1 Tuesday, 11 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in private session.
7 [Private session]
11 Pages 3445-3448 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the Prosecution calls
8 Mr. Hamdija Vilic.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
12 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 WITNESS: HAMDIJA VILIC
14 [The witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, you may sit and you may begin, Mr. Groome.
16 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Examination by Mr. Groome:
18 Q. Sir, can I ask you to begin by telling us your full name?
19 A. My name is Hamdija Vilic.
20 Q. What is your date of birth?
21 A. The 31st of March, 1957.
22 Q. Where did you live prior to the outbreak of the conflict in 1992?
23 A. I lived in the village of Prelovo
24 Q. Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
25 A. Yes, I have.
1 Q. What crime have you been convicted of?
2 A. Murder in self-defence.
3 Q. When were you convicted of that crime?
4 A. In 1996.
5 Q. Did you serve a jail sentence after your conviction for that
7 A. Yes, I did. It was a five-year prison sentence and I served that
8 in Zenica.
9 Q. Now, sir, you haven't requested any protected measures but some
10 persons that I believe you may mention during your testimony are the
11 subject of protective measures. So to facilitate your evidence here
12 today I'm going to ask that you be shown a pseudonym sheet, I note I
13 provided copies to both Defence teams prior to the start of the session.
14 I'm going to ask that you read it. I'm going to ask that you not say the
15 names out loud, but simply after reading it, tell us do you know the
16 people who are named on that sheet?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. And during the course of your testimony, I would ask that you
19 refer to those persons by the pseudonyms that are -- that have been
20 assigned by the Chamber, namely, MLD-2 and MLD-10. Can you do that?
21 A. Yes, I can.
22 Q. And if you need to refer to a person MLD-10's husband, I ask that
23 you refer to him as that, the husband of MLD-10.
24 I'd ask you now put your initials on that document, and ask that
25 it be shown to the Chamber.
1 MR. GROOME: After the Chamber has seen it, I would ask that it
2 be tendered into evidence. Your Honours, I have three additional copies
3 for the Chamber as it might facilitate your efforts to follow the
4 testimony as its given. They are simply photocopies of the exhibit so
5 the Chamber can have them before them as well.
6 THE REGISTRAR: It will become Exhibit P149, under seal,
7 Your Honours.
8 MR. GROOME:
9 Q. Sir, just one additional question regarding your conviction. Can
10 you tell us the circumstances surrounding the event after which you were
12 A. It was in a bar in Visoko, and I acted in self-defence. It was a
13 brawl including some drunken persons and the waitress.
14 Q. Did you use a weapon during the course of that event?
15 A. A hand grenade.
16 Q. Now, I'm going to ask you, did you serve in the military?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. When did you first serve in the military?
19 A. In 1976. It was the JNA.
20 Q. How long was your military service which commenced in 1976?
21 A. 15 months.
22 Q. Did you also serve in the military at a later point in your life?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. When was that?
25 A. As of the 20th of June, 1992.
1 Q. And how long was your military service this time?
2 A. Four years.
3 Q. Drawing your attention now to June of 1992, at that time did you
4 have a brother who lived in the Visegrad area known as Bikavac?
5 A. Yes, Hasan Vilic.
6 Q. Did there come a time when you moved your family to your
7 brother's house?
8 A. Yes. Between the 5th and 8th of June, 1992, around that time.
9 Q. Were you staying at that house at that time as well?
10 A. Yes, for about ten days or so, and I was also hiding in the
12 Q. When you say you were hiding in the forest, where in relation to
13 Bikavac was this forest?
14 A. The settlement is called Ban Polje, just above the settlement of
15 Bikavac. To the right of my brother's house there are two groves and
16 that is where I hid.
17 Q. Did you ever come a time when you saw a soldier you recognised
18 come to that house?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute.
21 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, pursuant to the decision of this
22 honourable Trial Chamber from the 6th of November, the examination of
23 this witness is restricted just to the matter arising out of the Defence
24 alibi of Milan Lukic. So by these questions I think that my learned
25 friend from OTP is spreading matters for examination. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's perfectly true.
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I just might explain. In one
3 question in a non-leading way I'm just trying to establish that he knows
5 don't need that particular question.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, go ahead.
7 MR. GROOME:
8 Q. Do you know a person by the name of Milan Lukic?
9 A. Yes, I know him well.
10 Q. Can you summarize how you know him?
11 A. My aunt lived in Rujiste and he and his cousin Sredoje Lukic
12 lived there. I frequently visited the place. Otherwise, I occasionally
13 saw him on the bus in town. I also know Sredoje Lukic because he used to
14 be a policeman. I know him better than I do Milan Lukic.
15 Q. Now, are you familiar with a fire in Bikavac in which a large
16 number of civilians perished?
17 MR. ALARID: Objection, Your Honour, relevance beyond the scope
18 of alibi.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome.
20 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, this man believes the reason he was
21 approached by the Defence to give this evidence was that it would be
22 believed because he lost his wife and three children in Bikavac, I'm just
23 asking him now to establish who the victims are.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, proceed.
25 MR. GROOME:
1 Q. Are you familiar with a fire in Bikavac in which a large number
2 of civilians perished?
3 A. Yes, I am.
4 Q. When do you believe it occurred?
5 MR. ALARID: Objection. It calls for speculation.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Either he knows or he doesn't know.
7 MR. GROOME:
8 Q. Sir, do you know when the fire occurred?
9 A. On the 27th of June, that is to say, between the 27th and the
10 28th of June.
11 Q. Did you personally witness it?
12 A. No, I did not.
13 Q. Were you related to any of the victims?
14 MR. CEPIC: Sorry.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Just a minute. Let's hear
16 Mr. Cepic first.
17 MR. CEPIC: I apologise for this interruption. Page 11, line 10,
18 we haven't got an answer in transcript.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Yes. What was your answer, witness,
20 when you were asked did you personally witness it? "It" being the fire.
21 What answer did you give?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not witness it.
23 MR. ALARID: And Your Honour, again we would object that this is
24 beyond the scope of alibi rebuttal, any questions regarding Bikavac, also
25 the witness does not have a specific personal knowledge as to whom died
1 in what fire and when, and in fact, I don't believe the witness
2 Zehra Turjacanin identified his family as the victims. I do note the
3 indictment has some persons with the same last name as this witness
4 indicted but it also says 70 people died in the Bikavac fire, and the
5 Bikavac indictment only names a few people, much less than 70. So I
6 would argue that everything about this questioning calls for speculation
7 and is otherwise improper.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Cepic.
9 MR. CEPIC: I apologise for interruption. Again we haven't got
10 answer in transcript. Line 19, page 11.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Line?
12 MR. CEPIC: Line 19. Probably technical problems.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Well, I can tell you, the witness said
14 he was not personally acquainted with the fire. He did not see it.
15 Isn't that so, Mr.?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, are you coming to the core of the
18 questioning? Because it's being said that you are going outside the
19 scope of what you are permitted by the Chamber to lead?
20 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm doing my best to keep it as narrow
21 as possible. The objection is that I haven't laid a basis for how he
22 know that his family was killed in the fire; I can certainly do that. I
23 thought that would be beyond the scope that the Chamber had permitted me.
24 But it's clearly his belief that he was approached simply because no one
25 would ever believe that a man who lost his family in a fire would then
1 appear as an alibi witness.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, proceed.
