1 Thursday, 14 April 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.33 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
8 number IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
10 Mr. Oric, can you follow the proceedings in your own language?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. I can
12 follow the proceedings in my own language.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You may sit down. Good afternoon to
15 Appearances for the Prosecution.
16 MR. WUBBEN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. My name is Jan Wubben,
17 lead counsel for the Prosecution, also good afternoon to the Defence. I'm
18 here together with co-counsel, Ms. Patricia Sellers, and
19 Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink, our case manager.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good afternoon to you and your
21 team. Appearances for Naser Oric.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, and
23 learned friends from the Prosecution. My name is Vasvija Vidovic and,
24 together with Mr. John Jones, I represent the Defence counsel of
25 Mr. Naser Oric. And together with us, our legal assistant,
1 Miss Adisa Mehic, and our case manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Vidovic and good afternoon to you
3 and your team. Are there any preliminaries apart from the fact that I am
4 given advanced notice of problems with this witness?
5 MR. WUBBEN: With a view to this witness, well one might indicate
6 there is problems, but we have a request to make.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we will go into private session, but apart
8 from matters related to this witness, are there any other preliminary
9 matters you would like to raise? None?
10 MR. WUBBEN: None, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's go into private session for a while.
12 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We are back in open session, because I understand
21 that the Prosecution has another matter to raise, which is not related
22 strictly speaking to the witness himself. Yes, what is it all about,
23 Mr. Wubben?
24 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honours -- and I apologise for the inconvenience
25 that this came up a little bit late.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: It's no inconvenience at all, Mr. Wubben. We are
2 managing a case and these things happen all the time.
3 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, we have revised translations of exhibits
4 P501, 502, 503 and 504 and these are available at the convenience of the
5 parties and they will be handed over.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Can we now go into private session,
7 back to private session?
8 MR. WUBBEN: Yes Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So let's go back to private session,
11 [Private session]
11 Page 7216 redacted. Private session.
24 [Closed session]
11 Pages 7218-7228 redacted. Closed session.
24 [Open session]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. For the benefit of the public, that couldn't
1 follow the proceedings till now, we have been dealing in private session,
2 in closed session, certain procedural matters that arose, that needed to
3 be resolved before the witness could start his testimony. The witness has
4 already been sworn in and he is about to be examined in-chief by
5 Madam Patricia Sellers for the Prosecution. Ms. Sellers.
6 WITNESS: NIKOLA PETROVIC
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Examined by Ms. Sellers.
9 MS. SELLERS: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Q. Yes, I'm obliged to ask you to please state your full name for the
11 record, sir.
12 A. Nikola Petrovic.
13 Q. And were you important in the town of Obadi?
14 A. On the 15th of January, 1959 in the village of Obadi.
15 Q. Is that the municipality of Srebrenica?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you move to the town or hamlet of Bjelovac in 1974?
18 A. Not to Voljevica. To Bjelovac. That was in 1974.
19 Q. Yes. Thank you. And is that in the municipality of Bratunac?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Would you please confirm for the Trial Chamber that you have six
23 A. Yes. I have six brothers and three sisters.
24 Q. In 1992, did two or three of your brothers still reside in the
25 town of Obadi in Srebrenica municipality?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Two brothers, father and a cousin who was 16 years old.
2 Q. And in the town of Bjelovac, did you have sisters who resided
3 there in 1992?
4 A. Two sisters and -- two sisters and a brother.
5 Q. Mr. Nikolic [sic] let's go back to 1980 --
6 A. Petrovic.
7 Q. I'm sorry. Mr. Petrovic, can we please go back to 1980, between
8 1980 and 1992. Would you tell the Trial Chamber where you were working.
9 A. From June 1980, I worked at Srebrenica, at the gas station there.
10 The gas station is at the entrance to Srebrenica, to the right. That's
11 the only gas station in Srebrenica.
12 Q. Did you work during the day shift or did you work during the night
13 shift at the gas station?
14 A. Both the day and the night shift.
15 Q. Now, as someone who worked at the only gas station in Srebrenica
16 for a period of 12 years, did you come to know a lot of people in
17 Srebrenica, in particular, those who had cars or motor vehicles?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did you have regular customers during that 12-year period?
20 A. Every day.
21 Q. Did you speak with people at times even though you might not have
22 known their names?
23 A. Well, I spoke with all of them.
24 Q. And did you often recognise what ethnic group they were from,
25 either Croat or Muslim or Serb without necessarily knowing their name?
1 A. Well, you could tell the ethnic background on the basis of how
2 people spoke, the accents, the words they used.
3 Q. Now, would you consider that you had good relationships with the
4 people who came to the gas station to ask for gas or any other service?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Were you friendly both to Serbs, Muslims or Croats during your
7 time period that you worked at the gas station?
8 A. At that time, with all of them. I had friends, in fact more of my
9 friends were Muslims than Serbs because at that time the town itself had a
10 majority Muslim population. I think about 88 per cent were Muslims.
11 Q. Did a person named Naser Oric ever come to the gas station while
12 you were working there?
13 A. Yes. Just before the war broke out, I think sometime around 1991,
14 maybe early 1992, I don't know the exact date.
15 Q. Were you able, when he was at the gas station, to speak to him on
16 a couple of occasions?
17 A. Well, if he came to the gas station and if I served him. I saw
18 him several times. He would stand there at the gas station with his
19 friends, but I did not have any closer contacts with him.
20 Q. Now what did you know about Naser Oric yourself, other than the
21 fact that he came to the gas station and occasionally got gas?
22 A. Well, before the arrival in Srebrenica, I had heard that he worked
23 in Belgrade, in Serbia.
24 Q. Had you heard whether he was an athletic person or an intellectual
25 person or anything else of that nature?
1 A. He was an athletic person. I think that he was in the DB, the
2 State Security in Belgrade. That's what I heard. I'm not sure about it.
3 This was the rumour.
4 Q. Did you ever see him with a man called Mrki?
5 MR. JONES: I object. That's a very leading question. In fact,
6 there's been a series of questions which have been leading to a greater or
7 lesser degree.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a direct question.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please.
10 MR. JONES: But my learned friend should have said, "Did you see
11 him in company with anyone" --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: She should have asked him first whether he has ever
13 heard of a person called Mrki. And then she could proceed to ask the
14 witness whether he ever saw Naser, the person he claims to be Naser Oric,
15 with the person he claims to be Mrki, and then we will be all right.
16 MR. JONES: I think the correct approach really would be to say,
17 "Did you see him alone with others, if with others do you know who those
18 people were, do you know their names."
19 JUDGE AGIUS: That will be taking the slow coach.
20 MR. JONES: Well if the witness -- if we wish the witness to have
21 suggested to him he should remember Mrki as being in the company of Naser
22 Oric, as well as others, then that --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's put it the way I suggested.
24 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour might I also state I believe that the
25 witness did testify that he saw him in the company with other people.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. He did say that already. But please ask him
2 whether he has ever heard of a guy called Mrki.
3 MS. SELLERS:
4 Q. You've heard Your Honour's question. Mr. Petrovic, have you ever
5 heard of a person called Mrki?
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: And the next question is whether he ever saw this --
8 person he claims to be Naser Oric, with a person he claims to know as
9 Mrki. First in the petrol station. Second, anywhere else for that
11 MS. SELLERS:
12 Q. Could you please ask the question as Your Honour has phrased it,
14 A. Did I see Naser Oric before? Is that the question?
15 Q. No. Did you see him with someone named Mrki.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Answer that question first, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did see him, because they came to
18 the gas station. They hung together. Mrki and he. Mrki was from
19 Voljevica because -- they used to do body building together in the gym in
21 MS. SELLERS:
22 Q. Thank you, Your Honour. Now, Mr. Petrovic, I would also like to
23 ask you, while you were working at the gas station, did you ever see a
24 person known as Zulfo Tursonovic?
25 A. I do know him. He was from Suceska.
1 Q. And did you have a chance to talk to him or see him in your work
3 A. He would come to the gas station quite often. He would buy gas
4 for cutting wood for the chain saws, because he was -- that's what he was
5 doing. He was also a farmer. And that's why I would see him quite often
6 at the gas station, once a week.
7 Q. Mr. Petrovic, were you aware of what type of reputation that Zulfo
8 Tursonovic had in 1992 or prior to that?
9 A. He used to be in trouble with his own ethnic group, the Muslims.
10 If I remember it correctly, in a cafe in Srebrenica he had killed some
11 people, some Muslims, and he was, in fact, in prison up until the
12 beginning of the war.
13 Q. Now would you describe Zulfo Tursonovic as a calm person or a
14 person who was not calm? Who was agitated or had tendencies toward
16 JUDGE AGIUS: That's -- here I will step in.
17 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I will withdraw the last phrase.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you know Zulfo Tursonovic well enough to be able
19 to describe to us his character?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: And according to you, what was his character? What
22 kind of a person was he? Forget that he --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was tall, he had a moustache. He
24 was about two metres tall. Perhaps 1.90 metre to two metres.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: But what kind of a character was he? What was his
1 character? His temperament? Was he nice, jovial person, temper mental
2 person? Aggressive person, someone you would keep at a distance? Someone
3 you could mix with without any problems? What -- was he an angry old man?
4 What was he?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would not say that he was
6 aggressive in his behaviour on the basis from what I was able to observe
7 at the gas station. He acted normal, just like any other customer.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: So your knowledge of Zulfo Tursonovic originates
9 only from what you were able to assess and establish at the petrol
10 station, at the entrance of Srebrenica?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: And not based on any other information?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sellers.
15 MS. SELLERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Did you also know of a person called Akif Ustic, in the capacity
17 of working at the gas station, Mr. Petrovic?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: That's better.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber, first of all, the
21 physical appearance of Akif Ustic and then explain how you got to know
22 him, if you did.
23 A. Mr. Akif Ustic, I know. He was my P.E. teacher, when I went to
24 school in Sase. And after that I saw him in Srebrenica, where he lived,
25 and in my workplace I saw him almost every day.
1 Q. Did you have an opportunity to get to know the character, the
2 temperament of Akif Ustic?
3 A. As a person he was an angry man.
4 Q. And did you ever have an occasion where Akif Ustic was angry with
6 A. Not before the war.
7 Q. I would now like to ask you - turning to 1991 and 1992 - about the
8 political atmosphere in Srebrenica municipality and Bratunac municipality.
9 Could you tell the Trial Chamber if there was, at that time period, any
10 political tension.
11 A. When the parties were established, that's when turbulence started
12 in Srebrenica and Bratunac. Those parties were the SDS and the SDA, and
13 people opted for them. And one could already feel a division between the
14 ethnic groups in the town.
15 Q. Now, prior to 1992, did you belong to a political party?
16 A. From 1979 to 1981, I was a member of the League of Communists.
17 And when the new parties were established, I voted for the SDS, but I was
18 never its member.
