1 Monday, 2 June 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.
7 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I believe there's a portion of
8 cross-examination to be completed.
9 JUDGE MAY: You're right. Mr. Milosevic.
10 WITNESS: WITNESS B-1455 [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
13 Q. [Interpretation] Witness B-1455, do you remember that the conflict
14 in Zvornik started -- started at the same time as it did in Foca according
15 to my information, and that is on the same day that the Presidency of
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina took the decision to form the Territorial Defence
17 of the republican staff? Do you remember that?
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters apologise. We can't hear the
20 JUDGE MAY: Witness, there has been some trouble about the
21 interpreters hearing you. Would you just start again, please, speaking as
22 slowly and clearly as you can.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I Heard of the decision of the
24 Presidency, and I heard that Zvornik was attacked on the 8th of April, and
25 I heard this via the media, nothing more than that.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. I'm referring to the decision of the Presidency of Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina which was taken, if you remember, without the presence of the
4 Serbian members of the Presidency to form the staff of the Territorial
6 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Milosevic. Have we not gone over this time
7 and time again? What is the point of asking this witness who is from one
8 particular municipality about who was present at a meeting of the
9 Presidency? We waste time in this way. Now, let's move on to something
10 else which he can deal with.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, what is happening was
12 happening within a context which cannot be viewed in isolation from other
13 events in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in several towns the conflict
14 started at that time, precisely as a consequence of that decision taken by
15 the Presidency without the Serbs. And I'm asking him whether he knows
16 anything about that.
17 JUDGE MAY: And I am stopping you. We have witnesses who deal
18 with all sorts of matters in a case of this sort. There will be some who
19 no doubt can deal with that decision, but this witness is here and has
20 given evidence about a municipality, not about the generality of politics
21 in Bosnia at the time. And so you must confine your cross-examination to
22 what he can deal with, and he can deal with this municipality and the
23 evidence which he's given. Asking him generalised political questions is
24 of no assistance to anybody, and it just wastes time. So move on to
25 something else.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I understand that the
2 endeavours of the opposite side is to take individual incidents out of
3 context and then to place them within a distorted picture. I understand
4 that. But I will reduce my questions to what was happening over there.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Are you aware that the immediate cause of the conflict in Zvornik
7 was the mobilisation of the Muslim militia ordered by the president of the
8 municipality and the SDA representative Avdula Pasic, a former dentist,
9 and Nedzed Sabic, commander of the Territorial Defence who later became
10 commander of the Podrinje Brigade of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
11 Are you aware of that?
12 A. I am not aware of that. I heard of those people from others, but
13 that that was the cause of the conflict in Zvornik, that is the formation
14 of such units, I don't know anything about that. I was an ordinary
15 citizen who was endeavouring to survive together with his family, and I
16 was not at all interested in politics. I was never a member of any party,
17 in fact, never. And that that was the reason is something I don't know,
18 and there's nothing I can say in answer to that question.
19 Q. You're talking about the events at the end of May, aren't you?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And do you remember that in mid-April there was an attack by
22 Muslim extremists against the village of Rastosnica in your own
23 municipality when the inhabitants of that village were killed? It's a
24 Serb village. So this was more than a month prior to the events that you
25 describe. Do you remember that? This occurred on the 17th of April, the
1 attack on the Serbian village of Rastosnica.
2 A. Mr. Milosevic, I was saying that that has absolutely nothing to do
3 with why I'm here today. I heard about that, however, because I had
4 friends in that village. And if you have information that the Muslim
5 forces attacked that village, I don't know anything about that at all.
6 But you do know that the aggression against Zvornik started on the 8th of
7 April, and that that same day, within a time of 20 minutes, Zvornik was
8 under the control of the Yugoslav army and paramilitary units. So this
9 means that there was no resistance. There was some resistance at
10 Kulagrad. I heard of this Rastosnica, but as to any attack and any
11 casualties in that village, I can't tell you anything specific about that.
12 I am here for another reason anyway.
13 Q. For another reason? Well, if you don't know anything about
14 anything else, how is it that you say that the JNA attacked Zvornik when
15 it didn't?
16 A. The people defending Kulagrad know best about that, who they had
17 to deal with and what flag was hoisted at Kulagrad. I know from the
18 people who deserted from that area.
19 Q. We don't need to go into that any further, but as you mentioned
20 Kulagrad, you do realise that at Kulagrad there was fighting for 20 days?
21 A. Yes, I do know that, that there was fighting at Kulagrad for 20
22 days, and explosions, artillery explosions could be heard as far as our
23 village. The explosions, weapons attacking Kulagrad. And I heard that it
24 fell on the 26th of April, and this is something I heard, and later, those
25 men left Kulagrad.
1 Q. Very well. And do you know anything about the fact that in
2 mid-April the so-called Mosque Doves, this paramilitary unit that was
3 formed, set up road blocks on the bridges -- on the bridges across the
5 A. No, absolutely not. I'm not aware of any such barricades or of
6 any such unit. The Mosque Doves? That is something rather strange, the
7 Mosque Doves.
8 Q. Tell me, since you are aware of the events in Kulagrad, do you
9 know how the fighting evolved over 20 days? Armed groups from Kalesija
10 and Zivinice arrived? Do you remember that? Do you remember who led
12 A. Mr. Milosevic, I don't know anything much about the fighting there
13 or who came there because I'm not a military person. I'm not a military
14 analyst, nor did I live close to Kulagrad. I lived 15 kilometres away,
15 and I know only what I heard from others, and I can't tell Their Honours
16 something that I didn't see myself but that I just heard as rumours or
17 information from others which need not be true, and that is why I can't
18 talk about those things.
19 Q. Very well then. Let us be more specific and refer to some things
20 that you mention in your statement. For instance, on page 3, paragraph 3,
21 I'm asking you whether it is true that after the Serb forces had captured
22 the town of Zvornik there were no particular incidents.
23 A. It is true that when the Serb forces captured Zvornik the fighting
24 was taking place at Kulagrad for 20 days. In my village, Kostjerovo and
25 the neighbouring village of Drinjaca, there were no incidents, no
1 incidents, though I said after the 29th of April, after the fall of Kula,
2 those military forces of the Yugoslav People's Army and paramilitary units
3 came to Drinjaca and seized the weapons in the possession of the Muslims.
4 There were no serious incidents until the 30th of May when they came and
5 did what I described at the last hearing.
6 Q. On that same page, in paragraph 7, you say that after the 29th of
7 April, no one went to work any more and that anyone who would try to go to
8 work would be beaten up and sent back. That's not true, is it?
9 A. It is true. It is true. After the 29th of April, when the
10 weapons had been seized, Major Pavlovic, who was present and who
11 supervised the seizure of weapons in Drinjaca, gave certificates to the
12 people who had handed in their hunting weapons with a licence. Of course,
13 for the illegal weapons no certificates were given, no receipts were
14 given, and he said that the weapons would be returned. And he said, "From
15 now on, I guarantee your security. You are our loyal citizens. You are
16 free to go back to work, be free to go shopping, to move around freely."
17 However, when some people went to work in Karakaj - most of them were
18 working in Karakaj, I didn't work there, I worked in Belgrade - people
19 witnessed harassment and mistreatment, and they were returned home. I
20 heard this from people who went there. And they went back and never
21 returned to work.
22 Q. I see. They were turned back from the barricades. And you say
23 here that they were beaten up.
24 A. They returned from those barricades. There were people who were
25 beaten up. There were others who were mistreated and insulted without
1 being beaten at these roadblocks.
2 Q. Do you have any example of somebody being beaten up? Who was
3 beaten up? Could you give us a name?
4 A. I can't give you examples because I don't remember, but I know
5 that my brother was turned back from the roadblock. He wasn't beaten up.
6 He was insulted. He was told to go back home and not to try and come back
7 because nothing was working any more and there was no need for him to
8 come. Unfortunately, he's no longer alive.
9 Q. Very well. Is it possible that they didn't go to work out of fear
10 of revenge from local Serbs because of the crimes committed before that by
11 the Muslims?
12 A. Absolutely not, because in my village, as I said, there never was
13 any incidents, and people were not afraid of anything because they were
14 not guilty of anything. So we were just going to work as we were told.
15 Some people managed to reach the factory itself, but apparently the Serbs
16 wouldn't even exchange greetings with them there. They simply -- they --
17 they were told, "Can't you see it's all over? There's no work any more,"
18 and the man would just pick up his things and go back home.
19 Q. Under these circumstances that you're talking about, do you know
20 how this is possible that no one can go to work but everybody is very
21 peace-loving? And on the 5th of May, an attack was carried out against
22 the village of Boskovici, the civilian population there. Again the Muslim
23 armed formations. Nine Serb civilians were killed then on the 5th of May.
24 Why are you representing things the other way round, that you sat
25 at home peacefully and did nothing personally. Perhaps you did, but --
1 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer. Do you know anything about
2 this attack that is alleged on this village on the 5th of May?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were cut off from that part of
4 the municipality. Boskovici is about 30 kilometres away from my village.
5 As far as I know, some of my school friends came to school in Karakaj from
6 those villages so I remember that. But is that moment, I did not hear
7 where the fighting was going on. We did not receive any information. We
8 simply still lived with the Serbs there. There were no problems. We
9 handed in our weapons, and we barely received any information, because
10 this territory of the south of the municipality of Zvornik was cut off
11 when Glumina, Kulagrad, and Caparde was taken over. So no one knew what
12 was going on on the other side of Zvornik, and I simply cannot say a thing
13 about all of this.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Did you hear about the killing of these nine civilians on the 5th
16 of May?
17 A. How could I hear that? How could I know about that information,
18 that nine civilians were killed? How could I know that? I had to listen
19 to the Serb Radio Zvornik then. Until then, there was Radio Zvornik for
20 everybody, for the entire population. And then there was the Serb radio
21 Zvornik. And of course in this state of war, of course the media were in
22 favour of the politics that prevailed in town then. So possibly something
23 like that did take place, but I really cannot say. I mean, I can tell you
24 what I did and what I know, but I was not there. I do not know about
25 this, so how can I tell you anything about it?
1 Q. This is quite logical. They expect me to know what happened in
2 another state. That's what they expect of me here and you don't even know
3 what happened in the municipality.
4 Do you know the name of Semso Muminovic, Dzemal Spahic, Hajrudin
5 Mesic, nicknamed Labud? These are people who led the extremists who were
6 killing civilians in the villages in the municipality of Zvornik. Do you
7 recall these names? Do you know them?
8 A. I heard about these names, but, Mr. Milosevic, they were not
9 extremists. These were commanders of the Territorial Defence in their
10 respective municipalities. They were defending themselves from the Serbs.
11 They were attacked. They were shelled every day. Their women, children,
12 civilians were being killed just as you say that people were killed in
13 Boskovici. Well, it was the same thing. These men were our commanders of
14 the Territorial Defence in their respective municipalities and villages.
15 They are not extremists at all. They gave everything they could for the
16 freedom of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I cannot accept you calling them
18 Q. So what do you think they should be called, the people who on the
19 9th of May, in the attack against Gornja Baljkovica killed 16 Serb
21 JUDGE MAY: He's told you, Mr. Milosevic, and the argument is
22 pointless. Your repetition of extremists is pointless. He's given you
23 his answer. You can make your submissions to us in due course.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's precisely what I'm asking
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Is that the defence of one's own people, one's own citizens?
3 JUDGE MAY: He has told you how he characterises those people.
4 You asked him about them, he's told you. Now move on to something else.
5 No point arguing with him.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, what I'm saying is the
7 following: If somebody comes with a group to a Serb village, kills
8 civilians and burns the village down, do you call that defence?
9 JUDGE MAY: We've heard all this from you. But at the moment,
10 what you're doing is examining this witness. You asked him about those
11 people. You characterised them in some way. He denies it. He says
12 you're wrong. Now, let's move on to something else. There's no point
13 arguing all the time.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm talking about attacks against
15 Serb villages, Mr. May, attacks. I'm not talking about the defence of
16 Muslim villages. I'm talking about attacks and killings of dozens of
17 civilians, about burning these villages down.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. And do you recall from May 1992 attacks were launched against the
20 village of Rozanj until they finally expelled all the Serbs from that
22 A. Mr. Milosevic, you keep repeating these questions to me, and I
23 have nothing to do with these things. I lived in isolation from all of
24 this until the 15th of July when, as a wounded person, I crossed the
25 occupied territory, Muslim-torched villages. And then I arrived in Tuzla.
1 It was only then that I could hear some information. But I never take
2 information seriously unless I was present myself. I'm here to say what I
3 saw and what happened in my local commune. I cannot testify about things
4 that took place 30 kilometres away from where I was and where I could not
5 go myself.
6 Many people know this. Many people know how Muslim villages were
7 burning, how the population was expelled, how women and girls were raped,
8 how old men were killed, how young men were killed. Now, why would I to
9 debate all of this here with you? In my opinion, let everybody be held
10 accountable before this court irrespective of their ethnicity. In
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, everybody who committed a crime should repent and say,
12 "This is what I did," regardless of what ethnicity they belonged to, even
13 members of my own Bosniak people. They have to be held accountable, and
14 I'm in favour of that.
15 Q. It is true that everybody who committed a crime should be held
16 accountable. Everybody who committed a crime should indeed be held
17 responsible before a legal court.
18 Please, you are talking about something that happened in this
19 environment, and we are trying to establish this. This happened among
20 people who on both sides lost members of their families. You say that on
21 the 30th of May, 1992, in Drinjaca, so that's the event that you're
22 talking about, members of the paramilitary and soldiers of the JNA hit
23 you, ordered you to go in front of Zaid Alic's house which is in the
24 centre of the village, that they arrested most of the local villagers
25 including yourself, that they were beating you, insulting you, and you say
1 that they did not have any insignia. So is it clear that these people
2 could not have been JNA members? The JNA have insignia. They are
3 visible, quite visible on their sleeves, on their shoulders.
