1 Wednesday, 16 September 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon to everybody in and around the
8 Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
10 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-81-T,
11 the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic. Thank you.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Could we have appearances for
13 the day, starting with the Prosecution, please.
14 MR. THOMAS: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
15 everybody in and around the courtroom. Ann Sutherland, Barney Thomas,
16 and Carmela Javier for the Prosecution.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. And for the Defence,
18 Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon Your Honours. Good
20 afternoon to everybody in and around the courtroom. Tina Drolec;
21 Milos Androvic, our legal assistants; Daniela Tasic, case manager; and
22 Mr. Gregor Guy-Smith and Novak Lukic as Defence counsel represent the
23 accused today in the courtroom.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.
25 Mr. Witness, just to -- good afternoon, Mr. Witness.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just to remind you that you are still bound the
3 declaration that you made at the beginning of your testimony yesterday to
4 tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the truth. Thank
5 you very much.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you Your Honours. I would just
9 like it to add that Chad Mair who is hiding behind me is also in the
10 courtroom today, I would like that to enter the record. I didn't see him
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.
13 WITNESS: WITNESS MP-011 [Resumed]
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
15 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. I believe that for the first part of my
16 questions we can remain in open session. We will be talking about your
17 operations when you were in the territory of Sarajevo
18 testified about your conversation that you had on the eve of your
19 departure for Sarajevo
20 about that. I would kindly ask for the witness's statement to be
21 presented. The document number is 1D02-4597. It's the part of the same
22 statement that Mr. Thomas showed to you to jog your memory. I would like
23 to read to you another part of the same statement.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Lukic please repeat the page numbers.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And I'm just going to ask whether you
1 agree on what was said in the statement.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: The interpreters are asking you to repeat the page
3 numbers, Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] 1D02-4597 and that's the witness
5 statement dated 2003 and the pages are 30 in English and 25 in B/C/S,
6 paragraph 73 in both versions.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, you say this is the same statement that
8 Mr. Thomas read to the witness yesterday?
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Has it been tendered into evidence?
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, he read paragraph 70 to jog the
12 witness's memory, and I'm going to be using the same statement and will
13 jog the witness's memory, and I don't wish to tender the statement into
15 Q. Witness, this is what you said in 2003 and this is what was
16 recorded in paragraph 73 of your conversation with the OTP:
17 "On the following day in Vogosca hotel, General Galic of Sarajevo
18 Romanija Corps briefed us about our task. He told us that we had to
19 attack the BiH army and to take Zuc hill because that was a very
20 important tactical position. Due to its very high altitude, it dominated
21 the surroundings of Sarajevo
22 Both for observation and for fire-power. He also said that if we manage
23 to take control of Zuc, whole Sarajevo
25 Witness, yesterday you told us that you had an occasion to look
1 at the statement in detail, and you did not make any changes to this
2 particular paragraph which means that you stand by your words said to the
3 OTP on the occasion when you provided the statement.
4 A. In principle, that is the case. However, General Galic's
5 information reached us, and it dealt with our task and what we were
6 supposed to do.
7 Q. General Galic at the time as you said, it was the commander of
8 the Sarajevo Romanija Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska; is that
10 A. To be honest, I really don't remember that detail. I said that
11 he was the commander of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps of the Army of
12 Republika Srpska. I don't know whether I said it, but I know that he was
13 among the top echelon of the commanding staff. And he was among those
14 who made decisions.
15 Q. However, judging by what I have just read, you will agree that he
16 was the one who provided you with the specific task and described the
17 significance of that special operation around Zuc hill?
18 A. In principle, I know that the order arrived from the very top,
19 and Galic was in command at the time. I can confirm that. We knew
20 before we set out, i.e., before the unit embarked on its mission, we were
21 aware of the importance of the position of that particular elevation.
22 And that is why it was necessary for this elevation to be placed under
23 our control.
24 Q. In the paragraph that Mr. Thomas showed to you yesterday which is
25 paragraph 71.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we have that paragraph on the
2 screen. That's what Mr. Thomas read out to you yesterday. Paragraph 71.
3 Q. I'm not going to read it because this already made it to the
4 record as read by Mr. Thomas, but you stated that in that conversation
5 that took place towards the end of December between you, Perisic, and
6 Stupar, you were told that you would be participating in a VRS offensive,
7 and that's all that it says in this part of the statement; is that
9 A. As far as I can see, that's correct.
10 Q. Thank you. And now I would like to ask you about the operation
11 itself. We are here dealing with information according to which you left
12 around the 16th or 17th of December, and according to the documents - and
13 we are going to see one of them later on - the incident happened on the
14 27th of December, 1993. Yesterday you were rather confused about the
15 dates, but I'd like to ask you this: During the period, which lasted
16 about ten days, you did not engage in any operation; you spent all the
17 time in the hotel in Vogosca; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, it is. We only had a few reconnaissance missions, that was
20 Q. The way I understood your answers was that you asserted that
21 until the moment the operation failed and you suffered casualties, is
22 because you were ambushed, because they had prior information that you
23 would attack them? Is that your position? Is that the way you described
24 the incident?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The night was foggy, very foggy; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, the weather was terrible around that time. And it was not
3 very conducive to any attacks.
4 Q. And particularly that night?
5 A. Yes, I agree.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see P359. I would like
7 the document to be tendered into evidence.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Which document?
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't want the previous document to
10 be tendered into evidence. I'm not tendering the previous document into
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I don't know whether the OTP ever showed you this document. If
15 not, I'll give you the time to peruse it. I will have only a few short
16 questions about it.
17 A. No, I have not seen this document before.
18 Q. When you reach the end of the document as it is on the screen
19 now, please let the person know and we will scroll it up. And if you
20 want it zoomed in, we'll do that as well. I would like to read a
21 sentence and then I would invite your comment, but I'll wait until you
22 tell me that you have done reading the document.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we scroll up a little. The
24 English version as well, please. Could we see the signature in the B/C/S
25 version of the document. Can the B/C/S version please be scrolled up a
1 little. No, no. Could we see the signature on the first page. Very
2 well. Thank you. Just bottom part, could you please zoom in on the
3 signature for the witness's benefit.
4 Q. And now, this document is self-explanatory. We see that this is
5 a report drafted by the commander of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps Galic
6 and sent as an interim report to the Main Staff of the Army of
7 Republika Srpska. I would like to invite your comment of one sentence in
8 the report in the third paragraph in the middle. And I'm reading:
9 "The reason for such heavy losses was the fact that we
10 overestimated our possibilities and a lack of experience in fighting the
12 can enter the medical centre with the forces that we had at our
14 First of all, do you think that the report written by Mr. Galic
15 as the commander of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps reflects the factual
17 A. In principle, yes. However, it is a bit glossed over. To remove
18 a certain part of the responsibility for the situation that was on the
20 Q. In the first sentence it says:
21 "On the 27th of December, 1993, according to the plan of Pancir-2
22 operation we planned an attack by the OG 1 under command of
23 Colonel Stupar, the commander of the 72nd Special Brigade against the
24 object of the medical centre."
25 Do you agree, is it true that on that day medical centre and
1 [indiscernible] should have come under attack within the framework of
2 operation Pancir-2?
3 A. In principle I agree, but let me add to that that the report has
4 been glossed over due to the situation that took place.
5 Q. Did you have -- do you remember -- did you have a complete
6 reconnaissance information about the terrain that you were supposed to
7 attack in the fog?
8 A. No. That is why there was a lot of discord in and the unit, some
9 of the members of the unit were in favour of the attack, and the rest did
10 not agree until we had a complete picture. And that's why I'm saying
11 that by issuing this report, General Galic somehow tried to remove
12 responsibility from his person because of the losses that he suffered and
13 because of the operation that was rushed up, although we all knew that
14 there was not enough to prepare it well.
