1 Wednesday, 8 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: We are continuing cross-examination with
12 Mr. Lazarevic.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you and good afternoon, Your Honours.
14 WITNESS: KEMAL MEHINOVIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Lazarevic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mehinovic, good afternoon. I introduced
18 myself yesterday and we started this cross-examination, and I would like
19 to continue from where we stopped yesterday. I only have a few more
20 questions that have to do with April 17th, 1992. I would like to clarify
21 several minor things.
22 We were talking about the group of people that went towards Donja
23 Mahala and afterwards returned. They were dressed in civilian clothes; is
24 that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And they were armed? We could say that these were people --
2 actually, these people were armed civilians; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I would like to hear something about your impressions, keeping in
5 mind that Ibrahim Salkic had this walkie-talkie, as you said, and he
6 talked -- spoke on it with Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic. Was Ibrahim Salkic
7 the leader of this group? Was that your impression?
8 A. I don't know about that.
9 Q. I have one further question about this. At the very end, when you
10 came to the yard of this Carrington building, this is a building with
11 apartments and it has a huge yard; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So including these 20 people that went towards the school and
14 those who joined you later, how many people were there all together?
15 A. I'm not sure. It might have been 20 of the first group and four
16 that joined us later, so maybe around 24.
17 Q. All right. Thank you very much. I'm not going to insist on that
19 After this event, you returned home; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you stayed home that whole day?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Could you please tell me what time it was when you returned home,
24 approximately, if you could remember, please.
25 A. It might have been around 9.00, 9.30.
1 Q. So you say around 9.30. Okay. So you remained home the whole
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And after that, so tomorrow, the day after, you had this event of
5 gathering weapons; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So that happened on the 18th; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. According to what you testified on before, you said that there was
10 an armoured vehicle that was driving along the street and that there was a
11 loudspeaker calling people to surrender arms.
12 A. It was not an armoured vehicle. It was a jeep, and a jeep is not
13 an armoured vehicle.
14 Q. I apologise. It might be the case that I misunderstood. But if I
15 read the transcript correctly - and this is the unofficial transcript -
16 you were talking about an armoured vehicle. You also mentioned a jeep
17 later that had a loudspeaker, but -- so what you're saying is that this
18 was not an armoured vehicle the first time around?
19 A. No, it was not.
20 Q. This voice that you heard through the loudspeakers and that was
21 calling people to surrender weapons, was this a voice that belonged to
22 Ibrahim Salkic?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. Do you know Pasaga Tihic?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. Did that voice belong to him?
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. Then in your statement you mentioned Dragan Borojevic.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. He came to your house, and you knew this Dragan Borojevic from
6 before. He was an engineer, one of the directors of Mebos
7 A. Yes. He was my director when I used to work there.
8 Q. He was dressed in a grey-green uniform, a uniform belonging to the
9 former JNA?
10 A. Yes, correct. He was wearing a uniform of the JNA.
11 Q. Did you recognise him immediately?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. Without any problems whatsoever?
14 A. Of course.
15 Q. So you didn't notice that maybe he had a black colour on his face?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Dragan Borojevic and these other soldiers that came, did they
18 enter your house or not?
19 A. No. They were standing on the staircase.
20 Q. So I assume that they did not go through your house and look
21 through it.
22 A. Not that day.
23 Q. Neither did they search your brother's house? I would say this is
24 really the same house, your and your brother's house, just divided in two
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So they did not search your brother's house either?
3 A. No, they did not.
4 Q. They also didn't search any of the houses of your neighbours; is
5 that correct?
6 A. Well, I wouldn't know about that.
7 Q. Well, okay. If you don't know, we'll move on. Let's now move on
8 to the events that you also described, this meeting that happened in front
9 of Buducnost factory. You said that at that meeting Jovo Savic was
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You knew Jovo Savic from before; is that correct?
13 A. Yes. He worked in the military command.
14 Q. Do you know that he was deputy commander of the 4th Detachment?
15 A. I didn't know that.
16 Q. From what you remember, do you know that Jovo Savic had a white
18 A. I don't remember that.
19 Q. Do you remember that he had that old uniform, the old JNA uniform,
20 grey-green uniform?
21 A. I think he had that uniform on, yes.
22 Q. Apart from Jovo Savic, were there any other soldiers there? Could
23 you remember that, please?
24 A. I don't remember.
25 Q. If I understood you correctly, as you said, the loudspeaker, it
1 was said over the loudspeaker that everybody who had uniforms should come
2 in front of Buducnost factory.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So there was a number of people gathered there, you said 40, 50?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So there were Serbs there as well?
7 A. I wouldn't know that.
8 Q. So Jovo Savic said to those who gathered there that those who want
9 to could join the 4th Detachment and get weapons and those who do not want
10 to join the 4th Detachment should return their uniforms; is that correct?
11 A. You didn't understand it well. We all had to return the uniforms,
12 but whoever wanted to -- whoever wanted to could get help and protection
13 from Jovo Savic, and then Jovo Savic said that they should go to Cafe AS,
14 that they would get the answer and that they would get security.
15 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, which building is opposite the Cafe AS? Is Sit
17 A. No. Mladost is there.
18 Q. I don't know if you know of this, but I will ask you anyway. Do
19 you know that this was the location where the command of the 4th
20 Detachment was located?
21 A. No, I didn't know that.
22 Q. I understood that people who wanted protection, they were invited
23 to join the JNA and that that, in principle, would mean that they were
24 working on their own protection.
25 A. No, I don't know that. I wasn't aware of it and I did not
1 understand that in such a way.
2 Q. You said that shortly after this event -- let me just ask you one
3 more question. This uniform that you were told to return, what did you
5 A. Well, that's why I came there. I came to return it. I didn't go
6 there to look at anybody.
7 Q. So you returned the uniform?
8 A. Of course.
9 Q. To whom?
10 A. I returned it to Jovo Savic, to the person that called me to get
12 Q. I apologise, sir. I wasn't there and I don't know all the
13 details, and that's why I'm asking you questions.
14 A. Well, now you know.
15 Q. You said that afterwards you were sent to dig trenches in Pisari.
16 If you could please remember the names that worked with you together, that
17 would be very helpful.
18 A. That's a little bit hard right now to remember everybody who was
19 there. For example, Sead Causevic
20 Q. Was Dagovic Safet there?
21 A. It's possible. I don't know.
22 Q. Okay. If you cannot remember.
23 A. The order was to go there to work and not to meet other people.
24 Q. After digging these trenches in Pisari, you said that you were
25 building bunkers and digging trenches on the embankment in the very city
1 of Samac.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. These bunkers that were built, could you please explain to me the
4 following: From the very -- from where the very last homes were to the
5 place where the bunkers were built, how far are these two locations from
6 the bunker to the houses?
7 A. It might have been not even more than ten metres.
8 Q. So the bunkers were practically on the very border of this town?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Could you please also tell me approximately what was the distance
11 from these bunkers to the road?
12 A. In my opinion, maybe about 150 to 200 metres.
13 Q. You were also talking about sniper fire. The sniper fire was
14 coming from the direction of Prud?
15 A. I wouldn't know. There was sniper fire, but from what direction,
16 I have no idea, because this part is the very end of the town, where the
17 River Bosna flows into Sava. On the right-hand side was Croatia and on
18 the left-hand side was the village of Prud.
