1 Monday, 29 August 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Could you call the case, please, Madam
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
8 number IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam and good morning to you, too.
10 Mr. Oric, good morning to you. Can you follow the proceedings in
11 your mother tongue?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. Yes, I
13 can indeed following the proceeding in my own mother tongue.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You may be seated.
15 Appearances for the Prosecution?
16 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours and also good morning to
17 the learned friends of the Defence. My name is Jan Wubben, lead counsel
18 for the Prosecution. I'm here together with co-counsel, Mr.
19 Gramsci 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. I'm
23 Vasvija Vidovic, together with Mr. John Jones, we represent Mr. Oric. We
24 are here together with our legal assistant, Mrs. Adisa Mehic and our case
25 manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you and good morning to you and your team.
2 As you would have certainly noticed already, we are missing Judge
3 Eser as well today, again today. The reason is that the personal family
4 problem that he is encountering at the moment encountered some slight
5 complications over the weekend, and after consultation with me and of
6 course with Judge Brydensholt as well, yesterday I told him to stay at
7 home, and we will see how the situation unfolds on a daily basis. There
8 is a likelihood that he will turn up in the course of this week but I have
9 strongly advised him against it, which would put us in the position where
10 we would have to sit without him for the rest of this week, Friday
11 excluded because we are not going to sit on Friday if we manage to finish
12 with the two. We also agreed that he will be following the proceedings
13 from home and the agreement is to make sure that your client is not in any
14 way prejudiced that, if at any time he would wish to have this witness and
15 the next one recalled for some questions by him, we will do that.
16 Alternatively, if you would like us to put some questions to the two
17 witnesses on his behalf, we will do that.
18 I'm not saying that he will not turn up this week but if he asks
19 for my advice I'm going to advise him to stay where he is and tend to his
21 I hope you understand and that you are cooperative in this. I can
22 assure you it's not something that we like but it's something that we can
23 hardly avoid. He also insists that we go ahead without him if I insist
24 that he stays at home.
25 All right? That is the position. So we will be sitting today
1 pursuant to Rule 15 bis with which you are familiar, and we will continue
2 to sit until he returns but, of course, not beyond the statutory or the
3 period established by the rules. So that's the position.
4 Any comments on your part?
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. We do understand
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I can assure you it's not a slight problem.
8 Otherwise we would have dealt with it in a different manner. Mr. Wubben
9 you don't have a problem?
10 MR. WUBBEN: No problem.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So, that having been said, that being
12 said, are there any preliminaries?
13 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Vidovic?
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just a minor issue. I
16 was advised by my doctors today, or rather during the summer, that if I
17 sit for a long time, I might have a crisis and if we need to cross-examine
18 the witnesses for a long time I would like to be able to be allowed to
20 Actually, correction: If I stand for a long time I would have a
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I have already told you before that that is not a
23 problem. Don't even need to remind us, Madam Vidovic. Please make
24 yourself comfortable because there is no sense trying to be formalistic
25 when it hurts. So.
1 Any further.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So let's bring the witness in, and we
4 keep our fingers crossed.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ramic, good morning to you. Welcome to this
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: You may have noticed that I'm speaking in the
10 English language and what I'm saying is being simultaneously translated
11 into French and into your own language. I want to make sure first and
12 foremost that you are receiving the translation, the interpretation, in
13 your language or in a language that you understand.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: And that it is loud and clear enough.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: If at any time the reception is impaired, if it's
18 not reaching you or if the sound level is too low or too high, please draw
19 our attention straight away and we will rectify the problem.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome once more. You are about to start giving
22 evidence as one of the witnesses summoned by the accused, Naser Oric, in
23 this case. And our Rules require that before you start your evidence, you
24 enter a solemn declaration, in the sense that in the course of your
25 testimony you will be speaking the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
1 the truth. It's the equivalent of an oath in several domestic
2 jurisdictions. Madam Usher, who is standing to your right, will be giving
3 you the text of this solemn declaration. Please read it out loud and that
4 will be your solemn undertaking with us that you will be testifying the
6 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
7 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 WITNESS: OMER RAMIC
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down, make yourself
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I'll try to explain to you what's going to happen.
14 First of all let me introduce myself I'm the Presiding Judge, my name is
15 Carmel Agius and I come from the Mediterranean island of Malta. To my
16 right I have Judge Brydensholt from the Kingdom of Denmark. Usually to my
17 left I have Judge Professor Albin Eser from German but he couldn't be with
18 us today because of urgent personal matters and therefore we are going to
19 sit with two judges only. To your right there is the Prosecution team and
20 to your left there is the Defence team.
21 Since you have been summoned by the Defence, you are first going
22 to be examined by being required to answer a number of questions by a
23 member of the Defence team. Who is it going to be? Madam Vidovic, who I
24 suppose you have already met. When her examination-in-chief is finished,
25 then you will be cross-examined by Mr. Jan Wubben who is the lead counsel
1 for the Prosecution in this case.
2 Your duty in terms of our Rules and also -- and particularly so --
3 in terms and pursuant to your solemn declaration is to answer all
4 questions truthfully and to the best of your ability irrespective of who
5 is putting the question to you. In other words, you do not have a right
6 to draw a distinction between questions that are being put to you by the
7 Defence and questions which are being put to you by the Prosecution. You
8 are to treat them the same and provide us with a truthful and a
9 comprehensive answer.
10 My last advice to you before we start is, if you want to go home
11 according to schedule, please try to answer the questions that are put to
12 you, the whole question and nothing but the question. Don't try to give
13 us more information than you are asked in any particular question because
14 that would mean you staying here for days and days and days.
15 Madam Vidovic will go first.
16 Examined by Ms. Vidovic:
17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ramic.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. Before I move on to the cross-examination [as interpreted], since
20 we both speak the same language, let me point out to you that it is
21 necessary for you to allow for a slight break between my question and your
22 answer in order to make sure that the interpreters have enough time to
23 interpret both the question and the answer.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in the course of these
2 questions, I am going to lead the witness when it comes to his personal
3 data, if you allow me.
4 Q. Mr. Ramic, you were born in the village of Poznanovici on the 7th
5 of April 1961, actually in a hamlet called Podkorjen?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Your father is Adem and your mother is Dila?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Your mother's maiden name is Malkic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You finished primary school at Fakovici in 1976?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thereupon you finished grammar school at Srebrenica in 1981?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You did your military service on the island of Lastovo in the then
16 Socialist Republic of Croatia in the infantry in 1981; is it correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You graduated from the faculty of philosophy at Tuzla Technical
19 and Information Department and you graduated in 1999 -- 1989?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. After finishing grammar school, you worked at the factory of
22 Akumulator at Potocari as a technical controller where you stayed until
23 1983, or rather between 1983 and August 1985?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. At the same time, you pursued your studies; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. After you left your job at the said factory in 1985, you opened
3 your own shop in the place called Podkorijen-Poznanovici, which you kept
4 until the outbreak of war?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Today, you work in the sector of education. You teach at
7 information technology at the first primary school of Zivinice?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You spent the war years at Podkorjen and Srebrenica itself?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. After the fall of Srebrenica, you, together with a group of other
12 people, were taken prisoner on the 22nd of July 1995 and you went -- you
13 have been to two Serb camps, more specifically Karakaj, Zvornik, and
14 Batkovic, near Bijeljina, and that's where you had a very hard time and
15 you did not even want to discuss that period of time with me. You didn't
16 want to remember it; is that correct?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. After the fall of Srebrenica, in 1995, your father was taken
19 prisoner and he was killed at Kozluk. Your uncle and his sons were also
20 killed as well as your mother's brothers and as well as many other male
21 relatives, including three of your wife's brothers; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Mr. Ramic, I am going to show you a map of the area of Srebrenica
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please circulate the
1 map. And if we could have a copy of the map shown to the witness, and it
2 is now going to be easier for us to follow his testimony.
3 Q. Mr. Ramic, you've got the map on the ELMO? It's to your left.
4 Could you turn to your left, please? Mr. Ramic, I would like to ask you
5 first of all to show me your own village, Poznanovici, or rather in your
6 hamlet Podkorjen on the map, and can you put a circle around it on the
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be given a pen?
9 Q. Podkorjen. Thank you very much. I would like to ask you now to
10 tell the Trial Chamber what villages are situated in this part of the area
11 east of Srebrenica in relative proximity of your village. Can you do
13 A. Yes. Next to my village, Podkorjen, or rather this is a part of
14 the Poznici [phoen] area, but there are two other villages there, Dedici
15 and Karici.
16 Q. Can you, Mr. Ramic, show us where approximately would Dedici and
17 Karici be since we are talking about tiny villages that are not marked on
18 the map? But could you perhaps mark the approximate position by an X
20 A. Well, this is Poznanovici and between Poznanovic and here there is
21 Dedici and then Donji Karici, lower Karici.
22 Q. Yes, thank you?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: So for the record, the witness has encircled the two
24 villages of Podkorjen and Poznanovici, and, in between, he has marked on
25 the map, which is being given Defence Exhibit number D7 --
1 THE REGISTRAR: D721.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: 721, two crosses. The one at the left, that is the
3 one nearest -- nearer to the village of Podkorjen is the village of
4 Dedici, and the other X or cross is the village of Karici. Yes. Go
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. I would like to ask you now, sir, to show to the Trial Chamber the
8 other Muslim villages, such as Osmace, if that indeed is a Muslim village?
9 A. Yes, we have Osmace and Derovskis [phoen], Stozersko, et cetera.
10 I'm going to show you Osmace now. This is Osmace.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. For the record, the witness encircles the
12 village of Osmace on the map. Thank you.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Could you show us the village of Skenderovici, sir?
15 A. Yes, this is Skenderovici.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: And for the record the witness encircles the village
17 of Skenderovici on the map, D721.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And the Muslim villages belonging to
19 the area of Skenderovici are Dimnici, Stozersko, and Subin.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So, and for the record, the witness also encircles
21 the villages of Dimnici, Stozersko, and Subin.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Could you show the Trial Chamber the village of Mocevici, and
24 could you tell us if that too is a Muslim village?
25 A. Yes, Mocevici that's also a Muslim village.
1 Q. And what about Brezovica, is it a Muslim village too?
2 A. Yes, it is, Brezovica is over here. Just let me find it. Kulici
3 as well. That is a village that was a part of the Brezovica area, and
4 then Lokve.
5 Q. And can you see Brezovica itself?
6 A. Yeah. Here we have Brezovica. This was the name of the entire
7 area, so it's in italics.
8 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Ramic.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness encircles on the map the area denoted as
10 Brezovica and the villages of Lokva and Kulici. Yes.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Ramic, I would like to ask you now to show us the villages
13 that used to be inhabited by the Serb population before the war in that
15 A. I can tell you that the Serb villages were Ratkovici, Dvorista,
16 Ducici, Polinci, Kaludra, Grujcici, Stanatovici, Tanesavici [phoen],
17 Magdovici, Oparci, Spat, Pribicevac, Brezani, Turija.
18 Q. Could you underline the names of those villages for us?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... can you give
20 him a different colour, please?
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... distinguishes
23 itself. Yes.
24 Mr. Ramic, as you mark or encircle these places, could you please
25 repeat the name of each village and one after the other? All right?
1 Thank you. Go ahead. You mark on the map the villages that were
2 predominantly inhabited by Serbian or ... Ratkovici?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We have the village of Ratkovici
4 here. Dvorista, Ducici, Polinci, Magdovici, Oparci, Vranesevici, Kaludra,
5 Obarak, Grujcici, then to the east we have Seona, Popovici, Mlecva, and
7 Q. Stanatovici?
8 A. Yes, Stanatovici.
9 Q. You mentioned Spat earlier?
10 A. Yes. Now, we will see Spat. Just one moment.
11 Q. Below you have Pribicevac?
12 A. Pribicevac, yes, we have Turija, Brezani. These are villages that
13 are close to the Muslim villages.
14 Q. Mr. Ramic, at the top of the map, in this white area, could you
15 please write down your initials? Thank you. And can you keep the map?
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we will be needing the
17 map later so can the map stay in front of the witness? We will go back to
18 the map later.
19 Q. Witness, please, I'm going to ask you now, can you explain to the
20 Trial Chamber how far is it from Poznanovici to Ratkovici?
21 A. The distance is about three and a half kilometres as the crow
23 Q. So if you go along the road, it's about three and a half
25 A. If you go along the road but as the crow flies it's very close.
1 Q. Thank you very much. Could you please now explain to the Trial
2 Chamber the configuration of the terrain on one side from Ratkovici,
3 Ducici and Palimac [phoen], and on the other side, Dedici, Poznanovici,
4 and Karovici [phoen], whereby you can use the map if you think that that
5 will assist you?
6 A. On the map here, there is this white area between Poznanovici and
7 Ratkovici which indicates that these are elevations. From these
8 elevations, we could see Serb villages of Ratkovici on one side and then
9 on the other side we can see Poznanovici.
10 Q. Thank you very much. If someone were to claim that the Muslim
11 villages in that area, and I'm thinking of Poznanovici, Dedici, and
12 Podkorjen, were at an elevation in relation to the Serb villages that are
13 in the valley, would that be true?
14 A. No, it would not.
15 Q. Actually, what is the position of the villages?
16 A. The position of the Serb villages, Ratkovici and Poznanovici,
17 actually they are at one altitude. When you climb up to an elevation, you
18 can both see Serb and Muslim villages. So no villages are higher than
19 some other villages.
20 Q. In other words, if I understood you properly, what you are saying
21 is that they are more or less at the same altitude above sea level?
