1 Thursday, 14 July 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 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: Mr. Oric, good morning to you. Can you follow the
11 proceedings in your own language?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, ladies
13 and gentlemen. I can follow the proceedings in my mother tongue.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You may sit down. Good morning to you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Appearances for the Prosecution.
17 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours, my name is Jan Wubben
18 lead counsel for the Prosecution. Also good morning to my learned
19 friends of the Defence. I'm here together with co-counsel Mr. Gramsci di
20 Fazio and our case manager Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Wubben and good morning to you and
22 your team. Appearances for Naser Oric.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning Your Honours my name
24 is Vasvija Vidovic and together with John Jones I appear for Naser Oric.
25 With us are our legal assistant, Ms. Adisa Mehic and our CaseMap manager,
1 Mr. Geoff Roberts.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you Madam, and good morning to you and your
3 team. Any preliminaries?
4 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So good morning, Mr. Bekric.
7 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome back. We are going to proceed and conclude
9 with your testimony today. You will be cross-examined starting as from
10 now by Mr. Jan Wubben, who is lead counsel for the Prosecution in this
12 Mr. Wubben.
13 WITNESS: SEAD BEKRIC [Resumed]
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Wubben:
15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Bektic. My name is, as said, Jan Wubben, lead
16 counsel for the Prosecution. I have some questions for you.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. My first question is: Do you know a place called Bajramovic?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Have you ever been there?
21 A. Yes, I have.
22 Q. Do you know of a meeting in Bajramovici in May 1992?
23 A. No I'm not aware of that.
24 Q. Were you on any meeting with Naser Oric, Atif Ustic, Zulfo
25 Tursunovic and others?
1 A. No, I have not been.
2 Q. So you're not aware of a meeting where decisions were made about
3 the command structure of the Srebrenica TO staff?
4 A. No, I have not -- I'm not aware of it.
5 Q. Yesterday, you mentioned the names of Akif Ustic, Zulfo
6 Tursunovic as commanders who had no supreme commander above them.
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. What is your basis for that?
9 A. Well, like I said yesterday, for Hakija Meholjic is the Sukrija
10 who was our guide from Mocevici area to Srebrenica. He introduced
11 himself as Hakija Meholjic man. And then also from people from my own
12 village who were Hakija Meholjic's unit. And then also people that I
13 know from my village that were in Akif Ustic's unit together with people
14 that I know from Suceska that was of Tursunovic's unit. And from my
15 understanding from talking to people from my closest people that I know
16 from my village there was no supreme command over those commanders.
17 Q. And regarding Zulfo Tursunovic?
18 A. Same thing applies to Zulfo Tursunovic. He did not have a
19 supreme commander and he was not commander of any other commanders in
21 Q. And these people that informed you about that, those facts, did
22 they -- were they present at that meeting, at that meeting in Bajramovic
23 in May 1992?
24 A. Like I said I'm not aware of the meeting and I do not know if
25 they were present or not.
1 Q. You spoke about information you had from people related to this
2 topic of command structure. How did that topic arise in your
3 conversation with those people?
4 A. The topic in Srebrenica, with the people in Srebrenica, the
5 refugees especially who were in refugee in Srebrenica from Bratunac, that
6 was everyday conversations. You know every single day what's going on
7 the town, who is who, who is the leader, who is the commander, who is in
8 which area. So it's an everyday things you talk about.
9 Q. And as such, you're not aware of a meeting in Bajramovici in May
11 A. Absolutely not.
12 Q. I move to the next issue. Yesterday, you stated that you reached
13 Srebrenica in June 1992.
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. You said it was like a ghost town.
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. What did you mean by that?
18 A. It was like I said yesterday it was before war very busy, active
19 little town and when we arrived in Srebrenica it was totally deserted,
20 empty, no people. All the cafes, restaurants, stores, everything was
21 empty, looted, glass broken. Many houses burnt, no cars moving around
22 Srebrenica, no people walking around like used to be before war.
23 Q. So it was pretty quiet, like a ghost town?
24 A. It was totally it was totally quiet and deserted area.
25 Q. And that was also the situation in July 1992?
1 A. Later on, as the refugees started flowing in it was getting more
2 and more busy.
3 Q. And when was that?
4 A. I can't be specific but you know the group -- first group when we
5 arrived was in June so after that you know the streams of refugees
6 started flowing in. You know, some in smaller groups, some in big groups
7 and continuously -- continually after I arrived and all time I was there,
8 until 1993 the refugees were coming constantly.
