1 Wednesday, 2 February 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Mr. Registrar, could you call the case,
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number
9 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 Registrar -- not registrar, Usher, could you escort the witness
12 out of the court again, please, for a moment. I'll explain to you --
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we're not receiving
14 any interpretation.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm told by Madam Vidovic that we are not receiving
17 any interpretation in Serbo-Croat. Are you receiving interpretation now?
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: No. Are you sure it is on the right channel?
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [No interpretation]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm going to keep talking until I get an indication
22 from the Serbo-Croat-speaking members. Are you receiving?
23 MS. VIDOVIC: I'm not, but I can understand you.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not you who needs interpretation. It's the
25 accused who needs interpretation. So you're not receiving it as yet.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: No.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So we still have a problem. No, it's
3 not a problem.
4 In the meantime, I will just explain why I sent the witness out.
5 There may be some questions on identification of the accused, and
6 obviously the next step would have been for me to ask the accused to
7 stand up and declare whether he is receiving interpretation in his own
8 language, which would have identified in the presence of the witness, so
9 I have sent the witness out again.
10 Are you receiving interpretation or not yet?
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. For a very short
12 well, we were receiving interpretation. But now it's gone again.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And to think of it, we were offered to work in
14 Courtroom I, which would have entailed a 20-minute delay, and I said no,
15 we can't afford to lose 20 minutes.
16 Is it working now? Are you receiving interpretation now?
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, at this moment.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Oric, I just want to confirm for the time being
19 that you are receiving interpretation in your own language.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I'm not receiving any
21 interpretation. I didn't understand a single word being said.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: So we still have the problem.
23 THE ACCUSED: Channel 6, no?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I don't know what channel it should be. I
25 will try again. I will keep on talking, checking whether you are
1 receiving interpretation. But I see that the accused is not receiving
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: You are not receiving anything as yet? Nothing?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I am now.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: You are receiving interpretation in your own
7 language now?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I am, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Since we have had this technical
10 problem, Mr. Oric, please, if at any moment, the interpretation -- flow
11 of interpretation is interrupted, or you're not receiving interpretation
12 in any case, please draw my attention immediately.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour. No
14 problem. Thank you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. You may sit down.
16 Appearances for the Prosecution.
17 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours. My name is Jan Wubben,
18 lead counsel for the Prosecution. Also, good morning to the Defence
19 team. I'm here together with Ms. Patricia Sellers, as well as co-counsel
20 Gramsci Di Fazio, and our case manager, Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
21 Later on in this session, Mr. Jose Doria will join us as well, as Ms.
22 Patricia Sellers will leave us.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you, Mr. Wubben, and good morning
24 to you and your team.
25 Appearances for the Defence.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
2 morning to my learned colleagues from the OTP. I'm Vasvija Vidovic.
3 Together with Mr. John Jones, I appear for Mr. Naser Oric. We have with
4 us our legal assistant, Ms. Jasmina Cosic, and our case manager, Mr.
5 Geoff Roberts.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Just in order to put my mind at rest, I
7 take it, since I haven't seen any signs, that there are no problems with
8 receiving audio and interpretation in the interpretation booths
9 themselves. All right? Okay. So everything seems to be going on fine.
10 I repeat what I said earlier: I sent the witness out because
11 there may be the need for some questions related to identification of the
12 accused, and the last thing I would have wanted to happen is for me to
13 ask the accused to stand up and identify himself in the presence of the
14 witness himself, although obviously we are not going to ask the witness,
15 Do you identify Naser Oric in this courtroom? Because I understand, and
16 we know that that is not the practice in this Tribunal.
17 So let's bring the witness in, please.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 WITNESS: BRANISLAV GLIGIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Mr. Gligic.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome back. My apologies to you for keeping you
24 waiting outside for a few minutes, but we had one small business to
25 transact, and in addition we had a technical problem with regard to
1 interpretation, which brings me to the first point.
2 I want to make sure that what I am saying in English is being
3 translated to you in your own language.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Because that is precisely the problem that we had.
6 The interpretation in B/C/S was not arriving.
7 You're testifying under the same solemn declaration that you made
8 two days ago.
9 Madam Sellers, you've got a few minutes, not more than that, to
10 finish your re-examination.
11 MS. SELLERS: Good morning, Your Honours. It will only take a
12 few minutes.
13 Re-examined by Ms. Sellers: [Continued]
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Gligic.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. Judge Agius just mentioned that you are still under the oath that
17 you took yesterday to tell the truth in your responses --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: The day before, Madam Sellers.
19 MS. SELLERS: Yes, it's the day before now.
20 Q. -- to tell the truth in your responses in questions either to
21 both the Defence and to the Prosecution. Mr. Gligic, do you take that
22 oath seriously?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And have you been truthful in your answers before this Trial
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And so when you testified the day before yesterday that on one
3 occasion you spoke to Muslim prisoners who told you that they had been
4 ordered by Naser Oric to loot villages, were you telling the Trial
5 Chamber the truth?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And when you testified to this Trial Chamber that you saw the
8 person that you recognised as Naser Oric present at one of the exchanges,
9 were you telling the Trial Chamber the truth?
10 A. Yes.
11 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Judge Brydensholt has a question for
14 Questioned by the Court:
15 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: It is dealing with the same episode as you
16 have just explained about, namely, when the father and the son, the
17 Muslim father and the son, were being taken by you to be exchanged. What
18 exactly did the father tell you? Try to recall the words he said to you.
19 And what had you said to him beforehand? Could you try to be precise on
20 this point.
21 A. The time I took them to the exchange, we spoke. They sat next to
22 me. We talked about the war, that no one had really needed this war, us
23 or them, and that no one was to blame. When I said that, the gentleman
24 said that he was also not to blame because he was forced to go and loot;
25 that he had been forced by Mr. Naser Oric and the Srebrenica command.
1 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Did he mention that that was an order given
2 directly to him by Mr. Oric?
3 A. This is what he said to me: That he had been ordered by the
4 command in Srebrenica, led by Naser Oric.
5 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Now, when the last exchange occurred, there
6 was snow, wasn't there? High snow.
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: And you explained that you saw Naser Oric on
9 a horse, wasn't it?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: And that meant that his guard was standing in
12 the snow, in the high snow, and that he still was sitting on that horse
13 in this high snow, at the top of the hill where you were, wasn't it?
14 A. Yes. The distance was between 20 and 25 metres. He was on
15 horseback. And around him were his security people, who were armed.
16 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Well, thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Judge Brydensholt.
18 Judge Eser.
19 JUDGE ESER: Some of my questions have already been answered, but
20 I still have two or three.
21 Mr. Gligic, when you have been asked why the Muslim people left
22 their villages, their houses and villages, you told us that they did it
23 on their free will. Now, what did you mean with "free will"? Was it
24 their own choice to do this, or had there been some reasons why to leave?
25 A. Well, in my opinion, I think mistrust is what caused that, lack
1 of trust. They saw that only Serbs remained in Skelani, and they were
2 probably afraid because there was already a great deal of mistrust,
3 mutual mistrust between Serbs and Muslims.
4 JUDGE ESER: Does this mean that they had been forced, or was it
5 more fear of being in danger in the future?
6 A. It was for fear. They felt that there would be a huge war, and
7 that's why they left their homes. I can only speak about Skelani, of
9 JUDGE ESER: Now, my second question refers to this Mandzic. You
10 told us about Besim Mandzic. There seems to have been -- to exist also a
11 Nesib Mandzic. Are you aware that there are two persons with the surname
12 of Mandzic but with different first names?
13 A. That's quite true. He has a younger brother who was born in
14 1964, whereas Nesib was born in 1961. I may have got the two of them
15 mixed up at some point.
