1 Wednesday, 5 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 8.54 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Notwithstanding the nocturnal activities, no
7 sleep will be tolerated in court this morning.
8 Mr. Alarid, I have considered your submissions with regard to the
9 continuation of your cross-examination, and I'll give you another 15
10 minutes, but, of course, following the conclusion of Mr. Cepic's
11 cross-examination. Mr. Cepic shouldn't have much more to cross-examine
13 I want to say that this witness has obviously been through a lot
14 of trauma, and she obviously should be given the consideration that that
16 Mr. Cepic, let us hear from you.
17 MR. CEPIC: Good morning, Your Honours and thank you, Your
19 WITNESS: ZEHRA TURJACANIN [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic: [Continued]
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, madam. I hope you are well rested
23 now. Can you hear me?
24 A. Yes, I can hear you. You can go on.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I would like to retrieve 0064-1874 to
2 be shown on the screen, please.
3 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I don't have the numbers memorized. Is
4 this the video or is it the transcript?
5 MR. CEPIC: Just the transcript.
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, just so the Chamber knows, I spoke with
7 Mr. Cepic after yesterday's court session, and the Prosecution agrees
8 with to his tendering of the video and I ask that it not be shown again
9 in court. We will agree that any videos, taped interviews that he wants
10 to introduce in evidence. We will not object to them.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Yes.
12 MR. CEPIC: Could we have the second page, please, in B/C/S, and
13 also in English.
14 [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, if it is possible for the
15 transcript not be shown outside the courtroom because of a mention of a
17 Q. Madam, there is mention here of a male nurse who cleaned your
18 wound and who gave you bandages and medicines. You can see that towards
19 the top of the page. You will agree with me that here you describe the
20 gentleman code named VG-32.
21 A. Yes, I agree.
22 Q. Thank you, madam.
23 MR. CEPIC: Could we have page 3.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Madam, at the beginning of the page when the
25 journalist asks you, "Did you recognise any of the criminals then," you
1 answered: "These were just whipper-snappers. Some of them not only were
2 nearly drunk, they were drugged as well. That's how terrible their
3 conduct was. There was an elderly man there."
4 A. Yes, I do agree.
5 Q. This elderly man, he was 20 to 30 years your senior, was he not?
6 A. I cannot tell you his exact age.
7 Q. Approximately, what was the difference between your ages, 20, 30
9 A. Maybe around 50.
10 Q. Was his hair grey?
11 A. Well, in such terror, do you think I had the time to observe the
12 colour of his hair?
13 Q. I fully understand you.
14 So because of the fear and the terrible situation, you could not
15 notice any of the details pertaining to that person; is that right?
16 A. He was a big man, around 50 years of age; he wore a uniform that
17 is still worn by the army, and his trouser legs were open; and his hair
18 was brownish, approximately.
19 Q. Did you notice whether he sported a mustache or a beard?
20 A. The gentleman did not sport a mustache. Wait. I know this man,
21 he hales from Visegrad, but I cannot recall his name.
22 Q. Please tell me, that group that came, did they wear any hats or
24 A. I no longer recall whether they wore any such head gear or not.
25 Q. And those young men, you call them "whipper-snappers," how much
1 older were you from them?
2 A. I did not say that all of them were my juniors. I knew that
3 Milan Lukic, whom I knew, that he was younger than me. As for the rest
4 of them --
5 Q. Thank you very much, madam. I will no longer upset you about
6 this matter.
7 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: I am sorry. I didn't hear you.
9 MR. CEPIC: I apologise. Could I ask admission of this
10 transcript related to which we broadcasted yesterday.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
12 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I have no objection to that. I'd only
13 ask that the video that accompanied the transcript, which is the original
14 as the best evidence, be also admitted, so that the Chamber is free to
15 view the video should it choose to do so in deliberations.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, that is to be done.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit number 2D37.
18 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in e-court system 2D03-0068.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Now, madam, while waiting for the document to be
20 shown up, you remember that on the 15th and 16th of December 1992, you
21 had a discussion with Mr. Dermot Groome and another investigator and
22 interpreter (redacted). On the 15th, you met around 2.00 p.m., and on
23 the 16th of December at around 4.00 p.m. at your home?
