1 Wednesday, 15 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you. Madam Registrar, could you
6 call the 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: So the accused are all here, and the Defence teams
10 are all here. Do you feel any heavier now, Mr. Ostojic?
11 MR. OSTOJIC: No comment.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: The Prosecution is here. If there are problems with
13 interpretation at any time, please let us know.
14 As you may have noticed or you would have surely have noticed, we
15 are sitting without Judge Prost today, and that will remain to be so the
16 rest of this week, and we will be sitting in terms of Rule 15 bis, first
17 paragraph, (A). She will be with us again next week, or this coming week.
18 Thank you.
19 Now, this first witness that we have, we're talking of witness
20 number 66; correct?
21 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President. That's correct.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We are actually confirming orally now
23 the protective measures that we had originally put in place for this
24 witness, and for the purpose of his testimony, we are granting pseudonym,
25 face distortion, and voice distortion.
1 The other thing we wanted to raise with you orally, and let's
2 dispose of it today, because I don't like playing ping-pong during the
3 sittings, is the following: Witness -- next witness, the following one,
4 then, witness number 98. Now, in your motion, in a request you have
5 actually sought facial distortion and pseudonym, while in the body of the
6 motion itself, there is an indication that you are seeking also voice
7 distortion. We authorised our staff to try and elucidate this and only to
8 find out that at one point it seems the witness wanted only voice -- only
9 facial distortion and pseudonym and that very soon after he reiterated his
10 first request, namely, one which was inclusive also of voice distortion.
11 So I want to know exactly now, please, what you're seeking so that I can
12 then turn to the Defence to see if they have any objection to including
13 also voice distortion, although it is not so requested in your motion.
15 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President. You're entirely correct. We,
16 inadvertently, in the actual body of the request, did not seek the voice
17 distortion although we mentioned it in the introduction. The witness at
18 issue has confirmed as recently as yesterday afternoon that he does wish
19 the voice distortion means as well.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's leave it at that. You have already indicated
21 that you don't have any objection to facial and -- distortion and
22 pseudonym. I take it that you do not object for -- to including also
23 voice distortion? I don't know who wants to taking the responsibility.
24 Yes, Mr. Haynes.
25 MR. HAYNES: No, we don't.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't. Okay. So we're handing down an oral
2 decision now which will probably be followed by a written decision. It's
3 all prepared. And the protective measures sought which will be granted
4 are precisely the ones I mention earlier, the three of them in other
5 words. And that applies to Witness 98, who will be Prosecution Witness
7 This one who is going to start giving evidence now will be Witness
8 PW-106. Thank you.
9 Other preliminaries? Yes, Madam Fauveau.
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. Last night at
11 1.00 in the morning we received the proofing notes for the witness who is
12 about to testify today. He is a protected witness, and we have received
13 very little information about him. So these proofing notes that were
14 received in the course of the night includes information we never heard
15 about. We couldn't think that the witness was about to testify on these
16 topics. So I don't know how the Prosecutor can imagine that the Defence
17 are able to properly prepare their cross-examinations if they receive
18 proofing notes with totally new information only three or four hours
19 before the hearing begins, before the witness begins to testify. I do not
20 want to ask for the report as to the testimony of this witness. I don't
21 know how long the examination-in-chief will be, but I will request for the
22 cross-examination not to start today.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Who is responding to this? Mr. Thayer?
24 MR. THAYER: I will, Your Honour. The proofing notes did go out
25 at 1.00 this morning. I was probably as less happy about that as anybody
1 was receiving them at that hour because that's when I completed it, having
2 proofed this witness and the next witness back to back given their travel
4 The information concerning the incident itself that was added in
5 the proofing notes is relatively minor. The Defence has had the
6 unredacted, full information report of this witness regarding that
7 incident for some time now. There is additional information concerning
8 the situation in the enclave in 1992, 1993, and into 1995, which is new.
9 I believe that there will be adequate opportunity to cross-examine this
10 witness based on the incident that is described in great detail in the
11 information report and which was not enhanced, I would submit, to any
12 substantial degree in the proofing notes.
13 So I don't believe there's -- there's a compelling reason to
14 completely delay the cross-examination. I believe substantive
15 cross-examination could commence today, and if the Defence needs more time
16 to analyse the proofing notes during the various breaks, perhaps, there
17 can be a reassessment towards the middle or the end of the day in that
18 regard. It may -- it may be a mooted issue.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, Madam Fauveau.
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] May I briefly respond --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of course.
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] -- as to the incident mentioned by
23 Mr. Thayer. I think this is the major part of the witness's testimony.
24 We knew what he was about to speak but that part did not have anything to
25 do especially with my client. The part that has been added to the
1 proofing notes does concern my client. So this is something for which I,
2 in particular, was not prepared. I did not intend to cross-examine him
3 and now I can see that there's a whole part that's been added which is the
4 major part of the proofing notes we received today, and without being
5 prepared at all, I'm expected to cross-examine the witness. I cannot do
6 that. Plus we have a time period of 24 hours prior to the
7 cross-examination in which we have to have documents put into the e-court
8 system. How could I prepare myself if I receive proofing notes at 1.00 in
9 the morning when the witness is about to arrive at 9.00?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse.
11 MR. JOSSE: We'd just like to associate ourselves with those
12 comments, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Let me before consulting my two
14 colleagues just point out something.
15 According to the information that we have, the Prosecution
16 requires about two and a half hours for the direct. Is that correct?
17 MR. THAYER: Yes, Your Honour. And I think I may actually be able
18 to do it in about two hours. The -- and if I just may put in a little bit
19 of context the reason for some of the new information.
20 Based on our continual review of our witness list and our
21 continued wish to try to streamline our witness list, we believe that we
22 may be actually able to eliminate certain witnesses by eliciting related
23 information through other witnesses. This is such a witness. He was new
24 to us. We first interviewed him in May of 2006. The conditions within
25 the Srebrenica enclave, the humanitarian conditions and so forth, are a
1 part of the indictment. This is information that has been repeatedly
2 elicited through -- through other witnesses, and it was new information
3 that we developed through this witness. That is ultimately the reason why
4 we are seeking to elicit this new information, and we're hoping actually
5 to save time in the long run by doing it this way.
6 I understand Madam Fauveau's concerns, but again, it's not
7 entirely new information in the sense that it's information that's
8 unfamiliar in its nature to the Defence. It's basically the same type of
9 information that this Trial Chamber's heard through other Srebrenica
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So let me try to recapitulate and think
12 aloud a little bit. The totality of the Defence teams prior to receiving
13 the proofing notes had indicated a total of three and a half hours for all
14 the cross-examinations put together. That included 30 minutes each from
15 the Defence teams of Generals Miletic and Gvero. Eliminating for the time
16 being cross-examination by these two teams for today, we are still talking
17 of two hours to two and half hours Prosecution and two and a half hours
18 maximum the rest of the Defence teams that do not have any objection with
19 cross-examining the witness today.
