1 Monday, 28 August 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar. Could you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Merci. And good morning once more.
10 Same advisory to Defence, accused: Problems with interpretation,
11 please draw our attention straight away.
12 Appearances, I think we are fine.
13 Any preliminaries? Yes, Mr. Meek.
14 MR. MEEK: Thank you. Good morning, Mr. President and Your
15 Honours. I just wanted to point out that today Mr. Ostojic and myself,
16 Mr. Meek, are here for Mr. Beara.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. You're missing the middle man.
18 Thank you.
19 So we can bring in the witness. Are there people in the gallery
20 or not?
21 So I wish to express our gratitude to the Defence teams for
22 handing in your estimated cross-examination time for the third witness. I
23 appreciate it. In the meantime, we enjoin you to do your utmost to finish
24 with the next witness by the end of this week's sittings. That is
25 Thursday. We are not sitting on Friday. We can make an effort.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: We have had Mr. Ruez available, thinking he might
3 get started on Thursday. It may not -- we may not make that, and if it
4 looks like that, we may just want to --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. In fact, I wanted to ask
6 you, is he still working for the Prosecution or not?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: No. He's been gone since 2002.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I see. So in other words, he had to travel here.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: No problem; it's close by.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 WITNESS: WITNESS PW-110 [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, sir.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: You looked relaxed. I hope you had a nice, relaxed
17 weekend and that you are ready to proceed with your cross-examination,
18 that you're not feeling too tired for it. And if you cooperate with us by
19 giving simple, short, straightforward answers, I can guarantee you you'll
20 be out of here and on your way back home within an hour or so.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: May I also remind you, sir, that you are still
23 testifying under oath, or the solemn declaration that you made when you
24 first started giving evidence here. Do you remember that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Now, who is next? I think Mr. Krgovic.
2 Mr. Krgovic, sir, is appearing for General Gvero, and he will be
3 putting some questions on cross-examination to you.
4 Mr. Krgovic. The lectern? Are you looking for the lectern? We
5 had a really big one, which is on its way. That's okay. The other way
7 MR. NICHOLLS: We have a smaller one here, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks. Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
9 MR. KRGOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. Just a few remarks before we start with the cross-examination.
14 Since the two of us speak the same language, I would kindly ask you to
15 make a pause after my question before giving your answer in order to avoid
16 overlapping and in order to contribute towards a clear interpretation.
17 I'm going to try and word questions so that you can answer them simply
18 with a "Yes" or "No" or "I don't know."
19 A. Very well.
20 Q. In your testimony, you said that you had returned to your village
21 at the beginning of April, 1992; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. The conflicts in that area started sometime towards the end of
24 April the same year; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The villagers of your village organised a unit of Territorial
2 Defence in order to defend themselves; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. This was the case with other villages in the area as well?
5 A. Of course.
6 Q. This is how the events followed: You defended, you were attacked,
7 you returned fire, and that's how it went until 1993, until the month of
8 February when you left the village.
9 A. Sometimes we did not return fire. We did not have enough power.
10 We would shift. We would go to another village, a village that had not
11 come under attack.
12 Q. Initially this was a conflict between the villages, wasn't it?
13 A. No. We were first attacked by the unit that had arrived from
14 Zekovici. One Serb arrived and told the villagers that lived on the
15 border of those villages, he said, Brothers - and he started crying -
16 flee! There is the army with tanks in Sekici and Pavlovici and other
17 villages, I don't know what their order is.
18 Q. I have to interrupt you here. You've already told us that.
19 A. No, no. I've never told you that. I apologise.
20 Q. I'm asking you about the conflicts in your area. Would you agree
21 that there were -- there was fighting between the villages at some point?
22 A. No. That was the last thing that happened, a conflict between the
24 Q. When was that?
25 A. I don't know the date, but that was when there was a lot of
1 shelling. People started dying, and then people were forced to leave
2 their villages.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Just one moment. Mr. Krgovic and Witness, you're
4 not allowing a pause between question and answer, and I can already sense
5 the difficulty that the interpreters are having. So please, you
6 particularly Mr. -- Witness, please allow a little bit of a pause. Don't
7 jump straight in with your answer.
8 Mr. Krgovic, sorry for interrupting you. Go ahead.
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Sir, the units in the villages helped each other with equipment.
11 A. What equipment? What units?
12 Q. The units of Territorial Defence who helped each other.
13 A. You know how it was. Only every hundredth person had a rifle. We
14 did not have weapons like you had weapons. The Serbs, I mean. If
15 somebody had means to purchase a weapon, they did. If they didn't have
16 the money, then they might have captured a weapon from the Serbian
17 soldier. We had to help each other because we didn't have weapons.
18 Q. This is precisely what I wanted to ask you. In other words, you
19 helped each other in defending yourselves. Sir, I'll move on to another
20 topic. In your testimony on Thursday, you mentioned an event when, after
21 having been captured, during the night between the 13th and 14th July you
22 were brought to Bratunac; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Then you mentioned that from the lorry where you were, you heard
25 people approaching the lorries, asking for individuals to stand up if they
1 were from certain villages; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Since the transcript doesn't clearly show the names of the
4 villages, I'm going to repeat their names and you just say whether that is
5 correct or not, whether these were the villages that you mentioned.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Potocari?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Glogova?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Bljeceva?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Slatina?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Those were Muslim villages predominantly, weren't they?
17 A. Yes. I believe that in Glogova there were some Orthodox people
18 living but not many. The rest of the villages, I don't know them too well
19 because I hail from a different municipality and this is a different
20 municipality. I know that in Glogova there were a few Orthodox people.
21 Q. Are you familiar with the events during that period of time, the
22 conflicts that had broken out in the territory of these villages in the
23 period starting with 1992, finishing in 1993?
24 A. As for Pusmulici, Potocari, Slatina, Bljeceva, I wouldn't know. I
25 don't know what happened there, but I know that in Glogova there had been
1 a mass genocide in which 60-something males had been murdered.
2 Q. I'm not asking you that. I'm asking you whether you are familiar
3 with the conflicts in those villages.
4 A. I only know about Glogova, that there was a genocide there. I
5 don't know about the others.
6 Q. What about Kravica, Jezestica, Bjelovac; are you familiar with
8 A. I'm familiar with these villages. I know them well.
9 Q. Are you familiar with Ejub Golic?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Slow down. Slow down, please.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. What about Zulfo Tursunovic?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you know, sir, that in June -- I apologise, in August, or 8th
16 of August, 1992, on the 14th and 19th December, 1992, and 7 January, 1993,
17 the units from the villages of Pusmulici, Potocari, Glogova, Bljeceva and
18 Slatina, led by Zulfo Tursunovic and Ejub Golic, had attacked the Serbian
19 villages of Kravice and Jezestica and Bjelovac and completely ruined them
20 and torched them?
21 A. No. At that time I was in my village. That's why I don't know
22 about that.
23 Q. Are you familiar with the fact that these facts -- that the
24 villagers of these villages who participated in these attacks were tried
25 by this Tribunal and sentenced for excessive use of force?
1 A. I don't know what happened in 1992 because I was in my village.
2 We were separated from each other. Kravica would not communicate with
3 Srebrenica at the time [as interpreted].
4 Q. Sir --
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, if I could help Mr. Krgovic at this
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: Here in the transcript it's on page 7, line 25,
9 says that Kravica would not communicate with Srebrenica at the time. What
10 I heard from the witness is that Kravica would not let anyone communicate
11 with Srebrenica at the time. This is what he actually said. So perhaps
12 Mr. Krgovic will clarify this.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. Perhaps you can,
14 if you wish so, to do -- clarify this with the witness.
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Sir, did you understand the objection? Can you explain?
17 A. Nobody from the free territory, for example, Konjevic Polje, could
18 not communicate with Srebrenica, not with Kravica. Kravica did not
19 communicate with anybody.
20 Q. And in the transcript I asked you about a man called Zulfo
21 Tursunovic, and you said you knew him.
22 A. Yes, I know him as a person, but I never spoke to him and he never
23 spoke to me.
24 Q. Sir, let's go back to the event which happened in Bratunac between
25 the 13th and 14th of July. You said that you had heard that people from
1 these villages had been called. They had been asked for their names and
2 their father's names, and then they would be taken away.
3 A. Yes, but it was not a roll-call. There was a question, "Is there
4 anybody from that village?" And if somebody says they were, then they
5 would be taken away. There was no roll-call. Nobody knew who was on the
7 Q. How did you understand why these people were looking for these
8 men? If somebody had told you that this had to do with retaliation for
9 the previous conflict and as a result of the previous conflict that they
10 had been taken away, would you agree with me?
11 A. No, I wouldn't, because their -- genocide had taken place in other
12 places before that. People fell without resistance Zvornik, Bratunac. In
13 the playground in Bratunac more people were killed -- that were killed on
14 -- on the night between the 13th and 14th of July. This was in 1992. All
15 of these genocide that took place in 1992. If this is not part of the
16 indictment, I think it should be. 700-something from people, from Klisa,
17 Djulici [phoen], Bijeli Potok, Sjenokos, and I don't know how many other
18 villages. Lupe. Over 700 people who had surrendered their arms, who had
19 even given the cars of their keys [as interpreted] just to avoid war, all
20 of these people were captured and killed. None of them are still living.
21 Q. I'm just asking you about Bratunac.
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I think you have recovered too much
24 energy, because you are answering giving much more --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no, no. I'm really doing
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Please answer the question and nothing but the
3 question. We don't require more information from you than what you're
4 being asked to answer.
5 I recognised you, Mr. Nicholls, before. What's the problem?
6 MR. NICHOLLS: I was just going to say that in a way it was the
7 nature of the previous question, which was asking the witness what might
8 have been in the minds of these people and asking him to speculate on a
9 hypothetical that calls, in a way, for a long answer. And I was going to
10 object to that form of the question but I decided not to.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
12 Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. My question was simple: What was your impression? What was your
15 opinion why these people were taken away? And this is what I wanted from
16 you. How did you construe at that moment? Were these people taken away
17 because somebody wanted to take revenge against them? Is that how you
18 understood the whole situation?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. KRGOVIC: I have no further questions.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: No further questions. I thank you. Mr. Haynes.
22 Now, Mr. Sarapa will be cross-examining you, and Mr. Sarapa,
23 together with Mr. Haynes, is defending Mr. Pandurevic -- or Colonel
24 Pandurevic, or General Pandurevic. Go ahead, and again, please allow a
25 pause between question and answer, Mr. Sarapa and Witness.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Sarapa:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning. You said on the 24th of August,
3 before this Trial Chamber, that there were between 15 and 20.000 people
4 who gathered in Susnjari before a column was formed to go to Tuzla.
5 During the night between 11th and 12th, you were in Susnjari. That's
6 where you spent the night. And you also said that all those who were
7 gathered there during that night, that those people spent that night in a
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Are we talking about one meadow or several meadows?
11 A. Those were big plots of land. There are no small meadows there.
12 And they were connected, these meadows. There was a lot of room. There
13 could have been even more people there.
14 Q. Could you tell us approximately what are -- what is the size of
15 the area where the people were?
16 A. Let me tell you, if I had known that I would be testifying here, I
17 could have measured. I believe that it was anything between 300 and 500
18 metres. I never measured it but there was ample room. This was close to
19 the villages, there were no forests there. The meadows were long and
21 Q. Could you see at a glance the entire area where these 15 to 20.000
22 people were?
23 A. During that night, I could not take in everything at a glance, but
24 in the morning the convoy started moving, and then the groups got smaller.
25 Q. Your estimate of the number of people, 15 to 20.000 as you told
1 us, is this the result of what you saw, or are there any other elements
2 that helped you to reach that figure?
3 A. No. This was my pure estimate, nothing else.
4 Q. Let me remind you of what you said on the 24th of August here
5 before this Trial Chamber. This is transcript page 24, line -- lines from
6 1 to 6. As a matter of fact, what is relevant is line -- lines 4 and 5.
7 You said this, and I'm going to translate into B/C/S: "We spoke amongst
8 ourselves. We looked at each other. We thought that there could have
9 been between 15 and 20.000 people." You're talking in plural. Not just
10 you but the others as well. Does that mean that what you heard from the
11 others also made part of the estimate and that your estimate is not based
12 only on what you saw?
13 A. Yes. I was smoking with another man. We were observing, and we
14 decided that this was a large group of people. One cannot describe the
15 situation before one sees it.
16 Q. Let's move on. You were at the rear of the column that started
17 moving from Susnjari. That is your testimony. And that part lagged
18 behind during the second night of the journey; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And when the convoy consolidated again - and I'm quoting your
21 words - and as you started moving towards Konjevic Polje, you crossed a
22 forest above Kamenica. That's what you said.
