1 Thursday, 01 November 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. 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 is continuing
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 WITNESS: IBRAHIM SALKIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Examined by Mr. di Fazio: [Continued]
16 Q. Mr. Salkic, can you hear me?
17 A. Yes, I can hear well now.
18 Q. Thank you. Yesterday I was asking you some questions about your
19 life in Bosanski Samac and people you knew, including the defendants.
20 Before I leave that topic, I just want to get a very brief overview of the
21 property that you held as at April of 1992. Did you own a house or an
23 A. I had an apartment; I had my shop; I had a kombi van, which I used
24 for practicing my profession; I had another small vehicle; I had video
25 games, and the video games parlour was in a prefabricated building which
1 was in the neighbourhood of my house; I also had a little boat, about
2 eight, nine, ten metres long, and I used that for vacationing on the Sava
4 Q. And presumably your house had furniture and the usual domestic
5 appliances and so on.
6 A. Yes, roughly that's the way it was, within the scope of my
8 Q. Did your wife possess jewellery?
9 A. Yes, there was some. Whenever I had the opportunity, I'd buy her
10 some gold, silver, things like that.
11 Q. We'll return to the fate of this property at a later point.
12 There's been evidence in this trial of the existence of a body
13 called the 4th Detachment. Were you aware of that, of that body?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. When did you first become aware of its existence?
16 A. Well, approximately five or six months before the war operations
18 Q. How did you become aware of its existence?
19 A. I found out through what my acquaintances told me. They were
20 talking about it, that they were called up in order to get into that unit
21 itself. Allegedly, its purpose was to defend the town if there were to be
22 some kind of an attack on the town of Samac. So later, I was also asked
23 to come and join that unit, but I refused.
24 Q. Did you understand it to be attached to the JNA?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You say that you were asked to join and that you refused. How was
2 the invitation to join extended to you?
3 A. This was a conversation between myself and Mr. Fadil Topcagic. He
4 was explaining to me what the purpose of that unit would be. During this
5 conversation, I came to a conclusion, and I said that to him, that in a
6 neighbouring country there was already a war, and that war was waged by
7 the Yugoslav People's Army, and they attacked the people and they shelled
8 Vukovar and the other towns that are in our vicinity. And I said to him
9 that that was more or less what was in store for us on the part of that
10 same JNA and I did not want to be part and parcel of that.
11 Q. When did you have this conversation?
12 A. This conversation took place, I can't say for sure now, but a few
13 months earlier. Say it was five, five and a half, six months, before the
14 war operations started, although Mr. Topcagic and I talked about the Fazan
15 hunting club. We went hunting on a Sunday. We -- and then the shelling
16 of Vukovar would start at 7.00 in the morning on that Sunday, so this was
17 like four and a half months earlier, and I said to him, "See, Fadil, what
18 you'd like us to get into." And that's when Fadil and I ceased all
20 Q. Do you mean you could hear the shelling in the distance?
21 A. Yes. In the neighbouring Croatia. And we also saw all the
22 telecasts and we heard the news and I knew that all of this was being done
23 by the Yugoslav People's Army, and this unit that they offered me to join
24 was also under the auspices of the Yugoslav People's Army, so I refused
1 Q. Can you tell us if many Muslims in the municipality of Bosanski
2 Samac joined the 4th Detachment?
3 A. Well, not many, but individual persons did. There were some,
4 though, who saw very quickly that this was not what they had been told
5 originally. During the preparations, I had the opportunity of talking to
6 my acquaintances. Actually, I know a gentleman who, just 15 days before
7 the war, returned his rifle to this same Fadil. Actually, he told me that
8 he returned it to Fadil, and he said that he didn't want to take part in
9 this. And he got his family together and they all went to Germany.
10 Q. Can you comment on the proportion of Muslims who were members of
11 the JNA -- of the -- sorry, of the 4th Detachment?
12 A. Mostly ethnic Serbs, and there were some Muslims, perhaps 5 per
13 cent. I don't think it was even 5 per cent.
14 Q. Can you comment on the number of Croats who were recruited into
15 the ranks of the 4th Detachment?
16 A. As far as I know, because of course I did not have any insight
17 into their documents, I don't know. I didn't hear of a single one being
19 Q. In the months leading up to April of 1992, did the 4th Detachment
20 patrol the town of Bosanski Samac and the surrounding areas?
21 A. My first observation was -- well, I had the opportunity of seeing
22 a lot of suspicious things going on, but then I thought it wasn't much.
23 However, just a few days before the war, a rally was held in town, and
24 just before that rally - this was, say, at 9.00 or 10.00 or 11.00, I
25 couldn't say for sure now -- actually, before that, my friends told me
1 that the army was around town, all around town, and I didn't mind going to
2 see all of this myself. So the town was besieged while this rally for
3 peace was being held in town.
4 I think that you'll understand what I'm saying. This was a rally
5 of all citizens of all ethnic groups. People were publicly expressing
6 their views, like there would be a war, there would not be a war, this and
7 that, that we should live together, et cetera. However, that is to say
8 that the actions and preparations of the 4th Detachment were already
10 Q. I think I'd like you to explain a little more clearly what this
11 rally has to do with the 4th Detachment. Why do you raise that issue of
12 the rally in relation to the patrolling and the activities of the 4th
14 A. I'm sorry for having interrupted. This is how I saw things.
15 Since they probably thought that most people were not in favour of war, at
16 least not in my opinion, everybody had their own business, their own work,
17 their own family, and everybody was concerned, and they thought that there
18 would be a lot of people attending that rally and that they could surround
19 the town unhindered.
20 Q. Who is "they"?
21 A. I meant the 4th Detachment.
22 Q. Did the 4th Detachment have a presence at this rally?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Had you seen them publicly, that is the 4th Detachment, prior to
25 this rally? For example, by patrolling or carrying out activities in the
1 municipality of Bosanski Samac?
2 A. Well, I did not have much opportunity, and actually, I wasn't all
3 that interested either. All of this was always within the JNA, the JNA.
4 That is to say that whatever would be said, they would say, that they were
5 the Yugoslav People's Army, of course this forward unit, but of course, I
6 could not consider this to be a normal thing because I did my military
7 service, and after doing my military service, I was in the Territorial
8 Defence and no one ever allowed me to take a rifle home. And as soon as I
9 saw anybody with a military weapon that they had got from the 4th
10 Detachment, that meant that that was not legal. And I did see people with
11 weapons. Some people were actually bragging to me in a way, saying, "We
12 have everything and you don't want to join us." There were things to that
13 effect. However, on that day of the rally itself, there wasn't anything
14 very important going on.
15 Q. You just referred to seeing people with weapons and people
16 bragging to you. Are you saying that they were members of the 4th
17 Detachment? Is that your position?
18 A. Yes, yes, precisely, because a gentleman who is related to
19 Mr. Topcagic actually showed me a rocket launcher, and he said something
20 like, "What are you guys with these little rifles going to do against us
21 who have rocket launchers, tanks, and this and that?" Even then, though,
22 I thought there could not be a war. I did not take this seriously. But I
23 saw this with my very own eyes.
24 Q. Who was the person who showed you the rocket launcher?
25 A. His name was Senad. Believe me, as for the last name, it escapes
1 me now. If I had more time, perhaps I could remember. However, I can
2 explain the relationship between Fadil and this young man.
3 Q. Just tell us: Was this man Senad a member of the 4th Detachment?
4 A. Yes. Yes. He's the one who said that to me.
5 Q. That's all I need to know. Did the SDA have any patrols, as far
6 as you're aware, operating in the town of Bosanski Samac in the period of
7 time prior to 16th of April, 1992?
8 A. I don't know whether the SDA did, but I know that there was a
9 group of people that called themselves self-organised citizens, who wanted
10 to protect their families and their town from a possible attack. I know
11 about these people, that they were engaged in patrols. They even asked me
12 to join them, but I didn't have time for that kind of thing. So that's
13 what I can say about that.
14 Q. These people who called themselves the self-organised citizens,
15 were they of a particular ethnic background?
16 A. Yes. Most of them were Croats and Muslims.
17 Q. What sort of activities did they engage in?
18 A. At the entrances into town, day and night, things could be seen,
19 and they would stand there hiding, at least a bit, so that if they would
20 see military vehicles or tanks coming in, they could go back into town and
21 tell the rest of the population that possibly an attack was underway.
22 Q. Thank you. You were familiar, I think, with a Territorial Defence
23 system that existed in the former Yugoslavia, also known as the TO?
24 A. Yes, of course, because after I did my military service, that is
25 to say, in March 1975, I automatically joined the Territorial Defence,
1 because that was the system of the state as it existed then, which meant
2 that every able-bodied man up to the age of 55 or 60, whatever, was a
3 reserve military conscript, and I was one of them.
4 Q. In the months, months, leading up to April of 1992, was it
5 operating and existing in Bosanski Samac?
6 A. No. No. This was a certain period when the Yugoslav People's
7 Army came, collected all documents from the members of the Territorial
8 Defence. As for the weapons that were stored for the municipality of
9 Samac in case there was an aggression against Yugoslavia, there would be
10 the possibility of a rapid intervention. That's the way the system
11 functioned. So the TO did not exist after that, and until --
12 Q. I'm sorry. I apologise. I cut you off. Please finish your
14 A. Thank you. Yes. This TO, this Territorial Defence, came into
15 being once again, say, a week before these war activities started.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, that's what I want to ask you about, the revival
17 or re-establishment of the TO. How did you know that it was reviving or
18 being re-established?
19 A. Well, I heard that from my friends, from my acquaintances in
20 town. The situation was rather tense, so people were talking. For me,
21 this was a piece of good news, because knowing the TO from before, I
22 thought that all three ethnic groups would be represented there, and as a
23 matter of fact, I was pleased. And then I went there and signed up again,
24 because with our own signatures we would confirm that we were yet again
25 members of the TO.
1 Q. Let's take it in a bit more detail. Where did you go?
2 A. I came to the TO premises themselves. That was in a certain part
3 of town that was not far away from the municipality building and the
4 police station. I came there, and there were quite a few people there,
5 and at one moment I realised that there were some specific people there,
6 and I was really pleased to see one Serb, a few Croats, et cetera, and I
7 thought: This is the right thing. We're all together again.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for one
9 moment, please.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
11 [Prosecution counsel confer]
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I continue?
13 MR. DI FAZIO:
14 Q. I do apologise. Please continue.
15 A. Yes. So then I had to wait there for about half an hour, because
16 there were quite a few people around. And then I walked in. I walked
17 into the premises, into this room where there was a man sitting there, and
18 he said, "This is a state institution, a military institution. The very
19 name Territorial Defence means that we are defending the territory that we
20 live in," and of course he explained all these things to me, and I very,
21 very gladly accepted this, to become a member of the TO.
22 Q. Okay. Now, let's try to get a fix on the time, if we can. About
23 how long before the 16th of April, 1992 was this?
24 A. Perhaps four or five or even six days earlier, give or take a day
25 or two. A lot of time has gone by, and it's very hard to remember
1 exactly, with precision, a particular day.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown F50 from Exhibit P14;
3 photograph number F50.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: From P14A?
5 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm sorry, Your Honour, yes. I'd ask the usher to
6 make sure there is nothing on the photograph that indicates what the topic
7 is. Thank you. That's clear.
8 Q. Just have a quick look at that photo, please. Is that -- what
9 building is that?
10 A. This is the Territorial Defence building, the headquarters of the
11 Territorial Defence.
12 Q. Where did you go to sign up? Yes, use that baton to indicate.
13 A. Would you please turn it a bit this way? Yeah. This is where the
14 entrance was.
15 Q. Thank you. You said that there were a number of people there.
16 Where were those people gathered?
17 A. Yes. It was somewhere around here, see here, see here, within
18 these ten metres or so, right in front of the entrance. Or actually, this
19 entrance, this hallway, was already full of these people who were waiting
20 to sign up to join the TO.
21 Q. I'm trying to get an idea after the sort of numbers that were
22 gathered at the time that you went to sign up. What sort of crowd was
23 there, if indeed it was a crowd?
24 A. Yes, yes. In my estimate, there were 150 or 200 people, and then,
25 if you take into account those who were inside, perhaps it was about 250
1 altogether, because it took me a half hour to get in in order to sign up,
2 and to sign these papers.
3 Q. What was the ethnic background of the crowd, as far as you could
5 A. Well, for the most part, they were Muslims. There were a few
6 Croats and perhaps one or two Serbs. I can't say for sure now, but that's
7 the people I saw there then.
8 Q. Were you aware of who was the Commander-in-Chief of this
9 re-established TO?
10 A. Yes, yes, yes. I was told, but I cannot really say now, who held
11 which particular post. It was Mr. Marko Bozanovic and Mr. Alija
12 Fitozovic. One was the commander and the other one was chief of staff,
13 and I really cannot say which one held which of these two posts, although
14 these are very, very high positions.
15 Q. Okay. That's fine. But can you tell us how you ascertained, how
16 you found out, that those two men were holding the top positions in the
18 A. Well, yes, yes. As we were signing these papers, we were shown a
19 document where it said that this -- how should I put this? That this
20 appointment of theirs was confirmed by the minister from Sarajevo, so all
21 of this was certified, whatever, so we realised that this was not just
22 like that, that this was a legal institution of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 Q. Okay. In the next few days, did you have occasion to return to
24 the TO?
25 A. Yes, yes. One day I was passing by, two or three days afterwards,
1 and I saw a crowd of people there. I stopped my car because I knew all
2 the people very well who were there, so I stopped too, and I asked what
3 was going on, what was happening, and they explained to me briefly and
4 said that there were some weapons, and that this -- these weapons had to
5 be taken over, and somebody even asked me why I didn't want to, and I said
6 I didn't want to have any weapons, possess any weapons. I had my own
7 hunting weapon. I didn't tell them that, but I was one of the people that
8 had to procure my own weapon illegally; a rifle, actually.
9 Q. First of all, again, can you comment on the numbers of people who
10 were gathered on this second occasion that you describe? Was it the same
11 as before or less?
12 A. Yes, more or less. There were about 40, a maximum of 50 people.
13 Some were satisfied; others were not. There wasn't enough weapons. There
14 weren't enough weapons to go around, and then they would get to this list
15 and there were little problems there, and they asked me what am I looking
16 for when I have a weapon? And I said I had a hunting rifle and that
17 that's not why I was there. I was curious to see what was going on, that
18 was all.
19 Q. Do I understand from that last answer that weapons were being
21 A. Yes. Whether they were taking them off somewhere or whether there
22 was a training session going on in the yard of the TO, I couldn't say with
23 certainty now, but I would not be surprised if they had been distributing
25 Q. What sort of weapons were being -- or rather, what sort of weapons
1 could you see being handled in the TO on this occasion?
2 A. Well, it was rather out-of-date already. I can't say with
3 certainty, of course, but probably it was what had remained, what was no
4 good, and what the people that came before didn't want to take off with
5 them, or perhaps they had procured it in some other way, the TO perhaps
6 itself. So I can't say either way, but it was in pretty poor shape, the
8 Q. How long did you remain there on this occasion, this second
10 A. Perhaps 15 to 20 minutes.
11 JUDGE SINGH: Mr. Salkic, if I can just seek a clarification from
12 you on the hunting weapon, you said that you had to procure your weapon
13 illegally. Were you not entitled to a hunting weapon, a licence for your
14 rifle, since you'd been a member of this hunting club for a long while?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there was a
16 misunderstanding. Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. No. I came by my
17 hunting weapon legally, but unfortunately, I procured an army weapon
18 illegally too. I had that too. And that was only to protect my family
19 and my property, and everything else, and I'm very happy to be able to say
20 that I never used it.
21 JUDGE SINGH: So you had two weapons; a hunting rifle and another
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had two hunting rifles. One was
24 for small game and the other for big game, the carbine type and the
25 shotgun. And I procured an army rifle illegally.
1 MR. DI FAZIO:
2 Q. Was that a Kalashnikov?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. How long before the 16th of April did you acquire that weapon?
5 A. About 10 to 15 days.
6 Q. Can you comment on the general availability of that sort of
7 military rifle - I'm not talking about hunting rifles; I'm talking about
8 military rifles such as a Kalashnikov - in the period of time leading up
9 to April of 1992?
10 A. Well, availability? In view of the fact that it was war in
11 neighbouring Croatia, you could come by them. Of course, you had to pay
12 for them and this ranged from 1.000 Deutschemarks to 2.000, or between 400
13 to 2.000, depending on the period. Prices changed. I know I had to pay a
14 thousand marks for my own one.
