside the house. And the
1 person I mentioned today, Milan Lukic, was the one who had gone upstairs,
2 and when he came back down it was obvious that they were waiting all for
3 him. When he came down, he asked for our IDs. Inserted into my ID was
4 the permit to leave town that I had obtained, and he looked at me and
5 said, "Why are you hiding?" I said, "I'm not hiding. You found me here,
6 so that means I'm not hiding."
7 He looked at my permit to leave town, and he tore it into shreds,
8 threw it on the ground and stepped on it.
9 Q. At the time that you're having this conversation with the person
10 you're identifying as Milan Lukic, are you facing him?
11 A. Yes, face-to-face. We stood face-to-face.
12 Q. I know you said this is in the afternoon, but can you describe
13 what the leading conditions was -- were that day? Was there adequate
14 light for you to see his face?
15 A. Yes. It was not late in the afternoon, it was early. It was
16 before 5.00 p.m.
17 very light.
18 Q. And can you please describe what he looked like to you at that
19 stage? What was he wearing? What did his face appear to -- what did his
20 face look like?
21 A. He was wearing a camouflage uniform but not the uniform I saw him
22 in several days earlier. This time he wore the sort of camouflage
23 uniform normally worn by the police, which is the purple-blue camouflage
24 uniform. He had a beret on his head bearing the symbol of the -- of a
25 two-headed eagle, and on every sleeve -- on both sleeve he had the
1 two-headed eagle symbol, and on one of the sleeves there was written
2 "Police." His face was also painted over the way you normally see faces
3 painted in movies on TV.
4 Q. Now, while you were describing that to us, you were with both of
5 your hands rubbing your hands from your cheek just next to your nose back
6 towards are ears. Is that the portion of his face that was painted?
7 A. Yes. This area on both cheeks.
8 Q. What else do you remember about his appearance that day?
9 A. I remember him wearing tennis shoes. Since I worked at the
10 health centre, and this is something you asked me earlier about, one of
11 the things that struck me at the time was a small Band-Aid that he had
12 here on his arm. Rather, it was a small bundle of gauze covered by a
13 Band-Aid, and this is something that I observed at the time.
14 Q. When you were describing that, the gauze, you were pointing to
15 the inside of your right elbow. Is that the position where you remember
16 seeing this piece of gauze?
17 A. Yes. That's the spot where he had the gauze.
18 Q. Based on your -- your medical training, under what circumstances
19 would someone have a piece of gauze with a Band-Aid covering it? What
20 did that indicate to you?
21 A. That's something I said earlier. When I first saw the Band-Aid I
22 thought that perhaps the person was under the influence of drugs.
23 Normally you'd wear such type of bandage if you'd been injected with
24 something or if you received intravenous infusion, blood drip, that's the
25 sort of Band-Aid you'd have as a patch.
1 Q. Did you have any impression about whether he was intoxicated or
2 whether his state of mind was altered in any way at this time?
3 A. I was not able to observe him being under the influence of drugs
4 or anything else.
5 Q. At the time he was having this -- this conversation with you, was
6 he looking at you?
7 A. We were looking at each other closely. Still today, as I recall
8 that particular incident, I see that face before me. I don't think that
9 there's an individual or a human being in the world who spends as much
10 time with a person who wishes to kill him without remembering the face
11 and the contours. That's something one cannot ever forget.
12 Q. Do you remember if he was carrying a weapon?
13 A. Yes, he was. Let me just say that all the soldiers who came on
14 that day were armed with automatic weapons, whereas Milan had a sniper
15 rifle with a silencer.
16 Q. What happened after he had the conversation with you?
17 A. After the conversation he said that we should follow him. We set
18 out uphill toward a hill called Grad. I mentioned the intersection a
19 moment ago, and we turned right on the intersection toward the Grad hill.
20 He went first. I followed him. Then my friend followed me, and there
21 was another man behind him carrying a rifle.
22 Q. And what happened then?
23 A. Some 200 metres into the town we stopped on the road. He
24 motioned to us to stop. He entered a gate into the yard and then entered
25 the house, searched the ground floor, came out and said, "Let's move on."
1 Let me just say that the other soldiers who were there were no
2 more than eight to ten in my assessment. So there were only eight to ten
3 of them there. The other soldiers stayed back to search the houses. We
4 proceeded toward Megdan across a meadow which lay to the right of the
5 house where we stopped. As we walked in the meadow, somewhere halfway
6 into the meadow, let me just say that between the Grad hill and Milavici
7 there was a Territorial Defence check-point there, and this was the
8 precise route that they took every day to reach the check-point, they
9 went past that house. This was the regular Territorial Defence of
10 Visegrad or the Serbian army. That's where they would normally pass by.
11 And we heard shots from up there. Not that they were shooting at
12 us necessarily. But we were told to stop again, and they shouted back,
13 "Stop shooting at us." Then we continued walking.
14 We stopped 500 metres later outside a house. We were told to
15 stop there. He entered the house, searched all the rooms, upstairs too,
16 and as he got out he told us that we should get into that very house.
17 Q. VG-32, when you say "he," who are you referring to?
18 A. I'm referring to Milan
19 Q. Okay. Please continue.
20 A. He told us to get into the house. I remember well that the house
21 had a large hallway from where there was a staircase to the upstairs
22 room, and from that hallway one got into a very large living-room. There
23 was an elderly man in the house whose name I don't know. He was either
24 staying in the house or he was the owner.
1 That was the same soldier who accompanied us all the way to that house.
2 Q. And did there come -- you say he went away, Milan went away. Did
3 there come a time when he came back to that location?
4 A. While we were in the hallway I sat on the steps leading upstairs.
5 I was quite crestfallen, if anybody's interested in knowing how I felt at
6 the time. Well, it's the same as when a doctor tells you that you are
7 terminally ill. You feel completely despondent. I was thinking along
8 the line of, My God, what have I done? Have I done something bad in my
9 leave to deserve this? I had never caused anyone to bear a grudge
10 against me, let alone anything worse than that.
11 Q. What happened then?
12 A. The soldier who was in the doorway was, I must admit, very
13 polite. He even chatted with my friend while we were there together with
14 that old man. He asked him if he had any children. He said, "I do, two,
15 two children, two sons." He said, "Well, why have you waited for so
16 long? Why didn't you hide away somewhere safely?" He replied, "I don't
17 know. Can I talk to Branimir Savovic?" He said, "I don't know. I can't
18 tell you anything before I ask anyone."
19 Q. Who is Branimir Savic?
20 A. Branimir Savovic was a very good friend of my friend. They were
21 on visiting terms. He had a position at the time. He had been the
22 president of the SDS
23 president of the Visegrad municipality. Let me repeat that they were
24 very close friends.
25 Q. Did there come a time when this soldier relayed your friend's
1 request to Milan Lukic?
2 A. Yes, a bit later. If you'll allow me, when I come to that point
3 I'll tell the story.
4 After a certain while, I really don't know how much time had
5 elapsed -- I told you that time meant nothing to me at that point. That
6 was one of the things that was least on my mind, to keep track of time.
7 At a certain point Hasan Mutapcic entered the house with his son,
8 a boy aged 13, I guess. He was wearing blue shorts and a black T-shirt.
9 The child was scared out of his wits, trembling all over. I don't who
10 accompanied Hasan Mutapcic to the entrance to the house because from
11 where I was sitting I was only able to see the door and the soldier at
12 the door, so I can't tell you who brought them over.
13 At -- shortly afterwards, another individual was brought over to
14 the house, another one, and then two of them. There were between 10 to
15 13 of us in the house at that point. I wasn't really keeping track of
16 how many there were.
17 Among those who arrived, there was Meho Dzafic and Ekrem Dzafic,
18 father and son. I didn't know them well, but they were practically known
19 to everyone in the town, both of them.
20 Sometime later Milan
21 semicircle in that room, to place all our valuables in the centre of the
22 room, to take our shoes and socks off. He said, "If I find anything on
23 anyone, I will kill them."
24 We did as he asked. We placed all those things on the ground,
25 and then he squatted down, took wallets one by one and taking banknotes
2 As he took my wallet into his hands he found several names and
3 telephone numbers there. He asked me, "Who are these individuals," and I
4 said, "These are my family members from Sarajevo." Everyone, I guess,
5 keeps a lucky charm with him. I had a dollar that I kept in my wallet.
6 I kept it there as a lucky charm. You might call it superstition, but
7 that's the truth.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Mr. Groome, I see that you have
9 estimated two and a half hours for this witness.
10 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness is employing the narrative mode of
12 telling his -- his tale, and I can understand that, but I believe we
13 would proceed faster if you were to ask the witness particular questions.
14 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: The narrative approach, I think, can be
16 modified --
17 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour, I will do that.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- to advantage.
19 MR. GROOME:
20 Q. If I can ask you a few questions about what's happening at this
21 point. You spoke about Milan Lukic finding what your -- your good luck
22 charm, a lucky dollar.
23 After all the people put their belongings in front of him, what
24 he do?
25 A. He scooped up all the money and said, "You said you didn't have
1 any foreign currency, but I see you do." He said that scornfully. He
2 put the money into his pocket and asked whose car was the Yugo parked
3 behind the car. Meho said that this was his son Osman's car. He then
4 asked him for the keys.
5 Q. What happened to the identification papers belonging to all the
7 A. He kicked all the identification papers with his foot behind the
9 Q. And can I draw your attention to -- was there a point in time
10 when a soldier asked Milan Lukic about -- or conveyed the request of your
11 friend regarding Branimir Savovic?
12 A. Yes. I said that Milan Lukic went out with Meho Dzafic to get
13 the keys to the car. When he returned, in the doorway leading to that
14 room he was asked by the soldier who was standing in the doorway, "Milan
15 this man would like to talk to Branimir Savovic." His response was very
16 rude or very impolite. He said, "Fuck his mother." He just waved this
17 way, indicating my -- pointing to my friend. "You, you, you. All of you
18 get out." We obeyed. And when I was saying you, you, you, I meant the
19 four of us.
20 Q. Could I ask you to name the four people that Milan Lukic pointed
21 to and said get out.
22 A. That was Ekrem Dzafic, Hasan Mutapcic, I and my friend.
23 Q. And where did you go when you left the house?
24 A. We got out of the house, and in the direction of the Bikavac
25 Hotel there was a parked Yugo, that was Dzafic's son's car, and then
1 ahead of that car there was the Passat vehicle parked, the one that we
2 referred to earlier.
3 Q. What was the colour of the Yugo?
4 A. Yugo was olive green. That's how we referred to that colour.
5 Q. Did you approach the two cars?
6 A. Yes. We reached the car, and then he asked who had the driver's
7 licence, and I answered I do. I wanted to sit at the wheel, but he said
8 no, no, you. Then Ekrem said, "I have a licence." He seemed quite
9 excited but was allowed to sit at the wheel. I sat in the back behind
10 the driver's seat.