19 Q. So the sniper fire could have come both from Prud or from Croatia?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. So these bunkers, this part of Samac where they were being built,
22 during the war this part of town was the one that was shelled the most and
23 also destroyed the most?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you very much. Now I would like to move on to the very day
1 of May 27th, when you were arrested. When the policemen came to your
2 home, could you please tell me what time it was?
3 A. It was 4.00.
4 Q. Just to clear things up, was this 4.00 in the morning or 4.00 in
5 the afternoon?
6 A. In the afternoon.
7 Q. You already said who these policemen were. They took you to the
8 SUP building; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So when you arrived in the SUP building, the officer on duty
11 started handling you and you said that you had to give him all the
12 documents and shoelaces and everything else?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. When you were arrested, meaning in May, at that time the police
15 chief was Stevan Todorovic; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is this the same Stevan Todorovic that later beat you in the
18 police station? Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So you were brought to the police station around 4.00. I'm
21 assuming that you actually arrived at the police station very shortly
22 after you were arrested, because it's very close. From the time that you
23 were brought to the police station to Goran's arrival - and this Goran was
24 the bodyguard of Stevan Todorovic - how much time passed?
25 A. This might have been about half an hour later, right after I was
1 taken into the reception room.
2 Q. Did Goran come alone or not?
3 A. He was alone.
4 Q. And he then told you to, in Cyrillic, write a statement; is that
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you answer anything to him at that time?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did he tell you anything else?
10 A. No. He left the room.
11 Q. At that point he did not beat you up?
12 A. No, he did not.
13 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, my colleague Lukic already asked you about the
14 statement that you gave to the Prosecutor on April 23rd, 1998, and I think
15 I have reason to ask you some further questions about that. You said that
16 you stand by this statement; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Related to these events, I'm going to read out to you what you
19 said at that time.
20 A. Do you mean in the SUP?
21 Q. No. I mean what you said to the Prosecutors of The Hague
22 Tribunal, the statement that you made in 1998:
23 "At the entrance they told me to empty my pockets and take off my
24 watch, before they took me to one of the reception rooms. Stevo Todorovic
25 entered the room with his bodyguard Goran, last name unknown. Goran gave
1 me a piece of paper and told me to write a confession what I was doing
2 before the war broke out. I was supposed to write what kind of weapon I
3 had, who I shot, and who was the head of SDA. I told them that I had
4 nothing to write, and then they started to beat me with a baseball bat.
5 They beat me about an hour and then they left. They said that they would
6 be back in about an hour and a half and that they wanted to see a written
7 confession in Cyrillic."
8 Mr. Mehinovic, based on your decision -- based on your statement
9 that you gave to the Tribunal, you are very well aware that there are some
10 differences. First of all, you said that Stevan Todorovic came together
11 with his bodyguard Goran; second, that they told you to write the
12 statement, and you said you had nothing to write; and third, that they
13 then beat you for an hour with a baseball bat. What is true: What you
14 said then or what you said today?
15 A. When I was -- at the time when I was giving my statement, I did
16 not think that it was important to give all the details to such an extent
17 as you are asking me of today. I just gave -- said what was happening,
18 and actually, they did start beating me after the gentleman left.
19 Q. So there are quite a few details in your statement. I'm asking
20 you again: Which statement is true, the statement you gave to the
21 Tribunal or the statement you gave today? This is a very simple question.
22 A. I do not understand you. Which statement do you mean, today?
23 Q. The statement that you gave today in front of the Chamber.
24 A. The statement that I gave today in front of the Chamber.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Ms. Reidy.
1 MS. REIDY: Your Honour, of course, I'm not objecting to this
2 particular line of questioning. I am, however, going to put in an
3 objection to the particular phrase that Mr. Lazarevic is using. We've
4 already said that this statement was not reread to the witness, et
5 cetera. He didn't adopt it at the time. If he wants to ask witness which
6 is a more accurate recording of what happened at the time, what is
7 recorded by the investigators in that statement or what he said to the
8 Tribunal, it's one thing, but he keeps asking which one is true, and that
9 implies that Mr. Mehinovic at some time deliberately has chosen to lie. I
10 think he should either ask Mr. Mehinovic whether he lied to investigators
11 or lied to the Tribunal or whether one recording of his statement is --
12 which version is more accurate according to his memory. So as I said,
13 it's the line of questioning I understand, and of course it's permissible,
14 but the implication about whether or not Mr. Mehinovic was deliberately
15 telling the truth or not is something that I would object to, unless
16 counsel wants to deliberately put that allegation to the witness: Did you
17 at one stage lie to either the Tribunal or to the investigators about what
18 happened to you?
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour --
20 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure, Mr. Lazarevic --
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: If I can reply. First of all, my colleague
22 Mr. Lukic has already made a ground for this statement.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: We are fully aware also that this statement was
25 not signed.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: But he already asked this witness if this
3 statement was read to him when he arrived here, and he answered that it
4 was. And he again asked him: Do you still stand by this statement? And
5 he said he did. So I do believe that I'm entitled to use the word
6 "statement," since it was somehow authorised by the witness that this is
7 what he said and that he still stands on it.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic. The Trial Chamber doesn't see
9 anything wrong with your line of questioning. Of course, the witness --
10 if the witness wants to explain as to the truthfulness of either of the
11 statements, he can go ahead and do so. I'm sure he's understanding the
12 language being used.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour. I will definitely allow the
14 witness to say everything he wishes to.
15 Q. [Interpretation] After this event about which you testified, when
16 Goran gave you that piece of paper, how much time elapsed before Nijaz
17 Alatovic and the other three men you mentioned, Brica and the others,
18 turned up?
19 A. This happened very quickly, after about ten minutes or so.
20 Q. According to what you are saying now, you had not been beaten by
21 Stevan Todorovic and the others at that point.
22 A. No. No.
23 Q. You testified here that one of the policemen arrived, called out
24 Nijaz Alatovic's name, and said that Simo Zaric was expecting him; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. This was one of the policemen who arrived in that room where the
3 five of you were?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What time was it, approximately, if you can remember?
6 A. I wouldn't know. We didn't have a watch. I didn't have a watch.
7 Q. Sir, I don't want to irritate the Prosecutor by calling it your
8 statement, but in this informal statement you made, you said the following
9 in connection with this:
10 "At about 1715 hours, Simo Zaric arrived and called out Nijaz
11 Alatovic's name."
12 So was it Simo Zaric who arrived and called out his name or was it
13 a policeman who arrived and called out Nijaz Alatovic's name?
14 A. As far as I know, I said it was a policeman.
15 Q. After this -- bear with me for a moment, please. -- Nijaz
16 Alatovic left, the others also left, and you were left on your own; is
17 that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, at this point I would like the
20 assistance of the usher, because I would like to show to the witness a
21 photograph, it bears the number P14, photograph number 43. It was already
22 used during this --
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Has this already --
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: If I could just check if this is the same one.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The usher will show him the photograph.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Sir, you have already seen this photograph. You pointed out the
3 room where you were; is that correct, and you said it was the room
4 practically next to this tree which can be seen in the photograph.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, looking at this this way, in relation to the door, do you see
7 the entrance to the SUP?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you point it out so that others can see it.
