1 Friday, 02 November 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. The Prosecution is continuing.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Before I continue my
8 examination-in-chief, if Your Honours please, may I raise an issue that I
9 think needs to be resolved as much as it can be, and that's the procedure
10 of what we do after this witness is finished his examination-in-chief. As
11 you know, it's anticipated that we were going to call Mr. Tihic --
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: -- to be the next witness after this witness is
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, for cross-examination?
16 MR. DI FAZIO: For cross-examination, yes.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: The issue arises of whether we call him after this
19 witness has been cross-examined or interpose him in between this witness's
20 examination-in-chief and his cross-examination. So in other words, finish
21 this witness, the examination-in-chief of this witness, deal with the
22 cross-examination of Tihic, and then bring this witness back for
23 cross-examination, or rather, keep him here, and then as soon as Mr. Tihic
24 is finished, finish off this witness's cross-examination.
25 Mr. Tihic has recently been appointed to all sorts of new
1 positions in Bosnia and his availability is rapidly becoming
2 problematical, and it is therefore, in the Prosecution's view, imperative
3 that he be dealt with next week and finished next week. So for that
4 reason, I have -- I suggest, and I believe that the Defence have no
5 objection, that we interpose Mr. Tihic, do his cross-examination, and then
6 finish this witness's cross-examination, and then both of them will be
7 finished and can go home, and that would occupy next week.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: The intention being that you -- it's easier to bring
9 Mr. Tihic over the weekend?
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, we plan to bring him on the weekend and then
11 start --
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Cross-examine him Monday and complete with him and
13 then he can go and go back?
14 MR. DI FAZIO: That's right. I expect that I'll probably be the
15 rest of the day with Mr. Salkic, and I would dearly love to finish his
16 examination-in-chief today. Whether I do or not, I don't know. But if I
17 didn't, I would probably about only go into a small part of Monday and
18 then the Defence would have Mr. Tihic to cross-examine, so ...
19 JUDGE MUMBA: I'll hear from the Defence, if any counsel has any
20 objection to interposing Mr. Tihic.
21 MS. BAEN: We have no objection. The joint Defence has no
22 objection, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. In the same vein, I would like to remind the
24 parties, especially Mr. Pisarevic, because we had the submission which the
25 Prosecution filed indicating which witnesses had some contacts with
1 Mr. Pisarevic and where the Trial Chamber is of the view that it would be
2 preferable to have the co-counsel cross-examine, and Mr. Tihic is one such
3 witness. So that the cross-examination should be handled by the
4 co-counsel, so the preparations can be done along those lines. So we can
6 MS. BAEN: Your Honour, I'm sorry, just one other matter that my
7 co-counsel wanted me to bring up. As you can see, we have been spending a
8 lot of time going over information that hasn't been in these witnesses'
9 statements, and we are just spending a lot of time impeaching. And the
10 problem we are having here is the information that was given to us through
11 discovery, reciprocal discovery, and then also the information which
12 confirmed the indictment, did not include this information. So we sort of
13 feel like - and I'm sure it's no fault of the OTP - but we are feeling a
14 little bit ambushed, or at a disadvantage, rather, because we haven't had
15 a chance to have investigators go out and talk to these witnesses who are
16 part of this new information, investigate, and therefore we have not been
17 able to, we feel, adequately prepare our defence along those lines.
18 So what -- we are just making a specific request right now and
19 just ask for a ruling, whichever way, and whenever the Trial Chamber feels
20 comfortable with giving us a ruling, that if there is new information,
21 newly discovered evidence, or new information we've never heard, that we
22 have a chance to have our investigators check that information out,
23 instead of wasting a lot of time here going back and forth during
24 cross-examination, and then be allowed to recall that witness for a
25 limited purpose, for cross-examination, if need be, on that information.
1 And that's really our only request, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: For instance, what new information came out of the
3 witness which the Defence had no information previously?
4 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honours. Just brief examples. First of
5 all, with regard to my client, Mr. Blagoje Simic, we faced the situation
6 with the previous witness, Mr. Muhamed Bicic, not saying anything about
7 his presence in this particular event and situation, and then --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: You mean in his previous statements --
9 MR. PANTELIC: That's correct.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: -- by the investigators or whoever.
11 MR. PANTELIC: That is correct. And then during his
12 examination-in-chief, a certain description of certain particular
13 situation arose. And then during cross-examination, I tried to establish
14 certain basis. But still, you can understand this is a criminal
15 proceedings. We have to check that on the -- to see maybe eye -- check
16 with the eyewitnesses, you know, so on and so forth.
17 Another example is, for example, yesterday, with regard to
18 the -- I'm speaking on behalf of my colleagues, if you allow me, because
19 of the times. Yesterday, for example -- actually, we don't have this
20 official transcript. That was page 52, lines 15 and then 22 and 25, with
21 regard to Mr. Miroslav Tadic. The particular events related to his
22 presence in front of tank or armed vehicle or something like that, which
23 was not in his previous statements.
24 Another example is related to Mr. Simo Zaric, about the events
25 which were described on page 93, line 9 until 15, with regard to his
1 presence in the corridor of the police building, which was also not
2 mentioned in previous statements.
3 Just as examples. Probably we have more, but we didn't have
4 enough time to elaborate that. Thank you.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Yes. But the matters you have raised are
6 nothing new in criminal trials. That's nothing new. We've handled such
7 problems before, and it is part of the art of advocacy. It is part of the
8 art of cross-examination. You can challenge a witness whether what he has
9 now said is an afterthought. Whether he has said it because he has heard
10 that this particular person has been arrested, you challenge the witness
11 along those lines. That's the job of cross-examination. The fact that he
12 hasn't mentioned a particular defendant in ten statements prior to the
13 trial does not mean that he should be stopped from mentioning that
14 defendant in Court, and it's your job as Defence counsel to cross-examine
15 and challenge and persuade the Trial Chamber that the fact that he never
16 mentioned this person in ten statements prior to these proceedings means
17 that it's an afterthought and it may not be true. So it's up to you.
18 Very much an advocacy issue.
19 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. You are basically -- I mean,
20 generally you are absolutely right, but --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no. I do see your point when you say that it
22 does not make us -- it does not give you an opportunity to investigate
23 with your witnesses or -- your potential witnesses or your investigators,
24 but that again is a matter for you and your defendant. Because your
25 client tells you where he was, what he was doing, and it is his word,
1 through your cross-examination, against the word of the Prosecution
3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Again, it's a matter of -- your sufficiency in being
5 a Defence counsel. Because if you get instructions from your client he
6 was never near that place. Fine, he was near that place. He never walked
7 along this corridor. That is what you put to the Prosecution witness. It
8 is all art of advocacy.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: You have your instructions. You know what your
11 client says he did, where he was, where he walked, how he dressed, whom he
12 talked to, and that's what you put across in cross-examination. And
13 that's why sometimes when we look at the cross-examination, we wonder what
14 the defence is. Because the places where these people were detained, most
15 of them were public places. A person could have been there for whatever
16 reason. The fact that he was there and he saw a particular person being
17 beaten does not mean he was involved. All those are matters of your art
18 of advocacy, which you can deal with.
19 So it's not a problem that in these ten statements before the
20 trial no mention was -- it's not a problem. It's a matter which actually
21 can afford you ammunition if you know how to deal with a witness when
22 cross-examining. That is why we allow witnesses who are actually
23 discussing the involvement of the accused to be there, in person, in front
24 of the accused, so you can get instructions. Because there is no harm for
25 every Prosecution witness who mentions your client for you to put it to
1 that witness and challenge that evidence, throughout. There is no harm.
2 Because that gives some measure of credibility.
3 If your client comes on the witness box and confirms your
4 cross-examination, all right -- yes, I'm not going to deal with
5 cross-examination in detail, but those are some of the points you deal
6 with. So the fact that my client wasn't mentioned is ammunition for you,
7 assuming that indeed your client was not there. Because it is also a
8 question of credibility between the Prosecution witness, your client, if
9 he decides to give evidence, or his witnesses. So it's really an art of
11 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely, Your Honour. But if you allow me just
12 to add a short submission. Assuming the situation where, during the
13 cross-examination - which I agree with you that's an art of advocacy - the
14 Defence were in a situation to have documents, affidavits, eyewitness
15 statements with regard to these particular events. Now, in this
16 particular situation, we have a witness saying something, without
17 previously saying, and then we cannot use all our tools and evidences
18 during the cross-examination of that particular witness. So therefore, I
19 would say it's very focused to the very limited purpose - we shall be very
20 well aware about that - that in some significant and important points, I
21 would say, or events, we would like to have a possibility to additionally
22 cross-examine this witness according to our detailed request filed to the
23 Trial Chamber and your directions and instructions, and then we shall see
24 whether it's worth to have this particular portion of additional
25 cross-examination or not.
1 So I'm not saying that we are going to call 10 or 20 witnesses for
2 re-examination. No, that's not the case. But I'm in general terms
3 speaking about specific moments and issues which will be elaborated
4 between parties in front of this Trial Chamber. So that's the basis of
5 our motion, oral motion, which is actually now, and we kindly ask for the
6 ruling about that motion on this basis.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Let me explain this way: There is nothing
8 wrong to stop the accused, or the Defence counsel for an accused, to
9 recall a Prosecution witness when something new comes up.
10 MR. PANTELIC: That was our idea.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: And it is up to the Trial Chamber to decide whether
12 it is indeed something new or something that should have been expected.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely. We are on the same line. Absolutely,
14 we are on the same line.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Because we are not going to allow recalling
16 witnesses simply because the Defence counsel was not diligent.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I'm sure you've read the previous decisions of
19 this Tribunal on those matters.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely. So we are going to establish a basis
21 for that and then wait for the ruling in this specific situation. So --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: And I'm sure, if you look at this -- particularly in
23 this case, if you look at the indictment as it is, there are certain
24 paragraphs which make allegations which so far we haven't heard from any
25 witness similarly.
1 MR. PANTELIC: A good time for acquittal, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Yes. And good time for the Prosecution. So
3 we go ahead.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Please proceed.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. If Your Honours please, I don't want to
7 prolong this issue any further. I've heard everything that you've said.
8 I understand what the Defence is concerned about, and I fully understand
9 the Trial Chamber's response, with respect, and I entirely agree.
10 However, may I say this to the Defence by way of providing some
11 reassurance: The issue of proofing is complicated. These statements were
12 taken, most of them, in the mid-1990s and the late 1990s. When you get a
13 witness in, you get all sorts of new detail. Occasionally a witness comes
14 up with something that would be a true revelation and something that is
15 apparent to me that would be a matter of obvious interest to the Defence.
16 If that happens, of course, I will undertake to provide the Defence --
17 inform them of that prior to calling the witness and during the course of
18 my proofing them. So that should go some way to meeting their concerns,
19 and I hope that will provide them with some reassurance.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: That will be professionally acceptable.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, thank you.
22 WITNESS: IBRAHIM SALKIC [Resumed]
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Examination-in-chief by Mr. di Fazio: [Continued]
25 Q. Mr. Salkic, let's return to the events you were describing
1 yesterday. We got to the point where you were being transferred from
2 Brcko to Bijeljina. Can you recall the date that you were transferred?
3 A. We were transferred from Brcko to Bijeljina sometime between the
4 31st and the 1st. I think it was already the 1st of May in the morning,
5 they transferred us to Bijeljina.
6 Q. Thank you. And I think you started to say yesterday that in
7 the -- on the journey, you were blindfolded; is that correct?
8 A. This is what I said: As we were departing, some people were
9 blindfolded. However, some took them off later, this way or that way. I
10 think that somebody was given orders not to take them off. So then in a
11 column, one by one, we boarded the bus. There was already over 60 of us,
12 that is to say, that there were new people who were coming in. Among them
13 were people we had not known before, who had not come to Brcko with us.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters kindly ask if the witness could
15 speak into the microphone, come a bit closer.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, maybe he could be assisted to sit nearer the
17 microphone, please.
18 MR. DI FAZIO:
19 Q. Move in a bit closer.
20 A. I don't know whether you want me to describe this entire journey
21 to Bijeljina now. Is that what you would like, sir?
22 Q. No. I'll ask you questions, and if you could just give me brief
23 answers. Firstly, what sort of numbers were transferred on the buses?
24 How many people approximately?
25 A. I think there was only one bus, and there were over 60 of us, 65
1 people, or perhaps even more, because at first I did not even know how
2 many people were added to this group of ours that had come from Samac.
3 Q. Were the majority of people from Bosanski Samac, or were there
4 significant numbers of other prisoners from other areas?
5 A. Yes. For the most part, these were people who were brought from
6 Samac to Brcko. However, we found some detainees who were already there
7 at these barracks and they were added to our group that was going to
9 Q. What was the ethnic background of the new prisoners who were added
10 to your group?
11 A. Yes. These were also Muslims and Croats.
12 Q. Were they -- the new prisoners who were added to your group, were
13 they combatants? In other words, were they military types or soldiers?
14 Or were they civilians?
15 A. We found them there in civilian clothes. So based on that
16 assumption, we thought they were civilians. They actually told us that
17 they had been arrested, some of them were taken off a bus in the village
18 of Crkvina near Bosanski Samac, some in the village of Markovic Polje, I
19 think that was the name, yet others in the town of Brcko itself.
20 Q. Did any of the prisoners on that bus suffer from any form of
21 mental handicap or psychiatric disorder?
22 A. Yes. We were joined there by a young man who was about 24 or 25
23 years old, certainly not more than that, and he must have been retarded.
24 We actually heard them saying, "What do we do with him?" And then they
25 said that they would put him on the bus too, and then he went to Bijeljina
1 together with us.
2 Q. Who was escorting you?
3 A. The military police was escorting us, and their vehicles -- the
4 bus was a civilian bus, but the vehicles that were escorting us were
5 vehicles with JNA markings on them.
6 Q. Thank you. Turn your attention now to your arrival in Bijeljina,
7 please. Where in Bijeljina were you taken to?
8 A. Yes. We were taken to the barracks of the Yugoslav People's Army
9 in Bijeljina.
10 Q. What happened to the young man who was mentally handicapped?
11 A. Well, I think I'll have to give you a broader description
12 concerning that. I can't do this briefly. We were going out one by one.
13 Our hands were on our heads. Among us was this young man who was mentally
14 retarded. They took him to the other side, and they said something to the
15 effect of, "What do we do with him?" They took him about 15 or 20 metres
16 away from us, and then we would go along the same path later. Then I
17 heard shots, as people say, bursts of gunfire. So he was shot at. A
18 minute or two later, we had to pass that same way to the rooms where they
19 would detain us. We saw this young man lying in blood. I'm sure he was
21 Oh, yes. Before that, he said that they beat him as they were
22 taking him away and that they were saying that he is the one who allegedly
23 raped Serb children, something like that. And I doubt that this young man
24 could have done a thing like that, but that's what I heard, so it's not
25 for me to say whether he actually did it or not.
1 Q. Have you got any insight into the ethnic background of this young
3 A. Yes. I know. When they were boarding him, somebody addressed him
4 by his name. I'm sure he was a Muslim, but believe me, I can't remember
5 his actual name.
6 Q. Thank you. Were you taken into cells?
7 A. No. These weren't cells. First they took us upstairs to some
8 classrooms and they -- I don't know. The windows were probably too big or
9 something. So they took us from one classroom to another and ultimately
10 we ended up at the gym that was within the barracks compound. So that's
11 where they put us in. And when I say "put us in," I mean that they kicked
12 us, hit us with rifle butts. This was a kind of welcome they accorded us.
