1 Thursday, 30 April 2015
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 I think that the Defence wished to make submissions as a
12 preliminary matter.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. We
14 were required to state our position on a document within 48 hours. This
15 is document that was used in the testimony of Witness Grujo Boric,
16 65 ter 32447. I would just like to use the opportunity to inform the
17 Trial Chamber that the Defence has no objection to this document being
19 JUDGE ORIE: We'll then decide in due course on the admission.
20 Is the Defence ready to call its next witness, which would be, if
21 I understand well, Mr. Ratko Nikolic?
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. That's
24 JUDGE ORIE: Then could the witness be escorted into the
1 Ms. Melikian, you'll cross-examine the witness?
2 MS. MELIKIAN: Yes, Your Honour.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you
7 make a solemn declaration of which the text is now handed out to you by
8 the usher. May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: RATKO NIKOLIC
12 [Witness answered through interpretation]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Nikolic.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Nikolic, you'll first be examined by
16 Mr. Stojanovic. You find Mr. Stojanovic standing to your left.
17 Mr. Stojanovic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
18 You may proceed.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. I would like to ask you, for the purposes of the transcript, to
24 slowly state your first and last name.
25 A. Ratko Nikolic.
1 Q. Will you please tell the Trial Chamber where and when you were
3 A. I was born in the village of Opravdici on the 12th of July, 1945.
4 Q. Could you please tell us which schools you completed.
5 A. I completed elementary school. That's eight years of school.
6 Q. Mr. Nikolic, did you serve your military term of duty? And if
7 you did, when and where?
8 A. I served my military term of duty from 1964 to 1967, 11 months in
9 Gnjilane and 10 months in Skopje.
10 Q. And where were you employed just before the war broke out in the
11 spring of 1992?
12 A. Yes. I was working in the 21st of May in Rakovica, Belgrade.
13 And it was the basic unit in Zvornik of that company.
14 Q. Will you tell the Trial Chamber in which republic Mali Zvornik
16 A. Mali Zvornik is in the Republic of Serbia.
17 Q. And what kind of work did you do?
18 A. I worked as a security personnel. I was working at the
20 Q. And did you have any weapons as part of your duties as a
21 reception guard?
22 A. We did have weapons which -- a weapon which we handed over at the
23 end and beginning of each shift.
24 Q. When the war broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the
25 village where you lived, were you personally drafted?
1 A. No, I wasn't.
2 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber why you were not
3 mobilised by the army in that period, 1991?
4 A. I was not mobilised because each worker had to be registered at
5 the work organisation and in the municipality where he worked. That's
6 where he was registered as a permanent resident. So you had to be
7 registered with the SUP and with your company.
8 Q. And will you tell the Trial Chamber where you were at the time --
9 where you were registered at the time?
10 A. I was registered in Mali Zvornik.
11 Q. And at that initial period of the war, were you living in your
12 village or did you live in Mali Zvornik?
13 A. Until 1992, I commuted to work. I think that was until August
14 when the barricades started to be set up on the road to Zvornik. After
15 that, I couldn't commute anymore. I had a brother, so for another month
16 or so I worked. After that the company, the director dismissed us to go
17 home, and we received a minimal salary from the company because war was
18 already underway and a lot of workers were dismissed and they were
19 staying at home. I couldn't come to work because of the problems in
21 Q. And when did you start to permanently live in your village of
23 A. I think I went back to my village for good in the month of
25 Q. For the purposes of the transcript, could you please tell us
1 August of which year?
2 A. August 1993. That was the year when they burned us. Actually,
3 it was August 1992. I'm sorry.
4 Q. For the purposes of the transcript, could you please tell us
5 again: August of which year?
6 A. 1992.
7 Q. Thank you. And what was the ethnic composition of your village,
9 A. Our village of Opravdici was a Serbian village.
10 Q. And was Opravdici a part of a larger Serbian village?
11 A. Yes, it was a part of a larger Serbian village. That was the
12 population. It had perhaps a hundred or 150 houses.
13 Q. What was the neighbouring village where the centre of that area
15 A. Kravica.
16 Q. And what was the ethnic composition of the village of Kravica?
17 A. Serbs.
18 Q. And did you observe or did you at any time become active in the
19 protection and the defence of your village?
20 A. Yes. We were on guard duty for a little bit because my village
21 is close to the centre. It's about a kilometre away from Kravica. There
22 were people that we didn't know who were coming in, walking around there,
23 so anything could have happened because just the women were there and
24 elderly men.
25 Q. At that time did you have any weapons which you used for these
2 A. Well, there was an elderly man who had a hunting rifle, so he
3 carried that around for a little bit, but I didn't have any weapons.
4 Q. And at that time, from August 1992 until January 1993, did any
5 fighting go on near your village and near Kravica?
6 A. Yes, because Muslim forces were attacking the area around
7 Srebrenica, so all the neighbouring villages were burned and anybody that
8 they encountered, they killed.
9 Q. And where were the able-bodied men from your village at that
10 time? Where were they holding the front line?
11 A. They were in the neighbouring villages. But since Kravica is a
12 wooded mountain village, there were ambushes carried out and the village
13 guards were killed at the entrance to the village.
14 Q. Could you please tell us, Mr. Nikolic, where you were on
15 Christmas day of the 7th of January, 1993?
16 A. I was at home in the village of Opravdici. The day before, I was
17 making plum brandy, because that was our holiday, and so I made this
18 Pecenica so that we could celebrate that holiday the following day.
19 Kravica was attacked from all sides. It was attacked from four sides.
20 All the villages were attacked.
21 Q. I'm going to go step by step, so please try to answer the
22 questions that I am putting to you.
23 Can you please tell the Trial Chamber, in your best recollection,
24 when did this attack on your village of Kravica begin on the 7th of
1 A. My wife got up early in the morning at about 5.30 to bake this
2 special bread that we call Cesnica. I stayed in the room to sleep a
3 little bit longer. I didn't know what was going on. I didn't hear
4 anything. And then she entered the room and said, "oh my God, Ratko, get
5 up. We are being attacked from all sides." I said, "What's happening,
6 Marija?" She said, "Well, go out and see what's happening."
7 So I went out, and the village of Sikovici, a small village on
8 the hill, is a place where you have a good view of all the surrounding
9 area. You could see fires everywhere, and there was all kinds of
10 shouting, "Slaughter them," and so on.
11 Q. So what did you do at that point in time?
12 A. I didn't do anything. I had two houses. You couldn't go out.
13 Bullets were flying everywhere. My wife -- the entrance to the ground
14 floor, it was between the two houses. She ran into the house. I was
15 immediately wounded in my left leg, right here. And so I ran into the
16 house, she got some cloths, and she managed to bandage me a little bit.
17 And you could already hear things. And I hold her, "Marija, run where
18 you can." And --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Witness --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- I was afraid that I would get
22 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could I ask you to slow down so that the
23 interpreters can catch all your words.
24 And could I ask you to make a short pause, Mr. Stojanovic,
25 between answer and the next question.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Q. Did your wife, Marija, manage to leave the house?
3 A. Yes, she did. She fled through a wood in the direction of the
4 river Drina, towards Serbia, because there were more refugees who were
5 running from Kravica, so she joined them.
6 Q. And what happened with you?
7 A. I stayed in my village. I didn't go. I was thinking this is all
8 I have. I don't have anybody left. So what if I get killed. There were
9 five houses in my hamlet. There were no longer any men there. So I
10 stayed in that village for five days longer.
11 Q. I will stop you there for a moment. Where were you hiding during
12 those five days? Where did you stay?
13 A. I was in a little wood, close to my house. There is a large
14 hollow tree there in the woods, and next to that tree there is no path or
15 road or anything. So I crawled inside the tree from the lower side, and
16 that's where I spent the whole day there.
17 Q. What did you eat? How did you live?
18 A. Well, I would go out a little bit when it got dark, and I would
19 observe, look around, so that nobody would catch me. I knew where my
20 potatoes were, so I took a few handfuls of potatoes, and I would put that
21 in the embers of the fire and this is what I used to eat for those five
23 Q. During those five days, did you see enemy soldiers close to your
25 A. I did, yes. First of all, our villages, my own village and the
1 village nearby, were first looted. I saw in the evening when I came that
2 there were tractors and trucks shipping out the food. I had a lot of
3 grain and food which I wasn't using. They took away the livestock,
4 everything that they could take. And then after that, everything was
5 torched. Seven buildings that belonged to me all burned down.
6 Q. At one point did they see you?
7 A. On the fifth day, I got out of that tree where I was and I came
8 home to see. I couldn't see or hear anybody. And I wasn't paying
9 attention, and then they shouted, "Halt." And I stopped and it was all
10 over. I was thinking, well, I'm going to die now. When I looked, there
11 was seven of them with seven rifles and they were standing there.
12 Q. And how did those seven people look, the ones that captured you?
13 A. They had white camouflage clothes. They had weapons with them.
14 They didn't saying [as interpreted] anything. They weren't calling each
15 other by their names. They were addressing each other as Mico, Drago.
16 They were not saying Omer, Haso, but Mico, Drago, things like that.
17 Perhaps to avoid being recognised.
18 Q. After they captured you, where did you go?
19 A. We went in the direction of Kravica. My village was 1 kilometre
20 away from Kravica.
21 We reached Kravica, they beat me, they started slapping me,
22 calling me Chetnik. Then we went in the direction of Konjevic Polje.
23 There is a village there that I know. I would commute with Muslims, with
24 Bosniaks, to Zvornik every day when I used to work. Those people knew
25 me. I commuted for 27 years to work, there and back, and we got on well
2 So they started to walk towards me, then stopped, and they said,
3 "Ratko, what are you doing here?" I couldn't tell them anything. The
4 van came and it stopped in this crowd of people, women and children and
5 men. A man with a moustache, trimmed moustache, and an automatic rifle
6 got out of the van. Later, I found out that that was Zulfo Tursunovic.
7 Q. I'm just going to stop you there for a little bit.
8 Could you please tell the Trial Chamber where this place was
9 where you reached the road and where the van came?
10 A. The place is called Lolici. It's a village from the Osmace area
11 in the direction of Konjevic Polje. It's about 3 kilometres away from
13 Q. And after the van stopped and this man came out, whom you learned
14 later was called Zulfo Tursunovic, then what happened to you personally?
15 A. He got me to go into the van. There were about 15 of their
16 soldiers there. Naser Oric was there as well.
17 Q. Were there any other prisoners in the van except you -- other
18 than you?
19 A. No, there was nobody else.
20 Q. And where did they take you?
21 A. They took me up there about 2 kilometres away from Kravica to a
22 village called Jezercica [phoen] because on the left-hand side there was
23 Bratunac. We didn't go to Bratunac. We turned left, then the van
24 stopped, they got out of the van, and then we were going towards Bjeceva,
25 towards Srebrenica, over the hill. We were going on foot. And then when
1 we came down to the Potocari river, there was another van waiting there.
2 They got into the van; me too. They then took me to Srebrenica in this
4 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber where they brought you
5 first? What building did they bring you in Srebrenica?
6 A. To the old police station building in Srebrenica.
7 Q. And how long did you stay there?
8 A. We stayed there until the attack on Skelani.
9 Q. Are you able to tell the Trial Chamber when this attack on
10 Skelani occurred?
11 A. I think the attack on Skelani took place on the 16th of January.
12 I remember it well because they brought five captured people from Skelani
13 to the Srebrenica prison.
14 Q. For those of us who don't know too many details about the attack
15 on Skelani, could you please tell us what year that was? The 16th of
16 January of what year?
17 A. It was on the 16th of January, 1993.
18 Q. Who attacked Skelani?
19 A. According to what those people who were brought in said - Ilija,
20 he was the only one I knew - it was Naser Oric. I don't know who his
21 commanders were and all of that. I don't know that.
