1 Friday, 7 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.32 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and
9 Simo Zaric.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Your Honours have probably notice that had
12 Mr. Zaric is not here with us this morning. I spoke with him yesterday,
13 and also this morning, and he has a scheduled medical examination in the
14 Detention Unit. But he authorised me to inform the Trial Chamber that he
15 waives his right of being here today, so we can go on with proceedings
16 without any problems.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: But he also asked me to address the Trial Chamber
19 in respect to his health condition, because he's suffering pains for a
20 couple of months now, and he's on painkillers for days, and hopefully he
21 will have a proper medical examination today. And I will keep the Trial
22 Chamber informed about his health condition.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you very much.
24 We'll go ahead with our witness.
25 Can the witness make the solemn declaration.
1 WITNESS: MUSTAFA PISTOLJEVIC
2 [Witness testifies via videolink]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
5 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Please sit down.
7 Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
9 Examined by Mr. Lukic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Pistoljevic. Can you hear me?
11 A. Yes, I can hear you. Good morning.
12 Q. I'm going to put questions to you, but I would kindly ask you to
13 wait a few seconds after I've finished my questions so that it can be
14 translated, and then give me your answer. And I will also wait for you to
15 finish your answer, in order to avoid overlapping our questions and
17 Will you please state your name.
18 A. My name is Mustafa Pistoljevic.
19 Q. Do you have a nickname?
20 A. Yes, I do. It's Dzigara.
21 Q. When and where were you born, Mr. Pistoljevic?
22 A. In Bosanski Samac, on the 24th of October, 1934.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. You're welcome.
25 Q. What is your ethnicity, sir?
1 A. I am a Muslim.
2 Q. Are your ancestors also from the area of Samac municipality?
3 A. You mean my family?
4 Q. Yes, your fathers, your grandfathers, your ancestors.
5 A. Yes, they are.
6 Q. Are you married?
7 A. Yes, I am.
8 Q. Tell us: What ethnicity is your wife?
9 A. She is a Croat.
10 Q. Do you have children?
11 A. I have two daughters.
12 Q. Thank you. Can you hear me now?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What kind of school did you finish? Can you tell us?
15 A. Four years of elementary school and two years of vocational
17 Q. Mr. Pistoljevic, tell us: Just where did you work? In which
18 company did you work?
19 A. I worked in Bosanski Samac, Mebos, Bosanski Samac.
20 Q. Tell the Chamber: When were you retired?
21 A. In 1991.
22 Q. Did you complete military service, or can you remember when was
23 that, and did you finish it with a rank?
24 A. I went to the army in 1954, and I have the rank of a private first
1 Q. Thank you. Tell us also, Mr. Pistoljevic: Were you or are you
2 now a member of any political party?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Have you ever been a member of any party?
5 A. When the communists were there, I was.
6 Q. So you were a member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia,
7 and after its disintegration you were not a member of any party?
8 A. No, I wasn't.
9 Q. So after we have recorded your details, now, Mr. Pistoljevic, I
10 will question you briefly about the events in Samac that took place in
11 1992, and then I'll ask you about the thing that I'm most interested in,
12 and that is your exchange.
13 Have you ever heard of the 4th Detachment or -- and were you a
14 member of this 4th Detachment?
15 A. I've heard about it, but I wasn't in it.
16 Q. Very well. Tell me: Did you know Mr. Miroslav Tadic before the
17 war, and what was your relationship with him? Was he just an acquaintance
18 of yours or were you close?
19 A. Well, I know him. We grew up together in Samac.
20 Q. Were you socialising with him extensively before the war or did
21 you just know him?
22 A. I knew him, but we didn't socialise, because he had his team.
23 Q. Mr. Pistoljevic, just briefly: After the events in April 1992,
24 more precisely, the 16th and 17th of April, did you work at the local Red
25 Cross organisation, and can you briefly describe what was your role?
1 A. When the war broke out, we distributed milk and bread, and I did
2 it from my home. They gave me this job.
3 Q. Do you remember perhaps when were you arrested? First of all, let
4 me ask you: Were you arrested in 1992? And then, if you were, tell me
5 when it happened.
6 A. That was in June 1992.
7 Q. Tell me, Mr. Pistoljevic: Do you have a brother, and what is his
9 A. Yes, I do. His name is Hasan.
10 Q. Was he also arrested at the time?
11 A. He was arrested later.
12 Q. Will you please tell the Chamber: Who arrested you? Was it the
13 police? Did you report yourself, or did anyone come to pick you up?
14 A. The police came with a car, and they drove me away, and then some
15 fortnight later, my brother was taken away.
16 Q. Do you know: Did the police search your flat?
17 A. No, they didn't.
18 Q. Did you know what was the reason for your arrest? Were you told
20 A. Well, there were stories going around that allegedly we had
21 weapons, but we didn't have any.