16 JUDGE ESER: And the Mandzic you had in mind, I think it was
17 Besim Mandzic, he had been mayor of Srebrenica. At what time?
18 A. Mr. Mandzic was mayor --
19 JUDGE ESER: Which one, Besim?
20 A. His real name is Nesib. It's me who got the names confused.
21 Nesib Mandzic. I'm not sure what his brother's name is. It might be
22 Besim, but I'm not sure. I only know that the man I'm talking about now
23 was Srebrenica's mayor. I can't specify the exact time period now. It
24 was in 1996, 1997, 1998, thereabouts. The first mayor, the first Muslim
25 mayor in Srebrenica, after everything happened.
1 JUDGE ESER: In your testimony yesterday you spoke about that he
2 was mayor after the war. And what did you mean with "after the war"?
3 Which time did you have in mind when you talk about after the war?
4 A. When the war ended in Bosnia, when the new authorities were set
5 up in Srebrenica municipality, when Skelani became a municipality, and
6 there was a municipality in Srebrenica too. After a certain time, Serbs
7 were in power in Srebrenica, pursuant to a decision of the High
8 Commission of Wolfgang Petritsch. Mr. Mandzic then became mayor of the
9 Srebrenica municipality.
10 JUDGE ESER: I have a last question with regard to this so-called
11 Independent Battalion. Why was it called independent? Independent from
13 A. I can't say. I only know that its name was Independent
14 Battalion. I have no idea what that means, but that's what its name was.
15 JUDGE ESER: Was it part of the Territorial Defence, or was it
16 somehow separate from the army and the Territorial Defence?
17 A. So in August, June, and July, we had the TO, and then the TO
18 became the Independent Battalion. That's what it got to be called.
19 JUDGE ESER: Thank you. No further questions.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Judge Eser.
21 Let me take up straight away this Mandzic matter, once it was
22 raised by Judge Eser and you answered in the way you did. In your
23 statement to the Prosecutor, and during your testimony here, you gave
24 details of several contacts with a Mandzic. Yesterday, when you were
25 asked for the name, you repeated that it was Besim; today you are moving
1 from that and accepting that you may have made a mistake. What I want to
2 know from you is whether this Mandzic that you referred to in your
3 statement to the Prosecutor and in your testimony yesterday was the same
4 Mandzic who was mayor in Srebrenica, or whether it was someone else.
5 A. It was the same person who was Srebrenica's mayor. He's a
6 neighbour of mine. But, sir, I forget his name. It's been quite a while
7 and I never asked myself.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: That's not a problem. But yesterday, you did react
9 quite -- in a very explicit way to the question that was put to you by
10 Madam Vidovic, almost angrily, saying that you know better than she does
11 because this guy is your neighbour, and you can't really make a mistake
12 with regard to his name. But forget that.
13 You also mentioned, in the course of your testimony and in your
14 statement, a person called Mandza; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Is Mandza and Mandzic the same, or is it a
17 different person?
18 A. Different persons.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Different persons. So when you say in your
20 statement -- please, could the witness be shown his statement to the
21 Prosecution, or I can read -- I can read out to you. You are describing
22 to the investigator of the Prosecution an exchange, a particular
23 exchange, when five persons were exchanged, the final exchange. And you
25 "The same five persons that I had seen on the other occasions met
1 me. However, on this occasion, Naser Oric was there, his security was
2 there. They were all dressed the same as before, and they behaved the
3 same as before. Naser did not move forward or communicate with me at
4 all, but he did talk to Mandzic, who went and talked to him."
5 Was it Mandzic or was it Mandza who was present on that occasion
6 and went to speak to Naser Oric, or to the person who you say was Naser
8 A. Mr. Mandzic, Nesib, whose first name I confused with the other
9 first name.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Was the person Mandza ever present
11 during any of the exchanges?
12 A. Except for the first occasion, Mandza was in all subsequent
13 exchanges. As far as I know, he hails from Potocari.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Was there any resemblance between
15 Mandza and the person you describe as Naser Oric? Did they look -- did
16 they resemble each other? Did they look alike?
17 A. I remember well that Mr. Mandza had a large moustache and wore a
18 hat, a camouflage hat, on his head. Mr. Oric, when we saw him, had a
19 black beret and a camouflage uniform on him.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: No, but what I'm saying is the physiognomy, I'm
21 referring to the physiognomy. Did they have the same kind of corporature
22 [sic], did they have the same kind of body? Did they look alike?
23 A. Mandza was clean-shaven, and Mr. Naser Oric had a beard.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: But is there any resemblance? Does their face
25 features, for example -- facial features, are they similar?
1 A. I couldn't say. I didn't really look closely.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. You also mentioned, during your
3 testimony the day before yesterday, that after the two or three occasions
4 that you referred to as having seen the person that you mention as -- you
5 say was Naser Oric, you've had an occasion to see that person several
6 times on videos, you said, and on -- where else? Where else did you see
7 that person that you say is Naser Oric? You saw him in the gym, you saw
8 him in the cafe, you saw him during one of the exchanges. Where else did
9 you see him? You mentioned papers, you mentioned videos, several TV ...
10 A. I watched a tape where the gentleman explained how they came in
11 from the Bratunac side, towards the Zuti Most area, how the army, or I
12 don't know who, entered the area. I have that videotape, or rather, I
13 can obtain it. That's a tape in which he explains how those people were
14 ambushed and killed. I read a book entitled "The Plight of Kravica," and
15 in that book there are several pictures of the gentleman who posed with
16 the fighters. This is a book that can be bought in Bratunac, in the
17 Republika Srpska.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Were you shown during your questioning or
19 interviews with the investigators of the Office of the Prosecutor, were
20 you shown any photos of Naser Oric?
21 A. You mean here, in The Hague?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Or in Yugoslavia, when you were interrogated.
23 A. No, in Yugoslavia, not.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: And here.
25 A. Here, the lady who interviewed me put on the screen a photograph
1 and asked me, "Who is this?" And I said, "Mr. Naser Oric."
2 JUDGE AGIUS: What photograph was it? What did it show?
3 A. Actually, there were two photographs. In one photograph, he was
4 depicted sitting in the foreground, and in the background were his men.
5 That was in one photograph. And in the other photograph, he was depicted
6 in an orchard with his people, exercising on the horse.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Did you bring or show to the
8 interrogator from the Office of the Prosecutor, investigator from the
9 Office of the Prosecutor, any video or any photos or any press cuttings
10 relating to Naser Oric? Did you bring anything with you, or did you show
11 the Prosecution anything?
12 A. No.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I don't think I have any further
14 questions for you.
15 MR. JONES: Your Honour, may I?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
17 MR. JONES: Just one matter. Since Your Honour referred to part
18 of the 2000 statement of this witness, in which you referred to five
19 persons, I want to be clear for the record, since that may not be
20 exhibited, that obviously the same five persons who referred to at each
21 exchange does not include Naser Oric. It may be obvious from the
22 context. But it's 01007015, for the record.
23 Secondly, just for clarification, it's Hazim Mrki who we say has
24 a striking physical resemblance, not Mandza. That may be useful for the
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So that's all. Mr. Gligic, we have
2 come to an end. On behalf of the Tribunal, on behalf of the Trial
3 Chamber, Judge Brydensholt, Judge Eser, and myself, I would like to thank
4 you for having come over to give testimony in this case against Naser
5 Oric. I know that it wasn't easy, but, in any case, I do thank you for
6 your cooperation.
7 You will be escorted out of the courtroom by Madam Usher, and you
8 will receive all the assistance you require by our staff to facilitate
9 your return back home as soon as possible. On behalf of everyone, I wish
10 you a safe journey back home.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I
12 apologise if I wasn't clear enough when expressing all of these details.
13 A lot of time has passed in the meantime, and after all, that was wartime
14 and many emotions emanate from that.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I can assure you, Mr. Gligic, that we are fully
16 aware of that, and we fully sympathise also that living those events is
17 traumatic, and that that kind of trauma people tend to live with for a
18 long number of years. So you have our sympathy and you have our
19 understanding. I can assure you that there were moments when we drew
20 your attention to be more precise, this was because we were doing our
21 duty, and for no other reason.
