1 Friday, 15 October 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So, bonjour.
6 Mr. Registrar, could you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, good morning. Case Number
8 IT-03-68-T, The Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Registrar. And good morning to
11 Mr. Oric, again, I would like to hear you confirm that you can
12 receive interpretation of the proceedings in a language that you can
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours,
15 gentlemen. I understand everything that is being interpreted to me.
16 Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good morning to you.
18 Appearances for the Prosecution.
19 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honour. My name is Jan Wubben,
20 lead counsel for the Prosecution team, together with Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio,
21 Ms. Patricia Sellers, and as our case manager, Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Wubben. Good morning to you and
23 your team.
24 Appearances for Mr. Oric.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. Good
1 morning to my learned friends from the Prosecution. I am Vasvija Vidovic,
2 together with Mr. John Jones representing Mr. Naser Oric. And we have our
3 legal advisor, Ms. Jasmina Cosic, and case manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good morning to you, Madam Vidovic
5 and the rest of your team.
6 Any preliminary matter you would like to raise?
7 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour. This morning, we have a
8 witness, but before this witness, I would like to raise some preliminary
9 issues if you allow me. First issue will be from Ms. Patricia Sellers
10 when it comes to an update of a medical issue. And the second one will be
11 raised by Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio in regard to a standby of Racine Manas.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's start with Madam Sellers.
13 MS. SELLERS: Good morning, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
15 MS. SELLERS: This is the update to securing a doctor to interview
16 the stroke victim. I believe we've conveyed a letter to the Defence, and
17 I did state, I think it was two days ago, in open court that we had
18 checked with our field offices. I just want to reiterate that
19 Dr. Milos Stevanovic, who is a specialist in neuropsychiatry now has been
20 confirmed and secured by one of our offices. We are still at this point,
21 as the Defence requested, trying to go through our Sarajevo office and our
22 Zagreb office. We would just like to inform the Trial Chamber that we
23 will be sending another letter today with the confirmation of
24 Dr. Stevanovic, but we would urge that we be able to take a decision so
25 that we might move forward on our 92 bis (C) motion. Thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Sellers.
2 Mr. Di Fazio.
3 MR. Di FAZIO: Good morning, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
5 MR. Di FAZIO: Just a very brief issue before I call the next
6 witness, and that's the issue of Racine Manas and her continuing evidence,
7 relating to the declarations and so on. I am very, very confident that we
8 will not reach the end of this witness today, so there will be no need to
9 interpose her. I understand from Madam Vidovic that cross-examination
10 will be substantial, and I'm going to be more than one and a half hours,
11 or slightly longer than the witness yesterday. So I just can't see that
12 we will finish with this witness today. So I am really very confident we
13 are not going to find ourselves short.
14 However, if that very unlikely eventuality were to occur, and I'm
15 confident it won't, then I would not like to call Racine Manas today.
16 There are still a lot of problems that we still have with her declaration
17 and her annex, and we have to still give it to the Defence. So we both
18 have problems, I think it's fair to say, with proceeding with her today.
19 But as I said, I really don't think it's going to arise. It wouldn't
20 surprise me if we had this witness back here next week when we resume.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Before I give you the floor, Madam Vidovic, please
22 do remember that we are not sitting on Monday and Tuesday.
23 MR. Di FAZIO: Yes, I realise that, sir.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: And my hope was particularly during that very short
25 break, you will do the exercise that I mentioned earlier, to make sure
1 that we have all the documents that we already have properly catalogued
2 without any duplication if possible. I know that there is. I also know
3 that there may also be a problem with the list that we were given of the
4 documents that Ms. Manas will be -- either you or Ms. Manas, I don't know,
5 because it seems there is some duplication already. So please try to make
6 the best use possible that you can of those two days. That's number one.
7 I know I am dealing with highly professional and highly efficient
8 teams on both sides, so I am saying it because I know that you are going
9 to do your best. But also to make it clear that this time is not going to
10 be wasted; it's going to be made good use of. With regard to today's
11 witness, if we can finish with the witness today, it is much better
12 because then we won't need to keep her here. So if you can make an effort
13 on both sides to finish her testimony today, please do. I mean, even if
14 necessary, by making reference to parts of her statement. In previous
15 cases, we have gone -- resorted to this when we were a little bit tight
16 for time. But anyway, let's start, not waste time, and then we see where
17 we stand as we go along. And we try to intervene where necessary to try
18 and cut it short as much as we can.
19 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
20 MR. Di FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will try my best to
22 conduct a very efficient cross-examination. The question that I would
23 like to put concerns our future work, the work for next week and the week
24 after that. We have on our list two more names of witnesses who are to be
25 heard, and I would like to request to receive a list of the witnesses for
1 the week after this as soon as possible. We just have two witnesses that
2 we know about, and this is slowing down our preparations for an effective
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Wubben, will you look into that, please. I
5 think that's a fair request on the part of the Defence.
6 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, we will, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
8 So anything else?
9 MR. Di FAZIO: No, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness does not enjoy any protective measures,
12 MR. Di FAZIO: No, there's no application.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So could you bring the witness in, please. Thank
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Mr. Simic. See if it is on
17 number 4, please. Or number 6, sorry.
18 Good morning to you, Mr. Simic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's all right now. Good morning.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I saw you nodding. And before I continue, I would
21 like you to confirm to me in the first place that you are receiving
22 interpretation in a language which is your own, which you can understand.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Yes, I am getting a
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. I'm glad to hear that.
1 You know why you are here. You are going to give evidence very
2 shortly. And before you do so, our Rules require that you make a solemn
3 declaration, something similar to and equivalent to an oath.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: And the declaration, the solemn declaration, that
6 you will make, that you will undertake with this Tribunal is that in the
7 course of your testimony, you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and
8 nothing but the truth. The text of this solemn declaration is contained
9 on a piece of paper that the gentleman sitting to your left is going to
10 give you.
11 Please read out that text aloud, and that will be your solemn
12 undertaking with us.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
14 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Please take a seat.
16 Very briefly, what's going to happen now, Mr. Simic, is that the
17 first gentleman to your right from the bench of the Prosecution,
18 Mr. Di Fazio, will be putting to you a set of questions. He will then be
19 followed by Madam Vidovic, who is appearing for the accused in this case,
20 who is Mr. Naser Oric.
21 Mr. Di Fazio.
22 MR. Di FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 WITNESS: MILADIN SIMIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Examined by Mr. Di Fazio:
1 Q. Mr. Simic, you're of Serb ethnicity, and you live in
2 Republika Srpska in Jezestica, I believe?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And your occupation used that of stonemason. Correct?
5 A. Yes, and builder.
6 Q. And you worked for, I think, about 27 years in Belgrade?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Travelling on weekends to visit your family in Jezestica?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, in 1992, did you return to Jezestica and stay there on a more
11 permanent basis?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. In 1992, you had a wife and children, I believe?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. They were living with you in Jezestica?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I want you to tell the Chamber a bit about the geography of the
18 area. Firstly, you're familiar with the village of Kravica or Kravica?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. How far is that would you say from Jezestica approximately?
21 A. Kravica and Jezestica are about 4 to 5 kilometres apart.
22 Q. And how far would you say that Jezestica is from Srebrenica?
23 A. It's about 18 kilometres from Srebrenica.
24 Q. And the terrain around your village of Jezestica is hilly, wooded
25 country. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. With a lot of farmland as well?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. People raise cattle, they have sheep, pigs there?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And your particular village of Jezestica was, I think, inhabited
7 exclusively by people of Serb ethnicity?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. When the Trial Chamber hears you talk of places like Kravica and
10 Jezestica, is it the case that there is a central village that is called
11 Kravica or Jezestica, but is surrounded by small clusters of buildings
12 called hamlets?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I just want to run some names passed you, and tell me if you know
15 these names of places. Lipinovici, Popovici, Colakovici, Mandici,
16 Andjici, and Buljim? Have you ever heard of those places?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Are those hamlets?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. As far as Jezestica is concerned, does it have its hamlets?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I'll run some other names. Jecmiste, Kijevici, Djermani,
23 Rankovici. Are you familiar with those names?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And are they hamlets surrounding Jezestica?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Is the village -- the main village of Jezestica situated in a
3 depression or valley and surrounded by hills?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And are some of the hamlets that you've talked about surrounding
6 Jezestica located not far from Jezestica, but further up the hills
7 surrounding Jezestica?
8 A. I didn't mention Mandici. There's also Mandici. That's also a
9 part of Jezestica as well as Magasici. I forgot about Magasici. That is
10 also part of Jezestica.
11 Q. All right. Thank you for that clarification. Just focus very
12 briefly on Mandici. I think you said that that was a hamlet of Kravica.
13 In your opinion, is it a hamlet of Kravica or is it a hamlet of Jezestica?
14 A. The hamlets of Kravica are those that were mentioned before.
15 Magasici were part of Kravica, but then became a part of Jezestica.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, let's go back to the question I wanted to ask
17 you. The hamlets of Jezestica, are some of them located further up the
18 hills surrounding the main village of Jezestica?
19 A. Yes. They're all around on the hills.
20 Q. And is that area known locally as Brda, B-r-d-a?
21 A. Yes. The hamlets that I mentioned before belonging to both
22 Jezestica and Kravica are located on hills.
23 Q. Thank you. Down in the flat part of the depression or valley or
24 whatever is the main village, you've said. Is that area known as Polje?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the term Brda is a reference to the hills, and the term
2 "polje" is a reference to the field or flat part of the valley. Is that
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. If you stood in the centre of Jezestica village and you looked at
6 those hamlets, Jecmiste and so on, how far away would they be?
7 A. Not so far. Perhaps over the hill some two to three hundred
8 metres away. I'm speaking about the hamlets of Jezestica.
9 Q. And what about the remaining hamlets? Are any of them greater
10 distances, the remaining hamlets of Jezestica?
11 A. Rankovici.
12 Q. All right. How far away is Rankovici from the centre of Jezestica
13 village approximately? It doesn't have to be exact.
14 A. Perhaps 1500 metres, 1.5 kilometres.
15 Q. All right. Now, did you return to Jezestica from your job as a
16 stonemason in Belgrade in about March of 1992?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What was your reason for returning more permanently to Jezestica
19 in March of that year?
20 A. Because of my house, which I had spent so many years constructing,
21 and because of my family who was there.
22 Q. Did the events that were starting to unfold in the former
23 Yugoslavia have anything to do with your decision to return on a more
24 permanent basis?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Okay. When you returned to Jezestica in March of that year, did
2 your village of Jezestica have a village guard of some sort?
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 Q. Is there a small hamlet or town -- sorry, a small hamlet or
5 village close to Jezestica called Polja?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And that's, of course, different from the area of Jezestica
8 village that is called Polje, with an E on the end?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. How far away is the village of Polja?
11 A. From the hamlet?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. It's about 3 kilometres going towards Jecmiste, Kijevici, and
15 Q. And is there a reading room or library in Polja?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you ever attend any meetings there in March of 1992?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber was the meeting was about, who was
21 A. There was a meeting of our village there, and there was a person
22 there from our village whom we had designated.
23 Q. All right. Then let's go through that in a bit more detail. Who
24 was there from your village who was designated, as you say? Who was that?
25 A. Miladin Bogdanovic.
1 Q. What was the purpose of the meeting? What was it called for?
2 A. Well, the purpose was we had heard when I came back from work that
3 Muslim forces were beginning to have patrols, so we had to do the same.
4 Q. And that was what the meeting was about, to decide upon whether or
5 not to set up patrols. Is that what you're saying?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. Who actually attended the meeting? I don't need a list of names,
8 but I want to know what people. Was it just people from your village or
9 people from other villages?
10 A. Only people from our village.
11 Q. Men such as yourself?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. How old were the men? Can you give us a range? Were there young
14 men there, middle-aged men, old men?
15 A. From 18 to 60 years of age.
16 Q. And how old were you back in 1992?
17 A. I can't be sure. I'm 52 now.
18 Q. All right, okay. That's fine. Thank you.
19 Were there any representatives of the Bosnian Serb Army or the JNA
20 at this meeting?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Was there any decision taken at the meeting to inform the VRS or
23 the JNA of your decision to form a village guard? Did you tell them about
25 A. No. We did this on our own.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber --
2 A. I don't know that.
3 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Trial Chamber whose idea it was in
4 the first place to set up this village guard?
5 A. It was our idea, the idea of the villagers in all of Jezestica.
6 Q. Well, did the meeting decide upon forming a village guard or not?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And the decision having been taken, was, in fact, a village guard
9 set up?
