1 Wednesday, 9 April 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.32 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecution versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. Registrar.
11 Today is the 9th of April, 2008. I would like to greet the
12 representatives of the Prosecution, the witness, as well as Mr. Seselj,
13 and all the people assisting us today.
14 This hearing is dedicated to the interview of a witness as part
15 of the 92 ter procedure. Last week, and no later than yesterday,
16 Mr. Seselj told us that he did not wish to cross-examine this witness,
17 but I don't know whether he will cross-examine the witness. After a good
18 night's sleep, sometimes one can change one's mind, whatever the case may
20 The proceeding will unfold as follows: The Prosecutor will
21 briefly summarise the written statement of the witness, will put the
22 traditional questions to the witness on the content and the truthfulness
23 of what he has said, and in addition the Prosecutor can also put
24 questions to him and show him a few documents. After that, the Bench
25 will put questions to the witness.
1 I shall therefore ask the witness to take the solemn declaration.
2 I will ask the witness to stand, please.
3 Sir, can you give me your first name, last name, and date of
4 birth, please.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Fadil Kopic. I was born
6 on the 5th of March, 1966.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have an occupation
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unemployed at present.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been on the dole for
11 how many months, how many years?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I haven't been working since
13 the end of the war, so for 15 years, roughly.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have a source of income?
15 Do you have subsidies? Do you have a personal fortune? How do you live?
16 How have you been living for the last 15 years? What do you live off?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I receive some social benefits
18 from the municipality. I'm on welfare.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I might ask a question before I
12 ask you to take the solemn declaration. You have been interviewed by the
13 OTP, but have you been interviewed by any other investigators or police
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Never?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please read the text of the
19 solemn declaration now.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 WITNESS: WITNESS VS-1014
23 [The witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, you may sit down.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor to the
2 Prosecutor, some information I would like to impart to you, and I would
3 like to explain to you how this hearing is going to unfold. I will,
4 after that, give the floor to Mr. Seselj, who would like to take the
6 You will have to answer questions which the Prosecutor will put
7 to you. You have met him, I'm sure, over the weekend or a few days ago
8 with a view to preparing this hearing. After that, I will put a number
9 of questions to you and my colleagues will put a number of questions to
10 you, and if need be, I will ask Mr. Seselj if he has any intention of
11 putting questions to you.
12 Once all the questions have been put, you can then leave and go
13 back home.
14 Mr. Seselj, I believe you raised your hand and wanted to raise
15 something. What would you like to say?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, before the witness took the
17 solemn declaration, I wanted to raise an administrative issue. Now, if
18 that's possible now, I'll do it now. If not, I'll do it after the break.
19 It has nothing to do with this witness at all.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's not a problem.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Five minutes ago, my associates
22 from Belgrade sent me a photocopy of an article that appeared in the
23 Belgrade "Daily Blitz" with a large circulation. It appeared on the 6th
24 of April, the article, and it continues the propaganda war either by the
25 Registry or the OTP of The Hague Tribunal against me, because here, in
1 over half a page, a lie is being stated that in the Detention Unit I met
2 the Defence counsel of Ramush Haradinaj and that British lawyers from
3 Tony Blair's chambers had a meeting with me, too. Now, I don't have an
4 opportunity of addressing the public and making statements for the press,
5 and I demand that the Registry denies this straight away and to
6 investigate whether the lie came from amongst its ranks or from the
7 offices of the OTP, and the Detention Unit administration knows full well
8 that I never had any meetings either with Ramush Haradinaj's lawyers or
9 any other lawyers, for that matter. And if I happen to say hello to a
10 Serbian lawyer in passing, that would be all. So I think that this is
11 truly unbelievable, and I think it's just the first of a series of
12 attempts to launch false news from The Hague Tribunal by those who don't
13 like my successful defence and wish to slander me in various ways.
14 This has inflicted enormous moral damage to me. I can provide a
15 copy for the OTP and the Registry, for copies for the Trial Chamber,
16 et cetera, and I'd like a copy to be returned to me, but I think you must
17 stand up and protect me.
18 Everything that has to do with this Tribunal and the lies put out
19 by the Tribunal in the media and that I'm not able to answer and respond
20 to them, somebody else has to do that in my name for me.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall make copies and have
22 it translated, and then we will ask the Registry to provide us with
23 further information. And if the information stemmed from the prison --
24 we shall also give a copy to the Prosecutor. Very well. And we will
25 keep you posted and tell you what the prison warden has to say about
2 Mr. Prosecutor, I shall now give you the floor.
3 MR. DUTERTRE [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Could we
4 briefly move into private session. I have a short issue to raise.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's move into
6 private session for a few moments, Madam Registrar, please.
7 [Private session]
11 Page 5880 redacted. Private session.
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
14 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as you have asked
15 me to do, I now suggest reading the testimony of this witness. Let me
16 begin, and I would like the interpreters to let me know if I'm reading
17 too fast:
18 The witness is a Muslim man who was born in March of 1966 in
19 Caparde in the Kalesija Municipality. He completed vocational school
20 training to become a waiter. He also completed military service in
21 1985-1986 in Zagreb, Croatia. He is married with children.
22 He was 26 years old and still living in Caparde when the conflict
24 On May 5th, 1992, the witness and about 30 other people tried to
25 flee from Cerska to free territory. When they reached the village of
1 Planinci, a part of the group, including the witness, was arrested and
2 detained by civil police officers. The witness and his companions were
3 taken to the Serbian village of Vidovici. There, the witness saw men in
4 civilian, police and military clothes. The detainees were searched and
5 their money, documents, watches and gold were taken. Then they were
6 ordered to lie on the ground and were beaten. One of the captors, an
7 older man with a subara, that is a high fur hat and long beard, said that
8 he would kill them. Another person declared that their orders were to
9 take the detainees to Zvornik.
10 The policemen restrained the witness and the other detainees'
11 hands and loaded them on a truck to Zvornik. The truck first stopped at
12 the Alhos factory in Karakaj, where the police captors spoke to a group
13 of Serb soldiers, with a group of Serb soldiers in green and grey
14 uniform. The soldiers pulled the tarpaulin cover off the truck up to
15 beat them. The witness arrived in Zvornik and the truck stopped at the
16 SUP building, where they were questioned about their background and
18 After questioning, they were taken back to Karakaj to the
19 Ekonomija farm. At the Ekonomija farm, the witness was placed in a
20 concrete room, 15 to 20 square metres in size, which had blood stains on
21 the wall. There was a window 50 centimetres high with bars on it.
22 For the first few days, the witness had no bedding. Hay and
23 cardboard was eventually provided. There were no soap and no towels.
24 Some guards allowed the detainees to use toilet facilities. They were
25 guarded by men in olive grey JNA uniforms.
1 About two hours after arriving at the Ekonomija farm, a group of
2 soldiers wearing camouflage uniforms came in. They each had pistols and
3 automatic weapon and a knife. They threatened the detainees and cursed
4 them. They cursed President Milosevic and glorified their leader who
5 they said was Vojislav Seselj. Soon the soldiers started beating them.
6 They were kicked and hit with rifle-butts. Some detainees lost
7 consciousness, and water was poured on them to revive them. The witness
8 later learned that these men were from Kraljevo. These men included
9 Major Dragan Toro, Zoks, Pufta, Savo, and Repak.
10 A few days later, the witness was joined by more detainees from
11 the Standard factory in Karakaj. In fact, new detainees often arrived
12 and others left. At one time, there were 40 detainees at Ekonomija. All
13 of the detainees were repeatedly beaten by the group from Kraljevo and a
14 group of five or six military policemen from Loznica, including Rogonja,
15 Brko and Cupo. The witness saw one detainee sexually assaulted. This
16 detainee was then killed. The guards [Realtime transcript read in error
17 "Croats"] did nothing to stop this treatment.
