1 Wednesday, 14 January 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: I thought I'd take this opportunity before the
6 witness is called to deal with some matters. First, the remaining number
7 of witnesses and hours for the Defence case, I am to say that the Chamber
8 will issue an order shortly indicating the number of hours left in the
9 Defence case. The Defence will be aware that some hours have already
10 been lost for reasons which are very well known to it.
11 The next matter relates to the question of experts. Mr. Ivetic,
12 we have been told that you intend to call six experts, but we have
13 received neither reports nor a full statement, and as you're aware, the
14 other party must have 30 days in which to respond. The Chamber will
15 issue an order shortly setting time limits in relation to this matter.
16 Again, Mr. Ivetic, you have a request for a video-link. You're
17 seeking to have these witnesses video-linked next week, I believe, but as
18 you would know, two weeks' notice is required for the Registry to make
19 these arrangements. The Chamber will immediately order that you file
20 medical certificates supporting the submissions made in annex B to the
21 motion filed on Friday, the 16th of January, and these must -- the
22 certificates must be filed by Friday the 16th, and I want to stress that
23 this is to be done by 4 p.m.
24 The next matter relates to -- I believe we have to go into
25 private session for this.
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 4034-4037 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
12 MR. IVETIC: And while we're waiting for the witness, Your
13 Honour, if I could just inquire as to the time remaining for Mr. Groome
14 in cross-examination of the sitting witness given the Court's ruling as
15 to MLD15. I need to make sure the victims and witnesses has sufficient
16 time to bring the next witness in after the completion of the direct.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just before the bring the witness, let me
19 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
20 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Prosecutor took an hour and 23 minutes. The
22 Defence has so far used ...
23 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Sorry. It's the other way around. The Defence
25 took an hour and 23 minutes, and the Prosecutor has so far used an hour
1 and 6 minutes. In the circumstances, Mr. Groome, I'll give you another
2 45 minutes.
3 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please call the witness.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, such a long time has elapsed. I
7 think we'll have the witness make the declaration again. Let the witness
8 make the declaration.
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: Yes, Mr. Groome.
12 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 WITNESS: WITNESS MLD10 [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Groome: [Continued]
16 Q. Ma'am, I'd like to resume my questions to you on the topic of
17 evidence that you gave last time with respect to your brother and your
18 uncle being with Milan Lukic on the 27th and 28th of June. My first
19 question to you is, is your uncle with them at the time?
20 A. I don't understand the question. I'm sorry.
21 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, if we could perhaps have a transcript
22 reference. I think Mr. Groome has misspoken as to the prior evidence,
23 but I must have got some other transcript reference, I thought it was --
24 I don't want to influence the testimony, but I think it's another
25 individual and the brother.
1 MR. GROOME:
2 Q. I'm simply asking you, you've given evidence that Milan Lukic was
3 with your father and your brother on St. Vitus day in 1992, correct?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. Was your uncle with them at the time?
6 A. I don't know that. My father told me that they were at
7 Milan Lukic's place, the father and the brother. I don't know about my
8 uncle, whether he was there, too, or not.
9 Q. Now, if I recall your testimony correctly, it's that after the
10 female members of your family fled (redacted), your father and your brother
11 remained behind to take care of the livestock on the family farm in
12 (redacted). Have I remembered your testimony correctly?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. Now, over the break I've had an opportunity to look at your
15 brother's statement, and I must put to you that it contradicts you in
16 several important regards, and the first one that I -- the first way that
17 it contradicts you is that according to your brother, your father was
18 living in the town -- in the area of Visegrad known as (redacted), which is
19 just south of the town. Are you sure it's your -- or do you maintain
20 it's your evidence that your father was living in the area of (redacted)
21 during this period?
22 A. My father was living in (redacted) throughout, and he did not move
23 at any point. It was my brother who owned a house in (redacted), not this
24 brother that we're talking about but the other, late brother of mine, who
25 was killed at one point, owned a house in (redacted).
1 Q. Well, let me read from paragraph 2 of your brother's statement
2 what he says about where your father was to see if it refreshes your
3 recollection about what that brother told you.
8 Does that cause you to change your evidence about where your
9 father was in the spring of 1992 and whether or not he was -- remained in
11 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I would object to the cause for
12 speculation if they're presenting the statement of a person who's not in
13 this courtroom. This is the type of thing that this honorable Trial
14 Chamber has denied the Defence the opportunity to do with Prosecution
15 witnesses time and again, and Mr. Groome has objected time and again, and
16 he's taking this statement, this particular section of the statement that
17 does not comport to the question he'd asked previously, and he's
18 speculating as to what this individual meant when he made this statement.
19 So I would object that it's an out-of-court declaration of a person who's
20 not present, and for the law of the case that we've developed in this
21 case, it should not be used to present to this witness. There are
22 countless Prosecution witnesses that we tried to present statements by
23 family members on pertinent issues, and we were denied that opportunity.
24 So I think that quality of arms and fairness dictate that Mr. Groome --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I agree. We prohibited questions of that
1 nature in response to submissions from the Prosecutor.
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I may be heard, there's a very
3 important difference here, and the difference is that this woman has
4 testified that the man who made this statement told her that the father
5 lived in (redacted). I'm putting to her his statement that he says the
6 father was not living in (redact). He was living in (redact), so it's very
7 different from a situation where I'm putting something that's completely
8 unrelated. She's given evidence about what the declarant of this
9 statement has said to her, and when we look at the statement of this man,
10 it's something completely different. It's a very different situation.
11 MR. IVETIC: And I'll be brief, but in that case I'd ask to call
12 back all the Prosecution witnesses. I remember one in particular. I
13 think it was K-64 who said her husband said that Milan Lukic took him
14 away. We tried to present the sworn statement of the Prosecutor of the
15 husband that said that it was not Milan Lukic, and we were denied that
16 opportunity, so again I believe it's the exact same situation, and
17 Mr. Groome is trying to draw straws where there aren't any. It's the
18 same situation.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, and I also note I'm not seeking to
21 introduce this statement as Defence counsel sought to introduce theirs.
22 I'm simply putting what the brother has said about it, just to see if it
23 causes her to alter her testimony here.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, the Chamber considers that it is
25 essentially the same -- the same kind of objection that was raised in the
1 Prosecution's case. We will not allow the question.
2 MR. GROOME: Am I permitted to ask if it refreshes her
3 recollection as to what her brother may have said to her, Your Honour?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think that that will have the same effect, so
5 move on to another area, please.
6 MR. GROOME:
7 Q. Ma'am, is it not a fact that your father during this period of
8 time, the time that you say that he was still in (redacted), was not in
9 (redacted) at all but was living in the town of Visegrad? Is that not a
11 A. I know my father told me that he was living in (redacted), and he
12 was living in (redacted). He was living in (redacted). Now, he probably was
13 in a position to travel to (redacted), as well, because his son's house was
14 over there, so he may have spent some time in (redacted), but he was never
15 actually living there in terms of being resident there, not as far as I
16 know, but I wasn't at home all the time so maybe at some point in time he
17 was spending time in (redacted). And I certainly can't be expected to comment
18 on my brother's statement because they were together. I know my father
19 told me that they were together. Did he go to (redacted) or not at the time
20 is not something that I can say.
21 Q. Ma'am, when did your father die?
22 A. Three years ago. Three or four years ago.
23 Q. Now, you told us in response to a question from Mr. Ivetic that
24 after your husband died, you moved back from Montenegro, and you moved to
1 A. Yes, that is correct.
2 Q. And your husband died in 2001. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, I want to read to you a portion of a question Mr. Ivetic
5 posed to you and your answer and then ask you a question about it, and
6 this is -- I'm quoting from transcript 3965.
7 "Now, madam, madam, you had started testifying about when you had
8 moved to Zenica and had met up with your family, that is to say your
9 brother -- pardon me, your father, and they told you everything. Could
10 you please try to complete your answer to my question which originally
11 was that, Did you ever have an opportunity to confirm with your family
12 members whether Milan
13 him to do?
14 "A: Yes, my father confirmed that and so did my brother."
15 My question to you is that you spoke with your father and your
16 brother about these events after you returned to Bosnia; is that correct?
17 A. I spoke to my relatives even before I came to visit. We'd spoken
18 about that. I asked them about that because I'd been there once with my
19 husband who died in Bosnia
20 came back, I spoke about the war to them. They told me about their
21 experience, how they got through the whole thing, and told me about all
22 of this because I wasn't in Bosnia
23 Q. When was it that your father or your brother first confirmed to
24 you this account that you've relayed about St. Vitus Day?
25 A. My brother confirmed this when I came to visit with my husband.
1 I left with my husband for the barracks and I brought him back home so
2 that we could see him and speak to him, and we talked about his
3 experience during the war, and he told me that he had received a gift
4 from Milan Lukic, which is something that I had sent.
5 Q. Miss, I understand. I'm just asking you when, what year, and if
6 you're able, what month.
7 A. It might have been in 2000. It was a year before my husband died
8 that I traveled to Bosnia
9 Q. So at the very earliest, five years after the war is the first
10 time that your brother and your father confirmed to you this event that
11 you've described for us. It's five years, correct, after the war ended?
12 A. [No interpretation]
13 Q. I'm sorry. Your answer has not been recorded for the record.
14 Can I ask you maybe just to speak a little bit closer to the mike?
15 A. Yes. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. And eight years after the event itself, correct?
17 A. I don't know how long after the event, but I know that it was
18 then that they told me this. They hadn't really had an opportunity
19 previously, and I didn't know their whereabouts.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can you just explain that, why you say
21 that "they hadn't really had an opportunity previously ..."
