Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 6906

1 Tuesday, 6 February 2007

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Good morning, Madam Registrar, would you

7 kindly call the case, please.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. This is case number IT-05-88-T, the

9 Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I see that all the accused are here.

11 All Defence teams are present, minus Mr. Bourgon on the Nikolic team.

12 Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey and Ms. Soljan.

13 I take it there are no preliminaries. We just wish to make a

14 statement. We have seen your Prosecution submission regarding proposed

15 exhibits for Witness 47, which arrives in the wake of the debate,

16 discussions we had yesterday at the end of the sitting. Mr. McCloskey,

17 the Trial Chamber wishes to express its gratitude for the way to proceed

18 that you have chosen. Thank you.

19 There is a Prosecution motion requesting protective measures for

20 another witness that I will come to during -- just after this witness

21 finishes her testimony. In the meantime, if you could kindly prepare

22 yourself to give us feedback whether oppose, object to such protective

23 measures. You will let us know.

24 All right. Madam -- yes, Ms. Nikolic.

25 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. Before

Page 6907

1 this hearing, we consulted the other Defence teams and we have no

2 objections for the protective measures for our next witness. Thank you.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So I think we can hand down a brief oral

4 decision here and now.

5 The Trial Chamber seized with a Prosecution motion requesting

6 protective measures for Witness 36 filed on the 5th of February. There

7 being no objection on the part of the Defence teams, grants the motion

8 allowing pseudonym and face distortion for the -- for Witness number 36.

9 All right.

10 Madam Palic, good morning to you, and welcome back.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: I explained yesterday what's going to happen.

13 Ms. Soljan is going to ask you a few questions and then I'll pass you on

14 to the Defence teams.

15 Ms. Soljan.


17 [Witness answered through interpreter]

18 MS. SOLJAN: Thank you, Your Honours.

19 Examination by Ms. Soljan:

20 Q. Good morning, Ms. Palic. How are you? Could you please tell us

21 your full name?

22 A. My name is Esma Palic.

23 Q. And what is your date of birth?

24 A. 21st of March, 1967.

25 Q. Where were you born and raised?

Page 6908

1 A. I was born in Zepa, and I lived my -- the first 15 years of my

2 life in Zepa.

3 Q. Are you a Bosnian Muslim, ma'am?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And you met your husband while you were both studying at Sarajevo

6 at the university; is that correct?

7 A. Yes, that's correct.

8 Q. Your husband wasp Avdo Palic?

9 A. That is correct.

10 Q. And by July 1995, he was a colonel in the BiH army and the

11 commander of the 285th Partisan Brigade which was responsible for the Zepa

12 enclave; is that correct?

13 A. Of the partisan brigade.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because -- yes, was it the 285th

15 Partisan Brigade or just the partisan brigade?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were no partisan brigades in

17 this war. He was the commander of the 285th Light Mountain Brigade.


19 Q. Thank you, ma'am. And prior to the war, your husband had been an

20 engineer by trade; is that correct?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. What is your profession?

23 A. I'm a psychologist.

24 Q. Now, Ms. Palic, I'm going to take you back to Zepa in the early

25 1990s. You moved to Zepa in 1992 and stayed there until 1995; is that

Page 6909

1 correct?

2 A. It's partially true. I did not move until -- in fact, before the

3 war I lived in Sarajevo. On the 29th of March, I went to Zepa to visit my

4 parents and I stayed there because I couldn't go back. Because on the 4th

5 of April, Zepa -- that was the Feast of Bajram which was why I went to see

6 my parents, Zepa was blocked on that date and nobody could get out. I

7 stayed there until the very end, until the deportation of the people from

8 Zepa.

9 Q. And while you were in Zepa in 1992 through July 1995, where were

10 you living exactly? Could you tell us?

11 A. I lived in my parents' house, except for the time that I spent

12 living in the caves in the woods. So I lived in my parents' house.

13 Q. And where in the town of Zepa was your parents' house located?

14 A. In the very centre of the town.

15 Q. What was the ethnic make-up of Zepa during March -- between 1992

16 and 1995?

17 A. There were Muslims there with the exception of two teachers, who

18 were of Serb ethnic background.

19 Q. And were all the people who were living in Zepa between 1992 and

20 1995 locals?

21 A. No. Until 1992 they were locals, with the exception of the people

22 who came there to work, but most of these people left when they felt that

23 the war was near. But during the war, in 1992, one-third of the

24 population was locals and two-thirds were refugees from the towns and

25 villages around it. They were forced to leave their homes, their

Page 6910

1 towns and villages early in 1992 by the Serbian army. Those were people

2 from Visegrad, Rogatica, Han Pijesak, Suka, Vlasenica, and all those

3 villages in the surrounding area.

4 Q. And by July 1995, approximately, how many people were living in

5 Zepa?

6 A. At the beginning in 1992, I really can't give you an exact

7 figure. But if you had 5.000 locals, people were saying that there were

8 15.000 people living in Zepa. But in 1992, there were three offensives

9 launched against Zepa. Zepa was in danger of falling into enemy hands,

10 and many people who came from the outside had no more reason to stay in

11 Zepa anymore.

12 Many of them left in the direction of Srebrenica because

13 Srebrenica was a corridor leading towards Tuzla. Quite a few people tried

14 to move through the woods, Han Pijesak, Vlasenica, to go to Kladanj. So

15 the exact number of people who left, I can't give you the exact figure. I

16 know that at the very end in 1995 there were over 8.000 people living

17 there.

18 Q. Now, Ms. Palic, had there been shelling in Zepa throughout the

19 war?

20 A. It was terrible. The shelling was terrible, particularly in 1992,

21 as I already said. In 1992, there were two offensives launched against

22 Zepa; one was in July when Zepa was shelled by tanks, mortars, and there

23 were air strikes over an extended period of time in June, July, August,

24 September, October; and then after that period the shelling continued, but

25 there were no more air strikes. And the situation persisted until May

Page 6911

1 1993, when Zepa was declared a protected area and the shelling stopped

2 until March 1995.

3 Q. And as of March 1995, did the frequency of shelling change?

4 A. Yes. If you compare it to the previous period when there was no

5 shelling, in March the shells started falling again on the fringe areas,

6 not too many, maybe one or two would fall at different ends of the town.

7 But in June already, before the occupation of the enclaves began, that's

8 when the shelling started in earnest.

9 Q. Can you tell us which parts of Zepa were being shelled the most,

10 starting with March 1995?

11 A. If we're talking about March, the shells hit the fringe areas, the

12 outskirts, uninhabited areas, wooded areas. I know that a shell hit an

13 inhabited area and people immediately went to a nearby UNPROFOR

14 check-point and reported that. But when the shelling started in June, the

15 shells hit the inhabited areas, a lot of shells hit the town centre, and

16 all the other areas that were inhabited.

17 Q. And during this time of increased shelling, were there any

18 casualties?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And were those civilian or military personnel?

21 A. Civilians.

22 Q. Now, you mentioned the shelling starting in June. Can you

23 describe, did the frequency of shelling change again at that time?

24 A. In July, the shelling was more intense than in the previous

25 period; May, April, March. But when Srebrenica fell and when an offensive

Page 6912

1 was launched against Zepa, then this can't be described as shelling at

2 all. This was complete chaos. Shells were falling all the time.

3 Q. And during this increased shelling attack on Zepa, did you have a

4 chance to hear General Mladic or someone purporting to be General Mladic

5 over loud-speakers?

6 A. When Srebrenica fell, when chaos reined in Zepa - because we knew

7 we were the next on the line, and the intense shelling was a very clear

8 sign of what was in store for us - the army surrounded Zepa. A few days

9 after the fall of Srebrenica, maybe two or three days, I heard -- I had

10 the opportunity to hear. One day I was on the balcony of my house, and I

11 dared to go out. It was a daring thing to do, but I just couldn't stand

12 being in the shelter anymore. I heard this voice. I heard this voice

13 from the -- the rocky hills that were to the northwest of my house, that's

14 an area called Borovacke Stijene.

15 There were Serb army positions there, and we could hear a voice

16 from there or I could hear a voice from there saying, "The people of Zepa,

17 this is Ratko Mladic speaking to you. You cannot stay in Zepa. Take

18 white flags and move to Brezova Ravan where buses are awaiting you to take

19 you to the territory controlled by Alija Izetbegovic. Don't listen to

20 crazy Avdo. You are his hostages. He will take you to your deaths."

21 And several times during the day he repeated this message, calling

22 on us to surrender, talking about the white flags. And I will never

23 forget the phrase, what he said about listening to crazy Avdo.

24 Q. And what was your reaction to this message, if any?

25 A. Well, it was not a pleasant thing to hear, because this was my

Page 6913

1 husband. I was not in fear only for my own life. At that moment the most

2 difficult thing for me was the situation with my husband. But I and many

3 other people from Zepa, we knew that what Avdo was saying was the only

4 thing to do. I was very frightened, but I had to get myself under

5 control, and I had to wait, wait for whatever would happen.

6 Q. Were you able to observe how other inhabitants of Zepa were

7 reacting to these messages coming from the mountain?

8 A. The people were restless. Some people would come to our house.

9 They knew that every time there was a crisis in Zepa, people would go to

10 the commander to ask him what to do. Avdo would come home from the

11 headquarters and I asked him what's going on. And I knew that there were

12 meetings going on in the municipality and the headquarters in Zepa, that

13 people were very much frightened. Some were asking, "Should we

14 surrender?" Others were saying, "Avdo, tell us, because we will do

15 whatever you tell us because you know best."

16 And then the decision was made, Avdo proposed it, and the people

17 accepted it, that we should put up a defence because if we surrendered we

18 would end up like the people from Srebrenica. That was a certainty. I

19 know that at that time Avdo was in great torment. He wanted to restore

20 peace to the people.

21 He wanted to calm them down because if somebody is telling you you

22 are the victims of somebody who is your own, then of course tensions

23 occur, people start to doubt. But from the previous years, people learned

24 that they could trust Avdo, and Avdo immediately went to UNPROFOR and

25 asked for their assistance to protect the people of Zepa.

Page 6914

1 Q. Now, I want to ask you a few more questions about the shelling

2 that was taking place during this time. You had mentioned that there were

3 civilian casualties. Do you know the number of these casualties during

4 the increased days of shelling in July?

5 A. I really don't know. I really don't know. But I know people were

6 dying, civilians were dying. I don't know the exact figure simply because

7 I found myself in a state, peculiar state, and I really just was concerned

8 with my own problems and I didn't pay much attention to the -- how many

9 people died. I know that a neighbour of mine was killed. That's what I

10 know. I know that people were being killed all over Zepa. I know about a

11 boy who was fleeing into the woods. He was mentally retarded, and he was

12 killed as he was fleeing into the woods.

13 Q. Now, your own house was shelled during this time; isn't that

14 right?

15 A. Yes. And it was done on purpose. While Simon Dudnik, the

16 UNPROFOR commander, was still in Zepa, he was captured by Mladic a couple

17 of days later, at least that was the report. And he remained there while

18 Mladic's headquarters were being established. He was in a way a kind of a

19 liaison between the civilian authorities in Zepa and Avdo, and Mladic's

20 forces that were positioned at Boksanica hill dominating Zepa. I remember

21 that know one day Dudnik came to our house, and he was talking to Avdo on

22 the balcony.

23 Q. I wanted to get your details on the actual shelling if I could,

24 please. Could you tell us when this took place?

25 A. The house where I lived was shelled. It may have been the 17th or

Page 6915

1 the 18th.

2 Q. Can you describe exactly how it happened; what happened, how many

3 shells hit the home, who was in the house at the time?

4 A. We had a shelter in the house. It was a small shelter used by me

5 and the babies. My mother and my sister were there. We were in the

6 shelter because there was non-stop shelling. My baby, who was less than

7 four months old at the time, was crying. I left the shelter, I went into

8 the living room, and I tried to calm her down. My sister went out at the

9 same moment, and we may have been there a minute or two.

10 A shell hit the wall of the house, and the -- there was this huge,

11 detonation. At the entrance door, I could feel the detonation there, and

12 we went back into the shelter and five shells hit the house. The first

13 shell hit the wall of the living room, which was where my sister, my baby,

14 and I were at the time. The second shell hit the part of the wall where

15 the shelter was, and I could hear the logs that were stacked there by this

16 wall, I could hear them just tumble down. The third shell hit the second

17 floor. The fourth shell, again, hit the second floor, right next to the

18 previous one, and the fifth one hit the roof.

19 Q. This wasn't the first time your home had been shelled; is that

20 correct?

21 A. No.

22 Q. When was the first time your house was shelled, please?

23 A. The first time it was shelled was in December 1992. The second

24 time was the 8th of March, 1993, and that's when it sustained some severe

25 damage.