10 A. That's the entrance.
11 Q. So it was the first room to the left of the entrance?
12 A. No. It was the second room to the left of the entrance.
13 Q. I correct myself. So it was the second room to the left of the
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ...photograph the
17 witness indicated second window left from the main entrance of the SUP
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: I don't need this photograph any more. Thank you.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, the room where you were has only one window,
22 looking out on the street; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And this room has only one entrance?
25 A. No. There was a door through which you entered and there was
1 another door leading into another room.
2 Q. I was referring to the entrance to that room.
3 A. Yes. There was only one entrance.
4 Q. When you entered that room, was there any furniture in it, any
5 cupboards or ...
6 A. There was only a table under the window.
7 Q. All right. Only a table under the window. That door - I'm
8 referring to the entrance leading into the room, the door through which
9 one entered the room, it was an ordinary wooden door?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. It wasn't a cell with bars; it was just a normal wooden door?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. In the course of the first day after your arrest, you didn't leave
14 the room?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You didn't go out into the corridor or into a neighbouring room?
17 A. No, not on that first day.
18 Q. And Simo Zaric did not enter the room where you were; he didn't
19 open the door and go in?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Sir, I am again referring to the informal statement which you made
22 to the investigators of The Hague Tribunal. There you said:
23 "I was the only one left in the room when he came. Simo Zaric
24 himself came to fetch me, with his bodyguard and another policeman."
25 You see for yourself that this is different from your testimony
1 here before the Court. Did Simo Zaric enter the room with, as you said,
2 his bodyguard, or didn't he?
3 A. This may have been a misunderstanding about the name but not about
4 what happened, because I said on several occasions that Stevan Todorovic
5 had his own bodyguard, and that was a man whom I knew. I never said that
6 Simo Zaric had a bodyguard.
7 Q. That's precisely what I wanted to clarify, sir, because that is
8 how I have been instructed. So what you said then actually referred to
9 Stevan Todorovic and his bodyguard?
10 A. Yes, I believe that's correct.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Ms. Reidy.
12 MS. REIDY: Objection. Now the counsel is using the statement,
13 and it's not -- I don't mind counsel calling it a statement as long as
14 everybody understands the context, and my original objection was about
15 truth, but on this occasion he's using the statement improperly. The
16 statement never says that Simo Zaric entered the room, which is what
17 Defence counsel has said. It says Simo Zaric came to me personally with
18 his bodyguard and a police officer." Now the witness is explaining that
19 he didn't say -- that he didn't mean that Simo Zaric had a bodyguard, it
20 was a police officer. When he's talking about the bodyguard, maybe he
21 means Stevan Todorovic, but not about -- now he has a completely different
22 incident coming into the room and it stems back from putting to the
23 witness that he said in his statement that Simo Zaric entered the room and
24 it does not say in the statement that Simo Zaric entered the room. It
25 says, "Simo Zaric came to me personally. He told the bodyguard and the
1 police officer they should beat me until I confess. They did not beat me
2 and left."
3 Now, if he wants to ask about it and he wants to ask about the
4 statement and put so much reliance on it, then he must put the words of
5 the statement to the witness and not try to imply other meanings out of
6 the words and therefore in his -- you know, from -- by counsel himself
7 trying to conflaite two incidents without the witness knowing the full
9 I apologise to the interpreters. I've just seen my order to slow
10 down for the record. I know I repetitively do this.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: It's important to slow down for the record to be
13 Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe I read exactly what is stated in the
16 JUDGE MUMBA: That's what I was wondering about. Maybe --
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: I wasn't implicating anything. I was just reading
18 in B/C/S what is said here in the statement. And for -- just to clarify
19 all this. I will read this again.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] "I was the last one and alone in
22 the room when he came. Simo Zaric came to me personally with his
23 bodyguard and a police officer. He told the bodyguard and the police
24 officer that they should beat me until I confessed. They did not beat me,
25 and left."
1 [In English] And after I read this, the witness stated that it is
2 obviously some confusion and that he referred probably to Stevan Todorovic
3 because he's the one who had bodyguard because -- well, maybe I will ask
4 this question.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Sir, Simo Zaric did not have a bodyguard; is that correct?
8 A. Not as far as I know. I never saw him with one.
9 Q. Simo Zaric did not enter the room and tell two other men who were
10 either bodyguards or police officers, he did not enter the room and say
12 A. He was not in my room at all on the first day, nor did he say
13 anything like that. There was Goran, Tadic, Zakasu [phoen]. Those were
14 the people.
15 Q. Yes. Their names have been mentioned here on several occasions
16 and not just in connection with you.
17 A. I know that after finishing the conversation with those four,
18 because I was standing in the left-hand corner near the door - I could see
19 the whole corridor - Simo Zaric gave a sign. He gave an order.
20 Q. We shall arrive at that. We'll come to that.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would only like to ask that it be
23 clarified with the witness what it says in line 19. It says there was
24 "Goran, Tadic, and there are two empty spaces." So when he said Tadic,
25 what? Which Tadic was he referring to?
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Sir, when you said Tadic, which Tadic did you mean?
3 A. Are you referring to Goran?
4 Q. Is that the person called Goran Tadic?
5 A. I don't know. I don't understand you. I don't understand your
7 Q. I will try --
8 A. I think it's a mistake. Goran was the bodyguard of Stevan
9 Todorovic, but what is in the record, I don't know how it was taken down.
10 Q. In the record --
11 JUDGE MUMBA: You can clear that with the witness, Counsel, by
12 asking him whether among the people who were in the room there was anybody
13 called by this name, Tadic.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Sir, you have heard the judge. Among the people who arrived
16 together with Stevan and entered the room, was there someone named Tadic?
17 A. I have no personal knowledge of this.
18 Q. Let us clear this up even further. At the moment we're interested
19 in Mr. Miroslav Tadic. Did he enter the room?
20 A. He wasn't there at all while I was in the SUP.
21 Q. Thank you very much. That was what my colleague was concerned
22 about, and I had to clear this up.
23 You said during your examination by the Prosecution that you were
24 sitting in the left-hand corner of the room. That's on page 30 of your
25 informal statement.
1 A. I wasn't sitting.
2 Q. Standing, then. As the room has four corners, tell me: When you
3 say "the left-hand corner," is it looking from the door towards the window
4 or looking from the window towards the door?
5 A. The left-hand corner is looking from the door -- looking at the
6 window and at the corridor.
7 Q. When you say "the left-hand corner," were you near the window or
8 near the door?
9 A. Near the door.
10 Q. So you were facing the door and you were to the left of the door?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, when you testified, we called our investigators and
13 they went to the SUP building and saw the room where you said you had been
14 incarcerated, they opened the door a little, a little more, a little
15 wider, but in whatever way they opened the door, they could not see that
16 side of the corridor where the staircase is and the desk where the duty
17 officer sat. Do you still say that you saw Mr. Zaric coming down the
19 A. I didn't say I saw Mr. Zaric coming down the stairs. What I said
20 was that I saw him in the corridor, with the duty officer.
21 Q. But sir, our investigators went on looking, and this is in view of
22 the angle at which the door opens on quite the opposite side from what you
23 say. You could not have seen that part of the corridor from that room.
24 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. Lazarevic, could you tell us which way the
25 door swings?
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: On the right side --
2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Does it go this way or does it go to that way?