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There had never been an
23 opportunity previously. I didn't go there. I didn't know their
24 whereabouts. I didn't speak to them, and I didn't go to Bosnia myself.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Groome.
1 MR. GROOME:
2 Q. Now, you've been put forward as a character witness, as well, and
3 I want to be clear, you were not an eye-witness to any of the events that
4 occurred in Visegrad in the spring of 1992. Is that not correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And your evidence relating to Milan Lukic's character is based on
7 what you have testified about here, that he was a good neighbor to your
8 family growing up and that he helped your brother and father in 1992,
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Now, you left Visegrad in 1990 and did not see Milan Lukic until
12 1992. Is that not correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And between 1992 and the time you saw him in the courtroom here
15 in December, you had not had any interaction with him. Is that correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And you do know that Milan Lukic left Visegrad when he completed
18 his training at secondary school; correct?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. So most of your knowledge of Milan Lukic related to his character
21 is based upon your experience of him prior to the time he left secondary
22 school in Visegrad ; correct?
23 A. Well, that's correct. I did see him back in 1990 as well. We
24 had a talk, and I'd never heard anyone in Visegrad municipality or in my
25 village say anything other than the impression that I had of his
1 character, that is, before the war. Now, as to now, I don't really know.
2 Q. But based on your own personal experience of him, most of that
3 relates to the time when he was a boy. Is that not correct?
4 A. Well, he wasn't exactly a boy. I'm talking about 1990. The war
5 began in 1992. Even during the war, if you look at it that way, he was
6 still a boy. He might have been, what, 23 to 25 years of age or
7 thereabouts, so -- well, a boy, not a completely mature man, you might
9 Q. But my point is when you use words like gracious, extremely
10 humane, nice, noble, positive character, as far as you've based that on
11 your own personal experience of him, that really relates to the time when
12 you were living in (redacted) and he was a neighbor of yours and you had
13 regular interaction with him. Is that not correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. You have not spoken directly to any survivors of some of the
16 crimes that occurred in Visegrad and may say something different about
17 Milan Lukic, have you?
18 A. I've never had an opportunity to talk to the many such people.
19 The one opportunity that I did have was when I saw something on TV. It
20 was SENSE, the agency, broadcasting trials from the Tribunal, but all the
21 things that I keep hearing indicate that an entirely different person is
22 being described here.
23 Q. Now, I want to draw your attention to last December. When you
24 testified about trying to contact Milan Lukic to find out about your
25 family, did you make any efforts with other people prior to trying to
1 contact Milan Lukic? Were there other people you sought this information
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Who were they, please?
5 A. Well, I can say that I once got in touch with Sreten Lukic.
6 Q. Can you describe when that was and summarise the conversation you
7 had with Mr. Sreten Lukic.
8 A. It was sometime before I contacted Milan. He said he knew
9 nothing about my family. He was sorry. He said that he hadn't really
10 gone to Visegrad much and that he was sorry not to be able to share more
11 than that with me.
12 Q. Was Sreten Lukic the only other person that you attempt to
13 contact to get information about your family?
14 A. I tried to contact his sister, Miljana Lukic. I forget what her
15 married name is. She's a cousin, and she was living in Uzice, and I
16 called her to see if she knew anything about my family.
17 Q. Now, with your evidence with respect to contacting Milan Lukic,
18 it's your evidence that after several years after both you and
19 Milan Lukic have moved away from Visegrad that you call his sister on a
20 particular day, and it just so happens that Milan Lukic is in the
21 vicinity of his sister, and he calls you back that very same day. That's
22 your evidence; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. When was the first time you had contact with any member of the
25 Milan Lukic Defence team?
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Ivetic.
2 MR. IVETIC: I'll object to the relevance, Your Honour. How is
3 that relevant to the testimony of this witness?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome.
5 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, every Prosecution witness nearly has
6 been asked about contacts with Prosecution lawyers and investigators. I
7 mean, certainly the number of times that she has had conversations about
8 this case with members of the Defence team is something relevant and
9 subject to --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Proceed.
11 MR. GROOME:
12 Q. Ma'am, who was the first person that you had contact with with
13 respect to this case?
14 A. The first and last persons were the lawyers, the members of the
15 team that I described, the people who signed my statement.
16 Q. And those are the people that came to your home on the 22nd of
18 A. Yes. That was when they took my statement.
19 Q. And you had no contact with any other members of the team?
20 A. No, none.
21 Q. And the names of those two people were Mr. Rasic and
22 Mr. Lakcevic; is that correct?
23 A. I don't know what the family name of the other man was. I know
24 his name was Vladimir
25 the other man's name. There is a signature on my statement.
1 Q. If someone had a good friend that was named Vladimir, what would
2 be the familiar form of Vladimir
3 A. I don't really know. I don't know what that person would be
5 Q. Would the familiar form of Vladimir
6 A. It's possible that it would be so.
7 Q. Well, during the course of your direct testimony, you refer to
8 one of the people that came to see you in your house twice as Vlado. At
9 Transcript 3979, you said: "Vlado was in a pair of shorts." "Vlado was
10 wearing jeans."
11 Are you sure you only met with Mr. Rasic, or Vladimir, the person
12 you know as Vladimir
13 A. Yes, that was when he took my statement.
14 Q. Now, on the 18th of December, you testified how Milan Lukic
15 helped your brother and father escape (redacted) by escorting them down to
16 the Drina River
17 crossed over in a boat and took them across. When you testified to this,
18 you never mentioned your uncle. My question to you is, was your uncle
19 with them at the time that he went down to the Drina and escaped (redacted)
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Mr. Ivetic.
21 MR. IVETIC: Yes. It's actually I think a translation issue.
22 The term "boat" translates into a -- it's a little bit difficult to
23 discuss in English. In B/C/S, it translates into "brodom" [phoen], which
24 is a large ship, whereas the witness I believe in her testimony in the
25 transcript talked about a "camac", which is a smaller type of vessel, so
1 just putting that out there, that the word that's being used in the
2 English has alternate meanings in B/C/S that are not quite comporting to
3 the testimony of the witness.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic. Yes.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. Do you remember my question?
7 A. Yes. It was a boat, and my uncle -- I don't know whether anybody
8 else was with them. What I do know is that there were my brother and my
9 father there with them. Could you repeat your question maybe? I did not
10 understand it quite.
11 Q. My question to you is, at the time when Milan Lukic escorts your
12 father and your brother to the Drina
13 uncle with them? Does he escape at the same time?
14 A. I think that he wasn't. They didn't tell me that he was. It's
15 possible that he was there, but they didn't mention him.
16 Q. Do you know how your uncle would have escaped if he was not with
17 them at that time?
18 A. My uncle and all my family and relatives had departed for Zepa
19 previously. Nobody was chasing them. They just left that place. When
20 the shooting started, when the war started, they moved out.
21 Q. So it's your evidence today that your uncle left with the female
22 members of your family?
23 A. Yes. When they left home, all of them, the men would on occasion
24 return as needed to their homes to collect items, food, clothing.
25 Q. So is it your evidence now that your father and brother had left
1 Visegrad and had been returning to (redacted) periodically? Is that your
2 evidence today?
3 A. I'm not saying that when it concerns my father and brother, but
4 I'm talking about my uncle and the other members of the family, they
5 would come back on occasion. They had stowed away food, flour. They
6 would take out such items from the house to the forest and then would
7 come back to collect them. This is what they told me.
8 Q. Then later in your testimony on the 18th of December, you testify
9 that after Milan Lukic helped your father and brother escape, they
10 returned to get the three family cows, and they brought them across the
12 A. Yes, I do remember, and this is how it unfolded. We had many
13 heads of cattle, and they managed to transfer all of their cattle across
14 the Drina River
15 Q. So it's your evidence that Milan Lukic helps your father and
16 brother escape with their lives from (redacted), and yet they return,
17 collect their cattle, and walk them down what I believe you said was
18 about a half-hour walk to the banks of the Drina and then bring them
19 across the Drina
20 A. Yes. They drove their cattle to the river, and then later on my
21 relatives, my cousins, helped them to transfer the cattle across the
22 river to the other bank.
23 Q. Okay. I want to change topics, and I want to put some of your
24 evidence to you from the 18th of December. At transcript page 3988, you
25 were asked the following question by Mr. Ivetic:
1 "Madam Witness, do you have any knowledge or information as to
2 any pressure, threats or intimidation experienced by your brother, MLD2,
3 who you know as," and I won't say the name," relating to his decision to
4 become a witness to the Defence of Milan Lukic."
5 And you answered: "Yes, I do have knowledge of that, and I was
6 told that we should not contact him over the phone at all because he's
7 being harassed all the time. He's receiving phone calls, and this is
8 100 per cent the work of Vilic."
9 My first question to you based on this excerpt from your
10 testimony, is how did you know this was happening to your brother if you
11 had not spoken to him for a year before that?
12 A. I knew if I'm not talking to my brother, other members of the
13 family talked to him, and this is how I came to know about that from
15 Q. And you say: "I was told that I should not contact him."
16 Who told you that you should not contact your brother, MLD2?
17 A. All of those who knew that he had received threats told me -- I
18 heard from other members of the family that he had received threats and
19 that it would not be advisable for me to contact him.
20 Q. Now, I want to put some of the assertions that Mr. Hamdija Vilic
21 has testified to. He says that while he was waiting for the lawyers to
22 appear, you and your husband told him that he would be provided with
23 everything that he needed in life. Do you admit that you said this to
24 him, or do you deny that you said this to him?