Page 6916

1 Q. Now, once your house was shelled in July 1995, could you continue

2 living in it?

3 A. No. We couldn't continue living in it. We were in the shelter,

4 and we were suffocating on the dust that was coming into the shelter. We

5 could see the smoke from our shelter. You could see when we got out. We

6 knew we had to get out, but we tried to pick the right moment for it. We

7 agreed I would get out with the one baby, and my mother would get out with

8 the other baby; and when I got out in the corridor, everything was --

9 everything was strewn around outside.

10 Q. Now, where did you end up living after that?

11 A. We went to the outside shelter and we waited for nightfall; and

12 then late at night, I took the babies and Avdo came. He was very, very

13 scared for us, and we went to a village, Stitkov Dol, which was a little

14 bit sheltered.

15 Q. And how far away was this location from the centre of Zepa?

16 A. Half an hour on foot.

17 Q. Now, why did you choose this location?

18 A. The nature of the terrain was such that it was more sheltered than

19 the down-town area. That was its geographic location. In addition to

20 that, this was the place to which we escaped from 1992 onwards on our way

21 to the Zepa mount; and from there, we moved on through forests in

22 emergency situations.

23 Q. Now, were there other people from your neighbourhood who were

24 doing the same thing as you and moving towards Stitkov Dol?

25 A. Everybody from the down-town area moved towards Stitkov Dol. From

Page 6917

1 other settlements, which were on the left from the centre, there was an

2 unwritten rule during the war that the majority of the civilians, majority

3 of families followed the route taken by Avdo's family.

4 Q. And how many people were there with you, moving towards Stitkov

5 Dol?

6 A. About two and a half thousand.

7 Q. And who were these people? What was the composition of men versus

8 women and children, elderly?

9 A. Women, children, some elderly people, but mostly women, children,

10 older women, and some older men.

11 Q. And when you arrived at Stitkov Dol, was this area big enough to

12 accommodate all the people who were arriving?

13 A. There is but ten houses in that village, and maybe some ten

14 outbuildings. People were out in the meadows. It was quite natural to

15 sleep in meadows. The meadows were full of people, so were backyards and

16 front yards.

17 Q. Was the shelling continuing as you were moving towards Stitkov Dol

18 and while you were in Stitkov Dol?

19 A. Yes. But as we were leaving, I don't remember that there was any

20 shelling then, even though it was night-time, and sometimes they shelled

21 at night as well. I don't remember that we had to take shelter. As for

22 Stitkov Dol, where the people were, the shells did land on the other side

23 of the hill, but none of the shells landed directly on the settlement.

24 Q. And how long did you stay at this location?

25 A. On the 23rd of July, at night, late, it could have been 2.00 a.m.,

Page 6918

1 we moved towards the mountain, because Brezova Ravan had fallen and that

2 was one of the critical points in the defence of Zepa, critical locations.

3 And there was a risk of the Serbian army entering Zepa. The agreement on

4 civilians had not been reached yet. So at 2.00 a.m., we set out towards

5 the mountain; and when we arrived, it was already daylight on the 24th of

6 July.

7 Q. And that morning you then received word that women, children, and

8 elderly were going to be moved out of Zepa. Isn't that right?

9 A. Yes. We received information to go back. Before we set out, I

10 knew that there were negotiations on the surrender of Zepa, surrender of

11 the army, evacuation of civilians. Mladic was dissatisfied with the

12 development of events. He kept seeking that Avdo come to negotiations and

13 Avdo didn't want that.

14 He was waiting for an agreement to be reached at a higher level in

15 Sarajevo. Given that the situation was awful, I received information that

16 if no word is received from Sarajevo, Avdo would go to negotiations; and

17 when we were told on the 24th to go back, I knew that Avdo had

18 participated in negotiations.

19 Q. And what did you do next, once you found out that you were

20 supposed to be moving out of Zepa?

21 A. When I found out that we were to be moved out of Zepa, is that

22 what you're asking?

23 Q. When word came to you on the 24th while you were moving away from

24 the centre of Zepa with other people, what did you all do next?

25 A. First of all, we went back from the mountain to the centre of

Page 6919

1 Zepa.

2 Q. And can you please describe for the Court what you observed once

3 you arrived back in Zepa?

4 A. I was very much afraid for my husband's fate. He had accepted to

5 meet with the people who had threatened him throughout the war. There

6 were buses lined up in the centre of Zepa. A huge crowd of people was

7 moving. Near a bar, I saw some Serbian soldiers and my husband stood

8 there with them.

9 Q. And who were -- you said there were masses of people. Who were

10 these people?

11 A. Those were women, children, the elderly; mostly women and

12 children, elderly women, too.

13 Q. And what did they look like at that moment?

14 A. Terrible. It's hard to describe it. At that point in time, they

15 looked normal to me because that's how all of us looked. They looked

16 terrified, petrified, desolate. They had lost members of their family.

17 They were worried about their loved ones who were on the front. It was an

18 awful situation in which nobody knew where they were going, why. The

19 buses were there, but it gave us no reassurance to believe that we would

20 survive.

21 Q. And what happened next? Did you board one of the buses in the

22 convoy?

23 A. Yes. I was in that group of people in that crowd. As I saw Avdo

24 standing there, I moved towards him. He saw me and approached me, and he

25 said to me, "Don't you worry." He tried to console me. He looked at the

Page 6920

1 children. He said something that really scared me at that moment. He

2 said that he had negotiated, or rather that Zdravko Tolimir was there. He

3 pointed him out to me; I saw him. He said that he had reached an

4 agreement with him.

5 Given that Avdo didn't believe that the evacuation was safe,

6 Tolimir told him to get with him into his car, to sit on the back seat,

7 and for Avdo to keep his pistol; and that if he found anything suspicious,

8 he could fire directly into his head and that they would be at the head of

9 the column of civilians.

10 I was afraid. I told him not to trust Tolimir, that it was sheer

11 madness, that it was better for all of us to die there rather than for him

12 to do that. This is what he told me: He knew how he felt, but what he

13 said to me was that the civilians must be saved. So I got on the bus; I

14 got on the bus number two. I know that I sat near the front door; I was

15 on the second seat. I had my older daughter in my arms, and my younger

16 daughter was with my sister.

17 I kept looking for Avdo, and at 7.00 we set out.

18 Q. How many -- do you recall how many buses there were?

19 A. I don't know. I don't know.

20 Q. And how full was the bus you were in, and who was inside it?

21 A. The bus was full. All of the seats were taken. There were people

22 who sat out -- who sat closer to the front. These are older-type buses,

23 which have a -- an older-type engine hood. My mother, who was quite old

24 at the time, sat closer to the front on the floor of the bus. And at the

25 very back of the bus, there was one long seat, and I remember that there

Page 6921

1 were people sitting there.

2 Q. And you had just said you had left at 7.00. You said you set out

3 at 7.00. Do you know whether the convoy you were in was the first convoy

4 to leave Zepa?

5 A. No. The first convoy left somewhat earlier. This was the convoy

6 with the wounded and the sick, and it went to Sarajevo.

7 Q. And how did you know this?

8 A. That's what I heard. I heard that, even Avdo told me that. I

9 know some of the wounded who were on that convoy.

10 Q. And as you were leaving, were you told by anybody where your

11 convoy, where your bus was going?

12 A. I knew. I didn't know -- I don't know how I knew, but I knew that

13 we were going to Kladanj.

14 Q. And did you get to speak to your husband any time between boarding

15 the bus in Zepa and arriving at your final destination?

16 A. Yes. Somewhere between Rogatica and Sokolac, the buses stopped

17 again. So the first time they stopped was by the hotel in Borike, and

18 this is where I suffered a panic attack that I never really recovered

19 from. The second time the buses stopped I saw Avdo.

20 It was already dark; the lights were on. He came out and I was

21 really scared wondering why he came out and why he was outside, but he

22 came to my bus. He approached the children and then the two of us sat on

23 the steps by the door and talked there until we disembarked in Kladanj.

24 Q. Were you able to observe his demeanour at the time? How did he

25 appear to you?

Page 6922

1 A. Avdo, as a rule, was always calm.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Palic. Do you need a short break?

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. If at any time you need a short break,

5 please don't hesitate.

6 Yes, Ms. Soljan.


8 Q. If you can continue just telling us about his demeanour, how he

9 appeared to you.

10 A. Avdo was always very calm, but I could feel that he was fully

11 aware of just how critical the situation was. I could also feel that he

12 was quite resolute in bringing this to an end. He said to me, "Esma, I

13 will get this done, whatever happens to me."

14 Q. Do you know what he meant by, "I will get this done, whatever

15 happens to me?"

16 A. He had decided to save the people of Zepa. He was quite resolute

17 about it. In addition to that, he was fully aware that he himself was a

18 victim and that his role would not be forgiven. They will not forgive him

19 his role.

20 Q. And can you then please describe what happened once you reached

21 your final destination in the buses? When did you reach it, first of all?

22 A. We travelled for a very long time. I was pleased about that

23 because I was with Avdo, but at the same time I knew that we were not

24 going to the lands end. I saw that it was near 4.00 when we parted. The

25 buses stopped, we were on the road, and to the right there were some

Page 6923

1 wooden shacks. We came out and we were told that from there on we had to

2 go on foot. Avdo and I said good-bye to each other. He said to me to

3 move in the middle. I set out; I didn't want to turn and look back. I

4 know that we crossed a stream.

5 I had two babies and it was terrible. All of us were completely

6 exhausted. But in addition to two babies, the greatest problem was my old

7 mother, who had to be carried. And we were pulling her on a branch, on a

8 tree branch. People were quite helpful; they offered to help me. But

9 everybody had their own things to carry, and I had forgotten my luggage on

10 the bus because I was so stressed out.

11 We walked for a very long time. I know that we arrived at 9.00 at

12 this location where there was a unit waiting for us, some Pakistani unit.

13 They offered some refreshments. I kept wondering how Avdo was going to

14 return to Zepa.

15 Q. Ms. Palic, had you wanted to leave Zepa on the 24th of July, 1995?

16 A. Well, not under those circumstances, no. In reality I am really

17 not a benchmark for you, because Zepa was not my birth town. Zepa was a

18 place to which I always gladly travelled, where my parents lived, my

19 relatives lived, but I didn't actually live in Zepa. Nobody wanted to

20 leave Zepa at that time, especially not in such a humiliating way.

21 Q. Did you feel as though you had any choice?

22 A. We had two options: One was to leave Zepa under very cruel and

23 humiliating circumstances; the other option was to remain and then either

24 be killed or be subjected to suffering. There were no other options.

25 Q. Ms. Palic, have you seen or heard from your husband since that

Page 6924

1 last conversation upon getting off the bus?

2 A. I didn't see him again; however, on the 25th, on the 24th, on the

3 26th, I was in Visoko. Actually, on the 25th in the morning, we found

4 ourselves in Kladanj; and on the 26th, I found myself in Visoko. A man

5 came who knew my brother, and he told me that Avdo had established a

6 connection via ham operators and wanted them to tell me that he had

7 arrived in Zepa alive. He knew that I was worried about that; I was

8 worried about him going back with them.

9 Q. And have you heard from your husband ever since then?

10 A. Then on the 28th -- Avdo was captured on the 27th, and I heard on

11 the 28th that he had been captured. That's what I heard about him.

12 Q. And you have never seen him since; is that right?

13 A. No, no. However, he was seen by witnesses in various clandestine

14 prisons.

15 Q. And, Ms. Palic, can you describe for us what the impact of all

16 this has had on you and your family?

17 A. After the expulsion, after the deportation from Zepa, my life was

18 simply ruined. I arrived in that territory exhausted, both in a mental

19 and physical sense. That was the territory under the control of Alija

20 Izetbegovic, and I had nothing but two babies. My husband was captured.

21 I had to look for him, beg that he be released. I knew that he was alive.

22 For years, I waged a crusade for him to be released.

23 In July, it's going to be 12 years since his capture, and I

24 actually don't know what happened to him. So what can I tell you about

25 the impact on our lives? All I can tell you is that I live in darkness,

Page 6925

1 in constant suffering, with two children who need a healthy mother, after

2 all. I live a life that was determined by Mladic, not a life that I chose

3 for myself.

4 Mladic decided to chase me out, Mladic captured my husband, Mladic

5 ensured that I be left by myself at the age of 28, with two children.

6 This was not my choice. This was not the life I chose for myself. I

7 don't think I need to speak about the effects any longer. And could we

8 have a break now, please?

9 MS. SOLJAN: Your Honours, I have no more questions. Thank you.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a 25-minute break. Or as long as

11 necessary. Victims and witnesses unit will coordinate and let us know,

12 please. Thank you.

