1 Wednesday, 7 February 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The Accused Nikolic not present]
5 [The witness entered court]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So good morning, Madam Registrar. Could you kindly
8 call the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
10 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you.
12 I notice that accused Nikolic is not present in the courtroom. We
13 have been informed that he will be present later on. At the moment he's
14 got some medical appointment. Otherwise the Defence teams are all here,
15 and everyone is present. Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey for the time being.
16 For the time being.
17 I had asked you yesterday if you have any response to the
18 Prosecution submission to convert Witness 68 from viva voce to 92 ter
19 witness and for protective measures for that witness. Are there any
20 objections on the part of any of the Defence teams? We hear none. So the
21 motion is granted -- is granted.
22 So, Mr. McCloskey. Good morning to you, Witness. Welcome back.
23 We are going to proceed with your testimony today and hopefully try to
25 Mr. McCloskey.
1 WITNESS: WITNESS PW-111 [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
4 Honours, everyone.
5 Examination by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
6 Q. Good morning, Witness. If we could pull up that 65 ter 1563 photo
7 again, but while that's coming up, let me take you briefly back to the
8 meadow near Sandici. You said there was a military tank there. Do you
9 remember any other big military machines or weapons around the meadow
10 while you were there that day?
11 A. Naturally there were, yes. And there was a Praga near us to the
12 right. There was a tank in our vicinity. There was a mobile
13 anti-aircraft gun, 20/3 millimetre with three barrels, and it was on the
14 road or near the road.
15 Q. What's the difference between a Praga and this mobile
16 anti-aircraft weapon you just described?
17 A. Praga had its position; it was dug in somewhat. I wasn't sure
18 whether it was mobile or not. I'm not quite sure whether it could move,
19 whether it had wheels. It was positioned in a -- in a housing or in a
20 base, and the same applied to the tank and to the anti-aircraft gun. All
21 of them were facing with their barrels towards the woods from which we had
23 Q. Do you know what kind of barrels the Praga had?
24 A. It had two barrels. A tank has one barrel, an anti-aircraft gun
25 has three barrels.
1 Q. How is it that you know about these sorts of weapons?
2 A. I know about this because I served in the former JNA, and I'm
3 quite familiar with all of these weapons.
4 Q. Okay. Now, let's go to this photo. We had to start with a new
5 one because once you save one of these other -- the one we did yesterday,
6 it disappears into the record. So I don't think you need to draw the
7 buses again, but can you tell us when the buses got there do you remember
8 roughly what time of day it is at that point?
9 A. I'm not fully certain, but it was in the afternoon, towards the
10 evening maybe even. I'm not sure. The sun was still up.
11 Q. And when -- what happened after you got there? What did you do?
12 A. They brought us there in buses and we stopped in front of the
13 warehouse. The first bus was parked close to the first entrance, the one
14 right here. I was on the first bus. The second bus parked behind the
15 first bus. We were given orders to run out of the bus as quickly as
16 possible and enter the warehouse through the first entrance. I can point
17 out if you want me to.
18 Q. Okay. Why don't you --
19 A. It was on the left.
20 Q. Okay. If you could take that marker again and just point with
21 an -- or just draw in an arrow where you went into the warehouse as you
22 recall. And you will get some help with that marker.
23 A. [Marks].
24 Q. Can you put a little arrow on -- on that -- a little point on the
25 arrow so we see which direction you're going in for sure?
1 A. [Marks].
2 Q. Okay. By your arrow, it looks like you're going into the entrance
3 and turning towards the left; is that right? Is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay. And as you went into the -- as you got off the bus and went
6 into the warehouse, did you notice anything or do you remember noticing
7 anything at that other side of the warehouse, towards where the buses were
9 A. There were just Serb soldiers there, ordering us to leave buses as
10 quickly as possible and enter the warehouse.
11 Q. All right. And when you went into the warehouse where did you go?
12 A. I can draw where I was, where I was in the warehouse. Do you want
13 me to?
14 Q. Why don't you just put an X on the roof. We know you weren't on
15 the roof, but that will give us an idea roughly where you were in the
17 A. [Marks].
18 Q. Okay. And do you remember what was -- what was in there when
19 you -- when you went in there, what you noticed?
20 A. At the very entrance, in the middle, there was a car turned upside
21 down and set on fire, and there was a container, a large container next to
22 the wall. And then in front of us at the very entrance there was some
23 kind of a fence, a wire, all broken down. So there was a large opening
24 and the wire was all demolished.
25 Q. This fence, was that inside the warehouse, this wire fence?
1 A. Yes, inside the warehouse.
2 Q. Can you draw a line as best you could the -- where that fence was?
3 A. All right. [Marks].
4 Q. Okay. And you said -- you described a car and just to make it
5 clear, was that car burning or -- it may have been the translation, or was
6 it a burnt-out car?
7 A. It wasn't burning, it was burnt. There was nothing left of it.
8 Q. Okay. Do you remember any -- any other -- anything inside the
9 warehouse, any structures or things or items?
10 A. I don't remember, I didn't notice anything.
11 Q. Okay. Was there anything you later climbed up on?
12 A. Well, as I have said, there was that container close to the wall,
13 and this is how I jumped through the window because I first climbed on the
15 Q. Okay. Yeah, we'll get to that. Okay. So when you go in, where
16 did the other people on your bus go?
17 A. They also went into the same portion, same section of the
18 warehouse where I was. The same applies to the people from the second
19 bus. I was among the first ones to enter, and then after me a lot of
20 other people came in, or rather, came in running, so that the section
21 where I was was completely full.
22 Q. Well, did -- do you know if people besides those two bus loads
23 came into your side of the warehouse?
24 A. Yes, later on. But I naturally didn't know where they had come
25 from, from which direction, because I was already inside. Yes, a lot of
1 people came in running until it was completely full of people.
2 Q. How long did this process of new -- of new people -- I guess
3 Muslim men, I take it, how long did this process of new Muslims coming
4 into the warehouse last, if you can give us a rough estimate?
5 A. Well, roughly -- I don't know exactly, but in my view, perhaps,
6 hour and a half to two hours.
7 Q. Okay. And how full did this area get between this -- this fence
8 and the -- and the walls of the warehouse where you were?
9 A. It was full of people. Tightly packed. We were ordered to sit
10 down. We had to sit down. People were tightly packed; they were
11 literally sitting shoulder to shoulder, and it was so full that we were
12 almost suffocating. Everything was full. All the way up to the entrance,
13 to this entrance here, this first entrance.
14 Q. Okay. Have -- can you give us a -- your rough estimate of how
15 many Muslim men were packed into the warehouse when it was full? Your
16 part of the warehouse, that is?
17 A. Well, about two and a half thousand to 3.000, roughly. I don't
18 know the exact number. That was my estimate at the time.
19 Q. Okay. How about guards? Could you make out any guards, any Serb
20 guards from where you were packed in there?
21 A. Naturally there were a number of them. Occasionally they would
22 come in, go out. They were moving around. First a civilian came in who
23 threw Marlboro cigarettes to us. He took a carton of cigarettes and then
24 threw cigarettes to people and whoever managed to grab a cigarette was
25 allowed to light it up. After that the order came for the people who had
1 money, jewelry, valuables on them to come out. They confiscated that from
2 us; they took it from me as well. I had some gold on me. Even though
3 some had already been taken away from me back at the meadow in Sandici,
4 gold also. So the last gold bits that I had I surrendered to this man
5 here. A lot of other people came out surrendering money, gold, watches.
6 And they noted it down, they recorded it, saying allegedly that they would
7 eventually return it to us.
8 Q. Aside from this civilian guy that gave you cigarettes, were there
9 military-type people or people in uniform around as well doing this?
10 A. Naturally, yes, there were. They could occasionally come in, walk
11 in front of us. They took out whoever they wanted to take out. They took
12 out two men. They ordered them to stand against the wall. This wall here
13 where I entered, on the left side. This wall here. This is the wall that
14 they stood against.
15 Q. Why don't you -- sorry. Since you have pointed, why don't you
16 just put W against the wall that you saw them being put against.
17 A. [Marks].
18 Q. Okay. And then what happened?
19 A. They questioned them about some villages, about some Serb soldiers
20 who were killed. I didn't hear what they asked them. I know that it had
21 to do with some villages and some Serb soldiers who were killed. And then
22 again -- or rather, they interrogated them for a brief period of time,
23 they yelled at them, but they didn't touch them. Then they ordered them
24 to sit down again in their group.
25 Q. What sorts of clothes were the -- these -- the Serbs wearing,
1 besides this civilian guy that you already talked about?
2 A. All of them had camouflage, multi-coloured uniforms. That is to
3 say they were well-dressed. New uniforms. One among them had a UN
4 helmet, the blue one.
5 Q. Okay. Now, the camouflage, what colour camouflage, roughly?
6 A. Green.
7 Q. Okay. Now, after that period where valuables were taken and these
8 two men were interrogated, what's the next thing you remember happening
9 while you were in there?
10 A. After that, after the gold was confiscated, they would bring some
11 water to us in a white bucket, and people were pushing everybody to get to
12 the water. I maybe managed to get a sip of water twice because people
13 were so tired and exhausted that there was almost a fight that broke out
14 because of the water.
15 Then everything calmed down and after a certain period of time I
16 saw that the Serb soldiers became agitated and angry. They would go in
17 and go out and then I heard shooting outside. I don't know where the
18 shooting came from, but it was outside, not inside. They were so angry
19 that two of them came in wanting to shoot at us. The man in the blue UN
20 helmet and the other one who had curly, shoulder-length hair and black
21 glasses, they had automatic rifles on them, and they pointed their rifles
22 towards us. Then another soldier came in, and didn't allow them to shoot
23 at us. He said, "These people are not to blame for anything." And then
24 they went out. That is to say they listened to him, they obeyed him.
25 Then they went out --
1 Q. Let me stop you there a bit. You said that before you heard this
2 shooting that the -- the Serb guards became agitated. Can you describe
3 what you mean by "agitated"?
4 A. My opinion was that they were going to kill all of us, that they
5 would start shooting at us and kill all of us. They didn't do it at that
6 moment, and then there was this shooting outside and I heard screams and
7 moans. I don't know where it was taking place. It was outside. The
8 shooting was so intense we could hear shells landing all around. Here,
9 where the asphalt is, from this direction I saw that the anti-aircraft gun
10 fired towards the forest. I heard the firing of the tank and Praga. I'm
11 quite familiar with these sounds. There was also fire from anti-aircraft
12 machine-gun. And then it calmed down somewhat. They came inside and they
13 said to us, "See what your people are doing. We created a corridor for
14 them so that they could pass through it and look what they're doing at us.
15 Look what they're doing to us."
16 To this day I don't know who initiated that shooting and what was
17 going on. After all of that calmed down, they ordered two Muslims from
18 the warehouse to go out to bring in their wounded soldier. They went out,
19 they didn't stay out long, perhaps a couple of minutes, and then they came
20 back. And I didn't hear anybody asking them anything, whether they had
21 brought in anybody or anything. They just came in calmly and they sat,
22 but not near me. They were to my left. So I couldn't hear whether they
23 said anything about what was going on.