23 A. No, no. We -- we were still in the forest of Buljim when the Serb
24 forces started calling us to surrender. We arrived at Konjevic Polje by
1 Q. Yes, I know. This was not the intention and purpose of my
2 question. However, your journey, the journey that you took, took us
3 through the forest above the village of Kamenica. These are your words.
4 A. Buljim is that area.
5 Q. Very well. Did you pass through the forest above Kamenica?
6 A. No. I don't even know what Kamenica is. I only told you that we
7 passed through a torched village, and we knew that this was a Muslim
8 village because it had been torched, and we were supposed to surrender
10 Q. Did you see corpses by the road?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Where?
13 A. There was when we decided to surrender on a slope, and this is
14 where the field started. This was very close to those torched houses.
15 There may have been up to 50 bodies by the road there. There were elderly
16 people, there were also younger people. There was just one person in
17 uniform. His head was covered, I could not see his face, I could not
18 recognise him. As a matter of fact, it's very difficult to recognise
19 anybody who's dead.
20 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask for the witness to
21 be shown his statement that he gave on the 29th of July, 1995, before the
22 court in Tuzla. This is a document in English, and the number is
23 00795503. This is the ERN number. The last digits are 03, and can we
24 please look at page 5, paragraph 2.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I just heard somebody's mobile. Please switch off
1 any mobiles, cellular phones that you may have, whoever it is. Apart from
2 the inconvenience, there is also a security issue involved, especially
3 when witnesses -- protected witnesses may be testifying in closed session
4 or in private session. Having mobiles on is not exactly what we should be
6 Yes, Mr. Nicholls, I'm sorry to --
7 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I just saw the usher
8 putting this statement on the ELMO. I want to make sure we're not
9 broadcasting anything that would identify the witness and some --.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I was precisely coming to that but I haven't
11 seen as yet anything on the screen. So let's -- best way to go about it
12 -- is he going to be shown the -- does he have a copy in his own
13 language, to start with? And what you're putting on the ELMO is the
14 English version? All right. So I think we better play it safe and go
15 into private session.
16 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We are back in open session.
17 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation]
18 Q. In your statement dated 13 and 14 August, 1995, which you gave to
19 the Investigator Ruez, you said as follows -- about your arrival in
20 Orahovac: "According to the position of the sun, I would say this was
21 early in the afternoon." Is that correct?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. Let me just emphasise that this is in the English version page 4,
24 paragraph 6; and in B/C/S this is page 4, paragraph 6 as well. Thank you.
25 On your arrival in Orahovac, you said that there was a ramp or a
1 podium there.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I'm just interpreting or trying to quote the words from the
4 transcript as on 24 August of this year, page 70, line 10. The witness
5 spoke about the ramp or the podium, and then he continued in lines 13, 14
6 and 15 - I'm going to translate into your own language, Witness - I
7 believe that this was not done at the moment when the facility was
8 actually constructed. It may be that this was done a day or two days
9 before, and that is why they had knocked down part of the wall; is that
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, sorry, just as a point of -- the way
14 we proceed, I think the transcript should be read by counsel in English
15 and translated in the booths rather than counsel translating the English
16 and reading it to the witness. That way we get sort of official
17 translation. I think that's a better way to proceed.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I need to consult with my colleagues on
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Sarapa, do you speak any English at all?
22 MR. SARAPA: Yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Because the problem may arise when you
24 have counsel that doesn't speak a word of English.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: That's true, Your Honour, but then what I
1 understood him to be saying was he was reading the English and translating
2 it himself, which then we have a sort of double translation.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: That's okay, but still it wouldn't solve the
4 problem. In other words, we are prepared to adopt a standard approach to
5 this. However, with the understanding that it doesn't always work,
6 especially when you have co-counsel, counsel who doesn't speak any
7 English. So all right? That's the understanding. Otherwise -- it's
8 okay. I don't think there is a big deal in this part because I think -- I
9 think we're there. There isn't any difference from what was interpreted
10 and what you read or you what you translated yourself.
11 Yes, Mr. Sarapa, you may proceed with the question.
12 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] I apologise. I would like to add
13 something. There is no problem with that. I can read every part of the
14 transcript in English and have the interpreters interpret. I tried to do
15 my interpretation correctly, and if need be, I'll repeat it for the
16 interpreters to correct. Is that necessary or not?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: No. It's a question of the Prosecution asking that
18 at this early stage of the trial we adopt standard practice which will, in
19 other words, be followed in the months to come and the years to come.
20 Yes, Mr. Sarapa. I think he answered your previous question. If you want
21 to put it again, please go ahead.
22 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] No. No. I would like to follow up
23 with the following question:
24 Q. Did you see the remains of the material that came from the knocked
25 down wall; the bricks, the concrete or anything?
1 A. No. When I arrived there in 1999, this was walled up with
2 concrete blocks, and that is how I concluded that this was new. On that
3 day, I had not noticed anything. I had not noticed that there had been
4 any construction going on.
5 Q. Thank you very much. Let's now talk about Orahovac. You spoke
6 about the vehicles parked in front of the school.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can you tell us, how big was the space where these vehicles were
10 A. No, I can't. Let me just explain please. The vehicles were not
11 parked. As the vehicles pulled over, the people would get off and then
12 that vehicle would turn around and give room for the others. Not all the
13 vehicles were parked there at all times. When I came there, there was a
14 Centrotrans bus with the registration plate of Serbian Sarajevo, CC, and
15 there was also another bus in front of the building from Visegrad.
16 Q. Can you please define approximately, at least, what was the size
17 of the area in front of the school where the buses could have been parked?
18 A. This was a huge area. The courtyard and the area in front of it
19 was huge. When I jumped off the lorry, I ran to the school, and I -- at
20 that moment I couldn't tell how big the area was. I could only see later
21 on how big it was.
22 Q. But you can't tell us about -- anything about the dimension
24 A. No.
25 Q. You described the sports hall. However, do you remember how many
1 basketball baskets were there in the sports hall?
2 A. At that point I did not see any. I did not pay any attention to
3 that. I did not have the time to see what was on the wall. They wouldn't
4 allow us to look around too much.
5 Q. Can you please estimate the size of the sports hall?
6 A. To an estimate, it was some 15 metres long, or even -- even
7 longer. I can't be more precise. But when the people measured, I'm sure
8 that they could tell you how long and how wide the sports hall is. In any
9 case, it was a large sports hall. We were sitting with our knees under my
10 -- under our chin. We looked like crouching sculptures. That's how
11 squeezed we were in that sports hall.
12 JUDGE KWON: 15 metres or 50 metres, the size of the sports hall?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was at least 15 metres, that's
14 what I'm saying. But I believe there is a record to that effect. This
15 was measured by somebody.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge Kwon. Mr. Sarapa, any further questions?
17 MR. SARAPA: Yes, I have a few.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
19 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation]
20 Q. When you fled Orahovac, what was the weather like?
21 A. During that night the -- the sky was clear.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Can we go into private session,
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, Mr. Sarapa. Let's go into private
1 session for a while, please.
2 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: And I will ask the question again. I apologise.
18 Mr. Nicholls, is there redirect?
19 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much. So there are no further
21 questions, neither from the Prosecution nor from the Bench, which
22 basically means that, as I promised you earlier on, your testimony comes
23 -- ends here, comes to an end here, which means that you are free to go.
24 You will now be escorted out of the courtroom by our usher. You will
25 receive all the assistance you require to facilitate your return back home
1 at the earliest, and on behalf of my colleagues, Judge Kwon, Judge Prost,
2 and Judge Stole, on behalf of everyone here, I wish you a safe journey
3 back home.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, may I now move to introduce the
8 exhibits which were put in through the witness?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. While we are at this, I would like to raise a
10 matter. I see that the e-court -- person responsible for e-court is here.
11 My attention has been drawn to a possible problem that might arise.
12 Now, Prosecution would be tendering these documents as exhibits
13 and they will be marked accordingly, all right? That's not the problem.
14 But let's suppose that in the course of the cross-examination any of
15 Defence counsel make use of documents that have been entered into the
16 e-court system by the Prosecution and they are -- they wish to make use of
17 them and even tender them as their own, I am told that because of how the
18 system works, they would still carry a P number. So if that is so, I'd
19 like you to do a little bit of brainstorming and assist us, because if
20 they are then also entered into the records as exhibits by the Prosecutor
21 -- Prosecution later on, do we have the same document with the same P
23 MR. SEARCY: [Microphone not activated].
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but how would we know that it has been
25 tendered by the Prosecution -- by the Defence and not by the Prosecution,
1 or by both, or by just the Prosecution?
2 MR. SEARCY: ... [microphone not activated] which party tendered
3 that document.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I see. But it would still carry --
5 MR. SEARCY: It's still ... [microphone not activated].
6 JUDGE KWON: But they can be given a new number as a Court
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but the thing is that, according to them, they
9 can -- if in that case, for example -- in many other -- in many -- in
10 several other cases this happens all the time.
11 MR. SEARCY: Yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it possible that if, for example, Madam Fauveau
13 makes use of one of these Prosecution intended exhibits that are already
14 in the system but not yet tendered as Prosecution exhibits, or already
15 tendered as Prosecution exhibits, and if she wishes to tender the same
16 document as a Defence document, can it be given a D number or not?
17 MR. SEARCY: No, Your Honour. It will keep the original number.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. What we need to discuss is whether it can be
19 given a D number. This is basically -- because we can always make a copy
20 of it, I understand, and if we can make a hard copy and then it is
21 retendered, it can become a --
22 MR. SEARCY: And then it can become a Defence document.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I think we may have found a solution.
24 All right. I thank you.
25 MR. SEARCY: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So we'll now have the next witness, who does not
2 enjoy any protective measures. Correct me if I'm wrong, Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's correct.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: As you see, Mr. Thayer will be leading this
7 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry, Your Honours, I'm not sure, do I need to
8 remind the usher of the numbers, or are these exhibits already
9 automatically in?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the exhibit number follows automatically, as
11 I have understood it, as I have understood the system to be.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: But at least for our own purposes we need to know
14 which are these documents.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: This one time, if I can just say them for the
16 record, I believe it was 1691, 1692, 1694, 1697, and P2102 was a marked
17 version. Thank you.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: You could follow that, I suppose, Madam Registrar?
20 Madam Registrar, is that all right with you?
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. Out of P numbers, I will keep the P number.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: But then we would appreciate if, after the end of
23 the sitting when you send the minutes, et cetera, et cetera, you let us
24 know which is which.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Mr. Oric, good morning to you --
2 JUDGE KWON: We have to check whether Defence is minded to tender
3 those witness statements or not. Mr. Bourgon?
4 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Judge. Good morning, Mr. President. The
5 Defence would like to tender into evidence one of the statements, the one
6 that I used during my cross-examination, and that was the statement dated
7 13th and 14th of August. I would like to tender that into evidence with
8 regards to --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And it will be tendered and kept under seal because
10 of the signature. Other obvious question I need to put to you,
11 Mr. Bourgon, is the following: You did not make use of the entire
12 statement. You only made use of part of the statement. I would just like
13 confirmation from you that it's only that part that was put to the witness
14 that you intend to introduce into the record of the case. In other words,
15 that the understanding amongst us is that the rest will be ignored.
16 MR. BOURGON: Indeed, Mr. President. It was only for -- the part
17 that was used was page -- the bottom of page 8 and the top of page 9 of
18 that statement about the story of a person he met.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. But the important thing is that we make
20 this clear.
21 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
23 MR. BOURGON: The number -- the Defence number was 3D1.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: 3D1, and I'm sure Madam Registrar can follow that.