18 Based on what the men from Kraljevo said, the witness believes
19 that they reported directly to Seselj. Pivarski later joined these men
20 and took part in the beatings as well. In one instance, Niski, one of
21 the men from Loznica, lined up detainees and selected the most physically
22 fit. The selected group was then put on a truck and taken to the
23 Novi Izvor brick factory, also known as Ciglana. The witness was not
24 among the selected group.
25 Later that day, the witness was approached by Pivarski and asked
1 if the witness had any money and if he had someone willing to pay for his
2 release. The witness offered 700 Deutsche mark which he had carefully
3 hidden. As a result, the witness was taken to Ciglana. He doesn't know
4 what happened to the others who remained in the detention room at the
5 Ekonomija farm.
6 In Ciglana, the witness worked with the men from Loznica and
7 Kraljevo to loot from empty Muslim houses in the town of Zvornik and
8 neighbouring villages. Trucks transported these items to Serbia. Other
9 detainees worked in Ciglana to make bricks.
10 The beatings resumed in Ciglana. It is the same group that had
11 been beating the witness in Ekonomija, but they did not come as often.
12 The witness remembers one beating where they were told to strip down to
13 the waist. Their bodies were inspected for tattoos. One man had a
14 tattoo on his lower arm. The witness thinks that it showed a crescent
15 moon and star, and a crescent moon.
16 Pufta told him to have the tattoo removed by morning. The man
17 tried to burn it off, but it still showed. Pufta then removed the tattoo
18 with a knife. Pufta also cut the ear of a detainee named Ismet Cirak.
19 Pufta then killed Cirak.
20 While in Ciglana, a group of people was brought in. They said
21 they had been detained at Dom Kulture in Celopek and had been tortured
23 In mid-July or late July, the witness was transferred to
24 Batkovic. He stayed there until November 1992 when he was released on a
25 prisoner exchange.
1 [Interpretation] This is the end of the witness's summary.
2 On page 10912, I'm told that there is a translation mistake. I
3 said "guards did nothing to stop this treatment," and in English it says
4 "Croats did nothing." But I said "guards" and not "Croats."
5 If you may, I can now submit the witness's statement according to
6 Rule 92 ter. I gave the usher a small binder with the hearing of this
7 witness. And you can also put this on the screen. This is Exhibit 7190
8 in the 65 ter list. I would like to have the Serbian version of the
9 document, if possible, so that the witness can look at it.
10 Examination by Mr. Dutertre:
11 Q. Mr. Kopic, do you remember having been interviewed by an
12 investigator on the July 13 and 14, 1997?
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber would like to
14 know exactly what is the difference between a statement and a hearing.
15 In French, "declaration" and "audition." "Interview."
16 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I will check what word I used.
17 It is a written statement, to be extremely specific. Maybe I was using
18 generic terms so that the witness would understand them, but this is a
19 written statement I was talking about.
20 Q. Mr. Kopic, do you remember having provided a written statement to
21 an investigator from this Tribunal in 1997, on July 13 and 14?
22 A. Yes, I do remember.
23 Q. Mr. Kopic, you have a binder in front of you, and there's a
24 document also that is displayed on the screen in front of you. I have
25 three questions to ask.
1 The document that you see on the screen and which you have a hard
2 copy of, is this the written statement that you gave to the investigator
3 of this Tribunal on July 13 and 14, 1997?
4 A. [No interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you. Does this written statement faithfully reflect your
6 testimony and what you said to the investigator who put the questions to
7 you at the time?
8 A. Yes. I would like to add something, if I may, to what you said.
9 May I?
10 Q. Please go ahead.
11 A. When you were talking about that, that gentleman who was sexually
12 abused at Ekonomija, I don't know what you consider sexual abuse to be,
13 but he was actually impaled. He didn't have contact with another person.
14 And after that, he was killed.
15 Q. Thank you for this detail, useful detail.
16 A. Ismet Cirak, not Sirak. I don't know how you write these
17 letters, but in our parts you read this as "Cirak."
18 Q. Thank you. This is quite useful. We'll maybe come back to all
19 this, Mr. Kopic.
20 A. May I have a pencil so I can make a note here? I don't want to
21 interrupt you, but I want to be able to go back and correct you if
22 there's a mistake somewhere. Because it might slip my memory if I don't
23 make a note. Thank you.
24 Q. Of course. My question, Mr. Kopic: If you were asked the same
25 questions again, would you give the same answers today, if asked the same
2 A. Yes, certainly. I'm only talking about what I experienced and
3 what I saw.
4 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
5 Your Honour, I would like to tender the written statement, and I
6 would like an exhibit number, please.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will give a number after we
8 ask the questions ourselves.
9 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 I would now like to display Exhibit 7188 on the 65 ter list.
11 This is a map.
12 Q. Mr. Kopic, could you, in a very general fashion, tell us exactly
13 what this map represents? What is the area we see on this map?
14 A. I see Zvornik, Karakaj, the River Drina here, and the surrounding
16 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honour, I would
17 like to tender this exhibit as evidence, to have a blank map available.
18 It might be very useful for the next witnesses.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we have a number, please,
20 Ms. Registrar, for this map.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P358.
22 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Kopic, in your 92 ter statement, you said that you were
24 arrested in Planinci. Could you please tell us on the map where this is?
25 If you could please place a map -- a cross -- an X on this, and the usher
1 will help us with the pen. Could you please place a cross next to
2 Planinci and circle this cross and number 1.
3 A. This is it. [Marks]
4 Q. Please place an A, not "1," "A."
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Thank you. Mr. Kopic, you also said in your statement that you
7 were detained in Karakaj at the Ekonomija farm. Could you please tell --
8 show on this map where this Ekonomija farm is located in Karakaj, then
9 place a cross, put a circle around it, and then place a "B" next to this
11 A. I'll do my best, but I can't pinpoint it precisely, since I never
12 looked at this map in this way. It's a bird's-eye view. I think it's
13 somewhere around here, somewhere around here. [Marks]
14 Q. Very well. Could you do exactly the same thing for the brick
15 factory, Ciglana, where you were then taken, so please place a cross with
16 a circle around it, and a "C" next to it.
17 A. I'll try, I'll do my best. [Marks]
18 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would like to
19 tender this.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we please have a number,
21 Madam Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P359.
23 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I would like now to have some
24 information on how to continue. Maybe Mr. Kopic can take his headset off
25 for a minute.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kopic, could you please
2 take off your headset for a minute.
3 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in 1997 the witness
4 drew a sketch of the place where he was detained in Karakaj. I would
5 like some instructions. This number has an exhibit -- this sketch has an
6 exhibit number, and I could display it and so he could recognise it, but
7 maybe we would rather that the witness draws a new sketch. I don't know
8 what you rather -- how to proceed, and I would like your guidance,
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, you may use the
12 old sketch. I don't think we need to make a new one. And ask your
13 questions using that sketch.
14 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Mr. Kopic can place his headset back on.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: [Interpretation] It's the witness who drew the
18 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely, as far as I
20 Could I please display Exhibit 2526. Could we zoom out, please.
21 A little bit more.
22 For your information, there is a translation attached to this in
23 the e-court system.
24 Q. Mr. Kopic, could you tell us generally what this sketch
1 A. Well, I'm no artist, but this is the Ekonomija area where we
2 spent a few days.
3 Q. Very well. You drew this sketch, and your signature is on the
4 bottom of the page; is that it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. On the sketch, we see a number of buildings. Could you tell us
7 in what building you were detained? Can we see it on the sketch?
8 A. The first building to the right of the entranceway, you can see
9 the door. Do you want me to draw something here?
10 Q. Your words are enough, because we already have a legend, anyway.
11 Thank you.
12 Your Honour, I would like to tender this exhibit, please. Can we
13 have a number, please?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P360.
16 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
17 Q. Now, for the next step, I don't have any sketch that is
18 ready-made, but maybe you could put a blank sheet on the ELMO, because I
19 would like the witness to draw the place where he was detained later on
20 in the Ciglana factory, if the usher could please help him.
