1 Wednesday, 15 December 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's not lose any or waste any time. Mr. Registrar,
6 could you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honour. Case number
8 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good morning to you.
10 Mr. Oric, can you follow the proceedings in a language that you
11 can understand?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, ladies
13 and gentlemen. I can follow the proceedings, yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. You may sit down. And good
15 morning to you.
16 Appearances for the Prosecution.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours, and also good morning to
19 members of the Defence team. My name is Jan Wubben, counsel for the
20 Prosecution, together with Ms. Joanne Richardson, Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio
21 behind me, our case manager, Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink, and her --
22 assisting her, Ms. Djurdja Mirkovic.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you, Mr. Wubben, and good
24 morning to you and your team.
25 Appearances for Naser Oric.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. My name
2 is Vasvija Vidovic. I appear for Mr. Naser Oric together with Mr. John
3 Jones. With us are our legal assistant, Ms. Jasmina Cosic, and our case
4 manager, Geoff Roberts.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Vidovic, and good morning to you
6 and your team.
7 Any preliminaries before we usher in the witness? Mr. Jones.
8 MR. JONES: Just three very briefly. The first is that we've
9 received a -- just now a witness list.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I have it here.
11 MR. JONES: Yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm looking at it.
13 MR. JONES: It's emphasised that it's very potential. Obviously,
14 the more potential it is, the less useful it is for our preparation, and I
15 would just ask my learned friends on the Prosecution to alert us as soon
16 as there's any change, and in particular I assume that some members of the
17 team will be here in early January and we'll be here then and so certainly
18 if there are any changes then, we'd appreciate hearing that from them.
19 The second matter is just to remind the Chamber that we are still
20 awaiting an explanation by the Prosecution of whether the Prosecution gave
21 documents to Ratko Nikolic, and if so, which ones, and why.
22 And thirdly, with regard to Your Honour's ruling yesterday, our
23 your oral ruling, I wasn't clear whether that was going to be followed by
24 a written -- it will be followed by a written ruling.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Not as regards today's witness. As regards today's
1 witness the matter is decided. It will the written ruling -- if there
2 will be one, because we might as well decide not to resort to a written
3 ruling. We'll deal with the bulk of the motion and the written response
4 that we are expecting from the Prosecution.
5 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour. I wasn't sure whether Your
6 Honour had found that the Prosecution had satisfied you beyond a
7 reasonable doubt that there was no oppression in the statements being
8 given on camera as we maintained under Rule 95. Because that's our
10 JUDGE AGIUS: How do you expect us to tell you yes or no, to
11 answer yes or no to your question if we ourselves haven't even seen the
12 video clip and your submission was nothing but speculation? All you said
13 was: It could -- these persons could and could -- because they were maybe
14 in hospital, maybe they were wounded. I tell you, in your country, anyone
15 who is hospitalised or happens to be wounded and makes a statement, does
16 it on the face of it render that statement involuntary, admissible.
17 MR. JONES: Your Honour, you --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Because it's the first time I've heard it,
19 Mr. Jones.
20 MR. JONES: I've made no reference to my national system at all
21 and I wouldn't dream of doing that because we're often reminded that we're
22 not in our national system.
23 You have our written motion. We submitted that there are indicia
24 that these statements were not obtained voluntarily. It's then, we say,
25 for the Prosecution to satisfy you beyond a reasonable doubt. If Your
1 Honours are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones.
3 MR. JONES: Your Honour, may I make my submission
4 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. One moment. Because you don't seem to
5 have registered what we said in the very beginning of this trial. We will
6 never at no moment satisfy this curiosity of yours or this claim or demand
7 of yours. That exercise will be done at the very end of the trial. It's
8 only then that we will decide whether those statements, as they appear in
9 the video, were voluntary or not, and the onus of proving that will always
10 remain on the Prosecution. But until that moment, we are not going to
11 tell you - you or the Prosecution - whether we are satisfied, unless it is
12 damn clear, very obviously clear, at a very early stage, that they could
13 never have been voluntary. In that case, yes, we'll step in and stop the
14 running of the video. But until we are satisfied that there is -- we've
15 heard all the evidence, we are not going to cross --
16 MR. JONES: Your Honour, this Tribunal has its Rules of Procedure
17 and Evidence. It has its own case law. We have a right to apply to have
18 evidence excluded.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of course.
20 MR. JONES: And we even have a right of interlocutory appeal. If
21 Your Honours leaves us hanging until the very end of the trial as to
22 what's going to be accepted and what's going to be rejected, we lose
23 interlocutory rights of appeal which we might otherwise have. And that's
24 why I requested a ruling so that we can appeal if we need to, so that we
25 can protect our position.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, if that's how you see it, then do what
2 you like, proceed in any way you like. If you insist on an written
3 decision following yesterday's oral decision we'll give you one.
4 MR. JONES: I'd be obliged.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So my staff, please, will start working on
6 that and we will hand down a written decision
7 MR. JONES: The third matter was simply that I know we're all keen
8 to finish with this witness today. I don't think that I would be more
9 than an hour and a half, an hour and 45 minutes. So obviously is the
10 Prosecution is able to conclude by the first break, then we're in good
11 shape. If not, we may run over until tomorrow.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: And what's the position with the rest of the week.
13 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, we have one remaining witness to
14 conclude the week.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: And how long do you anticipate that witness to take?
16 MS. RICHARDSON: Well, Your Honour, it is -- potentially is a
17 lengthy witness, but we expect that he will -- we don't expect to go past
18 Friday. No doubt Friday morning it should be completed.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
20 Mr. Di Fazio, do you want to respond to the point raised by
21 Mr. Jones in relation to Mr. Nikolic whether you had actually had the
22 papers or documents to Mr. Nikolic or Mr. Popovic.
23 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, well, may I address -- my name is Jan
24 Wubben. I will address it on forehand because I requested Mr.
25 Gramsci Di Fazio to prepare this, and he confirmed to me that he will
1 ready to do an oral submission in that regard tomorrow or the day after.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay.
3 MR. WUBBEN: He's preparing that issue.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Thank you. So we'll deal with
5 that tomorrow. Mr. -- let's bring the witness in, please.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Sorry, Mr. Di Fazio.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Just on the scheduling, it would be nice to know if
9 we can just settle that. What I was going to suggest was that we deal
10 with these housekeeping matters on Friday at the close of -- well, when
11 the witnesses have completed their evidence, if that's convenient for you
12 and for the Defence.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not a problem to us for sure.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Then we --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: But -- that's not a problem to the Defence either.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Fine. I could address the issue that Mr. Jones
17 raised, and also you'll recall that you asked for an estimation of trial
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: In the Prosecution case. Well, we could deal with
21 that then. And also, there's another issue that may arise - I stress may
22 arise - and that is that we may invite the Defence to agree one or two
23 witnesses for January, and we want to put that proposal to them. And that
24 may, in turn, affect the sequence and the listings for January, which is
25 precisely the question that Mr. Jones raised and we can also deal with
1 that on Friday. So may I respectfully suggest that we deal with all of
2 these matters on Friday, if that's convenient to the Trial Chamber.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. If there's no objection, that's how it will be
6 Incidentally, I see that you have also listed witnesses for the
7 27th and 28th of January. We will not be sitting on those days, certainly
8 not on the 28th. On the 27th, I don't know, but I think we will not be
9 sitting either. So let's continue with this witness. And there is
10 also -- I want to make sure that you have taken note. There is another
11 holiday, a UN holiday, but I think that may have been taken into account.
12 I think the 21st of January or something like that.
13 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes. In fact, Your Honour, I can respond to Your
14 Honour's question. In fact, we did take into consideration the 21st is a
15 UN holiday and we did not schedule any witnesses for that day.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you. I thank you.
17 Mr. Zikic, good morning to you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Good morning to Your
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We are going to proceed with your testimony. I'm
21 just reminding you that you are testifying under oath. Please take a
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: And Ms. Richardson will continue.
25 We hope to finish with you today. How much time do you think you
1 need, Ms. Richardson?
2 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I anticipate approximately an hour
3 and a half, Your Honour, should do.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's go ahead, then.
5 WITNESS: SLAVOLJUB ZIKIC [Resumed]
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 Examined by Ms. Richardson: [Continued]
8 Q. Good morning, Mr. Zikic.
9 A. Good morning to you.
10 Q. I would like to continue the line of questioning that we began
11 yesterday. You testified about the village guard and the fact that they
12 were in possession of weapons and that they had some uniforms.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. My question to you this morning is regarding mobilisation by the
15 Serb army, and I would ask whether or not you yourself was ever mobilised
16 by the Serb army, and if you could tell us when that occurred.
17 A. Yes. It was towards the end of May. I was manager of the post
18 office, so the commander came over and he told me to close the post office
19 down. I replied: How should I be closing it down without a decision from
20 my organisation? They will fire me.
21 And his answer was: Don't worry about that. We must use this
22 space to receive ammunition or food, whatever comes our way.
23 I accepted the weapons. Food was a little bit inconvenient,
24 because all those people were farmers, you know, and it was very
25 difficult -- it would have been very difficult for anyone to deal with
1 them. This went on until August the same year. My post office was cut
2 off from our contact in Bratunac, and the mail couldn't make it from
3 Bratunac to Fakovici, so I had to go to Serbia every Monday and Friday. I
4 was ferried across the River Drina by boat to Ljubovija and then back to
5 Bratunac to bring the mail up.
6 Q. All right. I'd like to stop you here for a moment. Let's just go
7 back to something you just testified to. You mentioned that a commander
8 came to you and told you that you had to close the post office. Do you
9 recall the name of the commander?
10 A. Slavko Jovanovic.
11 Q. And when you say "commander," do you know what his rank was? Was
12 he a member of the Serb army?
13 A. It was all local people. I said commander, but that has a
14 different meaning. It was a -- this was a "komandir," which means some
15 sort of superior or other.
16 Q. All right. And you said his name was Slavko Jovanovic.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And he was a person who resided in Fakovici; is that correct?
19 A. It's correct. He resided in Fakovici and he owned a cafe there.
20 Q. And the weapons that you just referred to, where did the weapons
21 come from?
22 A. I had no access to that sort of information, but I heard that the
23 weapons had come from Bijeljina.
24 Q. And what, if anything, were you required to do with respect to the
1 A. For as long as I was at the warehouse, if anyone came who still
2 had no weapons, my duty was to issue them with weapons. But on the
3 condition that the commander signs a receipt, or rather, a decision, and
4 then based on that decision or certificate, I would issue people with
5 weapons. And I would also give them between 10 and 20 bullets to go with
6 the weapon, plus obtain their signature.
7 Q. All right. You mentioned a warehouse. Could you tell us what
8 building this warehouse was located in, and was it a warehouse or was it
9 more than one room or area?
10 A. Well, I would put it differently. This was not in the proper
11 sense of the word a "weapons depot." It was just some sort of a storage
12 space that we had. It was in the boiler room of the school.
13 Q. And what kind of weapons were you permitted to distribute, and to
14 whom did you give these weapons?
15 A. Whoever was sent over by the commander. I had to issue a receipt
16 to each and every one of them. First it was in Dobosari. They were using
17 up 7.62 millimetre ammunition. It's an ancient kind of ammunition you
18 couldn't just go out and use those. It was used for a pistol, so despite
19 that, everyone wanted those to use for their pistols. There were M-48
20 rifles and semi-automatic rifles too. There were several Kalashnikov
21 rifles. That's for as long as I was there.
22 Q. And to whom did you give these weapons? And were these people
23 from Fakovici?
24 A. All of those people were locals. That's where weapons were being
25 distributed. All those people were locals. There was no presence of any
1 regular army there at the time. All commanders who were familiar with
2 these things. So sometimes it was the case that many of these people who
3 came to get weapons didn't even know how to use the weapons.
4 Q. Do you recall when in 1992 this occurred, what month?
5 A. I received those in late May 1992, or thereabouts.
6 Q. And for how long did you continue to hand out weapons to people in
8 A. Every Monday and Friday I had to go to Bratunac for the mail. We
9 were still receiving our pensions and money from the various social funds,
10 but those couldn't go through Bosnia. I never thought that it would be
11 necessary to begin with. So the answer is maybe until the beginning of --
12 the end of July or the beginning of August.
13 Q. All right. And with respect to the person you referred to as the
14 commandant, Slavko Jovanovic, could you tell us something about him. You
15 said that he resided in the village. Could you tell us what he did for a
17 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the relevance of this question,
18 Ms. Richardson? Why don't we move to the substance of this witness's
20 MS. RICHARDSON: I can move past that, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, I think you should.
22 MS. RICHARDSON: Not a problem.
23 Q. Did you do anything else or were you asked or assigned to do
24 anything else by Mr. Jovanovic?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Did you do anything with respect to food?
2 A. No. As I said at the beginning, the food and that storage, you
3 know, those people were not a disciplined group of people [as
4 interpreted]. They were more dissolute. So there was no order there.
5 Q. Okay. You also mentioned that the post office was cut off. Could
6 you explain a little bit more. When you say "cut off," and who cut it off
7 and where was it cut off from?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Vidovic.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness said they
10 were not a disciplined army, and the transcript says "disciplined group of
11 people." Therefore, this should be changed.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Zikic, did you hear what Madam Vidovic has
13 just said?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't understand. If somebody is
15 bearing arms, do you always have to say that that's an army? If I say
16 that this was an army of defence of the villages of Fakovici and other
17 villages, neighbouring, the local population, then ...