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, first of all I first must
4 apologise. I don't want to be considered not ready for this trial, but
5 this was actually the first time that we heard where was the exact room
6 where this witness was kept, and it was yesterday, the day before
7 yesterday. And also, this was the first time that we hear stated about
8 his position in that space. So we didn't -- we were not in position to
9 make photographs, and I will definitely do that in due course, to show the
10 way the door opens and everything.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Just --
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: At this time, I just want to say that what -- what
13 are the observations of our investigators on field.
14 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Just one other question. As we all know,
15 properties get renovated, door jambs can change. Having someone look at
16 the way a door swings now in 2002 might not be the same way the door was
17 swinging in 1992, 1993. So that's I think something else to take into
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour, I'm fully aware of that fact and
20 we will have all this in consideration when approaching this problem.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mehinovic, you said that Nijaz Alatovic went
22 to be interrogated and after that you saw him leaving the SUP; is that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You were not present when he had his interview?
1 A. No.
2 Q. You don't even know whether this interview actually took place?
3 A. No, I don't.
4 Q. And the same goes for the other three: You don't actually know
5 whether they even saw Zaric. These are simply assumptions. And then you
6 saw them leaving the SUP. So this is an assumption, not something you
7 have personal knowledge of?
8 A. I heard it from the guards. The guards called them out, their
9 names out, one by one.
10 Q. But you were not present when this was going on?
11 A. Well, I was in the room when the guard was calling out their
13 Q. But after they left the room, you don't know what really happened?
14 A. No, I don't.
15 Q. Let me put one more question to you in connection with this. You
16 said you knew Nijaz Alatovic. Did you ever meet him afterwards?
17 A. No, not to date.
18 Q. You did not have an opportunity to talk to him?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Just one more point I would like to ask you about, and it refers
21 to an incident you mentioned in your statement made to this Tribunal, and
22 it concerns a certain Dadan. You know what I'm talking about.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In order to clarify who this person is, is this Aladin Jakupovic,
25 known as Dadi, a big, strong man, who was a bouncer in a disco who had a
1 BMW car and a motorcycle? Is that the man?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So we are referring to the same person. According to what you
4 said before this Tribunal, you assume that this person was killed in the
5 Territorial Defence building when you were already incarcerated in the SUP
6 and that this happened at about 5.00 a.m.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Sir, in connection with this event, I don't wish to deny that
9 Dadan died, but from several sources, including sources opened up to us by
10 the Prosecution and sources in the books, I'm speaking of the book by
11 Dragan Lukac "Samac, the camp town," on page 25 [As interpreted], and from
12 some other sources, we learnt that this unfortunate Aladin, known as
13 Dadan, was killed on the 15th of May, in Obudovac, which is 12 days before
14 you were detained and in a completely different place from the Territorial
15 Defence building. That is why I am asking you now whether you know
16 anything about this or whether it is just hearsay, something you repeated
17 before this Tribunal.
18 A. I said that I had heard this from Mirsad Kikic, who cleaned the
19 corridors. That's the first thing. It could have been around 8.00. And
20 his aunt was at the door of the TO, looking for her nephew. And to tell
21 you the truth, I don't know who killed him or where. I just said that at
22 that time this is what I heard.
23 Q. So you don't really know?
24 A. Well, I've told you. I think you have it in my statement.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just one thing in the transcript, because when I
1 quoted Samac, the camp town, I said on page 75, and here it is stated on
2 page 25. It is page 24, line --
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Where --
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: 13.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. You are talking about the book -- the page in
6 the book?
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, the book of Dragan Lukac.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: So it should be page -- the correct page is page
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: And the correct page is page 75.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. Thank you.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: I have no further questions.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Zecevic.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Zecevic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Mehinovic. My name is Slobodan
17 Zecevic and I will put a few questions to you in connection with only one
18 matter, because my colleagues have, for the most part, covered all my
19 other questions.
20 Mr. Mehinovic, you were detained on the 27th of May, at around
21 1600 hours; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You were brought to the SUP building?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You showed us a few moments ago, in response to my colleague's
1 question, what room you were in.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The second door to the left of the door?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. The entrance door?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In that room, if I remember your statement correctly, you said you
8 spent about seven days.
9 A. Six or seven. I can't be quite sure.
10 Q. After that you were taken to another room?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Where there were about 20 of you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Could you tell me where this other room was? Was it in the same
16 A. It was at the entrance to the door, the first door to the left of
17 the entrance.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: [Previous translation continues] ...Your Honours, at
19 this time P14, photograph 43, please.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mehinovic -- thank you. Yes, I see you've
21 got the pointer. So would you first show us the second room to the left
22 of the door where you spent the first week.
23 A. [Indicates]
24 Q. Is that the room?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the room where you were transferred later, the first room next
2 to the door?
3 A. Well, you're obviously confused by the tree. There are only two
4 windows there.
5 Q. Tell me, how many rooms -- would you first show us the entrance to
6 the SUP building. Please be kind enough, sir. Is that the entrance?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. How many rooms are there to the left?
9 A. Two.
10 Q. So when you, on the 27th of May, when you arrived in the SUP, you
11 were put in the second room to the left?
12 A. Yes, the second room to the left.
13 Q. You spent seven days there and you were transferred to the
14 first --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Would counsel and witness please pause between
16 question and answer.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Zecevic --
18 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: -- pausing between yourself and the witness, and the
20 witness should also pause, wait a moment before starting to answer,
21 otherwise the record won't be --
22 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: -- won't make sense.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Thank you, sir. Tell me --
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher, very much.
2 Q. [Interpretation] You were in that room when you saw the beating of
3 Mirsad Jasarevic; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So that was the first door, the one next to the entrance, the
6 first room?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You said that in that room there were about 20 detainees together
9 with you.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you tell us if you remember at least the names of some of
12 them, if you remember?
13 A. Pistoljevic Husein, Mirsad Srna, Kapetanovic, also known as Baca;
14 Kovacevic; Zlatko Stanic; Kemal Bobic. I don't know. I think Stipo
15 Crnjinski was also there, and so on.
16 Q. I would like to ask you, since it didn't enter the records: You
17 said Husein Pistoljevic, and then Mirsad Srna; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, Srna, that's correct.
19 Q. Thank you very much. On Monday, while you were being -- during
20 the investigation, on transcript page 7433, you said that all persons that
21 were with you in that room saw the beating of Mr. Jasarevic, Mirsad.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. When you say "all persons," it would mean one of the persons that
24 you listed now would have seen that beating?
25 A. I could say that they did see it, because they
1 were also being smacked.
2 Q. I'm asking you about the beating of Mirsad Jasarevic that was
3 happening in the hallway.
4 A. Of course they saw it. Yes, they did.
5 Q. At that time, you also said that there were four of them that were
6 beating up Mirsad Jasarevic; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you please list them once again, if you don't mind.
9 A. Milan Simic, Lugar, I think Tihi as well, and I cannot remember
10 the fourth person.
11 Q. You said during the examination on Monday that you think that the
12 fourth person was an officer on duty, some person called Savo from
14 A. That's possible. I think there was a fourth person, and he was
15 the officer on duty at the time.
16 Q. So this Savo was the officer on duty?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. Were they all uniformed?
19 A. Yes, they were.
20 Q. Savo as well?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did they all wear the same uniforms?
23 A. Savo was wearing a blue uniform. Everybody else had a camouflage
24 uniform on.
25 Q. So he was wearing a police uniform?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. This informal statement you gave to the Tribunal on April 23rd of
3 1998; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. At that time you mentioned this incident with Mr. Jasarevic; is
6 that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you remember that?