13 --- Recess taken at 9.57 a.m.

14 --- On resuming at 10.28 a.m.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Ms. Palic, we are going to proceed. Any time

16 you need a break, please let us know.

17 Who is going first? Mr. Zivanovic.

18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

19 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:

20 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mrs. Palic. I understand that you

21 spent the entire war in Zepa; is that correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Could you please tell me your husband, as the commander of the

24 brigade, and the people from the brigade, do you know whether they were

25 manning the front lines facing the Republika Srpska army?

Page 6926

1 A. When?

2 Q. In this period while you were in Zepa.

3 A. Before the United Nations arrived in Zepa, yes, they were. And at

4 the time when Mladic's forces attacked Zepa in 1995, when UNPROFOR refused

5 to protect Zepa, that's when they went back to the front-lines.

6 Q. And that was when Zepa was shelled, I assume?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Could you please tell me, your husband and the other members of

9 this unit, while they were not at the front-lines, when they rested, they

10 did so in their own homes. Is that correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Was there no building in Zepa where they could stay, sleep, or

13 take their meals while they were not at the front-lines?

14 A. I don't know if any such building existed.

15 Q. Thank you.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.

17 Mr. Meek.

18 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Mr. President. Your Honours. We have no

19 questions for Mrs. Palic. Thank you.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Meek.

21 Ms. Nikolic.

22 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. We have no

23 questions for this witness.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Ms. Nikolic.

25 Mr. Lazarevic.

Page 6927

1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Nor do we, Your Honour.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. Madam Fauveau?

3 Mr. Josse.

4 Cross-examination by Mr. Josse:

5 Q. Ms. Palic, I do have a number of questions for you, and could I

6 begin by acknowledging, I will do this in the form of a question: You

7 have spent considerable energy over the last ten years bringing to public

8 attention the plight of your husband, haven't you?

9 A. Not ten years, almost 12 now.

10 Q. And you've done that with great tenacity, and to some real effect,

11 haven't you?

12 A. Not yet. All that I have now is still uncertain. If I may say

13 something about the effect of one having a decision of the human rights

14 centre on the paper and if you have to knock on every door, the

15 authorities in Republika Srpska, the authorities in Sarajevo, the

16 international community, to be more specific the OHR, and to demand that

17 this decision by the human rights centre be implemented, and everything

18 that is contained there, all the witnesses who are quoted there, this is

19 the product of my work.

20 And for four years, I have had nothing on the basis of that

21 decision; and then I launched a suit before the Constitutional Court,

22 because this decision had not been implemented. And I get a decision of

23 this court and then a commission is set up, and this commission is working

24 really hard to cover up all the information that I found out that I

25 verified.

Page 6928

1 They promised me that they would find my husband's body. They

2 say, "Yes, he was killed." They gave me the name of my -- he gave me the

3 name of his killer. But how can I know that my husband is really dead if

4 I can't see his bones? And I filed a legal suit before the human rights

5 court in Strasbourg. As you said yourself, I really spent a lot of

6 energy, to prove and to bring to the public attention the fact that my

7 husband was arrested at the UN base, that he was held in secret prisons,

8 that he was mistreated and treated roughly, that he was never protected by

9 the people who were immediate subordinates of Mladic.

10 And I get these reports that he was killed and his head was

11 chopped off with a machete, yet I have nothing to see. How -- how then am

12 I to believe that he is dead and that he is not alive somewhere, unless I

13 can see his bones, unless I can see his killer brought before a court.

14 Q. I may return to that subject at the end of my questions, but I'd

15 like now, if I may, to take you back to the beginning of the evidence you

16 gave this morning. And you mentioned that in the enclave the population

17 was exclusively Bosniak, save for the fact that there were two Serb

18 teachers. That's right, isn't it?

19 A. That's correct, yes.

20 MR. JOSSE: And perhaps we could have put up on the screen a

21 document that, in fact, this Trial Chamber began looking at yesterday,

22 which is 6D27.

23 Q. And it's page 4 that I'm going do want you to look at. If I may,

24 Ms. Palic, just remind the learned Judges that this was the document that

25 describes an intelligence report from various sources.

Page 6929

1 And, Madam, I'm going to show you a number of documents, some of

2 which have not been translated. Page 4, please. And you are going to

3 have to help me, if you would, because I'm afraid I do not read B/C/S, and

4 so I'm going to invite you to read certain portions very slowly.

5 Now, this is the paragraph, the third one down, that begins with

6 the word, "Medju. " Could you read that paragraph consisting of three

7 lines, slowly, so that the interpreters can interpret it into English and

8 French. Aloud, please.

9 A. "Among the school teachers in Zepa, there are two women of Serb

10 ethnic background. Teacher Jelenka Cesko, married to Sarija Cesko, and

11 retired teacher Rosa" and I will now add her last name; it's Lazarevic.

12 Q. So you can confirm that the information that's contained on this

13 piece of paper within in this report is correct; is that right?

14 A. What I have just read is correct, but I don't know about the rest

15 because I didn't read it.

16 Q. Don't worry, Madam. I'm not asking you about the rest of the

17 document, just that small portion. Thank you. We can move on to another

18 topic, if we may.

19 The next thing I would like to ask you about is this: You told

20 the Trial Chamber earlier that shelling stopped in May of 1993 in the Zepa

21 area. And it's right, isn't it, that the reason the shelling stopped was

22 it was at that point in time that Zepa became an enclave protected by the

23 United Nations?

24 A. That what is probably the reason.

25 Q. And I'm going to invite you to have a look at 6D31. Here we have

Page 6930

1 the opposite problem. This is a document that's in English, certainly I

2 think English only. So I will have to do the work here and read out the

3 relevant passage, and I would like you to have a look at Article 3 of

4 this. This is the agreement signed between Mladic, General Halilovic,

5 General Morillon on the 8th of May of 1993, turning both Srebrenica and

6 Zepa into enclaves.

7 And we can see the document in front of us, Article 3, that it

8 says, "Every military or paramilitary unit will have either to withdraw

9 from the demilitarised zone or submit, hand over their weapons.

10 Ammunition, mines, explosives, and combat supplies in the demilitarised

11 zones will be handed over/submitted to UNPROFOR;" and then it deals with

12 how that should be done and when that should be done, which we don't need

13 to go into in any detail.

14 What is your knowledge of efforts by your husband and others to

15 obtain weapons in late 1994, early 1995, in Zepa?

16 A. I didn't understand your question. In 1994, the weapons were not

17 needed. Could you be more specific, please?

18 Q. I will in a moment, but let me rephrase the question, if I may.

19 We can see from the agreement that Zepa was meant to be a demilitarised

20 zone. In your estimation, and you were there, did it remain a

21 demilitarised zone prior to the resumption of shelling in March of 1995?

22 A. Zepa remained a demilitarised zone up until the moment when

23 UNPROFOR told Avdo that they could not defend Zepa.

24 Q. And --

25 A. And they returned the weapons that had been kept by UNPROFOR.

Page 6931

1 Q. When was that, please?

2 A. It was -- in fact, Srebrenica had already fallen. It was at the

3 time when Mladic's forces started amassing around Zepa. Avdo first

4 demanded protection from the United Nations, or rather the UNPROFOR troops

5 in Zepa. He negotiated; he talked all the time. I know that Dudnik went

6 to Boksanica to meet with Kusic, he was a local commander, to ask that the

7 shelling of Zepa stop.

8 But when the events in Srebrenica took place and we received a

9 notice that Srebrenica had fallen, this is something that should not have

10 happened if Srebrenica was a protected area, a UN-protected area, yet the

11 United Nations did not protect it. Avdo knew right away that we faced the

12 same fate and he asked them how do you intend to defend us, and it was

13 clear that a small UN unit, the battalion stationed in Zepa could not

14 defend it. That's when they said, "Here are your weapons. You go and

15 defend yourselves."

16 Q. That was July of 1995, you were just describing events?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. As far as you were aware, there had been no effort on the part of

19 the Muslim population of the Zepa enclave to rearm prior to that time. Is

20 that what you're saying?

21 A. No. I don't understand your question. What do you mean to arm

22 itself?

23 Q. Well, to take possession of any type of military armament; guns,

24 artillery, grenades, anything whatsoever, ammunition. That's what I mean?

25 A. No. There were no such efforts, and as far as I know there was no

Page 6932

1 need for it because we were in a protected area.

2 MR. JOSSE: Could the witness be shown 5D7, please? This

3 document, Your Honour, has been translated. I'm in the Court's hands as

4 to whether the Chamber would like a split screen.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: If it's in the system, I think, yes. Okay. We have

6 it already in the English language on the other side.


8 Q. Madam, this is a document that we can see if we go to the bottom

9 of the document, in fact the second page emanates - yes, the bottom of

10 that page, thank you. The English is in two pages - from Brigadier

11 General Hadzihasanovic. And if we to the top of the document, we see it's

12 dated the 7th of February, 1995. We see in the right-hand corner that

13 among the people it was sent to, was your husband at the 1st Zepa Brigade.

14 And it details a delivery of arms to a heli-port on the following

15 day, and number 4 specifically says, "Along with this team, Ismet

16 Ljeskovica is going from Zepa to have him prepare for the trip." And if we

17 scroll down a little bit, please, we see a description of various

18 armaments and where they are intended; so 100 pieces of 7.62 millimetre

19 automatic rifles to Zepa for example, mortars and shells, bullets, kitchen

20 salt and some cigarettes.

21 Did you have any knowledge of this at the time?

22 A. No. Well, salt, if they're talking about salt, salt was a

23 legendry beast. I did not see a single grain of salt throughout the war.

24 Q. Come now, Mrs. Palic. I think you know I'm not asking about the

25 salt. I'm asking about the arms.

Page 6933

1 A. No. No, not for the arms. And I didn't know about salt either.

2 But the salt, I immediately saw this and that's because if you have to

3 live throughout the war without a single grain of salt, this is something

4 quite special, and that's why it tends to stick in your memory.

5 Q. Excuse me, if I was being facetious, I apologise. But let me ask

6 you a question. This Mr. Ismet Ljeskovica that we see referred to in item

7 4 --

8 A. Yes, that's what I wanted to get to, in fact.

9 Q. Thank you.

10 A. I have not heard this name ever, and I was not supposed to know

11 the first names of people. But I couldn't now recall anyone having this

12 last name, even among the people who had arrived in Zepa who were not

13 originally from Zepa. So this -- this last name is completely unknown to

14 me.

15 Q. Now, I could show you a number of other similar documents from

16 around the same period; one dated the 20th of February, another dated the

17 4th of March, for example, both addressed to your husband, from General

18 Hadzihasanovic, dealing with the delivery of arms. You can confirm that

19 you have no knowledge of that whatsoever?

20 A. No, I don't.

21 Q. You didn't see men, other than the UNPROFOR soldiers, with arms

22 within the enclave; is that correct?

23 A. Could you be more specific when? When? Before the attack on

24 Zepa?

25 Q. Specifically, I'm talking about before March of 1995 when you

Page 6934

1 assert that the shelling resumed after a lull of almost two years.

2 A. No.

3 Q. Did you have any knowledge of your husband organising raids

4 outside of the enclave; in other words, organised from within the enclave,

5 attacking Serb positions outside of the enclave, late 1994, early 1995,

6 prior to the resumption of the shelling? Any knowledge of that at all?

7 A. No. What I can tell you is that my husband had a defence

8 strategy, not an attack strategy.

9 MR. JOSSE: Would the witness be shown 6D26, please. Again, Your

10 Honour, this is a document the Trial Chamber has seen before.

11 Q. Mrs. Palic, though we don't have a translation of this, this has

12 been read to the Court on a previous occasion, so you can just read it to

13 yourself, I think.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: The thing is that --

15 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I will summarise.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: -- I know you think too highly of the Trial Chamber,

17 but we can't remember the corresponding English translation of it.


19 Q. This document indicates, does it not, Mrs. Palic, that on the 12th

20 of December of 1994, there was some sort of raid purportedly organised by

21 your husband from within the enclave to a place called Laze-Mislovo, and

22 it indicates that your husband's unit suffered no losses or injuries but

23 five Serbs, including one officer, was killed and it was some form of

24 sabotage action. Is this a fair summary of this document?

25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Josse.

Page 6935


2 Q. Do you accept my summary, Madam, of what the document purports to

3 say?

4 A. Well, I'm reading this document, but I have to tell you this is

5 not something that I have heard of.

6 Q. Does it shock you? Let me explain what I mean by that. You had

7 absolutely no idea that your husband was involved in that sort of activity

8 at that time? That's what I mean by, "Does it shock you?"

9 A. I don't even believe that this is actually true. You presented

10 this here, and I have to tell you that I don't know anything about it.

