1 Friday, 26 October 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. The registrar please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. 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, examination-in-chief.
11 MR. WEINER: Good morning.
12 WITNESS: MUHAMED BICIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Is there a problem?
15 MR. WEINER: We're just trying to get the diagram lined up on the
16 video, Your Honour. Thank you.
17 Thank you, Mr. Usher.
18 Examined by Mr. Weiner: [Continued].
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Bicic. Dobra dan. Yesterday we were discussing
20 the TO, an incident which occurred approximately April 22nd to 24th, where
21 several beatings occurred, and the day started where Omer Nalic was
22 stabbed in the arm with a bayonet by Cera. Do you recall testifying about
23 that yesterday, Mr. Bicic?
24 A. Yes, I remember.
25 Q. Could you, with the pointer, please show on the diagram where
1 Mr. Nalic was stabbed.
2 A. [Indicates]
3 Q. That's right inside the detention room, sir?
4 A. Yes, inside the detention room.
5 Q. Okay. And then you said they brought some people outside to the
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, I just want to ask you one more quick question about
9 Mr. Nalic. What happened to his arm after he was stabbed?
10 A. His arm was bleeding. Later on, when they stopped beating us and
11 went away, we tried to stop the bleeding, but we didn't have any bandages,
12 so we used a T-shirt. However, a day or two later, the arm became
13 infected because the bayonet or the knife had been dirty or even smeared
14 with lubricant.
15 Q. Did he ever receive any medical treatment?
16 A. Yes. On the following day, a nurse or someone like that came and
17 cleaned the wound a little, but this wasn't enough.
18 Q. And how long did it take for the arm to repair itself?
19 A. Quite a long time, because when they transferred us to Brcko, his
20 arm was infected there. The wound was a bit infected. And they gave him
21 some assistance there too, cleaning this and giving him some pills against
22 blood poisoning or whatever it was.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you. Let's go outside to the courtyard. (redacted)
22 Q. Now, you indicated that Cera kicked or stepped -- what did he do
23 to your brother's fingers to break them, three of your brother's fingers?
24 Did he kick them, step on them, punch them?
25 A. They were beating my brother in this corner here between these
1 storerooms, and my brother stumbled from the blows and fell to the floor,
2 so that his left hand was on the concrete. Then Cera ran up and stomped
3 on his hand with the heel of his military boot and broke three of his
5 Q. While this was happening to the four prisoners outside, what were
6 the rest of the prisoners doing?
7 A. The rest of the prisoners were standing in the room and singing
8 the Chetnik songs they were ordered to sing.
9 Q. What happened after your brother's fingers were broken? What
10 happened to the group of prisoners that were outside?
11 A. Beating us and kicking us. They pushed us into the room, and then
12 they took some other people out. I think one of them was Salkic, another
13 one was Izetbegovic, and there were some others who had been inside, and
14 the rest of us had to stand and sing the songs they made us sing.
15 While I was singing those songs, when I saw my brother's hand,
16 which was swelling rapidly, I gestured to the other detainees who were
17 there with us, asking them to sing louder, and I took my brother's hand
18 and pulled his fingers, crying all the time. We were both crying, my
19 brother and I. He was crying from pain and I because I had to do this for
20 him without any doctor nearby or any medical assistance. I managed to set
21 two of his fingers more or less well, and the third finger is still not
22 completely mobile. It healed the way it was broken.
23 Q. At the Territorial Defence building, did your brother receive any
24 medical attention for the three broken fingers on his left hand?
25 A. As far as I know, no. We only had a nurse, who helped Omer Nalic,
1 and she gave us some painkillers which he took to lessen pain.
2 Q. Let's continue on that same day. Do you know a man by the name of
3 Sejo Mujkanovic?
4 A. Yes, I know Sejo Mujkanovic. He was a policeman in our town, and
5 I had known him for about ten years. That's how long he had been a
6 policeman. Maybe he had been a policeman longer. I say "about ten"
7 because I'm not sure exactly how long it was. He was a policeman in the
8 Bosanski Samac police station, and he was detained together with us.
9 Q. Do you recall what happened to him on that day? Did Lugar do
10 something to him?
11 A. Yes. Sead Mujkanovic was standing near Omer Nalic, in this area
12 here, in this part of the building, in other words, opposite where my
13 brother and I and the others who were with us were, somewhere around here.
14 Q. Could you show the Court again? Can you --
15 MR. WEINER: Did the Court get a chance to see? Okay.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: What?
17 MR. WEINER: Did the members of the Tribunal get a chance to see
18 where he was identifying on the diagram?
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
20 MR. WEINER: Okay. I'm sorry.
21 Q. What happened to Mr. Mujkanovic?
22 A. Lugar came in. We continued standing and singing. Lugar came in
23 and hit him with his rifle butt in the chest or in the head. I couldn't
24 see exactly where he hit him because Lugar's body was between us.
25 Sejo fell down onto the concrete floor of the room, then Lugar
1 forced him to open his mouth very wide, and when he did, he put the barrel
2 of his rifle and the sight which was near the end of the barrel, and then
3 he pulled the rifle suddenly out of his mouth. And I could see that
4 because his body had moved so he wasn't blocking my view any more. And in
5 this manner, he pulled out several of his teeth. There was a dreadful
6 scream from the policeman.
7 And the other man continued. He kicked him with his booted feet.
8 And then several other men who were standing around also received blows
9 from him and then he went out again.
10 Q. Okay. Let us move to a day or two later. Do you know any -- did
11 you ever meet any soldiers named Avram and Beli or "bel-I"?
12 A. Yes. A day or two later, Avram and Beli came into the room. They
13 forced us to sing. They beat some people using police truncheons. Then
14 they took my brother outside. They closed the door behind them. We
15 continued singing, but we could hear screams, and I recognised my
16 brother's voice. They were beating him outside.
17 Then they took him away somewhere; we didn't know where. He was
18 absent for a few hours. I can't be certain how long it was because they
19 had taken away our watches a few days previously.
20 When my brother came back, he told us that they had held weapons
21 pointed at his head, taken him to a house and down our street, and they
22 forced my brother to ask neighbours and acquaintances for money so that
23 they wouldn't kill me. In other words, they blackmailed him; they
24 extorted money from him, to give them money to save my life.
25 Q. Let us go to the next day, the day that you left. Let's begin in
1 the morning, mid-morning hours, the arrival of Lugar. Could you tell
2 us -- could you tell us what happened, beginning with the mid-morning
4 A. At around 10.00, in our estimation, we heard -- because there was
5 a kind of eerie silence, we heard the sound of our jeep motor. It stopped
6 in front of the iron gate of the building, and we were all petrified. We
7 were all paralysed by fear, my brother and I and the others, because we
8 had grown familiar with the sound of that engine.
9 Then the iron gate opened with a bang. We heard Lugar's voice,
10 which we all knew well by now, and he ordered us to sing, cursing our
11 mothers. We jumped to our feet, because we had been sitting on the
12 concrete. We stood against the wall, and we started singing. At that
13 point, a pistol shot rang out. The bullet pierced the metal door leading
14 into our room - I can show you where - and it hit this wall between Dikan
15 and Macak, who were standing and singing together with us.
16 Then the metal door opened, and we saw -- we saw him standing
17 there, Lugar. His face was all red. He was breathless. He looked
18 terrible. He looked round the room. The door was still open. He went
19 back to this spot here where one of the guards was sitting. His nickname
20 was Sole, and he was from the surroundings of Samac. He was sitting on a
21 wooden chair. Lugar smashed the chair with his foot. He broke it apart,
22 and he grabbed a leg of the chair. It was about 80 or 90 centimetres long
23 or perhaps a metre. He grabbed the back leg of the chair, and then he
24 walked into the room carrying this chair leg. He hit Dikan, who was on
25 his right-hand side. He hit him in the head. The man fell down or,
1 rather, he stumbled. He hit him in the head again, and then he fell
3 About -- it was about in the middle of the room where there was a
4 wooden beam or pillar holding up the ceiling, supporting the ceiling, and
5 next to it was a white plastic container with water. That was our
6 drinking water. The water container was open, and the water suddenly
7 became red with Dikan's blood.
8 After this, Lugar hit Osman Jasarevic. He hit him in the
9 forehead. Osman fell to the ground. Then he called to Dasa, Mersad
10 Gibic. He told him to approach him. Dasa approached him, and he hit him
11 several times with this wooden object, which cracked, so he threw it
12 away. And then he said, turning to me and my brother, "Brothers, go
14 He went before us, if I can show you, to this garage which was
15 here. There was an old truck here, an old JNA truck. It was full of
16 refuse, scraps, metal scraps. There was even a jack there, also a big
17 metal bar which was about 2 and a half metres long and 8 to 10 centimetres
18 thick, and this was used for towing trucks or military vehicles.
19 We stood halfway between the garage and the room where we had been
20 detained. Lugar took this bar from the truck. He was furious. He was
21 fuming. The others had to continue singing. He grabbed this bar, raised
22 it above his head, and circled around us, brandishing this metal rod over
23 our heads. Then he told us, "I have orders to kill you." My brother and
24 I were afraid. We were paralysed by fear when we saw his eyes and his
25 expression and the metal rod that he was brandishing all around us.
1 Then he told us that on that day was a big Serbian holiday, that
2 it was Easter, and he said to us, "Look what I have to do instead of
3 celebrating. I have to kill." I don't know how my brother and I looked
4 at that moment, but I think our legs were giving way. We just stood there
5 silently and looked at him.
6 After this, he asked the guard, "Is the Ustasha moving?" He was,
7 of course, referring to Dikan, who had remained on the floor in the room,
8 the detention room. He said he was moving his legs. Then he threw the
9 metal rod against the garage wall. We continued standing there. We
10 didn't move. We saw him go into the room, grab Dikan by the collar and
11 pull him to the door of the room, where he simply left him. I can show
12 you. It was here. His head was in the direction of the water pump which
13 was in the middle of the room.
14 Q. Could you please show us again on the diagram.
15 A. Here, through the door. His head was in the direction of the
16 water pump.
17 Q. Thank you. What happens next?
18 A. When he was on his way back towards us, he told us to move a
19 little to one side. So we moved aside for about a metre, and he circled
20 us nervously, looking at us all the time, or rather, looking at the place
21 where he had left Dikan.
