1 Monday, 17 September 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.36 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Madam Registrar, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Milan Simic, Miroslav
10 Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution is supposed to continue. I
12 see Defence counsel on her feet.
13 MS. BAEN: Good morning, Your Honour. I just wanted to let you
14 know that my co-counsel, Mr. Zecevic, was called out of town on a family
15 emergency on Saturday. He should be back tomorrow, if all goes well. He
16 called our client, I believe, on Saturday or Sunday and explained the
17 situation, and our client says it's fine. He wishes to continue without
18 him being here.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, since you are present yourself. Thank you.
20 Yes. The Prosecution is continuing.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
22 WITNESS: SULEJMAN TIHIC [Resumed]
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Examined by Mr. di Fazio: [Resumed]
25 Q. Mr. Tihic, I want to turn to a new topic, that of the 4th
1 Detachment that you've mentioned. When did you first become aware of the
2 existence of it and how did you become aware of it?
3 A. I can't remember the exact date when I found out about this. I
4 believe it was sometime in January 1992, or maybe even earlier. I'm not
5 sure. And I learnt about it at one of the meetings at the Municipal
6 Assembly from a representative of the JNA - I think it was Lieutenant
7 Colonel Nikolic - who officially announced that the 4th Detachment had
8 been established in the framework of what I believe was called the 17th
9 Tactical Group. And the commander of the detachment was Radovan Antic,
10 his assistant was Simo Zaric, and this detachment was formed for the town
11 of Bosanski Samac only. And I repeat: It was in this regard of the legal
12 powers which were then in force, because such a detachment could have been
13 formed only by the Territorial Defence, not the JNA. We protested on that
14 occasion, and we pointed out the illegality of the act of the Yugoslav
15 People's Army.
16 Q. What was the response?
17 A. Well, their response was that they had the right to do that. We
18 had no means to stop it. The detachment started functioning very soon
19 after that. The members of that detachment were given weapons, and they
20 took them home. The weapons were distributed at one of the meetings held
21 in the textile factory for the most part, and weapons were even delivered
22 to some members at their homes. This upset the population to some extent
23 to see that right under their noses certain individuals were being armed.
24 Q. Can I just interrupt you there and ask you this: You said that
25 the response was provided to the effect that they had the right to create
1 the 4th Detachment. Who conveyed that response?
2 A. It happened at one of the meetings at the Bosanski Samac Municipal
3 Assembly, and it was conveyed by Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic. At that time
4 he was commander or deputy commander of the barracks in Brcko and the
5 commander of that 17th Tactical Group, if I remember correctly. Generally
6 speaking, he was the person who contacted the competent authorities of the
7 municipality, who contacted the JNA on behalf of the competent authorities
8 of the municipality, and he was present at such meetings almost always.
9 Q. What were the meetings that you've just referred to? Where were
10 they held? What was their purpose? Who was present?
11 A. Those were meetings held at the Municipal Assembly, usually
12 attended by the entire leadership of the municipality, beginning with the
13 president of the municipality, up to presidents of political parties, the
14 secretary of the police, national defence, commander of the TO
15 headquarters, et cetera. Some meetings were also held at the local
16 commune of Bosanski Samac, in local self-management, so to speak, and such
17 meetings were attended by Nikolic on several occasions.
18 Q. What about --
19 A. Because that detachment was -- had just been established for the
20 purposes of defending the town. Well, you see, Simo Zaric, as far as I
21 know, was deputy commander of the detachment, but in fact, he was the real
22 commander of the detachment, because he was, by far, better known and
23 stronger than this Radovan Antic, who was commander of the detachment, and
24 around town, he was more respected and stronger than Radovan Antic would
25 have been, and his presence in the company of this Lieutenant Colonel
1 Nikolic conveyed in a way that Simo Zaric was the person with the greatest
2 say in the detachment.
3 Q. Did Radovan Antic keep much company with Colonel Nikolic?
4 A. Radovan Antic, as far as his public persona is concerned, at
5 least, was less present than Simo Zaric at meetings and also in public
6 appearances, at meetings and so on.
7 Q. I'd just like to ask you a little more about this Nikolic -- I'll
8 withdraw that question. I want to ask you another question. You --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: But before -- anyway, you've withdrawn your
10 question. Maybe I missed it at the beginning, I wanted to know the full
11 names of Nikolic.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, thank you.
13 Q. I think you heard what Her Honour had to say. Can you give us the
14 full name of Nikolic and his rank, if you can remember that, too.
15 A. As far as I remember, it was Stefan Nikolic, and he was, I think,
16 Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel, Deputy Commander of the barracks in
17 Brcko, and Commander of the 17th Tactical Group.
18 Q. Thank you. I'll go back to Mr. Nikolic shortly, but I want to ask
19 you this about something you said earlier: You said that there was a
20 dispute or some controversy over the legality of the existence of the 4th
21 Detachment and that this was raised. Did that dispute or controversy
22 continue or was it ever resolved?
23 A. The debate about the legality of the detachment continued. We
24 disputed its existence and its legality. Sometimes we pretended to ignore
25 his decisions -- their decisions, but they existed de facto, and in
1 particular, the legality of that detachment was under a question mark
2 after the referendum when the -- when Bosnia and Herzegovina was formally
3 recognised and when the JNA became an outside formation. At the
4 referendum, Bosnia and Herzegovina opted for independence. The referendum
5 was recognised by the international community, and the JNA became, thus, a
6 paramilitary formation together with its detachments which were in place
8 Q. The explanation that you've just given the Chamber, was that
9 conveyed to members of the 4th Detachment, that thinking, that argument
10 that you've just explained?
11 A. We were not in a position to explain that to the members of the
12 4th Detachment, but we did point it out to their representatives at
13 various meetings. But regardless of all that, since their existence was a
14 fact, we continued to talk to them. They continued to attend the
15 meetings. We attempted to resolve certain issues, to avoid conflict.
16 Despite the fact that they were illegal, they were a force which existed
17 and which we had to talk to.
18 Q. What sort of activities did Colonel Nikolic engage in on behalf of
19 the 4th Detachment, apart from attending meetings? Did he go out on
20 patrol or do anything else that you can report to us on?
21 A. Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic was probably the person who issued the
22 order to distribute weapons to the 4th Detachment. He stationed JNA units
23 across Serb villages in the municipality of Bosanski Samac, and in a way,
24 he stood behind this 4th Detachment as a protector, a person who tried to
25 give it legitimacy. He tried to convey that the JNA was behind that unit
1 as a force.
2 His units, these patrols, sometimes took over certain powers which
3 they did not have, such as traffic control. From time to time that's
4 true, on certain locations. Then again, patrols would sometimes enter the
5 town of Bosanski Samac, and there was one case, one occasion, when they
6 disarmed the local guard detail. I know that several times when some
7 people were arrested by the police, they took these people over from the
9 Q. How would they go about taking over people from the police?
10 A. As far as I can remember, there was one case when some persons
11 were arrested, persons who had weapons and uniforms other than JNA
12 uniforms. Those were Chetnik uniforms, as we called them, with the
13 emblems of those paramilitary formations. And after a while they were
14 taken over, because allegedly they were JNA members and thus fell within
15 their competence.
16 Q. Did the 4th Detachment engage in patrolling?
17 A. Yes, they did engage in patrolling, some kind of patrolling.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Chamber when that commenced and what
19 form it took and what times they would patrol?
20 A. I don't know exactly when it started, because they engaged in some
21 kind of observation of the town even earlier. But even before that, we
22 had agreed in the local commune that the 4th Detachment patrols would do
23 their patrols on the embankment of the Bosna River and the Sava River,
24 because they said there was a danger of Samac being attacked from the
25 Croatian side by the Croatian armed forces, whereas the other patrols in
1 the town were to patrol entrances to the town and exits, and this was
2 arranged to avoid confrontations. One such confrontation did occur,
3 although not between patrols but between members of the 4th Detachment and
4 the reserve police.
5 Q. Can I just interrupt you there? There's some aspects of your
6 answer that you've given that I want to amplify. You said that "we
7 agreed" that the 4th Detachment would patrol along the rivers. Who do you
8 mean -- who do you refer to when you say "we agreed," and where did this
9 agreement take place?
10 A. You see, the immediate reason for that agreement was a conflict
11 between the 4th Detachment members and members of the reserve police
12 force. When a member of the 4th Detachment shot at a site where SDA
13 members were, precisely when this patrol was coming, and this patrol must
14 have understood this to be an attack on them, so they returned fire. And
15 on that occasion, members of the 4th Detachment were wounded. We then sat
16 down at the local commune - members of the local authorities, members of
17 the 4th Detachment, representatives of the parties - and to avoid future
18 conflicts of that kind, we divided the town into zones for patrolling.
19 Q. Can I ask you the name of the gentleman who was wounded?
20 A. That was Niza Musevic [phoen], nicknamed Tota; also Mirsad, or
21 Mesar, whose last name I can't remember now; and there was another,
22 Danilo, I believe. They were in a car.
23 Q. Thank you. I take it from your answer that patrols were in
24 existence prior to this wounding incident.
25 A. Yes. There existed patrols, and they monitored the town in a way.
1 Q. How long before the wounding incident had these patrols by the 4th
2 Detachment started? Approximately, if you can't remember precisely.
3 A. You see, as far as this patrolling is concerned, I want to make
4 one thing clear: It was not a traditional patrol in which unit members
5 walk around the town carrying weapons. It was rather a case of a vehicle
6 driving around town along the embankment in the dark, with or without
7 weapons. As to when it started, I believe it started as soon as the
8 detachment was formed. At the outset, it wasn't recognisable as such.