11 Let me just note that Yugo has only two doors. That's how you
12 get into the back.
13 Next to me Meho Dzafic was sitting. They told us to move over a
14 bit to make space and he was practically sitting in my lap. He was of
15 quite large build, and Yugo is a small vehicle.
16 Seated next to us was the same soldier who was with us all along
17 and who remained standing outside the house. He sat in the back with us,
18 and my friend sat next to the driver in the front seat, and the two other
19 persons that I didn't know at the time, and Hasan Mutapcic, sat in the
21 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, is it the Chamber's intention to break
22 at 10.00?
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
24 MR. GROOME: There's a brief matter I would like to address the
25 Chamber on. Would it be convenient to excuse the witness now and I
1 could --
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Witness, you are excused. You will return
3 at 20 minutes after 10.00.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, a few weeks ago the Prosecution filed a
6 motion to add an exhibit to our list in our rebuttal or -- and to rebut
7 the evidence of Milan Lukic. It's a protocol book from the Visegrad
8 medical centre. Mr. Alarid has responded, I think in the last few days.
9 It occurred to me yesterday, as we have someone here from the Visegrad
10 medical centre, I showed him a photocopy of that book, and he's able to
11 authenticate the book and to -- and to interpret how the book is used and
12 the columns on it. It seems to me to be prudent to raise this with the
13 Chamber if it were possible for the Chamber at some time before the end
14 of his testimony to consider the matter and issue an oral decision. I
15 would seek to have this witness address the book at this stage rather
16 than trying to find an additional witness who could authenticate the book
17 later on in the trial. I think it would save considerable time and
18 expense, so I would ask if the Court be able to possibly do that.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: That would be eminently sensible. We will do
21 Well, Mr. Groome, I wanted to say though that you have to move
22 more quickly with this witness. At this rate you will probably take more
23 than the two and a half hours, and then there's the cross-examination by
24 the two counsel. We are falling behind, and I am considering measures to
25 be adopted to compensate for any time that might be lost.
1 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. I take it under consideration. I
2 do try to -- I am conscious of the time. Sometimes it's -- with these
3 witnesses it is difficult to find places to cut their evidence. I have
4 cut a considerable amount of his evidence already, but I will endeavour
5 to take him more briefly.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. And the same thing applies to Defence
7 counsel. We have to proceed expeditiously, and at the same time fairly.
8 We will adjourn.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.00 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.25 a.m.
11 [Witness entered court]
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I'll give the decision in relation to the
13 Prosecution's motion filed on the -- we need to be in private session.
14 [Private session]
11 Pages 1172-1173 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in public session.
3 MR. GROOME:
4 Q. VG-32, in the interest of time Mr. Alarid informs me that he will
5 be introducing your statement or seeking to introduce your statement into
6 evidence, so many of the details of what happened prior to the arrival at
7 the river will be well known to the Chamber. I'd like to get to what
8 happened at the river as expeditiously at possible, but there are some
9 questions that I do need to ask you, so could I ask you -- could you give
10 me precise answers to -- to a few questions and then I'll let you explain
11 in detail what occurred when you arrived at the riverside.
12 The first question I want to ask you is when you left the Bikavac
13 area, where did you go? Where did you travel to?
14 A. We travelled to the hotel Vilina Vlas in Visegradska Banja.
15 Q. On the trip to the Vilina Vlas hotel did you pass by the location
16 of the two mosques in the town?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you describe to the Court what you observed about the two
20 A. When you go down from Bikavac towards the centre of town, on the
21 left-hand side the first mosque is the old Visegrad mosque. I saw that
22 it had burnt down. It had been torched. And as we continued towards
23 Vilina Vlas hotel, crossing over the Rzava bridge, I saw that the other
24 mosque had also been torched.
25 Q. Now, when you arrived at the Vilina Vlas hotel did it appear that
1 it was open for business?
2 A. It was not. There was not a single indication that the hotel was
4 Q. I'm going to ask the registrar to publish from our Sanction
5 system, I have put the 360 -- what we refer to as the 360 programme up.
6 Do you recognise the image that is now visible on the screen in front of
8 A. Yes. That's the entrance into the Vilina Vlas hotel.
9 Q. If I can ask Mr. Van Hooydonk to bring us into the lobby. VG-32,
10 I'm going to ask Mr. Van Hooydonk just to pan around the lobby. I'd ask
11 you not to comment, but then I'll ask you to comment on specific places
12 that I'll ask him to then stop at. Okay.
13 MR. GROOME: I'm sorry, could I ask you to go back, pan a little
14 left. Stop there, please.
15 Q. What area are we looking at here, VG-32?
16 A. That part of the lobby where the reception desk is is where Mitar
17 Vasiljevic was standing when we entered the hotel.
18 Q. We can see a person standing in this image. Is that person
19 standing at the reception desk?
20 A. Right.
21 Q. Can I ask -- I'm sorry. Please.
22 A. We were standing there, except we were facing the other way.
23 Q. You were standing against that reception desk facing outward from
25 A. Yes, facing the entrance.
1 Q. Now I'd ask us to pan around a bit more and stop there.
2 What is that to the right of the reception area?
3 A. It's the entrance to the dining area.
4 Q. If we could pan right again. Stop there. What are we looking at
6 A. I think it's the elevator and the staircase going up.
7 Q. If we could pan again, please, to the right. Please stop.
8 A. That's the entrance to the hotel seen from the reception.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. GROOME: Could I ask the registrar to now call up 65 ter
11 number 101.
12 Q. And while that's being done, in preparation for your giving
13 evidence in the Mitar Vasiljevic case, did you draw a diagram indicating
14 where all of the main participants were during the time that you were all
15 in the lobby of the Vilina Vlas hotel?
16 A. Yes. I was asked to draw from memory a sketch of the entrance to
17 the hotel, a sketch of the reception area and designate the places where
18 we were standing as well as the other persons who were there.
19 Q. 65 ter 101 is now up on the screen. Are you able to see it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is that the diagram that you yourself drew about where people
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. There are seven blank circles at the top part of the diagram.
25 What do they indicate?
1 A. These seven circles are the seven of us, the seven persons
2 standing, leaning on the reception desk.
3 Q. The circle that has the initials ML in there, what does that
5 A. As I said, Milan Lukic, who went behind the reception desk
6 looking for keys, and the arrow leading right is the reception itself,
7 and the one leading up is behind the reception desk.
8 Q. And the circles with the initials MV, what does that indicate?
9 A. That's Mitar Vasiljevic, where he was standing.
10 Q. And the empty circle directly across the lobby from Mitar
12 A. That shows the person where the soldier was standing who trained
13 his rifle at us.
14 Q. How long were you in the lobby of the Vilina Vlas hotel?
15 A. I've said earlier that it's very hard for me to judge. It could
16 have been five, ten minutes, not more.
17 Q. Were you able during this period to have a clear observation of
18 Milan Lukic and his face?
19 A. Yes, because Milan Lukic came in together with us into the lobby
20 of the hotel. I could clearly see that he went behind the reception
22 Q. When you left the hotel where did you go?
23 A. As I said, when we left the hotel we were ordered to go back in
24 to the vehicles, to sit exactly as we were sitting before, and we drove
25 on to Sase.
1 Q. What happened when you arrived in Sase?
2 A. When we arrived at the intersection at Sase, we turned not
3 towards Visegrad as we had expected but to the right towards Visegradska
5 Q. And what happened when you turned right at Sase?
6 A. When we turned to the right at Sase, we stopped about 500 metres
7 on, close to a building that I believe was a warehouse owned by Purisa
8 Markovic. I know that to the right of that building there were a couple
9 of houses and this small settlement, this building and the few houses
10 around was called the Jasarevic. That's where we stopped.
11 Q. When you stopped at that location, what happened? What happened
13 A. When we stopped there, the Passat vehicle was ahead. We were
14 behind them, and they drove on from the intersection at Sase a bit
15 faster, and as we caught up with them Mitar Vasiljevic, Lukic, and the
16 person who was in the Passat all the time had already gotten out. We
17 were ordered to get out too, and we did.
18 Q. Could you please tell us what happened next.
19 A. As we got out of the car, the demeanour of the soldiers changed
20 dramatically. In my earlier statement, I said that the soldier who was
21 with us had been rather kind, but that all changed dramatically. We were
22 ordered to walk towards the Drina River
23 left of the road.
24 Some 100 metres by the Drina River
25 across the meadow. And if there had been a trace of hope that this could
1 all somehow have a happy ending, this trace of hope was extinguished as
2 we walked through the meadow.
3 We were walking not in a group but in a certain disposition. I
4 was in the middle. To my left, if I remember correctly, was VG-14. To
5 the far left was my friend, and at one point I tried to sort of lean to
6 the left to come closer to him, because it was clear to me what was going
7 to happen, but this attempt was thwarted very crudely.
8 After a minute or two we reached the riverbank, the trees lining
9 the riverside.
10 Q. What happened after you reached the trees at the riverbank?
11 A. When we got to the willow trees lining the river I saw that the
12 water level was low and that from the water to the spot where we were
13 standing on a small plateau there were about ten metres, like the length
14 of this room -- or, rather, the width of this room. We stopped on a
15 grassy spot, a couple of square metres.
16 When we stopped, Milan
17 know why I said what I said, but I said that I can swim. I know that
18 many of the others could swim too, but at that moment I knew very clearly
19 what was going to happen, and I thought since I was forced to watch, I
20 should go first in order not to see the rest.
21 And he said, "Come on then." I started walking towards the
22 water, and that moment, heard Meho saying, "For Christ's stake, Mitar,
23 what are you doing?" And from my left I heard my friend pleading as
24 well, "Come on, people. Don't kill us. What have we done to you?" But
25 all this transpired in a haze as far as I'm concerned. After I made the
1 first few steps I was half frozen. I was frozen, and I wanted those last
2 ten metres -- I wanted to go those last ten metres with only my daughter
3 in my mind. At that time, nothing else around me existed. I only
4 thought of her playing in her room.
5 I really don't know how long it took me to make those few steps
6 to the very edge of the river, but at one point when I reached the edge I
7 heard a voice saying, "Stop," and I stopped. Then they ordered the
8 others to walk to the river and to line up next to me and they did. They
9 started approaching. To my right was Ekrem. Next to him his father. To
10 my left was Hasan Mutapcic. I believe next to him was VG-14, and after
11 him a man I didn't know, and to the far left was my friend. And at that
12 moment when we stopped, I heard a question, "How are we going to fire?"
13 And I heard the answer, "Single shots." And then you heard the cocking
14 of the rifle and the switching of the mechanism to single shots. On
15 three different sides you heard that sound.