19 Q. Did you attend SDS meetings or were you in any way active with the
21 A. No. I have never been a member of any other political parties and
22 I've never participated in any political meetings.
23 Q. I'm now going to move to a slightly different area, when he stops
24 working, but I understand on the transcript it might be unclear, from Mr.
25 Petrovic referred to "P.E.," which I believe is at line 25, and -- page
1 25, I'm sorry, line 4. Mr. Petrovic, might I ask you, what does P.E.
2 mean? You mentioned Akif Ustic was your teacher in P.E. Could you tell
3 the Trial Chamber what that stands for.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: It's physical exercises.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would use that as an abbreviation
6 for physical education and the witness says he was a teacher of
7 physical -- of physical education, that was the name of that course or
9 MS. SELLERS:
10 Q. Thank you. Mr. Petrovic, did you stop working at the gas station
11 in 1992 and, if so, what were the circumstances in which you stopped
13 A. Towards the end of March, 1992, I don't know the exact date. It
14 might have been the 12th of March. I stopped working in Srebrenica
15 because it was hard for me to get to work. The night guards already
16 started at checkpoints on both sides and it was impossible for me to
17 travel to work.
18 Q. Now, you mentioned the night guards on both sides. Could you be a
19 bit clearer for the Trial Chamber, which sides are you referring to?
20 A. The Serbian side and the Muslim side.
21 Q. Did anything happen to you on your way to work one time in
23 A. One morning, as I set off to work, I was on a bus travelling from
24 Sase to Srebrenica and a bus stop was on Kriva [phoen] road on the border
25 between Zalazje and Bjelovac. It was early in the morning. Some young
1 men were at the stop and they told me not to go back to that stop during
2 the night, because it wasn't safe. That's when I went home and I never
3 returned back to work. The gas station remained open, but it was manned
4 by people from Srebrenica, those who didn't have to commute to work.
5 Q. And the people who stopped the bus, were they ethnically Muslims
6 or were they Serbs?
7 A. They were Muslims.
8 Q. And the people who were on the bus, were they Muslims? Or Serbs?
9 Or was it a mixed ethnic population?
10 A. On the morning when I got back, I did not see the bus. However,
11 the bus usually carried people of mixed ethnicity or different ethnic
12 groups. They all travelled together on the same bus where I travelled.
13 Those were the people that worked in various companies, the driver was a
14 Muslim, Selko [phoen], and another was Ilko Iljic [phoen]. He was my
15 neighbour. These two men drove the bus that we used to get to work.
16 Q. And the piece of territory that you were going through, Zaluzje,
17 was that primarily or predominantly Muslim or Serb territory at that time?
18 A. Zaluzje and Voljevica were Muslim villages that I had to pass
19 through in order to get to work.
20 Q. Now, when you stopped going to work at the gas station, did you
21 then start working in your town, Bjelovac?
22 A. No. There was no work for me in Bjelovac. I stopped working
24 Q. In April 1992, did there come a time when you were mobilised?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Would please tell the Trial Chamber what it meant and how it
2 changed your life to be mobilised in April 1992?
3 A. A list was made of people who would defend the village of
4 Bjelovac. That was the mobilisation. All the able-bodied men were
5 mobilised in April, on the 18th of April, I believe. I may be mistaken.
6 In any case I'm sure of the month; it was April.
7 Q. And those who were supposed to defend Bjelovac, did they form
8 groups or organisations to mount that defence?
9 A. At the beginning, until the moment the war started, we had night
10 guards. Just like the other side had. It was just for security purposes.
11 Q. Now, did the SDS political party participate in the organisation
12 of the night guards?
13 A. The villagers of Bjelovac did that. I suppose they were the SDS.
14 They voted for the SDS, so they could not have been anything else.
15 Q. Did you attend any of the sessions or meetings where the
16 organisation was taking place?
17 A. No. I've already told you that I was not involved in any sort of
18 politics. I never attended any meetings.
19 Q. Do you know of a man named Aca who comes from Bratunac?
20 A. A man whose name was Aca turned up in Bjelovac. I didn't know
21 him. He was not from the area. He came to Bjelovac. And he told us that
22 he had been sent from Bratunac in order to restore order to Bjelovac. It
23 was very difficult to force anybody to stand guard. Everybody wanted to
24 stand guard by their own house.
25 Q. Was he able to eventually organise a guard in Bjelovac that
1 functioned regularly or militarily?
2 A. He provided some trenches. He told us where the sentry duty would
3 take place, and for a while after that there were guards. We did stand
4 guard for a while.
5 Q. Now, as members of the guard, did you receive weapons to use
6 during the guard period?
7 A. Yes. Those persons who were on duty service, who were guards,
8 they carried weapons.
9 Q. Were these weapons received from Bratunac? Or were they weapons
10 that people had?
11 A. Some of it was our personal weapons and some of it came from the
12 Civilian Protection, from those who were on the reserve. Some of the
13 weapons did arrive from Bratunac.
14 Q. And would people who were members of the guard receive uniforms
15 and wear those uniforms while on guard?
16 A. Only those who had uniforms wore them. And those were members of
17 the civilian protection. They had the so-called olive-drab green uniforms
18 from Tito's time.
19 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber about how many people belonged
20 and worked in this village guard?
21 A. There were seven trenches and up to 30 men. There were three to
22 four men in each of the trenches.
23 Q. How many houses were in Bjelovac in 1992?
24 A. There were about 40 households, I believe.
25 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I will be elaborating upon this section
1 in a different manner. I think this might be a time period to have a
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Sellers. We'll have a 25-minute
4 break starting from now. Thank you.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sellers, you may proceed.
8 MS. SELLERS:
9 Q. Mr. Petrovic, right before we took a break, I asked you how many
10 houses were in Bjelovac in 1992 and you testified that there were 40
11 households. You believe there were 40 households. How many of those
12 households were Muslim households and how many of those households were
13 Serb households?
14 A. There were four Muslim households. The rest were Serb.
15 Q. Did any of the Muslim households participate in the village guard?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Being a member of the village guard, did you receive any extra
18 amenities, any extra clothing or food or money?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Would you also tell the Trial Chamber, in addition to the trenches
21 that you testified about, what other places would the village guard stay
22 and watch at night, in Bjelovac?
23 A. The border between Zaluzje and Bjelovac.
24 Q. Were there any industrial sites in Bjelovac that were also
1 A. Only the water supply for Bratunac was there.
2 Q. I would like you to take your time and describe to the Trial
3 Chamber the layout of the town Bjelovac.
4 A. It's a very small place. As I've already told you, there were 40
5 households or 40 houses in the area between Zaluzje and Sikirici, a
6 kilometre and a half, maybe two kilometres of surface from close to the
7 river Drina, and the river Drina is its border with the Republic of
8 Serbia. So much for that.
9 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour might I ask that I just lead the witness
10 on this part of his evidence. It's about geographical placement and then
11 I will be presenting a map for other things. I believe it would be in the
12 best interests of the time.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead. Also I'm saying go ahead, because I
14 looked at the Defence and I saw Mr. Jones and Madam Vidovic nodding, so I
15 acknowledge their agreement to this.
16 MS. SELLERS:
17 Q. Okay. Mr. Petrovic, is the town of Bjelovac located on the Drina
19 A. Bjelovac is on the Drina.
20 Q. And across from Bjelovac, do you have Serbia and, in particular,
21 the Serbian city of Grabovica?
22 A. Grabovica, Vrh Polje, those are the places in Serbia across the
23 river Drina.
24 Q. And is there a road that runs through Bjelovac and going toward
25 the north, Zaluzje and eventually Bratunac?
1 A. Are you referring to Zalazje? Or Zaluzje?
2 Q. Zaluzje.
3 A. That is the road to Bratunac. You go through Voljevica and you do
4 arrive in Bratunac.
5 Q. And when you take that same road in the opposite direction, going
6 through Bjelovac, don't you arrive at Sikirici?
7 A. Sikirici and the -- then Tegare, Fakovici all the way up to
9 Q. Now, on one side of the road that cuts through Bjelovac, between
10 the road and the Drina River, are there houses constructed where people
11 in Bjelovac live?
12 A. They are on both sides of the main road that passes through
14 Q. Well, on the side between the road and the river, there are houses
15 that are constructed. Isn't that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And on the other side of that road, there are houses that are
18 constructed. And then after the houses, don't you have mountains or
20 A. Hills. Hills are after the village.
21 Q. Now, you testified that the village guard had trenches and that
22 they guarded the town from the trenches. Would you tell the Trial
23 Chamber, were the trenches on the side of the road near the houses near
24 the hills? Or on the other side of the road, the houses near the Drina
1 A. The trenches were below the hill, on the other side of the road.
2 Not close to the river. At the foot of the hill they were.
3 Q. And would those posting guard, would they be guarding looking in
4 the direction of the hills? Or would they be looking and guarding in the
5 direction of the river?
6 A. In the direction of the hill.
7 Q. And why would they be guarding in that direction?
8 A. Because the Muslim forces could have arrived from that direction.
9 There are the villages of Pirici and Poloznik there.
10 Q. And did you ever think that forces would be arriving from the
11 other direction, from the direction of the river?
12 A. No. We didn't expect that. We reckoned that Serbia was on that
13 side, and the river.
14 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I would like to ask the usher to give
15 Mr. Petrovic a map, because we've mentioned several places in the course
16 of his testimony so far and I would just like to have that pointed out by
17 him on a map.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Very well, Ms. Sellers.
19 MS. SELLERS: I would like also to hand the usher a marker so he
20 might be able to mark on the map.
21 Q. Mr. Petrovic, you've mentioned several places so far in your at
22 the point. I would like to know, can you show the Trial Chamber where is
23 Bjelovac on the map. And if you could mark it with, Your Honour, a small
24 X or B, and then next to it your initials, please.
25 A. [Indicates]
1 Q. Could you also indicate for the Trial Chamber where --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, but I would like you to put a circle
3 around Bjelovac, please.
4 MS. SELLERS:
5 Q. Please encircle Bjelovac.
6 A. [Indicates]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Very well.
8 MS. SELLERS: Now would you indicate for Your Honours where the
9 Drina River is.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he doesn't need to indicate that. We can
11 see it.
12 MS. SELLERS: Okay, fine.
13 Q. Could you now indicate for the Trial Chamber where Zaluzje is.
14 A. [Indicates]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. Would you do the same for Voljevica.
17 A. [Indicates]
18 Q. And also for Bratunac, please.
19 A. [Indicates]
20 Q. Would you now please locate Sikirici and draw a circle around it
22 A. [Indicates]
23 Q. Would you also draw a circle around Grabovica.
24 A. [Indicates]
25 Q. Now, I would like you to draw a circle around Obadi, the town
1 where you said that you -- the hamlet in which you were born.