22 A. Yes, that is true.
23 Q. Well, we will go back to this detail when we use the map again.
24 But now I want to ask you something else. Mr. Ramic, before the
25 conflict broke out in the spring of 1992, was this a quiet, peaceful area?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. How long before the war did you have your shop that you mentioned?
3 A. Two years.
4 Q. When you were selling the items in your shop, did you have
5 contacts with a lot of people?
6 A. Yes. The citizens of all the Serb villages would come to my shop,
7 including Ratkovici and Poznanovici.
8 Q. Thank you. Before the war broke out in 1992, were there any
9 nationalist excesses amongst the Muslim population in this area?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Were there any such incidents amongst the Serb population in the
12 period from 1990 onwards?
13 A. Yes. With the arrival of Slobodan Milosevic, they carried the
14 photograph of Slobodan Milosevic and glorified Serb-hood.
15 Q. Did you, in the course of 1990, have any knowledge about whether
16 anybody was arming themselves in your area?
17 A. Yes. When the Serb and Muslim population came to my shop, there
18 was a lot of talk or there was often talk that Serbs were arming
20 Q. Did the Serbs conceal the fact that they were arming themselves?
21 A. Yes, they did, but there were some situations where information
22 came out that they were arming themselves. There was even a silly
23 situation when a Serb came to my shop and asked me, "Are you issuing
24 weapons?" And I said, "Well, who is issuing weapons?" And he said, "The
25 army," probably thinking of the Yugoslav People's Army.
1 Q. When you found out that Serbs in the Ratkovici area were arming
2 themselves, was that something that worried you?
3 A. Yes, it did worry us. However, I and many other inhabitants in
4 the area thought that there would be no war.
5 Q. In the course of 1991, did you hear about any incidents in the
6 area of Bratunac and Srebrenica?
7 A. Yes. In September 1991, on the Bratunac-Kravica road at the
8 Kajici settlement, two Muslims were killed in an ambush as they were
9 driving along in their car. That day, I had the opportunity to find that
10 out because I was travelling on the same road to Tuzla so the police
11 informed me what happened and that I couldn't actually pass along that
13 Q. Was the Muslim population frightened by this incident?
14 A. Yes. The Muslim population was concerned, and they thought that
15 something terrible was going to happen.
16 Q. After that event, did you use this road through Kravica at all?
17 A. No, because we were afraid. The road to Tuzla via Kravica was
18 avoided by the Muslim population. They used detours. They used macadam
20 Q. Mr. Ramic, did this incident increase the tensions in that whole
21 Podrinje region?
22 A. Yes. The tensions were higher in that whole region, in that
23 period, yes. People were afraid.
24 Q. And what was the conduct of the media in late 1991 and early 1992
25 until the war broke out, based on what you could hear?
1 A. In my area of Poznanovici there was information making the rounds.
2 We were covered by Television Belgrade signals. It was not so easy to
3 hear or see Sarajevo programmes. So there was a lot of information from
4 Belgrade that in that area, in Poznanovic and Osmace, there were a lot of
5 Green Berets, that there was a concentration of Green Berets, and that in
6 that area there were even some 5.000 Green Berets.
7 Q. And what was actually the truth?
8 A. The truth was that in our Poznanovici, we only had five or six
9 hunting rifles, some pistols.
10 Q. Was there any kind of military formation present there? Were
11 there any Green Berets there?
12 A. No. There were no military formations at all.
13 Q. And how did the Serb population react to this kind of information?
14 A. They kept asking us were there any Green Berets and where were
15 they. And we kept telling them that there was no military formation at
16 all in our area. There could be no talk of that.
17 Q. You, from the village of Poznanovici, including your Podkorjen,
18 did you tell anything to the Serbs about this concern of theirs about the
19 Green Berets?
20 A. Yes. We proposed to hold joint village guards to convince them
21 that there were no military formations at all in our villages.
22 Q. Thank you. And did you agree to set up these joint guards?
23 A. Yes. We agreed to set up joint guards. I mentioned that place on
24 the map, it was a place called Stub A.
25 Q. Could you please show the Trial Chamber again where Stub A is?
1 This area, is this an area that you are calling Stub A, is there such an
2 area, Mr. Ramic?
3 A. Yes, it's an elevation.
4 Q. Could you show the Trial Chamber, if you can, where this elevation
6 A. I'm going to circle that place.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Just one moment, Madam Vidovic. For the record, the
8 witness marks a dark circle, small, dark circle in green, above the circle
9 around the village of Poznanovici, and indicates this as the area known as
10 Stub A. Yes. Madam Vidovic.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Ramic, could you please tell us what you could see from Stub
13 A, if you could see anything at all?
14 A. Well, you could see the Serb villages of Ratkovici and
15 Poznanovici, and also the access road from Osmace from that place.
16 Q. Thank you very much. How much time did these joint guard duties
18 A. For two nights, two days, two nights.
19 Q. Could you please explain to the Trial Chamber why this went on for
20 only two days and two nights?
21 A. The conclusion that I reached, and others who were on guard duty
22 with me, was that they only came for two nights to the joint guard duty in
23 order to see what kind of weapons we had available.
24 Q. Thank you. When you came to this joint guard duty, were they
1 A. Yes. They had automatic weapons, and of the three of them, one of
2 them even had a machine-gun, while we only had hunting rifles.
3 Q. Except for these three men, did you notice any other men nearby?
4 A. Yes. In the background, actually behind us, not too far from us,
5 I noticed that there were many other armed and uniformed Serb soldiers.
6 Q. Were they behind you or behind these three Serbs who had come to
7 be on guard duty with you?
8 A. They were completely behind us.
9 Q. These people who came for the guard duty, the Serbs, did they have
11 A. Yes. They had olive drab uniforms.
12 Q. Mr. Ramic, did you know any of these people who came for guard
13 duty that night? I'm thinking of the Serbs.
14 A. Yes. I knew Blagoje Prodanovic from Ratkovici.
15 Q. In your assessment, what kind of a neighbour was he?
16 A. Compared to the others, I could see that he was trying to maintain
17 good relations between us, that he was better than the others.
18 Q. Did you talk to him and, if you did, when did you talk to him?
19 A. We talked on the second night, during the guard duty. That was
20 when we talked. We discussed weapons and he told us that they were issued
21 weapons at the Ruljevici elementary school, Ruljevici or Vranesevici, that
22 they had had training down there and that he did not want to wage war
23 against the Muslims. I had the impression that he was intoxicated and
24 that at one point he even gave us his automatic rifle because when he saw
25 that we only had hunting weapons, he gave it to us so that we could defend
1 ourselves. He didn't want to wage war against us.
2 Q. Mr. Ramic, can you remember when was this, which month was this,
3 in 1992?
4 A. This was April.
5 Q. Thank you. You said that he told you here is a rifle so that you
6 can defend yourselves, did any of the other Serbs react to that? Can you
7 tell us what happened?
8 A. Yes. Since they heard that Blagoje said that somebody from the
9 background, one of those Serb soldiers that I was talking about, uncocked
10 their rifle and said that the guards should disband, that they would be
11 going to Ratkovici -- we would be going to Ratkovici, they would be going
12 to Poznanovici, and that there would be no more guard duty so that Blagoje
13 also had to go.
14 Q. Thank you. Did you know Milenko Zivanovic before the war and his
16 A. Yes, I knew General Milenko Zivanovic and his family well.
17 Q. How did you come to know him?
18 A. Milenko Zivanovic was born in Ratkovici, the hamlet of Ratkovici,
19 which is part of the village of Ducici. Here on the map you can see where
20 Ducici is. That's where he grew up. He was our next-door neighbour in
21 Podkorjen. The distance between Podkorjen and Ducici is about three
23 Q. Thank you. Before the war, did Milenko Zivanovic keep company
24 with any of the Muslims from Podkorjen?
25 A. Yes. He had a best man Adem Osmanovic in Podkorjen, and he would
1 see him often and he also would visit Mehmed Osmanovic, Efendija.
2 Q. Did you know that he was an officers of the JNA before the war?
3 A. Yes, we knew that he was a senior officer in the JNA.
4 Q. Did he come to the Ratkovici area and the Poznanovici area at some
5 time, maybe a few months before the war?
6 A. Yes. He came several times in late 1991.
7 Q. Did you personally see him in that period and, if you did, when
8 was that?
9 A. It was in 1991, late 1991, it was winter. I remember he talked to
10 me in the shop. My shop was actually in my house. So we had this
11 conversation. I and General Milenko Zivanovic.
12 Q. Just one moment. And what did he tell you, then?
13 A. General Zivanovic told me then, "Look, see what the nationalist
14 parties did. They've caused quarrels amongst the people. They've created
15 this war. The army will not allow them to make war." I guess that he was
16 thinks about the officers of the JNA, and I confirmed that. I said that
17 this is something that should not happen and that these Serb and Muslim
18 villages were always on good terms, in good relations, and that there
19 should be no escalation of the conflict in this area. It shouldn't
21 Q. During that conversation in your shop, did you notice anything
22 characteristic about his conduct?
23 A. When he came into the shop and he was looking at all the items, he
24 kept looking at the counters in the shop and he was trying to see if he
25 would see any weapons anywhere. I understood that he was looking for
1 weapons because in that area there was a lot of talk about weapons.
2 Unfortunately, I didn't have anything else other than the legal pistol
3 that I had.
4 Q. Thank you. Do you remember if anything happened in the course of
5 February, March, and April, 1992, in Ducici and Ratkovici, if anything did
7 A. Several times, helicopters landed in the Serbian villages of
8 Ratkovici and Ducici, and I actually saw one of these helicopters landing
9 into the village of Ducici. I watched it.
10 Q. Did you ever find out why these helicopters were landing?
11 A. My neighbour, Mehmed Mehanovic, told me that at that time he was
12 not too far from that helicopter in the woods. He was doing something.
13 And then he saw that weapons were being unloaded from the helicopter,
14 machine-guns, mortars, rifles, and ammunition.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, could you tell us whether these
16 helicopters had any particular markings on them that would make them
17 distinguishable from other helicopters of the same make?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's interesting, and
19 I can say that today, because I saw that. They did have markings but
20 those helicopters that did have the markings, that seemed to be just a
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. The question of the Judges was what kind of markings did they
25 A. Yes. They had markings by the Red Cross.
1 Q. Thank you. Did you talk to any of the Serbs about this?
2 A. Yes. I talked with Blagoje Prodanovic. I mentioned earlier that
3 he said that they were arming themselves, that they were getting weapons
4 at the Huljevic [phoen] or Njesevic [phoen] elementary school and that
5 that was where they were going to for training.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the Court Usher now show the
8 witness Defence Exhibit D690? Pages 175 to 177. This is a book by
9 Mr. Ibisevic, and these are pages 24 and 25 in English of the chapter
11 JUDGE AGIUS: This is what -- I'm sorry to interrupt you again,
12 Madam Vidovic, but this is what I meant last time by trying to suggest to
13 you to try and eliminate as much as possible cross-references because this
14 document now it seems we have it twice. One is a Prosecution exhibit,
15 which we received last week from Mr. Wubben or from the Prosecution anyway
16 and which we gave a new exhibit number, and one is from the Defence, which
17 is already marked as D690. I am not in a position, because I'm not an
18 expert in this, to ensure that the two translations are identical. So I
19 am just alerting you to this problem.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what we agreed,
21 Mr. Wubben and I, is that I will check the translation that they provided,
22 and it's not a problem to use -- for us to use the P exhibit, but we do
23 need a little bit of time. And I apologise but I really have to use this
24 document today.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed with 690 for the time being. If
1 either of you detect any differences in the relevant parts, in the
2 translation of the relevant parts, please draw our attention. We'll try
3 and do the same exercise ourselves as well. But it's important for you to
4 keep this in mind. All right? Let's proceed. Thank you. Yes.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Ramic, could you please look at page 175 and 176? I'm going
7 to read out two small parts to you. "Semso Jusic, member of the municipal
8 assembly of the village of Poznanovici told me that there had been
9 shooting above his village the night before. The Bosniaks of Poznanovici
10 spent the night in the open guarding their village. He also informed me
11 that the Serbs from Fakovici had a store of weapons and ammunition stashed
12 in an abandoned schoolhouse near the village of Ruljevici, the
13 municipality of Bratunac. The Serbs had received the arms from the JNA.
14 Some Bosniaks had seen military lorries arriving in a village earlier. I
15 promised Semso that I would personally go to Ruljevici and check whether
16 these claims about the weapons were true because the Bosnians knew the
18 I would just like to draw your attention that this event was noted
19 down in Mr. Ibisevic's diary as Friday, the 3rd of April 1992. Another
20 part in the Bosnian version I'm going to read, the author states, "I am
21 Besim Ibisevic, chairman of the municipal assembly of the -- of
22 Srebrenica, and I was sent here by the National Defence Council to check
23 what is being kept in this building. We want to know whether there are
24 any weapons there and paramilitary units and we have to report about this
25 to the people in our municipality. Every night there is shooting from
1 here in the direction of Poznanovici and people are disturbed. One of the
2 guards replied that there were no paramilitaries there and that they were
3 only guarding weapons in the school house. To my question where they
4 could -- whether we could personally look at the weapons, we were told
5 that we could not. We have told you ourselves that there are weapons
6 here, but it doesn't matter how much."
7 Mr. Ramic, my question to you is as follows: Do you know
8 Mr. Semso Jusic from the village of Poznanovici?
9 A. Yes. That is my cousin and he was a deputy in the municipal
10 assembly of Srebrenica in that period.
