Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 7380

1 Monday, 6 May 2002

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The accused Milan Simic not present]

5 [The witness entered court]

6 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.

7 JUDGE MUMBA: Please call the case.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Case number

9 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Milan Simic, Miroslav

10 Tadic, and Simo Zaric.

11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We're proceeding with a new witness. The

12 Prosecution.

13 Can the usher please assist the witness to take the solemn

14 declaration.

15 Good afternoon. Please make the solemn declaration.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I, Kemal Mehinovic, solemnly declare

17 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


19 [Witness answered through interpreter]

20 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Please sit down.

21 The Prosecution. Yes, Ms. Reidy.

22 MS. REIDY: Thank you, Your Honour. May I just advise the Bench

23 of something before I commence with my examination?


25 MS. REIDY: This witness, as I think is indicated in his 65 ter

Page 7381

1 summary, will speak about all of the defendants but particular acts of

2 three of the defendants; one defendant who -- is Mr. Simic, who is

3 currently in the detention facility. It is likely that -- well, Mr. --

4 the witness will be providing the Chamber with evidence about Mr. Simic

5 this afternoon. And I've consulted with the Defence counsel about any

6 matters pertaining to identification, and what Defence counsel have done

7 is undertake that they will consult with their client during the break.

8 And should the defendant have any concerns about identification issues,

9 then he will advise the Prosecution and the Bench after how we would

10 resolve that matter.

11 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.

12 MS. REIDY: Thank you.

13 Examined by Ms. Reidy:

14 Q. Good afternoon. Could I ask you to state your full name for the

15 record, please.

16 A. Kemal Mehinovic.

17 Q. I understand it's your birthday today, is it?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Happy birthday. How old are you?

20 A. Thank you. Forty-six.

21 Q. And where were you born?

22 A. In Bosanski Samac.

23 Q. And did you grow up and spend most of your life in Bosanski

24 Samac?

25 A. I did.

Page 7382

1 Q. And did you get married in Bosanski Samac?

2 A. I did.

3 Q. And have children in Bosanski Samac?

4 A. I did.

5 Q. How many children do you have, Mr. Mehinovic?

6 A. Two.

7 Q. And are they girls, boys?

8 A. A son and a daughter.

9 Q. And you were all living together in Bosanski Samac?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Did you have a nickname when you were living in Bosanski Samac?

12 A. Kemal Pekar, which means "the baker."

13 Q. Why did you have the nickname "the baker"?

14 A. Because that's what I do for a living.

15 Q. And was that a family business?

16 A. Yes, it is.

17 Q. Your father had been a baker in Bosanski Samac before you?

18 A. Yes, he did.

19 Q. Were you just a baker or did you have other business interests in

20 Bosanski Samac?

21 A. I also worked in various companies and I owned a restaurant

22 together with my brother; in fact, two restaurants.

23 Q. What were the names of the companies you worked in?

24 A. The first was Mlinpak and the other company was Mebos.

25 Q. When did you stop working in these companies?

Page 7383

1 A. In 1984.

2 Q. And after that I take it you concentrated on the bakery and the

3 restaurants?

4 A. That's right.

5 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, you're a Bosnian Muslim; is that correct?

6 A. Correct.

7 Q. And so is your wife?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. When you were living in Bosanski Samac, did you get on well with

10 your other neighbours who weren't from the same ethnic group?

11 A. I did.

12 Q. Did members of all ethnic groups visit your restaurant, buy bread

13 from your bakery?

14 A. They did.

15 Q. Did you complete your compulsory service with the JNA when you

16 were still living in Yugoslavia?

17 A. I did.

18 Q. And after you finished your compulsory service, did you continue

19 to go back for updated training courses?

20 A. I did.

21 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, after the end of the Communist Party in the former

22 Yugoslavia, did you join any of the new political parties which began to

23 emerge?

24 A. I did. The SDP party.

25 Q. Whilst you were living in Bosanski Samac, did you ever own any

Page 7384

1 weapons?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Were you ever a member of a hunting club? Did you own a hunting

4 rifle or anything innocuous like that?

5 A. No. No.

6 Q. You never at any stage had, either legally or illegally, held

7 weapons in your house or any of your business premises?

8 A. Never.

9 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, I'd like to ask you about some people from Bosanski

10 Samac. Do you know someone called Blagoje Simic?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Can you explain to the Chamber how you know Mr. Blagoje Simic?

13 A. Mr. Blagoje Simic was, at the time when we met, a general

14 practitioner in Bosanski Samac. We were assigned to the same unit at

15 military drills, in which we took part together, so we knew each other

16 rather well.

17 Q. These military drills, are they these compulsory refresher courses

18 that you said you used to attend?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. So, Mr. Mehinovic, in fact it would be correct to say that both

21 you and Mr. Simic were members of the JNA reserves; is that correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, could you assist the Chamber, and if you see

24 Mr. Blagoje Simic here today, could you tell the Chamber where he is.

25 A. Yes. He's sitting in the middle.

Page 7385

1 MS. REIDY: Your Honours, could the record reflect that

2 Mr. Blagoje Simic has been identified.



5 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, do you know someone else by the name of Simic, but

6 this time a Mr. Milan Simic?

7 A. I do.

8 Q. And again, could you tell us how well you would have known

9 Mr. Simic, Mr. Milan Simic?

10 A. I've known him for a pretty long time. He's younger than me. I

11 know his father rather well. He worked in the municipality, his father, I

12 mean, and it was from him that I got approvals, such as for building my

13 house or the building where my business was located, et cetera.

14 Q. Thank you. Mr. Miroslav Tadic, I take it you know him too?

15 A. Yes. He was a very good friend of my father.

16 Q. Again, could you assist the Chamber and tell them if you see him

17 here today and where he is.

18 A. Yes. He's sitting to my left and to the right of Mr. Blagoje.

19 MS. REIDY: Your Honour, I think the record could reflect that

20 Mr. Tadic has been identified.



23 Q. And Mr. Simo Zaric, if you know him again could you just tell the

24 Chamber again how you know him and again if you see him here today.

25 A. Yes. I know him rather well. I've known him since early

Page 7386

1 childhood. Mr. Simo Zaric was chief of the SUP for a while, that is,

2 chief of police, and he went on to other jobs later. I know him from

3 cultural society, the folk songs section.

4 Q. Thank you. And Mr. Mehinovic, to complete the record could you

5 tell the Chamber if you see Mr. Zaric here today.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And just explain where he's sitting.

8 A. He's sitting to the left of Mr. Blagoje Simic, the first in the

9 row.

10 MS. REIDY: I think, Your Honour, the final identification.


12 MS. REIDY: Thank you.

13 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, I'm going to ask you now about the time period 1992

14 and particularly March and April 1992. I'd like to know whether you

15 experienced or witnessed a rise in the interethnic tensions in Bosanski

16 Samac in around this period.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Could you just give us one brief example of how these ethnic

19 tensions showed themselves or manifested themselves.

20 A. I don't quite understand. Do you mean before the war? In the

21 month of March?

22 Q. Sorry, Mr. Mehinovic. Yes, exactly, in March. In around March.

23 A. It was at the time when barricades and roadblocks were put up. We

24 didn't want to have trouble with any political parties. We wanted to

25 continue living together as good friends. I had a good friend by the name

Page 7387

1 of Danilo. I forget his last name. And he advised me to approach

2 Mr. Miroslav Tadic to get security for my restaurant, and he also

3 suggested I should join the 4th Detachment, the so-called 4th Detachment.

4 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, is the Mr. Miroslav Tadic you're talking about now

5 the same one you identified in the courtroom today?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Thank you. Why did this Danilo advise you to go to Mr. Tadic to

8 get security for your restaurant?

9 A. In my opinion, it was a group that was planned by them to handle

10 the defence of the town of Samac, but I don't know who they were supposed

11 to defend it from.

12 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, when you say "it was a group," are you talking now

13 about the 4th Detachment?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. So did Mr. Danilo tell you that if you want -- that you should

16 join the 4th Detachment and you should do that by going to Mr. Tadic's

17 restaurant?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Did Mr. Danilo tell you that if you went there, you'd be issued a

20 weapon?

21 A. Yes, he did.

22 Q. Did you go to Mr. Tadic's restaurant and try to procure a weapon?

23 A. No, I didn't.

24 Q. Did you see other people in around Bosanski Samac at this time who

25 had joined the 4th Detachment? Did you know of people who joined the 4th

Page 7388

1 Detachment?

2 A. Yes. There was Muharem Hatic, nicknamed Hanko, who was a good

3 friend of mine, and Danilo too. That's one of many such men.

4 Q. And did these men who were members of the 4th Detachment carry

5 weapons?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Would they be walking around Bosanski Samac with these weapons?

8 A. Yes. On numerous occasions, they walked dressed in civilian

9 clothes with weapons hidden under their jackets. They would move around

10 town and in certain places around the mosque where you could frequently

11 see the SDA.

12 Q. But these men who you said were dressed in civilian clothing and

13 with weapons in their jackets, these were people you knew to be members of

14 the 4th Detachment; is that correct?

15 A. Yes, that's correct.

16 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, do you have any information from any of these

17 people as to whether or not they received payment for being a member of

18 the 4th Detachment?

19 A. I wouldn't know about that.

20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Mehinovic, you've given evidence that there was a

21 rise in, I think, tension, including some barricades being set up. Did

22 you yourself participate in any barricades or patrols or anything like

23 that that was going on in Bosanski Samac in the months preceding April

24 1992?

25 A. Yes. There was indeed a barricade put up near the Mebos factory,

Page 7389

1 but I wasn't involved in that.

2 Q. Did you partake in any patrols going around the -- going around

3 Bosanski Samac at the time?

4 A. No, no.

5 Q. You've testified that you were a member of the SDP. Were you

6 politically -- were you particularly politically active, or were you

7 simply a member on the books?

8 A. After the disintegration of Yugoslavia, you were supposed to join

9 in some of the new parties, so I chose the SDP. And I was a rank in file

10 member, nothing more.

11 Q. Was Mr. Simo Zaric a member of the SDP?

12 A. I really don't know. I wasn't that well informed.

13 Q. Would it be fair to say, then, that up until the 17th of April,

14 1992 that you basically ran your businesses, minded your own business, and

15 were not in any way politically engaged or active?

16 A. Yes, that's correct.

17 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, I'm going to ask you now about the night of the

18 16th and 17th of April, 1992. I take it that -- on the night of the 16th

19 and 17th of April, were you at home with your family?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And were you woken at some stage during the night by gunfire?

22 A. Yes, I was. It was around 3.00 in the morning. I was awoken by

23 rifle fire.

24 Q. And what did you react when you heard -- how did you react when

25 you heard this rifle fire?

Page 7390

1 A. First I went to the window to see what the problem was, what was

2 going on. When I turned my eyes towards the department store, I saw

3 masked soldiers shooting to the left of the department store, and I

4 retreated from the window immediately.

5 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, you said when you looked out your window, you

6 turned towards the department store. Do I take it that your house is

7 pretty much in the centre, then, of Bosanski Samac town?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. After you had witnessed these masked soldiers outside and

10 retreated from the window, when was the next time that you looked outside

11 to see what was going on?

12 A. In the morning around 6.00 a.m., it became quiet, there was no

13 more shooting, and I set out towards my restaurant. After a while, my

14 brother dropped in and told me, "What's the matter with you? Don't you

15 see there's a war going on? Go back to your home immediately."

16 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, the flat you're talking about and the restaurant,

17 are they close together?

18 A. It wasn't the bakery. The bakery was in a new neighbourhood close

19 to the stadium, in the house owned by Srecko Ivic.

20 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, so that I'm clear, at 6.00 when you set out, was it

21 towards your restaurant, then, or towards the bakery?

22 A. I went to the bakery.

23 Q. Thank you. So after your brother had warned you, did you actually

24 return home?

25 A. Yes.

Page 7391

1 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, when was the next time that you left your apartment

2 on the 17th of April?

3 A. It was at 8.00, perhaps 8.30, if I remember well. To the right of

4 my house, from the direction of the retirees' home, a group of men in

5 civilian clothes was moving: Ibrahim Salkic, Hasan Bicic, and another

6 Bicic. I don't know all the names, but I knew all these people. When I

7 went out to meet them, I asked them what was the matter, and they told me

8 that there was a massacre of citizens in Donja Mahala going on and they

9 were going to defend them. I accompanied them almost up to the school,

10 which is right after the department store when you turn into Stjepan Radic

11 Street. There we were intercepted by Dujmusic, and he talked them out of

12 going there, telling them that they would all get killed and that they

13 should go back.

14 On our way back, we passed by the restaurant between the

15 department store and the artesian well, and we assembled there in the yard

16 of the so-called Carrington building. In that yard, Muhamed, nicknamed

17 Biber, came out and talked with Mr. Ibela Salkic, who had a radio

18 transmitter on him. They went to his flat, and on the way back from his

19 flat, Salkic said that he had talked to Mr. Nikolic and said that the army

20 would come and handle all the problems, that we shouldn't get involved any

21 further and we should go home instead.

22 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, this Mr. Nikolic you said that -- the Mr. Nikolic

23 with whom Ibalo Salkic made contact, was that Lieutenant Colonel Stefan

24 Nikolic?

25 A. Yes.

Page 7392

1 Q. When you got the instructions that you should all go home, did you

2 then return home?