13 Q. You say you were transferred there on the 31st [sic] of April or
14 the 1st of May. How long did you remain in Bijeljina in all?
15 A. In Bijeljina, we stayed there until the 13th of May, the 13th of
16 May. On the 13th of May, we were transferred back to Bosanski Samac.
17 Q. Thank you. I'd just like to ask you some questions about your
18 stay in Bijeljina. Do you know someone nicknamed Pekar, or "the Baker"?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you know someone nicknamed Brico, or "the Barber"?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Where did you meet those people?
23 A. Unfortunately, I did not meet them in a good context either.
24 These were two soldiers of the Yugoslav People's Army. I don't know their
25 actual names. One of them was addressed as Pekar and the other one as
1 Brico. They got into the gym. They started calling us Ustasha or balija
2 motherfuckers, Zengas, whatever. They ordered us to line up along the
3 wall, facing the walls, and then we were supposed to kneel and remain
4 kneeling. That was very difficult. However, that wasn't the end of
5 that. They went from one person to the other and they kicked us in the
6 back, in the area where our kidneys are, with their army boots. Many of
7 us were badly hurt, myself included. For a few days, I could not move at
8 all. When they would practically carry me to the toilet, because I could
9 not walk, my legs were numb. I could not urinate normally. I only
10 urinated blood. So we were being beaten and all of that. This was quite
11 a misfortune. And a gentleman who was addressed as Nikolic came, and then
12 he managed to stop some of this.
13 Until this gentleman came -- I think he was a lieutenant or a
14 first class lieutenant or something like that, but I remember his name was
15 Nikolic. Hadzialijagic, Safet who was there, he was also in trouble and
16 he had heart problems and every blow was a risk to his life. Many, many
17 people were beaten badly there until Mr. Nikolic came.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Would the Chamber just bear with me for a moment,
20 Q. Do you remember this fellow Nikolic's first name? Have you got
21 any idea what it was?
22 A. I think his name was Milan, or something similar, but I do
23 remember the surname, because for us, it meant an improvement. And so if
24 anything was a bit better, you would remember it under the circumstances.
25 Q. Okay. Is it the case that after his intervention, you and the
1 other prisoners were no longer beaten? Is that a correct assessment of
2 the situation?
3 A. Yes, but not 100 per cent, but I would say yes, because some
4 people did still manage to come in. But luckily for us, once again, a day
5 or two later, this same man, Nikolic, came and saw us in an even worse
6 state, and he immediately called the guards and told them that nobody was
7 allowed to come inside any more, because he said, "We are not here to
8 decide who is guilty and who isn't, who did what." And he sort of placed
9 a veto on their coming into our room, and should anybody come to beat us,
10 then the guard could not prevent us from calling him.
11 And actually this happened in one of the days that followed.
12 Whether it was the next day or not, I'm not quite sure. But once again
13 this Brico, "the Barber," and Pekar, "the Baker," came in and started
14 beating us, and Mr. Nikolic came by and stood in the doorway, and we
15 considered him to be our saviour already because at least when he was
16 there, we felt safe.
17 As I say, when he came there, he said something to them, he said,
18 "Why are you beating those people? If you want to beat somebody, then go
19 to Vukovar or the front line or something like that and take some
20 prisoners of your own and then do that to them, the same thing that you're
21 doing to these people here." He would say something along those lines or
22 he would say, "Well, let me pick one of them out and give you an even
23 fight. Because it is not an even fight if somebody has to kneel down for
24 you to be able to beat them." So that's what he would do.
25 He would bring in a doctor, too. We had regular food; it was
1 sufficient. And so it was quite a bit better when he was there.
2 Q. Thank you. Were Lukac, Tihic, [redacted] still in custody in
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did they ever leave Bijeljina?
6 A. Yes. I can describe that detail for you. One day - I can't
7 remember the exact date - they came and called out Mr. Tihic, Lukac, Grga
8 Zubak, Sead Mujkanovic, the late uncle Franjo, I think his surname was
9 Barukcic, and another one, another man whom we didn't know, who was added
10 on to us. In fact, they brought in several people whom we didn't know.
11 So I'm not sure of his name.
12 But we heard before they had come to fetch them, by the noise and
13 sounds going on outside, that a helicopter had landed at the barracks.
14 And at one particular moment, a young man turned up at the door. I was
15 lying down because I was in a very bad state. I was almost unable to
16 move. But I saw him standing in the doorway. He was wearing a pilot
17 uniform, a pilot's overall, and the people told me later that he was a
18 young guy from Samac who was a pilot at Batajnica airport in Belgrade or
19 something of that kind, and that he had brought them a box of biscuits,
20 and they managed to learn that they were taking these gentlemen off
21 somewhere further, to Belgrade, to Batajnica, something like that. They
22 left, and I didn't see them there again.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you know the pilot's name?
24 A. He was a young guy, younger than me. I know his parents because
25 they lived in Samac, but I think his surname was Ninkovic or something
2 Q. You said that you -- you said that people later told you he was
3 from Samac. Did you have any independent knowledge, your own knowledge,
4 that he was from Samac, or was it the case that you were told that he was
5 from Samac?
6 A. Perhaps I failed to mention this, but I think I did: I knew the
7 man from before, when he was a boy and when he went to school, so I
8 already knew him. Nobody had to tell me that it was him. But from the
9 other people there, I heard that he had told them that he was taking them
10 but that this should be a secret, that they shouldn't divulge that to
12 Q. Thank you. I want to turn now to your transfer out of Bijeljina
13 back to Bosanski Samac. How were you transported from Bijeljina back to
14 Bosanski Samac?
15 A. I said that on that 13th of May - and I remember that date because
16 it was police day, or militia day, as it was known at the time - we were
17 transported by bus to Samac, to the gym hall of the secondary school
19 Q. Thank you. Can I just ask you this: Was it all of the -- apart
20 from the fellows who departed on the helicopter for Serbia, was it the
21 entirety of the Bosanski Samac prisoners who were transferred to Bosanski
23 A. Yes, except we would always get some new ones in who were added on
24 to us. So not the same numbers went back, apart from the ones who left by
25 helicopter. Some other new additions, new arrivals, were brought in
1 and -- brought into the same camp that we were in. So there were new
2 additions to us. I can remember some of their names.
3 Q. What sort of numbers are we talking about here?
4 A. Well, I would say the new people, four, five, six perhaps. Some
5 of the names I remember very well, even to this day, so that I know that
6 there were two brothers, Croats, from Derventa, for example. There were
7 two young guys from Modrica, Tarevac, and a few others. I also know that
8 some people stayed on after we had left: a Muslim, Kapetan, and some
9 officers. I don't know what happened to them, what their fate was. I
10 never heard anything.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown photograph F48 from
12 Exhibit P14A, please.
13 Q. All right. Three buildings are depicted in that photograph.
14 Please identify the one that's in the foreground on the right-hand side.
15 A. Yes. That's the gym hall belonging to the secondary school
16 centre, shown from the street.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 A. Looking at it from the street.
19 Q. Now go to the destroyed building on the left-hand side of the
20 photograph, also in the foreground, and point to it and tell us what it
22 A. Did you say on the right-hand side? I think you said the right,
23 whereas this --
24 Q. I'm sorry if I did. I meant the left. If I did say the right, I
25 apologise. I meant the left-hand side of the photograph.
1 A. Just to avoid misunderstanding, I had to correct you there on that
3 Q. I'm grateful to you, Mr. Salkic.
4 A. So this is the gym hall of the secondary school centre, and these
5 are the premises of the primary school and this is the gym hall belonging
6 to the primary school.
7 Q. Okay. So just to be absolutely clear, the one in the foreground
8 on the left-hand side of the photograph with the wrecked roof is the
9 primary school, and the one in the distance --
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. -- that you can see in between the two buildings is the gym of the
12 primary school? Is that a correct --
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. Thank you. When you were taken from Bijeljina to Bosanski Samac,
15 where were you initially imprisoned?
16 A. That was here, in this building. That's the gym hall belonging to
17 the secondary school centre. But we passed by this way, and all this went
18 on the other side. The yard of the secondary school centre and the
19 entrance to the gym hall was the other side as well.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Thanks. I've finished with the photograph,
21 Mr. Usher.
22 Q. I'd like you to describe to the Chamber your reception at this
23 high school gym.
24 A. Yes. I'll describe that in detail for you. As you can see, on
25 the basis of what I have said so far, there were frequent changes. So we
1 were always ready to see what they had in store for us next, and you have
2 heard what they usually had in store for us. But anyway, the bus parked
3 in the yard not far from the entrance door, 8 to 10 metres from where we
4 were to go in. And they were already drunk, and the policemen said they
5 were celebrating, it was their day, they should be resting, and why did we
6 have to come to upset this. And they made a gauntlet and beat us as we
7 ran through this gauntlet with our hands up behind our necks. We actually
8 had to run to avoid being beaten. And we went into the gym hall one by
10 Later on they came in after us and lined us up around the walls,
11 and once again the welcoming ceremony: songs, beatings, blows, swearing
12 and cursing of our balija and Ustasha mothers. That was their welcome
13 package in the first half hour or hour after our arrival.
14 Q. Thank you. Just a couple of quick questions that arise from your
15 answer. What time of day was this? Was it in the morning or the
16 afternoon or the evening?
17 A. That was in the afternoon. I think it was between 2.00, half past
18 2.00, 3.00, 4.00. You lost track of time in situations like that.
19 Q. Certainly. You've also commented that the policemen said that it
20 was their day. Is there any significance in that, it being their day?
21 A. Yes. I've already said. It was police day that was celebrated in
22 the former Yugoslavia on that date. It was the date and day when the
23 police force celebrated its day. That's in simple terms.
24 Q. Can you tell us if you knew any of the people who were conducting
25 the beatings as you ran through the gauntlet? In other words, give us
1 names, if you know of any names.
2 A. Yes. Well, we met some of them while we were in Samac briefly,
3 and I was later to learn some of the other names during the time I spent
4 there. So actually, I could tell you quite a lot of names. Here's an
5 example: Sole, Zvaka, Rakic.
6 Q. Can I ask you before you continue to identify, as you give us a
7 name, to identify whether you knew this person -- that person to be a Serb
8 from Serbia or whether that person was a local. That's what I'm
9 interested in finding out. So names and whether they were local or not.
11 A. At that particular moment when we arrived, the people who were
12 there, almost all of them -- not almost all of them, but certainly all of
13 them were locals, local Serbs. And later we would learn who Rakic was,
14 that he was from Novi Grad, that Zvaka was from Karic, and all the
15 others. Some of them we already knew from before. I knew where they were
16 from. But they were local Serbs.
17 Q. Are these the men who formed the gauntlet?
18 A. Yes, and who beat us too. And all of them were active. I didn't
19 notice a single one who was not active in giving us this welcome. And
20 when I say "active," I mean beating us. So all of them beat us.
21 Q. How long did you remain in the high school gym?
22 A. We didn't stay there long. Two or three days. I'm not quite
23 sure, but I think that it was on the third day -- rather, on the fourth
24 day we were transported further.
25 Q. Where were you taken?
1 A. We were taken to the gym hall belonging to the primary school,
2 which was the building that I indicated on the photograph you showed me a
3 moment ago.
4 Q. Thank you. Before we get there, though, I want to ask you a few
5 more questions about events in the high school gym. You've described that
6 you were beaten when you first arrived and that you had to sing songs once
7 you had been taken inside. In the period of time that you were in the
8 high school gym, for those three or four days, were you beaten again?
9 A. Yes. That was non-stop, all the time. There was this singing.
10 You had to stand there. They came in and beat you and beat you and then
11 said, "Come on. Sing the songs." And they were the Chetnik songs that I
12 had already said. There weren't any other songs. They just told us to
13 sing those particular songs. You had to stand, sing. Your throat would
14 dry up, your voice would go, people would fall down unconscious. They
15 were terrible things that were happening there.
16 Q. In the period of time that you were in the high school gym, did
17 you see any of the defendants?
18 A. Yes. That last day, when we were to be transported to the gym
19 hall of the primary school. At the doorway, Mr. Todorovic turned up, in
20 the presence of Mr. Blagoje Simic, who is here -- who was there, not far.
21 He didn't come into the gym hall, but he was standing in the doorway,
22 actually. And when somebody comes in, there would be general silence.
23 The first thing that I thought of, that came into my head, knowing that he
24 was a functionary, I thought: Well, maybe there will be an exchange of
25 some kind or maybe some of us would be released. Perhaps our troubles
1 have come to an end. But unfortunately, all he did was - and I'm going to
2 quote him - he said, "Ooph." And he addressed Mr. Todorovic, and he
3 sighed, "Ooph, there's a lot of space still here," and made no further
5 They left. We didn't know what this meant, what he meant by that,
6 but at least we were happy that Todorovic hadn't beat us. And the
7 gentleman didn't beat me, so I wasn't afraid of him, because I assumed
8 that he wouldn't stoop to that level like the others. But they left. We
9 were happy and commented, discussed, what this could mean, but we didn't
10 even imagine what would happen until the following morning.
11 Q. Other than the company of Todorovic, were there any other men who
12 were with the both of them?
13 A. Yes. There were some guys in uniform standing behind them, but
14 they didn't come into the hall.
15 Q. Now, you say you were taken from the high school gym to the
16 primary school gym after three or four days.
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. Just briefly tell us how you made it from one place to the other.
19 A. Well, as the buildings are close by, only 60 to 70 metres apart,
20 we went there on foot, one by one. We walked. Of course, there were some
21 guards, armed guards providing security to ensure that nobody escaped, but
22 we crossed this space one by one, in a column, and went to the primary
23 school gym --
24 Q. Thank you.
25 A. -- and that's where we were put up.
1 Q. Did that mean that the high school gym no longer served any
3 A. Yes. It was empty after we had left.
4 Q. Was it ever filled again?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What -- who filled it?
7 A. That day -- and we realised then why Mr. Simic had sighed and
8 said, "Ooph, there is a lot of room still here." Anyway, they took us to
9 the neighbouring building attached to the primary school, and that day
10 they began to bring in new people, and we were able - and I can show this
11 on the photograph that was here a moment ago - we were able to see what
12 was happening. Croats were being brought in groups of two, three, five,
13 fifteen, I don't know in which order. But as we knew the people, from the
14 distance we were at, we were able to see them quite well, and we would
15 say, "Oh, there goes so and so," or, "There goes that other man."
16 Q. Can you comment on --
17 A. And we saw that it was all clear, pure.
18 Q. Can you tell us what was the ethnic background of these groups
19 of -- small groups of men who were being taken to the high school gym?
20 A. That's what I meant when I said what I said. They were only
21 Croats, just Croats.
22 Q. And can you tell us if -- you recognised them. Does mean that
23 they were locals?
24 A. Yes, some locals, some elderly people, 60 years old, 70 years old,
25 some young ones too. All sorts, different ages. But we recognised uncle
1 Mato Rukavina -- no, that wasn't the name. It was my wife's brother's
2 father. He was 67, 68. I know that he was ill. So it didn't matter to
3 them what you were. All they were concerned about was that you didn't
4 belong to their ethnicity and that you were brought in, hauled in, if you
5 weren't the same as them.
6 Q. How long did you remain in the primary school gym?
7 A. We stayed in the primary school gym from the time we were
8 transferred, which was, let's say, the 17th or 15th, 16th, of May, when we
9 were transferred there, until the middle of September, the latter half of
10 September. I can't tell you the exact date, but the second half of
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I want to show the witness a number of
13 photographs. Can the usher please prepare photographs 48, 49, 57, 58, 59,
14 64, and 66. Perhaps if we deal first with 48 -- I'm sorry, 49.