3 MR. GROOME:
4 Q. Sir, can you tell us who, if anyone, that was related to you, you
5 believe perished in the Bikavac fire on the 27th of June, 1992
6 A. Yes. It was my wife, Mina Vilic, who was born in 1955. My
7 daughter, Nihada Vilic, born in 1981. My other daughter, Zihneta Vilic,
8 born in 1984. And my son, Nihad Vilic, born in 1985.
9 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that we now go into private session.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are now in private session.
12 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 MR. GROOME:
9 Q. Mr. Vilic, prior to start of this trial, had you had any contact
10 with the Office of the Prosecutor of the Tribunal?
11 A. No, I had not.
12 Q. Drawing your attention to June of this year, did you receive a
13 phone call related to this case?
14 A. Yes, I did. Around the 4th. It may have been the 5th of June, I
15 do not recall exactly. I received a phone call from MLD-10's husband.
16 Q. And do you recall the substance of what was said during that
17 phone call?
18 A. The substance of it was in that MLD-10's husband asked me if he
19 could ask some questions of me, which may be painful, but may turn out to
20 be good for me. I asked him, well, what do you mean specifically?
21 Whereupon he said that he was in contact with Milan Lukic. Milan
22 asked him to speak to me, asking if I could provide my telephone number
23 to Milan Lukic in order for Milan
24 I thought about it for a moment, whether to do it or not, and I said that
25 I agreed to it. I told him to give him my telephone number so that he
1 could call.
2 Q. Did he say anything with respect to MLD-10 herself, and her role
3 in this?
4 A. MLD-10 and her husband told me that I was supposed to give a
5 statement on Mr. Milan Lukic's behalf, and that he would provide me with
6 everything I might need in life, including assets. I was curious after
7 hearing that, and I agreed to talk to Milan Lukic, and so it was.
8 MR. GROOME: I'd ask that we go into private session briefly.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in private session.
11 [Private session]
2 [Open session]
3 MR. GROOME:
4 Q. During this phone call, were you given any instructions with
5 respect to how matters would proceed?
6 A. Yes, I was.
7 Q. What were they?
8 A. I was told that some of his people would call me. In any case,
9 they never did. I was also told that all things were supposed to go via
10 MLD-10's husband and herself, that all information was to arrive that
11 way. They were supposed to tell me what to do, how, and when.
12 Q. Were you given any instructions with respect to how to conduct
13 yourself during a phone conversation if Milan Lukic called?
14 A. Yes, I was.
15 Q. What instructions were you given?
16 A. I was told that Milan Lukic would call and that his ID, his
17 number would be withheld. You would not be able to see it on your mobile
18 screen. You will know immediately that it is Milan Lukic calling. Do
19 not mention any war events or any victims because his conversations from
20 the detention unit in The Hague
21 the detriment of his Defence. I agreed to it, not to mention those
22 topics. Subsequently when we talked on the phone, I did not mention such
24 Q. Why did you agree to engage in a phone conversation with
1 A. I wanted to see what Mr. Milan Lukic wanted from me. I know he
2 burnt my family alive and destroyed my life. I wanted know what it was
3 that he wanted from me. That was my only reason.
4 Q. Did there come a time that you received a second phone call
5 related to this case?
6 A. Yes, there did. There was a second phone call from The Hague
7 from Milan
8 Q. When was that phone call?
9 A. That phone call was on the 8th of June, 2008. I can't say
10 precisely at what time, but in any case between 3.00 and 4.00 p.m.
11 Q. Did the person who called you at that time introduce themselves
12 by name?
13 A. Yes. On my mobile telephone screen I saw that the number was
14 withheld. The person calling introduced himself as Milan Lukic.
15 Q. Can you summarize as best you are able what, if anything, was
16 said to you during that phone call.
17 A. He introduced himself saying that he was Milan Lukic. He asked
18 me, How are you Mr. Vilic, sir? I said I was all right. He asked me how
19 I was and how my life is. I asked him, well, I get by. Then he said
20 that some of his people would arrive and that we are to engage in
21 negotiations via MLD-10. He instructed me to address her as his sister.
22 He said that his people would arrive and that we were to arrange on the
23 course of the future work. I accepted that.
24 Q. Approximately how long was that phone conversation?
25 A. 5 or 6 minutes, perhaps.
1 Q. Was there a third phone call that you received related to this
3 A. Yes, there was. There was a third phone call from MLD-10's
4 husband and herself. I believe it was on the 19th of June, 2008
5 said that they had talked to Milan Lukic and his attorneys. They told me
6 that I was supposed to go to Zavidovici to their house. They also told
7 me that the attorneys were supposed to be there on the 22nd of June,
8 2008. To MLD-10's husband's house, that is the place where they live. I
9 asked him how I was supposed to get to Zavidovici. MLD-10's husband told
10 me, Take the most expensive taxi you can get from Sarajevo, you will be
11 reimbursed for everything.
12 Q. Did they give you a specific time that they wanted you to come to
13 their house?
14 A. Yes. Around 12.00. However, I went a bit earlier. It was
15 during the summer and it was hot --
16 Q. Before we --
17 A. -- I left around 6.00 a.m.
18 Q. Before we move from this phone call, I wanted to ask you a few
19 more specific questions. What was your response to this request to come
20 to their home on the 22nd of June?
21 A. My response, after I was instructed to take a taxi, was that I
22 would be there in the house to meet the attorneys.
23 Q. Approximately how long was this phone call?
24 A. Well, this particular one may have lasted for about 10 minutes.
25 Q. Did you receive a fourth phone call related to this case?
1 A. Yes. I received a fourth call from Mr. Milan Lukic from
2 The Hague
3 Milan Lukic again. He asked me whether I had received information that
4 his people are to visit MLD-10's sister's home on the 22nd of June at
5 12.00. I answered yes. And I told him that I had received that call,
6 and that I would be going to meet them, to get to that appointment.
7 Q. Sir, so the record is clear, the first call that you received
8 from a person who identified themselves as Milan Lukic, was that call to
9 the phone number that you gave us in private session?
10 A. Yes, on the same number.
11 Q. This phone call that you are now describing, was it also made to
12 that same phone number?
13 A. On the same number, yes. On the same.
14 Q. How long did this phone conversation last, this fourth phone call
15 related to the case?
16 A. He phoned on the 21st of June at 1510, lasted not even two
17 minutes. The conversation was disconnected, and in two minutes' time, he
18 phoned again around 1512. And then we talked about the meeting which I
19 already explained.
20 Q. Did he explain to you what would occur during that meeting the
21 next day?
22 A. No. Milan
23 being recorded, and he said that his people would explain everything to
24 me, together with MLD-10, his sister.
25 Q. Did you go to where you were asked to go to for this meeting?
1 A. Yes. Yes, I got up on the 22nd of June. I had my coffee. I got
2 up early, around 6.00 a.m.
3 temperatures, so I wanted to arrive there before it got too hot.
4 I found MLD-10 and her husband at their home. They were sitting
5 and having coffee.
6 Q. Sir, if I could just ask you some specific questions.
7 What time do you recall arriving at the home of MLD-10?
8 A. Somewhere around 8.30, 9.00 a.m.
9 Q. Who was present in the house when you arrived?
10 A. MLD-10's husband and MLD-10 herself.
11 Q. What happened -- did you go inside the house?
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. What happened inside the house?