22 At one point he was halfway facing us and Dikan, and then, quite
23 simply, he pulled a pistol from under his sweatshirt. He pointed it a
24 little at me, a little at my brother, and continued circling us, pointing
25 the gun now at one, now at the other. As I have already said, we were
1 terrified, and we kept waiting for the pistol to go off. We expected to
2 be shot. However, when he had his back turned to Dikan, he suddenly swung
3 round and shot in Dikan's direction. Although I was in a state of shock
4 because of everything that was going on, I saw the body move. Then he
5 fired another shot, and I saw the man's head burst open. I saw a piece of
6 his brain and pieces of his skull spatter around. This was so horrible
7 that we were aghast, even though we didn't dare move from the place he had
8 told us to stand in.
9 Then somebody from the police station which was across the
10 street - I don't know who it was - called out to Lugar and said, "Come
11 here. The coffee is ready." He approached us and said, "These Serbs have
12 a lot against you, but some of them say you are good people, so this time
13 I won't kill you."
14 Then he turned to the guard and said, "Bring a truck and throw
15 this trash into the River Sava." He was referring to Dikan. He left
16 through the iron gate and went off in the direction of the police
17 station. When the truck drove into the yard, the guard told us to put
18 Dikan's body onto the back of the truck, but my brother and I asked him to
19 excuse us, because we could barely stand up the way we felt, and I think
20 we would not have been able to lift the body and load it onto the truck.
21 The guard said, "All right." He took us back inside, and he took two
22 younger men who were detained with us, and they put Dikan's body onto the
23 truck. Then they came back.
24 The door of the detention room was closed. There was a bullet
25 hole left in it. It was right in the middle of the door approximately.
1 We were all left speechless. I think we were all so terrified in that
2 room that there was complete silence. For a certain length of the time
3 nobody spoke. We just looked at one another. We were thinking of who
4 would be next and when it would happen again.
5 That afternoon, the same guard who had driven off the truck, who
6 was there with us, told us that the special unit from Serbia had gone out
7 into the field somewhere and that most probably we would be transferred to
9 Q. I'll just stop you right there. The week -- the little over a
10 week that you had spent at the TO, which is just prior to the transfer of
11 Brcko, during that period, were you able to bathe?
12 A. No, not once were we able to bathe or wash ourselves. I can show
13 that mostly in the evening, they let us relieve ourselves in the area of
14 the yard, in all of the yard, or in the one toilet that was in the
15 Territorial Defence building. They would take us in through this door,
16 through a room to the toilet, which was under the staircase leading
18 Q. What about your clothes? Were you able to wash your clothes or
19 get new clothes?
20 A. No. We continued sitting there in the same clothes we had been
21 brought in in from our homes. We were all in bloodstained and dirty
22 clothing. We had no change of clothes, so the blood and the dirt from the
23 beatings remained. There was nothing we could do to remove it. We didn't
24 have any water, so we could neither wash our clothes nor change.
25 Q. Could we describe your meals? Were you fed well? Were you fed
1 enough food?
2 A. Several times in the afternoon they put us onto the truck and
3 drove us to a factory which had a kitchen. There we would eat mostly
4 leftovers after the Serbian army and police, who probably ate there. We
5 would spend an hour or an hour and a half there, and we would get
6 something like a cooked meal, maybe consisting of several sorts of dishes
7 all thrown together into one pot. So we ate that. And in the evening,
8 one of the local Serbs who were able to come to us would bring us a can, a
9 tin, so that those of us who were able to eat would eat that.
10 Q. Were people hungry?
11 A. People were probably hungry, but nobody really cared for food
12 because of all the suffering. Everybody was thinking about whether he
13 would perhaps be the next to die in this cruel way or whether he would
14 perhaps be the next to be beaten. So at that time, food meant nothing to
16 Q. Were prisoners ever beaten after the meals?
17 A. Yes. I have already said that there were no rules in this, so it
18 didn't matter whether it was morning, afternoon, evening, or night. They
19 would simply come in and vent their rage on us whenever they had an
20 opportunity to do this. They would come at any time, by day or by night.
21 Q. On the eve of the move to Brcko, what was the condition of you,
22 your brother Hasan, and the other prisoners?
23 A. We were so humiliated, so battered that we could barely move. Our
24 faces were all swollen. We all had bruises on our bodies. We were all
25 broken, so that we looked very, very pitiful indeed.
1 Q. Let's go to the transfer. Can you tell the members of the Chamber
2 what happened on that evening, as best you can recall?
3 A. On that evening, Mr. Topolovac, who was my neighbour and who had
4 been the commander of the police station in our town for a few years back,
5 and two or three other men - I can't remember who else was there - they
6 visited us. They brought two military trucks into the yard of the
7 Territorial Defence. These trucks had belonged to the JNA, and I think
8 they still belonged to the JNA, but I can't be sure. They called out our
9 names, and we boarded the trucks.
10 Q. Do you recall any of the defendants being there calling out names
11 or taking any part in this transfer?
12 A. I can't remember. I know only that Mr. Topolovac stood there. I
13 even talked to him briefly. He said to me, "Neighbour, you're going to
14 Brcko. You'll probably be safer there than you are here." That's all I
15 was able to find out.
16 But I was in such a sorry state that day, after the murder of
17 Dikan and after my brother and I had been taken into the yard where we had
18 undergone such an ordeal, and were in a state of shock when we had been
19 told that orders had been given that we should be killed, so I was still
20 suffering from the consequences of this, and I was afraid of this
21 transfer. I wasn't sure they were taking us where my neighbour had said
22 they were. So I can't remember. I can't remember any names or any other
23 people at the present time.
24 Q. What happens? Do you get on the trucks?
25 A. They called out names from that list one by one, and we got onto
1 the truck. We were all there, those of us whose names had been called out
2 previously. We didn't know immediately that several people had been left
3 behind in those rooms where we had all been detained.
4 They closed the trucks with canvas. They told us not to try to
5 run away because -- I don't know what it's called, but a personnel carrier
6 or something like that with a big machine-gun was escorting us, and so
7 were some cars. In the dark, we couldn't see very well what kind of
8 vehicles they were, but we heard behind us very loud engines, so it must
9 have been something like a personnel carrier.
10 Q. Was it a long ride?
11 A. Yes. In my estimation, or the estimation of several of us, it was
12 quite long. I can't say exactly how long, because I'm not sure, but
13 probably because of the state I was in, I wouldn't be able to really
14 determine how long it was.
15 Q. Did you eventually arrive somewhere?
16 A. Yes. It was dark. We stopped in front of a building. Then they
17 took us off the trucks. We saw that there were people wearing JNA
18 uniforms. They took us off the trucks one by one and they took us into
19 the building. There was a sort of entrance hall in the building. They
20 pushed each of us against the wall, searched us, collected all our
21 documents, money, if anyone had any left in their pockets or hidden
22 somewhere on their person, in their filthy clothing. If anyone had a
23 driving licence or an identity card or any kind of document, all this was
24 confiscated. Then they tied our hands behind our backs with a piece of
25 string and they pushed us into a room which had only iron bars for a
1 door. I don't know how many of us they crammed into this tiny cell, but
2 we were packed in like sardines.
3 Q. How long -- first, actually, before that: Do you know in which
4 municipality you were?
5 A. Yes. Not long afterwards a young lieutenant arrived. He was the
6 one who had come while I was at the police station. Mr. Salkic recognised
7 him. He had gone with him with an escort of soldiers who were subordinate
8 to that lieutenant to collect weapons from people who had weapons in the
9 town of Bosanski Samac.
10 Q. And did he --
11 A. It was clear to us then, and this lieutenant actually told us,
12 that we were in the JNA barracks in Brcko.
13 Q. How long did you stay at those JNA barracks in Brcko?
14 A. We stayed there until the 2nd of May, when there was shooting in
15 the town, in other words, when war broke out there also.
16 Q. Was anyone beaten while you were being held at those barracks?
17 A. Yes, but not as brutally, not nearly as badly as we were beaten in
18 the previous detention in the Territorial Defence or in the police station
19 right after we were detained.
20 Q. Was anyone from Bosanski Samac, any of the Bosanski Samac
21 prisoners, beaten?
22 A. Of the prisoners from Bosanski Samac, several of them were beaten,
23 but as I say, it wasn't nearly as bad as what had happened before.
24 Q. Was anyone forced to sing Chetnik songs or Serbian patriotic
25 songs, or sing anything?
1 A. Then a gentleman who arrived wearing civilian clothes - and later
2 on we learned that he was a major in those barracks - he asked us what we
3 had been singing. We told him, and we even started singing those Chetnik
4 songs. Then he stopped us, and he asked us whether we knew the Yugoslav
5 anthem. In contrast to the songs we had sung previously, we sang this in
6 unison, I could almost say in one breath, and we were all surprised.
7 After this visit, some people complained that their hands were
8 tied too tightly with the string, so they loosened the string, in some
9 cases; in some cases, they untied it completely. And as for myself, I
10 waited for morning and then I asked for my hands to be untied, because my
11 wrists were very painful and my hands were numb tied behind my back like
13 Q. Were you ever interrogated? Were you, your brother, or anyone
14 else interrogated while at Brcko?
15 A. Yes. I can't remember what day it was. We were taken to the
16 neighbouring building. We went there one by one. I, myself, was
17 questioned by Mr. Zaric. I made a statement to him. I asked him what was
18 going on and why we had been brought there. Of course, under such
19 conditions, my nerves were giving way, and so I shed a few tears.
20 After we had made a statement, we were taken to another room in
21 that building, and we learned that this was the prison in the barracks.
22 Q. Okay. Let's just stop there. How many people interrogated you
23 during this interrogation session?
24 A. In that room, there was Mr. Zaric; there was Mr. Jovo Savic, who
25 before the war had worked in the neighbouring town of Orasje, also in the
1 police station; and I can't remember who else was there. There was
2 someone typing out our statements on a typewriter. There were the two of
3 them, but it was Mr. Zaric who actually interviewed me.
4 Q. How were you treated during the interview? Did anyone harm you
5 during the interview?
6 A. No. During the interview, no one beat us. No one even threatened
7 us. It was an open and simple communication. We simply made a
9 Q. What was your physical and mental state during the interview?
10 A. It was very hard for me. I felt so humiliated. I was so badly
11 beaten up that, as I said, I even started to cry at one point.
12 Q. Did anyone ask you what happened to you, why are you bloodied,
14 A. No.
15 Q. How long had you known Simo Zaric?
16 A. I had known Simo Zaric for quite a long time, since the days when
17 he went to secondary school in Bosanski Samac. He lodged with my
18 relatives not far from my house. It was about 50 or 70 metres away from
19 my house. At that time, he went to school together with a relative of
20 mine. It was the economic vocational secondary school, together with
21 Muharem Barjaktarevic, with whom he lodged. And I often kept company with
23 Q. Did he -- did he inquire during this interview about your physical
25 A. No, he didn't inquire.
1 Q. How long did this interrogation last, as best as you can
3 A. Approximately about half an hour, maybe a little longer. I can't
4 say. It was a long time ago, nine and a half years ago, so I can't be
5 certain as to how long it was.