2 A. [Indicates].
3 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, can we just state for the record that
4 the witness has drawn a circle around all of the places that we have
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I didn't know whether you were finished or
7 not. And at the same time I also want to ask, because the place where he
8 put a circle now, at least trying to follow him on the map, I don't see
9 Obadi written down.
10 MS. SELLERS:
11 Q. Mr. Petrovic, is that the area where the town of Obadi is located,
12 do you see the name?
13 A. It doesn't say that on the village. In any case, it is above
14 Sase, above the lead and zinc mine.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Near -- well, so for the record, the witness
16 has encircled all the towns and villages indicated to him by Madam Sellers
17 during the examination-in-chief.
18 MS. SELLERS:
19 Q. I might also state, it might be self evident, where Srebrenica on
20 the map, in relationship to these places. Could you indicate for us,
21 Mr. Petrovic, where Srebrenica is, the town.
22 A. [Indicates]
23 MS. SELLERS: Thank you. Your Honours, I would ask that the map
24 be given a number, but I would also ask that the map be kept near the
25 witness because there will be a couple other places he will indicate in
1 the course of his testimony and it might be easier if the map were there,
2 he could turn to it.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, Ms. Sellers. This map will be given
4 Prosecution Exhibit.
5 THE REGISTRAR: P520.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: P520. Thank you.
7 MR. JONES: Just in case it might assist, we might have picked up
8 on this any way, but Obadi is marked just with the letter, small spaced
9 apart, above Gradina and above Sase. So it does actually appear, but
10 it's -- as I say, the letters are spaced apart. Above Azlica you can see
11 the "o," and then the "b," and the "a," and the "d," and the "i," just in
12 case that helps.
13 MS. SELLERS: Thank you very much, I am grateful.
14 MR. JONES: The"o" is just above Zalazje.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I wouldn't agree with you that the way it is spaced
16 out on the map indicates a village. It indicates either an area, a region
17 or a range of hills or mountains that are known by Obadi, by the name of
18 Obadi. That recurs elsewhere in the -- on the map, on this and on others.
19 Very rarely -- I don't even recall one instance where the name of a
20 village is shown with letters spaced as they are on the spot which you
21 have indicated.
22 MR. JONES: Yes. I didn't say that the village was indicated.
23 Those words appear there.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, all right. Okay. Thanks. So let's proceed.
25 MS. SELLERS:
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. All right. Mr. Petrovic, did you --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Jones.
3 MS. SELLERS:
4 Q. All right. I would like to continue now with the summer of 1992.
5 Mr. Petrovic, I draw your attention to the fact that you have testified
6 that there were village guards around the town of Bjelovac. Was Bjelovac
7 attacked during the summer of 1992? And by that I mean June, July or
9 A. Bjelovac was attacked on the 14th of December, but in July the
10 28th of July, that was St Vitez's day, the village of Loznica, which is a
11 bit further up from Bjelovac, was attacked. It is also a Serbian village.
12 Q. Is that July of 1992 or was that June of 1992 or another month
13 that Loznica was attacked?
14 A. On the 28th of July, that is the St Vitez's day, that is a Serbian
15 Orthodox religious feast.
16 Q. Could you please, now on the map indicate for the Trial Chamber
17 where is Loznica?
18 A. [Indicates]
19 JUDGE AGIUS:
20 Q. Thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, the witness has encircled on the map
22 the place which he agrees to be Loznica, and this is along side the
23 villages of Zalazje and Bjelovac and Voljevica. Yes.
24 Q. Mr. Petrovic, were you present in Loznica when the attack
1 A. No. I was in Bjelovac.
2 Q. Did you speak to anyone who was in Loznica when the attack
4 A. Yes. With those who had retreated from the village of Loznica, my
5 neighbours from Loznica.
6 Q. And did they explain to you what they had observed and what had
7 happened during that attack?
8 A. On that day, the 28th of July, the they attacked Loznica and,
9 during the day, all the houses were burnt down. The outcome of the
10 fighting was eight people were killed and four people were wounded. I
11 know some of them by name, if you want me to give them -- give you them,
12 their names? All the houses were burned. And casualties were evacuated
13 from the village, and nobody ever went back to Loznica itself, because the
14 village was totally burned down and the guards continued to stand guard in
16 Q. Now, was Loznica primarily a Bosnian Serb village or a Bosnian
17 Muslim village?
18 A. A Serbian village.
19 Q. Mr. Petrovic you said that they attacked Loznica. Could you
20 please tell me and tell the Trial Chamber who are you referring to when
21 you say "they attacked"?
22 A. Muslims. We knew some of them from Pirici Poznuk [phoen], and the
23 neighbouring Muslim villages.
24 Q. When you say we knew some of them, does that mean that you
25 recognised them? Or the persons who told you this recognised them? Or
1 knew them by name?
2 A. I did not recognise any of them because I was not up there, but
3 this is what the people who were there, manning the positions in Loznica
5 Q. Now, you've testified that they have come from the village of
6 Pirici and from -- did you state the name of another village where the
7 Muslim forces came from?
8 A. Pirici and Poloznik. These are the villages that border with
10 Q. Are those predominantly Muslim villages or are they Serb villages?
11 A. Muslim.
12 Q. I would ask you now to turn back to the map next to you and please
13 indicate for the Trial Chamber where is Pirici and Poloznik?
14 A. [Indicates]
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, the witness has encircled on the map
17 the -- they mentioned two villages Pirici and Poloznik. Thank you.
18 MS. SELLERS:
19 Q. Now, Mr. Petrovic, still concentrating on the months of the summer
20 of 1992, are you aware of any other village that was attacked in a similar
22 A. Well, in the summer I think it was the 12th of June, St Peter's
23 day, also a religious feast, the village of Obadi and Zalazje and another
24 village were attacked. Obadi that's my home village, the place where I
25 was born.
1 Q. Now, were you present in the village of Obadi when it was
3 A. No, I with a not. Two of my brothers, my father and my cousins
4 were there.
5 Q. Were you present in the village of Zalazje when it was attacked?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did your brother -- brothers or your father tell you what happened
8 during that attack?
9 A. My brother told me. He was also a village guard in Obadi.
10 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber what your brother told you
11 about the attack on that day in Obadi.
12 A. On that day, the village of Zalazje, Azlica, and Obadi were
13 attacked. At the same time, from the direction of Potocari and
15 Q. Now, how was your brother able to see the attack occurring?
16 A. He saw that because he was on the line guarding the village of
17 Obadi and that's how he was able to observe the attack.
18 Q. Now, did your brother indicate to you who attacked the village?
19 A. He said that the Muslims had attacked from the direction of
20 Srebrenica and Potocari.
21 Q. Now, what occurred during the attack, according to your brother?
22 A. Well, the village was burnt on that day, the surviving villagers
23 withdrew on that day, to the village of Andrici. That is the next
24 village, the neighbouring village. My father and my brother, who is, how
25 should I say that, a bit retarded, a little bit development problems, and
1 his son, withdrew to Pobrdje to my father's sister.
2 Q. Your Honour might I ask Mr. Petrovic to indicate, again, where the
3 cities -- the towns or hamlets of Zaluzje and Azlica that he indicated in
4 his testimony that were attacked on the day of Obadi. In the same day.
5 A. Not Zaluzje. But Zalazje.
6 Q. Zalazje.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Correct.
8 MS. SELLERS:
9 Q. Now, Mr. Petrovic, you indicated that the attackers were coming
10 from the direction of Potocari. Would you also show that for the Trial
11 Chamber on the map.
12 A. [Indicates]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So for the record, the witness has indicated these
14 three villages, that is Potocari, Zalazje and ...
15 THE WITNESS: Azlica.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Azlica.
17 MS. SELLERS:
18 Q. Did your brother tell you what time the attack began, what time of
20 A. The attack began in the morning.
21 Q. Was that in the morning before or after 10.00?
22 A. Before 10.00.
23 Q. Did the attack begin prior to it becoming light outside or did the
24 attack begin after it was light, the sun had already rose in the sky?
25 A. In the morning, when the day broke, the attack on Zalazje and
1 Azlica began and then it spread to the village of Obadi.
2 Q. Did your brother indicate or tell you about how many attackers
3 were in the force that attacked the city?
4 A. Well, he did not give me the exact figure, because he could not
5 have done so. He just said that there were quite a few of them. He
6 assumed between 300 to 500, maybe even 1000, because the attack covered a
7 large territory. I don't know. He didn't give me the exact figure
8 because he couldn't have known the exact figure.
9 Q. Now, you testified that the houses were burned. Did your brother
10 see who or how the houses were burned?
11 A. All the houses were burned. We, as a family, had three houses in
12 Obadi. All three of them were gutted by fire. In fact two were burned
13 down to the stone foundations, and one was gutted by fire so that only the
14 walls remained.
15 Q. Did your brother tell you whether the burning occurred due to
16 mortar fire? Or any other means?
17 A. No. It was -- fire was set to them. They were not burned by --
18 as a result of mortar fire.
19 Q. And did your brother indicate who set the fire to the houses?
20 A. Well, he said that it was Muslims. There was nobody else there.
21 In fact there were only the two ethnic groups, Muslims and Serbs.
22 Q. In the attack of Loznica that you testified about earlier, you
23 also indicated that houses were burned. Did you come to find out how the
24 houses were burned?
25 A. Well, the troops just went and set fire to them. The attackers,
1 in fact, did it.
2 Q. So therefore Mr. Petrovic, are you referring to the Muslim
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, the three houses that your family owned in Obadi, were you
6 ever compensated or reimbursed or given reparations by the attacking
7 forces for that loss of property?
8 A. No. We didn't get anything, and to this day nobody lives in that
9 village. It's overgrown and there is nobody actually to return there.
10 And we did not get any assistance to rebuild our houses. This is all now
11 covered with vegetation.
12 Q. After the attack in Loznica, were villagers able to move back into
13 their town or their hamlet also?
14 A. No. They were not able to go back there, because the village had
15 been burnt down.
16 Q. Are you aware of any reparations or type of reimbursement in kind
17 for the burnt houses in Loznica given to those inhabitants?
18 A. No. And to this day nobody lives in Loznica because they do not
19 have the funds to rebuild their village, so nobody lives there in the
20 village of Loznica.
21 Q. Mr. Petrovic, when we talk about the attack on Obadi, were there
22 any persons who were captured or taken as prisoners as a result of that
24 A. As far as I know, from Obadi, no one. As from Zalazje, I heard
25 people say that some people had been taken away. I don't know how many of
1 them. I heard about Mijo Rakic and his brother, that they had been taken
2 in the direction of either Srebrenica or Potocari. And that to this day
3 their fate is unknown. They never reappeared. And the people who were up
4 there said that some other people had been taken away, too.
5 Q. Now following the attack on Obadi, were there any presence of
6 civilians in the area?
7 A. I didn't understand your question.
8 Q. After the attack on Obadi, after the Muslim forces attacked, were
9 there civilians who came to the area?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Would you please explain to the Trial Chamber what you learned
12 about the civilians coming into the area after the attack on Obadi.