3 A. Yes. We all left in the same direction. I went with Kemal Atic,

4 nicknamed Kilo. We were walking towards my house, which is the second

5 street from there, the Vuk Karadzic Street. I walked Kemal to his home

6 because he was very sickly at the time, and that's about all we did. The

7 whole time we were outdoors.

8 Q. Whilst you were outdoors and with the people you've just advised

9 the Chamber about, did you have a weapon?

10 A. No, I didn't.

11 Q. Were you armed at any stage whilst you were outside of your

12 apartment?

13 A. No, I was not.

14 Q. After you returned home, could you tell us the next thing that

15 happened to you, still this morning of the 17th of April.

16 A. I stayed home. I didn't go out any more. And then there was a

17 transportation vehicle that was saying through the megaphone that whoever

18 had weapons should bring the weapons outside of the house and that nothing

19 would happen.

20 Q. Did anyone approach your home and ask you whether or not you had

21 any weapons?

22 A. This was in the dusk, before the evening. Mr. Dragan Borojevic

23 came with two soldiers and asked if there was anything there, and he said

24 that he knew this house and he believed that there were no weapons here.

25 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, over the next few days, did you receive information

Page 7393

1 from the authorities by way of loudspeaker announcements?

2 A. Yes. We received information that those people that had reserve

3 military uniforms should be at 10.00 in front of Buducnost.

4 Q. Did you go to the Buducnost factory then?

5 A. Yes, I did. I took my reserve uniform and went to Buducnost,

6 where we were greeted by Savic, Jovo Savic.

7 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, as best as you can remember, was this the next day,

8 the 18th of April, or a day or so after the takeover?

9 A. I'm not sure whether it was the 18th or the 19th, up to the 20th

10 of April.

11 Q. Thank you. Were there a few of you gathered there in front of the

12 Buducnost factory?

13 A. Yes, there were. There was maybe, in my estimate, about 40 to 50

14 people there.

15 Q. These 40 to 50 people, and not including Mr. Jovo Savic, what was

16 the ethnic background of these people?

17 A. Muslims and Croatians.

18 Q. Were these people wearing white armbands at the time?

19 A. Yes. We had to wear a white armband on our left arm so that we

20 could be recognised who we were.

21 Q. How did you know that you had to wear these white armbands?

22 A. On the same day that was declared, when we returned the reservist

23 uniforms.

24 Q. That's when you heard. And how did you hear that you should be

25 wearing a white armband to distinguish yourself?

Page 7394












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 7395

1 A. Through the loudspeaker that was -- there was a jeep that had a

2 loudspeaker, and that jeep was giving these instructions.

3 Q. From your observation at the Buducnost factory, was it only people

4 of Muslim and Croat background who were wearing these white armbands?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. What did Mr. Savic say to the people who were gathered there that

7 morning?

8 A. The majority of the people required the security of their houses

9 and their streets. We were told to go to Cafe AS, to Miroslav Tadic.

10 Q. And did Mr. Savic tell you why you should go to Miroslav Tadic's

11 Cafe AS?

12 A. He didn't -- I'm not familiar with that. I was a little bit

13 further away from them.

14 Q. But you're certain that you heard instructions that you were to go

15 to Miroslav Tadic's cafe?

16 A. Yes, I'm certain.

17 Q. Did you go to Mr. Tadic's cafe?

18 A. No, I did not.

19 Q. Why didn't you go to Mr. Tadic's cafe?

20 A. I didn't consider it important for me to have any kind of weapon.

21 Q. So again, it was your understanding that Mr. Savic was telling you

22 to go to Mr. Tadic's cafe if you wanted to join in the security detail; is

23 that it?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, you were told by a loudspeaker that you should wear

Page 7396

1 a white armband when you venture out to identify yourself. Over the

2 loudspeaker did you hear any other restrictions imposed on the Muslim and

3 Croat communities?

4 A. Yes, that more than three Muslims could not move together in the

5 city, in the town.

6 Q. Were you given any explanation as to why that should be, or were

7 you simply advised that no more than three Muslim -- or three Muslims or

8 more should not move about publicly in the town?

9 A. There was no explanation.

10 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, in the days following the takeover, did you ever

11 receive any order to present yourself for labour assignment?

12 A. Yes. I was asked to report. I think it was forced labour and not

13 a labour service. We were supposed to call -- to go to the Secretariat of

14 National Defence and to report to Ljubo Borojevic.

15 Q. And how did you receive this instruction that you were to go to

16 the Secretariat of National Defence?

17 A. Certain couriers went there from home to home, and they were

18 distributing invitations and they were also orally informing people that

19 they were on the list and that they should report to Borojevic.

20 Q. Did you obey the instructions to report to the Secretariat of

21 National Defence?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Again, could you assist us by telling us approximately how many

24 days after the takeover this occurred.

25 A. I received the request to report around the 24th to the 25th of

Page 7397

1 April.

2 Q. When you reported to the Secretariat of National Defence, could

3 you tell us what happened that morning.

4 A. I reported to Borojevic, and he told me to wait, that I would go

5 with a group of people to build bunkers in Pisare and that I would also

6 dig trenches.

7 Q. Thank you. Can you confirm for us where exactly did you report to

8 this Mr. Borojevic.

9 A. At that time that was the Secretariat for National Defence close

10 to the old bank, the SDK in Bosanski Samac.

11 Q. Were you the only one who turned up that morning, or were there

12 more people who turned up for, as you said, forced labour?

13 A. Yes. There was more people with me there. At that point, there

14 were maybe 15 to 20 people there.

15 Q. And the people who were with you that morning, did you -- could

16 you tell us about the ethnic background of them -- what their ethnic

17 background was.

18 A. Muslims and Croats.

19 Q. Were there any of the Serb population who turned up for forced

20 labour?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Were all of the Muslims and Croats assembled there wearing their

23 white armbands?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Now, you've testified that you were told you would go with a group

Page 7398

1 of people to build bunkers in Pisare. Is Pisare a village in Bosanski

2 Samac?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And could you describe for the Chamber what this task of digging

5 trenches involved, how you were taken there and what you did when you

6 actually reached Pisare.

7 A. We went on foot with a group leader. It was very close, this

8 place where we were supposed to dig trenches. This is a demarcation line

9 on the River Bosna, the line between Croats and the Serbian army.

10 Q. And these trenches that you were to dig, did this place you

11 between the Croats and the Serbian army when you were digging the

12 trenches?

13 A. These trenches were actually fortifications of the lines. We were

14 by the Serb army, not between, and we were fortifying the lines where the

15 soldiers would be.

16 Q. Was there firing going on whilst you were digging these trenches

17 or fortifying the lines?

18 A. Yes, there was -- there was firing. There was sniper fire as well

19 against us.

20 Q. Was anyone injured by the sniper fire?

21 A. While I was there, I didn't see anybody getting injured.

22 Q. The people who were digging these trenches, were they only Muslims

23 and Croats or were any of the Serbs made to dig trenches?

24 A. No. In my group, there were only Muslims and Croats.

25 Q. Whilst you were digging these trenches, were you guarded by

Page 7399

1 soldiers?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. So could you have left of your own free will?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Were the soldiers armed whilst they were guarding you?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Did you want to dig these trenches?

8 A. No.

9 Q. How did you feel whilst you were being made to dig these trenches?

10 A. I felt humiliated.

11 Q. Why humiliated, Mr. Mehinovic?

12 A. I think that -- I don't think there was any need for me to do

13 forced labour and then not to mention that there was also people with a

14 gun standing just above me. I think that can only be seen as

15 humiliation. And they were also firing over our heads.

16 Q. Did this firing and the sniper fire, did it scare you?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Roughly how many days were you digging trenches on these lines in

19 Pisare?

20 A. From the 24th until the closure every day.

21 Q. When you say "until the closure," what exactly do you mean?

22 A. Till I was taken to the police station.

23 Q. Thank you. Mr. Mehinovic, I'd just like to concentrate now on

24 Pisare, because I understand that you didn't spend all your time digging

25 trenches in that location. Am I correct?

Page 7400

1 A. Yes. I might have been in Pisare two to three days. Later I was

2 transferred to the embankment between Prud and Bosanski Samac, in the

3 direction from the bridge to the Vijenac JNA Street. In that area, I made

4 bunkers and my commander was Radovan Antic.

5 Q. Thank you.

6 MS. REIDY: Your Honours, I have a clean copy of a map which is

7 currently in evidence as Prosecution Exhibit P9. I've shown this clean

8 version to Defence counsel. And what I'd just ask the witness to do is

9 just to briefly mark the location on this map just where he was digging

10 these trenches.



13 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, there is going to be a map placed on the ELMO

14 beside you. If you can have a look at the map and orientate yourself.

15 Could you mark with an "X" and then write a number "1" beside the location

16 where you were digging trenches. I think you'll -- these are the trenches

17 you've just described now to the Chamber.

18 A. [Marks]

19 Q. And perhaps, Mr. Mehinovic, you could just put a number "1" beside

20 that in case there are further additions -- further markings made on this

21 map, just a number "1."

22 A. [Marks]

23 Q. Yes. Okay.

24 MS. REIDY: Your Honour, for the record, Mr. Mehinovic has put

25 three X's on the map, 1, 2, and 3, and they all depict the line where he

Page 7401

1 was digging trenches.



4 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, just to confirm, the X's you've marked, this is the

5 place where you were guarded by Mr. Radovan Antic; is that correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And it's the location where you dug trenches up until your arrest

8 after the first two or three days in Pisare.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. MS. REIDY: Thank you. I'm finished with the map for the moment.

11 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have a number for it, please, an exhibit.

12 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. It will be P9J. Thank you.

13 MS. REIDY: Thank you very much.

14 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, you've told us about being guarded by Radovan

15 Antic. How well did you know Radovan Antic?

16 A. Quite well, because he was my teacher in primary school. Also, we

17 were -- he was the commander of both me and Mr. Blagojevic in the

18 reservists.

19 Q. Thank you. Did you talk to any of the other guards who were with

20 you whilst you were digging trenches during this -- this month or so?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Did Mr. Antic or anyone else ever mention Mr. Simo Zaric or

23 Mr. Miroslav Tadic to you whilst you were digging trenches?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, in this second location which you just marked on

Page 7402

1 the map, as in Pisare, were you also exposed to sniper fire and crossfire

2 between opposing factions?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Were you also guarded by armed soldiers while you were digging

5 trenches?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Was this digging of trenches and bunkers, was this tough physical

8 labour?

9 A. Yes. We had to carry concrete slabs from two metres wide and one

10 metre long, and we had to place them in whenever Antic would tell us, face

11 towards the village of Prud.

12 Q. In your JNA service, in your military service, had this been a

13 specialisation of yours: digging trenches, building bunkers?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Was there any reason why you should be assigned this task?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Did you ever receive any payment for the work you carried out on

18 the front lines?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Did you receive any payment in kind, food for your family or

21 anything like that?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Did you get days off? You worked Monday to Friday or did you work

24 every day until you were arrested?

25 A. I worked every day.

Page 7403

1 Q. Again, Mr. Mehinovic, did you feel you had any choice whatsoever

2 in carrying out these assignments?

3 A. No.

4 Q. During this month while you were working and digging trenches and

5 building bunkers, did you hear of other people doing a similar task to you

6 being injured or killed?

7 A. No. While I was -- while I had this assignment, I did not hear

8 that.

9 Q. Did you hear about it when you didn't have this assignment? Did

10 you hear of such things happening to other people who had similar

11 assignments?

12 A. Before I was arrested, no.

13 Q. Do I understand that after you were arrested you heard of people

14 who had been injured or killed?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Were these people who had been injured or killed whilst digging

17 trenches and building bunkers?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Do you know the ethnic background of those people who were injured

20 or killed?

21 A. I do. Muslim.

22 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, do you know of the relationship between Mr. Radovan

23 Antic and either Mr. Simo Zaric or Mr. Miroslav Tadic?

24 A. I don't.

25 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, you said that you continued this sort of forced

Page 7404

1 labour until the closure, until you were arrested and taken to the police

2 station. What day was this, if you can recall?

3 A. My being taken to the police station?

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. Yes, I do remember. It was May 27th.

6 Q. And where were you arrested from?

7 A. I was arrested in my house.

8 MS. REIDY: Your Honours, again, I have a still from a video,

9 which was a video disclosed to the Defence, and it's a still which -- in

10 effect, a photograph from the video which I'd just like to put to the

11 witness for identification. And these were shown earlier to Defence

12 counsel, and I believe they have no objection to its being used and

13 entered into evidence.

14 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. You can go ahead.

15 MS. REIDY: Could I ask for that still just to be put on the ELMO

16 so the defendants can also see the picture.

17 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, could you tell us what that building in the

18 photograph is?

19 A. That is my house.

20 Q. And downstairs we can see an establishment with a red or pink

21 awning. Is that also belonging to you?

22 A. The left side belongs to me. The right side belongs to my

23 brother. This shop here belongs to me. This other one belongs to my

24 brother.

25 Q. So you and your brother own those two establishments and your

Page 7405

1 house is upstairs; is that correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And how many houses or apartments are above the restaurants and

4 businesses?

5 A. There were two above, and there was a third behind the

6 restaurants, behind the establishments.