18 JUDGE AGIUS: That doesn't answer my question. My question was a
19 very simple one. When you were answering the question before that Madam
20 Vidovic put to you, did you say those people were not a disciplined group
21 of people or did you say those people were not a disciplined army?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, I would like to clarify. If
23 they're bearing arms --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zikic, first answer my question. Then if you
25 want to clarify, you can clarify. I will give you all the chance. But
1 first answer my question, because I want to know whether you actually said
2 disciplined group of people or disciplined army. Then if you need to
3 clarify, you will have all the time to clarify.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand. If they have weapons,
5 then it's an army.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: You're still not answering my question. Before,
7 when you were asked the question by Ms. Richardson, did you say they were
8 not a disciplined group of people or did you say they were not a
9 disciplined army? Which words did you use?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, but I really don't
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. And is there any explanation you
13 would like to give us beyond what you have told us, that, namely, people
14 who are armed could be an army or could be described as an army? Would
15 you like to tell us anything else about this?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It all depends how that can be
17 characterised. An army is something that I consider to be a body that's
18 under the command of superior officers. It has its commanders. This, on
19 the other hand, was just done without any kind of proper appointment. They
20 were just people. It wasn't like it was in the Yugoslav army or something
21 like that. I cannot really make -- I don't really know how to answer
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's enough, Mr. Zikic.
24 Ms. Richardson, please.
25 MS. RICHARDSON:
1 Q. Mr. Zikic, with respect to my last question, you said that the
2 post office was cut off?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And could you tell us what you mean by "cut off."
5 A. Fakovici are halfway between Bratunac and Skelani. There are
6 Muslim villages along the Drina towards Bratunac and upriver, along the
7 Drina towards Skelani. Which means that the passage along those roads was
8 unsecured, and you had to cross the Drina by boat into Bacevici and
9 Ljubovija and then go into Bratunac from Ljubovija, and then carry the
10 sack with the mail in your hand and the other material to the bus.
11 Q. All right. I would like to bring your attention now to the day
12 that your village was attacked. Do you remember what day that was?
13 A. The 5th of October, 1992. It was a Monday.
14 Q. And could you tell us what you were doing when the attack
16 A. The day before I was gathering corn in a field which is near the
17 village. You couldn't do anything else. The sowing was done in the
18 spring, and since everybody was afraid of everybody else, we abandoned
19 those fields and cultivated only the fields around Fakovici. The day
20 before, with my wife and her sister, we were picking the corn, and we
21 didn't finish everything. And for Monday, we still had about three or
22 four hours more work left.
23 So on Monday we went to pick the corn. Since actually we couldn't
24 go into the field to cut the grass, the grass was as high as the corn.
25 When we got there, I could see that there was a kind of indentation as if
1 something was lying down there in the course of the day or the night. I
2 paid attention and I told them, the others, to stop a little bit. And
3 when I looked, the field was just below the forest. So from that place,
4 you could see the road coming from the forest. And I said somebody was
5 lying down here during the night. That was what I thought.
6 We carried on with our work. We were picking the corn. Then the
7 shooting started and my wife said: Well, it could be some of our people
8 who had had too much to drink and they're shooting now. And as we were
9 speaking like that, we looked down along the Drina, and you could see
10 smoke all along the Drina. We could look -- we looked upriver and you
11 could see smoke there as well. So five kilometres upwards and down the
12 river, you could see smoke. We didn't know if villages were burning
13 further along also.
14 Later, when I came back from prison, I found out that it was about
15 12 kilometres, six kilometres from Fakovici towards Bratunac and also six
16 kilometres from Fakovici towards Skelani that there was burning. So it
17 was upriver and downriver.
18 Q. All right. Do you remember the time of day that you heard the
20 A. It was exactly noon. I looked at my watch. It all happened at
21 the same time, to the minute, on all sides it was exactly the same.
22 Q. And do you recall the direction, what direction the shooting was
23 coming from?
24 A. It was heard from all sides. There was a house there which I
25 called the guardhouse. You have that in the statements. So there was a
1 response to the shooting. There was shooting coming from all sides, and
2 initially that's how it seemed. Later, since the resistance wasn't very
3 strong, the shooting quietened down. The villages up there, both along --
4 up the Drina and down the Drina, in the villages, everybody had some
5 weapons issued to them. So they put up a little bit of resistance. Only
6 those in the village of Radijevici up the Drina. But I never heard that
7 there was any resistance that was given from Fakovici downriver.
8 Q. All right. What happened after you heard the shooting? What did
9 you do, and I believe you said you were in the presence of your wife.
10 What did you do?
11 A. We left the cornfields. Right next to the fields there is a path,
12 like this, and you can take that path to go down to the road, which goes
13 from Bratunac to Skelani. As we were crossing the road, there was
14 shooting behind us as well. I guess somebody noticed that. So we ran
15 across the road towards the Drina. There is a weekend house there
16 belonging to Ilija Markovic on the very bank of the Drina River. We knew
17 that there won't be any shooting from the Serbian side, so all three of us
18 crossed to that side.
19 A woman who we caught up with along the way also joined us,
20 because she was picking corn too. So all four of us left towards the
21 Drina. We were there just below that house for about an hour, most
22 probably. I know that I smoked about ten cigarettes in that time. When I
23 looked behind the house, from behind the house, I could see that my house
24 was burning also, and I told the women: Run. Below the bank from the
25 place where we were to the boat, it's about 400 to 500 metres, less than
1 half a kilometre, and there is a rock above the boat and you cannot see
2 that place except from the side of Serbia.
3 At that moment, I walked with them about two to 300 metres towards
4 the rock but then I saw that my house was burning. There is a pigsty with
5 pigs next to the house, and then I also had a barn with a cow and a calf
6 there. Because -- well, when I saw the house burning, I was afraid that
7 it would spread to the other buildings, because they're all linked. It's
8 okay if the house was burning, but that's a dead thing, but I was afraid
9 for the other buildings. And I knew their tactics. They would overrun
10 the village with a powerful force, including soldiers and civilians. They
11 collect everything that's there. They run into the house. They take the
12 valuables. They didn't take the big items like sofas or refrigerators.
13 They took the small, valuable things. They would collect the poultry.
14 When you came to Fakovici the next day afterwards, there wasn't a
15 single chicken to be found there. I don't know how they managed to catch
16 all of these chickens. Once you let them go, it was hard to do that.
17 Q. All right. Let me stop you for a moment. You mentioned "they."
18 Who are you referring to when you say "they didn't take the big items"?
19 A. Specifically, I think everybody knows what happened in Bosnia, so
20 this Court and you should also know what happened. It was between Serbs
21 and Muslims. That day, the Muslims attacked the Serbs. It wasn't only
22 the Serbs who were attacking.
23 Q. And did you have a weapon with you?
24 A. No. I was issued an M-48. But it was back in the house. It
25 wasn't necessary to carry it around. That's how we felt that day. Had we
1 known what would happen, we wouldn't have gone to pick the corn.
2 Q. And when you say you saw your house burning, did you see who set
3 fire to your house?
4 A. No, no. You couldn't see that. I was below the bank. I didn't
5 know who was setting that on fire. At that moment, you feel very lost.
6 You don't know anything.
7 Q. And could you see who was doing the shooting?
8 A. No. How could I know who was shooting? There was shooting coming
9 from all sides.
10 Q. All right. And after you went down -- after you saw your house
11 burning, what did you do?
12 A. I think I said that before. I saw that the house was burning, and
13 this upset me, but it didn't upset me as much as the fact that I knew that
14 there were pigs shut up in the pigsty, as well as the calf and the cow.
15 So I tried to look from the bank, but I couldn't see well. I could see
16 that the house was burning. But there was another house in the way, so I
17 couldn't see whether the barn was also burning.
18 When I walked a little bit in that direction, I saw that they
19 hadn't caught on fire yet. But at that point, they noticed me, and then
20 they came up to me. First there were two of them and then I don't know
21 how many of them there were. You couldn't really tell. They caught me,
22 took me towards my house, they tied me up there. And then probably there
23 will be some other questions.
24 Q. All right. Could you describe -- you said there were about two of
25 them. Could you tell us, when you say "them," could you describe what
1 they were wearing and could you tell us if they had weapons.
2 A. They did have weapons, but I was too confused and lost in order to
3 be able to describe to you what they were wearing.
4 Q. Well, could you tell if they were in civilian clothing or did they
5 have a uniform on?
6 A. They were in uniforms. That's true. At least those two who came
7 up first. When the rest of them came, there was all kinds of clothes that
8 they were wearing. There were also civilians amongst them who were
9 wearing different clothing. There was a little bit of everything.
10 Q. And when they came up to you, did they say anything to you, or
11 what did they do?
12 A. I only heard them when they shouted "stop," so I immediately put
13 my hands up. There was a group already gathering there. They had caught
14 the Chetnik commander, as they put it, but that was not me, and I never
15 wanted to be anything like that.
16 Q. All right. And after they -- what did they -- you said that they
17 tied you -- tied your hands. Could you tell us, describe for us, if you
18 recall, what they tied your hands with, and did they tie your hands in
19 front of you or behind your back?
20 A. They were tied behind my back by a piece of rope or something. I
21 wasn't able to see what they used to tie my hands with. Perhaps had I
22 been calm and collected, I would have been able to see that, but I was
23 very distraught at that point.
24 Q. Do you know what happened with your wife and the other woman that
25 you were with?
1 A. No. I told you that I walked with them so that they could cross
2 into Serbia. However, during the day, the boat wasn't operating. The
3 Milo Djuric forester tried to swim across the river. You cannot see a
4 person when they're close to the bank, but once he had swum a little bit
5 away from the bank, they actually shot him in the middle of the river,
6 because they were able to see him.
7 Q. All right. So with respect to getting back to when you were tied
8 up, after you were tied up, what did the men do?
9 A. Immediately somebody hit me with a rifle butt while I was tied up.
10 I didn't feel the blow. I felt it only when I got to Srebrenica in the
11 morning. Because I started to cough, but I couldn't really cough, because
12 I had a pain on my right side.
13 Q. Where did they hit you?
14 A. They hit me on the ribs, on my right side.
15 Q. All right. Please go ahead.
16 A. After I was tied up, a man started to come up to me. He didn't
17 resemble any of our people. Muslims or my own people. When I say "our
18 people," I mean the Muslims also from my area. They are no different from
19 the Serbs. This man looked a little bit different. He said something,
20 not "Chetnik," but "chelnik" or something; he didn't know how to pronounce
21 that word. However, Zulfo Tursunovic was standing next to me. He was on
22 a horse. And I was lucky that he was there. And he shouted "no." I'm
23 not sure whether he shouted that or somebody else from that group. There
24 were many people there. But there is enough time until Srebrenica.
25 Q. All right. Now, do you recall -- you said that they were wearing
1 uniforms, and referring to the two soldiers. After you were struck in the
2 ribs, was it at that point that the person who you said looked strange to
3 you, looked different, did he come and join you and the two soldiers after
4 that, and at what point did Zulfo Tursunovic come up to you? Just so that
5 we're clear.
6 A. When I was captured, Zulfo and all the soldiers were there. This
7 was a house -- Serbia was over here and they were on the other side of
8 this house. So I cannot tell you whether one of those two soldiers up
9 there hit me or somebody from that group hit me. Then Zulfo shouted "no"
10 and then somebody said: There's plenty of time before we get to
12 Q. All right. You mentioned Zulfo. Could you tell us, had you
13 met -- do you know what his last name is? I'm not sure if you mentioned
14 it before, but could you tell us if you met him before?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: He did.
16 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Did you know who he was before, before this day, before
18 October 5th?
19 A. He was in prison with a neighbour of mine who had appropriated
20 some money from a shop in Fakovici. So I went to visit him. I saw him
21 once, but I didn't actually meet him. I wasn't introduced to him. I had
22 heard about him before, that he was -- there were stories that he had
23 killed two Muslims in a cafe in Srebrenica. That's what I know about him.
24 Q. And what was the ethnicity of Zulfo?
25 A. He's a Muslim.
1 Q. And could you describe him, how he appeared on that day?
2 A. He was -- well, I don't want to say things that I'm not sure
3 about. I think that he was wearing an olive-drab uniform, that he was on
4 a white horse. He was tall. He's a tall man. Perhaps he's 1 metre, 90
5 tall. And I'm sure it was him, because when the column started moving
6 from Luka upriver towards Srebrenica, somebody said: Look at this old
7 man, Zulfo, who is 70 years old, just like Musa Kesadzija or Milos Obilic.
8 He looks just like those heroes from your time. These are people who are
9 legendary from the Turkish times. Their hero was Musa Kesadzija, and we
10 had heroes, Marko Kraljevic and Milos Obilic. They said: He's 70 and
11 look at the way he looks.
12 Q. All right. Was there anyone else on a horse other than Zulfo?
13 A. I didn't see anyone else.
14 Q. And did you observe Zulfo say anything else to the soldiers, the
15 other soldiers who were present?
16 MR. JONES: Your Honour, I'm not a bit uncomfortable with the
17 suggestion of soldiers. It was originally a suggestion of my learned
18 friend, two of people were soldiers.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Objection sustained.
20 MR. JONES: If we can stick to uniforms --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Objection sustained. Yes, Ms. Richardson, please
22 rephrase your question.
23 MS. RICHARDSON:
24 Q. The individuals that you observed wearing the uniforms, were they
25 civilian or were they soldiers?
1 MR. JONES: That doesn't -- that calls for a judgement on the part
2 of the witness, and I think we'll probably get into a discussion of what's
3 an army, what's a soldier, is it organised. If we stick with what people
4 were wearing, then it's for Your Honours to draw that inference. A
5 soldier implies an army, and this witness isn't in a position to say
6 whether they belong to an army.