10 A. Yes, around our houses, everybody stood guard in front of his own
12 Q. Thank you. Just a few more details about Mr. Miladin Bogdanovic.
13 In 1992, was he an old man or a young man? Do you have any idea of his
14 age? In 1992, I mean.
15 A. I don't know. He was born in 1934. I don't know how old he was
16 at the time, though.
17 Q. Okay. And did he have some military experience as far as you're
19 A. No. But he had served his military service.
20 Q. I want you now to tell the Trial Chamber about how the village
21 guard worked in the initial period following the decision to form it.
22 First of all, were the village guards armed?
23 A. As I said in my statement, we had hunting weapons. I had my
24 rifle, for example, because I had been a hunter for 20 years or more. So
25 the people standing guard provided the rifles, or rather they handed them
1 over to the people taking over when they went to rest.
2 Q. In the area that you come from, is it common for men to own rifles
3 for the purpose of hunting?
4 A. Not everyone. But those who joined the hunting society and paid
5 their membership fees there, they were able to have hunting weapons.
6 Q. But in the village of Jezestica, there were a number of such men?
7 A. There were about seven of us.
8 Q. Initially, how many weapons were there available for the village
9 guard, these hunting rifles?
10 A. Well, we had four or five pieces of -- four or five rifles.
11 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber how the village guard operated in the
12 initial part, what it would do. Would it simply stand guard at the end of
13 the street, go up in the hills, walk around at night? Tell the
14 Trial Chamber what it did.
15 A. We went from my house to the neighbour's house, and then they
16 would do the same, and we would go and rest.
17 Q. Were there shifts organised?
18 A. Yes, yes. When somebody was resting, then somebody else would go
19 and stand guard.
20 Q. Did men ever have to hand on a weapon to another man who was
21 taking over a shift?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Was there a system set up of --
24 A. I don't understand the question.
25 Q. Sorry. Allow me to finish. Was there a system set up of
1 observation posts?
2 A. As I just said, we didn't have any equipment. We would just go
3 two by two. Some people would be sleeping, and others would be standing
5 Q. Thank you. I understand that. But eventually, at some point, was
6 there a system of observation posts strung out in the area of Jezestica,
7 perhaps outside of the village, where men would sit and stand and observe
8 in case of trouble?
9 A. Yes, yes. Now I understand what you're asking me.
10 Q. All right, good. Now tell the Trial Chamber how that system
11 worked in the initial part -- in the initial month or so after March of
13 A. These hamlets, they had their own guards. People whose house was
14 in Polje, we would stand guard down there. And people in the hilly part,
15 they would stand guard there. And sometimes we would have contacts with
16 each other.
17 Q. Did these village guards have any military equipment, for example,
18 binoculars? Radio sets? Helmets? Automatic weapons? Military boots?
19 That sort of stuff.
20 A. No.
21 Q. Was there a system of trenches dug to help these people who would
23 A. We had protection. Some would pile up firewood. Some would dig
25 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber approximately how much
1 territory was being guarded by this system of observation posts, call it
2 what you will?
3 A. About 5 kilometres across.
4 Q. Was it a straight line of observation posts, or was it spread out
5 in different -- not in a straight line?
6 A. It was scattered. Some were up on the hills.
7 Q. Were there guard posts actually in the village of Jezestica
9 A. No. Only around the houses.
10 Q. Which houses? Are you talking about houses in Jezestica, the
11 village of Jezestica itself?
12 A. Both Jezestica and the hamlets.
13 Q. So do I take it that there were, in fact, guard houses or guard
14 posts -- not guard houses but guard posts around the actual village of
15 Jezestica itself? Am I correct, or is that not so?
16 A. Yes, yes, that's correct. Around Jezestica, in Polje, and around
18 Q. Did other places that you've mentioned, some of the other hamlets
19 like Jecmiste and Rankovici, for example, have observation posts?
20 A. Yes, yes. That's all part of Jezestica.
21 Q. Now, I'm going to ask you later about events that occurred on the
22 8th of August of 1992. But the picture that you painted so far, that
23 you've described so far, these observation posts, shifts, men who were
24 carrying out the observation duties, the armament, did that remain much
25 the same from March of 1992 until August of 1992, or did it change?
1 A. It remained much the same. It didn't change very much.
2 Q. Thank you. Have you ever heard of a body called the
3 Jezestica Company or Detachment?
4 A. While I was part of the village guards, I didn't hear about it.
5 Q. And how long were you a part of the village guards? For what
6 period of time?
7 A. From March 1992 to March 1993.
8 Q. And you said before that there was no VRS or JNA representative at
9 the meeting in Polja. Between March of 1992 and August of 1992, the 8th
10 of August 1992, did any VRS or JNA men, officers, soldiers, anyone in the
11 VRS or the JNA come to the village and provide any instructions or any
12 guidance or any training to the village guard?
13 A. I didn't see anything like that. Or hear about it.
14 Q. Did you ever leave Jezestica for any long period of time between
15 March and August of 1992?
16 A. Sometimes I went to get medicines. I went to Belgrade where I was
17 receiving medical treatment, and I would be away for three or four days at
18 a time.
19 Q. Okay. But no substantial period of time away from your village.
20 A. No, no.
21 MR. Di FAZIO: Can the witness be shown D2, please, D1 and D2.
22 Q. All right, I just want you to cast your eye over those documents,
23 please. And I think you will agree that you have seen these
24 documents -- well, let me withdraw that question.
25 Up until you came to The Hague, had you ever seen either of those
1 two documents? Up until you arrived in this city, this town.
2 A. No.
3 Q. All right. Just one minor matter I would like you to do, please.
4 Could you read out the title at the top of the page of Exhibit D1.
5 MR. Di FAZIO: Mr. Usher, would you show the witness which
6 document is D1 so he knows. Just read it out so the interpreters can --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: That being the case, I think it -- is it already?
8 What I would like to see is the B/C/S document put on the ELMO, if he's
9 going to read it. I want to make sure that he's reading the same
11 MR. Di FAZIO: Certainly, Your Honour.
12 Q. D1, B/C/S version, just turn your head around and look at the
13 document and read out the title slowly so the interpreters can translate
14 it. I just want to be clear about the title. Turn your head around,
15 Mr. Simic, and look at the piece of paper on the machine there. And
17 JUDGE AGIUS: He can read it from the monitor as well.
18 MR. Di FAZIO: I didn't realise. Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Can you read out the title.
20 A. List of conscripts of the Jezestica 1 Company.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you. All right, now look at the names of the people
22 on D2.
23 MR. Di FAZIO: Mr. Usher, I would be grateful if you would show
24 the witness D2.
25 Q. You've seen some of those names before, I think. You've seen them
1 yesterday when I showed you the document.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Okay, good. So without wasting time, are they all people from
4 your village?
5 A. I know some of them, but not all of them.
6 Q. Can I take you to a few. And I want to ask you about their age,
7 number 4 on the list, Vojislav Brezancic, about how old is he?
8 A. Now he is 63 or 64. I don't know how old he was then.
9 Q. Okay. Perhaps if you can tell us the age now. Number 10,
10 Nikola Miladinovic, how old is he?
11 A. He was born in 1934.
12 Q. Thank you. Number 17, Dusan Ostojic, how old would he be?
13 A. I think now he's 52 or 53.
14 Q. Number 20, Bosko Rankovic, about how old would he be?
15 A. Bosko Rankovic is now 59.
16 Q. Dragoslav Rankovic.
17 A. Dragoslav Rankovic is maybe 35 or 36.
18 Q. So he was quite a young man back then, back in 1992?
19 A. Yes. I don't know exactly when he was born, but this is an
21 Q. Dragoslav Rankovic and Ratko Rankovic, about how old are they?
22 A. They might have been 20 or 22 at the time.
23 Q. And Desimir Djukanovic?
24 A. He was born in 1934.
25 Q. Are there any other men that you can see in that list who would
1 have been in their 50s or 60s back in 1992?
2 A. Nikola, Desimir and nobody else.
3 Q. What number was that, sorry? Don't worry about answering that
4 question. I'll withdraw the question. We'll move on.
5 The last name at the bottom of that list, Dragan Nikolic, do you
6 know -- do you know him?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Now, just forget about the list momentarily. During the time that
9 the village guard was operating, between March of 1992 and August of 1992,
10 did it have any sort of head or commander or leader?
11 A. No, not that I know of.
12 Q. Did Mr. Miladin Bogdanovic play a quite active role in the village
14 A. He was with us.
15 Q. Was he wounded in --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And was he wounded in January of 1993?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was he ever the commander or head or leader of the village guard
20 that you know of?
21 A. What do I know? He was a kind of leader, yes.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. Di FAZIO: Actually, Mr. Usher, I've finished with those
24 documents, I think, for the time being. Thank you.
25 Q. Did you ever receive any notice that you were to be conscripted?
1 A. I received a call-up note. It said Mr. Simic, Miladin, and it was
2 in March 1992.
3 Q. Tell the Chamber about this call-up notice. First of all, was it
4 handwritten or typed?
5 A. It was handwritten with a ballpoint pen. There was no stamp on it
6 or anything.
7 Q. Can you remember who gave you this piece of paper with handwriting
8 on it that served as your conscription note?
9 A. It was Miladin Bogdanovic who handed it to me.
10 Q. Did it have any letterhead, any official writing at the top of
11 this piece of paper? Anything showing that, for instance, it was from the
12 government or the VRS or Ministry of the Interior or Ministry of Defence
13 or anything like that? Can you recall?
14 A. No. It was just a plain piece of paper. I kept it until
15 recently, and then I threw it away.
16 Q. Was it signed by anyone?
17 A. No.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Di Fazio, could you please ask him whether he
19 ever showed it to any members of the Office of the Prosecution before he
20 destroyed it.
21 MR. Di FAZIO:
22 Q. I think you heard His Honour's question. Did you ever show it to
23 any investigators from this -- from the Office of the Prosecutor?
24 A. No, no. Not before I was questioned by the investigators. This
25 happened before. I threw it away much before that.
1 Q. Did investigators -- let me rephrase that question. Let me ask
2 you this: Up until you arrived at The Hague, had you ever been asked
3 about this conscription issue by anyone from the Office of the Prosecutor?
4 Up until you arrived here, had anyone ever raised this topic of the
5 conscription note with you from this office?
6 A. I don't understand. You mean, when I got here?
7 Q. No, no. I'm not talking about when you got here. But up until
8 you arrived here, until you arrived --
9 A. No, no.
10 Q. So is it the case that you were first asked about the issue of
11 conscription when you arrived here in The Hague?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. Did you ever receive, other than that piece of paper,
14 any other document of any description at all relating to conscription?
15 A. No. No, no.
16 Q. Now, did you ever seek to release yourself from whatever
17 conscription duty you may have perceived yourself to be under, you may
18 have thought you were under? Did you ever try to get out of it?
19 A. Yes. I asked to be released, but they didn't allow me to do that,
20 and they said that the village guard would burn my house down.
21 Q. Who asked -- who did you ask to be released? To whom did you
22 direct this request?
23 A. To Miladin Bogdanovic.
24 Q. Did you ever attend in front of any military commission or
25 military body over this issue?
1 A. Yes, when I was sent the summons from Zvornik.
2 Q. Okay. And did you go there?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And was there -- excuse me. Was there some sort of panel or
5 military representative who dealt with your request?
6 A. There was one representative, a uniformed person. I don't know.
7 I think he was a warrant officer or something like that.
8 Q. And were there other people there, wounded people and other people
9 who didn't want to perform military duties also seeking to be released?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And what year did you go to this commission and seek to be
12 released from these conscription duties?
13 A. In March 1993, but I don't know the exact date.
14 Q. It's okay. Did you ever receive any salary, any money for being a
15 village guard?
16 A. No. I didn't get a list or anything because I worked for a
17 company in Belgrade, and this company would send me my salary.
18 Q. Forget about the company in Belgrade. I'm not asking you about
19 that. I'm asking you about your duties as a village guard. Did you ever
20 get any money, did anyone pay you any money for carrying out your duties
21 as a village guard in 1992 or the early part of 1993?
22 A. No, I never was given any list, nor did I receive any money.
23 Q. And what about your fellow members of the village guard, the men
24 who patrolled and stood on the observation posts and so on? Were you
25 aware of them ever receiving any salary? Did you ever see any such thing?
1 A. I didn't see that. Maybe they did receive something, but I really
2 cannot say because I didn't see them receiving anything.