9 Q. That's by the end of -- starting by the end of 1992?
10 A. No, no, no. That's from the time I arrived in Srebrenica, in
11 June, which is the first group of refugees that arrived in Srebrenica.
12 And then after that, continually until April 1993 when I was there, the
13 refugees was streaming in.
14 Q. Let me go to another issue. Yesterday several attacks or actions
15 had been discussed. You witnessed that thousands of civilians were
16 involved next to fighters.
17 A. That's true. That's -- I testified yesterday thousands of
18 refugees who were together with fighters in many actions, some before the
19 fighters, some with the fighters, and many after the fighters.
20 Q. Let me take the action on Bjelovac as an example. That's
21 December 1992.
22 A. That's fine.
23 Q. So also during the action on Bjelovac, you stated that you were
24 together with thousands of other people from various municipalities.
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. You and those other civilians, thousands, knew beforehand that
2 this action was going to take place.
3 A. Absolutely.
4 Q. You knew that from the fighters or the family of the fighters
6 A. Like I said yesterday, it is the people from my village, people
7 from the Bratunac municipalities who lived together with their families
8 in their homes and they discussed the actions. And people would talk
9 between each other and basically everybody knew in Srebrenica that
10 actions would take place.
11 Q. So thousands of people, civilians, had to organise to get to the
12 place of the action, the attack.
13 A. The refugees were not organised. It's like mobs, going in every
14 single direction. They wanted to go toward the area where the action was
15 taking place.
16 Q. Thousands of people had indeed to do a timely start to get to the
17 place of the action, isn't it?
18 A. That's definitely true. Some people go the day before, some can
19 go during the night, some can go after. So you can never know with the
21 Q. And thousands of people had to make sure as well that they didn't
22 get in the way of the fighters, isn't it?
23 A. Absolutely not, because many refugees, many civilians were killed
24 and there were in the various actions when the action was taking place.
25 Q. Let me rephrase my question, then. I'm here in the phase of
1 getting to the place, the route to -- towards the place of the action,
2 not the action itself. So let me rephrase the question. Thousands of
3 people had to make sure that they had to start in time to finally get in
4 time to the place of the action, isn't it?
5 A. I don't know about timing part. So many, like I said, refugees
6 who start night before, some would start the same day the action was
7 taking place, some went night before. So it can be -- many came after
8 the action. So many came on time when the action was taking place and
9 many came same day and many came day after and then many other ones came
10 even later, you know.
11 Q. Yes. But anyhow, even if this part of it -- I assume that they
12 had to organise to be there and to plan a route, a safe route, isn't it?
13 A. There was no safe route where refugees went and there was no
14 planning. So with the refugees everybody took their own route whether
15 safe or not safe.
16 Q. And they all took the same route?
17 A. Absolutely not. Everybody went in different directions.
18 Q. So they knew where to go from different direction towards the
19 place of the action aforehand?
20 A. When you go in the action if you have a group, lets say five
21 people or five friends who they want to go to the action they can take
22 their own chances, make their own route, or they can go where there is a
23 route already safe to go there. So it's your chance, it's your life.
24 You take a chance. Do what you want to go.
25 Q. And then they are all organised together, those thousands of
1 people around the area of the action, isn't it?
2 A. I wouldn't use the word organised. There were thousands of
3 refugees there but they were not organised, as like I said like animals.
4 Q. Well, I will not compare them with animals but are these
5 civilians, as I may use that qualification, are these civilians there
6 waiting for the action or waiting for any signal?
7 A. The refugees who were there when the action is taking place. So
8 they can go during the fighting, after the fighting, whenever they felt
9 like, like I said it's your chance to take to go when there is action.
10 Q. And there is of course a resistance to be expected from the
11 inhabitants of the village to be attacked, isn't it?
12 A. Well, there has always been very strong resistance from the
13 inhabitants that live there and from the force that is came from outside
14 into the area.
15 Q. And yesterday you used qualifications like fierce fighting, and
16 use of artillery, having heavy weapons. So there should be an element of
17 surprise before such an attack, isn't it?
18 A. Well, when you see -- we refugees and the people in Srebrenica
19 were never surprised when we go -- when there is action and when there is
20 shellings and when there is fierce fighting that's nothing new. We knew
21 that Serbs had very strong heavy weapons and they going to use everything
22 at their exposal [sic] to fight.