9 A. Well, I can't really remember, but if I would -- if I read it, I
10 would know.
11 Q. This is the only statement that you gave to the Prosecutor, is
12 that correct -- to the investigators of the Prosecution, actually; is that
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you know that Milan Simic surrendered voluntarily to The Hague
16 Tribunal in February of 1998? Were you aware of that?
17 A. Yes, I was.
18 Q. I'm going to read a portion of this statement about the same
19 event. You said: "Milan Simic came a number of times to SUP to beat up
20 prisoners." Then you said: "I remember he was beating Mirsad Jasarevic,
21 called Bjelko. He took him out of the room where we were held, into the
22 hallway. The doors were not closed."
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Ms. Reidy.
24 MS. REIDY: Objection. I don't know which version Mr. Zecevic is
25 now reading from, but the version which I have in front of me, with an ERN
1 number and which is the version disclosed and recorded by the
2 investigators, does not say that "He was taken out of the room where we
3 were held." It says: "I remember Mirsad Jasarevic, Bjelko, was beaten by
4 him," meaning Milan Simic. "He took him out to the detention room to the
5 hallway. The door was not closed, so I could see Milan Simic was beating
6 him." He did not say he took him out of his detention room or that
7 detention room where he was being held. He simply said he was taken out
8 of a detention room. I think that's an important distinction to make,
9 because this witness testified that Milan Simic had him brought up from
10 the garage, to the detention cell, to the hallway, where he was beaten,
11 and never said he was taken from the detention room where this particular
12 witness was held, which is what Mr. Zecevic has read into the record, or
13 at least is what I read coming up on the transcript
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, if I may, just very briefly. I am
15 reading the Serbian translation, official translation, given to us by the
16 Prosecutors, and this is the statement of Kemal Mehinovic in Serbian. It
17 has the ERN number, this particular page, 00637087. But just for the
18 purposes of not losing any more time, I will read from the English
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: I just wanted this to -- to simplify it with the
22 witness. It's perfectly the same to me.
23 Q. [Interpretation] I'm going to have to read this again, since there
24 seem to be some unclear details regarding translation.
25 [In English] "Milan Simic came several times to SUP to beat
1 prisoners. I remember Mirsad Jasarevic, aka Bjelko, was beaten by him.
2 He took him out of detention room to the hallway. The door was not
3 closed, so I could see Milan Simic was beating him. He used police baton
4 to beat him."
5 [Interpretation] Do you remember saying this?
6 A. I think I did, but I don't see any difference.
7 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, when you said -- when you said "detention room,"
8 what room did you have in mind where Jasarevic came out of?
9 A. Detention room? I don't know I ever said that.
10 Q. Well, I read it to you.
11 A. I think I said "the reception room," not any kind of detention
13 Q. Let's just clear this up. Are you now saying that Mr. Jasarevic
14 was taken out of the reception room, into the hall, and beaten there?
15 A. No.
16 Q. So he was taken out of a room?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Which room?
19 A. From the garage.
20 Q. In 1998 you didn't say it was a garage.
21 A. Well, that's very possible. The more I'm being asked about this,
22 the more I remember, because I'm thinking of more and more details.
23 Q. I'm sure that you talked about [as interpreted] the investigators
24 in great detail; is that correct?
25 A. Well, I didn't say everything. Had I said everything, all the
1 details would have been in my statement.
2 Q. In the next paragraph - and I'm going to read this lest there be
3 any unclear details.
4 [In English] "Milan Simic had been arguing before the war, because
5 Mirsad's sister was married to a colleague of Milan that he could not get
6 along with."
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. [Interpretation] You did not repeat this during the investigation
9 on Monday.
10 A. Well, I just forgot it.
11 Q. Could you please tell me if you know the name of this gentleman,
12 this colleague of Milan Simic, that he didn't agree with, who was married
13 to Mirsad's sister?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Could you please give us the name?
16 A. I am not authorised to give the name, because I was asked not to
17 disclose it.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, we would really need this name.
19 Either maybe witness can write it down and then we put it under seal so it
20 can be disclosed only to us, because we need it for our Defence case.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Oh, yes. You can -- the witness --
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Or we can go into private session, whichever way
23 pleases the Court.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: I think it's faster to go into private session.
25 [Private session]
12 Pages 7612-7618 – redacted – private session
25 [Open session]
1 MR. ZECEVIC: I was notified by my colleagues that it's about time
2 that we break, and I am going into another topic. Maybe --
3 JUDGE MUMBA: All right, although we still have I think a minute
4 and a half. We can take our break and resume at 1615 hours.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
6 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We continue with cross-examination.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mehinovic, could you please tell me the
11 following: In your statement, this informal statement that you gave to
12 the investigators of the Prosecutor on April 23rd, 1998, you didn't
13 mention the incident that had to do with Nikola Vukovic that you described
14 in some detail on Monday; is that correct?
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Ms. Reidy.
16 MS. REIDY: I'm sorry, Your Honour. Maybe the counsel could be
17 more clear about which incident, because I believe that Mr. Nikola Vukovic
18 was mentioned more than once, and I raise that because he is actually
19 mentioned in the witness's statement, but he has more than -- he's also
20 known by another name, et cetera. So he was mentioned in the statement to
21 the investigators in 1998. So unless there's -- he wants to clarify
22 whether every incident Vukovic was mentioned to the investigators, then I
23 think more clarification of the question is necessary.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry. It does say Nikola Vukovic. Is that
1 what you're referring to?
2 MS. REIDY: Yes. I think it's already up there and --
3 MR. ZECEVIC: I withdraw this question.
4 MR. REIDY: -- are the same person.
5 MR. ZECEVIC:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Could you tell me the following: In the
7 statement that you gave in 1998, you did not mention this Russian
8 roulette; is that correct?
9 A. No, I didn't mention it to this Tribunal.
10 Q. I'm talking about the statement that you gave to the investigators
11 of the Prosecutor in April of 1998.
12 A. No, I don't think so.
13 Q. Did you consider that not important enough and that's the reason
14 why you didn't mention it or was there another reason?
15 A. I don't think it was important for this Tribunal.
16 Q. So you gave the statement based on what this Tribunal would
17 consider important?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. When you say "important for this Tribunal," do you mean for the
20 indicted in this case?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. If I understood you correctly, your statement was mainly directed
23 at the behaviour of the accused who are here in Samac in April 1992.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you didn't speak of some other things that happened there at
1 the time.
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Were you asked specifically by the OTP investigators about the
4 personalities of the accused in this case?
5 A. No.
6 Q. So you made this statement on your own initiative, knowing who was
7 accused in this case; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that is why matters such as this Russian roulette were left
10 out of that statement?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mehinovic.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: [Previous translation continues] ...questions for
14 this witness. Thank you.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Mehinovic. I need only to clarify
18 a few points in connection with the period between October and December
19 1991, and January and April 1992, in Samac.
20 In response to questions put to you by the Prosecution team - that
21 was on Monday - in response to the question by the Prosecution about the
22 exacerbation of interethnic tensions in Samac in the period of March and
23 April 1992, you gave only a partial response. So I would now like to
24 broaden it.