15 Q. Did you ever see people carrying such weapons in the months
16 leading up to April of 1992, carrying them about in the street, that sort
17 of thing? I'm not talking about soldiers, okay; I'm talking about private
19 A. Yes, I did have occasion to see. It was just prior to the war,
20 the situation, and nobody hid anything. Nobody bothered to hide anything,
21 those who got it legally from the 4th Detachment and those of us who were
22 not in the 4th Detachment. Of course, as far as I was able, I didn't
23 carry my rifle around; I kept it away, and that's how I was parted from it
25 Q. Thank you. Can we now just return to this second occasion that
1 you were at the TO and in which some weaponry was distributed. The TO is
2 just across the road from the SUP building.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. On this second occasion, did you see any police officers observing
5 what was going on at the TO?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you know a gentleman named Savo Cancarevic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What ethnic background is he?
10 A. He's a Serb. I know him very well because for a time he lived
11 with my sister -- actually, he was married to my sister.
12 Q. Did you see him on this second occasion when you were at the TO?
13 A. Yes. They were standing up on the windows and watching it all.
14 And later on this was reflected on us, because later on, through the camps
15 and all the interrogations, they always claimed that it was illegal, an
16 illegal institution, that TO, so it reverberated. For me, it was legal
17 because it was the institution of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but probably that
18 was the information that came back to them from the people that were
19 looking out of the windows so that later on they could take it out on us
20 in that way.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: I'd like to refer you to two documents now.
22 Can the witness please be shown D16/1. It's been marked only for
23 identification. It's headed "The Communications Section." May I just see
24 the document before the usher hands it to the witness.
25 Q. I think you have the B/C/S version in front of you.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Have you ever seen this document before?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Have you ever heard -- I'll withdraw that question. Cast your eye
5 down the list of names.
6 A. Yes. I know all these people.
7 Q. Are they Muslim?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Have you ever heard of any body or organ or group called a
10 communications section?
11 A. No, quite certainly no, never. I never heard or saw anything like
13 Q. Are any of those people there, to your knowledge, members of the
14 4th Detachment?
15 A. Yes. The gentleman by number 6.
16 Q. Ibrahim Kabaklic?
17 A. Yes, Mr. Ibrahim Kabaklic.
18 Q. Where is he now?
19 A. And even -- that is to say, I think he's in Australia or Canada
20 now, but up to the war, or in the war, he was in the army of Republika
21 Srpska, in the 4th Detachment, at that time.
22 Q. What about number -- what about Alija Drljacic?
23 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour. It's leading, obviously.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll withdraw --
25 MR. PANTELIC: This is a leading way of examination. The witness
1 should -- the first question was -- after reviewing the names, the witness
2 can say, to the best of his knowledge, whom does he have information about
3 the 4th Detachment membership.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll rephrase the question.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Please go ahead.
7 MR. DI FAZIO:
8 Q. You've commented on one person that you know to be a member of the
9 4th Detachment. Can you see any other people there who were, to your
10 knowledge, also members of the 4th Detachment?
11 A. Yes. Yes. I didn't pay attention.
12 Q. Who else?
13 A. Or if the Court allows me to, let me just say that this is the
14 second time in my life that I'm in a court of law, so I'm a little
15 nervous. First of all was in Bijeljina, in the military court. So I
16 haven't got much experience in matters of this kind. So I should like to
17 say thank you to the gentleman, but please try and understand.
18 Yes, Kemal Dzakic, the man who returned his rifle 15 days before
19 the war and said he did not wish to take part with them in all that, and
20 he left for Germany. And Mr. Alija Drljacic is an elderly man who died
21 several months ago. He was about 65 years old. He was an old man and not
22 a conscript. I don't know about this list, but I can say this -- present
23 these facts on the basis of this list.
24 Q. Okay. I just want to clarify some things from your last answer.
25 You say Kemal Dzakic returned his rifle 15 days before the war and didn't
1 want to take part in all of that. Returned his rifle to whom? We have to
2 be precise.
3 A. Yes. I didn't see that case, but that's what he told me, word by
4 word. He said, "I returned the rifle to Fadil and Simo and told them that
5 I do not wish to take part in that." And one or two days later, he
6 collected up his family and left for Germany.
7 Q. Thank you. And I don't want to be pedantic, but you haven't
8 actually said: Was he actually a member of the 4th Detachment up until
9 the time that he handed back his rifle?
10 A. He was. He was armed by them, according to what he had said some
11 two months previously, which means that he already possessed the weapons.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, you also commented on a gentleman named Alija
13 Drljacic. Now, was he actually a member of the 4th Detachment or not?
14 A. No, he wasn't a member of the 4th Detachment, but he was an
15 elderly man, and according to all military structures, he wouldn't be
16 eligible for a list of this kind.
17 Q. Is he still alive, as far as you're aware?
18 A. No. He died, unfortunately, this year.
19 Q. How old was he back in 1992?
20 A. In 1992, he was about 64 or 65, perhaps a year or two more.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I've finished with that document. Can
22 the witness now be shown D17/1. I believe this document has also been
23 marked for identification. And it should be headed "Hunters' Section."
24 Q. Now, again, cast your eye down the list of names, please.
25 A. Yes, I've had a look.
1 Q. Okay. Do you know if any of the men listed there were members of
2 the 4th Detachment?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Who? Which one? Which one or ones were members?
5 A. Just a moment. Let me just see. The first is number 6,
6 Mr. Dzevad Seljakovic who stayed there. I don't know whether he stayed
7 until the end of the war, but I know that he's abroad somewhere now.
8 Well, that man, number 6.
9 Q. Right. Did he have brothers?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Were they in the 4th Detachment?
12 A. He had four brothers. With the exception of one, all of them were
13 in the 4th Detachment. Seljakovic, Fikret, and the other one's name I
14 can't quite remember now. I can't remember his name now, but there was
15 Dzevad, there was Fikret, and I think that third one's name was -- I can't
16 remember. But the Seljakovic brothers.
17 Q. Now, in your evidence you've commented on the existence of this
18 body called Fazan, or Pheasant, which was the hunting club. Were any of
19 the men listed in D17/1 members of Fazan?
20 A. Yes. Here is the man, just as he is here in this hunters'
21 section, commander Hasan Mesanovic was for a long time president and
22 secretary of the society, and Mr. Pasaga, he was too. Mehmed, Dzevad
23 Jusufovic, Kemal Bajraktarevic, a hunter, yes. In fact, they were all
24 hunters, not to go through the whole list, they were all hunters.
25 Q. What about Avdo Drljacic?
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
14 English transcripts
1 He's the only one I'm not quite sure of. He was doing his sort of
2 training. He wasn't a full-fledged hunter, but he went hunting with us.
3 I can't say for sure whether he had actually become a hunter, passed his
4 sort of test, or whether he was to become a full-fledged hunter.
5 Q. I just want to ask you very briefly about some of the personal
6 details of these men. Can you tell us how old number 5, Enes Drljacic,
7 was in 1992?
8 A. Yes, more or less, that would be a bit difficult. But Mehmedalija
9 Tihic was 50 years old. The others were younger. He was a notorious
10 alcoholic. Sevko was a retired policeman. Enes Drljacic was about 60, as
11 I've already said. Just a moment, please. There is a mistake here.
12 Mehmedalija Tihic was not a notorious alcoholic. That's somebody else. I
13 was thinking of Tiric, nicknamed Mesa. He was the man I was thinking of.
14 And I think all the people who knew him -- those of them here who knew him
15 knew that he was an alcoholic. Mustafa Salkic was about 60. The other,
16 Pasaga, was a little younger. So they were -- some of them were between
17 60 and 65, along with the others.
18 Q. Thank you. I've dealt with those documents.
19 I want to ask you now about events on the night of the 16th of
20 April, 1992. There has been evidence in the case that that was the night
21 on which an attack occurred -- sorry, hostilities commenced in Bosanski
22 Samac. Where were you on the night of the 16th and 17th of April?
23 A. Depending on the period you have in mind, if you're thinking about
24 the actual time before the attack, I was sleeping at my own home.
25 Q. That's where I want to pick things up from, and I want to start
1 hearing your account of events from that point onwards. You said you were
2 at home. Were you awoken?
3 A. Yes. [redacted]
4 [redacted]. And across the road not far from the MUP, the TO and the
5 municipality building, a man stepped out in front of his car wearing a
6 camouflage uniform. He was armed. He had black paint on his face. And
7 this gave rise to the suspicion that the attack on town had begun. But as
8 this was in the same direction, he went straight on to my house, he woke
9 me up and said, "It seems that the attack has started." I dressed
10 quickly, and then took up that rifle of mine, the one that I had procured
11 illegally, and we went off.
12 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us how you dressed? What you were
13 wearing, I should say.
14 A. Yes. I had hunting trousers on and a jumper of some kind, or a
15 T-shirt or something.
16 Q. What colour were the hunting trousers?
17 A. They were green hunting trousers, the standard type of wear that
18 hunters wear, all green.
19 Q. Where did you [redacted] go?
20 A. We went off in that direction, in the direction that he had seen
21 the people, and he sort of thought intuitively -- and we of course knew
22 that part of town, we knew all the streets, and we knew that there was an
23 intersection, a crossroads, and that they could reach the street in front
24 of the MUP via the yards. So we turned off one street earlier, and at the
25 time we were there, we were conscious of the fact that they had covered
1 the whole area, so we didn't come out onto that street directly. We --
2 but we got there, and we got out of the car.
3 And at that particular moment, a police car came up on the
4 left-hand side, and in it we recognised Mr. Namik Suljic, and we managed
5 to divert him to the left. We made sign language to tell him that
6 something bad was going on. And at the point when he turned left, there
7 was shelling, and a shell hit the balcony of the MUP building. The
8 shooting started. And that's how it all began. And the events followed
9 on after that.
10 Q. Who is Namik Suljic?
11 A. Mr. Namik Suljic was the commander of the reserve police force,
12 and that night he was actually on duty.
13 Q. You say that the MUP was struck by fire. Where -- what was the
14 direction of --
15 A. No.
16 Q. No?
17 A. It hit the balcony. Of course, they weren't large shells. MUP
18 was not set fire to. It just hit the wall.
19 Q. I'm sorry, perhaps I misled you. What I meant was that it was
20 struck by shells or bullets. I wasn't suggesting that it was put on
21 fire. But what I was interested in was the direction from which the fire
22 was being -- was coming towards the MUP, the firing, I should say.
23 A. Well, it's difficult for me to demonstrate this without anything.
24 Perhaps if I had a photograph, then it would be much easier and I could
25 explain it quite easily, if I had something to work with.
1 Q. I don't want to dwell on this. I don't want to dwell on this for
2 too long. I just want to know the general direction from which the firing
3 was occurring.
4 A. Well, I'll try. I'll try to describe this to you. The shell came
5 from round about the area -- actually, opposite is the TO building, where
6 there was a spare parts shop, car shop there, so it would be from the edge
7 of the TO building or this shop selling spare parts for cars, in the
8 direction of the balcony. And then there was shooting from rifles, there
9 were screams, people shouting, "Come out and surrender." We were about 60
10 metres away, so we could hear all this fairly well. And it was a bit
11 dangerous, so we decided to withdraw.
12 Q. Where did you go?
13 A. We went towards the centre of town again, because in the evening
14 we saw that Namik managed to return by car along that street that runs
15 along the Sava River. We went the other way and then we met up with
16 Mr. Namik by the hotel.
17 Q. What did you do at the hotel?
18 A. Well, it was not at the hotel, or rather, in the hotel; it was by
19 the hotel. We did not enter the hotel. He told us that he had already
20 informed his patrols, these police patrols like, because they were
21 probably already being called to go back. But Namik told them, through
22 radio communications, that they should not return to the police station
23 because they would be taken prisoner there. And then he said that he had
24 this great worry that he did not know what was going on with the people at
25 the bridge, because he also had the bridge under his control. So then we
1 just talked a little bit, very fast. We were all lost because, actually,
2 war had already started.
3 Q. Which bridge did you understand him to be referring to?
4 A. I meant the bridge on the Sava River because, just before the war,
5 that bridge had been mined and then the police was guarding the bridge.
6 These people from the police were at the bridge at that given moment. And
7 later on, it turned out that Namik had been right, because these people
8 were taken prisoner either by the 4th Detachment or the JNA or whoever. I
9 cannot confirm that. At any rate, they were taken prisoner, and as I
10 proceed to testify, you will probably hear more about these people too,
11 these people who were taken prisoner by the bridge at the Sava River.
12 Q. Okay. So Mr. Namik expressed his concerns. You were gathered at
13 the -- near the hotel. What was your next move?
14 A. Well, this had already been going on for 10, 15, perhaps even 20
15 minutes. Since there was no organisation there -- I mean, how shall I put
16 this? There was no military command that would tell us, "Come here," "Be
17 there," "Take your weapons," the way things were in the previous system,
18 when I knew exactly where the assembly point was and at every time of day
19 or night I knew where I shall come if I were called up.
20 However, that did not exist now. We were not organised. People
21 were getting out of buildings into the street. Everybody was afraid.
22 Everybody was wondering what was going on. Some people were asking me,
23 and I was asking other people, "Do you know what happened? Do you know
24 what's going on?" So people were panic-stricken as well.
25 Then we decided to move towards the river, towards the bridge,
1 because we thought that probably the army was not there yet. However,
2 when we got there, the army had already arrived. And now, at that
3 particular moment, it reminded me of what had happened a few days
4 earlier. That had actually been like a dress rehearsal for what was
5 supposed to happen on that day, that is to say, having the town of
6 Bosanski Samac besieged by the 4th Detachment. Because the town was
7 practically surrounded, besieged. You could not get out.
8 Q. First of all, which bridge are you referring to? You say that you
9 decided to move towards the bridge. Which bridge?
10 A. The bridge on the Bosna River. You crossed that bridge in order
11 to get to the village of Prud, to Dubica, and these other places. This is
12 a small bridge on the Bosna River.
13 Q. And you commented that events reminded you of what had happened a
14 few days earlier, and you referred to a dress rehearsal. What exactly did
15 you mean by that?
16 A. Well, as I said during the introduction, when this rally took
17 place in town, Samac had already been surrounded, besieged. I think I
18 already explained that. The 4th Detachment was all around and everybody
19 knew what they were supposed to do. The town was surrounded, besieged.
20 Nobody could get out of it.
21 I, for one, experienced that. I tried to cross the bridge, and
22 then, on the left-hand side of the bridge, as I was walking across it,
23 they started firing against me from bunkers. They were shooting at me.
24 Fortunately, this bridge had a concrete fence, so to speak, and you can
25 imagine me, weighing 120 kilogrammes, crawling in order not to be hit. So
1 they were shooting. All the civilians who went towards that bridge and
2 onto that bridge were being shot at.
3 Q. You say that civilians were going towards that bridge. Can you
4 comment on the numbers of civilians?
5 A. You know what, I think I would have to describe this event itself
6 in greater detail. I managed to cross the bridge, but until then, nobody
7 had crossed it. As I crossed the bridge - I heard that Mr. Kukrika, a
8 Serb, I hear that he's deceased - they did not shoot at us, we did not
9 shoot at them. We told them to move away, and that's what they did. So
10 if they had stayed there and if they were shooting, no civilians would
11 stand a chance of crossing the bridge.
12 Later on, it turned out that we were right that we drove them out
13 of those bunkers on the left-hand side. Three hundred or three hundred
14 fifty men, women, and children managed to get out of town and thereby not
15 experience what everybody else had gone through, later, that is.
16 Q. I just want to clarify a couple of matters. Why did you cross the
17 bridge to Prud in the first place? Why did you try and do that?
18 A. Could you explain what you mean? Are you referring to me only or
19 all the people who were there?
20 Q. As I understand your evidence, you went to the bridge that goes to
21 Prud and that you crossed the bridge alone. During that time, you were
22 fired at. Now, what was your reason? Why did you want to cross the
23 bridge at that time?
24 A. At first, that was the only way out to freedom. A gentleman
25 managed to pass with me. Nedim Alajbegovic was his name, I think. The
1 two of us managed to cross the bridge and get to the village of Prud, and
2 over there we found some people who were already there, because shooting
3 had already started in town and they already heard that war had broken out
4 in Samac. And they asked me what was going on, and then I explained the
5 situation to them and I said what the situation was. And I said that if
6 we did not get those people out of those bunkers by the bridge, nobody
7 would manage to get out of town, because whoever would get to the bridge,
8 they would shoot at them, just as they fired at me and at Mr. Nedim. And
9 they said that they could help us. They even gave me this little
10 walkie-talkie thing - what's it called? - a Motorola, so that we'd have
11 some kind of communications device. And then we were supposed to go back
12 and to try to organise ourselves so that these people could be driven out
13 of there so that it would be possible for civilians to get out. Even
14 though I had a rifle, I never considered myself to be a soldier.