15 Q. Using the baton, please identify which is the primary school and
16 which is the primary school gym.
17 A. Yes. That's the building.
18 Q. Yes. What building? What is it?
19 A. That's the gym hall belonging to the primary school.
20 Q. Thank you. And the other one, the other building?
21 A. You mean this building here?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. That's the school building.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 A. And there is another building that was destroyed. It's not here
1 any more.
2 Q. You said that you could see the high school gym being filled up
3 with small groups of Croats, local Croats, and you could see this from the
4 primary school gym. Can you point to where in the building you had this
5 vantage point, from what window you could see the high school gym? Or is
6 it not depicted in the photo?
7 A. Yes, it is depicted, and I can show it to you. All the windows
8 here that was fairly high up, underneath them, there were what we called
9 the Swedish ladders, the general type of thing you would find in a gym
10 hall. This was where the door was and steps. So this was no longer used
11 as an exit, although the door stayed on. So from there, you could see
12 across the school yard, and you could see very well.
13 Q. Thank you. 57, please. That appears to be the interior of a
14 ruined building. What building?
15 A. This is a corridor in front of the entrance. This was the door,
16 the entrance into the gym, the primary school gym, and this was a small
17 anteroom. Now, there is a wall missing here. That's where the wall was,
18 which doesn't exist any more.
19 Q. Thank you. I have not asked you, but can you tell us where you
20 were actually kept, which room you were actually kept in, during the
21 period of time that you were in the primary school gym?
22 A. We would pass this hallway and go through this main entrance.
23 This was the main entrance into the gym. So we were inside, in the gym.
24 Q. Thank you. And look at F58, please. What's that?
25 A. This is the entrance door leading into the hallway, and then on
1 the left, you go to the gym, and to the right, you go to the classrooms of
2 the primary school.
3 Q. Thank you. And F59, please? What does -- what does that depict?
4 A. Yes. You can see the gym itself very well here.
5 Q. Is that the room in which the prisoners were incarcerated?
6 A. Yes. I was in that room, somewhere around here, a bit further
7 this side. That particular corner is missing.
8 Q. When you say you were there, what do you mean?
9 A. That's where I was detained, incarcerated.
10 Q. I know. I understand that you were incarcerated in that room, but
11 you pointed to a specific spot. What did you mean when you pointed to
12 that specific spot and said, "I was here"?
13 A. Yes. That's the spot where I was, where I was lying.
14 Now, this is really a good opportunity. Let me explain something
15 else. Look at the floor, the tiles. That's where we slept all the time,
16 without a blanket, without anything underneath us, that is to say, on
17 plain tiles, in the T-shirts that we were brought in. So -- see? There
18 weren't any beds there or blankets or anything, just plain tiles, and we
19 slept on them.
20 Q. What about bits of cardboard or paper or something like that? Did
21 you have that at least?
22 A. If - if - somebody managed to find something like that, with the
23 exception of a few people who managed to do that, of course, like in any
24 gym, there were - what do you call them - gym mats, but they took them
25 away from us afterwards. They said that that was too comfortable, too
1 soft, even when people managed to get hold of these gym mats.
2 Q. In the distance --
3 JUDGE MUMBA: It's 11.00. It's actually past 11.00. I was just
4 trying to see if we could finish the photographs. We will take our break
5 and resume our proceedings at 1130 hours.
6 --- Recess taken at 11.05 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.31 a.m.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. di Fazio. Please proceed.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. We were looking at photograph number --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: We were looking at photograph number F59.
12 Q. In the distance is a -- and in the centre of the photograph, in
13 the far distance of the room, is a window that goes almost down to ground
14 level. Is that the window through which you could see the Croat men being
15 led into the high school gym, or was that some other window or some other
16 vantage point?
17 A. Actually, it's not a window; it's a door. This part here that I'm
18 going to show, that's a door. It's a big double door with glass on it so
19 you could see very well.
20 Q. Thank you. But is that the window -- or is that the door or the
21 point through which you looked to see the Croat men being led in dribs and
22 drabs into the high school building?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you. Would you look at 64 now, please, F64 of Exhibit
25 P14A. On the right is depicted a darkened doorway, presumably leading
1 into some other room. If you walk through that doorway into that darkened
2 room that you can see on the right-hand side of the photograph, where
3 would that take you?
4 A. I'll show that to you. It's the door over here. That leads to
5 the gym. But over here there was a wall previously. That's the wall
6 that's missing, the one here.
7 Q. And just take note, if you can, of the open window that you can
8 see in F64, looking out apparently onto open ground. Okay?
9 Can you now be shown F66. Can you see the open window that was
10 depicted in F64 in F66?
11 A. Yes, I can show that. It's the window over here, with a view from
12 the yard of the school. That's the window that you asked me to remember a
13 few minutes ago.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
15 May I ask the usher's assistance in providing a further exhibit to
16 the witness, P30 ter. It's the map that was created by Mr. Zecevic. And
17 if the photographs could be left there, because I'll be using them in
18 conjunction with P30 ter.
19 May I also provide the usher with a clean copy of P30 ter? It's
20 both the English and in the B/C/S. The B/C/S is the second page. It's
21 identical. Just keep that P30 and also the new clean copy. Okay.
22 Q. Look at the photograph F59, please. Can you see, Mr. Salkic, that
23 it's looking in a particular direction, that photograph?
24 A. [No interpretation]
25 Q. Can I ask you to take the P30 ter now and draw an arrow depicting
1 the direction in which the --
2 MR. DI FAZIO: I've got a smaller pen, Mr. Usher.
3 Q. If you just draw an arrow quickly on the photograph and show us
4 the direction on the map that the camera is looking in, in 59?
5 A. Yes, yes. That's the entrance door. So that's the view over
6 here, viewed inside, I mean. Just a minute. I have an objection. Just a
7 minute. Yes.
8 Q. Mr. Salkic, place it on the ELMO so that we can see what you're
10 A. See, this door is not here. It's here. So this door was not put
11 in the right place.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. Because I went in there an endless number of times, when I went to
14 primary school, when I went to do sports. I passed there over a thousand
15 times. I know exactly where it is. And that's when I explained this to
16 you that the wall was missing. So the door is not over here the way the
17 gentleman had drawn it, but it is on the other side, over here. So from
18 here, you have a view of the gym itself.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you just put the number "59" next to that little
20 arrow that you've drawn there so that we know that that's the direction in
21 which photograph 59 is looking, please? Just near it in small numbers,
22 near the arrow that you drew, near the arrow that you drew. Okay.
23 Thanks. All right.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. di Fazio, I'm wondering whether that "59" is on
25 the correct spot. You were telling him to put the "59" on the arrow which
1 the witness drew.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. He drew two arrows, and I repeated it twice,
3 but that's where he put the "59." We've heard his evidence. We've heard
4 his evidence that that's the general direction that the way the camera is
5 looking, except he says that door was a bit over to the side. So I don't
6 think it will matter -- amount to much, that discrepancy.
7 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Actually, Mr. di Fazio, should that have been
8 drawn on the clean copy? Because it looks as though it's been drawn on
9 the actual exhibit and not on the clean copy that you gave to the usher.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: I thought it was drawn on the clean copy.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: No. I don't think it is. If you look in the
12 right-hand corner, it says the exhibit number or whatever, ter.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: May I approach the witness and have a look?
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Make sure he does it on the clean copy and
15 then we can have a number for the clean copy.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: No, it's not on the exhibit, if Your Honour
17 pleases. You'll see that the exhibit label is on the back of the document
18 that the usher is holding. So that was written in, but I think it's
19 handwriting of one of the counsel. So this will be created as a new
21 JUDGE MUMBA: So can we have a number for the clean copy, please?
22 Not the clean copy, the one that the witness has marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit P30/1.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
25 Q. And now, can you --
1 THE REGISTRAR: Ter, sorry.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: Now, can we just go to photograph F64? Place that
5 briefly on the ELMO so we can all remind ourselves what it depicts. Thank
7 Q. Do you see that photograph, Mr. Salkic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, on the same map that you've marked, can you indicate with an
10 arrow -- on the same map that you have already marked, can you indicate
11 with an arrow the direction that that particular photograph is, for want
12 of a better expression, looking in?
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. Thank you. Near that little arrow, can you put the number "F64,"
16 A. [Marks]
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. All right. F57 now? Could you just
18 show -- if the usher could just show us that particular photograph, F57.
19 Q. Mr. Salkic, please take note of that photograph. Do you see it?
20 Thank you. Now, can you repeat the exercise with an arrow on the same
21 document? Can you show us in which direction that particular photograph
22 is looking and then place the arrow on the page.
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. And put the "F57" next to that.
25 A. [Marks]
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Thanks. And finally, F58. I don't think my
2 learned friends will dispute that that's the entrance, and you can see
3 that marked on the map.
4 Q. Can you show us again with an arrow which way the photograph is
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. And don't forget the number, "F58."
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. Good. Thank you very much.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: I've finished with the photos and that map.
11 Q. I want to ask you questions now about the conditions in the
12 primary school gym. First of all, I want to ask you about any beatings
13 that you or other prisoners received, and I'm asking you to provide a
14 general picture of what the situation was in respect of beatings during
15 the period of time that you were there. Were you beaten?
16 A. Yes. In that gym, we spent many a day. All of us who were
17 detained here, we would agree that it was hell. We were beaten every
18 day. Whoever wanted to come, came whenever they wanted to come. They
19 beat us in every conceivable way. It was not restricted in terms of time
20 either. Morning, afternoon, evening, people came whenever they wanted to,
21 whenever it came to their minds. This was such torture. Within one
22 day -- and when I say "a day," I'm referring to 24 hours - it felt like
23 140 hours to us. They would come in groups, different groups. They would
24 beat us. They would beat us up really badly. It was hell, to put it
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
14 English transcripts.
1 In addition to all of that --
2 Q. No. Please continue.
3 A. It's not that they were satisfied with the beatings only. They
4 made us sing until we would fall, and when I say "singing," I mean those
5 Chetnik songs again. We would have to stand, all beaten up, starving,
6 because the food was horrible. As a matter of fact, it was no good
8 Q. Thank you.
9 A. This period was hell, real hell.
10 Q. Thank you. I'd like to take you back and just ask you a few more
11 questions about the beatings. Did they use instruments?
12 A. Yes. Yes. They would bring some with them; some they had there,
13 because there was a makeshift workshop there. Because there was a janitor
14 there who was involved in the maintenance of the school building, so there
15 were rods, metal sticks, wooden sticks. Some they would bring with them.
16 And sometimes we would even joke among ourselves. When they would bring
17 truncheons, we would joke amongst ourselves and say, "Oh, good. A banana
18 only." It hurt less. At least it didn't break our bodies. So there were
19 different objects there --
20 Q. Thank you.
21 A. -- iron objects, other things.
22 Q. You also said that whoever wanted to come, came whenever they
23 wanted to. Who were you referring to there?
24 A. Anybody. Serbs, civilians came, even some women came to beat us,
25 soldiers, policemen. Whenever people wanted to come, the door would
1 simply open and they would walk in, they would beat us. That was the
2 impression you'd have there: Whoever wanted to, came. There was a man
3 called Pero Pita - that's what we called him - in Samac. He was a
4 retard. And we were expecting him to come any day, but I guess he was
5 smarter than everybody else and he would not stoop that low to come to
6 beat us too.
7 Q. When you say that civilians came, do you mean local civilians?
8 A. Yes. Yes. They would come in soldier uniforms, in police
9 uniforms, sometimes civilians too. So in fact, it was open season. This
10 was probably some kind of fun for them. Instead of going out to jog, they
11 came to beat us, and they would take it out on us by beating us and making
12 us sing Chetnik songs, and also starving us, because it was really
14 After such beatings, after 24 hours, you would get a little slice
15 of bread with a tiny little bit of marmalade on it - not a big spoon of
16 marmalade, no - and possibly a cup of tea. Often, as a matter of fact,
17 instead of marmalade, they would bring us lard. And then they tried to
18 insult us that way. I didn't mind. I have always eaten pork. I eat pork
19 nowadays as well. But they would say, "Balijas, Muslims, here you go,
20 pork," not only lamb and other kinds of meat. So it was that kind of
22 Q. You were not troubled by any edict against eating pork or pork
23 products, but were any of you other Muslim prisoners troubled by that?
24 A. Yes. Yes, there were people that wouldn't eat that. They didn't
25 want to eat that. They would just eat the bread. But to tell you quite
1 honestly, I ate it before that and after that. It bothered me, but what?
2 I had to survive. As a matter of fact, I thought that it would be good
3 for me because it would give me more calories so I could survive. It's
4 the logic that we had to apply, because they made us do that, even these
5 people who would not do that because their religious customs would not
6 allow that.
7 Q. Do you know a gentleman named Slavko Trivunovic?
8 A. Yes, nicknamed Zubar, "the Dentist."
9 Q. How did he acquire that nickname?
10 A. He got that nickname from us, the prisoners, because,
11 unfortunately, other people had bad experience with him and that nickname
12 of his. I personally didn't. Should I describe this case to the Trial
13 Chamber? You will tell me whether I should or whether I shouldn't.
14 Q. Thank you. I would like you to tell the Trial Chamber, firstly,
15 of what his activities were and, secondly, why you weren't troubled by
17 A. Well, this is the way it was: He was a Serb policeman. His role
18 was to guard us there so that no one would escape or something like that.
19 And he beat us. At first he beat me too. However, when I found out that
20 he was Trivunovic, and I knew his uncle Ignjo Trivunovic, who was from the
21 village of Obudovac. Branica is the name of the part of the village that
22 he came from. I was fed up, so I took advantage of one opportunity and I
23 said, "Trivunovic, my goodness, go and ask your uncle what kind of a
24 person I am, and if I'm a bad person, he can tell you that and then you
25 can come here and kill me if you want. I won't mind."
1 I was guided by the following. While I worked at the Utva
2 company, this uncle of his was supposed to be fired, and it was not his
3 fault. The company had sued him and taken him to court. However, he knew
4 that, in that particular case, I was there on the ground and I knew what
5 was true and what was not true. And he asked me if I wanted to be a
6 witness for him, and I said yes. But then other problems came up. I was
7 defending a man who was being sued by the company, and then the people
8 from the company said to me that if I were to testify in his behalf, that
9 I could easily share his fate, that is to say, be fired. Nevertheless, I
10 decided to testify for this gentleman, Mr. Trivunovic, and he was quite
11 appreciative of that.
12 Soon after that, I left the firm of my own accord and I started up
13 my own business, and he remained quite grateful to me. So then when this
14 gentleman went to see his uncle and when talked to him, he sent through
15 him a little parcel to me, like a sandwich. He thanked me and he had said
16 to him that I was a very good and honest man. So from then onwards,
17 Slavko never beat me.
18 Q. But I'm interested in what he did to others. Can you tell us --
19 provide us with details of his activities with respect to other prisoners?
20 A. Others received the same treatment, like I did before this
21 particular event when we talked. He continued to beat the others, just
22 like Jacimovic did, who called himself a Serb inspector. So he continued
23 doing the same thing that he had been doing, until that particular moment,
24 to me as well. In a way, I was spared by him.