16 At that moment, I got a glimmer of hope again. I thought that
17 since four of them were going to fire single shots, maybe there is a puny
18 chance that if I'm not hit by the first shot I could dive into the river
19 and try to swim under water. That was my first thought.
20 I have to say here that it's like a movie on fast forward. It's
21 the survival instinct. Things move at the speed of lightning. And as I
22 thought that, I heard Meho's scream that was not even uttered to the end.
23 It was frozen midway. And I must say I didn't even hear the shot at that
25 As I jumped into the river and as I was falling into the water,
1 there between the sand and the water I -- I saw clearly a red blood
3 Falling into the water I heard shots and screams, the screams of
4 the others, and I must say they were not all fatally wounded by the first
5 shot. I have to admit that around me there was chaos at that moment,
6 inferno with hellfire that I cannot describe with mere words. It's not
7 something you can describe unless you've lived through it.
8 When my body hit the water, I realised I wouldn't be able to stay
9 under, and I decided to make a little manoeuvre to turn around, because
10 the water level was just one metre underneath the bank, and if I was
11 under the water I couldn't see them, of course.
12 I decided to turn back towards the bank, and you know the water
13 creates a little sand bank. I put my head on it. Consciously or
14 unconsciously I can't honestly say, I pushed my arms into the sand under
15 me. I must have been doing that unconsciously. And since I had dug my
16 head under into the sand at first, I realised I couldn't stay in that
17 position long and at that moment I turned my head sideways by half so
18 that my one eye and one side of the face were out of the sand, and at
19 that moment I saw Hasan and that he was wounded and that he was trying to
20 dig his way crawling into the bank and that the sand was falling over him
21 as he was coming closer to me. And at that time I was wondering, does a
22 dead man have his eyes open or closed? I decided, nevertheless, to close
23 my eyes and let it be.
24 I heard steps approaching. I heard a shot and the sound that was
25 like somebody taking a body up in their arms and dropping it, dropping it
1 right onto me. I felt the body falling on my neck and that body covering
2 all of mine. The weight of that body dragged me under, under the water,
3 but fortunately, as I said, my arms were dug deep into the sand and that
4 provided me with enough purchase to stay aboveboard myself together with
5 the body.
6 To my other side Ekrem had fallen silent. There were no more
7 sounds from him. There was another shot from the right, and then another
8 on the far right approximately where my friend had been, and then silence
9 fell, complete silence.
10 Q. VG-32, did this come a time when the men who had done this left
11 that area?
12 A. I have just a few words more to say and then it's the end.
13 That man who had approached, I heard the shots and then I heard
14 him saying, "Here's another one who is alive -- here's one who is alive,"
15 and I thought he meant me. I thought I was the only one who survived,
16 and in those couple of minutes I saw again the vision of my daughter.
17 However, did he not mean me. I heard another shot fired into a body in
18 the water, and then the steps moved away.
19 And a couple of minutes later I opened my eyes, and the view that
20 opened before me was a young man looking around him, and that was VG-14.
21 I asked him if he was wounded. He said no. He asked me the same. I
22 said, "I'm not wounded either." He said, "What are we going to do now?"
23 I said, "Wait till they're gone." And when we heard them driving away,
24 then --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Thank you very much.
1 Mr. Groome, this story is of course very moving and that's why I
2 haven't interrupted it, but you must know what evidence you need from the
3 witness, and we both come from jurisdictions where frequently lawyers are
4 told control your witness. So although the witness has a story to tell
5 and there's a lot of emotion in it, you know what evidence you want to
6 elicit. Don't allow him to run away with -- with the story, because your
7 time will be up at 20 minutes after 11.00. You would have used two and a
8 half hours.
9 MR. GROOME: I appreciate that, Your Honour, and for the record
10 all of what the witness has just said is evidence that we tend to rely on
11 and I took the view that it was more expeditious rather than have me
12 interrupt him with what happened next or precise questions. So I will be
13 relying on all of that.
14 Q. VG-32, if I could ask you some follow-up questions. Did there
15 come a time when you were able to determine how many detainees died there
16 at the river's edge?
17 A. Five. Quite simply, when I got out of the water the first thing
18 I did was to see if anyone was alive. No one was. And when we crossed
19 to the other side of the river, I spent there one week and I went every
20 day to a hill to see that place again from the hill and all those days
21 the bodies were still there.
22 Q. So for five days after this happened, you were able to see the
23 remains of the other men who were with you and were shot at the river?
24 A. [No interpretation].
25 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the witness to this day remains in
1 contact with the families of the other victims and has advised me that
2 the graphic description of the injuries of those victims in public causes
3 them great distress. I do not intend to ask any more detailed questions
4 about those injuries to establish that those men died. I believe I have
5 done that. He asked me should the Defence or the Chamber require more
6 precise information that he be allowed to provide that private session.
7 I'd like to now call up 65 ter number 102.
8 Q. Again VG-32, in preparation for your testimony in the Vasiljevic
9 case did you prepare a diagram showing the location of you and the other
10 people who were present at the river?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Is the diagram we're now looking at 65 ter 102 a photograph of
13 that diagram?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And do the initials ML and MV stand for respectively Milan Lukic
16 and Mitar Vasiljevic as they did in the previous diagram that we've
17 looked at?
18 A. Mitar Vasiljevic, yes.
19 Q. And do the initials in the -- in the seven circles that are by
20 the water, do they indicate the initials of the victims as best you know
21 the position of the different people -- where the different people were
22 at the time they were shot?
23 A. Yes, precisely, and just the way I've explained. The line and
24 the order in which we stood.
25 Q. At some point after this event did you go to the village of
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And when you were there were you asked by a former colleague, a
4 doctor from the Visegrad medical centre, to establish a clinic in
6 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is that so? Mr. Groome, is that so?
17 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, it is correct, but we're not calling at
18 that witness.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay.
20 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I in error forgot to formally tender
21 the diagram so could I at this stage tender 65 ter number 102.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit it.
23 MR. GROOME.
24 Q. MR. GROOME: Did there come a time when you were --
25 THE REGISTRAR: I apologise for the interruption. Your Honours,
1 102 will become Prosecution Exhibit P65.
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. Did there come a time when you were asked to treat a young woman
4 who it turned out you knew quite well?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And if necessary, use the pseudonym sheet in front of you, but
7 can you identify this young woman?
8 A. Yes. That's VG-114. I have to say that we were very good and
9 close friends with her, both I and my wife.
10 Q. Can you describe her condition as best you remember?
11 A. It is very difficult to describe the state she was in when I saw
12 her. I don't think such a scene can be presented in a single horror
13 movie. Let me just tell you that this was an individual that I knew and
14 that I could hardly recognise when I saw her. Her entire face was black,
15 burnt. It was a wound. Both her arms were bandaged, but they were not
16 medical bandages. Those were just makeshift bandages, five or six of
17 them. The wounds were so infected that when I tried to change the
18 bandages and dress her wounds on her, whilst one arm as I took a couple
19 of layers of the bandages I saw maggots coming out. I fainted at the
20 sight of it. I came to several minutes later and continued dressing her
21 wound. That was the first time I dressed her wounds. Let me just say
22 that the person --
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I'm sorry, please finish
24 your sentence.
25 A. Let me just say that that person had long hair before the war
1 coming down to the small of her back. When I saw her on that occasion
2 her hair was closely clipped and it was lice ridden, millions of lice. I
3 didn't have any remedies --
4 Q. VG-32.
5 A. -- for that and we agreed that she should shave her head.
6 Q. I'd like to show you 65 ter number 174. It's a set of three
7 pictures. I'd ask that this not be shown publicly but only to those of
8 us in the courtroom and ask you do you recognise what is depicted in
9 these three photographs.
10 A. Yes. That's the person, number 114. The black part of her face
11 that you see, that's the way her entire face looked like. And the
12 photograph was taken, you can judge how long after she had shaven her
13 head, because you can see her hair has grown in the meantime. So the
14 first time I saw her she shaved her head, and the photograph was taken at
15 the time when her hair has grown thus long. So two to three weeks. You
16 can see how her face was charred.
17 Q. This particular photograph has an eight-digit number 4513
18 [Realtime transcript read in error "4153"] so the record is clear what
19 photograph you're referring to. Could I ask that we advance to the next
20 photograph in this series.
21 This eight-digit number ends in 4514. Does that describe the
22 condition of her as well as her hands?
23 A. I said that the photograph was not taken the first time I saw
24 her, but this is the way both her arms looked like, and that's the way
25 the other side of the arm that you can't see looks like.
1 Q. Could we please advance to the third photograph. This ends in
2 4515. And again is this another accurate depiction of how VG-114
3 appeared around the time that you were treating her for her burns?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Were you present when a video was -- video interview was done of
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And in fact were you present or attempting to treat her at the
9 time they were filming the video and interviewing VG-114?
10 A. Yes. The people making the footage wanted to film her wounds,
11 and I had to take her bandages off for the film to be made. If that
12 footage will be shown later on in the course of these proceedings and if
13 in that footage I should appear, I would kindly request the Court to
14 erase that bit, because the footage is quite long and the sequence where
15 I'm shown can be taken out.
16 Q. I just want to show one still from that video and if we switch to
17 the Sanction system and I'm showing you a still from the video 65 ter
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And is this the video that -- that you've been describing?
21 A. Yes. That's me. Can it please not be broadcast in the public.
22 Q. We will not broadcast it in public.
23 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, at this time I would tender 65 ter
24 number 174, the series of three photographs, as well as 65 --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
1 MR. GROOME: -- 65 ter number 173, this video.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter number 173 will become
3 Exhibit P66 under seal and 65 ter number 174 will become exhibit P67
4 under seal.
5 MR. GROOME: Thank you.
6 Q. Now I'm going to ask that the registrar show you a Defence
7 exhibit from the Mitar Vasiljevic case. It's Defence Exhibit D26 and I
8 asked the registrar yesterday to remove it from the registrar's vault and
9 bring it to the courtroom for today.
10 Could I ask you to take a look at D26.
11 Could we please put it on the ELMO so the Chamber and the others
12 in the court can see what the witness is looking at.
13 While that's being done, can I ask you in the course of your work
14 at the Visegrad medical centre was there a book that was used that was
15 referred to as a protocol book?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What was the function of a protocol book?
18 A. The protocol book was there to register all the patients coming
19 to the clinic for treatment. So it's a register of patients or a daily
20 protocol book or logbook of the clinic.
21 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the book that's on the ELMO contains
22 personal medical information of other people not connected with this
23 trial, so could I ask that it not be broadcast, if it could be left on
24 the ELMO so that we can see it but that it not be broadcast beyond this
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. Can I ask you now to take a look at what's in front of you on the
4 ELMO. Do you recognise what this book is?
5 A. Normally the first column --
6 Q. Before --
7 A. -- stood for the name of the patient.
8 Q. Before I ask you to describe what's in there, could I ask you
9 just whether you recognise the book that's in front of you.