11 Q. Do you remember that period, that is to say the beginning of April
12 1992, do you remember whether at that time you Muslims from the area of
13 Poznanovic talked to Mr. Jusic about the arming of the Serbs?
14 A. Yes, We did, and we suggested he informs the municipality of the
15 municipal assembly of Srebrenica about those events as a matter of
17 Q. Did these events, this shooting, have to do with some villagers
18 from your area?
19 A. Yes, our village of Poznanovici, the inhabitants had had to leave
20 their houses on a number of occasions and they had to spend the night in
21 the forest.
22 Q. What I mean is the shooting with regard to the Serb villages that
23 it was coming from?
24 A. It used to come from the village of Ratkovici.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment, Ms. -- the first -- for the record,
1 because you mentioned page 17 something or whatever, but for the record in
2 our English version of the D690, the first excerpt that you read out to
3 the witness is contained in the entry for Friday, the 3rd of April 1992,
4 on page 24 of the English text. The second one, I haven't managed to find
5 as yet. If you could give me -- is it the same date or is it a different
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the second excerpt is
8 on page 25 in the English text.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And the second aspect -- second excerpt
10 is in the -- roughly in the middle of the second paragraph on page 25 of
11 the English text, that is Exhibit -- Defence Exhibit D690. Yes. In the
12 middle of the paragraph starting with, "I am Besim Ibisevic, chairman of
13 the municipal assembly." Yes, thank you. Do you want --
14 MR. DI FAZIO: I think we are okay.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's have the break now, please, 25 minutes.
16 --- Break taken at 10.05 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.38 a.m.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sellers?
19 MS. SELLERS: Good morning, Your Honours. I would like to state
20 on behalf of the Prosecution that Mr. Wubben has been advised to return
21 home by a doctor. It appears that he has a viral infection and stands the
22 possibility of being out of court for the next two or three days. I've
23 informally informed the Defence of that situation but now I would like to
24 just bring it to the attention of the court.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you for that information, Ms. Sellers. Only
1 thing I want to know is the following - and, of course, you will find us
2 cooperative as we always try to be - that at the beginning of the sitting
3 I asked who was going to take over the witness for cross-examination and
4 it was going to be Mr. Wubben. So I suppose you won't finish -- you will
5 finish your examination-in-chief today, no? Madam Vidovic? Or you plan
6 to at least.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am going to try and
8 finish the examination-in-chief by all means today.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So let's agree on this: That I would suppose
10 your cross-examination was not intended to last more than a sitting.
11 MS. SELLERS: No, it wasn't, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So do you think either of you or whoever, because of
13 course I cannot decide for you, would be in a position to take over the
14 witness for cross-examination tomorrow many?
15 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honour, we will take over the
16 cross-examination of the witness done by Mr. Wubben. There is a
17 possibility, as I expressed to the Defence, that we might ask nor a slight
18 delay of an hour, if necessary, to gather any other material, but we will
19 try our best to stay within the time frame.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: If you encounter difficulties then obviously you
21 draw our attention to that and we will react in a rational way, I would
22 imagine. I mean -- yes, Madam Vidovic.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, what I asked of
24 Mrs. Sellers was to take account of the fact that this witness has been
25 here for a while. He's been in The Hague for 11 days already and he asked
1 us to do all we could to make sure that he can return home as soon as
2 possible because he has his other obligations to attend to and he also
3 doesn't feel all that comfortable here. He has difficulty sleeping. So
4 we would like to ask the Prosecution team to maybe take this into
5 consideration and if they manage to do so we could have another witness
6 here before Friday. So if they can possibly get organised in such a way
7 as to finish tomorrow it would be very helpful.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Who was going to take on the part of the Prosecution
9 the next witness, not this one, the next one.
10 MS. SELLERS: Ms. Richardson will be taking the next witness.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, okay. So that is not a problem either.
12 All right, let's move, let's not waste or lose more time. If you are in a
13 position to start tomorrow, then we go ahead. If you're not in a position
14 we send the witness home.
15 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, we do intend to start tomorrow. I
16 think that any rescheduling would be extremely minimum. We would try to
17 accommodate both the witness and the Defence.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thanks. So Madam Vidovic, and I'm
19 keeping my fingers crossed. I'll ask someone to come and bless the
21 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Ramic, we talked a short while ago about a part of this book
24 by Mr. Ibisevic in this respect, and we stopped halfway as it were. So in
25 relation to that I would like to put the following question to you: Is it
1 correct that you noticed the arrival of military trucks to Ruljevici and
2 that weapons were being unloaded from those trucks as it says in the book?
3 A. Yes, it is quite true. In my conversation with Semso and some
4 other people present we talked about those weapons and we knew that and
5 people were talking about their arrival of those military trucks to
7 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that what is stated in this part of the
8 book, that is to say the fact that the locals in Poznanovici heard some
9 shooting, I mean you've already confirmed that, but how do you know that
10 those shots were being fired from Ratkovici?
11 A. Well, we knew that because there were some boys who went to the
12 hills above and there were following the situation on a daily basis. They
13 were observing what was going on and they knew exactly that the shooting
14 came from Ratkovici.
15 Q. Did they tell you about that in person?
16 A. Yes, they did.
17 Q. Thank you. Mr. Ramic, do you recollect any other event in the
18 course of that period between the end of March and the beginning of April
19 1992 in your area?
20 A. Yes. After that shooting, which was something that we experienced
21 on a daily basis, at a certain point I found out that not far away from
22 us, in Fakovici, Mr. Kadrija who was a well-respected intellectual and
23 Muslim went missing and he was taken in the direction of Zljebac and then
24 all trace of him was lost and we still don't know what happened to him.
25 Q. Thank you. Does the name Ognjen Markovic mean anything to you?
1 A. Yes. That's the son of Andrija Markovic from Fakovici. I knew
2 him and his family.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please, Madam Vidovic slow down because I can
4 sense that it's becoming difficult for the interpreters to catch up with
5 you. Thank you.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Ramic, may I ask you once again to make sure that you allow
8 for a short break after my question and then you answer.
9 Now I'm going to ask you the following question: How do you
10 remember Ognjen Markovic from that particular period of time? What do you
11 remember about him?
12 A. Well, after that shooting that we complained about to the
13 municipal assembly, Ognjen Markovic, called Bato, came to Poznanovici with
14 another four Serb soldiers and they were armed, heavily armed, and they
15 came to our village, and he went to see the teacher, Mr. Dzevad, and at
16 that time he was asking around about whether any of the Muslims had taken
17 any weapons, who was the leader of the SDS party, whether anyone was
18 cutting down any trees from the woods, and he was acting like he owned the
20 Q. Did you discuss this with Mr. Dzevad Malkic?
21 A. Yes. I talked about it with Dzevad Malkic straight away and he
22 told me that Bato asked him to tell him about who had gotten weapons and
23 then he answered.
24 Q. Thank you. As to Ognjen Markovic's behaviour, what about the
25 elderly people? Did they give you any advice, the elders from your
1 village, did they give you any advice about that?
2 A. Yes. The elders did give us some advice because they knew exactly
3 that it was just a provocation in order to provoke a conflict and they
4 told us not to be provoked and not to give them any reason to engage in
6 Q. And did you give them any such reason?
7 A. No. Not -- none at the time, even though Markovic at that time
8 went on to Ratkovici and then he came back through our village and went to
10 Q. Thank you. Mr. Ramic, do you remember what went on after Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina was internationally recognised, what went on in that
12 particular area?
13 A. The situation worsened. It was a very difficult situation. We
14 were faced with lots of refugees coming from those border areas. I mean,
15 we already knew what was happening in the area of Bijeljina, Zvornik and
16 Bratunac so it was quite clear to us what was going on.
17 Q. Where the first refugees start coming from?
18 A. The first refugees started coming from the area of Skelani,
19 Dobraka [phoen], Klijesce, and the other villages around Skelani, the
20 closest villages to us, along the River Drina.
21 Q. Those were Muslims villages?
22 A. Yes, those were Muslim villages, that's what we are talking about.
23 Q. Did they tell you about what happened to him in April and in the
24 beginning of May 1992?
25 A. Yes. They told horrible tales about murder, rape, and the entire
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 families being torched alive in their houses or killed off altogether and
2 I remember a woman called Zehra from Podkorjen, apparently she was killed
3 together with her two sons who were just children.
4 Q. Please, can you tell me about how many refugees arrived at your
5 house, just to your house? Could you tell the Trial Chamber?
6 A. Yes. Very many refugees arrived from the Skelani villages to our
7 area, all along the river of Drina. And there were more than 30 refugees
8 in my house alone, plus eight members of my own family.
9 Q. And how big was your house?
10 A. Seven by eight.
11 Q. So 56 square metres.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Mr. Ramic if someone were to claim that those Muslims from Skelani
14 villages left their homes and their properties of their own volition,
15 would you feel that it was true on the basis of the tales that you heard
16 from them?
17 A. No. That is incorrect.
18 Q. Did many of these people stay outdoors in the woods and forests
19 above the Skelani villages? Do you know anything about that?
20 A. Yes, quite a few of them stayed in the forests because I said
21 earlier on that the houses were overcrowded and so there wasn't enough
22 space and many hoped they would be able to return to their homes pretty
23 soon so that's why they stayed in the woods.
24 Q. And at that same period of time, May and June, 1992, did refugees
25 from other areas start arriving to your village?
1 A. Yes. From the municipality of Bratunac, Suha Hranca, Voljavica,
2 Bjelovac, Biljaca, Tegari, Olica, Abdulici, Zanjevo, and all those other
3 Muslim villages along Drina. So all those refugees were coming to our
5 Q. Did they tell you about what was going on there?
6 A. Yes. They told the same story as the refugees from the area of
7 Skelani, that is to say the men being separated and sent to camps,
8 murders, rapes, and so on.
9 Q. If someone were to claim that those people from the villages along
10 the River Drina also left their villages of their own free will, would
11 that be correct?
12 A. No, that's not correct.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I'd like to ask the usher to
15 show the witness the document which refers to the command of the Brezani
16 Brigade dated the 28th of May 1992, where we've got a signature by the
17 commander Svetozar Andric. It is 04276215. It is an order issued by
18 Svetozar Andric addressed to the TO headquarters of Zvornik.
19 Q. Mr. Ramic, isn't it correct that I showed you this document
20 before? Now I'd like to draw your attention to item 6 and 7 of this order
21 and let me quote, "The moving out of the Muslim population must be
22 organised and coordinated with the municipalities through which the moving
23 is carried out. Only women and children can move out whilst men fit for
24 military service are to be placed in camps for exchange. The commanders
25 of the aforementioned units are to be instructed regarding their specific
1 tasks." And my question now, Mr. Ramic, my question to you in relation to
2 this is the following: You told us that you talked to the refugees who
3 had come to your area, quite a few of them. Did they tell you about the
4 fact that their moving out was organised?
5 A. Yes. They did indeed mention that. They said that first of all
6 an ultimatum was given and they had to relinquish their arms. Once they
7 had relinquished their arms, units would come into the villages and would
8 separate men and women and children, and horrific acts were being
9 perpetrated, rapes and so on, so it is indeed true that this was done in
10 an organised way. People were chased away and they did it together with
11 the SDS, the police, and the local population that was not involved with
12 the military.
13 Q. And you heard that from the refugees?
14 A. Yes, I did hear that from the refugees. It was part of their
16 Q. Thank you very much.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could you just give a
18 number to this document now?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document, which consists of two pages, one
20 in the original language, B/C/S, and the other one the corresponding
21 translation in English, with ERN number respectively 04276215 and 6216 is
22 being tendered and marked as Defence Exhibit D722. Yes, go ahead.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Ramic, could you look at the map once again in case you still
25 have it, the map you had earlier on? I'm going to ask you to indicate
1 some of the villages specifically and I'm going to put the following
2 question to you. You told us about the refugees from the Drina villages
3 and in relation to that I'm going to put the following question to you.
4 Is it correct that in the course of the months of April and May 1992, most
5 of the Muslim villages in that area had been ethnically cleansed?
6 A. Yes, it is true that the Muslim villages around Bratunac,
7 Voljavica, Zalazje, Gornja Olica, Tegari, Bjelovac, Abdulici, Zanjevo, and
8 I mentioned the villages of Skelani, they were ethnically cleansed. It's
9 indeed true.
10 Q. Thank you. Can you show the Trial Chamber on the map what was
11 left of the Muslim villages in that area, in the month of June -- the end
12 of May and the month of June 1992?
13 A. Precisely the villages that I've marked in the beginning. Do I
14 need to mark them again?
15 Q. Well, I'm just going to ask you to tell us what happened to
17 A. Yes. It remained. Brezovica, with the surrounding hamlets, Staza
18 and Skenderovici, Dimnici, Subin, Osmace, Poznanovici, Podkorjen, and the
19 two hamlets around here, Dedici and Karici.
20 Q. Thank you. I'm going to put the following question to you now.
21 In the course of the month of June 1992, did those villages have any links
22 to Srebrenica?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber, with the help of the map,
25 why those villages and especially your village of Poznanovici were cut off
1 from Srebrenica?
2 A. Well, it was because of the powerful Serb stronghold at Fakovici
3 which I've marked here on the map. The same goes for Brezani. There were
4 lots of soldiers there who moved around this area, Ratkovici, Fakovici,
5 Ducici, on a daily basis across the Metaljka-Korijen in the direction of
6 Brezani. So that's why we were cut off from Osmace, Mocevici
7 Skenderovici, and Srebrenica in particular.
8 Q. Was it risky to move around in that area at all, that is to say
9 for Muslims?