22 Q. Were you beaten at the police station, Mr. Pistoljevic?
23 A. I didn't understand your question.
24 Q. Did anyone beat you at the police station after you were arrested?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you tell us briefly: When did that take place, and who beat
3 A. His name was Boban Radulovic.
4 Q. Was he a police officer?
5 A. He was a police officer in Odzak.
6 Q. How did he beat you?
7 A. He had a plastic sabre, and he hit me on the head, on the back,
8 also on the arms, because I tried to protect myself.
9 Q. Were you beaten several times or only once, now that you have
10 described it? Did anyone else beat you?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did that man beat you several times?
13 A. No, he didn't.
14 Q. Do you remember how long you remained at the police station, and
15 were you transferred someplace else?
16 A. I was at the police station for 21 days, and then we were
17 transferred to the TO, which is just across the street from SUP.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 A. You're welcome.
20 Q. While you were at the TO, were you taken for questioning by
21 inspectors? Can you remember that?
22 A. I've already forgotten, but once he came and asked us why we were
23 imprisoned, and when I read what I stated, I signed that statement.
24 Q. Do you --
25 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Lukic. For the sake of clarity:
1 On page 6, lines 21 and following, you asked whether the witness was taken
2 for questioning by inspectors and the answer on line 23 was, the witness
3 says: "He came and asked us why we were there," et cetera. I think we
4 should have some clarity who the "he" was.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That was exactly what I intended to
6 ask the witness.
7 Q. Do you remember the name of that man who came and asked you, or
8 questioned you, and then gave you statements to sign?
9 A. I don't remember. People were coming and going in the SUP while
10 we were imprisoned there.
11 Q. I will try to refresh your memory. You just tell me if that man's
12 name was Inspector Simo Bozic, if you can remember.
13 A. Simo Bozic questioned me.
14 Q. Thank you. Do you remember when you were transferred to Batkovic?
15 A. We were transferred to Batkovic, a group of people was transferred
16 by bus to Batkovic. It was on the 28th of November.
17 Q. Of the same year?
18 A. Yes, of that same year.
19 Q. Was your brother transferred with you to Batkovic as well?
20 A. Yes. He spent a short time at the SUP, and we saw each other, and
21 they couldn't put us together there. He wasn't beaten at all.
22 Q. Mr. Pistoljevic, tell us: Did you see Miroslav Tadic in Batkovic?
23 A. I saw him when he came, when we were about to go home. I asked a
24 man there, because I couldn't see very well - I had an eye surgery, and
25 the bulb up there was very small - and he came and called out our names --
1 Q. Can you wait? Wait a second, please. Did he tell you why he was
2 calling up your names? Was it for exchange? Was there any mention of the
3 reason for calling up your names?
4 A. He didn't call up my name, but rather, I asked another detainee:
5 Could you please look -- is there my name on the list? Do you see the
6 name of Mustafa Pistoljevic? Then Tadic turned around, before I finished,
7 and he told me: You are going home. These were his exact words.
8 Q. Since Tadic told you that, did they continue to call up the names?
9 A. Yes, they did. There was a big bus there, because the majority of
10 people were there were Serbs, a few Croats --
11 Q. Can you please wait a second, Mr. Pistoljevic. We are talking
12 about the departure from Batkovic. Later we'll discuss the return.
13 Now, when you boarded the bus in Batkovic, what was the ethnicity
14 of the people who boarded the bus in Batkovic when you set off from
15 Batkovic? What was the ethnicity of those people? Did you know them?
16 A. I didn't know them. There were a few people from Samac, maybe
17 four or five of them.
18 Q. Tell me: While you were on the bus and you set off from Batkovic,
19 did you discuss anything with Tadic? Did you ask him about an exchange?
20 A. I asked him, when we set off -- in fact, he told me, by himself:
21 Mustafa, you are free to go, or even if you want to proceed to Croatia,
22 and also you can return to your home. I said: I'm not going anywhere
23 from my house, because that's the best place for me to live. And when we
24 arrived in Dragalic across the River Sava, Bosanska Gradiska, I was told:
25 Here is an opportunities for you. If you don't feel like going home,
1 there is a man from Croatia. And he asked me: Would I like to stay
2 there? But I said: No. I'm going back home. Because I was told, while
3 on the bus, that it was possible for me to go home, and I wished to do so,
4 because I left my house there and I was thinking why I shouldn't go back
6 Q. Tell us: Did anyone tell you that if you didn't want to go to
7 Croatia you had to go back to the prison in Batkovic, or rather, did they
8 tell you that if you didn't want to go to Croatia you were free to go
10 A. No, no one said any such thing. I didn't hear anyone say anything
11 like that. People were talking when we were on our way to Vojnic --
12 Q. Hold on a second, please. We'll proceed with that now. When you
13 arrived in Dragalic, who exactly did you tell that you didn't want to
14 cross to the other side, namely, to Croatia? Who asked you?