15 Q. Were you carrying the weapon at that time?
16 A. At that moment, no. No, because as I was crawling across the
17 bridge, I left it way behind.
18 Q. Who were you meant to communicate with using the Motorola
20 A. Well, I communicated with people in Prud. People organised
21 themselves within the local commune because they probably already saw what
22 was going on. In Croatia, they were a bit more organised than we were, so
23 they already had this kind of small communications centre of their own,
24 whatever. I did not have much experience with that kind of thing. And
25 that proved itself by the fact that the enemy side managed to listen in on
1 all my conversations, like that we should not go anywhere, that the
2 Chetniks would come and slaughter us, you know, things like that. It was
3 pretty awful.
4 Q. Did you return to Bosanski Samac?
5 A. Yes, I managed to. I managed to. The same way I left. I went
6 back into Bosanski Samac crawling too, because that's where my family was,
7 my wife and children, and everything I had actually was there. So I went
8 back. I simply could not just leave them there, and I couldn't just
9 remain sitting out there.
10 Q. On this second trip back across to Bosanski Samac, was the -- were
11 the machine-gun emplacements firing on you?
12 A. Yes, yes, from three directions. There was gunfire coming on that
13 bridge. Just as they did not let people get out, they didn't let people
14 get back. However, I managed to get back, and also this gentleman went
15 back with me, Mr. Nedim.
16 Q. Did you do anything about the machine-gun emplacements firing on
17 the bridge? Or indeed, did anyone else do anything about them?
18 A. Yes. There were some more people there by now. Some were armed;
19 others were not; others had this; others had that. So how should I put
20 this? There was some kind of organisation already set up, and I had
21 already come there when they had reached a decision that we should try to
22 get rid of these three machine-gun emplacements so that it would be
23 possible to get across the bridge. People who were from the 4th
24 Detachment, who were on the embankment, they agreed to withdraw
25 completely. Nobody shot at anyone over there. However, the people from
1 the machine-gun emplacements continued to shoot. So we didn't really dare
2 go that way. So we withdrew, and of course, some of the people who knew a
3 bit more about things like that did manage to get rid of this machine-gun
4 fire. They withdrew. That's for sure. So that was already a big, a big
5 advantage for us, that women and children and men, regardless of age,
6 managed to get out of the besieged town of Bosanski Samac.
7 Q. Thank you. You say there were some kind of organisation already
8 set up. What was this organisation already set up that you refer to?
9 A. Well, what I mean by that is when there are five, ten, 15, 20, 50
10 of us there, that we managed to do something. Nothing much, but we
11 managed to self-organise this thing. We'd say, "Okay, let's go out and do
12 this, let's do that." That's what I meant. I did not mean an
13 organisation. All of us were distressed. None of us had any experience
14 of war, we did not have any preparations for war, whereas others had
15 already carried that out for months before that.
16 Q. Did civilians eventually start to use the bridge to cross over to
18 A. Yes, yes. This lasted until just before the evening, when APCs
19 and tanks got into town. They crossed the bridge again. They went back
20 to their old positions. And from then onwards, nobody could get out.
21 Later on, people started trying to escape through mine fields in
22 order to reach the Sava River, the Bosna River. Many tried to swim even
23 in the winter period, and we know that they drowned. Even on Christmas,
24 on the 25th of December, 1992, when people got call-up papers, this man
25 did not want to take a rifle and he tried to swim across the river, and
1 then during the winter, he tried to swim across, and this is 300, 400
2 metres. One of them, unfortunately, drowned, the other one managed to get
3 to the other side.
4 And as far as mobilisation is concerned, they said that people had
5 to take rifles of the Republika Srpska. I don't know whether it was
6 called the Republika Srpska at that time. They said that there was no
7 other option but to swim through the murky waters.
8 Q. Thank you. I'm really interested, though, in the events of the
9 night of the 16th and 17th at this stage. Let's stick with that. You've
10 said that civilians managed to get across until the evening. Do I
11 understand, then, that they were crossing the bridge all day, that is, all
12 day of the 17th?
13 A. Well, people were crossing the bridge, but a lot of people from
14 town, first of all, did not even know about this, and secondly, they
15 didn't dare go, because there was already panic throughout town. Looting
16 had already started. People were taken into custody. There was
17 intimidation. Many didn't know about this, and also they simply did not
18 have the courage to go to that bridge where they could somehow get out to
19 freedom. At 5.00, 4.30 or 5.30 in the evening, this had already become
20 sealed off. Even if they wanted to, they could not get out after that.
21 Q. Did you actually see civilians crossing the bridge to Prud?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What ethnic background were they?
24 A. Well, most of them were Muslims and Croats, except for one who I
25 personally managed to see, and he was a Serb. This was an elderly man,
1 Mr. Zivko Stajic. For many years, he was a member of the Fazan hunting
2 club and he gave his hunting rifle to a young man and he said, "Take it.
3 Struggle against them, fight against them, if you can, because I also
4 fought against people like that in the Second World War." So he is one of
5 the people who crossed the bridge over there as well.
6 Q. At the time that you saw people, civilians, crossing the bridge,
7 can you tell the Court what sort of numbers that you actually observed?
8 A. Well, as far as I managed to see, these were smaller groups of
9 civilians, because people were afraid of going in bigger groups because
10 then there could be shooting again. So there were three, four or five
11 persons per group, and they were crossing the bridge, but they were bent
12 forward because they were afraid a bullet could come from somewhere. I
13 managed to see some 50 odd people, 70, whatever. I mean, it never
14 occurred to me that I should start counting them or whatever. But I know,
15 according to some information, that about 350 to 400 people managed to get
16 out, thanks to the fact that this bridge was opened.
17 Q. What are your sources of information on the 350 to 400 people?
18 How do you know that? Who told you that?
19 A. Well, I got that information - well, perhaps, it was even quite
20 accurate - when I was exchanged. So people talked and said that this
21 family got out, that family got out, and that this figure was around 400
22 persons altogether.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown photographs 34 and 35, F34
24 and F35 from P14A, please. And if we could deal with number 34 first,
1 Q. Do you recognise that?
2 A. Yes. These are the remains of the bridge that was once there; the
3 bridge on the Bosna River, since there are two.
4 Q. What country is the far bank in the photograph?
5 A. That's also Bosnia-Herzegovina, but that's the village of Prud on
6 the other side. I'm talking about the bridge on the Bosna River, because
7 I know that area very well.
8 Q. And the bridge depicted in this photo is the same bridge in which
9 civilians were crossing?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic?
12 MR. PANTELIC: I ask my dear friend to be more precise, because
13 with this formulation, it seems that this -- that was a condition of the
14 bridge in April 1992, and then the civilians were forced to go over this
15 kind of bridge. So ...
16 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll clarify that.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Please.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, thank you.
19 MR. DI FAZIO:
20 Q. Perhaps you heard Mr. Pantelic's concern. Can you tell us if
21 that's what the bridge looked like on the night that the civilians were
22 crossing, or was it intact?
23 A. Well, I heard that the gentleman's name is Mr. Pantelic, so I will
24 explain it to him, but if he listened carefully, I said very precisely
25 that these are the remains of the bridge. That was not the bridge the
1 people were crossing. You can see that you cannot cross this bridge.
2 These are the remains of the bridge. The bridge was all right then.
3 Q. Okay. Could you have a look at the next photograph, 35. What
4 does that depict?
5 A. Well, when you go from Prud, you enter Samac from the bridge, and
6 you see the town of Samac.
7 Q. So this is, in effect, the view from bridge to Prud, looking back
8 towards Samac? Have you had the question translated? I'll repeat my
9 question. Photograph number F35, does that depict the view from the
10 bridge to Prud back towards Bosanski Samac?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, if you -- I'll withdraw that question. You've commented on
13 machine-gun fire being directed towards the bridge to Prud. Can you use
14 the baton to indicate, as best you can, where the machine-gun emplacements
15 were that were firing on the bridge?
16 A. Well, got back here and then it's behind this house that you see
17 here. There is a clearing. There is a clearing behind it. And then
18 there is about 300 or 350 metres to the Bosna River, to near the
19 embankment, and that's where the machine-gun emplacements had a good
20 overview of this road, of this corner and the bridge itself on the Bosna
21 river. That is to say that, from these machine-gun emplacements, they had
22 a total view of this entire area, the bridge and practically the entire
23 bridge. Unfortunately, you can't really see all of this on this picture,
24 but I could explain all of this to you, exactly where things are.
25 Q. So those civilians who you've referred to crossing the bridge
1 would have had to go down this road, or rather, up this road, towards the
2 bridge, and cross over?
3 A. Yes, but there's one more thing I'd like to say. It was not the
4 way people went because of the safety concerns. Nobody really had the
5 courage to move this way, this way. Can you see me? But it was this
6 way. And also, here there is this small bridge, see? So then you'd get
7 off there and then walk along the embankment and then underneath it. And
8 then just here, where the bridge was, where the bridge was over here, then
9 people would hastily get onto the bridge and cross it. There were some
10 people who took their cars and got out that way. They are the only ones
11 who had to pass through here directly. So for our own safety, we went
12 this way. Because this road, this road, is higher than the ground, say
13 four metres higher, so there was a kind of natural shelter that they had.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm done with that photograph.
15 Q. Your family was still in the town when you crossed over back into
16 Bosanski Samac?
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Our clock is 11.00, so --
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Oh, I'm sorry. Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: -- we'll have our break and resume our proceedings
21 at 11.30.
22 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. di Fazio. You are continuing.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Just before I do continue, we have at
1 this moment, just prior to Your Honours entering the Chamber, been
2 provided with a number of documents by Mr. Zecevic, being statements of
3 this witness that were taken in 1992. It wasn't given to us because I
4 understand Mr. Zecevic was having translation problems, and indeed I
5 understand the documents still haven't been translated. Whatever the
6 reason, the fact is that we've now been given these statements, and
7 they're not statements or material that was within the possession of the
8 Office of the Prosecutor and that have come from our archives, so to
9 speak, not material that we have. I therefore find myself in a position
10 of being given this material, not knowing what the witness says about the
11 material, and so on; the usual disadvantages that would arise from such a
13 I propose, therefore, with the Chamber's approval, if it's
14 acceptable to the Chamber, that we do what we did on a previous occasion,
15 namely, instruct the investigating officer in this case to go and speak to
16 the witness at some stage with the documents, as soon as we've got a rough
17 translation, at least, and answer a few basic queries about the documents.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: So would that -- how many statements have you been
20 MR. DI FAZIO: We've been given two statements and another
21 document. The other document doesn't concern me so much, but it's the two
22 statements that I do want to --
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. How many pages are they? Because -- although
24 that doesn't really matter.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: About four pages. There's one, and two on the
2 JUDGE MUMBA: And they're from -- what are their dates? Or you
3 can't read the Serbo-Croat.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: I can't read them, but I think one is 26th of
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Maybe Mr. Zecevic can help us.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, by all means, Your Honour. Actually, I
9 notified, ten days in advance, the Prosecutor's office of the existence of
10 these statements, just before Mr. Hasan Bicic was cross-examined, because
11 I received them at that time, and I notified the Prosecutor that I have
12 all these statements. And immediately upon receiving these statements,
13 because of the urgency, I have translated the Hasan Bicic statement, and
14 the rest of the statements were given to the Registry for the official
15 translation. I was told by the Registry that by last Friday we will have
16 these translations. Not until this moment. So I gave to the Prosecutor
17 these documents in B/C/S. I know it creates a problem for them, but I
18 mean, there isn't any -- much more that I can do. We can do an unofficial
19 translation again, if that helps them, but that is the situation. I'm
20 sorry, but it's beyond me, so to speak.
21 Actually, these are the statements. One of the statements was
22 taken in Brcko but the JNA barracks in Brcko, like the previous two, and
23 one is a statement from the police station in Bosanski Samac, as well as
24 like previous two. Thank you so much.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. Yes. So the Prosecution is asking for leave
1 of the Chamber to have the witness -- the investigator get instructions on
2 those statements from the witness.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: That's right. Essentially, proof the witness on
4 what he says about the documents, and any other information that we might
6 JUDGE MUMBA: During lunch break or --?
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, I would hope to -- definitely before the
8 close of his examination-in-chief, and I would hope at the lunch break,
9 but I don't know what the investigator is doing. I found out about it
10 just now, so I can't say precisely when or what arrangements will be made,
11 except to say that I -- the broad outline of my proposal is give them to
12 the Prosecutor and ask him to go and speak to the witness when the witness
13 is free, presumably during the lunch break or at the close of today.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber would appreciate that. I'm
15 sure you can send instructions through one of your colleagues to the
16 investigator concerned or to somebody who can read Serbo-Croat, so that
17 you do it during lunch hour, because we are trying as much as possible to
18 avoid detaining witnesses unduly.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Of course, and I appreciate the Chamber's concerns
20 and I'll attend to that, make sure it's done quickly.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: We don't have any objection, of course, Your
22 Honours. Thank you.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: I assumed you wouldn't because it's a problem beyond
24 your control. In order to avoid this sort of problem - because our
25 translation units or whatever they are called, the people who have to deal
1 with Serbo-Croat, English or French, are quite overloaded - so I think
2 it's prudent for Defence counsel, if they have any documents which are in
3 Serbo-Croat, even without them being translated, to give copies to the
4 Prosecution as quickly as possible, explaining, of course, that you are
5 training to push through translation, but if they can get translation,
6 because maybe they have their own services, then we will have no
8 MR. ZECEVIC: We will do that, Your Honours, thank you.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, thank you.
10 JUDGE SINGH: Mr. di Fazio, just before you start, if you would be
11 good enough to refer the witness to Exhibit P9, the map, and just get him
12 to identify the bridge over the Bosna River.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Certainly, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: And I think also the road that leads from the
15 village to the bridge.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, that can be done. Indeed, I have a clean copy
17 here which can probably be used.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It's a clean copy of the same?
19 MR. DI FAZIO: It's a clean copy. I'm just wondering if I should
20 use P9. Could I perhaps have a look at P9?
21 JUDGE MUMBA: What's the correct number of the exhibit?
22 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit, that one, is P9D.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: I think it might be preferable to use --
24 JUDGE MUMBA: A clean copy?
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, yes. I think it would be preferable to use a
1 clean copy, so I hand up P9.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: So we can have the main number and then the next
3 letter to it. Can we just have the number for the new copy?
4 THE REGISTRAR: New copy will be numbered P9E.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
6 MR. DI FAZIO:
7 Q. Okay. Mr. Salkic, can you please indicate on that, with the blue
8 marking pen, the bridge that leads to Prud, and also the roadway that you
9 saw in photograph number 35, the roadway leading from the Prud bridge back
10 to Bosanski Samac.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Is the pen not working?
13 A. Yes, but not very well. That's Prud.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Might I just see the exhibit? Fine.
15 Thank you. Yes, okay. Then, thank you very much. And perhaps that can
16 be returned now.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we just have -- how has he marked them, one or
19 MR. DI FAZIO: No. I was just about to say that, if Your Honour
20 pleases, for the purposes of the transcript, the witness has marked the
21 map in blue marking pen. It's clearly visible to the naked eye. It's not
22 so visible on the ELMO device. But you'll be able to see it very clearly
23 on the actual exhibit itself.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: How many places has he marked?
25 MR. DI FAZIO: He's marked --
1 JUDGE MUMBA: One or two?
2 MR. DI FAZIO: One -- he's marked one particular stretch of
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. Yes.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Leading from the town of Bosanski Samac to Prud.
6 Q. Perhaps if you use another pen --
7 A. I put an arrow from the village of Prud towards the entrance of
8 Samac, so not from Samac. But this marker pen is a little thick, but as
9 far as I understood the question, I was supposed to show the road from the
10 village of Prud to Samac, and that's what the arrow shows. That's the
11 direction of the arrow that I drew in.
12 Q. Can you use another pen, please? Thank you. Indeed, I think it's
13 red. Can you mark the road that we could see from the bridge back to
14 Bosanski Samac, from the bridge leading in towards Bosanski Samac. Can
15 you mark that in red.
16 A. [Marks]
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Good. Thank you. Is that sufficient
18 for the Chamber's purposes?
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I think so.
20 JUDGE SINGH: Sorry, just is that the road in P35?
21 MR. DI FAZIO: I believe it is, if Your Honour pleases, but
22 perhaps I'll just ask the witness to have a look at P35 -- sorry, F35 of
23 Exhibit P14A. Thank you.
24 Q. Now, you've seen this photograph before, Mr. Salkic. Is that the
25 roadway that you have depicted in red on the map?