7 Q. And was this the building where you were arrested -- from where

8 you were arrested on the 27th of May?

9 A. Yes.

10 MS. REIDY: Your Honours, could I ask that this be entered into

11 evidence and be given an exhibit number.

12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, please. Can we have an exhibit number for it?

13 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. It will be Exhibit P53.

14 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.

15 MS. REIDY: Thank you. That can be removed from the ELMO.

16 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, how many people came to arrest you?

17 A. Two came up the stairs leading to my home and another two were

18 waiting outside.

19 Q. And the two who came upstairs, did you know them?

20 A. Yes, I know them. They were Zoran Palezica and a man named

21 Radulovic. Mr. Radulovic used to be a policeman in Zagreb before the war,

22 and he came to Bosanski Samac during the war. I believe he is originally

23 from Skarici village.

24 Q. Thank you. And when these men came upstairs, what did they tell

25 you?

Page 7406

1 A. They wanted me to come with them and give a statement at the

2 Bosanski Samac police station.

3 Q. Did they tell you what the statement would be about?

4 A. No, they didn't tell me anything at all. They just told me to get

5 moving, and they started beating me even while I was climbing down the

6 stairs, in plain sight of my wife and children and my mother.

7 Q. What were they beating you with in front of your wife and children

8 and mother?

9 A. They beat me with a police truncheon, they kicked me, they also

10 beat me with a knuckleduster.

11 Q. Did they use any insults against you?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. What sort of insults?

14 A. They cursed my balija mother and they said something like, "How

15 could you ever have thought that you would be -- you would kill me?"

16 Q. I take it that -- I'm correct in saying that the term "balija

17 mother," that is an insulting term against Muslims, is it?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Did they tell your wife or children or mother how long you would

20 be giving this statement or when they could expect to see you back?

21 A. No.

22 Q. When they had taken you downstairs, what happened then?

23 A. They pushed me into a green Lada and then they took me directly to

24 the police station.

25 Q. The green Lada was a civilian car, was it, not a police car?

Page 7407

1 A. Yes, a civilian car.

2 Q. And what happened when they took you to the police station?

3 A. I was brought to the officer on duty, where I had to empty my

4 pockets of all my possessions: my papers, my -- take off my watch, take

5 off my shoelaces. And while I was handing over my documents, Nikola

6 Vukovic happened to come by, and he told me, "Here's another birdie coming

7 in. I have no time to talk to you now. We'll see each other. We'll be

8 seeing each other."

9 After that, I was taken to the so-called intake room.

10 In that room, there was a man named Goran who, as far as I know,

11 was a bodyguard of Stevo Todorovic. He gave me a piece of paper on which

12 to write my statement and instructed me to use the Cyrillic script and to

13 put in my statement the whereabouts of Mr. Alija Fitozovic.

14 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, could I just interrupt you there. I'd just like to

15 ask you one or two more questions about the testimony you've already

16 given.

17 A. Okay.

18 Q. When you had to take -- when you had to hand over all your

19 possessions, did you have to sign a receipt for them or did you get any

20 acknowledgment that they'd been taken from you?

21 A. No, I didn't sign anything, nor did I get anything from them.

22 Q. This Mr. Nikola Vukovic that you've mentioned, you knew him before

23 this meeting in the hallway?

24 A. Yes, I did.

25 Q. And when you met him this time, was he in civilian clothes or was

Page 7408

1 he wearing a uniform?

2 A. He was wearing a uniform.

3 Q. Could you see whether he was armed or not?

4 A. Yes, he was armed. He had a pistol on him. I believe it was a

5 Colt.

6 Q. You then testified that you were taken to what I believe you said

7 was an intake room, or perhaps a reception room would be another wording.

8 A. Yes, yes.

9 Q. Were there other detainees in that room when you first arrived, or

10 at the very beginning of your detention were you by yourself?

11 A. I was alone.

12 Q. Approximately how long were you by yourself in that room?

13 A. I was there perhaps an hour maybe, an hour and a half, two.

14 Q. Now, I know you've testified that you were visited by a man called

15 Goran. But beyond police officers, at any stage did they bring in any

16 other detainees to join you?

17 A. Yes, they did. There was Nijaz Alatovic, Kemal Kulugic, Hamed

18 Sukur, and a man by the last name of Coralic, nicknamed Brica or "barber."

19 Q. So at some stage there were about five of you in that room?

20 A. Right.

21 Q. All of you, were you Muslim or Croat?

22 A. We were Muslims.

23 Q. You were Muslims. Do you know where these other four men had come

24 from? Had they been detained somewhere else, or were they just newly

25 arrested like you too?

Page 7409












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 7410

1 A. I don't know. I believe they were brought from the town. I don't

2 think they had been detained before that.

3 Q. Did you know this person Nijaz Alatovic?

4 A. Yes. He's a relative of my wife.

5 Q. And did he say anything to you while you were detained about

6 helping you get released?

7 A. Yes. He talked to me in particular and told me that he was good

8 friends with Mr. Simo Zaric. He said, "I'll go and talk to him, and I'll

9 make inquiries about you too."

10 Q. Mr. Nijaz said that he'd approach Mr. Zaric about having you

11 released; is that it?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. What happened to the five of you in that room? Did you stay in

14 that room for the rest of the day, or were some of you taken out?

15 A. No. After a while, the officer on duty came and started calling

16 out names. The first to be called out was Nijaz Alatovic, and we could

17 hear the guard saying distinctly, "Simo Zaric is expecting you."

18 So Nijaz went there. And when the interview was over, in view of

19 the fact that this -- the window of this room is overlooking the street,

20 we could see Nijaz going towards his home. After him, Sukur, Kulugic, and

21 the barber left, and I couldn't see them through the window because they

22 had to turn left. And I thought that since they hadn't come back to the

23 room, they must have been released too.

24 While this -- these interviews, these four interviews took place,

25 the door of my room was open, and Mr. Simo Zaric would go down and tell

Page 7411

1 the officer on duty, "Go on with the beating."

2 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, you said that the door of your room was open. Does

3 this mean that whilst you were in the room that you could sometimes see

4 Mr. Simo Zaric out in the corridor or somewhere else outside of the room?

5 A. No, only in that sense.

6 Q. Only in what sense, Mr. Mehinovic?

7 A. I mean that it was the only moment when I saw him, when we came

8 down from his office to that hallway. And that was the single moment when

9 I was sitting in the left corner of the room and the door was slightly

10 ajar at an angle at which I could see him.

11 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, I'm just going to ask you some questions about this

12 because it's just important for the record that your experience is clear.

13 So you have testified that the other people detained with you were taken

14 out for what you understood to be a -- some form of interrogation. Does

15 that mean that they were all taken out and at some stage you were left

16 alone again in the room?

17 A. Yes. They were taken out from that room where I was. They were

18 taken to the office of Mr. Zaric, and I was left alone.

19 Q. And I understand that you yourself -- were you taken up to

20 Mr. Simo Zaric's office?

21 A. No.

22 Q. But at some stage you saw Mr. Simo Zaric in the SUP building.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And you could see him from the room where you were now alone in;

25 is that correct?

Page 7412

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Are you sure that it was Mr. Simo Zaric who you saw in the

3 corridor?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Can you recall whether Mr. Zaric was in civilian clothes or

6 wearing a uniform?

7 A. He was in a uniform.

8 Q. Can you recall whether he was armed or not?

9 A. Yes. He had a Skorpion gun on him.

10 Q. Did Mr. Zaric actually enter your room?

11 A. No, he didn't.

12 Q. But you heard -- you testified that you heard Mr. Zaric say

13 something; is that correct?

14 A. Yes. He said that I was in for a beating. In fact, he said

15 something to that effect to the officer on duty.

16 Q. So you could see him outside your room talking to another police

17 officer; is that correct?

18 A. Right.

19 Q. And did you actually hear Mr. Zaric say that you should be beaten?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And can you be certain that it was Mr. Zaric's voice you heard?

22 A. Certain.

23 Q. Did Mr. Zaric have a very distinctive voice?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Was Mr. Zaric looking in your direction when he said that you

Page 7413

1 should be beaten?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Did the duty officer actually come in and beat you at that time?

4 A. No. It was Mr. Stevan Todorovic who came later, together with his

5 bodyguard, Goran; Slobodan Jakupovic, nicknamed Zvarka; Stojan Kojic, also

6 known as Sole, and that group started to beat me.

7 Q. This Goran, this is the person you mentioned earlier in your

8 testimony who you said wanted you to write a statement in Cyrillic; is

9 that correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. So did Mr. Goran come into your room twice, then; once to ask you

12 for the statement and once in the company of the persons you've just

13 mentioned?

14 A. Yes. He came in twice, and that was the second time. First he

15 wanted from me that statement indicating the whereabouts of Alija

16 Fitozovic.

17 Q. Were you able to provide him with the information about

18 Mr. Fitozovic?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Did you know where Mr. Fitozovic was?

21 A. I know the man, but I didn't know where he was at the time.

22 Q. What happened to you when you were unable to produce the Cyrillic

23 statement Mr. Goran was looking for?

24 A. Well, when Goran saw that the paper was blank, he and Todorovic

25 started to beat me. They hit me with a truncheon, with a baseball bat,

Page 7414

1 with a bar that was lying behind the cupboard. It was a metal bar. And I

2 think they beat me for an hour, an hour and a half, maybe two hours. I'm

3 not sure any longer. And then they took a break.

4 After that break, they brought another three young men from the

5 TO, the Territorial Defence. Those three men were Hasan Hadzialijagic;

6 Admir Dzakic; and Srna, nicknamed Cuba. Right after they had come, they

7 resumed beating both me and them, and that lasted for a rather long time.

8 When the beating was over - it must have been after midnight, 1.00

9 or 2.00 a.m. - the three men were taken away. They were taken back to the

10 TO building, and I stayed behind in that room.

11 Q. Thank you. These three men, Mr. Hadzialijagic, Mr. Dzakic, and

12 Cuba --

13 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me, Madam Prosecutor.

14 When you are talking about beating with baseball bats and

15 whatever, what kind of beating was it? Did they hit you on your head or

16 arms, or which part of the body?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They beat me all over my body, also

18 on my head. In fact, most of all on the head. And it was mainly

19 Todorovic who hit me in the back of my head. And I still have a crack in

20 my skull which I can confirm with x-rays, and I have frequent headaches

21 and consequences from this.

22 Several times I had to spread my legs so that they could beat me

23 in the crotch. And they would do this while saying that I wouldn't be

24 needing it any more because we Muslims should not propagate.

25 They also beat me on the back, all over my spine, and in the

Page 7415

1 shins.

2 JUDGE LINDHOLM: I have a further question. During this beating

3 taking such a long time, did you get unconscious in -- at any moment?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did. I remember very clearly

5 the last blow in the head inflicted by Stevan Todorovic, after which I

6 fainted, because at that moment I lost consciousness and I remember my

7 nose was bleeding.

8 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.

9 MS. REIDY: Thank you.

10 Q. To follow up on that, Mr. Mehinovic, what did -- after these

11 beatings to your head and your crotch and all over your body, in fact,

12 what sort of injuries did you have after this particular beating?

13 A. I have injuries on my head. I have fractured ribs, two on the

14 right side and one on the left. One of my fingers is broken, and a scar

15 from a rifle butt on my index finger, and that blow was inflicted, one by

16 Stevan Todorovic and another by Nikolic, in the course of the beating,

17 which took a long time. Because the next day, when those three men had

18 already been taken back, Nikolic, Todorovic, Goran, and I believe Sole too

19 returned, and it was then that my index finger was injured.

20 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, could I just concentrate on the first night that

21 you were detained there just moment. Because I do appreciate that you

22 went through many beatings, and I promise you, we will come to them in

23 turn.

24 That night when these men had finished beating you, could you just

25 give us an idea of what you would have looked like? You mentioned your

Page 7416

1 nose. Was your nose broken?

2 A. I think it was, because to this day my nose is slightly twisted to

3 the left. It was already late at night, and I could see in the window

4 like in the mirror, and my neck was almost invisible to that extent. My

5 head was swollen. It had almost merged with my shoulders. And I wasn't

6 even allowed to lie down or sit down. I had to stand up every time the

7 duty officer would come in. And regardless of the terrible pain I was in,

8 I had to stand up in that intake room, despite the fact that my legs were

9 very swollen. And I had also forgotten to say that after the beating was

10 over, Mr. Stevan Todorovic ordered me to lick the bloodstains on the

11 walls. He said he didn't want to see them any more in the morning.

12 Q. Did you have some of that blood on your clothing?

13 A. Yes. Yes.

14 Q. Did you then spend the night after this beating in that room by

15 yourself?

16 A. Yes. I was alone until the morning.

17 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, I had wanted to ask you as well whether the three

18 men who were brought in and also beaten with you at some time, were they

19 of Muslim or Croat ethnic background?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Thank you.

22 MS. REIDY: Could I ask that the witness be shown one of the

23 photographs from -- well, Your Honour, my colleague is pointing out to me

24 that it is perhaps time for the break. Would it be appropriate to take

25 the break now?

Page 7417

1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll take the break now and continue at 1615

2 hours.

3 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.

4 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.