9 And during the whole time it was concealed, it was underhand, because the
10 only force with the right to patrol was the police.
11 Similarly, there were SDA patrols which were located at the
12 entrances and exits to the town, also keeping a low profile without
13 weapons, but the difference was that the police knew about these patrols;
14 they were informed. And every evening a report was made as to what they
15 had observed, any events that may have occurred, so that in a way these
16 patrols did get a sort of legitimacy.
17 Q. You've referred to a difference in patrols and that the police
18 knew about these patrols. Is that a reference to SDA patrols?
19 A. Yes. There were both kinds of patrols and they knew about both
20 kinds, except that those from the 4th Detachment did not report to the
21 police, whereas the other ones did. And the police could collaborate with
22 the SDA patrols because they could receive information from them. At that
23 time, the police of Bosanski Samac was abandoned by Serbian policemen and
24 Croat policemen were not in Samac at night-time most of the time. They
25 were in their own villages. So the reserve police and this other police
1 remained with the Bosniaks. And it was also necessary to guard that
2 bridge on the Sava. So there was never enough police. Perhaps that is
3 why this municipal police in a way tolerated these SDA patrols and relied
4 upon them.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
6 Would Your Honours just bear with me for one moment.
7 [Prosecution counsel confer]
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
9 Q. Can I just briefly return to a topic that you mentioned earlier?
10 You said that you had discussions or negotiations in effect dividing up
11 the town or -- into zones for patrols and it was agreed that the 4th
12 Detachment would confine itself to the Bosna and Sava rivers. Who was
13 involved in those particular negotiations? Who were the personalities?
14 Can you just list the names, the people who participated?
15 A. I know approximately the people that took part in these
16 negotiations. Safet Hadzialijagic is President of the local commune.
17 Then I was there for sure, and then Simo was there for sure, and possibly
18 there were other representatives of the parties there as well, of the SDP,
19 of the reform forces, of the SDS, of the HDZ. I can't remember exactly
20 now which people were there. Perhaps there was someone from the JNA too,
21 because there were quite a few meetings, actually. At this meeting, there
22 was an incident. And this was 20 or 30 days at the most before the attack
23 on Samac. It's not that it really functioned for a long time.
24 Q. What was the incident?
25 A. The shooting, the shooting between the 4th Detachment and the
1 reserve police; when the reserve police fired back after the 4th
2 Detachment started shooting at them, and they wounded some members of the
3 4th Detachment, and then this agreement was put into place, actually.
4 Q. Did the SDA patrols ever have any confrontation with the JNA, as
5 opposed to the 4th Detachment, in the period of time prior to the attack
6 on Bosanski Samac?
7 A. On one occasion, the JNA patrol disarmed the SDA patrol. I think
8 it was by the Mebos factory. They were sitting in a car. Somebody from
9 the 4th Detachment probably told the JNA that that was the SDA patrol.
10 They came and took the weapons of that patrol. And these weapons were
11 either in the trunk or on the back seat; I'm not sure about this.
12 Q. What was the consequence of this episode?
13 A. It wasn't a direct conflict, you see.
14 Q. Thank you. My question is: What was -- what resulted from this
16 A. In a way, this alarmed the citizens. Before that, there were
17 numerous other incidents. Buildings had been mined. There was absolute
18 uncertainty. No one ever knew what would happen. So this incident turned
19 out to be the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak, at least as
20 far as some people were concerned. I know that Alija Fitozovic, for
21 example, engaged our people, these patrols from the SDA, and other
22 citizens who had weapons, and they set up roadblocks at the two entrances
23 into town.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 I'd like you now to just briefly explain to the Chamber - don't
1 take too much time, but just briefly explain - what happened in respect of
2 this barricades episode, how it grew, and if it was resolved, how it was
4 A. Alija Fitozovic placed these roadblocks at two entrances into
5 town. In the morning, I was informed about this. However, I wish to
6 point out that in the evening, when Alija asked me whether he should do
7 this, I said that he shouldn't do it because that's not the way we conduct
8 our struggle. You see, roadblocks were mainly set up by those who did not
9 belong to legal institutions, not us. However, he did that, and people
10 had weapons and were standing at the entrance into town.
11 In the morning, we had some meetings that were attended by
12 representatives of all parties, the authorities of the municipality. I
13 sent Izet Izetbegovic to the barracks at Brcko because there had been an
14 announcement that the JNA would go against these roadblocks. Around
15 11.00, we reached an agreement to the effect that the roadblocks would be
16 removed. Izet informed me that they promise him in the JNA that patrols
17 would no longer enter town. This was around 11.00 or 12.00 when the
18 roadblocks were removed.
19 At the same time, I think there were roadblocks in the Serb and
20 Croat villages, and I remember that at that time, I think, three of us --
21 the President of the SDS, Blagoje Simic, then Fitozovic, President of the
22 HDZ, and I, toured the area, the municipality, and we pacified people, so
23 to speak. Otherwise, these road blocks, or rather these patrols, were
24 placed by the SDS before at Crkvina in order to have this bridge toll
25 paid. That was also illegal. And then again agreement was reached to
1 remove them.
2 Q. Thank you. You've mentioned that there were the mining of -- I
3 think you said the mining of buildings and great uncertainty. In the
4 period, in the weeks and months leading up to April of 1992, were there
5 any bombings in the municipality or the town?
6 A. Explosives were placed in town, in the municipality at large. As
7 a rule the perpetrators were never found. Explosives were placed in
8 private houses, and there were also state buildings, socially owned
9 buildings, where explosives had been placed as well.
10 Q. Thank you. Can I ask you to briefly list the episodes that you
11 can recall for the Chamber? I don't need huge amount of detail. I'm more
12 interested in getting the number of episodes that you can recall, the
13 locations, that sort of thing.
14 A. A grenade was thrown into Muharem Bajrakdarevic's premises in
15 Samac. [redacted]
18 Then also on a farm, a building of his was torched. Then also the
19 bridge on the Sava was mined, the one that links Bosnia and Croatia. It
20 was not complete, but no traffic could take place along this bridge any
21 longer. Then also there was this big explosion at Hranaprodukt. Some
22 rockets went off, exploded. These are rockets that are launched into the
23 clouds. They are actually supposed to break ice. There was a lot of
24 explosion there. Then also transmission lines, electricity, transmission
25 lines were destroyed.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 Q. Thank you. Over what period of time was this sort of activity
2 going on? I refer to the bombing episodes that you've just described.
3 A. Before the attack on Samac, the last four or five months,
4 something like that. There are records of that at the SUP, I'm sure, when
5 all of this exactly took place. We suspected the JNA of having done
6 that. The SUP could never discover the perpetrators. We also suspected
7 the 4th Detachment.
8 Q. Thank you. I want to just briefly return now to the 4th
9 Detachment. Did it distribute weapons?
10 A. The 4th Detachment was well armed, you see. They had received
11 weapons from the JNA. They had automatic rifles, machine-guns. They even
12 had hand-held mortars. We got this information from the members of the
13 4th Detachment who were bragging about that. Perhaps they did have a
14 liking for us as well. So that's how we got this information.
15 Q. Did you ever discuss this possession of weapons with Simo Zaric,
16 this possession of weapons by the 4th Detachment, I mean?
17 A. We did talk about that. These weapons were distributed. People
18 would even carry it through town wrapped in blankets. Then often arms
19 were distributed to persons who had criminal records. It was dangerous
20 for them to have that. There were, say, four or five hundred people on
21 the detachment, and they were all armed. There were even some Bosniaks
22 and Croats there; to a lesser extent, admittedly. It was predominantly
24 Q. You said -- I asked you if you discussed the possession of weapons
25 with Simo Zaric, and you then gave your answer and you said, "We did talk
1 about that." Are you there referring to talks generally with the 4th
2 Detachment, or are you referring to conversations with Simo Zaric about
3 that topic?
4 A. When talking to the 4th Detachment, that meant talking to Simo
5 Zaric. Perhaps Radovan Antic, but it was invariably Simo Zaric. His
6 answer was that they, the JNA, had the right to do that, to issue these
7 weapons to people according to certain papers, based on mobilisation or
8 whatever. I can't remember exactly right now. At any rate, that it was
9 their right. We asked: How could these weapons be taken home?
10 Mobilisation is a different thing when weapons are handed out. But these
11 particular weapons were kept at home, and people can go home drunk and do
12 all sorts of things. However, nothing could be changed in that respect.
13 That is why we tried to agree that these weapons not be used on either
15 Q. The membership of the 4th Detachment, was it drawn primarily from
16 people who lived in the town or did it include people who lived in the
17 surrounding villages and throughout the municipality; indeed, did it have
18 recruits from beyond the then borders of the municipality?
19 A. You see, the 4th Detachment were people from town. There were
20 some other detachments too that had been formed in villages - the 2nd
21 perhaps, the 3rd one - that consisted of local people from those
22 villages. However, this 4th Detachment consisted of people who lived in
23 town; as far as I know, that is.
24 Q. Thank you. In the period of time immediately leading -- perhaps
25 I'll be more specific. In the few weeks leading up to the 16th of April,
1 did people remain in town on the weekends?
