1 Monday, 9 July 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 1.06 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Before we start hearing the evidence of the first witness, there
12 are a few procedural matters I would like to deal with briefly. The
13 first one is the clarification of guidance on presentation and tendering
14 of evidence. On the 19th of June, the Chamber has e-mailed a courtesy
15 copy of its guidance on presentation and tendering of evidence to the
16 parties, and it -- this guidance is now put on the record.
17 If Mr. Mladic is ...
18 Yes, we then will start.
19 The Chamber will now give additional clarification and will amend
20 its guidance on tendering and presentation of evidence initially provided
21 on the 10th of November, 2011, and clarified an amendment on the
22 8th of December, 2011; the 23rd of February of 2012; the
23 29th of March, 2012; and the 24th of April, 2012. On the 3rd of May, the
24 Prosecution expressed some concerns with regard to the Chamber's
25 guidance. The Chamber already addressed many of these concerns in its
1 clarification and amendment of the guidance on the 24th of April and will
2 not repeat that here. In light of the repeated concerns expressed by the
3 Prosecution as well as the Rule 92 ter motions filed since the
4 24th of April, 2012, the Chamber has decided to review its guidance again
5 to introduce a few amendments and to provide further clarification on its
6 intended approach.
7 The Prosecution requests, among other things, that the Chamber's
8 guidance be, and I quote, "considered a clear expression of the Chamber's
9 preferences with respect to the evidence presented before the Chamber."
10 The Chamber informs the parties that the guidance is meant to provide an
11 indication to both parties as to the strong preferences of the Chamber
12 when it comes to the tendering and presentation of evidence to which it
13 expects both parties to adhere. Upon a showing of good cause, the
14 Chamber may grant the parties leave to depart from the guidance. As the
15 Prosecution requests and as the Chamber has already stated in its prior
16 clarifications, any determination will be made on a case-by-case basis.
17 The Chamber will issue oral or written decisions on the parties' requests
18 for admission into evidence pursuant to Rule 92 bis, 92 ter, and
19 92 quater and from the bar table.
20 The Chamber will adopt a certain flexibility when implementing
21 the guidance. The most important aspect of the guidance is not the
22 precise time or number limitation that it sets out. Most important is
23 its purpose, namely, to achieve a focused presentation of evidence,
24 including avoiding duplication of evidence and ensuring that the Chamber
25 is not flooded with evidence that the parties anyway do not intend to
1 rely on in the end.
2 The Chamber provides the following clarifications and amendments
3 to the guidance in light of the parties' latest submissions. With regard
4 to the number of witness statements to be tendered with Rule 92 ter
5 witnesses, the Chamber hereby amends the guidance in the following way:
6 In addition to the one witness statement the Chamber will accept, the
7 Chamber will accept one or more additional, short supplemental witness
8 statements either in existence or still to be taken dealing with specific
9 issues or corrections to the original statement.
10 Further, the Chamber amends its guidance with regard to
11 Rule 92 bis, Rule 92 ter, and Rule 92 quater witnesses in the following
12 way: The Chamber will accept two or more witness statements to be
13 tendered pursuant to the mentioned rules, provided that the different
14 statements cover distinct subject matters. With regard to the time
15 allowed for examination-in-chief of Rule 92 ter witnesses, in its
16 Rule 73 bis (C) decision, the Chamber already accepted that the
17 examination of many of these witnesses will take longer than 30 minutes.
18 In fact, the average for the Rule 92 ter witnesses on the Prosecution's
19 witness list is approximately one hour. Therefore, there is no need for
20 the Prosecution to request exceptions to the guidance in this respect,
21 provided that it intends to stay within the time-limit indicated in its
22 witness list as accepted by the Chamber.
23 With regard to the Chamber's preference for witness statements
24 rather than transcripts from previous cases, the Chamber will not in all
25 cases insist that a statement be taken for witnesses who have not
1 previously provided one. The Chamber will carefully consider the reasons
2 provided by a party as to why a witness statement cannot be taken. The
3 mere fact that this may inconvenience the witness to some extent may very
4 well not be sufficient. If the reason is that the witness is not willing
5 to co-operate with the party and that, for example, the witness may not
6 provide the same information in a statement as was provided in testimony
7 from a prior case, the parties should carefully consider whether it is
8 appropriate to present the testimony of such a witness through
9 Rule 92 ter or 92 bis. If the party has reasons to believe that a
10 witness would not stand by his or her testimony in a prior case, the most
11 efficient way to proceed might be to elicit the witness's evidence
12 viva voce. The party might then tender the prior testimony as a previous
13 inconsistent statement pursuant to the case law of the Tribunal.
14 With regard to Rule 92 bis witnesses, if witness statements exist
15 but the party considers that testimony from a previous case would better
16 reflect the witness's evidence and that taking a new statement would
17 re-traumatise or otherwise constitute a heavy burden for the witness, in
18 such circumstances the Chamber will consider the admission of the
19 transcript. In its submissions, the example the Prosecution provided in
20 this respect was Witness Dzenana Sokolovic. This example highlights
21 another aspect that parties should consider before filing a motion
22 pursuant to Rule 92 bis, 92 ter, or 92 quater, namely, the avoidance of
23 overlap between the adjudicated facts of which the Chamber has taken
24 judicial notice and testimony.
25 It appears that adjudicated facts 2317, 2318, and 2319 cover a
1 central part of what the witness is expected to testify about, at least
2 as it is described in the Rule 65 ter summary prepared by the
3 Prosecution. These facts originate from the Dragomir Milosevic
4 judgement. The Chamber in that case based its findings on this incident
5 primarily on Witness Sokolovic's testimony. In essence, the Prosecution
6 has requested that the Chamber take judicial notice of the facts related
7 to this incident and is now requesting to admit into evidence the
8 testimony on which those facts are based.
9 In this same respect, the Chamber also draws the parties'
10 attention to the Rule 92 ter motion for Witness RM007, whose evidence
11 appears to be substantially covered by a number of adjudicated facts,
12 including facts number 460, 462 through 465, 468 through 476, 478 through
13 480, 1141 through 1144, 1146, 1165 through 1169, 1190 and 1192.
14 The Prosecution subsequently changed this witness from a
15 Rule 92 ter witness to a viva voce witness but the risk of overlap
16 between the adjudicated facts and the witness testimony remains. There
17 might be examples of other Rule 92 ter motions for which such an overlap
19 For each viva voce witness and for each Rule 92 bis, 92 ter,
20 92 quater, and Rule 94 bis motions, the Chamber expects the parties to
21 carefully review which portions of the anticipated evidence relate to
22 adjudicated facts and which may therefore no longer be necessary and to
23 reduce its evidence accordingly. The Chamber stresses that this should
24 be done prior to any Rule 92 or 94 bis motion being submitted to the
25 Chamber. Should the parties consider it necessary to still present the
1 evidence, the Chamber expects them to clearly explain the need for such
2 duplication. Where I referred to Rule 92, I think I should have referred
3 to Rule 92 bis, 92 ter, and 92 quater.
4 With regard to associated exhibits, the Chamber will adopt a
5 flexible approach as to the exact number of such documents. The Chamber
6 recalls the case law on this matter which allows for the tendering of
7 documents pursuant to 92 bis, 92 ter, and 92 quater if they form an
8 inseparable and indispensable part of a witness's statement or
9 transcripts from a previous case. The Chamber's purpose in limiting the
10 number of documents that can be tendered into evidence through the
11 mentioned rules is to have the clearest possible presentation of
12 evidence. In most cases this is achieved by presenting the documents to
13 the witness in court which allows the witness to explain and comment on
14 them. The Chamber prefers this method of tendering documents. However,
15 the tendering of documents together with witness statements will, under
16 certain circumstances, not disturb the clarity of the presentation of a
17 party's evidence. This is the case, for example, with photographs, maps,
18 sketches drawn by the witness, and other similar illustrations of the
19 content of the statement as well as shorter documents clearly referred to
20 and explained in the witness's statement.
21 Further, with regard to associated exhibits, the Chamber expects
22 the parties to carefully consider the need for each document they tender.
23 The Prosecution gave the example of David Harland through whom it wishes
24 to tender 35 documents pursuant to Rule 92 ter. The Chamber has reviewed
25 some of the documents and provide the Prosecution with the following
1 observations: Document number 16 is a 21-page UNPROFOR report drafted by
2 the witness. In paragraph 171 of his statement the witness summarises
3 the content of his report, describing the situation in Sarajevo and other
4 places in March 1995. If the information from the report which the
5 Prosecution would like to bring to the Chamber's attention is that which
6 is contained at paragraph 171 of the statement already, there should be
7 no need to introduce the report as well. In this respect, the Chamber
8 emphasises that the parties should not flood the Chamber with material
9 during their case in chief with a view to anticipating and pre-emptively
10 responding to all possible opposing evidence. Should the Defence wish to
11 challenge the description in paragraph 171 as incorrectly reflecting the
12 report, it may of course tender the report during cross-examination or
13 the Prosecution might do so during re-examination. If there is something
14 else in the report that the Prosecution would like to draw the Chamber's
15 attention to, the appropriate way to do so would be through the witness
16 in court. Otherwise, the Chamber is left to review the report on its own
17 without any clear identification of what is on these 21 pages that the
18 Prosecution finds important for its case, other than what is already
19 found in the statement of the witness.
20 The Chamber has similar reservations regarding, for example,
21 document number 1, which the witness deals with in paragraphs 47 and 48
22 of his statement; and document number 6, which the witness quotes from
23 and comments upon at paragraphs 91 through 94.
24 In sum, the Chamber will consider any request for admission of
25 associated exhibits pursuant to Rule 92 bis, ter, and quater, regardless
1 of the exact number. The Chamber will carefully consider whether each
2 document is necessary for the appreciation of the witness's evidence and
3 it expects the parties to do the same prior to making their requests.
4 This concludes the Chamber's additional clarification and
5 amendment to the guidance on tendering and presentation of evidence.
6 I move on to my next procedural agenda which is court hearings
7 this week. As far as we can see now, for today and for tomorrow we would
8 sit in the afternoon, starting at 1.00, whereas the Chamber intends and
9 also based on the latest information we've received seems to be able to
10 proceed in this way, the Chamber intends to sit on Wednesday, Thursday,
11 and Friday from 9.00 in the morning until 1.45 p.m. Would this cause any
12 problem for either Prosecution or Defence?
13 MR. GROOME: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Not for the
15 JUDGE ORIE: Any problem for the Defence, today and tomorrow
16 afternoon Wednesday, Thursday, Friday in the morning hours?
17 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Not at all, not a
18 problem for us.
19 JUDGE ORIE: No problem. Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then I move to my next item, which is a Defence
22 motion to adjourn the trial or, in the alternative, to reconsider the
23 amended guidance on the tendering and presentation of evidence, a motion
24 which was filed on the 9th of July, that is, this morning. If the
25 Prosecution would want to respond orally, then it has an opportunity to
1 do so. If you would prefer, however, Mr. Groome, to respond in writing,
2 could you then indicate to the Chamber when you would expect to be able
3 to do that.
4 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, that is one of four motions filed today
5 by the Defence --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's -- I'll start with this one, yes.
7 MR. GROOME: And I would be prepared to answer or make oral
8 submissions on the Prosecution's position tomorrow morning. I would note
9 with respect to this particular one, it does not implicate the evidence
10 of the first witness, Mr. Pasic, in any way, with the Prosecution intends
11 to lead his evidence viva voce. So it would be the Prosecution's
12 position that there is nothing to prevent us from proceeding with the
13 evidence of the first witness at this juncture.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, anything in response to this request by
15 the Prosecution to respond tomorrow orally?
16 MR. LUKIC: No, we don't have any problem with that either,
17 Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: No problem with that.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Groome, we did not misunderstood you when
21 we thought that you would give your oral submissions tomorrow in the
22 afternoon because tomorrow morning we're not sitting.
23 MR. GROOME: I apologise, Your Honour. Yes, as soon as we start.
24 JUDGE ORIE: That is hereby clarified.
25 Then I move on to another motion which was also filed today; that
1 is, the Defence motion seeking to adjourn the cross-examination of
2 Richard Dannatt for 90 days. That would be included in your oral
3 submissions of tomorrow?
4 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. We'll be prepared with respect to
5 all of the four motions tomorrow afternoon.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It may be, Mr. Lukic, that the Chamber would
7 not decide on a motion to adjourn the cross-examination until after we've
8 heard the examination-in-chief. We'll first hear the response tomorrow
9 by Mr. Groome and then we'll further decide how to proceed.
10 MR. LUKIC: If I may, Your Honour, at this moment, one more
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. LUKIC: Regarding the fourth motion, the Defence motion in
14 limine to bar the use of 65 ter 04472. I heard from the Prosecution that
15 they don't intend to use this exhibit at all, so it may be that it
16 wouldn't be necessary for them to respond to this one in length.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I take it if that's the situation it will be a
18 very brief response.
19 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. The Prosecution -- that
20 particular exhibit is not on the list of exhibits announced for this
21 witness. I've explained to Mr. Lukic it's not my intention to tender
22 that exhibit in the examination-in-chief and that I find it difficult to
23 imagine a scenario where I would seek to do so in re-direct, and just to
24 say that Mr. Lukic -- I would encourage him to make a phone call on such
25 matters and it could have been handled without troubling the Court with a
1 formal motion on the matter.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Groome.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Apart from making the observation you just made,
5 Mr. Lukic, is there any reason to withdraw one of your four motions of
6 this morning, in view of information you received meanwhile?
7 MR. LUKIC: If we may decide about it tomorrow morning as well.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please inform Chamber staff before the start of
9 tomorrow's afternoon session so that we do not waste time in court on
10 responding to motions which you do not want to further pursue.
11 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: When we are talking about four motions, I think I
13 mentioned the second already, that's the adjourn the cross-examination of
14 Richard Dannatt for 90 days. The third one is the urgent request from
15 the Defence seeking an order barring the Prosecution from using or
16 tendering unlisted exhibits with Witness Harland, and the fourth is the
17 urgent order to bar the Prosecution from using or tendering a document
18 which Harland mentions in his statement. Those were the four motions we
19 were talking about, to have that clear on the record.
20 Then I have no other urgent matters to deal with before we start
21 hearing the evidence of the first witness in this case.
22 I'm looking at the parties, if there's nothing to be raised
23 urgently at this moment, is the Prosecution ready to call its first
25 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the Prosecution is ready to call its
1 first witness, Mr. Elvedin Pasic. And may I introduce the Chamber to
2 Ms. Camille Bibles, who will be taking the evidence of this witness.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 Then could the witness be brought into the courtroom.