25 Ms. Reidy asked you: [In English], "I'm going to ask you now
1 about the time period 1992, and particularly, March and April 1992. I'd
2 like to know whether you experienced or witnessed an arise in the
3 interethnic tensions in Bosanski Samac in and around this period." Your
4 answer was "Yes." The next question was: "Could you just give us one
5 brief example of how these ethnic tensions showed themselves or manifested
6 themselves?" The answer was: "I don't quite understand. Do you mean
7 before the war, in the month of March?" Then question: "Sorry,
8 Mr. Mehinovic. Yes, exactly, in March, in and around March." And then
9 the answer was: "It was at a time when barricades and roadblocks were put
10 up. We didn't want to have trouble with any political parties. We wanted
11 to continue living together as good friends."
12 [Interpretation] And so on and so forth. Would you please tell
13 the Court now: In the period you are referring to, who was it who set up
14 barricades in Samac?
15 A. As far as I know, these barricades set up in the streets, we used
16 to refer to them as barbecue barricades. All ethnic groups socialised
17 there, and they ate and drank together. They didn't argue among
18 themselves. So all the parties and all the ethnic groups were there, and
19 that's the kind of barricades they were.
20 Q. This contradicts your reply about the rising in interethnic
21 tensions, because I think if people go and have barbecues together, this
22 tends to improve interethnic tensions, not to have them deteriorate.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So from this I conclude that your affirmative response to the
25 Prosecution's question as to whether you witnessed any rise in interethnic
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts. Pages 7624 to 7628.
1 tensions is in fact not yes, but no.
2 A. I don't know what you're getting at.
3 Q. I will clarify. When the Prosecutor asked you whether you
4 experienced or witnessed a rise in interethnic tensions in Bosanski Samac
5 in March and April, you answered yes. Do you understand this?
6 A. Yes, but she didn't ask about the barbecue barricades. She asked
7 about the situation in Bosanski Samac, and there already were ethnic
8 tensions. That's what you were supposed to ask me, not about the
10 Q. Very well. Can we agree that in late 1991 and early 1992 there
11 was a war in neighbouring Croatia? Is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can we agree on the fact that because of the war, a number of
14 Serbian refugees arrived in Samac?
15 A. Yes, I think they did.
16 Q. Can we agree on the fact that because of the location of Samac,
17 which is only 50 metres away from Croatia, because only the River Sava
18 divides Samac from Croatia, that the influence of the war in Croatia led
19 to heightened tension among the population of Samac in that period?
20 A. I don't know. It's possible.
21 Q. How did it affect you?
22 A. Well, if it had affected me, I wouldn't have stayed in Samac. I
23 would certainly have left sooner.
24 Q. But you and your family were surely upset because of the closeness
25 of war.
1 A. Well, of course we were upset. Of course we were.
2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. Pantelic --
3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I wonder whether you could clarify with the
5 witness concerning what he said on page 45, line 15 to line 19. This was
6 in response to your question as to who set up barricades. So page 45 his
7 answer lines 15 to 19. What I'm wondering is whether he could clarify if
8 these so-called barbecue barricades were places where people of all ethnic
9 groups gathered around to eat, to drink, and so on, what was the purpose
10 of these barricades other than to eat, to drink, to socialise? And
11 secondly, he didn't answer your question directly. Your question on line
12 13 and 14 was: "Who was it who set up the barricades?" And I don't
13 believe, unless I've missed something, that there was a direct response to
14 that question. So I'd be happy if you could deal with those two things.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely, Your Honour. I will try to do that.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mehinovic, you heard what Her Honour Judge
17 Williams has said. I will ask you: Why did you and your fellow citizens
18 gather at the barricades to socialise and have barbecues?
19 A. At the time, parties had been organised, and one had to decide
20 which party to join. A referendum was to be held. That's the referendum
21 that was to show how many members each party had. And then people talked
22 about the parties, discussed them, wondering which one was better. So the
23 citizens decided to have a barbecue barricade to exchange opinions and
24 views about these parties, because we felt better in the former socialist
25 Yugoslavia rather than in the new parties and the new states. I think
1 I've made that clear.
2 Q. Would you please describe to the Court: You were outside on the
3 road. What did these barricades look like physically?
4 A. You would take out a barbecue, set up a table on the street, and
5 then the first person to bring a table along would put some meat on it. A
6 passerby would come along and they would say, "Please sit down. Help
7 yourself." And then another neighbour would come out and bring out some
8 more food. And that's how the barbecues came about, and these barbecues
9 came to be known as barbecue barricades.
10 Q. So, for example, if a vehicle would try to pass down that street,
11 would it be blocked, would it be stopped, was traffic normal?
12 A. Oh, traffic was normal. This was just on the pavements in front
13 of the houses. But the road itself was clear for traffic and everything
15 Q. My next question is: Who organised these barricades?
16 A. The citizens of Samac.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, does that satisfy your inquiry or
18 should I proceed --
19 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I think that's fine. If I understand the witness
20 correctly, the word "barricade" therefore in its normal sense as something
21 to block was not the case here. This was simply a social event.
22 MR. PANTELIC: That was my understanding too. Thank you.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mehinovic, would you be so kind as to tell
24 me: I am sure you are aware of certain armed party formations of the
25 Muslim SDA party in Samac, are you not? You've heard of that?
1 A. An armed party?
2 Q. No. I'm talking about armed units belonging to the party. You
3 heard about that?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Very well. When you responded to a question by the Prosecutor on
6 Monday, you mentioned that members of the 4th Detachment carried weapons,
7 and to the Prosecutor's question: "[Previous translation continues]...
8 Samac with these weapons?" Your answer was: "Yes. On numerous occasions
9 they walked with weapons hidden under their jackets. They would move
10 around town and in certain places around the mosque where you could
11 frequently see the SDA."
12 [Interpretation] What I'm interested in is this: You mentioned
13 the SDA, a group of SDA people. Could you explain what that is? What
14 context were you using these words in? What was the SDA?
15 A. The SDA was a party, just like the SDS and the HDZ, and you are
16 aware of this.
17 Q. Yes, I am, and now I want to ask you whether I understand
18 correctly that party gatherings of the SDA were held in a certain part of
19 town near the mosque. Is that correct?
20 A. No. The party gatherings were not held near the mosque. At that
21 time these were held -- what was held there were prayers. That's when
22 people went to the mosque, in the evenings.
23 Q. But why did you mention to the Prosecutor members of the SDA in
24 this context, in what I just read? Can you explain that?
25 A. Well, I suppose that SDA members frequented the mosque. They went
1 there to learn their prayers and to pray.
2 Q. I conclude from this, and you will agree with me, that the SDA in
3 Samac was linked to religious institutions, to the Islamic community, was
4 it not?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Tell me, please: Did you hear that in Samac the HDZ and the SDA
7 formed certain armed formations in accordance with their party
8 instructions? Yes or no.
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you hear about the influx of illegal weapons from Croatia
11 distributed in Samac?
12 A. Rumours about this went around, but I didn't know about this.
13 Q. That's what I want to know. So there were rumours about it.
14 Would you answer?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Well, Mr. Mehinovic, would you tell me: Yesterday, in response to
17 certain questions put to you by my colleague about a group of your fellow
18 townspeople - and I will read you a few names - Salko Srna, Mirsad Srna,
19 Hodzic Sabanovic, Dagovic, and so on, do you remember when you were
20 replying yesterday to the question of whether you met these people --?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. On page 75, 76, line 1, when my colleague asked you: [In English]
23 "You have already mentioned that they were armed." Your answer was:
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. [Interpretation] You remember that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You will agree with me that the persons you met and whom you
4 mentioned during your testimony before this Tribunal and who were armed,
5 were wearing civilian clothes, were they not?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And we will agree that, in essence, these were armed formations in
8 civilian clothing, were they not?
