1 Wednesday, 13 July 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.49 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Mr. Oric, good morning to you. Can
11 you follow the proceedings in your mother tongue?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
13 morning, ladies and gentlemen. Yes, I can.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You may sit down. Appearances for the
16 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours, my name is Jan Wubben
17 lead counsel for the Prosecution. Also good morning to my learned
18 friends of the Defence. I'm here together with co-counsel, Mr. Gramsci
19 di Fazio, and our case manager, Mrs. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you and your team.
21 Appearances for Naser Oric.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
23 morning to my learned friends. I'm Vasvija Vidovic. Together with Mr.
24 John Jones, I appear on behalf of Mr. Naser Oric. We have with us today
25 our legal assistant, Ms. Adisa Mehic, and our case manager Geoff Roberts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you and your team.
2 A couple of things. We have reedited the CD-ROM containing the
3 photos of the site visit, eliminating those that had nothing to do as
4 such or which were of no importance to the proceedings, and including
5 some other photos from my collection, for example. I asked that it be
6 distributed to you in advance so that you would then come with a feedback
7 as to whether that can enter into the records as an exhibit.
8 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
9 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, I took a look after being provided with
10 the CD, and when it comes to the issue of being an exhibit, I really
11 wonder how productive it will be when it also includes photographs of
12 cows, vehicles, lunches during the site visit, a landing of a helicopter,
13 the inside of a helicopter, and the burned log in the forest in the shape
14 of some animal. These kind of photographs, I think, might be excluded
15 from something like an exhibit. But, Your Honours, if the purpose is
16 also to clarify the photographs as such, then it might be supportive as
17 well to provide also a kind of overview of the specifications of the
18 names of the villages or the river or the site that has been shown.
19 That's my --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Jones or Madam Vidovic?
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have no objection
22 to those photographs being included as evidence.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. What we are going to do is -- I'll ask
24 Mr. Blumenstock to reedit it, eliminating some of the photos that Mr.
25 Wubben seems not to wish to see in the CD and then we will resubmit it to
1 you. All right.
2 Next thing is we will be handing down the -- our written decision
3 on the Defence motion for protective measures. Since Witness D001
4 appears to be sort of the next one in the revised list, we are just
5 telling you for the time being that our decision as regards this witness
6 will be to grant the protective measures sought, namely pseudonym, facial
7 and voice distortion, but not the late disclosure of the -- of the name
8 of the witness to the Prosecution. So it's only this last protective
9 measure that is not granted.
10 Any other preliminaries?
11 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, none.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So I think we can then proceed with the
15 testimony Mr. Sead Bekric.
16 Usher, could you please go next to him. But he doesn't need to
17 stand up. Just in case he needs either attention with the headphones
18 or --
19 Mr. Bekric, good morning to you.
20 THE WITNESS: Good morning to you, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Throughout the proceedings, you will be receiving
22 interpretation of what is being said in your language, or in a language
23 that you understand. I take it you understand. If at any time there are
24 problems with interpretation, say, either if you're not receiving
25 interpretation or you notice the level is too high or too low which
1 sometimes happens, please draw our attention straight away and we will
2 rectify the problem or address it to the best of our abilities.
3 Since you have a problem with your seeing, an impairment with
4 your sight, I will be doing, together with the other two judges, our
5 utmost to make life easy for you while you are giving testimony here. I
6 have already made arrangements after consultation with the two judges to
7 facilitate your being in the courtroom before everyone else so that you
8 would feel at ease without having cameras showing you walk in and walk
9 out. We agreed to have you be accompanied by your dog.
10 For your information, I am the Presiding Judge and my name is
11 Carmel Agius and I come from the Mediterranean island of Malta. To my
12 right I have a Judge from the Kingdom of Denmark and his name is Hans
13 Henrik Brydensholt, and to my left I have a Judge from Germany, from the
14 Republic of Germany, and he is Professor Albin Eser, Judge Professor
15 Albin Eser. Together we are presiding over this trial of Naser Oric the
16 Defence of whom has summoned you as one of its witnesses.
17 You will very soon start testifying, but before I proceed any
18 further, I need to -- I wish to apologise to you for having kept you
19 waiting for almost one hour now. The reason was a technical one due to a
20 -- a technical shortcoming anyway, which we have solved and which needed
21 time to be solved. We are now in a position to proceed, but before you
22 start giving evidence, our rules require that you make a solemn
23 declaration to this Trial Chamber that in the course of your testimony
24 you will be speaking the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
25 truth. It's kind of an oath that many witnesses take in many
2 I will be reading out this solemn declaration bit by bit to you.
3 I'm reading it in English, it will be translated to you in Serbo-Croat,
4 and I would like to you repeat in your own language --
5 MR. JONES: Just one moment, Your Honour. The witness will be
6 testifying in English and using English throughout.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I heard him answer me in English but I didn't
8 know --
9 MR. JONES: Sorry. I should have pointed that out, including the
11 THE WITNESS: If I may say, Your Honour, I had the miss read to
12 -- read me the solemn declaration in the waiting room and I have
13 memorised it.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
15 THE WITNESS: She read it to me a couple of times.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's splendid, Mr. Bekric. Perhaps then
17 you can remain seated and you can proceed with the solemn declaration
18 immediately and that will be your solemn undertaking with us and then we
19 can start.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 WITNESS: SEAD BEKRIC
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. Bekric, that is your solemn
25 declaration and very briefly now, Mr. Jones, I take it, will be putting
1 to you a series of questions. He will then be followed by Mr. Wubben who
2 is lead counsel for the Prosecution.
3 I don't know when we are expected to finish.
4 MR. JONES: Your Honour, I was thinking that I would probably
5 only need a day but given the delay it may be I go into part of tomorrow
6 but the estimate which was originally five hours has been revised by me
7 to 3 and a half hours, four hours.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So the probability, Mr. Bekric, is that
9 you will be with us again tomorrow morning. And then you will be free to
10 go back home.
11 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Jones.
13 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Incidentally, before I forget, as regards your
15 revised witness list, please, by the end of the week, Mr. Jones, please
16 be kind enough to indicate the length of the expected testimony or the
17 expected length of the testimony of each of those 30 witnesses, please,
18 so that we can organise ourselves better and also the Defence -- the
19 Prosecution team will be able to do that too.
20 MR. JONES: Yes, certainly, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
22 He wants to take them off? It's okay with me. Otherwise perhaps
23 it's better -- possibly another better solution would be to leave them
24 on and switch on channel 4, which is English, and that way he can always
25 hear better what is being said. You see, I don't think he heard what I
2 Examined by Mr. Jones:
3 Q. Good morning from me, Mr. Bekric and apologies from me too for
4 the delay.
5 A. Good morning to you.
6 Q. And I'm going to ask you to leave a bit of a pause between my
7 question and your answer because we will be speaking in the same language
8 so if you could make an effort to do that. Now, could you start by
9 giving the Court your full name.
10 A. My name is Sead Bekric.
11 Q. And your date of birth is 30th of September 1978?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. You were born in Voljevica, Bratunac municipality,
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And your father's name was Selmen?
17 A. Bekric, that's correct.
18 Q. And your mother's name was Mulja?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. Could you tell us firstly how you lost your sight.
21 A. There was a soccer field in Srebrenica on April 12th 1993 and
22 there was a massive amount of people and we had a match and there was a
23 shelling from Zvijezda, from the hill above Bratunac and the soccer field
24 was shelled and I was blinded, together with 62 other people killed on
25 the soccer field.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, after you were blinded in that mortar attack,
2 were you evacuated to Tuzla and then to the United States?
3 A. Yes, I was. I was taken from the soccer field to Srebrenica
4 hospital and then from Srebrenica hospital on to Tuzla and then from
5 Tuzla I was transported to United States.
6 Q. And is it right that --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Jones.
8 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour, it's just a matter of approach by
9 my learned friend. He certainly wants to put words into the mouth of the
10 witness but now he already started with a mortar attack and I tried to
11 identify where the witness said something like that. But anyway, I see
12 it is a triggering from my side to be precise and to advise him.
13 MR. JONES: He referred to a shelling. A shelling is the same
14 thing as a mortar attack.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: The importance of the whole incident is in relation
16 to how he ended up being blinded. Otherwise it's not relevant.
17 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, that's why I didn't intervene but it is
18 more or less an advice to pay attention to the fact that don't use words
19 that a witness didn't use.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you, Mr. Wubben. Yes, Mr. Jones,
21 please proceed.
22 MR. JONES:
23 Q. Once you were in the United States -- well, I presume I can lead
24 on some background matters.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I would imagine. Usually you know what the
1 practice is in this Tribunal. We allow you to lead, both sides, when in
2 chief, except when there is an objection, which we will go into and
3 decide accordingly. I mean -- so unless there is an objection, please go
5 MR. JONES: I'm concerned --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Certain matters in particular, you know --
7 MR. JONES: I'm concerned my learned friend might object if I
8 lead that this witness learnt Braille, but I don't know else to --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move on, Mr. Jones.
10 MR. JONES:
11 Q. Is it right that you learned Braille in a short space of time?
12 A. Well, when I got to United States I started school without
13 speaking the language, without knowing how to be blind, without learning
14 Braille so I had to learn Braille mighty quick. So I learned Braille in
15 two weeks, together with other equipment that is used for people with no
17 Q. Thank you. And did you learn English as well?
18 A. Yes. I had to learn English as soon as possible because I was
19 like a newborn child in a world without speaking it and without
20 understanding what people around were saying so I had to learn mighty
22 Q. And is it right that you graduated from high school and then
23 university in the United States?
24 A. That's right. I graduated from high school, regular high school,
25 with 2.000 students who were all able to see and I graduated with honours
1 and I got my degree recently, Bachelor's degree in international
2 relations and global affairs.
3 Q. And have you also been involved with the American Red Cross?
4 A. When I arrived in the United States, I did not know what happened
5 to my father after I left Srebrenica so my interest was to work with the
6 American Red Cross to possibly have mail sent to him, to Srebrenica, and
7 I asked them, you know, I'm blind, can I help volunteer to possibly get
8 the information back to my family in Srebrenica? And they kindly
9 accepted me even though I was blind and I worked a lot with the American
10 Red Cross on many different programmes through three or four years.
11 Q. Were you also involved with the Volunteers of America, I think
12 they are called?
13 A. Yes. I was a National Youth Council of America with the American
14 Red Cross and I worked on the organisation that Colin Powell started, the
15 Volunteers of America.
16 Q. Finally - this is all just background, obviously - what are your
17 current plans?
18 A. I just graduated from college and on October 1 I'm taking LSAT
19 law school exam and I'm hoping to go to law school next year.
20 Q. Thank you. I'm going to take you back to the war in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is it right that when the war started, you were in
23 A. That's correct.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Please pause between question and answer.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you hear the suggestion of the interpreter, Mr.
2 MR. JONES: Yes, yes. We are being reminded, Mr. Bekric, to
3 leave a pause between the question and answer.
4 A. I apologise.
5 Q. Take it very slowly, that's fine. Did you grow up in Voljevica?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. Now, for our benefit we are going to be looking at a map to
8 follow your testimony.
9 MR. JONES: So we have copies of the map we are going to be using
10 for everyone which we will pass around at this stage.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Incidentally for the record because this had caught
12 my eye before, but I preferred to wait. In page 7 line 6 the place of
13 birth or the town of village of town of birth of the accused is [Realtime
14 transcript read in error: "Valvica"] when it should be Voljevica. Page
15 7, line 6.
16 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. For this map I suggest it's a benefit for us but that we mark as
18 we go along the places which are mentioned. I'm going to start with
20 Firstly can you tell me the ethnic composition of Voljevica
21 before the war.
22 A. Voljevica was majority Muslim but it had some inhabitants of
23 Serbian ethnicity.
24 Q. How far is Bjelovac from Voljevica?
25 A. Bjelovac from Voljevica is about three or four kilometres.
1 Q. Did you go to Bjelovac much before the war?
2 A. Yes, I have.
3 Q. I'm going to ask you about Pobrdje. What was the ethnic
4 composition of Pobrdje before the war?
5 A. Pobrdje was majority Serb but it had some Muslim inhabitants.
6 Q. Is it correct just in terms of geography that Voljevica has the
7 Drina on one side and then hills on the other side?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. And is there a hill between Voljevica and Pobrdje?
10 A. Yes, there is. The hill was called Vis.
11 MR. JONES: Your Honours, I'm marking that on my map and the
12 various, some hills may not be actually -- may not appear on the map so I
13 suggest we mark them as we go along.
14 Q. Are you familiar with a hill called Caus?
15 A. Yes, I am. Caus is mountain or hill that was between Voljevica
16 and that area and Srebrenica area, above Voljevica.
17 Q. When you say Srebrenica area, are you referring to the town or
18 the municipality?
19 A. The municipality of Srebrenica and the town, so whole area.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Have you ever been to -- have you ever
21 cared to - when of course before you had lost your eyesight - to see if
22 you could see Caus, this hill Caus, from say Potocari, from Srebrenica
24 THE WITNESS: Definitely you could.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it visible from Potocari.
1 THE WITNESS: Yes, it is, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes, Mr. Jones -- I pointed this out. No,
3 no, no. Whether this hill Caus is visible from Potocari. In other
4 words, if you look at -- if you're standing on the ground in Potocari,
5 looking towards the direction of the Drina River, whether you can see
6 this hill called Caus. This is my question.
7 THE WITNESS: You can see Caus from Potocari area and from
8 Voljevica area. It's one of the biggest peaks, biggest hills in the
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, Mr. Jones.
11 MR. JONES: Thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm saying this because this was pointed out to us
13 in Potocari.
14 MR. JONES: Yes, indeed.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We were asked to look at it anyway.
16 MR. JONES: Yes.
17 Q. Now, are there any hills between Vis and Caus?
18 A. Yes, there is. There is a hill above Pobrdje called Tablja and
19 then goes on Zaluzje and then it connects up to Caus.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, sorry again to interrupt you, but don't
21 you have a better map than this? Because there is not even a survey map
22 as such. If we could have a -- map of this particular area which would
23 indicate these hills. I mean I think it will serve your purpose better
24 and help us better definitely.
25 MR. JONES: May I, Your Honour? In fact this -- in my submission
1 this is actually an extremely useful map because practically all the
2 village and hamlet place names which we are interested in here. It's
3 just the names of a few of these hills which I'm dealing with at the
4 outset and it has to be said that often hills have local names which may
5 not appear on a national -- part of a national cartographic survey.
6 You will notice that there are indications of hills next to Caus.
7 There is one which case 488 metres I presume and there is another one
8 between Pobrdje and Voljevica which says 384. It would be my submission
9 that those -- those correspond to the hills which this witness is
10 referring to, but I'm really not aware whether there is a map which would
11 have all those names.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead.
13 MR. JONES: My purpose -- I've been marking the hills as I go
15 Q. Now are those places you mentioned, Vis, Tablja and Jelah, are
16 they all on one ridge or are they arranged in some other way?
17 A. There is a ridge that goes all the way from Voljevica to Vis and
18 connects up to Tablja. It's all one ridge and goes to Jelah and connects
19 up to Caus area the hill of Caus.