24 A. I recall the visit to my home, but I cannot remember the time.
25 MR. CEPIC: Could we have the second page, please. Scroll down,
1 please. Thank you. That's fine.
2 Q. [Interpretation] And you provided a description to Mr. Groome,
3 and you said that Milan Lukic and another six persons from Obrenovac came
5 A. Yes, that's true.
6 Q. Thank you. You also stated that there were members of the Savic
7 family among them; that's bullet point 3.
8 A. I don't recall that detail.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, could I ask admission of --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
12 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I ask that to be under seal. It
13 contains the name of a protected witness.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that would be Exhibit number 2D38,
16 under seal.
17 MR. CEPIC: And just for the record, related to the previous
18 video which is admitted, there are some technical problems with the copy.
19 I think that Mr. Groome is familiar with that, so I expect that we'll
20 have the full version of that video in the meantime.
21 MR. GROOME: I'm not familiar with specifically with what
22 Mr. Cepic is referring to, but I'm happy to discuss that during the
23 break, and I'm sure it can be resolved.
24 MR. CEPIC: Yes. Thank you.
25 Could we have Exhibit 2D04-0129, please.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Madam, while we are waiting for this to show up,
2 do you remember Dr. Harem Hodzic from the Zenica hospital at all?
3 A. Yes, I do remember Mr. Hodzic.
4 MR. CEPIC: Could we have the third page.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Madam, I'm showing you an interview to
6 Oslobodjenje on the 22nd of May 1996.
7 MR. CEPIC: Could we have the next page, please, bottom of the
8 page, in B/C/S; in English, that would be the last page.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Madam, in this interview, you mention many
10 names; Mile Joksimovic, Dr. Radomir Vasiljevic are also mentioned; a
11 policeman from Visegrad by the name of Tomic; and some others.
12 And, finally, it is claimed that those were your words concerning
13 the incidents at Visegrad?
14 A. I can tell you who I do remember now. I remember Mitar
15 Vasiljevic, he was a waiter in Visegrad; I remember Mile Joksimovic, but
16 I can't recall what his profession was; Dr. Vasiljevic is the doctor who
17 came to the house I was at, to bring me medicine; Dragan Sekovic is my
18 neighbour, I can't recall whether I discussed him at all; and his brother
19 Dragomir as well.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Cepic --
21 Witness, are you finished?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just want to say what I said in
23 terms of which persons I knew to have committed crimes. I cannot recall
24 that I mentioned all these names that appear here on this list in this
25 publication, and, thereby, I answer the question.
1 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, madam. Can we request admission of this
2 document, please.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Mr. Cepic, these matters don't essentially
4 relate to your case, and I suspect you are doing it on behalf of
5 Mr. Alarid. You would have observed that I have given Mr. Alarid another
6 15 minutes, so I suggest that you stop and let Mr. Alarid take over his
7 own case.
8 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, with all due respect, 15 minutes
9 wouldn't cover an additional time with this witness; and for all
10 practical purposes, I wish it would, but just the nature of the
11 proceedings makes that difficult under most circumstances.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, let the record be quite clear on
13 this, the Prosecutor had two hours and ten minutes. In total, you had
14 two hours and 40 minutes. It's really a matter for you to choose how you
15 manage your time.
16 MR. ALARID: Well, but I mean, by analogy, Your Honour, Mitar
17 Vasiljevic was on the stand for 21 hours total. I didn't break down what
18 was Mr. Domazet's direct exam and what was the Prosecution's
19 cross-examine, but different witnesses have different importances, of
20 course, to the case. Different witnesses, just by the virtue of the
21 Prosecution's presentation, well, they can't constrain the cross by
22 limiting their direct.
23 I guess they could, but in certain instances, it just takes more
24 time. That was my original point and it continues.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I'm, in principle, quite opposed to time
1 limits. We don't really have it in the system out of which I come.