21 Mr. Kopic, could you please draw a sketch of the place where you
22 were detained in Ciglana?
23 A. May I ... [Marks]
24 The first thing I drew is the Karakaj-Bijeljina road, and then
25 I'll explain as I go along.
1 Around here is the entrance to the Ciglana, the brickworks.
2 Q. Could you please place an "A" next to the entrance so we remember
3 that it's the entrance?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. [Marks]. This is the room where we were imprisoned [Indicates]
7 and this is the door. Next to the door, there is a window.
8 Q. Could you please place a "B" to show the room where you were
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. Thank you.
12 A. [Marks]. What I've just drawn was the factory where their
13 products were produced; bricks, roof tiles, I don't know what else.
14 Q. Thank you. Please place a "C" there --
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. -- to locate the plant.
17 I would like to tender this sketch as an exhibit.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we please have a number,
19 Ms. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P361.
21 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you. If we could please
22 keep it for later.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Usher, could you please get the
24 drawing back.
25 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Usher, could you please
2 make a copy of this drawing for Mr. Seselj.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I just add something? May I?
4 There was some other buildings around there which are not so
5 important. On the right-hand side of the factory, there was a place
6 where we loaded concrete products onto trucks and where they beat us if
7 we were unable to work hard enough.
8 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you for this detail,
9 Mr. Kopic.
10 Q. Mr. Kopic, let's move on to something else and return to your
11 statement. On page 3 of your written statement in English, you said that
12 you were placed in a room in the Ekonomija farm in Karakaj the day you
13 were arrested, and you say that two hours later, a group of men came in
14 and that they glorified their leader, Vojislav Seselj. Could you give us
15 some details about this and say what words they said when they were
16 talking about Mr. Seselj.
17 A. Well, I can't tell you the precise day and time, because it was a
18 long, long time ago. It was a few hours after our arrival, and when this
19 group came in, one of the guards outside said, "Here come the soldiers."
20 I don't know whether he called them White Eagles or something similar.
21 When they came in, they started beating us with various objects. They
22 started cursing our president, Alija. They asked us why we had voted for
23 Alija. They said we shouldn't have voted for Milosevic either, but for
24 Seselj. They said Seselj was a wolf. That's what they said.
25 Q. How did they describe Mr. Seselj? Do you remember this?
1 A. Well --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, not "wolf," "god."
3 A. They said he was a god. Well, he was a god to them, not to us.
4 MR. DUTERTRE:
5 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Kopic, could you tell us who is the person
6 named Marko Pavlovic ?
7 A. I can't be very precise. I think he was an important person in
8 Zvornik. I'm not sure, but on one occasion he came to Ekonomija when
9 they were separating off those of us who were more fit for work. I think
10 he was in that group. I'm not 100 per cent sure, but I think he was.
11 Q. You say "I believe he was there." What made you believe that he
12 was there? Did you see him, did you hear his name?
13 A. I heard one of the guards saying, "Well, Marko will now decide
14 what to do with them," referring to us, the people who were detained with
16 Q. When the guard said this, how far were you from this guard?
17 A. I can show you that on this sketch. They were passing in front
18 of the building where we were detained. We were in a small room inside.
19 It was only about 20 or 25 square metres in area. And when they were
20 passing by outside, we could hear everything they said. We didn't dare
21 look at them, but you could hear everything. You could hear people
22 breathing. We weren't allowed to make any noise whatsoever, not even to
23 cough, let alone say something.
24 Q. How did people react, if you were able to see this, when the
25 guard pronounced the name of Marko Pavlovic?
1 A. What people are you referring to?
2 Q. The people who were guarding you, the military who were guarding
3 you. Could you tell me what their reaction was when the name
4 "Marko Pavlovic" what pronounce, if you were able to see this?
5 A. I said we didn't dare look at anything, we only heard things.
6 But when they came in we would take a look, however, we had to keep our
7 heads down. Otherwise, they would beat us. I didn't know what their
8 reaction was, but I could hear by the sound of their voice that he was
9 some sort of superior to them.
10 Q. Thank you. Another thing now, Mr. Kopic. Who is Meco?
11 A. Meco?
12 Q. Thank you for the pronunciation.
13 A. He was a gentleman who used to live in Zvornik before the war,
14 and he was with us at Ekonomija for a while.
15 Q. What happened to him?
16 A. I don't know what his real name was. "Meco" was his nickname. I
17 can find out and let you know subsequently, if necessary. But I
18 mentioned the name of Petko Hajdukovic. It's somewhere in my statement.
19 Petko Hajdukovic and Meco were both from Zvornik. They used to live
20 there before the war. Petko would often beat Meco when he came in with a
21 big stick or a rifle-butt. He beat him a lot. He would beat him almost
22 until the stick broke. And then one of those soldiers took him away.
23 After the war, I heard he had been killed somewhere.
24 Q. Who told you that he had been killed? How did you get to know
1 A. I was with many people who knew him, even with his father-in-law
2 and with friends and neighbours of his, and it was they who told me that
3 Meco had been killed. I don't know how he was killed.
4 Q. After he had been taken, did you ever see him, as of the moment
5 he was taken until you learned by his father-in-law that he had been
7 A. I never saw him again.
8 Q. Thank you. Mr. Kopic, who is Muhamed -- I probably don't
9 pronounce the name correctly, so please correct it for me.
10 A. As for the name "Muhamed," I'm not sure whether it's "Muhamed" or
11 "Hamo." That was a nickname. That was a lad who was brought to where we
12 were in the Ciglana, that room I sketched. When they brought in a group
13 of people, there were hundreds of people there, a Serb who was a
14 neighbour of his tried to save this young man. He brought him to us, so
15 he stayed with us for a certain time, and later on -- well, first a group
16 was brought from the direction of Sapna, of Bijeljina, towards Karakaj on
17 the left-hand side. Later, when they were going back in these buses, one
18 of the soldiers came to get Muhammad and he got him on the truck, and
19 they drove off.
20 Q. You mentioned the group of people in buses. Could you be a bit
21 more specific? We'll take this one step at a time. Who were the people
22 on the buses that you just mentioned?
23 A. That lad who was with us, he said those people from Sapna,
24 Bijeli Potok, Djulici, those villages, there were about 700 of them, and
25 when they were taking these people somewhere in buses, they stopped the
1 buses to get Muhammad in, and we saw them sitting in the buses with their
2 heads down. And all these groups I mentioned, the names that are in my
3 statement, we saw them being beaten and cursed at. This was very close
4 to where we were in that Ciglana, and you could see what was going on up
5 there on the road.
6 Q. So at the time, could you tell us where exactly you were? On
7 which road were the buses that you just mentioned?
8 A. Well, the sketch I made just a minute ago, when we were in
9 Ciglana, you know, we were in a room, and there was a window facing the
10 Karakaj-Bijeljina road. We were inside that room which I sketched.
11 Q. Very well. And the buses were on the road; is this what you
12 said? Did I understand you correctly?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. How long did the buses stay on this road?
15 A. I'm not sure. Maybe 15, 20 minutes.
16 Q. Do you know why they stopped in that exact location?
17 A. I think they stopped to pick up that lad who was with us, and
18 maybe for some other reasons, but none that I know.
19 Q. You say "that young man." Do you mean Hamo or this other person
20 we mentioned a moment ago?
21 A. [No interpretation]
22 Q. And who was escorting these people on the bus? Were you able to
23 see who it was?
24 A. Well, there were all sorts of soldiers there, some dressed in
25 camouflage, some in civilian clothes. Among them were those groups that
1 I mentioned in my statements, during the escort.
2 Q. When you talk about the groups you mentioned in your statement,
3 could you repeat this, please?
4 A. Yes, I can. These two groups from Serbia, those from Loznica and
5 from Kraljevo. When I'm saying "those from Kraljevo," that's how we
6 referred to them, although they had not introduced themselves to us.