5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber has been informed that the

6 Defence wanted to raise something before we continue with the witness.

7 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honours. Thank you. Just very briefly.

8 The basis of my submission is that -- first of all, I didn't want to

9 interrupt the trial proceedings and the testimony of this witness.

10 Basically, the Defence is of the opinion that up to now we heard enough

11 evidence with regard to the acts of Stevan Todorovic, paramilitaries,

12 members, and the other events in Samac, which are not directly related to

13 the defendants here. In that respect - of course, it is at the discretion

14 of this Trial Chamber - we would like to respectfully suggest that certain

15 portions of the testimonies of this witness and coming witnesses,

16 according to the approach of our learned friends from the Prosecution,

17 would be avoided. Because, frankly - I'm speaking on behalf of my

18 client - we could agree about the numerous facts related to Mr. Stevan

19 Todorovic and paramilitaries, and it is the fact of common knowledge

20 before this Trial Chamber that neither of us during our cross-examination

21 challenged certain events and portions with regard to the detention,

22 events in the SUP - I don't know - acts of police, et cetera. So

23 basically, that would be our suggestion. Thank you.

24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber was actually looking at that

25 point regarding -- looking at the cross-examination. Is it the submission

Page 7418

1 of the Defence that they are not contesting any beatings by this witness

2 and the rest of the witnesses to come?

3 MR. PANTELIC: I'm speaking -- I'm speaking on behalf of my

4 client.

5 JUDGE MUMBA: Your client. Okay.

6 MR. PANTELIC: And I can tell that we don't contest these acts of

7 Todorovic's actions and certain members of paramilitary forces under his

8 control. Of course, in certain stages of these proceedings we proceed

9 with our cross-examinations with regard to the isolated parts of

10 testimonies of certain witnesses where they mentioned my client in certain

11 events.

12 JUDGE MUMBA: I see.

13 MR. PANTELIC: And successfully, I think, the Defence clarified

14 that issue. So that is the position of Mr. Blagoje Simic's Defence.

15 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. Thank you.

16 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.

17 JUDGE MUMBA: Any other counsel of the same view, that they are

18 not contesting the beatings? I see.

19 MS. BAEN: We might have that same position. I think it's very

20 reasonable. I just haven't had a chance to discuss it with -- with our

21 client. But I think it's a very reasonable --

22 JUDGE MUMBA: Approach, yes.

23 MS. BAEN: Yes. I really do.

24 JUDGE MUMBA: In that case, then, you think that if you had an

25 opportunity to discuss with your client, maybe you can have to -- you can

Page 7419

1 come to some concessions?

2 MS. BAEN: Yes, Your Honour.

3 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. What about Mr. Lukic? No concessions?

4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I subscribe to what

5 Mr. Pantelic has said as far as I understood him. My position and that of

6 my client is that we cannot contest any right that we have to

7 cross-examination if our clients are mentioned in similar incidents. But

8 if we are speaking about incidents of beating involving third persons, we

9 have no particular reason to dispute that.

10 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.

11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence of

12 Mr. Zaric has held this view from the very beginning, and we do not

13 dispute the beatings. If perhaps a particular situation arose involving

14 something out of the ordinary, perhaps that would be an exception. But we

15 have heard so far so much evidence to this effect that this matter has

16 become undisputed and incontestable, and to that extend we subscribe to

17 the views expressed by our colleagues.

18 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Mr. Pisarevic.

19 I'm sure the Prosecution have understood what the Defence stand

20 is.

21 MS. REIDY: With respect, Your Honour, I -- I believe I

22 partially -- myself and my colleague partially understand the position of

23 the Defence. They no longer -- or are suggesting that it may no longer be

24 necessary to lead evidence on the beatings because they concede that

25 detainees were beaten -- or that Muslims and Croats were beaten.

Page 7420

1 But may I just ask them to clarify exactly. Are they conceding

2 that, for example, paragraph 15(C) of the indictment, that there was cruel

3 and inhumane treatment of Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims and other

4 non-Serb civilians including beatings and torture and confinement under

5 inhumane conditions? Are they conceding that they are not contesting

6 that -- for example, that aspect of the persecutions charge existed?

7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.

8 MR. PANTELIC: If we may, Your Honours. Of course, it is not our

9 case. I mean, it's in very general terms. We are speaking about specific

10 acts of Mr. Steven Todorovic.

11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. On behalf of your client, that's what you're

12 submitting. I see.

13 MR. PANTELIC: So we cannot accept this approach suggested by the

14 Prosecution that in general terms we could say that --

15 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.

16 MR. PANTELIC: I mean, that's a matter for the judgement of

17 course.

18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think, Ms. Reidy, what this comes to is

19 certainly not asking the witnesses for details of the -- how the beatings

20 were done, the implements used and things like that. It will be

21 sufficient for those witnesses who were not implicating any of the

22 defendants in the beatings to simply discuss that they were beaten for so

23 many days and so forth and so on, except where the implication -- the ones

24 beating may be involving any of the accused. Then that's okay; you can go

25 into the details.

Page 7421

1 MS. REIDY: Thank you, Your Honour. I will endeavour to do that.

2 However, may I just make clear that our indictment, particularly, of

3 course, with relation to Mr. Pantelic's client, is that Mr. Blagoje Simic

4 himself was not often to be found in the police station beating people but

5 he acted in concert with others.


7 MS. REIDY: And we will show that indeed through the witness

8 Mr. Todorovic when he comes to testify, how he worked with Mr. Todorovic

9 and with the paramilitaries and others. So it's important --

10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That part of the evidence is okay for the

11 Prosecution to go into the details.

12 MS. REIDY: And we can also go into details -- I understand that

13 they're conceding that Mr. Todorovic was -- engaged in acts of beating

14 where there were other personnel who we believe -- who the Prosecution's

15 case falls within the acting in concert with others. We would also like

16 to have that evidence on record so that we can at the conclusion of the

17 case prove beyond reasonable doubt that Mr. Blagoje Simic met the 7(1)

18 requirements.

19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That is not being disputed, and the

20 Prosecution can go into the details they need to meet the standard of

21 proof.

22 MS. REIDY: Thank you. I will endeavour to tailor my examination

23 bearing the concessions of the Defence in mind.

24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you.

25 Mr. Usher, please bring in the witness.

Page 7422

1 MS. REIDY: Your Honour.


3 MS. REIDY: I'm sorry, briefly may I just update the Bench,

4 perhaps before the witness comes in, on consultations between the

5 Prosecution and Defence counsel for Milan Simic on the matter of

6 identification.


8 MS. REIDY: Mr. Simic has indicated to his counsel that what he

9 would like is to be able to see a close-up picture on his monitor in the

10 Detention Unit of the witness . Currently it's a broader picture. So if

11 I --

12 JUDGE MUMBA: I see. Mm-hm.

13 MS. REIDY: So perhaps when the witness comes in, I'll instruct

14 the audiovisual booth to do that.


16 MS. REIDY: And then in the next break, Defence counsel can again

17 consult Mr. Simic on his stance.

18 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. Thank you.

19 Yes, Ms. Reidy, you can proceed.

20 MS. REIDY: Thank you. Perhaps bearing in mind my recent

21 intervention, the audiovisual booth could ensure that the witness is

22 directly visible on the screen to Mr. Simic.

23 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, I have just one or two more questions for you about

24 this first night in the SUP. You said when you were -- when you were

25 brought in that your possessions, including your watch, were taken from

Page 7423

1 you; is that correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. So after you were initially brought into the SUP, your estimations

4 on time are based on your observation rather than your ability to look at

5 your watch or anything; is that correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And the beating which you described earlier involving bats and

8 metal bars and that, the other three men - Mr. Dzakic, Cuba, and

9 Mr. Hadzialijagic - they were subjected to similar treatment, were they,

10 during this hour, hour and a half in the room?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, I understand that you stayed in that room where you

13 were first beaten for a number of days after that. Is that correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Could you estimate roughly how many days you stayed in that

16 particular room?

17 A. Six to seven days. I'm not sure.

18 Q. Thank you.

19 MS. REIDY: Could I now ask the usher if photograph number 43 from

20 Prosecution Exhibit 14 could be put on the ELMO for the witness.

21 Q. [Microphone not activated] Mr. Mehinovic, is this the building

22 that -- sorry. I apologise. Mr. Mehinovic, is the building in the

23 picture the building where you were held and subjected to the beating you

24 described?

25 A. Yes.

Page 7424












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13 English transcripts.













Page 7425

1 Q. Could I ask you to take the pointer and if you can, to the best of

2 your recollection, indicate which of those rooms where you can see windows

3 would be the one where you were first held and beaten.

4 A. This window here by the small tree, right by the door. That was

5 the window. That was that reception room.

6 Q. Thank you. And do you know whether Mr. Zaric also had offices or

7 operated from any of the other rooms in this building where you were?

8 A. Yes. He was upstairs. I don't know in which room, though.

9 Q. So according to your information, Mr. Zaric would have been in and

10 around this building whilst you were held there for those six or seven

11 days?

12 A. I think he was there. I'm not sure. I only saw him that day when

13 he let those people out.

14 Q. But to your knowledge, he had an office in the same building?

15 A. Yes.

16 MS. REIDY: Thank you. I'm finished with the photograph now.

17 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, during these six or seven days in that room, did

18 anyone else come and take this statement from you, the one that was the

19 original pretext for bringing you to the building?

20 A. No. In those days, nobody asked for any statements.

21 Q. Did anyone come in and explain to you why you were being further

22 detained?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Did anyone come in and give you food or sustenance?

25 A. No, not in that room.

Page 7426

1 Q. Were you provided with blankets or mattresses, anything to sleep

2 on in that room?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Were you alone by yourself there for those six or seven days in

5 that room?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Did anyone come to give you medical attention for the injuries you

8 sustained in the first night's beating?

9 A. No.

10 Q. During those six or seven days, did people come into your room to

11 beat you?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Did they come in every day or just once or twice during those six

14 or seven days?

15 A. Once or twice.

16 Q. Were the beatings similar in severity to the first night or did

17 you sustain injuries from those beatings too?

18 A. Yes. I was beaten as the first night. Whether they were all the

19 same, whether the injuries were all the same, whether all the ribs were

20 broken, I don't know, because I couldn't really tell from the pain,

21 because my body was already numb.

22 Q. So I take it you would be beaten on places where you had already

23 sustained injury from the first night.

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Were you allowed to visit the toilet or go to any place to have a

Page 7427

1 wash or a shower?

2 A. I was only allowed to go to the toilet, but at that time there was

3 no water, the city water supply system, but what we had to do was bring

4 water from the well.

5 Q. How many times a day would you be allowed to go to the toilet, or

6 could you simply go when you wanted?

7 A. Only once in the morning.

8 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, do you know of a person called Dadan Jakupovic?

9 A. Yes. Slobodan Jakupovic. Actually, Mr. Jakupovic isn't called

10 Dadan. He is son of Irfu Travkar [phoen].

11 Q. Did you hear whether anything happened to Mr. Slobodan Jakupovic

12 whilst you were detained in this first room?

13 A. I apologise. No, it wasn't Slobodan Jakupovic. It was Dadan

14 Jakupovic.

15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.

16 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honours, it's just a correction on the page

17 45, answer, line 3 until line 5.


19 MR. PANTELIC: It was not so clear in the transcript. I think the

20 witness said something else. To the best of my recollection, he said that

21 at that time there was no water in the city and the city water supply

22 system was not in order, something like that. So maybe our friend can

23 clarify that with the witness. Because this sentence: "... the city

24 water supply system, but what we had to do ..." was not so -- is not so

25 clear, and it's not in accordance with what the witness said.

Page 7428

1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Yes.

2 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.

3 JUDGE MUMBA: Ms. Reidy can clarify that.


5 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, just to step back to clear the record for us: You

6 said that you had to bring water from the well. Why was that?

7 A. Because the city water supply system was broken. There was no

8 water in the bathroom or in the toilets.

9 Q. Thank you. Can I clarify now: Are there two persons, one named

10 Slobodan Jakupovic and another one called Dadan Jakupovic?

11 A. No. There is only Dadan Jakupovic.

12 Q. And did you hear that he had been killed while you were being

13 detained in that first room?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. How did you hear he had been killed?

16 A. I heard that morning, very early, around 5.00, a shot, and then

17 later we found out from Mirsad Kirkic, who was in the hall - he was

18 cleaning the hall - that it was Dadan that was shot.

19 Q. Where was Dadan when he was shot?

20 A. At that time he was at the Territorial Defence. As far as I know,

21 from what I heard, he was at the TO.

22 Q. And at the time you heard the shot, did you have a look out the

23 window that you indicated in the photograph?

24 A. Yes, I did.

25 Q. And does that window look across onto the TO building where you

Page 7429

1 had -- where you understood Dadan was detained?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Did you see people standing outside the TO around the time of the

4 shot?

5 A. Yes, Mr. Simo Zaric and the Red Berets, the so-called Kapetan

6 Dragan Unit.

7 Q. And did you see them react to the shot, or how did they behave

8 when the shot sounded out?

9 A. No, I didn't. I saw no reaction. They were just standing there

10 and talking amongst themselves, I guess.

11 Q. After this day when you heard the shot and you learnt that Dadan

12 had been killed, did you stay in that single room by yourself for much

13 longer?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. How much longer did you stay in the single room?

