Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 6321

1 Tuesday, 26 February 2002

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7 [Open session]

8 [The witness entered court]

9 JUDGE MUMBA: The witness can make the solemn declaration.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

11 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

12 WITNESS: SNJEZANA DELIC

13 [Witness answered through interpreter]

14 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Please sit down.

15 Yes, the Prosecution.

16 MS. REIDY: Thank you, Your Honour.

17 Examined by Ms. Reidy:

18 Q. Good afternoon, ma'am. Can I ask you first to please state your

19 full name for the record.

20 A. Of course. My name is Snjezana Delic, maiden name Mandelic

21 [phoen]. I was born on the 31st of July, 1955, in Osijek. I was born in

22 Osijek, but I spent all of my child-hood, and I went to pre-school --

23 elementary school and secondary school in Samac. After completing

24 secondary school, I went to Sarajevo to the faculty of economy --

25 economics. And then I went back

Page 6383

1 to Bosanski Samac.

2 Q. Thank you. And could you just clarify for us in the courtroom.

3 Osijek, where exactly is Osijek located?

4 A. Osijek is in the Republic of Croatia, before Croatia was a

5 constituent republic of the socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. But

6 it is still in the Republic of Croatia, of what is today the Republic of

7 Croatia.

8 Q. Thank you. So I -- you were born in Osijek, but you grew up in

9 Bosanski Samac.

10 Did you marry in Bosanski Samac?

11 A. Yes. I met my current husband, Dragan Delic, in Bosanski Samac,

12 and we have been married since 1979.

13 Q. And do you have any children?

14 A. Yes. I have two children: a daughter, born in 1981; and a son,

15 born in 1984, Almira and Fedja.

16 Q. Thank you. So you told us that you went back to Samac after you'd

17 studied economics in Sarajevo. And did you then begin working back in

18 Samac? And if so, could you tell us where you began working.

19 A. Precisely. After graduating, after getting my diploma, I found

20 out there was a vacancy for a professor of economics in the primary school

21 -- at the secondary school of Bosanski Samac, which I also attended

22 myself. So I started to work there as -- at that school as a professor of

23 economics.

24 Q. Thank you. And did you continue to work at that school in

25 Bosanski Samac until April 1992?

Page 6384

1 A. Yes, that's correct. I worked continuously in that school until

2 April; the 16th of April, to be precise, 1992, until practically 7.00 in

3 the evening. It all ended with a teachers' meeting.

4 Q. So you were working and living with your family in Bosanski Samac

5 in April 1992; that's correct, is it?

6 A. Correct.

7 Q. The technical school, or the secondary school where you were

8 teaching, could you tell me whether it was -- there was an ethnic mix,

9 both of students and both of your colleagues and the working staff?

10 A. There certainly was. We made no discrimination at all. Among the

11 teaching staff, all ethnic groups and convictions were represented, and we

12 didn't notice any difference ourselves. We socialised and communicated

13 normally.

14 Q. And could I ask you, what -- if you are -- if you are to identify

15 yourself with any national group, how would you identify yourself?

16 A. As my parents are Croat, I also declare myself as a Croat but from

17 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

18 Q. Thank you. Can I ask you about some people -- if you knew some

19 people at the time that you were living in Bosanski Samac. And the first

20 person I'd ask you about was whether you ever knew somebody called

21 Miroslav Tadic in 1992 in Bosanski Samac.

22 A. I did know Mr. Tadic, also from school and generally from about

23 the town, because that's where he also lived with his family.

24 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether Mr. Tadic had a nickname?

25 A. Miroslav Tadic, nickname Brko, which means moustache.

Page 6385

1 Q. Thank you. Could I just ask you, the Miroslav Tadic you've been

2 talking about, could you see if he's in this room today, and if so, could

3 you just indicate for us where he is.

4 A. He is sitting second -- in the second seat from where I'm looking,

5 behind.

6 MS. REIDY: Can I just seek clarification, because for the record,

7 that's not going to be clear.

8 JUDGE MUMBA: No, it's not clear.

9 MS. REIDY:

10 Q. You said, "He's sitting second, in the second seat where I'm

11 looking." Those directions are not exactly clear for me. Could you be

12 more precise to where this man is sitting. If pointing would be of

13 assistance, then perhaps we can describe where you're pointing on the

14 record.

15 A. He is sitting in the second chair, and he still has a moustache.

16 Q. And the second chair on which row in this courtroom?

17 A. To my left-hand side. He's to my left, in that room. I don't

18 know how to explain.

19 Q. Would it be fair to say that behind the row you're talking about,

20 there's a large window? Is that the row you're talking about, the row

21 underneath the window?