20 Q. Thank you. Now, you mentioned Bjelovac. What was the ethnic
21 composition of Bjelovac before the war?
22 A. In Bjelovac, there is Serbian population, Muslim and Romas.
23 Q. And Zaluzje, what was its ethnic composition before the war?
24 A. Zaluzje was Muslim.
25 Q. Before the war broke out in Bosnia, were you aware of any
1 tensions in the Voljevica area?
2 A. Yes, I was. I was aware in the beginning of the war, when they
3 had the elections, first of all they had the graffiti around Bratunac
4 area, SDS graffiti, SDA and HDZ graffitis. And then there was election
5 going on and my father was not allowed -- because my father moved from
6 Srebrenica municipality before war to Voljevica and he was not allowed to
7 vote because he bought land from Serbian neighbour. So he was not
8 allowed to vote in Voljevica area so he was forced to go to vote in
9 Pobrdje, in SDS club.
10 Q. What year would that be, those elections?
11 A. That was in -- I can't be specific how many months before war but
12 not very long before war.
13 Q. And what happened when your father went to the SDS club to vote?
14 A. The -- our neighbour, that I knew was very good friends with my
15 father from Pobrdje, Nikola Ostojic [phoen] told him, Selmen, what are
16 you doing here? You're not supposed to be here, this is SDS club, you
17 cannot vote for SDA or any other parties in this club. So my father did
18 not get to vote.
19 Q. And were you aware of any preparations for war in the Voljevica
21 A. Yes. I was. I was aware. A few months before war started,
22 there was a preparations in Voljevica and there was a JNA and troops and
23 reservists practising in the Voljevica area and they had their base in a
24 school in Voljevica. The school of Voljevica, there were -- they had the
25 main headquarters. That's where was about 50 to 70 troops based in the
1 school and many more around hills.
2 Q. When you refer to reservists, do you know where the reservists
3 were from?
4 A. I recognised a lot of my neighbours from Pobrdje who were like I
5 said in the past were good friends with my father. And many others came
6 from our understanding were JNA troops.
7 Q. When you say that they were practising in the Voljevica area, can
8 you explain a little more what you mean by that?
9 A. Well, they had the headquarters in the school. That's where they
10 had the heavy weapons. Cannons, four-barrel anti-aircraft guns,
11 anti-aircraft machine-guns in their kitchen and where the troops slept in
12 the school and around the hills around Vis, around Krstas hill, and all
13 around the hills, around Voljevica, there was troops in camouflage
14 uniforms, dressed with the helmets, with the boots, with the full combat
15 uniforms with light and heavy weapons in their hands, rocket-propelled
16 grenades, Zoljas, AK-47s, automatic rifles. And there was another group
17 also they were dressed in blue uniforms and then green khaki JNA uniforms
18 all around hills in Srebrenica -- Bratunac, Voljevica, probably in the
19 schools probably around 50 to 70 troops and hills around 2 or 300 all
20 over the place.
21 Q. You mentioned a hill called Krstas. Can you tell us roughly what
22 village or hamlet that is near?
23 A. Krstas is a hill that separates Bjelovac area and Voljevica area.
24 Q. Thank you. In fact just looking at the map there is a place
25 Zaluzje, Prisoj, Biljaca. Is it near any of those places?
1 A. Krstas is above Zaluzje and the other side of the hill there is
2 Prisoj, Bjelovac, Biljaca, and other side is Voljevica.
3 Q. You've described these troops practising in the hills around
4 Voljevica. Is that something you yourself saw at the time?
5 A. Yes, I did because I was young kid who was interested in what was
6 going on and I ran around with the troops, they took me around with them.
7 They even gave me to clean their guns after they shoot them. I cleaned
8 their guns. They gave me food. And I ran around all over the place with
9 the troops.
10 Q. Now, did the tensions which you referred to involving your
11 father, that incident, did those sorts of things have any effect on the
12 local population, the local Muslim population?
13 A. Definitely did, because the -- as we know, that situation was --
14 was going on in Vukovar, Croatia and the propaganda was on television and
15 people in Voljevica were afraid what was going to happen to them. You
16 know, why these preparations, why guns, why uniforms, why around
17 villages, you know. And people were afraid what's going to happen to
19 Q. All right. You've referred to propaganda on television. Was
20 there anything else which contributed to these fears?
21 A. Yes. Because there was -- we knew that paramilitary from Arkan
22 and Seslj were in the Bijeljina area, you know, spreading all over the
23 place and many people from Bratunac, Serb authorities, came into
24 Voljevica and they took a lot of men for questioning into Bratunac area
25 or wherever they took them to, some which were beaten, some never
1 returned. And there is another incident which spread the fear everywhere
2 on Voljevica when Serbian troops brought two bodies into Voljevica and
3 shot them right in middle of the village, sending a signal to us:
4 Cooperate or this is -- was going to happen to you. I saw both those
5 bodies shot right through the forehead.
6 Q. Do you know the people who were shot?
7 A. I found out those people from Glogova, last name Ibisevic and
8 they were buried in Voljevica.
9 Q. What if anything did Muslims do as a result of these fears and
10 these activities?
11 A. Male members of Voljevica were very afraid what's going to happen
12 to them, will this same thing happen to them? So the result was that
13 that we had to run into the hills, into the trees, into the woods, forest
14 and hide in camp at night so for the fear that they might come and pick
15 next men and take them, you know, to the --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, can he be specific now as the time when
17 this -- whether they have arrived at this stage?
18 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you, Your Honour, to ask that.
19 Q. How long was that? Can you place it either with a month and a
20 year or in relation to other events?
21 A. That was about a month before Voljevica fell. So that was
22 approximately in April 1992.
23 Q. When did Voljevica fall?
24 A. I can't be specific date but it was mid-May 1992.
25 Q. Now, if it was suggested to you that Muslims left their homes and
1 farms because they wanted to attack the Serbs from the woods, what would
2 you say to that?
3 A. Well, I'll definitely disagree with that statement because I was
4 there, I saw it, and I stayed behind after Voljevica fell. So when
5 Voljevica -- when Serb troops especially my neighbours from Pobrdje I
6 definitely saw they were good friends with my father and with the other
7 troops surrounded whole area of Voljevica, whole hills around and they
8 used megaphones and demanded to surrender all the weapons that the
9 Muslims had in Voljevica. So we cooperate and there was no chance for us
10 to fight with Serbs. First of all we did not have weapons. Second of
11 all, Serbs came into Voljevica, expelled the people, cleansed the people
12 from Voljevica and burned the whole village down.
13 Q. You referred to disarming of Muslims in Voljevica. When did that
15 A. That happened in May, 1992, maybe five to seven days before we
16 were expelled from Voljevica. Serb troops from Pobrdje across the Vis
17 hill and from Andrici which is a village above in the Vezovac area and
18 from Caus, Jelah, came from all different directions surrounded the
19 village and also there was tanks and APCs positioned in the Serbia Jelah
20 area facing Voljevica.
21 We were surrounded and trucks came to Voljevica and with
22 megaphones, demanded surrender or -- when we saw the -- our neighbours
23 from Pobrdje area my father asked Nikola Ostolic and other neighbours
24 that is we saw, What's going on, why you armed? Why you dressed in
25 uniforms? What's going to happen to us here? And his reply was, We are
1 here to protect you, not here to harm anybody. Two days later, the whole
2 village was cleansed and burned to the ground.
3 Q. Were weapons handed in?
4 A. My grandfather handed his registered shotgun and other -- all
5 other Muslim male members who had registered weapons, which the Serbs had
6 of course on the record all the registered weapons, were turned into
7 Serbian authorities.
8 Q. Do you know where specifically in Voljevica the weapons had to be
9 handed in?
10 A. Yes, those weapons were handed in by the school in Voljevica.
11 The truck came there and all weapons were handed in there.
12 Q. Is that the school which you referred to earlier?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Please pause between question and answer. Thank
16 MR. JONES: Yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You need to tell the witness.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the president, please.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: You need to tell that -- draw that to the witness's
20 attention because he's not wearing earphones.
21 MR. JONES: We are just being reminded that we need to leave more
22 of a pause between question and answer.
23 A. Okay, that's fine.
24 Q. Now, it's not in dispute that Bosnian Serb forces attacked Muslim
25 villages and that there was a policy of ethnic cleansing. I'm referring
1 that's areas 2 and 4 in Your Honours decision. So I'm not going to ask
2 but that in detail just a few details to establish your movements.
3 Did there come a time when Muslim villages in Bratunac fell to
4 Serb forces, to your knowledge?
5 A. Yes. In -- right before Voljevica fell. I can't be specific but
6 around month or so before we got news in Voljevica that Glogova fell to
7 Serbian forces and was ethnically cleansed and then Suha which is in
8 Bratunac area was also ethnically cleansed and burned to the ground and
9 Mihajlevici also, which I watched myself burned before we were -- before
10 we were ethnically cleansed from Voljevica.
11 Q. Where did you see Mihajlevici burn?
12 A. I was on the hill right below Vis and we can see over there the
13 area of Mihajlevici and we saw houses, flames, smoke, burning and we can
14 see livestocks in the meadows in the area.
15 Q. And were you able to get to these places by road once you
16 mentioned Suha, Mihajlevici, Glogova?
17 A. No we could not because in -- on the border between Voljevica and
18 Pobrdje there was a barricade right there on the road. You could not
19 cross toward Bratunac. Many attempts were made from people from
20 Bjelovac, Biljaca, Tegare, to go toward Bratunac and they were stopped at
21 - -many of them were taken and never saw; many of them were taken and
22 beaten. And when we saw what happened to them nobody attempted because,
23 you know, those troops right there on the road. You could not cross it.
24 And then --
25 Q. Can I just ask you something? Those troops who were manning
1 those barricades, were they Serbs or Muslims?
2 A. They were our neighbours from Pobrdje, from Pobrdje area. Serbs.
3 Q. And the people who were being stopped and taken away were what
5 A. Those were Muslims who were already expelled from their villages
6 up toward the Tegare area and some expelled went towards Mocevici village
7 and some tried to go toward Bratunac and they were stopped there.
8 Q. Okay. You mentioned Glogova, Mihajlevici, Suha. Are there any
9 other Muslim villages which you're aware of which were burnt or attacked?
10 A. Yes. Then Zaluzje burned, Bjelovac burned, Biljaca burned and
11 Sase burned at that time.
12 Q. You mentioned Bjelovac. When did that burn, as you put it?
13 A. Bjelovac burned around same time, a little bit before Voljevica
14 burned. We were in Voljevica when Zaluzje was burning and when Biljaca
15 and Sase were burning.
16 Q. Do you know which part of Bjelovac was burning?
17 A. The whole commune. Whatever they had the Muslim population who
18 successfully went out of the Bjelovac before, was lucky for them their
19 houses burnt and those who were not -- could not leave Bjelovac they ran
20 to the hills and their houses were immediately burned after they were
21 cleansed from their village. And the same thing applied to Biljaca and
22 Sase and Prisoj area as well.
23 Q. You've mentioned several times Serbs from Pobrdje who you knew.
24 Are there any names of specific Serbs whom you saw with your own eyes
25 involved in these activities?
1 A. Yes, there is. I saw Radomir Ostojic. I saw Sreten Lazic, his
2 brother Mirko Lazic. Ivan Lazic, Teodor Lazic, Dragan Ostojic. And a
3 lot of nicknames, I saw Mico Lazic, and I saw Milo Obrenovic. They were
4 all our neighbours that we knew from the past who my father bought land
5 from them and when I saw them, they were all dressed in the different
6 uniforms, camouflage uniforms, with the rifles, with the blue uniforms
7 and with the green khaki uniforms.
8 Q. Aside from Serbs from Pobrdje, were you aware of Serbs from any
9 other Serb villages being involved in these operations?
10 A. Yes. After the population of Voljevica was cleansed from
11 Voljevica and they ran to the hills I stayed behind with my neighbour and
12 his four sons. So we were hiding in the woods around Krstas. We saw
13 Serbian troops coming toward -- from Prisoj and Bjelovac area and then
14 from the bushes we saw them and my neighbour Ahmo Sukrija. And this is
15 the Serb neighbour that is I used to work with and was friends with
16 before the war from Bjelovac and that area.
17 Q. You mentioned that you were in the hills in around Krstas. Can
18 you just describe to us what sort of a view you had from Krstas from the
19 surrounding villages and possibly Serbia?
20 A. If you're standing in Krstas you can see whole surrounding area.
21 You can see Voljevica area, you can see Lubovija which is across Drina
22 River in Serbia and you can see Zaluzje, Bjelovac and that whole around
24 Q. And can you tell us roughly when you were up in the hills around
25 Krstas, for what period and for how long.
1 A. Well, we were in Krstas in the woods and trees before Voljevica
2 fell, of course, because we were with the other male members hiding from
3 the Serbian authorities and the troops coming into the town and then I
4 also stayed after people Voljevica left or pushed out of Voljevica into
5 the hills, I stayed behind with my neighbour Ahmo and four of his sons
6 for a couple of days after the fall.
7 Q. In the period that you were up there, can you describe what if
8 anything you saw in terms of military activity on either side of the
10 A. I saw troops coming from my house, from the Vis area, down toward
11 Voljevica and toward Krstas area. They were also my neighbours that I
12 mentioned before. And then I also troops -- saw troops coming from
13 Bjelovac area, all dressed in uniforms. And many trucks were loaded with
14 the goods also coming from the road that led from Srebrenica on to Sase,
15 Bjelovac into Bratunac, carrying all goods, furniture, televisions,
16 refrigerators, all kind of goods were carried and being escorted by the
17 small vehicles with the troops in them and with the rifles pointing at
18 the village -- at the houses in the village of Voljevica as they passed
20 And when Serbian troops came to burn Voljevica, they also had a
21 lot of humongous trucks and tractors coming in there. The first they did
22 they surrounded the village they had troops on every single hill, all
23 fully equipped for combat with the weapons and all different kind
24 uniforms, surrounded the village. And from Serbia, you can see APC right
25 across the Drina River where I used to go swimming facing right at the
1 Voljevica and the tank also was positioned in Serbia facing the
2 Voljevica. When the Serbian troops entered Voljevica, they -- neighbours
3 from my neighbouring village of Pobrdje and other Serbs from Bjelovac
4 area and whole the commune came into Voljevica looted the whole place,
5 took the -- whatever they wanted, took the livestocks, took the tractors
6 that we had, trucks, cars, whatever they can find, took it toward
7 Bratunac and toward Bjelovac and then they torched [Realtime transcript
8 read in error: "tortured"] majority of the village to the ground. And I
9 saw my own house burnt to the ground. And they took whatever livestocks
10 we had.
11 Q. May I stop you there for one moment? Did you say they tortured
12 the majority of the village to the ground or torched?
13 A. I'm sorry, I didn't hear the last part.
14 Q. It's just a question for the transcript. It says that "they
15 tortured majority of the village to the grounds and I saw my own house
16 burnt to the down." Did you mean to say tortured or some other word?
17 A. Torched, like burned to the ground.
18 Q. Thank you. Now at this time were -- was your family with you or
19 were they were Voljevica or where were they?