13 A. Are you referring to Muslim or Serb civilians?
14 Q. Well, would you tell the Trial Chamber what happened if Muslim
15 civilians came and also you can tell them what happened if Serb civilians
17 A. Well, Serbs used to live there. They couldn't have come there.
18 Muslims, I guess, were just going there to loot the houses and burn them.
19 Q. Did your brother tell you whether the houses that your family had
20 in Obadi had been looted?
21 A. Well, everything was burnt down. The only thing we found in
22 the -- in the newest house that was built of brick, we found the only --
23 the only thing that we found was a stove. But it was also burnt and
24 damaged by fire. The rest of the -- the other two houses, because they
25 were built the old way, nothing was left of them. They were burned down
1 to the foundations. There were some barrels there.
2 Q. Mr. Petrovic, you testified that your fare and a nephew were in
3 Obadi, but they were able to leave the village. Would you tell the Trial
4 Chamber, how were they able to leave the village during the fighting?
5 A. Not a cousin, but -- not a relative, but in fact two brothers, my
6 father and a cousin.
7 Q. How were they able to leave the village?
8 A. Well, they withdrew through the woods to Pobrdje, to my father's
9 sister place.
10 Q. Now, had they received a warning that there would be an attack or
11 did they just leave while the attack occurred?
12 A. No. In fact, the area where our houses were is a bit apart from
13 the village, so they saw houses burning in the neighbouring village. They
14 heard the shooting and they withdrew. My father was old. He was 72 years
15 at the time. And my cousin was 16 years old at the time. One of my
16 brothers was a bit retarded, and the younger brother, the second brother,
17 he remained there to defend the village until they also retreated.
18 Q. Now, when you say they saw houses burning in the neighbouring
19 village, just to be clear, what village are you speaking about? Which
20 neighbouring village?
21 A. Zalazje.
22 Q. Thank you. I would like to now stay within the summer of 1992 and
23 refer you to one incident and that involves a nephew of yours. Did there
24 come a time period when one of your nephews was taken prisoner?
25 A. Yes. He went there on his own.
1 Q. Where did he go to?
2 A. Well, let me explain. When he withdrew to Pobrdje, one day his
3 aunt asked him to help her take her things to Bratunac. Since he was 16
4 years old, and he had never been to Bjelovac he left my aunt's stuff
5 there, and my aunt went to Serbia by bus. And then, on his way back to
6 Pobrdje because he didn't know the town, he headed towards Potocari. And
7 so he went there, to their area in Potocari, and he stayed in Potocari for
8 two months.
9 We -- none of us knew where he was during that time.
10 Q. And did you come to find out where he was eventually?
11 A. We learned that when he was exchanged at Turbe. In fact it was
12 the yellow bridge. Two months later we were told that he had been
13 exchanged at the yellow bridge for some dead Serbs and Muslims [as
14 interpreted]. I did not attend the exchange because that was not allowed
15 and when he came to Bratunac, and when he was exchanged and when he came
16 to the command to the headquarters, we were called and told that Slobodan
17 Petrovic, that's my cousin's name, we were told that he had been released.
18 We went to Bratunac to pick him up. We were not allowed to do so
19 immediately in Bratunac. He was first taken to Zvornik to be
20 interrogated. And then the next day, he was brought to Bjelovac, to my
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Just for the record unless it goes
23 unnoticed. Line 18 on this page, 46, he had been exchanged at the yellow
24 bridge for some dead Muslims it should be. Not some dead Serbs and
25 Muslims. Some dead Muslims?
1 MS. SELLERS: Yes. Mr. Petrovic when you indicated he had been
2 exchanged for whom was he exchanged?
3 A. He was brought to the checkpoint where the exchanges were taking
4 place. In fact they brought the Serbs who had been killed in Srebrenica,
5 in Zalazje, I don't know. I don't know whether the Muslims who had been
6 exchanged were dead or alive, but there were some Muslims in the
7 headquarters in Bratunac. They had been arrested and then they would be
8 exchanged. Now, I don't know what this exchange involved. Dead Muslims
9 or live Muslims. But about six or seven dead people, casualties were
10 brought to be exchanged at that time, on a cart.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's move.
12 MS. SELLERS:
13 Q. Now, were you able to speak to your cousin about what had happened
14 to him during the time period he was in Potocari?
15 A. We asked him, but since he was a bit retarded, it was hard for him
16 to get some information. When we asked him where he was, he merely said
17 that he slept in Potocari, below some concrete staircase. And of the
18 names that we mentioned, he mentioned just one name, Naser. So later on,
19 in Bjelovac, for the two or three months that he lived in Bjelovac before
20 he was killed, everybody called him Naser. The Serbs in Bjelovac called
21 him Naser because he had allegedly spent two or three months in Potocari,
22 yet he never knew Naser because he lived in his village. He was a young
23 boy. He probably must have heard that name from someone.
24 Q. Now, when your cousin came back, after being exchanged, would you
25 tell the Trial Chamber in what state, what condition was his mouth?
1 A. Well, in his upper jaw, he didn't have three of his teeth had been
2 knocked out, when he came back. As for any other signs on his body, marks
3 on his body, there weren't any. But since he did not want to talk about
4 whether anyone had abused him or beat him, he never did tell us about
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
7 MR. JONES: Yes, in fact there is a matter, Your Honour, which
8 needs to be discussed in the absence of the -- of the witness, if he could
9 be escorted out for a moment.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's have the witness -- Mr. Petrovic, we
11 need to discuss something which does not require your presence here. It
12 doesn't concern you. But that's the -- that's precisely the reason why we
13 would kindly ask you to be escorted, to leave the room a little bit, the
14 courtroom. We will call you back when we finish discussing this matter.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
17 MR. JONES: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. This witness has just
18 been giving detailed evidence firstly about attacks on Obadi, Zalazje,
19 Azlica, which clearly -- the evidence clearly came as no surprise at all
20 to the Prosecution. They had obviously proofed him on this subject and
21 knew very well he was going to speak about these matters. More crucially
22 than that, he has been talking about the detention of a Serb in Potocari,
23 the name Naser has been mentioned, again some which clearly the
24 Prosecution -- didn't take the Prosecution by surprise. And questions
25 were being asked about his mouth, something very specific. Obviously
1 which had been covered by the Prosecution with the witness in proofing.
2 Now, we received proofing notes and they're about four paragraphs.
3 There's no mention, certainly of any of these attacks on Obadi, Zalazje,
4 or Azlica, and there is nothing about his cousin mentioning Naser,
5 mistreatment possibly in Srebrenica, and this is pure ambush by the
6 Prosecution against us. It's extremely unfair, because, in fact, if we
7 receive no proofing notes, then we would be taken by surprise because this
8 isn't in a witness statement, but we could at least put it to this
10 By providing us with proofing notes which omit, mention -- either
11 the witness is going to mention Naser, that he is going to talk about
12 detention charges, is actively misleading. I mean, it lulls us into --
13 into a sense of knowing what this witness is going to testify about, and
14 then he comes along and testifies on something very different and gives
15 evidence which may or may not be important. It may -- it may be that
16 actually these matters regarding Naser ultimately aren't terribly
17 important. But nonetheless, the Prosecution know that a witness is going
18 to mention someone called Naser. He's going to talk about possible
19 mistreatment in detention then we absolutely have a right to be notified
20 about that in the proofing notes. Aside from the fact that ambush against
21 the Defence is clearly prejudice shall to a fair trial and our rights, it
22 also raises more basic issues of how this witness, the time with this
23 witness is going to be managed, because we've all been very scrupulous to
24 make sure that witnesses aren't kept over the weekend and whatnot, but if
25 he -- if the witness is now going to give evidence, and we're hearing it
1 for the first time, we may well not be able to finish with him tomorrow.
2 We may need to go off and investigate further. We may need to consider
3 our position, which, if we had received proofing notes which said he is
4 going to mention these things, then we would have had time to think about
5 it. So I can't imagine why the Prosecution omitted this information,
6 which they clearly knew the witness was going to talk about, in the
7 proofing notes. It's unacceptable in our submission.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we have a look at the proofing notes, because we
9 don't have them.
10 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, might I reply first?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Of course.
12 MS. SELLERS: I take it, in due consideration, what counsel has
13 said and in the statement that Defence counsel must have received from the
14 24th of May, 2000, he refers to the boy who was exchanged after being
15 captured in the village Obadi about two months after the attack on the
16 village. He had been kept for about two months in Potocari. This is an
17 elaboration of that story.
18 If counsel wants the proofing notes to actually be a
19 stenographer's session, I do not believe that the Prosecution will comply
20 with that. In terms of the other attacks that occurred during the summer,
21 Your Honours, I will apologise, but this is just evidence of pattern that
22 we're leading and I think it is well known there were attacks on several
23 places. I did want to go directly to the statement where it said that,
24 but I had no intention of all of ambushing the Defence. We're merely
25 talking about attacks as pattern that are not charged in the indictment.
1 I believe that is very clear and that we're trying, as a matter of fact,
2 just to have the witness talk about what he has heard and what he knows.
3 Now, if it is prejudicial to the point that the Defence has to
4 prepare over the weekend or at a longer time period, certainly the
5 Prosecution will not object to that. At the same time, I think that the
6 nature of this witness's coming and trying to prepare this witness within
7 the shortened proofing time, that those proofing notes were sent last
8 night. If they should have been updated to the very least to say the name
9 "Naser" will now be mentioned at another point in time, although we are
10 aware that this witness was going to talk about Naser because he knew him
11 from the days of the gas station, I would submit that the prejudice is
12 of -- not quite as large as it offends counsel at this point is
13 asserting. But if he needs more time to prepare on this incident, I don't
14 think the Prosecution will object in any way, Your Honour.
15 MR. JONES: If I might just reply. Obviously we don't ask for a
16 stenographer's note, it is a position of what is clearly relevant and what
17 clearly isn't. I mean, as for a mention of Naser, we have no idea how
18 this boy heard the name Naser or if it refers to our client or to someone
19 else and so I certainly don't wish to suggest there is any great forensic
20 point in it. But the Prosecution has been keen to elicit that evidence of
21 the name Naser. Keen to elicit something which happened with this
22 witness's mouth to suggest mistreatment, all put together in close
23 proximity, clearly an attempt to create an impression that somehow someone
24 called Naser might be involved in the detention of this boy. If that is
25 their case, then they absolutely need to puts on notice that that is
1 evidence which they wish to elicit. And my learned friend was very keen
2 to get that evidence. It was clear she was going straight for evidence
3 which she knew the witness could give rather than alerting us to that.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Your conclusion is a bit -- not a little bit but
5 quite far fetched, trying to build it, sort of a jigsaw puzzle.