16 A. Maybe another couple of hours. I was transferred to another room

17 at 10.00 at night, where there were 20 other people detained.

18 Q. Was that room just down the corridor from the room that you had

19 been in by yourself?

20 A. Yes, right next to it.

21 Q. So it was also on the bottom floor of the SUP building; is that

22 correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. These 20 or so other people, do you know the ethnic background of

25 the people in the room?

Page 7430

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Could you tell the Chamber what they were -- what it was?

3 A. Muslims and Croats.

4 Q. To the best of your knowledge, was there anybody of Serb ethnicity

5 detained in that room?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Was everybody in that room dressed in civilian clothes or was

8 anybody wearing a military uniform?

9 A. They were all in civilian clothes.

10 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, I'd first -- I want to cover a number of things

11 that happened while you were detained in this room, and first I'd just

12 like to touch on the general conditions. You said you hadn't received

13 food since you had been detained. Did you get food in the second room?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Do I understand that -- could you tell us what sort of food that

16 was?

17 A. In this other room, we started getting cooked food, cooked meals.

18 Q. Was it -- what were the portions like? Was it a lot of food or

19 would you have to share food amongst all 20 of you? Could you just give

20 us an idea of how often or what sort of food you had amongst the 20 of you

21 in that room.

22 A. In that room, every morning and every night we got one soldier's

23 ration per four of us and one loaf of bread per five of us.

24 Q. And the soldier's ration consisted of -- what was it? Kind of a

25 porridge, a meal?

Page 7431

1 A. It's the standard soldier's ration for soldiers in the field.

2 Every soldier had a can that was filled by one standard meal.

3 Q. Could you go to the toilet when you wanted from this second room?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Were you allowed to go to the toilet at appointed times or would

6 you be guarded when you went to the toilet?

7 A. Always in the morning, escorted by the guards, one by one, after

8 which we went straight back to the room.

9 Q. Were you and the other 20 or so persons in that room subjected to

10 beatings whilst you were detained there?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Would you be beaten in the room or would you be taken out for the

13 beatings to be administered?

14 A. Mainly inside the room.

15 Q. Who would come in to beat you? Would they be police officers,

16 would they be people in military uniform, or would they be people in

17 civilian uniform, or a mixture of all of those?

18 A. People wearing military uniforms.

19 Q. Would they beat you with implements, or would they just beat you

20 with their fists and legs?

21 A. They mainly kicked us with -- kicked us and beat us with their

22 fists and sometimes grabbed anything that was at hand.

23 Q. Did they ever force any detainees to hit each other or -- to hit

24 each other?

25 A. Yes.

Page 7432

1 Q. Were you ever -- were you ever the victim of being hit by any of

2 these people or another detainee, or were you ever forced to beat up on

3 the other detainees by the people in military uniform?

4 A. Yes. I was hit by Mirsad Jasarevic, also known as Bjelko.

5 Q. And Mirsad Jasarevic, was he forced to hit you?

6 A. Yes, he was. He was forced to beat us, to slap us, more

7 precisely. When he slapped you once, if you hadn't fallen to the ground,

8 he would get hit.

9 Q. Was this particularly humiliating, being hit by one of your own,

10 so to speak?

11 A. I think it was.

12 Q. This Mirsad Jasarevic, also known as Bjelko, did you ever witness

13 him being beaten by other people?

14 A. Yes. He was beaten in the hallway outside our room, in precisely

15 that section of the hallway.

16 Q. Now, Mr. Mehinovic, I would like to get the details of this

17 particular beating that you witnessed. So if you'll bear with me, I'll

18 take you through it slowly. Was Mr. Jasarevic detained in the room with

19 you, or was he detained somewhere else in the SUP?

20 A. No. He was detained in the garage, and he had been brought on

21 that occasion to the hallway.

22 Q. And how did you know that he was being brought out of the garage

23 to the hallway?

24 A. I knew from those men who did the sweeping and cleaning and who

25 washed their cars. They would tell us who was being taken where.

Page 7433

1 Q. On this occasion, did you hear someone give orders that Mirsad

2 Jasarevic should be brought up from the garages?

3 A. Yes. It was Milan Simic.

4 Q. When you say "Milan Simic," do you mean Milan Simic who you

5 described earlier and said whose father you knew very well?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And you're sure that it was Milan Simic who asked for Mirsad to be

8 brought up from the garages?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And how can you be so sure that it was Milan Simic?

11 A. Because the door was open, the hallway was lit, and the beating

12 was watched by all of us who were inside. And after that, Mirsad was

13 brought to our room to slap us.

14 Q. From the position you had in the room, could you actually see

15 Milan Simic at some stage out in the corridor?

16 A. Yes, because I was standing right next to the door.

17 Q. And could you see when Mirsad Jasarevic was actually brought into

18 the hallway?

19 A. I was sitting to the right of the door, which was ajar. I

20 couldn't see the staircase. I only saw him when he entered the hallway

21 together with them.

22 Q. Could you see what Mirsad was being beaten with? Was he being

23 punched, or was he being beaten with implements?

24 A. With a truncheon. He was also being punched and kicked, and the

25 truncheon was a police one.

Page 7434

1 Q. Could you hear whether there were any insults or comments being

2 made to Mirsad while he was being assaulted?

3 A. I was very close. It might have been a metre and a half away.

4 There were insults. They were cursing his mother, his sister.

5 Q. Do you consider these --

6 MS. BAEN: Excuse me. Just for clarification purposes --


8 MS. BAEN: -- he said "they" were cursing his mother. If we could

9 just have clarification as to who "they" was.


11 MS. REIDY: Yes, Your Honour. I appreciate Defence counsel's

12 concern. I do intend to go back and clarify a number of those issues.

13 Q. First, Mr. Mehinovic, could you just clarify for us on the matter

14 of the -- when you say "cursing his mother and sister," were these

15 particularly, shall I say, racist cursings, referring to his ethnic

16 background, or were they just general crude curses?

17 A. Just profanities.

18 Q. Now, you've mentioned that they -- you know, that they were

19 cursing him. Who was doing the cursing exactly?

20 A. It was Lugar. The man was known as Lugar. I don't know either

21 his first or last name. There was also Tihi; perhaps the duty officer

22 Savo; we called him the man from Rijeka, although I'm not sure he was from

23 Rijeka, but he hadn't lived in Samac before. So those were the four men.

24 Q. And do I understand that Milan Simic who had order -- or that you

25 heard ordered Mirsad be brought up from the garage was with the men you

Page 7435

1 just named?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Could you see whether each of these persons were participating in

4 the beating, or could you just see general -- the group beating Mirsad --

5 could you distinguish - if you understand what I mean by distinguish -

6 each individual, or could you just see the general beating?

7 A. As a group. Because one man would hit him, and he would stagger.

8 And then he would stagger all the way to the -- to the next man. And they

9 would -- he was actually bouncing among them like a ball.

10 Q. And could you see Milan Simic participating in this group assault?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Could you see whether -- how badly Mirsad was injured from this

13 assault?

14 A. I could. He was swollen so much that his eyes were closed, and

15 his head was very swollen, and he was so exhausted that he could barely

16 stand.

17 Q. You testified that after this beating, he was brought into the

18 room where you and 20 others were being held; is that correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Did Milan Simic or was it one of the other police officers

21 accompany him into the room?

22 A. They were standing at the door and in the hallway, and they would

23 laugh at every blow dealt by Bjelko.

24 Q. But can I clarify. Who brought Mirsad Jasarevic into the room

25 where you were detained after he was beaten in the hallway?

Page 7436

1 A. Milan told him -- because we could hear from the hallway when

2 Lugar told him, "You will now beat them one by one. And if you don't fell

3 the man that you hit, you will get beaten." And when he got to the door,

4 Milan told him, "What are you waiting for? Get in."

5 Q. And can you then say what -- what did Mirsad do? He came into

6 your room, and did he indeed have to beat up the other prisoners?

7 A. He did. If he hadn't started to slap us, he would be beaten even

8 more.

9 Q. After he'd finished beating you, was -- do you know whether Mirsad

10 was returned to his cell, or was he left in your room?

11 A. He remained in the lower part, in the farther part of the hallway,

12 and he spent the night on the bare cement floor. And after that, in the

13 morning, they took him back to the garage.

14 Q. How do you know that he spent the night on the cement floor you've

15 just described?

16 A. When we were taken to the lavatory in the morning, he was still

17 lying there in the farthest section of the hallway.

18 Q. When you saw Milan Simic in the corridor and witnessed this

19 assault, was Milan Simic wearing civilian clothes or was he dressed in a

20 uniform?

21 A. A uniform.

22 Q. Could you tell from your vantage point whether or not he was also

23 carrying a weapon?

24 A. I could. He also had a pistol, but I don't know the type.

25 Q. Was that the only time that you --

Page 7437

1 MS. BAEN: Excuse me, Your Honour.

2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Ms. Baen.

3 MS. BAEN: The witness said that Milan Simic was wearing a

4 uniform. If he could clarify what type of uniform. Thank you.

5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Ms. Reidy.

6 MS. REIDY: Certainly.

7 Q. I trust you understood the question, Mr. Mehinovic. The uniform

8 that Mr. Milan Simic was wearing, could you tell us the type of uniform it

9 was?

10 A. A camouflage uniform.

11 Q. Thank you. Was this the only time that you personally witnessed

12 Milan Simic beating up one of the detainees in the SUP?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, how long did you spend, if you can estimate for us,

15 in this second room where there were 20 or so of you? How long in total

16 was your detention in that particular room?

17 A. Perhaps up to a month or just over a month. I'm not sure.

18 Q. During your month there, were you ever asked to come out and clean

19 the toilets or the hallways?

20 A. I was, yes.

21 Q. And on one occasion when you had to clean the toilets in the

22 hallways, did you see any women being detained in the SUP building?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Could you just briefly describe for us what you witnessed in terms

25 of women being detained in the SUP building.

Page 7438

1 A. First I saw their faces. It was Behka Barjaktarevic. And I know

2 the other one too. She was manager of a department store, married to a

3 local man from Samac. I don't know her name. And while I was cleaning

4 the hallway and before I got to the lavatory, Steven Todorovic and his

5 favourite bodyguards, Goran, and Vukovic, Zvarka, Sole, and his team

6 already were inside. And I heard screaming from that room, while two of

7 the men were standing and laughing in the hallway.

8 Q. Thank you. You did mention before the break, in response to Her

9 Honour's, question that one of the injuries you had sustained was a -- I

10 believe you said fracture to your finger. Was that finger broken during

11 your stay here in the month in the SUP?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And was it deliberately broken by some of the people in authority

14 working in the SUP?

15 A. Yes, it was. Stevan Todorovic asked me which hand I used for

16 shooting, and he hit me with a rifle butt.

17 Q. During this -- one last question. The screaming you've described

18 hearing from the room - I take you back now to when you were in the

19 hallway doing your cleaning of the toilets - was that screaming of female

20 or male voices?

21 A. Female.

22 Q. Thank you.

23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Ms. Reidy, do you think we could clarify what was

24 the name of the person that the witness refers to on page 55, line 25? In

25 response to your question, he says: "First I saw their faces. It was

Page 7439












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 7440

1 Behka ..." something or the other. Could we clarify who the people were,

2 if he can?

3 MS. REIDY: Sure.

4 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, so that it's very clear on our record, could you

5 again give us the names, if you know them, of the women you saw in the SUP

6 building? Could you pronounce it very clearly so that the correct name

7 could come out on the record?

8 A. This first woman I know, and her name was Behka, B-e-h-k-a,

9 Barjaktarevic. And I don't know the other one's last name. Her first

10 name was Nihada. She was married to a man from Bosanski Samac and she is

11 originally from Gradacac. Her name is Nihada, N-i-h-a-d-a. The first

12 woman's last name is B-a-r-j-a-k-t-a-r-e-v-i-c.

13 MS. REIDY: Your Honour, that's now clear for the record?

14 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes. Thank you.


16 Q. During this month or so that you spent with the 20 other people in

17 the room, did you get asked then to make this infamous statement you were

18 originally asked to come to the SUP to give?

19 A. No, I hadn't given any statement there in the SUP.

20 Q. Did anyone explain to you why you were being detained for a month

21 and offer you any explanation to any charges or suspicion against you?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Did you have any access to a doctor to treat any of your

24 increasing medical wounds?

25 A. No, not at the SUP.

Page 7441

1 Q. At any stage were you told that you would be asked -- that you

2 would be assigned a lawyer or that you would be given an explanation as to

3 why you were being detained?

4 A. No.

5 Q. After the month or so you spent in this room, where were you

6 transferred to next?

7 A. I was transferred across the road from the SUP to the TO building.

8 MS. REIDY: Could I just ask that the witness be shown picture 50

9 from the Prosecution Exhibit 14. And perhaps just for the usher's sake,

10 you could also provide photographs 4 and 5, for a matter of convenience.

11 Could the usher please place, yes, number 50 on the ...

12 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, is the building depicted in the picture there the

13 TO building which you speak about?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And it was across the road here that you were transferred from the

16 SUP?

17 A. Yes.

18 MS. REIDY: Could I ask the usher -- could you please put

19 photograph 5 on the ELMO.

20 Q. Do you recognise the doors depicted in the photograph in front of

21 you now?