4 So is it correct that you actually cannot confirm, and you cannot
5 even claim that there were members of the JNA there?
6 A. I can confirm that they were there. I was also a member of the
7 Yugoslav People's Army, and I know full well what kind of uniforms they
8 wear. On the uniforms of the Yugoslav People's Army while I was in the
9 army, we had a five-pointed star that was on the cap, and on that day
10 everybody kept their caps in their pockets, so I could not see their caps.
11 But 100 per cent they were wearing JNA uniforms, olive-green/grey. And
12 there were a few men there in camouflage uniform too. So this is what I
13 claim, that this is who these people were.
14 Q. Do you know that everybody in the Territorial Defence from Triglav
15 to Djevdjelija, from Slovenia to Macedonia had uniforms of the Yugoslav
16 People's Army? So what made them different?
17 A. I beg your pardon? Could you please repeat your question.
18 Q. You're talking about uniforms of the JNA. Well, the entire
19 Territorial Defence in Slovenia, Bosnia, in Croatia and Macedonia and
20 Montenegro and Serbia, everywhere, everybody had uniforms that were the
21 same, like the Yugoslav People's Army. But you yourself say that they did
22 not have any insignia.
23 A. I am saying that the Yugoslav People's Army, where I also did my
24 military service, had only a five-pointed star on their caps. We did not
25 have any insignia whatsoever in the JNA on our shoulders, none whatsoever.
1 So of course people took off these caps. Nobody wore a cap. Hardly
2 anybody who wore a cap then. Only those who wore black caps, those who
3 wore camouflage uniforms. I told you about that.
4 Q. Since you did your military service like I did, do you know that
5 you did have to wear a cap with insignia if you're a member of the JNA,
6 that those are the rules of service, that you were not allowed to take
7 your cap off, that the cap was part of the uniform that had to be worn?
8 A. I did my military service in peacetime, my military service in the
9 Yugoslav People's Army, that is, and I know when the cap can be taken off
10 and when it cannot be taken off. But in a situation of war, was this
11 supposed to apply to the army when there was shooting, when people were
12 getting killed and had to get killed? So soldiers were given some
14 Q. On the basis of what could you come to the conclusion then that
15 these were members of the JNA?
16 A. I said according to the olive-green/grey uniform that they were
17 wearing, from their boots to their jackets.
18 Q. I'm not going to ask you anything else about this. It's --
19 well -- so what makes this uniform from the boots to the jacket different
20 from Territorial Defence uniforms? Give me one single thing that makes it
22 A. Oh, what makes it different.
23 Q. The JNA, the Territorial Defence, why are they different?
24 A. I didn't see any difference no difference whatsoever.
25 Q. Well, that's what I'm telling you?
1 A. Well, the Territorial Defence and the JNA wore olive-green/grey
2 uniforms, the same uniform.
3 Q. Tell me, please, when they took you to Drinjaca, to the cultural
4 centre there, you say that at the cultural centre you saw your armed
5 neighbours in JNA uniforms, and you actually give their names. You give a
6 few names here. Since you have a number here, I can give you these names,
7 and I don't have to give you all the names. This is on page 4, paragraphs
8 9 and 10. Is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You saw your armed neighbours?
11 A. I saw a few armed neighbours in uniforms of the reserve force of
12 the Yugoslav People's Army. Some wore either trousers or something that
13 had nothing to do with the rest, but I did see some who wore this uniform
14 of the JNA. They were probably issued that, and they were probably
15 helping them there get all the people together, because they cannot know
16 our village as well as our neighbours can know it. They cannot know whose
17 houses which ethnicity. My neighbour lived 200 metres away from me.
18 Q. Well, precisely that's what you're saying. They just wore
19 uniforms that used to belong to the JNA. So isn't that a clear sign that
20 they were not members of the JNA?
21 A. I am telling you the following: That there were many members of
22 the reserve force of the Yugoslav People's Army who were wearing the same
23 uniforms, olive-green/grey like my neighbours who were recruited in the
24 reserve force. They were all mobilised, and most of them wore such
1 Q. In the Territorial Defence and in the army of Republika Srpska, to
2 the best of my understanding. But then you say an officer walked into the
3 Dom and ordered the women and children to leave. He told you that you
4 should not be afraid, that you didn't do a thing, that you would go to see
5 Zenica. He wore an officer's uniform, you say. He was a lieutenant, you
6 say. Since you had done your military service, you could have established
7 that, but then perhaps he introduced himself as a lieutenant, perhaps.
8 And you say that he was tall, he had brown curly hair, he had an ex-JNA
9 officer's uniform on. At the time he was about 40 years old. That's what
10 it says here in your statement.
11 Is it clear to you, Mr. 1455, that in the JNA there are no
12 40-year-old lieutenants? That can only happen in the Territorial Defence,
13 in some kind of reserve force. But if a man were to be a lieutenant at
14 the age of 40, he should be a lieutenant for about 15 years in order to
15 have that rank.
16 There is not a single lieutenant in the JNA who is that old. At
17 the age of 40, they --
18 JUDGE MAY: This speech must end and we must come to a question.
19 Mr. Milosevic, I should tell you that you've got something like 20 minutes
20 left of your examination, so don't waste too much time.
21 The point -- let the witness answer the point.
22 The point is made that this man, at age 40, was too old to be a
23 lieutenant. Normally if he was in the JNA, he wouldn't have been that
24 sort of age as a lieutenant. Can you comment on that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that that's the way he
1 looked. And when I saw how a person looked, I mean by looking at his
2 face. And by his face, I could infer that he was about 40. Perhaps he
3 was between 35 and 40, but this is the way his face appeared to me.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. All right. Are you sure that he was not an officer of the army of
6 Republika Srpska or some other formation there? Are you sure about that
7 or are you not sure?
8 A. At that time, I did not even hear of the existence of the army of
9 Republika Srpska.
10 Q. All right. Is it correct that precisely this man at the Zvornik
11 hospital showed this on television, this is what you say on page 5, showed
12 a man who was killed and who was lying in a bathtub full of blood, and he
13 said, "Look at what the Muslims did to us"?
14 A. Yes, this is what I saw on television. So I'm not trying to evade
15 the issue. This was two or three days later. He talked about this case,
16 that the Muslims killed this man somewhere, and again there was a caption
17 that said "Branko Studen," a lieutenant from the garrison unit in Zvornik.
18 Q. Did it say lieutenant of the unit in Zvornik?
19 A. The garrison in Zvornik.
20 Q. When was that?
21 A. This was two or three days after the execution in Drinjaca. I'm
22 not sure. I think that's the way it was.
23 Q. So it must have been June by then; right?
24 A. Yes, it must have been June.
25 Q. At that time, as you know, there was no JNA in the territory of
2 A. I don't know when the JNA left and whether it left. I wasn't
3 really interested in that, because later on I was not a member of the
4 army, of course. I was a disabled person, and people were protecting me
5 in my country as a man who survived a mass execution. So I don't know,
6 according to this information that you have, when the Yugoslav People's
7 Army left Bosnia-Herzegovina and whether they left it at all. I don't
8 know about this, and I cannot make any comments to that effect.
9 Q. All right. Now, let's go back to the group of people you
10 mentioned, the six men. Is it clear at least there that they were not
11 members of the JNA?
12 A. Well, judging by the uniforms, I couldn't say that they belonged
13 to the Yugoslav People's Army because -- but judging by everything they
14 had on them ranging from the uniforms and looking at it on television in
15 Bijeljina, what people like that did, they looked like members of Arkan's
16 units. But I did say that I wasn't quite sure whether they were members
17 of Arkan's unit. Maybe that was their image, the one they liked to
18 portray, to have uniforms of that kind, because Arkan was very famous at
19 that time in Bosnia.
20 Q. So they were neither members of the JNA nor can you say with any
21 certainty that they were members of Arkan's units either. Is that it?
22 Because they didn't -- did they have any insignia on their uniforms?
23 A. No, I didn't see any. But I did describe the uniforms very well.
24 And anyway, who would tell me? People here, we are members of the Arkan's
25 units. We're killers. We instil terror and that kind of thing. Nobody
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 would stand up and say that to the people around about. It's up to me to
2 observe and conclude. So if I can't say anything, then I can't say that
3 they were either members of the JNA or Arkan's units, although those
4 special forces did wear uniforms that looked like Arkan's units.
5 Q. Well, different witnesses here said that there were members of the
6 Serbian Volunteer Guards, the Zeljko Raznjatovic unit and that they had
7 very prominent, easily visible insignia denoting that, but you say you
8 didn't see any insignia.
9 A. Mr. Milosevic, if you hold your head down between your knees for
10 15 minutes and then are just given a minute or two to straighten your neck
11 for a moment, then during that minute of fear that you experience could
12 you really be able to differentiate who the soldiers belonged to? I was
13 so afraid myself, and I was afraid to look at them straight in the eye.
14 Then they might beat me up just like they beat up the other 25 people.
15 And they were so badly beaten that they couldn't even move. They were so
16 badly beaten. They would fall unconscious, and then they would revive
17 them and beat them again. It was terrible to listen to these people being
18 beaten. They would scream and cry like children and then --
19 Q. Well, I understand that you weren't able to establish that, but
20 you did notice that the commander had a beard and a moustache and all the
21 rest of it, so I assume you don't know that not a single member of the
22 guards had the right to wear a beard. They had to be clean-shaven and
23 weren't allowed to wear beards, whereas you established that this man had
24 a beard?
25 A. Well, I don't know what the rules governing those units are,
1 whether beards were regulation or not, but as he was the one who beat us
2 most and abused us most, then it was quite normal and we were afraid of
3 him most and we would look at him, watch him. Now, whether the rules say
4 you can wear a beard or not, I really can't say. I don't know.
5 Q. And you say that after that, a group of soldiers turned up with
6 the White Eagles insignia on the caps and cockades. Now, are you aware of
7 the fact that those weren't members of the JNA either? Is that clear? Is
8 that point clear?
9 A. Yes, that's clear to me. But don't forget that I said that there
10 was a unit there of the JNA and those six other men who I saw there, and
11 later on the third unit that arrived wearing Chetnik uniforms. And on
12 some of their uniforms I saw some kinds of eagles. I couldn't look at all
13 the soldiers, but I also saw the cockades on their caps. And of course,
14 people like that can't be members of the Yugoslav People's Army. People
15 know who they were. But I did specify that there were units that had no
16 beards, that were dressed in the olive-green uniforms from head to toe
17 except the caps, of course. It was only the fact that they did not wear
18 any caps on their heads.
19 Q. Right. We've already cleared that up. You say that your turn
20 came and as you say the Chetniks kicked you and hit you with their rifle
21 butts, that five many them opened fire at you and that a bullet hit you in
22 your left hip. Is that right? Is that correct?
23 A. I was sitting --
24 Q. I'm asking you whether that's correct, what I've just described as
25 according to what you said.
1 A. Yes. These Chetniks, the ones I saw -- yes, they were Chetniks, I
2 saw them, of course Chetniks, and they kicked us and hit us with their
3 rifle butts and told us to go out. And they said -- they took us to the
4 place where they would execute us. They shot at us. And from this
5 line-up of about six persons of this kind and once again they were not
6 wearing caps, I don't know why, I just saw in the few seconds that I was
7 able to see, and they shot at me and hit me --
8 JUDGE MAY: Can you answer fairly shortly, please, Witness 1455,
9 because time is limited. The other point is to try and remember to watch
10 the microphone of the accused and only answer when it's off, if you would.
11 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. All right. So we've established that. You were hit in the left
14 hip. And then you say that they saw that you were still alive, and then
15 another one shot a burst of gunfire at you, and from that burst a bullet
16 hit you in your right shoulder. From what distance did this person shoot
17 at you? He was in front of you, I assume?
18 A. Yes, it's true that I was hit in the left hip. It passed through
19 my meat. I fell down, and they turned the bodies over to see if anybody
20 was still alive. One of them kicked me in the back side and said it looks
21 as if this one is still alive. And the other man said, "Well, what are
22 you waiting for? Shoot another bullet at him." And then there was a
23 burst of gunfire. They were shooting at me in my back. And on my
24 clothing there were 11 bullet holes from under my armpit through the
25 collar and all this, down this side. One of them hit me in the shoulder
1 blade and exited in front.
2 Q. Well, if they shot you from 1 metre distance as you say and you
3 were hit in the shoulder; is that right? And you had 11 holes in your
4 clothing, is that what you say?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now you say that after you were shot you got up and started
7 running towards your own village and that you heard several rounds of
8 gunfire in Drinjaca, and you were convinced that all the Muslims in the
9 Dom had been killed, had been shot.
10 Now, explain this to me, please: How were you able, wounded in
11 that way, hit in the hip, and after this burst of gunfire this second
12 time they shot at you and you say you were hit in the shoulder on that
13 occasion, first of all, how were you able to escape without being seen if
14 they continued these killings as you say in the Dom? How were you able to
16 A. Well, fate wanted me to escape. That was my destiny. When they
17 shot me in the back, this buffers gunfire, they said that they had run out
18 of ammunition and then they said there were several more cases of
19 ammunition in the Dom. But it seems to be my fate that I was able to
20 escape and stay alive. How I managed to do that, it's very difficult for
21 me to explain, very difficult. But as I say, the situation was such, and
22 that was my destiny. I managed to escape. They went to get some more
23 ammunition, and that's how it happened.
24 Q. All right. But you were wounded in the hip and then there was
25 this other wound that was serious in your shoulder. You managed to run
1 and escape, to flee; is that right?