25 A. This is not correct. I surely did not say this to him because I
1 couldn't provide such guarantees. I could not do so, and I saw no reason
2 for me to tell him anything like that.
3 Q. He further testified that while waiting, that you told him that
4 you had taken 5.000 Euros to MLD2 which came from Milan Lukic as payment
5 for him giving false testimony. Do you admit this, or do you deny this?
6 A. That's a lie.
7 Q. He also says that when he was in your house, you received several
8 calls. Do you recall receiving telephone calls while he was present?
9 A. I don't believe so. Nobody phoned me. The telephone was in the
10 room where the Defence team members were.
11 Q. He stated that he believed the phone calls were from Milan Lukic.
12 Did you speak with Milan Lukic any time on the day of the 22nd of June?
13 A. I'm not sure whether this was the 22nd of June or some other date
14 because on the 22nd of June -- well, I don't know, but my statement was
15 not given and signed on the 22nd but on the 23rd, but I couldn't be sure,
16 and I wouldn't state it as a fact before checking, but I don't believe
17 that it was on that date.
18 Q. On the day Hamdija Vilic was in your home, did Milan Lukic call
19 you and have a conversation with you?
20 A. Yes. No, he did not call on that day. Defence team members had
21 called me and asked whether he was there, the Defence lawyers, I mean.
22 Q. Defence lawyers called you and asked you who was there?
23 A. They asked whether Hamdija had arrived, Hamdija Vilic, because I
24 had told them that he would be coming and that it was arranged for him to
25 come to my home.
1 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, can I ask that we go briefly into
2 private session?
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
4 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
18 MR. GROOME:
19 Q. Ma'am, can you tell us without mentioning their name, just tell
20 us their relationship to you, who in your family told you that you should
21 not call MLD2?
22 A. Well, my foster mother told me that she didn't want this to be in
23 the public domain, that she had heard that threats were issued against
24 him, and that still threats are being issued against him and her, and
25 that Hamdija's brother is still maintaining that I had sued Vilic and
1 that he wrote -- read on the internet that I sued Hamdija.
2 Q. Now, I want to move to a different topic. At transcript 3974 on
3 the 18th of December, Mr. Ivetic asked you:
4 "And did in fact Mr. Hamdija Vilic on that occasion volunteer to
5 be a witness for the Defence of Milan Lukic and meet with these members
6 of the Defence team?"
7 And you answered: "Yes. He asked to appear as a witness, but he
8 didn't want to meet with them in Sarajevo
9 place, and I accepted, although he was not a very close relative, and I
10 didn't really feel like receiving anyone in my house."
11 So my question to you is, is it Hamdija Vilic who contacted you
12 and first raised the possibility of him testifying for Milan Lukic?
13 MR. IVETIC: If I can --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ivetic.
15 MR. IVETIC: Sorry. If I can just ask for the transcript
16 reference to be checked. I believe that she had said he was a close
17 relative -- sorry, I believe that the negative, at line 25, 27 is out of
18 place, but ... I have the uncorrected transcript in front of me, so I
19 can't be certain.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you saying the transcript actually says that
21 he was a close relative? Is that your point?
22 MR. IVETIC: That's my notes. I cannot check in the transcript
23 that I have in front of me because I don't have the page numbers.
24 MR. GROOME: It's on line number, Your Honour, I'm checking my
25 copy, and it's that, but Mr. Ivetic can check the LiveNote for himself.
1 And the transcript reference is 3974.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: And what does it say?
3 MR. GROOME: It says exactly what I said.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay. Proceed.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. Ma'am, what I'm asking you is it Hamdija Vilic that first
7 contacted you and first raised the possibility of being a witness for
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you ever -- is it not true that you were the one who asked
11 him whether he would be a witness for Milan Lukic?
12 A. I asked him whether he want to be a witness, but he asked me,
13 when phoning me to make sure that it took place at my place and no place
14 else. He phoned me on the eve of that day and in the morning on that day
15 that he would be leaving his house and whether he could come to my place.
16 Q. So if I understand your last answer, you asked him if he wanted
17 to be a witness for Milan Lukic; then he asked you, could he meet them at
18 your house. Is that your evidence?
19 A. Yes. Yes.
20 Q. So Mr. Vilic is correct when he says that it is you that raised
21 the prospect of him testifying in the Milan Lukic case. He's not wrong
22 about that?
23 A. Well, the Defence team asked me to give them his telephone number
24 and asked me whether he would be testifying, and I told them I would be
25 calling him, and he agreed but provided that this took place at my place.
1 He didn't want to meet them in Sarajevo
2 Q. Well, just today, a few moments ago you've told us that the only
3 contact you had with the Defence was on the day that they came to your
4 house. When did they call you and who called and you asked you to make
5 contact with Hamdija Vilic?
6 A. The same members of the Defence team, they called me earlier that
7 they would be coming to my place and asked me to ask Hamdija whether he
8 would be a witness. They had planned for me to go to Sarajevo to meet
9 them there and not to come to my place.
10 Q. When did you receive that phone call?
11 A. Two days before they arrived, maybe two days, before they arrived
12 to take my statement.
13 Q. Who called you? Mr. Rasic, Vladimir, or Mr. Lakcevic?
14 A. Vladimir
15 Q. Did you have any other phone calls or phone contact with Vladimir
16 that perhaps you forgot to tell us about that you now remember?
17 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I'll object to the characterization of
18 this question. He's now attempting to badger the witness. His prior
19 question to the witness was had she met with other members of the Defence
20 team, I believe, is my recollection.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: I don't see any objection to the question.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. GROOME:
24 Q. Ma'am, have you had any other contact by whatever means with
25 other members of the Defence team that perhaps you recall now?
1 A. No, I did not.
2 Q. Now, you've testified about Hamdija Vilic making a demand for
3 100.000 Euros of the two men that came to your home. Did that happen
4 shortly after he began his discussion with them?
5 A. This happened quickly. First, I gave my statement; then he
6 entered the room, but before the Defence team came, he told me over a cup
7 of coffee that he would be seeking 100.000 Euro. I told him, who would
8 give you 100.000 Euro? Are you crazy? And he said, well, whether they
9 want or they don't want to give me the money, who fucks them? And that
10 is literally what he said.
11 Q. And is it your evidence that he made that demand of them as soon
12 as he began to speak with them?
13 A. Yes. Because they finished the conversation immediately, maybe
14 five minutes, even less, spent together. As soon as he entered the room,
15 he said that he demanded money, and then they gave up the idea of meeting
16 with him. They said, well, we don't want to have dealings with him.
17 Q. So they never really had any discussion with him about what
18 evidence he might give, according to you?
19 A. Initially, he agreed to give a statement and had promised to give
20 a statement, but he demanded 100.000 Euro. I don't know whether he did
21 actually give the statement, but as soon as they were asked for
22 100.000 Euro, they left, and they said, There's no point in having any
23 business with him. I asked them whether they wanted my telephone number,
24 and they said, No, we have no intention of calling you, we don't need
25 your number, we have no intention of paying anybody 100.000 Euro, we
1 don't want to give 1 Euro to anybody, let alone 100.000 Euro.
2 Q. At any time in your house did you observe Hamdija Vilic give a
3 statement to the Defence counsel?
4 A. Well, he spoke with them. I don't know whether they wrote down
5 anything that he said. I did not want to eavesdrop on their
6 conversation. We played some music, and I left that room for that
7 purpose. I wasn't in that room when he was giving his statement, and he
8 wasn't in the room when I was giving my statement.
9 Q. But what you said is that his interaction with him was less than
10 five minutes. Is that correct?
11 A. Thereabouts. I did not really measure how long they stayed
12 together, but he did not stay long.
13 Q. The difficulty, MLD10, that I'm facing is that if Hamdija Vilic
14 is lying, and in fact this occurred the way you say it did, that he was
15 in there for a very short period of time, he makes his demand for money,
16 they end the conversation, if it happened that way, how is it that
17 Hamdija Vilic knows the details of the alibi defence that's been put
18 forward by Milan Lukic? It happened in Kopito, the date, how many people
19 were killed. It's not possible for him to have known that, is it?
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, I anticipate Mr. Ivetic is going to
21 say that she can't explain how he would know that or not know it.
22 MR. GROOME: I'll withdraw the question, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
24 MR. GROOME:
25 Q. You testified that Hamdija Vilic's family burnt to death in the
1 family home in Prelovo. Do you remember testifying to that?
2 A. I did make that statement. I heard about that when I returned
3 from Montenegro
4 about his family being burned down at Prelovo. I did not know about that
5 before it was broadcast on the SENSE agency, through the SENSE agency
7 Q. So you say your source of that information is the news agency
8 known as SENSE?
9 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, if we can have the -- I don't know if
10 it's possible to get the audiotape brought back. She said -- well, she
11 said differently. There's a part that's not in the transcript. I'm not
12 here to testify on -- to act as translator, so I don't think I ought to
13 translate the part that's not in the transcript.
14 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I might ask her to repeat her
15 answer --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Yes.
17 MR. GROOME:
18 Q. There seems to be some dispute over what you actually said in
19 your last answer. Could I ask you to repeat it, please.
20 Do you want me to repeat my question to you?
21 A. As I said, I don't know where his family got burnt down, whether
22 in Prelovo or at some other place, before I saw on the SENSE service that
23 he would be coming here to testify and to publicise those accusations
24 here in The Hague
25 Q. So today you're not sure whether -- you're not sure that his
1 family burnt to death in Prelovo. Is that correct?