15 And I don't agree with what he says about experience. Our
16 fighters were well equipped, well trained, fit for fighting, either in
17 urban conditions or in rural conditions.
18 Q. You provided your comment. However, in any case I would agree
19 with you because that's exactly the information that I have, that you
20 launched the operation without enough preparation and without enough
22 A. Yes, I would agree with that. And the way we approached the
23 whole operation was, and let me use a phrase, "why are you afraid, you
24 know who you are." However, a successful operation can only be carried
25 out if you have all the elements at hand, if there are no unknowns.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I will no longer need this document;
2 we can continue without it.
3 Q. As regards what you have just told me, you testified yesterday
4 that later on you were offered to go to certain territories, to various
5 frontlines. Let me just sum up the essence of your answer. And you said
6 that wherever you went, you raised the morale because you were an elitist
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. However, you suffered a great failure, fiasco; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, I see Mr. Registrar is raising his
12 hand, I don't know what ...
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: The Registrar wants to alert you please switch off
15 the microphone when the witness is answering.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm trying hard; however, the witness
17 is fast. That's why I'm going to ask the witness to wait. It's very
18 important because of your position that your voice not be heard. And let
19 me repeat my question.
20 Q. You were an elite troop unit, and you suffered a fiasco in
21 December 1993. Are you still claiming that even after that failure, you
22 were still held in such a high esteem in the Army of Republika Srpska?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Very well.
25 A. Can I explain why. Because in principle, as I've already stated
1 in my statement, the information leaked and it is obvious -- it was
2 obvious that they knew we were coming. There was no way anybody could
3 have known at the time of attack. And it is so strange that so many
4 people got killed and injured in such a short time.
5 Q. Let me ask you --
6 A. Please, let me finish. That information, or rather, most of the
7 fighters were privy to that information even in the Army of
8 Republika Srpska, and since General Galic himself stated that we had
9 attack [as interpreted] who said what I'm saying to you now.
10 Q. With regard to your previous answer that you were not well
11 prepared, that you were not privy to all the information, and that your
12 reconnaissance missions were not good, how do you know that you were
13 ambushed and that the information leaked?
14 A. I agree with your comment. However, in principle given the fact
15 that the operation was carried out in a large area and we met with such
16 fierce attack, only in the area where we went, so it was obvious that
17 something went wrong.
18 Q. I understand. This is your assumption that something went wrong.
19 And on the following day --
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Lukic.
21 Mr. Thomas.
22 MR. THOMAS: I'm sorry to interrupt, Your Honours, there's a
23 mistake in the transcript at page 10, line 4. Instead of the word
24 "attack" it should be "a Turk."
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: A Turk.
1 MR. THOMAS: A Turk. We had a Turk. Not we had attack.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let me just add one more thing. The
4 witness's answer to my question has not been recorded on line 15, on page
5 10. He agreed with me and said yes. And this wasn't recorded.
6 Q. Some of the soldiers from your group returned on the following
7 day; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that we can still remain in
10 open session.
11 Q. Yesterday you mentioned when Mr. Thomas asked you about some
12 other locations where you were supposed to go with your unit, you
13 mentioned Cazin. Do you remember that? That was yesterday.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. We will put your statement on the ELMO to jog your memory. You
16 said in paragraph 70, from my learned friend Mr. Thomas, you said that
17 upon Stupar's proposal, some dozen members of the your unit volunteered
18 to go to Cazin. Do you remember that you stated that in answer to the
19 Prosecutor's question?
20 A. I said that there were proposals, or a proposal as to how to
21 proceed. It was not a proposal. It was just an invitation to those who
22 wanted to join a group that was headed for a certain part of the
24 Q. This is what I'm interested in. Was it a proposal, or was it
25 just an expression of interest among the troops to go on a certain
1 mission? Was that the way it was presented?
2 A. Yes, that's the way it was presented.
3 Q. Likewise, yesterday you mentioned Tuzla and Olovo on page 46,
4 line 3 of the transcript from yesterday. And in the statement given to
5 the OTP that you have read, you say that it -- the members of the unit
6 were offered the possibility to go to Olovo but no one was willing to.
7 It is also contained in the transcript of -- from the direct examination.
8 A. Yes. It was possible, or rather, there was a possibility of
9 going to that part of the territory.
10 Q. And about this operation at the Sarajevo theatre, according to
11 your statement given to the OTP, in your battalion, as you say, in your
12 statement in paragraph 73, you say that some 50 people went there from
13 your battalion. I'm not interested in the exact number, but can we agree
14 that less than half went there?
15 A. Yes. Because one part was still being trained in Nis.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Thomas.
17 MR. THOMAS: I am sorry, Your Honour, I'm looking at the
18 paragraph cited by my learned friend, 73, and I just can't find that
19 reference. I am sorry, 74. 74. I found it. Sorry.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Another brief question, I'll refer to your statement again.
22 Yesterday you testified about the training that the members of the VRS
23 underwent on the range belonging to the VJ and where you were too. And
24 in paragraph 65 of your statement given in 2003, you also make mention of
25 that, and you said that in 1994 that was less frequent than in 1993. Do
1 you remember saying that?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Slow down, Mr. Lukic. I pick it up from the
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Witness, while you were serving in the VJ, have you ever seen an
7 order of the Chief of Staff of the VJ?
8 A. Concerning what?
9 Q. Well, not the decision about your status, but an order pertaining
10 to any sort of combat operation or anything of the kind?
11 A. No.
12 Q. And in that same period, did you see any order of the VRS?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Do you know who the Commander-in-Chief of the VRS was at the
16 A. At that time General Ratko Mladic, and Karadzic, in the
17 background. But Ratko Mladic decided about all units, about their use on
18 the ground.
19 Q. [Microphone not activated]
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Microphone, Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. So yesterday we said that you had had two interviews with the OTP
24 about this topic and another concerning something else. One of them was
25 in 2003 and the other toward the end of 2007, and you had the opportunity
1 to review these interviews before testifying, and neither did you mention
2 the fact that anybody from your unit was in the territory of Srebrenica
3 in 1995. You never said anything like that to the OTP, did you?
4 MR. THOMAS: Objection, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Thomas.
6 MR. THOMAS: If my learned friend wants to put the proposition,
7 he needs to put -- my learned friend knows there is a reference to
8 Srebrenica in 1995 in one of those documents. If he wants to put that
9 proposition and play upon the nuances of that sentence, he should put
10 that part of the document to the witness.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [No interpretation]
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: I've got no interpretation, Mr. Lukic. I don't
14 know what you said.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I can repeat, I don't know whether
16 the interpreters can hear me now.
17 I asked the witness a very specific question, and I did not
18 expect Mr. Thomas to complain about that because we had a discussion
19 about the same topic yesterday. So I asked a target question, and I
20 expected Mr. Thomas to agree with me, rather than having the witness to
21 read the entire statement. But -- and that's something I can agree to
22 also. So I want to know whether the witness remembers saying that to the
23 OTP at any time, that in 1995 members of his unit were in the territory
24 of Srebrenica. If necessary, we can give the statement to the witness,
25 but I believe that Mr. Thomas can confirm that the witness never said
1 that in his statement. And that confused me yesterday because that was
2 something new that was put forward here, something that I had never seen
3 in the documents before.