20 A. When people from Voljevica were moving through the hills up
21 towards Mocevici I sent my mother, my father and my little brother with
22 the other people and I stayed behind.
23 Q. Now you mentioned livestock. Did you have livestock at that time
24 your family?
25 A. Yes we had the sheep and goats and my neighbour who was -- who I
1 was with, he had a horses, cows, sheep and other livestocks.
2 Q. Now, at this time, you were 13 years old, I take it. Can you
3 explain to us how you as a 13 year old were left alone in the hills or
4 chose to be alone in the hills rather than going with your family?
5 A. Well, I had a little brother who was eight years old. I had a
6 mother, sister, and I had a father who was sick. So I was -- I took over
7 as a main person to support them. So when I sent them I was hoping that
8 even though all people were cleansed from the village, we still hoped it
9 was going to last for a couple of days and when I stayed behind I went to
10 play role [phoen] my family hoping to -- you know, it's your home and
11 save what we had. So when we saw what happened to our village, then I
12 lost my hope. And then I did as everybody else.
13 Q. It might also help if you explain, if you can, your personality
14 at the time. Were you shy or outgoing, adventurous, retiring? If you
15 can give us just a sense of what your character was like at the time.
16 A. My character was I was very active person who very young years
17 learnt to do all kind of works. I always hang out with the older people.
18 I never played with young kids. I really did not like playing different
19 games like other kids. I was -- would go to with the older men, listen
20 to the news, listen what they talk about, talk about days of work. And
21 my personality was always hyper, always like the adventure, do things
22 that nobody else liked to do. You know I would take my neighbour's
23 horse, I would go ride around the hills. I would explore the hills, go
24 see what's going on in the village, main part of village, so it was
25 non-stop, non-stop going person.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, just a little more on Voljevica, when
2 that was burnt. What precisely actually did you see? Did you see --
3 well, if you could just describe for us what in fact you saw and how far
4 away you were when you saw it.
5 A. When -- if I understand the question, when the troops arrived in
7 Q. Yes, when the village was burned.
8 A. Yes. I saw the same neighbours as I mentioned before, across
9 from my house down from the hill down toward my house. They burnt my
10 house, that's my neighbours from Pobrdje. I saw troops from other side
11 of Voljevica coming with the armed trucks with the automatic rifles,
12 machine-guns, dressed in uniforms, when they surrounded Voljevica and
13 when they started looting and burning the whole place down. And you can
14 see -- hear the firing massive firing going on in the Caus area and
15 Andrici area. You can hear automatic fire and very furious shelling
16 which we understood was going toward Srebrenica area, toward Potocari.
17 Q. Just two more questions on that. You said neighbours were coming
18 from Pobrdje, and then you said "I saw troops from other side of
19 Voljevica." Can you tell us what village or hamlets would be on the
20 other side of Voljevica?
21 A. That would be coming -- I'm sorry. That would be coming from
22 Bjelovac commune area and Sase area.
23 Q. In terms of any smoke or flames which you saw, was that visible
24 just locally or was that somebody that would be seen from further afield?
25 A. The smoke, I saw the burning house I saw in Mihajlevici that were
1 burning. And I saw Voljevica burning. And then I also saw when I was
2 crossing to Mocevici, fire in the Zaluzje area, fire in Bjelovac and Sase
3 and Biljaca area.
4 Q. You were able to see smoke in Bjelovac when were you in
5 Voljevica. In your opinion would someone in Bjelovac be able to see
6 smoke and flame in Voljevica?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. Were there any Muslims in Voljevica when it fell?
9 A. There was a couple of elderly people left there and there was a
10 police officer I think it was Mujo, before, he was a police officer
11 before the war. He was captured there, taken, and from my understanding
12 he was tortured, beaten and never saw again. And there was another guy,
13 his name was Sefko, he was taken, forced to burn mosque, put an explosive
14 and burn mosque down in Voljevica.
15 And my grandmother and my grandfather stayed behind because they
16 were elderly and they were based in a house in Voljevica, together with
17 the seven or eight other people. And my father -- grandfather and
18 grandmother went to look for food and as soon as they left the house, the
19 whole house was set on fire and everybody in there burnt to the ground,
20 was eight people. And from -- what my grandfather told me and my
21 grandmother, who they saw was Radomir Ostojic from Pobrdje was dressed in
22 uniform with the machine-gun who put explosives and grenades into the
23 house and burned it to the ground with all those people, all the people
24 -- old people in the house.
25 Q. And you don't need to tell us the names but do you know the names
1 of the people who were in the house?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Now, did there come a time when you too left the Voljevica area?
4 A. Yes, there was. It was a few days after Voljevica was burned.
5 Q. And were you alone or did you go with others?
6 A. I was with my neighbour Ahmo and four of his sons.
7 Q. And where did you head for?
8 A. We went toward village of Mocevici. We had to cross from Krstas
9 to Prisoj and though very dangerous terrain and very dangerous what we
10 call death valley in Biljaca and up toward Pozlodnik into Mocevici.
11 Q. We will come to Biljaca in a moment. I'm not sure if you told us
12 where you were headed for, if there was any specific village.
13 A. We did not have in our mind specific village where we were
14 heading but -- because we did not know what's going to happen next day,
15 will that village be burnt to the ground also. But from our
16 understanding we were heading to village of Mocevici.
17 Q. Did you encounter any other people on the way there or did you
18 arrive there on your own with your neighbour?
19 A. When we crossed Biljaca up toward Pozlodnik you can see thousands
20 and thousands of people scattered all over the hills, all over the
21 meadows, in the barns, in the houses, children screaming, fires
22 everywhere, trying to hear families. You know, people were from all
23 different villages that were from low ground at Drina valley. Every
24 single meadow, every single woods were packed with thousands of people.
25 Q. And were these people Serbs or Muslims or something else?
1 A. This is the Muslim population that was cleansed from low grounds,
2 from Drina valley, from Muslim villages.
3 Q. And -- okay.
4 Now, you mentioned Biljaca and I think you called it death
5 valley. Before the war, what was the ethnic composition of Biljaca?
6 A. Biljaca was majority Muslim.
7 Q. At this time, were there Muslims still in Biljaca?
8 A. No. When we crossed Biljaca, Biljaca was totally burned, torched
9 to the ground, together with Prisoj and Bjelovac and Sase area. And of
10 course you've got Biljaca and Zaluzje there also which was torched.
11 Q. How far is Biljaca from Bjelovac?
12 A. Biljaca from Bjelovac is about three to four kilometres.
13 Q. And why did you take that route out of the Voljevica area?
14 A. We had no other options. Bratunac, the road toward Bratunac was
15 blocked. We could not go because as I mentioned Serbian troops from
16 Pobrdje blocked that road. The Caus area that we could cross toward
17 Srebrenica was furious shelling and fighting going on which Serbs already
18 took over took the positions in that those hills. And road that went up
19 toward Sase into -- towards Srebrenica was already taken over by Serbs
20 and they had positions there. That was already burnt. So even the road
21 that we -- the trail that we took was not safe at all but we had to cross
22 it in the very late hours and night to cross the very dangerous road in
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
25 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honours, just a question of clarification
1 towards my learned friend. He's using a map provided to us and to
2 indicate for myself, also following the witness testimony, I don't know
3 what the scale of it is, of the map. Is it right to say that a square in
4 -- within the map is one kilometre and a half? So --
5 MR. JONES: I'm not sure about that.
6 MR. WUBBEN: That will clarify a lot.
7 MR. JONES: One moment, please. The scale is 1 to 100.000.
8 MR. WUBBEN: So --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: One kilometre for every square.
10 MR. JONES: No, I wouldn't want to.
11 MR. WUBBEN: A square is not one centimetre.
12 MR. JONES: I wouldn't want to agree to anything like that unless
13 we all get our rulers out. The scale is 1 to 100.000.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: The scale is more than one centimetre here. I
15 would say it's about two centimetres, but I'm not sure either.
16 MR. JONES: Yes, if I may be allowed to continue?
17 MR. WUBBEN: We will find out, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Could be 1.5, as you say,
19 actually. It could be one square 1.5 because it's quite possible that
20 will a square is 1 point centimetres.
21 MR. JONES: Perhaps rather than talk about --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We can check that later.
23 MR. JONES:
24 Q. Mr. Bekric, the distance from Biljaca to Bjelovac, leaving aside
25 kilometres, how long would it take you walking to get from Bjelovac to
2 A. As I was at that time, I could see and the way I was I could
3 probably run it in ten, 15 minutes.
4 Q. Did you travel on that road in your youth?
5 A. Before war, I used to go there all time bike riding toward
6 Bjelovac, towards Sase, toward all different areas there.
7 Q. How long would it take you on bicycle from Biljaca to Bjelovac?
8 A. Five minutes, maybe even that much, five minutes at most.
9 Q. Now, you told us that I believe your evidence is that you crossed
10 the road by Biljaca. Was it safe to cross that road?
11 A. That road, we had a nickname for it, we called death valley
12 because when we crossed from Krstas toward Biljaca to Prisoj I crossed
13 the way right above Bjelovac. There was a hill Kunjarac, and they had a
14 very deathly weapons there which was a machine-guns, anti-aircraft guns,
15 and it was probably as the crow flies from Prisoj above Biljaca that we
16 had to cross, it was probably a kilometre or so, maybe even less. So
17 when we descended on toward Biljaca, there was always troops, Serbian
18 troops from Sase and from Bjelovac up and down waiting for Muslims to
19 cross the area and if you cross at Vezovac you're dead right there and I
20 know many my friends from Voljevica that were killed there and many were
21 captured, never saw -- seen again.
22 Q. Can I ask you, did you ever go up Kunjarac hill yourself?
23 A. Yes, I have. I've gone to Kunjarac -- I mean I was there before
24 war and I've seen Kunjarac also during the war when the action was taking
25 place there.
1 Q. Since kilometres may or may not be a useful guide, how long will
2 it take you to walk from Bjelovac to Kunjarac?
3 A. A few minutes, maybe five minutes, probably a distance of maybe
4 between 300 and 500 metres.
5 Q. I think you've referred to Plice [phoen] before. Was there
6 anything at this time when you crossed the road to leave the Voljevica
7 area, anything which you observed there?
8 A. Yes. There was a shooting, automatic machine-gun shooting from
9 Kunjarac, a lot of shooting going on in Bjelovac area and you can see the
10 smokes going on, smoke, like burning. I can't be specific whether it was
11 a house or barn or some -- it was a huge flames going on in Bjelovac, in
12 Sase area also. There was a lot of burning and firing from every single
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Judge Eser would like to put a question at
15 this juncture.
16 JUDGE ESER: Just to make sure, because I can't find Kunjarac on
17 the map. Could you perhaps describe: Is it direction to Kostanovice or
18 direction to Gradina or to some -- is it closer to Prisoj?
19 MR. JONES: Your Honour, I've marked it.
20 Q. Can you help just to locate Kunjarac in relation to Bjelovac,
21 Prisoj, and --
22 A. Yes. If you see on the map Bjelovac and you see Biljaca, so it's
23 between you see it's the hill between -- it's right above Bjelovac and
24 between Biljaca and Bjelovac. It's right immediately above Bjelovac.
25 Q. Is it on the Voljevica side of the road or on the other side of
1 the road?
2 A. The other side at the road.
3 JUDGE ESER: Okay.
4 MR. JONES:
5 Q. And in Bjelovac itself did you see any military presence or
7 A. I've seen military presence in Bjelovac right before war started
8 when I used to go, we had like a small village club in Sase area. So I
9 used to go there, was gathering. And I rode a bike toward Sase and
10 Bjelovac, you can see presence of dressed soldiers with uniforms with the
11 AK-47s, with the automatic rifles, and there were even getting on the
12 buses where the villagers who were going through right before the war
13 started. And then also when we were in Sase at the -- in the village
14 club, there was a spray of automatic shooting from Andrici area so we
15 were forced to disperse from that place and run in every single
17 Q. In Sase, what was its ethnic composition before the war?
18 A. In Sase it was mixed but majority of Sase, I believe, is Muslim.
19 I got -- you have villages around Sase commune the majority were Muslim.
20 Q. And that road you described going up to Biljaca and then up to
21 Sase, in May 1992, could you take that road to get to Srebrenica?
22 A. Absolutely not, because first of all you could not cross if you
23 were coming from Voljevica. In Bjelovac you could not go towards Sase.
24 It was blocked. And the trail that we took toward Biljaca, you could not
25 take it because they -- all the killings that happened in Biljaca were
1 from Serbs coming down patrolling the area from Sase and from Bjelovac
2 and Muslim population in Sase were already ethnically cleansed and burned
3 -- their houses burned to the ground.
4 Q. I want to deal now with Mocevici. Whether you arrived there, did
5 you finds any other people there?
6 A. When I arrived to Mocevici there were thousands of people in
7 every single place you can look at. It's like sketches everywhere. And
8 all the houses in Mocevici were packed with the refugees and my aunt had
9 -- my aunt's husband had a family in Mocevici and that's where I was
10 located, and where I found my family there. And every single place,
11 every single corner was packed with refugees. And you know, it was -- at
12 night gets very cold and the people like myself and my family, we only
13 had what we could carry.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, what were the Serb villages, if any, which were
15 in the immediate area of Mocevici?
16 A. Yes in the surrounding Mocevici area there was Oparci, there was
17 other side, Spat, and then towards Osmace -- I mean towards Srebrenica
18 there is Pribicevac there is Brezani in the direction of Osmace and
19 there's Radijevci, in that area to where immediately close to Mocevici
20 and other villages down below. There is Sikirici and so on, their
22 Q. When you say "below," what are you referring to?
23 A. If you -- if you have a map and if you look at where Mocevici is
24 and right above other side, there is also Brezovica and Pozlodnik also.
25 And right cross on the other side there is a hill called Oparci and below
1 Oparci there is Muslim village called Zapolje which was already
2 ethnically cleansed and torched to the ground. And on those hills were
3 heavy artillery based and heavy weapons that were continuously shooting
4 towards refugees in that area.
5 Q. Okay. Well, if someone were to say that in June 1992 -- first of
6 all, when did you arrive in Mocevici?
7 A. I arrived in Mocevici beginning of June 1992.
8 Q. So if someone were to say that in that period Muslims were not
9 unable but were going back and forthwith their cattle to the market in
10 Fakovici, what would you say to that?
11 A. That would be absolutely impossible. Where the refugees were
12 pushed in that rugged area we had no, absolutely, possibility to go down
13 toward the river, towards Drina in any kind direction. Not toward
14 Sikiric, not toward Fakovici, not toward Voljevica. Not toward any
15 single direction. We were completely up in the mountains, in the hills,
17 Q. Facing the other direction, were Muslims able to get to
18 Srebrenica through Pribicevac?
19 A. Absolutely no, not. Because we had no contact whatsoever with
20 Srebrenica at that time. People panicking, you know, what was going to
21 happen, because we were cleansed from our villages and we had no contact
22 with the outside world. Like, if you went to Srebrenica you could not
23 contact nobody. We didn't even know what the fate was, what's going on
24 in Srebrenica. We didn't know what was going on around us and we knew
25 that very stronghold in Pribicevac was there that was blocking our
1 crossing towards Srebrenica. And toward Osmace, there is Brezani. You
2 could hear continuous shooting and shelling from Brezani area and
4 On other side, where I was close to is Mocevici where I was
5 staying in. Other side there is Oparci, hill of Oparci, which was
6 continuously non-stop shooting in that area toward refugees in those
8 Q. When you --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, one moment. I would like to know
10 whether he is in a position to tell us at least whether at this time when
11 he arrived in Mocevici, Mocevici was connected by telephone with the rest
12 of Yugoslavia.