2 A. Perhaps the last two months before the attack on Samac, usually
3 during the weekend and often on other days as well, the inhabitants of
4 Samac who were ethnic Serbs, or even ethnic Croats as well, would leave
5 town with their families. They went to villages, Serb villages or Croat
6 villages. And then it was mainly the Bosniaks, the Muslims who stayed
7 back in town. Usually these people who left would tell their neighbours
8 that there would be an attack on Samac that evening and that that is why
9 they were leaving. At first we were afraid and we were expecting that
10 attack. Then later this became a regular occurrence, so we did not attach
11 such importance to it. However, the town would be deserted, say, from
12 9.00 onwards in the evening: the cafes, restaurants, the pedestrian area,
13 everything. There were no people around.
14 Q. This phenomenon of people leaving the town applied to both Croats
15 and Serbs, I take it from your answer.
16 A. I think it was predominantly the Serbs. There were less Croats in
17 Samac anyway, but they left too, perhaps less of them. But they did not
18 account for such a large portion of the population like the Serbs did, so
19 perhaps the departure of the Serbs was felt more. The Muslims had nowhere
20 to go, because all the villages were either Croat or Serb villages.
21 Perhaps they would have left too had there been any Muslim villages there.
22 Q. You paint a picture of a fairly grim security situation in the
23 weeks leading up to the 16th of April. Were there ever meetings held to
24 discuss that situation amongst the town leaders, party leaders, community
25 leaders, that sort of thing?
1 A. You know, when we're talking about this difficult situation, this
2 feeling of expectation of an attack on Samac, we cannot but put it in the
3 context of the general situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, that
4 there was shooting in Vukovar, that Bijeljina and Zvornik were attacked,
5 you see. Information about crimes committed were already reaching town --
6 I don't know -- the slaughter of Muslims in Bijeljina. And that also
7 affected the overall situation. However, we held meetings. Meetings were
8 held all the time. We tried in a way to prevent incidents, as far as we
9 were concerned, but the question was how much we could do on our own, we
10 the people in town, whether we could stop these processes that were larger
12 For example, there was some information to the effect that some
13 kind of special units came from Serbia and that they were moving about
14 town, that they came in JNA helicopters, that they were in a Serb village
15 in Batkusa. Yes, that is a village in the territory of the municipality
16 of Bosanski Samac, about 10 or 15 kilometres away. But they were coming
17 to town. The town was full of these people from out of town.
18 Later on we found out that they had already established contact
19 with the 4th Detachment, these special units did. When we saw them in
20 camps, we remembered that before the attacks on Samac they had already
21 been in contact with the 4th Detachment, because many people remembered
22 them from cafes, restaurants, places like that.
23 Q. Batkusa, who told you -- where did you get the information about
24 the people arriving in JNA helicopters in Batkusa?
25 A. Well, I got this information from a client of mine, because I
1 worked as a lawyer. They told -- this person told me that they had come
2 in helicopters, that they were very rough and tough. For example, that
3 they beat up a Serb patrol that was on guard facing a Croat village only
4 because they sat in a restaurant with these Croats and all got drunk.
5 Allegedly, they made young men get haircuts. Allegedly, they also
6 assaulted women; that they looked dangerous, aggressive.
7 Q. Did you have any information as to the ethnic background of these
8 men who arrived in Batkusa in JNA helicopters?
9 A. It was clear that they were Serbs from Serbia and they were
10 different from our local Serbs in their accent.
11 Q. Did you hear about this episode --
12 THE INTERPRETER: The Ekavian accent. Interpreter's apology.
13 A. That's what my client told me about this particular incident in
14 which they beat up those boys for socialising with the Croatian patrol.
15 And I got information from other people, that they occasionally appeared
16 in town, that some sort of outsiders were appearing in town. And later,
17 when we were detained, we recognised these people as the people who had
18 arrived to -- in Samac before the attack.
19 Q. Thank you. In the week prior to the 16th of April, did you have
20 any meetings with anyone to discuss security?
21 A. There were many meetings. We had meetings every day. Perhaps you
22 could single out two meetings as more important than others. I mentioned
23 last time the meeting held in the Bosanski Samac municipality, attended by
24 the entire leadership of the municipality and also representatives of
25 Gradacac and Orasje municipalities and also attended by this Colonel
1 Djurdjevic, I believe his name was, from Srpska Tisina. That was one of
2 the more important meetings held. And there was another one in the local
3 commune. These are the more important meetings, and if you want me to
4 elaborate on that, I can.
5 Q. Thank you. I'd just like to get clear features of the meeting so
6 that we can clearly understand what you're referring to. Firstly, the
7 meeting in the Bosanski Samac municipality attended by the leadership of
8 the municipality, about when did that occur before the takeover? Where
9 did it occur?
10 A. That meeting was held in the week when Samac was attacked.
11 Whether it was Tuesday or Wednesday, I can't say with 100 per cent
12 certainty. But if Samac was attacked on the 17th, it could have been on
13 the 13th, say. And it was held in the building of the Municipal
14 Assembly. It was attended by the leadership of the municipality and the
15 presidents of the political parties of Samac municipality. I remember
16 very well that the President of Gradacac was present and also Kobas Pavo
17 from Orasje. I cannot be quite certain about Odzaci. There was also this
18 Colonel Djurdjevic from Belgrade, the JNA colonel. And all these
19 meetings, and this one too, were chaired by Blagoje Simic, and that was
20 when he tabled this proposal to the effect that we should all agree to it,
21 that Samac become a Serbian municipality, and he gave us time to think
22 until next Wednesday.
23 Q. Can I ask you to pause there? Was Simo Zaric present?
24 A. I think he was.
25 Q. In what capacity was this Colonel Djurdjevic from Belgrade at the
1 meeting? What was -- who was he representing? Why was he there?
2 A. He was representing the Yugoslav People's Army, and he was wearing
3 a uniform.
4 Q. Was Nikolic there, the Colonel Nikolic of the 17th Tactical
6 A. I think he was. It's difficult to remember all the people who
7 attended on a particular occasion. It happened sometimes that some of the
8 people who usually attended were not present.
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. And I remember this Djurdjevic because he was a new face at that
12 Q. Thank you. Now, the proposal from Mr. Blagoje Simic, I want to
13 hear all about that in as much detail as you can provide us. First of
14 all, how was the proposal made? Was it in written form? Was it oral?
15 Did he give a speech? Did it emerge gradually? Tell us all about the
16 proposal, what you heard, every single detail that you can recall about
18 A. That meeting was convened at the initiative of the SDS, and
19 Blagoje Simic was the chairman of the meeting. He tabled the proposal
20 that Orasje and Odzaci municipalities should be Croatian; Gradacac, a
21 Muslim municipality; and Samac, a Serbian municipality. He did it orally,
22 and he said that one of these municipalities should be Serbian, that it
23 would be only fair, because the other three were divided among Muslims and
24 Croats, according to his proposal. He announced this proposal verbally in
25 a "take it or leave it" tone: "I'm giving you time to decide, but if you
1 don't decide, the Serbs will know what to do."
2 On that occasion, all those people from the JNA had come with him
3 and, of course, that created a certain atmosphere because we believed that
4 the JNA, too, stood behind this.
5 Q. How much time did he permit you to decide?
6 A. I think he gave us approximately seven days to decide, until next
7 Wednesday, when we were supposed to state our opinion. But Samac was
8 attacked in the meantime. But we said immediately that Samac -- we don't
9 agree to that, that Samac can only be a town of all the three nations.
10 The proposal was also refused by Filipovic, on behalf of the HDZ, and he
11 said that the several thousand of Croats who lived there would never allow
12 it. So he did get an answer even then, but he still gave us this time to
14 Q. I just want to be clear about something. Did the proposal
15 envisage movement of population or people?
16 A. On that occasion, he didn't elaborate on that. He didn't say
17 whether it was to cover only the territory of that municipality, of our
18 municipality, or also the territories or parts of territories of other
19 municipalities. He didn't say anything about the population either.
20 Q. Did he ever provide any explanation as to why it was necessary to
21 reorganise the municipalities in the way that he proposed?
22 A. You see, he probably did state some reasons. I can't remember
23 exactly all of the things he said then. Maybe someone else who attended
24 that meeting could remember. But generally speaking, that was a time when
25 you didn't have to explain and give your reasons. The one who had power
1 did as he saw fit. It wasn't like in a court, something, where you state
2 the facts, "This and this and this and that, and that's why I propose
3 this." No, it was nothing like that. It was the kind of time when you
4 could proclaim a certain territory to be a Serbian autonomous area even
5 though the population was not a majority Serbian population. In the same
6 vein probably, Blagoje said that Samac was to become Serbian, without any
7 particular reason.
8 Q. These proposals were - correct me if I'm wrong - put forward by
9 Mr. Blagoje Simic in a public forum, so to speak, at the meeting. Did you
10 ever have occasion to speak to him privately about this very issue, the
11 proposal, at the meeting?
12 A. I don't think I spoke to him about it privately, because just
13 several days later Samac was attacked. I don't think I had occasion to
14 speak to him about it.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, earlier in your evidence, you mentioned a second
16 meeting. I'd now like to move on to that, please. Can you identify where
17 that happened, where that took place, approximately when it occurred? And
18 if you could also let us know if it occurred before or after the meeting
19 that you just talked about where these proposals from Mr. Blagoje Simic
21 A. That second meeting was held on the premises of the local commune
22 after the meeting at which Blagoje Simic announced his proposal. It was
23 held on the 16th of April; that is, the night before the attack on Samac.