7 Really, only some of them said they had been from Kraljevo. The other
8 ones, since they were called "Nis" people, they must have been from Nis,
9 and they forced us to sing one song, "Fire is blazing above Kraljevo,
10 let's see which Chetnik is missing," and they were mentioning somebody
11 named Igor.
12 Q. Thank you for having specified this. If you were able to see,
13 how did the guards behave vis a vis the people on the buses?
14 A. Those people on the bus, the detainees, a couple of people -- a
15 couple of men would get in and beat them. Now, from the distance of 50
16 metres, I wasn't able to see who exactly was doing that, but mainly those
17 groups from Serbia, Kraljevo, Loznica, and Petko was among them.
18 Q. Thank you. What was the attitude of those people who were being
19 beaten on the buses? Could you describe this to us, please.
20 A. Do you mean the victims?
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. Well, what could they do? They kept their heads down. You could
23 barely see. They looked miserable. They looked awful to me.
24 Q. After about 15 to 20 minutes, you said they stayed there for 15
25 or 20 minutes, in what direction did these buses go after that, if you
2 A. Right. Well, they set off from Karakaj, then turned off towards
3 Bijeljina. However, there are many turnoffs from Bijeljina, so I don't
4 know where they ended up. I was only able to watch them for a hundred
5 metres or so, and then I don't know where they continued.
6 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 I have no further question, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Mr. Prosecutor [as interpreted], I have a whole series of
10 questions to put to you that are of a different nature. First of all, we
11 will go back in time a little.
12 Questioned by the Court:
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your written statement, you
14 mentioned that before the war, before the conflict erupted, you were a
15 truck driver. According to you, when did the conflict start, exactly?
16 A. In Bosnia, the conflict erupted in the beginning of April, it
17 seems to me.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And when the conflict began at
19 the beginning of April, were you a truck driver then?
20 A. No. I'm a driver for all categories of motor vehicles. I used
21 to drive some trips engaged by certain people occasionally. Sometimes I
22 did work as a waiter.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When the conflict began, you
24 mentioned in your written statement that you went to Kula Grad to join
25 the resistance. This is very ambiguous. Were you incorporated into the
1 Territorial Defence or not?
2 A. First of all, they put me on the reserve force of the police,
3 when we had a mixed police force between Serbs and Bosnian Muslims.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're making progress, because
5 this is something which was not mentioned in your statement.
6 So you were then incorporated into the mixed police force; is
7 that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You had a uniform and a weapon?
10 A. Yes, what I was issued by the police force.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who told you to go to
12 Kula Grad?
13 A. Well, many men went there from Kalesija, and I, since I worked
14 Zvornik, I was frequently there. My mother is from Zvornik, and I heard
15 from her what's going on, and I went up there with a couple of other men,
16 but I wouldn't like to mention their names for their own safety.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was there any fighting in
18 Kula Grad between the Serbian and Croatian warring factions?
19 A. Kula is populated 100 per cent by Muslims. I have both friends
20 and family there. I don't know what Serbs from Serbia especially were
21 looking for there. So I felt it incumbent upon me, as a member of my
22 ethnic group and a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to go there and
23 help my country and my people.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your ethnic group? You
25 are a Muslim, aren't you?
1 In Kula Grad, was there any fighting, was there any shots fired,
2 were there any casualties, people wounded and killed?
3 A. I think so, some people were even killed, because as I told you,
4 Kula had a 100 per cent Muslim population, and when the Chetniks captured
5 that area, those Bosniaks who could do it in time fled. Others were
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This means I can now put to you
8 a question on the way in which you were arrested.
9 You were part of a group of 30 people, and you were going to the
10 village of Planinci. This group of people, you were wearing civilian
11 clothes, you were wearing camouflage clothing, were you armed? Please
12 tell us more about this.
13 A. I was in civilian clothes. I know that for certain.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were wearing plain clothes.
15 Could you tell us what you were wearing? Did you have a coat? Did you
16 have a wallet on you? What were you wearing on that day, and what did
17 you have on you?
18 A. I was wearing jeans, running shoes, a jacket. I had no weapons
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you were arrested, did
21 those people who arrested you search you?
22 A. Yes, yes, they did.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] They searched you from head to
24 foot, did they?
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, please tell me, then, how
2 is it that a long time afterwards you had 700 Deutsche mark on you which
3 you were able to give Pivarski?
4 A. I had bank notes hidden in my underwear. They frisked us when
5 they searched us, but they didn't really make us take off our underwear.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you had hidden your Deutsche
7 mark in your underpants; is that right? You weren't properly searched,
8 in other words?
9 A. That's all I could hide, paper. Everything else, they took away.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At the time you were searched,
11 things were taken off you, I don't know, a watch, a ring?
12 A. Correct.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm putting this question to
14 you because, as you had 700 Deutsche mark on you, this does raise a
15 question, and you are giving us an explanation which is worth what it's
16 worth. But you are telling us that you hid these 700 Deutsche mark on
17 you. 700 Deutsche mark is quite a lot of money. Where did this money
18 come from?
19 A. Well, my family was not totally poor. It was enough to sell a
20 calf [Realtime transcript read in error "car"] to have that amount of
21 money, if you were living in a village. I don't think you should
22 confused by that.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, a calf, not a car.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The group monitoring you in
25 Planinci, you said there were 12 of them. You said there was people who
1 were wearing civilian clothes and policemen, and as you were part of the
2 reserve unit, you were able to recognise these people. Under whose
3 authority were these people who arrested you?
4 A. Those of us who were arrested were 12, but I wasn't able to count
5 those people who arrested us. At that spot where they stopped us, there
6 were perhaps five or six of them. When we came down to the village,
7 there were many more of them, but they were wearing police uniforms, too.
8 They had a blue uniform, a cap, and on that cap they had a tri-colour
9 emblem, red, blue and white, instead of the five-pointed star the police
10 used to have before on their caps.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] According to you, whose
12 authority were they under? Did they report to the army, the police, the
13 civilian/municipal authorities? Who were these people who arrested you?
14 A. This man, Cevap, whom I mentioned in my statement, he was in a
15 police uniform. There were others who were in camouflage or military
16 olive green-grey uniform. However, they told us immediately to keep our
17 heads down. They searched us, they felled us to the ground and tied our
18 hands. They were wearing all sorts of uniforms, carrying all sorts of
19 rifles and weapons.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At one point in time, you were
21 taken to the village of Vidovici, and there there were three people whom
22 you recognised: Dusan, Cevap and Cizmo. I apologise for the
23 pronunciation. Who are these three individuals who you recognised?
24 A. Those two, Cevap and Dusan, they were from that area, from
25 Grbavica, Vidovici. That's all one area. Cevap is perhaps two years
1 older than I am, also works in catering, and Dusan, too. And the older
2 man, who was nicknamed Cizmo, I think his real name was Milorad, he was a
3 farmer. His property was next to my mother's, so I knew them.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] These people whom you knew and
5 who were there, what were they wearing, military clothes, camouflage
6 uniforms? What were they doing there?
7 A. Cevap and the other one, Dusan, they were in military uniform.
8 Others, Cizmo, for instance, only had the military shirt on, the olive
9 green-grey one, and he had a rifle in his hand. I can't tell you exactly
10 which kind of rifle.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since you had done your
12 military service together with Dusan, did you talk to him at all?
13 A. You mean at that moment when we were captured?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 A. No, we said nothing. He just stood there, carrying his rifle.
16 But you have to remember that it was all 15 years ago. I cannot give you
17 the details anymore. I remember the faces and the most important things.
18 I cannot forget that. In small things, in small details, I can be off
19 the mark here and there. I know that those were the people.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your statement, you say that
21 you were tied by the policeman, your hands were tied, and then you were
22 taken to Zvornik. The policeman didn't have any handcuffs. Usually a
23 policeman doesn't have a rope to tie up people's hands. How were you
24 tied up?