2 A. Yes, but I clutched my arm to my body, and the bullet didn't hit
3 me in the bone when it hit my hip. It was an exit/entrance wound. It
4 went through my flesh. And as I say, I was hit in the flesh and not in
5 the bone. Had I been hit in the bone, I probably wouldn't have been able
6 to run away.
7 Q. All right. The people who were in the Dom, in the cultural centre
8 in Drinjaca except you, let's leave you aside for the moment because you
9 say you didn't have any weapons, you weren't active in any way, is it
10 possible these might have been Muslim soldiers in the Dom who had been
11 taken prisoner during the attack launched by the Muslim forces on the
12 villages that we mentioned? Is that possible? Or is it not possible?
13 A. Well, that's a good question, Milosevic, the attack by Muslim
15 Q. I said: Was it perhaps the Muslim soldiers that were arrested --
16 JUDGE MAY: Just deal with the question if you would. Don't get
17 angry, because it won't help. The question is: Were there any Muslim
18 soldiers in the Dom or not?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely not. They were all
20 civilians. And some of them who did have weapons, were in possession of
21 weapons, handed them over. So they became civilians.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And were executed.
24 All right. Now, as you've just said that and we have the records
25 of the agency for research of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you state that when
1 leaving the hall, you saw about 50 Chetniks holding their rifles cocked at
2 you and that at one point Osmanvic Mehmed cried out, "Let's escape or
3 we'll all be shot." And that you started running in different directions,
4 and they started shooting at you. And that is page 00444845, paragraph 3.
5 They are the minutes dated the 2nd of November, 1996, of this
6 organisation. So they are taking you out of the Dom building as a group
7 altogether, to send you off where they said they'd be sending you. Then
8 this man Mehmed Osmanvic says, "Let's escape or we'll be shot," and you
9 start dispersing and escaping, they start shooting, and some people were
10 shot and killed. Is that how it happened?
11 A. Well, I have to clarify my answer to you your question. When we
12 were within two or three metres and saw the soldiers lined up, the ones
13 who were going to shoot at us, that's when he told us to run but at the
14 same time they ordered the soldiers to shoot and we were shot down at that
15 very place. I don't know that anybody succeeded in escaping. What I do
16 know was that the people in the group with me were taken out of the mass
17 graves. Their bodies were. They were identified and given a proper
18 burial later on.
19 When I got up from that place, and this was for several seconds, I
20 saw piles of dead corpses lying around me. So this was two to three
21 metres from where the execution took place and they had already been lined
22 up six or seven metres away from us. So I can't imagine that anybody
23 managed to start running because they started shooting straight away.
24 Q. They started shooting when you started to run or did they start
25 shooting -- I'm reading your statement, Witness, so I'm trying to
1 establish what actually happened, because what you say did not happen. I
2 don't have a single piece of evidence --
3 JUDGE MAY: Let's have -- let us start again. Which page is it in
4 the statement so the witness can understand what you're putting. I don't
5 know if someone can give me the paragraph number. I can't see the
6 reference to this man saying, "Let's escape."
7 What page of the statement is it, Mr. Milosevic?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have it at page 00444845,
9 paragraph 3. It is the minutes dated the 2nd of November, 1996.
10 JUDGE MAY: It sounds as though it the accused is referring to
11 some other document, not the statement.
12 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. I believe he's referring to a
13 statement taken of the witness by the Bosnian authorities. We're seeking
14 to get a copy of that now. It's not in the statement.
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Well, let's not waste any more time. Yes.
16 Now, what is the particular question you want to ask,
17 Mr. Milosevic?
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Well, he described how when they went out of the hall they saw
20 about 50 Chetniks standing round about with their rifles cocked at them,
21 and that this man Mehmed Osmanvic shouted out, "Let's run or we'll all be
22 killed." And this is placed in inverted commas, this "Let's run."
23 JUDGE MAY: Let's take one thing at a time. Did Mehmed Osmanvic
24 shout out as described?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, he did shout out, but not as he
1 says once we'd left the hall. It was two or three metres from where the
2 execution was to take place. That's what I said. Not as soon as we left
3 the hall. It is true that the soldiers were there and that their numbers
4 were the ones I had -- have quoted and that they stood right around this
5 area below the hall, to the left of us. When we were within two or three
6 metres of them, the casualties there, the victims where the executions had
7 taken place, he knew that the same thing would happen to us as had
8 happened to the previous groups, and he said, "Let's run, people, or we'll
9 be killed. We'll die." But nobody actually started running because there
10 was a burst of gunfire from six or seven soldiers who were shooting at us
11 from a distance of six or seven metres. Not as we left the hall. I said
12 precisely the way it was, and I don't want to comment on this any more
13 because I was there, not him, and I said what happened. So we were within
14 two or three metres of the execution site. They started shooting straight
16 Now, whether somebody tried to run and escape, there was a big
17 burst of gunfire. They started shooting at us. I didn't try to run. I
18 just shielded my eyes and fell to the ground straight away because they
19 were shooting at all of us, and I said that all these people were found
20 dead in the mass graves. They didn't have a chance to escape. They were
21 killed there on the spot.
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Now, time is running
23 out. You've exceeded your time anyway, but you can ask one or two more
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. All right. We'll check what actually happened in due course, but
2 let me just ask you this: In view of the fact that there seems to be a
3 great deal of confusion as to the occurrence: Is this possible? Could it
4 perhaps have been a retaliation of the inhabitants of the surrounding
5 villages because of the crimes that had been committed earlier on and the
6 ones I mentioned? Perhaps that is what happened, because it is impossible
7 that somebody actually ordered an execution of the prisoners of war or
8 civilians. So I'm trying to establish what did take place, Mr. 1455.
9 A. Well, I can tell you this, let me put it this way, I didn't see a
10 single neighbour of mine physically abusing people or shooting people,
11 executing them, which means that I reject this observation that there
12 could have been a retaliation or revenge of any kind. I said that in my
13 area, our inter-human relations were so good that it was very rare to see
14 such good relations prevailing anywhere else in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Our
15 relations were very good. So I absolutely reject this idea that it could
16 have been revenge.
17 The plan was to kill everything that was Muslim, military-able
18 men, and to transfer the women and children towards Tuzla, to destroy
19 their houses, and to eradicate all trace of their ever having lived there.
20 Q. You said that you stayed in Stanimir Mladenovic's house, a Serb,
21 until the morning, then you continued to the village of Mijatovo across a
22 hill where you come across some 20 Serbs from Kostjerovo wearing the
23 uniforms of the former JNA and they were armed;, is that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So you came across 20 Serbs from that village. They were not
1 members of the JNA, I assume; is that right?
2 A. But they wore that kind of uniform, and also Radovan Mladjenovic
3 who was in Drinjaca on that day. He was in the hall at the cultural
4 centre, the Dom Kulture and I found him there among the other group. Now,
5 whether they were neighbours, whether they actually belonged to the
6 Yugoslav People's Army, the reserve force, I can't say. I don't want to
7 enter into that system of yours, what the setup was in the army but the
8 fact was, that they were wearing olive-green uniforms.
9 Q. Yes, that's quite clear to me. Now, you say that you told them
10 what happened to you, that they were shocked when they heard that the
11 people had been killed. That's right, isn't it? At least that's what
12 you say; right? And that they gave you something to eat. They tended to
13 your wounds. That's right, isn't it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So if they were shocked by what had happened and what you had told
16 them, they gave you food to eat. They tended to your wound. Can you then
17 assume that they actually took part in what happened there? Because you
18 say that there was somebody who had been in the hall who was with them.
19 A. Yes. I found Radovan Mladjenovic there who was my schoolmate and
20 one of my closest friends in my childhood up until our army days and the
21 aggression. He was in the hall. He said, "I left before those men who
22 were going to do what they did arrived." And he said, "I'm so sorry,
23 neighbour, as to what happened and the condition you're in, but I left
24 before all that happened." And of course they gave me food, and I'm
25 grateful to them. And they dressed my wounds. But in the end I paid a
1 very heavy price for all that.
2 Q. I have to hurry because my cross-examination will be stopped. You
3 said that Milan Ignjatovic, known as Mico, a Serb, approached you and sat
4 next to you and said, "Don't be afraid, I'll take you to Paljevici and 1
5 kilometre before Paljevici he cocked his rifle behind his back you heard
6 it and then you started running. He shot. He opened fire. He was a
7 metre behind you. Surely it is clear that he didn't intend to kill you.
8 A. Let me give you this answer: He did accompany me, but I always
9 went two or three steps in front of him. And he carried a rifle, and he
10 said that he would see me off to the Muslim village of Paljevici which
11 still hadn't been occupied. And when we arrived about a kilometre from
12 that village, there were meadows, and as I was walking, I was looking at
13 the village in front of me. He stopped behind me. He was about seven or
14 eight metres behind. He cocked my rifle. Out of fear I screamed? I
15 said, "No, Mico." He was ready to shoot. I lay down. He opened fire,
16 and he opened fire at me.
17 If he had intended to do me a favour as a neighbour, he could have
18 said, "I've been given an order to kill you because you are a witness of
19 that execution. I will fire into the air, and you run." He could have
20 said that. That is what he should have told me rather than chasing me
21 around through the woods. And wounded as I was, I ran. I acquired some
22 sort of unbelievable strength, because I was fighting for my life. And
23 that is how it happened.
24 Q. How could he tell you that he had received orders to kill you if
25 he hadn't received such an order? And how is it that he wanted to kill
1 you if he didn't shoot at you? Or did he shoot at you and miss all those
3 A. He did shoot several times, but he missed each time.
4 JUDGE MAY: This must be your last question, Mr. Milosevic.
5 You're well over time.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have several more questions.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. You say that Murat Sabanovic and Alija Ahmetovic were killed in
9 the village of Kostjerovo and Muriz Zahirovic in Soptonik. So they were
10 not killed in the Dom, were they? This is on page 7, paragraph 9. So
11 they were not killed at the cultural centre.
12 A. Yes, that is true. They were not killed there. I said that they
13 were killed on that day resisting, according to information of some people
14 who were watching from the woods, who resisted arrest. They were shooting
15 at them to stop, stop. They ran. They opened fire, and they killed them.
16 And those men were found several days later where they were killed, and
17 they were buried.
18 Q. In a statement for TV Sarajevo, you said that the only people who
19 arrived were Dautovic and Hasan Alic. And now giving a statement to the
20 opposite side, in the list of those killed you said that that same Hasan
21 Alic was killed under number 14, when were you telling the truth?
22 A. That is his grandfather. Hasan Alic is his grandfather.
23 JUDGE MAY: One at a time. Yes. Let the witness continue.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is true that on the list there
25 are two men with the same name, Hasan Alic. He was the grandfather. And
1 there was a grandson whose name was also Hasan. It is customary in our
2 parts for the father to give his son the name of his father. So there may
3 be an understanding -- misunderstanding. There's Hasan Alic, the
4 grandfather and Hasan Alic, the grandson.
5 JUDGE MAY: This is going to be your last question. You're well
6 over time, ten minutes. So ask your last question.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. I just want to specify this point: In your statement to the
9 opposite side, you gave the names of those killed, but in your statement
10 to the aid agency in BH, you say that you know the names, first and last
11 names, of people killed only from Kostjerovo, whereas the list of the
12 others was received by you from someone else. So that is not your own
13 knowledge but somebody else's knowledge. 00444848, second paragraph of
14 the report dated the 2nd of November.
15 In your statement for TV Sarajevo, you say that it was dark and
16 that you couldn't recognise anyone. Where did you get these names from
18 A. I have an answer to that question, sir. I listed most of the
19 people from my village by their first and last names. I don't know of the
20 actual surnames of some people from my village because it's a large
21 village. I know people by sight. We know one another, but I wasn't
22 really interested in their first and last names because some of them are
23 older than me. But it is true that I listed the names of only those I was
24 a hundred per cent sure of. As for the names of the others, I was given
25 them by their relatives. I had to give the commission their right first
1 and last names, and I didn't want to do any guesswork, so I got those
2 names from their relatives and family members.
3 JUDGE MAY: No, no, Mr. Milosevic. You've had beyond your time.
4 Mr. Tapuskovic.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for Witness B-1455,
6 I have no questions
7 Re-examined by Mr. Groome:
8 Q. Sir, I have just a few questions for you. How much time
9 altogether were you in the Dom Kulture centre, from the time you were
10 first put in there to the time you were taken out to be shot?
11 A. I spent a total of about nine to ten hours.
12 Q. During that nine to ten-hour period of time, did any member of the
13 local Serb community come into that hall and talk about retaliation or the
14 necessity of retaliating against those 91 men for crimes allegedly
15 committed by Muslims? Did anybody ever address you in that fashion?
16 A. I said that in the hall, there were several of our neighbours, but
17 on no occasion did I hear any one of them say, "These people need to be
18 shot." They didn't say that.
19 Q. My final question, sir, is: Would the execution of the 90 men
20 from that hall on that day as you've described, would it have been
21 possible without the participation of the people you have described as
22 being members of the JNA, of Arkan's unit or Chetniks? Would it have been
23 possible if those people were not present to participate in that?
24 A. Well, of course not. I always said that we were on good terms
25 with our neighbours, that there was no reason to do any such thing. This
1 is confirmed by the fact that our people are returning to those villages
2 and starting afresh. And again, they are on good terms with their
3 neighbours. I hope you understand what I meant to say by this.
4 MR. GROOME: I have nothing further.
5 JUDGE MAY: Witness B-1455, that concludes your evidence, and
6 you're free to go, but thank you for coming to the International Tribunal.