24 At that meeting the leadership of the local commune attended. I remember
25 I was there; Marko Bozanovic, who was commander of the newly established
1 headquarters of Territorial Defence; there was Dragan Lukac in his
2 capacity as new chief of police; then Alija Fitozovic, Chief of Staff of
3 Territorial Defence. I know Boro Pisarevic, president of the SDP, was
4 present; the president of the Reformist Party; then Mato Jasarevic,
5 president of the - sorry - on behalf of the HDZ. Simo Zaric came late
6 because he had had a meeting with the lieutenant colonel, in his own
7 words, and the meeting discussed the establishment of the new staff or new
8 headquarters of Territorial Defence.
9 I remember that Simo was against it, although these headquarters
10 were set up in a completely legal way with the approval of the Secretariat
11 of National Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Minister of
12 Defence. I remember the exchange when Simo asked Alija Fitozovic, "Are
13 there any Serbs in these headquarters," were Serbs issued with weapons.
14 Alija quoted a figure off the top of his head, 70 or 80, I believe,
15 Serbs. And I remember Simo saying then the time is coming when he will
16 not be able to have any influence on the events. That particular sentence
17 remained etched in my memory, and I remembered it later, and I remember
18 thinking that he must have known that there would be an attack. And going
19 back to that time in my mind, I have the impression he knew about it even
20 then, and I think this impression is further corroborated by some other
21 things which happened at that meeting.
22 There was no serious attempt to avoid conflict. I made several
23 proposals. I invited the 4th Detachment to enter the legal institutions
24 of the Territorial Defence so that we would all be covered by the
25 headquarters of the Territorial Defence. Even then the JNA was a
1 paramilitary formation and Bosnia and Herzegovina was recognised. Defence
2 could be organised only by the TO headquarters. I remember the meeting
3 ended with Lukac taking Marko Bozanovic, commander of TO headquarters, to
4 Novo Selo, which was his home village. We went to a tavern called
5 Rustika, me and Alija and Izetbegovic. I remember Dragan Lukac came to
6 this Rustika tavern and said that he had seen soldiers with white
7 epaulettes or armbands - I don't remember any more - and he said it
8 reminded him of the time when Vukovar was attacked.
9 Q. Thank you. Let's just get back to the meeting, and we'll get back
10 to the events after the meeting at a later point. You've said in evidence
11 that for some time the TO had been disarmed and that had occurred as a
12 result of the JNA having seized weapons. Had there been any new
13 developments in respect of the TO before this meeting that you've just
15 A. You see, after the referendum in Bosnia-Herzegovina of the 1st of
16 March and after the recognition of that referendum on the 6th of April by
17 the European Union when Bosnia and Herzegovina was recognised as a state,
18 republican authorities pursued the establishment of republican
19 institutions, including headquarters of Territorial Defence in all
20 municipalities. That is how in Samac the existing commander was replaced
21 and a new one was appointed, a new commander of the headquarters of
22 Territorial Defence, and Marko Bozanovic and Alija Fitozovic were also
23 appointed just a few days before Samac was attacked.
24 Q. Appointed before this meeting that you've just discussed?
25 A. Yes. They had been appointed before that meeting, because I know
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 they had already received a delegation of European observers, the ones who
2 went around in white uniforms, and I remember these two saying that they
3 had been visited by these observers at the TO headquarters.
4 Q. Was there -- apart from the appointment of new commanders of the
5 TO, these gentlemen that you've just mentioned, were there any other
6 orders issued by the republican government in respect of the TO?
7 A. There were orders on appointments; I know that for sure. As for
8 any other orders, I cannot be sure now. I know it was their job as
9 Commander and Chief of Staff to form units of Territorial Defence in view
10 of the newly arisen situation, and I know they started to do that but they
11 were running a bit late. And then this attack on Samac happened. Now I
12 think that the establishment of the new TO headquarters speeded up the
13 attack on Samac because this new force, had it been established, could
14 have been a match for the JNA.
15 Q. This is exactly what I'm interested in. I'd like you to explain
16 to the Chamber what you mean when you say -- when you refer to the
17 establishment of the new TO headquarters. How was that a new
18 development? What happened that makes you say that?
19 A. You see, because this old commander which had been appointed
20 earlier who belonged to this old Communist regime, he didn't want to obey
21 the orders of the republican headquarters on the establishment of new
22 units of Territorial Defence which the headquarters were supposed to have.
23 Q. Getting back to the meeting, I think you said that --
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for one
1 [Prosecution counsel confer]
2 MR. DI FAZIO:
3 Q. I can't see it on my transcript here, but I recall you saying just
4 earlier that there was some sort of invitation or move to incorporate the
5 4th Detachment into the TO. Did I understand your evidence correctly?
6 A. I was talking about it then. I believe I had proposed that even
7 earlier. And now, after the formation of new TO headquarters, with the
8 new people who were appointed from Sarajevo, I said that now the 4th
9 Detachment and those SDA patrols and all those people should be covered,
10 should be included in the new TO units of Samac and become legal units,
11 legal institutions, part of a legal institution. And I remember
12 specifically saying that members of the 4th Detachment should also be
14 Q. That's what I mean. You made that proposal at the meeting that
15 you've just been speaking about; am I correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Did Simo Zaric react to that?
18 A. He reacted by not accepting it. He may have said something about
19 not being authorised to agree to that, but in any event, he refused.
20 Q. What did you do after the meeting broke up?
21 A. The meeting ended without any success, without any results.
22 Everybody went their own way. We went to this Rustika tavern, sat there
23 for a while before Dragan Lukac appeared. Later, I went home, and Izet
24 and Alija went to another tavern.
25 Q. This was, I think, the night of the 16th?
1 A. That was the night between the 16th and the 17th. Samac was
2 attacked early in the morning on the 17th.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
4 If Your Honours please, it's two minutes to 11.00. I'm going to
5 move on to the attack as a separate topic. Would this be an appropriate
6 moment to have the morning break?
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, thank you. We will take our break now and
8 resume at 11.30.
9 --- Break taken at 10.58 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: The Prosecution is continuing its
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Before I move on to the attack, there is one matter that I omitted
15 to mention to you, Mr. Tihic. I want you to look at this document that I
16 produce to you.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, and if members of the
18 Defence please, this is listed as C9 on our original list of exhibits.
19 I'll refer to it for the purposes of the transcript as a letter written by
20 the Party of Democratic Action and addressed to the city command Bosanski
21 Samac for the attention of the municipal headquarters of the TO. I have
22 copies of the document that I'm referring to here.
23 And might I ask the usher to -- there are translations there.
24 Perhaps the document could be put on the ELMO.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have the exhibit number, please?
1 THE REGISTRAR: This document shall be marked for the record as
2 Prosecutor's Exhibit P13, and the B/C/S version shall be P13 ter.
3 JUDGE SINGH: Mr. di Fazio, please do always call out the title of
4 the exhibit.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm sorry, if Your Honour pleases -- yes, thank
6 you. If Your Honour pleases, I've referred to it as the letter addressed
7 by the Party of Democratic Action to city command, attention for the
8 municipal headquarters.
9 JUDGE SINGH: That's too long. Give it a short -- if it's a
10 letter, give the date and a short title.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: Letter dated 13th of April, 1992 to municipal
12 headquarters of the TO. Thank you.
13 Q. You have the letter, Mr. Tihic?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. The document speaks for itself. You can see that it is a letter
16 from the Party of Democratic Action, addressed to the TO, and refers to a
17 unit that has been set up to defend the town, and the unit makes itself
18 available to defend the town. Firstly, do you know who wrote that
20 A. I remember the letter. It was written at the Party of Democratic
21 Action. And this is in the spirit of our policy; namely, that we put all
22 our people under the control of the newly established Territorial Defence
23 headquarters. We said there -- we wrote there that all those people who
24 have weapons, obtained legally and illegally, and who wish to take part in
25 the municipal headquarters of the Territorial Defence should do so. We
1 were actually referring to the patrols of the SDA, but there were others
2 too. There were also huntsmen who had weapons. That's the offer that we
3 made to the 4th Detachment as well, that they do the same thing. And this
4 is in keeping with that offer; that is to say, that what the SDA has and
5 all the others who obtained weapons and the 4th Detachment should all
6 become part of legal institutions, to put it that way, and the only legal
7 institution at the time was the municipal headquarters of Territorial
9 Q. Thank you. The document refers to a list in the first paragraph.
10 What list was that, do you think? Because obviously it's not attached to
11 this document.
12 A. That list was probably provided subsequently. This is a list of
13 persons who possess weapons that they obtained either legally, and they
14 have a permit therefore, or illegally. I think that this list included
15 about 100 persons.
16 Q. Were they SDA members?
17 A. Well, a significant number were members of the SDA, but there were
18 also those who were not members. I think there were also a few Croats.
19 So not only Bosniaks, Muslims, but a few Croats as well.
20 Q. In fact, the document seems to refer to two separate lists. Can
21 you tell me if that's correct? By that I mean, in the first paragraph, a
22 list referring to the citizens of Bosanski Samac who set up the unit to
23 defend the town, and later, in the third paragraph, another list referring
24 to individuals who had weapons. Is my reading correct?
25 A. That is one list, but it's mentioned twice in the letter.
1 Q. Did you have anything to do with the creation of this letter or
2 the idea of sending it to the TO?
3 A. My only link was that I thought that all of those who are armed
4 and under our control should be subordinated to the legal command; that is
5 to say, to the municipal headquarters of Territorial Defence. As for who
6 wrote that list, it was probably Alija Fitozovic or somebody else. But
7 whoever made it did it in the spirit of the policy that we were pursuing,
8 and I know that this letter had been sent.