4 So if Mr. Thomas is denying that the witness failed to say to the
5 OTP that members of his unit were anywhere near Srebrenica in 1995, then
6 I will give the witness this 50-page statement to give him time, and we
7 will have to take a break to give him time to review the statement, and
8 then I will ask that question.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not quite sure I'm following your argument,
10 both of you. Now, in this statement, gentlemen, is there any reference
11 that any of the witness's unit did go to Srebrenica in 1995?
12 Mr. Thomas, you contend that there is a passage that refers to
13 that. Can you please refer us to that and let's continue this
15 MR. THOMAS: Yes, sir, line is -- it's a single line. It's from
16 the proofing note of the conversation.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not asking the proofing note, I'm asking for
18 the statement of witness.
19 MR. THOMAS: This is the same statement that my learned friend is
20 referring to. He's spoken of a statement given in 2003, and then another
21 statement effectively in the proofing note taken in 2007. The line
22 concerned is that the witness heard that General Perisic also requested
23 the 72nd to participate in Srebrenica in 1995 operations.
24 Now, in a literal interpretation that doesn't mean they went
25 there. But if my learned friend is going to cross-examine this witness
1 on exactly what was said in this conversation about Srebrenica in 1995,
2 fairness requires that the witness have before him the words that were
3 used, and then we can argue about what meaning with can be given to them.
4 But to cross-examine him without those words being before him, without
5 having him comment on what the English in these words mean, in my
6 submission, is unfair.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm going to overrule the objection.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have a problem here, Your Honours.
9 I apologise, switching on and off the microphone does impede my focus.
10 Q. Witness, you never said to the OTP that you heard that members of
11 your unit were in Srebrenica or went to Srebrenica in 1995. You never
12 said that before, did you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In 1995 you were no longer a member of the VJ, were you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In 2003, your memory must have been much fresher than today. The
17 OTP reminded you of some things to jog your memory; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Concerning what we said yesterday, are you positive that members
20 of your unit were in the territory in Srebrenica in 1995, or is that an
21 assumption of yours? Because you called Srebrenica a hot topic, didn't
23 A. I cannot say for sure that the unit was in use at Srebrenica in
24 1995 because I wasn't there. But as you said, I can assume that part of
25 the unit was there, but I cannot say so with any degree of certainty.
1 Q. Do you -- can you mention a name of someone who has said to you
2 that he was in Srebrenica in 1995?
3 A. I wouldn't like to mention names.
4 Q. All right. But you do know some names?
5 A. Do I know the name of anyone who has said to me that he was in
6 Srebrenica in 1995 from my unit? Not directly from my unit.
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You said your unit, but I would like to know whether you know the
10 name of someone from some other unit of the VJ. I'm not interested in
11 state security, Frenki's guys and stuff. But from another unit of the VJ
12 whether they were Srebrenica until 1995 -- if necessary, we can go into
13 closed session. If you remember; if not, we can move on.
14 MR. THOMAS: Yes, sir, I object on the grounds of relevance to
15 the question, sir.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm not willing to reply to this, I
18 believe the objection is unfounded. Mr. Thomas put that very question
19 yesterday, so I can't see why it should be irrelevant now when I'm trying
20 to put it to the witness.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: What question did he put to the witness yesterday?
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I asked the question, as he said that
23 no one from his unit was in Srebrenica in 1995, I would now like to know
24 whether somebody from any other unit of the VJ was in Srebrenica in 1995.
25 If -- now, that's an irrelevant question. And Mr. Thomas asked the
1 witness the same question yesterday.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Objection overruled.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I answer? I have heard, I
4 don't know -- I have no direct knowledge that someone was there, but I
5 heard of that before the meeting that was around about the bombing of
7 unit, not my unit, but anyway. And that's when I heard that some
8 individuals from among them had taken part in that operation. But I
9 can't judge whether or not that really took place as I wasn't there, and
10 I don't know whether they went there as volunteers or in what capacity.
11 But I have heard that in -- some individuals did take part in those
12 operation, but I cannot --
13 Q. But I must proceed further along this line of questioning. So I
14 must now elicit from you who said that to you. And if necessary we can
15 move into closed session because we need to establish who the -- who took
16 part in those operations. So we are now in open session, if necessary we
17 can move into private session.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Please could we go into private
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we please move into private session.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 9021-9026 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You do like to place on the
13 record in open session that you have no further questions, Mr. Lukic?
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I have completed
15 my cross-examination of this witness. Thank you very of much.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.
17 Any re-examination, Mr. Thomas?
18 MR. THOMAS: I do, Your Honour, very briefly please, and could we
19 please go into private session.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 9028-9033 redacted.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: But if we are in open session, then the witness,
25 how does he get out of here?
1 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: We'll take a break and come back at 4.00. Court
4 --- Recess taken at 3.34 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 3.59 p.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Thomas.
7 MR. THOMAS: Thank you, Your Honours.
8 During the course of the break -- I wonder if we could go into
9 private session, please, sir.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session
11 [Private session]
11 Pages 9036-9041 redacted. Private session.
22 [Closed session]
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
5 Mr. Thomas.
6 MR. THOMAS: Your Honours, thank you, that concludes the business
7 of myself, Madam Sutherland, and Madam of Javier before you this
8 afternoon. I wonder if we could please be excused and Madam McKenna will
9 be leading the next witness, and I'll leave Mr. Harmon to make the
10 introductions if that's all right, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's fine. You are excused.
12 MR. THOMAS: Thank you.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do I call on Madam McKenna, or do I call on
14 Mr. Harmon?
15 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, Bronagh McKenna and Mark Harmon
16 appearing in this session. Ms. McKenna will lead the next witness. I am
17 just going to assist Ms. McKenna with some technical details, and then
18 we're ready to proceed.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
20 Madam McKenna, I guess I'm told that the Defence would like to
21 raise some procedural issue before we start with the next witness. And I
22 see Mr. Guy-Smith is on his feet.
23 Mr. Guy-Smith, do you want to be in any particular kind of
24 session? Private, closed?
25 MR. GUY-SMITH: Open would be fine.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Open would be fine. Is it possible now that we
2 are in open session to remove the screen.
3 MR. GUY-SMITH: That was going to be my first inquiry.
4 MS. McKENNA: It is, Your Honour, if we could ask that the screen
5 be removed.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the screen please be removed.
7 Mr. Guy-Smith.
8 MR. GUY-SMITH: Yes. I find myself in somewhat of a unique
9 position with regard to the next witness. There's been a request made
10 that the next witness be allowed to testify under a pseudonym. However,
11 there is, and I think both parties agree after discussion, there is no
12 legal basis for that to be granted. However, there are some
13 considerations concerning the age of the witness and some personal
14 matters that apparently are tended to him subjectively. And we have been
15 asked as a humanitarian matter if we would not mind allowing this witness
16 to testify by a pseudonym, and the answer to that is, we do not mind.
17 And we have no objection to him testifying by way of a pseudonym. And
18 the reason that I rise to address the issue is because I do attempt to be
19 a stickler for rules and for the law, but I think given the request that
20 was made by my opponents in this regard, it not -- only a not
21 unreasonable request, but it's something that we can accommodate.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, sir, if you are accommodating it, then
23 do you confirm, Madam McKenna?
24 MS. McKENNA: I do confirm that we are requesting a pseudonym for
25 this witness.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: And that is the only protective measure you are
2 asking for?
3 MS. McKENNA: The only protective measure, yes. He doesn't
4 require either facial or voice distortion.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Neither does he require any private or closed
7 MS. McKENNA: I will request that we move into private session if
8 the witness is to give the names of any other of the Srebrenica
9 survivors, but otherwise his testimony will be wholly in open session.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam McKenna.