22 I thank you, Mr. Gligic. You will now be escorted out of the
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good day to you.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So that closes the first chapter. Now, I am
2 advised, and I need your cooperation a little bit, the technicians need a
3 short interval of time to put in place a new video cassette, yes, and in
4 addition to prepare the courtroom for the protective measures that we
5 have put in place for the next witness. So my suggestion to you is, they
6 don't need more than five minutes, so we have two options: It's a
7 quarter to ten, or twenty to ten. I think we stop for five minutes.
8 Please don't go anywhere far so that we can resume as soon as the
9 courtroom is ready. Usually they even take less than five minutes. So I
10 ask for your cooperation, that's all. All right? Thank you.
11 --- Break taken at 9.40 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 9.48 a.m.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Can I have that ...
14 All right. Let's go into private session for a minute or so,
15 please. I want to communicate something to you.
16 [Private session]
11 Page 4467 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 4468 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, and welcome to this Tribunal.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Before I proceed, since we have also -- since we
24 have had some problems with the -- technical problems with interpretation
25 this morning, I want to make sure that what I am saying in English is
1 being translated to you in your own language, and that you can hear it --
2 hear the interpretation properly. Can I have a confirmation of that, to
3 start with?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear well.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: I can hear the witness
6 very poorly.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't blame you. I see that one of the
8 microphones is facing me rather than facing the witness, but I that is on
9 purpose. You have the special microphone; I see, yes. All right. I
10 think I will simplify matters. You can sit down so that you will be near
11 to the microphone. Please do sit down. All right.
12 So you are receiving interpretation in your own language? Could
13 you confirm that to me, please?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Should you want the sound level higher
16 or lower, then it is now, please tell Madam Usher, standing next to you,
17 and she will accommodate you.
18 THE INTERPRETER: We can barely here the witness, and I don't
19 think his microphone is working, because we hear him through other
20 people's microphones, not through his own.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I thank the English booth for drawing my
22 attention. I have been told that the witness' voice can barely be heard
23 -- can barely be heard, and that they are hearing his voice through the
24 microphones of others, which shouldn't be, actually. Yes, except I see
25 that only my microphone is on. So that shouldn't be happening.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Are the other booths, the B/C/S and French booth, encountering the same
2 problem? I see that the B/C/S is not --
3 THE INTERPRETER: The French booth is not hearing.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: The French booth is not hearing either. So we have
5 -- can I ask you, sir, to speak out somewhat louder and speak into your
6 microphone, the big microphone that you have in front of you, because we
7 seem to have a technical problem. Can you say, "I have heard what you
8 said. I am going to speak a little bit louder." Can you say that into
9 your microphone.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard what you said, and I will
11 speak louder.
12 THE INTERPRETER: It's fine now, Your Honour.
13 The French booth is okay now.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And I see the B/C/S booth is okay as well.
15 So, again, I go back to where I interrupted myself. Should you
16 -- is the sound level in your headphones the correct -- is it correct, or
17 would you like it higher or lower?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's fine.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Now, you know that you have come here
20 to give evidence in this case instituted by the Prosecutor of this
21 Tribunal against Naser Oric. You will be here for quite some time. Your
22 testimony is not going to finish today, and neither tomorrow, I think, so
23 you'll definitely be here until Friday, probably. I hope you have been
24 prepared for that.
25 The next thing I want to tell you is that our Rules require that,
1 before you start giving evidence, you make a solemn declaration,
2 something like an oath - it's actually equivalent to an oath - a solemn
3 declaration something to the effect that during the course of your
4 testimony you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
5 truth. The next of the solemn declaration is contained in a piece of
6 paper which I know that usher has already shown you and which she is
7 going to hand to you now. You may remain seated. You can remain seated.
8 Please read out that text aloud so that everyone can hear it, and that
9 would be your solemn undertaking with us that you will be testifying the
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will, thank you.
12 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
13 and nothing but the truth.
14 WITNESS: WITNESS C007
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. There are a few other things that I
17 need to explain to you now.
18 First of all, before you came here, you asked the Prosecution for
19 some protective measures. The Prosecution asked us, and when I say "us,"
20 it's me as the Presiding Judge, my name is Carmel Agius from Malta, Judge
21 Brydensholt from Denmark, and Judge Albin Eser from Germany, the
22 Prosecution asked us on your behalf for protective measures because of
23 certain concerns that you and the Office of the Prosecutor had. I am
24 pleased to confirm to you that we granted these protective measures, and
25 I will explain to you precisely what they are.
1 First of all, the aim of these protective measures is to hide
2 your identity, and we decided to hide your identity because we felt that
3 there were sufficient reasons, the request was justified. How are we
4 hiding your identity? In three ways: First of all, we are hiding your
5 name. Your name will not be mentioned here. And I am appealing to both
6 sides, Prosecution and Defence, to exercise the utmost caution not to
7 address the witness by his name. I know that sometimes mistakes happen,
8 and mistakes are inevitable and that there are remedies, because we are
9 transmitting with a 30-minute delay, I suppose. But please play your
10 utmost attention not to call the witness by his name. So no one will
11 call you by your name. You will be addressed as sir, or Mr. Witness, but
12 not by means of your name. Instead, you have been given a number. And
13 you are Witness C007, a number which I'm sure you have heard before and
14 which will be difficult for you to forget.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard it, but I'm not sure
16 exactly in relation to what.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We are also hiding your face, and if you look
18 at your monitor, you will soon see how others outside this courtroom will
19 be seeing you. This is precisely how you will look to others: A screen
20 full of cubes, squares, which hide your face from the outside world.
21 The last is voice distortion. I can't show you how others will be
22 hearing what you will be telling us, but I can assure you it will be in
23 such a way that no one can ever get anywhere near identifying your voice.
24 So are you satisfied with these protective measures?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's fine.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I also want to make sure that you are
2 feeling comfortable. I don't want you to feel nervous, especially having
3 told you that you will be here for at least three days.
4 You will be asked a series of questions from Mr. Di Fazio, first,
5 who is appearing for the Prosecution in this case, together with others.
6 And after him, you will be asked questions by Mr. Jones, who is one of
7 the lawyers appearing for Naser Oric.
8 In answering these questions, in accordance with the oath that
9 you took a few minutes ago, your duty, your legal and moral duty, is to
10 answer them as truthfully and as fully as possible, and also, to the best
11 of your ability. I know that sometimes remembering things that happened
12 12 years ago is not easy, but please try to concentrate to give us as
13 accurate an answer as possible each time you are asked a question.
14 Have I made myself clear?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's fine, Your Honours. Clear
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And the last thing I wanted to tell you is
18 the following: That should, at any moment, you need a rest, or should
19 you not be feeling well and want me to -- want the Trial Chamber, want
20 us, to interrupt, stop the sitting, interrupt it or even stop it, please
21 draw our attention straightaway.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Fine.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Usually, each session lasts about an hour, an hour
24 and a half, except the last one, which is only about three-quarters of an
25 hour. So they are long sessions. If you need frequent breaks, do let us
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's fine. I'll do so.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
4 So we can start. One last thing, just one last thing: If you
5 could kindly, when you answer your questions, speak, again, a little bit
6 louder, because I notice that as we go along, you have gone back to
7 speaking very -- at a very low level and a low voice, and I think that
8 creates problems. So try to raise your voice as much as you can without,
9 of course, shouting.
10 The last thing is this: I want to draw your attention that when
11 we are having voice distortion, it is important that when the accused has
12 his microphone switched on, when he is speaking, that all other
13 microphones are switched off, and that includes mine, of course. But
14 please make sure that none of you have got the microphone switched on
15 when the accused is testifying.
16 Last thing, I want to make sure that no one is carrying any
17 mobile phones in this courtroom. That's the last thing I wanted to make
18 sure, all right?