3 MR. Di FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for one
4 moment, please.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly.
6 MR. Di FAZIO: Thank you.
7 Can the witness be shown D7.
8 Q. Just cast your eye over that document. The first question is:
9 Before you arrived in The Hague, had you ever seen that document before?
10 A. No. This is the first time that I see the document.
11 [Prosecution counsel confer]
12 MR. Di FAZIO:
13 Q. Do you have the B/C/S version in front of you? He does, okay.
14 A. I didn't understand the question.
15 Q. Don't worry about that. I'll withdraw that.
16 I want you to look very briefly at the part of the document that
17 deals with the list of military conscripts of the Jezestica 2nd Company.
18 MR. Di FAZIO: Your Honours will find that on page 10 of the
19 English translation.
20 Q. Can you find that in the document? Just go through the document
21 until you find the part that deals with the list of military conscripts of
22 the Jezestica 2nd Company.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: To help him, you could -- also the usher, 01320334.
24 MR. Di FAZIO: Is it? That was exactly my problem, Your Honour.
25 I'm grateful.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. If you could, Mr. Usher, go to that page marked ending in ERN
2 number 334. You see your name there, Miladin Simic, number 28. Do you
3 see that?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. Now, if you just turn the page back, you'll see that's part of a
6 segment of the document that deals with "list of military conscripts of
7 the Jezestica 2nd Company." Do you see that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right. So your name appears under that list. All right.
10 Now, to your knowledge were you ever a military conscript of the
11 Jezestica 2nd Company? Were you aware of that or did anyone ever tell you
13 A. No, I didn't know, and nobody informed me about it either.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. Di FAZIO: Thank you, Mr. Usher. I've finished with the
17 Q. And just a very brief question, I don't need to show you the
18 document. Is your middle name Ljubo, L-j-u-b-o?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Was your father's name Ljubo?
21 A. No, my father's name is Gojko.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you.
23 No more documents for the time being, Mr. Simic. Let's turn to
24 the question of the armaments of the village guard. You've already told
25 the Trial Chamber that they, some of the men in the village guard, were
1 armed with hunting rifles. Did any of the men possess rifles called an
3 A. There were three or four rifles.
4 Q. Is that an automatic weapon, or does it need to be --
5 A. No.
6 Q. So you have to use a bolt to fire off each shot? You can't just
7 fire shots in quick succession?
8 A. Yes, yes, individually.
9 Q. Do you know of a hamlet called Siljkovici, Siljkovici?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Were there ever any larger weapons or cannon or more powerful
12 weapon than a rifle in the village of Siljkovici and -- sorry, the hamlet
13 of Siljkovici and Rankovici?
14 A. I didn't see it, but I heard about it. There was one in
15 Siljkovici at the top of the hill, a recoilless cannon, and there was
16 another one in Rankovici, another recoilless cannon. But I didn't see
17 them, so I don't know what kind of a weapon that is.
18 Q. You never laid eyes on it? You never saw it?
19 A. No, no.
20 Q. If you never laid eyes on the actual weapons, have you ever seen a
21 picture of the weapon you understood it to be?
22 A. I didn't have a picture. I didn't see it, and I'm not able to
23 explain to you what it's like or what it looks like. But I just know that
24 they said that it's possible for one man to carry it.
25 Q. All right. Thank you. So one man can carry this whatever it is,
1 this weapon or cannon?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. We're not talking about a large, heavy piece of equipment that
4 requires men or horses or tractors to move it? Is that so? Do you want
5 me to repeat the question?
6 A. Yes, yes. You don't need a horse to transport it. You can have
7 two men, one man can carry it, and then he can rest and the other man can
8 carry it. So it's possible for one man to carry it.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 Did Mr. Miladin Bogdanovic, to your knowledge, ever provide men
11 from the area of Jezestica with any training in the use of this weapon,
12 whatever it may have been?
13 A. No. I didn't see it or I didn't hear that there was any training.
14 Q. But you knew that there was some sort of weapon that wasn't a
15 rifle in Siljkovici and Rankovici?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber this: Do you have any information
18 that it was provided by the VRS or the JNA to the villages of Jezestica
19 and Siljkovici and Rankovici? Do you have any information where it came
20 from -- where they came from?
21 A. I don't know. I didn't hear about it, and I didn't have anybody
22 to find it out from about this weapon, where it came from and anything
23 like that.
24 Q. I want to take you now to the events of the 8th of August 1992.
25 Just before the 8th of August 1992, and indeed on the 8th of August 1992,
1 were there any VRS soldiers in Jezestica or any of the surrounding
3 A. No, I didn't see anyone.
4 Q. Was the village guard operating as usual on the 8th of August
6 A. Yes, from the beginning of March until the 8th of August, yes, it
7 was operating.
8 Q. At about noon of that day, what were you doing?
9 A. I was at home.
10 Q. Did you have -- sorry. Did you have a rifle at home with you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber what started to happen at about noon on the
13 8th of August.
14 A. I was at home in the village of Jezestica in the field, in the
15 village near my house. You could hear firing in Jecmiste, Kijevici, those
16 hamlets, and Djermani. I went with a couple of my men with whom I was
17 keeping watch there. We went up the hill from where you could see those
18 hamlets, and we could see the men who were on guard up there running in
19 front of us. They said that there was an attack. And then when we
20 stopped, we could see that there were houses burning in those hamlets that
21 I mentioned. And I could hear a voice, the voice of Biba Mladjenovic,
22 Andjelko, called Biba, calling for help, for assistance that he couldn't
23 stay because his brother Dragan was wounded. We went in the direction of
24 Rankovici in order to try to save something. And we could see the Muslim
25 forces burning houses in Rankovici. But we couldn't do anything there to
2 Q. Just hold it there. Now, first of all, the places that you've
3 described as being attacked, are they little hamlets further up the hills
4 around Jezestica and part of the area called Brda?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. Did you make your way up the hill to any particular point?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Who was with you?
9 A. A couple of men. Should I give you their names?
10 Q. Yes, if you wouldn't mind.
11 A. I've forgotten a couple. But there was Radomir Djokic,
12 Mirko Djokic, Ranko Djokic.
13 Q. And were all of you --
14 A. And Miladin Djokic.
15 Q. Thank you. And were you all of you armed with weapons?
16 A. We had hunting rifles. One of them had an M48, but everyone else
17 had hunting rifles.
18 Q. Okay. Did you manage to get to the top of a hill?
19 A. Yes, we did. And on the hill, the name is actually Brdo, we met
20 the men who were in those hamlets where they were keeping watch.
21 Q. So there was a group of men at the top of the hill, Serbs, I take
22 it -- is that what you mean?
23 A. Yes. Who were guarding the -- on guard in the Jecmiste, Kijevici,
24 and Djermani hamlets.
25 Q. How many of you managed to congregate there?
1 A. There were about 12 of us on that hill who managed to get
3 Q. From your position at the top of that hill, could you see
5 A. Yes. That's about 150 metres away as the crow flies. It's not
6 much further than that from the place where I was to Rankovici.
7 Q. And is Rankovici itself on a hill?
8 A. I don't understand.
9 Q. Okay. The little hamlet, the little hamlet of Rankovici, are all
10 the houses clustered about on a little hill, at the top of a little hill?
11 A. Yes, yes. They are.
12 Q. So you're on the top of a little hill, and Rankovici is on the top
13 of a little hill, and it's about 150 metres away. Correct?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. Now, from your position, what could you see was going on in
17 A. We could see people from the Muslim side during the attack in
18 camouflage clothes entering the houses and burning the houses. Some were
19 burning the houses, and some were -- and some were driving the cattle.
20 Q. We'll get on to the cattle later. But first of all, the burning
21 of the houses, why do you say that they were burning the houses? What
22 precisely did you see that make you say that the soldiers were burning the
24 A. You could see smoke. They would enter the house, then come out.
25 Then you could see smoke and fire. Then they would enter the next house.
1 These houses were not built of brick. They were made of wood, so they
2 were easy to burn.
3 Q. Could you see flames as well as smoke?
4 A. Yes, flame, too. Smoke first, and then flames.
5 Q. Was there any firing of weapons in your direction from the
7 A. Yes. Some of them were firing at us, and some were setting the
8 houses on flame.
9 Q. From your position at the top of this hill, could you see any
10 other hamlets surrounding Jezestica that were on fire?
11 A. Yes, we could see that because when we came out, Kijevici,
12 Djermani, and Jecmiste were already on fire, and they were moving towards
13 Rankovici and setting that on fire.
14 Q. So you tell me if -- I want to understand you. Are you saying
15 that as you made your way to the top of the hill, you had already had a
16 view of these other hamlets on fire? Is that what you're saying?
17 A. Yes, yes. That's what I wanted to say.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Di Fazio, is it possible to have this particular
19 spot where the witness is saying he, together with the others, was from
20 where he could notice that it could be identified and indicated on a map,
21 on a particular map? The reason is that it is our intention, as we said,
22 to try and go on site.
23 MR. Di FAZIO: I see, yes.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: And this would be important for us if we can
25 identify the exact spot. I mean, the exact spot, I mean the hill on which
1 supposedly the gentleman and his colleagues were. I don't know -- there
2 should be some kind of very detailed map. You should have it available.
3 MR. Di FAZIO: I certainly agree that that would be ideal. I've
4 looked at the maps in preparation for trial, I've looked at the maps. And
5 we tried to get as detailed a map that we could find. And some of them
6 will be tendered into exhibits, but none of them, I think, have the sort
7 of detail for this sort of exercise. And it would be ideal. The
8 Prosecution can certainly make efforts to try and locate something more
9 detailed, but it's going to be a special task and a special effort. And
10 the maps that I'm aware of that we have here don't get to that sort of
11 microdetail. But I agree it would be ideal.
12 I can speak to --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps you can ask the witness how one could from
14 the village of Jezestica itself, how could one reach that particular spot?
15 In other words, which direction to take? In other words, which -- how to
16 get out of Jezestica and which direction, whether it's through the woods
17 or whether it's a -- there is a street which could be asphalt or could not
18 be asphalt or a pathway or whatever. At least, he will give us an
19 indication now before being briefed again on this matter.
20 MR. Di FAZIO: Certainly. I'll see if I can get more detail on
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we can have the break here, if it's
23 convenient for you, Mr. Di Fazio.
24 MR. Di FAZIO: Certainly, certainly.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And we'll reconvene at 5 minutes to 11.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio, you may proceed. Perhaps you can
4 ask him --
5 If I wanted to go to the same place where you were on that day
6 watching what was happening on that little hill, small hill, how would I
7 do it from your village? How can I find the right way? How would you
8 direct me to go?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From my village, first you go
10 straight, and then you go uphill. And as I said, this little hill where I
11 was, from there it's like looking from this desk to the next desk. That
12 was between that hill and Rankovici. It's another matter if you take the
13 road and then go up the hill.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we will be able to identify it. One of your
15 investigators can certainly identify it.
16 MR. Di FAZIO: Yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We didn't have much difficulty in Brdjanin when we
18 went on the site visit to identify places.
19 MR. Di FAZIO: Yes, I'm sure there won't be any problems.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: It will be very important because distances, when
21 you hear them here, I'll never forget in one of my very first -- early
22 years of my career I was cross-examining very young girl, I asked her how
23 far away were you? And she told me -- at that time we had converted to
24 the metric system. But she went straight to metric. She said, for
25 example, about 2 and a half metres, and since she was a little girl, I
1 said could you show me here in the courtroom according to you what is the
2 size of 2 and a half metres. And she told me I can also tell you in
3 inches, and she gave -- so but then in reality, when you go and see with
4 your own eyes it's different.
5 MR. Di FAZIO: Perspective is something that is difficult to gain
6 in a courtroom.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: And I will require your cooperation when trying to
8 push this with the Registrar because obviously you need to concur that it
9 is important to go on-site.
10 MR. Di FAZIO: We'll do what we can in the meantime. But I'm sure
11 there are limitations.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sure you will. But first, the witness said
13 about 150 metres, but the distance between him and here or this other desk
14 is not 150 metres. So anyway, let's proceed.
15 MR. Di FAZIO: I might just develop that issue a little bit, if I
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Feel free. When I need to stop, I'll stop you.
18 MR. Di FAZIO:
19 Q. Access to this point up on the hill that -- from where you were
20 able to observe events in Rankovici, was that by way of some sort of road
21 upon which vehicles could travel and also by pathway upon which only
22 animals and people could walk?