10 A. Yes, yes. I know it very well, because we used the same sort of
11 book even before the war. I will not go into great detail, but I can see
12 that this book has almost been filled out, so there must have been
13 hundreds of entries. So that's the one, the one that was used throughout
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time.
15 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, at this time I would tender what was
16 D26 in the Mitar Vasiljevic case into evidence in this trial.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Admitted.
18 MR. GROOME:
19 Q. Can I ask you --
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will be admitted as P68 under
21 seal, Your Honour.
22 MR. GROOME:
23 Q. Can I ask you to find the entries for the 7th of June, 1992.
24 A. Do you want me to find it?
25 Q. Yes. If you would look through and turn to the page where the
1 people that were treated on the 7th of June begins.
2 Have you found the page?
3 A. This is where the 7th of June starts.
4 Q. Could I ask the usher to hand the witness a yellow sticky note.
5 It's there, up there right on the desk.
6 Could I ask you to please just mark that page so that when we do
7 use this book we will be able to find this readily.
8 Does this --
9 A. Do you mean where the page containing the entries for that day
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. That's the page.
13 Q. Is it correct that the people who were treated that day are
14 listed in the order they were treated?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do the --
17 A. That was the customary practice.
18 Q. Do the entries for the 7th of June continue on the next two
19 pages? Can I --
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. -- ask you to turn to the next page and place a note on that
23 When I asked you to look at a photocopy of this book yesterday,
24 did you see the name of Milan Lukic for the 7th of June?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can I ask you to point to it with your finger so that the Chamber
2 can see the entry.
3 A. [Indicates]
4 Q. Does it record his date of birth or his year of birth?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. The initials TO that we see in the second from the -- column from
7 the right, what does that indicate to you?
8 A. Normally while I worked there we used this to denote Territorial
9 Defence, whoever was in some way connected with the army or police and
10 didn't have on them the health care booklet with their health insurance
11 number were normally enter into the book as TO.
12 Q. Could I ask that we move to the right-hand section of the entry
13 and does it record what treatment he received on that day?
14 A. Since a diagnosis would normally be entered on the other page,
15 which would be written into the book by the doctor himself or herself,
16 the next column would say what the doctor's prescription was. I can see
17 here that we have 50 per cent glucoses, licocene [phoen] and baramisine
18 [phoen]. That's as far as I'm able to make out the handwriting, and then
19 lastly there would be a note or a remark.
20 Q. Does it say how the medicine was administered?
21 A. That's what I was about to say. The last column which says
22 "Remark" is where the doctor would normally state the way in which the
23 medication is supposed to be administered. I see that here it says
24 intra-muscular and intravenous, which means that this was the way that
25 the glucoses and the other medication was supposed to be administered
1 depending on what the prescription of the doctor was.
2 Q. VG-32, I just have three more questions for you. What time did
3 this shift start? What time of the day were patients first seen?
4 A. As far as I remember, the 7th of June was a Sunday. If it was a
5 Sunday, the shift started at 7.00 in the morning and lasted for 24 hours.
6 That was the regimen at the time I worked.
7 Q. Are you able to estimate the approximate amount of time that each
8 patient would take in a doctor's visit at the centre?
9 MR. ALARID: Objection, Your Honour. Calls for speculation.
10 Also, this witness was not present in the hospital or ordinarily worked
11 there on this date in question and I believe it would be an improper
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not sure I agree with you, because he works
14 in the field. He works at the hospital.
15 Are you in a position to answer that question, Witness, and tell
16 us the basis of your knowledge? Are you in a position to estimate the
17 amount of time a patient would take in a doctor's visit at the centre?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, any of these patients
19 when they come to see a doctor, they don't go there merely to tell the
20 doctor that they want to be prescribed with such-and-such a medication.
21 I don't think that there's a single doctor who operates this way. First
22 there is an exchange of greetings, then the doctor hears the problems
23 that the patient has, then the data has to be entered into the
24 appropriate documentation.
25 MR. GROOME: [Previous translation continues] ...
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just give us -- can you just give us an estimate
2 of the time? This is what we want to know.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Between 15 and 20 minutes.
4 MR. GROOME:
5 Q. My last question is how many patients were treated before Milan
6 Lukic was treated that day?
7 A. We can count them all up. One, two, three, four, five, six ,
8 seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 -- so he was the 15th patient.
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I have no further questions. In
10 addition to -- because this has confidential medical information I
11 believe it's appropriate that it be kept under seal. I've asked Mr. Van
12 Hooydonk to prepare a photo of the two pages that are in question, but he
13 has redacted the names of all the other patients. I'd ask that -- I'd
14 seek to tender that at this time as a public exhibit so that we do not
15 compromise the confidential medical information of the other people who
16 went to the hospital at that day.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let that be done.
18 MR. GROOME: Do I need to wait for a number to be assigned or --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Are you clear, court, deputy, as to what
20 you are to do?
21 THE REGISTRAR: I apologise, Your Honour. Hasn't the number been
22 assigned already for the book?
23 MR. GROOME: Perhaps it's a matter that we can clarify after the
25 And that concludes the questions that I have for you, VG-32.
1 Thank you very much.
2 Your Honour, I neglected to formally introduce 65 ter 101. I
3 believe I have laid the foundation for it. I'd asked that it be admitted
4 at this stage.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
6 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter 101 will become Exhibit number P69.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid.
8 Cross-examination by Mr. Alarid:
9 Q. Good morning, VG-32.
10 A. Good morning.
11 Q. My name is Jason Alarid and I'm the attorney for Milan Lukic.
12 I'd like to ask you some questions about your testimony today and
13 possibly earlier statements. Do I have your permission to ask you
14 questions? And you nodded in the affirmative, but of course the
15 recording and the court reporter cannot normally catch that, so we do
16 need to have an answer loudly.
17 A. Go ahead.
18 Q. All right. And let's talk about first, just so we can get this
19 over with, the logbook that you just looked at. Can we do that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, you counted 14 entries before the entry with the name Milan
22 Lukic; correct? And would it be fair to say that there was about nine
23 entries after that? Is that a yes?
24 A. Yes. Well, no. I apologise. I didn't count the patients
25 following Milan
1 number 15 but not onwards. Perhaps we can count them up.
2 Q. And let's do that, please, briefly.
3 A. Nine. Yes, exactly nine.
4 Q. And looking at the nine entries afterwards, so we can say that in
5 the 24-hour period of that day 23 people were seen. Isn't that true?
6 A. That's what it seems, yes.
7 Q. Okay. But you indicated that the shift on Sunday would start at
8 7.00 a.m.
9 hospital would have been open 24 hours a day?
10 A. Yes. I said that the shift -- or let me explain this to you in
11 simple terms. If you take over the shift at 7.00 in the morning and
12 you're on duty for the next 24 hours, you hand over your shift to someone
13 else on the following morning at 7.00 in the morning. So the shift
14 working from 7.00 in the morning on Saturday worked until Sunday 7.00 in
15 the morning when they were taken over by another stint that lasted until
16 Monday 7.00 a.m.
18 Q. And, sir, that makes sense to me, and so would it be fair that
19 actually the person from the day before wrote the date where -- and you
20 would write that date in at midnight
21 A. That would be logical the way you put it. However, the practice
22 employed at the Visegrad health centre at the time was such that the new
23 shift arrived in the morning and that's when they would start working. I
24 don't -- they might have written the entry at midnight, but I don't think
25 so. This would normally be done at 7.00 in the morning when the new
1 shift arrived.
2 Q. So are you saying that someone that was seen, let's say
3 hypothetically at 2.00 a.m.
4 on the day before? That doesn't sound logical.
5 A. It's not logical, but it can happen. But if you really want me
6 to tell you the truth, while I was working, from midnight until the
7 morning doctors were usually asleep unless we had an emergency, a real
8 emergency. In that case the doctor would be called up and he would
9 examine the patient. That was allowed, of course. They were not doing
10 anything wrong.
11 Q. And for simple things like a glucose injection, might it be just
12 a tech that handles that patient or a nurse?
13 A. They cannot write prescriptions. If I said -- I read the code of
14 the diagnosis. Only the doctor can do that. Only he is qualified. And
15 in addition you see the stamp of the doctor, which means the doctor was
16 working that day. That's how you can tell.
17 Q. And in terms of the doctor was there just one doctor on duty?
18 A. Usually only one doctor was on duty.
19 Q. Now, if -- if the date wasn't being meticulously changed at the
21 the next day, doesn't it?
22 A. I don't understand what you're trying to say.
23 Q. Well, if -- if the new shift started at 7.00 a.m. and the first
24 person at 7.00 a.m.
25 patients ahead of that that were seen on June 7th are listed on the
1 previous day, and if that was done on successive days that means patients
2 could be listed on the wrong day if they showed up between midnight and
3 7.00 a.m.
4 A. No. If they were examined between midnight and 7.00 as you are
5 suggesting, it's the team that saw him that made the entry. It couldn't
6 happen that somebody was seen and writes a new date in the morning and
7 says, "Oh, we have already seen three patients. Let's post-date them."
8 The entry would be -- of the date would be made at midnight or at 7.00.
9 I'm telling you what the practice was. The rest is all theory. I'm
10 telling you what the practice was and how the entries were made.
11 Q. When the reality, of course, is you weren't there on the date to
12 monitor the entries or see the flow of patients on that particular day.
13 A. Right.
14 Q. And so it's possible that the entries are incorrect unless you,
15 of course, could have verified that?
16 A. Correct. How could I verify that if I told you I wasn't there?
17 Finally, I was only asked to comment on this list. I saw it, and I told
18 you what I had to tell you.
19 Q. Now, in the area of Visegrad and in Bosnia and Serbia
20 common name?
21 A. You could say so.
22 Q. And is Lukic a common surname?
23 A. You could say so too. It's still common.
24 Q. And is Milan Lukic a common name?
25 A. You could say so.
1 Q. Now, in being able to comment on the practice of the hospital,
2 why aren't specific birth dates or better identification measures taken
3 of patients seen at the hospital?
4 A. Usually the year of birth was entered in this first column, but
5 if you have a medicare card you would enter the number of the medicare
6 card and the unique personal number. And I told you that wherever you
7 see TO, that indicated soldiers or Territorial Defence members who did
8 not have proper medical IDs so we just wrote TO.
9 Q. And I note in the entries there, some patients where no
10 information is given, neither medicare or medicard information nor the
11 date of birth.
12 A. That's something you have to ask the people who made these
13 entries. I really don't know anything about it. I've said so before.