6 MR. JONES: No. Really it is --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Given the timing, we were definitely not on the same
8 wavelength on that. However, my concern is usual because you have both
9 shown mutual respect and understanding in this. However, there is one
10 vital point that I would like to make clear, that the three of us, that --
11 have been brought up and educated in a more or less traditional common law
12 system - although I belong to a mixed system - are fully aware that the
13 days where trials whereby ambush are dead and buried. It is no longer the
14 case. It is finished. That belong two centuries ago. So I do share the
15 concerns of Mr. Jones when he stands up and says: We thank you for having
16 given us his prior statement. Thank you for having given us the proofing
17 notes. But what you are asking him now and what he is answering - which
18 is of no surprise to you - is indicative that these items were on the
19 agenda, were on the menu, but they were unwritten. And we all of a sudden
20 find ourselves faced with these issue.
21 Don't expect me to comment on whether the issues that have been
22 raised by Mr. Jones are serious, less serious, or insignificant. That's
23 something on which neither I, nor my colleagues will certainly comment.
24 But the fact that issues -- or facts are mentioned during the testimony in
25 a way which clearly indicates that they were anticipated, irritates a
1 little bit. Irritates, in the sense that I don't think we can tolerate
3 So the remedy that you suggest, all right, Your Honours, if for
4 further sake the Defence needs time to prepare for Defence and so on and
5 so forth, it is no justification. I mean, it is a solution which would
6 redress the injustice that might have been occasioned otherwise, but in
7 reality it shouldn't be like that. Why should we keep this witness an
8 extra two days over the week he had plus an extra day or two until he
9 finishes his testimony and then return simply because the Rules have not
10 been adhered to? So at this time I leave all options open.
11 I definitely am not going to tell the Defence cases -- matter is
12 closed. We don't visit it again. I don't know, because I don't know what
13 the witness is going to continue saying. I don't know what can be covered
14 in cross-examination and whether it can be covered in cross-examination by
15 tomorrow. So I don't know. But these incidents should be avoided at all
16 costs. And I think it is a question of loyalty amongst yourselves and,
17 together, and separately, loyalty towards the Bench. Very important.
18 MS. SELLERS: Yes.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not accusing you of --
20 MS. SELLERS: I would like to say just for practical purposes I
21 was about to conclude that line with just asking him, in terms of the oral
22 hygiene. I will drop that line of questioning, but also would like to
23 emphasize to the Defence that none of that was done in bad faith. I
24 didn't --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I know. I am pretty sure it wasn't.
1 MS. SELLERS: But we will continue with a different line of
2 questioning, if Your Honours please.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm pretty sure it wasn't. Don't take my words as
4 attacking you or censoring you, but to an extent I am, because I am making
5 it clear that trials by ambush are not within the agenda of this Tribunal.
6 So we will not tolerate it. But I think we can proceed now. Madam Usher,
8 [The witness entered court].
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Petrovic. Thank you, Mr. Petrovic
10 for being patient with us. We have solved the problem that we had,
11 something that doesn't concern you. It concerns Prosecution and Defence
12 and the relation between them. So I think that, having been cleared,
13 Ms. Sellers can --
14 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, might I beg your indulgence for four
15 minutes and ask the witness to leave again. There is something I think
16 that I should just relate to state on the record within --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I think you have to leave the room
18 again. I'm sorry about this, but these accidents do happen and certain
19 matters, yes, cannot be discussed in the presence of the witness,
20 according to the Rules. I'm sorry about this, Mr. Petrovic.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 MS. SELLERS: Your Honours, thank you very much. I just do want
23 to state for the record that this line of questioning we were discussing
24 procedurally, I just wanted to state substantively this line of
25 questioning went to the credibility of another witness who has spoken
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 about this person who was kept in Potocari and I felt I was leading this
2 certainly not as a surprise, but to bolster the testimony of that witness.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I mean, I do not --
4 MS. SELLERS: I just want to state that on the record.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Sellers, I do not question the good intentions
6 and the expertise that lay behind your line of questions. The question
7 that arises is, whether the Defence ought to have been put on notice.
8 Because it does not arise -- this matter does not arise from his
9 statement. I mean, these details. I know that this matter was mentioned
10 by another witness. I mean, that much I recall. And I put two and two
11 together, because you precisely asked these questions now. But I wasn't
12 expecting these questions, because I hadn't seen the proofing notes. But
13 had I seen the proofing notes, I still would not have expected those
14 questions to be put. I'm pretty sure that Judge Brydensholt and
15 Judge Eser are of the same opinion, share the same opinion with me, as you
16 see, I mean we cannot stop and discuss every single matter, but if they
17 disagree with me, please say so. And on that score, I cannot but agree
18 with Mr. Jones. I mean he was taken by surprise. They were taken by
19 surprise, and they shouldn't be taken by surprise.
20 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I mean, it is no big deal if we are taken by
22 surprise because we have got a thicker skin, but the Defence cannot be
23 taken by surprise.
24 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honour. I do agree with that.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I am not using the word "ambush."
1 MS. SELLERS: I do agree with you. I just wanted to state that
2 for the record the purpose of that line of questioning.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: It still doesn't justify.
4 MS. SELLERS: I completely understand.
5 MR. JONES: Just so we're clear, it's not simply this boy, that
6 evidence which is new. Loznica burning and looting also is entirely new.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But, Mr. Jones, let's not --
8 MR. JONES: The reason I mention is it is outside the indictment
9 but if we're to cross examine properly it is actually no small matter to
10 cross examine about what happened in an attack on a village. It's
11 non-trivial. And if it is something with which is outside of the
12 indictment and we can disregard it, that is one matter.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones. Agreed. On the other hand when
14 you're a judge and you're presiding over a trial, if you try to direct
15 every bit of evidence, every question, every answer, exclusively to what
16 is contained in the indictment, each testimony will last twice as long.
17 It will become coordinated, full of interruptions. We adopt the same
18 system with you, many questions that you ask relate to events that have
19 got nothing to do with the indictment, pre and post. And it's not a
20 question of closing our eyes. It is a question of trial experience and
21 trial technique. It's -- there may be hidden reasons that you discover as
22 you go along and that you wouldn't want to anticipate or pre-empt not
23 knowing what the relevance would be. So I would like you to understand
24 that we adopt a system of trial here that should not allow place for
25 surprises. That's all.
1 I mean it is -- no party should be surprised by the other. If
2 there is such surprises, then obviously there will be a remedy provided
3 for by the Trial Chamber.
4 MR. JONES: Yes. May I just, in that respect, Your Honour,
5 enquire whether, if an attack -- say characterised by the Prosecution is
6 mentioned which is outside the indictment and we don't -- no, Your Honour,
7 I'm perhaps going to make a different one from the one that Your Honour
8 anticipates. If in the interests of an expeditious trial we don't cross
9 examine fully on that matter because it is outside the indictment, I take
10 it then from what Your Honours said, the Bench is not going to later take
11 that we admitted in any part that evidence. It is simply outside the
12 indictment and therefore --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, Mr. Jones. Let's make it clear. You know
14 that there is such a thing as a system of conduct. That is sometimes
15 sought to be proven by the Prosecution, by means of reference to events
16 that are not the events included in the indictment. Such questions and
17 such references are allowed and we certainly don't stop them.
18 The relevance can be put to -- or asked, and well if you ask the
19 question, that's the answer you are going to get. This is -- we're trying
20 to prove that, the system of attacks was similar or identical or standard
21 throughout, even -- not only in the places included in the indictment, but
22 all around. All right. So, et cetera. So your interest is only insofar
23 as it seeks to prove a system of conduct. You should not, at any moment,
24 be bothered with ourselves being bothered with those particular attacks
25 that are not in reality part of the indictment.
1 If your client, at the end of the day, is going to be found
2 guilty, he will be found guilty of what is contained in the indictment.
3 He will not be found guilty or his responsibility will not increase
4 because we have heard, in the course of the trial, that it wasn't only
5 three, four, five villages that were attacked, but there were another
6 sixty villages that were attacked, and ransacked, and burned down by the
7 Muslim forces under his control or not under his control. To us, we allow
8 it during the hearing of the testimony, but it's not going to influence
9 us. Insofar as it seeks to a prove system of conduct, it may be relevant.
10 So there it is up to you what stand to take in relation to that type of --
11 kind of testimony.
12 MR. JONES: May I, Your Honour. It's just -- that's precisely it.
13 It is -- this evidence is being adduced to prove a system of conduct and
14 therefore we of course have to be in a position to cross examine to show
15 that no such system existed and therefore we do need to be notified if
16 these villages, additional villages are going to be mentioned. It's
17 simply to make that point.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I agree, I agree with you. Because there is no
19 other -- I mean, if there is any other reason that I'm not aware of,
20 please, Ms. Sellers, do tell me. But I see no other reason why time is
21 being spent with this witness to relate to us the events that took place
22 in villages during attacks that are not included in the indictment. There
23 must be a reason, obviously. I mean you haven't stood up and
24 said "objection, what's the relevance of the question".
25 In the back of our mind, you know now what we think. I mean, the
1 only relevance that there could be is precisely a system of conduct which
2 could relate to various matters, but a system of conduct essentially. The
3 same applies to this boy who was -- I don't know if he was imprisoned, not
4 imprisoned, because the witness was laconic there. But again it would
5 show a system of conduct of keeping prisoners and then exchanging them,
6 for example. So therefore I agree 100 percent with you, that if these
7 matters are going to be raised during the examination-in-chief, you should
8 be given prior notice of them.
9 MR. JONES: Right. I think that is the basic principle which we
10 needed to establish and that is clear.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: You can take it for granted that that is the case,
12 but we are not always in a position to anticipate it. First, because in
13 the normality of cases we are not given copies of the proofing notes.
14 Secondly, because I, for one, am -- rarely choose to go through the
15 statements before I come here to hear the testimony. I do check when it's
16 going on. And I do check before to see more or less what the testimony is
17 going to cover. But I don't normally go through the details.
18 So at the end of the day, I don't -- and there are very few
19 questions that I can anticipate. I mean, if I see that this person was
20 one of the prisoners in Srebrenica, then obviously I know that I can
21 expect questions on the attack, how he or she were captured, questions
22 relating to detention, questions relating to exchange and so on and so
23 forth. Not beyond that. Especially if there are other -- other matters
24 covered, that of course I wouldn't know about. I don't mind being taken
25 by surprise, because the cases -- and not mine as such. But I will make
1 sure that you will not be taken by surprise. All right. So, one moment.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: So the position is as follows:
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: You can bring in the witness now, please. And your
6 position is as follows, Mr. Jones. Your position is reserved.
7 MR. JONES: Yes. I should say it is my colleague who will be
8 cross-examining this witness.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: But it us it doesn't make a difference whether it is
10 you or your colleague. You are the Defence team, together. So when I
11 say "your position," I don't mean yours. I mean the accused's position,
12 basically. It is reserved.
13 MR. JONES: Yes. Naturally.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: We will hear any submissions you may have in that
15 regard later on.
