1 Tuesday, 30 November 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.31 p.m.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Please be seated.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, registrar, could you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Case number
8 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
10 Mr. Oric, good afternoon to you. Can you follow the proceedings
11 in a language you can understand?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, ladies
13 and gentlemen. Yes, I can follow the proceedings.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you. You may sit down.
15 Appearances for the Prosecution.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. WUBBEN: Good afternoon, Your Honours, and good afternoon to
18 members of the Defence team. My name is Jan Wubben, senior trial
19 attorney, lead counsel for the Prosecution team, together with counsel
20 Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio and our case manager, Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
21 And I ask for allowance of special legal assistant at our desk to sit
22 down, Mr. Marc Ellenbogen.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: It is with pleasure that we say yes. Anyone who is
24 young and wants to learn will always get the support of the Tribunal.
25 Yes, appearances for Mr. Oric.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
2 afternoon also to my colleagues from the OTP. My name is Vasvija Vidovic,
3 together with Mr. John Jones, appearing here for Mr. Naser Oric. Joining
4 us here today are also our legal assistant, Ms. Jasmina Cosic, as well as
5 our case manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let me start with some preliminaries
8 First of all, I should like to inform you, or confirm to you if
9 you are informed already, that earlier on in the day, we handed down a
10 decision, a written decision, on the Defence's urgent motion regarding
11 late disclosure of evidence and to recall a witness, which motion was
12 filed on the 18th of this -- November. As you may or may not know, we
13 granted the motion. And on that score, I would enjoin the Prosecution to
14 start the ball rolling to bring back Mr. Eric to continue with his
15 testimony. That's number one.
16 Number two is we have pending the Prosecution confidential motion
17 for the admission of written statements of witnesses, pursuant to Rule 92
18 bis (C), which was filed on the 27th of September, 2004. I am about, on
19 behalf of the Trial Chamber, to pronounce an oral decision on this motion.
20 Just for the record, I just want to remind that you the Trial Chamber has
21 already ruled on this motion in relation to one of the persons mentioned
22 therein, that is, Mr. Bogdanovic, while the request regarding the other
23 person, Ms. Bozic, was withdrawn by the Prosecution. So the only person
24 that remains to be dealt with is Mr. Bogdanovic.
25 Before proceeding with the oral decision, I would point out to you
1 that while going through the documents, relevant documents, I noticed that
2 there is, as yet, no official translation of the medical report of Dr.
3 Ljubovic. If there is no objection forthcoming on the -- by -- on the
4 part of the Defence, in other words, if you accept the summary that we
5 were provided with the last -- one of the last sittings, then I will
6 proceed with the oral decision. If not, obviously, we will have to
7 postpone it.
8 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we accept that.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you.
11 So basically at this point, I would like to give an oral decision.
12 The Trial Chamber is now pronouncing itself on the admission -- on
13 the request by the Prosecution for the admission into evidence of the
14 written statement of Miladin Bogdanovic, pursuant to Rule 92 bis (C) of
15 our Rules.
16 For the record, it's to be noted that on the 27th of September,
17 2004, the Prosecution filed a confidential motion for the admission of
18 written statements of three witnesses, including that of Miladin
19 Bogdanovic, pursuant to 92 bis (C) on the basis that he had been
20 incapacitated by a stroke.
21 On 30th September 2004, the Prosecution filed a motion and
22 contended that the medical report by the Prosecution to establish that
23 this witness was, by reason of bodily or mental condition, unable to
24 testify orally, had not been translated, and that the interpretation
25 provided by the Prosecution was incorrect. However, in its response, the
1 Defence did not challenge the admission into evidence the witness
2 statement on the basis that the other requirements of Rule 92 bis were all
4 Following an exchange of correspondence and communications between
5 the parties, as well as upon the suggestion the Trial Chamber, the
6 appointment of a medical expert, Dr. Senadin Ljubovic was agreed upon.
7 Mr. Ljubovic conducted his examination on the 19th of November of this
8 year, and concluded that Miladin Bogdanovic was not fit to give testimony
9 in a trial and answer questions pertaining to events which occurred more
10 than 10 years ago.
11 The Trial Chamber is, therefore, satisfied on a balance of
12 probabilities that Miladin Bogdanovic is unable to testify orally before
13 the Tribunal by reason of his bodily and/or mental condition. The Trial
14 Chamber is further satisfied that the subject matter of the statement of
15 Miladin Bogdanovic, namely evidence relating to Jezestica prior to its
16 attack on the 8th of August, 1992, and also on the 7th and 9th of January
17 of the following year, 1993, is relevant pursuant -- is relevant to this
18 case, pursuant to Rule 89(C).
19 Finally, the Trial Chamber additionally considers that the
20 statement of Bogdanovic goes to prove matter other than the acts and
21 conduct of the accused as charged in the indictment. The Trial Chamber
22 further considers that the ultimate probative value of the statement of
23 Miladin Bogdanovic shall be assessed in the light of any existing evidence
24 of cumulative nature, and with, obviously, due consideration to the fact
25 that the Defence cannot cross-examine the evidence contained in the
1 witness statement.
2 For the reasons set out above, but also for the non-objection on
3 the part of the trial -- of the Defence, the Trial Chamber grants the
4 Prosecution motion and admits the written statement of Miladin Bogdanovic
5 into evidence, pursuant to Rule 92 bis (C). And that settles the matter.
6 There is another matter that was -- my attention was drawn to
7 immediately after the sitting, when Ms. Trifunovic gave evidence, and that
8 is that at a certain point in time, we were confronting the witness her
9 two statements: the one which was tendered into evidence by the Defence,
10 I think it's marked D81 or 82; and the statement to the Prosecution, which
11 goes back to 2001, I think, or 2003. The problem that I see is the
12 following: That I don't think it helps at all the Trial Chamber to
13 maintain a situation whereby the statement given to the Republika Srpska
14 authorities is tendered and received in evidence, while the statement
15 tendered or given to the Prosecution, which also contains her signature on
16 which she was asked questions, is not tendered in evidence. So our
17 suggestion is, unless you have got an objection, either yourselves or on
18 the part of the Defence, to tender that document also in evidence.
19 But - I'm making it very clear - only insofar as it relates to the
20 signature of that witness. In other words, the document itself, the
21 statement itself, will not in any way be used by the Trial Chamber in
22 substitution of the oral testimony that she gave here. All right?
23 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
24 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, we have no objection. We will comply
25 with that.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So that will be tendered in evidence
2 with this caveat ...
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: That will be P?
5 THE REGISTRAR: That will be ...
6 JUDGE AGIUS: P, because it was tendered by the Prosecution.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be P418.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Do you actually have a physical copy of the
10 statement? Otherwise, we'll undertake to provide one to the --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We have. Each one of us has a copy of that
13 MR. DI FAZIO: If there's any problem with the registrar not
14 having a copy --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, you can liaise with my secretary.
16 Mr. Registrar, have my copy. It's not marked or anything. Do you
17 have a copy yourself? Okay. We will have that admitted here. Show it --
18 make sure that you show it to the Defence so that they are fully aware of
19 which document we're talking about.
20 So before I give you the floor, I was informed this morning by my
21 senior legal officer, Mr. von Hebel, that he had in turn been informed
22 that you may have a problem with this witness, and that she has forgotten
23 her reading glasses. I think the problem goes beyond not having reading
25 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: There is no problem?
2 MR. WUBBEN: There had been a problem that she has, indeed,
3 forgotten her glasses. I notified Defence counsel of it this morning and
4 requested the Victims and Witness Unit to address with support. The
5 Victims and Witness Unit confirmed that they have recently been able to
6 solve the problem.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: That's good.
8 All right. Do you have any preliminaries, preliminary matters to
9 raise? Yes, Mr. Wubben.
10 MR. WUBBEN: It's not a big issue, it's a matter of
11 professionalism, Your Honour. Yesterday evening, we received a list of
12 exhibits, together with the ERN numbers, two of them without ERN numbers.
13 And this afternoon, at around 1.00, I received an additional list without
14 any notifying in advance, and I regret that it hadn't been announced that,
15 all of a sudden, they send an additional list, just one or two hours in
16 advance of the start of the trial. And that is not according to the
17 practice of this Trial Chamber and the ruling in that regard. I regret
18 that, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as for professional
21 standards, I will put it like this: Yesterday we spent the whole day with
22 the OTP's case manager discussing the fact that we had the documents and
23 that we would be forwarding a list of documents, including the ERN
24 numbers. We pointed out, however, that it was essential for us to get the
25 proofing notes in order to be able to put together a complete document.
1 We then agreed to forward a provisional list, which is what we did.
2 Everything that we had received by 6.30 yesterday afternoon, including the
3 proofing notes, we have since forwarded.
4 Once we received the proofing notes, we saw that there were facts
5 in it that required further examination on our part. We were put in a
6 situation where we had to study the documents and work on their
7 translations through the whole night. By the time we got back to the OTP,
8 we had done whatever we could.
9 One thing we have to understand is I have two assistants here
10 working with me. My office is back in Sarajevo, and that is also where
11 all of our documents are. I asked the OTP yesterday that such information
12 be forwarded in a timely fashion in the future, because that very much
13 conditions the kind of response that we can give.
14 May it be understood that we have few assistants working with us,
15 we have limited resources at our disposal, and I believe we have done the
16 best we could. We have all spent a sleepless night to get this list
17 ready; therefore, there can be no talk of professional standards here.
18 Please try to understand my submission in this light.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not our intention, for sure, to escalate this
20 into a major argument. Our recommendation is to try and cooperate with
21 one another as much as you can so as to avoid these incidents being
22 repeated. They are not conducive to the good environment, good and
23 healthy environment that I spoke of in the very first day of this trial.
24 There being nothing else, no further business to transact,
25 let's -- yes.
1 Usher, you can bring the witness in, please. Thank you.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, madam.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I want to make sure that what I am saying in English
6 is being interpreted to you in your own language. Are you receiving
7 interpretation in your own language?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: You are about to give evidence in this trial against
10 Naser Oric. Our Rules require that before you start giving evidence, you
11 make a solemn declaration that, in the course of your testimony, you will
12 be saying the truth, speaking the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
13 the truth. I am going to read out the statement bit by bit, and I would
14 like you to repeat this statement as soon and as you receive it from the
15 interpreters. I'm going to start now.
16 I, Slavka Matic.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I, Slavka Matic.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Solemnly declare.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Solemnly declare.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: That I will speak the truth.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That I will speak the truth.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: The whole truth.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The whole truth.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: And nothing but the truth.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And nothing but the truth.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam, you can sit down. I would like to welcome
2 you to this Tribunal.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I am the presiding judge. My name is Carmel Agius,
5 and I come from the island of Malta. To my right I have Judge Hans
6 Hendrik Brydensholt, from Denmark, and to my left I have Judge Albin Eser
7 from Germany. Together we form the Trial Chamber. And on above of the
8 Trial Chamber, once more I welcome you.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: The procedure we follow is a simple one. The
11 Prosecution, I think it will be Mr. Wubben, will start questioning you,
12 and when he finishes with his series of questions, you will then be
13 cross-examined by a member of the Defence team, which will be Madam
15 Your obligation and your duty and responsibility in terms of the
16 solemn declaration that you have made with us is that, in answering these
17 questions, you will do your utmost to be truthful and complete in your
18 answers without making a distinction as to who is putting the question to
19 you. You have no right to discriminate, for example, in favour of the
20 Prosecution, who has summoned you as its witness here, or discriminate
21 against the Defence because you think you shouldn't testify in their
22 favour. So basically your duty is to answer all questions truthfully and
24 Did I make myself understood?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: If at any time during your testimony you need you
2 break, you feel tired, or you need some assistance, please draw my
3 attention and we'll come forward and assist you immediately.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
5 MR. JONES: Your Honours, there's one preliminary matter, which is
6 that we don't understand this witness to be illiterate. On the contrary,
7 she's signed statements and has apparently attended elementary school.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I am informed that she is.
9 MR. JONES: We would contest that.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't want to raise the matter. But once you
11 have raised the matter, I will raise it with her. But I am informed that
12 she is.
13 MR. JONES: If it could be clarified with her, and it's a matter
14 we may raise in cross-examination.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Matic, can you read and write?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I can't, because I was out of
17 school in 1954. That was a long time ago. I lived in the country;
18 therefore, I no longer pursued such activities. All I know is sometimes I
19 can read some letters and I can sign things. That's all I know.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So you know how to sign your name, but you don't
21 know how to read or write.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My last name, yes, I can read it. I
23 know the exact sequence of letters in my last name. If someone else puts
24 their signature there, this is not something that I can read. I can only
25 read my own last name. As for everything else, I really don't know much
1 about it, because I've never really had any need for that.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
3 Are you happy with that, Mr. Jones?
4 MR. JONES: It's a matter we may need to cross-examine her upon.
5 For the moment, we can proceed.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's the situation as it was related
7 to me before we started this sitting.