2 A. My information comes from the people. I don't know. I may not
3 be qualified to judge where his family came to grieve, but I'd heard from
4 other people that his house in Prelovo had been burned down and that his
5 family had been burnt alive there. I know no more than that. I'm only
6 telling you what I've heard. It's what people were saying, what people
7 were telling each other, but I can say for sure that his family was
8 burned alive.
9 Q. In response to a question from Mr. Ivetic, you testified that
10 Hamdija Vilic was a commander of a unit in the Bosnian Muslim army.
11 That's at Transcript 3971 to 72. What rank did he hold as a commander?
12 Do you know?
13 A. I really can't say. I do know that he held a rank, but I don't
14 know which one.
15 Q. Do you know the name of his unit?
16 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, that lacks foundation, and it also
17 assumes that all units have names.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well ... do you know the name of his unit,
19 Witness? Yes, I'm asking the question. Do you know the name of his
20 unit, Witness?
21 I'm asking you a question. Do you know the name of his unit?
22 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, you need to turn off your mike before
23 she answers.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't. I just know that he
25 was with the Bosnia
1 know there were many different units in the Bosnian army.
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. Now, ma'am, just my last few questions to you. Your involvement
4 in this case, did the Defence contact you, or did you contact the
6 A. The Defence contacted me.
7 Q. Now, you've been put forward as a character witness, and you've
8 given some very good character evidence or evidence of good character
9 about Mr. Milan Lukic. You never came forward with that evidence to
10 Mr. Sulacic, his prior attorney, did you?
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ivetic.
12 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I object. If he's going to ask this,
13 he's going to ask who for the Defence contacted her. He's skipping out a
14 whole bunch of steps, and I think it's improper to ask a witness to take
15 on an duty or obligation that they don't have. It's presenting a false
16 picture to this Tribunal, and I've been sitting here listening to
17 Mr. Groome, and thus far he's done better than with some other witnesses
18 but I believe that this is the type of question that is inappropriate.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: You haven't satisfied me that it is
20 inappropriate, Mr. Ivetic, I regret to say. Please proceed.
21 MR. GROOME:
22 Q. Ma'am, do you have some explanation as to why it took you 16
23 years to come forward with evidence of alibi that would exonerate
24 Mr. Lukic for two very serious crimes and such important character
25 evidence? Is there any explanation you have as to why it's taken so
2 A. It's not that I took a long time to do that. As soon as I was
3 contacted to appear as a witness, I responded. The way I see it, it
4 didn't really take me that long. Even if it had been a hundred years, I
5 would still have responded. I only had one father. That's what I said
6 the last time around. I lost my mother too. I don't even remember her,
7 and I can never forget a single good thing that anyone did to me, not
8 even Milan Lukic's, and if this was about any other person and not Milan
9 Lukic, my testimony, my evidence would still be the same.
10 Q. Over the course of the break, did you have any conversation with
11 anyone about your testimony in this case?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Ma'am, I must put it to you plainly that it is my position that
14 you've only come forward at this stage because you have been paid to
15 provide this evidence that you've given in this case. Do you understand
16 what I'm putting to you?
17 MR. IVETIC: And, Your Honours, I think that she's --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ivetic.
19 MR. IVETIC: I think that she's answered this time and time again
20 when Mr. Groome has asked her, and she's denied it each time, so what is
21 the point of Mr. Groome putting this exact same question back to the
22 witness multiple times?
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's a practice in many jurisdictions to
24 conclude by putting to the witness that the witness is fabricating, and I
25 think it is perfectly proper to conclude a cross-examination in this way.
1 What do you say to the question put to you, Witness?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can only state with full
3 responsibility that everything Hamdija said about me was a fabrication.
7 (redacted) Please. What Hamdija said is totally
8 pointless. The only point to his allegations is he can't stand me as a
9 person, not just me, this applies to other members of my family, too
10 because I live with a man who is a Catholic. If that bothers him so
11 much, he might as well go and hang himself instead of coming up with all
12 these fabrications against me. All of this is something that has been
13 staged against me. Why and be whom exactly, I don't know. My apologies.
14 Before he came when he saw me wearing shorts, because that's what
15 I was wearing back home, he said that he would set fire to any woman who
16 is not keeping warm. I have a right to live my life the way I see fit.
17 I can live with a Catholic man, with a Serb, with whoever I like, but
18 this is the most important thing that bothers everyone, including my
19 family as well.
20 MR. IVETIC: If I can -- at page 34, line 1, somewhere between
21 there and line 2, although it doesn't appear in the transcript, the
22 witness mentioned her name. Therefore, we need to have a redaction from
23 the audio-video portion of the proceedings.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, that will be done.
25 MR. GROOME:
1 Q. Ma'am, is it your evidence that Hamdija Vilic is doing -- has
2 done what he's done because he disapproves of your lifestyle and that you
3 live with a Catholic man? Is that really your belief?
4 A. Yes. That's my personal conviction, and I'm certain because
5 there can't be any other reasons for him to act this way towards me.
6 Maybe he should have found someone who would defend him in a different
7 place and then, you know, pay 500.000 and not just this. And not, you
8 know, like pin things such as these on my husband and me and slander our
9 home. You know, this is simply unheard of. I've never heard of anything
10 like this happening anywhere.
11 Q. And finally --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Has he ever said anything to you, Witness? Has
13 he ever said anything to you to indicate that he disapproves of your
14 living with a Catholic man?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, he did say that in public. He
16 said he didn't agree with me living with a Catholic. He showed me this
17 photograph on his mobile phone, his brother, the daughter. They were
18 wearing veils - I'm not sure what I should call that - to cover their
19 faces, and I know and I'm saying to you now, morally and materially, that
20 he is an enormous nationalist, and this has nothing to do with this trial
21 in itself. He and his brothers are nationalists, very fervent ones.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, that's interesting. And you think that
23 his nationalism, his nationalistic fervor explains why he gave this
24 testimony? Could you explain that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's the reason. That was
1 the only reason that he came to my home and asked to see my family. This
2 is all something that he staged and fabricated. He want to slander our
3 house. He wanted to slander my family. I say this with full
4 responsibility. If it is ever proven that I took any money at all, any
5 money at all, a single Euro let alone more than that, I should be sent to
6 prison. But I also ask that Hamdija's lies finally be put an end to.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome.
8 MR. GROOME:
9 Q. Finally, MLD10, during your evidence on the 18th of December, you
10 unexpectedly testified to events of St. Vitus day, 1992, that we were
11 told your brother MLD2 was scheduled to testify about. I have already
12 put it to you that the real reason you no longer speak to your brother is
13 that he is angry with you for not giving him all the money you received
14 from Milan Lukic to secure his testimony. I now put to you the
15 following: I put it to you that you unexpectedly volunteered MLD2's
16 evidence during your testimony as a way of giving Milan Lukic what he has
17 already paid for, an alibi for the 27th of June. Is that not the truth?
18 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, again, this is the 10th, 15th time
19 we've had it today.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Those are his instructions. I allowed you to
21 put your case. He's putting his case. Those are his instructions. He's
22 obliged to put it. Yes.
23 MR. IVETIC: But, Your Honour, when we had Prosecution witnesses
24 here, time and time again we were not allowed to ask things and repeat
25 things. We were told to move along. We had very serious allegations --
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: I never stopped you in cross-examination by
2 concluding cross-examination by suggesting that a witness is fabricating,
3 by putting your case, and this is what he's doing. Let the witness
4 answer the question.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. Please answer the question.
7 A. I can state with full responsibility that I received no money at
8 all. My relationship with my brother, my family, all this has nothing to
9 do with Milan Lukic, his evidence. Why am I not speaking to my brother?
10 Nothing to do with that. I don't get along with my brother because he
11 spends time with people such as Hamdija. There was another neighbor.
12 His name is Enes. He offended me. He called me an Ustasha slut. He
13 went that far, and this is a quote. He took my brother's phone to call
14 my home: Hello, gentlemen, I have a husband, I can't allow myself to
15 talk to people like that, and my husband wouldn't let me go and see my
16 brother and act like that.
17 MR. GROOME: Thank you, MLD10. I have no further questions.
18 Your Honour, I would ask -- I've been working with the statement
19 of MLD10. I'd like to tender it into evidence at this time. I'll get
20 the Defence number in a minute.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Mr. Ivetic, re-examination?
22 THE REGISTRAR: The statement is admitted as P215, Your Honours.
23 Re-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
24 MR. IVETIC:
25 Q. Thank you, MLD10 for coming back to us to testify. I have just a
1 few items to discuss with you relating to the cross-examination of
2 Mr. Groome, and I bear your indulgence in answering those questions, and
3 then I'll be finished with you, ma'am.
4 First of all, the page that I have - and I'm told that my page
5 numbers are different from the ones that are in the transcript - is page
6 4017. I'm told that ought to be 4017 of the transcript at lines 3
7 through 7 -- 3 through, actually, 11. Mr. Groome was asking you about
8 how things changed in your home, that is to say with respect to certain
9 intimidating phone calls that you were receiving, how things changed when
10 you installed a cordless telephone respective to a prior telephone.
11 Could you please tell us, what is the physical or technological
12 difference between the telephone, the cordless telephone that you
13 installed after which the phone calls abated and the prior telephone that
14 you had had?
15 A. Well, the difference is like this. Now a number is shown. I
16 know who the caller is, and there are no more disturbing calls.
