1 Wednesday, 19 September 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Would the registrar please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Milan Simic, Miroslav
9 Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution, please.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 WITNESS: SULEJMAN TIHIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Examined by Mr. di Fazio: [Continued]
15 Q. Mr. Tihic, I just want you to return briefly to the first weekend,
16 so to speak, that you were in custody. You've given us details of the
17 beatings and the conditions that you observed and of the fact that people
18 came in, men came in and beat prisoners in the cells and outside the cells
19 as well. Did anyone select prisoners for beating or engage in that sort
20 of practice?
21 A. Usually those who came in to administer the beatings would call
22 out people's names. They would then take these people out and beat them
23 up. Sometimes they simply didn't like the way someone looked or they
24 didn't like a particular reaction, and that's why they would beat such a
25 person up.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, you say that people might come in to administer
2 the beatings - sorry - that people who came in to administer the beatings
3 would call out people's names. Can you recall any names or nicknames, any
4 names or nicknames, of people --
5 A. Those who were administering the beatings or those who were being
6 beaten? Who do you mean?
7 Q. Those who were administering the beatings or calling out people's
8 names. Any nicknames that you recall, any names.
9 A. We usually knew them by their nicknames. I don't know. Lugar,
10 Crni, Musa, Kid. I don't know. That's as far as I can remember. Usually
11 it was these nicknames.
12 Q. Do any of the defendants, to your knowledge, in this case have
14 A. Miro, Brko, Simo. I called him Simo, but he had some kind of a
15 nickname, Solaja. As for the rest, I don't know. I don't know about
16 Simic and the rest.
17 Q. Brko is the name I'm interested in. Who does that refer to?
18 A. That is the accused who is present here, Miroslav Tadic, nicknamed
20 Q. Did you ever see him on that weekend?
21 A. I think I did see him. He was moving around there.
22 Q. Can you recall any details of what he was up to?
23 A. I think that he also entered the TO headquarters. Many did.
24 Q. All right. When you say "the TO headquarters" --
25 A. I mean the area, the area where the prisoners were, the inmates.
1 I know that some were even suspicious, you know, and some of the local
2 Serbs came in with some of the members of the special units; and when one
3 of these people would say hello to one of the inmates, people thought that
4 that was a sign, namely, that then, when the members of the special units
5 came again, would beat up that particular person. That is the guesswork
6 that we engaged in, that is.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for one
10 [Prosecution counsel confer]
11 MR. DI FAZIO:
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Tihic.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: I'd like now to deal with some of the photographs,
14 please. If Exhibit P14, all of the 71 photographs could be provided to
15 the witness. I'll be dealing with a number of them.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: If we can have the use of the ELMO, Counsel, for the
17 accused to follow?
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I agree, if Your Honours please. That's a
19 good suggestion. Perhaps it can be switched on and we can utilise it.
20 Q. All right. Now, would you please look at photograph number F43.
21 There is a building depicted in that photograph. What is it?
22 A. The police station. Next to it is the Municipal Assembly
24 Q. Thank you. F44, what does that depict, please?
25 A. This is the yard of the police station.
1 Q. The next one, please, F45. Is that a rear view of the police
3 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour, a leading question. This
4 is an obvious suggestion to the witness what to say.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, sometimes it's faster to lead where
6 it's obvious. The witness is -- was a local resident. He knew these
7 places. So this is not even crucial, in my view.
8 MR. PANTELIC: This is just a matter of principle, Your Honour.
9 The formulation of the question was not in accordance with the rules.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I agree, but --
11 MR. PANTELIC: I agree with your approach, of course.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Even the principles have to be approached with
14 Counsel, please continue.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: I will attempt not to lead. I heard what
16 Mr. Pantelic had to say yesterday. On other issues, I won't lead, but I
17 thought that there was an indication at some stage that there wouldn't be
18 any objection, in any event, from the Defence on this.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, there was that indication.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll press on.
23 Q. F46, what buildings can you see there?
24 A. The first building is the building of the Municipal Assembly, and
25 further down is again the police station. That's the smaller building.
1 Q. Now, would you also look, please, now at F50. And perhaps you
2 could also, having looked at F50, look at F51, because I want to ask you a
3 question about both of those photographs. F51 -- what does that -- F50,
4 I'm sorry, F50, what does that depict?
5 A. F50, the building of the Territorial Defence headquarters and the
7 Q. And now, F51, what does that depict?
8 A. I'm not sure. It might be a view from the MUP, the police
9 station, an office in the police station. I'm not sure, because I can't
10 really see through the window what lies beyond. It might be an office in
11 the police building with a view of the TO headquarters building; however,
12 I can't see well enough, so I can't really see what you can see through
13 the window.
14 Q. Look again at F46, please, and bearing -- keep handy F50 and F51.
15 F46 depicts the -- depicts the police station and also a tree --
16 A. F46 depicts the Municipal Assembly building and the police
17 station, 46, yes.
18 Q. That's right. Now, F46, you can see a tree in front of the police
19 station, at least one tree. Can you comment on whether or not the tree
20 that you can see to the left of the photograph in F50 is that tree?
21 A. Yes. Yes, that's it.
22 Q. Can you comment on whether or not the tree that you can see
23 through the window in F51 is the same as the tree that's depicted in front
24 of the police station in F46?
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, counsel?
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, again, we are listening
2 to leading questions regarding the description of the tree.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: The location of the tree.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honours, may I just --
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Your colleague is still speaking. Are you still
6 speaking? Yes.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Again, the Prosecutor is leading
8 the witness, describing the tree in a particular way and leading the
9 witness to say that it's one and the same tree.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes?
11 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, we are speaking here about the
12 photographs. I mean, it's just an issue of identification. I think
13 the -- our learned friend from the Prosecutor bench should only ask the
14 witness about the number of photographs and what is it in that particular
15 photograph. I mean, otherwise, you know, description, tree, flower, sun,
16 moon, others, it's not the way to deal with this. So simply -- simple
17 facts which are the photographs, actually. Thank you.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic, and the other counsel.
19 Mr. Prosecutor, you've heard the objections, and I'm sure you will
20 start rephrasing your questions.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, I'm happy to rephrase the questions if the
22 Chamber wishes me to do so, and of course I will do that. But none of the
23 questions, with respect, are leading. The questions, if you look at them,
24 are asking him to comment upon those issues. I'm not suggesting that it's
25 the same -- suggesting it's the same tree. I'm asking him to comment upon
1 that. Leading question --
2 JUDGE SINGH: Mr. di Fazio, I'm wondering, has the witness had
3 these photographs for a while now?
4 MR. DI FAZIO: They've certainly been shown to him.
5 JUDGE SINGH: Over the last few days?
6 MR. DI FAZIO: They've been shown to him within the last few days,
7 yes. He hasn't had them in his possession, I don't believe.
8 JUDGE SINGH: Now, if, you see, you have an index of photographs
9 which describe those photographs --
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
11 JUDGE SINGH: Well, we would have thought that he would have gone
12 through all the photographs, with the descriptions as shown in the index,
13 and he could either agree or disagree, and that would really cut short;
14 and if there's any other questions to be asked or clarification, then the
15 clarification could be simply put to him.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Well, I haven't put the index of the photos
17 to him and asked him to comment upon the index. I've only ever shown the
18 photos to him and no index.
19 JUDGE SINGH: But he has that index there on the photographs.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, I don't precisely know what he's got. He may
21 have something on the back of the photographs. If you wish me to approach
22 the witness and see what exactly he has before him, I can do that.
23 JUDGE SINGH: Please go ahead.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
25 Yes, Your Honour. He does have an index, but it's in English.
1 I'm not aware of there ever having been a version in B/C/S, so that leads
2 me to conclude that he's never seen an index.
3 JUDGE SINGH: Yes, but I mean, these photographs may be important,
4 so I think perhaps by tomorrow morning you may want to get him an index in
5 the B/C/S language.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. If the Chamber feels that it would be
7 assisted by my doing so, of course that will be done, but what I had
8 planned with this witness is just to go through a few photographs and get
9 him to comment on aspects of the photographs and to identify the remainder
10 of them through other witnesses. However, I can do that and cause an
11 index to be created in B/C/S, and I'll make sure that it's shown to the
12 witness. But for that to be effective, he would also have to keep and
13 maintain with him a copy of the photographs as well; otherwise, as a tool,
14 it won't be of any assistance to him. So I would have to do that as well.
15 Q. I just want to show you one other photograph. F40, please. What
16 does that depict?
17 A. It depicts the yard where the Catholic church used to be.
18 Q. What's the building that you can see in the foreground?
19 A. The building in the corner here is Serb Orthodox church. That's
20 the bigger one. And the smaller building is the one where the priest
21 lived. Because these two churches were opposite one another. Only the
22 street divided them.
23 Q. And would you please look at F18 and F19. I hope my learned
24 friends won't object if I lead by suggesting that you can see some green
25 space there. Is that green space that you see there with grass in
1 Bosanski Samac?
2 A. Yes, it's in Bosanski Samac. It's the area where the mosque used
3 to be, Aziza. A bit further off you can see the department store,
4 et cetera. The mosque is no longer there, but that's where it used to be.
5 Q. Thank you. And finally, would you look at photographs F36 and
6 F37, please. What do they show?
7 A. These buildings are owned by my brother and myself. This is where
8 my law office was. It still says "law office" here. Then this is where
9 the shop was, and this is where the restaurant was.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: I've finished with the photographs.
11 Q. Now, yesterday I was asking you some questions about events after
12 the weekend, and you described a meeting that you had. Do you recall
14 A. In the evening, Monday, we talked, Simo Zaric, Stevan Todorovic
15 and I, if that's the meeting you're referring to.
16 Q. Yes. You told us that you had asked to be released, pleaded to be
17 released, and that those pleas were uttered when either Simo Zaric or the
18 other gentleman, Mr. Sarkanovic, was present.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were you provided with any hope of release?
21 A. During the day, they did give me hope that I would be released.
22 However, after this conversation that took place afterwards in the evening
23 with Blagoje Simic or, rather, especially with Todorovic, then I was not
24 really given any hope. They took me down to the cells, downstairs; that,
25 I already referred to. Truth to tell, there was from time to time some
1 hope that one could get out, but that seemed quite distant. There weren't
2 any more promises, like the ones they gave during the first two or three
3 days, that we would be released.