22 Q. And during that time that you were at the police station in
23 Srebrenica, were you interrogated, questioned, was a statement taken from
25 A. Yes. The following day I was taken out by a man. I don't know
1 who that was and he asked me what do I have, about my possessions;
2 livestock, food, things like that. Nothing other than that. On the
3 table, there was some salt, a knife, and a pistol in front of him. First
4 he asked me what the knife was for. I just shrugged and said it's used
5 for a man to feed himself and other things. And he said, "No. When you
6 Serbs make crosses" -- I can't remember exactly what he said. It was a
7 long time ago.
8 Q. All right. Very well. I will ask you something else. Were you
9 asked by anyone during those few days that you spent at the police
10 station if you were a soldier or a civilian?
11 A. No, they didn't ask me anything. I was wearing civilian clothes.
12 Nobody had summoned me for anything. I didn't have any military
13 clothing. I had a suit, something similar to what I'm wearing now. When
14 I came to the police station the following day, they took my clothes from
15 me, they brought me some boots that were ripped, and they brought me a
16 shirt that didn't even have any sleeves. And they took my new suit from
18 Q. And the people who were guarding you in that facility, where they
19 soldiers or policemen?
20 A. They were just wearing civilian clothes, but probably they were
21 policemen because they were guarding us prisoners.
22 Q. And from that police station, after the 16th of January 1993,
23 where were you taken?
24 A. Since there were four of us, it was a small room, 2 X 2, then
25 they brought five more people, then they transferred us between the court
1 and the municipal building to a place where they used to keep coal for
2 the boilers for the municipal building, and that's where they locked us
4 Q. Please tell the Trial Chamber how many prisoners were there.
5 A. There were four of us who were there before at the police
6 station, and then these five, so there were nine of us.
7 Q. Could you please try to remember, if you can, and could you
8 please tell the Court who you remember, either by name or surname or
9 nickname, who was prisoner together with you?
10 A. I can remember. When I was brought to Srebrenica, I found
11 Popovic Kostadin from Kravica, he was captured before I was and he was
12 brought to Srebrenica. Mico Milovanovic from Sase. Mico and Popovic
13 were killed there in Srebrenica when we were there before my very own
14 eyes. I know when that happened. Then Drago, an elderly man, he was
15 over 80 years old. And there was this one man there. He was taken to
16 hospital. He was wounded in both legs, but I don't remember his name.
17 They took him away. They took him to hospital. Since he could not get
18 up and walk, he walked on his knees.
19 Q. Do you know what happened to this man by the name of Drago, the
20 elderly man?
21 A. Drago died, because of the beatings, the very next day.
22 Q. Can you tell the Court, do you remember out of the people who
23 were brought in after the attack of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 against the village of Skelani, do you remember --
25 A. I remember Ilija who was exchanged together with me. Then I know
1 Stanoje, some man who was paralyzed. He couldn't run away. His left
2 leg, right leg. He was exchanged. There is this other guy, I can't
3 remember his name, who was with Kostadin Popovic, who died. I mean, died
4 because of the beating. And two old men were exchanged on the 14th. I
5 mean, February -- no, by the 27th of February. Women, children, then
6 this old Stanoje.
7 Q. What were the conditions like as you stayed there in the room
8 that you described?
9 A. Two, three small windows, 50 X 50, bars, no glass, concrete
10 floor. One blanket. We could sit on the floor and cover our heads.
12 Q. At one moment you mentioned women and children. What was that
14 A. Well, when we got up there, we found 14 women and 4 children next
15 door, to the left. I remember this little boy, Branko. He was about 8.
16 I saw him twice now. He's grown up now. They would let him go out a
17 bit. They would let him come to our room a bit. I mean, women and
18 children. You know.
19 Q. What happened with that group of women and children?
20 A. They were exchanged in January, February. The women, children,
21 and the man, Stanoje. He couldn't walk. He had trouble with his arm and
23 Q. While you were in this furnace room, were you questioned at any
24 point in time?
25 A. No, no way. No.
1 Q. Did anybody check whether you were a soldier or civilian?
2 A. No. No one. Nothing.
3 Q. Did you have an opportunity to see who was in charge and who was
4 in command of these people who were guarding you?
5 A. Well, I did. In the evening when they would come, they would
6 take me out because we had nothing to eat. They really tortured us with
7 this food. We would get three or four mouthfuls of oats and three or
8 four spoonfuls of something that wasn't even cooked, that wasn't salty,
9 that wasn't greasy, nothing. And then in the evening during their shift,
10 this one man would say, "Come on, Nikolic, let's go out and talk." And
11 he said, "They'll beat you less here than there," two or three hours, and
12 then they were lighting fires, and it was very cold in Srebrenica then;
13 10 or 15 degrees below zero. And we had no clothes. And then he talked
14 to me. He was from Suceska, he was really a good man. I have to say
15 that. He'd bring me this tiny little piece of cornbread, see, like, two
16 fingers, and then he'd take me to toilet and say, "Nikolic, come on. Eat
17 this. I cannot bring this for all of you because I even haven't got
18 enough myself."
19 Q. Were you beaten during that time?
20 A. We were beaten every day. Whoever would come in would beat us.
21 There were these two men who beat us regularly. They were with these big
22 glasses. You know, the ones that welders wear, and they had beards, and
23 they were beating us. And I know when I came I was all scarred. See?
24 See this here and here and here on the left side?
25 And when they wanted to exchange the women the next day, the 7th,
1 in the evening, I don't know, at some point in time and during the night,
2 the three of them walked in. The guards let them in, and the guards were
3 the ones who were letting them in to beat us. And they opened the door,
4 and they had this thing made of paper, and then they started beating us
5 one by one. And then I was so hurt here - see, I have all this medical
6 documentation from doctors. All my ribs were broken here. They made us
7 take off the little bit of clothing that we were wearing, and as they
8 beat everyone, we would pass out and then they would pile us up. And
9 then they would bring cold water, and then they'd pour this cold water on
10 us, and that's how it was.
11 When I came to, I don't even know what time it was, I was
12 shivering, and I found this blanket. And I just put it on my head. And
13 then I leaned against the wall. When it dawned, I looked around, and I
14 saw that Kostadin Popovic had died and then this other man from Skelani.
15 The two of them were there, dead.
16 About 10.00 or something like that, I don't know exactly, because
17 Zulfo Tursunovic was commander of the camp up there. I found out later
18 he was the main guy there. He walked around, he had this automatic
19 rifle, like this, over his chest, and then he had this moustache, and
20 then he said, "What happened to you?" Now, what could we say? Could we
21 say, "We were beaten by this one, that one," we don't even know their
22 names, and then they would beat us when he'd leave.
23 And then two other men came afterwards, and then they took out to
24 two dead men.
25 Q. I'm going to stop you here and ask you were you able to ask for
1 medical assistance because of the injuries that you had sustained?
2 A. We asked but to no avail. I mean, my leg, it was swollen after
3 the beating. Nobody wanted to look at us.
4 Q. Tell me, at one point in time -- or, rather, at any point in time
5 while you were there, did you receive information that you would be
7 A. No, never.
8 Q. How long did you stay in that facility?
9 A. We were detained in that facility until the exchange, end of
10 February, when I was exchanged.
11 Q. Would you tell the Court how many attempts were made for this
12 exchange when you were exchanged.
13 A. Two attempts and then I was exchanged.
14 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber how these unsuccessful
15 attempts evolved.
16 A. Ilija was beaten up one evening, the one who was exchanged with
17 me. And then he was taken to hospital. I guess the man couldn't talk,
18 he couldn't speak, nothing. And they didn't really treat him there.
19 They didn't have tablets, medicine, nothing. Ilija was there in
20 hospital. And then this man without an arm walked in. Later on, I found
21 out that this one was nicknamed Mis. And Jakov, from Kalabaca, who Naser
22 brought, they were there for seven months. Naser brought them to
23 Srebrenica to our prison, four men and one woman, Andja, and he said,
24 "Let's see." He looked at us. And then these men were lying there, and,
25 "Let's see who can get up." And then I managed to get up a bit. And he
1 said, "Nikolic, you'll be exchanged."
2 Q. Where were you otherwise in that room? Where did you usually
3 stay in that room? Where were you lying?
4 A. All around. Along the wall. We would lie against the wall. Two
5 or three of us would use one blanket because there weren't many blankets,
6 and we'd just try to cover our heads a bit. Nothing. Concrete floor.
8 Q. Did they ask you to get up when the guards would walk in?
9 A. They had ordered me, the guards -- I mean, they were civilians,
10 but these guards who were guarding us, they ordered me to sit by the
11 door. Right there. As soon as they let somebody in, that I would have
12 to sit because they said I should say that my name is Ratko and last name
13 is Mladic. Whoever would walk in, I would have to get up and greet them
14 and say I'm Ratko Mladic. But I couldn't. I was so beaten up. I was
15 hungry. My insides were all tied up. And then if I would not get up,
16 then I would be slapped.
17 Q. I'd just like to go back to one of your answers. You said that
18 at one point in time a woman named Andja was brought in and four men and
19 that they were brought from the village of Kalabaca. What village, this
20 settlement Kalabaca is part of what settlement?
21 A. Sekovici. Kalabaca, Sekovici.
22 Q. Where had they been until then as prisoners?
23 A. In Cerska.
24 Q. Thank you. When they told you about this exchange, this attempt
25 to carry out the exchange, was it made?
1 A. Twice? No. The first time, I mean, well, it didn't succeed. Up
2 there, Srebrenica, Zeleni Jadar, they call it something. Towards Suceska
3 there was lots of snow. There was this little TAM truck. Its tires were
4 no good. We were supposed to walk for a kilometre, and they took us out
5 and they said we cannot go any further. Ilija and I simply couldn't
6 walk. They dragged us a bit through this snow, and we stood up there,
7 standing about two or three hours in that cold weather, and the man
8 called Mis, without an arm, returned. And he said, "Back to Srebrenica.
9 You're going back to prison." I guess the talks failed or something. I
10 don't know why they took us back. And then after about seven days, he
11 came again. Mico was returned -- no, Ilija was returned to hospital
12 again. And they took me to prison.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Stojanovic
14 please turn off his microphone.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He came to prison --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, could you please turn off your
17 microphone. Yes.
18 Please continue, Witness.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Oh, thank you.
20 Then this second time he came, he said, "Nikolic, let's go for an
21 exchange." And I was glad. We set out again in that same TAM truck, and
22 again it couldn't get through. Again, they pushed us somehow. They
23 dragged us, pushed us, and we walked this 1 kilometre, and then we went
24 on. And then their soldiers, this Muslim Bosniak army, they were on
25 duty. And then further down, there was this - what - Serb army, towards
1 Skelani. And then it was two or three hours that we waited there.
2 Nothing doing. We just stood there in that snow. And then from Skelani,
3 two men appeared, and I guess they raised their hands, whatever, I don't
4 know what the signs were. Then nothing. They talked and then I know
5 full well, this captain who came, who brought their people who were to be
6 exchanged for us, in a truck, and I remember --
7 Q. I will have to stop you just for a moment and ask you to tell us,
8 because this last part of your statement is not recorded. Who is this
9 captain, and who are these persons who brought in their people for the
11 A. The captain was from our army, the Serb army, from Skelani. And
12 the captain was a driver -- no, no, the other one was a driver. The
13 other one was a driver. The one who brought these people in for a
14 exchange. As far as I know.
15 Q. At that moment, did the exchange take place between the two
16 warring parties?
17 A. Then they did exchange us. But they brought oxen and sleds. As
18 far as I can remember, two were alive and one was dead. The dead one was
19 in a coffin. But one did not want to go with this other one. I mean,
20 the cart couldn't go up, and then they were supposed to go down so that
21 these people could go. And then the driver and the captain took the oxen
22 and they went down with the oxen, and they loaded all three of them - I
23 mean, the dead one and the two live ones, they were on the sled and they
24 were brought to the separation line. And then they took the oxen, they
25 gave us to them, and then they took us and they brought us to the car.
1 Q. Tell the Court to the best of your recollection, what day was
2 that? What date?
3 A. I cannot remember, but I know it was towards the end of February
4 because quite a bit of time had gone by already. I don't know what day
5 that was.