1 A. [No interpretation]
2 Q. Thank you. Now, I'd like to return to the events of the 17th of
3 April. Your family was still in Bosanski Samac at the time that you came
4 back in via the bridge?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What did you do after you re-entered Bosanski Samac via the
8 A. I first saw those people there, as I already said, people
9 beginning to gather. There were people on the streets. Some were walking
10 around, coming, coming out. Others were looking out of the window. It
11 was wartime. Actually, the war started in Bosanski Samac between the 16th
12 and 17th, that evening, that night, so in fact, it was a state of war.
13 Samac was occupied. What can I say? Occupied by that army, the army that
14 was in Bosanski Samac at that time.
15 Q. Just very briefly, there appears to be a mistake in the
16 translation. I asked you earlier a question whether the roadway that you
17 can see in photograph F35 was the portion of the map that you marked in
18 red. You answered but no translation appears in the transcript. What is
19 your position? Is that -- the portion in red on the map the same road
20 that can be seen in F35?
21 A. Yes. It's the entrance. When you cross the bridge, you enter the
22 town of Samac and that is that particular road.
23 Q. Thanks. Now let's get back to the events in Bosanski Samac. This
24 confused state existed in the town. Did you try to get back to your
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you succeed?
3 A. I even -- at one point, I was with them. But I thought that the
4 time was not right yet, and that the individuals -- that perhaps the
5 individuals were right and that we could cross the river too, because it
6 was the only way of getting to freedom. And when I say this, I mean that
7 I was not allowed to move around freely. The telephones had been cut.
8 There was shooting somewhere in the distance. It was just a question of
9 time when this whole thing would come to the centre of town, where I was.
10 But unfortunately, some time went by, and on the eve of the time
11 that I made my decision to leave, at the approach to the bridge, people
12 sent me back. That was about half past 4.00, 5.00, towards evening. They
13 told me not to go there because the bridge had been taken over. I said,
14 "How do you mean, taken over?" And they said, "The people from the 4th
15 Detachment are there and nobody can leave."
16 So from that time on, 4.00 or 5.00, Samac was totally blocked,
17 because none of the Croats or Muslims were able to leave after that time,
18 unless they found some other way of doing that, whether they bribed
19 someone or perhaps a Serb friend had succeeded in taking someone out of
20 town. I don't know.
21 Q. Were you arrested?
22 A. Not then. Not yet. My arrest was to come later on, on the 18th.
23 Because of some people who I say may, may, have problems - it's not sure
24 that they would - but they were Serbs who helped me to spend that
25 particular night hidden in their homes, and I left in the morning. Do you
1 want me to start telling you about that? Do you want me to recount what
2 happened, the sequence of events that followed, or is it enough for me to
3 tell you that I was with my family, in answer to your question?
4 Q. You were not arrested on the 17th?
5 A. No.
6 Q. What date were you arrested?
7 A. I was arrested -- it was Saturday, the 18th, the morning of
8 Saturday, the 18th. And I think that's what it says in my statement, that
9 I was arrested on the 18th.
10 Q. Where did you spend the night?
11 A. The only thing is if --
12 Q. Where did you spend the night of the 17th?
13 A. I've just explained that. I don't want to mention names unless
14 the Trial Chamber absolutely insists, because, as I say, maybe, and I
15 stress maybe, some of these people might -- there might be repercussions
16 on these people. So if I don't absolutely have to give their names, then
17 I would rather not, because they were Serbs who helped me spend the night
18 safely at their place, because searches had already begun in town, arrests
19 and that kind of thing.
20 Q. Was your family with you when you were sheltering with these
22 A. No. I left them at my mother-in-law's. She was a Serb, so that I
23 thought they would be sufficiently safe and secure staying with her.
24 Q. When you were sheltering at the home of these Serbs who assisted
25 you, were you armed? Did you have your rifle with you?
1 A. No. No. No. Those people were very much afraid, because they
2 were afraid of what would happen to them if some of the other Serbs would
3 turn up and find me there. They probably wouldn't have had a good time of
4 it. So I should like to say that I'm grateful to them for at least saving
5 me the hardships for one night that I was later to experience.
6 Q. During that period of time that you were at the home of these
7 people, were you able to see soldiers or military people in the streets?
8 A. Yes. The town was flooded with soldiers. I did not leave that
9 night, because -- but these friends of mine said that it was terrible,
10 that there was general looting, that they were just looking to see what
11 they could loot and plunder. So it was terrible not so much because of
12 the war but because of all this looting going on.
13 Q. Did you see any members of the 4th Detachment?
14 A. Yes, as far as I could see from the window, because the person
15 that I stayed with drew the curtains so that nobody could see from outside
16 who was inside, and even if they came to his door, they knew that he was a
17 Serb, which meant that they wouldn't enter his house and search the place,
18 so that I more or less felt safe. And then from time to time I would hear
19 the noise they were making and the swearing of the soldiers, but I can
20 guarantee that none of the Croats or Muslims dared go out into the street
21 that night.
22 Q. You mentioned that you were arrested on the 18th. Where were you
24 A. I was arrested in front of my own house. I took advantage of the
25 occasion to go to my wife's, to see my wife and children, and I said that
1 I would probably leave home, take some documents with me and, at great
2 risk, that I would try to reach the river Sava, although it was actually
3 snowing that morning and the water was very high, 700, 800 metres. But I
4 said I'd risk that. I would try to swim for it, to swim to freedom, and
5 if I survived, well and good; if not, maybe somebody would shoot me before
7 But I didn't succeed in carrying out what I intended to do. I
8 went home to get my documents, and at that moment, some armed people
9 turned up in front of my house and they told me to get ready. Well,
10 actually, no, not to get ready; just to go out, not to take any weapons,
11 to put my hands up, and if I failed to do so, they said they would shell
12 my house, and --
13 Q. Can I ask you, how old were your children at that stage?
14 A. My daughter was 3 1/2 at the time, two months more, that is to
15 say, 3 years and 8 months - her birthday was the 16th of February, and
16 this coincides - whereas my son was 11 years old.
17 Q. You left them with their mother?
18 A. Yes, with their mother, at my mother-in-law's house. And I said
19 that she was a Serb and that that is why I thought they would be safe
21 Q. The people who arrested you, did you recognise any of them?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Who were they?
24 A. They were Cviko or Cvikan Tesic, Savo Tesic, Fadil Topcagic and
25 several others. I can't remember their names now.
1 Q. Was there any -- did they have any vehicles with them?
2 A. Yes. There was a police car. Well, we'll take this in order.
3 Yes, there was a police car. They put me in it and drove me off to the
4 MUP, or SUP, as it was previously known.
5 Q. Thank you. Before we do that, though, I want to ask you: Did
6 Fadil Topcagic speak to you at the time that you were arrested outside
7 your house?
8 A. Yes. At one point, he said, "Well, that's what happens when you
9 did not know to choose the right side." Perhaps I understood him, perhaps
10 I didn't, but now things have become crystal clear to me what he meant
11 when he said that: the real side, the proper side or right side.
12 Q. How was he and the others who were with him dressed?
13 A. They were wearing camouflage uniforms. Some of them had the
14 uniforms that were worn by the JNA. They all had bands here. I don't
15 remember the colour, but I think they were white. They all had these
16 white shoulder bands.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I think the transcript
18 should show that the witness indicated the top of his left arm, at the
19 top, near the shoulder.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. What about Fadil Topcagic? Did he have the white armband?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you. You said you were put in a car and taken to the MUP.
25 Who accompanied you?
1 A. There were two soldiers. One of them was a lieutenant by rank. I
2 didn't notice the rank of the other one. I'm not sure about the second
3 one. But they were wearing camouflage uniforms and also had that
4 insignia, or they had the shoulder pads, epaulettes, that were worn by the
6 Q. What scene greeted you at the MUP?
7 A. Could you repeat that question here? I didn't understand the
8 first word.
9 Q. Okay. What sort of things did you see when you first arrived at
10 the SUP or MUP?
11 A. Ah, yes. I would like to mention at this point that during my
12 arrest and transport, there was no beating, but those two soldiers, the
13 lieutenant and the other one, their conduct was exceptionally proper.
14 They were very proper and they brought me to the MUP building and we got
15 out. When I went through the main entrance of the MUP, there they started
16 beating me. That's when it all started. But -- well, it was terrible,
17 but later on, I realised that things could get much worse and that they
18 were very mild towards me at that point.
19 They took me inside. The corridor was on the left, and the room
20 was on the right. It was the duty office of the officer on duty. They
21 took me in there. And that's where I met two men. One of them was Stevan
22 Todorovic and the other one I was later to learn was Crni, nicknamed Crni
23 - that was his nickname - and another policeman who was on duty there and
24 worked with the communication lines. At that particular moment -- do you
25 want me to go on? Do you want me to describe that moment at which I
1 entered the building?
2 He began beating me -- Stiv began beating me, and this other man,
3 this gentleman - I say "gentleman," but actually he was a dark man and I
4 didn't know who he was at that time - he told him not to beat me because
5 he said I would -- they would need me afterwards, and he told them to put
6 me into a cell. So I was taken out of that office into the corridor, and
7 on the right-hand side, there were two cells. And when I got there, I
8 found quite a number of people already there before me.
9 Q. How many people?
10 A. Well, I cannot remember all the details but I can remember some
11 people. I can even remember certain names, quite a few names. I think
12 there were about 12, 10, 13 of us, whatever. There were two cells. But
13 given all that fear and everything else, I wouldn't be certain of the
14 number, but it was around ten to 15 persons.
15 Q. What ethnic background?
16 A. Well, they were Muslims and Croats.
17 Q. Any of them apparently military types or soldiers?
18 A. No, no. All of them wore civilian clothes.
19 Q. At the time that Crni said -- at the time that Crni said they
20 would need you afterwards, did you have any idea what he meant at that
21 time when he said that?
22 A. No, no, but soon I found out, because this is what happened:
23 These same two soldiers who brought me, who drove me to the SUP, this
24 lieutenant and the other man, they put me in a police vehicle. One of
25 them sat behind me, the lieutenant, and he dictated a certain text to me,
1 and that was roughly --
2 Q. Can I just interrupt you? May I just interrupt you here? Before
3 you were taken out of the cell and taken into the police vehicle, did you
4 see any of the defendants?
5 A. Just a moment. Could you explain this to me? Defendant or
6 Defence counsel? What does this word "defendant" mean? Perhaps I didn't
7 quite understand it. Could you repeat the question?
8 Q. Just so that you understand me, when I speak of the defendants,
9 I'm referring to the gentlemen you identified yesterday; Simo Zaric,
10 Miroslav Tadic, Blagoje Simic, Milan Simic. That's what I mean by
11 "defendant." My question is: Before you were taken out of the MUP and
12 placed in the police car, did you see any of those gentlemen?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Who?
15 A. Yes. I saw Mr. Simo Zaric.
16 Q. Where did you see him?
17 A. I saw him -- well, I saw him there. He was in front of the cell.
18 Q. What was he --
19 A. And the guard opened the cell -- well, I was about to find out
20 what the purpose was. The guard opened the door and he said, "Let my guys
21 get out." We all practically started out from the door, because we were
22 all from the same town. However, unfortunately, only four men got out,
23 and all the rest of us remained locked inside.
24 Q. Who were the four who got out?
25 A. I'll try to remember. Sometimes I'll mention a nickname;
1 sometimes I'll mention a name and surname. But anyway, it was Mr. Mujaga,
2 I think his last name is Omeranovic. The other one was Seljakovic. I
3 think -- well, his nickname is Mrki. I can't remember his first name.
4 And then there was Mr. Kapetanovic, Muharem, nicknamed Sora. And the
5 fourth one, I think, was Fikret Avdic Asim. And we knew earlier on that
6 they were in the 4th Detachment, and then it became clear to us who his
7 guys were, and we were not his and that's why we were left there.
8 Q. Did he leave with them?
9 A. I don't know. I don't know. The cell door closed and there were
10 bars on it. I can't go into all the details. They left. We stayed
11 behind. And then it all started, the beatings, this and that and the
12 other thing. And then soon after that, there was another thing that
13 happened. I was picked up by two men. I started telling you about this.
14 The one with Crni. And actually, Crni said that they should take me and
15 that I should take care of this thing, and then I realised why Crni did
16 not realise -- did not let me be beaten by Stiv Todorovic nicknamed
17 Monstrum. I realised that they needed me for something but I did not know
18 what for. I realised that only later.
19 Q. Now I'd like you to tell us about this episode.
20 A. So they took me out of the cell, they took me out of the police
21 station, they put me in a Golf, a police vehicle, a Golf, a police Golf,
22 and then this lieutenant -- he did have a rank, that's what mattered; the
23 other one did not. The other one was driving. And the lieutenant sat
24 behind me and he explained what my assignment was, and he said that I
25 should say such and such and such and such a thing. If I would not say
1 all these things that he dictated to me, more or less, that I would pay
2 for it with my life. And I said, "Well, perhaps I won't use the exactly
3 -- exactly the same words," and he said, "Well, whatever. Just go on
4 repeating it." And these were the words -- there was a loudspeaker on the
5 car and there was a microphone in the car. So when I spoke, then the
6 citizens, all around, could hear what I was saying.
7 May I say straight away that I did not do this of my own free
8 will. I want everybody here to understand that, that I did not do this of
9 my own free will.
10 And this is what the text was: "People of Samac, get out,
11 surrender your weapons. I am" -- and then I gave my name and surname, and
12 then I said, "See, nothing's happened to me, nothing will happen to you.
13 Just take your weapons out and put them in front of your doors. If you
14 are afraid of handing it in yourself, this is a Serb army and police,
15 there is nothing to be afraid of, everything will be all right." And many
16 did that, actually. I went to a certain street together with them, that
17 way. Do you want me to go on with this description?
18 Q. No. At this point, I'd like to interrupt you, and I apologise to
19 you for this, but there is one detail that I omitted to obtain in respect
20 of the episode where Simo Zaric appeared at the door and obtained the
21 release of those men that you mentioned. The time that he did that, came
22 to the cell and obtained the release of the men, what was the condition of
23 the other prisoners who were in the cell with you and the men who were
24 released? What did they look like? What sort of condition were they in?
25 A. Well, yes. Quite a few of them were already beaten up badly. I
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
14 English transcripts
1 wasn't yet, because Crni said that they would be needing me and that's
2 what they saved me. And I remember Cosevic [phoen] already had his ribs
3 broken. At any rate, I said already that in that cell there were not any
4 soldiers. All of them were civilians.
5 Q. What did they look like? That's what I'm interested in. What
6 would Mr. Simo Zaric have seen when he walked in and saw these men? What
7 sort of condition would they have been in?
8 A. Well, I think that if he wanted to pay attention, he could have
9 seen in a glance the situation which was pretty terrible, terrible.
10 People were already bloody, beaten up. So he could have seen that the
11 situation was pretty bad.
12 JUDGE SINGH: Can I please get a clarification from you?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Judge Singh, please.
14 JUDGE SINGH: Can I seek another clarification from you on that
15 same point? A little earlier, you said Simo Zaric was there and the guard
16 opened the door, and he said, "Let my guys out." And you later said, "It
17 became clear to us who his guys were." Now, who said those words? Did
18 the guard say those words or Simo Zaric said those words?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think that I put it quite
20 nicely. Perhaps the Honourable Judge did not quite understand what I was
21 saying. The guard just opened the door. Mr. Zaric uttered those words.
22 Are you satisfied with my answer, sir?
23 JUDGE SINGH: Yes, thank you. Because the text says, "he said."
24 Thank you.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. And the other question is: Those guys who
1 were let out after Simo Zaric said, "Let my guys out," how did they look?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] None of them had been beaten.
3 MR. DI FAZIO:
4 Q. One other question on this topic. When Mr. Simo Zaric came to the
5 cell and said, "Let my guys out," how was he dressed?
6 A. Let me just correct you. Mr. Zaric did not actually enter the
8 Q. I see.
9 A. He did not enter the cell. He stood in the corridor, and he had a
10 camouflage uniform, also with a white band.
11 Q. From where he was standing in the corridor, would he have had a
12 view into the cell?
13 A. Yes, a good view, because it's a two-metre-wide corridor and there
14 are two cells. And it's not walls that are there or something else.
15 These are typical cells, with bars on them, so he could see very well.
16 Q. Thanks. All right. Okay. Now, I interrupted you to get back to
17 this description of events in the cell. Now can I ask you to go back and
18 think about the time when you were taken out into the car and you had to
19 speak into the microphone and inform the citizens to surrender
20 themselves. Can you pick up your narrative?
21 A. Can I start answering now?
22 Q. Yes, please do.
23 A. So this vehicle drove me through town for a while, until I got to
24 near my house, and then from the direction of the entrance into Samac, I
25 saw APCs. I'm sure about one. I'm not sure about the other one. Because
1 my house is near my brother's house, and I really paid attention to this.