4 Q. Following your return to the cells, from that point on, did you
5 ever see Lugar again?
6 A. Yes. Maybe that was the next day; so it was on a Tuesday.
7 Allegedly a man from Slatina got killed, and he went to his funeral. And
8 then after the funeral, he came to us, to that area where we were, and he
9 told us, "I swore on the grave that I will have my revenge." I think the
10 name of the person who was killed was Luka. He was killed in a conflict
11 with the HVO. And he looked at me at the end and he said, "You will be
12 the last." And then he beat each person one by one, and then he took me
13 out and he hit me with his knuckles, with his fist. And I didn't know
14 that the blow could throw you back several metres. And then, after each
15 blow, he would hit me, he would kick me. And then after a while, when I
16 couldn't get up anymore, he jumped on my chest. I placed my arms in this
17 position, and I could hear cracking, something cracking. Then he picked
18 me up. I had a Tissot watch. It was a thicker watch. And he took this
19 watch and he hit me on the head with that watch several times, so that
20 there was blood coming from the place where he hit me. I also had blood
21 coming out of my mouth. He also had some bombs on his belt. He was fully
22 armed. And then he was not sure whether he wanted to kill me or not. And
23 then at the end he just pushed me away. He said, "Get away," and then he
24 pushed me back into the cell. That happened the first time, when I was at
25 the police station, when I was beaten.
1 After that, they called us out to eat. Yesterday I mentioned
2 Hranaprodukt, but actually it was Utva where they took us so that
3 everybody could see that I was all bloody; all the inmates as well as the
4 people who were guarding us. And that's when they took us to lunch.
5 Q. What exactly is Utva --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, counsel for the Defence?
7 MS. BAEN: Your Honour, pardon me, my legal objection is
8 non-responsive. The witness's answer was not responsive to the question.
9 This is very, very important information we are receiving from the witness
10 right now. The question presented from the Prosecutor was: "Did you ever
11 see Lugar again?" And it's important that we proceed in question and
12 answer so that we can make any objections if we need to. So my specific
13 objection is non-responsive. Thank you.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: I didn't appreciate very much the object of the
15 objection, but I'm sure counsel understood it and will insist on questions
16 being answered by the witness.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. With respect to my learned friend, I don't
18 see that this gives rise to an objection. If I ask a witness a question
19 and he doesn't give what in Defence counsel's view is a relevant answer,
20 well, that's just a matter of -- that's just nothing that, A, I can do it
21 and, B --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because counsel can cross-examine afterwards.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Exactly. Exactly. And without going into the
24 transcript and analysing it right now, with respect to my learned friend,
25 the answers aren't what one would call blatantly irrelevant, so I haven't
1 got any problems with the evidence I'm eliciting with the witness, so I'm
2 not concerned with his answers. I'll make that plain.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic?
4 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honours, in addition to what my learned
5 colleague just said, I would like to reiterate another point. Now,
6 witness is going to adjust his previous statement from yesterday about the
7 name, description, et cetera. I think that it cannot be done now. I
8 mean, what was said, it was said. Now, we are heading to the other
9 direction, to the other events and other things. Otherwise, each day,
10 after previous day of statement, each witness can adjust or prepare or
11 clarify, et cetera. It is not the aim and it is not the spirit of the
12 examination-in-chief, and his testimony. Thank you so much. I mean, "I
13 recall better today than yesterday." Thank you.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: But, counsel, those are matters for credibility, and
15 you can take them up on cross-examination and in your submissions, if a
16 witness keeps changing his evidence.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: That's fodder for you.
19 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely. That's right. But acting in capacity
20 of the officer of justice here, I must reiterate these things; that we are
21 to some extent we are wasting time, Your Honours, because we are here
22 three or four days now, we are at the level of the local events in
23 Bosanski Samac, and now we are speaking about what was the restaurant,
24 what was the name, et cetera. That's my impression. Okay, of course, we
25 are free in cross-examination to point out all these things.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. The more objections you take on
2 matters which you can raise in cross-examination, the more time we shall
3 waste. And I'm sure you are aware of the reasons why we can't sit
4 afternoons as well. I'm sure that has been explained to you, and I don't
5 think it's a matter that you should take up at this time of
6 examination-in-chief of this particular witness.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, okay.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: We are going through with difficulties in this trial
9 which are appreciated by everybody, and the less objections which are not
10 really reasonable, the better.
11 Counsel, please proceed.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you so much.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: I don't want to answer what my learned friend says,
14 but the witness --
15 JUDGE MUMBA: You don't need to answer. Just go ahead.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Where was I?
17 Q. My question was a simple one: What is Utva?
18 A. Utva is a factory in Bosanski Samac.
19 Q. Thank you. Did you ever leave the custody of the police in the --
20 or custody and the police station any time up to the point of -- at which
21 you were taken to Brcko, in the period of time leading up to the
23 A. I didn't leave. I was taken home to be searched. But even then I
24 was accompanied by police.
25 Q. Can you describe the circumstances of this episode to the Court,
2 A. One of those -- of the special forces came up to me and he said --
3 asked me if I had any money. I had 500 marks, German marks, in my
4 wallet. And because that wasn't enough for him, he asked me did I have
5 any money at home? And I said that I did. And then he, with another
6 colleague, took me out, put me in a car, and first we stopped off at the
7 offices of the Party of Democratic Action. They searched the premises.
8 He collected some papers there. Then we came in front of my house. His
9 colleague wanted to fire, shoot, at the house, with a rocket launcher,
10 zolja, but the other guy told him not to do that.
11 Then we went inside the house. The house had been broken into.
12 In the living-room, the video was missing. We went to the bedroom where I
13 kept my money, and in a -- in a side table, we found 2.000 German marks.
14 He pointed a gun at my forehead and he said, "Do you have any more?" On
15 the other side of the bedside cabinet, there was more money, and we took
16 that out. Then he pointed the rifle at me again and asked me, "Is there
17 any more?" So that in two more places in the room, I took the money where
18 I used to hide that money. So I gave him money from two other places.
19 There was some shillings, German marks, francs. It was about 5.500 to
20 6.000 German marks. On that occasion, he found my hunting rifle, and he
21 also took that rifle. Then he took me -- took me back to the police
23 Q. The men who accompanied you, how were they dressed? I'm really
24 interested in whether or not they were military men and, if so, what type
25 of military men.
1 A. They were in camouflage uniforms. They were special forces from
3 Q. What makes you say they were from Serbia?
4 A. You could tell by the way they spoke. You noticed that right
6 Q. Thank you. In the days following this episode, were you taken out
7 of your cell for any reason?
8 A. Yes. I was taken out on two occasions: When I was beaten; I was
9 also taken out for interrogation, interrogation that was at my request. I
10 asked to be interrogated once.
11 Q. You've mentioned two occasions when you were taken out for
12 beating. Can you please describe those occasions, preferably in sequence,
13 to the Court.
14 A. The first time, a member of the special forces in camouflage
15 uniform from Serbia came to get me. He was missing an index finger. He
16 took me upstairs to the office of the criminal investigations unit. I
17 know that this man was drinking whiskey. And he asked me to make a list
18 of the Muslims who had weapons. I was trying to remember, but I
19 couldn't. But this didn't seem to matter to him. He beat me. He kept
20 hitting me over and over. And at one point, he opened the door and he
21 kept hitting me. I was going, walking through the hall, and I was going
22 to the end of the hall, and he kept hitting me. At that moment, while he
23 was hitting me, Simo Zaric and the late Milos Bogdanovic were coming
24 towards me. There were also -- there was also another man with them,
25 Bokan. He was from Serbia. I think Marko Tuvakovic was there as well.
1 And this person Bokan said, "Why are you hitting him? Just kill him."
2 And he took out a pistol from his pocket. It was a white, nickel pistol,
3 and he placed it at my temple, and it clicked. And Bokan said, "What is
4 this? There's something wrong." And then he pulled the trigger again and
5 nothing happened once more. And then he pushed me away and he said,
6 "Well, just go on," as if to tell this person to continue to beat me.
7 That was one occasion when I was beaten.
8 Q. I don't want to leave that episode yet. You mentioned a hall.
9 Can you recall which floor of the police station this hall was in?
10 A. It was on the first floor of the police station.
11 Q. When you were being struck by the man -- I withdraw that. When
12 you were being threatened with the pistol by the man called Bokan, where
13 was Simo Zaric?
14 A. He was standing right there. All of the people that I mentioned
15 were standing there. They came out of that office together, the office
16 where Simo worked, and that's how we met.
17 Q. Did you say anything to any of these men at the time that the gun
18 was being held to you?
19 A. No, I didn't. This happened very quickly. I was just thinking
20 whether this pistol would go off. I think that I didn't say anything.
21 Q. Thank you. Can you describe the next episode when you were taken
22 out of the cells?
23 A. The second time was maybe the next day, at some time in the
24 evening, around 11.00 or 12.00 at night. Two people came. I know that
25 one of them was called Musa, and I think the other person who was there
1 was the man with the missing index finger who took me out the day before.
2 And they hit me once or twice in the cell, and they called me out, as well
3 as a reserve police officer from the village of Hasici, and they took us
4 upstairs again to the office of the criminal investigations unit chief
5 where I was beaten the day before.
6 It was dark inside. And first of all they hit this police officer
7 from Hasici with a baton about ten times, and then they continued to beat
8 me. One of them was holding a lamp. You couldn't see them; you could
9 just see this light. And if you'd turn, as you turned towards the lamp,
10 you would receive a blow to one side and then to the other side. One of
11 them put the barrel of a pistol into our mouth. They were asking for
12 money, but we didn't have any money. And they were saying, "What about
13 friends who can give money for you?"
14 This beating went on for at least an hour, and they were telling
15 us, "Lie down like this," and they would beat us. Then we would have to
16 stretch our arms out, and they would hit us with the baton on our arms,
17 with a truncheon.
18 Then they took us back to the ground floor. It was
19 already -- there was light there, light coming in from the street, and
20 they continued to hit us. At one point they brought in a jar of hot
21 peppers, chilli peppers, and they told us, "Eat the peppers." A few days
22 before, we didn't receive very much food, so I took one of those chilli
23 peppers and ate it. They hit us. They cursed us. Then they took a
24 handful of those chilli peppers and forced them into our mouth, and they
25 kept hitting us. I fell onto a table that was there. Then they kept
1 asking for the names of people who can give money for me. While I was in
2 that room, they were beating us.