20 Basically, that means that today -- today's sitting will not be
21 sufficient in itself to cover both the direct and the rest of the
22 cross-examinations, as I explain. So we are definitely going into
23 tomorrow in any case.
24 Going into tomorrow, I think the problem is eliminated both for
25 you, Madam Fauveau, and for Mr. Krgovic or Mr. Josse, and I think we can
1 work on that assumption and try to head towards that direction.
2 Judge Kwon.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And in any case, if it is necessary just to make
5 sure to accommodate you if -- if it is necessary we will get in the next
6 witness to start the -- the direct and then you will have the -- in the
7 meantime, I mean, I appreciate that this has not been blown up into an
8 incident, and in future, let's try to, as much as possible, avoid having
9 these incidents recurring. I know sometimes they have to recur but they
10 are about to create problems.
11 So any further -- but you can put your mind at rest. You will not
12 be cross-examining this witness today, either of you.
13 Any further preliminaries? None. Curtains down, please. And we
14 are going to bring in the next witness, who is a protected witness. The
15 curtains will be down only until he walks in so that his face is not seen,
16 but then the transmission of the proceedings will be in open session.
17 [The witness enters court]
18 WITNESS: WITNESS PW-106
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, sir. You are going to be giving
21 evidence in trial, which is the Srebrenica 2 trial. You've been summoned
22 here to testify by the Prosecution. Our rules require that before you
23 start giving evidence you make a solemn declaration to the effect that in
24 the course of your testimony you will be speaking the truth, the whole
25 truth, and nothing but the truth. The text is going to be handed to you
1 now. Please read it out in a way that we can hear you, and that will be
2 your solemn undertaking with us.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I solemnly declare that I will
4 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Please make yourself comfortable. Take
6 a seat.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you start giving evidence, I wish to confirm
9 to you that we have granted you three protective measures, the use of a
10 pseudonym. In other words, we'll hide your name. You will be given a
11 number. You will be known here as PW, Prosecution Witness 106, and you
12 will testify with both facial and voice distortion. I take it these have
13 been explained to you?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: And they are to your satisfaction?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So, Mr. Thayer will be examining you in
18 chief. That will take most of today, and then we will move on to the
19 various cross-examinations, but we will not finish with you today. In
20 other words, you will be here again tomorrow for further
22 Mr. Thayer.
23 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Usual reminder. Since the witness is
25 testifying with voice distortion, just make sure that at any time when he
1 is saying something, testifying or whatever, no microphones are on except
2 his. All right? Thank you.
3 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Examination by Mr. Thayer:
5 Q. Sir, Madam Usher is about to hand you a document. I would ask
6 that you read it to yourself and ask if you can confirm that your name is
7 printed under the number PW-106.
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: That will remain under seal, of course, and we'll
10 give it a number later.
11 MR. THAYER:
12 Q. Witness, I would just ask you to move a little bit closer to the
13 microphone and just ask you, before answering a question, whether it's
14 from myself, my learned colleagues on the Defence or the Trial Chamber,
15 just to wait until you've heard the entire question translated and pause
16 before you give your answer.
17 And, Witness, if you need a break at any time, please just let us
18 know. Okay?
19 A. Very well.
20 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, if we may go into private session?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, Mr. Thayer. Let's do that.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 3927-3929 redacted.Private session
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session. Thank you.
5 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Witness, when you arrived in Srebrenica in what area of the town
7 did you at first live?
8 A. At first I lived in -- on an elevation above Srebrenica in a
9 village the name of which was Seoce.
10 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber if that is anywhere near the
11 area of Kazan or Kazani.
12 A. This is not far from Kazan at an elevation above Kazan itself.
13 Q. When you arrived in Srebrenica, were there other refugees in the
14 town already?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Where were they from, sir?
17 A. They were from Vlasenica, Zvornik, Bratunac, and some other
18 neighbouring municipalities.
19 Q. Could you describe for the Trial Chamber the living conditions
20 that you encountered in Srebrenica at that time?
21 A. Disastrous, both in humanitarian sense as well as in security
23 Q. Could you provide some examples, please, of each of those senses
24 that you've just described.
25 A. For example, it was winter. It was March, 1993. There was a lot
1 of snow. It was cold. There was a lack of clothes and footwear, and the
2 biggest problem was a major lack of food. So people started dying of
4 Already in March, 1993, the situation was terrible, and that was
5 before it fell into the Serb hands for the first -- first time.
6 Q. Witness, you referred to --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment. Mr. Lazarevic.
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe we have some problem with
9 interpretation, because here in transcript it says it was before it fell
10 to the Serb hands for the first time. It's page 14, line 4 and 5. The
11 witness says as it almost fell into Serb hands, because there is no proof
12 that in 1993 Srebrenica fell into Serb hands.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: 1992, yes, but not 1993. You are a hundred per cent
15 Yes. I think we need to clear this -- I mean, it's common
16 knowledge that Srebrenica was taken by the Serbs in 1992, and then it was
17 again retaken by the Muslims in the same year, 1992, in May. We're
18 talking of May. And now we're talking of March 1993. I don't think I've
19 heard anywhere that in March, 1993, the Serbs walked into Srebrenica and
20 took it over. So you need to address this.
21 MR. THAYER:
22 Q. Witness, did you understand the --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. -- Trial Chamber's statement, and in your experience, was that an
25 accurate description of the events of 1993?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, Witness --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I want to make sure that Mr.
4 Lazarevic is happy with this.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, I just hope that witness understood what
6 Your Honour said.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: This is why I'm saying it.
8 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I'll just go ahead and ask the question.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you can easily do that. The witness said --
10 I'll address you myself.
11 According to the transcript, I don't know actually what you said
12 in your own language, but what we were told you said in English is the
13 following: "Already in March, 1993, the situation was terrible, and that
14 was before it fell into the Serb hands for the first time."
15 What did you mean by that? Because in March, 1993, or in April,
16 1993, Srebrenica did not fall into the hands of the Serbs.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, but it was on the verge of
18 falling into Serb hands.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So that explains it, and now it exactly tallies with
20 what Mr. Lazarevic had pointed out. Thank you.
21 You may proceed with your line of questions. Thank you.
22 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Witness, you describe the situation as being disastrous also from
24 a security sense. Could you please just briefly describe what you meant
25 by that.
1 A. From the very centre of town towards the closest hills, you could
2 see Serb soldiers deployed there. However, in that chaos, the French
3 general, Morillon, would appear and he would try to calm the situation
4 down, and soon after that Srebrenica was proclaimed a safe haven by the
5 United Nations.
6 Q. Prior to General Morillon's arrival, Witness, had the Serb forces
7 actually been attacking the enclave itself?
8 A. Yes. The villages around Srebrenica came under their attack.
9 Q. Witness, were you personally present when General Morillon arrived
10 in March of 1993?
11 A. Yes, I was present. He was at the post office, and I was next to
12 the post office with the crowd that looked to Morillon for help.
13 Q. And what, if anything, did you do at that time, sir?
14 A. At that time we were expecting further information as to how to
15 proceed, whether the population would be evacuated or whether the world
16 would at that point in time help Srebrenica.