8 So, Mr. Wubben.
9 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 WITNESS: SLAVKA MATIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examined by Mr. Wubben:
13 Q. Good afternoon, Ms. Slavka Matic.
14 A. Good afternoon to you.
15 Q. I will put forward questions to you related to the case you're
16 about to testify. My first questions will focus on your personal
17 background, and please answer with yes or no.
18 Is your name Slavka Matic?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were you born on the 13th of October, 1944?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Are you of Serb ethnic origin?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Is your occupation, your current occupation, a housewife?
25 A. Yes. Nothing more than that.
1 Q. Let me go back with you to the events in 1992. That's 12 years
2 ago from now on. Where did you live in 1992?
3 A. In the village of Bjelice, Bjelovac municipality.
4 Q. Is Bjelovac municipality in the municipality of Bratunac?
5 A. Yes. Bratunac municipality is our main municipality.
6 Q. You live there with your family?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You live there in your own house?
9 A. Yes. I built a house in 1967.
10 Q. Do you live there with your husband and two daughters?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you tell me the name of your daughters?
13 A. Snezana Matic, born in 1965; that's my elder daughter. Gordana is
14 the younger; she was born in 1967.
15 Q. And the name of your husband?
16 A. Radivoje Matic. His father's name was Ilija.
17 Q. So you lived in Bjelovac, and Bjelovac had also surrounding
19 A. Yes. My husband lived in Sikiric. My married name was Sikiric.
20 For four years I lived there. And after that, for four years, in 1967, I
21 built a house in Bjelovac. I just crossed the river.
22 Q. Is Bjelovac a Serbian city, a Serb-originated city, with a
23 majority of Serbs in it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the hamlet you talked about, the hamlet of Sikiric, is that
1 also a Serb hamlet?
2 A. Down there, as far as the places near Drina go, the majority
3 population is Serb. But uphill there's a hamlet, Lanista Skela, these are
4 populated by Muslims. There were no Serbs there. That's a place called
5 Skela, near Sikirici, very close to it.
6 Q. Now, in 1992, there had been an attack upon your village. Can you
7 tell us of the date of that attack?
8 A. The 14th of December.
9 Q. Is that, to be precise, the 14th of December, 1992?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Prior to that attack, were there tensions between regions in -- as
12 far as you know?
13 A. There were tensions, yes, as the Muslims had left earlier on to
14 the villages where the majority population was Muslim. And they fired
15 shots nearly every day, so you couldn't move freely in your fields. So we
16 worked just a little bit and then withdrew into shelters. And that's how
17 we lived.
18 Q. Had there been a kind of organising between villages or within
19 villages or hamlets to a kind of army or a kind of defence or village
20 guard, or none, as far as you know?
21 A. There was a village guard organised in our village. They stood
22 guard by night, securing the village, protecting it somehow. I wasn't
23 there. From time to time, they went to stand guard. That was the village
24 guard. There was no other guard.
25 Q. And that village guard, that consisted of civilians or also
1 soldiers, like Serb soldiers?
2 A. Only civilians.
3 Q. And did it --
4 A. We didn't have any sort of army. The men were simply civilians.
5 Q. Did they wear any uniforms, these civilians?
6 A. As far as I was able to see, I didn't see anyone in uniform. It
7 may be that somebody had a uniform, but I didn't go there. I stayed at
8 home with my children.
9 Q. And did they have any arms, this village guard?
10 A. Let me tell you, some may have had a hunting rifle from before;
11 some had a pistol; some may have been reserve policemen. Or maybe they
12 bought a weapon, I don't know. I can't know for sure.
13 Q. To what extent were these village guards organised? I mean, had
14 they been trained as a village guard? Did they exercise? Or can you tell
15 us something about that, if you know?
16 A. I wouldn't know. I can't say. My husband didn't participate in
17 that sort of organisation. They simply called upon him in the evenings,
18 when it was his turn to stand guard and protect the village. I don't know
19 anything else about it.
20 Q. Standing guard to protect the village, what does that mean? Can
21 you tell us something about it?
22 A. Well, what do I know? I don't know why this had to be done. I
23 didn't know. I was surprised. I wondered what was going on and why.
24 Q. The question now: Your husband, he participated in this village
25 guard. Did he have any arms, as far as you know?
1 A. He didn't bring any weapons home. I don't remember seeing any
2 weapons. My children were scared of weapons, and I wouldn't have allowed
3 him to bring weapons into the house.
4 Q. Well, to be complete, my question is: Did your children, your
5 daughters, also participate in the village guard?
6 A. No. No. At home -- they were at home in the evenings together
7 with me.
8 Q. And can you also confirm that there were not any weapons in the
9 family house at the time of the attack, as far as you know?
10 A. Yes. As far as I know, there were no weapons, and there couldn't
11 have been any weapons in the house without my knowledge.
12 Q. Now, you told the Judges the day of the attack was the 14th of
13 December, 1992.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What time did this attack start?
16 A. Let me tell you, I don't know exactly. I know that I got up at
17 around 6.00, or a quarter past 6.00, and as I said, I was standing in for
18 a woman in the direction of the school. It was still dark when the attack
20 Q. You went in the direction of the school. Why did you -- did you
21 have a job in the school? What did you do over there?
22 A. I was standing in for a woman who asked me to clean the school
23 because she was ill, and that morning I went there. I had done that on a
24 few previous occasions, in the morning. On that day that woman was
25 killed, that's when the misfortune happened.
1 Q. Another question about your job. Was cleaning the school the only
2 activity you participated in at the school?
3 A. Yes. I never participated in anything else, anywhere.
4 Q. But I mean a job, an activity in the school, did you only clean
5 the school, or did you also do another activity at the school?
6 A. Later on, they brought things to the school, and I was there only
7 from time to time. There were other women there who did that. They were
8 distributing food for the village guards, because nobody was employed
9 anywhere, nobody had work. So we had to eat, and somebody brought food in
10 from Bratunac. But who it was, I don't know.
11 Q. Again, about the starting date and time of the attack in question,
12 so you went to that school with a view to do cleaning activities over
13 there; is that true?
14 A. Yes, that's true.
15 Q. And what happened? How come you noticed that there was an attack
16 going on?
17 A. I set out in the direction of the school. It's about one
18 kilometre, or 750 metres from my house to the school. When I was halfway
19 to the school, shooting started from all sides. I didn't know what was
20 going on, who was firing. I saw a man come out of a yard. I just saw the
21 man walking in front of me. It was still dark. I recognised him and I
22 called him by name. His name was Petko Dzokanovic. I said, What's this,
23 Petko, is it an attack? And then he said, Well, it looks like it is. And
24 then I wondered what to do. I didn't know whether I should go home or
25 continue on my way. But I thought it wasn't anything really dangerous,
1 and so I went on to the school.
2 When I reached the school, there were bullets firing at the
3 school, the home, and there was a woman, as I said, at the school, her
4 name was Nikolija Todorovic, and I said to her, Turn the lights out, and I
5 she. She asked me what was going on, and I said there was an attack. And
6 she said, What kind of attack? And I said, I don't know.
7 Then I went to my nephew, Milisav, who lived 15 or 20 metres away
8 from the school. I rang the bell and he came out and he said, What's
9 going on, aunt? And I said to him, There's shooting from all sides. It
10 looks like the Muslims are attacking us. And he was surprised. He ran
11 out of the house.
12 I went back to the school, and when I got there, I saw my brother
13 Ilija, who was on his way towards the river Drina. I asked him where he
14 was going, and he said he was going to accompany his son Milisav, because
15 Cvetko had been wounded and they were going to take him there. I stayed
16 there for awhile, and then my sister-in-law Sveta arrived. She was crying
17 and shouting, They've killed Milisav and my son Stojan. In fact, Stojan
18 survived but Milisav died. Stojan was only wounded.
19 When I heard what had happened and that we were surrounded, and
20 when I learned what was going on at the river Drina, I started going home.
21 I couldn't get through. I followed the canal. I crawled, I crouched
22 down, until I arrived at the house of Cvetko Lukic. And there I saw a man
23 in front of Cvetko's house. There was a terrace there, and he was
24 wounded --
25 Q. Thank you, witness. Thank you, witness. So you decided to go
1 back, you decided to go back to your house, or did you go in another
3 A. I decided to go home, but I made a detour, because Cvetko's house
4 and my house are about 300 metres apart, so I passed by Cvetko's house,
5 intending to go back towards my own house.
6 Q. Thank you, witness. My question is, then: What did you see at or
7 near Cvetko's house? And what is the family name of Cvetko?
8 A. Lukic. Cvetko Lukic.
9 Q. So what did you notice there? What did you see upon arriving?
10 A. I saw a man, as I said, who had been wounded. There was a rifle
11 next to him; that was his rifle. Borka arrived. She raised her hand to
12 show the direction from which they were shooting, and they wounded her. I
13 don't remember whether it was her right arm or the left. But I retreated
14 to the canal quickly, because Cvetko's house is some 15 metres away from
15 the canal. I crawled back --
16 Q. Thank you. Please, witness, I need to ask you to pay attention to
17 the fact that I put forward a question to you, and please don't go too
18 extensively in all the issues related to that question.
19 A. Very well.
20 Q. My question is: You noticed a person who had been wounded at
21 Cvetko Lukic's house, and that there was a rifle. Can you tell something
22 about that rifle, or did there happen anything to that rifle?
23 A. It stayed there. It was probably his, because he was guarding the
24 waterworks. But I don't know his name.
25 Q. Now, did you notice where the shooting came from related to that
2 A. I noticed that it came from the direction of the school towards my
3 house. On the right-hand side, there's a stream there, a creek, and from
4 there, there was heavy shooting. And I retreated to some blocks. There
5 was a woman standing there. She asked me where I was going, and I said I
6 wanted to go home in order to see what was happening to my family. And
7 she replied, You can't pass through. At Nikola's house, look there. So I
8 looked there, and Nikola's house was on fire. And there were two men
9 standing at one corner and two on the other. I couldn't recognise them --
10 Q. Witness, witness, again, one moment, please. My question was:
11 Did you notice any attackers? Now, do I see it correctly that at that
12 time, when you left the house where you saw the wounded person with the
13 rifle, that you at that time didn't see any persons you linked to the
15 A. Yes, I did. I saw two at Nikola's house. That's what I said. I
16 saw two at Nikola's house, with yellow ribbons on their heads. It wasn't
17 our men, it wasn't Serbs. It was the Muslims, it was their army, Naser
18 Oric's army. Who else would it belong to?
19 Q. One moment, witness. Can you tell me more about those two persons
20 you saw? Were these persons soldiers, these persons with yellow ribbons
21 on their heads, or other --
22 A. They had weapons in their hands; they had backpacks on their
23 backs. They were probably soldiers. They had rifles. It was very dark,
24 really, and I couldn't really see their clothes very well. The fog was
25 very thick.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. But you noticed, indeed, that there were ribbons on their
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you noticed the colour of that ribbon?
5 A. I think it was yellow. That's what I thought it was.
6 Q. And you noticed also whether or not they wore uniforms or typical
8 A. Let me tell you, their clothes were grey, but I couldn't make out
9 whether it was a camouflage kind of clothing. It seemed to be military,
10 the kind of clothing that individuals wore.
11 Q. And why did you think these were Muslims, that it was their army?
12 A. I didn't think, I knew exactly. Because Nikola's house was on
13 fire. It wouldn't have been Serbs that would have set fire to Nikola's
15 Q. How did you know that these Muslims, armed men, set fire on
16 Nikola's house?
17 A. Who else would it have been? I heard across the stream, on my
18 right-hand side, in the direction of my house, Berzadic Hajrudin yelling
19 out, Surrender Chetniks, we'll catch you all alive. I heard him well. I
20 understood what he was saying. I recognised his voice because he was a
21 neighbour of mine. He lived a little way away from my house.
22 Q. Can you please spell out the name of that person that you
24 A. Berzadic Hajrudin.
25 Q. Now, how do you know a person like that?
1 A. Well, we used to socialise for quite a long time. We were
2 delegates in the local commune, so we knew each other quite well. We
3 would have conversations. We would chat.
4 Q. And how did you recognise him? Was it his face, his --
5 A. By his voice.
6 Q. And --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Wubben, sorry to interrupt you. We
8 need to clear it now. Did she say Hajrudin Berzadic or Berzadic?
9 MR. WUBBEN:
10 Q. Can you please answer that question?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Berzadic or Begzadic?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Berzadic.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Berzadic, okay.
14 Yes, Mr. Wubben, please. Sorry to interrupt you, but I think it
15 was important at this stage, because we avoided three or more questions on
16 that, like that.
17 MR. WUBBEN: No problem.
18 Q. So you recall after, it's now 12 years, what this person was
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you expect her not to, Mr. Wubben?
