1 Friday, 9 September 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you call the case, please, Madam Registrar,
6 and good morning to you.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
8 number IT-03-68, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam. Mr. Oric, the usual question.
10 Can you follow the proceedings in your own language?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I can
12 indeed follow the proceedings in my own language.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Oric, and good morning to you.
14 Appearances for the Prosecution.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours, and also good morning to
16 my learned friends of the Defence. My name is Jan Wubben lead counsel for
17 the Prosecution. I'm here together with co-counsel, Ms. Patricia Sellers,
18 Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio, and Ms. Joanne Richardson, and our case manager,
19 Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: 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, and together with Mr. John Jones, I represent Mr. Oric.
24 We're joined by our legal assistants, Ms. Jasmina Cosic and our case
25 manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts. Good morning to the Prosecution as well.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Vidovic, and good morning to you
2 and your team.
3 So, one small announcement before I ask for preliminaries. Due to
4 the need of one of us to travel a bit early today, to travel today, we
5 need to stop not later than 1.00. So what I'm going to suggest is to
6 adopt the same procedure that we have adopted in the past when this has
7 happened, that we have two sessions, rather than three, and that there
8 would be a 30-minute break between the two. The first session will finish
9 at 10.45 instead of at 10.30. We'll recommence at 11.15 and then finish
10 at 1.00, if that is all right with you. The understanding is, Mr. Jones,
11 if you don't finish, we'll spill over to Monday.
12 MR. JONES: Yes. Thank you. I anticipate I should be able to
13 finish in any event. But thank you for that.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: What I'm saying is that -- and we would find a
15 solution between Monday and Tuesday, if the Prosecution is prejudiced by
16 that, but I don't think it will be prejudiced. So we will spill over to
17 Monday, if necessary.
18 Any preliminaries on your part?
19 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.
20 MR. JONES: No. Just to say that yesterday we spotted on the
21 exhibit list --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I know that.
23 MR. JONES: Apologies for that. Thank you.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: That is something that certainly doesn't need any
25 apologies, Mr. Jones.
1 And I also wish to express the gratitude of the Trial Chamber at
2 the positive response that you both showed yesterday in the wake of the
3 memo that one of our legal officers communicated to you with regard to
4 making available as early as possible the list of witnesses because it was
5 causing quite an inconvenience to our staff. But I appreciate your
6 cooperation very much. Thank you.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Buric, good morning to you.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome back. Please make yourself comfortable so
11 that we don't lose much time.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: You're going to continue testifying today, and you
14 don't need to repeat the solemn declaration. It still applies, and will
15 continue to apply until the end of your testimony in this Tribunal.
16 So, Mr. Jones.
17 WITNESS: NESIB BURIC [Resumed]
18 Examined by Mr. Jones: [Continued].
19 Q. Good morning again from me, Mr. Buric.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. When we left off yesterday, you were describing how -- I think it
22 was on the morning of the 5th October 1992 - and correct me if I misstate
23 any of this - you and Sefik Mandzic and your men set off for Joseva in a
24 and Jagodnja because you heard those villages were attacked and on fire.
25 Is that a correct summary of what you were telling us?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Just for the transcript, and again I think you stated yesterday,
3 but specifically that those villages had been attacked by Serbs in
4 Fakovici. That's what you told us. I think it's pages 82 to 83.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, you also mentioned that you received information that some of
7 the Muslim civilians from those villages had been captured and taken away.
8 Do you recall giving that evidence?
9 A. I do.
10 Q. Now, which Serbs did you understand had taken those civilians
12 A. Those were Serbs from Fakovici, and, later on when I was taken
13 prisoner by the Serbs, there were actually about 200 of us who had been
14 injured, and a guy called Petko Pletvejic [phoen] from Mlecko Obarajka
15 [phoen] boasted to us that he took two Muslim civilians prisoner, Hajro
16 and Osman, that is, and he said that he captured Bahro and a daughter of
17 Mahmut from Joseva, and that she had been sent off to Serbia, and Hajro
18 and Osman are still missing. And a certain Petko, the one I'm talking
19 about, lived at a house in Bratunac. He lived in the house of a
20 well-respected citizen of Bratunac, Hasan Smajlovic, who was a veterinary
22 Q. Just to clarify this, we're going to come later to when you were
23 taken prisoner. You've told us that Petko boasted that he had taken
24 Muslim civilians prisoner. You mentioned Hajro and Osman. Which villages
25 were they from, or which village?
1 A. From the village of Poznanovici, and Bahra was from Joseva.
2 Q. Never mind when he told you this, but when he did tell you, when
3 was he saying that he had captured those people?
4 A. He didn't mention any dates as such, but I think it must have been
5 in the course of that period of time, that is to say, October, perhaps
6 August, between August and October, in 1992.
7 Q. I'm going to come back to Petko later.
8 At the time, and so we're still talking about the 5th of October,
9 1992, when you were setting off for Joseva and Jagodnja, did you have any
10 information or any belief as to where those Muslim civilians had been
11 taken, those who had been captured?
12 A. We had no information. Our information was that large numbers of
13 Muslims who were on their way to Zanjevo to get food, we had information
14 that quite a few of them were captured, killed, that they stepped in
15 landmines, that a part of Joseva was set on fire and a part of Jagodnja,
16 and -- when Serbs managed to enter that village on the 4th of October.
17 Q. Let me approach it this way. You set off with Sefik Mandzic and
18 his group to Joseva and Jagodnja. Part of your information was that
19 Muslim civilians had been taken captive. Was it any part of your
20 intention or not to try and rescue or liberate those captives?
21 A. We came to help. Our intention was to assist the Muslim villages,
22 Jagodnja, and Joseva, to defend themselves against the attack for the
23 villages not to be set on fire, because in Joseva and Jagodnja there were
24 quite a few Muslim refugees from Zanjevo from the direction of Skelani,
25 from Voljavica, from Bjelovac, from Skagari. So our primary intention was
1 to defend that Muslim village, those two Muslim villages, Jagodnja and
3 Q. So, moving on, did you reach Joseva and Jagodnja?
4 A. Yes. We got there at around 2.30, 3.00, across the woods, from
5 Kragljivoda down to Joseva. At around 11.00, and here I'm talking about
6 Boljevici, Radijevici, Gutasa [phoen], Fakovici, and all those places,
7 there were shots being fired in all directions, and also from places
8 across in Serbia. So there was selective shooting and shelling of Muslim
9 villages from all those directions and all those villages.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, when you say 2.30, 3.00, is that in the morning
11 or in the evening? And what day is that?
12 A. Oh, no. Actually, what I meant, it took us two and a half hours
13 or three hours to get there, but we reached the place at around 11.00, and
14 it was on the 5th of October.
15 Q. All right. Thank you. And you've told us, then, that as you
16 arrived, shots were being fired in all directions, including from Serbia.
17 And here again just to clarify your testimony, you say: "At around 11.00
18 a.m., there were shots being fired in all directions." Were shots being
19 fired from those places? Is that what you're saying?
20 A. Yes, that's what I meant. They were shooting from those villages
21 that I've just mentioned.
22 Q. Thank you. Did you remain in Jagodnja?
23 A. No. Other groups had reached Jagodnja before us from Miholjevine,
24 Mosici, a group from Jagodnja and Joseva, the group that was there. They
25 were chasing the Serbs, actually, and shooting after them. And that's how
1 they managed to chase away the Serbs who had come into their village and
2 torched it.
3 Q. Okay. And then from that point, then, did you go -- where did you
4 go after being in Jagodnja? And you can also indicate on the map, if that
5 helps to show your route.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, and just while the map is
7 being produced --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the map is already on the ELMO, if I'm
9 seeing right.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: I don't know if Mr. Jones intends to clarify it or
11 not. He may, and I apologise if I'm interrupting prematurely. But the
12 witness indicated there were other groups there chasing the Serbs away. I
13 don't know if Mr. Jones intends to lead any evidence of what those groups
14 were or who they were. But if he doesn't, my submission is that there
15 ought to be some clarification of that for you to understand this
17 MR. JONES: Your Honour, I leave that for cross-examination,
18 really. I can't pursue every line which the Prosecution --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: No one is going to force you to pursue that line.
20 MR. JONES: Thank you.
21 Q. Now, if you could show us -- we see Jagodnja --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: And you would understand, Mr. Di Fazio, that being
23 the answer, we are not going to pursue it.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: I understand Mr. Jones' position. I can't quarrel
25 with it.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I hope you don't quarrel with us, too.
3 MR. JONES: Thank you.
4 Q. So on this map, Mr. Buric, can you see Jagodnja and Joseva, the
5 map which is to your right?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: It's already circled.
7 MR. JONES: Yes.
8 Q. Just for you to locate it. Now, you mentioned shots being fired,
9 well, from -- Fakovici was one place. Let me just check on the
11 A. Fakovici, Boljevici, Gutasa, and Radijevici. So all Serb villages,
12 which are situated along the River Drina, next to the Muslim village
13 Zanjevo Abdulici.
14 Q. And when you say "shots," was this rifle shots, artillery shells?
15 What sort of --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, before he answers, for the record,
17 the witness has been indicating and circling these places on the map which
18 was exhibited yesterday and which is marked as Defence exhibit 737. Sorry,
19 Mr. Jones. I think we needed that.
20 MR. JONES:
21 Q. What sort of shots were being fired from these locations?
22 A. They were using infantry ammunition, guns, machine-guns, mortars,
23 anti-aircraft machine-guns. But we'll get that later. But at around
24 4.00, tanks rolled up from Serbia, from the direction of Perucac. So then
25 all sorts of artillery weapons were used.
1 Q. Okay. Well, that's quite a bit later. So firstly, did you --
2 where in fact did you go --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. -- Joseva and Jagodnja? What locations?
5 A. When we got to Joseva, a group from Joseva had already pushed
6 Serbs away into the direction of Radijevici and Sefik and myself, with our
7 group -- groups, rather, went in the direction of Radijevici, not far from
8 Joseva, in a forest which was totally land-mined. Sefik stepped on a
9 land-mine, and it was actually an anti-tank mine and it blew him to
10 pieces. But four blokes from his group went to help him and the same fate
11 had befallen them as well. So before we even left Joseva properly, we had
12 five dead. And that was one of the most difficult days in my life,
13 Sefik's death, and he was a great friend of mine. And so most of the
14 group from Kragljivoda was actually busy taking the dead bodies away. And
15 there were quite a few women who had stepped on land-mines, as well as
16 children from Joseva, and they were all being taken in the direction of
17 Joseva and Jagodnja.
18 Q. Just to stop you there. The land-mines, or the anti-tank mine, in
19 fact, which Sefik stepped on and which the four others -- which killed the
20 four others, where precisely was that? Was that in any village? What was
21 the closest village to where that happened?
22 A. That was in Radijevici halfway between Joseva and Radijevici,
23 roughly speaking here.
24 Q. And Radijevici was a Serb or Muslim village?
25 A. It was an ethnically Serb village, and they were attacking from
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that direction and they managed to torch a part of Joseva on the 4th of
3 Q. I don't know if you've marked Radijevici yet on the map, but if
4 you haven't I'd be grateful if you'd do so.
5 A. Yes, I marked it. There are three big circles and the biggest one
6 indicates Radijevici.
7 Q. Thank you. Right. Now, you've told us that Sefik and four blokes
8 died in that area. Was this area lightly mined, heavily mined, moderately
9 mined? Can you help us with that?
10 A. Yes. I can tell you that there were several hundreds of mines. I
11 did say that in the beginning. Whenever Serbs felt that it was
12 appropriate, they would have minefields, everywhere, Fakovici, Radijevici,
13 all that was mined.
14 Q. And how far is Radijevici from Fakovici, if you can estimate?
15 A. I don't know exactly, but five to six kilometres, tops. And in
16 between those two Serb villages, there is a Muslim village, Abdulici
17 Zanjevo that's one village, in fact, which was torched on the 7th or 8th
18 of May, 1992.
19 Q. Thank you. So what happened after that? Where did you go after
20 Sefik and the four others had died?
21 A. Most of those lads from Kragljivoda went back to Joseva and
22 Jagodnja to get the dead bodies out of there, and with a part of my group,
23 I went to the left, in the direction of the village of Zanjevo. Because I
24 thought that in that way, we could avoid the minefields. So we went to
25 the right of a creek of some sort, between Zanjevo and Fakovici. And at
1 one point, my left eye could see a church. That was the church in
2 Fakovici. So I went to the left and I kept going in that direction and I
3 came near Fakovici.
4 Q. Before you explain that, earlier you mentioned that you also saw
5 women, I think you said children also, who had been wounded. Can you just
6 elaborate that for us, roughly how many women and children and what sort
7 of injuries -- the extent of the injuries that they suffered.
8 A. There are dozens of women, children, people in general who were
9 being carried either by other people or transported on horseback, and most
10 of them had stepped onto land-mines. So they were going from the
11 direction of Joseva and Jagodnja. So as soon as their group from Joseva
12 and Jagodnja went in the direction of Radijevici, the civilians probably
13 followed, because they must have thought that they were going to get into
14 Radijevici and they followed the groups from Joseva and Jagodnja straight
16 Q. So do you know roughly where they -- where they encountered these
17 mines and where they were injured, in what locality?
18 A. I was on the left of that area, so it was in the western part of
19 Fakovici, from the direction of Jagodnja and Joseva. Okay. I've just
20 marked it with a couple of arrows here. So it was between Fakovici and
21 Zanjevo. Because they supposed that Muslims would go back to their own
22 village to get food, to Zanjevo, that is. And 99 per cent of the area was
23 mined. 99 per cent of that Muslim village, Zanjevo Abdulici.