5 Ms. Bibles, in view of the guidance I've just read out, no need,
6 I take it, to draw your attention to the fact that related adjudicated
7 facts are 799 to 801, 803 through 808, 811, and 814.
8 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Your Honour. And I will bring the
9 adjudicated facts where I'm limiting my questions of the witness because
10 of those, I will highlight those for the Trial Chamber.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
12 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, if I may, before the witness enters the
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. LUKIC: This morning we received one document created by the
16 Prosecution and delivered to us this morning, and it's on the new list
17 from this morning as well for this witness. So we would ask Your Honours
18 to bar the Prosecution to enter this evidence since --
19 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know what it is. Could Ms. Bibles -- oh,
20 that's the --
21 MR. LUKIC: List of --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Let me have a look. That's -- yes, that's 28320, I
23 think. Yes. Yes, that's the list of people -- yeah. Yes, Ms. Bibles,
24 if Mr. Lukic has major problems with that, would there be any way to
25 elicit this evidence viva voce without the list in writing?
1 MS. BIBLES: Yes, Your Honours. Our intent was to try to
2 expedite that portion of the testimony --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MS. BIBLES: -- we think that's an efficient way to present that
5 information but we can do that live.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, it's a list of names.
7 MR. LUKIC: If I may, Your Honour, my objection is more of a
8 general nature, not to allow this type of acts by the Prosecution in the
10 [The witness entered court]
11 MR. LUKIC: So we think we shouldn't go this way in the future
12 and we should start making -- [overlapping speakers] --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Do you now oppose this one? Or would you give a
14 kind of shot before the ship -- but think about that.
15 And meanwhile, Mr. Pasic, it would be unpolite not to welcome you
16 into this courtroom. Before you give evidence, the Rules require that
17 you make a solemn declaration. The text will now be handed out to you by
18 the usher. Could I invite you to stand and make that solemn declaration.
19 THE WITNESS: Sure. I solemnly declare that I will speak the
20 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, Your Honour.
21 WITNESS: ELVEDIN PASIC
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Pasic. Please be seated.
23 Apparently you preferred to give the solemn declaration in
24 English. In what language would you preferably give your testimony, in
25 Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, as we call it, or also in English?
1 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I will prefer in English, please.
2 JUDGE ORIE: You will prefer in English.
3 Then, Ms. Bibles.
4 You will now first be examined by Ms. Bibles, who's counsel for
5 the Prosecution, Mr. Pasic.
6 Please proceed.
7 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
8 Examination by Ms. Bibles:
9 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Pasic. Could you please introduce yourself
10 with your name and your age.
11 A. Yes, my name is Elvedin Pasic. I'm from Hrvacani, Kotor Varos.
12 I'm 34 years old, born June 3rd, 1978.
13 Q. Could you tell us if you grew up in Kotor Varos, at least until
14 you were 14 years old?
15 A. Yes. I grew up at Hrvacani, Kotor Varos.
16 Q. Could you tell us the size and ethnicity of your village?
17 A. Yes. My village was located approximately 13 kilometres from
18 Kotor Varos. My village, Hrvacani, was 100 per cent Muslim ethnicity and
19 approximately a hundred houses.
20 Q. And could you tell us where you went to school?
21 A. I attended a school in Vrbanjci and finished the seventh grade
23 Q. Could you tell us the ethnicity of your school mates?
24 A. My school in Vrbanjci was full of my friends, Serbs, Croats, and
25 Muslims all together during that time.
1 MS. BIBLES: And, Your Honours, I will limit further examination
2 with respect to the ethnic make-up of this municipality in reliance on
3 adjudicated fact 796.
4 Q. Could you describe for us in the time-period before the conflict
5 in Bosnia what it was like for you as a child to go to school surrounded
6 by others from differing ethnicities?
7 A. Yes, going to school in Vrbanjci I actually had a great time with
8 my friends, Serbs and Croats, at the same time. We had a great time.
9 Before the war, we shared the same classroom, playing basketball, soccer,
10 and all activities. We were actually sharing everything together. For
11 instance, if we had attend activities outside during our class, as a
12 matter of fact I had friends from my surrounding villages will actually
13 borrow their shoes or the shorts. It was great. We had a great time.
14 There was no any animosity whatsoever. We were celebrating holidays
15 together, whether you were a Muslim, a Croat, or a Serb, at that time we
16 were just having a great time and respecting one another.
17 Q. Could you tell us roughly in Bosnia where your village was
19 A. My village, Hrvacani, was located 13 kilometres, approximately
20 13 kilometres from Kotor Varos. That is, I would say, northern part of
21 Bosnia looking at from Sarajevo, so ...
22 Q. Could you tell us in 1992 who lived with you in your home?
23 A. In 1992 I lived with my father, my mother, and for the time I
24 lived with my sister before she got married.
25 Q. And after your sister got married, where did she move to?
1 A. My sister moved to Dabovci, where she met her husband at that
2 time, Elvir. And they lived in Dabovci which was located south from
3 my -- close to Vrbanjci, south from Hrvacani.
4 Q. In the spring of 1992 then, how old were you?
5 A. I was 13 years old.
6 Q. And when did you turn 14?
7 A. June 3rd, 1978, so June I turned 14.
8 Q. I'd like you to think back to being in school during the spring
9 of 1992. Do you recall seeing any military activity around your school?
10 A. Yes, before we finished the seventh grade. The first time I
11 noticed the military activity, one day as I finished class I walked out
12 waiting for the bus to pick us up and we noticed a large convoy of
13 heavily equipped military going towards Doboj. And these -- the infantry
14 or the military was equipped with -- seen tanks and the soldiers were
15 waving at us with -- they were olive-green JNA uniforms seen -- it was a
16 long, long line of motorised vehicles too and they were waving at us with
17 the finger like this raised at us as kids. We were waving back like this
18 at that time. I had no idea what this means. And later I learned that
19 we're not supposed to do that so we were going like this or like this.
20 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, for the record, the manner in which
21 the witness is showing his right hand is with a thumb, index, and middle
22 fingers folded under, or, excuse me, extended, and the middle finger and
23 the ring finger are folded under.
24 Q. As a child, had you seen tanks before?
25 A. This was the first time for me to see a military tank prior to
1 actually -- let me rephrase that. This was the first time for me to see
2 a tank. I never seen it up close until this time, the first time I seen
3 a convoy and then later on I've seen a lot of them.
4 Q. Can you tell us whether there were villages comprised of Serb
5 ethnicities within inside your village?
6 A. As I mentioned before, my village, Hrvacani, was 100 per cent
7 Muslim village and we had two Serb villages located north. One village
8 was Tepici, north from Hrvacani; and the second village Savici, to our
9 east, 100 per cent Serbs; and to our right, to the west, we had Croatian
10 village Plitska, which was located approximately 3 kilometres to our
11 west. Further south we had Dabovici, which was also 100 per cent Muslim
12 village and part of the Dabovici, the hill of Novakovo Brdo, a few houses
13 were Serb houses where the Serbs lived.
14 Q. And drawing your attention to May 1992, did you see any unusual
15 activity around these villages, the Serb villages, that is?
16 A. Yes. To our left where the Savici, the village, Serb village,
17 was located we've noticed people digging trenches. Our neighbours, they
18 were digging trenches. And to our north or to Tepici also we've noticed
19 people getting ready for something. A lot of movement. As a matter of
20 fact, to our south, close to Novakovo Brdo we've noticed two tanks that
21 came out of the woods located in Novakovo Brdo with an infantry behind
22 it. They were digging trenches and getting ready for something.
23 Q. And were you and other people in your village curious about what
24 they were doing?
25 A. Yes, as a matter of fact after seeing these unusual activities
1 going with our neighbours, people in our village, as a matter of fact,
2 two well-known and rich brothers, Muho and Murat Dugonjic, decided to go
3 and talk to our neighbours from Savici and Tepici and ask them about the
4 activity and what was the reason for them to start digging the trenches
5 and find out the information. They met in the Lolab [phoen] school
6 between where I attended before I went to Vrbanjci, was located between
7 Tepici, Savici, and Hrvacani, Lolab school where I attended to. After
8 they met with some of our neighbours they were informed that the reason
9 for the people, the infantry, and the trenches, they were just preparing
10 for the military exercises from the JNA and not to worry about it. We
11 are neighbours. That nothing should ever happen to us. In the case that
12 we -- something happens, they're our neighbours, they will let us know,
13 but there was nothing to worry about whatsoever.
14 Q. And was there a religious occasion celebrated in your village in
15 May or June of 1992?
16 A. Yes, our holiday Bajram -- we were celebrating our holiday
17 Bajram, which I can't remember May or June it fell on. I remember it
18 just -- we were getting ready for -- celebrated -- first day we went to
19 the mosque. I was excited, as being a little boy. I couldn't wait for
20 this holiday because I wanted to get some money from the elderly people
21 because the tradition for Bajram is to -- when we go and pray, perform
22 the prayer in the mosque, I would go -- the little kids would go to
23 elderly people and kiss their hand and then we would get money. So I was
24 excited. I remember clearly when we were in the mosque that our imam
25 says that if anyone had any -- we used to celebrate our holiday by -- in
1 America we use fireworks but in Bosnia people would use any -- if they
2 had any weapons to celebrate, but fire weapons and make any kind of loud
3 noise. So the imam was concerned because he noticed several activities
4 going on with our neighbours that nobody should do anything that would
5 cause or ignite the situation. It was clear that there was something in
6 the air that's going to -- around us, that it's going to happen. So as
7 we came out, I was excited, I was going to kiss the hand to get more
8 money and then after that we would go to our house and go from the house
9 to house, eat sweets, and celebrate the holiday with the family.
10 Q. Was the -- was Bajram interrupted in 1992?
11 A. Yes. On our second day we were attacked by our neighbours. The
12 first day as the imam -- the tradition is for imam to walk from the house
13 to house and greet the people. I remember we were following the imam,
14 that's a tradition, and I remember imam coming to my house because my dad
15 invited him. They came to my house and they decided to talk over it and
16 see if they noticed some activities going on. And they gathered the
17 people would follow the imam. If the imam goes from one house to
18 another, they would follow it. So it was noticeable that the war is
19 coming so they were going to -- they gathered in our house to discuss and
20 determine what they're going to do. On the second day of Bajram we were
22 Q. Could you describe for us just briefly what that was like?
23 A. Yes. On the second day - I'm going back to the first day - after
24 the men gathered and decided what they were going to do, me and my mom
25 were actually told by our father to leave home. There was some men in
1 there to decide or count the weapons if anybody had it, to try to defend
2 ourselves. Obviously the war is on the door. And on the second day, the
3 bombs and the shells started landing in our village. We were in our
4 next-door neighbour in the cellar that night when the heavy shelling
5 started and the firing started. We were under -- in the shell with our
6 neighbours, probably six families all together. It was horrible. I
7 remember as a little kid, you know, the closest I was to -- it was during
8 our holidays when we hear the firing in the air and all that. But
9 anything up close and so surreal when the shells were hitting houses and
10 the ground was shaking, I remember we were covered and my mom told us to
11 go ahead and grab the pillows and cover our heads because we were afraid
12 that if the bullets or the shells would land somewhere close so they
13 don't hit us. And the ground was shaking and loud noises coming. I
14 don't recall any information whatsoever if we were offered any ultimatum
15 to surrender any weapons.
16 I also want to mention that my dad was a licenced hunter. He had
17 a licence for the gun. I don't know how many weapons if they were any in
18 the village, but as I remember it, it was horrible that night.
19 Q. Mr. Pasic, were there voices coming to you or voices, any words
20 being spoken during the bombing and the shelling?
21 A. Yes. As a matter of fact, we heard an announcement coming from
22 Tepici, which the village was located north of Hrvacani, on a megaphone,
23 the Serbs were calling, Balijas, where is baklavas and halva, we're going
24 to be there soon. They were calling Muho and Murat Dugonjic, two
25 brothers, well-known brothers, Bring us coffee, we'll be there soon.
1 That's what I heard.
2 Q. What did you and your family do?
3 A. That night we stayed in the cellar all night, waited until the
4 early morning. I remember we went this house and somebody knocked on the
5 window and it was so loud my mom jumped up and my dad was there with his
6 gun and he said, What are you still doing here? My mom says, What? He
7 says, The village is falling and they're entering the village from the
8 north. You're the only one left in the village, let's move. And my
9 mom -- I guess in the chaos like that, we start going -- the main
10 entrance of the house that we were in. He goes, No, you can't go that
11 way, we have to go through this little window because we're getting shot
12 at from the Novakovo Brdo bridge. My -- part of my village was looking
13 at Novakovo Brdo. That's when we noticed the tanks. And he goes, You
14 can't go that way because the bullets were -- and the shells are coming
15 so we have to go through this window and go behind the houses, and then
16 we're going to go towards Plitska. And I remember one by one he was
17 dragging us through this window and when we start leaving he looked at me
18 and he says, You have to listen to me carefully. You have to follow my
19 orders. When I tell you to run, you're going to run. And I remember my
20 neighbour, she had a little girl, Merima, and she looked at me and she
21 said, Can you please carry her - because she was pregnant - the little
22 girl. She said, I don't care if you rip her arm out, just don't let her
23 go, so ...
24 We left the house and on the other side behind our house there
25 was the field and road, and my dad says to me, We have to cross this road
1 but we're experiencing heavy firing from Tepici and also Novakovo Brdo.
2 Since you guys are the only ones left, everyone else has actually fled
3 the village and gone towards Plitska, be careful. And he told me, You're
4 going to stand here, and we all gathered, and it was probably six
5 families. So we were standing to cross this road and my brother, I've
6 noticed my brother on the other side and he told me, Look at me. Grab
7 the kid. You're going to jump this wall and when you jump this wall,
8 cross the road. Do not under any circumstances go up the street or down
9 the street. Just cross the road, I'll get you. And I don't know, I
10 guess being a kid, when I jumped and I was carrying the little girl I
11 started walking. And he was screaming, No, no, come this way. And as
12 soon as I rolled over I've noticed the bullets were flying and they were
13 just hitting the spot where I was standing with the kid so I was lucky I
14 didn't get hit. But we experienced -- our neighbours, actually, when we
15 were crossing, the mother of the little girl when we came down to this
16 little area where the fire -- the bullets and the shells were not able --
17 they were not able to reach it because it was facing the Croat village,
18 she turned around and there were holes in her clothes. Luckily the
19 bullets didn't hit anybody, but they were actually -- you can see the
20 bullets in her -- and he asked us, Why did you still -- my brother asked,
21 Why were you still in there? We have to rush because they're coming.
22 They're burning the houses from the north. And that's when we had to go
23 down in the little wood area and we had to stop, and there was another
24 challenge that we faced by this open field. It was so clear so we had
25 to -- again, we had to stop there and pause and we were given
1 instructions by my dad and my brother that -- the distance we had to
2 crawl for approximately a hundred to 200 metres and they were letting us
3 go one by one. And that's another time when I was really terrified
4 because I was watching the people crawl through this field. I've noticed
5 the bullets flying coming from Novakovo Brdo and literally picking up the
6 grass and the ground and luckily nobody got hurt. I mean, the trees
7 there and the branches were coming down and hitting people in the head
8 from the firing.
