1 Monday, 31 January 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Glad to you again, Mr. Siller. We both seem to have
6 a very long day today.
7 So, Mr. Siller, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Case number
9 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Mr. Oric. Can you follow the
11 proceedings in your own language?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, and
13 distinguished gentlemen. Yes, I can follow the proceedings fully.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.
15 Appearances for the Prosecution.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MS. SELLERS: Good morning, Your Honours. Good afternoon.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon.
19 MS. SELLERS: Good afternoon. My name is Patricia Sellers for the
20 Prosecution, and with me is Joanne Richardson as co-counsel, and also
21 Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio. We have our and our case manager,
22 Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Ms. Sellers, and good afternoon to
25 Appearances for Naser Oric.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. My
2 name is Vasvija Vidovic, and together with Mr. John Jones, I represent the
3 Defence for Mr. Oric. We have with us here our legal assistant,
4 Ms. Jasmina Cosic, and our CaseMap manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good afternoon to you.
6 Before we admit the witness in the courtroom, are there any
8 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, we'll have no preliminaries on this
9 side. We would just like to announce that we did receive the Defence
10 reply for the 94 bis, and that we're taking that under contemplation.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly. We have received it too, and we've
12 started working on it, together with the other filing.
13 Just some housekeeping matters, information more or less, more
14 than anything else. I should like to inform you that on Friday, the 11th
15 of February, when we are scheduled to sit in the morning, we will be
16 unable to sit because there is an extraordinary Plenary of the Judges
17 taking place. And as I am the chair of the Rules Committee, there is no
18 way I can escape my responsibilities there. So I have to be present
19 throughout the entire sitting, session, of the Plenary, which I anticipate
20 will take the entire morning at least, entire day most -- more probably.
21 So there will be no sitting on the 11th, all right? Okay.
22 Second piece of information I wanted to give you is that, next
23 week we were scheduled to sit in the afternoon, with the exception of
24 Friday. Through the hard work of my staff, we have succeeded in shifting
25 all the sittings to the morning, bar Thursday, the 10th, bar Thursday the
1 10th. It's not because we have not succeeded in shifting it, but because
2 as we were sitting in the afternoon, I had made a personal appointment
3 which is -- which I cannot change now, because it doesn't depend on me,
4 and I have to be at my appointment at round about 10.00, and I don't know
5 how long that's going to take. So rather than trying to split the morning
6 sitting in two parts, I would rather keep it in the afternoon, as it was
7 originally scheduled. So on the 10th, we will be sitting in the afternoon
8 and not in the morning, all right? Okay. Otherwise, Monday, Tuesday, and
9 Wednesday we'll be sitting in the morning rather than -- instead of the
11 Does that cause you any problem, Ms. Richardson or Mr. Di Fazio,
12 Ms. Sellers? It doesn't cause you any problems?
13 MR. DI FAZIO: None at all, if Your Honours please.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Neither does it cause the Defence any problem.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: We're still in time to shift, because all this was
17 done in the last hours, you know, when it could be done. All right?
19 Any preliminaries on your parts? None? Where's the usher?
20 There. Could you escort the witness in, please. Thank you.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, Mr. Gligic.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it that you are receiving interpretation of
25 what I'm saying in your own language, and that you can understand what is
1 being said, in other words?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Is the volume of your -- in your
4 earphone, headphones, good enough? Do you want it higher or do you want
5 it lower?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's fine.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So good afternoon once more, and welcome
8 to this Tribunal. You are soon going to start giving testimony in this
9 case, which the Prosecution has instituted against Naser Oric.
10 Our Rules require that before you start giving evidence, you make
11 a solemn declaration, equivalent to an oath, in the sense that in the
12 course of your testimony, you will be speaking the truth, the whole truth,
13 and nothing but the truth. The text of this solemn undertaking is
14 contained in a piece of paper that Madam Usher is going to give to you.
15 Please read it out loud, and that will be your solemn undertaking with us.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 WITNESS: BRANISLAV GLIGIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: First of all, on behalf of the Trial Chamber, I
23 would like to welcome you and thank you for having accepted to come over
24 and give evidence in this trial.
25 Let my introduce myself. I'm the Presiding Judge in this trial.
1 My name is Carmel Agius, and I come from Malta. To my right is
2 Judge Hans Henrik Brydensholt from Denmark, and to my left,
3 Judge Albin Eser from Germany. Together we preside over this trial.
4 You have been summoned here as a witness by the Office of the
5 Prosecutor. But once here, occupying that chair where you're sitting now,
6 you are a testimony -- you are a witness, you are a witness of this
7 Tribunal, and you do not have the freedom or the liberty to consider
8 yourself as the witness of the Prosecutor rather than the witness of the
9 Defence, or consider yourself to be a witness against the accused. You
10 are not a witness against the accused, you're just a witness, you're a
11 witness of this Tribunal.
12 As a result of this, as a consequence, you have a responsibility
13 and a duty, pursuant to the oath that you have taken earlier on, to answer
14 all questions, irrespective of who is putting the questions to you,
15 whether it's the Prosecutor or the Defence, answer all questions, wherever
16 they are coming from, as truthfully, as fully, and as honestly as
18 Do I make myself clear?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: If you have any problems with any question that may
21 be put to you at any time, either by the Prosecutor -- the Prosecution or
22 by the Defence, please draw our attention straightaway. We will listen to
23 what you have to say and we will decide accordingly. All right?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: The procedure is the Prosecution goes first, and I
1 understand that Ms. Sellers will be putting -- examining you in the first
2 place. She will then be followed by Madam Vidovic, who is appearing for
3 Naser Oric.
4 Whether you will be here again tomorrow or not, or how long you
5 are going to stay -- be here giving evidence very much depends on how you
6 answer. The shorter you keep your answers, the better it is. Please
7 answer the question, the whole question, and nothing but the question, if
8 you can. Sometimes witnesses have a tendency to tell us whole stories.
9 We are not interested in what is not being asked from you or of you, so
10 please try to restrict your answers, as much as possible, to the question
11 that is put to you. And if it's a question that only requires you to
12 answer yes or no, just answer yes or no. And this is for your own good.
13 All right?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
16 Ms. Sellers.
17 MS. SELLERS: Thank you. Your Honours, I'll ask permission again
18 to lead the witness on background material.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please. Please go ahead. And unless I'm
20 stopped by the Defence, it means that there is no objection.
21 Examined by Ms. Sellers:
22 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Gligic. Could you please state your full name
23 for the record.
24 A. Good afternoon. My name is Branislav Gligic. I was born in 1964,
25 on the 7th of April, in Skelani.
1 Q. And is that the Skelani that was in the municipality of Srebrenica
2 in the former Yugoslavia, in Bosnia?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Gligic, am I right in understanding that you have an
5 identical twin brother, and that both of you have the same nickname, which
6 is Pira?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that your ethnic origin is that of Bosnian Serb?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In 1985, after completing high school, did you complete your
11 compulsory military service, where you studied communications?
12 A. I served the military service in Skopje, in Macedonia.
13 Q. And you studied communications during that time period?
14 A. I did not study communications. I was merely trained in radio and
15 telegraph and in establishing communication links between units.
16 Q. Now, after your military service, isn't it true that you were a
17 toy salesman, and that you sold toys at the fairs and the local fetes in
18 the Skelani area?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And with your profession of selling toys, you travelled to several
21 towns, and were quite familiar with the villages and hamlets that
22 surrounded the Skelani town.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In 1992, were you living in Skelani with your mother, your father,
25 and your twin brother?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And could you please confirm to the Trial Chamber that Skelani is
3 a small town that sits on the banks of the Drina River?
4 A. It is.
5 Q. And that Skelani, in 1992, had about 400 households and about
6 1.200 residents.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Also, isn't it true that Skelani was basically an agricultural
9 community, but that you also had people who raised livestock there?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, above the town of Skelani, are there villages, such as the
12 village of Zabokvica?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Are these villages that lie above the town of Skelani mainly
15 Muslim towns or Serb towns?
16 A. Above Skelani, the place where I live, there are predominantly
17 Serb villages, although there are some that are Muslim as well.
18 Q. And from the town of Skelani, you can look up into the mountains
19 behind the town and see these other villages; is that true?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Across from the town of Skelani, looking toward the Drina River,
22 is there the city of Bajina Basta that's located in what is Serbia?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, I'd like you to tell the Trial Chamber, prior to 1992, what
25 were your relationships with the Bosnian Muslims who lived in the Skelani
2 A. My relationship with my neighbours, Muslims, were excellent.
3 Q. And did you sell toys to both Muslims and to Serbs, and to any
4 residents in those areas?
5 A. Yes, I did. I frequented fairs, both those organised by the
6 Muslims and the Serbs. There were religious festivities that I would use
7 as an occasion to sell toys both to the Muslims and the Serbs.
8 Q. Now, prior to April of 1992, did you notice any tensions that were
9 starting to form between the Muslims and Serbs in the Skelani area?
10 A. In the area in and around Skelani, in the villages that I
11 frequented, in the end of 1989 and in 1990, tensions heightened. The SDA
12 party was established and followed by the establishment of the SDS.
13 Q. Now, because of the tensions that arose, did you join one of the
14 parties, the SDS party, for example?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did you join any political party?
17 A. Yes, I did. My political party was a movement for Yugoslavia by
18 Ante Markovic, who was its president. It was a party of the Yugoslavs.
19 Q. And why didn't you join the SDS?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. There seems to be something that -- it
21 seems Judge Brydensholt as well, and myself as well at least, are not
22 understanding. Just a couple of seconds ago, to the question whether he
23 did join one of the parties, the SDS party, for example, he gave a
24 categoric no answer. Then he says that he joined a movement for
25 Yugoslavia, the one by Ante Markovic, and now you are asking him why did
1 he join the SDS.
2 MS. SELLERS: Why did he not. It should have been translated why
3 didn't he.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sorry.
5 MS. SELLERS: Excuse me.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: The question is: You joined the movement for
7 Yugoslavia, the Ante Markovic movement, but you did not choose to join the
8 SDS. You're being asked why did you not join the SDS? Did you have a
9 reason for not joining the SDS, as a Serb, as a Serbian?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I considered the party that I
11 entered into, that is, the party that I became a member of, had, among its
12 members, the Serbs, the Muslims, and the Roma, so all the entire
13 population represented in my village, all of my schoolmates, neighbours,
14 and workmates.
15 MS. SELLERS:
16 Q. Would you please tell the members of the Chamber the name of the
17 party you did join?
18 A. This party had among its members representatives of all the
19 ethnicities of the people who wanted to preserve the former country,
20 Yugoslavia. Ante Markovic had its branch offices in all the
21 municipalities. Skelani also had its local board that I joined, of my own
22 free will.
23 Q. Was the name of that party the Reformist Party?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, because of the rising tensions that you've described in the
1 Skelani area, did there come a time when Muslim men began to leave their
3 A. In 1992, in late March, early April, there was something very odd
4 going on in the relations between the Muslims and the Serbs. In the
5 municipality of Srebrenica, the Skelani local commune, that's where the
6 SDA membership was in the majority. This party was arming the Muslims,
7 that is, the Bosniaks, through the reserve police force. At the time in
8 Skelani, in peacetime, there were some five or six police officers. When
9 the SDA party came to power, there were some 50 Muslims forming the
10 reserve police force at the SUP in Skelani. They wore uniforms and
11 carried weapons, that's to say, rifles and pistols.
12 Q. And did young Muslim men either join the police force or otherwise
13 leave their homes?
14 A. There were some who joined their ranks, who were aged 20 and
15 above, and there were those who went to the woods.
16 Q. And do you know, if anything, what they did in the woods?
17 A. I don't know. I only know that in Skelani, where I lived, the
18 Serbs found it very hard to live there because of the circumstances arisen
19 with the SDA party and the reserve police force. The Serbs were
20 frightened because they were not represented in the SUP on an equal
21 footing. The Serb citizens did not trust the Muslims, and vice versa.
22 Q. And did any Muslim citizens at that time go across the river
23 toward Bajina Basta, in Serbia?
24 A. Every day the Muslims and the Serbs went to Bajina Basta. They
25 were commuters, because there were Muslims who worked in Bajina Basta for
1 many, many years. Serbs too. And nobody placed any obstacles in their
2 way of doing so.
3 Q. Now, during this time period, did a man named Besim Mandzic become
4 prominent in a political sense?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Would you tell the Trial Chamber a little bit about Besim Mandzic
7 and what he did during this time period?
8 A. Besim Mandzic is my neighbour. He lived 150 to 200 metres from my
9 house; that's where his house was. Mr. Mandzic has a degree in mechanical
10 engineering. He graduated from a mechanical faculty in Serbia, as a --
11 had a scholarship from a local company where his father worked.