17 Q. And did you personally participate in any action with respect to
18 General Morillon while he was in Srebrenica at that time?
19 A. No.
20 Q. At some point after General Morillon's visit, did humanitarian aid
21 begin to arrive?
22 A. Not immediately. After a certain time it did happen.
23 Q. And how did the food arrive, sir, or the humanitarian aid arrive?
24 A. First of all, there were air drops, and after that, the first
25 UNHCR convoys reached us.
1 Q. During this period of time, was there shelling from the Serb
2 forces still?
3 A. As Morillon was leaving, a major massacre took place in the
4 playground next to the school in Srebrenica.
5 Q. Can you describe any personal knowledge you have about that
6 incident, sir?
7 A. After the incident, I went by that place, and I could observe a
8 host of massacred bodies and half-dead people lying there.
9 Q. Had you been at that location prior to this incident?
10 A. Of course I was at the gathering where a number of young people
11 gathered in order to celebrate the proclamation of the safe haven. We
12 wanted to celebrate. Fortunately enough, I had left the place of crime
13 some five minutes before the actual crime took place, so I managed to
14 avoid -- avoid the fate of my other friends and colleagues.
15 Q. Witness, did your mother and sister stay in Srebrenica?
16 A. No. They left with the convoys that brought food. As they were
17 leaving empty, people would get on those lorries and would go to the free
18 territory. Those were UNHCR convoys.
19 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, if we may go into private session for
20 just one question.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, Mr. Thayer. Let's go into private
22 session, please.
23 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Thayer, have you left the incident of the alleged
17 massacre in the playground.
18 MR. THAYER: Something tells me I haven't, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE KWON: I'd like to hear what the witness personally actually
20 knew at the time. It was not clear on the transcript. Thank you.
21 MR. THAYER:
22 Q. Witness, did you understand His Honour's question?
23 A. No, not really.
24 Q. Very well. Would you please provide, Witness, some more detail
25 about the actual event that occurred at that playground, what you were
1 doing; what you saw; what the cause, as you understood it, of this event
2 was; and what, if anything, you did following this incident.
3 A. Let me put it this way: The Serbs at the observation points must
4 have noticed the group of people that had gathered there. And I don't
5 know what happened. Some five or ten minutes later, I passed by that
6 place and I could see dismembered human bodies, legs and arms, and
7 according to some unofficial information, some 60 people got killed and
8 some 60 or maybe even more than that were wounded, seriously or slightly
10 Q. What was your understanding of the cause of this destruction, sir?
11 A. The cause was to destroy as many people, as many civilians.
12 Q. Witness, the question is: What killed those people?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Meek.
14 MR. MEEK: Your Honour --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The shells that fell --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
17 MR. MEEK: If it please the Court, I let this go on. These
18 questions are just purely speculative in nature. The witness has
19 testified he went by afterwards and noticed some bodies, but now to ask
20 him what caused this, it's just purely speculative and I object.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know what his answers going to be and then
22 we'll decide if it's speculative or not. If it is speculative, of course,
23 as if it has not been stated, but if it is not speculative, it will remain
24 there. And again -- go ahead Mr. Thayer. Repeat your question and let
25 him answer it and then we'll see afterwards.
1 MR. THAYER: I'll rephrase it slightly, Mr. President.
2 MR. THAYER:
3 Q. Sir, you indicated that you past the playground and then returned.
4 Was there something that caused you to return to the playground?
5 A. I returned because I had heard shells falling at that place.
6 After that, everything came to a -- a standstill, and I realised that
7 there must have been a tragedy there having been aware of the fact how
8 many people had remained in that place.
9 Q. Did you accompany any of the wounded to the hospital, sir?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't have any
12 objection to the line of questioning, but I have an objection to the
13 relevance of this line of questioning. This alleged incident took place
14 in 1993, which is beyond the scope of the indictment. I don't see the
15 point and the relevance of this line of questioning that goes beyond the
16 scope of the indictment.
17 JUDGE KWON: It is I that asked Mr. Thayer to proceed. Let's move
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
20 MR. THAYER: Yes, Your Honour. I will move on. I was just trying
21 to provide that detail.
22 Q. We will now move to 1995, Witness. Were you still living in
23 Srebrenica at that time?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And with whom were you living?
1 A. With my father.
2 Q. And at some point in 1995, did you notice a change in how often
3 humanitarian aid convoys were arriving in Srebrenica?
4 A. Of course I noticed a change. At the beginning of 1995, the
5 humanitarian situation got worse. All of a sudden, lots of people were
6 forced to start begging for food.
7 Q. And how else did people try to find food?
8 A. In addition to begging, many were forced to go to Zepa crossing a
9 very dangerous road. There was a lot more registered refugees and a lot
10 more food there, and that's why the people of Srebrenica went there to
11 find food. And as they did that, some of them hit the minefields and got
12 killed, and all that because they went in search for food.
13 Q. How dependent were you, Witness, personally, on the humanitarian
15 A. Let me put it this way: A hundred per cent. I depended on that a
16 hundred per cent.
17 Q. And again now briefly, Witness, can you just describe the general
18 conditions, living conditions, in Srebrenica in 1995?
19 A. There were increasingly fewer convoys with humanitarian aid.
20 There was not enough things to maintain hygiene. Wounded started arriving
21 with feet and legs missing. People did not feel safe there. They could
22 sense that there would be some chaos.
23 Q. And in 1995, sir, did -- were you working? Did you have a job?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We need to redact this. And if you are
1 proceeding with this, I think we need to go into private session.
2 MR. THAYER: Yes. There will be some further questions, Your
4 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. Witness, was there enough money to pay you for your work?
19 A. No. I did not receive any money for my work. I volunteered. It
20 was part of the humanitarian aspect of things.
21 Q. Now, prior to 1995, in connection with your work, without getting
22 into specifics, did you see or learn about civilians who had been injured
23 by shelling?
24 A. Yes, there were such cases. I saw such civilians.
25 Q. How about civilians injured by sniping?
1 A. There were such individual cases as well.
2 Q. And at some point in 1995, Witness, did you observe a change in
3 the number of wounded civilians?
4 A. Well, during the time surrounding the very fall of Srebrenica,
5 yes, I did.
6 Q. When you refer to the very fall of Srebrenica, approximately what
7 time period are you talking about, sir?
8 A. I'm referring to a period of a month or so prior to the fall.
9 Q. Did you have an opportunity to speak with some of those civilians
10 about how they had been wounded during that one- or two-month period?
11 A. Yes. They would be brought to the hospital and were nursed by us.
12 And as I've already told you, as they were searching for food and as they
13 were crossing the territory to go to Zepa, they would either hit an ambush
14 or a minefield. The others were wounded as they were collecting fuel,
16 Q. Did you have an occasion to speak with any civilians who had been
17 injured by shells or sniping during this period of time two months prior
18 to the fall?
19 A. No, personally, I didn't.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honour, but this is
22 a speculative question.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: It's answered anyway now. So each time you have --
24 let's leave it, because the way he has answered it doesn't do any damage
25 in any case.