13 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, if Mocevici was --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Was connected by telephone, whether there was
15 telephone connection, telephone lines in Mocevici connected to the rest
16 of Yugoslavia.
17 THE WITNESS: Mocevici is a very, very hilly area. Even before
18 the war there was no chance by having telephone in that area. Not those
19 villages in that area had telephones, not even the village where I was in
20 which was very flat and very close to Bratunac, very close to Serbia, had
21 telephone lines.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
23 MR. JONES: Yes.
24 Q. You described the situation -- actually firstly for clarity maybe
25 it doesn't need clarification but referring to Pribicevac and Brezovica,
1 are these -- you described Pribicevac as a stronghold. Are these Serb
2 areas or Muslim?
3 A. It was Serbian areas.
4 Q. You mentioned Radijevici. What was the situation in relation to
6 A. If you look at that area, like as I mentioned before, Oparci
7 village area and all those other villages surround that area and down
8 below there is a Sikiric, and those Oparci and Radijevici and those other
9 villages in that area I had no other way to get support. It was
10 continuous, continuous fighting, shooting coming from that area, shelling
11 and anti-aircraft shooting coming from that area and they had Mocevici
12 above them and the only way they could got support is down from below
13 which is Sikirici. And that's -- from where I know that is from talking
14 to my neighbours from my village who were in the Mocevici area. They
15 were discussing how Serbs in that area having all these weapons, where
16 they getting it from and the discussion was that they getting it down
17 below from Sikirici area.
18 Q. Are you familiar with a place called Ratkovici?
19 A. Yes, Ratkovici is in that area also, Ratkovici was in that area.
20 Q. Was that Serb or Muslim at this time?
21 A. That was Serb village. Everybody feared Ratkovici, that area
22 there. Because the fear was the Serbs already have Bjelovac, Serbs have
23 the area Sase and Voljevica and all along the Drina valley. If they
24 continue pushing from that side from Sikiric and from Oparci and from
25 Haliljovici, then if Mocevici falls then the thousands and thousands of
1 people would be endangered. There have no place to go to.
2 Q. And again, as far as the information about those fears, about
3 Ratkovici and the situation for those in Mocevici was concerned, what was
4 your source for that?
5 A. That's from talking to my neighbours, because as I said before, I
6 was always intruder, liked to listen to what all the men talk so I go
7 around the village first I saw my neighbour Ahmo and his sons and they
8 would be discussing with the other men what's going to happen to them and
9 what was going on and that was my source. They were discussing between
10 each other.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, in Mocevici, was there any sort of Defence
12 organised among the Muslims?
13 A. From when I was in Mocevici, there was Vekas Husic who was from
14 Mocevici, who organised defence from all the men from Mocevici. And when
15 men arrived from other villages that were cleansed arrived in Mocevici
16 area, he organised them to stand guard around Mocevici and that area from
17 -- between Muslims and Serbs where the shooting was coming from the
18 Oparci area especially, and Ratkovici.
19 Q. It's just being pointed out to me for the transcript it's Vekas
20 Husic. But we can correct those names at the end as well as Pribicevac.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
22 MR. JONES:
23 Q. Now did the men who you saw and who were involved in the defence
24 in Mocevici, did they have uniforms?
25 A. Absolutely not. The people the thousands -- the people from my
1 own village, the people that I used to see every day. That was the
2 people who scared people, weak people, who were ethnically cleansed to
3 the -- to the rugged hills where they had nothing and no one that they
4 know in those villages. They were there and they were told they must
5 stand guard to protect it. They had -- just like we do, jeans or ragged
6 pants or any kind of rubber shoes, T-shirt. That was what was known as
7 defender of the area. And whatever weapons they had they had to use it.
8 It was not even possibility to identify those people as soldiers.
9 Q. Did you see these men going into action when you were there in
11 A. Yes, I did. I've seen people from my village and other villages
12 going to take over very strong hill of Oparci which they attempted a few
13 times, no success to take over because there was no match between
14 anti-aircraft gun and a shotgun so it was a lot of wounded and dead being
15 carried through but there was no success taking over that hill.
16 Q. I want to ask you a question about Osmace. Are you familiar with
18 A. Yes, I am.
19 Q. At this time, do you know whether that was physically connected
20 to Srebrenica?
21 A. Absolutely not. Because Osmace the road that was going from
22 Kragljevoda towards Vlasenica is a road that goes through Kragljevoda to
23 Zeleni Jadar and to Vlasenica military area was already taken by Serbs
24 and was a very strong Serbian positions in Brezani which was impossible
25 to cross to Srebrenica.
1 Q. Now, did you -- whether you were in Mocevici did you actually
2 return to Voljevica at any stage?
3 A. Yes, I did. I heard people from my village discussing return to
4 regain food or supplies because nobody had nothing. And I told my mother
5 that was they going to prepare the trip to try to regain food. And my
6 mother and I went with the other people from my village to the hills
7 toward Voljevica, same way that we came from, and we got to Voljevica.
8 The trip was from hell. You had to travel dark hours. You
9 couldn't use any torch or light or nothing whatsoever. So basically you
10 got to walk as a crow, very slow and then descend to Biljaca and then on
11 to Voljevica. When we got to Biljaca -- whether the Serbs knew we were
12 there or not, we crossed Prisoj from Biljaca into Prisoj. There was a
13 very fierce shooting coming from Kunjerac area toward Prisoj. So we will
14 had to like lay there for hours waiting for it's over. I cannot say they
15 knew we were there or that was their routine.
16 So when we got to Voljevica, I could not get to my house up there
17 because of the dangers. That's where Serb positions were, above the
18 house. And I went to my neighbour's house and I got some food from there
19 with my mother and we met and slowly through the hills returned to very
20 dangerous area and mined area towards Mocevici again.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, did there come a time when you left Mocevici for
23 A. Yes. I was talking to my -- my neighbour Ahmo and his sons, and
24 they stay at this guy's house his name is Sukrija. He's from Stozersko.
25 He was -- he introduced -- people discussing what's going to happen to
1 the people, where do we go from here? And when these Sukrija guy
2 introduced himself he said I'm a fighter from Hakija Meholjic's defence
3 force it was organised. I can attempt to guide you guys to Srebrenica.
4 I haven't been there, I'm not from there. I can attempt to take you but
5 you're going to take your chances, same as I do. If somebody happens to
6 me it's going to happen to you. So we can attempt it. So we had no
7 other choices: Stay there in the cold open air or attempt to cross into
9 Q. Did you attempt the journey?
10 A. Yes, we did. We took the trip with Sukrija being the guide on to
11 through Mocevici, Predola, Stozersko and Skenderovici. And then we had
12 to cross a canyon which is very, very, very steep in the middle of the
13 day. You could not see nothing that's how dark it is. It's a very rocky
14 area and between Zeleni Jadar and Pribicevac.
15 So we started descending into the canyon, when Serbs discovered
16 us. And there was a very, very dangerous road to cross -- the canyon to
17 cross and when they start firing at us from anti-aircraft machine
18 aircraft -- anti-aircraft machine-gun and all different weapons at us,
19 that's when people start screaming and running all different directions.
20 And my little brother was starting to run in all different directions
21 from where I was, and I had to run after him to calm him down. And
22 that's when I saw first time in Kunjerac with wounded people and
23 screaming people, mothers, children, bags everywhere, and then I took my
24 brother and we ran towards Srebrenica to the hills, left my father and my
25 mother in canyon and we made it to Srebrenica.
1 Q. And what was -- when was this, firstly, more or less?
2 A. Sorry.
3 Q. When was this approximately, the day?
4 A. That was in June 1992.
5 Q. And what was Srebrenica like whether you found it?
6 A. I used to be -- I used to go to Srebrenica before war. I had a
7 sister lived in Srebrenica municipality. Srebrenica used to be a very
8 small town, very happening town with small cafes, restaurants, coffee
9 shops. And when we arrived in Srebrenica it was like a ghost town, dead,
10 no one there. I walked through the whole Srebrenica and I don't think I
11 saw one person in the whole of Srebrenica. Many houses were torched,
12 burned, looted, glass broken, the smell of smoke around Srebrenica. All
13 the places that I used to know, boutiques, restaurants, cafes, everything
14 was empty, looted, dead. Dead -- deadly town.
15 Q. Thank you. Was anyone organising anything in the town as far as
16 you could tell? Was anybody receiving refugees or trying to organise
18 A. From our understanding only person that had defence at that time
19 when I -- we arrived was Hakija Meholjic. They had organised a defence
20 force and -- when Serbs left Srebrenica.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, just to regulate yourself we have
22 roughly another eight, ten minutes before we have a break so --
23 MR. JONES: That's perfect.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Just keep that in mind and if we need to make it 10
25 or 12 we will make it 10 or 12 obviously.
1 MR. JONES: I think I can finish in about eight minutes this
3 Q. Where did you stay in Srebrenica?
4 A. We found a house right next to the hospital in Srebrenica. My
5 family and another family got into the house and we stayed there for the
6 time being, at the time I was in Srebrenica.
7 Q. Were you aware of a PTT building in --
8 A. Yes, I was. I knew about PTT before the war and during the war.
9 Q. And where was that in relation to where you were staying?
10 A. I was maybe a hundred metres from the house, right across from
12 Q. And how long did you stay in that house?
13 A. I stayed from June 1992 until I was blinded in April 1993.
14 Q. And can you tell us who stayed in the house with you from the
15 beginning through to April 1993?
16 A. When we arrived in Srebrenica we had two families my family and
17 another family. By the time I left Srebrenica there was probably about
18 50 people in the house. It was packed with people. And the house was
19 disgustingly dirty. We didn't have no stoves. We didn't have no water,
20 no electricity. Dirty, lice, all kinds of possibility, dirty people you
21 could see was in that house. Not only that house but everywhere you go
22 in Srebrenica.
23 Q. The people, the 50 people, who were there with you, where were
24 they from?
25 A. In that house where I was from we had people from Zvornik
1 municipality, we had people from Zepa, we had people from Visegrad, we
2 had people in Bratunac municipality, from every single place. From
4 Q. Did you discuss amongst you what had happened and how you came to
5 be in Srebrenica?
6 A. Yes. We have. And it's exactly same what happened to my people
7 in my village. People from Zvornik municipality was over -- was exactly
8 the same what happened to us. They were forced to surrender their
9 weapons. Many people were -- who could escape escaped, many of them
10 killed, many of them never returned their homes torched. That happened
11 all the way from Zvornik to Bratunac municipality to Visegrad, Zepa and
12 Vlasenica. All people that were there.
13 Q. During the time that you were in Srebrenica, did you just stay in
14 the house or did you move around the town or the area?
15 A. I was a very curious kid, very rowdy kid, and I was also a very
16 caring person who took care my family. So when my family came into
17 Srebrenica, there was a -- we had no food whatsoever so I was forced to
18 go around Voljevica -- around Srebrenica around the apartments, around
19 the houses, look for food, for clothing, for anything I could find for my
20 family to survive and talked to many people around Srebrenica who I know
21 that arrived later.
22 Q. Did you have any other relatives in the Srebrenica area?
23 A. Yes, I have. I had a sister who lived in Potocari area and I had
24 a sister that lived in Ljeskovik which is south of Srebrenica, probably
25 15 to 20 kilometres.
1 Q. And did you try and see them?
2 A. When I arrived in Srebrenica, my first thought was to cross
3 towards my sister in Ljeskovik and to go see her so she can possibly give
4 us -- because her village did not burn at that time. So we were hoping
5 there can be possibility for me to cross to her village and possibly
6 later on also bring my family there so when I spoke to people in
7 Srebrenica, they said it would be impossible to cross it by regular road,
8 you had to be very careful how you cross because Serbian troops all the
9 roads that was leaving from Kragljevoda to Vlasenica was taken by Serbian
10 troops and all the Muslim villages in that area were torched and the
11 Serbian positions. And if you attempt it was impossible to cross it but
12 if you attempt it you risking your life and you get across totally
13 different direction than you would normally cross it.
14 Q. Thank you. So be it be right that in the course of trying to see
15 your sister and visiting relatives you became aware which areas were
16 accessible and which areas were blocked?
17 A. That's correct..
18 Q. Did you become aware which persons or groups held different areas
19 around Srebrenica?
20 A. Yes, I was. That in the -- in the beginning of war, we know that
21 in Srebrenica it was Hakija Meholjic and later on it was Akif Ustic. In
22 the south part of the Srebrenica area there was Nedzad Bektic. And then
23 also in Suceska, where my father is from, there was Tursunovic had his
24 defence up there.
25 Q. That's a good time for the break?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. We will have a 25 minute break.
2 Usher, you need to organise the assistance for the witness. Okay. Thank
4 --- Recess taken at 11.14 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.52 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's continue. Let's wait for the accused. All
7 right. Let's continue. Sorry for the delay. Of course, Madam
8 Registrar, the time lost will be accredited to --
9 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones.
11 MR. JONES:
12 Q. Now, Mr. Bekric, before the break, you mentioned Hakija Meholjic.
13 Where was he based?
14 A. Hakija Meholjic from my understanding from talking to people in
15 Sukrija, from Stozersko, he was located outside Srebrenica in the hills
16 at the beginning of the war.
17 Q. Did he remain outside in the hills?
18 A. No. He got sent down to Srebrenica soon as refugees started
19 coming down into the town. The first group arrived when I arrived in --
20 other people with me, that's when Hakija Meholjic was in Srebrenica with
21 his fighters.
22 Q. And where in the town precisely were they based, if you know?
23 A. In Hotel Domavija.
24 Q. Now, you Hakija and his fighters, you said that Sukrija was one
25 of Hakija's men. What if anything did Hakija's men or fighters say about
1 the defence of Srebrenica?
2 A. They from what I understood that Srebrenica was cut off from
3 outside, there was no connection, no contact with the other hamlets and
4 villages around. Hakija is the one who organised the defence of
5 Srebrenica and he is going to be the commander of the forces in
6 Srebrenica at that time.
7 Q. And how many people, how many men, did -- were in Hakija's unit,
8 if you know? This is -- I'm talking about June 1992 when you arrived.
9 A. I would say anywhere between 200 to 300 soldiers, fighters.
10 Q. Did that number remain the same throughout 1992 or did it change?
11 A. Well, actually, in the beginning of the war, he did not have --
12 by the time I left Srebrenica I would say he had about 2 or 300 fighters.
13 In the beginning what happened is when he had a few gathered men as a
14 defence then many refugees from Bratunac municipality when they arrived
15 joined Hakija Meholjic's group all the time.