6 Q. And who was exchanged with you on that occasion?
7 A. Ilija from Skelani was exchanged with me.
8 Q. And tell us, were you able to walk when this was going on in view
9 of everything that you described, everything that you had been through?
10 A. Well, it was difficult. I weighed 75 kilos before and I dropped
11 down to 40. I had problems with my intestines. We were starving, we
12 were thirsty. Any time we asked to drink some water, they wouldn't bring
13 any to us for three days. Then they would bring us a little plastic
14 pail. There was one guy, bless him, I will never forget him, he would
15 say, "Nikolic, don't drink. That's urine. You will get a temperature."
16 And you could see that the liquid in the pail was yellow, that it wasn't
17 transparent, white.
18 Q. And after the exchange, can you please tell us where you were
19 brought to? Where did the exchange take place, close to the line of
21 A. The place is called Kragljivoda, that is where the boundary was
22 there. There is an intersection that leads to Suceska and Kragljivoda.
23 That's just above Skelani.
24 When we were exchanged, I found out about these two live people
25 and two dead people. We were taken back twice -- actually, what happened
1 was that a cousin of Naser's was killed in Skelani during the attack, so
2 they couldn't find him. So that's why we were taken back twice to the
4 Q. And did your family know that there would be an exchange?
5 A. No, they didn't know. They didn't even know that I was in
6 Srebrenica. When I arrived finally after being exchanged -- before that,
7 they didn't know anything. They had lost all contact with me.
8 Q. I just have a couple of questions. I'm almost finished. So I
9 kindly ask for a little bit more patience from you.
10 Can you tell us, were you sent for any medical treatment after
12 A. I went to recover in Zvornik. I went to Vlado Prodanovic. He
13 carried out surgery for my hernia. I had to have a new hip. I couldn't
14 walk. And had to have an artificial limb also. To this day, I have
15 difficulty walking. One of my legs is 5 centimetres shorter now. When
16 they were dragging us to the canal, my leg was injured. The hip joint
17 was damaged in the process.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please look at 1D05386.
19 Your Honours, by your leave, I would just like to take a moment
20 to consult with Mr. Mladic.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so, Mr. Stojanovic.
22 [Defence counsel confer]
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Nikolic, I would ask you to look now in front of you at the
25 screen, at the monitor, and see if you can look. There is a document
1 there. It's a discharge sheet from the Zvornik medical centre. Do you
2 see that?
3 A. I do.
4 Q. And it states there -- I'm going to try to go quickly through it.
5 A. This is when I was exchanged, when I went for treatment in
7 Q. And there it says, if you can see: Treated between the 1st of
8 March, 1993 and the 14th of March, 1993. And there is a diagnosis there.
9 Is this the medical documentation that you were given once you
10 left the hospital?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And are these papers that you gave to me when we were preparing
13 for you to testify here in this trial?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
17 tender document 1D05386.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the document receives number D1039.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at another
22 document, please. And that's 1D05385.
23 Q. Mr. Nikolic, on the left side of the monitor, we can see that
24 it's written in the language that you understand, a document. It's a
25 discharge sheet with your case history.
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. It's issued by the health care centre in Loznica. The date is
3 from 2007. And it's physical therapy following the surgery for a hip
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Stojanovic please repeat his question
6 and the answer of the witness.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, could you please repeat your
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I just want to ask you one question regarding these medical
11 documents. Your hip replacement surgery, was that because -- a
12 consequence and needed because of the injuries you sustained while you
13 were in prison?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
17 tender this document. And it's 65 ter number 1D05385.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document receives number D1040.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Your Honours, I see the time. I believe I will be finished with
23 this witness in about 10 or 15 minutes, so perhaps this would be a good
24 moment to take our break, and then I will have a few more questions for
25 the witness regarding events after 1993.
1 JUDGE ORIE: We'll take a break.
2 Witness, you may follow the usher. We'd like to see you back in
3 20 minutes.
4 [The witness stands down]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Before we take the break, Mr. Stojanovic, have you
6 inquired with the Prosecution whether there is any challenge to the story
7 of this witness, which is about brutal treatment? I don't hesitate to
8 use that word, that's what he describes, because in general I never
9 found -- well, never. I experienced during the whole of this trial that
10 individual cases of brutal treatment by Muslims to individual Serbs is
11 not really in dispute that these things happened, may even have
12 frequently happened.
13 Have you inquired with the Prosecution whether there was any
14 challenge or any dispute about this story as one perhaps of many stories?
15 Did you?
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. In a number
17 of conversations we had, we did discuss the matter of this and similar
18 other witnesses. The Prosecution stated their position about one of
19 them. So for one of those witnesses, there will be no questions.
20 As for this witness, the matter of dispute was whether he was a
21 soldier or a civilian, if we got the information correctly; and also,
22 it's a disputed matter if there were any reasons for the people of
23 Kravica to take revenge. And that's why the Prosecution asked to be able
24 to put specific questions to the witness on these matters.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then why didn't you focus on what was in dispute?
1 We have listened, and we didn't want to stop this witness because we see
2 his condition. We didn't want to stop him, but we were flooded with all
3 kind of details, totally unnecessary, to give us a true impression of
4 brutal treatment. You could have done that in not more than 10, at the
5 most 15 minutes, especially where the physical condition of the witness,
6 apparently, is supported by documentation.
7 So why then didn't you focus on what was in dispute? Apparently
8 not that he's in a bad physical condition and that -- I don't know
9 whether that's in dispute, but whether this was caused by ill-treatment,
10 brutal treatment by the Muslim side.
11 Could I ask Ms. Melikian whether there was any dispute about
13 MS. MELIKIAN: Thank you, Your Honour. You're correct. In
14 general, there is no dispute about that.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And also as far as the physical ill-treatment and
16 brutal treatment?
17 MS. MELIKIAN: That is also not in dispute.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I have not even raised the issue of relevance.
19 But you could have done in 15 minutes, Mr. Stojanovic.
20 We take the break, and we resume at five minutes to 11.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may. Before
24 we bring the witness back, if I may just say one thing.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Mr. Usher, could you, before you escort the witness into the
2 courtroom, seek my permission. You can get him ready.
3 You need how much time, Mr. Stojanovic?
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just one minute, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Would you take care that the witness will be standby
6 in one minute.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] My apologies, Your Honour. I
9 just made an error on page 25, lines 11 and 12, of the transcript. It
10 states that I said that I had talked to my colleagues from the
11 Prosecution about what was in dispute in the statement of this witness,
12 and I would like to say that I did not discuss with any colleagues from
13 the Prosecution this matter.
14 But this Defence believes that we should be allowed through the
15 viva voce testimony of this witness to have the witness answer these
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, you are to focus on matters which
18 are in dispute. You have the right to ask questions to the witness. I
19 never said you are not.
20 Second, you shouldn't tell us that you have discussed the matter
21 with the Prosecution if you had not. I leave it to that.
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour.
23 Thank you.
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Nikolic, we'll continue. Mr. Stojanovic has a
1 few more questions for you.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Nikolic, we don't have too many questions now. Just briefly,
5 could you please tell the Trial Chamber if you are suffering from the
6 consequences of the injuries that you sustained?
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: The witness told us already, Mr. Stojanovic. And we
9 can see it.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Are you table to tell the Trial Chamber how many people from your
13 village were killed in the attack of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
14 on the 7th of January, 1993?
15 A. I think that it was about 48 people who were killed. There were
16 also those who were burnt to death in the houses and their bodies have
17 still not been found to this day.
18 Q. And the population of your village and Kravica and the environs,
19 did they feel the need for retribution because of these casualties caused
20 by the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
21 A. Yes, things were done all the time because Naser Oric and his
22 army destroyed all the villages in the area. There was 17 villages and
23 all of them were burned. Everything was looted. Nothing was left there.
24 Once they looted the things and took them, then they burned all the
25 houses, all the buildings.
1 Q. And what was the reason for this need and expressed desire for
2 revenge? What did they tell you, those people? Was it a result of the
3 things they experienced on the 7th of January?
4 A. Well, let me tell you: When you see people with their heads cut
5 off, their legs cut off, after all the things that I heard, there were
6 three or four persons with their heads cut off that were taken to
7 Srebrenica, all kinds of things happened there.
8 Q. Mr. Nikolic, when did you manage to come back to your home?
9 A. I managed to return to my house -- well, I have a brother in
10 Mali Zvornik, so I was spending time there. Everything was burned and
11 destroyed back there, so I didn't have anywhere to go back right until
12 Dayton. After Dayton, I received some assistance and I built something,
13 64 square metres. So I think that that was it. My grandmother is living
14 there now.
15 Q. Mr. Nikolic, thank you very much for all your answers, for your
16 willingness to come and testify. This Defence has no further questions
17 for you. Thank you.
18 A. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
20 Ms. Melikian, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
21 MS. MELIKIAN: Yes, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Nikolic, you will now be cross-examined by
23 Ms. Melikian, you'll find her to your right. Ms. Melikian is counsel for
24 the Prosecution.
25 Cross-examination by Ms. Melikian:
1 Q. Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.
2 A. Good morning.
3 Q. Mr. Nikolic, in your testimony you'd just said at line --
4 transcript page 28, that it was approximately 48 people who were killed
5 in your village on the 7th of January, 1993.
6 A. Yes. In the attack on Kravica.
7 Q. And does that number include soldiers as well?
8 A. There were no soldiers. They were all civilians. Mostly these
9 were civilians that were escaping. All of them were civilians, as far as
10 I know.
11 MS. MELIKIAN: Could we please turn to 65 ter 4415.
12 Q. And just as it comes up, as we look at the first page of this
13 document, we see that it's -- well, just as a bit of background this was
14 a report that was seized from the Bratunac Brigade headquarters by the
15 Office of the Prosecutor in February 1998. And we see on the first page
16 that it says: "The Situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina Before the War."
17 This is a detailed and chronological report of the events leading up to
18 the war and the formation of the Bratunac Brigade.
19 MS. MELIKIAN: And if we can please turn to page 11 in the
20 English and page 10 in the B/C/S.
21 Q. Just to see this section header in the middle of the page that
22 says: "Description, Characteristics, and Results of Combat and Other
23 Combat Tasks the Brigade has Executed During its Existence." We'll just
24 be taking a look at some of the text in this section.
25 MS. MELIKIAN: So if we could please turn to page 15 in the
1 English and 14 in the B/C/S.
2 Q. And if we just look about two-thirds of the way down in the
3 English and at the top of the page in the B/C/S, we see that it says:
4 "The Muslims knew about the situation among the Serbs, which is
5 why they hurried with the new attacks to take Kravica as soon as
6 possible. They planned to execute their main and decisive attack on
7 Christmas, 7 January 1993."
8 And further down, we see:
9 "In the early morning of 7 January 1993 on Christmas at dawn, the
10 attack on Kravica was launched from almost all directions."
11 MS. MELIKIAN: If we could please then turn to page 17 in the
12 English --
13 JUDGE ORIE: I haven't found it yet. Could you tell us from
14 where you were reading?
15 MS. MELIKIAN: One second. I'm sorry, there it is. In the
16 bottom third, it starts, in the English --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I now found the 7th of January, yes.
18 MS. MELIKIAN: And if we could then please turn to page 17 in the
19 English and page 15 in the B/C/S.
20 Q. And looking at the top of the page in the English and about the
21 middle of the page in the B/C/S, we see that it's written:
22 "The grim outcome for the people of Kravica on Christmas 1993 was
23 35 killed and 36 wounded soldiers and 11 civilians."
24 It's the Prosecution's position that this report accurately
25 represents the number of casualties that day and that, in fact, 35
1 soldiers were killed and 11 civilians were killed. Do you agree that the
2 figures reported here are accurate, Mr. Nikolic?
3 A. I know that there is this monument in Kravica now, and I read
4 about this, you know, those 48 that I know about, and it also says so on
5 and the monument. These 48 are civilians.
6 I cannot tell you anything about soldiers. I was not there. I
7 cannot say anything. As for these 48, I know exactly. There is this
8 monument there now, and it says "civilian victims, 48 of them." It's
9 written there. As for the soldiers, I really don't know. I really
10 cannot tell you anything about that because I wasn't there. I was
11 already up there then, because this was after two months. For two months
12 you couldn't go into Kravica because Naser held Kravica. Birds were
13 eating away. Things happened to people. People's heads were cut off.