9 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to get back to the night of the 16th and
10 17th of April, 1992. You said that you went to a restaurant, that you
11 heard Dragan Lukac say that he'd seen soldiers with white epaulettes. Did
12 you go home to your house that night?
13 A. Yes, I did. At that time, I was quite concerned.
14 Q. What was concerning you in particular?
15 A. First of all, I was concerned over the outcome of the meeting.
16 One could simply feel that there was something wrong, that something could
17 happen. Samac was deserted. The restaurants were empty. And then what
18 Dragan said about the military and Tisina. And also my wife, when I came
19 home, told me that somebody had phoned and introduced himself as a Chetnik
20 vojvoda, and things like that. I thought that we should sleep elsewhere,
21 not at home, that we should go to a relative's place. However, my wife
22 didn't feel like going either, because we had done that several times, so
23 then together with my brother and his wife, I went to my sister's place,
24 and that's where I spent the night. All of our three houses share the
25 same yard. If I were in the centre of town, perhaps my position would
1 have been different, because this part of town is not the centre; it's on
2 the outskirts of town.
3 Q. Did anything happen during the night?
4 A. Around 2.00 shooting could be heard, first individual gunshots.
5 Until then, we had heard that every night, individual gunshots, bursts of
6 gunfire. And then it became increasingly intensive. Then we heard a big
7 explosion. I saw that this was a serious thing. I looked through the
8 window, and in the yard I saw a few members of the 4th Detachment. My
9 brother and I were looking through the window, and we saw them hiding
10 behind houses and trees with their rifles, things like that. I actually
11 recognised some of the people.
12 Perhaps about an hour later Nedim Alajbegovic, a relative of mine,
13 came and knocked at the door. He told me that he came to get me and that
14 Izet Izetbegovic told him to do that, that I should get into his car and
15 that we should flee from Samac. I did not want to go, for two reasons:
16 First of all, I thought that I, as president of the SDA, as some kind of a
17 local leader, should stay there with the people and negotiate; secondly, I
18 was afraid that if I leave, perhaps somebody from the 4th Detachment could
19 shoot. You never know. And I could not leave my wife with my brother,
20 with my sister, whoever. So I said to Nedim Alajbegovic, "You go, but I'm
21 not going to run away."
22 Q. Did you remain in the house?
23 A. Yes, I remained in the house all the way up till around 7.00 in
24 the morning. However, I want to say that the telephone lines were
25 disconnected at 3.00 as well. You could not really phone anyone.
1 Q. Were you trying to ring anyone?
2 A. No. In the morning, telephone lines were re-established, and I
3 called my neighbour Misa Pavlovic. I asked him what was going on, and he
4 said, "I don't know. You can see for yourself." And I asked him, "Can I
5 come over to your place?" and he gave me sort of an ambiguous answer.
6 And then I called another neighbour, Alisio [phoen], who said that
7 I could come to his place straightaway. However, soon, my first friend's
8 father called, the late Misa Pavlovic, and he said that I should come to
9 his place and my wife and my brother and my sister, and we did go there at
10 around 7.00. And then from that house, I saw these armed men. Some of
11 them had hoods over their faces. Others had only woolen caps on their
12 heads. And some had uniform, or rather everybody had uniforms.
13 Q. Can I ask you --
14 A. Of the former JNA.
15 Q. Just a couple of things I'd like to quickly clarify. How do you
16 know the phones weren't working if you didn't ring anyone? And secondly,
17 how could you see if there were -- people were members of the 4th
18 Detachment if you were looking at them during the night? In other words,
19 how could you see clearly? Just clarify those two issues before we
21 A. Well, this is the way it was: I tried to make a phone call, and
22 the phones were disconnected. That's how I know that the phones were
23 disconnected. I think that everybody else can confirm that too, that our
24 telephones were disconnected for about three hours and that we could not
25 reach anyone.
1 And now how did I recognise these people? Because in my yard,
2 there is always a light bulb that is on, and it's a big light bulb and it
3 illuminates the entire yard. And through the window, you can see quite
4 clearly, even when it's dark, who is walking through the yard. So you can
5 discern people's faces.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, you started to describe the men that you were
7 able to see in the morning, armed men, hoods over their faces, and some
8 had woolen caps and uniforms. Can you recall any features about the
10 A. On that occasion, except that these were JNA uniforms, I cannot
11 really remember any specific features. I was looking through the window,
12 and this was perhaps five or ten metres away. Later on, I did notice some
13 differences between uniforms.
14 Q. What were they, the differences?
15 A. Well, the difference was that, in addition to JNA uniforms, there
16 were also uniforms with other insignia.
17 Q. What sort of insignia?
18 A. For example, these paramilitaries -- or are they paramilitaries?
19 The Grey Wolves, they had the four-S sign, which is the symbol of Serbs
20 and of the Army of Republika Srpska, and it's on various emblems, but it
21 was turned upside down. I can only draw that. That's the only way in
22 which I could explain it. It's the Cyrillic S and it looks like a Latin
24 Q. I'll ask you just to pause there.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I want to tender the
1 photographs that the Prosecution will be referring to throughout the
2 trial. I understand from comments made last week that Defence have no
3 objection to the production of these photographs, and I'll -- I'd like
4 them to go in as one bundle if possible, and I suggest that they be given
5 one exhibit number with subnumbers thereafter because there are 72
6 photographs. So perhaps whatever the next exhibit number is, and then P
7 1, 2, 3, 4, all the way through to 72.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. You can proceed.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. So could I now produce to the Court the
10 photographs? They are accompanied by an explanatory note. I don't know
11 what the Defence think about that. I understand from last week that they
12 have no objection to my leading on what the photographs depict, but I
13 don't produce the explanatory note as part of the exhibit. That's just
14 there as an aid to the Court. If the Defence have any problem with that,
15 perhaps they could raise it now. But the actual material that I seek to
16 introduce into evidence as the exhibit is just the photographs.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: I think also the bundles that have been produced to
19 the Chamber will be numbered. I think they are all in sequence and should
20 all be identical. Thank you.
21 Could the witness be given the bundle of photographs?
22 And has it been given an exhibit number? Perhaps --
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have the number, please?
24 THE REGISTRAR: These photographs shall be marked for the record
25 as Prosecutor's Exhibit P14, and each photograph shall be P14.1, P14.2, et
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
3 Q. Mr. Tihic, can I ask you to go to photograph number 67 in your
4 bundle and place that on the ELMO? In fact, I have a copy here that might
5 assist you.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Before you proceed, regardless of which sequence you
7 will be following with the -- your witness as he gives evidence, can we
8 take it that we have, I think, 71 photographs?
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: So can we take it, then, that these are P14.1 to
12 MR. DI FAZIO: That's the idea.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Regardless of the sequence of your introduction with
14 the witness. So you will stick to the numbers you've given us. Whether
15 the next photograph you discuss is number 60, it won't matter.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: We will all be clear, because they are a subnumber
17 of the exhibit, of the Exhibit P14. So in effect, just to be absolutely
18 clear, I'd ask you now, for the purposes of the transcript, to look at
19 Exhibit P14.67, subsection 67, so to speak.
20 Is the ELMO device -- thank you.
21 Q. Now, looking at that photograph of a badge, what can you tell the
22 Chamber about that?
23 A. This would probably be an emblem of the Grey Wolves. However, I
24 saw some uniforms that had different letters; these four S's in Cyrillic,
25 that is. It corresponds to the Latin letter C. They were facing each
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 other, one another, because one of the people from this unit said that a
2 Serb should not turn his back on another Serb, as these letters have, and
3 Serbs will be in agreement only if they look at each other. I remember
4 that he explained that to me, why they changed this emblem; that is to
5 say, that the letters were facing one another, so to speak; they did not
6 turn their backs on one another like here. So some of them had that kind
7 of emblem, but which ones, I really can't say.
8 Q. Thank you. Is it your position that you just can't comment upon
9 this particular photograph and you can't say that the men you saw on the
10 morning of the 17th carried any emblem like the one you can see in P14,
11 number 67?
12 A. In the morning, I could not see that. They were not close enough
13 to me so that I could see it.
14 Q. Where did you see them?
15 A. You mean these emblems?
16 Q. That sort of thing.
17 A. Only later, only later, at the camp, when I was in the camp, when
18 I was detained, and then they were nearby.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I've finished with the photographs for
20 the time being approximately. Thank you.
21 JUDGE SINGH: Just one clarification following from your
22 question. Apart from the "C's" with their backs to each other, what about
23 the rest of the emblem? I take it that the whole photograph there shows
24 an emblem. Can you identify that emblem?
25 A. That's the emblem of this unit, the Grey Wolves unit, and you can
1 see a grey wolf here. That's the unit which took part in the attack on
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
4 Q. Just following on from His Honour's question, I hear what you say
5 about that being the emblem of the unit. Did you actually see that sort
6 of symbolism, profile of a wolf, later on any of the uniforms of people
7 you knew or believed to be Grey Wolves?
8 A. Yes, I saw such emblems, but I saw others as well.
9 Q. And this is following your arrest?
10 A. Yes, after my arrest.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I've finished with the photographs.
12 Q. The members of the 4th Detachment that you saw, were they dressed
13 in uniform or any sort of uniform?
14 A. I think some of them wore uniforms, others wore civilian clothes,
15 but they had weapons. They hid behind trees, behind houses. Some of them
16 were lying down on the ground. I think their direction was somewhere
17 towards the Bosna River, towards the embankment.