6 Q. Did anyone complete typing the statement while you were there?
7 A. Yes, I think so.
8 Q. Did you sign the statement?
9 A. Yes, I did. I signed it.
10 Q. Did you get a chance to read it prior to signing it?
11 A. I was in such a state that even had I read it, I probably wouldn't
12 have understood it, because as I have already told you, I even started to
13 cry, which means that perhaps I glanced through it and just signed it.
14 Q. Did you ask Simo for help? You'd known him for many years. He's
15 known you for many years. He didn't inquire about your health, but did
16 you ask him for any help?
17 A. Yes. At one point when I started to cry, I asked him if he could
18 help my brother and me and all of us. I think we were all innocent people
19 locked up and tortured so brutally, without knowing the real reason why we
20 had been brought there and tortured.
21 Q. And how did he answer you, if you recall?
22 A. I think he answered with another question. He asked if we wanted
23 to go back to our homes in Samac.
24 Q. And did you respond?
25 A. I said, "Yes. If I will be free there, then I do want to go back
1 to my home," or as there was no war yet, in a town where we had
2 relatives. I asked if he could let us go to our relatives' house and we
3 would manage somehow.
4 Q. And did he say anything?
5 A. No. I don't think I received any reply that I can remember.
6 Q. Did he or anyone at Brcko tell you why you and all these other
7 civilians were being held?
8 A. I don't remember.
9 Q. Okay. Now, during your stay in Brcko, approximately a week or so,
10 were you allowed to bathe?
11 A. Yes. Once they took us all together to the soldiers' bathroom.
12 We went in single file with our hand on our heads. There we bathed.
13 Q. Okay. What about food? Were you provided with adequate food?
14 A. In Brcko we were given some food, but I think that again these
15 were leftovers, left over from the dinner or lunch of the soldiers who
16 were in the barracks.
17 Q. Was it sufficient? Were people still hungry?
18 A. Yes. In most cases it was too little to satisfy the hunger.
19 Q. Were you beaten during your stay in Brcko?
20 A. No. Or, rather, it was shoving rather than beating, when we were
21 brought in, pushed against the wall, when we were searched. But seeing
22 the state I was in, I was so bloodied and swollen, I think those people
23 didn't feel like beating us.
24 Q. Other than the prisoners from Bosanski Samac, was anyone else
25 being held in Brcko?
1 A. Yes. We found a man there whom we later got to know. And during
2 our stay there, they brought in two brothers from the Brcko area. They
3 were Croats.
4 Q. And how were they treated?
5 A. The evening they brought them in, they beat them until morning.
6 We could hear the groans of those people who were begging for mercy,
7 asking not to be beaten so badly. But this went on from late at night
8 until the morning.
9 Q. You indicated you were eventually transferred on or about May 2nd
10 from Brcko. Could you describe how you were transferred?
11 A. A bus came. We could hear shots and detonations, strong
12 explosions outside. We were told to go in single file and board the bus,
13 in which there were curtains drawn over the windows. We had to put our
14 heads down. And that's how they drove us somewhere. We didn't know in
15 what direction we were going or where they were taking us to, because we
16 had no opportunity to look out of the window or to raise our heads above
17 the seats, the backs of the seats. So we drove along bending forward, and
18 we were not allowed to raise our heads and look around.
19 Q. Were you eventually brought somewhere, and did you learn where you
21 A. Yes. They brought us to the JNA barracks in Brcko.
22 Q. No. You had just left Brcko. Where did you go from Brcko?
23 A. I apologise. I was a little confused. They brought us to the
24 barracks in Bijeljina, and there there was an open space where soldiers
25 were lining up, and there was a bust there of Jahic, known as Spanac, who
1 had been a World War II hero.
2 Q. When you arrived at the barracks in Bijeljina, did everyone get
3 off at once or what sort of procedure did they have, did they use to
4 remove everyone from the bus?
5 A. We dismounted one by one, with our hands on our heads, with our
6 heads down. We passed through a line of soldiers. They separated off a
7 man whom they had put on the bus together with us in Brcko. They beat
8 him. We could see as we were passing, several metres away from us, that
9 they were beating him. And finally, someone said, "Why are you beating
10 him? Kill him." Not far away from there, as we were being taken into the
11 building, we heard the sound of automatic gunfire and a scream, and I
12 looked round and saw the man falling - I don't know who he was or what his
13 name was - and I think there are several other people who saw this and who
14 can testify to it.
15 Q. Did they kill him?
16 A. I think they killed him then.
17 Q. Did you ever see him again?
18 A. No, I never saw him again.
19 Q. Did they bring you inside the building?
20 A. Yes, they brought us inside the building.
21 Q. And where did they bring you in the building?
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 MR. WEINER: Sorry.
24 Q. Where did they bring you in the building?
25 A. We were taken upstairs. I don't know whether it was the first or
1 second floor. There they put us in a room, quite large room. They told
2 us to face the wall and then to kneel down. They said we were not to
4 Q. Did anything happen if you moved?
5 A. If someone moved, some soldiers would immediately come from behind
6 him and start beating him all over, on his head, neck, back. I don't know
7 for how long we knelt there like that, but our legs went numb - all of us
8 felt this - so that each one of us simply had to move a little, and
9 whoever moved would get a blow on the back or head or neck with a
11 Q. Did you stay there for the whole evening, or did they bring you
12 somewhere else?
13 A. After this, we had again to put our hands on our heads and trot,
14 if we could, because our legs were completely numb. But we had to,
15 because along the way we would get blows from rifle butts or truncheons
16 held by the soldiers who were around us. And in this way, we were taken
17 to the gym, or sports hall, which was in the barracks compound.
18 Q. How long did you stay in Bijeljina at the sports hall?
19 A. We stayed in Bijeljina in that sports hall until the 13th of May,
20 when the same policemen who had guarded us in Brcko and brought us to the
21 barracks in Bijeljina arrived with a bus and his escort and took us to
22 Brcko and then in the direction of Samac.
23 Q. Okay. Let's stay -- move back for a while. While you were there,
24 Bijeljina, were you or any of the prisoners beaten?
25 A. Yes. On one occasion when we were kneeling again, facing the
1 wall, we had to bend our heads down toward our knees as far as we could.
2 I received a terrible blow in the area of my right kidney. It was, in
3 fact, a kick from a foot in a military boot, and it was so hard that it
4 lifted me off the ground. I moaned and fell. After this, the same thing
5 happened to Salkic, my brother, and some others.
6 Q. Did you suffer any injuries as a result of this kick with a boot?
7 A. Yes. After this there was blood in my urine for days, and an
8 officer of the Serbian army, or the JNA, even spared Ibela and me, because
9 Ibela was also urinating blood. I'm referring to Mr. Salkic. This
10 officer ordered the military policemen - who were wearing white belts,
11 which was the distinguishing mark of a military policeman - the officer
12 ordered them that no one was to beat us, me and Mr. Salkic. We were not
13 given any medical assistance, but for a few days we lay on the parquet
14 floor of the sports hall and we were even given a blanket. It was a
15 military blanket.
16 Q. Could you describe the hygiene in Bijeljina during your stay
18 A. After a few days in Bijeljina in the sports hall, which had a
19 bathroom, we were allowed to take a bath there. A military policeman
20 brought us a razor - one or two razors. I can't remember exactly - so we
21 all shaved with it. We were pulling the hair out of our cheeks rather
22 than shaving it.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: It's 11.00, Counsel. We shall have our break and
24 continue the proceedings at 11.30 hours.
25 --- Recess taken at 11.02 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Examination-in-chief is continuing with the
4 MR. WEINER: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Before the break, Mr. Bicic, we were talking about Bijeljina. One
6 last question about that location: Could you describe the meals and the
7 food that you received?
8 A. We received two meals a day while we were there, more in the
9 afternoon; that is to say, after the regular dinner being prepared for the
10 soldiers in the barracks, we would get what was left over. But we got
11 more food. The quantity was bigger than in Brcko.
12 Q. Was it sufficient?
13 A. Well, compared to what it was like before, it was sufficient.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, you left that location at some time. You
15 indicated you returned to Samac.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Do you recall the date that you left or approximate date?
18 A. It was the 13th of May. That's when we heard from the military
19 policemen in Bijeljina that at one time, the 13th of May in the former
20 Yugoslavia was policemen's day. It was celebrated as such.
21 Q. And how were you transported? Tell the Chamber.
22 A. They put us back on the buses the same way, with an escort, the
23 same escort that escorted us from Brcko.
24 Q. And where did you go?
25 A. They took us via Brcko in the direction of Obudovac, or rather,
1 Samac. In Obudovac, they changed places and some other soldiers got on,
2 and they accompanied us to Samac.
3 Q. Where do you go when you arrive in Samac?
4 A. We first stopped by the textile factory, and those soldiers showed
5 us the barracks. They indicated the Serb army barracks in the factory
6 itself. We stopped there for a brief period of time, and then they drove
7 us off towards the police station in Bosanski Samac.
8 Q. Did you stop at the police station?
9 A. Yes. Not far from the police station, that's where the bus
10 stopped, and we stayed there for some time. We did not get out. I don't
11 know why we were waiting, but soon afterwards, they took us off again in
12 the direction of the secondary school centre.
13 Q. Do you eventually arrive at some location?
14 A. Yes. We arrived in the yard of the secondary school centre, by
15 the gymnasium of that same school.
16 Q. Could you please tell the Chamber what happens upon arrival.
17 A. They opened the doors of the bus, and we got out in a column, once
18 again with our hands on our heads. We got off the bus one by one and had
19 to run the gauntlet; that is to say, there were two lines, one line on
20 each side of people in uniforms, policemen wearing police uniforms and
21 camouflage uniforms, and they beat us with their weapons. They kicked us
22 with their feet while we were passing by them.
23 Q. Were you struck?
24 A. Yes. They struck us with the weapons that they had, usually
25 rifles, and kicked us with their boots, army boots which they had on their
2 Q. Did a firearm go off at any time?
3 A. Yes. At one particular moment, one of the policemen hit my
4 brother who was in front of me, and his rifle let out a shot. Several
5 bullets, in fact, were fired, and one of them ended up lodged in the bus.
6 It hit the bus.
7 Q. Now, these people who were beating you, where were they from?
8 A. Mostly they were from Bosanski Samac and the surrounding parts.
9 Q. Were these soldiers or police officers?
10 A. Both. Some of them were wearing police uniforms and the others
11 were wearing camouflage uniforms.