17 Sometimes it would happen that I got the heavy-breather calls, or people
18 who would call me and just whistle across the line. It wasn't that I
19 needed a cordless phone, but I wanted a number displayed. I wanted to
20 know who the caller was. That's why I got one.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. IVETIC: And for the next series of questions, Your Honours,
23 I'd ask to go into private session so as to protect the identity of this
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
1 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
11 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Q. Madam Witness, I have no further questions for you. On behalf of
13 the entire against team of Milan Lukic, I thank you most fervently for
14 coming here to testify not once but twice, and we thank you for indulging
15 us with your testimony and enduring those hard-ships to come here and
16 testify. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, that concludes your testimony. We
18 thank you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You may now leave.
19 And we will adjourn. We'll take the break now.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 4.11 p.m.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: At the outset of this afternoon's proceedings, I
1 ought to have indicated that in the absence of Judge Van Den Wyngaert,
2 Judge David and I sit pursuant to rule 15 bis.
3 The witness is here. Let him make the declaration, unless
4 Mr. Ivetic has something to say.
5 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I was advised that we probably ought
6 to seek private session while the court is still considering this
7 witness's application for protective matters. That's what that I would
8 bring to Your Honours's attention as we are in open session at present.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Cole.
10 MR. COLE: Yes, Your Honour, I have two short matters if I could
11 raise them with you.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
13 MR. COLE: I'd like to point out, Your Honour, that the
14 Prosecution has not been provided with a written statement for this
15 witness at the present time. We have only a brief summary, and you'll be
16 aware, Your Honour, that this witness is a late-notified alibi witness.
17 Mr. Ivetic has no doubt prepared his examination-in-chief
18 carefully for this witness. I would now ask that Mr. Ivetic provide the
19 Prosecution with a copy of all this witness's written statements at once
20 and prior to his testifying. If it's the case that Mr. Ivetic is calling
21 such an important witness without a written statement having been taken,
22 I ask that Mr. Ivetic state for the record that no such written statement
23 has been taken from the witness and that no such statement is in
24 existence. That's the first matter.
25 And secondly, Your Honour, I would ask that there be no leading
1 questions of this witness, and in particular, no leading questions as to
2 date, him being an alibi star witness. Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Well, the second matter I take for
4 granted. Leading questions are not allowed except in relation to the
5 very introductory matters.
6 MR. IVETIC: Agreed, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Certainly not in relation to controversial
9 The Chamber counsel.
10 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Now, as to the first matter raised by Mr. Cole,
12 Mr. Ivetic, again, I reiterate, if you have any written statements
13 pertaining to this witness, then the rules oblige you to disclose them to
14 the Prosecution.
15 MR. IVETIC: And again, I apologise, I don't know if Mr. Cole
16 husband here when I made my comments earlier in the afternoon or not,
17 this witness has never given a written statement to the Milan Lukic
18 Defence team. I thus have no written statement to give for this
19 viva voce witness.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. That's enough. Mr. Cole, as I
21 indicated, to deal with the late notification in relation to this
22 witness, we will hear the evidence-in-chief today, and at a later date we
23 will notify the parties when cross-examination will take place. Yes,
24 Mr. Ivetic.
25 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I don't know how you wish to deal with
1 the protective measures issues. You said you want the witness to --
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Yes. Witness, please listen to me.
3 Let us go into private session.
4 [Private session]
11 Pages 4075-4084 redacted. Private session.
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
17 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
18 WITNESS: WITNESS MLD15
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit, and you may begin, Mr. Ivetic.
21 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Examination by Mr. Ivetic:
23 Q. Mr. Witness, you know, my name is Dan Ivetic, and I'm one of the
24 attorneys for the accused Milan Lukic. I would -- first, I'll give the
25 court reporter [sic] a chance to get back to her seat.
1 The pseudonym sheet is there. I would first ask you to take a
2 look at the pseudonym sheet, that with the assistance of the court
3 officer, we be put in front of you, and without revealing your identity
4 or that of any other persons contained therein, I would ask that you
5 verify first your identity listed under the pseudonym of MLD15 and that
6 the aforementioned contained therein is correct and accurate.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. And with regard to the individual that is listed as
9 MLD16 on this sheet, I would ask that you also, while refraining from
10 using that person's actual name when testifying and instead utilize the
11 pseudonym listed. Is that understood?
12 A. Okay.
13 Q. Thank you. And with -- let me try and short-circuit some of
14 these questions that I had anticipated doing in private session. I think
15 if we avoid -- if we refrain from people's full names and deal with the
16 pseudonyms, we can deal with some of these in open session. I apologize.
17 If you could please sign that document.
18 MR. IVETIC: And once that is done, Your Honours, I would ask
19 that tender this pseudonym sheet into evidence as the next available
20 1D Exhibit.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
22 THE REGISTRAR: It is admitted as Exhibit 1D96 under seal, Your
24 MR. IVETIC:
25 Q. And moving along, with regards to MLD16, the person that's
1 identified as MLD16, can you tell us how it is that you know this person
2 and how long you have known this person, again, without identifying the
3 name or any biographical features that might identify this person.
4 A. I know that girlfriend for a long time. I socialized with her.
5 I practically grew up with her.
6 Q. And first if I can ask you, if I could direct your attention to
7 Mr. Milan Lukic, who is seated here behind me to my right, do you know
8 this individual? First of all, is the question that I'm going to ask
10 A. Yes, I do know him.
11 MR. IVETIC: And now, Your Honours, before going into the
12 specifics of how this individual knows Mr. Lukic, I'd ask to go into
13 private session briefly to cover that. I've eliminated most of the other
14 private session questions.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
16 [Private session]
11 Page 4088 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session.
8 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
9 Q. Now, Mr. Witness, did you have occasion to socialise with
10 Milan Lukic in Belgrade
11 of that social relationship.
12 A. I had occasion to meet him in Belgrade several times. I was
13 commuting between Switzerland
14 And at that time, we made an agreement to get together whenever possible.
15 The nature of our relationship was great, super, as it were.
16 Q. During the occasions when you had socialized with Mr. Milan Lukic
17 in Belgrade
18 would frequent when seeing one another?
19 A. At the time, we frequented restaurant Mata [phoen] next to the
20 Zemun market-place. This was an in place for the young people to hang
21 out in.
22 Q. And if you could please explain for us what type of social
23 interactions did you have with Milan Lukic? What kind of things did you
24 talk about or participate in?
25 A. There were occasions when he would contact me, and since at that
1 night I had been preparing a surprise party for my then-girlfriend, I had
2 intention to present an engagement ring to her, I invited him to attend
3 that party, and this was one of such occasions when we would meet.
4 Q. You mentioned the surprise party. We'll get to that in a second.
5 What I was asking about was, in total, in general, what types of social
6 interactions or activities did you engage in with Mr. Lukic in all of the
7 times that you socialised with him while in Belgrade?
8 A. Our get-togethers would boil down to sports, small talk.
9 Q. And with respect --
10 A. Entertainment, sports, girls.
11 Q. And sir, with respect to your socialising with Mr. Lukic, do you
12 have any approximation as to how many times or how frequently you had
13 socialised with him in Belgrade
14 A. Well, not frequently but on several occasions, on a number of
16 Q. And in the course of your social dealings with Mr. Milan Lukic,
17 did you have occasion to get to know him enough to reach an opinion as to
18 the type of person he was, and if so, what was your appraisal of him in
19 this regard?
20 A. He's a very cheerful person, ready to help another, always ready
21 to have fun, likes to laugh and smile a lot.
22 Q. And how would you describe Mr. Milan Lukic's interactions or
23 relations with and treatment of persons of differing ethnic or religious
24 backgrounds from his own during the time period that you knew and
25 socialised with him?
1 A. At that period, we had no reason to talk about ethnic
2 affiliation, religious affiliation, about who was from where.
3 Q. And you mentioned earlier that you had occasion of some sort of
4 surprise party. If we can focus on that for a moment, could you tell us
5 what surprise party you're talking about and when it occurred.
6 A. The surprise party for my then-girlfriend and future fiancée took
7 place on the 7th of June, 1992.
8 Q. And when you say the surprise party for your then-girlfriend and
9 future fiancée, what was the purpose of that surprise party on the 7th of
10 June, 1992?
11 A. For the reason to make her like me even more.
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... plans for that evening in
13 relation to yourself and your then-girlfriend?
14 A. Of course.
15 Q. In regard to your relationship between yourself and your
16 then-girlfriend, what was the significance of that surprise party that
17 you mentioned?
18 A. It were to be a sit-down dinner, some drinks, and as a gathering
19 of people we liked.
20 Q. And did you have any special plans with regard to anything that
21 you were going to do that evening with respect to your then-girlfriend,
22 any significant event?
23 A. Yes. I planned to give her an engagement ring, among other
25 Q. And now, where was this surprise party to take place, what city,
1 first of all?
2 A. At Zemun, part of Belgrade
3 Q. And was there a particular location in Zemun, that part of
5 A. Then restaurant Mata or cafe, Mata, next door to the Zemun
7 Q. Again, I apologize. Just waiting for the translation and
8 transcript. Was there a stated time for this surprise party to -- that
9 it was supposed to take place?
10 A. In the evening hours, between, let's say, 8 and 12 p.m.
11 Q. And -- and you indicated that you had some contact with
12 Milan Lukic in regards to this. Could you explain the nature of the
13 contact that you had with Milan Lukic in regards to this particular event
14 that you've described, the surprise party at the restaurant Mata on the
15 7th of June, 1992.