25 THE REGISTRAR: ... is 3D1.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it related to this, Mr. McCloskey? Yes. Go
2 ahead then, please.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think I mostly agree with Your Honour on that
4 point, so I won't get to that. The part that they're suggesting into
5 evidence, is it meant for impeachment? Is it meant for substantive
6 evidence? I don't know, given that it -- to help recollect what was said,
7 I have no objection to small parts, but it would be nice to know how the
8 Court considers this. I think under the technical adversarial rules, this
9 kind of material is -- can be meant for impeachment, but as substantive
10 evidence, I don't think so. Though for the purposes of this Tribunal, I
11 am --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think it presents us with any problem, but
13 let's make sure we discuss it and we have a uniform approach to this.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Basically the approach is the standard one: That
16 part has been put to the witness, he's answered questions on it, and
17 basically that's -- that's the -- it's only used for us. The rest of the
18 statement we're not interested in.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: This -- this --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey. I am coming to you, Mr. --
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: I agree with that. Just anticipating, for
22 example, when we have a Prosecution witness that says something that we
23 impeach him with that goes directly to the acts or conduct of the accused,
24 if that is to be looked on as substantive evidence, fine, because are we
25 talking -- if this is substantive evidence, then of course we would like
1 evidence that we use in a similar way as substantive evidence so we know
2 whether to argue it in the brief or not. Is it substantive evidence that
3 can be used or is it mere impeachment that goes to the credibility?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: It -- it can become substantive evidence. Of course
5 it can become -- I mean, the rule is basic. There are various reasons why
6 both of you are allowed to refer a witness to his or her previous
7 out-of-court statement or even previous testimony. And the purposes may
8 vary. If it's for impeachment purposes, then obviously, I mean, you --
9 you're going to look at it as something substantive. I think --
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: There shouldn't be any problems on this. Our main
12 interest is to make sure that such previous out-of-court statements, or
13 even previous testimony in this Tribunal or elsewhere, is not introduced
14 as testimony of this witness in this trial unless there is a reason for
15 making use of it, and -- you know the rules, what the rules are. I mean,
16 that's why we -- we pointed this out to Mr. Bourgon, because if his
17 intention was to introduce his -- the previous witness's previous
18 statement as testimony in this case, he got it wrong. I mean, it's not --
19 I'm not alleging that you tried to do that. But what would come in is the
20 relevant part that he made use of for whatever purpose it was. In this
21 case, it was confronting the witness with part of -- from his previous
22 statement to elicit a clarification from him. But he could have used and
23 you could have used it, as pointed out to us by Judge Kwon, in your
24 re-examination, for example, with the witness. So at that point in time
25 we would -- and if you have any problems as we go along later on, but we
1 will clarify, but these are -- these are the standard -- this is the
2 standard procedure that is relied upon in adversarial systems.
3 Yes, Mr. Haynes. I noticed you before. Sorry for keeping you
5 MR. HAYNES: No, not at all. Mr. Sarapa put a passage of a
6 witness statement to the last witness. The ERN numbers of that I can give
7 the Court, but in fact it's a released document 7D00001, which is the
8 statement that the last witness made to a court in Tuzla on the 29th of
9 July. The passages that were put to him were put to him for the purpose
10 of contrasting a previous statement that he had made, and as such I
11 suggest and submit that those passages do go into evidence notwithstanding
12 the fact that he disavowed them when they were put to him.
13 The simplest way of doing it is simply to use, as it were, the
14 paragraphs from the Defence released document 7D00001, although it was put
15 to him in hard copy, and the paragraphs were page 6, paragraph 2, in the
16 B/C/S, and page 5, paragraph 2, in the English. And I shall assist the
17 court officer in ensuring that that is achieved before the end of the day.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Haynes. The only remaining thing
19 is to see how to go about this in the e-court environment. I wouldn't
20 know how to approach it, but perhaps a copy from hard copy of that
21 paragraph from that statement could be made and then introduced as D7 -- I
22 think --
23 MR. HAYNES: It's number 1.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you D1?
25 MR. HAYNES: We're D7 but it's document 1.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, D7, document number 1. You decide
2 because I just don't want to interfere much with what you have in mind,
3 but the important thing is that we are all then aware of the number, and I
4 thank you so much, Mr. Haynes.
5 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And that gives an example, for example, of what the
7 purpose of that extract will be for the purpose of our assessment
8 evaluation of evidence later on.
9 WITNESS: MEVLUDIN ORIC
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Mr. Oric, good morning to you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I wish to welcome you to this Tribunal.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: And I do it on behalf of my colleagues in this Trial
16 Chamber. My name is a Carmel Agius, I come from the small island of
17 Malta. I am flanked on my right by Judge Kwon, who comes from South
18 Korea. On my left I have Judge Kimberly Prost from Canada; and on my
19 extreme right Judge Ole Bjorn Stole from Norway, who is a Reserve Judge in
20 this case. Together we are presiding over this trial against the seven
21 accused here.
22 Very soon you will be giving evidence. You've been summoned here
23 to give evidence by the Prosecution, and Madam Usher, who is standing next
24 to you, will be handing to you a piece of paper with a copy of a solemn
25 declaration that you need to make here, which is tantamount to an
1 undertaking, a solemn undertaking on your part that in the course of your
2 testimony you will be speaking the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
3 the truth. Please proceed with your solemn undertaking. Then there are a
4 few other things that I need to explain to you and we can start with your
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I shall
7 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Please make yourself comfortable.
9 You are now going to be asked questions by Mr. Thayer for the
10 Prosecution. He will then be followed by various lawyers from the various
11 Defence teams assisting the seven accused. Your responsibility and your
12 obligation pursuant to the oath, the solemn undertaking you've taken --
13 you've made, is to answer all the questions that are put to you
14 truthfully, without any distinction between Prosecution and Defence.
15 One final word of advice to you: If you want to go back home by
16 the time you have anticipated, then I suggest that you limit your answers
17 to what is being asked from you. Don't try to give more information than
18 you are being asked. So if it's a question elicits a simple yes or no,
19 answer, just give a yes or no answer and forget about the rest. When
20 you're asked about the rest, you give that information.
21 Did I make myself clear?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, sir.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Thayer, he is all yours.
24 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Examination by Mr. Thayer:
1 Q. Good morning, sir.
2 A. Good morning.
3 Q. Would you please state and spell your name.
4 A. My name is Mevludin Oric.
5 Q. And would you please spell your name.
6 A. M-e-v-l-u-d-i-n O-r-i-c.
7 Q. And, sir, I would just ask you to move closer to the microphone,
8 if you would, and remind you that before answering the question, whether
9 it's myself, Defence counsel, or Their Honours, please take your time and
10 speak as slowly as you can, because we don't want to miss a word that
11 you've said. Okay?
12 A. All right.
13 Q. Sir, where were you born and raised?
14 A. I was born in the municipality of Srebrenica, in the village of
16 Q. And how old are you, sir?
17 A. I'm 36.
18 Q. And you're a Muslim by faith; is that correct?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. Now, prior to the war breaking out in 1992, did you do various
21 types of work in Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. And just briefly, sir, what types of work did you do in each of
24 those places?
25 A. In Croatia, I worked in construction of houses. In Serbia, I
1 worked in the sugar plant.
2 Q. And when you were living in Bosnia, what kind of work did you do,
4 A. I worked in agriculture.
5 Q. And did you also work with your father?
6 A. I did. My father was a construction worker, and we worked
7 together on the construction of houses in Croatia.
8 Q. Now, during your time in Croatia, did you come to join the
9 Croatian Ministry of Interior police forces?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. And will you just briefly describe for the Trial Chamber, please,
12 how that came about.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And when it happened precisely. We're talking of
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This took place in February, 1992.
16 MR. THAYER:
17 Q. Sir, how is it that you came to join the Croatian movement?
18 A. They were looking for people to volunteer, the salary was good, so
19 I signed up.
20 Q. And do you recall approximately how long you served with the
21 Croatian MUP?
22 A. Not very long. I think 20 days altogether. I left for Zagreb.
23 Q. Now, prior to the war breaking out in 1992, did you perform your
24 mandatory JNA service?
25 A. Yes, I did, in Gnjilane in Kosovo.
1 Q. And --
2 A. This was in 1998 [as interpreted].
3 Q. What kind of unit was that, sir?
4 A. Artillery unit. It was in the JNA.
5 Q. Now, by the middle of 1992, had you returned to the Srebrenica
7 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. One moment. Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
8 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Because the witness said 1988.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And that would correct what we have in line 10
10 on page 32; correct?
11 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, if you please, I can make that
12 clear --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think so. We're talking of when he performed
14 the mandatory JNA service, and he would have been 18 then.
15 MR. THAYER:
16 Q. Sir, your mandatory service with the JNA commenced in 1988, not
17 1998; is that correct?
18 A. Yes. 1988.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Krgovic.
20 MR. THAYER:
21 Q. Now, by the middle of 1992, sir, had you returned to the
22 Srebrenica area?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And did you have relatives living in that area at the time?
25 A. You mean in Srebrenica?
1 Q. In the Srebrenica area, sir.
2 A. Yes. All of my family lived there.
3 Q. Is it fair to say you had a number of relatives living in the
4 Srebrenica area?
5 A. Many of them lived there. Two families; family Oric and my
6 mother's family, Hasanovic.
7 Q. And was one of your relatives Naser Oric, the former commander of
8 the 28th Division of the 2nd Corps of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
9 A. Yes. He is my cousin.
10 Q. Now, sir, after you returned to the Srebrenica area in 1992, did
11 Naser Oric ask you to make a trip to Tuzla?
12 A. Yes, he did, to go fetch a doctor and to get some medicines and
13 other supplies. I didn't go by myself. I was accompanied by other mates.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, let's please be specific as to the time when
15 this happened, because the previous indication is that somewhere around
16 about the middle of 1992 you returned to Srebrenica area but we don't know
17 when this request by Naser Oric was made to him.
18 MR. THAYER:
19 Q. Can you recall, sir, approximately when you made this trip to
21 A. Sometime in July, end of July. I don't recall the exact day, but
22 end of July, 1992. This is when I came back to Srebrenica, and after ten
23 days I went back to Tuzla.
24 Q. At first, sir, did you want to make this trip to Tuzla?
25 A. No, I didn't. When I went to Srebrenica, I realised how dangerous
1 it was. We went through minefields, and I didn't want to go back. When
2 Naser told me to go to the hospital and see what was happening there, he
3 told me to make up my own mind. When I came to the hospital, I saw the
4 hospital was full of -- of people. There were no bandages, that they had
5 to sever people's legs, and I decided to -- to start for this journey when
6 I saw this.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon?
8 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I hate to interrupt my
9 colleague during his examination-in-chief, but we have been provided in
10 the pre-trial brief for the Prosecution with a summary that tells us what
11 this witness is supposed to testify about. Now, I notice from this
12 summary that there is nothing about this trip to Tuzla in 1992. I don't
13 know what the relevance of it is, and since the beginning, even though my
14 colleague has been leading the witness, we don't object because it's very
15 benign information, but now we're talking about a trip, and we're talking
16 about Naser Oric, and we're talking about 1992. Maybe my colleague can
17 establish the basis for asking these questions, because they're outside of
18 this summary.
19 And there was recently, Mr. President, in the case of the
20 Prosecutor versus Milutinovic, a decision rendered by the Trial Chamber in
21 that case saying that it is absolutely critical for the Prosecution to
22 remain within the confines of the summary that they provided the Defence
24 Thank you, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Bourgon.
1 Mr. Thayer.
2 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President. Your Honour, the relevance of
3 this line of questioning will, I believe, be clear within a few moments.
4 I just have one or two more questions on this issue. The information
5 contained in these questions and in the responses was present in his
6 statements which have been disclosed to the Defence. Granted, the summary
7 which we provided did not include every single piece of information that
8 we intended to elicit from this witness, but it is information that has
9 been disclosed. I have just one or two more questions, I believe the
10 relevance will become clear, and then I will move on.
11 JUDGE KWON: So was this part covered or included in the previous
12 testimony of this witness in Blagojevic?
13 MR. THAYER: This information was, Your Honour. Specifically on
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon. I see you standing.
16 MR. BOURGON: I'm not saying that this information was not part of
17 the material that was given to the Defence, I'm just saying that this is
18 the procedure that we use in the sense that when we have a summary that is
19 provided by the Prosecutor, they have to keep to that summary. When there
20 are changes, they give us proofing notes further to their meeting with the
21 witness. In this case, we have been provided with proofing notes and this
22 topic was not raised in the proofing notes.
23 Now, I have the decision here from the Trial Chamber in the
24 Milutinovic case, which is an oral decision, which I can help the Trial
25 Chamber with, if necessary. But I'd like that if we could stick to the
1 fact that if we have a summary, then that the Prosecution maintains the
2 evidence with what was in the summary.
3 Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you for that. I don't think that there is a
5 need for a decision from us on this given the circumstances, but I suggest
6 that you take this up between you after the sitting and agree that this
7 will be so in the future, and that it is, of course, more than desirable
8 that you each stick to what is contained in the summary, because otherwise
9 there -- there -- that would -- departure from that would mean surprises
10 and loss of time.
11 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks.
13 MR. THAYER:
14 Q. Generally speaking, sir, what route did you follow to get from the
15 Srebrenica area to Tuzla?
16 A. I went through Konjevic Polje, Carska, Kamenica, through the
17 forest, through the hills. Snagovo to Tuzla. Mainly through the forest,
18 through the woods.
19 Q. I want to ask you a few questions now about your military service
20 briefly, sir. Between 1992 and 1995 and the fall of the Srebrenica
21 enclave, is it fair to say that you were a soldier with the army of
23 A. Yes, I was.
24 Q. And is it also fair to say that you became a commander of a squad
25 near your village in Lehovici?
1 A. Yes, I was a commander of a squad which is not from Polici [phoen]
2 but from the surrounding villages, all the surrounding villages.
3 Q. And typically speaking, sir, can you describe what the nature of
4 your military activity was with this squad during that period of time,
5 just generally speaking.