2 MR. ALARID: Mine neither.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: But it is necessary here. I've grown to
4 understand in the ten years that I am here that it is absolutely
5 necessary, and you must make the best use of the time that I have given
7 So go ahead.
8 MR. ALARID: Okay.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the documents tendered by Mr. Cepic
10 will be assigned Exhibit number 2D39.
11 MR. ALARID: I was trying to sort myself, Your Honour. Excuse me
12 for a moment.
13 Could the court assistant please bring P138 back to the screen,
15 Further cross-examination by Mr. Alarid:
16 Q. Now, ma'am, while we are waiting for that, I would like to ask
17 you, in the transcript of the witness interview -- excuse me, the
18 journalist witness interview that Mr. Cepic just showed you, there was a
19 passage in there, and I'll ask you if you recall it, regarding your
20 statements to the Serbian guards and the authorities.
21 It would be my position that in Exhibit P66 of the Prosecution,
22 you originally told them that that journalist that you had told people
23 that you had epilepsy and an accident related to that epilepsy. However,
24 in the most recent document that was just entered as 2D37, it's a little
25 bit shorter than that. It says: "I told them that I had a fit and that
1 I tripped over a butane bottle and burnt myself."
2 Do you recall, ma'am, telling Serbian people that right after you
3 were burned and including the doctor?
4 A. Sir, we are coming back to Bikavac, and I will describe the scene
5 when I came to the command post of the Uzice Corps --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and when I asked --
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, no. Please don't answer yet, just listen to
9 what I have to say. What the counsel is asking you is whether you
10 remember saying in a statement to the guards that you had a fit and that
11 you had tripped over a butane bottle and burnt yourself. Do you remember
12 saying that in a statement to the guards?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, first of all, I would like to
14 tell you I do not suffer from epilepsy, and I can tell you that I never
15 uttered those words anywhere in my life. And as far as this other thing
16 is concerned, I cannot remember exactly what was going on over there. If
17 I even said that, I probably tried to say something, but it was
18 impossible for me to have done that.
19 What is sure is one thing, I just wanted to see my destroyed life
20 ended because there was nobody to take care of me and to help me survive
21 at that moment.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that moment, I may have said
24 that I was burned somewhere else.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, continue please. Please continue.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was maybe out of fear so that
2 the Serbs would not torture me even more because I was already tortured
3 too much.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, did you put the statement to her
5 yesterday? Did you show her the statement yesterday?
6 MR. ALARID: I believe we put P66 on the screen. This is
7 another -- there was three videos of this woman after the war, sort of
8 documentaries, journalist-type stuff, and she gave three. I believe all
9 three are now in evidence and the Prosecution can assist me. I have a
10 note, but I've been notoriously wrong, with P130 for transcript number 2.
11 I could be totally wrong.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, what do you mean when you just answered
13 me by saying that at that moment you may have said that you were burned
14 somewhere else? Can you explain that to me? Then you continued to say
15 that that was perhaps out of fear so that the Serbs would not torture you
16 even more, as you were already tortured too much.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On that night when I was burned,
18 everything was too much for me; and if I were to say the Serbs -- tell
19 the Serbs that I had been burned by the Serbs, I was afraid that they
20 would torture me even more before they kill me.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Okay.
22 Mr. Alarid, what you are actually putting to her is that she did
23 not sustain her injuries as a result of the Bikavac fire --
24 MR. ALARID: That she had an accident.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- but as a result of an accident.
1 MR. ALARID: Yes.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Do you understand that that is his case? His
3 case is that you didn't suffer these injuries that you have, these
4 terrible awful injuries, as a result of the Bikavac fire, but as a result
5 of an accident, tripping over butane. He is entitled to put that to you
6 because that is his case, so this is why we have to hear what your
7 explanation is.
8 You have explained that you suffered immensely at the time, and
9 you feared that if you told the Serbs that you suffered the injury as a
10 result of the fire at Bikavac, that they might torture you even more. I
11 understand that to be the explanation for the statement that you made to
12 the guards, that you had suffered the injuries as a result of an
14 Now, that's my understanding.
15 Mr. Alarid, if you have more questions to put to her.
16 MR. ALARID: I do, a few, yes.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please understand, and don't be upset. He is
18 entitled to put these questions to you. In my view, it's an important
19 issue, and that's primarily why I have allowed him to continue his
20 cross-examination this morning.