24 Q. You were telling us how you had seen the approach and you said you
25 came near Fakovici. At that stage -- firstly, who were you with in your
2 A. Yes. On the way to Jagodnja and Joseva, we were joined by some
3 other lads from the refugee settlement of Tokoljaci and some others from
4 Joseva from Jagodnja who also had rifles.
5 Q. And did you come in - when I say "you," I'm referring to you and
6 anyone who was in your group approaching Fakovici - did you come under any
7 shooting at that time?
8 A. Throughout that time, as soon as Jagodnja and Joseva had been set
9 on fire, at some point in the morning - I can't remember what time
10 exactly - but throughout that period of time, until 11.00 or 12.00, there
11 was relentless shooting and shelling from all sorts of weapons, artillery
12 weapons, and it came from this direction of Fakovici. It was to the east
13 and the southeast of Fakovici.
14 Q. And did you at any stage know or find out what artillery was
15 shooting at you from Fakovici, what type of artillery?
16 A. At that moment, we thought these were all guns of sorts. We
17 didn't know the exact categories of weapons. We called all of them guns
18 and rifles until we reached Fakovici, and then we saw what it was that we
20 Q. And I'm anticipating slightly, but what did you seize?
21 A. Fakovici was so heavily armed and we saw so much weaponry that it
22 was beyond our dreams. We seized a truck, FAP-13, with a three-barrelled
23 gun called P-A-T, PAT, 20-millimetre calibre, as well as a four-barrel
24 gun, three or four mortars of 80-millimetre calibre and five or six of
25 them. Two tractors loaded with ammunition for PAT and PAMs, a quantity of
1 automatic rifles and machine-guns. That was all seized in Fakovici.
2 Q. All right. Thank you. I want to make sure I've got this list
3 absolutely right. A truck with the three-barrel gun on it, which I think
4 you said was 20-millimetre calibre. Dealing with that first of all. Can
5 you describe the truck, including the colour? I'm interested in the
6 colour as well, for my own purposes.
7 A. The truck was yellow. It was produced at the Privoj factory, the
8 abbreviation being the FAP, and it had a PAT mounted, welded into the
9 chassis. It was a three-barrelled gun with spare ammunition, and it was
10 an anti-aircraft gun of 20-millimetre calibre.
11 Q. You also mentioned -- actually, while we're on that, can you tell
12 us where that was located?
13 A. Flak. I will show the exact spot. On the left side of the road
14 between Bratunac and Skelani, just below the road. I will put a dot
15 there. This is where the Flak was, f-l-a-k, a three-barrelled down. And
16 three to four hundred metres down was the four-barrelled gun.
17 Q. Firstly, just for the sake of the record, could you put maybe
18 a "3" next to the dot you've done to indicate three-barrelled gun.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. And that's within the circle that you've marked "F," so I take it
21 that's within Fakovici.
22 A. Yes, in the centre of Fakovici.
23 Q. Now let's deal with the four-barrelled gun. I'm not sure if you
24 mentioned what calibre that was, but if you tell us the calibre and where
25 that was located.
1 A. That four-barrelled gun, I don't know the exact categorisation of
2 the JNA, but it is of 20- or 40-millimetre calibre. I believe it must be
3 40. It's got four barrels and a crew, and it was about 300 metres down
4 towards the Drina. That's where I put number 4. That was the
5 four-barrelled gun. And in between the houses, there were mortars of 82
6 and 60-millimetre calibre. And if I may add, there were ramparts and
7 bunkers and dugouts that were made of sandbags and crates, ammunition
8 crates that were filled with earth. The greatest problem that we had was
9 the place that we call salas. It is a place where we keep wheat. And
10 they dug out a trench next to it and put some concrete in as well. And
11 they kept firing from there, in all directions, around Fakovici.
12 Q. You've described this place called salas, where there was a
13 trench. But you've also described ramparts and bunkers and dugouts. Can
14 you tell us where these ramparts and bunkers and dugouts were located in
16 A. To make myself clear, not one salas, which is actually a barn. It
17 is a regular feature with the outhouses. And there wasn't just one barn,
18 therefore, but each house had its own, and fire was opened from behind
19 each one of the houses. And we knew from before that there used to be a
20 professional battalion of the Serb army in Fakovici and that on occasion
21 they received units from Bratunac, Skelani, and Bijeljina. And we knew
22 that. And at a certain point, and that proved to be true later, they even
23 had cadets from Belgrade who underwent training there. Those cadets
24 attended the military academy and they would come to Fakovici and Skelani
25 for the shooting exercises and combat practice.
1 Q. Now, still remaining with this list of items which were captured,
2 you've described the two -- the three-barrelled gun and the four-barelled
3 gun and the mortars tars as well. You also mentioned ammunition, I think
4 you said PATs, were also seized?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Where was that captured?
7 A. It was seized around noon or 12.30 on the 5th of October. Just
8 below the road where the three-barrelled gun was - I don't know exactly,
9 because that was the first time and the last time I was in Fakovici - but
10 there is a facility there. I think it's an agriculture cooperative in
11 their warehouse. And when we went in, it was mined. As far as I can
12 remember, a Serb returned to mine the warehouse. And some of our guys saw
13 that and they prevented him to blow up the facility, because it was full
14 of ammunition.
15 Q. Thank you. Just two questions about that. You said that the
16 agriculture cooperative was mined. But then you mentioned a Serb returned
17 to mine the warehouse. What precisely did you mean by that? What in fact
18 did the Serb who returned, what did he try to do?
19 A. They thought that the Muslim groups would come into the warehouse,
20 would storm into it, and they had laid mines previously. But I suppose
21 they never expected the attack, since they torched Jagodnja and Joseva,
22 they didn't consider the option of a counterattack. And it was probably
23 mined days before that, just in case. And he returned to try to set it
24 off. They waited for us to storm in and then to set it off.
25 Q. So he tried to detonate the mine?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And do you know what happened to that Serb?
3 A. The guys from Jagodnja and Joseva took that Serb to Jagodnja and
4 Joseva. I don't know what happened to him afterwards. They captured him
5 and took him to Jagodnja and Joseva.
6 MR. JONES: In fact, at this point, I'd be grateful if the witness
7 could be shown exhibit D135?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly.
9 MR. JONES: And this is a statement taken from someone from
11 Before the witness is shown the exhibit:
12 Q. Do you have any idea of the age of this Serb who was captured?
13 A. I don't know. Around 50, I guess. Around 50, 55. That's what he
14 looked like to me.
15 Q. Thank you. You'll be shown this exhibit now, and it's a statement
16 which was taken from someone from Fakovici, relating to the 5th of
17 October, 1992. And I'll direct you to the fourth paragraph on page 1, I
18 think in both -- yes, in English and in B/C/S. And the bit I'm going to
19 read goes as follows: "When the shooting stopped, I crept behind the arms
20 depot and got to about 30 metres away from them," referring to the
21 [inaudible], "they were trying to break into the warehouse, which had an
22 iron gate. When the gate began to give way, I ran for the detonator,
23 because I knew the warehouse was mined. I wanted all of them to" - I
24 think that's "go in" - "before it blew up. However when I got to within
25 10 metres, they sprang out of hiding where they were guarding the
1 warehouse. They grabbed me, beat me, and dragged me to my house, which
2 was on fire."
3 I just want to ask if that corresponds to what you were telling us
4 about a Serb on the 5th of October trying to detonate a charge on a
5 warehouse, but getting caught instead.
6 A. No one beat him, that Serb.
7 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may. I would just
8 kindly ask the witness to read for himself this part of the text, because
9 the translation is wrong. Could you please read the third paragraph
10 quoted by my colleague, because the witness received a translation that is
11 incorrect and difficult to understand.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. That corrects it. And do you
13 want him to read it from the beginning?
14 MR. JONES: Yes. He can just read it where it starts [B/C/S
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Did you understand me, Mr. Buric?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can comment. And he mentioned the
18 barn, but he used a different word in B/C/S.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Please don't comment. Just read the paragraph out
20 slowly, from the part that Mr. Jones indicated to you, so that we will
21 have the benefit of a real-time interpretation and we will know what the
22 difference is.
23 MR. JONES: Going down to line 7 - sorry, 10, the last word should
24 be [B/C/S spoken]. We don't need to go beyond there. Do you want the
25 witness to actually read that passage?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thought so, because if he doesn't read it out, how
2 are we going to find out what the discrepancy is or where the -- where the
3 wrong translation is?
4 MR. JONES: That's fine.
5 Q. Mr. Buric, I don't know if you followed that. If you could
6 read -- it's the fourth paragraph, and you could just read out loud where
7 it starts off [B/C/S spoken], and go down nine lines to where it says
8 [B/C/S spoken]. If you could just read that, we need it for the record.
9 A. Yes, I read it. "When the weapons became silent, I crept behind
10 the arms depot and I came closer -- close to a barn close to them, about
11 30 metres away, and they were trying to break into the warehouse that had
12 an iron gate. They were beating on it. And when the gate gave way, I ran
13 to the detonator, because I knew the warehouse was mined. I didn't want
14 to blow it up before that. I wanted for all of them to go in. When I
15 started running, I was about ten metres away from the detonator, and
16 suddenly about a hundred of them appeared. They were hidden and guarding
17 the warehouse from all sides. They encircled me, carried me away, and
18 beat me, put me before my house. They knew who I was, and they
19 said, `here you go, manager.'"
20 Q. Two questions: Firstly, does that description correspond to what
21 your information about a Serb being captured after trying to rob the
22 warehouse of ammunition?
23 A. I know that he said that he came to blow up the warehouse and that
24 it was mined.
25 Q. Another question arising from something you said earlier. You see
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 there that it says you were beaten. Do you disagree or disagree? And if
2 you disagree, on what basis?
3 A. I don't agree. No one beat him. Two guys from Jagodnja took him
4 away. They didn't even know him. All we knew was that he was a Serb who
5 came to blow up the warehouse. We didn't know who he was. We never saw
6 him before that. And we didn't take him to his house, because he was
7 immediately taken towards Jagodnja and Joseva.
8 Q. Thank you. There's something else in this statement which I'd
9 appreciate your help with. It's the third paragraph. And I'd be grateful
10 if you could just read into the record the last sentence. It's the
11 sentence [B/C/S spoken], if you could read that sentence?
12 A. "At the moment when they were going down the Drina, our weapons
13 jammed, and only my Zuca was still functioning."
14 Q. Thank you. A question about that. What would you understand, if
15 anything, by that reference to Zuca?
16 A. We neutralised the Flak before that, and he said that their
17 weapons jammed. Zuca is the three-barrelled gun that was mounted on the
18 truck that was yellow. And it was still -- functioned, and it was seized
19 after we captured him and that was the last place of resistance. He may
20 have been the only person manning it and he went to the warehouse to
21 detonate it.
22 MR. JONES: I point that out because the English doesn't have the
23 last sentence.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: This is often of concern to the Trial Chamber. When
25 we see these things, the discrepancies, or inaccuracies, we really get
2 MR. JONES: We received this from the Prosecution. You can see
3 it's receipt 11 to their translation, or at least it's a translation we
4 received, and we pointed this out, I believe, in the past, that those
5 words were missing, I'm pretty sure.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And you need to realise something. I mean, the
7 Defence, the right to remain silent, and I cannot look in the direction of
8 the Defence and say: If there are discrepancies, you are required to
9 point them out to us.
10 MR. JONES: I've asked our CaseMap manager to check, because I
11 believe we have pointed this out in the past. We can deal with this in
12 the absence of the witness subsequently.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I would appreciate, of course, but you realise this
14 causes quite a concern at the back, and we go to bed thinking about these
15 things. Because ultimately, I mean, this is a case where you have almost
16 800 -- we have 1.300 documents. And some of them -- we rely entirely on
17 the translation that we are given.
18 MR. JONES: Yes. Your Honour, may I just refer Your Honours, for
19 future reference, it's 16th of December, 2004, page 67, on LiveNote, 67,
20 10, when this issue was raised in the context of this exhibit. But I'll
21 try to move on, obviously, with this witness.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. Right.
23 MR. JONES:
24 Q. I want to go back to where we left off, because in fact you
25 haven't described your movements yet in Fakovici. We dealt with what was
1 captured. So I want to go back to your entry into Fakovici. I want to
2 first of all ask whether at that time and that day in Fakovici, whether
3 you saw any civilians, Muslim civilians.
4 A. Yes. Before we moved in that direction, Joseva, Radijevici, and
5 towards the left, I saw thousands, perhaps between 5.000 and 10.000 people
6 who have already entered the Muslim village of Zanjevo. So a large number
7 of people was coming back with wheat bags from Fakovici and ambari [as
8 interpreted]. There were masses of civilians, women and men. In my
9 estimate, between 5.000 to 10.000 people. And when I was returning, I
10 believe there were up to 15.000.
11 Q. All right. You've mentioned they were coming back with wheat
12 bags. It may be an obvious question, but why were the civilians in
13 Fakovici, to your knowledge?
14 A. When I was going there, I said from the Muslim village of Zanjevo.
15 First we went to the left of Zanjevo, and they have already been coming
16 in, looking for food, wheat, corn, whatever they could find, and then they
17 were returning towards Jagodnja and Joseva.
18 Q. You've described your group who were there, some or all with
19 rifles or with weapons. Were you coordinating and choreographing the
20 movements of these civilians?
21 A. I received no interpretation.
22 MR. JONES: I can repeat the question.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I'd ask you repeat the question, please, and
24 then we'll see whether it's a technical problem.
25 MR. JONES: Yes.
1 Q. Were you, and by you, I mean you and your group who had weapons,
2 were you coordinating and choreographing the movements of these civilians?