10 A. Yes. All Muslims who tried to cross over and go to one of the
11 enclaves, as I would call them, were either killed or wounded.
12 Q. Thank you. According to your assessment, how far is the area of
13 Ratkovici and Poznanovici from Srebrenica?
14 A. More than 20 kilometres.
15 Q. Mr. Ramic, have I understood you correctly in that you said that
16 those Muslim villages were also isolated from one another in the month of
17 July 1992?
18 A. Yes. That's correct. Every individual village was an enclave in
19 itself and they had to fight for their own survival.
20 Q. Yes.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would just like to
22 clarify one point with the witness. I actually asked the question about
23 June, not July. So Mr. Ramic did you understand me correctly? My
24 question to you was whether those villages in the month of June 1992 were
25 isolated from one another.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Very well. Mr. Ramic, could you please describe briefly to the
3 Trial Chamber the situation in your village of Poznanovici, including the
4 Podkorjen, Dedici, Karici hamlets in June 1992?
5 A. The situation was serious. I said earlier that just in my house
6 there were over 40 people. In view of the fact that this area had about
7 100 households, then you can check how many homeless people there were.
8 The situation was very serious, chaotic. There was a shortage of food,
9 clothing, medicines. There were no doctors. It was a very, very serious
11 Q. Despite this difficult humanitarian situation, were there any
12 other problems?
13 A. Yes. The other problem was that there were infantry and artillery
14 attacks on a daily basis against the enclaves in order that we are
15 expelled from that area. Every day, refugees, people, civilians, were
16 killed, wounded. That's what happened.
17 Q. Were -- was Poznanovici itself attacked?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Please, these people who were with you, you said that there were
20 thousands of them. Did I understand you properly?
21 A. Yes, thousands.
22 Q. Did they try to do anything to get some food?
23 A. Yes. Every day, refugees would try to go to the nearby Muslim
24 village, Zanjevo, Jagovici [phoen] near Fakovici, because it was a place
25 that had a lot of food. They would sneak out there during the night in
1 order to get food so that many of them were killed and wounded on their
2 way to get food.
3 Q. Why were they killed?
4 A. Because Serbian forces, as I said, were very strong in Fakovici.
5 That area was mined. And simply whether they noticed that somebody was
6 coming to get food, they would fire from their artillery weapons at those
8 Q. Were there ambushes?
9 A. Yes. The most dangerous were the ambushes set up to trap those
10 civilians who were going to get food.
11 Q. Where were these ambushes placed?
12 A. Yes. They were located around Ratkovici and Fakovici.
13 Q. How far is Fakovici from your village?
14 A. Eight kilometres.
15 Q. Please, I would now like to ask you something else.
16 In Podkorjen and that whole area of Poznanovici, did you have any
17 interest in monitoring the situations in nearby Serb villages, if anything
18 was going on there?
19 A. Yes. We were interested in monitoring that area. We wanted to
20 know what was going on in those villages along the Drina. We knew that
21 people were expelled and that it was our turn, and we would send boys to
22 the guy and Stub A elevations to monitor the movements of the Serb army on
23 the Brezani-Fakovici road, and they knew exactly what was happening and
24 they would tell us when there was a movement of soldiers and where the
25 shelling was coming from and that it was from Ratkovici.
1 Q. What did they tell you about the movements of the Serb military?
2 A. They said that they noticed movements by the Serb army. They were
3 there with horses that were loaded and they were transferring weapons to
5 Q. In relation to Fakovici, did they tell you anything? Did they
6 notice any troop movements along the road between Ratkovici and Fakovici?
7 A. I said earlier that they noticed every day movements of soldiers
8 from Fakovici towards Ratkovici, Branjesovici [phoen], Ducici, and
9 Metaljka-Korjen, Brezani.
10 Q. Could you also explain to the Trial Chamber at the same time how
11 you were armed in Podkorjen and Poznanovici? First of all, in Podkorjen
12 where you lived. I don't mean you personally. I'm just thinking of the
13 Muslim population?
14 A. In Podkorjen and Poznanovici already said we only had five or six
15 hunting rifles. We also had some hand-manufactured pistols and rifles.
16 Q. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber how you made these weapons?
17 A. Yes. We had a wooden butt to which we would attach a metal barrel
18 and then we would improvise the trigger and the result was that we never
19 knew when firing from such a weapon if it would fire to the front or to
20 the back, and if people would be injured.
21 Q. Were there any injuries as a result of that?
22 A. Yes. There were cases when people were injured using these
24 Q. You mentioned earlier that there was shelling of your area in May
25 and June 1992. Could you please tell us a little bit more about this
1 shelling? Was it frequent or not, and what were the consequences?
2 A. Yes. Every day during May and April, there was artillery shelling
3 and there were also infantry attacks so that many people were wounded and
4 killed by those shells.
5 Q. Were there any military facilities in your village in that period?
6 A. No. They knew exactly that they were shelling civilians.
7 Q. Please, Mr. Ramic, with this mass of refugees that you had that
8 you mentioned, in the -- in early June 1992, was it -- was there any place
9 that you could go to?
10 A. No. There was no place we could go to. I said that we were an
11 enclave surrounded by Serb forces.
12 Q. Did you decide to put up a resistance?
13 A. Yes. We decided to organise ourselves on a voluntary basis with
14 the weapons that we had at our disposal. We believed that the most
15 prominent teacher amongst us, Dzevad Malkic, who was very respected, he
16 was a good man, calm man, an intelligent man, so we believed him to be the
17 cleverest amongst ourselves.
18 Q. You said you had served your military term of duty and you knew
19 what military units were. This group of people that had gathered, at the
20 time, was that a military unit according to what you know about military
22 A. No. It could not have been a military unit because, as I said
23 before, we didn't have adequate weapons, no uniforms, no ammunition, no
24 logistics. So you couldn't really consider that to be a military
1 Q. Did you, in the area of Poznanovici in June 1992, have any
2 communications with other TO units of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. No, we did not. As I said before, these roads, if one tried to
4 cross them, they would be wounded or killed.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher now show the witness
6 P79, Prosecution exhibit. P73 of the 25th of May 1992.
7 Q. You've seen this document before. I showed it to you.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Witness, please, could you look at the part of the decision, and
10 then you can see under 2, it says, "The following people are appointed to
11 the Srebrenica TO staff, Naser Oric, Atif Ustic, Zulfo Tursunovic, Hamdija
12 Fejzic, Sevket Dozic, Becir Bogilovic, and Ahmo Tihic," and my question to
13 you is: Did you, in June 1992, or at all, were you close to Dzevad
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. This group of people, about which you said was -- that was close
17 to him personally, or actually, this group of people around him, including
18 you, did he inform you as a group about the situation in the field?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. At the time, on the 25th of May 1992, in Podkorjen and
21 Poznanovici, were you informed about the meeting in Bajramovici?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Were any of you present at this meeting? Did you ever hear about
25 A. No, nobody attended it. We would -- or I would have known about
2 Q. During May and June 1992, did you know about the existence of any
3 kind of command in Srebrenica? Did you know what it was called?
4 A. No, we didn't know about any command and I wouldn't consider
5 Dzevad Malkic to be a commander at the time in that situation. He was not
6 able to command anyone or order anyone to defend themselves. It was all
7 on a voluntary basis.
8 Q. Thank you. We will come back to this but could you please look at
9 the document? Could you look at item 7, which refers to Ahmo Tihic? It
10 states, "Ahmo Tihic from Lijesce is a member of the Srebrenica TO staff,
11 an outstanding activist in armed resistance against the aggressor in the
12 area of Skelani."
13 Please, please, how can you comment this part of the document
14 referring to Ahmo Tihic? And is it true what it says here, "a prominent
15 activist or outstanding activist in armed resistance against the aggressor
16 in the area of Skelani." How would you comment on that?
17 A. That is not true because earlier I said that the area of Skelani
18 fell without resistance. They were expelled and Ahmo Tihic was the
19 organiser of that uprising or that resistance. They actually just left
20 Skelani without putting up any resistance. They were expelled. They were
21 wandering around the forest looking for shelter in some villages and also
22 looking for shelter in the forest. They were not organised to put up a
23 resistance then or later, at any point during the summer.
24 Q. Thank you very much. After June 1992, did you have the
25 opportunity --
1 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
3 Madam Vidovic.
4 Yes, Mr. Di Fazio?
5 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm not objecting but it's just a question of
6 clarification. It says the witness answered, "they were expelled and Ahmo
7 Tihic was the organiser of that uprising or that resistance," and then he
8 went on too say they just left Skelani without putting up any resistance.
9 I don't know if it's a problem in the transcript, but the witness has
10 contradicted himself in the space of one answer. So perhaps that need
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think so. I agree with you Mr. Di Fazio.
13 What was -- yes, Madam Vidovic. You put the question.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would say and I
15 thank the Prosecutor, yes, it is a contradiction in the transcript, the
16 witness said that there was no armed resistance so, Witness, could you
17 please clarify that answer.
18 A. Yes, I meant this decision where it says that Tihic, Ahmo, from
19 Lijesce was a member of the TO and was an activist in armed resistance.
20 That's what I was thinking, that this decision was not true, they were
21 actually expelled and there was no resistance. They were walking around
22 in the woods looking for shelter in some villages. There was no
23 organisation then or at any time later during the summer so it was a
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: It doesn't answer one area. Was Ahmo Tihic,
2 however, one of the leaders of the Muslims in the Skelani area or not?
3 Was he organising the Muslims, at least in --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, he wasn't.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's what we wanted to know. Thank you.
6 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Ramic, when you said that he did not organise the Muslims,
9 were you thinking about this period that you are talking about, the spring
10 and summer, not the whole war?
11 A. Yes, yes. I said in that period, and in the course of the summer.
12 Q. Thank you very much. I just wanted to be quite clear about this,
13 Your Honours.
14 My next question, Mr. Ramic, is: After June 1992, did you have
15 the opportunity to talk to people from Mocevici? After June 1992.
16 A. Yes, yes. After June, much later, I did have the opportunity to
17 talk to them.
18 Q. This decision that you just looked at, was there anyone there who
19 could possibly cover the area of Mocevici in May and June 1992?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you know Vekaz Husic?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. After June 1992, did you have the opportunity to speak with him?
24 A. Yes. I had the opportunity to speak to him after June, about the
25 situation. He told me that they also had suffered a number of artillery
1 and infantry attacks from Ratkovici, meaning that the young men who were
2 reconnoitering at the elevation, they saw that Mocevici were being hit by
3 mortars from Ratkovici.
4 Q. In these conversations you had with Mr. Vekaz Husic, was a command
5 or the command in Srebrenica ever mentioned?
6 A. No, it wasn't. No command was mentioned. As I said, there was no
7 command. I mentioned Dzevad. Nobody was in a position to command where
8 we were. It was more of a voluntary setup so nobody could make an order
9 for anyone to defend themselves.
10 Q. Did he share with you any of his information about a command in
12 A. No, he didn't.
13 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber how far Mocevici is from
15 A. 20 kilometres.
16 Q. I would now like the usher to show the witness Prosecution Exhibit
17 P75. The decision by the TO of Srebrenica from the 26th of May 1992.
18 It's 3/92. Witness, you've seen this decision, I showed it to you?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And now I would like you to look at these names. I am going to
21 read the text behind these two names, Krdzic, Atif from Srebrenica is a
22 member of the TO Staff from Srebrenica; organiser of armed resistance
23 against the aggressor in the area of Osmace, Nedzad Bektic from Karacici
24 is a member of the Srebrenica TO Staff organiser of armed resistance in
25 the area of Kragljivoda; Senahid Tabakovic from Bratunac is a member of
1 the Srebrenica TO staff, one of the organisers of armed resistance in the
2 area of Skenderovici, and first of all I would like to ask you if in June
3 1992 you had contacts with any of these people, Krdzic, Atif, Bektic,
4 Nedzad, and Tabakovic, Senahid?
5 A. No, we didn't have any contacts then.
6 Q. All right. Very well. Did you consider any of them to be your
7 commander in Poznanovici at the time?
8 A. No, not then and not later at any time.
9 Q. How far is Osmace from your area?
10 A. Ten kilometres.
11 Q. And Kragljivoda?
12 A. 15 kilometres.
13 Q. And Skenderovici?
14 A. About 15 kilometres.
15 Q. Did you know Nedzad Bektic and, if you did know him, did you speak
16 with him after June 1992?
17 A. Yes. I knew him and we talked together after the fall of Brezani.
18 Q. Thank you. I would now like to ask you to look at item 2 of this
19 decision again, which states that the staff is expanded and that Nedzad
20 Bektic will be part of it as an organiser of armed resistance in the area
21 of Kragljivoda. How can you comment on this? Was Nedzad Bektic really
22 the organiser of armed resistance in that area?
23 A. No, that is not true. Later, I said that I talked to Nedzad
24 Bektic after the fall of Brezani, and he was -- he had attended the
25 military academy in Belgrade, and that precisely at that time in May he
1 had arrived to the Bratunac area from Belgrade, and he was lucky to avoid
2 being arrested in Bratunac, and he managed to come to the Srebrenica area
3 villages in the second half of May.
4 Q. According to what you know and to what he said, was he an
5 organiser of the armed resistance?
6 A. No. He was not because people did not really accept him gladly in
7 that area because he had come directly from the Serbian army.
8 Q. Thank you. Did you find out who organised resistance in the area
9 of Kragljivoda?