11 May the witness please come in.
12 MR. GUY-SMITH: There is one slight other matter that I should
13 alert the Chamber to. As I'm sure the Chamber does recall, I know my
14 opponents do, we filed the motion in limine with regard to this witness's
15 specific testimony as it related to issues that have been agreed upon as
16 well as issues that were found in a previous decision by this Chamber
17 concerning adjudicated facts. I don't know precisely what the parameters
18 are of the testimony that the Prosecution seeks to elicit from this
19 witness at this time. However, before we start, I should make our
20 position really quite clear that to the extent that the testimony invades
21 either of those prove provinces, that being those of agreed facts or
22 those of adjudicated facts, we will be objecting because it would be
23 improper and outside of the nature of the agreement that we have with the
25 MS. McKENNA: Your Honour, the Prosecution fully accepts that
1 there is an agreement in place and will not seek to focus on any of the
2 issues outside the agreed facts -- outside the disputed facts, rather.
3 However, the witness has travelled some distance to give his testimony
4 before the Trial Chamber. There is a natural and necessary
5 contextualisation process that will likely take place in order to give
6 context to the evidence that he is putting before the Trial Chamber. As
7 I note, we will not focus on issues outside the disputed facts, but it
8 may well be the case that the witness gives evidence on issue that have
9 already been agreed.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, I guess those are problems that the parties
11 must deal with as and when they arise. I don't think the Chamber can
12 make any ruling on those issues that you are raising right now.
13 Yes, sir?
14 MR. GUY-SMITH: That's understood, I just wanted to alert the
15 Chamber to it so that the Chamber is not taken aback if there was some
16 discussion during this witness's testimony.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sure, no, thank you very much.
18 Yes, may the witness please come in.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the witness please make the declaration.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, sir. You may be seated.
24 Yes, Madam McKenna.
25 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 WITNESS: WITNESS MP-294
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Examination by Ms. McKenna:
4 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. Witness, can you hear me?
5 MS. McKENNA: Mr. Usher, I don't believe that the witness can
6 hear me, perhaps you can assist.
7 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
8 A. Good afternoon.
9 Q. Are you sitting comfortably?
10 A. Yes, it's comfortable.
11 Q. Witness, the Trial Chamber has granted you protective measures,
12 so you will be referred to by pseudonym during these proceedings.
13 A. All right. Thank you.
14 MS. McKENNA: If I could ask that the pseudonym sheet be shown to
15 the witness.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the pseudonym sheet please be shown to the
18 Mr. Usher, can you please help.
19 MS. McKENNA:
20 Q. Witness, can you please confirm that this is your name and your
21 year of birth?
22 A. Yes, yes. It is.
23 MS. McKENNA: Mr. Usher, can you please show the pseudonym sheet
24 to counsel.
25 Your Honour, may I tender this as an exhibit under seal.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Judge, please.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: The pseudonym sheet is admitted into evidence
4 under seal. May it please be given an exhibit number.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours, this is document becomes
6 Exhibit P2691 admitted under seal. Thank you.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
8 MS. McKENNA:
9 Q. Witness, what is your ethnicity?
10 A. I'm a Muslim.
11 Q. And what was your occupation before the war?
12 A. I was a farmer, but I also earned some money as a mason. I
13 worked illegally as a mason to make some additional money. I paid some
14 taxes, but not much.
15 Q. Thank you. And what formal education did you receive?
16 A. I completed four years of school in two years, and that's all the
17 education I have.
18 Q. Where were you in July 1995? Where were you living?
19 A. In 1995, at that time I was in Srebrenica. In town we had been
20 expelled from our villages. I had been in my village, and we were
21 expelled from there, and we found ourselves in town.
22 Q. With whom were you living in Srebrenica?
23 A. I was living with my family. I had two sons, a wife, and a
24 daughter. I had a daughter-in-law and four grandchildren. And I was
25 living with them, you know.
1 Q. I'd like to focus your attention first on the 11th of July, 1995
2 What happened on that day?
3 A. On that day what happened was before the 11th of July, shelling
4 started and lasted for five days, every day without any interruptions.
5 And we saw at one point that our army managed to return --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Guy-Smith.
7 MR. GUY-SMITH: This particular testimony is certainly outside of
8 the agreement. It deals with a date that's outside of the agreement. It
9 deals with a time that's outside of the agreement.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam McKenna.
11 MS. McKENNA: Your Honour, what is still in dispute are the
12 events of the 12th and the 13th of July. In order to give proper context
13 to the witness's testimony in respect of those events, it's necessary for
14 him to give very brief overview of the events of the 11th of July.
15 MR. GUY-SMITH: Well, I think that Ms. McKenna goes a bit far
16 when she says what is in dispute are the events of the 12th and 13th of
17 July. I believe there are very discrete factual matters that is the
18 Prosecution wishes to amplify. There is one factual matter which deals
19 specifically with the number of individuals who met their untimely
20 demise, but that certainly is quite distinct from that which Ms. McKenna
21 has posited at this time. And I would remind both the Chamber and
22 counsel above and beyond of those matters that have previously been
23 raised of the adjudicated fact number 72, which was found in the decision
24 of the 22nd of September, 2008, which deals with Branjevo Military Farm.
25 MS. McKENNA: Your Honour, my learned friend is correct that not
1 all the events of the 12th and the 13th of July are in dispute, I was
2 merely seeking to -- not to contaminate the witness by being specific as
3 to the evidence we were --
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: I have a problem, you know. You two have got an
5 agreement, and the Chamber is not privy to your agreement. Now you are
6 disputing about the terms of the agreement, and I really don't think it
7 is for the Chamber to be determining the meaning of your agreement when
8 we don't even know what it says.
9 MR. GUY-SMITH: If I might, Your Honour, the Chamber is privy to
10 the agreement, not only to the extent, but the entirety of the agreement
11 as it presently exists, as of a result of this decision the Chamber
12 rendered on the 24th --
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Guy-Smith.
14 MR. GUY-SMITH: Sorry, the 19th of August, 2009, with regard to
15 an adjunct submission that was made. Above and beyond that, there is no
16 further agreement.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Guy-Smith, indeed there may very well be a
18 decision that was made in August, but you know, I don't think you expect
19 the Chamber to be remembering at every stage what decisions were made.
20 And, you know, you prepared to come this week -- we don't know what
21 witness was coming, we don't know what the witness is -- how the witness
22 is affected by any decisions that have been made because we don't know
23 who is coming, so we don't have the decision before us. We don't have
24 the [indiscernible] submission by the parties.
25 Now, we -- there's no way we can remember everything that has
1 happened in the past. You probably knew what witness was coming. We
2 don't know.
3 MR. GUY-SMITH: Well, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't,
4 Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: And in this particular case, the Chamber didn't
6 even know whether there was a witness coming after the last witness, let
7 alone who.
8 MR. GUY-SMITH: Well, then I'm one step ahead of you on this one.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed. But my problem is -- if we can get back
10 to the problem. The problem here is that we are now being asked to
11 adjudicate on your agreement, which we do not know the details of.
12 MR. GUY-SMITH: We can deal with this in one of a number of
13 respects. We can either submit to the Court the decision and the joint
14 submission so the Chamber has it available to it as we are discussing the
15 matter, as well as the decision on the adjudicated facts, or we can take
16 it piecemeal as it comes up. And I can raise specifically at those
17 points in time where I believe that my opponent has gone far afield.
18 I don't believe that the suggestion that has been made thus far,
19 which is the need for a contextual presentation as it's been presented,
20 is appropriate. The specific facts that this witness can testify to, and
21 those facts can be brought forth. To the extent that those facts are
22 brought forth, there will be no objection.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me find out from Madam McKenna.
24 Madam McKenna --
25 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
1 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, if I may, I was involved in the
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Your microphone is not on.
