1 Thursday, 28 August 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar. Could you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-05-88-T, The Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic, et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Good morning, everybody. All the
11 accused are here. Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Mitchell. Defence,
12 I only notice the absence of Mr. Haynes.
13 Yes, good morning to you, madam.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President, just a few more
17 questions. Thank you.
18 WITNESS: SVETLANA GAVRILOVIC [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
21 Q. Good morning, Mrs. Gavrilovic.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. Just a few more questions and I'll be through. I just want to
24 ask you a little bit about after you spoke the first time, I think you
25 said you thought it was either in March or April to the investigator for
1 Mr. Beara, was it Mr. Stanic, was that the name?
2 A. Yes, it was. Yes, Mr. Stanic.
3 Q. So, after he left, what did you say to Mira Cekic about the
4 subject matter that you discussed with Mr. Stanic?
5 A. I told her that he had asked me if I remembered the 14th of July
6 1995, and that that was the evening when she invited me, or rather,
7 called me by phone, told me that Ljubisa and Nada will be at their place
8 that evening, and asked me if my husband and I wanted to see them. And I
9 was supposed to remember what we talked about that evening.
10 Q. Okay. And how long after Mr. Stanic left did you --
11 A. It's okay.
12 Q. Okay. And how long after you spoke to Mr. Stanic that day did
13 you speak to Mira about this?
14 A. The very next day I called her because I couldn't find her that
15 evening. I called her the following day. After that that Mr. Stanic
16 came to see me, and asked me if I wanted to give my account of what
17 happened on that day, so during the morning on the following day.
18 Q. Okay. And, so, then you told Mira your best recollections about
19 that birth day and everything you remembered, I take it?
20 A. Well, you know, there was no need for that; she was there, too.
21 It was in their home; although, she wasn't there the whole time because
22 she was the hostess and she would go to and fro to the kitchen to bring
23 out the food et cetera. Basically, she knew what we were talking about.
24 Q. But as you told me before, you said "I told her that he had asked
25 me if I remembered the 14th of July 1995, that that was the evening when
1 she invited me, or rather, that called me by phone, told me that Ljubisa
2 and Nada will be at their place that evening, and asked me if my husband
3 and I wanted to see them. And I was supposed to remember what we had
4 talked about." So you went over all that with her?
5 A. Well, basically, yes. But it wasn't so necessary because we were
6 all together at that place that evening.
7 Q. But this had been a long time ago, and by talking with Mira, you
8 were able to help her remember it, too, I take it?
9 A. No. She did remember because Toma, her husband, was making jokes
10 about our failed trip on the Orient Express, by saying that there was a
11 newly opened restaurant in our city named the Orient Express and it's
12 decorated in the same way, and he told us to go there and imagine that we
13 were on the trip. So she clearly remembered that joke of his. So she
14 remembered that.
15 Q. Sure. Okay. And when did you see her in person after that, that
16 phone conversation that you talked about right after you talked to
17 Mr. Stanic?
18 A. I cannot tell you exactly, maybe two weeks after that or three
19 weeks after that. We are not seeing each other on a daily basis. We
20 just meet occasionally.
21 Q. So, as you sit here, you can't really remember whether it was --
22 you know, when you actually met with her to see her face to face? Can
23 you roughly give me an -- is that right?
24 A. You mean what was the occasion for the two of us to get together,
25 is that what you are referring to?
1 Q. No. I'm just trying to get an idea of when it was you met with
2 her face to face?
3 A. After my conversation with Mr. Stanic.
4 Q. About how long?
5 A. Well, as I said, I would say some two weeks later.
6 Q. And where was it?
7 A. At my place. She dropped by because, as I told you, I'm in the
8 cosmetics business. She had some problems with her face, she came to me
9 to -- for some treatment, and that is when we met.
10 Q. So I get this picture in my head, and maybe I've seen too many
11 movies, in the beauty parlour, with you working on her, and you are
12 talking to her about everything, right, something like that? Is that
13 right or is that just --
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. And then you discussed the matter with her at that time?
16 A. Yes. I talked to my clients about various things, and the same
17 applies to you. We talk about our families, about the problems that I'm
18 having with my son who is at the university and is not doing very well.
19 We also mentioned Nada, and we said that we were sorry that everything
20 happened to them in the way that it did, that they were good people, so
21 on so forth.
22 Q. So you did talk about Nada Beara's husband and his problems, and
23 the things that you've been talking about today and yesterday, with Mira?
24 A. We mostly talked about Nada and their children; that is to say,
25 the people who remained in our city. We used to go and visit them. So
1 we basically talked about Nada and her personal problems.
2 Q. That I don't want to, of course, get into. I'm just interested
3 in the party back in 1995 and the subject matter that Mr. Stanic talked
4 to you about. You've told us you talked to Nada about that, too, at the
5 beauty parlour, I take it?
6 A. You mean Mira?
7 Q. I am sorry.
8 A. Yes. We discussed it and we were wondering whether we would have
9 to go to The Hague
10 whether that would be a pleasant or an unpleasant experience for us and
11 that if we must do it, we will do so and to tell what we know and what
12 the truth is.
13 Q. So you must know that Mira is here as well; right?
14 A. Yes, yes, of course.
15 Q. So you have had a chance to talk again with Mira before you both
16 came to The Hague
17 A. Yes. But there was no reason for that because what I'm telling
18 you now is really the truth and what is she going to tell you will also
19 be the truth, and if we discussed anything that was only the truth about
20 what had happened.
21 Q. Sure, it's normal for witnesses that got to come to this place to
22 talk about, you know, what they are going to say with each other,
23 especially if it's the same topic. That's normal. I'm just asking you
24 when was it before coming to The Hague. The last time before you came to
25 The Hague
1 discussed with Mr. Stanic?
2 A. Well, we talked about this -- well, not about the topic itself.
3 We rather talked about how we have to travel, how shall we prepare
4 ourselves. As I say, there was no need because we were at her place.
5 Everything happened at her place.
6 Q. You didn't talk about the party at all with her before you
7 came -- right before you came to Belgrade
8 to The Hague
9 A. Believe me, we didn't.
10 Q. But where did you speak to her about your trip to The Hague
11 it your place, her place, over the phone?
12 A. We talked on the phone before the departure.
13 Q. What day?
14 A. We arrived here on the 24th, so about two days before that. I
15 should say, the 21st or the 22nd, I'm not quite sure. But we just
16 discussed what clothes we should bring, whether it was cold there or
17 warm, and things like that.
18 Q. Okay. And I got a bit ahead of myself, but I want to ask you the
19 same sorts of questions about Nada Beara. So, after Mr. Stanic spoke to
20 you back in what you say is March or April for the first time, did you
21 contact Nada Beara after that?
22 A. No, not on this issue.
23 Q. When was the first time after Mr. Stanic talked to you that you
24 had spoken to Nada about this issue, the birthday party?
25 A. I never discussed the birthday party with Nada. Nada had found
1 out that I was going to The Hague
2 before our departure. We didn't want to bother her. She had enough
3 stress and enough problem because she would probably be very worried
4 about why we have to go through this unpleasantness of appearing before
5 this court and things like that. So we didn't really want to cause
6 anxiety for her. She actually didn't know that I was summoned as a
7 witness here.
8 Q. Okay. So you've never talked to Nada about the birthday party at
10 A. Never, never.
11 Q. So your experience hasn't been too bad here, has it?
12 A. It hasn't.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you very much for coming. Mr. President, I
14 have no further questions.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are welcome.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you Mr. McCloskey. Is there re-examination
17 Mr. Nikolic.
18 MR. NIKOLIC: [No interpretation]
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: He said -- Mr. Nikolic answered in the negative.
21 So Madam Gavrilovic, as I promised to you yesterday, we have
22 concluded with your testimony. On behalf of the Trial Chamber, I wish to
23 thank you for having come over to give testimony in this trial, and I
24 also wish you on behalf of everyone a safe journey back home.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I would imagine there are no documents to tender?
3 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour, no.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Nothing from the Prosecution, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That concludes the testimony of Madam Gavrilovic.
7 We had -- we were told before we started the sitting, Mr. Ostojic, that
8 you wished to address the Chamber soon after the conclusion of this
9 witness's testimony.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. Thank
11 you very much. Two just rather brief housekeeping matters. One is
12 yesterday, when we tendered the Exhibits 2DIC, 210, 211, and 212, these
13 documents were previously identified and entered into evidence under
14 seal. So we would just ask the Court that those documents that bear the
15 number 2DIC, 210, 211, 212 also be placed under seal, because I think the
16 name is reflected for some of the intercept operators. Okay. That would
17 be the first item.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. That will be done.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: The seconds item: We met or I met with the
20 Prosecution last night to discuss scheduling and whatnot, and we'd like
21 to have the Court's understanding on a couple of issues. We do have
22 witnesses here, we are ready to proceed until tomorrow, we are just not
23 sure how long the witnesses will take. We may have a witness. And after
24 I spoke with the Prosecution, we thought we had a deal and an
25 understanding; and when I got back home, I called some of the witnesses.
1 I'm going to have to restructure some of the witness schedule for
2 next week. The Prosecution also made a request of us for one witness
3 later in the week next week to schedule him for the 8th of September,
4 which is the following Monday, because an outside counsel will attempt to
5 be present either via videolink or telephone. We are going to
6 accommodate that request for many different reasons including personal
7 reasons, but we just have to rework the schedule a little bit.
8 So today I'm confident that we can proceed with Mr. Alaica,
9 Mrs. Cekic, and Mr. Milan Kerkez, and that would be it for today, if we
10 get through all three. And tomorrow we are still working on it because I
11 have to meet with my expert, who was scheduled for tomorrow, to see if we
12 should proceed with him. Although I indicated to my learned friends that
13 we were going to proceed with Mr. Subotic tomorrow, Mr. Professor
14 Wagenaar would like to proceed tomorrow.
15 So I have to get back to you specifically on what the order is
16 after these final three witnesses today and tomorrow, so just so that the
17 Court is aware of it and my learned friend.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We'll await further information from
19 you. In the meantime, there are a few housekeeping matters and issues
20 that we would like to raise ourselves. One is the following:
21 Mr. Ostojic, way back on the 1st of July, you had filed a motion for
22 witness Osman.
23 Dizdarevic to be heard by video conference link. There was some
24 oral argument on this on the following day, on the 2nd July; then,
25 subsequently, we noticed that on the 17th of July, you filed a fresh 65
1 ter witness list in which it seemed that Dizdarevic was being withdrawn
2 as a witness. If you confirmed that, can we safely proceed to declare
3 your motion as moot?
4 MR. OSTOJIC: We may, Your Honour, yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So that motion of the 1st of July
6 relating to the testimony of Osman Dizdarevic is being declared moot.
7 Mr. Bourgon and Mrs. Nikolic and Mr. McCloskey, on the 29th of
8 July, there was a motion on behalf of accused Nikolic requesting
9 protective measures and delayed disclosure of the identity of a
10 particular witness with confidential annexes A and B. On the 31st of
11 July, the Prosecution, according to our records, stated that it had no
12 objection to the protective measures sought to wit pseudonym, facial, and
13 voice distortion, and that it had agreed with the Defence that the
14 identity of the witness would be disclosed in the week of 18th August. I
15 personally, then, had stated that once we received a confirmation that
16 the identity of the witness had been disclosed, the protective measures
17 would -- could then be granted.