21 A. Let me tell you, let me tell you, these big tragedies that
22 happened, they're hard to forget, although later on there is trauma. But
23 a lot of time has gone by, and during that time I would recall the names,
24 the attack. I've lived there for 41 years. I knew people of both ethnic
25 groups; I knew them well.
1 MR. WUBBEN:
2 Q. And did you recognise other persons being -- participating in the
3 attack by this Muslim army?
4 A. I couldn't recognise them because they were 40 or 50 metres away
5 from me. But let me tell you, it was quite dark. It was foggy, very
6 foggy. I saw a few small groups of people, but I couldn't recognise any
7 of them, so I wouldn't be able to tell you their names.
8 Q. But you, indeed, confirmed that it was the army of Naser Oric.
9 What did you make to think that or to conclude that?
10 MR. JONES: I wonder if Mr. Wubben means affirmed. "Confirmed," I
11 don't know what the witness is confirming. It's a small point, but we
12 certainly don't want it to be suggested that she's confirming some other
13 statement --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I will rephrase the question myself for you,
15 Mr. Wubben, if you don't mind.
16 Earlier on you mentioned Naser's army, Naser Oric's army.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: How can you be so sure about that, and how do you
19 know about Naser Oric's army?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think anything else but that
21 he was in command, he commanded it. Although I haven't stated that
22 previously, sometimes from the woods above our village, they would
23 threaten us, only we didn't believe them. They would say that their
24 commander, Naser Oric, would arrive on a white horse. I didn't believe it
25 until it all happened. And there was a young man called Slobodan Petrovic
1 who was taken prisoner; he was 16 or 17 years old, I can't be sure. And
2 after there was an exchange, there was some sort of an exchange, and he
3 was exchanged, and he told us that he had seen a Naser Oric there. And
4 that was the name that they used to refer to him.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But you didn't see Naser Oric himself on
6 the day of the attack, did you?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No, never. I didn't even know
8 him. I didn't see him on that day. I don't want to do anything -- to say
9 anything wrong, but I don't know, maybe somebody else can prove this, but
10 I can't.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, madam.
12 Mr. Wubben, you may proceed.
13 MR. WUBBEN:
14 Q. This story about the Naser Oric army and Naser Oric in command,
15 who did inform you of that? Was that friends, neighbours, or perhaps this
16 Petrovic Slobodan, or someone else?
17 A. That young man who lived across from my house, he had a brother.
18 And when their village was burnt, he came and he was with us, until he was
19 killed. He was killed in the attack, that young man, Slobodan.
20 Q. Yes. Please continue. Did he inform you, or someone else?
21 A. Well, stories went around, and it was he who informed us mostly.
22 But otherwise it was others as well. But I don't know where they got the
23 information. I don't know.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's not waste more time on this,
25 Mr. Wubben, because I imagine both you and Madam Vidovic know that whether
1 Oric was the commander or not will not result from the testimony of
2 witnesses like the one we have now but from other sources, if at all.
3 So let's proceed to something else, please.
4 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, I will, Your Honour.
5 Q. Did you also notice, when you saw these groups of attackers, that
6 there was a kind of communication between those men, those attackers?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: You can ask a direct question; I would allow it.
8 Did you hear them communicating with each other?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't hear them. No.
10 MR. WUBBEN:
11 Q. You were a witness of something you considered as an attack. Who,
12 as you did notice, who did the attackers fight against? Where did they
13 shoot at? Did they shoot at people, at the houses? Can you tell us
14 something about what you saw and heard?
15 A. They shot at everything, at whatever they could. Let me tell you,
16 that day - I find this very difficult - 68 people were killed in my area.
17 They killed my two daughters at my doorstep, and they killed my husband,
18 too. I found out on that very day about my two daughters having been
19 killed, and my husband, too. I saw the body of my husband, I identified
20 it, but not my daughters because they were outside the house and I was not
21 able to reach them. I saw Bozo with my own eyes. He had been killed in
22 his summer kitchen. He was lying on his back. I also saw Milun Ilic. He
23 was right behind my house. I was not able to identify his body, but I did
24 the next day, at 1500 hours, when we collected the bodies. I also saw
25 Radovan Vucetic --
1 Q. Thank you, witness. I would like to proceed by taking you back in
2 time, starting from that place, that house of Cvetko Lukic. From there
3 you proceed on -- going in the direction of your house, and there you
4 learned whatever was this person identified by you, shouting. What did
5 you come across? Did you see there any attackers? Were they shooting,
6 and who were they attacking, if so?
7 A. Well, I told you who they were attacking. Of course they were
8 shooting. I couldn't get out of the ditch. Whenever they saw someone,
9 they would shoot at them, no matter who. Whether it was a man or a woman.
10 Whoever tried to cross the street was shot at, that's who they were
11 attacking. I didn't precisely ask them why they were there, what they
12 were doing, or whom they were attacking.
13 Q. Can you tell us, what was the response by the villagers? Was
14 there any response, if so, and meaning was there any defence of the
15 village or the area against this attack?
16 A. Well, let me tell you, I never saw one of our men shoot back.
17 There were sounds of rifles being fired, but that was a river valley;
18 there's the river to the left of my house and the woods to the right. I
19 can't really say who was doing the shooting. There was sounds of shooting
20 resonating. I only saw that man next to Cvetko's house. He had been
21 wounded. I don't know what his name was, but I know that he was the
22 keeper of the waterworks. On my way back home, way back from Cvetko's
23 house, that was what I saw. As for those of our men who had survived, I
24 thought that they had all been killed. That's what I thought at the time.
25 Q. Did you also witness that attackers were shooting at men, women,
1 whatever, who were on the field or somewhere?
2 A. Well, like I said a while ago, whoever left their homes didn't
3 make it. They would just turn their rifles on them and shoot them. There
4 is a borderline near the Drina river. That's where they were. There's a
5 huge borderline running between the two fields. And whoever they saw
6 crossing the road or moving about, they killed them.
7 Q. Did you notice that there had been goods taken out of the houses,
8 if so?
9 A. I was not able to see that, because mainly, on that day, they were
10 torching things. When they reached the houses, maybe they would enter
11 some of the houses, but this is not something that I was able to see. I
12 only saw smoke rising from the houses. Because I was in a column, I
13 couldn't see them take anything out of the houses. I wasn't near enough
14 to see it. I only saw the smoke rising from the burning houses, but I
15 didn't see the people who were actually doing the looting, although I bet
16 there were some of those there, too.
17 Q. I'll come back to that issue later. But you also stated that they
18 were torching houses or things. What do you mean by that? What did you
19 make -- what makes you think that they were making -- they were burning or
21 A. Well, it's not that I thought something. I only saw smoke rising
22 from those houses who I was familiar with, and I knew who the houses
23 belonged to. This is something I saw with my own eyes. I can't tell you
24 who was doing the torching, but it certainly wasn't the Serbs. That's all
25 I can tell you.
1 Q. Why was it certain that it wasn't the Serbs?
2 A. On that day, the Serbs were defending rather than attacking each
3 other. They stood up to defend their village, and that's why so many of
4 them were killed. There weren't sufficient people there to put up an
5 adequate defence.
6 Q. Did you actually see houses burning in the hamlet of Sikiric at
7 the time of the attack?
8 A. Yes. Yes, I did. That could have been sometime about -- I can't
9 give you the exact time. It may have been at 9.00 or 10.00. Smoke
10 descended over the whole village of Sikirici. This is something that I'm
11 certain about because I saw it with my own eyes.
12 Q. And you know the hamlet of Sikiric well?
13 A. Of course I do. I spent four years there; I lived there with my
14 husband. As I said, back in 1967, I built a house in Bjelovac, or in
15 1966. But in 1963, I got married in Sikirici and lived there. I knew all
16 of the inhabitants. My husband's family lived there.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
18 MR. WUBBEN:
19 Q. You've already confirmed that, but can you, because of that
20 knowledge, also identify the houses that were burning at the time of the
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Are you able to give us the names of the people or the family who
24 owned those houses that were burning at that time?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Will you please tell us those names, and please be specific and
2 not too quick in pronouncing the name.
3 A. The houses that were torched: Desimir Matic, my husband's
4 brother; Mirko Matic; Vidoje Ilic. Let me think. Ljubisav Nedeljkovic,
5 Ratko Nedeljkovic. They were both killed on that day, Ljubica and Ratko,
6 Ratko's son. Ljubica's sister, Jevrenja [phoen]. They were all aged over
7 60. Nedeljkovic, let me think. Mladen Nedeljkovic. Milomir was also
8 killed on that day. All of their houses were ablaze. I remember that
9 well. Milomir Tanasic, who was also killed on that day too, and his house
10 too was on fire. Grozda Simic was also killed on that day, and her house
11 burned down. Zlatan Simic was killed; that's Grozda's son, also on that
12 same day. And that's when all of these things burned down and all these
13 people were killed.
14 Q. If you give you another thought to take your time to recollect and
15 recall your memory of the houses burning in Sikiric, can you come up with
16 other names as well?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You can help her, Mr. Wubben, please.
18 A. Should I continue with the houses that were burning?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please.
20 MR. WUBBEN:
21 Q. Yes, please, the houses in Sikiric.
22 A. Well, in Sikiric, there's also something that I forgot about.
23 Pero Petrovic, or Petar, whatever his name is, but I know the man well,
24 his house too was ablaze. All the houses in Sikiric had been torched, all
25 the Serb houses. The Muslim houses still stand; they were never set
1 alight. There are people living there, whether refugees or whoever.
2 Q. So you noticed that all the houses were torched except for the
3 houses belonging to the Muslims.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And including all those houses that were burning -- excuse me,
6 witness, I will put forward the question to you, and then repeat.
7 Including all those houses that were burned, was there also
8 the house of a family called Tanasic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What was the full name of that --
11 A. Milomir Tanasic.
12 Q. And a family name like Mitrovic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you give me the full name? And if there are more houses with
15 same family name, can you specify also?
16 A. Milomir Tanasic; Mitrovic Rado; Mitrovic Cvetko, all of them
17 killed on that day. Mitrovic Veso, he's still alive; he wasn't killed.
18 Mitrovic Miko, that's what his name was. But I'm not sure what his real
19 name was, but his last name was Mitrovic and we called him Miko.
20 Q. Was there also a house of Mitrovic, with full name Veselin?
21 A. Yes. That's two adjacent houses. There were three brothers.
22 They had houses that were adjacent.
23 Q. And a house belonging to a family with the name Rankic? And if
24 so, can you give the full name?
25 A. There were no Rankics in Sikiric, but rather, Dusan Prodanovic, is
1 a person I forgot all about yesterday, but today I remember both his first
2 and last name, and his house too was torched on that day.
3 Q. And to finalise the house related to the name Kuca?
4 A. As I said, the name of that man was Dusan Prodanovic, but he was
6 Q. Was Sikiric then burned down that day except for those houses that
7 I referred to as Muslim houses?
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you repeat your question, Mr. Wubben, please?
10 MR. WUBBEN:
11 Q. Was Sikiric then burned down that day except from those houses
12 that I referred to as Muslim houses?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You can answer. Now, these houses were burning -- you noticed
15 that these houses were burning at the time of the attack. Did you also
16 notice houses burning in the area of your own family house, in Bjelovac?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: If it's convenient for you to stop here for the
18 break, before you start something new, we'll stop here. If this is a
19 short question, you may proceed. It's up to you, Mr. Wubben. I don't
20 know what you have in mind.
21 MR. WUBBEN: I prefer to take up again this question.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So we'll have a 25-minute break, then,
23 please. Thank you.
24 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
2 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: How much more do you reckon you have?
4 MR. WUBBEN: Three-quarters of an hour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Please try to restrict your questions to what is
6 relevant to the indictment, because we've spent the past hour and a half
7 dealing with matters which could have easily been dealt with in four or
8 five questions, relevant only to the indictment, and the rest is not
9 really important. I mean, I'm just opening your eyes. I'm being very
10 patient, so is Judge Brydensholt and Judge Eser, but we are missing the
11 wood for the trees. Let's proceed.
12 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. I am going back now to where we left before the break, Witness,
14 and I have a question to you: How did you notice that Sikiric, during the
15 day of the attack, had been burned down? Did you saw after the burning of
16 the houses? Did you visit the hamlet, or did you saw it from a distance
17 or not?
18 A. I was watching from a distance of about 300 metres from the
19 village of Sikirici. That's where I was standing. So I could see the
20 houses burning. I knew where the individual houses were.
21 Q. And can you continue, please? And what did you notice? Were
22 there no flames anymore, and were the houses damaged or not?
23 A. Yes, damaged, torched. There was still smoke rising from there.
24 There was nobody to put the smoke out. That would have been impossible.
25 Q. Now I would like to take you to the area of your own family house,
1 because you were going in that direction. And did you also notice in that
2 area that houses were burning on the day of the attack?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you tell us the names of the families to whom those houses
5 belonged to? I mean the names --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: For example, is this important, Mr. Wubben?