23 Q. So an element of surprise, attacking by surprise is important for
24 a successful action, isn't it?
25 A. Well, I can't say how it was important you know in the for those
1 people how they planned the action and those people who were in those
2 villages, whether it's important or not. I have no idea. I was not a
3 soldier and I was there as a refugee.
4 Q. And -- but can I put it to you that if there is no element of
5 surprise, it would be so that the villages attacked will give resistance
6 already by the very appearance of the attackers, isn't it?
7 A. Well, the villagers or the army that was in the villages, they
8 themselves made many actions against the Muslims. So when there is
9 attack against them, they always had weapons and they will confident to
10 defend themselves so I don't think it was a big surprise to them.
11 Q. That's not a real answer to my question, isn't it? So I will ask
12 you again. If there is no element of surprise, it would be so that
13 whenever they are defending their village they will open fire immediately
14 upon appearance of the first attackers they expect.
15 A. Absolutely. They would open fire on the attackers that were
16 being attacked, yeah.
17 Q. So this element of surprise is important, isn't it?
18 A. I would say so.
19 Q. So these thousands of people, as you call them refugees,
20 civilians, should also be silent before the attack.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones? I'm sorry I was looking on the
22 other side.
23 MR. JONES: Yes, the last series of questions which I think I
24 have to note, I think is unfair of my learned friend to say that there
25 wasn't a real answer to the question because he's putting a series of
1 speculative questions about would it be important to have surprise if
2 such and such were the case. This witness is not a military expert.
3 He's here testifying about what he saw and experienced and so to put a
4 series of questions about, well, if there were no surprise would this
5 happen; if there were surprise would something else happen; assuming the
6 other would this be important. It's not appropriate for this witness to
7 be asked to have such questions put to him.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: But the witness is a very intelligent young man and
9 I think he's fully capable of answering only those questions that he can
11 MR. JONES: Right. But if you --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: And I don't think the questions that are being put
13 are speculative. If he's not in a position to answer them, he's free not
14 to answer them and explain why.
15 MR. JONES: Yes, and in that event if he does give an answer to
16 the best of his ability, I don't think it's fair to say it's not a real
17 answer. He's doing his best to answer.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: He's not a military expert. I agree with you. He
19 wasn't a military expert then although he knows all the types of weaponry
20 by name and calibre and description.
21 MR. JONES: Yes, from having seen them. It's a different matter
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I can understand that at age 14, 13 in those
24 circumstances it's not surprising at all. So when I was much younger
25 than he was then I knew all the fighter jets and bombers and was a keen
1 reader on a daily basis of the Jane's book of aircraft and the Jane's
2 book of -- so. I'm not surprised. Still, it doesn't mean that he's a
3 military expert and we are not considering him as such.
4 MR. WUBBEN:
5 Q. So, Witness, can I also take it that before the action at a
6 certain time, these thousands of civilians, of refugees, around the area
7 of the place of the action, they were silent, they kept silent?
8 A. Well, I can say where I was, that particular spot, and I can see
9 all thousands around, I know where they were. But you know you know if
10 they kept felt like being silent they would be silent. They were in the
11 hills. Some were silent. Some were not.
12 Q. But they were indeed silent to such a level that action -- the
13 action would benefit from the surprise element, isn't it?
14 A. Not really, because when the action is taking place, when you
15 hear firing and shelling in every direction so what's the point in being
17 Q. No, I'm -- so this is -- this is not an answer to my question.
18 I'm not speaking about when action is taking place. I'm asking you about
19 the phase before the action take place and when -- when those thousands
20 of people were more or less silent to give the fighters the most
21 successful outcome by making use of the element of surprise.
22 A. Well, there were -- there were -- quiet but they were not I can
23 say silent, absolutely not. Because you can hear children running,
24 screaming. You can hear horses, you can hear everything around. It's
25 not so silent.
1 Q. But you were close to those thousands of people, isn't it?
2 A. Yes, I was right there because -- I'm standing right here and 20
3 metres away I can see somebody is, you know, talking or keeping quiet or,
4 you know, whatever they were doing.
5 Q. And place of the action was far away, isn't it?
6 A. The first day when I was in Dimnici, the village, it was, you
7 know, not that far. It was -- to Plice upper [phoen] and Pozlodnik, when
8 I was closer to Bjelovac it was much closer than Dimnici but overall it
9 wasn't that far.