16 Q. Did anyone from your village, Voljevica, join his unit?
17 A. Yes he had a few men from Voljevica joined Hakija Meholjic's
19 Q. Do you know the names of any of those men?
20 A. Yes, I do. There was Hazim from Voljevica who was in his group,
21 there was Muhamed from Voljevica who was in his group and in the
22 beginning there was Omer in his group.
23 Q. Did Hazim from Voljevica have a nickname?
24 A. Yes, he did. We called him Mercury before the war and after the
1 Q. I'm going to come back to him in a moment. Did you hear talk
2 about another group of fighters in the town of Srebrenica at this stage?
3 A. Yes, later on we also -- the group that is organising was Akif
4 Ustic who organised his group after Meholjic and then continued time in
5 Srebrenica was Akif with his troops until he was killed.
6 Q. Do you know roughly when he was killed?
7 A. I would say late 1992 sometimes in the ambush in the village of
9 Q. You've mentioned Hazim from Voljevica. Was he with Akif when he
10 was killed or was he somewhere else?
11 A. Sorry for cutting you off. Hazim from Voljevica was first in
12 Hakija Meholjic's group and then him and Enver from Voljevica -- and
13 another man from Voljevica, we called him Ibro, was in Akif Ustic's group
14 and came also from Voljevica was in his group. And when Akif was
15 ambushed, they were killed and Hazim from Voljevica escaped that ambush.
16 Q. Now, going back to Hakija for a moment, were you aware of him
17 being under any other commander at that time?
18 A. Absolutely not.
19 Q. When I say at that time, at any time, were you aware of him being
20 placed under the command of any other commander?
21 A. Hakija Meholjic was one of the first who organised defence and he
22 -- all through the time in Srebrenica when I was there Hakija had his
23 group and he was based in Domavija and he did at his will what he wanted
24 to do. He had no commander. Nobody could command Hakija Meholjic. If
25 anybody considered himself commander it was Hakija Meholjic.
1 Q. Again, how do you know what that? What's the basis for you
2 saying that?
3 A. Because a lot of the men like I said Hazim from Voljevica,
4 Mercury was good friends with my father. He spoke to my father before
5 the war and during the war. He would come see us and he would explain
6 what was going on in Srebrenica who was the leader, who was the commander
7 he was based and also another male members from my village who were
8 talking was going on.
9 Q. And Akif Ustic, same question: Were you aware of him being
10 placed under any other commander at any stage?
11 A. Absolutely not. Akif Ustic and Hakija Meholjic were totally
12 commanders and Akif had his group and Hakija Meholjic had his group.
13 Q. You mentioned Zulfo Tursunovic, who had his defence up in
14 Suceska, as you put it. Can you describe for us what Zulfo was like? Or
15 firstly did you have occasion to encounter Zulfo?
16 A. In time we arrived in Srebrenica and later on, when I attempted
17 to go to Suceska to cross where my father was born, I've seen Zulfo and
18 Zulfo had totally command of Suceska area all his men and villages
19 Suceska. But there was no -- the road going to Suceska was not open at
20 that time. You could not cross it. So I took my own risk, I took the
21 risk to go to Suceska that's where I saw Zulfo. And also I know Zulfo
22 before the war. He was a distant relative of my father.
23 Q. Actually just one point out to clarify. You said how Zulfo had
24 his defence up in Suceska. In the past you also talked about someone
25 being down by the Drina. Just for clarification, when you say up and
1 down are you referring to hills and valleys, or north, south? Just so we
2 can be a bit clear.
3 A. When I say up in Suceska that means up in the hills of --
4 Srebrenica municipality. Up all the way up in the hills which I suppose
5 to be western side of the enclave Srebrenica.
6 Q. And then you also mentioned Nedzad Bektic. What area was he in
7 again if you can remind us in that period June 1992?
8 A. He was in the south part of Srebrenica in the Kragljevoda area.
9 The first time I got to know who Nedzad Bektic was when I finally made
10 attempt to cross -- when I made it to my sister's village, villages were
11 talking about having a commander at that area was Nedzad Bektic.
12 Q. In June 1992, was the -- was the -- this area connected to
14 A. The south part of Srebrenica was absolutely not connected because
15 many refugees attempt to cross from that area toward Srebrenica it was
16 impossible because Serbs had their front lines all the way from
17 Kragljevoda on to toward Milici it was totally -- the road was completely
18 blocked and they had their front lines there.
19 Q. Can you tell us in this period and indeed afterwards, in this
20 second half of 1992, what were you doing to get food? How were you
21 obtaining food?
22 A. When there was a -- first of all we attempted many times to go to
23 our own villages to Voljevica through the hills around the Obadi and then
24 on to Vezovac into Voljevica. Many attempts were made. Some made it. I
25 made a couple of times to Voljevica. There was landmines everywhere and
1 many people were wounded. Many people were killed many people were
2 captured when we went to get the food. And then the time I got to also
3 look for food when there was action like everybody else was. There was
4 action for food. That's where you got food.
5 Q. So is it right that you were travelling around the enclave,
6 around this area quite a bit in the second half of 1992?
7 A. I was all over the place, all over the enclave. I don't think
8 there's one part of the enclave I don't know. Every single corner, every
9 single possibility to get food to travel through I done it.
10 Q. Okay. Now, did you know Naser Oric either during or before the
12 A. I saw Naser Oric once or twice in Voljevica before war.
13 Q. And what did you know of him and his situation, if anything, in
14 June-July 1992?
15 A. Well, in Voljevica before we were cleansed from Voljevica we
16 heard that Arkan's paramilitary was attempting a huge attack on Potocari
17 and that the people from Potocari were stopping him from crossing into
18 Srebrenica where massive amount of people. Refugees were in the hills.
19 And my understanding was not that people from Potocari stopped Arkan and
20 his men and that Naser was there. That's the only thing I know.
21 Q. Then in June -- well, yes, when would that be with the Arkan's
22 paramilitary units?
23 A. That was in beginning of the 1992, in the beginning of the war.
24 And during the time in Srebrenica I did not see Naser at all until
25 Philippe Morillon came with the UN peacekeepers in the beginning of 1993.
1 Q. Did you hear anything of what was going on in Potocari with Naser
2 Oric in June-July 1992 or later?
3 A. First of all, I had a sister who lived in Potocari area. We
4 could not cross to Potocari because a massive shelling continuously from
5 Zaluzje and from Zaluzje, the hill above Bratunac and was shelling the
6 roads and the hills between Srebrenica and Potocari. So it was
7 impossible tore to us cross that area. But later on, we could have
8 crossed -- late 1992 we knew that was when Potocari, we could cross
10 Q. Did you at any stage hear or were people saying in the town of
11 Srebrenica that Naser Oric was the overall commander in the whole
12 Srebrenica area?
13 A. People in the Srebrenica, when I say Srebrenica, people from
14 Srebrenica municipality and from all other municipalities that were in
15 Srebrenica refugees as refugees, no one had a commander as an overall
16 commander and there was not, could have been a commander of all people in
18 Q. Why not?
19 A. Because what happened is if you are for example on the
20 southeastern part of enclave you've got Nedzad Bektic and he's got his
21 men up there. The villages followed him because he was the first one who
22 stood up to the Serbian aggression. And then you got the other party
23 from Bratunac municipality who had their own leaders and who they tried
24 to organise defence to pass into their own villages. They did not look
25 up to no commanders. They considered themselves their own commanders.
1 And then you got other commanders like Hakija Meholjic who had his own
2 group and he considered himself a commander and he commanded his own
3 group. No one could command him. And then you had Tursunovic who had
4 his own group and he commanded himself. No one could command him.
5 And people the way people were spread in enclave is like people
6 from the parts, you know. You have a leader, you stood up to the first
7 aggression, and then everybody admired you and they followed you. And
8 besides, in at the beginning of the war, you know, to late 1992 there was
9 no connection whatsoever to the other parts of the villages around
11 Q. Thank you. I want to ask you about another personality. Did you
12 know a Becir Bogilovic?
13 A. Yes, I definitely know Becir Bogilovic from the beginning of the
14 war. When we arrived in Srebrenica I was with my friend going around
15 apartments and houses around Srebrenica to look for food or clothing, and
16 I found a former, before-the-war police cap and I put on my head and I
17 walked in the street. Bogilovic was walking up the road like a humongous
18 figure waving his hands with a rifle in his hand and he shot off the cap
19 off my head because I had a police cap on my head and then he was a
20 police officer before the war.
21 Q. Just to be clear about that, he shot the cap off your head. How
22 old were you at this stage?
23 A. I was 13 years old when that happened. He shot it right off the
24 top of my head, the cap, and if I didn't ran probably hit me or do
25 whatever he want to with me.
1 Q. Explain what if any his functions appeared to be at that time.
2 A. When we arrived in Srebrenica there was no police, there was no
3 army, there was nothing there. There was no defence. As you can there
4 is say there was soldiers walking down the street. The only authority
5 that we could see was Bogilovic when he was walking around Srebrenica and
6 higher authority around people, tell people what to do, where to go, how
7 to do things and prevent people from going to the apartments or houses to
8 look for food or clothing or whatever they can get.
9 Q. It maybe stating the obvious, but I suppose he could have killed
10 you when he shot.
11 A. Well, that was my first attempt by be so close to death. I mean
12 I've been close to death before but not like -- immediately aiming at my
13 head like he did and he could have definitely shot me right there.
14 Q. I also want to ask you if you ever saw any sort of communication
15 devices in the time that you were in the -- in the whole Srebrenica
17 A. When I was in Srebrenica enclave during my time I saw
18 communications, radios in the villages, Serbian villages. And when I
19 found them, I found them missing with no battery or no antenna. They
20 were basically destroyed so they could not be used.
21 Q. Did you ever come across anything described as Motorolas?
22 A. Yes, I found Motorolas and those basically like, today's
23 standards, like a walkie-talkie, like, talk two three kilometres and they
24 would be destroyed or no batteries or like I said other radios, basically
1 Q. Did you yourself ever try to use one of those devices?
2 A. Yes, I have. I found it and I tried to use it I did not know I
3 know the codes or whatever beepers. Basically with a walkie-talkie you
4 press it talk on it basically it's not work. There is no batteries or
5 destroyed not function. And if you were to use it in that area it's so
6 rugged, so hilly, so mountainy [sic], basically it would be useless.
7 Q. When you were in Mocevici were you aware of any fighters or other
8 people using those devices to communicate with Srebrenica?
9 A. Absolutely not. Just basic people, standing guard to protect the
10 refugees and there was no radios, there was no uniforms, there was no
11 weapons. You know, basic weapons like rifles, shotguns that were
12 registered -- hunters had before war that were registered Serb, Serbs did
13 not get to at that time.
14 Q. Now, did you ever go to a place called Jezestica?
15 A. Yes, I have. I've got to Jezestica in the 1992 when late -- in
16 late July sometimes in -- late summer-early fall in Jezestica when we
17 heard there was going to be action very stronghold and myself and
18 hundreds of other refugees went to the village above Jezestica, Jaglici
19 and also another Sarancevici area.
20 Q. Now you've described yourself going with hundreds of other
21 refugees. Was there any term given to you as a collectivity?
22 A. We were called torbari all times we were there, we refugees who
23 were hungry, who would do anything for to regain -- to gain food and
25 Q. Did the torbari - and I'm just speaking generally now. If it's
1 possible to answer generally - did they go in before fighters during the
2 time that fighters were in actions, after, or what? Can you help us with
4 A. With torbari you never know. There were thousands of us in the
5 hills waiting to get supplies. So you can never know. If there was very
6 fierce fighting going on like some of the villages some torbari would say
7 look there is nothing happening there they are not going to be able to
8 take over the village so torbari would go sneak in to burn a haystack or
9 barn that they would send a signal to Serbs that something was burning so
10 they would run. We've done -- I've done that before and other refugees
11 would do anything just to get into village. They would go before, during
12 the time of fighters and after.
13 Q. All right, so going back to Jezestica, how did you actually learn
14 that there was going to be an action there?
15 A. Many people from that I know from Bratunac municipality from
16 Voljevica from Zaluzje from Glogova our discussion that there was a very
17 strong hold between Glogova and Cerska, Konjevic Polje, Pobrdje area very
18 strong hold it must be taken. It's so strategically important because
19 it's right in the centre connecting the Cerska, Konjevic Polje, Pobrdje
20 and Srebrenica together with the Glogova area. And when we heard people
21 talk and also many of the men the fighters lived in the homes, you know,
22 and they would tell us, you know, tell the families, you know, tomorrow
23 is going to be action be food. So one person would tell to another
24 person and it would go all around Srebrenica.
25 Q. And on the day of this action, where exactly were you?
1 A. I was in Jaglici, the hill -- the village above Jezestica. There
2 with the other refugees and there was also a lot of refugees in torbari,
3 in the Cizmici area.
4 Q. And what was the result of that action?
5 A. The first attempt when we were there, that was not successful.
6 Many were being carried wounded and dead but there was no success to take
7 over that village. It was so strong hold.
8 Q. Did you speak to people who participated in the action at any
10 A. I spoke to couple of people from my village and I was there when
11 they talked and they said it was so strong hold, so digged into the hills
12 and to the ground with trenches, heavy weapons, it was impossible to take
13 over and that particular village and that Serbs had rockets, they had
14 tanks, they had cannons, they can shoot right back shelling where the
15 Muslim areas are which we did not have to destroy their bunkers. That
16 was the talk what I heard from my neighbours, my village.
17 Q. Again can you name some of the people who you spoke to?
18 A. Yeah. Enver from Voljevica, Mujo from Voljevica, those people.
19 Q. Did they mention any specific places where some of the things you
20 mentioned were located, tanks and artillery and that sort of thing?
21 A. Yes. All the Jezestica area the hills surrounding all around
22 Jezestica Kravica and around towards Pobrdje and on towards Glogova all
23 the hills around were surrounded with heavy weapons. It was impossible
24 to get close to.
25 Q. If there is a pause, it's because we need to slow down so you can
1 just wait for a question.
2 Did you yourself, when you went to Jezestica, did you see heavy
3 artillery or anything that nature?
4 A. I could not see with my eye which or what artillery was but I
5 could hear where it was coming from, from which hills, from which sides
6 from -- where those shells were coming from. But I could not see with my
7 own eye what weapon was shooting. But I could see where it was coming
9 Q. Could you just tell us roughly what directions the shelling was
10 coming from?
11 A. The shelling was coming from the main part of Kravica the
12 shelling was coming from the Jezestica area and the fighting -- shells
13 were coming from the hills separating Cizmici and Kravica that side and
15 Q. From your conversations with people who participated in the
16 action, did you get any information as to who was involved in it?
17 A. Yes. From people I spoke to, the situation was that the people
18 from Bratunac municipality who were refugees in the Srebrenica area, they
19 wanted to try to return to their homes, take over back their villages and
20 it was very important to link the isolated area of Ceska to Glogova and
21 then that part of Bratunac municipality. So basically from my talking to
22 people it was people from Bratunac municipality and Glogova especially,
23 led by Glogova people. And then other side there was Cerska and Konjevic
24 Polje and Pobrdje area.
25 Q. Now, when you speak about the people from Glogova, did they have
1 any sort of a leader?