24 Q. Okay. I want to go back, just a couple of clarifying questions.
25 Again, when you -- you've said before the shooting started that the guards
1 were agitated. Can you describe what you mean by agitated? How do you
2 know they were agitated? What were they doing, what were they saying, if
4 A. They were shouting at us. They were saying, "Look, we allowed
5 your people, Muslims, to pass peacefully through," as they had opened a
6 corridor to Tuzla, but they didn't respect that and the Muslims attacked
7 the warehouse, something like that. And that the Muslims were firing and
8 that naturally they were defending themselves, and that's why there was
9 this shooting. I don't know what happened; it was never clear to me.
10 Even now it's not clear to me. It's just that at one point I noticed that
11 they were angry. These two first soldiers who came in, they wanted to
12 shoot at us, but then this other soldier prevented it.
13 Q. Okay. What I want to try to clear up is, did the soldiers get
14 agitated before this shooting started, or was it after the shooting
15 started that -- that you are talking about? Did the soldiers get upset or
16 agitated before this shooting started that you heard outside?
17 A. Before the shooting, of course. They were angry.
18 Q. And how do you know they were angry?
19 A. I could see them entering angrily with their teeth clenched,
20 nodding their heads, shouting at us. I could see that they pointed their
21 rifles at the group that I was in, and I thought that they were going to
22 fire. But then this other soldier came in who prevented this. He stopped
23 them from shooting.
24 Q. Okay. Had -- at this point when they had become angry and were
25 shouting at you, had this been a change of the environment since the time
1 that they were giving you water? Had there been some sort of change or
2 was it pretty consistent the whole time, the way they were treating you?
3 A. They were pretty consistent. They were kind to us in the
4 beginning; they gave us cigarettes, they brought water. Then after a
5 certain amount of time, I don't know how long, they just changed their
6 behaviour. Suddenly they became angry. I thought that something was
7 going to change, but I didn't know what was going to happen. What their
8 opinion was, I don't know. At one point though just they became angry.
9 Q. Okay. And after they had become angry for some reason, is that
10 when the shooting started?
11 A. The shooting began after they became angry, and the shooting went
12 on for about half an hour, perhaps.
13 Q. Can you describe the calibre of weapons you heard being fired,
14 what kind of weapons you heard?
15 A. Automatic weapons, an 84. I could see which soldiers had the 84s
16 in their hands, automatic rifles, machine-guns.
17 Q. How were you able to see anywhere?
18 A. Before the shooting I saw that. They were going in and out, and
19 they were all armed. So I saw them with the 84s in their hands, the
20 automatic rifles, the machine-guns.
21 Q. Is an 84 a hand-held machine-gun?
22 A. Yes, of course. It's heavier and bigger than an automatic rifle.
23 It also fires bursts of fire and you can have the ammunition belt with
24 it. It can fire for a long time. You can load up to 150 bullets on to
25 that weapon. It has its own magazine with the ammunition belt, so when
1 you start firing, the ammunition belt goes through and spends the
2 ammunition. So it's much more powerful than an automatic rifle or just a
3 regular machine-gun.
4 Q. So when this shooting started, could you hear automatic rifle fire
5 and this 84 rifle fire, or 84 machine-gun fire?
6 A. Yes, of course. Automatic rifles too. Machine-gun and automatic
7 rifle have the same sound almost. The 84 has a slightly different sound.
8 I even heard a tank firing, an anti-aircraft, 23-millimetre weapon, a
9 Praga, and you could hear loud detonations of grenades. The detonations
10 were so powerful that I was able to hear.
11 Q. And you say this went on for about how long?
12 A. About half an hour, approximately. I don't know exactly.
13 Q. And you said --
14 [The Accused Nikolic entered court]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. McCloskey. For the record, accused
16 Nikolic is present in the courtroom now. Thank you.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. And you had said one of your -- your guards had made a comment to
19 you about, "Look what's happening," something to that effect. When in
20 this time period did this guard make this comment to the group?
21 A. He said it when they brought the wounded person. Those two men,
22 Muslims, who were ordered to go out and bring in their wounded, that's
23 what they told them. They didn't stay long; they returned inside. They
24 started to shout at us, things quieted down a bit, but even though later
25 there was also some more shooting from automatic weapons, they told
1 them, "Well, look, we let you pass through peacefully. We opened a
2 corridor for you, for you to go quietly and peacefully to Tuzla and you
3 don't want to do that. They are attacking us. Look at what they're doing
4 to us." That's all that I heard.
5 Q. And how soon after all this loud firing were these comments about
6 a Muslim attack made?
7 A. It all happened when the firing would lull down a bit, when the
8 wounded person was brought in. I could see them firing in front, here in
9 front of this entrance. I could see that from inside, how they were
10 firing from automatic rifles. They were firing in that direction there,
11 to the right.
12 Q. Could you put an F where you saw a soldier firing or a person
14 A. Yes, I can. [Marks].
15 Q. And can you -- were you able to make out the direction he -- he
16 was firing his weapon?
17 A. I saw from the inside a soldier firing there, and he was turned --
18 can I draw an arrow?
19 Q. Yeah, why don't you put an arrow in the direction.
20 A. He was shooting in this direction. [Marks]. In this direction.
21 Q. Put an arrowhead on that, will you?
22 A. He was firing somewhere in the woods. I don't know.
23 Q. Okay. Can you put an arrowhead again so we can see?
24 A. [Marks].
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we need to see Mr. McCloskey. We need
1 to see the witness making or drawing the arrow.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think we have the arrow there.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, okay. Thank you.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. Okay. Now, you said you think he was firing in the woods in that
7 A. He was firing to the right side. I didn't see if he was firing
8 into the air. There was a panic among the people. We were all in a
9 panic. We were frightened. And I could see him firing over there from
10 our side.
11 Q. Okay. Let me -- when this sudden firing occurred from these
12 automatic weapons, do you recall what, if anything, the guys that were
13 guarding you did, if you could see anyone at the time?
14 A. Yes, of course. I could see them, they were moving around in
15 front. They were coming inside.
16 Q. Did they appear like they reacted to this firing in some way, in
17 any sort of panic or in any other way?
18 A. I noticed that they were also frightened, the soldiers. They were
19 in a big panic as well. I noticed that they were so agitated you couldn't
20 really tell who was going where. And all of this was going on in front.
21 Q. You told us they were agitated before the firing started. Was
22 there a change in their behaviour and their agitation after this firing
24 A. When the firing was going on they all went outside. No one was
25 inside, they were just out in front. Of course their behaviour changed,
1 they were angry, mad.
2 Q. Okay. So after this half an hour period of all this firing going
3 on, what's the next thing that you remember happening?
4 A. After the shooting everything became quiet, we were quite afraid,
5 we were in a panic, we didn't know what was going on outside. Then things
6 quieted down. After some time they came inside and two of them, the one
7 with the black glasses and long, shoulder-length, curly hair, black hair,
8 and the other one who had a blue UN helmet, and he was also wearing a
9 bullet-proof vest and a camouflage shirt. They were the first to open
10 fire at us.
11 Behind them more soldiers came in, five to 10 of them, but these
12 two were in front, they were the first. I've already described them. And
13 the two of them, the first two, opened fire at us. So I could see when
14 the first one opened fire, the one in the black glasses. At the same
15 time, the one in the blue helmet opened fire too. At that moment I
16 immediately lay down on the ground. I saw that they would kill us all.
17 And as I was lying down, I don't know what was happening, there
18 was a lot of noise, smoke and shooting. I don't know anything. I could
19 just hear the -- the hum. I don't know what was going on. And this
20 happened intermittently. It was already dark. Night had already fallen.
21 Q. This person with the long hair that you recall shooting first,
22 would you describe him as a soldier or civilian-looking guy?
23 A. He was a soldier. He was wearing a camouflage uniform, a flak
24 jacket, black glasses, an automatic rifle.
25 Q. Okay. When all this firing opened up at you guys in the
1 warehouse, can you just as best you can describe what you can remember.
2 I -- we don't want to spend a lot of time here, but just tell us as best
3 you can recall how it happened?
4 A. Yes, of course I can. When they opened fire I was lying down.
5 Immediately I fell down on my stomach on the ground, and I don't know how
6 long the shooting went on for. I continued to lie down. After some time
7 there was a break, a pause; it was quiet. There was no more shooting.
8 Then all I could hear were moans and shouts and people calling out the
9 names of their parents, their close relatives, people who were still not
10 dead. They had survived, they were alive, but they were heavily wounded,
12 And then during the night there were several such breaks. I
13 continued to lie down. They would make a break, rest, then come in again
14 and shoot. However they -- however long they wanted to. Then when they
15 stopped they would just then throw in a series of hand-grenades inside
16 through the windows, one of these bombs fell three or four metres close to
17 me and it injured me. There was a small piece of shrapnel that scraped
18 my -- or grazed my back.
19 Q. Okay. And --
20 A. So...
21 Q. So during these -- these pauses and then they would come back in
22 and shoot and throw hand-grenades. How long did this go on that night?
23 A. It went on all night, this firing. But I wasn't inside the whole
24 night. During the night I jumped out. They made breaks a couple of
25 times. After a lull -- I have to say before that, and I didn't point that
1 out. Before they opened fire at us, there was a man who was a bit
2 disturbed and he was very frightened and he ran outside and they killed
3 him right there in front of the entrance, and they said if anyone else
4 tries to escape, he will be shot just like this man.
5 Now I want to go back to what happened inside. During the lull,
6 the break that they made or during one of those breaks, I managed to reach
7 the container, going over the dead bodies on the other side of the wall.
8 So I would reach that container two or three times, then I would go back
9 and lie down where I lay down before. I was completely soaked in blood.
10 I was completely covered in blood. I could sense that it was very warm.
11 I was lying on my stomach and I felt as if I had some burning embers
12 underneath my stomach. It was so warm, hot, from that blood.
13 Again, I reached that container and I climbed on to the container
14 and I saw that I could reach the window. Then I stepped from the
15 container to the window, the window was very narrow, but I squeezed
16 through and then I jumped on to the ground.
17 When I jumped out and hit the ground, I heard from the cornfields,
18 from this lower side, and I think you could see the corn here --
19 Q. Why don't you put a C in the rough area where you jumped out.
20 A. You said the letter C?
21 Q. Yeah. That's English for "corn."
22 A. [Marks].
23 Q. Let's sign off on this one. Let's put your number again, PW-111,
24 and the date is now the 7th of February.
25 A. Above here there should be a C, right?
1 Q. You've got a C. I see where you put the C. We'll go to another
2 photo. If you could just put your code-name, PW-111 in the bottom right
3 where you did it yesterday.