2 And then I saw the barrel of this APC pointed at my brother's house.
3 However, before that, another thing: I was taken out of the car
4 by these two soldiers, and then these soldiers who were in the APC, or
5 before the APC -- so this is a crossroads. This is where they got me out
6 of the car and this is what they said, literally: "Here he is. We are
7 handing him over to you now." And this man who handed me over, or those
8 two men, these two soldiers who handed me over, were Fadil Topcagic,
9 Cvikan Tesic, and some others.
10 So I already got close to that APC. I saw that this APC had
11 pointed its barrel against my brother's house. And then I heard this
12 quite well. And then various things happened afterwards during this war,
13 but this was the first time I saw Mr. Tadic, and I heard his words very
14 well when he ordered this APC, that they should turn the barrel away, that
15 upstairs there was a Serb who was living there and downstairs is a really
16 good man. I was really pleased to hear that, because it was my brother,
17 after all, that he was talking about. And then Fadil explained to me, in
18 the briefest possible terms, what my task was, I mean what they meant when
19 they said, "Now we are handing him over to you."
20 Q. Who were you being handed over to?
21 A. I already knew everything by then. I had realised everything by
22 then, who these military people were. These were members of the 4th
23 Detachment and their task was to occupy Bosanski Samac. They handed me
24 over to Fadil Topcagic and Cvikan, "Cviko," Tesic, and they issued all
25 other orders to me, all the things I had to carry out against my own free
2 Q. So the people into whose custody or control you were placed was
3 Fadil Topcagic and the other man you have mentioned?
4 A. Yes. Cvikan Tesic.
5 Q. Was Miroslav Tadic apparently associated with those men? What I
6 mean, was he working with them, together with them?
7 A. I shall describe to you the picture that I saw. If I manage to
8 portray all of this for you, I think that it will confirm what actually
9 happened. Behind this APC, a few metres away, in the same kind of
10 uniform -- and now, I think, I think -- I cannot say this with certainty
11 whether it was a camouflage uniform or a military uniform, but it was a
12 uniform, at any rate, and also there was a white ribbon on the uniform,
13 and he also had weapons.
14 Q. Who?
15 A. Mr. Miroslav Tadic.
16 Q. I see. Thank you. Okay. Now, you were handed into the custody
17 of these men. What happened then?
18 A. Then other things happened. They ordered me to go from one house
19 to the other: Muslim, Croat. Well, at any rate, there was no need for
20 them to enter the Serb houses, because they were already there. And they
21 asked people to get their weapons out and to hand them over, if they had
22 any, and this went on for, say, 20 minutes, half an hour, an hour. In all
23 that fear, I had lost all sense of orientation in time, and I think that
24 you will agree with me that this is only a normal thing.
25 Q. Can I just interrupt you and ask you this: What were you doing
1 during this particular time? What was your job or role?
2 A. My role was to walk in front of them, into all these Muslim and
3 Croat houses, and to tell them to take weapons out, to hand them over. So
4 I was some kind of an errand boy of theirs who was supposed to carry out
5 their dirty work for them, unfortunately.
6 Q. You said previously that you had to broadcast through the
7 microphone reassuring messages to the Croats and Muslims. Did you have to
8 do the same when you were going up to individual houses?
9 A. Yes, but of course I did not have a loudspeaker any longer, that
10 kind of system. I would walk in and I would say, in a pretty loud
11 voice - quite a loud voice, as a matter of fact - I would say, "Do not be
12 afraid. Please hand in these weapons." They did not ask whether these
13 weapons were legal or illegal. They took away everything, without any
14 kind of certificate, nothing. If a person had a hunting gun, nothing. He
15 just had to hand it over. He wouldn't get a certificate. If he had a
16 legal pistol, he would have to hand it over. He would not get a
17 certificate at all. He simply had to hand it over. If he had something
18 illegally, then it was only understood that he had to hand this in.
19 Q. Now, during this particular process, when you were going from
20 house to house, calling on people to surrender their weapons, what was
21 Mr. Miroslav Tadic doing?
22 A. I had lost sight of Mr. Tadic. They would always send me a few
23 houses ahead in relation to the APC, so I cannot really confirm where
24 Mr. Tadic was. I could not see him any more. And then perhaps a few
25 minutes later, when I would already get away from the place where I was
1 handed over from the police vehicle, he was there by the APC. And since I
2 would always walk about 50 metres ahead with somebody from the 4th
3 Detachment, I cannot really know what the gentleman was doing behind.
4 Q. When you were going into houses, you were escorted by someone from
5 the 4th Detachment; is that correct?
6 A. Yes. Yes. There was always somebody there. But I was invariably
7 the first one ahead of everyone, and I had to repeat at every house, I had
8 to repeat this thing time and again: "Don't be afraid. I'm Ibela." So
9 every -- it's a small town. Everybody knew everybody. So I had to do
10 part of their work.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. di Fazio, if I could ask Mr. Salkic just one
13 Concerning the broadcast in the car and the loudspeaker, and then
14 also walking in front of the escort and saying, "Don't be afraid,"
15 et cetera, did you know or were you told what would happen to you if you
16 refused to do either or both?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I shall answer that question. I
18 have not been saying this, again, because I thought that what I said about
19 the vehicle was sufficient. When I was speaking into the loudspeaker,
20 they said, "Fine." If I did not do what they told me to do and if I did
21 not say what I was supposed to say, that that would be the end of me. So
22 that's why I thought that it wasn't necessary for me to emphasise that I
23 was being threatened all the time and that my life was in jeopardy.
24 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you again.
25 MR. DI FAZIO:
1 Q. What sort of weapon was Mr. Tadic -- I'll withdraw that question.
2 Perhaps I should ask you this: Was Mr. Tadic armed when you saw him?
3 A. Yes. Yes. I said that. Perhaps there was a mistake in the
4 translation or something, but I did say that Mr. Tadic was in uniform, a
5 marked one, and also that he was armed.
6 Q. All right. Now, did this walking around from house to house
7 eventually cease?
8 A. Well, yes. Perhaps I'm going to describe this detail for you now
9 as well. I came to the vicinity of the Fitozovic brothers' house. Oh,
10 yes. Yes. Perhaps I haven't told you and the Court that, in the
11 meantime, I also got a white armband.
12 Q. Thank you. That's what I'd like you to explain to the Court,
14 A. And this is what happened then: A man in -- a gentleman in a
15 camouflage uniform, with paint on his face, like this, he called me from
16 Smail and Esad Fitozovic's house. They were people who were very well
17 off. They had a shop with spare parts, car parts, and a big shop which
18 was more or less like a mini supermarket. I remember these words very
19 well. I remember this is what he said to me: "Come here, brother.
20 You're supposed to do something for us."
21 I was dead from fear. Although they put this armband on my arm,
22 perhaps he did not think that I was one of them, but he did think I was
23 one of them. And then he said, "Take this suitcase." And then he took a
24 box of Marlborough cigarettes out and gave me two packs and said that I
25 could keep them and said that I should take this to the police station and
1 that over there I should emphasise that this is for Lugar.
2 That is the first time I heard the name Lugar. This was a big,
3 heavy bag. Of course, I didn't dare look inside. So I carried this, and
4 it was not easy to carry that and the box of cigarettes. It's not that it
5 was that heavy but it was bulky. In the meantime, a vehicle came by, the
6 same vehicle that took me out of the SUP. They stopped by me and they
7 asked, "What's that?" And I explained what it was. And then they said to
8 me that I should go on foot, that I should walk in the middle of the
9 street with my hands up, and that I should walk that way all the way to
10 the police station. And that's exactly what I did. So I came to the
11 police station and that's where they started beating me straight away.
12 Q. Could I just stop you there, please? First of all, who put the
13 armband on your arm? And were you ever -- was an explanation ever
14 given --
15 A. Mr. Fadil Topcagic.
16 Q. Did he explain why, why he was doing that, what the reason was?
17 A. Yes, so that there was no misunderstanding. But everything was
18 clear to me straight away.
19 Q. What I mean is, did he say anything to you at the time that put --
20 he gave you the white armband to wear?
21 A. Well, he said something along the lines of the following, that I
22 was theirs, but it was all a very quick conversation, a quick exchange,
23 and as we knew each other fairly well, there was some other words, but I
24 can't quite remember them all now. But this was a sort of form of
25 security for me, that at that particular moment I was not a Muslim, I was
1 not a Croat either, I was a Serb, because all the Serbs were marked in
2 that same way, with that armband.
3 Q. What I want to know is, did he have anything in mind for you at
4 that particular moment by giving you the white armband? Did he want you
5 to start fighting or do something specific? What caused him to put on --
6 put the armband on you at that point, at that time? For what reason? As
7 far as you can tell.
8 A. Well, probably, maybe something along those lines as well, but I
9 understood it -- and actually he said that to me, he repeated the words he
10 uttered earlier on. He said, "Well, you have chosen the right side." So
11 he thought that it was enough for me to -- for him to put that white
12 armband on me for me to be the 4th Detachment. I can't remember all the
13 details, but that was the gist of it. I was afraid and lots of -- many
14 years have passed by since then, and I'm doing my best to tell the truth
15 and say something that I'm 100 per cent certain of. Perhaps it would not
16 always coincide with the statement I gave. Some other things might have
17 been mentioned there. But I don't want to say anything that I'm not 100
18 per cent certain about now. So can it just stay there? Can we leave it
19 there, that those were the words he actually spoke?
20 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. di Fazio, Mr. Salkic, were you still wearing
21 the white armband when you arrived at the police station?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you mean the first time or when
23 I returned on this other occasion?
24 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I'm talking about what we just mentioned now,
25 when you arrived at the police station and you were beaten immediately you
1 got in.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. And they even swore at me,
3 they cursed my balija, Muslim, Ustasha mother, because, "Look at him,"
4 they said, "he's marked himself with this band." I hadn't actually done
5 so, but they beat me and said that I had declared myself, and, yes, they
6 beat me because of that, precisely.
7 MR. DI FAZIO:
8 Q. Did you still have the possessions that Lugar had given you?
9 A. No. I had handed them over before that to the guys, the soldiers
10 that came by in the car. They took the car and those things, and I said
11 that I was afraid because Lugar, he -- that the man had threatened me, he
12 had paint on his face and it was ugly to see. And he threatened me and
13 said that I was -- must be sure to take that to the police station and not
14 to give it to anybody else. They confiscated it from me, but they said
15 that I should go on foot to the MUP with my hands raised.
16 Q. Okay. I just want to get this sequence clear in my head. Fadil
17 Topcagic puts the white armband on you, you start walking back to the MUP;
18 is that correct?
19 A. No, no. They put the white armband on me quite a bit before, the
20 first time I was handed over to them. That's when they put the armband
21 on. And everything I did before I went into there, I already had the
22 armband on me, and I came to the police station with the armband on me.
23 Q. When you were going into the houses and asking -- and telling the
24 Croats and Muslims that everything was okay, did you have the white
25 armband on?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you have it on when you first met the man you later knew to be
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You say that you started walking back to the MUP. Why did you do
7 A. I had taken the things that that man, who was later to introduce
8 himself as Lugar to me -- he was wearing a camouflage uniform, he had the
9 armband, he had paint on his face, and I froze when I saw him, not to
10 speak of anything else. He ordered this. He ordered me to do this
11 because he saw the white armband, he said, "Ej, bre, brate," in the way
12 that would you address a fellow Serb. So that was a certainty. I'm sure
13 that that was what he thought. Otherwise ...
14 Q. You took the bag from him and you started going back to the MUP;
15 is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you have your arms in a surrender position at that stage?
18 A. No, no. I was still carrying the things. I couldn't have carried
19 the things otherwise. My hands were freed only when those two men took
20 the things away from me and loaded them up. I said that this was for some
21 man called Lugar and that this was to be handed in at the police station,
22 and they said, "That's our business. We will do that." And then they
23 ordered me to raise my hands up because I couldn't have raised my hands
24 carrying the bags and the boxes, could I?
25 Q. I understand the sequence now. Is that when you walked back with
1 your hands raised to the MUP?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did they tell you to keep your hands raised?
4 A. Those two, the two soldiers who took me from the MUP to hand me
5 over to the others, they also confiscated those things. No, they didn't
6 confiscate. They helped me. They took them off my hands. So I had to go
7 down one street onto the main road which led to the MUP with my arms
9 Q. How far did you have to go before you got to the MUP? A
10 kilometre, half a kilometre, 200 yards -- 200 metres? How far?
11 A. Well, 800 metres to a kilometre at the most. Between 800 metres
12 and one kilometre.
13 Q. Why didn't you make a run for it, try and escape, get away from
15 A. I think that I have already explained that very well, but let me
16 answer your question. Samac had already been surrounded so there was
17 nowhere you could flee to. Everything was closed off. Where could you go
18 to? All you could do was to try and escape, and that would be tantamount
19 to death. So I had no choice.
20 Q. Have you got any idea why you were chosen to encourage people to
21 surrender their weapons?
22 A. Well, if you analyse the situation a bit, if you have time and
23 analyse the offence, it's very simple to arrive at an answer. The four
24 people were already from the 4th Detachment, so they weren't for it. But
25 I moved around town a lot, saw people a lot, I had this little shop of
1 mine. I played handball for the town team. Lots of people knew me. So
2 probably, at that particular moment, I was useful to them, the best choice
3 perhaps, compared to the others that were there. Had they got Tihic or
4 Izetbegovic, well, they were politicians, they would have chosen them
5 before me, but as they weren't there, then I was most suited to their
6 purposes, I suppose.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, you said that you returned to the SUP and that
8 you were beaten. Who beat you when you arrived there?
9 A. When I arrived, in the corridor inside, they kicked me with their
10 legs, beat me with their hands. We couldn't wait to get into the cell and
11 be locked up because then not everybody could take aim at us. So somebody
12 kicked me, somebody swore and cursed my balija mother or my Ustasha mother
13 or Muslim mother or whatever. So in all that fear, I couldn't wait to get
14 into the cell to get away from the corridor and away from that open
16 Q. I take it you succeeded in getting into the cell?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How long did you remain in the SUP or the MUP?
19 A. We stayed in the MUP -- let me see, that night, I spent that night
20 in the MUP, and then the next day, in the morning, I was transferred to
21 the TO building, the Territorial Defence building, which is opposite the
22 MUP building.
23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. di Fazio, I wonder whether,
24 Mr. Salkic, you could just clarify. Mr. di Fazio had asked you who beat
25 you when you arrived at the MUP, and you answered that "they" beat you and
1 then described in part the beatings. Could you clarify who the "they"
2 were, please?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I wasn't thinking of the
4 people shut up like me. I meant the police, the police who were there,
5 wearing either police uniforms or camouflage uniforms, who happened to be
6 there. They beat me.
7 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And do you know who those people in those
8 uniforms were? Did you know their names?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I knew some of them. I didn't
10 know others. But later on, I was to get to know many of them: Lugar,
11 Laki, Beli, Avram. Now, which of them was there at that particular
12 moment, I don't know. I know that Stevan was there among them, and then,
13 begging your pardon, he kicked me in my butt, and told the others to "Shut
14 that balija up there." So there were these people from Serbia, then there
15 were some other locals, but one of them, as I say, was Stevan Todorovic,
16 whom I knew before the war well.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Do I take it -- has Your Honour finished?
18 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
19 MR. DI FAZIO:
20 Q. Do I take it from your answer that it was a combination of locals
21 and people apparently from Serbia who participated in beating you in --
22 upon your arrival back in the SUP, after having walked around the town?
23 A. Yes. That too. That wasn't quite clear to us yet. Judging by
24 the dialect, we were able to conclude very easily that they weren't from
25 our area, because we all spoke in a specific way, whereas they spoke
1 Ekavian, so I noticed straight away that they weren't from our region,
2 from our parts.
3 Q. Thank you. You were taken to the TO the next day. Can you recall
4 whether it was the morning or the afternoon?
5 A. It was in the morning, not very early, about 8.00, between 8.00
6 and 10.00. I can't really judge what the time was. I lost all sense of
7 time. But it was in the morning, let's say between 8.00 and 10.00.
8 Q. What happened at the TO?
9 A. They put us up there. We went through the TO yard. And then they
10 found a room for us there on the left-hand side. The things that were in
11 the room were thrown out so that the room was empty, left empty, just the
12 floor and the walls, and they put us in there for a time.
13 Q. So you were amongst the first guests at the TO, I gather from the
14 fact that there was material in the room that had to be thrown out; is
15 that correct?