6 A. Our duty was to guard our lines, the lines that we maintained on
7 the -- on the hill of Burije. That was our task. Our task was to defend
8 the villages of Susnjari, Jaglovici, Brazoveneva [phoen], Babuljica,
9 Lehovici, Gorsovici [phoen] and so on. This was our task. It was
11 Q. Now, by July of 1995, sir, did your squad have any arms?
12 A. We had a rifle, one rifle. A semi-automatic rifle.
13 Q. And where was that rifle kept, sir?
14 A. Whatever rifles there were, they were on the lines, and as the
15 shifts changed, they would take over the previous shift's arms. We -- we
16 did not all have arms, and we couldn't take arms home. Whatever arms we
17 had were on the line. So the rifles would stay on the line all the time.
18 People would go home, but they wouldn't take weapons with them.
19 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I've concluded this section. I
20 understand we have a break coming up in a couple of minutes. If this is a
21 good time for the Court, I can break now.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. We will have a short break now,
23 20 minutes. Twenty minutes from now. Thank you.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.23 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.49 a.m.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
2 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Sir, I'd like now to turn your attention to the first week to 10
4 days of July, 1995, just prior to the fall of Srebrenica. [Microphone not
6 A. At the time, I resided in the village of Lehovici, near
7 Srebrenica. And during those 10 days, one morning I woke up in Srebrenica
8 in my sister's house. She resided in Srebrenica at the time. When I got
9 up, I heard shots and shelling, the shelling of Srebrenica. This was the
10 beginning of the attack on Srebrenica.
11 Q. Now, during this period of time, where were you living?
12 A. In the village of Lehovici. During the time when Srebrenica was
13 attacked, I was in Lehovici, near Srebrenica. That's where I was born as
15 Q. And with whom were you living at the time, sir?
16 A. With my father, mother, my wife, and my two children.
17 Q. Now, you stated that your sister resided in Srebrenica at the
18 time, and that you experienced part of the attack. Can you describe for
19 the Trial Chamber, during the attack on Srebrenica during this period of
20 time, what you observed personally with your eyes or ears.
21 A. Well, in the morning when I woke up, I heard shelling. I went out
22 of the apartment, I asked passers-by what was going on. They said nobody
23 knew anything. Everybody was surprised by the shelling. We knew that
24 this was a protected area, that there should be no shooting. And I was
25 also surprised. I realised that this was a real attack, real shelling,
1 and I headed back towards my house in Lehovici immediately. Shells were
2 falling all over the place, all sorts of calibre.
3 I immediately headed towards my house. I thought that I would be
4 necessary in my unit for defence.
5 Q. And what were the targets of the shelling? What were the shells
6 striking, sir?
7 A. In the town of Srebrenica, it was populated by civilians. The
8 town was full of civilians, of citizens. So the targets was everything
9 that was moving. Everything was targeted. They did not target anything
10 in particular. Everything was targeted; houses, buildings. Wherever
11 shells could fall, they fell.
12 Q. And can you estimate for the Court, sir, approximately how many
13 days the shelling lasted.
14 A. I don't know exactly. I believe for seven days, day and night,
15 the shelling never stopped. The shelling of the town itself, I mean.
16 Where I lived in Lehovici there was no shelling. No shells fell there.
17 The main targets were Srebrenica and Donji Potocari. My village was not
18 hit by any shells. Srebrenica was the target, and it was shelled seven
19 days, day in and day out, day and night, without stopping. I'm not sure
20 about the number of days, but approximately, I would say, that the
21 shelling lasted for seven days.
22 Q. Now, sir, do you recall learning on 11 July that the town of
23 Srebrenica had actually fallen?
24 A. When I learned that Srebrenica had fallen, I was on a line, the
25 line on Jaglici close to the UNPROFOR base. The UNPROFOR troops had fled,
1 and we had to look after the line in their stead. I was there all day,
2 and I didn't know anything. It was only in the evening, around 6.00 or
3 half past 6.00 that I went to the village of Jaglici to see what was going
5 As I arrived in the village, there was nobody there. I just
6 bumped into a woman, I asked her what was going on, and then she told me
7 through tears that Srebrenica had fallen and that all the people went in
8 the direction of UNPROFOR's base in Potocari. I returned, and I told my
9 fellow fighters what had happened, that we had to withdraw and that we
10 should wait and see what would happen, that we just had to stay put.
11 From there, we started towards the village of Susnjari. I arrived
12 at my sister's house. I was with her. She was also crying and packing
13 her belongings. I told her to stay calm because whatever would happen
14 would happen.
15 From there, I went to my own house to see what was going on with
16 my family. I bumped into my neighbour on the way there and they told me
17 not to go there because on that very day shells started falling on my
18 village as well and that my family is in Potocari and that there was no
19 need for me to go home. I returned with these neighbours to the house in
20 Susnjari, to Sead's house. This is where people started gathering, and
21 the command from Srebrenica arrived there as well, and this is where we
22 were. This is where I stayed.
23 Q. Sir, do you recall approximately what time of day you arrived in
25 A. This was in the evening, around 7.00.
1 Q. And why was Susnjari selected as a gathering location, sir?
2 A. This was surrounded by hills, in a valley. Thus it was best
3 protected from any shelling or observation. Nobody could observe that
4 area from the hilltops. They could not see us gathering there, and they
5 could not target us there. We were well-protected.
6 Q. Sir, you stated a moment ago that the command from Srebrenica also
7 arrived at Susnjari. Was there a decision that was made at some point
8 regarding what was going to happen next?
9 A. How shall I put it? We discussed as to what should be done, where
10 we should go, whether to go towards Zepa or Tuzla. And sometime in the
11 evening, around 10.00 maybe, or even later, I don't know, I did not look
12 at the watch, a decision was made to head towards Tuzla.
13 The de-mining units immediately set off towards Tuzla to clear the
14 terrain from landmines, and after them the other units started walking
15 single file after them, and that's -- that's what went on for some time.
16 Q. Now, let me back up a moment, sir, and just ask you a couple of
17 specific questions about the gathering at Susnjari. When you arrived
18 there, approximately how many military-aged men would you estimate were
19 there with you already?
20 A. There was a total of maybe 15.000 men, children. There were quite
21 a few women who went with us. I can't say that they were all of military
22 age. I don't -- I only know that there was a total of some 15.000 people,
23 ranging in age between 14 and 70.
24 Q. Let me just stop you right there, sir. I just want to clarify for
25 the record, and I think you've done so, but just to make sure. It's
1 15.000 persons were gathered there, military-aged men, some -- some women
2 and children as well; is that correct? Not 50.000, 15.000?
3 A. Fifteen thousand.
4 Q. Now, when you arrived at Susnjari, were there 15.000 people
5 already or did people arrive during the period of time that you were
7 A. People were coming from all sides while I was there. They came
8 from Suceska, in the villages around Suceska, from Srebrenica, from Gornji
9 Potocari, Donji Potocari, and most of them came from the town of
10 Srebrenica itself, which was the most densely populated area. In other
11 words, they kept on coming while I was already there.
12 Q. And did any of your relatives also join you at Susnjari?
13 A. As far as my relatives are concerned, all the men from Lehovici
14 joined us. My father joined me as well as my brother-in-law and my
15 nephew, who was 14. His name is Mirza. I told him that he shouldn't be
16 with us, that he should go to Potocari. There were also some neighbours
17 of ours. My uncle's son, who is also 14, and I told him to go to Susnjari
18 because the other terrain was dangerous. I had passed through there in a
19 few years before. There was my neighbour Alija with her brother. I told
20 them as well that it was dangerous, that they should go to Potocari, but
21 they decided against that. They wanted to stay with us. That's how they
22 set off with us.
23 Q. Now, you testified that the decision was made for those people to
24 set off towards Tuzla. You weren't sure exactly what time the decision
25 was made or what time they departed, but can you describe for the Trial
1 Chamber, please, in what kind of formation this group was organised.
2 A. As I've already told you, it was first the de-mining unit and the
3 troops that were armed. They were ahead of the column. And then the
4 column was organised in brigades. One brigade followed the other. And
5 that's how we set out. That's how we started leaving the area.
6 Q. And was the entire column armed or were certain sections of the
7 column armed, sir?
8 A. Only in parts of the column. There were some men in the brigades
9 that carried arms. Every brigade had a few men carrying arms.
10 Q. And when you refer to arms, sir, you're referring to military
11 weapons as opposed to, say, hunting weapons?
12 A. Well, as for the hunting weapons, there were quite a few of those
13 because people had those from before the war. Those who had hunted before
14 the war carried those arms. And there were also other types of weapons,
15 other types of more serious weapons.
16 Q. Was there a proposed route that the column that was going to try
17 to follow, sir?
18 A. Well, the column headed towards Konjevic Polje, towards Cerska,
19 Kamenica, all the way up to Tuzla. That was the only route that we had in
20 mind, and that's the route that we followed. That's what we set out to
22 Q. And that's roughly the same route, sir, that you followed on your
23 trip to Tuzla that you described earlier in your testimony; is that
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Now, this may sound like an obvious question, but were the men,
2 women, and children in this column Muslim or were they some other faith,
4 A. All Muslim. There was a Serb lady who resided in Srebrenica who
5 had stayed with us and lived with us there, and she was with us. I'm sure
6 that she was there with us.
7 Q. Now, you described the de-mining unit leading the column on this
8 route. Did the rest of the column follow right away or did it leave in
9 sections or parts, sir?
10 A. The column followed the de-miners. The de-miners were in the
11 front of the column and the column followed. As they advanced, the column
12 advanced after them.
13 Q. Do you recall approximately what time of day you left Susnjari?
14 A. The de-miners set out during the night, and the column followed.
15 Throughout the night people were leaving, and I believe that I left
16 sometime in the morning. I don't know how late it may have been, but it
17 was already a day. Maybe around 9.00. I -- I was amongst the last. Not
18 the last but amongst the last of those who left the area.
19 Q. And this would have been the morning of 12 July; is that correct,
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, were you armed?
23 A. Yes. I had two grenades.
24 Q. And what were you -- what kind of clothes were you wearing, sir?
25 A. Civilian clothes.
1 Q. And do you recall with any more detail what types of clothes you
2 were wearing? What did you have on?
3 A. A pair of jeans, a shirt, a jacket. Simple civilian clothes,
4 nothing more.
5 Q. And as your part of the column travelled during the course of the
6 day on the 12th of July, was it attacked?
7 A. As we were leaving in the morning, we were fired from the place
8 called Jezestica, and they ordered us to hurry up, and they cursed us. At
9 one moment, the column was interrupted, and as soon as the shooting
10 started, we continued on the same road.
11 Q. And is it fair to say that you spent most of the day on 12 July
12 following the column on this path?
13 A. Yes. When I left Jaglici, I saw the first victims in the first
14 stream. There were six of them who fell victim to a mortar shell. They
15 fell on the spot. Their bodies were shattered. And those were the first
16 victims that I saw as I was leaving Jaglici and as I was moving towards
18 Q. Let me just stop you right there, sir. Is it fair to say that on
19 your trek during the course of that day you saw numerous bodies of people
20 that had been killed or wounded along -- along the path?
21 A. Yes. I saw in another place two bodies, and then in a third place
22 some more. There were ambushes all the way, and every 50 metres or so I
23 saw bodies. We were under constant fire. We bumped into numerous
24 ambushes, and that's what I could observe.
25 Q. Now, towards the night-time on 12 July, did your portion of the
1 column reach a particular village where you were ambushed?
2 A. Yes. We arrived sometime in the evening at the village of
3 Kamenica in Bratunac municipality. As we arrived there, there had been a
4 previous agreement that we should stop there and rest. The first half of
5 the column was already on the way to Tuzla, but the other half decided to
6 take a rest there at that place. We sat down to rest, and after a certain
7 while shooting started at the spot. There was shelling, there were rifle
8 bursts. And when the shooting stopped, when everything was over, I
9 believe that over a hundred people had been killed in that place. There
10 were a lot of injured. A lot of people fled towards Siljkovici and
11 Kravica, straight into the arms of the Chetniks who waited for them in
12 Kravica and Sekovici because they were not familiar with the terrain, with
13 the route. I believe that at least 500 people fell victim as a result of
14 that. They were all either killed on the spot or injured or went missing
15 after that.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer, I am beginning to think that at this
17 point, since more or less I am the only one who is pretty much familiar
18 with the area, that in order to be able to understand properly, we need to
19 have pretty much a detailed map area. But in other words, Susnjari,
20 Jaglici, Jezestica, that has been -- and now Kamenica. And perhaps the
21 witness can also explain to us when he means, "We arrived sometime in the
22 evening at the village of Kamenica in Bratunac." Does he mean to say that
23 they entered the village of Kamenica? Because to my knowledge, Kamenica
24 was Serb controlled at that time. So perhaps he can --
25 MR. THAYER: Yes.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we do certainly need a map so we can follow
2 at least the route taken by the convoy in the -- in the direction of
4 MR. THAYER: Certainly, Mr. President. It was my intention not to
5 show him a map and leave that to a subsequent witness. However, I can
6 certainly, at the next break, arrange to have him shown, I think probably
7 map 5, if I recall, in the map book. It may be the best map to do that
8 with and trace the route.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: But what I mean, it will be better for us if we have
10 a survey map, a proper survey map, which would indicate to us at least the
11 route taken. I know that you use the word route in the States, but
12 whether they were following the river, whether they were following the
13 hills and the mountains, whether they were following -- whichever way,
14 because we're talking of Jezestica, which is in the vicinity of Kravica,
15 and this is a main Serbian stronghold at the time. So I think it will
16 give us a much clearer picture of where they were heading or which route
17 they were taking.