7 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, can I respond.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Ms. Richardson, we've had this -- I don't know
9 whether you were present when we had this discussion before, sometime last
11 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour, I was. And could I just
12 respond. I think we're at the point now where we can certainly put to the
13 witness and ask the witness if in this witness's opinion if the person was
14 wearing a uniform carrying a weapon if he himself judged him to be a
15 soldier or whether it was a person in civilian clothes or was this a
16 civilian. I think every time we go through these questions about the
17 person wearing the uniform it's redundant, and I think at the end of the
18 day Your Honours are able to judge for yourself whether the description,
19 the characterisation of the person being described is a soldier or not.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I can assure you we will be in that position,
21 Ms. Richardson. In the meantime, I would suggest that you ask the witness
22 to describe what they were wearing, and you may go ahead also with asking
23 him what he considered them to be. But not beyond that. And please
24 refrain from using the word "soldier" until and unless the witness himself
25 decides that they were nothing else but soldiers.
1 MS. RICHARDSON: I will, Your Honour. Thank you.
2 Q. Now, you previously testified that Zulfo was on a white horse and
3 he was wearing a uniform. Could you tell us what you considered him to be
4 at that point?
5 A. I'm not an expert in these matters, but in my opinion, when that
6 happened, whoever was there, I considered them to be a soldier. A
7 civilian is a person who's wearing a civilian uniform and bears no
8 weapons. Anyone who is armed I would consider them to be a soldier.
9 Q. Thank you. With respect to Zulfo, did you see him saying anything
10 to the other individuals who were present and wearing uniform -- and
11 wearing uniforms?
12 A. When they started going from Fakovici, they started kicking me
13 around like a football. And he shouted: Stop pretending to be heroes in
14 relation to an old man. You will -- you have enough time to do that to
15 other people. You should be able to do that to other people.
16 Q. And when he said this, who was he speaking to? Who did he say
17 this to?
18 A. It was a whole column. I don't know how long it was. For a long
19 time I was at the head of the column, because we came up to the remains of
20 a killed boar who had stepped on a mine. So they thought that these were
21 minefields and they let me go first. However, somebody from the back
22 shouted: The Chetnik will kill us all and commit suicide and lead us into
23 a minefield.
24 So they didn't trust me anymore and then they took over the lead
25 of the column.
1 Q. And when you say "the column," could you tell us, was this -- who
2 comprised this column? Was it men, and could you tell us what they were
4 A. I wasn't -- I didn't even dare to turn around. I know that when
5 we left Fakovici, at Slavko Jovanovic's cafe, whom I mentioned as the
6 commander, as the komandir, we had to make a detour. We had to go above
7 it, because we were afraid to go below it, because they didn't know if
8 there were any people by the Drina who could fire at them. They just
9 didn't know. When we were passing by the cafe, somebody said: Director
10 or manager, would you like a drink? Because the cafe was chock full of
11 people. I don't know what they were eating or drinking there, but in any
12 case, it was full of people.
13 Q. All right. And could you tell us how you were taken from
14 Fakovici? Could you describe for us the route that they took?
15 A. I don't know those roads. These are village paths. We were going
16 along the river for about three kilometres. Then we crossed some fields
17 using some paths. All of these were just village paths that they were
18 using. In the meantime, somebody gave me a backpack with some bullets,
19 and it was a soldier who placed it on my back in order to free himself of
20 the burden. And I understand that better, that I should carry than he.
21 It's difficult to explain or describe that, because it was a long
22 column. I was quite distraught. But then somebody shouted: How long are
23 we going to be leading this Chetnik? And then somebody would say: Look
24 at that creek. And it was an area where there were a lot of creeks, a lot
25 of gullies. And then another person would say: Up to that creek, and
1 then by that creek we will circumcise him, and then at the next creek we
2 will cut his throat. Then we would pass one creek and the next and
3 nothing like that would happen.
4 When we passed through Poznanovici, I don't remember anymore how
5 long the trip was lasting. I was tired. I didn't really feel anything
6 anymore. There was a truck. It was dirty. I think they used it to
7 transport cattle before.
8 Q. All right. Let me stop you for a moment. When you say that they
9 referred to the Chetnik and circumcision, who were they referring to?
10 A. The Muslims used the expression in reference to any male Serb.
11 They would call us Chetniks.
12 Q. So this was -- this comment was meant towards you?
13 A. Yes, personally.
14 Q. Did there come a time that you were threatened, other than when
15 you were struck with the rifle? Did there come a time that you were
16 struck again or threatened by anyone?
17 A. Well, if there were threats, you couldn't tell who the threats
18 were coming from, nor could I remember, because I didn't know anyone in
19 that column. Sometimes someone kicked me from the back.
20 Q. All right. And did there come a time that you -- well, let me
21 rephrase the question. Could you tell us what the weather condition was
22 that day?
23 A. In addition to all this misfortune in the evening it began to
24 rain. I was slightly glad because of this, if I can put it that way,
25 because I was hoping that it would put the fire out in my house.
1 I'm a little shaken now. If we can please pause for a couple of
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zikic. As I told you last time, whenever
4 you need a break, please draw my attention straight away and we'll have a
6 We'll have a 25-minute break starting from now. Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.03 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.33 a.m.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zikic, do you feel better?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. It was just for a
12 while I had a pain in my back, and that's why I only asked for two or
13 three minutes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But we'll give you as much time as you like to
15 rest, whenever you need it. Just let us know. Just let us know. We'll
16 try to make your stay -- okay. Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
19 Yes, Ms. Richardson.
20 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Zikic, we were -- you were testifying to being captured after
22 Fakovici before the break. Could you tell us if you were the only person
23 that was, to your knowledge, that was taken to -- that was captured that
25 A. Yes. You'll probably be asking me further questions about those
1 who were killed, though.
2 Q. Indeed I will get to that later. With respect to the column that
3 you previously testified about, could you just explain to us for
4 clarification about the column, and if I could have Your Honours'
5 permission to lead the witness just a little bit.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection, Mr. Jones?
7 MR. JONES: I think provided as with any leading, it doesn't go to
8 contentious matters.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Go ahead, Ms. Richardson.
10 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And please take into account what has been pointed
12 out by Mr. Jones.
13 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks.
15 MS. RICHARDSON:
16 Q. After your hands were tied and you observed Zulfo Tursunovic on
17 the horse, did there come a time that you met up or the individuals you
18 described being in uniform and Zulfo Tursunovic met up with another group
19 of soldiers?
20 A. We were travelling, like I said, along the river, and then turned
21 into the hills. We reached a village that I had never been to, although
22 it was part of the area covered by my post office. I knew the approximate
23 distance because of the waybills that would be forwarded to me. We came
24 to a source of water with three wells. We sat down and drank water. And
25 the man who was the closest to us, who was next to me all the while, he
1 asked me: Are you still alive? I would like to have some water. And the
2 man who was about seven or eight metres from us, he said: They all had
3 flasks, so that he should bring some water for me.
4 And I said: I will not have a Serb soil my flask. It's a
5 derogatory term that he used for Serbs. Vlah. He took the water,
6 however, and my hands were tied. I just opened my mouth and he poured
7 some water into my mouth.
8 That moment, I looked and people were coming from both sides of
9 the slope, down the Drina River from Fakovici, and from the opposite
10 direction, from Fakovici, the opposite slope. And quite many people
11 assembled there.
12 Q. And could you describe those people and what they were wearing?
13 A. No. No. I can't describe anything. I was entirely distraught.
14 All I could see was that many people were arriving. But even if my father
15 came, I don't think I could have told him from Adam.
16 Q. Now, just for -- so that it's clear: The people that you said
17 that you came across, are those the same people in the column or are we
18 talking about a different group of people?
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak closer to the
20 microphone. Thank you.
21 A. -- group sat down. We were the first to arrive. We sat down near
22 the well, and as we were drinking and resting, people started arriving
23 down both the slopes, from two opposite directions, from both sides. From
24 that side and from this side.
25 MS. RICHARDSON:
1 Q. And could you see if those people were in civilian clothing or in
2 uniforms? Do you remember?
3 A. Both. I know there were many rifles. They kept rifles, and those
4 people too would sit down and place their rifles next to them on the
5 ground. It was a mixed group, both civilians and people in military
6 uniforms, in a manner of speaking.
7 Q. All right. And could you -- do you recall how many people there
9 A. No. Later I found out -- I'm not sure if you'll ask about this
10 later, but Akif told me later at Srebrenica, and I must apologise to the
11 Court, in order to be able to say this in the original version. Had he
12 known the sort of shit that we were, Akif said, he would have taken 12
13 people along and not two or two and a half thousand to go through so much
14 suffering for those 12 people to do what they did. I still want to know
15 why he said 12 specifically. I was in the army myself. Why didn't he
16 simply say a squad of men?
17 Q. All right. We will get to your meeting with Akif in a little
18 while. Could you tell us whether the people that you just described to us
19 who were in civilian clothing and in uniform were Muslim or Serb?
20 A. Well, I was the only Serb among them. I don't think a Serb would
21 attack another Serb under those conditions.
22 Q. Okay. You described -- testified previously that you did receive
23 some water. Were you given any food?
24 A. No. I didn't need any food at that point.
25 Q. All right. Did there come a time that you stopped walking and you
1 were placed in a vehicle or a truck of some kind? Could you tell us about
3 A. Yes. Just I can't remember exactly. It was dark already and I
4 don't know where this was. I was put onto a truck, and I think there were
5 four other men there. And the rest of the soldiers were on their way back
6 to Srebrenica, on foot.
7 Q. All right. And before you were placed in the truck, you walked
8 some distance. Could you tell us how long you walked? Was it an hour or
9 two or more?
10 A. I think about three hours. We kept walking for about three hours.
11 That's in as far as I can trust my own judgement.
12 Q. And you were tied the entire time?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters didn't get the answer.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I heard him say "da." Do you agree? Could you
15 answer the question again, please. The question that was put to you
16 whether during these three hours you were tied the entire time. Did you
17 answer "da"?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer was yes, and if I may
19 add: All the way to the prison gate, I remained tied, to Srebrenica.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. Zikic.
21 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you.
22 Q. When you were placed in this truck, who was -- accompanied you or
23 who was with you?
24 A. I don't know. I didn't know a single man there. But I was not
25 mistreated on that truck.
1 Q. And how many men were with you, and could you tell us if they were
2 wearing uniforms or were they in civilian clothing?
3 A. Those four men who were in the truck were wearing uniforms.
4 Q. And do you recall what time you arrived in Srebrenica?
5 A. I don't think I can answer that. It was night-time.
6 Q. All right. And where were you taken once you arrived in
8 A. I don't think I understand your question. I'm sorry.
9 Q. After you -- there came a time that you -- that the truck stopped
10 in Srebrenica; correct?
11 A. That's correct. Outside the prison.
12 Q. All right. And once you were removed from the truck, where did
13 they take you?
14 A. Well, the truck pulled over and there's a road passing in front of
15 the prison. There was something -- there was a source of light from
16 behind. I'm not sure if it was a candle or a light-bulb, and they untied
17 my hands and they said: Why didn't you complain? Your hands are all
18 black. There's no circulation in your hands.
19 And I was left speechless.
20 Q. And you said that -- you testified that -- all right. After --
21 I'll rephrase the question.
22 After they untied your hands, where did they take you?
23 A. Straight away, they took me into the prison. They banged me
24 against a door. I fell on my stomach and I hit some people's shoes, the
25 people who were standing there. But I banged against their shoes. Yet no
1 one was moving, so I -- the idea that I had was that I was in a morgue,
2 that those people were dead. But then they moved and then I started
3 shaking shoe by shoe, and one of them kicked me with a shoe in order
4 probably to show me that he was still alive. And then everything fell
5 silent. No noise could be heard. And I asked: Is anyone alive here?
6 But you were not allowed to speak a single word there. So I was
7 admonished by one of those people. They said: Just stay silent. There
8 are four of us here who are still alive.
9 Q. And after this occurred, what did you do after that, after this
10 person --
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I believe I heard the witness say
14 there are four of us who are still alive. There are four of us who are
15 alive, and what I see on the transcript is there are four of us who are
16 still alive. Can we have a clarification, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's what was said. I
18 didn't exactly phrase it like that, but the exact -- the exact thing would
19 be: There are four of us who are still alive.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Let's proceed.
21 MS. RICHARDSON:
22 Q. Was anything else said by anyone?
23 A. No, no one was allowed to say anything. At daybreak, I only
24 asked: Are they beating people? And one of them answered: Not only are
25 they beating people; they are using rusty tongs to extract teeth.
1 And then a log of firewood was used to kill someone. I'm not sure
2 I remember the last name correctly, but I think it was Kukic.
3 Q. I'm not sure if you previously testified about how many people,
4 once daybreak came. Could you tell us how many people were in this room
5 with you, and if you recall the names of these individuals.
6 A. I found four persons there. One was called Veselin Sarac.
7 Another man was called Radic, Nedeljko. The third man's name was Zoran
8 Brankovic. And the fourth man's name was Nevenko, from Indjija, but I
9 can't remember his last name, or perhaps he never even told me.
10 Q. All right. Were you able to observe their physical condition?
11 A. During the day, this Nevenko was all covered in blood and he never
12 stood up from the corner in which he was sitting, nor did he lie down. He
13 just placed his hands on his knees and he sat there like that. And the
14 other men were also covered in blood and exhausted. I can't be sure about
15 that. That's how it looked to me. I must speak about these things here,
16 but these are stories that I find very difficult to cope with, and these
17 are difficult statements. But those people looked more like dead people
18 than people who were still alive.