12 Q. Now, after everyone was beaten exiting the bus, where did they
13 bring you?
14 A. They took us in through a hallway and changing room belonging to
15 the gym of the secondary school centre and lined us up against the wall,
16 and more than half the wall was brick, and above -- half of the wall was
17 brick and the other half was glass, thick, a thick layer of glass, so that
18 light came into the hall through the glass.
19 Q. Was anyone beaten at that time?
20 A. Yes. They beat Kemal Atic. One of the policemen brought a wooden
21 rod with a nail or screw, with a screw on it, and I noticed later on that
22 this wooden rod had been pulled away from one of the ladders for
23 gymnastics that was fixed to the wall of the hall. He took out a man who
24 had joined us, whom they had captured in Brcko, or rather, imprisoned in
25 Brcko, and then he brought me out and ordered me to use that rod to beat
1 that man.
2 Q. Did anything else happen? Was there any shooting? Was there any
3 other beatings? Did anything else occur?
4 A. Yes. When I went back to my place underneath the glass
5 bricks - they were, in fact - some other people in uniform turned up and
6 they provoked us. They spat at us. Some of them shot at that glass that
7 was above our heads, and the shattered fragments fell on us and on the
8 floor of the hall.
9 Q. On that first day that you were at the secondary school, did you
10 see any of the defendants visiting that day?
11 A. I don't think I saw any of the defendants that day, but the
12 following day a larger group came, with Stevan Todorovic and Mr. Blagoje
13 Simic, a man who was very big and fat, and they called him "Fatty." I
14 heard them do that. They looked around the hall, looked at us, and then I
15 heard Mr. Blagoje Simic say, "There's enough room here." After that, they
16 left the hall.
17 Q. Were more prisoners brought in at any later time or in a recent
18 time to that statement that "There's more room here"?
19 A. Yes. On that same day when we were put up in that building,
20 another group was brought in, towards evening. I don't know how many of
21 them, but they were people who had been brought from their homes that
22 day. They were told they would be going for interviews, interrogations,
23 but they joined them onto us.
24 Q. What was the ethnic composition of these people who were being
25 held at the secondary school?
1 A. I think that, for the most part -- or rather, half of us were
2 Muslims and the other half were Croats.
3 Q. Were these prisoners soldiers or military personnel or were they
4 wearing military uniforms?
5 A. No. We were all civilians, wearing our civilian clothing, suits
6 and suchlike.
7 Q. How long did you stay at the secondary school?
8 A. I think we stayed there for two nights. We slept there for two
10 Q. And then what happened?
11 A. Then they told us that we should form a column and go one --
12 proceed one by one with our hands on our heads and that we should go
13 outside. When we went outside, they made us run across several playing
14 fields which were located between the secondary school centre itself and
15 the primary school.
16 Q. And then where did they bring you?
17 A. Then they put us up in the gym hall belonging to the primary
18 school this time, which was the only one that had remained intact, because
19 all the other buildings belonging to the school had been set fire to and
20 had been -- were semi-destroyed.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, we have another diagram. Mr. Zecevic
23 provided an architectural-type diagram of the primary school for all
24 counsel to use. I have already provided it with the registrar. Could the
25 usher -- could we have it marked, please, for identification, and then
1 could the usher place them in front of the witness.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Do you wish it to be part of the evidence of the
4 MR. WEINER: At this time just to be marked for identification, to
5 be used as a diagram.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
7 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked P30 ter ID, P30 ID.
8 MR. WEINER:
9 Q. Mr. Bicic, do you recognise this document that's been placed in
10 front of you?
11 A. Yes, I do recognise it, but I think that something is lacking.
12 There was another space, another area here which was in between the
14 Q. Okay. Could you just show us where that is for the record,
16 A. There was another small space here like a workshop which the
17 caretaker used, and there was another little wall here with a door here.
18 So first you went into this small hallway to the left. That is to say,
19 this was the workshop, the caretaker's workshop; the person who maintained
20 the central heating, which was here. It was the boiler room, actually,
21 for the central heating system.
22 Q. However, sir, is this sufficient to be used as an aid during your
24 A. I should just like to indicate that this wall here was a brick
25 wall halfway up, and then above that were glass panes, windows.
1 Q. Could you show us -- where were you held while at the primary
3 A. We were held here, in this gym.
4 Q. Thank you. And how long were you held there?
5 A. For about -- that is to say, from mid-May to the end of August.
6 Q. Now, during that time, did you get to meet a person named Debeli?
7 A. Yes, I did meet that individual, who came frequently with Stevo
8 Todorovic, and I saw him personally for the first time in the company of
9 Stevo Todorovic and Mr. Blagoje Simic.
10 Q. Was he a large or --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: "Debeli" was "Fatty."
12 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
13 A. Yes. He was a very big, fat man, quite a bit taller than me --
14 MR. WEINER:
15 Q. Now, when he came --
16 A. -- and fatter.
17 Q. Now, when he came, what did he have you do?
18 A. We were forced - like we were previously when we were held in the
19 Territorial Defence building - to sing Chetnik songs.
20 Q. In addition to the Chetnik or the Serbian patriotic songs, did you
21 have to chant anything, any slogans or any chants?
22 A. Yes, we were forced to do that. We were forced to say, "Serbia
23 will stretch to Tokyo. Wherever there are Serbs living, it is Serb
25 Q. And did you have to do that every time Debeli and Todorovic
2 A. Yes, every time.
3 Q. Now, how often would Stevan Todorovic visit?
4 A. Very often.
5 Q. And did he come during the day or in the night or in the early
6 morning hours? When did he come?
7 A. He would come unexpectedly, at any time of the day or night.
8 Q. And were there beatings when he came?
9 A. Yes. Every time they would beat the people in the hall. They
10 would take some of them out into the corridor in front of the gym hall as
11 well, but mostly we were beaten inside, in the gym, when Stevan Todorovic
12 came by.
13 Q. Did he use any implements to do these beatings?
14 A. Yes. He was always escorted by seven or eight or even as many as
15 ten other men who would come in. They were his escorts, and they would
16 bring with them various wooden objects, among others, a baseball bat, and
17 they would use it to beat us. They would beat us, and very often,
18 Todorovic would beat us too.
19 Q. Were you ever beaten by Mr. Todorovic?
20 A. Yes. He beat me several times, and my brother as well, also
21 several times.
22 Q. Sir, do you know a man by the name of Silvestar Antunovic?
23 A. Yes, I know Silvestar Antunovic. He was a policeman before the
25 Q. Was he a prisoner at the primary school?
1 A. Yes, he was. He was incarcerated together with us, and his place
2 was next to me, on my right-hand side. He would either lie down or stand,
3 but he was always there, Mr. Antunovic.
4 Q. Did you have certain places in the gym where you were forced to
5 sit or sleep or stand?
6 A. Well, when we arrived, they would position us. The soldiers lined
7 us up when they escorted us into the hall and said that we weren't to
8 change our places, that we had to stick to those places.
9 Q. Using the diagram, do you recall or could you show the Court where
10 your place was in that gym?
11 A. Yes, I can.
12 Q. Please do that.
13 A. Roughly here. As you go in to the right, next to the right-hand
14 wall, 2 or 3 metres from the corner.
15 Q. And where was your brother, Hasan, if you recall?
16 A. He was in front of me. Salkic was in front of my brother. In
17 front of Salkic was Buco. Hadzialijagic was in front of Buco, and in
18 front of him there was Dragan Delic. And just behind the door here was
19 Omer Nalic.
20 Q. Do you recall where Silvestar Antunovic sat?
21 A. Right behind me.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, did something happen to him?
23 JUDGE MUMBA: And for the record, Counsel, you simply say that the
24 witness indicated the seatings of the prisoners inside the gym.
25 MR. WEINER: Would you like me --
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, that's all. That's okay. Yes. Just you
2 remember the next time.
3 MR. WEINER: Sorry, Your Honour.
4 Q. Silvestar Antunovic, did something happen to him while at the
5 primary school? Could you tell the Chamber what happened?
6 A. Well, one night - it was late into the night - we heard the sounds
7 of several cars stopping in front of the building where the gym hall was.
8 We knew that we were in for an unpleasant visit.
9 Not long after that, the guards shouted at us and told us to
10 sing. They in fact ordered us to sing. And then about ten soldiers came
11 into the hall, wearing camouflage uniforms, together with Stevan
13 While we were singing and shouting "Serbia stretching to Tokyo,"
14 Stevan Todorovic would use a strong flashlight and beam it in our faces,
15 beaming this light into our eyes, and in this way he would select victims
16 on whom he would take it out on. Then he would beat us. He would beat us
17 personally, while his escorts would be beating others.
18 That particular night, the beating, as I saw it, and according to
19 the others, lasted for a whole eternity. Once Todorovic flashed his
20 flashlight into Silvestar Antunovic's eyes, who was standing next to me
21 while I was singing, and all the others as well, and he proceeded to beat
22 him with the baseball bat. He beat him on his head and on his body. And
23 when he started to fall down, they would pull him up, the guards or the
24 soldiers who had come together with Todorovic. Then Todorovic would move
25 on to someone else, while the rest of us were beaten by his guards, so
1 that he would make the rounds and go right round the hall that we were put
2 up in.
3 Q. Was Esad Cosic in the room that evening?
4 A. Yes. Esad Cosic is his name. He sat somewhere in this area here,
5 in this part of the hall, which means that we were lined up right around
6 these walls. This area here in the middle was empty.
7 MR. WEINER: Just one second.
8 Your Honour, for the record, Esad Cosic was identified as sitting
9 towards the top left-hand corner of the gym.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
11 MR. WEINER:
12 Q. What happened to Esad Cosic?
13 A. We saw, from the side we were on, Stevan Todorovic flashing the
14 flashlight into him, and he clearly indicated -- it was clear that it was
15 Stevan Todorovic, and he hit the man with the baseball bat several times
16 on the body and on his head. Esad Cosic fell down. I think he lost
17 consciousness. Todorovic's escorts kept on beating him for a little while
18 while he was lying down, forcing him to get up, but the man just couldn't
19 get up. He would go back to the circle or go back the way he came, left
20 me and Silvestar the way he had approached us, and went away from us and
21 my brother and all the rest, and he personally beat people. I think he
22 hit everyone at least once or several times with that baseball bat,
23 practically everyone.
24 When he got back to where Silvestar was - and in the meantime, the
25 soldiers had managed to pick him up and Silvestar had regained
1 consciousness slightly - he hit him several times again with that baseball
2 bat. The man fell down without a sound coming from him, and he made no
3 movement. Then he started beating me and my brother, and Salkic as well,
4 and he kicked us with his legs and beat us with the bat, swearing at us,
5 cursing us all the while. They said -- he said, "Where are your cars, you
7 Not long after that, he would move on to others, and even to his
8 friend, Omer Nalic. He would often sit with him in our pizzeria. When I
9 say "often," I mean several times a week.