15 A. Miro. I think that was the man's name. Miro Tadic. He said:
16 You, if you want to go to Croatia now, or anywhere else, this man here
17 will help you; if not, you're free to go back to your home in Samac. And
18 then I confirmed yet again that I wanted to go straight home, and that was
19 the only place I wanted to go.
20 Q. Mr. Pistoljevic, can you hear me?
21 A. Yes, I can.
22 Q. Do you remember: In addition to yourself, were there other people
23 who made the same decision as you, namely, to go home?
24 A. There was a Muslim and a Croat. The two of them were from
25 Bosanski Samac and they went back home from Dragalic. I think that was
1 the name of the village. The two of them went back. And those Serbs who
2 came, the exchange, you know, Muslims and Croats --
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't get the last part of the
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Do you remember: When you went to Dragalic by bus from Batkovic,
7 did you go --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic, the interpreters didn't get the last part
9 of the previous answer.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You said that those people came back with you. Can you just
12 repeat the last sentence, because the line was bad. The Serbs who came
13 back, as well as Muslims and Croats who came back, who were the Croats and
14 Muslims who came back with you from Dragalic?
15 A. I only know about the two who came with me and who sat with me. I
16 only knew about those two. But they are somewhere abroad now.
17 Q. Thank you. Can you recall: On your way from Batkovic to
18 Dragalic, when you left the prison, did the bus pass through Samac, and
19 did other people join the bus in Samac?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you remember how many additional people boarded the bus in
22 Samac? Just approximately, if you can remember.
23 A. One of them was ill. He was on dialysis. That man sat with me
24 and he left for Holland eventually.
25 Q. Mustafa, do you know a man named Veljo Maslic?
1 A. They asked me about him. I remember as if through a mist.
2 Q. No problem if you don't recall. What happened on the way back
3 from Dragalic, when you headed towards Samac? Did you stop anywhere?
4 What happened there?
5 A. Once we crossed the River Sava and came to Bosanska Gradiska,
6 there was a Serbian church there, and it was Christmastime. They invited
7 us to go there to have dinner there, to sit down and get some rest. We
8 all went there. No one stayed in the bus. We stayed there for about half
9 an hour, perhaps three quarters of an hour. We rested there. We had some
10 food. It was quite a treat.
11 Q. Tell us, please, Mustafa: Did you immediately go in to eat or
12 only after someone had invited you?
13 A. Yes. A man came, and we hadn't yet started out.
14 Q. What do you mean by "we"? Who hadn't yet started?
15 A. The other two men who were with me, I told them: You needn't talk
16 now. I'll do the talking for you. Because we were together there on our
17 way back, so I told them not to talk, that I would do the talking for
18 them. And a Serb man came along and asked me: Mustafa, why aren't you
19 coming? And then he said --
20 Q. Just a minute, please. Why aren't you coming where?
21 A. He meant over there, to sit down, relax, get some food. I said:
22 We are a minority. That's why we're not coming. And then he called out
23 Miro Tadic's name: Miro, come over. And then Miro came back
24 immediately. He said: Miro, take a look. Here's Dzigara and those
25 other two men. They don't want to go over there and have dinner. And he
1 said: Well, why don't you go? Come on, Mustafa. There's no problem.
2 All three of you. Just you go. Get a proper meal. And then we did go
4 Q. Once you reached Samac, did you go straight home or did you first
5 go somewhere else?
6 A. I went to see my son-in-law and my daughter. I asked the bus
7 driver to take me as far as Zlatko's flat. Zlatko is my son-in-law.
8 There was a curfew and this was 2.00 in the morning, perhaps 3.00 in
9 morning. That's when I came, and I stayed there.
10 Q. Will you please tell the Court: Your son-in-law, what's his
11 ethnic background?
12 A. He's a Croat. Zlatko Stanic.
13 Q. Do you know whether he too had been detained in Samac?
14 A. I was detained in Batkovic, and he was in Samac. I still don't
15 know for how long, but he had not been detained for a very long time.
16 He's a very able mechanic. He went to the fields. He carried out
17 repairs, electricity repairs, so they could go on working.
18 Q. Tell us, tell us, please: Go on. Once he was released from
19 detention, did he stay in Samac to live there?
20 A. Yes, he did.
21 Q. Tell us, please: At that time, did you have any family that was
22 elsewhere in Orasje, not in Samac?
23 A. Yes, that's correct. They had sent a message to me, but the
24 message never reached me, that my relatives had been looking for me. As
25 my mother --
1 Q. Where were they looking for you, or what did they want? Did they
2 want you to go to Orasje?
3 A. Yes, yes. They wanted me to go to Orasje, because my mother had
4 been born in Orasje.
5 Q. What happened to your brother, Hasan? Tell us in a few words,
7 A. Hasan stayed in Samac after his release from prison, and he was
8 there until recently. We are both retirees since 1991, in my case.
9 Q. Did your brother tell you that he also went for an exchange, only
10 to tell the other side that he did not wish to be exchanged, once they had
11 left Batkovic?