4 MR. HARMON: I was involved with the agreement. I participated
5 in it in discussions with counsel, and Ms. McKenna did not, so I'm going
6 to intervene myself into these proceedings and explain that there had
7 been previously an agreement between the parties. There was a -- which
8 as the Court knows was not ultimately the agreement that we settled on
9 because of the issues raised by previous counsel. So there was a new
10 agreement. And what was agreed between the parties was that we would
11 submit to Your Honours, the new agreement which was submitted on the date
12 that my learned friend said it had been submitted.
13 What remained in dispute were the areas that the new agreement
14 didn't address. In other words, the former agreement, there was greater
15 agreement on facts. The new agreement was narrower. The agreement
16 between the parties was as to those issues that had previously been
17 agreed to but were not addressed in the new agreement, the Prosecution
18 would explore with witnesses.
19 Now, what Ms. McKenna has -- is attempting to address in her
20 examination of this witness deals with facts that had previously been
21 agreed to but were not addressed in the subsequent agreement of the
22 parties. Specifically -- and I will just direct counsel's attention to
23 this. Previously in the Schedule D of the indictment, paragraph 1, there
24 had been an agreement as to VRS and MUP officers and soldiers committing
25 a number of opportunistic killings in Potocari on the 12th and the 13th.
1 And it goes on to -- the second sentence was -- also had previously been
2 agreed to --
3 MR. GUY-SMITH: I do mean to interrupt you because to the extent
4 we are going to be dealing with any facts that are germane to this
5 witness's testimony, I don't think it's appropriate that the witness is
6 listening to the arguments being made by counsel.
7 MR. HARMON: I agree, but let me just direct counsel's attention
8 to --
9 MR. GUY-SMITH: That's entirely different. Let's deal with the
10 first issue first, Mr. Harmon, and then we'll get to what you want to
11 direct me to.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: First of all, Mr. Harmon, now that you say you
13 were personally involved in this agreement, isn't it just prudent that
14 you be leading the witness? Because you say Madam McKenna was not
15 involved in this. I don't know.
16 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, Ms. McKenna is able to lead the witness
17 on the evidence that this witness -- we intend to present to the Court.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I would like us to rule on this point quickly, I
19 think we are taking too long discussing it. Can I just get a factual
20 answer. Did the question that Madam McKenna ask go outside the
21 time-frame that the parties are agreed on?
22 MR. HARMON: Yes, it did.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Fine, then I must uphold the objection.
24 MR. HARMON: Okay, then we will proceed accordingly, Your Honour.
25 Thank you.
1 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Witness, I'd like to focus on the 12th of July. What happened --
3 A. On the 12th of July -- on the 11th we went to Potocari, and then
4 on the 12th was when the Serbian army came together with Mladic. There
5 were some negotiations going on apparently for the people to be let go.
6 And since the negotiations could not be completed, a woman came by and
7 she started screaming and shouting and she was crying and she was telling
8 all the people, People, don't go, don't go, because the Red Cross was not
9 going to put their names down. The people were just leaving, and she was
10 crying, Genocide, genocide. That's what she was saying and crying and
12 Q. Witness, we are going to take this in stages, if you would. You
13 stated that the Serbian army arrived on the 12th, together with Mladic.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you personally see Mladic?
16 A. He saw him personally. I know when they were throwing bread from
17 the TAM
18 recording, and he was there observing. That is's when I saw him, and
19 someone pointed to him and said, Mladic. And they were recording, they
20 were making a video to show the world how humane and good they were. And
21 when they were killing and committing genocide, nobody recorded a thing,
22 did they?
23 On that day the army passed through the people. They were
24 walking about, and then at dusk some people were taken out. And people
25 were crying and screaming at one end. And I heard a scream. And people
1 got scared. They all rose to their feet. This was a major disaster, and
2 everybody was terrified. And we realised that a great evil would happen
3 to us.
4 Q. Witness --
5 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me, I refrained for sometime out of some
6 attempt to be polite. The question was specific; the answer has not
7 been. The answer, and I understand the Chamber's position about what can
8 be contained in an answer, but if the witness is not controlled, then the
9 effect of what is going to occur will be in direct violation of the
10 agreement that we entered into with the Prosecution. And there's no
11 reason for us to enter into an agreement with the Prosecution unless it's
12 going to be abided.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam McKenna. Control of the witness. I thought
14 the question was a very short question: Did you personally see
15 Mr. Mladic?
16 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Witness, you've testified that the Serb army arrived on that day.
18 Can you describe the soldiers that you saw.
19 A. That was on the 12th. Soldiers arrived. I don't know how to
20 describe them. I did not know them. They were all carrying automatic
21 weapons, most of them, and they all wore military multicoloured uniforms.
22 That's the way I can describe them.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. But I can't give you any of their names. I didn't know them.
25 Q. Thank you. You've talked about people being taken out. Can you
1 be more specific about what you mean when people were taken out in the
2 night of the 12th?
3 A. What I was saying was that people were wailing, and those whose
4 men had been taken out at that end, people were screaming and crying.
5 And then all people rose and started screaming and wailing, and it was
6 all really terrible. And later, maybe 15 minutes later, outside of the
7 circle where all the people were, you could see men crying and screaming
8 outside of the circle where the crowd was. Then you could also hear
10 Q. Witness --
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: When people were taken out of what?
12 MS. McKENNA:
13 Q. Witness, where were you when these events occurred?
14 A. They were walking --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I just asked the witness a question, now you are
16 asking another question. I want to know out of what were these people
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was this crowd in Potocari,
19 some were in the factories, some were outside. It was dark. And people
20 were taken out from those crowds. I couldn't see where they were taken
21 from. There were 33.000 people. I couldn't see where they were taken
22 from. I could only hear people crying and people -- men were taken from
23 one place and then from another --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: You answered me. Yes, Madam McKenna, you may
1 MS. McKENNA:
2 Q. Witness, by whom were they taken out?
3 A. They were taken out by the Serbian army.
4 Q. And do you know what happened when they were taken out? What
5 happened to them?
6 A. Well, there was screaming and wailing and then the sounds get
7 lower and then the voice disappeared. Life went away. And you could
8 hear bursts of fire which means that people were being killed.
9 Q. Did you personally see anyone being killed?
10 A. I did not see anybody with my own eyes, but there's evidence that
11 this happened. People went missing. And some of my cousins -- for
12 example, a cousin of mine also went missing at the time.
13 Q. Thank you, Witness. I'd like to move to the next day, Thursday
14 the 13th of July. Can you explain what happened to you on the next day.
15 A. On the 13th of July was a Thursday. That's when I went out
16 because I realised it was dangerous to stay with the crowd, so I went
17 out, and I thought what happened, happened. I started walking around
18 9.00, perhaps, and I arrived up to the lorry sometime in the afternoon,
19 maybe about 2.00 or 3.00 in the afternoon.
20 Q. Let me be more specific. You explained that you were with your
21 family on the night of the 12th of July. Were you with your family for
22 the entirety of the 13th of July?
23 A. Well, yes, but my wife fainted. My cousin also fainted, and they
24 sought first aid. They were taken to the out-patient's clinic. I was
25 taken there by my daughter. I stayed with my four grandchildren --
1 Q. Witness --
2 A. -- and my daughter-in-law. That's how we all gradually left. We
3 went out --
4 Q. How did you leave Potocari?
5 A. When I arrived, there was a roadblock, and maybe they let 100 to
6 200 people on to lorries. And there was another roadblock after maybe 10
7 or 15 metres. That's where men were separated from the women and the
8 children, and they were taken to a house. I was carrying a demijohn of
9 water for my children, and I gave it to my son-in-law who was eight [as
10 interpreted], and they got on a bus and went towards Tuzla and I was
11 rerouted. I was directed towards this house.