14 A. They offered me some coffee. I said I did not want any because I
15 had had one coffee in Sarajevo
16 accepted. We drank beer and talked. MLD-10 produced a sheet of paper
17 like this one, written on both sides, something was written on it. On
18 the first page, it was addressed to me and the other was addressed to
19 MLD-10 sister.
20 Q. Sir, again if I could ask you some specific questions.
21 The piece of paper that you are referring to now, was it hand
22 written or was it typed?
23 A. Hand written, in Cyrillic alphabet.
24 Q. Did MLD-10 tell you what this piece of paper was before she gave
25 it to you?
1 A. Yes, yes. MLD-10 told me, here, Milan wrote down what I should
2 answer on behalf of his Defence.
3 Q. Were you allowed to read what was on the back of the piece of
5 A. No. MLD-10 would not allow me to read that. She said that
6 Milan Lukic had addressed that to her.
7 Q. Now, as precisely as you are able, can you tell us what was
8 contained --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. You said that MLD-10 would not
10 allow you to read what was on the back. Did you specifically ask her or
11 indicate to her that you wanted to read what was on the back?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did. But she said, It's of
13 no interest to you, this is mine.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
15 MR. GROOME:
16 Q. Now, Mr. Vilic, could I ask you as precisely as you are able to
17 tell us what you recall about what was on the portion of that letter
18 addressed to you?
19 A. Yes, I can. What was written was this: Sir, Mr. Hamdija Vilic,
20 you will say as follows, that I, Hamdija Vilic, military commander of the
21 Muslim forces intercepted a Serb military column of vehicles in the
22 village of Kopito above Visegrad, killed three Serbian officers, and they
23 provided me with some names, but I did not memorize them. I had no need
24 to do so. And that I kept Milan Lukic and his army for three days and
25 three nights encircled, to be more precise from the 13th of June, 1992
1 to 15th of June, 1992. And that he could not have been during those
2 three days in the town of Visegrad
3 Q. Did the letter refer to anything with respect to Milan Lukic's
5 A. In connection with the character? I did not understand your
6 question quite right.
7 Q. Do you recall it saying anything about Milan Lukic generally?
8 A. Not about his character. The narrative was that I had him and
9 his army encircled, this is the only thing that was referred to in that
10 letter, that he could not have broken out of encirclement because of the
11 Muslim forces, and that he was stuck there for three days in the forest,
12 and that he could not have managed to reach the town of Visegrad during
13 that time.
14 Q. Did this letter make any reference to your wife and children?
15 A. No, no. No. Milan
16 truth about my wife, children, brother, neighbours, that I would finally
17 get to know the whole truth about that.
18 Q. When did he tell you that?
19 A. During a telephone conversation, I forgot to mention that
20 earlier. This was during a telephone conversation when he called me from
21 The Hague
22 Q. You've made reference to two telephone conversations you believe
23 you had --
24 A. Yes, two, two.
25 Q. Do you recall whether it was in the first one or in the second
1 one that he told you you would find out information --
2 A. During the second one. During the second one.
3 Q. After you read the letter, what happened?
4 A. We continued sitting in that house. It was a nice sunny day. We
5 sat in the garden. We awaited the lawyers.
6 Q. Was there --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, could we just follow-up on the
8 conversation between Milan
9 find out about members of his family. Did you follow up on that? Did
10 you ask him anything in relation to that? For example, how you would
11 find out about your family members? In other words, was there anything
12 more to that conversation?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, he said that I would be
14 finding the entire truth probably about my family, my brother and
15 everybody else when I get to testify about him. He did not want to be --
16 put it more precisely as to where, when, et cetera.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
18 MR. GROOME:
19 Q. Did you say anything to him in response to that?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Now, drawing your attention back to the period of time when you
22 are waiting with MLD-10 and her husband, was there ever any conversation
23 related to this case?
24 A. Yes, we did talk a little bit about that with MLD-10 and her
25 husband, about how he would be providing me with everything that I would
1 need in life, including money.
2 Q. Was there ever a discussion about MLD-2?
3 A. Yes. MLD-2, MLD-10 told me that, but also the MLD-2 because we
4 are, after all, relatives. He received 5.000 Euro from Mr. Milan Lukic.
5 I don't know through which channels he managed to do so, neither am I
6 interested in that --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: The transcript has terminated. May I ask that
8 that be checked into by the technical personnel.
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I have -- it seems that, if this
10 assists, that the LiveNote version from my computer has stopped, but I
11 still have the full transcript on my screen, I'm not sure what it's
12 called but the LiveNote version that's on the screen.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: We can continue then, yes.
15 MR. GROOME:
16 Q. Sir, we had the -- we experienced a problem when you were in the
17 middle of an answer. So can I ask you to repeat, what was the discussion
18 with respect to MLD-2? Can you summarize that for us.
19 A. I know MLD-2 well, as well as I know MLD-10. They are brother
20 and sister. Siblings. MLD-10 told me then how she had taken 5.000 Euro
21 to MLD-2 to the place of Ilijas, and that she had given him those 5.000
22 Euros which had been sent by Milan Lukic so that he could pay for the
23 house bought at Ilijas. So that MLD-2 would confirm what Milan Lukic was
24 asking me to confirm, but since MLD-2 was not in the territory of
25 Visegrad in 1992 until the end of the war in 1996, he was in the area
1 between Zepa and Srebrenica.
2 And so MLD-2, he is prone to excessive drinking, he had spent the
3 money that he received. He did not pay for the house, and he refused to
4 come to testify, of course, since he knew nothing. And whomever calls
5 his mobile -- so whenever somebody calls his mobile, he does not dare to
6 answer the phone, not even my calls. And this is what specifically said
7 MLD-10 to me, and MLD-2 as well.
8 Q. Okay. Now, can I ask you, did there come a time when other
9 people came to the house of MLD-10? If I can ask you just to give me a
10 short answer and I'll ask you specific questions about this.
11 A. Yes, yes, they came.
12 Q. Do you recall the time that other people came to the house?
13 A. Around 1.30 p.m.
14 Q. How many people came to the house?
15 A. Two.
16 Q. Can I ask you to describe them in brief terms, and then I will
17 ask you some specific questions about each one individually.
18 A. One was some 191 or 192 centimetres tall, nicely dressed, well
19 shaven, brown-black hair, short hair. One was shorter, maybe 180, 182
20 centimetres, tall, clean shaven, short hair. They came to that house,
21 the two of them.
22 Q. Did they introduce themselves?
23 A. Yes, they did, but I did not memorize their names.
24 Q. Did they indicate where they were from?
25 A. Yes. The taller one said he was from Belgrade, Serbia
1 other one said that he was from America
2 Q. Okay. You've given us a description of someone already as being
3 191, 192 centimetres tall. Was that the person who identified himself as
4 being from Serbia
6 A. Yes. The taller one, 191 or 192 centimetres, said that he was
7 from Belgrade, Serbia
8 Q. The one that identified himself as being from the United States
9 can I ask you to give a physical description of him?
10 A. He was somewhere 180 or 182 centimetres tall, black hair, short.
11 Some 30-odd years of age.
12 Q. And was that person able to speak Serbian?
13 A. Yes, but with quite a heavy accent, an American accent.
14 Q. Can I ask you to describe the physical build of the person who
15 identified himself as American?
16 A. Thin. Quite thin. He wasn't bulky. Thin.
17 Q. Did one of these two men do most of the talking or did they talk
18 approximately the same amount each?