4 A. [Marks].
5 Q. Put a little W by that P, if you could.
6 A. [Marks].
7 Q. And then the date again, 2/7/07.
8 A. [Marks].
9 Q. And I think that we can -- that's a wrap, that photo. And if we
10 could go to the next one, which is 65 ter 1571.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know obviously what your next question is
12 going to be, but it is my impression that when you ask him to put a C in
13 the rough area where he had just jumped out, he was interrupted -- he was
14 interrupted. According to what we have in the transcript here, he
15 says, "When I jumped out and hit the ground, I heard from the cornfields,
16 from this lower side, and I think we see the corn here." I take it he was
17 going to tell us something -- what he heard from the cornfield or what he
18 saw. Perhaps he can finish that.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. And if we could get
20 that next shot up, that will give us a little perspective of...
21 JUDGE AGIUS: While I was reading this, Judge Kwon has found that
22 the -- what we see on -- on e-court at the moment is the same photo with
23 some markings. All right. So you saved it with all -- all right. Okay.
24 No, because we see -- all right. Okay. Thank you. That's not a problem
1 Sorry for interrupting you, Mr. McCloskey, but perhaps let's take
2 the matter that I mentioned up, and let him finish his statement.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
4 Q. As the President pointed out, I had interrupted you. Can you
5 finish what you were telling us when you were coming out that window? You
6 heard something, and -- and let -- just tell us the story first and then
7 we'll get into what this photo means.
8 A. Yes, of course, I can. I heard from the cornfields, when I
9 dropped on the ground, I heard a voice saying, "There is another one
10 jumping out." I didn't know that there were guards around the building.
11 Had I known that there were guards, I wouldn't have dared to jump for
12 sure. I thought that there was no one around, that -- and that I would
13 manage to pull out or to get out of the warehouse. I didn't move, I lay
14 immediately on my stomach and waited for them to kill me. I saw that I
15 wouldn't manage to escape, to get out, because I heard the voice from the
16 corn saying, "There is another one," and I knew that was the end of me,
17 but I was reconciled with that. I knew I couldn't go further. So I
18 remained lying between these two windows. I don't know exactly which
19 ones, these two, three windows here. I was lying down on my stomach,
20 turned with my head towards the wall.
21 Q. Okay. You pointed out -- you said you weren't quite sure which of
22 the two or three windows it was. Could you just draw us a big oval in the
23 area, roughly, where you think you were below the windows, one of those
25 A. Yes, I can, of course. [Marks].
1 Q. Okay. So you have drawn a big oval around three windows. Do you
2 remember which one of those windows you came out of?
3 A. I don't remember. I really couldn't say.
4 Q. Okay. Then just -- you were lying underneath one of those three
5 windows, as you've described. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Okay. Can you describe the -- how the cornfield was back in July
8 of 1995? I mean, we see a scruffy old winter cornfield here, but just
9 ignoring that, what was the cornfield like, you know, how high was it, how
10 thick was it?
11 A. Corn was quite high. It was taller than me, about two metres.
12 Maybe even more. Definitely taller than me. And in some places lower
13 than me. It couldn't grow that high. The corn was still green, wasn't
14 mature yet. The leaves were still green. And then underneath there were
15 pumpkins. I could feel that as I was crawling through the cornfield.
16 Q. Okay. Well, let's just leave that -- that photo alone. I think
17 we've got the picture of where you came out. Can you just tell us -- and
18 again I don't -- I know you spent some time in that cornfield, but can you
19 give us the outline of what happened that night as you're in the
20 cornfield, what you do? But just briefly.
21 A. While I was lying and when I heard the voice that I described a
22 bit earlier, a soldier started walking through the cornfield. I could
23 hear him walking. He came close to where I was. He pointed a torch light
24 at me and fired a bullet at a distance of some two to three metres from
25 me, hitting me in my right shoulder. He wounded me. I remained there,
1 lying quietly, pretending to be dead. He asked me, "Do you want another
2 one?" I just kept quiet, pretending to be dead. Most likely he concluded
3 that I was dead and didn't fire at me again.
4 A clip fell, his clip. He couldn't find it, so he called another
5 soldier to help him look for it. They found the clip and then they went
6 out of the cornfield. I remained there lying in the cornfield until the
8 In the morning, when it dawned, I didn't move so I was all stiff.
9 The sun came out and it was a bit colder in the morning. I only had a
10 T-shirt on me. Again I heard somebody approaching me through the
11 cornfield, and I was overcome by tremendous fear. I continued to lie
12 there. There were hundreds of flies on me. I was attacked by flies like
13 I was a real corpse. I had a terrible odour from blood.
14 Somebody approached me. I didn't see who it was; most likely he
15 was a soldier. He came to about one metre from me. I slowed down my
16 breathing so that he wouldn't realise that I was still breathing,
17 otherwise he would shoot at me. He didn't see that I was breathing. He
18 stayed there for perhaps a minute. He tore a leaf from a corn, and I
19 could see him sniffling as though he had a cold. And then he went back
20 into the cornfield.
21 Then in the warehouse I heard somebody shouting. It was a man
22 ordering for the wounded to be helped, if there were any wounded there.
23 Allegedly the Red Cross had arrived and the wounded were supposed to be
24 transported to the hospital to be treated there. Those who were wounded
25 came out. Then I heard --
1 Q. How do you know they came out?
2 A. I heard them singing outside. They came out and they were singing
3 together, because they were ordered. The soldier who ordered them to do
4 that would start the song and then they would follow. It was a song about
5 Draza Mihajlovic, and similar-type songs which I can't remember now, but
6 all of them were about Draza Mihajlovic. And if they did not sing out
7 together, he would stop them and start the song again, and they had to
8 follow like a chorus. They kept singing for about half an hour, and then
9 all of a sudden I heard bursts of fire. They killed them all. I didn't
10 hear any songs after that.
11 Then I saw them starting up excavators to load or to gather the
12 corpses. I continued lying under the window.
13 Q. The transcript said you saw excavators. Did you see anything as
14 you were lying underneath that window?
15 A. I didn't see the loader or the excavator, I heard it. I was
16 unable to see because I was lying there next to the wall and I was unable
17 to see it. I could only hear it when they started it. And I could hear
18 the bucket scrape on the ground. I could hear the noise it produced.
19 Then one of the soldiers said, "This one seems to be still alive. He
20 needs to be shot." And then I would hear individual shots if they saw
21 that somebody was still alive they would fire individual bullets if -- if
22 one of the Muslims were still alive.
23 After that I heard somebody shout that there were dead bodies
24 around the building, and that they needed to be collected and then the
25 other person said, "No, let's leave those alone for the time being and
1 focus on those inside." And I started feeling this panic, that they would
2 come to collect the bodies that were around the building. I started
3 stretching, still in the lying position. I started stretching and moving
4 about. I could see that I could move my arms and my legs. I turned my
5 head slowly towards this building. There is another building, it
6 said "pharmacy" on it. It was in red letters. And I saw two men go
7 inside. I don't know whether they were soldiers or civilians, I couldn't
8 tell. I didn't have time to observe that.
9 Then after a short period of time, I crawled into the cornfield
10 some two metres deep and then I continued crawling through the cornfield
11 until the very end of the building. I went through a row of corn. There
12 I saw two men who had most likely jumped out before me. They were dead,
13 and they were lying below these windows on the left.
14 Then I approached a river, I could hear the river streaming and I
15 came close. The soil was a clay-type soil, and the corn didn't grow well
16 there; it wasn't tall. I saw another two men shot in the head. They were
17 dead. I crawled over them, I got into the river. I cooled down there a
18 bit, had some water to drink. I crossed the river and then went into the
19 cornfield on the other bank of the river and then I went into the forest,
20 or rather, in the hill.
21 Q. Okay. Can you tell us what kinds of wounds, again, just tell
22 us -- I know you've already described a bit of that, but what kind of
23 wounds you actually suffered at the time -- the time at the warehouse that
24 got eventually treated?
25 A. I forgot to mention that while I was in the warehouse I was shot
1 in my right leg, near my knee. And then when I jumped out, when I was on
2 the ground lying on it, the soldier shot me, wounding me in my right
3 shoulder, as I have told you.
4 Q. I think a long time ago you gave us your -- some medical reports
5 of the treatment you eventually received for those wounds?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you always tell the -- exactly what happened to you, to the
8 doctors and the people that asked you about how you were injured?
9 A. Of course.
10 Q. Did you always tell them the -- the absolute truth, that it was
11 part of an execution?
12 A. I told them the absolute truth. Of course.
13 Q. Now, let's -- I want to skip ahead a bit. Is it fair to say --
14 oh, well let's finish the -- if you could just initial this -- this photo
15 as well and date it, and we'll send it off.
16 A. [Marks].
17 Q. All right. And we can close that one down. Thank you, Madam
19 Do you remember telling an investigator at some point that you
20 didn't always tell the -- the doctors about the execution because you --
21 you weren't sure you would get a full pension if you were part of an
22 execution, something like that?
23 A. I don't quite remember it. It's not like I told every single
24 doctor whom I saw the whole story. I just told them in brief terms. I
25 didn't have the time to repeat the story to every doctor I saw. There was
1 no need for that.
2 Q. Okay.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: The question is rather more specific. In regard to
4 any of these doctors that treated you, did you ever remember -- do you
5 remember ever lying to anyone in particular about that?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Okay. Let's go -- we'll accelerate a bit now, if we could. Is it
9 fair to say that you were able to get back into the woods and meet up with
10 some other people and work your way towards Zepa mostly at -- at night and
11 arriving in the Zepa area roughly seven or eight days from that morning
12 that you got -- crawled out of the cornfield?
13 A. After I got out of the warehouse it was the 14th of July, 1995. I
14 went into the woods. During that day I didn't have a watch on me, so I
15 didn't know what time it was, but it could have been in the afternoon. I
16 was alone in the woods. On that day I sat under a tree and it became
17 cold, it started raining and hailing, but not for a long time.
18 Then the weather calmed down, I continued my journey. I used the
19 asphalt road to orient myself, and I went back to the same road on which
20 the column had come, from Srebrenica, to the place where I saw people
21 killed by shells, Muslims. I found some new clothes there, I changed, and
22 I found some food. I found three men there, one of whom I knew. He was
23 my neighbour in Srebrenica. He lived nearby. His name was Djeri; rather,
24 that was his nickname. I didn't know the other two men.
25 It was already getting dark. It was dusk. The three of them and
1 I searched briefly through the back-packs. There were a lot of dead
2 people, hundreds of dead people killed by shells, automatic weapons. We
3 gathered some food. I found new clothes. I changed. The three of them
4 helped me quite a bit. They bandaged my wounds. Then we moved away from
5 there to spend the night somewhere.
6 One of the three men had a brother there who was wounded. He was
7 hit by shrapnel in his right leg. He couldn't walk and he remained there,
8 lying among the dead bodies. We stayed there for two days. Occasionally,
9 two to three times a day, we would go back to him, bring water and food to
10 him, talk to him. We didn't dare stay long there, and then we would leave
11 him again.
12 On the third day we decided to leave him. We didn't dare tell him
13 that. We left a pistol and a hand-grenade with him so that he could kill
14 himself in case the Serb soldiers came across him, so that they wouldn't
15 torture him and he could kill himself, and we left him. We didn't tell
16 him where we were going. That was one of the hardest things for me. The
17 fact that we had to leave this man alive, a man we couldn't help.