18 Q. You've also mentioned men in hoods. Were they hoods covering
19 their faces with holes in the eyes, for the eyes and mouth?
20 A. Yes. There were people who had their faces completely covered by
21 those hoods, with just slits for the eyes and the mouth, and there were
22 others who wore only those round woolen caps. Later, when I was in
23 detention, I saw that members of those special units, as we call them,
24 wore such woolen caps, and there were people wearing JNA uniforms. When
25 this tank or personnel carrier was passing by the house, I saw JNA
1 soldiers walking behind it. It came right up to Mico Pavlovic's house,
2 passing right by the embankment. I saw Fadil going behind it. He was in
3 that 4th Detachment. And there was another uniformed man from the JNA. I
4 know that because these two came to Mico Pavlovic's house and my brother
5 and sister went inside the house to give them weapons. There were two
6 automatic rifles. And this other soldier did something that he was not
7 supposed to do, and Fadil said, "Leave it alone. These are decent, good
8 people." That's what my brother told me later. I didn't see it
9 firsthand. And then they returned later to Mico Pavlovic's house.
10 Q. The handing over the weapons, was this the only occasion you saw
11 that, or was this happening throughout the town?
12 A. Throughout the town weapons were being turned over. Some of our
13 people from the party -- and I watched this through the window when I was
14 at Boro Pisarevic's place. I saw Salkic Ibrahim and Pasa. There was this
15 armoured personnel carrier, and they walked in front of it, and they
16 called out people's names in front of their houses, saying that weapons
17 should be turned over. That's how it went. So that nobody got hurt in
18 the attack on Samac, none of the attackers. No one was killed, at least
19 no one from those town units and no one from our people from the party,
20 because weapons were turned over, because when the JNA came in with those
21 tanks and vehicles, it was obvious you couldn't do much with those rifles
22 and stuff like that.
23 Q. You've mentioned the presence of tanks and vehicles. Can you give
24 the Chamber any idea of the sort of numbers? Was it one or two tanks, or
25 were there more, and were there small -- what were the numbers of other
1 armoured vehicles, apart from tanks, if any?
2 A. I saw that one vehicle which passed by Mico Pavlovic's house. I
3 heard from other people there were four tanks. Because I wasn't
4 downtown -- I wasn't in town; I was inside that house. But I heard that
5 four JNA tanks had entered the town.
6 Q. Did you attempt to speak to anyone during the day over the
8 A. When I came to Mico Pavlovic's house, it became known very soon
9 that I was there. Todo Djukic [phoen], a neighbour, came and he said, "I
10 can save you. I can take your wife and sister and maybe even brother out
11 of town, but I can't take you out, because I would then be killed myself.
12 I cannot take you out, but perhaps some of the more prominent people could
13 do that," and he mentioned then Boro Pisarevic.
14 In the meantime, a relative of mine from Kladanj called me. He
15 was a journalist. And on the Bosnia and Herzegovina radio television, I
16 made a public appeal for a truce, for an agreement to be reached on
17 ceasefire. I received information over the telephone that those members
18 of the special units who had arrived were killing people, and I heard the
19 name of one Croat in particular who had been killed.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 A. After that, I got calls from people from the centre of town,
22 Salkic Ibrahim for one, who had a group of people, armed people, with
23 him. I also got a call from Pero Nikolic, and he was the one who passed
24 the receiver to Salkic Ibrahim. He asked me where Alija Fitozovic was,
25 because he was supposed to be the commander, but he wasn't there. Safet
1 Hadzialijagic had called me before that. Blagoje Simic also called me.
2 And when I told him, "Blagoje, shall we sit down and negotiate?" he
3 replied, "No way we are going to negotiate. The Serbian people are at war
4 with Muslims. Turn your weapons over. There will be no negotiation or
5 agreement." That frightened me, because until the day before, we had
6 talked normally, and this now was an ultimatum. And that was the end of
7 it. He ran off.
8 Q. Thanks. Just pause there. What time did the phone call occur
9 with Blagoje Simic? In the morning or in the afternoon? Can you let us
11 A. You see, that whole morning I was trying to reach Blagoje, and I
12 couldn't get him on the phone. I rang his brother, Cedo, to ask where
13 Blagoje was, and Cedo said, "I don't know myself" or "He may be at the
14 agricultural combine," but I couldn't reach him. And he called me. I
15 think it was around 11.00 a.m., or noon at the latest.
16 Q. Why did you want to speak to him? What did you have in mind?
17 A. My idea was to stop this attack on Samac, to sit down and talk,
18 because information had reached me that those units were killing people,
19 looting. My main idea was to stop this attack. That's what I wanted.
20 But I wasn't aware that things had changed, that he had the army backing
21 him and I had nothing. I didn't know that he no longer wanted to talk.
22 We were no longer on an equal footing.
23 Q. You've told us of one thing you said to him: "Blagoje, shall we
24 sit down and negotiate?"
25 A. Yes, I told him that.
1 Q. Did you explain to him what you wanted to talk about, to
3 A. I said I wanted to negotiate for peace. I wanted the shooting to
4 stop. I wanted the attack to stop. I couldn't do a lot of talking
5 because he was simply dictating. He was saying, "Serbian people are at
6 war with Croatian and Muslim people." That's the kind of language he
7 used. "Until our final victory, there will be no negotiation."
8 Q. Was that made plain, that there was to be no question of
10 A. That was abundantly clear. It was just an appeal for us to
11 surrender. That's what he said: "Surrender and turn over your weapons."
12 Q. Did he say where you should turn over your weapons, where you
13 should surrender? Did he give you any details, or did he just make it
14 clear that that's what he was interested in, surrender?
15 A. He said it in one breath really, without mentioning any details.
16 Q. Well, having been told this, how did you react to this demand for
17 surrender? For instance, did you attempt to continue negotiating with him
18 or turn his mind -- change his mind or anything like that?
19 A. Well, you see, I tried to get him to talk, but he simply ended the
20 conversation. He dictated his terms and rang off, end of conversation.
21 We were not speaking face to face so that I could do something.
22 Q. Where were -- whose house were you in at the time of this
24 A. I was at Misa Pavlovic's place. That's the neighbour across the
1 Q. Did you speak to anyone else on the phone, apart from the men
2 you've mentioned so far?
3 A. I mentioned that appeal I made on television, Television Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina, and Alija Fitozovic called saying that he had come back
5 from Prud and that he was in town. And before that, I had talked to him
6 while he was in Prud. That was the first time. And the second time I
7 talked to him was when he called to say he was back. I talked to
8 Hadzialijagic Safet, who was President of the local commune, and he said
9 that they were being asked to turn over their weapons, and I said that he
10 should talk about -- to Simo Zaric about surrendering the weapons because
11 there was no one else. And I know that he did indeed talk to Lieutenant
12 Colonel Nikolic, Ibrahim Salkic, that is. And then that group, which was
13 in the park, the armed group, went their separate ways, went home, and
14 Ibrahim Salkic went from house to house to collect the weapons. Either
15 that or they turned over the weapons themselves.
16 Q. Did you speak to Simo Zaric?
17 A. I cannot be sure now. I was thinking about that precisely. I
18 think I did, but I can't be sure. I know that he was at this Mladost
19 [phoen] knitwear factory. I think I tried to reach him, and I think I did
20 talk to him, but I can't be sure really. Maybe, if I did talk to him, it
21 was on that first day when I was at Misa Pavlovic's house.
22 Q. You've been describing events - correct me if I'm wrong - that
23 occurred on the 17th of April thus far?
24 A. Yes. All of this happened on the 17th of April, before noon.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. Now, if you want me to tell you what happened later, Teodor Dukic,
2 this neighbour of mine, told me that I should find a more prominent Serb
3 to help me. And then I called Boro Pisarevic, who was a lawyer friend of
4 mine. I called him and I asked, "Could you help me in any way?" And
5 could I come to his place? And he said, "Wait a little. Let me talk to
6 Simo, and I'll get back to you." Then perhaps five -- 15 minutes later,
7 he called to say that he would come to pick me up.
8 He did come to collect me and my wife. I went outside, and he
9 drove me in his car to his flat in the centre of town. He lived in a
10 residential building on the second floor; and that is where I spent the
11 rest of the day and the night. I remember that Boro was trying to find a
12 way to get me out of town. He was trying to reach Simo, but he couldn't.
13 Neighbours dropped in while I was there, so we talked. That's where I
14 spent that night, together with my wife. The whole time you look through
15 the window, listen to the shooting, you had the impression that they were
16 shooting from those vehicles just like that, for no particular reason,
17 because there was no resistance. It was just to create fear.
18 Q. Could you actually see any of this aimless shooting, so to speak?
19 A. Yes. I saw a vehicle coming to the intersection, shooting, and
20 the vehicle in front of it, followed by Ibrahim Salkic, [redacted]
21 calling out to people to surrender their weapons. Boro also received
22 calls from a lot of people, and he tried to get them to calm down. He got
23 calls from many Bosniaks as well, and Croats, and he was saying,
24 "Everything will be all right. Things will settle down. Everything will
25 be the way it should."
1 Q. Did you attempt to contact anyone yourself while were you at
2 Mr. Pisarevic's home?
3 A. Yes. I tried to make contact with my uncle who was in Sarajevo.
4 He was a retired JNA colonel, and I tried to get him to help me through
5 some acquaintances of his in the JNA. I wanted to get out of Samac.