16 MR. JONES: We may need to be prepared to go on to Monday.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: But, if that is a possibility, I mean we will
18 have -- I'm certainly not going to tell you "No, I have decided on the
19 basis of what we discussed yesterday, that there will not be a sitting on
20 Monday," that this person will go back on Friday. If things happen the
21 way they did and we need to keep him here and continue with him Monday,
22 then we continue with him on Monday. I mean, today, unfortunately, we
23 lost a quarter of an hour before we started because the previous case that
24 was sitting in the morning overstayed in the courtroom by 15 minutes and,
25 therefore, the 15 minutes were taken from our time. We lost time in the
1 beginning because of other procedural matters. We lost time because of
2 this incident. I even doubt whether Ms. Sellers will be able to finish
3 today. I don't know. But that's the position. So while yesterday we
4 were quite adamant and tried to impress on you the need to finish by
5 Friday, we have to be flexible now. Justice comes first, Mr. Jones.
6 MR. JONES: Absolutely. And that's all the more reason why we
7 need full proofing notes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Ms. Trevisan, please.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, Mr. Petrovic, my apologies to you, but Madam
11 Prosecutor and the Defence today have decided to raise some issues that
12 needed to be resolved before we continue with your testimony. They are
13 procedural matters. Nothing to do with you. Absolutely nothing to do
14 with you. Yes, Ms. Sellers, please, you may proceed.
15 MS. SELLERS:
16 Q. Mr. Petrovic, might I turn your attention to the latter part of
17 1992, the month of December. Did there come a time period when the
18 village of Bjelovac was attacked?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. On what day was the village attacked?
21 A. 14th of December, 1992.
22 Q. And at what time did the attack begin? What time of day?
23 A. Early in the morning.
24 Q. Could you please describe for the Trial Chamber how the attack
25 occurred, but more specifically, what you did and what you saw during the
2 A. On the 14th December 1992, I slept in my house, and my house is
3 100 metres from the main road that goes through Bjelovac. Very close to
4 the Drina River. I was awoken by shooting. I got up. I was alone at
5 home. My wife and my children were in Serbia, in Grabovica. I got up and
6 I went out to see what was going on.
7 When I got out I started walking towards the road. I felt shots
8 behind me. I ran through the corn field to my sister's house. I entered
9 my sister's house. There was shooting coming from all directions. I
10 didn't know at the time who was behind my back, in the direction of Drina,
11 where my house was. I was sitting in my sister's house and there was a
12 window facing my house and I was observing what was going on. Below the
13 garage of my house, I saw three uniformed persons appear first. They were
14 followed by two people in civilian clothes. One of them was in a
15 checkered red shirt and had a hat on his head. They came up to my house.
16 They entered the house. They stayed there a few minutes, between five and
17 fifteen minutes. I looked again and I saw smoke coming from my house,
18 which means that they had set the house on fire.
19 They left the house. They were taking their time. They returned
20 the same way they came from, towards the Drina. The house was burning for
21 some 15 or 20 minutes. Only one room actually burned down. The fire did
22 not spread to the entire house. The first floor did not burn on that day.
23 Then I realised that they, the Muslims, had arrived from the
24 direction of the Drina River. I spent the entire day in the house,
25 observing from my sister's house what was going on. I could see them
1 entering the stables of Dusan Petrovic, who is my neighbour. There were
2 some dozen people and there were a lot of heads that could be seen below a
3 hedge or behind the hedge. I couldn't recognise anybody. But I did see
4 when they set the house on fire and I knew that they were Muslims.
5 Q. Mr. Petrovic, let me just take you back to a couple of points that
6 you've testified about. You said that you went to your sister's house.
7 How far from your house was your sister's house located?
8 A. 80 to 100 metres.
9 Q. Now, is your sister's house, from your sister's house, are you
10 able to clearly see what you testified about as your garage and your
12 A. Yes. One can clearly see it, because it is on the same plot of
14 Q. Now, you stated it was early in the morning. Was it dark outside
15 or was it light outside when you saw the people entering your house?
16 A. It was light, because the day had already broken.
17 Q. Now, you stated that some of the people who entered your house
18 were in uniform and some were dressed in what appeared to be civilian
19 clothes. Could you tell the Trial Chamber what types of uniforms that you
20 saw, the people who entered your house?
21 A. Three of them wore camouflage uniforms.
22 Q. Were the people who entered your house, both the uniformed and the
23 non-uniformed, were they carrying weapons of any kind?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did they enter your house together or did they appear to enter the
1 house together?
2 A. First the three of them got in an then the other two followed. I
3 was able to see that because the entrance to the house looks directly at
4 the place from which I was observing the scene.
5 Q. When you say that the three of them went into the house first,
6 were those the people in uniform or were they the people in the civilian
8 A. The first three that got in wore uniforms.
9 Q. Now, did the people in uniforms try and prevent the people in
10 civilian clothing from entering into your house?
11 A. No. The other two got in, too.
12 Q. Now, you've testified that you saw smoke coming up and then that
13 your house was burning. Did you see the people who went into your house,
14 both the uniform people and the people in civilian clothes, leave your
16 A. Yes. I did.
17 Q. Did they leave your house in a manner that could be described as
18 calmly, or did they run out of the house frightened and fearful, possibly
19 because of the fire?
20 A. They did not run. They went out calmly and they went the way that
21 went below the garage.
22 Q. Now, just to clarify for the Trial Chamber. We've discussed the
23 town of Bjelovac. Is your house on the section of Bjelovac between the
24 road and the river, or between the road and the hills?
25 A. It is between the road and the river.
1 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber whether the people who came to
2 your house came from the direction of the river or came from the direction
3 of the hills?
4 A. They had come from the direction of the Drina River and they went
5 back the same way, towards the river.
6 Q. Now, you've testified that you stayed at your sister's house
7 during that day. Did you see any other incidences of burning that day
8 while you were at your sister's house?
9 A. Later on perhaps an hour later, because I did not really look at
10 my watch to see what the time was, I looked at the Sikirici and
11 Jovanovici, and I could see that smoke was coming out of the houses,
12 that's the houses were on fire.
13 Q. Now would you turn to the map next to you and you've already
14 indicated -- indicated where Sikirici is. Could you please show the Trial
15 Chamber where Jovanovici is?
16 A. Sikirici, this is here. And Jovanovici is here, close to
17 Sikirici. There is only a small stream between them. They're bordering
18 on each other. And then here, next to this wood here, wooded area here,
19 there is the village of Jovanovici. This is here.
20 Q. Could you please put a circle around that also, with the initials,
21 the village of Jovanovici?
22 A. [Indicates]. This is the river Loznica, and this is where Bjelovac
23 starts. Jovanovici is here, in this area.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, the witness indicates a spot at the
25 tip of the oblong shape that he has marked on the map indicating where the
1 village of Jovanovici is, in the proximity of Sikirici.
2 MS. SELLERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
4 Q. Now when you were observing burning from Jovanovici, would you
5 please tell the Trial Chamber what did you specifically observe; what was
6 burned; to your knowledge, how was it burned; and in what order, if any,
7 was it burned.
8 A. Well, the house us houses below the wooded area started burning.
9 They were also away from the road. First, Petro Jovanovic's house started
10 burning. Then Milos, Milenko, and another person by the name of
11 Jovanovic, they started burning. You could see the smoke coming out of
13 Q. Did they all burn at the same time or did they burn one after
15 A. One after the other. First one, then the other one. The second
16 one. The third one. The fourth one.
17 Q. Were you able to see whether the houses were hit by mortar shells?
18 Or whether the houses had been set on fire by human beings?
19 A. They were set on fire by human beings.
20 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber why you say that, please.
21 A. Well, because they set fire to the houses by hand. They did not
22 fire any mortars on them or anything.
23 Q. Now, were you able to observe, from your sister's house, any other
24 houses being set on fire that day, in Bjelovac, during the attack?
25 A. Well, I can't really be specific about the time. Houses on the
1 other side of the road began burning, too. It may have been around noon
2 or one p.m., I cannot be really specific about the time. But the houses
3 of Mile Petrovic, Drago Filipovic, Stevo Filipovic, Milenko Vucetic,
4 Slavko Martic as far as I can remember, those houses started to burn. And
5 this is as far as they went burning houses on that day. They did not burn
6 any other houses on that day.
7 Q. To clarify a bit, when you talked about the houses burning from
8 Jovanovici, were those the houses above the road going toward the hills?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you. And this last group of houses that you've mentioned,
11 houses of Mile Petrovic, Filipovic, were those the houses on the side of
12 the road going toward the Drina River?
13 A. Yes. Down to the Drina River.
14 Q. Now, were all of those houses, those on both sides of the road
15 that you've testified that were burned, those are houses that are located
16 closer to Sikirici than houses in Bjelovac that would be located to the
17 other side of the town, toward Zaluzje, going toward Bratunac; is that
19 A. Well, it's closer to Sikirici.
20 Q. Now, is your house located in the part of the town near Sikirici?
21 Or is it located in the other end of the town going toward Bratunac?
22 A. It is located right in the middle of the village, in the middle of
24 Q. So when you testified that only half or one-half of the village
25 burned, were those houses starting from your house going back towards
2 A. No. From Sikirici towards my house.
3 Q. Certainly. Fine. Now, during the attack, while you were at your
4 sister's house, did you hear the sounds of bullets, guns or other weapons?
5 A. Well, sure I did. Because you could hear shooting from all over
6 the place. Both sides were shooting.
7 Q. Now, were the village guards defending the village of Bjelovac at
8 that time?
9 A. Well, they had pulled out towards the area in the middle of the
10 village, because when the lines were broken through, they moved, they
11 pulled out to that part of the village that had not yet fallen, those who
12 survived the initial attack.
13 Q. Now, you testified earlier that there were about, I believe, 30 or
14 40 members of the village guard. Were those 30 or 40 members fighting
15 that morning during the attack, against the attackers?
16 A. Well, I'm sure they fought.
17 Q. Did you hear any other sounds, other than weapons, the sounds of
18 human voices that day during the attack?
19 A. Well, I heard the people shouting from the woods and banging some
20 metal objects. I don't know what it was. I couldn't really tell what it
21 was. There was just a lot of noise. I don't know whether they did it in
22 order to create panic.
23 Q. Did you, by any chance, hear what they were shouting, what the
24 persons were shouting, the people were shouting?
25 A. Well, in that noise, you could hear them shout from the woods,
1 "Allahu Akbar." They were just trying to create panic because they were
2 banging those cans and other metal objects.
3 Q. Now, could you tell the Trial Chamber how many people dressed in
4 uniform and civilians with the people in uniform that was attacking the
5 village that you saw that morning of the attack.
6 A. Well, I cannot really give you the exact number, that's
7 impossible, because I didn't see all of them. But on the basis of the
8 area from which they attacked, because it was a fairly large area, I can
9 assume that they -- their numbers were large.