12 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
13 A. And then when the house was full, the two busses came--
14 Q. If I could focus in on you getting from the barricades to the
15 house. How did you get to the house?
16 A. I was with my grand children and with my daughter-in-law. I was
17 going to go to Tuzla
18 Q. Witness --
19 A. -- a Serb --
20 Q. Witness, you've explained that at the second barricade you were
21 separated from your wife and your children -- and your grandchildren.
22 What happened to you once you had been separated from them?
23 A. What happened was they took me to this house. There was a lot of
24 people there who had been separated. And then buses arrived, and they
25 took us to Bratunac.
1 Q. Let me stop you there. Who took you to the house?
2 A. Serbian soldiers who were standing by the barricade. They were
3 making the barricade, maybe five or six of them were there, and they were
4 separating people, and they pointed to the house, and they told us, Go
5 there. And if you didn't want to go of your own will, they would drag
6 you there, one of the Serb soldiers.
7 Q. How long were you at the house?
8 A. Maybe half an hour. We were waiting for the crowded house to
9 become a bit bigger, and then two buses came and then they took us to
10 Bratunac, to the Vuk Karadzic school in Bratunac.
11 Q. Who accompanied you on the buses to Bratunac?
12 A. The Serb military. They were our guards and our escorts. And as
13 we sat down in the buses, there were two escorts in each of the buses,
14 and then we went to Bratunac.
15 Q. You said that you were taken to the Vuk Karadzic school in
16 Bratunac. How many schools are you familiar with in Bratunac?
17 A. I know that there is an elementary school and Vuk Karadzic which
18 is a higher school. Those were all the schools. And as for new schools
19 which have been built in the meantime, they were on the other side. I'm
20 talking about the two old schools.
21 Q. Thank you. And where were the elementary school, and the school
22 to which you refer as Vuk Karadzic, where were they located in relation
23 to each other?
24 A. They were close to each other, and they are actually connected to
25 each other.
1 Q. Did you know at the time that the school -- the name of the
2 school to which you were being brought?
3 A. No, I didn't know the name. I learned that only later. I
4 inquired, and I was told that the school's name was Vuk Karadzic. That
5 was its name.
6 Q. What happened on your arrival at the school?
7 A. When we arrived at the school one soldier came. He wore a blue
8 uniform, a white belt, a pistol, a white holster. He came into a room
9 and he beat one man with an automatic rifle. And then one other man gave
10 him a hose and told him don't hit him with the rifle. He tried using the
11 rifle but he didn't like that, so he grabbed the rifle -- he tried
12 beating with the hose but he didn't like that, he grabbed the rifle
13 again, and then this man who was being beaten started bleeding from his
14 face. He wore a white shirt that was quickly drenched in blood.
15 And then that soldier left the room, and then we could hear loud
16 noises coming from the outside. We could hear crying from the outside.
17 Some people were crying. I could also hear bursts of fire. And
18 sometimes when the bursts of fire died down, the voices died down, and
19 the life was gone. And it was --
20 Q. [Overlapping speakers]... first of all, on the description of the
21 soldier that you've given us, and you say that he wore a blue uniform, a
22 white belt, and a pistol in a white holster. What do you normally
23 associate that uniform with?
24 A. Yeah, a white holster, yes. It seems to me, I can't tell you
25 exactly, I can't tell you whether that was the civilian army or whether
1 he was a military policeman. In any case, he was a policeman. I know
2 that military policemen used to wear white belts, white holsters. And
3 civilian police, on the other hand, wore blue uniforms. So I was a bit
4 puzzled. I can't really tell you. In any case, he was Serb soldier,
5 that's what I know.
6 Q. And in relation specifically to the man who he beat with a rifle,
7 what happened to that man? After you've a explained that the soldier
8 left the room, what happened to that the man? After you've explained
9 that the soldier left the room. What happened to the man after the
10 soldier left the room?
11 A. The one who left?
12 Q. No, I'm sorry, let me be clear. The man who had been beaten with
13 the rifle and was covered in blood.
14 A. He stayed amongst us for about half an hour. He was there
15 sitting, and later some soldier came to the door. He waved with his hand
16 and said, Come over. And he was reluctant to go because he was -- he
17 feared something bad would happen, but others said, Come on, get up. You
18 have to get up. And he left, and after that we heard shooting, and
19 before that wailing, which means that they killed him. At any rate, he
20 didn't return. And that went on -- that didn't go on for an hour only.
21 For day and night you could hear wailing, shooting.
22 Q. But let's take this in stages. Can you describe the room in
23 which you were held in the school.
24 A. It's hard for me to describe. I know it was dusty. The
25 furniture was broken. It was an old school in a poor state of repair.
1 Probably it's been renovated since. It would -- I don't think it's like
2 it used to be.
3 Q. How many people were in your room?
4 A. Maybe 150 or 200 people. I never counted. I was afraid, and I
5 didn't really care to count them.
6 Q. You've stated that -- I am sorry. How large was the room, or how
7 much space did you have?
8 A. Well, I can give you an approximate size. Maybe 4 by 5 metres.
9 I don't know. I wasn't really into surveying the room.
10 Q. You've said -- after you explained what happened to the man who
11 had been beaten with a rifle, you said, And that went on for day and
12 night. Can you explain what exactly went on.
13 A. No, not day and night. Two nights and one day. It must have
14 been in shifts because they -- the same people couldn't have done all
15 that by any means. Yes, there were two nights. We could hear people --
16 we could hear them taking people out of the rooms.
17 Q. And who were taking people out of the rooms?
18 A. Well, the Serb army.
19 Q. And what was happening to the people that were taken out of the
21 A. Well, they were wailing. There was a loud noise. There were
22 screams. And all sorts of things. Sometimes you could hear strong
23 voices, sometimes weak voices. And after that you would hear shouts,
24 bursts of fire, a voice that dies away. It's no longer there. And then
25 they come again, look for people, take them away. And that went on all
1 the time while I was there.
2 Q. How frequently did the Serb soldiers come and take people out of
3 your room?
4 A. Sometimes they would come after half an hour. Sometimes after an
5 hour or two, but there was not just my room there. There were other
6 rooms from which they could take people away, so we are not speaking
7 about one room only. Sometimes they would go to one room, sometimes to
8 another, et cetera. That's how it went on.
9 Q. And can you estimate how many people were taken out of your room
10 over the course of the duration of your stay there?
11 A. As far as I could able to tell, what I saw with my own eyes,
12 well, they took away some seven or eight people, but I didn't really
13 follow that attentively out of fear. When you see dead people, when you
14 see what they do to people, you don't feel like anything but fainting
15 right there. And the people were all black and blue. You weren't able
16 to tell who was who. There was no food; there was no water. It was --
17 they didn't allow food or water in there. And then you see that your
18 life is in jeopardy, and all you care about is to stay alive. And there
19 were a great many people and all were terrified.
20 Q. Did the people who were taken out of your room ever return?
21 A. You mean to that room?
22 Q. Yes. Or did you ever see them again?
23 A. No, not my neighbours who were with me. And if you mean the
24 Serbs, I didn't know them.
25 Q. I mean the people who were taken out of your room by the Serbs.
1 You've described how people were taken out and you heard screaming
2 afterwards. Did those people who were taken out ever return? Or did you
3 ever see them again?
4 A. No, whoever was taken out never returned. It was -- they were --
5 they were done for. That was clear enough.
6 Q. I'd like to move on to the time when you left the school. Can
7 you describe what happened, or can you describe how you left the school.