12 After graduating from the university, he returned to Skelani.
13 This is when the war broke out, and he joined the SDA party and became one
14 of the leading members, at least as far as Skelani is concerned. And
15 later on in Srebrenica as well.
16 Q. Did you also hear of a person named Naser Oric during this time
17 period, around April 1992?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Had you heard of Naser Oric, or see Naser Oric, prior to April
21 A. I used to see the gentleman in Srebrenica in a gym hall where he
22 trained. I watched him wearing sports clothes. I also saw him in
23 Bratunac, riding a motorcycle, also wearing sports clothing. And I saw
24 him in a coffee bar wearing a police uniform as well, in Skelani. I saw
25 him in a uniform on the 4th of April, 1992, in a coffee bar called Merima,
1 which was owned by Bekir Tihic.
2 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber, before 1992, what, if
3 any, kind of reputation did the person called Naser Oric have in the
4 Skelani region?
5 A. Naser had quite a reputation, a positive one as far as the Muslims
6 were concerned. He was their idol, their commander.
7 Q. And when you saw him in this cafe that you've mentioned, did he
8 have people around him or was he by himself?
9 A. On that occasion, he arrived in a Golf II car that belonged to the
10 Srebrenica SUP, in the company of the new chief of police appointed by the
11 SDA. They entered the coffee bar. They sat at a double table. Radif,
12 the policeman who worked in Skelani at the time, was with them in company;
13 Mandzic Besim, another gentleman, and several reserve policemen
14 appointed by the SDA.
15 Q. Do you remember the date that you saw Naser Oric in the cafe in
17 A. Yes, I remember. I think that it was a religious Muslim holiday.
18 It could have been Bajram, the 4th of April.
19 Q. And the person you mentioned with him, Besim Mandzic, is this the
20 same Besim Mandzic that you told the Trial Chamber about earlier as being
21 involved in the SDA party?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Was there a man named Ahmo Tihic also present at the cafe that
25 A. Yes. He is a local --
1 Q. I'm sorry.
2 A. He was a local Muslim leader in Skelani.
3 Q. And was he seated at the table with Naser Oric?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you know what Mr. Ahmo Tihic's profession was, or what he did
6 during that time period?
7 A. Mr. Ahmo Tihic worked at the time in Bajina Basta, in a company
8 called Teratrans. It's a transportation company. He drove a truck.
9 After working hours, he raised cattle -- sold cattle with his brother.
10 Q. To your knowledge, was he ever involved in arms trading?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber what you know about Mr. Tihic and
13 his arms trading dealings, if anything?
14 A. Mr. Ahmo Tihic worked in a transportation company, hauling
15 company. He travelled through the entire territory of the former
16 Yugoslavia and Europe. He armed the Bosniak people in Skelani. He bought
17 weapons for them, and they had to pay for each rifle. At the time people
18 had to sell a cow in order to buy a rifle. That's how much it cost. And
19 they simply followed their party orders.
20 Q. Now, were there other people in the cafe that day?
21 A. Yes, there were many people in the cafe, including myself. I came
22 to the cafe together with a neighbour, a Muslim, Zurijet Ljeskovica,
23 nicknamed Robert, born in 1961, in the village of Lijesce. We were truly
24 good friends; we called each other pals at the time.
25 Q. Now, the other people who were in the cafe, what was their
1 attitude or reaction to Naser Oric?
2 A. They followed each of his movements or words with pleasure, with
3 approval. It was heartfelt.
4 Q. Were there any Bosnian Serbs, other than yourself, in the cafe
5 that day?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Do you know why there were not any other Bosnian Serbs in the cafe
8 that day?
9 A. At the time the Muslims had their cafe and the Serbs had their
10 cafe. So if the owner was a Muslim, that establishment was frequented by
11 the Muslims; if the owner was a Serb, then that place was visited by the
12 Serbs. In addition to that, there was also a state-owned coffee bar
13 frequented by everyone.
14 Q. Now, you mentioned Mr. Mandzic, Mr. Tihic, and other people that
15 were seated at the table with Naser Oric. Would you please tell the Trial
16 Chamber whether they were armed or not?
17 A. Naser wore a police uniform, and he was armed. The other people
18 in his company, there was a policeman called Muradif, who now lives in
19 Sarajevo, he was also armed. The reserve policemen from that police
20 station were armed with long-barreled weapons, rather, automatic rifles.
21 Q. Now, Mr. Gligic, during that time period, April 1992, were you
22 working as a driver for the Skelani TO?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you work as a driver until June 1992 for the Skelani TO?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And during that time period, when you were a driver for the
2 Skelani TO, were you an active-duty soldier?
3 A. All of the people who were in the TO -- I don't actually
4 understand your question. What do you mean by "active duty"? I drove a
5 car, and in that sense I was active. But I was not at the front.
6 Q. Were you issued a uniform or a weapon during that time period, as
7 a driver?
8 A. When the conflict broke out, we had to wear a uniform. There were
9 also periods of time when I worked wearing civilian clothes, because one
10 couldn't drive a wounded person or a corpse to Bajina Basta wearing a
12 Q. So did you have a commanding officer that you reported to, as a
13 driver for the TO?
14 A. Yes. I had my orders as to which routes to take when I drove the
15 car, where to take people, and which routes to take on my way back. So
16 yes, I received those orders.
17 Q. And in June of 1992, did you then become a driver for the civilian
18 authorities in Skelani?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And by "civilian authorities," do you mean the Crisis Staff or
21 what evolved into the War Presidency?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, as a driver for the civilian authorities, isn't it true that
24 you drove both a truck and an ambulance?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And as a driver of the ambulance, on occasion you would have to
2 pick up dead bodies to bring them to Skelani and then transport them to
3 Bajina Basta.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In your capacity as a driver of an ambulance, did you have the
6 occasion to go to the village of Ratkovici in June 1992?
7 A. Could you please repeat your question.
8 Q. As an ambulance driver, did you go to the village of Ratkovici in
9 June of 1992?
10 A. In June of 1992, no, not on that occasion. In 1993.
11 Q. And when you went to the village of Ratkovici, were you
12 accompanied by other people?
13 A. The village of Ratkovici -- well, let me tell you, I first arrived
14 in Fakovici. I parked my car there, and together with the residents of
15 Fakovici, I remember a policeman called Kinez who works in Srebrenica
16 today as a policeman, and also Slavko, who owned a coffee shop, and some
17 other 30 villagers whose names I couldn't tell you now.
18 Q. When you went to the village Ratkovici, had it recently come under
20 A. In Fakovici, the people called authorities in Skelani saying that
21 they needed an ambulance car to go to Ratkovici, the village which had
22 been attacked by the Bosniaks, by the Muslims.
23 Q. And is it your testimony that you went to Ratkovici in 1993, or is
24 it your testimony, when you think about it, that you went to Ratkovici in
1 A. In 1992.
2 Q. Now, when you arrived in Ratkovici, could you please explain to
3 the Trial Chamber how the village looked.
4 A. The road leading to the village is something I'm going to
5 describe. But let me just tell you, it was horrible. The entire village
6 was razed to the ground. There were just walls remaining. Everything had
7 been set on fire. There were several killed animals, people. Everything
8 had been torched, looted, and razed to the ground. One couldn't see a
9 room intact, or an object that had not been destroyed. Everything had
10 been looted and taken away.
11 I helped people then. We buried corpses. I remember well that I
12 buried an old man whose last name was Pavlovic. His son is Petko, and
13 works today in the Zvornik MUP. I simply threw some bushes on top of him,
14 because it was getting dark, the night was approaching, and we had to take
15 another route on our way back so as to avoid an ambush. So we had to take
16 a longer way home, and that was going to take more time.
17 Q. Now, it was part of your job, I understand, to collect bodies.
18 The bodies that you collected, were any of those appear to have been
19 mutilated or scarred or otherwise --
20 MR. JONES: I don't see what that has to do with the charges in
21 this case.
22 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, might I respond to that?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of course.
24 MS. SELLERS: I think it goes at this point in time not to the
25 credibility of this witness but to the credibility of other witness that
1 is have testified about this attack, and the Prosecution would like to
2 elicit corroborative evidence, if they might.
3 MR. JONES: It means that the evidence of those witnesses is also
4 irrelevant. If it's a question of corroborating on other matters, then my
5 learned friend can go ahead. But I don't --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we crossed that stream a long time ago at
7 the beginning of the case, whether they were relevant or not. So I
8 think --
9 MR. JONES: It's in the interests of saving time, obviously.
10 We're all keen to stick to what's relevant.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's perfectly legitimate to proceed with
12 the question. Yes, Ms. Sellers.
13 MS. SELLERS:
14 Q. I believe I asked, it was part of your job, I understand, to
15 collect the bodies. And the bodies that you collected, did any of those
16 appear to be scarred or mutilated or otherwise damaged?
17 A. Nobody ordered me to do that. I did that of my own free will. As
18 for the bodies and how they were mutilated and scarred, that is something
19 I will never forget. My job was simply to drive an ambulance car.
20 Everything else I did was above and beyond my job, and I did it out of
21 patriotic sentiments, of my own free will.
22 Q. Now, the bodies that you collected, were they bodies of Bosnian
23 Serbs or Bosnian Muslims?
24 A. Those were the corpses of Serb mothers, fathers, old people,
25 residents of the village. It's a small agricultural village. People
1 living there were mutilated, torched. Everything was looted and
3 Q. Now, Mr. Gligic, when you say "torched," would you explain to the
4 Trial Chamber, what do you mean by "everything was torched"?
5 A. Well, what does that mean? That means that people were first shot
6 from a firearm, a rifle, a machine-gun or something like that, so first
7 they were shot with weapons; after that they were beaten, mutilated, and
8 set on fire. In the houses which had been torched.
9 MR. JONES: Your Honour, this witness is wildly speculating about
10 things he knows nothing about. I wonder if he could be directed to
11 provide answers based on what he himself knows. That answer has -- bears
12 no resemblance to anything he saw himself in this instance.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Why is it speculation? I can't understand. Why is
14 it speculation?
15 MR. JONES: He's asked what he saw in terms of what he meant when
16 he said things had been torched, and he's now given a narrative about what
17 he imagines happened in that town. It's completely non-responsive,
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Is your description, Mr. Gligic, of what you mean by
20 torched based on what you know, what you saw, or is it based on your
21 imagination? Are you imagining how things could have happened, or are you
22 telling us in how they, indeed, happened, in trying to explain to us what
23 you mean by "torched"?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm not imagining
25 anything or inventing anything. I was an eyewitness to the plight, to the
1 suffering of the Serbian people. I was there, I buried those people, I
2 covered their bodies with bushes. I'm now describing what I saw, not what
3 I thought I saw, but rather what I experienced in that village at that
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I apologise to the interpreters. I had my
6 microphone switched off. Let's proceed.
7 MS. SELLERS:
8 Q. Mr. Gligic, when you use the word "torched," do you mean that
9 something was set afire?
10 A. When I got there with other people, there was not a single house
11 intact. No house had a roof on it. Everything that was wooden had
12 burned. There were bodies in orchards, in gardens. People without arms,
13 without legs, all inter-mixed with dead pigs, who had also been killed.
14 Q. Now, Mr. Gligic, you were a member of the army when you did your
15 compulsory military service in 1985. At that time were you instructed, or
16 did you know or have knowledge prior to that, on a weapon referred to as a
18 A. Well, yes. When I was at school, we had a subject called all
19 national defence. Not only I, everybody who attended secondary school.
20 That was a mandatory subject.
21 Q. And as you studied that subject, did you become acquainted with a
22 weapon referred to as a Zolja?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And do you know whether a Zolja is capable to set a house on fire
25 or any structure on fire?
1 A. Yes, it can set a house on fire. And if there is anyone in the
2 house, that person or persons will be destroyed as well.
3 Q. Now, when you went to the village of Ratkovici, did you personally
4 see any evidence that the burning or torching was caused by this arm
5 referred to as Zoljas?
6 A. In the village of Ratkovici, I couldn't tell you whether one Zolja
7 or several of them had been fired. All I can tell you is that force was
8 used in that village. Mr. Stevanovic, who had been killed -- I will tell
9 you what happened to them. His genitals had been cut off and placed into
10 his mouth. Therefore, force had been used on those people.
11 Q. Do you know whether, according to what you saw, any of the houses
12 could have been set on fire by means other than a Zolja?
13 A. No. The houses were set on fire by physical means. People were
14 first killed, then the houses were looted, and then set afire. It was a
15 way of intimidation, to ensure that people would not return back there.
16 Q. And when you say that the houses were looted in Ratkovici, does
17 that mean to you that there were goods missing from the houses or the
18 surrounding house -- surrounding the houses?