14 They probably didn't do their job properly, or they had no access to the
15 IDs or medicards. For instance, if a man aged 50 comes off the street,
16 has no medicard and is not a member of the Territorial Defence and says,
17 "Doctor, I have a problem," do you think the doctor would turn him away
18 just because he doesn't have health insurance cards? That never
19 happened. His personal details would be entered from his words but the
20 patients were always admitted. Nobody was ever turned away that I know
22 Q. Now, can you recognise the doctor's handwriting, or could this be
23 a nurse entry or some other support staff entries?
24 A. Very unlikely. The diagnosis and the method of administration or
25 therapy were always entered by the doctor. But from this distance I
1 really can't judge if it was a nurse or a doctor.
2 Q. So could two separate people be making entries on the same book
3 or more than one person making entries, i.e., a support staff takes
4 initial check-in information and then a doctor writes in the diagnoses
5 and the treatment?
6 A. That could happen too. The nurse could write down the name and
7 the doctor would write the diagnosis and the therapy. I told you already
8 I cannot say more if I wasn't there.
9 Q. Is it possible that people that would come in and give a
10 different name, especially during war times?
11 A. Well, now we have strayed into the area of pure theory, possible
12 versus impossible. I really can't tell you that.
13 Q. And were there any Muslim doctors working shifts at that time?
14 A. Do you mean at this time?
15 Q. Yes, sir.
16 A. I don't think so. I wasn't there the last week. I've told you I
17 didn't work the last week. I've mentioned this before, and I don't know
18 whether any Muslims were still working there. Maybe dentists, but I
19 really don't think so. I don't know.
20 Q. Do you know how many Serbian doctors were available to treat
21 patients at that time?
22 A. Well, there were a couple of Serb doctors, even some who had gone
23 to Uzice before the war to work there were made to come back. I know of
24 some, but again I have to repeat I don't know how many doctors were on
25 staff at that particular time and how many of them were Serb.
1 Q. But otherwise before the chaos started, it was a mixed hospital
2 with staffers of both ethnicities working together?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, moving kind of backwards in terms of your dealings with
5 VG-114, did you -- did she tell you how she was burned, like with oil or
6 gas or explosive device?
7 A. Yes, she told me how she was burned. She told me that a tragedy
8 had happened to her, that in a house -- I don't know exactly how many
9 people she said. I really doesn't know the number, but a lot of people
10 were set on fire in that house. Her mother and sister and one of her
11 sister's two children.
12 You have to realise the state she was in, and in view of the
13 state she was in I had no right, moral or otherwise, to ask her to tell
14 the story. It's just that occasionally in our conversations some of that
15 would come up now and again, but I really couldn't do it.
16 Q. Did she tell you who helped this young lady in Visegrad?
17 A. Yes. She was helped by a Muslim woman who lived in that town at
18 that time, and she also said that a doctor had come from the health
19 centre together with a nurse to examine her. And even on one occasion
20 she told me that she had gone to a check-point once to ask the soldiers
21 there to kill her because she couldn't go on living in that state.
22 Q. Now, she was put on video after that time, but did you also give
23 a statement to a TV show regarding the ordeal at the Drina River
24 A. It was not a TV show. It could have been a video film.
25 Q. And do you remember describing the incidents on the Drina
1 journalist or whatever it was, video recording?
2 A. Yes, I described it. I remember that.
3 Q. And did you mention that there was a soldier from across the
4 river that disrupted this execution by shooting and causing the Chetniks
5 to leave?
6 A. You are labouring under a delusion. It's not me. The person who
7 mentioned there was shooting from the other side of the street is not
8 related to this incident. I know who you're talking about. It concerns
9 two brothers who swam across the river. I never said anything like that.
10 I say with full responsibility before this Court that I had never ever
11 stated that somebody had shot from the other side.
12 Q. Who was the person that -- that made the statement about someone
13 shooting from the other side?
14 A. I can give a written statement about that if you wish. I don't
15 want to say in public who this person is, and I don't know whether this
16 person will appear before this Tribunal at all. I can give the
17 Prosecution a written statement identifying that person.
18 MR. ALARID: Could we go into private session, Your Honour?
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, private session.
20 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
21 MR. ALARID:
22 Q. Now, can we have P56, please, on the screen for the witness as
24 A. Are we in private session? Excuse me.
25 Q. No.
1 A. We have shown this before in private session. If I remember
2 correctly, Your Honour, this document was discussed in private session.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's not being broadcast. It's not being
4 broadcast, so it doesn't matter.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand. I just want to know
6 whether we are in private or open session now.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're in open session, public session.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When the Prosecutor showed this
9 document on the screen, we discussed it then in private session, because
10 that's what the Prosecutor asked. At least that's my memory. I would
11 prefer it not to have this document broadcast.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, let us go to private session.
13 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
18 MR. GROOME: I just want to make some quick corrections to the
19 record. With respect to Prosecution Exhibit 67, that's a series of three
20 photographs, the record records me as referring to the first photograph
21 as 4153. In fact it's an eight-digit number ending in 4513. With
22 respect to the second photograph, the record records me as saying 4614.
23 It is an eight-digit number ending with 4514, and finally the last
24 photograph I'm recorded as saying 4615. I'd ask that the record identify
25 that third photograph as an eight-digit number ending in 4515.
1 With respect to Prosecution Exhibit number 68, that was the large
2 book. In consultations with the registrar, because only two pages are
3 necessary, to avoid scanning the many hundreds of pages that are included
4 in that book, may I make the following suggestion to the Chamber: That
5 the original physical copy be returned to the Vasiljevic file as D26 and
6 kept there so that if there's ever a forensic examination required the
7 book can be retrieved and we know the chain of custody and that P68 now
8 be replaced with images of the two relevant pages containing information
9 about the 7th of June, 1992, and that document be unredacted and remain
10 under seal. Prosecution Exhibit 70 is a redacted version of the same two
11 pages and is currently a public exhibit.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Cepic.
14 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Just to add something
15 related to Exhibit number P68, the book from the hospital of Visegrad
16 Visegrad hospital. My learned friend Mr. Groome requested just two
17 pages. I would like to request some additional pages, actually just two
18 more pages related to 14th of June, 1992, under the number 5353 and
19 related to Mitar Vasiljevic, so ...
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. And Mr. Alarid?
21 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, we would request from a chain of
22 custody perspective and also for the benefit of the Court that the
23 document, the book itself be transferred to the file of Milan Lukic and
24 Sredoje Lukic in its entirety, namely because one, the Vasiljevic case is
25 over. So there's no need for it to be part of the record there in terms
1 of an appeal or something like that. And with regards to this, we --
2 considering the Court's earlier ruling of the 400 and some-odd pages of
3 individual PDFs, by the time we get to look at in its entirety, there may
4 be other relevant arguments relating to the document.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll take time to consider the various
6 submissions and give a ruling later. Let us proceed with the case, with
7 the cross-examination.
8 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. 32, we were looking at your diagram, and you indicated that
10 you did not look behind you to see the exact location of the shooters,
11 but this was more representative of where everyone was in the procession
12 across the field that was 1 to 200 metres. Is that fair?
13 A. No. That's not correct.
14 Q. Well, is it true that -- that you walked across the field with
15 people to both the left and the right of you?
16 A. Yes. I said exactly the other time and today that as I was
17 heading across the field, to my left was Witness 014. You can see on the
18 diagram here that that witness is not on my left. Let me repeat. I was
19 asked to draw these -- the disposition of the four circles was as it was
20 at the time that I started walking toward the riverside. I didn't turn
21 back and can't tell you what the disposition was at the time as I was
22 heading towards the river. That's something that I said and I stand by
24 Q. And so you did not walk across the field in a column but more in
25 a row.
1 A. That's what I said.
2 Q. And in terms of the description of each of the these people, you
3 described Milan Lukic as wearing blue camouflage and a beret?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What colour of beret?
6 A. Blue. Light blue.
7 Q. So similar to the colour of, let's say, the curtains behind Your
9 A. One could say so. Perhaps a bit darker.
10 Q. And how was Mitar Vasiljevic dressed?
11 A. Mitar Vasiljevic had the Territorial Defence uniform which I
12 described as olive-grey. It wasn't a camouflage uniform.
13 Q. And what --
14 A. And had a black hat on his head.
15 Q. And the black hat, was it -- what kind of hat was it?
16 A. Well, what type was it. It was larger hat, not your classic
17 western hat, but it had a larger rim. It was a typical American hat.
18 I'm really not adept at describing hats. You can have millions of sorts.
19 I can only draw it perhaps. I don't know how to explain it.
20 Q. And the colour of the hat?
21 A. Black.
22 Q. The -- black. Okay. And the other two gentlemen, the other two
23 soldiers, what were they wearing?
24 A. They had ordinary camouflage uniforms. In other words, they were
25 not police camouflage uniforms, they were regular camouflage uniforms.
1 Q. Anything on their heads?
2 A. I think that the soldier that I mentioned who was at Visegrad
3 Banja didn't have anything on his head. I remember that well. Whereas
4 the other soldier wore a beret, I think, but I can't be sure. I can't
5 remember exactly.
6 Q. Can you remember the colour? Whether it was a beret or not, can
7 you remember the colour?
8 A. Your Honours, I really cannot remember at this time what the
9 colour of the beret was. You have to keep in mind the situation I was
10 in. At that point that -- the colour of the beret was a thing of least
11 concern to me.
12 Q. And could you recall whether the blue camouflage uniform was a
13 short sleeve or a long sleeve?
14 A. I think it was a short-sleeved one. I think I said so already.
15 Are you referring to the police uniform? Are you referring to the police
16 camouflage uniform or the soldier's camouflage? The police one was short
18 Q. And did you notice any tattoos on the arms?
19 A. No, I didn't.
20 Q. And in terms of the face of the person that you say is Milan
21 Lukic, you indicated that there was -- that only the cheeks were black,
22 or was it the nose, the chin, and the forehead as well?
23 A. I said that he was painted like this. This part of his face was
24 painted. There may have been some paint on the forehead as well.
25 Q. And did you notice any pronounced mole on the face of this
2 A. No.
3 Q. Now, isn't it true that the first time that you saw Milan Lukic
4 was with other soldiers in a cafe?
5 A. Yes, that's true.
6 Q. And before that date you did not know Milan Lukic or anyone that
7 could be named Milan Lukic?
8 A. No.
9 Q. And so even though you had been a long-time resident of Visegrad,
10 you had not had any opportunity to come into contact with the local Milan
11 Lukic or anyone else named by Milan Lukic?
12 A. No.
13 Q. And even that time in the cafe, you didn't know the gentleman's
14 name. It was only other people that told you what his name was. Isn't
15 that true?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And on what occasion would there be for someone to tell you who
18 that was? Can you tell me the context of that identification?