22 A. This big door was the door of the room we were locked in, and the

23 small door led to a room where 30 or 40 people had already been detained.

24 That's where we were transferred, and this one had been closed until then.

25 Q. So the door on the right-hand side, beside what looks like a van

Page 7442

1 with a red cross on it, is the cellar in which you were kept; is that

2 correct?

3 A. Right.

4 MS. REIDY: Thank you. I'm finished with those photographs.

5 Perhaps you could just leave them near the witness, and I may ask him to

6 refer to them.

7 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, how many of you were kept in that room?

8 A. In this TO room, there was about 180 of us.

9 Q. So there were more than just the people who were transferred with

10 you from your particular room in the SUP?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Were all 180 either of Muslim or Croat ethnic background?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Amongst them was there anybody wearing a military uniform or any

15 sort of uniform, or were they only civilians?

16 A. They were all civilians.

17 Q. The other 160 or so people held with you in that room, did they

18 look to you as if they had been beaten and ill-treated in a way that you

19 and your co-detainees obviously had?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Whilst you were detained in this room, this cell in the TO

22 building, how often were you provided with food or sustenance?

23 A. When we moved to the TO, we got food once a day. We got a slice

24 or two of bread covered with either lard or with jam, and also --

25 MS. REIDY: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I lost the second half of the

Page 7443

1 translation. I don't know whether --

2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear. Could the witness

3 please repeat.


5 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, the interpreters didn't catch all your answer, so

6 could you please explain to us what exactly it was you were given to eat

7 again.

8 A. We got only one meal, in the mornings: two slices of bread with

9 either lard or jam, and also a small glass of tea.

10 Q. Being a Muslim, would you normally eat lard?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Did all 180 of you have to sleep in this room behind the door we

13 saw?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Was it big enough for you all to lie down and sleep comfortably?

16 A. No. There were racks from ammunition cases. It was very

17 crowded. And we only had one blanket underneath us. Some had to sleep on

18 the concrete.

19 Q. So do I understand that some people slept on the floor, some

20 people tried to sleep on these racks you speak of?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And you said you had one blanket underneath you. Was that the

23 total sleeping equipment, so to speak, that you were given by the

24 authorities?

25 A. Yes.

Page 7444

1 Q. How about hygiene facilities? Did you have access to toilets when

2 you needed it?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Would you be allowed to go to toilets at specific times?

5 A. No.

6 Q. How would you then manage to get to the toilet?

7 A. We went also in the morning, one by one, and we had to go through

8 the duty room where the soldier was, then through the hall, and then to

9 the toilet.

10 MS. REIDY: I'm sorry, usher. Could I ask you for your assistance

11 just to put photo 4 on the ELMO.

12 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, am I correct in saying that the opening to the

13 right of that picture leads into the toilet?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. So what you've just described, having to go in through there,

16 through the duty room and that, that's where you would have to go, is it?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And would you sometimes be beaten on your way there and back to

19 the toilet?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Thank you.

22 MS. REIDY: Now, again perhaps just leave the photograph beside

23 the witness, but I'm finished with it for the moment.

24 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Ms. Reidy, maybe the witness could tell us what

25 would happen or what happened if somebody requested to go to the toilets

Page 7445

1 other than that first visit in the morning. What happened to the person?


3 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, I think Her Honour's question is clear.

4 A. Yes, it is. Every new request to go to the toilet would cause

5 beatings. Because of that reason, we never requested to go to the

6 toilet. We took it as long as we could.

7 Q. Would this sometimes mean that people had to go to the toilet

8 other than in the toilet; so sometimes in the cell where you were all

9 being kept?

10 A. Yes. In this room that we were in, there were steps to go to the

11 attic. And in this attic, we opened the door -- because they were

12 closed. These were iron doors. And upstairs we found an old uniform. It

13 was a green/grey uniform of the JNA. And we would go upstairs to go to

14 the toilet, if we were talking about bowel movement.

15 Q. Thank you. Whilst you were in the TO, were you ever able to get

16 visits from your family or relatives?

17 A. No. Visits were not allowed.

18 Q. On occasion, did relatives or family manage to get through bread

19 or some clothes through -- through guards to the detainees?

20 A. Yes. Yes.

21 Q. But official visits were prohibited; is that correct?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Is that official visits were prohibited or official visits were

24 not prohibited?

25 A. No, they were not prohibited -- no, they were prohibited.

Page 7446

1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter correction.


3 Q. Okay. Mr. Mehinovic, can you estimate how long you were detained

4 in the Territorial Defence building?

5 A. Approximately up to September, October. At that time we were

6 transferred by buses to the Batkovic camp. And at the TO, we were called

7 one by one. Our eyes were bound, and we were taken to the buses.

8 Q. So Mr. Mehinovic, I estimate that if you were kept in the SUP for

9 a month or so, that it must have been, say, end of June, beginning of July

10 when you were transferred to the TO, and then you stayed there for, I

11 guess, up to four months. Is that a correct interpretation of your

12 recollection?

13 A. I think it is.

14 Q. During these four months in the TO, were you subjected to a

15 variety of beatings similar to those that you had endured in the SUP

16 building?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Was this just for you, or was it something that the other

19 detainees with you also suffered?

20 A. We all suffered.

21 Q. Were you ever subjected to such games as Russian roulette?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Could you just describe how this game of Russian roulette would

24 play out in the territorial building.

25 A. Seven or eight or ten of us would be taken out, and we would be

Page 7447

1 put into a circle. And Batan Vukovic would then turn the barrel on his

2 gun. And wherever -- no, he would turn his --

3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter correction.

4 A. He would -- he would turn the barrel of his gun so that he would

5 know where the bullet was. And wherever it was, and if -- and if -- and

6 he would start shooting prisoners. And if the bullet was there, that

7 person would fall. If not, then he would start shooting -- he would

8 continue shooting.


10 Q. And was anyone ever killed during these games?

11 A. Not in front of me.

12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Ms. Reidy, could we clarify who the person was

13 who was firing the gun, because I think on page 63, line 25 it's missing.

14 Presumably it will be put in later with the audiotapes. But I'd be

15 interested in hearing the name right now.

16 MS. REIDY: Of course, Your Honour. Sorry, I didn't realise it

17 was missing.

18 Q. The transcript hasn't caught the name of the person who used to

19 play Russian roulette with the barrel. Could you just repeat it again

20 slowly for us so it's clear on the record.

21 A. Nikola Vukovic, called Batan.

22 Q. And Mr. Mehinovic, while this --

23 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Ms. Reidy, just a technical question.

24 When we are talking about playing Russian roulette, we usually

25 mean a revolver with six bullets and then turning it. And there is only

Page 7448

1 one bullet in the revolver, and then you turn it around and then you, so

2 to say, fire it. And if there is an empty place with no bullet, then it

3 will happen. But you have always been speaking about pistols, and a

4 pistol is something quite different compared with A revolver, because in a

5 pistol you have a magazine with one or more bullets in it. So what are

6 you talking about now when you are talking about playing Russian

7 roulette? Thank you.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. You are right. I

9 think that in my previous testimony when I talked about Batan, I already

10 emphasised that he had a revolver, and I failed to specify it right now.

11 But I did mean his revolver, not pistol.

12 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you.


14 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, you said that no one was ever killed in front of

15 you as a result of these games. But every time you were forced to play

16 it, were you afraid that someone would be killed or that even you yourself

17 would be killed?

18 A. Naturally.

19 Q. Whilst you were held in the TO, did you know someone called

20 Slobodan Jacimovic?

21 A. Slobodan Jacimovic. Jacimovic. He called himself the Serbian

22 inspector. On more than one occasion and in more than one moment, he

23 personally called upon me and he would beat me; the reason I still have

24 not found out. The first time I ever saw him was at the TO building.

25 Before that, I had never heard of him or known him.

Page 7449

1 Q. And therefore, did you learn his name from him or from other

2 persons?

3 A. From other people after I left the camp.

4 Q. What sort of beatings would he inflict upon you?

5 A. He would bind me to the window of the TO building that had bars.

6 He would beat me with the handle of -- a wooden handle of a mop. He would

7 beat me until I was completely exhausted. And then I had to get up and

8 lift my soles towards the -- towards the skies, and then he would hit me

9 all over my soles.

10 MS. REIDY: Could I ask if just the usher can -- just to put

11 picture number 4 back on the ELMO, please.

12 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, on the right-hand side of that photograph, we can

13 see a window with some grating. Is that the window you refer to in your

14 testimony?

15 A. Yes, that was the window.

16 Q. Thank you.

17 MS. REIDY: And again, I'm finished with that photograph. Thank

18 you.

19 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, I don't want to go into everything you endured

20 during these four months in the TO. But beyond what you've described to

21 us - the Russian roulette, particular beatings by Mr. Jacimovic - did you

22 also have other -- regular routine beatings that would go on throughout

23 these four months?

24 A. It wasn't quite regular, because when you were called up only --

25 for example, Jacimovic beat me -- if I would say that I was already

Page 7450

1 beaten, he would -- I would have to lift my shirt to show that I was

2 already beaten. And if my wounds were -- it was -- if it was visible from

3 my wounds that I had just been beaten, then he would leave it. But if it

4 was not, then he would beat me again.

5 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, did any of the guards or persons who -- persons who

6 used to have access to the TO building ever refuse to, you know,

7 participate in hitting prisoners? Were there some good people who didn't

8 participate?

9 A. Yes. Those were Zoran Jovanovic, Ranko Tinin, Djoko Pejcic from

10 Crkvina, called Unprofor. Those were the people that never allowed while

11 they were there to be beating, while they were on duty.

12 Q. Now, Mr. Mehinovic, during your stay in the TO, did Mr. Miroslav

13 Tadic ever visit the TO?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And do you know why he would come to the TO?

16 A. At the time of exchange, when he had to come and get people,

17 that's when he was there.

18 Q. And Mr. Tadic, would he just stand outside the yard of the TO or

19 would he actually come into the cell where the 180 of you or so were being

20 held?

21 A. He would come to the yard. He would not go to the cell. He was

22 at the door. When he'd read somebody's name, that person would go out and

23 wait to enter the bus for the exchange.

24 Q. During your four-month period, how many times did you see

25 Mr. Tadic come to the TO in this manner?

Page 7451

1 A. Personally, I only saw him once at the TO building.

2 Q. Could you tell us, from what you saw there, what the prisoners

3 would have looked like when Mr. Tadic came to collect them for exchange?

4 A. Every person was very happy because they were going to be

5 exchanged. Everybody couldn't wait to be exchanged.

6 Q. Why exactly were people so happy to be exchanged?

7 A. Because they would get rid of the beatings. Then nobody else

8 would beat them. They would be free. And they would also not be in the

9 confined space any more.

10 Q. So in your experience, people wanted to be exchanged to avoid

11 beatings and to escape confinement; was that it?

12 A. Yes. Yes.

13 Q. These prisoners, could you describe to us what they would have

14 looked like in terms of any visible injuries, if they had any, would they

15 have lost any weight, what was their clothing like?

16 A. Everybody has lost weight, up to the last person. Nobody weighed

17 the same as they did at the beginning. If they weighed a hundred kilos,

18 during the time of exchange they would have weighed 60 to 70 kilos. We

19 weren't receiving food. We weren't receiving quality food. The person

20 that loses weight, it is well known that the eyes in that case become much

21 deeper. They sink deeper into the skull. And the face changes

22 dramatically.

23 Q. Did the majority of -- or indeed all the prisoners have visible

24 bruises or wounds to their bodies?

25 A. Not everybody did. I could say, for example, Kemal Bobic, who was

Page 7452

1 hit between the scalp and the left eyebrow, that part of his face was

2 swollen, but after a while this part started rotting. There was another

3 man. I know his last name was Galic. His entire scalp was removed. It

4 was hanging. After a while it -- also because of festering. He was taken

5 to Brcko to have his wound disinfected and his head bandaged up.

6 Q. And did many of the detainees have the same clothes on them that

7 they had been wearing for a long time while they were in detention?

8 A. I don't understand. Do you mean the same clothing that they were

9 wearing before?

10 Q. I just want to get a picture whether these prisoners who were

11 being taken out by Mr. Tadic for exchange would have been, for example,

12 wearing fresh clothing, looking healthy, or whether or not they would have

13 clothes they had been wearing in detention, maybe bloodstained from some

14 of the beatings you described. I'm just trying to get a visual image of

15 what the prisoners looked like at the time Mr. Tadic made his visits.

16 A. I personally don't know if they received or changed clothes, but

17 from the TO they left -- they went out wearing the same clothes that they

18 had when they first arrived.

19 Q. Thank you. Mr. Mehinovic, whilst you were for four months in the

20 TO, did you ever receive a visit from the International Red Cross in

21 Geneva?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Do you have any information as to whether or not the International

24 Red Cross tried to visit you detainees in the Territorial Defence

25 building?

Page 7453

1 A. Yes, I do. Mr. Esref Zaimbegovic has informed me of that. He was

2 taken to the TO room, where there was a guard, he and another person, and

3 the rest of us were locked and we were threatened that not even a fly

4 should be heard. After Esref returned, he said that the International Red

5 Cross had been there, but only two of them were shown to the IRC, and they

6 were told that only prisoners were there in these rooms that had quite

7 normal conditions around them.