23 A. There wasn't a road to Rankovici. There was a footpath. And you
24 could use an oxcart on that pathway, but not a car.
25 Q. And you've also told the Trial Chamber that you could see burning
1 in the other hamlets, such as Jecmiste and Kijevici and so on. Could you
2 see that burning from on top of the hill? I'm not talking about
3 Rankovici, I'm talking about the other ones. Could you see that from the
4 top of the hill or as you were making your way up the hill or both?
5 A. From the same hill on the right-hand side are Djermani, Kijevici,
6 and Jecmiste. On the left-hand side are Rankovici. You can see
7 everything from the top of that little hill.
8 Q. Okay. And could you actually see flames and fire coming from
9 dwellings in those hill hamlets, Jecmiste, Kijevici, Djermani?
10 A. Yes, I'm telling the truth.
11 Q. Yes. Okay. And one other name that I want to put to you while
12 we're on hamlets is Potkonjice. Are you familiar with that name?
13 A. Yes. Below Rankovici, that's called Potkonjice.
14 Q. Is that also a hamlet of Jezestica?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Could you see flame and smoke coming from that particular hamlet?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. Let's get back to the point at which you were on the
19 top of the hill looking at events in Rankovici itself. You've mentioned
20 soldiers who were in camouflage uniform. Did you see soldiers in any
21 other type of uniform or any other colour of uniform other than
22 camouflage? Or was it just camouflage soldiers?
23 A. There were camouflage uniforms and other uniforms. And you could
24 hear women weeping, women's voices.
25 Q. Thank you. What was the colour of the other uniforms of the
1 soldiers that you saw?
2 A. They were like green.
3 Q. The cattle in the area of Jezestica, how were they normally -- let
4 me ask you this: Are the cattle that are kept in the Jezestica area
5 normally tethered, tied up?
6 A. Yes. There were cattle, sheep, there were pigs and other
8 Q. But the cattle, are they normally tethered with a rope or a chain
9 so they don't run away or wander off or do what cattle do?
10 A. Yes, they were tethered or they were kept in a barn.
11 Q. On that day on the 8th of August, were cattle taken from the
12 villages -- the hamlets?
13 A. Yes. The cattle were led off from those hamlets while the pigs
14 were slaughtered.
15 Q. Who led the cattle away?
16 A. Well, those Muslims who attacked.
17 Q. When you were standing up on the hill looking at Rankovici at
18 these events, did you see the presence of any women in company with the
20 A. Yes, the women followed them.
21 Q. Now, were these local Serb women or not?
22 A. I don't think they would have been Serb women. It was an attack.
23 When there was an attack, the women and the children fled down to Polje.
24 Q. What I'm asking you essentially is this: Did they appear to be
25 cooperating or working with the attackers?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes, yes. Yes.
2 Q. Did they appear at the same time as the attackers or afterwards?
3 A. Afterwards.
4 Q. From what you could see, what was the role of the women?
5 A. The role of the women was to carry something. I was unable to see
6 what, but I think it was food.
7 Q. Did they enter houses?
8 A. First the men entered the houses, the houses. And as soon as the
9 men came in, you could see fire and smoke. The women were around the
11 Q. Were they gathering anything?
12 A. Probably yes, because they were there around the houses, and then
13 I saw them carrying things. I wasn't the only one there. There were
14 about 12 of us.
15 Q. No, I understand that. But could you see from where you were,
16 could you see what the women were carrying? Could you see what it was?
17 A. I couldn't see what they were carrying, but I could see that they
18 put this on their backs. I couldn't see what it was, though.
19 Q. All right. How long did that activity last? Was it a matter of
20 just a few minutes or did it last for half an hour or hours, the gathering
21 of things and the carrying away of them by the women?
22 A. Well, it could have been an hour, and then they left.
23 Q. Thank you. Did the Muslim soldiers eventually withdraw from the
24 hamlets surrounding Jezestica?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were you able to -- sorry.
2 MR. Di FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me.
3 Q. Did they withdraw the same day?
4 A. Yes, yes, the same day.
5 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber, you've described the hamlets up on the
6 hills in the area called -- what you call Brda, and the village of
7 Jezestica itself down in the depression or valley called Polje. Did Brda
8 suffer the damage on that day?
9 A. Yes. The houses and the livestock suffered damage. Not the land
11 Q. Okay. Now, what about down in the valley or depression itself,
12 the actual village of Jezestica, the area called Polje, did that suffer
13 any damage by fire or torching on that day during the attack?
14 A. No, not on the 8th of August.
15 Q. Just one very minor point: At about the time the attack started,
16 where did the women from -- the women and children from Brda go? Did they
17 gather anywhere or congregate anywhere?
18 A. They started going towards Bukova Glava and Jaglici. That's where
19 they set off to.
20 Q. Did any women go down into the Polje area, down into the village
21 itself for safety?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Okay. So did the women, the Serb women, I mean, from Brda
24 congregate down in just Bukova Glava and Jaglici?
25 A. I don't know. What I saw was I knew they were Muslim women. As
1 for Bukova Glava, I couldn't see where they went off. But it was in the
2 direction of Bukova Glava and Jaglici.
3 Q. I think we're just misunderstanding each other. I'll try and
4 clarify it. What I'm interested in is this: The Serb women, women and
5 children who lived in this village called Brda, when the attack started,
6 where did they go? The Serb women and children whose houses were up in
7 the Brda area?
8 A. They went down to Polja where there were houses, and they stayed
9 there for two or three days, and then they went toward Bratunac to stay
11 Q. Fine. That's what I wanted to know. The attack starts. The
12 women and children from Brda go down into the valley and congregate in the
13 village of Jezestica. Is that what happened?
14 A. Yes, yes. That's what happened.
15 Q. Now, why after the attack didn't they go back to Brda, to their
16 little hamlets? Why couldn't they do that? Why did they have to go off
17 to Bratunac?
18 A. Where would they go back? Everything was burnt and gutted, the
19 houses, the barns, everything.
20 Q. So they had nothing to go back to. Is that so?
21 A. No, they didn't.
22 Q. I now want you to tell the - in a bit more detail - Chamber,
23 Trial Chamber of the aftermath of this attack. You had an opportunity to
24 see the areas of Brda, look at it for yourself?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were there any cattle left?
2 A. No. I only saw the pigs that had been killed, and the rest of the
3 livestock was gone.
4 Q. How had the pigs been killed?
5 A. Probably with weapons.
6 Q. What sort of numbers of pigs would there have been in the whole
7 area of Brda? Are we talking a lot of pigs here? 10 or 12, 50, a
8 hundred? I don't need precise figures, of course, but can you give the
9 Trial Chamber some idea if we're talking about two or three pigs killed or
10 bigger numbers?
11 A. What do I know? Every household had two or three pigs. Not more.
12 Unless they had a sow that had piglets. Then they would have more pigs.
13 Q. And did the villagers in Brda also raise and have sheep?
14 A. Yes. They had sheep, too.
15 Q. Were sheep taken?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you see any houses or dwellings survive in the Brda area?
18 A. No.
19 Q. I want to run some names past you, and I want you to tell the
20 Trial Chamber if you know them. Dragan Mladjenovic.
21 Andjelko Mladjenovic.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. An older woman named Savka. Another woman named
24 Savka Stjepanovic. Do you know them?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you know Milosav Stjepanovic?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What happened to them on the 8th of August?
4 MR. JONES: Your Honour, if I may.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
6 MR. JONES: As we all know in this indictment, Mr. Oric is charged
7 only with crimes against property in these actions, so I would object to
8 my learned friend seeking to elicit evidence of people dying or being
9 killed because that's simply not part of this case, it's not part of this
10 indictment. And it's not relevant to the charges of crimes against
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Di Fazio.
13 MR. Di FAZIO: First of all, it's all part of the res gestae of
14 this case. You have to get the complete picture. If there are killings
15 going on at the same time, precisely the same time as the torchings and
16 the looting and the plunder that is going on during the course of the
17 attack, for the Prosecution not to elicit such evidence is to create an
18 utterly artificial picture, first of all. So it arises in that context.
19 In addition, there's the allegation of armed conflict as well.
20 So there are -- and it also goes to the question of the intentions
21 of the attackers, whether they were to wreak havoc or not and how it's
22 evidenced, whether it's evidenced purely and simply by plunder and burning
23 and looting, or whether it's also evidenced by the murders. And one tends
24 to support the other. So there are a number of reasons why the evidence
25 is admissible and relevant and will assist you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
2 MR. JONES: If I may respond just briefly, there's a practical
3 matter and a prejudicial matter, if I could address those two. The
4 practical matter is that on the Defence side, in our preparations for this
5 trial, we've actually concentrated on the charges against Oric. We
6 haven't investigated or planned to cross-examine at great length on how
7 people met their deaths, whether they met their deaths because they were
8 caught in a crossfire, or they were fighting.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: You're not expected to.
10 MR. JONES: So if my learned friend is going to adduce that
11 evidence, then we're in the difficult position of do we cross-examine on
12 it? Or do we remain silent? That's one matter. It's also a matter of
13 the length of the trial. We know that all efforts are being made to keep
14 the trials a proper length. This evidence if it's brought in each
15 action-- of course people died; this was a war situation, there were
16 bullets flying and people getting caught in the crossfire. If we're going
17 to have to cross-examine each witness about how people died, where they
18 were, whether they were a soldier, then the trial could get lengthened to
19 a considerable degree.
20 The prejudicial matter is the fact that Mr. Oric is charged with
21 crimes against property; that is, in my submission, a lot less serious
22 than crimes against a person, and it would be a little as if, in a
23 domestic setting, if one were charging theft or criminal damage and then
24 sought to show that the people had died, not even in the course of those
25 crimes necessarily, but as background. We know there's a great deal of
1 scrutiny on this case, and of course what will be reported is terrible
2 crimes, people dying in these actions, and that the public will have an
3 impression that that's what this trial is about, rather than it being a
4 case of theft and criminal damage charged as war crimes.
5 MR. Di FAZIO: If Your Honours please, do you want me to reply to
6 that? I can do it --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: If you want to, but I think we've heard enough.
8 MR. Di FAZIO: Thank you.
9 [Trial Chamber deliberates]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So our decision after having deliberated on this is
11 that we allow the question with these provisos or caveats. We are
12 allowing the question now, and maybe even later, as to whether people
13 ended up being killed during one or more events that we will be talking
14 about because this may be of relevance, particularly if the ethnicity of
15 the persons who end up being killed is established. It may have
16 relevance. It also has other relevance. We also want to make clear that,
17 again, we remind you and the public, we are three professional Judges
18 here. We know what the parameters of the indictment is, and we can assure
19 you that if the Prosecution comes forward and brings evidence that on a
20 particular occasion a hundred thousand persons were killed and your client
21 is not charged with the killing of those hundred thousand persons, the
22 fact that we have established that a hundred thousand persons were killed
23 is not going to make your client's case more serious in our eyes because
24 he is charged with what he is charged. And at no time are we going to
25 even allow to get into our mind other considerations that are not
1 pertinent to the real -- to the real indictment. But establishing that on
2 the 8th of August, some persons were killed and that these persons
3 were - I don't know - Serbs or even that there were no Muslims killed on
4 that occasion may have its own value for the consideration.
5 MR. JONES: I'm obliged for that clarification, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: But otherwise, you don't need to worry that this
7 might confuse our minds and attribute more responsibility to your client
8 than what he is being charged with.
9 MR. JONES: I'm obliged. That's naturally our concern. Thank
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio. And thank you both for having
12 raise this issue because it clears the water anyway.
13 MR. Di FAZIO: It's going to raise itself again and again
14 throughout the attacks, so it's best we deal with it at the outset. Thank
15 you, Your Honours.
16 Q. Now, those names that I mentioned, you said that you know those
17 people. Is that so?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. The lady known as Savka and Milosav Stjepanovic, were they
21 A. Mrs. Savka Stjepanovic was younger, and Milosav Stjepanovic was
22 older. He was perhaps 63.
23 Q. Okay. Did you actually have -- lay eyes on Mr. -- the
24 Mladjenovics, Andjelko and Dragan? Did you see them, see their bodies?
25 A. Yes, I did. We took them to the road where an ambulance came to
1 take them to the hospital, or rather to the morgue in the hospital.