16 A. Yes. I was at home that day, and during that day I received a
17 phone call from Milan
19 later in the evening.
20 Q. First of all, were there -- was he to be the only guest, or were
21 there other guests that were -- that had been invited for that event, the
22 surprise party?
23 A. Yes. There were other guests invited. Among others, the MLD16.
24 Q. Do you recall if in his contact with you Mr. Lukic advised the
25 circumstances behind his being in Belgrade during that time period?
1 A. It seemed to me that he had arrived to take his mother for a
2 physical exam at a hospital with some other friends.
3 Q. You mentioned that other persons had been present for that event.
4 I'd like to go into private session to see if we can identify some of
6 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
20 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
21 Q. Now, sir, if you could tell us, do you recall whether Mr. Lukic
22 arrived for this party early -- or what time did he arrive for this
24 A. The party had already begun, and then MLD was already there. I
25 remember this because when Milan
1 quarrel with him at some point previously, so she stood up and left, and
2 then I drove her home.
3 Q. Now, if we can dilate on that a little bit, focus on that. When
4 you say she stood up and left, was that an expected reaction? How did
5 you react to that?
6 A. It was really surprising. I hadn't seen it coming myself. That
7 much is certain. That's why the encounter sticks in my memory, and I
8 ended up driving her home.
9 Q. And you say you ended up driving her home. First of all, when
10 did you drive her home? That is to say, did you remain with your
11 then-girlfriend at the party, or did you leave with MLD16?
14 MR. IVETIC: And Your Honours, at line 22 of this page, I believe
15 we have the name of his then-girlfriend, to be fiancée. If we can have
16 that redacted for -- in line with the protective measures.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
18 MR. IVETIC:
19 Q. Mr. Witness, did you have occasion to speak with MLD16, and what
20 was your reaction to what had transpired while driving MLD16 home?
21 A. My reaction was that of surprise, but it's not like I had time to
22 react because she was the one who kept talking to me all the time. She
23 has an energetic character.
24 Q. How would you describe your -- strike that. Did the reactions of
25 MLD16 to Mr. Lukic's arrival at your surprise party, did they have an
1 effect on your relationship or your disposition towards MLD16?
2 A. No. There was no negativity involved. Quite the contrary, in
4 Q. Did you have occasion to -- strike that. When you took MLD16
5 home, you said you came back to the party, when is the next time that you
6 saw Mr. Milan Lukic after that?
9 Q. And when you say "... two days later there was a different cafe,"
10 what do you mean? What transpired two days later at a different cafe?
11 A. We were in the poolroom at Miet [phoen] in Saradusana [phoen]
12 Street, and we played pool there.
13 Q. When you say "we," to which individuals are you referring to?
14 Who is the "we" in your response?
15 A. Milan
16 Q. And when you say Milan
17 we have -- so there's no confusion, the full name of the Milan
18 you were playing billiards at the --
19 A. Milan
20 Q. And while you're playing billiards with Milan Lukic two days
21 after the 7th of June, 1992, first of all, where is that
22 Saradusana Street located, what city?
23 A. Zemun. This restaurant or poolroom is right next to my former
24 flat, a flat in which I had been born and grown up.
25 Q. And with respect to playing the billiards with Milan Lukic that
1 day, what, if anything, transpired apart from the billiards?
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. IVETIC: Page 64, line 11, again, Your Honours, if we can
7 have the first name of his late wife redacted.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
9 MR. IVETIC:
10 Q. Sir, if I could just assist in terms of your testimony. When
11 referring to your late wife, if we could refer to her without her name.
12 That way we can avoid having your identity perhaps revealed to persons
13 who might be able to garner from her name your identity.
14 Now, with respect -- sorry. And with respect to your
15 conversation with your then-girlfriend, fiancee, what transpired in the
16 course of that telephonic conversation wherein she stated that MLD16 was
17 present at your home?
18 A. Following that conversation, I know that she and Milan
19 made it up. I told her where I was and who I was with, so she came over.
20 I know that they made it up that same day.
21 Q. Okay. And with respect to -- with respect to Milan Lukic, did
22 you have occasion to meet with him at any point in time after that
23 occasion on the 9th of June -- did you have any other time after that
24 occasion in the billiard hall in Zemun?
25 A. No, not after that.
1 Q. Okay. One moment.
2 [Defence counsel confer]
3 MR. IVETIC:
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Witness. Those are all the questions that I have
5 prepared for you today.
6 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I'm finished with the direct, and
7 unless Your Honours have questions, I presume we'll be moving on to the
8 next witness.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's quite so because as I indicated, the
10 Chamber has decided to defer the cross-examination of this witness for
11 the reasons already stated.
12 Witness, you are going to be excused from court now, and you'll
13 be told when to return. You may leave. Before you leave, I should tell
14 you that you are not to discuss your evidence with anybody. Do you
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may leave.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Next witness, Mr. Ivetic.
21 MR. IVETIC: The next witness, Your Honours, is MLD3 who had
22 previously been granted protective measures pursuant to the -- one
23 moment. Who had been previously granted protective measures by Your
25 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, while we're waiting for the witness,
1 may I inquire whether the statement -- oh, I'm sorry. We have the
2 statement for this. I withdraw it. My apologies.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
5 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
8 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: GORAN DJERIC
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ivetic, I have been told that the witness
12 has declined protective measures.
13 MR. IVETIC: That was going to be my first question. He had
14 mentioned this this morning to me in proofing that he wished to testify
15 in open court, and I was going ask him if he still stood by that decision
16 and then ...
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, you wish to testify in open court,
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Mr. Ivetic.
21 MR. IVETIC: As far as there is one other individual that has
22 been previously granted protective measures that this testimony might
23 touch, I would still proceed with the pseudonym sheet with regards to
24 identifying that particular person. Yeah. Let's wait for that.
25 I guess, Your Honours, to make efficient use of the time, I would
1 ask the witness to identify himself for the record by stating his full
2 name while we wait for the pseudonym sheet.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Goran Djeric.
4 Examination by Mr. Ivetic:
5 Q. And, Mr. Djeric, where do you currently reside, in what city?
6 A. Obrenovac, Zabrizido Stevo [phoen], number 4.
7 Q. And I'm going to ask the court usher's assistance in showing you
8 the pseudonym sheet for purposes of directing your attention to the last
9 half of the pseudonym sheet where you see an individual that is
10 identified there as MLD4. I would ask that in your testimony today, to
11 the extent that you need to refer to this individual, that you would use
12 the pseudonym MLD4 rather than his full name. Is that understood and
14 A. I understand, and I agree.
15 MR. IVETIC: And for purposes of memorializing this, Your
16 Honours, I would ask for the witness to sign or initial if pseudonym
17 sheet, and then I would tender the same under seal for purposes of
18 protecting the identity of MLD4 as the next available 1D exhibit.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit is admitted as 1D97 under seal, Your
22 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
23 Q. Mr. Djeric, if you could please tell us what your employment was
24 prior to the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and -- let's start with that.
25 A. I was working as an economist at Zitomlin in Belgrade and
1 Silos Breska [phoen] in Obrenovac.
2 Q. Thank you, sir. I apologize for the delay. I'm waiting for the
3 transcript and the translation to catch up with you. And could you tell
4 us, where did you live in 1992?
5 A. Obrenovac, the address provided a minute ago. I still live
7 Q. Thank you. And could you tell us the date and location, the
8 locale where you were born?
9 A. 15th of June, 1960, Godormelje [phoen], Rogatica municipality.
10 Q. And where -- for those of us unfamiliar with the Balkan
11 geography, where is Rogatica municipality located within the former
13 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. And in relation to -- what are the surrounding municipalities
15 around Rogatica?
16 A. Visegrad, Gorazde, Sokolac, Zepa.
17 Q. Thank you, sir. Again, just waiting for the transcript.
18 Now I would like to move along to Milan Lukic. Did you have
19 occasion at any time to become acquainted with Mr. Milan Lukic, the
20 gentleman who is seated behind me to my right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you please detail for us, sir, the events surrounding your
23 becoming acquainted with Mr. Milan Lukic?
24 A. I first set eyes on Milan Lukic in Obrenovac, sometime late 1991
25 or the beginning of 1992, the period of time between Christmas and New
1 Year's Eve.
2 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I believe -- I believe, Your Honours,
3 that the -- well --
4 Q. You indicated between the time between Christmas and New Year's
5 Eve, which Christmas and which New Year's Eve since there are multiple
6 such holidays celebrated in the Balkans?
7 A. The New Year's Day, the 31st of December, 1991, and the Christmas
8 on the 7th, so I saw him, I think, sometime on or about the 4th, possibly
9 the 3rd. I can't be certain. The 3rd or the 4th, 1992, January.
10 Q. Thank you for clarifying that for us, sir. And with respect to
11 meeting him in Obrenovac, how did you have occasion to acquaint yourself
12 with Mr. Milan Lukic on that occasion?
13 A. I met him outside the municipality building. There is a square
14 in Obrenovac where the municipality building is. He was with his
15 relative who I knew well, and we socialised. The name is Bozo Ivanovic
16 [phoen]. He's from Obrenovac. I came by. We exchanged greetings. He
17 said, this is a relative of mine Milan Lukic from Visegrad. He said he
18 was living abroad and working abroad somewhere or other. I really don't
19 know, and he said, let's go and have a drink together.
20 So we walked over to the hotel in Obrenovac. We shared a drink.
21 Then we talked for at least about 45 minutes, possibly up to an hour,
22 just chatting away like that.