8 MS. REIDY: Your Honour, I do just want to follow up one or two

9 questions. I don't know whether you would like me to finish this line of

10 questioning and then break, or save the follow-up questions for the break.

11 JUDGE MUMBA: Maybe we can break until 1805.

12 MS. REIDY: And Your Honours, may I also raise one thing?


14 MS. REIDY: The Defence last month had given us a number of

15 documents pertaining to this witness. Due to a clerical error, and no

16 error on the part of the Defence, only one part of a document which

17 purports to be a statement made by Mr. Mehinovic in detention came through

18 to us. Therefore, I didn't until now have a chance to see the full

19 statement, and I'm wondering if the Bench would indulge me just to

20 approach the witness just on this single document. I've discussed it with

21 my colleagues, and certainly Mr. Lukic, whose document it was, has no

22 objection to that.

23 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. Then you may discuss the document with

24 the witness during the break.

25 We shall resume at 1805 hours.

Page 7454












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 7455

1 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.

2 --- On resuming at 6.06 p.m.

3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Ms. Reidy. Continue.

4 MS. REIDY: Thank you.

5 Could I just ask the usher's assistance. I've had placed on the

6 ELMO photograph number 50. It's just a little bit out of focus at the

7 moment. Thank you.

8 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, perhaps again with the aid of the pointer.

9 You just told us that a Mr. Esref Zaimbegovic was taken away into

10 the TO building and put into a clean dormitory. If it's possible from the

11 photograph in front of you, could you just try to demonstrate to us where

12 he was taken to be shown to the ICRC.

13 A. Well, I don't know firsthand which room he was in. I just know

14 that he had been there, because when he returned to our room where we were

15 locked up, he told me the whole story, where he had been and what had

16 happened.

17 Q. And according to that story that he told you, which building did

18 you understand him to have been taken to?

19 A. This one, the TO building.

20 Q. Was Mr. Esref Zaimbegovic originally detained with you in the cell

21 of 180 people?

22 A. I have no direct knowledge about when he was brought in. I just

23 know that he was brought to our room where 180 of us were kept, and that's

24 where we met.

25 Q. Thank you. So he was taken -- he was with you in your room. He

Page 7456

1 was taken from your room and to the building you indicated in the

2 photograph. And that's where the ICRC saw him. Is that correct?

3 A. Yes, right.

4 Q. Thank you.

5 MS. REIDY: I'm finished with the photograph 50 for the moment

6 again.

7 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, you stated that so far in the SUP building you had

8 never been asked to give a statement. Finally during your detention in

9 the TO building, were you brought in for interrogation and requested to

10 make a statement?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. Where were you taken to make that statement?

13 A. I was taken to the police station to the second floor, the office

14 of Milos Savic, inspector.

15 Q. Did you know who Milos Savic was before you saw him this time in

16 the office?

17 A. I knew him very slightly, because even before the war he worked in

18 the crime investigation department.

19 Q. Was Mr. Savic wearing a uniform?

20 A. No.

21 Q. He was then dressed in civilian clothes?

22 A. Yes. That day he was in civilian clothes.

23 Q. Could you tell whether he was armed?

24 A. No. I couldn't see that.

25 Q. Was he alone in the room or were there more persons apart from

Page 7457

1 Mr. Milos Savic there?

2 A. He was alone.

3 Q. Can you recall roughly how long after you had been transferred to

4 the TO that you were called to make this statement?

5 A. I'm not sure any longer. I think it was in the month of July, but

6 I'm not sure.

7 Q. Thank you. And by the time you went to see Mr. Milo Savic, did

8 you -- was your finger already broken?

9 A. Yes, it was.

10 Q. And you had already sustained over a month or so of regular

11 beatings; is that correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. From what you knew of the injuries you had sustained up until that

14 time, would the -- were the injuries visible when you entered the room of

15 Mr. Savic?

16 A. At that time, the only thing you could see was the index finger.

17 Q. Can you recall: Were you in the same clothes that you had been

18 arrested in on the 27th of May?

19 A. Yes. Only after the interrogation did we begin to get a change of

20 clothes and other things that our families managed to get through to us.

21 The guard on duty would call you into a room and give you the change of

22 clothes, tell you to undress and put on the new clothes, and hand over the

23 old ones to him.

24 Q. And so that only began in the latter months of your detention; is

25 that correct?

Page 7458

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. When you went up to Mr. Savic's office, did he explain to you the

3 reasons for your detention?

4 A. No. He kept asking the same question: Where I was and where I

5 moved in the morning of the 17th of April, 1992. To that, I had to

6 describe all my movements in that period, where I was, in detail,

7 throughout that day. I gave him my statement, in which I said that at

8 8.00, 8.30, I left my home, and seeing a group of armed people coming from

9 the direction of the retirees' home, including Ibela Salkic, Muhamed and

10 Hasan Bicic, and another ten or so men whose names I don't recall any

11 longer, I stopped, because I know Ibrahim Salkic, also known as Ibela,

12 very well. I asked him what was going on, and he told me that there was a

13 massacre and murders going on in Donja Mahala against our people.

14 As we went on, we passed by the department store, through Stjepan

15 Radic Street, when we reached the Lav restaurant, and there we ran into

16 Darko Dujmusic. Darko Dujmusic tried to talk all of us into going back

17 home lest we die for no reason at all. We didn't waste much time

18 talking. We returned to our homes, retracing our steps through the

19 Stjepan Radic Street, the department store, until we reached the so-called

20 Carrington building.

21 In the yard of that building, we saw Muhamed, nicknamed Biber, who

22 had come out of the building and talked to Salkic. Salkic had a

23 walkie-talkie in his hand. The two of them went back to Muhamed's flat,

24 and after a while they came back, whereupon Mr. Salkic informed us that

25 there would be no problem, that he had personally talked to Nikolic. I

Page 7459

1 can't remember exactly whether he was a colonel or a lieutenant colonel.

2 Anyway, he said that he would come with his troops to Samac and that we

3 should go home and that there would be no problem at all. We would be

4 safe.

5 From that yard in Djure Djakovica Street, not from my house,

6 Mr. Kemal Atic, nicknamed Kilo, and I, set off towards the retirees club,

7 and that is near the intersection near my house. We stood outside the

8 retirement home for a while. There were several young men: Sladjan

9 Grbic, Ibrahim Doslic, a former policeman in Bosanski Samac, and I think

10 Savic was there as well, because he was from the same building. And we

11 were discussing what was going on. Ibrahim told us, "Go home. Don't hang

12 around here any more."

13 My home was perhaps five minutes on foot from there. On my way, I

14 walked Kemal Atic to his house and then returned to my home. From that

15 moment on, I stayed in my apartment and I knew nothing of what was going

16 on outside.

17 Q. So Mr. Mehinovic, I take it you gave Mr. Savic a very full and

18 detailed description of your movements on the morning of the 17th of

19 April. Is that basically accurate?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. At any stage, did you tell him that you were carrying a weapon?

22 A. No. What I have just said is precisely what I said in my

23 statement from the very first day.

24 Q. And were you at any stage carrying a weapon but you just didn't

25 bother to tell Mr. Savic?

Page 7460

1 A. No, I didn't.

2 Q. Were you ever carrying a weapon to help out one of the other men

3 that you met up with?

4 A. No.

5 MS. REIDY: Your Honours, can I ask that a statement be shown to

6 this witness. I have a --


8 MS. REIDY: -- copy in B/C/S, which I suggest is put in front of

9 the witness and perhaps on the ELMO so that the defendants also can see

10 it. And I have translations here for the Bench and for the legal

11 officer. I believe the Defence have this particular statement.

12 Q. [Microphone not activated] Sorry. Mr. Mehinovic, you can see a

13 document in front of you.

14 MS. REIDY: Could I ask the usher just to raise the document so

15 that the handwritten -- no, the other way, just so the signature at the

16 bottom is visible.

17 Q. Could you have a look either at the screen or at the actual

18 document to your right, Mr. Mehinovic. Mr. Mehinovic, perhaps if you turn

19 around to your right. The document itself is on the ELMO. Does that look

20 like your signature at the bottom right-hand corner of the document?

21 A. Yes, it is.

22 Q. Could I ask the witness --

23 MS. REIDY: Could I ask the usher to turn over the statement to

24 the second page.

25 A. Yes.

Page 7461

1 Q. Yes what? Is the --

2 A. [In English] My signature.

3 Q. The signature on the left-hand side of the document; is that

4 correct?

5 A. [Interpretation] It is.

6 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, when you were in the room giving the statement to

7 Mr. Savic, did you get a chance to -- did you sign a statement at the end

8 of the description you'd just given him?

9 A. I signed when he said the investigation was over.

10 Q. Did you read through the document that you signed?

11 A. No, because I wasn't allowed to.

12 Q. Did Mr. Savic or any other person read it out to you before you

13 signed it?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Mr. Savic, can I ask you to look at the second page of that

16 document -- or Mr. Mehinovic, could I ask you to look at the second page.

17 MS. REIDY: Your Honours, on the translation, it's also the second

18 page. And I just want to ask the witness about the first three sentences

19 of that paragraph on the second page.

20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You can go ahead.


22 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, could I ask you just to read to yourself - I'll

23 just ask you questions about this - the first three sentences of that

24 paragraph. For the record - and you tell me if this is correct - the

25 statement says: "Kemal Atic and I headed down Djure Djakovica Street. As

Page 7462

1 he had two rifles, he asked me to carry one of them, saying he had pain in

2 his shoulder. It was a rifle that cocks in the same way as an M-48

3 military rifle, and it may have been a small-caliber rifle. I carried the

4 rifle as far as my house, where I handed it back to Kemal Atic."

5 Have you read that part in that document in front of you?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Can you see those sentences in the document in front of you?

8 A. Yes, I can see the sentences. That's fine. But Mr. Savic was

9 typing something that I couldn't see. I don't know whether he was typing

10 what I was saying or something that he wanted to write.

11 Q. Is it your case that you never said those words to him?

12 A. No. I did go together with Kemal; that much is true. But there

13 was absolutely nothing they said about him handing me a rifle or anything

14 of the kind.

15 Q. And did Kemal Atic at any stage hand you a rifle?

16 A. No. No, there was no reason why I should take that rifle.

17 Everybody was disbanded. Everybody had scattered. What would I want with

18 it?

19 Q. Thank you.

20 MS. REIDY: I've finished for my purposes with that document.

21 Perhaps it could be entered into evidence and given an exhibit number.

22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have an exhibit number.

23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The English translation will be

24 Exhibit P54. Thank you.

25 JUDGE MUMBA: Is there a Serbo-Croat?

Page 7463

1 MS. REIDY: There should be a Serbo-Croat version, one given to

2 the --

3 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. It has just been handed over to

4 me. It is P54 ter. Thank you.


6 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, until you arrived here in The Hague to give your

7 testimony, had anyone ever showed you that statement again since your time

8 in Mr. Savic's office?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Let's be clear. Were you ever actually shown this statement

11 whilst you were in Mr. Savic's office?

12 A. Only the signature, without reading it. He took the paper out of

13 the typewriter and gave it to me to sign. That was the last time and the

14 first time that I saw it.

15 Q. Thank you. After you had finished your interview with Mr. Savic,

16 were you returned to the SUP -- sorry, to the Territorial Defence

17 building? I apologise.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Were you ever called for any other interrogation or further

20 criminal investigation inquiries?

21 A. No. Not in Samac.

22 Q. So after this statement in July, you stayed in the TO building for

23 another three months without any other investigation; is that correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Beyond your statement being given -- being taken, did anyone at

Page 7464

1 any time show you any documents or any evidence as to why there may be any

2 suspicion about you or your behaviour?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, you've testified already that at some stage you

5 were transferred out of the territorial building, and I believe you put on

6 the record that you were taken to a camp called Batkovici; is that

7 correct?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. How many of you were taken from the Territorial Defence building

10 and transferred to Batkovici?

11 A. All the prisoners that were at the TO building or in the SUP

12 building, they were all transferred to Batkovici.

13 Q. Could you give us a rough number as to how many that would be?

14 A. Considering that there were exchanges and transfers, I think there

15 might have been about 180 of us that arrived at Batkovici camp.

16 Q. Whilst in the Batkovici camp, where were you detained?

17 A. We were in a hangar for agricultural goods and machines.

18 Q. Were you kept there just the people from Bosanski Samac or were

19 there detainees from other parts of the former Yugoslavia with you?

20 A. After we arrived, we found about 20 people that were incarcerated

21 there from Bijeljina and Janja.

22 Q. Who were the persons guarding you whilst you were detained in

23 Batkovici?

24 A. The guard, the military, the Serbian military, they had the guard,

25 and they were from Bijeljina.

Page 7465

1 Q. Were you ever visited by people from Bosanski Samac whilst you

2 were in Batkovici camp?

3 A. Particular people had visits, those that were in mixed marriages.

4 A person in a mixed marriage could have a visit at Batkovici.

5 Q. Did you ever see any of the defendants - Mr. Simo Zaric,

6 Mr. Miroslav Tadic, Mr. Milan Simic, or Mr. Blagoje Simic - whilst you

7 were in Batkovici?

8 A. I only saw Mr. Tadic at Batkovici. The other gentlemen I did not

9 see.