22 A. Precisely. Precisely. That's what I meant. I'm sorry I was so

23 inaccurate in my directions.

24 Q. That's not a problem. It's just for the record.

25 I'd like to ask you about a second person, somebody called Simo

Page 6386

1 Zaric. Did you know someone called Simo Zaric in Bosanski Samac in 1992?

2 A. I did. I knew him too, because he lived and worked in Bosanski

3 Samac, so I know him from around town. But I also know the family of his

4 wife, and I know him by his son, who attended the school where I worked as

5 a teacher.

6 Q. Thank you. And again, for the record, if you see him here today,

7 could you just let us know where he is located.

8 A. Well, following the same logic, he's sitting to my left-hand side,

9 in the first seat beneath the glass window.

10 Q. Can I then ask you about another person who -- if you knew this

11 person in Bosanski Samac in 1992, anybody called Dr. Blagoje Simic.

12 A. No, not personally.

13 Q. And did you know -- do you know if there was somebody in Bosanski

14 Samac in 1992 called Mr. Blagoje Simic, or Dr. Blagoje Simic, although you

15 didn't know him personally?

16 A. I knew of him.

17 Q. Again, you say you didn't know him personally, but would you

18 recognise him if he was -- if you were to see him in the courtroom today?

19 A. I'm not sure. I rather wouldn't answer.

20 Q. Okay. And then there's a third person -- sorry, a fourth person,

21 a Mr. Milan Simic. Did you know Mr. Milan Simic?

22 A. I knew Milan Simic as a student of my school. I was his teacher

23 for one year, one term, but we didn't come across each other after that.

24 Q. Thank you.

25 MS. REIDY: Could the record reflect that the first two

Page 6387

1 defendants, Mr. Miroslav Tadic and Mr. Simo Zaric, were identified by the

2 witness.

3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.

4 MS. REIDY:

5 Q. Now, Mrs. Delic, I'd just like to ask you about the time period

6 March and the first half of April 1992. And I'd like just to ask whether

7 when you were working in the school, if you noticed any changes or events

8 that indicated to you a rise in the ethnic tensions within the

9 municipality of Bosanski Samac at that time.

10 A. Certainly. The very fact that the war in Croatia was already

11 underway, we had to feel tensions in our town, in our school, and the very

12 fact that national parties had been established and took up seats in the

13 parliament in 1990, and it was further aggravated by the fact that in

14 1992, tensions and -- began to rise among ethnic groups, and people

15 started to differentiate and to declare themselves as one or the other

16 ethnicity.

17 Q. Did you at this stage decide to join any of the national parties

18 that had been established?

19 A. I was not a member of any party at that time.

20 Q. And was your husband or any of your immediate family a member of

21 any of the national parties at the time?

22 A. My husband was not a member of any political party either. We

23 were a mixed marriage, a marriage of mixed ethnicity. And we believed

24 that being who we are, we could not subscribe to any of these parties.

25 Q. Thank you. And specifically in the school, did you notice any

Page 6388

1 changes or incidents which reflected this change of ethnic tension that

2 you've just described?

3 A. In the school itself, tension was felt in the very fact that many

4 students missed classes. Students and parents explained this by saying

5 that in the surrounding villages from which these students came from, the

6 situation was unsafe and tense. This was certainly also felt in the work

7 of the school and in the teaching.

8 Q. Thank you. Have you -- did you ever hear at the time of a group

9 called the 4th Detachment?

10 A. I heard that such a group or such detachment had been established

11 and that they were even armed, or rather, that members of that unit or

12 detachment possessed weapons.

13 Q. Did you yourself hear of or know of any individuals who were

14 members of that 4th Detachment?

15 A. I did. But it's difficult to name all these people now. But I

16 can give you an example where it is obvious. One of my colleagues, Nada,

17 told me that her brother-in-law had come back from somewhere one evening

18 and took out a rifle -- an automatic rifle from his car and that he

19 belonged to such a movement. Her brother-in-law's name was Dzuheric,

20 nicknamed Coc.

21 Q. Thank you. And can I clarify -- did your colleague say that her

22 brother-in-law had come back -- come home with a weapon and explain that

23 he belonged to the 4th Detachment, or was it some other movement?

24 A. She saw him coming into the house, standing on the balcony, and

25 she saw him take out that rifle from the car, and she knew that he was a

Page 6389

1 member of that movement.

2 Q. And when you say "that movement," are you speaking about the 4th

3 Detachment?

4 A. Yes, about the 4th Detachment.

5 Q. Thank you. You testified that you worked as a teacher up until

6 about 7.00 p.m. on the 16th of April, 1992. After you finished your

7 teachers' meeting, what did you do then?