19 A. I said that I saw him for the first time at the entrance to the
20 cafe that we called Kod Pipe near the entrance to Panos. I said that he
21 carried a rifle with a silencer. He struck me as someone who stood out,
22 and I was interested in who he was. I was told that he was Milan Lukic,
23 though I must say I didn't pay that much attention to this. When I saw
24 this individual later, I noticed that it was him, that that same person
25 was outside the health centre and later with us.
1 Q. So it was only through someone else telling you it was Milan
2 Lukic that you made the connection but not by any personal knowledge over
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And even then you said even though you say that that person stood
6 out, there was nothing to distinguish him as a White Eagle or anything
7 like that?
8 A. But likewise there was nothing to indicate that he was a member
9 of the regular army.
10 Q. What was he wearing in the cafe?
11 A. He had regular camouflage uniform at the time. The same one that
12 he had when I saw him once more later.
13 Q. And this would be a green camouflage uniform?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And are you saying he had a sniper rifle in the cafe or the next
16 time you saw him?
17 A. That time too.
18 Q. You did not indicate that in your first statement.
19 A. Yes, yes, at that time in the cafe. That's something that caught
20 my eye. Otherwise I would not have paid as much attention to him. There
21 weren't many soldiers who carried a sniper rifle with a silencer around
22 at the time.
23 Q. But there were other soldiers that carried sniper rifles with
24 silencers on them, weren't there?
25 A. Well, there probably were.
1 Q. And you never got very close to him in that cafe, did you?
2 A. No.
3 Q. And at the cafe you didn't have any indication from the person of
4 where this Milan Lukic was from or who his parents were?
5 A. No.
6 Q. And what date was this chance meeting at the cafe?
7 A. I really don't know what date it was. I said that I had seen him
8 before and that was at the time when the Uzice Corps was still there. I
9 got back on the 25th or 26th, so it could have been in that period up
10 until the 19th of May. I can't remember the exact date.
11 Q. So you can't place it at the beginning of your return to the
12 Uzice Corps, [indiscernible] it could at any time in those three weeks?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. And the time at the hospital, what was the date Behija Zukic was
15 brought into the morgue?
16 A. I think it was a day or two after the departure of the Uzice
17 Corps. I'm not certain of the date though.
18 Q. And are you certain that this was the day that Behija Zukic was
19 killed, or it could have been sometimes after?
20 A. I really don't know whether it was on the same evening or on the
21 same day, but I don't think that somebody would bring the body over to
22 the morgue three or four days later. I really don't know how long it
23 might take for someone to bring a body to the morgue.
24 Q. So you don't have a sense of how long it had been since Ms. Zukic
25 had been killed?
1 A. I don't, no.
2 Q. And when you were identified in the cafe -- or excuse me, Milan
3 Lukic was identified in the cafe, who told you who it was?
4 A. Well, I was with a couple of my acquaintances at the time. I
5 can't really tell you that it was Mr. So-and-so who told me that that was
7 who told me so, and I stand by that.
8 Q. Now, when you say Ms. Zukic was brought into the morgue, do you
9 recall who delivered the body to the morgue?
10 A. I said that I was not present, and I don't remember. I don't
11 recall ever stating who was it who brought the body over. I only said
12 that the body was brought.
13 Q. And that's why I was asking you if you knew.
14 Now, you indicate that when Milan -- the person that you knew to
15 be Milan Lukic came in a VW Passat?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you indicated in your statement to the OTP that you believed
18 that he had taken this Passat after allegedly killing her?
19 A. I didn't say that I believed so. I said that I had heard so.
20 Q. So the reality is you don't know who killed Ms. Zukic or really
21 who took the Passat?
22 A. I have never said that I knew who had killed Mrs. Zukic. I only
23 said that I heard.
24 Q. And you heard this before the incident on the Drina, but
25 obviously between the time that Ms. Zukic came in?
1 A. Can you please repeat your question? I don't understand.
2 Q. Did you -- when did you find out that -- from this person that
3 believed Ms. Zukic had been killed and her Passat had been taken by Milan
5 A. It was between those two points in time. Now I understand your
6 question. It was -- it was between the incident in Drina and -- yeah, in
7 between the two.
8 Q. Now, isn't it true that the police were seizing many cars,
9 including your own?
10 A. I have never said that the police took my car. It is, however,
11 true that they were taking away some vehicles and that many vehicles that
12 were parked outside the Visegrad Hotel had been taken.
13 Q. And also many cars parked outside the police station as well.
14 A. I've never said that I saw vehicles parked outside the police
15 station that were taken away. I said that I saw vehicles parked outside
16 the Visegrad Hotel being seized. That's not where the police station
18 Q. Did you see seized vehicles near the police station, if you know?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And is that no, that you didn't see, or no, you don't know?
21 A. I really don't know what you're referring to, sir, whether I've
22 seen vehicles parked outside the police station or whether I had seen the
23 police officers pulling cars over by the roadside and then seizing them.
24 Q. Had you seen that, police officers pulling cars over and seizing
1 A. No, I didn't see that.
2 Q. Now, when you returned to work and returned to Visegrad, were you
3 made aware of a large gathering at the stadium of many Muslims when the
4 Uzice Corps came into town?
5 A. I cannot answer that question truly. Maybe there had been
6 Muslims gathered, but I wasn't in town at the time. I don't know on what
7 date such a gathering took place. I wasn't there.
8 Q. But did you hear about it just talking amongst your countrymen?
9 A. I didn't hear anyone talk of that gathering, not then at the
10 time. I did hear that there was a gathering, but I don't know the
11 details surrounding it.
12 Q. Now, you said that when you had to go -- or when you came back
13 you had to go through five check-points?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. And were these check-points manned by police, soldiers, or both?
16 A. If we take it in the right order, the first one was manned by the
17 army, the second one as well. I think only the last one at the very
18 entrance to the town was manned by the police.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid.
20 MR. ALARID: Yes, sir.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: How would you explain the relevance of all of
23 MR. ALARID: I'm explaining the overall political and command
24 situation, also showing that the police basically controlled egress and
25 access routes to the town. You know, there's a lot of --
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: How does it affect the criminal responsibility
2 of the accused?
3 MR. ALARID: Well, Your Honour --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: How does it assist us?
5 MR. ALARID: It provides tendrils to alternative theories of
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: That sounds like a refrain to which you resort.
8 MR. ALARID: I understand, Your Honour, and I hope to bring it
9 together in my final submissions.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Judge van den Wyngaert will have something to
11 say to you.
12 MR. ALARID: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: I just wanted to add something to this.
14 In your effort to go over the overall situation, please keep in mind that
15 much of this has been part of the adjudicated facts at the beginning of
16 the decision on adjudicated facts. So let's not dwell too much on that
17 and keep our timetable in mind. Thank you.
18 MR. ALARID: Yes, ma'am. Yes, ma'am.
19 Q. You did indicate though that while the Uzice Corps were in town
20 you personally knew people who went to the police station and were not
21 seen again?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And this happened despite the fact that the Uzice Corps were in
24 town supposedly to protect Muslims, yet these people were taken by
25 officials of the community. Isn't that true?
1 A. Yes, precisely so.
2 Q. And despite the fact that the Uzice Corps were in town, that's
3 when you first noticed these paramilitary groups who you commonly called
4 the White Eagles. Isn't that true?
5 A. That's true.
6 Q. And these represented several groups, not just one group. Isn't
7 that true?
8 A. Yes. That's what I said. Let me briefly explain this or clarify
10 We believed that they would leave together with the Uzice Corps.
11 This, however, did not happen.
12 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: Mr. Alarid, may I interrupt you a second
13 time. I'm just trying to understand your answer to the question of
14 Judge Robinson, because you say explaining the overall political and
15 command situation, et cetera, but aren't the accused only charged under
16 Article 7(1), and so what is the relevance of this more general picture
17 that you want to bring? You're exploring alternative modes of liability,
18 but I'm still not -- I don't understand what you are heading for.
19 MR. ALARID: Well, in the indictment, Your Honour, the
20 Prosecution alleges that Mr. Lukic is a leader and he is a leader of the
21 White Eagles, and you know, maybe I'm beating a dead horse, but you know,
22 if that is part of their theory of the case, I think there's several
23 references amongst the witnesses that can't identify him as any sort of
24 leader much less of the White Eagles, and so I think that's kind of why I
25 hang on this issue more and more.
1 JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT: I would appreciate you concentrating
2 more on the forms of liability in 7(1) as they emerge from the
3 indictment. Thank you very much.
4 MR. ALARID: Yes, Your Honour.
5 Q. And when Dr. Safet was in town -- or killed, the Uzice Corps were
6 in town?
7 A. I didn't say that Dr. Safet was killed at the time. He was only
8 taken away at the time. The Uzice Corps was in town at the time, and I
9 said that it was at the initiative of the head of the hospital and the
10 town authorities that Safet actually returned to town.
11 Q. And these town authorities included the Crisis Staff?
12 A. I really don't know who was in charge of the town at the time. I
13 didn't have even the remotest possibility of knowing who the town
14 authorities were, who ran the town at the time. I really don't know.
15 Q. Well, isn't it true, though, that -- a little later in your --
16 pardon me, a little later in your testimony you indicated that your
17 friend dropped the name of Brane Savovic.
18 A. Yes, sir, I did mention the name of Brane Savovic, but you're
19 asking me about matters as they were during the presence of the Uzice
20 Corps. I said that Brane Savovic was the president of the municipality,
21 but this was the case after the departure of the Uzice Corps.
22 Q. I understand. And he was a member of the SDS, the president of
23 the SDS
24 A. That's what I said.
25 Q. And isn't it true that Risto Perisic was commander of the police?
1 A. Yes, so I heard.
2 Q. And Dragomir Gavrilovic was also a member of the Crisis Staff?
3 A. I don't know about that.
4 Q. And Savovic was put in place at the Uzice Corps' departure?
5 A. I don't know when he took that position precisely, but I presume
7 Q. And the time that you were approach by a White Eagle to buy your
8 head, as you stated, what -- what told you that this person was a White
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And how could you tell he was a White Eagles? Did he say this,
12 or did he have some kind of uniform or way about him that indicated he
13 was a White Eagles?
14 A. I will repeat. I said that at the earlier hearing and today --
15 whenever in my statement I refer to the White Eagles I'm actually
16 referring to all the paramilitaries. They were collectively referred to
17 as the White Eagles. The two lads who approached me to buy my head, I
18 just happened to be there. I don't know if they came to pick the
19 vehicle -- pick up the vehicle that was there. One of them had a black
20 beret on his head and the two --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, a red beret.
22 A. -- with two red -- with a two-headed eagle. The other one had a
23 green beret on his head with a two-headed eagle. I said probably they
24 were members of the White Eagles.