19 A. In all houses inhabited by people, there were food items and basic
20 necessities needed for life, various objects. All of that had been
21 collected and taken to Srebrenica, or to perhaps some other bases which
22 were closer.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Gligic, did you, during the summer of 1992, as the
24 ambulance driver, go to other Serb villages where you witnessed similar
25 incidents of burning or looting?
1 A. Yes, the villages Krnjic and Maljani. Two villages.
2 Q. And would you explain to the Trial Chamber what you witnessed
3 there in terms of torching or in terms of the deaths of people?
4 A. The attack on the village of Maljani, which is a Serbian village
5 with a church, took place on the 4th of July, 1992. The village was
6 completely looted, destroyed. People who happened to be in the village
7 were killed. We, from Skelani, could not arrive right away, because just
8 outside of the village were Muslim lines, front lines. After some seven
9 days, I managed to recover some bodies from Maljani and took them to the
10 chapel in Bajina Basta.
11 I remember that there was a corpse without a head, and we buried
12 that corpse in a metal casket. Most of the people were buried in a metal
13 casket because it was quite warm so as to avoid the stench. That's why we
14 did it. In that village, a priest was also killed, and that priest had a
15 parish in the village of Maljani. The name of the priest was Boban
17 Q. Mr. Gligic, the two villages that you mentioned, were they also
18 burned down?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Mr. Gligic, during this same time period, and through the fall,
21 did you visit the village of -- or did you go to the village of Bozici?
22 A. Bozici and Pribojevici. These are two villages next to one
24 Q. And could you tell the Trial Chamber why you went to those
25 villages, and what you saw when you arrived at those villages.
1 A. All of these villages around Skelani were predominantly Serb
2 villages. All of them had been looted, burned down, and any people who
3 happened to be in the village were killed in the most brutal way, most
4 brutal methods known nowadays.
5 I took all of these corpses to the chapel in Bajina Basta, their
6 records there reflecting in what shape those bodies were, whether they
7 were missing a head, an arm or a leg, and so on. Mr. Stankovic, a
8 pathologist from Belgrade, and a an inspector from the SUP in Skelani,
9 recorded all of that.
10 Q. And were those corpses that you transferred to Bajina Basta, were
11 those Bosnian Serbs or were they Bosnian Muslims?
12 A. All those corpses were Serbs. These were poor people who had
13 nowhere to flee. They only had their homes. And they could not even
14 imagine that such crimes would be committed against them by their own
15 neighbours. And they had nowhere to go. We didn't have a chapel in
16 Skelani. That's why we had to take them to Bajina Basta. And besides,
17 Skelani only had an out-patients' clinic; it did not have a health centre,
18 like in Bajina Basta.
19 Q. And when you state that the villages were destroyed, were burned,
20 would it be your testimony, similar to Ratkovici, some of the buildings
21 had been set on fire by people, or something?
22 A. The method of attack by the Muslim population against the Serbian
23 villages was as follows: First, the army set out killing people, followed
24 by people who were not able-bodied for the purposes of the army who would
25 set everything on fire, but prior to that would loot everything.
1 Q. Did you also have the opportunity to visit the town of Brezani
2 during that same time period?
3 A. I didn't go to Brezani, but I was involved in the pulling out of
4 the corpses, because Brezani was surrounded by Muslim settlements, and
5 whoever remained there was killed. A year later, the corpses were exhumed
6 and given a proper burial in Skelani.
7 Q. And I'll ask you again: Those corpses, were those the corpses of
8 Bosnian Muslims or Bosnian Serbs?
9 A. They were all Serbs from Serb villages, in Bosnia.
10 Q. Mr. Gligic, in September of 1992, was the Independent Battalion
11 established in the town of Skelani?
12 A. In early September, the TO was transformed into an independent
13 battalion, formed in Skelani.
14 Q. Now, prior to that, did Skelani have a village guard?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And could you tell the Trial Chamber, about how many people were
17 active in the village guard?
18 A. It all depended on the village in question. The Serbs were
19 guarding their houses from the Muslims, because in the area of Srebrenica,
20 the predominant population was Muslim. Of course, everybody was afraid,
21 and the Serbs were guarding their homes.
22 Q. Do you know how many Serbs participated in the village guard prior
23 to September 1992?
24 A. I can't say how many. Whoever owned a home had to have guarded
25 it, if the person had a home, a house, and a family.
1 Q. Now, were the village guards issued uniforms or issued proper
3 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Do we take your previous question, or
4 your last question, "do you know how many Serbs participated in the
5 village guard prior to September 1992," as being a generic one, or is
6 it -- do you mean to have it related to a particular village?
7 MS. SELLERS: Well, the village guard in the area. We're talking
8 about the Skelani area. Let me rephrase that.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so, because we want to make sure that he
10 understood you that way.
11 MS. SELLERS: Certainly.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I understood you that way, but ...
13 MS. SELLERS:
14 Q. Mr. Gligic, I'm referring to the area of Skelani. How many
15 village guards participated in that area, if you know?
16 A. The predominant population in Skelani was Muslim. There were very
17 few Serbs in Skelani, you know. I believe I've answered your question.
18 Q. Well, when the independent battalion was formed in September 1992,
19 were the members of the village guards, along with the TO, incorporated
20 into the independent battalion?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber, more or less, how many members
23 of the independent battalion were there in the Skelani area?
24 A. The independent battalion in Skelani was formed in early
25 September, and it had some 400 to 450 men.
1 Q. And were these men formerly in the TO and the village guard?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, when the independent battalion formulated, was heavy
4 artillery, such as tanks, anti-aircraft missiles, were they then stationed
5 in Skelani?
6 A. No.
7 Q. When the independent battalion was formed in September 1992, and
8 then in the succeeding months - October, November - did there some a time
9 period when heavy troop reserves from outside of the Skelani area were
10 stationed in Skelani?
11 A. When the autonomous battalion was formed, the strategic defence of
12 Skelani was situated on a locality called Jezero, and that's where the
13 battalion was stationed throughout. It was deployed to this area called
14 Jezero. Otherwise, there was no army in Skelani.
15 Q. So Skelani, in essence, in terms of soldier power, manpower,
16 remained basically as it had prior to the formation of the independent or
17 autonomous battalion; would that be correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. Now, was there a command headquarters located in Skelani for this
20 independent battalion?
21 A. Yes. The headquarters were housed in the building of the power
22 supply company, some -- a dozen people there.
23 Q. There were a dozen people working at this command headquarters?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber, who was in charge, the
1 commander, of the headquarters?
2 A. For a while it was Mr. Bosko Vukovic. At a later stage it was
3 Rajko Kuljanin.
4 Q. Was there someone named Ramiz who worked at the command
5 headquarters also?
6 A. No. Mr. Ramiz probably worked in Srebrenica.
7 Q. And did you work at the command headquarters?
8 A. I was a driver for the medical corps, and that's what my line of
9 duty was.
10 Q. So at this time were you a driver for both the Crisis Staff or War
11 Presidency and the independent battalion?
12 A. At the time I worked for the battalion, and, when need arose, I
13 worked for the Crisis Staff as well.
14 Q. And did you continue to drive the ambulance and truck for those
15 two organisations?
16 A. Yes, up until the 15th of June, 1993.
17 Q. During your work career with them, between September 1992 and into
18 the winter of 1993, did you ever drive military transport, such as APCs or
19 tanks or things that were armed and carried weapons?
20 A. No. I only drove this Lada of Russian make, a station wagon, and
21 a Niva, and a 10-tonne truck that was -- that had the Red Cross sign on
23 Q. And were you armed, as the driver of this Red Cross truck?
24 A. I had my personal sidearm, a pistol, 7.65 of the Zastava make,
25 produced in Kragljevac.
1 Q. Now, during any of your activities that you've described to us,
2 going to the village of Brezani or Ratkovici, or Kozici, did you ever use
3 your weapon in order to shoot or to wound or to kill someone?
4 A. No. This was a personal sidearm that I had from before the war,
5 and I carried it around for security reasons. I was driving an ambulance.
6 I couldn't be carrying a rifle.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 A. You're welcome.
9 Q. Mr. Gligic, I'd like to ask you about January 1993.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge Eser has a question.
11 JUDGE ESER: Before you come to another point, I just wanted to
12 know a little bit more, to clarify the relationship between the village
13 guard and this independent battalion. You told us that Skelani at that
14 time had about 1.200 inhabitants, and then you told us that the battalion,
15 including the village guard, comprised about 400 to 450 men. Now, these
16 450 men, where did they come from? Did they come from the area around
17 Skelani? And how many people have been -- did come from Skelani directly,
18 who had been members of the village guard?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I say "Skelani," I mean the
20 following: Skelani spreads out perhaps a kilometre in perimeter, and
21 there's Rosulje, Srpska Zabokvica, and other hamlets. All these people
22 were guarding their homes. I know for a fact, for the people who were my
23 neighbours, who were -- who lived nearby, and I can vouch for myself, that
24 we all guarded our homes.
25 JUDGE ESER: Now, the number of 400, 450, have these been members
1 of village guards of Skelani -- centre of Skelani -- the main place of
2 Skelani, and the hamlets? Or this number of 400, are they all the people
3 who came from outside of your area?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We stood guard until the
5 establishment of the independent battalion. As soon as the independent
6 battalion was established, people joined it and were holding positions at
7 Jezero. And at the time there were no men in Skelani, only women and
9 JUDGE ESER: But just this so-called independent battalion, has it
10 been composed of people from your area, or are there people coming from
11 other places, out of Skelani, who had been part of this independent
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All the people from Skelani joined
14 the independent battalion, I mean the residents of Skelani.
15 JUDGE ESER: Thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Judge Eser.
17 Madam Sellers, please.
18 MS. SELLERS:
19 Q. Mr. Gligic, in January of 1993, would you please tell the Trial
20 Chamber where the front lines of the Bosnian Serb army were located, and
21 the lines for the Muslim army.
22 A. The Skelani Battalion was deployed in Jezero. Around Jezero there
23 was this semicircle of the defence line formed by the Srebrenica army, I
24 mean the Muslim units. The Muslim units stretched out from Kragljevode
25 to --
1 THE INTERPRETER: I didn't catch the name of the other place.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you please repeat the place of the other --
3 the name of the other place, from Kragljevode to ...?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The distance between the Serb and
5 the Muslim armies was as follows: The Skelani Battalion was deployed
6 along Jezero and was facing the Muslim army, whereas the Muslim army
7 stretched out from -- there's this gap between Jezero and Kragljevode, and
8 then the Muslim army was deployed as of Kragljevode in the direction of
9 all these Muslim villages where they knew that they could seize the
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
12 Yes, Ms. Sellers.
13 MS. SELLERS:
14 Q. Yes. And this place that you referred to as "the gap," is there a
15 name given to that location?
16 A. No. I believe it's called Vitez. There's a hunting lodge there.
17 This was a terrain that was under nobody's control, for security reasons.
18 It may have only been used by one or the other side in some of the
20 Q. Now, in January of 1993, did there come a time period when
21 reinforcements did come to Skelani to help protect Skelani, reinforcements
22 from Jezero or from other battalions, such as Bratunac?
23 A. In January, Skelani did not -- or, rather, they did receive help.
24 After the attack on the 18th of January, there was this reinforcement in
25 the form of a unit arriving from the corps, because, of course, the
1 battalion in Skelani was an independent one.
2 Q. But before the 18th, then, of January, would it be your testimony
3 that there was no outside help that came into Skelani with reinforced
4 military weapons or materiel?
5 A. No. There were just Serbs from Bosnia who owned houses in Bajina
6 Basta, and then joined, of their own free will, this unit to help their
7 people and, at the same time, to defend their homes that were there.
8 MS. SELLERS: Your Honours, I'd like to get into the attack next,
9 but I think that we might want to take a break, and then I'll begin it in
10 the next session.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. We can have the break now. We
12 usually would have a 25-minute break and go on until 7.00. If you are
13 interested, as I used to do in the Brdjanin case, when we were sitting in
14 the afternoon, to reduce the break period from 25 minutes to 20, and
15 finished at 6.30 instead of 7, then we can. But it needs the -- I mean, I
16 know that the parties will agree, but I want to make sure that the
17 interpreters and the technicians agree to that, which would basically mean
18 20-minute breaks rather than 25-minute breaks, and then we'll be able to
19 finish at 6.30, and roughly we would have had the same sitting time. But
20 it's up to you. I mean, you confer with the registrar -- with the
21 registrar and let me know. Let me know. In which case we'll resume in 20
22 minutes' time.
23 --- Recess taken at 3.37 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's proceed.