9 Q. Mr. Pasic, did you later find out that there had been people who
10 stayed behind in your village?
11 A. Yes. When we got to the Plitska there were five elderly people
12 left in the village. We were told by family members that they were --
13 some of them were not able to move. They decided to stay. The others --
14 well known Ibro, the old guy, the old man who lived on a pension,
15 Ibro Dugonjic, very religious man, he decided not to go, just stay in his
16 house because he says that's his house. And there were approximately
17 five elderly people who stayed there.
18 Q. Without going into great detail, could you tell us where you and
19 your mother -- where you went over the next few months.
20 A. From Hrvacani we went to Plitska, which was Croat village. And
21 short after being there the Serbs attacked that village and we had to
22 move. From there we went to Cirkino Brdo. Some people went to Bilice.
23 It seems like everywhere we -- I don't want to describe. I mean, we were
24 going back and forth to these villages. Everywhere we went to we were
25 not welcomed. Even the people like Cirkino Brdo and Hafinici had signed
1 their loyalty to Serbs, they were afraid to have us. We were not welcome
2 because we were informed if the Serbs find out that anybody from Hrvacani
3 stays there, or if people from Cirkino Brdo are harbouring people from
4 Hrvacani, that they would get killed. So we were not welcome.
5 Everywhere we go, we were pushed. At one point we were just stuck in no
6 man's land in the woods waiting what to do next. So we were just going
7 from villages to villages.
8 Q. And at some point -- I'm sorry, let me back up. You said that
9 some people went to different villages. Was there sort of a group of you
10 that were together then?
11 A. Yes. In Plitska when we reached Plitska before they start the
12 shelling in Plitska, we decided to stay there because we didn't know what
13 to do next, except Cirkino Brdo meanwhile signed a loyalty and
14 Hasan Cirkic who had my aunt Zena, the sister, was with us and he came
15 over with his farming tractor and came to pick her up because she was his
16 sister and the other sister from Hrvacani so -- and then he asked us
17 because we were together to join the group. And he says that he has two
18 houses and he's willing to take as many people are willing to go. So we
19 ended up going to Cirkino Brdo with our aunt.
20 Q. And these were people from Hrvacani?
21 A. Yes. All the people from Hrvacani. Some of us actually didn't
22 have the relatives in Cirkino Brdo and Hrvacani and decided to go
23 straight to Bilice.
24 Q. I believe I interrupted you when you said there came a point when
25 you were in no man's land?
1 A. Yes. Everywhere seems like at that time when we went to
2 Cirkino Brdo and spent time there, Hasan came us -- one day when we were
3 working on the field help him, you know, just kind of showing that we
4 appreciate. We were working on the fields and he was approached by the
5 Serb soldiers and, you know, they told him if he was -- when they come
6 back if they found out that Cirkino Brdo was harbouring some of the
7 people from Hrvacani, civilians, that they would come and kill them all.
8 We decided that, you know, he didn't specifically say that, you know, you
9 have to leave but then we didn't want to risk anybody from that village,
10 particularly Hasan, after he gave us a harbour at first, the house. We
11 decided to go to Bilice because it seems everywhere we went through we
12 didn't want to cause anybody to suffer on our account, so we were just --
13 at one point we were stuck. We didn't know what to do. We were in this
14 little wooded area before we decided to go to Bilice, another huge
15 Croatian village.
16 Q. Were you able to stay there?
17 A. Yes, ma'am. We -- actually when we got to the Croatian side,
18 Bilice, that's -- they gave us a warm welcome. We entered the village
19 from the east side and that's when I've noticed and I saw my brother and
20 my father and a lot of men that were -- we got separated in Plitska. It
21 looks like they left from Plitska to Bilice before us and they were
22 waiting for us. So we stayed there approximately a month also helping
23 out, appreciating the locals, the Croat family gave us a weekend house
24 and we were helping while we were there. We stayed approximately an
25 hour -- one month, I'm sorry.
1 Q. And why did you leave there?
2 A. When we left Bilice the first time we found out -- I'm sorry, we
3 found out that the people were talking and we've noticed the local ones
4 packing up. So we were afraid that there was something going on. We
5 heard that people were saying that Bilice will surrender. And brother
6 came over -- at one point I think the man -- some of the men stayed in
7 Bilice and left, some of them left for Vecici also, but he's the one who
8 informed us that he heard that Bilice will fall, to surrender, and he was
9 urging us to go to Garici, which is another Muslim village, sign a truce,
10 loyalty to the Serbs, and we decided to go to Garici where we had our
11 cousin, Atif, lived there.
12 Q. And could you describe for us whether you, during the summer of
13 1992, you and others returned to your home village?
14 A. Yes. After noticing that when we left Bilice we were going
15 towards -- we decided before we got to Garici that at one point we
16 decided to return to our village because we were afraid for the sake of
17 the others who signed the loyalty not to cause them -- and we decided at
18 one point people -- civilians from Hrvacani just to go back to our
19 village. And we gather approximately anywhere from 50 to 70 mainly
20 civilians. We decided to walk and just go back to our village, Hrvacani.
21 As we were coming close to our village there was three Serb houses. We
22 came to one point where the two soldiers were -- the Serb soldiers were
23 walking by and stopped us before we got to the village and asked us --
24 one soldier was holding his stomach like this. They were -- they had
25 AK-47s. One was in a camouflage uniform and I don't know if he was
1 injured or -- and they were asking, Where you balijas are going? And my
2 mom and her friend Razija Dugonjic stepped up and said, We are going back
3 to our home. He goes, Home, where? They said, We're going back to our
4 village, Hrvacani. And he says, There's nothing left there. There's no
5 place, balijas, for you to go other than Turkey. This is Serbia. How
6 are you going to manage to survive there? There's nothing there left.
7 And Razija responded back, she said, We'll manage somehow. We'll find s
8 way. He goes, I don't care if you get killed. I'm not going to be
9 responsible for that. And then we continued. Shortly after that we
10 reached the southern part of our village.
11 Q. Could you describe for us the condition of your village?
12 A. I remember clearly when we were coming down and approaching the
13 southern part of my village, I remember that day it was so hot, extremely
14 hot. As we were approaching the two houses, one house belonged to my
15 aunt and cousin. They were completely destroyed. There were two
16 chimneys standing up and just the walls. The smell and just the whole
17 thing just really scared me. When we got there to these houses I
18 remember there was nothing. Everything was burned. Where my aunt's
19 house was, that's where our barn was, it was completely burnt to the
20 ground. There was nothing. We noticed as we were approaching a few cows
21 shot, and they were just bloated and the smell was horrible. And the
22 people -- my aunt she didn't even want to come close, go near the house
23 as we were walking by and just the walls were there and two chimneys.
24 And we continued up because we wanted to see our house. The people just
25 automatically as soon as we got to the village they scattered, people
1 just running to try to see if they can find anything to different houses.
2 I remember I went with my mom. I was running this little path a
3 shortcut, you can go around it, the main street, but there is a little
4 shortcut that you can go to my house and I remember as a kid just running
5 up and down. It was all -- I still, you know, before to me that little
6 hill was so big and, you know, I just crossed it, I was so excited, I
7 wanted to go and see my dog. My dad had a dog. So when we got to the
8 house, the house was burnt completely. Nothing was left there. We had
9 the fridge, the TVs, everything was gone. The walls, what's left of the
10 walls was stripped. We had -- I remember my dad before the war, I helped
11 him to build this -- the wooden panels around the room, the living room,
12 I remember working with him clearly on that, that was all gone. It was
13 not burned. All the furniture that we had, it was completely gone. My
14 dog after being there a little bit, I went -- I was excited because I
15 knew we left the dog on the chain. It was shot. I found him.
16 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, in reliance on adjudicated facts 816
17 and 819, I will not elicit additional testimony regarding those facts.
18 Q. Mr. Pasic, did you find what had happened to the elderly people
19 who had stayed behind?
20 A. After spending, I don't know, I think it was an hour or so trying
21 to gather if we were able to find anything, I was more concerned about
22 dog -- going back. And after I found that, I came back, running back to
23 mom, and said, They killed the dog. And we had a lot of bees also and
24 they were gone too. So we were trying to find anything. Even the food.
25 So I went in, I was looking for honey. I used to help my dad.
1 Everything was gone. And mom says, you know, after a while we were
2 looking for anything. We left -- when we left nobody knew that this is
3 was going to happen that's -- even though we've seen the activities
4 before, we didn't get enough, the clothes or anything, so we left some of
5 the bags actually dug in the holes and they were gone completely. So we
6 couldn't find anything. After a while we decided to go and meet in the
7 centre of the village and we noticed our -- the friends and the family
8 members from Dugonjic, they were crying and mom was crying and she -- and
9 I asked mom, Why is she crying, because I thought somebody did something.
10 She said they found Ibro Dugonjic, the old man was burnt, they found the
11 body. And the little kid was crying because they decided to bury
12 whatever was left of him. And then, so after that, we found out the rest
13 of the people that stayed there were also dead, except one I think was
14 shot dead, but all the other ones were burnt.
15 Q. What happened to their bodies?
16 A. Family members buried them, whatever was left of them.
17 Q. Were you able to stay in your village?
18 A. After spending some time there, I wanted to -- when we were in
19 the crossroad in the middle of the village I wanted to see the mosque.
20 We were told not to go because we were afraid of the shelling. I know
21 the mosque itself suffered from the shelling but the minaret did not. We
22 were informed that it was destroyed by hand. So I wanted to go because
23 there's steps that go up to the mosque, and mom says, Don't go there,
24 because they were afraid if the explosive or anything was left there. So
25 we decided to go to the northern side of the village, and then after
1 staying there we decided after experiencing and not finding enough of
2 anything to live there, my mom decided to go straight to Garici. Some of
3 the family members decided, I think five to six families, they didn't
4 have the relatives in Garici and another little Muslim village, Vakufci,
5 also signed loyalty and decided to stay in Hrvacani. We were standing
6 there to determine, you know -- some people started cleaning up, the
7 family that decided to stay there, the mess and try to gather whatever
8 was left. And my mom was determined that we go. There was absolutely
9 no -- then we noticed because on the northern part of our village you can
10 see the part of Tepici, the road that comes down, we noticed a
11 tractor-trailer coming down with the soldiers. And at that point we
12 didn't know what to do so. We were just there. And I remember that the
13 smell of the village just the burn and everything, the family -- my mom
14 gave me a rag or something to put over. She said, Don't breathe, that's
15 because it was really bad odours and smell in the area. And after they
16 reached down and came over these men were fully armed, they were Serbs,
17 some of them mom recognised one of them I think from Tepici, Boro. His
18 name was Boro, I don't know -- I don't recall his last name. And a
19 lot -- I would say 15 approximately, they had some masks over their
20 heads. The others wore camouflage uniforms. I noticed the cross with
21 four C's. They were singing. They had AK-47s and some of them had also
22 olive -- green olive JNA uniforms.
23 One of them stepped out of the tractor and asked us, What are
24 your balijas doing here? And that's when we informed them that some of
25 us are willing to stay in the village and some of us would like to go to
1 Garici, and the others were cursing at us. And then we decided after the
2 exchanging of the information they were -- it was so hot, extremely hot,
3 I remember, and we asked for water and this guy came down from the
4 tractor and he told the other soldiers to go get a bucket of water from
5 the Tepici. So this lasted around 10 to 15 minutes for him to go and
6 come back and I know that we were just drinking that water. Also we had
7 in the group, I remember clearly we had a woman who was carrying a baby
8 or about to give birth and I know she fainted and they wanted water and
9 were asking, What's wrong with her? And the other woman responded that
10 she's carrying a baby and she was about to give birth because she was
11 having the pains. I remember they were giving her water and trying to
12 cool her down. They were really -- told us there's no place for us other
13 than Turkey. We shouldn't be here. They're not going to guarantee us
14 any safety if we stay. And at that moment we asked them if we could go
15 on to Garici.
16 Q. Did you, in fact, go on to Garici?
17 A. Yes. When we decided to go -- the six families ended up staying
18 and we were going down passing through the middle school or the little
19 school I attended and then we were going up to the village, the Serb
20 village, the Savici. As we were approaching the village, the
21 civilians - and I clearly remember this - the civilian Dalibor is the
22 friend or my Serb friend from school, his mom, I don't recall her name
23 now, I'm sorry, but she was really upset. She was dressed black and the
24 other civilians were waiting for us there. And she was really screaming
25 and we were accompanied by two soldiers and she grabbed -- she was trying
1 to grab the gun from this soldier and she was screaming and yelling, Why
2 you balijas wandering around here? There's no place while our soldiers
3 are dying at Vecici you have guts to come and walk through our village.
4 And she was, Give me that gun, give me that gun, I want to kill them all.
5 I remember I was going behind my mom and I was hiding behind her and the
6 soldier pushed her and we continued and they were cursing at us and
7 spitting at us and then we continued towards the Vakufci and Garici.
8 Q. At some point did you find yourself going to Vecici?
9 A. Yes, ma'am. After being a while, I would say a month or so being
10 in Garici, we were -- one night I remember we were sitting in Atif's
11 house watching -- since they signed a loyalty to Serbs. We were watching
12 their TV. It was one of the channels. We were sitting there and
13 somebody knocked on the door really loud and we were afraid and
14 terrified. The two soldiers were standing there fully armed, the Serb
15 soldiers. And at that moment a guy just walks in, jumps, and he was my
16 cousin Atif, jumps in, he was really untidy, he had a beard and just
17 looked like a mess. He had a -- he was armed and he sat down with us and
18 says, I'm here, let's have a coffee. And we were shocked because we
19 didn't know what to respond to that. He goes, Give me coffee. Let's
20 have a coffee. I'm here now. And my mom asked him, What are you doing
21 here? Oh, don't worry about it. Those are my friends there outside.