18 We went towards Srebrenica, back to Srebrenica.
19 Q. I understand that has always been a difficult part of this -- this
20 story. I didn't mean to skip it. But if we could try to go question and
21 answer and if that would be okay, could we -- could we briefly describe --
22 I know this difficult trip and get to Zepa, Witness? Can you give us a
23 brief account of how you made it through the -- well, tell us first of all
24 why did you decide to go towards Zepa?
25 A. As we were moving back to the Srebrenica area, during the day, as
1 we were going back I came across a group of people, including my uncle. I
2 met him on that road. They were also hiding there for a couple of days.
3 They couldn't pass through because of the shells. I stayed for two days
4 there with him because of the shells. The shelling was quite intense in
5 the area that we were supposed to pass through.
6 During a lull, when the shelling stopped, we managed to cross
7 through that territory. We reached the Srebrenica area. We came to
8 Jaglici again. I passed near an UNPROFOR check-point, or rather, there
9 used to be an UNPROFOR check-point there. There was nobody there now. It
10 was already dark.
11 Q. Excuse me, Witness. I know this is not easy, but you've got to
12 try to answer -- answer my questions. And as best you can, and we'll --
13 we want you to -- we want to hear the story, but you've got to try answer
14 my questions. Where did you decide to go? Which direction did you decide
15 to go in now?
16 A. In the group that we came across there were maybe a dozen people
17 there. We heard from them that Zepa had not yet fallen, that it was still
18 under Muslim control, that area was still controlled by Muslims. So we
19 decided to go to Zepa and we set out towards Zepa.
20 Q. Okay. And can you tell us about that, but if you -- I -- we've
21 got a lot of material, and important material to go through, so if you
22 could try to tell us as best you can about that journey, but we -- we
23 can't get into all the details, I'm sorry. Is that right?
24 A. All right. We passed through Muslim villages, Buce, Suceska. We
25 passed through that area, Podravanje. We crossed Podravanje during the
1 night. We crossed through Podravanje and we entered a large forest.
2 Another group had gone through there before us and we found them sleeping
3 in the forest near a canyon called Crni Potok, which is in the vicinity of
4 Zepa. We met up with them. We stayed there a bit. They remained there
5 sleeping, and we journeyed on. This was just before the dawn.
6 We came to the Crni Potok canyon. We ate there. We descended
7 down into the canyon and it took us some two hours to descend to the
8 bottom of the canyon. We came to the river. We found a lot of people
9 there, cooling themselves in the river, taking rest. We rested a bit, and
10 then continued the journey towards Zepa. We came to Vukoljin Stan there
11 were civilians awaiting us there, civilians and soldiers. We came to
12 their kitchen in Vukoljin Stan. They gave us food there. We rested
13 there. There were a lot of people there who had arrived before us. Also
14 people from Srebrenica.
15 Q. What side were the soldiers that you came to?
16 A. They were Muslims.
17 Q. And do you -- can you give us a rough idea of how many days it
18 took you to make your way across country to this place?
19 A. I can give you a rough estimate. I set out on the 14th from
20 Kravica, and somewhere around the 17th I arrived in Zepa. I'm not fully
21 certain that the date is correct. This is just a rough estimate.
22 Q. Okay. And when you came to the soldiers and got some food,
23 what -- what happened then?
24 A. I was there the whole day, to the evening. The night -- the
25 darkness fell, and another soldier who was there who had a car, a yellow
1 Fica, Fiat, he was from Zepa. He was ordered to take me and another man
2 who was wounded on his right arm to the hospital in Zepa that evening, and
3 he did.
4 We arrived during the night at the Zepa hospital. We stayed there
5 for some time. There were a lot of wounded people in the hospital. Then
6 the order came that we had to be evacuated from the hospital because, as
7 they told us, they were worried that on the following morning the Serb
8 soldiers would target the hospital, shell the hospital. So during the
9 night they put us on a truck and then they took us to a village nearby and
10 found accommodation for us in various houses.
11 There were another two men with me, this friend of mine who was
12 wounded in his arm, and then another man whose throat had been cut. We
13 spent some time there, five to seven days approximately, in that house.
14 They changed our bandages there, gave us shots, brought us food. They did
15 this regularly.
16 Q. Okay. It's break time, so it's a good time to stop, if I could
17 interrupt you. We'll be back.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, if this is break time.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I know. I'm just making a -- recording this in
20 my notes.
21 So we will have a 25-minute break, starting from now. Thank you.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. We left off and you had told us you had been treated in a -- in
2 some houses that were -- for about five to seven days that were nearby the
3 hospital of Zepa. Can you tell us where the hospital of Zepa is?
4 A. The hospital is in the centre of Zepa.
5 Q. Okay. And after these five to seven days of being treated, what
6 did you do?
7 A. I decided with my colleague, who was with me in the room, I
8 decided to go the mountain where the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was.
9 There were some civilians, women, young girls, men. We agreed that in the
10 morning, at dawn -- we didn't want to leave during the night. Actually,
11 we were afraid that there would be strong shelling in the morning, so that
12 we wouldn't be able to get out.
13 Before that, that day before we left for the mountain, my doctor,
14 who was treating me, told us that the seriously wounded had to be
15 evacuated to Tuzla. I was among the seriously wounded. My colleague
16 also. But we didn't dare wait for dawn. We decided to go to the
17 mountain, and we did go.
18 Q. Okay. So at dawn when you went to the mountain, what happened
20 A. We were at the mountain for a while. Then we decided to go to
21 Vukoljin Stan.
22 Q. Can you tell us what mountain, where was in relation to the centre
23 of Zepa?
24 A. It's above Zepa. I don't know the name of the mountain. It's
25 above Zepa. It took us a long time at night to get there, going uphill.
1 Q. Okay. And then I interrupted you, and then you decided to go
2 somewhere else?
3 A. We went from the mountain to Vukoljin Stan again, to the kitchen
4 where we had come from Srebrenica, where they received us. That's where I
5 found my uncle again, and many other people. I stayed there briefly with
6 them. This colleague of mine had some cousin who was married in Krusev
7 Dol, and he told me that we should go to visit her. And we went through
8 some fields. We asked where this village was, and we were directed to the
9 village. We found it. We sat there for a long time at his cousin's
10 place. We had lunch. And we found out there that the first batch of the
11 wounded had already been evacuated from Zepa in the morning. We decided
12 as soon as possible to go back to Zepa, and we did go back. It took us a
13 long time to get there.
14 We came to Zepa --
15 Q. So why was it that a day earlier you decided not to try to get
16 evacuated with the wounded but a day later you decided to go -- try to get
17 evacuated? Do you remember what changed your mind?
18 A. Because I thought that it wasn't 100 per cent certain, and because
19 of the shelling in the morning. Because they were attacking Zepa every
20 day. Zepa was already falling. There were attacks all day long, and we
21 were afraid to stay there in that house. We decided to go to the mountain
22 before morning.
23 Q. Okay. So then you heard about the evacuation, and where did you
25 A. We then went to the centre of Zepa, to the UNPROFOR compound.
1 Q. What different forces or -- of soldiers did you see, if any,
2 around the Zepa centre when you walked into it?
3 A. First the wounded left. We found that out when we came to Zepa,
4 and of course we heard about it in Krusev Dol. That's why we went to Zepa
5 quickly. Then we came first to the UNPROFOR compound, the UNPROFOR there
6 were from Ukraine and they let us in. Then the French came, a doctor.
7 They examined us, dressed our wounds. There was a Serb doctor amongst
8 them, a soldier. He was wearing a camouflage uniform. He was also
9 registering us, writing down the name of the wounded, and he was also
10 examining, together with this other doctor, people, where they were
11 wounded, how and so on.
12 During the day we occasionally left the UNPROFOR compound. This
13 was permitted. We went -- there was a water spring in Zepa in the centre
14 of Zepa. So that's where we would go to drink some cold water. We would
15 drink then we would go back to the UNPROFOR compound again. That day when
16 we were examined by the doctors --
17 Q. Sorry to interrupt you again, but when you came in to Zepa that
18 day to go to the compound, did you see any Serb soldiers?
19 A. Of course the Serb soldiers had entered Zepa. The evacuation was
20 underway of women, children and the elderly. They were evacuating many,
21 many people, and people from surrounding villages were still arriving.
22 They were constantly arriving. Civilians were coming. And they were
23 being evacuated to Kladanj.
24 Q. Did you see the vehicles that people were being evacuated on?
25 A. I did. Buses and trucks. There were many, many buses and trucks.
1 Q. When you walked to the centre of town to the Ukrainian base, did
2 any Serb soldiers give you a bad time or stop you? Was there any
3 check-point or anything like that?
4 A. No, none. We entered the UNPROFOR compound right away. They
5 examined us there, and during the examination -- this went on for the
6 whole day. It was very hot. My colleague and I boarded a bus with some
7 other wounded civilians to go to Kladanj, to be evacuated. We entered the
8 bus, sat down. Again this Serb soldier, doctor, came in who had examined
9 us at the UNPROFOR compound. He let my colleague go, and he told
10 me, "Take your jacket off." I took my jacket off. He could see that I
11 was bandaged, and of course he saw that, he examined all my wounds in the
12 UNPROFOR compound, together with the French doctor. He said, "You cannot
13 go. Get out of the bus." And it was strange to me why I couldn't go. He
14 told me, "You will be transferred by helicopter. Helicopters should come
15 and you will be transferred safely."
16 I was very sorry that my colleague could go and I stayed behind.
17 I got out of the bus and went back to the UNPROFOR compound again. I was
18 wearing a -- camouflage pants that I had found in the woods above Kravica
19 when I came out of the warehouse. Most probably he turned me back because
20 of those camouflage trousers. That's what I think. Had I had civilian
21 trousers perhaps he wouldn't have. I don't know.
22 Night came and again I went with some wounded civilians to the
23 house where I was when I was at the hospital. And I spent the night
24 there. I took those camouflage pants off, because I assumed that that's
25 why I had been turned away. I found some track suit pants and I put them
1 on and in the morning again I went back to the UNPROFOR compound. Again
2 the French people were there. After that I saw Avdo Palo. He also came
3 to the UNPROFOR compound that day. I happened to be near them, not in the
4 UNPROFOR compound, but perhaps 100 to 200 metres away from the UNPROFOR
5 compound, near the water, the fountain, as a green military jeep arrived.
6 Tolimir came out; that's how he introduced himself. I don't know him
7 before. With his escort of soldiers, they were armed to the teeth with
8 automatic rifles, machine-guns. He negotiated with Avdo Palo. He asked
9 Avdo Palo, Tolimir did, to order his soldiers to hand over their weapons,
10 and that they would be transferred safely to Tuzla by helicopter.
11 Helicopters were supposed to arrive. Avdo didn't agree to this. They
12 were shouting at one another. I couldn't remember all that they were
14 And then after a while I walked off and they stayed there. I went
15 back to the UNPROFOR compound again.