11 Q. All right. You have described the situation in the enclave as

12 desperate, and now I am talking about the period from May to July of 1995.

13 And you talked about that earlier this morning. Correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Presumably, money was in very short supply?

16 A. There was no money at all, at least I didn't have any. Some

17 people may have had some, but we didn't. And this was a normal situation.

18 We just learned to get by without money.

19 Q. And do you have any knowledge of the state of the finances of the

20 Zepa Brigade at that time, as I say, shortly before the fall of the

21 enclave?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Were you aware that the Zepa Brigade made some sort of loan to

24 your husband in order to cover his desperate financial situation?

25 A. No.

Page 6936

1 MR. JOSSE: Could we have a look at 6D32, please? This again,

2 Your Honour, I regret to say has not been translated.

3 Now, take it from me, we could go to the second page, but this is

4 a document that emanates from Commander General Rasim Delic.

5 Q. Let me ask you a question before we look at this --

6 A. Could you please scroll down? Could you please scroll down so

7 that can I see it?

8 Q. Indeed. Up a bit, please. Up a bit.

9 A. Mm-hmm.

10 Q. Thank you. Have you seen a document in this form before? This is

11 some sort, as I understand, encrypted computer document. Did you see

12 documents like that around your home at that time?

13 A. No, no. But it is my guess that this is, in fact, in light of the

14 amount mentioned here, in 1993, when Zepa was declared a protected area, a

15 UN-protected area, a delegation from Zepa, including Avdo, flew to

16 Sarajevo by helicopter with approval of the Serb side. There was a

17 congress of some sort. I don't know what it was. And on that occasion,

18 in light of the situation in Zepa, Avdo received some funds that he was to

19 distribute to the troops.

20 Five thousand marks, and that's the amount mentioned here, was

21 requested by Avdo as a loan to assist his sister and family -- and his

22 family living in Hrasanica just outside Sarajevo. And since he never got

23 any document to that effect, I know that he brought the money back in

24 Sarajevo; and when he got back, the delegation -- he was not the only one

25 there. That was the money meant to assist the troops - there were some

Page 6937

1 cigarettes, too - and to assist the families who did not have any homes

2 and who did not have anyone to provide for them, so this was to get them

3 housing.

4 And Avdo wanted to get some kind of a receipt for the 5.000 marks

5 that he took to give to his sister who was in a desperate situation, but

6 that's not what is said in this document. That's -- that doesn't reflect

7 the situation because the -- the receipt was not dated the 2nd of July,

8 because he received a receipt right away. And I have to say that he

9 distributed the money that he got to the troops. I know that each soldier

10 got 100 marks and he himself got 100 marks, and the rest was earmarked for

11 building wooden houses or sheds for the families who did not have any

12 accommodation, who did not have anyone to provide for them, and who were

13 really in a desperate situation.

14 Q. I didn't stop you because, apart from anything else, if I can

15 avoid it, I don't stop a witness in the middle of their answer. But as I

16 understand what you have just said, you are referring to 1993. This

17 document refers to 1995, does it not?

18 A. Well, the date confuses me because this was in 1993, so I'm

19 confused a bit by the date. So why would Avdo need 5.000 marks? I don't

20 think that the money actually existed. Avdo didn't need the money. The

21 only logical explanation or reasoning, which I don't have to express, but

22 I will, is that Avdo requested that again, believing his fate to be

23 desperate, that he was in Mladic's hands, and that he needed something to

24 prove that his family would return what he had received earlier. So that

25 I wouldn't have any problems later on. So that would be the only logical

Page 6938

1 explanation. So this date, the 2nd of July, is confusing to me because

2 this happened in 1993.

3 And this is something that Delic knew about, as did other members

4 of the War Presidency in Zepa. When his sister arrived and told them

5 about how and where she lived, he asked for money to help his sister and

6 that he would pay the money back. And they said, "You certainly deserve

7 for us to help your family," and he said, "No, no, no. I will pay this

8 money back." And this is why they drafted this document confirming that,

9 that he would pay the money back.

10 Q. Mrs. Palic, I don't want to belabor the point, but could I just

11 invite you to read number 2 on the screen in front of you, which I want to

12 then ask you a question about.

13 A. Aloud --

14 Q. Please.

15 A. -- or to myself?

16 Q. Aloud, please.

17 A. "Payment pursuant to this decision shall be made through the

18 treasury of the Light Zepa Brigade from the funds received by the treasury

19 of this staff for the operating needs of the said unit."

20 Q. Can you give any explanation as to how the Light Zepa Brigade

21 could afford 5.000 Deutsch marks in July of 1995?

22 A. I can't say anything about that.

23 Q. By this time, July of 1995, are you able to say how many men your

24 husband had under his command?

25 A. I don't know how many, perhaps a brigade.

Page 6939

1 Q. I want to suggest that he had about 1200 men under his command;

2 and then after the fall of Srebrenica, a further 700 were at his disposal

3 as well. What do you say about that?

4 A. I don't see what am I supposed to say? There were definitely

5 1.000 men; and after the fall of Srebrenica, I don't know how many people

6 came, definitely 500. Many of them were wounded and ended up in a

7 hospital. Now, as to whether all of them were at his disposal, I don't

8 know about that.

9 Q. Do you accept this proposition, which I could put up on the screen

10 in front of you in English. It comes from a report that this Chamber has

11 heard a lot of called the NIOD record, which for your information was a

12 report commissioned by the Dutch government into the events surrounding

13 the fall, particularly of Srebrenica, but also of Zepa.

14 The proposition is as follows: "On the 13th of July, the Bosnian

15 Serbs tried to persuade the Bosnian Muslims to lay down their weapons" -

16 this is in Zepa, I should hastily add - "after which the population could

17 choose to stay or leave." No answer was given, and I quote here to make

18 it clear, "It was the Bosnian Muslims who wanted to fight."

19 What do you say about that?

20 A. This is hypocrisy.

21 Q. Tell us why, please, Madam.

22 A. This is hypocrisy. The Muslims in Zepa had no choice. It was not

23 an option for them to surrender their weapons and stay. I told you that I

24 heard with my own ears when they issued calls for Muslims to move with

25 white flags towards Brezova Ravan. They said, "You may not remain here

Page 6940

1 any longer. Go to the territory under the control of Alija Izetbegovic."

2 The buses were already lined up at Boksanica.

3 What they wanted Avdo to do is to surrender his troops, his troops

4 to lay down their weapons, at which point they would become prisoners of

5 war. Avdo could not allow for the troops to be handed over to Mladic and

6 to become prisoners of war. And to separate civilians from the army,

7 well, something would happen to civilians and something else would happen

8 to prisoners of war. Deportation was not contentious. As soon as the

9 attack started, he said, "Let us leave. Let us move out." And this is

10 why I say that this is hypocrisy.

11 Let me tell you, gentlemen, the attacks on Zepa started in 1992.

12 In August of 1992, there was an attack which was repulsed, and in that

13 attack an officer of the Serbian army was killed. They found on him some

14 documents where it said,"Regardless of casualties, you have to reach the

15 Drina by the 20th of September." The messages we received were,"You

16 cannot remain at the border with Serbia. Go to Alija's territory." So it

17 was not an option for us to stay. We could not stay. This is hypocrisy.

18 I don't know what other word to use to describe it.

19 Q. In the middle of July of 1995, and I think you've touched on this

20 already, the relationship between the inhabitants of the enclave and

21 UNPROFOR broke down. Is that what you're saying?

22 A. No. I didn't say that. The population did not have a

23 relationship with UNPROFOR. This was something in the hands of legitimate

24 authorities; president of the War Presidency and other people holding such

25 posts. So the population had actually no relationship with UNPROFOR.

Page 6941

1 Q. In the answer that you just gave, did you say that your husband

2 was also party to a relationship with UNPROFOR? Let me --

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. I only ask you that because it didn't come out in the translation.

5 A. Yes. Avdo had constant contacts with UNPROFOR, even before the

6 attack on Zepa started, and I think that his relationship with them was

7 exceptionally good. He had excellent communication with everybody in

8 UNPROFOR, with commanding officers of UNPROFOR in Zepa. So I really can't

9 tell you anything about bad communication or bad relationship.

10 Q. Well, let's have a look, Madam, at 6D34, please.

11 THE REGISTRAR: Would you please repeat the number, because 6D34

12 is not in e-court.

13 MR. JOSSE: I am told it is, Madam Registrar.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's not waste time. If you have a hard copy,

15 perhaps we can put it on the ELMO. We don't seem to have it, Mr. Josse.

16 MR. JOSSE: Okay. We are looking for an unmarked copy. We have

17 found one, I'm glad to say, Your Honour. This can be put on the ELMO.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Josse.

19 MR. JOSSE: Could I apologise to the Registrar through Your

20 Honour.

21 Q. Now, this is a document dated the 16th of July of 1995. If we go

22 to the bottom, just for a moment, we can see it's from your husband. If

23 we go to the top, sorry, Madam Usher, we can see that it's to a -- urgent

24 to a number of bodies, one of which is the Main Staff of the ABiH. And in

25 particular, I would like you to read the sentence that begins "UNPROFOR."

Page 6942

1 Could you read that out aloud, please?

2 A. "We are disarming UNPROFOR pursuant to previously given

3 instructions."

4 Q. Have you any idea what your husband meant in that communication to

5 his bosses in Sarajevo?

6 A. [No interpretation]

7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear what the witness

8 said.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I simply know that the weapons

10 that were laid down in 1993 were returned once the attack started, so it

11 may refer to that.

12 MR. JOSSE: Could we have -- perhaps, we could leave that on the

13 ELMO for a moment and put up on e-court 6D30. This, Your Honours, is the

14 actual agreement on disarmament in the military-able population in the

15 enclave of Zepa, dated the 24th of July of 1995, which I'm sure would be

16 introduced into this case in due course by the Prosecution in any event.

17 Q. And I'd like you to have a look at paragraph 4, Madam, which I

18 will read out. It says, "All members of UNPROFOR in Zepa shall be

19 immediately released and deblocked. All their weapons and equipment shall

20 be returned to them so that they may mediate in the implementation of the

21 agreement."

22 Assuming that this document is correct in relation to its factual

23 base, did you have any knowledge that the weapons of the UNPROFOR forces

24 in Zepa had been taken and blocked?

25 A. No. I didn't know that, but it is very difficult for me to speak

Page 6943

1 of something that is taken out of context. I'm sure that there is

2 additional information that could provide a fuller picture to me than just

3 this document.

4 Q. Now -- well, perhaps I could deal with that and other things in

5 this way: We, and I'm sure this goes for the Prosecution as well, have at

6 our disposal a number of other documents, some of which you mention your

7 husband, were sent to him or were from him at around this period of time.

8 But perhaps we should clarify the following: You, as you have

9 already told us, had moved to a village, firstly. Secondly, you had two

10 young children, and presumably you were not terribly well informed as to

11 precisely what your husband was doing in those critical days in the middle

12 of July of 1995. Would that be fair?

13 A. Naturally, I wasn't able to know all of the details, but what I

14 did know is that he did everything in his power to save the people of Zepa

15 and to save his soldiers. This is something that I was absolutely sure

16 of.

17 Q. And in short, if I was show you further specific documents, it's

18 quite clear that you weren't aware of documents that he was receiving or

19 sending out at this period of time. Quite understandably you weren't

20 aware, I make no criticism of that whatsoever.

21 A. I didn't know about the documents, naturally. But as for the

22 information coming in from Sarajevo, yes, we were all interested in that.

23 We knew about what the information -- what information came in from

24 UNPROFOR or from Mladic. We were interested in that and we knew about it.

25 Q. I'm going to move on to something which you perhaps do have

Page 6944

1 first-hand knowledge of. When you came down from your mountain retreat,

2 were you aware of any damage being caused to abandoned houses by the

3 fleeing population?

4 A. No. People didn't have time to think about that. I know what

5 you're thinking of, whether they destroyed their own homes. No, people

6 simply fled. Everybody wanted to get to the centre of Zepa as soon as

7 possible because the evacuation started there. People feared for their

8 lives, and that was the primary concern. People didn't have time to go

9 back to their homes to take basic necessities, let alone do something

10 else.

11 MR. JOSSE: Perhaps, we could briefly look at 6D29, please. For

12 some reason that microphone has just packed up.

13 Q. This, Madam, is a document dated the 26th of July of 1995 from a

14 man called David Harland, an UN official, detailing the situation in Zepa.

15 Could we go, please, to -- no, we are at the right part.

16 If we look at ii, it says, "Bosnians, other than men of military

17 age, were coming down from their hamlets in their hills, into the

18 Serb-controlled villages and were waiting to be moved by Serb buses to the

19 confrontation line near Kladanj. Many houses in the hills were burning,

20 apparently torched by departing Bosnians."