19 So we can start. Mr. Di Fazio.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Can I just show you this document, if Your
21 Honours --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me, in fact, explain it to him.
23 I'm going to ask the usher to show you a piece of paper now on
24 which there is your name and surname written. I just want you to look at
25 that piece of paper, and then I will ask you a very simple question:
1 Does that piece of paper show your name and surname? And you tell me yes
2 or no, that's all. You don't read it. Did you understand me?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
5 Mr. Di Fazio.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: It's got father's name, date of birth on it as
7 well, but I don't think that's a problem.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's okay. Usher, could you show it to the
9 witness, please.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is accurate.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: That is accurate. Okay. So that document will be
12 shown now to the Defence, who will see it too.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] If the Prosecutor could please just
14 check the father's name, and for the witness too, to check it too.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Could you hand it back to the ...
16 MR. DI FAZIO: It's misspelled. Two letters have been switched
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mark it. Make the usual --
19 MR. DI FAZIO: It I just write on it, if Your Honours please?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And then you'll show it again to the witness,
21 who will be able to see where the spelling mistake was.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry about that.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And again, tell me, please, whether that is
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Listen, Witness, we took great pains to hide your
2 identity, and now you mention your father's name yourself.
3 Let's redact it. I will sign it. Let's see the document,
4 please, Madam Usher. This will be given exhibit number?
5 THE REGISTRAR: P481, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And under seal. P481, and under seal.
7 Yes, you have 12, 13 minutes, Mr. Di Fazio, before we break.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. If Your Honours please. I have to go
9 into personal details, so this might be an appropriate moment to go to
10 private session.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 4479-4483 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio. We are in open session, I
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 Q. Witness, in early 1992, did you own a hunting rifle?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Was it licensed?
12 A. Yes. I had a weapon permit, yes.
13 Q. Other than the hunting rifle, did you own or did you have in your
14 possession any other weapons at all?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You've told us that you went to Serbia, and that you returned.
17 Prior to leaving for Serbia with your family, did you do anything with
18 your rifle, your hunting rifle?
19 A. Yes. I hid my hunting rifle under a pile of stones and left it
21 Q. Thank you. In early 1992, were you a member of the JNA or the
22 VRS or any village guard of any type or description whatsoever?
23 A. No. I only served my mandatory military service with the JNA in
24 1975 and 1976. Other than that, no one ever called me up to do any
1 Q. Thank you. Now, you've told the Trial Chamber that you returned
2 to your village. Don't mention the name of your home village in the
3 ensuing questions. And can you tell the Trial Chamber why it was that,
4 having taken your family to Serbia, you returned?
5 A. I returned because I had cattle and I needed either to transfer
6 it or to sell it in order to join my wife and children.
7 Q. How did you actually get back to your village and your farm?
8 A. I returned via the Drina River. There was a boat, and I took the
9 boat across the river, and then I travelled via Lijesce to my home place.
10 Q. At the time that you returned, did you own cattle, horses -- did
11 you own cattle or horses?
12 A. Yes, two horses, one cow, and several pigs. I couldn't tell you
13 the exact figure. That's what I had.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, can you tell the Trial Chamber what happened
15 when you returned to your farm and your village?
16 A. When I returned to my farm from Serbia, they arrested me. There
17 were five of them who did that. The house was all broken down. The
18 couch had been taken outside, and I guess they sat on it. I don't know
19 what they did. Not much time had elapsed before they arrested me. They
20 arrested me right away.
21 Q. Were you actually on your farm at the time that you were arrested
22 or picked up?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, thinking back, describe to the Trial Chamber how these men
25 who arrested you were dressed.
1 A. As far as I remember it now, the two of them wore a uniform, and
2 the rest of them had partial uniforms. There was a total of five of
3 them. And I think that one among them was some kind of a superior to
4 them. And when they harassed me, he would say, "Stop with that, don't do
5 that anymore," and they would listen to him, so I concluded that he was
7 Q. Thanks. You said they had uniform. What sort of uniform, one
8 plain colour or camouflage uniform? Or was it any sort of other uniform?
9 A. I couldn't say now exactly what kind of a uniform it was. I
10 remember that it was a camouflage uniform. Now, as to the colour and
11 other factors, I couldn't really say. I was afraid; therefore, I
12 couldn't really observe everything.
13 Q. Thank you. And did they have anything around their head?
14 A. As to the colour of the stars and the sickle, I really can't
15 remember what the colours were.
16 Q. You seem to be referring to something that had stars and a
17 sickle. Think about carefully, and tell the Trial Chamber, if you can
18 remember, any symbols you may have seen, and on what you saw these
20 A. Those were insignia they wore on their foreheads. They had a
21 bandana, a red bandanna, with a star and a sickle. They bore it on their
23 Q. The sickle was the symbol of a farming implement as used in old
24 communist flags, that sort of sickle. Is that the sort of sickle you're
25 talking about?
1 A. No, I'm not sure what you mean.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's simplify it. Could the witness be given a
3 piece of paper and a pen, and could he draw it for us.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean the bandanna and the star?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Draw what you saw, particularly the sickle, what
6 has been referred to as a sickle. If you can draw it up, it will help us
7 a lot.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was something like this.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Let us see it.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Show it to Mr. Di Fazio and the Defence, and then
13 put it -- show it to the parties, and then put it on the ELMO, please.
14 Thank you.
15 Put it on the ELMO, please, so the public can see it as well.
16 Witness, let me ask you something: It seems that in the centre of that
17 bandanna, there is something that looks like a big letter C. Is that
18 what you referred to as the sickle, or what was translated to us as the
19 sickle, before?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It looks like a sickle, if
21 you ask me. It's not quite there, but it's very much like it.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Does it also look, to you, as a big C, like a big
23 letter C?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It looked like the moon, young
25 moon, crescent. That's what I mean, like a sickle.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That gets us there. And what we see on
2 either side of this crescent that you've just mentioned, we see one, two
3 -- are those what -- the stars you referred to earlier on in your
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, these are the two or three
6 stars that were on the bandanna. I don't know exactly how many.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
8 Mr. Di Fazio, you may proceed.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: I'd like to tender that into evidence, if I could.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So it will be tendered.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number will be P483.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: That will be P483. Can you give it back to the
13 witness, please, ask him to put his initials on it, and we will register
14 it and store it under seal.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What am I supposed to do with this?
16 MR. DI FAZIO:
17 Q. Witness, can you just put your initials on the document.
18 A. [Marks]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So that will be P483, and it will be kept under
20 seal. Thank you.
21 Yes, Mr. Di Fazio, I'm sorry for going so slowly and interrupting
22 you every so often, but I think it was necessary.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honour took me where I was going, so thank
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed.
1 MR. DI FAZIO:
2 Q. The men that you have described, were they armed?
3 A. Yes, they were armed. But I'm not sure if all of them were. I
4 can't say. The first two who arrived were armed. I was then beaten, and
5 I could no longer tell whether the other men were armed too.
6 Q. Did you lose consciousness as a result of the beating?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you regain consciousness there at your farm?
9 A. Yes. There's a fountain there. I washed up -- I regained
10 consciousness. They poured water on me, and then I regained
12 Q. Thank you. Were you questioned at all?
13 A. Yes, I was. They asked why I had taken my wife and children away
14 to Serbia, and why I was there, why I had returned.
15 Q. Other than that, can you recall the topics of any other
17 A. They asked about weapons, whether I had any weapons stashed away,
18 and to tell them where. I told them I didn't have anything except for
19 the rifle that I had hidden. It was a licensed hunting rifle that I had
20 from before the war.
21 Q. As a result of you telling them about the rifle, did they search
22 for it or find it?
23 A. No, they didn't search for it. I had the impression that they'd
24 found it already. And they didn't tell me anything about it.
25 Q. Were you retained in any way, tied up in any way?
1 A. Yes. They handcuffed me.
2 Q. And were you taken somewhere?
3 A. Yes. As soon as they tied us up, they took us to a place called
5 Q. I'll ask you about that in just a moment. Was anything taken
6 from your premises, from your farm or your property?