8 A. After that, I went back home and stayed there together with my

9 husband and two children.

10 Q. And I understand from your testimony that you didn't go to work on

11 the 17th of April. Could you explain what happened between the 16th and

12 17th of April that made you decide that you shouldn't be going to work on

13 the 17th.

14 A. In the night, from the 16th/the 17th of April, 1992, about 3.00

15 a.m., there was an explosion. I'm not an expert in weapons or

16 detonations, but it was not shooting. It was an explosion. After all the

17 tension and constant rumours that something was about to happen and that

18 peace could not go on in any case, I realised that some sort of conflict

19 is underway somewhere in the town or at the entrance into the town and

20 that something had begun. I didn't know whether it was an attack or a

21 conflict.

22 Q. Thank you. And then on the 17th of April, I take it you stayed at

23 home?

24 A. Of course. That morning, we stayed indoors. And early in the

25 morning, I saw next to my house in the street where we resided, I saw

Page 6390

1 armoured vehicles passing by, escorted by men in camouflage uniforms, and

2 that something out of the ordinary is taking place in the street, that

3 nobody is coming out of their houses and that nothing resembles a normal

4 working day.

5 Q. Thank you. Where in Bosanski Samac is your house located? Right

6 in the centre, or is there any other landmark nearby your house?

7 A. The house was in the Bulevar Valucia [phoen], that is, the street

8 that goes from the Zelnici [phoen] stadium to the cultural centre. In any

9 case,

10 it's not central in the strict sense of the word.

11 Q. Thank you. Now, these men that you saw walking by in camouflage

12 uniform, did you recognise or know any of those men who were accompanying

13 the armoured vehicles?

14 A. I did not recognise these men. I had the impression that they had

15 come from outside, and I had never seen such vehicles around town before.

16 What transpired in the next few moments was that an announcement was made

17 through a megaphone, or some sort of loudspeaker system, to the effect

18 that all men should come out of their houses and bring out any weapons

19 they may have.

20 Q. And did your husband obey that instruction from the megaphone?

21 A. He did, and the other neighbours were outside as well, mainly

22 those who were not of Serb nationality. We noticed, actually, that all

23 our Serb neighbours were wearing drab olive uniforms that day and carrying

24 weapons. The people who issued the orders to surrender and collect the

25 weapons spoke in the Ekavian dialect, which told us that they came from

Page 6391

1 Serbia. At any rate, they were not from Bosnia or from the local parts.

2 Q. Thank you. And did your husband have any weapons to surrender?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Thank you. You mentioned a man earlier in your testimony whose

5 nickname was Coc and I believe whose name was Dzuheric. Did you see him

6 at all during this first day?

7 A. He showed up the next day, accompanying a truck with people

8 wearing military uniforms, and they were about to collect any remaining

9 weapons. He was the one who knew the locals who lived on that street, and

10 he showed who lived where.

11 Q. Thank you. And you said, "The people wearing military uniforms."

12 Are these the people who you believed to have come from Serbia, or were

13 they other local people in military uniform?

14 A. Locals of Serb ethnicity were all wearing drab olive uniforms that

15 morning. It looked as if they had been mobilised as soldiers.

16 Q. And the people who were wearing military uniforms on the truck

17 with this person nicknamed Coc, were they locals in military uniform, or

18 were they these people from Serbia in military uniform that you spoke

19 about seeing on the first day?

20 A. I didn't know them. I don't know about them, because I didn't

21 hear them speak. All I know is that they were in military uniform.

22 Q. And you didn't recognise them?

23 A. No, I didn't.

24 Q. Thank you. Now, during these first few days after the 17th of

25 April, did you stay at home, or did you try to leave your house?

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Page 6393

1 A. The first three days, we did not leave our house. My husband, my

2 children, and myself, we stayed indoors and tried to make do with the food

3 we had inside. Then the third day, I noticed that it was pretty quiet

4 and neighbours were moving about. I noticed that some of our neighbours, who

5 were not muslim, were moving through the street wearing white bands and were

6 going somewhere in the direction of the town.

7 I thought to myself that I could go out, too, and visit my mother, who

8 lived on the same street, see how she was doing. And indeed, I did so.

9 On my way to her place, to the residential building where she

10 lived, I noticed that the primary school had burnt down halfway.

11 Q. Thank you. And in these first four days, your visit to your

12 mother was the only time that you ventured outside of your house; is that

13 correct?

14 A. The first three days, that was the only time I ventured outside,

15 indeed. And after that, I stayed indoors for another two days.