2 A. Yes, they had. They had Ejub Golic who was the main leader who
3 had his own group from Glogova and many other men from Bratunac
4 municipalities joined his group to fight, to take over take back villages
5 from Bratunac municipalities.
6 Q. Now, at the time, did you know many people from Glogova?
7 A. I know a lot of people from Glogova. My two friends were much
8 older than I was, Refik and Senad from Glogova. And they would talk to
9 me and they said our leader Ejub Golic is going to organise a force to
10 take over Jezestica and Kravica area so we can return our people from
11 Bratunac municipality to our own village and to our own municipality.
12 Q. If I can just pick up on what you said there, "so we can return
13 our people from Bratunac municipality to our own village and to our own
14 municipality," was there any sort of municipality loyalty or feelings or
15 rivalry even between Bratunac municipality and Srebrenica municipality?
16 A. Absolutely, because the people that were expelled from their
17 villages, from Bratunac municipality, they all arrived in Srebrenica
18 area. And in Srebrenica area, there was people who were not expelled
19 from their own villages. So people were refuge and they went to return
20 to their own homes. So what they did is they wanted to return you know
21 to Bratunac municipality, their villages and Srebrenica -- people from
22 Srebrenica defended their own homes and it was a dispute going on, as we
23 said. You know, Srebrenica defend your homes. We are going to go fight
24 back our villages our homes to take them back so we don't have to be
25 refugee forever in Srebrenica area.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, earlier in your testimony, you mentioned --
2 actually just to locate Jezestica you said it was late summer, are you
3 able to be more precise as to the --
4 A. I would say it was probably maybe August, sometimes in August
5 when that happened. August-September, that area. Or anywhere between
6 late July and beginning of September.
7 Q. Okay. And can you give us some sense of the numbers of people
8 who were there on that action during that -- on that occasion?
9 A. There was a -- hundreds possibly even thousands torbari,
10 refugees, all covered all around Jaglici and Cizmici area, all around the
11 trees and woods and meadows waiting to descend into Jezestica.
12 Q. And during the summer of 1992, was there any other gathering in
13 Jezestica of those numbers of people?
14 A. I'm not sure if I understand your question. Can you explain
16 Q. Was there any other similar action in Jezestica in the summer of
17 1992 or was that the only one?
18 A. There was attempts, you know, in -- I think there was a few
19 attempts in Jezestica area also the total Glogova area there was a lot of
20 attempts to take over Glogova to take it back from Serbs. Many actions
21 that were taken in to take back Glogova were unsuccessful because the
22 Glogova was in the centre between Bratunac and Kravica and the Serbs
23 could have support coming from Bratunac or from Kravica. So it was
24 impossible even if you get into Glogova to hold it for too long because
25 it was a very strong presence of Serbian military in that area.
1 Q. Now, earlier in your testimony, you mentioned Bjelovac. Did you
2 -- did you go to Bjelovac after you had come to Srebrenica?
3 A. Yes, I have. I've gone to Bjelovac during the action I believe
4 was late 1992 sometimes I think in December when there was action in
6 Q. Why did you go to Bjelovac?
7 A. Myself, together with thousands other people from Bratunac
8 municipality or from whole area of Srebrenica, we knew that action was
9 going to take place in Bjelovac and we knew that Bjelovac is a flat land
10 close to the Drina River, same as our own villages of Voljevica, Zaluzje
11 and that area and we knew that they have a vast amount of food. So for
12 us to survive we had to go through the hills to Bjelovac to take whatever
13 we can get for our own survival.
14 Q. You said you knew there would be a vast amount of food. Why did
15 you know that?
16 A. Because a lot of food for example from Voljevica Zaluzje were --
17 all our own goods were looted from by people from Bjelovac and from
18 Pobrdje and was taken toward Bjelovac area and also because nice fertile
19 land close to Drina River.
20 Q. When is harvest time in your part of the world?
21 A. We have all different harvest time, you got corn you can do the
22 -- have the corn in the springs and you got the -- I mean you got the
23 flour that you harvest in the fall you get in spring. So you got all
24 different times to do different harvesting in the area. Potato is
25 different and beans and flour is different and corn and so on. So
1 different harvesting. But not only food gets harvested, a lot of food in
2 storage from our own villages were based in Bjelovac. Because we watched
3 and it was taken from our villages.
4 Q. What were some of the places where people would store food?
5 A. Like outside -- outside storages. Many have outside like dig
6 into the ground to keep food like in the hill, in the ground, outside
7 storage and outside storages, they would have storages in the -- stuff in
8 barns. They would have food in the house. They are everywhere all
9 different kind of things.
10 Q. And before coming to the action in December, you told us how you
11 went back to Voljevica before and how people were injured on those
12 occasions. What are some of the way that is ha happened?
13 A. Well, in beginning of the war when we were attempting to go
14 toward Voljevica, many people from my village that I know attempted to go
15 through Biljaca and many of them were ambushed, many of them landmines,
16 many of them were captured and never saw again. Even until this day they
17 never know what happened to those people. And they were females, young
18 men, old men, children, anybody. And then also when we attempted
19 crossing from Srebrenica to Voljevica, the landmines were everywhere.
20 And then of course shellings were continuous.
21 Q. And when you actually got into the town of Voljevica, were there
22 ever any encounters when people went into larders or storage facilities?
23 A. Yes, because most of it were looted from Voljevica but you would
24 go whether people from Voljevica left Voljevica. They were hided outside
25 somewhere with nobody can find it food. So I could not go to my house it
1 was already burnt. I went to my neighbour's house. I know where he
2 stored his food and I found it.
3 Q. Now, going to Bjelovac now, can you describe for us the route you
4 took to get down into Bjelovac and describe for us just briefly about
5 what happened from your perspective during that action, what you saw.
6 And not -- just so it's not too lengthy, you can start by just saying day
7 by day what occurred and then we will take it more precisely.
8 A. First day, we left hundreds and thousands of people from
9 Srebrenica went toward Dimnici area. They were in that area and then
10 from there I crossed to Pozlodnik area. That was on the first day. When
11 the fierce fighting was -- first got to Dimnici the first amount of
12 fighting was going down towards Bjelovac and Sase area and then I crossed
13 over to Pozlodnik and I stayed there in the hills on the first day. On
14 the first day this action was not successful. It was a fierce shelling,
15 shooting fierce combat going down below and then you can hear shooting
16 coming from Serbia and a lot of wounded and dead were being carried right
17 past where we were in hills.
18 Q. That's the second day, I think. What happened after that?
19 A. All during the first day was fighting going on and all through
20 night and next day was also continuous fighting and sometimes in the --
21 in the morning hours, planes were bombing the area continuously, shelling
22 was coming from Serbia, shelling was coming from Bratunac area, that
23 direction. And fierce amount of fighting was going on especially on the
24 hill above Bjelovac.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honours, please in the previous answer the
1 witness gave I heard the witness say there was fist fighting going on as
2 well which I thought might be a reference to hand-to-hand combat. So I
3 think that needs to be clarified and it would be important that we get
4 the --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair enough, Mr. Di Fazio. In fact, that's what I
6 thought I had heard too. But then of course, I was following also the
7 transcript and I saw it was fierce in the transcript. So perhaps you can
8 address that, Mr. Jones.
9 MR. JONES: Yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness has heard the exchange between Mr. Di
11 Fazio and myself.
12 MR. JONES: Apart from the correction he has referred to fierce
13 fighting and it might be useful just to ask.
14 Q. Was there close fighting, hand-to-hand combat in Bjelovac?
15 A. On the first day of fighting of combat there was not hand-to-hand
16 combat. On the second day there was hand-to-hand combat in the village
17 of Bjelovac, but on the first day when I was in the hills, there was
18 fierce fighting going on down below. On the second day when we descended
19 into Bjelovac that's where we saw hand-to-hand combat.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So.
21 MR. JONES:
22 Q. You saw that yourself?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it clear enough now, Mr. Di Fazio? Thank you it
24 has cleared up. Okay, let's go ahead.
25 MR. JONES:
1 Q. You mentioned that a hill by Bjelovac. Which hill is that?
2 A. That would be Kunjerac.
3 Q. Did you go to Kunjerac on that occasion?
4 A. Yes, I have. I descended from the hills on to the Kunjerac and
5 to Bjelovac. And my first arrival into Kunjerac was very dangerous was
6 landmines were everywhere, there was bunkers, trenches, everywhere. When
7 we got into the hill of Kunjerac there was a huge amount presence of
8 rocket launchers, graffitis, Red Berets, all different weapons, and huge
9 boxes, ammunition boxes filled with sand and digged very deeply into the
11 Q. Can I ask: Why did you go up on Kunjerac?
12 A. Well, when we descended from the Berisa hill, this is above
13 Kunjerac down toward Kunjerac, it was the fastest way for me to get into
15 Q. Can you at this stage what were the numbers of people around?
16 Were there a few, were there many?
17 A. When I got to Kunjerac together with other peoples, thousands of
18 people in all directions, I can't be specific but I would say it was in
19 the huge amount of thousands of people, everywhere. In every single
20 direction you could look at you would see people.
21 Q. These fighters or civilians or what were they?
22 A. This is starving civilians from Srebrenica, same as I was.
23 Q. You mentioned airplanes. Did you see -- did you see with your
24 own eyes the airplanes and did you see what if anything they were doing?
25 A. I saw the airplanes coming toward the Bratunac area into Serbia
1 and then bombing all around Bjelovac area especially up toward Sikiric
2 area that direction. The bombing was non-stop and that's where I think
3 it was most fierce combat also was going on non-stop.
4 Q. Could you see where the bombs were falling from the planes?
5 A. Bombs were falling everywhere. A lot of bombs fell in the hills,
6 lot a lot of bombs fell down low in the low grounds.
7 Q. When you say low grounds, are there any hamlets or villages which
8 you remember?
9 A. If you go to Bjelovac from the centre of the village toward up
10 toward toward the Loznicka Rijeka, that area. A lot of bombs were
12 Q. Are you familiar with the hamlets and villages beyond Loznicka
14 A. I know the names of the villages of that area but I have not gone
15 there much. Jovanovici, Sikiric, Loznicka Rijeka, that area.
16 Q. All right. And so did you see any bombs falling in those areas,
17 Jovanovici, Sikirici or not?
18 A. That's where most of the bombs went, in that direction.
19 Q. One question and this is not relating to the day but just
20 generally when you are in Bjelovac can you actually see Sikiric, can you
21 see people in Sikiric?
22 A. You could not see from Bjelovac Sikiric, absolutely not.
23 Q. Why is that?
24 A. Because you had the curved road and you've got hills between.
25 You cannot see Sikiric.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, did you eventually go into Bjelovac yourself? I
2 think you told us you did.
3 A. Yes, I have. I descended down to the centre of the village.
4 Q. Can you firstly describe for us what if anything you saw there in
5 terms of military hardware.
6 A. Yes. I've seen down by on the bank of the Drina there was two
7 APCs right on the bank and there was a shooting, furious shooting coming
8 from Serbia blocking protecting those two APCs. And I saw weapons
9 everywhere. And I saw a tractor full of weapons taken from Bjelovac
10 toward Srebrenica.
11 Q. You know who drove that tractor?
12 A. Yes, I do. The guy's name -- he's from my village. His name is
13 Mujic. He drove that truck full of grenades, anti-aircraft gun and
14 bullets. All different kind of weapons.
15 Q. Now, for the next set of questions I'd actually like to go into
16 private session briefly.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go into private session for a while,
18 please. Thank you.
19 [Private session]
11 Page 9556 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 9557 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 9558 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 9559 redacted. Private session.
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
2 MR. JONES:
3 Q. Now you mentioned --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We shall in open session, Mr. Jones.
5 MR. JONES: Sorry, thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Sorry, give me a moment. You said a lot of stuff was going on
7 that was lit on fire from the combat. Can you explain that just a little
8 more what you bean by houses being set on fire from the combat.
9 A. In Bjelovac, this on second day there was a hand-to-hand combat
10 so if Muslim forces go into the one house, few metres away there is a
11 Serbian soldiers in that house so the Serbian soldiers would be using
12 Zoljas or RPGs or anything that is available to them to knock out the
13 Muslim fighters from the house next -- next to where they are. So when
14 they hit the house they will hit the wall and automatically start house
15 on fire and also many shells were landing on top of the house and the
16 roof automatically pick up fire, those houses.
17 Q. Why could you say they would automatically start on fire when a
18 shell landed?
19 A. For those who haven't seen or haven't been so close to when a
20 shell falls or when a Zolja hits it destroys everything right away, and
21 it's so much flame, so much fire, so much fragments flying around so
22 there is no way not to start it on fire. It's a huge flame. And
23 especially when a tank shell lands on top of the house, it destroys
24 everything right away.
25 Q. Now, when you reached the centre of Bjelovac, did you see
1 fighters, if you understand or if you attach any meaning to that? Were
2 there any fighters, recognisable fighters, there?
3 A. As the torbari were arriving in Bjelovac, you could see fighters
4 pulling back out of Bjelovac and we were left to take whatever we wanted
5 to take for what was in need for us for Bjelovac.
6 Q. When they were pulling back, at that stage, were houses on fire?
7 A. There was not houses on fire, own couple of places we saw where
8 there was combat, fierce combat you could see on fire there. Not regular
9 house on fire.
10 Q. Why were the -- why were the fighters pulling back, if you know?
11 A. It's obvious reason. Whenever there is action they take they go
12 into action they take -- if the village is taken over, then there is no
13 reason to stay there. Besides, there is the so far from the area, you
14 can not even hold the area so the refugees go in there. So the basic
15 reason is take those villages is for people to get supplies. So when
16 they successfully took over the village then the refugees descend on it
17 take what they like and move out also. There is no reason for them to
18 stay there.
19 Q. So do I understand from that that you didn't see any intention to
20 remain and occupy Bjelovac?
21 A. Absolutely not because we did not want -- there is no reason to
22 take their villages, only the reason that we go into action is take
23 what's ours return to our own homes, not to tabling nobody else's home.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's stop here for a moment because I think this
25 needs to be cleared up a little bit.
1 Did the torbari descend into or onto Bjelovac once the fighting
2 had stopped and the soldiers were already retreating or did the torbari
3 descend while fighting was still ongoing?
4 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, both times. During the fighting and
5 after the fighters pulled back, you will see torbari because for example
6 I'll see my neighbour. He was getting sack of corn on his back the
7 action was still going on down there. And we asked him how did you do
8 that he goes I went myself down there and got it. So with torbari
9 during, before and after. When there was -- torbari were killed that
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And what we need to have some further information
12 about is you were asked by Mr. Jones whether there were houses burning at
13 the time when the soldiers were retreating. Could you give us a
14 description exactly, an exact description, or as nearly an exact
15 description as possible as to what was the picture at the time when the
16 soldiers were withdrawing as regards burning or destruction of houses at
17 the time.
18 THE WITNESS: There was a few house that is were burning where
19 you can see where the shelling, that fierce fighting was going on and you
20 could see where the shells were knocked right through the wall on top of
21 the house and that house on fire, two or three guys saw.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words, if you were to count all these
23 houses, how many houses would you say you saw destroyed or burning at the
24 time you descended into Bjelovac?