23 Q. Who else was in your company on that occasion?
24 A. I, Milan
25 Q. And -- I apologize, the transcript again. And as someone from
1 Obrenovac, could you perhaps clarify something for us. Are you -- in
2 1992 and the years leading up to 1992, was there any college, academy, or
3 faculty of the Serbian MUP, that is the Serbian police, located in
5 A. No. No school at all, no academy, nothing. There was never
6 anything like that in Obrenovac, not before, not then, not now.
7 Q. Thank you. And with respect to Milan Lukic, based upon your
8 knowledge and information, did he ever reside in Obrenovac?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, I'd like to direct your attention to the time
11 period when the war broke out in the republic -- the Yugoslav Republic
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Did you have occasion to take part in the -- in the
13 war as a member of the armed forces of any of the sides in that conflict?
14 A. Yes. I was a member of the Army of Republika Srpska, the army
15 and then the Army of Republika Srpska.
16 Q. And with respect to your membership in the Army of the Republika
17 Srpska and in your fulfillment of your duties as a soldier of the Army of
18 Republika Srpska, where were you stationed during the course of the
19 fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
20 A. At Borike, Rogatica municipality.
21 Q. And could you tell us, what specific army unit or formation was
22 present at Borike in Rogatica municipality?
23 A. The Rogatica Brigade. There was a company, actually battalion,
24 stationed at Borike, but the entire brigade was the Rogatica Brigade.
25 Q. And where was the command of that brigade located?
1 A. Rogatica. There was a squad -- the battalion command, that was
2 at Borike.
3 Q. Thank you. And with respect to the conflict in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, did you have occasion to encounter Mr. Milan Lukic
5 during that conflict on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina in regard
6 to any specific incidents, and if so, if you could please enunciate for
7 us the same.
8 A. Yes, I did have occasion to encounter Milan Lukic.
9 Q. Could you tell us about any or the main such encounter that
10 stands out in your mind with Milan Lukic during the course of the --
11 during the course of your engagement within the Army of the Republika
13 A. I met Milan Lukic on the 14th of June, 1992, at Kopito, which is
14 above Visegrad in the direction of Borike. It's a location.
15 Q. Now, again, for those of us that are less than familiar with the
16 geography of the region, could you explain for us where Kopito is located
17 and its significance in regards to any communication or travel routes.
18 A. This road was the only road from Rogatica to Serbia, through
19 Borike. That was the only road. There was no other road. All the other
20 roads in that region were BH Army-controlled. If you head out of
21 Visegrad towards Sjemec, there's the road there and then on to
22 Borike. The first place you come across is Donja Lijeske, and then
23 3 kilometers down the road or so, Donja Lijeske. And then 10 kilometers
24 further down the road or so, I think at attitude is quite high, nearly a
25 thousand metres between Visegrad and Borike, it's all curves and bends in
1 the road, woodlands. And then 10 kilometers further up from there is
2 Kopito. From Kopito, you take the road through Semic until you get to
3 Borike. First comes Brankovici and then Borike. This road was the road
4 that we used and that our forcers used to get food supplies, fuel, and
5 other necessities across to our location there, but why is the road so
6 important? This was also used to shuffle between Gorazde and Zepa, the
7 same road, and the Muslim forces were also using the road. That's why
8 there were frequent skirmishes and clashes along that road.
9 Q. And you -- strike that. You said there were frequent skirmishes
10 and clashes along that road. How long did those skirmishes last in
11 relation to the duration of the war? Were they confined to a particular
12 time period during the war or otherwise? Could you please enumerate on
14 A. From the end of May until the end of June, there were frequent
15 clashes. An incident would happen, and then nothing for three or four
16 days. The road would be blocked, and then the blockade would be raised.
17 One forces would come and chase away the other forces. Then a couple of
18 days would pass, and then one side would hold that communication, and
19 then the other side would come and take over the control, and so it went.
20 In June alone, in June 1992 alone, more than 20 Serb soldiers were --
21 became casualties because of ambushes along that road.
22 Q. Now, you indicated earlier that you met Milan Lukic at Kopito on
23 the 14th of June, 1992. Could you please give us the details pertaining
24 to your encounter with Milan Lukic. How did you come to be at Kopito on
25 the 14th of June, 1992?
1 A. I was supposed to go to Obrenovac on the 14th of June that year
2 because the 15th of June is my birthday. I was supposed to go home. I
3 have three children now. I used to have two children then, so I was
4 supposed to go on home leave for my birthday. But on that morning of the
5 14th, the commander called me and told me that one of the commanders had
6 been killed, Vlatko Tripkovic, and he told me that the road was blocked
7 and that we had no communication. And that was sent as a message from
8 Visegrad, and I was supposed to go down that road to relay that message
9 to the Visegrad soldiers who were at Kopito to Perica Markovic. He was
10 the intended recipient, and to tell him what had happened on the road to
12 Q. And sir, with respect to that, you say you were told in the
13 command, who in particular told you or gave you that instruction, if you
14 recall, to go to Kopito to advise the Serb forces there of what had
15 transpired to the commander?
16 A. Commander Rajko Kusic, Brigade commander Rajko Kusic.
17 Q. And did you in fact set out for Kopito, and if so, did you go
18 alone or were you accompanied by any individuals?
19 A. No. It had been planned for me to leave, and everything had been
20 prepared. A vehicle had been prepared, and Prelic Novak, a soldier, was
21 to accompany me on that road, and then we went to Kopito on that morning.
22 Q. And could you describe for me what, if anything, transpired on
23 the way to Kopito? Was it an uneventful trip, or did any kind of
24 hostilities transpire in the course of that transport?
25 A. En route to Kopito, there was a problem at one house. Two killed
1 Serbs were being extracted from that. I remember that one was -- had the
2 same family name as me, Djeric. They had been killed there two days
3 previously and could not be collected, and that was the activity that was
4 going on while we were passing that place.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ivetic, I'm going to take the break now.
6 MR. IVETIC: I apologize. Thank you.
7 --- Recess taken at 5.37 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 6.10 p.m.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Ivetic.
10 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 Q. Mr. Djeric, I'd like to return to the instant we were talking
12 about when you were describing your travel to Kopito, and I wanted to
13 clarify with you, did your vehicle come under attack that day or during
14 that time period, or was it at some later point in time that your vehicle
15 came under attack and that on that route that you had described?
16 A. My vehicle was not attacked on that route, but it was on the 27th
17 of June, and I'm going to talk about that later.
18 Q. Thank you for clarifying that with me, and now if we could focus
19 the time period, that is to say, when you said you had gone on the
20 instructions of the commander of Rogatica to Kopito to relay the
21 information to Perica Markovic about the death of the commander. First
22 of all, did you know Perica Markovic, and -- did you know Perica
24 A. I did not know Perica Markovic, but I was told that he was a
25 commander there and that I should address him. I did not know him then,
1 but I can tell you later on when we were together and when I again saw
3 Q. If we can back up a bit, you said that you had traveled there
4 with a soldier in the vehicle. I forget if you had identified that
5 soldier. Do you recall the identity of that soldier that traveled with
6 you to Kopito on the 14th of June, 1992?
7 A. Novak Prelic, Private Novak Prelic was with me.
8 Q. Okay. And could you explain for us precisely, what was the
9 information that was to be relayed to Perica Markovic at Kopito that your
10 command had sent you to relay?
11 A. The commander tasked me with relaying to Perica Markovic that
12 Vlatko Tripkovic had been ambushed close to a repeater at Gornja Lijeske.
13 At a hair-pin bend that two other soldiers were killed. One of them was
14 Savic [phoen]. The other's name was -- I did not know, but there was
15 this killing, and then I was supposed to tell the unit who were working
16 to extract the bodies of those two Serb soldiers to wait further
17 instructions until the road was again cleared.
18 Q. And did you have any further instructions for them as to when it
19 could be expected that the roadway was going to be cleared again?
20 A. I was told that an action was to be started from Visegrad on the
21 15th and that an action should start from Kopito to clear the
22 15 kilometers of road between Visegrad and Gornja Lijeske, and the
23 message was that the action was to start on the 15th in the morning.
24 Q. And with respect to this information, why could it not be relayed
25 by other means such as radio communications to the Serb forces that were
1 blockaded at Kopito?
2 A. Because they did not have means of communications. Communication
3 equipment was in Vlatko Tripkovic's car, and since he was ambushed that
4 was the only means of communication, and of course the Rogatica brigade
5 had communication with Visegrad.
6 Q. And could you tell us, what transpired -- what happened when you
7 finally arrived at Kopito? Did you have occasion to locate
8 Perica Markovic and to relay these instructions from the Rogatica command
9 that you had been instructed to physically go over there and to relay?
10 A. When I arrived there, I encountered a large group of soldiers.
11 There was a military truck there. There were private vehicles, some
12 ten-odd cars and a military truck. And of course, I stopped when I
13 encountered the first soldiers, and since I had not known
14 Perica Markovic, I got out of my vehicle, and there I recognized two
15 people I had met previously. One of them was Milan Lukic, and the other
16 person was MLD4, the protected witness. I had known him from before, the
17 same way as I had known Milan Lukic from before.
18 Q. And just to clarify, did you encounter these two individuals
19 separately or together?
20 A. There were some other five or six people, and those two persons
21 were with the others. I told them what had happened and inquired as to
22 the whereabouts of Perica Markovic. They took me to a house with some
23 ten bunk beds. I entered the house, was introduced, and then relayed my
25 Q. And then what happened? Did you leave Kopito after relaying
1 those instructions that day to Perica Markovic?