3 Then they would go across the street to the headquarters of the
4 TO, and then they would come back, and then they would hit us some more.
5 At that time it was already 1.00 or 2.00 a.m. Simo Zaric came by with
6 Toso, and he could see the condition that I was in. I asked him, "Please,
7 if you can help me at all." And Simo said, "No. No, I can't. Things are
8 the way they are," and he just shrugged.
9 After that they wanted to take me out to execute me. They said,
10 "Let's go and execute him now." They took me down the hall. The other
11 person was saying, "Oh, just leave him. We will hang him tomorrow at
12 11.00. This has been agreed. We'll take him out to the centre of town,
13 and we'll hang him there." And then they kept hitting me all the way
14 until we reached the cell at the end of the corridor, and this lasted from
15 11.00 at night until 3.00 in the morning. I was covered with blood.
16 Well, the next day is another story.
17 Q. We'll get on to the next day in just a moment. Who is the man
18 Toso? I'm sorry if I don't have the pronunciation correct.
19 A. Toso, Tutnjevic. He came with Simo Zaric. He was a driver in the
20 Municipal Committee. He was my neighbour. He lived close to me. They
21 were in Brcko that night, so on the way back they stopped there. That's
22 what I heard them saying while we were all in the hall, in the corridor.
23 Q. What is Mr. Tutnjevic's ethnic background, please?
24 A. Tutnjevic, Toso, is a Serb.
25 Q. Thank you. You say that they were in Brcko that night and on the
1 way back they stopped at the police station. How do you know that they
2 were in Brcko that night and that they stopped at the police station?
3 A. I was in the basement. When you come into the SUP, to the right
4 of the duty officer's room, and there was a door there that was open.
5 These two men were beating me. They would then go out and go to the TO
6 headquarters. And they kept the door open, so that I could hear when Simo
7 came. I could hear him saying that he was in Brcko, that there was a
8 corridor established there which will never be cut off again. And I had
9 never heard Simo talk about Serbs and Serbian matters so much. He before
10 would always be talking about Yugoslav things. Now he was talking about
11 what the Serbs did, their links with Yugoslavia. He didn't see me,
12 because I was up there in the office. And I know on that occasion, he was
13 telling those men -- and also when he came in to see me, I know that he
14 was in the barracks in Brcko. He had just come back from that trip, and
15 Tutnjevic was the person who was driving him.
16 Q. Can you recall with any more detail his comments about the
17 establishment of the corridor?
18 A. It's difficult to remember all of that right now, but I know that
19 he said the Serbs have now established a corridor that will never be cut
20 off. They will never allow it to be cut off, the corridor linking the
21 Serb areas here, Krajina and so on, with Serbia.
22 Q. Eventually the beating must have finished. Were you taken back to
23 your cells?
24 A. Yes, I was taken back to the cell. This was perhaps at 3.00 a.m.
25 And I just kept thinking when they were going to come and get me the next
1 day to hang me. In the morning, I asked for Simo to see me, to talk to
2 him, to try to get him to save me from being hanged.
3 Q. How did you go about trying to get to see him? What actions did
4 you take?
5 A. I reported to the duty officer and asked for Simo to see me, to
6 talk to him. The duty officer conveyed this. And then after a while,
7 perhaps after about an hour, Simo called me to come upstairs to talk to
9 Q. Who is the duty officer and where was the duty officer to be
11 A. It was a guard in front of the door. It wasn't a police duty
12 officer. We would tell him what we needed, and then he would convey it.
13 I don't remember his name. I think that he was from Obudovac. It's a
14 village near Samac.
15 Q. Were you taken to Mr. Zaric's office?
16 A. Yes, they took me to the office. I sat down in his office. We
17 talked about the events of the night before, the beating. He was against
18 that as well. He said -- if I can talk about what happened next, but I
19 don't want to exceed the limits of the question. I know that when they
20 said that they would come and get me at 11.00, I was in that office and I
21 could see Lugar coming in a yellow Golf vehicle and I could see him
22 speeding. And then about 30 metres before the police station, he started
23 braking, and he was braking so hard that everyone in the police station
24 could hear the sound of that braking. He stopped in front of the police
25 station. I saw him enter the police station. And then I heard from the
1 others that he went inside and he asked for me. And when he didn't find
2 me in the cell, he crossed over to the TO headquarters.
3 Then he killed a Croat from Slavonja whose name was Dikan, and we
4 heard that shot upstairs. And then Simo asked the duty officer to make a
5 report about what happened, and the officer on duty that said Lugar had
6 killed this man Dikan. And Simo started cursing. He called Blagoje
7 Simic, and I know that he got him on the line, and he said, "That fool
8 killed a man." I don't know what Blagoje's response was, but I could see
9 Simo then saying, "Well, 50 people saw it." So I concluded then that
10 Blagoje had asked whether anyone had seen it.
11 And then he asked where Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic was, and
12 Blagoje said that he was around. They were in Utva, on some kind of visit
13 to Samac, and that then he was going to see Blagoje, as the president of
14 the municipality, and they were going to go to lunch. And then Simo said
15 that he wanted to see the lieutenant colonel, and he called for Miroslav
16 Tadic to come, who was sort of -- who was his assistant, some kind of a
17 person who usually accompanied him. And then Miroslav Tadic came and they
18 went to Utva, I think, in a car to talk to Nikolic.
19 Afterwards, Simo came and said, "The army will come to take you
20 out of Samac." We didn't know where we would be taken or how. Then they
21 took me to a different room upstairs.
22 Q. Thank you, if I can ask you to pause there. Do you know a
23 gentleman named Ibrahim Salkic?
24 A. Yes, I know the man. I know a man named Ibrahim Salkic.
25 Q. Was he in custody?
1 A. Yes. He was in custody at the TO headquarters together with me.
2 Q. Was he in custody on the day of this episode that you have just
3 described where Dikan was killed?
4 A. Before Dikan was killed, Lugar took Salkic to the TO headquarters
5 courtyard and beat him there. And we saw him. Simo and I saw that. We
6 saw him beating him. And we see him jumping up from these blows and
8 Q. Just slow it down. I want to ask you a few more detailed
9 questions about this. Is it -- as I read your evidence, is it your
10 position that this beating of Mr. Salkic took place at around the same
11 time as this -- the killing of Dikan?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did it precede it, or did it follow it?
14 A. I think that Salkic was beaten by him first and that then he
15 killed the other man.
16 Q. Where were you when you saw Salkic being beaten?
17 A. I was in Simo's office, and you can see the yard of the TO
18 headquarters quite well from the window there.
19 Q. You've described him - I should say Lugar - arriving with a squeal
20 of wheels.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Presumably, the beating of Salkic followed upon that. Is that
24 A. Yes, soon after that.
25 Q. Were you seated when you saw this, or were you standing at the
2 A. I was standing by the window, because I was watching him through
3 the window, expecting him to come up to me. I was afraid that they would
4 come up to Simo and ask for me so that they could beat me too.
5 Q. Thank you. Where was Simo Zaric when you were standing at the
7 A. He was in that office. I think that at one moment, he stood there
8 watching what was going on too, Salkic's beating. He saw that.
9 Q. Thank you. Just pause for a moment, think back. At the time that
10 were you standing at the window looking at the events that you could see
11 in the courtyard, tell the Chamber what you looked like. I want the
12 Chamber to get an idea of what appearance you had.
13 A. I already said that I had been beaten the previous night. I
14 probably washed my face, washed the blood off in the morning. I must have
15 looked exhausted, tired, perhaps with some bruises. I don't know. But I
16 think that the blood had been removed.
17 Q. Had you changed your clothes at all?
18 A. No, no. There was no possibility for me to change. I always wore
19 the same clothes. From the moment I got into the camp until the moment I
20 left, I always wore the same clothes.
21 Q. Thank you. Let's get back to the events that you observed. How
22 long did the beating of Salkic last?
23 A. Well, perhaps about 15 minutes, 20, something like that. It seems
24 to me that Lugar beat him with some kind of a stick, about a metre long.
25 It was not a police truncheon.
1 Q. Did you comment on what was going on, or did Simo Zaric comment on
2 what was going on?
3 A. Yes. Of course I was protesting there, and Simo was also
4 condemning the fact that this was taking place.
5 Q. The beating finished. What did Lugar do?
6 A. Lugar then walked in, I guess. That's what the other inmates told
7 me. Of course, I only heard the gunshot. However, from the others who
8 were present there, I heard that on the previous day he had beaten that
9 man Dikan and that Dikan lay there unconscious. And this time, when Lugar
10 came, he put his ear down by his head to see whether he was still
11 breathing, and then when he realised that he still was breathing, then he
12 took his pistol out and shot him. That's what the other people had told
14 Q. Who was this man, Dikan? Did you know him?
15 A. I did not know him. Perhaps by sight. They say that he is from
16 Slavonski Samac, that he often came to Samac, and that people knew him.
17 He liked to be in -- he liked to hang around in restaurants and cafes.
18 And that evening he was in a restaurant that had been raided and all the
19 Muslims were taken in, and since he was a Croat, he was taken in too.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me? I just want
21 to look at a previous portion of the transcript. Thank you.
22 Q. Now, your original objective in -- as I understand your evidence,
23 was to get out of the cell and avoid being hung. That was your fear, as I
24 understand your evidence.
25 A. Yes. When I got there, I told Simo what they had told me, that
1 they wanted to hang me. And that's why I went up to see him. I felt
2 safer there.
3 Q. Did he provide any solace?
4 A. Well, he said that he would do his best, that he would take all
5 measures to get us out of this camp. He saw what the situation was. He
6 saw how we were all beaten up. And he promised that he would do that
7 through the JNA. And that's what he did. In the afternoon, a captain
8 named Petrovic came - and I know that with Simo and Stevan Todorovic, and
9 I don't know who else - he made a list of persons who would be taken away
10 from there. This took a long time. I know that this went into the
11 night. And one moment towards the end, Simo came to see me. I was in a
12 room over there in the dark, and he said, "I did it. You're on this list
13 too. You'll get out of the camp. You're going with the military." And
14 he expressed his pleasure over the fact that things were that way. He
15 hugged me. He kissed me.