16 A. Yes, that's right. There was some pieces of timber, wood, some
17 kinds of bars or rods. It was a room used -- as I said before, they took
18 away the weapons, so there were just some bits and pieces, rods and bars,
19 left there. But this came in handy to them later on during our stay.
20 Q. How many -- I'll withdraw that question. What sort of numbers
21 were now imprisoned in the TO?
22 A. Yes. Before we got there -- let me just go back to one detail, if
23 I may be allowed to, if -- while we were in the MUP, we spent such
24 terrible time there, because 20 or 30 of us were crammed into these two
25 cells, which were approximately two by a metre and a half. We weren't
1 allowed to go to the toilet. We had no water, no food. At no time did
2 they give us water, food, or allow us to go to the toilet while we were in
3 the MUP, so that -- you can imagine -- and I'm sorry to have to say this,
4 but people urinated where we were, and it was a very small space. So
5 this, as far as the width and space were concerned, was like a hotel
6 compared to the space we were in before that.
7 Q. So do I take it that the numbers in the TO, initially at least,
8 when you were taken there, were in the range of 20 to 30 people, 20 to 30
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And was it the case that all the people who you were with in the
12 MUP were all transferred over to the TO?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown F1, F5 and F50 from
15 Exhibit P14A. Perhaps when the usher has those photographs ready, he
16 could present F5 on the ELMO first.
17 Q. Now, what does that -- do you recognise that room?
18 A. Yes. That's it. That's the room. But let me state that when we
19 were brought there, there were no bars. The bars weren't there, all this
20 red bit up there. It was just glass and a metal door, but none of these
21 bars or grids. This is looking out into the yard from the room inside.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
23 For the purposes of the transcript, if Your Honours please, the
24 witness is looking at photograph F1 of Exhibit P14A.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
1 MR. DI FAZIO:
2 Q. Now look at F5, please. That door on the left, do you recognise
3 that door?
4 A. Yes. That's the same thing. That's the entrance. But the bars
5 weren't there either; just the metal door, no bars.
6 Q. Thank you. Now F50, please. Can you quickly show the Chamber,
7 show Their Honours, where the room that we've just seen in the previous
8 two photographs is. Use the baton. Just point it out.
9 A. Somewhere here. I think that's the door, the first one here.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I've finished with the photographs.
11 Q. How long did you remain in that TO building altogether?
12 A. In the TO building. I was there from that week, the morning of
13 that week, when they brought us from the MUP, up until the Sunday evening,
14 so that seven-day period. The following week, we left.
15 Q. For where?
16 A. They then took us to Brcko. So I spent eight days in the TO.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, just a thing for clarification. In
19 our language, "Sunday" and "the week" is the same word, so when he says
20 "the morning of that week," he means the morning of Sunday. In the
21 transcript, it says "that week," but I believe that the witness was
22 testifying that the morning of Sunday when he was transferred to the TO
23 building. So if my colleague can clarify that. This is page 68, 2 and 3.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I'm sure Mr. di Fazio will clarify the days.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
3 Q. Is this the position: You were taken to the TO on the Sunday
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. When did you leave for Brcko?
7 A. A week later, which means the following Sunday. Eight days, from
8 Sunday to Sunday.
9 Q. Thank you. I now want to ask you some questions about that period
10 of eight days. Were more prisoners brought into the TO?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What was their ethnic background?
13 A. Muslims and Croats.
14 Q. Was the process of bringing in prisoners a continuous one or did
15 it happen on one or two occasions? In other words, did they come in a
16 bunch or did they come in dribs and drabs over the next week?
17 A. Yes. One would come one day, the next day two or three, the next
18 day four or five. So not all at once. They would come at certain
19 intervals and different numbers, so that by -- so that the number
20 increased quite considerably.
21 Q. Who was bringing them in?
22 A. The police, the guards. I don't really know.
23 Q. Did any of them appear to be soldiers?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Were they locals?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I want to ask you about the Monday that you were in the TO. On
3 that day, were you taken anywhere?
4 A. They hadn't taken me anywhere that day yet, because there was an
5 overture, if I can put it that way, to that conversation, or, to be more
6 specific, they did that day.
7 Q. I do apologise, Mr. Salkic. I think I understand what you mean.
8 Did you see Lugar on that Monday morning?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you tell us --
11 A. I saw several of them.
12 Q. Yes. Well, now, that's what I'd like you to tell us about. Can
13 you tell us under what circumstances you had the pleasure of Mr. Lugar's
14 company on Monday morning?
15 A. Well, it was like this: He turned up -- we were getting to know
16 these Serbs from Serbia and their special forces, as they were to
17 introduce themselves later on. Lugar came and he gave us his name and
18 surname, although we had already become acquainted with him. Avram, Laki,
19 Beli, the others. And among them was a local Serb whose nickname was
20 Cera. I don't know his surname, but they all referred to him as Cera.
21 Then they called us out by name and surname, one by one: Omer
22 Nalic, Hasan Bicic, Muhamed Bicic. I was among them; there was Roma, and
23 some others, about five or six of us. And the purpose of us being taken
24 out was, of course, well, beating. I can't even describe that. We were
25 all bloody, broken, black and blue, hardly able to stand on our own two
1 feet. They had to pull some of us up because we had fallen down and were
3 But let me continue with what happened to me. That same man,
4 Lugar, gave me a piece of paper and a pencil, and all bloody and beaten up
5 that I was, he forced me to write a statement for him.
6 Q. Okay. I, unfortunately, do want you to recount the beating before
7 you were given the piece of paper and forced to write the statement.
8 First of all, where did the beating occur?
9 A. May I have a little water, please?
10 Q. There's a jug just there.
11 A. This is how it was: They took me out --
12 JUDGE MUMBA: I was about to say, it's 1.00. Yes. Can we have a
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I'm sorry, I didn't realise the time, Your
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The court clock is 1.00, so we go for the
17 lunch break and resume the proceedings at 1530 hours.
18 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.01 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 3.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. di Fazio, you're continuing.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. If Your Honours please, a matter arises
4 from the issue that I raised briefly with you earlier today, namely the
5 statement or alleged statement of this witness that was taken in --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: In Brcko?
7 MR. DI FAZIO: In Bosanski Samac, yes. I very briefly spoke to
8 Mr. Zecevic just now and I understand that he is in two minds as to
9 whether or not he will use the document; a matter for him.
10 However, the Prosecution, having now come into the possession of
11 this document by Mr. Zecevic handing it to us, I can tell the Chamber that
12 we are very particularly interested in the document and regard it as very
13 important that we put the matters -- put the statement to this witness.
14 And that exercise that I spoke about earlier is assumed even more
15 importance in my mind now. And it's crucial, from our point of view, that
16 we conduct that exercise before the completion of my examination-in-chief
17 of Mr. Salkic. So when that can be attended to, I'm not entirely sure.
18 It's being translated as we speak. I've had a rough translation put to me
19 -- given to me by the interpreters. We are doing whatever we can to get
20 it translated, officially translated, as quickly as possible. And I will
21 do my level best to make sure that the investigator can speak to the
22 witness about that document with -- armed with the proper official
23 translation as soon as possible. If everything went well, that -- ideally
24 that would be this evening. But if it doesn't go well, and if the
25 translation is not there and if we can't get the investigator to
1 Mr. Salkic tonight, then at some stage it will have to be done, and
2 tomorrow it's crucial, from the Prosecution's point of view.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We can hold onto that. You can go ahead and
4 deal with that, but that shouldn't hold the proceedings, because if you
5 can't get the document ready before you finish examination-in-chief, we
6 can stand this witness down.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: And proceed with another witness.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: And then when you're ready at the right juncture,
11 then we bring him back.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I just wanted to raise that possibility. I'm
13 hoping that this will come to nothing and I'll be able to come back to
14 court tomorrow armed with fresh instructions and the matter will proceed
15 smoothly, God willing. That would be an ideal outcome, and I'll do what I
16 can to bring that about.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: In case that doesn't happen, let's not hold the
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. May I just now produce another two documents
20 to the Court? Copies have been given to my learned friends. They are
21 purely and simply the dates of the orthodox and non-orthodox Easter in
22 1992. They are obtained from a web site, the U.S. Naval Observatory, I
23 believe. Copies have been given to my learned friends. It's just to
24 establish and fix the dates of Easter, 1992. Can I provide the Chamber
25 with copies?
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: It consists of two documents. I don't know if Your
3 Honours have marking pens, but for the sake of simplicity, I can quickly
4 guide you to the relevant entries. On one document you have -- it's
5 entitled "The Date of Easter," simply "The date of Easter."
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. As you go -- as you describe this one, maybe
7 we can have the numbers, if there's no objection to the -- from the
8 Defence. Yes. I don't think so.
9 Can we have the numbers?
10 THE REGISTRAR: The document with "The Date of Easter" will be
11 Prosecution Exhibit P30. The other document, "The Date of Orthodox
12 Easter," will be Prosecution Exhibit 32.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. And on P30, if Your Honours please, if
14 you turn over the page, you'll see three columns. In the first column,
15 towards the end, it establishes April 19, 1992 as the - I'm not quite sure
16 of the terminology - as the non-Orthodox Easter of that year. And on
17 P31 --
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Is it P31 or P32?
19 THE REGISTRAR: Can I make a correction, Your Honour?
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, please.
21 THE REGISTRAR: "The Date of Easter" is P31 and "The Date of
22 Orthodox Easter" is P32.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: So if you look at P32, "The Date of Orthodox
25 Easter," it's on about the fourth page of the document dealing with the
1 Gregorian calendar, and that establishes, about two-thirds of the way down
2 the first column, that the 26th of April, 1992, was Easter in the Orthodox
3 church. Thank you.
4 Q. Mr. Salkic, before the break, you were about to tell us of an
5 encounter that you had with Lugar on the Monday morning, the Monday that
6 you had been -- after you had been initially transferred to the TO, and
7 you got as far as telling us that you were taken outside and started
8 to -- instructed to write a statement. And I was interested in what
9 happened in the period of time just before you actually sat down to write
10 that statement. You said that a number of men were taken out. Were they
11 also instructed to write statements?
12 A. They told all of us, all of us who had already been taken out, to
13 do that. But let me describe the event that took place before we started
14 writing the statements. Can I do that? May I be allowed to do that?
15 Q. Please do. That's exactly what I want you to do. Tell us in
16 detail what happened.
17 A. They called out the names: Ibela, Hasan, Beca, Mesa, Roma, Omer
18 Nalic, all these names. About five or six people were taken out, and
19 there were some outside already. And this was our official introduction
20 to Lugar, Laki, Beli, Tralja, Avram, and all the rest of them who I was to
21 meet subsequently. And the beating started. How, I'm going to try and
22 describe them to you in detail now.
23 First of all, it was enough to give your name. They would take
24 what they found, what they had to hand - the chair, the leg of a chair or
25 some other object or implement - because there was a garage nearby where
1 there was a small truck, an old, small truck, which was full of discarded
2 objects: chairs, metal objects. And they started beating us, and that
3 went on for at least, at least, a half hour. We were all broken, all
4 bloody. It was really astounding that any of us had remained alive.
5 So at that time, with all that going on and all the fear that
6 experienced, Lugar said to one of the others, "Give them the papers and
7 the pencils." And then they cursed our balija, Muslim, Ustasha mothers,
8 whatever they felt like. And we took up the papers. We didn't know what
9 statements we were expected to write. And I remember one of us asked,
10 "What do you want us to write?" And Lugar kicked him with his foot and
11 said, "Well, write down, you balija motherfuckers, who gave you the
12 weapons, where you were taken to," where this, where that.
13 So some of us succeeded in writing down the statement in the state
14 they were in. I think that, after a great deal of trouble, I too managed
15 to write some sort of statement down, but what the statement was
16 like -- well, I can describe that to you again, because I was to encounter
17 that statement later on. The statement was in fact all bloody, covered in
18 blood. I wrote down what did happen and what didn't happen, because,
19 quite frankly, my life was at stake, and not only my life but the life of
20 all the others, all the other people who were with me.
21 So I wrote down everything I could think of. I managed to write
22 down the statement. I'm not sure whether I signed it. I think I did.
23 But I don't know how they were able to read it from all the blood that was
24 dropping onto the paper from this injury that I had in this place here.
25 There was a hole in my head and my hand was all bloody, and I was writing
1 as the blood was pouring out of my hand and out of my head. And I'm
2 really interested in how the person reading the statement could have
3 managed to read it with all the blood that was on the paper.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: If the witness could be shown F50. Thanks. Sorry,
5 photograph number 50 from Exhibit P14A.
6 Q. Can you do your best and try and point out where the area, at
7 least, where you and the other men were beaten?
8 A. Here you have it. That's the yard. This is the door we came out
9 of. This is the yard, and this is the garage where that little truck was,
10 with the various objects, metal and wooden, inside. So we wrote all this
11 down on the ground. We had nothing to rest the paper on.
12 Q. Right. So beating and writing of statement occurred in the
13 courtyard? Answer so that it's on the transcript.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You may or may not be able to recall, but were those gates open or
16 closed that you can see in the photograph, the corrugated iron gates?
17 A. I remember very well; the gates were closed. They were very
18 rarely open.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Usher, I've done with the
21 Q. What about sound? During the course of the beating, could -- did
22 the victims, yourself included, scream, yell, make a noise?
23 A. Yes. They were terrible screams, and while they were beating us
24 and while those screams could be heard, the others who were in the room,
25 they had to start singing, because during the few days that we were
1 incarcerated, they had taught us to sing their - I can say this quite
2 frankly - Chetnik songs, because I doubt very much that they were Serb
3 songs, folk songs. They were purely Chetnik songs, the ones that they
4 told us to sing. So let me -- my answer to your question is yes, yes,
5 there were screams, because it was terrible pain that the people were
6 suffering, and in addition to that, we had to listen to the songs, the
7 Chetnik songs that they made us sing.
8 Q. Thank you. After the statement -- after you'd written whatever
9 you did write on the statement, were you taken somewhere?
10 A. They brought us back inside. They had to carry some people inside
11 because they were in such bad shape, but they took us back to the room.
12 And after some time, they called me out to the SUP or MUP again where they
13 showed me the bloody statement.
14 Q. Okay. Just stop there. Were you escorted across the road to the
16 A. Yes. The guard took me there. And as I was going into the
17 hallway, I saw beatings going -- there were beatings, but that is -- when
18 I was brought upstairs to the office, they didn't beat me any more.
19 Q. Thank you. What did you see in this office that you were taken
21 A. I saw some people that I knew very well in that office. I knew
22 them very well by then. There was Simo Bozic, Milos Savic, Vlado
23 Sarkanovic, Topolovac and Mr. Zaric, who was in the hallway at the MUP at
24 that time.
25 Q. Pause there. Bozic, Saric, Sarkanovic and Topolovac, what ethnic
1 background were they?
2 A. They are Serbs. Let me say it wasn't Saric, it was Savic, Milos
3 Savic was the man's name, not Saric. They were Serbs, all of them.
4 Q. I see. My apologies, it was my mispronunciation, thank you. What
5 sort of work did Bozic, Simo Bozic, and Milo Savic do prior to this date?
6 What was their job?
7 A. Yes. All four of them already worked at -- in the police force,
8 but the two of them, Sarkanovic and Topolovac, had already retired,
9 whereas the other two were still working.
10 Q. Were they local --
11 A. In the police. No, just one moment, I have one more error to put
12 right. Mr. Bozic was a judge already. He was in fact a magistrate, a
13 misdemeanour judge.
14 Q. I see. What was your condition when you first entered the room?
15 A. Well, I was covered in blood because we didn't have where to
16 wash. The blood had dried. It was all over our clothing. Our health was
17 poor. We were -- briefly speaking, we were in a very sorry state.
18 Q. Thank you. You mentioned Simo Zaric was in the -- I think you
19 said in the corridor or the hallway. Was that close to the office that
20 you eventually ended up in?
21 A. Yes. And the gentleman came in for a brief moment. I think we
22 said hello. He glanced at me and went out, followed by Sarkanovic and
23 Topolovac, and Bozic, Mr. Bozic, and Milos Savic remained inside.
24 Q. Did he say anything when he came in? I'm now referring to
25 Mr. Simo Zaric.
1 A. Yes. I think he talked to the Judges or the investigators, or I
2 don't know what to call them, because there were interrogations that were
3 taking place. I can't now remember, but they said that they ought to
4 finish with me, something along those lines.
5 Q. Now, you've told us about the statement that you had given to
6 Lugar. What had you done with the statement after it was completed, when
7 you were still back in the courtyard writing it out? What had you done
8 with it, the piece of paper, the actual piece of paper?
9 A. I handed it to Lugar, and this is what happened next: That same
10 statement was placed on the table in front of me, all bloody, when I was
11 at Mr. Simo Bozic's and Mr. Savic's.