18 MR. THAYER: I can certainly do that, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
20 MR. THAYER: At your pleasure I can --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Take your time. Perhaps one of your staff can start
22 looking into that. When I said so, I didn't mean I want it now.
23 Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just to assist my colleague, here in the
25 transcript we have on page 46, line 20, it says Kravica and Sekovici, and
1 I don't believe that's what witness said. I believe that I heard
2 Siljkovici. That was the name of the village. So maybe this could be
3 clarified. Sekovici is on the completely different side.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: If you can say that Sekovici is a village.
5 Yes. I think you need to clarify this with the witness. I think
6 he must have said Siljkovici, which is opposite Kravica.
7 MR. THAYER: I'll clarify that, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you.
9 MR. THAYER:
10 Q. Sir, a few moments ago you testified that your group was moving in
11 the area of Kravica and another town. Do you recall what the other town
12 was? And the transcript indicates that it was Sekovici. Pardon my
13 pronunciation. I don't know if there was another town that you had in
14 mind other than that described.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not even a town, actually. If it's Siljkovici,
16 it's not a town.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were moving towards Konjevic
18 Polje, and we got to the village of Kamenica, which belongs to the
19 Bratunac municipality. Siljkovici and Kravica are below Kamenica. What I
20 said was that people were fleeing towards Kravica and Siljkovici, not
22 MR. THAYER: Thank you, sir.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And I thank you, Mr. Lazarevic, as well.
24 Thank you. Yes, Mr. Thayer. And when he said that they entered,
25 or when they arrived sometime in the evening at the village of Kamenica,
1 that's page 46, line 11, 10 and 11, that he actually means they entered
2 the village of Kamenica or they arrived nearby the village, near the
3 village of Kamenica?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, near the village of
5 Kamenica, nearby. In fact, it's a forest near Kamenica.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So that explains it as well. Sorry for interrupting
7 you, Mr. Thayer, but I think this needed clarification. You may proceed.
8 Go ahead.
9 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Now, sir, up until the ambush which occurred in the area of
11 Kamenica, which relatives do you recall being with you at that time?
12 A. Some of my cousins were with me, and then our neighbours. I ran
13 into some neighbours, and I asked them where my father was, and I headed
14 towards him and then the shooting broke out, and that's where I lost track
15 of my father, and I still haven't been able to find him. I couldn't find
16 him among the dead, among the wounded. He was not there. Therefore, I
17 lost any track of him since that point, and no one ever saw him again.
18 Q. Sir, following this ambush at Kamenica, can you describe what you
19 and the members of your group did following the attack.
20 A. We gathered on a meadow, and we agreed to go back to get -- to
21 fetch the wounded, to get them to the meadow, and that's what we did. We
22 took them out on the -- in the meadow. And someone was negotiating with
23 the Chetniks, with the Serbs, to let us continue on our path, and it seems
24 that they said that the wounded should go first. That's why we recovered
25 the wounded, and we set off across a meadow.
1 When we got to the middle of the meadow, we were fired upon from
2 all the sides, and at that point we were forced to leave the wounded and
3 to flee, because we were out in the open in the meadow. And I in fact
4 ended up in a river. I drank some water there, and then we continued to a
5 port. I was able to get -- to reach a forest. There were -- there was a
6 group of us, and we went uphill. We didn't know where we were heading.
7 And we went to an opening. There were about 300 people sitting there, on
8 the hill.
9 We left the wounded behind. Many people were killed on the
10 meadow, the people who were trying to carry the wounded.
11 Q. Now, when you met up with this group of approximately 300 people,
12 do you have any specific idea of where you were at the time or just a
13 general idea of where you were at the time, sir? And can you describe
14 where you believe that place was.
15 A. I didn't know where I was. There was this hill, there was this
16 opening, there was this -- on the hill. And when I came there, I met up
17 with Alija and my cousin Esref, and I asked them if they had seen anybody
18 else from the village. They said that they didn't. And at that time,
19 someone appeared, with a moustache, who said that he could lead us out of
20 there, because nobody knew where to go. And then he came out -- he came
21 there and he said that he would lead us.
22 I was a bit suspicious because I had never seen him before.
23 Srebrenica is a small town, and I had never seen him, neither as a
24 military man nor as a civilian, so I didn't really trust him. I think
25 that this was a Chetnik, actually, who was infiltrated, because in
1 Kamenica, during the ambush, they were infiltrated into our group, and
2 they claimed to be of our group. So I didn't trust him, and I told him
3 that he should stay at the end of the column. And then we headed down the
4 meadow, down the hill.
5 We came near the river. There was a river down there. When we
6 came to the river, we gathered there, and at that point this man
7 disappeared. I didn't see him after that. And they told us, "Don't run
8 away - surrender." And then they started shooting. They started shooting
9 with the artillery weapons, with the anti-aircraft guns. There was chaos.
10 And at that point I started running down the meadow. I ran to a forest.
11 Q. Let me stop you right there, sir. When you say that someone said,
12 "Don't run away - surrender," who do you recall saying that?
13 A. The Chetniks who were along the path, who were controlling this
14 path from -- to Bratunac. They told us to surrender, not to run away, and
15 they were firing upon us.
16 Q. Now, you just testified that you described this path as running to
17 Bratunac, sir. What direction do you recall you were heading in? Towards
18 what town were you heading, sir, at that time?
19 A. We were heading towards Konjevic Polje, so that this road was
20 always to our right side, this road to Bratunac. It was always on our
21 right side. I don't recall the exact spot where the river was because it
22 was night.
23 Q. Now, you testified a moment ago that after the most recent attack
24 that you described where Serbs, to your recollection, said, "Don't run
25 away - surrender," you started running down the meadow and to a forest.
1 Could you please describe for the Trial Chamber what happened after that
2 point, sir.
3 A. I ran uphill. I came to a forest. I was exhausted, tired. Birch
4 tree, and I sat down -- I lay down. I couldn't stand any more. I went to
5 sleep. There was no one around. And when I woke up, there was a road
6 next to me. I couldn't see it during night. And then a column of people
7 came up to where I was standing. They were civilians with backpacks, and
8 I recognised that these were people from Srebrenica. I recognised also
9 some people from Slatina. There was also Bajro Oric, a cousin of mine.
10 I approached them. And there was also another person who lived in
11 Jela, above Konjevic Polje, who said that he knew where we should go. So
12 I went with them. We went in the direction of Konjevic Polje.
13 Q. Let me just stop you right there, sir. When you awoke, this would
14 have been sometime on 13 July; is that correct?
15 A. That is correct. On the 13th of July, in the morning.
16 Q. And just so I have it clear in my head, you described waking up
17 next to a road. Can you describe that road?
18 A. It was a dirt road, a village path, overgrown and bushes.
19 Q. In other words, sir, it wasn't the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road
20 that you were roughly following the previous day. Is that -- is that
22 A. No. No. As I said, this was a dirt road on -- across the
23 mountains, which connected villages. It was not a regular road towards
24 Konjevic Polje.
25 Q. And this group of people with whom you met up, do you recall
1 approximately how many people were in it?
2 A. We were 13 in this group. And then we went to Selo -- to the
3 village Jela to have some water, to have some fruits. We found a cherry
4 tree. We ate some cherries and we had some water. This -- the person I
5 mentioned lived in this village, the one who was leading us. We rested
7 Q. And what did this group that you were travelling with try to do?
8 Where were you trying to head at that time?
9 A. We were above Konjevic Polje, and we wanted to go -- to take the
10 road Konjevic Polje-Milici-Nova Kasaba. We went near the road and they
11 fired at us, we went back, and we spent the whole day there, somewhere
12 near Konjevic Polje. We spent the whole day there. We were fired at by
13 shells. They -- they asked from us to surrender, and in the evening,
14 around 9.00, we decided -- around 7.00, we decided to head towards
15 Konjevic Polje. I think it was 7.30. We headed towards Konjevic Polje.
16 Q. Let me just stop you right there, sir, again. You described being
17 above Konjevic Polje. Were you situated on a hill, sir?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. And from that vantage point were you able to see the
20 Bratunac-Konjevic Polje portion of that paved road?
21 A. We were able to see the road. We also saw the tanks and Pragas
22 firing at us, and the UNPROFOR carrier. We were able to see it.
23 Q. Now, you just referred to an UNPROFOR carrier. What makes you
24 believe that that was an UNPROFOR carrier, sir?
25 A. It was white. It had "UN" written on it, and the Serbs were
1 asking from us to surrender. We were told that nothing would happen to
2 us. And a number of them went to surrender, believing that UNPROFOR was
3 there, that they were safe, that they wouldn't be hurt. They were calling
4 through a loudspeaker.
5 Q. You testified that later on that day, towards evening, I believe
6 you said it was about 7.00 or 7.30, you moved closer to the road, that
7 Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber what
8 happened next, sir.
9 A. No. We set off around 7.30. We took a small path towards the
10 paved road to come nearer to the road, and to wait there till night falls
11 to be able to -- to take this road in the night-time when they're asleep.
12 But when we came halfway near a torched house, we -- some people came from
13 the back and they told us not to move and to raise our hands. We turned
14 around. They were Chetniks, the same ones who told us not to run away,
15 although we couldn't run away because we had nowhere to run away to.
16 That's why we stopped. We surrendered there.
17 Q. These people that stopped you, were they Serb soldiers, sir?
18 A. They were.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
20 A. Yes, they had automatic rifles and an 84, M-84 machine-gun.
21 Q. And at the time that you encountered these --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Whether they were wearing any uniforms, please,
23 Mr. Thayer.
24 MR. THAYER:
25 Q. Sir, were these Serb soldiers wearing uniforms?
1 A. Yes, Your Honour.
2 Q. Can you describe them? If you can, sir.
3 A. They had camouflage uniforms, boots. They had weapons.
4 Q. And with these soldiers, at the time were you able to notice any
5 particular insignia, if you can recall?
6 A. At that moment, we didn't have any time. They told us to lie down
7 on our stomachs and to put our hands behind our heads, and that's how we
9 Q. And did these soldiers search you, sir?
10 A. They did.
11 Q. At that time, how many people were in your group?
12 A. There were nine of us.
13 Q. You had previously described approximately a dozen people being in
14 your group. Do you recall what happened to the -- to the others?
15 A. Three went to reconnoiter and never returned in the course of that
16 day. They went to see whether we could go somewhere else, whether we
17 could take another path, but they never returned.
18 Q. Did you happen to recognise any of the soldiers who captured you,
20 A. I recognised one, and he recognised me as well. That was a
21 neighbour of mine from Studenac. I didn't know his name. I believe that
22 his family name was either Gligic or Simic. He recognised me when we
23 stood up and he asked me where I had served the JNA. I told him I was in
24 Gnjilane. Then he cursed me, and then he told me to move on.
25 Q. Now, this -- this soldier whose name you recall as being either
1 Gligic or Simic, based on your relationship with him, did he know that you
2 had served elsewhere other than Kosovo?
3 A. Yes. He knew that I had gone to Croatia, that I was in HV for a
4 while, and he knew that I had also served in my own army.
5 Q. And did he also know that you were related to Naser Oric?
6 A. He knew that my name was Oric and that Bajro's name was also Oric,
7 but at that moment he didn't say anything to anybody. He didn't mention
8 that fact to anybody, that our family name was Oric. And I believe that
9 he helped us by not doing that. I believe that the others would have
10 killed us there and then if he had ever mentioned that we were Naser
11 Oric's relatives. I believe that he helped us by not saying who we are,
12 and that's how we actually remained alive, I believe.
13 Q. What did these soldiers do with you next, sir?
14 A. They took us to Konjevic Polje, to a storage. Before the war this
15 was an agricultural facility where the agriculture produce was bought from
16 the farmers. We were put there in a room, and we were guarded by one
18 Q. Now, would it be fair to describe this as -- you refer to as a
19 storage. Would it be fair to describe it as a warehouse, sir?
20 A. Yes, you may call it that. A storage, a warehouse with various
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Just a moment, Mr. Thayer. One of your questions
23 was whether these Serb soldiers searched him and the others, and his
24 answer was yes. Earlier on, he told us that he was carrying two hand
25 grenades. Was he still carrying these two hand grenades? Were they found
1 on his body? Perhaps you can address this.