7 MR. WUBBEN: Yes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Why is it important?
9 MR. WUBBEN: It is important because she can, as living over there
10 in that specific area, identify for Your Honours specific houses she can
11 recall without showing me her a kind of photograph. It is a specific kind
12 of identification and more specific when it comes to --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: What do you intend to prove, that those particular
14 houses were burned or that only houses belonging to Serbs were burned
16 MR. WUBBEN: I want to prove both.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
18 Yes, Mr. Jones?
19 MR. JONES: May I just raise one matter, Your Honour, we have
20 often in the English translation the word "torched" which might be taken
21 to imply an act of human agency. I understand "palenja" the word in
22 Bosnian can simply mean "burnt," provided it is understood that "torched"
23 means nothing more than burnt, that's --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: That's how I'm taking it. Certainly not lit with a
25 torch. I mean, it's -- definitely not.
1 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
2 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Can you please identify the names of the families, and, through
4 that, the houses that were burning, as testified by you?
5 A. In my village, you mean?
6 Q. Yes, I mean in your village of Bjelovac.
7 A. Radovan's house was burning, but I can't remember his last name.
8 If I can have a minute, please.
9 Yes, Radoje Lukic and Radovan Lukic, these are two brothers.
10 Miodrag Nikolic's house; Drago Nikolic's house; Besimir Stojanovic's
11 house. These houses are next to Jovanovici, because the next village is
12 the -- the next family is the Jovanovics, as I said. Petar's house was on
13 fire on that day; this is something that I saw with my own eyes. Milo
14 Jovanovic's house was burning. Milos Jovanovic's house; Milos was killed.
15 Dzoko was killed too. Milo's wife -- mother, Zlata Jovanovic, too, was
16 killed, and his daughter, Radenka Jovanovic. Milo's brother, Milan, was
17 also killed on that day. Milos Jovanovic's house was burning, and he too
18 was killed on the same day. Svetozar Jovanovic's house was burning too.
19 Milenko's house too, that's the son, and the mother; it's a house they
20 shared. Their field was burning too. Veseljka Jovanovic's house was
21 burning and it burnt down, and she was wounded on that day but she
22 survived. Miodrag Petrovic's house too was burning. That's even closer
23 to my house. And another house was burning, but the owner was not in the
24 area; he had been living in Sweden, and he still lives there. Stevo
25 Filipovic's house was on fire. He died that day. Dragoljub Filipovic's
1 house was burning. I saw flames rising from his house. Dragoljub was
2 killed, as well as his son Dragan. And the house just in front of mine
3 was burning too, at about 30 metres, Radovan Vucetic's house. He was also
4 killed on that day. I saw him fall to the ground. I saw it with my own
5 eyes. His son too was killed. His name was Milenko, and he was 17.
6 Everything around my house was ablaze on that day, and they killed
7 whoever they could.
8 Should I continue?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Wubben, are you happy -- satisfied with the
10 reply, or do you want more information?
11 MR. WUBBEN: If she can identify more names of houses she saw.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: You can help her.
13 MR. WUBBEN: Yes.
14 Q. Did you saw also the house of Vucetic Cvetar burning?
15 A. Svetozar, yes, just across the away from our house. Further down
16 the road, maybe 20 or 30 metres in front of my own house. Svetozar, yes,
17 he too was killed.
18 Q. And these were all houses burning during the attack in the area of
19 where you lived?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Were there --
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. -- beside it, and then you don't have to be specific, also houses
24 burning in Bjelovac?
25 A. On that day, only Nikola Petrovic's house, I saw his house. But
1 I've already told you about that. On that day, I didn't see anything
2 else. It was getting dark and there was no time, so they withdrew.
3 Q. And were these houses, as a consequence of that burning, were
4 these damaged or burned down, or not?
5 A. Everyone had to build from scratch. Some walls needed repairing,
6 everything that was necessary. That was the extent of the damage.
7 Q. And did you saw any of those houses you mentioned in Bjelovac
8 being set on fire during the attack?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you tell me --
11 A. All the houses that I've mentioned, I saw all of those. I know
12 exactly where each of the houses were. I had been living in the area for
13 so many years, and I'd never been away from the area --
14 Q. Please, Witness, I have a question. Did you actually saw one of
15 those houses, or more, being set on fire during the attack by someone, or
17 A. I didn't see who set fire to the houses, but I saw smoke rising.
18 I can't identify the persons who physically set fire to the houses. I
19 wasn't near enough to see for myself. It just wasn't possible.
20 Q. And what did you notice when you get closer to your own family
22 A. Smoke. A house that was near my house, Bozo Todorovic's house, as
23 I was trying to cut across, I passed near that house. It may have been at
24 3.00 or half past 3.00. Like I said, I saw flames rising from
25 Dragoljub's house, from Stevo's house, there was smoke rising, Miodrag
1 Petrovic's house, smoke coming out. I saw all the Jovanovic's houses, and
2 there was smoke coming out of each and every one of those houses, thick
4 Q. My next question is: What did you notice -- what did you saw when
5 you came very close to your own house? Because you were getting in the
6 direction of your own house, as you told us.
7 A. Yes. I saw bodies. I saw houses burning. When I reached Bozo
8 Todorovic's house, the summer kitchen, I found him dead. I cried out to
9 see whether there was anyone left alive. I think I stated that before. I
10 saw another man whom I didn't know. He came out of a shed, a barn. He
11 was wearing blue clothes with a backpack on his back, and a rifle in hand.
12 He went behind the shed or the barn, and I was standing near Bozo's summer
13 kitchen. I saw my husband at a corner of one of the other houses. I
14 recognised his clothes. He wore a suit and a greyish jacket. There was a
15 body there too, which I could not identify, but the next day, on the 15th,
16 when I came over, I knew who the body belonged to. It was Milo Ilic's
18 I started crying out near Bozo's house, Have you killed everyone?
19 I screamed and I yelled. Something came flying and fell down near Bozo's
20 house. It exploded. I didn't know what it was. I heard another man's
21 voice from across the way from where I was standing, and he was shouting
22 at me, Don't go there. It's not safe. I turned around, and it was Srecko
23 Mihajlovic. He was standing near the ditch. I approached him, and I
24 asked him what had happened to my family. He drew a deep sigh, and he
25 replied, he said, All three of them have been killed.
1 This was a heavy blow for me. I had to cope with the shock. I
2 felt like I was about to die. I tried to pull myself together. I really
3 don't know how something like that could have happened. I asked him how
4 he knew that all of them had been killed, and he said Bogdana was off to
5 look for her husband, because he had left and went to my house, but he
6 couldn't get there because they killed him. She was there with the
7 children and knew that they had been killed. This is a tragedy.
8 Until 1996, I was not able to recover. I didn't realise that I
9 was the only one left in this world. I couldn't pull myself back
10 together. I didn't know where to go or what to do. Then I went back home
11 in 1996, on the 18th of May, and my life finally went back to normal. I
12 had been a refugee and I had not been able to go back home.
13 Q. Thank you, Witness.
14 MR. WUBBEN: These were my questions, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Wubben.
16 Madam Vidovic.
17 Cross-examined by Ms. Vidovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mrs. Matic, can you please try to provide brief
19 answers to my questions.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And before we proceed, I would like to remind
21 you, Madam Vidovic, and inform you, Madam Matic, that since you speak the
22 same language, if you do not allow a small interval of time between
23 question and answer, you will create a lot of confusion and a lot of
24 difficulties for the interpreters. So my recommendation to you is to slow
25 down and, between question and answer, allow a little bit of an interval.
1 Thank you.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mrs. Matic, today, at the beginning of your testimony, you told us
4 that you were illiterate.
5 A. Yes. I said --
6 Q. That's sufficient. Thank you. In your earlier statement to the
7 Prosecutor, you said that you had completed four years of primary school;
8 is that correct?
9 A. Yes, in 1956 or 1954. I can't be sure. I think it's 1954.
10 Q. Thank you. Is it not correct that at that time, as is the case
11 today, children learned both scripts, Latin and Cyrillic, in the first
12 grade of primary school?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. That's enough. Thank you. It is also correct that in the second
15 grade of primary school, children learned to do sums and were instructed
16 more broadly in our language, and in the third and fourth grade, they
17 already wrote compositions.
18 A. Yes. But it's been a long time since then, many years.
19 Q. Thank you, madam. Thank you. It is also correct that in the
20 school system which prevailed when you were attending school, in the first
21 four grades, in the third grade of primary school, children learned about
22 certain writers, certain authors, such as Branko Copic, and had to read
23 books by them as set reading.
24 A. Yes, that's true, but I've forgotten that, because I didn't renew
25 that knowledge later on.
1 Q. It's correct, Mrs. Matic, is it not, that such things are not
3 A. Well, that's happened in my case. I can read, I can read, but
4 only block capitals.
5 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Matic. You also said that you were a housewife,
6 but you also said that occasionally you worked at the school before the
7 war. Did I understand you correctly?
8 A. No. No, I was never employed. I never had a job. That might
9 have been an error in interpretation. I was never employed anywhere. I
10 was always a housewife.
11 Q. Thank you. Today, at one point during your testimony, when
12 speaking of Mr. Berzadic, you said, I know him well, together he was a
13 delegate with me in the local commune.
14 A. Yes, from time to time.
15 Q. Thank you. Is it not true, Mrs. Matic, that when you were a
16 delegate, you received various written materials so that you could inform
17 the local population about them.
18 A. No, never, never. I never received anything in writing. I was
19 there on behalf of the women's anti-fascist club, and they kept me there
20 only for the sake of my vote. And they only called upon me when there was
21 some kind of meeting. But I never wrote anything or read anything there.
22 That's the truth. When we had to vote for something, that's when they
23 called upon me.
24 Q. Very well, Mrs. Matic. I'll move on now to another topic.
25 Before your testimony of today, the Prosecutor advised us that you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 had lost your reading glasses and the whole problem was solved when your
2 glasses were found.
3 A. I didn't lose them, I had forgotten them at home.
4 Q. Thank you. Mrs. Matic, you are not illiterate, because otherwise
5 you would not need the glasses, and you would have said so to the
7 A. I only use them to watch television. That's why I had the glasses
8 made, so I could watch films on television. But I never managed to read
9 the subtitles. There's not enough time.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Vidovic, where do you plan to end on this,
11 because --
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [In English] Very soon, very soon, Your Honour, if
13 you'll allow me.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Because I don't see how it can change anything
15 because she can, with a magnifying glass, read a couple of lines or a
16 couple of sentences.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is not about the
18 witness' glasses. Allow me to put a question.
19 Q. Did the Prosecutor show you certain documents, referring to your
20 previous testimony?
21 A. You mean my statements?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. How could you comment on those statements if you are unable to
25 read them?
1 A. Because this other lady who was there read them out to me. It
2 wasn't me who read them.
3 Q. Mrs. Matic, you decided to say you were illiterate when you saw
4 the documents we intended to show you; isn't that so?
5 A. No, that's not correct. I never decided to say that.
6 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Matic. But in any case, you did say that you
7 could read a few sentences that were typed.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Matic. Our documents are mostly written in such
10 letters, so I will ask you to look at the documents anyway.
11 A. Well, this is going to be difficult. I see that you don't trust
12 me, you don't believe me, but you should. I haven't come here --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mrs. Matic, the ones who will decide what will
14 happen is us three up here and not Ms. -- not Madam Vidovic. So if you
15 have problems, just look at me and I will consult with the other two
16 Judges and we will decide what to do.
17 Yes, move ahead, please, Madam Vidovic.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mrs. Matic, I will now ask you something else. Today you told us
20 that tragically you lost your husband and two daughters in the war.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. It is also true that you yourself suffered certain consequences
23 from shelling, and that you spent some time in a place near Vidakovica
24 for recuperation.
25 A. No, that's not correct. I was gathering hay in my field. They
1 were shooting, I don't know where from. This was before this attack. But
2 I wasn't wounded, no, I wasn't there.
3 Q. You were never in hospital?
4 A. No, not for that reason.
5 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Matic. In your statement which you made in 2000,
6 and I hope you'll recall it, you said that in Bjelovac there were only
7 four Muslim houses.
8 A. Yes, four or five, but I think four, four families. After that
9 they spread. But there were four families who were there. I can tell
10 you there names --
11 Q. I will put the questions, so please just answer. Bjelovac had
12 about 290 inhabitants; isn't that correct?
13 A. Well, I can't tell you precisely. It's possible.
14 Q. Is it correct that in Bjelovac, in 1991, there were 59 Muslims?
15 A. In Bjelovac?
16 Q. Yes, in Bjelovac.
17 A. No. I can --
18 Q. Mrs. Matic, I will put the questions. Please allow me.
19 A. Very well.
20 Q. It's correct, is it not, that in the very center of Bjelovac,
21 several hundred metres away from your house, there were several Muslim
22 families living there. Do the names of Sinanovic Rahman, Sead Nedzad mean
23 anything to you? They had houses next to houses of Serb families, Ilic
24 and Dzokanovic?