19 Q. Did you, prior to being placed in the cell with them, had you met
20 any of the four prior?
21 A. No. I'd never met any of them in my life. If you allow: Zoran
22 Brankovic, his nickname was Smederevac as I understand, there is a bauxite
23 mine there, and this person called Nevenko, they took part in a
24 competition. They saw an ad in the paper, the Politika paper, and they
25 came to work as guards at the bauxite mine, and their salary was 300
1 Deutschmark, German marks.
2 Q. And did either of the four men tell you how it was that they came
3 to be in the condition they were in that you just described, with blood,
4 et cetera?
5 A. I asked them whether they had been beaten, and their answer was
6 that they weren't only beating people but that they were using rusty tongs
7 to extract people's teeth and that a man named Kukic who had been brought
8 in with them, I didn't find him there, because that was before I arrived,
9 was killed using a log. There was a stove there with firewood next to it.
10 I didn't see that stove, or maybe I did, but I didn't notice.
11 Q. All right. And when you say "they," when you say the four men, or
12 you were told by the other persons in the room with you that "they had
13 been beaten," who are "they" referring to? Did they say who had done this
14 to them?
15 A. Well, you know whose hands they were in. Who else could have done
16 it? Maybe one of them recognised someone. But I never recognised any of
17 those who were doing the beating.
18 Q. Did they tell you --
19 MR. JONES: I wonder if at this point my learned friend could
20 actually ask non-leading questions such as what -- did they say anything
21 to you or when my learned friend starts with did they tell you, I feel a
22 leading question coming on. We're in sensitive terrain here, and I'd
23 prefer if my learned friend could lead as little as possible; in fact, not
24 at all.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Jones. I don't think that the
1 witness is leading as much as you're suggesting, but we'll keep a watchful
2 eye. Thank you.
3 Ms. Richardson.
4 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Could you describe, once it was daylight, could you describe the
6 cell or the room you were being held in with these other four men.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: What we want to know, how big it was, whether it had
8 any windows.
9 A. If I'm able to give you my estimate, three metres by two and a
10 half metres. There are bars on the way in. There's a small corridor.
11 You first enter the corridor and then from the corridor you enter the
12 cell. There was a floor, and higher up, I'm a small man, for example, and
13 I wanted to look out and see which prison it was, because I'm familiar
14 with Srebrenica. But the window was too high up for me to reach, the
15 distance between the floor and the window. And the ceiling was perhaps
16 two and a half metres high. I'm no expert in these matters, and I don't
17 think my judgement should be taken at face value. And I wasn't really
18 interested in judging these things.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Were there any chairs or beds or mattresses?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was nothing in that room, no
21 blankets, no covers, no chairs, nothing at all. It was totally empty.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: He is back to you, Ms. Richardson.
23 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Were you given any -- where did you sleep?
25 A. What do you mean?
1 Q. Did you sleep -- you just mentioned -- you just testified that
2 there were no beds or mattresses. Did you sleep on the floor?
3 A. Yes. Where else? We would lean against the wall. It would have
4 been a bit inconvenient for me to lie on the floor, because I'd had a rib
5 broken. So I tried to lean against the wall the whole time, and that's
6 how I spent both my days and my nights. I don't mean upright against the
7 wall; I would just be -- remain in a sitting position and I would lean my
8 back against the wall.
9 Q. And was the floor concrete or another type material?
10 A. I can't be certain. It was a floor. I'm so distraught in that
11 prison. I think it was a floor, meaning made of wood.
12 Q. And was it cold in the room?
13 A. Srebrenica has a relatively cold climate and I was captured in a
14 cornfield. I only had my trousers on and my underwear, and my undershirt.
15 It was cold, and my jaw was chattering. I'm not sure if it was chattering
16 because I was cold or because I was scared. You are there left without
17 any help at all, totally helpless, and you're drained of any will to do
18 anything in a situation like that.
19 Q. And were you fed?
20 A. The food was brought in: Cold tea, mostly beans, with a small
21 piece of bread. However, I personally did not take any food. At first I
22 didn't feel like eating. And then secondly, I saw that in one piece of
23 bread, there was something shining. I don't want to accuse anyone, but I
24 thought that it could have been ground glass. This is what it seemed like
25 to me. Please don't take this too seriously. I didn't feel the need to
1 eat. I didn't feel the need to go to the toilet. During the time that I
2 was there, I didn't need to go to the toilet, not a single day.
3 Q. Were you given water?
4 A. Believe it or not, but I don't remember anything about water.
5 They probably did give us water. I concluded, and this will probably turn
6 out to be true later when we went to be exchanged, we were told to wash
7 our faces, and they were pouring water from some kind of a plastic bottle.
8 Q. How many times a day were you given food?
9 A. Twice a day.
10 Q. And the conditions you just described to us, that it was cold in
11 the room and you were -- there was no beds, sleeping against -- leaning
12 with your back against the wall, were these pretty much the conditions
13 that continued to exist the entire time that you were held in this cell?
14 A. Yes. From the first day to the last day.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Zikic, could you tell us about who, if anyone, guarded
16 this cell. Was the cell guarded?
17 A. Unfortunately, the cell had guards who were supposed to take care
18 of the prisoners. However, I can say freely that the guards were there,
19 but it's as if they didn't exist at all. Because anyone who wanted to
20 beat you could enter the room, which means that they were there, but it's
21 as if they weren't there.
22 Q. How many guards were there?
23 A. That changed. We couldn't know what was going on in the corridor.
24 Only the things we saw were something that we know about. There were
25 always soldiers in the corridor. What's more, you couldn't really
1 decipher who was the guard amongst them.
2 Q. And when you say "anyone who wanted" -- you just testified "anyone
3 could enter the room," could you tell us about that. Did other people
4 come to the room other than the guards, and what did these people do to
5 yourself and the other prisoners, if anything?
6 A. I can say only this: There was Omerovic Sabahudin, and when he
7 was on guard, he would come to the door, and then he would ask: Does
8 anybody want to go to the toilet? Is anyone thirsty?
9 And during the time when he was a guard, nobody could enter the
10 prison to beat us. It usually happened during the night, when you don't
11 know. We would just cover our eyes so that they would not gouge them out.
12 But as for the rest, they could hit whatever they want. We didn't know
13 who would come in at night, except you could hear Beli said aloud when he
14 appeared in the corridor. And then in the prison, I told you that my
15 nickname is Drago. That's what they called me. They would say: Drago,
16 now you're finished.
17 As soon as you could hear him enter the corridor, the guard would
18 give him the keys and he would ask these four cellmates of mine: How is
19 this Chetnik commander obeying you?
20 They would shrug their shoulders. What could they answer to that?
21 Then he would say: Who of those people, my cellmates, would start to beat
22 me first? They would hit me, but they were weak blows, because they were
23 exhausted. And why would a Serb beat another Serb, especially an elderly
24 man like me? I can't think of how to say that properly. It's about the
25 way I looked. And then he would say: Hit him harder. And then I would
1 start to cry. Hit him harder. Because it's up to the other person to
2 beat me. Because if they don't beat me, they would get beaten. So it's
3 better for them to beat me than to get beaten.
4 I would just ask myself why this Beli hated me the most in this
5 group. And then I would think to myself, when they carried out the attack
6 against Fakovici, perhaps he had some close relatives, a brother or
7 someone. He's a young man. I don't think he was old enough to have a son
8 of fighting age.
9 To this very day, it's not clear to me why he picked on me so
11 Q. Mr. Zikic, were you the oldest among the five prisoners?
12 A. Yes. The oldest by far. I can't remember. Sarac was right after
13 me, Veselin, perhaps he was also another -- younger than I was by ten
14 years. Nedeljko was born in 1951. There were two of them. This
15 Brankovic person from Smederevo, Zoran Brankovic, and this other man,
16 Nevenko. They were in their 20s. Both of them were young.
17 Q. And this Beli that you testified about, could you -- do you recall
18 how many times he would come to the cell?
19 A. I think he entered the cell twice. When he would come, he always
20 had a stick with him. It's a stick this thick. He would ask me to
21 approach the bars and to crouch down. Again, only me. He would hit me on
22 the head. After that, I would have knots on my head the size of walnuts.
23 And then they would disappear within 24 hours, I think. I don't know.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Richardson, this Beli is a name or a nickname?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what they called him. Later,
1 I heard, when he was being discussed, that there's a village called Pale,
2 but I don't know his first or last name.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
4 Ms. Richardson.
5 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. And this Beli, could you tell us if he wore a uniform or if he was
7 in civilian clothing?
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the witness's
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Neither did we.
11 Could you answer the question again, Mr. Zikic, please.
12 A. Beli wore a uniform.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
14 MS. RICHARDSON:
15 Q. Now, I know -- you just testified that you were beaten, the guards
16 would let other people into the cell to beat you. Other than Beli, could
17 you tell us how many other people came in to the cell to beat you, and
18 also tell us if they beat the other prisoners as well.
19 A. Of course they beat the others. They would enter the cell
20 whenever they wanted to. They would take out people individually, out of
21 the cell, to some other room. Unfortunately, I was the last one to arrive
22 to the prison, so they would take us out one by one in a certain order.
23 It was worse for me to listen to their wailing and to know what awaited
24 me. I preferred to be the first and then come what may. That's how it
25 was the first time.
1 On a couple of occasions, they would take all of us to this other
2 big room, and there were about 30 or 40 soldiers there. It's very
3 difficult for me to describe that and to tell you how many there were,
4 because there were so many. Then somebody from that group would shout:
5 Who wants to beat whom? The first time we went out, they didn't each
6 choose each one of us. They took this Branko Smederevac. He was standing
7 in the corner. He had good hair. He was a young man. They grabbed him
8 by the hair and smashed his head or banged his head against the wall. At
9 one point he just slid down the wall. He fell. They picked him up by his
10 feet and arms and took him back to the cell.
11 Then they began to beat all three of us. Somebody hit me from the
12 back. I don't know who it was. And I fell down. But he fell down too.
13 I think that he was drunk. Why would he fall down if he's hitting me? I
14 don't know what he used to hit me with. I know that I just fell on my
15 chest at that point. All the others had lost consciousness. They could
16 not walk back. But they had to be taken back to the cell. However, I did
17 not lose consciousness. Somebody perhaps was a little more compassionate
18 and did not want to finish me off. Perhaps they took into account the
19 fact that I was an elderly man, that I was exhausted. But in any case, I
20 did not faint.
21 Q. And what did they use to beat you and the other soldiers with?
22 A. It depends on the occasion. Usually -- well, on one occasion, one
23 of them told me: Do you know how to dance the Serbian Moravac? If you
24 don't know, gentlemen, that is a very fast Serbian dance. And I said that
25 when I was younger, I knew how to dance it, but I don't know anymore at
1 this age. Do you want me to show you, then? Lie down. And then I was
2 going to lie down on my stomach. However, he said: No. Turn over. Lie
3 down on your back.
4 And he climbed on top of me and danced. I had pain on the left
5 side, and these others said: It's probably your bladder that's been
6 injured, because I felt that pain in that area. I had pains as a result
7 of that. And because of that, I probably got a hernia, which I still have
8 to this day. It's a hernia the size of an apple, and I'm still suffering
9 pain because of that.
10 MS. RICHARDSON: I notice in the record that my question to the
11 witness about whether he was beaten and what did they use to beat you and
12 the other soldiers, but I meant to say prisoners, but I think the witness
13 understood. I just wanted to correct that for the record.
14 Q. Mr. Zikic --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
16 MS. RICHARDSON:
17 Q. -- also could you tell us if they used anything else, any other
18 instruments or did they hit you with their fists, et cetera?
19 A. Fists, shoes, for example, they knocked my teeth out with a rifle
20 butt. They knocked my teeth out when they tied me back the first time.
21 He was holding a rifle on both of his shoulders, not the way it's usually
22 done. And he had his arms like that over. Then he turned towards me. I
23 don't know whether he just took the gun by the barrel or just struck me,
24 but I lost my teeth. Actually, most of them were broken. They didn't
25 fall out completely.
1 Everybody did as they wanted. There was no rule what they were
2 going to beat you with. We're not talking about a police officer who
3 would use a truncheon and nothing else. They did whatever they wanted and
4 used whatever object they wanted to.
5 Q. And how often did the beatings occur to yourself and the other
7 A. As I said, only when the guard, Omersa Sabahudin, called Cude was
8 on duty, then we were at ease. Nobody would enter the cell. But it
9 depended on the other guards whether somebody would come into the cell or
10 not. When he was working, nobody else would come in to beat us, which
11 means that the others could have behaved in the same way. They could have
12 prevented people from coming in.
13 Q. And you also mentioned going to the toilet. Were you also beaten
14 going to the toilet, and the other prisoners as well?
15 A. We were not allowed to go out to the toilet except when Cude was
16 on duty. He would ask us. If you came into the corridor, you would be
17 beaten from all sides and kicked. So we had nature call in the room where
18 we were sleeping. It stank and it was no wonder when they would come into
19 the cell from the corridor that they would say: Oh, my God, don't these
20 Vlahs stink. I don't know if you know that word. This is a derogatory
21 word used for Serbs by Muslims, Vlahs, Vlasi.
22 Q. Did you or the prisoners receive any medical attention while you
23 were in the prison at any point?
24 A. Oh, no. Nobody ever asked for that.
25 Q. With respect to the guards or the soldiers that would come in,
1 could you tell us if you were aware of whether or not they had been
3 A. There were people who came in that state also. Like I said, that
4 person who beat me once, when he hit me, he fell down. I cannot be sure
5 about it, but perhaps the command was close by. There were many soldiers
6 there. You could hear singing all night long. And they wouldn't be
7 singing if they were not drunk. I know that. Why would a normal man be
8 singing in the middle of war? We knew, by the way they behaved, when
9 Mr. Oric would come to the prison. There would be a deathly silence when
10 that happened, meaning that Mr. Oric had come into the building.