25 A. Rope. They got hold of some rope and tied our hands. There were
1 three or four policemen around. I don't know if a single one of them had
2 handcuffs, because they were standing on a road which the Muslims used to
3 go to Tuzla. So maybe for those occasions, they had lengths of rope on
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Were these civilian or military
7 A. These were civilian.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who was commanding this group,
9 the policemen, the military?
10 A. I think by the time they took us to Zvornik, before they took us
11 to Zvornik, I think it was the policeman I mentioned.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are taken to the SUP
13 building. What is the SUP? You mentioned the policemen. I heard about
14 the MUP, but what is the SUP? Maybe it's the same thing. I don't know.
15 A. It's the same thing. It was also called "police station."
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are taken to this
17 building, where you're going to be questioned; yes or no?
18 A. Yes. First they placed us in some sort of garage that was
19 locked, and then there were stairs from that garage that led upstairs to
20 a room in which they interrogated us.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When they were questioning you,
22 what kind of questions did they put to you?
23 A. Where we were from, why we were there, why we were Muslims.
24 I think one of them pulled out a gun at one point and said, "Why don't
25 you switch sides and become one of us?" I didn't know what to answer.
1 And then they said, "Let's be off with you, and may God help you,"
2 something like that.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Seemingly, among the policemen
4 there's someone called Boja?
5 A. Yes. He had been a policeman even before the war, and I believe
6 at that time he had a higher position than a simple policeman. He was
7 some sort of commanding officer, something like that.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He was a head of the police
9 station in this building or not?
10 A. He must have been some sort of officer, possibly a commanding
11 officer. He did have some sort of higher rank.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After that, you are taken to
13 the Ekonomija farm; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you showed us the layout of
16 the place. You drew this sketch, and this is what I'm interested in.
17 This goes to the heart of the matter. What I've just talked about is
18 only a starter. We are now addressing the heart of the matter.
19 Now, let me sum up. You are a Muslim fighter in Kula. You go
20 off with a group. You are stopped and arrested by some people,
21 policemen, amongst others, who question you, and then you are taken to a
22 detention centre, which is Ekonomija farm. What I'm interested in is
23 this: Who was guarding you when you were there? If need be, what
24 connection was there with the accused? Under whose authority were you
25 detained in this farm? According to you, who was guarding the place?
1 A. I think those were reserve soldiers, older -- they were not young
2 men, they were 40ish, 50ish. They were wearing military uniforms, olive
3 green-grey. They had rifles and they secured the building when the other
4 groups that I mentioned in my statement were absent.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you say part of the reserve
6 unit. You mean the reserve unit of the JNA?
7 A. A man of 40, 50, was no longer a regular soldier in our parts at
8 that time.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You, yourself, did your
10 military service in the JNA in 1985 and 1986 in Zagreb; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] These are reservists who are
13 guarding the place; is that right? Were these people armed and were they
14 wearing uniforms?
15 A. Yes. As I said, they were in uniform and they had weapons.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since they were guarding the
17 place, you yourself could not move around freely and you couldn't escape.
18 We agree on that, don't we?
19 A. Of course. We were not even free to go to the lavatory until we
20 asked for their approval, and then we would go there and get beaten on
21 the way. We would go one by one to the lavatory and go back in.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since you were detained there,
23 did you have the feeling -- of course, this goes back some time, this was
24 more than 15 years ago. I know it's difficult to remember, but did you
25 feel that in this location there was a head, there was a commander of
1 some sort, or was it total chaos?
2 A. There was somebody who ruled, although there was some chaos as
3 well. I just don't know who it was who ruled.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Someone was in charge, could
5 you tell us who this was or didn't you know?
6 A. I don't know who exactly, in particular, was in charge. I know
7 there were those two groups from Serbia. In one group, Major Toro and
8 Pivarski were the men in charge. In the other group, I don't know, they
9 were separate.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we're getting close to the
11 core issues. He told us that you were beaten -- you were detained, you
12 were beaten up. I'm not going into this in any detail, because it's not
13 the purpose of the questions I'm putting to you. My question is: Who
14 beat you up, who was heading this, who was in charge, who was
15 responsible? Seemingly, there is a group who comes. This is the
16 so-called Kraljevo group. You mentioned a few names, Toro, Zoks, Pufta,
17 Savo and Repak. You mentioned nicknames and names. And this small group
18 of individuals is not the same as the group of people guarding the place;
19 is that right?
20 A. Yes, they did not guard the building. They came to fetch us when
21 they were about to beat us. However, there were other men whose names I
22 don't remember who would sometimes come together with them.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So they came to beat you up.
24 Where did they come from? Were these locals, did they come from Zvornik?
25 Where did they come from? Or perhaps they lived there. Where did they
1 come from?
2 A. I don't know how to answer that question. They would just come
3 through the door. I don't know where they're coming from, from which
4 direction, from which road. We had no contact with the outside world.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] They'd come on foot, by
6 bicycle, on horseback, they'd come by car, in a truck? According to you,
7 how did they get there?
8 A. Well, you could hear the sound of a car when they were coming,
9 when we were in the Ekonomija farm. In the Ciglana, in the brickworks,
10 we could see them in cars through the windows. Cupo would sometimes come
11 on a motorcycle.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So, did you feel that the sole
13 purpose of their coming was to beat you up, or did they come to check
14 that you had no more money on you, no more gold, no more valuables which
15 they wanted to take off you, or did they only come to beat you up?
16 A. Well, to begin with, while we were at the Ekonomija farm, they
17 only came to beat us.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you tell us how they were
19 equipped? Were they well equipped, ill equipped? What was it like?
20 A. They were very well-equipped. They had camouflage uniforms, they
21 had two or three guns -- pistols apiece, they had automatic rifles. They
22 had even truncheons to beat people with. For a while, Toro carried
23 around a baseball bat. Their uniforms were quite nice. Special
24 equipment, I would say.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] They were particularly
1 well-equipped. What were they wearing on their heads, a beret? What did
2 they have on their heads?
3 A. Well, as for headgear, I'm not sure everyone wore something on
4 their heads. They were bare-headed most of the time, because it was
5 warm, but sometimes they would wear berets.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is a crucial question now.
7 Did you see, at any point in time, did you see an insignia on these
9 A. I don't know what kind of insignia. Rank insignia or a badge?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Insignia. I'm not talking
12 about ranks, I'm talking about insignia. I'll show you three.
13 I'd like to ask the Registrar to put page 109, 110 and 111 on the
14 ELMO, please.
15 Please show page 109 first. This is an insignia. Did you see an
16 insignia looking like this?
17 A. Yes, they did have some signs, but I can't remember now what they
18 were exactly. I can't be precise, but they did have some on their
19 shoulders, on their arms here, up here [indicates]. But not all of them
20 had them, and it was a long time ago, a long time ago.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We now show you the next page,
22 page 110. This is another insignia.
23 A. I've already said they had something, but I can't be specific. I
24 can't say what exactly.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Next page, 111. It
1 doesn't ring a bell?
2 A. Well, I did see -- I saw all these, but I can't say exactly where
3 and when. All this is known to me. I was in the camp in Karakaj,
4 Batkovic and so on, but I can't be specific and say this one had that
5 sign and the other one had the other sign. It was a long time ago.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I've just shown you
7 three insignias potentially allocated to the White Eagles. In your
8 written statement, you mentioned that they belonged to the White Eagles,
9 that these people belonged to the White Eagles. I've shown you three
10 insignias. Had you seen them either there or elsewhere or are you seeing
11 them for the first time today?
12 A. No, I'm not looking at them for the first time today. I did see
13 this insignia, and I heard the White Eagles come to the door. They would
14 comment with the guards, and then the guards would say -- or when there
15 was somebody at the door, they would say, "Well, the White Eagles are
16 coming now."