12 A. We didn't go together then. He stayed back in Batkovic and I
14 Q. I do know that, but afterwards, when he left Batkovic, did you
15 also go to the separation line, only to tell the other side that he did
16 not wish to go to Croatia?
17 A. No, I never asked him, to be honest.
18 Q. After that night, where did you go the next day after you returned
19 to Samac?
20 A. I stayed with my son-in-law for the whole of that day. He wasn't
21 working, because the company had ceased to operate. I stayed there with
22 them, with my son-in-law and my daughter, for two days. And then I simply
23 went home to see what was left of it. And then they told me to come back
24 for lunch or dinner. That's exactly what I did.
25 Q. Was anyone in your flat, or was the flat empty once you got there?
1 A. No. No. It wasn't empty. Nothing was missing. My daughter
2 remained with her husband, Zlatko, and her children. She remained in
3 Samac. She did some gardening. She would go back to her own flat in the
4 evening. So nothing was missing, no.
5 Q. Can you please tell the Court: Where was your wife at that time?
6 A. She was in Zasavica. Zasavica. The distance between Zasavica and
7 Samac is about 7 kilometres. In -- let me think - June, July, the police
8 took her to Zasavica.
9 Q. 1992; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you please also tell me: How long did she stay in Zasavica
12 for? Did you go about asking for her release?
13 A. Yes. I went to that man, to Stiv, in The Hague.
14 Q. Stevan Todorovic?
15 A. Yes, yes. Stevan Todorovic, chief of police asked a police
16 officer: Who should I speak to about my wife? So they let her go. And
17 they said: Well, there's no one else to talk to aside from Stiv.
18 Q. So what happened once you went to see Todorovic?
19 A. He said that the circumstances were still not right for them to
20 let her go. I knew what he was like, so I didn't repeat my request. I
21 just said thank you and I left.
22 Q. When was your wife finally released? Do you remember that?
23 A. In June.
24 Q. Which year? The same year that you were released from Batkovic?
25 Was it the same year?
1 A. I came home on the 7th of January. I was released. June or
2 thereabouts, that was when she came back. Some police officers brought
3 her home.
4 Q. Was it the same year?
5 A. 1991. I'm a bit confused. The same --
6 Q. My question is: Did she return home six months after you did?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. Did you stay at your flat this whole time?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. Your brother and his family --
11 A. Same thing.
12 Q. And you still reside in Samac?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Can you please tell us, Mr. Pistoljevic: When you talked to Tadic
15 in the bus, when he told you that you were free to go home, did you
16 believe him that you would indeed be released and go home if he told you
18 A. Well, I said: Well, I have nowhere else left to go but my home.
19 He said this twice, possibly even three times, as we were in the bus
20 travelling towards Croatia. He said this several times. He said: You're
21 free to go, but you can go somewhere else too, should you choose to go
22 somewhere else. You may perhaps want to go to Croatia, if you don't want
23 to return to Samac, to your home.
24 Q. Thank you very much, Your Honours. This completes my
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: I take it there's no Defence --
4 JUDGE MUMBA: No. They would have indicated, Mr. Di Fazio.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, if Your Honours please.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio:
7 Q. Mr. Pistoljevic, what were you arrested for?
8 A. Allegedly, my brother and I had been in possession of weapons.
9 Q. Thank you. Was there any truth in that?
10 A. Well, like I said, what I told you before is true.
11 Q. There was no basis for these -- for the arrest?
12 A. Well, I would say not.
13 Q. Thank you. This was after you had spent time working for the Red
14 Cross distributing milk?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You got the job distributing milk very soon after the 16th and
17 17th of April, didn't you, around the 24th of April?
18 A. Yes, yes, yes. I was distributing milk, milk and bread.
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. They came to my house and told me to go on distributing.
21 Q. Thank you. But you did that as part of your work at the Red
22 Cross, and you started doing that work at the Red Cross very soon after
23 the 16th and 17th of April, correct?
24 A. No. No. No.
25 Q. When did you start doing the work for the Red Cross distributing
2 A. Well, right at the beginning, at the beginning, as soon as the
3 whole mess started. They came to me and they said: You can distribute
4 milk and bread. I kept doing it for perhaps about ten days, and then I
5 said: Well, will you please replace me? I can't go on doing this. And
6 then they sent a younger person over to continue my job.
7 Q. And was it Mr. Tadic who got you the job distributing milk in the
8 Red Cross?
9 A. No. I didn't see him at all. He never even passed by just to
10 check. I've never seen him.
11 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, let's just turn to the circumstances of
12 your arrest. If you can possibly answer questions with a yes or a no,
13 that will speed up things.
14 You were kept in the SUP for a short period of time and then taken
15 over to the TO. Altogether, how long were you in the SUP and the TO?
16 A. Twenty-one days I spent at the SUP, and then they transferred me
17 immediately to the TO.