11 Q. When you say "Oric," are you referring to Naser Oric?
12 A. Yes, Naser Oric. That's when the beating would stop. While he
13 was there. Probably while he was there, because there were some breaks of
14 several hours that nobody would come in to us, which probably was the
15 period when he was in the building.
16 Q. All right. Could you tell us if during the time that you were in
17 the prison, if you were made to clean the toilet or do anything else with
18 respect to the prison.
19 A. We were not able to do any other work. They didn't want to let us
20 out to either see the sun or the moon. But as far as the toilets, that is
21 something that's a really dark memory in life. It was a room that was
22 right next to the cell. There was no toilet bowl. It just had some sort
23 of hole. And then some people would stuff it on purpose with paper and
24 block it. And I think that there was so much refuse there collecting
25 there. I think if a hundred people had gone to the toilet there, there
1 could not be so much urine collected there. I think it was my turn a
2 couple of times to clean the toilet. However, this was something that we
3 all did.
4 Then from that hole, I mean you had to bend over that hole. You
5 had to pull out all the paper that was clogging the hole. But you
6 couldn't do that standing up. All the others were taller and better built
7 than I was and they made a better job of it. I had to kneel down and lean
8 on one elbow in order to be able to reach with one hand into the hole. I
9 tried that, and he pushed me down with his shoe so that I had to lie down
10 and clean. What else can I tell you? But it's something that everybody
11 did, not only me. Thank God it was only on a couple of occasions. The
12 worst thing was that after that, you were not able to wash your hands. You
13 had to come back to the cell in that state.
14 Q. And when you say he pushed you down with his boot - I'm just
15 paraphrasing here - could you tell us who you're referring to.
16 A. I'm thinking of the soldier who took me to do the cleaning, but I
17 don't know who that soldier is. Because I didn't know anyone in
18 Srebrenica. I didn't know anyone. It didn't matter if they were in
19 uniform or in civilian clothes. I didn't know anyone. And also, I was so
20 distraught that I couldn't recognise anybody. So I didn't know anyone.
21 Q. Mr. Zikic, thank you. I would next like to ask you about being
22 questioned while you were in the prison. Did there come a time that you
23 were taken to be questioned?
24 A. Yes. Right away in the morning I was taken for questioning. I
25 think it was a member of the army, Mirzet or Mirsad. I don't know what
1 the need was for soldiers to be present in his office during questioning.
2 Anything you would answer was no good. It didn't matter if you were
3 speaking the truth or anything else. It didn't do you any good.
4 Sometimes the soldiers, and I think that they -- if this man turned to his
5 notebook or something, or if he looked away for a second, they would hit
6 us. They were trying to avoid him noticing it. And then on the way out,
7 when I was at the door, there was the man whom I mentioned earlier, who
8 had knocked my teeth out. He was standing outside Mirzat's door. That's
9 when it happened when I was leaving the interrogation.
10 On another occasion, I went to the first floor, because this was
11 on the ground floor, so this time I went to the first floor, where the
12 questioning was conducted by the police. I found that out later. I
13 didn't know what building I was taken to, because I was brought there
14 during the night. So this other person was quite fair.
15 Oh, yes. When I was entering the room, a soldier escorted me, and
16 he tried to enter the room, and he turned him back from the door and it
17 was only the two of us in the office. And he asked me: Drago, do you
18 know who I am? I said: I apologise, but I don't. It would be better for
19 me if I knew. He did not want to introduce himself, but he did say: But
20 I know you.
21 The interrogation was all right. But he did say: How come you
22 don't know anything? And I said: Well, you know, until -- up until the
23 5th of October, when everything started, I didn't go anywhere from
24 Fakovici. First I worked at the post office. At the time, I was 57 years
25 old. I didn't have any military commitments or obligations, at least in
1 Bosnia. I don't know what the requirements were in the other parts of the
2 country, but up until the age of 55, I had to -- I had some commitments
3 vis-a-vis the army. But at that time, I was 57 years old, so I was no
4 longer obliged to respond.
5 Q. Did he -- did Mirzet tell you his name? How did you learn his
7 A. Vojislav Sarac worked in the bauxite mine, which I mentioned
8 before, and he had an apartment in Srebrenica. But he didn't live there.
9 His daughter lived there. So he knew him, and they also knew him. The
10 guards knew him. And I remember one time: He was smoking. He was making
11 his own cigarettes from tobacco. So he asked this guard to give him a
12 cigarette. He gave him a cigarette and he smoked that half. I'm a smoker
13 also. Unfortunately, I have been smoking two packs a day for 40 years
14 now. That's 40 cigarettes a day. To this day, I'm constantly smoking
15 cigarettes. But you can take my word for it that I never even -- the
16 thought of a cigarette never even crossed my mind. It was as if I had
17 never, ever smoked a cigarette in my life.
18 Q. Did this Mirzet, while he interrogated you, did he hit you or beat
19 you at any point?
20 A. Not during the interrogation, no.
21 Q. Did he do it at any other point? Did he hit you or beat you at
22 any other point other than outside of the interrogation?
23 A. One evening - I don't know if he was angry or something, but they
24 took all of us to this bigger room - he rushed past several soldiers and
25 kicked me in the stomach with his foot.
1 Q. And the times that you met or observed Mirzet, was he in civilian
2 clothing or military uniform? Do you recall?
3 A. I'm not sure, but I think that he did not have a military uniform.
4 If you allow me to say that in the state that I was in, it was very
5 difficult to notice anything. It was very hard to be aware of details.
6 Q. Did there come a time that you were interrogated -- I'll rephrase
7 it. Let's go back to when you were interrogated by the police. Do you
8 remember who that was, who that individual was?
9 A. I didn't know that person, but he appeared to know me. However, I
10 found out later that this was the former police commander. If that was
11 true. But I tried to live by that Chinese proverb which says: A hundred
12 times heard is once seen.
13 Therefore, I can't state something that I'm not certain about. I
14 do not want to accuse anyone who may not be guilty.
15 Q. During the times that you were beaten, did anyone intervene,
16 meaning any of the soldiers who were present, or the guards, to stop the
17 individuals from beating you and the other prisoners?
18 A. No. As I said, when they untied my hands, there was this man who
19 asked me why I hadn't requested to have my hands untied earlier, and the
20 other man said: Are you sorry about this, Chetnik? That's the only thing
21 I felt because this man was actually sorry that my hands had turned black
22 because of the bonds. That was the only time I felt anything like that
23 throughout my time in prison.
24 Q. And after being questioned by the police, were you questioned
25 again any time that you were -- during the time that you were imprisoned
1 in Srebrenica?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Now, do you recall the day of the exchange? Were you questioned
5 A. If you can call that the third questioning, we set out in the
6 morning. We were ordered to wash up, and then we were in the boiler room.
7 They poured some water from a plastic bottle. We tried to wash up. We
8 got onto the vehicle and we spent several minutes travelling. But then
9 the truck turned round and drove back, and lo and behold, we were outside
10 the prison again. So I was told to get off. I was the first to be told
11 to get off. And I was particularly scared at this point. Those four
12 persons had been captured together, but their command was back in Milici
13 and it had nothing to do with us.
14 So they tried, and they drove one prisoner over to be interviewed,
15 to give ten tonnes of flour. I'm not sure if individually or a total for
16 all four persons, ten tonnes of flour. No agreement was reached, but I
17 thought to myself: Okay. Now that we've set out, an agreement must have
18 been reached.
19 They were taking us to be exchanged. But as for myself, my family
20 were not looking for me. No one was looking for me. I was asked maybe
21 two or three questions, the same questions as before, more or less. The
22 soldier who climbed onto the truck with me, and then they would get off
23 one by one. Brankovic was detained a little longer. Those people were
24 returning one by one, but Brankovic was the last to stay behind. And when
25 he wanted to climb onto the truck, there were about ten persons, soldiers,
1 there around the truck. They lifted him up by his arms and legs, four or
2 five of them, and they put a block of concrete on his back, smashed him on
3 the concrete, and he was all covered in blood. And there was foam coming
4 out of his mouth. And someone cried: I have to apologise to the Court
5 again. He said: Fuck your bloody Chetnik mother. If you die right here,
6 you won't be exchanged, I guess.
7 And then he opened his eyes. I wanted to put him in an upright
8 position so that he wouldn't suffocate, but he was -- he weighed twice my
9 weight. And whichever way I tried to pull him, he just would slide back
10 and slipped from my hands. So I tried to do the best I could to put him
11 in an upright position so he could breathe properly and so he wouldn't
12 suffocate. So he made it eventually.
13 Q. All right. Before I leave the topic of -- I'd just like to in
14 fact go back for a moment. You said you were made to clean the toilet.
15 Do you recall also having to perform some type of task with respect to a
16 dog during the time you were in prison?
17 A. Yes. Unfortunately, it happened to me, or maybe it was on
18 purpose. I was the weakest among them. They told me to come out, so I
19 came out. They were loading some garbage from the prison onto a truck.
20 That truck had run over a dog, and they had spades and everything. They
21 could have buried it or thrown it wherever they wanted to. However, they
22 ordered me to pick it up, and you can see that in the certificate that I
23 showed you. When in trouble, your strength is renewed. I didn't realise
24 what was happening, but I saw a piece of cardboard lying right there. In
25 order to avoid touching the dog with my hands. But then he stepped on my
1 hand and I used my hands to lift the carcass. I put it into the cab and I
2 went back to the prison with my hands like that. I went back to the cell.
3 Q. All right. Thank you. Now I would just like to ask you a series
4 of questions with respect to the individuals you encountered while you
5 were in prison. You mentioned Naser Oric's presence. Could you tell us
6 when you first -- when was the first time you met Naser Oric, and where
7 was this?
8 A. I heard of Naser Oric before I was ever captured. I never set
9 eyes on him, or he on me, for that matter, probably. I can't remember
10 specifically. I think it was the second or the third day he came to the
11 prison and asked me, because I was from Fakovici, he asked me if I knew
12 Urazi [phoen] Jovanovic, and I said: Of course I do. He's a neighbour of
13 mine. What sort of a man is he? I said, as we Serbs do: He's a man of
14 the old kind. He said he got my people's back up so they beat him.
15 I know why he asked him -- why he asked me that. He was caught in
16 an ambush, and two men named Bozic, Ljubisa and Radosav were killed. The
17 three of them were on their way to their village and this was near
18 Fakovici. So those two had been killed and their bodies were found, but
19 the third man was missing. And they were looking for him. But no one
20 knew that he had been taken to Srebrenica. He was beaten so much, in
21 fact, that he was carted to an exchange, cartwheeled to an exchange, and
22 then he was exchanged in Srebrenica and he was then sent to Belgrade, but
23 he died five or six days later. Mr. Naser probably knew the state he was
24 in when he was dispatched to Belgrade. So that's why he asked me about
25 him, about his destiny. Then he asked me if I knew a man called Bozidar
1 Kovacevic. That's from -- he works at my old school. He had for about 20
2 years. He said: Do you know what became of him? I said: I don't know.
3 He said: He hanged himself by a door handle. He didn't say if it was a
4 door handle or that of a window, in fact.
5 And that's where our first conversation finished. The next time,
6 and I was told in prison that he came once again. He took a hanger out, a
7 piece of wire --
8 Q. All right. I'll just stop you for one moment here before we get
9 to the next time you saw him. Now, you said -- you mentioned Mr. Naser.
10 Are you talking about Naser Oric whenever you say "Mr. Naser"? So that
11 the record is clear.
12 A. My apologies. Naser Oric. Who else could it be? First and last
14 Q. All right. Now, could you tell us how you knew that you were
15 talking to Naser Oric.
16 A. That's what he told us, that he was Naser Oric. Those who had
17 come earlier, he would visit them, and they said that he had brought them
18 meat before I even arrived. He would give them pieces of meat.
19 Q. Do you recall what he was -- what Naser Oric was wearing the first
20 time that you spoke to him?
21 A. I think it was a camouflage uniform. When I say "I think," that
22 means I cannot guarantee. I saw -- and I'm telling you that he was
23 slicing up meat and he gave it to us. But I can't be certain about this.
24 I do not wish to say something that I'm not 100 per cent certain about,
1 Q. Indeed. We don't want that either here before the Tribunal.
2 Could you tell us -- you said you weren't sure it was a camouflage
3 uniform, but was it in fact a uniform?
4 A. Well, it had to be something, but I can't tell you what it was.
5 Q. All right. Now, did there come a time that you met with -- that
6 you were visited again by Naser Oric?
7 A. He visited again. He came about four times. If I count all the
8 conversations. Perhaps I will remember the last conversation and then
9 maybe I can remember the second-to-last. He came with a pistol to that
10 hall or corridor and he asked me personally: Do you know whose pistol
11 this is? And I said: Mr. Naser, you're the one holding it. It must be
12 yours. And he said: Well, yes, right now it is, but do you think who it
13 belonged to yesterday? And I said: Well, you know there's no way for me
14 to know this. I've been in prison for some time. How should I know who
15 the pistol belongs to? And he said: Have you ever heard of Arkan? And I
16 said: Yes. And he said: What do you know about him? And I said: Well,
17 I know he's rich, he's married to a popular singer called Ceca. Something
18 along these lines. There was no way I could have known anything more than
19 that at the time. And he said: This is his pistol. Zvornik fell
20 yesterday and it had been in Serbian hands, he said, but Zvornik fell
21 yesterday, and this is a pistol that I used to kill Arkan. I said: War
22 is war.