17 THE INTERPRETER: That's what the guards would say.
18 Interpreter's correction.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll get the document back.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am familiar with this. I do know
21 these emblems and I can read what it says on them. But as I say, so much
22 time has gone by, and let me repeat that, I can't say that Zoks had this
23 one and the other one had the other one, but they certainly did have
24 insignia on them of some sort.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You just said
1 something very important. A guard told you, "The White Eagles are coming
2 now." You remember that? So these individuals who came and who were
3 well equipped, armed, and you told us that some of them had an insignia,
4 you believe that these were the White Eagles?
5 A. The men who came had some insignia, and the guard said that the
6 White Eagles would come. Now, whether they were actually the White
7 Eagles, I can't say, because they didn't introduce themselves and say,
8 "We're the White Eagles." When they beat us, they swore at us and
9 glorified Seselj and that kind of thing.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm gradually
11 reaching the heart of the matter.
12 You said that when these individuals arrived, they allegedly told
13 you, "Why didn't you vote?" They were extremely hostile towards
14 Milosevic, and seemingly, when answering the Prosecutor, you said that
15 they mentioned Mr. Seselj. Let's go back in time.
16 In 1992, when you were a reserve policeman, had you ever heard
17 the name of Mr. Seselj?
18 A. Yes, through the media.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. My fellow Judge is
20 telling me that it's time for the break, so we will take a break, and we
21 will resume with the questions after this 20-minute break.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.05 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 10.27 a.m.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, just before the break,
25 I was putting questions to you about Mr. Seselj, and I asked you to go
1 back in time. I asked you whether you had heard about Mr. Seselj, and
2 you said, "Yes." Could you please tell the Bench when you heard the name
3 of Mr. Seselj, and could you tell us who Mr. Seselj was for you, before
4 the conflict started?
5 A. Well, I said that I heard the name before the conflict in the
6 media, and then later on in the camp from the groups I mentioned, they
7 glorified him and would say that he would -- that he was God and things
8 like that to them.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You say "in the
10 media." At the time, did you have a radio, television, did you buy
11 newspapers? How did you obtain your information?
12 A. Well, watching television, the news on television.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And on the TV news, they were
14 mentioning Mr. Seselj?
15 A. Yes, because in 19 -- well, before the conflict in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, you had the battlefield in Croatia, so the media
17 would explain what was going on there. And on a couple of occasions, I
18 heard that name mentioned, too.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The television that you could
20 watch on your TV set, was it the Belgrade Television, Sarajevo
21 Television, or Zagreb Television?
22 A. Mostly Sarajevo.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In the Ekonomija
24 farm, we have these individuals which are called the White Eagles by one
25 of the guards, and you say that these individuals were glorifying
1 Mr. Seselj, saying that he was a god. If you remember, could you give us
2 some additional information on this?
3 A. Well, I don't know what to tell you. They glorified that name
4 and beat us, and it was assumed that he was their god and, therefore,
5 their leader. That's how those of us who were incarcerated thought.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are telling us that
7 because they glorified Mr. Seselj, you assumed that this group may have a
8 connection with him?
9 A. Well, of course. The only person they glorified was him, so who
10 would be their leader? They didn't glorify any other person.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That was the first
12 group. And then there was another group coming from Loznica. Who were
13 these people?
14 A. Well, I named a few names. They were some sort of reserve,
15 perhaps police force. They were armed nicely, well equipped, and both
16 groups -- well, how shall I put this? People -- they appeared to me to
17 be like people from the street who were full of anger and wanted to
18 express it. They didn't leave the impression of being different.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Loznica group, in your
20 written statement you mentioned three people, and I apologise in advance
21 for the pronunciation. Cupo, Brko and Rogonja or something like that.
22 A. Yes, that's right. Rogonja, he got the nickname before the war.
23 He worked in a cafe in Loznica or near Loznica in Serbia. As for Cupo
24 and Brko, we gave them those nicknames. Cupo had longer hair and Brko
25 had a moustache, so we chose the nicknames accordingly to reflect that.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. These people who
2 came from Loznica, according to you, were they under the authority of the
3 army, of the civilian police, of the military police, or of some
4 unidentified group? What can you tell us about them?
5 A. Well, they were all sorts. Some wore reserve military uniforms,
6 other wore police uniforms. Cupo had some sort of camouflage uniform,
7 military, but certain individuals wore police uniforms, you see,
8 depending on how they were equipped, what group they belonged to, who
9 issued them with this equipment.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] These two groups would come in
11 to beat you up. I mean, at least the guards had to agree with them.
12 Otherwise, they would not have let them in. What can you tell us about
14 A. On the contrary, I think the guards were just there to prevent us
15 from leaving the premises. But when they turned up, they did whatever
16 they liked, and I don't think the guards could influence them at all.
17 That was my impression, anyway.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your written statement,
19 there is a brief episode about the Novi Sad TV, who came to film you.
20 Could you tell us exactly what happened?
21 A. That was while we were at the Ekonomija. They arrived, one with
22 a camera and one of the journalists, and before that, before they came in
23 and activated the cameras and microphones, they told us -- we were told
24 that we were going to be filmed and that we would make statements, but
25 that we were not allowed to say that anybody beat us or behaved badly
1 towards us. And they told us to say that we were some paramilitary units
2 and things like that and that we were fine there. So they prepared us
3 for what we should say.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You, yourself, were
5 filmed, and you also made a statement?
6 A. Yes, they did film us. I don't know what we said. The filming
7 lasted a few minutes, and later on I heard that they broadcast this over
8 Television Novi Sad and that they said that they had captured the
9 Muslim Green Berets and things along those lines.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And did you say a
11 few words on the microphone?
12 A. I did say something, but I don't remember exactly what.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding the Green Berets, you
14 did not belong to the Green Berets?
15 A. No. I think that that formation, the Green Berets, didn't
16 actually exist in the area that I lived in, I think.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I have two other
18 questions regarding Niski and Pivarski.
19 I carefully listened to your answers to the Prosecutor. You said
20 that you believed that Niski came from Nis. You recognised his accent,
21 and I was very interested by this. I would like to ask you the following
23 In your own region at the time, you were able to recognise where
24 a person came from just by listening to this person's accent?
25 A. Well, yes. In the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there were a lot
1 of different accents and dialects, and that's the case in Serbia, too.
2 You can differentiate between people's accents. In Sarajevo, for
3 example, although the same language is spoken, the accent is a bit
4 different, and you can distinguish people from various parts of Serbia
5 based on their accent as well.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This group from
7 Kraljevo, Toro and the others, did they also have an accent that could
8 make it possible to recognise them and to say that they came from
10 A. Well, they had the typical Serbian type of accent. That's what
11 I think.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the group from Loznica?
13 A. I think they had a similar accent. Well, I don't know their
14 accents specifically. I know that in Vojvodina, they tend to draw out
15 their syllables whereas in Nis, for example, in my opinion, they speak a
16 little faster and swallow some of the syllables but they are fairly
17 similar. I don't live there but I go to Serbia from time to time.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the written statement, you
19 mention Pivarski at one point in time, and you say that he came from
20 Vukovar. What did you base that on, that he came from Vukovar?
21 A. Well, he told me that personally, that he was from Vukovar.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] According to you, why did he
23 come from Vukovar to the Zvornik area?
24 A. Well, I think that at one point he told me that he and Niski were
25 at the battle front in Vukovar at one time and that then they crossed
1 over into Bosnia. I don't exactly know why, but that was the story he
2 told me.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. One question before
5 In your written statement, you talk about how Pufta killed Cirak.
6 You describe what happened. Through your detention, how many people were
8 A. I saw three killings.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] With your own eyes?
10 A. I saw three dead men with my own eyes.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question. At the end
12 of the questions asked by the Prosecutor, you said that later on you were
13 freed during a prisoner exchange. Within this prisoner exchange, were
14 these -- was this an exchange of war prisoners, or were civilians
15 exchanged for civilians, or were civilians exchanged for military
16 soldiers? Do you know anything about this?