16 Q. Let me interrupt you for a second. The person that you knew -- or
17 that you are describing as Avdo Palo, what was his position at the time,
18 as far as you knew?
19 A. He was a commander of the army -- he was the commander of the army
20 of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zepa.
21 Q. And after that day that you saw him and Tolimir speaking to each
22 other, did you ever get a chance to speak to -- to Avdo?
23 A. Yes, I did talk with him at the UNPROFOR compound.
24 Q. When was that?
25 A. It was at the UNPROFOR compound.
1 Q. When was it in terms of was it before or after you saw him talking
2 to Tolimir, if you remember?
3 A. Afterwards.
4 Q. Okay. The same day or another day?
5 A. The same day. The Red Cross came after that, to the UNPROFOR
6 compound. All of us wounded were there. They started taking our names
7 down, the Red Cross, and they were giving us some cards with our names on
8 them, and they told us that we were prisoners of war. I objected to that.
9 I said, "How can we be prisoners of war? Were we captured in any action?
10 Can you see that we are wounded and we are in civilian clothing?" Had we
11 been fit, we wouldn't have been there at all. We would be up on the
12 mountain perhaps with the army.
13 There were Serb soldiers there as well. They also mistreated us.
14 They were telling us that we had once been Serbs. We originate from Serbs
15 but we didn't pay attention to that. The UNPROFOR gave us water, they
16 gave us packets of food. We ate. The French people were there too.
17 The evacuation of civilians was in progress. Avdo Palo ordered us
18 to rip up those cards that were given to us by the Red Cross. I didn't
19 want to rip it up because I didn't -- I felt it was suspicious. Why would
20 I want to rip it up? Some did rip them up, but I kept mine.
21 I spent two more nights outside of the UNPROFOR compound in a
22 small house. There were 12 of us who were wounded. The negotiations were
23 still going on. Avdo Palo was negotiating with them, and he would inform
24 us that we still couldn't be evacuated. I don't know why. I didn't ask
25 him what he was negotiating about.
1 Q. Let me interrupt you again. When you first had a chance, or you
2 first spoke to Avdo Palo, as you know him, what did you tell him about
3 your situation, if anything?
4 A. He was sitting on a chair. I sat in front of him. I crossed my
5 legs. We were talking. Normally, briefly, I told him where I had come
6 from and what had happened there in Srebrenica with the people, how I
7 managed to escape from Kravica from the execution, how a lot of people
8 were killed in the woods or were captured. And he replied that he had
9 already heard that from other people before.
10 I sat with him. I saw him -- actually, the first time I saw him I
11 didn't talk to him. The second time I sat down with him at the UNPROFOR
12 compound. I think that if I remember correctly it was the last day.
13 After that second day that I was there, I talked with him and I said, "Why
14 is he there? Why doesn't he escape to the mountain, to the army?" I told
15 him, "You will be arrested here by the Serb soldiers."
16 He replied, "I don't want to leave until the last civilian and
17 wounded person is evacuated from here. Let them arrest me. Let them kill
19 Q. And you said the last day. Can you tell us from the time that
20 Serb doctor took you off the bus, how many days was it until you were
21 actually evacuated?
22 A. Two more days, as far as I can recall.
23 Q. Okay. And so the discussion you had with Avdo Palo occurred after
24 you -- sometime after you saw that -- the doctor took you off the bus and
25 sometime before the -- you were actually transported out of there. Is
1 that right?
2 A. Yes. He ordered us that day -- that was the first or the second
3 day, I don't remember -- he ordered us, once the Red Cross distributed
4 these little cards to us with our names, he ordered us to rip them up. He
5 didn't believe in it. He said, "You are not prisoners. How can you be
6 prisoners?" And he was shouting at them, "How can you treat them as
7 prisoners? They were not arrested anywhere."
8 Q. Do you remember the date that you -- you signed up with the Red
10 A. I do. It was the 26th of July, 1995.
11 Q. And you have provided a Red Cross document over to the -- to the
12 authorities sometime after all this, haven't you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. So can you tell us how it occurred that you -- you finally
15 left this area?
16 A. The last day when I was sitting in front of Avdo, when I was
17 talking to him, when I told him that he should flee to the mountain, that
18 he would be arrested or killed, he told me, like I said before, that he is
19 not going to do that until the last civilian and wounded person leaves
20 Zepa, that he wouldn't leave. And that's how it was.
21 The French managed to take away some of the more heavily wounded
22 by putting them in those trucks and driving them off. I was asking one of
23 those French people to put me into one of those personnel carriers that
24 they were using and to get me out. He was speaking Yugoslavian and he
25 told me that he didn't dare do that because they will come to a Serb
1 soldier check-point and that the armoured vehicles would be inspected and
2 that I would be taken off. And that's why he didn't dare to do that, and
3 he was sorry.
4 Again, I went back to the UNPROFOR, and I was waiting. I
5 continued to wait. That last day there was a large crowd for evacuation
6 of women, children, the elderly, and in the afternoon we left. I sat on
7 the last bus from Zepa, and there were the 12 wounded and there were other
8 people, elderly people, women, children. It was a full bus.
9 In the neighbouring hills I could see lots of Serb soldiers. I
10 saw many of them in the centre with us. They were speaking with us, but
11 they didn't touch anyone, they didn't shout at anyone. They were just
12 speaking with us in an ordinary way. They said, "We are not having a hard
13 time with you wounded, but what are we going to do with those who are up
14 on the mountain?" I told them, "Well, you go up there to them, up to the
15 mountain to them." And they laughed.
16 And then the time came and they ordered our wounded, us, the 12 of
17 us, and we left the UNPROFOR compound. We boarded the bus. Avdo Palo
18 stayed in the UNPROFOR compound after we left, and we were taken off in
19 the direction of Kladanj. We were stopped again at Boksanica. That's not
20 so far from Zepa, towards Rogatica.
21 We were there for a long time. We got out of the buses. It was
22 still day. An officer boarded my bus. I don't know who he was. He had
23 an escort with him. And there was an escort who went with him. He wore a
24 camouflage uniform and he stuck very close by him. He had a rifle called
25 an Argentinian, I think it's of U.S. manufacture. He asked us who was
1 from where and when it was my turn, I said immediately that I was from
2 Srebrenica and he said, "How come you're here, all the way from
3 Srebrenica?" I told him that I had come to Zepa to take food, to take
4 food to Srebrenica so that I could feed the family. There was hunger
5 there, and that's how I heard that the offensive on Srebrenica had begun
6 and that I couldn't return to Srebrenica, and that's why I had to stay in
8 "All right," he said, and then he went on asking people, "Where
9 are you from? Where are you from?" People responded. I heard him asking
10 us all, "Do you know who I am?" Some knew him. I didn't. I said I
11 didn't know. The people from Zepa naturally knew him. They knew that he
12 was the commander of Rogatica.
13 He asked us, "Do you know where Avdo Palo is?" We said, "We don't
14 know." He said, "We arrested him at the UNPROFOR compound and we killed
15 him." We just didn't say anything. We were silent. He left the bus and
16 then he left.
17 After being there for a while, it got dark. It was already night.
18 I heard a helicopter land. I heard them saying that Ratko Mladic had
19 arrived, but I didn't see him. I didn't see the helicopter either. It
20 was far away from me. All I could hear was that it landed. After some
21 time, it wasn't that long, the helicopter flew off again and left. And
22 then after that, there was an order for the convoy to start moving, and
23 the convoy started to move.
24 They drove us towards Kladanj. We came and it was already the
25 break of day. As we were driving it dawned, it got light. They stopped
1 us at some place, it was a stop, and they let us get off the bus if we
2 needed to go to the bathroom, and after some time, it wasn't that long, we
3 went back to the bus again and the order was given for the convoy to start
4 moving again and it did and we came to a place called Luke, close to
5 Kladanj, and the convoy stopped there once again.
6 The escort that was on my bus comprised of a Serb soldier from the
7 military police. He was wearing a white belt. The French were also there
8 from the UNPROFOR. Ukrainians, they were escorting the whole convoy.
9 After some time we waited there for a bit longer, I didn't know
10 what was going on. We were just waiting. Tolimir barged in. He just
11 looked about the bus, he went outside, he was with his escort, a couple of
12 soldiers. One of the soldiers barged into the bus. He had a paper in his
13 hand and started to read. And all of the names of us wounded were there,
14 and he read them out, all of our names. This and this person, this and
15 this person, one after another we stood up and we got off the bus.
16 Next to the bus there was another bus, and they ordered us to get
17 into this bus, which had been waiting next to our bus, and it was turned
18 in the opposite direction. And this was suspicious to me. We sat in this
19 other bus and from my bus they were still choosing some elderly men who
20 were fit. We all got into the bus, they drove us, and drove us. I didn't
21 know where they were taking us. The people from Zepa knew the area. I
22 wasn't familiar with the area, and we came to Rogatica. And I could hear
23 those people saying, "Well, here we are, we've arrived in Rogatica." And
24 in Rogatica we stopped at a warehouse.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... now, just to -- I appreciate
1 your -- your account. I know you have testified before that -- and we
2 want to try to go a little more question and answer. This -- the practice
3 of this Court is a little different than the ones that you have done
4 before. But let me just ask you a couple of questions about that. When
5 you were a Luke, did everybody that got out there come to Rogatica or did
6 some stay at Luke?
7 A. Well, naturally, there was a convoy of women and children. We got
8 on to one bus and this bus took us to Rogatica, whereas the others
9 remained back there waiting. Most likely they left, but I don't know what
10 happened to them afterwards.
11 Q. And were you taken to a prison in Rogatica?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And were you there for about six months, abused, and finally
14 released on 19 January 1996?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And I know that that's a much shortened version of that
17 experience, but that's not -- that is not the subject matter of this
18 indictment, so I will stop my questions there, if I could. Thank you very
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
21 Who is going first? Mr. Lazarevic.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honours. We have agreed I
23 should go first.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. You are free to do that.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Lazarevic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness.
2 A. Good morning.
3 Q. As my learned friend, Mr. Prosecutor, told you earlier, this
4 system is a bit different from the one that you and I come from, it's
5 based on question and answer system, unlike the other jurisdiction where
6 you testified earlier.
7 Let me ask you something else. Since you and I understand each
8 other very well, in order not to overlap, for the sake of interpreters,
9 let me ask you to make a brief pause before answering my questions.
10 I would like to start the cross-examination by establishing some
11 facts which first of all have to do with a number of statements that you
12 have given so far to the organs of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to the
13 international Tribunal. Let me start chronologically with your
14 statements, just to make sure that we have all of your statements that you
15 gave so far.
16 Based on the records we have here, your first statement was given
17 on the 2nd of February, 1996. You gave that statement to the inspector of
18 public security station in Lukavac and that was the first time you spoke
19 to a state official, correct?
20 A. Yes. But I don't remember the dates. To tell you the truth, I
21 don't know when I gave my statements.