14 And this relative of mine had his head cut off, and if it wasn't for his
15 dog who was there watching him, the birds would have eaten him up.
16 I didn't dare go there and -- I mean, I didn't know how many. I
17 mean, I see it on the monument now, the civilian victims.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may just ask one question, Witness.
19 Is the monument the only source of your information that the
20 people who died were 48 and that they were civilians?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: You don't need to explain. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
1 MS. MELIKIAN:
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. I just have two additional questions for
3 you. Do you recall testifying previously at the Tribunal in December
4 2004 in the case of the Prosecutor versus Mr. Naser Oric?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And were you called by the Prosecution in that case?
7 A. I think so. Yes. I mean, they came from The Hague and then they
8 prepared me there. I think it was them. As far as I can remember, there
9 was nobody else. There was nobody else who contacted me.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MS. MELIKIAN: I have no further questions for the witness.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Melikian.
13 Any further questions in re-examination?
14 Mr. Nikolic, the Chamber has no further questions for you either,
15 which means that this concludes your testimony in this court. I would
16 like to thank you very much for coming the long way to The Hague and for
17 having answered the questions that were put to you by the parties and
18 that were put to you by the Bench. I wish you a safe return home again.
19 You may now follow the usher.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 MS. MELIKIAN: Mr. President, may Ms. Hasan and I be excused?
23 JUDGE ORIE: You are excused, Ms. Melikian.
24 You didn't tender the last document. You are aware of that?
25 MS. MELIKIAN: That's correct. I did not tender it.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
2 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, we are trying to find out whether the
4 next witness, which, if I understand well, is Mr. Vujic --
5 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- has yet arrived or not because he was expected at
7 11.30 but he may have arrived early.
8 MR. LUKIC: Yes, we asked the service to bring him earlier since
9 we learned that there wouldn't be many questions from the Prosecution for
10 the previous witness.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We wait and see.
12 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, you'll cross-examine the witness?
14 MR. ZEC: Correct, yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Vujic.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you
20 make a solemn declaration of which the text is now handed out to you.
21 May I invite you now to make that solemn declaration.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
23 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 WITNESS: DRASKO VUJIC
25 [Witness answered through interpretation]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Vujic. Please be seated.
2 Mr. Vujic, you'll first be examined by Mr. Lukic. You find
3 Mr. Lukic to your left. In a minute he will stand. Mr. Lukic is counsel
4 for Mr. Mladic.
5 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 I would kindly ask the usher to provide Mr. Vujic with his
8 statement in paper.
9 JUDGE ORIE: It's a clean copy, Mr. Lukic?
10 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Any need to inspect, Mr. Zec?
12 MR. ZEC: No, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE ORIE: It can be given to the witness.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Vujic.
16 A. Good day, Mr. Lukic.
17 Q. For the record, could you please just slowly state your name and
19 A. Drasko Vujic.
20 Q. Mr. Vujic, at one point in time did you give a statement to the
21 members of the Defence team of Mr. Karadzic?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 MR. LUKIC: Can we have on our screens 1D0502516.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Lukic. 0502516?
25 MR. LUKIC: I made a mistake. 1D02516. I apologise.
1 And we need the last page. Since this is a statement from the
2 Karadzic case, there is no first page signature.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vujic, on the last page of your statement
4 that is on the screen before you right now, can you recognise the
6 A. Yes, that is my signature.
7 Q. Did you have an opportunity to review your statement?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What is recorded in your statement, is it recorded properly in
10 relation to what you had said?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Vujic, what is recorded in this statement, is that truthful?
13 A. Yes. Everything I said is true.
14 Q. If I were to put the same questions to you today, would you
15 answer me in the same way? Would your answers be the same like those
16 provided in the statement?
17 A. Yes. I would basically give the same answers.
18 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, we would tender Mr. Vujic's statement
19 into the evidence.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the statement receives
22 number D1041.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
24 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, I would read the statement summary of
25 Mr. Vujic, and I would have questions for him as well.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
2 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Drasko Vujic was mobilised in late 1991 and sent as a member of
4 the 5th Battalion of the 343 JNA Brigade to Slavonia, where he stayed for
5 45 days. After that, he went back to Prijedor. And when the crisis in
6 Prijedor broke out, he started forming a unit from the Urije area, or
7 Prijedor 2 area, local community.
8 This unit numbered about 900 to 1200 men, many of whom were
9 non-Serbs who joined the unit voluntarily.
10 In the morning of 30th of May, 1992, Muslim armed units attacked
11 Mr. Vujic's soldiers from a park located between the two underpasses and
12 from a nearby firm. One of his soldiers was killed in the attack, while
13 the others reacted to the surprise and put up resistance. During the
14 clash, the Muslims fired at an ambulance car that was on its way to town
15 and seriously wounded the driver. After one hour of fighting, the Muslim
16 units were pushed back and withdrew towards the river Sana.
17 During the fighting, one enemy soldier was captured. He wore a
18 camouflage uniform with a green headband, a Cherokee hair-style, and
19 Islamic markings. After revealing that Prijedor was attacked by several
20 armed groups from different directions, the prisoner was escorted to the
21 garrison and handed over to the security organs.
22 After this episode, the battalion did not take part in combat
23 operations until September 1992, when most of the battalion was sent to
24 the Gradacac front line while a small part received the task of mopping
25 out Mount Kurevo, where Muslim units were based. One of the soldiers who
1 took part in the fighting at Kurevo was wounded, while one other died.
2 During the summer of 1992, the battalion's patrols were present
3 in the vicinity of the mosque in Puharska, when the mosque was destroyed
4 in an explosion. Mr. Vujic personally helped the people who had been
5 injured, among whom there was a Muslim man who was put in Mr. Vujic's car
6 and taken to the hospital, where he received medical treatment. The
7 soldiers who were on patrol were severely shocked and some suffered
8 hearing damage. Mr. Vujic did everything he could to reassure the
9 residents of Puharska and to prevent any further attempts at disturbing
11 In 1992, various Serbian paramilitary units roamed around
12 Prijedor municipality, causing great problems to both the Muslim and the
13 Serbian population. Mr. Vujic personally arrested a member of this Suva
14 Rebra unit, one of the paramilitary formations active in the Prijedor
15 area. The paramilitary soldier was disarmed, tied up, and later escorted
16 to the prison in Gradiska.
17 In 1995, Mr. Vujic became a member of the SDS and then he became
18 vice-president of the Municipal Board and an assemblyman in the municipal
20 That was statement summary, Your Honours, and I would probably
21 ask -- is it break time or we have still --
22 JUDGE ORIE: No, it's not break time yet.
23 MR. LUKIC: Okay. Then I will continue with my questions with
24 your leave, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so. We have another 20 minutes until the
2 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
3 I would start with one document which we proposed as
4 non-associated exhibit, and it is in our system under the number 1D04952.
5 Q. [Interpretation] We have before us a document, Mr. Vujic, that
6 has no translation. So this is what I'm going to ask you. Could you
7 please read out the name of the document?
8 A. "List of Persons of Non-Serb Ethnicity Who Were Members of the
9 3rd Motorised Battalion."
10 Q. Could you also please read out for us the next line that denotes
11 the columns. So what is written there, the next line?
12 A. The first column is "number," the second is "surname, father's
13 name, and name" of each and every member of the unit, the third is "year
14 of birth," and the fourth is the period that was spent in the unit from
15 the beginning until the end of the participation of each and every
17 Q. Mr. Vujic, who wrote up this document?
18 A. I drew up this document from the database that I still have about
19 the participation of soldiers who were members of the
20 3rd Motorised Battalion.
21 Q. It is easy for us to understand this column that says number, and
22 also the one that says last name, father's name, and name, and the year
23 of birth. The last column, though, that says "period of engagement," how
24 did you make these entries, Mr. Vujic? How did you enter data there?
25 A. In our military records, each and every member, once he reported
1 to the unit, has the date of his arrival recorded, and the second part of
2 the column refers to the date when he left the unit.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I ask one question at this point in time,
4 Mr. Lukic.
5 Mr. Vujic, if you look at item 21, there is a name and he is
6 listed as having been admitted into the army on the 6th of July, 1993 and
7 he leaves from his duties on the same day. What might be the background
8 of that?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this case, obviously what
10 happened was that the soldier was sent by the ministry to the
11 3rd Battalion. Upon arriving in the unit, he brought a document that
12 freed him from participation in the unit. On the basis of the document
13 that he had then, he was released on the same day and returned home.
14 The decision of the ministry was abided by, but in the meantime
15 he obtained a document that freed him from service. And I, as commander,
16 freed him on that basis and let him go home.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vujic, what are the reasons for the members
20 of your unit not to be engaged anymore?
21 A. There are several reasons. This document shows that there were
22 certain individuals who were engaged in the unit from the first until the
23 very last day. You can see that some arrived on the very first day. And
24 then after a year or two, or at some point in time before the end they
25 left the unit, and that was possible only if such a person would receive
1 an assignment to go to a different unit because of the VS that he had,
2 the military occupational speciality, or if somebody was ill or wounded.
3 Unfortunately, some people were also killed. And there were some other
4 reasons why people left this unit before the end.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you whether the dates you are giving, is
6 that purely on the basis of administrative documents, or did you also
7 verify whether they were actually on duty during that period?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. On the basis of the official
9 documents of the battalion, that's how I did this. The battalion has a
10 book, VOB-8, and everything is clearly recorded there, and each and every
11 one of these dates has to match the dates that are in the VOB-8 that was
12 handed over to the ministry. There must be no difference there.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I know that there shouldn't be any difference, but
14 did you verify whether there was any difference?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since I have a copy of the VOB
16 about the participation of all the participants, not from VOB-8 but from
17 my own records before I submitted the VOB, I copied the data into the
18 VOB. So when we are talking about the status and the length of service
19 of each of these soldiers, not only them but all those who were in the
20 battalion - and I must say that 2.540 of them passed through the
21 battalion during the war - none of them had any remarks regarding the
22 length of service and participation in the unit, because it does
23 correspond to the official records in the VOB-8.
24 JUDGE ORIE: But it's still all on the basis of administrative
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the basic and only valid
2 document, the VOB-8. Everything else are records which I, as the
3 commander, as well as subordinate officers of the companies and the
4 platoons, kept. But they all tally.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vujic, did you know any of these people or
8 all of these people personally, and do you have any personal knowledge
9 that they were members of your unit?
10 A. Yes. I knew most of these people personally. I didn't know a
11 small number of them by their first name and last name. I have this very
12 good characteristic, that I can recall faces very easily. So on the
13 basis of that, I definitely do remember them, although I might have
14 forgotten some of their names. However, these are only those who spent a
15 very short time in the unit. For example, the Workers Battalion, which
16 was added to my unit for brief periods of time, perhaps a period of 30 or
17 45 days or a maximum period of 60 days, that category of fighter perhaps
18 means that I didn't know some of them.
19 Q. Thank you. And we can see that the column ends with the year
20 1996. And you see there are no records from 1997 or 1998. Could you
21 please explain why the last entries are from 1996?
22 A. The column shows dates up to 1996, which means that until 1996
23 the unit functioned officially. In 1996, most of the fighters were
24 demobilised. I can say as the commander that just a few of my associates
25 remained in order that we could finish up with the MTS and to complete
1 all the documents that we were obliged to present to the garrison or the
2 brigade command. All the other personnel was demobilised.
3 Q. Where did these members of your battalion come from? From which
5 A. These members mostly came from the replenishment area of this
6 wartime battalion, which included the local communes of Urije, Puharska,
7 Orlovaca, Orlovci, Garevci, and Cirkin Polje. There were a few of those
8 who came from other parts of the municipality and who joined this unit.
9 Most of them were from the replenishment area of the local communes that
10 I just mentioned.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, this is all found in the statement.
12 Please proceed. Paragraph 1.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Vujic, and where were the families of these men who were
15 members of your unit and who were not ethnic Serbs?