16 Q. Thank you. When you were indoors, did you receive any information

17 or instructions from the authorities about what was going on or changes

18 that had taken place, restrictions that had been imposed?

19 A. We got our first piece of information on the first or perhaps the

20 second day through the local radio, Radio Samac, which announced itself as

21 the Serbian radio of Bosanski Samac.

22 Q. And what sort of information did this Serbian radio of Samac give

23 you?

24 A. At first, the announcements began by saying that Samac had been

25 liberated and that a curfew had been introduced, together with a

Page 6394

1 restriction of movement, that is, a ban on movement, from 9.00 p.m. to

2 6.00 a.m.

3 Q. Did the announcements on the radio ever say who was in charge or

4 say who was making the announcement, who was responsible for this

5 information?

6 A. As responsible for information, it was mostly the Crisis Staff

7 that was mentioned, the Crisis Staff of the Serbian Municipality of

8 Bosanski Samac, or as the Serbian municipality of the Serb people of

9 Bosanski Samac.

10 Q. So do I take it that, for example, when you were told that a

11 curfew had been introduced, the announcement indicated that it was being

12 introduced by the authority of the Crisis Staff, or the Serbian

13 municipality of the Serb people?

14 A. That's how I understood such information, yes. And it was clear

15 to me that the administration of the town was taken over by one ethnic

16 group which stated that it was the Serbian municipality with Serbian

17 people.

18 Q. Thank you. You said that you stayed at home in a total, I think,

19 for five -- five days. Can you please tell us what happened on the fifth

20 day of the takeover.

21 A. On the fifth day, in the morning, I tried to get us some supplies,

22 some food. However, the square where the bread shop was and shop for

23 other food, it wasn't possible to buy anything. But the Serbian Red Cross

24 was distributing bread and milk there. So I received some of those

25 products as well there that morning.

Page 6395

1 Q. Thank you. And were you -- was your husband at any stage

2 arrested?

3 A. At that time, he was still at home, until the afternoon of that

4 same day. That was the 22nd of April, 1992. We heard the phone ring. I

5 answered the phone. I didn't recognise the voice at the other end, but

6 they said that they were looking for their friend. So I handed over the

7 receiver. After the conversation, he said that he had been called to the

8 police station, that Stevan Todorovic had called him to the police station

9 for some information or talks about the company, and that he had to leave

10 right away.

11 Q. Thank you. And could you just --

12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Ms. Reidy. The witness mentioned,

13 page 69, lines 15 and 16, that it was the Serbian Red Cross that was

14 distributing bread and milk. So are we talking about Serbian from Serbia

15 Red Cross? I mean, I'd just like to know where this particular Red Cross

16 group was coming from precisely.

17 MS. REIDY: Sure.

18 Q. Mrs. Delic, can I ask you to go back to your explanation of how

19 you received some bread and milk. You spoke about the Serbian Red Cross.

20 Can you explain to us what you mean by the "Serbian Red Cross."

21 A. I think that it was the Red Cross that was organised by the new

22 authorities, the so-called authorities of the Serb Municipality of

23 Bosanski Samac, as they called it. And it was comprised of local

24 citizens.

25 Q. Did you know of its existence before the 17th of April? Was there

Page 6396

1 always a local Serbian Red Cross, or is this a new institution, to your

2 knowledge?

3 A. The fact that it called itself "Serbian," was something new. Up

4 until that time, nothing was named "Serbian," such as the Red Cross or

5 anything like that. There was a Red Cross.

6 Q. So there was a local Red Cross before the 17th of April, 1992?

7 A. Of course.

8 Q. And then how did you learn that it was called the "Serbian Red

9 Cross"? Was this information the people selling the bread gave you, or

10 did you learn it from another source?

11 A. I got this information from people who were distributing the food,

12 that it was the newly formed Serbian Red Cross, and that they were going

13 to help us.

14 Q. And I think you said the people who were working for the Serbian

15 Red Cross, they were locals and not people from Serbia; is that correct?

16 A. Yes, they were locals. People who didn't do that kind of work

17 before, but in these new emergency conditions, they took upon themselves

18 the duties of helping or being members in a Serbian Red Cross organisation

19 like that. They were wearing military uniforms also.

20 Q. Thank you.

21 MS. REIDY: Is that of assistance to Your Honour?

22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes, thanks.

23 MS. REIDY:

24 Q. Again, it's another question to clarify some of your testimony.

25 You had also told us that a phone call had come to your house and that you

Page 6397

1 had passed the receiver to your husband, and that he told you Stevan

2 Todorovic wanted him to come to the police station to talk about the

3 company. Could you just explain to me what -- when you say "the company,"

4 what company you're talking about.