18 First, therefore, we would like to know from you particularly,
19 Mr. McCloskey, whether the identity of this witness was disclosed to you
20 prior or by the 18th of August.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And there is, then, agreement that we
23 grant the protective measures sought, which are being hereby granted;
24 that is, pseudonym, facial, and voice distortion. The pseudonym details
25 will be communicated to you in due course.
1 Mr. Ostojic, again, and Mr. McCloskey, very recently, and I must
2 say quite belatedly, the Beara Defence team filed another motion seeking
3 the testimony of Seymour Jovanovic to be heard via video conference.
4 There was further detail. There are the reasons why particularly because
5 he is unable to fly to The Hague
6 Now, according to the schedule that we had to date, which I
7 understand may be the subject of some changes now, Mr. Ostojic, this
8 gentleman, Seymour Jovanovic, is the third witness who was scheduled to
9 testify next week in the week of 1st September; that is, at least
10 according to the note as you filed in August, on the 15th of August.
11 We haven't heard a response from the Prosecution as yet, and we
12 would therefore, first and foremost, like to know if the Prosecution is
13 in a position to give us their position on this motion.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, my understanding of this is that
15 this is some kind of medical situation and that we got, of course, in
16 Serbian, and we are in the process of going through this to determine
17 what the medical situation is. I don't have a -- we don't have a firm
18 idea on that yet, but I should very soon. I think we can double check
19 today. Ms. Soljan is not with us this week, but we will try to get at
20 that. Some of the medical terms and things and the Latin has slightly
21 delayed it. I don't know if there's Latin in these ones, but we issue be
22 able to sort that out very quickly.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, Mr. Ostojic, can you give us an
24 indication of when he is likely to testify.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: If the Court -- and we understand it was perhaps
1 delayed as the Court notices and mentions. We were just made aware of it
2 at the time of our filing. So we didn't appreciate perhaps -- obviously,
3 he is an older gentleman, and he provided us that information. When he
4 did, we submitted it. I think it is in part in English actually, the
5 medical record that we attach.
6 But we've, I think, indicated to the court officer, because I
7 know it takes time to schedule it, that we would call him, I think, on
8 the 9th or 10th or at the convenience of the Court and the Prosecution.
9 He was initially set by our scheduling for next week; but given his
10 condition, I'm sure that we'll accommodate whatever schedule the Court
11 allows to accommodate the Prosecution.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's work on the assumption - it being a
13 medical case - let's work on the assumption that the motion will not be
14 opposed and will be granted, and that's only for argument sake. Start
15 working out with the office the details. Try and schedule his testimony
16 as soon as possible, please, because my understanding --
17 MR. OSTOJIC: I'll do that.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: -- is that a minimum of a week's notice is at least
19 required, if not 10 days.
20 MR. OSTOJIC: That's why we suggested the 9th or 10th
21 approximately. Thank you, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, yesterday, we had an unfortunate incident. We
23 call it "unfortunate" because had you heeded our advisories, we would not
24 have arrived to that stage. Way back on the 31st of July just before we
25 went into recess, following several exchanges between Mr. Ostojic and the
1 Prosecution, we had asked you to identify who the first ten witnesses
2 were going to be after the break; then find out whether in relation to
3 any of these ten witnesses there is still any outstanding dispute between
4 you as to the efficiency or otherwise of the summary, and if there are to
5 sort these out for the time being.
6 We noted positively that the Beara team in the meantime has filed
7 a number of revised 65 ter witness summaries over the recess, and in its
8 18th August filing added that it will provide additional 65 ter summaries
9 for remaining witness in a short time.
10 We would like to know, especially since you confirmed that there
11 was another meeting yesterday evening, we would like to know whether any
12 further information has been shared, and, in particular, in relation to
13 the next witness Milan Alaica, who we've still got to authorize to be
14 added to the 65 ter witness list.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I think, with the next
16 witness, we should be proceeding with no problems. And, I think, with
17 the balance of the witnesses today, it's my understanding that we did
18 provide for Mr. Kerkez and for Ms. Cekic supplemental 65 ter summaries
19 based on our meetings with them in Belgrade
20 immediately prior to the start of the trial again.
21 But I understand with Mr. Milan Alaica that I think our 65 ter
22 summary was adequate. I think they had enough information yesterday. At
23 our meeting, we did not discuss that specifically, and I don't believe
24 there was an issue raised in connection with that particular witness.
25 We did raise other witnesses. If the Court would like, I can set
1 forth. One witness I think the Prosecution asked for me to give the
2 draft affidavit that we had submitted to him and the changes that were
3 made, I'm looking to provide that to him. I hope to get that to my
4 learned friends by the end of the week, or tomorrow essentially, to
5 provide a copy of that to them.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We indicate, in particular, that Milan Alaica was
7 amongst those whose witness summaries was considered to be insufficient,
8 together with the following four witnesses that we are pointing out to
9 you for further action if necessary: One is 2DW55, the other one is
10 2DPW16, then 2DW21, 2DWPW20. These witnesses are already scheduled.
11 Now, whether they will remain scheduled or not is another matter, since
12 Mr. Ostojic is revisiting his list.
13 Then there are these witnesses: 2DW50; Milos Tomovic. Those are
14 two witnesses. Then 2DW77 and Doctor Srdja Trifkovic.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, Mr. McCloskey, it's up to you to state or
17 confirm whether you are happy with the summaries of these individuals or
18 not. With regard to the others, we believe that the summaries are
20 Now, in relation -- yes, Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, the next witness, we did get an
22 additional summary for; and, as far as we know, we are okay. We've been,
23 of course, continuing discussions with the Beara team, and we still have
24 some outstanding requests for more details. And we still go back and
25 forth, we talk all the time, John and I were just speaking just now. And
1 to get really precise information for you on some of those others, I
2 would need a quick check with Mr. Thayer who is the most knowledgeable on
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Now, one further thing in relation to this
5 next witness, who has strictly speaking not yet been added to the 65 ter
6 witness list, the Prosecution had also objected on the basis that they
7 considered his evidence would be evidence to be commutative to evidence
8 on accused Beara's good character or lack of discriminatory intent and,
9 therefore, not admissible. We have taken stock of this submission which
10 was formalized in a motion earlier on, and we noticed that of the eight
11 witnesses on Beara's good character and/or lack of discriminatory intent
12 whom the Prosecution have challenged, two have been withdrawn and one has
13 already testified.
14 Do you still maintain your position now as to the remaining
15 witnesses, Mr. McCloskey? Do you still maintain your op position, or do
16 you wish to withdraw your opposition to the remaining witnesses?
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, if I could just discuss that with
18 Mr. Thayer, and he is prepared to talk or to inform the Court about those
19 other witnesses you mentioned about where we are on that. So if you
20 could just excuse me for a second, I think we can sort this out.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, Mr. McCloskey, can we decree or
22 grant the motion so far as the next witness is concerned, Milan Alaica?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yeah, I don't see any reason why not.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So the motion insofar as witness Milan
25 Alaica is being granted.
1 And, Madam Usher, you can start preparing the witness to bring
2 him into the courtroom, please.
3 Yes, Mr. Thayer.
4 MR. THAYER: Good morning.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I hadn't registered your presence in the courtroom
6 before, because the column obstructed the view.
7 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you.
9 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, everyone.
10 I can address some of those issues, Mr. President. With respect to the
11 Witness 2DW55, who has as his temporary pseudonym 2DPW16 - they are the
12 same person - we have received an actual proofing note with respect to
13 that individual. And that individual I think will be the subject of some
14 discussion here, and as well as the subject of what Mr. Ostojic referred
15 to previously in terms of rescheduling. That is the witness to whom he
16 was referring scheduling for the week of 8 September.
17 With respect to 2DW21, my belief is that that witness has already
18 testified, if I've got the number right. Milan Vojinovic. I believe, in
19 fact, I think I may have cross-examined him. So, yeah, I think that may
20 be a moot issue. And, again, I may not have gotten the number correct,
21 but 2DWPW20, we've got no record of. I'm not sure if there's a name, if
22 we can said it in open court, that the Trial Chamber has attach to that,
23 that would be helpful, but that number is not popping up.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Maybe I could help. I thought we had him as
25 Vasovic Perica, who also testified.
1 MR. THAYER: He has testified. If it is 2DW20, then he has
2 already come and gone. So, with respect to those summaries, I think we
3 are okay. I've sent an e-mail to my friends, we've had some discussions,
4 we do have some outstanding requests with respect to three of the
5 upcoming witnesses: 2DW5, Mr. Mitrovic; 2DW50; and 2DW77. That's been
6 the subject of a couple of requests. I think we'll be able to work on it
7 a little more to get some detail. 2DW50 is Mr. Tomovic.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll leave it at there for the time being, and
10 then depending on the outcome of your further consultations, we'll come
11 back to you or you come back to us.
12 MR. THAYER: One last note, Mr. President, I think to clarify for
13 everybody's sake. If we are looking at the list of witnesses for the
14 month of September that was filed I think on the 14th or 15th of August,
15 the one that lists week five and week six, we discussed this last night
16 as well. There are two witnesses listed who I think have been now
17 withdrawn because one - and this is 2DW58 - was actually admitted
18 pursuant to Rule 92 bis pursuant to the Court's 10 July order. I think
19 we are in agreement that he is not coming.
20 Then there's 2DW61 who my friend withdraw in his 16 July filing,
21 so he is not coming, and that's beside the three other witnesses that
22 were withdrawn in one of my friend's filings: 2DW30, 54, and 53.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So we can start with the new
25 Good morning to you, sir. Did you hear me?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: So good morning to you, and welcome to this
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: You are about to start giving evidence, and before
6 you do so, you are required to enter a solemn declaration that you will
7 be speaking the truth. The text is being handed to you now, please read
8 it out aloud, but please stand up, first of all. Please read out that
9 declaration aloud, and that will be injury solemn undertaking with us.
10 It's equivalent to an oath in some jurisdictions.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
12 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Please make yourself
14 comfortable. Mr. Nikolic from the Beara Defence team will be putting
15 some questions to you.
16 Mr. Nikolic.
17 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you Mr. President.
18 WITNESS: MILAN ALAICA
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examination by Mr. Nikolic:
21 Q. Good morning, Mr. Alaica.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. I will introduce myself. My name is Predrag Nikolic, attorney at
24 law, member of the Defence team of Mr. Ljubisa Beara. I will pose
25 questions today on behalf of the Defence team. May we move on?
1 A. Yes, certainly.
2 Q. Mr. Alaica, I will ask you to introduce yourself so that we will
3 have that on the record.
4 A. My name is Milan Alaica, father's name Dragan, mother's name
5 Mila, born in 1954, in the village of Pescenica [phoen], municipality of
6 Vrgin Most, the Republic of Croatia
7 Q. What is your educational background?
8 A. I completed the School of the Interior and additional courses
9 during my career. I did two courses in particular, one for encryption
10 special list and another for a forensic technician.