1 MS. SELLERS:
2 Q. Mr. Gligic, we were speaking about January 1993. Did there come a
3 time period when the village of Skelani was attacked?
4 A. On the 16th of January, 1993, at 5.30 in the morning, the Muslim
5 units launched their attack at what was then the municipality of Skelani.
6 Q. Would you please explain to the Trial Chamber what you were doing
7 that day and what you did throughout the day, during the time period of
8 the attack.
9 A. I attack commenced at 5.30 in the morning. My house is in the
10 centre of Skelani, and I spent the night at home. I was sleeping in my
11 clothes, so I jumped from my bed and went out the terrace door. I was
12 running all the way to this low wall across from my house where the post
13 office and the church are situated.
14 The attack by the Muslim units against Skelani commenced at the
15 same time against the entire perimeter of Skelani. There was fire from
16 firearms, hand-held rocket-launchers, sub-machine-guns, and fire was
17 opened at Skelani, lying at the very mouth of the Drina River, at the foot
18 of a hill.
19 The attack commenced from an elevated point on the hill from the
20 Muslim villages, that is to say, from the Serb villages that the Muslims
21 had already taken earlier on. The shooting was heavy up until 8.30. The
22 intensity went down as we reached 1100 hours.
23 At that time, above my house in the orchard Vocnjak, it is some
24 100, 150 metres as the crow flies, I could see there men wearing
25 camouflage uniforms. Those were white camouflage uniforms, and green
1 camouflage uniforms as well. They were shouting, swearing, yelling. They
2 were shouting Allahu Akbar, we'll kill you all. The Serbs started running
3 away in the direction of Serbia, Bajina Basta, and as they were running
4 they were getting killed along the road.
5 There's a bridge across which one can reach Bajina Basta, and it
6 was on this bridge that most of the people got killed, including children.
7 Had those gentlemen known that there were not many people in Skelani, they
8 would have probably entered Skelani immediately and set it on fire.
9 However, they chose not to.
10 Around Skelani, all those Serb villages that were nearby had been
11 set on fire, looted, and people were killed. In Skelani, on that day, 57
12 people were killed, and there were many wounded.
13 Q. Mr. Gligic, excuse me, I'd like to ask you a question about Bajina
14 Basta. Did you go to Bajina Basta during the day of the attack?
15 A. Yes. It might have been some -- it might have been 8.00 and 20
16 minutes that I was driving Dimitrovic's children. One of them was hit in
17 the head, and the other in the spine. The child that was hit in the head,
18 I took the child to the nearby cafe, whereas the other child was driven on
19 by my brother. I took, later on, the other wounded and dead to Bajina
21 By 11.00, the attack stopped, and at that point I saw Muslims.
22 These were civilians. There were horses among them. And they were taking
23 food, cattle, and captured people with them.
24 Q. Now, where did you see those Muslims that you describe as taking
25 food, cattle, and captured people with them?
1 A. It was on the bank of the Drina, in Skelani. As you turn around,
2 you can see that there are hills all around. The Muslims were hiding in
3 the hills, whereas Skelani lies on the bank of the Drina River. That's
4 why the Muslims had a good vantage point; they could see the people on the
5 move. And the distance was quite a small one, because up above my house,
6 and those of others, there's woods. And from there they were shooting at
8 Q. Now, how could you, in the midst of the attack, see the Muslim
9 people confiscating goods or carrying goods out of the homes?
10 A. Well, from the point where I was standing, as well as other
11 people, it was only 150 metres behind our houses that there were there
12 civilians, hauling cattle with them, our cattle, as well as food and
13 everything else they had looted.
14 Q. Now, did the locations where the civilians who were hauling the
15 cattle, did they have names? Were they the names of small towns or
16 hamlets, or did you refer to that area in any particular way?
17 A. Those are places located 1 to 5 kilometres from Skelani. Rosulje,
18 Zarkovica, Srpska Zabokvica, Kalimanici. We could see smoke rising up,
19 indicating that the houses had been sent on fire. We could hear crying,
20 people's voices, and so on.
21 Q. Now, the places you've just mentioned, Rosulje, Zarkovica, are
22 these places where there were Bosnian Serb houses or Bosnian Muslim
24 A. The villages Zarkovica, Rosulje, Kalimanici, Maltasi, are
25 ethnically pure Serb villages. Popovici, Visoki, there's a church there.
1 These are purely Serbian villages. And a part of Zabokvica, this is why
2 we distinguished between the Serb Zabokvica and the Muslim Zabokvica.
3 Q. Now, you've testified that you saw soldiers and you saw civilians.
4 Would you please tell the Trial Chamber whether the say whether the
5 soldiers confiscating goods from your vantage point of the Serb houses?
6 A. The soldiers fired, attacked, and killed. Some of the soldiers,
7 together with civilians, with women and children and men who are not fit
8 for the army, they hauled cattle with them and carried various property
9 items and food.
10 Q. Now, you mentioned that there were horses. Were you able to see
11 who, if anybody, was riding the horses?
12 A. I couldn't say that. I didn't see. I couldn't recognise faces.
13 I saw horses, but I couldn't tell you who was riding horses or leading
14 them. I couldn't give you names.
15 Q. Excuse me, let me rephrase that. Could you tell whether there
16 were soldiers or civilians riding the horses?
17 A. Both civilians and soldiers.
18 Q. And did the horses have mounted on them any of the confiscated
20 A. Well, there were various objects, sacks, probably filled with
21 food, mounted on the horses.
22 Q. Now, you testified also that houses had been set on fire. Were
23 these houses set on fire before the looting, or were these houses set on
24 fire after the looting?
25 A. After the looting, in order to intimidate the residents and make
1 them leave the area.
2 Q. Did you have the opportunity to go up into that area that you
3 described, those surrounding Serb houses on the hill, after the attack was
5 A. After the attack, at around 1, 1.30, or perhaps 2.00, when the
6 attack was over, and when the Muslim units withdrew into the forest and
7 perhaps further away, we entered the villages, Rosulje, Zarkovica, and
8 Maltasi, Kalimanici, and Serb Zarkovica. The houses, more than 90 per
9 cent of them had been set on fire. Pigs and hogs were killed, whereas
10 cattle was hauled away. The houses were empty; there was nothing in them.
11 We found corpses of mutilated people. All of the corpses we found there
12 were taken to the morgue in Bajina Basta, and the wounded were taken first
13 to Bajina Basta and then on to Uzice and elsewhere.
14 Q. When you looked at the property that had been destroyed from close
15 up, to your knowledge, was that property destroyed by what you phrased or
16 termed earlier "torching," or do you think that property was destroyed
17 during the attack?
18 A. The attack of the Muslim forces, Muslim units, on the Serb
19 property during which people were killed, houses were looted physically
20 and then set on fire, all of this was perpetrated by people, by physical
22 Q. Now, did you transport any wounded people from those areas to
23 Bajina Basta?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And could you describe for the Trial Chamber the types of wounds
1 they might have had.
2 A. All of these people were wounded from firearms, hunting weapons,
3 automatic weapons, and other pieces. The doctors in Bajina Basta made
4 their findings. I don't know what they concluded medically. My job was
5 just to take the wounded to Bajina Basta, and that's it.
6 Q. Now, when you observed the different houses that had been
7 destroyed, was it your belief that people could move back into those
8 houses after that attack?
9 A. No.
10 Q. And, in fact, isn't it true that the Bosnian Serbs who lived in
11 those houses did not move back into the houses after the attack?
12 A. To this day, in certain villages, people are still unable to
13 return to their homes. They don't have the money to rebuild their houses.
14 These people live in group housing.
15 Q. Now, do you know how many people were killed in total in the
16 houses up on the hill?
17 A. All I know is what happened in Skelani. Fifty people were killed,
18 and 30 or so were wounded. In the territory of Skelani municipality, over
19 100 to maybe 120 people were killed.
20 Q. And is it your testimony that the reinforcements from Jezero only
21 arrived the day after the attack was over?
22 A. Jezero, where the troops were, was surrounded for some three days,
23 perhaps two days or three days, by a Muslim unit. Somehow they managed to
24 get out of this encirclement. I don't know how, but they managed. I know
25 that they had been encircled, and it was impossible to get any food or any
1 aid to them.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Gligic, you've testified that the bridge going over to
3 Bajina Basta, that some people were killed going across the bridge. I'd
4 like to ask you: Were they killed by sniper fire, or were they engaging
5 in combat with the attacking Muslim forces?
6 A. There was no combat in Skelani, there was just an attack of Muslim
7 units against the Serbian population, the infirm. Some people tried to
8 flee and jumped in the river. People were killed, children, women. A
9 mother was killed and her three children. One of the kids was shot in the
10 spine. People were killed by snipers, rifles, everything. Had the
11 gentlemen known that there was no army in Skelani, they could have entered
12 Skelani and killed us all. And they were just one step away from doing
14 Q. Mr. Gligic, which gentleman are you referring to at this point in
15 your testimony?
16 MR. JONES: It's gentlemen, actually. It's plural. Had the
17 gentlemen know -- I think it was a --
18 MS. SELLERS: I'll rephrase that.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Jones.
20 MS. SELLERS:
21 Q. Which gentlemen? Which gentlemen are you referring to at this
22 point in your testimony?
23 A. Who do you mean, on the Serbian side or the Muslim side?
24 Q. Well, you testified, "had the gentlemen known that there was no
25 army in Skelani, they would have entered Skelani and killed us all."
1 Which gentlemen are you referring to?
2 A. I mean their people, their commander, Naser Oric, Tihic Ahmo, and
3 the others there, other unit commanders.
4 Q. From having worked at the command headquarters of the Independent
5 Battalion, were you aware of who might have been leading the army of
6 Srebrenica, the force that you say attacked?
7 MR. JONES: Sorry, he didn't talk about a unified force attacking,
8 he talked about unit commanders.
9 MS. SELLERS: I didn't say --
10 MR. JONES: The question was "leading the army of Srebrenica,"
11 which implies there was some single force, whereas the witness was
12 referring to unit commanders. And he's referred to Muslim units
14 MS. SELLERS: I'm sorry, I think he referred to Srebrenica army in
15 the testimony at the beginning of the attack. I cannot scroll my
16 transcript down. I can certainly rephrase that.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's the case of rephrasing it in any case.
18 The witness has asked -- has heard the submission by Mr. Jones, in
19 particular, and perhaps if you either repeat the question with an addendum
20 to what he exactly means, whether it's an ad hoc, a specific Srebrenica
21 army, or whether it's units here and there that he was referring to.
22 MS. SELLERS:
23 Q. Mr. Gligic, the force you referred to, whether it be units or
24 whether you referred to Srebrenica army, could you please tell us, after
25 having worked at the command headquarters, who might have been in charge
1 of those units or that army?
2 A. All of the attacks of the Muslim units in the territory of
3 Srebrenica municipality were led by the commander, Naser Oric, and those
4 subordinated to him, Ahmo Tihic, Zulfo Tursun, and the others.
5 Q. Mr. Gligic, do you know a person named Beli Salihovic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Was he killed in the attack on Skelani?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was Beli Salihovic a Bosnian Serb or a Bosnian Muslim?
10 A. Beli Salihovic was a Muslim, and he was one of the more prominent
11 fighters under Naser Oric, because they sought him for exchange on a
12 number of occasions, or rather his corpse, because they knew that he had
13 been killed.
14 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber where he was killed in Skelani on
15 that day?
16 A. Mr. Salihovic was killed above Skelani, above the bridge. That's
17 where the spot was. When the people in Skelani, or rather, when they
18 started looking for our people, both the dead and alive, and as they were
19 extinguishing fires, they found Beli Salihovic there with his sniper
20 rifle. Nowadays, somebody in Skelani has his sniper rifle as a trophy.
21 Q. Were there other Muslim soldiers that were found in Skelani after
22 the attack?
23 A. Yes, but I don't know their names, because they were not
24 originally from the Skelani area. There was just one man from Dobrak whom
25 I knew. He was exchanged. As for the others, both those who were dead
1 and alive, I did not know their names.
2 Q. Now, you mentioned exchanged. Were some of the dead Muslim
3 soldiers returned or exchanged or transferred to Muslim army units or the
4 army of Srebrenica?
5 A. All of the Muslims killed in the attack, including Beli Salihovic,
6 were exchanged, from the 23rd of January until the 26th of February.
7 Q. And did you participate in those exchanges where the Muslims were
8 turned over to the Muslim forces, or the other side?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber, how did you come to participate
11 in those exchanges?