2 A. No. I noticed that that period, that time was very stressful for
3 those 40, 50 soldiers and police officers because Vlatko Tripkovic was a
4 very well-liked person and commander. After I relayed the message,
5 people went silent. I stayed there throughout the night, and around 9 in
6 the morning on the 15th I went back to Rogatica, around the time when the
7 action started to clear the road.
8 Q. You said this incident was very stressful for those 40 to 50
9 soldiers and police officers. Do you recall what type of outfit or
10 uniform Milan Lukic was wearing when you encountered him at Kopito on the
11 14th of June, 1992?
12 A. They wore combat fatigues, camouflage fatigues, and they had
13 waist kits, and on the left arm he had an insignia, "milicija."
14 Q. Thank you. And just for the -- well, for the record, sir, since
15 it's come out in the transcript that he had the insignia "milicija," to
16 what formation does the term "milicija" in the B/C/S or Serbian language,
17 to what formation does that term apply?
18 A. There were soldiers, Territorial Defence, and police. Milicija
19 or police could be active or reserve, and you know what the term "police"
21 Q. Thank you. And you indicated that you stayed there throughout
22 the night. Did anyone stay with you that you can tell us about?
23 A. Novak Prelic was with me there throughout the night and
24 Perica Markovic was constantly there. He would go out for an hour.
25 People took shifts, and I talked to Milan Lukic because I'd known him
1 previously. Some five or six other people were there with me and
2 Mr. Milan
3 houses from the direction of Visegrad, and on the other side of the road,
4 there were four or five other houses. There were soldiers manning those
5 trenches on both sides of the roads.
6 Q. Now, one thing I'd like for you to clear up for me is you keep
7 mentioning a road, and it sounds to me like there's one road. Could you
8 explain for me -- you earlier said how the Muslim -- Bosnian Muslim
9 forces were using this region for their transportation. Could you
10 describe in detail -- is there some separate road, or are we talking
11 about -- what are we talking about exactly when you say that the Serb
12 forces used this transport route as well as the Bosnian forces using this
13 transport route?
14 A. They would intersect and traverse that road at the location of
15 Kopito. They used that area coming from Zepa to Gorazde or vice versa to
16 cross that road. Sometimes they would move beyond Gornja Lijeske some
17 10 kilometers away, and they would organise classical ambushes. Their
18 goal on that road was to kill as many soldiers as possible and of course
19 to sever any communication for our purposes.
20 Q. My colleague has a translation issue.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
22 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, with your leave, page 78, line 23. I
23 think that witness did not mention soldiers but, rather, mentioned
24 people, citizens. We can listen to tape if there's any doubt.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: There's a procedure for that. There's a
1 procedure for that, so let's -- if you wish to have that checked, please
2 follow the procedure.
3 MR. IVETIC: I'll take care of that. I'll have us submit a
4 request with verification of the transcript. Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Q. Now, with respect to the next morning, the 15th of June, 1992,
6 could you tell us, sir, what happened at that point in time with respect
7 to yourself and this combined Territorial Defence-Serb police force at
8 Kopito? What did you do? Where did you go?
9 A. I was there until the action started. I returned to Rogatica
10 Command to tell them that the action had started so that they could relay
11 that message to Visegrad so that the action from Visegrad could start at
12 the same time.
13 Q. And what about those police and soldiers among whom you had seen
14 Milan Lukic and spent the evening with that day? Did they go the same
15 direction, or did they do something else? What did they do on the
16 morning of the 15th of June, 1992?
17 A. They started preparing to take off and clear the road towards
18 Visegrad from around 8 in the morning.
19 Q. And do you recall when they actually set out for -- to take off
20 on the road towards Visegrad?
21 A. Around 900 hours.
22 Q. And now, with respect to the killing of Commander Tripkovic, do
23 you recall when -- pardon me. Strike that. Do you recall -- are there
24 any memorials or any other types of commemorative -- are there any other
25 types of commemorative markings relating to that incident where
1 Commander Tripkovic and the other soldiers you mentioned had been
2 ambushed and killed on that road that you are aware of?
3 A. There is several such markings. There were other incidents. I
4 can tell you later how I was ambushed and one of my soldiers were killed.
5 We were traveling in two vehicles. In the other vehicle, another soldier
6 was killed, and on that spot there is a memorial plaque on that road on
7 the hairpin bend next to a repeater, there was a vehicle upturned. They
8 were burned down in that vehicle, killed, and all the communication
9 equipment in that car was burnt to --
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... memorial plaque on the
11 hairpin bend next to the repeater, who is it that died there? Are we
12 talking -- which incident are we talking about?
13 A. The plaque next to the repeater commemorates the death of
14 Vlatko Tripkovic, that soldier Savic, and another soldier, commemorating
15 the fact that he was killed on the 13th of June, 1992. I can tell you
16 more about other people killed there. On the 25th -- on that occasion, I
17 could not pass to celebrate my birthday on the 15th, but on the 25th I
18 passed that road and saw the vehicle, which was lying there next to the
19 road for two months. And on the 25th I managed to pass that road and go
20 to Obrenovac to my home.
21 Q. Thank you, sir. And you had started telling us earlier about an
22 incident that you, yourself, eye-witnessed or experienced on that same
23 road. You actually started telling us about it several times. Could you
24 please tell us now about that incident in which you personally
25 experienced an attack, by starting out first telling us what date that
1 occurred on.
2 A. On the 27th of June, the day before St. Vitus Day, I was in a
3 Volkswagen Golf, blue police vehicle. I drove Momir Sarencac on the
4 passenger seat. Sitting behind me was Momir Bojad. Prelic Novak was in
5 the middle of the backseat, and Milicevic Ljubisa was sitting next to
6 him. At Donja Lijeske, there was a command post. I met with
7 Perica Markovic, and he told me that he was supposed to go to Sjemec to
8 make some arrangements and agreements with the battalion commander, and
9 since that road was very problematic at that time, he told me, Wait for
10 me and we will go together. He was in a white Lada vehicle. The driver
11 was Tanasic or Tanaskovic. I'm not sure. Goran Zecevic was also a
12 passenger there, sitting on the backseat, and Perica Markovic. They
13 departed first, and I was driving behind them in the direction of
14 Sjemec and Borike.
15 When we had passed the last hair-pin bend entering the forest in
16 the Kopito area, fire was opened at our vehicles. In the first car, the
17 driver was hit in the chin. Goran Zecevic was killed and Perica Markovic
18 was not wounded.
19 Since they started braking, I was afraid that they would stop and
20 would be captured alive, but the injured driver managed to floor it. In
21 my vehicle, Momir Sarencac was hit by bullets. His intestines were out.
22 He was hit in the arm. And the person sitting in the middle of the
23 back-seat, Prelic Novak, was hit in the head. His head exploded. The
24 others were unscathed.
25 We floored it as well. The usual procedure was when one passed
1 the last hair-pin bend entering the forest at Kopito, there were some
2 felled trees next to the road. They wanted to make an ambush there. We
3 opened fire against them, and that surprised the people in the ambush.
4 Were driving in the second gear very slowly, and we knew which places
5 they would ambush us at if there were to be any ambushes. So we were
6 sort of prepared.
7 Perica Markovic told me that he was making -- checking in the
8 rear-view mirror whether a fallen tree would cover us. There were some
9 10, 15 such tree trunks that they used for ambush. After some half a
10 kilometer, we stopped. The driver of the other car had his lower jaw
11 missing, and I managed to get to Borike on the wheel rims of my car.
12 Q. And if we could just back up for one second, you indicated that
13 you had returned fire against him -- I'm just trying to find where it was
14 in the transcript. Let me just ask it. Who had opened fire first? Was
15 it your company or the person setting the ambush and you -- you have a --
16 what forces were setting the ambush, as well? If you could answer that,
18 A. The Muslim forces organised this ambush. They opened fire at us.
19 We returned fire. This was decisive with hind-sight, I can tell you, and
20 then they stopped firing for a brief moment, and we drove through, and
21 whoever was killed by that time was killed.
22 Q. You indicated that you had to drive through on the rims of your
23 wheels to get through this in one piece. Could you describe for us, was
24 there anything else about the condition -- of the condition of your
25 vehicle? What shape was the vehicle in after this ambush, either of the
1 two vehicles?
2 A. That vehicle was -- stayed there on the road towards Sjemec.
3 I don't know what happened to that vehicle afterwards, but on the vehicle
4 37 bullet-holes were found on the body of the car, and I'm not talking
5 about the windows and tires.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, another question I have for you is with respect
7 to the duration of the war. You had said at the time -- strike that.
8 Did you hold any specific rank at the time that you were in Kopito with
9 the Army of Republika Srpska?
10 A. I was promoted to captain later on by decree of the commander in
11 terms of rank, but I was at the time company commander, and on the 14th
12 or the 20th of September, the commander issued the order promoting me to
13 the rank of captain.
14 Q. Thank you, sir. I thank you for giving us this testimony on
15 direct examination.
16 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I have no further questions at this
17 time for this witness.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic. Yes, Mr. Groome.
19 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, could I ask -- I did not anticipate
20 that the Chamber would adjourn the testimony of -- the cross-examination
21 of the previous witness. Could I ask that we begin the cross-examination
22 tomorrow? I had planned to prepare tonight.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We'll do that.
24 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: We adjourn. We're adjourned until tomorrow,
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.37 p.m.
3 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 15th day of
4 January, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.