1 So, Mr. Thayer.
2 MR. THAYER:
3 Q. Through your work, sir, without getting into specifics about it,
4 did you receive any information about how civilians had been injured other
5 than stepping on mines?
6 A. [French on English channel]. They were working in the fields not
7 far from the Serb lines, for example.
8 Q. And -- and what happened to those -- [French on English channel].
9 A. [French on English channel].
10 MR. THAYER: I'm receiving French.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And we are receiving French too. So we need to go
12 through this again.
13 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I'll just repeat my question from page
14 24, line 2.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
16 MR. THAYER:
17 Q. Witness, through your work, without getting into the specifics of
18 what your work was, did you receive information about how civilians had
19 been injured other than by stepping on mines?
20 A. They were also wounded in ambushes. And many of them towards the
21 end felt that Srebrenica was unstable terrain and they were trying to get
22 through to the free territory, and they were then coming up against Serb
23 ambushes and barriers.
24 Q. Witness, during the entire time you were in Srebrenica, were there
25 adequate medical supplies?
1 A. No. As for the medical supplies and other necessary materials,
2 there was a shortage of the most essential supplies as well as a shortage
3 of medical staff.
4 Q. Sir, I'd like to turn your attention now to early July, 1995.
5 Would you tell the Trial Chamber where you were when the VRS actually
6 attacked the enclave?
7 A. At that point I was at my workplace.
8 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I think we'll need to go into private
9 session for a few questions.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Then we will do that. Let's go into private session
11 for a while, please.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 3943-3944 redacted.Private session
6 [Open session]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we are in open session. Thank you.
8 MR. THAYER:
9 Q. Witness, when you left your place of employment, where did you go?
10 A. I went in the direction of Kazani.
11 Q. And what, if anything, did you encounter there?
12 A. There was a very large group of people that were directed to that
14 Q. Was there any particular landmark in that area around which people
15 were gathering or near which people were gathering?
16 A. At the exit of Srebrenica, near Kazani, it was a kind of valley.
17 There were radio -- ham radio operators there who managed to send out the
18 last report and to ask for help, since Srebrenica was already in Serb
19 hands. However, they received information to wait and that NATO alliance
20 planes would react and that Srebrenica -- that the people should not leave
21 Srebrenica yet.
22 Q. Would you describe for the Trial Chamber, Witness, what the scene
23 was like when you left your place of business and moved towards this
24 location. What did you see?
25 A. I saw a larger group of prominent people, and this was via these
1 ham radio operators who were sending out reports and asking for help.
2 Q. Did you see whether Srebrenica civilians were heading in any
3 particular direction or directions?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I think the previous answer, at
5 least as it appears in the transcript, elicits some kind of clarification.
6 The question was: "Would you describe for the Trial Chamber what
7 the scene was like when you left your place of business and moved towards
8 this location. What did you see?" So you are asking of the witness his
9 visual perception. And his answer was: "I saw a large group of prominent
10 people." So far so good. I mean it would only elicit "Now, where exactly
11 did you see this large group of prominent people?" It's the next part
12 that is confusing. "And this was via these ham radio operators who were
13 sending out reports and asking for help." That confuses a little bit the
14 issue because what you're asking of him is what he saw and now he jumps in
15 and puts these ham radio operators. So let's deal with that first before
16 you move to your next question, please.
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. Witness, again, what exactly did you see as you left your place of
19 business and were moving towards this area that you described before?
20 What did you see yourself? Can you describe the scene for the Trial
22 A. Yes. The question is clearer to me now. When I left my place of
23 business, at the gas station where a team of the DutchBat was stationed, I
24 saw a vast mass of civilians, the civilian population, and they were going
25 in the direction of Potocari.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, I hate to interrupt and intervene like this,
2 but --
3 MR. THAYER: I think I --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Do deal with it --
5 MR. THAYER: Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Because now we hear nothing about these ham radio
8 MR. THAYER: Absolutely, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And also, previously, he said, "I saw a larger group
10 of prominent people." And I would have imagined or expected him to
11 explain exactly what he meant by that.
12 MR. THAYER:
13 Q. Sir, you referred in your answer a couple of questions ago to a
14 large group of prominent people and you also referred to some ham radio
15 operators. Would you please clarify those statements for the Trial
16 Chamber, please.
17 A. Yes. These were people such as the hospital director, the ham
18 radio operators, and people from the municipal institutions who were
19 making a plan and programme in which direction and how to move out,
20 whether to wait for the aviation or to continue on our path of uncertainty
21 towards the free territory.
22 Q. And --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sorry, I still don't understand. Where did you
24 see this group of prominent people?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right at the exit of Srebrenica, at
1 the Kazani location where the rest of the column and the people joined
2 them and then continued.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: You also mentioned previously a bus loaded with
4 persons that were going into the direction of Potocari. Were these
5 prominent people -- were these prominent people on that bus or not?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't mention a bus at all.
7 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, in the meantime, I think I can hopefully
8 help clarify.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Sir, you referred to civilians heading towards Potocari. From
12 what you saw, how were they heading towards Potocari, by what means?
13 A. On foot.
14 Q. And that group of people, sir, did they include men, women, and
15 children, or was it predominantly one sort or the other of people?
16 A. The group that I was in?
17 Q. I'm referring to the group that you saw heading towards Potocari,
19 A. Yes, it was a mixed group: Civilians, able-bodied people, women,
20 the elderly.
21 Q. Now, you also referred to a group that you joined, and I believe
22 you referred to it at one time as a column. Let's pick up there. Would
23 you please describe what, if anything, you did with respect to that other
24 group of people?
25 A. This other group of people stayed there for about half an hour.
1 You could hear planes. NATO bombing was expected, but the bombs exploded
2 somewhere and the planes disappeared in the clouds in the sky.
3 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Thayer, the witness, when mentioning a mixed
4 group, he referred to civilians, able-bodied people, women, the elderly,
5 et cetera. I would like the witness to clarify the meaning of able-bodied
6 people. What does it mean?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It means people of middle age.
8 JUDGE KWON: What's the civilians? Are there civilians in their
9 middle ages?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE KWON: So you meant to mean by able-bodied people, soldiers?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] People of middle age, since I don't
13 know who was a soldier and who wasn't.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Let's proceed, Mr. Thayer.
16 MR. THAYER:
17 Q. This group, sir, that -- that you joined, can you describe for the
18 Trial Chamber of what type of person that group consisted?
19 A. All categories were in that group, underaged, people of age,
20 doctors, the rest of the staff.
21 Q. Did it include both men and women, and, if so, in what proportion?
22 A. As for women, I could see a small number of women on the -- on the
23 road. There were few women.
24 Q. And at some point, was a decision made as to where this group you
25 were with was going to go?
1 A. People were practically left to their own devices, to make their
2 way to the free Tuzla territory.