3 Were you directing them where to go and what to do?
4 A. No. Most of the people from my group had weapons, but we had no
5 coordination, no links with those civilians. We were not interested in
6 them, and they were not interested in us. People were just trying to
7 reach the barns to get some food. No one was interested in anything else.
8 Q. All right. Thank you. And again, maybe an obvious question, but
9 was there any possibility of controlling those people, from your point of
11 A. I believe there was not even the slightest possibility to have any
12 influence over them. No one could. People moved through the woods, since
13 it is a forested area. I am short of words to explain myself, but they
14 came from all directions. They never minded the mines, and when someone
15 would step on a mine, they would have to pull that person out. I believe
16 on that day, several dozens of -- thousands of people died [as
17 interpreted], women, children, and up to 90 per cent of them died because
18 they stepped on mines, and they never even got close to Fakovici.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Dozens of thousands? This is what I have in the
20 English transcript.
21 MR. JONES: There might be a mistake in the English.
22 Q. How many people did you say in fact you thought had died?
23 A. Several dozens, 30, 40.
24 Q. Yes. I think you said 30, 40, not thousands. That's what I heard
25 in Bosnian?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Because like that, it would be -- you know, I am,
2 it's --
3 MR. JONES: It would be the end of the enclave.
4 I have a new exhibit for the witness, 04337002, and this is
5 Bratunac garrison command, strictly confidential, number 243, 12, date 6
6 October 1992, urgent to Birac Brigade command. And I'm going to read into
7 the record the two -- two paragraphs: "We will engage one aircraft with
8 two air sorties for air operations and we will fulfil other requests. In
9 the enemy attack on Fakovici yesterday, 20 people, soldiers and women,
10 were killed, and one person went missing. The enemy captured two
11 20-millimetre anti-aircraft guns, a three-barrel and a four-barrel one,
12 three 82-millimetre MB mortars with about 60 shells, an M-84 PM light
13 machine-gun, two M-53 PMs, and about 10 APM."
14 Q. Pausing there, can you help us with the references to PMs and APM?
15 A. An automatic rifle and a semi-automatic rifle.
16 Q. Right. Now, you've confirmed the three-barrelled gun and the
17 four-barrelled gun and these mortars. Did you also -- can you also
18 confirm whether you seized or captured any machine-guns?
19 A. Well, yes. My group captured a machine-gun of 84-millimetre
20 calibre, as well as five or six automatic rifles. That's my group, that
21 is, as well as a three- and a four-barrelled gun, as I mentioned. And I
22 can add: It says here that in the attack, 20 persons were killed. In the
23 house in Fakovici that they used as a bunker, this is the only place where
24 I saw some of their people killed, five or six of them, and this was a
25 house with ramparts, on six or seven different sides, and sandbags. There
1 were six to seven dead there, and we took their automatic rifles and the
3 Q. And how were those men dressed?
4 A. They all wore the JNA olive-drab uniforms.
5 Q. Now, in terms of this list, firstly, of these captured items, is
6 that, as far as you know, list complete, or was there more or less than
7 what's stated there?
8 A. I believe we managed to seize five or six times more ammunition.
9 They never mentioned the grenades. So we seized five to six times more of
10 weapons and ammunition.
11 Q. And did you seize that ammunition and also the rifles from purely
12 one location or from more than one location?
13 A. Yes. No. No. No. On several occasions. They were retreating.
14 Most of them had a way out, a spare route to withdraw towards the Drina,
15 and then they crossed over to Serbia, using a vessel, and that's how they
16 communicated with Serbia proper. Most of their armed forces in Fakovici
17 withdrew to Serbia.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, you've mentioned these -- I think you said seven,
19 six or seven men who you had seen who were killed. Do you know how they
20 had been killed? Did you see how they appeared to have been killed?
21 A. Yes. You could not approach them from any side. They offered
22 resistance for about two to three hours before we got there. So they were
23 offering resistance. They were firing. And we had to use Zoljas and
24 hand-grenades. And so we fired about five of each at that house.
25 Q. So you fired those weapons to flush them out or to stop them
1 firing; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. To stop shooting. They could have escaped or withdrew, as
3 the others did, across the River Drina, where several hundreds of Serb
4 soldiers crossed over into Serbia, and those ones didn't want to do so, so
5 that's why they got killed.
6 Q. You referred to several hundreds of Serb soldiers. What's your
7 best estimate for how many Serb soldiers were fighting in Fakovici on the
8 5th of October, 1992?
9 A. If we have the information that in Fakovici there was a military
10 battalion between 3 and 600 soldiers, that's the figure that we presume
11 was accurate. Perhaps a part of them withdrew in the direction of
12 [indiscernible] in the direction of Joseva, perhaps they went to
13 Radijevici. Not all of them to Fakovici. But at least it must have been
14 300 soldiers there.
15 Q. Thank you. And just on the subject again of where you found
16 weapons and ammunition. Did you find any of that in houses, by which I
17 mean private houses?
18 A. The weapons we found were, most of them, in the house that offered
19 the most resistance. And as to everybody else, it was all in barns, in
20 houses, even in the fields, as they were withdrawing in the direction of
21 the River Drina, they were dropping weapons as they went. And that PAM
22 and PAT that we captured, they actually took off some parts and they
23 dropped them as they were fleeing in the direction of the river.
24 Q. Thank you. You've also referred to the possibility that some
25 soldiers could have withdrawn to Radijevici. I want to read the second
1 paragraph of this exhibit: "Our forces are holding Radijevici village,
2 but other villages, Fakovici, Boljevici, and Grabovicka Rijeka are empty."
3 Now, was that correct, to your knowledge, that the Serbs actually
4 held Radijevici, certainly on the 5th of October, 1992, firstly?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you, your group and any other groups which were fighting in
7 Fakovici, did you hold the area? Did you occupy Fakovici?
8 A. No. At around 3.00 or 4.00 p.m., Serbs got help from Perucac and
9 Bajina Basta, where there was transport vehicles and buses and Niva cars
10 and quite a few people came. Whatever moved in Bosnia at Fakovici was
11 destroyed by those tanks. And it's about 2 to 300 metres away as the crow
13 Q. Can you elaborate on what you mean by that, when you say that
14 whatever moved in Bosnia at Fakovici was destroyed by those tanks? If you
15 could elaborate on what you mean by that.
16 A. At around 3.00 or 4.00 p.m. - I marked it with an arrow - Serb
17 tanks arrived from Bajina Basta and they were stationed along the road,
18 and they supposed that Muslims, that quite a few Muslim civilians would be
19 in Fakovici and they must be hiding in their houses. And they started
20 selective shelling operation of all buildings. I mean, it can still be
21 seen these days, because the Muslim side never had any artillery weapons.
22 And you can see -- you can still see holes in the walls of the Fakovici
23 houses, and the fire was coming from Serbia. And so on that day, they
24 destroyed everything with their tanks and APCs.
25 Q. Right. And just to go back to that a little bit, and I don't want
1 you to make any supposition about what the intentions were of the Serbs
2 when they were shelling. What I want to know firstly is, did you see
3 these tanks firing from the other side of the Drina?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And when you say that they, the Serbs, supposed that Muslims, that
6 quite a few Muslim civilians would be in Fakovici, what's your basis for
7 saying that?
8 A. It can be seen with the naked eye. It's only 200 metres away as
9 the crow flies.
10 Q. Thank you. Before we move on, I'd like to ask for an exhibit
11 number for this document, please.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly. What's the next number?
13 THE REGISTRAR: 740.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: 740. So this document, which in the original
15 language has ERN number 04337002, with the corresponding translation into
16 English, is being tendered and received and marked as a Defence Exhibit
18 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. You also mentioned APCs firing. Now, an APC, I take it is an
20 armoured personnel carrier. Can you explain how they were shooting from
22 A. Yes. The BOV vehicle on tyres, and on top of that vehicle there
23 is a gun, 20- to 40-millimetre gun, and there were two to three such APCs,
24 basically, there that came along with the tanks. So they had smaller
25 guns, lesser-calibre guns.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. I think you also mentioned TOP, I heard the word Topovi. Firstly,
2 can you confirm that you mentioned TOP, and let us know what TOP refers
4 A. Yes. On the APCs, there is a gun. On top of that, there is a gun
5 which is a 20- to 40-millimetre one.
6 Q. I think actually we need to clarify this, because it will come up.
7 I'm referring to TOP, T-O-P. That's an expression in Bosnian and the
8 witness is using the word, and I'd be grateful if the witness could
9 confirm whether or not he's used the word "TOP," T-O-P?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: It is a technical word. What is a top, Mr. Buric?
11 What is a top?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't hear the translation.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I will repeat my question. I understand that in the
14 context of what we are discussing, weapons, et cetera, there is a term
15 used in your language which is "TOP." What is a "TOP"?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is a weapon. It can also be
17 called a PAT anti-aircraft gun, a 20-millimetre gun, and it is called TOP.
18 Perhaps another translation could be a cannon, but "gun" is just as good.
19 So the smallest calibre is mounted onto an APC, such as the anti-aircraft
20 gun which was on a lorry, a four-barrelled one. And the one that only has
21 one barrel is mounted onto an APC.
22 MR. JONES: I think it's important to clarify, because "gun" in
23 English is very generic, because a TOP --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: But I do take it, at least I don't know whether you
25 are going to pursue this along the lines of what has been indicated to us,
1 but I see that amongst the Defence exhibit numbers, you intended to make
2 use of, there's generic photos of weapons.
3 MR. JONES: Yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know if you're going to --
5 MR. JONES: Yes. I'm going to use that later.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps -- it's all right. I'm sorry. I mean, when
7 the time you want to use them, is of course up to you.
8 MR. JONES: Thank you. The important thing is that we establish
9 the calibre, and the witness has answered that TOP is a 20-millimetre gun
10 which could also be described as a cannon. That's fine. And the guns on
11 the other side of the Drina, I think you described that it was a
12 20-millimetre gun mounted on the APCs.
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear an answer from the
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Buric, could you repeat your answer,
16 please, because the interpreters didn't hear it.
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. JONES:
19 Q. Thank you. So you've described the tanks and APCs on the other
20 side of the Drina firing into Fakovici in the afternoon. I want to
21 establish with you as clearly as possible, firstly, how frequently they
22 were firing, and then for how long, to your knowledge, from what you
24 A. At around 3.00 or 4.00 p.m., when those tanks and APCs came along,
25 I started withdrawing in the direction of a Muslim village called
1 Poznanovici. So we took a truck which had been captured and we also took
2 the Flak weapon that I've mentioned before, and some ammunition. And let
3 me just mention that we had found quite a lot of Muslim property there,
4 the machinery that had been looted from the Muslim villages, Zanjevo,
5 Tegare, Voljevici, so people actually found their own trucks and tractors,
6 et cetera. So they took those tractors of theirs and drove in the
7 direction of Poznanovici. So at around 4.00 p.m., I myself withdrew in the
8 direction of Poznanovici, because that was the only road that was suitable
9 for a tractor.
10 Q. Thank you. But what I want to explore with you now is the
11 intensity of the shooting which was coming from the other side of the
12 Drina. And if you can just describe in some words what the intensity of
13 the shooting was, the frequency, and the duration.
14 A. I don't know. I was travelling in that direction. I set off at
15 some point between 3.00 and 4.00 p.m., and it took me about three hours to
16 get to Poznanovici. And there was unrelenting shooting. There were
17 detonations that we could hear all the time from that direction, from
18 Radijevici, Boljevici, from Serbia, from Nemici. So they had artillery
19 weapons at a distance as well. And from Bratunac. So it was incessant.
20 And those detonations that I could hear clearly lasted for about three
22 Q. You described yesterday how you experienced shelling in Osmace,
23 and you described the damage which it did to property in Osmace. Can you
24 help us with the sort of shelling which you saw in Fakovici, the sort of
25 damage which that can do to property?
1 A. On the following day, I went back to Fakovici and I saw the houses
2 that had taken direct hits. And they had the so-called Weber [as
3 interpreted] weapons from Nemici. The next day, when I went back to
4 Fakovici, I saw a whole range of damage to Serb houses. Because, I mean,
5 Muslims had no artillery weapons and were in no position to use it,
7 Q. Just to clarify another point. In the transcript there's a
8 reference to Weber. I heard you say VBR. Can you confirm what you were
9 referring to, those weapons from Nemici?
10 A. What I mean is multiple rocket launcher. We're talking about
11 rockets of a larger calibre. As to the exact nomenclature, I don't know
12 whether it would be called Plamenflem [phoen], or whatever, or organ, and
13 the range is much longer and they used it from Nemici and Bratunac, from
14 bigger distances.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Has Nemici been indicated on the map, Mr. Jones?
16 MR. JONES: I'm not sure it has. It's actually, as the witness
17 says, in Serbia.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: But I think it would be better if we have an
19 indication of where it is.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not indicated here. It is to
21 the north of Ljubovija. To the north of Ljubovija there is an elevation
22 called Nemic that we were kind of familiar with, and they used that
23 position for the shelling of the entire area along the River Drina around
24 Srebrenica. It's not indicated on the map. But it is -- it's somewhere
25 near Ljubovija.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
2 MR. JONES: It might be possible to mark it on this other map
3 which we have which has Ljubovija. I'll pass this to the witness.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please, Mr. Jones. At least we'll have an
5 indication of where Nemici is.
6 MR. JONES: Yes. This is a map which I'm going to use in
7 discussing Kravica, but we'll distribute it at this point.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it is --
9 MR. JONES: Yes. I don't know if it's permitted for me to assist
10 the witness.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: In these matters, I'm sure that Mr. Di Fazio is not
12 going to raise an objection.