10 Q. Did they eventually leave that evening?
11 A. After that, after he had beaten Omer Nalic, Omer, semi-conscious
12 as he was, because he had received several blows to his head as well, said
13 that he would complain and that he would look for Chief Todorovic.
14 Probably he had lost control of his faculties and didn't realise that
15 Todorovic himself was the man who had just beaten him up. After that,
16 they left the hall. The others, of course, throughout this time, had to
17 keep singing.
18 Q. What was the condition of the prisoners after they left?
19 A. When they left, the people who had been beaten less, who had
20 received fewer blows in those beatings from the guards - that is, the
21 guards took them out to bring some water and clean up the place, clean the
22 blood from the floor of the hall; it was a plastic floor covering - so
23 that those of us who were bleeding were able to wash at least a little of
24 the blood off our faces.
25 Q. What was the condition of Silvestar Antunovic?
1 A. Silvestar Antunovic did not regain consciousness the whole night,
2 although we kept washing him, pouring water over him. So until morning,
3 until it became light and we were able to see him properly, he continued
4 to lie in this sort of coma. He was alive but in a sort of coma.
5 Esad Cosic, also on that morning, asked to be taken to the toilet,
6 because he was conscious. However, when he took a step, his right leg
7 quite simply went up in the air, that he was unable to control it. He
8 wasn't able to take a step normally or to stand on his right leg.
9 Q. Sir, you were released -- or you were exchanged in September?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In early September, when you were exchanged, was Esad Cosic still
12 with you?
13 A. Yes, he was with us.
14 Q. And what was the condition of his leg two, three months later, in
16 A. It was in the same state as it had been on that morning. Two of
17 us who were incarcerated always had to take him out to the toilet or to
18 help him when he had to walk, because, quite simply, the man wasn't able
19 to control the movement in his right leg or to put his weight on that leg,
20 to stand on it.
21 Q. What happened to Silvestar Antunovic? Did he ever regain
23 A. The next day, following the night when we were beaten, we asked
24 the guards to call a doctor to render medical assistance to Silvestar and
25 to Cosic and also to the others who had been beaten.
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 2987 to 2996.
1 Sometime during the afternoon, a lady doctor came. Her name was
2 Ruza, and she was a doctor in our town. She was accompanied by a nurse.
3 She took a look at Cosic and at Silvestar and gave us some tablets,
4 painkillers that she had with her. She asked the guards that Silvestar
5 and Cosic should be taken to hospital; however, they took Silvestar away,
6 but Cosic stayed with us.
7 I don't know where they took him. I didn't know at the time, but
8 when I was exchanged, I learnt that Silvestar was taken to the hospital in
9 Brcko and that from there he was transferred for treatment to the hospital
10 in Belgrade, and from there - I don't know how - after he had recuperated,
11 recovered, he succeeded in leaving those parts of Serbia and he returned
12 to the territory of the Orasje municipality, which was not occupied at
13 that time.
14 Q. What about Esad Cosic? Have you ever learnt the status of his
16 A. No, unfortunately not. I never talked to him afterwards, after I
17 was exchanged, nor did I ever see him again.
18 Q. When you last saw him, he had no control of one of his legs?
19 A. That's right. The last time I saw him, he had no control over his
20 right leg. When he took a step -- if I can demonstrate this with my
21 hand. When he wanted to make a normal step, his leg would shoot up to the
22 level of his head. And as I knew him from before, and he said this
23 himself, he said that never in his life was he able to lift his leg that
24 high before.
25 Q. Sir, you indicated that you know a man by the name of Milan
2 A. Yes, I know Mr. Milan Simic.
3 Q. During the middle part of June of 1992, did you ever see Milan
4 Simic, the defendant Milan Simic, at the primary school?
5 A. Yes. One evening - I think it was, I would say, about midnight -
6 in that gym hall in which we were all put up, following orders from guards
7 and some soldiers to get up on our two feet and to sing songs again, the
8 songs that we had to sing, the Chetnik songs, as we were doing this,
9 Mr. Simic came into the hall, accompanied by six or more other men. He
10 called out the names of several of us. He ordered us to step out. And in
11 the meantime, his escorts, like all the other escorts before this one,
12 beat the people and us too while we were going out, and he called out the
13 names. He called out my brother by name, as well as Perica Misic and
14 Ibrahim Salkic and myself.
15 Q. You indicated that you were beaten as you exited the gym hall.
16 What were you beaten with?
17 A. They beat us, as far as I was able to notice, with the rifles that
18 they held and with some firm objects, hard objects that they had in their
20 Q. Were you struck, Mr. Bicic?
21 A. Yes, I was. They struck me on my back, hurrying me up to go
22 outside as soon as possible.
23 Q. So you leave the gym. What happens next?
24 A. We went through the corridor. We were pushed out of it and beaten
25 out. If I can demonstrate?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. We went through this passageway here. They pushed us out here and
3 lined us up along this wall, and as I said, above the second half of the
4 wall were windows with glass panes. This is where there were several
5 soldiers standing around. They were Mr. Simic's escorts, in fact. They
6 beat us.
7 Mr. Simic himself was standing somewhere here by the entrance. He
8 was swearing at us and cursing us, using derogatory terms, insulting us,
9 insulting the Muslims and the Croats. Perica Misic was a Croat. He was a
10 man who for several years before the war was the -- had been the head of
11 the municipality of Bosanski Samac.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, for the record, the witness pointed to
14 the diagram and showed the movement from the gym, into the corridor, and
15 lined them up into the entrance hall at the wall along the courtyard.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
17 MR. WEINER:
18 Q. You're in that entrance hall, sir. Did the defendant Simic, Milan
19 Simic, have anything in his hands?
20 A. Yes. Mr. Simic had an automatic rifle -- pistol, sorry, a
21 Scorpion. That was the pistol's name. And he waved it around in
22 different directions. He turned it towards us, pointing it at us, and he
23 shot several bullets. Luckily, the pistol had not been transferred to --
24 so that it could do a burst of gunfire, but it was individual gunshots,
25 between the heads of me and my brother. And the glass partition that was
1 behind our back shattered and the fragments fell all over us.
2 After that, the soldiers beat us again. Someone gave orders that
3 we should place -- put our hands up behind our necks or behind our heads
4 and that we should spread our legs and stand that way. And then Mr. Simic
5 aimed his boot at us. He aimed at our genitals, while the others were
6 saying, "Serves them right. Serves the balijas right. It will prevent
7 them from making any more children."
8 These -- it was quite normal that we doubled up from the impact of
9 the blows, and then we would be hit again on the back. They used various
10 metal objects that were found thereabouts. If I may show you. It was in
11 this part of the hallway.
12 Q. One second, please.
13 A. It was in this area here, this part of the hallway, and they were
14 the remnants of desks, schoolroom desks and chairs. And in the fire, when
15 the school was set on fire, they were probably -- they had probably burnt
16 down, the wooden parts. So there were a lot of these chair legs that
17 remained and the legs of the children's desks. And because they probably
18 didn't have enough police batons because they had broken them on us, then
19 these other objects were used. They were new implements to wield and to
20 beat us with.
21 Q. Did Mr. Simic strike you or your brother with any object?
22 A. Yes. I think that one of his escorts handed him one of those
23 bars, so that he had his pistol, automatic pistol, in one hand and the rod
24 or bar in the other. So that when he struck us in our genitals, when he
25 kicked us in our genitals with his boot, when we crouched down and doubled
1 up, he would then proceed to hit us with that bar.
2 Q. How was he dressed during this incident?
3 JUDGE SINGH: Just one minute. If I can seek a clarification.
4 Mr. Bicic, you used the word "we" several times. "We were struck in the
5 genitals." Can you please identify the persons to whom this happened?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can. It was myself and my
7 brother, as well as Perica Misic and Ibrahim Salkic. So we all had to
8 stand with our legs wide apart so that Mr. Simic could select his victim
9 and beat each one of us.
10 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
11 Q. How was the defendant Simic, Milan Simic, dressed during this
13 A. Milan Simic was wearing a camouflage uniform on that occasion.
14 Because it was summertime, he had trousers and a shirt on, and on his feet
15 he had army boots.
16 Q. With the Court's permission, could you please stand up and show us
17 how you had to stand against the wall.
18 MR. WEINER: With the Court's permission.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The witness can go ahead.
20 MR. WEINER:
21 Q. Would you please stand up and demonstrate how you had to stand
22 against the wall prior to being kicked.
23 A. Roughly in this position.
24 MR. WEINER: Thank you very much, sir.
25 Your Honour, may the record reflect that the witness stood with
1 his feet separated apart, say, roughly two feet - in North American, I'd
2 say two-thirds of a metre - and that he had his hands behind his neck and
3 that they were -- the fingers were crossed behind his neck.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
5 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
6 Q. Now, sir, when you were kicked, did he succeed in kicking you in
7 the groin area, sir?
8 A. I don't know, but luckily, he hit me slightly above my sex
9 organs. That's what happened to me. So that until I was exchanged, until
10 the end, up above my sex organ I had a swelling, as big as a fist, I would
11 say, and it caused me a great deal of pain.
12 Q. What was the force of that kick?
13 A. The force? Well, if somebody is standing 2 metres away from you,
14 takes two or three steps in a sort of semi-running stance and then aims,
15 like a football player when he wants to hit the ball as hard as he can,
16 when he takes aim and takes a swing, that was it.
17 Q. As a result of that kick, did you have any or did you suffer any
18 physical problems?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Could you please describe them.
21 A. When I went to urinate, along with great pain, it would last
22 longer. I was able to urinate but, as all the ducts had been clogged up
23 from the blow, once a day, so that the quantity of urine which I was not
24 able to release made the pain even worse.
25 Q. How long did this swelling and this urination problem last?
1 A. It lasted until I was released, when I went to see a doctor. And
2 I consulted my friends, and they took me to a specialist for those
3 problems, and he helped me by giving me some tablets.
4 Q. Did they explain what kind of problem you were suffering?
5 A. Yes. They said that this swelling was blocking some ducts. This
6 swelling was simply pressing against them so that urine could not flow
7 through normally.
8 Q. After your exchange, how many months was it before you healed from
9 these injuries, if you recall?
10 A. After, I think, about 20 days or a month, the swelling slowly
11 subsided and disappeared, and then I was able to urinate with less pain,
12 and the situation improved with time.