25 THE WITNESS: The time we arrived I saw probably about 3 houses,
1 2, 3 houses where the combat was going on where there was huge holes in
2 the houses. That's only ones I saw, about three or four.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: And this would be --
4 THE WITNESS: Two or three.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: -- in which part of Bjelovac? In the direction of
6 Loznicka Rijeka, or...
7 THE WITNESS: In the direction of Loznicka Rijeka, that's
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Judge Eser, please.
10 JUDGE ESER: I have a further question just to clarify the
11 situation. You spoke of a fierce combat. Now, combat between whom? And
12 when there was a combat between fighters, where have the torbari been?
13 Have they been in between or around? And could you describe this a
14 little bit?
15 THE WITNESS: Best way to describe imagine two houses in the
16 village, in one house there is a Serbian soldiers, and in the other's
17 house there is Muslim fighters and you can see hand-to-hand -- the RPG,
18 the Zoljas shooting at the area where the Muslim fighters were, trying to
19 knock them out of Bjelovac out of the houses. So when they were shooting
20 the RPGs and Zoljas and the shells at the house where the Muslim fighters
21 were you could see right -- because every house was up.
22 JUDGE ESER: In such a situation, where have been the torbaris?
23 THE WITNESS: Torbaris everywhere. You can never see where
24 tobaris are. Like animals, flying in every single direction. They can
25 be in between Serbs and Muslims. They can be already stealing food.
1 They can be already burning haystacks or whatever they can get to. There
2 was no -- there was no way to know where torbari were. They were
3 everywhere. Just like releasing a flock of birds in every single
5 JUDGE ESER: But wasn't it very dangerous to be in between both
6 sides? So could it happen that torbaris to even have been killed by
7 their own fighters?
8 THE WITNESS: Our lives when we were expelled from our village
9 and on rest of the time were very dangerous. Every single move you're
10 close to death and when you were in Bjelovac it was nothing new. Death
11 is present at all times regardless where you're at whether you're in
12 Bjelovac or Srebrenica or anywhere. So it's possible -- not possible,
13 it's true that many torbari were killed that way. It was for them to die
14 from starvation or to hunt for food.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones. Thank you, Judge Eser.
16 MR. JONES: I'm -- I'm leaving Bjelovac now.
17 Q. But I did want to come back to Hazim Mercury whom you mentioned.
18 Do you know his full name?
19 A. Hazim, I believe it's Omerovic.
20 Q. How do you know him?
21 A. He -- him and his mother were very good with my family so he came
22 to see my father very often before war.
23 Q. Where did he live before the war?
24 A. His family came from Jeskovica which is municipality of
25 Srebrenica and moved to Voljevica.
1 Q. Before the war did you see him in Voljevica?
2 A. Yes, I have. I've seen around the village. I've been to his
3 house in Voljevica. He came to my house in Voljevica.
4 Q. Can you describe a little what he was like, his personality.
5 A. Hazim was a nice guy. He was a very friendly to everybody. He
6 moved around our village. He was maybe a little bit taller than me, very
7 nice build.
8 Q. I think you told us which unit he was in during the war.
9 A. Yes. He was first in Hakija Meholjic and later on he was with
10 Akif Ustic.
11 Q. Did he bear a resemblance to anyone?
12 A. Absolutely. If you were in Srebrenica and many times when he
13 came to the house and if you look at him ten metres away or 20 metres
14 away you will say it's exactly Naser Oric, a hundred per cent copy.
15 Q. Do you recall any incidents in that regard?
16 A. Yes, I do. I was on Konjevic Polje once and also in Suceska area
17 and he would go around and he will -- because if you never saw Naser or
18 if you never saw Hazim and if he say I'm Naser Oric everybody looks and
19 says, Oh, maybe it is. If you look so he did many things. He will say,
20 Give me this or that, I'm Naser, and people would give it to him. And he
21 liked the attention to be Naser.
22 Q. Thank you. Sorry if I took that slightly out of sequence. There
23 is a reason. I do actually have a couple more questions about Bjelovac.
24 From your conversations with people from any other source of information,
25 did you learn who participated in the action in Bjelovac?
1 A. Yes, I have. It was people from that area, people from
2 Voljevica, people from Zaluzje, Bjelovac, Biljaca, that area who wanted
3 to go back to toward our own villages. Those were Bratunac people from
4 Bratunac municipality and were -- there was a Mido [phoen] there was from
5 Biljaca and people who were expelled from that area who wanted to return
6 their homes and --
7 Q. Now, in fact we might not have even entirely finished with
8 Bjelovac. How long -- how long did you in fact stay in Bjelovac?
9 A. You cannot stay in Bjelovac for too long because Bjelovac was
10 right on the border on the bank of the Drina River and from Serbia, from
11 there, tanks shelling, there was anti-aircraft continuously shooting.
12 There was -- you could not go down, you had to stay very close to the
13 road. And there was a lot of shelling coming from the Sikiric area and
14 then from Bratunac area there was continuously attacks in Bjelovac. So
15 as soon as you go there grab whatever you can get and try to run out of
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, while we are still on Bjelovac,
18 particularly the witness could explain to us the various actions as they
19 occurred or they happened according to him, depending on whether it was
20 morning or afternoon on the relevant day or days. I'm leaving the choice
21 of questions of course entirely to you, but you know exactly why I am
22 asking these questions.
23 MR. JONES: Yes.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Or asking to you ask these questions.
25 MR. JONES: Yes.
1 Q. I don't know if you heard His Honour's request for clarification.
2 Perhaps a way to take it is when you were actually in Bjelovac itself,
3 what time of day was it when you first got into the town?
4 A. I went to Bjelovac on the second day around mid-day or so into
5 Bjelovac. And there were people before me who were down in that area.
6 Q. You referred to airplanes. Whether did you see those?
7 A. On the second days in the morning times I could see the airplanes
8 flying when I was there.
9 Q. What sort of airplanes did you see? I meant to ask you that
11 A. Well, the time there was two what we called two propeller planes
12 or two-wing planes and there was also another one we call coach planes,
13 agricultural planes flying above the head bombing the area around
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Wait a moment. I see coach planes. It's
16 agricultural planes, as I take it. These are airplanes that arrive for
18 THE WITNESS: Those were used before the war as agricultural
19 planes and there is another one with two wings.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Biplanes.
21 THE WITNESS: Biplanes. There you go, thank you, Your Honour.
22 MR. JONES:
23 Q. Did you ever see other planes or aircraft in that area?
24 A. Yes. Later on when we tried to my sister and I tried to go back
25 to Voljevica to gain food, there was fighter planes flying from Serbia
1 area, from Bratunac area -- in Serbia from Bratunac, that direction, and
2 other side of Drina going towards Bjelovac and bombing continuously that
3 area. That was not a small planes that were bombing on the second day.
4 That was fighter actual fighter planes.
5 Q. So when did you see the fighter planes, what time of day?
6 A. Mid-day probably noon or so, sometime that time, mid-day.
7 Q. And is that on the same day, the second day as you're describing
9 A. The second day when I saw those biplanes and those planes bombing
10 I saw them but a few days after I tried to attempt to go to Voljevica I
11 saw the mixed bombed area.
12 Q. So then still on the second day, how long did you stay in
13 Bjelovac on the second day? And where did you go?
14 A. I stayed around Bjelovac for the rest of the day and from there
15 we moved out and then myself I moved out towards Srebrenica and towards
16 Srebrenica. But many people stayed in that area. You could not go --
17 you could not stay very close to Drina bank because there was non-stop
18 fighting coming from Serbia shooting into Bosnian part, to Bjelovac.
19 Q. And did you see shells or any other missiles actually landing in
20 Bjelovac from -- being shot from the other side of the Drina?
21 A. Absolutely, because when the fighters pulled out, the -- the
22 Serbian artillery was positioned outside Serbia and was continually
23 bombing the Bjelovac area it could be -- the bombing could be a Serbian
24 house or Muslim house or Roma house, did not look what was there when
25 they were bombing, when they were shelling that area. They not only
1 shelled Bjelovac area they shelled up towards Sikiric and they shelled up
2 towards Biljaca and Sase area, that direction.
3 Q. You told us how you put out towards Sase. Did you actually
4 manage to get any food or provisions yourself?
5 A. I was young, you know, and I could not carry very much so my main
6 thing is find what is more useful in Srebrenica, like tobacco, cigarettes
7 tobacco, sugar and coffee I find that and take it and exchange it for
8 food flour or corn. I found it in Bjelovac and I take it back to
10 Q. And then was the second day, was that the end of the action in
11 Bjelovac or were you aware of anything else happening after that?
12 A. Well, that was the so-called end of the -- end of the action but
13 it was never a liberated -- liberated, say okay we can move freely I was
14 continuously after that fighting in the Bjelovac you know till Serbs took
16 Q. I want to move on to another action because you mentioned you saw
17 several. Did you -- did you ever go back to the Jezestica area first of
19 A. Yes, I've gone back there in January 1993, that area.
20 Q. Was that an action or was it something else?
21 A. That was the action when the action was in Jezestica and Kravica
22 and that area.
23 Q. Did you know beforehand that there would be an action or did you
24 just find out?
25 A. Everybody in Srebrenica knew there was going to be action as soon
1 as the other villagers -- men will be, you know, stay in their home and
2 they will be telling their families what was going on. And I heard from
3 my friends that action will be taking place in Kravica and then together
4 with thousands of other refugees from Srebrenica I went towards Jaglici
5 area and many other refugees went towards Pale, Zimice, that area also.
6 Q. It's okay. Just give a moment for the interpretation. First I'm
7 going to ask you what you were wearing that day.
8 A. I have the jeans and a sweater, jacket with the white sheet rope
9 over me and that was the routine that we wore, torbari especially, in the
10 winter we would take any bed sheeting or any kind of white sheet like a
11 robe and then we wrapped -- put it over all our clothes.
12 Q. And why did you do that?
13 A. Well, simple reason: Because theres' snow and if you moving
14 around if you don't have something white on you you're like black figures
15 around snow and they can spot you from every single direction. This way
16 if I have a robe on me, they can't see me.
17 Q. If you could just describe for us first of all just overall what
18 you did that day, where you went and what you saw.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. He's mentioning snow. Which action is
20 he referring to in particular now? Because I suppose it couldn't have
21 been Bjelovac.
22 MR. JONES: No, we had moved on to Jezestica. He said he went
23 back there in January 1993.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. All right. Was he there in
25 August as well or not.
1 MR. JONES: Yes, that's our submission. He said late summer late
2 July early August.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: That's exactly what I understood. Would there be
4 snow on the hills in the mountains there?
5 MR. JONES: No, no this is the second occasion we are talking
6 about, January 1993. We can clarify that with the witness.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you need to because otherwise, this snow
8 business and wearing white clothing.
9 MR. JONES: Yes.
10 Q. Did you -- the action you talked about when you went up to
11 Jaglici in the summer, what were you wearing on that occasion?
12 A. We talk about in late July and August sometime?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. Normal clothes what I can get on you, you can be jeans or sweater
15 or T-shirt, you know. But in the one I'm talking about now when it comes
16 to snow it's January 1993 in the Kravica attack in the Jezestica area.
17 Q. Could you give a brief overview of where you went and what you
18 saw on that occasion, January 1993?
19 A. When we arrived from Srebrenica, to Jaglici and all surrounding
20 areas it was a fierce cold winter. When we got there was an action going
21 on down below in Jezestica and Kravica area. Thousands of torbari were
22 everywhere around the hills in the trees with the fires and preparing to
23 descend down into Kravica. Myself, I descended from Jaglici down into
24 Kajici area and I stayed there and I got into Kravica. In Kravica I
25 could see -- first of all we got to one house, there was a -- and then
1 there it was a spray of machine-gun coming from the window and then we
2 hid and then was probably 50 kilometres -- 50 metres from the house, and
3 we hid behind a haystack and then the next thing you heard was a huge
4 explosion, like a grenade, and then we got to the house there there was a
5 two dead bodies, two older people, old people, with a machine-gun right
6 next to them. They were dead there.
7 And then from there I moved down to the centre of the village. I
8 saw APC moving very slowly, shooting continuously all around the hills
9 and I saw "four-barrel anti-aircraft on a hill in Srebrenica -- in the
10 centre of Kravica upon a hill.
11 Q. If I just stop you there, just to go back a little bit when you
12 said that thousands of torbari were everywhere around the hills in the
13 trees with the fires and preparing to descend down into Kravica." Can
14 you explain or clarify what exactly you were referring to there?
15 A. Well, what I mean is we were starved and what we wanted to do is
16 gain food from Kravica and many attempts were made to go down and when
17 the fierce fighting was going on we couldn't descend. And then later on
18 when we saw the combat getting worse and worse then everybody else,
19 everybody, even torbari went straight down to Kravica.
20 Q. Thank you, but when you it were referring to fires in the hills
21 and the trees?
22 A. I see.
23 Q. What was that you were referring to there?
24 A. That's to heat ourselves, you know. We were waiting and we
25 wanted to make a little fire to heat your hands, stay around fire. All
1 of us who were freezing in the snow.
2 Q. Did you see many similar fires in that area before the action?
3 A. A lot of fires in the Jaglici area, people who are trying to heat
4 themselves up, a lot of fires in that area. People squatting right next
5 to a fire.
6 Q. You also mentioned how you had this white sheet on you. Can you
7 estimate how many other torbari were wearing something similar?
8 A. Majority of torbari were wearing something like that because we
9 had the idea you don't go into any kind of -- whether it was action or
10 anything or non -- especially in the winter, unless you take something to
11 cover yourself which is white. Everybody had that. Majority of people
12 had that.
13 Q. Again, when we are talking about the torbari, do you know where
14 they were from, the torbari, what places?
15 A. Majority of people that were there were all Bratunac municipality
16 people who were refuge. For those you know for Srebrenica people who had
17 their homes not burned completely, they stayed back and they can harvest
18 something in their own backyard, their own land, but when we were
19 expelled from Bratunac municipality we had nothing. So the majority of
20 those people, those starving people that were already expelled from their
21 villages from Bratunac municipality.
22 Q. Now, you referred to artillery firing. Can you describe roughly
23 the locations and if you saw anything, you know, what types of artillery
24 were firing that day.
25 A. Well, there is the from the hills I believe it's called Zeleni
1 it's toward Drina there was a strong shelling coming from that area into
2 Kravica when still action was going on down there. Huge shelling was
3 coming from there from all other hills around toward Drina from if you go
4 from Konjevic Polje left side in the hills toward Drina and then from
5 Glogova area also on the Drina side was coming into Kravica, all
6 different shelling. And then also in Kravica there was four-barrel, like
7 I say, on a hill. There was continuously mobbing the area in all around
8 in the Kravica. So he could be actually shooting at his own people or he
9 could be shooting at the Muslims in the Kravica area. Same thing with
10 shells that were coming into Kravica area. They could be shelling their
11 own people, their own houses and at Muslims that were in Kravica.