3 Q. Was that the objective of the group in which you found yourself,
4 which you joined, sir?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And just for clarification, do you recall the date that this
8 A. 11th of July, 1995.
9 Q. Sir, would you tell the Trial Chamber why you decided to join that
10 group rather than stay at your place of business or go with the other
11 group towards Potocari?
12 A. I decided -- well, it seemed based on my experience, up to then,
13 it was unsafe. I felt it was unsafe, so I felt if I went to Potocari
14 something bad would happen to me since I saw women, doctors, who had
15 worked with me who had left through the woods to leave. I was afraid to
16 go to Potocari.
17 Q. Sir, what was your -- when you refer to feeling unsafe, what was
18 it that you were feeling unsafe about that made you decide to join this
19 group that was heading towards Tuzla rather than going to Potocari?
20 A. I was afraid that there would be separation of men and that men
21 would be separated, abused, and finally killed.
22 Q. And did this group that you were with in fact set off towards
24 A. Yes, it did.
25 Q. In what kind of formation were you organised?
1 A. I would first describe it as a long, large column that was a
2 couple of kilometres long, I think.
3 Q. And were you travelling on foot, sir?
4 A. Yes, of course.
5 Q. How long did you walk that first day, 11 July?
6 A. On the 11th of July, in the evening, we were at the crossing. We
7 were actually crossing the very first Serb lines at Buljim.
8 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I see that we're approaching the break.
9 We're about to move into a fairly substantial area, and I would suggest
10 this is a good time to take the break.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We had a redaction, so we need a 30-minute break.
12 Other -- is there anyone in the public gallery or not? None.
13 MR. JOSSE: No, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So we can safely have the break now for 30
15 minutes, and the curtains need not be drawn down. Thank you.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I understand, Ms. Condon, you would like to
19 address the Chamber.
20 MS. CONDON: Thank you, Your Honour. I refrained from making any
21 submission this morning in terms of our position as to preparedness to
22 cross-examination. However, after having listened to the topics that
23 perhaps have been covered by my learned friend with this witness, he has
24 gone into a considerable amount of detail, which no criticism to him,
25 that's often the way evidence comes out, but a considerable amount of
1 detail that is simply not contained in the proofing notes that we were
2 provided with this morning.
3 I don't want to delay matters in terms of moving the
4 cross-examination along. However, certainly from our perspective and
5 given where we're most affected by in terms of where we stand, I would
6 certainly make the application that I would seek the Court's indulgence to
7 postpone my cross-examination until tomorrow morning.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll attend to that.
9 Mr. Meek, the same?
10 MR. MEEK: Yes, Your Honour, the same.
11 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. During the break
12 I researched the EDS system, and we would find it's useful to delay the
13 Nikolic defence cross-examination until tomorrow.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... we also
15 received certain documents relating to the credibility of the witness
16 which have been disclosed to us only early this morning, and we would like
17 to review them again.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes.
19 MR. HAYNES: Yes. We've just had the break to review with our
20 client the material that has very lately been disclosed to us, and it's
21 our position also that to properly prepare for cross-examination we would
22 require overnight.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll try to accommodate you as much as we can. In
1 the meantime, I think you can choose amongst yourselves who is going to go
2 first, unless you have done that already. And in order not to lose time,
3 I think, at least the first cross-examinations can proceed on matters that
4 you were already prepared for and then -- and then, of course, the rest
5 will be reserved and you can cross-examine. But if we have one hour, I
6 mean, let's not waste one hour, and we try to make good use of it. All
8 So I think that should be acceptable, because I suppose you were
9 already prepared for -- for some kind of cross-examination in any case.
10 Yes, Mr. Thayer. Do you wish to comment on this or not?
11 MR. THAYER: No, Your Honour. I think that's a fair and sensible
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's bring the witness in, please. Thank
15 And I take it that, overall, the original assessment of 3.5 hours
16 for cross-examination is going to be -- has to be revised, has to be
18 [The witness enters court]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: How much longer do you think you have?
20 MR. THAYER: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I thought you were referring
21 to the cross-examination.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, the cross-examination but also --
23 MR. THAYER: I have, I believe, about an hour, maybe an hour and a
24 quarter. It's hard to judge, but given the way we proceeded so far, I
25 think I can stick to my two hours.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So please go ahead, Mr. Thayer.
2 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Witness, before the break, you had testified about arriving in the
4 area of Buljim. Do you recall what other areas you passed through before
5 you reached that area?
6 A. Jaglici and Susnjari.
7 Q. And at some point that evening, that is the evening of 11 July,
8 did your portion of the column rest?
9 A. Yes, there was a short rest.
10 Q. And was there a reason for taking that rest, sir?
11 A. Yes, to reconnoiter the Serb lines, to see whether it was safe to
13 Q. And did you make any effort with respect to administering to any
14 other members of the column?
15 A. The intention was to join up with the rest of the column, but this
16 did not take place.
17 Q. What did you learn had happened?
18 A. We learned that Srebrenica had finally fallen.
19 Q. And during this rest, sir, did you try to provide any aid to
20 anybody in the column?
21 A. Yes. During that first break, nobody needed assistance since we
22 were still in the territory that was in front of the Serb lines.
23 Q. Where did you spend the night of 11 July, sir?
24 A. The early morning hours of the 11th of July was the time when we
25 crossed the first Serb lines.
1 Q. Just for clarification, sir, I asked you where did you spend the
2 night of 11 July, and your answer was the early morning hours of the 11th
3 of July.
4 A. We spent the night crossing those lines.
5 Q. And do you know where you found yourself in the morning of 12
7 A. I don't know the precise location. I can just describe the
8 terrain. We were in a valley surrounded by forests.
9 Q. And what, if anything, happened at that time, sir?
10 A. We took another rest, and we waited for the rest of the column,
11 for the end part of the column, and then we would continue, all of us
13 Q. And did you receive any information about the end part of the
15 A. After a certain while we received information that the end part of
16 the column had been cut off, that it came under heavy shelling, and that
17 there were a lot of wounded in that end part of the column.
18 Q. And at that point, did you make an attempt to aid the wounded?
19 A. An order was received for the medical personnel to go back and to
20 tend to the dead and wounded. However, as we went back some 500 metres or
21 so, we could not proceed all the way to the dead and wounded because of
22 the heavy shelling.
23 Q. Did you return to that more forward portion of the column, sir?
24 A. Yes, I did. Of course I went back to the front part of the
1 Q. Did you become aware at some point, during that day on 12 July, of
2 the presence of Serb soldiers in your area?
3 A. Well, not far from us we could hear bullhorns calling out to all
4 the Muslims in the forests to surrender and an ultimatum of sorts had been
6 Q. When you say ultimatum of sorts, can you be more clear, sir?
7 A. A time line was set up. Three, five, or six hours was given to
8 all of us to surrender, and if we did that, we would be transported safely
9 to the free territory.
10 Q. From the position you were in, sir, the physical location, were
11 you able to hear anything else significant?
12 A. I could hear some APCs.
13 Q. Could you hear upon what type of surface those APCs were driving,
15 A. It was a hard surface, either asphalt or something of the kind.
16 Q. Did you do anything in response to the ultimatum?
17 A. It was decided not to respond to the ultimatum and to continue
18 moving towards the free territory at dusk.