25 A. Sead, yes, but not Nedzad at that time. He was not living there
1 then. Not, it was only Sokla.
2 Q. Sead and Rahman were?
3 A. Yes. They were living there.
4 Q. Thank you very much. Idud Basic Rifet [phoen] was a neighbour of
5 yours, and he had a house in Bjelovac.
6 A. Yes, that's close to the school.
7 Q. Thank you. Juso Efendic had an old house and a new house in the
8 center of Bjelovac, didn't he?
9 A. Yes. Yes, he did. Well, very well. Maybe --
10 Q. Please allow me, Mrs. Matic. Just a moment. It's also true, is
11 it not, that Izet Osmanovic had a house near in the school in Bjelovac,
12 and that in the very center there were also the houses of Alila Ajdar,
13 Omer and Abid; isn't that so?
14 A. They built houses there, but they didn't live there. They lived
15 either in the same house, so it was one family.
16 Q. Then there were seven houses belonging to the Efendic family,
17 Muhamed Efendic and his brothers, and the house of Hajrudin Berzadic, whom
18 you mentioned today which is very close to your house; isn't that correct?
19 A. Yes. Berzadic, he lived there, yes. And as for the Efendics,
20 those were only holiday homes. Jusuf Efendic's brother lived in
21 Srebrenica. He had that house but he didn't live there.
22 Q. Thank you. Also there were seven houses belonging to the
23 Mujica --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please slow down. The interpreter
25 cannot catch the names.
1 A. This was across the river. That was Zaluzje, that's on the other
2 side from the river, because Bjelovac started at the river, on the
3 riverbank, if you get my meaning. And across the river, yes, they were --
4 well, they weren't Muslims. How shall I put it? We called them Gypsies,
5 but they weren't Muslims.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mrs. Matic, they were Muslims. Isn't it correct that the
8 Mujanovic family of Nedza Faziariga [phoen] Mehmed and others, so on and
9 so forth, isn't it true that Bjelovac, the center had 34 Muslim houses?
10 A. Those houses belonged to Zaluzje. The houses you are mentioning
11 with in Zaluzje. They were not in my village. We were separated by a
12 river, do you understand, a river. Bjelovac started from the --
13 Bjelovacka Rijeka to the Sikiricka Rijeka, those two rivers, and in
14 between was my village.
15 Q. Mrs. Matic, you will agree that in 1991 there was census?
16 A. Yes, there was a census, of course there was. But I don't -- it
17 wasn't me who conducted the census.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would be very happy
19 to show the precise data from the census, but I'm not sure that -- I will
20 stop here.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't need to, Madam Vidovic. You can just
22 either suggest to her the exact figures and she will tell you whether she
23 agrees or not. That's all. She doesn't need to see the document, unless
24 you prefer to show the document to the Court, to the Trial Chamber, and to
25 the Prosecution. That would suffice.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Certainly.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I certainly wouldn't stop you from tendering the
3 document into evidence. But you don't need it show you to the witness.
4 And may I again remind you both, you and the witness, Mrs. Matic,
5 please, again, slow down and allow an interval between question and
6 answer, because you are creating problems.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I move that the
8 document entitled "The Permanent Population of Bosnia-Herzegovina," the
9 excerpt for Bratunac municipality showing the census of Bjelovac, not
10 Zaluzje, that's separate, that it be tendered into evidence as a Defence
11 exhibit. I believe we have already given a copy of this to the
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there any objection on your part, Mr. Wubben?
14 MR. WUBBEN: No objection, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
16 MR. WUBBEN: But I would like to have a copy.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document is being tendered in evidence and
18 admitted and marked as Defence Exhibit D82. Thank you.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mrs. Matic --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps you can help the Trial Chamber understand a
22 little bit better, because this has happened in other instances as well.
23 When we speak of Bjelovac, how many hamlets did Bjelovac have?
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on page 1 there is a
25 list for Bratunac, and a list of villages. And when you turn the page,
1 under number 42 and 43, you will see the census, 290; 52 Muslims, and 231
2 Serbs. And when you turn the page that we have produced here, you will
3 see on page 74, the village Zaluzje that Mrs. Matic mentioned, it's a
4 separate village; it had 214 inhabitants, and you can see how many were
5 Serbs and how many Muslim. The population of Zaluzje was listed
7 JUDGE AGIUS: You've missed my point completely. During the
8 testimony of previous witnesses, we have had this problem. Sometimes when
9 you refer to, for example, the village of Bjelovac, the witness would
10 understand the village itself; however, the village sometimes consists of
11 various hamlets, and the population of one ethnicity or the other may vary
12 according to whether the witness is considering the village itself, which
13 is traditionally called Bjelovac, or whether it's also taking into account
14 the surrounding hamlets.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the census was carried
16 out village by village. In this case, Bjelovac is a big village, and what
17 this lady is talking about, the hamlets were not taken into account. If
18 the state thought that the village did not have any hamlets, they weren't
19 put there. However, Mrs. Matic is talking about the village of Zaluzje.
20 That's something else. It can, by no means, be a hamlet of Bjelovac. And
21 you will see this on page 74.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we're on the same wavelength. Let's
23 proceed. Go ahead, Madam Vidovic.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ESER: Just a moment. You spoke of page 74. There are two
1 pages 74. Which page did you mean? The first is page 74, and then later
2 on we have another page 74. What are you talking about?
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I am referring to the page which
4 says "The Permanent Population of Bosnia-Herzegovina," it starts with
5 Voljavica -- and Voljavica, Branabici [phoen], Bratunac, Sikiric,
6 Voljavica, Zaluzje, Zapolje. These are the villages we are talking about.
7 Your Honour, let me just clarify one more point. If, then, the
8 state organ conducting the census did not consider that the village had
9 hamlets, they weren't included. So they thought that Bjelovac was a
10 single village as such, with the number of inhabitants listed here.
11 That's what we can say. Mrs. Matic is referring to Zaluzje, which is a
12 different village, and had nothing to do with the population of Bjelovac.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mrs. Matic, do you have any comments of your
14 own on what has been exchanged between myself and Madam Vidovic.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You know how it is. In the area
16 where I live, there are two streams, two little rivers; one is called
17 Loznicka Rijeka, separating Bjelovac and Sikiric; there is another little
18 river going from Sase towards the Drina which separates Bjelovac from
19 Zaluzje. I never even thought or knew that across the river that village
20 of Vujanovici and so on. I knew the people there, of course. I
21 socialised with them. I knew them all, but I never knew that they
22 belonged to Bjelovac. I knew that.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Very well. Thank you, Mrs. Matic.
25 A. They were called Loznicka Rijeka and Bjelovacka Rijeka, those two
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mrs. Matic, thank you. Another question in relation to that. In
4 your testimony you said that the Muslims had left Bjelovac in May 1992.
5 You also said that they simply left, that no one caused unrest among them
6 in any way; is that true?
7 A. That's all I know. That's as much as I can say. There is nothing
8 else that I know. I was not a member of any of the paramilitary units or
9 anything. I didn't do anything like that.
10 Q. Thank you very much, Mrs. Matic. The truth of the matter is that,
11 from the beginning of April to mid-May 1992, they were being mistreated
12 and harassed by their Serb neighbours from Bjelovac and Sikirici, isn't
13 it? And by various paramilitary units entering Bjelovac.
14 A. I don't know about that. I know that none of my family were ever
15 mistreated. I don't know about the others.
16 Q. Thank you very much, madam. If I'm asking in relation to you
17 specifically, your family, please answer. But now I'm asking you about
18 something else.
19 A. And I'm telling you I don't know.
20 Q. You know the Sinanovic families, don't you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. The distance between their houses and your house is several
23 hundred metres, isn't it?
24 A. About 300, yes.
25 Q. Thank you. The truth is, you personally saw those people being
1 mistreated and thrown out of their houses, isn't it?
2 A. No, I never saw anything like that.
3 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, please, can Defence counsel give us some
4 time frame? Are we talking now in 1992 or 1991, because first we were
5 dealing with 1991.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, your question is perfectly in order,
7 Mr. Wubben. Which time frame are you referring the witness to?
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, a while ago I asked
9 the following question: Between April and mid-May 1992 - that's how I
10 phrased it - were Muslims in Bjelovac being mistreated throughout that
11 period of time, so that's the period of time I'm now referring to. That
12 much is clear.
13 Q. Mrs. Matic, you also knew that your neighbour, Refud Dalibasic
14 [phoen], had been beaten in Bjelovac and taken to the Vuk Karadzic
15 elementary school in Bratunac, which was a notorious camp, where he was
16 mistreated like many other Muslims from Bjelovac, Sikirici and the other
18 A. No. This is something I know nothing about. I never looked into
19 that particular matter.
20 Q. Thank you very much. Today you mentioned Sikiric, didn't you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What is the distance between Sikiric and Bjelovac, in actual fact?
23 A. From my house, you mean?
24 Q. Yes, from your house.
25 A. Between 250 and 300 metres. It's in the center of Sikiric, that's
1 where my house is.
2 Q. Thank you very much. Well, then, you must know that there were
3 240 Muslims living in Sikiric and 201 Serbs; is that correct?
4 A. Well, there are hamlets there. Like I said, there is one called
5 Skela that was predominantly Muslim. Not predominantly, 300.
6 Q. Thank you very much. What is the distance between Skela and your
8 A. In relation to Sikiric, you mean? It's part of the same village,
9 but the name was Skela.
10 Q. Thank you very much. Then it's true, isn't it, madam, that you
11 could see people being killed and expelled, the 240 Muslims from Sikiric
12 in April and May 1992.
13 A. I know nothing about that. I didn't wish to see it, and I don't
14 know about it.
15 Q. Mrs. Matic, you described today how you saw smoke rising from the
16 houses in Sikiric. Did you perhaps see this smoke rising also in April
17 and May 1992 from Muslim houses?
18 A. That's not when the flames were there. It was perhaps after the
19 fall of Bjelovac, but this was something that I know nothing about.
20 Q. Thank you very much. Are you aware of the fact that 11 of your
21 neighbours from Skela, which you referred to, disappeared in the camp at
22 Sase in April and May 1992?
23 A. I know that people from both sides were lost or disappeared, but I
24 don't know their names. It's not something that I spend a great deal of
25 time thinking about.
1 Q. Mrs. Matic, let me put it this way: Is it true that all those
2 Muslims were expelled, driven out, with nothing more than plastic bags in
3 their hands in May 1992?
4 A. Why are you asking me that, madam? I was not a military person.
5 I was not interested in that. I had my own household to take care of. I
6 had my own family.
7 Q. Therefore, it's not true, what you said about the Muslims leaving
8 peacefully. So that's the reason I'm asking you this. It's not true that
9 they left their houses and homes peacefully in May 1992.
10 A. Like I said, I don't know what the reason was for them leaving. I
11 just wasn't there, and I didn't spend any time with those people. They
12 passed my house on the way. Some of the women that I was in touch with on
13 that day, they said they were scared. I had no idea what they were scared
14 of. I can tell you what their names were. Zekira Efendic --
15 Q. No need to do that, madam. You've provided the answer.
16 Let me ask you something else now: You said you worked at the
17 school on the 14th of December, 1992, and generally speaking throughout
18 this entire period from the very beginning of the war. You had been
19 working at the school; is that correct?
20 A. No. I had just been standing in that day for a woman who had been
21 killed on the 14th of December. I was never formally employed there.
22 Q. Mrs. Matic, this is just not true, is it?
23 A. On the contrary. All I'm telling you is the truth.
24 Q. Mrs. Matic, in actual fact, you were a cook with the army of
25 Republika Srpska from the very beginning of the war, and you were a
1 soldier with a Bjelovac Territorial Defence unit, part of which was
2 billeted at the school; isn't that true?
3 A. Well, on the day that I was there, some people came over
4 occasionally, but on that day, there was no one there, because it couldn't
5 have been the case that so many people were killed, if there had been a
6 larger military presence there.
7 Q. Mrs. Matic, this was a well-organised military unit, in fact,
8 wasn't it?
9 A. Which one?
10 Q. The one at the school building.
11 A. There was no one on that day. On the previous days, perhaps
12 occasionally someone would come over, because of the waterworks, the
13 pipeline, for the guards, the waterworks at Bjelovac that was supplying
14 the whole Bratunac area, after all.
15 Q. Thank you very much.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to have the usher's
17 assistance now. I would like to place the a document of the Bratunac
18 Brigade on the ELMO, personal income for June 1992. I hope that
19 Mrs. Matic will recognise her own signature.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did work there occasionally.