7 I'm sorry you were detained over the weekend, but thank you for remaining
8 and giving your evidence to us. Just wait until the blinds are down and
9 then you can go.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too. I wish you success
11 in your work.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll leave the blinds down for the next
15 MR. NICE: Then may I have a couple of minutes private session
16 before he comes in?
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, of course.
18 [Private session]
13 Pages 21464-21466 – redacted – private session
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
19 MR. NICE:
20 Q. Witness B-1098, did you on or around the 4th of April of 1992
21 return from where you had been living and working to an area, part of
22 Zvornik municipality?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And at about the end of April 1992 or the beginning of May did
25 some soldiers from Tuzla, from the Tuzla garrison of the JNA, take part in
1 the disarming of Muslims in your area?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. How did they do that and what did they say?
4 A. They came to seize the weapons and said that nothing would happen,
5 that there would be no war, that the arms should be surrendered, that they
6 would seize weapons from the Serbs as well. We handed in the hunting
7 weapons we had. However, they never seized the weapons from the Serbs.
8 They did from us.
9 Q. The soldier leading this exercise came from where, did he say?
10 A. The soldier -- this soldier was from Valjevo. I know that because
11 when a woman handed in her husband's pistol, her husband was working in
12 Germany, and she said, "What am I going to do now? I have no pistol and
13 no husband." And he said, "Come to me with Valjevo and you'll be fine."
14 Q. Valjevo is in Serbia. On the 29th of May, 1992, did you receive a
15 warning? If so, from whom and to what effect?
16 A. Yes. Allegedly some paramilitary units had come close to our
17 villages and that it was better for all of us to be in Klisa, all of us
18 from these 13 Muslim villages, to gather there, and that is what happened.
19 And this was conveyed by Vlado to an uncle of mine, and that is how we all
20 gathered in Klisa.
21 Q. At that stage, did you see military formations in the surrounding
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could you see what sort of military formations they were or not?
25 A. To be quite sincere, I couldn't because it was far away. But you
1 could see them over there.
2 Q. Did you notice a car passing through a village with men in
3 military uniform? If so, tell us about the uniforms and about the sign on
4 the side of the car.
5 A. The vehicle had the marking of the CPO, and the uniforms were SMB,
6 olive-grey in colour.
7 Q. Were those of you gathering in Klisa sent a message by the Serbs
8 as to what you should do?
9 A. In Klisa, we were promised that the UNHCR and the Red Cross would
10 come, and I don't know which other international organisations, and that
11 those same people would be escorted in the direction of the village of
12 Medjedje, which is in the direction of Tuzla.
13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I stand that on tab 2, Medjedje is either
14 the place marked as Medjedje on the left of the highlighted part of the
15 map pretty well immediately to the left of centre slightly above Klisa but
16 to the left nearly at the extremity of the map. "Mededa," as it reads.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MR. NICE: I'm sorry.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Witness B-1098, on the 1st of June, what did you discover about
21 the village where you were all gathered?
22 A. We expected the Red Cross to come and the international community.
23 However, the army wearing SMB uniforms, camouflage uniforms, and some
24 troops even had masks on their heads, they were there and they started
25 shooting into the air in the village.
1 Q. Roughly how many people as refugees were there now in this
2 otherwise very small village of Klisa?
3 A. About 4.000.
4 Q. From -- you've described the uniforms that you saw. From those
5 uniforms, what were you able to infer as to the units represented at this
6 operation at Klisa?
7 A. Judging by their uniforms, they were members of the JNA, the local
8 Serbs, and I don't know who else it could have been because they wore
9 masks over their faces.
10 Q. At the crossroad at Klisa, what armament did you see?
11 A. At a crossroads I saw two tanks standing there.
12 Q. The tanks being tanks of which force?
13 A. The Yugoslav People's Army.
14 Q. How well or otherwise were the soldiers armed and with what sorts
15 of weapons?
16 A. They had automatic rifles. They had light machine-guns. Some of
17 them had hand-held rocket launchers, Zoljas and Osas as we call them.
18 Q. Do you recall seeing any paramilitary insignia on any of the
20 A. I didn't see any. I didn't really have time to see.
21 Q. After these forces shot in the air, what were you obliged or what
22 did other people do and then what were you all obliged to do?
23 A. All of us, people who were in their houses came out in the street,
24 and we were shepherded towards the crossroads where the two tanks were.
25 Q. And then what did the soldiers compel you all to do?
1 A. Then they started searching. First we had to leave our cars,
2 because we were told we could take our tractors, our farming equipment
3 because the UNHCR would take care of us. But all that had to be left
4 behind. We just were able to carry our bags. However, even those bags
5 were searched there.
6 Q. In which direction were you compelled to move?
7 A. We were moving from Klisa towards Djulici.
8 Q. Of the 4.000 at Klisa, how many were compelled to go on that
9 route, all or any sum?
10 A. All of them.
11 Q. How well supervised and guarded were you on that journey and how
12 long was the journey?
13 A. We went along the road, and they went on either side of the road
14 holding their weapons, and this took about an hour or two until we reached
16 Q. You've spoken of the two tanks at the crossroads. Did you see
17 anything of those tanks or other tanks along the road to Djulici?
18 A. No.
19 Q. The place where you were searched, what armaments were present
21 MR. NICE: Paragraph 11, Your Honours.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Automatic weapons.
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. To your knowledge, whether in or outside your sight, to your
25 knowledge was anybody killed on the way between Klisa and Djulici?
1 A. I heard later that two persons had been killed.
2 MR. NICE: Paragraph 12.
3 JUDGE MAY: When you get to a convenient moment.
4 MR. NICE: It's a new topic, paragraph 12.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We will adjourn now.
6 Witness B-1098, we're going to adjourn for 20 minutes. Could you
7 remember in this and any other adjournment there may be in your evidence
8 not to speak to anybody about it until it's over, and that does include
9 the members of the Prosecution team.
10 We will adjourn now, 20 minutes.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. Witness B-1098, when you reached Djulici, what did you see by way
16 of forces there?
17 A. When we arrived in Djulici, we saw uniformed men, men wearing
18 camouflage uniforms, men wearing uniforms of the Yugoslav People's Army,
19 police uniforms, and some men also wore masks on their faces.
20 Q. Your inference as to who the people were wearing masks was what?
21 A. Well, you know, they wore masks. They wore masks. I think that
22 they were local Serbs, because if their faces were revealed, then we'd
23 know who they were.
24 Q. Although our map doesn't show it, is there another village Bijeli
25 Potok close to and effectively connected to the village of Djulici?
1 A. Yes, it is connected to the village of Djulici.
2 Q. Were you all gathered together in the area between Djulici and
3 Bijeli Potok where the men were separated from the women and children?
4 A. Well, as the column was coming in from the village of Klisa as we
5 were arriving to the road by Djulici, we were ordered to raise our hands,
6 and then we were taken to the trucks in two columns, and then they
7 separated old men, women, and children onto a meadow.
8 Q. The other men, what happened to them?
9 A. They were ordered into trucks, from 16 onwards. They even
10 included a man who was 70 years old.
11 Q. Before I come to what happened to the men who were boarded onto
12 the trucks, paragraph 15 of the summary, can you help us please in brief
13 with what happened to the villages? First of all, were at least four
14 villages, Djulici, Luga, Setici and Klisa amongst the places that had been
15 evacuated? Just yes or no to that.
16 A. They weren't only evacuated from these villages, there were 13
17 Muslim villages there that were evacuated.
18 Q. Thank you. So far as the homes in two of those villages, I think
19 Setici and Klisa, were the homes actually destroyed, whereas in other
20 villages, for example, in Djulici and Luga, which doesn't show up on our
21 map but it shows up under another name, I'll come to that, in those other
22 villages, Djulici and Luga, were the homes left intact so that Serbs could
23 move into them?
24 A. Not a single house was touched in Djulici. The -- whereas in the
25 other villages they were destroyed, but in the yet remaining villages that
1 have a Serb population only, nothing happened.
2 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I understand that what the witness might
3 refer to as Luga is marked as Lupici on the map slightly south-east of
5 Q. Witness B-1098, in Djulici, were homes of Muslims occupied by
6 Serbs from a particular village in Zivinice, and if so, can you give us
7 the name of that village?
8 A. Djulici, Rakoda, Lupici, Mrkodo, Musici, this is where people from
9 Brnci near Zivinice moved in.
10 Q. I move to paragraph 16. The men who were boarded onto the trucks
11 which I think had been parked in Bijeli Potok, on your way to those
12 trucks, were there further searches of the men?
13 A. They took away my passport and also my foreign exchange bank
14 account book.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the second
16 sentence. The interpreters did not manage to catch it.
17 JUDGE MAY: Could you repeat, please, the second sentence there.
18 You say they took away your passport and your foreign exchange book,
19 foreign exchange bank account book.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE MAY: Was there anything else?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not at that moment, no.
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. How many trucks, how many packed were the men on those trucks?
25 A. I saw three trucks, and I think that all the men were packed into
1 these three trucks like sardines. And there was a soldier up on top of
2 the truck, and then he was hitting the truck so that as many men as
3 possible would board onto the truck, and they were packed like sardines so
4 that they wouldn't jump off the truck.
5 Q. Did the trucks then drive in the direction of Karakaj? If so, at
6 what speed did they drive and for what purpose?
7 A. The trucks took us in the direction of Karakaj. They went as fast
8 as they could. I think that this was done in order to prevent anyone from
9 jumping off the truck, and if the speed was that extreme, then --
10 Q. Can you recall now what uniforms were worn by the soldiers
11 involved in packing these trucks and guarding them as they were guarded on
12 the way to Karakaj?
13 A. I already said awhile ago that they wore uniforms that were
14 olive-grey and that they had masks on their faces.
15 Q. At Karakaj --
16 A. And they also had camouflage uniforms some of them.
17 Q. At Karakaj did the trucks stop outside the Karakaj Technical
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. NICE: Your Honours, tab 3. The Court will see by noticing
21 the road on the left-hand side marking Bijeljina to the bottom and Zvornik
22 to the top that the map is not orientated north/south but south/north.
23 The version that Your Honours have because of what appears in the bottom
24 right-hand corner should be under seal. The version being displayed on
25 the sanction system is a redacted version that doesn't contain those
2 Q. Looking at this map, B-1098, did the -- doesn't much matter
3 precisely where, but did the trucks stop on the road from -- on the
4 Bijeljina-Zvornik road?
5 A. They turned a bit to the left from the road to Zvornik. There was
6 a supermarket there before. I don't know whether it still exists. And
7 then there's this other road that leads in a different direction. It is
8 shown here on this sketch though.
9 Q. And what happened to the men in the trucks?
10 A. They ordered the men to jump off the trucks. There were soldiers
11 lined up there. They wore all kinds of uniforms, and they said where we
12 were allowed to move. And this also shows the door to the hall that they
13 forced us into. While men were jumping off the trucks, they tried to
14 escape as much as possible the blows that these soldiers were
15 administering to the men, but then the old men had a pretty rough time.
16 Q. Were there some Serb women in the area? If so, what were they
18 A. They were on the left-hand side of the Zvornik road, and they were
19 shouting, "Get the balijas. Kill the balijas."
20 Q. The plan, the redacted plan, tab 3, on your screen shows the
21 technical school building into which -- or the hangar into which you were
22 all driven. First of all, roughly how many men were forced into this
24 A. All 700. All the approximately 700 people who were there.
25 Q. The plan here drawn by you shows the hangar in three rooms, from
1 the left room 3, to the right room 1, and above it room 2. Taking matters
2 shortly, was there initially a screen, an iron sheet of a screen between
3 rooms 2 and room 1? Were you all introduced first into room 1? Did you
4 break the screen down, some of you, in order to make more space available
5 so that room 2 could also be used?
6 A. Yes, that's the way it was. And we did manage to break it down.
7 And that's when we managed to get some water so that we could have some
8 water to drink.
9 Q. There being water available in room 2 only, I think; is that
11 A. Yes, in room number 2. That's the only place where there was
13 Q. You're not in a position, of course, to name all 700-odd men, but
14 you were in a position to name a number of people known to you who were
15 included in those within the hangar. Have you signed a list which will
16 become Exhibit 456, tab 7, I think, under seal if Your Honour pleases, and
17 does this list which you looked at and signed this morning contain the
18 names of some people, 39, I think, who were included with you in those
20 A. That's true. It does contain the names of all these people.
21 Q. Did you spend five days in the hangar, from the 1st to the 5th of
23 A. Yes, five days we spent there. I spent five days there.
24 Q. On the first night, did people die just simply from suffocation
25 because they were crammed into a space too small and because, among other
1 things, the weather was extremely hot?
2 A. Well, the first day when we got there, they locked us up. I even
3 had the impression that they turned the heating on. It was just so hot.
4 And that's when we broke the tin sheet down, and we had some water to
5 drink. And then in the morning when they were transferring us to yet
6 another room, I saw that about 20 men were lying there dead, which means
7 that they all died from the heat.
8 Q. I think you have the names of two men who you believe died from
9 the heat. If so, can you give us the names just of the two men who died?
10 Paragraph 25.
11 A. Hrustan Avdic and Nesad Hamzic.
12 Q. You were given these names by someone else. I'm not going to ask
13 you the name of the person who gave you those names. You're in a position
14 to help further perhaps in private session if anybody needs that
16 Paragraph 26. On the second -- on the second day, the first
17 morning after your arrival at this hangar, were you moved from room 2 into
18 the room on the left, room 3, and in that movement did you have to pass a
19 desk that you've marked on the plan as "interrogation desk"?