22 Don't worry about it. I'm here to inform you that tomorrow you all are
23 going to -- the civilians who are from Hrvacani who are located in Garici
24 and Vakufci, go to Vrbanjci, get travel documents and after that you will
25 go to Vecici. And he had a coffee and just took off and had -- sat in a
1 car and they took off. And he informed my mom, You will just gather all
2 together and just go down and go straight, because we signed a truce with
3 the Serbs, you should be -- shouldn't be touched at all or harmed. You
4 go to the school and they will issue you travel document and then you
5 will come to Vecici.
6 Q. You've described that he said: Don't worry about it, those are
7 my friends outside. Did you see who was outside?
8 A. I've just noticed two soldiers, I don't know if they were
9 actually his friends or he was just -- my cousin he is always kind of
10 hyper and jokes around. I don't know if he meant knowing them or -- but
11 I just noticed that they were fully dressed in camouflage uniform with
12 AK-47s. They were waiting for him outside. They were just the guards on
13 the door waiting for him.
14 Q. Where did you, in fact, get your travelling papers?
15 A. That morning we woke up and gathered all the civilians. I know
16 there was a lot of us and we went down passing through Dabovici and then
17 went to Vrbanjci. And as we approached Vrbanjci in the school where I
18 attended my seventh grade, there was so many soldiers there. Wow. As we
19 got there -- Vrbanjci, there was the old school and the new school. I
20 attended the new school and that school was completely transformed into
21 barracks. That's how many -- I've noticed also when we were approaching
22 there was an old tank. I learned they were T-55s that was parked right
23 there on the side road because I remember right across I used to go when
24 I was in school there was a little shop I used to get my sandwich there.
25 So it was parked there. So we went, my mom and I think Razija Dugonjic
1 went to the school to get the documents. We were on the side and the
2 soldiers were walking by calling us balijas and cursing at us. At one
3 point I think one of the soldiers my mom came back and before we start
4 walking towards Vecici he asked about -- he recognised my mom and I think
5 he was from Savici, I don't recall his name, but asked about the dad,
6 where is -- he asked -- oh, Mina was my mom's name, Where is Ahmet, where
7 is he now? Is he on the other side? And I don't know if mom responded.
8 I think she just -- I remember her head was just down like this. And
9 short after that we slowly were walking. It took us 20 to 30 minutes to
10 cross to Vecici.
11 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, I'll ask if this is about the time when
12 we would be taking a break?
13 JUDGE ORIE: It is about the time, after one hour and a half.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Before we take a break. Mr. Pasic, the Chamber
16 observed that it's now and then emotional for you to give your testimony.
17 We also observed that you apparently were able to cope with it. If you
18 at any point in time you feel you would need a short break or that you
19 are not able to cope with it anymore, don't hesitate to address me.
20 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: We'll take a break and we'll resume at five minutes
22 to 3.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 2.29 p.m.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 --- On resuming at 2.59 p.m.
1 JUDGE ORIE: May the witness be escorted into the courtroom
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Welcome back, Mr. Pasic. Is there some water in
5 front of you if you would want to --
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: -- take a sip of water, don't hesitate to do that.
8 Ms. Bibles, would you please proceed.
9 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Mr. Pasic, before we go back into your testimony, I've noticed
11 that you're reading the transcript in front of you. I would let you know
12 that you don't need to worry about the transcript and as soon as you have
13 heard and understood my question you can go ahead and answer.
14 A. Okay.
15 Q. I'd like to go now forward in time from where we broke at the
16 break to the 2nd of November, 1992, when you were with your mother and
17 your father in Vecici. Do you recall a discussion between your parents
18 about how you were going to leave Vecici?
19 A. Yes, ma'am. I remember clearly second night when we arrived to
20 Vecici my father came up to my mom and they were talking, I was far away
21 from them, and they were -- I heard them, they were mentioning my name
22 and then I got close and my father was telling me -- telling my mom that
23 he's -- they are leaving -- some of the men will leave the Vecici that
24 night and that he's concerned about my safety being with the mom and
25 civilians staying there so he came -- he actually left and this is when
1 he came back to get me because he was concerned about my safety. He
2 heard from the people that the convoys before that left from Bilice and
3 surroundings, that they were taking boys from the convoys and away from
4 the moms and civilians. So he was concerned about my safety so he came
5 back to get me and asked my mom if -- that he is going to take me to go
6 with them, the rest of the men, to the safe paths -- through the safe
7 passage to Travnik.
8 Q. And at this point were all of the Muslims going to leave Vecici
9 one way or another?
10 A. Yes. I'm going to go back. When we got to Vecici my first day,
11 you know, I spent some time after being away from my father a little bit
12 and just -- because they signed the truce with the Serbs for five days, I
13 believe. There were no shelling and the shelling and bombing, nothing,
14 was going on. So we were able to kind of -- he took me around and just
15 showed me the different areas where he was located. We were able to walk
16 through the village. He says that they would never walk during the day,
17 their walking time was the night, but that there were actually
18 agreements -- actually the truce was signed for five days with no firing
19 or the shelling. So that night or the second night the -- I guess the
20 agreement was for the civilians, all the civilians located in Vecici, to
21 surrender and all the men to leave the Vecici for -- towards Travnik safe
22 passage. Because, as I mentioned before, the concern was about any male
23 being -- surrendering to the Serbs would be detained or taken away from
24 the families, either Banja Luka or Skender Vakuf.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I just interrupt, Madam Bibles. When you first
1 asked Mr. Pasic you said you'd like to move forward in time --
2 MS. BIBLES: Yes.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- to November. When he answered he said on the
4 second day after we arrived in Vecici. I just want to be sure, are you
5 on the same wavelength?
6 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll clarify that.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you so much.
8 MS. BIBLES:
9 Q. What date did you arrive in Vecici?
10 A. I don't have idea, I don't remember the date exactly when we
11 arrived. I know I spent the day -- first day there and I had a tour of
12 the village, my dad showed me. So we spent the day there. I believe it
13 was the second day. I don't know if the 2nd of November, but at that
14 time I have -- I don't recall not knowing the month or anything. I still
15 don't remember. But I know it was the second day for me to be in Vecici
16 in the house, that's the second day. I don't know if that was the date,
17 actual date that -- I don't remember that. I just remember my second day
18 being there, that we were -- I've noticed my dad had a conversation with
19 my mom to take me away with him instead of going and -- with mom.
20 Q. And did you -- at what point did you leave Vecici ? Was it that
21 same -- that second night?
22 A. Yes. The second night -- that night after they had a
23 conversation and final father decided to take me, and I remember him
24 clearly approached my mom and he hugged my mom and kissed her and told
25 her that, If I ever done anything to you in the past or during our
1 marriage time, if I did any harm to you, I want you to forgive me because
2 this is a long path, long way to go. We don't know what's going to
3 happen, there's a lot of people travelling. I want you to forgive me in
4 any way. And I remember my mom kind of pushed him, she said, Don't say
5 that, you will survive.
6 MS. BIBLES: Would Your Honours --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Take your time, Mr. Pasic, and indicate to
8 Ms. Bibles if you're ready to continue.
9 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, I will take this time to refer the
10 Chamber to adjudicated fact 803 that refers to the date. It was the
11 night between November 2nd and 3rd when the men left Vecici.
12 THE WITNESS: And my mom told him, Don't say that, you're all
13 going to survive. Don't say that. I remember I held my father's hand
14 and that's when we left. It was approximately 8.00 p.m. that night when
15 I took -- he grabbed me by hand and we started slowly walking. I would
16 assume just knowing village that would be north, going towards the little
17 village, Serb village of Staza. I had -- I remember clearly that night
18 it was a clear night, I had a jacket, light jacket on, so I don't
19 remember carrying any food. I think my dad had something like a smoked
20 beef or something in the pocket and we took off that night.
21 MS. BIBLES:
22 Q. Was it just men in your group?
23 A. There were also ten women, whom -- two of whom I think were
24 really young, also five to six boys my age. Because when we joined this
25 long group, I don't know exactly how many but I know we started walking
1 and it was uphill we were walking one by one, and as we joined the group
2 my dad told me, You hold my hand, and we were trying to stay all the last
3 name or the cousins together. I remember he just said hold the hand and
4 as people were passing by or joined the group that's when I noticed some
5 women and children also with us.
6 Q. And could you describe what the land or the terrain was like that
7 you were going through?
8 A. As we were approaching the village, the Staza, little Serb
9 village, it was vacant, there was nothing there. The houses were
10 completely vacant. It was the hill-side. I remember my dad was just
11 pulling me constantly. At first I managed to walk and it was just the
12 woods and uneven terrain. Some -- there were some areas where we
13 literally have to hold -- we were holding our hands because it was that
14 steep. So I heard the people just like falling, like slipping, falling,
15 and the word was if somebody sits behind or gets injured, you don't try
16 to help, you just keep on moving until you're instructed to stop. We
17 were going through the woods. I don't remember. I just remember it was
18 clear night and it was -- it was uphill constantly, just -- to me it was
19 just like climbing and climbing and it was so tough, and I remember I was
20 so exhausted but my dad kept pushing me and just pulling me by hand.
21 Q. And while you were with your father did something happen that
22 frightened you?
23 A. At one point, I would assume it was around midnight, I remember
24 that night, we had people walking by, I don't know if they were -- I
25 guess they were sending a message constantly somebody would walk by
1 because this was a huge line and they would say at one point, you know,
2 they would say, Okay, we have to hurry, or, We have to slow down. So I
3 guess they were sending a message. And at one point I remember somebody
4 walked by and says, He needs to have a different jacket, because the
5 jacket that I had it was like white, and since it was clear they were
6 afraid that somebody can see us at night. So they gave me this giant
7 coat that was all the way down to my ankles and I put it on and it was so
8 heavy so I had to carry that. And I think it was around midnight when
9 the group suddenly stopped and we were instructed just, Hush, hush. And
10 I remember my dad was in front of me and my uncle was behind me so we
11 couldn't move and they're like, The Serbs are close. We're very close to
12 the Serbs. Don't move. Don't make any sounds. I guess being such a
13 large group you can hear people whether they're dropping something. And
14 soon after that the seconds just -- that's when the firing and the
15 bullets start flying from our direction. We were turned faced that way
16 and I was so shocked. I was exposed to the shelling before but I was in
17 the cellar, but nothing up close like that. I was seeing the bullets
18 flying and they were -- as a little kid I would go in a field and catch
19 these flies, fire flies. You know, I thought they were flies. I was
20 trying to catch them because I have no idea that they were bullets. I'm
21 trying to catch it because they were, like, lit up. And my dad grabbed
22 me and we were instructed to lay down and he grabbed me and back of my
23 memory and he shoved me under this giant tree and told me to stay there
24 and it lasted I think an hour or so, just heavy firing. And soon after
25 that stopped quite, you know, a little bit, my dad was calling my name
1 and I was trying to get out of this tree, pushing the branches, but I
2 couldn't get out of it. So finally he called me and he was yelling, and
3 I reunited with him and he found me, pulled me out and we just laid there
4 this time it starts -- the rain was coming down and they were like --
5 there were no bullets after that. It quieted down completely. And
6 somebody was asking us if the volunteers would get up. There was some
7 people dead. Soon after that I found out it was Ahmet Zec from Vecici
8 and his son who was shot and killed from the ambush. And they were
9 asking for volunteers to go and try to move the bodies or at least, you
10 know, bury them somewhere or do something, and I know my dad was just --
11 he was leaning on this -- it was like a rock and I was just so tired and
12 I just grabbed his legs and I was just laying down and I think somebody
13 got up from the group and went and removed the bodies from the path under
14 this tree and put branches and covered it. We stayed there a little bit
15 and found out that the group was -- this long group was cut in half and
16 we didn't know where the other half of the group was gone.
17 So after a while being there, I think by this time it was getting
18 around 4.00 in the morning when we finally reunited. Somebody from the
19 group went out in search and found the other group and we reunited
20 together and we came up to this open field with the grass, a lot of
21 grass, and it was so nice. I was so thirsty. I asked my dad, I said,
22 Can you find me some water? And he says, Let me go and look around. So
23 I stayed with my uncle. And I think this field had cattle or something
24 so there was like a little hole from I guess from cattle stepping in the
25 hoof. He found the water from the rain and I remember going there and he
1 says, I don't know if it's clear enough. But I didn't care. I just
2 needed some water. So I went and laid down and had some water from
3 there. While the people were gathering and trying to regroup they were
4 constantly walking around and asking the volunteers to form a lookout and
5 go and look out for Serbs because obviously we were followed. Later on I
6 found out, and I've seen it with my eyes, we had a person who was like
7 contacting collaborating with the Serbs. And they were asking for people
8 when we were laying down all of us just exhausted to form a line or look
9 out for Serbs. And short after that, that's -- somebody came from the
10 group and says the Serbs are all around, we're surrounded. And that's
11 when the firing started again and the chaos everywhere. So we started
12 running close to our -- my dad was -- the leader, Besim, who knew the
13 path to safe -- to Travnik and my dad was constantly just pushing because
14 he knew that he knows a path, to follow him. So that's when -- I believe
15 the mountain was called Jezica, that's where we ended up and the heavy
16 fighting started and the bullets were flying everywhere and I remember my
17 dad says, Go, go, and he grabbed me. He was running down and we were on
18 this hill. And some people decided to fight back, I think 20 to 30 men
19 stood up. He constantly just told me to go and run down. And we were
20 going down this hill, and it was so steep at one point I had to -- I had
21 to -- I was literally sliding because I couldn't walk. And then all this
22 time the firing was coming from our back where it started, so we were
23 down -- going down this steep hill and dad was constantly behind me just
24 trying to shield me. And he -- at one point as we were getting close
25 down to this -- the valley or where the river was going through, I was so
1 exhausted from this coat that I asked my dad, I said, Can you please
2 wait, I have to take it off. I said, It's stuck. And I was sitting
3 there and while I'm doing it, the bullets were just -- it seems like
4 every tree that you go to hide it seems like the bullet was there hitting
5 the tree. So I ducked down and I was trying to get this coat and it was
6 stuck and maybe God wanted to be like that. After that there were people
7 who passed us close to this river. There were mines. They land on the
8 mines including Besim and they were injured. Approximately 10 people
9 died from the mines and I was still stuck on this and then finally I got
10 this coat off me and we didn't know at first that it was the minefield.