11 Q. What was your employment like, Mr. Alaica?
12 A. I used to work in Split
13 Republic of Croatia
14 Q. What were your jobs with the ministry?
15 A. I began as a beat policeman, and then I advanced. After having
16 completed the encryption course, I was moved to the encryption department
17 in Split
18 Q. A moment ago you said that you worked in Split until the war.
19 Why did you say that? Is that when you stopped working?
20 A. Yes. I stopped working in 1991 when the all-familiar events
21 began taking place in Croatia
22 no place in the governmental offices of the Republic of Croatia
23 demoted from my position for a while. I again was returned to be a
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nikolic, we need to have a break of about ten
1 to 15 minutes, please.
2 --- Break taken at 9.51 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 10.07 a.m.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nikolic.
5 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, during the break, I
6 received a note from the registry that we should ascertain what the
7 precise last name of the witness is. In the transcript, we have
8 "Alaica." It may well be that I misspoke, and perhaps we should clarify
9 that issue, first.
10 Q. Mr. Alaica, could you please tell us precisely what your last
11 name is slowly, so that we could have it recorded correctly?
12 A. A-l-a-i-c-a, without a J.
13 Q. Thank you. I believe we can move on.
14 I want to remind you that we left off when you started talking
15 about the problems at work. How did you deal with them? Did you remain
16 with the Ministry of the Interior or not?
17 A. I did not. There was no possibility to leave Split since the
18 town was blocked. My family was mistreated. Since I knew Mr. Beara,
19 since before the war, say from 1998 --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 1988.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- when he moved into the apartment
22 next to my brother's apartment. My brother's name is Bosko. Bosko was
23 also a member of the JNA. My brother, Bosko, advised me to talk to
24 Mr. Beara, so that we could see what the possibilities are of me being
25 transferred to the military police.
1 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. What year was that and what period, what month, when all this was
3 taking place?
4 A. This was taking place between May 1991 and the 1st of November,
5 1991, when I was officially received by the military police battalion.
6 Q. What were your duties in the military police battalion?
7 A. My duties were that of a desk clerk in charge of combatting crime
8 and all other tasks that had to do with the department for the military
10 Q. The MP battalion, where was it located at the time?
11 A. The battalion command was in the Dracevac Barracks. It's units
12 were assigned to different facilities, important facilities, and
13 barracks, to provide security. That was in Split and its environs.
14 Q. You said that was in 1991?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What was the ethnic makeup of the MP battalion at the time?
17 A. The ethnic makeup was -- well, it was small Yugoslavia, if I can
18 put it that way.
19 Q. Could you clarify that?
20 A. There were Muslims, Croats, Serbs from all parts of Yugoslavia
21 Macedonians, Slovenians, Siptars.
22 Q. During that period, could the MP battalion function normally and
23 move about the city?
24 A. No. For the most part, we had big problems because their
25 barracks was blocked as well by the then-paramilitary formations, even if
1 we talk from the point of view of the Croatian government. Those
2 formations were preventing any movement on the part of the military
3 police members as well as all the other JNA units.
4 Q. Can you recall who was the then-MP battalion commander?
5 A. It was -- I cannot remember exactly. In any case, his deputy was
6 Bajat Velimir who later became commander.
7 Q. At the time, how could the MP battalion commander organise its
8 functioning, as well as the functioning of its different departments?
9 A. With great difficulty. With the assistance of the Superior
10 Command and its security department, that was headed by Mr. Beara who
11 coordinated the work of the battalion vis-a-vis the navy war command, as
12 well as any talks that were to take place with the monitors of the
13 then-European Community. They were in charge of coordination, and,
14 therefore, to a certain extent, they could enable the battalion to
15 function in a certain way under the limited conditions.
16 Q. Were you able to observe Mr. Beara in action and how he went
17 about his work in order to resolve the problems?
18 A. Yes, I did. Because when I joined the MP battalion as an
19 experienced policeman, I was assigned precisely to the navy command where
20 Mr. Beara was as well. In other words, I was there on the premises and I
21 took part in some security tasks during the talks and the negotiations
22 and the rest of it.
23 Q. Can you tell me some of his specific actions that reflect -- or
24 rather, tell me, how did he behave towards resolving the situation that
25 the MP battalion found itself in?
1 A. Since at the time the families of the MP battalion were in
2 danger, Mr. Beara spent most of his time in trying to rescue the women
3 and the children of us members of the military police, as well as of
4 other officers from other units. So, in all these talks and
5 negotiations, he tried to obtain permissions for these people since they
6 were actually confined in their residences to be transferred to the
7 barracks in order to reunite with their fathers, husbands, and so on.
8 Q. How did you manage at all to do your daily job with such a great
9 number of civilians arriving at the barracks?
10 A. We organised ourselves by allocating a number of rooms. We
11 vacated them, removed all the military equipment and the officers who
12 were there, and we housed the women and the children in these rooms.
13 Q. We are talking about now the MP battalion at the command, but you
14 also said that there were members of the military police outside of the
15 city securing certain facilities?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What was the situation with these members of the military police?
18 A. The major problem or the biggest problem was the attached
19 facility in Zrnovnica. It was secured by one of our companies commanded
20 by Lieutenant Senad Burzic, and his deputy was Rajko Milovanovic. For
21 the most part, this unit was made up of various -- members of various
22 ethnicities, but they were all professionals so these were professional
23 military personnel.
24 Q. Before I ask you the next question, can you please now repeat the
25 exact name of this facility that you just mentioned, please say it very
1 loudly and clearly so that it can be recorded?
2 A. Zrnovnica, Z-r-n-o-v-n-i-c-a.
3 Q. You said that the most serious problem was with the security at
4 this location. Why was that and what problems were there?
5 A. This facility was of vital importance for the defence of the city
6 of Split
7 and other coastal artillery.
8 Q. Were there any attacks launched on this facility?
9 A. From day one when the conflict started, this facility was
10 besieged and surrounded by paramilitary units of the Republic of Croatia
11 and every day and every night, it was attacked and fired on from small
12 arms and from mortars.
13 Q. Were there any casualties among members of the battalion as a
14 result of these attacks?
15 A. Yes, there were. In one of the more serious attacks, the company
16 commander, Senad Burzic, was wounded, as well as his deputy, Rajko
17 Milovanovic, and also a couple of soldiers but I don't remember their
19 Q. What happened with this man, Burzic, and his deputy? Where were
20 they taken after they had been wounded?
21 A. At first, for the whole day, the paramilitary did not allow any
22 medical assistance to be given to them. Then, on the assistance of
23 Mr. Beara for the European Community, observers to come to the navy
24 command. He wanted to -- an agreement to be reached on how to place
25 these people in hospital. They arrived in the afternoon, talks were
1 held, and, as a result, an ambulance was allowed to come in and evacuate
2 the wounded to hospital.
3 They were taken to a civilian hospital in Split, although there
4 was a military hospital in Split
5 civilian hospital.
6 Q. Do you remember, or rather, do you know what kind of wounds
7 Burzic sustained?
8 A. Senad Burzic sustained serious bodily injuries, his leg was
9 amputated; and Rajko Milovanovic was wounded to the head; and the other
10 soldiers sustained light injuries.
11 Q. How was this problem with Senad Burzic and his deputy who were
12 wounded was solved? Where did they receive medical help?
13 A. Since the navy command received information - that is to say,
14 Mr. Beara received it - that the wounded were not properly taken care of,
15 he again insisted on the EC observers organising and allowing the wounded
16 to be taken over from the Split
17 medical -- military medical academy in Belgrade. That was done after
18 some time. They were airlifted by helicopter to the military medical
19 academy in Belgrade
20 Q. Did you know Senad Burzic?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. Did you receive any follow-up information about what happened to
23 him after he had been transferred to the military hospital in Belgrade
24 A. After the unit was relocated from Split to Kumbor in Montenegro
25 we received information that Senad Burzic was discharged from the
1 military hospital and that he had gone to visit his parents in a village
2 near Sanski Most in Bosnia
3 Q. Where was the unit billeted at the time, and what time of period
4 are we talking about?
5 A. On the 5th of February, the whole unit gathered together in
6 Kumbor in Montenegro
7 Q. Did you maintain contact with these wounded members of the
8 MP battalion, Burzic and the others? What happened to them afterwards?
9 A. Yes, I did. Depending on the possibilities and the available
10 communications, lines, telephones and the like, we maintained permanent
11 contact with our members irrespective of their whereabouts.
12 Q. What was the role -- or rather, how did Ljubisa Beara act as the
13 head of the security department after the unit had been relocated? Did
14 he show any interest in these individuals bearing in mind that there was
15 contact where -- between the MP battalion and the security department?
16 A. Yes. He took care of every single member of the battalion; and
17 in May, information was received that Senad Burzic was having problems in
18 his village where he was visiting his parents.
19 Q. What problems are we talking about, do you know?
20 A. As we understand, there were some combat operations around Sanski
21 Most, and Senad Burzic and his wife and children tried to get out of the
22 area and the combat zone with the help of JNA members -- or rather, a
23 member of the JNA that he had been acquainted with from the time he
24 attended the academy, he was transferred to Belgrade.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We have to break now. I am, after
1 consulting with my colleagues, reducing it to 20 minutes. Thank you.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nikolic.
5 MR. NIKOLIC:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Alaica, you said that the entire command
7 moved to a new location in Kumbor. What about the MP battalion as well
8 as the other units, did they keep the mixed ethnic makeup that they used
9 to have in Split
10 A. Yes, they did. The ethnic makeup of the battalion remained the
11 same to that one in Split
12 Q. New location, new work organisation. What was the behaviour of
13 Mr. Beara to the people who were of different ethnicities, other
15 A. Beara was an exceptional officer in the sense that he respected
16 each and every member regardless of their ethnicity or any other
17 affiliation. It could particularly be seen through the prism of his head
18 of security. It was Lieutenant Nermin Jusic who was a Muslim. In the
19 that department, there were other ethnicities represented as well.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Sergeant, rather
21 than Lieutenant.
22 MR. NIKOLIC:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please repeat the name of the person
24 you mentioned who was with the security. You said Jusic, but his first
25 name was not recorded?
1 A. The commander of his department or his unit for security and
2 escort was Nermin Jusic, sergeant first class.
3 Q. Can you cite and example of what you called fair behaviour of
4 Mr. Beara vis-a-vis the number of other ethnicities?
5 A. Let's go back to Senad Burzic that we mentioned. When we learned
6 that he was experiencing problems in Bosnia, where there was combat
7 between some paramilitary Serb and Muslim formations, Beara ordered our
8 commander to dispatch a vehicle to Belgrade, and to transfer Burzic's
9 family from Belgrade
10 family and to assist him through the rough times.
11 As regards other ethnicities, all those who wanted to relocate
12 outside Croatia
13 ethnicity, it was Ljubisa who helped all of them. He secured transport
14 of both their families and property.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
16 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I apologise.
17 Q. The events related to Senad Burzic, when was that?
18 A. Sometime in the spring of 1992. I don't remember any exact
19 dates. After he arrived, I think it was sometime in April, his arrival
20 in Kumbor, he told us what he had been through and how he had faired. He
21 also -- he also used his leg prosthesis as he was flying through the
22 woods. Since he could move with difficulty using the crutches and
23 without his prosthesis, during a meeting and upon Beara's proposal, it
24 was decided that we should all contribute one per diem in order to buy
25 him a new prosthesis that was purchased in Germany.
1 Q. Mr. Alaica, you said that the commander of a military police unit
2 was Nermin Jusic. I'm interested in your opinion. Did Beara truly
3 believe and trust the people of other ethnicities, or was he just putting
4 up an act to try to keep the semblance of this mixed ethnic makeup?