13 MR. JONES: If you just go to the right, where your finger is now,
14 Mr. Buric. The other direction. You've got Ljubovija. If you move to
15 the right, you see Nemic Kamen, 797.
16 Q. Do you see Pod Nemic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 A. Yes.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Jones.
21 And thank you, Witness.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is something that could have been
23 seen with the naked eye, as they were shelling from Voljevica. You could
24 see clearly the rockets fired from the multiple rocket launcher, and you
25 could see it clearly from the area of Nemici.
1 MR. JONES:
2 Q. Now, you've told us you went back the next day to Fakovici. I
3 want to ask you firstly: Did you see on that day any signs, or the day
4 before, did you see houses that had been -- were being deliberately set on
5 fire? Is that something you saw?
6 A. There were no fires at all. On that day, on the 5th and the 6th,
7 in the morning, when I myself went back to Fakovici, not a single house
8 had been set on fire. 99 per cent of the houses had been totally
9 destroyed and devastating on the basis of this selective shelling from
10 tanks and by the people who went in. But not a single house had been set
11 on fire.
12 Q. And how were you able to be sure? How were you able to
13 distinguish between a house which has been damaged by shelling and one
14 which has been set on fire?
15 A. I didn't see any houses which had been burnt in any way. They
16 were devastated. They were destroyed by tanks. But also because roofs
17 were still standing that had been damaged. But if you have a house which
18 has been torched, you can see soot, and it's all black.
19 Q. Right. And could you tell us why you went back the next day to
21 A. I can. I got to a point on the road where we got stuck with that
22 lorry carrying a three-barrelled gun, and we couldn't go any further. And
23 we spent the night there, and we got the information according to which
24 many people had been killed and left behind in Fakovici, and that in the
25 evening hours, Serbs crossed over on a barge from Serbia and that there
1 was a whole lot of massacred Muslims who had been left back in Fakovici.
2 So I went, together with my group, about 20 of us, and we were joined by
3 40 more - roughly speaking - people from Poznanovici. And we tried to go
4 back and get the dead bodies out. So we got a tractor and we prepared to
5 go and we entered Fakovici. There was no resistance whatsoever. And as
6 we entered Fakovici, we were met with a terrible, horrific sight, dead
7 bodies scattered all over the road, around the houses, Muslim bodies. And
8 I could see about 14 Muslim bodies lined along the road, really lined.
9 Q. Did you move those bodies or try to move them?
10 A. We already knew what Serbs were doing. We know that they played
11 dirty and we knew that the bodies would have been mined. But we prepared
12 for that in advance, because we had ropes. And we hooked the first one on
13 the left and we pulled the rope, and that's how we detonated the mine. And
14 that's what we did, to all bodies, one by one. We started at both ends
15 and actually there were mines at both ends, to the left and to the right.
16 Q. So the Serbs actually had mined these dead bodies?
17 A. Yes, that's what they did. We loaded them on the tractors and
18 turned back in the direction of Poznanovici. And there was no fight.
19 There was no resistance. During the night, they went in. They did
20 whatever they did, and there was a whole lot of dead bodies.
21 Q. And were those bodies you saw, were they in any sort of a uniform?
22 A. No. Those dead bodies of dead Muslims were all civilians.
23 Q. Now, it may be suggested to you at some point that fighters in
24 Fakovici distinguished themselves from civilians by using coloured ribbons
25 so they could notice each other. What would you say to that suggestion?
1 A. No. I was involved as well, and I was wearing no ribbon at all.
2 And nobody else in the group of people who were with me. And we're
3 talking about several dozens of people. Nobody had any ribbons or
4 anything like that, or any marking of any other sort. They were
5 civilians. The only thing is that certain individuals carried weapons.
6 Q. All right. Thank you. And also just as a slight digression, I
7 want to ask you a bit about mines, and this is based on your experience of
8 the war in Bosnia. Can anyone lay land-mines, or is that something which
9 requires professional training?
10 A. I can claim with a great deal of responsibility that in my group
11 or, as you call it, unit, in March 1993, nobody knew how to plant a mine.
12 And it was as late as March 1993. This is just to say that you have to go
13 through a special training in order to do that. You have to be a
14 technical expert. In order to plant a mine under a dead body, you have be
15 exceptionally skilled. I really don't know what's kinds of mines they
16 have to be, but I do know for certain that you have to be specially
17 trained for that.
18 Q. Thank you. You've referred to civilians being present in Fakovici
19 on the 5th of October, 1992. Do you know how the civilians knew to be in
20 Fakovici on that day or why they came to be there when you were also
22 A. It was all spontaneous, as it were. Civilians from nearby
23 villages, Jagodnja and Joseva, had large numbers of refugees, and as soon
24 as they realised that some groups, people, were moving in the direction of
25 Zanjevo. They went after them. So this is a movement of people that went
1 on for hours, for days, in fact. People from all the surrounding
2 villages, as soon as they heard shooting, they would just follow, go with
3 the flow.
4 Q. So in fact civilians would head for places where there was
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you know how much food was captured in Fakovici?
8 A. I know that so much food was found in Zanjevo, and I'm referring
9 to the Muslim village, Zanjevo, Abdulici Fakovici, and there was so much
10 food that for days, for months, in fact, people went back and took that
12 Q. I'm leaving the subject of Fakovici now, but we have another 15
13 minutes, so I'll move on to the next area. There's no need to dwell on
14 the food crisis at any length. It's something which Their Honours have
15 indicated they've heard sufficient evidence on. But I would like, just
16 for us to have a flavour, for you to describe for us any examples which
17 come to mind of the state of the food crisis after Fakovici and before
18 December 1992.
19 A. Since a number of refugees, civilians, and children from the area
20 was great, because, as we said, in May and in June, all Muslim villages
21 along the Drina were torched, towards Bratunac, there were so many people,
22 probably around 50.000 people in a small area, and Srebrenica being a
23 mountainous terrain, there was not enough food and nowhere to buy it. So
24 whatever could be found, say 20 kilometres [as interpreted] of wheat meant
25 food for five to six days. And everything was based on wheat and corn.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 And because of the shelling that went on on a daily basis, it was very
2 difficult. And the Serbs began using stronger and stronger artillery and
3 daily sorties by planes that would take off from Bratunac or from Ponikve
4 in Serbia proper, and those were MiGs. And the convoys didn't come
5 through. The Serbs in Bratunac didn't allow for convoys to pass. I
6 believe there was one in November. Otherwise, they wouldn't let any
7 convoy go through to Srebrenica. And just to add, if I may: Someone took
8 the cartridges [as interpreted] to Belgrade.
9 Q. I think you said there was general chaos in Srebrenica. Is that
10 something which you said?
11 A. Yes. Yes. Yes. In Srebrenica in general.
12 Q. 20 kilogrammes of wheat.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. I would take it it's 20 kilogrammes and
14 not kilometres. The other thing is someone took -- the line, page 37,
15 line 1, Mr. Jones, says someone took cartridges to Belgrade. I would
16 imagine he meant someone diverted the carriages to Belgrade, not
17 cartridges. We're not talking of cartridges here. We're talking of food
19 MR. JONES: Yes.
20 Q. Can you explain what you were referring to in relation to
22 A. Your Honour, if I may. Someone from higher up, all those
23 humanitarian organisations that delivered food to Bosnia-Herzegovina,
24 transferred their operation to Belgrade, and we know all too well what
25 Belgrade did to Bosnia and Herzegovina in this war. So a convoy would
1 come from Belgrade to Srebrenica. So at any pointed, Serbs could stop it,
2 either at the bridge in Ljubovija or at the yellow bridge in Bratunac. It
3 never reached Srebrenica. So people were starving to death.
4 Q. Thank you. Just on a couple of other issues in relation to this.
5 Obviously we're talking about Muslim civilians. Do you know if people
6 ever actually ate pork, despite the taboo or the prohibition on eating
8 A. I saw personally that Muslims didn't eat pork, and they wouldn't
9 eat it at any cost [as interpreted]. What I saw in Fakovici was that they
10 were killing pigs in order to survive. So that was the extent of the
12 Q. In other words, they would eat pork?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did -- you're familiar, I take it, with Zepa?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did people from Zepa ever come to Srebrenica in this period,
17 October to December 1992?
18 A. I claim with full responsibility, Your Honours, that people would
19 come to Fakovici for days, up to 100 people with horses from Krusev Dol,
20 via forests, they came to get just one kilogramme of wheat. And dozens of
21 them died around Fakovici, and in Fakovici itself, but it was all an
22 attempt to get some food.
23 Q. Thank you. And also, you've told us how a warehouse in Fakovici
24 was mined. You've described how dead bodies were mined. In sorties by
25 civilians to get food outside Srebrenica, did that pose a problem of
1 buildings being mined, to your -- in your personal experience, if you have
2 any personal knowledge of that?
3 A. They weren't interested in whether anything was mined that's why
4 there were a lot killed. And people often died on their way to Serb
5 barns. Thousands of them left their lives there. They never asked
6 anyone. They weren't careful. I went to an area where some people from
7 my village went to get some food, and the Serbs were living there still.
8 But irrespective of that, they went down there and the Serbs captured them
9 and killed them by those barns, and those bodies were never retrieved and
11 Q. Just one thing. You said that thousands of people lost their
12 lives. Are you saying literally thousands of people died in getting food
13 or are you being somewhat hyperbolic?
14 A. No. We are talking about the wider region of Srebrenica. In
15 March of 19 -- up until March 1993, about three and a half thousand people
16 died. The list of the dead and the missing from Srebrenica amounts to
17 twelve and a half thousand, between 1992 and 1995.
18 Q. Now, can you describe for us what you were actually doing in late
19 1992, October to December 1992. You've told us before you were in Osmace.
20 Were you still in Osmace in that period?
21 A. Yes. Shelling on a daily basis, people starving to death, as well
22 as aviation strikes by the Serb forces. And I was in Osmace throughout
23 the period.
24 Q. Was there any sort of pattern to bombings -- sorry. You've
25 referred to aviation strikes. Was there any pattern that you could
1 discern in those strikes?
2 A. Serbs had a goal, and they did have a list of sorts of extremist
3 Muslim villages, and they shelled those villages non-stop, using all
4 artillery available.
5 Q. Were these actual extremist Muslim villages you're referring to?
6 A. For example, my village of Osmace was an extremist village for
7 them, and they used some information that we had 5.000 Mujahedin soldiers
8 and rifles. And I claim here that all we had was the 21 hunting rifle.
9 Q. Thank you. In fact, I'm moving into a fairly large new area, so
10 it might be better if we could stop there and either come back five
11 minutes later or have the -- yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: It's no problem at all with us. So we'll have a
13 break now of half an hour, and that means we'll start at 10 minutes past
14 11.00. Thank you.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.13 a.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
18 MR. JONES: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. I think, actually, we
19 can now give an exhibit number to the map.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This will become D741.
21 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Mr. Buric, did you know a place called Kravica?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did Kravica have any sort of reputation among Muslims from even
25 before the war?
1 A. The source of all evil, the force of the Chetnik movement in the
2 area and everything negative coming from the area of Srebrenica, Bratunac,
3 and that area of Podrinje, was Kravica. That was the reputation it had
4 before the war and during the war.
5 Q. Were there any incidents from before the war which gave sustenance
6 to that opinion?
7 A. Yes. The inhabitants of Kravica were constantly being violent.
8 They spread this violence even in peacetime in Bratunac and all over. In
9 1991, a group of them stopped a vehicle with Muslim passengers, four of
10 them, and I believe two guys were killed and two wounded. That was in
11 1991, and they used automatic rifles.
12 Q. And did you -- do you know a place called Glogova?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you know what happened in Glogova in 1992?
15 A. Yes. Glogova was a 100 per cent Muslim village, with about 700
16 houses. So two to three times bigger than the Serb village of Kravica.
17 Q. And did it remain a Muslim village throughout 1992? Did it remain
18 inhabited as a Muslim village?
19 A. At the beginning of May 1992, the Serbs from the Kravica area
20 ethnically cleansed the villages of Kravica, Sandici, Mandici, and they
21 killed about 150 to 200 people and they torched more than 1.000 Muslim
22 homes. And they pillaged everything, Muslim property and commodities.
23 Q. We have a new exhibit which we'd like to pass up, which doesn't
24 have an ERN number.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I take you up on what you've just said, that it
1 doesn't have an ERN number. Do you mean to say that this was not given to
2 you by the Prosecution, in other words?
3 MR. JONES: Yes. Yes. And we'll have an explanation from the
4 witness in a moment. Thank you.
5 Q. Do you recognise this document, Mr. Buric?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you provide this document to us when you came to The Hague?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How did you obtain it?
10 A. I asked for this list from the organisation of demobilised
11 fighters of Srebrenica, and these relevant data is used by the group that
12 is searching for the dead and the missing in the Federation of
14 Q. We're not going to dwell over-long with this document; obviously
15 for our purposes, there's a specific interest in this document. According
16 to this document, 414 people from Glogova were killed during the war in
17 Bosnia. I want to ask you: Have you been able to establish from this
18 list how many Muslims from Glogova were killed prior to January 1993?
19 A. I counted; I believe it was 159 killed before January 1993.
20 Q. Is it true that also on this list there are names of Muslims from
21 Magasici Franca, and Bratunac, who were also --
22 A. Yes, yes. Those gravitating towards Kravica. So these people
23 were put on the list of Kravica. So they --
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises; did not understand
25 the witness.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Could -- the interpreters haven't understood
2 your -- the last part of your reply, Mr. Buric. If you could repeat it,
4 A. I said that about 159 or 160 inhabitants of the village of
5 Glogova, Magasici, Bratunac, Sandici, Hranca, were killed before March
6 1993, and the units from Kravica are held responsible for that. Therefore,
7 people from Kravica killed these Muslims.