19 A. No. The one from America
20 and he took notes and he told me how I should testify.
21 Q. Can I ask you now to describe what happened after these two
22 people arrived in the house of MLD-10?
25 She went with them into that room. She talked there for 10 minutes, and
1 then I --
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Mr. Alarid is on his feet.
3 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, the witness apologized for mentioning
4 the witness's name, MLD-10 came out in B/C/S. It didn't make the
5 transcript, but it is recorded. So we need the video or audio redaction.
6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's being redacted.
8 MR. GROOME:
9 Q. Sir, where were you at the time that MLD-10 was meeting with
10 these two lawyers?
11 A. I was seated with MLD-10's husband in the living-room. In the
13 Q. Were you able to tell where they went to have this discussion?
14 A. Yes, yes, I did. Into the adjoining room.
15 Q. And did there come a time when they returned to the room that you
16 were in?
17 A. No. Well, MLD-10 did.
18 Q. What happened when MLD-10 came out of that room?
19 A. Then I went to that other room. We got acquainted and we started
20 our conversation.
21 Q. Was there anyone else in the room besides yourself and these two
23 A. No, the three of us only.
24 Q. As precisely as you are able to do, can I ask you to recount what
25 was said in that room.
1 A. Since I already had read the letter from Mr. Lukic, Milan Lukic,
2 I knew what this was all about. They offered me the same thing and they
3 told me, Milan
4 your life. I responded, What is everything in life exactly? And they
5 replied, Everything. And said, Well, if I die tomorrow, I would have
6 nothing of that. And they said, Well, in precise terms, 100.000 Euro. I
7 was silent for awhile after that. I was thinking, looking at them. And
8 then finally I said, 100.000 Euro? And he responded, Yes, just to
9 confirm what I had given in the previous statement so that I can confirm
10 what had already said.
11 Q. Which of the two spoke to you about the 100.000 Euros?
12 A. The one from America
13 Q. Did they tell you what you needed to do in order to get that
14 100.000 Euros?
15 A. Well, yes, they did. I was supposed to go and confirm -- to go
16 to The Hague
17 military commander of Muslim forces, on the 12th of June, 1992, encircled
18 a military column of Serbian soldiers, killed three Serb officers, and
19 kept Milan
20 encirclement in the forest next to the village of Kopito
21 Q. How did you respond or what did you say in response to their
23 A. I said that I did not remember that ever anyone from the Serb --
24 on the part of the Serb forces or the Muslim forces was ever in a forest
25 in a village being encircled, and that they could not reach the place
1 where their unit, their troops had been stationed.
2 Q. Did you accept their proposal?
3 A. No. No, I did not accept their proposal. I said that this
4 wasn't true, and that I would not most probably be testifying for the
5 benefit of Milan Lukic.
6 Q. Did they ever discuss your wife and children?
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a note whether there was any response when
8 he did not accept their proposal and said it wasn't true.
9 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
10 Q. Your Honour is asking -- Judge Robinson is asking, did they make
11 any response to you when you told them you were not interested in their
13 A. No. I told them about the truth about Milan setting my family to
14 fire in that house, but they did not like the answer. They did not
15 continue or persist with their desire for me to testify in this way. But
16 they did not like my proposals because they said this would not be
17 beneficial to him. The only beneficial testimony for him would be what
18 they had proposed to me, and -- but I could not accept that even for
19 100.000 millions of Euros.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Groome.
21 MR. GROOME:
22 Q. Once you declined their proposal, did you feel as though any
23 pressure was put on you to change your mind?
24 A. No, no, they did not apply any pressure. They simply said, We
25 will be in touch. The one from Belgrade
1 the guy from America
2 Milan Lukic, and tell him and relate the course of that conversation to
4 In the meantime, we started saying our good-byes, Adieu, sir. I
5 demanded for my taxi expenses to be reimbursed because that had been our
6 understanding. The bloke from America
7 much is that? I said taxi from Sarajevo
8 per diem would be 50 Euro, that would be 300 Euro. The one from America
9 said to the Belgrade
10 was a laptop-sized case. It was full of Euros, Euro notes.
11 Q. Okay. Sir --
12 A. We said good-bye to each other --
13 Q. Before we go any further, can I ask you to -- a few specific
14 questions about this proposal.
15 Were you a military commander in the Federation army in June of
17 A. No. I was never such a commander throughout the period between
18 1992 and 1996. I was a plain soldier.
19 Q. In June of 1992, were you ever engaged in any kind of activity
20 that might be considered of a military nature in the area of Kopito?
21 A. No, I was not.
22 Q. During this time that you were in MLD-10's home, were you aware
23 that she had spoken to anyone on a telephone?
24 A. Well, yes, I was. On the 22nd of June, between 4.00 -- well,
25 around 4.00 p.m.
1 from Milan
2 luck. I don't know what else to wish you."
3 That is what she said in front of me. There were two or three
4 calls from The Hague
5 Q. Can I ask you to summarize for the Chamber, how it was that you
6 came to provide this information to the Office of the Prosecutor?
7 A. I was in Vogosca in the bar with some friends of mine. There was
8 a friend, a comrade of someone who had been in The Hague, I don't know if
9 I can mention the name. In any case, Ferid said that Milan Lukic had
10 said that he had offered me money. This person, Ferid, called me and
11 asked me if he was allowed to give my phone number to The Hague
12 Prosecutor's Office, and whether I would be willing to go to The Hague
13 testify about this. I told him I would with pleasure, and here I am.
14 Ferid then placed a call, and a few days later, I received a
15 phone call from the OTP. A lady introduced herself, I cannot recall her
16 name right now, and asked me if I would be willing to meet with a
17 Prosecutor in Sarajevo
18 Prosecutor concerned was, but in any case, we met in Sarajevo. I
19 provided a statement, much as I did here. And that would be it.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can you recall the date when this person spoke
21 to you in the bar, and in particular, I want to find out what was the
22 interval of time between the time when you spoke with the two lawyers and
23 that particular time?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps five to ten days or so.
25 I'm not really sure. I didn't keep any records.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Groome.
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. And finally, I'm going to ask you to look at an exhibit.
4 MR. GROOME: It's ERN 05450789. It's a still from P54, the 360
5 programme. I'd ask that just one image in its largest capacity be
6 displayed for the witness.
7 Q. Sir, do you recognise what this photograph depicts?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Would you be able to identify your brother's house on this
10 photograph, if called upon to do so?
11 A. Yes, I would.
12 Q. With the assistance of the usher, I'd ask you to place your
13 initials somewhere along the bottom edge of the image so we know that
14 it's you that has made the markings. And I'd ask you to circle your
15 brother's house where you've testified your wife and children were
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. And could I ask to you put an A next to that circle so we know
19 that's what it indicates.
20 A. [Marks]
21 MR. GROOME: Thank you. I have no further questions of this
22 witness. I'm sorry, Your Honour, I forgot to formally tender the
23 document. Thank you for the suggestive looks.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will become Exhibit number
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: I wanted to ask you, Witness, in the five to ten
3 days between the time that you met the two lawyers and the time when you
4 met somebody in the bar, what was going through your mind in relation to
5 this entire transaction? Did you form any view about this transaction,
6 the proposal that was made to you?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes, I did. Of course even
8 to this day I think about it. Had I accepted Milan Lukic's attorney's
9 proposal, it would have been as if selling out my wife, my children, my
10 brother, my neighbours, and everyone else in exchange for money. I
11 probably would not be able to live with such a thing for a long time.