5 MR. MITCHELL: Objection, speculation.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Alaica, we don't want you to speculate. We
9 want you to tell us, if you can, if you succeeded in forming an opinion
10 on this, based on what you saw, whether you can make an assessment,
11 without speculating. If you don't know, if you have doubts, you just
12 keep your mouth shut then.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is my opinion concerning
14 Ljubisa's conduct towards the members of other ethnicities is a very
15 positive one. At no moment could one feel him making any difference
16 between any of us members of the battalion belonging to different
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
19 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Q. Can you specify another example to further corroborate your
22 A. In early May 1992, Nermin Jusic complained that his family was in
23 danger in Bratunac. He asked if he could be helped. He went to see
24 Ljubisa. Ljubisa ordered our commander that I should report to his
25 office. When I arrived in his office, he offered me to sit down, to have
1 coffee, much as he did with each and every officer that would come to his
2 office. He lay the problem on the table. He said that an officer of our
3 family is in danger in Bratunac and that it would be good if we could
4 pull them out of that area to a free area.
5 At a certain point, Sergeant Jusic was led into the office as
6 well, and Ljubisa again told me then this: "If you believe that this
7 would put your life in danger, I am not going to order you to do this in
8 military terms, but I would rather ask you, person to person, to help
9 this man and his family." Since I was the most experienced in the
10 battalion and all of the others were junior to me, save for the
11 commander, I said that, yes, I would take that on and that I will do what
12 can be done.
13 Q. When was that in what month and year, and where were you at the
15 A. It was in the first half of May 1992. We were in Kumbor in
17 Q. Did you respond positively to Mr. Beara's plea, and, of course,
18 to Mr. Jusic's?
19 A. I did.
20 Q. Can you tell me briefly how you went about that? Did you, in
21 fact, manage to reach Bratunac?
22 MR. MITCHELL: Objection, leading.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Please answer the question. We don't see that it's
25 a leading question. Sorry to the interpreters. We don't see it as a
1 leading question. Please answer the question.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. We organised ourselves in a
3 fashion that I went there, together with Sergeant Jusic and another
4 soldier driver, with our MP vehicle. It was an off-road vehicle, a jeep.
5 We set out the same day in the afternoon, arriving sometime in the
6 evening around 9 p.m.
7 and gathered information on how we should proceed further, in what
8 direction. This, we learned from members of the internal organs in
9 Uzice. In Uzice, we were told that it was not advisable to go in that
10 since there was combat. I insisted that I go regardless of what the
11 nature of combat was.
12 Early the next morning, I set out together with the driver and
13 Jusic, arriving at far as Ljubovija. Once there, on the other side of
14 the Drina
15 explosions. We presumed, therefore, that there was still combat.
16 Q. Just a moment, I want to interrupt you for a second. Where is
17 Ljubovija, in what republic?
18 A. The Republic of Serbia
19 between the two.
20 Q. How did you cross the river to reach Bratunac?
21 A. Once we arrived in Ljubovija, I reported to the Crisis Staff with
22 the intention of learning what the possibilities were to cross the river
23 and to seek any approvals that I might need to enter Bosnia; however,
24 they refused to issue any sort of pass. They just told me that I was
25 going there at my own risk, that is there was combat, and that they
1 advised me not to go.
2 In the meantime, while I was negotiating with the people from the
3 Crisis Staff, Nermin Jusic recognised some of the people in front of the
4 building in the street. One of those people told him that his mother,
5 brother, and sister were in Ljubovija accommodated with a family friend
6 of their father's, Jusic's father, and that we should go and look for
7 them there.
8 When I came out of the building, Jusic told me that we should go
9 to a house nearby since his brother, sister, and mother were supposed to
10 be there. Once we got to the house, we found, indeed, his mother,
11 brother, and sister there. His mother began to cry. She kneeled down
12 and started kissing my boots. I wouldn't have that, I asked her to get
13 up on my feet. I told her that I was doing that as a duty of mine and
14 that I did that following the where of Mr. Ljubisa Beara and her son
15 Nermin who initiated the whole operation.
16 In our further discussion with the mother, she told us that in
17 Bratunac, there was still Nermin's grandmother there on his father's
18 side, and that they had no information on her. They, however, arrived in
19 Ljubovija without any footwear or clothes, without any IDs and money. I
20 decided that we should go to Bratunac regardless of the circumstances.
21 Nermin's mother asked me to try and find some personal documents,
22 if we can, and also to bring back some clothes. She asked me to go into
23 a small cellar under the stairs in the house, telling me that there was a
24 plastic bag under a barrel there containing some of their valuables like
25 gold, some money, things that any house would have, family jewellery.
1 And she asked me to bring that back in case I found it. After awhile, we
2 set out; I mean, myself, Nermin and the driver.
3 Q. And did you reach the house?
4 A. When we arrived at the bridge on the Drina, the police of the
5 Republic of Serbia
6 they couldn't let us pass through because there was fighting going on
7 there. I explained to them briefly that I was on a mission, that it was
8 not their problem, that it was my problem, that they should let me go
9 through, and that is what they did.
10 When we crossed over to the other side and entered the
11 municipality of Bratunac, we were met on the bridge by some armed
12 civilians who had no proper uniforms or insignia. They were armed with
13 some outdated weapons from the second World War. They were looking very
14 untidy. They behaved arrogantly, started to threaten us, and told us
15 that they would not let us go to Bratunac. After some serious argument
16 and quarrel with them, we were persistent and we somehow managed to make
17 them let us go through and arrived in Bratunac.
18 When we reached the centre of the town, Nermin told me on the way
19 that it would be best if we dropped by at the municipal building because
20 that is where the Crisis Staff was headquartered and to ask them for
21 help, so that we can move more freely around Bratunac.
22 Q. Excuse me. Can I just interrupt you for a second. At the time,
23 were you wearing the military police uniforms?
24 A. Yes. We had proper uniforms. We had small arms. Our vehicle
25 was marked as a proper military police vehicle with all the stickers and
1 rotation lights and everything else.
2 Q. So dressed in your uniforms and driving such a vehicle, you
3 crossed over to the Bratunac where you were accosted by these
4 paramilitary units?
5 A. When we arrived in front of the municipal building, there was a
6 number of people dressed in various clothes. We could hear shots coming
7 from the direction of the hotel. Everyone was nervous and anxious. They
8 walked towards us and tried to disarm us and to confiscate our vehicle.
9 I confronted them and said that I was on a mission and that I was on my
10 way to see the president of the Crisis Staff.
11 We somehow managed to enter the building, the municipal building.
12 In the hall of the building, there was a civilian with a beard, armed
13 with a machine gun from the second World War. He stopped us and said
14 that we couldn't enter the building and see the president. We started
15 quarrelling with him there.
16 At one point, a civilian emerged from one of the offices, I
17 remember that he had a leather cap on his head, and he asked what was all
18 this about, why we were arguing. Nermin then addressed him and said --
19 and called him "Professor." This man turned towards Nermin and said,
20 "Nermin, is that you?" And he said, "Yes, it is me." They embraced each
21 other, and we explained to him why we came.
22 After that, he took us to the office of the president of the
23 Crisis Staff. When we entered the office, the president of the Crisis
24 Staff was very abrasive. He was in a hurry. He was constantly answering
25 the phone or the radio and receiving information and/or exchanging
1 information because there was allegedly fighting going on in the vicinity
2 of the motel, and in the village, as I understood it.
3 Q. Mr. Alaica, did you manage to reach Nrmin's house?
4 A. When we explained to him that our intention was to go to the
5 house in order to pick up his family's documents and valuables and to see
6 what was happening with his grandmother, he said that he had no objection
7 to that, but that he thought it would be ill-advised for us to go there
8 because there was fighting in the town. We told him that we were
9 determined to go regardless of any fighting and asked him to give us one
10 man, if possible, to accompany us for the purpose of security and for
11 moving around the town better.
12 This professor then offered to accompany us himself. We all got
13 into the car and went to his house.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nikolic, we have been extremely, extremely
15 patient, but it has come to a stage where we have to bring it to order.
16 None of this appeared in the summaries. You are going into much detail
17 that has absolutely no relevance. Please stick to the reason why you
18 summoned this witness. All this is unnecessary, completely irrelevant.
19 I don't know why you are wasting your and our time.
20 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] You are right, Your Honour. I was
21 just about to ask the witness to finish this story. And if you allow me
22 to continue, I shall finish shortly.
23 Q. Mr. Bosko -- excuse me, Mr. Milan [sic], your intention was to
24 locate the family and you reached the house. Did you find Mr. Jusic's
25 grandmother; and, tell us briefly, did you succeed in your intentions?
1 A. Yes. We found the documents and everything else that his mother
2 had asked for, then we went to his grandmother's house which was in the
3 centre of the town. Once there, Nermin alighted from the car and entered
4 the house, but he didn't find his grandmother there. He came out again
5 where the professor and I were standing in the street, and at that moment
6 the shooting quietened.
7 A woman came out of the neighbouring house across the street, and
8 she asked us who we were looking for. Nermin recognised her and told her
9 that we were looking for his grandmother. She told him that she was in
10 the cellar of her house. Nermin went with her to her house, took out his
11 grandmother, we put her in into the car and headed for Ljubovija.
12 Q. Did you manage to get back to Ljubovija?
13 A. As soon as we reached the bridge on the Drina, we again
14 encountered the same problems with the same men that we had had on our
15 way there, but there were many more of them now. I also noticed that we
16 had been followed by a car --
17 Q. Mr. Alaica, I have to interrupt you here. You set off on this
18 trip in order to save the family of Mr. Jusic. Did you manage to reunite
19 the family, and did you manage to rescue them from this environment?
20 A. Yes, we did. We gathered them all together and took them to
21 Kumbor in Montenegro
22 Q. Did you report about all this to Ljubisa Beara?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. And tell us at the end what his reaction was?
25 A. He was very pleased with how we accomplished the mission, and he
1 was very happy to see the family united in one place and that they were
2 able to help each other in their further life.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Alaica. I have no
4 further questions.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
6 Mr. Zivanovic, you had asked for ten minutes.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I will not cross-examine this witness, Your
8 Honours. Thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
10 Ms. Nikolic, just for a quarter of an hour?
11 MS. NIKOLIC: I have no questions. Thank you, madam.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazarevic, you had asked for ten minutes.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: No questions. Thank you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Fauveau, you asked for ten minutes.
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I have no other question, Your
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, madam.
18 Mr. Krgovic, no cross-examination, confirm.
19 MR. JOSSE: Confirmed.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And, Mr. Sarapa, you had asked for 15 minutes, but
21 you require none.
22 MR. SARAPA: No questions.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
24 Mr. Mitchell.
25 MR. MITCHELL: No questions, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
2 We don't have any further questions for you, which means that
3 your testimony comes to an end here. On behalf of the Trial Chamber, I
4 thank you for having come over to give testimony; and on behalf of
5 everyone present, I wish you a safe journey back home.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So that disposes of this witness.