10 Q. How far?
11 A. As the crow flies, probably two, three kilometres.
12 Q. Okay. So if you make a noise like you described, it won't be
13 heard of on a distance -- at a distance of 2 or 3 kilometres, isn't it?
14 A. No, you could not hear.
15 Q. So is it safe also to say that everybody thus cooperated in order
16 to achieve a successful action?
17 A. Absolutely not. Because where I was, you could not hear when we
18 were -- if I was screaming or yelling. But like I said, there is
19 thousands of refugees all over the place so I can't testify whether
20 refugees down close to Pozlodnik or to -- close to Plice on the first day
21 if they were silent or not, if they were screaming or not, if they were
22 yelling or not, if they were running around or not. I'm testifying where
23 I was. On the first day if I was screaming couldn't hear me. With the
24 other refugees, thousands of them all over the place, I can't testify
25 what they were if they were noisy or they were close to battle or quiet.
1 Q. Now, let me move to another issue.
2 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honours, I would like to have private session.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session, please. Madam
5 [Private session]
11 Page 9602 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 9603 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 9604 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 9605 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session, Mr. Wubben.
8 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Yesterday, you testified about an incident during the Kravica
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. A woman had been slapped because she set a house on fire after
13 she took what she wanted.
14 A. That's right. The woman was in the house, took what she wanted,
15 and she set the house on fire and walked the front door and then a
16 fighter slapped her from doing that so.
17 Q. I had not put any question but they will be related so please
18 wait for this information and you will -- you were able to give me an
19 answer. Where in Kravica did that incident occur?
20 A. Around centre part of Kravica.
21 Q. What time of the day was it?
22 A. I would say it was mid-morning, sometimes mid -- toward mid-day.
23 So probably I would say mid- to late morning.
24 Q. How close were you to that woman?
25 A. Probably ten metres.
1 Q. Ten metres. So what made you believe that the woman took what
2 she wanted?
3 A. Because I saw what she had in front of her. She had 25 kilos of
4 flour and a bag of full of stuff that she wanted from the house that she
5 carried out side. She had right next to her.
6 Q. And can you tell me something about that house? What did the
7 house look like?
8 A. It was one storey with -- how would I explain to you in --
9 because basic Bosnian or Balkan house with two -- top -- bottom floor and
10 top floor.
11 Q. And the woman herself, did you know the name of that woman?
12 A. I did not know the woman's name, no.
13 Q. Did you ever saw her before?
14 A. No, I have not.
15 Q. So can you give her a description of her?
16 A. Yes --
17 Q. To the best of your ability?
18 A. I apologise. She was probably mid-age, typical, Bosnian woman.
19 I would say she was anywhere between 35, 40 years old who had those
20 Bosnian dress and thing on her head, like a scarf on her head. And she
21 had like everybody else had -- we wear like I said yesterday I wore the
22 sheet but she didn't have the sheet. She had like a top part was white.
23 Q. And what was her reaction to the slapping by the fighter?
24 A. She screamed back at the fighter and that's about it. Took her
1 Q. What did she scream?
2 A. I don't remember exact same words. It's kind of like -- in kind
3 of way like Go away you idiots, that kind of way. I don't know exactly
4 the wording that she said.
5 Q. And what was your reaction to that?
6 A. Nothing. Looked at it, I kind of felt hate against the fighter
7 and I continue on.
8 Q. Why did you felt hate against the fighter?
9 A. How can anybody slap the poor woman who came there to get to --
10 food for her children for herself, for her family, who was expelled from
11 her own place same as I was, and there is this guy who was going to slap
12 her for taking stuff and burn the house?
13 Q. So she was expelled from the same place as you were. So you knew
15 A. No, I didn't mean exact same village I mean probably same as I
16 was, kind of, expelled from the -- from her place, home, wherever was.
17 Same ways I was, probably.
18 Q. You said you felt hate against the fighter. Did you recognise
19 that fighter who slapped her?
20 A. No, I did not. I did not recognise him at that time.
21 Q. Can you describe the fighter, how he looks like?
22 A. He had a rifle what we call PAP and he had a kind of like a
23 ragged jacket with sweater and dark pants at the bottom and with the
24 rubber boots.
25 Q. And how did you knew he was a fighter?
1 A. Well, it's too obvious, if he's got a weapon his shoulder and his
2 hands to me that's fighter.