19 Q. Why did you decide not to surrender, sir?
20 A. I have already answered the question when I said why I didn't
21 decide to go to Potocari. At that moment, I decided not to surrender
22 because I expected something terrible would happen if I did. I felt safer
23 in the woods.
24 Q. What, if anything, happened during that evening of 12 July, sir?
25 A. As night fell on the 12th of July, the first part of the column
1 tried to cross an asphalt road, but at that moment, it seemed to me that a
2 huge tree fell, and after that shelling started from all sides. We came
3 under heavy artillery fire.
4 Q. So where did you spend the night of 12 July?
5 A. I spent the night in the forest, by the streams, and I can't give
6 you the exact location, as I'm not very familiar with the area anyway.
7 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what you did on 13 July, what you
9 A. On the 13th of July we tried to cross an asphalt road, but this
10 failed. We came across the first bodies.
11 Q. On 13 July, did you become aware of the presence of Serb soldiers
13 A. Yes. As we were trying to cross that asphalt road, which
14 apparently should have been crossed, we were discovered and APCs opened
15 fire on the forest and the place where we were. That's why we returned to
16 our original place.
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Thayer, sorry to interrupt, but if you go back up
18 a couple of pages, it's page 38, line 20, to the question of yours asking
19 whether he made an attempt to aid the wounded. He answered: "An order
20 was received for the medical personnel to go back to tend to the dead and
22 Could you clarify with the witness who ordered whom, on what
23 capacity? Thank you.
24 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Witness, did you understand His Honour's question?
1 A. From the top, from the head of the column, that was the
2 information received. I suppose that this is the military leadership. I
3 wouldn't know exactly. In any case, we were told to go back because
4 information was received that the back of the column had been cut off and
5 that there were a lot of dead and wounded.
6 JUDGE KWON: I'll leave it to you.
7 MR. THAYER: Just one follow-up to Your Honour's question.
8 Q. Sir, are you aware of how that information was transmitted?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. Witness, turning your attention back to 13 July, did -- did you
11 hear Serb soldiers on that day?
12 A. Again bullhorns were used, and they were calling upon all the
13 Muslims who were in the forests carrying arms, not carrying arms, and it
14 was said that they should have no fear, that they should surrender, and
15 that they would all be transported to the free territory. If they didn't
16 do that by a certain deadline, which was within three or four hours, then
17 the Serb soldiers would start scouring the grounds and whoever was found
18 there would be killed on the spot.
19 Q. Did you, in fact, see anyone surrender, sir?
20 A. As I was hiding in a bush, I saw a lot of people heading towards
21 the place from which they could hear the sound of the bullhorn.
22 Q. Can you estimate how many people you saw surrendering at that
23 time, sir?
24 A. I can't be sure. I can give you my estimate and say that the
25 group consisted of some 50 men or so.
1 Q. So how did you spend the evening of 13 July, sir?
2 A. On the 13th of July, we returned, and again there was an asphalt
3 road that had to be crossed. Again we came across bodies. It was dark,
4 and we couldn't see exactly who the bodies were and how people had been
5 killed. We were not intimidated by that. We proceeded, and we managed to
6 cross that asphalt road that we were supposed to cross.
7 Q. That brings us to 14 July, sir. Can you describe what occurred
8 that day?
9 A. On that day we stayed in the forest, and we used the time to
10 reconnoiter. When the night came, we then tried to cross those corridors
11 as we had to cross.
12 Q. And what did you do next?
13 A. Again we managed to cross an asphalt road. We managed to cross a
14 river as well. That river was rather deep. And we managed to get to a
15 rather high elevation.
16 Q. And what did you do after you reached that elevation?
17 A. As we reached that elevation, we stayed there and spent a whole
18 night there.
19 Q. And at this point, sir, do you recall what the date was?
20 A. I must admit that I really don't remember. It was 12 years ago.
21 It's very difficult for me to remember all those things precisely.
22 Q. Sir, then I won't hold you to any particular dates for the next
23 set of questions. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber what you did
24 after you spent that day at the elevation?
25 A. In the early morning hours, we descended and reached a place
1 called Glode, and we proceeded towards Bodjansko Brdo and Kamenica.
2 Q. And what did you do next?
3 A. There, in that sector, we stayed for a couple of days or three
4 days trying to find food, picking mushrooms and other stuff.
5 Q. Do you recall locating a particular burned house that belonged to
6 someone in your group?
7 A. Yes. As soon as we crossed the river, a man in our group hailed
8 from that area, we passed by his house. We found some burnt pots and pans
9 that we used to prepare some food in them.
10 Q. Do you know the name of this man, sir?
11 A. No, I don't.
12 Q. Do you recall the name of this village in which you found this
14 A. Yes. The name of that village is Slano.
15 Q. Now, at this point in your journey, sir, can you describe who else
16 was with you in this group?
17 A. There were a few of my neighbours.
18 Q. Could you name them, if you recall, for the Trial Chamber?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Please use your judgement and tell us whether you
20 need to go through this in private session or not. I mean, we are --
21 MR. THAYER: Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Depends on what you say.
23 MR. THAYER: At this point, Your Honour, we can stay in open
24 session. There will be questions recurring that will need private
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's go like that then.
2 MR. THAYER:
3 Q. Do you recall the names of these individuals, sir?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. And what were their names?
6 A. Should I give you all of their names?
7 Q. If you would. If you can remember the names of the people in your
8 group at that time. Just their names, sir.
9 A. I can't remember one name, but I do remember the rest. Ramiz
10 Hrnjic, Salko Hrnjic, Muhamed Begic, Husein Hrnjic, Muhamed Mehmedovic.
11 Q. What did you do after you spent this time in this village of
13 A. We continued towards the Otisce elevation, as I've already told
15 Q. And after that?
16 A. After that, we descended into Glode, and then we proceeded towards
17 Bodjansko Brdo, and then I went down to my place of birth.
18 MR. THAYER: And, Your Honour, we'll need to move into private
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's move into private session.
21 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
25 MR. THAYER:
1 Q. When you reached the area of Snagovo, do you recall approximately
2 what day it was?
3 A. It was approximately the 20th of July, in the evening.
4 Q. And I understand you don't have the dates at the top of your
5 memory, but how is it that you estimate that it was approximately the 20th
6 of July, sir?
7 A. Since I would be arrested shortly by the Serb forces, based on
9 Q. And did you have an idea of how many days you had spent in the
10 woods at that time?
11 A. Yes, we did have an idea. I spent 11 days in the woods.
12 Q. You've described reaching the area of Snagovo. Do you recall,
13 approximately, how much time you spent in that area of Snagovo before
14 being arrested?
15 A. We spent the night there, and then the next day until noon or the
16 afternoon, something like that.
17 Q. Would you please describe for the Trial Chamber what occurred the
18 day that you were captured.