21 But we don't have all day. Remember the time constraint, Mr.
23 MR. ALARID: Is the Court's questioning part of mine?
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, no. You have another eight minutes.
25 MR. ALARID:
1 Q. Ma'am, do you see the photograph on the screen?
2 A. Yes, I can see the picture.
3 Q. Now, according to your earlier testimony, you indicated that you
4 were able to slip through a similar, if not identical, opening.
5 MR. ALARID: And I'll give you the page number, Mr. Groome, which
6 is at page 2320, lines 23 to 25 and 232 1, lines 1 to 2.
7 Q. "Can you compare what you were looking at here in terms of what
8 you recall from that night?"
9 Your answer: "They are exactly identical in terms of colour,
10 exactly identical to the door by which I passed, and I went through an
11 opening. That is exactly the same."
12 Do you remember saying that, ma'am, in court? And as you look at
13 the picture, can you tell me at all if this is the same door or just a
14 very similar door?
15 A. Sir, it goes for a similar door through which I emerged from
16 there, or maybe identical, but I cannot confirm that to you now.
17 Q. And, ma'am, isn't it true that according to your testimony, you
18 were the last -- one of the last, if not the last people put into the
19 Meho Aljic home?
20 A. Sir, I'm the only person who emerged through that door alive.
21 Q. So that would mean you were right next to the door as it was
22 put -- and let me ask you this, ma'am: Of the entry that you went into
23 the Meho Aljic house, did it require both of these doors, because they're
24 double doors, propped up against the opening to cover it, or was one of
25 these doors sufficient to cover the opening?
1 A. Sir, what I remember at this time about that door is that it was
2 one garage door, dark red, and there were openings towards the top of
3 approximately 60 centimetres.
4 Q. Ma'am, the reason I ask you is that is the image I got me my head
5 from your earlier testimony regarding the opening that was covered by the
6 garage door, it seemed like it was a wider opening. I think it was
7 called a -- like it was a balcony or a double door opening. Is that
8 true? Tell me what you recall about the opening that you were forced
10 A. I entered Meho Aljic's house through the balcony door and window.
11 Q. And, ma'am, wouldn't it be true that that is a wide opening, like
12 a patio door?
13 A. Yes. There was a normal size door together with a window.
14 Q. And so, ma'am, wouldn't it be true that you would need both of
15 those doors to cover that size of an opening; "those" being the garage
16 doors in the picture?
17 A. I'm not talking about two doors, just one door.
18 Q. Ma'am, as the door --
19 MR. ALARID: I'm sorry. Pause.
20 Q. Ma'am, as the door was propped in front of the opening that you
21 were at, how long did it take from you being inside the home to the door
22 blocking the exit.
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. And the reason I ask you that is I envision a situation of a room
25 full of people with you being closest to the door just because of the
1 number of people in the room, and so it feels to me that you would be in
2 the best position to have seen the placement of the door and that
3 sequence of events that led to the door being put in front of that
4 opening that everyone had been brought through. Can you explain that?
5 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, she was asked a question about the
6 door. She said she doesn't know. I'm not sure what Mr. Alarid's musing
7 about why she may have seen the door is really relevant. She simply said
8 she doesn't know. I suggest we move on.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: We must move on unless you can explain the
10 relevance, Mr. Alarid.
11 MR. ALARID: Well, Your Honour, I am a real visual person, and
12 what I try and do through my cross-examination is provide an image. And
13 if the image doesn't make sense, well, then, that becomes part of the
14 argument of the case.
15 The image I got, if I'm a victim at the door, I think I'd notice
16 the sequence of events being trapped in this house, that timing of where
17 there's light and then there's none, and there's opening and then it's
19 That's a very powerful moment to me as I relive this witness's
20 story, so it's that where I find the relevance.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, it's a little farfetched. Please move on,
22 Mr. Alarid.
23 MR. ALARID:
24 Q. How long were you in the home before you noticed that your exit
25 was completely blocked off by the garage door?