3 Q. And did he also wear a kind of ribbon?
4 A. No, there was no ribbons.
5 Q. No ribbons at all?
6 A. No ribbons.
7 Q. Not on the held or shoulder?
8 A. Just average person, like dressed like anybody else would be.
9 The only difference is that he had a gun in his hand.
10 Q. And did the soldier said, this fighter, said anything to you in
12 A. No, he didn't with me. I just saw the incident and I continued
13 walking on. He did not say nothing to me.
14 Q. So you saw the incident, you were a child, 14 years old, among
15 this action, witnessing a fighter slapping an adult.
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. And this fighter didn't explain to you, a child, this unusual
19 A. I was not the only child there. There was much more -- many
20 people my age, many kids my age, many civilians, women, children,
21 everybody else was there. So the soldier or fighter had nothing to do
22 with me. I just saw the incidents and I continued moving on.
23 Q. I will move to another issue.
24 Yesterday you testified about a person --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Wubben. Sorry to interrupt you
1 like this.
2 But you said that this fighter did not have any ribbon, just a
3 rifle, which you also named. How would you have known that he was a
4 Muslim fighter and not a Serbian fighter? How would you have
5 distinguished him?
6 THE WITNESS: Well there is many ways to distinguish, Your
7 Honour. First of all, he was on the same side as civilians who are in
8 the area. If he was a Serbian soldier he would have started shooting
9 everybody around.
10 Secondly, it was very easy to identify between a Serbian soldier
11 and a Muslim soldier. Serbian soldiers got full combat with very
12 sophisticated weapons and then on Muslim side you got a ragged, average
13 man walking around with whatever rifle that can get in their hands with
14 no signs of -- that looked like a soldier.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you ever seen the Muslim fighters in any one
16 of the actions that you were present at, wearing headbands or armbands,
17 coloured --
18 THE WITNESS: No, Your Honour, I have not seen that.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Yes, Mr. Wubben.
20 MR. WUBBEN: Thank, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Bekric, yesterday you testified about a person called Hazim
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. You witnessed that this person made use of resemblance with Naser
1 A. Absolutely.
2 Q. Yesterday you stated that he'd ask for things, making use of that
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. Can you tell me what would people then give to this Hazim
7 A. Whatever he would ask for. If he asked for there is bread in the
8 house he asked for that, if there is brandy, he will ask for that, if
9 there is whatever he want, tobacco, he would ask for that.
10 Q. Can you recall what was the most valuable thing people gave to
12 A. Most valuable thing that they gave to him personally?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. I don't know what was the most valuable but I'm sure if he -- if
15 he asked for something that people had they would give it to him.
16 Q. Give examples of valuable things?
17 A. Well, I don't think that known of us had very valuable things.
18 Q. Bread is valuable, isn't it?
19 A. Bread is very valuable. So when you talk about the food that's a
20 different story. Like I said earlier if he asked for bread, they would
21 give him bread. If you ask for tobacco, they would give him tobacco if
22 they had it. If he asked -- they asked for plum brandy, if he would give
23 him plum brandy if they had it.
24 Q. And why should people give these valuable things to Hazim
1 A. I can't say why they gave to him. So obviously they gave it to
2 because they want to give it to him. I can't say why they gave it to
3 him. He acted that way like he thought he introduced himself like he
4 looked like Naser Oric and he acted in the villages -- I'm Naser Oric
5 give me this. So they gave him. Why they gave it to him I have no idea.
6 Q. There must be a reason to give this person such things upon the
7 simple request, isn't it?
8 A. I'm sure there is reason and if I could find the person that he
9 asked for I would ask him why.
10 Q. But you never ask him?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Was the kind of attention that he liked? Yesterday, you stated
13 that Hazim Omerovic liked the attention; is that correct?
14 A. Well, he -- I'm sure he enjoyed the attention, you know, to act
15 that way.
16 Q. Yeah. Was it a kind of joke for Hazim?
17 A. Well, it was a benefit for Hazim. But there was a joke or not,
18 that's -- no idea. I'm sure he benefit from it he has --
19 Q. Or was it indeed just to get favours or both?
20 A. No idea. I'm sure he enjoyed the benefit he was getting from it.
21 Was the reason I have no clue.
22 Q. Do you yourself think it was funny?
23 A. I don't think it's funny.
24 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, I'm now to the last issue to address in
25 my cross.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: It's up to you. I have got a whole day, as far as
2 I'm concerned.
3 MR. WUBBEN:
4 Q. It's about PTT building in Srebrenica. Yesterday you stated that
5 your residence in Srebrenica was close to the PTT building.