21 What do you have to say about that statement?

22 A. This is so preposterous. When I was leaving, the houses were on

23 fire in areas where the Serb army was already present, in areas from which

24 people had already fled.

25 Q. I want to ask you about your own physical departure. You were on

Page 6945

1 one of the first buses to leave the enclave; is that correct?

2 A. In the second convoy, on the second bus.

3 Q. Was there a foreign soldier, Ukrainian or French, on that bus with

4 you?

5 A. No. At one point in time a Serb soldier came in, but he didn't

6 travel with us.

7 Q. And your bus went to Kladanj; is that right?

8 A. That's not true. It went to the separation line and then we went

9 to Kladanj. We started going Kladanj at 4.00 a.m., and we arrived there

10 at 9.00 a.m. We travelled for a very long time in a truck and then on

11 foot. They didn't -- the buses didn't take us to Kladanj, no. They took

12 us to the demarcation line or separation line.

13 Q. Were you aware of other buses arriving at wherever you ended up,

14 sometime a day or two later? In other words, were you present when the

15 rest of the civilian population arrived in subsequent bus loads?

16 A. I wasn't present because we rested in Kladanj and then we

17 continued our journey towards other towns that would receive us; and then

18 other people came in to rest in that camp and then continued elsewhere

19 from there. If I understood your question well, I wasn't there to wait

20 for anybody else.

21 Q. You did understand the question, and I'm going move on and I'm

22 going to move to my final topic.

23 And that's this: I began by asking you about your husband, and I

24 want to go back and ask you a little bit more about him. Were you aware

25 that Serbian authorities wanted to speak to your husband about an alleged

Page 6946

1 atrocity that occurred in the Sokolac municipality in 1992?

2 A. I'm not aware of that.

3 Q. No knowledge of that at all?

4 A. I don't even know what atrocities you're referring to. I don't

5 understand.

6 Q. Well, I'm not sure I can make it any plainer. I'll show you some

7 documents in a moment. But there had, in June of 1992, been some form of

8 attack on a Serb convoy going from Pale, in fact, to Zepa. And -- you're

9 applauding. Why are you doing that, Madam?

10 A. Because I know what you are referring to, sir. What you are

11 trying to say. Yes, bravo, go ahead. I wish to discuss it.

12 Q. What am I referring to?

13 A. You're referring to a convoy which was on its way to Zepa in 1992

14 in June. Is that correct?

15 Q. That's correct. What do you know about that?

16 A. I know quite enough. This was the first attack launched by the

17 Serb army on Zepa, and through my research I was able to establish that

18 this was considered to be one of the greatest sins of Avdo. If I can

19 explain. There was a small barracks, an observation post of the former

20 JNA on Zepa mount. It was called Desetina, and I know it was manned by

21 eight soldiers. It was -- Desetina means squad.

22 Many settlements around Zepa fell in 1992. Terrible stories were

23 circulating around that slaughtered bodies were flowing down the Drina

24 from Visegrad. It was terrible and we knew what happened to those other

25 settlements, and we were expecting the same for us -- to happen to us. On

Page 6947

1 the 4th of June, a convoy set out with 40 vehicles carrying aid to the

2 mountain, aid to the unit on Zepa mount. They went first through some

3 villages near Han Pijesak. They were calling for peace and saying that

4 all they were doing was taking food to their soldiers on the mountain.

5 So they were transporting food. The convoy consisted of 40

6 vehicles with an ambulance at the back. They travelled through Stoborani

7 and other villages, and people quite understandably realised that it was

8 preposterous to believe that they were carrying only food in those 40

9 vehicles. And they knew that had they arrived the mountain, nobody would

10 have remained in Zepa, that nothing was organised in Zepa.

11 At the time there was no army there. People were scared. They

12 ran bare-handed to a canyon called Buducim Potok, and they waited for the

13 convoy there. At the helm there was a tank, and people started throwing

14 boulders down blocking the road so that they couldn't pass through. They

15 were rolling big boulders down; however, they didn't stop. They started

16 shooting then they started rolling logs down on the road to block the

17 passage. Some of the cars stopped.

18 There is no reason why this shouldn't be known. One of the logs

19 fell on the road and a tank drove over that log; and since the road was

20 slippery, the tank slid down, which created panic among Serb troops. Many

21 among Serb soldiers committed suicide, or rather caused their own deaths

22 by throwing bombs on -- or hand-grenades on trucks full of weaponry. So

23 this is how they died. The -- those who survived were captured on the

24 following day and were later exchanged for flour.

25 Let me just tell you one more thing. This is something for which

Page 6948

1 Avdo is blamed for. According to some reports that I read in some Serb

2 documents, this was not anything to do with Avdo. This was a struggle by

3 a -- this organised crowd or by the people to defend themselves, to

4 prevent this convoy from reaching this position up on the mountain.

5 Because had they reached that position, they would have killed us all for

6 sure.

7 So this was -- the Serbs must admit that they were -- that the

8 situation was as follows: They were killed by logs and rocks, and they

9 had to leave some of the weapons in the hands of the people of Zepa.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.

11 MR. LAZAREVIC: There is some inconsistency in the transcript. I

12 believe that what the witness said is that dead bodies were exchanged for

13 flour. That's what I heard.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: The transcript from what I could follow of course

15 was that some were captured and later exchanged.

16 Ms. Palic, you need to clear this up for us because it is --

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The captives were exchanged for

18 flour. And the dead bodies, once UNPROFOR arrived, some people came from

19 the Serb side and the whole area was searched and the bodies that -- the

20 bones that were found were handed over.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

22 Mr. Josse.


24 Q. Mrs. Palic, I'm not going to go into the rights or wrongs of that

25 incident. It is apparent to you, is it not, that the Serbs took a very

Page 6949

1 dim view of what happened in that creek?

2 A. Well, quite clearly. But in this case they are blaming the wrong

3 side, because it wasn't the people of Zepa who invited them there to get

4 killed. They should have blamed their commanders who sent them there to

5 Zepa. What did they want there? Why did they attack?

6 Q. And there can be but no -- let me rephrase that. Do you accept

7 that your husband was involved in that particular operation that resulted

8 in the deaths of a significant number of Serbs?

9 A. He was a participant, but he was not a commander at the time

10 because there was no command. There was no organised army at that time in

11 Zepa because the command and the 1st Zepa Battalion were established at a

12 later stage. Only after that did people start joining the army.

13 Q. And it is right, isn't it, that criminal reports had been filed in

14 relation to this incident and named your husband among quite a number of

15 other people as being involved?

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Will you be more precise? Criminal reports filed

17 where?

18 MR. JOSSE: In which case I will show one to the witness, Your

19 Honour. May I have a moment. I am grateful to Mr. Krgovic. 6D33,

20 please.

21 Q. This is a report to the Prosecutor in Sokolac dated the 20th of

22 May of 1994. We look at number 5, and we see your husband's name. And if

23 we go to the second page, at the bottom of that page, we see the word in

24 B/C/S, "Explanation," and then it gives some account of this incident,

25 which I'm not going to ask you to read now, unless you want to, of course.

Page 6950

1 A. Yes, yes.

2 Q. But this is some sort of criminal report within the Republika

3 Srpska in relation to this particular incident, is it not?

4 A. Yes, apparently.

5 Q. And are you aware that the case is still open, or put another way,

6 it hasn't been closed?

7 A. I don't know what happened to this case. I heard about this

8 criminal report because I got it in some files that I'm using in the legal

9 suit, or rather, in the process of trying to find the truth about what

10 happened to my husband. I am aware of the existence of this criminal

11 report. Perhaps, I don't have this specific report, but I do know that he

12 was charged under this article of this law. All I have to say is that I

13 can see no point in filing or prosecuting somebody who was trying to

14 defend himself.

15 In fact, what happened there is more that Serbs killed each other because of

16 this fear and panic than that... doing at that time,

17 with stones, it's shameful,

18 we killed them with stones and logs. And they

19 simply went on to list names of people that they knew, and they filed a

20 criminal report against them for defending themselves.

21 Q. In conclusion, let me make this clear: Nothing could possibly

22 excuse the kidnapping and detention and disappearance of your husband.

23 But what I am suggesting to you is that there were legitimate reasons for

24 Serb authorities wanting to speak to him. Do you accept that?

25 A. To speak about the events -- about this event in July 1995?

Page 6951

1 Q. No, Madam. The event in June 1992.

2 A. Well, there was nothing to speak about. I don't know what kind of

3 conversation you have in mind. Please. As soon as UNPROFOR arrived, the

4 terrain was searched. All the bones, the remains, the mortal remains were

5 handed over. All the prisoners of war were handed over alive, so I can't

6 see what was left to discuss here.

7 MR. JOSSE: I have nothing else, Your Honour. Thank you, Madam.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Josse.

9 Madam Fauveau.

10 Cross-examination by Ms. Fauveau:

11 Q. [Interpretation] Is it true that UNPROFOR had control points

12 around Zepa, check-points around Zepa? Is it true?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. In the centre of the town, could you see these check-points?

15 A. No, I couldn't. In fact, perhaps you could see the one at Brezova

16 Ravan.

17 Q. One of these check-points was Boksanica, wasn't it?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Since you couldn't see these check-points, how could you see the

20 buses, which apparently you saw on the day you heard a voice calling from

21 the hills from Zepa, to leave Zepa?

22 A. Mladic said that the buses were waiting. I didn't say, or in fact

23 if I did, I have to correct myself, perhaps. Because I was upset, I may

24 have said something which was not correct. I didn't see them, but people

25 who lived up there, near Boksanica, did. Those people, that was the first

Page 6952

1 group of people that came to Zepa to ask what are we going to do? Are we

2 going surrender?

3 Q. Very well. But you, personally, you have not seen those buses; is

4 that right?

5 A. I did not.

6 Q. And the voice that you heard, you don't know if it was General

7 Mladic's voice?

8 A. I cannot say for sure that this was General Mladic's voice, but

9 this was a very resolute voice; and at any rate, he introduced himself as

10 General Mladic. I don't flow if somebody was -- somebody dared to

11 introduce himself as General Mladic. Well, that's a different case then.

12 But even if that person introduced himself as General Mladic, he probably

13 did so with General Mladic's approval.

14 Q. This is what I thought as well. It was probably, you said

15 "probably" somebody else's voice, but you cannot be sure of this; is that

16 right?

17 A. Well, I cannot be sure, of course, that it was Mladic. I can be

18 sure about what I heard.

19 Q. Witness, you told us that you left because of the shelling at

20 Stitkov Dol [as interpreted], and you said that most of the civilian

21 population followed you. Is that right?

22 A. No, that's not right. I did not leave because Stitkov Dol was

23 shelled. I said that we left in the night between the 23rd and the

24 24th --

25 Q. Witness, I apologize. I have to interrupt you. I'm terribly

Page 6953

1 sorry. I think there was a mistake. My question was the follows: You

2 left Zepa to go to Stitkov Dol because Zepa was shelled?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. The civilian population of Zepa followed your family and they left

5 with you to Stitkov Dol; is that right?

6 A. Yes. Some of them, the people living on the left-hand side of the

7 town in relation to the town centre. I don't know what was happening on

8 the right-hand side, but at any rate everybody was fleeing their homes and

9 trying to find a safer place.

10 Q. Witness, when you talked about the right-hand side, and you say

11 that you don't know if the people who were on the right-hand side were

12 evacuated as well, you don't know if they were evacuated afterwards. Is

13 that right?

14 A. I don't know where they were heading, but they all fled their

15 homes. The right-hand side was especially at risk. They were much closer

16 to the front-lines.

17 Q. And if those people ran away from their houses, where could they

18 have gone? Do you know?

19 A. Well, as usual, into the woods, into the caves, into sheltered

20 areas such as gorges.

21 Q. Do you know how many people lived on that right side of Zepa?

22 A. I said about 2.500 civilians were there.

23 Q. You've told us that there were 2.500 civilians in Stitkov Dol.

24 Does that also include the civilians that lived on the right-hand side of

25 Zepa?

Page 6954

1 A. Well, it's really impossible for me to know all that. I know that

2 there was this huge mass of people there, that people were lying on the

3 meadows, that all the houses and all the outbuildings were crammed full of

4 people. They were kept aside for the women, children, the elderly, for

5 the people who really needed shelter and accommodation. There may have

6 been some people from the right-hand side of Zepa there, too.

7 And there is, in fact, no reason for me to make this distinction,

8 but I do know that this part of town, when we headed out, the people from

9 this area followed me when I headed out because everybody felt that they

10 were safer, that was like a rule of thumb. You were safer with the

11 commander's wife. Wherever the commander's wife, you had to follow.