12 This way, it is easier for me to live, although I don't have the money.
13 At least I can tell the Bench what means they use which are completely
14 wrong. They are ready to pay money to be acquitted, although they had
15 done what they were accused of.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did you ever consider reporting the matter to
17 the police?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did. I did talk to some
19 people senior to me, who are better educated, although I have a certain
20 amount of education myself. I finished high school, a good one.
21 In any case, I simply did not want to consent to such offers. I
22 was thinking of forwarding that information to the Bosnian
23 Prosecutor's Office. However, the way things went seemed better to me
24 than me reporting it to the police or anyone else down there.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Mr. Alarid.
1 MR. ALARID: Considering the timing of the break, Your Honour,
2 it's only 5 minutes away, could we take the break and then just start
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we'll take the break.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.41 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.10 p.m.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Alarid.
8 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Alarid:
10 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Vilic.
11 A. Good afternoon.
12 Q. My name is Jason Alarid and I'm the attorney for Milan Lukic.
13 I'd like to ask you a few questions about your testimony. Okay?
14 A. Very well.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
16 be asked to speak up and move closer to the microphones.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, the interpreter is having difficulty
18 hearing you. Please come forward a little and speak into the microphone.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 MR. ALARID:
21 Q. And the first thing that I'd like to do is on behalf of my
22 client, he asked me to give my condolences for you and your family, and
23 the family members that you lost during the war.
24 A. Thank you.
25 Q. And beyond that, I'd like to ask going back before you ever knew
1 about the Milan Lukic request for your testimony, had you heard anything
2 about this case, just in the news, the media things like that?
3 A. About Milan
4 Q. Yes, sir.
5 A. Yes, I had. I was following it on Bosnian TV.
6 Q. And before Milan Lukic's arrest and being able to follow it on
7 TV, did you follow the earlier case, Mitar Vasiljevic?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. Now, when your -- would it be fair to say that when your cousin
10 contacted you, that you might be going to testify or asked to testify in
11 this case, you were told that it was about the time period in mid-June;
12 correct, 1992 being?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, would your cousin have had an understanding that you were a
15 soldier in the Bosnian army?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. And according to your earlier testimony, and it may be slightly
18 different from your statement you gave in this case, but it's my
19 understanding that you formally joined the Bosnian military about
20 June 20th of 1992; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. And why do you consider June 20th the day you formally joined the
24 A. Because that's when I joined the Bosnian military.
25 Q. And to formally do that, how did you do that? Was there a
1 swearing-in ceremony? Did you take an oath? What happened to formally
2 join the military?
3 A. There were no ceremonies. It was a state of war. There were no
4 oaths either. I simply approached them and joined the army.
5 Q. Where did you approach them?
6 A. In Medjedja.
7 Q. How did you get to Medjedja?
8 A. Through the forest. At night.
9 Q. Did you arrive in Medjedja on the 20th or later?
10 A. I arrived there before that, and spent some three days there
11 before joining the army.
12 Q. And so isn't it true that three days earlier you were in the area
13 of Kopito, on that journey?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Now, the war had been going on, or the state of war had been
16 going on since early April; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I believe the anniversary for the start is about the April 6th or
19 April 5th, depending on who you talk to, is that true, in Visegrad?
20 A. Yes, around that date. On the 6th the Uzice Corps arrived. Once
21 they left, paramilitary units remained. One of those were the
22 White Eagles where Milan
23 own, Osvetnici, the Avengers. He was in command of that unit doing
24 whatever he wanted.
25 As the --
1 Q. Sir, sir --
2 A. -- accused Vasiljevic said --
3 Q. Where did you read this?
4 A. On TV.
5 Q. Okay. So what you are reciting is not based on your personal
6 knowledge but from what you got from television; correct?
7 A. I saw Vasiljevic personally. I saw him speak. I heard what he
9 Q. Now, in terms of the -- your own experience with the war, when
10 were you when the Uzice Corps came to town?
11 A. I was in Prelovo.
12 Q. And when did you formally go into hiding, no longer coming out
13 for fear of being taken captive or otherwise?
14 A. It was sometime in June. I came to Bikavac in my brother's house
15 and I started hiding in the forest immediately. I only came there at
16 night, and sometimes during the day when we were certain that there was
17 no danger. However, there was always a possibility of being caught by
19 Q. Isn't it true that there were hundreds of Serbian soldiers in the
20 Visegrad area? That the Uzice Corps had left a large number of soldiers
21 there in Visegrad along with their weapons and military armaments?
22 A. While the Uzice Corps was there, things were fine. Once they
23 left, I'm not saying no one remained, but there were paramilitaries.
24 They called them volunteers. Some of them must have remained there.
25 Q. And during the time the Uzice Corps were there, the Muslim
1 population was disarmed; correct?
2 A. Precisely.
3 Q. And that left them helpless for the volunteers that stayed
4 behind; correct?
5 A. Milan Lukic's volunteers and Milan himself.
6 Q. But the fact is, is you testified that you didn't see Milan Lukic
7 before the war; correct?
8 A. I had seen him before the war and during the war at Bikavac in my
9 brother's house.
10 Q. Okay. Well, the fact of the matter is, though, you did not
11 before -- you don't know when Milan Lukic arrived in town, do you?
12 A. I don't know precisely. I can't tell you the exact date, but he
13 must have arrived along with his pals at the beginning of the war.
14 Q. And when you say "he must have," you are guessing, aren't you?
15 A. Well, I couldn't see him then because the war was underway
16 already, and it was good for me that I didn't see him, otherwise, he
17 would have arrested and killed me.
18 Q. Now, isn't it true that at the time that the aggression started
19 from the Serbians, there were Muslims that took up arms, took to the
20 forests and put up a resistance; correct?
21 A. Well, people were of course fleeing to the woods, they were
22 afraid. They were afraid of murders, but for the most part they were
23 only armed with hunting rifles.
24 Q. And so those people, those people, they were still acting as
25 resistance, as soldiers against the Serb aggression; correct?
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome.
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, it seems to me if Mr. Alarid. At the
3 beginning of my examination, rose to complain that I might be going too
4 broad, it seems unfair now at this stage that he gives himself latitude
5 he wouldn't accord me. It seems that his questions should be limited to
6 the direct examination which was directly related to the alibi evidence
7 that this man gave.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I was going to ask Mr. Alarid to explain to
9 us the relevance of all of this in relation to this witness's evidence.
10 MR. ALARID: Well, one, Your Honour, is I think it's fair to put
11 to the witness his involvement with the military right as the war started
12 and when --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why is it? Why is that?
14 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, it's still my position, at least we had
15 information that he was part of a group that had this Serb detachment cut
16 off where Commander Tripkovic was killed and it's documented. So that
17 was a -- it was a -- we'll call it a skirmish in the area, so given the
18 fact of that from an opportunity and position this --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: And even if that is so, it's not clear to me how
20 it becomes relevant.
21 MR ALARID: Because if he is really in Kopito, Your Honour -- and
22 we are having the conversation with the witness present which is
23 problematic, but you are asking me to explain my cross-examination of the
24 witness in front of the witness.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is wrong with that? That is pretty
2 MR. ALARID: Well, no. Speaking objections in front of the
3 witness are not standard, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. We do that here, and don't tell me about
5 your national jurisdiction.