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. It's about a hundred metres from the house.
8 A. If that much, yeah, somewhere there.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: He saw across the road -- a hundred metres across
10 the road from the hospital that's how --
11 MR. WUBBEN: A kind of triangle, then.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah.
13 THE WITNESS: The hospital was right across from PTT building but
14 my house was a little bit to the left, right next to the hospital, to the
15 left-hand side probably a hundred or so metres.
16 MR. WUBBEN:
17 Q. So you saw the PTT building a lot of times during your stay in
19 A. Of course, absolutely.
20 Q. And you were even aware of the PTT building before the war, isn't
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. What was the function of the PTT building?
24 A. Before the war or during the war?
25 Q. During the war.
1 A. Well, we knew -- as civilians that there it was a radio
2 communication in PTT building, what we called one address for the all.
3 So all the people that were in Srebrenica during -- in the refuge and
4 they had families outside Srebrenica they would receive messages to that
5 radio communication. Whatever was in PTT I don't know. And then they
6 would post a message saying family -- loved ones writing message from
7 Tuzla or from the --
8 Q. So it was possible to have contact with the outside world from --
9 from Srebrenica by means of radio communication?
10 A. Well, like I said, only I know that we received messages from the
11 loved one that were outside Srebrenica. How was in the PTT building, how
12 did they received it, I have no idea whether it was a radio or whatever
13 it was.
14 Q. With you the communication was a fact and well known?
15 A. Like I said, I know we received messages but how it was inside I
16 have no idea what kind of communication it was.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Please, Mr. Wubben, I would like to know was this
19 so until you had -- was it still like that until you had the incident on
20 the soccer field or was it different at any different -- at any special
22 THE WITNESS: I do not -- as I can remember, the -- we started
23 receiving messages it was probably late summer and then that I believe
24 went on --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Late summer of 1992, in other words.
1 THE WITNESS: Right, late summer 1992. And it was there until
2 Morillon arrived and then after that the peacekeepers were there in the
3 PTT building. So whatever was there after that, I have no idea.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, Mr. Wubben. I apologise to you
5 for having interrupted you.
6 MR. WUBBEN:
7 Q. Question: Were you aware of any communication directly to
8 Sarajevo and Tuzla from the PTT building?
9 A. Absolutely not.
10 MR. WUBBEN: This finalise my cross.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: How would you know? If there was contact with
12 loved ones living outside Srebrenica, how do you exclude the possibility
13 of contacts with Tuzla and Sarajevo?
14 THE WITNESS: Well, I am here to testify what I know. So if
15 there was communication, it was. If there wasn't it wasn't. I have no
16 idea if it was or not.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: But you didn't say I wouldn't know, I don't know,
18 you said that there wasn't.
19 MR. JONES: Your Honour, he said were you aware and he said
20 absolutely not. Absolutely not, he wasn't aware.
21 THE WITNESS: When he asked me question if I knew about it I said
22 absolutely not.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Any re-examination?
24 MR. JONES: No, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Any questions? Judge Brydensholt is going to ask
1 you a question.
2 Questioned by the Court:
3 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: It is only one question. It is regarding
4 this accident or what you would call it where Mr. Bogilovic shot your
5 police cap off your head. Could you give me a little more detail about
6 that. Do you really mean that he shot with a pistol or something your
7 hat off? Or what is it you are telling us?
8 A. I was in the centre of the town and I was in the apartment trying
9 to find food and clothing and I found some clothes and I found a police
10 cap which I thought was unique, that I saw before the war. I took it I
11 put it on my head. Walked outside in the street and I saw Becir
12 Bogilovic walking up the street with a rifle in his hand. Just put his
13 rifle on his shoulder aimed it and fired right on my head. Knocked it
14 off my head and it flew far away from me. It flew right off my head, so
15 I don't know how far it went, two metres, five metres, ten metres, I
16 don't know.
17 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: So he really shot a hole in this hat or cap?
18 A. A hole right where the star is on the cap, right above it. Like,
19 right there.
20 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: How far was he from you when he shot, when he fired
22 the rifle?
23 A. Anywhere between ten, 20 metres.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge Eser?
25 JUDGE ESER: Mr. Bekric, I also have some questions. Yesterday
1 you have been asked with regard to your knowledge of Naser Oric, and you
2 told us that you did not see him between beginning of the war and the
3 arrival of Morillon. Now, you had seen him before the war, on what
4 occasion? How did you got to know him? How did you recognise him?