8 We can bring in the next one. It is Mrs. Cekic, is that correct?
9 MR. OSTOJIC: That is correct, Mr. President.
10 Just two minor items with respect to this witness. At the last
11 break, I had an opportunity to speak with her briefly, and there's a
12 typographical error on the 65 ter summary, and I advised my learned
13 friend of that. It's 1985. I believe that we'll hear that evidence, but
14 I know Mr. Thayer is asking. So I wasn't sure if he got that message. I
15 did speak to Mr. McCloskey in connection with that.
16 The other issue, Mr. President, involves a personal matter with
17 respect to this witness and I'd like just to share it with the Court,
18 because during her testimony, I'd like to go into private session because
19 it's a sensitive issue, but I'd like to advise you about it prior to me
20 doing so, so that you can either permit me or I'm deny me the right to go
21 into private session.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: If I can go into private session now, so I can
24 explain it to you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go into private session.
1 [Private session]
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Usher.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, madam.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: You are most welcome to this Tribunal and in this
8 case, where you are going to give evidence as a Defence witness for
9 accused Beara. Before you start giving your testimony, our Rules require
10 that you make a solemn declaration that in the course of your testimony
11 YOU will be speaking the truth. Madam Usher, the lady who is standing
12 next to you, is going to hand you the text of the declaration. Please
13 read it out aloud, and that will be your solemn undertaking with us.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, madam, please make yourself comfortable.
17 WITNESS: MIROSLAVA CEKIC
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Mr. President, before we go into --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Ostojic.
21 Mr. Zivanovic.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry. There is something wrong at page 39,
23 line 7, yes, about the last name of the witness.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: I think, if I can, just for the record,
25 Mr. President, just have her name -- it's Miroslava, M-i-r-o-s-l-a-v-a.
1 Then on line 7 of page 39, I would --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: The word "Zivanovic" has to disappear. We don't
3 want to complicate your private life, Mr. Zivanovic.
4 Yes, Mr. Ostojic.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Examination by Mr. Ostojic:
7 Q. Good morning, Ms. Cekic. As you know, my name is John Ostojic.
8 I'm one of the attorneys for Mr. Ljubisa Beara, and we are going to ask
9 you a few questions here today. I'm going to ask you and try not to
10 speak quickly so that you can fully understand the question, and I'll
11 give you an opportunity to answer the question.
12 Initially, for the record, can you please state your full name?
13 A. Miroslava Cekic.
14 Q. Kindly share with us your date of birth, and not necessarily the
15 year, but you can do so if you desire, and your place of birth?
16 A. 16th of May, 1949. The place of birth is Curug.
17 Q. For those of us who may not be the place of Curug, can you tell
18 us in what country that is?
19 A. That's Serbia
20 Q. Madam Cekic, I would like to ask a little bit about your
21 background. Can you tell us the extent of your education and what is the
22 highest level of education that you've attained?
23 A. I finished the PTT secondary school in the late 1974; and in the
24 same year, I found employment at the PTT Yugoslavia, as it was called
25 then. And I'm still employed; only now it is called Telecom Serbia
1 Q. Just describe briefly for us the job duties or the capacity of
2 your employment with PTT Serbia, or Telecom Serbia, I'm sorry.
3 A. I used to work in the maintenance department until three and a
4 half years ago; and since these PTT devices are obsolete, they have been
5 replaced by newer ones. And I was transferred to the trade union
6 organisation of Telecom Serbia
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Mr. President, may we please go into private
8 session for the next couple of questions.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. Let's go into private session, please.
10 [Private session]
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
5 MR. OSTOJIC:
6 Q. Can you share with us what your late husband did for purposes of
7 employment, to get an understanding of his background?
8 A. My late husband worked for Split-Jadro company, a flower
9 distribution company. A shipment of flowers arrived every day from Split
10 to Belgrade
11 Q. Do you know a person by the name of Nada Beara?
12 A. Yes, I do. Nada Beara was my late husband's supervisor, and she
13 also worked for Split Jadro in Split
14 business lines and relations, but later on it turned into a friendship
15 and they used to get together whenever Nada would come to Belgrade
16 Q. Did you have a chance to meet and know Mr. Ljubisa Beara?
17 A. Yes. I later met Mr. Ljubisa Beara as well, whenever he had an
18 opportunity to accompany Nada to Belgrade
19 exhibitions or when there was a meeting that she had to have with your
20 business associates.
21 Q. Just so I can have the time parameters, when did this business
22 relationship or working relationship between Ms. Nada Beara and your late
23 husband, Tomo, begin?
24 A. Well, it all began in 1985. That is when I met Mrs. Nada Beara.
25 They had probably known each other before. I don't remember exactly when
1 this flower business was started and when these shipments started
2 arriving from Split
3 meet occasionally when she was on business in Belgrade.
4 Q. And share with us, if you will, when the social relationship with
5 you and your late husband and the Bearas began?
6 A. Well, we started socialising in 1991 when Nada and her younger
7 son, Branco, came to Belgrade
8 continued living.
9 Q. Give us the general idea how often from 1991 would you socialize
10 with the Bearas?
11 A. Well, whenever we had time, we would speak on the phone during
12 the week. Sometimes during the weekends on Friday evenings or Saturday
13 evenings, we would get together either at their place or at our place.
14 Q. And thank you for that. I think I understand. But give me an
15 idea: Was it once a month, once a week, every several months, or rarely,
16 often? You mentioned the dates on the Saturdays and Fridays, but I still
17 don't have an appreciation, with all due respect, how often and how
18 regular you would meet with the Bearas.
19 A. We would see each other depending on the amount of time we had
20 when we would be free of obligations. This includes both my late husband
21 and myself. However, we would speak on the phone at least once or twice
22 within any given week.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you remember during the period of -- and are you
24 still maintaining a social relationship with Nada Beara at least?
25 A. Yes, I am.
1 Q. And I know you haven't seen Mr. Ljubisa Beara for a few years,
2 but did you maintain -- or share with us whether or not you maintained a
3 social relationship with both Nada and Ljubisa Beara up to and including
4 the year 2004?
5 A. Yes, we socialized. We saw each other in 2000. That is when my
6 husband died and they attending the funeral; Nada and Ljubisa, that is.
7 Before that, we would see each other as friends, visiting their home, or
8 they visited us for coffee or a meal. In 2001, on the first anniversary
9 of my husband's death, Mr. Ljubisa attended the memorial church service
10 with me, and Nada was unable to attend at that time.
11 Q. Thank you. I'm going to change a little bit. Are you familiar
12 with the name of an individual by Milan Stanic?
13 A. Yes, I am.
14 Q. Tell us, to the best of your knowledge, who he is?
15 A. Milan Stanic is an attorney at law. I believe he is a member of
16 the Beara Defence team. I met him this year in late February when he
17 returned from the Tribunal.
18 Q. We'll get to that detail in a little bit. Thank you for that.
19 Prior to February of 2008, did you know or ever meet Milan
21 A. No.
22 Q. And, just so the record so we have a complete record, when was
23 the first time that you met me, ma'am?
24 A. I saw you for the first time this summer, I believe, in
1 Q. And with me, is that the first time that you met Mr. Peter
2 Nikolic, who is also counsel for Mr. Beara, to my left?
3 A. That is correct, yes.
4 Q. Let me go back to Milan Stanic, and you were starting to tell us
5 about the circumstances upon your first meeting with him in February of
6 2008. Can you tell us where that meeting took place?
7 A. I was visiting Nada; and after awhile, Mr. Stanic arrived as
8 well. That is how we met.
9 Q. I am sorry to interrupt you. I just want to be as specific as
10 possible on some of these details.
11 You were visiting Nada where?
12 A. In her house.
13 Q. Then please proceed. I am sorry.
14 Then you started to tell us that Mr. Stanic arrived at the house
15 or at the apartment of the Bearas, and then was there anyone else present
16 at that time?
17 A. No. It was just Nada, myself, and Mr. Stanic.
18 Q. Did you engage in any conversation at that time in February of
19 2008 with Mr. Stanic at the Beara apartment?
20 A. Yes. Since he said he had visited Ljubisa, I asked him how he
21 was doing, what he looked like, and whether he was all right. He told me
22 that he looked well, that he was doing well; then we started talking
23 about this and that, about what was happening and was still happening in
25 Q. Approximately how long did you have this meeting with Mr. Stanic?
1 A. I sat there for about an hour and a half, maybe two.
2 Q. Did you discuss at any time inclusive of the February 2008 period
3 with Mr. Stanic the potential for you to be a prospective witness on
4 behalf of Ljubisa Beara?
5 A. He asked me how long I knew Ljubisa. He asked me what sort of a
6 person he was and whether we were friends, and I responded to most of his
7 questions positively. He asked me whether we used to see each other when
8 Ljubisa came, and since I knew that Ljubisa was in the Republika Srpska,
9 whether we saw each other at that time. I told him that, indeed, we saw
10 him, that he would call by phone, and we socialised time permitting.
11 Q. Did you share with Mr. Stanic any other details, and particularly
12 things that may have occurred in 1995?
13 A. Mr. Stanic asked me if I remembered any details or meetings
14 during 1995.
15 Q. And how did you respond?
16 A. I told him that there were things I remembered. It was quite a
17 long time ago when you count the years, but there are details that one
18 remembers and does not forget easily.
19 Q. Would you mind sharing it with us? What are some of those
20 details with respect to 1995 that you told Mr. Stanic? What is it that
21 you remember?
22 A. I remember, for instance, that in 1995 by that time our financial
23 situation was not so good. We all know that as early as 1991 or 1992,
24 there were no more flower shipments coming to Belgrade from Split
25 company focused itself on a different flower operation. It was by that
1 time called Beo-Jadro. My husband was still working for them, and they
2 were getting flowers from the countries surrounding Serbia.
3 I could recall certain meetings; and as long as the money lasted,
4 we were able to go on holidays, my husband and I. But by 1994 and 1995,
5 the money had run out. We had difficulties making our ends meet. Since
6 in May there's my birthday - on that day, Ljubisa was in Belgrade - I
7 invited both him and Nada to come over, not for the sake of the birthday,
8 but simply to sit down together and chat. Since he was a merry person,
9 he was attentive and he liked bringing small presents. And on that
10 occasion, Nada and he brought a small pendant with a small anchor, since
11 he spent a good part of his life at seaside.
12 We chatted perhaps after that day. In May, we may have seen each
13 other briefly on one or two other occasions. Then, in July, Toma spoke
14 to Ljubisa --
15 Q. Sorry to interrupt you. What year in July?
16 A. 1995.
17 Q. Sorry. Please proceed. You can proceed. Sorry.
18 A. Ljubisa arrived. My late husband and he spoke on the phone.
19 They arranged that we should all see each other that evening, but that we
20 should go to a nearby restaurant. I live at Sumatovacka Street, which is
21 part of the Kalenovic Market area in Belgrade
22 thought; but since my husband insisted, he and Nada arrived in the
23 evening. We went to the restaurant. Both my husband and Ljubisa liked
24 whiskey. I had a bottle somewhere hidden in the house, and I took it
25 with me. We talked, had dinner, and stayed there until 11.00, 11.30 at
2 It was then that Nada told me, "Do you know what happens
3 tomorrow?" I said, "No, not really." Then she said, "My old man," as
4 she used to refer to him, "is having his birthday tomorrow." Then I
5 said, "That's very nice. We could see each other." She said, "Well,
6 we'll see what the circumstances will be." First, they were to see his
7 family, and then I invited them to come over to our house. I said that I
8 would invite another pair of friends, so that we could all sit down
9 together and chat.