17 A. I was exchanged on the 24th of November, 1992, in a place called
18 Satorovici. I was in Batkovici, where there were about 1.600 of us, and
19 we were visited by the International Red Cross at one point. And whether
20 they organised the exchange, I don't know. We were in the camp, most of
21 us were civilians there, you know, and on the opposite, too. When the
22 exchange took place, we just went one way and the others went the other,
23 in the opposite way, and they were all dressed in civilian clothes, all
24 of us on both sides.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After the war, after 1995, did
1 you register as a veteran in order to be granted a veteran's pension or
2 did you decide not to register?
3 A. Yes, I was registered as a combatant of the BH Army.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were freed on November
5 24th, 1992. After this, did you join the ABiH? What did you do after
6 you were freed?
7 A. First of all, I underwent treatment for several months, and then
8 I went to the army, BH Army.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And which corps or which
10 brigade were you --
11 A. 3rd Corps, 28th Division.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I believe my fellow
13 Judges have questions to put to you also.
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have just one question.
15 Except from the fact that you heard the people who were beating
16 you talk about Seselj, were glorifying Seselj, and asked you to vote for
17 Seselj, did you ever hear from either the people who were beating you or
18 by others that they were Seseljevci?
19 A. Do you mean the people from Kraljevo, that they were Seselj's
20 men, or whether his units existed at all? I don't really understand the
22 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] No. I'm asking you whether the
23 people who were beating you up, those from Kraljevo or Loznica, did you
24 ever hear them say -- or did you ever hear others say about them that
25 they were Seselj's men, Seseljevci?
1 A. Well, that's what they said themselves, and I said that in my
2 statement and a moment ago, that they would swear to Seselj and said that
3 we should vote for him and that they sung his praises and things like
5 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes. We must be very specific,
6 we must obtain very specific answers. Maybe it's my fault. I did not
7 ask you whether these people were glorifying Seselj. You said this, this
8 is clear, they glorified Seselj and they said that you were to vote for
9 Seselj. Fine.
10 A. Not that we had to vote, but that we should have voted for him.
11 I apologise.
12 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Wait a minute. You, except for
13 the statements here, you only mentioned people who were glorifying Seselj
14 and who allegedly would have told you that you should vote for him. So
15 far, this is all you've told us about Seselj here. Now, I would like to
16 know the following: Regarding these people who were beating you up, have
17 you ever heard either them or others say that they were Seseljevci, which
18 means Seselj's men, that they were Seselj's volunteers?
19 A. I'm not quite sure that they, themselves, said that they were his
20 men, but they did speak about him, said all the best about him, sung his
22 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Kopic. I also have just a few
24 questions for you, and my questions relate to the distinction between the
25 various groups that came to beat you in the Ekonomija factory.
1 You have told us about the group from Loznica. You have told us
2 about the group from Kraljevo. And you also told us at a certain point
3 of a group of White Eagles. First of all, just to be sure, the group
4 from Kraljevo, were they the White Eagles that you spoke about or are we
5 talking about two different groups?
6 A. They were two groups, the Loznica and the Kraljevo group, but
7 this lot belonged to the Kraljevo group. At least that's what people
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: I see. So the White Eagles who came to beat you
10 at a certain moment, they were, in your understanding, members of the
11 Kraljevo group; is that correct?
12 A. They were from Kraljevo, that first group that came to beat us.
13 Well, that's how they introduced themselves, that's what they said, which
14 does not mean that there was not somebody that might have been from
15 Belgrade or Nis amongst them.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Maybe I'm not expressing myself clearly. I want
17 to find out if the group from Kraljevo is one and the same group as the
18 group that you have referred to as the White Eagles.
19 A. Yes.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. Another question relates to the
21 visits that you had from the ICRC in the Batkovic detention, and my
22 question is: Were you given a chance to talk to the members of the ICRC
23 in private and individually or were you speaking to the ICRC
24 representatives in groups, and were there some of the guards present
25 during the interviews?
1 A. When they came to visit us, the International Red Cross, in front
2 of the hangar there was a tent where there was a bench, where we sat, and
3 they registered us then. And right behind the tent, so through the
4 canvass, were the Serb soldiers who were guards there. So quite possibly
5 they could hear everything we talked about. However, when they were
6 supposed to come and visit us, and the first time they came and in future
7 as well, they would always set aside the minors and the elderly from that
8 camp, Batkovici, and they would take them to some forest to hide them
9 there. So when they would leave, they would bring these people back to
10 the hangar.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: So the ICRC never saw the children and the
13 A. I don't think so, because they took the children off and then
14 I think for a time they let them go to Bijeljina, to some relatives or
15 friends. And later on I heard that some of them were transported across
16 Hungary to some other countries, to some third countries, the children
17 who were under age and the more elderly.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thanks. Just to get back to my question relating
19 to the interviews with the ICRC: Were you taken to the tent individually
20 or in groups?
21 A. One by one.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, sir.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just to finish it off, one last
24 question that does not have to do with the facts but rather to procedural
1 After the Washington Agreements in 1995 and the peace, could you
2 tell us in what circumstances you were contacted to testify for the OTP?
3 I would like to know whether you contacted them, yourself, or whether one
4 day your phone rang and an investigator from the OTP called you in order
5 to meet up with you. Could you tell us exactly what happened?
6 A. I first gave statements when I came there from the camp, Kalesija
7 and Tuzla, and then later on somebody called me up and said some of the
8 internationals would come, for me to give statements. So it wasn't me,
9 personally, who asked for that, but I didn't decline. I agreed to
10 cooperate when they came.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you were interviewed by the
12 OTP in these circumstances. Very well.
13 Another question now. At any point in time, were you contacted
14 by the secret services of your own country, who would have prepared you
15 for possible testimonies or future interviews?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I believe that I
24 was right to ask questions.
25 You went to Belgrade. We're going to have to redact this. This
1 is in line with what we said earlier. And I think we should move to
2 private session.
3 [Private session]
11 Page 5924 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
12 The Judges are finished with their questions, and now they turn
13 to Mr. Seselj and they would like to know whether he wishes to
14 cross-examine the witness or not.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
17 Mr. Prosecutor, do you have any redirect?
18 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] No additional questions,
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.
21 Mr. Kopic, on behalf of my fellow Judges, I'd like to thank you
22 for having come to The Hague to testify, and we wish you the best for
23 your return in your own country.
24 I would now like the usher should escort the witness out of the
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too. I wish you success
2 in your work.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have an oral decision that
5 needs to be made. It's a bit lengthy, but we have plenty of time for
7 Oral decision on lifting the confidentiality of the transcript of
8 April 1st, 2008.
9 Noting the oral motion made by the accused on April 2nd, 2008, in
10 view of lifting the confidentiality of excerpts of the transcript of
11 April 1st, 2008, noting that the Trial Chamber considers that the
12 confidentiality of the excerpts mentioned hereunder may be lifted because
13 they did not make it possible to identify the protected witness who
14 testified on April 1st and 2nd, 2008, and I will say exactly what pages
15 and lines are involved. Page 5541, lines 6 to 23; page 5542, line 21, to
16 page 5544, line 24; page 5545, lines 14 to 25; page 5546, lines 13 to 24;
17 page 5553, line 14, to page 5554, line 2; page 5554, line 7, to
18 page 5556, line 9; page 5556, line 20, to page 5562, line 17; page 5569,
19 line 14, to page 5571, line 12; page 5571, line 17, to page 5571, line
20 18; page 5580, line 11, to page 5581, line 4; page 5569, line 12, to
21 page 5590, line 17; and, finally, the last page, 5597, line 20, to
22 page 5598, line 11.