25 However, I don't know if I should tell you about this. A very
1 unfortunate incident occurred during the night. When he entered through
2 the door, I saw him quite well in the moonlight. Also this was
3 summertime, and I recognised his voice. He was wearing white clogs, some
4 kind of a white T-shirt. He opened the door to the gym that I showed you
5 a few minutes ago. He was looking for a volunteer. This had been going
6 on for some 10 or 15 days; he hadn't been beating me, that is. And then
7 I, perhaps in order to protect others, I said, "Slavko, what do you need?
8 Here I am." And then he said that I could sit down, that he didn't need
9 me. At that moment, other people walked in wearing uniforms, police
10 uniforms, army uniforms, and all hell broke loose. Beatings.
11 Slavko and other people started taking the men out. The first one
12 that got out was Mr. Dragan Delic and then Safet Hadzialijagic. That's
13 because they were right by the door. And then one after the other. I was
14 skipped. I can still remember quite a few names. They were taken out one
15 by one. Their teeth were being pulled out, five, seven, two, three,
16 whatever. However, we found all of that out later. Although we heard
17 moans and screams, it never crossed our mind that they could think of such
18 a stupid thing to do. I don't know what else to call it. I mean, why
19 would a person come and pull out five or six or seven teeth? That's what
20 we found out after this rite was performed. This went on for perhaps an
21 hour or an hour and a half, and that is how Mr. Slavko Trivunovic got this
22 nickname, Zubar, "the Dentist."
23 Q. Can you recall when, during the period of time that you were
24 imprisoned in the primary school gym, that this incident occurred? Was it
25 towards the end of the period of time, around the middle of the time you
1 were there, the beginning? And if you can be precise, do tell us, but I'm
2 trying to get a fix on what time, what period of the year this was.
3 A. [No interpretation]
4 JUDGE MUMBA: We are not getting translation. And the witness
5 just has to start the answer again because there was no interpretation at
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, thank you.
8 Q. Yes, Mr. Salkic, unfortunately we just didn't get your answer. Do
9 tell us, I'm sorry, but can you please repeat what you just said?
10 A. Can you hear us?
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
12 A. We were speaking about the period this happened. You were asking
13 me when this happened. It was towards the end of June, or perhaps it was
14 July. I think that it was actually the beginning of July, and perhaps it
15 went on until mid-July. Perhaps it went on until later as well. I think
16 it was the end of July, actually, or mid-August even.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 A. But quite certainly it did happen, and all those sitting on the
19 left-hand side know that very well.
20 Q. Mr. Salkic, are you familiar with a game called Russian roulette?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you ever see that game played [Microphone not activated] at
23 the primary school gym?
24 A. Yes. Unfortunately, yes. You said "game," and it was called
25 Russian roulette. But it was no game, let me tell you. It was a matter
1 of life or death. And, yes, it did take place before my very eyes.
2 Unfortunately, you were there waiting, waiting to hear the shot go off.
3 And our colleague, the man who was with me, unfortunately we found him
4 dead on this occasion.
5 I don't know whether you want me to explain that game, how it was
6 played, and in whose presence. If so, please tell me. Do you want me to
7 go ahead and describe it or not?
8 Q. Yes, I do. But I -- I'm not quite sure what you mean by the
9 expression "our colleague, the man who was with you, and who was
10 unfortunately found dead." I just don't follow that. Can you explain
11 what you meant, before you tell us about the episode.
12 A. No. I apologise. And perhaps the interpretation wasn't the right
13 one. I said thank goodness that nobody was killed, that nobody was found
15 Q. Thank you. I'd like you to describe the events that you witnessed
16 in the primary school gym.
17 A. Yes. Mr. Todorovic turned up, Goran Ristic as well. Goran, I
18 think that his surname was Hasic, this other man's, and some other people
19 too. And the beatings started again. Stevan Todorovic, with the
20 exception of one time when he came to the secondary school accompanied by
21 Mr. Blagoje Simic, that was the only time that he didn't beat us;
22 otherwise, all the other times that he came visiting, there were
23 beatings. So it was only when he turned up with Mr. Blagoje that he
24 didn't beat us.
25 As I say, they started beating us, breaking our bones, and then
1 there was a lull, and they said, "Let my Ustashas come out." And we knew
2 that he always liked to refer to the Ustashas, and as he said, he would
3 always give them a portion of the beatings. They would receive their
4 regular portion. And they were two brothers from Vidovice, Markovic
5 Polje, who joined us in all of our travels. And there were two brothers,
6 also Croats, who were from Derventa. There was a man called Behrem, Masic
7 and others. There was Mesic, Masic, I think there was a similar surname
8 of this other person as well.
9 And he would first of all take the two brothers out. I don't want
10 to give their names because of the developments that I am going to recount
11 later on, unless the Trial Chamber insists. But there will be some
12 personal unpleasantness, so if I could be spared from saying their names.
13 So please tell me, do I have to state their names or not?
14 Q. No, you don't. And, Mr. Salkic, I'm asking you now about the game
15 of Russian roulette. Okay? I'm not asking you about anything else. I
16 just want you to confine your comments to the game of Russian roulette
17 that you observed, all right? So please continue and describe what you
19 A. Yes. I mentioned the brothers, the Croats. But as I don't want
20 to say their names, I will continue describing the events. And it is
21 because of the subsequent events that I don't want to state their names.
22 I'm going to have to say some ugly things, and then you could link up the
23 two brothers from Derventa and others, and their names would become public
24 in that way.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Just pause.
1 If Your Honours please, given what the witness has said, it might
2 be advisable at this stage to go into private session. This episode that
3 I am eliciting evidence of is not a matter that requires private session
4 at all, there's nothing in it whatsoever that would require any sort of
5 private session, and the witness has been warned by me not to mention
6 names. However - and I have no reason for thinking this at all - but
7 given what he has just said now for the first time, it might be advisable
8 to go into private session to avoid public transmission of other events
9 that might concern some of the people he's going to talk about, and by
10 that I mean matters of sexual misconduct.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: I can't say that this evidence has got anything to
13 do with that, but -- and I have no reason to think that it will
14 necessarily lead into that, but there is that risk, and for that reason I
15 think it would be advisable if we --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We do have a duty to protect witnesses'
17 integrity and other persons mentioned. Only for those purposes, we can go
18 into private session.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Thank you. It's only going to be for a few
20 minutes. This evidence won't take long.
21 [Private session]
13 Page 3347 – redacted – private session.
13 Page 3348 – redacted – private session.
13 Page 3349 – redacted – private session.
13 Page 3350 – redacted – private session.
13 Page 3351 – redacted – private session.
13 Page 3352 – redacted – private session.
20 [Open session]
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Proceed. We are now in open session.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
23 Q. Yes. Okay. I'd like to ask you if, in the period of time that
24 you were in the primary school gym, whether any of the defendants attended
25 there, went there.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Who was that?
3 A. That was Mr. Milan Simic.
4 Q. Was it -- withdraw that question.
5 Can you recall approximately when he turned up?
6 A. Do you mean the day and month, or the time of day?
7 Q. I'm sorry, I should have made that clearer. I'm talking about the
8 time of year. About when in the time that you were imprisoned did he turn
9 up, did you see him?
10 A. Yes. Thank you for that clarification. I understand your
11 question now. It happened in mid-June, give or take a few days. I can't
12 quite specify.
13 Q. And what time of the day did he appear?
14 A. It was night-time. It was already dark. Between 9.30 and 10.00,
15 half past 10.00 at the latest. Perhaps even later. We weren't able to
16 know what the exact time was because we didn't have watches, but judging
17 by when it got dark, and we knew what season it was, it was dark at 9.00,
18 and so much time had elapsed, so that was the orientation. We didn't have
19 watches, so I can't be specific in terms of time, the exact minute and
20 hour, but he came at night, at about 10.00 or thereabouts.
21 Q. You've mentioned on one or two occasions that the primary school
22 gym was dark. Was it ever lit or provided with any sort of lighting,
23 artificial light?
24 A. Yes. Well, yes. A flashlight and the moonlight that filtered
25 through. As the windows were high up on the walls, you could see fairly
1 well -- well, not well, but you could make out what you were interested
3 Q. You told us that he arrived. It was in the evening. It was
4 dark -- night-time, I should say. Was he in company with anyone?
5 A. Yes. There were others with him.
6 Q. Can you recall approximately how many men were with him?
7 A. About five or six. If you want me to, I can describe his
8 appearance and the sequence of events when he was there.
9 Q. Certainly I'll be asking you about that, but let me just ask you a
10 few questions first. You presumably were inside the gym?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did he enter the gym?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did the men with him enter the gym?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you tell us what the men were wearing, Mr. Simic himself and
17 the men who accompanied him?
18 A. They were people wearing uniforms. They were armed. They were
19 wearing uniforms, yes, and they were armed.
20 Q. What was the reaction of the men when Milan Simic first entered
21 the gym? When I say that, "men," I mean the prisoners.
22 A. As soon as the door opened, late at night, we knew that this would
23 be a visit which would result in the same thing it always did. We would
24 have to jump up, stand to attention, and wait to see what was in store for
25 us. And that's what happened on that occasion, too. The door opened,
1 Mr. Simic came in, with his escorts, as he said. I don't know whether
2 that is sufficient.
3 Q. Thank you. Did he say anything?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What did he say?
6 A. He said that we should get up and stand at attention and did we
7 know that it was a Serb minister who was entering the room and do we know
8 who he is. Many of us recognised his voice. He even introduced himself
9 to us as Milan Simic, the Serb minister, and other things like that. And
10 then things went the way they went. So he said to us that he was this
11 Mr. Milan Simic.
12 Q. Thank you. Did he provide any explanation as to why he was there
13 or say anything that gave any clue as to why he was there?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What was that?
16 A. Well, he said to us that he came to show us -- to teach us how to
17 respect a Serb minister and Serb authority. And then things went the way
18 they went. I think that I have given a sufficient answer to that
20 Q. Yes, you have. Thank you. Can you please explain what happened
21 after he made that announcement?
22 A. When he said that, I managed to hear a few other things, that we
23 were like this and that, fundamentalists, Ustashas, that we wanted some
24 kind of a Muslim state, that we wanted a Bosnia -- "What do you mean
25 Bosnia? This is Serbia."
1 And then his people followed him through the gym. I did not see
2 then whether Mr. Simic took part in the beating that ensued. I don't know
3 whether he took part in it, and I don't want to say things I'm not sure
4 about and things that I didn't see myself, but the moans could be heard.
5 This went on for I don't know how long. He called some people names out.
6 He said, "Let Ibela go out, Beca, Hase, Perica Misic, I think, Mersad
7 Ibric." They took us out of the gym while his escorts were kicking us,
8 and he lined us up in this hall outside, the first one from the entrance.
9 Q. Thank you. Can you pause there? Do I understand that answer to
10 be that prior to you men being taken outside and lined up in the hallway,
11 the group - and you don't know who it was in the group that arrived -
12 participated in the beating of men inside the gym? Is that what you're
13 saying? Because you said, "I don't know whether -- I did not see whether
14 Mr. Simic took part in the beating that ensued," but you could hear
15 moans. So do I understand there was a beating first, some people were
16 beaten first inside the gym and then later you were taken out and lined up
17 in the hallway?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Now, can the witness be provided with the last
20 exhibit I tendered into evidence? It's the map. I'm sorry, I can't
21 recall the number. It's P30 something, but I -- yes, P30/1 ter. Yes,
22 thank you. And, Mr. Usher, I think there is a pen there.
23 Q. Mr. Salkic, could you mark on that map where the men were lined
24 up, including yourself?
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Mark your positions with crosses.
2 A. Well, I can't give you the exact order. I don't know about the
3 fifth one. Well, you can go on with your questions. However, I'm putting
4 a question mark here. He went inside, I think.
5 Q. How many --
6 A. I'll explain why I crossed out the other one, or rather, deleted
8 Q. Yes, please do.
9 A. Yes. Let me explain so that things would be clear. Mr. Gibic was
10 there. Actually, he had been outside, but then this policeman kicked him,
11 and he explained to us that this was an acquaintance of his, so that with
12 all the commotion, he managed to return him into the gym. So Perica
13 Misic, Hasan, Beca, and I remained outside.
14 Q. Was there any lighting in that area?
15 A. Yes. There was a candle that had been lit, and they also had
16 flashlights in their hands, flashlights.
17 Q. What about moonlight? Was there any moonlight?
18 A. Yes, yes, yes. You see, there were big windows here. The door
19 was wide open, and there was a big window here. This is not a yard. This
20 is where the heating room is. And there were big windows there too. So
21 one could see quite well.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I've finished with that exhibit.
23 Q. All right. You were lined up. What did Mr. Simic do?
24 A. He went from one to the other, and he was saying various
25 nonsensical things like we did not want Serb authority, we did not want
1 this, we did not want that, and he started from that other side, that is
2 to say, from Perica Misic, from the left moving to the right. He ordered
3 us to spread our legs, and then he would hit us with his knee, and then
4 his men took more advantage of this situation.
5 They would beat us, and he went and slapped each one of us, one at
6 a time. He was followed by his bodyguards, as I said. He said that he
7 was a minister and that he now had bodyguards. So he was the first one to
8 go, and his men followed suit and beat us. And that's how things went, in
9 that order.
10 Then my turn came, and I fared the same way. He stood on the side
11 by that door, still inside, while these men were still beating us. These
12 were some kind of iron bars, some kind of hard objects. I remember quite
13 well that Muhamed was standing next to me, who tried to dodge this --
14 because you really had to stand impassively while they would hit you in
15 the chest. And Muhamed tried to dodge this. I mean, I don't know how to
16 explain this. And then this man paid him back by hitting him three or
17 four times. He did the same thing to me, but I just remained there
18 standing, and he hit me only once. And Mr. Simic said, "Come on. Go
19 out. It's enough for this time," and that's how they got out of the hall
20 of the primary school.
21 Q. How many children do you have?
22 A. I have two children. I have two. I have a son who is 21 and a
23 daughter. And my oldest child was a son too, but he died. He was 9 years
24 and 9 months old, and it really is related to this question. Good
1 Q. I want to know --
2 A. Can I finish what I was saying?
3 Q. Yes, please do.
4 A. Since Mr. Simic knew that I had experienced this tragedy of having
5 my son die, and he asked us all to spread our legs and he said to all of
6 us, "You won't have any more children." And he knew about this tragedy of
7 mine and he knew that it would be only logical for me to have another son,
8 so these words were harder for me than the actual beating.
9 Q. Where were you struck when you had to stand with your legs apart?
10 A. He hit me in the genital area.
11 Q. How did you react to that? I mean physically. What sort of
12 movement did you do?
13 A. All of you present here, all of you who are males, can imagine
14 this kind of pain, so I don't really have to describe this to you. It was
15 very painful. However, you had to remain standing, irrespective of
16 everything, because if you would fall, then it would be even worse,
17 because then they would trample all over you. It would really be
18 horrible. So then you would have to do your utmost to stay on your feet.
19 Q. Were the men armed?
20 A. Yes. Yes.
21 Q. Did anyone use any of their weapons?
22 A. Yes. As I said, as they were about to leave -- they were by the
23 entrance. I forgot that. When your memory comes back when you start
24 talking about it -- otherwise you tend to forget some details. Mr. Simic
25 was standing there, and behind him was a man with some weapons. They
1 fired above Perica's and Hasan's heads, and then we thought that perhaps
2 that was the end of them. However, given all of this, you didn't really
3 dare turn around and look around a lot, because you were wondering what
4 would happen to you, and maybe you would go through the same thing.