19 A. The group of people that was with me included a man who was
20 seriously ill. It was a man who had an ulcer, so he had strong pains. We
21 tried to make tea from some herbs that we picked. We lit a fire in the
22 woods, and we made the tea in order to ease his pain.
23 Q. And at some point during that morning, did one of your group leave
24 the group?
25 A. Yes. In the morning a person of our group left, actually in the
1 course of the day, to reconnoiter the terrain and to see how we could
2 proceed towards the free territory during the night.
3 Q. Do you recall who that was, sir?
4 A. Yes, I do. It was Husein Hrnjic.
5 Q. And was Mr. Hrnjic armed at that time?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you ever see or hear from Mr. Hrnjic again after that day?
8 A. No. I didn't have the opportunity for that.
9 MR. THAYER: If we may move into private session for one question,
10 Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's do that.
12 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 MR. THAYER:
22 Q. So after preparing or trying to prepare the tea for the man in
23 pain, what happened next, sir?
24 A. At one point Serb soldiers appeared armed with rifles, and right
25 away they ordered us to put our hands up. They surrounded us. After
1 that, we put our hands behind our backs. They tied us, and then in a
2 column we went.
3 Q. Sir, let me just interrupt you right there. The group that was
4 captured with you, were these the same individuals whom you described to
5 the Trial Chamber before, minus Mr. Husein Hrnjic?
6 A. Yes, the same people.
7 MR. THAYER: And, Your Honour, if we may move into private session
8 for just a couple of questions.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. Let's go into private session, please.
10 [Private session]
1 [Open session]
2 MR. THAYER:
3 Q. Back to your capture, Witness. You testified that you had placed
4 your hands up, and I believe that you were -- had your hands tied behind
5 your back. What happened next?
6 A. We went some 200 metres further from the place where we were
7 arrested. We were thrown on the ground. We were lying on our chest.
8 They started to hit us. They started to beat us with rifle butts and
9 kicked us with their boots.
10 Q. Did other Serb soldiers arrive?
11 A. Yes. A few of them were there, and more kept coming in this place
12 where we were.
13 Q. How would you describe the scene at that point?
14 A. What can I say? You can imagine. It was horrible.
15 Q. Was one of your companions able to escape?
16 A. No -- yes. Yes. At the moment of arrest, one of the people from
17 the group managed to throw himself into a nearby bush.
18 Q. And how were the events unfolding at this time, sir, as you
20 A. First there was the beating, then after that, insults. We were
21 searched to see what we had on us. There was moaning, blood pouring out
22 of noses, crying.
23 Q. Did your companions have any documents or belongings with them?
24 A. I think that some of them did have their IDs.
25 Q. Did you have any identification or belongings with you?
1 A. No, I didn't have anything at the time.
2 Q. Did any of your other companions have a weapon at that time?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Who had the weapon and what kind of weapon was it?
5 A. Ramiz Hrnjic had an automatic rifle.
6 Q. And what became of that automatic rifle during the course of your
7 capture, sir?
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. Do you recall whether any of the Serb soldiers found it?
10 A. I don't know. He was arrested with the rifle.
11 Q. When you say he was arrested with the rifle, was it in his hands
12 or was it nearby him?
13 A. He had the rifle in his hand. Actually, on his shoulder.
14 Q. Sir, can you describe how quickly these events were taking place?
15 A. The beating, the abuse, insults lasted for about 20 minutes to
16 half an hour. After that, I was lifted from the ground, and since I had
17 no ID, they asked for my particulars, who I am, when I was born, where I
18 was born, where I come from.
19 Q. And what did you tell them? Before you answer.
20 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I think at this point there's going to
21 be a series of questions in private session.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's go into private session.
23 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session. All right. Okay. Let's go
19 MR. THAYER:
20 Q. Witness, without referring to any particular names, you had
21 testified that the other people captured with you were taken off at a
22 particular distance from where you were. What happened next?
23 A. They weren't taken away. I left that place.
24 Q. And then what do you recall happening?
25 A. We perhaps went from that place to an elevation some 2 to 300
1 metres away, and then I heard a burst of gunfire and then individual
2 shots, and I panicked a lot. I began to tremble and shake.
3 Q. Was the soldier you mentioned previously with you at the time and,
4 if so, please don't mention his name.
5 A. Yes, he was.
6 Q. What, if anything, did that soldier do when he saw your reaction?
7 A. He tried to console me, to get me to calm down. He said that they
8 would try to do something for me and that I should try to survive, that it
9 was a good thing.
10 Q. Did that soldier give you any food?
11 A. Yes. He didn't, but others suggested that I should be given some
12 food and water, if possible, since I didn't eat bread for 11 days.
13 Q. How long did you spend with these soldiers, sir?
14 A. We were together for two days and two nights.
15 Q. On the first night, were you restrained in any way?
16 A. Yes, I was. Since we were supposed to spend the night there, an
17 order came that I should stay there with them also, but my hands were tied
18 to a burned-out stove that was just lying there next to the road.
19 Q. And how about the second night? Were you restrained that night as
21 A. I wasn't tied the second night.
22 Q. And where did you physically sleep during that second night?
23 A. We were there on some mattresses where the other soldiers were
24 sleeping also. So I was among them.
25 Q. From spending this time among these soldiers, did you learn what
1 their assignment was?
2 A. No, I didn't.
3 Q. Did any of them tell you what they had been doing?
4 A. No.
5 Q. At some point during those two days, did you see a vehicle arrive?
6 A. Yes, I did, the first evening.
7 Q. Can you describe anything that you recall about that vehicle?
8 A. All I remember - I mean, I couldn't really see that much - was
9 that it was a police vehicle.
10 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber what happened next?
11 A. I didn't know what was happening. A group of soldiers rushed to
12 this vehicle and stopped it from coming towards us. There was some sort
13 of a barrier, and then there was a discussion, and after some 10 minutes
14 or so, the vehicle went back the way it came.
15 Q. From what you could see, Witness, how would you characterise or
16 describe that discussion?
17 A. It was very loud.
18 Q. Did it sound to you like a friendly discussion?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did you learn from the soldiers, who had been with you those two
21 days, what this unfriendly discussion had been about?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. What did they tell you?
24 A. They said that it was the police from Zvornik that had received
25 information that there was a boy who was arrested and that they had him,
3 (redacted). But
4 this crew that had arrested me opposed that, and they made them go back
5 where they came from.
6 Q. Did any of the soldiers who had been with you --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Let's go into private session for a
8 short while, please.
9 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session now, Mr. Thayer.
19 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you for those
21 Q. Sir, did any of the soldiers who had been guarding you tell you
22 what the individuals who had arrived in the police vehicle told them would
23 have happened to you had you been taken away?
24 A. Yes. They told me that they had -- if -- that they handed me over
25 to them, they would have skinned me alive. And these are the precise
1 words that they used.
2 Q. Did you eventually leave this Snagovo area?
3 A. Actually, it was at Zlatne Vode above Zvornik that we spent two
4 days and two nights.