10 Q. Thank you. And I will return to Mr. Tadic's -- the time that you

11 saw Mr. Tadic at Batkovici, but first let me again get a picture of what

12 life was like at Batkovici. You were transferred there at the end of

13 1992, is that correct, or the final months of 1992?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. In Batkovici, were you subjected to beatings, as you had been in

16 Bosanski Samac?

17 A. No.

18 Q. Were you given any more food or water than you had been whilst you

19 were detained at Bosanski Samac?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Were the general sleeping and living conditions an improvement on

22 Bosanski Samac?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Whilst you were in Batkovici, did you have to go out and perform

25 any forced labour assignments?

Page 7466

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. What sort of assignments did you have to perform?

3 A. We had to work the fields; for example, the maize, wheat, also

4 sugar beet. We also had to load and unload trucks with flour. We also

5 went to work at the factory for animal food; to Panafleks, that made

6 bendable pipes, where we made equipment for drying tobacco. We also went

7 to a carpentry factory, where we loaded furniture, and unloaded flour that

8 was coming through the UNHCR into those magasins.

9 Q. Would these forms of labour be performed within the camp of

10 Batkovici or would you be taken out of the camp to perform them?

11 A. They were outside the camp. They were mostly in the town of

12 Bijeljina. We were only working on the fields of maize, or we worked the

13 sugar beet fields behind the hangar, and this was part of an agricultural

14 plant in Batkovici.

15 Q. Would you be guarded by these Serbian military personnel you

16 talked about earlier whilst you were performing these labour assignments?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Did you ever receive any payment or compensation for the labour

19 you performed?

20 A. No.

21 Q. The people you had been transferred with to Batkovici and the

22 people you met there, were they all of Muslim and Croat ethnicity?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Were you told whilst you were in Batkovici that you had to go on

25 trial?

Page 7467

1 A. I did not know about the trial, nor was I told, until I received a

2 summons. They only read my first and last name, and then the military

3 police officer took me to the courtroom in Bijeljina. This was a larger,

4 private house in which the courthouse was situated.

5 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, I'd like just to back up a little bit. You were, I

6 then understand, taken at some stage to a form of trial whilst you were

7 detained in Batkovici; is that correct?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And you said you received a summons, and that was whilst you were

10 in Batkovici; is that correct?

11 A. It wasn't a summons. It was just -- they called me up. They

12 called up my first and last name and said that they were looking for me.

13 Q. And did they tell you that you were going to be taken to a trial

14 or a court at that stage, when they called out your name?

15 A. After entering the jeep, I was told that I'm going to the

16 courthouse.

17 Q. Did they tell you why you were going to the courthouse?

18 A. No, I wasn't told why I was being taken. The police didn't know

19 either.

20 Q. Prior to being put into the jeep, the only official investigation

21 you had been involved with since your detention on May 27th, 1992 was this

22 time spent in Milos Savic's office; is that correct?

23 A. Yes, that's correct.

24 Q. Where did the jeep take you?

25 A. It took me to Bijeljina, to a larger house. It was a private

Page 7468

1 house. You could see that because of the private yard. But that's where

2 the military court was located.

3 Q. And when you arrived at the house, were you served with any sort

4 of charge sheet or indictment or given any form of information at all as

5 to why you had been summoned to the courthouse?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Did anyone approach you and orally advise you what was going to

8 happen to you?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Did anyone come to you and tell you that you would be assigned a

11 lawyer?

12 A. No.

13 Q. At any stage before you went into the courtroom, did you meet with

14 a lawyer?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, perhaps you could tell us what happened just after

17 your arrival at the courthouse. Where did you go? Did you wait

18 somewhere?

19 A. I waited in a room, a little bit bigger room. There were a couple

20 of chairs there and there was a military police officer there.

21 Q. And roughly how long did you have to wait in this room?

22 A. I don't know. I'm not sure. Maybe about an hour.

23 Q. And then did someone come and get you to take you into another

24 room, or what happened?

25 A. When my name was called by the next officer, this police officer

Page 7469












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13 English transcripts.













Page 7470

1 that brought me there, I went to a room where I had to stand in the middle

2 of the room, and two police officers were standing on both of my sides.

3 There were two police officers next to me, one civilian on the right, and

4 one civilian on the left, while I was talking to the judge. The first

5 time I talked to the judge, he asked me if I knew why I was here, and I

6 said I didn't know. And then he said, "Well, you will." And that was the

7 only -- that was the entire conversation that I had with the judge.

8 Q. After you had had this exchange of words with the judge, what

9 happened next?

10 A. This police officer that came with me took me back to the waiting

11 room. While we waited, I think some kind of a decision or what was going

12 to happen next [as interpreted]. Maybe after about half an hour, maybe 15

13 minutes - I'm not sure - the other police officer that was in the room

14 came out and said to the first one, "Take him to the correctional centre

15 across the barracks in Bijeljina."

16 Q. Thank you. Can I take you back to the room where the judge was?

17 The judge had told you that you will know why you were here. Did the

18 judge then take steps to inform you why you were there and what the

19 charges against you were?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Did the judge read out an indictment to you or a charge sheet?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Whilst you were in that room, was there anybody -- any other

24 person who was pointed out to you as acting as your lawyer?

25 A. I did [as interpreted] know who or what he was. I only know how

Page 7471

1 many people were there. There were two people in front of me sitting at a

2 desk, and one of them was on the right-hand side, one of them was at the

3 left-hand side, two civilians. And then there were two police officers,

4 one on each one of my sides. I had no idea who these people were or what

5 they were.

6 Q. Did the judge ask you to make a statement or answer any charges

7 put to you?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Did the judge ask any of the other persons in the room to answer

10 on your behalf or to enter a plea or a defence on your behalf?

11 A. Not in front of me.

12 Q. At any stage did the judge ask you to sign any documents?

13 A. No.

14 Q. After you were taken out of this room, you said you were left to

15 sit outside and then some people said that they should take you to the

16 correctional centre. Were you told why you were being taken to the

17 correctional centre?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Were you in fact taken to the correctional centre?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And how long were you detained in the correctional centre?

22 A. I don't know precisely whether it was a month or more. This was a

23 military prison of those that were fleeing the front lines. There were

24 both Serbs and Muslims in this prison.

25 Q. Was this the first time since the 27th of May, 1992 that you had

Page 7472

1 been imprisoned with anyone of Serb ethnicity?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Was this the first time since the 27th of May, 1992 that you had

4 seen a judge or anyone in official authority who explained to you, so to

5 speak, why you were being detained?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Now, Mr. Mehinovic, thinking back, could you try to put a date

8 roughly when this incident in the Bijeljina courthouse happened?

9 A. That might have been -- I think in January of 1993.

10 Q. Thank you.

11 MS. REIDY: Your Honours, there are a couple of questions on

12 documents I would like to ask this witness about relating to the core

13 issues here. Unfortunately the translations are not readily available.

14 They're translations of the Defence documents which we received last

15 month. So with your permission, I'm just going to move on and maybe at

16 the beginning of tomorrow's session I will just come back to this topic

17 and address the witness on it, presuming that we have the translations by

18 then.

19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You can go ahead.


21 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, after you were detained in the correctional centre

22 for a month, were you then transferred back to the bigger camp in

23 Batkovici?

24 A. Yes, I was.

25 Q. And was it whilst you were back there in Batkovici that you saw

Page 7473

1 Mr. Miroslav Tadic in the camp?

2 A. Yes, I think so.

3 Q. When you say you think so, do you mean you think it was Miroslav

4 Tadic you saw, or do you think it was around this time period that you saw

5 him?

6 A. I think it was in that time frame, but it was Mr. Tadic.

7 Q. Did Mr. Tadic just come to the camp, or did he actually come to

8 the hangar where you were being detained in Batkovici?

9 A. He came to the hangar in which we were detained at the camp,

10 Batkovici. He had a list in his hands, and he was reading out names for

11 exchange. At that time, my name was also on the list, and I personally

12 saw how Mr. Sabah Seric explained and promised to give him money, and he

13 gave him about 100 Deutschmarks in front of me. And after he went to the

14 commander of the camp, to his office, he took off my name and put

15 Mr. Sabah's name on the list.

16 Q. So Mr. Mehinovic, just so we're very clear on this incident, I'm

17 going to ask you to -- for some clarifications. He came into the hangar

18 and he had a list in his hand. Who exactly was this?

19 A. Yes. This had to do with an exchange of some people from Bosanski

20 Samac. I don't know exactly all the names. I can't remember what exactly

21 was happening, but this was an exchange that was taking place. Around

22 five or ten or seven people were being taken away by him. Which people

23 were being taken at this particular time, I cannot remember.

24 Q. And the person who had his -- who had the list in his hands was

25 Mr. Miroslav Tadic; is that correct?

Page 7474

1 A. Yes, that's correct.

2 Q. This is the same Miroslav Tadic who owns Cafe AS and who you had

3 seen in the Territorial Defence building; is that correct?

4 A. Yes, that's correct.

5 Q. So you said he read out names on the list. And I understand that

6 your name was initially called out by Mr. Tadic. Is that correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And did you understand that you were then going to be exchanged?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Then could you explain after the names were read out what you

11 witnessed between -- I believe you said a Mr. Sabah Seric -- what you

12 witnessed Mr. Sabah Seric doing.

13 A. Sabah gave him -- gave him some money and asked him to be

14 exchanged, so to be taken from Batkovici from Bosanski Samac and then

15 after that, you would be exchanged. After that -- after a particular

16 amount of time, he put Sabah on the list and took -- my name was no longer

17 on the list.

18 Q. Did you yourself see money exchange hands, or did you just hear

19 that that's what had happened?

20 A. No. I saw it.

21 Q. Do you know how Mr. Seric came to have money with him whilst in

22 the camp?

23 A. After arriving at the Batkovici camp, after we all got together in

24 the camp from SUP and other detainees from other locations, I heard from

25 many friends of mine that Sabah Seric while he was still at Bosanski Samac

Page 7475

1 was taken out and to his home. In other words, they were getting drunk

2 together. This was no wonder that he at that time had some money with

3 him, because there were no searches when we were taken to Batkovici from

4 the other detention locations.

5 Q. So when you witnessed this money change hands, did Mr. Tadic turn

6 round there and then and tell you that you were no longer on the exchange

7 list, or how did you learn that your name was now no longer on that list?

8 A. After the second call-out -- Mr. Tadic left after the first

9 call-out to the warden of the camp. And in this -- and after this, in the

10 second call-out, my name was no longer on the list. We had more freedom

11 there. And I went to the commander to talk to him about that, but he said

12 that unfortunately I had no money.

13 MS. REIDY: Your Honour, I note that the time is 7.00. Would you

14 like me to halt my examination there?

15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes --

16 JUDGE LINDHOLM: First a question to Ms. Reidy. The document now

17 having the number P54 and which you gave us a translation into English.

18 As far as I can see, it is not dated. How about the original? Is there a

19 date on the original document?

20 MS. REIDY: Your Honour, the B/C/S itself has no date insofar as

21 like a stamp or anything. But if you look at the preamble to the

22 statement on the very first page, it's a paragraph written in the third

23 person. And it says -- it describes the person giving the statement,

24 Mr. Kemal Mehinovic. It describes who he was. And it says: "On the 7th

25 of July, 1992, in the premises of Bosanski Samac --"

Page 7476

1 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Oh, there you find it. Yes. Okay.

2 MS. REIDY: You found it? Yes, the Prosecution submits that's the

3 date it was made.

4 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Okay. But then I have a couple of questions to

5 the witness.

6 You told us that you were brought from one room to another and

7 described it as a court. What gave you the impression that it was a court

8 sitting behind the desk and a judge? And further, were you in any way

9 interrogated during that occasion, and was there any kind of judgement

10 given? What happened in that room when you stood there with one police

11 officer on each side of you?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the very beginning, when I said

13 that the police officer came to Batkovici and called my name to go to

14 Bijeljina, I was told while I was entering the jeep that I was going to

15 the court by this police officer. And then when I entered the second

16 office, I only could assume that these were two judges, because there were

17 two police officers, one on the left and one on the right of me. But

18 nobody read any statements to me, nor was I -- was I given any kind of

19 resolution.

20 In Batkovici, I was given a decision that I was accused of

21 armed -- insurgency that based on some article was punishable by the death

22 penalty, based on the military laws in Bosnia-Herzegovina of the former

23 Yugoslavia. Because at that time all legal matters were resolved based on

24 the Yugoslav laws and not the Bosnian nor the laws of the Republika

25 Srpska. They were using the legislature of the former Yugoslavia.

Page 7477

1 JUDGE LINDHOLM: If I may, with your permission, clarify my

2 question. When you were staying there in what you call a courtroom, was

3 there no interrogation and no judgement declared against you?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct. I was never heard,

5 nor was a judgement announced in that room. After the first words of that

6 boss - I think he was a captain by rank - who asked me, "Do you know why

7 you are here?" and I said, "No, I don't," all he said was, "You'll soon

8 find out." That was the end of the conversation. There was nothing more

9 that was said, nor did I know what was going to happen next.

10 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. We shall rise and continue our

11 proceedings tomorrow at 1415 hours.

12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.05 p.m.,

13 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 7th day of May,

14 2002, at 2.15 p.m.