2 Q. Had they been beheaded?
3 A. Yes. Andjelko's head was severed altogether. I heard, but I
4 didn't see that Kemal, known as Kemo, took Andjelko Mladjenovic's head to
5 Srebrenica and carried it through Srebrenica as a trophy and hung it up on
6 the fence of the playing field in Srebrenica. As for
7 Dragan Mladjenovic --
8 Q. I just want to ask you something about that. Kemal known as Kemo,
9 do you know what his surname is? It doesn't matter if you don't.
10 A. I used to know it, but I've forgotten. I know he was born in
12 Q. And have you ever met him? Had you ever met him?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Is he of Muslim ethnicity or is he Muslim?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did he live in the Srebrenica area, as far as you're aware?
17 A. Yes. From near Potocari.
18 Q. And you describe these events with him taking the severed head to
19 Srebrenica and so on. Tell the Trial Chamber on what you base that
20 assertion. Why do you say that and what's your information for making
21 that assertion so they can -- the trial Judges can assess it. What's it
22 based on? Is it something you heard in the street, something you saw,
23 heard on the radio? Why do you say that?
24 A. I heard from the village of Cumavici, from the people there who
25 had been occupied and held as hostages on the 7th of May 1997 -- 1992.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter did not catch the year.
2 MR. Di FAZIO:
3 Q. Can you just tell us what year you were informed about this news.
4 A. When it all ended and when we were able to meet, because I have
5 some relatives there.
6 Q. Okay. But when did the -- when did you hear from the hostages
7 from Cumavici, when did you hear from them about this Kemal carrying
8 around the severed head? When did you hear about it? Was that in 1992 or
10 A. I think that I heard about it in 1994. Not before then.
11 Q. All right. Thank you.
12 All right. And the people that -- whose names I mentioned to you
13 a short while ago, Andjelko, Dragan, Mrs. Stjepanovic and so on, those
14 names, are they all Serbs or Serb ethnicity?
15 A. Yes. Dragan Mladjenovic is Andjelko Mladjenovic's brother, and
16 Savka Mladjenovic is their mother. And the Stjepanovici is their
17 neighbours. They're not related.
18 Q. Okay, thank you. Now I want to ask you to tell us very briefly
19 about the events following August and before January of 1993. Following
20 this attack on the 8th of August 1992, did the villagers -- sorry, did the
21 women and children who lived in Jezestica and its surrounding hamlets
22 leave? Did they go away?
23 A. Yes, they left. They lived in Bratunac.
24 Q. Did your wife and children, in fact, also do that, go to Bratunac?
25 A. My wife left in 1993. She left Polje definitely, and the children
1 were in Bratunac.
2 Q. So as far as you remember, your wife stayed with you following the
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. Did a lot of other people leave -- leave the village?
6 A. Yes. From all the hamlets on the hills, because they didn't have
7 anywhere to live. So they sought shelter with their relatives, family,
8 and so on.
9 Q. And what about the people who didn't live in the hamlets but lived
10 down in Jezestica village itself, in the Polje area? Did they leave and
11 go live elsewhere, or did they mostly remain?
12 A. They stayed, both women and men. They stayed there.
13 Q. You've already described to the Trial Chamber how the village
14 guard operated. Was there any change that you can recall to the way the
15 village guard operated after the attack on the 8th of August?
16 A. The only change was -- well, they had nothing to guard up there.
17 All the homes were burned. So they came down into the valley, and again
18 they kept guard around the houses.
19 Q. Think about the period of time between the 8th of August 1992 and
20 the 7th of January 1993. In that period of time, did any VRS or JNA
21 representatives come and speak to the village guard or come and
22 communicate with the villagers?
23 A. I didn't see anyone. Nikolic was the only one who came, and he
24 stayed instead of Miladin. He's from Kravica. I can't remember his last
1 Q. What do you mean -- whoever Nikolic is, was he in the VRS? Was he
2 there as a soldier?
3 A. No, he was just a regular person. I don't know whether he went
4 and whether he was cooperating with somebody or together with somebody. I
5 don't know. We didn't really talk about it.
6 Q. Did the village guard receive any new weaponry, automatic weapons,
7 uniforms, helmets, grenades, rocket launchers, pistols, any sort of
8 military equipment?
9 A. Not at that time. Perhaps later in 1993. But it's not clear to
10 me whether they did receive that or not. It's possible.
11 Q. All right. When you say "possibly in 1993," is it before the 7th
12 of January 1993 or after the 7th of January 1993?
13 A. After. After the 7th of January.
14 Q. Now I want you to turn your mind to the 7th of January 1993. Was
15 the 7th of January 1993 the day of the Orthodox Christmas?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Were you at home on that day?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Obviously it was winter. Had it been snowing?
20 A. Yes, yes, there was snow.
21 Q. Was there snow on the ground?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. On that day, how many women and children were in the village
25 A. A small number of them. Perhaps there were only about ten women
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 in the whole of Jezestica.
2 Q. Were there a larger number of men in the village?
3 A. Yes, there were.
4 Q. Was the village guard system still operating?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Early in the morning, at about 5.00 in the morning, were you
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber what happened at around that time.
10 A. Early in the morning, at about 5.00 or 5.30, you could hear
11 shooting at the house of Bozo Radokic. After that, there was shooting all
12 over the place. Shooting from weapons. We found ourselves --
13 Q. Just hold it there, and I want to get a few more details. Where's
14 Bozo's house, Bozo Radokic's house? Is that in the actual village of
15 Jezestica in the Polje area?
16 A. Yes. It's to the left from Rankovici. If you're going from Polje
18 Q. All right. How far from your place, your house?
19 A. When we take the road from my house, it's about 2 and a half
20 kilometres away, as you go up the hill.
21 Q. Did you see any attackers?
22 A. Yes. When they were coming down from Potkonjice, when they were
23 closer to my house.
24 Q. And how were these attackers dressed?
25 A. They wore white uniforms. Some of them were in green uniforms.
1 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber if you can, you may not be able to,
2 but if you can, were most of them in white uniforms and just a few in
3 green, or was it the other way around? Or you can't recall?
4 A. More of them were wearing white uniforms than green uniforms.
5 Those in white uniforms were walking ahead, in front, followed by those in
6 green uniforms.
7 Q. Were any of them on skis?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did they have masks?
10 A. Not masks, but they had camouflage paint on their faces.
11 Q. Okay. Did the firing initially come from one direction only?
12 A. From all sides. You could hear the shooting from Bozo's house,
13 from Radokici, and then the firing started to come from all directions.
14 Q. Was there any defence by the Serb men in the village, the village
15 guard? Did they fire back, try to resist?
16 A. Yes, we did. We also started firing, but then when we saw that it
17 wouldn't do any good, that the circle was being tightened from all sides,
18 we established a corridor towards Colakovici and Popovici.
19 Q. How did you go about that, establishing a corridor? Did you
20 establish -- by that I mean the Serb forces, the Serb men in the village.
21 Did you establish a corridor, or was it just there?
22 A. No, I'm calling it a corridor. But we actually started going up
23 the hill first above Kajici. Then we walked along the creek. We followed
24 the creek all the way up to --
25 Q. All right.
1 A. I can't really explain it because this is quite hilly terrain.
2 Q. Okay.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the Trial Chamber has understood. I think
4 we have understood --
5 MR. Di FAZIO: Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: -- what he means.
7 MR. Di FAZIO: I just want to establish one or two more details.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, go ahead. I just wanted to put your mind
9 at rest that we do understand what he means when he says "establish the
11 MR. Di FAZIO: Thank you.
12 Q. You're talking about people leaving through this corridor, and
13 I'll get to that in a minute. But how long did it take from the first
14 shots being fired to people starting to stream out or leave through this
15 corridor? How long did that part of the battle last? Was it a matter of
16 minutes? Hours? Can you tell the Trial Chamber.
17 A. It lasted a little longer. I think it lasted until 1.00 or 2.00.
18 With the withdrawal, we had a lot of wounded. There was no
19 transportation. There was just one person with an oxcart. And some
20 people were helped along. Some people were guided by us. So then after a
21 while, we managed to make it to Colakovici.
22 Q. All right. All I want to know is this: Obviously some time
23 passed before the evacuation starts, but how were the attackers kept at
24 bay? Was that the result of the village guard shooting back at them,
25 holding them back, or is it that they, the attackers, did not press on?
1 Just tell the Trial Chamber how you got that period of time to start to
2 get this evacuation underway?
3 A. I set out above the house of Miladin Bogdanovic. There's a little
4 hillock there. We had already come down. They had come down from
5 the Rankovic hill. They had come down to Potkonjice. They were coming
6 down into our village, into the valley, into Polje. Then Bogdanovic
7 Miladin was wounded. I took him to the road, and I returned. My house
8 was already set on fire. From the house of Zarko Djokic, there was firing
9 at us, at me and two other men. Luckily, there was a slope, and at the
10 bottom of the slope there was a little wood. So we could save ourselves.
11 Otherwise, if that had not been the case, all three of us would have been
13 Q. So you saw your own house burning. Could you see other houses
15 A. Yes, yes, as we were coming -- or as they were coming down.
16 Q. So I want to be clear, are you saying that as the attackers
17 approached Jezestica, they were burning houses behind them? Is that what
18 you're saying, or not?
19 A. Yes, yes. This is what I wanted to say. I wasn't able to
20 actually go on because I was feeling sad because my house had burned down.
21 Q. All right. Do you want to continue with the questions?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Di Fazio, if the witness needs a break, we'll
23 give him a break.
24 MR. Di FAZIO:
25 Q. Would you like a short break? Compose yourself?
1 MR. Di FAZIO: I think it might be best in the circumstances,
2 Your Honours.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We'll break for five minutes. Thank you.
4 --- Break taken at 11.47 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.53 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Simic, are you feeling better?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm fine. Thank you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: So Mr. Di Fazio, he's all yours.
9 MR. Di FAZIO: Thank you.
10 Q. All right. So I was asking you about burning houses, and you told
11 about seeing your house burnt. I won't ask you about that any more. Did
12 you see the houses of other people in the village of Jezestica burning?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you know how it was that the evacuation started? Did someone
15 decide upon that, or did it just happen spontaneously? How did it come
16 about that people started to leave with the wounded on the oxcart and so
18 A. As soon as it became obvious that it was a large attack, there was
19 nothing to wait for. The people started to leave together, and we all
20 left together.
21 Q. Most of the wounded were men?
22 A. Yes. There were maybe two women also.
23 Q. And were the wounded on the oxcart?
24 A. Yes. Some of the wounded and the dead remained in the school in
25 Kravica and in the health centre.
1 Q. All right. Now, we'll get to Kravica in just a minute. Just
2 remind the Trial Chamber again, how far away is Kravica from Jezestica?
3 A. Kravica is about 4 to 5 kilometres from Jezestica. I'm not
4 exactly sure how much.
5 Q. So most of the villagers leave through this corridor or escape
6 route. And where -- in which direction did you go?
7 A. We were going in the direction of Colakovici and Popovici, like I
8 said before, and then we were going down to Drina, towards Polom and from
9 there, the bus came and took us away.
10 Q. Were you headed towards the Drina River?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. That's the border with Serbia. Correct?
13 A. Yes, yes. The border, it's the border -- Serbia is right across
14 the River Drina, on the other side.
15 Q. As you're making your way to this place of safety, did you go past
16 Polja and the hamlet of Rajici and Kravica?
17 A. Rajici, yes. We passed there from Grabova, we went to Gajici,
18 then we went through a hamlet called Momcilovici. Then we came to the
19 stream. I'm not sure what the name of it is because before that, I never
20 passed that way.
21 Q. But let me -- perhaps I just want to be a bit more specific. Did
22 you go past the hamlet of Polja? Or did you at least go -- get to a point
23 on your way to safety where you could see the hamlet of Polja?
24 A. Yes. We were going towards the hills, towards Brda. We could not
25 go towards Polja because towards the hills there were woods, and it was
1 better. For our safety, it was better.
2 Q. All I want to know is this: On your way to safety, did you lay
3 eyes on the hamlet of Polja? Could you see it?
4 A. Yes, it's the same as if you were looking from this table down to
5 the ground.
6 Q. All right, okay. And was the place burning?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you see how many houses were burning in Polja?
9 A. Yes. I saw the houses burning in Polja, the house of Savo. I
10 don't know his last name. The house of Djordjo Djukanovic. That was the
11 closest to me. The Djokic's house in Gajici. I saw the house of Bozo and
12 his sons, Mila and Milan burning. The house of Nikolic, Rade, as I passed
13 by there. I could see all of that burning.
14 Q. Okay. And I want you to tell the Trial Chamber if as you -- if
15 you passed by the hamlet of -- I think the name is Rajici. Did you go
16 past a little hamlet called Rajici?