5 A. Your Honour, I said yesterday that I knew Naser from before war
6 from my village. He came in my village. In the village you know
7 everybody that lives in it and comes in it and goes through it. So Naser
8 comes in the village or whatever so before the war I knew who he was.
9 JUDGE ESER: That was Voljevica.
10 A. That's right.
11 JUDGE ESER: And do you know where Naser Oric is born?
12 A. Yeah, Naser Oric is from the Potocari area.
13 JUDGE ESER: This is normal, that people move around in those
15 A. That was before war, it was normal to move around villages, yes.
16 JUDGE ESER: Okay. Now, you did not see him between the
17 beginning of the war and the arrival of General Morillon. But did you
18 hear of him, if you did not see him? Perhaps you may have heard of him.
19 A. Yes, Your Honour. I heard from people talking that people from
20 Potocari with Naser having a fierce attacks coming from Bratunac and they
21 are fighting the front line in Potocari, resisting the breakthrough from
22 Zvijezda and from Bratunac.
23 JUDGE ESER: What do you mean with fierce attack? Was he leading
24 a group or --
25 A. Your Honour, the beginning of the war, the -- when the
1 paramilitary -- Arkan's paramilitary came from Bratunac area so that's
2 where people from Potocari stood up to them and then that's where they
3 had front line and that's where there was more vulnerable attacks from
4 Bratunac area and from Zvijezda and/or from the hills around from Caus,
5 shelling was coming towards Potocari. And it was a very main key to
6 Srebrenica to -- for survival of Srebrenica at the breakthrough from
7 Bratunac through Potocari. Then whole Srebrenica would be in crisis.
8 JUDGE ESER: And this incident you talked about, was it the only
9 one where you according to your knowledge, Naser Oric was involved?
10 A. Yeah, people admired Naser Oric because he stood up in beginning
11 of war with the people from Potocari to Arkan's men and that's -- the
12 people from Srebrenica and people from Bratunac knew that Naser's --
13 Naser and people from Potocari were located in Potocari area all through
14 the war.
15 JUDGE ESER: So he was only involved in the fight against Arkan?
16 A. He was involved with the -- anybody who attacked Potocari area
17 from all different directions, from Bratunac, from Zvijezda, from Caus
18 from all different directions. From Glogova area, that part. So whoever
19 attacked that area they were involved defending the Potocari area.
20 JUDGE ESER: Can I conclude from your answer that Naser Oric at
21 least was a leader of a group fighting against certain Serbian people?
22 A. From what I'm saying, from talking to people in Srebrenica, that
23 Naser together with the other men in Potocari were holding front lines
24 that were coming to Bratunac. Whether he was commander at Potocari area,
25 whether he was an average man as everybody else I have no clue, I can't
1 testify to that.
2 JUDGE ESER: If he was a normal fighter as anybody else was, why
3 was it so important to -- for instance for Hazim to be confused with him
4 that people would be impressed if they say, I am Naser Oric? I mean, if
5 he was only a normal soldier, what is impressive of that, when you have
6 thousands of people of this sort.
7 A. Your Honour, Hazim imitated Naser Oric but there was many other
8 men who imitated other leaders and other men who were admired. To me and
9 to other people that I know, Naser is admired as much as any other
10 leaders in Srebrenica who were -- who stood up to Serbian aggression. So
11 it was not specially Naser Oric. There was many people who liked Naser
12 Oric. There was many people who liked Zulfo Tursunovic as much as Naser
13 Oric. This and there were people who admired Hakija Meholjic more than
14 admired Naser Oric. So it's not like just Naser Oric.
15 JUDGE ESER: You told us that you have arrived rather close to
16 Hakija, that you knew him, that you also knew Zulfo who has been a
17 relative of your father, if I remember correctly.
18 A. Distant relative of my father.
19 JUDGE ESER: At any rate, you know Zulfo, you know Hakija. Did
20 you ever hear of any incidents that somebody would say, "I am Hakija, I
21 am Zulfo, please give me this or that"? Did you hear any -- at any time
22 hear of such a thing?
23 A. I did not see personally say Give me this, Give me that but I see
24 many people in Srebrenica imitate leaders like Zulfo the way he was,
25 Hakija Meholjic the way he was, the way Nedzad Bektic was. Many people
1 imitated them.
2 JUDGE ESER: It was very easy to go around and tell I am this or
3 that man and you got whatever you wanted.