13 Q. How many times, sir, were you kicked in the area of the groin by
14 Milan Simic?
15 A. As far as I can remember, two or three times. In other words,
16 more than once I was kicked, and then after that I was struck again
17 several times with the rod or the pistol he was holding. The blow made me
18 bend forward and then I would feel severe pain in my back.
19 Q. After this beating, what did you do?
20 A. After this beating, Mr. Simic's escort took us back to the room,
21 hitting us all the time -- or rather, to the gym, and there the other
22 detainees were singing without stopping. After this, they left and the
23 other people tried to help us in any way they could, by soaking some old
24 T-shirts in water and putting them on our swellings, on our back, and, in
25 my case, below the stomach.
1 Q. Did you ever see the defendant Milan Simic again?
2 A. Yes. About seven days later - I say "about" because I'm not sure
3 whether it was five days or seven days or perhaps eight - we were ordered
4 to sing again. We sang. It was night-time. Mr. Simic called out Perica
5 Misic and my brother and took them away somewhere. We heard the car door
6 closing. There were several doors closing. We don't know how many cars
7 there were outside. We heard engines igniting and we heard the vehicles
8 driving off away from the gym where we were detained.
9 Q. Who ordered you to sing? Do you recall?
10 A. The guards who were guarding us ordered us to sing, and I don't
11 know who ordered them to tell us that.
12 Q. Now, how long was your brother and Perica Misic away?
13 A. When dawn broke - and this was summertime, so dawn broke very
14 early - my brother and Perica came back.
15 Q. Did they have anything with them when they came back, anything in
16 their hands?
17 A. Yes. They brought us several cartons of cigarettes. There were a
18 few dozen packets of cigarettes, which they distributed to all of us.
19 My friend Salkic and I and the other people were very worried
20 because the night passed so slowly for us, we didn't know where my brother
21 had been taken and with what intention he had been taken away. When he
22 returned, however, he distributed the cigarettes throughout the gym.
23 Almost everybody who was a smoker received a packet of cigarettes. Then
24 my brother sat down in his place next to me, Perica went back to his
25 place. Of course the other detainees gathered around us asking questions
1 about what had happened, asking where they had got the cigarettes and so
3 Q. Let's move on a bit. Towards the end of June, do you recall being
4 brought to the police station for an interview, to be interrogated by
5 Mr. Todorovic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And was that you and your brother that were brought?
8 A. Yes. One day, two uniformed men arrived - they had police
9 uniforms - and they said my brother and I were to go to the police
10 station. When they brought us there, they put us in a room, where they
11 beat us. They gave us a big ashtray which was full of cigarette butts,
12 filters, and parts of cigarettes, together with the ash. They made us eat
13 this. First one soldier put one or two cigarette butts into our mouths,
14 and then they made us eat all of it. They beat us with police
16 They asked us to say at whose house we had hidden our cars. My
17 brother was driving a new Mercedes at the time, and I was driving a new
18 Honda; I mean, just before the war broke out. I told them that I had
19 handed over our jeep to Mr. Lugar, who at that very moment appeared in the
21 After this, Todorovic took my brother across the corridor into
22 another room, as had happened the very first time we had been brought to
23 the police station. Todorovic and a few other police officers beat him.
24 And I was paralysed by fear, sitting with Lugar and an officer I didn't
25 know who was sitting at the desk across from me. I heard quite clearly
1 that they addressed him as "Grof" which means "Count."
2 They gave us paper and pencils and told us to write down
3 everything we knew. When we asked what we should write down, the
4 policeman or soldier - he was wearing a camouflage uniform - who had made
5 us eat the cigarette butts hit me on the head several times and told me to
6 write down everything I knew. Through both open doors, I could see that
7 something similar was happening to my brother, and this was being done to
8 him by Todorovic.
9 When I started writing, I received a blow on the hands with that
10 same truncheon and was told to write in the Cyrillic alphabet, to
11 be sure that I had learnt the Cyrillic alphabet in the first few years of
12 primary school. But that was more than 25 years before, and I could no
13 longer write in the Cyrillic alphabet.
14 Then the gentleman whom they addressed as Grof asked Lugar whether
15 it was true we had handed over our jeep, and Lugar confirmed this. He
16 said yes. He asked where the vehicle was now. Lugar said, "It's in a
17 safe place in Priboj."
18 Q. Did they let you go?
19 A. After a certain time, the gentleman nicknamed Grof asked if there
20 was room downstairs; he was referring to the cellars of the police
21 station. One of the men who were moving around in the corridor said the
22 basement was full. Then he gave orders that we be taken back to the
23 primary school.
24 MR. WEINER: Your Honours, since we're going to get back to the
25 primary school, I think it now would be a good time to break.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. We'll have our lunch break a little
2 early and resume our proceedings at 1530 hours.
3 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
4 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.58 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 3.32 p.m.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: The Prosecution is continuing with the
4 MR. WEINER: Good afternoon, everyone.
5 Could the usher please show the witness Exhibit 14A, photographs
6 68 and then 67. 68 first.
7 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Bicic. Do you see the person depicted in
8 photograph number 68? Do you recognise that person?
9 A. Yes, I recognise him. That's Lugar.
10 Q. Thank you very much. Could you now look at photograph 67. Do you
11 recognise that patch?
12 A. Yes. That is the insignia of the Sivi Vukovi, or Grey Wolves, or
13 rather, the members of that Serb special unit.
14 Q. And did you see anyone in Bosanski Samac in April of 1992 wearing
15 a patch like that?
16 A. Yes, I did. I saw it several times on these people, when I dared
17 look at them.
18 MR. WEINER: Thank you very much.
19 Thank you, Mr. Usher. Could you place the diagram of the primary
20 school back on the ELMO, please.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Before we leave the patch, the witness said he saw
22 it several times on these people when he dared look at them. Whom? Whom
23 does he mean? Who were "these people"?
24 MR. WEINER:
25 Q. Which people are you talking about that you saw in Bosanski Samac
1 wearing those patches?
2 A. Those people from the special forces, to which Lugar himself
4 Q. The persons who were doing the beatings?
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That's what I wanted to find out, yes.
6 MR. WEINER:
7 Q. The persons who were doing the beatings, Mr. Bicic? Tell the
9 A. Yes, those were the people.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Were they with a foreign accent, or were they
12 MR. WEINER:
13 Q. Were those the people from Serbia that you mentioned, or were
14 those the local individuals from Bosanski Samac?
15 A. At the beginning they were mostly people from Serbia who had the
16 Ekavian accent.
17 Q. In photograph 68 that you identified as Lugar, is that the
18 individual who you've been talking about yesterday and today?
19 A. Yes, that's the one.
20 Q. Thank you. Let us return to the primary school, end of June/early
21 July 1992, approximately one week, or during the week just before your
22 brother was transferred. Do you recall a situation or an incident, or
23 several incidents, where you and the other prisoners were forced to beat
24 each other?
25 A. Yes, I do remember. On one occasion, Todorovic and his escorts
1 entered the hall we were incarcerated in - that is to say, they came into
2 the gym - and they ordered us to sing. Among others, there was a close
3 relative of Todorovic's whose name was Goran Todorovic, with another man.
4 His name was Rade. I don't know where he was from. After shouting out
5 slogans such as "Serbia stretching to Tokyo" and the songs that we sang,
6 he chose Rade, that is, selected several -- singled out several of us,
7 whom he beat.
8 Q. Now, were the prisoners forced to beat each other at their request
9 on that occasion?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Could you explain who had to fight who and what happened?
12 A. They forced me and my brother and my friend Ibrahim Salkic to beat
13 one another. And if we didn't beat one another hard enough, then they
14 would beat us using different implements such as, for example, Rade used a
15 rod or bar, a lightning rod, which was metal, a flat metal object. It was
16 3 or 4 centimetres wide and about 5 millimetres thick. And then he would
17 force one of us to place his hands on his back, chest out as much as
18 possible, and then he'd take that metal rod and strike blows across the
19 chest. On that occasion when he took a swing to hit me, I moved. I
20 ducked. And instead of getting one blow like all the others, he hit me
21 three times with that same metal rod across the chest.
22 Then he made us beat each other again. And during this situation,
23 somebody - I can't say who, because it came from behind - hit me with a
24 baseball bat on the head in the region of my nose, eye and nose, so that
25 my nose was broken and the arch above the eye was slit open and bled
1 profusely. They put toilet paper up my nose or handkerchiefs, which
2 somebody happened to have on them, but this bleeding from the nose lasted
3 for more than 20 days. Whenever I tried to take out the tampons, the
4 blood would rush forward and it would start bleeding again. So from that
5 time on to the present day, I find it very difficult to breathe through my
6 nose. And all this part here was broken.
7 Q. Did something happen to your brother on that day? Did his hand
8 get reinjured?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What happened?
11 A. Yes. That day when they broke my bones, they allowed me to lie
12 down on the floor, on this plastic floor covering of the gym. They then
13 proceeded to beat my brother. Stevan Todorovic beat him, and I was able
14 to watch this while I was lying on the floor. He beat him with a baseball
15 bat. My brother placed his -- put his hands -- can I demonstrate this?
16 He put his hands up to his head, and he broke the fingers again, the ones
17 who had grown together, who knows how.
18 They also beat Salkic and the other people, while Omer Nalic was
19 standing in front of us somewhere in the middle of the room. And he was
20 like a conductor. He conducted while the others had to sing.
21 Q. How many fingers were broken in your brother's hand?
22 A. I think that at that moment, three fingers were fractured on his
23 left hand once again, the ones that had grown together. His hand was
24 swollen a great deal. He was suffering a great deal of pain.
25 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, may we go into a private session? I was
1 going to talk to this -- interview this witness about two brief
2 incidents. One is sexual in nature, and some of the detail could indicate
3 who the persons were who had to commit certain acts. And also one is a
4 kind of disgusting act, where he's going to mention the name. Less than
5 five minutes.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, we can go into private session actually. So
7 there is no need to draw the blinds down.
8 [Private session]
12 Page 3013 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 3014 – redacted – private session.
5 [Open session]
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We are back in open session.
7 MR. WEINER: Thank you. May I proceed?
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, you can proceed.
9 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
10 Q. You're aware that your brother was exchanged in early July, on
11 July 4th, Mr. Bicic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you tell us about that day, what happened, how your brother
14 came about to being exchanged that day?
15 A. That day, several policemen wearing policemen's uniforms came in
16 with lists. They read out names from the list, called some people out who
17 were on the list for the exchange, and among them was my brother.
18 However, while those people were reading through the list, Rade and his
19 entourage turned up again. And as I say, sometimes they would visit us
20 twice a week. And when my brother's name was read out, they became very
21 angry. They swore, said, "Who put him on the list for the exchange?"