16 A. In view of the fact that they were from this zone of
17 replenishment, their families were living in their own homes. They
18 didn't go anywhere. They were together with us. They saw the unit off
19 together with us, they greeted it when it came back, and they went
20 through the good times and the bad times together with us.
21 Q. And what was the attitude of the fighters from your unit of Serb
22 ethnicity towards those who were not of Serb ethnicity?
23 A. In this unit, there were no differences at all between Serb
24 fighters and of those of other ethnic groups. We went to the front
25 together, we returned together, we shared the same fate. At the front,
1 we slept in the same trenches, shared the same food, drank the same
2 drink. We helped each other. And please believe me when I say that in
3 times of crisis, these are events that can tell stories from wartime when
4 co-fighters help each other in difficult situations. There was no
5 difference between members of different ethnic groups.
6 Q. Mr. Vujic, thank you.
7 MR. LUKIC: I would offer this document to be MFI'd since there
8 is no translation.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we first see the last page of it?
10 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. It's the third page. Can we see
11 the third page, please. Actually, the fourth page. The last page.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: So the list ended with number 133; correct?
13 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number would be?
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number would be D1042.
17 JUDGE ORIE: D1042 is admitted -- no, is marked for
18 identification, apologies, pending a translation.
19 But there are no objections, Mr. Zec?
20 MR. ZEC: Correct. No objection.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, I think now it's a break time.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it's still even five minutes before break
24 time. But if you find this is a suitable moment, then we will take the
25 break now.
1 MR. LUKIC: I would change the topics, so yes, please.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That is a good reason.
3 Mr. Vujic, we will take a break of 20 minutes. You may follow
4 the usher. We would like to see you back after the break.
5 [The witness stands down]
6 JUDGE ORIE: We will resume at 10 minutes past 12.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 11.50 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.15 p.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic, Mr. Mladic, please focus on the Court
10 rather than on the public gallery.
11 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, before the witness is with us, I just
12 want to inform the Chamber that now we released the translation for D1042
14 JUDGE ORIE: And that was the -- could you --
15 MR. LUKIC: Yes, that was the list.
16 JUDGE ORIE: The list. Yes. Then there are no objections,
17 Mr. Zec, you told us.
18 Therefore, Madam Registrar, the English translation may be added
19 to D1042 and D1042 is admitted into evidence.
20 [The witness takes the stand]
21 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that you know what doc ID the English
22 translation has. If not, the Defence will inform you.
23 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vujic, can we continue?
1 A. Yes, of course.
2 Q. Could you please look at paragraph 6 of your statement. And
3 that's on page 2.
4 In that paragraph of your statement, you say that before the
5 fighting and searches, you proposed and offered to the Muslim TO to hand
6 over their weapons to avoid unwanted clashes. Do you see that?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. I want to ask you this: Where did you go and did you go anywhere
9 in order to negotiate about all these matters?
10 A. I insisted a number of times on meetings between the leadership
11 of the Muslim side and us so that we could meet and discuss like men,
12 review the situation, and see what the best thing would be for us to do.
13 I did not hesitate to go to their territory, conditionally speaking, for
14 this purpose. One of our meetings was held in their TO headquarters
15 even. That's where we met and held our talks on the subject of how to
16 adapt to the conditions and avoid any civilian casualties or further
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you -- with the same purpose of avoiding
19 clashes, did you approach Serbs also to hand over their weapons?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, the Serbs formed a military
21 unit which had access, meaning that those that I talked to could also
22 come and be a member of that unit. So those were the reasons why I went
23 to talk with those who didn't want to join the official unit. I was
24 asking them to hand over their weapons so that we wouldn't have to wage
25 war with them.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: But this paragraph doesn't say you approached
2 those who didn't want to hand over weapons. It says you approached the
3 Muslim TO.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct. I contacted their
5 superiors, their officers who were responsible for them, for what they
6 were doing there, because they were the ones who were carrying out the
7 orders of those that I was holding the talks with.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: But the TO was also a unit that is there to
9 protect the community, and you're saying the Serbs were part of the army
10 and that's why you didn't go to them.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since we're talking about an
12 interethnic conflict in this case, the Territorial Defence would not have
13 any purpose at all, unless we are talking about an opposing side. Then
14 each side would be important. If it was a war where everyone together
15 would be carrying out the orders of the superior command, of the corps
16 command, the army units and so on, there would be no need for the
17 Territorial Defence to exist at all. But that was not the case here.
18 Most of them had their wartime assignment but did not respond to their
19 wartime assignment. They respected the call of the then-defence minister
20 for the conscripts not to respond to the call-up and not to hand over
21 their weapons.
22 Since these people existed and it was an obvious matter, that was
23 the reason why I tried to reach some sort of agreement so that we would
24 be able to avoid any conflicts.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Lukic. You may proceed.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I would have one follow-up question in this respect,
2 also relating to paragraph 6.
3 You said that some of them complied and handed over mostly
4 civilian weapons. What do I have to understand under "civilian weapons"?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] People who knew that any kind of
6 armed conflict would be fatal in that area were handing over
7 everything --
8 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking you what you meant by "mostly civilian
9 weapons." What are civilian weapons? Are these hunting rifles or is
10 that ...
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That would include hunting rifles,
12 pistols, civilian pistols that they had, any kind of rifle that was not a
13 military-type rifle. So anything that is not a military weapon is
14 considered a civilian weapon.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Were Serbs under an obligation to hand over their
16 hunting rifles and their non-military pistols as well?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they were not under an
18 obligation to do that, and I did not ask them to do that either.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then my question is why would those who were in
20 possession of hunting rifles, being Muslim or Croat, were deprived of the
21 use of those weapons, whereas the Serbs in the population could still
22 continue to hunt and to -- what was the reason for that?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not ask them to hand over the
24 civilian weapons, only the military weapons and the type of weapons that
25 they had received through the party or some other way, through secret
1 channels. There was a large number of pump-action rifles around, and I
2 received information from the intelligence organs about the precise
3 number of how many of them came and at which time, and that was the
4 reason why I pressured them to come to their senses and to hand over
5 everything that they had, and that then definitely they would not be
6 attacked or mistreated and then we would continue to live together
8 JUDGE ORIE: Now, in paragraph 6 of your statement you didn't say
9 that you proposed that they would hand over their military weapons, but
10 you said they were required to hand over their weapons. And in the
11 following sentence, you say some of them complied and handed over mostly
12 civilian weapons. But if I understand you well, you are not interested
13 at all in these civilian weapons, only military weapons. Is that well
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is well understood. I did not
16 insist on civilian weapons. I thought that they would hand over military
17 weapons, weapons from the TO and reserve police sectors. But --
18 JUDGE ORIE: I understand that. But at the same time, you are
19 telling us that they handed over mostly civilian weapons. So you
20 apparently did not tell them that you were not interested in those
21 weapons and you just accepted them. Is that a proper understanding of
22 your testimony?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is proper understanding, that
24 we received everything that they brought in because they handed it in
25 voluntarily. They thought that any kind of weapon they would have could
1 constitute a real problem for them. However, those who wished to have
2 peace were handing over even their civilian weapons, whereas those who
3 wanted to have a conflict did not hand over their military weapons
4 although they had them. So that's why --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, this Chamber received quite some evidence
6 about Muslim and Croat, at least non-Serbian civilians, to hand over
7 their weapons. Most of that evidence required them to hand over all
8 their weapons, and your statement does not say otherwise. So do you have
9 any explanation as to why in your area a different approach was taken?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I personally did not consider those
11 who had hunting weapons to constitute a danger. I didn't think that any
12 threat was coming from those who had civilian pistols of their own. I
13 thought that there was a danger from those organised units of the former
14 TO and the reserve police, and --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Apart from your personal opinion how dangerous it
16 was or not, a clear factual question: Did you offer that all weapons
17 should be handed over, or did you limit it to military weapons?
18 Irrespective of whether you thought it dangerous or not. What was
19 required from them to hand over: All weapons or just military weapons?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that moment, we used the term
21 "weapons." There were those who thought that that included everything.
22 But I tried to explain to you a moment ago, weapons that were a potential
23 danger were military weapons and those weapons that they had received
24 through their political party through secret channels.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I am stopping you there. So you asked them
1 to hand over their weapons without any restriction that it was only
2 military weapons that had to be handed over. Is that well understood?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is well understood.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One follow-up question from my side now.
6 Can you give us a time-frame? In paragraph 6, I don't see any
7 date. When did all that happen, the hand-over of weapons and the
8 negotiations with the Muslim TO?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not in a position to have a
10 reminder here. But if I have that here, I could have given you names and
11 dates that very instant, that very second. What I can say to you now is
12 that all of this happened a month or a month and a half before the 30th
13 of May, before the attack on Prijedor.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is sufficient.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, I do have another follow-up.
16 Given that you were interested in avoiding a clash and in order
17 to assure the Muslims that were called upon to hand over their weapons
18 that in fact peace was intended here, did you ask the Serbs to also hand
19 over - this time, and I'm asking you - military weapons, like you wanted
20 the Muslims to hand over military weapons?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- I did not ask the Serbs to hand
24 over military weapons.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. [Interpretation] We'll go back to this sentence that is before
4 us, Mr. Vujic. This is what you say:
5 "At my proposal, an offer was made to the Muslim TO,"
6 Territorial Defence, "to hand over their weapons."
7 The Muslim TO, did they have civilian weapons or military
9 A. The Muslim Territorial Defence had only military weapons.
10 Q. So when the Territorial Defence is asked to hand over weapons, is
11 it indispensable to point out, in your view, to say military weapons or
12 is it sufficient to say weapons?
13 A. I thought then and I think now that it was sufficient to ask the
14 Territorial Defence to hand over their weapons.
15 Q. Thank you. We saw a document a moment ago and now we have the
16 translation as well. This document pertains to non-Serbs who took part
17 in regular units. These non-Serbs - so Muslims, Ukrainians, Roma,
18 Croats - did they receive weapons, and, if so, what kind of weapons did
19 you give them?
20 A. All of those who reported to the war unit were given weapons,
21 according to establishment, and also all the necessary equipment; that is
22 to say, that they had full military kit and weapons for being in a
23 wartime unit.
24 Q. At the time, Mr. Vujic, that is to say a month or a month and a
25 half before the attack on Prijedor, was there an obligation of the
1 Territorial Defence to hand over weapons they had in their possession to
2 military units? Do you remember that?
3 A. I don't know whether there was some kind of official document or
4 order from the superior command, the higher command, to hand that in.
5 However, I do know that the Territorial Defence could not function on the
6 basis of that principle any longer. It was just a divided formation
7 along ethnic lines, and what was desirable was to disarm both and place
8 them under a single command. That was the objective. So those who did
9 not want to be placed under a command would have to hand over their
10 weapons. Those who wanted to be under the command, then they would be
11 given weapons, and then together with us, they would carry out the same
12 tasks under the same conditions.
13 Q. At a certain moment, did you involve the Serb TO in military
14 units; that is to say, did you treat them the same way, namely, that they
15 could not remain outside military units?
16 A. Yes, of course. The Serb Territorial Defence in a relatively
17 short period of time became assimilated and blended into the wartime
18 unit. There was a small number of individuals there who didn't want to
19 join the war unit, but then they returned their weapons and were no
20 longer members of any units. They were not registered in any records.
21 All of those who were mobilised in the war unit, who wanted to do that,
22 they would have weapons, and their weapons would even be changed
23 depending on the missions they would be given. And all of that was done
24 on the basis of establishment.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could I again ask a clarifying question.
2 Were then the TO units subordinated to the wartime units?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have any information as to
4 when this happened generally, but in my area at this time when I asked
5 the Muslims either to join the unit or to hand over their weapons, the
6 Serb TO was assimilated, say, 90 per cent of it was, they became part of
7 the wartime unit and in fact no longer existed.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And were therefore subordinated to the command
9 of the wartime unit, if I understand you well.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you understood that well.