7 A. Well, they used a horse that was there to take away some food,
8 some corn, some flour. They took some of these things and took it to a
9 village nearby. But where to exactly, I don't know.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours would just bear with me.
12 [Prosecution counsel confer]
13 MR. DI FAZIO:
14 Q. Don't mention the name of your home village, don't mention it,
15 but how far is Rovasi from it?
16 A. Roughly speaking, because I can't be accurate about this, I think
17 it must be about 5 or 6 kilometres.
18 Q. Did you walk there?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And there, were you incarcerated in a building that was known to
21 people as a stable?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What was the ethnicity of the villagers of Rovasi?
24 A. Muslim.
25 Q. And can you tell us the ethnicity of the men who captured you,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the five men? Is there -- can you comment on that?
2 A. They were Muslims too, because they had the insignia that I told
3 you about, which stood for their army. I didn't know these people.
4 Q. Thank you. And what happened to you when you arrived in Rovasi?
5 A. When I arrived in Rovasi, I sat down on a tree trunk. They
6 brought me some food, and took me away to this stable. The stable was
7 about 400 or 500 metres from the mosque in Rovasi.
8 Q. Thank you. How long did you remain in that stable once you were
9 placed inside it?
10 A. We remained in the stable -- you mean until we were transferred
11 to Srebrenica?
12 Q. That's exactly right. How long did you stay there altogether?
13 A. Well, we were, that means myself, Jokic and the other people, we
14 were there until 1993. That was after the 7th, but I can't remember the
15 date. It was sometime after the 7th of January, but I can't give you the
16 exact date.
17 Q. Thank you. So depending on the precise month or date of your
18 capture, you were there at least for a matter of many months, several
20 A. Yes. Yes, for quite some time.
21 Q. Thank you. When you first entered the stable, did you see any
22 other people inside?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Who was that?
25 A. Can I name these people?
1 Q. Yes. In fact, what I'd like you to do is tell the Trial Chamber,
2 if you know these details, the names of these people, the ethnicity of
3 these people, and where they came from.
4 A. Okay. There were four persons. The first one I met was Osman,
5 his first name was Osman. The second person, and I don't know his last
6 name, his first name was Kasim. The third name, again, I didn't know his
7 last name, the first name was Suljo. The fourth name was Jakov Dzokic.
8 These were the four persons.
9 Q. All right. Tell the Trial Chamber -- well, let me withdraw that.
10 Did you spend many weeks and months in company with these people?
11 A. I was with Jakov Dzokic all the time. And as for the remaining
12 three persons, Osman, Suljo, and Kasim, I really can't say whether we
13 spent a month and a half or two months together, but they weren't there
14 for that long. I don't know when they arrived. They arrived before I
16 Q. Okay, thank you. We'll talk about Jakov Dzokic later, but let's
17 concentrate on the three men you've told us were named Osman, Kasim, and
18 Suljo. What ethnicity were those men?
19 A. They were Muslims.
20 Q. Do you know, or were you ever informed by them, as to why they
21 were in that stable there along with you and Jakov?
22 A. I can tell you what I was told by Osman. Osman told me that he
23 had arrived in this stable, in this prison, because he had slaughtered
24 some cattle, some lambs, and given it to the Serb army, whereas Kasim and
25 the other man ended up there because, purportedly, they had taken weapons
1 from their people and given it to our army.
2 Q. Thank you. Did they tell you where they were from, these three
3 Muslim men, Osman, Suljo, and Kasim?
4 A. Yes, they did. They said that all three of them were from
5 Kamenica, in Zvornik municipality.
6 Q. Did the three men you've told us, who eventually left the stable,
7 did they all depart on the one occasion, or did they go separately? Or
8 can't you remember?
9 A. I think that they all left together, but I'm not entirely sure.
10 I suppose they left together.
11 Q. Thank you. Now let's turn to Mr. Jakov Dzokic. What ethnicity
12 was he, and where was he from, if you were told?
13 A. Jakov Dzokic was a Serb by ethnicity, born in Kalabace, which is
14 in Sekovici municipality. That's it.
15 Q. Was he a young man or middle-aged man or older man?
16 A. He was a young man. He was 18 or 20, just out of the army, the
17 JNA, as it existed then. At least that's what he told me.
18 Q. Thank you. And did he explain to you or tell you how he came to
19 find himself there in that stable?
20 A. Yes, he did explain. He was on his way from Ilijasi, which is
21 near Sarajevo, where he had been serving his military service, so he was
22 on his way home. He got into a car. He hitchhiked a ride and got into a
23 car with someone. And instead of getting out in Vlasenica and turn left
24 to Sekovici, he went to Konjevic Polje, because the people were on their
25 way to Bratunac and he didn't know that. He got out in Konjevic Polje.
1 There was some two or three men there who interrogated him, who he was
2 and where he was from. He said that he jumped into the other river,
3 crossed the river, and continued on to Rovasi.
4 Q. Thank you. And did he come to tell you or explain to you how
5 that led to his actually being held there inside the stable?
6 A. Well, this is what he told me: That he was on his way to Rovasi.
7 There's a road there, and he moved on that road. And he came across two
8 men in uniform who stopped him and asked for his IDs. When they found
9 his IDs - he had his military ID on him, or something like that - they
10 told him that they would arrest him and that he would be arrested by the
11 Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 Q. And did he explain to you that's what, in fact, happened and
13 that's how he found himself in the stable, having -- because he was
15 A. This is what he told me. And then he came to the stable. That's
16 how it was.
17 Q. Did he explain -- sorry, did you see how he was dressed?
18 A. He had a uniform, a partial uniform, whereas the other part of
19 his clothing was not military. This is what he wore when I saw him.
20 Q. Thank you. I want you now to turn your attention to the inside
21 of the stable, and describe the conditions to the Trial Chamber.
22 Briefly, we don't need to go into a huge amount of detail, but briefly
23 tell the Trial Chamber what was on the floor, what you used for a
24 lavatory, the bedding that was in there, if any, and the food.
25 A. Well, this is how it was: The conditions were uncomfortable.
1 Everything was dirty; that goes without saying. We used a bucket to
2 relieve ourselves; it was inside, indoors. The food was bad, naturally.
3 The food was brought in on a daily basis, once or twice a day. Sometimes
4 they wouldn't bring anything in a day. The stable did not have a proper
5 floor. I think there was just a concrete floor and then hay strewn on
6 it. That's how it was.
7 Q. In the time that you were in the stable, did you start to develop
8 a problem with lice, lice infestation?
9 A. Yes, yes, that's right.
10 Q. Did the other inmates also suffer from the same problem?
11 A. They did. They had it too. All of us had lice.
12 Q. Were you ever beaten whilst in the stable?
13 A. While I was in the stable, an older man used to come. He came
14 twice and beat me. And there was also a younger man who used to come,
15 accompanied by another man, and I heard that allegedly he was in the
16 police somewhere. I don't know whether this is true or not. So they
17 used to come and beat me as well.
18 Q. Were there guards at the stable guarding you and the inmates?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. How were they dressed?
21 A. Well, some had partial uniforms or some other clothing on them, a
22 combination of the two.
23 Q. You've told us that you were there for many months. In that
24 period of time, did you see or hear anything that gives you a clue as to
25 what the occupation of the guards was? Were they farmers or butchers,
1 policemen, soldiers? Can you tell the Trial Chamber if, in all of the
2 time that you were there, you managed to get into -- any insight into
3 what their occupation was. Now, I'm talking about the guards.
4 A. I couldn't really say what their occupation was. I couldn't say.
5 They served as guards there. They would rotate. I don't know their
6 names either. I just remember the name of one of them, but not of the
8 Q. You said that you were beaten, and you've described two men who
9 beat you. Was it just confined to those two men, or were you beaten by
10 other men, other than the two that you've mentioned?
11 A. I described them because they would beat us more often. However,
12 there were groups that would beat us, and there were groups that wouldn't
13 beat us, that the guards wouldn't let inside.