12 Q. Yes?
13 A. And they asked me what it was that I had written. They weren't
14 satisfied with what I had written, actually, but I could give them nothing
16 Q. Can I just interrupt you there? Let's go through it slowly,
17 okay? When you got into the room, when you first entered the room, was
18 the statement visible?
19 A. No.
20 Q. How long after you entered the room did Simo Zaric come into the
22 A. Well, I can't remember exactly, because I was terrified. You must
23 understand, the Prosecution and the Defence and the Trial Chamber, because
24 thank goodness none of you have ever had to experience anything like it,
25 so it's very difficult to remember all the details, but I'm doing my best
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
14 English transcripts
1 to tell you what I remembered and how I remembered it. I think several
2 minutes went by, one, two, three, five. It wouldn't be honest of me if I
3 were to say -- tell you to the minute.
4 Q. Yes. I appreciate that time has passed, and I ask no more than
5 you do your best, but if you can recall, do tell us. Is it now your
6 position that one or two or three or five minutes passed before Simo Zaric
7 entered the room?
8 A. Possibly, yes. It didn't last long. It was very brief.
9 Q. At the time he entered the room, was the statement visible?
10 A. No. I saw her later -- I saw it later, I'm sorry, I saw it later,
11 when Mr. Bozic produced it. Mr. Bozic showed it to me while he questioned
12 me. Maybe it was in front of him for quite some time before that, but I
13 couldn't see it because he was on the other side, but when he turned it
14 round and placed it in front of me, then I saw that it was indeed my
15 bloody statement, covered in blood.
16 Q. So Mr. Bozic was obviously aware of your statement because he
17 produced it; is that correct? Just answer yes or no. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Mr. Savic presumably was aware of your statement because he was
20 there as well; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Was anyone else aware of the existence of that statement? Anyone
23 else who came into the room?
24 A. After that conversation of ours, that same statement could have
25 been seen by Mr. Zaric, if he wanted to, of course he could have seen it.
1 Q. Did he ever comment on it?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What did he say?
4 A. He said the following words to me: "You have enumerated some
5 names here. You mentioned the names of people who have gone across the
6 Sava River, and you haven't included the ones who are in town." And I
7 said that I had been there for several days, that I didn't know who had
8 left, who had escaped and who was still in town.
9 Q. All right. Now, how long were you in the interview for?
10 A. You mean that particular time?
11 Q. Yes. How long --
12 A. In the MUP?
13 Q. Yes, that's right. How long were you in that room, speaking to
14 these men?
15 A. Not long. It went on for another couple of minutes. Milos - no,
16 I'm sorry - Simo Bozic. After that, Mr. Zaric was no longer there. He
17 went off somewhere. I don't know where. I continued talking with the
18 other two men; that is to say, they conducted the interview with me, and
19 they said that I should say -- tell them things, and I kept saying that I
20 didn't know who did this, who did that. And they said, "Well, if you
21 don't want to do it of your own accord, we'll force you." And then they
22 took me back.
23 Once again, I was escorted through the corridor. Nobody beat me
24 on the first floor, but when I went downstairs to the ground floor, there
25 was always someone there, some policemen from Serbia, and we had to pass
1 them through the hallway. And then they took me back to the TO.
2 Q. Can I just ask you to pause there. Before we leave the interview
3 altogether, you have told the Chamber that one statement was taken from
4 you, for want of a better expression, by Lugar. During the course of this
5 second interview over the road in the MUP, was a statement actually taken
6 from you and produced, put on paper?
7 A. If they put it on paper, I don't know about that. I don't
8 remember. I did not write it myself. I did not write any statement by
9 myself. It was an interrogation, really.
10 Q. Were you asked to sign anything in the MUP on this occasion?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you know what you signed?
13 A. Believe me, now I can't say. I can't say either yes or no.
14 Perhaps I did sign it, perhaps I didn't, but I'm not sure, so I would not
15 want to give an inaccurate answer.
16 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Salkic. Were you taken back to the TO?
17 A. Yes. I described my journey to there briefly. From the offices
18 where I was interrogated, and when I was not beaten, when I went
19 downstairs, as I was going downstairs, they started kicking me and hitting
20 me with rifle butts. I managed to glance briefly to the right, where the
21 cell was where I had been. There were other people there, and I could not
22 recognise them that quickly. They took me across the street and they took
23 me to that room where the rest of them were at the TO.
24 Q. Now I want to ask you about conditions in the TO for that week,
25 thereabouts, before you were transferred to Brcko. You've mentioned
1 briefly the singing of Chetnik songs. Can you tell the Chamber how often
2 that would occur? And bear in mind that I'm now talking about that first
3 week in the TO.
4 A. Yes. As any one of their soldiers passed by us, they would beat
5 us. The singing was compulsory. These Serbs from Serbia came and ordered
6 us to sing out loud all the time, to sing those songs, and the people at
7 the MUP and at the municipality could hear that very well, very well.
8 There are gentlemen here who worked at the municipality, and they could
9 hear that singing very well. People did not have water, they were beaten
10 up, they did not have adequate food. And people would start falling
11 because they had to remain standing for so long, and we had to lift them
12 up, because the others would say, "If you don't remain standing, we'll
13 kill you." So then we had to lift them all the time, because Lugar had
14 actually said that he could kill people.
15 Q. Do you know a gentleman named Sead Mujkanovic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What was his job in April of 1992?
18 A. He was a policeman, a policeman at the MUP in Bosanski Samac.
19 Q. His ethnic background?
20 A. Yes. He's a Muslim. As I said, he worked at the police station.
21 I can tell you, unfortunately, a bad thing that happened to him there in
22 that room. Lugar walked in, and simply, in cold blood, he asked him who
23 he was, directly. So he came there with the intention of looking for Sead
24 Mujkanovic. He walked in. Sead was sitting there, and he simply took an
25 army rifle which has a sight here on the top. I don't know how to explain
1 this to you, all the details. But he shoved it into his mouth. He turned
2 it around and he pulled it out. And I'm not sure now whether two or three
3 of his teeth simply fell out this way.
4 He also kicked him. He kicked him with his army boot and he fell,
5 and he cursed his balija, Ustasha, whatever, mother. And then he started
6 kicking all of us around. And then he simply said, "Get up." And he was
7 cursing our balija mothers, Ustasha mothers, and then singing again. All
8 of this happened within those two or three days at the TO: singing, people
9 passing out, and then we had to lift them. And that's how it went on
10 until we went to Brcko.
11 Q. Thank you. I will need to get more details about what happened in
12 the TO. Before I do that, can I ask you to clarify one thing: Did the
13 incident with Sead Mujkanovic occur in the courtyard or did it occur in
14 the room in which you were imprisoned?
15 A. It happened in the room. It happened in the room. I can describe
16 that room. We saw it here in that picture. When you enter through the
17 door, on the left side was where Mr. Sead Mujkanovic was sitting, and
18 that's the room where he pulled his teeth out.
19 Q. I'd like to ask you about a gentleman named Omer Nalic. Do you
20 know him?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Was he imprisoned with you in the TO in this first week before you
23 were taken to Brcko?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. His ethnic background, please?
1 A. Muslim.
2 Q. You've mentioned a gentleman named Cera. Did Cera ever have any
3 dealings with Omer Nalic?
4 A. I don't think so. I don't think so. But I can describe this
5 particular occurrence for you, what happened to Omer Nalic, because it
6 wasn't only Omer Nalic who was involved in all of this. I was there, and
7 the Bicic brothers, Didic [phoen]. It was always a certain group. They
8 always took out four or five or perhaps six men. They would start beating
9 us. Lugar was also there, Laki, Beli.
10 I think that this was the first moment when I saw Cera. I mean, I
11 had seen him with them before that, but this was the first time I saw him
12 take some kind of action. He called Omer and he moved him a metre away
13 from us, and he said that if he wanted to buy his life, that he should
14 give 5.000 Deutschemarks. And I heard this very well when he said, Omer
15 said, "Cera, I haven't got this. What do you mean? I haven't got any
16 money here in the camp." And he kept his hands this way, and he was
17 explaining all this to him. And up here, up here, he stuck a knife
18 through his arm and he swore at his balija mother. There was something
19 else that really surprised him, because he also swore at his managerial
20 mother, because Omer was a manager at the power supply company.
21 They he took him away, and then Omer told us that he went
22 to -- around town. He went to his wife, he went to see his friends, and
23 that he gave him a certain amount of money. So I cannot really confirm
24 this, but in essence, he bought his own life. In Omer's absence, they
25 beat us some more. They took us back and then the usual thing: singing,
1 singing these Chetnik songs.
2 Q. Thank you. What's a managerial mother? I don't follow you.
3 A. You know, Omer was a manager, a manager in a company, so it was
4 because of the position that he held. He was cursing his mother, so then
5 his managerial mother, like he was a manager, and he had cursed his balija
6 mother before that.
7 Q. Okay. Now, the wound that Nalic suffered, how did that progress?
8 Did you see -- have an opportunity to see the wound over the ensuing
10 A. Yes, yes, because Omer and I spent quite a bit of time in camp
11 together, so we could all see this non-stop. It was a wound up here, a
12 cut across the arm. It looked very, very bad because it got infected. We
13 didn't have any kind of medical help there. There wasn't anyone who could
14 dress his wound or something, or any one of us who were there, so it was a
15 horrible, horrible thing to look at, this wound. It was bleeding for a
16 long time. It got infected. That kind of thing.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, for the purposes of the
18 transcript, the witness has identified his left forearm as the site of the
19 wound he has described.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. Was this an isolated episode of extortion or did it occur on other
23 occasions in that first week that you were in the TO?
24 A. Yes, yes. This happened several times, quite often. They asked
25 me and the Bicic brothers, and they often came to beat people and to ask
1 for car keys, because these two guys were quite well off. They had shops
2 and cars. And they beat them quite often, and they took the two of them
3 -- no, not the two of them, one of them, to collect some money and also
4 to buy his own life. I think it was Lugar and Beli who did this. And
5 now, whether they managed to do that or not, at that moment, everybody was
6 afraid to say either yes or no, and I was pretty sure that it was that
7 way. Once, after that, Lugar came and hugged the two of them, which
8 surprised us, and he said, "Oh, boy, I have no idea what you have done to
9 these Serbs. You are such good men. Why are you being treated that way?
10 They even want to have you killed, and you are good men. What do these
11 local Serbs have against you, hold against you?" That's the comment I
12 heard myself.
13 Q. You have said that you were a victim of extortion yourself. Can
14 you describe to the Chamber what happened in your case?
15 A. Yes, yes. They came there to ask me for money, but I really
16 didn't have any, not at home, not with me. There was just a bit, 700, 800
17 Deutschemarks. I managed to give them that, and they asked for more, but
18 I really didn't have any more, so they beat me up. They probably heard
19 from the others, the Serbs from Serbia, I mean -- I want to underline that
20 with the exception of Cera, all this was done by the Serbs from Serbia,
21 not by the local Serbs, with the exception of Cera, and Cera probably
22 being aware of my situation, he probably said, "What he gave is enough,
23 coming from him." So they had beaten me up, but then they didn't mistreat
24 me after that. There was some local currency, just a little bit, but that
25 was basically worthless.
1 Q. Where did you eat in the first week that you were in the TO?
2 A. Yes. I would have to point this out. While we were at the
3 police, at the MUP, we absolutely had nothing to eat. Only when we were
4 transferred to the TO, one morning a truck came and I think that a certain
5 person called Lazo, nicknamed Trojan, came, and he put us into this truck
6 and he took us to the restaurant of the Utva company, and that's where we
7 had breakfast.
8 Q. How often did you eat there? Was it just this one occasion or
9 were there other occasions?
10 A. No. We went there perhaps during the first two or three days, so
11 we went twice or three times altogether. So we had the opportunity of
12 seeing what was going on. And even some of these people who were not
13 attached to the military or to the police, who worked there at the
14 kitchen, we asked them what was going on, things like that. So it was
15 only two or three days.
16 Q. On those occasions that you went to the Utva factory, did you see
17 any of the defendants or the accused?
18 A. Yes, yes. I saw Mr. Milan Simic, only once. I looked at him. In
19 a way, he was -- in a way, I was happy. I thought perhaps I'd hear
20 something from him. However, I had the feeling that he was embarrassed
21 because of all of this. He put his head down and walked away, went to a
22 restaurant, to a dining hall. I worked in this company so I knew the
23 layout well. This was a dining hall for business luncheons. This was my
24 first contact. This was the first time I saw Mr. Milan Simic. We did not
25 have any contact. It's not that we talked or anything like that.
1 Q. Where were you prisoners taken to eat in Utva? Where in Utva?
2 A. The restaurant that was actually a cafeteria where all the workers
3 at that company had their meals.
4 Q. And where is the dining hall for the business luncheons? Is that
5 the same place or is it some other location?
6 A. Yes, yes, there, there, there. There is a single entrance, and
7 then when you go through that door, on one side is the restaurant for
8 business luncheons, where business partners of this company came, and to
9 the right-hand side, or rather, straight ahead was the kitchen where you
10 would actually get the food, and then the tables were on the other side,
11 the restaurant, I mean.
12 Q. After you sighted Milan Simic, did you -- were you able to see him
13 throughout the time that you were eating there, or did he just disappear
14 from sight?
15 A. No, no. He had left. I explained this. Perhaps it was difficult
16 to translate it. I had the feeling that when he saw us all soaked in
17 blood, beaten up, that he was ashamed, that he was embarrassed, and that
18 he went to that restaurant, because all of these people practically were
19 people that he knew very well.
20 Q. Do you know a gentleman nicknamed Dikan?
21 A. Yes. I met him in camp. I had not known him before that.
22 Q. What was his ethnic background?
23 A. He's a Croat.
24 Q. About how old was he?
25 A. Well, he was a pretty small man. My estimate is that he was
1 perhaps between 45 and 50, perhaps a bit more, perhaps a bit less. I
2 don't know. I know who the gentleman is. We were there together for a
3 few days. But I cannot really tell his age. Say between 45 and 50.
4 Q. Was he a robust, strong man?
5 A. No. He was a small man. Perhaps he weighed about 45 kilos. He
6 was also quite short, perhaps 160 centimetres in height, a very small man,
7 slight. However, they beat him often. They said allegedly that he was a
8 Zenga, that his sons were Zengas, and that his sons were there in Croatia,
9 in the Croatian National Guard Corps. They often took him out to beat
10 him. He was such a small man, such a skinny man, I don't know what they
11 had to beat except his bones, but they beat him a lot. And then
12 ultimately he was killed.
13 Q. Can you explain what a Zenga is?
14 A. I'll try. Zenga is an abbreviation, you know, of the Croat army,
15 and it is actually the Croatian National Guard Corps, Zbor Narodne Garde,
16 so in our language, this is an abbreviation, ZNG. I don't know whether I
17 succeeded in doing this.
18 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Is it used as an insulting term or is it
19 just simply a term of description?
20 A. Yes. It was just a term, the Croatian National Guard Corps. But
21 for them, it was something hostile. It implied that it was the enemy. It
22 was like the SDA. The SDA was just a party, but for them it was the
23 enemy. Can you understand that? For them it was just an enemy army,
24 although this was an army from a neighbouring state.
25 Q. Thank you. Before I ask you to describe the fate of Dikan, I'd
1 just like to ask you some questions about the guards and those carrying
2 out the beatings. You have said that those carrying out the beatings in
3 that week were men from Serbia and that Cera was the only local who
4 participated in beatings. Did you have guards who were there on a more or
5 less permanent basis or working in shifts?
6 A. Yes, they worked in shifts. I don't know how often they changed,
7 but out of the locals, I think -- well, I guess that many, many people
8 before me talked about this, or other people who will come in will tell
9 you about this. It hardly ever happened that Mr. Todorovic would not come
10 to see us. He's a local man. But then also the guards were coming in,
11 and these men from Serbia proper were forcing them to beat us. These
12 local people, they probably wouldn't want to beat us, but they made them
13 beat us. I don't know why. And then they got to like it too, and then
14 the locals started beating us regularly too. Not all of them. I always
15 underline that: not all of them, but some of them. For example, this
16 Jajcinoivc person, and others.
17 Q. All right. Now, you've said that you were transferred eventually
18 to Brcko. When in relation to that occurrence did the murder - or
19 sorry - the death of Dikan occur: days before, on the same day? Can you
20 tell us?
21 A. Dikan's murder occurred on the Orthodox Easter. It was a Sunday.
22 It happened in the afternoon hours. Screams were heard. There was lots
23 of commotion. They came in drunk, because they were probably celebrating,
24 which would have been a normal thing under normal circumstances, that they
25 were celebrating their Easter.