11 JUDGE ORIE: On what basis were you instructed that the TO units
12 should be subordinated or what made you decide that this subordination of
13 the TO units ceasing to exist separately, that this subordination should
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I came from the front of Western
16 Slavonia on the basis of the order issued by the commander for me to
17 organise a unit so that all the available personnel and weapons would be
18 placed under control, that was the basic objective and the only
19 objective, irrespective of age, irrespective of those who can or cannot.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You're not listening to my question. My question
21 was what made you decide whether it was -- no, perhaps let me just --
22 please finish your answer, and I may have a short follow-up question.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So on orders from the brigade
24 commander, since the situation was chaotic, people at home - that is to
25 say, Serbs and Muslims and all other ethnicities - had contact with
1 weapons of the Territorial Defence, or rather had all of those weapons at
2 their homes, and all of that was supposed to be placed under some kind of
3 control, rather serious control in an organised unit. I worked on that,
4 really, day and night. And I had significant success.
5 These negotiations took place because of those who did not want
6 this. These were attempts that were made to persuade them either to join
7 us or to hand over their weapons.
8 JUDGE ORIE: That goes beyond the scope of my question. So it
9 was on the orders of the brigade command that you had to put TO and the
10 weaponry of the TO under your command, subordinated to your wartime unit?
11 No loud speaking, Mr. Mladic. No loud speaking.
12 Please proceed -- please answer my question, Witness.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not understand that there was
14 a question. I thought that you had just stated something.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I did that in view of something that happened.
16 My question was whether it was on the orders, therefore, of the
17 brigade command that you had to put the TO and the weaponry of the TO
18 under your command, subordinated to your wartime unit?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I also have a further clarifying question.
22 Now, do I understand your evidence well: You had the intention
23 to avoid clashes and maintain peace, that's why you disarmed the Muslims
24 of their weapons. And you did not disarm the Serbs. On the contrary, as
25 you were disarming these Muslims, you were organising a war unit and
1 dismantling the Serb Territorial Defence and subordinating it to the war
3 So do I understand that, in fact, while the Muslims were supposed
4 to be disarmed, the Serbs were actually organising themselves into war
5 units in pursuit of the peace you wanted to maintain?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You stated that we had dismantled
7 the Territorial Defence. It was a fact that it had already been
8 dismantled. It didn't have a command. Some had responded, others had
9 not, and that's how --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me stop you. I didn't say you dismantled the
11 thing. I was quoting what you had told us. You said the
12 Territorial Defence of the Serb was subordinated to the war unit,
13 therefore, because there was no need for it to further exist. All I'm
14 saying is you're now taking the Serb Territorial Defence and the army of
15 the Serbs, making them into one war unit, and naturally preparing for war
16 because you're not even disarming them. But in the meantime, you are
17 disarming the Muslims. And I'm saying was that your way of pursuing the
18 peace that you wanted to maintain?
19 Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted peace.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I think both Judge Moloto and myself would not know
23 for sure whether we got your answer.
24 Could you please again start your answer.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I started answering, and the Judge
1 said, "Yes."
2 But this is what I wanted to say: I thought of peace in a
3 completely different way as compared to the circumstances that were
4 there. It is impossible to say that we simply transferred the Serb TO to
5 the wartime unit. They had the same conditions put forth as those that
6 were put forth to the Muslim unit: Hand over your weapons and join, or
7 join and then you don't have to hand over your weapons. The Muslims did
8 not and that is why we negotiated along those lines, that they should
9 either hand over their weapons if they didn't want to join or they should
10 join and keep their weapons.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Then I have another question. Paragraph 6
12 does not invite the Muslims to join anything. Now, if you asked the
13 Serbs to hand over their weapons and join the war unit, this was not
14 offered to the Muslims. Why?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At all the meetings that we had,
16 the offer was made for them to join --
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Excuse me. I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The fact that others joined --
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not asking you what you said in the meeting.
20 I'm asking you about paragraph 6. You do not mention in your paragraph 6
21 that you asked the Muslims to join.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's correct. My written statement
23 refers to those who did not wish to join.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: It does not even say -- address itself to those
25 who didn't want to join. It addresses itself to Muslims.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. And the fact that they exist
2 indicates that they were armed, that they were there, and they were not
3 members of the war units.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Lukic. Done.
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vujic, were there any mobilisations in 1991
7 and 1992; do you remember?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And these mobilisations, were only Serbs called up or were Serbs,
10 Croats, Muslims, and all others called up?
11 A. Everyone was called up according to the wartime deployment,
12 regardless of their ethnicity.
13 Q. And this mobilisation, the general call-up for everybody, did
14 that also encompass these Muslims that you were negotiating with?
15 A. Yes, of course.
16 Q. And do you know if they were aware of the mobilisation, the
17 call-up for them also to join a common armed force?
18 A. Yes, they knew what joint mobilisation meant. And like I said,
19 they decided to respect the summons for them not to join and respond to
20 the call-up but to do other assignments, which was to take weaponry, to
21 destroy bridges, and to take up the arms that they already had and to
22 carry out attacks against the Yugoslav Peoples' Army, wherever it was at
23 that time.
24 Q. Mr. Vujic, could you please tell us now, and we're still on
25 paragraph 6 and this request for the surrender of weapons, are you able
1 to remember now the names of Muslims who organised the hand-over of the
2 weapons, and do you feel it's necessary to go into private session if you
3 wanted to protect somebody's identity?
4 A. Well, I sincerely hope that my statement will not harm those
5 people in any way in view of the fact that they weren't very decisive at
6 that time as well and knew what they were doing. I hope that this will
7 not harm them or be a bother to them in any way -- excuse me.
8 At this time, I can recall only a few names, like the name of
9 Ismet Kapetanovic, Zekerija Kusuran, Esko Sehic. Dzevad Dzafic took an
10 active part in everything, and he was the then-official commander of the
11 Territorial Defence in Puharska. These were the -- this was the outcome
12 of our talks.
13 There were a few more, even ten people who took an active part in
14 it, but upon their own request the weapons that were gathered were handed
15 over to the garrison and they were present there. It was a good thing
16 for others, also, to see that they were for peace, that they were not
17 willing to enter into any kind of fighting, and they wanted to hand over
18 the weapons at the garrison. All of that was recorded.
19 Of course, I permitted them gladly to do that, and I was at the
20 garrison there with them. They handed over the weapons and then they
21 returned to their homes. They even were given receipts for the pieces
22 that they handed over at the garrison.
23 Q. [Microphone not activated]
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, one second. We couldn't hear the
1 question in interpretation.
2 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm sorry.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Were there those who were opposed to the
4 hand-over of the weapons on the Muslim side, and would you be able to
5 give us any of those names, names of people who were opposed to the
6 surrender of weapons?
7 A. Yes, there were those who obstructed this action in a very
8 insolent unpleasant way going from house to house, and they were informed
9 of the people who intended to hand over the weapons. So they mistreated
10 them, physically. One of those leaders was Jusuf Ramic and one of the
11 most insolent ones was Mirsad Kugic, aka Mirso, from Puharska. We even
12 have a case where there were two brothers where one was in favour of
13 surrendering the weapons and the other one was explicitly against it.
14 These were the Orgadic [phoen] brothers. And the one who was opposed to
15 this was shouting and throwing insults around in a very specific way;
16 whereas, his brother took an active part in collecting the weapons and in
17 trying to convince the people that this was a better solution.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Were you present with this happened?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, in one or two instances. I
20 was -- when summoned by a person to either protect them from those people
21 and make them stop doing that, I was there to try to stop something like
22 that from happening.
23 Why did Jusuf Ramic --
24 JUDGE ORIE: One second, one second.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- behave like that? This is what
1 I'm trying to say.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But this was not what you were asked.
3 Mr. Lukic, next question, please.
4 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vujic, even though it was not stated
6 explicitly in the question, but I know what you're trying to say. So
7 could you please explain to us the role of Jusuf Ramic at that time so
8 that we can understand that better?
9 A. Jusuf Ramic was a man who was appointed by the SDA as commander
10 of the regional TO staff in Puharska. He worked on the other side. He
11 was arming the Muslims, digging trenches, and organising units. And then
12 when it turned out that there were those who wanted to hand over their
13 weapons, of course he had to oppose that and he did that the whole time.
14 You are aware here of a person called Rasim Dzafic, he provided a
15 statement, and was one of the victims in the incident regarding the
16 Puharska mosque. He called me one time and he said that Mirsad Kugic and
17 this Ramic had slapped him. And since I knew Rasim Dzafic very well --
18 actually, a couple of months ago, he reminded me of this, and he thanked
19 me for saying that his own personal pistol that I knew he possessed was
20 something that he should not hand over because he had to defend himself
21 from people like that. So that was for his own safety, and he's grateful
22 to me for that to this day.
23 Q. Thank you. You told us that it was not handed over. Was
24 anything handed over of the TO weapons at that time? If you remember
1 A. A very small number of semiautomatic rifles, just a few automatic
2 rifles, and the rest were M48s. I know for a fact that the
3 Territorial Defence had all types of infantry weapons at its disposal.
4 However, no machine-gun was there. No hand-held launcher was there. All
5 that was there were M48s, PAPs, and two automatic rifles, military ones,
6 were handed over.
7 Q. Thank you. So what happened to the people who handed over the
8 weapons? Did co-operation with them continue? What happened?
9 A. Of course, since I continued to work in Puharska, they were my
10 main foundation for further work. They were constantly at my service.
11 They even provided information about the things that were going on around
12 them. So I could predict certain things and was able to thwart certain
13 things as a result of that. I have a number of examples which would
14 clearly illustrate the kind of things that were going on over there.
15 Q. And that's my next question. Would you please give any examples
16 that would indicate what you're talking about, and are you talking about
17 Puharska or a broader area?
18 A. At the moment I'm only speaking about Puharska and my activities
19 there. There was some 5.000 inhabitants living there at the time, so it
20 was not just any old number. We're talking about a lot of people and a
21 densely inhabited area. In view of the fact that I gave my phone number
22 to many people so that they could call me in case of any unpleasantness
23 so that we could intervene, even though it was not my task to maintain
24 law and order. I was a soldier. That was the work of the police.
25 However, the co-operation that we had obliged me to help the
1 people. One day somebody called me on the telephone to say that the
2 population of a very long street in Puharska had all left their houses.
3 I went there quickly with my security detail and what I saw was a large
4 number of, let's say, women and children, there were very few men, who
5 were going somewhere. I said, "Where are you going?" They said that
6 they were coming from the direction of Cejreci, and they said that they
7 would all get killed. As a commander at that point in time, I had no
8 information about any kind of combat actions --
9 Q. Can you please just stop for a minute. For the purposes of the
10 interpretation, can you please tell us what they told you? Who was going
11 from Cejreci?
12 A. They simply said there is shooting from Cejreci --
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure about the name of
14 the place.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And so that's why they were
16 leaving. They were going towards us from the direction of that village
17 because there was shooting there. So then I told them, "I'm just going
18 to find out exactly what's happening. Go back to your homes. Nobody
19 will touch you." And the result of my inquiry, if I may call it that,
20 was that Jusuf Ramic had started a false alert from the boundary with
21 Cejreci, he told the people, "Run, they're going to kill you." He wanted
22 to create an atmosphere of fear.
23 Fortunately, because I intervened so quickly, the people were
24 stopped. They returned to their homes. I have a few of my work
25 colleagues there, who live there, they were in that column. They thanked
1 me later, and they said that they had been naive and they had believed
2 Jusuf Ramic.
3 So you can see the kind of things that they did in order to carry
4 out their objectives in order to undermine our actions leading to
5 reconciliation, to undermine everything that we were doing so that people
6 could live side by side so that they could live together and avoid any
7 kind of clash.
8 Q. You told us about the mosque in Puharska, that it was destroyed.
9 Were any houses destroyed in the explosion and, if so, how many?
10 A. Yes, unfortunately. It was a very powerful explosion. The
11 shocks practically razed the next door house down to the ground. The
12 house belonged to the old hodza, Ziko Kusuran, who was unfortunately
13 killed then in his bedroom. His wife also was killed; I knew her as
14 well. The house of Rasim Dzafic was also destroyed. That was across
15 from the barracks. Another house, I don't know who that belonged to.