10 Q. And when you say "large," do you mean more than 50?
11 A. Well, more. Much more.
12 Q. How many more would you estimate that their numbers were?
13 A. Well, quite a few of them, because they attacked a large area. I
14 think 300, 500, up to 1.000. I cannot be specific about the figure. It
15 was impossible. One could not see all of them.
16 Q. And would it be your testimony that, in terms of the village
17 guards, there were in between 30 and 40 people on duty that morning?
18 A. Well, yes. 30 to 50. There were seven trenches and you would
19 have three to four people per trench. That would be the number for the
20 village guards.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I could stop at this moment and
23 continue after the break.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. In fact, I was going to draw your
25 attention to the time. We will have a 25-minute break, starting from now.
1 Thank you.
2 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 6.20 p.m.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's continue, Ms. Sellers, please.
5 MS. SELLERS:
6 Q. Mr. Petrovic, you testified that there were approximately, between
7 30 and 40 people on duty that morning and you said, well, maybe -- I'm
8 sorry, 30 to 50.
9 A. Fifty.
10 Q. Fifty, yes. I would like to ask you now, during the period of the
11 attack that morning, did you hear any airplanes or type of helicopter or
12 aviation machinery, or equipment?
13 A. That was not in the morning. And an airplane appeared in the
14 afternoon. I don't know exactly when. I believe that it was between 1.00
15 and 2.00 in the afternoon. Not in the morning.
16 Q. Were you wearing a watch that morning of the attack,
17 Mr. Petrovic?
18 A. No. I never wear a watch.
19 Q. Did you have the opportunity to look at a clock on several
20 occasions that morning during the attack?
21 A. No. I did not pay any attention to the time of day.
22 Q. So were you telling the time of day more or less by whether it was
23 light outside or whether it was dark outside?
24 A. Are you now referring to the airplane? Or to the attack on
1 Q. To the attack on Bjelovac.
2 A. The attack started early in the morning.
3 Q. And throughout the day, did you just notice whether it was light
4 outside or whether it was dark outside in order to indicate whether it was
5 morning, evening, or night?
6 A. The attack started in the morning and lasted the whole day, until
7 3.00 or half past 3.00 in the afternoon, maybe.
8 Q. Now, getting back to the plane. Do you know from which direction
9 the plane originally came?
10 A. It came from the direction of Bratunac, up the stream of the Drina
12 Q. And to your knowledge, during the attack, did the plane drop any
13 detonation mechanisms or bombs or mortars or any other type of shells?
14 A. As far as I could hear, there were two louder detonations that
15 could not have been caused by simple shooting. I believe that something
16 was dropped.
17 Q. And did you see any craters that would have indicated detonation,
18 craters or bomb craters in the town of Bjelovac at a later date?
19 A. On the following day, on the 15th, when we returned in order to
20 pick up the casualties, below the house of Radojka Damljanovic, there was
21 a crater two metres wide and half a metre deep. I did not see the other
22 crater. I only saw one crater. And I believe that this is what caused
23 the damage to that house, because on the 14th, this house had not been set
24 fire to.
25 Q. So it's your testimony that the bomb created the burning or the
1 fire damage to that house, is that true?
2 A. That house was never on fire. The only thing that I saw was this
3 crater next to it.
4 Q. So the bombing of the detonation did not cause that house to catch
5 fire or to appear to be destroyed by fire, is that your correct testimony,
6 correct characterisation of your testimony?
7 A. The shell or whatever you want to call it, did not set the house
8 on fire. It just damaged the walls and the roof fell off the house. The
9 house was not set on fire on the 14th of December. Whatever damage there
10 was, was probably caused by the detonation by this shell that created the
12 Q. Now, Mr. Petrovic, you've testified that there were houses on the
13 road above the road going toward the hills and houses on the road below
14 going toward the river that were burning. And your testimony was that
15 they had been set on fire. Did you see the airplane or an airplane
16 dropping any bombs or detonation devices over these houses when you saw
17 them being set on fire?
18 A. I could not see that. I could only hear the detonations. I could
19 not see them.
20 Q. Did you hear those detonations when the houses of the Jovanovics
21 and Filipovics were beginning to burn?
22 A. No, no. That was later. That was in the afternoon. The house --
23 the houses burnt earlier on.
24 Q. Now, did there come a time, during the attack that day, when the
25 attacking forces -- what you've characterized or described as the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Muslims -- when they left Bjelovac?
2 A. After the flight of the aircraft, they withdrew towards --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness repeat the names of the
5 THE WITNESS: It could be in the afternoon, towards the end of the
6 day. I don't know the exact time.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Petrovic, the interpreters didn't catch the
8 names of the villages that you mentioned in your answer. Could you repeat
9 them, please.
10 MS. SELLERS:
11 Q. They retreated towards which villages, please?
12 A. Pirici and Poloznik.
13 Q. And are those the village [sic] that you marked earlier on the --
14 that is beside you?
15 A. Yes. Neighbouring villages. They are marked on the map.
16 Q. And are those Muslim villages or Serb villages?
17 A. Muslim villages.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, did there come a time during that day, the 14th
19 of December, when Serb forces came to assist the villagers in Bjelovac?
20 A. Yes. After that aircraft flew over, some men that called
21 themselves "the guards," arrived.
22 Q. Did those men who called themselves the guards, then engage in
23 fighting with the Muslim forces that were in Bjelovac?
24 A. Not on that day. They arrived late. The Muslim forces had
25 already retreated.
1 Q. Now, when you left your sister's house -- well let me ask you
2 this. Did you leave your sister's house after the retreat of the Muslim
4 A. I went to my house.
5 Q. Did you go to your house with anyone or did you go there by
7 A. My brother was with me.
8 Q. And when you went to your house, would you tell the Trial Chamber
9 what you saw, what was the condition of your house.
10 A. I entered the house. On the 14th, only one room burnt down. And
11 the living room had been ransacked. However, the fire did not spread to
12 either the living room or the floors -- or the rooms on the first floor.
13 Only one room burnt down on the 14th of December.
14 Q. Now, were you ever compensated or given reparations or somehow
15 restitution for the burning of that one floor in your house that occurred
16 on the 14th of December 1992?
17 A. No. I did not receive anything. I used my own resources to
18 repair my house. I have not completed the reparations. I have only
19 repaired two rooms, so that I can live in them. The rest still remains as
20 it was.
21 Q. Now, where did you spend the night of the 14th of December, 1992,
22 after the attack?
23 A. The 14th of December?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. I spent the night in Bjelovac.
1 Q. Did you spend the night in your house or did you spend the night
2 in another house?
3 A. Not in my house. In my sister's house. My house was still
4 burning and I didn't stay there. I went to my sister's place.
5 Q. And did you stay in Bjelovac on the 15th, the next day, in the
6 town? And if you did, would you tell the Trial Chamber what you did
7 during at that day.
8 A. On the 15th, we gathered, all of us villagers of Bjelovac
9 gathered. There were a lot of casualties. We had to gather the bodies
10 and bury them. On that day, on the 15th, I can state that not a single
11 bullet was fired from the Muslim side. They allowed us to collect our
12 bodies in peace.
13 Q. Now, about how many people, to your knowledge, were killed in that
15 A. Between 60 and 70.
16 Q. Now, were the majority of bodies that you recovered, were they on
17 the part of Bjelovac that is between the road and the river? Or were they
18 on the part of Bjelovac that is between the road and the hills?
19 A. Most of them were between the road and the river, closer to the
20 Drina. I suppose that they were fleeing towards the Drina, and then
21 whatever happened there, happened.
22 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber where, if any where, that the bodies were
23 transported to on that day.
24 A. They were transported to Serbia, by boat. We couldn't go through
25 Zaluzje and Voljevica. That is why we transported them over the bridge to
1 Bratunac and we buried them there on the 16th of December, 1992.
2 Q. Now, did you return to Bjelovac on the 15th -- I'm sorry on the
3 16th of December?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did any of the villagers in Bjelovac return to Bjelovac on the
6 16th of December or the 17th, or the time period close thereafter?
7 A. On the 17th of December, as far as I know, an order was issued
8 from Bratunac for the rest of the forces that had remained in Bjelovac to
10 Q. Now, when you say the rest of the forces, are you referring to
11 those guards who came down to assist you? Or are you referring to the
12 inhabitants of Bjelovac?
13 A. Mostly the guards, because the villagers of Bjelovac were no
14 longer there because there was not a single house or a single household in
15 which there was not at least one casualty.
16 Q. Now on the 16th and 17th of December, 1992, were you in Grabovica
17 on the Serb side of the Drina River?
18 A. On the 16th of December I was in Bratunac, attending the burial
19 and then I returned to Grabovica, where my family was. On the 17th I
21 Q. Now, on that day, on the 17th, did you have the opportunity to
22 look back across the river into your village of Bjelovac?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Would you please tell the Trial Chamber what you saw as you looked
25 across the Drina River into the village.
1 A. On that day, the 17th and the 18th and after that, again Muslims
2 entered the village and the rest of the houses that were not burned on the
3 14th were set fire to on the 17th and 18th of December.
4 Q. So are you talking about the houses now that would be between your
5 house and going in the direction of Bratunac? Or Zaluzje?
6 A. Those that were not set on fire on the 14th, the ones towards
8 Q. And please tell the Trial Chamber why you testified that the
9 Muslims set the houses on fire on that day, the 17th and the 18th.
10 A. Because there were no Serb forces in Bjelovac.
11 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I would like to show Prosecution
12 Exhibit 316. It's approximately six minutes. We will try and see if we
13 can just move to a couple sections in it, in the interest of time.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: So ...
15 MS. SELLERS: I believe it is up on Sanctions now. Mr. Petrovic I
16 would ask you to look at the screen in front of you and we are going to
17 run a video and I will ask you some questions concerning it as it runs.
18 [Videotape played]
19 Q. Mr. Petrovic, can you recognise anything in this video at this
21 A. Those are the houses in Bjelovac belonging to the Jovanovic
22 family. As far as I can tell from the still.
23 Q. Pardon me. Is that house those houses appeared when you saw them
24 burning on the 14th of December, 1992?
25 A. I think so.
1 Q. Thank you, Your Honour. I just want to indicate that we're on
2 20 --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. For the record, the still from the video that
4 the witness is being referred to is at 26 minutes 39.6 seconds. Thank
6 MS. SELLERS: Let's continue, please.
7 [Videotape played]
8 MS. SELLERS:
9 Q. Mr. Petrovic, can you indicate what this image is in front of you
11 A. This is the Bjelovac school. And next to it is Bozo Rjumsevic's
12 [phoen] house.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And next to it, which side, left or right,
14 Mr. Petrovic?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On my left. And the big building is
16 the primary school. This is the school, yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. For the record, the witness is referring to a
18 still from the video that occurs at 27.03.2.
19 MS. SELLERS:
20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Petrovic, is it your testimony that the school and
21 these houses were not burned on the 14th, but that they were burned on the
22 17th? I believe the 16th or 17th, at a later date?