10 A. Yes. Later I found out that the leader and organiser of the group
11 at Kragljivoda was Sefik Mandic, until he was killed in October 1992.
12 Q. Thank you. And do you think then that this -- what is stated in
13 this document is true? Is it true what it says in this document?
14 A. No, it's not true.
15 Q. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. I apologise to the
17 Mr. Ramic, again I would like to ask you that after I finish my
18 question, then you make a short break or you make a pause before you give
19 your answer.
20 You described attacks on your village in the course of June 1992,
21 and you said that the shelling came from Ratkovici. What -- on what basis
22 do you claim that the shelling came from the direction of Ratkovici in
23 June 1992?
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Unless I misunderstood the evidence, if
25 Your Honours please, I thought the witness had answered this question, has
1 already given evidence about the boys who went up on to the hill. Now,
2 perhaps I misunderstood that.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: He did say before that they were sending the boys up
4 to the school or --
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Up to the elevation area.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: He gave two names. If you look at it somewhere,
7 I've lost it of course, it was Gaj and whatever.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: That's right.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you are right. I think he has answered this
11 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm not objecting of course if Madam Vidovic can
12 lead more evidence about it but for it to be comprehensible it's got to be
13 understood in the context of the previous answer.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I agree with you, Mr. Di Fazio. However you may
15 proceed if you want to elicit more information on the matter, Ms. Vidovic.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. That's exactly what it's
18 Q. Witness, you mentioned the shelling and you said that it came from
19 the direction of Ratkovici and you mentioned the boys, these boys and
20 certain men. Did these people have anything with them that would help
21 them to monitor the situation?
22 A. Yes. They had binoculars that they had borrowed from the hunters,
23 from those elevations, perhaps I said that, and perhaps I didn't, from the
24 Gaj and Stub A elevations you could see the Ratkovici area and Ducici with
25 the naked eye and with binoculars you could really see 100 per cent that
2 Q. At one point, you mentioned the location of Gaj above Dedici.
3 What can you see from there?
4 A. I said earlier that you could see villages, the villages of
5 Ratkovici, and you could see exactly where the shooting was coming from
6 and where our area, the area of Mocevici was being shelled.
7 Q. Thank you very much. This will help us. This will be an exhibit,
8 the Prosecution Exhibit P356 [as interpreted]. We will be looking at some
9 other documents in regard of these events but I would now like the usher
10 to show the witness P376. This is --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words, I heard you say 356 before. Is it a
12 mistake, Ms. Vidovic you meant 376? At least in the -- when I say "I
13 heard you say," I heard the interpreter say.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] 376, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in any case, I meant
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Okay. Now I understood that but I wanted to
19 make sure because the transcript said 356.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. This is a blown-up area of Ratkovici, Ducice, and Poznanovici.
22 Mr. Ramic, I would like you to look at this map and to show the area of
23 Ratkovici once again for the Trial Chamber. Don't make any markings on
24 the map, just point with your hand.
25 A. [Witness points]
1 Q. Thank you?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Just for the record, the witness points at the spot
3 on the map P376, on a spot shown as Ratkovici, or marked as Ratkovici.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Could you please point to Poznanovici and Podkorjen once again for
7 us? And Podkorjen?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think it's Podkorjen. It's further down,
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The map actually ends at Podkorjen
11 and the witness is indicating that it's that area.
12 Q. Is that right, Witness?
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear what the witness
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. And could you please slow us Stub A again on this map that you
18 A. Am I supposed to mark it?
19 Q. No, just point it out for the Trial Chamber.
20 A. Somewhere around here.
21 Q. Very well.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: So for the record, the witness indicates a spot at
23 11.00 above Poznanovici as being Stup A. Yes, thank you. Let's move.
24 Let's proceed.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. And can you see the altitudes of this map of Ratkovici and
2 Poznanovici, and could you tell us what the altitude is?
3 A. Somewhere around here you could see that Ratkovici is at 442 above
4 sea level and Poznanovici is a little bit to the east, 376, somewhere
5 around Mlecva so that if we go to the west, then you could see that the
6 altitude is also approximately 440 metres above sea level. So the
7 altitude of Ratkovici and Poznanovici is more or less the same.
8 Q. Thank you very much. Witness, you mentioned that the artillery
9 attacks came from Fakovici.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What do you state that, on what -- on which basis are you stating
13 A. We knew where Fakovici was and which direction it lay in.
14 However, I said in the beginning that there were thousands of refugees in
15 my village and there were a lot of refugees from Zanjevo and another
16 village and we would go at the request of these people to their houses and
17 bring food back in the evening and we would pass above Fakovici, and we
18 could see that they had mortars in Fakovici, that they also had
19 antiaircraft guns and antiaircraft cannon, and when people were going into
20 Abdulici, they would be firing from these weapons at these people.
21 Q. Did you personally see and experience that?
22 A. Yes, I personally saw and experienced that.
23 Q. Thank you. You also mentioned that the artillery shooting came
24 from some other directions. Did it come from the Skelani area?
25 A. Yes, it came from the direction of Jezero. We knew exactly that
1 there were mortars at Jezero, and the refugees who used to come from those
2 areas told us Sabica [phoen] and Ahmo, who came from Skelani, said that
3 there were mortars at Jezero.
4 Q. Did they tell you that?
5 A. Yes, they told us and they said that they saw it.
6 Q. Okay. And can you tell the Trial Chamber now whether anything
7 specific happened in your village on the 8th of June 1992?
8 A. Yes. On the 8th of June 1992, it was a Monday, and the Serbs cut
9 off electricity for our villages.
10 Q. And what happened afterwards on that day?
11 A. After that, there was a powerful artillery and infantry attack at
12 Podkorjen and Podrevici [phoen].
13 Q. And where did it come from?
14 A. It came from Ratkovici and from Ducici.
15 Q. How do you know that Ratkovici and Ducici?
16 A. Because, as I said, we had boys who were observing all that. You
17 could see it with the naked eye but they had binoculars and they could
18 tell exactly where the attack was coming from.
19 Q. Now, how far did those units come on that day? Could you explain
20 to the Trial Chamber what actually happened?
21 A. Well, the units came to Podkorjen, the road called Metaljak going
22 to Podkorjen.
23 MS. SELLERS: I think there might be a slight mischaracterisation
24 of the witness's testimony. I think he testified that there was artillery
25 coming. I haven't heard him testifying yet as to units coming. So if
1 that could just be clarified or else I think we might be misleading the
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Ms. Sellers. That's a very valid
5 Madam Vidovic?
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, the Prosecutor may
7 have misunderstood because the witness answered in 11.32, "afterwards
8 there was a powerful artillery and infantry attack."
9 Q. Have I interpreted your comment correctly?
10 A. Yes, that's exactly what I said.
11 Q. Thank you very much to the witness. And now could we go back to
12 my previous question I asked you, about how far Metaljka was from
14 A. About 700 metres.
15 Q. At what time of the day did this happen?
16 A. At noon, at mid-day.
17 Q. On the 8th of June?
18 A. Yes, I'm talking about the 8th of June 1992, at 12.00.
19 Q. Right. Do you remember specifically any one of those observers
20 that you talked to, any one of the people who were looking at it?
21 A. Yes, I do remember a boy called Hamid Smajlovic who informed us
22 that the Serb army was moving from the direction of Fakovici, Ratkovici
23 and Ducici, and that they had already come as far as Metaljka.
24 Q. Did he tell you in what way they were moving?
25 A. Yes. They were armed and they had horses for the transport of
2 Q. Were they surrounding you or not?
3 A. Yes. He told us that the Serb army was attacking Poznanovici from
4 the direction of Ratkovici at the same time. I talked to Dzevad at the
5 time as well so basically the Serbs were surrounding us in a semi-circle,
6 and so there was no way out except in the direction of Fakovici and we
7 knew that it was a Serb stronghold that that the road was mined.
8 Q. Did that boy, who you talked to, mention any murders? Did he
9 mention having seen any murders?
10 A. Yes. On the road to Podkorjen the Serbs killed Osmanovic Kadrija
11 from Podkorjen, and another person --
12 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter didn't hear the name.
13 Q. And what did you do?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Make it clear that I don't -- I'm not stopping
15 Madam Vidovic when she puts leading questions unless I hear an objection
16 from you. That's the understanding. All right?
17 MR. DI FAZIO: That's fine, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, let's proceed.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Can you answer my question? The young man that you talked to, did
21 he mention any murders of anyone?
22 A. Yes. I did say he mentioned the murder of Kadrija Osmanovic from
23 Podkorjen and a man called Refik from Josevo.
24 Q. Oh, yes, I do apologise. You have already answered that question.
25 And what did you do when you heard that?
1 A. Well, we resolved to get organised, to organise the weapons that
2 we had and to go out to Metaljka to wait for the Serb forces in order to
3 give the opportunity to the inhabitants, that is to flee to the woods.
4 Q. Right. And what happened after that?
5 A. Well, the population managed to get to the woods and we managed to
6 surprise the Serbs by going out to meet them at Metaljka and there was
7 fierce fighting there and the Serbs were somewhat surprised, the Serb
8 military were surprised, and they had to withdraw again in the direction
9 of Ratkovici and a number of other villages in the direction of Fakovici.
10 Q. Was that one-to-one fight, were you had -- at close quarters?
11 A. Yes, very much so.
12 Q. Did you notice what sort of weapons they had if they had any?
13 A. Yes, of course, we noticed that they had automatic rifles,
14 machine-guns, machine-gun, calibre 84, and it was the first time I saw it
15 in my life.
16 Q. Did you see the uniforms on that occasion?
17 A. Yes. They had camouflage uniforms, olive-grey colour.
18 Q. Mr. Ramic, after that, after things died down a little bit, did
19 you search the area?
20 A. Yes. We continued searching the area because we had quite a few
21 wounded in that battle.
22 Q. And did you find anything?
23 A. Yes. We found a lot of ammunition, which was actually precious to
24 us afterwards as a logistical support.
25 Q. Did you find any bodies?
1 A. Yes. Whilst searching the area we found the body of Ognjen
2 Markovic, called Bato, at Metaljka there.
3 Q. I would like to ask the usher to show the witness the document
4 D45. It is a list of those killed from the area of Bratunac between 1992
5 and 1996. And could you please look on page 9, number 298. It is also on
6 page 8 in the English version -- 9, sorry, in the English version.
7 You've seen this document, Witness, right? Can you check the name
8 298, Markovic, Andrija, Ognjen, born on the 20th - sorry - of December
9 1950 from Fakovici, and the date of his death is the 8th of June 1992, at
10 the village Podkorjen. And in relation to this document I'm going to put
11 the following question to you. Is that indeed the person who was killed
12 during the attack on your village that you've just described to us?
13 A. Yes, that's correct, that's the person who was killed on that
14 occasion on Podkorjen.
15 Q. You've already told us that you knew him. And can you tell us now
16 how far is the place of his death from his own house?
17 A. About 16 kilometres.
18 Q. Let me ask you first, did you see his dead body?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What was he wearing on that occasion, if you can remember?
21 A. I can remember it quite clearly. He was wearing camouflage
22 uniform, bullet-proof vest and automatic rifle and a quite a few bombs and
23 ammunition, a lot of ammunition, incendiary bombs and fragmentation
25 Q. Thank you. Do you remember if anything happened afterwards?
1 A. Yes, for the next three days and nights, fierce artillery attacks
2 continued pounding our villages and civilian population, basically.
3 Q. Where was the shelling coming from?
4 A. It came exactly from Ratkovici, Magdovici and Fakovici.
5 Q. Do you remember if anyone was looking for that body?
6 A. Yes. On the 10th of June, 1992, I remember clearly because I saw
7 lots of Serb soldiers who came back to Metaljka on that day and they were
8 searching the area and they were looking for their comrades in arms, their
9 dead bodies, and on that occasion they killed a young boy from Mocevici
10 and I found out about that later, from Vekaz, who came to us to ask for
11 assistance for Mocevici and he could see that the artillery from Ratkovici
12 was attacking Mocevici.
13 Q. Did you find out whether the infantry from Ratkovici or any other
14 surrounding villages were also attacking Mocevici?
15 A. Yes, the infantry was launching attacks as well. I said that
16 there request quite a few soldiers at Metaljka that day. I saw those
17 soldiers. I was really very close. And I myself witnessed the killing of
18 that young boy. Afterwards, they blew his body up.
19 Q. I wanted to ask you the following. Did you ever find out whether
20 on that day, on the 10th of June 1992, there was an infantry attack
21 against Mocevici as well?
22 A. Yes. I found out later on when we later talked to Vekaz. He told
23 me that they were subjected to fierce artillery and infantry attacks from
25 Q. Now, on the 10th of June, after that, were there any other attacks
1 on your area, your villages, Poznanovici and Podkorjen?
2 A. Yes. On the 12th of June, I remember very clearly it was a
3 Friday, there was another powerful artillery and infantry attack from
4 Ratkovici and they entered Poznanovici and they managed to set 80 per cent
5 of the village on fire.
6 Q. Please, can you tell me who attacked your village on that
7 occasion, do you know?
8 A. We knew exactly that those were people from Ratkovici and
10 Q. Just a moment, Mr. Ramic. Could you slow down, please? On the
11 basis of what did you know that those people were from Ratkovici? What
12 was your source of information?