17 A. Not Rajici, Kajici.
18 Q. Okay, thank you for correcting me. So did you go past that and
19 could you see it?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. And was that on fire?
22 A. Nothing was burning where I was passing. But further up, as I
23 said, these houses were a little bit in front of the place where we passed
24 through. We were going up towards the hills to go towards Colakovici and
25 Popovici, but we had to pass through Kajici.
1 Q. How many houses could you see on fire as you went passed Kajici?
2 A. I saw about six houses burning.
3 Q. And you may not know this; if you don't, tell us. But do you know
4 about how many houses there might be all together in Kajici?
5 A. I don't know exactly. But there were about 15 houses in that
6 location that we consider to be Kajici.
7 Q. Thank you. And on your way to safety, did you go past Kravica or
9 A. No, I passed above Kravica. We were not able to take the road
10 because it was being fired at from Siljkovici. So we couldn't go towards
11 Kravica. We were going above Kravica.
12 Q. In all the places that you described so far that you passed and
13 you saw burning, were stables being burnt as well?
14 A. Yes. The stables were not burned then. But later, they burned
15 the pigstys, the stables, and also the grain stores when they came by.
16 And everything that was not looted was then later burned.
17 Q. All right. Tell the Trial Chamber how you know that if you didn't
18 actually see that. How can you make that assertion?
19 A. I came to the conclusion that it was so because after January the
20 10th, Dragan Nikolic said we should all gather near the -- by the school
21 in Bratunac and that we had to go and see the village of Colakovici and
22 that we should organise some kind of guard there because Slapovici, the
23 village of Slapovici, was on the other side of the hill as well as Polom,
24 Zelinje, and perhaps we could maybe save that and prevent that from being
25 set on fire from that side as well. And then we could also perhaps go and
1 save what in our village had not been burned down yet.
2 Q. I'll come back to this very shortly. Just continuing your trek to
3 safety, you've told us you went past Kravica and you looked down upon it.
4 Could you see houses burning there?
5 A. Yes. The village of Siljkovici, you could see that, and you could
6 see part of Kravica, but not all of it. Siljkovici is to the left of
7 Kravica on a hilltop, so it was visible. We were on another hill on the
8 right-hand side.
9 Q. Okay. And you could see how houses burning. Is that your
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Where did you eventually make your way to? You said you got to a
13 point where there were buses. Where was that location?
14 A. In Polom, we went down from Colakovici downhill towards the Drina.
15 The name of the village is Polom. And there we waited at the school in
16 Polom and a bus came and collected us and took us off to Bratunac.
17 Q. About how many people were gathered there from the Jezestica
18 villages and hamlets?
19 A. Well, about a hundred and fifty were from the village of
20 Jezestica. I don't know how many were from the hamlets because people
21 came and went because when their houses burnt down, they no longer wanted
22 to stand guard. There was nothing for them to guard any more. And there
23 were about a hundred and fifty from the village of Jezestica and the
24 surrounding hamlets.
25 Q. Now you say that two or three days later, on or about the 10th of
1 January 1993, you had to go back to the area. Did you have an opportunity
2 to see any of the destruction that you've described so far in places like
3 Kravica, Siljkovici, Kajici, Polja? Were you able to see what it looked
4 like two or three days later?
5 A. No. We couldn't see because from the Muslim side, they were
6 holding Kravica, Jezestica, and the surrounding hamlets. They held that
7 for about a month and a half or two months. And we were not able to go
8 back. When we were able to go back, I went straight to my house to see
9 what condition it was in.
10 Q. About when was that? When did you go back to your house?
11 A. I don't know exactly. But it was in late February or early May
12 [as interpreted] or the end of March maybe. I can't remember the details.
13 I know that for about a month and a half I was unable to go to my house.
14 Q. Whenever it was that you went back to your house -- let me
15 withdraw that.
16 Okay. You don't know precisely when you went back to your house,
17 but you know it was about a month and a half that you stayed away. Is
18 that right?
19 A. Yes, yes. That's right.
20 Q. We can all do our calculations.
21 Whenever the date was, when you did go back, what did you see in
22 Jezestica? I'm not talking about Brda. You've already told us about what
23 happened to that in August. But now when you went back to the -- what did
24 you see in the valley of Jezestica, in the village of Jezestica itself?
25 A. I saw gutted houses. The families of those who had been killed
1 were collecting them. Some had lost a father or a brother. I was there
2 helping to find the corpses. But we couldn't find the entire corpse.
3 Some corpses were whole; some had been eaten by dogs. They were not all
5 Q. Have you got any idea approximately how many people were killed
6 during the course of the attack that you have been describing from -- and
7 I'm talking about Jezestica now, not Kravica, but just about Jezestica?
8 A. I have an idea about Jezestica. I know that five brothers were
9 killed in twos, and the father and the son. And a mother called Vidosava
10 or Vida, and she was the mother of those young men. I can't recall their
11 names now. And Milosava, she was the wife of Djukanovic from Potkonjice.
12 And there were other people killed as well. From Kajici, there was
13 Gordan Nikolic [phoen], son of Cvijeto. And there was Mitar Nikolic who
14 was killed as well. As far as I know, those people were killed in the
15 village of Jezestica at that time.
16 Q. Were all of them villagers of Serb ethnic origin?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you continue to live in Jezestica after that, after your
19 return one and a half months later?
20 A. No. For two or three years, I stayed away in Bratunac.
21 Q. Did you eventually go back to live there?
22 A. Yes. Eventually, I did. I received some sort of donation to
23 repair my house, and then I went back.
24 MR. Di FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I would like to show the
25 witness some photographs. They're intended eventually to be Exhibit P365.
1 And they have been given to the Defence. They're available to be viewed
2 on the Sanction system. And we can -- I think it might be best if we use
3 the Sanction system.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's first establish the first and the last ERN
5 number of this bundle, please.
6 MR. Di FAZIO: The bundle that I am talking about, if
7 Your Honours' please, is a bundle commencing with ERN number 01087833 and
8 ending with a photograph on the last page with the ERN number 01087865.
9 That's the bundle of photographs that I want to show the witness.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: And this will be P365?
11 MR. Di FAZIO: It will eventually be P365.
12 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: It will be a part of P365. Okay, so for the record,
14 these photographs will eventually form part of a larger exhibit which I
15 understand will be P365, which will be tendered at a later stage?
16 MR. Di FAZIO: Yes. Well -- yes. Perhaps these can be marked for
17 identification at this stage, MFI 365.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: They will need to as we go along.
19 MR. Di FAZIO: Of course.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: But eventually as I understand you, you will go to
21 tender everything in one go at a later stage.
22 MR. Di FAZIO: Yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: So go ahead.
24 MR. Di FAZIO: If Your Honours please.
25 Q. Witness, I want to show you some photographs. And on the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 right-hand side of each photograph is a number in red. And I'm going to
2 ask you to follow which photograph I want you to look at by reading out
3 the numbers. But mostly, they will be in sequence. Okay? Do you
4 understand that?
5 A. These -- this photograph down there is from Kravica.
6 Q. Okay. Okay, the top one, that has a number next to it, 7834, and
7 the bottom one, that has got a number next to it, 7835. Now, do you know
8 this building? If you're not sure, please say so. I don't want you to
9 tell us --
10 A. I know where the bottom one comes from. I don't know the top one.
11 Q. All right. Where do you think the bottom one comes from?
12 A. The reading room.
13 Q. Okay.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Just ask him. At least to my -- to me, the bottom
15 one is nothing else but an enlargement of the plaque that remains and that
16 you can see in the first of these two photographs.
17 MR. Di FAZIO: That's what I think as well.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so. So perhaps you can put it straight.
19 You have my authority to put a direct question to the witness.
20 MR. Di FAZIO: Okay.
21 Q. Does the bottom one seem to be a detail of the top photograph? It
22 seems to be a closer detail of the top photograph. Would you agree with
24 A. I agree, yes.
25 Q. Okay.
1 The next two photos ending with 7836 --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: But I don't think he has really answered the other
3 question. I still don't gather from what he said whether he knew exactly
4 what this was, where it was. I think he needs to clear that up a little
5 bit for us.
6 MR. Di FAZIO:
7 Q. Do you know where this plaque -- sorry, this wall is located that
8 you can see in photographs number 7834 and 7835. Do you know where this
9 place is? And I repeat, if you don't know and you're not sure, make sure
10 that you tell the Trial Chamber. We only want to hear what you're sure
11 about. If you don't know and you're not sure, that's not a problem. But
12 do you know?
13 A. I'm not sure about the top one. But I'm sure the bottom one is
14 the plaque on the reading room.
15 Q. Okay.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, let's stop for a minute. And usher, could I
17 ask you to escort the witness out of the courtroom for a couple of minutes
18 because I need to discuss something between the two sides. So it has got
19 nothing to do with you, sir. Usher, explain to him he doesn't have
20 anything to do with him. Explain to him -- I mean, you don't know the
22 You may have anticipated what I was after. I don't like this idea
23 of showing the witness photos with what I gather to be a description of
24 what they represent underneath. He should see the photo and nothing but
25 the photo.
1 MR. Di FAZIO: I understand that. I didn't hear anything from
2 Defence counsel. I understand Your Honour's concern, and frankly -- if
3 Your Honour takes the view that this should not happen with this
4 information --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think it should happen.
6 MR. Di FAZIO: -- then the Prosecution will immediately desist.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: There is another way of doing it especially with
8 Sanction. One can focus straight on the picture and enlarge it a little
9 bit and the script will not show up. Because even I, who can understand
10 very little from the language, know what this is about and where it is.
11 MR. Di FAZIO: I am indebted to modern technology. Perhaps that
12 will solve my problems.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it can be solved.
14 MR. Di FAZIO: That's a good idea.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: This is what I wanted, and I'm sure that I don't
16 need to ask you whether you agree or not because this is definitely --
17 MR. Di FAZIO: With respect, this is a very sensible way of
18 dealing with it. I don't know if Defence counsel has any views, but would
19 it help for us to produce a hard copy showing just the photo and use that
20 as well --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, certainly.
22 MR. Di FAZIO: -- possibly for the future.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. Definitely. Definitely.
24 MR. Di FAZIO: We can deal with it in that fashion if Your Honours
25 please. And perhaps if the booklet is then taken away from him --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Now we have to wait until the usher comes back.
2 Usher, you can bring the witness back into the courtroom, but this
3 bundle we gave you, take it away from him, please. Thank you.
4 Mr. Simic, can you hear me?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We are trying to make life a little bit easier for
7 you because what you are seeing before were photos which were too small
8 and you could have had difficulties in seeing exactly which places we were
9 showing you. So what we are going to do is we are going to show you
10 bigger photos which would help you identify the place better if you can.
11 And we will go through them one by one and not put two of them together on
12 the screen as you had before.
13 Yes, Mr. Jones.
14 MR. JONES: Yes, there is one other matter, Your Honour, which is
15 I wonder if my learned friend could just indicate when these photographs
16 were taken. It may be a matter which will go into evidence later, but I
17 think it will assist the witness and probably assist the Court.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you're right. Mr. Di Fazio, do you have that
20 MR. Di FAZIO: I don't have that information right now, but I
21 believe that if the Defence look at the statement of Dragan Jankovic, a
22 witness in our case, that will be clarified.
23 MR. JONES: It was to assist the Court and the witness as well.
24 It's not purely for our benefit.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
1 MR. Di FAZIO: So I think that will solve the problem of the
2 booklet itself.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. And we'll soon have to break, in seven
4 minutes' time. So let's see this first photo without seeing the second
5 and the third and the fourth, and let's concentrate on it.
6 Does he also have a hard copy of it, Mr. Di Fazio, or not?
7 MR. Di FAZIO: He does not, if Your Honours please, and it's only
8 on the screen. Thank you. The witness is now being shown via Sanction
9 the photograph depicted in 7834.
10 Q. Now, do you recognise that wall or not? And if you don't, say so.
11 A. I'm not sure. I get mixed up. In Kravica, the waterworks has
12 something like this, and then the reading room also has something similar.
13 So I may be getting them mixed up. That's why I'm not sure.
14 Q. That's fine.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
16 MR. Di FAZIO:
17 Q. That's fine, thank you. Just tell us when you're not sure.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, the photo that shows up on the
19 monitor at present and on which the witness has just made a statement is
20 the one bears the number, the ERN number 01087834.