14 Q. Did the guards themselves ever beat you?
15 A. I don't remember the guards beating us.
16 Q. And, while we're on this topic, you've told us about you were
17 receiving beatings. What about your fellow inmates? Were they subjected
18 to the same treatment?
19 A. Yes, they were beaten as well. So they beat the two of us, and
20 the three Muslims that were there, they got beaten too.
21 Q. You've earlier mentioned that the three Muslim men eventually
22 left, and you're not entirely sure if they all left at the same time or
23 precisely how long they were in there before they left. What I want to
24 ask you is this: Can you recall how it was that they came to be
25 released, if that was associated with any event?
1 A. Yes, I remember that. A delegation had arrived from Kamenica, at
2 least that's what they told us. And they took them and -- took them
3 away. I think that they left together, but I might have forgotten the
5 Q. Now, can you offer any assistance with the identity of this
6 delegation from Kamenica? Did you see them, did you speak to them, or
7 did you hear anything about them that could tell us who they were?
8 A. Well, I couldn't tell you who they were, what their names were.
9 They didn't say that to me. They simply said, or rather, I heard that
10 they were from some kind of a command in Kamenica and that they took
11 these people to Kamenica. Now, what their names were, I don't know that.
12 Q. Well, that's what I want to know about. Who told you about them
13 being from a command? And what sort of understanding did you have of
14 that, this command?
15 A. Well, the command was probably some kind of a command located in
16 Kamenica. I don't know any other details. They simply told us that when
17 they came to pick up the three men. They said that they would go to
18 Kamenica, and Kasim said that these people were from the command, some
19 people from the command, and that they came there.
20 Q. Did you actually lay eyes on the delegation? Did you actually
21 see them?
22 A. Well, I saw them. There were a couple of people in that group.
23 I couldn't describe their appearance to you now.
24 Q. Okay. If you can't describe their appearance, can you tell us if
25 they were dressed as soldiers? Did they have any uniforms on, and were
1 they armed?
2 A. I think that they wore civilian clothing. They were not armed.
3 As far as I could tell, that's how it was.
4 Q. Thank you. Do you know a gentleman named Branko Sekulic?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. Did you ever see him in the stable that you've been talking
8 A. Yes. He came to the stable; he was brought there.
9 Q. Can you recall when he was brought there? If you can't recall
10 the -- you may not be able to tell us the date; I doubt that. Could you
11 tell us the season, at least, or the month?
12 A. I think that it was in summertime. I couldn't tell you the month
13 or the date. But summertime.
14 Q. Incidentally, during -- throughout this period of your
15 incarceration in the stable, and indeed later in Srebrenica, did you ever
16 have access to a calendar, or did people inform you as to what the dates
17 were, what month you were in?
18 A. No.
19 Q. By the time Branko Sekulic arrived, had you lost track of the
21 A. I don't know. I don't know.
22 Q. Is that -- I'm sorry, do I take your answer to be that you had
23 lost track of the date, you didn't know what month or what date it was?
24 A. I didn't know what month it was, let alone date. How would I
25 know that? It was summertime, but I couldn't tell you more than that. I
1 don't remember days, dates, months.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Sekulic, did you know him prior to his
3 arrival in the stable, or not?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Do you recall the first time he was brought into the prison?
6 Into the stable, I should say.
7 A. Well, I do recall certain things. I don't recall some other
9 Q. How was he brought into the stable?
10 A. They brought him in. There were several men who led him and
11 threw him into the stable. I remember that he was wounded, that he
12 couldn't stand on one leg, he couldn't put his weight on one leg. They
13 beat him as they threw him into the stable.
14 Q. Now, I don't think it's in dispute that you ended up spending
15 many, many months with this man. In the time following his arrival in
16 the stable, did you hear his story, how he came to be captured, where he
17 was from?
18 A. Yes, that's right. He told us that he hailed from Milici Brdo.
19 He gave us his first name, his last name, said that he had been captured.
20 I just remember that he told me that he had been captured in a place
21 called -- I can't remember, but definitely at the front line, somewhere
22 there. That's what he told us, that he had been captured there. And
23 then he spent several days in another place, which I've forgotten in the
24 meantime, the name of that other place. And then from there he was taken
25 to the stable where I was.
1 Q. Thank you. What I'd like to know specifically is this: Did he
2 ever say to you or make clear to you that he was a soldier, that he had
3 been captured in fighting and then placed into custody?
4 A. This is what he told me: He said that he had come to visit his
5 father, and that he was at the front line. I don't know the details, but
6 most likely he was in the army at the front line. And this is where he
7 was captured, wounded and captured, and taken to the prison in Cerska, to
8 the stable.
9 Q. Thank you. And just so that we can keep some idea of time, if
10 possible, can you tell us if he arrived while the three Muslim men were
11 still there or whether he arrived after they'd left?
12 A. They had left. I think that they had left. I don't remember
13 exactly, but I think that they had left.
14 Q. Thank you. Do you know a man named Dragan Ilic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Was he in the stable?
17 A. Yes. He came later.
18 Q. Do I take it from that that he arrived before or after Jakov
19 Dzokic, or you're not sure?
20 A. I can't be sure a hundred per cent, but I think that he came
21 after Sekulic. Jakov and I were there, but I am not entirely sure. At
22 any rate, he arrived.
23 Q. And how old was this Dragan Ilic when he was taken into the
25 A. He was a young man, 18, 20 years. He was young.
1 Q. Thank you. And did you hear his story from him as to how it was
2 that he was captured, and where he was from?
3 A. Yes, he told me about that. He said that he had been in Kasaba,
4 in a place called Kasaba, which is near his place, and that he had been
5 captured in Kasaba, or rather, that some friends of his captured him.
6 That's what he told me.
7 Q. Thank you. You've told us about the three Muslim men, you've
8 told us about Mr. Dzokic, you've told us about Dragan Ilic. Were there
9 any other men who were placed into the stables along with you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Who were they?
12 A. There was Sekulic there, Jakov Dzokic, Dragan Ilic. And later on
13 another man came in called Dusan Cestic. He was also brought in.
14 Q. Were there any Gypsies in the stable with you?
15 A. Yes, yes. Now I remember. There was a Gypsy from Kasaba who
16 allegedly had been captured for looting some stores, stealing from the
17 stores and taking the goods away. That's what he said.
18 Q. Okay. And do you know -- I'm not quite sure how to frame this,
19 but do you know the ethnicity of the Gypsy, if he apparently had some
20 overlay to his Gypsy background?
21 A. No, I don't know. The people who knew him said that he was a
22 Gypsy from Kasaba. I don't know any other details about his background.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You can go -- you can lead the witness on this, if
24 it's important for you. If not, I suggest you move to something
1 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm going to move on, if Your Honours please.
2 Q. The other man that you've mentioned, Dusan Cestic, what ethnicity
3 was he?
4 A. He was a Serb from Korijan. I knew him from before.
5 Q. How long was Dusan Cestic in the stable with you?
6 A. Not long. I can't remember now how many days, but not long. He
7 died there.
8 Q. In the stable?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You've mentioned earlier in your testimony that beatings that you
11 suffered, and that the other inmates suffered, was in any let-up in the
12 beatings that you were -- that you suffered? In other words, did the
13 beatings continue when these men were also in the stable, Cestic, the
14 Gypsy man, Branko Sekulic, Jakov Dokic, Dragan Ilic?
15 A. Well, there were people who would come and beat us, but there
16 were also days when no one would beat us in Cerska.
17 Q. Thank you. The man Cestic, do you know how it was that he died?
18 Was it as a result of a beating or some other -- some other cause?
19 A. I don't know. I only remember that before that, the first or the
20 second day after he arrived, he said, should any of us survive, we should
21 all say that he was ill, that he had pain in his kidneys, and that we
22 should tell his children afterwards that he had died in prison.
23 Q. Thank you. What about the Gypsy man, did he stay in the prison
24 from the time of his arrival until the time of your departure, or was he
25 released at some earlier stage?