12 Q. Very well. Can we therefore conclude that at Stitkov Dol, on that

13 day when you left, that most of the civilian population from the Zepa

14 enclave gathered at Stitkov Dol?

15 A. Yes. Yes, in the fields, more or less. Well, there were other

16 groups of refugees that -- but this one was from the left-hand side of the

17 town, but there were other groups of refugees.

18 Q. Witness, I feel that we won't be able to understand each other.

19 You say on the one hand that, yes, the civilian population followed you to

20 Stitkov Dol, and then you say that it was the people who lived on the

21 left-hand side. I understand that it was the left-hand side population,

22 or the population which lived on the left-hand side, but can you evaluate,

23 can you tell me how many people approximately lived on the right-hand side

24 of Zepa?

25 A. If I did say on the right-hand side, I have to apologise. I meant

Page 6955

1 the left-hand side, the villages that were closest to the front-line;

2 Slap, Rubioc, Vratar. They were located to the right of the city centre.

3 Could you please repeat your question?

4 Q. What I would like to know is the following: The population that

5 gathered at Stitkov Dol the day you left to Stitkov Dol, was that

6 population that gathered there, was also the population of the entire

7 area of the enclave or only the right-hand side? And can you give us an

8 assessment of the population or of the number of people who lived on the

9 other side of the enclave.

10 A. Well, I said that when Zepa fell it had at least 8.000

11 inhabitants, and you can reach all other conclusions if you apply some

12 math.

13 Q. So the population that followed you that wasn't the major portion

14 of the population, it was the smaller portion of the population because

15 there is a lot of people who didn't follow you. More people did not

16 follow you. Is that right?

17 A. Well, it is correct. They had no physical links with the area

18 where I lived. The area where I lived and the area -- and the villages

19 around it, those were the people that headed out. The territory of the

20 enclave of Zepa is -- it's scattered. There were places such as Luka and

21 Krusev Dol which were on the other side of the mountain, and they could

22 not have gone with me.

23 I mean they could have, but they didn't. Bioca, Vratar, Slap, and

24 Kula, and other villages on that side did not go with us. Everybody had

25 their own route to follow, but in the final analysis, and this is what we

Page 6956

1 learned during the war, is that everybody was heading in the same

2 direction, towards this mountain.

3 Q. Witness, this is exactly what I'm trying to establish here. I

4 seemed to understand from your statement that in case of danger the

5 population should gather at Stitkov Dol, and I thought that this meant the

6 entire population. So I am wondering how is it that only 2.500 people

7 gathered at Stitkov Dol?

8 A. Well, not all of them were always together.

9 Q. I will move to another topic. You have stated earlier today on

10 page 8 of the transcript, while talking about a decision from your

11 husband, according to which Zepa should be defended, because if the men of

12 Zepa should surrender they would have had the same plight as Srebrenica.

13 So can you give us the date of the decision when the decision regarding

14 the defence of Srebrenica was taken?

15 A. I don't know the exact date.

16 Q. I'm terribly sorry. It's Zepa I'm talking about, so could you

17 tell us when the decision to defend Zepa was taken?

18 A. I don't know the date. I really don't know the date. The

19 decision was made at the moment when Avdo was told in his talks with the

20 UN that the UN could not protect the people of Zepa. And at that moment,

21 if you as the UN cannot do it, then we will defend ourselves. Avdo's goal

22 was to buy time and to get the United Nations to see what was going on

23 there.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop. We have dealt with this already. I mean what

25 the question referred to was the date, if possible. So move to your next

Page 6957

1 question, Madam Fauveau, please.

2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Would you agree with me that on the 15th of July, or do you know

4 if on the 15th of July a meeting of civilian authorities of Zepa took

5 place, so between them and between the Serb military, Serbian army?

6 A. No, not in Zepa. The meeting did take place. I don't know

7 whether it was on the 15th of July. It was held at Boksanica at

8 check-point 1.

9 Q. Do you know if the civilian authorities were more inclined to

10 suggest an evacuation of the civilian population at the time?

11 A. I don't think that there was any disagreement between the military

12 and civilian authorities. The only goal that everyone had was to survive.

13 What I do know is that the negotiations at Boksanica, well, you could use

14 any term you wished, but they were held at the territory held by Mladic,

15 and Mladic was talking to people.

16 Hamdija Torlak, one of the negotiators, came to our house and he

17 just lie down, and he was tense for a long time and then he just said,"I

18 had to sign the surrender of Zepa." What kind of negotiation were there,

19 were these then? And how could you talk about any interest the civilian

20 authorities had in the evacuation of Zepa? Well, I really don't know.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Fauveau, we will continue after the break.

22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I only have -- I only need five more

23 minutes, but, in fact, if you wish, Mr. President, we can take a break

24 now.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes, do you have cross-examination?

Page 6958

1 MR. SARAPA: We have a few questions, but no longer than more

2 than 15 minutes.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a 25-minute break. Thank you.

4 --- Recess taken at 12.00 p.m.

5 --- On resuming at 12.28 p.m.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Madam Fauveau.

7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]

8 Q. During -- just before the break, we talked about the authority,

9 the civilian authority's position regarding the evacuation. That

10 evacuation took place, in fact, at a certain point. So during the

11 evacuation, did you see if somebody wanted to stay in Zepa, refusing to

12 leave? Did you see anything like that?

13 A. No. I didn't see anything like that. Nobody could stay.

14 Everybody just moved out. And I have to say this was not an evacuation;

15 this was deportation.

16 Q. Is it correct to say that the time of this evacuation or to use a

17 neutral word, transfer, that the UNPROFOR representatives and the Red

18 Cross representatives were there, were in Zepa at the time?

19 A. UNPROFOR was present there, but I didn't see the Red Cross

20 anywhere. Although, it was my husband's view that if the people had to

21 leave Zepa, then they had to leave on UNHCR vehicles, not on vehicles sent

22 by Mladic, and they had to be accompanied by the International Red Cross.

23 I, however, did not see any such vehicles there.

24 Q. But you are telling us, and you can confirm, that the UNPROFOR was

25 present when the people were getting on those buses?

Page 6959

1 A. Yes, it was present there. They were in their base, they were not

2 there around the buses, at least I didn't see them.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Madam Fauveau, because the transcript

4 shows the last part of -- and basically the main part of her answer as a

5 question, so that should be corrected. I'm referring to lines 18 and 19.

6 They should be a continuation of her answer, which starts on line 17 of

7 page 53.

8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]

9 Q. I have to ask you the question again, because of the transcript.

10 Can you confirm that the UNPROFOR was present at that place where the

11 people were getting on the buses?

12 A. Let me explain. The buses were lined up in the centre of Zepa,

13 along the main street in Zepa; and perhaps some 150 metres away from this

14 area where the buses were, there was the UNPROFOR base. So UNPROFOR was

15 there, but I was at the head of this column of buses and I did not see. I

16 didn't even look for the UNPROFOR troops. I was just trying to find where

17 Avdo was, and I saw this group of Serb soldiers. But UNPROFOR at that

18 time was still in Zepa.

19 Q. Is it correct that as part of the population that was evacuated in

20 that convoy where you were evacuated, there were able-bodied men as well?

21 A. I don't know about that. There were no men of military age. From

22 what I was able to tell, there were women and children there.

23 Q. Witness, do you know Mr. Abdurahman Malkic?

24 A. I met him. He was a witness. He was also in the secret prisoner

25 in Vanakov Mlin in Bijeljina, where my husband was brought in early August

Page 6960

1 1995. And I met him because he was an important witness who could help me

2 in my search for my husband.

3 Q. That person, Mr. Malkic, told you that he had seen your husband in

4 the month of January of 1996; is that right?

5 A. No. He didn't say that he had seen him in January 1996. There

6 might be some confusion here. He saw him at the time when he was in

7 prison. Malkic left before Avdo did. In other words, Avdo remained in

8 the secret prison, and Avdo [as interpreted] left in January 1996 when all

9 the prisoners were exchanged in accordance with the Dayton Peace Accords.

10 As soon as I heard about him, I sought him out and I talked to him about

11 what he knew about my husband.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Page 55, line -- line 1 on page 55. That Avdo

13 should be Malkic or Abdurahman Malkic, not Avdo.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I say "Avdo," I mean Avdo

15 Palic. Abdurahman Malkic is a witness who was in the secret prison

16 together with my husband. He is a man who fled from Srebrenica across the

17 Drina and was arrested in Bajina Basta by the Serbian police, and they

18 took him back to the secret prison in Bijeljina.

19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Witness, you gave a statement to the OTP on the 18th of April,

21 1999, and in that statement you said that you talked to Mr. Malkic as well

22 as Mr. Ramic. Further, you said, further down on the page 8 of the

23 English version:

24 [In English] "They told me that that my husband was still alive.

25 He was being kept as a prisoner in this Detention Centre. He was last

Page 6961

1 seen by these men in January 1996."

2 A. I have to apologise if I missed that in the statement. I have to

3 say that when the statement was taken in April 1999, it took us from noon

4 until 9.00 p.m. to do it. And I told him this long story, and it was

5 condensed. And in the end we had less pages than actually should have

6 been, and I was opposed to this process, this condensation. This is not

7 true, what it says here.

8 These two prisoners were released in January 1996 when it was

9 agreed that all the prisoners from all sides should be released in

10 accordance with the Dayton Peace Accord. So these two people were

11 released, they were in the secret prison, and Avdo remained there in the

12 secret prison.

13 Q. [Interpretation] Those two people were absolutely certain that in

14 January of 1996, when they left the prison that your husband was still

15 alive in that same prison. Is that what you're telling us?

16 A. They left the prison, the secret prison, before. So in late

17 August, they were transferred to the Batkovic prison where they received

18 visits from the International Red Cross, where all the prisoners were

19 registered. Quite unlike the secret prison where they had been before.

20 So at that time they left him in the secret prison, not in January 1996,

21 which was the date when these people were actually released from their

22 captivity.

23 I would like to be shown this part of my statement.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Soljan.

25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Mr. President.

Page 6962

1 1D177. Mr. President, it is not in the e-court. Can we show -- could the

2 witness be shown the paper copy, please?

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it readily available, Ms. Soljan?

4 THE FRENCH INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] In English, it would be -- actually,

6 in B/C/S, it would be page 9, second paragraph. This is not the right

7 page. What we see in the e-court system is the old translation. I don't

8 have the new translation, Mr. President. This is why it's not page 9.

9 Could the witness be shown the hard copy, please.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think that's going to be done now.

11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]

12 Q. It's page 9, second paragraph.

13 A. Fine. So it is correct that Abdurahman Malkic and Sado Ramic saw

14 Avdo in this secret prison when he was brought in. They were together for

15 a while. Abdurahman Malkic and Sado Ramic were transferred in late August

16 - I don't know the exact date - from this secret prison. Avdo remained

17 in the secret prison after they left. The two of them were exchanged in

18 January 1996, when they told me that they had seen Avdo and had been with

19 him in the secret prison.

20 Q. Witness, do you know that Mr. Abdurahman Malkic became the

21 president of the Srebrenica municipality afterwards?

22 A. I know that he held a function in the municipality of Srebrenica.

23 I don't know what it was. I met this man once again when he was a witness

24 for my side when I had this proceeding before the international -- before

25 the human rights centre, but I don't know anything about him.

Page 6963

1 Q. In your quest to find your husband, were you sometimes under the

2 impression that the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina - and I'm

3 talking about the authorities of the federation - were not being very

4 responsive?

5 A. Well, it is the fact that I had to fight on my own. What I got

6 from the federation authorities was sympathy, which really didn't mean

7 much to me, didn't yield any results. And everybody was just saying they

8 couldn't do anything; they were powerless. But I refused to just settle

9 down with this sense that I was powerless, that there was nothing I could

10 do.

11 I think that the position taken by the Sarajevo authorities was,

12 in fact, to a certain extent inferior, but that they had to do more, put

13 in a lot of effort with the international community to insist, to scream

14 and shout everywhere, just as I did. Because we had an officer who was

15 arrested before the eyes of the international community of the UN and yet

16 nobody moved a finger. The UN didn't do anything, and really this is

17 something that I cannot forgive and this is not something that I can

18 justify.

19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no further

20 questions.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Fauveau.

22 Mr. Sarapa.

23 MR. SARAPA: [No interpretation].

24 Cross-examination by Mr. Sarapa:

25 Q. [Interpretation] Mrs. Palic, when you spoke about leaving Zepa, in

Page 6964

1 order to use a neutral term, you said that you left at 7.00 on the 24th.