21 Let's perhaps move to the next photo which contains an enlargement
22 of the details of the plaque.
23 MR. Di FAZIO: If Your Honours please -- I'm sorry. If the
24 witness is unsure about the first one, I don't intend to lead any
25 evidence --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: But maybe if you show him the second one and the
2 script, the words on the plaque are zoomed in, it may refresh his memory.
3 MR. Di FAZIO: Very well. Let's do that. Could the witness be
4 shown 7835, and can we zoom in on the wording.
5 Q. Does that help you at all?
6 A. Oh, yes, this is the reading room in Jezestica.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: You see, Mr. Di Fazio. And the photo that the
8 witness has been shown and the corresponding enlargement of this script
9 refers to a photo bearing ERN number 01087835.
10 MR. Di FAZIO: Thank you.
11 Q. And was that damaged -- do you know if that was damaged after the
12 attack on the 8th of August or if it was damaged after the attack on the
13 7th of January 1993?
14 A. It was damaged on the 7th of January, only this part of the plaque
16 Q. And the reading room, is that where the meeting took place that
17 you spoke of earlier where the village guard was discussed?
18 A. Yes, that's the same reading room.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. Di FAZIO: Can the witness be shown 7836.
21 Q. Have you ever seen that monument or what remains of that monument
22 with Cyrillic script before?
23 A. I'm not sure.
24 Q. Okay.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, the photo that appears on the
1 monitor and which the witness has just made a statement about bears ERN
2 number 01087836.
3 MR. Di FAZIO:
4 Q. I'd like to jump, if we could, to 7038. What about that house?
5 Have you seen that before? And again, I remind you, only tell us if
6 you're sure about that particular premises or house.
7 A. Yes, it belongs to Vaso Bogicevic.
8 Q. Now or back then, in 1992 and 1993?
9 A. It was destroyed in 1993 at Christmas.
10 Q. And whoever it belongs to, can you say that it's a house that is
11 in Jezestica?
12 A. Yes, it's in Polja.
13 Q. And are many of the houses in Polja of that similar design -- of
14 similar design?
15 A. Yes, more or less.
16 Q. Can we have 78 --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment. For the record, the witness has
18 answered statement in regard to a photo that appears on the monitor and
19 which has ERN number 01087038.
20 I go through this process because I want to confirm for the record
21 what you state in the beginning. Please show the witness photo number, et
23 MR. Di FAZIO: I'm grateful to Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go to the next photo.
25 MR. Di FAZIO: Just for the transcript, if Your Honours please,
1 line 1 of page 68, it should be 7838, not 7038.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. But what I have here clearly shows 0, and not
3 7838. So it may be the stamp which made the error. But we can correct
4 it. We can correct it. The sequence should be 8 in any case.
5 MR. Di FAZIO: Whatever the sequence is, I think Your Honour's
6 correct. I see 7038. We'll leave it to the time being. It may be a
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it is. It shows 0. Next photo.
9 MR. Di FAZIO: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. 7839, please. Do you -- that the clearest we can get it?
11 That's not very, very clear, Mr. Simic. Do you know whose house
12 that is?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: If it's not clear, we can --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a bit unclear. I can't see it
15 very well.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: What I suggest we do is that he's shown the hard
17 copy. We'll break now, prepare the hard copies, Mr. Di Fazio, and we will
18 proceed with the hard copies. It's easier.
19 We'll have a 25-minute break, resume at 5 to 1.00. Thank you.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio and Madam Vidovic, for personal
23 reasons of one of us, could we ask you to finish five minutes before the
24 scheduled time, please.
25 MR. Di FAZIO: Yes. Absolutely no problem from the
1 Prosecution's --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Instead of finishing at quarter to 2.00, we'll
3 finish at 20 to 2.00.
4 MR. Di FAZIO: I'm going to wrap this up very shortly now. In
5 fact, just while we're on that very topic, unless Your Honours otherwise
6 want me, I'm going I'm just going to just ask the witness to go to one
7 more photograph.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: It's up to you. As you see, I interfere the least
9 possible. As much as I can.
10 MR. Di FAZIO: Just to save time.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Your case is your case, and your case is your case.
12 And I only interfere when I don't agree with you or when we don't agree
13 with you. Yes, go ahead.
14 MR. Di FAZIO: Thank you. I'd like to show the witness a
15 photograph that bears ERN number 01087849.
16 Q. All right. Now Mr. Simic, do you recognise -- we've got the
17 photographs in front of the witness, and I want to show it depicted on
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't seem to have it. After 847, I have 851. I
20 don't know about the other two Judges.
21 MR. Di FAZIO: I have a similar difficulty. If Your Honours
22 please, in my booklet, it's about three pages from the back. If you just
23 go to three pages from the back, will that assist you? The last four
24 numbers are 7849. Have you found them?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right.
1 MR. Di FAZIO: In addition, if Your Honours please, the witness
2 has not got the booklet in front of him which has got the writing so that
3 should be taken away, so he's only got what he sees on the screen.
4 Mr. Usher, could you remove it. Thank you.
5 Q. Now, do you see that house depicted there, Mr. Simic?
6 A. This house is perhaps Simic Miladin's house. And the house of
7 Rajo Mladjenovic because we built it all together.
8 Q. Just to put matters simply, is it your place? Is it your house?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, when you returned to your house whenever it was, about one
11 and a half months after the attack in January, was it in this condition or
12 was it different? Did it look differently? Or you can't recall?
13 A. It was in this state. It was the same. The only thing is that
14 the roof was burned, but you can't see that on the photograph.
15 Q. Well, did it -- you can see some Cyrillic writing above the doors.
16 What does that say?
17 A. I cannot see anything.
18 Q. Just a moment. Don't worry. There we are.
19 Can you see that writing?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Well if he can see, then we are not seeing the same
21 thing, Mr. Di Fazio.
22 MR. Di FAZIO: I see on my screen the writing highlighted. You
23 don't have that, if Your Honours please.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We are seeing everything blank. But anyway, let's
25 try the others.
1 MR. Di FAZIO: If Your Honours bear with me, it's a technical
2 glitch. That's all.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: At least it's very dark. What we have is very dark.
4 I don't know if the --
5 MR. Di FAZIO: I have a photograph of the --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Show it. We have the photo, too.
7 MR. Di FAZIO: Right. Thank you.
8 Q. Have a look at that photograph. Do you recognise that house? Is
9 that yours?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. Do you see the Cyrillic writing?
12 A. It says here "Izvidjaci," pioneers or reconnaissance.
13 Q. And to the left is a symbol. I think that might be a Serb symbol
14 of some sort. Do you recognise that? The four Cs.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. Di FAZIO:
17 Q. The four Cs.
18 A. Yes, yes, I see those four letters. I don't know what that means,
19 and I don't know who wrote that. When I came back, I saw that.
20 Q. So this -- when you came back one and a half months after the
21 attack in January 1993, that symbol and that writing was on your house.
22 Is that your position?
23 A. Yes, yes, that's correct.
24 Q. Look closely at the house. It looks to me as if it has wooden
25 frames in the doorway and in the windows.
1 A. Yes. But it's just broken or smashed. That is correct.
2 Everything that could be removed and taken away was removed and taken
4 Q. Okay. It's just a very simple little question. There seem to be
5 wooden frames around the window and doors.
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. Were they burned when your house was burned or not, how is it that
8 there were wooden frames? Is it the house was only partially burnt? That
9 those wooden frames were always there? They were replaced? They were not
10 the wooden frames you had on the house? That's all I'm asking. If the
11 place was damaged by fire, how is it that the wooden frames are there?
12 A. The fire damaged all the wooden construction. When I came back,
13 it was all destroyed and it was all blackened by the smoke.
14 Q. When you came back one and a half months later after 1993, were
15 those wooden frames in the windows and the door, were they there? Or is
16 this photo showing something that's been added later?
17 A. It was all there before. Nothing was added. On the ground floor,
18 I still have that same window. I didn't change anything.
19 Q. All right. So your position is that what you see in the front of
20 that house, including the wooden frames and doors, were there as part of
21 your house even before the attack on the 8th of January -- on the 7th of
22 January 1993? Is that so?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Good. Thank you.
25 MR. Di FAZIO: I've finished with that. Would Your Honours just
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 bear with me for one moment.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly.
3 [Prosecution counsel confer]
4 MR. Di FAZIO:
5 Q. And there's one last matter that I must ask you about. Were you
6 ever given any compensation for any of the damage to your house or any
7 belongings that may have been taken from your house after the attacks that
8 you've described?
9 A. Yes. I received 5.000 German marks for repairs in 1995 -- no, I'm
10 sorry, in 2005.
11 Q. Who --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because it's not --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not 1995 because he corrected himself, but he
15 can't be 2005 because although we all aspire --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I'm sorry. I apologise.
17 I received this in 1995, 5.000 dinars for repairs.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That clears it up. Thank you.
19 MR. Di FAZIO:
20 Q. Do you know who the compensation came from? And I want you to be
21 absolutely certain about this, no speculation. Do you know who provided
22 you with the compensation, who gave you the 5.000 dinars?
23 A. I don't know. I received it from the municipality. The people
24 from the municipality gave it to me for repairs. I don't know where they
25 got it from. I don't know how they got this money.
1 Q. A municipality that forms part of the Republika Srpska?
2 A. Yes, Bratunac.
3 Q. Did you ever receive any compensation from the Bosnian Muslim Army
4 or the forces associated with the Bosnian Muslims?
5 MR. JONES: Your Honours, I'm sorry to rise to my feet.
6 Republika Srpska is part of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It's a very confusing
7 question, really. I'm not sure whether my learned friend is suggesting
8 that Republika Srpska is a separate nation or --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think it's going to confuse anyone. Leave
10 it. We know exactly what the situation is. I think what the -- what
11 counsel is trying to elicit from the witness is whether in addition to any
12 money he may have received from the Municipality of Bratunac, which forms
13 part of Republika Srpska, whether he has also received anything else from
14 the Bosnian Army, the --
15 MR. Di FAZIO: BiH Army.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: BiH Army.
17 MR. JONES: The BiH Army is the government army of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a very valid question whether in addition to
20 the money he has received from Bratunac municipality, he has received
21 anything else from elsewhere.
22 MR. Di FAZIO: That's a very simple question. Let me repeat
23 His Honour's question.
24 Q. Apart from the compensation you received from the Municipality of
25 Bratunac, have you received compensation from anywhere else, any other
2 A. No. I just lost my health, but nothing else.
3 Q. Thank you very much.
4 MR. Di FAZIO: I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So I take it, Madam Vidovic, you will
6 not finish the cross-examination today. So you may start. Thank you.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can start, and I
8 will try my best to be as effective as possible, or as efficient as
10 Cross-examined by Ms. Vidovic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Simic.
12 A. Good afternoon.
13 Q. Mr. Simic, in the former Yugoslavia, it was compulsory for all men
14 of age to serve in the military. Isn't that true?
15 A. Yes, in the former Yugoslavia. I served my compulsory military
16 duty also.
17 Q. And the other men of age from your village, did they also serve
18 their compulsory military term?
19 A. Yes, they did serve it.
20 Q. My question refers to the situation as it was before the outbreak
21 of the war.
22 A. Yes. All of those who were of age, who came of age, went to serve
23 in Serbia or in Yugoslavia.
24 Q. So Mr. Miladin Bogdanovic is no exception in that sense?
25 A. Yes, that is true.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: May I draw your attention to something that occurs
2 when English-speaking components of the Chamber or of the trial are
3 conversing amongst themselves, but also when the Serbo-Croat language is
4 being used by witness and counsel. There is a tendency not to allow an
5 interval between question and answer and question, which creates a
6 little -- not a little bit, a lot of problems for the interpreters. So
7 Mr. Simic, when Madam Vidovic puts a question to you, please allow a very
8 small, short interval of time before you start answering so that we get
9 the translation of what she would have put to you as a question.
10 And similarly, Madam Vidovic, after he's finished answering your
11 question, please, let us have -- let us receive interpretation in time. I
12 know that we do the same mistake all the time. So let's go ahead.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Simic, I asked you, Mr. Miladin Bogdanovic was not any kind of
15 exception regarding the serving of this compulsory military duty? He was
16 not the only person who had served his compulsory term?
17 A. The question is not clear to me. Are you talking about the Army
18 of Yugoslavia?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. Yes, he did serve in the military.