16 Perhaps about ten minutes later, Stiv also came and he said that
17 he was giving me yet another chance, "You'll get out now." He said,
18 "You're going with the military." But he was putting it as if it were
19 his merit. But I knew that it had not been his doing, but let it be.
20 Then trucks came. But all this time those members of the special
21 units were no longer there. When there was the first talk concerning our
22 departure to Brcko, ever since the killing of this Dikan, they were not
23 there. At least I didn't hear that they were at the police station. And
24 then they called out our names and surnames. We got onto these trucks.
25 At any rate, we all got into the trucks, and perhaps six or seven of them
1 had stayed back. I think that Izet Izetbegovic was among them. He stayed
2 there. And also Luka Gregurevic, a policeman who is deceased now, he was
3 there too.
4 Q. I'll ask you just to pause there. You say that -- earlier in this
5 answer, you told the Chamber that Simo Zaric and Stevan Todorovic and
6 possibly someone else made a list of persons who would be taken away. How
7 do you know that they made such a list? Why do you say that?
8 A. Opposite the office where I was detained, there was an office
9 where Mihajlo Topolovac, the former commander, worked, and it was he who
10 dictated this list. And I saw when people came to see him. And he would
11 also go to this other room where Todorovic and Simo Zaric were, and also
12 this Petrovic. So Simo and Todorovic came to see me. And I realised on
13 the basis of what they said, they were the ones who were making these
14 lists. They made these lists and they said, "You'll get out, and the JNA
15 will take you," things like that.
16 Q. When did you have an opportunity to see the former commander who
17 dictated the list at work, preparing that list? When did you have an
18 opportunity to see that?
19 A. The former commander of the police station, Mihajlo Topolovac, I
20 saw him because he -- I was in the office opposite his, and the two of us
21 knew each other personally, in every possible way. And I went there to
22 see Topolovac, and he said, "Do not spend much time here. Go elsewhere.
23 Somebody might see you here." And I think that he also asked me about
24 something because they were taking down people's details and whatever. So
25 I think he asked me about some of my personal details.
1 Q. You've described an episode where you were in Mr. Zaric's office
2 and you saw Ibrahim Salkic beaten and you heard the gunshot in which Dikan
3 was killed. What I want to know, was it on this occasion that you spoke
4 -- you saw Topolovic [sic], or was it on another occasion? That's all I
5 want to know.
6 A. Topolovac. Topolovac; I saw him. I saw him in the afternoon that
7 day; that is to say, after the killing, after the beating. Perhaps he had
8 been in the building, but that's when I first saw him. I first saw him in
9 the afternoon.
10 Q. Okay. How long were you in the office of Mr. Zaric, or at least
11 in the police station, on this occasion when you -- when Dikan was
12 killed? Was it a whole afternoon, a matter of half an hour, an hour?
13 Tell us, please.
14 A. I was in Simo's office perhaps in the morning at 10.00 and then
15 until the moment when Simo went to talk to Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic.
16 Perhaps it was until 2.00. I don't know. Until 2.00 in the afternoon,
17 something like that.
18 Q. Was it during this period of time that you saw Topolovac engaged
19 in his work?
20 A. You know, I was in the office. I didn't go out anywhere. I can't
21 remember. But what I do know is that he was there in the afternoon.
22 Q. Were you taken back to the cells before you were loaded onto the
24 A. No. Directly from the upstairs floor where I had been, I was
25 taken to the truck, because they were calling out people's names. They
1 called out my name, and then I left. I did not go back to the cell.
2 Q. Were people being put onto the truck from both the police station
3 and from the TO? Were they assembling towards the truck from those two
5 A. Yes. Yes. They were brought in a line, and the people were
6 brought from the TO. Then their names were being called out, and they
7 boarded the truck one by one.
8 Q. Were you guarded?
9 A. Where I was that day in the afternoon, there was a young man in
10 the hallway. But it's not that he was guarding me, particularly. I think
11 his name was --
12 Q. Sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Tihic. I meant when you were on the
13 truck and being transported to Brcko. I'm now concentrating on that.
14 A. Yes. Yes. That was the army that took over, and they transported
15 us. The military police was there.
16 Q. How long does it take to get to Brcko?
17 A. Well, Brcko is about 55 kilometres away from Samac. Perhaps we
18 travelled for about an hour by this truck, perhaps a bit more. And we
19 didn't know where we were going then, and later on we saw that this was
20 the JNA barracks at Brcko.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I want to at this point ask
22 Mr. Tihic to point out the location of Brcko, and to do so I would like to
23 use the large Times map of the former Yugoslavia. Perhaps that could be
24 placed on the easel. I've got copies in black and white of this
25 particular map. I'm sure it's a map that would be familiar to many people
1 in the courtroom. I'm going to seek to tender the large map that we see
2 on the easel into evidence, and I'd ask that it be provided with an
3 exhibit number. And I can also provide the copies if the Chamber feels
4 that it's appropriate.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. What is the title of the map? What is the map
7 MR. DI FAZIO: The title, for the purposes of the exhibit --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: The proceedings, yes.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: -- and the proceedings will be "The Times map of
10 the Balkans." Is that sufficient for descriptive purposes?
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have the number, please?
12 THE REGISTRAR: The Times map of the Balkans shall be marked for
13 the record as Prosecutor Exhibit P15.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: It's big. Unfortunately, it's not quite as big as
15 I hoped, but I'll have copies there. In fact, perhaps I might also refer
16 to Exhibit P12, which is a small map of the area around Bosanski Samac,
17 Exhibit P12, and that would be better suited for use on the ELMO, which
18 might actually be better than The Times map which I've just tendered into
19 evidence. So perhaps if P12 could be provided. I have a copy here which
20 can be placed upon the ELMO.
21 Q. Just point out for the benefit of the Court where Brcko appears.
22 A. [Indicates]
23 Q. Thank you. How long did this trip take to Brcko?
24 A. Perhaps an hour, an hour or so. It's about 55 kilometres.
25 Q. How many trucks? Was it just one, or were there more?
1 A. There were more.
2 Q. Where were you taken to in Brcko?
3 A. They took us to the JNA barracks.
4 Q. Where is that in Brcko? Is that in the central part of the town?
5 Is it on the outskirts of the town? Do you know?
6 A. It's on the outskirts of town.
7 Q. Do you know a gentleman named Dragan Lukac?
8 A. Yes.
20 [redacted] He was all bruised, all
21 over his legs, his body, his head. I think that he was beaten more than
22 anybody else.
23 Q. Just tell the Court how long you remained in Brcko.
24 A. We remained in Brcko perhaps for about five or six days, something
25 like that, and they didn't beat us there.
1 Q. We'll get on to events in Brcko in just a moment. Where were you
2 taken from Brcko?
3 A. From Brcko, they took us to the JNA barracks in Bijeljina on the
4 1st of May, when the bridge was destroyed. The name of the barracks is
5 Fadil Jahic Spanac.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. -- I see Mr. Pantelic on his feet.
7 MR. PANTELIC: I think that the witness said that Brcko, town
8 Brcko, was attacked, and I cannot see on the transcript this expression.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Perhaps the Prosecutor can clear that with the
11 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
12 Q. Mr. Tihic, you heard the issue raised by Mr. Pantelic. Did you in
13 fact mention anything about an attack on Brcko?
14 A. On the 1st of May, the Yugoslav People's Army attacked Brcko and
15 the other units. And on that day, because of that state of war in Brcko,
16 they transferred us to Bijeljina.
17 Q. Can you tell us now of the conditions that existed at Brcko, the
18 conditions under which you were incarcerated?
19 A. When we arrived in Brcko, there was a regular procedure involved.
20 The military policemen frisked us. Then they put us into the cells of the
21 military prison. There were iron bars on these cells. Three or four of
22 us, [redacted], were put in a room separate from the other
23 detainees. They handcuffed us, and we were some kind of extremists. And
24 then they kept us there for one night and we had to sleep with handcuffs
25 on. The next day they transferred us, together with the other prisoners,
1 to these cells.
2 Nobody beat us there in Brcko. The military policemen were saying
3 that they were ready to beat us, they had prepared themselves for that,
4 but when they saw what we looked like, they felt sorry for us and they
5 didn't beat us. There was food. They brought it. And also there was a
6 doctor who came and examined people, things like that, because a lot of
7 people had been hurt and these wounds had to be healed in a way, things
8 like that.
9 Q. Did you have an opportunity to observe military men either
10 guarding you or in and around the barracks?
11 A. Yes. Inside we were guarded by soldiers of the JNA. That was the
12 military police. The Red Berets came up too. I know they would come to
13 the door and then they would swear at us, saying that they would slaughter
14 us, things like that. I also saw them in the barracks. But these
15 policemen did not let them beat us. The military policemen did not let
16 them beat us.
17 Q. Just explain to the Chamber who you understood the Red Berets to
18 be and why you had that understanding.
19 A. Well, my understanding was then that these were some special units
20 that in a way are part of the army but, on the other hand, have their own
21 freedom to act. For dirty jobs, so to speak, that's what they were used
22 for: when a certain area had to be mopped up, when people were supposed to
23 be intimidated, things like that. Since ordinary soldiers could not do
24 that, they could not simply kill people, rape them, et cetera. Then they
25 would rush in, do it for them, and then the army would move in to an area
1 that had already been taken care of.
2 Q. Did these Red Berets have any apparent leader?
3 A. I could not notice that.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: We have to take our break, Counsel.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. There is just a matter -- that's an
6 appropriate point.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: You can answer.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: But there is a matter that I want to raise just
9 briefly with Your Honours before we break.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: There was an objection earlier, and I didn't raise
12 it at that point because I think Your Honour was keen for me to press on.
13 There was an objection earlier to this witness changing something, a
14 portion of his evidence, the name of a factory, and I didn't say anything
15 about that. I think the witness might have had an opportunity of hearing
16 that. In my submission, the witness is not only permitted to change his
17 evidence if he wishes to do so but is also obliged to do so, because he's
18 duty-bound to try to provide to the Court as many details, as many honest
19 details, as he can. If his memory tells him that he gave some misleading
20 evidence to the Chamber yesterday, then he is to be commended and
21 encouraged to come along the following day and to set matters right with
22 the Tribunal, and I don't want him to be inhibited or feel that he
23 shouldn't be able to do so. And so that's what I wanted to raise with the
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, that is the correct approach.