5 However, they went out. They went out when Mr. Simic told them
6 to. We turned around and we looked at these two men and realised that
7 they were alive. We were particularly pleased to see Hasan standing
8 there, that nothing was wrong with him. Muhamed was the first to ask, "Is
9 anybody wounded? Hasan, are you wounded?" "No." "Perica, are you
10 wounded?" "No." "Oh, good. Oh, good." He was trying to say: Good,
11 it's all over.
12 So after that we were returned to the gym, because we were ordered
13 to sing again for the Serb minister, until the morning. If somebody were
14 to sit down and not sing, he could consider himself to be a dead man.
15 That's what his men said to us, the men who had come with him.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, before all of this happened, before Milan Simic
17 and his entourage turned up, presumably you were being guarded by someone
18 to stop you escaping or running away.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. How many people were guarding you? Was it just one man with a
21 gun, or were there hordes of them? I just want to know what the general
22 guard situation was just before he arrived.
23 A. Yes. Day and night there were always two guards there.
24 Q. Where would they take their position: inside the gym where you men
25 were or on the outside of the gym?
1 A. They had a school desk there in the hall, as you would enter that
2 hall, straight from the entrance. I can show it to you in one of those
4 Q. Thanks. I'd like you to do that, please.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Could the usher please take the photographs,
6 Exhibit P14A. Thanks.
7 Q. Mr. Salkic, I don't know which photograph it's best seen in, but
8 perhaps we could start with F57. I'd just like to know where this desk
9 is. Could we have a look at F57? Is the desk that you've spoken about
10 there, in that place, or is it somewhere else, the desk that the guard sat
12 A. It's here, here, as you go into the other hall, if you remember
13 what I drew.
14 Q. I missed that. Can you show us again, please?
15 A. Yes. Yes. When we go from this room to this other room here,
16 where the entrance door is --
17 Q. Show us with the baton, the stick.
18 A. It's over here.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Would the Chamber just bear with me while I refer
20 to my notes, please.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
22 MR. DI FAZIO:
23 Q. Try looking at 64. Thanks. 64. Is the desk anywhere in
24 that -- would the desk have been anywhere in the area depicted in that
1 A. No.
2 Q. Very well. Rather than going through the photographs, perhaps you
3 could mark on P30 ter where the guard's desk was.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: If the witness could be provided with the map.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Is that P30/1 ter?
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I'm grateful to Your Honour. I think that
7 should be identified for the purposes of the transcript. It's the map
8 that he has already written on and indicated the photographs.
9 Q. Okay. Can you just, with a circle perhaps, indicate on that where
10 the guard sat at his desk, guarding you?
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Thank you. And was he the only guard who was there, or were there
13 other guards?
14 A. There were two guards non-stop.
15 Q. Thank you. Where would the other guard normally position himself?
16 A. Well, I can answer this. I'll put it this way. They would always
17 sit there. I drew this circle so that you would understand where the desk
18 was. By this desk there were always two chairs; that's where they would
19 sit. And we were locked in there, so they would always check what was
20 going on by the door. We couldn't escape anywhere, because everything
21 else was sealed off. So they would always spend their time there, if they
22 did not go in to mistreat us. So it's where the little circle is.
23 Q. So to gain access to the gym, Mr. Simic and his entourage had to
24 pass the guard, go through the corridor or square room, and then into the
25 gym; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Usher. I've finished.
3 Q. Did you see Mr. Simic again after this episode?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Approximately how long after did you see him again?
6 A. Well, it could have been approximately five, six, or possibly
7 seven days later.
8 Q. Was it at night?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What did he do?
11 A. He came to the door, the entrance to the gym again, with these
12 bodyguards of his, as he had told us the previous time, because we saw
13 people behind his back, and he called out the name of Mr. Perica Misic and
14 Hasan Bicic. He said that they should go out, and that's what they did,
15 and for a long time they weren't coming back.
16 Q. Did they eventually return?
17 A. Yes. They returned sometime in the morning, late. They came. Of
18 course, Muhamed is his brother, and we are very good friends. We were
19 walking about all the time, all night, because we did not know the right
20 reason why they took him away, what the reason was. And we were wondering
21 whether they would kill him, whether they would not kill him, whether they
22 would do this, whether they would do that. However, he did return in the
23 morning, very late -- or actually, it was early, but it was very late for
24 us who were waiting up for him. Both Hasan and Perica returned.
25 Q. Just to be absolutely clear, you've said it was very late and very
1 early. Do you mean it was the -- was it around dawn?
2 A. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. It was, say, around 3.30, 4.00 a.m.
3 Q. And did he have anything with him -- or sorry, did both of them
4 have anything with them, any possessions?
5 A. Yes. Yes. Of course, when they walked in, Beca, Muhamed, the
6 brothers, started kissing him and said, "What's up?" And he said that
7 everything was fine and that he had changed, that Mr. Simic had taken
8 him - I don't know whether it was the department store or some place like
9 that - that they changed, that they talked. He sent us, I think, two
10 cartons of cigarettes, and he asked us then that they apologise to me and
11 Muhamed and Gibic, that actually, they should apologise on his behalf,
12 that he was sorry that he had done what he had done. And reportedly, he
13 had already apologised to them over there.
14 So they were brought back. He did not beat them. He sent us an
15 apology and cigarettes. And that's how that visit of his ended
17 Q. Have you got any -- provide us with any insight as to why Perica
18 Misic and Hasan Bicic were extended a personal apology and you weren't?
19 Have you any idea?
20 MS. BAEN: Objection. Calls for speculation, Your Honour.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. It's a possibly well-founded objection, and I
22 withdraw my question.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, you can rephrase it.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: I withdraw my question.
25 Q. Was there any discussion of exchanges on the return of the two
1 men, Hasan and Perica?
2 A. Yes, yes. Hasan told us confidentially that there would be an
3 exchange, and I also asked him to put him on these lists. But then
4 apparently he had said that it would be impossible for the two of them to
5 go together, Hasan and Muhamed, that is, and that is finally how things
6 turned out.
7 As for Perica, he was supposed to be there too. After all, they
8 had worked together for a long time. Perhaps two or two and a half months
9 later, Perica was exchanged too; Muhamed also. However, Hasan was told
10 that I would not get out for a long time, and that's the way it was. It
11 took all of 14 months for me to get out and get exchanged.
12 Q. Thank you. Just a couple of brief questions before lunch. Can
13 you tell us -- comment on the relationship between Hasan Bicic and Milan
14 Simic before the war? If you can tell us, were they acquaintances,
15 friends, or didn't know each other at all? Tell us what the situation
16 was, from your perspective.
17 A. Yes, I know. They had a good relationship. Bicic had this
18 pizzeria where the gentleman often dropped in. They were in the
19 neighbourhood. They lived in the neighbourhood. They were more or less
20 the same generation. So to my mind, they had a pretty good, friendly,
21 neighbourly relationship. I can say the same of Perica. That was
22 probably the reason, related to my previous answer, why he chose the two
23 of them.
24 Q. And what about -- I'll withdraw that.
25 I ask you the same question in respect of Muhamed. Can you
1 comment on his relationship with Mr. Simic?
2 A. Very good and correct. As far as I know, they would meet in the
3 restaurant itself. They would have a drink. They'd chat. When they
4 would meet up in town as well. Good, correct relationship before the war.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Would this be an appropriate moment to take the
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will adjourn for the lunch break and resume
8 our proceedings at 1530 hours.
9 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 3.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Examination-in-chief continuing.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Salkic, you said that you were transferred from the primary
5 school gym to the TO in the latter part of September of 1992. Was it just
6 you, or was it all the other men who were imprisoned with you in the
7 primary school gym?
8 A. Yes, all of us.
9 Q. By this stage, what sort of numbers were you in the primary school
10 gym? In other words, how many men were transferred from the primary
11 school gym over to the TO?
12 A. About 26 to 27 of us were transferred. I can't remember the exact
13 number. Many, in the meantime, had been exchanged, so there were about 26
14 or 27 of us remaining.
15 Q. Towards the latter end of your time in the primary school gym,
16 were other prisoners being brought in, or had that stopped?
17 A. In the gym where we were, they didn't bring anybody else in.
18 Where we were transferred to, we encountered a fairly large number in the
19 TO. When we came, there were already some 200 people incarcerated there,
20 and they were incarcerated during the period we were taken to Brcko,
21 Bijeljina, and returned to the TO.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
23 Can the witness be shown photograph F5, please, from P14A.
24 Q. When you were returned to the TO, were you imprisoned in one of
25 those two rooms depicted there, or was it somewhere else?
1 A. Yes. In this room here, this door.
2 Q. And was that in contrast to the place you had been kept in in the
3 first week that you were imprisoned after your arrest?
4 A. Yes. We were here before. But the bars weren't there when we
5 were there, these bars here.
6 Q. Now, you say there were 200, or thereabouts, men imprisoned in the
7 TO. Where were they kept?
8 A. Let me show you this on the picture. They were here and here.
9 More of them were in this room here. The room was bigger. And a smaller
10 number were in this other room.
11 Q. I think I know what you mean, but I just want to be clear. The
12 majority, were they in the room that you can see on the right-hand side,
13 the room with the corrugated iron door closest to the ambulance? Is that
14 where the majority were, or the larger number, I should say?
15 A. Yes, that's right. Let me point out the door again. It was this
16 door here. There were between 120 and 130 people here. And as this was a
17 smaller room, there were about 60, 70, or 80 people in that one there.
18 Q. That's an awful lot of -- I could be wrong, but can you comment on
19 what sort of living space there was? That's a lot of people for two
21 A. Yes. The room on the right that I indicated was an arms warehouse
22 at one time, and there were shelves. So we slept on three, four levels.
23 There were just planks of wood. But nobody was interested in whether you
24 had enough space or not. The important thing was to lock people up.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I've finished with those photographs
1 for the moment. I apologise to the usher for not having informed him of
2 that earlier.
3 Q. How long did you remain in the TO, in that actual cell at that
5 A. Yes. I stayed there for about -- that is to say, I was there
6 until the beginning of November, when I was transferred to the MUP.
7 Q. And how long did you stay in the MUP across the road?
8 A. I stayed in the MUP until they took us off to the camp which they
9 called the collection centre in Batkovici, and that was the 27th of
11 Q. Cast your mind back now to the initial period in the Territorial
12 Defence building, between mid-September or thereabouts and early
13 November. You have given us repeated detail of beatings that occurred in
14 various places that you were taken in, and most recently you described
15 beatings that occurred in the primary school gym. Did similar beatings
16 take place in the TO?
17 A. Yes, but this was to a lesser extent. Mostly they were these
18 songs, and it wouldn't be in great masses. They wouldn't beat us a lot,
19 and in great numbers, but individuals would come in again and repeat what
20 their predecessors had done, beatings. They made us sing the songs but
21 not as much as when we were in the primary school, probably because there
22 were more of us. The number of prisoners was greater, so in that large
23 mass of people - there were 230 to 250 people there - you would miss a few
24 here and there. You couldn't get through them all.
25 Q. Was it a question of safety in numbers?
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
14 English transcripts.
1 A. Well, yes, more people. And as I have already said, sometimes
2 they would miss you. They wouldn't call your name out. They would just
3 open the door, come inside, and the person that was at hand would be
4 beaten. Sometimes they would call out the names, the first and last
5 names, and then the people would go outside, and then they would give them
6 a beating outside, not in front of us, but the beatings took place inside
7 as well as outside.
8 Q. Were you personally beaten in the time that you were in the TO
9 before being moved over to the SUP building?
10 A. Yes, yes, on two or three occasions. There was a man called Rade,
11 they called him Rade, and then there was Goran Ristic, Goran Hasic, and
12 they came especially to call me out and Muhamed Bicic. Hasan had already
13 been exchanged. So that they would beat us outside in the yard. It was
14 beating, kicking. They stomped on us with their army boots and whatever
15 they had.
16 Q. Now, I want to ask you this: In the rooms that -- in the
17 particular room that you were incarcerated, were there any ladders or
18 stairs? Just tell us yes or no.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Do you know a lady named Suhreta Probic?
21 A. Yes, Suhreta Probic.
22 Q. I'm sorry, just before I proceed to ask you about her, there is
23 just one other question I need to establish -- to ask, rather. I want to
24 know the ethnic background of the prisoners who were kept in the TO, the
25 200-odd men, and whether any of them were apparently combatants or
2 A. Well, there were Muslims and Croats, but there weren't any
3 combatants there.
4 Q. Let's get back to Suhreta. Where did she live?
5 A. She lived down in town, but it was very lucky for us that next to
6 the TO building there was another building where a Muslim and a woman
7 Muslim lived, and they hadn't been expelled, and this was rather strange
8 to us. They hadn't evicted them from their flat, so that on one occasion,
9 we made use of her presence. She came out onto a balcony and made some
10 sign language, and we said a few words, and as Suhreta was a scout for
11 many years and there was another young guy who was also a scout, they
12 managed to establish contact by means of sign language and the things they
13 had learned as scouts, and so we learnt of the Jasavica camp where my wife
14 had been taken to, and my son and daughter.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Can the witness be shown photograph F3
16 from Exhibit P14A. F3.
17 Q. You've mentioned a balcony. Can you see that balcony at all in
18 that photograph?
19 A. Yes, I can, very well.
20 Q. Point it out with your baton, please.
21 A. That's the balcony here.
22 Q. In the period of time that --
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Mr. Usher. I'm done with that
25 Q. In the period of time that you were incarcerated there, were the
1 men permitted to walk around in the courtyard from time to time, or at
3 A. Let me tell you straight away that there were no female prisoners
4 there, just us men. There were no women there, so that they would let us
5 go out. And in the room next to us was the toilet, and we could go there
6 in the morning, sometimes during the day, and towards evening, not at
7 night. When it was night, they incarcerated us again, but we were allowed
8 to go out into the yard; not much, not much, but you could go out now and
10 Q. In the period of time that you were in the TO, did the Red Cross
11 ever visit the TO or, indeed, any of the camps in Bosanski Samac that
12 you're aware of?
13 A. Yes. We heard that from people, that they were coming, and we
14 were to see that for ourselves. They did come and they called out a
15 certain number of names. They would bring them from the SUP and some from
16 where we were, and they would take them to the neighbouring building
17 within the courtyard. There were beds there belonging to the police
18 force, because the policemen used to spend the night there when they
19 needed to. And they would be nicely shaved and washed, and they served as
20 models for this International Red Cross. There were about 15 or 16 of
21 them, maybe as much as 18, as many beds as there were. And they showed
22 them as if they were the only prisoners living under those conditions.
23 Q. Thank you. Just tell us: Did the Red Cross visit or conduct such
24 visits on more than one occasion, or was it just once?
25 A. The first time that I was able to see them for myself -- this was
1 the first time I actually saw it and experienced it. All the rest was
2 what people had told me. And so I saw that the stories were, in fact,
3 true. The people were called out, and I said they were sort of models,
4 model prisoners. And as we knew that that was the only way out for us,
5 the only way we could save ourselves, we did that.
6 You mentioned some steps a moment ago, and I'll tell you about
7 that. The rest of us, those who remained, would be shut up in the hangars
8 behind the two doors that I showed you a moment ago. They would lock us
9 up. And before doing so, they'd threaten us. They would say, "In case
10 somebody were to ask, we don't exist," so that we had to keep quiet. But
11 it was a metal door, and when the door was locked up, they couldn't
12 actually know whether I was there or I wasn't. And I decided to go up the
13 steps, and as there was a warehouse there before it became a military
14 storage space, I managed to reach a window.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 A. And from that window I could see --
17 Q. Thank you. I apologise for interrupting you there. We'll get to
18 that point in the story shortly, but there's just another aspect that I
19 want to clarify first. Okay? The men who were shaved and presented, are
20 you aware if they were shaved and presented on only one occasion, or was
21 it on more than one occasion that they were cleaned up and presented?