21 Q. Yes. Just like the other citizens did.
22 A. Yes, just like the other citizens did.
23 Q. Mr. Simic, did I understand you properly that you came to
24 Jezestica regularly every week before the outbreak of the war?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So you knew what was happening in the village of Jezestica and
2 Kravica local community?
3 A. I didn't know anything in March 1992. But in March of 1992, I
4 found out what was going on, and then I stayed.
5 Q. I am not suggesting with this question any kind of wartime events,
6 but I'm just asking you generally whether you knew what was going on in
7 the village of Jezestica and your local commune of Kravica.
8 A. Yes, of course I did. But I had to go away to work, and then I
9 would come back.
10 Q. Very well. Mr. Simic, you said that you were a hunter.
11 A. Yes. That is correct.
12 Q. That means that you knew that area very well and that you moved
13 around a lot there?
14 A. Yes, I knew it. That's true.
15 Q. You said that the defence in your village was established in March
16 1992. Is this correct?
17 A. Yes, it is correct.
18 Q. And it's also correct that Jezestica is part of the Kravica local
19 commune. Isn't that so?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Mr. Simic, preparations for war in your village and your Kravica
22 local commune started much earlier. Isn't that so?
23 A. Well, I don't know about Kravica. But I know about Jezestica. I
24 wasn't really interested in what was going on in Kravica.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could the witness
1 please be shown the second paragraph of page 37 of the "Bloody Christmas
2 the village of Kravica" by author Boro Miljanovic published in 1996 in
3 Belgrade. There is also the cover page of the book that we are enclosing.
4 MR. Di FAZIO: If Your Honours please, are there copies coming?
5 Thank you very much. Thank you.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. The book refers to the events in Kravica that we are discussing
8 here. I would like to quote a relevant part of page 37, Mr. Simic. Could
9 you please look at it. "The organising of the Serbian people for defence
10 was undertaken by the Serbian Democratic Party, the SDS, which at its
11 promotion for this area on the 19th of August 1991 established with the
12 programme that it adopted as its main focus the national interest as well
13 as the preparation of the population for defence" and so on.
14 A. I cannot tell you about things that I don't know anything about.
15 But as far as what I know, I told you when I came back and when I started
16 to participate in the village guard.
17 Q. So you don't know?
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the cover page of the "Bloody
19 Christmas of the village of Kravica" by author Boro Miljanovic be tendered
20 as an a Defence exhibit.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: It would be D11. No?
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, D11.
23 MR. Di FAZIO: If Your Honours please --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
25 MR. Di FAZIO: -- I'm simply not following this. It's the front
1 cover of a book. What's the relevance of it, if Your Honours please? How
2 is this going to help you to decide the issues in the trial? I don't want
3 to stand in the way, but I just don't quite understand how it is linked to
4 this case and how anything that this witness has said.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Vidovic, please.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know what my
7 learned friend has in front of him. But I enclosed the cover page of
8 the -- or the title page of the book so you could see the author of the
9 book, exactly which book we are talking about. But I also attached page
10 37 in the original, and I quoted the relevant part of that book. The
11 translation of that part of the book follows.
12 Of course, Your Honours, I requested the whole page to be
13 translated, but the translating service asked me that only the relevant
14 parts that I would use be translated. So following the original page 37,
15 there is a translation of the relevant part which I quoted.
16 MR. Di FAZIO: Well, again, Your Honours, it's -- I don't want to
17 be a stickler for technical detail, but all you have is the front cover of
18 a book, one page from a book, and it says something about which this
19 witness knows nothing.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: But the fact that the witness knows nothing about it
21 doesn't make the entry or the document irrelevant. So perhaps the answer
22 that Madam Vidovic hasn't given us yet is what is the relevance of this
23 excerpt from page 37 that you have questioned the witness about? That's
24 all you need to tell us, and then we can decide.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation].
1 Q. Does the witness know that the SDS organised a crisis staff in
3 A. No.
4 Q. And that is correct?
5 A. Yes, that is correct. If I would have known this, I would have
6 told you.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would now like to ask
8 that the witness be shown page 43 of this same book, "Bloody Christmas in
9 the village of Kravica" by author Boro Milovanovic published in Belgrade
10 in 1996. The first paragraph on page 43. And from my next question, you
11 will see the relevance.
12 Q. Mr. Simic, you said that the lines of defence were established in
13 your village at the start of the war. Isn't that so?
14 A. I did not say that they were established. I said that they were
15 established. For example man was -- or the distance between men was 1
16 metre. And as a village guard, we would -- the distance between one man
17 and the next was between 10 to 15 metres. So this is not an established
18 line of defence.
19 Q. Well, it is still a line of defence, isn't it?
20 A. Yes, it is some kind of line, but it's not fortified or
21 established the way you are trying to tell me.
22 Q. I am now asking you to look at the first paragraph of page 43 of
23 this book which states: "The staff determined the lines of defence in all
24 settlements from Banjevici, Donja and Gornja Brana, Bacici, Jezero,
25 Mratinjaci, Gornji and Donji Dolovi, Brezanci, Jasikovaca, Ravni Buljim
1 Jezestica (Jaglic, Djermani, Vresinje) followed by Magasici (Mjenice,
2 Radukici, Bozici, Deronjici) through Avdagina Njiva and Mandici to
4 Are you stating that this is not correct?
5 A. That is correct. But I don't know who determined this, who
6 established this. I could not tell you that. I'm not sure whether
7 anybody did that.
8 Q. Well, the gist is that you claim that it is correct that this line
9 did exist.
10 A. Everyone was protecting their own home. In all of these villages,
11 everybody was protecting their own homes until they lost these homes. And
12 then after that, it was all different.
13 Q. So Mr. Simic, this quote from the book which refers to the line of
14 defence, regardless of who established it, is correct?
15 A. I don't know who established it.
16 Q. Well, that's what I'm saying. Regardless of who established it.
17 A. I don't know who established it, but as for whether we did
18 maintain a village guard, we did maintain it. They maintained it in their
19 hamlets, and we maintained it in ours.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would ask for this
21 part of the book, the quoted part of the book on page 43, be tendered as a
22 Defence exhibit.
23 MR. Di FAZIO: If Your Honours please, the point that we've
24 reached with this evidence is this: An author -- part of a book has been
25 put to the witness saying X. The witness has given evidence about his own
1 knowledge, and this is being sought to be tendered into evidence. I just
2 don't see how it can assist you. A, it's just part of a book, of course,
3 and you don't get the full context. Secondly, I had rather expected that
4 what Madam Vidovic would do would be to put a proposition to the witness
5 and say there was a line of defence established between these places, is
6 that correct or not? The witness would give his answer. And if she
7 didn't like the answer, she would then confront the witness with a book
8 and say does this change your mind? Does this influence you now that you
9 see this? Are you affected in some way? Is your answer, your evidence
11 In that particular manner. But all that we have is the witness
12 giving his evidence and quotes from a book. It's just getting nowhere.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: You know as much as I do that cross-examination
14 styles differ from -- depending on obviously which jurisdiction you're
15 coming from.
16 MR. Di FAZIO: Yes, of course.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So we make allowances all the time. I agree with
18 you that would have been the more correct approach. On the other hand, as
19 regards the relevance, I am allowing these questions so far, unless I'm
20 convinced that we shouldn't proceed along these lines, on the basis that
21 what obviously the Defence is trying to prove is that well before the
22 attacks, the area was already part of the strategic plan of the SDS, of
23 the Serbian authorities, and that they had already plans for concentrating
24 defence efforts in the area, starting way back from August 1991. So the
25 relevance is there.
1 MR. Di FAZIO: Yes. I have absolutely no problem with that, of
2 course, and the Defence have to do that; it's part of their job. I've got
3 no problem with them trying to establish that. And they have got a
4 witness here they can ask about that. And I've got no problem with that
6 But I don't see that putting in part of a book by someone saying
7 that is something that this witness can really help you with. But I don't
8 want to --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I wouldn't pursue it. I wouldn't pursue it,
10 Mr. Di Fazio.
11 MR. Di FAZIO: Perhaps it's a question of weight.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a question of -- I mean, Judge Eser wanted to
13 put a question in any case.
14 JUDGE ESER: Ms. Vidovic, for my own clarification with regard to
15 language, in the English it reads "defence lines." Now, what was your
16 proposition? Was it that there was one line drawn, or does the book talk
17 of lines regarding -- with regard to individual villages? So I think the
18 difference whether you had a line which is drawn along a couple of
19 villages or whether you have lines around one or each village where you
20 may have your own guard.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] In the book, it says "the staff
22 established defence lines in all hamlets." So it's in the plural.
23 Your Honours, very briefly I put a question to the witness as to who had
24 established the defence line. And the exhibit I tendered was, in fact,
25 something that followed from my question to the witness. I would now like
1 to move on.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but before you move on, we need to clear this
3 up. I noticed that while you were reading from the original text, when
4 you arrived at the section mentioning Jezestica and then in brackets those
5 three hamlets, you mentioned "Jaglici, Djermani, and Vresinje," in the
6 English translation that we have, we have "Jaglici, Burmani and Vresinje."
7 We don't have Djermani; we have a Burmani. Is that a mistake?
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] This is evidently a typographical
9 error, Your Honour. Please understand that these translations were done
10 very quickly.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not blaming anyone, at least of all you,
12 Madam Vidovic. I'm just raising the matter for the record, and I'm
13 correcting my own entry.
14 So shall we proceed or shall we stop. You have approximately four
15 minutes. You choose whether you can cover any other territory in four
16 minutes or whether we need to stop here.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to stop
19 here because this is a broad topic, and I will need more time to go into
20 it. Thank you.
21 MR. Di FAZIO: If Your Honours please.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. The witness can be escorted out.
23 Let me explain to you, Mr. Simic. We can't finish your testimony
24 today. We will continue on Wednesday, also because we need to prepare
25 other things in the meantime. You will be taken care of in the next few
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 days to make sure that your stay here in The Hague is to your
2 satisfaction. In the meantime, rest as much as you can so that on
3 Wednesday when we see you again you will be as fresh as you were this
4 morning when you started giving evidence. Thank you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: First, next witness, is it going to be Ms. Manas on
7 Wednesday after we're finished with the witness, or that other witness
8 which you have on the list?
9 [The witness stands down]
10 MR. WUBBEN: The other witness on the list.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So we expect on Wednesday to finish with this
12 witness. Madam Vidovic, do you think you would be in a position to finish
13 with this witness on Wednesday?
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So we'll have the other witness. I am not
16 mentioning the name because I am not exactly aware at the moment whether
17 she has -- but anyway. Next witness should be available on Wednesday
19 MR. WUBBEN: That's correct, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And I take it that Ms. Manas is not going to --
21 MR. WUBBEN: Not for the time being, but we are still keeping her
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And I would also like you to use Monday
24 and Tuesday to finish the exercise of burning the videos into CDs or DVDs.
25 I think that process you have undertaken already.
1 MR. WUBBEN: Yes. It's confirmed, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And make sure that my staff is provided with
3 the necessary...
4 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour. We'll do that.
5 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. The understanding also is that those photos
7 that you referred to in the course of the evidence we are going to keep
8 them here, but the document itself hasn't been tendered, P365.
9 MR. Di FAZIO: It has just been marked for identification.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Any further points because we need to finish in two
12 MR. Di FAZIO: Just one matter: I wasn't here yesterday, but I
13 understand Your Honours issued some directions regarding the provision for
14 intended exhibits by the Defence. Now, I hope I haven't got a mixed
15 understanding here. I only just got those documents as they were coming
16 in. I'm not complaining.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You should complain.
18 MR. Di FAZIO: Can't be perfect, but in future, could we have them
19 earlier if they're available. I understand that can't always happen, but
20 generally if it could happen in advance, that would be better.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, very quickly, please. Madam Vidovic, you will
22 do that.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yesterday I talked to
24 Mr. Wubben, and I said clearly that we would be using documents they
25 already have in their archives. I mentioned I would deliver a list of
1 numbers, the numbers -- the Prosecution numbers on these documents. And
2 we did this last night. Also, I added to this list a brief description of
3 the exhibits which do not have Prosecution numbers. These are inserts
4 from the Kravica. So all they had to do was take these documents out of
5 their own archives.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's not make an issue out of it now
7 because we need to go. But try to cooperate. Don't try to go into
8 confrontation on this because then we will have to step in.
9 Thank you. Have a nice weekend, everyone. And if it please God,
10 we will meet on Wednesday morning. I will be here Monday and Tuesday in
11 case you have any problems amongst you that you need to discuss. Okay,
12 thank you.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.42 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 20th day of
15 October, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.