1 Lugar came with some other men. He started shooting through the
2 door. He broke the door open. The first person who was next to the door
3 was the late Dikan. When the door was opened, with a rod or stick or
4 something - I don't know - I was - you could put it this way - clinically
5 dead from fear. Now I can even laugh and say this. He hit this Dikan,
6 and Dikan fell. And then he took this Ustasha, as he had put it. He
7 said, "Give me this Ustasha. Pull him out." And then they pulled him
8 out. And then something was heard, like one gunshot or several gunshots.
9 I don't know. I went numb. And then one of them ended up in Dikan's
10 head. Soon after that, Lugar and these guys left and the guards came and
11 asked, or rather, ordered them -- somebody else to carry Dikan away.
12 Q. Just a couple of questions from your last answer. Did he use the
13 rod or stick to hit Dikan?
14 A. Well, it was an object.
15 Q. Well, whatever it was that he had in his hands, did he use that to
16 beat Dikan?
17 A. Yes. Yes. Yes. Dikan was a small man. One blow in the head was
18 sufficient. Dikan fell. I think he was dead by then. I don't think he
19 even had to shoot him in the head.
20 Q. And who was ordered to carry him out?
21 A. I don't know. I don't know. The guards came. I was beside
22 myself. I think it was Safet Srna, or Sead Srna. I don't know. I'll get
23 confused. And also, Muhamed and Hasan were there too, and they said they
24 couldn't -- I don't know. I don't know. I cannot remember well.
25 This was great fear. You've got to understand this. It's ugly
1 for me to make this kind of comparison, but imagine if somebody were to
2 spill somebody's brains here in front of all of you in this courtroom. I
3 think that it would take months and years for you to recover from that,
4 let alone remember things.
5 I was lucky. Immediately after this event, a guard came and took
6 me to the SUP. If you ask me more about this, I'm going to tell you about
7 this event that had to do with me, and I talked about it in my statement
8 too. Actually, you can proceed with your questions.
9 Q. Just bear with me for a moment, please, Mr. Salkic.
10 Where were you taken to in the SUP?
11 A. A guard came and said that I had to go up and have a talk. I went
12 upstairs and -- perhaps I would have taken advantage to thank him.
13 Mr. Simo Zaric came by in the corridor, who took me off to an office and
14 said that I should sit there while he saw to some business he
15 had - because he had some major problems that I already knew about - but
16 that Lugar and him could go back and do something worse, so that it was
17 better for me to stay on in his office. And of course, that's what I
18 did. And then he came by once or twice to ask whether I had any
19 problems. I said no. Then he came to fetch me after some time had gone
20 by and told me that I was going and that the others were going too, to
21 some other place, a safer place.
22 Q. Where did that turn out to be?
23 A. Well, we didn't know anything yet. They got us onto a truck.
24 There was a police and military escort. And as it was night, it was
25 difficult to differentiate and see where we were going. But as I knew
1 those parts, I glanced out, although I didn't dare look, but I was sure
2 they were taking us in the direction of Grebnice, Slatina, Obudovac,
3 Loncari, and Brcko, ultimately. So that as the canvas on the truck had a
4 hole in it, I was able to peek through and I was able to get my bearings,
5 because I knew those parts very well. We ended up in the JNA barracks in
6 Brcko, actually.
7 Q. Now, we'll get on to the transfer to Brcko in due course, but I
8 want to ask you something about interviews. In that week that you were in
9 the TO, were you ever shown any lists of people?
10 A. Well, they kept bringing out some plans and lists, who needed to
11 liquidate whom, which Muslims, which Serbs, and I assumed that that was
12 only a pretext for them to be able to beat us more.
13 Q. This liquidation of Serbs, were you ever given any list or
14 confronted with any list or accused of any plans to liquidate Serbs?
15 A. No. No, there weren't any plans, but they did show some lists,
16 but not lists for killings. For example, that I was supposed to kill
17 Topcagic, the other one was supposed to kill Simo Zaric, the other some
18 other person, that kind of thing. I didn't dare say this publicly, but of
19 course I thought that was all nonsense.
20 Q. Yes. Who confronted you with these allegations?
21 A. On one occasion, it was Savic and Bozic. They asked me some
22 questions. And on one occasion, Mr. Zaric came in and asked me whether I
23 really -- whether I was really supposed to kill Fadil, and I said that
24 nothing of the sort would ever enter my head, especially not to kill
25 somebody for no reason at all. And he sort of laughed. So I too realised
1 that it was a sort of, if I can dare say, joke or provocation or some such
3 Q. When did this allegation from Mr. Zaric -- when was it made?
4 A. Just a moment, please. It was twice that I met Mr. Zaric -- I met
5 Mr. Zaric twice, and I'm not quite sure when this was. It was always a
6 difficult moment. I think those allegations could have been the Sunday
7 that I was to go back, maybe up in the office, when they were going to
8 transfer us to Brcko.
9 Q. You met the allegation with -- with words to the effect that
10 nothing of the sort would ever enter your head, especially not killing
11 someone for any reason at all. Do I take it from that answer that you
12 took the allegation seriously?
13 A. Well, it could have been taken seriously, because you never knew.
14 They were saying things that were not logical. They wanted you to own up
15 to something you didn't do. I'm not speaking about Mr. Zaric in this
16 connection. I'm just speaking in general of what happened during those
17 events. Now, if they said something like this, you would be in a
18 dilemma. You can't know whether he meant it seriously or not. And I
19 always -- well, we knew each other for so long, for so many years back,
20 then I think -- and I think he knew that I could never kill Fadil or
21 anybody else. I think he knew me well enough. So it's difficult for me
22 to answer.
23 Q. I'm not asking you about what Mr. Zaric thought. I'm not asking
24 you whether he took it seriously or whether he thought it was a joke. I'm
25 not asking you about that. I'm asking what you thought, your reaction --
1 just hear me out. I'm interested in your reaction. Now, you've told the
2 Court that nothing of the sort would enter your head, especially not to
3 kill anybody -- somebody for no reason at all. Now, my question is:
4 Given that answer that you made, did you, in your own head, in your own
5 mind, take the allegation seriously at the time that it was made? In
6 other words, did you think you had to give a serious answer to it?
7 A. Well, at all events, yes, because the question was raised and I
8 answered it. I answered it seriously. I said seriously that I would
9 never do anything like that, nor would it enter into my mind to do so, but
10 subconsciously, in my subconscious, I thought it might have been
12 Q. All right. So the -- you've mentioned that you were transferred
13 to Brcko. How was that done? Train, truck, airplane?
14 A. It was in a truck. They loaded us up, and we had an escort, as I
15 said earlier on. The police were following us, and in front of us, there
16 were one or two vehicles, jeeps, and I saw them when I got off. By the
17 sound of the motor, I knew that -- the engine, I knew that there was
18 something in front, and I saw that they were jeeps. And that's how we
19 were transferred to the barracks in Brcko.
20 Q. What happened as you were taken off the trucks?
21 A. We were ordered to come out one by one. It was in front of this
22 building, seven, eight, ten metres away. There were armed soldiers there,
23 and we got off one by one. Somebody would hit us with their leg, kick us,
24 or with their hand, but nothing terrible. We went inside, and we were
25 searched. We had to spread our legs, hold our hands up behind our necks.
1 Anybody that had anything, money, wallets, jewellery, everything was
2 confiscated. And then we went to the right, into a corridor, where they
3 tied our hands, and put us into two rooms, two adjoining rooms, next to
4 each other.
5 Q. Who was transferred from Bosanski Samac? Was it the entire group
6 that was in the TO or were some left behind?
7 A. From the TO, not everybody came. Some people stayed. I can
8 remember some of their names. A couple of them stayed. At first, I
9 didn't know that they had stayed behind, because I was in the SUP prior to
10 the departure when we -- before we got onto the truck, but when we got
11 there, they told me that several people had stayed behind for some sort of
12 exchange. There was Izet Izetbegovic and there was a man called Ivo
13 Matic. They, unfortunately, killed him. There was Luka, who was the
14 policeman on duty. He was killed too. There was a man named Baja, they
15 called him Baja, from Domaljevac. He was exchanged, but he died shortly
16 afterwards from the results -- consequences of everything. So about five
17 people stayed behind.
18 Q. How long did you remain in Brcko?
19 A. We stayed in Brcko up until the 31st of April or 1st of May. I'm
20 not quite sure of the date, but I do know that it was the day when we
21 heard in the morning, early, two very strong explosions, and we were to
22 hear afterwards, from what the guards said, that two bridges had in fact
23 been blown up in Brcko. One was the railway bridge and the other the
24 other one. And they transferred us to Bijeljina that morning.
25 Q. I want to -- I don't want to leave Brcko so soon. Can you tell
1 the Chamber if you or any of the other prisoners were interrogated in the
2 time that you were at Brcko?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. Who conducted interrogations there?
5 A. I personally was not interrogated. I made no statements in Brcko,
6 but others did, and everybody said that it was Mr. Zaric who conducted the
8 Q. Did you actually lay eyes on him whilst you were at Brcko, see
9 him, see him around the place?
10 A. Yes, yes. I saw him on several occasions. The first time was
11 that evening when they brought us there.
12 Q. So you say that he accompanied you to Brcko? Is that your
13 position, from Bosanski Samac to Brcko?
14 A. He didn't go with us, but probably in some other vehicle, yes.
15 And I saw him a couple of other times, in the morning. So we came in the
16 evening to Brcko, and the next day, in the morning, he came with a captain
17 who was there. He was some sort of a superior. And when they saw the
18 state we were in, Zaric asked him to put a bit of order into all that, and
19 to ensure that we had medical assistance. So I saw him two or three times
20 during that period when the interrogations took place of my colleagues
21 from detention.
22 Q. Did you, in fact -- I'll withdraw that. Did any of the prisoners
23 receive any medical assistance whilst at Brcko?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What sort of assistance was that?
4 [redacted]. Him and Dragan Lukac
5 were the worst -- in the worst condition, and they were the ones who badly
6 needed assistance. And then they did some other little things for others,
7 bandaged up a wound or something like that. It wasn't much, but they did
8 a good job, given the circumstances.
9 Q. How could you see -- if you weren't interrogated, how could you
10 see Mr. Zaric about the place?
11 A. The room I was incarcerated in and the others were next to each
12 other. There were two rooms next to each other, so that the person coming
13 into the building, whenever anybody saw him, they would say, "Here comes
14 Simo. We are going to be up for an exchange." And he would always come
15 from the front side, and he would pass by our windows in order to enter
16 the building. And he would go in -- he would go to the left-hand side
17 because that's where the offices were. So I was able to see him very,
18 very well, actually.
19 Q. How long would he remain there?
20 A. He would stay from, say, 8.00 or 9.00 in the morning - I'm not
21 quite sure what time - until 12.00 or 1.00. I don't know exactly. I
22 didn't pay that much attention. But it went by very slowly. Five, six,
23 seven or eight of them, in those two or three days, succeeded in giving
24 their statements. I did not make a statement there.
25 However, may I just add that when Mr. Zaric left, and that captain
1 who was with him, I don't know what his name was, all hell broke loose
2 again after they had left. And when I say "hell," I mean the beatings,
3 the blows, but I should also like to emphasise that you did not dare make
4 a sound, even if they were breaking your bones, and you were not allowed
5 to make a sound. We knew why; because Brcko was a free town. War had
6 still not come to Brcko, and this was a sort of Yugoslav People's Army,
7 and I thought that this was our chance, that we would be saved, and that
8 we would live.
9 However, they did do a service for us; they transferred us from
10 Samac to the barracks where the conditions were better, but not much
11 better, not much better. So that means that they did intend -- that had
12 they wanted to help us really, they could have opened the truck doors and
13 said, "You're free to go." But they left us. We went from one bad
14 situation to a worse situation, and our sufferings were greater and
16 Q. During the week that you were in Brcko, were any of your fellow
17 prisoners taken away, taken away from Brcko?
18 A. Yes. Yes. One day Mr. Zaric came by. I saw him. Now, whether
19 they went with him, I don't know. I saw Fadil Topcagic and some others.
20 The guard came and called their names out: Omer Nalic, Hadzialijagic, and
21 Mr. Tihic. Their names were called out. I don't know if there was
22 anybody else with them. I can't remember now. And quite simply, they
23 took them away. We didn't know where.
24 Q. Did they return?
25 A. Yes, they did return. And that surprised us, because they came
1 wearing new clothing, they were shaved, they were washed. The only thing
2 they couldn't do was to remove the bruises under their eyes. And later
3 on, I learnt that they were given sunglasses. So that was what happened.
4 And they told us that they had been taken to make statements. And we
5 joked about this, made fun of them and said that they were media
6 personalities now.
7 Q. In the time that you were at Brcko, was Simo Zaric the only
8 defendant that you saw?
9 A. No. On one occasion I saw Mr. Milan Simic as well.
10 Q. When was that?
11 A. It was at that period of time, in those couple of days. I can't
12 remember exactly what day it was, one day or another day, but I do know
13 that he was there with Fadil and Djuheric. I think that Mr. Simo was
14 already inside. Whether they had come there together or they met up
15 there, I don't know. I can't say. But they didn't come together. Simo
16 was already inside. The others were giving statements as their names were
17 called out, and then they came later on and were there in front.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for a moment?
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
20 [Prosecution counsel confer]
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. I just want to ask you some more questions about this sighting of
23 Milan Simic. Where were you when you saw him?
24 A. I was in that room where we were incarcerated. I could see him
25 very, very well, because he was in front of me, some eight, ten, to twelve
1 metres away.
2 Q. You were looking through a window?
3 A. Yes. They were windows with bars on them, so that you could see
4 through the windows. You could see who was coming up to the building,
5 leaving the building, and quite a lot of area around the building was
6 visible. But we would often have a dilemma. We saw people walking up and
7 down beyond the fence. And it looked as if freedom was at hand, and so
8 when you saw someone like that coming up, like I saw Fadil in a group, and
9 Mr. Simic, and that man Djuheric, you always have some hope that that's
10 the end of it, that they had come to fetch us to take us home. We always
11 had this hope. And I sort of liked to see them. But as I say, I could
12 see him very, very well, to answer your question.
13 Q. Who was this man Djuheric?
14 A. Djuheric.
15 Q. Thank you. I apologise for my mispronunciation, but who was he?
16 A. He was a local Muslim from Bosanski Samac who was a member of the
17 4th Detachment.
18 Q. When you saw Milan Simic, he was apparently in company with this
19 man and Topcagic?
20 A. Yes, and they were all wearing uniforms.
21 Q. About how long did you see him for? Was it just a glance, or did
22 he stop and talk to others so you were able to look at him for a long
23 time? What sort of time period are we talking about here?
24 A. It didn't last long. A couple of minutes. Because then they
25 left. When they got out of the car, they passed along a path. They
1 stopped there for a while. Fadil explained something and motioned with
2 his hands, describing where we were, whether to Simic or to Djuheric. And
3 then they moved along the path towards the gate and the other section of
4 the barracks. Where they went off, I don't know. I didn't see them after
5 that. But it lasted one and a half to two minutes perhaps.
6 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. di Fazio, I wonder whether the witness could
7 tell us what were the uniforms that Mr. Simic and the other gentleman was
9 MR. DI FAZIO:
10 Q. You heard Her Honour's question. Can you describe what they were
12 A. Yes, I can. They were wearing camouflage army uniforms.
13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
14 MR. DI FAZIO:
15 Q. All right. Now, I think in an earlier answer you said that you
16 were taken to Bijeljina and that followed shortly after some explosions
17 that took place in Brcko. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Just tell us briefly how you were transferred from Brcko to
20 Bijeljina. What means was used?
21 A. Well, let me start in this order: In the morning, we saw that
22 something was amiss. The soldiers were coming in and out of the barracks,
23 and we saw that something was wrong, that something was happening in
24 Brcko. And they ordered us to come out one by one. They put a white
25 cloth around our eyes and took us off to the buses. But not everyone. I
1 can't remember now whether it was the captain or somebody else. The two
2 or three people who had had their eyes tied said that they told them that
3 they would be able to take them off later. We got into the buses. Nobody
4 beat us while we were getting to the buses. Then the soldiers stood
5 around and asked, "What are we going to do with these?"
6 Q. Thank you. Do I take it, then, that the transfer to Bijeljina was
7 done by bus?
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. I just want to ask you about some of the other men you've
10 mentioned. Lukac, Tihic, [redacted], were they with you on this bus to
11 Bijeljina or not?
12 A. Yes, they were still with us.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: It's 5.00, if Your Honours please.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Would this be an appropriate time to break?
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will rise and continue tomorrow at 0930
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.00 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Friday, the 2nd day of November
20 2001, at 9.30 a.m.