2 MR. THAYER: That's coming down the line, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I apologise to you.
4 MR. THAYER: I'll ask it now. Actually, if I may just ask a
5 couple of preliminary questions.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: No, go ahead, go ahead. I just wanted to draw your
7 attention to it, that's all. When you ask the question is your business
9 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Sir, how were you treated when you arrived at this warehouse?
11 A. The guard treated us fairly. We spoke to him, and that moment as
12 we were sitting down and the guard was there, an officer came. His shirt
13 was unbuttoned. He was neatly shaved. He entered and asked us where our
14 rifles were, and we told him that we did not have any rifles and we had
15 never had any, and then he said, "Go back and fetch the rifles where you
16 left them," and we told him we didn't have any and there was nothing to be
17 brought back.
18 Later on, one of the soldiers brought us water, cigarettes, beer,
19 and there you have it.
20 Q. Let me just stop you right there. You told the officer that you
21 had no rifles. You testified earlier that you had left Susnjari with two
22 hand grenades. Do you know what became of those two hand grenades, sir?
23 A. The two grenades, I lost them. They fell out of my pockets in
24 Kamenica near an ambush. As I was crawling, looking for shelter, they
25 came loose from my belt where I had them.
1 Q. So by the time your group of nine was captured, to your knowledge
2 were any of you armed at that time?
3 A. No.
4 Q. The officer who you described having the unbuttoned shirt who
5 asked you about the rifles, did he tell you what was going to happen to
6 you next?
7 A. One of us asked him. I don't know who did. We asked him what
8 would happen to us, and he answered that his duty was to capture us, to
9 put us on buses and send us to Bratunac, and this is what transpired.
10 Q. And were you also told that you would have to wait for anything?
11 A. He told us to wait for the buses transporting civilians from
12 Potocari to Kladanj, and when they returned the same buses would transport
13 us to Bratunac.
14 Q. And did buses finally arrive?
15 A. Indeed they did. Two buses arrived from the direction of Milici.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer, perhaps I could ask your witness whether
17 to his knowledge he and maybe any of the other eight were carrying any
18 identification documents or documents which would identify them at the
20 MR. THAYER: Certainly, Mr. President.
21 Q. Did you understand that question, sir?
22 A. Your Honour, nobody had anything. Everything we had had been
23 taken away from us in the forest.
24 Q. Sir, when you say everything had been taken away from you in the
25 forest, do you mean to say that you lost everything or that it was taken
1 from you at the time of your capture?
2 A. When we were captured everything was taken away from us. Mind
3 you, I did not have anything on my body. I don't know about the others.
4 Nobody had anything major. Maybe some had a pack of cigarettes and a
5 lighter. That was all we had. Most people had thrown their documents
6 even before that. Actually, I never took my documents from home because I
7 had set out for Tuzla straight from the line. I never went home before
9 Q. Sir, you testified that two buses finally arrived. Do you recall
10 approximately what time of day on the 13th this was?
11 A. It was already late and the lights were on. For example, the
12 headlights on the buses were on. It may have been around 9.00, 9.30,
14 Q. And do you recall which bus you boarded?
15 A. We boarded the first bus through the back door, and we sat on the
16 last row of seats, and the three military policemen who guarded us on the
17 bus went through the front door.
18 Q. Now, when you say "we," are you referring to the group of nine
19 with whom you were captured?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And can you describe for the Trial Chamber exactly where on this
22 first bus you were seated.
23 A. We occupied the back row of seats. As far as I know, these seats
24 were referred to by a particular name, a settee, the last row of seats on
25 any bus.
1 Q. And was there anything special about that back seat, sir?
2 A. They were somewhat higher than the rest of the seats, so you had a
3 good view of the entire interior of the bus. And the window is almost at
4 the level of the seats, and you had a good view outside the bus if you
5 were sitting on those seats, because they are elevated, higher than the
6 rest of the seats on the bus.
7 Q. And were you seated on the right-hand side or the left-hand side
8 of the bus, sir?
9 A. On the right-hand side, next to the window. Actually, I was the
10 first on the right-hand side, right next to the window.
11 Q. You referred a moment ago to some military policemen boarding the
12 bus with you. How many of these military policemen do you recall?
13 A. There were three.
14 Q. And how do you know they were --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Thayer. Sorry to interrupt you, but
16 perhaps he could explain to us how he could distinguish military
18 MR. THAYER: That was my next question, Your Honour.
19 Q. And --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We seem to be telepathic today.
21 MR. THAYER: I'm one step behind, Your Honour.
22 Q. And how do you know that these men were military policemen, sir?
23 A. Because they had patches on their arms.
24 Q. And what did these patches say that you recall?
25 A. VP.
1 Q. And what does that stand for, sir?
2 A. Military police.
3 Q. Were these military policemen wearing anything else that you
4 recall in particular, sir?
5 A. I remember that they wore blue flak jackets as normally worn by
7 Q. And had you become familiar with that style of flak jacket, sir?
8 A. I was familiar with that type of uniform because I had used to see
9 them every day on UNPROFOR soldiers.
10 Q. And can you describe the appearance of those blue flak jackets,
12 A. No sleeves, blue down to the belt.
13 Q. Now, last week, sir, I showed you a picture and -- which you've
14 seen before. I'd like to show it to you again.
15 MR. THAYER: I would ask that a video still be shown on e-court.
16 The ERN is 01264884-0216-4884. It does not have a 65 ter number, I
17 afraid, but we'll identify it by the ERN.
18 Q. Sir, do you see an image on the screen in front of you?
19 A. No.
20 MR. THAYER: Does anyone see an image in front of them?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: No, we don't have anything as yet.
22 MR. THAYER: Unfortunately, the e-court isn't telepathic. And,
23 Your Honour, if worst comes to worst, Mr. President, we can certainly
24 placed it on the ELMO and do it the old-fashioned way.
25 May I proceed, Mr. President?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead. I think everyone has it on the
2 screen, on their respective screens now.
3 MR. THAYER:
4 Q. Sir, do you see a image on your screen?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. And what, if anything in particular, does that picture show you
7 that you recall?
8 A. This depicts some soldiers and the bullet-proof vests that I have
9 just mentioned.
10 Q. Now, you stated that there's some soldiers. How many soldiers are
11 in the picture, sir, that you can see? And if you need to refer to the
12 original, which is on the ELMO, for better focus, please -- please do so,
13 but how many soldiers do you see in the image?
14 A. I can see three soldiers and a fourth one whose back I can see.
15 His back is turned toward these three soldiers.
16 Q. It's fair to say there are three soldiers in the foreground of the
17 picture; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And which soldier is wearing the vest; the one on the left, right,
20 or in the middle?
21 A. The one in the middle. He is wearing the UNPROFOR bullet-proof
23 Q. Now, the colour isn't coming through too well on our monitor, but
24 can you see, either on your screen or on the original on the ELMO, what
25 colour that vest is?
1 A. Blue.
2 Q. And does this picture fairly and accurately portray the UNPROFOR
3 flak jackets that you recall the Serb soldiers wearing at that time?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, moving on, sir. Did the buses --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Thayer.
7 Mr. Bourgon.
8 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. If I may take this
9 opportunity - I don't think it will interrupt the testimony - but this
10 particular picture that we are seeing, that we are being shown is an
11 example of the difficulties encountered by the Defence with the Rule 65
12 ter list of exhibits. In the particular list that we've been provided
13 with, we had an Exhibit Number 1943, but there was no ERN number. When we
14 were given the list of exhibits that were going to be used with the
15 witness, we were told that there was an Exhibit 1943, but there was no
16 exhibit number.
17 We looked -- we go back to the list of exhibits, the Rule 65 ter
18 list, and there's no ERN, but there is an ERN provided for a video. So we
19 know what we were put on notice of before the testimony of this witness is
20 that somewhere there's a still of three soldiers that will be shown that
21 comes from a very long video.
22 Now, given the description of this particular picture, he said a
23 still of three soldier, we don't know why he's going to show it to the
24 witness, and there's no way for us to prepare accordingly. Now we know
25 that what he wanted to show was the blue flak jacket.
1 But that's just to provide an example of the difficulties we face.
2 And when I mentioned earlier on in this trial that when the Prosecution
3 puts a still of a video on its list of exhibits, it has a purpose. The
4 Prosecution wants to show a specific picture. And right now it's not
5 possible for us to know what are these specific pictures that he wants to
6 show with each witness. And I believe maybe a remedy for this in the
7 meantime is that if they want to show a still and they give us, in their
8 list of exhibits to be used with each witness, that they provide to us the
9 exact picture they want to show, so at least we know in advance when the
10 witness comes. Because in this case we did not know other than three
11 soldiers. Thank you, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you're right. At least, I speak in relation
13 to what information that we were given, which also refers to a document --
14 one of the documents to be used as 1943 and described as a video still.
15 At least in what we have it indicates of a Serb soldier, there is his
16 name, and a Dutch soldier, and there is his name. So that also may have
17 made it even more confusing.
18 I think Mr. Bourgon's point is -- needs to be well taken, and I'm
19 sure that in the future there will be a better approach or a more
20 systematic and more usefully indicative approach to this, because it can
21 be confusing. I hundred per cent agree with him.
22 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, we recognise that can be confusing. In
23 this case, and what our practice has been pursuant to the Court's order in
24 terms of disclosing the exhibits we intend to use with a particular
25 witness, this ERN was provided. It is the ERN on the document, and it is
1 readily obtainable via the ERN. This has been, to our understanding,
2 available for almost two weeks now since we disclosed this list -- well,
3 in any event, Your Honour, it came in through e-court, as I understand it,
4 and it has been made available.
5 We will continue to try our best to be as specific as possible in
6 describing the exhibits, obviously. This has a little bit of a
7 shortcoming in terms of describing precisely what's in the picture.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Definitely it is. And while we are at it, since at
9 least the document that we have says video still of Serb soldier and Dutch
10 soldier, you could perhaps explain whether this is correct or not and who
11 would be the Serb soldier in this picture, whether he's the one wearing
12 the blue flak jacket, because if that is the case, then you need to
13 address the other matter that, according to the witness, these flak
14 jackets were worn by UNPROFOR soldiers. It doesn't seem that any of the
15 UNPROFOR soldiers are wearing that flak jacket here.
16 So this is why I -- I think Mr. Bourgon is hundred per cent right.
17 I don't know -- I wouldn't know who is the Serb soldier in this picture.
18 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, the -- this witness has been called for
19 the purpose of simply identifying the type of vest that he recalls seeing
20 some of the Serb soldiers wearing. So it wasn't my intention to -- for
21 him to identify whether this particular individual was a Serb or another
22 was a Dutch soldier. I believe that level of testimony will come out
23 through subsequent witnesses.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay.
25 MR. THAYER: Nevertheless, again, Your Honour, this particular
1 document has been made known to the Defence with great specificity through
2 this ERN, which is on the exhibit list for this witness and is listed on
3 this document. This also is very specifically described in prior
4 testimony in Blagojevic, and it was released in e-court as Thursday of
5 last week, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer, let's forget excuses and justifications.
7 Just saying that, at least to us, this is very misleading, and if we were
8 Defence counsel, I would -- the whole idea of having this is not to have
9 to go through an entire exercise of identifying from the previous list
10 which one would be this video still, because this is the whole -- the
11 whole -- the whole exercise is meant to facilitate the whole exercise and
12 not to make it complicated.
13 So let's -- you've got the message. You've also heard us say that
14 we believe that Mr. Bourgon's point is -- should be well taken, and we
15 take it up from there, and we try to be more specific in the future,
16 that's all. In the meantime, let's move forward, please.
17 MR. THAYER: I hear the message loud and clear, Your Honour, and
18 I'll move on.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
20 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Now, did the buses eventually leave Konjevic Polje?
22 A. Yes. We headed towards Bratunac. The road to Bratunac.
23 Q. And was your bus still the first bus in line?
24 A. Yes, it was.
25 Q. Did you make any stops on the way?
1 A. We stopped in Kravica. They opened the front and the rear doors,
2 and -- and prisoners were loaded, or they entered. They came in. They
3 were, in fact, situated on a meadow near the road. So they boarded the
4 bus, the buses, with prisoners, and then we continued towards Bratunac.
5 Q. Now, you described a meadow in Kravica. Was that meadow located
6 near any structure in particular that you recall, sir?
7 A. There is a facility like a warehouse, and the prisoners were
8 sitting next to it.
9 Q. Can you estimate for the Trial Chamber approximately how many
10 prisoners you observed in this meadow.
11 A. As far as I could see from the bus, according to my assessment,
12 400 to 500 people.