22 Q. All right. If this can be of any assistance to you, we have all
23 of those statements, and if there is any need for a statement to be given
24 to you, I can provide you with a copy and then you can verify that you
25 gave it and signed it.
1 A. No problem.
2 Q. Except for that first statement, or rather, in addition to that
3 first statement, another one was given on the 16th of February, 1996, and
4 that was the statement you gave to agency for investigation and
5 documentation in Tuzla.
6 A. Which date?
7 Q. It should be the 16th of February, 1996.
8 A. Possible. I don't remember dates.
9 Q. Then according to our records, sometime in October, November and
10 December of 1998, you met with Mr. Jean-Rene Ruez, an investigator of the
11 OTP. You talked to him at that time. That was between October and
12 December of 1998, correct?
13 A. I don't remember. I talked to him, but I don't remember the time
15 Q. All right. I just needed your confirmation that you indeed met
16 with Mr. Ruez and gave a statement to him?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, there is another matter that I would like to clarify with you
19 concerning these statements. They have different dates, they're
20 practically three statements here. One was made after three days' worth
21 of conversation, and then there were some other statements. When talking
22 to Mr. Ruez, you also gave a statement that remained unsigned. In
23 relation to this statement, you said that one of your friends who was
24 either an inspector or was about to become an inspector was taking the
25 statement from you, that he was basically preparing you for giving the
1 statement, explaining to you how you need to give the statement and that
2 later on you gave a statement to Mr. Ruez?
3 A. I don't remember that, but I do remember giving a statement to
4 this friend of mine.
5 Q. All right. That's all I wanted to clarify, namely, that you did
6 indeed give the statement. Because this statement was disclosed to us by
7 the OTP, so you do not deny that there is this statement that you gave to
8 your friend who was a crime inspector?
9 A. But I have to mention that this was not a detailed statement. I
10 didn't go into all of the details.
11 Q. All right. But you know, I fully understand that what you told us
12 during these three and a half hours cannot be made to fit on to a page and
13 a half, but what you said to that inspector was true?
14 A. Yes, it was most likely true. I don't remember the dates and I
15 could have been wrong about some figures, because I gave statements before
16 that and after that.
17 Q. Yes, we will get to that. Now, if we can go very briefly -- [In
18 English] [Previous translation continues] ... one brief period?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session for a short while,
21 [Private session]
11 Page 7029 redacted. Private session
14 [Open session]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Witness, I have already put a similar question to you, but to
18 clarify it further, when giving all of your statements, you always told
19 the full truth to all of the people that you talked to, correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And another question: Nobody pressured you to give this version
22 or that version or to change, amend anything in your statements or to
23 deliberately omit something. There was nothing of that sort, correct?
24 A. Yes, nothing.
25 Q. Thank you very much.
1 A. Thank you too.
2 Q. Now I would like to begin with a statement you gave to Mr. Ruez,
3 the OTP investigator. The statement begins you with saying, "I already
4 gave a statement to AID and now I'm giving you some additional details
5 that I may have omitted in my previous statement." Do you remember saying
6 this to Mr. Ruez and that this was basically a follow-up to your previous
7 statement given to AID?
8 A. Yes, in my earlier statements I didn't provide all of the details
9 because a lot of time was needed for that. Later on I went through my
10 statement, earlier statement, and provided additional details.
11 Q. Thank you very much. As you were preparing to testify here, did
12 Mr. McCloskey show to you all of the statements mentioned so far? Did you
13 have occasion to see all of them?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you had certain comments and corrections pertaining to the
16 statement given to Mr. Ruez, namely, that some of the things you said to
17 him were not fully accurate, and you enumerated those facts, correct?
18 A. Yes. There were not a lot of mistakes, but some minor typing
19 mistakes or translation mistakes, minor mistakes that I corrected.
20 Q. Very well. In addition to these corrections that you pointed out
21 during your proofing, there were no additional significant corrections
22 that you wanted to make in relation to your previous statement?
23 A. No, no.
24 Q. Thank you very much. Now I would like to get to the essence of
25 your evidence.
1 In the course of your testimony yesterday, you said that you set
2 out from the village of Jaglici with a column heading towards Tuzla. This
3 village of Jaglici is at the very outskirts of the Srebrenica enclave, and
4 this is where the UNPROFOR check-point was, correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And as soon as you passed by the UNPROFOR check-point, you and
7 other men in the column found yourselves in the territory which was under
8 the control of the army of Republika Srpska from 1993, correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And it was outside of the borders of the enclave of Srebrenica, as
11 it was defined before its fall in 1995, this territory where you found
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Yesterday you told the Prosecutor that, as you can best remember,
15 you set on the 20th of July -- on the 12th of July in the afternoon with
16 the other men. Is this a precise date, according to your best
18 A. Well, on the 11th I left Srebrenica, and I arrived at Jaglici on
19 the 12th, in the morning at dawn. On the 12th, in the afternoon, together
20 with the other men in the column, I set off towards Tuzla through the
22 Q. Thank you. About the movement of people, we know that things more
23 or less proceeded with women, the elderly and children going off towards
24 Potocari, the men going towards Tuzla through the woods, that that's how
25 things happened. But do you happen to have any information about a number
1 of wounded trying, over those few days, on the 12th or the 13th, trying to
2 enter the UNPROFOR base in Potocari but that the DutchBat members did not
3 permit that? Are you aware of that, perhaps?
4 A. I didn't know. I wasn't in Potocari, and I don't know what was
5 happening. I know that the women, children and the elderly were exhausted
6 and were going towards Potocari to the UNPROFOR compound. But I don't
7 know what else happened that day, because I went through the woods to
9 Q. All right. Well, if you don't know, that is quite all right. If
10 you don't know something, please feel free to say so, and then that will
11 make this cross-examination much shorter.
12 During your testimony yesterday, you replied to a question by my
13 learned friend, Mr. McCloskey, that you are a member of the B and H army;
14 is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Other than you, the -- there was a large number of members of the
17 B and H army in this column that was going to Jaglici, not just you, and
18 mostly they were able-bodied men of that age?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. When I was reading your prior statements I found information that
21 you personally were not armed, that you had never been issued a weapon,
22 but only when you went to the line were you then able to take a rifle from
23 another soldier who was already there and when you -- your shift was
24 completed, then you would give your rifle to another soldier. Is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. The column that went from Jaglici to Tuzla contained a substantial
3 number of people who did have weapons, hunting weapons and other types of
5 A. Yes, that is correct.
6 Q. So just to continue in this topic, you also said that you belonged
7 to the 272nd [as interpreted] Brigade, which was part of the 28th
8 Division; is that correct?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Witness, you need to answer yes or no, because
10 otherwise -- I saw you nodding, but the interpreters need to hear you
11 answer yes or no.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I said yes. Perhaps they
13 didn't hear me. I apologise.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: The witness did say but there was some
15 overlapping, unfortunately.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't hear it. Yes, please, try to slow down
17 because this is creating problems.
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honours. I want to make one correction
19 in the transcript, on page 50, line 9, it says "272nd Brigade". It's
20 282nd Brigade. And the Witness confirmed it, so...
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, 282nd.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And the commander of the 282nd Brigade was Ibro Dudic who had the
24 rank of major at the time. Is that correct?
25 A. I don't know about his rank. Dudic Ibro was my commander however,
2 Q. Just a couple more things about this. Your membership of the
3 282nd Brigade, I just wanted to clarify something about that. Were you
4 just a regular soldier or did you have any kind of command function?
5 Well, starting from being a regular soldier, then we have other ranks,
6 privates and so on, lance corporal, so could you please tell us what your
7 rank was?
8 A. No, I was just a regular soldier.
9 Q. As part of the 282nd Brigade, there were some smaller units.
10 Could you please -- do you know which of those smaller units you belonged
11 to, that was part of the 282nd Brigade?
12 A. Well, I have forgotten a lot of things, so I really don't remember
14 Q. Perhaps we can clarify some of those things when I show you
15 certain documents. Could you please help us to identify what they mean,
16 what is the meaning of certain abbreviations, and can you please tell me
17 before I show you that document, as far as I understood you during your
18 JNA service, were in the anti-aircraft defence; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I believe we should move into
21 private session because the name of the witness is mentioned in the
22 document, and then I will ask for these documents to be shown to him.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's move into private session.
24 [Private session]
11 Page 7036 redacted. Private session
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Thank you very much. We have finished with this document. You
4 have helped as much as you could.
5 I would now like to move to the topic of the column's break
6 through towards Tuzla from Jaglici. The column went in the direction of
7 Ravni Buljim; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Talking -- actually, in your testimony in the Krstic case before
10 this Tribunal, and I can tell my learned friends from the Prosecution
11 exactly which page and which line it is from the transcript from over
12 there, and if I remember, you said the following: [In English] [Previous
13 translation continues] ... with the uniform." Okay. I apologise. I will
14 quote again. "I never put on a uniform. I was never issued with a
16 A. That is correct, that I never was.
17 Q. And also in the Krstic case, a little bit after that, you said the
18 following, speaking about weapons and the people in the column who were
19 armed. "[In English] [Previous translation continues] ... had thrown them
20 away in the woods." Well, I will start again. "Those who had weapons had
21 thrown them away in the woods. We did not dare surrender with weapons."
22 [Interpretation] So you didn't have weapons, but we are talking
23 about those in the column who did have weapons at the time of surrender.
24 Do you stand by what you said, that they had thrown away their weapons in
25 the woods before they surrendered?
1 A. Yes, of course.
2 Q. And the reason why they threw away their weapons was that they did
3 not want Serb soldiers to find out that soldiers of the B and H army were
4 involved. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And of course they wanted to present themselves as civilians when
7 they were surrendering?
8 A. Most probably, yes. Even though they knew that people had
9 weapons. Not all, but some did.
10 Q. Thank you very much. I would now like to show you another thing.
11 This part of your testimony went quite quickly during the
12 examination-in-chief by Mr. McCloskey.
13 While attempting to break through, and before surrendering, you
14 said that at one point there was some exchange of fire between the column
15 on one side and you said there "Chetniks." Do you remember where,
16 roughly, this exchange of fire took place between the column and the
18 A. We came up against one ambush, actually there were more, there was
19 more than one ambush, people are driven away. Everything gets quiet, they
20 rejoin the column, and you just continue on the way.
21 Q. I completely agree with you. I completely agree with you. There
22 were a substantial number of witnesses who also left in the column like
23 you did and said that there were attacks on the column, that the column
24 had broken up, reassembled and so on and so forth. What I am interested
25 in, the specific situation when there was an exchange of fire, according
1 to my understanding of your statement, that should have happened on the
2 13th, early, at dawn. Did this happen soon after you left on the 13th at
4 A. No, this was before. It was night. I don't know exactly what
5 time of the night, what time it was. I don't know, but it was during the
6 night. We came up on an ambush near Kravica. It was near the place where
7 I had come down to the asphalt to surrender together with the other
8 people. That's where we came up on an ambush. Many dead and wounded were
9 left there. There was shooting, hand-grenades were thrown. They were
10 firing from the asphalt. They were firing anti-aircraft guns from tanks,
11 they were throwing hand-grenades into the woods where we were.