6 MR. ALARID: Well, no. It's just our conversation can
7 contaminate the witness.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Nonsense.
9 MR. ALARID: Anything I say he can hear.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: You just continue. Just continue --
11 MR. ALARID: Okay.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- and leave this topic very quickly. Move on
13 to another one.
14 MR. ALARID:
15 Q. And so isn't it true that members in the -- of the local
16 community were joining that resistance, were they not?
17 A. In the village of Kopito
18 had been cut off or intercepted, I know that.
19 Q. That's what is important, sir, because if you are not
20 participating in it, how do you know that?
21 A. I know it from others. There were no attacks of -- or columns
22 being intercepted there.
23 Q. Sir, if we know the date that Commander Tripkovic was killed,
24 clearly there was an attack that day. And so tell me what you know about
25 that attack.
1 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, is it so clear? I mean, there are
2 mines used in war, we have heard no evidence about how this person by the
3 name of Tripkovic died, whether it was a mine or an attack. So it's not
4 so clear that there must have been an attack.
5 MR. ALARID: That kind of speaking objection, Your Honours, is
6 tantamount to leading the witness. It really is. And that's -- I
7 understand the point of different policies and procedures but that is
8 what I'm talking about. If you are allowed to make that kind of speaking
9 objection in front of the witness, he is privy to our argument and
10 nuance, and it really gives the witness really a nuance of where to go.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, the main reason why sometimes
12 witnesses are asked to leave the court in the common law system is
13 because there is a -- the jury may be contaminated. And sometimes jurors
14 are asked to leave.
15 MR. ALARID: True, true, absolutely.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: We don't have any jury here.
17 MR. ALARID: I am more worried about the witness, Your Honour.
18 THE COURT: We are professional judges.
19 MR. ALARID: That's true, I'm not worried about you, Your Honour.
20 I'm worried about the witness.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: There's no problem with the witness. I'm
22 worried about your evidence and where it is leading. I don't see it
23 leading anywhere. So please get to the point, if there is one.
24 MR. ALARID:
25 Q. Did you hear about Tripkovic being killed, sir?
1 MR. ALARID: I mean, the witness is enjoying our discourse,
2 Your Honour.
3 MR. GROOME: Objection, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Groome.
5 MR. GROOME: I think it's provocative to the witness and how does
6 Mr. Alarid know whether the witness is enjoying --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, that's an aside. Let's leave that,
8 that's --
9 MR. ALARID: Well, then let the record reflect the witness is
10 chuckling during Your Honour's and my conversation.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I've had enough of that. Get on with the
13 MR. ALARID:
14 Q. What did you hear about Tripkovic's death, sir?
15 A. I didn't hear about him. I only know what Milan wrote in his
16 letter, that there were three Serb officers who were killed at Kopito.
17 What I claim is that there was not an attack or an interception of any
18 Serb forces at Kopito ever.
19 Q. Well, for reference, sir, the attack that I'm referring to
20 occurred at Gornja Lijeska which is 2 kilometres from Kopito?
21 A. Lauske? Never heard of that place.
22 Q. You've never heard of that place. Now, but you did say that you
23 had heard that there was nothing there because you heard it from other
25 MR. ALARID: Could we go into private session.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in private session.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 3487-3493 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 MR. ALARID:
22 Q. But even that particular time, sir, you didn't know it was
23 Milan Lukic, you were told by someone else; correct?
24 A. Well, yes, as if I did not know Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic and
25 could not tell those two apart.
1 Q. Sir, we are talking about Milan Lukic, and I'm asking you before
2 the time in Bikavac, when was the last time you saw him so maybe you
3 could have a reference point of identifying him. Can you think back and
4 tell me when the time before the war, when was the last time you saw this
6 A. I don't know. I don't recall.
7 Q. Was he a man or a boy?
8 A. Well, younger and quite thinner than he is right now.
9 Q. And I'm talking before the war. How old was he the last time --
10 A. Before the war.
11 Q. Yes. How old was he the last time?
12 A. How could I know what age he was? I don't know.
13 Q. Because you said you knew him well from before the war, so I'm
14 trying to figure out how you knew him well.
15 A. How could I not know him? I visited those villages, my aunt
16 lived in his village. I used to see him around town on buses. I don't
17 know and how could I know his age. I wasn't the -- working as a
18 registrar when he was born.
19 Q. No, but most times you can look at somebody and kind of at least
20 tell in a range of how old they are. And you may not be able to tell
21 their birthday but you might know whether they are a teenager or a young
22 adult or a small boy. And I'm asking you when is the last time you saw
23 him whether up in the village or on the bus or anywhere else?
24 A. I cannot recall that. Most probably he wasn't a boy or a child,
25 he was a lad of some 25, 30 years of age, something like that.
1 MR. ALARID: Can we have ERN 06428393 placed on the screen,
2 please. Maybe the better way to do it is, 2D04-0537.
3 Q. And, sir, while we are waiting for that to come on the screen,
4 would it be fair to say then before 1992, the Milan Lukic you are talking
5 about was 25 to 30 years old?
6 A. How could I know? Approximately. Well, you are forcing me to
7 pinpoint his age and I just said that I could not really know his age.
8 MR. ALARID: And we could go to the last page, please. It would
9 be the last page of the English. It's a photo lineup. If we could just
10 make that the full page, probably, for the witness.
11 Q. Now, isn't it true, sir, that you were shown this photo lineup
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you were asked if you recognised anyone, and you recognised
15 someone to be Milan Lukic, number 3; isn't that true?
16 A. Yes, but I said I wasn't certain. Those are pictures not of high
18 Q. And you specifically indicated that number 8 looks like
19 Sredoje Lukic; correct?
20 A. Something like that, but I also stated that I wasn't certain
21 because the photos were not good.
22 Q. And otherwise, you didn't recognise anyone else in this photo
23 spread; correct?
24 A. As you can see for yourself, they almost look the same.
25 MR. ALARID: All right. I have no further use of this exhibit.
1 We would tender 2D040537 into evidence, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is that?
3 MR. ALARID: It's the statement of this witness who was shown a
4 photospread and he identified someone who looked like Milan
5 Sredoje and no one else.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D91, Your Honours.
8 MR. ALARID:
9 Q. Now, when you had the meeting with these two lawyers, how long
10 total did you talk with them, sit with them, interact with them at this
12 A. 30, 40 minutes, approximately.
13 Q. And the one that you called the American lawyer, you indicated
14 that he spoke Serbian, but with a strong accent?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. And can you tell me what kind of accent?
17 A. I don't know. The Rs were characteristic. He spoke in a manner
18 of a foreigner speaking Bosnian or Serbian.
19 Q. Well, was he fluent or did he have trouble with words?
20 A. He pronounced those words quite well, but not exactly in a way
21 that you could get the meaning straightaway. And he would mix certain
22 words up.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, Mr. Alarid and Mr. Groome. The
24 information that I requested of the registry has been provided, and I'll
25 ask the court deputy to make it available to the parties.
1 Please continue.
2 MR. ALARID:
3 Q. And when you said that he mixed certain words up, was that
4 because he was not comfortable or fluent in the language?
5 A. Most probably this was the case.
6 Q. Did it seem like Serbian was a second language and not a born
8 A. Exactly.
9 Q. Can you tell whether or not an accent is from Belgrade or Bosnia
10 A. Approximately, yes. The Belgrade
11 similar words would be used.