1 So we shall take our break and resume at 11.30 hours.
2 --- Recess taken at 11.04 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.38 a.m.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, the Prosecution is continuing.
5 JUDGE SINGH: Mr. di Fazio, just before we start, I don't believe
6 we have the witness's date of birth. Could we have that, please?
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
8 Q. Mr. Tihic, can you provide the Chamber with your date of birth,
10 A. November 26th, 1951, in Bosanski Samac.
11 Q. I'm still dealing now with the period of time at which you were at
12 Brcko. During that time, did you see any of the defendants?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Who was that?
15 A. I saw Simo Zaric for sure. As for the rest, I don't know. I saw
16 Simo Zaric for sure, but I'm not certain about the others.
17 Q. Under what circumstances did you see Simo Zaric?
18 A. Simo came with Captain Petrovic. I think Lazar Stanisic was with
19 them, also Fadil Topcagic. I remember that they talked to us through the
20 door. And I know that Petrovic told to me -- told me about the barricades
21 that were put up and said that I had organised that, and I told him that I
22 did not. And he said, "Okay. Simo believes that you didn't do it, so
23 let's leave it at that." That time, when they came, I don't remember
24 exactly who it was or whether it was Lazar Stanisic or Fadil said that we
25 should be released around the 1st of May.
1 Q. Thank you. Earlier this week, I believe, you gave evidence about
2 an episode involving barricades in Bosanski Samac. Did you understand
3 this reference by Fadil Topcagic to be a reference to that episode that
4 you described earlier in your evidence?
5 A. Fadil Topcagic talked at the TO headquarters for the first time
6 about the possibility of our being -- of us being released. The second
7 time, Fadil talked about the possibility of our release on May 1st at the
8 barracks in Brcko.
9 Q. Up until this point, had you been informed by anyone -- I'm not
10 talking about what you concluded from interrogations, but had you been
11 informed, told, by anyone why you were being kept in custody?
12 A. We were never specifically charged with anything. We never
13 received any kind of detention order. On one occasion, at the barracks in
14 Brcko, Simo did say that several of us were political prisoners. He
15 mentioned me and Kadic [phoen], Franjo, and another person. And he said
16 this not as if we were going to receive any kind of order about that, but
17 he just said that during a conversation, that five or six of us were
18 political prisoners and the others were just regular; probably meaning
19 that they were less responsible or not responsible at all.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I see counsel, Defence counsel, on his feet.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have objection to
22 the transcript. As far as I remember, the witness said the name Lukac,
23 and I don't see his name in the transcript.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, perhaps counsel can correct that with the
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I'm grateful to my learned friend.
2 Q. Earlier when you were describing the -- who Simo Zaric identified
3 as political prisoners, you mentioned some names. Did you also mention
4 the name of Lukac?
5 A. Yes, the name of Dragan Lukac.
6 Q. Can you identify the occasion when Simo Zaric mentioned this issue
7 of your status as political prisoners? Was it during an interrogation?
8 Was it an offhand remark in your cell? Can you give us more details of
9 this occasion?
10 A. This happened in the JNA barracks in Brcko, because Simo,
11 Petrovic -- Captain Petrovic, Stanisic, and Topcagic were on one side of
12 the prisoner bars and we were on the other side. And there was talk about
13 us being released on May 1st, even on the day itself, May 1st, and Simo
14 mentioned this to all of us. He said that several of us were political
15 prisoners at Brcko.
16 Q. Did you ever seek details as to -- let me phrase my question,
17 please. Did you ever seek details as to what aspect of your political
18 views or political activities had caused you to acquire this status of
19 political prisoner?
20 A. No, I didn't ask, and I didn't have the opportunity to ask
21 something like that. I don't know whether Simo came again after that.
22 And also, that was probably one of the reasons why I never asked.
23 Q. Is it your position, then, that you saw Mr. Zaric only on one
24 occasion at Brcko, or were there more occasions, other than this episode
25 when you were spoken to through the bars and your status as political
1 prisoner was raised?
2 A. I'm sure that he came once. It's possible that he came again, but
3 I'm sure about this one time that he came.
4 Q. I think earlier you said that you were eventually taken to
5 Bijeljina. Before you were taken to Bijeljina, before, were you removed
6 at any time from those barracks?
7 A. At one time we were called by the prison warden. He was a
8 captain. He was bald. His hand was in a plaster cast. He was injured.
9 He said that several of us had to go to Bosanski Samac to give a statement
10 for television. And shortly after that, they got us ready, myself and
11 Safet Hadzialijagic, Omer Nalic. We sat in the pinzgauer vehicle, and
12 they took us to Bosanski Samac, and Izet Izetbegovic was waiting for us
13 there. They also wanted him to appear in that television programme.
14 Q. Where were you taken first when you arrived in the town of
15 Bosanski Samac?
16 A. First they took us to Omer Nalic's house, where his wife was, and
17 we had a bath there. They told us to have a bath. And Fadil Topcagic --
18 Q. Just pause there. How long had it been since you had had a bath?
19 A. Since the 18th. And let's say this was the 29th. I'm not sure
20 exactly what date it was.
21 Q. What clothes were you wearing? I mean by that, when you were en
22 route to Bosanski Samac, what were you wearing?
23 A. I was wearing the clothes that I was detained in. And then when
24 we came to Samac, we stopped in front of the SUP building, and Fadil
25 Topcagic took a van or a car and they took us to the apartment, to the
1 flat of Omer Nalic, where we had a bath. His wife was there. She was
2 crying. She was looking at us when we took our clothes off. We were full
3 of bruises. After that, Fadil drove me to my house, where I found another
4 suit, and I put it on so that I would look better and neater on
6 Q. Whose idea was it that you put on a suit in order to look neater
7 and better? Was it your idea or was it someone else's?
8 A. They told me that I needed to go home and change. The clothes
9 that I was wearing were creased, blood-stained, and I wanted to change
10 anyway. I didn't feel comfortable wearing the same clothes for 10 or 12
12 Q. You cleaned up, changed clothes. Then what happened?
13 A. Then they took us back to the police station again. I know that I
14 was in one office first with Vlado Sarkanovic. Simo Krunic was there. I
15 know him from my street. And we were waiting for them to call us out for
16 the taping. Fadil even brought something for us to eat. They were saying
17 that this should stop now, that things would be better. They introduced a
18 note of optimism.
19 Q. Fadil who?
20 A. Fadil Topcagic.
21 Q. Were you eventually interviewed?
22 A. Yes. An interview was taped in the office where Simo Zaric
23 worked. That's where it took place.
24 Q. Who was present?
25 A. There was a journalist from TV Novi Sad. I found out Simo was
1 there, Simo Zaric, who was asking the questions. Stevan Todorovic was
2 there. At one point, Crni came in and said that they should bring me
3 downstairs after the taping because he wanted to talk to me, so that I
4 could tell him something about the shelling of Slavonia and Samac. So the
5 interview was taped. There were questions. I know that when the
6 interview was finished, when Simo finished with his questions, Stevan
7 Todorovic asked that I say that we were not beaten by the Serb police. So
8 the journalist put that question to me later, and I said that they did not
9 beat us, because I wasn't in a position to --
10 Q. Can I just ask you to pause there? First of all, where is Novi
12 A. Novi Sad is in Yugoslavia, in Voyvodina.
13 Q. Can you just point it out to the Chamber? Could you just stand up
14 and point it out on the Times map, the location of Novi Sad? Is it in
15 the --
16 A. [Indicates]
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters cannot hear the witness.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: I think the Chamber saw where the location of the
19 town is.
20 Q. Is it in Serbia?
21 A. Yes. It's in Serbia, in the Autonomous Province of Voyvodina,
22 which is in Yugoslavia.
23 Q. Thank you. I need some other details. You say that Todorovic
24 asked that you say that you were not beaten by Serb police. When he asked
25 that, where was Simo Zaric?
1 A. He was in the same room, and, you know, I stated that I wasn't
2 beaten by the Serbian police.
3 Q. When Crni came in and asked that they should take you downstairs
4 because he wanted to talk to you, do you know if Simo Zaric was present?
5 A. Simo was sitting there. He just opened the door and maybe just
6 stepped inside the room. He didn't come into the room. And he said
7 loudly that they needed to bring me downstairs so that I could name some
8 names of Muslims who are allegedly providing the coordinates to the Croats
9 to fire at the agricultural estate. And I said that I -- "I don't know
10 anybody." And he said, "Well, you'll come downstairs."
11 Q. How did you feel about that, being told that Crni wanted to speak
12 to you?
13 A. Of course I was frightened because I knew what that meant, what it
14 meant to go downstairs, to him and his -- I mean, there was no question of
15 that being a conversation. It was being beaten up. There was no
16 conversation. So that during the whole of the interview, I was afraid
17 because I had to go downstairs.
18 Q. Was Simo Zaric present throughout the interview?
19 A. Yes. Yes, he was present.
20 Q. Did he participate in it? By that, I mean asking questions.
21 A. He was an anchor, let's say, of that programme. I think he was
22 wearing a uniform.
23 Q. Was there any ammunition or weapons or bombs or anything like that
24 on display in the room?
25 A. No. No. That wasn't there.
1 Q. You've, I think, mentioned earlier in your evidence a gentleman
2 named Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic.
3 A. Yes. Yes, I mentioned him several times.
4 Q. Did you see him during the day that you were interviewed, on this
6 A. No, I did not.
7 Q. Did you see any other prisoners who apparently participated in
8 interview -- in the interview?
9 A. Yes. I saw the people that I mentioned who came with me from
10 Brcko. And I also saw Izet Izetbegovic, who stayed in Samac when we were
11 taken to Brcko. And I saw Toto [Realtime transcript read in
12 error "Todorovic"] Ramusovic called Nizan, and I saw that he also gave a
13 statement. But he wasn't an inmate. He was a member of the 4th
15 Q. Thank you.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Counsel?
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Again, we have a transcript
18 objection. Here it said "Todorovic," and this would probably indicate
19 Stevan Todorovic, but I believe --
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Which line?
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Just one second. It's line 21.