5 A. Yes. It's true that he said that. When I say "company," I'm

6 thinking of the Mebos work organisation that my husband worked at as a

7 manager.

8 Q. Thank you. And what exactly was the Mebos? Was it a

9 manufacturing factory? What sort of company was it?

10 A. It was a work organisation within a larger work organisation

11 called Energoinvest which had its headquarters in Sarajevo. But in

12 Bosanski Samac, that factory was manufacturing water heaters, barrels. So

13 they were making metal industrial products, in any case.

14 Q. Thank you. So did your husband in fact then leave to go to the

15 police station?

16 A. He went to the police station. And after about an hour or two, he

17 called on the telephone and only said that, "I have this opportunity. I

18 have been permitted to call you, and I will be staying here for a while."

19 After that, he didn't come home.

20 Q. Was he able to say why he would be staying there for a while?

21 A. No, he didn't.

22 Q. So your husband never came home. And did your husband ever come

23 home again before you left Bosanski Samac?

24 A. No. He was never permitted to leave the premises where he was

25 detained.

Page 6398

1 Q. And were you at any stage given any information from any official

2 from the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac as to the fact that your

3 husband was detained or why he was detained, or any information about him?

4 A. I never received an official explanation, any kind of information

5 of that sort. I sought through questioning, by questioning people of Serb

6 ethnicity whom I believed could provide such information to me. They were

7 in managerial functions or had some kind of connection with the Crisis

8 Staff or the leadership of the new Serbian authorities.

9 Q. But nobody gave you any official explanation as to the reason for

10 your husband's arrest?

11 A. No.

12 Q. So after the 22nd of April, I take it you were left alone with

13 your two children in your house.

14 A. Yes, that's right.

15 Q. Now, I'd like to just ask you about what happened to you and your

16 children between that date, the 22nd of April, and when you came to leave

17 Bosanski Samac. Did you continue to have electricity all the time between

18 April and when you left Bosanski Samac?

19 A. No. In any case, life was less and less normal. It was

20 impossible to lead any kind of normal life. First of all, because

21 officially I no longer performed my work duties, so nobody informed me

22 that I had been fired from my job. But in any case, I was never included

23 in any kind of official schedules or duties. I had to live on what I

24 owned up until then, on the things that I happened to have at that time.

25 For me, it was particularly difficult when I went at one time during those

Page 6399

1 days to the bank, where they still had records of our checking accounts,

2 where we did have some money, when I was told that I didn't have any right

3 to take out any money because my husband was in prison and that I had to

4 have permission from the Crisis Staff in order to withdraw money.

5 Q. Thank you. So can I just clarify that testimony, and then I'd

6 like to go back and cover some more points. But you were told in the bank

7 that you had to get permission from the Crisis Staff to have access to

8 your husband's account; is that correct?

9 A. Yes, that's true.

10 Q. Thank you.

11 MS. REIDY: Maybe for the record I'd just ask one more question,

12 and then it's almost 6.00.

13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. And I also wanted clarification. Was it just

14 her husband's account? Was she -- it was one account that they had. She

15 didn't have her own.

16 MS. REIDY: Okay.

17 JUDGE MUMBA: Or was it a joint account?

18 MS. REIDY:

19 Q. Mrs. Delic, could you just clarify that. Was it your husband's

20 account? Was it a joint account? Did you have your own account?

21 A. I had my own account, because I worked up until that time. And my

22 husband had his own separate account, but I was authorised to make

23 withdrawals from his account and he was authorised to make withdrawals

24 from my account. But at that moment, I could not take money out from his

25 account, because in cases -- for example, because he was in prison, this

Page 6400

1 was not possible to do.

2 JUDGE MUMBA: Was it possible to withdraw money from your own

3 account?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

5 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. You can proceed, Ms. Reidy.

6 MS. REIDY: Thank you.

7 Q. When we continue tomorrow, I'm going to ask you more questions

8 about your time. But just for the record, could you tell me when you left

9 Bosanski Samac.

10 A. I left Bosanski Samac on the 4th of September, 1992.

11 MS. REIDY: I think that will be the last question.

12 JUDGE SINGH: Just one question as a follow-up from the Court.

13 Any reason why you could not withdraw from your own account?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I wasn't given any explanation.

15 I connected this to the fact that my husband was in prison, and that as a

16 family, we were being punished.

17 JUDGE SINGH: Thank you.

18 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. We shall adjourn until tomorrow

19 afternoon at 14.15 hours.

20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

21 at 6.01 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,

22 the 27th day of February, 2002, at 2.15 p.m.

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