9 A. Perhaps.
10 Q. Did you come across any of the people in these armed formations
11 whom you knew in the SUP or the TO?
12 A. Only Mirsad Srna.
13 Q. And we will agree that it is quite logical that he was suspected
14 of belonging to an armed formation and was arrested as such? Is that
16 A. I think so.
17 MS. REIDY: Your Honour, I think there is now speculation on two
18 points. One, Mr. Pantelic had said: Did he come across any of these
19 people in these armed formations. The term "these armed formations" is a
20 wording of counsel. The witness said perhaps. He didn't say that these
21 were armed formations. And secondly he said "We will agree it is quite
22 logical," in other words, asks him to speculate on whether or not other
23 people were suspected by third parties of belonging to armed formations.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: There is nothing wrong, Ms. Reidy, with this line of
25 questioning, and the answer -- and the witness is quite capable of
1 answering them.
2 So, Mr. Pantelic, you can continue.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. [Interpretation] I think you have already answered my question,
5 but I will repeat it. We will agree, then, that some of these people,
6 whom you later met in the MUP or the TO, might have been suspected of
7 armed resistance or something like that?
8 A. I don't know, but it's possible. Whether they were suspected and
9 whether they actually were that, I don't know. I only know that I saw
10 Mirsad Srna, who was in that group of 20 men, and I don't believe that
11 Mr. Pistoljevic who was over 60 years of age, could have been suspected of
12 being armed. Zlatko Stanic, whom everybody knows, I don't believe that he
13 could have been suspected and that he carried weapons because he was a
14 worker and he was the only one who knew how to work with the telephones
15 and the communications equipment in the post office.
16 Q. If my memory serves me well, you also saw Muhamed Bicic in the TO
17 and the SUP. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, when he was brought from the primary school. It was a day or
19 two or three before the exchange.
20 Q. He was also armed, was he not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And this also refers to the Dagovic brothers, doesn't it?
23 A. I know about Enes, but not about Safet.
24 Q. You are talking about Esad, not Enes; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. Yes. Esad. I apologise.
1 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, do you have any personal knowledge of the situation
2 and the position of the Serbs across the River Bosna in the Odzak area in
3 April and May? Did you hear anything about the fate of the Serbs over
5 A. No.
6 Q. Do you have any knowledge or did you hear about certain conflicts
7 after the 15th of April, 1992 in the Odzak and Novi Grad area?
8 A. No. This is the first time I'm hearing of it.
9 Q. In the period after the 15th of April, 1992, did you hear or know
10 anything about armed conflicts to the south of Samac, in the Gradacac
12 A. No.
13 Q. Did you know anything about armed conflicts and certain tensions
14 after the 15th of April, 1992, in the area of Domaljevac and Orasje?
15 A. I learned of that only after we had been detained in the TO.
16 Q. So in the period from the 17th of April, 1992 to the 27th of May,
17 1992, you say that in the surroundings of Samac, everything was peaceful;
18 is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. There was no shooting?
21 A. There was on the first day, but not later, or I didn't notice it.
22 There was a little bit of shelling of Samac; I don't know by whom.
23 Q. When was Samac shelled?
24 A. In April.
25 Q. Wait a minute. I'm a bit confused now. Why would someone be
1 shelling Samac if everything around Samac was peaceful? Would you explain
2 that to the Chamber? It doesn't seem logical to me. Someone is shelling
3 and yet you say the surroundings are peaceful.
4 A. I apologise, sir, but I am not an expert on war, on military
5 matters, and I cannot say exactly how or why. I don't know. Because the
6 demarcation line was not clear to me. I know that Samac was shelled and
7 the people around Samac were peaceful. And if you know, maybe you can
8 explain it to me, why that happened.
9 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, I will be very direct. I'm putting very simple
10 questions to you. There is nothing for you to conceal.
11 A. Don't try to tell me I'm concealing something or lying. That's
12 not true. And I'm not a military expert.
13 Q. No --
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic --
15 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: If there's information you want to put to the
17 witness, you better do so, instead of simply going round and round.
18 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, very simply, Your Honour, I would like to ask
19 him a direct question and he tried to avoid the answer so I will be very
20 precise right now.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mehinovic, if shells were landing in Samac,
22 does that mean that you are right when you say that everything was Samac
23 was peaceful? Yes or no?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So were these peacemaking shells that were being used?
1 A. I think you're asking me superfluous questions. I apologise to
2 the Chamber, but I wouldn't want to continue answering his questions.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: I think there's a problem also with the way the
4 questions are put to the witness. The witness has explained that as far
5 as he could see, everybody in Samac, in the place where he was, where he
6 could see, was peaceful. But the shells kept landing on the town.
7 MR. PANTELIC: My understanding, Your Honour, and my question was
8 whether the surrounding area of Samac was peaceful. That was my
9 question. And I will put it again if you wish.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: No. I think he has answered sufficiently on this
11 one, and --
12 MR. PANTELIC: I agree. I agree. Because I asked him very simple
13 whether the surrounding area was peaceful, and then it was unlogic to say
14 if it's peaceful, why Samac was shelled.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Well, because he doesn't know who was shelling
17 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, of course. I accept that. But I'm just
18 trying to make this logical connection between two answers, nothing but
20 Q. [Interpretation] Okay. Let's move on to another topic. If you
21 could tell me the following, Mr. Mehinovic: After you were exchanged in
22 1994 in Sarajevo, did you give any statements about what was happening to
23 you while you were confined? I'm talking about Sarajevo. Maybe you might
24 have talked to some officials.
25 A. No.
1 Q. Did you give a statement to the Red Cross?
2 A. No.
3 Q. To the UNHCR?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did you give any statements to any officials about your
6 confinement to some -- in Croatia?
7 A. No.
8 Q. If I understand you well, you went to the country that you live in
9 now through the UNHCR.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And in this questionnaire that you had to fill in, you did not
12 mention what was happening to you from April 1992 until your release.
13 A. No.
14 MS. REIDY: Your Honour --
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
16 MS. REIDY: Could I seek clarity on the relevance of this?
17 Because as Defence counsel yesterday pointed this out, there was a time
18 frame put on the questions related to this witness.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: You will be able to explain that in re-examination,
20 Ms. Reidy.
21 MS. REIDY: At this time, outside of the indictment period, I
22 thought the ruling from the Bench was that Defence counsel in their cross
23 should be discussing only incidents involving the indictment time period.
24 And this transfer to the United States, my understanding is it happened
25 sometime in 1995, which is beyond the indictment period, and it's for that
1 reason that I --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: No, it doesn't mean that no question can be put. He
3 asked in connection with whether or not he did state anything that has
4 happened to him during the time that he was detained. So that's not the
5 time of question that would be disallowed.
6 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. So Mr. Mehinovic, when you came to your current country of
8 residence, did you give any statement there?
9 A. No.
10 Q. About the events in Samac?
11 A. No.
12 Q. So the first time you talked about these events in Samac in 1998
13 to the investigators of the Prosecution; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honours, could you bear with me just for a
16 second, please.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
18 MR. PANTELIC: It is my understanding that I'm finished with my
19 cross-examination. Thank you, Your Honours.