22 cursing and swearing all the time and insulting us.
23 They started to beat him, him and the others whom they had called
24 out. The policemen who were calling out the names, reading the names out,
25 did not even try to stop them. Quite simply, they carried on reading out
1 the names from the list, while these others kept beating and inflicting
2 heavy blows with implements and boots, throwing the people out into the
3 corridor, and all the others. I think that from that particular group,
4 seven to ten people were exchanged. I can't say with certainty, but I
5 think that that was roughly the number.
6 Q. Did you get to speak to your brother before he left on that date?
7 A. Unfortunately, we didn't even have a chance to say goodbye to each
9 Q. Now, after the prisoners leave - that's group of prisoners leave -
10 to be exchanged, what happens?
11 A. After a few days went by, some younger people came to the hall,
12 some new people that we hadn't seen around before. They were now
13 accompanying Stevan Todorovic.
14 Q. Actually, before that, Mr. Bicic, did Goran Todorovic or Rade do
15 anything to the prisoners after that group was taken outside, to the
16 remaining prisoners? Was there an incident where someone was used as a
17 horse or called a horse?
18 A. Yes, unfortunately, there was.
19 Q. Could you tell the members of the Chamber what happened?
20 A. When, as they themselves said, they had seen them off nicely to
21 the bus where they were put up - that means that they beat them the whole
22 time - they returned with some more people in uniform.
23 They went back to the hall, and they started beating everybody one
24 by one. When my turn came, they beat me until I fell down. When I fell
25 to the floor, Rade got up on my back and beat me with his baton on my
1 head, with his police baton on my head, while two soldiers from his
2 company went to the side to beat me in the area of my kidneys. They
3 hurried me up. They wanted me to crawl on all fours, to get me down on
4 all fours, crawling on my arms and legs, carrying Rade on my back in this
5 way around the hall.
6 After the second circle, from all the beating and my general
7 exhaustion, I lost consciousness, so that I do not know what happened for
8 some time after that.
9 Q. What were you beaten with?
10 Mr. Bicic?
11 A. Rade beat me, as I've already said, with a baton on my head, and
12 forced me, screaming out that that was the way horses were driven, while
13 the other two who held him up on my back -- they held him by the uniform
14 that he had on him and kicked me with their boots, their army boots, in
15 the kidneys, as I've already said.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, you indicated a few days later some new people
17 came. Have you ever heard of a man or do you recall a person by the name
18 of Truman, using the nickname of Truman?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Can you tell us who he was, please?
21 A. He was a young man, about 20 years old. His father was from the
22 neighbouring village. Well, not actually neighbouring village but the
23 village after Prud. For a time, he played football. He was a goalkeeper
24 in the Odzak football club. And afterwards, I think he played in Brcko --
25 Slavonski Brod, or whatever the club's name was. However, we heard in the
1 camp, when these new people turned up, that on the territory of Odzak, in
2 the fighting there, this man Truman - that is to say, the father of this
3 young guy - had been killed.
4 Q. The first time you saw this Truman, did someone bring him to visit
5 the camp or did he come on his own?
6 A. No. The first time he came together with -- or rather, he was one
7 of the escorts of Stevan Todorovic. He came with a group of people who
8 were also in uniform.
9 Q. And what happened?
10 A. Todorovic showed Truman - this younger one, the young guy - he
11 showed him how he should behave towards us, towards us prisoners, how to
12 revenge the death of his father by -- actually, this event with his --
13 what had happened to his father, this incident, was nothing to do with
14 us. None of us had anything to do with his father's death.
15 So as I was saying, he showed him and his people how to do what
16 they did, how to beat us, what to use to beat us with. He showed him very
17 well that he was not to do it with his hands. He was to save his own
18 hands and use different objects, because he said, "You will need your
19 hands for something else. So use your legs, your boots." So that then
20 again, we were, almost all of us, beaten in that hall.
21 That went on for about an hour. They beat some of us, while
22 others had to sing. Then they would put those people back -- take those
23 people back and take others. They reversed the roles; now the others sang
24 and the first lot were beaten.
25 Q. Thereafter, did you ever see Truman again? Did he visit again
1 after that date?
2 A. Yes. After that day, he was also -- he became a frequent visitor
3 of the hall we were locked up in, but mostly, as I say, mostly he
4 personally would take out the prisoners of Croatian ethnicity. So he
5 selected them mostly, the Croats. They were victims rather than us
6 belonging to the Muslim ethnic group.
7 Q. What did he use to beat you?
8 A. Like all the others before him, he used different objects, rifles,
9 his legs, boots. He used the scrap objects that I indicated earlier on
10 and also the batons that he brought with him. They were wooden
11 truncheons. Anything and everything that came to hand.
12 Q. Did he ever bring anyone with him, or did he come alone?
13 A. He always came with a group of people. He never came alone. Very
14 rarely did any of them come alone, with the exception of these Serb
15 special forces who beat us at the beginning. All the others would always
16 come in larger groups at night, and they came with people who wore masks
17 on their heads, which indicated to us that they might have been people
18 from our own town, our former friends or perhaps neighbours.
19 Q. Are you familiar with the Stjepanovic brothers?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you recall Truman doing something to the Stjepanovic brothers?
22 A. Yes. Like Rade, he put aside those two brothers and forced them
23 to beat each other, just like they forced me and my brother to fight.
24 Then he would beat them in different ways.
25 Q. Do you recall the beating of Andrija Stjepanovic with a bat?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Could you tell the Court, please?
3 A. Yes, I do remember. On that occasion, he beat Andrija Stjepanovic
4 so hard with his bat, baton - I think it was a wooden baton - that he
5 broke his nose. And when Andrija entreated him to kill him and not to
6 torture him further because he couldn't take it any more, he beat a man
7 called Jakov as well. He was incarcerated with us there too.
8 He beat him so much -- what he did was he placed him by the wall,
9 and then he would take a run at him from the middle of the hall. He would
10 rush up to him and jump on his chest and kick him with his boots, and the
11 man would fall down from the force of the blows, and then he would carry
12 on kicking him. The other people would come to his assistance, the people
13 who were around him.
14 Q. Sir, do you recall two soldiers or police officers named Zvaka and
16 A. Yes, I do. I remember a policeman called Zvaka and another
17 policeman whom we nicknamed Zubar, meaning --
18 Q. It means "dentist"?
19 A. No. It was a man - or rather, young guy. He was about 20 - who
20 would take our teeth out with pliers, and that's why we nicknamed him
21 Zubar, "the dentist."
22 Q. Let's start out with Zvaka. How do you know him?
23 A. Zvaka was from around Samac. He worked in the department store
24 not far from our pizzeria. He was also a frequent customer in our pizza
25 bar, and during the day and in the evening ...
1 Q. Yes. And what would happen during the day and in the evening?
2 A. Could you clarify your question, please?
3 Q. Let's move on to Zubar. Who is Zubar?
4 A. I have already said that he was a young man of about 20 who was in
5 the police force, the Serb police. He would come on duty to guard us in
6 the vehicle, and his father had German number plates on the car. He
7 would -- that is to say, the younger people who were incarcerated with us
8 often had to wash his car and maintain his car. And he would take out
9 a harmonica, which he played very badly, very, very badly - he would just
10 strike a few notes - whereas all the rest of us had to sing, and while we
11 were singing, he was playing in the corridor. He ordered us to sing
12 louder, to sing different songs, so that -- this accordian, actually, was
13 worse than the beatings, and this went on in all the shifts, whenever he
14 was on duty, whenever he was the guard on duty.
15 Q. The songs that he made you sing, were these Chetnik songs or
16 Serbian patriotic songs as he played his accordion?
17 A. Yes, they were Chetnik songs. But he didn't know how to play them
18 on his accordion. He just opened and shut it, stretched it, and made some
19 kind of rhythm which he alone could recognise, and that got on our nerves
20 and made our ears tingle. But we had to sing. We had no choice.
21 Q. Now, do you recall Zvaka and Zubar doing something one evening in
22 August? Do you recall that incident, sir?
23 A. Yes, I do. One evening - I don't know what time it was, but it
24 was dark - people came into the hall. There was a lot of noise. They
25 forced us to sing again, and while we were singing, a few of them would
1 just catch hold of one by one of us and throw us out into the corridor, in
2 front of the hall. Then others would get hold of us there, who would then
3 hold us by -- hold our arms and twist our arms round to the back of
4 our -- to the back, to our backs. One of them would then start jumping up
5 with his knees into our backs and catch hold of our heads, and when we
6 opened our mouths, they would shove an object into our mouths so that we
7 were unable to shut our mouths. Zubar came to their assistance then and
8 then used pliers to extract people's teeth.
9 Q. Were these new pliers or sanitary pliers?
10 A. They were pliers that had perhaps once upon a time been used for
11 medical purposes, but they weren't new, and they were all bloody, and I
12 thought they were rusty too.
13 Q. Were any of your teeth pulled on that evening?
14 A. Yes. I lost two teeth that evening.
15 Q. Do you know any other prisoners who lost teeth on that evening?
16 A. Yes, I do. Dragan Delic, who was the director of an enterprise in
17 Samac before the war - it was called Mebos - they pulled six of his
18 teeth. Safet Hadzialijagic, who was the head of the waterworks
19 department, lost four or five teeth. They pulled four or five of his
20 teeth out. Then there was Dasa, Mersad Gibic. The same thing happened to
21 him, and to Avdo Drljacic. There were very few of us who were left in the
22 gym hall whose teeth they did not pull out.
23 Q. How many teeth were extracted on that evening?
24 A. That morning when we swept the place - that is to say, the younger
25 guys would usually clean up the floor - they said that there were over 100
1 teeth lying around in the corridors and hallways. Later on, when I was
2 transferred to the Territorial Defence building again, they told me, the
3 people there told me that they had visits too by those same people and
4 that they pulled out teeth there too.
5 Q. Mr. Bicic, using the diagram, can you show the Court where the
6 teeth were extracted on that evening?
7 A. It was in this area here, the main corridor in front of the
8 entrance to the gym.
9 Q. Thank you. Just quickly, Mr. Bicic, I'm going to take you to your
10 last interrogation sometime in mid to late July by a Simo Bovic [sic]? Do
11 you know a man by the name of Simo Bovic [sic]? Bozic.
12 A. Yes, Simo Bozic. Before the war, he worked for several years as a
13 magistrate in our town.
14 Q. And did he have a certain job or role with the municipality in
15 dealing with the prisoners, interrogating prisoners?