4 A. The last part of the question I did not understand, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ESER: So it was very easy in Srebrenica according to what
6 you know, what you know, that you could just go around and walk around
7 Srebrenica and say, I am Hakija, I am Zulfo, I am this or that and you
8 got what you wanted. Is that your answer?
9 A. Yes, Your Honour. In Srebrenica the way it was in Srebrenica
10 everybody did what they wanted, how they wanted, when they wanted. It
11 was no law, it was no -- nothing to prevent, say, don't do this or don't
12 do that. So everybody acted the way they wanted. They dressed the
13 clothes the way they wanted, imitated by what they wanted did what they
15 JUDGE ESER: And did you personally ever attend -- have been
16 present when somebody would -- when Hazim would introduce himself as
17 Naser Oric? Have you ever been present at such an occasion?
18 A. Yes, I was present in Konjevic Polje and Suceska when he
19 introduced himself that way.
20 JUDGE ESER: And you knew it was not Naser Oric who but Hazim who
21 presented himself as Naser Oric?
22 A. Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ESER: And you did not explain to the people that they have
24 mistakenly given something to a man who was in reality not Naser Oric?
25 A. The more you keep quiet the better you off. So everybody did
1 their own business, what they wanted. I kept my own business to myself.
2 JUDGE ESER: No further questions.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I have one question arising out of the last
4 question that Judge Eser.
5 You said you heard this Hazim present himself as Naser Oric and
6 ask for things when you were in Konjevic Polje.
7 A. M'hm.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: If Naser Oric was based in Potocari the way you
9 have described things, he had nothing else to do with the rest of the
10 territory, why on earth would Hazim Omerovic try to obtain whatever,
11 pretending to be Naser Oric in Konjevic Polje?
12 A. Your Honour, I cannot answer that. I have no idea why he acted
13 that way. I'm sure Hazim knew Naser possibly before the war or they met
14 somewhere but I can't testify why he acted that way in Konjevic Polje or
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. In Kravica, when you were in Kravica
17 during the action in Kravica, did you see Naser Oric there?
18 A. No, Your Honour, I have not seen Naser Oric there.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you ever see Naser Oric in any of -- present in
20 any of the actions that you were present for?
21 A. No, Your Honours. Like I said, I only -- the only time I saw
22 Naser was before war and in the PTT building when Morillon came.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you ever see him on a horse?
24 A. No, I have not seen him on a horse.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. That brings --
1 MR. JONES: Your Honour, may I just ask two questions in light of
2 the questions which Your Honours have asked, just two brief questions of
4 Re-examination by Mr. Jones:
5 Q. You were asked about this phenomenon, if you like, of people
6 imitating Nedzad Bektic, Zulfo Tursunovic and others. At this time were
7 there television images or magazines or newspapers which carried pictures
8 of these people so that people who -- knew who they were?
9 A. In Srebrenica there was no magazines, there was no newspapers to
10 carry the pictures.
11 Q. Thank you. And the second question: Were you when you spoke of
12 Naser Oric being in Potocari, were you testifying that he remained in
13 Potocari throughout the whole time and never left Potocari once, or are
14 you testifying that you don't know -- you don't know of his movements
15 over the whole period?
16 A. From talking to people he was in Potocari. Now whether he moved
17 around or not, I have no idea.
18 MR. JONES: All right. Thank you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
20 Mr. Bekric, I must thank you for having come over in spite of
21 everything and give testimony in this case. If it's difficult for other
22 persons, it's more difficult for you. I can quite understand. So please
23 do accept our sense of appreciation, Judge Brydensholt, Judge Eser and
24 myself and our gratitude for your having come over to give testimony in
25 this case.
1 Madam Usher, now as soon as we are all gone, will assist you,
2 together with the rest of the staff, to enable you to return back to your
3 hotel, and then you will receive all the further assistance that you
4 require to facilitate your return back home from where you came from.
5 My last message to you is on behalf of everyone present here and
6 that is to wish you a safe journey back home.
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honours, ladies and
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Jones, before we leave, it's okay.
10 I know that the sitting ends here and we will not be sitting at 1.00.
11 However I wanted you to know that I had every intention to ask everyone
12 here to observe a two minute silence at 1.00 in remembrance of the
13 events, the unfortunate events, that took place in London last week.
14 Please I want you to know that we will be observing two minutes silence
15 in our respective chambers.
16 MR. JONES: That's very kind. I appreciate that, Your Honour.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 10.00 a.m.