22 And I believe that the witness was speaking about the nickname Toto.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Perhaps Prosecution counsel can clear that
24 with the witness.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. You mentioned Todorovic in reference to a gentleman named
2 Ramusovic. First of all, was that Stevan Todorovic?
3 A. When I said -- when I mentioned Nizan Ramusovic, called Toto, I
4 meant by that name the person that I saw in the corridor of the police
5 station. That person wasn't in the office where the taping was being
6 done. Stevan Todorovic, on the other hand, was the chief of police, who
7 was in the office at the time of the taping. They are two different
9 Q. Thank you. I want to show you now a video.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: For the benefit of the Defence, they will -- they
11 will know this video as V1 on the list of exhibits, entitled, "Genocide in
12 Bosanski Samac," and I can provide -- indeed, I think transcripts have
13 been provided to the Chamber and to Defence counsel.
14 If Your Honours please, may I just tell you how I propose to deal
15 with this evidence? It's a longish interview and depicts a number of
16 people. I don't propose to play it all from beginning to end now but
17 rather to fast-forward my way through it until I get to points at which I
18 wish to stop and ask the witness questions about that. I do so because,
19 A, we will have the transcript and we can look at the transcript and
20 gather what we need from that transcript and make submissions on it at a
21 later stage, if necessary, and, B, because of the time constraints, I want
22 to get the matter moving as quickly as I can. Unless there is objections,
23 I indicate that that's what I will proceed to do.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I see no objections. Can we have the number
25 for the footage and the transcript, please.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, if I may just ask: Should separate
2 numbers be given to the transcript and the videotape, or are they one
4 JUDGE MUMBA: One and then slash, whether it's ter or /1, /A.
5 That's up to you. You use your system.
6 THE REGISTRAR: The videotape shall be marked for the record as
7 Prosecutor's Exhibit P16, and the transcript shall be - which I believe is
8 English - shall be marked for the record as P16A.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: And the Serbo-Croat transcript?
10 THE REGISTRAR: The Serbo-Croat transcript shall be marked for the
11 record as P16A ter.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me. I want to
13 ask a question of my colleague.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
16 Q. Mr. Tihic, I want to show you excerpts from this particular
18 MR. DI FAZIO: And I would ask that the gentleman in the technical
19 room now play it at the beginning.
20 [Videotape played]
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Stop there, please.
22 Q. Do you see that gentleman displayed on the screen now, Mr. Tihic?
23 A. Yes, I do see him.
24 Q. Who is that?
25 A. That is Lieutenant Colonel Stefan Nikolic. It says so here too,
1 but even without that, I would have recognised him.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
3 Please fast-forward again.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Pause there, please.
6 Q. Do you recognise any of those women? If you don't, just say so.
7 A. These are women from Samac. I know them by sight. I think that
8 this one is Gordana.
9 Q. Which one? The one on the left or the one on the right?
10 A. On my left-hand side. Gordana, I think.
11 Q. Do you know their ethnic backgrounds? If you don't know, just say
13 A. I'm not sure. Gordana can be either a Serb or a Croat. I'm not
14 sure. And I think the one next to her is a Muslim, I think.
15 Q. Are they Bosanski Samac residents? Perhaps I should ask: Were
16 they Bosanski Samac residents back in April of 1992?
17 A. Yes, they were.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
19 Please fast-forward.
20 [Videotape played]
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Stop there, please.
22 Q. Who is the gentleman on the right?
23 A. On my right, you mean? On my right-hand side is the journalist,
24 and on the left-hand side is Simo Zaric. So the journalist is on the
25 right and Simo Zaric is on the left, from my point of view. That's the
1 white ribbon I was telling you about.
2 Q. Thanks.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Could we now just progress at normal speed for a
4 while, with volume.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters please have a reference
6 to the transcript page.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Perhaps if it could be stopped there. I don't
8 intend to play it at this stage. Finding it on the transcript at this
9 point would be rather difficult.
10 Q. The gentleman apparently holding the microphone is, or appears to
11 be, an interviewer. Can you say if he's the man who interviewed you?
12 A. You see, this is a journalist from TV Novi Sad. But I think that
13 Simo talked to me and the journalist. I think that the recording will
14 show what actually took place. I simply can't remember now. Or he took
15 part in the preparation of the interview and then I thought it was Simo
16 who carried out the interview. You see, I just don't know.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Would you fast-forward again, please.
18 [Videotape played]
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Stop there, please.
20 Q. A number of documents have come up on the screen, some showing
21 typewritten lists, the one that we see before us now a handwritten list.
22 Were you shown any such lists or given any such lists to comment on during
23 the interview?
24 A. I don't know now whether this was shown to me while the interview
25 was being prepared. There were some papers. I don't know if it was this
1 precisely or something else. I'm not sure.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
3 Please fast-forward.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Please stop there.
6 Q. Who is that gentleman? Do you know?
7 A. That is precisely the person I mentioned a while ago, Nizan
8 Ramusovic, nicknamed Tota.
9 Q. I think you mentioned earlier in your evidence - and I'm sure
10 Defence counsel will correct me if I'm wrong in this - but some days ago
11 you mentioned in your evidence an episode between the members of the 4th
12 Detachment and police in which there was a shoot-out of some sort and some
13 people were wounded. Is this man that we see on the screen one of the men
14 who was wounded, or can't you say?
15 A. Yes, he was wounded in that shoot-out.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
17 Please fast-forward.
18 [Videotape played]
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Stop -- could we go back to that depiction of a
21 Q. Do you recognise that photograph at all? Have you got any idea
22 who that person might be?
23 A. Yes. This person, as it says here, is Esad Visnjic. He was
24 detained together with me over there at the MUP. I know that he said that
25 he was on a train and when the bridge went down he happened to be at the
1 railway station; and that's why they arrested him, simply because of his
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Could we just continue into the next
5 [Videotape played]
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Could we stop there.
7 Q. I want you to tell the Chamber, if you can, Mr. Tihic, if the
8 ribbon on the shoulder -- whether you had seen it like that on previous
9 occasions, just apparently hooked through an epaulette on the shoulder and
10 just hanging down loosely. Is that the manner in which you had seen it
12 A. Yes. Yes. That day when I saw Simo at the SUP, that's when I saw
13 this, the first day.
14 Q. Thanks.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Fast-forward again, please.
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Stop there, please.
18 Q. Who is that man?
19 A. Omer Nalic, a prisoner who was with me. He came from Brcko. He
20 wore glasses. He had bruises, I know, underneath, so he put glasses on so
21 that it couldn't be seen.
22 Q. I take it he didn't have sunglasses in Brcko.
23 A. No. He couldn't have. They did not -- they did not allow things
24 like that to be kept in camp.
25 Q. What about the clothes he's wearing? Was that what he was wearing
1 in Brcko?
2 A. I think that Omer also changed at his house, or rather, his
3 apartment. I'm not sure. I think he changed, of course.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
5 Could we please fast-forward again?
6 [Videotape played]
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Stop there.
8 Q. Who is the gentleman in the camouflage uniform, with the white
10 A. On the left-hand side is Simo.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
12 Please continue.
13 [Videotape played]
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Stop there, please. In fact, could we just scroll
15 or rewind to the point where you can see the writing on the screen? Stop
16 there, please.
17 Q. What's the writing on the screen say?
18 A. It says, "Safet Hadzialijagic, nicknamed Coner, member of the
19 military staff of the SDA for Bosanski Samac."
20 Q. And is that in fact Safet Hadzialijagic?
21 A. Hadzialijagic, yes.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
23 Yes, please continue.
24 [Videotape played]
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Stop there, please.
1 Q. I don't think anyone will object if I suggest that's you. Can you
2 tell us what the writing on the screen says?
3 A. It says, "Sulejman Tihic, lawyer, President of the SDA for
4 Bosanski Samac, and member of the administration board of the SDA."
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
6 [Videotape played]
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Could we just pause it, please? Would Your Honours
8 just bear with me for a moment?
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic?
10 MR. PANTELIC: Maybe I'm not so sure about this particular term.
11 Maybe it will be more appropriate to say "executive board of SDA," not
12 "administrative." I mean, maybe it's an issue of the translation. Of
13 course, I'm not a professional, just a suggestion.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Counsel will correct that with -- or will clear that
15 with the witness.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
17 Q. Just referring to what we saw previously on the screen that you
18 read out, was the writing a reference to an administrative board or an
19 executive board?
20 A. What it said here on TV was a mistake, saying "administrative
21 board." It was supposed to say "main board of the SDA," that being the
22 top -- the top body in the party. However, by no means is it executive
23 board. It does not say "executive." "Executive" would be an executive, a
24 government; whereas "administrative board" is also wrong. No way. But
25 that's what it said on the television.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: I'd just like to play a small portion of the -- of
2 this interview at this stage, if Your Honours please. For the purposes of
3 the interpreters and for Defence counsel, and for the purposes of the
4 Chamber, I think you can pick it up on the document that we've given to
5 you at - again, looking at the top of the page for the ERN number - at the
6 page ending 640. I believe that's where it picks up this portion of the
8 So if the gentleman in the technical room could rewind the video
9 to the point where Mr. Tihic is introduced and starts to speak, I'd just
10 like to play it for a short period of time so that we can hear his voice
11 and play it at normal speed. Thank you.
12 [Videotape played]
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Defence counsel is on his feet.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we haven't got the text
15 in the original language at all, or rather, we cannot hear the soundtrack
16 at all. There is no sound whatsoever.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: It may mean changing channels. Can you just find
18 out, Prosecution counsel, please?
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Well, I've got channel 4 pressed and the
20 video evidence button pressed.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: I understand the technical people are looking at it
22 because it was previously not meant to be transmitted into the courtroom.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: I see. I do apologise for that.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: They will see what they can do so that we can get
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, perhaps for my purposes, I don't necessarily
2 have to actually have any sound. I just wanted to provide the Chamber
3 with an opportunity of just a better look at the face of Mr. Tihic because
4 I want to ask him some questions about his appearance.
5 So if we could just have a few more brief moments of normal
6 transmission of the videotape at normal speed, even without sound, so we
7 can all see Mr. Tihic's face? Thank you.