12 A. Jezero, where our troops were stationed, after the troops withdrew
13 to Skelani, there were some casualties, Serbs in those villages who had
14 been killed. So when I came to Jezero with my 10-tonne truck to take them
15 to Skelani, where a large grave was being prepared to bury these people,
16 then Zivana Trifunovic, between Kragljevode and Jezero, she covered that
17 distance on her own, and delivered the letter to Mr. Bosko Vukovic and
18 Rajko Kuljanin.
19 Q. Now, the person you referred to, Zivana Trifunovic, do you know
20 where she was coming from when she delivered the letter?
21 A. She came -- they brought her from Srebrenica to the demarcation
22 line. I don't know how she got there. She just arrived there. She
23 couldn't have arrived there on foot. They brought her to Vitez, to the
24 free territory. She arrived there in tears; she was very much afraid.
25 And she brought the letter with her.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Mr. Vukovic took the letter. We put her in a car. So the truck
2 remained in Jezero. We put her in a car, in a passenger vehicle, and took
3 her to Skelani.
4 Q. Do you know whether she had been held as a prisoner or not in
6 A. Yes, she had been captured. And her daughter remained in
7 Srebrenica as a hostage, together with other people. And then the
8 battalion command, upon reading the letter, sent a response probably to
9 them. I took her to Jezero, and then she went back on foot.
10 Q. Now, you said that she was brought by some people, by "they." Did
11 you have a chance to see how the people who brought her were dressed, or
12 did you have a chance to meet them?
13 A. I saw those people at the demarcation line in Vitez, when she was
14 brought there with her daughter to be exchanged.
15 Q. Now, after she handed over the note to the people you describe as
16 Mr. Vukovic, what happened then?
17 A. Mr. Vukovic and Mr. Kuljanin read the letter, and then Vukovic
18 told me to take a radio line. We took some -- we went some 50 metres away
19 from the headquarters, to a meadow there, and established contact with the
20 Muslim side.
21 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber what type of radio equipment you
22 were using?
23 A. Well, the equipment, that equipment, was used both by the Serbs
24 and the Muslims. That was a typical equipment which existed in the former
25 Yugoslavia. Every defence office in every city in Yugoslavia had that
1 type of equipment. It was a field radio set called 12, and they also had
3 Q. And you said that you made contact with the Muslims. Do you know
4 where the communication was going to specifically?
5 A. Mr. Vukovic established contact with the Muslim side. Somebody
6 responded on the Muslim side, most likely Mr. Besim Mandzic, the person
7 who later became chief in Srebrenica. He introduced himself, and then
8 they agreed on the terms of exchange. Mr. Vukovic said, "Skelani
9 speaking. Is that the Ustasha command?" And when they called us, they
10 said, "Is that the Chetnik command in Skelani?" This is how we knew that
11 we had established contact.
12 When Mr. Vukovic -- when they asked whether people could be
13 exchanged, I volunteered for that. The first exchange was held on the
14 23rd of January. On that day, in a FAP truck 13, with red tarpaulin
15 cover, I brought in several of their corpses and drove back Serbian
16 corpses, which I received on the Muslim side. They also gave me a letter
17 indicating terms for future cooperation. On the Muslim side, there was a
18 man who introduced himself as Nisad.
19 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber, then, that your
20 participation in the exchanges consisted of, again, being the driver and
21 transporting prisoners to Vitez and then transporting the exchanged
22 persons back into Skelani. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes, that's what I did, and I volunteered to do that.
24 Q. Now, you stated that the first exchange was on the 23rd of
25 January. Would you please tell the Trial Chamber, who was present on the
1 Bosnian Serb side during that exchange, other than yourself?
2 A. There was no one. My superiors remained in Jezero, where the
3 front line was.
4 Q. And could you tell the Trial Chamber who was on the Muslim side
5 during that exchange on the 23rd of January?
6 A. I had personal contact with only one Muslim. And away from us,
7 towards the forest, because this took place in the vicinity of a forest,
8 there were other Muslims who shouted, cursed, and so on. Nobody harmed me
9 at the time, but they cursed, they swore, and they were armed. This
10 Muslim man helped me load the corpses.
11 Q. And during that exchange on the 23rd, do you know the names of the
12 people or the names of the deceased who you brought back?
13 A. The first exchange in which I participated, Zivana and her
14 daughter, who were alive, were with me, plus three bodies in body bags,
15 whose names I don't know. These are the corpses that I took to the morgue
16 in Bajina Basta. And the command, as well as the health centre, should
17 have further details concerning these dead people.
18 Q. Do you know the name of Zivana's daughter?
19 A. I knew, but I forgot her name. She got married in the meantime.
20 I knew her very well. I carried her in my arms. She was six or seven
21 years old.
22 Q. Do you know the last name of Zivana or her daughter?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he said it already. Trifunovic.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Trifunovic.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps you could suggest whether the name of the
1 girl was Svetlana.
2 MS. SELLERS: Yes.
3 Q. Do you remember whether the name of the daughter was Svetlana?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: If you don't remember, it's no problem.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember. However, I think
6 that you're right, that the name is right. The mother's last name is
7 Trifunovic. The girl got married, so she has a different last name now.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
9 MS. SELLERS:
10 Q. Now, you stated that you transported three bodies also. Could you
11 tell the Trial Chamber how those bodies were dressed.
12 A. I didn't see the bodies at all. They were naked. No uniforms
13 were on them. Just naked corpses in body bags. And this gentleman,
14 Mr. Mirsad, helped me load them on the truck. They didn't give me any
15 information about these people.
16 Q. And did you have any official paperwork concerning the people?
17 A. I received an envelope, sealed. There was a letter inside. And I
18 was to deliver it to the command. It had to do with the future
19 cooperation. What were the contents of the letter, I couldn't tell you
21 Q. Now, did there come a time when there was a subsequent, another
22 exchange of either letters or people?
23 A. I didn't understand your question.
24 Q. Did there come a time, was there another exchange that you
25 participated in, either of people or of letters, documents?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you remember whether the date of -- what was the date of the
3 next exchange, after the one on January 23rd?
4 A. The next exchange was the exchange of letters only. Mr. Vukovic
5 and Mr. Kuljanin received the letter from them and then sent a letter to
6 them. It was probably a list of people captured in Srebrenica, and also
7 information about whether an -- whether there were any living people or
8 corpses to be exchanged. The agreement was to exchange all for all; the
9 living and the corpses on the Serb side to be exchanged for those on the
10 Muslim side. However, in Srebrenica, there were some people who signed an
11 oath of loyalty to the commander of Srebrenica. They remained living in
12 Srebrenica. I think that there was just one elderly man and woman who
13 left alive, and the others perished without a trace. They were not even
15 Q. Mr. Gligic, was there a subsequent exchange on the 27th or 28th of
17 MR. JONES: I'll wait until the --
18 MS. SELLERS: I'm sorry.
19 MR. JONES: I just want to say, at this point, we'd prefer if my
20 learned friend wouldn't lead the witness. Obviously there was a lot of
21 leading on background matters, which we didn't object to. From this stage
22 on, we'd be grateful -- we fear this witness may adopt any suggestion --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think that's fair enough. In fact, Mr. Jones
24 has been extremely indulgent.
25 MS. SELLERS: I agree. We'll let the witness testify at this
1 point in time.
2 Q. Mr. Gligic, would you please tell the Trial Chamber what was the
3 date of a subsequent exchange, if there was an exchange, after the one you
4 just described to us?
5 A. The first exchange was the Trifunovic's daughter and the three
6 corpses. There was a total of five exchanges. Two exchanges concerned --
7 that is, four exchanges in all. Two exchanges concerned letters only, and
8 two exchanges were actually exchanges of persons. I don't know why this
9 period of 40 days had to elapse, why the people could not be exchanged
10 earlier on. But I know that I attended five exchanges, and the last one
11 was on the 26th.
12 On the 27th of January, we exchanged the people captured in
13 Kusici, Otave, Zarkovici, Maltasi.
14 Q. And do you remember on the date of that exchange of those people,
15 who you were taking to Vitez to turn over to the Muslim side?
16 A. I think it was a family. There was a son and a father who had
17 been brought over to Skelani. I don't know where they hailed from. They
18 might have been over there from Radijevici; that the Serbs had caught
19 them, and these people were then used for the exchange. When I left
20 Skelani, I noticed that these were not dangerous men. They were farmers
21 who had nothing to do with the war. From our conversation, they were
22 seated next to me, they were only handcuffed, so in our conversation they
23 were complaining. I started out by saying, why did we need this war, we
24 could have lived together nicely. They complained that they were forced
25 to go and loot Serb villages. When I asked them who had forced them, they
1 both said in one voice that it was Naser who had forced not only them but
2 all of the civilians present in Srebrenica who could not have joined the
3 army, for this reason or another. But they were then ordered to become
5 When I took them over to the separation line, Mr. Mandza, who was
6 the person authorised for the exchange on the Muslim side, was very angry
7 at the time. Why was this? Because I did not bring over his relative
8 from Salihovici, that is to say, his relative Salihovic. And he was
9 dissatisfied with me bringing these two men, because he apparently held
10 those who got killed in combat in higher esteem than the ones who remained
12 Then I received another letter from Mandza which I delivered to
13 Mr. Vukovic in Skelani, both to Mr. Vukovic and Mr. Kuljanin. They got in
14 touch, and that's how the following exchanges ensued.
15 Q. Mr. Gligic, the person that you referred to as Mandza, do you know
16 that person's complete name?
17 A. The only thing I know is that this man hailed from Potocari, the
18 area there. Out of the five exchanges, he attended four of them. He
19 wasn't there during the first exchange. He wore a camouflage uniform and
20 a white belt. He had a hat on his head, and he was wearing a big
22 Q. Now, Mr. Gligic, you testified that a 40-day period had elapsed on
23 the exchange that took place on the 26th. Is it your testimony that that
24 exchange took place on February 26th, or another date?
25 A. The last exchange was on the 26th of February.
1 Q. The exchange after the one on the 23rd of January, when the Muslim
2 family, the young men and the father, do you know, more or less, what date
3 that occurred?
4 A. I can't recall the date itself at present. I remember clearly the
5 date of the first exchange and the last exchange, whereas in this period
6 between the two, there was the 4th when there was just an exchange of
7 letters, then the 13th of February, I'm not sure about the date though. I
8 know that there were three exchanges of people and two exchanges of
9 letters only.
10 Q. When we go to the second exchange of people, do you remember the
11 people you exchanged from the Muslim side during that second exchange of
13 A. I do remember. These were people from the village of Kusici,
14 Dvizovici, Zarkovica, and perhaps another village. Those were women and
16 Q. Do you remember any of the names, family names or first names, of
17 the people?
18 A. Of course I do. I remember a child, a boy, by the family name of
19 Mitrovic. There were Ristic, Mitrovic, Koljevic.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Correction: Jakovljevic.
21 MS. SELLERS:
22 Q. Excuse me. Were there any elderly people in that exchange?
23 A. Yes, there were.
24 Q. Were there any elderly men in the exchange?
25 A. On the Serb side, the ones brought over by the Muslims were all
1 elderly people, women and children. And when I say "elderly people," I
2 mean aged 65 and above.
3 Q. Could you describe for the Trial Chamber, if possible, the
4 physical appearance of the Bosnian Serbs that you received from the Muslim
5 side during that exchange.
6 A. When they brought these people over, they were beaten up, black
7 and blue. They were unable to walk. I was under a special order to take
8 them to the medical centre in Bajina Basta to have them examined by a
9 physician. There was this one young girl who had committed suicide ten
10 days later. She had been raped and was unable to cope with the
11 experience. She was wounded and, as such, was taken to Srebrenica. I
12 took her over to Bajina Basta. I dressed her wounds with alcohol. She
13 had this wound in her thigh. She refused to talk, and some ten days
14 later, when she was released from the hospital, she committed suicide.
15 Q. Now, during that second exchange of people, the one that you've
16 just described, could you tell us who was present on the Serb side of the
17 exchange, other than yourself?
18 A. I believe that there was Dane Katanic, on behalf of the Serbian
19 authorities; Mr. Rajko Kuljanin, an officer; and Bosko Vukovic.
20 Q. Would you know please tell the Trial Chamber who was present on
21 the Muslim side, other than the prisoners that they turned over?
22 A. On the Muslim side, there was Mandza, the man from Potocari, who
23 was most probably authorised for the exchange. Ahmo Tihic. Ramiz, I
24 don't remember his last name. I only know that before the war he worked
25 in the military department with Mr. Vukovic. And two or three more people
1 whose names I either don't remember or don't know.
2 Q. Now, did there come a time when you exchanged the body of Beli
3 Salihovic to the Muslim side?
4 A. No. On the 26th, that was the last exchange -- there was this one
5 exchange of papers only, and then the last exchange scheduled on the 26th,
6 and it was due at 100 hours, that is, 1300 hours in the afternoon.