8 MR. JONES: Thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Jones. I think we need to verify
10 this. The witness said earlier on, page 42, line 1, page 42, line 1 to
11 4, "I asked for this list from the organisation of demobilised fighters of
12 Srebrenica and these relevant data is used by the group that is searching
13 for the dead and the missing in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
14 What I would like to know is whether the lists that we have here
15 includes also the names of dead persons whose body has been recovered, or
16 not, or whether they are missing and their bodies still missing, too.
17 Yes, Mr. Buric. Have you understood my question?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I said those who were killed
19 and went missing. So next to each of the names, there should be a
20 remark, "killed" or "missing."
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I see, because we don't have the English
22 translation. What would be -- what would be the name -- the word
23 for "missing" in your language?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. No. No. In this
25 table, there is no such a column, "missing" or "dead." I can't say which
1 one of them was killed or which one went missing, but these are the two
2 categories that the list pertains to.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: What is [B/C/S spoken]? What does it mean?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You ask whether it was identified. I
5 don't know. A part of them were buried and a part of them are still
6 missing or in one of the mass graves.
7 MR. JONES: Yes. Place missing means unknown.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, what's [B/C/S spoken], what does it mean,
9 [B/C/S spoken]? If the interpreters could tell me what ---
10 THE INTERPRETER: Occupation, profession.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It means the type of schooling they
12 completed and what their occupation was.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And [B/C/S spoken].
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is the response to your
15 question, whether a person was killed or missing and whether that person
16 has been identified. This is the place when -- where a person
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
19 MR. JONES: Do Your Honours have the page in English.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Look, I --
21 MR. JONES: On the last page should be --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I see. I didn't notice that. Yes, we do have
23 that in English. Place of missing, yeah, job, year of missing. All
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honour, this is just one matter that I haven't
1 followed, and perhaps I misunderstood. The witness said in his evidence,
2 he was talking about 159, 160 people from Glogova, missing or killed.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: And I asked my question precisely because if they
4 are just missing, it means one thing. If it includes also the dead that
5 have been known to have been killed but their body was recovered, it's
7 MR. DI FAZIO: I understand that. My question is actually related
8 to that. It's a different matter. The witness also went on to say --
9 it's gone off the screen now, but he said there were people killed from
10 Kravica, and I don't know if there's anything in this document that shows
11 that these 159 or 160 were killed by -- from people at Kravica. And I
12 just wondered if I had misunderstood the evidence or -- I don't know how
13 the document shows or illustrates how 159 people from that place were
14 killed by people from Kravica.
15 MR. JONES: Yes. My understanding is his evidence is that those
16 from Kravica were responsible. The document itself doesn't speak to that.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: All right. Thank you. That's clarified things.
18 MR. JONES: Could I have an exhibit number, please.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This will be given Defence Exhibit number
21 Yes, Judge Eser has a question to the witness, I suppose.
22 JUDGE ESER: Just for the matter of clarification: There are two
23 numbers on our screen, one saying 414 people from Glogova were killed
24 during the war in Bosnia, and later, I think 159, prior to January 1993.
25 So does it mean that the smaller number have been those people before
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 January, and all the other ones have been killed later on?
2 MR. JONES: Yes, that's my understanding. I can clarify perhaps
3 through the witness a couple of points in that regard.
4 Q. You've mentioned how the village of Glogova was ethnically
5 cleansed, I think you said in May 1992. What's your understanding of how
6 many Muslims were killed then, if you can tell us?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We're talking of the 9th of May, I think, if I
8 remember well.
9 MR. JONES: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
10 A. The 9th or the 10th of May, I believe about 159 people. The
11 Muslim villages around Kravica, Sandici, Mandici, Glogova, and Bratunac.
12 So these people were killed directly by the units from Kravica until the
13 7th of May of 1993. 159 people killed or taken away and never heard of
14 again. And the bodies were never buried. So killed or missing, until May
16 Q. Sorry. Are you saying 7th of May 1993 or 1992?
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: 1992? Because Glogova wasn't attacked by the Serbs
19 on the 9th of May of 1993, but on the 9th of May, 1992.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A part of Glogova was in Muslim
21 hands throughout the war. So not the entire Glogova fell. In May of
22 1992, the Serbs torched a part of Glogova. And all the way until March of
23 1993, a part of Glogova was held -- was still in the hands of a group of
24 people from Glogova itself.
1 MR. JONES:
2 Q. Thank you. That leads on to the next topic. This group of people
3 from Glogova itself who were still present in Glogova, did they have
4 anyone who was a sort of leader or chief of that group?
5 A. The boss of the Glogova group was Ejub Golic.
6 Q. And as for other people from Glogova, you've mentioned how a great
7 many were killed in May 1992. Do you know, have any information about
8 where the rest of the people from Glogova went? Did they all go to one
9 place or did they go to various places?
10 A. Well, in the first half of May of 1992, most of Glogova was
11 torched by the Serbs, around 700 houses, and they killed most of the
12 population of Glogova. The remaining inhabitants withdrew into the woods,
13 to the western part of Glogova, to Bljeceva, Pale, and towards Konjevic
15 Q. Now, did you go to Kravica in 1993?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And why did you go there?
18 A. I went there because a guy came along to see us and he asked my
19 group to help. He said that Ejub entered, or rather, cut the
20 communication lines between Bratunac and Kravica and that he didn't want
21 to withdraw and he asked my group to come and help.
22 Q. And when was that? What date?
23 A. I think on the 5th of January, 1993.
24 Q. And how did he get this message to you?
25 A. He came himself, this man from Glogova came to Osmace, and he told
1 us what the matter was and he said would we come, and I gathered a group
2 of about 40 to 50 lads, and most of them had arms, and we went in the
3 direction of Pale, that is to say, Glogova.
4 Q. And when you said "this man from Glogova," do you mean Ejub Golic
5 or someone else?
6 A. No, no. I don't know exactly what his family name is. I think
7 his name was Kadir Music. Kadir is his first name, I'm positive about
8 that. So he himself came and asked us to go and he took us to Glogova.
9 Q. And how did he reach you? Do you know how he came to you?
10 A. I think at that stage some kind of access to Osmace and Srebrenica
11 did exist at that time. I think either on foot or by a lorry. I don't
12 know. But he did walk to Osmace himself.
13 Q. So he walked to Osmace from Glogova; is that correct?
14 A. To Osmace, yes, from Glogova.
15 Q. Right. Did you -- I'm not sure if you told us. Did you decide to
16 give help to Ejub? In fact, sorry. Yes, you've told us you did. And you
17 went in the direction of Pale. Where precisely did you go? And you can
18 mark it on the map, if you can find it.
19 A. I can't see it in the map.
20 MR. JONES: It's the new map, the small map.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: The new map. Okay.
22 MR. JONES:
23 Q. You could start by circling Kravica for us.
24 A. Okay. I can circle Kravica, and this is Glogova.
25 Q. Is that the whole of Glogova or just a part of Glogova?
1 A. Glogova is a larger area. It is larger than what I've marked. As
2 I said, there were more than 700 houses in Glogova. So they had quite a
3 few hamlets. I don't remember all the names. But the entire area is
4 called Glogova.
5 Q. And the 5th of January, 1993, I believe, when did you actually
6 arrive in the Kravica area? What date and what time?
7 A. I don't know exactly. At some point in the evening, we got to the
8 area after Avdagine Njive at around 10.00 or 11.00 p.m.
9 Q. And what did you do when you got there, you and your -- you and
10 your lads?
11 A. There was a house, an improvised house, in fact, as it had been
12 torched. Well, anyway, it was an improvised shelter. And so we sat down
13 there. There was some hay thrown into that torched house. And that's
14 where we spent the night. We stayed there until the morning.
15 Q. That's the night of which day?
16 A. I think it was the 5th of January.
17 Q. Okay. What did you do the next day, on the 6th of January?
18 A. On the 6th of January, we entered a Muslim village, a part of
19 Avdagine Njive in the direction of Glogova. So we managed to sneak in
20 from that direction. A part of Avdagine Njive which was in the direction
21 of Glogova.
22 Q. Now, did you on that occasion speak to Ejub Golic or any of his
23 group about what had been happening in that area in the previous weeks?
24 A. I did not see Ejub, in fact. Some lads came along and, for the
25 most part, we were told by Kadir what the matter was, the fact that that
1 communication line had been cut - I don't know on what date - and that
2 they could no longer stand the attacks from the direction of Bratunac and
3 from the direction of Kravica. And apparently thousands of shells were
4 landing upon them on a daily basis, and infantry weapons were also fired
5 at them. And so that was our main aim, to go and help them.
6 Q. Right. So you've referred to these attacks from the direction of
7 Bratunac and from the direction of Kravica. Do you know when that had
8 been happening? Was that in the days before or the weeks before? When
9 did you understand that had been going on?
10 A. I think for weeks before. The way I understood it was for weeks
11 on end. For weeks, Serbs were shelling that area of Glogova incessantly.
12 MR. JONES: I'd like to show the witness a couple of new exhibits.
13 One is ERN 04363028. And while it's being distributed, it's Bratunac
14 Brigade command, strictly confidential number 882-92, date 10 December
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. While this is being done, Mr. Jones,
17 perhaps Mr. Buric can tell us:
18 This person that came to seek your help from Glogova, and you said
19 he walked all the way to Osmace, what would be the distance that he would
20 have covered on foot? How many kilometres? Because it's quite a
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was quite clear in what I said. I
23 said that he walked to Osmace. There is an asphalt road of two kilometres
24 where there was no link. So I suppose he must have reached that asphalt
25 road via truck. And between the two, it wasn't possible for a truck to
2 MR. JONES: My apologies. I've misunderstood that. Yes.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could perhaps clarify this. There
4 is a distance of 18 kilometres between Osmace and Srebrenica. Below
5 Osmace, there is an asphalt road, and so Osmace to Srebrenica is 18
6 kilometres. But as of that asphalt road, to go to Osmace, there is a path
7 of two kilometres where you can't drive, you can't go down that road by a
8 truck. So I suppose he must have been driven to that country road and
9 then walked up.
10 MR. JONES: Yes.
11 Q. Just to clarify one thing. Did Kadir also come from Srebrenica or
12 did he come from Glogova.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: He said from Glogova before. What I'm understanding
14 is from Glogova he probably got a lift or something and then he walked it.
15 This is what I can gather. Because I mean looking at the map itself,
16 Osmace does not even show up on this map. And if there is a distance of
17 18 kilometres between Osmace and Srebrenica, and then you look at the
18 distance on the map at least between Srebrenica and Glogova, it's quite a
19 distance. We're talking of over 40 kilometres, as I see it.
20 MR. JONES: Yes. That seems to be correct. And I think from the
21 witness's answer, possible conveyance by truck.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I'm not arguing that, of course.
23 MR. JONES: That's fine for my purposes. Thank you.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's get the documents.
25 MR. JONES:
1 Q. Do you see this document, Mr. Buric?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's make sure that we're talking of the same one,
3 since you mentioned two. This is the one with ERN 04363028.
4 MR. JONES: That's it, yes. And it's to Drina Corps command.
5 Q. And if you see the second bullet point: "I have relocated part of
6 the units to the Kravica area. I'm carrying out preparations according to
7 your order."
8 This is dated 10 December 1992, to the Drina Corps command, and
9 signed Lieutenant Colonel Borivoje Tesic.
10 My question is. Did you have information to the effect that there
11 was increased activity in Kravica in December 1992, increased military
12 activity on the part of the Serbs?
13 A. Yes. When we were on our way, Kadir told us that in the Kravica
14 area, reinforcements were arriving on a daily basis from Bratunac and
15 Bijeljina and that there were special units that the Tigers, led by
16 Ljubisa Savic, Mauzer. And apart from the battalion that we knew existed
17 in Kravica, they also kept receiving assistance from other Serb units.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. JONES: I'd just ask for an exhibit number.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This document, which is, as I said, has in the
21 original language ERN number 04363028, with the corresponding English
22 translation accompanying it, is being given Defence Exhibit number D743.
23 MR. JONES: And I'll now pass to the next new exhibit, which is
24 04363034. And again, just while it's being distributed, it's Bratunac
25 Brigade command, strictly confidential number 93/2-92, date 13 December
1 1992. It's to the command of the Drina Corps. And again, it's signed
2 Lieutenant Colonel - and I think it's still Borivoje Tesic. In the
3 English, that's come out as Dobrivoje but in the English we see Borivoje.
4 Q. Mr. Buric, I want to ask you about 5 there, bullet point 5: "In
5 the evening, over 2.000 citizens of Bratunac organised a welcome party for
6 the men from Krajina."
7 First I want to ask you what you would understand by the reference
8 to that, the men from Krajina.
9 A. I've said in the same way as Mauzer used to come from Bijeljina,
10 the special units from Serbia and from Krajina kept coming to the area of
11 Srebrenica non-stop, to the battlefields in the area of Srebrenica.
12 Q. Thank you. Then moving on to paragraph 8: "After questioning
13 those who have been captured, we may expect an attack on some of the
14 positions on the Bratunac-Kravica road in order to thwart our action and
15 cut off our troops. I've been undertaking measures to further reinforce
16 the lines in the sector of the Glogova" -- it says "SM" -- and the
17 Jezestica village SM. Everything else is going to plan."
18 Now, I'll ask you first if you could actually locate Jezestica on
19 the map, since that hasn't been located yet.
20 And I'm going to ask you this: When you were -- when you arrived
21 in the Kravica area, did you reconnoitre at all the lines? Did you
22 establish where the division was between the Serbs and Muslims?