10 Q. Thank you for that. I'm going to try to digest it, and we'll try
11 to break it down a little more. First, give me the name of the other
12 friend that you would invite, or friends, as you say. What was their
14 A. Yes. Svetlana Gavrilovic and Djordje Gavrilovic.
15 Q. How long have you known Mr. and Mrs. Gavrilovic?
16 A. I've known them for quite some time. I know Svetlana from youth,
17 since our parents hailed from the same place, Curug.
18 Q. I'm going to come back to the birthday celebration and the event,
19 both the evening when you went with you and your husband and then as well
20 as the next day when you went why the Gavrilovics and the Bearas. Before
21 I do that, let's focus on Mr. Beara and his family.
22 Were you able, ma'am, having known and socialised with the Bearas
23 since approximately 1985 to observe his relationship, Mr. Ljubisa's
24 relationship, with his wife?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Share with us, having observed that, what type of a relationship
2 it was?
3 A. Ljubisa and Nada Beara lived in their home in a normal way. It
4 was a normal marriage by any standard.
5 Q. I think by sometimes the translation the word may seem a little
6 awkward. I'm asking you to describe, if you know, your observations as
7 to what type of a husband Mr. Beara was. So you can tell me if he was
8 kind, gentle, or if you thought he was abrupt, and as I'm sure --
9 A. Yes. Ljubisa was a cultured gentleman, very attentive. He would
10 bring small things as presents to make his wife happy. They communicated
11 in a usual manner as any two partners in a civilised marriage would.
12 Q. Were you able to observe his relationship with -- I know you
13 mentioned his younger son, and there is an age difference between his
14 eldest and younger one. Where were you able to observe his relationship
15 and contact with his younger son?
16 A. A normal relationship. The usual relationship you would have
17 with a boy at that time. He was 16, 17, 18 at the time. He behaved
18 well, and his father did, too.
19 Q. Tell me this: Was he strict and/or a disciplinarian?
20 A. No, he wasn't strict.
21 Q. Let's go back to the July 1995. I know you told us that you had
22 met with Nada and Ljubisa one evening and you went out to dinner; and at
23 that time, it was that Nada told you that the next day it was her
24 husband's birthday.
25 Did you ultimately, the next day, get together with the Bearas
1 and the Gavrilovics. Let me, just so it's easier for us to follow, we'll
2 coin, if you don't mind, the evening you had dinner with just the Bearas
3 as the first dinner; and then we'll call the next day that you went with
4 the Bearas and the Gavrilovics as the second dinner, so that we don't get
5 confused and overlapped, because even in my notes, I was sometimes
6 unclear as to the times that you met them.
7 In July of 1995, this second event or socialisation, did it
9 A. Yes. We met in our home with our friends the Gavrilovics and the
10 Bearas. Ljubisa and Nada arrived around 8 p.m., Mr. Gavrilovic came
11 shortly afterwards, and Svetlana was a bit late. She had some business
12 engagements and arrived a bit late.
13 Q. How long did this dinner party last?
14 A. The party lasted for some three, three and a half hours. We
15 didn't take note of the time, but three, three and a half hours, I'd say.
16 Q. Now, I know it happened a long time ago, Mrs. Cekic, but can you
17 help us have a better appreciation as to how you remember the year? I
18 think you were starting to tell us at that time obviously the situation
19 in former Yugoslavia
20 financial problems or issues that were going on with that.
21 But, if you can tell us, how do you remember that it was 1995?
22 A. I remember because that year we had no money to go on vacation or
23 to buy ourselves anything nice. By that time Toma had lost a company,
24 then he was out of work altogether. I was the only breadwinner. We were
25 going through some hard times in Serbia.
1 Q. Do you have any doubt, Mrs. Cekic, that you are correct on the
2 year that when you got together with the Bearas and the Gavrilovics in
3 either the first or the second engagement or party?
4 A. No, I have no doubt.
5 Q. I know it's difficult to always testify.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: I think at this point I just want to check with
7 Mr. Nikolic, but I think I'll have no further questions, if the Court
8 just permits me to check, then I'll have the Court ...
9 Mr. President, I think that we have no further questions of
10 Mrs. Cekic at this time.
11 I'm just told that there's a -- I'm sorry, that just a spelling
12 of "Gavrilovic" is wrong on page 50, line 1, so to the extent that the
13 Court will take note of that.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That will be taken care of.
15 Mr. Zivanovic.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'm not going to cross-examine this witness, Your
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
19 Ms. Nikolic.
20 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No questions for the witness.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
22 Mr. Lazarevic, you already signified.
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: We don't have any questions for this witness,
24 Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
1 Ms. Fauveau, you asked for ten minutes.
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No questions, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
4 Mr. Krkvic, no cross?
5 MR. KRGOVIC: We don't have questions, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Sarapa.
7 MR. SARAPA: No questions.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
9 So it's back to you, Mr. Thayer.
10 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Thayer:
12 Q. Good afternoon, ma'am.
13 A. Good afternoon.
14 Q. My name is a Nelson Thayer, and I'll be asking you some questions
15 on behalf of the Prosecution.
16 How would you describe your current friendship with Svetlana
18 A. Since I have known her since my early youth, as I said, we are
19 good friends. We still see each other, speak on the phone. She is a
20 beautician, and sometimes I visit her for treatment. Sometimes she comes
21 over to my house. That would be the extent of it. We sometimes go to
22 the theatre or to the movies. That would be the long and short of it.
23 Q. And if I understand your testimony correctly, you were and have
24 been good friends with Ms. Gavrilovic before you met either of the
25 Bearas; is that correct?
1 A. Yes. I have known her since before that time.
2 Q. And it sounds like you became fast friends with Nada Beara. You
3 described speaking to her on the phone once, twice a week, and
4 socialising on the weekends, is that fair to say?
5 A. Yes, that is correct. It goes back to the relationship they had
6 with my late husband, since Nada Beara was his boss. It goes back to
7 that time. We merely kept it going afterwards, after Nada arrived in
9 Q. Understood. And, ma'am, if you see me looking away, I'm not
10 being rude. I sometimes have to check the transcript just to make sure
11 everything is getting done properly, okay?
12 So, no doubt, you've been to the Bearas' house.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you estimate for the Trial Chamber about how many times you
15 think you visited with them at the Bearas' house?
16 A. Well, sometimes, during a week, I would go to see them; then on
17 another occasion, ten days would past without seeing them; and as Nada
18 pointed it out, rightfully, I am the younger one and I am supposed to
19 come see them more often. On the other hand, when she has time on her
20 hands, she comes over to our house. I can't tell you precisely whether
21 it's within any given week or two weeks, but every week we speak on the
22 phone at least once or twice. When we have some spare time, then we see
23 each other as well.
24 Q. And how many birthday parties have you attended of a member of
25 the Beara family?
1 A. Well, no one insisted on any birthday parties. We simply wanted
2 to spend some comfortable time together, and the birthdays were merely an
3 excuse, of sorts, to get together, to have a meal, a drink, to the extent
4 we could afford.
5 Q. Okay. I understand what you are saying. The birthday was
6 somewhat secondary to the social occasion, is that a fair
8 A. I don't understand.
9 Q. The fact that it might have been somebody's birthday was not the
10 primary reason for the get-together, if I understand your testimony; it
11 was more just to get people together?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. Don't worry, I'm not going to hold you to any numbers, but can
14 you estimate for the Trial Chamber, as best as you can remember, on how
15 many of these occasions when you got together with the Bearas was it --
16 did it happen to be somebody's birthday in the Beara family?
17 A. Well, you know, as I said, that the birthdays were sort of
18 secondary, but we preferred to see each other when Ljubisa was there
19 after his returns from Republika Srpska. We preferred to see each other
20 then, to sit down, have a chat as real friends. Little Branco was a boy
21 at the time, and he didn't celebrate his birthdays with us. He would go
22 out with his friends to the movies or an ice cream parlour.
23 In any case, Nada knew to bake good cakes, and she would invite
24 us to come over when Ljubisa was there to market in a certain way.
25 Q. Okay. Well, other than the events that you testified about in
1 answer to my friend's questions, can you provide any idea to the Trial
2 Chamber, any idea at all, on how many other occasions you attended a
3 birthday party or a gathering which happened to fall on the same day or
4 on which somebody was celebrating a birthday in the Beara family?
5 A. Well, I didn't fully comprehend what you mean by "on the same
7 Q. Well, sometimes, when a person celebrates their birthday, for
8 whatever reason they can't celebrate it on the actual date of their
9 birthday, either because of work obligations or the day of the week on
10 which the birthday happens to fall. Sometimes we can't celebrate even if
11 we want to our birthday on the actual date of the birthday?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So my question simply is: Can you give the Trial Chamber any
14 idea on how many occasions when you were socialising with the Bearas, you
15 understood that occasion to be in celebration of the birthday of any
16 member of the Beara family? That's all I'm asking.
17 A. Well, I couldn't tell you precisely. Whenever we met, it was the
18 reason for us to get together either because Ljubisa was there, either
19 because it was somebody's birthday. Nada, of course, didn't want for her
20 own reasons to tell us when her birthday was, understandably, but the
21 purpose was for us to get together as true friends do.
22 Q. So I take it, ma'am, that the answer is no, you can't answer my
23 question? You can't give the Court any idea how many occasions you
24 recall attending some kind of celebration at the Bearas that happened to
25 be in connection with a Beara family member's birthday?
1 A. Well, as I told you, in 1995 we celebrated -- or, actually, I
2 invited Ljubisa and Nada to attend my birthday, but I just didn't
3 celebrate it as a birthday. It was just a reason for us to get together.
4 I think it's more appropriate for younger people to celebrate their
6 So we got together in July when Ljubisa was in Belgrade. That
7 was the day when we went to the restaurant; and then Nada reminded me
8 that on the following day, which was I think the 14th of July -- because
9 this is what she told me otherwise I wouldn't have known. And then on
10 the evening of the following day, we got together at our place. And then
11 after that, perhaps a month or two later, we saw each other again, but we
12 didn't insist on it being somebody's birthday.
13 Q. And do I understand your testimony correctly, ma'am, and I
14 understand why somebody might not want to let on exactly what year one
15 was born or exactly how many years old someone is, but is it my
16 understanding that you did not and do not know what the date of Nada
17 Beara's birthday is? Putting the year to the side, is it your testimony
18 that you don't know what her actual day and month of birth is?
19 A. Well, we are friends, we see each other, we speak on the phone,
20 but I never inquired about her date of birth. I do know, however, that
21 she was born in 1938 or 1939, but I don't know the date.
22 Q. Ma'am, you just referred to the precise date of July 14th, and I
23 think you just said that that was -- you recall that that was told to you
24 by Nada Beara. I note that when my friend was asking you questions, it
25 was quite clear during your testimony just a few minutes ago, that you
1 didn't know the exact date of Mr. Beara's birthday.
2 Is that the case, or --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. One moment before you answer.
4 Mr. Ostojic.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: I object to the form of the question, Your Honour,
6 and I think it mischaracterizes it. We just didn't want to lead
7 specifically on that point. I don't think he is characterizing it
8 properly that she didn't know the date during my --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let her answer the question in any case. I think
10 it can be solved easily that way.