20 A. Yes. In the morning they transferred us from room 1 to room 3.
21 That's where there was a desk near the door, and the rest had lined up
22 there. And as people would go out, then they would stop by the desk and
23 then they'd ask you whether you handed in all your money, documents, your
24 gold, your jewellery. And now when they asked me personally, I said, "You
25 took away everything I had." He jumped up. He wanted to hit me. I
1 managed to dodge the blow though. However, another one hit me in the back
2 and then threw me back in line.
3 They were hitting us with sticks. They were hitting us with
4 truncheons, all sorts of things. When they saw that I was semiconscious,
5 then they pushed me into the room that is marked as room A here. And I
6 think that the rest fared more or less the same way I did.
7 MR. NICE: The witness is, I think, referring to the position
8 marked --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MR. NICE: The witness is referring to the position marked A in
11 the bottom left-hand portion of room 3.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. Witness B-1098, I'm sorry if it may seem repetitive, but we need
15 to know this from time to time, the guards who were conducting the
16 interrogation, who were taking the property and who were beating people as
17 they moved into room 3, how were they dressed, please?
18 A. They wore camouflage uniforms. I noticed one in olive-grey too.
19 But believe me, I didn't really have time to look at them. People were
20 moaning, crying out of the terror, the suffering, all these terrible
21 things that were going on. Because if you started saying something, then
22 they would start shooting in the air, and then you'd bow your head and
23 then you wouldn't dare even look up. And it was only when they would say
24 that you could look up that you did.
25 Q. How many armed soldiers were there in room 3 and with what were
1 they armed?
2 A. The armed soldiers were up in the corner before the desk and
3 behind the line-up. I -- on one desk I saw a machine-gun, and the others
4 had automatic rifles. There were about four or five of them.
5 Q. How injured, and if so, permanently or otherwise as a result of
6 the beating you received?
7 A. Well, my rib was broken on the left-hand side, and I was also hit
8 in the head. That's when I passed out.
9 Q. Did you then spend four days in this room?
10 A. Well, we spent a total of three days in that room. Well, no.
11 Yeah, it comes to four days, yes, because in the morning the next day, we
12 were transferred to the other room.
13 Q. In the course of your time in room 3 were people taken out on a
14 selected basis from time to time?
15 A. From time to time, they were calling out the names of the people
16 who were a bit better off. And then they would sometimes kill them
17 immediately, take them back to room number 1, and then gunshots would be
18 heard. And then the same men were returned and say, you, you, you, and
19 you. They would mention the names of four persons because they needed the
20 corpses to be carried out. I don't know where they carried them. Then
21 they returned these prisoners among us. And then we'd whisper among
22 ourselves and then we'd hear that those other people had been killed and
23 carried out somewhere.
24 Q. Was there any questioning before the killing of these particular
25 selected detainees?
1 A. Well, they were asking them to confess something, but no one had
2 anything to confess. They were looking for money and gold as I said
3 awhile ago. These were people who were a bit better off. They had shops.
4 They had worked abroad, and they were looking for their money and their
6 Q. Are you able to give the names of some of the people who were
7 taken out and killed from room 3?
8 MR. NICE: Paragraph 31 of the summary, Your Honour.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can mention Hasan Avdic, Ramiz
10 Sinanovic, Nurija Jasarevic, Avdo Jasarevic. I could see them as they
11 were being taken out.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. Paragraph 29. Just yes or no to this, please: Were you also
15 aware of a man being taken out of the building and being taken back to his
16 home village in order that he could find property to hand over to the
17 soldiers? Just yes or no to that at this stage.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was the property that he handed over a hunting rifle? Just yes or
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. NICE: Your Honour, again I don't think -- the name could be
23 given in private session, and it can be pursued further if anybody needs
24 to. Otherwise, it's not necessary for me to deal with that detail.
25 Q. Paragraph 32. Did you see people actually killed in room 3? If
1 so, give us a name or names.
2 A. In room number 3, they killed Osman Smajlovic. They said, "Who's
3 the one who builds mosques?" And somebody else said, "This is the one."
4 And then on of them walked up to him and fired a few gunshots into him
5 from a pistol and then he was carried out.
6 They killed a father and a son I think they were who had tried to
7 go elsewhere. They thought that they could go out, but then they returned
8 and then they started shooting from this corner up here, and they killed
9 the two of them as well. I don't know their names though.
10 Q. How many people in all do you calculate were killed in the time
11 that you were at this hangar, the four or five days you were at this
13 A. Well, my free estimate would be about 180 men plus some who were
14 taken to be exchanged allegedly in Sarajevo.
15 Q. Let me turn to those immediately. Paragraph 33. Was this on the
16 3rd of June? And just give an explanation of what happened, please.
17 A. Well, they came only once. They said, "We need 25 people to be
18 exchanged in Sarajevo." It wasn't that there was any roll-call. Those
19 who were right by the wire, they simply walked out. And I saw among them
20 Ismet Ahmetovic from Klisa.
21 Q. Has he ever been accounted for since?
22 A. None of them have ever been accounted for since.
23 Q. In your time in room 3, did you learn what shifts the soldiers
24 were working and get something about the number of soldiers per shift?
25 A. Well, they had three shifts consisting of eight soldiers
2 Q. What, if any, provision of food was there?
3 A. Sometimes they would throw in a few loaves of bread among us. And
4 then when people would manage to grab a bit, they would eat it. They
5 would also throw in some tins, but then we had nothing to open the tins
7 Q. Paragraph 36. May we go into private session for just a couple of
8 sentences, please.
9 [Private session]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
2 MR. NICE:
3 Q. So far as you were concerned, Witness B-1098, were all the guards
4 present in the hangars involved in the killings of people there or only
5 some or can't you say?
6 A. I think all of them were.
7 Q. On the 5th of June, did the guards inform you that your position
8 was to change? If so, what did they tell you?
9 A. They told us that we were going and that some buses would be
10 arriving shortly and that we would be taken for an exchange by Odzak way.
11 I'd never been to Odzaci myself but that's where they said we were going.
12 We never arrived in Odzaci. We arrived in Pilica.
13 Q. Odzak is a village I think in the direction of Brcko? And the --
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. And the buses on which you travelled were the buses of which firm?
16 A. The buses belonged to the Drinatrans firm.
17 Q. When you got to Pilica, the Chamber will be already familiar with
18 this, it's at the top part of the map and it actually marked as Donja
19 Pilica. When you got to Pilica, what happened there?
20 A. Well, the buses were stopped there because that centre is on the
21 left-hand side. They stopped the buses and we moved round about where
22 there was a door. You had to go right the way round to the door there.
23 And then those that remained alive, we were all pushed into that hall.
24 Q. How were you guarded? What were the uniforms of those guarding
1 A. Well, this is how it was: Nobody actually guarded us there. The
2 doors were shut, and just the holes where you could see the film. And
3 somebody would come in from there or throw in something. They would throw
4 actually loaves of bread and tins through that hole where the camera
5 sometimes was.
6 Q. Did they say anything as they looked at you through that hole or
7 threw food for you through that hole?
8 A. Well, all I remember is that a woman said that if her brother were
9 killed, she would kill all of us. She threatened us from up there.
10 JUDGE MAY: What was the building that they were put into? Can
11 you explore that, please.
12 MR. NICE: My error for not making it clear.
13 Q. What was the building into which you were placed in Pilica?
14 A. It was a cinema hall.
15 Q. And what you've been describing as the place through which they
16 threw bread was the projection room or something like that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Before we -- before we move on, would the Chamber be good enough
19 to turn to tab 4 of Exhibit 456, which is a record of the Drinatrans coach
20 company. The witness has the original to view, and indeed there's nothing
21 to stop its going on the overhead projector to reveal the sort of records
22 that were kept of what was being done. It's on the Sanction. Thank you
23 very much.
24 There are two entries we're going to be looking at on this, but
25 the first one is for the 3rd of June where it refers to Zvornik-Djulici
1 and back, settling of refugees. And although -- sorry. And then the
2 next -- and then the 5th of June we see Zvornik-Djulici and back, settling
3 of refugees. On the 5th of June. And then we see the 5th of June,
4 Zvornik-Pilica and back, transport of prisoners.
5 Can you comment on the consistency of these entries, which of
6 course you haven't seen until recently, with the movement you've
7 described, please?
8 A. Well, what you mentioned on the 3rd of June, Zvornik-Djulici and
9 vice versa, these could only be refugees from Brnci, from Zivinice. Then
10 the 5th of June, Zvornik-Djulici and back and the settling of refugees,
11 that mean the same. It was just that they settled in stages. And as for
12 the 5th of June, Zvornik-Pilica, that entry, that was us, those of us who
13 were taken to Pilica.
14 Q. Paragraph 43. On the 3rd day of your detention in Pilica, did the
15 guards come and tell you that your condition was to change again?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What did they tell you, and what happened?
18 A. Well, what happened was that they opened the door and told us to
19 line up and form a column moving towards the back of the hall and that we
20 should come forward one by one. The truck was waiting outside, and there
21 was a table, a desk at which a man was sitting writing the names and
22 surnames and our father's names as well. He was entering the names.
23 Q. What was it said was going to happen to you?
24 A. They said we'd be going to Zivinice for the exchange?
25 A. How many men boarded this truck?
1 A. I got into the first truck and I was among the last. And I know
2 that when he completed the list there were 64 of us, and he said, "That's
3 enough. 64 is sufficient."
4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I think it preferable that the names the
5 witness can give at the end of paragraph 44 be given in private session
6 with your leave.
7 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. Was the tarpaulin on this truck, which I think was a two-tonne
19 civilian truck, pulled down and did the truck drive back in the direction
20 of Karakaj and nowhere near the place where you could have expected to be
22 A. Well, that's the same direction from Karakaj towards Zivinice the
23 truck was a two-tonne truck. That's how I call it. I don't know what
24 others call it. And it had a tarpaulin covering the top. And they had
25 fastened the belts and we stayed in the truck. But there was a sort of
1 hole through which they failed to pass this belt. And you could see
2 through the hole. The person that was down there could look through the
3 hole. So we knew the direction we were going in.
4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, my understanding is that Zivinice is off
5 to the left of the map, and if -- I didn't mean to mislead the witness.
6 Maybe the first part of the journey would have gone in the same direction,
7 but it's a matter of detail and we'll move on to what happened at Karakaj.
8 Q. En route to Karakaj was the truck escorted, and if so by what?
9 A. It was escorted by the police with that rotating light that they
10 have on top.
11 Q. Back at Karakaj, were you brought to the same area that you had
12 been in before at the technical school?
13 MR. NICE: Tab 5 for the Chamber.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. The same general area. Not to the same precise place, the same
17 general area?
18 A. Brought to Karakaj.
19 MR. NICE: And if Your Honours look at tab 5, again the original
20 must be under seal. A redacted version is being displayed by computer
21 system on the screens at the moment, and the orientation is different
22 again by 90 degrees, but the Chamber will recognise the configuration of
23 roads on the right-hand side of this map with the configuration of roads
24 on the top left-hand side of tab 3 if it needs to match one to the other.
25 Q. When you got to Karakaj, to what building did the truck take you?
1 A. It took us to Gero's slaughterhouse. After I escaped, that's what
2 I learnt from those people. When I describe where we were, they said
3 that's what it was called, Gero's slaughterhouse.
4 Q. And this plan of yours, our Exhibit 456, tab 5, shows it as being
5 on the opposite side of the road from the technical school hangar and
6 beside the garages of the transport company or coach company Drinatrans;
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. On arrival, how close to the building was the lorry parked, and
10 describe the method by which the tarpaulin was adjusted so that the 64 of
11 you could be moved from the lorry into the building.
12 A. When they wanted to park the lorry, they reversed it towards the
13 doors of the building, and then one of the people that had been captured
14 said, "Well, take all the killed outside." And they put the -- drove the
15 truck up to the doorway. They looped the ropes through the tarpaulin, and
16 you had to jump out. And as you jumped out, you were straight into the
17 hall. So one group had to go to the right. The rest had to go to the
18 left. And I don't know whether they put anybody into the premises that
19 were further away, but I was in the right-hand side of the hall.
20 Q. Jumping out in that way directly into the building, the plan of
21 which we'll see in a second, did that mean you had no or no substantial
22 view of the area immediately outside the building?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did you learn by one means or another that the -- both from
25 yourself and also from other things you may have been told or seen at the
1 time, did you learn of what was in fact outside the building from which
2 you were kept by being funneled into the building directly from the
4 A. Well, I said a moment ago that the people were killed while the
5 truck was reversing towards the building. One of the soldiers said,
6 "Everybody out," and they were all shot. And that's how we realised that
7 we would be killed too.
8 Q. And you mark the slaughterhouse on the plan as A, recording the
9 fact that it's close to a Muslim settlement; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can we turn now to Exhibit 456, tab 6.
12 JUDGE KWON: Microphone.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. Can we turn to Exhibit 456, tab 6. Again, the original exhibit
15 under seal, a redacted version being displayed. And if we look at the
16 left-hand part of this sketch, does that show an end view of the building
17 with the door into which you were funneled with below it a concrete fence
18 or wall? On the right-hand side does it show the inside of -- the inside
19 plan of the building going through the door in the middle of the bottom of
20 that little oblong with two rooms, room 1 on the right as you've described
21 it, and room 2 on the left?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. As you went into room 1, tell us what happened and please give the
24 description of any uniform of the soldiers who were involved.
25 A. I went into room 1. The rest went into the -- into room 2. I --
1 as I said, I don't know if anybody went into room A. And suddenly they
2 said, "Turn your heads toward the wall," which we did. And then a burst
3 of gunfire started. People fell down. I was -- I also fell down. And
4 then they killed the others in the other rooms or, rather, in room number
6 I know that in room 1 there was a man who was wounded in the lower
7 extremity of his body. He entreated them to kill him, but they didn't
8 want to. One shouted out and said, "I've got enough ammunition. Why
9 don't you kill him?" And the other one said, "I don't want to shoot. Let
10 the balija suffer." I was still conscious then, and I heard this exchange
11 between these two men.