2 From what transpired later, I assumed that this was 7.00 p.m., because in

3 your statement it is not specified whether it was in the morning or in the

4 evening. So can we agree that this was the 24th of July at 7.00 p.m.?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And you said that immediately after that you went to this location

7 from which you later headed towards Kladanj, and that that was at 9.00

8 a.m., and that was the 25th?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. You also said that you were in the first convoy, I think the

11 second bus. Could you please tell me when did the first convoy move

12 before you? You said that there were the wounded and the sick on that

13 convoy.

14 A. Well, that was in the afternoon. So when we returned to the

15 centre of Zepa from Stitkov Dol, they had already left.

16 Q. Okay. So they also left on the 24th, that's unquestionable?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Now I wanted to ask you about leaving Zepa, just one more

19 question. Do you have any knowledge as to when the process ended, if it

20 started on the 24th?

21 A. It ended on the 27th of July, the last convoy was supposed to move

22 on the 26th in the evening of the 26th, but it was blocked. I know that

23 there were 806 civilians on it and 30 or 40 wounded people. That convoy

24 was blocked and Mladic wanted Avdo to come to the UNPROFOR base in Zepa to

25 surrender the army, the troops. Avdo of course refused to surrender, and

Page 6965

1 at that time he received reports that General Smith was heading to Zepa to

2 arrange, to negotiate about the fate of the troops, and that's what I also

3 heard from Visoko.

4 This convoy spent the night in Zepa, in the morning again they

5 were not evacuated, and then the wounded were told that they would not

6 leave until Avdo has come to talk about the fate of the army. Two of the

7 people who were only slightly injured went to see Avdo, who was at Stitkov

8 Dol, and told him that the remaining civilians and the wounded people were

9 not allowed to go before he arrived. And he said,"Okay. I'm -- you can

10 go back. I'll follow soon after," and indeed that's what he did.

11 According to witness reports, that was at 10.00 a.m., Avdo entered

12 the UN base. They immediately gave the go-ahead, or rather they said that

13 the remaining civilians and the wounded could get on the buses and the

14 convoy moved.

15 Q. Could you please repeat for the transcript, 10.00 a.m. on the 27th

16 of July?

17 A. Yes, 27th of July, 10.00 a.m.

18 Q. Now, let me move on to another topic. Did you see any helicopters

19 landing at Zepa, during the war, of course?

20 A. At the beginning in 1992, helicopters kept landing and actually

21 flying over my house, flying very low. I knew that these were the

22 helicopters of the former Yugoslav People's Army. They were heading

23 towards this facility, this Desetina facility at Zepa mountain at Ozlovrh.

24 Q. Did you see helicopters later?

25 A. No, but I saw planes.

Page 6966

1 Q. So can you -- are you then saying that in 1993, 1994, and 1995,

2 there were no helicopters landing in Zepa?

3 A. No, in 1993, when Zepa became a protected area, there were many

4 wounded, many people who stepped on a mine, who had their legs amputated

5 in very bad conditions in the hospital in Zepa. And Avdo requested that

6 all the seriously wounded people and all the seriously sick people be

7 transported to Sarajevo or wherever; and then in agreement with the Serb

8 side or Serb army, through the good offices of UNPROFOR, it was agreed

9 that these people would be evacuated by helicopter and this is what

10 happened. I did see those helicopters.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Mr. Sarapa and Mrs. Palic, please allow

12 a short pause between question and answer because you have been really

13 moving fast, and that's creating problems for the interpreters.

14 MR. SARAPA: [No interpretation]

15 Q. [Interpretation] Do you have any knowledge that something else was

16 transported in those helicopters? To be more specific military equipment?

17 A. No.

18 Q. Now I would like to ask you something about Zepa. But this

19 pertains to the pre-war period, until 1992 when the conflict broke out.

20 Was Zepa the seat of the municipality; in other words, was it a

21 municipality or was it part of another municipality?

22 A. It was a municipality until sometime in the 1970s; then it was --

23 the municipality was dissolved and the areas that gravitated towards the

24 municipality of Hans Pijesak were now part of Han Pijesak, a part of it

25 was now part of Visegrad, and the rest of Rogatica.

Page 6967

1 Q. So in 1992, Zepa was not a municipality?

2 A. No, it wasn't. But the territory that managed to defend itself

3 against the attacks by the Serb forces was in fact the territory of the

4 former municipality.

5 Q. Could you please -- just a moment. At the beginning of the war,

6 in 1992, did Zepa have its hospital?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Was it a health care centre or a hospital?

9 A. Well, it was a health care centre that became a hospital because

10 there was such a large number of wounded and sick people.

11 Q. Was there a court there?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Could you please tell me, was there a high school there in 1992 in

14 Zepa?

15 A. No.

16 Q. In 1992, was there street lightening -- lighting in Zepa?

17 A. Only in the town centre.

18 Q. How could you describe the centre? Could you be more specific how

19 many streets? How long were the streets?

20 A. Well, there was the main street. I don't know how long it was

21 really. If you want more specific answers, I don't know if I understood

22 you correctly. But Zepa was an old town, it had its main street, it's the

23 heart of the city, and then there were some other inhabited areas,

24 neighbourhoods closer or further away from the town centre.

25 Q. So those -- those were not those of villages or neighbourhoods

Page 6968

1 were not actually part of Zepa proper?

2 A. Yes, that's correct.

3 Q. Could you describe Zepa as a town, a small town, or a city?

4 A. Well, Zepa was a small town, in a classical sense of the word.

5 Q. Thank you very much. I have no further questions.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Sarapa.

7 Is there re-examination, Ms. Soljan?

8 MS. SOLJAN: No, Your Honours. Thank you.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam, we don't have any further questions for you,

10 which means you're free to go. On behalf of the Tribunal, I wish to thank

11 you for having come over to give testimony, and I also wish you a safe

12 journey back home. Our staff will assist you with the necessary

13 arrangements.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

15 [The witness withdrew]

16 JUDGE AGIUS: So, documents. Do you have any documents to -- that

17 you wish to tender, Ms. Soljan? None.

18 MS. SOLJAN: Your Honours, I have no documents.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: As I understand, the Gvero Defence team wishes to

20 tender some documents. Mr. Josse.

21 MR. JOSSE: Yes, Your Honour. There were a number of documents

22 that I put to the witness. 6D29, which was the report by the UN official

23 in relation to the state of affairs at the time, 26th of July. 6D30,

24 which was the Zepa disarmament agreement. 6D31, which was the

25 demilitarisation agreement of two years earlier, of 1993. 6D32, which is

Page 6969

1 the decision -- I beg your pardon, the document in relation to the loan.

2 6D33, the criminal report. 6D34, which was the document from Colonel

3 Palic, in relation to the disarming of UNPROFOR. And 6D5D7, which was the

4 document, the order of Brigadier General Hadzihasanovic, in relation to

5 matters in February of 1995.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Which one of these have not yet

7 been translated?

8 MR. JOSSE: A number of them have not been translated. 6D32,

9 6D34, and 6D33 have not yet been translated. The others either have or

10 are in English.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Are there any objections on the Prosecution side --

12 MS. SOLJAN: No, Your Honours. No objections.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: -- or any of the Defence side? So these last three

14 documents mentioned by Mr. Josse, 6D32, 6D33, and 6D34, are being marked

15 for identification pending translation thereof; and then they will be

16 considered admitted. The rest are being admitted, there being no

17 objection.

18 MR. JOSSE: We are grateful.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

20 So next witness. Are we ready? Because this one has got

21 protective measures.

22 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.

23 MR. McCLOSKEY: We should be ready to go, Your Honour.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: I just want to check the protective measures are

25 pseudonym and face distortion. Is that correct?

Page 6970

1 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's my understanding.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.

3 In the meantime, the Prosecution has filed another motion to

4 convert a certain witness, who would be PW-157, from a viva voce witness

5 to a 92 ter witness, and also for protective measures for the protective

6 measures; namely, pseudonym, visual, and voice distortion. If you could

7 possibly come back to us early tomorrow morning on this, so that we can

8 hand down an oral decision. Thank you.

9 For those of you who couldn't follow, I'm referring to Witness

10 number 68.

11 Good afternoon to you, sir.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome to this Tribunal. You are about to start

14 giving evidence. Before you do so, please, you are required to enter a

15 solemn declaration that you will be testifying the truth. Please read out

16 the text of this solemn declaration and this will be your undertaking with

17 us.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

19 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.


21 [Witness answered through interpreter]

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Please sit down and make yourself comfortable.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: We have granted you some protective measures;

25 namely, the use of a pseudonym and also face distortion. That's to

Page 6971

1 protect your identity. I trust that this has already been explained to

2 you. I just want to confirm that this arrangement is to your

3 satisfaction. I haven't heard your answer.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. McCloskey will go first, and then he

6 will be followed by the various Defence teams on cross-examination.

7 Go ahead, Mr. McCloskey.

8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon.

9 Examination by Mr. McCloskey:

10 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. Sir, if could you take a look at this

11 sheet, it's P02397, and could you tell us, is that you, sir?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Okay. And if we could go into private session just very briefly.

14 [Private session]

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 [Open session]

Page 6972


2 Q. And in July 1995, were you in the BiH army?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. What unit?

5 A. 282nd.

6 Q. And on July 11th, what did you do?

7 A. On July 11th, I fled from Srebrenica towards Jaglici. The group

8 consisted of men and civilians. Women and children went towards Potocari;

9 whereas, us, we went through the woods towards Tuzla.

10 Q. And why did you go towards the woods in -- in Tuzla?

11 A. The army of Republika Srpska, the Yugoslav army, launched fierce

12 attacks on Srebrenica. They entered Srebrenica and we were forced to

13 flee. As a result, we had to flee from Srebrenica.

14 Q. Did you receive orders to go towards Jaglici, or towards the

15 woods?

16 A. Well, I didn't hear any orders. Nobody ordered me anything.

17 There was such a huge panic among women, children, and men, that

18 everything was chaotic. We didn't know who went or fled where. The

19 artillery and shelling attacks were intense. Shells were landing on us,

20 on people, so we had to leave Srebrenica as soon as possible.

21 Q. Okay. Now, did you leave Jaglici on -- around the 11th sometime?

22 A. I arrived in Jaglici on the 12th, and I left Jaglici on the 12th.

23 Q. About what time of day, just roughly, if you remember?

24 A. Afternoon.

25 Q. And who did you leave with?

Page 6973

1 A. I set out with men. We walked in a column. One behind the other.

2 Q. Let me skip ahead to the morning of the next day, the 13th. Did

3 you surrender at some point?

4 A. Yes. Outside of Kravica, there was a large group of men,

5 including myself. We decided to surrender. We had no other option. So

6 we came down to the asphalt road and surrendered.

7 Q. And what happened when you got to the asphalt road?

8 A. Well, we crossed the asphalt road, we were ordered to raise our

9 hands behind our heads, and then we were ordered to lay down our

10 back-packs. Whoever had back-packs had to put them on a pile. We did

11 that. Again, we walked in a column, one behind the other.

12 We were then ordered to hand over money. Whoever had money had to

13 relinquish it. There was a soldier going around, and we gave him our

14 money; and then we crossed the asphalt road and they took us to a large

15 meadow, where there were several torched and destroyed houses. That

16 location was known as Sandici.

17 Q. Okay. Now, when you first received orders, I think you said to

18 put your hands on your head, can you describe for us who was giving you

19 those orders?

20 A. One of the Serb soldiers. I don't know whether he was an officer,

21 perhaps.

22 Q. Can you describe as best you can the -- the uniforms of the

23 soldiers that were ordering you at this point when you had first

24 surrendered? Just as best you can.

25 A. They had full camouflage uniforms, top and bottom part; some of

Page 6974

1 them had helmets; some had caps; they had flak jackets on them.

2 Q. Okay. Now, when you got to the meadow did you notice any other

3 kinds of soldiers or new descriptions, anything you would add to the

4 descriptions of any soldiers at the meadow when you got there?

5 A. The ones I saw, the ones around me, when they took us to the

6 meadow, there were guards around us so that nobody would attempt to flee

7 from my group. All of them had multi-coloured uniforms on then. There

8 was one standing in front of us, most likely an officer. He also had a

9 camouflage, multi-coloured uniform. He had a white T-shirt, short-sleeved

10 one.

11 He had a knife in his hands; and as we were there on the meadow,

12 he kept twisting and -- the knife and turning, playing with it. He had a

13 semi-automatic rifle, and occasionally he fired a bullet into the air

14 whenever there was some commotion. They would send a person or two to get

15 water in bottles. It was very hot and people kept fainting, and they were

16 cooling them down with water.

17 So in order to prevent any commotion among us to prevent us making

18 any noise, he would occasionally fire into the air, and he would yell at

19 us to calm down.

20 Q. Okay. Do you know just roughly what time of day you arrived at

21 this meadow?