22 A. I knew of one occasion, so before I came. Now, this is the second
23 time, the second occasion. And perhaps it happened on some other
24 occasions too. I don't know.
25 Q. Can you tell us if it was different men who were cleaned and
1 shaved on each occasion or not, or was it the same group of men?
2 A. Well, they wouldn't have made that kind of mistake. It was always
3 the same people, because the Red Cross would say, "Where are the others?"
4 So it was always the same people.
5 Q. Right. Now, you were telling us about this ladder and your
6 decision to go up the steps and how you managed to reach a window. First
7 of all, had you been locked into the cell at the time that you did that?
8 A. It wasn't a cell; it was the room that I pointed out to you. And
9 you could enter that room only through that door, the door that they
10 locked when we were inside, whether during the night or on an occasion as
11 the one I have just described.
12 Q. And at the time that you decided to go up the stairs, had you been
13 warned to be quiet?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. When you were going up the stairs, what was in your mind? What
16 did you want to do? What did you want to see?
17 A. I wanted to see what was going on, whether it was a preparation
18 for an exchange or an actual exchange, that the International Red Cross
19 had maybe come to set us free, because it was high time for the
20 International Community and the public to learn about the camps in
21 Bosnia. And so we thought that maybe the end to our sufferings had
22 finally come, and so I decided to go upstairs and see for myself, although
23 it was very risky business. But I nevertheless decided to take the risk.
24 Q. How did you know that -- what was the appropriate time to go up
25 the stairs to take a look?
1 A. When they took them, they would just take them an hour before or
2 two hours before, to prepare them for the showing, to show them to the
3 International Red Cross, and when the door closed and when they told us to
4 be quiet, the rest of us, in those 20 minutes, half an hour or an hour or
5 whatever, and then afterwards we could expect the International Red Cross
6 to arrive.
7 Q. Can you tell us how long you were up at the top of the stairs or
8 upstairs altogether, what sort of time period you spent?
9 A. I spent, say, ten minutes, maybe a little longer or a little less,
10 because, as I say, it was very risky to be there, although while I was
11 able to hear the doors opening, and they were only ten, 12 metres away, I
12 knew that they wouldn't open the doors for as long as the International
13 Red Cross representatives were there, because then the people would be
14 able to see us, and they were hiding 220 to 230 people, so this gave me a
15 little leeway. And I'd like to underline that they hid us. We were
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown some photographs, please,
18 by the usher? Thank you. F3 first.
19 Q. You've mentioned that there were some rooms that the guards
20 normally used and which were used for the showing of the model prisoners.
21 Can you see them -- any of the rooms, or the windows to the rooms there,
22 or is that not the best photograph for depicting it?
23 A. Yes. I can see just one, although I know that when we went to the
24 toilet, we knew where their rooms were, where the police slept. And the
25 others that we called the models also told us that, the models that were
1 on display. So this would be the room, and the other one would be when
2 you go through this door. There was a small room, and you came out onto
3 the corridor, and this was where the toilet was. Now, before you turned
4 into the toilet, there was a room straight ahead. So if you were to leave
5 the door open, we could see the beds quite clearly, and this was confirmed
6 later by the others, the ones who were taken out there and put on display
7 for the benefit of the Red Cross.
8 Q. All right. And what about F4? Could you please have a look at
9 F4? That's much the same view, I think, but can you see the -- point out
10 the rooms -- any windows that were part of the guards' rooms?
11 A. Yes. That's the window with the bars on it.
12 Q. I see.
13 A. And that's where the beds were where they slept and where they
14 brought them.
15 Q. Thanks. And now could you turn to F42? 42. What is that
16 building in the foreground with the grey roof?
17 A. If you mean this building, that is the TO building. That's where
18 we were on the ground floor.
19 Q. And many of us may be able to figure out where the SUP was, but
20 could you just point it out, please, to be certain, point out the SUP
21 building, please.
22 A. Yes. That's the SUP building.
23 Q. All right. And presumably, the road runs in between those two
24 buildings; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, when you climb to the top of the stairs, where did you come
2 to, so to speak?
3 A. The steps are --
4 Q. Point it out on the machine.
5 A. Beg your pardon, yes. The stairs - and I'm talking from the
6 inside - would be here. They would -- were going -- you would go up to
7 the upper storey this way, and then you could go left and right.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. If Mr. Usher would just bear with me
9 while I ask one or two more questions.
10 Q. When you got to the top of the stairs, what did you do?
11 A. I went up those stairs, you see, and then I went to the right, and
12 that's where I could see the area between the SUP and the TO and the
13 street from.
14 Q. What were you looking through?
15 A. You see, just like over here. See? Oh, I'm sorry, I am sorry.
16 See this window here, see this window here, there was a smaller one on the
17 other side.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 A. I think you've understood me this time.
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. So from here, I had a view in front of the SUP and --
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Usher, I've finished
23 with that photograph.
24 Q. All right. Now, you went up to see what was -- see what was what
25 with respect to the visit of the Red Cross. Did you, in fact, see part of
1 the visit?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Let's go through this step by step and in chronological order,
4 please. When you first took a view of the street and what you could --
5 and whatever it was that you could see, were there any police in the
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. Perhaps I could just ask you to describe what it was you first saw
9 when you looked out, out of the window.
10 A. Well, the police was there too. That's only natural. That's the
11 police station. And we were across the street and we had to be guarded.
12 There was quite a bit of commotion. I knew that that was by way of
13 preparation for the thing that I had come there for too. So all of a
14 sudden, I saw a vehicle. It came in a hurry.
15 Q. Can I ask you this? Did you see any of the defendants at that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Who did you see?
19 A. I saw Mr. Zaric.
20 Q. What was he doing when you first saw him?
21 A. Well, he was out there in the street with a policeman. Something
22 was being organised down there, but I could not tell what was going on,
23 but I realised that these were preparations for the International Red
24 Cross, because I knew that these people had already been taken away. And
25 at that moment, a policeman came in a car, he was driving pretty fast, and
1 he said to someone over there, I don't know who, "They've come."
2 Q. How could you hear that?
3 A. Well, it's only 10 or 12 metres away, because, in fact, I was
4 watching the SUP door and all of this was taking place right in front of
5 me. And I guess they were speaking pretty loud too because they did not
6 realise that I was listening. Otherwise, things would have been
7 different, I'm sure.
8 Q. Did anybody or anything come?
9 A. Yes. Perhaps a minute or two or three later - wasn't too long - I
10 don't know how to assess the time that went by, but I'm going to describe
11 what happened next to you. Yes. Two vehicles came of the International
12 Red Cross, two jeeps, that had its antennae high up with white flags
13 flying on them, and inside was the Red Cross. I had seen things like that
14 on television and, therefore, I knew who they were. I even managed to see
15 their registration plates. They said, "GE"; that was Geneva. So I was
16 sure, 100 per cent sure it was them.
17 Q. Was there a red cross anywhere to be seen?
18 A. Yes. I told you it was up there on the big white flag, too, the
19 white flag.
20 Q. Sorry, I thought it was an all-white flag, but this was a white
21 flag with a red cross on it; is that what you're saying?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were there any women about the place?
24 A. Yes, yes. It was women. I think that among them were one or two
25 men. I don't think that they got out of the vehicles. I think they were
1 drivers, most probably.
2 Q. Before the Red Cross came, before they even arrived, were any
3 women in the presence of Simo Zaric or any of these other police
4 officers? If you don't know, you can't recall, just say so. But I'm ...
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did Mr. Zaric speak to the Red Cross?
7 A. No. They parked their vehicles on the left-hand side. They got
8 out of the vehicles, and they stood in front of the door of the SUP, the
9 MUP. At that moment Stoko got out. I think that was his name. He was
10 either the deputy commander or the commander of the police force. I don't
11 know. As far as I could see, he didn't even let them enter, because there
12 were people detained in the SUP itself, about 60 or 70 of them. He
13 directed them towards the TO, as far as I could see. That's the angle
14 that can be seen from the window that I was watching from.
15 There was also a woman with them in this white uniform, and I had
16 assumed that she was an interpreter. She was talking to Zaric and Stoko,
17 and they went to the TO premises. I was watching them for as long as I
18 could see them. That was enough for me, so then I went back downstairs
19 and I told the friends that I dared say this to about what I had seen.
20 Q. Just a couple of questions from this last answer that you've given
21 us. When you saw the lady -- I'm sorry. I'll withdraw that. You said,
22 "She was talking to Zaric and Stoko, and they went to the TO premises,"
23 and that you watched them as far as you could. Who was "they"? Who were
24 the people who walked towards the TO? I want to know precisely.
25 A. These representatives of the International Red Cross, and Stoko,
1 and Mr. Zaric. And as I said, I don't know whether they entered with
2 them. I could see for as long as I could see due to this angle involved.
3 Q. Thanks. And then you made another comment that I'd like you to
4 explain. You said that you went downstairs and told the friends that you
5 dared say this to. Why was it a question of daring to say it to those
6 people? What concerned you?
7 A. Well, you know what? Like anywhere else - some people out of
8 fear; others I don't know why - when other people would talk among
9 themselves, in order to prevent being beaten, they would be willing to act
10 as informers to the Serb authorities. However, I did manage to say this
11 to my friends who I was detained with. Of course, I said this to the
12 people I trusted.
13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. di Fazio, while you're pausing, maybe I can
14 ask a question.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
16 JUDGE WILLIAMS: You had mentioned, Mr. Salkic, that there was a
17 lady called Suhreta in the TO building, but then later, in response to a
18 question from Mr. di Fazio, you said there were no women in the TO. I
19 wonder whether you could clarify that, please.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. I did not say in the
21 yard or in the building. The facility that I showed you where the balcony
22 was, that is a completely independent facility building, independent from
23 the TO. People still lived there.
24 JUDGE WILLIAMS: So the lady Suhreta was on the balcony, yes?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Does that answer Your Honours' --
3 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
5 Q. In the time that you were transferred back to the TO, and also in
6 the time that you were later in the SUP before Batkovic, did you see Simo
7 Bozic and Milos Savic again? In other words, in the period of time after
8 you were taken from the primary school gym and the time that you were
9 taken to Batkovic, did you ever see or speak to them again?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Under what circumstances?
12 A. Well, I was taken there for interrogations at the MUP. Once I was
13 taken from the school, the primary school, and once from the TO.
14 Q. And what were the topics that they were interested in?
15 A. Yes. Well --
16 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Salkic, I don't want to mislead you. I'm
17 interested in the period of time when you were back in the TO, back in the
18 TO, after you had spent all those months in the primary school gym and
19 you're back in the TO or the SUP building and before you went to Batkovic,
20 that period of time. Now, in that period of time, did you see those two
21 fellows again?
22 A. So you're asking me about the period when I was transferred from
23 the primary school to the TO or the SUP; right?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. I shall answer that, yes. I was transferred. I was
1 transferred -- or rather, I was taken, not transferred, to the SUP for
2 this interview, as they called it, and once I talked to Mr. Bozic and
3 Milos Savic. They put some kind of silly questions to me there, if I can
4 put it that way. I gave them answers, and they made up some kind of a
5 statement there. However, I did give them answers in order to satisfy the
6 form that they required because I knew that if I did not satisfy that, I
7 knew what awaited me. So what was written there was what they had asked
8 me to state.
9 Q. Can you remember the sort of topics that they were interested in
10 on this occasion?
11 A. On that occasion, I think, I think -- I'm going to describe this
12 detail. I mean, I don't know whether there would be some other time as
13 well, but I think it was some radio transmitters, some lists, that
14 mattered to them. They always showed us some lists that we had no idea
15 about, and ultimately you would have to nod your head and sign that.
16 Unfortunately, a lot of this was not true.
17 Either during the interrogation itself or afterwards, there were
18 various threats: By hook or by crook, you will tell us sooner or later.
19 The only favourable circumstance was that in the presence of Bozic and
20 Savic, and also a few times when Mr. Zaric was there, we were not beaten.
21 Q. I take it Mr. Zaric wasn't present on this occasion, though.
22 A. I cannot confirm that with certainty. I think that he walked in
23 and walked out. That's all. Perhaps was there very briefly. I think
24 that he may even have said hello to me, but my point is Mr. Bozic's and
25 Mr. Simic's [sic] questioning. I think he even said something to me,
1 like -- like, well, that they should finish this with me.
2 Just as I was about to leave -- this was, I think, the second time
3 I came to the SUP. Perhaps I'll talk about that later.
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. di Fazio, if we look at the transcript, it
5 says "Mr. Bozic's and Mr. Simic's questioning." That -- should that be
6 "Mr. Savic"?
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, I think. Yes. I'm grateful to Your Honour.
8 I didn't pick that up.
9 Q. You referred to Bozic and Simic questioning. Did you mean Savic?
10 A. Savic. I meant Milos Savic, yes, yes.
11 Q. I'm going to leave this topic now, Mr. Salkic. You say that you
12 were at one point transferred, I think in early November, to the MUP
13 building, and there you stayed until about the 27th of November. In that
14 time, just tell us briefly, were you beaten, or was there some sort of
15 peace in the place?
16 A. Yes. They did beat us, but considerably less, considerably less,
17 that is to say, after the school, there was a -- there was better
18 treatment involved, as far as beatings were concerned, and as far as
19 singing was concerned. It's not easy to stand there for hours singing.
20 So things were going for the better. Certain people did beat us but not
21 as often. It was considerably better.
22 Q. And again, this was a new place that you were in, and I have to
23 ask you, can you tell us the ethnic background of the prisoners and
24 whether or not they were soldiers?
25 A. No, no. Again, these were civilians, as usual. It was Muslims
1 and Croats. As a matter of fact, in one room there were some elderly
2 people who were brought from the village of Hasic. That's a Croat
3 village. They were quite old. Some of them may have been almost 70 years
4 old. And in this room where I was, there were about 17 to 18 of us, and
5 next to us there was another room like that, these two cells that we
6 mentioned at the outset. Then over there, there were also some 60, 65,
7 perhaps even 70 people. For the most part, they were Muslims and Croats,
8 because others were not detained.
9 Q. What was the reason that you were transferred from the TO to the
10 SUP? Have you got any idea?
11 A. Simply one time, around 10.00 in the evening, Mr. Stoko came. He
12 had already officially become commander by then. Mr. Loncarevic was
13 wounded, or I don't know, absent. At any rate, he came. He introduced
14 himself. When he opened the door, he said, "This is commander Stoko.
15 Salkic, Ibrahim should come out." He did not use my nickname. He only
16 used it later. The name of Dakic was also called out then. I can't
17 remember his first name, Ado, Adem, something like that.
18 And then they transferred us to the SUP premises. As soon as
19 Stoko turned his back, they started beating us. They threw us into a room
20 there, separately, as a matter of fact. They put Ado in another room.
21 These men who were beating us said, "Oh, you're the ones who want to
22 organise a getaway or some kind of a rebellion," or something to that
24 Q. How long did the old people stay in -- stay in that room in the
1 A. They stayed for as long as we did, until we were transferred to
3 Q. How many of them?
4 A. I think there were about five or six of them. I wouldn't be able
5 to give this number with accuracy, but four or five or six for sure. I
6 didn't know whether they were from Hasici too or not.
7 Q. Now, you were taken to Batkovic. Where in Batkovic were you taken
8 in late November?