12 As far as the uniforms are concerned, it was a soldier. He was 19
13 or 20 years old, a nice looking young man. He was a soldier of the
14 Yugoslav People's Army. He had curly hair. He might have been 170 -- to
15 170 centimetres tall.
16 Q. Did you notice indeed his cap and what markings he had on his cap?
17 A. He did wear a cap. The normal cap worn by the Yugoslav People's
18 Army with a star on it at the forehead.
19 JUDGE MAY: Can we have it clarified as to who this man is?
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. The man you're describing as a guard in this room, was he a man
22 who did any of the killing or not?
23 A. Who do you mean by the guard? I didn't quite understand your
25 Q. The guard you've just described.
1 A. No, they weren't guards. They just brought us there to kill us.
2 Q. And so to answer His Honour's question --
3 A. As far as we were --
4 Q. To answer His Honour's question, the man you've described, the
5 young man, curly hair and the cap with the star, what did he do? Did he
6 engage in the killing himself?
7 A. Well, he personally killed these people down there. As to
8 the others, I don't know who killed them, but I know he killed the group
9 that I was in because he came in the door. Our backs were turned -- we
10 were facing him first of all and then he ordered us to face the wall. And
11 that's how I happen to remember him, and he's in my memory still.
12 Q. You fell down but in fact had not been shot; correct?
13 A. I hadn't been hit then, no.
14 Q. Were you able to hear what happened in room 2?
15 A. All I heard was groaning and moaning and crying. That's all I
16 heard. And of course the shooting.
17 Q. After the remark that you told us about of the guard who declined
18 to kill the balija who -- the man he described as a balija saying he
19 should suffer, what did the guards do? Where did they go?
20 A. As I was still conscious, I could hear everything they were
21 saying. They said, "Switch the motor on and we're going to get next lot."
22 So they switched the engines on of the truck and they went off.
23 Q. Did you check your surroundings to see if there was anybody else
24 left behind?
25 A. Well, I said a moment ago that the person that entreated the
1 people to kill him, he just made a motion. He didn't say anything, but he
2 just asked me, indicating with his head, "Where are you going?" And I
3 just told him that I was going outside. I went into the hall. There was
4 nobody around. There was just a concrete wall. I had to pass through a
5 wheat field and went beyond that into a meadow and some high grass where I
7 Q. On your way from the building and across the wall, were you able
8 to see if there were bodies around?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And remind us, your truck of people who went into the building was
11 the first truck to come from the cinema hall where you'd been detained?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Escaping across the wall and being able to hide yourself in a
14 meadow, did you see or hear the same truck coming back on one or more
15 subsequent occasions to this building?
16 A. They came back two more times in the course of the day.
17 Q. On each of those occasions, what did you see or hear of what they
19 A. I just heard bursts of gunfire in that same building.
20 Q. And on the basis that the same number of people were in the lorry
21 on each occasion, your calculation is that how many people were brought
22 there for killing in the course of this particular day?
23 A. Well, 64 would make it 192.
24 Q. If that figure is right for those or approximately right for those
25 brought to this building for killing, that would have left on your
1 calculation approximately how many people in the cinema hall in Pilica?
2 A. About 300.
3 Q. To your knowledge, have those people ever been accounted for
5 A. I heard some not too reliable information that they had been
6 killed by Branjevo way. And this was on the 11th of June for the Muslim
7 holiday Bajram.
8 Q. Included in the people left behind at the cinema hall in Pilica,
9 were there, just yes or no to this, relations of yours, your brother and
10 your father?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Assuming that the lorries coming back -- the lorry coming back on
13 the two occasions was bringing people from the cinema hall, you're not in
14 a position to say one way or another whether your brother and father would
15 have been on the lorry on either of those two occasions?
16 A. No.
17 Q. But is the position this: That your father and brother have not
18 been accounted for since?
19 A. That's right. They have not been accounted for. We don't know
20 what happened to any of them.
21 Q. Did you learn of one other man who it was said had survived
22 presence at an attack in the slaughterhouse? If so, what was his name?
23 A. Yes. One in the third group survived. However, he was killed
24 during the war. And his name is Vejsil Hamzic.
25 Q. Paragraph 54. We may be able to take this part of your history
1 comparatively briefly, B-1098, did you leave the area of your hiding and
2 walk north, seeing peeking working in the fields so that you hid by day
3 and moved by night?
4 A. I went along the Drina River, and I got closer to the bridge
5 across which the trains go to Serbia, but there were guards up there on
6 the bridge, so that I hid in the bushes and waited for darkness to fall.
7 And when night fell, I crossed the rail tracks where they were on the
8 ground, and I headed towards where the Sapna River flows into the Drina
9 River. And from there --
10 Q. Pausing there for a minute because we don't need to pursue the
11 geography of your movements too closely, but at that junction of the two
12 rivers, did you notice a tank?
13 A. Yes. As I was wandering around in the night, I came across a kind
14 of kiosk. It was lit up, and I got to ten metres from the tank. When I
15 noticed it, I moved off towards the left. And when I got close to the
16 river, I saw a body. It was dressed in jeans, top and bottom. It was
17 lying down. I fled from there and hid in a haystack. It was almost dawn
18 by then.
19 Q. You spent a day in a haystack, camouflaged, and in the course of
20 that day did you see on several occasions a man who came with different
21 people but to whom that man gave the same account?
22 A. I didn't see him because I was hiding in the hay. I just left a
23 hole to be able to breathe. And then two or three or four times he was
24 bringing some people, and I remember the name. Sane. Look where I was
25 and look where he is. I shot him and killed him. And this one said, "Why
1 didn't you slit his throat?" And he said, "When I got there, he was dead
2 so why would I do that?"
3 Q. In the course of your movements did you find yourself walking some
4 degree in circles so that you came back near to the spot where you had so
5 nearly been executed yourself? Did you hide there and did you notice two
6 vehicles in the area?
7 A. True enough. I got lost during the night thinking that I had
8 reached the Sapna. In fact, I had gone back towards of the path to
9 Kozluk. So I got close to the same place where I was actually executed or
10 an attempt was made to execute me.
11 Q. And the two vehicles you saw there were what?
12 A. A loader and a lorry parked there. And just then I noticed them
13 putting the tarpaulin across the sides, not over the top. So I assume
14 that they were loading bodies. Now, where they drove them to, I have no
16 Q. And the vehicle that you describe as a loader, was that something
17 that had a mechanism that could load or move a substantial amount of
19 A. It can push the ground, raise it up, and unload it onto a truck.
20 Q. By your calculation, the date on which you saw this loader and the
21 lorry with the tarpaulin would be what? What day in June?
22 A. It would be the 10th of June.
23 Q. Did you then move to a nearby bridge where you hid in a bush, and
24 from that position were you able to hear some soldiers who were with a
25 dog, but did you hear the soldiers discussing Muslim men and women?
1 A. That is true. I hid in the same place I had hid in the first
2 time, and again I waited for night to fall. I saw two soldiers. The
3 bridge was lit up. I couldn't pass across the water or the bridge. There
4 were lights everywhere. And I saw two soldiers leading a dog on a leash,
5 and I heard their conversation. One said, "You should see how many Muslim
6 men and women they have brought. We will have plenty." I don't want to
7 use the word that they used regarding the women, but that's what they
8 meant. "We'll have plenty to you know what."
9 Q. Did you spend that night in a forest and the following day find
10 yourself in formerly Muslim territory that had been cleansed, as it is
11 described, so that you thought it comparatively safe to be walking there,
12 and then did you find yourself in an opening in the forest in sight of two
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you surrender to those two men because they required you to do
16 so, and where did they take you?
17 A. There may be an error there. I was caught by one, but I saw two
18 others on a clearing. I was hiding from those two, and I went through the
19 forest. How I didn't look carefully, and this man had a gun. He said,
20 "Hands up." And I did, and then he took me to these other two up there.
21 And there were three women with them.
22 Q. In the event you were able to escape from them by throwing a bag
23 you had at them and running away; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. At the time you did that, had one of the men left to make contact
1 with a local organisation?
2 A. Yes. There was like a small radio station or a Motorola, and he
3 couldn't reach the Crisis Staff from there so he had to climb up to a
4 little hill. And I asked him to release me. And when he left and I asked
5 them to let me go, but they wouldn't. I threw the bag at them, and I ran
6 away about 300 or 500 metres, and only then I heard two or three shots,
7 but they weren't close by.
8 Q. Do you know which particular Crisis Staff he was going to contact
9 or not?
10 A. In Celopek.
11 Q. You moved on from this area, paragraph 60, and there came a time
12 when you saw two Serbian soldiers near to you, I think.
13 A. That's true. I was hungry. I hadn't eaten for days. I climbed a
14 cherry tree to pick up cherries. The village had been cleansed from
15 Muslims. I thought there was no one there. So I was more relaxed knowing
16 the area. And I was eating these cherries, and I heard a branch break. I
17 turned around and saw two men in camouflage uniforms. I jumped up, and
18 they shot at me and they wounded me. Nevertheless, I ran into a stream.
19 I turned right, then I turned back towards them again but not using the
20 same route but in that same direction.
21 Q. And eventually to cut this story short, eventually you were able
22 to reach free territory and ultimately to be treated for the bullet wound
23 you'd sustained, in the Tuzla hospital?
24 A. These two couldn't find me though they wanted badly to slaughter
25 me, but thank God I managed to reach free territory, and I was in Tuzla
1 undergoing treatment for a month.
2 Q. Thank you very much. You will be asked some further questions.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, do you have any evidence coming as to
4 whether those people who were shot in the room with the witness as to
5 whether their bodies were recovered and any forensic evidence?
6 MR. NICE: Just one minute.
7 [Prosecution counsel confer]
8 MR. NICE: I think Your Honour's question is directed to that
9 category of evidence we've had elsewhere where mass graves can be
10 connected or might sometimes be connected to the evidence of killings of
11 this kind, and the answer to that question is not yet, but there are
12 further inquiries under way at the moment.
13 There is another witness who can also deal not in that way but in
14 another way with this particular execution.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Because in my view, the method of killing is a
16 matter for consideration in relation to the crime. I want to ask the
18 Witness, can you tell me, you fell unconscious. You were not
19 shot, but had you been hit by a bullet? Am I to take it you had been hit
20 in the back?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't hit anywhere at that time.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. Yes, I know you were not hit, but had you
23 been hit, can you say where you would have been hit? Would you have been
24 hit in the back part of your body or on the front? Because earlier you
25 said that you were all told to line up and to face the wall, and I believe
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 you also said that as soon as your backs were towards the guards, they
2 started shooting. So what I want to find out is when the shots were
3 fired, where were you facing? Were you facing the wall along with the
4 other men?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was facing the wall.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think that's as much as I can get. Thanks.
7 JUDGE MAY: Cross-examination after the adjournment. Twenty
9 --- Recess taken at 12.09 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.33 p.m.
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you have one hour and a half to examine
12 this witness.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am not sure that that will be
14 sufficient for me, but we'll see later on, Mr. May.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. 1098, let us begin with where you stopped and
17 then we'll go back to the beginning of your testimony.
18 A moment ago, you explained to Mr. Robinson that you were all
19 facing the wall, that they had ordered you to face the wall; is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Were you lined up in a row and all of you facing the wall?
23 A. Everyone was facing the wall, all around.
24 Q. Could you describe that for me, please?
25 A. I described it when I said that we were lined up against the wall
1 and we were told to face the wall.
2 Q. And there was a total of 64 of you that had got there, so about
3 half of you were in that room; is that right?
4 A. Yes, approximately.
5 Q. So around 32 of you.
6 A. I don't know about the third room. I said a moment ago I don't
7 know how many people were in that third room. I can't say how many of us
8 were in the room I was in exactly.
9 Q. And how many soldiers entered in that room with you?
10 A. Not a single one of them. They were at the door.
11 Q. I see. Fine. Will you please be kind enough and provide the
12 sketch on the ELMO, the sketch drawn by this witness with those two rooms
13 that the alleged execution took place in.
14 JUDGE MAY: Tab 6, I think.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Place it on the ELMO, please.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Your Honour, microphone.
17 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry. It can't go on the ELMO, but it can go on
18 the Sanction and we can have it on our screens. It's on there now.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not that sketch, the bigger one
20 showing the two rooms.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Nice, can you help as to what the accused is
22 talking about?
23 MR. NICE: I think it's tab 3.
24 JUDGE MAY: Tab 3. Right. Try tab 3.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. There's a room on the right
1 and another one on the left. I remembered it from the ELMO. That is not
2 the sketch.
3 MR. NICE: Tab 6 then.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That's the one. That's the one where the crime
5 took place. The other one was of Karakaj and where he was detained.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] He was showing the sketch of the
7 building that he called Gero's slaughterhouse, and on the ELMO there was a
8 sketch showing those rooms.
9 JUDGE MAY: There it is. If you -- look on the screen and you'll
10 see it.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation].
12 Q. So this is apparently -- A must be the rooms to the left and the
13 right; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could you please magnify that
16 sketch? Enlarge it, please.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Now, will you please look at that sketch. You were in room number
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And it's a room 3 by 3 metres; is that right?
22 A. Roughly so.
23 Q. Now, explain to me, how is it possible that in a room 3 by 3, 30
24 and more men can be lined up against the wall?
25 A. As far as I remember, Mr. Milosevic, I described it differently.
1 Q. How did you describe it? Would you be kind enough to tell me,
2 because I assume if a room is 3 metres long and 3 metres wide and you say
3 some 30 men were lined up against the wall, how is it possible to put so
4 many people in that room which is 3 by 3?