20 [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mehinovic.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Re-examination?
22 MS. REIDY: Thank you.
23 Re-examined by Ms. Reidy:
24 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, I'd like to discuss with you the record of the
25 interview you had with investigators from the OTP in 1998. In that
1 statement, it said: "Simo Zaric came to me personally with his bodyguard
2 and a police officer." Did you ever say that Simo Zaric actually entered
3 the room in which you were staying?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did Simo Zaric enter the room where you were being detained?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Could you see Mr. Simo Zaric clearly from where you were being
9 A. Yes, I could.
10 Q. In May, in Bosanski Samac, what is the light like in the evening
11 time, when you were being detained, at the time? Was there enough light
12 for you to be able to see Mr. Simo Zaric clearly in the corridor?
13 A. At that time we didn't need any lights yet. That might have been
14 around 5.00 or 5.30 in the evening, and you could still see very well.
15 Q. In your statement, you said that "Simo Zaric came to me
16 personally." Are you confident that what you heard -- what you've
17 testified that you heard Simo Zaric say in the corridor and that was
18 directed at you?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And why are you so confident about that assertion?
21 A. After he left, they came immediately to beat me up, and they
22 didn't move towards anybody else. They just came to me.
23 Q. But Simo Zaric didn't come to beat you up, did he?
24 A. No. No.
25 Q. And are you sure you heard that it was Simo Zaric's voice?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What is it about Simo Zaric's voice that's so distinctive?
3 A. He has a very specific voice. It's a little bit coarse, coarser
4 than others.
5 Q. Mr. Mehinovic, I'm just going to ask you about a couple of other
6 things, then, from your statement in -- from the record of this interview
7 in 1998. At that time you told investigators that you had seen Mirsad
8 Jasarevic being beaten by Milan Simic; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You also told them at the time that you had witnessed Saban Seric
11 paying Mr. Tadic money?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. This is from your statement. It says: "After my name was removed
14 from the list, Saban Seric paid Tadic 100 Deutschmarks and promised him
15 more money. He got my place in the list and was exchanged." That's what
16 you told investigators in 1998 as well as telling the Tribunal here today,
17 isn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And did you tell investigators in 1998 how Miroslav Tadic had come
20 and ordered all the people from Bosanski Samac out of the buses in July,
21 when an exchange was going on?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you also tell investigators in 1998 that Radovan Antic was
24 guarding you when you had to do force the labour in the beginning of the
25 war in Bosanski Samac?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In your statement, it said that it's recorded as you having said
3 "Miroslav Tadic and Simo Zaric were personally in charge of the 4th
4 Detachment. Radovan Antic was some kind of deputy commander." Do you
5 recall that now and do you stand by what you said in that statement?
6 A. Yes, I stand by that.
7 Q. Why do you say that Miroslav Tadic and Simo Zaric were in charge
8 of the 4th Detachment?
9 A. Because it was at Miroslav Tadic's that this was happening, and
10 his names -- and their names were mentioned most closely related to the
11 4th Detachment.
12 Q. Thank you. I want to ask you about an issue which arose in the
13 examination by Mr. Lukic on behalf of Miroslav Tadic, and you said to
14 Mr. Tadic that a police officer had mentioned to you that there would be a
15 Serb -- that you would have a Serb lawyer. Do you remember saying that to
16 Mr. Lukic in response to his question?
17 A. Could you please repeat your question?
18 Q. Certainly. In your statement -- in the document from 1998, it
19 records you as saying: "I was given a Serb defence lawyer." When
20 Mr. Lukic asked you about that, you said you believed that a policeman may
21 have told you that you would have a Serb defence lawyer. Do you recall
22 that now?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you recall which police officer it was? Maybe not by name,
25 but a police officer whilst you were in the camp, a police officer whilst
1 you were in the jeep, a police officer whilst you were in the courthouse,
2 or some other police officer altogether?
3 A. The police officer that came to get me in the camp. He was a
4 military police officer.
5 Q. When you arrived at the courthouse, did anyone there ever advise
6 you that you had a lawyer?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Did you actually ever meet with a lawyer?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you have any legal counsel or legal advice at any stage during
11 your detention and proceedings in Bijeljina?
12 A. No.
13 Q. I'd like now to ask you some questions arising from the
14 cross-examination of Mr. Lazarevic on behalf of Simo Zaric. He asked you
15 about the incident where you gathered in front of the Buducnost factory,
16 and he asked you whether there were Serbs there as well. Can I clarify
17 your answer? The people gathered in front of the Buducnost factory, apart
18 from the soldiers, were they of all ethnic groups or were they only
19 Muslims and Croats?
20 A. They were only Muslims and Croats.
21 Q. Were all the Muslims and Croats wearing white armbands?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were any -- did you see in your time before you were detained any
24 Serb, whether soldier or civilian, walking around Samac with a white armed
1 A. No.
2 Q. At this same incident, Mr. Lazarevic suggested that you had been
3 invited to join the 4th Detachment, and I believe you testified that you
4 were not invited to join the 4th Detachment, simply to hand up your
5 reserve uniforms; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You were a member of the JNA reserve units? You have testified to
8 that. That's correct, is it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you went back, as you were required, to refresher courses?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Prior to the breakout of war in Bosanski Samac, were you ever
13 officially invited as a JNA reserve officer to join the ranks of the 4th
15 A. No.
16 MS. REIDY: Your Honour, I think that's the end of my re-exam.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
19 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, being sensitive about the time issue
20 in this trial, I didn't want to raise and interrupt my colleagues, but
21 since like 20 minutes now I don't have a connection with my client on the
22 phone. We don't have any problem to proceed, on the assumption and the
23 hope that he's having, in his room, the -- that he hears what is happening
24 in the trial. If -- I have talked with -- exchanged the messages with the
25 Registry, and if they can confirm that he is having an audio and a video
1 signal in his room, then we are -- I mean, we can proceed without the
2 telephone connection, because I was advised that the technicians are
3 working on this.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Oh, I see.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: If we can only confirm that, that would be
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. I confirm that not since the
9 last 20 minutes, but in fact five minutes now that we've been having
10 problems with the phone.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm so sorry.
12 THE REGISTRAR: I did confirm with Mr. Tim Mcfadden at the
13 Detention Unit that on their side all is well with the phone. We have the
14 technicians working on the connection from this phone here. At the very
15 moment I'm awaiting a telephone call from them to say that everything has
16 been corrected.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you so much. We can proceed. I apologise for
19 this 20 minutes. It appeared to me much longer than it obviously was.
20 Thank you.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much, Mr. Mehinovic. We are through.
24 You have completed your evidence and you may leave courtroom.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE MUMBA: We were given to understand that the next witness
2 requires protective measures, which were already granted. Is that
3 correct? Yes, Mr. Weiner.
4 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I'm going to be asking for additional
5 protective measures. The next witness is already -- actually, could we
6 close the session for this, for the statement, move into private session?
7 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. Can we move into private session,
9 [Private session]
12 Page 7648 – redacted – private session
12 Page 7649 – redacted – private session
12 Page 7650 – redacted – private session
5 [Closed session]
12 Pages 7652-7687 – redacted – closed session
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.55 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 9th day of May,
19 2002, at 2.15 p.m.