23 A. Yes. We mentioned that on the 6th we checked the lines out and we
24 could see that there was something going on there. Because as soon as we
25 saw some kind of joy at capturing us, when they were celebrating, so to
1 say, they would spend hours shelling the area of Glogova or some other
2 area. And during those days they were bombing Srebrenica. They had
3 planes involved as well, the air force, that is. So that was just the
4 continuation of their offensive, which was initiated in November and
5 December in that area. And we could see, since it was Christmas Day, for
6 them in the morning, they were getting drunk, they were celebrating. And
7 from the centre of Kravica, they were shooting at us using all sorts of
9 Q. Thank you. Just a couple of questions about that. When you
10 say "it was Christmas for them, in the morning," do you mean that morning,
11 the 6th of January, 1993, or the following morning?
12 A. No. On the 7th of January, the following morning.
13 Q. All right. But you've referred to shooting, shooting from
14 Kravica. When was that occurring?
15 A. Yes. On the 6th of January. In other words, they employed all
16 available artillery. Not in any selective way along the battle lines, but
17 they were shelling parts of Bljeceva, Glogova, they were shelling
18 Paleceznici [phoen] and Potocari. Also the air force was used to bomb
19 Srebrenica on the 6th. They were trying to draw our attention to the fact
20 that Christmas was approaching, that they were celebrating. So it was
21 active shelling. And since I myself was in the part of Avdagine Njive,
22 the part where we were, my lads and I, we could see quite clearly, we had
23 good visibility and we could see they were using tanks, Howitzers, and
24 mortars. They must have been drunk and therefore they did not select
25 their targets at all.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. JONES: I'd ask for an exhibit number fourth document, please.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: This will become D744, and Judge Eser --
3 JUDGE ESER: I can ask later.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Ask it now. I mean --
5 JUDGE ESER: Just before we leave the map, since we had problems
6 to identify the way which Kadir took to come to Osmace, did I understand
7 you correctly that you went back with Kadir to Glogova or Kravica? And if
8 so, could you perhaps tell us which route you took from Osmace to Glogova,
9 or Kravica, respectively.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. We went by truck from Osmace,
11 and we got to Srebrenica. And from Srebrenica, we went on to Milicevici.
12 From Milicevici we walked across Bljeceva to the sector which was called
13 Avdagine Njive.
14 MR. JONES:
15 Q. Can you mark Avdagine Njive sector on the map, please.
16 A. I can't see it very well, but here I've just marked it. This is
17 an elevation. It is a Muslim village next to Kajici.
18 Q. And can you mark Kajici as well, please.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. And you mentioned earlier that Ejub Golic had actually, I think
21 you said, disrupted the communications on the Kravica-Bratunac road. Where
22 did he disrupt those communications, or disrupt that road?
23 A. He managed to do that in the other part, in the direction of
24 Bratunac, between Glogova and Hranca. I said that when we got there, we
25 did not see Ejub. We actually did not see Ejub at all. Throughout our
1 stay at Glogova we did not see Ejub Golic. He was in the other part of
2 the area, in the direction of Bratunac. But this was the road. In the
3 direction of Hranici.
4 MR. JONES: Perhaps for later we should mark that. Perhaps you
5 could put "EG" next to it to indicate that was where Golic severed the
7 Q. When did you in fact go into Kravica itself, the centre of
8 Kravica, at any stage?
9 A. We entered Kravica on the 7th of January, between 10.00 and 11.00
10 on the 7th of January.
11 Q. And how many were in your group?
12 A. There were about 50 lads in my group. And during the night, we
13 were joined by the lads from Miholjevine, Mosici, Delici, led by Mefail
14 nicknamed Zis. I can't remember what his family was. This Mefail was
15 from the village of Zanjevo. But I don't know his family name. We all
16 knew him by his nickname, Zis. So this was as we were going from Kajici
17 to Kravica. There was this group from Osmace, and Mosici, Miholjevine,
18 Jagodnja, and Joseva, those lads were there. And they came to the area
19 independently of us.
20 Q. And I think you mentioned from -- was it in Mihajlovice or
22 A. Miholjevine. So that's at the elevation called Biljeg. That's
23 where they had their positions.
24 Q. I want to ask what municipality that village is in.
25 A. It's in the municipality of Srebrenica. You have Jagodnja,
1 Joseva, and then Miholjevine. As far as I can remember, the elevation is
3 Q. You also mentioned a group from Zanjevo. What municipality is
4 Zanjevo in?
5 A. Yes. Zanjevo is in the municipality of Bratunac.
6 Q. You mentioned how, on the 6th already there were shooting from
7 Kravica. Was that still going on on the 7th of January, 1993, or had it
9 A. Yes. They kept shelling from the direction of Kravica, because
10 they knew that Ejub was in the area of Glogova. So it was not a selective
11 shelling from Srupovo Brdo [phoen], Nemici, Bratunac, and Kravica.
12 Q. Now, if you could just tell us where, on the 7th of January, just
13 briefly, where you went and what you did, you and your group.
14 A. Since we checked out the lines on the 6th of January, we realised
15 that there wasn't a whole lot of people along those lines and that they
16 had already started their celebrations. And we were looking for the most
17 adequate moment for us to check out what they were doing. And in the
18 morning hours, that is to say, at 10.00, at around 10.00, we entered the
19 Serb village of Kajici, where there wasn't all that much shooting. But
20 then all available means were used to start firing upon us from Kravica.
21 To the right of Kajici, there was a four-barrelled Flak gun, a Serb
22 weapon, which was used to protect all the communication lines. So we
23 found it very difficult to move in the direction of Kravica. There was a
24 tank in the middle of Kravica itself that was protecting the valley from
25 Avdagine Njive and the access to Kajici. And we are going down this road,
1 and to the right, there is Hrastova Suma [phoen]. To my right, there was
2 a group with Mefail and they managed to neutralise this Flak weapon, this
3 big gun. And we managed to gain access to the village of Kravica and we
4 entered the centre of Kravica.
5 Q. Thank you. I want to go through a few parts of what you just told
6 us. Firstly, you said that you realised there wasn't a whole lot of
7 people along those lines when you checked out the lines the day before.
8 Are you talking about the whole of the defence lines in Kravica or is it
9 some part of those lines where you found that there were not a whole lot
10 of people?
11 A. Yes. I am referring to the road leading to Kajici, in the
12 direction that I was going.
13 Q. Okay. Thank you. And you've referred to a tank. Do you know
14 what sort of tank it was?
15 A. Yes. North of Kravica, all villages are Serb villages in the
16 direction of Zelinja, Polom and the northern part towards the River Drina,
17 and they had made a road and there was a T-55 tank. And as we were
18 approaching Kravica, we could see that there was an APC as well, where
19 they were withdrawing to the north, in the direction of Polom. I think
20 they crossed Polom to the north, or else Zelinja.
21 Q. I want to ask you about this road. You say they had made a road
22 and there was a T-55 tank. Can you tell us a bit more about this road,
23 what sort of a road it was and why it was made, if you know?
24 A. I think that just before the war, and that means by the end of
25 1991/the beginning of 1992, they opened that road for a certain purpose,
1 for that particular place. Since Kravica was situated between the Muslim
2 villages of Glogova and Konjevic Polje. And they wanted to have a road of
3 their own. And at Polom there was a pontoon bridge to cross the River
4 Drina and get to Serbia.
5 Q. All right. Thank you. If you could locate Polom for us, please,
6 on the map. Could you just circle Polom for me on the map, please.
7 A. I said Polom or Zelinja. In that area. I'm not sure. But they
8 were going north, either taking the road to Polom or Zelinja.
9 Q. And why was it necessary for there to be an access road to the
11 A. Because when a ban was imposed on any assistance coming from
12 Serbia, so as not to have to use the Ljubovija bridge, they built a
13 pontoon bridge at Polom, and all the units moved across that bridge at
14 Polom. That was the best link they had, in fact.
15 Q. Can you indicate to us where the tank and the APC which you've
16 referred to, roughly where you saw them on the 7th of January.
17 A. I'll mark the place where the tank was with a "T." In the centre,
18 there was the tank. And behind it was an APC.
19 Q. And did they stay there all through the 7th of January, 1993, or
20 did they change location?
21 A. Yes. When they saw us entering Kravica and they were unable to
22 offer resistance, the tank and the APC and their population went
23 northwards, across the hill, towards Polom and Zelinja. And what they
24 couldn't take with them, they mined, or burned down.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, you've marked on the map two arrows going to
1 Zelinja and to Polom, I think you're indicating that you weren't quite
2 sure where the road went, whether it went to the right or to the left. Is
3 it right, in any event, that that road was going through the hamlets of
4 Kravica, in the hills? I see one arrow goes near Ocenovici the other
5 Celakovici [phoen]. Is that your understanding?
6 A. I believe towards Polom. I also marked the pontoon bridge. So
7 that was the communication. I believe they went towards Polom.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: The witness said that, talking about what he saw
11 upon his entering into Kravica and people being unable to offer
12 resistance, and said: "The population went northwards across the hill
13 towards this place Polom." Then he said: "What they couldn't take with
14 them, they mined or burned down."
15 That's just incomprehensible. Are they talking about furniture,
16 houses, where, what was mined, what was burned down? I know it's a matter
17 for cross-examination, but I don't want to spend all my cross-examination
18 clarifying matters that can very, very simply be clarified. And I
19 respectfully suggest that this matter ought to be clarified. And although
20 I may not be able to compel Mr. Jones to clarify that, I would invite the
21 Trial Chamber to clarify the situation if Mr. Jones is unwilling to.
22 MR. JONES: I'm approaching it step by step. I'm coming to that.
23 Q. Could you clarify that for us, please, Mr. Buric.
24 A. Yes. All the time next to the tank was a Praga. I believe it's a
25 14-millimetre gun, mounted on an armoured vehicle. And it probably wasn't
1 moving about, for some reason. When we entered Kravica, they managed to
2 set that Praga on fire and it was still burning when they came in. They
3 were unable to take it with them. It was there on fire.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: That deals only with one item. I think I would
5 invite separate -- the objects that were mined because they couldn't take
6 them with them, and the other objects or things that they set on fire.
7 And if we divide the two, keep them separate, we'll get a better idea of
8 what we're talking about.
9 MR. JONES: Yes.
10 Q. Let's start with what was burned, this Praga. Can you explain for
11 us what a Praga is, what calibre and anything else which would help us.
12 A. Yes. I said that the tank and the APC went northwards behind the
13 hills, so it wasn't destroyed in Kravica itself. And when the Serbs were
14 retreating, I guess that vehicle malfunctioned and didn't want that to
15 leave behind for us, and they set it on fire. They set that Praga on
17 Q. Thank you. I'll take this step by step. That's one item. Are
18 there any other things which you saw which had been set on fire by the
19 Serbs, which to your knowledge had been set on fire by the Serbs as they
21 A. I saw on the left, in the centre of Kravica, next to the
22 supermarket, there was a building, I believe a building of the farmers'
23 cooperative, and it was mined. My group went in, and they demined the
24 building and we seized large amounts and it was mined heavily, and we also
25 seized a lot of weapons.
1 Q. And I want to come to that. You've given an example of one thing
2 which was set on fire by the Serbs, one building which was mined. For my
3 purposes, that's sufficient.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: If it's sufficient, let's move, provided that
5 Mr. Di Fazio is happy with it too. I suppose you are. Yes. We can
7 MR. JONES: Other examples may come as we go along, but I don't
8 want to spend too long.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I appreciate that, Mr. Jones.
10 MR. JONES:
11 Q. You were telling us about this warehouse - or sorry - this
12 building where you seized large amounts, a lot of weapons. Can you tell
13 us as precisely as possible what you captured there.
14 A. In the centre of Kravica, there was the building next to the old
15 supermarket. I believe that was the building of the farmers' cooperative
16 and the warehouse. And when we came in, we saw it was mined. The guys
17 demined it. They cut the cables. And we saw a large number of crates
18 with weapons. My group seized exactly 96 light machine-guns, or automatic
19 rifles; 11 semi-automatic rifles; large quantities of ammunition. We
20 found two mortars that they used for shelling in the centre of Kravica.
21 There were lots of crates of grenades. We found Serb olive-drab uniforms.
22 I don't know how many exactly, but a lot. They were neatly folded there.
23 And on the right side of the warehouse, the Praga was set on fire.
24 Q. Thank you. And either then or later, did you learn whether this
25 was all that was seized from Kravica, or were other weapons and ammunition
1 seized that day?
2 A. No. In every house, there were at least two to three pieces of
3 weaponry. We found great quantities of arms when the houses were
4 searched. We found a lot of automatic rifles, light machine-guns,
5 ammunition, equipment, all in Kravica.
6 Q. Now, I want to clarify a couple of other matters. What time of
7 day was it when you went into Kravica, roughly?
8 A. I don't know. Perhaps between 12.00 and 1.00 in the afternoon.
9 Q. And at one point you referred to there not being much resistance
10 from the Serbs in Kravica. Do I understand from that that you weren't --
11 you and your group weren't shot upon in any way, that you walked into
12 Kravica without any resistance, or was it otherwise?
13 A. No. I said in Kajici there was no significant resistance, because
14 they withdrew to Kravica and they were celebrating. Because we found
15 food, lambs on the spit, pigs, and we caught them by surprise, until we
16 reached the centre of Kravica. By that time they had realised what was
17 happening and then they returned fire from everything they had. But they
18 held the exit towards Polom and Zelinja. It was their route to withdraw.
19 Q. You've told us that then they returned fire from everything they
20 had. Can you tell us where they were shooting from? What places or
21 objects they were returning fire from?
22 A. From all of the houses. They fired from all of the houses that
23 were there.