22 A. It was morning. It was sunny. In the morning, there was fog.

23 And when we decided to surrender, we couldn't see the asphalt road. We

24 just heard them issuing calls to us to surrender and also that we would be

25 safe and that we would be sent wherever we wanted to go. When we

Page 6975

1 descended down to the asphalt road, this was a bit later, the sun came

2 out, and then the rest of the day it was very warm.

3 Q. When you were at that meadow, when you first got there, can you

4 give us any kind of a rough estimate of how many other Muslim men were at

5 that meadow with you?

6 A. Well, in my opinion, between 1.500 and 2.000, maybe even more.

7 Q. All right. And was that when you initially got there or did it

8 increase to that size over the day that you were there?

9 A. There was a large group with me. We arrived to that location at

10 the meadow, and then later the number grew. After a short period of time,

11 another column arrived. They had also surrendered, and they were taken to

12 the same meadow where I was.

13 Q. While you were on the meadow did you see any wounded Muslims?

14 A. I saw a couple of wounded men. They also fainted and they needed

15 to cool them down. The order came for the wounded to be taken to the

16 houses to be placed in shadow, and people who knew them were supposed to

17 escort them there. So they were taken to these houses, and the houses

18 were to my right. I sat there on the meadow facing the asphalt road, and

19 the houses were to my right.

20 Q. After the wounded were taken to the houses, did you ever see what

21 happened to them?

22 A. I didn't see anything. I don't know what happened to them. I

23 just saw one soldier who brought a man from my group, a man who had

24 escorted the wounded. The Serb soldier said that the man from my group

25 had attempted to flee, and he caught up with him and he brought him back

Page 6976

1 to the meadow where I was, next to a tank.

2 What happened then is this: The man who rode in the tank, he kept

3 going in and out of the tank, and there were some other soldiers sitting

4 on the tank or around the tank. This soldier hit him with his palm on his

5 chin, on his face, and the man fell down on his back. All of us watched

6 it. It was taking place some ten metres from us. Another soldier from

7 another group came. A group arrived, and I didn't know who they were.

8 They had different types of uniforms. They had black uniforms with black

9 pants, black T-shirts, boots, I didn't see any insignia on them.

10 So one of those soldiers in black uniform took an automatic rifle

11 with a clip or a drum, approached the soldier, and basically stood over

12 him and fired a burst of fire into his chest; and then he ordered other

13 people to carry him away, some 20 to 30 metres away, and just to drop his

14 body there. That's what they did. They came, picked his body, and threw

15 it on the meadow; and then these people came back to my group.

16 Q. Who carried the body? Serbs or Muslims?

17 A. Muslims.

18 Q. All right. While you were at the meadow that day, did you see if

19 anyone allowed to leave, any of the Muslims allowed to leave that group of

20 men?

21 A. There were some girls, women, and children, among us. Children

22 below the age of 18, say 13, 15, 17 years or so, they were allowed to

23 leave the group. A convoy came, which evacuated civilians from Potocari

24 and took them to Tuzla. They stopped the buses, trucks, and those whom

25 they had separated from the group, who were younger than 18, were put on

Page 6977

1 the buses and sent to Tuzla.

2 Q. Did you see or hear how your captors were able to separate the

3 people, how they knew who was younger?

4 A. Well, one of the soldiers asked, "Whoever is below the age of 18

5 come out," so some came out. And using his own judgement, he sent back

6 those who, in his view, were not young enough; and whoever looked young

7 enough to him were separated and put on buses.

8 Q. All right. And while you were at that meadow, did any senior VRS

9 officers come by?

10 A. Yes. They did. Later on Ratko Mladic came with his entourage.

11 All of them were well-dressed in new uniforms. He addressed us, saying

12 that there was no need for us to be afraid, to worry, that we would be

13 sent to wherever we wanted to go, that we would not be harmed, that we

14 would be sent to our families.

15 He didn't stay there long, perhaps five to ten minutes. I'm not

16 quite sure. Some journalists came, they took pictures of us, they took

17 footage. They didn't stay long either, and then they left from the

18 meadow.

19 Q. When you say "footage," what do you mean when you say the

20 journalists took "footage"?

21 A. Well, they recorded us, and they said to us, "We're taking

22 pictures of you. We are filming you so that we can show to the world just

23 how humane we are, that you came to no harm, that you are safe, that you

24 are in a safe location."

25 Q. About what time of day did Mladic come by and give the little talk

Page 6978

1 to the group?

2 A. I'm not sure, but somewhere at midday. It could have been in the

3 afternoon. I'm not quite sure.

4 Q. Aside from that -- the transport that you saw that took some women

5 and the people perhaps under 18 away, did you see any other transport or

6 convoys go by your location?

7 A. I saw the UN APCs which were there near us. I saw soldiers

8 walking by, but they didn't stay there long. They also transported people

9 on trucks, on buses.

10 Q. When you say they transported people on buses and trucks, in which

11 direction were those people being transported?

12 A. They were taking them towards Tuzla.

13 Q. And could you make out who those people on the buses were, and

14 trucks were?

15 A. Naturally, I could. They were all civilians; women, children from

16 Potocari who had gone to Potocari to the UN compound.

17 Q. Okay. Can you explain how it came that you finally left that

18 location that day?

19 A. We were ordered, two buses arrived, and they awaited us on the

20 asphalt road. They made a selection. They didn't get everybody at the

21 same time. This officer came, the one who stood in front of us with a

22 knife, and he said, "You, you, you, come out. Go down to the asphalt road

23 and get on buses."

24 I was among them. He selected me, too. A lot of people came

25 after me until the buses were full. When I got on the bus, I was unable

Page 6979

1 to find a seat. I stood in the aisle, and we were packed so tightly that

2 we almost suffocated. It was extremely warm. We had escorts; the Serb

3 soldiers were on the bus with us. The buses were headed towards Bratunac

4 and Srebrenica. This is how they were turned, and once the buses were

5 full we were taken towards Bratunac.

6 Q. Let me interrupt you there. Before getting on the bus, had anyone

7 told you where you were going?

8 A. They told us -- that's what I didn't mention. When they were

9 separating us there at the meadow, we didn't know where we were going, and

10 then told us that they would exchange us for their people, the Serbs, that

11 they would take us to Tuzla. That's what I thought. And once we got on

12 the buses, the buses were not turned in the direction of Tuzla. They were

13 turned in the direction of Bratunac, and I found this suspicious.

14 So we actually headed for Bratunac. They drove us there. They

15 didn't drive us far. They took us to those hangars, the depots at

16 Kravica.

17 Q. Before we get to the hangars at Kravica, let me ask you another

18 question or two. You say there was a -- a selection at this Sandici

19 meadow. Did you -- could you make out what the criteria might have

20 been -- or was from this selection? What the group selected might have

21 had in common, if anything?

22 A. As far as I was able to see, they took out fit men, very fit men,

23 strong men. That was their assessment, and I actually agreed with them.

24 So these were mostly the people that they singled out.

25 Q. The translation we got was that you "agreed with them." What do

Page 6980

1 you mean by that?

2 A. Well, I actually don't understand. Could you please clarify this?

3 Q. It may be a translation issue, but the translation we got is that

4 you agreed with the -- the men that were separating you.

5 A. I looked around me, and these were indeed very strong and fit men,

6 Younger lads. And they were the ones that were taken out, singled out.

7 Q. Okay. Had you seen any other -- aside from the women and these --

8 the younger men that you have spoken about, had you seen anybody, any

9 other groups of men being taken from the meadow that day before your group

10 was taken?

11 A. I saw who was next to me. Some people were taken away as soon as

12 we got to the meadow. There was a man standing next to me whom I knew

13 very well. We both surrendered together. He was the first one to be

14 taken away. The moment we got to the meadow, we were there for maybe 20

15 minutes, half an hour, he was singled out. He was, however, wearing a

16 beard.

17 He had been a Hodza in Srebrenica. So they took him and they took

18 other people who were bearded. I couldn't see all of them. I didn't see

19 where they took these people, but they never came back. I never saw them

20 again. I only saw the wounded people being singled out, that's what I

21 already mentioned.

22 Q. Did you know the name of this Hodza that was singled out?

23 A. I can't recall the name now.

24 Q. Okay. Aside from individuals being singled out that day, had you

25 ever seen any, you know, larger groups of people either walked away from

Page 6981

1 the -- the area or transported away, prior to you being transported away?

2 A. Well, they separated the wounded; the women; the younger people,

3 people below the age of 18; and the girls. They put them on the buses,

4 and the buses left for Tuzla. So the buses with -- they went together

5 with the convoy of women and children that headed out from Potocari.

6 Q. Okay. So let's get back to the moment when the bus you were on

7 leaves the Sandici meadow area. Do you remember roughly what time of day

8 that was?

9 A. That was in the afternoon.

10 Q. Okay. And do you -- you've described two buses. Do you remember

11 if you were on the -- the first one sort of pointing in the direction of

12 Bratunac or the -- the one behind that?

13 A. I was on the first bus.

14 Q. And do you know that when -- when you went off towards Bratunac,

15 did any other vehicles follow you?

16 A. There was another bus behind us. It was also full of people.

17 Q. Okay. And where did your bus go?

18 A. Well, I got on at the asphalt road, and we headed in the direction

19 of Bratunac. They actually drove us to Kravica, to those hangars there.

20 So the buses took a right turn and took us to an area in front of the

21 those hangars. We didn't travel for a long time. It was just a short

22 drive.

23 Q. Okay. And did both buses go in front of those hangars?

24 A. Both buses.

25 Q. Okay. If we could get 65 ter number 1563 up on the screen.

Page 6982

1 What we're going to do is get a photo and ask you about that

2 photo; and if we have time, we've only got five minutes left, but I'm

3 going to ask you to draw on that photo on this new machine we've got, and

4 I'm sure the usher will show you how this thing works.

5 First of all, looking at this -- at this exhibit, which I

6 mentioned, do you recognise that?

7 A. Yes, of course.

8 Q. What is it?

9 A. Those are the hangars in Kravica where I was.

10 Q. Okay. Well, the usher is going to give you this pen thing, and

11 you can mark right on the screen; and if you make a mistake, we can start

12 over again. Sorry, we may have a transcript issue.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazarevic.

14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Microphone not activated] All right. I believe

15 that I see some marking on the right-hand corner of the photograph under

16 this number, so I believe we adopted -- well there is a section, which

17 shows as a mark on the photograph.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think I know what you mean. In the top right

19 corner, under the reference number, there seems to be some handwritten --

20 can we zoom on that? Let me try and do it myself here.

21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, we thought this was a blank one.

22 This is a -- so I apologise. I think this was an exhibit used in Krstic,

23 but we didn't see this little handwritten stuff. We can find out what it

24 is. I think it -- I mean I can read it, but...

25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. If we have a clean copy, we will use the

Page 6983

1 clean copy, and thank you, Mr. Lazarevic, for pointing that out. It's

2 very illegible, but...

3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry, this is -- this is our photo, and I don't

4 think it's any problem with what it says on the photo, but...

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Has any one of the Defence teams have any problem

6 with this photo?

7 Go ahead. You may proceed. We have three minutes left.

8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.

9 Q. Okay. If you could take the pen, could you draw in where the bus

10 you were in stopped at the -- at the hangar, as best you can recall? And

11 you can just press it right on the screen and hopefully it will work. And

12 just draw -- why don't you just draw a little rectangle roughly in the

13 shape of a bus. I know getting the size right is tricky, but just do your

14 best to draw in a little bus rectangle?

15 A. Yes, I can. [Marks]

16 Q. Okay. And where was the -- the second bus?

17 A. Behind this one. [Marks]

18 Q. Okay. If could you put a 1 by the bus you were in, and a -- just

19 a 2 by the bus that was behind you. Just mark a little 1 next to the bus

20 you were in.

21 A. [Marks]

22 Q. Okay. And just a 2 by the other one.

23 A. [Marks]

24 Q. And I want you to just put your pseudonym, which is PW-111. Just

25 put it in that big cornfield to the bottom right. Just put "PW-111" on

Page 6984

1 the screen, so that we know this is your diagram.

2 A. What should I put in? Could you please repeat?

3 Q. Yeah. It's your code-name, just PW-111.

4 A. [Marks]

5 Q. And just write under that the date, which is I believe -- sorry, I

6 missed the last 1. Okay.

7 A. [Marks]

8 Q. And the date which should be 6/2/07.

9 A. [Marks]

10 Q. And that's probably a good place to stop today, Mr. President.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. This will be saved and will subsequently

12 be tendered. We stand adjourned until tomorrow morning.

13 Witness, we have to stop here today. We will see you again

14 tomorrow morning at 9.00 when we will continue and hopefully finish with

15 your testimony.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,

19 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 7th day of

20 February, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.