25 Now, when I asked the one with the red beret, "Where are you
1 from," he said, "Raki, he's asking us where we're from. Shall we tell
2 him? If I tell you where I'm from, then I have to kill you." I said,
3 "No, no, sir. You don't have to tell me," so we were in fact joking
4 because they were quite polite, although I had to buy my head off them.
5 And now that you're asking me about -- of them, let me tell you
6 one other thing. The one wearing the red beret told me, "Dear, sir, who
7 will I have to answer to if I kill you now." I thought it over and
8 concluded that the man was right. Who was he going to be held answerable
9 to? But he told me, "You know, lad, I'm not a Chetnik killer. I'm a
10 Chetnik looter." That was his answer.
11 MR. ALARID:
12 Q. And that person indicated to you that he would turn you over to
13 the men from Obrenovac?
14 A. Yes, Obrenovac. That's what I said.
15 Q. And you indicated in your statement that you believe Milan Lukic
16 worked in Obrenovac, but what proof or information do you have of this?
17 A. I said I heard he worked in Obrenovac.
18 Q. And who did you hear this from? Was it a general rumour, or did
19 someone think they had specific knowledge?
20 A. If I said it was common knowledge you will interpret it as a
21 general rumour, but I knew many people who knew him personally and who
22 told me that he worked in Obrenovac.
23 Q. And so at this point in time the name Milan Lukic was the topic
24 of discussion amongst you and people you knew?
25 A. I don't know what you mean at that time.
1 Q. Did you know what Milan Lukic -- was it discussed what Milan
2 Lukic was doing in Obrenovac?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Was it discussed the age of the person named Milan Lukic that you
5 were discussing?
6 A. It was said that it was born between '65 and '68. Some said '67.
7 Yes, that's right. '69, perhaps. It all depends on who were the
8 participants in the conversation and the context.
9 Q. Now, when you attempted to leave Visegrad, you ended up having to
10 get a permit. Is isn't that true?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. And you were turned back at a check-point in Dobrun. Who manned
13 that check-point?
14 A. It was a police check-point. The police manned it.
15 Q. Had you heard anywhere that people were having to pay for these
17 A. I really didn't hear anything of the sort, but in view of the
18 state we were living in and the way it still functions today, it's far
19 from impossible that people had to pay or were asked to pay. I did not
20 pay anything myself.
21 Q. Because you had a relationship with the police officer that you
22 met outside the police station. Isn't that true?
23 A. It was not a policeman. He was an employee, a clerk.
24 Q. A clerk at the police station?
25 A. For a while he may have even been the commander of the station
1 before the war. He worked on the police force. He was not an active
2 duty policeman on the beat.
3 When I say "employee," I don't mean to say he was a civilian
4 person worked -- who worked in the police station. He had a desk job at
5 the police station. That's what I meant.
6 Q. And how far is Dobrun from Visegrad?
7 A. Twenty-six kilometres approximately. I'm not quite sure.
8 Approximately 20, 26.
9 Q. And what was the name of this police commander who you knew?
10 A. His name was Ceho Mikan.
11 Q. And whose signature appeared on your permit?
12 A. Excuse me?
13 Q. Do you recall the signature on your permit, the person that
14 signed it so that you would have authority to leave Visegrad?
15 A. I really don't recall, Your Honours, who signed it, but I know
16 that my friend had to take the paper to be signed by someone. The main
17 thing is he didn't sign it myself because he couldn't. He even had to
18 wait for half an hour to be signed. It must have been signed by the
19 person who was in charge of these matters, but I really can't remember
21 Q. And moving to June 7th, you saw that your car drove by and that's
22 what drew your attention and brought you out. Isn't that tree?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And who took your car? Do you know?
25 A. I really don't know.
1 Q. So was it taken from your garage, presumably, where you'd left it
3 A. I did not keep my car in the garage. I have to emphasise that.
4 When the men came to take the Mercedes away my car was standing outside
5 the garage, and they told me, you have to move your car. It's not much
6 of a car, otherwise we take it away. So I moved it to the next spot so
7 that he can out with the Mercedes and that's where I left it.
8 Q. And the person that took the Mercedes, is it a police officer or
9 a soldier?
10 A. I already said a moment ago and earlier today that it's the
11 person who made me pay ransom to stay alive. I think I've explained it
12 all today.
13 Q. Thank you, sir. I don't mean to belabour things, but I'm going
14 through my notes and if I repeat -- if I repeat your testimony, I
16 Now, after the gentlemen came and took you and you were in
17 custody, and you left -- you said you went through a Territorial Defence
18 check-point. It was manned by the regular Serbian army, or was it manned
19 by local police officers?
20 A. Could you clarify that question? Do you mean the check-point at
21 the intersection leading to Sase?
22 Q. Yes, sir.
23 A. Yes. That one was manned by the police. It was not an army
24 check-point or anything.
25 Q. And those police officers allowed your -- you to proceed through
1 with your captors?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, in talking about Branimir Savovic, isn't it true that the
5 A. That's probably how they were qualified, but if you say that it's
6 an extremist party, then you have to tell it to the current SDS, which is
7 still an active political party in Bosnia and Herzegovina. So I wouldn't
8 quite agree if we look at it from today's point of view and if we look at
9 the SDS
10 extremist if it's sitting on the government of my country.
11 Q. How about in 1992?
12 A. I don't know that all members of the SDS were extremists, and the
13 man who helped me eventually may also have been a member of the SDS, but
14 I can't say that he was an extremist. It's a very debatable question.
15 We can spend three days on it. I really don't know the answer.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Sir, we don't have three days.
17 MR. ALARID: May I, Your Honour?
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please go ahead.
19 MR. ALARID:
20 Q. But when you friend and fellow captive requested to speak with
21 Mr. Savovic, that was because he was a leader and he thought that that
22 could make a difference? Isn't that true?
23 A. Sir, I explained it nicely today and the today before, and I can
24 explain it again. The two of them were very close friends. I can
25 similarly say that a friend of mind, that is the friend I mentioned,
1 worked in the municipal assembly, was part of the authorities on the
2 municipal level until a few days before the incident, and he had probably
3 seen and met frequently with Mr. Savovic, and that's what I said. They
4 were close friends.
5 Q. And isn't it true, though, that the only way that you knew that
6 this person was Milan
7 speak with Milan
8 requested to speak with Mr. Savovic?
9 A. I want to make this clear to the Honourable Court. The situation
10 we were in at the time and the soldier guarding us in the doorway did not
11 give us any reason to believe that he could shoot at us. He even asked
12 my friend, as I said, do you have any children and so-and-so.
13 We did not think of him as an executionist -- executioner, but he
14 must have known very well what was going to happen to us. Whether I
15 found out from him the name Milan
16 death at that point, so it didn't mean anything that he mentioned Milan
18 Q. Sir, the question I asked you though is isn't it true that that's
19 the only reason that you knew that this masked person in a blue
20 camouflage uniform was named Milan
21 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm not aware of any testimony that he
22 was wearing a mask.
23 MR. ALARID: Well, black paint, to clarify.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I didn't hear the
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Repeat the question.
2 MR. ALARID:
3 Q. Isn't it true that the only reason that you knew this person that
4 was wearing blue camouflage with the beret with black paint obstructing
5 his face was named Milan
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Don't answer yet. Mr. Groome.
7 MR. GROOME: The witness again has never used the words the face
8 was obstructed. I would ask that we remain faithful to the words of the
9 witness if we're going to ask him to adopt them at a later point.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Reformulate, Mr. Alarid.
11 MR. ALARID:
12 Q. Was the black paint on this gentleman's face with the blue
13 camouflage obstructing his features?
14 A. No.
15 Q. But isn't it true that the only reason you knew this person's
16 name was Milan
17 A. I wouldn't say it was the only reason. I'd rather say it was a
18 confirmation of everything else.
19 Q. And it's also because you believed that the red Passat was there
20 and you associate the red Passat with Milan Lukic as well. Isn't that
22 A. I have said -- I said that until this moment and this talk in the
23 house, I had never seen the red Passat before. I said that when they led
24 us out of the house and we got outside, that's when I saw the red Passat.
25 Q. And it was only at this time that between the one gentleman
1 telling you the name Milan
2 that this is Milan Lukic who killed Behija Zukic?
3 A. He didn't say that to me. The way you put your question is that
4 the soldier told me the name. He told that to my friend, in fact.
5 Similarly you said -- could you repeat that last question?
6 Q. I'm more concerned that when you had the realisation that you
7 believed this was Milan Lukic, and I'm telling you that isn't it true
8 that this comes from a combination of factors, which is you heard the
9 name Milan
10 factors together, you assume it's Milan Lukic who you had heard about
12 A. That's the way you interpret it. I would not agree.
13 Q. Now, when you were put into the Yugo, at first there was some
14 discord because the soldier that sat in the back made the person in the
15 middle sort of sit on the lap of you or squeezed you together. Isn't
16 that so?
17 A. Yes, correct.
18 Q. And the rest of the people went in this Passat; correct?
19 A. My friend was riding in the front seat, Ekrem was driving, Hasan
20 Mutapcic was in the Passat. I've said already the two persons were
21 already standing by the Passat. They got into the car and Hasan Mutapcic
22 with them.
23 Q. Okay. So does this make it five people in the Yugo and five
24 people in the Passat?
25 A. In total. Five in the Yugo and five in the Passat, correct.
1 Q. And when you went to the Vilina Vlas Hotel and you added the
2 person of Mitar Vasiljevic to the equation, how was that accommodated in
3 the seating once you left hotel?
4 A. I explained that in great detail in the Vasiljevic trial. He
5 left the hotel and got into the Passat too. How they squeezed
6 themselves, all six, into the Passat is something that the witnesses --
7 in fact, that Mr. Vasiljevic, himself, was better placed to tell you.
8 Q. I guess what I would ask you is did you notice any problems with
9 them getting into the Passat, i.e., soldiers getting angry or yelling at
10 people to squeeze together or something like that that you might have
11 been aware of?
12 A. I've said this already. As we were leaving Banja, Yugo was
13 standing ahead of the Passat. And since I was sitting behind the driver,
14 logically I got into the Yugo first. My back was, therefore, to the
15 Passat, and I really couldn't see it. And sit ting in the Yugo, I
16 couldn't see what was going on with the Passat and how they packed
17 themselves into it.
18 Q. But would it be fair to say that 10 people would fit much easier
19 in this procession than 11?
20 A. We were 11.
21 Q. And that, you're positive of?
22 A. One hundred per cent.
23 Q. Do you know the two other names of people from the shooting?
24 A. No. I never learned their names, and I've always said so. I
25 didn't know them.
1 Q. And on the way to the Vilina Vlas, you noticed that two mosques
2 were torched. Did that happen before or after the Uzice Corps had left?