12 Q. All right. But you know why I'm asking you all of this.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Please stop, Mr. Lazarevic, please.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Lazarevic, it is our opinion
16 that this latter part, which -- of Mr. Lazarevic's cross-examination which
17 has taken some time basically deals with events that it is our
18 understanding you have already conceded. Namely, that indeed there was a
19 column consisting of, to an extent, armed Muslims and that there were
20 shoot-outs. Am I correct or not?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Absolutely, Mr. President. And he's also
22 testified that there were hundreds of dead in that area as well. And...
23 JUDGE AGIUS: So perhaps you can take it as already conceded by
24 the Prosecution and move to what perhaps is more relevant to your client.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, I will do this in due course. My main --
1 well, to be honest, Your Honours, I frankly not -- I'm not quite sure what
2 Mr. McCloskey is stipulating. We are in -- in the process of preparation
3 of certain -- well, agreed facts. We discussed this among the Defences
4 for quite some period, and we will proceed with -- with proposing
5 certain -- certain facts which are agreed by the Defence to the
6 Prosecution, and if we manage to do so, then there will be no more
7 examination on this topic.
8 However, whether this was a military column from the very
9 beginning and whether it was a legitimate military target, if this is
10 something that the Prosecution is ready to stipulate, then we are very
11 close to get this -- this agreed.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Do you wish to comment on that, Mr. McCloskey?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: I have no problem discussing this. I prefer not
14 to discuss it in front of the witness. And it -- I can point out, it is
15 not a subject matter of the indictment, and I think that's pretty clear.
16 And I -- I -- a lot of this I can -- I think I already have agreed to
17 informally. But I don't -- I don't -- I don't think it's a good idea to
18 talk too much detail in front of witnesses.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: I'm fine with what my colleague said. I was about
20 to leave this topic anyway.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So let's leave it and move...
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Witness, when you went on the break-through from Jaglici, I found
24 this bit of information in your evidence in Sarajevo. You had on you your
25 passport and your ID card, correct?
1 A. I did have my passport. I don't remember having my ID.
2 Q. But at any rate, you discarded the ID that you had, whichever one
3 of the two you had, while you were in the forest, correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you notice that other people in the column were getting rid of
6 their IDs before they decided to go down to the road and surrender?
7 A. I didn't see that.
8 Q. Thank you very much. Now, let us summarise this, please. If I
9 were to tell you now you were a member of the BH Army, but at the moment
10 when you surrendered you did not have your uniform, you did not have your
11 ID, and you did not have your weapon. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And all of that was done in order to avoid being identified as a
14 soldier of the BH Army, correct?
15 A. That's not what I was afraid of. They naturally asked me once I
16 came down to the asphalt road, or rather, had they asked me about my first
17 name and last name, I would have told them.
18 Q. Can you explain to us why you discarded your documents if you were
19 prepared to give your full name anyway?
20 A. To tell you the truth, I don't know. I threw my ID away in order
21 not to have anything on me. I didn't want to have any document on me.
22 Q. Very well. Now, let us turn to the moment after your surrender on
23 the asphalt road when you reached the meadow. In the statement you gave
24 to the OTP on the 3rd of December, you said that there were a number of
25 wounded men there who were taken to nearby houses, some distance away from
1 where you were sitting, and the reason for that was that the wounded
2 needed to be taken out of the sun, because it was quite hot on that day.
3 And you stated something similar yesterday.
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. On page 18 of the Sarajevo transcript, you said that this moving
6 of the wounded from the meadow to this house was done at the request of
7 the prisoners. Correct? Namely that you, I don't mean you personally,
8 but other captives there, asked the Serb soldiers to move the wounded
9 away, so that they wouldn't lie there in the sun and that they said yes?
10 A. No, that's not true. I have to say this: The Serb soldiers saw
11 that the wounded were fainting, and that people from my group had to
12 constantly go and fetch water nearby in order to cool and refresh the
13 wounded. So they decided themselves to take the wounded to this -- to
14 these two houses nearby, to move them out of the sun.
15 Q. I'm not denying that that happened, I'm just interested in
16 learning whether this was done at the initiative of you, the prisoners, or
18 A. No, they did it on their own.
19 Q. While you were there in the meadow, did you perhaps see whether
20 there were any women treating or assisting the wounded?
21 A. No, I didn't see that.
22 Q. All right. During your evidence yesterday, you said that women,
23 girls and those who were below the age of 18, on the meadow in Sandici,
24 were allowed to board the bus and go to Tuzla. You said that they said
25 whoever is younger than 18 can step out and will be evacuated. Do you
1 remember this portion of your testimony?
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE KWON: Did you say anything, Mr. Lazarevic?
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. I said that we should move into
5 private session for a -- one very -- question. I apologise for this.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session.
7 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you very much. We will certainly get to other details
3 later. When testifying here you didn't mention something.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session for a short while.
7 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We will have a break very soon, Mr. Lazarevic.
24 So any time it's suitable for you, we can go into break.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, I cannot finish with this topic in two
1 minutes. Maybe we can take the break now and continue.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. Do you wish to take the break now?
3 Because if you do, we'll take the break now.
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: It will be okay.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So in the meantime, let me sign the
6 redaction, please. And we will reconvene in 25 minutes' time.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.27 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, we are still on the meadow in Sandici.
12 I will try to cover that as quickly as possible. There is a detail that
13 appears in your earlier testimony that you failed to mention here, and
14 that is the water tank on -- in the Krstic case you spoke about this water
15 truck arriving, and spraying water on you three times. Do you remember
16 this incident with the water truck?
17 A. Yes, of course.
18 Q. Now, in relation to that, can you remember what colour that truck
19 was? Was it a red fire water truck or a green one?
20 A. It was the red fire brigade water truck with a water gun that
21 sprayed water under pressure, and they sprayed the water on us.
22 Q. Thank you very much. I don't know if you can remember this, but
23 do you know from which direction the water truck came, from Konjevic Polje
24 or Bratunac?
25 A. I didn't see that, I only saw it arriving on the meadow, but I
1 didn't notice the direction that it had come from.
2 Q. All right. When testifying in the Mitrovic et al case in
3 Sarajevo, you said that this spraying with water refreshed you, it cooled
4 you down in that heat. You still stand by that statement?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you very much.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey, could you read the last -- line 6, 7
8 and 8?
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, and that's -- I know we're going back to that
10 other case, and we should probably try to stay away from that, but...
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's -- let's move.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour, maybe we should establish some
13 practice because I do intend to use more of these transcripts from
14 Sarajevo. Maybe I can quote to the witness without mentioning day and --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Or we can go in private session if you are going to
16 be particular. Because --
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: That is also a solution. I will try to avoid
18 going into private session. This is not the policy of Tribunal to try to
19 use it as less as possible, but basically I can do it this way, if that's
20 Your Honour's position.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would prefer if we stick to the practice of
23 taking him to the place that you're asking them about in the transcript.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: What I suggest is that you put direct questions to
25 the witness relating to the facts without necessarily referring to and
1 then if you are not satisfied with the answer, you can confront him with
2 previous testimony or previous statements. And then we will see whether
3 we go into private session or not.
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, I will follow this order.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I mean, just to give you an example, I
6 mean, the last question you could have asked him, "Would it be correct if
7 I put it to you that when you were sprayed with the water, this you
8 considered to be kind of a refreshment for you in that heat?" And if he
9 says "yes", you are happy with the answer. If he says "no," you can of
10 course confront him with a previous statement.
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour is right, however sometimes it is
12 my strategy to face him directly with something he previously said and ask
13 him whether he can confirm or not. That's also one way of cross-examining
14 the witness. I feel much better with this way. But I will try to avoid
15 any misunderstanding between --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, go ahead.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- us and...
18 Q. [Interpretation] Yesterday, in your evidence in relation to the
19 meadow in Sandici, you said that there were approximately between 1.500
20 and 2.000 prisoners there. Remember that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now I would like to look at a photograph. According to the
23 Prosecution case, this photograph was an aerial photograph taken on the
24 13th of July, 1995 at about 1400 hours. Which means that, according to
25 your description of events, you should have been at the meadow in Sandici
1 at that time.
2 [In English] 4DP01579. Okay. If we can zoom this, and -- yeah, I
3 think so.
4 [Interpretation] Please look at this. If needed, we can enlarge
5 it so that you can see it better. Do you see the road, the meandering
6 road and the buses on the road?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. To the lower portion in relation to the buses, there is a black
9 rectangle. Do you see it? According to the Prosecution case, this
10 depicts those -- the prisoners in the meadow in Sandici at 1400 hours. Do
11 you see that? Can you tell what this is about?
12 A. Could we zoom in, please.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ...
14 Q. [Interpretation] Do you see it better now? It's precisely what we
15 need. You see the buses, and immediately below the buses there is
16 something resembling a rectangle.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Looking at this photograph, would you agree with me that judging
19 by the dimensions and comparing them -- comparing them to the dimension of
20 the buses, that the figure could not be between 1.500 and 2.000, that it
21 should be a much lower figure? I know that you didn't count how many
22 people there were there, but talking about your assessment.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. McCloskey.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. Two grounds. One, the figure that was
25 given by the witness was not based at a particular time, as my
1 recollection was, it was more of a total figure. And to ask a witness to
2 evaluate an image like this, based on buses out of the -- is really asking
3 for speculation and not appropriate.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, I can understand the objection of
6 Mr. McCloskey. However, the witness made some estimation during his
7 testimony. He never gave exact numbers; he said it was my estimation
8 based on -- well, Mr. McCloskey never actually established what were the
9 bases for his estimation. On the other hand, this is in the time-frame of
10 the indictment, so I believe I am perfectly entitled to ask the witness
11 this question. If he knows, he can agree with me, that's fine. And he
12 doesn't --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he has now heard submissions from both
14 sides, so I don't think I should labour the point much further. However,
15 there is one thing that needs to be clarified. When previously you said
16 there were in the region of 1.500 to 2.000, were you referring to any
17 specific time? What were you referring at? How did you come to that
18 conclusion? When was it that you think there were 1.500 or 2.000 Muslims
19 gathered there?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I arrived with the first group.
21 Following me, after some time, after perhaps half an hour or an hour, I'm
22 not quite sure, another group arrived at the meadow. Another column
23 enjoined the group where I was. I recognised two men at the helm of the
24 column; there were two brothers.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't want these details. When you arrived there,
1 how many Muslims do you reckon were already there?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were the first to arrive there.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: So how many of you were there?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] About 1.000, perhaps 1.500. I'm not
5 quite sure.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And when the second group arrived?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then the number increased. 1.500 to
8 2.000, maybe even more.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And how long after you had arrived did the second
10 group arrive?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just said a bit earlier, perhaps
12 half an hour to an hour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I know you did, but I just want to put everything in
14 just one scenario now.