18 Q. How long in the TO?
19 A. Twenty -- let me --
20 Q. Approximately. I don't need a precise date, time.
21 A. I have April on my mind. Are you asking me about the milk?
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Di Fazio --
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: I think to assist the witness, you simply ask him:
25 When did he leave the TO.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, Your Honour.
2 Q. When did you leave the TO?
3 A. On the 28th of November.
4 Q. Now, when you were in the SUP building and in the TO building, of
5 what ethnicity were your fellow prisoners?
6 A. Croats and Muslims.
7 Q. Did you see them being beaten and tortured on a daily basis?
8 A. Well, we weren't able to see that.
9 Q. Were you able to hear men being tortured and beaten on a daily
11 A. Well, we did hear some noise and commotion coming from a distance.
12 Q. Mr. Pistoljevic, isn't it the truth of the matter that in the SUP
13 building and the TO building, beatings, torture, pulling of teeth, the use
14 of clubs and other instruments, was a daily feature for you and the other
15 prisoners who were held in the TO and the SUP?
16 A. Well, I can't say that it wasn't. Yes, it was.
17 Q. And the only reason that those prisoners were in there, as far as
18 you can tell, was because they were Muslim and Croats?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In fact, the only time anyone ever asked you or spoke to you about
21 the reason you were in there was the police inspector, and he had to ask
22 you why you were there, correct?
23 A. Yes. That was Simo Bozic.
24 Q. Yes. But he didn't know why you were there. He had to ask you,
1 A. I did tell him something, but I can't remember now.
2 Q. All right. Now, after you were transferred -- sorry. Let me
3 rephrase that. You were transferred in November from the TO building to
4 Batkovic. Were you told why you were being taken to Batkovic?
5 A. We all found out why it was, because one detainee got killed, a
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for a moment?
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
9 [Prosecution counsel confer]
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Okay.
11 Q. How was the prisoner killed?
12 A. A shell fell into the courtyard.
13 Q. Thank you. Were you ever informed or told that you were a
14 prisoner of war?
15 A. Yes. That's what they told us in Batkovic.
16 Q. And did that apply to all of the people in Batkovic, as far as you
17 were aware, that is, all the prisoners in Batkovic were supposedly
18 prisoners of war?
19 A. There were many of us there in Batkovic.
20 Q. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Pistoljevic. I understand that there were
21 many of you there. But can you tell us if you were informed or if you
22 found out or if you knew that you and the other men --
23 A. Whether I was a prisoner of war?
24 Q. Yes. Can you tell us if you were informed that the other men who
25 were imprisoned with you were also supposed to be prisoners of war?
1 A. I don't know about that, whether I was a prisoner of war. They
2 came to ask us, and they didn't give us anything, and I don't know what
3 they wrote on paper.
4 Q. Mr. Pistoljevic, let's start again and quickly go through this.
5 It won't take long. I'm sure we can get to the bottom of it. First of
6 all, let's start with you. When you were in Batkovic, were you told or
7 informed that you were a prisoner of war? Just yes or no.
8 A. Nobody told me, no.
9 Q. So you don't know what you were there for?
10 A. I have just told you: A man was killed on the compound of the TO
11 in Samac.
12 Q. Okay. Now, as far as the other prisoners of war are concerned,
13 that is, not you, but the other men who were imprisoned there, were you
14 told that they were prisoners of war?
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Truly, Mr. Pistoljevic, I make an
17 objection, because I don't think this witness is qualified to say whether
18 anyone was a prisoner of war or not. Maybe we could ask him what his
19 notion of a prisoner of war is.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm not seeking a legal conclusion from this man.
21 That's not my purpose at all. It's just if he was given information, told
22 by someone, A, if he was -- as to his status or as to the other status.
23 I'm not asking for his legal conclusions as to --
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The question is proper, because he's just
25 asking whether the witness was told.
1 MR. DI FAZIO:
2 Q. So, Mr. Pistoljevic, just can you tell us: Were you informed that
3 the other men who were in prison with you in Batkovic were prisoners of
5 A. Well, let me tell you about this. While we were discussing it
6 among ourselves, one would say we were POWs, the other would say we were
7 this and that. But we didn't arrive at any conclusion of whether we were
8 or we weren't.
9 Q. Thank you very much. So the clear, certain thing is that no one
10 ever told you that you were a prisoner of war?
11 A. No, we didn't.
12 Q. Thank you. Let's go to the occasion when you made your way out of
13 Batkovic. You say that Mr. Tadic came on that day and he informed -- or
14 he had a list on which there were a number of men, you included?
15 A. Yes, my name was on the list.
16 Q. Did Mr. Tadic himself speak to you?
17 A. Well, I can tell you how it happened. He stood behind -- in front
18 of me, and I asked another detainee who was there with me in my company,
19 and I asked him: Please, will you take a look and see if there's a
20 Pistoljevic name on the list, and at that moment Tadic turned around and
21 told me that I was on the list, and that was all.
22 Q. Had you made any moves to place yourself on that list?
23 A. No, I didn't. I just asked whether my name was there, and he
24 said: Yes, there was. And that's all.