11 We thought that they were from that side. So we started running up the
12 hill again with the chaos everywhere and we couldn't because it was so
13 tough to try because it was like sand and sliding. And we stopped there
14 a moment and somebody yelled, It's the mines. We're okay. We can cross
15 the river. When we were walking by -- when I walked by, I saw Besim, his
16 legs were blown away and he was crying and yelling, Give me something,
17 kill me, just -- my dad grabbed me and says, Don't look. We were trying
18 to jump over this river. To me it looked big, I don't know, but we had
19 to jump over it to go on the other side. And I remember it was a
20 waterfall and we had to jump down in that river first in order to cross
21 it, and there were people that were injured, some injured, some dead,
22 they were calling. And I remember Besim was saying, Give me something,
23 kill me. And I think they left him something later. When we were on the
24 other side we heard the gun-shot. I think he killed himself.
25 When we crossed the river we started going up this -- the other
1 hill and we came to a little levelled area and that's when we -- the
2 group of approximately 200 people were gathered with imam and were just
3 taking a break there. Imam from Vecici, hodza, he gathered us all
4 together and said to us, Let us pray, kids, let us pray. We gathered and
5 gathered our hands together and we were just -- ducked under this -- I
6 don't know if it was like the flat area when we were sitting there. We
7 were so soaked. And after that we've noticed the firing was going on on
8 the other side, on the hill, and at one point it stopped. And I remember
9 clearly seeing -- there were probably like 15, 20 men, they were waving
10 at us, and we were so terrified by this point. It was -- we didn't know
11 who was who, which -- I wish we would have went that way.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, if you would prefer to have a short
13 break, then please tell us.
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour, yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Then we take a short break and everyone should
16 remain standby.
17 --- Break taken at 3.26 p.m.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 --- On resuming at 3.44 p.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be brought into the courtroom
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic, we would like to restart so if you would
24 stop your conversation.
25 Are you ready to continue?
1 MS. BIBLES: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed.
3 Mr. Pasic, again, if you need any timeout or anything, don't
4 hesitate to ask.
5 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, first of all, Your Honour, I'm so
7 JUDGE ORIE: No, don't apologise.
8 Please proceed.
9 MS. BIBLES: Thank you.
10 Q. Mr. Pasic, I'd like to go back and start with the group that you
11 were talking about, the group of 200. At some point did your group
12 decide to surrender?
13 A. Yes. After we performed the prayer with imam, we were sitting
14 and discussing what should we do. As I mentioned, we noticed on the
15 other side of the hill people, the men were waving at us. We were not
16 sure if there was -- were Serbs or part of our group, so we were sitting
17 there and we decided -- we were talking what to do, what is the -- what
18 should we do next and one of the options was either just to go and face
19 them, go on the other side of the hill, which we -- meanwhile while we
20 were sitting there and talking, discussing what we should do, we heard
21 megaphones and announcement going -- saying, Balijas, surrender. If you
22 surrender, you'll live. And if you don't, you all going to die. So we
23 decided to -- that was one option, to go and try to confront them, and
24 the other option was to go and surrender. And some people were resistant
25 on that, and as soon as we mentioned the surrender then this guy who was
1 with us collaborating, Zec, he jumped up and he says, I can arrange that,
2 that's not a problem and he just left this area and he was gone. After a
3 few minutes he came back and he says, I've talked to some of the Serbs.
4 They've guaranteed us if we surrender there should be no harm and we all
5 should be transported safely to Travnik. And at that moment my dad and I
6 and most of us got up and we started slowly walking. There was a little
7 path towards this tunnel. I clearly remember the tunnel. It was
8 approximately 50 metres long. We walk in that tunnel and I remember from
9 the rain had holes in it and it was dripping down and I was so thirsty I
10 was trying to catch the water and trying to have some sip of water. We
11 laid down and I remember we counted each other, approximately 200, and we
12 were in that tunnel and I think the Serb forces noticed that we were in
13 the tunnel, so as soon as we were in there we noticed the bullets were on
14 both in and out on both entrances were heavy firing. And this guy, I
15 remember, Zec, got up and he says -- he ripped his shirt, he had a white
16 shirt on and put it on a stick, and then he says, If you follow me, then
17 we'll go and it's arranged. And I remember seeing -- my dad was there, I
18 was there, my uncles, my sister's husband, my cousins, a lot of people
19 from Hrvacani surrounding, Vecici also. I don't know, but around 200.
20 And we slowly walked towards the Grabovica.
21 Q. As you came out of the tunnel can you describe for us what you
22 saw outside?
23 A. Certainly. As we left the tunnel, we were walking one by one in
24 a row, straight line. And as we were -- it was like a wooded area and we
25 approached this little field, and we noticed the trench with the Serb --
1 three or four soldiers came out of there and they were screaming. And
2 they had automatic weapons and they started firing as soon as we
3 approached. We were instructed to -- any man -- anyone in the group
4 acquiring or holding a weapon or anything to raise their hands like this
5 with the weapon and to start slowly walking. As we were approaching this
6 trench they told us, All the weapons on the left-hand side and all the
7 belongings, valuables, on the right-hand side. If we find a needle,
8 we'll kill you. And I remember my dad, and I think the entire group of
9 people that went for Travnik or tried to escape to Travnik, had a lot of
10 money because the civilians or the rest of families expected us to make
11 it through Travnik so a lot of men had a lot of valuables, including a
12 lot of money because women were afraid to take it because of finding out
13 that they were -- the Serb forces in Banja Luka and Skender Vakuf they
14 were stripping down everybody to -- and asking for the gold, money, and
15 other things. So my dad had money, my mom gave him money, Deutschemarks,
16 to dad hoping that we're going to go through. And I think a lot of other
17 families did the same thing. So as we were walking down slowly I noticed
18 the weapons on our left-hand side and the valuables, including a lot of
19 money. I've seen a lot of money and they were mainly Deutschemarks. So
20 we were instructed to leave everything and just follow the soldiers.
21 Q. Could you describe the uniforms of the soldiers?
22 A. Yes. They were camouflaged uniforms and they were -- had AK-47s.
23 I've seen the insignias with the cross and four C's, but they were all
24 camouflage. I did not see any civilian uniforms.
25 Q. Did you know or recognise any of the soldiers?
1 A. No, ma'am, I didn't remember any of them, and as far as by name,
2 but I've seen a lot of them joining as we were coming down to this level
3 where they -- afterwards they instructed us to lay down. I know they
4 were joining from different parts of the village. And as we approached
5 to this level ground where it was so muddy and had a water in there I
6 assume from the rain, we were instructed to form three lines. And I was
7 in the third line and we were instructed to form the lines and lay flat,
8 face down.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I just interrupt, Ms. Bibles.
10 Sir, you mentioned a few minutes ago that as you were moving into
11 a tunnel there were bullets coming from both sides. Did these bullets
12 strike anybody in your group?
13 THE WITNESS: No, Your Honour. As a matter of fact, I think once
14 they learned that we were in there, to keep us from fleeing the tunnel
15 they were firing, but as soon as the shirt or the flag the guy raised
16 that they stopped and we were instructed to follow the line. At that
17 moment the firing -- but nobody was hurt from --
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
19 Thank you, ma'am.
20 MS. BIBLES:
21 Q. Once you were on the ground, can you describe for us what the
22 soldiers did?
23 A. Certainly. When we were instructed to form three lines and to
24 lay down in this puddle of mud and water, I was laying down next to -- my
25 dad was on my left-hand side and my uncle was on my right-hand side. And
1 that's when the Serbs ordered us to lay down face down and I -- start
2 questioning -- picking out the different people from the group including
3 my father. They were really celebrating. They were really excited. The
4 guns were -- literally I could feel the bullets flying over my head.
5 They were firing. Meanwhile while we were face down I heard that the
6 trucks were approaching and more soldiers -- because as they were
7 unloading they were screaming and yelling, Oh, we got the balijas. And
8 they were picking out the people from the group, including my dad.
9 Before they picked out my dad I remember one from our village was picked
10 up and asked him, the Serb -- because we were so close to them, they were
11 behind us, I heard them asking him, Who's your leader? And he says, this
12 guy says, Besim. And where he's at? He's left in the woods. He's
13 probably dead. And they start laughing. Why don't you go ahead and call
14 him? And he was yelling, Besim, Besim. He was yelling at him. And they
15 start beating him. I heard when he was screaming. And then different
16 soldier picked up my dad because he was right next to him and asked
17 him -- kicked him and asked him, What did you find? Oh, you got the
18 boots. Where did you get these boots? Did you kill one of our soldiers?
19 And my dad says, No, I'm a hunter, licenced hunter, and these are my
20 boots. He goes, Oh, no, balija, you killed one of ours. These are the
21 boots from our soldier. And he says, No. He was screaming loudly. They
22 were hitting him. And then they asked him if he had anybody in the
23 group, and my dad says, No. But he did return, because when we returned,
24 when he came back, he was face down. He constantly kept screaming, Are
25 you okay? Are you okay? And I was just -- I was shocked. I didn't know
1 what -- kept saying, Yes. He says, Are you hurt? I said, No. And I
2 know he was hurt too because he never -- he's a strong man and he would
3 never say stuff like that. But I know he was asking because he was hurt.
4 He came back and laid down next to me. They picked randomly -- the next
5 person they picked up was hodza because I remember his favourite saying,
6 My child. He says, Oh, you're the one with the hat on, you're the one
7 who is in charge. You're responsible for this. And, as he always says,
8 My child, no, I'm not. And they start beating him and I can hear him
9 screaming also. And as I was laying down at one point after they picked
10 up different people to interrogate for different things, they mentioned,
11 they ordered us all the women and children to get up. And at first I
12 didn't want to get up because I was afraid to afraid from my dad. And he
13 told me to get up. I told him, No, I don't want to go without you. He
14 says, Get up. I said, No. And my uncle insisted. He said, Get up. You
15 will survive.
16 That's when I stood up and I was the last boy who got up from
17 that group. As I was walking we were instructed not to look around, just
18 to look in front of you. Don't make any sound. Just follow the group.
19 And as I was walking towards the end, I noticed hodza, he was the only
20 one who was faced up and blood. I didn't see him move or anything. And
21 then we started walking towards Grabovica.
22 Q. Can you first tell us, what is a hodza? What did -- who was he
23 to you?
24 A. Hodza is hodza -- he was imam from Vecici. He was like a father
25 to all of us. He would always give you and tell you right thing. He was
1 very old man, he was an old man, and always give you -- if nothing, he
2 will always tell you the truth.
3 Q. When you stood up, were you able to see who was calling for the
4 women and children to stand up?
5 A. No, absolutely not. I did not because we were ordered to look in
6 front of us, and as I was walking down, I remember I had my head down,
7 and hodza was right here on my right-hand side. That's when I just kind
8 of glanced at him like this, my eyes, and I noticed the blood on his
9 face. I did not see who instructed us to get up.
10 Q. How many were in the group of women and children that stood up?
11 A. I would say ten girls, ten women and five or six boys, all
13 Q. And how many men were left lying on the ground?
14 A. We counted ourselves, like I mentioned before, in the tunnel
15 approximately 200, anywhere from 150 to a hundred -- 200.
16 Q. As you stood up and walked, where did you go?
17 A. We had this -- I mean, when we got up there was this road, gravel
18 road that joined this road to Grabovica. And we were accompanied by a
19 few soldiers. One of them was actually -- they were all in camouflage
20 uniform. One of them was a female who had a semi-automatic weapon. And
21 I remember clearly we were walking slowly and we were several times we
22 were instructed to, Oh, come on, balija, let's lay down. And we would
23 lay down on the ground first for a few seconds and then they would order
24 us to get up and start running, stop. This happened like five or six
25 times. They ordered us to lay down, get up, run, stop. I remember this
1 woman had -- it was a camouflage uniform. She asked us if we had -- she
2 was holding a cigarette and she asked if we had a match -- oh, that's
3 right, you guys -- you balijas don't have a match because you don't have
4 anything. And out of this group one of my friends from Vecici, one of my
5 boys I know we went to school together, he pulled out a lighter out of
6 his pocket and he goes, I got one. And we all stood there and she says,
7 Okay. And he took it and lit up her cigarette and put it back in the
8 pocket and we continued walking slowly. As we were going through to
9 Grabovica, I've noticed several houses and the people were in front of
10 the houses, civilians, elderly people, they were waiting for us, spitting
11 on us, throwing stones at us, cursing at us, and we were just instructed
12 not to look, just look straight and just slowly walk.
13 Q. And when you got to Grabovica, where did they take you?
14 A. We passed through the village and short after we passed through
15 the village I remember there was like a curb. We went around the curb
16 and started walking a small distance. That's when we noticed the school
17 and we were ordered to go across the school to this courtyard, and we
18 stopped there.
19 Q. What did they have you do at the courtyard?
20 A. It was getting dark and we were ordered to form a line, and as we
21 were forming a line the soldiers were on the other side of us and they
22 were all in their uniforms, camouflage uniforms, had all AK-47, and they
23 just had us in a line. At that moment I was thinking: This is the end.
24 Because they had us lined up, this normally meant execution. So we were
25 just standing there for I think it was like two or three minutes until
1 somebody came and -- this guy came in with a hat. By this time it was a
2 little dark. I could not see his face. But he had a hat, almost like a
3 miner's hat. He had a light on. I assume this was a general or some
4 commander in charge. And he did introduce himself. I don't recall his
5 name. He says hello when he approached and asked us -- told us that, you
6 know, that he is, whatever his name was, and that we women and children
7 will spend the night in the school. He's guaranteeing nothing will
8 happen to us and that -- but our men will pay for that.
9 Q. What happened after he said those words?
10 A. After he said that nothing will happen to us, we were instructed
11 to go right across, cross the road, and we went down this little path and
12 the school. From the back side there was stairs, I remember clearly
13 climbing up the stairs, and we entered the school. The school had a -- I
14 assume two levels, but it was the ground level where we walked in and our
15 left-hand side there was a classroom, good side of the classroom. We
16 were all instructed to go in there.