21 I'm not saying that I didn't. They did give us work every once in a
22 while. We had nothing to live on. They paid us money.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Very well. Thank you, Mrs. Matic.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance,
1 please, to show page 01335443.
2 Q. Mrs. Matic, I will tell you again the exact number. I'm not sure
3 if you can read numbers. Maybe if you can put your glasses on. 69 --
4 please, the number is 697. Can you please point to that number?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Just considering the problems of both the glasses
6 and the relative illiteracy of the witness, what I suggest is that we put
7 the document on the ELMO, and then on the second half of this document,
8 there is the -- under 697, there is the witness's name, and, at the
9 extreme right, what purports to be her signature. I would like the
10 technicians to start with her name, the typed name, and move to the right,
11 and then zoom in what appears to be her signature, if it is, and then you
12 can obviously ask the questions.
13 And, Madam Matic, you please look at not the document itself but
14 at the monitor that you have in front of you.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mrs. Matic, please, can you look at this. Right. First of all,
17 is this your name on the list, Slavka Matic? The letter K, which might be
18 the first letter of the word "cook."
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] And then please if you can lift the
20 document up a little, the next thing -- can you please lift the document
22 Q. Right here, the second from top, the signature, it appears quite
23 clear on the screen. If you could please look at that signature.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we move it further to the left, please. Can we
25 move it further to the left and -- to the left, to the left, because there
1 is the logo of the Tribunal which is in the way, and then zoom on it,
3 Madam Matic, do you recognise your signature on the monitor?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance
6 again. Next to this signature, can you please place the first version of
7 the English statement of this witness.
8 This is not her signature. Page 1 of the English version. Yes.
9 Q. If you could please compare the two, this signature and the one in
10 line 697. Very well. Mrs. Matic, what do you say now? Have you tried to
11 focus on these two signatures? Can you tell us anything about these?
12 A. That is my signature. It must be.
13 Q. Thank you very much, Mrs. Matic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please give this document a
15 number as a Defence exhibit, and if I can have the usher's assistance to
16 place on the ELMO a different document, an excerpt from a document of the
17 Bratunac Brigade.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This is being -- this document is being
19 tendered and received in evidence and marked as Defence Exhibit D83.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Q. Can you please place this document on the ELMO. It's a Bratunac
22 Brigade number. The number is 00656816, and the title is "List of
23 Soldiers, Bjelovac Territorial Defence, 1st Platoon." This is from the
24 financial documents in relation to August 1992.
25 And if you can show Mrs. Matic the next page, if you can put it on
1 the ELMO, 00656817, 817 being the last three digits.
2 Mrs. Matic, if you can have a look, please. Again, it reads in
3 block capitals --
4 A. You mean what's on the screen?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Yes, or rather no, or yes.
7 Q. If you can just pull the document up a little.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak into the microphone.
9 Q. Is it correct that under number 39, we see your name, Slavka
10 Matic? And the column next to it says "Cook."
11 A. Well, let me explain this. This is maybe the document from the
12 Bratunac Brigade, but over in our village there was no such thing as a
13 brigade. There was this school, and we had the village guards. They were
14 always there. We received food and distributed whatever food we received
15 to them, to the village guards. I was there. It was not really a
16 military thing. I knew nothing about the military. I'm not even
17 literate. I can't even write. Maybe I shouldn't have signed this. How
18 should I know?
19 Q. Thank you, madam. Did you receive money for your work there?
20 A. I think two or three salaries, something like that. I can't
21 remember, but I reckoned it was for food, that sort of thing.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] May this document please be assigned
24 a number as a Defence exhibit.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document is being tendered and received in
1 evidence and marked Defence Exhibit D84.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mrs. Matic, I have a different question for you now. You stated
4 that prior to what happened in December, there had been no organised armed
5 and uniformed village guards in your village; is that true?
6 A. No, not in my village. That's true. Back in my village -- maybe
7 some people had some of those things. I don't know. I was not familiar
8 with these things.
9 Q. Thank you very much, Mrs. Matic. The truth is inside Bjelovac
10 itself, the Bjelovac Territorial Defence unit had about 160 soldiers, did
11 it not?
12 A. Those were just villagers who were locals. There were quite a
13 number of houses there with one man or two men inside each.
14 Q. Did those men have weapons?
15 A. Well, depending. Some had a rifle and some may have had a pistol;
16 some may have been reserve officers of the local police so they were in
17 possession of weapons.
18 Q. You cooked for them. You should know those people. Isn't that
20 A. Those were only locals, so yes, I did know them.
21 Q. The truth is, you cooked for those people, didn't you?
22 A. No, not cooked. We just distributed food, sometimes canned goods
23 or dry food. I was not always there, because I had other things to do.
24 But it was for money that I sometimes did it. That's just how things were
25 at the time.
1 Q. Mrs. Matic, you know the inhabitants of Sase. Your husband worked
2 there, didn't he?
3 A. How should I have known them? He was the one who worked there,
4 not myself. I know where Sase is. Maybe I did know a couple of people
5 from Sase, but that's a far cry from saying I knew all of them.
6 Q. Did you perhaps hear that Sase, which was a neighbouring village,
7 had a Territorial Defence unit under the command of a volunteer from
8 Serbia called Miroljub Todorovic?
9 A. I'm not aware of that, really.
10 Q. Mrs. Matic, in November 1992, your unit became part of the
11 Bratunac Brigade, did it?
12 A. I really don't know. I think you should ask someone who was in
13 charge to explain this for you. I really don't know.
14 Q. I'll put the question differently, I'll rephrase it. You worked
15 in the command if that part of the brigade for Bjelovac.
16 A. I didn't know it was the command. I dealt with the women. I
17 communicated with the women, not with the men at all.
18 Q. Are you trying to say that in that school, there were no soldiers;
19 that this was not the command of part of the Bratunac Brigade considerably
20 before the events in Bjelovac?
21 A. Let me tell you - and I've already said this - occasionally a
22 paramilitary unit did turn up. I didn't know what its name was.
23 Q. Thank you. The school had an ammunition depot and a food storage
24 area; isn't that so?
25 A. I don't know about that. They did distribute some food there. I
1 don't know about weapons. I didn't have any weapons at all.
2 Q. Mrs. Matic, would you now please look at another document.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] And I ask the usher to put on the
4 ELMO document 01320546, entitled "Payroll for November 1992,
5 4th Battalion."
6 Q. Please turn to page 2, ending -- that's the second page you have.
7 The last number is 555. And then there is the number 373. Would you have
8 a look there. It contains the name of Slavka Matic. 373. Would you
9 please put the document on the ELMO.
10 Very well, Mrs. Matic, do you agree that this is your name?
11 A. Yes, I do. It's my first and last name.
12 Q. Would you now please put on the ELMO again page 1, where it
13 says "payroll for November, 4th Battalion." If you can, would you please
14 look at name number 1. It says Sreten Petrovic. Sreten Petrovic was the
15 commander of that battalion, wasn't he? Do you know Mr. Sreten Petrovic?
16 A. Yes, I do know him. But he didn't give me my salary personally.
17 There were other people who did that.
18 Q. Mrs. Matic, is it correct that he was the commander of that
20 A. I don't know what his title was. He was probably a member of a
21 military unit.
22 Q. Thank you very much.
23 A. But I don't know what its name was.
24 Q. Would you please now look at the name Milanovic, Nenad Milanovic.
25 Excuse me, Milovanovic, Nenad.
1 A. I don't know him.
2 Q. Next to his name, I won't ask you anything about him, Mrs. Matic,
3 but next to his name it says, "commander of the mortar platoon."
4 A. I really don't know that.
5 Q. You were a cook. You came into contact with people.
6 A. No, never. I never came into contact with people. I didn't have
7 time to contact people. I had other things to do at home, at home.
8 Q. Are you trying to say that you did not know that your battalion
9 had a mortar platoon?
10 A. No, it may have had. I don't know. But I didn't know about it.
11 For example, they said to me, you have to come to the school, you have to
12 help the other woman, the woman who was there with me. I stood in for
13 that woman that was killed. I didn't know what was going to happen. But
14 I am not sufficiently literate to follow everything that went on.
15 Q. Mrs. Matic, I will ask you now, do you know Mr. Milan Bogdanovic?
16 A. No, I don't, really, I don't.
17 Q. He's the assistant commander for security.
18 A. I really don't know him.
19 Q. Very well.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I tender this document and ask that
21 it be given a number.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document is being tendered and received in
23 evidence and marked as Defence Exhibit D85.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mrs. Matic, I will now ask you about something you're probably
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 more familiar with because you worked in the kitchen. Unfortunately,
2 again, I have to show you a document.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I ask the usher to put on the ELMO
4 the excerpt from the financial documentation of the Bratunac Brigade,
5 entitled "List of Partners," and the number is 01320961. This document
6 consists of several pages, and I ask Mrs. Matic first to look at page 1,
7 entitled "List of Partners."
8 Q. Mrs. Matic, would you please take a look at this. This is a list
9 of kitchens. This is something you should know about, isn't it? They
10 mention, for example, the kitchen of Kaolin, the kitchen of Drina. Also
11 the Bjelovac TO, the Red Berets kitchen, the Red Berets company.
12 A. I don't know anything about the things on this list. I never had
13 an argument with anyone, ever. I never knew what the name of each
14 particular unit was or who was in charge of it.
15 Q. But I will ask you about something that you can know something
16 about, Mrs. Matic. Please, did you know about the existence of these
17 units and their kitchens?
18 A. No, I only knew about the kitchen in Bjelovac, and I thought that
19 the kitchen was for our village, for our local commune, for our
20 Territorial Defence. And that's why I agreed to help there.
21 Q. Would you please now look at the documents referring to your
22 kitchen of Bjelovac TO, and look at the quantities of food listed there.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Please put document 01320951 on
24 the ELMO, or 013209 -- yes, you can put this one on the ELMO.
25 Q. Would you please take a look. Look at the amounts of food
1 entering that kitchen.
2 A. I don't see anything clearly. I see numbers here. I see there
3 are zeros, but I cannot distinguish the numbers. I'm an elderly woman;
4 I'm 60-something. I've gone through what I've gone through. I'm not
5 interested in life, let alone anything else.
6 Q. Mrs. Matic, my question is very simple: Do you agree that in the
7 TO Bjelovac kitchen, large quantities of food came in, hundreds of
8 kilogrammes of beans, potatoes --
9 A. I don't know. I didn't keep the records. I don't know. I didn't
10 take delivery of this, ever.
11 Q. Yes, but you worked in the kitchen. Did you see large quantities
12 of food?
13 A. No. No. Only what they brought to us.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may this document be
15 given a number, please.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It's being tendered and admitted in evidence
17 and marked Defence Exhibit D86.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mrs. Matic, now I will put some questions to you about the attack
20 on the 14th of December, 1992. Mrs. Matic, you don't really know who
21 started the shooting on the 14th of December, the Serbs or the Muslims, do
23 A. No, I didn't know. I couldn't see, because they were shooting
24 from all sides. But later on I learned about it.
25 Q. Thank you. It's correct that in 1994, you gave a statement to the
1 investigating judge of the Zvornik court, Mr. Vaso Eric. It doesn't
2 matter where in Zvornik or Bratunac, but is it correct that you made your
3 statement in 1994?
4 A. Not in Zvornik, but in Bratunac maybe. I tell you, because until
5 1996 -- let me tell you something, I was beside myself.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Would the witness please look at
7 this statement.
8 Q. Mrs. Matic, please look at this. Mrs. Matic?
9 A. I can't see to read this.
10 Q. I'm not asking you to read this, Mrs. Matic. I will only ask you,
11 are these your signatures? You can recognise your signature at the bottom
12 of each page, can't you?
13 A. Yes. Yes, I signed that.
14 Q. Do you remember that you said to the investigating judge, and this
15 is on page 2 of this statement, I quote: "On the 14th of December, 1992,
16 as usual, at 0615 hours, I started off for work at the primary school. On
17 the way between the house and the school, I suddenly heard shooting coming
18 from the direction of Loznicka Rijeka. I thought that our soldiers were
19 shooting, as they always did, out of vigilance."
20 A. Maybe I said this in my ignorance, but I don't know, because after
21 my tragedy, they could have written down whatever they wanted. I was
22 beside myself; I wasn't in my right mind.
23 Q. I'll ask you something else. You said here that there were Serb
24 soldiers in Bjelovac on the 14th of December, 1992, and even before that;
25 isn't that correct?
1 A. I don't remember that.
2 Q. And as I read out to you, you said that they frequently fired
4 A. Maybe I did say that, but I don't recall that. Whatever happened
5 after 1992, between 1992 and 1996, whether I said something or not, I
6 don't know. They could have written down anything they wanted to.
7 Q. Mrs. Matic, it's true that they fired because they were setting
8 ambushes for the Muslims who were trying to return to their houses, their
9 fields, by night to take some food. They attacked Muslims.