7 Mr. Vukovic had agreed with Ramiz and the others over the radio line over
8 this exchange. There was a lot of snow in the area. We started up our
9 110 truck. We boarded Beli, and we reached Vitez. But the truck couldn't
10 be driven onwards. I went up there, told them that I was sent there, that
11 there was an exchange to take place. And I asked for their assistance, if
12 I could be given some oxen to draw a cart. I got there without carrying
13 any weapons, hardly aware of what I was doing.
14 There was this forwarding agent who gave me two oxen and a child,
15 whose name I don't remember. And we boarded Beli and the other corpses.
16 There was Vukovic also. And then Mandza drew this line with a stick and
17 said that we were not to cross the line.
18 On their side, they were supposed to surrender Ilija Ivanovic,
19 Zdravko Nikolic, and a police officer from a special unit in Bijeljina who
20 was most probably captured somewhere in Cerska. I'm not aware of this.
21 They surrendered Ilija and this other elderly man from Kravica. I believe
22 his name was Zdravko Nikolic.
23 Q. Thank you. Could you please -- excuse me. I wanted you to tell
24 the Trial Chamber if you were able to observe what physical condition
25 Ilija Ivanovic was in during that exchange.
1 A. Mr. Ilija Ivanovic was brought in for this fourth attempt at the
2 exchange, because this exchange was supposed to take place earlier on but
3 was then put off for reasons unknown to me. This man was unable to walk,
4 had cuts from -- knife cuts on his face, was bruised, unable to walk. He
5 was weighing some 20 to 30 kilos, perhaps, like a child. I simply had to
6 carry him in my arms over to the truck.
7 As this was taking place, at this point in time, there were other
8 men on the Muslim si100de who were participating in the exchange. And some
9 20 metres away from them, there was a group of Muslims who were armed to
10 their teeth, who formed a semicircle. And in the centre of the circle,
11 there was Mr. Naser, wearing a camouflage uniform, just like the ones worn
12 by the Americans today. He wore a black beret and an automatic rifle and
13 a bag. He wasn't taking part in the exchange at all. He just seemed to
14 be there with those men.
15 As we were returning from the direction -- as we were returning,
16 there were shots directed at me and Mr. Vukovic from the direction of
17 Koljasi. The other Mr. Vukovic was carrying Zdravko. We were walking
18 through the woods and they were shooting upon us. I took Ilija directly
19 to Skelani. And the people who had been waiting there at the SUP from
20 Bijeljina were inquiring after their comrade, colleague, from Bijeljina.
21 And I told them that I didn't -- that this man wasn't surrendered.
22 I was also supposed to be given a child, some 12, 13 years, who
23 was from Kusici, where everybody had been killed. But apparently all --
24 some of them were taken over to Srebrenica and killed. And there's only
25 this boy, who is today 20 years of age, he's still alive, he was caught
1 alive and taken to Srebrenica. We were aware of this. We knew where he
2 was supposed to be located. We were inquiring after him, wanting him to
3 be exchanged, but we never received any information in relation to this
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gligic. I'd like to ask you the following
6 question: You referred to a person as Mr. Naser. Now, is the Mr. Naser
7 who you saw on that day of the last exchange the same person who you
8 described as having seen earlier in the cafe in April 1992, Naser Oric?
9 A. I never had any sort of a contact with this gentleman, who was a
10 sportsman at the time. And for our generation, he was an idol, a sports
11 idol. I used to see him in Bratunac, in Srebrenica, in the gym hall. He
12 was working out. And I used to see him in cafes. So I knew who he was.
13 Q. And was he --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Although one can infer the answer, he
15 actually hasn't answered your question, so you either add on to it or I
16 put the -- I ask the witness to answer your question.
17 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, if I may.
18 Q. Was the person that you referred to as Mr. Naser, on the day of
19 the last exchange, the same person who you've described in the cafe, now
20 the gym, Naser Oric?
21 A. Yes. It's just that when I saw him, he was wearing a military
22 uniform and he had a beard, which he did not have before. It was a
23 groomed beard. And he had a beret on his head. I've already said that.
24 Q. Well, did he have any form of transportation, or did you see him
25 with any form of transportation, on that day?
1 A. No. There was a lot of snow. And the gentleman was mounted on a
2 horse. I remember it clearly. It was a white horse. He was surrounded
3 by the members of his elite unit. They were all armed very well.
4 Q. Were you able to see the types of weapons that they were carrying?
5 A. They had automatic rifles, machine-guns, snipers. The usual
7 Q. Mr. Gligic, I just have a couple more questions. I'd like to ask
8 you that, after you participated in this last exchange, were you ever
9 involved in exchange of prisoners from Srebrenica army or from the Muslim
11 A. No.
12 Q. And during your time period that you were involved in exchanges,
13 would it be your testimony that the Bosnian Serb army, your commanders,
14 were able to communicate clearly concerning the exchange with the Bosnian
15 Muslim side?
16 A. I can't say that. I only know that they did get in touch with the
17 radio station 12, or PT 15. There was this radio communication and the
18 exchange of letters. I cannot vouch for the rest.
19 Q. Do you know whether there was any use of other types of
20 communication equipment, such as Motorolas?
21 A. Probably.
22 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, at this time I'd still like to ask
23 Mr. Gligic:
24 Q. Do you still maintain in your testimony today, that as you were
25 prior to 1992, that you have no animosity for either group, Muslim or
1 Serb, and that your beliefs are more that there should have been political
2 harmony in the former Yugoslavia?
3 A. I can tell you that many Bosniaks who returned to Skelani, I have
4 coffee with them very often. We have to live together. There are Muslims
5 living now in the Federation. I helped them a great deal, saved their
6 lives. And I wish to state before this Tribunal that those who are to
7 blame for the deaths of the Serbs and the Muslims in the municipality of
8 Srebrenica are Muslims more than the Serbs, because the Serbs did have
9 extremists on their side, but it was the Muslims who had more of them,
10 more of those who were criminals. And I do stand by what I say.
11 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Ms. Sellers.
13 Madam Vidovic.
14 Now, Mr. Gligic and Madam Vidovic, I start off with the usual
15 recommendation when both the witness and the examining counsel speak the
16 same language: Mr. Gligic, in particular, I need to address you because
17 Madam Vidovic is always here, while you're here in front of us today for
18 the first time. Whatever Madam Vidovic asks you, and whatever you reply,
19 has to be translated by the interpreters, translated into English and also
20 translated at the same time into French. Now, it so happens that most of
21 the time, if not always, that you speak too fast, Madam Vidovic and
22 yourself, like other witnesses, and you don't allow an interval of time
23 between question and answer. That creates great problems for the
24 interpreters, who will not be then in a position to catch up with either
25 Madam Vidovic or with you. So what I kindly ask you, both of you, is to
1 allow a very short interval of time between questions and answers, which
2 will give the interpreters time to translate your interventions.
3 I would also ask both of you to speak slowly, in other words, not
4 to rush, not to speak very fast, because again, that creates a lot of
5 problems for the interpreters, and the interpreters, after the three
6 Judges, have probably got the most difficult work in this Tribunal. So
7 please try to cooperate.
8 Madam Vidovic, whenever it's convenient for you.
9 Cross-examined by Ms. Vidovic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Gligic.
11 A. Good afternoon.
12 Q. Prior to April 1992, Skelani formed part -- were a municipality
13 with a predominant Muslim population.
14 A. That's not correct.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could I have the usher's assistance.
16 Could you please place on the ELMO an extract from the census in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, dated 1991, and produced by the Croatian Bureau of
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Incidentally, I mean just for the future, if it is
20 possible that at the beginning of each testimony of each witness -
21 Ms. Sellers, I mean just convey this to Mr. Wubben, we were thinking - I
22 think it would help us a lot to have a standard map that is available. It
23 is not necessarily the map that the witness will mark, put markings upon.
24 But if we have a map at our convenience at all times, I think it would
25 help us a lot. Because sometimes it's locating -- locating small
1 individual places, having recourse to our memory, is not that easy.
2 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, we had at one time prepared a rather
3 large map that we had in the courtroom one day, and we didn't know whether
4 we wanted to leave the map here, have Your Honours be able to take the map
5 back to chambers. Certainly Defence counsel has seen that; they could
6 look at it. Or to have the maps that open up that are rather large and
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we should have a practical approach to this.
9 One witness will probably be concentrating on one small area, another
10 witness may be concentrating on another area which is quite a few miles
11 away, so what I suggest is that you come prepared with each new witness
12 with a proper map that we can follow, even if the witness is not going to
13 be asked to put any markings on it. But it gives us an idea, more or
14 less, of -- again, as we go along, moving from one witness to the other,
15 how we are supposed to also move along the terrain.
16 MS. SELLERS: Certainly.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay? Thanks. I know that it shouldn't be that
18 difficult for you. You can do something about it.
19 Yes, Madam Vidovic. You are now asked to look at this document.
20 Could you refer the witness straightaway to the part that you need him to
21 look at, Madam Vidovic. Which page?
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Witness, would you please turn to page3. In the bottom it says
24 230, page 230. Look at line 2 where it says "Skelani". And this is --
25 this relates to the census carried out in 1971. Then turn the page and
1 look at page 231, where you have the census results dating from 1991.
2 Look at line 2, under total, it says "1.123 inhabitants, 950 Muslims, 160
3 Serbs, 7 Yugoslavs, and 6" under the column "others."
4 It is true, is it not, that in the territory of Skelani, in 1991,
5 there were more than 900 Muslims.
6 A. That's not true. I can enumerate all the villages and places in
7 Skelani, because I lived there, all the Muslim and Serb villages in the
8 territory of the municipality of Skelani.
9 Q. You, therefore, claim that the census that was officially carried
10 out by the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina is not true.
11 A. It's not true, because this is not -- these are not the accurate
12 census results. This is a political overview.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wish to turn your
14 attention to the fact that I deliberately used the census results
15 published by the Croatian State Bureau of Statistics. But I will go on
16 with my questions.
17 Q. Therefore, in addition to the fact that the majority was
18 constituted by the Muslims on the 13th of April 1992, so despite of that
19 fact, on the 13th of April, 1992, the Serb municipality of Skelani was
20 proclaimed; is that right?
21 A. You repeated once again that the Muslims had a majority, which is
22 not true. Then you gave a date of the 13th of April, 1992, and that date
23 is not correct either. It happened earlier.
24 Q. Can you tell us when that happened?
25 A. Yes, I can. So in the local commune of Skelani, Srebrenica
1 municipality, the majority population was Serb population. There was a
2 decision adopted by the Serb parliament in Pale to establish Skelani
3 municipality, because the Serbs could not stand the Srebrenica
5 Q. So it is true that that was the decision taken by the SDS in Pale
6 and not the decision taken by the Serb residents in that area.
7 A. No, that's not true. The Serb people wanted equality in the
8 municipality of Srebrenica, and they could not gain it by any other means.
9 They wanted to have their own judiciary organs, their own doctors, their
10 own executive, their own policemen. They didn't want only Bosniaks to
11 hold those posts.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I have to remind you what I told you barely two or
13 three minutes ago. Please, you're moving too fast and you're not allowing
14 an interval of time between question and answer and question again, all
15 right? You're just firing questions and answers as if you are still
16 fighting in the territory of ex-Yugoslavia. Now, let's --
17 Yes, Judge Eser.
18 JUDGE ESER: Madam Vidovic, may I just ask you, because I have
19 difficulties to understand these statistics. In the English version, you
20 have numbers on the left side, and it starts "and Herzegovina based on
21 census" and on the right side, "permanent population of Croatia originally
22 from Bosnia and Herzegovina." Now, I'm sorry, but I just can't -- don't
23 understand the whole thing here.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the population of
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the title of the page is "population of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina national structure," or composition, "in settlements."
2 Then on page 266, and I believe it's the same for the English version, it
3 says that the permanent -- it says "permanent population of Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina and the population of Croatia originally hailing from Bosnia
5 and Herzegovina." So what you have on page 3 is just a continuation of
6 the heading which begins on the previous page. So please take a look at
7 page 230, where it says "permanent population of Bosnia and Herzegovina,"
8 and then the heading continues on to the following page, where it says
9 "permanent population of Croatia originally hailing from Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina, classified by settlements." So if you put those two sheets
11 next to each other, you will have your answer to your question. This
12 created some confusion for me as well, that's why I asked for an
14 Your Honours, I would like you to instruct the witness that he
15 must answer my questions without further elaborating or giving answers
16 that are too broad and that I did not ask for.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Please do so.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, madam, but you cannot
19 convince me that something that is not true is true.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But you just answer the question. I
21 will not allow you to enter into a confrontation with Madam Vidovic,
22 because you are not here to do that. You are here to answer questions.