8 A. Well, the soldiers came to us and told us, You are going to
10 of buses, but I never counted. And we got on the buses, took our seats,
11 and left after two nights at Bratunac. Then they gave us very little
12 bread. Not everybody got bread, though. And there was something like a
13 cake, but it was so dry, I couldn't even eat it. And once we reached
14 Konjevic Polje, there may have been fighting, or perhaps they were
15 ambushed. Anyway, we couldn't pass. Some people were taken to the
16 woods, and there was shooting. And so when we passed Konjevic Polje, I
17 noticed that we were heading to Drina
18 And then we stopped for about five or six minutes. Some people may have
19 been caught right there and put in the buses. And then we started moving
20 again in the direction of Zvornik.
21 We reached Zvornik, and I was looking at the houses, then they
22 were headed to the bridge and straight into Serbia. And then we went all
23 the way to Loznica in Serbia
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Guy-Smith.
25 MR. GUY-SMITH: If I might, I believe that the matter that is now
1 being testified to has been covered in the agreement made between the
2 parties, looking specifically at the following, which is paragraphs
3 number 22, 23, 24, 25 of the agreement between the parties.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam McKenna.
5 MR. GUY-SMITH: And as I said before, there is one matter that
6 remains in this regard, and that is a number of individuals that met
7 their demise. And I again, as I said previously, refer the Chamber and
8 counsel to the decision on the adjudicated facts and specifically fact
9 number 72, which discusses that approximate number.
10 MS. McKENNA: My apologies. The agreed facts to which my learned
11 friend refers deal with the next stage in the witness's story, which --
12 to which we will come. At present the witness is describing his journey
13 from the school in which he was detained in Bratunac to Pilica.
14 MR. GUY-SMITH: Is this -- are we back in the contextual part of
15 the examination?
16 MS. McKENNA: Precisely that.
17 MR. GUY-SMITH: Well, I really must state for the record that I
18 am extremely concerned about any agreement that we entered in with the
19 Prosecution concerning this particular matter. And I'm beginning to have
20 concerns as to whether or not we did in fact enter this agreement with
21 their being, what I would call, good faith on both sides. Because we are
22 doing precisely that which we discussed admittedly, not informally, but
23 we were doing precisely what we agreed we would not be doing. And I
24 think that the use of the contextual testimony for purposes of furthering
25 along to particular fact is not only disingenuous, but is outside of the
1 bounds of the agreement. And I'm very concerned that we have entered
2 into agreement in which there is either information that the Prosecution
3 has that they didn't share with us, or there is an intent that the
4 Prosecution had that they didn't share with us at the time that we
5 entered the agreement.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam McKenna.
7 MS. McKENNA: Your Honour, I note the time, I suggest that we
8 discuss counsel's concerns over the break, and perhaps we can readdress
9 this issue.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. We'll take a break and come back at quarter
11 to. Court adjourned.
12 --- Recess taken at 5.15 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 5.45 p.m.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam McKenna.
15 MS. McKENNA:
16 Q. Witness --
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Wait a minute. We have an objection to resolve,
18 ma'am. You were going to resolve it during the break.
19 MR. GUY-SMITH: I think that -- I think that we may have a
20 mechanism whereby the questions that are being asked and the answers that
21 are given, if focused and controlled might allow for there to be
22 resolution. I'm hoping that there is a resolution. I think that's the
23 best I can do at the present time. I can't say that -- I can't say that
24 our meeting ended up on us agreeing on many things, but I do believe that
25 we agreed on those issues that were still in dispute up to a certain
1 point. And I'm trying to be as fair as I can to both sides in saying
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: We still have to resolve the objection. Are you
4 withdrawing the objection? That's what you're saying? Or what are you
6 MR. GUY-SMITH: If I might table the objection for the moment.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then I got to rule on it.
8 MR. GUY-SMITH: Very well.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam McKenna, you said you were going to resolve
10 the problem during the break. What is your resolution?
11 MS. McKENNA: Your Honour, I suggest that we move to the next
12 stage of the witness testimony, and that will perhaps resolve my learned
13 friends concerns.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, ma'am, we've got an objection here, the
15 Chamber must rule on the objection.
16 MS. McKENNA: If you bear with me one moment, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes.
18 MR. GUY-SMITH: At this juncture if I might be of some help, if
19 we move on to the next point, I think that the issue will be resolved.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: But then you must formally withdraw your
21 objection. Mr. Guy-Smith, I asked you the question, and you said you are
22 tabling it.
23 MR. GUY-SMITH: Well, did I that because of some hesitancy I have
24 to be in a position where I withdraw an objection and if the problem
25 arises again and I raise the objection again, then I'm going to be put in
1 a position that I've been put before where you've been critical of me,
2 and understandably so, because you think I'm trying to revisit something
3 or keep something in my pocket, which I'm not trying to do.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not critical of you, I'm just saying,
5 procedurally, I've got an objection before me, and I've got to resolve
7 MR. GUY-SMITH: For purposes of making life, I think, easy, and I
8 don't believe that I procedurally foreclose any rights that my client
9 would have, I will withdraw the objection at this time based upon my
10 understanding during the break that we were going to move on to the next
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Guy-Smith.
13 Yes, Madam McKenna, you may carry on.
14 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Witness, I'd like to move forward in your testimony. I
16 understand that you were subject to further detention, but I'd like to
17 move forward to the morning after your detention where you were put on
18 buses and brought to a particular location. Do you know what I'm
19 referring to?
20 A. That's Pilica. When I left that cultural hall --
21 Q. Witness, may I be specific. You were detained at Pilica, I'd
22 like you to describe what happened when you were put on the buses at
23 Pilica. Can you tell us what happened then.
24 A. In Pilica when we were put on the buses, we were taken to
25 Branjevo next. We were travelling for maybe 2 and a half kilometres, and
1 when we arrived close to a hill, we could hear rifle shots and some
2 commotion and noise. And when we arrived in Branjevo, the buses pulled
3 over, and as they pulled over, the doors opened and the Serbian army --
4 Q. Witness --
5 A. The Serbian soldiers were all around the buses.
6 Q. How many people were on the bus that you were on?
7 A. Perhaps 50. Fifty-one, fifty-two, perhaps. That's how many
8 seats there were. Usually buses have that many seats. Maybe one or two
9 men were standing, and there was an escort on each bus, a soldier,
10 escorting every bus.
11 Q. And when you arrived at the location when --
12 A. And when we arrived the buses pulled over, the doors opened, and
13 Serbian troops encircled the buses. They started cursing us. They were
14 cursing our mothers, Alija, Haris, and ordered us to get off the buses.
15 Yes, go on.
16 Q. What could you see from the bus, when you arrived?
17 A. I could see a fruit tree and some logs. Actually, there was an
18 apple tree, it could have been an apple tree. And there -- in a distance
19 there were barns or houses or something of the sort. Something was
20 there, but I couldn't look freely, so I could not really tell what there
21 was. And then we were getting off the buses. When half of the people
22 got off, they stopped the other half, and the column proceeded towards
23 the place where they would be executed. I was watching from the bus, and
24 I could see them being killed in the field. And as the bursts of fire
25 were over, then the soldiers returned to the buses again.
1 When they came close to the bus, they started shouting, Get off,
2 Alija will not help you. And they were cursing our mothers and Alija and
3 Haris. And they were saying, Alija is not going to save you, is he? It
4 was only then when I became aware of death. I realised that my life was
5 over. That only a few seconds were separating me from death. And as we
6 got off the bus I started walking with the column, and one man said, Give
7 us marks. And I said I don't have any, then he hit me. He kicked me in
8 the stomach. And then I --
9 Q. Could you describe the walk that you took when you got off the
11 A. Yes. As we got off the bus we took a path towards the execution
12 place over there. There were some dead bodies lying across that path.