13 Q. Now, you testified that some of those prisoners were placed on
14 your two buses; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. There was my bus and another bus, and the prisoners were
16 placed on the bus, and the bus was full with people.
17 Q. Now, the prisoners that you observed in the meadow, were they
18 guarded by anyone?
19 A. There were soldiers around the bus -- around the buses, guarding
20 them. There were soldiers around.
21 Q. Were there soldiers located in the meadow as well, guarding those
23 A. Yes, there were.
24 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I see that we're approaching the next
25 break. I've no more questions on this particular topic and am prepared to
1 move on to the next topic after the break, if that suits the Chamber.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Certainly, Mr. Thayer. We'll have a 20-minute
3 break starting from now. Thank you.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.12 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
7 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, thank you. Two brief preliminary
8 matters, if I could. I don't want to take too much time since we have the
9 witness sitting here.
10 The first is I just wanted to advise the Court that we have met
11 with Defence counsel during the break in an effort to really try to avoid
12 further confusion with regard to disclosure and documents and e-court and
13 that whole process. We'll continue to do that. We've really tried to
14 have a meeting of the minds as to how to best utilise and make sure we're
15 doing this properly and that Defence counsel has access to, as we thought
16 they did, to everything on e-court well in advance of the witness's
17 testimony, and we'll pledge to continue to do that, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I never had any doubt about that, neither in this
19 case nor in any other case that I've been involved in.
20 MR. THAYER: Secondly, Your Honour, at your suggestion I've
21 identified two maps that I'm prepared to examine Mr. Oric with, if the
22 Court pleases.
23 This is as good a time as any to do so.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
25 MR. THAYER: I tried to advise as many Defence counsel as I could
1 during the break, but for those who missed it, I'll be showing Mr. Oric
2 map 6. Actually I think I'd mentioned map 5 before, but map 6 is a slight
3 magnification of the section of map 5 that I'd been thinking about.
4 The other map is attached to Mr. Oric's August 10th through 12th,
5 1995, OTP witness interview. I believe it is the very last document of
6 the exhibits attached to his statement. He has some sketches, and I
7 believe the last document is this map.
8 And I'm sorry that we don't have enough copies in hard copy to
9 distribute, but I can certainly put it on the ELMO and everybody should be
10 able to see.
11 This map is -- has an ERN, not a court identification number, and
12 I understand my use of the ERN number before it may have caused some
13 confusion. I apologise if I contributed to that confusion. But this has
14 an old-fashioned ERN of 00337000, just for the sake of the record.
15 With that, Your Honour, I believe I'm prepared to proceed to do my
16 best with these maps, and Mr. Oric.
17 Q. Sir, if I may hand a map to you, and I know that we've not had an
18 opportunity to look at this previously, but I'd ask you to take a look at
19 this map which we'll place on the ELMO.
20 And please, just take a moment to review it and orient yourself to
21 the map and just let us know when -- when you're ready to proceed, when
22 you feel comfortable identifying places on the map.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I just want to make this clear: We are not using
24 e-court now, are we?
25 MR. THAYER: That's correct, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So if he's going to put marks, to mark
2 that map, is that a spare copy that you are using there that can then be
3 signed by him and entered into evidence?
4 MR. THAYER: That's correct Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
6 MR. THAYER: It's an extra copy we have.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I just wanted to make sure. And you are all
8 comfortable with this on the Defence side? Yes.
9 Go ahead.
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Mr. Oric, have you had an opportunity to look at the map and do
12 you feel comfortable discussing in general locations and events which
13 occurred in the area depicted by this map?
14 A. I have never seen this map before, but we can try. I can see that
15 only Jaglici and Konjevic Polje are indicated. Kamenica, where the ambush
16 occurred, is not on the map.
17 Q. Very well. We'll --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: That is why I said if you get a survey map it would
19 be much, much better. There are excellent survey maps of this area which
20 I have used in other cases.
21 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, we do have a second map that we'll have
22 to recur to here. In previous interviews, Mr. Oric has expressed some
23 hesitancy about working with our maps, and I'm just trying to take it one
24 step at a time with him.
25 And may I ask the court officer to zoom out just a little bit,
1 please, so we can see a couple of the other names. Thank you. That's
2 perfect. Perfect.
3 Q. Mr. Oric, you testified that the column of Muslim men gathered at
4 Susnjari. Do you see that indicated on the map?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. And it was your intention to head in the direction of Tuzla; is
7 that correct?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. And you described arriving at a hill overlooking Konjevic Polje.
10 Can you just point out on the map -- do you see Konjevic Polje depicted on
11 the map, sir?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Now, at the time of your arrest, sir, or at the time of your
14 capture, you were not actually in the town of Konjevic Polje; is that
16 A. This is not a town. It is a local community. We were in the
17 centre at the crossroads towards Zvornik-Milici-Bratunac.
18 Q. Okay. Let me take you, if I can, to a couple of the -- the other
19 landmarks on this map.
20 Do you see Bratunac marked, sir?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. And there is a line that runs leftwards or westwards from Bratunac
23 almost up to where Konjevic Polje is depicted; is that correct? And then
24 the line splits to the left and to the right. Do you see that?
25 A. I haven't really understood. Which line?
1 Q. Okay. Let me take you from the town of Bratunac. Do you see
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Moving leftward on the screen, do you see a road or a line passing
5 through Glogova, then further to the left through Kravica, Sandici, and
6 then intersecting another line or road after that? Do you see that, sir?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Now, that -- that line or road that runs between Bratunac and that
9 intersection at Konjevic Polje, looking at this map is that a fair
10 representation, to your recollection, of the road that you testified
11 before was consistently on your right as you and your various groups were
12 making your way from Susnjari to Tuzla?
13 A. Yes. That is the road that I spoke about that was on our right
14 side. And this is the intersection in Konjevic Polje leading to Zvornik,
16 Q. Now, referring specifically to that intersection you just
17 described, if you're at the intersection and, as depicted on the map, if
18 Konjevic Polje is to your right or, as the map depicts, slightly up, what
19 direction does that take you, sir?
20 A. You mean from Konjevic Polje towards Bratunac?
21 Q. If you're standing at the intersection, that intersection of
22 Konjevic Polje - and I'd ask you just to take a look at the map - the road
23 goes --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: He answered that already, because before, line 22
25 and 23, he said one way takes you to Zvornik, the other one takes you to
1 Milici. So I think he has answered that.
2 MR. THAYER: Yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: And to go to Tuzla, I think that's what you should
4 concentrate about.
5 MR. THAYER: I'm just asking him, Your Honour, which direction
6 would take him to Zvornik when he's standing at the intersection.
7 Q. Which direction goes to Zvornik, sir; left or right?
8 A. Right. On the right-hand side. That's the direction to Zvornik.
9 Q. Now, sir, to the best that you can, can you mark on this map
10 approximately where you believe you were arrested -- or you were captured.
11 A. In this area, on the hill. Up on the hill.
12 Q. And I would ask if --
13 A. This is the centre. This is where I was captured and --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Could he put his initials against --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- taken there.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: -- against that mark, please. Your initials,
18 THE WITNESS: [Marks].
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. For the record, the witness makes a mark
20 -- made a mark on the map that is being used with him, starting from the
21 red dot, which at almost 30 minutes below Konjevic Polje, perpendicularly
22 pointing at five minutes, at the end of which he put his initials, "MO."
23 MR. THAYER:
24 Q. And, sir, if you would just write the number 1 next to that line
25 that you drew.
1 A. [Marks].
2 Q. Now, I'd like to show you another map. May we zoom -- is it
3 possible to zoom out, or will we lose the focus if we ...
4 Can you -- yes. Let me just show you the section, with the
5 Court's indulgence.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: This is a photocopy of a map, I mean, so you can
7 barely work with it.
8 MR. THAYER: If -- Your Honour, if -- I believe he can -- he can
9 see from the photocopy pretty well. If the focus on the screens is -- if
10 it's just too poor for Your Honour, we can try to get a better map.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: It's an important thing that everyone -- it's not
12 just us, Mr. Thayer. It's everyone who is following.
13 MR. THAYER: Understood. I don't want to speak for anybody else,
14 but if -- we're specifically going to be looking at Kamenica and Susnjari,
15 and I would just ask if everybody can at least see those two locations on
16 this map. The rest of the detail, I think, is unimportant for this --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: That's much, much better now.
18 MR. THAYER: And if it doesn't work out, we can get a better map
19 perhaps for tomorrow's session.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. It's okay.
21 MR. THAYER: Now -- could we move that just a little bit up. The
22 other way. I'm sorry. Perfect.
23 Q. Sir, do you see a portion of the map on the screen, or feel free
24 to work with the hard copy on the ELMO if you can read that better. Do
25 you see Susnjari towards the bottom of your screen? Do you see that
1 marked there on the map?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. And if you move northwards slightly up and to your -- to your
4 right -- to your left, I'm sorry, do you also see Kamenica marked?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. And do you see slightly to the upper right and towards the top of
7 the screen, above Kamenica, Sandici marked?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. And I just ask if you could underline Sandici as well, sir.
10 A. [Marks].
11 Q. And what I'd like you to do, if you would, is write a number 1
12 next to Susnjari, and your initials.
13 A. [Marks].
14 Q. And a number 2 next to Kamenica, and your initials, please.
15 A. [Marks].
16 Q. And a number 3 beside Sandici, and your initials, please.
17 A. [Marks].
18 Q. Now, it's slightly obscured by some of the markings on the map,
19 but if you move to the north-east, in other words, rightwards at about
20 2.00, a short distance, do you see Kravica marked as well? Just above
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. And would you please -- please underline Kravica.
24 A. [Marks].
25 Q. Now you're telepathic, sir. Moving directly below Kravica, do you
1 see Siljkovici marked on the map?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Want would you please underline, write the number 5 and your
4 initials, please.
5 A. [Marks].
6 Q. To the best of your recollection, sir, are these the various
7 villages that you described earlier in your testimony moving towards
8 during your trek from Susnjari to Tuzla?
9 A. Yes. The Kamenica was where the -- we were ambushed and where
10 people fled. I said they were fleeing to the right towards Kravica and
11 Siljkovici, in that direction.
12 Q. Thank you, sir. We may need to refer to these maps in the future,
13 but I think for now that gives us a working knowledge of where we're
14 referring to during the course of your testimony.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Thayer.
16 MR. THAYER: May I proceed, Mr. President?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, Mr. Thayer. Go ahead.
18 MR. THAYER: Thank you.
19 Q. Sir, we left off with you describing how prisoners were loaded
20 onto your two buses from a meadow in the Kravica area. Do you recall
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. And were the two buses filled with prisoners at that time, with
24 those prisoners from the meadow?
25 A. Yes. When they filled the two buses, we headed towards Bratunac.
1 We continued our journey.
2 Q. And did your bus subsequently arrive in Bratunac?
3 A. We arrived in Bratunac in front of the school Vuk Karadzic.
4 Q. Were there other buses already parked there when your buses
6 A. Yes. As far as I could see, there were two more buses there.
7 Q. Now, could you describe for the Trial Chamber, please, where the
8 buses were parked in relation to the school.
9 A. They were parked in front of the school, in front of the entrance
10 of the school.
11 Q. And were they parked side by side or were they parked in a column
12 or some other configuration?
13 A. They were parked one in front of the other, so one after the
15 Q. Do you recall which number bus you were on if you're counting as
16 number 1 the bus closest to the Vuk Karadzic school?
17 A. I was in the third bus in this row starting from the school.
18 Q. And were you able to discern, sir, whether the entrance to the
19 school was lighted at that time?
20 A. The street was lit by street lamps, as well as the entrance.
21 Q. Was your group taken off your bus?
22 A. No, it wasn't. When the military police went off the bus, the
23 police went. They told us to stay in the bus during the night, that there
24 was no room in the school and that we should sit in the bus during the
1 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Let's make this clear because I
2 definitely wouldn't like to have confusion here. He said when the
3 military police went off the bus, and then he mentioned the police, and
4 then "they told us." It's the same military police, I suppose, he's
5 referring to and not another category of police.
6 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Mr. Oric, you testified a moment ago that the military police went
8 off the bus and the police went and then you were told to stay on the bus
9 during the night. First question is: Did the military police that night
10 ever leave you unguarded on that bus?
11 A. They went off the bus, but they returned very quickly from the
12 school, and they told us to stay on the bus. Of course, we couldn't flee
13 from the bus because there were other soldiers around the bus, standing
14 and guarding us. But they returned to the bus, and they told us to stay
15 there when they came back from the school.
16 Q. And this was the same three military policemen who had been with
17 you from the time you left Konjevic Polje; is that correct?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. Did they -- did the military policemen tell you who was filling up
20 the school?
21 A. No, they didn't. They -- they only told us that it was full and
22 that we couldn't go there.