13 A. Well, after the withdrawal of the Serb army from Poznanovici, we
14 got to Poznanovici to get out the wounded or perhaps the dead bodies, and
15 to bury the bodies. And then we find out from Abdulah Halilovic from
16 Poznanovici that he himself witnessed the murder of his daughter-in-law,
17 who was heavily pregnant, because they were not far from those attacking
18 Serb soldiers. His son was wounded in both legs and his daughter-in-law
19 was killed and Abdulah Hanura [phoen] managed to hide a little bit further
20 away and so they actually recognised their neighbours from Ratkovici,
21 Fakovici, who were there.
22 Q. Apart from those people, that you mentioned, they were in the
23 fields and they were working in the fields, were any other people killed
24 in Poznanovici on that day?
25 A. All those who didn't manage to leave Poznanovici, to run away,
1 were either killed or murdered.
2 Q. Mr. Ramic, as far as you were concerned, did things worsen for you
3 after the 12th of June 1992 or not?
4 A. Yes. The situation got a lot worse. Perhaps that was the most
5 difficult period that I can remember. And at that time -- could I have a
6 break, please, Your Honours?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. We are going to have a break in 12
8 minutes' time. We will have it now. Can I suggest, Madam Vidovic, I just
9 want to make sure that you will be able to finish your
10 examination-in-chief if I give the witness 30 minutes' break. In other
11 words, you will have an hour and a half, basically.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] By all means, Your Honour, I'm
13 convinced I'll be able to make it.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: So we will resume -- let's say we will resume at 15
15 minutes past 12. All right.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 --- Recess taken at 11.48 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 12.21 p.m.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Just before we continue, Madam Vidovic and
20 Madam Sellers and Mr. Di Fazio and Mr. Jones, I just had a phone call
21 Judge Eser. There is no way he's going to turn up this week. So just to
22 put you on notice that the situation has crystallised in a way that he
23 doesn't even need my suggestion to stay there. He has decided to stay
24 there. All right? Also, on -- because he's needed there. I don't want
25 to be misunderstood that this is something -- so are you feeling better,
1 Mr. Ramic?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: This is the day when everyone is not feeling well.
4 So we have to cope with the situation.
5 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Ramic, we stopped when I asked you whether the situation
8 worsened in any way for you after the 12th of June, and you replied it
9 did. And that it was one of the hardest periods of your life. Could you
10 please describe to the Trial Chamber why it was like that?
11 A. Yes. I mentioned that there were thousands of refugees in our
12 area, Poznanovici, Podkorjen, Dedici, and Karici, and when the Serb army
13 came into Poznanovici and destroyed the village, the entire population
14 from the area had to leave, together with all the other refugees who were
15 already there in those villages, and they set out but they had nowhere to
16 go. I said that we were surrounded. So the only possibility was to hide
17 in a nearby forest near Podkorjen which was called Poljana --
18 Q. Just a moment, Mr. Ramic, we will come to that. Could you show
19 the Trial Chamber this area, Poljana? Do you still have the map? Could
20 you perhaps leave the map with the witness until the end.
21 If you have the map, I think it's P376 that we had earlier on,
23 Mr. Ramic, could you locate the area of Poljana on that map? That
24 forest, I mean.
25 A. I can't on this map. I need another one.
1 Q. Yes. You've got the other map underneath.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Shouldn't we mention the exhibit number?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please. This is D721, isn't it?
4 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Somewhere here.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you point it again, please?
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. And if you have a pencil, could you mark an X there?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Another letter because we have already got Xs.
12 With a P, please.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Fine, okay.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you, sir. And can you explain to the Trial Chamber, can you
16 describe how many people were there and what was their condition?
17 A. Yes. I said that the entire population was there, with the
18 refugees. Thousands of them. And there was this exodus of this entire
19 population, and they all went to that forest called Poljana and they had
20 no where else to go.
21 Q. I do apologise for interrupting but can I ask you about -- does
22 that group include the inhabitants of your village, Podkorjen?
23 A. Yes. As I said, it was Poznanovici, Karici, Dedici and Podkorjen
24 and all the refugees who were staying at those villages as well. The
25 locals and the refugees. And they all went up to the forest called
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Poljana and we were being shelled and we were subjected to infantry
2 attacks as well. The people had no where else to go so they went into the
3 forest called Poljana.
4 Q. Did that mean that they were all outdoors?
5 A. Yes, they were all outdoors and that referred to the elderly,
6 women and children, and there was no medical care, we had no medicines of
7 any kind, no doctors, we had no facilities of any sort. People were
8 building shacks with branches and dead wood, and the wind would blow it
9 all away and it was almost as if the heavens had turned against us as well
10 because it rained incessantly for 10 days. There was no food. We didn't
11 have enough clothes and we were under attack and we had to make do. We
12 had to eat mushrooms in the forest because we had nothing else, and that's
13 why I find it particularly hard to talk about this. And my children, I've
14 got three children, and they were in the forest as well with my parents,
15 and women were having children. Mrs. Smajlovic had a baby in that forest
16 and it is something which is simply inconceivable for the civilised world
18 Q. Did I understood you correctly when you said that prior to the
19 12th of June 1992, thousands of people had been outdoors?
20 A. Thousands of people for 10 days, yes, yes, it's true for 10 days,
21 they were outdoors and they were subjected to incessant artillery attacks,
22 to rain and adverse weather conditions.
23 Q. Do you remember what went on in the early morning hours on the
24 21st of June 1992?
25 A. Yes. On the 21st of June, the most severe combined artillery and
1 infantry attack by the Serb forces from Ratkovici actually started.
2 Q. And how did you react to that attack?
3 A. Well, simply, and this is something I've mentioned on a number of
4 occasions, these people had nowhere to go. We were surrounded and a group
5 of us who had some weapons decided that we should defend ourselves, and if
6 the Serbs came into the woods, they would massacre the population. They
7 would probably start killing and raping people so we decided to stand up
8 to them and to perhaps even lose our lives, but try and put a stop to the
9 kind of suffering that the other villages along the river had experienced.
10 Q. And what did you do?
11 A. Well, we set out to meet them, with what weapons we had. We no
12 longer paid any heed to the situation. We had the weapons that we could.
13 We didn't care whether we were killed or not. We decided that we would
14 rather all be killed but we had to stop the Serbs getting to the people
15 and at one point I heard some noise. I turned around and I could see that
16 masses of people -- well, they were almost going mad, they followed us,
17 whoever could walk followed, even though we did tell them not to. Dzevad
18 Markic [phoen] was shouting at them not to, but they had nowhere else to
19 go and so it was all or nothing.
20 Q. And when did that happen? What was the time of day?
21 A. Well, it took place on the 21st of June 1992, at around 11.00.
22 Q. And did you have the opportunity to see the Serb forces coming
23 close to you?
24 A. Yes. We did see the Serbs coming close, but we had no choice.
25 The people were walking behind us and there was no way we could stop them.
1 It was not possible to control the people any more. They were just
2 walking, they carried whatever they could. They were carrying axes, saws,
3 they were taking pots and pans, banging on them. It was just a terrible
4 sight. As I said, the people were almost crazed. They had gone mad.
5 Q. And did this have any effect on the Serb forces?
6 A. Yes. As the Serb soldiers were approaching, when they saw this
7 mass of people, they simply started to withdraw, to run away, to throw
8 down their weapons, which at that point we found. I saw a machine-gun, an
9 automatic rifle, a semi-automatic rifle. I could see also some shells,
10 and so on.
11 Q. And how far did you get to?
12 A. I got to Gornji Ratkovici, close to Gornji Ratkovici. At that
13 point, I couldn't continue because there was fire from a machine-gun from
14 the houses, automatic weapons' fire from the houses so we couldn't
15 approach the villages. They were firing at us. We were firing at them.
16 I said that I had a pistol with me at the time. Simply, at the time, we
17 just couldn't get any closer. They were firing mostly from the houses.
18 There were also some trenches but it was from trenches that were about 15
19 metres from the houses.
20 Q. At one point did the Serbs withdraw? What happened?
21 A. After a while they pulled back towards Grabovicka Rijeka [phoen],
22 and Fakovici. During the withdrawal of the Serb forces, we entered the
23 village and that's when we found very quickly the weapons, machine-gun,
24 automatic and semi-automatic weapons, a mortar. I found a mortar. I
25 myself found one. I saw that there was one in the village. There were
1 many mortar shells in the village that had been fired from that mortar so
2 that we gathered those weapons very quickly and then we had to go back as
3 quickly as possible to our villages because we were afraid of a
4 counterattack, and an attack from the direction of Fakovici.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Di Fazio.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Just a clarification, if Your Honours please. I
7 wonder if the witness is talking about Grabovici or Fakovici when he said
8 he went into the village and found this weapon.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I mean, you need to explain or clarify this,
10 Mr. Ramic. What was the name of the village where you entered and --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Gornji Ratkovici.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: That's how I understood it, if you follow line 22 on
13 page 62. But anyway, it's clear now. Yes, let's continue.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Yes. You talked about the Serbs who were withdrawing towards
16 Grabovicka Rijeka and Fakovici is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you very much, witness.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would now like to
20 show the witness a document.
21 Q. Before you see the document, Mr. Ramic, can I just ask you, you
22 said that you found a mortar yourself. Where did you find it?
23 A. We found a mortar in a barn. The other one, another one was in
24 the village.
25 Q. Thank you very much.
1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness now look at
2 document -- it's a document from the Drina Corps command of the 14th of
3 December -- November 1992. It's a combat report, ERN number 04268306.
4 Q. Witness, could you please look at the last paragraph of the
5 document? I showed you this document, didn't I?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I'm going to read the last part of the report. "A five-year-old
8 boy was killed in the area of responsibility of the 3rd PLBR, the cause of
9 death is the boy's carelessness as he was playing near a 25-millimetre
10 antiaircraft cannon which triggered off and killed him." I would like to
11 remind you, Mr. Ramic, that you mentioned Brezovica. Let me just clarify
12 one thing. Is the village of Brezovica -- were there any Serb hamlets in
13 that area?
14 A. Yes. I mentioned the village of Barice.
15 Q. Thank you very much. Although this document is dated November
16 1992, in relation to this boy who was killed playing with an antiaircraft
17 cannon, I would like to ask you the following. Are you surprised by this
18 note in the report that a PAT antiaircraft cannon was accessible to this
19 five-year-old boy, in view of the experience you had with weapons in
21 A. No, it wasn't surprising. We knew that had he had so many weapons
22 that even children were playing with them.
23 Q. Please, Mr. Ramic, could you please tell the Trial Chamber what a
24 PAT is?
25 A. A PAT is an antiaircraft cannon, [B/C/S spoken].
1 Q. Thank you very much.
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could this document be
3 given a number, please.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, Madam Vidovic. This document which
5 consists of one page in the B/C/S version and two pages in the English
6 version is being tendered and received and marked as Defence Exhibit D723.
7 Thank you.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Ramic, again I would like to take you back to the events of
10 the 21st of June 1992. At the time, when you were with this group of
11 armed people in Ratkovici, did you see anything burning?
12 A. Yes. I could see a barn in Brdjani, it's a part belonging to
13 Gornji Ratkovici. I could see it burning.
14 Q. Were any houses burning in Ratkovici at the time?
15 A. I didn't see the houses burning at the time, no.
16 Q. When you withdrew from Ratkovici, did the other armed people
17 withdraw together with you?
18 A. Yes, they all quickly withdrew with us. We ran back quickly to
19 our positions expecting an attack from Fakovici at our villages.
20 Q. Thank you. Did you, the people from your villages, Podkorjen and
21 Poznanovici, have any interest in setting these houses on fire? Did you
22 have an interest in doing something like that, Mr. Ramic?
23 A. No. We had no interest in torching those houses because we had so
24 many people without homes whom we wanted to accommodate in those homes and
25 Dzevad always said not to destroy this property, that we were not like the
2 Q. After you left the armed soldiers [as interpreted] of the -- of
3 that area, what happened to the civilians?
4 A. The civilians stayed in the villages looking for food. They
5 mostly came to those villages looking for food. So they couldn't return
6 immediately. So at the time, we did not follow what was happening with
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when I was asking the
9 question, I said "armed persons." I didn't say armed soldiers, as it is
10 stated in the transcript.
11 Q. I asked you, Mr. Ramic, didn't I, that after these armed persons
12 left, and not soldiers --
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Yes, yes.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Vidovic.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. So at one point you told us that you were afraid of a
18 counterattack from Fakovici. Were you afraid of an encounter attack from
19 anywhere else on that day, the 21st of June?
20 A. From Fakovici, yes, and from Ratkovici, Vranesevici, from up
22 Q. Vranesevici. And were you afraid?
23 A. And also the shelling went on from Serbia.
24 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber how many -- how far Serbia --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's put it in a time frame. I mean, we are
1 talking of post 21st of June of 1992 but until when did they -- because he
2 describes it as an ongoing -- sort of an ongoing shelling. Until what
3 period of time, until when, did this shelling continue, shelling from
4 Serbia continue?
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, I asked the
6 witness about the 21st. We are still talking about the 21st. And then
7 later we will. So now I'm asking him --
8 Q. Sir, Mr. Ramic, did you -- you mentioned Serbia. Were you afraid,
9 did the danger come from there also or not?
10 A. They had artillery support from Serbia, the Serbian army.
11 Q. Yes. Very well. And finally, on that day, on the 21st of June
12 1992, was there a counter attack by the Serbs against you after all this
13 you described?
14 A. Your Honours, could you please clarify this question?
15 Q. That day, the 21st of June, after you with drew and you said that
16 the civilians stayed behind?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was there a counter attack on that area including those civilians
19 there who were in Ratkovici?