17 Q. Were you free to do what you wanted in the classroom?
18 A. When we got to the classroom, we were ordered to pick a seat,
19 whatever, you know, find a seat. I remember I was in the back, all the
20 way in the back. We were all soaked and so tired. We were accompanied
21 by two guards fully armed. They were sitting at the teacher's desk, I
22 remember. One was in the chair and the other was on the desk. And
23 throughout the night they were taking turns, but we were not free -- we
24 were not able to do whatever we wanted to do. Actually, in order to go
25 and use the restroom we had to raise our hands and we were accompanied by
1 the two guards in order to go. They did offer us that night, the same
2 night, to -- when we noticed later on that night that our -- the rest of
3 the men came to the school, they offered us to go and see them.
4 Q. Let's talk about that. Did you see the group of men come to the
5 school, the group of men who had been left on the ground?
6 A. [No verbal response]
7 Q. Can you tell us how you were able to see them and exactly what
8 you saw?
9 A. Yes, ma'am. As I mentioned before I was in the classroom all the
10 way in the back. The window was on my left-hand side, the left-hand side
11 which was facing the row which we came from. At some point I don't know
12 exactly the time-frame when we noticed the military trucks. It was dark
13 and I know it poured down rain. It was coming down hard. The
14 headlights -- these men were tied -- their hands were tied behind their
15 back and they were in front of the trucks. That's how I know it was them
16 because we've seen them clearly, the trucks were behind them and the
17 light was hitting them as they were walking. They were brought to the
18 school and I remember they were taken upstairs on the second floor.
19 There was stairs going up and they were right above us in the same
21 Q. Did you go upstairs to see your father?
22 A. No, ma'am. As I mentioned before, they did offer us to go and
23 see our men and we had people from classroom -- as a matter of fact, I
24 remember Hajrija Dugonjic, who was a newlywed, to her husband
25 Sead Rahmanovic, she is the one who actually went upstairs and saw her
1 husband. I was afraid. Actually, I didn't want to go because previously
2 experiencing my dad when they offered -- you know, when they asked him
3 earlier if he had anybody in the group and he says no, I was afraid for
4 his safety and my safety, so I didn't go and personally see him. But
5 learning out -- finding out from Hajrija that she went upstairs and she
6 came down. She said -- she was crying. She said that her husband was
7 all blue and he gave her a sign because she asked if they were all there.
8 And she said that he mentioned -- gave her a sign that they were all
9 there and I think there were a couple of other people that same night,
10 they went upstairs to see their relatives. I was afraid. I didn't -- I
11 wish I would have went.
12 Q. Are you able to tell us what happened the next morning?
13 A. I remember the night, there was a lot of footsteps going up and
14 down. We can hear them. We didn't hear any major sounds or anything.
15 As a matter of fact, also that same night when we were in the classroom,
16 one of the Serb soldiers was fully armed to his teeth, he came in, he
17 says -- he mentions that he was captured in Vecici and he noticed this
18 girl was sitting in front of him and ask her -- I guess they went to
19 school together, recognised her, and asked her what she was doing. And
20 he offered her and told her nothing's going to happen to her. You know,
21 he was giving her candy and water, treated her fairly. But that morning
22 when we woke up we were trying to sleep, I remember I was trying to
23 sleep. I was so cold because my clothes were so wet. And we woke up and
24 they told us that we are going for Travnik, that there is two buses
25 waiting for us outside and we have to follow the instructions, in other
1 words, we were leaving the school, the classroom on the back side where
2 we came in. The fence -- we had to go down and we had these angry people
3 waiting for us. They formed a gauntlet and I remember guard on both
4 sides. They instructed us not to go, not to run, one by one. The bus
5 was I would say 200 metres along waiting on the road, two buses. I don't
6 know why they had two buses. One was waiting for us, and we were
7 instructed to walk slowly towards bus. If you run, they had one guard
8 with the gun pointing at and they will -- and says, I will kill you if
9 you run. You can't run, you have to go slow. We were trying -- we were
10 pushing each other, who is going to go first. Nobody wanted to. I think
11 at some point this little kid who had a match that I mentioned him
12 earlier, he decided to go. And he started walking and as he was -- I
13 think he reached like halfway through, these people had a -- they were so
14 angry, the civilians, all -- they had the sticks, axes, for -- they
15 had -- they hit him I remember just hit him on his knees and he fell,
16 fell down on the ground, couldn't move. And they would let the next one
17 go and as we were going taking a beating through the gauntlet, we were
18 dragging him, trying to take him to the bus. When -- every time when
19 someone pushes me to try to go next I was always trying to avoid so my
20 turn was -- I was one of the last ones. I started walking and I was -- I
21 remember I was like -- my goal was to try to reach that tunnel -- that
22 bus, I'm sorry, the bus and I didn't care about anything else, but I felt
23 a horrible beating on my back and I was just kept walking, just going
24 through there. I didn't care. I just wanted to get to the bus. As I
25 was getting beat up on my back side, all over my body, I don't remember,
1 I was just trying to get to the door. And I was so close, this old lady
2 dressed in black, she grabbed me and pulled me on the ground and had a
3 knife. She put it on my neck. She said, Let me kill one balija because
4 two of my sons died in Vecici. I tried to pull apart. I was trying to
5 pull apart and I was not strong enough. And this guard grabbed her and
6 pushed her aside and he grabbed me and threw me in the bus and he closed
7 the door. And we were told, Sit down, don't look around, and we were all
8 in the seats crying like this. These people for some reason, they tried
9 to start the bus and it wouldn't go. And these people from the gauntlet,
10 they went around the bus and they were shaking the bus and banging on the
11 window, throwing stones, spitting at us, and we were there for a good 10,
12 15 minutes. I thought they were going to tilt the bus over because they
13 were so angry.
14 And as we -- then finally the bus started and we started -- I
15 turned around, I remember I'll never forget that. I looked up and on my
16 right on the second floor I saw a hand -- there was a hand waving. I
17 didn't see the body but there was a hand waved like this and I see that
18 hand in my dreams.
19 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, I will refer the Chamber to
20 adjudicated facts 804 through 808 with respect to the findings of
21 previous Trial Chambers and this Chamber with respect to what happened to
22 the men on the second floor.
23 Q. Did your --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could we just get clear, second floor of --
25 MS. BIBLES: Second floor of -- thank you.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: The witness can tell us.
2 MS. BIBLES:
3 Q. Can you tell us who was in the second floor of the school?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: He doesn't know who, he saw a hand, but second
5 floor of what.
6 MS. BIBLES: Ah.
7 Q. As you drove away in the bus you said you saw the hand on the
8 second floor. What was the building?
9 A. When we entered the bus, the school was on the right-hand side
10 and the way -- the arm came from the second floor where our men were
11 left. Like I said, I didn't see the body, but I just seen somebody wave
12 from the second floor of the school that we were in.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
14 MS. BIBLES:
15 Q. Did the bus that you were in eventually make it to Travnik?
16 A. As we left Grabovica in the direction we walked -- came from when
17 we were walking, that direction we went back with the bus, the bus in
18 front was an empty bus and we all -- all of us, including the Zec, the
19 guy who was collaborating with the Serbs, he was in there too. We joined
20 the rest of the buses, approximately 13 buses when we approached
21 Vrbanjci. We were the last bus with the rest of the civilians from
22 Vecici. I remember also in the bus that we didn't talk. They told us
23 not to talk about it or talk anything, just look in front of us and that
24 this Zec guy was greeted by these soldiers inside and saying how great
25 job he did.
1 Q. Did you see your mother again?
2 A. As we left Vrbanjci, joined the buses, we took off. I don't
3 know -- I don't remember exactly which direction, but I know we were the
4 Skender Vakuf end of Vlasici. I didn't see my mom in Vrbanjci, but
5 actually I didn't see her until I came to Travnik at all. They had no
6 idea what had happened in Grabovica. They had no idea that we were
7 behind them. When we reached Vlasici, we were ordered to -- they stopped
8 the buses at one point on the Vlasici and told us to get out. And they
9 would let one or two buses at a time and us to stay back. I guess they
10 were giving time for these soldiers to come in and ask for more money.
11 They were jumping out of woods in, like, groups of 10, 15, and asking
12 for -- they had a mask. They were in the camouflage uniforms, but I know
13 every one of them had a mask over the face. Couldn't see the face. They
14 were asking for the money, gold, any valuables, and just stripping us
15 down. Since our bus was the last bus, so we were amongst the last ones
16 who actually left the scene and tried to reach to the safe Bosnian side,
17 I remember every time when we get approached by -- jumped by these
18 people, the soldiers, and asking for belongings, it's unbelievable,
19 people were just lost and standing there. We didn't have anything. They
20 kept asking, Money, money, balijas, give more money, gold. We didn't
21 have anything. At one point, I don't know if I mentioned this, but I'm
22 going back now, I remember I had -- I was approached by the soldier and I
23 had also a knife at one point on my throat and asked if I had money and I
24 said I had nothing. I kept just running trying to catch to my mom
25 because every time I asked somebody in that group, Where is my mom? And
1 the people were just lost. At one point they didn't respond and at one
2 point they were, like, just point out go. And I clearly remember Smetovi
3 is this road. It was so crowded with the belongings that at one point we
4 had to literally had to crawl over the bags and the clothes. You
5 couldn't see the pavement. It was so hard to go through. I think like
6 three or four times we were jumped by these people until we finally
7 reached the Bosnian side. These men came out, the soldiers came out,
8 they were also in the camouflage uniform, and at one point it was just
9 not again, and they were like, No, we're okay. Here's water. You're on
10 the safe. They were waiting with trucks and buses for us to take us to
12 Q. Were you asked to look at a list of names of people to see if
13 they were with you either in the tunnel or on the ground before you got
14 to Grabovica?
15 A. I'm sorry, can you repeat that.
16 Q. Yes. Did you review a list of names of people who may have been
17 with you in the tunnel or on the ground before you reached Grabovica?
18 A. Yes, ma'am.
19 Q. And that was this past weekend?
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. I'd like to -- did you recognise some of the names?
22 A. Absolutely.
23 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, this is the most efficient way to go
24 over the names of people that he recognised would be to pull up
25 65 ter 28320 the Defence referred to earlier. I could also just review
1 the names with the witness and have him give a brief description of where
2 he -- if he knew them and where he last saw them.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, any problem if the list be shown to the
5 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Grounds, please?
7 MR. LUKIC: Grounds?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Grounds.
9 MR. LUKIC: It was disclosed late to us. It was disclosed this
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
12 MR. LUKIC: I think that's the sufficient ground.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, could you tell us whether this list
16 existed before and whether it was disclosed to the Defence and when it
17 was disclosed to the Defence?
18 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, the witness recognised 14 names from
19 the list. He -- we put that into a proofing note with respect to his
20 information. We had it translated into B/C/S on Sunday. I sent an
21 e-mail to the Defence team Sunday, late afternoon with that, and then we
22 provided it this morning along with just a list of the names, which is
23 what we would show in the 65 ter exhibit that does not have the
24 information -- the additional information from the witness. It's just a
25 list of the names.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I do understand that the list was
3 produced during the proofing session. If you are surprised by any names
4 or if you would like to verify whether there are any names on that which
5 needs to be further researched and if that leads to any results in your
6 research which would justify that further questions would be put to the
7 witness, the Chamber will consider such a request. At the same time, at
8 this moment the Chamber does not oppose this list to be shown to the
9 witness and that the witness be asked whether this is the names that were
10 shown to him and whether he recognised any persons from that list. But
11 again, if there are any persons on that list or any names which caught
12 you by surprise -- because, Ms. Bibles, let me just try to understand,
13 the only purpose of the use of this list is to identify persons who were
14 with the witness during the -- when he left Vecici? Nothing more,
15 nothing less?
16 MS. BIBLES: Yes, individuals who he last saw either in the
17 tunnel at the time they surrendered or on the ground right after they
18 left the tunnel.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: One second, if I may, I would like to draw your
23 attention to one procedural issue as well. This document is added to
24 65 ter list without asking Your Honours --
25 JUDGE ORIE: That would be my next point. Of course the
1 Prosecution has to ask to add it to the 65 ter list if they would like to
2 proceed in the way they suggest. That goes without saying, Mr. Lukic.
3 MR. LUKIC: But I think they have to ask it before they use it.
4 That's our point.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I fully agree with you that that would have been the
6 appropriate procedural approach. At the same time usually if a document
7 is produced at a very late stage, tendering it usually is understood to
8 be -- to include a request for having it added to the 65 ter list. But
9 procedurally, you're perfectly right.
10 Ms. Bibles, may I take it that that is -- it's a two-step story,
11 the one is to ask permission to add it to the 65 ter list and then to use
12 it with the witness?
13 MS. BIBLES: Yes, Your Honours. And I was aware because of the
14 proceedings before that this might require some discussion, so I would
15 properly move to add the exhibit to the 65 ter list and then tender it
16 with the witness.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 Any further comments, apart from what you commented already,
19 Mr. Lukic?
20 MR. LUKIC: Just to stick with our objections, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 Then I'll consult with my colleagues.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE ORIE: The first decision is whether or not leave is
25 granted to add this document to the 65 ter list. Leave is granted, so
1 you can use it if you -- as you deem fit at this moment.
2 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 I would ask the court officer then to bring up 65 ter 28320.
4 Q. Do you see the list of names in front of you?
5 A. Yes, ma'am.
6 Q. And could you tell us whether this is a list of the people that
7 you identified that you knew?
8 A. Yes, ma'am.
9 Q. And could you tell us where you last saw the people who are on
10 this list?
11 A. Yes, ma'am. Do I need to go over -- say anything about the names
12 or just --
13 Q. I'll go through briefly the names with you. But do you
14 recognise -- did -- when was the last time that you saw the people on
15 this list?
16 A. Before it was in the tunnel, some people in the tunnel, and some
17 while we were laying down on the ground.
18 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, I've just looked at the clock and
19 realised this may be a break time. I'll -- I'm happy to go forward and
21 JUDGE ORIE: How much time would you still need?
22 MS. BIBLES: I believe less than ten minutes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, of course we had kind of an additional break in
24 between. Perhaps it's better if you would finish in the next ten minutes
25 and then take a break of some 20 minutes and then start
2 MS. BIBLES: Very good. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
4 MS. BIBLES:
5 Q. I'd like to briefly go through the list, and if you could tell us
6 approximately if you know how old this person is and just indicate
7 briefly where the last time that you saw them was. The first is
8 Nedzad Menzil.
9 A. Nedzad Menzil, he was a year older. His dad -- he actually, when
10 we were praying right before the ambush -- second ambush, he was shot and
11 killed, a year older than I am. I remember him clearly because we
12 were -- as kids we were playing. He was shot and killed, shot in his
13 stomach and I remember his dad covered him with branches and left him
15 Q. And Opakic Seval.
16 A. Yes, Opakic Seval had a brother, also Nedzad. I remember he was
17 probably a couple years older than me. Before the war we used to get
18 comic books from him. I saw him in the tunnel and I remember -- I asked
19 him because he was constantly in Vecici and he was making weird sound
20 when I would talk to him since I didn't see him since Hrvacani the
21 whole -- I saw him in the tunnel and he was making a weird noise, and I
22 said, What happened? And he had a hole in his throat. And he says he
23 got -- when the shell hit the ground when he was in Vecici a piece went
24 in his throat, and every time he would breathe it would make a horrible
25 sound and it would interfere with his voice. So he was in the tunnel
1 with me.