23 This was a bit lengthy, but it had to be done. These pages are
24 the French transcript. We have to say this so there's no errors. I
25 mentioned the pages for the French transcript and not for the English
2 Mr. Prosecutor.
3 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, after the hearing of
4 Witness Kopic, could we please have an exhibit number for the witness
5 statement, according to Rule 92 ter?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
7 continues] ... as you read. Could we please have a number for
8 Mr. Kopic's witness statement?
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 362.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move back to private
11 session for a couple of minutes, because the Trial Chamber must issue
12 another decision, and this time confidentially.
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 5928-5938 redacted. Private session.
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In open session, tomorrow we
15 have a witness who has been scheduled, but for administrative reasons
16 this witness was unable to come today. Had he been here today, we could
17 have started his testimony today, but we cannot, and we will start his
18 testimony tomorrow.
19 Unfortunately, we might not be able to finish his testimony
20 tomorrow because we have planned two hours for the Prosecution, as part
21 of the examination-in-chief, and Mr. Seselj will also have two hours.
22 Since more often than not time is wasted because of procedural issues, it
23 would be quite remarkable if we would be able to finish tomorrow, but we
24 have planned two hours for the Prosecution. If the Prosecution only has
25 an hour, hour and a half, then we might be able to make it. But that
1 would only be if no procedural issues are raised, which are time-wasting.
2 If the Prosecution actually has all of its time and if there is
3 any redirect, the witness will then have to stay on until next week, and
4 I don't see how we could do otherwise.
5 Whatever the case may be, we are quite sure that this witness is
6 coming tomorrow.
7 And as far as the following week is concerned, the week after
8 that, I had rather that the issue of upcoming witnesses be settled at the
9 beginning of the hearing, rather than addressing this at 25 minutes past
10 6.00 or 20 minutes past 1.00, when it is time to adjourn.
11 Mr. Mundis, are there any issues concerning next week? Will
12 there be any difficulties? What is it to be?
13 MR. MUNDIS: As of right now, there are no difficulties,
14 Mr. President. One must always wait and see what transpires over the
15 course of the next few days. But as of right now, there are no
16 anticipated problems with the schedule for next week.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 Mr. Seselj, in light of cells transfer, because there is work
19 underway in the detention centre, have all the issues been settled, in
20 other words, the ones you mentioned to us last time?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The problems cannot be settled
22 until these works are over. It will take about three weeks, 21 days,
23 perhaps until the end of this month. I just got two additional cells,
24 and all my documents are placed there in boxes. I'm not going to unpack
25 the boxes at all. It's impossible to unpack them and sort them out,
1 because there are no shelves or anything. So just the boxes are stored
2 there, but I have the documents here for the next two witnesses, for next
3 week and the week after, and unless the witnesses are replaced and
4 changed by other witnesses, then I will have no problem. And then in
5 May, things will be normal when the works are finished.
6 If the witness lists change until May, then I'll have
7 insurmountable problems.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As of now, the
9 Prosecutor is telling us that there is no changes in store. We'll take
10 due note of this, but we never know. There's always surprises that can
11 come up at any time. But as of now, obviously everything is well
12 underway and well planned.
13 Mr. Mundis, please, could you have this list of video that could
14 be seen, if need be, as a backup? That would be nice. You told us that
15 you would prepare this, and I still don't have it.
16 MR. MUNDIS: My understanding, Your Honours, is it's still being
17 worked on, and as we indicated yesterday, what we're trying to do is
18 narrow the video list down so that the Trial Chamber has only those
19 videos which are absolutely crucial, in terms of the Prosecution's case.
20 I will make some inquiries this afternoon with members of my team who are
21 working on that component, and we will endeavour to provide further
22 information and/or to get the list to the Chamber and the accused as
23 quickly as possible.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In my mind, and I
25 believe that it's also in the minds of my fellow Judges, the videos that
1 we see under these conditions may also be, if need be, shown to other
2 witnesses. That's a possibility. But the videos are useful for the
3 following reasons: When you will have explicit reference to these videos
4 in your final submission, with the footnotes, given that these videos
5 will back your case, or another criterion would be that these videos are
6 corroborating what a witness might have said, either in one direction or
7 another, I believe that this is the usefulness of these videos.
8 The Trial Chamber agrees, and I believe that Mr. Seselj also
9 agrees, on the fact that these videos must be the most efficient and the
10 most relevant ones, the ones that will be the most useful to everyone.
11 It's a waste of time to show a video that will not be used in the end.
12 Of course, I would like to reassure Mr. Seselj, because when his time
13 comes, if he has videos to show, the Trial Chamber will watch them
14 exactly under the same conditions as the other ones, notably regarding
15 the issue you mentioned. When we see an excerpt from a video, when we
16 see a clip, sometimes the clip doesn't mean anything if there's no
17 context. You, yourself, noted this kind of problem, so this is why you
18 should maybe give us the contextual elements that will maybe contradict
19 the Prosecution's case, and we can have hearings that will be devoted
20 specifically to listening to and watching videos provided by the Defence.
21 The Trial Chamber is not excluding to see other videos in the future.
22 Mr. Seselj.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The basic problem has not been
24 solved yet, the problem of obtaining video footage. The Registry has not
25 found a solution, and I presented the problem to you a few days ago.
1 When somebody brings from outside DVDs, then they have to turn
2 them over to the prison authorities to be examined, and then I get them
3 after a while. Why would I allow anybody to see them before I do? I
4 don't want to do that? I am the one who decides whether a video clip
5 will be shown in the courtroom or not. Why would the prison authorities
6 look at it and then possibly make copies, or maybe the Registry would do
7 that and God knows who, and then only it reaches me and then only I can
8 select what to use in the courtroom or not. I must have privileged
9 rights over those video recordings. They have to be brought to me, given
10 me to take in my hands, and only then it makes sense.
11 I'm not afraid for the contents. I just insist on the principle.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This question did
13 not escape me. A few months back, I had mentioned it and I had talked
14 with the Registry about it. So far, the Chamber did not decide anything.
15 Maybe -- let me state the problem once again.
16 The accused is self-representing himself, and when either
17 Prosecution witnesses come or when Defence witnesses come, he may want
18 videos to be shown, and to this end the accused has told us on several
19 occasions that he had to see the footage himself, beforehand, in order to
20 know exactly how to use them. Insofar that Mr. Seselj said on different
21 occasions that he was in charge of his own defence and that his
22 associates are only here to carry out his instructions. And then
23 Mr. Seselj asked us to make sure that prison management allow him to have
24 access to DVDs, without any prior control by the administration, and here
25 maybe I'm interpreting Mr. Seselj's mind, but he believes that if there
1 is control, there would be interference as far as the rights of the
2 Defence are concerned.
3 Now, this being said, the position of the Registry and of the
4 detention centre is as follows, and I will sum it up: According to the
5 Statute and the Rules, they have the responsibility to make sure that
6 everything is running smoothly in the jail, and because of this, they
7 must control everything coming in the jail, except, of course, for the
8 control of a lawyer-to-client relation. Apart from that, they are
9 entitled to control everything coming in the jail. As an example, let's
10 imagine that an accused wants to see a cartoon, for example. Well,
11 inasmuch as it would be the right of the Defence, this cartoon video
12 would not be submitted to a prior control, and this could be a problem
13 for the -- for prison management. This is how things stand now, but as
14 we see, this is quite difficult and complex.
15 As of now, the Trial Chamber made no decision on this. We're
16 still thinking about a procedure that would help arrange the accused and
17 prison management, but I must say that we have not found any solution
18 yet. But we are fully aware of the problem. Unfortunately, we don't
19 have a solution yet.
20 The Trial Chamber may have to issue a written decision on this,
21 which may be -- may lead to an appeal, and maybe the Appeals Chamber will
22 find a solution in its great wisdom. It seems that the Appeals Chamber
23 finds a solution regarding other problems.
24 But it is now time to adjourn. Thank you all, and we will meet
25 again tomorrow at 8.30.
1 I would like my fellow Judges to confirm this. Yes, obviously
2 they confirm this, so we will meet again tomorrow at 8.30.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.49 a.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 10th day of
5 April, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.