16 And then the glass shattered in the immediate area. The roofs were left
17 intact but all the glass, all the window pains shattered.
18 Q. And what state were the other houses in during the war in Donja
19 and Gornja Puharska?
20 A. In 90 per cent of the cases, the houses remained intact. They
21 were not damaged or looted or demolished. Again, there was no combat in
22 the real sense of the word there. There was some odd fighting here and
23 there when a section of the Muslim population went to third countries.
24 Then their homes were occupied by some other people. So then we had the
25 problem there of maintaining law and order and preventing looting or, God
1 forbid, the demolition of houses. What usually would happen was that
2 when the owner wasn't there they would dismantle the roof and then
3 everything else that they wanted to dismantle, even if they didn't need
4 it, but we did manage to prevent this and Puharska remained untouched.
5 90 per cent of the buildings there remained untouched.
6 Q. The record says 90 per cent. Did you say 90 per cent and more?
7 A. I said 90 per cent and more, since only a few houses could not
8 have been under control and then that happened to them. But as for the
9 rest, everything remained the same.
10 Q. These houses, once they were empty, were refugees put up there?
11 A. In part of them, yes. In part of them, no.
12 Q. The inhabitants of Puharska, did you give them some other kind of
13 assistance in food, medicine?
14 A. After the attack on Prijedor and the mop-up of Puharska, I
15 started communicating with them in a completely different way. I entered
16 Puharska in order to have everything that was happening under my control,
17 and that is how I had contact with the entire population. These people
18 who I said should help and co-operate, they were intermediaries, when
19 somebody needed medicine urgently. And also there were some who said
20 that they had always been poor, and then at this time that we are talking
21 about when there is no electricity, no water, and no food, when they're
22 unemployed, then we helped. We gave them food and clothing.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just a small point.
24 What was the ethnicity of the residents of Puharska?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 98 per cent Muslim. The rest, a
1 few Croats and Serbs.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. When providing this aid to Puharska and its population, what was
5 the attitude of your superior command?
6 A. I, as commander, I went to report to the brigade commander
7 regularly. I went for briefings, and I presented my activities in detail
8 there and how far I had gone. And, of course, my commander was familiar
9 with all of my activities. I had support to help as much as possible,
10 and I had the support to persevere so that we could prevent an armed
11 conflict in the area, if that was possible.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, we are approaching the one hour you had
13 asked for. I do not know how much time you'd still need, whether it
14 would be wise to take a break now or -- well, let's say to take a break
15 in five or eight minutes when you have consumed your one hour?
16 MR. LUKIC: I thought I have still time left. I --
17 JUDGE ORIE: That's what I say, but not much.
18 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And then would you use that time before the break or
20 would you use that time --
21 MR. LUKIC: Maybe after a break. Then I could be able to
22 reorganise and to maybe cut down.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes, because your time, it's less than ten
24 minutes at this moment. Let me be clear on that.
25 MR. LUKIC: I think it would be sufficient.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, Mr. Vujic, we'll take a break again, and
2 we'd like to see you back in 20 minutes.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at 1.30.
5 --- Recess taken at 1.11 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 1.33 p.m.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I do understand that you would like to
8 have more time.
9 MR. LUKIC: I cut down my questions. I know that it does not
10 make any sense that I need more time, but maybe -- I will try to finish
11 as soon as possible. I will really try to focus this gentleman and
12 myself, so I try to finish in ten but I'm afraid I need a bit more time.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then 15 minutes would hopefully --
14 MR. LUKIC: Yes, thank you. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I mean, you started with 30 minutes, then it became
16 one hour, it's now one hour and a little bit more.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, may I ask you to carefully listen to the
19 questions and to give concise answers to those questions and not go
20 beyond that. Mr. Lukic is limited in his time.
21 Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Vujic, we have some 15 minutes and we
24 have quite a bit of material to cover, so let us be as concise as
25 possible. At the same time, I have to wait for the interpretation. So
1 don't be confused by that.
2 How long did this co-operation of yours last with the people in
4 A. It went on for a very long time. In some cases, even up until
5 the end of the war.
6 Q. Until when did people in Puharska remain in their homes? How
7 many stayed on? Can you tell us about that?
8 A. Since I left Prijedor and went to the front line with my unit, I
9 cannot give you very specific information on that. But at moments when I
10 came for regular leave with my unit to Prijedor, I found a lot of the
11 Muslims in their homes, but then I also found out that some of them left
12 of their own free will; left Prijedor, that is.
13 Q. Today, do you have any friends among the Muslim people in
15 A. Yes. I have a lot of Muslim friends, precisely from that area.
16 I meet up with them often. We have coffee together, we socialise, and
17 sometimes we even discuss this topic.
18 Q. Thank you. In relation to paragraph 14 of your statement --
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we be shown paragraph 14, please.
20 MR. LUKIC: I wanted to show you one document, but, yes, we can
21 see the paragraph 14 first.
22 Q. [Interpretation] There is a reference to paramilitary formations.
23 Mr. Vujic, I would like to show you a document, P3095.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We need the next page. In both
25 versions, we need the next page. We need the first paragraph and we need
1 the heading.
2 Q. Mr. Vujic, this is a document of the Main Staff of the Army of
3 Republika Srpska dated the 23rd of September, 1995. And there is a
4 reference here to members of the Serb Volunteer Guard, known as Tigrovi,
5 Tigers, under the command of Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan. It says here
6 that since so far these formations have not taken part in combat
7 activities and have not become part of any establishment unit and have
8 not reported to any command from the level of battalion to the VRS Main
9 Staff. Obviously, these are military formations acting independently of
10 the VRS.
11 My question to you: In the autumn of 1995 in the area of
12 Prijedor, did you find members of the Serb Volunteer Guard there, rather
13 Arkan's Tigers?
14 A. Yes, I found them there.
15 Q. Did they report to you, asking for assignments, combat tasks?
16 A. No. I don't know who they got tasks from, but then I realised
17 that they did not know who the brigade commander was or the commander of
18 the operations group at that time, Colonel Zeljaja. It was clear to me
19 that they were not receiving tasks from the army.
20 Q. Thank you. Now, I would just like to speak about that period,
21 briefly, the autumn of 1995. Or rather, October. The 12th, 13th of
22 October, 1995, the attack on Prijedor. Where was your unit on the
23 10th of October, 1995?
24 A. The 3rd Battalion and I were in the area around Gradacac, and our
25 task was to guard the corridor.
1 Q. When did you come to Prijedor and why?
2 A. 12th to 13th, I was sent from Gradacac to Prijedor, just to spend
3 the night there and to get information as to what was happening in our
4 area, Sanski Most, Kljuc, and the other municipalities. However --
5 Q. What was happening? Tell us? What was happening at that point
6 in time with Kljuc and Sanski Most?
7 A. At that time the 5th Corps, reinforced with other units, and
8 assisted by NATO, was taking one municipality after the other. I believe
9 it was some 13 municipalities that they took in a single operation. They
10 advanced towards Prijedor, the army withdrew, civilians fled.
11 Q. When did you arrive in Prijedor? Did you come together with your
12 troops? Did you come without them? Just tell us that.
13 A. Since I arrived a day earlier and since I had contact with my
14 commander, I was familiarised with the entire situation that was evolving
15 in that area, and I found out that the corps commander had approved that
16 my unit be replaced from their previous positions and that they should
17 set out immediately towards the area of Prijedor. I was waiting for my
18 battalion, and my assistants organised the movement of the battalion.
19 Q. So one day after you, your unit arrived as well, as you've just
20 said. Page 69, line 24, of LiveNote. Where were you with your unit?
21 A. I knew how far my unit had gone. I waited for them at the
22 entrance into Prijedor. I stopped the column. But in part, we did enter
23 the inhabited area. And since there was great fear among the civilian
24 population knowing what was going on in the area around Prijedor, many
25 civilians gathered there. However, I issued an order stating that my
1 company commanders and platoon commanders should get off buses in order
2 to be given tasks. This was an order that had to do with the combat
3 operations of our unit only.
4 I communicated to them that 13 municipalities had fallen, and
5 they knew about some of them earlier on, but they weren't aware of the
6 fact that Sanski Most had fallen. For them that was a major, major
7 surprise. Like for me the previous evening. My order then was that we
8 should defend Prijedor, that I only wanted soldiers to have rifles and
9 RAPs on them. Nothing else. No other equipment. I said that we had no
10 artillery support or any other kind of support and that we were probably
11 going to fight direct with the Muslim forces that were probably
12 encouraged by having taken all this territory, and they were on the
13 threshold of Prijedor and they probably wanted to move further on.
14 Also, I asked my soldiers to go through Prijedor singing. We
15 were experienced soldiers. We knew what that meant. That was our way of
16 showing that we were prepared to defend Prijedor resolutely and that is
17 indeed what happened.
18 Q. When did you introduce your battalion into combat?
19 A. The battalion went into the combat after the order was issued,
20 about an hour or an hour and a half. Practically, they got off the buses
21 and joined the fighting right away. We were close to Ostra Luka in the
22 village of Baliskovici [phoen], and that's where we already encountered
23 their reconnaissance units and their crack units that were advancing.
24 And hand-to-hand combat began immediately, whereby we thrashed their
25 first reconnaissance groups, and then --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last part
2 of his answer.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Could you please repeat the last part of your answer.
5 A. I said that I found a number of Arkan's soldiers in that area,
6 the strength of a platoon, who had still not joined the fighting.
7 Q. Did you issue any orders to them?
8 A. No, I did not issue any orders to them. They didn't even know
9 which unit was on its way. At one point in time, one of their officers
10 introduced himself to us saying that he was a senior guards officer, and
11 he said, "When Vujic comes, everything will be settled." And he was
12 talking to me. So I concluded that he didn't know who he was talking to,
13 so I said, "I am Vujic. I have my task. I am going to be moving ahead."
14 So then after that, we didn't have any more contact.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to interrupt you to tell Mr. Lukic that he
16 has two minutes left.
17 Mr. Lukic, you ask a question, and the first sentence answers the
18 question, then the witness continues for a whole page and you let him go.
19 It's up to you how you handle your witnesses.
20 You have two minutes left.
21 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, you heard. We still have just two minutes
23 left. What about the communications system of your unit, of your
25 A. At that point in time, the communications system was in complete
1 breakdown and we were completely aware that this was something that NATO
2 was doing, because the communications system was not something that the
3 Muslims could disable completely like that. There were drones flying
4 over. They were going above their territory. We entered the theater
5 under horrific Muslim artillery fire.
6 Q. And the forces of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, did they
7 have drones?
8 A. Of course they didn't have any, and we knew that as experienced
9 soldiers. These were drones that belonged to the NATO Alliance.
10 Q. Mr. Vujic, thank you very much. We don't have any questions for
11 you anymore. And thank you.
12 A. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
14 Mr. Vujic, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Zec. You find
15 Mr. Zec to your right. Mr. Zec is counsel for the Prosecution.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Zec:
19 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Vujic.
20 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Zec.
21 Q. I noticed a few times that you referred to the attack on
22 Prijedor, and you were referring to an action of 30th May 1992; right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You did not mention this in your statement, but you were aware,
25 were you not, that Serbs took over power in Prijedor on 30th April 1992;
2 A. Yes, I knew that Serbs had taken over power on the 29th of April.
3 Q. In the week before 30th May 1992, the 43rd Brigade, your brigade,
4 had carried out operations in Hambarine and Kozarac. You were aware of
5 this; right?
6 A. Yes, I was aware of it.
7 Q. Large amounts of civilian property were destroyed in those
8 operations. Were you aware of this; right?
9 A. Yes, I was aware of it.
10 Q. Many non-Serbs were taken prisoner. But you were aware of this
11 as well; right?
12 A. Yes, I was aware of it.
13 Q. Large numbers of non-Serbs were killed in those operations. You
14 were aware of this as well; right?
15 A. I didn't know how many people were killed. But in view of the
16 fierceness of the fighting, it was possible to conclude that the number
17 would be high.