9 A. Yes. We were blindfolded. Again, all our names were called out.
10 Again, they made some kind of lists. And they asked us again about all
11 the our details, name, surname, father's name, date of birth. They made
12 some kind of list during the day, although we had no idea why. However,
13 it was always in your subconscious: Oh, good, there is going to be an
14 exchange as long as they were asking for our details.
15 However, then the guards there, the police - since I was already
16 at the police station - took us out into the yard. They blindfolded us
17 one by one, and they sent us to a bus. We did not know where they were
18 taking us. However, while we were watching all of this through the gate
19 in the yard, we could see that there were three buses, or perhaps even
20 more; I managed to see three. That is to say, that there were lots and
21 lots of us who were supposed to travel. And that's how they dispatched
22 us, with our eyes blindfolded, and they said whoever lifted his head --
23 well, there were guards on the bus, and there were also escorts; police or
24 the military, I'm not sure about that. Only when we got to Batkovic we
25 realised where we were, and that's how we were transferred.
1 Q. Of the three busloads of people, were -- what proportion of them
2 were people from Bosanski Samac or that area?
3 A. Well, it was people from Samac or from the surrounding area of
4 Samac, 100 per cent. Perhaps there were only a few people who were not
5 from the municipality of Samac. Muslims and Croats. There was no one
6 else there.
7 Q. And can you give us any idea of the sort of numbers that were
8 being taken off to Batkovic in these three buses?
9 A. Well, I knew the exact number when I got to Batkovic because they
10 lined us all up there in two lines; of course, they counted us. There
11 were about 270 of us, almost 280, all of us together. That is to say,
12 those from the TO were brought in, those from the secondary school,
13 because at the secondary school there were already about 200 Croats who
14 had been exchanged in the meantime as well. So the number went down.
15 Other people went from elsewhere too because a big exchange had been
16 carried out, I think, on the 6th of November. So other people came
17 subsequently. After we had been brought to Batkovic, a day or two or
18 three later, people were still being brought in. So I cannot talk about
19 the exact number of people there.
20 Q. All right. And where exactly were you accommodated when you were
21 taken to Batkovic?
22 A. We were accommodated in -- I don't know if I'll be able to explain
23 this properly, but it was a hangar that was built for the storage of
24 wheat, of grain, corn, soya, that kind of thing. It was on a farm, a
25 factory farm in Batkovic.
1 Q. How long did you stay there?
2 A. I stayed there -- well, as you asked me, let me tell you that I
3 was lucky, because after a couple of days, the International Red Cross did
4 succeed in arriving, and they made a list of all of us who were in
5 Batkovic. So when you take up my card as a prisoner, my prisoner card,
6 from the Red Cross, you'll find the date, the 19th of September, written
7 there, whereas I was incarcerated on the 18th of April. So we were hidden
8 away during that period, and we didn't exist for anyone in the
9 International Community. We were non-existent.
10 And now to continue your question or your -- rather, the answer to
11 your question, one day, it was 10, 12, a maximum of 13 days, maybe less,
12 that some people came in uniform and they called out 20 of us, and loaded
13 us up into buses and transported us to another location.
14 Q. Where?
15 A. We were transferred to a place called Vlasenica.
16 Q. Now, in the time that you were in this hangar at Batkovic, were
17 you mistreated?
18 A. Things were -- that is, our problems had more or less been
19 solved. When I say "ours," I mean us prisoners. That night and the
20 following morning, there were some beatings, some people were beaten, but
21 not me personally, and not many people were beaten. So that from that day
22 onwards, in Batkovic, as far as I heard, there was no major mistreatment
23 of people, because the International Red Cross did come and everything did
24 turn for the better.
25 Q. And can you just tell us: Batkovic and Vlasenica are both in
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What did you do in Vlasenica?
4 A. Let me describe this and then link it up to my own story and
5 answer your question. We got there. We were accommodated in a prison, a
6 real prison belonging to the municipal court or something like that. And
7 in the morning, they took us off into a room. We were taken on foot,
8 accompanied by four guards, to a room. It was at the university, their
9 university, and they asked us what we knew, what kind of trade we were in,
10 what profession. And depending on what you said, you were distributed,
11 divided up into groups.
12 I was sent to a factory which was called Alpro [phoen]. It was an
13 aluminum factory which had ceased to function. But as there were quite a
14 lot of machines to maintain in the factory, they said that they needed me
15 and they needed me to fix the roof. So the entire time I spent in
16 Vlasenica, that's what I did. I worked in that factory.
17 Q. What sort of hours did you keep at this work?
18 A. In the morning, we would leave at 7.00. And it was wintertime; it
19 was dark. So every morning, escorted by the guards, we went to this
20 university, or this hall, and that's where the guards would come to take
21 people to dig trenches, to dig graves for the Serbs who had been killed or
22 who died; it didn't matter. Some people were taken to unload the
23 humanitarian aid that was coming in from and brought in by the
24 International Red Cross. Others again would carry shavings, wood
25 shavings. And they worked in two shifts, 12 hours a shift, two of them.
1 I remember Esef Zaimbegovic, and Mr. Stipo Cerninski. And they did this
2 voluntarily. They agreed to work throughout the night, although they were
3 elderly people. Whether it was raining or snowing, it didn't matter.
4 The clothing they wore was no good at all. We were still wearing
5 the same clothes that we had on us. So we were still wearing summer
6 clothes, in fact, whereas the year was drawing to a close; it was
7 wintertime. Some people managed to find a jumper somewhere or something
8 like that, but the cold was enough. You didn't have to have any further
9 hardships than that.
10 And now to describe what I did, what kind of work I did. Let me
11 say that it's a mountainous area and pretty cold, and I worked in the
12 factory from the morning sometimes until late at night, 7.00, 9.00,
13 11.00. Sometimes I would even be there at dawn.
14 But I was lucky to come across people who thought differently from
15 the ones that behaved to us the way they did, so it wasn't that bad. They
16 managed to find me some warm footwear and a warm jacket, which made things
17 easier, and I didn't mind working outside in the cold, sometimes very hard
18 manual labour. But they didn't mistreat me, whereas other people did have
19 problems because they too had to work outside, and if somebody was killed,
20 they would have to dig graves to bury the people in, and then they ran the
21 risk of being killed themselves.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 A. But, as I say, with all that misfortune, I was basically lucky.
24 Q. I just want to get some more details about this, quickly, if we
25 can. Hours of work when you were actually working. You said that you
1 started at about 7.00 in the morning, often would work until late at
2 night. Was it the case that you always worked until late at night, or
3 were there certain fixed hours, or did it just vary from day to day?
4 A. Well, I can speak for myself. As far as I was concerned, on many
5 occasions I worked from 7.00 in the morning to about 5.00, 6.00, or 7.00
6 in the evening. That was most days. But sometimes, on occasion, there
7 were some problems that cropped up, and then I had to work longer, until I
8 finished the job. But that was rare.
9 Q. Mr. Salkic, do bear with me, but I have to ask you these
10 questions. Were you paid for the work? Just answer yes or no.
11 A. I'll answer. No.
12 Q. Thank you. And, Mr. Salkic, if you could just tell us: Did you
13 have any choice in whether or not you went off to do this work? Just
14 answer yes or no.
15 A. No.
16 Q. You mentioned some people were digging trenches. Do you know what
17 sort of trenches they were digging?
18 A. Yes. Let me explain. Trenches. When I say "trenches," I mean
19 military trenches for the army, and they were dug by the front lines,
20 where the shooting was going on and where they could be killed at any
21 moment. So this was in front of the front lines, the warring parties.
22 They had to dig the trenches and communicating trenches in preparation for
23 the fighting, and they would put them in the front line of fire, so that
24 they were digging trenches there. And if they were killed, well, never
25 mind. And when I went back to Bijeljina, I learnt of people who were
1 actually killed in this way.
2 Q. When did you go back to Bijeljina?
3 A. To Bijeljina? Well, I went back sometime in April.
4 Q. And for what purpose?
5 A. They said they were taking us back to Batkovic, but in fact they
6 took us back to the military court in Bijeljina. We were brought before
7 the military court in Bijeljina. And before that, they accommodated us in
8 the hangars, and then an hour later perhaps, they came to fetch us. The
9 guards called out our names, those of us who had come from Vlasenica, and
10 they took us to the military court in Bijeljina.
11 Q. When you say "us," who are you referring to?
12 A. I'm referring to the people who came with me from Vlasenica to
13 Bijeljina, to the military court. Shall I go through their names? There
14 was Mersad Gibic, there was --
15 Q. Okay. Please let us know.
16 A. Pasaga Tihic, Omer Nalic, there was myself, and a few others. I
17 don't think the names are that important.
18 Q. Bosanski Samac people?
19 A. Yes. Yes, yes.
20 Q. Okay. What was your crime? What had you done?
21 A. That's what we wanted to know too. We were brought before this
22 court. We had to wait to be taken in. We were taken in one by one. Once
23 again, I was lucky because a friend of mine saw me, a man who was a judge
24 in Samac before. He happened to catch sight of me, and probably he told
25 the guard to bring me in. He brought me into the office, and he told the
1 guard to take my handcuffs off and that the guard should leave the room,
2 and that's what the guard did.
3 Q. Who was this man?
4 A. It was Mr. Goran Blagojevic.
5 Q. Okay. Yes, please continue. He told the guard to leave, your
6 cuffs were taken off. What happened next?
7 A. He told the guard to leave, so that we were left alone. And like
8 old friends, we said hello, we hugged each other. He told me that I could
9 sit down on the chair that was in the office, and we had a conversation;
10 we chatted. He told me -- this is how he put it. These were the words he
11 used. He said, "Ibela, don't worry. You're going to go to court. The
12 more you get, the sooner you'll leave, because they will ask for one of
13 their own in exchange for you." So that helped me quite a bit later on.
14 Q. So in this trial, the advice you received from the judge was to go
15 for the maximum, so to speak?
16 A. Precisely so.
17 Q. Did you actually engage in anything that could be called a trial?
18 A. Well, yes, and I'm happy to say that I succeeded in seeing some
19 documents there. I don't know whether you're interested --
20 Q. I am.
21 A. -- whether the Trial Chamber is interested in this.
22 Q. I am. What documents were they?
23 A. Very well. I'll tell you. For the third time, I came face to
24 face with that bloodstained statement of mine which I wrote in the TO in
25 that first week. So there was a sort of court going on. I had a defence
1 counsel. Now do you want me to describe the whole process when the courts
2 started working? Would it take up too much time?
3 Q. Just answer my questions, and I'll lead you to the areas that I'm
4 interested in. Okay? Did you have an opportunity to speak to the Court?
5 Did you tell them about your version of events?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did the Court or anyone explain to you what your crime was?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What was -- what were you told? What sort of offence had you
11 A. I think I will have an opportunity during the weekend break --
12 that is to say, we weren't allowed to take a document out, but I risked
13 this, and I keep saying, "I," "I," "I," but a fax or an original will
14 arrive in two or three days' time. I did succeed -- we were forbidden to
15 take this document out of Batkovic, but I did -- there were court
16 proceedings against me. I have the document at my home, although it was
17 on pain of death that I risked bringing it out. So if you need it, I can
18 bring it to you. They can send it to me from home. Allegedly for the
19 crimes that I was charged of, I could have been sentenced to death.
20 Water, please. May I have some water?
21 Q. I just don't quite understand your last answer, Mr. Salkic. What
22 fax or original will arrive in two or three days' time. I don't
23 understand that aspect of your answer.
24 A. I have the complete charges brought against me by that court, the
25 whole indictment, although they threatened that we had -- they threatened
1 us and said that we had to leave all the documents there, but I took the
2 risk of bringing out the document. I hid it in my shoe and brought it
3 away. And if you're interested in it, then I'll be able to bring it in,
4 and then you'll know exactly what charges they have against me.
5 Q. Yes. I understand you. Thank you, Mr. Salkic. I misunderstood.
6 Okay. Well, leaving aside the document for a moment, what did you
7 understand to be the charge that was laid against you, or charges?
8 A. Insurrection, rebellion against the system, and I don't know what
9 system they had in mind. Did they mean the Republika Srpska they had --
10 they have, or Yugoslavia which existed at the time? They were charging me
11 in the name of the people. I didn't want to read it all at -- on that
12 occasion. And then my defence counsel took me into an adjoining room, and
13 he explained to me that it was a charge of rebellion against the
14 authorities, I don't know which authorities, and that it included some
15 arming of some kind. I don't know how this was formulated, but little --
16 silly little things.
17 Q. Yes. Now, what was your response to these charges of insurrection
18 and so on? Did you accept the advice of your friend and admit it, or did
19 you contest it? How did you handle these allegations?
20 A. Well, they read it out to me there; a woman did. She read it out
21 to me, the indictment, with all the charges and counts. And at one point,
22 the judge addressed me and asked whether I knew why I had been brought
23 there, and I said -- I answered in the affirmative. I said, "Yes, I do.
24 I know very well." And something didn't seem to be quite clear to him, so
25 he asked me again, "Would you tell us why?" And I said, "Well, only
1 because my name is Ibrahim, rather than Jovo or Pero or one of these Serb
2 names. That's the only reason why you are bringing these charges against
3 me. You have nothing to condemn me for otherwise."
4 Shortly after that, he told me to sit down, and he said that the
5 proceedings would begin. And that first session ended. They took me back
6 downstairs. In passing, Goran said that it would be better for me if I
7 were to be transferred to Batkovic, which was what happened 20 minutes
8 later. So that until I went for the exchange, nobody beat me any more or
9 called me out at all.
10 Q. Did this trial or these proceedings have any apparent end or
11 apparent conclusion, judgement passed, or something like that?
12 A. I got the judgement -- rather -- or rather, the first stage of the
13 proceedings were concluded, and a decision was pending. It said
14 underneath that they couldn't set me free because they would run the risk
15 of having me escape if I were to be allowed outside the camp, and for the
16 charges that I was accused of, the sentence was the death sentence, so --
17 if I was found guilty. So I was returned to prison.
18 I later learned from others that I did receive a sentence and
19 judgement, and that it was the death sentence, and as there was no death
20 sentence, it was commuted to 20 years' imprisonment and that I was
21 forbidden to go to the Republika Srpska for the duration of my lifetime.
22 That is as far as the court in Bijeljina is concerned.
23 Q. How did you find out about the sentence that had been passed upon
25 A. Well, from a very good friend of mine, if I don't have to give his
1 name, and he knows. I don't wish to comment. I don't wish to state his
2 name and surname, but from somebody who knows.
3 Q. Okay. It was hearsay, in the sense that some friend of yours told
4 you the results?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you tell us at least if the friend had some sort of access to
7 court records or good reason for being able to convey this information to
8 you? In other words, is he in a position to be able to accurately tell
10 A. Yes. But I also heard that from the others, the others who were
11 condemned and sentenced. There were other people who stayed on in the
12 camp. For example, one man was given a nine-year sentence and he had a
13 paper to prove it. Nine years, 16 years, depending. So this wasn't a
14 problem. Everybody knew about it. It was public knowledge. He would
15 leave the court with a sentence, nine years' imprisonment, for example,
16 and go back to camp.
17 Q. Now, you were taken back to Batkovic, I think?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Were you eventually exchanged?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What was the date of your exchange?
22 A. I was exchanged on the 15th of June, 1993.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, it's five to 5.00 now, and
24 I'm going to -- this takes us to a point where I would be moving on to
25 this fresh topic of the final exchange for this witness. It might be
1 beneficial to the Chamber to hear it all at the one go, and in addition,
2 there are some other matters that I need to raise with the Chamber, namely
3 the procedure on Monday. So if it's okay, I'll do that now.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. In that case, we can release the witness.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: And then deal with whatever matters you want to
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: And the proceedings will continue on Monday with
10 this witness?