5 A. I said that one group went to room number 1, and I was there too,
6 and the others went to the room to the left. How many went up there, I
7 said I didn't know, in room marked A.
8 Q. What you are saying is impossible?
9 A. It is possible.
10 Q. That there were about 30 of you in that room. Were there 30 of
11 you in that room or not?
12 A. I didn't count them, Mr. Milosevic.
13 Q. You didn't count them, but a moment ago you answered my question.
14 A. I didn't answer in the way you put it.
15 Q. Very well. Then explain to me, please, since what you said or
16 drew here was impossible, did you draw these sketches?
17 A. I did.
18 Q. Is that your handwriting?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you wrote in the words in English?
21 A. I just drew it out first. Now, who drew it in in English, I don't
22 know. I didn't.
23 Q. So you just drew the lines, and the words were written by someone
25 A. Yes. "3 by 3," and "number 1," and "3 by 3," "number 2," and the
1 "Corridor," I did I it but in Bosnian.
2 Q. Very well. So you were executed in that room with a group of some
3 30 men. Then you explained that you fled from there because when the
4 soldiers left, no one was guarding the building. There were no men around
5 there, were there?
6 A. There were only dead people outside.
7 Q. But no guards or anyone else. It was abandoned because they went
8 to fetch some others; is that right?
9 A. They turned on the engine of the truck. I heard them do that
10 and say, "We're going to get the next lot." And when I was leaving, there
11 were no guards there.
12 Q. Very well. And then you watched behind the wall as they brought
13 the truck back twice.
14 A. I didn't say behind the wall. I said from the spot where I was
16 Q. So you saw the truck coming back twice repeating the same
18 A. The truck came twice, and bursts of fire could be heard twice
20 Q. However, in the meantime as there was no one there, it means that
21 they used this same room three times, a room 3 by 3, brought some other
22 men in there. So in the end, about a hundred people were executed in that
23 same room 3 by 3?
24 A. Not necessarily. They could have executed them outside.
25 Q. But you said that the same procedure was repeated.
1 A. I never said that they were brought into the room. I just heard
2 the truck arrive, and I heard bursts of fire.
3 Q. Very well. You say that now. A moment ago, you put it
4 differently. Tell me, please, you were in the first truck and then they
5 brought two more trucks. This truck that you say 64 of you were brought
6 in; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. As you yourself said, it was a two-tonne truck.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you realise that it is absolutely not possible to put 64 men
11 into a two-tonne truck even if they were sitting on each other's heads?
12 Do you know what a two-tonne carrying capacity is? You know how much
13 space it has, to put in two cubic metres of goods on it? Why did you make
14 that up? Tell me, please.
15 A. Why don't you ask me a specific question.
16 Q. My specific question to you is --
17 JUDGE MAY: What is the point of it? Just a moment. What sort of
18 a truck it was, does it really matter? We are dealing with immensely
19 serious events here. The massacre of hundreds of people, and whether they
20 went into a two-tonne or three-tonne truck really cannot matter. This
21 sort of detail does not assist. I mean, you're not suggesting, are you,
22 that this witness made this up?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, you cannot put a litre of
24 water into this glass. As for a two-tonne truck which has its own
25 dimensions that are easy to establish, it is simply impossible to board 64
1 men onto that kind of a truck. That's what I'm saying, because I'm saying
2 that this witness did invent what he said.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not true.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Let's proceed. Did you say that they took everything away from
6 you the first time and then that the next time they were trying to take
7 everything away from you so they took everything away from you?
8 A. Yes, Milosevic, even my wife and children.
9 Q. You didn't have anything with you?
10 A. Nothing. Nothing, absolutely. They separated my wife and
11 children, and they executed me.
12 Q. All right. But since they took everything away from you twice,
13 how come you had a bag in your hands ultimately, that you threw away --
14 that you threw at these people so that you would frighten them and then
15 you could run away?
16 A. It's not a bag. It's a mere shopping bag, a plastic shopping bag.
17 I found it in Karakaj. I put my shoes and my jacket into that plastic
18 shopping bag and I carried it with me. It was raining at the time so I
19 wanted to change my shoes.
20 Q. To change your shoes?
21 A. Yes, yes, I wore these big rough shoes because my feet were wet
22 because of the rain.
23 Q. All right. I understand that you didn't have anything on you.
24 A. I said that down there in Karakaj, in a house, I found -- in a
25 Muslim house I found a jacket and these rough boots and that's what I
1 wore. And I put my own shoes into this plastic bag.
2 Q. On page 2, paragraph 4 of your statement, you say that as a
3 worker, you were employed in a Belgrade company, or rather, two.
4 A. Two. But I don't want to mention them here.
5 Q. And this is the period of 1975 to 1992?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So that was all of 17 years?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You worked in Belgrade?
10 A. Yes, in Belgrade. Well, not all of it was if Belgrade. Some of
11 this time was in Russia.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Practically for 17 years you stayed --
16 JUDGE MAY: We're being asked to slow down so that the microphone
17 could be operated. Could you, both of you, wait until the other has
18 finished. And if the witness would make sure not to speak before the
19 accused's microphone has gone off. Yes.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. You spent 17 years in Belgrade?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Tell me, throughout this time as you worked in Belgrade companies
24 during those 17 years, did you have any problem whatsoever because you
25 were a Muslim?
1 A. No.
2 Q. You say on page 2 in paragraph 6 that when the war started you
3 came from Belgrade to your village. I'm not going to refer to the name of
4 the village because this question was dealt with in closed session at the
5 very beginning of this hearing. And you came to celebrate Bajram; is that
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. When did you come to the village exactly?
9 A. I think it was the 3rd of April. Approximately the 3rd of April.
10 Q. All right. So you did not return from Belgrade because the war
11 had broken out. You went there to celebrate Bajram with your family; is
12 that right?
13 A. It is true that I came to celebrate Bajram.
14 Q. Is it correct that the reason for your departure from Belgrade was
15 that you were going home for a few days to celebrate Bajram and that's
16 what you told your superiors at work; right?
17 A. Well, in the company, we never said that. This happened to be a
18 Thursday and Friday, I think. So that's how we went home over the
20 Q. You said, "I'm going home for the holiday now"; right? For
21 Bajram. And that was the reason, wasn't it?
22 A. Well, I said just awhile ago during the weekend. Every weekend
23 practically we went home.
24 Q. Did anybody make problems for you in this respect if you wanted to
25 go home and celebrate the holiday, things like that? Did people object in
1 any way to that?
2 A. Objections were made on the day when we left Belgrade,
3 Mr. Milosevic. Buses were returned from the customs on the highway. They
4 were returned to Belgrade.
5 Q. What was that?
6 A. We were returned from the customs on the highway, and we returned
7 to Belgrade.
8 Q. I didn't notice that. How did you manage to leave then if you
9 left -- if you had to go back to Belgrade?
10 A. We found a Lasta company bus and went via Obrenovac.
11 Q. All right. Tell me, since you claim that you returned when the
12 war broke out, your neighbours, your Serb neighbours, warned you that the
13 situation was becoming dangerous as far as I can see from this statement
14 of yours.
15 On the basis of these warnings that the situation was becoming
16 dangerous, you went to Klisa; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. This actually means that then when you went towards Klisa, in your
19 village there were no conflicts and no war operations at that time; is
20 that right?
21 A. There was shooting. There was individual gunfire, but not in the
22 village itself.
23 Q. Who are these local Serbs who warned you about this danger, that
24 there was some kind of danger? Can you tell us that?
25 JUDGE MAY: If you want, we could go into private session to do
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, only if he knows how to answer
3 this question. If he can't answer it, then there's no need to go into
4 private session.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that I've already said this
7 JUDGE MAY: Let's go into private session.
8 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. On page 2, in paragraph 6 you say, "Most of the Muslims from my
2 village fled to Klisa. Among others, my family and I." Is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Tell me now, since your Serb neighbours warned you that there was
5 some kind of danger, you actually heeded this warning and you left the
6 village. You didn't have to flee before anyone; right?
7 A. Mr. Milosevic, we were told to take cars and to take some food,
8 and whoever had a tractor or any other kind of vehicle, to get food and to
9 go to Klisa because the UNHCR and the Red Cross would come and accompany
10 us to Medjedje.
11 Q. Tell me, did anybody expel you from your village?
12 A. Well, as soon as this order was issued, it means that we were
14 Q. My impression was that somebody told you that there was some kind
15 of danger, and you didn't check this. You simply left. It's not that
16 somebody came and said, "Now, leave the village."
17 A. Yes, sir, but we were told that we would get killed because some
18 paramilitary units had come.
19 Q. Yes. Well, I didn't notice that in your statement either, so I
20 cannot establish how it was that you left your village.
21 You claim that on the 1st of June, 1992, to your total
22 astonishment you realised that the paramilitary units and the JNA had
23 totally surrounded the village of Klisa and that had you known that, as
24 you say, you would have tried to escape to free territory, as you had put
25 it, rather than waiting for the Chetniks to come and capture you. Is that
1 what you stated?
2 A. I said a short while ago that we were told that the UNHCR and the
3 Red Cross would come. However, it is true that the Chetniks came and
4 surrounded the village.
5 Q. All right. First of all, tell me who are these Chetniks? Do you
6 mean by that word the members of a particular formation or is this the way
7 that you are referring to the local Serbs?
8 A. I mean everybody who killed innocent people.
9 Q. All right. Please, on page 3 in paragraph 1, you explain who was
10 who, and this is what you say, I am quoting you: "I think that soldiers
11 in olive-grey uniforms were members of the regular forces of the JNA and
12 soldiers in camouflage uniform were local Chetniks."
13 Is that what you stated?
14 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I called both Chetniks.
15 Q. Oh, all Serbs?
16 A. No, not all Serbs. There are good Serbs too.
17 Q. Oh, there are good Serbs. But in the preceding statement --
18 sentence in the statement quoted to you, you say that you did not
19 recognise a single soldier, any member of the paramilitary formations, but
20 nevertheless, you say that Chetniks in camouflage uniforms were local
22 A. I claim that because they were wearing masks on their faces.
23 Q. And on that basis you came to the conclusion that they were
25 A. Precisely. That's why I came to that conclusion.
1 Q. How did your locals get these masks?
2 A. It wasn't only masks. There were plain socks too, the ones that
3 had slits for the eyes only, black ones.
4 Q. But you say they were members of the JNA.
5 A. That is what I claim.
6 Q. I can see from your statement that you also did your compulsory
7 military service in the JNA, and it was even more than ten years before
8 all of this; is that right?
9 A. It is right. I did my military service in the JNA, but I served
10 in Tito's army.
11 Q. And in that year, in 1992, you were also a reservist of the JNA,
12 weren't you?
13 A. I was never called up in the reserve force, and I never had an
15 Q. You didn't have an assignment but you know that others who, for
16 example, did have an assignment, who were Muslims just like you, that at
17 home they had these same olive-grey uniforms that had been issued to them,
18 and they had them at home, the same uniform like the JNA had. Is that
19 right or is that not right?
20 A. I'm just speaking in my own name. And who was issued with what, I
21 don't know. I just know that the police had automatic weapons and that
22 they were taken away from them.
23 Q. You don't know that reservists had these uniforms that were quite
24 the same, that they were the same like the JNA uniforms, reservists in
25 Yugoslavia before the war broke out regardless whether they're Serbs,
1 Muslims, Slovenians, Macedonians? Do you know that?
2 A. I think I know that the uniforms were the same before the war
3 broke out.
4 Q. And on the basis of what are you saying then that members -- that
5 people in olive-grey uniforms were members of the JNA if they could have
6 been territorials or reservists or anybody else who had that kind of
7 uniform or who had been issued with that kind of uniform?
8 A. I claim that because these were very young men, youths.
9 Q. And on the other hand, there weren't any youths in the army of
10 Republika Srpska and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Did these armies
11 consist of elderly men only?
12 A. At that time, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina did not even exist, I
13 think. There was only the Yugoslav People's Army along with the reserve
14 force as you mentioned it awhile ago.
15 Q. Please, these events that you testify about, when did they happen?
16 The beginning of June; isn't that right?
17 A. It is true, yes, the beginning of June. On the 1st of June, not
18 the beginning of June. The 1st.
19 Q. You mentioned dates between the 1st and 10th of June. That is the
20 time period about which you are testifying; isn't that right?
21 A. I refer to the time between the 1st and 12th of June.
22 Q. The 1st to the 12th of June. And do you know that the JNA along
23 with its units left the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina by the 19th of
24 May, 1992?
25 A. I don't know about that.
1 Q. All right. In response to one of my previous questions, you said,
2 as you had stated, that you would have escaped from Klisa and gone to free
3 territory as you had put it had you known that instead of the Red Cross
4 and the UNHCR it would be the Serb forces that would come in; is that
6 A. It is true that I would have fled, but there was a roadblock down
7 there. From Klisa quite a few people managed to flee through the woods
8 into free territory.
9 Q. All right. Tell me, what was this free territory in 1992 at that
10 time, now that you've called it the free territory?
11 A. I call it the free territory, and by this I mean the territory
12 where these paramilitary formations did not come, and I don't believe that
13 these paramilitaries or the army, not only Seselj's men, Arkan's men, but
14 only where people were defending themselves, when they realised what was
15 going on in other parts of the village.
16 Q. All right. And who controlled the territory that you refer to as
17 the free territory? In the military sense of the word, who controlled it,
18 this free territory of yours, the one you refer to as the free territory?