23 Q. All right. And just going back to the first time that you met --
24 that Naser Oric came to visit you in the cell: Did he appear to know who
25 you were?
1 A. No. But he probably learned from someone that I was from
2 Fakovici, that I was a manager, because in Srebrenica at that time, there
3 were refugees from my area. So when talking to those people, he probably
4 learned something.
5 Q. And do you remember meeting -- or Naser Oric visiting the cell
6 again and that you were given anything by him, you and the other
8 A. He never gave me anything, or anyone else, for as long as I was in
9 that prison.
10 I will try to remember the third visit he made. He came and he
11 asked us: Why are you all covered in blood? I couldn't exactly look at
12 myself to see if I was covered in blood, but I could see the others. And
13 then he came from that side, for example, and I was facing the other way.
14 I was only wearing a shirt. And I was wiping blood away from my nose,
15 because it was dripping the whole time, fresh blood. I was wiping it off.
16 And he said: Why are you bleeding? As soon as I looked at him, I
17 realised that he did not find this pleasant. And once he had left, I told
18 my cellmates: I think it is over with the beatings now.
19 However, I can't say whether he knew about this or not. They
20 started beating us again the same evening, after he had been to see us
21 that day, asking us why we were bleeding. But I didn't have the courage
22 to ask him anything. Otherwise, I would have said: Well, you can ask the
23 guards, because he's the one who holds the keys.
24 Q. All right. Let's go back for a moment to the question that you
25 were asked by Naser Oric about why you were bleeding. What did you tell
1 him in response?
2 A. When you're asked something like that, you just shrug your
3 shoulders. You can't trust anyone. If you dare to speak up, maybe there
4 will be another beating sooner than planned.
5 Q. And were the other prisoners in the same condition? Were they
6 also in blood?
7 A. Of course. From day one, you keep bleeding and you can't wash up.
8 If you remain like that -- of course, you remain covered in blood if
9 you're not given a chance to wash up. I didn't wash my face or my hands,
10 not a single time while I was there.
11 Q. So you did not tell Naser Oric who had beaten you because you were
12 afraid that you would be beaten again?
13 MR. JONES: I object to that question and that's an inference on
14 my learned friend's part. He said he didn't tell the person who purports
15 to be Naser Oric she should be saying who had beaten him and the inference
16 may be -- she may wish to draw that inference but that's not what the
17 witness said.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Objection sustained. And in any case he's
19 already answered the question, Madam Richardson.
20 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll move on.
21 Q. Now, the other times that Naser Oric visited, were you and the
22 other prisoners in the same condition?
23 A. Depending on the day. Our condition deteriorated to the very last
24 day. It was difficult for us to say how we looked on a certain day
25 because the beatings continued. So you look worse and worse by the day.
1 Q. So when Naser Oric visited, your physical conditions were such
2 that it was obvious that you had been beaten?
3 A. Of course. It was obvious. You change if you don't eat
4 regularly, for example, and I wasn't eating at all. My ribs had been
5 smashed. I had been beaten. So it was obvious. It was easy to see.
6 Q. And other than the one time that he asked why you were bloody, did
7 he ever ask you or the other prisoners again why you were in that
9 A. I think I've answered that question. He asked us: Why are you
10 bleeding? And then we shrugged our shoulders, and he saw that my blood
11 was fresh. And he addressed me especially to ask why I was bleeding.
12 Q. Now, moving on to another individual that visited the prison while
13 you were there. You mentioned Akif before. Could you tell us when did
14 Akif first visit you at the prison, and also tell us whether or not you
15 knew him from before.
16 A. I had met Akif before, because he used to come to my area earlier.
17 He came to the prison frequently, but he didn't come in and beat or
18 mistreat or insult anyone, except for one conversation that he had with
19 me. We talked about something through the bars, and he said, if I may be
20 allowed to quote: Did God tell you this or did Allah tell you this?
21 It's all the same thing. You say God and I say Allah, but God is
22 only one. However, you twisted things around. How should I put it? When
23 Dzedo ^- I can't remember what the title was - back in the Turkish times,
24 he would take a pipe, fill it with tobacco. The type was about half a
25 metre long. He would place a 14-year-old Serbian girl on his lap until he
1 was finished smoking the pipe, and the girl was going about her business.
2 This took some time.
3 Q. And during the time that you spoke with Akif, was he wearing a
4 uniform or was he in civilian clothing?
5 A. Akif was wearing a uniform.
6 Q. And during the time that he visited, the physical condition that
7 you just described, testified about, being bloody and the other prisoners
8 being bloody as well, were you in a similar condition when he was present?
9 A. Yes, I was. But he didn't appear to be interested. It was
10 reported in the Belgrade press later on, in the Borba newspaper. I think
11 there was a heading taken from our conversation, saying "Akif believed in
12 the same blood."
13 Q. And did you learn who Akif was with respect to his position, being
14 in Srebrenica?
15 A. I knew something, but I found out when I was out of prison he was
16 a komandir. They asked if Akif had been visiting, what it was like with
17 him, whether he mistreated us. My assumption that he was up there and
18 that he said some things because he said: Had I known what sort, well,
19 I'm not repeating this. I think you get the point. I would not have -- I
20 would not have taken 2.000 or 2.500 people. I only would have taken 12
21 people. That means he was an important person over there because he said:
22 Had I not taken.
23 Q. And did you later learn or know at the time Akif's last name?
24 A. Last name, no. I didn't know his last name. He used to come to
25 my area. He did field work there. But when I came to the prison, as he
1 was wearing a uniform and I was totally distraught, he asked me: Do you
2 know me? And I said: No. And he said: Well, I'm Akif. Well, okay. I'm
3 starting to remember now at this point. He said: I'm Akif. And the
4 whole situation looks different, and I remembered the name, and I knew it
5 was Akif. And when I first laid eyes on him, I didn't realise.
6 Q. Did he have a weapon with him at the time that he visited?
7 A. No. He never carried a weapon. I don't know why it was that he
8 said, he said: I'm not carrying any rifles, but I like to have a
9 hand-grenade in each of my pockets.
10 Q. All right. I would like to bring you now to the day that you were
11 exchanged. Do you remember what day that was?
12 A. The 16th of October, 1992. We were told that morning that we
13 should go and wash up and that we would be leaving to be exchanged. So we
14 left. We travelled for several minutes and then we returned, and then we
15 continued. And I'm not sure how far from Srebrenica that was, but we went
16 to the barricades. There were tractors there, all trucks. I'm talking
17 about the Srebrenica-Bratunac road. Looking from Srebrenica, on the
18 right-hand side, up there, there are meadows, and further up there,
19 there's a forest. And I thought to myself: Well, now, probably we're
20 going to be facing a firing squad, because they're taking us to the woods.
21 However, there was some sort of a wire on one side, and then we
22 came across a meadow, and there was a house there, and some 15 or 20
23 persons outside the house, civilians. I overheard a conversation from the
24 cab, the driver talking. He pulled over there. At that time, under those
25 conditions, that would have been a different thing. Maybe it was just one
1 hour that we stayed there, but it seemed years to me. However, people
2 talked, and probably those, because they said the dead for the living and
3 then Akif was killed down there too, Akif Husic. And I'm not certain what
4 they said. Did they say 19, including Akif, or 19 more. Therefore, I
5 didn't know if it was a total of 19 or a total of 20. I have no idea.
6 And then suddenly you could hear another conversation in the cab.
7 The truck started. It passed through the barricades and continued on to
8 Bratunac. I was certain by then we had passed the barricades, we must be
9 on our way to Bratunac. We travelled for some time. We looked at the
10 tractor near Bratunac. This is called Zuti Most, the Yellow Bridge, the
11 place where we were to be exchanged. Both sides were there. The four men
12 were taken off the truck. During my exchange, the exchange, they tried to
13 make me climb down too. Then I said: Well, let me just take my time. I
14 don't want to be lifted off the truck. I wanted to do it myself, and I
15 did. And then they loaded the dead bodies off the tractor and onto a
16 truck. Because we had arrived by truck. And their dead had been brought
17 there on a tractor.
18 They conducted some negotiations, whatever it was that they talked
19 about, probably exchanging records and lists. I have no idea. And then
20 we continued on to Bratunac.
21 Q. Mr. Zikic, is your answer complete?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you finished or do you want to say something
24 MS. RICHARDSON:
25 Q. Do you want to say something?
1 A. Yes. We arrived at the command. We went to the clinic
2 immediately. They -- we had a check-up. They said that we should wash
3 first and then they would give us the check-up. However, my wife's
4 sister, her husband is a director of the bank. They found out about the
5 exchange. They came. And my children finished high school and university
6 in Serbia. They found out and sent a message.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Richardson --
8 MS. RICHARDSON:
9 Q. Mr. Zikic, if I could just have a moment.
10 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: How much more do you think you require?
12 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, no more than half an hour. Only
13 because we have the two videotapes and a picture.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I think you might as well forget
15 starting your cross-examination today, Mr. Jones.
16 MR. JONES: Yes. That seems right.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's better for you as well if you don't
18 start it today and you start it tomorrow.
19 MR. JONES: Yes. Yes, indeed, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: On the other hand, I would like to know, having had
21 twice, more than twice as much time allotted for the examination-in-chief,
22 whether you still require just an hour and a half or whether you require
23 more. You will have all the time that you require. I mean, I'm making it
24 very clear.
25 MR. JONES: Yes. Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. And I certainly
1 need to reassess, in light of how much evidence has been given. Two hours
2 is probably more like it.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I'm asking you this because then you need to
4 decide whether you would be able to finish with the next witness by
5 Friday. If you -- because again he's an important witness. He, just like
6 this one is. If you don't think -- we are definitely -- I mean, we've
7 discussed this before, not in relation to the next witness, but we've
8 discussed this before. We're definitely against stopping the testimony of
9 the next witness halfway and then bringing him back on January to
10 continue. So keep that in mind. If you do not think that it is feasible
11 to finish with the next witness by Friday, direct and cross, then make
12 your own arrangements and send him back home.
13 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes. Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: But with this witness, with the next witness, we are
15 not going to impose any limitations as to time, because they are important
16 witnesses. They are part of the indictment. And therefore, we need to
17 have sufficient time available.
18 All right. Mr. Zikic, we are going to have -- I'm going to
19 have -- suggest a 30-minute instead of a 25-minute break, if that is
20 agreeable. Yes. We'll have a 30-minute break and then you will need to
21 finish in 45 minutes.
22 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.04 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zikic, I have the impression from what I have
2 heard that you may have misunderstood what I was saying before we started
3 the break. I wasn't referring to you when I said the witness would have
4 to return in January. You are not going to return in January. We will
5 finish with you for sure tomorrow. I promise you that. And after
6 tomorrow, you will not need to return to The Hague. So please don't worry
7 about it. You have my word.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
10 Yes, now Mr. Wubben.
11 MR. WUBBEN: Well, Your Honour, in addition, finishing tomorrow by
12 this witness means that we had to make an assessment of the time needed
13 for the projected witness after this witness, and there is a significant
14 risk that we'll have to make a break, stop in between his testimony.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 MR. WUBBEN: It's not only due to the time needed by --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Not a significant -- almost certainty that you would
18 have to do that.
19 MR. WUBBEN: And in addition, there came also a health problem.
20 He will visit the doctor this afternoon, and that makes for me, my advice
21 to reschedule him for the beginning of January. That's better. And to
22 address also the household matters on Friday.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Or be prepared to address them tomorrow. If
24 we finish with this witness before -- in good time, leaving us sufficient
25 time to address the other matters, we'll address them tomorrow. Why
1 reconvene on Friday when we can finish everything, deal with everything
2 and conclude everything tomorrow? I don't know what's your approach,
3 because this concerns you as well.
4 MR. JONES: We certainly wouldn't have any objection to that
5 course, and it's a matter for the Prosecution whether they want to try and
6 fill Friday morning with perhaps Ms. Manas. I don't know. It's a matter
7 for them. Certainly no objections to housekeeping on Thursday afternoon
8 if we finish on time.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thursday when we finish with this witness. If we
10 don't, obviously we adjourn until Friday.
11 MR. JONES: Yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: There's no question about that. But if we can
13 finish tomorrow, everything, we'll finish everything tomorrow.
14 MR. WUBBEN: I will look also into the matter suggested by the
15 Defence counsel for Ms. Manas but this is kind of all of a sudden.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I would leave Ms. Manas for January. She is
17 probably already preparing for her Christmas holidays. So I wouldn't try
18 to put in the agenda more than -- anyway, it's up to you. I mean, we'll
19 accommodate you, obviously, as you require, both of you. But be prepared
20 tomorrow to discuss the few housekeeping matters that we have pending.
21 You will need to alert Mr. Di Fazio about that as well, and Ms. Sellers,
22 in case she also has matters to address. And after tomorrow, after we
23 finish with this witness tomorrow, we'll start and hopefully conclude on
24 the other witness. All right?
25 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So now, Ms. Richardson, please.
2 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, before I continue with my
3 examination, there has been a matter that's been brought to my attention
4 with respect to the transcript. When Mr. Zikic previously testified to
5 being told a story by Akif, which is -- I'll give you the transcript -- I
6 believe everyone may have a copy of the transcript, but --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Does the Defence have a copy of the transcript?
8 MR. JONES: Yes. We've just received it.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
10 MS. RICHARDSON: Evidently, the translation of his last sentence,
11 at the end of the story, was not translated. And this was brought to my
12 attention, and so just for the record, I think one of two things may need
13 to be done. Either have the witness repeat the story briefly or, if he
14 could remember what the very last line --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But can you just tell us what the last line
16 was and we will ask him whether he agrees or not.