24 Q. Thank you. And you've mentioned finding ammunition and arms when
25 houses were searched. Did you go into many houses in Kravica once the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 action was over?
2 A. When I came out of the warehouse, two or three guys stayed behind
3 on the left side, and I came into the house that was on the right, and
4 that was an outpatient clinic close to the warehouse and we seized a lot
5 medication there, because there was a great need for that in Srebrenica.
6 Srebrenica was not only short of food, but any sort of medical supplies.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but that's not a house. That's a building. The
8 question -- I appreciate it's important, but Mr. Jones asked you --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A house. It was a house that they
10 used as a pharmacy. A house.
11 MR. JONES:
12 Q. And did you enter other houses?
13 A. Two to three, max.
14 Q. And did --
15 A. And I speak for myself personally.
16 Q. And did any of the men in your group go into houses, other houses,
17 apart from the ones you went into?
18 A. Just a portion of the houses, because we were informed, perhaps
19 around 2.00 or 3.00 p.m., that we urgently needed to go back. Because
20 Kragljivoda was under attack and the lines of defence were in danger and
21 they have issued an offensive. We had no further time to stay there. We
22 had to come together again and go back to the area of Kragljivoda.
23 Q. Thank you. Well, then since you went into only two or three
24 houses, on what basis do you say that in every house there were weapons
25 and arms and ammunition?
1 A. We heard from others that they found large amounts of arms. That
2 was not the only depot. There were other locations where they found
3 equipment and arms. That was not the only depot. We heard that later.
4 And most of the weaponry was given to Biljeg, Glogova, and other villages.
5 MR. JONES: I'll ask if the witness could be shown D469.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. Usher, please.
7 MR. JONES:
8 Q. If you could have a look at that document, please. It's to the
9 Drina Corps Command, date 9 January, 1993. And I'll read the top
10 paragraph: "In the course of combat between the hours of 0830 and 1800 on
11 7 January, 1993, during the withdrawal of the 3rd Kravica PB, infantry
12 battalion, the following MTS, materiel, and technical equipment was left
13 behind in Kravica." And then we see a list of 25 items. And then
14 under "B," we see six items which were allegedly destroyed.
15 I'll ask you, Mr. Buric, to look very carefully down this list,
16 and wherever possible, to provide a comment on what's referred to there in
17 light of your experience in Kravica on the 7th of January, 1993. So if
18 you can go to one, vehicle, T-1, if that's something you can confirm, two,
19 Mercedes. You see what I mean. If you would please do that.
20 A. I believe that the Praga was set on fire, that was the Mercedes,
21 where it says "armoured." That was the vehicle that was set on fire.
22 People found a lot of their own tractors and trucks that the Serbs had
23 seized from the Muslim villages of Bratunac and Glogova previously, when
24 they plundered them in May of 1992. They found a lot of their own
25 vehicles and machinery in Kravica. I don't remember the exact names of
1 the vehicles, but I know there were a lot of passenger vehicles of Zastava
2 and Niva. But most of it was taken in the fields and set on fire. I
3 mentioned what was seized by my group, but I wasn't very familiar with
4 what it was that the other groups seized. But I do know that a lot of
5 weaponry was found, as well as mines and grenades.
6 And if I may conclude what I was personally surprised with was
7 something that I couldn't forget. It was in the warehouse. I saw large
8 quantities of oil. These were canisters of 25 litres each and it
9 said "the US of A." This was American oil received as part of the
10 humanitarian aid that was intended for the convoy in Srebrenica in
11 February. So there were tonnes of that oil. They took it and used it for
12 their own military purposes, for their battalion, instead of giving it to
13 the people as aid.
14 Q. Thank you. Let's move to 8 and 9, which refers to shells,
15 60-millimetre mortar shells and shells for the ZIS. Is that something you
16 can comment on, as to whether that was captured on that day?
17 A. The four-barrelled gun was on the right, and seized. That was the
18 one that I saw. And in the centre itself, there was an 82- and
19 60-millimetre mortar, perhaps two or three of them, actually. I don't
20 remember exactly. I didn't see the three-barrelled gun, but I suppose
21 there were units.
22 Q. Looking at 8 and 9, were you aware of any shells being captured?
23 A. Yes. As I said, there were a lot of shells for mortars and guns,
24 as well as several Zoljas, hand-held rocket launchers and the shells for
1 Q. Now, you mentioned three -- four-barrelled gun. We see under
2 "destroyed," number two, three barrelled, and then it says "from
3 Bijeljina." Now, you referred to units from Bijeljina and Kravica. Do
4 you know at all what this refers to? Is it something you can enlighten us
6 A. As I said, in the area of Bratunac and Srebrenica, there was
7 always the unit of Ljubisa Savic [phoen], called Mauzer, from Bijeljina,
8 and they came to their aid, as well as some reserve forces from Serbia.
9 So I guess that three-barrelled gun belonged to them. I didn't see that,
10 but I did see the four-barrelled gun. It stayed back in Kajici, on one of
11 the hills to the right.
12 Q. What about number 4, the ZIS gun? Do you know what that refers
13 to? And if so, did you see it?
14 A. It is a gun of 76-millimetre calibre, as well as 75. It stayed
15 behind. I didn't see it, but it must have been in the area somewhere. It
16 wasn't on my axis of movement.
17 Q. I think it would actually help just as a visual aid to look at the
18 photographs, just so we know a little bit of what we're talking about.
19 We're not all experts on artillery or tanks. So I'd ask if this new
20 exhibit could be distributed. It's marked at the top "Federation of
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina, agreement on confidence and security-building
22 measures in Bosnia-Herzegovina, photographic exchange." This is just an
23 extract, I should say. I should also say the pages aren't numbered. I've
24 numbered them myself, from battle tanks on page 1, through the rest.
25 Mr. Buric, I'm just going to ask you to look at these photographs
1 and provide me any commentary. Firstly, is that page 1? Does it
2 say "battle tanks at the top? Yes. You told us that you saw a T-55 tank.
3 Is that something like what you saw in Kravica?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. On page 2, we have 82-millimetre mortar. We see on the list, D469
6 under "destroyed," 82-millimetre mortars. Did you see mortars of this
7 calibre in Kravica on the 7th of January, 1993?
8 A. Yes, I said I saw two or three pieces that were ready for firing
9 on the lines.
10 Q. And next we have an anti-tank gun, 75-millimetre. Did you see
11 something like that in Kravica? And if so, where?
12 A. This is a recoilless gun that they used expansively, and they used
13 to mount them on APCs. On Serb APCs one could find two such recoilless
14 guns. It was an alteration they made, and they usually mounted them on
16 Q. And you've referred to APCs in Kravica on that day. Did they have
17 mounted guns or were they without any weaponry?
18 A. Yes. I didn't see it, but I presume that the anti-aircraft
19 machine-gun was on it, the PAM, of 12.7-millimetre calibre.
20 Q. Why do you presume that?
21 A. A larger-calibre gun sounded differently, so we knew what we were
22 being shot at from.
23 Q. The next page we see type M-42 ZIS gun, 76 millimetres. Is that,
24 or is it not, something similar to the ZIS gun which you've referred to in
1 A. No. I said that on my axis I didn't see such a weaponry. But
2 this is a ZIS.
3 Q. Did you come across any shells for a ZIS when you were in Kravica?
4 A. I don't know what it was. It was in the crates. And when it was
5 taken out of the storage, we saw that there were shells, but we didn't
6 know whether they were for a launcher or a tank or a ZIS or a gun. I
7 don't know.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. JONES: I'd ask for an exhibit number, please, for this
10 photograph exhibit. I won't go into the machine-guns.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So this will become Defence Exhibit 745. And
12 for the record, it does not have an ERN. It does not have an ERN number.
13 And it consists of a front page, which describes the nature of the
14 document, the entire document, states "Federation of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina, agreement on confidence and security-building measures in
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina, photographic exchange, according to measures
17 1 ...", paragraph 2, and this is supposed to be in the English language,
18 which it is. Date of exchange being indicated as the 1st of April of
19 1998. The same document is then followed by seven pages, on which are
20 shown various kinds of artillery and other weapons.
21 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Now, this tank and transporter, I just want to stay with it a bit
23 longer. I think you said they withdrew along this mountain road towards
24 the Drina. One or two, the tank and APC, was there any shooting or were
25 the guns silent as they withdrew?
1 A. All the time that I was in the area, the tank and the APC fired
2 from that area, and the other pieces that came to their aid from Bratunac,
3 they were shooting from that side of Kravica.
4 Q. And where were the projectiles landing? Where were they shooting
6 A. They were shooting at the centre of Kravica. They withdrew, and
7 thousands of Muslims came into the house. They were collecting food. They
8 came from the direction of Glogova. There were several thousand of them.
9 And anything that moved, they shelled. So the very centre of Kravica, one
10 house at a time.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, you described for us how in Fakovici there were
12 thousands of Muslim civilians. Rather than going into this subject again
13 in great detail, was there any significance difference between the
14 situation of civilians in and among the houses looking for food in
15 Fakovici and the scenes you saw in Kravica? Were there fewer civilians,
16 were there more civilians?
17 A. In the short period of time that we were in Kravica, I can claim
18 with full responsibility that if in Fakovici there were 10.000 to 15.000
19 civilians, in Kravica there were between 20.000 to 30.000 civilians, in my
20 estimate. They were civilians. And when we were going back, we
21 encountered groups of people moving towards Kravica.
22 Q. All right. And it may be [inaudible] to you, if the Prosecution
23 puts their case to you, it may be suggested to you or asked of you: Why
24 didn't fighters link arm in arm and form a giant cordon and keep these
25 people out, or somehow stop the civilians from entering and possibly
1 causing some damage to Serb property?
2 A. There was a great mass of people. And as I said, the only reason
3 for such great numbers to move towards Kravica was food, and only food.
4 There was no intention of revenge or anything else. The only reason for
5 those civilians to enter Kravica was to find food and to survive.
6 Q. Right. So you weren't going to go and stop them surviving?
7 A. I didn't -- we didn't want to. We weren't able to, and nobody
8 else in this whole wide world would have been able to stop them. There's
9 nothing you can do to stop a hungry person looking for food. If a person
10 is starving, dying of thirst and hunger, they will go to the first shop or
11 to the first hotel and steal some food, and in this case they went to the
12 first Serb house and got some food for themselves.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Vidovic.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, one important
15 correction to the transcript. The witness said, "It's not that we didn't
16 want to prevent them, but we could not stop them." And it went like, "We
17 did not want to." Am I correct?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. You are correct. Nobody
19 could, nobody was in a position to do that. Even if you had lots of armed
20 people, they would not have been able to prevent people going to get food.
21 The only reason they moved was a sheer fight for survival.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Vidovic.
23 And thank you, Mr. Buric.
24 Mr. Jones.
25 MR. JONES: Thank you.
1 Q. And did you see on that day, 7th of January, 1993, when you were
2 there in Kravica, anyone deliberately setting fire to houses?
3 A. Really, I did not see it. And nothing was on fire. I mean, we
4 were there for three or four hours, and not a single house was on fire in
5 the direction that I was going in. And we went back the same way.
6 Q. Now, you were obviously in one part of this area of Kravica. Were
7 you aware of fighting going on in any other part of Kravica?
8 A. We heard shooting from all sides. That shooting was probably
9 meant for us, those of us who were entering Kravica were being shot at
10 from all sides. That was the impression we had when we were in Kravica.
11 Q. Thank you. Do you know a place called Sekovici?
12 A. No.
13 Q. I'm going to move on.
14 MR. JONES: If Your Honours would give me a moment. Yes, I'm
15 actually going to move on to another area altogether, Mr. Buric, and we
16 may return to the first map, but it's a subject I intend to take briefly.
17 Q. Do you know -- you mentioned a place, Jezero, frequently
18 yesterday. Do you recall that?
19 A. I do. Yes.
20 Q. Now, you told us a lot about the situation in Jezero in 1992. I'm
21 interested in Jezero in January 1993. So I want you to cast your mind
22 back to January 1993 and Jezero. And tell us, please, whether what you've
23 described in relation to Jezero in 1992, in terms of artillery and units
24 placed there, whether that was the same position in January 1993 or
25 whether it had changed in any way, to your knowledge.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. As I said, what Kravica meant to the Muslim people in the
2 municipality of Bratunac, that was Jezero for the municipality of
3 Srebrenica. In the area of Jezero, there were about ten Muslim houses,
4 and one or two Serb houses. In April and May 1992, the Serbs took those
5 houses and then placed their artillery there. And throughout that period,
6 between April and March, the main shelling was coming from Jezero. Let me
7 clarify this once again. They had a wire perimeter, and then there were
8 land-mines, and the artillery was within that perimeter, and they were
9 still not feeling safe enough. And five or six kilometres away, they did
10 the same, in a village called Kusici. They had their artillery weapons,
11 guns, and tanks. And they were getting regular assistance from Serbia,
12 from Tara and Perucac. Shall I marked Kusici on the map? So Kusici is
13 not marked here, but it's a road. And there were one or two Serb houses;
14 I'm not sure. And at that plateau they placed Howitzers and guns. And
15 they kept shelling the entire area of Srebrenica 24 hours a day, non-stop
16 and I'm referring to the area of the municipality of Srebrenica.
17 Q. Thank you. And that position, that situation that you've
18 described, was that true in January 1993?
19 A. Yes. We had already established some links amongst the
20 territories by the end of 1993, and this constant destruction and
21 shelling, with all sorts of weapons, could no longer be tolerated. And as
22 time went on, Serbs started using ever more state-of-the-art weapons. And
23 in January, I think around the 15th or the 16th of January, they -- a
24 decision was made to attack their artillery positions.