11 Yes, madam. Madam Cekic, look at me. Can you answer the
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't understand. Can you
14 please repeat it.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It's a very simple question. At the time,
16 were you aware of Mr. Beara's date of birth, or birthday anyway?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When we got together on that first
18 evening while we were sitting and chatting, or rather, when it was time
19 for us to go home, Nada told us that Nada's birthday was the next day and
20 that's when she told me the date; otherwise, I wouldn't have known.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I think there is a confusion here.
22 Nada told you that Ljubisa's birthday was the next day, not her
23 birthday; is that correct?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Ljubisa's birthday; not hers.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: We can proceed.
1 That's what you wanted to point out, I suppose, Mr. Ostojic?
2 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
4 MR. THAYER:
5 Q. So, ma'am, my question is: Why didn't you testify to that effect
6 a few minutes ago? Instead of Mr. Ostojic having to talk about a dinner
7 on one day and a dinner on another day, why didn't you just tell the
8 court what day it was during the course of your testimony and direct
9 examination? That's my question.
10 A. While Mr. Ostojic was questioning me, either I didn't understand
11 him or he didn't ask me specifically to tell him the date, as you did
12 just now.
13 Q. And we'll get back to the date issue in a little while, ma'am.
14 When was the last time you spoke -- spoke with or saw Nada Beara.
15 A. The last time I saw Nada Beara was last Saturday.
16 Q. And what kind of an occasion or meeting was that?
17 A. That was on the occasion of the meeting with Mr. Ostojic and some
18 other people who I didn't know. There was Svetlana and Nada and I there,
19 and we went for lunch to a restaurant.
20 Q. So it sounds like it was clear to Nada Beara that you were going
21 to be coming here to testify, is that fair to say?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And did you have any conversations with Nada Beara about the fact
24 that you were going to be coming to The Hague to testify as a witness on
25 behalf of her husband?
1 A. That is all that we told her, and we didn't discuss this any
2 further because this was not the topic of our conversation. We talked
3 about something completely different. She didn't want to discuss our
4 trip here.
5 Q. And was it also clear to you that Nada Beara understood that
6 Svetlana Gavrilovic was also going to be coming to The Hague to testify
7 as you were?
8 A. I believe that she didn't realise it immediately. It probably
9 took a couple of days for her to realize that, and she was, to put it
10 simply, surprised.
11 Q. And when was the last time you spoke with Ljubisa Beara?
12 A. The last time I saw Ljubisa was in 2001 when we attended the
13 church memorial service for my late husband. We met at the cemetery.
14 Q. And when was the last time you had any conversation with Ljubisa
15 Beara, if it wasn't in person at this 2001 memorial service?
16 A. I didn't speak to him.
17 Q. I am sorry. That was an inartful question I just asked. I'll
18 ask it a little more simply. Did you ever speak to Mr. Beara after the
19 2001 memorial service for your husband, even if you might not have seen
20 him in person?
21 A. Yes, yes. I spoke with him.
22 Q. Okay. Do you recall what year that might have been when you
23 spoke with him, and let's -- I am sorry to use the memorial service of
24 your husband as a sort of as a marker, but if you could estimate for the
25 Trial Chamber how long after that you spoke with Mr. Beara.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ostojic.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 If I could just direct my learned friends's attention to line 8,
4 at page 59, I think that is where he might have a confusion, because he
5 is asking now after -- that question has the word "before," and if he
6 could just clarify it, so that we could fully appreciate the testimony.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
8 Thank you, Mr. Ostojic.
9 MR. THAYER: I think my last question will help clarify that, I
11 Q. I can repeat it for you, ma'am.
12 Following the memorial service for your husband in 2001, when do
13 you recall speaking with Ljubisa Beara?
14 A. Well, we met in the year 2000 while my husband was still alive;
15 that was in the month of June. We went to visit Ljubisa and Nada.
16 Ljubisa always liked to surprise us and organise a barbecue, because he
17 had been living for a many years in Split and he used to speak in the
18 Split dialect. We discussed a variety of things, health, doctors, and
19 things like that. And that was the topic of our conversation, that
20 Bozinovic was already sick, that he should see a doctor, and shortly
21 afterwards my husband died.
22 Q. And last question on this topic before we break: After the
23 memorial service for your husband in 2001, when did you speak with
24 Ljubisa Beara next?
25 A. I think I saw him six months or a year later, but very briefly.
1 I was passing by their apartment building, I had spoken on the phone to
2 Nada, I inquired about him, and she said, "If you would like, drop by for
3 a coffee." But I stayed very short. Because it was in the morning, I
4 had to go back to work. So it was a brief encounter, just for a coffee.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Should we have the break now. 25 minutes. Thank
7 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
10 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Good afternoon, ma'am.
12 A. Good afternoon.
13 Q. Just a couple of more questions on the subject that we left off
14 with. When or what was the date of your husband's memorial service in
16 A. On the 8th of July.
17 Q. So you think it may have been six months or even a year after
18 that that you saw Ljubisa Beara again in person?
19 A. Yes, after 2001, perhaps in the summertime for early autumn.
20 Q. So that would have been of 2002, ma'am; is that correct?
21 A. No, in 2001, after the memorial service; sometime after that.
22 Q. Okay. Before we broke, you testified that, "I think I saw him
23 six months or a year later," and that was the brief encounter that you
24 told us about. I'm asking about that time. So if --
25 A. Oh, yes, yes, yes. I didn't understand you correctly. Yes, that
1 is correct. In the summer or autumn of 2002. I do apologise, I didn't
2 get your meaning right.
3 Q. When was the last time that you recall seeing Mr. Beara in
5 A. Well, it so happened at that time of that year it was very brief.
6 I just came to see them, we just sat for a short while, chatted, had
7 coffee, and I left.
8 Q. And just to be clear, is this -- are you talking about this time
9 in the summer or autumn of 2002, or is this sometime that you saw
10 Mr. Beara after that? That's what I'm trying to find out.
11 A. In the summer or early autumn of that year, that year.
12 Q. So, after this time that you saw him in the summer or autumn of
13 2002, after that, when was the last time you saw Mr. Beara?
14 A. I didn't see him again.
15 Q. I want to turn your attention, ma'am, to the first dinner that
16 you spoke to my friend about in Belgrade
17 your testimony, that that first dinner was planned or organised that very
18 same day?
19 A. Yes, on that same day, when my late husband spoke to Ljubisa on
20 the phone and they agreed to -- for us to meet that evening at that
22 Q. And who chose the restaurant, ma'am?
23 A. It was my late husband's choice. It's a small, cosy tavern, as
24 we call it, in our neighbourhood, and it's called Cuburska Lipa. It's
25 close to our home in the neighbourhood where we live, or rather, where I
1 now live, because my husband is gone.
2 Q. And this wasn't your first time there, was it?
3 A. No. That was our first time because Ljubisa didn't want to go to
4 restaurants or pubs, and we used to meet in our respective houses
5 whenever we met. This was the first time that he agreed to go out with
6 my late husband and myself.
7 Q. Okay. But my question was: Was this the first time that you had
8 ever been to this restaurant?
9 A. No, no. My husband frequented this restaurant quite a lot, and I
10 also went there whenever I had time.
11 Q. And it's a fairly well known restaurant, would you say, in
13 A. Yes, yes, it is.
14 Q. And did you have to make reservations, do you recall?
15 A. No. We didn't because my husband knew the proprietor and the
16 staff working in the restaurant.
17 Q. And what was the proprietor's name, ma'am?
18 A. His name was Buda Koprivica, but I think he has leased this
19 restaurant since. At the time, he also rented -- or it was rented by Mr.
20 Raicko, I think he was called, because he was in boxing and my husband
21 used to be involved in boxing at some previous time, and that is how they
22 knew each other.
23 Q. So it sounds like, in addition to maybe liking the atmosphere and
24 the food, your husband had some kind of relationship with the people that
25 ran or owned this restaurant; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, because he was originally from that neighbourhood, which is
2 called Stara Cubura. He grew up there and was living there and, more or
3 less, all the people knew each other, especially if you go to a
4 restaurant where everybody knows everybody.
5 Q. And how did the two couples go to the restaurant? Did you go
6 together, yourself and your husband together and then you met the Bearas
7 there; or did you all meet somewhere and go to the restaurant all four of
8 you together? Can you just tell the Court how you got to the restaurant?
9 A. My husband and I left our home and we waited for Ljubisa and Nada
10 at the entrance to the restaurant.
11 Q. And I take it this was a full dinner. You had dinner, not just
12 drinks. It lasted, you said, until 11.30 p.m.; is that correct?
13 A. [No audible response]
14 Q. And what did you -- I'm sorry. We just need an audible answer on
15 the record. Can you just say "yes" or "no" so that the transcript can
16 pick it up.
17 You had an actual dinner; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what you talked about during the
20 course of this dinner, the four of you?
21 A. We talked about our families, our children, what they were doing,
22 where they were, how their school was. We talked about lack of
23 employment and the difficult situation in the country. Of course, we
24 talked about health because we were already at the age when people suffer
25 from high blood pressure, headaches, and things, what medication we used,
1 et cetera. So this is what we talked about.
2 Q. Did you talk about any of the military developments in the -- in
4 A. No. Ljubisa never wanted to talk about anything relating to what
5 was going on in Bosnia
6 However, whether he discussed these issues with my late husband as man to
7 man, I cannot tell you that because I was not present.
8 Q. So it's your testimony that the topic of the takeover of the
9 Srebrenica enclave never came up during this dinner; is that correct?
10 A. No, we didn't talk about it.
11 Q. And, again, I know it's a little while ago, but do you recall who
12 paid and how the dinner was paid for; cash, credit card?
13 A. The dinner was paid by my late husband in cash because at that
14 time we didn't have any credit cards.
15 Q. And when did you first find out that Mr. Beara was in Belgrade
16 A. I don't understand. Are you asking me about that particular day
17 or the period before that?
18 Q. Well, during this period of time, talking about the first dinner
19 and the second dinner, during that period of time, when did you first
20 learn that Mr. Beara was in Belgrade
21 find out?
22 A. On the day when we met in the restaurant, sometime around noon
23 when Ljubisa was home, he called my husband and they agreed for us to get
24 together that very same evening in the restaurant.
25 Q. So, during this dinner, did you all four of you stay together at
1 your table, did the menfolk retire somewhere separate, or did anybody
2 stay together for the entire time you were at dinner?
3 A. Throughout the time, the four of us were together at the same
4 table. We talked, chatted, the men did not separate themselves from us.
5 Q. Now, ma'am, you referred to a party of some kind during the
6 day -- the next day during your testimony. Can you tell us a little bit
7 more about what that was?
8 A. When we assembled the next day, it was in our home. The
9 Gavrilovics were there, as well as Nada and Ljubisa Beara, and myself and
10 my husband. We also talked about everything. Djordje wanted to ask
11 Ljubisa a bit more about what was going on in Bosnia, but in that company
12 he didn't want to talk about such issues.
13 We talked about Djordje and Svetlana separating their 25th year
14 of marriage. They wanted to travel, but were short of money. We were
15 joking about them leaving on the Orient Express and then Ljubisa said,
16 "Well, it seems I'll have to take you by your hands to take to you the
17 train station and at least you can look at the train." That was the tone
18 of the evening.