23 Q. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber the events that
24 occurred that night while you were parked in front of the Vuk Karadzic
1 A. The first thing that happened while we were on the bus was that a
2 soldier took me off the bus because he found an insignia, Territorial
3 Defence of Srebrenica. He took me off the bus and he told me it belonged
4 to me. He tried to kill me. And then the military policeman said that it
5 did not belong to me, and that's when he put me back on the bus.
6 As far as the subsequent events are concerned --
7 Q. Let me stop you right there. You referred to a Territorial
8 Defence patch. Where was this -- exactly where was this patch found, to
9 your knowledge?
10 A. It was on the ground next to the bus. He had found it, and he
11 claimed that it had belonged to me and that I threw it off the bus.
12 That's why he tried to kill me, but fortunately he didn't, because the
13 policeman had intervened and said that I had been searched and that it did
14 not belong to me, and I was placed back on the bus.
15 Q. And you were still seated next to that window in the very back of
16 the bus on the right-hand side; is that correct, sir?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And I note from the transcript that you referred to a policeman
19 had intervened. Are you referring to the -- one of the same three
20 military policemen that you've been telling us about?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, you had mentioned a few moments ago that the street was lit
23 with streetlights. Can you describe whether there was a streetlight in
24 your area at the bus?
25 A. Yes. I could see everything clearly; the soldiers. The street
1 was lit in that portion, that section. That's how he was able to see the
2 patch lying on the ground.
3 Q. After this incident with the Territorial Defence patch ended, can
4 you tell the Trial Chamber what you recall happening next.
5 A. Later on, while we were sitting on the bus, they told us that we
6 couldn't fall asleep. After a while, in the front row of the seats one of
7 the prisoners fell asleep, and one of the military policemen came in and
8 hit him on the shoulder and said, "Why are you sleeping?" This man, as I
9 heard from the other prisoners, hit him back. Probably he was still
10 sleeping. He hit the policeman back, cursed at him, and said, "Look, he
11 hit me."
12 Then other soldiers came in from the outside, the remaining two
13 military policemen, took this person off the bus and took him in the
14 direction of the school, and then we heard shots. We heard a burst of
16 Q. Let me just stop you right there, sir. With respect to this
17 prisoner who had been sleeping, did you hear any of the other prisoners on
18 the bus say anything about that prisoner's mental state?
19 A. Yes. People who were sitting next to him and who probably know
20 him said that he was not entirely normal, that he was crazy. Probably
21 because they knew him. This is what they were saying. But they took him
22 off the bus and killed him.
23 Q. Now, I'm looking at the transcript, sir, and the testimony
24 indicates that you said that he hit the policeman back. And can you
25 describe who he is? Are you talking about that man who may have had some
1 mental problems?
2 A. Yes, the man who was sleeping had some mental problems and hit
3 back the policeman, while he was still sleeping probably.
4 Q. And the transcript then says cursed at him. Who cursed at who,
5 sir, just so the record is clear.
6 A. The military policeman cursed the man, and said, "He hit me." He
7 cursed his mother and then said, "He hit me." Then the two military
8 policemen took him off the bus. He was holding onto the seat, so they had
9 to literally take him off the bus.
10 When the shot was fired, I couldn't see who had fired the shot,
11 whether it was someone -- whether it was the soldiers or the military
12 policemen. I heard the shot.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. We need to clear this, because line 2
14 on page 71, he -- at least, in the transcript we have, "And then we heard
15 shots," in the plural. "We heard a burst of fire." Now, if the
16 translation -- interpretation is correct, which I have no reason to doubt,
17 he is referring only to one shot. So we need to clarify this.
18 MR. THAYER: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Was there one shot or did you hear more than one shot fired at
20 this man with a mental disability of some sort?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: There is no indication in his testimony that he saw
22 this -- or those shots being fired at this man. He never saw the thing
23 happening. He just testified that he heard the shots or the shot. So
24 let's -- let us draw the conclusion, and neither you nor -- okay.
25 MR. THAYER:
1 Q. When you heard the shot or shots -- I'll withdraw that question,
2 Your Honour, and start over again.
3 Did you hear one shot or more than one shot, sir?
4 A. At that moment, I heard one shot, which was actually a short burst
5 of fire, and then I heard him scream. And in the school I could hear
6 several shots coming from the school. When he was taken off the bus and
7 when he was drawn towards the school, I heard a short burst of fire and
8 then I heard him scream ever so faintly, and somebody said, "Drag him into
9 the school."
10 Q. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber exactly, to the best of
11 your recollection, what you saw occur once this man had been taken off the
13 A. They were dragging him towards the school. In other words, he
14 held onto the seat in -- in the bus. When they took him off, they dragged
15 him towards the school. He was fighting them. Then I heard a short burst
16 of fire, I heard him utter a faint sound, somebody said, "Drag him toward
17 the school," and that was it. That was the end of the whole thing.
18 If you're asking me about the night, what happened during that
19 night on the bus --
20 Q. Sir, I'll get to that in a moment. Now, you testified that this
21 group that had taken this man off the bus had its -- their backs to you;
22 is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And this was the three military policemen; is that correct?
25 A. There were three policemen, but there were also some troops around
1 the bus. I can't tell you who fired. I didn't see that.
2 Q. But based on what you saw, sir, was the burst -- did the burst of
3 fire come from somewhere within that group of soldiers and military
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. During that night on the bus, was anyone beaten on your bus?
7 A. One man was beaten. A soldier got on the bus carrying an
8 automatic rifle with a wooden butt. He recognised a man in the front part
9 of the bus. He started hitting him with the rifle butt, and he asked him
10 who had killed a certain soldier, who had killed another soldier, and all
11 the while he kept on hitting him with the rifle butt.
12 I didn't hear any names being mentioned. I just heard him asking
13 the man who had killed the Serbs in Jadro from an ambush. The man replied
14 that he didn't know, and still he was hit with the rifle butt and he was
15 kicked. And this continued until the military police returned to the bus.
16 And then one of the military police chased the soldier out of the bus.
17 The soldier must have been drunk. At least, that's how he appeared to me,
18 as somebody being drunk.
19 Q. And do you have any idea, based on the uniform or the clothing
20 that this soldier wore, what military unit or detachment he was -- this
21 soldier was serving with? Were you able to see any identifying
23 A. The man who was hitting the detainee on the bus, he did not have
24 any patches. He did not have a blouse. He had a camouflage T-shirt, and
25 I did not see any patches on the T-shirt; no insignia.
1 Q. During the night, sir, did anyone else board your bus and take
2 anyone away?
3 A. Yes. In the course of the night, another soldier got on the bus
4 and asked if there was somebody called Catic or Dzanic on the bus. He
5 mentioned those two family names. A person got up, went with the soldier
6 to the school, and never returned to the bus.
7 Q. Do you recall a person named Ilija boarding the bus?
8 A. Ilija from Spat, yes.
9 Q. And what, if anything, did this Ilija from Spat do or say when he
10 entered your bus?
11 A. When he got on, he asked if there was this Catic or Dzanic. He
12 got up and went with the soldier to the school. And the man never
13 returned to the bus.
14 Q. So it's this Ilija, in other words, who asked for this Catic or
15 Dzanic, is that fair to say, just to be clear?
16 A. I saw Ilija -- yes, yes.
17 Q. Now, from your position in your bus, were you able to see what was
18 going on with respect to the other buses in that column pointing towards
19 the Vuk Karadzic school?
20 A. I saw that all the headlights on the buses were on, and I saw the
21 same man, Ilija from Spat, entering the other buses, whether he was there
22 to recognise people by their names or otherwise, and he took a few people
23 to the school and never returned them. And I saw him on several occasions
24 bringing people from the courtyard, from the left side of the courtyard,
25 and from there he took people into the school.
1 Q. Did you see anyone other than this Ilija from Spat removing
2 prisoners from the other buses that night?
3 A. There was some people with him but unfamiliar to me. I didn't
4 know them.
5 Q. But is it your testimony that you saw these other people whom you
6 didn't know also removing people from the buses?
7 MR. KRGOVIC: Objection, Your Honour; leading.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We've had a long series of leading
9 questions, and the assumption was that, unless I hear objections from your
10 part, we will go ahead.
11 We have an objection now.
12 MR. THAYER: Yes, Your Honour. I'll rephrase the question.
13 Q. You testified a moment ago, sir, that there were some other
14 individuals whom you didn't know with this Ilija from Spat; is that
16 A. Yes. They were waiting in front of the bus.
17 Q. And what, if anything, did you see those individuals do that
19 A. All night through while we were there, I saw him taking people off
20 the buses. He went to the bus that was behind us, and also from the
21 courtyard. There is an exit from the courtyard, and he brought people
22 from the courtyard on a couple of occasions and took them to the school.
23 Q. Okay. My question was, though, sir, with respect to those other
24 individuals who you stated a moment ago were with this Ilija from Spat,
25 what do you recall seeing them doing? Not Ilija from Spat; what do you
1 recall them doing, if anything, that night?
2 A. They waited for Ilija to bring the men and to take these men to
3 the school, Ilija and the two other guys that were with him. The three of
4 them took all these men to the school and never brought them back.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Just a moment, Mr. Thayer, because sooner or later
6 this, I think, will need to be explained.
7 How did he know or how does he know that this man was Ilija from
8 Spat? Did he know him from before? Has he been told that afterwards?
9 And what ethnicity was this man, because Ilija -- the name Ilija may be
11 MR. THAYER: Telepathy again, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
13 MR. THAYER:
14 Q. This Ilija from Spat, how did you know who this individual was?
15 Was there anything distinctive about him that you recall, and how is it
16 that you were able to identify him?
17 A. I knew he was Ilija from Spat because I had known him before the
18 war. He had a long moustache that he tied below his chin. I used to see
19 him before the war in Bratunac and in Srebrenica. So he did have a
20 distinctive feature; the moustache.
21 Q. And what is Spat, sir?
22 A. Spat is a village close to Sase where the Sase mine is. It is all
23 in Srebrenica municipality. Spat, in other words, is a village.
24 Q. And how close is Spat to the -- the town of Bratunac, sir?
25 A. I don't know exactly. Maybe a dozen kilometres or so, 10
2 JUDGE AGIUS: And the ethnicity of this person?
3 MR. THAYER:
4 Q. And do you know what the ethnicity of this Ilija from Spat was,
6 A. Yes. He is a Serb, of Serb ethnicity.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps another matter that he could address,
8 because again it will arise sooner or later: I mean, he recognised Ilija
9 from Spat, but did Ilija from Spat who was going on the bus, looking for
10 individuals there, ever recognise him if he knew him from before?
11 MR. THAYER:
12 Q. Did you understand the question, sir?
13 A. Your Honour, I was very young then. I knew him personally because
14 I saw him around Bratunac. And when I explained to some people that I had
15 seen this man from the long moustache, they told me that was Ilija from
16 Spat. Before that, I used to see him around Bratunac, but whether he
17 recognised me or not, I don't know. I don't think so.
18 Q. Now, sir, you testified that during the course of the night you
19 saw men being removed from the buses and taken to the school. Can you
20 please describe for the Trial Chamber the sequence of events that you
21 would see and hear when you saw someone being taken off the buses.
22 A. They got on the buses. They took people. They took them to the
23 school. And then in the school during the night I heard screams and
24 wailing. Not from everybody but from some individuals. And we could also
25 hear bursts of fire, even some bursts of fire in the school, coming from
1 the school. And this lasted all night long.
2 Q. Now, when prisoners were brought inside the school, would you hear
3 screaming coming right away, or would there be some time that would pass
4 before you heard the screaming, or was it a mixture of the two during the
5 course of the night?
6 A. Once they left, after a certain time we would hear screams and
7 bursts of fire.
8 Q. Did you ever see any of the prisoners returned to the bus that
9 night, sir?
10 A. No.
11 Q. How about the other buses, sir, not just the one that you were on?
12 A. I did not see anybody return or being returned.
13 Q. Were you given any food or water that night, sir?
14 A. We got water but no food.
15 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I note that it's about 12.35. I have a
16 sketch -- I'm sorry, it's 1.35. I beg your pardon. I have a sketch which
17 I'm prepared to work with Mr. Oric through. In an abundance of caution, I
18 think it may be a better idea to wait until tomorrow when he's a little
19 fresher to go through another e-court exhibit and explanation.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's no problem on our part. So we
21 will adjourn for today. So more or less it's now -- all right.
22 Mr. Oric, we are going to stop here for today. We will resume
23 with your testimony tomorrow afternoon, 2.15. Use the time that you have
24 to relax, because we've got a long session tomorrow, longer than today.
25 And we will start with the cross-examination, I suppose, one of the
1 cross-examinations tomorrow.
2 In the meantime, it's important that you do not communicate with
3 anyone on the events that you're giving evidence about, or let anyone try
4 to communicate with you. Do you understand me?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Good afternoon to everyone.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.36 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 29th day
9 of August, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.