1 A. He was released too. I'm not sure when, but he was released too.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. One moment, because there's one thing, sort
3 of, which hasn't been followed up.
4 This man Cestic, Dusan Cestic, who you said died in prison but
5 you couldn't say as a result of -- whether it was a result of a beating
6 or not, and you also told us that he had kidney problems, according to
7 what he told you himself. Was he ever beaten, this Cestic?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, he was beaten too, of course.
9 He complained about being ill, though. That's what he told me. His
10 kidneys hurt. He said he would not make it. He was in a very poor
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
13 MR. DI FAZIO:
14 Q. I don't want to dwell on this topic for too long, but I want you
15 to tell the Trial Chamber of the intensity of the beatings that you're
16 talking about. Tell the Trial Chamber whether instruments were used,
17 first of all.
18 A. I'll tell you one thing I remember quite clearly: There were two
19 men who came. I didn't know their names. They carried a piece of wood
20 or a stick. One held my hand and the other beat me with that long piece
21 of wood. I remember that clearly. As for the other instruments that
22 were used to beat me, I really don't remember. I was beaten so badly
23 that I couldn't even think straight. One of them came, and I heard that
24 he was from Skugrici. He was an elderly man; he may have been around 60.
25 He also came and he punched me with his fist. That's what I remember.
1 Q. Were you kicked?
2 A. This particular man from Skugrici used his fist, and the other
3 one used the wooden stick. And they kicked me to, those two other men
4 who came. I'm not sure about their names.
5 Q. Was there blood visible in the stable? Now, I mean on the walls
6 or on the floor or on the clothing of the inmates or on their faces.
7 A. Yes, there was, on our faces, on our clothes. The other people
8 too were being -- had been beaten. When I entered, I realised
10 Q. Thank you. Was a woman ever brought into the stables?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session for a while, please.
13 [Private session]
11 Page 4506-4509 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session now, and you can proceed,
18 Mr. Di Fazio.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
20 Q. Now, you've told us of conditions in this stable and some of the
21 unpleasant things that happened. Were there also, from time to time,
22 acts of kindness extended towards you by people of Muslim ethnicity?
23 A. Yes. Yes, there were acts of kindness. I will mention some
24 things that I remember, although I must have forgotten a lot. I do
25 remember one particular person; I think his first name was Salko, a man
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 from Cerska. I'm not sure about the hamlet. He would come over and
2 bring us fruit to eat, pears, apples, plums, all sorts of things. He
3 would bring food, bread, soup, and meat once, even meat. I remember
4 that. I thanked this man, and if I ran into him today, if he's still
5 alive and well, I would love to really congratulate him on everything
6 that he did.
7 Q. Thank you. In addition to the acts of kindness of Salko, was
8 there a man named Muradif who occasionally brought you -- or who did
9 bring you, on one occasion at least, some soap and a razor?
10 A. Yes, it's good of you to remind me of that. This is another man
11 who, on a number of occasions, brought us food -- actually, I think he
12 was in charge of that prison for a while. He would bring us food. And I
13 remember that once he brought a shaving kit and some soap, as well as
14 water. We had water inside, but he brought some nevertheless.
15 Q. Thank you. And while we're on this topic, one last question:
16 Did a neighbour of yours, and I don't want you to mention his name, but
17 did a neighbour of yours from your village, your area, also come on one
18 occasion, or at least one occasion, and also bring food?
19 A. Yes. Yes, that was another man, a Muslim man, from my
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I suggest that we go into private session and we
22 get the name of this person now.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: And I apologise for having left my microphone on.
24 I think I've been fairly good up until now.
25 Yes, can we go into private session.
1 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I understand that you're moving to another topic,
18 Mr. Di Fazio.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, that's right.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And if it's convenient for you, I think we can stop
21 here. We'll have a 25-minute break, and resume soon after. Thank you.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Di Fazio.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
1 Q. I want to turn now to the end of your stay in the stable. You've
2 already mentioned that you moved to Srebrenica. Can you recall
3 approximately when you moved from the stable to Srebrenica?
4 A. That was in 1993, in January. I don't know the date. I know
5 that it was after the 7th of January, but I don't know the exact date.
6 Q. Did men come to your cell? To the stable, I should say.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Were they in uniform?
9 A. They were.
10 Q. Were they armed?
11 A. I don't remember if they were armed or not, if they carried a
12 pistol or not. I don't remember.
13 Q. Now, when they first arrived at the stable, did they tell you the
14 reason why you were being taken, moved out of the stable and taken to
16 A. Yes. They said that we would be on our way to Srebrenica, where
17 we were to be exchanged.
18 Q. Thank you. And did you then set about your journey off to
20 A. Yes. We left the stable and headed towards a hamlet in Cerska,
21 where the elementary school was. There was -- that was where we left the
22 vehicle, the tractor that we were driving on, and we continued on towards
23 Konjevic Polje.
24 Q. Okay. Now, I just want to establish who is "we". Who was in the
25 party at that stage? And I'm talking about not the soldiers -- sorry,
1 the men who came to collect you, but rather the inmates. Was it just
2 yourself, or was it other inmates?
3 A. Sekulic Branko, Jakov Dzokic, myself, Dragan Ilic, and Andja,
4 whose last name I don't know.
5 Q. Thank you. And you travelled, as you said, on a tractor, and you
6 were taken to a small village and into the -- and to the elementary
7 school. Can you tell the Trial Chamber if anything happened at the
8 elementary school?
9 A. When we reached the elementary school, I don't think the building
10 was destroyed. There were lots of locals around. They watched us but
11 didn't touch us. We got onto this tractor, or cart, rather, those who
12 could, who were able to, and they drove us on to Konjevic Polje.
13 Q. What do you mean by that phrase, "those of us who were able to"?
14 A. Well, for example, Branko Sekulic was wounded, he couldn't walk.
15 We had to drag him along. We hoisted him up onto that cart. That's an
16 example. But the rest of us, we were not really particularly strong by
17 that time.
18 Q. Thank you. Very well. Continue describing this trip. Where did
19 you go from the elementary school in this village?
20 A. We were transferred on this cart from the elementary school to
21 Konjevic Polje. There, we came to a room, whether it was some sort of
22 headquarters, or something like that. We came into this room and were
23 questioned; where we were from, who we were. Specifically, they asked me
24 why I had returned from Serbia, that sort of thing.
25 Q. Thank you. I just want a bit more detail about this encounter
1 that you're describing. Firstly, who were the men who questioned you? I
2 want to know if they were in civilian clothes or in uniform, and I want
3 to know if they were armed or not.
4 A. Well, they were in uniforms. Some were and some were not, as far
5 as I could tell. I think that there was somebody there in command, at
6 least that's how it looked to me, because he put questions to us and
7 wanted to get our personal details.
8 Q. Did you see this person who was apparently in command, so you
9 say, giving orders or issuing orders to other men around him? I'm not
10 talking about the prisoners.
11 A. Well, I suppose that he was in command, because he interviewed
12 us. Now, whether he issued orders to somebody or not, I don't remember,
13 I don't know that.
14 Q. Did you see any paraphernalia, equipment around the place other
15 than camouflage -- and uniforms, and armaments, that might be associated
16 with soldiers?
17 A. Equipment? I don't know what you mean.
18 Q. Okay. Did you see anything like radios, walkie-talkies,
19 rocket-launchers, any sort of heavy machine-guns, helmets? That sort of
21 A. Well, I don't know. I can't say. I don't remember those things.
22 I don't know that.
23 Q. Thank you. And lastly, were your fellow prisoners, Branko and
24 the rest of them, were they also questioned?
25 A. They questioned everyone, naturally.
1 Q. And was the only topic that you are asked about the reason that
2 you had gone to Serbia, or did the person you thought was of -- as a
3 commander, also cover other topics other than why you went to Serbia?