11 MR. DI FAZIO: That's what I fully expect, yes.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Until you finish your examination-in-chief?
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Until I finish my examination, yes.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honour, before we release the witness, I'm
15 asking on behalf of all the Defence, the joint Defence, we would like the
16 assistance of this Honourable Trial Chamber to get hold of this document
17 which the witness was referring to in his testimony just now.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: The documents, the court documents, where he --
19 MR. ZECEVIC: The court documents, yes.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: The proceedings when he first was in custody -- the
21 court proceedings which he refers to when he was in custody, when he was
23 MR. ZECEVIC: Exactly, Your Honour, yes.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure the Prosecution will be able to assist with
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, I can -- well, I don't know what the full
2 situation is with the documents. I know what the witness has said in
3 court this afternoon. What I can do is I can ask an investigator to speak
4 to the witness, and he will have to do so because of the statement.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: So that's going to occur. And I'll ask that
7 inquiries be made by the investigator, and perhaps with the assistance of
8 the witness these documents can be located and produced. I don't know
9 what the full story is, but I can certainly put into train some sort of
11 JUDGE MUMBA: You can look into that, and if there is any problem
12 at all, please inform the Trial Chamber.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, yes.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: So the witness can be released.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, thank you.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. di Fazio?
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Just to reiterate what I raised earlier, namely
21 that I hope that it is with the approval of the Chamber that on Monday I
22 will complete the evidence of this witness and we will then start the
23 cross-examination of Mr. Tihic.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. And then after the end of Mr. Tihic, then you
25 bring this witness back, or what is the problem?
1 MR. DI FAZIO: There is an added problem with this. This witness
2 is -- he's not a wealthy man, and he runs a small business in the
3 federation, and now is the peak season for his business. His son is
4 working in his business, and he's had to employ another man to take his
5 place in the running of the business, and the witness is loath to
6 immediately come back at this period of time. He says that later in the
7 year or -- later in the year, there will be no problem in his coming back
8 or very little problem in his coming back. But at the moment, it's a --
9 coming back straight away would -- in other words, next week, would cause
10 him very considerable problems. I understand further that the Victims and
11 Witnesses Unit have spoken to him and have something to convey to the
12 Trial Chamber in -- connected with this issue. I don't know what, and I
13 have not seen --
14 JUDGE MUMBA: What you're leading to is that when you finish your
15 examination-in-chief, you would like this witness released.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: I'd like him released and to come back at some
17 other time.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Some other time for cross-examination.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Perhaps that would give you more time to get hold of
21 the documents which Mr. Zecevic is looking for before the
22 cross-examination --
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: -- of the witness, so if there is anything in those
25 documents that the Defence would like to use for cross-examination, then
1 they can have that opportunity.
3 would -- I envisage, if the Chamber is minded to accommodate the
4 witness --
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I will give the opportunity to the Defence to
6 say what they want to say.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Then I would envisage this: Finish this gentleman
8 on Monday morning, with his examination-in-chief, and he then leaves, goes
9 back home, then call Tihic, Mr. Tihic, for his cross-examination, and that
10 would take a number of days. As I mentioned to you, it's imperative that
11 we deal with him next week. And then we could call another witness
12 towards the end of the week, if Tihic finished early, so that the week
13 would be usefully used up.
14 And I understand that, although this is not finalised yet and I
15 don't want to be tied down to this, but I understand Mr. Esad Dagovic
16 would be called or might be called towards the end of the week. And then
17 finalise -- and that way, the Court time would be usefully used up. I
18 don't know what the Defence say about the matter, but that's the position
19 of the Prosecution.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I would like to hear the Defence, whether
21 there is any objection to, again, having this witness, when he finishes
22 examination-in-chief, go away, come back later for cross-examination; in
23 the meantime complete the cross-examination for Mr. Tihic and
24 re-examination; and then perhaps hear another witness. Is there any
1 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have a second, Your Honours, just to
2 make --
3 JUDGE MUMBA: To consult, yes.
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zecevic?
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, we strongly object to this kind of
7 conduct of the proceedings, for the following reasons: We understood that
8 for whatever reasons, Mr. Tihic was an exception to the general rule that
9 immediately after the examination-in-chief, we have the opportunity to
10 cross-examine the witness.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: And we understood that for personal reasons, and
13 Mr. Tihic being the president of the party and all of his functions which
14 he is right now conducting, that it is appropriate that we agree to that,
15 and, frankly, we didn't have any other alternative. But in this case, we
16 simply do not understand what is the point of the Prosecution. If this
17 witness is staying for Monday, then we can proceed, do the
18 cross-examination of this witness, and then have Mr. Sulejman Tihic,
19 because --
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. Even without the documents being brought
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, Your Honours, the witness himself said that he
23 can have it faxed by this afternoon, so I don't see any problem.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I doubt what exactly he meant by that, because
25 it could be one document, it could be his own statement.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
14 English transcripts.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, no. It is my understanding, out of
2 understanding the language directly, is that this document is actually
3 either an indictment or some kind of a court decision, which is not the
4 actual judgement but it's some kind of court decision, which will give us
5 some, I don't know, understanding about the kind of the proceeding which
6 was -- which he was involved in. But it's not that important at all that
7 we will have to make another exception, and then at the very end, we might
8 come into the situation as well that Mr. Dagovic, Esad comes, for example,
9 Thursday afternoon, starts his direct, and then, because we are having a
10 recess on that Friday, we are going to have then two witnesses who have
11 not been cross-examined. And frankly, saying with all due respect, it is
12 for us, completely unacceptable. Thank you so much.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. Mr. di Fazio?
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, the -- there are compelling reasons for doing
15 that, for adopting that arrangement: Mr. Tihic's responsibilities. It's
16 not just a question of Ramadan for him. I mentioned earlier today that he
17 had acquired a new post or a new position and he is now president of the
18 SDA in Bosnia, and his responsibilities have become -- have catapulted him
19 into a different league, so to speak, and he is responsible for a number
20 of more duties. And so from that point of view, it's extremely important
21 that he be finished next week. Now --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zecevic?
23 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry. Just to save the time, we are not
24 objecting, because we have agreed before with our colleagues from the
25 Prosecutor's Office that by the end of the examination-in-chief of the
1 present witness, we will have Mr. Tihic coming over for
2 cross-examination. That is what we have agreed with. But not that after
3 Mr. Tihic comes, another witness, and we -- our understanding was that
4 this witness, Mr. Ibrahim Salkic, will have examination-in-direct --
5 in-chief finished, then Mr. Sulejman Tihic will come for cross, and then
6 after this is finished, we are having Mr. Salkic Ibrahim for cross, and
7 that is how we end this -- the following week.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: I see. So --
9 MR. ZECEVIC: So we don't have a problem, Your Honours, with
10 Mr. Tihic coming over. What we have a problem is we have a third witness
11 coming in between. That's the problem.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure Mr. di Fazio has understood that.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: And you did say that Mr. -- the witness we still
17 have on the stand would come later in the year, which means he would
18 probably be here -- because after our break, the week after next week, we
19 will have three weeks' sitting, that is, up to the 7th of December, isn't
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I don't know if the Defence can give us any
22 idea -- and by that I mean, I should perhaps rephrase my words, can give
23 us an accurate idea of how long they will be with Mr. --
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Tihic?
25 MR. DI FAZIO: No, Mr. Salkic. I don't know how long they will
1 be. And if they were able to give us an accurate idea of --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: The time they will need for cross-examination?
3 MR. DI FAZIO: -- the time they would require of him, then it
4 might be possible to deal with him quickly and then call Tihic later in
5 the week. But bearing in mind, bearing in mind, that Mr. Tihic must be
6 finished at the end of next week. If we embark on that, then we are
7 running a grave risk for the witness having -- saying to us, "Well, I've
8 got to be back in Bosnia" and then chopping his cross-examination in two,
9 and that's not desirable either.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It is our practice here at the Tribunal to
11 also consider the witnesses' concerns. These are people who have
12 undergone so many changes in their lives, and we have tried our level best
13 to assist them to continue with their lives after giving evidence here,
14 and we wouldn't like them to be detained unduly because otherwise the
15 Prosecution will start having problems with future cases. The witnesses
16 will simply refuse to come if that will mean disrupting their lives. We
17 are quite sensitive to that.
18 The point here is this: The Prosecution seems to say that they
19 would rather have Mr. Tihic finished by the end of next week so that he
20 can be finally released. If the cross-examination of the witness we have
21 on the stand and the cross-examination of Mr. Tihic will be done within
22 next week, that would be okay, if the Defence can indicate how long they
23 think they will need, and then we can see whether or not we can have both
24 cross-examination completed next week.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: My initial reaction is: That would be ideal. May
1 I just have a moment to confer with my colleagues?
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Let me say this before you sit down. This
3 particular case has got its own extra problems, because like this morning
4 we lost half an hour, the other time we couldn't sit because the courtroom
5 was required. So we have to bear in mind all these problems. I'm sure
6 the Defence remembers also that. Because we can't even sit on a
7 Saturday. I mean, in another jurisdiction, if there is a need, the court
8 goes on on non-working days.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: I understand, if Your Honours please. Now, could I
10 just have a brief moment to confer with my colleagues?
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: But I must say, the ideal outcome for next week,
13 from the Prosecution's point of view, would be this: Deal with
14 Mr. Salkic, he can go back home, and then bring on Tihic and finish him by
15 the end of the week, Friday, 5.00. Now, if we can do that, that would be
16 an ideal outcome.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. You consult -- yes.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: May I just confer with my colleagues? Because I
19 know that they have been speaking to the investigating officer. They may
20 have more information that I've not acquired earlier this afternoon. But
21 otherwise, I would regard that as the ideal outcome.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. And have I to ask the interpreters to bear
23 with us as well.
24 [Prosecution counsel confer]
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. di Fazio.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I just wanted to confirm that I've spoken --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. di Fazio.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Microphone, Mr. di Fazio, yes.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I just wanted to confirm that I've
6 spoken to my colleagues, and I can confirm that would be, from the
7 Prosecution's point of view, an ideal outcome for next week: Finish off
8 this witness in his entirety and bring on Mr. Tihic for his
9 cross-examination and then release him from the trial. Thank you.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. In order to accommodate the concerns of the
11 Defence and also to stick to the procedure, the Trial Chamber is of the
12 view that we shall have to sit longer hours next week, perhaps end our
13 proceedings at 1830, in order to accommodate this problem. Because we are
14 also sensitive to the other -- the witnesses' problems. So we will be
15 sitting 1830.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours. I just -- I was
17 anticipating something like that, and I was talking to my client, and
18 apparently he said that he's up to his maximum at the moment with the
19 sitting as we are sitting right now. So --
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Sitting up to 1700 hours?
21 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, that's right.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The other way we can do it is because -- we
23 can avoid bringing in a new witness concerning him after 1700 hours, so
24 that he can be released, you will remain here. Because it's only to
25 accommodate the cross-examination.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, it is entirely with the Prosecutor,
2 and we have already talked in this respect with the -- concerning our
3 talkings to the Registry about some other alternatives how we can deal
4 with this problem. But it is entirely with the Prosecutor. We are fine
5 with that, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: So perhaps for now we can leave it at that. We
9 start on Monday, 0930 hours, hopefully, and then see how we go. So the
10 decision is that we proceed with cross-examination of Mr. Salkic
11 immediately after examination-in-chief, and let's see how far we shall
12 go. All right?
13 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours, but I understood that the
14 point that the Prosecutor was trying to make is that Mr. Tihic is finished
15 by the end of next week.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no. With the addition of sitting hours, most
17 likely we'll finish Mr. Tihic by Friday next week.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 JUDGE MUMBA: One concern that obviously the cross-examination of
20 Mr. Tihic, after having heard all the other evidence, may take long,
21 but --
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Bear with me, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll have to accommodate that way, by sitting
24 long hours.
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zecevic. I'm sorry. Are you through with
3 your consultations?
4 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE SINGH: Mr. di Fazio, you should be finished with your
6 examination-in-chief by 11.00?
7 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm sorry, Your Honour?
8 JUDGE SINGH: You will be finished with your examination-in-chief
9 by 11.00 on Monday?
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I've just got the exchange to do and a bit of
11 a wrap-up on property and his desires in respect of the exchange, and
12 that's it. So they're not substantial matters. I've just about finished.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, we believe that the situation is the
15 following: We believe that we can finish the cross-examination of
16 Mr. Tihic within two and a half days, which means that by Wednesday
17 afternoon we are finished, and then another two days for Mr. Ibrahim
18 Salkic, and that solves -- in our opinion, it solves the problem. Because
19 we have already been told by the Prosecutor that Mr. Tihic is coming over,
20 and his cross-examination is in preparation, actually, right now. And we
21 understood that we are going to -- as I said in the very beginning, we
22 understood that after the direct of Mr. Ibrahim Salkic, we are having
23 Mr. Tihic for cross, and then, after the finishing of the cross of
24 Mr. Tihic, we proceed with the cross of Mr. Ibrahim Salkic. Because all
25 these other arrangements, like sitting longer hours and all that, with all
1 due respect, I would have to consult with my client and see whether this
2 would be possible, and these are the two witnesses that are actually
3 concerning our case, our defence.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: So the Defence is saying that they prefer having
5 Tihic first on Monday?
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, that's right, Your Honour.
7 MR. PANTELIC: If he's here.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: If he's -- well, I assume he's here or will be
9 coming this weekend.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: What is the problem with cross-examining Salkic
11 immediately after he's finished with examination-in-chief?
12 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, we didn't have that problem until the
13 Prosecutor said that it is essential that we finish Mr. Tihic next week.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: But when did he say that? Today? Today?
15 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, it was -- it was -- we were notified, like,
16 seven days before, and just today we talked about that.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: It is essential that Mr. Tihic be finished next
18 week. That's important to be -- it's important that that be done.
19 However, now that the Defence have said that they can finish both
20 witnesses next week, then there is no compelling reason not to follow the
21 natural order of dealing with the witnesses, and that is: Mr. Salkic, I
22 finish him on Monday, he's cross-examined, he goes, and then we start
23 Mr. Tihic. Now, that is the normal way that, given the circumstances,
24 that the matter would proceed. And now that the Defence have said, "Well,
25 we can finish it in a week" and have given us that fair indication, then
1 the ideal situation has been achieved.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: And there is another matter, of course, of
4 Mr. Salkic. If we adopt what Mr. Zecevic was [sic] and switch, for
5 whatever reason, switch the witnesses around, this man is going to be
6 sitting around twiddling his thumbs, so to speak, losing money, and he's
7 not a rich man. He's got a business to run, and he needs to get back to
8 work and to --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. After consulting everybody and after
10 announcing that we will sit longer hours, subject to what will happen to
11 Mr. Milan Simic, like I indicated, we are going to sit on Monday from 0930
12 hours, complete Mr. Salkic, examination-in-chief, proceed with
13 cross-examination, complete him, and then start cross-examination of
14 Mr. Tihic. We have the weekend. The Defence counsel can prepare for the
15 cross-examination for Mr. Salkic. They have already prepared for
16 Mr. Tihic. I know that diligent Defence counsel would have done that
17 already. And then whether we start him on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,
18 even Friday, there should be no problem in terms of preparation for
20 The Court will rise.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.22 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Monday, the 5th day of November,
23 2001, at 9.30 a.m.