3 A. After.
4 MR. ALARID: One moment, Your Honour. I'm almost done.
5 I have no further questions, Your Honour. At this time we would
6 tender the witness statement of the 30th of September and 1st of October,
7 1998, which has been uploaded as 1D100-0191, the unredacted version. And
8 we would tender the trial testimony of this witness, which has been
9 uploaded as 1D10-0239, the trial testimony of the September 11, 2001,
10 into evidence under seal.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We admit it.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 1D10-0239 will become Exhibit
13 number 1D13, and the witness statement will become Exhibit number 1D31
14 under seal.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Cepic.
16 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. No questions for this
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome.
19 MR. GROOME: Your Honours, just one question that I have, but
20 before I do that in the pressure to finish on the time I inadvertently
21 forgot to ask this witness if he recognised anyone in the courtroom.
22 Could I ask or make a motion to reopen my direct examination to do that,
23 and of course I would not oppose Mr. Alarid having an opportunity to
24 cross-examine on the results of that question.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, on the basis that the Defence may ask any
1 questions that arise.
2 Re-examination by Mr. Groome:
3 Q. VG-32, could I ask you to take a look around the courtroom and
4 tell us whether or not you recognise anyone in this courtroom today other
5 than myself.
6 A. The first one from the left is Mr. Lukic, and I also recognise
7 the gentleman next to him, but the first one on the left with the red --
8 reddish tie is him.
9 Q. Could I ask you to use the first and last name of the person that
10 you recognise.
11 A. Milan
12 Q. And are you certain of that?
13 A. Yes, Your Honour. It's the same smirk that I remember very well.
14 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, may the record reflect that the witness
15 has identified Milan Lukic.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
17 MR. GROOME:
18 Q. VG-32, you say that you also recognise the other person in the --
19 another person in the courtroom. Could you tell us the full name of the
20 other person that you say you recognise?
21 A. That's Mr. Sredoje Lukic.
22 Q. And where do you recognise him from?
23 A. Well, I know him. He worked as a police officer in Visegrad before
24 the war. I have really never heard anything about him, and I have never
25 mentioned him in any of my statements. You just asked me whether I knew him,
1 and if I said no, I don't know this man, it would be a lie, wouldn’t it?
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that the witness be shown Prosecution
4 Exhibit 70.
5 Q. And while that's being called up, Mr. Alarid in his examination
6 of you elicited that there was more than one Milan Lukic, given the
7 commonness of the name, and the question I want to ask you now is that --
8 the question that I want to ask you now is on the protocol book, I
9 believe you testified that there is a column where the year of birth is
10 recorded. As soon as this exhibit comes up, I'd ask you to look in the
11 column which -- for Milan Lukic and tell us whether or not the year of
12 birth was recorded in that.
13 MR. ALARID: And, Your Honour, I would object to this. It's
14 unduly suggestive, leading, and otherwise the evidence speaks for itself.
15 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, apparently --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Groome.
17 MR. GROOME: In my effort to replace the full book with a scanned
18 version, apparently that's causing some confusion now. So could I ask
19 for the time being that the full book just be returned to the witness so
20 that the witness can look at it, and perhaps if it could be placed on the
22 MR. ALARID: And, Your Honour, again the same objection.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not upholding it.
24 MR. GROOME:
25 Q. Can I ask you to once again find the entry for Milan Lukic, and
1 can I ask you if it does tell the year of his birth, would you please
2 point to where that's indicated and tell us?
3 A. I think I've said it already. When I was explaining all these
4 columns I said, this is the name, year of birth, where he's from,
5 address, medicard, et cetera. The year of birth indicated is 1967.
6 MR. GROOME: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Witness, that concludes your
8 evidence. We thank you for coming to the International Tribunal to give
9 it. You may now leave.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Next witness.
12 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the Prosecution now calls VG-84.
13 Ms. Maxine Marcus will be taking this witness and she's entering the
14 courtroom now.
15 Your Honour, while we're waiting for the witness to be brought
16 in, two days ago when I was working with the 360 photo programme I did
17 not -- I had it marked for identification but did not formally tender it
18 and it was agreed between myself and counsel that I would formally tender
19 it a day or two later to give them an opportunity to fully examine it, so
20 at this time I would formally tender 65 ter exhibit 175 as a public
21 exhibit and that's the 360 programme that has photographic images from
22 around Visegrad.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we'll admit it.
24 THE REGISTRAR: It will become Exhibit P71, Your Honours. I
25 apologise, Your Honours, this is already on the records. It will -- MFI
1 will become Exhibit P54.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: I have to bring it to your attention that we are
3 behind, and I am considering the appropriate measures to take to bring us
4 up back to speed.
5 Let the witness make the declaration.
6 [Witness entered courtroom]
7 WITNESS: WITNESS VG-84
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Marcus. How long do you plan to be in your
12 examination, Ms. Marcus?
13 MS. MARCUS: Good afternoon, Mr. President and Your Honours. I
14 will endeavour to restrict it to 30 minutes.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Let's proceed.
16 Examination by Ms. Marcus:
17 MS. MARCUS: Could the pseudonym sheet please be passed to the
18 witness. I have it right here.
19 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Witness.
20 A. Good afternoon.
21 Q. You've been granted protective measures by this Court for the
22 purposes of this proceeding, and therefore will be using a pseudonym
23 rather than your name. Can you confirm that your name and date of birth
24 appear on the paper in front of you?
25 A. Everything is correct.
1 Q. Could you kindly sign that paper?
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. Thank you. Could the court officer show the pseudonym sheet to
4 the Defence and the Chamber, and with your leave, Your Honours, I'd like
5 to tender the pseudonym sheet into evidence?
6 THE REGISTRAR: The pseudonym name sheet will be admitted as P71
7 under seal.
8 MS. MARCUS: Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. VG-84, I have -- I'm going to provide you with a reference
10 sheet with the assistance of the court usher which contains the names of
11 some persons you may wish to mention during your testimony today. I'd
12 like to ask you to kindly refrain, if possible, from using their names
13 and, rather, to use the pseudonym that is listed on this page or the
14 pseudonyms that are listed on this page. Do you understand?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. VG-84, in June of 1992, what was your age?
17 A. Just under 14.
18 Q. What is your highest level of education?
19 A. High school education.
20 Q. Did you testify in the Vasiljevic case on the 8th and 9th of
21 October of 2001?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you have an opportunity to review that testimony in the
24 Bosnian language before coming to court today?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Is there anything you wish to correct from your prior testimony?
2 A. There are some insignificant things. The gist of it remains the
3 same -- remains as it stands.
4 Q. Okay. Just for clarification, we're talking about your prior
5 testimony and not your prior statement. I just want to clarify. Do you
6 have any clarifications to make to your prior testimony?
7 A. No.
8 Q. If I were to ask you the same questions today which you were
9 asked when you testified last time, would you provide the same answers?
10 A. Yes, I would state everything the same way.
11 MS. MARCUS: At this point, Your Honours, pursuant to Rule 92
12 ter, I tender into evidence VG-84's prior testimony in the Vasiljevic
13 case, 65 ter numbers 146 and 147 which refer to VG-84's prior testimony
14 of 8th and 9th October, 2001, respectively, under seal, please.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 146 will become exhibit
17 number P72 and 147 will become Exhibit number P73 under seal.
18 MS. MARCUS:
19 Q. VG-84, did you give a statement to Tribunal investigators on the
20 20th of January, 2001?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you have an opportunity to review that statement in the
23 Bosnian language before coming to court today?
24 A. I did.
25 Q. During proofing you made a few minor clarifications to that
1 statement. Could I kindly ask the court officer to call up 65 ter number
2 179 and to go to e-court page 1.
3 VG-84, do you see the statement on the screen in front of you?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. Just for clarification, it's not being broadcast. Thank you. Is
6 there anything you'd like to correct on the page we see on the screen in
7 front of us?
8 A. Yes. It says that I was 12 and I was just under 14.
9 Q. Could the court officer please go to page 2. If we go to the
10 fourth paragraph in the English.
11 A. Yes, I can see that.
12 Q. Okay. Is there any clarification you would like to make to that?
13 A. Where it says between 10 to 15.000 persons, in fact it should say
14 1.000 to 1.500.
15 Q. Thank you. Could the court officer please go to e-court page 3,
16 paragraph 4. This paragraph begins "At the end of May." VG-84, is there
17 anything in that paragraph which you would like to correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Please do so.
20 A. Yes. It says Jasmina Bosno, whereas his name is Jasmina Vila.
21 There were such similar family names in that village, so I got a bit
22 confused. In other words, the person was Jasmina Vila.
23 Q. Thank you. Three paragraphs further down on that page is a
24 paragraph beginning "On the 13th of June, 1992." Is there anything you'd
25 like to correct in that?
1 A. Well, yes. The 14th of June, 1992.
2 Q. E-court page 4, please. The second paragraph on page 4,
3 approximately the second line starts "He said that he was the president
4 of the Red Cross." Is there anything in that line or the next line you
5 wish to correct?
6 A. Yes. Mujo Halilovic. It says Jasarevic, and it should say
8 Q. Thank you. Okay. And the last clarification would be three
9 paragraphs after that. Near the end of that paragraph the sentence
10 begins "All that time we could hear." Is there anything you would like
11 to clarify in that line?
12 A. Which part is that?
13 Q. Yes. Yes. It's -- the paragraph begins "When I got to the
14 house, I went to the middle of the basement," and the line would be a bit
15 further near the end of that paragraph.
16 A. Where it says "drunken soldiers," I was giving a statement to the
17 investigators. Whether they were there or not, I was never able to
18 conclude with any certainty, but I definitely didn't say ever that they
19 were drunk. There must have been some sort of misunderstanding. I stand
20 by what I said.
21 Q. Thank you. VG-84, with those clarifications in mind, if I were
22 to ask you the same questions today which you were asked when that
23 statement was taken, would you provide the same answers?
24 A. Yes, all of them.
25 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, I tender this statement under seal.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter number 179 will become P74
3 under seal.
4 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, before I continue I'd also like to
5 tender the underlying exhibits that were referred to in the witness's
6 prior testimony. Those are 65 ter number 144 and 145. Those are
7 photographs that the witness marked during his prior testimony.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will become Exhibit P75 and
10 Exhibit P76 respectively.
11 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, this might be a good time to break if
12 you see fit to do so. Otherwise, I'm certainly happy to continue.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: How much more do you have?
14 MS. MARCUS: I would say about 20 minutes.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: And how long will you be, Mr. Alarid?
16 MR. ALARID: Your Honours, I'm not quite -- to be honest, Your
17 Honour, I'm not quite sure. Every witness is different depending on --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're going to break now, and we will resume
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.
21 to be reconvened on Friday, the 5th day
22 of September, 2008, at 8.50 a.m.