5 Q. And at what time -- or could you describe how you left that area,
7 A. Two buses came and all the soldiers and equipment that came with
8 them was loaded onto those buses, (redacted)
9 JUDGE KWON: Witness, did the soldier tell you why the people from
10 Zvornik would have skinned you alive? Did you hear the reason?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
13 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I think we may need a redaction at
14 line 8 of this page. I've been trying to avoid references to that
15 particular location.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I take -- I take what you said, and let's redact the
17 last -- after "buses," all the words after "buses" in line 8 on page 56,
19 Thank you for pointing that out, Mr. Thayer.
20 MR. THAYER: And, Your Honour, if we may go into private session
21 at this time.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means. By all means. Let's go into private
24 [Private session]
11 Pages 3973-3976 redacted.Private session
5 [Open session]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
7 MR. THAYER:
8 Q. Sir, while you were in Batkovici did you see anyone you knew or
9 recognised from Srebrenica?
10 A. Yes. There were a few men whom I recognised, and there were some
11 wounded men among them as well.
12 Q. And without going into specifics, where did you recognise those
13 wounded men from?
14 A. I first saw them in the hospital in Srebrenica.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: I think we have some problem with -- with the
17 interpretation. What I heard from the witness -- he said that there were
18 a lot of men whom I -- whom I recognised in Batkovici, and here I see on
19 page 59, line 11, it says, "There were a few men." It changes the sense
20 of what the witness said.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he's been able to follow what has just been
22 stated by Mr. Lazarevic.
23 So, Witness, what's your comment on that? Did you see a few, or
24 did you see quite a good number of persons you recognised?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite a few.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
2 And I thank you, too, Mr. Lazarevic.
3 Mr. Thayer, you may proceed.
4 MR. THAYER:
5 Q. How long were you in the camp, sir?
6 A. Five months.
7 Q. Now, sir, with respect to the civilians with whom you were walking
8 in the column, were there some whom you have never seen or heard from
9 again since that time?
10 A. Yes, there were such men.
11 MR. MEEK: For clarification, does -- does that question go to the
12 column or the group of people this witness was with, or does it go clear
13 back to the column that left towards Tuzla?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. You can deal with this yourself, Mr.
16 Thank you, Mr. Meek.
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. Witness, with respect to the civilians with whom you were walking
19 in this column, from the time you left Srebrenica to the time you were
20 captured, were there individuals whom you have never seen nor heard from
21 again that you knew personally?
22 A. Yes, of course there are such individuals.
23 Q. Sir, you mentioned that you had been living with your father in
24 Srebrenica at the time of the attack.
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Would you please describe for the Trial Chamber the last time you
2 had an opportunity to see him?
5 (redacted)On the 11th of July, I went to the
6 place where I resided. I met up with him. I tried to comfort him. I
7 tried telling him that the situation would turn for the better and that
8 the events, the previous events, would not repeat.
9 MR. THAYER: And, Your Honour, before I ask my last question, I
10 think we need a redaction at page 61, lines 5 through 6.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Even line 4. I would -- I would play it safe.
12 Lines 4 to 6, up to the word -- in line 6, the end of that sentence. Up
13 to the full stop before the words "on the 11th of July."
14 Thank you. I was going to point that out myself, actually.
15 We are in open session, yes.
16 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Witness, have you ever seen or heard from your father since that
18 conversation that you described?
19 A. No.
20 Q. With respect to the men with whom you were captured, who you
21 identified previously, have you ever seen or heard from those individuals?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Thank you, Witness. That concludes my examination.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Thayer.
25 I think what I'm suggesting, in agreement with the Judges, is that
1 we have the break now. It has to be a 30-minute break in any case. And
2 then we will have just under an hour for the first cross-examinations,
3 which will, of course, be all conducted with the caveat that we pointed
4 out earlier.
5 We're having the break now so that you discuss amongst yourselves
6 who goes first, because one may have -- be in a better position than
7 another to cover some territory today. Thank you.
8 Thirty minutes.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.19 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.53 p.m.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Who is requesting first? Mr. Meek. Thank you, Mr.
12 Meek. And when you think you've covered what you could, what you can
13 cover today, you can stop, and the understanding is you can continue
15 MR. MEEK: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: And the same applies to anyone else who is second or
18 Mr. Meek.
19 Mr. Meek is representing Colonel Beara in this case, and he will
20 be starting his cross-examination today and continue tomorrow.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Meek:
22 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. How are you today?
23 A. Good afternoon. Very well, thank you.
24 Q. Witness, can I take it that you never gave a statement to any
25 person, organisation, or entity until the 2nd day of May, 2006?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Then can you please tell me how many statements you have given
3 prior to your giving a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor here in
4 The Hague on the 2nd day of May of 2006?
5 A. I have not provided any statements to anybody else.
6 Q. And, Witness, can you tell me, please, and tell the Judges what
7 was your -- what were your inducements to give this statement and come
8 here to testify?
9 A. Because I went through all this, and I wanted this truth to
10 surface one day.
11 Q. And can you tell me, please, why it is that it took 11 years for
12 this truth, as you say, to surface?
13 A. I don't know. You should ask somebody else that.
14 Q. And who would you propose that I ask that question to, Witness?
15 A. I don't know. I can't give you an answer to that question. I
16 can't tell you who you should ask.
17 Q. Do you recall the date that you were released from the Batkovici
19 A. I do.
20 Q. Approximately what day and month and year was that, Witness?
21 A. I believe that it was on the 26th of December, 1995.
22 Q. And when you were released, where did you go immediately, sir?
23 A. Buses came and there was an exchange at Sockovacki bridge.
24 Q. And then my question, sir, is where did the bus take you?
25 A. To the place of exchange that I have just mentioned.
1 Q. All right. Let me -- that's my fault. After you were exchanged,
2 after the exchange, where did you end up initially?
3 A. We were transferred to Tuzla on board another bus.
4 Q. And after your arrival in Tuzla, is it your testimony, under oath,
5 that nobody everybody asked you what happened to you and that you never
6 gave any statements to the authorities in Tuzla?
7 A. Let me put it this way: There were some questions, but they were
8 very short. I have never provided any detailed information about my
9 ordeal to anybody.
10 Q. Can you tell me, when these questions were asked, did the person
11 or persons who were questioning you, did they have a tape recorder? Did
12 they take notes? And, in fact, were you ever shown a written statement
13 that was drafted from the questions that you were asked in Tuzla?
14 A. I don't know, no.
15 Q. Now, you said state earlier that you had never provided any
16 detailed information about your ordeal to anybody before the 2nd day of
17 May of 2006; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And how did you get ahold of the Office of the Prosecutor to
20 volunteer your services as a witness in this case?
21 A. Yes, they did get my information, and they got in touch with me.
22 Q. Can you tell me what information they obtained, if you know?
23 A. They got information that I was a Srebrenica tragedy survivor and
24 that I was in the Batkovic camp.
25 MR. MEEK: Your Honour, we might want to go into private session
1 out of caution.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's go into private session, please.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 3983-4000 redacted.Private session
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 16th day
10 of November, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.