4 A. Well, that's what he asked me, you know, why and where I was
5 from, details about my origin, and why I had come back. This is what he
6 asked me. I don't know what he asked other people. I don't remember,
7 and I don't know.
8 Q. Thank you. From there, where did you go?
9 A. From that place, we went to Srebrenica. We took the road to
11 Q. Did you go through any small villages or towns?
12 A. Yes, we passed through the town called Kravica. I don't know how
13 far that place is from Konjevic Polje.
14 Q. How were you travelling at this point?
15 A. We were travelling in a van, as far as I can remember.
16 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber if you were accompanied by
17 armed men; and secondly, whether -- if there were armed men, how they
18 were dressed?
19 A. There were several people who were in uniform, some kind of a
20 camouflage uniform, and they accompanied us, escorted us, in the van and
21 then further on. There were three or four of them. I couldn't tell you
22 exactly, but that's how it was as regards Konjevic Polje.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, you've mentioned Kravica. Did you drive through
24 Kravica itself or skirt around it?
25 A. I think that that was the road which took us through Kravica. I
1 don't remember exactly, I don't remember the details, but I think they
2 passed through Kravica. I couldn't describe the road to you, but I saw
3 that place. It's a town that could be described as a bit larger village.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, did you see any people in Kravica; and if so,
5 what were they doing?
6 A. As we were passing, I saw that they were collecting barrels and
7 loading them up, and also some other items. That's what I could see as
8 we passed through. I didn't see other things.
9 Q. Did you see any horses in Kravica?
10 A. Well, yes, that's -- they were mounting those things on a horse.
11 Q. On a horse or several horses, or can't you recall?
12 A. Well, I couldn't really tell how many. I had no time for that.
13 I just saw that they were loading things up, and that they were rolling
14 some barrels.
15 Q. Thank you. And can you tell the Trial Chamber if you have any
16 impression of how these people, who were rolling barrels and putting
17 things on horses, were dressed?
18 A. Well, that was quite at a distance from me, so I couldn't say how
19 they were dressed. There were women there too, you know. Women, men.
20 And they were quite away from me. I couldn't tell you whether they were
21 in uniforms or not. I don't know.
22 Q. Thank you. Very well. We'll move on.
23 From there, did you go through Potocari, and eventually on to
25 A. Yes. Yes, from there we got to a place outside of Kravica. I
1 don't know the name of that place. We got out of the van there, and then
2 continued on foot across the hill, towards Potocari.
3 Q. Thank you. And from Potocari, did you go into Srebrenica?
4 A. From Potocari, we were put on a truck and transferred to
6 Q. And the same party of prisoners that you've mentioned, Branko and
7 Dragan, and so on, the people you've mentioned as having set out on this
8 journey, were all of them taken to -- including yourself, taken to
10 A. Yes, yes, all of us together.
11 Q. At any point in your journey were you ever unaccompanied; that
12 is, did the guards -- the men who were with you, and some partially
13 dressed in camouflage uniforms and some armed, did they ever leave you?
14 A. No. We all travelled together, we were together. Some people
15 would come and go, but those who were with us were with us. And on our
16 way there, we would come across some people - I don't know whether they
17 simply caught up with us or joined us - but they would come and go.
18 Q. Were the people who came and went and who joined up with you from
19 time to time dressed in camouflage uniforms, or partially dressed in
20 camouflage uniforms, and armed?
21 A. Some were in partial uniforms, some were not. Some had weapons,
22 some didn't. That's what I could see then.
23 Q. Had you ever been to Srebrenica before, before this occasion?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did you arrive at night?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Where were you taken?
3 A. They took us to the entry point into Srebrenica. There could
4 have been a police station or something like that there. And this is
5 where we got out. In that place, they beat us thoroughly.
6 Q. Describe to the Trial Chamber how you were beaten. And I want to
7 know in particular whether instruments were used.
8 A. Several young men came in. They had some sticks on them. They
9 came in and they started hitting us so that I don't remember what
10 happened afterwards. Later on, when I came to, when I got up, I saw that
11 there were some armoires there or some shelves, and that they had fallen
12 down. The three or four of them - I don't know exactly how many there
13 were - beat us very badly.
14 Q. Did you lose consciousness?
15 A. Yes, naturally. Naturally. As they beat us, we naturally
17 Q. You may or may not be able to recall this, but can you tell the
18 Trial Chamber if any of the guards who had accompanied you were present
19 either before or after or during this beating.
20 A. You mean in Srebrenica, when we got there?
21 Q. I'm talking about this beating when you arrived. When you first
22 arrived, you've told us that you were beaten. Now, if you can't tell us,
23 that's fine. But if you can remember, can you tell the Trial Chamber
24 whether any of the guards who were with you on the truck on the way into
25 Srebrenica were present either shortly before you were attacked or during
1 the beating or immediately after?
2 A. No, I don't remember that. I don't know whether they were there
3 or not.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: We need to go into private session, if Your
6 Honours please, as I want to -- as I want to show the witness a document
7 that may identify him.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go into private session, please.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 4522-4525 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
17 Q. Following this beating that you were described in your evidence,
18 were you taken somewhere?
19 A. From there, they took us to a building which is at the end of
20 Srebrenica, near the hill. This is where the building was, and this is
21 where they took us from the place where they had beaten us.
22 Q. You say, "They took us." Do you refer to the whole party,
23 including the men that you've mentioned and Andja?
24 A. Yes, the people who had been arrested. This is the people I
25 meant. I don't know the people escorting us, I don't know them.
1 Q. And there, in this other building that you're talking about, were
2 you locked up into a room?
3 A. No. We came all together into a room and found people there
4 already, who were detained there.
5 Q. Other prisoners?
6 A. Yes, other prisoners.
7 Q. All right, okay. Now, you've told us that you spent some time in
8 Srebrenica, and it's not in dispute that eventually you left after some
9 time. Did you remain in that room for the duration of your stay in
11 A. Yes, we spent all of the time in that room, at least for as long
12 as I was there.
13 Q. Did you ever leave the room, for example, to go to the lavatory?
14 A. The lavatory was there, inside, and that was the one we used.
15 There was another room - I don't remember clearly - that they took me to,
16 and they hit me there. I can't remember specifically how big the room
17 was, but I know that it was in the same building.
18 Q. Apart from being taken out to be attacked and assaulted, and so
19 on, did you spend the vast, overwhelming majority of your time locked up
20 in this room that you're now talking about?
21 A. The room was locked. There were people there who made sure that
22 it was locked. They probably watched the prison and took care of
24 Q. You've mentioned that -- you've mentioned that --
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honours, I just want to finish this topic,
1 and we can stop at a natural break, if that's okay.
2 Q. You've mentioned that Andja was there, was taken to the building.
3 Was she put into the same room?
4 A. No. She was taken to a different room, and I think there were
5 some other women there who were being held there.
6 Q. What makes you say that, that there were women, other women,
7 apart from Andja?
8 A. I said this because, during the time I spent there, there was a
9 child who came to our prison to visit the grandfather, or at least that's
10 what the child said. There was an old man in the prison who the child
11 referred to as the grandfather. And the child also said his mother was
12 being held there alongside with several other women.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, this is as good a time at
15 which to stop.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Perfect. I thank you, Mr. Di Fazio.
17 Witness, we will resume tomorrow morning. Tomorrow morning we have the
18 option of working in Trial Chamber I, I understand; is that correct?
19 THE REGISTRAR: That's correct.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I will have it confirmed in the morning. The
21 important thing is that the technicians know precisely that that is
22 available so that it's -- okay, so you can proceed with making all the
23 preparations to have the various protective measures in place,
25 I thank you. Also, tomorrow, you have been advised that we will
1 need to finish early because of a personal matter that I have to attend
3 Yes, you will be escorted out of the courtroom now. You will
4 return tomorrow morning. There's only one thing I need to tell you, sir,
5 namely, not to talk to anyone on the matters that you are testifying
6 upon, not to have contact or accept to have contact with anyone, all
7 right? Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 3rd day of
11 February, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.