23 If you don't agree with what is being suggested to you, just say, "I don't
24 agree," and explain why. It's as simple as that. And address me and
25 never Madam Vidovic.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Before I turn to my next question, I
4 would like to tender this exhibit that I used into evidence.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We need your help here, registrar. This is D?
6 THE REGISTRAR: 173, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: 173? Are you sure? Okay. So this document is
8 being tendered and received as a Defence exhibit, being marked accordingly
9 as Exhibit D173.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like to ask the usher to
11 put a map of Skelani on the ELMO. This is an excerpt from a larger map of
12 the former military institute of the former SFRY. The map is from 1971,
13 and it's an area of Zvornik 2.
14 Q. Witness, I would like you to take a look at the map first,
15 especially the locations which we have marked. Please take a pointer.
16 Try to find Skelani, please. It is marked in yellow, circled with yellow.
17 Please show that.
18 A. [Indicates].
19 Q. Thank you. Now, look to the left. Please find Jezero, which you
20 have mentioned. It is also circled in yellow. Can you find Jezero?
21 A. [Indicates].
22 Q. Good. Thank you. Now please show us the village of Resagici,
23 which is marked below Skelani?
24 A. [Indicates].
25 Q. Very well. Resagici. Witness, please show Skelani, and then
1 follow the Drina River down. Yes, thank you, you've found it.
2 A. [Indicates].
3 Q. Now, please show us Zabokvica, which you've also mentioned today.
4 A. [Indicates].
5 Q. Now please show Dobrak, which you have also mentioned today.
6 A. [Indicates].
7 Q. Please show us Zgunja.
8 A. [Indicates].
9 Q. Can you show us Barakovici?
10 A. [Indicates].
11 Q. Gornji and Donji Peci?
12 A. [Indicates].
13 Q. Poljak?
14 A. [Indicates].
15 Q. Then Bukovik?
16 A. [Indicates].
17 Q. Then after that, Stublovi?
18 A. [indicates].
19 Q. Sulice?
20 A. [Indicates].
21 Q. Knezovi?
22 A. [Indicates].
23 Q. Also the area above Jezero. In that area, please show us Trubari?
24 A. [Indicates].
25 Q. Radovcici?
1 A. [Indicates].
2 Q. Tokoljak?
3 A. [Indicates].
4 Q. Yes, now please show us the village of Tihici.
5 A. [Indicates].
6 Q. Then Donji and Gornji Daliegosta above Skelani?
7 A. [Indicates].
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would now like to
9 ask the witness to put his initials next to these villages.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All of them?
11 MS. SELLERS: Excuse me, Your Honour --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. One moment. Yes, Madam Vidovic.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Please put your initials in the circle around Skelani, Jezero.
15 A. [Marks].
16 Q. Also please put your initials on Trubari, Radovcici, and that
17 would be enough.
18 A. [Marks].
19 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I would ask that the Trial Chamber
20 consider that the witness has agreed that the Defence has marked those
21 places on the map, and that is what it says on the map, but the witness
22 certainly has not found those places on the map and marked them himself
23 during the testimony. Now, we do have the majority of maps at this point
24 coming in via the Prosecution witnesses. It certainly allows us to
25 understand that that was a process in which the map was marked, and that
1 we could not say that that would be the same for this process.
2 If the Defence wants to elicit that there are places and that he
3 agrees, then I think a possible other solution just might be to have it
4 initial in the corner of the map. But he certainly didn't mark this map
5 up. This is a map that's a Defence exhibit, it's a the creation of the
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Yes, Madam Vidovic.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] That is clear, Your Honours.
9 However, I stated very clearly that it was us who marked all of these
10 places that the witness has shown to us, and I'm sure that this is in the
11 transcript. However, I do not object to this solution proposed by the
12 Prosecution either. What is important to us is to ensure that all
13 participating in this trial know about the places that this witness has
14 mentioned, the places that we will mention, and especially that some
15 places, such as Radovcici and Trubari be marked.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think it needs to be initialed in the places
17 you mentioned, but if you insist, I will ask him to initial them.
18 What I would like the witness to confirm is the following:
19 Mr. Gligic, you have been shown -- you have seen this map. You have also
20 seen the various places that have been highlighted on this map. You have
21 been asked to go through these various places one by one, and you have
22 indicated them, where they are. Do you agree that this would, in your
23 opinion, be a good topological description of the location of these
24 places? Or is there something wrong with this map?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree that this map is accurate.
1 What I do not agree with is that certain places have been mentioned by
2 madam, such as Zgunja, for example. It is not an ethnically pure village.
3 This goes for some other villages as well. Zgunja, Resagici, these are
4 not Muslim villages, these are villages with mixed population.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll come to that later. That is not in issue at
6 the time being. What is in issue for the time being is whether you agree
7 whether you would accept this map as an accurate map, in other words, an
8 accurate topographical description of the places. That's all for the time
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Shall we give it an exhibit number. This will be
12 D174. Okay, thank you. Let's proceed.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Witness, you will agree with me that, in all of these villages,
15 before April 1992, Muslims lived and constituted majority in some of these
16 places, whereas in other places they lived together with Serb residents.
17 A. Partially. There were some villages among those which you have
18 marked where Serbs constituted majority.
19 Q. My question was: You will agree with me, won't you, that Muslims
20 lived in these villages and were either majority or minority.
21 A. Well, when you phrase it like that, then yes, I will agree with
23 Q. Skelani is located on the very border with Serbia; isn't that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Bosniaks, Muslims, lived in the hilly area of Skelani; isn't that
3 A. I'm not sure how to respond to that. Perhaps 70 per cent of them
5 Q. Thank you. In the valley area, in the flatland area, next to the
6 road in Skelani, Bosniak houses and Serb houses were mixed, weren't they?
7 A. In certain parts, yes, and in certain parts, no.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: One minute.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Just one more question, please.
10 Q. Your settlement of Gligici was located across from the police
11 station in Skelani.
12 A. Yes.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we can have a break
14 now, and I can continue my cross-examination after the break.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you. So we will have just a mere
16 20-minute break. Yes.
17 [Trial Chamber and the registrar confer]
18 --- Recess taken at 5.28 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 5.52 p.m.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, before I resume my
21 cross-examination, I would like you to understand that I have come here to
22 perform my duties and I do not have much to do with the conflict. I do
23 hail from a mixed family. I've come here to defend my client, and it is
24 far from my intention to pick fights with the witnesses, to discuss issues
25 with them. I've been in situations here when witnesses were swearing at
1 me, but I did not react to that, nor did I inform you of this. And I wish
2 to assure you that I do not wish to enter into any sort of conflict with
3 the witnesses here. It may simply be my style of examining. Thank you,
4 Your Honours.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I will not allow you or, for that matter, any
6 witness to enter into such confrontation. In any case, you can rest
7 assured that I will protect you, Madam Vidovic, as much as I will protect
8 witnesses, although I don't think that I have had the occasion to do that
9 so far. But you can rest on my cooperation and that of the other two
10 Judges for sure, when it comes to that. So we can proceed. Thank you.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. My question to you, Mr. Gligic, was the following: Your house was
13 across from the police station in Skelani, wasn't it?
14 A. Yes, in that area. Not really across from my house, but maybe
15 some 50 metres below. My house is across from the health centre.
16 Q. Before the war, your mother worked in the elementary school in
17 Skelani, didn't she?
18 A. Yes, she did.
19 Q. You lived together with your mother and your twin brother, didn't
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Mr. Gligic, in fact, ever since the establishment of the Crisis
23 Staff in Skelani, you worked in the staff; that's true, isn't it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You knew precisely what was going on in Skelani and the
1 surrounding area in April and May 1992; isn't that right?
2 A. I was partly aware of the situation.
3 Q. You were even aware of the incidents taking place 30 kilometres
4 away from Skelani. You talked about these events to the representatives
5 from the OTP in your statement dating from 2000. Isn't that right?
6 A. I'm not sure which incident you're referring to.
7 Q. We'll come to that later, sir. The SDS Crisis Staff was in
8 control of the events on the ground; isn't that right?
9 A. You had the TO, the military section and the civilian section.
10 Q. Thank you. Different information was gathered at the SDS Crisis
11 Staff; isn't that right?
12 A. I'm not aware of that.
13 Q. Members of the Crisis Staff included the representatives of the
14 police, the army, the health authorities, the newly established municipal
15 authorities; isn't that right?
16 A. I've already told you, you have the military section of the
17 then-TO and the civilian part, the Crisis Staff.
18 Q. You knew the people who were involved in this civilian Crisis
19 Staff. You termed it "civilian Crisis Staff." Who were members of the
20 Crisis Staff? You used to work for it.
21 A. Initially, I worked in the military section, and only later was I
22 transferred to the civilian part.
23 Q. Witness, I will turn your attention to the statement you gave to
24 the OTP in 2000. Do you recall giving a statement to the investigators of
25 the OTP in 2000?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. You said at the time, and I can show it to you if you want me to,
3 on page 03063353, that's the Prosecutor's numbering of the Bosnian
4 version, you said that: "Because of all these events, the local Serbs
5 established their Crisis Staff in Skelani. It was established in late
6 April or on the 1st of May." And you said: "Since I was not married at
7 the time, I did not have any family obligations, and I volunteered to be
8 the driver of one of the two ambulances belonging to the Crisis Staff."
9 And you then went on to describe the Crisis Staff.
10 Therefore, you worked in the Crisis Staff, didn't you?
11 A. At that time I was driving the ambulance for the military section.
12 Later on, I started working for the civilian part of it, that is, the
13 Crisis Staff. So there's this period when I was working for the medical
14 corps, driving the ambulance, and later on, in 1993, I was driving the
15 president of the municipality.
16 Q. My question, Mr. Gligic, to you is as follows: Who were the
17 members of the Crisis Staff? Skelani was a small settlement where you
18 resided, and I'm referring to the civilian part of it.
19 A. You mean their names?
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. Mr. Mitrovic; Dane Katanic; Milosevic, also known as Boban.
22 Q. Do you agree with me that a representative of the police was also
23 a member of the Crisis Staff?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You were close to Marko Milovanovic and Milenko Canic, weren't
2 A. I was not very close with Canic; he was a neighbour of mine,
3 whereas Mr. Milovanovic, who was killed on the 16th of January, was a
4 distant relative of mine, and we were in touch.
5 Q. I'm referring to Marko Milovanovic. It is true, isn't it, that he
6 was the commander of the Territorial Defence of the municipality of
8 A. It's not Milovanovic but Milanic. He worked at the SUP before the
9 war, in Sarajevo.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gligic. Therefore, Mr. Milanovic was the commander
11 of the Territorial Defence of the Serbian municipality of Skelani? And
12 that's true, isn't it?
13 A. Mr. Milanovic was a member in charge of the police.
14 Q. Who was the commander of the Territorial Defence of the Serbian
15 municipality of Skelani at the time? Can you tell us?
16 A. At the time the army had its own representatives, the police had
17 its own representatives, and the civilian authorities had their own. I
18 believe that Mr. Mitrovic and Blagomir Jovanovic were.
19 Q. The Crisis Staff had direct connections with the authorities at
20 Pale; isn't that right?
21 A. I'm not sure which period you're referring to. Can you give me a
23 Q. I'm referring to the period ever since its establishment in
24 April/May 1992 onwards.
25 A. At the time I was driving an ambulance for the TO, therefore, for
1 the army.
2 Q. May I again turn your attention to the statement you gave to the
3 Prosecutor in 2000, page 6, paragraph 2 of the B/C/S version, which is
4 page 5, last paragraph of the English version. You stated:
5 "The Crisis Staff was in touch with the authorities in Pale over
6 telephone lines connected to the Serbian network. I was a driver, but I
7 believe that they were in touch with the civilian authorities," and so on.
8 A. I'm not denying this. I'm just saying that I don't know which
9 period we're talking about. Which dates are we talking about?
10 Q. I put to you that the Crisis Staff, ever since its establishment,
11 was in touch with the SDS head office in Pale.
12 A. The political and civilian authorities probably had contacts with
13 the civilian authorities in Pale.
14 Q. It is true, is it not, that Dr. Radovan Karadzic's seat was
15 located in Pale, together with the core leadership of the SDS?
16 A. I'm not aware of that.
17 Q. You've never heard of this?
18 A. I have heard this from the media, but I myself am not privy to
19 this. I was driving an ambulance.
20 Q. The Crisis Staff had direct contacts with the neighbouring Serb
21 villages; isn't that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I will now turn to a different matter. Today, you've described to
24 us how the war broke out. You said that the reason or the cause was the
25 establishment of the SDS party. However, in -- of the SDA party.