10 A. I don't know. I didn't.
11 Q. Are you aware that the Serb army laid mines to kill Muslim
12 civilians trying to get to this food?
13 A. I don't know that. I didn't go there.
14 Q. Mrs. Matic, you must have known about the existence of minefields.
15 How else could you have moved around?
16 A. I never went further than Loznicka Rijeka, toward the wood and the
17 Drina and the school. I didn't go any further afield, ever.
18 Q. Very well. Thank you, Mrs. Matic. On the 14th of December, 1992,
19 what happened, in fact, was that there was a battle in which the Serbs
20 also fired on the attackers.
21 A. Well, there probably was a defence. If anyone had weapons, they
22 defended themselves.
23 Q. Thank you. But shots were fired in your house as well.
24 A. I didn't know. I wasn't at home.
25 Q. In your statement made in 2000, page 3 of the Bosnian version, and
1 it's also page 3 in the English version, the last paragraph, you said that
2 Bogdana fired shots and wounded a Muslim soldier.
3 A. Yes, that's what she told me. She said that.
4 Q. Thank you. In your statement made to the Prosecutor in March
5 2000, you also said, 0306283 in Bosnian, and 923 of the English version, I
6 quote: "I want to say that all the villagers who had weapons in their
7 houses offered resistance."
8 You said that to the investigators; is that correct?
9 A. Well, probably, yes, those who had weapons. I didn't have any
10 weapons. That's why I didn't resist; that's why my family was killed.
11 Q. Mrs. Matic, please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that
12 you had weapons or fired shots. I was asking you something else.
13 A. Well, probably whoever had weapons probably resisted.
14 Q. You said: "I want to say that all the villagers who had weapons
15 in their houses offered resistance."
16 Is this correct?
17 A. Well, of course. If it says that, then that's probably what I
18 said. But I don't remember that, really.
19 Q. Mrs. Matic, it's correct, in fact, that on that day, bullets and
20 shells were flying in all directions.
21 A. While you could hear shooting, I didn't see where they were
22 shooting from, or what they were targeting. But I know that they were
23 shooting at me, too, while I was in the canal.
24 Q. Thank you. Your husband was also a fighter of the Bjelovac
25 Territorial Defence.
1 A. He may have been, but I never saw a rifle. He never brought one
2 home, because my girls were afraid of weapons.
3 Q. So you will agree with me that he was a fighter?
4 A. Probably. If everybody was mobilised, then of course he couldn't
5 not be a fighter. But let me tell you something, and that's what I said,
6 his right arm was not well. He had had five operations.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Military post 7042 of Bratunac,
8 could you put that document on the ELMO, please. The title is "List of
9 Fighters of the 1st Bratunac Brigade Killed on the 18th of April, 1992 to
10 the 25th of September, 1995."
11 Q. Please look at page 300661859.
12 A. I can't see --
13 Q. Please put it on the ELMO and focus on number 260, "Matic, son of
14 Ilija, Radivoje, killed in battle on the 14th of December, 1992." Is that
16 A. Yes. Fighting in front of his house, on the threshold of his
17 house, without anything, on the threshold of my own house. On the
18 threshold of my house, my daughter Snezana was killed --
19 Q. Mrs. Matic, we'll come to that.
20 A. Very well.
21 Q. Would you please now turn to the next page of the document and
22 look at the person listed under number 318, if you can. Could you focus
23 on this, please. Could you zoom in on it. Savica Ostoja Mitar, from
24 Bratunac. This is a well-known photographer from Bratunac, isn't is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You kept telling us that it was only local villagers who were
3 fighting there.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Isn't it correct that Mr. Mitar was killed on the 14th of
6 December, 1992, fighting in your area?
7 A. Not in my village.
8 Q. In Kunarac?
9 A. Well, that's one of the neighbouring villages.
10 Q. So what is the distance between Kunarac and your house?
11 A. From my house to Kunarac, perhaps two and a half to three
12 kilometres, thereabouts.
13 Q. Very well. Thank you. Mrs. Matic, you are aware that people from
14 a number of different areas, including Bratunac, were in fact fighting in
15 this area, not only people from Bjelovac.
16 A. Not on that day. Where I was, no, there wasn't anyone.
17 Q. Thank you very much. As for the attackers, you said you didn't
18 know who they were.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Prior to that, Your Honours, can
20 this document please be assigned a document as a Defence exhibit.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This document is being tendered and received
22 in evidence and marked as Defence Exhibit D86. 87? 87, sorry.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. You said you didn't know who their commander was.
25 A. Not at the time, but I found out later.
1 Q. We'll come to that. The only people you've been able to identify
2 or recognise today have been people from your neighbourhood, weren't they?
3 A. I'm afraid I don't understand.
4 Q. The people you have referred to today as recognising them during
5 the attack were people from your neighbourhood, weren't they?
6 A. I only recognised them -- I saw that there were some persons, but
7 I didn't identify them. Hajrudin Berzadic was the only person I
9 Q. That is precisely the kind of question I'm putting to you, and
10 Hajrudin Berzadic is the person I had in mind. You knew him well, didn't
12 A. I didn't see him. I just heard his voice.
13 Q. But you did know him well.
14 A. Yes, indeed.
15 Q. Then you must have known that he had a severe handicap. He had a
16 leg that was very sick, and he found it very hard to move about.
17 A. Yes. One of his legs was a lot shorter, but he was still an
18 able-bodied man. He was able to move about.
19 Q. Is it not true, Mrs. Matic, that Berzadic had taken ill with a
20 brain tumour just prior to the beginning of the war and that he was
21 seriously ill and had, in fact, undergone surgery?
22 A. I perhaps didn't know him that well, not well enough to know that.
23 I knew he was ill, but -- well, let me tell you, I think it was in early
24 May, the 2nd or the 4th of May, I was with him outside a shop --
25 Q. Thank you very much, Mrs. Matic. I'll just ask you another
1 question. Is it still your submission that he took part in this attack?
2 A. Yes. It was his voice that I heard yelling, so it is still my
4 Q. Thank you very much, Mrs. Matic. You said that among the
5 attackers, you saw a large number of civilians, including women, didn't
7 A. Well, let me tell you, I didn't really see that properly. There
8 were women. More men than women, but also women.
9 Q. These women must have been in a desperate situation if they darted
10 straight into the thick of the battle and risked their lives only to get
12 A. Well, that's not a question I can answer. I don't know that.
13 Q. When you talked about burnings, what you saw on that day, in
14 actual fact, was only the house of Dragoljub Filipovic burning in Bjelovac
15 itself; isn't that correct?
16 A. Maybe I didn't state that right at the outset. I may have added
17 that later on. It's just because no one asked me about that.
18 Q. In this specific case, as well as in other cases that you have
19 mentioned, you never really saw this house catch fire, or the way in which
20 it caught fire originally, did you?
21 A. No. I saw the flame and a man come out.
22 Q. Did you see a man come out of this particular house?
23 A. Yes. A man came out of Dragoljub's house, but I didn't know who
24 this man was.
25 Q. I don't think you understood my meaning. You said "coming out of
1 Dragoljub's house." Did you see people leave any of the other houses,
2 coming out of any of the other houses? That was the meaning of my
4 A. No, I didn't.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: How much time -- how much more time do you think you
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps about 45
8 minutes more. I asked Your Honours for two hours for this particular
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We'll have a break of 25 minutes, 25 minutes,
11 and then you will have 45 minutes.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I may be able to finish by then,
13 Your Honours.
14 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 6.12 p.m.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mrs. Matic, we talked about the damaged houses in Bjelovac before
19 the break. It is true, isn't it, that only a handful of houses, on the
20 14th of December, 1992, were, in fact, damaged during that particular
21 attack. In Bjelovac, I'm talking about Bjelovac.
22 A. I know how many houses were damaged. I've spoken about that,
23 because I was there. I saw the houses burning. When I returned in 1993,
24 all the houses had burned down. Not a single house was left, for all
25 practical intents and purposes.
1 Q. I'm asking about the 14th of December, 1992, what you actually
2 saw. You only saw a handful of houses burning.
3 A. It was more than that, not a mere handful. There were more houses
4 burning, but I've spoken about that at length.
5 Q. Very well, Mrs. Matic. How many houses were there in Bjelovac in
6 1992, at the beginning of the war?
7 A. I can't give you the exact number, but about a hundred houses, I
8 would say.
9 Q. Thank you very much. In your testimony to the Prosecutor in 2000,
10 you stated that Muslim civilians, women specifically, were looting after
11 the men had left the houses; is that true?
12 A. Yes. That may have been the case, because they were setting fire
13 to houses.
14 Q. That means that the houses had not been set fire to, because the
15 women were still able to go into those houses; isn't that the case?
16 A. That was perhaps after the fall of Bjelovac that I said that,
17 those that were left. Next to my house, everything had been set alight on
18 that day. The houses were burning. As for later, I don't know, I may
19 have been misunderstood.
20 Q. My question to you is: Did you see women entering houses?
21 A. No, not on that day.
22 Q. In December 1992, Mrs. Matic, you did not, in fact, know anything
23 about the way the Bosnian army was organised; isn't that correct?
24 A. I didn't know how they were organised, that army, or who was in
1 Q. Thank you very much. Likewise, you had no reliable information
2 that could have led you to believe that the attackers were under anyone's
3 command at all.
4 A. Yes, but after the fall of Bjelovac.
5 Q. We'll come to that. Thank you. You said today that you had heard
6 that an underaged person, Slobodan Petrovic, who had been captured by the
7 Bosnian army during the attack, after he had returned from Srebrenica, he
8 said that the army had been -- that the attack had been carried out by
9 Naser Oric's army; isn't that what you said?
10 A. That was misunderstood. This young man called Slobodan Petrovic,
11 who was captured, it was earlier that he was captured. I'm not sure about
12 the month; I think June. I don't know for how many days exactly, or how
13 he was exchanged. Then he came to see his brother, across the way from my
14 house, and he stayed with him throughout this period of time. So he told
15 us. And it was a fact well known around the neighbourhood that this
16 person was underage.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: He told you what?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Told us that he had been captured
19 where Naser Oric was. I had never seen that man or known him. But he was
20 exchanged prior to the fall of Bjelovac.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Might I be allowed to continue, Your
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mrs. Matic, that means that there was no way for you to learn from
1 that person directly or indirectly about who was in command during this
2 particular attack on Bjelovac.
3 A. No, there was nothing I could learn. It was known. You can't
4 defend that. You knew who the commanders were on both sides.
5 Q. That is sufficient. Mrs. Matic, can you please just confine
6 yourself to answering my questions.
7 In your testimony [as interpreted] of 2000, you said that Bjelovac
8 had been attacked by members of the Muslim army, Naser Oric's army. "This
9 is something that everyone knew, it's as simple as that. I didn't see him
10 in the village, nor do I know of anyone that had seen him in the village."
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When you said that Bjelovac was attacked by Naser Oric's army the
13 question of the OTP was how do you know that, and your answer was: "This
14 was something that everybody knew, it was as simple as that."
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. That was your reply simply because you had no other information to
17 use, to draw on; isn't that a fact?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Therefore, you had no conversation with anyone about Slobodan
20 Petrovic; otherwise you would have mentioned his name to the Prosecutor at
21 the time, wouldn't you?
22 A. Maybe I forgot about him. Maybe I forgot about this whole thing.
23 Q. Thank you. You also stated: "I did not see the commanders who
24 were in control of the army." Isn't that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In your earlier statements, you also said that the Muslims had
2 withdrawn following the attack, on the evening of December 14th, and that
3 the Serbs left Bjelovac on the 17th of December because they no longer
4 felt safe.
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. You went on to state: "After that, the Muslims held Bjelovac for
7 two months." Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is it not correct, Mrs. Matic, that the damage to the houses in
10 Bjelovac, the damage that you referred to extensively, except for the ones
11 that you saw, could have occurred in that period of time, could have been
12 inflicted by anyone?
13 A. Well, what good would it have been for the Serbs to torch their
14 own houses?
15 Q. But my reference is not to Serbs here, Mrs. Matic. I'm asking:
16 Could it not have been the case that anyone at all - civilians, women,
17 children --
18 A. But there were none of those there.
19 Q. -- Muslims, women, civilians --
20 A. Well, maybe. Maybe. I can't say.
21 Q. Thank you very much. Mrs. Matic, you are a native of the area.
22 You wanted to know what was going on. Is it not correct that throughout
23 January, February, and March, there was severe fighting going on in the
25 A. I don't remember that. After my family were killed, I no longer
1 thought about these things. I spent all my days at the cemetery. I am
2 telling you, I no longer cared about anyone, their whereabouts, whether
3 they were alive or dead. I just didn't care.
4 Q. Now I'm going to ask you this: Is it not true that Serbs tried to
5 regain Bjelovac, to seize control of Bjelovac gain?