25 Q. And it would be fair to say, wouldn't it, that you and the other
1 prisoners who were there were desperate to get out of Batkovic?
2 A. Yeah, of course we were.
3 Q. The men were clamouring and gathering around Mr. Tadic, waiting to
4 see if their name was on the list and if they could leave?
5 A. Well, there were men around him. They gathered there. He called
6 names and they went out. But I don't know what they did.
7 Q. At Batkovic, was it the army who guarded you?
8 A. Yeah, there were, but not all the time.
9 Q. Who else, apart from the army, guarded you?
10 A. Just the army. There was no one else.
11 Q. Right. So --
12 A. I don't know what.
13 Q. Okay. I just want to be clear about it. The people who were
14 holding you in custody, guarding you and the other prisoners, that was the
15 army, wasn't it? It was the army throughout the period of time that you
16 were in Batkovic, members of the army of the Republika Srpska? Has my
17 answer been -- Mr. Pistoljevic, did you hear my last question? I'll
18 repeat it if you wish. Is it necessary? Did you hear my --
19 A. I didn't.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think you had better -- he didn't hear you.
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. Sorry, Mr. Pistoljevic. I'll repeat my question. I want to be
23 clear. The people who were holding you in custody and guarding you and
24 the other prisoners, that was the army, the army of the Republika Srpska,
25 throughout the period of time that you were at Batkovic?
1 A. Yes, I saw the army. Yes, yes, it was the army.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, the actual transport from Batkovic, on the way
3 from Batkovic to Bosanski Samac, did the bus stop at any military posts?
4 A. It was -- the snow was very big at the time. Yes, we stopped,
5 because we had a punctured tyre. Two tyres were punctured.
6 Q. Thank you. I'm not asking about mechanical problems that you had,
7 but this: As far as you could see, did the bus stop at any military
8 outposts or any military posts, and did Mr. Tadic conduct any sort of
9 negotiation or speak to army people?
10 A. While I was watching him, he was all the time in the bus, and we
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: I'd like to show the witness a document, if Your
14 Honours please. It's a document that was provided to us by the Defence.
15 There are sufficient copies, and I'd like it to be placed on the ELMO.
16 Q. Mr. Pistoljevic, I'll show you a document that I think relates to
17 your exchange, and just wait a moment while it's prepared on the machine
18 so that you can see it.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I have extra copies for the
20 Bench which can be provided to you. If Your Honours please, I have a
21 draft translation of this particular document, and the full translation
22 will be made available very soon, in a matter of days. So I'd ask that --
23 eventually I'll be asking for it to be marked for identification.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: This document, Mr. Di Fazio, was not -- a copy
25 wasn't given to the registry assistant so that it can be given to the
1 witness there?
2 MR. DI FAZIO: No. No. I've only just found this document in the
3 last few days.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Well, we'll see whether he'll be able to read on the
6 MR. DI FAZIO: I appreciate that, if Your Honours please. It may
7 be difficult. I don't know how --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't see anything here.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: May I ask the usher if the machine is functioning
10 at this stage?
11 Q. Mr. Pistoljevic, can you see this document at all?
12 A. Well, I can't see my name here.
13 Q. Okay. But just tell me this: Can you see -- can you see the
14 writing? Just tell me that.
15 A. Oh, okay. There I am. There I am. Yes. But my name wasn't
16 here, on this piece of paper. My name wasn't this high up on the list.
17 My name was lower down.
18 Q. Fine. Okay. Fine. Just slow down, and I'll ask you the
19 questions. I'll ask you the questions about it. First of all, under
20 number 5, that is you, isn't it? You were born in 1934?
21 A. But this is not how my name was written. It was lower down on the
22 list, way down the piece of paper.
23 Q. Certainly. Certainly, Mr. Pistoljevic. I'm not taking issue with
24 you on that. But let's forget about the document that you saw in prison
25 in Batkovic and let's just concentrate on this particular document, okay?
1 Further down, at the bottom of the document, Mr. Pistoljevic,
2 you'll see the words "above persons handed over," and there's a name under
3 that, Corporal Osapovic, Milorad --
4 THE REGISTRAR: [Belgrade] May I please ask that the document be
5 moved up or down so that he can see.
6 MR. DI FAZIO:
7 Q. At the bottom of the document --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: I think it's after the number 30.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: That's right. At the bottom of the document --
10 Ms. Usher, can you shift the document so that we can see.
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Belgrade] Last name [inaudible]. That's fine.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: All right.
13 Q. Can you see the bottom of the document now, Mr. Pistoljevic, the
14 signatures at the bottom?
15 A. Yes, yes, the signatures. But I can't see my name anywhere.
16 There is the year there.
17 Q. Thank you. Mr. Pistoljevic, if you'd just let me finish a
18 question, we can get through this really quickly, and I'll focus your
19 attention on what I want, okay? At the bottom of the document --
20 A. Go ahead, please.
21 Q. At the bottom of the document, it says that a Corporal Milorad
22 Osapovic handed the above persons over and they were taken over by
23 Mr. Miroslav Tadic. And then there's a stamp of the Bijeljina military
24 post, number 7102. Do you see those features? Do you see that at the
25 bottom of the document?