17 MS. RICHARDSON: I can suggest -- I can do that, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 MS. RICHARDSON: I believe the last line was: When the man
20 responded that he was too old and the girl was immature. Now, it could be
21 that in B/C/S that's a different -- it's said a different way, but maybe
22 we could have Mr. Zikic confirm that that's what the last line of the
23 story was.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I will do it.
25 Mr. Zikic, when you were giving evidence about this Mr. Akif, you
1 told us at a certain point he told you: Did God tell you this or did
2 Allah tell you this? It's all the same thing. You say God and I say
3 Allah, but God is only one. However, you twisted things around. How
4 should I put it? When Dzedo, I can't remember what the title was, back in
5 the Turkish times, he would take a pipe, fill it with tobacco. The pipe
6 was about half a metre long. He would place a 14-year-old Serbian girl on
7 his lap until he was finished smoking the pipe, and the girl was going
8 about her business. This took some time.
9 Did you in addition to this also say when the man responded that
10 he was too old and the girl was immature, did you say anything along these
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: How would you fit it in? In other words, we have
14 this man Dzedo smoking the pipe with this 14-year-old Serbian girl on his
15 lap. And what's the end of the story?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is why you are such a bad
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
19 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I think I would leave it at that, Ms. Richardson.
21 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Zikic, just getting back to the exchange for one moment.
23 You mentioned that there came a point that the exchange did in fact take
24 place, but could you just briefly tell us, and you may have mentioned this
25 before, but could you just briefly tell us what happened prior to your
1 being exchanged. Did there come a point that you were taken to be
2 exchanged and then returned, and then taken back out again? Could you
3 just clarify for the Trial Chamber.
4 A. We were told in the morning to wash the blood off, that there will
5 be an exchange. We passed through Srebrenica for a few minutes in the
6 direction of Bratunac, but then the truck came back again in front of the
7 building where the prison was, in front of the SUP building. Then they
8 took one by one off the truck. I was the first one. I went to Mirzat,
9 and with a couple of words, he told me to go back to the truck. Then
10 these other two climbed back on and when Smederevac was supposed to climb
11 back onto the truck, four or five people took him, lifted him up off the
12 ground and threw him down on his back on the asphalt. He started bleeding
13 from his nose and his mouth. And when they wanted to throw him back into
14 the truck, they could see that he was foaming at the mouth. Probably
15 afraid that he would die. They told me: Open his mouth. And even though
16 I was not very strong, I managed to open his mouth. He opened his eyes.
17 Then I had to pick him up and make him sit up straight next to the cab of
18 the truck so that he wouldn't suffocate.
19 I don't know what else you would like me to say.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated].
21 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour. I'll move on past this point.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I would suggest you do.
23 MS. RICHARDSON: At this point, Your Honour, I would like to have
24 the witness -- will be shown a video, Prosecution's Exhibit 446, video
25 number --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: V005206.
2 MS. RICHARDSON: That's correct, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: You have it available?
4 MR. JONES: I believe so. I'd just appreciate some clarification
5 of what scenes precisely are going to be shown.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. I'm going to ask Ms. Richardson, in
8 MR. JONES: Yes. It would be helpful.
9 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, these were the scenes of the place
10 where Mr. Zikic was held and they were shown previously, I believe, with a
11 witness that Mr. Di Fazio --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I see. Okay. All right. In other words, do I
13 take it that you are just going to rely on this video without then
14 referring to photos?
15 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, the photo is another matter. I'm
16 not showing any photos for the prison. Just for clarification.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's proceed. Thank you.
18 MS. RICHARDSON:
19 Q. Mr. Zikic, if you could just take a look at the screen. It's in
20 Sanctions, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: This is where we start?
22 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes.
23 Q. Mr. Zikic, can you see the screen and the image in front of you?
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you recognise that building?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Would you like me to answer?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot recognise the building,
4 because I was brought in during the night, and I never left the building
5 except when I was talking about picking up that dog, which was right next
6 to the building.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But are you in a position to recognise it now?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Next.
10 MS. RICHARDSON: If we can -- the video. It's a clip, so if we
11 can continue playing the video.
12 [Videotape played]
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I recognise this part. Unless it's
14 footage from some other building, but this part here is the toilet. These
15 are the stairs leading up to the floor, the first floor, where I was
16 interrogated. This is the police building. The corridor. The toilet. I
17 never left the prison or the cell except to go to the toilet, twice, so I
18 cannot know any more than that.
19 MS. RICHARDSON: All right. Your Honour, I think we can just -- I
20 think that will conclude how much we want to show the witness at this
21 point. We can stop the video now.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Zikic, were you able to recognise from this video the
23 cell that you were being held prisoner in with the other prisoners?
24 A. Yes, and no. I couldn't tell you that I'm a hundred per cent sure
25 that I recognised it, but I see that the cell or the room is right next to
1 the toilet, so it could be that. There was only a wall between the cell
2 and the toilet.
3 Q. All right. Thank you.
4 MS. RICHARDSON: Now, Your Honour, at this time I'd like to have
5 another video shown to the witness, and this is Prosecution's Exhibit 98,
6 video 0002554.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, this is the video, part 1 of the
8 videos that the Defence has objected to and which was the object of the
9 oral decision handed down yesterday by the Trial Chamber.
10 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 [Videotape played]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Stop, stop, stop. Do you need to
13 have -- to run this also with the sound? If it's only for identification
15 MS. RICHARDSON: No, Your Honour. It's not necessary to run it
16 with the sound.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's oppress the sound for the time being and
18 show own the pictures, please. Thank you.
19 [Videotape played]
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Veselin.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not get the last name.
22 MS. RICHARDSON: Could you repeat the name of the person that you
23 can -- do you recognise that person on the video?
24 A. Yes. Veselin Sarac.
25 Q. And if we could just show a little bit more of the video. If you
1 could just take a look at the video again and tell us if that's the
2 condition that he was in, that you recall that he was in on the day that
3 you were exchanged.
4 [Videotape played]
5 A. Yes. The footage was made on the same day that we were exchanged
6 when we came to Bratunac.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Richardson -- okay. All right.
8 MS. RICHARDSON:
9 Q. Mr. Zikic, please take a look at this other person that's being
10 shown to you. Do you recognise this man as one of the other prisoners who
11 was exchanged with you in October of 1992?
12 A. Yes. Nevenko, but I never knew his surname.
13 Q. All right. And thank you, and we can show the clip of the next
15 [Videotape played]
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nedeljko Radic.
17 MS. RICHARDSON:
18 Q. And he was also exchanged with you in October of 1992?
19 A. Yes. But I would like to add that I was picked up earlier and I
20 was taken to my sister -- to my wife's sister's house, so I will not be in
21 this footage.
22 Q. All right.
23 MS. RICHARDSON: We can end the video at this point.
24 Q. And could you tell us if both or three individuals are in the same
25 physical condition as they appeared to you the day you were exchanged?
1 A. Exactly like that.
2 Q. And is there another individual who was exchanged who was not seen
3 by you in the video?
4 A. Yes. Zoran Brankovic was sent to the hospital straight away. He
5 didn't have any time to wait. They wanted to have him for x-rays. I was
6 picked up and Zoran Brankovic was sent to the hospital, I think in
7 Loznica, right away, but I'm not sure.
8 Q. Do you recall the day you were exchanged, the date?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he said it. The day of the week, you mean
10 or the date?
11 MS. RICHARDSON: The date. If he said it, it's fine. That's
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he said it already.
14 MS. RICHARDSON: That's fine, Your Honour.
15 Q. Now, I'd like to ask you some questions about the injuries you
16 received while you were in prison in Srebrenica. Could you tell us what
17 type of injuries you received from the beatings.
18 A. I have medical certificates. I had two broken ribs, one possibly
19 fractured, beatings or blows all over the body, in the back, in the front,
20 in the stomach area, and so on. And you can see that from the medical
21 findings that I have. My teeth were knocked out. I don't have that
22 recorded because I never thought that this would be needed.
23 As far as the findings, the medical diagnosis, I have that because
24 I had to go and see a doctor. I had problems with my eyes. They were so
25 bloody and very swollen, and the doctor was asking himself: How was it
1 possible for me to walk around at all with eyes in that condition? So
2 then they gave me immediately some kind of ointment and they put dressings
3 or compresses on my eyes so that they could help me.
4 Q. Was your hearing affected?
5 A. Yes. I always forget something. I am having complications
6 because of my hearing. Well, perhaps you wouldn't be interested in that,
7 but when I'm watching TV with my wife, I turn it up very loud, and then
8 she leaves and goes to my brother's to watch television. But had I not
9 had good hearing, I would not have been able to be the manager of the post
10 office and do all of the work there, except for those who actually
11 delivered the mail.
12 Q. All right. And the injuries that you suffered, are any of them --
13 were any of them permanent? For instance, did you receive an injury to
14 your arm, and is that still a permanent condition?
15 A. I would like to explain that to you in the following way: On our
16 way to the exchange from Srebrenica to Bratunac, Beli came along, that
17 person from Pale. I forget his name. He stopped the truck, climbed up on
18 a tyre and hit me with a rifle butt on my right shoulder, saying:
19 Farewell, Chetnik. So this arm I can hold up straight, and this other arm
20 I can only raise as far as this.
21 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I'd like the record to reflect that
22 the witness has raised his arm midway, just below his right shoulder, just
23 for the record.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Richardson. The Trial Chamber has
25 had an opportunity to notice that as well. So it goes on record.
1 Do you have the medical certificates? Are you tendering them?
2 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, I am. Your Honour. I can do that at this
3 time. Could I just ask the usher to give that back to us for one moment.
4 I think there's something else attached that shouldn't be there. Your
5 Honours, so as not to waste time, I'll get back to the medical report;
6 we're removing something.
7 Q. Mr. Zikic, could you tell us if you have any problems with your
8 digestion and are you on medication at the moment?
9 A. Yes. I went to see the doctor yesterday and he prescribed me
10 everything that I needed. Because from the -- during the time that I was
11 in prison, I did not have any food and I did not pass a stool for the
12 period that I was in the prison. 16 days after I was released, my son
13 went to the pharmacy and he brought to me medicaments that I am still
14 using today, and I cannot have regular bowel movements unless I take this
15 medicine, and then, if I don't take the medicine, I get terrible pains in
16 my lower stomach.
17 Q. And were your feet swollen and did you lose weight as a result of
18 your imprisonment in Srebrenica?
19 A. Yes. My feet were swollen. Of course, I didn't even show that to
20 the doctor. There was no need to do that. I didn't know that I would
21 need that information sometime. When I was in the prison, I was wearing
22 shoes, my own shoes, in my proper size, but they were constantly wet. The
23 skin on my heels used to be very smooth, but -- and it was very thin skin
24 on my soles. However, when I came to my son's, the soles on my feet had
25 such a thick callus that for some time afterwards I had to wear shoes that
1 were two sizes bigger.
2 Q. And did you lose weight?
3 A. Of course. When I came to Bratunac, I told you that my -- the
4 husband of my wife's sister came to take me to his house. We came in
5 front of the house. I stepped on the stairs. And again, I repeat: They
6 called Drago. He asked me: Drago, please. Stop on the stairs so I can
7 explain something to Nada, my wife, my sister-in-law. I stopped. I
8 didn't hear what he was telling her and she shouted -- his name is
9 Budimir. She said: Budimir, have you gone crazy as well? And I heard
10 the reply. He said clearly: Drago is standing on the stairs. Please
11 stay calm.
12 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, could we have a moment for the
13 witness to compose himself.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think we need -- how much is this going
15 to --
16 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, that will --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to ask you that we
18 continue, please.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: If you need a short break, Mr. Zikic, we can give
20 you a short break. You don't need to worry. You're not going to return
21 here in January. We will finish with you tomorrow for sure. But if you
22 need a short break now, we'll give it to you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that even if we put it off
24 for seven days, I would still be affected by it. I will be the same later
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's continue. But if at any time,
2 Mr. Zikic, you would like us to stop, please let us know.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, Ms. Richardson.
5 MS. RICHARDSON:
6 Q. I believe you hadn't completed your answer. It had to do with
7 your physical appearance.
8 A. Yes. I will tell you that when I finish what I had begun so it
9 will all fit in. When she opened the door, she stopped and she stared at
10 me with wide-open eyes. She started to hug me. Budimir shouted: No.
11 He is --
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the last of that
14 A. They took my hand and it was only just two more steps. My
15 sister-in-law took me straight to the kitchen, Nada. I stank all over. I
16 asked to go to the bathroom. When I got up to go to the bathroom, my
17 sister-in-law brought out the mirror from the bathroom. I went into the
18 bathroom. Budimir gave me a bath. Of course, he gave me some of his
19 clothes and then I went into the kitchen.
20 MS. RICHARDSON: All right.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zikic. And my final question to you about your
22 injuries is whether or not you're on medication and are you able to sleep?
23 A. I am using a medicine called Bescedine [phoen] and it's a
24 tranquillizer which you can also use for sleep. And this is something
25 that the doctor also prescribed to me yesterday. So I trust that doctor.
1 Q. And is the reason that you're unable to sleep the result of what
2 you experienced in the Srebrenica prison?
3 MR. JONES: That is a very leading question.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I would avoid that question, because he can only
5 tell you what he thinks.
6 MS. RICHARDSON: That's fine, Your Honour.
7 At this time I'd like to tender the medical report. If we can
8 have Prosecution Exhibit. And I'd like this report to be shown to the
9 witness just briefly, for him to identify it.