19 Q. Okay. We'll get to the second dinner in a second, but I was
20 asking you about whether there was some event that the Bearas hosted
21 during that day, during the day of your second dinner with the Bearas.
22 Were you aware of some birthday related event that day?
23 A. Well, I chatted with Nada and she told me -- well, during the
24 lunch, members of their families were there and their children. She told
25 me that she prepared something for the occasion. She also told me that
1 they had that lunch with the rest of the family in the house.
2 Q. And were you invited to that lunch?
3 A. No. We were not, since we had arranged that we would see each
4 other in the evening at our home together with the Gavrilovics so that we
5 could hang out. I had also prepared some food, cakes. We planned to
6 spend that time together.
7 Q. So, when they came over on that second night, was that an actual
8 dinner that you hosted at your home that the Bearas attended, or was it
9 more just light fare and drinks?
10 A. There were drinks. I had prepared a cheese pie, cakes, there was
11 also some salami. Not a dinner per se, but what was customary under the
13 Q. And you just told us that there was some discussion about the
14 Orient Express, and Mr. and Mrs. Gavrilovic celebrating their 25th
15 anniversary. Can you tell the Trial Chamber a little bit more about that
16 conversation, please.
17 A. Well, you know, we talked about that. There may have been some
18 other topics. Occasionally, I went to the kitchen to bring some more
19 food to the table or drinks. I couldn't participate in the conversation
20 throughout, but that was one of the topics we were joking about. Nothing
21 in particular. We were all complaining of being short of cash, we were
22 saying to each other that we wanted to travel, go and do things, but
23 that's what the situation was like at the time.
24 Q. And in particular regarding this Orient Express topic, what else
25 can you tell Trial Chamber about the Orient Express coming up as a matter
1 of conversation, as much detail as you can remember as you sit here
2 today, ma'am?
3 A. Well, Svetlana and Djordje had probably talked about that. They
4 fantasised about going on that travel, to see some parts of the world and
5 other cities outside the country, but they couldn't because of their
6 finances. As I told you, I didn't participate extensively in that
7 discussion because I kept going back and forth between the living-room
8 and the kitchen bringing food and drinks. I can't recall off the cuff
9 any particular details. That's what I can tell you right now.
10 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber why? Do you have any idea why
11 that part of the conversation stands out in your mind among other topics
12 that were discussed?
13 A. Because we were laughing out loud and it simply sticks out. The
14 idea seemed funny to travel on board the Orient Express. It was out of
15 the ordinary for a couple to be able to afford. To go to another city or
16 to the seaside, that would have been a bit more simple; but this was a
17 bit out of the ordinary, that's why I can recall it.
18 Q. And, ma'am, are you familiar with a restaurant by the name of the
19 Balkan Express restaurant?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Okay. And that's in the Zemun - I'm sorry if I'm not pronouncing
22 that right - neighbourhood of Belgrade
23 A. I guess so; although, I don't know too much about the restaurants
24 or where they are. But if you say so, I believe you. I've heard of the
25 restaurant, but I can't tell you precisely where it is.
1 Q. And have you heard that this restaurant actually consists of an
2 old fashioned train car or train wagon that's been turned into a
3 restaurant? Is that why that restaurant sticks out in your mind a little
5 A. Yes, I've heard about that.
6 Q. And do you remember during the course of this second dinner, or
7 maybe even during the course of the first dinner, do you remember during
8 the joking about the Orient Express, do you remember somebody saying
9 something to the effect of, "Well, there's this new restaurant that looks
10 like a train car. Since you can't go on the real Orient Express, maybe
11 you could go have dinner in the train car"? Do you remember any
12 conversation or discussion along those lines?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ostojic.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Sorry to interject, but I think the question is --
15 I'll object to the form. It's misleading, actually. I don't want to say
16 it in front of the witness, in fairness to my learned friend --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you should stop and let the witness answer
18 the question.
19 Yes, Madam Cekic, can you answer the question, please.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I heard it being mentioned
21 that evening, the Orient Express and the train car.
22 MR. THAYER:
23 Q. The train car restaurant you are referring to?
24 A. Yes, I mean the restaurant.
25 Q. I know this is going back, but can you recall who came up with
1 the joke about the train car restaurant? If you don't remember, that's
2 fine; if you remember, please share that with the Trial Chamber?
3 A. I don't remember. As I said a moment ago, I was going in and out
4 of the room where we were, going back to the kitchen to bring out drinks
5 and food. Maybe I was absent at that very moment when someone said it.
6 Perhaps it was one of the Gavrilovics.
7 MR. THAYER: With the Court's indulgence, for just one moment,
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Sorry for that interruption.
11 In the meantime, we were waiting for you, Mr. Thayer.
12 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Ma'am, would it surprise you to know that this restaurant, the
14 train car restaurant, didn't open until 1998?
15 A. I'm telling you that I have never been to the restaurant. I
16 don't know where it is. I only know that it exists. I don't know as of
17 when and what year, therefore, I can't tell you any more about it. I
18 don't know.
19 MR. THAYER: Okay. If we may have 65 ter 3629, please.
20 Q. Now, ma'am, I'm just going to show you a couple of pages of a
21 report that was just done today based on some very, very recent
22 information that we learned.
23 MR. THAYER: And if we could go to page 6 of the document.
24 Q. I know you testified that you don't think you've ever been to
25 this place before, but I just want to show you this photograph and see
1 whether in all your travels during the city, whether this looks familiar
2 to you, this location.
3 MR. OSTOJIC: I hate to interrupt, but I think we should look at
4 her answer on line 21, page 69, and I would have an objection to the
5 question as he put it. I think the witness was clear as to whether or
6 not she was at the restaurant.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: But not having been to the restaurant is one thing;
8 not having seen it either in a photo or passing by, I mean, is another.
9 So the question is perfectly valid, unless my colleagues disagree with
11 MR. OSTOJIC: With all due respect Mr. President, if you can read
12 the question that is put, and I'll agree if you want to -- if he wants to
13 ask that. He says, specifically -- I don't want to read it because I
14 don't want to be unfair, but he says: Have you been to the place?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but not having been to the place. I haven't
16 been to many restaurants including some here in The Hague, but it doesn't
17 mean I never seen them, I don't know where they are, or how they look
18 like from the outside, or whether I would be able to distinguish them or
19 not. That's the whole thing.
20 Go ahead, Madam Cekic, please, if you could answer the
21 question -- or rather, if you could finish your question, actually,
22 Mr. Thayer.
23 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Ma'am, my question was very simple as Mr. President stated.
25 Looking at that photograph, based on living in Belgrade and your travels
1 throughout Belgrade
2 A. No. I have never seen it and I have never passed by it.
3 Q. Now, ma'am, we spoke with someone at the restaurant today and the
4 name of the restaurant is Balkan Ekpres, and we are told that it opened
5 as a restaurant in 1998.
6 MR. THAYER: And if we can look at page 2 of this document,
8 Q. This is a page from the website of this restaurant, and do you
9 see this page that has Balkan Ekspres at the top?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. And what does the line under that read? What does "osnovan"
12 mean, ma'am?
13 A. I can't tell you. I don't know whether it means that it was when
14 it was constructed or whether they opened that year. I really don't
15 know. I can only tell you that I never went in, I never passed by it.
16 You did say that I live in Belgrade
17 have knowledge about it, but I never went down that street by that
19 Q. Well, my question now is really again very simple. Having heard
20 that someone at the restaurant just today told us that it opened as a
21 restaurant in 1998, and having seen this page here, isn't it the case,
22 ma'am, that you are thinking about a different occasion when you all got
23 together with the Bearas and the Gavrilovics, when you got together for
24 some occasion that this topic about the Orient Express came out?
25 A. No, it was not on another occasion
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 MR. THAYER:
3 Q. And, again, during this second dinner --
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer, please go ahead.
6 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. And, again, during this second dinner, ma'am, at your home, did
8 everyone stay together in one room during the entire get-together?
9 A. Yes, we were all in the same room.
10 Q. Now, Mr. Beara being here in The Hague must have been the subject
11 of a fair amount of discussion among you, Ms. Gavrilovic, and Nada Beara,
12 is that fair to say?
13 A. You are referring to the last time we saw each other or over a
14 period of time when we would see each other, whether we discussed
16 Q. Let me ask a better question. I apologise, that was a terrible
18 The fact that Mr. Beara had been arrested and brought to The
19 Hague, and that he has been here for some time, that, no doubt, was the
20 subject of conversations, discussions among yourself, Ms. Gavrilovic, and
21 Nada Beara; is that fair to say? That's only natural?
22 A. Your question is a natural one, but we always asked about
23 Ljubisa's health, what he looked like, what the conditions here are. As
24 for any other stories as to why and how, we didn't talk about that. We
25 didn't touch upon such topics.
1 Q. To your knowledge, was Nada Beara following the trial? Has she
2 been following the trial either on line on the computer or through
3 newspapers or through word of mouth?
4 A. I don't know that. When I see her, we don't talk about it. I
5 only ask her about Ljubisa's health and whether he has been calling.
6 That's it.
7 Q. And how about yourself, ma'am, have you followed this trial at
8 all, or have you taken any time to find out anything about what this case
9 is all about?
10 A. I wasn't following Ljubisa's trial. I don't know what it is
11 about. I am not informed of such things. Occasionally, on television, I
12 could see some footage from the courtroom, and that's it. I see a thing
13 here, there, in the press or on TV. That's the extent of me being
15 Q. How about when Mr. Beara was indicted, or when his indictment was
16 made public, I should say, in October of 2002, certainly that was a time
17 when that topic was discussed amongst yourselves; do you recall that?
18 A. I did not discuss that topic with Nada, but I read about it in
19 the press. It was in the newspapers.
20 Q. Who did you discuss that topic with, ma'am, when the indictment
21 against Mr. Beara was unsealed?
22 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I don't even know when it was.
23 Q. How about when he was taken into custody and brought to The
24 Hague, do you recall that occasion?
25 A. Yes, I do. It was televised. Shortly before the end of the
1 foot, I managed to see Ljubisa. I think it was our justice minister who
2 was there and some other people when they reached the airport. That's
3 what was broadcast on TV.
4 Q. And do you recall when that happened?
5 A. It must have been some three and a half years ago, more or less.
6 Q. So somewhere around 2004, 2005?
7 A. I think -- well, if it's three and a half years ago, then it was
8 sometime in mid-2004.
9 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I see that we are nearing the end of
10 our time. I'm about to change topics and I think I'll need a little bit
11 more time tomorrow morning, but I will definitely finish well before the
12 end of the first session.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
14 I think the witness can leave the courtroom. Madam, we haven't
15 finished with you, we still need you. Tomorrow, you will be here for a
16 short relatively short time, and then you are free to go.
17 Yes, Mr. Ostojic.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: Can you just remind her not to talk to anyone.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It is very important, in fact, that between
20 now and tomorrow, madam, you must not discuss or talk to anyone about
21 what you have been testifying here. It's very important.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: As you may have noticed, we have been discussing,
1 and possibly you may also have anticipated what weave been discussing.
2 We want Mrs. Gavrilovic back here tomorrow morning. She is still in the
4 mid-afternoon. So we need her in the morning here. And tomorrow, of
5 course, we will continue and finish with this witness.
6 Thank you and have a nice afternoon.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.
8 to be reconvened on Friday, the 29th day of
9 August, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.