23 A. Later. Later. Not on the 14th. This is the part of the village
24 that remained standing on the 14th.
25 Q. Thank you. We can continue.
1 [Videotape played]
2 Q. Mr. Petrovic, in the front centre of this picture, there seems to
3 be a very small white structure. Do you recognise what that small white
4 squared structure is?
5 A. I do recognise it. These are the pools for the water supply
6 system for Bratunac, the wells, that's what we call them.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, the witness is referring to a still
8 from the video which occurs at 27 minutes 08 seconds, point 7.
9 MS. SELLERS:
10 Q. Now, did the village guard, guard at times what you've described
11 as the pools for the water supply to Bratunac, such as the one we're
12 seeing on our screen now?
13 A. Well, the water supply system is behind the backs of the guards,
14 but there would always be a soldier or two at the building where the pools
15 are located.
16 Q. Thank you. We can continue.
17 [Videotape played]
18 Q. Mr. Petrovic, is this the airplane that you saw on the 14th of
19 December, 1992 during the attack on Bjelovac?
20 A. I think, yes.
21 Q. Now, the sound that we've just heard while this picture was
22 running, is that similar to the sound of the airplane that you heard on
23 that day?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you see any other airplanes in the sky on that day, during the
2 A. No, no.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 [Videotape played]
5 Q. Mr. Petrovic, the sounds that we've just heard now, other than
6 what appears to be the sounds of the motor of the airplane, could you tell
7 the Trial Chamber what they were.
8 A. The sounds that were heard just now, is that right?
9 Q. Yes, sir.
10 A. Well, to me it sounds like shooting, gunfire from what I was able
11 to discern.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, for the record, the witness is referring to
13 still on the video -- from the video which is at 27 minutes, 59.9 seconds.
14 MS. SELLERS:
15 Q. And are those sounds of gunfire similar to the sounds of gunfire
16 that you heard during the attack in your village that day?
17 A. I didn't understand you.
18 Q. I'm sorry. Are those sounds of gunfire, the sounds of gunfire
19 you've just testified about, did they sound like the gunfire you heard
20 that day in your village while it was under attack?
21 A. Yes. As far as I was able to hear, this was like gunfire.
22 Q. Thank you. We'll continue.
23 [Videotape played]
24 MS. SELLERS:
25 Q. Mr. Petrovic, you see smoke at the bottom centre of this screen.
1 Could you tell the Trial Chamber whether that is smoke that is coming from
2 the fire, from your village, or from another source?
3 A. No. The smoke seen at the bottom of the screen is the house in
4 Serbia, and the smoke that you can see in the far end, in the background,
5 that's from across the river Drina.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: In fact, Ms. Sellers, I don't know, you probably
8 have noticed but when we started rolling this video, where that fire is,
9 it was already there at the beginning and there was a gentleman, a man
10 standing nearby.
11 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honour. I want to make it clear for the
12 record, we won't be misleading since it looks very similar.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So it is good to point out that this is Serbia and
14 not across the Drina.
15 MS. SELLERS: Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. One moment. This is, for the record, we
17 are -- the witness was being referred to a clip or a still from the video
18 at 28 minutes, 28.7 seconds.
19 MS. SELLERS: Thank you.
20 [Videotape played]
21 MS. SELLERS:
22 Q. Now, Mr. Petrovic, from your experience, would you tell the Trial
23 Chamber where is this video -- where does this video appear to be taken
24 from, as we're looking at the village of Bjelovac?
25 A. I think from Serbia. There's no other place.
1 Q. Now you've testified that between your village and Serbia, there
2 is the Drina River. Is that indicated in the image that we're seeing
3 before us now on the screen?
4 A. Well, the Drina is here, you can see it here on this image.
5 Q. Thank you. We will note the time for that one also, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. For the record, the witness is referring to a
7 still from the video at 28 minutes 46.9 seconds.
8 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, we're going to fast-forward to one time
9 period, if you would allow us.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
11 [Videotape played]
12 MS. SELLERS:
13 Q. Turn it back for one minute. Now, Mr. Petrovic, you've testified
14 about two, what appears to be sections of houses that were burned one
15 above the road and one below the road in Bjelovac. Could you indicate for
16 the Trial Chamber if what is on the screen now represents one of those
17 groups of houses and, if so, which group of houses. Below the road or
18 above the road?
19 A. I think that this other, the second part is below the road. And
20 there is another portion, I think it's probably Jovanovici, further up
21 towards the wooded area. Because you can see the Drina River and the
22 house that is on fire is right next to the river.
23 MS. SELLERS: Thank you. We will note the time for that also
24 Your Honour.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And for the record, the still that the witness
2 is referring to occurs at 32 minutes 33 seconds point 4.
3 MS. SELLERS: We will go directly to one other segment.
4 [Videotape played].
5 Q. Now, Mr. Petrovic, I would ask you to look at this image in front
6 of you and, could you please tell the Trial Chamber if you know what part
7 of the village of Bjelovac does this image represent.
8 A. This is the part just below the road and near the Drina River,
9 between the road and the river.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. For the record, the witness is referring to a
11 still at 38 minutes, 15.1 seconds.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, we can stop the video at this point.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: It's up to you.
15 MS. SELLERS: Thank you.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Petrovic, did you have a chance to go back into your
17 village in the following months in which it was attacked?
18 A. Well, I returned to Bjelovac for the first time sometime in March,
20 Q. Were you part of the Serb army forces that went back into
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, were you in the front troops or were you in the rear troops
24 of those forces that went into Bjelovac?
25 A. After the fall of Bjelovac, a unit was established in Bratunac and
1 I belonged to it. It was the 2nd Company, 3rd Battalion.
2 Q. And when you went back into the town of Bjelovac, would you please
3 describe for the Trial Chamber what you observed in the town.
4 A. When we returned to Bjelovac, the houses had all been burned down.
5 That was in March, when we retook the village, our village.
6 Q. Now when you stated that houses had all been burned down, are you
7 referring to those that burned down on the 14th of December as well as
8 those that burned down on the 17th of December?
9 A. Yes, yes, all the houses in Bjelovac. Only four Muslim houses
10 remained untouched. They had not been burned.
11 Q. Now when you say four Muslim houses, did you know that the
12 inhabitants of that -- those houses were Muslims?
13 A. I knew my next door neighbour, Hajrudin Begzadic, that was the
14 house, two houses away from my house.
15 Q. Now would you describe for the Trial Chamber what Hajrudin's house
16 looked like when you returned in March compared to the other houses.
17 A. Well, when we returned there in March, there were quite a few
18 things around his house, cement mixers, chain saws, that people had
19 gathered there around his house. It looked like a storage facility, as a
21 Q. Now, when you say people had gathered had you seen any people
22 between the time you left your village until the time you returned to your
23 village, gathering things in the village and placing them near Hajrudin's
25 A. Well since I was there quite close in Grabovica, I did not see
1 them leave the stuff next to Hajrudin's house, but I did see quite a few
2 people moving around in Bjelovac.
3 Q. And were these people dressed as civilians or in uniforms or a
4 combination of both?
5 A. Well, I really could not see that, because it's -- the distance
6 was quite substantial.
7 Q. When you spoke with your former Serb neighbours, did they ever
8 tell you that they had taken things or items and gathered them at
9 Hajrudin's house during this time period?
10 A. When we returned to Bjelovac, people who would recognise their
11 cement mixer or digger would say, "this is mine," and took those things.
12 Now as to whether this really belonged to them or not, I cannot go into
14 Q. Now, the other three Muslim houses, what condition were they in,
15 compared to the non-Muslim houses and did they also have items stored
16 around them?
17 A. Well, there were some items, less than at Hajrudin's place. Those
18 houses had not been burned because even when the Serbs were there, Serbs
19 lived in them. And then, when Muslims came, they all returned to their
20 houses, the houses of the Muslims, and thus it happened that nobody ever
21 set fire to those houses and the houses remained there unscathed.
22 Q. Now, were there any vehicles such as cars or trucks or tractors
23 that were missing in the village after you returned?
24 A. In Bjelovac, there was nothing. In my garage, there was a yellow
25 Zastava 101 car. It was my son in law's. This car was gone and we found
1 two cars that were burned further down the road in Bjelovac, on the black
2 top road.
3 Q. Did your Serb neighbours also tell you whether they had vehicles,
4 cars or tractors that were missing after the attack on Bjelovac?
5 A. Well, there were no vehicles.
6 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I just have two more questions and I
7 will end this session, okay?
8 Q. Mr. Petrovic, on the 17th you testified that the rest of Bjelovac,
9 that had not been burned on the 14th, was burned. To your knowledge, were
10 there any village guards or Serb soldiers defending Bjelovac on that day?
11 A. No. Everything was taken out of Bjelovac.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think that that is an answer to the question
13 that you put, it could be a question of interpretation. I suggest you put
14 the question again.
15 MS. SELLERS: Right.
16 THE WITNESS: Everyone had been pulled out the village.
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises. The answer was
18 slightly ambiguous.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
20 MS. SELLERS:
21 Q. So therefore on the 17th of December, 1992, was Bjelovac an
22 undefended town, in terms of being defended by Serb soldiers or Serb
24 A. I think it was on the 17th that the remaining people pulled out of
25 Bjelovac. Everyone was pulled out on the 17th of December and no Serbs
1 remained there.
2 Q. And when you saw the fires being set on the 17th of December, from
3 your position in Serbia, did you hear any shooting or any defending of the
4 town simultaneous to the houses being burned?
5 MR. JONES: He said -- I think the witness didn't say he saw fires
6 being set.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: You are right, Mr. Jones.
8 MS. SELLERS: I'm sorry, he saw -- he -- let me not
9 mischaracterise his testimony. He said he "saw houses burning."
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
11 Q. I will rephrase that in terms. During -- on the 17th of December,
12 from your vantage point in Serbia, when you saw houses burning in that
13 part of the town, Bjelovac, did you also hear gun fighting or hear the
14 town being defended by Serb soldiers or Serb inhabitants?
15 A. No. No. You could just see the fires. There was no shooting.
16 MS. SELLERS: Thank you, Your Honours. I will finish and I will
17 inform the Trial Chamber I have no more than 10 minutes for tomorrow
18 morning, 10 or 15 minutes.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I don't know. I think one should
20 prepare the witness as to the chances of him having to stay here over the
21 weekend and continue and finish on Monday. But, I don't know, it's up to
23 We will continue tomorrow in the afternoon, like today. And
24 hopefully we will not need to send you in and out and bring you in again
25 in order to discuss procedural matters. We will do our utmost, our best
1 to try and finish tomorrow. I don't promise you that we will because we
2 lost too much time today discussing procedural problems that were raised.
3 Have a nice evening. Rest. And tomorrow we will continue. Thank
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m., to
6 be reconvened on Friday, the 15th day of April,
7 2005, at 2.15 p.m.