12 Q. Did the one that posed as an American have any kind of accent
13 that you would be able to recognise other than it was maybe a second
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did he say posed as an American?
16 MR. ALARID: Well, called -- I think called him. I don't know
17 which way you want to look at it, Judge. I think it was -- I used that
18 term, so that's a loaded word, but ...
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I think you should rephrase that.
20 MR. ALARID: I mean, called himself an American?
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
22 MR. ALARID: Okay.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It's normal that this would
24 be a second or foreign language, the Serbian or Bosnian, because he was
25 taught in English over there.
1 MR. ALARID:
2 Q. Did you have any discussions about his background or where he was
3 from or how he had learned Serbian?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Now, isn't it true that Gornja Lijeska is 2 kilometres from
7 A. What kind of Lijoska?
8 Q. Gornja Lijeska.
9 A. Ah, Lijeska. Gornja Lijeska, I don't know what is the exact
10 distance in kilometres. First you get to Gornja Lijeska then Kopito, and
11 then further towards Rogatica there are some other villages.
12 Q. Now, when you journeyed to this meeting, you indicated that you
13 were told to take the most expensive cab you could; is that true?
14 A. Exactly.
15 Q. Now, are there other ways to get from Sarajevo to Visegrad?
16 A. Not to Visegrad. Why Visegrad?
17 Q. What I'm just saying is you took a cab where you went. I'm sorry
18 if it wasn't Visegrad, but you took a cab. How many kilometres did you
19 take a cab?
20 A. Sarajevo
21 would add up to 160, 170 kilometres in one direction.
22 Q. Isn't it true you could have taken a bus or made alternative
24 A. Well, I took my own car.
25 Q. Well, if you took your own car, then why do we need a cab
1 reimbursement for you?
2 A. Because they had told me that they would pay for a cab.
3 Q. So you lied to the attorneys and told them that you had taken a
4 cab instead of taking your own car?
5 A. Is this prohibited?
6 Q. You didn't take a cab; right?
7 A. I took my vehicle which I own.
8 Q. And you were told before your meeting that you were going to be
9 reimbursed for your travel expenses; correct?
10 A. Yes, of course.
11 Q. And you took that to mean that you could demand 250 Euros for a
12 cab ride that you didn't take; correct?
13 A. Why wouldn't I charge them for that?
14 Q. Well, because you didn't have to pay -- you only had to pay for
15 your gas; correct? You didn't have to pay a cab driver for the use of
16 his cab.
17 A. I did -- there was depreciation for the car registration, road
18 toll, motor oil, tire wear, everything.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: And also for his time, if you want to get into
20 the economics of it.
21 MR. ALARID: I believe that was 50 Euros for the time. 50 Euros
22 for 40 minutes. But we are more concerned about the veracity of the
23 statement, Your Honour.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I told you the truth that I
25 did take my own car.
1 MR. ALARID:
2 Q. And so then also isn't it true that you are the one that demanded
3 100.000 Euros from Milan Lukic to tell the truth?
4 A. No, never. This is not true.
5 Q. Well, don't you think it's funny -- well, one is, is what you
6 were requested to say didn't involve you actually seeing Milan Lukic;
8 A. Well, of course I would have seen him if I had come here to
9 testify on his -- to his benefit, but I did see him right now.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, no. That's something that has been passing
11 through my mind. When you went to the meeting with the lawyers, what
12 exactly did they say to you? What is it that they wanted you to say?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely, they wanted to tell me
14 to -- me to tell you this, that my name was Hamdija Vilic and that I
15 commanded Muslim forces. Then that I cut a military convoy in half at
16 Kopito, killing three officers and keeping Milan Lukic and his soldiers,
17 that is to say, his units for three days and nights in encirclement,
18 during which time he could not have been in Visegrad because he is
19 probably charged with something that happened during the three days.
20 They didn't want to tell me what.
21 I refused that and I said that such a convoy was never cut in
22 half in that place, and that no Serb soldiers or Muslim soldiers, for
23 that matter, were in any encirclement. Not even for an hour.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. So let me confirm, the statement
25 that they wanted you to make did involve saying something about
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That it was done by the Uzice
3 or Valjevo Corps and the White Eagles, and that Milan Lukic did not do
4 that and that he never had any unit of his. I told them this: You were
5 in Belgrade
6 happened while I was in the environs of Visegrad, about what Milan
7 his disposal.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Alarid.
9 MR. ALARID:
10 Q. I'm still not clear, but it's important what the Judge asked you.
11 Isn't it true that they did not ask you to commit that you
12 actually saw Milan Lukic, that you could see him and recognise him,
13 merely that you were involved in a battle of which Milan Lukic now claims
14 to have partaked [sic] in on the other side; correct.
15 A. I don't understand your question. I can try to clarify something
17 Q. Well, let me just ask you this: The kind of fighting that would
18 have been up there would have been guerilla warfare; correct?
19 A. One could say so.
20 Q. Members of the army hiding and ambushing and keeping other people
21 in another army pinned down; correct?
22 A. Only with stones and hoes, how could we ambush someone?
23 Q. And in guerilla warfare, the terrain and the trees and things are
24 used as cover so people can't see each other well enough to shoot each
25 other; correct?
1 A. Well, normally if I saw someone, I would kill him.
2 Q. Just like you did in that bar with that grenade; correct?
3 A. This is not the subject matter here.
4 Q. Well, it is because the Prosecutor brought up your felony
5 criminal conviction for murder, and so we need to talk about that before
6 I let you go. And so you were willing to kill people on sight if need
7 be; correct?
8 A. Only in self-defence. And I killed a Muslim person, not a Serb.
9 Q. And this was you using a grenade or a bomb in a bar fight;
11 A. You shouldn't be concerned with that. I served my sentence for
13 Q. But it shows you were a fighter and not afraid of violence,
14 doesn't it?
15 A. Well, killing someone doesn't necessarily mean that you are a
16 fighter. You can only be a coward.
17 Q. And you have a never been a coward; correct?
18 A. I might have.
19 Q. But you were willing to fight as early as you could in the
20 conflict, didn't you?
21 A. What conflict?
22 Q. The war in Bosnia
23 A. I had to defend.
24 Q. Now, do you know who Ibro Kabaklija?
25 A. The late.
1 Q. And you knew him, yes, sir?
2 A. He used to work with me.
3 Q. And he also led fighters in the area around Visegrad, did he not?
4 A. Why not?
5 Q. And his brother Nermin, he also was a fighter with him?
6 A. A plain fighter.
7 Q. And Jamak Esad?
8 A. I don't know that name.
9 Q. How about Jamak?
10 A. A plain fighter.
11 Q. And these gentleman killed Nenad Markovic near Kopito in June,
12 didn't they?
13 A. I don't know when Markovic was killed and by whom. I'm not
14 interested in that and I don't think I need to answer such questions.
15 Q. Well, isn't it true, though, that you have been placed fighting
16 with Ibro's group?
17 A. I refuse to answer that question.
18 Q. Is it because you know that there's a pending investigation
19 regarding the killing of Milan Knezevic?
20 A. I also don't want to answer that.
21 Q. That's because your involvement in that, that was an illegal
22 killing, a war crime, was it not?
23 A. Summon me to The Hague
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, this line of questioning may prompt
25 me to give the witness the warning under Rule 90.