1 A. I was standing in the door inside the house.
2 Q. And, ma'am, isn't it true --
3 A. I didn't see that the door and the window were blocked --
4 Q. Well, ma'am, just looking --
5 A. -- by the garage door. But I do know exactly where the exit was,
6 and I wanted to get out with my baby sister, whom I was holding in my
7 arms. I wanted to get her out of the house. When I tried to escape,
8 there was an obstacle that I ran into.
9 Q. Ma'am, it would be easier if you --
10 A. I had to lower --
11 Q. Ma'am, please --
12 A. -- my baby sister, put her down, leave her there inside the house
13 near the garage door. And as soon as I was out of the house, I turned
14 around in an attempt to see what had kept me, what sort of obstacle from
15 escaping with my baby sister, and it was at that point that I saw the
16 garage door blocking the way out.
17 Q. Okay, ma'am. It would be much easier if you just answered my
18 questions directly because I only have a very limited amount of time.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just another 2 minutes now, Mr. Alarid.
20 MR. ALARID: I mean, that is my point, Your Honour. I asked her
21 a yes-or-no question --
22 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour.
23 MR. ALARID: -- and she goes on.
24 MR. GROOME: Sorry. I must interject here. Mr. Alarid gave a
25 lengthy question of what he imagined was going on inside the room. The
1 witness has explained what was, in fact, going on inside the room, and
2 what she saw inside the room.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. She has explained as well as she is in a
4 position to, Mr. Alarid. Please use the other 2 minutes well.
5 MR. ALARID: That's such a difficult thing. All right.
6 Private session, please.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session, yes.
8 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: The next witness, Ms. Marcus.
22 MS. MARCUS: Your Honours, the Prosecution calls VG-131.
23 I believe this witness has been granted protective measures of
24 closed session.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, closed session. Yes.
1 [Closed session]
11 Pages 3375-3441 redacted. Closed session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm going to give the outline of the Trial
5 Chamber's reasoning in its decision on the Prosecution's motion for leave
6 to amend the witness list by (redacted).
7 Mr. Groome, should we be in private session for this?
8 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the witness had indicated that it was
9 his preference to testify openly and not use a pseudonym, but given the
10 unique nature of this witness, if we could possibly refer to him by
11 VG-138, just as a precautionary measure. I'm not sure what the decision
12 is, but if he is not going to be called this week, it might prevent any
13 possible interference with him between -- again, I'm not sure what the
14 Chamber is going to decide, but maybe as a cautionary measure, we'd
15 member refer to him by a pseudonym.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we'll do that, in which case the previous
17 references should be redacted.
18 The Chamber concludes that it is in the interest of justice to
19 add Witness VG-138 to the Prosecution's witness list, also that the
20 redacted information should be disclosed to the Defence, and that it is
21 in the interest of justice to lift the ex parte status of all filings
22 relating to the - I'll just repeat that - that is in the interest of
23 justice to lift the ex parte status of all filings and that these will be
24 recorded as confidential.
25 However, in order to allow the Defence to properly examine this
1 material, the witness will be called on Tuesday, the 11th of November.
2 And in view of the fact that the stage of the proceedings is late, the
3 examination of the chief will be restricted to matters arising out of the
4 alibi of Milan Lukic.
5 Consequently, the Chamber will grant the motion in part and order
6 the Prosecution to add the witness to the witness list and to call that
7 witness on the 11th of November, and to restrict the questioning to
8 matters arising out of the Defence of Milan Lukic.
9 As I said, we will be filing this very shortly.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Now, in light of that, Mr. Groome, we envisage
12 that the Prosecution would be closing its case after Witness VG-138.
13 MR. GROOME: We would, Your Honour, we would be resting at that
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: And we would then proceed to the 92 bis hearing
16 immediately thereafter.
17 That being the case, unless I'm mistaken, we would be adjourned
18 until Tuesday. Next Tuesday? May I inquire what time? I'm told it's
19 p.m., which means 2.15.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.23 p.m.
21 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 11th day of
22 November, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.