8 [Videotape played]
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Can I ask for the tape to be paused there? My
10 purposes have essentially been achieved now, and I'll be fast-forwarding
11 from this point onwards.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because the technical booth says that the
13 volume was so low, the recorded volume was so low, that it's difficult to
14 pick it up. I'm sure Defence counsel noticed that.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, I can proceed without it.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Okay.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: But if we could have the video back, please, such
18 that Mr. Tihic's face is depicted on the screen?
19 [Videotape played]
20 MR. DI FAZIO:
21 Q. Now, Mr. Tihic, you've had an opportunity of seeing yourself
22 depicted. Firstly, the clothes that you're wearing, are they the clothes
23 that you put on when you were taken to be cleaned up?
24 A. Yes. These are clean clothes that I put on at home.
25 Q. Now, look at your face. You have given evidence to the Chamber
1 that you were beaten, and severely beaten, on numerous occasions in the --
2 both the TO building in Bosanski Samac and the police station in Bosanski
3 Samac, although you've given evidence that you weren't beaten whilst in
4 Brcko. It is not apparent, to me at least, that you have any wounds or
5 anything like that on your face. Can you reconcile that apparent absence
6 with the evidence that you've given?
7 A. You know what? I was hit a lot with a truncheon on my head, and
8 my lips were cut and also my teeth were partially broken, so I have crowns
9 now. But you know what it means when somebody is not beaten four days?
10 The organism recovers amazingly. If anybody made me sign a statement that
11 I would be beaten every third day and not beaten in the meantime, I would
12 have signed it because it's amazing the extent to which you can recover.
13 In Brcko, nobody beat us, as I told you, and my face recovered in
14 some way. However, you'd have to see a bit of yellow here on the side,
15 because when a bruise heals, you can see a yellowish hue because first a
16 bruise is black or blue and then, as it fades, it turns yellow. And if
17 the quality of the picture were better, I think it could be seen.
18 Q. Thank you. I'd now like you to keep looking carefully at the
19 screen as we fast-forward further.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, please, if we could fast-forward.
21 [Videotape played]
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Can we stop there, please?
23 Q. We have just seen depiction of weapons and ammunition and bombs
24 and so on. Were they in the interview room?
25 A. No. No, they weren't.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Can we continue?
2 [Videotape played]
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Can we just pause there?
4 Q. Now, in the screen, we can see the apparent interviewer,
5 yourself. Was there anyone else in the room at about that time?
6 A. Looking at the image, Simo was on my right side, and behind the
7 journalist was Stevan Todorovic. So Simo Zaric was there, and Stevan
8 Todorovic, and of course the camera operator.
9 Q. Now, presumably you were asked questions and you gave your
10 answers. Were the answers given of your own free will?
11 A. You know, the journalist asked us whether we wanted to give a
12 statement. We said, in view of the circumstances we are in, yes, we said,
13 we did want to. But really we were forced to be there. We were brought
14 there against our will. And when I heard that we needed to go to Samac
15 from Brcko, I felt sick because I knew what could await me there. So it
16 wasn't because we wanted to be there of our own free will; we simply had
17 to. What would have happened if I had said I didn't want to? I could
18 have been beaten, and God knows what else could have happened. Crni was
19 there, Stevan Todorovic.
20 Q. What about the actual content of what you said? Were those freely
21 spoken words?
22 A. That statement, I tried to speak in such a way so as to satisfy
23 the people who were questioning us so that we wouldn't make them angry and
24 at the same time, as much as possible, not to say things which were
25 contrary to my convictions. I had to say that the Serb police did not
1 beat us, which is not true, and other things also. You're in detention,
2 so that does not really represent your own free will; so that the things
3 that you are saying, you have to adapt to the ears of those who are
4 interrogating you, and they happen to be the same people who also arrested
5 you. So it wasn't really an expression of my real thoughts, but I tried
6 to say something so that I wouldn't humiliate myself completely and that I
7 wouldn't say anything at all but that it is sufficient for the people who
8 were asking the questions for them to be satisfied and so as to avoid even
9 worse consequences after the interview, to avoid being beaten even more.
10 I was aware that if I had said something else, especially what I really
11 thought about the treatment in the camps, that that is something that the
12 television wouldn't even use. So I believed it was unnecessary to expose
13 myself to such a risk. I would say something and I would be beaten
14 because of it, or God knows what else, and they wouldn't end up
15 broadcasting it anyway.
16 You can see this coffee. They placed it in front of us, but
17 nobody really sipped it. It looked as if I were drinking the coffee, but
18 it just happened that way.
19 Q. You said that you were keen to avoid incurring any wrath or
20 anger. Did you make any -- did anyone -- sorry, did any of the people
21 present actually get angry with you at anything that you had said?
22 A. No, as far as I know. They did not.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Can we please continue by fast
25 [Videotape played]
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Just pausing there and going back further to show
2 the buildings.
3 Q. What's that building that we saw with the spire?
4 A. That's the mosque, the mosque in Bosanski Samac. And a moment ago
5 you could see the Catholic church.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Can we just rewind the tape.
7 [Videotape played]
8 A. The Orthodox church. This is the Orthodox church.
9 Q. I don't think you can actually see any Catholic church there, can
11 A. If you rewind it a little more --
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Could we do that?
13 [Videotape played]
14 A. -- you could see it. I saw it a moment ago on this side.
15 Yes, there it is. That's the Catholic church. Opposite from the
16 Orthodox church was the Catholic church.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Can we please fast-forward.
18 [Videotape played]
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Can we stop there, please.
20 Q. Now, another feature that is apparent from looking at the video
21 even when it's fast-forwarded is that you are gesticulating with your
22 hands and apparently participating in the -- well, gesticulating with your
23 hands. Was there any reason for that?
24 A. I have a habit of gesticulating with my hands when I'm speaking,
25 and that's what you can see here. This is just the way I am.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Please continue.
2 [Videotape played]
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Stop there, please.
4 Q. Can you recognise the gentleman in the dark glasses?
5 A. That is Izet Izetbegovic. He was also full of bruises. And he's
6 wearing glasses, but I think those are his glasses.
7 Q. Thank you. And what about the man in front of him? Is that an
9 A. Yes. Yes.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Can we please fast-forward.
11 [Videotape played]
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Can we just rewind that tape to the portion where
13 some writing appears on the screen of this gentleman's interview. Right.
14 Just that piece of writing that we can see there.
15 Q. What does that say, Mr. Tihic?
16 A. It says "Izet Izetbegovic, member of the Main Committee of the
17 SDA." But let's correct it. Once again, Izet Izetbegovic was not a
18 member of the Main Committee; he was the vice-president of the SDA for
19 Bosanski Samac, where I was the president.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Can we continue, please.
21 [Videotape played]
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Has the video been given an exhibit
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think it was P16, and then the English P16A,
25 and the B/C/S P16A ter.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I'm grateful to Your Honours.
2 Q. Obviously you've seen it now, but were you shown the programme or
3 the interview in which you participated at all in 1992?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When were you shown it?
6 A. Yes. Yes. I had the tape.
7 Q. How did you get it?
8 A. It was recorded by an acquaintance of mine, Ivo Kobas, and he gave
9 it to me sometime later, in 1995, because it was shown on TV Novi Sad and
10 he recorded it, and then he made a copy and he gave it to me.
11 Q. What did you do with the copy? Did you ever give it to anyone,
12 the copy that you got?
13 A. It's at home in Bosnia.
14 Q. Okay. Now, let's return to the day of the actual interview
15 itself. Did you see the interview or tape of the interview on the day
16 that you participated in it?
17 A. No, I didn't see it.
18 Q. Were you taken back to Brcko?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. When after the interview? That day? Days later?
21 A. That day I know they were in a hurry because they didn't want the
22 members of the special forces to appear, so it was all very, very speedy.
23 Q. Were you taken back to the Brcko barracks?
24 A. Yes, I was taken back to the barracks.
25 Q. Imprisoned again?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And how long did you remain at Brcko from that point onwards?
3 A. Maybe another two days.
4 Q. Was there any shelling or bombing in Brcko?
5 A. We heard a powerful detonation one morning which caused the
6 windows to shatter on the prison building, and it was so powerful that the
7 metal door opened and the guards started shouting, "Wait." Probably they
8 were thinking we were going to try to escape, but we didn't. And then we
9 heard shooting. They were bringing some people there, beating them.
10 Then sometime in the afternoon, at about 1.00 or 2.00 p.m., the
11 captain who was in charge of the prison called Lukac and myself and told
12 us that we should all get ready and that they would transfer us to
13 Bijeljina, because war had broken out in Brcko, and that was the reason
14 why we were being transferred. A bus stopped in front. We went into the
15 bus. I know that one person who was being beaten, who had been beaten,
16 was with us, and they just put him into the bus. But he wasn't all
17 there. He didn't seem normal.
18 Then on the road from Brcko to Bijeljina, we came to the barracks
19 in Bijeljina. The barracks was called Fadil Jahic Spanac. And then that
20 person who was from Brcko -- I didn't see it, but the others told me that
21 as soon as he came out of the bus, they shot him. And they took us first
22 upstairs and then later they took us to the gymnasium. And there, there
23 was a sort of combination. They both beat us, even though there were
24 officers there during whose shift they didn't permit anybody to beat us.
25 But there was also a person who hit me several times. He saw me wearing
1 my suit, and I looked like a gentleman to him, so he said, "What are you
2 doing here?" So that every time that he was on the shift, he would hit me
3 with his truncheon.
4 I was also beaten badly once in Bijeljina, when they took me to
5 clean the toilets. It's a squatting toilet, and it was very soiled, and I
6 had to clean that with my hands. He beat me. I fell, and I had to clean
7 everything up and make that horrible yellow mess white.
8 And they beat me for a hour or two until they called me to go back
9 to that area where the other inmates were. And when I went inside that
10 room, I could see five people with -- whose eyes were bound, and they told
11 me to stand there and they also bound my eyes. And they -- they
12 blindfolded me, and then soon they took us out of that room. We didn't
13 know where we were going. And I could hear the sound of the helicopter.
14 They brought -- they put us into the helicopter. There was a coffin there
15 with a cross on the lid of that coffin.
16 Q. Can I just ask you to pause there?
17 A. Izet Izetbegovic was there.
18 Q. First of all, where is Bijeljina?
19 A. Bijeljina is in Bosnia, and it's close to the border with Serbia.
20 I can show it on the map for you.
21 Q. Thank you. Please just indicate for the Chamber on the Times map
22 of the Balkans.