13 One asked me to give him marks, I said I don't have any. Then he kicked
14 me in the stomach. I looked around; I looked back. And then one Serbian
15 soldier that was walking behind me shouted at the first one, Don't commit
16 genocide, if we are going to kill him take a rifle in your hand and kill
17 him like a soldier would. And one person in the column shouted, Give us
18 first a drop of water to drink and then kill us. But nothing came of
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I ask a question, please, sir. Do you know
21 the name of this location where you were taken off the buses?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The name of the place of Branjevo
23 which I didn't know at the time. I was not familiar with the area, but I
24 heard it from the others that the name of the place was Branjevo, there
25 were some barns there or stables. It was some kind of a farm.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
2 Yes, Madam McKenna.
3 MS. McKENNA:
4 Q. Witness, please continue. Can you describe where you were
5 brought to by the soldiers.
6 A. We were brought to the place where the others had been killed.
7 And they looked like they were arranged in neat order as if they were
8 resting. And as we came to the place, we were walking through the lines
9 of the bodies. And as we walked further, there were more and more of
10 those aligned bodies. And as we came to the end of that, they told us,
11 Align yourself up with the others and turn your backs towards us. Which
12 is what we did.
13 There were no orders given. Instead of fire, the order was, Lie
14 down. But then we heard a burst of fire. I fell down immediately, and
15 the others did as well. And then somebody asked, Are there any living?
16 Is there anybody alive? And one said, I am alive. And the other also
17 says, I am alive. Go on, kill me. I kept quiet. I didn't say anything.
18 And then he shot a single bullet, actually he shot two bullets,
19 and then they returned to fetch others, to fetch another column of
21 Q. What did do you at this point, Witness?
22 A. Well, I kept quiet. I was waiting to see what would happen. I
23 was in two minds, whether I should raise my hand and be killed like the
24 others, but I didn't, and they returned with another column of people.
25 And they kept on bringing them and killing them and aligning them away
1 from me. And they were killing them with bursts of fire.
2 Q. How many columns were there as you lay -- did you hear being shot
3 as you lay there?
4 A. I believe six or seven more columns. And I don't know how many
5 lines of bodies there were. I really did not feel like counting them. I
6 just saw that there were many, that I was surrounded with bodies as far
7 as my eye could see.
8 Q. And how many people were in the columns? How many people were in
9 your column?
10 A. On average anything between 20 and 27, I'd say. It all depended
11 on how many got off the buses at a time. They would make two columns of
12 one bus load of people. And that's how they killed. That's how they
13 executed people.
14 Q. What happened after the columns stopped coming?
15 A. As the columns stopped coming, when everybody was killed, then
16 they returned to the place where the buses were. They found shelter in
17 the shade there, they rested. And then I tried to free my hands, but I
18 couldn't. I tried to pull my hand out. I was lucky to be able to do so.
19 And again I returned my hands into the ties while I was thinking. This
20 gave me some time to think while my hands looked as if they were still
21 tied behind my back. Because I knew that a patrol would come to inspect
22 the bodies, and I knew that there was a chance that they would realise
23 that I had released myself, that's why I placed my hands back in the
25 And they did indeed come, maybe twice or three times. They made
1 rounds of the place. Once when they arrived, there were five of them.
2 And then there was a shout, Look at him running. And there's another
3 one. And then single bullets were fired. Four Serb soldiers went after
4 them, went chasing them, and one stayed behind. When two of them
5 returned, one asked the two of them what happened, and he said, Well, one
6 got away, which means that they killed the other one.
7 Q. Witness, how did you escape?
8 A. And then they were speaking to each other, We have committed
9 genocide like the one in Jasenovac in 1941. That's what one of them
10 said. And later when they left again, someone further down from me was
11 whispering. I only turned my head a little and asked, Is there anyone
12 alive? Come on, let's get out.
13 And that's when I started untying myself. I took a look and saw
14 two of them crawling into a thorn bush where I had meant to go. I also
15 jumped to my feet. I walked on dead bodies. And I was also listening
16 whether there would be a voice crying from somewhere, Look at him
17 running, because if they see me, then I'm done for.
18 Then so I also crawled into the thorn bush where the other two
19 had gone. I looked behind myself and saw two more crawling behind me.
20 They also came our way, and they had removed the traces so as not to be
21 noticed. And everybody else was lying dead. But there weren't many
22 bushes, maybe 100 or 150 square metres in all. And that's where we lay.
23 Soldiers arrived again. They were walking among the dead,
24 checking how things were standing, and we weren't far away from them.
25 But then night fell, and they left. And we got out of the bushes on the
1 opposite side, but on that side too, there were dead people lying around.
2 Then we headed toward the forest where --
3 Q. Witness, may I interrupt.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. How many people, how many bodies did you see, or how many bodies
6 do you estimate there were that day?
7 A. It's my estimate that there can't have been fewer than 1.000.
8 Maybe between 1.000 and 1500, thereabouts. Of course I don't know the
9 exact number.
10 Q. And why do you estimate that amount?
11 A. Because I saw how many dead bodies were lying in the field. The
12 whole field was covered with dead bodies. And those who had surrendered
13 in Potocari, they were both elderly people and children aged 14, but
14 there were also 80-year-olds. Last year one man was buried who died at
15 84. I knew him personally. I said that their age was up to 80, but
16 obviously there were also people over 80. They were all civilians,
17 elderly people, children.
18 Q. Were any of your family members there that day?
19 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me, relevance?
20 MS. McKENNA: I withdraw the question.
21 Your Honour, if I may have one moment to confer with my
23 [Prosecution counsel confer]
24 MS. McKENNA:
25 Q. Witness, I'm not going to ask you about the further details of
1 your escape and your survival, but thank you very much.
2 A. All right.
3 MS. McKENNA: Your Honour, that concludes my direct examination.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam McKenna.
5 Mr. Guy-Smith.
6 MR. GUY-SMITH: If I might, Your Honour, based on the state of
7 the record at present, coupled with the agreement that has been entered
8 into, as well as the decision on adjudicated facts, it might be
9 beneficial if we could have but five minutes so that we can confer with
10 our client, after which point I think that things might move at a much
11 quicker speed.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: We'll take a short break and call us when you are
14 --- Break taken at 6.11 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 6.20 p.m.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Guy-Smith.
17 MR. GUY-SMITH: Yes, I wish to thank the Chamber very much for
18 that accommodation, as does Mr. Perisic. Based upon our discussion and
19 the state of the record as it presently stands, we have no questions at
20 this time.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Guy-Smith.
22 Mr. Witness, that brings us to the end of your testimony. Thank
23 you very much for taking the time to come and testify at the Tribunal.
24 You are now excused. You may stand down and travel well when you go back
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I would like to thank you for
2 having invited me here to tell the truth and to seek justice from you.
3 And I wish to see Mladic as the next one to be tried here. Thank you.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Travel well home.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam McKenna.
7 MS. McKENNA: Thank you, Your Honour. That concludes our
8 evidence for today. We have no further witnesses.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then, thank you. The matter will then stand
10 adjourned to tomorrow, quarter past 2.00 in the afternoon in
11 Courtroom II.
12 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, we have no additional witnesses. The
13 next witness we have scheduled is for the 28th of September, I'm
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, in that event the matter stands adjourned to
16 the 28th of September, at 9.00 in the morning, Courtroom II. Court
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.23 p.m.
19 to be reconvened on Monday, the 28th day of
20 September, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.