10 Actually, Ms. Usher, I'd like that particular document, the one
11 that he's looking at at the moment, to be placed on the ELMO. Yes. And
12 if you could not give him that one. Yes, that one. Thank you.
13 Q. Mr. Zikic, please take a look at the monitor in front of you. Do
14 you recognise this document? Do you recognise this document, Mr. Zikic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is this the report that was given to you by the doctor who
17 examined you?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you very much.
20 MS. RICHARDSON: I believe -- I'm not sure if it was given a
21 number, Prosecution's exhibit.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Not yet.
23 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: This will be given Prosecution Exhibit P?
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, P464.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Siller. There was another document
2 that you --
3 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour. I apologise. It should not
4 have been attached. I just needed the medical report. So we will collect
5 those at the end of the session. I apologise.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Registrar -- usher, please.
7 Thank you.
8 MS. RICHARDSON:
9 Q. Now, Mr. Zikic, at some point you returned to your house in
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And could you tell us what the condition of your home was.
13 A. It had burnt down.
14 Q. All right.
15 MS. RICHARDSON: If I could just have a moment, Your Honour. We'd
16 like to have a photograph shown to the witness, and if we could have a
17 Prosecution's exhibit given to this photograph.
18 Q. All right. Mr. Zikic, do you recognise what's in the photograph
19 in front of you?
20 MS. RICHARDSON: And I believe it's in Sanction.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I would show him the photo.
22 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes. I think that's more practical. If you
23 could just take a look at the hard copy of the photograph.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, the witness is being shown a photo
25 bearing ERN 01088086.
1 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Zikic, do you recognise that photograph and the house in the
3 photograph, I should say
4 A. Of course.
5 Q. And whose house is this?
6 A. Slavoljub Zikic's house, or rather, my house. What you can see
7 towards the top of the photograph is a gable. It has bricks on both
8 sides, so it didn't fall down, but the roof had burned down. And this
9 house next to mine, for example, went like this. And this part of the
10 house is six by four metres. And the continuation on this side is seven
11 by four metres. And that's why, lower down, you can only see this thing
12 up there was knocked down, this continuation here that you can see. So
13 that part of the house was totally destroyed. And this part was left
14 without a roof, but the floor was still there. So the water went away
15 when the house was destroyed, and everything just collapsed.
16 Q. When did you first see your house after October 5th? Do you
17 remember what month it was that you returned to Fakovici?
18 A. Of course. On the 16th of October I was exchanged, on the 16th of
19 October. I spent the evening and the night at my wife's sister's place.
20 The next morning, my son came to pick me up just across the way from
21 Fakovici, across the Drina. He didn't go to Bratunac because his mother
22 would not allow him. She was afraid that the Serb army might seize him or
23 mobilise him, so he was waiting for me in Bacevci and we were waiting to
24 be ferried across and then my wife went to Fakovici. I could no longer
25 cope. So we're talking about the 18th now. So I set out too.
1 May God be my judge, I said at that time, even if I were to fall
2 into their hands again, I just want to go back and see my house. And then
3 they may as well take me again.
4 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I think at this point maybe we
5 should conclude for today. I think the witness may need at least five
6 minutes. From where I am he seems -- Mr. Zikic -- maybe I should ask him
7 if he needs a few minutes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Please go ahead.
9 MS. RICHARDSON:
10 Q. Mr. Zikic, do you need a few minutes?
11 A. No.
12 Q. All right. Now, when you saw your house, and as you're looking at
13 the picture and the damage that you observe in the picture, is this the
14 damage that you observed on your house on that day when you returned?
15 A. It's the same thing, but you can't see the continuation up there
16 because it's gone. There's only one part that remains, down there, but
17 it's maybe half a metre high from that side. From this side, you can't
18 see anything that's up there. It's the angle at which the photograph was
19 taken. You should have a photograph taken from the other side to get the
20 right impression.
21 Q. And this damage that you observed to your home, this was -- this
22 damage was done during the attack on Fakovici?
23 MR. JONES: I do object to that question because the witness has
24 given evidence about what he saw. He saw his house burning. He didn't
25 see anyone set fire to it. That evidence has been given and to revisit is
1 in my submission pointless.
2 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I'm trying to at least set the
3 record straight that this is not the damage -- that he observed this
4 damage after October 5th.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But then put the question. I mean --
6 MS. RICHARDSON: I'm trying to get there.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Just ask the question whether on October 5th this
8 was the condition in which he saw the house, his own house.
9 MS. RICHARDSON:
10 Q. Mr. Zikic, on October 5th, was this the condition of your home,
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Before the --
13 MS. RICHARDSON:
14 Q. Before the attack?
15 A. The same condition as we see in this photograph. The upper
16 portion -- if the photograph had been taken from a different angle, we
17 would be able to see the other side of the house, because if you look at
18 the hill just behind, there's a continuation of this house. I'm not sure
19 how I should describe this or explain this. I'm not an expert in these
20 matters. I can't be expected to assess the damage.
21 Q. All right.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think he's answered the question.
23 Mr. Zikic, before the -- before October 5th, was your house in the
24 condition that you see it in this photo or was it intact?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, how could it have been
1 damaged before it was even set fire to? I was watching on that day. I
2 watched my house burn, but not only my house. Along the River Drina,
3 along the 12 kilometres, six houses in Fakovici, in both directions along
4 the River Drina, were burning -- for six kilometres, not six houses.
5 Along the Drina, Grabovica, village by village, Vranesevici, Popovici.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't worry. Enough. I think you have given us
7 your answer.
8 Next question, Ms. Richardson.
9 MS. RICHARDSON:
10 Q. All right.
11 Q. Mr. Zikic, on the day of the attack, did you observe anyone taking
12 any of your property during the time that you were -- on the day of the
14 A. No, because we had fled. Once I saw the house burning, the houses
15 that were burning earlier were those closer to the creek and then one by
16 one, and then we fled to the river-bank. So what's more, I didn't even
17 see anyone while the house was burning. It was only once I had been
18 captured that I saw soldiers near my house.
19 Q. All right. Did you own livestock and did you see anyone taking
20 your livestock at any point during the attack?
21 A. I owned two fat pigs. It was the month of October and we
22 slaughter these pigs in November. They must have been 200 kilogrammes
23 each. I had about 70 chickens, maybe in about 15 or 20 days they were
24 supposed to be slaughtered. I don't know the exact number of hens that I
25 had. I had a cow and a calf. I said a calf, but it was because of this
1 calf that I was captured in the end. That's what I thought to myself.
2 Well, I was at the river-bank, I saw the house burn and it didn't know how
3 to cry. Because it was nearby, I was afraid that the fire would spread to
4 my livestock.
5 I tried to go back to see if the cowshed and the stable were still
6 in place. They saw me and the whole thing actually happened because of
7 this unfortunate cow.
8 Q. All right. Did you see anyone taking the cow?
9 A. When they tied me up, the street and the garden, there was lots.
10 My brother has a huge garage but he still didn't have a door built. There
11 was lots inside too. As I said before, they put themselves up there
12 because it was some sort of a shelter, because they were afraid, since
13 they didn't find anything at the Drina River or from Serbia that there
14 would be no firing. I saw a person from Poznanovici who I used to know
15 and see a lot of earlier, but I don't know his first and last name. There
16 were 1.000 people there. It's hard to point your finger at someone and
17 say who the person is. The cow had been taken out of the shed and the
18 calf I didn't see at all. Maybe they had taken it away earlier, but this
19 was not something that I saw. And I didn't care at the time. There was a
20 lot of noise, and this civilian took the cow away. It was -- the cow was
21 so powerful that it soon got the soldiers tired and the cow must have been
22 scared by the sounds of shooting. What else can I say?
23 Q. All right. And with respect to the houses you saw burning, could
24 you tell us who the owners of those homes that you saw burning, and are
25 these homes in Fakovici?
1 A. At that time, I could only see the houses burn in Fakovici. There
2 was smoke coming. I didn't see it with my own eyes. I just saw that it
3 was burning. In Fakovici, Djordje Stevanovic's house was the first to
4 burn down. The second house was the church, the church where priests live
5 [as interpreted]. The third house was Drago Jovanovic's cafe.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, please may we just
7 clarify this. The witness did not say that the church was burnt but
8 rather, the church building where the priests live, and the transcript
9 says the church.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Vidovic, and it applies also to the
11 Prosecution, please, when you -- when the witness is giving evidence, you
12 have no right to stand up and start talking without our permission.
13 Yes. Let him -- the witness should not be interrupted unless we
14 decide that he should be interrupted, especially since it's a question of
15 interpretation and transcript.
16 Now, Mr. Zikic, you were saying: At that time I could only see
17 the houses burn in Fakovici. There was smoke coming. I didn't see with
18 my own eyes. I just saw that it was burning. In Fakovici, Djordje
19 Stevanovic's house was the first to burn down. The second house was the
20 church, the church where priests live. The third house was Drago
21 Jovanovic's cafe. Let's continue and then we correct that part later.
22 Go ahead.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The fourth house belonged to Draga
24 Bozic. The woman died and now her son is Petar. The fifth house is the
25 house belonging to Milos Bozic, the sixth one to Bozo Bozic. And now I'm
1 going back. The seventh house is my house, Slavoljub Zikic. The eighth
2 house belongs to my brother, Bogomir Zikic. Across the way from my house,
3 two, three school buildings which were used for educational purposes. And
4 the next one is the forest-keeper's house, and then the next one, my
5 brother-in-law, Radoj Markovic's house. His brother Radomir Markovic's
6 house. Ognjen Markovic's house, Goran Markovic's house, Andrija
7 Markovic's house. That's it for the time being.
8 MS. RICHARDSON:
9 Q. All right. Did any of your relatives die in the attack on -- I'm
10 sorry. With respect to the houses you just listed, they're all in
11 Fakovici? So that we're clear.
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, did you lose -- did any of your family members
14 die in the attack on Fakovici?
15 A. I put together a list. I didn't even know. I thought that I
16 would only testify about the time I spent in prison in Srebrenica. So I
17 put together some information when I was captured. I thought the Tribunal
18 would want to know if anyone was killed, so I put together all this
19 information, first and last name, and the village. If I may be allowed to
20 read this out.
21 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, that would be my final question, and
22 if the witness would --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead, Mr. Zikic.
24 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: How long is this list? How many names do you have
1 on it?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll take probably three or four
3 minutes to read this.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead.
5 MR. JONES: Your Honour, could we --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll ask him for it later, Mr. Jones.
7 MR. JONES: First I was wondering what the list is, if it's
8 something he's prepared himself, for it seems to be in a book firstly.
9 And secondly perhaps he could submit the list rather than read it out.
10 Because it seems to be in a book.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Where are you reading from? Where are you reading
12 from, Mr. Zikic?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Personally, from a monument that is
14 now in place.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: But are you reading from a book or from notes that
16 you have made yourself?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the notes, if you care to have
18 a look.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's proceed with this and then we see
20 it later, Mr. Jones. What difference is it going to make.
21 MR. JONES: It just saves time if we receive the list.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We've only got ten minutes left and he's going to
23 take three of them, so let's move ahead.
24 Mr. Zikic, could you please read out those names.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Attack on Fakovici the 5th of
1 October, 1992. People who were killed. Radoj Markovic, Fakovici; Radomir
2 Markovic, Fakovici; Slavka Markovic, my sister; Olga Markovic; Djoko
3 Jokic, born in 1958; my son-in-law, Svetozar Djokic; Sreten Djokic;
4 Milovan Djokic; Nikolic Petko; Cuba Nikolic; Milovan Nikolic; Miroslav
5 Ivanovic; Vladin Vasic; Stanoje Vasic; Vidoje Djukic; Radovan Djukic;
6 Milutin Ristic; Zarija Ristic; Desanka Bozic; Stojka Stjepanovic, Milomir
7 Subotic; Rade Savic; Milja Despotovic; Petra Prodanovic; Danilo Djuric.
8 That's in relation to the 5th.
9 And those who were killed in an ambush before and after, if you're
10 not interested, I don't have to go through this. What I've read out now
11 is in relation to the 5th of October.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that's what we are interested in. Any
13 further questions, Ms. Richardson.
14 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Mr. Zikic. I do have copies of what
15 Mr. Zikic just read out if the Court as well as the Defence --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Does it interest the Defence or not?
17 MR. JONES: Well, as we all know, Mr. Oric isn't charged with any
18 crimes against the person, so it's probably not necessary.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: You want to file a list you may file it, but again,
20 at the end of the day, it's not part of the indictment.
21 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, the names have been read out by
22 Mr. Zikic. That's fine.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I think we can rest for today.
24 Mr. Zikic --
25 MR. JONES: Your Honour, may I just --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to give a number to this exhibit. This will
2 be 46 --
3 THE REGISTRAR: 465, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: The photo bearing ERN 01088086 is being marked as
5 Prosecution Exhibit P465.
7 MR. JONES: Yes, Your Honour. Just to be clear, I understand the
8 Prosecution has concluded their examination-in-chief.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what I understand, yes.
10 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour.
11 MR. JONES: Okay. Because it wasn't said.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no, no. It's -- but that's what I
14 Yes. Anything else, Ms. Richardson?
15 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I do have --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Ms. Richardson, please.
17 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you. I do have copies of Prosecution's
18 Exhibit P448. I believe it was used yesterday. And I'd just like to
19 provide copies. Thank you.
20 Nothing further, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
22 Mr. Zikic, we will continue tomorrow morning at 9.00.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: So we stand adjourned until tomorrow morning at
25 9.00. Thank you.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.41 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 16th day of
3 December, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.