2 Q. Pasic Sefik?
3 A. Pasic Sefik, my uncle, I remember him also laying down next -- on
4 my right when we were on the ground right before we got up. He had a
5 house right next to us, always treated me as his kid.
6 Q. Pasic Fadil?
7 A. Pasic Fadil, I had four other brothers, one of them was my age.
8 He was the same age as my cousin, Nihad, further cousin from my father's
9 side. We used to play as kids. He had horses so we went horseback
11 Q. Pasic Mehmedalija?
12 A. Pasic Mehmedalija, the father of the little girl that I was
13 carrying in Hrvacani. He was bald. He was there too.
14 Q. In the tunnel?
15 A. In the tunnel.
16 Q. Pasic Mustafa?
17 A. Yes, Pasic Mustafa was -- he's my cousin from father's side. His
18 house was on the top of the village, the Pasic side. He had a vehicle.
19 Before the war, we used to go as kids when he would lift his vehicle and
20 work on the vehicle help him with the tools.
21 Q. Where did you last see him?
22 A. He was in the tunnel with us.
23 Q. And Pasic Nihad?
24 A. Pasic Nihad, my dear friend, my cousin. He was there too in the
25 tunnel. We used to play as kids, take care of our cattle, everything.
1 He was like my brother.
2 Q. Pasic Sakib?
3 A. Pasic Sakib, my other cousin from father's side. As I mentioned
4 in the previous statement, when we returned to Hrvacani his -- one of the
5 houses at first we'd seen, it was the one on the right, that's his house.
6 Q. Where did you last see him?
7 A. I seen him in the tunnel.
8 Q. Rahmanovic Sead?
9 A. Rahmanovic Sead, the husband of Hajrija Dugonjic, who --
10 newlyweds. I've seen him in the tunnel and also in the school, according
11 to her he was upstairs because I remember clearly that night she went up
12 and saw him. He was there in the school on the second floor.
13 Q. Turan Mustafa?
14 A. Turan Mustafa, he's from Hrvacani, familiar last name. I don't
15 have any relationship with him, but I know him as a little but I don't
16 have any relation with him. He is definitely from Hrvacani.
17 Q. And where did you last see him?
18 A. He was in that tunnel before we went down.
19 Q. And did you also last see Turan Namko in the tunnel last?
20 A. Yes, ma'am.
21 Q. And Turan Rasim in the tunnel last?
22 A. Yes, ma'am.
23 Q. And Dugonjic Murat in the tunnel as well last?
24 A. Dugonjic Murat, I think we made a mistake, is the father. His
25 son Muradif in my statement is the son, not the -- Murat is the father.
1 Muradif is his son was with us.
2 Q. So that should be Radif?
3 A. Muradif, yes --
4 Q. Muradif.
5 A. -- as I mention in my statement.
6 Q. And Lihovic Elvir?
7 A. Lihovic Elvir, he was there too. I've seen him before in the
8 tunnel, and also down when we were walking down we were close to each
9 other. He's my sister's husband from Dabovci.
10 Q. And what is your father's name?
11 A. My father's name Pasic Ahmet.
12 Q. Do you know what happened to your father?
13 A. Your Honours, after being there that night, there's no doubt in
14 my mind that they were all killed.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where?
16 THE WITNESS: The rest of these people stayed in Grabovica, and
17 no doubt in my mind that they ended up dying.
18 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, I have no further questions for this
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Ms. Bibles, of course I asked myself
21 whether you want to tender this document, and at the same time I ask
22 myself what would the document add to the testimony of the witness. So
23 even though it's now on the 65 ter list, all of the names are part of the
24 testimony. One of the names is corrected, it might even -- a reason not
25 to have it admitted because there's a correction.
1 MS. BIBLES: Yes, Your Honours, I would agree. I will withdraw
2 my motion to admit that as an exhibit.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then -- well, I don't know whether it was
4 already tendered, but at least there's no need to decide on that on the
5 present circumstances.
6 No further questions?
7 MS. BIBLES: No further questions, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: No further questions. Then I suggest that we take a
9 break, that we resume at 5.00, and that you start your cross-examination
10 at 5.00, Mr. Lukic.
11 Could the witness first be escorted out of the courtroom.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE ORIE: We take a break and we'll resume at 5.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 4.41 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 5.00 p.m.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
17 Mr. Lukic, could you give us any idea on how much time you'd need
18 for cross-examination?
19 MR. LUKIC: I'll try to fit into 60 per cent of direct time.
20 JUDGE ORIE: 60 per cent of direct time which would mean a little
21 bit over one hour?
22 MR. LUKIC: One hour and 15 minutes, I guess.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if it would be -- of course we'll follow our
24 cross-examination. If it would be possible to make it so concise that we
25 could finish the witness in one hour, that of course would be better --
1 MR. LUKIC: I'm trying --
2 JUDGE ORIE: -- but we follow you already.
3 MR. LUKIC: I'm trying to reduce my questions right now so I'll
4 try my best.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's appreciated.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE ORIE: I think we were scheduled until 6.00, but apparently
8 we're scheduled for 5.45, so therefore I was perhaps asking this question
9 on the wrong assumption.
10 Mr. Pasic, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Lukic. Mr. Lukic
11 is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
12 Mr. Lukic, please proceed.
13 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Pasic. [In English] You can
16 answer in English.
17 A. Good day.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Could you tell us, what was the name of your
20 A. My grandfather's name Alipasic.
21 Q. Thank you. You were enumerating those names put to you by the
22 Prosecutor a moment ago. Could you tell us those names again quickly
23 without the list?
24 A. Sure. I'm going to start with my father, Ahmet Pasic;
25 Nihad Pasic; Mehmedalija Pasic; Mustafa Pasic; Fadil Pasic;
1 Dugonjic Muradif, the son of Murat; Menzil Nedzad; Turan Mustafa;
2 Turan Namko.
3 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
4 A. You're welcome.
5 Q. The next thing I'd like to go through with you quickly is if you
6 could summarise your movement from place to place after you left
7 Hrvacani, and could you tell us how long you stayed in each of them?
8 A. Sure. After I went -- left Hrvacani, obviously my first stop was
9 Plitska. I would say day or two or -- don't know approximately. Maybe
10 one day in Plitska. I'm not quite sure, but I just know as soon as we
11 got to Plitska and we were trying together -- I think it was the same
12 day, then the Serb forces started shelling Plitska, so from there we went
13 to -- we actually were trying to decide whether we should go to -- some
14 people went to Bilice and some to Cirkino Brdo. Obviously by then my
15 aunt's brother from Cirkino Brdo, Hasan, came over to pick her up and
16 asked us to go with her because he had two houses. And we -- I would
17 believe that it was the same day that we went with his sister, my aunt,
18 Zena Pasic, and went for Cirkino Brdo. We stayed there I don't know -- I
19 don't remember exactly how many days because travelling from place to
20 place -- we went to Cirkino Brdo, then from Cirkino Brdo --
21 Q. [In English] So you don't know how long you stayed in
22 Cirkino Brdo?
23 A. I am going to say maybe two weeks, three weeks. I'm not sure.
24 Q. That's fine.
25 A. I mean -- but I know we were there helping Hasan and we worked on
1 the field, so a few days we were there --
2 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you. How long did you stay in Bilice?
3 A. After we went from Cirkino Brdo to Bilice, approximately a month
4 we stayed in Bilice before we ended up going back -- try to go -- so I
5 would say a month in Bilice.
6 Q. Then you went to Hrvacani and how long did you stay there?
7 A. In Hrvacani we just -- half a day we stayed there. We tried to
8 stay because we didn't want to go anywhere else to create any trouble for
9 anybody else, we signed a loyalty. So that was the same day that we left
10 for Garici.
11 Q. Garici, how long?
12 A. Approximately a month we were in Atif's house helping him out
14 Q. Then you went to Bilice; right? How long did you stay there?
15 A. That's correct. We went for Bilice. I don't know how many days
16 we stayed there. I know it was days when we went second time back --
17 that's when my brother came to Bilice and told us that he found out that
18 they were going to surrender and that the best way -- I mean, he was
19 going to take us to Vecici together, but he suggested to go back to
20 Garici because being in Vecici was not safe place for us. So I don't
21 know, few days we were there. I don't know exactly how many days before
22 it fell.
23 Q. How long did you stay in Garici?
24 A. I don't remember exactly how many days. I don't remember now,
25 but I know when we went back it was -- I don't know exactly how many
2 Q. Several days?
3 A. Several days I would say, close to a month. I'm not sure.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I'd prefer if you would let the witness
5 finish his relatively short answers. Please proceed.
6 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Vrbanjci, did you just pick up your documents
8 there or did you stay there a while?
9 A. In Vrbanjci we just stayed that same day just to get the
10 documents, and then as soon as mom and the rest of the civilians got the
11 documents, we went to Vecici the same day.
12 Q. Okay. Then Vecici again, how many days?
13 A. I know that I spent the night there. I know that, that we spent
14 the night because once we met with the father and they determined which
15 direction we should go they -- and then second day we left.
16 Q. And before you came to Grabovica, how long did your journey take
17 when you were trying to get through from Vecici before you were arrested
18 in the tunnel?
19 A. I know we left that night, as I mentioned, at 8.00 p.m. We
20 travelled the night and then we were ambushed around midnight, so the
21 following day we gathered together 4.00, around 6.00, 7.00, so we were
22 ambushed second time and lasted entire day. So it was the following day
23 that we managed when we ended up in the tunnel and going --
24 Q. Two days max; right?
25 A. Yes, two days max.
1 Q. Now I'd like to ask you, speaking of Bajram, do you recall if it
2 was Kurban Bajram or was it the Ramadan Bajram?
3 A. You know, I don't remember. I -- if I may assume that it was
4 Kurban Bajram. I don't know. I don't know if it was after fasting or --
5 Bajram or the one for when we perform the hodza. I am not sure. I don't
6 remember now.
7 Q. Very well. Thank you. You speak about the JNA. Was the JNA
8 made up of all ethnicities in the former Yugoslavia?
9 A. I believe so that the JNA before the war was -- yes.
10 Q. And your brother you say was in the JNA. Was he doing his
11 military service or was he at a military school?
12 A. My brother was in a military school. He did not attend military
13 service. He was in a school.
14 Q. How old was he at the time?
15 A. He was born 1973, so I don't know, 18, 19, I'm not sure.
16 Q. Was he in a secondary school or was he attending the military
18 A. I think on military academy, that's what ...
19 Q. What secondary school did he finish before that, if you know?
20 Was it also a military school?
21 A. No. He finished a school in Vrbanjci and after that, if I may
22 explain, in order to -- military academy after he finished the school in
23 Vrbanjci, he applied. My dad was always -- before the war he wanted him
24 to go and attend the school and of course my mom was against it. But he
25 listened to my dad and he applied and in order to get accepted, it was
1 really -- I remember it was really strict school. Then he would go to
2 Banja Luka and Sarajevo, take extra exams. And he finally got admitted.
3 I know my dad was so proud of him. So he finished the school in Vrbanjci
4 and then after that he was admitted to academy and then he went to -- for
6 Q. Earlier today you mentioned also that the men had AK-47s, as you
7 said. Did you know the name of that rifle at the time; and if you did,
9 A. Since I live in America, that's how I found out AK-47, obviously.
10 But being in Bosnia I know we called them "automatska puska"
11 [Interpretation] Automatic rifle. [In English] And that's how I know
12 AK-47, by living in the states and just being there, so ...
13 Q. Thank you. You also talked about tanks, that you saw tanks there
14 and you were told that a military exercise was going on. At the time
15 were military columns from Croatia passing by on that road? You said
16 they were going towards Doboj?
17 A. The first convoy when I was in a school when we came out, it was
18 JNA, clearly it was JNA and there was no -- I didn't see any insignias or
19 insignia like that, but it was JNA with the star and the tanks and mainly
20 the three fingers, olive greens -- solid olive green uniforms, some
21 camouflage uniforms.
22 Q. Do you know when the fighting started in Kotor Varos municipality
23 and who took Kotor Varos over? At the time did you know?
24 A. Clearly when our village was attacked, I don't know exactly what
25 month and I know it was Bajram, the holiday, we were attacked by the
1 Serbs. And as I mentioned before, our neighbours -- noticing the
2 activities in our neighbours, the trenches and all of that, it was the
3 Serb army. I don't know what -- at that time, but it was the Serbs and
4 they controlled the Kotor Varos during that time. They were in the city
5 and controlled most of Kotor Varos until they took it completely over.
6 Q. Do you know where Serdare village is?
7 A. Yes. When I was in Cirkino Brdo it's not far away from
8 Cirkino Brdo. I don't know how far it is from the Hrvacani, but when we
9 were -- took refuge in Cirkino Brdo, not many houses were there. The
10 Serbs also -- I don't know how far the distance-wise, but yeah, I know
11 approximately where they were located.
12 Q. Since you moved around that area, did you see that village burnt,
13 destroyed, people evacuated?
14 A. I remember when we were travelling from a place to place and
15 trying to find a home, I don't think -- I was never -- we were never
16 close to that village because most of our moments when we were leaving
17 Hrvacani and going to Cirkino Brdo, Hanifici, Plitska and Bilice, that's
18 way up north so I never had chance to even come close to the village. We
19 were just crossing the hills I think north of that. I never went through
20 the village of Serdare.
21 Q. Just again briefly about your brother. Was your brother called
22 names because he had attended the JNA military academy for a while?
23 A. As I mentioned, my brother, you know, being in academy being away
24 from the home they had a chance to come home only during May. That was
25 the time when we were released from the army and they would spend time
1 with us. So when he came in May to see us, he was fully dressed and it
2 was not the olive green, it was similar to like a bluish and like a
3 pilot. And he was really sharp-looking. And I remember when he -- at
4 this time I think the war in Croatia and Slovenia already started and
5 it's been going on and the people were just -- they start call him by
6 name Chetnik because he was still active in military academy at that
8 Q. Thank you. Can we conclude that people from your village called
9 "Chetnik" anyone who wore a JNA uniform regardless of ethnicity?