1 A. No, no, I don't. I had an eye surgery. My eyesight is not that
2 good really.
3 Q. All right. Okay.
4 A. Could you just move this paper, take it away, perhaps.
5 Q. Thank you. Could I just -- can I just ask you, if you may -- you
6 saw this before. Look at number 5, your name, please, number 5.
7 A. This is fine.
8 Q. Okay. You can see that, can you?
9 A. Yes, yes. Yes, I can. The year of birth, everything.
10 Q. Okay. Next to that, to your name, is the words, in handwriting:
11 "He" goes as a civilian." Can you see that? Or rather: "Goes" as
12 civilian." Can you see that?
13 A. No. No.
14 Q. Very well. Let me ask you this: Did anyone tell you that you
15 were to be exchanged -- did anyone tell you that -- did anyone tell you
16 that you were to be exchanged as a civilian?
17 A. Yes, I found it now.
18 Q. Okay. Mr. Pistoljevic, let's return to number 5. Do you see the
19 words: "Goes" as a civilian"? Do you see that in handwriting?
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Belgrade] It's not very legible. What the witness
21 saw earlier was his name, Mustafa.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I've done with the document. And if
23 Your Honours please, can I ask that it be marked for identification? I
24 intend to tender it in due course into evidence.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, it can be marked for identification.
1 THE REGISTRAR: This document is P168 and ter ID.
2 MR. DI FAZIO:
3 Q. Do you know a gentleman named Senad Mehmedovic?
4 A. Yes, Mehmedovic. Yes, I do know him, but I lost track of him
5 about ten years ago, since he was no longer in Samac.
6 Q. Was he on the exchange with you?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Safet Izetbegovic --
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. -- do you know him?
11 A. Yes. Yes, Safet was there. I do know him. The bus from Bosanski
12 Samac -- we took the bus from Bosanski Samac.
13 Q. And Safet, is he the brother of Izet Izetbegovic?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. And was he the chap who had the kidney problems?
16 A. Yes, yes, yes. He had kidney problems.
17 Q. Was Andrija Jovic exchanged on the same occasion as you were, and
18 was Marijan Papic also exchanged on the same occasion as you were?
19 A. I don't know these people. The bus was quite a big one.
20 Q. When you arrived in Bosanski Samac, did you stay the night there
21 before continuing on to Dragalic?
22 A. We arrived at about 2.00, past midnight, and we went to the school
23 building. The room was warm. We spent the night there and slept until
24 the next morning. Then we woke up and we again boarded the bus and left
25 for Dragalic.
1 Q. Did you see other people being added onto the bus in the morning?
2 A. There were many, many people there. The others took their seats,
3 those who were from Batkovic. They boarded the bus, and they wouldn't let
4 any outsiders onto the bus.
5 Q. Do you mean civilians from Bosanski Samac?
6 A. Whether they went to those exchanges? Is that your question?
7 Q. Were civilians from Bosanski Samac the ones who were not allowed
8 onto the bus?
9 A. Well, let me tell you: There were some, but they didn't get onto
10 the bus, because there were seats for us to go to Dragalic.
11 Q. So you and the other men from Batkovic were kept separate and as a
12 group all the way from Batkovic to Bosanski Samac and then again separate
13 and as a group all the way from Bosanski Samac to Dragalic; is that your
15 A. We came to Samac from -- what was it? Batkovic, about 2.00. We
16 sat down, sat ourselves down in that room over there, and then whoever
17 could got some sleep. At about 8.00 or half past 8.00 in the
18 morning we left for Bosanska Gradiska. We had to cross the River Sava.
19 Q. All right. Mr. Pistoljevic, you've told us that you were never
20 informed as to whether or not you were a prisoner of war while you were in
21 Batkovic. Were you told if you were a prisoner of war at any time during
22 the trip to Dragalic?
23 A. It's a bit difficult to remember that now, isn't it?
24 Q. When you got to Dragalic, that's when Mr. Tadic informed you that
25 you were free to go home; is that correct?
1 A. This is what he told me: Here, this man, he'll receive you if you
2 want to go to Croatia. But even in Batkovic, I told Tadic that I wanted
3 to go back home. That was where I wanted to go, and not anywhere else.
4 Q. All of your family was at that stage still in Bosanski Samac?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. No one had requested you from Croatia? No one had asked for you?
7 A. From Orasje they requested. From Orasje. Both myself and my
8 brother. We have relatives over there.
9 Q. Thank you. Going back to Dragalic: Did you ever speak to any man
10 other than Mr. Tadic about whether or not you wanted to cross over?
11 A. I talked to him -- well, he asked me two or three times whether I
12 wanted to go or not. He said: You say you didn't want to go, didn't
13 you? And he said: Yeah, that's one thing you should know. I don't want
14 to go.