23 A. [Indicates]
24 Q. Thank you. So it appears to be on the border with Serbia?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The barracks that you've described, were there military men
2 guarding you and apparently walking around?
3 A. Yes. This was a barracks of the JNA, and there were military
4 officers there. There were regular members of the army. There were also
5 reserve forces, officers. There was even a Muslim among them, a person
6 called Saban, and when he was working, he wouldn't allow them to beat us.
7 Q. You've referred to soldiers called "specials." Were there any
8 such "specials" at Bijeljina, the barracks in Bijeljina?
9 A. There weren't any when we were there. There was a person there
10 who threatened us by saying, "Well, Arkan's men will come back and then you
11 will see," but they weren't there when we were there.
12 Q. About how long did you remain in Bijeljina?
13 A. I think we spent one or two nights there, two nights, and then we
14 were transferred by helicopter.
15 Q. About how many prisoners were there?
16 A. It was our whole group from Tuzla. We were all transferred to
17 Bijeljina. But only several of us were separated and placed in the
18 helicopter, while the others remained in the barracks.
19 Q. What about Bosanski Samac people? How many Bosanski Samac people
20 were in custody there?
21 A. Maybe there were about 50 people from Samac, but the people who
22 were taken into the helicopter were the so-called political inmates, that
24 Q. How do you know that -- what makes you say that those selected to
25 go in the helicopter were political inmates?
1 A. Those people were -- were the people that Simo called political
2 inmates at the barracks in Brcko. Dragan Lukac was there. He was the
3 chief of police. Anto Simovic was the director of the veterinary
4 station. Sejo Mujkanovic, he was a regular policeman. I was a lawyer,
5 President of the SDA. [redacted].
6 Q. You said you were there for a couple of days possibly and
7 eventually --
8 A. And Franjo Barukcic. He was the director of the steel works.
9 Q. Thank you. You said that you were present there for two nights
10 and then you were taken away by helicopter. Just tell us where you were
11 taken to by helicopter, and then I'll ask you some questions about the
13 A. They took us -- later on we found out that it was Batajnica, a
14 military airport near Belgrade in Serbia.
15 Q. Thanks. Just point out on the map where Batajnica is so that the
16 Chamber can see where this location is.
17 A. [indicates]
18 Q. May I just approach the map? Thank you.
19 A. Batajnica is a little bit above Belgrade.
20 Q. Thank you. Now, the trip itself in the helicopter, was it an army
22 A. Yes, it was a military helicopter.
23 Q. How many prisoners in it?
24 A. Besides us, the people I mentioned, we found three other people
25 there: Izet Izetbegovic, Dr. Miroslav Feracic, and Anto Dragicevic, all
1 from Bosanski Samac. He was the father of the former chief of police,
2 Mitar. Also in the chopper were also some of Arkan's men, and they were
3 wearing a certain type of cap. There was also a civilian. And later, in
4 Batajnica, I found out that he was in charge of security. He was a major
5 and he was in charge of security affairs.
6 And in the middle, there was that coffin with the cross on it.
7 And I think the name of that person who was in the coffin was Vuk, Vuk
8 Mirovic, something like that. The person in the cap kept wanting to throw
9 us outside, but the person in civilian clothes, the person I found out
10 later was in charge of security affairs, whom I got to know later in
11 Batajnica, said, "No, no, not now. We will do it later." We all were
12 handcuffed with steel handcuffs, so it would be enough to push one person
13 for all of us to go down.
14 Q. Thanks. Just tell us how long you remained in Batajnica and where
15 you were next taken. I just want to know the period of time in
17 A. I was in Batajnica from the 3rd to the 27th of May. There was a
18 lot of beating and mistreatment there also, all kinds of things. After
19 that, we were transferred, some of us. Izet Izetbegovic, I think it was
20 his birthday on the 25th, and that's when he was transferred to Pale for
21 exchange. Dragan Lukac, [redacted], and Franjo Barukcic and another
22 person were taken to Bosnia. Fadil Topcagic came to get them -- and, I
23 don't know, another policeman. And then the next day, the rest of us were
24 transferred on the 27th to the military camp at Sremska Mitrovica, and
25 this was in Serbia, i.e., in Voyvodina.
1 Q. Thank you. I'm interested in the episode where Fadil Topcagic
2 came to get some of the prisoners. Can you recall at what point of your
3 time at Batajnica he turned up?
4 A. Fadil appeared on the 26th, and that's when he took them.
5 Q. All right. Did you speak to him?
6 A. Yes, we did speak. I know that he brought us apples, he shared
7 out apples amongst us. He said, "These people were going for an
8 exchange." And I asked him, "What about me?" And he said he was going to
9 come back later for me and the others.
10 Q. Did he apparently lead away or take away the prisoners for
12 A. Yes. He was there, and there was another person from Obudovac. I
13 can't remember the name of that young man, because also, when we went to
14 the TV station in Samac, he was also accompanying Fadil. Of course, there
15 was also the warrant officer who was there at the barracks in Batajnica.
16 He was a kind of chief of the shifts and he was present when Fadil took
17 those people away.
18 Q. Did he provide you with any details as to when he would come back
19 later for you?
20 A. No. He said he was going to come back in two or three days, but
21 the next day we were transferred to Mitrovica, Sremska Mitrovica.
22 Q. I'd like to turn to the conditions that you experienced at
23 Batajnica. I don't want to go through each and every episode that
24 happened there, but can you just generally tell the Court the sorts of --
25 the sort of treatment that was meted out to you there?
1 A. We were in a cellar which had small windows just above the ground
2 level, but those windows were covered with green blankets so that there
3 was no daylight in those rooms. There was one lamp which was burning. It
4 was a room with a low ceiling, with cement on the floor. And they gave us
5 mattresses, one by one. They were sponge mattresses. And there was
6 torture, abuse, beating, singing of songs. The shifts changed every three
7 hours. Somebody would come at midnight, then another shift at 3.00 a.m.
8 Whoever would come, they would request for us to sing songs or jump
9 around. There was -- we were being beaten a lot there. I was surprised
10 when I came to Batajnica, there was a picture of Draza Mihajlovic. And in
11 the morning when we got up -- somebody had drawn that picture on the
12 wall. When we got up, when -- we would have to kiss that picture and say,
13 "Good morning, General," and then we would continue with our business, go
14 to the toilet.
15 Later, I found out that this was at some kind of -- that this was
16 some kind of medical facility, medical centre, and we were in the
17 basement. Sometimes when they would beat us, they would bring a doctor.
18 There was a doctor there, a woman doctor, who had lived in Zadar, so she
19 would talk to us.
20 Q. Did she treat you, treat you medically?
21 A. Yes, yes. She would give us different medication for pain or if
22 some wounds needed to be dressed or she would put ointment on them and so
23 on. Some people would come and beat us. Then the next shift would come
24 and they would bring a doctor and so on.
25 Q. How about the songs? What sort of songs were you forced to sing?
1 A. We would sing all the Chetnik songs, and they made me and Izet
2 Izetbegovic sing a song about Alija Izetbegovic, and it was a song that
3 went more like this: "At the top of the Romanija mountain, Alija's skin
4 is flying around in the wind. We will make casings for our weapons out of
5 it." And so that then everybody who was there had to join in the singing
6 of that song. Then there were also a song by Tajci, "Let's go crazy this
7 night. Let's gouge out the eyes of Croats." This is something that the
8 Croats had to sing. There was another one. There was a Muslim woman who
9 swore in front of a mosque that she -- the man she loved the most was a
10 Serb. So all of these were the kinds of songs that they would ask us to
11 sing. Also the song, "From Topola to Ravna Gora." So these were the
12 songs that we had to sing.
13 Q. You also mentioned having to jump around. I don't think that
14 conveys to the Chamber precisely what was involved. Could you please
15 give -- provide them with some detail of what exactly that did involve?
16 A. They called it a sort of mole jump, from the mole. We had to
17 crouch down and then jump up. They would place chairs two metres away
18 from one another, and then we would have to go around those chairs. For
19 example, they would give you five seconds that you would -- had to crawl
20 around one chair, the second chair, the third chair, go to the corridor,
21 pour in a pitcher of water and then come back, and the person would be
22 counting, "One, two," and you would be hurrying, hurrying. And then when
23 he would get close to four, he would say, "Four, five," quickly and so on,
24 until they got tired of it. And then they would allow you to actually
25 take the five seconds in order to pass all of those obstacles.
1 Q. Were you personally --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Counsel, it's 1.00.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm sorry, I wasn't following the time.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Tomorrow the proceedings will be in the afternoon.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: We are starting at 14.15.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: I think that the end of my examination-in-chief is
8 in sight now. And I can indicate that I --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: About how many more minutes tomorrow?
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, I can't predict entirely with any great
11 certainty. There is just one more videotape that I want to introduce, but
12 certainly tomorrow I'm hopeful that my examination-in-chief will
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Tomorrow we will sit at 14.15 hours and take a
15 break and resume at 15.45 hours. And I wanted to find out from the
16 Defence counsel whether, for Mr. Simic, for instance, whether it is -- we
17 can sit up to 1900 hours?
18 MS. BAEN: Your Honour, since I don't speak the language, my
19 colleague over here will translate. He spoke to my client and found out
20 what was appropriate for him tomorrow. So I'll let him speak.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. Yes, thank you. Yes.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have talked to
23 Mr. Simic with regard to both possibilities, and he said to me that if the
24 trial were to begin at 2.15 and end at 7.00 p.m. it would be virtually
25 impossible for him to sit in the courtroom for four hours and to have a
1 45-minute break. I proposed to him the other possibility that the
2 registrar told me about; that is to say, for the hearing to start at 2.15
3 and to end at 6.00. He said that it would also be difficult in view of
4 his rhythm. He said that he thinks that he could take three hours in the
5 courtroom, perhaps, so that is to say, from 14.15 until 17.45, and a break
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. In that case, then, we will sit 14.15 and take
8 a break, and then resume at 15.45 -- no, no, sit at 14.15 until 15.45,
9 take a half-hour break and then sit again at 16.15 until 17.45. That's
10 acceptable. Okay. Those are the hours for tomorrow. The Court will
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
13 1.07 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
14 the 20th day of September, 2001, at 2.15 p.m.