15 Yes, Mr. Lazarevic. You can ask him the question, and if he can
16 answer it, he will. If he cannot answer it, then we will see.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: That's okay. Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, if you remember, my question was that
19 when you look at this now, do you think that this number from 1.500 to
20 2.000 is a little bit exaggerated when you look at this photograph?
21 A. I don't see any people on this photograph at all. And this is not
22 a place that I'm familiar with. I cannot recognise the place.
23 Q. Well, that's understandable. I'm not going to insist on that.
24 But however, responding today to His Honour, the Presiding Judge's
25 question, you said that the first group that you surrendered with came to
1 the meadow in Sandici first and that it numbered between 1.500 to 2.000
2 people. However, when you replied to the same question in the Sarajevo
3 case, which is on page 18 --
4 [In English] Well, maybe we should move into private session right
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move into private session.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: We could call it the southern site.
8 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Witness, you know which site we are referring to;
17 you have heard us. So, please, don't repeat the site again.
18 Mr. Lazarevic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. The southern location, in reply to the same question, you said
22 that in this first group that you surrendered in, you said there were 15
23 to 20 wounded and that there were between three to 500 of you in total.
24 Do you recall that? This is easy to check, and my learned friends from
25 the Prosecution have that transcript.
1 A. I don't recall saying that.
2 Q. All right. I'm not going to insist further.
3 In your testimony in the Krstic case, and in your other testimony,
4 and speaking in general about the events at the Sandici meadow, you talked
5 about the soldiers who were guarding you and so on and so forth. I would
6 like you now to help me with your answer. Did I understand correctly,
7 there was a group of soldiers that was there when you surrendered, and
8 this group was guarding you. There was another group of soldiers who came
9 at one point in black uniforms and it is your position more or less that
10 these soldiers who guarded you first treated you properly, whereas these
11 other soldiers in black uniforms were people who were arrogant and who,
12 according to your testimony, killed one of the prisoners. Is that
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. And your conclusion was that these were two different units; is
16 that correct?
17 A. How should I know what unit that was and who the people in black
18 uniforms were? Those who were guarding us, nobody touched us, they didn't
19 beat us, they spoke to us normally, they knew some people from Skelani,
20 there were some Serbian soldiers who knew these other people who came in
21 this other column. Ahmo and his brother Dzemo who were walking at the
22 front of the column, they took them aside to the tank, they talked to
23 them. They said, "Where are you neighbours?" So I concluded that they
24 knew each other from Skelani.
25 Q. My question was if, according to your understanding, these were
1 two different units, one in black uniforms and the other one in the
2 camouflage uniforms, that was my question.
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. Thank you. The killing of one of the prisoners at the meadow
5 which you described yesterday in your testimony was carried out by a
6 member of the unit that had the black uniforms; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you very much. During your testimony in the Krstic case,
9 and you testified about that yesterday too, you said that together with
10 Mladic, when he came to the meadow, there was a cameraman who filmed you,
11 and specifically in the Krstic case, it is said that he was wearing a
12 military uniform. Also in your statement to Mr. Ruez, you said this was a
13 soldier who wore a short-sleeved T-shirt, this cameraman who was filming.
14 Do you remember that?
15 A. I don't recall saying that.
16 Q. All right. Very well. Do you rule out that it was like that?
17 A. Yes, there was a cameraman who was filming but I don't remember a
18 uniform that he was wearing. I don't know if he had a military uniform on
19 or if he was wearing civilian clothes. There was also a photograph who
20 was taking pictures.
21 Q. All right. Well, it's quite understandable that you cannot
22 remember that now.
23 Can you please tell us, at one point when the buses came to the
24 meadow, do you remember from which direction the two buses came that you
25 mentioned yesterday?
1 A. You mean --
2 Q. The bus that took you to the Kravica warehouse, the two buses that
3 came to collect you, which direction did they come from?
4 A. I didn't see that.
5 Q. And do you remember approximately what time it was when you
6 boarded the buses and left the meadow to go to Kravica?
7 A. It was sometime in the afternoon. It was still sunny; it was very
9 Q. All right. Thank you very much. Do you remember if there were
10 some Serbian soldiers in the buses who were there until you got to
11 Kravica, but then when I looked at your previous statements, I concluded
12 that you were not able to identify these as soldiers who had guarded you
13 at Kravica or were they someone else, that you didn't actually see the
14 soldiers who were in the buses until you actually got to Kravica?
15 A. There were a couple of them escorting, but I didn't see which
16 soldiers they were, whether they were from the meadow or some other
18 Q. Yes, that is precisely how I understood your previous answer, so I
19 just wanted to make sure that that was so.
20 In your testimony to date, you said that you were the first to
21 enter the Kravica warehouse, that no one else was inside and that you were
22 practically the first group to come there. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In regard to the events in Kravica, I think that there were some
25 things that were a little bit unclear during your testimony. You were
1 constantly asked questions about the firing, the shooting. Well, let's
2 proceed like this. I'm going to be putting questions to you, but let us
3 keep two things in mind. If I understood you correctly, there is firing
4 that took place outside; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And then there is the other firing where this soldier comes and
7 opens fire at you who were inside the warehouse. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Let us --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Please slow down a little bit. Allow a short pause
11 between question and answer, because the interpreters are finding it
12 difficult to catch up with you.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I would now like to try to be as specific as possible about
15 establishing the chronology. Now, you come to Kravica, you entered the
16 hangar, then another group comes that also enters the hangar, and the
17 hangar starts to get filled with people. What I have said now, was that
18 how it was?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. After that a Serb civilian comes who gives you cigarettes and they
21 take the rest of your property, gold, watches, as you said, and a list was
22 made of all the things that you handed over. Of course this happened
23 after you arrived there. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. After that event, some time passes, you are still inside, some
1 people bring water, but nothing significant happens other than some
2 soldiers coming, asking about their own. They asked two of your
3 colleagues, prisoners, there you showed on the wall where they were
4 interrogated but they didn't beat them, they didn't mistreat them and then
5 they are returned to you. Is that the sequence of events? Is that
6 correct the way I have just told it right now?
7 A. Well, people didn't bring water, but Serb soldiers brought water.
8 Q. Perhaps I was not precise enough, but thank you for that
10 A. Yes, yes, that's correct.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazarevic, I just want to know whether we are
12 going to go through his testimony part by part and ask him to confirm it
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: No, I will just have a couple of key points which
15 I believe are not -- well, particularly precisely explained because I
16 believe that there was some confusion and then I will move to...
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Just one question has come to me, listening to your testimony
20 today. In that photograph that you marked, when you marked in the wire
21 fence -- do you recall marking that wire fence?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. That was a fence made of wire through which you could see what was
24 going on?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Yes, that was all that I was interested in. You were able to have
2 a view through the fence out towards the passage in front of you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Let's go back to the events now. Serb soldiers were bringing in
5 water. At one point you could hear shooting from outside and you don't
6 know what happened there. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. After the shooting, Serb soldiers come inside and then they're
9 angry after what happened outside. Is that correct?
10 A. No, they were angry before.
11 Q. So --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, I mean, I don't think this needs
13 clarification because this line of questioning was put already by
14 Mr. McCloskey, and we had clear answers, repeated also, that they were
15 angry before, and they were also angry afterwards. I mean, I think it's
16 clear. So why are we beating the same --
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, I can understand that, but maybe if we take a
18 look at some other documents, then maybe it will change the opinion, but
19 all right, I'll come to this.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Then go to the other documents.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. And then when you say they came and they were angry, that was the
23 time that they wanted to fire at you, but that young man prevented them?
24 A. I didn't hear you very well. Can you please say that again?
25 Q. After the shooting outside that you did not see, Serb soldiers
1 entered and they wanted to shoot at you, but one of them said, "Don't,
2 they are not to blame for anything." Is that when this happened?
3 A. Yes, yes, before that. Not then. I already described what
4 happened before.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: He has already given a description also of the time
6 that this happened.
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. This happened while it was still day; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The episode in which the soldier that you described came with the
11 glasses, the long hair and the beard and who fired at you, happened when
12 it was already dark, when it was already getting dark. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So between these two events, the first one when you had the firing
15 outside, and this second event where the soldier comes in and fires at the
16 prisoners, there was some time that passed. Is that correct?
17 A. That soldier fired into the people -- at us after the shooting
19 Q. Precisely, that is my question. How much time passed between
20 those two events, between the shooting outside and the shooting that took
21 place when the soldier fired at you?
22 A. I think that in a previous statement I said that, but I will say
23 that again. It's no problem. About half an hour passed between those two
25 Q. But this second shooting incident happened sometime around 9.00 in
1 the evening, according to your estimate. This is in several of your
2 statements. Somewhere it's even at 9.30. I think you told that to
3 Mr. Ruez, that the firing started after it was already dark at around
4 9.00, the second firing?
5 A. The first one was -- it happened when you could still see, and it
6 wasn't quite dark, but it was getting dark and then half an hour later, I
7 don't know 100 per cent I said that, roughly, I mean I didn't have a watch
8 to measure the time in the panic and the fear. It was getting dark. They
9 opened fire at us. The first two soldiers.
10 Q. I understand you really well, but I just wanted to clarify that.
11 Of course you didn't look at the watch and all of that is all right. But
12 you concluded that it was around 8.30 or 9.00 on the basis of the fact
13 that it was beginning to get dark, and since it was mid-July when the days
14 are pretty long, you decided on the basis of that that was the time that
15 this thing was taking place in?
16 A. Yes, that is correct. The daylight is longer in the summer.
17 Q. Thank you very much.
18 [In English] Your Honours, can we move into private session,
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 7062-7066 redacted. Private session
4 [Open session]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session, so let's proceed.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. But you did not receive any official order or any decision from
8 your commanders or any authorities about not being a soldier any longer?
9 Nobody in Srebrenica gave you any official document?
10 A. No, nobody gave me anything. It's just that an order came for us
11 to flee from Srebrenica, which means that the army ceased to exist.
12 People fled wherever they could.
13 Q. Let me put another question to you about the evacuation. In your
14 earlier evidence, you said that you were able to leave the UN compound to
15 see the evacuation of women and children leaving Zepa?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And this evacuation was monitored by the International Red Cross?
18 A. The International Red Cross was within the UNPROFOR compound, only
19 there. Now, as to whether they monitored the evacuation, I don't know.
20 Q. [In English] [Previous translation continues] ...
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session, please.
22 [Private session]
8 [Open session]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
10 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Sir, you said that when being evacuated from Zepa, there were
12 UNPROFOR members on the bus with you, namely, French and Ukrainian
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Were they present on other buses? Were there escorts on other
16 buses as well?
17 A. I didn't see that.
18 Q. Thank you, Your Honours. I don't have any further questions.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Krgovic.
20 Who is next? Will you finish in three minutes, Madam Fauveau?
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [No interpretation]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I don't think we need it at this point
23 in time. We need to adjourn basically. She will need much more than
24 three minutes.
25 Witness, you need to return again tomorrow morning so that we
1 go -- we proceed with your testimony and hopefully finish it. We stand
2 adjourned until tomorrow morning at 9.00.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.43 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 8th day of
5 February, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.