15 Q. That's Mr. Tadic who said that to you?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. So the only person you spoke to about whether or not you wanted to
18 cross over was Mr. Tadic?
19 MR. LUKIC: Objection.
20 A. Well, that may have been someone else, as we were sitting there
21 and talking. Someone else may have said that to me, but Tadic certainly
22 did ask me that.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think, by asking this last question,
24 the Prosecutor is trying to confuse the witness, because I think the
25 witness said during his examination-in-chief that he also told the other
1 side clearly whether he wanted to go or not. And now, on page 29, line
2 17, we find something that might indeed confuse the witness. He was quite
3 determined, and when he said that the other side had asked him whether he
4 wanted to go or not, and he said this a number of times, not merely once.
5 MR. DI FAZIO:
6 Q. Very well, Mr. Pistoljevic. You've heard what Defence counsel had
7 to say. Is it the case that someone other than Mr. Tadic asked you many
8 times about whether or not you wished to cross?
9 A. I think he was sort of pulling my leg also, a little bit, at
10 least, Tadic, I mean. He cracked a few jokes. And then I said: I'm
11 going back home. That's the only place I'm ever going.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me?
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MR. DI FAZIO:
16 Q. All right, Mr. Pistoljevic. Did Mr. Tadic, as far as you know,
17 speak to the other two men who also returned to Samac with you?
18 A. The other two who were there, they didn't even -- they couldn't
19 even speak properly, so I'm quite sure that he didn't talk to them.
20 Q. What do you mean, they couldn't -- what do you mean, they couldn't
21 even speak properly?
22 A. Well, because I told them: Please keep quiet when the three of us
23 go there together. We'll go there together and I'll do the talking. And
24 they agreed. When one of them was not quite sane, so he talked a lot of
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pistoljevic. Now, you -- your wife was in
2 Zasavica. Why was she there?
3 A. She is a Croat.
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpretation didn't get the answer. The
5 line was too bad.
6 MR. DI FAZIO:
7 Q. Mr. Pistoljevic, can you just repeat your last answer? You
8 started off by saying: "She is a Croat." What was the rest of your
10 A. Yes. She is a Croat, and that's why she had been taken away. It
11 was not only her; there were a number of women like that.
12 Q. Yes. That's right, isn't it, Mr. Pistoljevic? Zasavica was full
13 of Croats who had been taken there and isolated, wasn't it, and the same
14 applied to your wife?
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 Q. However, you were eventually reunited with her, weren't you?
17 A. Yes. Yes. I went and I found a police officer who was guarding
18 them. I knew the police officer well, and he knew me. I said: Well,
19 this is what I need. And he said: Well, it's okay for you to go as long
20 as I'm here. So that's how I came there, and I spent some time sitting
21 there with my wife.
22 Q. And did you succeed in taking her out of Zasavica and taking her
23 back to live with you in Bosanski Samac, in your apartment?
24 A. No. No. I was not able to do that, but I did go to see Stiv.
25 Q. Mr. Pistoljevic, can you tell us how long after you saw
1 Stiv Todorovic that you were reunited with your wife?
2 A. How many times did I see him? Is that what you mean? I went
3 there every week.
4 Q. Mr. Pistoljevic, how long after you saw Todorovic and spoke to him
5 about your wife, how long after that did you succeed in living again with
6 your wife, in getting her to come back and reunite with you and continue
7 your life together? How long after you went to see Mr. Todorovic?
8 A. Five and a half or six months later, she was driven in a police
10 Q. Thanks. And did Mr. Tadic have anything to -- was he able to help
11 you reunite with your wife?
12 MR. LUKIC: Objection.
13 A. I rarely saw Tadic. I seldom saw him. And when I went to
14 Zasavica, I didn't see him even once.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I have no further questions.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Re-examination.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
18 Re-examined by Mr. Lukic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pistoljevic, I will just ask you to clarify
20 one thing: The Prosecutor asked you, when Simo Bozic, inspector, came,
21 and that he asked you why you were arrested, tell us just: Did you hear
22 that anyone had reported you for having weapons? And if you heard such
23 thing, who did you hear it from?
24 A. I heard it from Milos Sljoko, but that man is deceased.
25 Q. Is that the man who reported you for having weapons?
1 A. Yes, but he has passed away.
2 Q. Who did you hear from that Milos Sljoko reported you?
3 A. They are both my neighbours, but they are both deceased. And he
4 told me in Orasje that it was Sljoko who put both himself and myself in
5 prison because of possessing firearms. But they are both dead now.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Mr. Pistoljevic, for giving evidence to
9 the Tribunal. We are now finished with you. You may leave.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE MUMBA: We don't have any other witness today. We are
13 continuing with Mr. Savo Popovic on Monday at 0900 hours.
14 We shall rise.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
16 11.54 a.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
17 the 10th day of March 2003, at 9.00 a.m.