16 A. I don't know which role he had at the time, but one day, he came
17 that is to say, Dzoko Maslic came, who had worked in the police force
18 before the war as a police technician. I don't know in what department.
19 But he came into the hall to fetch me. He put me into a car and drove me
20 to the gym hall of the secondary school centre, and from there he brought
21 Zlatan Avramovic, who was also a young man from Samac.
22 While I was sitting in the car waiting for him to bring Zlatan
23 Avramovic out, a guard who was standing outside said through the open
24 window -- there was a broken window, or it couldn't be shut - I don't
25 know - a window of the car. He didn't say. He hit me with the butt of
1 his rifle in the head; luckily for me, not very hard.
2 Dzoko came back with Zlatan and made the soldier leave. He drove
3 us to the police station and handed me over to Simo Bozic, to whom I gave
4 a statement.
5 Q. And how long were you with Simo Bozic?
6 A. Well, the office that Simo Bozic was in, I spent about half an
7 hour in that office. Then I waited outside in the hallway for Zlatan
8 Avramovic to go through the same proceedings.
9 When Zlatan was finished with making the statement - and he spent
10 about an hour there too - we waited for somebody to come and take us back
11 to -- me to the primary school building, and Zlatan was taken to the
12 secondary school centre.
13 Zubar came up to us again, who happened to be passing by, and as I
14 was turned -- as I had my back turned, he hit me with his rifle butt in
15 the back. I screamed out because it hurt a lot. Simo Bozic came out of
16 his office, made Zubar leave. He called Dzoko Maslic again, who took me
17 back to the primary school together with Zlatan, whom he first deposited
18 at the secondary school gym.
19 Q. Now, your statement to Simo Bozic, did you get to read it after
20 you completed the statement?
21 A. I don't know. Even if I did, I don't know what purpose it would
22 have served, because if I had been beaten before that and if I was beaten
23 after that, then what was the purpose of the statement? They could have
24 given me my death sentence to sign, and it wouldn't have been much worse.
25 Q. During the interview with Simo Bozic, were you treated fairly or
1 were you beaten?
2 A. No. During the interrogation, nobody beat me. I was interviewed
3 by Mr. Bozic. I answered his questions.
4 Q. So you were returned to the primary school after the interview?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, sometime in late August, were you moved to another facility?
7 A. Yes. Before they transferred us back to the warehouse of the
8 Territorial Defence, an incident took place so that a group of -- what
9 happened was that a group of people came in to where we were. They
10 singled out some of us as their victims. They beat us, but at that
11 particular moment especially -- they especially singled out Mr. Safet
12 Hadzialijagic, nicknamed Coner. They beat him. Four or five of them beat
13 him, put him in a circle that they had formed around him, while the rest
14 of us, as had happened in all the previous cases, had to stand around
15 singing the Chetnik songs.
16 They beat him so much that when he fell down, they struck him with
17 their boots, kicking him in the head. And in one particular instance,
18 after having kicked him, there was blood on the boot of one of the
19 soldiers. He was swearing and cursing his balija mother at Safet. He
20 said why had Safet dirtied his boot with his blood. And he swore at him
21 for that and then made Safet lick his boot clean and lick his blood off
22 the floor.
23 The man screamed out in pain. To all of us, this was horrendous
24 and caused us a great deal of pain to have to look at this helpless man.
25 And we were helpless ourselves, exhausted with the daily beatings and the
1 hunger. And at that time, we were given a piece of bread the size of a
2 packet of cigarettes, stale bread several days old with half a spoonful of
3 marmalade jam or half a spoonful of pork fat, lard, and about half a cup
4 of tea. That was a meal which would have to keep us going for 24 hours.
5 Q. Mr. Bicic, who were those persons who beat Safet Hadzialijagic?
6 Were those locals? Were those soldiers? Were those police officers? Who
7 was that group?
8 A. Safet Hadzialijagic was beaten by policemen. Some of them were
9 local people, some from the Samac area. And in that beating and the
10 extraction of teeth, the most prominent role was played by Nikola
11 Vukovic. He arrived in Samac, shortly before the war broke out, from the
12 Vukovar area. His wife was from Samac. Several years before that, she
13 had been employed as an assistant cook in our restaurant which we had in
14 the same place that we later refurbished and transformed into a pizzaria.
15 The names of the others who took part were Zvaka, Tubonja, and some others
16 whom I did not know.
17 Q. Just a few more questions on the primary school. For those three
18 months, let's say 12 to 14 weeks, that you spent in the primary school,
19 were you allowed to bathe?
20 A. No. Not once did we have an opportunity to bathe or to wash
21 ourselves. If we went to the toilet to relieve ourselves or to wash, we
22 first had to pass by the guards, and very often we did not know whose
23 shift it was or whether they would allow us to go, or perhaps say they
24 allowed us to go and then give us a beating in that corridor.
25 I only wish to add one more thing: I think that this was
1 happening all over town and not just in the school where we were locked
2 up. There were only a few hours when the water was turned on; in other
3 words, the town water supply was on for only a few hours, and then we
4 would fill some containers which had been brought to us by the guards or
5 policemen. We filled them with water in order to have drinking water, and
6 if we were beaten again, the guards and those who beat us wanted us to be
7 able to wash the floor of the detention room or to wipe the corridor in
8 which we were most frequently beaten.
9 Q. When you were transferred to the TO, where were you held at the
11 A. When we were transferred to the TO, we were accommodated in this
12 other room. I would like to show this on the diagram, if I may.
13 MR. WEINER: Yes.
14 Do we have the TO diagram?
15 A. When we were brought back to the premises of the Territorial
16 Defence, we were put in this larger storeroom, and in these rooms - there
17 were two rooms, in fact - we found about a hundred people. I'm referring
18 to the room where we had been detained before and the room next to it.
19 There were about 100 or 120 people. I say approximately, because I didn't
20 count them, nor would I have been able to.
21 Q. Were prisoners beaten upon return at the TO?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did Rade ever come and visit at the TO?
24 A. Yes. Rade continued his visits.
25 Q. And what happened when he visited?
1 A. When I arrived, he would --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Or rather -- sorry, interpreter's mistake.
3 A. When he arrived, he would call out people's names. He would ask
4 for the brothers Radic, for Jakov. And as the guards guarding us in those
5 two rooms - and by that time we were also allowed to go out into the
6 yard - they opened the doors, so we were able to move around the yard,
7 sit outside. The guards were here, in the room here, in this building.
8 They would come in - I don't know on that pretext - and they would come to
9 where we were, call out Jakov and the Stjepanovic brothers. They would
10 stand here near the door so that the guards could see them, and they would
11 make these three men run from somewhere in the centre of the room and bang
12 their heads against the walls. They would repeat this several times,
13 until somebody from outside called the guards who were there. The guards
14 would come quickly and throw them out, two or three times. However, they
15 would have to bang their heads against the wall and they would faint from
16 this effort.
17 Q. Mr. Bicic, how long were you at the TO?
18 A. I was in the TO until the 4th of September, 1992, or rather, until
19 the 3rd of September, 1992, in the evening.
20 Q. What happened on the evening of the 3rd of September?
21 A. In the evening of the 3rd of September, several policemen came
22 with lists. They called people out from those two rooms in which we were
23 detained. Among others, they called me out.
24 Q. What happened?
25 A. Then they took us out, put us onto a truck, where we sat in the
1 darkness, waiting. And then they took several prisoners out of the police
2 station and put them onto the same truck, and then they drove off. The
3 truck was covered with canvas. The drive may have taken an hour or
4 longer. It's difficult for me to orientate myself or to remember how long
5 it took. And in the end, they brought us back to the primary school
7 Q. What did you observe when you arrived at the primary school
9 A. In the primary school gymnasium, there were many elderly people
10 from our town and the surrounding area. Some of them were even over 80.
11 These people were sitting on the floor. I knew many of them. When they
12 saw me coming in with the guards who brought us in, who were carrying
13 flashlights and candles, many of these people from our town got up. They
14 simply jumped to their feet. They approached me, hugged me, gave me a
15 cigarette, or a pack of cigarettes. They were happy to see me. They said
16 that at last I too was to be exchanged.
17 Q. The next day, September 4th, can you tell us what happened?
18 A. On that day, at about 8.00, these elderly civilians were brought
19 in. They had a watch, and we knew then what time it was. Some buses
20 arrived. I think there were two buses. They came to a halt in the yard
21 outside the entrance facing the stairs leading into the gym. And then we
22 waited for some other people, some women and children they had sent for.
23 They were searching for them in the houses where they were staying. Then
24 they started calling out names, and if someone's name was called out, he
25 was told to board a bus. I was among those whose names were called out.
1 I boarded a bus.
2 Sometime after the buses had arrived on the -- the school
3 playground or yard was full of people from our town. I don't know how
4 they had found out, whether someone had told them, but they had simply
5 gathered there to see us off.
6 And so after about an hour, we set out, and then we stopped again
7 in front of the police station building. A man was carried in from the
8 police station. He had been wounded. I didn't know him. They also put
9 him in the bus, and then the bus set off in the direction of Bosanska
11 We arrived there between 1200 and 1300 hours. It was daylight.
12 It was a very, very hot day.
13 Q. Did you see any of the defendants --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 MR. WEINER: Sorry.
16 Q. Did you see any of the defendants when you arrived there?
17 A. Yes. The bus was in front of a bridge at a distance of 20 to 25
18 metres. I can't remember exactly. It was in a street. And on the
19 opposite side of the street from the bus, some 10 or 15 metres away, there
20 was a catering establishment, where I saw Mr. Miro Tadic together with
21 some other policemen, some of whom I knew. They were drinking beer while
22 we sat in the bus with the door and windows closed, in the burning
24 Some elderly women who had to go to the toilet had to relieve
25 themselves sitting there in their clothes. And we stood there for about
1 five hours waiting, then some other buses arrive. We didn't know where
2 they were coming from. And shortly after this, we crossed the bridge and
3 went on towards Croatia.
4 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, would you like to break now?
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We shall rise now. Next week, Monday we're
6 not sitting. On Tuesday, we're not sure whether we will have the
7 courtroom, but we shall definitely have the courtroom in the afternoon at
8 1500 hours.
9 MR. WEINER: Should we consult the Registrar's office on Monday?
10 JUDGE MUMBA: No. On Monday we won't sit because the courtroom
11 will be used the whole day.
12 MR. WEINER: No, I realise that. Shall we consult the Registrar's
13 office about the Tuesday, whether or not we'll be meeting in the morning?
14 JUDGE MUMBA: No.
15 MR. WEINER: Or is it definitely --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: We'll sit at 1500 hours on Tuesday.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.00 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 30th day
19 of October, 2001, at 1500 p.m.