18 Q. Well, let me now turn to the list of your soldiers who you say
19 were non-Serb members of your unit, and I would just put to you a few --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Before you do that, could I ask one follow-up
21 question. You said:
22 "In view of the fierceness of the fighting, it was possible to
23 conclude that the number would be high."
24 Are you talking about soldiers, about members of the armed
25 forces? That's what I understand. But were civilians killed?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that I assumed that there
2 were dead people, people killed in view of the fierceness of the
3 fighting. But since I wasn't there, I didn't know who it was that was
5 JUDGE ORIE: Neither that it was a result of the fierce fighting?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. The killed could only have
7 been a consequence of the combat actions, actually.
8 JUDGE ORIE: That's a conclusion rather than factual knowledge,
9 isn't it?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that I didn't know because I
11 wasn't there.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zec.
13 MR. ZEC:
14 Q. And you said that you knew that non-Serbs were taken prisoner.
15 You also knew that the prisoners were taken into camps by the members of
16 the VRS. You were aware of this as well; right?
17 A. Yes, I was aware of that.
18 Q. So that we are clear, when we -- camps, we are talking about
19 Keraterm, Omarska, Trnopolje; right?
20 A. No, I don't agree about Trnopolje. That definitely was not a
21 camp. It was a collection centre.
22 As for Keraterm, we can describe it however we want. But
23 initially, when people were being held there, it was a place where those
24 who were captured were taken to. They were brought in there. I'm
25 talking about Keraterm and that's why I say that I knew that there were
1 prisoners there, because that happened to be in my area of replenishment,
2 so I did have information about what was happening there.
3 Q. And to be clear, regardless what was the understanding what these
4 places were, but VRS took these people to these places. That's what was
5 going on; right?
6 A. To Keraterm, yes. But not to Trnopolje. They went to Trnopolje
7 by themselves to seek shelter and a safe area.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And what about Omarska?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, Omarska was set
10 up a bit later. And, of course, nobody could go there by themselves.
11 The only people who went there were those who were supposed to go through
12 the vetting procedure or had already been through that procedure and were
13 then taken there.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: By the VRS; right?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that as far as Omarska is
16 concerned, that this was mostly done by the police. I don't know if
17 soldiers also did that to a certain extent. I don't know that. But I
18 know that the police did that. After interrogations in Keraterm, the
19 police would then escort the people to Omarska.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: One follow-up question. Did you personally visit
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I happened to be in Trnopolje a day
24 or two after combat actions in Kozarac, and I saw the columns that were
25 arriving to Trnopolje from the direction of Kozarac, Kevljani, and those
1 other villages in that area from the direction of Kozarac. Thus, I was
2 there for one day. I was summoned to sweep the terrain around the
3 Kozarac railway station. Somebody shot at those civilians, and that's
4 why my command had sent me, to see what was going on there.
5 The fact was --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Did you have thorough talks with the Trnopolje staff
7 or with detainees, or did you just happen to be there to perform the task
8 which you just described?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After sweeping the terrain, the
10 section where the firing came from at the civilians, we established that
11 this was done by Muslim ethnic groups that had been broken apart in
12 Kozarac. After a few hours, I got there, they were not there anymore --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, this is all not an answer to my
14 question. My question was whether you had thorough talks with the
15 Trnopolje staff or detainees?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I spoke with only one man. And if
17 you like, I can describe my conversation with him. It was --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, first of all tell us who it was.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know his name. He was the
20 owner and a driver of a truck. A long truck. He drove a full truck
21 covered with a tarpaulin. The truck was packed with women and children.
22 They had put straw at the bottom of the truck. And then when they
23 disembarked, he said that he was going back to bring in another batch of
24 people from Kamicani, civilians, also who were fleeing from fighting.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You've answered my question.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. As I indicated, we were looking at your list of your soldiers,
4 and I will have just a few brief questions.
5 MR. ZEC: Can we have on the screen D1042.
6 Q. If you look at the list, item number 5 is a name, Nenad Babic,
7 and there is a note that his former name was Nedzad Sikiric. So this is
8 an example of a Muslim changing name into surname; right?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. Item number 33 is Enver Dracic. According to this list, he was
11 in your unit in 1996. That's the period after the war; right?
12 A. No, this cannot be after the war. It can just be just before the
13 end of the war. And you can see that he was there for less than one
15 Q. In --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Was the war still ongoing in 1996, Mr. Vujic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps there was no combat but the
18 unit was still intact. It was mobilised.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but the question is whether it was still war.
20 This Chamber received information that the war was ended by the Dayton
21 agreements, which were not in 1996.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's why I said that no combat
23 actions were being carried out, but the unit was still not demobilised.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Let's move on.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: But before that, you said, sir, at page 77,
1 line 23:
2 "No, this cannot be after the war. It can just be just before
3 the end of the war."
4 That's what you said. You said he joined this unit just before
5 the end of the war.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And what is your question?
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: My question is: Therefore, you can't say there
8 was no combat -- he joined when there was no combat, because you said
9 that he joined in 1996. We are being told that, in fact, the war ended
10 in 1995. So he cannot have joined just before the end of the war if he
11 joined in 1996.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The wartime unit was still
13 mobilised, and it was still mobilising and discharging members. So he
14 was mobilised at the time when the unit was still active, and he was
15 carrying out some other military duties and tasks.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. You're not answering my question.
17 Thank you so much.
18 Yes, Mr. Zec.
19 MR. ZEC: Thank you.
20 Q. Page 2, item number 54, is Ibrahim Keric. It says: "Change to
21 Goran Knezevic." Muslim name change into Serb name; right?
22 A. Yes, evidently.
23 Q. English page 4, B/C/S page 3, item number 123, another example of
24 Muslim changing name into Serb, right?
25 A. Could you please repeat the name you're talking about? What
1 number is it?
2 Q. 123, Esad Husic changed to Zoran Zoric.
3 A. Yes, he changed his first and last name, but he left the father's
4 name the same. So it's still Hilmija.
5 MR. ZEC: Can we look at page 1 in both languages.
6 Q. Item numbers 38 and 39, Jasmin and Sulejman Zahidic. Looking at
7 their first and last name, these are Muslim first and last names; right?
8 A. It's Zahidic, Jasmin and Zahidic, Sulejman, and their father's
9 name is Sulejman. They are Roma. And they are Roma of Islamic faith and
10 they are brothers.
11 Q. Person under item number 38, Jasmin Zahidic.
12 MR. ZEC: In English it should be the first page.
13 Q. He was in your unit when the unit was deployed at corridor near
14 Brcko; right?
15 A. Yes, he was.
16 Q. He was assigned to your unit as a part of his work obligation;
18 A. No, he was there as a member of the wartime unit. Not on work
19 duty. One went on work duty from a unit to do something in some kind of
20 company or enterprise.
21 Q. He was building trenches at the front lines and he was injured;
23 A. No, that's not true. Jasmin Zahidic and his brother were regular
24 soldiers of the 3rd Battalion. I think it was either the 3rd or the 4th
25 Company. They were fighters. And he was wounded in combat, gravely
2 And if you permit me, when I was talking about the relations, how
3 we protected each other and defended each other at the front, when Jasmin
4 was seriously wounded, two other fighters were wounded in attempts to try
5 to pull them out -- pull him out. They were both Serbs. The medic was
6 seriously wounded but still we pulled Jasmin out.
7 Q. If we look his local statement, the 65 ter 32526. We need page 2
8 in B/C/S, page 4 in English. In the middle of the page, you should be
9 able to see: 3 [sic] February 1993 when Rade Crnogorac reassigned me to
10 the unit of Drasko Vujic, commander of the 5th Battalion of the 43rd
11 Brigade of the so-called VRS.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's 13 February, not 3 February.
13 MR. ZEC: My apologies.
14 Q. "Where I was to perform my work obligation. I went to Pelagicevo
15 near Brcko on 13 February 1993 to carry out my work obligation. With me
16 were a dozen of Bosniaks."
17 A few lines below:
18 "In Pelagicevo I performed together with the others making
19 trenches and putting logs in the trenches and then covering them with the
20 soil. I did this work for five days," and he said he was wounded by
22 So this is what happened to Jasmin; right?
23 JUDGE ORIE: There seems to be something -- I hear in the
24 background -- I think it's the B/C/S or the French I was -- it was not
25 loud enough to decipher.
1 Could we take care that there is no -- I still hear it, but -- I
2 don't know what happens.
3 I think we can continue, but if someone would take care of that.
4 Please proceed.
5 Yes, could you answer the question?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I understand this properly, I
7 don't know who gave the statement, but I state with full responsibility
8 that Jasmin Zahidic was not in my work platoon. Rather, he was a member
9 of the unit. He was never in the work platoon. I assume that Zahidic
10 gave this statement under some kind of great duress, because this is not
11 the way he expresses himself. Somebody wrote this for him. And
12 secondly, he was never in the work platoon.
13 Yes, please go ahead.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. Refrain from speculation.
15 You may say that's not how it was, but to speculate on how that statement
16 was taken is not for you to do, unless you have any specific knowledge
17 about that.
18 Please proceed.
19 So you say this is not how it happened.
20 Please proceed, Mr. Zec.
21 MR. ZEC:
22 Q. Let's turn now to a different topic. You say in your
23 statement --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Zec --
25 MR. ZEC: Yes?
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- you said this is an interview, a local
2 interview. Could you be a little bit more precise. What document is it?
3 MR. ZEC: Correct, Your Honour.
4 Q. And, Mr. Vujic, just to avoid any problems, you said -- you were
5 inquiring who made this statement. This is statement of person who you
6 say was member of your unit. His name is Jasmin Zahidic, and MUP -- this
7 statement was provided in Zenica when he was expelled from Prijedor in
8 1995. So this is what he said what happened to him while he was
9 performing his work obligation in your unit. Are you disputing this?
10 A. Yes, of course I am challenging it, what you said just now. Just
11 for one reason: The Zahidics were not expelled from Prijedor. They were
12 well liked, very well liked in Prijedor. Our neighbours of Roma
13 ethnicity, Alija was his mother's name, and all the neighbours liked her
14 very, very much.
15 Q. No reason for details. We will come back to these events in
16 1995. But the fact is that this person ended up in Zenica in 1995
17 because he was expelled by the VRS from Prijedor. Are you disputing
19 A. [No interpretation]
20 JUDGE ORIE: We don't receive interpretation.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course I'm disputing that. Of
22 course I'm disputing that. I'm sure that none of my soldiers were
24 I can repeat.
25 JUDGE ORIE: No, it has been translated -- interpreted meanwhile.
1 Mr. Zec, I'm looking at the clock. It's time to adjourn.
2 MR. ZEC: Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vujic, we'll adjourn for the day and we'd like
4 to see you back Monday, that is the 4th of May -- yes, it's the 4th of
5 May, 9.30 in the morning. But I'd first instruct you that --
6 No loud speaking, Mr. Mladic. You know the rules.
7 I'd first like to instruct you that you should not speak or
8 communicate with whomever about your testimony, whether that is testimony
9 you've given today or whether that is testimony still to be given on
11 If that's clear to you, you may follow the usher.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you earlier postponed any submissions on
14 scheduling. Does that still apply? It was something about next week.
15 If it's urgent, we would like to hear. If not, then we'll just wait
16 until Monday or --
17 MR. LUKIC: We can --
18 JUDGE ORIE: -- if you inform the Chamber, I --
19 MR. LUKIC: I think that we are in agreement with the Prosecution
20 to bring the witness and to finish his direct and cross, and one of our
21 witnesses did cancel his testimony. He had some obligations he could not
22 postpone, and we moved him to the last week of May.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
24 MR. LUKIC: But with Mr. Draskovic testifying next week, I think
25 that we would be close to okay.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So therefore at this moment there is nothing
2 that we have to worry about. You still may have some worries, but --
3 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for the day and will resume Monday, the
5 4th of May, 9.30 in the morning, in courtroom I.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.19 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Monday, the 4th day
8 of May, 2015, at 9.30 a.m.