6 A. Well, probably. That was the only way Bjelovac could have been
8 Q. Thank you. I would now like to go back to your testimony of 1994
9 at the time. You said as follows: "At the beginning of the war in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I worked as a cook in the Bjelovac elementary school
11 where the soldiers ate."
12 So you said precisely the same thing as stated in the documents I
13 showed you?
14 A. Yes, the defenders of that particular village, that's what I
16 Q. So you weren't telling us the truth today when you said that it
17 was only in December when you stood in for someone at the school?
18 A. No. What I said is that I had worked there rarely. I think I've
19 been misunderstood. I used to stand in for that particular woman earlier,
20 too, but then the woman was killed.
21 Q. Thank you. There is something else I would like to show you now,
22 something that you stated on that occasion. I quote: "One point in time,
23 an armoured vehicle belonging to our army came along. I got onto this
24 vehicle and we drove towards my house."
25 This is true, isn't it?
1 A. That's true. But the vehicle didn't get past the pumps, the
3 Q. Thank you. Mrs. Matic, in Bjelovac, there was a special armoured
4 mechanised battery under the command of Mr. Radivoje Radojevic. Did you
5 know this person?
6 A. I heard of him, but I did not know him personally. You know how
7 it was. It was just security provided for the waterworks so that every
8 now and then they would come to visit, to see us. I'm not sure where they
9 actually stayed.
10 Q. There is a very serious reason, Mrs. Matic, that you know of the
11 existence of the armoured mechanised brigade, is there not?
12 A. How should I know? Maybe there's some knowledge of that, but as
13 for my personal knowledge, I don't know.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance
15 now, please. I would like to place document D87 on the ELMO again. D87.
16 This time, page 00661862. It's a list of soldiers of the Bratunac Brigade
17 who were killed. It's the same list we looked at a while ago.
18 Q. Mrs. Matic.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: Can you please put this document on the ELMO. It's
20 a brief document. That's the one.
21 Q. Can you please have a good look at the names under 5 and 6:
22 Matic, Radivoja Gordana and Matic, Radivoja Snezana. The unit is TO;
23 place of death, Bjelovac; the date, the 14th of December, 1992; additional
24 remark, "killed in action, defence."
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't get the answer.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Unfortunately, I'll have to ask you this question.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you ask your question again, please.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mrs. Matic, your daughters were, in fact, were members of the
6 armoured mechanised unit based in Bjelovac, weren't they?
7 A. Maybe they were but they never told me. They kept it secret from
8 me. Maybe I would have been very displeased with that.
9 Q. Fair enough, Mrs. Matic. On that day, the unit took an active
10 part in the struggle against Muslims, and you are well aware of that,
11 aren't you?
12 A. No. There was no reaction whatsoever.
13 Q. Very well. So you found yourself in this armoured vehicle, the
14 one that you referred in your testimony in 1994.
15 A. Yes. But I got off near the water pumps. They were on the way to
16 provide security for the waterworks.
17 Q. Very well. Mrs. Matic, you do agree with me that your daughters
18 were members of this unit.
19 A. Well, if that's what it says, I have to agree, don't I?
20 Q. And that they received their salaries from the very beginning of
21 the war. It's something that you should know.
22 A. From the beginning of the war?
23 Q. From June 1992 and onwards.
24 A. No. They were in Serbia in May, June -- it was in June that they
25 came over.
1 Q. But you do agree that from July on they were --
2 A. Well, that may have been the case. I don't know.
3 Q. Thank you very much. Then there's no need for us to keep that
4 document on the ELMO.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have the previous
6 document -- actually, it's already been assigned a number.
7 Q. Mrs. Matic, therefore it is just not true that on the day of the
8 attack they did not have any weapons.
9 A. No. At our doorstep, no weapons, no nothing. They were, perhaps,
10 in that armoured unit for the wounded, because my elder daughter had been
11 to -- had completed a medical school and she worked in Srebrenica.
12 Q. Mrs. Matic, what we're talking about here is not before the war.
13 We are talking about the war.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I please have the usher's
15 assistance. I would like to place the ELMO on the document.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. They had no such thing. No.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have this document
18 displayed on the ELMO. It's a list of military post 2465/5, "Salaries for
19 October 1992."
20 Q. On page 01319811, we can see the list of members of the armoured
21 mechanised unit. Can you please look at the names under 233 and 234, if
22 we can please zoom in on that portion of the document. The names are
23 Matic R. Gordana, 233, and Matic R. Snezana, 234.
24 Mrs. Matic, your daughters were, after all, soldiers, and they
25 were killed in action?
1 A. They were killed on their own doorstep, outside their own house.
2 Q. Very well, Mrs. Matic.
3 A. It was their attack, not ours.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have this document
5 assigned a number?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This document is being tendered and received
7 in evidence and marked as Defence Exhibit D88.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mrs. Matic, I'll ask you something else now. You suffered certain
10 consequences from being hit by a shell, and you were in hospital.
11 A. No, never.
12 Q. Do you know Mrs. Fatima Hasanovic?
13 A. No, I don't.
14 Q. No?
15 A. I was never in hospital.
16 Q. Let me remind you. Mrs. Fatima Hasanovic is a neighbour of yours.
17 And it's true, Mrs. Matic, is it not, that in 1993, in the spring, you met
18 Mrs. Hasanovic, or rather, you saw her in hospital; isn't that so?
19 A. No, I was never in hospital. I didn't see her.
20 Q. It's also true, is it not, that together with a certain Madam
21 Borka you vehemently attacked this patient who was there for an operation;
22 is this correct?
23 A. No, I never went to hospital. And to tell you quite honestly,
24 until the return started, I didn't see any Muslims until -- when did they
25 start to return, 2003 or 4?
1 Q. Mrs. Matic, you said enough about this. Is it true that the
2 doctor had to discharge this Muslim woman under the pressure of you and
3 other people who raised the alarm, and is it true that because of this,
4 Mrs. Hasanovic --
5 A. What are you saying? From the hospital?
6 Q. So this is not true?
7 A. No, never. I was never wounded; I was never in hospital.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
9 further questions.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Vidovic, and I thank you,
11 Mrs. Matic.
12 Is there re-examination, Mr. Wubben?
13 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Please be as brief as possible.
15 MR. WUBBEN: I will, Your Honour.
16 Re-examined by Mr. Wubben:
17 Q. Mrs. Matic, you saw a document shown by the Defence with the names
18 of your daughters. Can you please tell me, are you aware of any training
19 of your daughters by a military?
20 A. Never.
21 Q. Are you --
22 A. No, I was never aware of this. I never thought that they might
23 have been trained. They were always at home, as I have said. They spent
24 the nights at home with me; they were never absent.
25 Q. As far as you know, did the military of the army -- or an army
1 ever gave you weapon -- gave weapons to your daughters, or one of them?
2 A. No. I assert that neither of my daughters had weapons at home.
3 Neither of them. I'm saying that quite sincerely, under oath.
4 Q. When your daughters were found dead the next day after the attack,
5 were they dressed in uniforms or civilian clothes, or something else?
6 A. One was wearing, as far as I can recall, a pullover, and they were
7 both wearing jeans.
8 Q. Did you or someone else find any weapons in their neighbourhood?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did your husband get any training by a military or an army?
11 A. I don't know that either. He was an elderly man. Maybe there was
12 some training going on, but they never called him. He didn't need that,
13 because his right arm was not as it should be; he'd had five operations.
14 Q. How many times do you recall that you worked in the kitchen of the
15 school, or a kind of kitchen, to distribute food? How many times do you
16 recall that?
17 A. I couldn't tell you the exact number of times. I don't know
18 exactly when this kitchen came into existence, what month it was.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Wubben, assume for a moment that she worked 24
20 hours a day, for 365 days a year as a cook in this school, or wherever it
21 is. What difference does it make for the purpose of the indictment?
22 Because Bjelovac is mentioned in just one place in the indictment.
23 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Frankly, if she was enrolled in the army as a cook,
25 and she was being paid as a cook, so what?
1 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, I just want to clarify upon this point.
2 If she, on a regular basis, was doing a job like that, she can't answer
3 this, so I take it for that and I finalise my questions. Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mrs. Matic, these are perhaps the most welcomed
7 words you have heard since you entered this courtroom: Your ordeal is
8 over, your testimony is over. It comes to an end here, which basically
9 means that you are free to go, and you will be ushered out of the
10 courtroom by Madam Usher, who will place you under the care of the other
11 officers who will take care of you, and extend to you all of the
12 assistance you require to return home without any problems.
13 I wish, however, to take this opportunity to thank you on behalf
14 of my behalf, on behalf of Judge Brydensholt and on behalf of Judge Eser,
15 and on behalf of the Tribunal in general, for having accepted to come over
16 and give testimony in this case. I know it must have been difficult for
17 you. It's never easy when someone has lost dear ones and needs to testify
18 on those events.
19 And my last words to you, which I express also on behalf of
20 everyone here in this courtroom, is to wish you a safe journey back home.
21 Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: So I take it that tomorrow morning there is a legal
24 issue that has arisen that you need to discuss, no?
25 [The witness stands down]
1 MR. WUBBEN: If you mean --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: About Eric, about the witness Eric.
3 MR. WUBBEN: Yes. It will start tomorrow afternoon, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Not tomorrow morning, I apologise to you. It is in
5 the afternoon. What I suggest is you study the point, because it's an
6 interesting point that has been raised, and we will debate it tomorrow
7 first thing, before the witness is admitted.
8 Tomorrow's witness, supposedly, you need him for less -- you
9 should finish him in the first session, no?
10 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, we suppose to do so, will try to do so.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And you, I suppose, Mr. Jones, I don't suppose --
12 MR. JONES: Your Honour, in terms of a time estimate?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
14 MR. JONES: I'm just reading the Prosecutor's time estimate.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: The Prosecution's estimate is two hours which will
16 be less, because today they had three and they finished in less than two,
18 MR. JONES: Hopefully we'll be finished with the witness by
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So what I suggest is this: With your
21 indulgence, I will start with the legal point that has been raised, of
22 which we've been --
23 MR. JONES: Your Honour, I'm not sure we've been alerted to that
24 legal point.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I understand that there is a question arising out of
1 our decision to get Eric back for cross-examination.
2 MR. JONES: I'm not aware of that.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: That there is some kind of understanding between you
4 that you will raise the matter tomorrow.
5 MR. JONES: I'm not aware of that.
6 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, may I clarify.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
8 MR. WUBBEN: That was a question towards the legal officer by my
9 colleague, Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio, whether or not we should put forward
10 orally the question, if it is allowed within this framework, to proof
11 Mr. Eric again, on a normally basis like you proof a witness, but then
12 only focus to that new particular part as the purpose where he's returning
13 as a witness. So this is --
14 MR. JONES: This is a matter which hasn't been discussed with us
15 at all. For the record, it hasn't been discussed.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So it's fair enough. Fair enough. I
17 thought -- the impression that I got, obviously, that I had a hint of what
18 this is all about, and that it would be discussed tomorrow. It's
19 important that I raised it --
20 MR. JONES: Yes, indeed, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: -- because at least you are put on notice. What I
22 suggest is we have finished 20 minutes before the time, and I would
23 suggest, in all fairness, that you spend five minutes together now to at
24 least put Mr. Jones and Madam Vidovic on notice on what the whole issue is
1 Basically, they want to proof Mr. Eric, as I understand it, on
2 matters they could not have proofed him on before --
3 MR. JONES: Your Honour, if I may, I perhaps should mention that
4 that would raise a collateral issue of whether we can cross-examine beyond
5 the scope of the Eric --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: But I would suggest, Mr. Jones, that you discuss it
7 a little bit amongst yourselves now, and the idea is to have it tomorrow
8 precisely so that we can prepare ourselves, and also you will have time
9 enough to study it and come forward with some concrete ideas.
10 I don't think it's the case of having anything in writing, motions
11 in writing, or anything of the sort. We will have the request, we will
12 have the response, and then we will decide, either tomorrow or some other
13 day, on the issue.
14 MR. JONES: I'm obliged to Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: But the matter is such, it's very simple. I mean,
16 whether they have the right to proof him or whether they have just the
17 role of bringing him for you to be -- to cross-examine him.
18 MR. JONES: Yes. It shouldn't detain us too long hopefully.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think so. I think it's an easy matter, and
20 you can actually negotiate it -- I've passed through this before in my
21 career, and you can actually negotiate it amongst you to the advantage of
23 Thank you.
24 MR. JONES: Let's hope so.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. One moment.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, I made an -- I would like to inform
2 you that the exhibit number for the witness statement of Witness
3 Trifunovic is not P418, but it should be P449. Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I thank you all. Have a nice evening, what's
5 left of it, and we will reconvene tomorrow at quarter past 2.00 in this --
6 I don't remember if it's this same courtroom or not. It's courtroom II
7 tomorrow. It's claustrophobia tomorrow.
8 Good evening.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.43 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 1st day of
11 December, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.