25 Q. Thank you. That's what I was going to ask you. And did you
1 participate in that attack on their artillery positions?
2 A. Yes. I participated in the direction of Kragljivoda, Jezero.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: Just a minor matter. I think -- I don't know, but
5 I think a correction might be required. The witness said "we established
6 some links among the territories by the end of 1993." That's what it says
7 in the transcript. I don't know if that's what the witness said.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I only heard the translation.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Right. Well, I wonder if that's what the witness
10 said or whether he meant to say 1992. That's all.
11 MR. JONES: That's probably correct. Mr. Buric I'm surely can
12 help with that.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I said that.
14 MR. JONES: Thank you, Mr. Buric.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1993. I'm referring to 1993, in
16 fact. In January 1993, some territory was broadened, enlarged, at around
17 Osmace, Karacici, Kragljivoda, Poznanovici, Miholjevine, and there were no
18 longer any Serb patrols in the way. And following that, we decided to
19 deal with Jezero, which was the main problem for all those territories.
20 So the transcript was in fact correct.
21 MR. JONES: Thank you very much.
22 Q. I think, in fact, what you're telling us is this: By the end of
23 1992, you had managed to link up, because these patrols weren't
24 continuing. And therefore, by January 1993 --
25 A. Yes, correct. Yes.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Are you unhappy with that, Mr. Di Fazio, or --
2 because it sort of contradicts what he said in the previous --
3 MR. DI FAZIO: That's right. The clarification was there and it
4 was January 1993, not the end of 1992. January 1993.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I understand it throughout that he means that this
6 line of communication was re-established by the end of 1992. So that the
7 situation was crystallised in the beginning of 1993.
8 MR. JONES: Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: That's how I understand it to be, but that's not how
10 he explained it at one moment.
11 MR. JONES: Yes, I think that at one point ...
12 Q. Mr. Buric, you've heard what's been said. Can you --
13 A. Yes. That's what I said.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Now, let's move ahead.
15 MR. JONES:
16 Q. Did you actually manage to take Jezero on the 16th, 15th or 16th
17 of January, 1993?
18 A. I do apologise about before. What I said was by the end of 1992
19 and the beginning of 1993, certain territories were linked up in that
20 area, and that's why the decision was made on the 16th of January to
21 attack this place called Jezero. However, we did not take it on the 16th
22 of January, because we were unable to get across. I was attacking from
23 the direction of Kragljivoda and Vitez. There was an asphalt road, and we
24 were travelling down that road. And we left a way out for the Serbs to
25 withdraw, in the direction of Jezero and Perucac. And that's what they
1 did. I think it was the 19th or the 20th of January, the Serbs who were
2 members of the battalion in Jezero, there were about 100 people there, and
3 they withdrew. And we had informed them beforehand that they could get
4 out in the direction of Perucac, and that's what they did.
5 Q. I want to ask you this: Did you capture anything in Jezero when
6 it was -- when it finally fell?
7 A. I was going to say earlier: As they withdrew, there was about a
8 dozen Muslim houses there which they were using as barracks, as warehouses
9 for their weapons and artillery. In the early morning hours, at around
10 6.00 a.m. on the 19th and the 20th, they blew it all up. As they
11 withdrew, they blew up those houses. I don't know how to explain this,
12 but those were kinds of time bombs. So in the early morning hours, half
13 6.00, 6.00, it all went up. And all the artillery and the guns and
14 cannons, they all threw things around.
15 Q. Thank you. So in other words, you say there were some sort of
16 timers or time bombs. And then after the Serbs had withdrawn, it all went
17 up in a big, big explosion; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did that cause damage to property?
20 A. Yes, yes. As I said, all those ten houses were destroyed, totally
21 devastated by those explosions.
22 Q. Thank you. And what happened after Jezero fell? You mentioned
23 Kusici. What was the situation there?
24 A. From Jezero, we went on to Kusici. And our units had entered a
25 day or two earlier, I don't know, they had entered Kusici. And in the
1 same way, as I said, at Kusici they had even more contemporary,
2 state-of-the-art weapons, and they left a couple of guns or cannons,
3 mortar, 120 millimetres, that was brought to the battleground for the
4 first time. And then 60- and 80-millimetre mortars, and they all left it
5 without any breeches. That was the stuff that they took with them as they
7 Q. All right. Thank you.
8 MR. JONES: I'd ask if the witness could be shown D746. My
9 apologies. I'm anticipating that it will be D746. I got ahead of myself.
10 The ERN is 04367489. Sorry if that's presumptuous, that it will become an
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't worry. One day you'll make it, Mr. Jones.
13 MR. JONES: In the meantime, I'll just read the top
14 portion: "Independent Battalion Skelani, strictly confidential, 24-1,
15 date 7 January 1993, 1430 hours," and it refers to the deployment of
16 minefields and firing positions of large calibre.
17 Q. Firstly, just that reference to the Independent Battalion command
18 Skelani, and this is January 1993, did you have any information about how
19 many Serb soldiers were present in Skelani in January 1993?
20 A. We had information according to which the Skelani Battalion was a
21 permanent fixture, and that they had a special Red Beret platoon as well,
22 which was, as I said before, led by somebody called Zivko Policajac. I
23 mentioned this yesterday. And according to needs, they were joined by
24 units from the Uzice Corps. So depending on their needs, they would be
25 joined by those units.
1 Q. Uzice Corps from Serbia?
2 A. Yes, those were volunteers from Serbia.
3 Q. Right. We have the first paragraph referring to -- well, I'll
4 read it into the record: "In the zone of responsibility of our unit we
5 did not lay typical minefields, but groups of mines at the following
6 locations." And then the locations are given.
7 I want to concentrate on two artillery firing positions, feature
8 688, mixed artillery battery, 500-millimetre Howitzer, M-42 gun,
9 120-millimetre mortar, two pieces, 82-millimetre mortar.
10 It refers to Ripa and then Cosici and then Jezero and Bujakovici.
11 Now, are you familiar with these locations? You've told us about Jezero,
12 but are you familiar with the other locations and can you confirm on the
13 basis of your own experience whether there was artillery located there in
14 January 1993?
15 A. May I just correct you. There is no 500-millimetre weapon, but it
16 must be something big. However, I can say the following: We did know for
17 certain that there was artillery at Jezero, and they kept getting supports
18 from Perucac and from the Tara plateau. And aircraft were taking off from
19 Ponikve, and minefields, well, minefields are the continuation of the
20 minefields from Fakovici, Radijevici, Boljevici, Kutijesi. And around
21 Skelani, Cosici, and Jezero, everything was mined.
22 Q. And then for those other positions, in Cosici, Bujakovici, and
23 Orlov Vis, are you familiar with those places?
24 A. I'm familiar with Cosici, because around Cosici, everything was
25 mined, and they had a professional company from Skelani that was stationed
1 at Cosici all the time. My brother-in-law, Ramo Halilovic, was killed in
2 the area of Cosici because he stepped on a land-mine.
3 Q. That's land-mines. How about artillery in Cosici?
4 A. Every Serb village had a mortar. Every single Serb village had an
5 82- and a 60-millimetre mortar.
6 Q. Did you know that specifically for Cosici or that's based on a
7 general observation?
8 A. No. We knew it, that there were mortars in Cosici and that there
9 were minefields around.
10 Q. Do you know someone called Mehmedalija Tihic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you know -- well, firstly, is he alive?
13 A. No. Since there was a shortage of food, Mehmedalija used to go to
14 his original area of Skelani two or three times a week. And when he left
15 to get food last time, he stepped on a land-mine at Cosici, where he was
16 slightly wounded, and then he was captured by the people at Skelani there.
17 And he spent a long time in the prison in Skelani. And in 1993, at some
18 point in March 1993, he simply went missing from Skelani. We lost all
19 trace of him.
20 Q. He's never been heard of since?
21 A. No, nothing, not a word.
22 MR. JONES: I'd ask if this could be given an exhibit number,
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And as predicted by you, Mr. Jones, this will
25 become Defence Exhibit D746.
1 MR. JONES: Thank you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Not an objection. I just wondered if anyone could
4 indicate where Cosici is on the map. I was just trying to follow the
5 evidence and I couldn't locate it. And I wondered if perhaps the Trial
6 Chamber --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
8 MR. JONES: The witness is doing as directed.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Perhaps the witness might --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can try. This is Arapovici,
11 Palkovici [phoen], Arapovici. Somewhere here, approximately here,
12 Kostalonci [phoen]. I'm going to try and mark it here, roughly speaking,
13 that's where Cosici should be.
14 MR. JONES:
15 Q. And you've marked it with an "X," for the record.
16 A. Yes. I marked it with the letter "X."
17 Q. I want to -- I'm very close to the end, Your Honours, but it may
18 be I will need to go on ten minutes on Monday, and I don't want to rush
19 things. So with your indulgence, I know I've gone over the original
20 estimate, but more evidence has a emerged during proofing and in the
21 course of his evidence. So I'll need another ten minutes on Monday, but
22 I'll try to make as much progress now?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I've told you it's not going to be a problem. And
24 looking at Mr. Di Fazio's eyes this morning, I think there won't be any
25 problem on their side either.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: No, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Monday and Tuesday, in any case.
3 MR. JONES: Thank you. I'll finish promptly, then, on one today.
4 Q. Mr. Buric, I now want you to just describe briefly, Mr. Buric,
5 what happened in Osmace after the events in Jezero in late January 1993.
6 And if you could just explain what happened between January and March
8 A. Yes. As the elevation, Jezero, was taken, as well as Kusici,
9 total chaos broke out in the area of Osmace, Karacici, and Kragljivoda,
10 those Muslim villages that were in the direction of Jezero. On a daily
11 basis, there was shelling. I keep repeating this, but I feel I have to.
12 From Skelani, from the Perucac-Jezero plateau, from Tara, and on a daily
13 basis, aircraft were taking off from Bratunac. There were two planes that
14 were called Komarac, mosquito, and they were bombing the villages, Osmace,
15 Peracici [phoen] and Kragljivoda on a daily basis in that part of Jezero,
16 once again, on a daily basis throughout January and February and March.
17 In March, they interested the Uzice Corps from the direction of Skelani.
18 So they had reinforcements, the Skelani Battalion had reinforcements, as
19 well as the battalions from Bratunac and Bijeljina. The volunteers
20 started an all-out offensive, together with the Serb volunteers, against
21 the Muslim villages in the direction of Srebrenica. We are talking about
22 a period of time between 20 and the 23rd of March.
23 Q. Sorry to interrupt. Just one matter which might cause confusion
24 later. You said Perucac-Jezero plateau. Am I right that Jezero in your
25 language means "lake," as well as being the name of a place?
1 A. Yes. I meant the plateau -- the lake of Perucac, then. It is an
2 area where there are hotels and a village next to the dam on this lake of
3 Perucac. So that's what we refer to as "plateau."
4 Q. It might help if you could just on the map circle Perucac. And
5 while you're at it, if you can, Orlov Vis, which we saw in another
7 A. It says the hydroelectric powerplant. This is where the Bajina
8 Basta powerplant is, Perucac. The road is not marked on the map, but it
9 is being completed. It is an asphalt road. And at every turning, there
10 was a Serb tank. I'm going to try, once again, and I apologise, but I'm
11 going to try and show you this winding road. So at every turning, there
12 was a tank. So there were about 15 to 20 tanks at all times, all over
13 this plateau of the Perucac, of the lake of Perucac, and so this is the
14 road from Perucac to Tara.
15 Q. Thank you. And can you locate Orlov Vis on the map as well? Only
16 if you're familiar with the location. If you're not, then don't worry.
17 A. I think it should go all the way to Bajina Basta, but I can't see
18 it here.
19 Q. It's not critical. I interrupted you when you were referring to
20 they being bombed on a daily basis in Osmace and Kragljivoda. Did Osmace
21 actually fall at some point?
22 A. On the 23rd of March, the lads who were from Osmace, we were in
23 the sector of Kragljivoda. It's a distance of about seven kilometres from
24 Osmace and we saw a column of vehicles. And people from my group actually
25 counted them. There were 140 APCs, buses, tanks, a -- Niva cars, hospital
1 vehicles. And in a long column of 140 of them, went in the direction of
2 Jezero from Skelani, and those were those parts of the Uzice Corps, with
3 the units from Skelani, from Jezero, who were coming back to that area.
4 And they went on in the direction of Kragljivoda. And on the 23rd of
5 March, they took Osmace. Osmace was an ethnically pure village, a Muslim
6 village, not just Osmace, but Osat, Sedace, Radjenovic, and Klotjevac, and
7 on the other side, Karacici. All that fell on the 23rd of March and there
8 was an all-out Serb offensive on that day. So in that offensive they
9 razed everything to the ground, they torched everything. First of all,
10 they would loot the villages and then set them on fire. And that was
11 evident afterwards.
12 MR. JONES: Seeing the time, that would be a good place to stop.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Perfect, Mr. Jones.
14 Mr. Buric, we are going to stop here today, and we will resume
15 your and your conclude your examination-in-chief on Monday. That will
16 take us into Tuesday for sure to bring your examination to an end. I wish
17 you all a good weekend. In the meantime, the witness is reminded you're
18 not allowed to communicate or allow anyone to communicate with you on
19 matters related to your evidence. It does not mean that you cannot
20 communicate with your family and friends and whoever.
21 I take this opportunity to thank not only the parties and my
22 staff, but also the staff of the Registry, technicians, and interpreters
23 and all the others, for having made it possible for us to finish at 1.00
24 today, reducing the sitting by about 15 minutes. Thank you.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.02 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Monday, the 12th day of
2 September 2005, at 2.15 p.m.