6 Q. What about the next day? Did you -- at least as far as the
7 morning is concerned, did you remain at Mr. Pisarevic's home?
8 A. Yes, I remained in Boro's flat. And I remember the next day
9 because Blagoje Simic called Boro on the telephone and told him that if he
10 knew where I was, he should tell me to turn myself in at the police
11 station, that I would be interrogated and released. And Boro conveyed
12 this to me. However, Boro still wanted to call Simo Zaric to check if I
13 should really go to the police station, and I remember Boro telling me
14 later that he had talked to Simo and that Simo said I shouldn't go to the
15 police station. I wasn't told why, but I could see from Boro's expression
16 that for the first time, he too was afraid and concerned. When I asked,
17 "What do you think -- could I perhaps go to a relative of mine, Fahro?"
18 And he just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Whatever you say." Before
19 that, he still harboured some hope that I would be saved. But after that,
20 after that conversation with Simo, I saw that he was really worried.
21 Q. Did anyone --
22 A. That was my feeling.
23 Q. Thank you. Did anyone ever provide you with any reason why you
24 should go to the police station?
25 A. No. That was simply Blagoje Simic's message, that I should go to
1 the police station to be interrogated and that I would be released after
2 questioning, but I wasn't told why. Some time passed, and at one point we
3 heard a loud noise from the ground floor. Somebody had shattered the
4 glass, and Boro put a white cloth on the handle of the entrance door. It
5 was a sign that the flat should not be searched. However, somebody did
6 come into the apartment, a man followed by another man from the reserve
7 police of Samac, and they asked, "Is Sulejman Tihic here?" I answered,
8 and that man said, "Follow me." And he signed to Boro Pisarevic that he
9 should come as well.
10 Q. Who was in the -- just list the names, please, of who was in the
11 flat or the apartment at the time. Obviously you were there, obviously
12 Mr. Pisarevic was there, and obviously these men who came in. Anyone
14 A. There was my wife, Boro's wife, perhaps one of the neighbours. I
15 think there was one of the neighbours, maybe Sreto [phoen], or maybe one
16 of the women, because there was always somebody around. I remember my
17 wife tried to give me my raincoat, and I also remember that a member of
18 the special unit who had come in for me had his face painted black.
19 There were two people on the staircase, and in front of the house
20 there were -- there was a police vehicle. I was put in the back seat.
21 And I saw at that moment Stevan Todorovic coming out of a building across
22 the road from Boro's building, crossing the road, and getting into the
23 police vehicle, into the passenger seat, and he was holding a gun in his
24 hand, a pistol. And he was pointing the gun at us and swearing at the two
25 of us, something like why didn't I turn myself in? And he was also
1 swearing at Boro for hiding me. That police vehicle then drove me to the
2 police station. When I entered, it was unbelievable. All kinds of
3 uniforms, from those berets, Grey Wolves.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Red Berets - interpreter's correction - Grey
5 Wolves, all kinds.
6 Q. We'll get on to that in just a moment. First of all,
7 Mr. Todorovic; how long had you known him?
8 A. Very little, perhaps about a year. Todorovic was not from town,
9 he was not from Samac, so I didn't really -- actually, when all of these
10 things started happening, I got to know him, especially when he was
11 appointed commander of the Serb police station; that is to say, the police
12 station of the Serb municipality of Samac. We were all wondering how come
13 this man got here.
14 Q. Yes. That's the topic I'm interested in, his appointment as
15 commander of the Serb police station. First of all, when did you find out
16 about that appointment and what exactly does that mean, commander of the
17 Serb police station? Can you explain that more fully to the Chamber?
18 A. He was head of the police station. The commander is the second
19 one in line, but he was head of the police station. As far as I know, the
20 Assembly of the Serb Municipality of Samac appointed him head of the
21 police station of that Serb municipality of Samac perhaps, say, 20 days
22 before the attack on Samac. I'm not sure, but somewhere around then,
23 towards the very end, because they were establishing all these
24 institutions as if they were a real municipality. They had their own
25 police, you know, including head of that police.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 Q. And their choice for head of police was Mr. Stevan Todorovic; is
2 that correct? That's your understanding?
3 A. Yes. Yes. That's what was said, that Stevan Todorovic was head
4 of the police.
5 Q. Do you know if Mr. Todorovic had any experience as a policeman?
6 A. He did not have any experience; that's for sure. He worked as the
7 manager of some factory in Samac, some wickerware factory. This man -- I
8 mean, I think that the Serbs are ashamed for having chosen a person like
9 that for the head. My goodness, it was not a respectable man at all. The
10 Serbs had so many people in the police that they could have found a far
11 better man and a man who was involved in police work, and this one, this
12 one was a man you had nothing to say about. He did not enjoy any kind of
13 reputation in town or amongst the Serbs. Why they appointed someone like
14 that, I do not understand at all.
15 Q. I just want to -- very briefly tell the Chamber how long you were
16 in custody. And I don't think this in dispute, the date of when you were
17 exchanged and eventually released.
18 A. This is the way it was: At first I was in Bosanski Samac for
19 about ten days, and then at the Brcko barracks perhaps about seven days,
20 and then they transferred me to the JNA barracks in Bijeljina. I was
21 there only two or three days, and then after that by helicopter they
22 transferred us to Serbia, Yugoslavia, to the Batajnica airport. That's
23 where we were detained until the 27th of May. After that -- after that,
24 we were transferred to Sremska Mitrovica, to the military camp of Sremska
25 Mitrovica, where I was until the 14th of August, when that big exchange
1 was carried out. That is where the prisoners from Vukovar were. There
2 were a lot of people.
3 Q. Did your contact with Mr. Todorovic therefore extend over the
4 period of time that you were in custody in Bosanski Samac?
5 A. I did. I did have contact several times: the first day when I was
6 brought there and when Captain Crni said that I had to go to Radio Samac.
7 Q. We'll get into the details later. Now, you started to describe
8 the scene that you saw when you arrived at the police station. Can you
9 provide the Chamber with more details? And the sort of details I'm
10 interested in are the sort of descriptions of any military types that you
11 saw there.
12 A. You see, I already said that there were different uniforms there:
13 JNA uniforms, Serb Territorial Defence uniforms, Red Berets, Grey Wolves,
14 the police, different camouflage uniforms. I was taken to the duty
15 officer's room, where the head of the special unit was of these Grey
16 Wolves, I guess. They called him Crni. He said to me, "If you want to
17 live, you have to go to Radio Samac and you have to tell the Muslims to
18 surrender their weapons."
19 Q. Thank you. I don't want to leave the descriptions of the military
20 types who were there. What about the ones you've referred to as Red
21 Berets? This might seem obvious, but did they actually sport or wear red
23 A. Yes. Yes. That's why I said that they were the Red Berets,
24 because they were wearing red berets. That's where I encountered Mirko
25 Jovanovic, president of the Executive Council. He came up and he said,
1 about me that I was the most responsible person, the guiltiest person of
2 all. Other Serbs, on the other hand, came up and shook hands with me.
3 And then one of them beat me up - Beli, they called him - just before I
4 went to Radio Samac.
5 Q. You've mentioned the presence of JNA uniforms. Were you able to
6 distinguish readily between JNA uniforms and all of the other uniforms
7 worn by these different groups?
8 A. JNA uniforms could be recognised by the cloth and by the
9 insignia. That is something that we could recognise. Even if you would
10 only glance at it, you would know it was a JNA uniform. Just like a
11 police uniform; you could always tell. As for the others, there were
12 various insignia that were hard to recognise. And you know, we didn't
13 really dare look that much, because you always had to keep your head
14 down. You were not supposed to look at them when you talked to them.
15 Q. You've mentioned a name, Crni. Did you ever find out his full
17 A. Yes, I did. I did find out his full name, and I found out that
18 allegedly he was an employee of the Federal Secretariat of the Interior.
19 Q. What was his name?
20 A. I can't remember now. I can't remember now what his name was.
21 Q. It's okay.
22 A. Maybe later.
23 Q. Were any of the people at the police station bearded?
24 A. Yes, there were people with beards. There were people who looked
1 Q. Why? Why do you say that? Explain that to the Chamber.
2 A. Well, you know, for us a beard, especially a big dishevelled
3 beard, is a symbol of the Chetniks. Those were the Serb forces in the
4 Second World War that were on Hitler's side, and they slaughtered
5 Muslims. So that is well known from films, and also from the rallies that
6 were held all over Serbia: Slobodan Milosevic, et cetera.
7 Q. Thinking back now, doing the best you can, can you recall what
8 sort of uniforms, if any, these bearded men had on?
9 A. I can't. I can't say that to you with any certainty. It
10 was -- it had something to do with skulls or something, but it's hard for
11 me to explain in detail now. I know that there were skulls somewhere.
12 Q. Can you tell the Chamber this: Did the men who had these beards
13 that you have described, were they dressed in JNA uniform?
14 A. I can't say exactly. They were dishevelled big, big men. I know
15 this one big man. When you look at him, he looked horrifying, with a
16 knife, whatever. Now, did he have a uniform? I don't think it was a JNA
17 uniform. Maybe it was another uniform, camouflage perhaps. But there
18 were some kind of uniforms.
19 Q. Now, I'll move away now from what they were wearing. You started
20 to mention a radio interview and a beating. First of all, the beating.
21 Can you briefly tell the Court, the Chamber, what happened in respect of
22 the beating?