20 A. Yes, there was a counterattack, artillery counterattack. There
21 was firing from Fakovici and Magdovici. They knew that they were shooting
22 at civilians because the civilians were in those villages looking for food
23 so that they intensely shelled the civilians, wounding them and destroying
24 their own houses. Both Serb and Muslim houses were destroyed in this
25 artillery attack. They were shooting non-discriminately.
1 Q. Thank you, thank you. Mr. Ramic --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Did I see you stand up, Mr. Di Fazio or not.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: No, Your Honour, I just moved to make a note.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Yes, Madam Vidovic.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Ramic, you described the weapons that you had. Did any of you
7 that day, who were carrying the weapons and took part in the attack, wear
8 a uniform?
9 A. No, nobody had a uniform.
10 Q. If anybody were to claim that the attackers on Ratkovici on that
11 day wore different uniforms, including olive drab, camouflage uniforms,
12 with red and green berets on their heads, would that be true?
13 A. Absolutely not.
14 Q. You described to us how refugees stayed behind in the villages, in
15 the area of Ratkovici, after the attack. Did you notice what they had
16 with them when they came back to the village, if they were carrying
18 A. They had building materials, windows, and doors, along with the
19 food, in order to improvise some huts where they could stay.
20 Q. The more prominent people from Poznanovici and Podkorjen,
21 intellectuals, did you try to speak with these people, these refugees, so
22 that they would try to move into these houses in Ratkovici?
23 A. Yes. We did try to talk with them and talked with them on several
24 occasions. They simply didn't want to do it because the area of Ratkovici
25 was constantly shelled so that it was not safe for them to move into those
2 Q. Another thing. If anyone were to claim that before the attack on
3 the 21st of June 1992, there were no organised Serb military units in
4 Ratkovici, that these were just village guards, would that be true?
5 A. It would be absolutely untrue. If they were village guards,
6 where did the machine guns, automatic rifles, snipers, hand-held rocket
7 launchers, etc. come from?
8 Q. Based on your knowledge about the military, do village guards have mortars?
9 A. They don’t have mortars… Village guards?
10 Q. Yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it that the question emerges now, obvious.
12 But could you repeat your question, please, Madam Vidovic? Because the
13 interpreters failed to get it. What was your question, at least tell me,
14 you just have to make the statement.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. My question referred to mortars.
16 Q. You mentioned that you found mortars there. Did village guards,
17 according to what you know about village guards, have mortars?
18 A. No, they don't.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Another clarification matter so that I can
22 understand the evidence.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: One mortar.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: It's not so much mortar. It's who, who's
25 organising the attacks. The witness said -- it was put to the witness
1 that, is it true -- is a claim that there were no organised Serb military
2 units in Ratkovici true? True and the witness then went on to say, "Look
3 it's absolutely untrue." And then in the next line, then the witness --
4 it appears in the transcript, "No, there were no attacks other than the
5 ones by the village guard."
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes. This is what I tried to get Madam Vidovic
7 to explain because the interpreters failed to get the question that
8 Madam Vidovic put to the witness.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, we are all --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I mean, reading the answer given by the witness, one
11 can understand what the question was but I asked Madam Vidovic to tell us
12 what her question was to the witness and she has told us another question
13 which obviously was not the question that she had put to the witness
14 before. So that's the position.
15 If you could clarify this, Madam Vidovic? Let's take it --
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: He said no there were no attacks other than the ones
18 -- I lost it now.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honours,
20 Your Honours, Your Honours, I'm speaking very slowly and I'm speaking very
21 clearly. I asked the witness about village guards, if they can -- that
22 what he saw, was that organised, were there organised units in Ratkovici
23 and can it be considered that these were village guards and he very
24 clearly responded that there was -- there were none. I did not ask any
25 question about organised attacks. And the witness did not mention that
1 there were no attacks. My first question was whether --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... The previous
3 question, Madam Vidovic, please, let's not complicate matters. If you go
4 to page 69, line 9, your question was another thing, "If anyone were to
5 claim that before the attack on 21st of June 1992 there were no organised
6 Serb military units in Ratkovici, that there were -- that these were just
7 village guards, would that be true?" And he answered, "It would be
8 absolutely untrue. If they were village guards, only then."
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: "Were these snipers, the hand-held rocket automatic
11 and semi-automatic rifles," et cetera.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Then there was a question which the interpreters
14 didn't --
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... which he
17 answered, "No, there were no attacks other than the ones by the village
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Which doesn't make sense.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] That is exactly what I tried to
24 explain and then I continued on with my question which referred to whether
25 the witness found a mortar there and I asked him whether village guards
1 had mortars. Neither I nor the witness mentioned this. There were no
2 attacks. At no point did the witness say anything like that. But he
3 responded to my question that village guards had no mortars.
4 Q. So, please, witness, could you correct me in I'm not right, did
5 you talk about any attacks?
6 A. No, no, I said exactly what you said.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's proceed. Is it clear enough to
9 you, Mr. Di Fazio?
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Let's proceed. That is -- solves
12 the problem.
13 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Ramic, what happened after the 21st of June 1992, in the
16 entire area of your villages, Poznanovici, Dedici, Podkorjen, and Karici.
17 What happened, including Mocevici, if anything happened?
18 A. There were fierce artillery attacks in the area of Poznanovici,
19 Ratkovici, and Mocevici, artillery and infantry attacks on the villages so
20 that those villages were practically destroyed. Many people were injured
21 and many people were killed in the attacks.
22 Q. Did you have the opportunity to meet Mr. Vekaz Husic after June,
23 and what did he tell you?
24 A. Yes. After June in the summer, I spoke to Vekaz Husic and he told
25 me then that they also had fierce artillery and infantry attacks from the
1 direction of Ratkovici and that they had fights in Ducici.
2 Q. Mr. Ramic, you talked about the attack on the 21st of June 1992 on
3 Ratkovici. Did you then -- I'm thinking of your group which had weapons,
4 and Mr. Malkic -- did you have an order at the time from anyone from
5 Srebrenica about an attack or did you have contacts with anybody from
6 Srebrenica in relation to this event?
7 A. No. We didn't have any orders from anyone in Srebrenica. I said
8 that this was a spontaneous thing, the situation was what it was and that
9 we had to do it.
10 Q. In relation to the event of the 21st of June, did you have any
11 agreements with people from Mocevici, Brezovica, Skenderovici, or Osmace
12 about that?
13 A. No. I said at the beginning I was explaining that these villages
14 were an enclave each. It was not possible to communicate precisely
15 because of the road that -- that Serb road that was passing through
16 Ratkovici, Ducice, Metaljka, Korijan, Brezani, and that many who tried to
17 cross that road were killed or wounded and so on and so forth.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like the usher to show
20 the witness Prosecution Exhibit P80. This is an alleged document by the
21 staff of the Srebrenica armed forces signed by Nedzad Bektic, and they are
22 talking here about the establishment structure, first formation
24 Q. Mr. Ramic. Did I show you this document before?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And now I would like you to look at what it states here. In that
2 part 1, first formation structure, look, and it says on the 20th of May
3 1992, in Bajramovici, a TO Territorial Defence staff was being formed.
4 From 17th of April 1992 to mid-October 1992 the first regional units were
5 formed under -- of a regional character, under the auspices of the TO,
6 namely. And then can you look at what it states under item 3, TO Osmace.
7 It says Tokoljaci company, Osmace company, Poznanovici company, in
8 brackets (A1, AII, AIII), 111 conscripts, commander Dzevad Malkic. And
9 underneath it says the commander of the TO Osmace is Atif-Sakib Krdzic. I
10 would like to now ask you the following question: In the period mentioned
11 here from the 17th of April until mid-October 1992, Mr. Ramic, these armed
12 men from your village that you mentioned today, your group of fighters,
13 people from Poznanovici, was it part of the Osmace TO?
14 A. No. Not then and not much later.
15 Q. Was it part of the Osmace TO?
16 A. No, it was never part of the Osmace TO.
17 Q. Did your commander at any time during the course of the war in
18 1992, was your commander Sakib Atic [phoen] or not?
19 A. No, he was never our commander.
20 Q. Before October 1992, did you have anything that in military terms
21 would constitute a company of fighters?
22 A. No. Simply at the beginning like I said, I talked about our
23 weapons and, later, we captured some weapons and perhaps we had ten rifles
24 at the most. We simply didn't have the equipment. We didn't have the
25 ammunition or the logistics in order to be some kind of military unit. We
1 didn't have uniforms. We simply didn't have that.
2 Q. When you say rifles, real rifles, are you thinking of
3 semi-automatic rifles?
4 A. Yes. Semi-automatic and carbines, and some automatic rifles that
5 we captured later?
6 Q. Thank you. And did you in Poznanovici have 111 as it says here
7 conscripts, soldiers, whatever you wish?
8 A. No, no way. I said earlier that if we had the weapons and the
9 conscripts, we wouldn't have experienced what we did.
10 Q. Very well. Please could you tell the Trial Chamber now, how far
11 Osmace is from where you were?
12 A. Ten kilometres.
13 Q. Thank you. And now I would like you to look at the same document.
14 On page 3, it states, "On the 14th of October 1992, the -- with the
15 order of the commander, the units were reorganised in the following way."
16 So could you please look at next page, page 4, under number 6, it
17 states, "Independent Biljeg battalion based in Biljeg, commander Ahmo
18 Tihic. And then it mentions the first, second, and third and fourth
19 company with the headquarters in Poznanovici, Commander Malkic Dzevad, and
20 I would like to ask you some questions about that.
21 First of all, Mr. Ramic, do you know that in October 1992, was
22 there any kind of reorganisation or restructuring which would possibly
23 place your command -- your unit under the command of somebody from the
24 Biljeg battalion? I'm talking about October 1992.
25 A. No, I don't know anything about that.
1 Q. Please?
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Just trying to follow the evidence. Do you know
3 where in the English?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, page 6.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Bottom or ...
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Got it. Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Ramic, please, did you register that in this first part of the
12 document it says that the Poznanovici company is part of the Osmace TO and
13 then we have Biljeg here. Do you have any comments on that?
14 A. This comment says that there were no reorganisation of the TO and
15 that it says that it's in Osmace in one place and Biljeg in another place
16 so it means that something here is not quite correct.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: How far is --
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Just one moment, just one moment,
20 JUDGE AGIUS: How far is Biljeg from Poznanovici.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. How far?
23 A. 8 kilometres.
24 Q. Eight kilometres. And let's just clarify the transcript a little
25 bit, please. What it states here about Poznanovici belonging, that unit
1 that was there, belonging to either Biljeg or Osmace in the period of
2 1992, October 1992, is that correct or not?
3 A. It's completely incorrect.
4 Q. Thank you. Did you -- actually, when did you actually start to
5 use the word "battalion" for your fighters? Do you know whether this
7 A. This happened after the demilitarisation of Srebrenica. So this
8 was sometime in early 1994 when they were talking about us belonging to
9 the Biljeg Battalion.
10 Q. Also, do you know that towards the end of the war you were
11 registered as belonging to somewhere else?
12 A. Yes. At the end of the war, we were registered as belonging to
14 Q. Please tell the Trial Chamber why you say "on paper." You
15 mentioned demilitarisation. What did demilitarisation mean to you? Can
16 you explain the Trial Chamber what the situation was like and can you
17 please wait for my question to be interpreted, which now it has been.
18 A. Your Honour, demilitarisation meant that the weapons that we had
19 in our possession, those few weapons, we had to relinquish them to the
20 international forces which were in Srebrenica. So basically those weapons
21 had been destroyed. So at that time we were not allowed to own or carry
22 arms because arms would be taken away from us. The only possibility was
23 for somebody to have it hidden away somewhere. In that case they would
24 have kept it.
25 Q. After demilitarisation, in that protected area, could you engage
1 in any military activity at all?
2 A. No we couldn't. I said that the weapons had been relinquished.
3 Q. And for those battalions or brigades or whatever did they ever
4 function in any way?
5 A. No, no. As I said it was only in existence on paper.
6 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to ask the usher to show another exhibit
7 to the witness. It's P95.
8 I would like you to take a look at page 16.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this part is on page
10 12, the second half of item 3 in the English text.
11 Q. And can you please look at page 16, Witness? I've shown you this
12 document before, right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I'm going to quote from a part of the text on page 16 which
15 reads, "On 26th [as interpreted] of June 1992, in coordination with the
16 Territorial Defence Bilje, Territorial Defence Skenderovici, Territorial
17 Defence Osmace, and Territorial Defence Srebrenica, the Chetniks were
18 expelled from the strongpoint, Ratkovici, Polimci, Ducici, Dvorista, and
19 Brdjani, when the larger war trophy consisting of weapons and food was
21 Now, on the basis of your experience on -- on the basis of what
22 you yourself saw on the 21st of June 1992, can you tell us whether in the
23 course of that battle at Ratkovici you saw any of those units
24 participating there?
25 A. No. There was no joint attack. It was just a spontaneous
1 response to this fierce attack from the Serbs and I said that there were
2 lots of refugees from a number of villages and everybody went there in
3 order to save their lives.
4 Q. Thank you. Now I'm going to ask you this. Do you know
5 Mr. Senahid Tabakovic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And when I talk about you, I mean the unit at Poznanovici. So in
8 the periods of time up until the fall of 1992, had he ever been any -- in
9 any sort of a commanding position with regard to you?
10 A. No, not then and not much later either.
11 Q. So we are talking about that same period of time in 1992 and I
12 would like to know whether at any point he appeared in the area of your
14 A. No, never.
15 Q. Right. And I want to ask you something else, Mr. Ramic. After
16 the events in June 1992, did you yourself ever had the opportunity to see
17 the area of Ratkovici?