10 A. I'm not sure to -- I don't know what to answer to that question,
11 but --
12 JUDGE ORIE: It would require anyhow a proper factual basis
13 before drawing conclusions, Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: I thought that I draw one, Your Honour --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if --
16 MR. LUKIC: -- I'm showing that his brother, being Muslim, was
17 called "Chetnik." That's why -- that was my --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and would that be a proper basis to answer a
19 question: Can we conclude that people from your village called 'Chetnik'
20 anyone who wore a JNA uniform ..."? We had one apparently one case where
21 that happened --
22 MR. LUKIC: That's [overlapping speakers] for.
23 JUDGE ORIE: -- and then we could ask the witness whether he is
24 aware of any other person wearing a uniform being called a Chetnik, and
25 then we might have a broader basis for drawing any conclusions.
1 Are you aware of anyone apart from your brother but wearing a JNA
2 uniform being named "Chetnik" by the people in your village as well?
3 THE WITNESS: Well, Your Honour, if I may, I don't remember
4 anybody at that time in the village that was actually attending JNA or
5 was in the JNA except my brother was in the military. So his friends
6 were calling him at that time that name. I don't know, I don't remember
7 if they were calling anybody else or if just because of the uniform, I
8 don't remember that.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, please proceed.
10 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Did you feel that there was some animosity
12 towards the JNA in your village?
13 A. Absolutely not. If I may, before the war JNA -- obviously
14 everyone had to do it. It was the -- we had -- people had to attend JNA
15 before the war and I remember actually several people that were going
16 through JNA. As a matter of fact, when I was little I actually, being in
17 a class we respected Tito, and you know -- there were military exercises
18 way before the war when they actually -- JNA members came in and did
19 exercises in my village, perform. And, you know, I remember as kids
20 going to the mosque and they had blue and the green, the groups, and they
21 were exercising, so we would join and just go with the groups and they
22 would give us, you know, weapons and we would just -- we actually
23 respected the army before the war.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I notice that your answer was focusing on the period
25 before the war. Now Mr. Lukic had not given a clear time-frame for his
2 Mr. Lukic, were you interested in how the JNA whether there was
3 any animosity before the war or once -- well, let's say perhaps 1992 when
4 there were problems?
5 MR. LUKIC: There was no JNA anymore when the war erupted,
6 Your Honour, so I was asking about before war, so he answered my question
8 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then that's clear to me now as well. Please
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You're now saying your father left your home. Did he come back
12 the same night?
13 A. When the shelling started, we were in the cellar, like I -- as I
14 mentioned. And I don't know what happened. He went but I know that same
15 morning or that night we were in the cellar, the morning when he came in
16 and knocked on that window and says, You need to get out --
17 Q. Thank you, we've heard you. Before he came back you say you
18 heard shelling. Did you also hear the sounds of fighting, the sound of
19 rifle fire?
20 A. Yes. We heard the shelling and also the bullets -- because the
21 way my village is, as I mentioned, the southern part of the Hrvacani, so
22 I don't know if the shells were coming from Novakovo Brdo or the Savici
23 or Tepici, but the bombs explosion we heard and also the bullets.
24 Q. Thank you. Did you learn how many people got killed from the
25 shelling, how many people were wounded?
1 A. We learned that morning when we escaped to Plitska, as a matter
2 of fact when we got to the house I know for a fact, because I've seen it
3 with my eyes, they -- a man in his -- 30 years old, he was wounded from
4 the shell and he was screaming, screaming and making a noise. And my mom
5 was there and they were looking at him. He had a piece from shell hit
6 him here and they were ask if anyone had anything to try to patch the
7 wound. And they asked this woman who was nursing a kid to try to use her
8 breast milk to put it on the wound. I remember one that was injured from
9 the shell. I don't remember anybody getting killed except the people
10 that stayed in the village.
11 Q. Then you went to Cirkino Brdo and you say they had signed a
12 statement of loyalty and nothing happened to them. I have heard so much
13 about this statement of loyalty. Have you ever seen that or was it just
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, whether you heard a lot about the
16 statement of loyalty seems not to be very relevant. You would like to
17 know from the witness whether he has seen the statement of loyalty?
18 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then apart from introducing your own
20 experience and observations, ask the witness what you would like to hear
21 from him. Please proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thanks.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, Mr. Pasic, have you ever seen anything like
24 a statement of loyalty?
25 A. No, sir, I never seen any written statements other than when we
1 went to Vrbanjci and we had a piece of paper that was staying from
2 Vecici -- from Vrbanjci to Vecici. But as far as the Cirkino Brdo, I
3 never seen actual document with my eyes, I never did.
4 Q. Thank you. The people in Cirkino Brdo were the same ethnic group
5 as you; right?
6 A. That is correct, sir, 100 per cent Muslims.
7 Q. So the only difference between them and the residents of Hrvacani
8 was that they did not wage war against the Serbs; correct?
9 A. The difference is we were attacked. Hrvacani was attacked. I
10 don't remember them offering us to surrender or lay down if there were
11 any weapons, I don't remember that. As far as the Cirkino Brdo signed
12 loyalty to the Serbs, we know that even when they signed loyalty to the
13 Serbs that Hanifici and Cirkino Brdo a lot of civilians, even when they
14 signed, especially in Hanifici, were burned in the mosque even when they
15 signed. So the guarantee was not a hundred per cent like they promised.
16 Q. When did you hear about Hanifici? You haven't mentioned that
18 A. Now that I'm fully back in that -- during that time, when we were
19 at Cirkino Brdo and helping Hasan to harvest the crop and the food, he
20 were -- he was informed that if he helps the civilians or if people from
21 Hrvacani stay there and if they come back that they might put
22 Cirkino Brdo into great danger. As a matter of fact, one day we were --
23 I don't know which day but actually we were Cirkino Brdo going to the
24 fields when we heard the screams and people running from Hanifici and
25 since Cirkino Brdo sits above -- higher ground than Hanifici, we noticed
1 that the soldiers were going in and burning houses and people were
2 screaming and they were -- they gathered them together in the mosque and
3 set up the mosque on the fire. That's when we picked up our belongings
4 and we ran towards Plitska again and Bilice running back, including some
5 of the people from Cirkino Brdo. We all ended up again back at Bilice.
6 Q. And how many people fell victim in Hanifici, what are you saying
7 to us?
8 A. I don't fully remember or seen it, but we just seen the smoke and
9 the mosque coming from that area. I don't know how many casualties were
10 there in the mosque.
11 Q. Thank you. Then later you arrive in Bilice. That's a Croat
12 village; right?
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. The people there were well armed; isn't that right?
15 A. When we approached the Bilice -- I don't know if this was a first
16 or a second time because we were going back and forth, I did -- we
17 entered the sides far away from Kotor Varos. Indeed, I've seen 10 to 15
18 people with automatic weapons fully armed and they were organised and
19 they had Croat insignia -- or symbols, Croat symbols.
20 Q. Did you see trenches dug around Bilice?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. Also military-age men from your village were already in Bilice;
24 A. Most men were there. They were there and we were on an eastern
25 part I think of Bilice.
1 Q. Was it evident that they were getting ready or that they had
2 already been involved in fighting the Serbs?
3 A. That I do not know. I just know when we entered the village, men
4 including my father, my brother, they were on the part where there was no
5 harm coming other than the part of the Bilice close to the Kotor Varos,
6 that's when we heard the intensive fighting. But on this part there was
7 absolutely nothing because there was no shelling until we spent some time
8 there and then we were shelled also.
9 Q. Before you arrived in Bilice, your father and brother were
10 already there; right?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. People from Hrvacani who were not in Bilice had already left in
13 the direction of Vecici; is that right?
14 A. Some people stayed in Bilice and also some went for Vecici.
15 Q. You found your brother and father in Bilice and then later the
16 two of them went to Vecici; is that right?
17 A. I don't know if this was the second time when we went to Bilice
18 or the first time. I know my dad, either on the first time or the second
19 time, ended up going to Vecici. My brother stayed there, and then I
20 think at one point he was there with us, I know when we were there, and
21 then we left, then we came back. He was gone, but then again he came
22 back when he found out they were going to surrender. So to answer your
23 question, yes, my father left from Bilice for Vecici.
24 Q. Thank you. Then you returned to Hrvacani you say 50 to 70 of you
25 all together. And there you encountered two Serb soldiers. One had been
1 wounded and the other one was carrying him. Do you know how that soldier
2 had been wounded?
3 A. When we approached them, the one standing up was, you know,
4 obviously I mentioned before they asked this question, the other one I
5 didn't see any bleeding, but he was -- I don't know if he was wounded or
6 if he was hurt, but as I mentioned he had his body like this with the gun
7 holding like this and the other guy was holding him. I don't know, I
8 didn't see any bleeding, but it seemed like they were in a big rush. I
9 don't know if it was -- I didn't see any bleeding.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, sorry to intervene, but the question was
11 whether you know how they were wounded, how they got wounded, I take it.
12 So not what their wounds were, but whether they were shot or whatever
13 happened to them. Do you know anything about that?
14 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I don't know what happened
15 to them. I don't know if they were injured somewhere, but I just
16 remember seeing them there. I don't know if he was wounded at the line
17 or anywhere else.
18 JUDGE ORIE: May I invite you to very much focus on exactly the
19 question that is put to you.
20 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you may proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. [Interpretation] These two soldiers, did they try to stop you
24 from going back to Hrvacani?
25 A. At one point a guy -- one soldier was really angry and he says
1 that, There's no place for you, balija, going back to Hrvacani because
2 your place is in Turkey. And he says, If you go there, we don't -- we're
3 not going to be responsible for if something happens to you. He was
4 cursing at us and then eventually they just took off.
5 Q. As His Honour, Judge Orie, said, please focus on the question.
6 The question was whether they were stopping you from doing that? Did
7 they kill someone? Did they beat somebody up? Did they wound someone?
8 Did they try to stop you in any way from going on to Hrvacani?
9 A. Thank you for clarifying. No, they did not.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. LUKIC: Bear with me, Your Honour, just for a moment.
12 Q. Now you are referring to Hrvacani. A group of soldiers
13 approached you and you say 15 wore masks. The people with the masks, did
14 they have crosses with four S's or were they some other people?
15 A. As I mentioned before, 15 to 20 soldiers. They were not all
16 masked and I don't remember seeing -- I've seen on some of them, not all
17 of them, that they had four S, but they were not all masked. So some of
18 them were and the others were not and I've noticed on some of them -- but
19 they were not all with the four S's.
20 Q. Some of them had olive-green-grey uniforms and others had
21 camouflage uniforms, that's what you had said, they had taken a tractor.
22 What did they look like to you, like soldiers and army or like a local
23 gang, the way you described them?
24 A. I don't know, but I just -- I know that they had a leader,
25 obviously, the one who stepped out to help out with the water. But as
1 far as the -- seemed like they were following the order from this guy, so
2 I don't know if they were army or a gang, I have no idea.
3 Q. Thank you. So, they hadn't killed anyone, injured anyone, or
4 beaten anyone up; is that correct?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. Thank you. After that you went to Garici, to your relatives.
7 Now that we're on the subject of Garici, is it also correct that the
8 inhabitants of Garici stayed on in their houses unhindered up until the
9 end of the war?
10 A. I'm sorry, can you rephrase that question. Sorry.
11 Q. [In English] Sure.
12 [Interpretation] You went to Garici to your relatives. Is it
13 correct that your relative, like all the other inhabitants of Garici,
14 stayed in their homes until the end of the war?
15 A. That is correct, they did.
16 Q. Thank you. Before you went to Garici, for instance, you tried to
17 decide amongst yourselves where it was that you would go. No one issued
18 you any orders, like where you should go?
19 A. No, as a group being there our goal was to go back there, return
20 to our village. That was -- at first we decided to do that, but after
21 finding out that there is nothing left in there and there is a lot of
22 things in order to survive, so we just between us in the group -- my
23 mom -- and they decided to just leave, and after experienced and seeing
24 the stuff and destruction, we decided just -- among ourselves, there was
25 absolutely nobody in there who forced us or did anything among ourselves
1 to go -- and since we had the group -- majority of the group had
2 relatives in Vakufci and Garici, most of us decided to go in that
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I'm looking at the clock. We'll finish
5 for the day.
6 But first, I would like to instruct you, Mr. Pasic, not to speak
7 with anyone about your testimony or to communicate in any other way about
8 your testimony, whether this is testimony given today or testimony still
9 to be given tomorrow.
10 Mr. Lukic, could you give us any impression as where you are, how
11 much time you'd still need tomorrow?
12 MR. LUKIC: More than today.
13 JUDGE ORIE: More than today?
14 MR. LUKIC: More than today. I'll try to condense my questions,
15 but I don't know how much time did I spend today?
16 JUDGE ORIE: I think today you used 45 minutes, close to
17 45 minutes. You would need more tomorrow, then that would be -- well,
18 that would be even -- well, beyond the 60 per cent instead of within.
19 MR. LUKIC: How much time do I have?
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, you asked for 60 per cent, isn't it --
21 MR. LUKIC: That's what I get?
22 JUDGE ORIE: After two hours, which is a little bit over one
23 hour, as a matter of fact it's one hour and 12 minutes, if I'm not
24 mistaken. So would you please review your schedule and then perhaps
25 also -- it was not always entirely clear to me what was in dispute and
1 what you challenged. I felt sometimes there was some testing of the
2 reliability and credibility of the witness. Sometimes it was not
3 entirely clear what was in dispute.
4 MR. LUKIC: Do you want me to state the position of our
5 defence --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Not in the presence of the witness, certainly not.
7 Mr. Pasic, I will ask you to be escorted out of the courtroom.
8 We'd like to see you back tomorrow at 1.00 in this same courtroom.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please follow the usher.
11 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, it looks as if Mr. Mladic would like to
13 consult with you, if you have one or two minutes, or would you rather do
14 it once we've adjourned?
15 [The witness stands down]
16 MR. LUKIC: Once we adjourn, Your Honour, I'll -- [overlapping
17 speakers] --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we first adjourn.
19 Then we'll adjourn and resume tomorrow, Tuesday, the
20 10th of July, at 1.00 in this same courtroom, I.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.47 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 10th day of
23 July, 2012, at 1.00 p.m.