23 A. Crni said to me that I was supposed to go to the radio station and
24 to make a statement. Then they took me out, and I was waiting in the
25 hall. The hall was full of these different uniforms, these different
1 persons. And one of them beckoned me with his finger like this, and he
2 asked me, "What's your name?" And I said, "Sulejman Tihic." And then
3 again I got away and then again he beckoned me with his finger and said,
4 "Are you president of the SDA?" And I said, "Yes." And then he said to
5 me, "What have you said? I can't hear you." And then I got closer to
6 him, and then he hit me in the stomach. And then I fell, and then he and
7 some other men who were there started beating me, kicking me, until the
8 one who was supposed to take me to Radio Samac came and said, "Let the man
9 go. I have to take him to Radio Samac." Then he took me, and I know that
10 Stevan Todorovic walked up to this man and said something to him, but Crni
11 said that I should be returned to the SUP again, to the police station,
12 that is.
13 JUDGE SINGH: Excuse me. Earlier you said you had been beaten.
14 Is this the same incident that you were earlier describing?
15 A. Yes. Yes, it is.
16 JUDGE SINGH: Thank you.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Could the witness be shown Exhibit P14. I think
18 that's the bundle of photographs, please.
19 Q. Just look at photograph F2 of P14.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Perhaps that could be placed on the ELMO.
21 A. Yes. That's the building of the police station in Bosanski Samac
22 viewed from the yard of the Territorial Defence headquarters.
23 Q. Just so the Chamber is clear, the photograph looks through a
24 courtyard, and I think you can see a street and a little car, a little
25 Fiat 600 and then a white building. Is the white building the police
2 A. Police station.
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters could not hear what the witness
4 was saying.
5 MR. DI FAZIO:
6 Q. Sorry, Mr. Tihic, what was the last part of your answer?
7 A. This white building is the police station. This yard is the yard
8 of the Territorial Defence headquarters of Bosanski Samac. And this
9 building on the right-hand side is where the camp also was at this TO
10 headquarters, Territorial Defence headquarters. That's it. And this is
11 where the office of the TO was, here on the right, facing the exit from
12 the yard.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 JUDGE SINGH: Mr. di Fazio, when were these photographs taken, can
15 you tell us? Do you have some idea?
16 MR. DI FAZIO: The bulk of them -- in fact, I'm pretty sure that
17 all of them were taken in 1996, and in October of that month. In fact --
18 A. All of it remained the same.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I don't want to give evidence from the bar
20 table, but I could produce it at a later stage, if you wish. They were
21 essentially taken by officers of this -- of the OTP, on a mission to
22 Bosnia, between the 5th and 12th of October. And, in fact, if you look at
23 the photo, you will immediately see that what I've told you is not
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Some of the photos have got dates on them when
1 they were taken.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. In fact, on F2 we have got a date, 12th of
3 December. Not all of them have that date but many do, and if you go
4 through them, you'll see that many have the October date, so I presume
5 that they were -- some were taken later in that year. But I think the
6 bulk of them were in October.
7 Q. Now, just before we leave the photographs -- I don't propose to go
8 through them now; I'll do that at a later -- all of them now, but in F2,
9 can you just tell the Court, the Chamber, where the corridor was that you
10 were beaten? Did it run along the length of that building, the white
11 building that you can see?
12 A. As soon as you enter the police station building, there are three
13 or four stairs, and then there is a kind of hall, a small hall; let's say
14 three metres by three metres. That's where I was standing, and that's
15 where I was beaten up.
16 Q. Thank you. I don't need to refer to the notes any further at this
17 point. You mentioned a -- you mentioned a statement at the radio
18 station. Can you tell the Court what happened in respect of that
20 A. I was brought there in front of the police station building. We
21 waited for the journalist who was supposed to unlock the radio station
22 because the broadcasts had already been finished. Vaso Antic, a
23 journalist, came. And with these two men and the journalist, I went to
24 the studio. The journalist typed out the questions and answers. One of
25 the members of the special forces, this paramilitary, he was putting the
1 questions, and I was reading the answers.
2 Q. Can you remember the general content of the interview?
3 A. Well, the content was more or less that I was inviting all who
4 were offering resistance to stop doing so, that all of those who had
5 weapons should surrender them, that the authorities of the Serb
6 municipality of Samac were providing them with full security, and
7 guarantees for their life, things like that.
8 Q. How long did the interview take?
9 A. This interview took three or four minutes at the most; to read the
10 question and to read the answer. I think I went a bit beyond the answer
11 that was given to me. I mentioned Blagoje Simic, that he was also
12 providing these guarantees, although that had not been written there.
13 Q. Why? Why did you do that?
14 A. In a way, I thought that that is how I could implicate him so that
15 he would be responsible for this security, and the fact that I was brought
16 there, that all of that was done with his knowledge. That was my
17 assessment then.
18 Q. Did you eventually make your way back to the police station?
19 A. When I got out of the building, these paramilitaries said to me,
20 "Go home." I said to them, "Well, Captain Crni said that you should
21 return me to the police station building." And then I remembered that as
22 we were entering the car, Stevan Todorovic called one of them and
23 whispered something to him. I thought that Stevan said to him then, "Kill
24 him after you finish the interview."
25 I did not dare walk in front of that building because I would have
1 to walk along three or four hundred metres of an open space, and there was
2 an elementary school there, and in front was a vehicle, a military
3 vehicle. There was shooting. I had the feeling that they wanted to let
4 me go and then, as I would set out, they would shoot at me and say that I
5 tried to escape. However, Vaso Antic, that journalist, came then. He
6 came from the office, and he asked if they could give him a lift home in
7 the police car. And then I got into the police car too, and that is how
8 they brought me to the police station. And then -- and then they took me
9 to a room upstairs. [redacted]
10 [redacted]. And that's when they also interrogated me,
11 beat me. I know that Stevan Todorovic came, and he was winking at these
12 people who were beating me.
13 Q. I'll get into this in just a moment.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, it's just before 1.00.
15 There are a couple of other matters, not related to the evidence of this
16 witness that I think the Chamber might want to raise with counsel, and if
17 not, then I just wanted to report to the Chamber on some progress in
18 respect of documentary evidence. Would this be an appropriate moment for
19 me to stop my examination-in-chief?
20 JUDGE MUMBA: I was wondering, you wanted to discuss the documents
21 in general or what?
22 MR. DI FAZIO: No, just to report to the Chamber as to what
23 progress had been made on the issue of agreeing documentation, and --
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Maybe we can deal with that after we finish with
25 this witness.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Certainly, yes.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Because we can go on as we have been going on with
3 the documents affecting the evidence of this witness, and when everyone is
4 through with cross-examination, then we can discuss that, so we don't hold
5 the witness too long.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Can I continue for a few more minutes?
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, please.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
9 Q. Now, you mentioned Mr. -- or the gentleman named Lugar. Had you
10 ever seen him before or met him before?
11 A. Not until then.
12 Q. Was there anything about the way he spoke that -- his speech that
13 identified him? Dialect, I suppose?
14 A. Well, you see, first of all, it was quite clear that he spoke the
15 Ekavian dialect, so it was quite clear that he was from Serbia. While he
16 was beating me, he phoned his wife or girlfriend somewhere in Serbia, and
17 then he would turn the telephone receiver so that his girlfriend could
18 hear my moans and also the blows that were being administered. He called
19 a girl somewhere in Belgrade or Sabac or whatever.
20 Q. Where did this beating take place? I know it's at the police
21 station, but where?
22 A. It was upstairs, upstairs. When you walk from the staircase
23 straight ahead, there was a room. That's where we were.
24 Q. How were you being beaten?
25 A. They still had police truncheons then, and then they were doing
1 the beating with the police truncheons. They would put questions, and
2 without waiting for answers, they would start beating. And they would put
3 questions that were not important at all. It was just done for the sake
4 of the beating. I know that Stevan Todorovic would come, and then he'd
5 say, "Guys, no beating." And then he'd wink at them, trying to say in
6 that way that they should continue. [redacted]
11 Q. How long did this beating last?
12 A. Perhaps, including the interrogation, about half an hour. Let's
13 call it an interrogation, although ...
14 Q. Yes?
15 A. And then they took us across the street to the Territorial Defence
16 headquarters. You can see it in this picture here. We crossed the
17 street, and there were already 40 or 50 people detained there.
18 Q. Just answer me, if you can, yes or no. I want to get this
19 evidence in quickly before we break. Were you interrogated from time to
20 time in the period that you were in custody in Bosanski Samac?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Were they similar to this beating that you -- sorry, to this
23 interrogation that you just described?
24 A. One interrogation was official, with a record. It was carried out
25 by Simo Zaric. Whereas these others with beatings, there were several of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 those, without any record. Somebody would simply beat me up.
2 Q. Were the beatings on these occasions -- on these occasions when
3 there were beatings, were you also being interrogated simultaneously,
4 regardless of the quality of the interrogation?
5 A. You know what? He would ask, for example, "Who has weapons?" And
6 then I'd start saying something, and then he takes this truncheon and
7 starts beating me. He didn't even wait for the answer. Beating is a
8 better word for it. Nothing was being recorded. It was not that he was
9 trying to extract a confession from me or something. It's not that I
10 realised, on the basis of this interrogation, that he really wanted to
11 find something out from me. This had nothing to do with it. This was
12 just a pretext for him to beat me. Regardless of whether I said yes or
13 no, I would be beaten.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Does the Chamber wish me to continue at this
16 JUDGE MUMBA: No. We have reached already 1.00.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: So we will adjourn until tomorrow morning at 9.30
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
21 1.04 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 18th day
22 of September, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.