18 A. Yes. I had the opportunity to see that area. I went to those
19 villages and I saw that --
20 Q. No, just a moment. If anyone were to claim that the houses in
21 Ratkovici in the month of June 1992 were burnt to the ground, would that
22 be correct?
23 A. No, it's not correct.
24 Q. Up until September 1992, would that claim be correct? I mean, did
25 you see those houses in the period of time prior to September 1992?
1 A. Yes, I did. And the houses had not been burned down.
2 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what went on in that area in
3 September 1992?
4 A. Let me just stress, Your Honours, that the shelling and the
5 artillery attacks took place on a daily basis and as of September, it
6 continued, those artillery attacks continued, and they were even more
7 powerful, and so, as I said, they were shelling with no regard as to
8 whether those were Serb or Muslim villages because there would be
9 civilians there looking for food. So they were shelling everyone and
10 everything at that time. At that time, at some point in September, there
11 was a fierce bombing by planes in the area of Srebrenica, and what I mean
12 is our villages, Srebrenica and the Serb villages, so various types of
13 bombs were being dropped on the area, and most of those villages had
14 already been destroyed at that time, and most of those houses.
15 Q. Could you tell us whether those Serb attacks on your area went on
16 through the autumn and the winter of 1992?
17 A. Yes. They were continued in the autumn and the winter, and on the
18 26th of January 1993, up until the end of March 1993, that was probably
19 the period of the most fierce artillery attacks in that area. They were
20 shelling the entire area.
21 Let me try and explain this a little bit better. It was all the
22 villages, even the Serb villages where the Muslims were, every inch of the
23 land was being shelled so there was no way to hide anywhere. We tried to
24 offer resistance, as much as we could, but in the end we had to withdraw
25 all the way to Srebrenica. And what I mean here is both shelling and the
1 infantry attacks.
2 Q. So do you have any knowledge about whether that shelling
3 affected -- that kind of shelling affected the village of Ratkovici?
4 A. Yes, of course. I mean, I was there. I saw it myself. I could
5 see shells landing on houses, destroying houses. The houses were
6 disappearing and I saw it with my own eyes.
7 Q. Thank you. I would just like the usher to show another exhibit to
8 the witness. It is a document coming from the Bratunac Brigade dated the
9 1st of April 1993, and I would just like you to take a look at this
10 document. In item 1 the reference is to the battles in the area of Pirici
11 and Ratkovici. And can you please look at the last bit of text in item 1?
12 Item 2, sorry, and I'm going to quote it to you. "On the brigade's left
13 wings the second PB infantry battalion and the Mauzer Brigade attacked
14 along the Sikirici-Mocevici axis in the Hrstovice and Kluvci village
15 sector. The fifth PB was active in the Ratkovici village sector.
16 Can we say that this document confirms the attacks that you
17 mentioned earlier, Mr. Ramic?
18 A. Yes. This confirms exactly those attacks, that is to say action
19 from Fakovici when they took Fakovici again, so they were shelling the
20 areas that I described before, and they destroyed houses in Ratkovici and
21 in Poznanovici.
22 Q. Could we --
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honour --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, one moment. We will give this document
25 an exhibit number. It will become Defence Exhibit D724. For the record
1 it consists of two pages, one in B/C/S, and the other one the
2 corresponding English translation. Yes, Mr. Di Fazio?
3 MR. DI FAZIO: I've been trying to follow the evidence of this
4 witness with some success, I think. I thought he was describing events in
5 1992 around --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Because he moved into -- because he was asked by
7 Madam Vidovic how this progressed over time. And he went into practically
8 April of 1993.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Precisely, Your Honour, yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I mean, I -- of course, if you would like any
12 clarifications, you are entitled to them.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, perhaps I'll reserve it for tomorrow to
14 clarify it myself.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: To me, at least, I only speak for myself, obviously.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I have been able to follow. It started off with the
18 demilitarisation and it ended up basically the happenings, the events
19 between June of 1992 and continuing attacks going into April of 1993. So
20 this is --
21 MR. DI FAZIO: I apologise for any interruption in the flow.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't need to apologise.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: I would ask that if we could be just a little more
24 clearer, if the witness is describing -- also for the purposes of the
25 transcript if I've misunderstood I'll clarify it tomorrow.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, Madam Vidovic?
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Just very briefly, may I respond to
3 this? I asked the following question: I asked whether the attacks
4 continued throughout the fall and winter, and whether they went on between
5 the 26th of January in 1993 and the end of March 1993. So it was crystal
6 clear. And the witness understood me correctly.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, yes.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] What I meant was the winter and
9 spring. I think we are wasting time, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Right. Yes, I'd like to ask the
12 usher to show yet another exhibit to the witness. It is about the
13 subsequent attacks. Once again, it is Exhibit D51, the document D51.
14 It's a Defence document.
15 Q. Can you see the document, Witness? I've shown it to you before,
16 isn't that the case?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. It is a Bratunac Brigade document dated the 19th of April 1993 and
19 I'm just going to quote the relevant bit out to you which is on page 3 of
20 this document. It reads, in item 5(5), and it's again on page 3 in the
21 English text, it says, "From the initial position TT.651 - TT.322" or
22 rather "Ratkovici-Ducici, the 5th Infantry Battalion, and TG.G-1 attack
23 the enemy in the zone of: Magudovic Brdo [800 metres to the north] -
24 Oparci - Kulici - Dimnici - Mocevici - Subin.
25 "The main activity direction: Magudovic Brdo [TT651] - Grada
1 [TT.726] - Mocevici - Stozersko."
2 And, "Support to be provided by Brigade AG of the Bratunac
3 Brigade. Command spot at the village of Ratkovici -- command spot, that
4 is in the village of Ratkovici."
5 And my question to you, Mr. Ramic, is whether Magudovic - Brdo is
6 a part of Ratkovici?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Does this document illustrate what you were talking about, the
9 fact that artillery attacks were being launched against the Magudovic -
10 Brdo by the Serbs?
11 A. Yes.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
13 Could you -- no, we already have a number for this.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I do apologise.
16 Q. Mr. Ramic, now we are going to move on to an altogether different
17 topic. May we just go back to the summer of 1992, since I'm going to ask
18 you something about a different location? What about the overall
19 situation in the entire area, Poznanovici and a wider area as well? Did
20 it worsen in any way in the course of the summer of 1992?
21 A. Yes. It got worse because as I mentioned on a number of
22 occasions, thousands and thousands of refugees came to the area and they
23 had no food and we were subjected to shelling on a daily basis and they
24 had to go to other villages, Abdulici, near Fakovici, to find food in the
25 course of the night and many stepped on mines or there were ambushes, et
2 Q. What I would like to ask you about is the following. What is the
3 significance of Fakovici, if any, in as far as this shelling in the course
4 of the summer of 1992 is concerned?
5 A. Well, we knew that significant Serb forces were stationed at
6 Fakovici, that there were lots of soldiers, and an uncle of mine mentioned
7 that in April he came from Cacak across Pacavaci [phoen], and he saw large
8 numbers of Serb soldiers and he saw the artillery weapons in Fakovici and
9 he saw lots of uniformed Serb soldiers and their weapons, and he saw all
10 that in Fakovici.
11 Q. Did they shell your area in the course of the summer from
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In the course of your account here, you mentioned that your uncle
15 in the month of April went through Bacevci and Fakovici. Could you just
16 tell us for the sake of the transcript, in April of what year?
17 A. April 1992, the beginning, I mean.
18 Q. Thank you very much. You mentioned those refugees from Fakovici
19 and let me try and make the long story short, or, rather, from the area of
20 Abdulici. I do apologise. Do you remember whether you went looking for
21 food with them in the course of the summer of 1992?
22 A. Yes, I do remember. We had quite a few refugees from Abdulici and
23 Zanjevo. I had a name called Ibrahim in my house, and on a number of
24 occasions we gave him -- or rather we went to Abdulici and Zanjevo and we
25 had a horse with us. And they used to be wealthy. They had lots of grain
1 so we would go and collect food there and then we would come back, but as
2 I've already mentioned on their way to collect food many people lost their
3 lives or were wounded and it was easy to see that they had an antiaircraft
4 gun and -- at Fakovici, and they could use it against us when we were
5 looking for food.
6 Q. Thank you. And I'm going to ask you a specific question now. Do
7 you remember any day in the course of the autumn of 1992 that you went
8 there, that you went looking for food?
9 A. Yes, I do remember. On the 5th of October 1992, I went again
10 together with Ibrahim following his request and we got my father to lend
11 us a horse and we went looking for food.
12 Q. Yes, could you please pause a second now.
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could you please show the witness
14 the map which is Prosecution document P375? It is the blownup
15 representation of the Fakovici area.
16 Q. Mr. Ramic, could you take a look at this map? Are you in a
17 position to show the Trial Chamber where Fakovici is, and then Pantici?
18 A. Pantici. Just a moment. Here's Fakovici. Pantici.
19 Q. Could you explain to the Trial Chamber what Pantici is?
20 A. Well, it is a part of Fakovici, the main part of Fakovici. There
21 are houses there.
22 Q. On that day, on the 5th of October, when you said you set out
23 together with Ibrahim, how far did you get, in fact?
24 A. I got to the upper Fakovici.
25 Q. And what happened?
1 A. There was an ambush, and many people were killed. My father's
2 horse was killed as well, and Ibrahim was wounded, seriously wounded, and
3 so we had to turn back immediately because there were quite a few people
4 who were wounded. Ibrahim was wounded as well and later on he died.
5 Q. So basically he died in that very day?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Whilst you were in the area, as far as you could get, could you
8 see -- from that spot, could you see anything in Pantici? And you said
9 about Pantici that it is the centre of Fakovici, basically. What were you
10 able to see?
11 A. We could see an antiaircraft gun which was next to the school at
12 Pantici and there were machine-guns from houses. You could see how they
13 were mounting on to houses and there was a yellow gun with these PAM and
14 PAT guns, anti-aircraft machine-guns and guns, and they were being used in
15 order to shoot at people who were looking for food. And dozens of people
16 were killed and wounded on that day.
17 Q. You said to us because were you ambushed and because there were
18 people who were wounded, you had to go back to the village. Did you talk
19 to any of the people who managed to get to Fakovici itself?
20 A. Yes, I did talk to the refugees from Abdulici, Zanjevo, who said
21 that there was indeed that yellow truck in Fakovici with the antiaircraft
22 machine-guns and antiaircraft guns, that there were lots of different
23 types of weapons, a lot of ammunition, especially at the school in
25 Q. And have I understood you correctly in the sense that you yourself
1 saw that yellow truck?
2 A. Yes, I did say I saw that yellow truck. That was in action.
3 Q. Thank you. Mr. Ramic, on the basis of what you yourself saw and
4 experienced on that day, and on the basis of what you heard from the
5 fighters, from those armed individuals or refugees or whoever, who had
6 been into Fakovici itself, can you reply, could you just tell us, I'm
7 trying to clarify here and I can see that Mr. Di Fazio is getting ready to
8 react. Perhaps this reaction is justified so I'm going to try and ask a
9 specific question. Who exactly did you talk to when you went back to your
10 village out of this group of people who had been to Fakovici itself?
11 A. I talked to Eniz Smajlovic [phoen] from Zanjevo.
12 Q. Right. Can you tell me on the basis of what you heard from him
13 and on the basis of your own experience on that day and on the basis of
14 what you yourself saw at Fakovici, can you reply to the following
15 question: If anyone were to claim that Fakovici did not have any sort of
16 organised military units and simply they had village guards there, on that
17 day, and prior to that, would that be a true statement? Would that be
19 A. Can you repeat your question, please?
20 Q. If anyone were to claim that Fakovici, prior to that day, only had
21 village guards and did not have any organised military units, would that
22 be correct on the basis of your own experience?
23 A. Of course not. I said earlier on that they had the weapons that I
24 myself saw.
25 Q. And now I am going to ask another question. In the course of the
1 events, in the course of the summer 1992, did you, in Poznanovici and
2 Podkorjen and in the area that you were spending time in, did you have any
3 kind of communication links?
4 A. No.
5 Q. And let me ask you just one more question, Mr. Ramic. Today, you
6 described quite a few crimes to us, and you said that they were
7 perpetrated by Serbs in May and June 1992. You mentioned that you were in
8 an eyewitness to some of these crimes and that you have knowledge of some
9 of these murders and about the torching of the Muslim villages, of the
10 entire area. Now, my question to you is this: After the fall of your
11 villages, and after the demilitarisation, did the so-called authorities in
12 Srebrenica carry out any investigations at all with regard to those crimes
13 perpetrated against Muslims in your area and their property?
14 A. No. There were no conditions for that.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just need a minute.
16 I have no further questions, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Madam Vidovic.
18 I take it that you will start tomorrow. Yes. All right. And if
19 you do require some time, you just let us know so that we will try and
20 accommodate you.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you for that courtesy, Your Honours, but I
22 don't anticipate that there will be a need for that.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You anticipate that you will be able to conclude
24 your cross-examination tomorrow?
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So we'll adjourn hoping that everyone
2 will be in fine shape tomorrow and that we will be able to continue.
3 Mr. Ramic, we are going to stop here for today. You will be taken
4 back to your hotel, you can rest and relax. Tomorrow you will be back
5 with us at 9.00 tomorrow morning, and we are pretty sure that we will
6 finish with your testimony tomorrow so that you will be able to go back
7 home. Thank you.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.29 p.m., to
9 be reconvened on Tuesday, 30 August 2005, at
10 9.00 a.m.