12 Q. You mention this four-barrel. What exactly is that? That's
13 something which perhaps you can help us with, having not seen one.
14 A. Well we called that praga, I don't know how would say in English.
15 It would be like four-barrel anti-aircraft cannons, I guess that's how it
16 would translate. But I'm not sure that's the military term for it. If a
17 sense you shoot sort of like shells all around the area, not as big
18 shells as a regular cannon or tank but it's like sprays at one time four
19 barrels shooting non-stop, from all four barrels at once.
20 Q. Was this the first time you'd seen such a weapon or had you seen
21 it before?
22 A. I've seen that before. I've seen that in Bjelovac I've seen that
23 in other villages.
24 Q. Now, you may not be able to say for each hill where artillery was
25 firing from but can you give us an idea at least roughly how many
1 different locations you were aware that there was artillery firing from?
2 A. Artillery fire was coming from at least five six different
3 directions different hills right into Kravica and that was the same time
4 as the combat was going on and I was -- and together with the other
5 torbari right in the village and it was continuously coming shells and
6 even Serbs were in those houses still. Their soldiers and our fighters
7 and civilians were in the village at the same time.
8 Q. Now, do you know a location called Siljkovici?
9 A. I know where Siljkovici -- I know Siljkovici but I was not in
11 Q. On that day were you aware of anything happening there or
12 anything located there?
13 A. Fierce combat was and fierce fighting was going on in Siljkovici
14 area. I heard that but I was not present there.
15 Q. How do you know, then, that there was combat there?
16 A. Because you can hear people saying there is a humongous fighting
17 going on Siljkovici and you can hear also the huge shells coming from
18 that direction, explosions that area that was coming also toward Kravica.
19 Q. Now, do you know or did you find out about what was captured in
20 Kravica in terms of weaponry?
21 A. I saw a lot of ox carts carrying a lot of heavy weapons,
22 anti-aircraft guns, a lot of shells, lot of rocket launchers,
23 multi-rocket launchers were all being carried by ox carts toward Jaglici
24 area. And extremely a lot of light weapons like automatic rifle, AK-47,
25 machine-gun, that kind of guns, a lot of it. And then also when I was
1 coming out of Kravica you can see a hill that is between Zimice and
2 Kravica and it's got a lot of those small rocket -- rockets, RPGs, all
3 around the hills everywhere.
4 Q. Now, what were you actually doing on that day?
3 Q. I trust he didn't do that.
4 A. He did not shoot her, no. He slapped her and he screamed at her
5 and told some stuff and there was nothing else he can do.
6 And then you can also see when the shells were coming, when the
7 -- were coming into Kravica like I said in Bjelovac there would land on
8 top of the house and house was right away flames.
9 MR. JONES: I'm mindful of the time.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: There is not going to be a next break, actually,
11 because we understand that the witness requires 30 minutes in any case by
12 way of a break and if we stop at quarter past 1 and have a 30 minute
13 break that would take us to quarter to 2 when we are supposed to finish.
14 So you have these options. You are either finish at five minutes
15 time or we recuperate the seven, eight minutes that we lost after the
16 last break and of course you lose the credit at the same time, and maybe
17 you close one of the chapters or -- that you will dealing with now and we
18 continue tomorrow. It's up to you, Mr. Jones. We are not going to make
19 it difficult for you.
20 MR. JONES: I think I can finish today. That would be
21 preferable. Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: What do you mean you finish today?
23 MR. JONES: Perhaps I misunderstood Your Honour. I can keep
24 going for half an hour or so.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Keep going or half an hour I think we need the okay
1 from the interpreters and the technical staff.
2 [Trial chamber and registrar confer]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Fine with the interpreters, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Pardon?
5 THE INTERPRETER: Fine with the interpreters.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Fine with the interpreters. I don't know whether
7 it's fine with the technicians, and of course I need or we need to make
8 sure that the witness himself agrees to this, Mr. Jones.
9 MR. JONES: Yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Because I understand that he needs to walk the dog.
11 THE WITNESS: That's fine, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: And the last thing I would do is to create
13 difficulties for this witness who has been very cooperative.
14 MR. JONES: Absolutely, Your Honour. I'm just looking again at
15 my notes. I think I can finish in 15 minutes if that's -- if that's okay
16 with the witness, if it's okay with everyone.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I understand that it won't cause you any problems.
18 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour. Suppose if it is so short and we
19 stop now we will still be confident to finish tomorrow.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, okay. Would it be all right with
21 you, Mr. Bekric, if we continued for another 15 minutes?
22 THE WITNESS: That's fine, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. 15 or 20 minutes.
24 THE WITNESS: That's fine.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Jones and I wish to -- I haven't
1 heard from the technicians as yet. It's okay. All right. So I wish to
2 acknowledge again our gratitude to both the technicians and the
3 interpreters. Yes, Mr. Jones.
4 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you.
5 Q. A few more questions, Mr. Bekric, on Kravica then we are almost
6 done. On that day did you see damage to property that was actually
7 caused by shells or other missiles?
8 A. Yes, I have. I've seen quite a few houses that were destroyed by
9 shelling or other military equipment the Serbs used or -- that were
10 shelled at the at the houses, houses, barns, other -- things in the
11 Kravica area.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, Mr. Jones, I'm just taking the
13 initiative, I'm sure that Judge Brydensholt and Judge Eser would agree
14 with me, to order -- Mr. Jones, to redact the transcript in the relative
15 parts when he just went out of control.
16 MR. JONES: Yes, I appreciate that.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We will do it under our own responsibility and
18 proceed go ahead.
19 MR. JONES: Thank you.
20 Q. Did you go into many houses on that day?
21 A. Yes, I have.
22 Q. And what if anything did you find in those houses?
23 A. In those houses, the first house I mentioned I saw the two old
24 bodies. I saw machine-gun, I saw all different things in the house, and
25 the houses I went into you can see the old houses were full of stuff you
1 wanted. You could see a lot of small weapons and a lot of grenades, a
2 lot of military equipment around those houses. And I took whatever I
3 wanted from those houses and left.
4 Q. Did you yourself find any military equipment or anything like
5 that? Sorry, let me rephrase that. Did you actually take anything of a
6 military nature yourself?
7 A. No, I did not. I did not take anything.
8 Q. Did you see Serbs fighting back in Kravica?
9 A. I could see where the combat was taking place but I could not see
10 them with my own eye to say specifically who I saw. But I could see
11 combat was going on in Kravica.
12 Q. Could you name some of the places the Serbs were fighting from?
13 A. Yes. The main combat where I was at was the main part of
14 Kravica. You could see the fierce combat, huge explosions going on in
15 the villages around. But in the where -- I saw the main part of Kravica
16 house-to-house combat and you can see huge explosions, you know, when
17 they hit the house the house goes right away up into had air. It was
18 coming towards Muslim side.
19 Q. Did you see Serbs fighting from trenches or from their houses or
20 in the streets or what?
21 A. Well, Serbs used a lot of tricks. They were smart. They would
22 shoot many of us as civilians. They would -- the front lines were they
23 would pull from there and go into their houses and they keep silent. And
24 then you think nobody is there so you run very fast into the house. They
25 start shooting with the machine-guns, with the grenades, with the RPGs
1 with the Zoljas actually right there. So they used a lot of -- they used
2 the houses as their way to fight back. They would surprise you. They
3 would go up on top roof, the balcony, keep silent. If you're coming
4 they'll just spray you with a machine gun or whatever weapons they had.
5 Q. Is that something which you yourself experienced or you saw or
6 you heard about?
7 A. I've seen that myself. Like I said, the first one I saw the
8 machine-gun shooting from the window and then same thing down in main
9 part of Kravica you could see especially in the new houses, the bigger
10 houses. They would use balconies, and shoot from balconies with whatever
11 weapons they had at the people, whether civilian or a fighter. Whoever
12 was coming toward them.
13 Q. How long did you stay in Kravica that day?
14 A. I stayed all through the day in Kravica. And took whatever I
15 wanted and I left.
16 Q. What did you in fact take?
17 A. I took 25 kilos of flour. I could not carry it so I took a lid
18 at the wooden stove and I put it on and I pulled behind me on snow. And
19 I took -- I also found camouflage pants inside the house and I took them
20 and put over my pants. And I also found a pair of boots and I put them
21 on and I sold my camouflage pants I found for a bottle of plum brandy so
22 I can exchange it for food in Srebrenica.
23 Q. At the end of the day, how many houses if you're able to say or
24 what proportion of houses in Kravica did you see damaged?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]. This sentence
4 redacted, please.
5 MR. JONES: Yes.
6 Q. Did you obtain any information at any stage about which units or
7 which fighters were involved in Kravica?
8 A. Yes, I have. It was Golic, Ejub Golic from Glogova who led the
9 attack because he was, from the stories from the talks from people that I
10 know from Glogova and from Voljevica and that area, it was very important
11 first of all for food and also strategically very important because we
12 had an isolated area of Cerska and Konjevic Polje Pobrdje area was
13 totally isolated and had a very strong hold of -- Serbian stronghold in
14 Kravica it would be very important for Golic to take that over in order
15 to connect Glogova together with Cerska, isolated area of Cerska.
16 Q. Do you know whether or not people from Cerska or Konjevic Polje
17 participated in the action?
18 A. I presume they would -- they participated in the action from the
19 other side.
20 Q. You mentioned Pobrdje several times. Unfortunately that doesn't
21 appear on our map. Can you name a village or hamlet in that area so we
22 can locate it?
23 A. Yeah, Lozica, Sandici, Pervani, Burnice. That area.
24 Q. Now, you've spoken already about attempts of people to return to
25 return to Glogova in this period. As far as you know, were those
1 attempts successful?
2 A. Those attempts were, you know, they were, the fighters would go
3 into Glogova have a they could not hold it whatsoever for long because
4 the support that was coming, the support from Bratunac, the support from
5 Kravica that was coming to Serbs was impossible to hold it because of all
6 the counterattacks and stuff in that area.
7 Q. You mentioned counterattacks. Can you explain at all what if
8 anything you observed or knew about Serbian counterattacks and how that
9 was carried out.
10 A. Well, I wasn't in Glogova but from people that I know from
11 Glogova that spoke to us they would say they were going to Glogova and
12 get into Glogova and then we counterattack from Serbian forces from
13 Bratunac for Kravica and right away knocked them out, kill whoever was in
14 their counterattacks from Bratunac from Kravica area and from where I was
15 they call cleaning the area.
16 Q. And --
17 A. There was no way to hold it.
18 Q. And do you know if that happened after this action in January
20 A. That happened quite often in even before and after because after
21 Kravica was taken over, Golic and his men of course tried to hold Glogova
22 and it was impossible to hold even then and then the counterattacks were
23 continuously coming from Bratunac area.
24 Q. Did you return to Kravica after the action?
25 A. Yes, I have. I've gone to Kravica after the action and I've seen
1 Kravica after the action. I had an aunt that lived in that village of
2 Burnice which is in Pobudje [Realtime transcript read in error:
3 "Pobrdje"] and I went through Kravica into Pobudje.
4 Q. Why apart from -- was that the only reason, going to see your
5 aunt or was there another reason for going there?
6 A. There was a reason to go see my aunt so I could get from her see
7 -- she did not move from her own village, so I hoping to gain food from
8 her and to go to see them, you know. Both reasons.
9 MR. JONES: Just for the transcript page 94, line 18, there is a
10 place called Pobrdje but the witness is referring to which is Pobudje.
11 Thank you.
12 Q. Now, when you passed through Kravica after the action, what if
13 anything did you see occurring in Kravica?
14 A. Yes, you can see people from surrounding villages, from Lolici,
15 Sandici, that area in Kravica taking tile roof tiles taking the windows,
16 doors, blocks from the houses, whatever they can get from the houses in
17 Kravica to take it to their homes and rebuild their homes.
18 Q. Do you know why they were rebuilding their homes?
19 A. I wasn't there very much before Kravica fell so I don't know
20 what's going on, but a lot from the shellings from the bombings, from the
21 burnings. That would be the reason. I definitely saw them take stuff
22 from Kravica into their villages.
23 Q. Now, you mentioned being in Srebrenica when General Morillon was
24 there. I'm only going to ask you this about that. You recollect General
25 Morillon coming to Srebrenica. My question is, is this, it's a general
1 question: How vividly do you remember the events of which you've spoken
2 this morning?
3 A. The events I spoke about this morning is events I'll never forget
4 in my life. Every single detail of it. And I'll always remember those.
5 That's the last things I saw and last things I'll always remember. Every
6 single detail of it.
7 Q. And then, finally, you explained at the beginning that the
8 shelling which occurred in which I think you said 60 or something
9 children were killed in fact. Can you help us with that? Do you know
10 how many people were killed or wounded?
11 A. My understanding there was about 60, 62 people killed on that day
12 and there was over 100 wounded on that day. The UN peacekeepers weren't
13 in there at that time.
14 Q. Did you ever hear if there was ever any investigation into the
15 massacre on the soccer field?
16 A. There was never an investigation that I know. There was no
17 plaque that marks anything that the massacre happened on that field.
18 There is no sign of anything to say this is what happened at the soccer
19 field. Nobody -- just forgot it like it never happened.
20 MR. JONES: And we have an exhibit which is the newspaper -- is a
21 newspaper article dated 29 September 2002, St. Petersburg Times. I'm
22 just dealing with that just for the record, I think it's useful to
23 submit. I believe the Prosecution has already seen a copy.
24 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, we have.
25 MR. JONES: I'd ask if that could be given a Defence exhibit
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. By all means. This will be Defence Exhibit
3 D71 --
4 THE REGISTRAR: 713.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: 3, yes. And that is an article from St. Petersburg
6 Times entitled "Hope for change seen amid tale of tragedy." By Mary Jane
7 Park, consisting of two pages and in English. Thank you.
8 MR. JONES: Thank you. That completes my examination-in-chief.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. St. Petersburg, where would this be? I
10 would take it that it is some St. Petersburg, somewhere in the United
12 MR. JONES: I believe it's Florida but the witness can answer.
13 THE WITNESS: That's a city where I went to school in Florida.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Thank you. So I --
15 MR. JONES: My apologies, Your Honour, I also propose to tender
16 the map.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes.
18 MR. JONES: It hasn't been in issue but --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't -- but if there is no point in asking the
20 witness to initialise it in any case.
21 THE WITNESS: I can initial it, Your Honour. I can put my two
22 letters if needed.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think it is needed. We will just give it a
24 number and this will be D714. All right.
25 MR. JONES: Thank you, Mr. Bekric.
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: So I think that concludes today's sitting. You
3 will need to return tomorrow, Mr. Bekric, in the morning. We have
4 sitting starting hopefully at 9.00 in Trial Chamber II, if I am not
5 mistaken. And tomorrow you will be cross-examined by Mr. Wubben who is
6 lead counsel for the Prosecution. Do you expect to finish your
7 cross-examination tomorrow, Mr. Wubben?
8 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Basically that means we will finish
10 there. We won't have anyone on Friday or for Friday.
11 MR. JONES: That's correct.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. We stand adjourned. Please make sure
13 that the witness is given all the assistance he requires. Thank you.
14 Good afternoon to everyone.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.27 p.m.