1 Witness, I want you to bear in mind that in these proceedings you
2 are not obliged to answer any question that you think may incriminate
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's no need for me to answer
5 such questions and I don't want to. I'm here to answer the questions
6 that have to do with why I came here. He should ask that. I have enough
7 arguments to keep on going for three days about the things he had done.
8 MR. ALARID:
9 Q. And it's because the stuff you don't want to talk about involves
10 the death of civilian Serbs, doesn't it?
11 A. There was only one civilian Serb who was killed around 40 years
12 of age, and I doubt whether he was a civilian.
13 MR. ALARID: One moment, Your Honour. I'm almost finished. A
14 moment to confer, Your Honour.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 MR. ALARID:
17 Q. Isn't it true that there's a pending investigation in the
18 Republika Srpska involving ten civilians that were killed and burned on
19 August 1st, 1992
20 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I would just ask -- investigations
21 usually aren't public -- isn't usually a publicly known fact. Is this a
22 publicly known fact that the witness could even know about, or is it
23 something that's a confidential investigation or formerly confidential
24 investigation that Mr. Alarid has information about?
25 MR. ALARID: And my information is that I don't know the answer
1 to Mr. Groome's question.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please ask another question.
3 MR. ALARID: I'll pass the witness.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Cepic, do you have anything? You have
6 MR. CEPIC: No questions. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: No questions. Mr. Groome.
8 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, just a few questions.
9 Re-examination by Mr. Groome:
10 Q. I'm a little bit hampered by the lack of the LiveNote, so I'm
11 paraphrasing transcript but I'll give transcript references. Mr. Vilic,
12 in response to a question that Judge Robinson asked, and this is at
13 transcript 58, line 11, I believe the quote that you said was: "That was
14 done by the Uzice Corps and White Eagles, that Milan Lukic did not do
15 that and that he never had any unit of his."
16 When you are using the word "that" in that context, what were you
17 referring to?
18 A. I was told that by his lawyer. They said that I should state
19 that. However, the fact is that Milan Lukic had his unit called
21 Q. But what is the thing that -- you say: "Milan did not do that."
22 What did you understand being -- you were being told to say that
23 Milan Lukic did not do?
24 A. The attorneys asked me to provide such a statement. However,
25 Milan Lukic did have a unit, and the Uzice and Valjevo Corps did not busy
1 themselves with killing civilians. Once the Uzice Corps left, that's
2 when the killings of civilians, women and children began.
3 Q. The next question to you is, when was the first time someone
4 raised the possibility that you might receive a benefit from giving
5 testimony as a Defence witness for Milan Lukic?
6 A. MLD-10's husband said that.
7 Q. Now, you have recounted several conversations with him. When --
8 in which conversation was that matter first raised, or that possibility
9 first raised?
10 A. He mentioned it in the first and in the second, and actually in
11 the third conversation that I had.
12 Q. Can I ask you to identify all of the people who raised with you
13 the possibility that you might receive a benefit from your testimony?
14 A. MLD-10's husband, MLD-10 herself, and allegedly Milan.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Alarid at page 44, line 13, of the transcript, put it to
16 you that you were not in Bikavac area, but you were in the area of Kopito
17 at the -- in the period of time in June. Can I ask you to tell us when
18 you moved to Bikavac, and when you left Bikavac.
19 A. I arrived in Bikavac with my wife and children to my brother's
20 house in the period between the 5th and the 8th of June, 1992. I was
21 there in hiding for about ten days, in the forests outside Bikavac, and
22 in the end I had to go through the forest at night to cross over to the
23 free territory that was held by Muslim forces.
24 Q. And during that ten-day period you were in Bikavac, did you ever
25 go any further from where your brother was living apart from the woods
1 that you described?
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, just a minute. Mr. Cepic.
3 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, I think that this examination is not
4 something which is raised from the cross-examination, and I think that we
5 are losing time in that examination. Thank you.
6 THE COURT: We agree. Mr. Groome, it's going too far.
7 MR. GROOME: Just one other question, Your Honour, if
8 Your Honours permit.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, not along the same lines.
10 MR. GROOME: Well, in cross-examination Mr. Alarid brought out
11 that he saw Milan Lukic in Bikavac. I'm simply going to ask him does he
12 recall when that was.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
14 MR. GROOME:
15 Q. Page 50, line 25, in response to a question by Mr. Alarid, you
16 say that you saw Milan Lukic in Bikavac and that you were 5 metres away
17 from him. Can you approximate when that was that you saw him in Bikavac?
18 A. Approximately on the 10th or 11th of July. June. June.
19 MR. GROOME: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Witness. That concludes your
21 evidence. You may now leave.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome.
25 MR. GROOME: Your Honours, that concludes the Prosecution's
1 presentation of its evidence in its case in chief against Milan and
2 Sredoje Luke. We now rest our case conditionally in the light of three
3 pending applications which I will state for the record at this time.
4 One, there's a pending bar table motion for 65 ter 167. The motion is
5 Prosecution's request for admission of Exhibit 65 ter 167 with
6 confidential annexes A, B, C, and D. The second pending bar table motion
7 is for 65 ter number 190.1 through 190.6. Prosecution's request for
8 admission of Exhibits 65 ter 190.1 through 190.6. And finally, there's a
9 pending matter with respect to the Chamber's decision on
10 Mr. Amor Masovic's statement of the 4th of September, 2008. That's
11 Exhibit P183 and related testimony.
12 So the rest of -- I rest now the Prosecution's case conditioned
13 upon whatever the Chamber decides when it resolves those three pending
14 motions. That if the Chamber does grant our application to admit them as
15 exhibits in our case in chief, that that so be done. Thank you,
16 Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I'm to say that those decisions will be
18 given shortly.
19 Mr. Alarid, in accordance with the timetable that we had set, I
20 believe we had indicated that following the end of the Prosecution's case
21 we will --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for His Honour, please.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I was saying that in accordance with the
24 timetable that had been set, we had indicated that following the end of
25 the Prosecution's case, we would hear the submissions on 98 bis.
1 MR. ALARID: Yes, sir. And I was assuming -- actually what I had
2 heard last week, although I heard something different right when we
3 closed evidence on Thursday, is that is what I heard is that we would
4 start right after. But I believe that earlier the schedule was last
5 witness today, 98 bis tomorrow, and then ruling by the Court presumably
6 maybe Thursday. And then as we were going through kind of the issues of
7 the case, this weekend discussing that, that was one of the things that
8 came up amongst us procedurally was with pending motions outstanding. I
9 mean, the nuance might not be much considering the issues that are there,
10 but I think we do need the Court's rulings on those motions before we
11 make a final submission as this course, you know, Amor Masovic being, I
12 think, a bright line may impact the argument for 98 bis.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: They will not.
14 Are you in a position to begin your submissions now, or are you
15 asking for --
16 MR. ALARID: I'm asking for tomorrow. I am.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Tomorrow.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Cepic, are you ready to start?
20 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, I have a pleasure to inform this
21 honourable Trial Chamber that our Defence team will not raise 98 bis
22 submission. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. We'll hear you tomorrow.
24 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you.
25 MR. GROOME: Can I just ask one thing, I note that a new
1 colleague has joined Mr. Alarid. Maybe he would do us the courtesy in
2 introducing the new attorney on the case to us.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Alarid.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, this is a legal assistant. Intern, I
6 mean. Christopher Lyerla. No new attorney.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
8 MR. ALARID: Thank you.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.23 p.m.
10 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 12th day
11 of November 2008, at 3.45 p.m.