1 However, in your statement to the Prosecutor, you provided many more
2 details, and you said that the war in Skelani broke out on the 9th of May,
3 1992. Is that right?
4 A. When you say "the war," I meant the first victims, the first
5 persons who were killed. That's what I called the war. What I mean by
6 when I say "the war broke out," I mean the moment when people started
7 getting killed.
8 Q. Very well. You relate to us two incidents which, in your words,
9 caused the war to break out, and I will get back to these two incidents
10 later. You said that one of them occurred in Kragljevode, which is 14
11 kilometres away from Skelani, and the second one in Jadar, which is 30
12 kilometres away from Skelani.
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. Mr. Gligic, is it really your testimony that the war broke out on
15 account of these events?
16 A. The cause of the war in the area of the municipality of Srebrenica
17 and the former municipality of Skelani was the killing of the people, as
18 well as other political events taking place there.
19 Q. In actual fact, the truth is that the war started with the
20 establishment, with the proclamation, of the Serb municipality of Skelani;
21 isn't that right?
22 A. No, that's not right.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could I have the usher's assistance,
24 please. Could you put the following document on the ELMO: It starts with
25 the following number: 00316884, the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
1 Ministry of Defence. The document was issued in Sarajevo on the 13th of
2 April, 1999, and it's a bulletin on the events in the territory of
3 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina as at the 13th of April, 1992. Could
4 the following page please be placed on the ELMO: 00316885.
5 Q. Please look at paragraph 3, relating to Skelani. It reads here,
6 and I quote:
7 "A Serb municipality was proclaimed in the settlement of Skelani.
8 The armed groups of Serb extremists, some of whom had crossed over from
9 Serbia, seized all the facilities in this local commune. A portion of the
10 population who had remained there were being mistreated. People's
11 property is being destroyed, houses are being blown up, as well as
12 facilities, houses, buildings, and vehicles."
13 In relation to this, I wish to ask you the following: It is true,
14 is it not, that on that day, the 13th of April, 1992, volunteers from
15 Serbia were already present in Skelani and were mistreating the remaining
16 Muslim population, destroying properties and looting.
17 A. During that period of time, the Muslims who lived in Skelani, and
18 I can give you their first names and last names, names of the people who
19 lived there, were not harassed or mistreated. They were not harmed by
20 anyone. The conflict started when a man from Kalimanici was killed,
21 Danilo Petrovic, in fact. Husband, wife, and then somebody else's wife, I
22 think their last name was Simic, were killed in Jadar. This is when the
23 tensions escalated and the war broke out.
24 In Skelani at the time, Ismet Hajdarevic lived with his wife --
25 Q. Witness, I will put questions to you about certain Muslims.
1 However, now I asked you about something else.
2 A. What are you asking me.
3 Q. It's true, isn't it, that on the 13th of April in Skelani terror
4 and intimidation aimed against Muslim populations started; isn't that
6 A. No, that's not true.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like this to be
8 tendered into evidence.
9 MS. SELLERS: Excuse me, might I make one comment prior to that
10 and it's just for the sake -- we don't have the translation. It appears
11 to me, and I'm not a speaker of B/C/S, that's -- it's a bulletin, or is
12 this a newspaper article, as I thought I understood learned counsel --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you furnished it to the Defence yourself.
14 MS. SELLERS: I believe that she -- it was characterised as a
15 newspaper article, and I just want to clarify that it might be more of a
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I can't help you. Bilten is bulletin, I suppose,
18 and bulletin is even more than a newsletter. It's translated as -- I
19 don't know. I haven't seen the original document, obviously, and this is
20 only part of it. So I don't even know how big or how small it is, what it
21 covers, what it doesn't cover, so I can't help you much.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will explain. This
23 is an official document issued by the Ministry of Defence of the Republic
24 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, dated the 13th of April, 1992. The word used
25 in our language is "bilten." In Serbo-Croatian, that denotes an official
1 document. I don't know how that was translated, but I used the word in
2 our language "bilten". This document contains excerpts pertaining to
3 developments, events, in various places. I used only the bit pertaining
4 to Skelani for the simple reason that I received this document quite late.
5 I think that the Prosecution has this document. In fact, I think that
6 we got it from the OTP. And if requested, we can send it for official
7 translation. But all we need is this bit pertaining to Skelani. And it
8 would be very labourious if we were to translate the entire document.
9 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the whole question is a very simple one.
11 What's the correct translation of the word "bilten"? I don't know because
12 I'm an expert on the language. To me -- there seems to be the indication
13 that "bilten" means bulletin. But I can't confirm that. I don't know.
14 Perhaps those who are experts in the language can help us there. On the
15 document itself it says "newsletter," but I don't know if newsletter is
16 correct representation of the word "bilten.".
17 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honours, our suggestion would be bulletin.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what I think.
19 MS. SELLERS: My point, then, would be that this is a bulletin,
20 and in terms of we're not objecting to its admission; we're just saying
21 this comes from a governmental source, a Bosnia-Herzegovina source. It's
22 a bulletin, not a news article.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you. We can move ahead. The number,
24 this will be 175, D175.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Gligic, therefore, I suggest to you that the intimidation and
3 terror which commenced on the 13th of April, the 12th and the 13th of
4 April, 1992, were the reason that caused Muslims to flee into neighbouring
5 woods and more distant Muslim settlements; isn't that right?
6 A. That's not true.
7 Q. I also put to you that what you stated today is not true; namely,
8 when you said that the Muslims went from their homes into the woods in
9 order to join other men who were fighting against the Serbs.
10 A. I claim the opposite.
11 Q. In reality, they were forced to flee for their lives. They left
12 Skelani in order to save their lives and to avoid being killed.
13 A. At the time the Muslims lived in Skelani. When the conflict
14 started, when people started being killed, people, the Muslims, from the
15 area, and I mean men fit for military service, went to the woods, whereas
16 women and children transferred to Bajina Basta, to the local Red Cross. I
17 can assure you of that, because I helped many of those who wanted to live.
18 The men who were fit for military service went to Srebrenica.
19 Q. So you claim that, in the woods surrounding Skelani, one couldn't
20 find entire Muslim families who had fled Skelani and the surrounding
22 A. There might have been some, but most of the women and children
23 went to Serbia, to Bajina Basta, whereas the men fit for military service
24 went to Srebrenica and the woods.
25 Q. Is it your evidence that Serbia and its Red Cross took those
1 people in?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you very much.
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to
5 place on the ELMO a photograph. This is a photograph of
6 Mr. Milos Cvetkovic from the book of "Chuck Sudetic," "Blood and Revenge,"
7 from page 194, published in 1998.
8 Q. Mr. Gligic, please take a look at this photograph. This man has a
9 cockade on his head, hasn't he?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Mr. Gligic, did you see sights similar to this one in May of 1992,
12 in Skelani?
13 A. No.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I ask that this
15 photograph be given an exhibit number.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This document, which consists on the front
17 pages of the book "Blood and Vengeance," published by Penguin Books, and
18 what appears to be a photograph of three person carrying arms and weapons
19 with the inscription, "Serb irregulars, or Chetniks, on patrol during the
20 operation to expel Muslim inhabitants of the Skelani area in May 1992
21 (Milos Cvetkovic)" is being admitted in evidence as a Defence exhibit, and
22 being marked in evidence as Defence Exhibit D176. Correct?
23 MS. SELLERS: Excuse me, Your Honour, we don't object to the
24 admission. It's just unclear from looking at the picture and what's
25 written underneath whether what is written underneath is attributed to
1 either to Chuck Sudetic or to the person Milos Cvetkovic, or is that the
2 photographer. I think the document doesn't completely speak for itself for
3 the origin. The Prosecution just want to put that on the record.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know if Ms. Vidovic can help you there.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the photograph was
6 made, as far as I understand, by Milos Cvetkovic. The comment was
7 probably written by the author, but I cannot affirm that. I was
8 interested in the photograph, so this is why I put a question to the
9 witness pertaining to the photograph.
10 In addition, Your Honours, the author of this book works for the
11 OTP, so perhaps they could obtain the information, because the author of
12 this book is Mr. Chuck Sudetic.
13 May I continue, Your Honours?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead. You have five or six minutes more.
15 So stop whenever it's convenient for you. If you need -- it's up to you,
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Gligic, is it your testimony that you personally did not see
19 anything relating to the destruction of the Muslim property?
20 A. No, I do not claim that. There were occasional excesses, but on
21 an occasional, individual basis. This was not done by local residents,
22 this was most likely done by other people, such as volunteers who had
23 arrived in Skelani to defend the place for patriotic reasons. Yes, that's
24 true, there were mistreatments, but to a much lesser extent than
25 mistreatments of Serbs.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to finish
2 with my cross-examination for today at this point, because I have a series
3 of other questions which I would like to embark upon tomorrow.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Ms. Vidovic, do you think you will
5 finish with this witness tomorrow?
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honours, yes.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: And roughly how much time do you think you require?
8 I'm asking you not to bind you in any way, but to give an indication to
9 the Prosecution what time to bring the next witness.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe I will need
11 about two hours. We have a videotape that we will show. It runs for 12
12 minutes. So I will need two hours, two hours and a quarter.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So I would suggest to you, if it's two
14 hours, two hours and a quarter, I would suggest you will have the witness
15 ready here about the time of the first break, with the understanding that
16 it will not be immediately after the first break that we will start with
17 him but maybe half an hour -- half an hour after, or three-quarters of an
18 hour later. It's up to you. But more or less, you should be put on
19 notice now that you will be required to start with the next witness at
20 some time during the second session tomorrow.
21 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I spoke with my co-counsel,
22 Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio, who is in the midst of proofing that witness. I
23 informed him that the direct examination, the cross-examination, might end
24 prior to tomorrow's complete session, and I understand that he feels that
25 the proofing probably will take today and tomorrow. But he wanted me to
1 assure the Trial Chamber that we will be on schedule with this witness,
2 even given the earlier schedule for Thursday, that this witness will
3 finish by the end of the week, as foreseen. So I will certainly go back
4 and discuss this with him, but I might have to inform you tomorrow that he
5 would prefer --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Tell Mr. Di Fazio to do his utmost to finish the
7 briefing today so that we can start with the next witness tomorrow,
8 because, I mean, it's -- and I think the next witness is going to be here
9 for quite a long time.
10 Anyway, Mr. Gligic, that's all for today. You will be escorted
11 out of the courtroom. You will go back to the hotel. I'm sure that you
12 are being well looked after. And may I please draw your attention to
13 something very important: That between today and tomorrow, between now
14 and tomorrow when you resume your testimony, you're not to contact anyone
15 or speak to anyone in relation to what you are testifying about. Do you
16 understand me?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do. Thank you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I think we can adjourn now and --
19 MR. JONES: Your Honour?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
21 MR. JONES: There's one matter, but perhaps in the absence of the
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you need the witness here?
24 MR. JONES: In the absence of the witness.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 Usher, please.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 MR. JONES: Yes, Your Honour, just very shortly, and I don't want
4 to preempt the Prosecution on this matter. But concerning the expert
5 report, the 94 bis motion and the response which we filed, it's just to
6 put Your Honours on notice, really, that there may be room for agreement
7 between us and my learned friend on the Prosecution side. And as I say,
8 it may be that the Prosecution will file a reply, or there may be another
9 filing on our part. But just in brief, as I say, there may be scope for
10 an agreement along the lines that if the report could be filed without the
11 witness attending and with the observations which we've made about the
12 report and about the points which we wish to take being on the record. In
13 paragraph 4 of our response, we took various points about the credibility
14 of Dr. Stankovic, and it may be that those remarks don't need to remain if
15 an agreement of that nature is agreed at. In other words, in fact, in our
16 response, those observations about credibility were premised on
17 Dr. Stankovic attending. And so if he doesn't attend, if his report goes
18 in -- as I say, I don't want to say we've reached an agreement, but it was
19 just to put Your Honours on notice that there may be an agreement. So you
20 can bear it in mind.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's a positive revelation or development.
22 I leave it entirely in your hands. And if you can return with better
23 news, we would gladly --
24 MS. SELLERS: It's a work in progress.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so. It's an area where you can easily reach
1 an agreement, basically.
2 MR. JONES: I thought I should just mention it also so that
3 Your Honours didn't render a decision on it --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: That helps, of course. Because this morning, when I
5 found it on my desk, I already started -- I gave instructions to our staff
6 to start breaking it into pieces so we can then discuss it in a logical
8 MR. JONES: Perhaps we can spare your staff some work, which might
9 also be appreciated.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. All these will be appreciated,
11 Mr. Jones, I can assure you. Thank you.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.30 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 1st day of
14 February, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.