19 In the military sense and all other senses, who held it under their
21 A. That territory was held by the locals of the other villages.
22 Q. The locals, the local inhabitants? Is that it?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. All right. And when you say free territory, do you mean territory
25 without Serbs? Is that it?
1 A. I never said that.
2 Q. All right. But you as a Muslim who spent 17 years in Belgrade
3 went home to celebrate the Bajram holiday and not because of the war,
4 we've established all that, that's what you've said, and now you refer to
5 free territory, which means territory under Muslim control. Is that what
6 you mean when you say "free territory"?
7 A. As far as I remember, I said that I arrived on the 3rd of April
8 and there was no Bosnia -- no war in Bosnia at that time.
9 Q. So you came to the free territory after that. That's why I'm
10 asking you. That's what you say.
11 A. I used the term "free territory" in order to denote the regions
12 the locals put up a resistance.
13 Q. All right. And do you know of a single place in Podrinje, I mean
14 Podrinje in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I'm not thinking about Podrinje in
15 Serbia. So do you know of a single place in Podrinje where there were no
16 Serbs, in which Serbs were not residents?
17 A. Can you repeat that question, please.
18 Q. In Podrinje, in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, is there a
19 single place without Serbs living in it?
20 A. Yes, there are quite a few places, actually.
21 Q. You mean individual villages?
22 A. Yes, individual villages.
23 Q. All right, please. Does that mean that the Serbs from that
24 so-called free territory were expelled to some other territory by someone
25 who -- which was free territory for them, just like this territory was
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 free territory for you?
2 A. Who expelled them, I don't know. But, yes, it's true that that
3 did exist too. I wasn't there then. I was being executed at the time,
4 Mr. Milosevic.
5 Q. Well, tell me, who could have expelled them from that territory?
6 A. I said a moment ago that I don't know because I was in the camp,
8 Q. All right. You were talking about the fact that the Serb refugees
9 from the Zivinice area had for the most part come to your region, those
10 who had fled from the Zivinice area. So what did they flee from?
11 A. You would have to ask somebody from Zivinice that.
12 Q. All right. Then tell me, please, and I'm talking about your
13 personal experience, you mentioned Zivinice, the Serb refugees from
14 Zivinice and so on and so forth. Is it true that it was due to these
15 conflicts in that civil war that the Serbs and Muslims, so both the Serbs
16 and the Muslims, in an effort to save their lives and parts of their
17 property would go to neighbouring territory, whether it be near or far,
18 territory which was under the control of their compatriots? That's right,
19 isn't it? That's your experience and quite obviously it's also the
20 experience of the other refugees that you mentioned. You mention the
21 refugees from Zivinice in this case.
22 A. I wasn't in Zivinice at that time, but I know 100 per cent that
23 the same people from Brnci to Zivinice came to settle in these villages,
24 Bijeli Potok, Lupe [phoen], Tulici and the other surrounding neighbouring
25 villages. So nobody captured them there or killed them either.
1 Q. So they fled from those parts, did they?
2 A. I don't know how they happened to come. I don't know how they
3 came to be there.
4 Q. All right. You don't know, but I I'm sure you can assume that was
5 the reason. There can't be any other reason. But as you're talking
6 about -- as you're quoting figures, do you happen to know this, for
7 example: You're talking about your own village. [redacted]
11 MR. NICE: Can we redact the identifying number of the villages?
12 It's an identifying character, probably too precise.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We will go into private session for this.
14 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. On page 3, paragraph 2, you state the following: You claim that
19 in Klisa, on the 1st of June, there were about 4.000 Muslim refugees
20 there; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know that in Klisa, which is predominantly Muslim,
23 according to the population census I quoted a moment ago there were 615
24 Muslim, which makes it a very small place; right?
25 A. I don't know how many, but quite possibly it is that figure.
1 Q. And in the village of Djulici, once again a predominantly Muslim
2 village there were 1.029, a total of 1.029 inhabitants which doesn't mean
3 that all of them were there at that time. Some were abroad. Some were in
4 different various other places. As you know, the population census
5 incorporates all the inhabitants, the residents regardless of whether they
6 are actually residing there at the time. Isn't that right?
7 A. Mr. Milosevic, what I'm going to tell you is this: In Klisa, from
8 13 Muslim villages, refugees were stationed there, and you don't have that
9 piece of information for all the villages.
10 Q. Well, I don't have information for all the villages but where do
11 you get this figure of 4.000 from?
12 A. Because the people were counted when they came into Klisa, and we
13 knew how many people were in Klisa.
14 Q. So the people counted them, did they? You heard that from
15 somebody, that the figure was 4.000? You didn't count them yourself, did
17 A. Had I been in charge, perhaps I would have counted them, but I
18 didn't. Others did.
19 Q. So you heard this figure and piece of information from them.
20 That's who you got it from?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. And you also say that none of you who had taken shelter in Klisa,
23 none the people there had any weapons, not even those Muslims who lived in
24 Klisa. That's right, isn't it?
25 A. All the people who happened to find themselves in Klisa had
1 weapons. Had somebody had weapons with them, they would have shot at
3 Q. All right. Now, you claim that it was the Serbs who shot in the
4 air, and you say they terrorised you but that this shooting didn't last
5 long and that nobody was wounded as a result; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that's true. I said they shot up into the air. They
7 surrounded Klisa. The tanks arrived in Klisa. There were a lot of
8 soldiers round about, and it's also true that I heard later on once I had
9 escaped that two people were killed in Klisa, that is to say an elderly
10 man and woman.
11 Q. All right. Is the opposite true, though, that in Klisa and the
12 surrounding parts that there was fighting on that particular day, that
13 there were battles and an exchange of gunfire to use that mildest of
14 terms, an exchange of gunfire? Let me put it that way. Is that correct?
15 And that the members of the Muslim formations, I mean armed Muslims when I
16 say paramilitaries, they succeeded in fleeing from Klisa, in escaping in
17 Klisa precisely during that period of time, the one that you're
19 A. Perhaps your information is incorrect. I don't know about that.
20 Q. Well --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Could that be the reason for which the Serbs searched for weapons,
24 why they conducted a weapons search?
25 A. They didn't conduct a weapons search. They came to loot and
1 pilfer and to destroy the houses.
2 Q. Well, you said a moment ago that when you had been captured that
3 they took one man home for him to hand over the weapons he had in his
4 house. So the purpose of the investigation that was conducted was to
5 confiscate the weapons that were used to fire at and for which people were
6 killed -- through which people were killed. Do you know that? Are you
7 aware of that?
8 A. Mr. Milosevic, I said quite clearly that one man was taken off.
9 He was a hunter. He had a licence to carry his hunting rifle, and he
10 didn't want to give it up, to surrender it. And the locals knew very well
11 who surrendered their weapons and who did not. So they took him home and
12 brought him back to us, to our group.
13 Q. All right. They took him home for him to give up his weapon. So
14 the purpose of that entire undertaking was to uncover arms, the weapons
15 that people had who had been detained; is that right?
16 A. The purpose was -- well, you can go on saying that, but that's not
17 true. They took innocent people off and killed them, Milosevic. That's
18 what they did, killed them down there, not in a search for weapons.
19 Q. Well, where is the sense of what you quoted then, that somebody
20 said it would be better for you to own up, to confess? What did they want
21 you to confess? Do you know how many crimes had been committed up until
22 the beginning of June against Serbs in the area, how many Serbs were
23 killed? So what did they want you to confess? They didn't want you to
24 confess your names or anything like that. What did they want you to
25 confess to, to own up?
1 A. Those regions, Mr. Milosevic, handed over the weapons they had.
2 It was not a fighting area. It was sorted of bypassed. They went
3 elsewhere. But we lived there without any fighting. They fought in the
4 villages further up.
5 Q. But I heard you say that there was fighting above your villages.
6 That's right, isn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So there was fighting. Battles were waged. And now I'm quoting
9 you again. You said that: "One of the Serbs who was there asked
10 whether -- whether there was anybody from Kovacevici among the detainees."
11 Is that right? I'm quoting you on that point. You said someone asked us
12 whether there was anybody from the village of Kovacevici among the
13 detainees. Is that right? You yourself said that, you were quoting a
14 Serb solder as having asked that?
15 A. Yes, that's true, and I said that there was fighting in
16 Kovacevici, the village of Kovacevici, and this particular man had been
17 wounded in the leg and he wanted to see whether there was anybody from
18 Kovacevici so he could slit their throats.
19 Q. Well, I don't know about that, but he asked whether any of the
20 detainees were from Kovacevici; is that right? Those were your very
21 words; right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So they were detainees, prisoners captured during that fighting?
24 Isn't that so, Mr. 1098?
25 A. Mr. Milosevic, that is completely incorrect. What you're talking
1 about is very far from the villages. These were loyal citizens of
2 Republika Srpska.
3 Q. Well, I assume that when he looked among the detainees, the
4 prisoners, then there were prisoners. They weren't civilians?
5 JUDGE MAY: He's answered it. He said they were civilians.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I was quoting him, Mr. May.
7 JUDGE MAY: Just -- we've heard his evidence.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Tell me, Mr. 1098, on that particular day, who captured you and
11 took you to the hangar in Karakaj?
12 A. You want me to go back and say it. The JNA, the locals with the
13 masks on their faces so I wouldn't recognise them, people wearing
14 uniforms, those were the ones who captured us, not only myself but the 700
15 of us.
16 Q. Well, the JNA wasn't there at all at that time, but you can
17 continue claiming that if you like.
18 Now, tell me, on page 3, paragraph 7 and also this morning, you
19 said the following: You were transported in three civilian trucks. That's
20 right. That's what you said, isn't it? Is that right?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. So in these three trucks, 750 of you were transported; is that
24 A. I said that I just saw three trucks. Now, how many people were
25 transferred and whether more trucks turned up, I don't know that, sir.
1 Q. Mr. 1098, that's what you said. So that's why I'm asking you. If
2 we had three trucks with 250 people in one truck, does that seem to you to
3 be a little improbable or not, regardless of the size of the truck?
4 JUDGE MAY: He's just answered that. He said there might have
5 been other trucks.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Very well. Physically that is impossible, but are you claiming
8 from the standpoint of what you said that there were three civilian
9 trucks, do you believe that members of the JNA used civilian lorries, that
10 the JNA uses civilian lorries?
11 A. I don't know who sent them, whether it was the JNA that gave that
12 order or maybe the head of Zvornik municipality. I don't know about that.
13 Q. I'm glad to hear you don't know that, because actually, up until
14 the 1st of June, you hadn't seen a single JNA member in Klisa, in Djulici
15 or even in Karakaj because the JNA wasn't there at that time?
16 JUDGE MAY: We've been over this. If you want to add anything,
17 B-1098, you can.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to answer this question, if
19 I may. I never claimed that the JNA wasn't in Klisa or Djulici and
20 Karakaj. I said that they were in all three of those places.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. I'm claiming that you made that up and I'm trying to prove that.
23 But you keep saying it was the JNA were there.
24 A. You can say that if you will. You were the person issuing orders,
25 so you may know.
1 Q. Tell me, on page 3, fifth paragraph, you say that a total of 750
2 men were brought to Karakaj on that occasion. And later on on page 4, in
3 paragraphs 4 and 6, say you were all shut up in two small rooms.
4 A. That's quite so. Seven hundred of us. One was small and
5 another -- the other room was bigger. The other one may have been a
6 little smaller than this courtroom.
7 Q. And then you go on to claim that you were crammed in and as a
8 result 20 people suffocated?
9 A. I claim 1.000 per cent that there may have been even more than 20.
10 Q. Was there some poisonous gas released there to choke you in there?
11 A. They didn't release any poisonous gas, but I had the impression
12 that they started the central heating.
13 Q. In order to choke you probably?
14 A. To torture us, to make us suffer.
15 Q. What kind of building was it in Karakaj?
16 A. It was the workshop of the technical training centre, educational
18 Q. Very well. Tell me, under those circumstances, crammed as you
19 were and transported in that way and put up in that way, how did you
20 manage to count 750 under those circumstances? How did you manage to
21 count how many of you were there?
22 A. We didn't count, sir, but just like that, amongst ourselves, we
23 were making a rough estimate that there were about 700 of us, and that
24 proved to be correct later on.
25 Q. How did that prove to be correct?
1 A. After lists were made of the people captured.
2 Q. But you're talking about people executed. Do you know whether the
3 bodies of those executed men were found, how many bodies were found, how
4 many were established were to have been killed? From what you have said,
5 how many of those were found and confirmed as having been killed in the
6 incident you are testifying about?
7 A. Not a single was found, but, sir, there are families who came to
8 report to the Red Cross in Tuzla, and you can get the necessary
9 documentation to see how many people were killed, and not a single one has
10 been found up to this point.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, and Mr. Nice is examining a
12 witness for a crime of which not a single victim has been exhumed or
13 discovered or of which there is no forensic evidence.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We've got his evidence of what happened. Now,
15 have you got any more questions you want to ask him?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do, of course. You gave me an
17 hour and a half, so the least I can do is make use of it. And I hope you
18 will give me some additional time.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I add something? I omitted to
20 say something, sir. May I?
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What Mr. Milosevic asked about
23 whether any bodies had been found, I had forgotten to mention that it is
24 true that some were found, but I don't know exactly how many. I forgot
25 that. But some were found. I just don't know how many.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. From a list of 64 men, you gave the names of four, and you don't
3 know even the names of the rest. Is that right?
4 A. You -- as you asked me yourself, I was working in Belgrade. But I
5 knew the people from my village.
6 Q. You listed the names of four men.
7 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, we can't hear the --
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. So you can't identify them, nor can you claim how many people were
10 killed there.
11 A. I could list 60-odd names. There's a list here of people from my
12 village, then people killed from Klisa.
13 Q. But the bodies of those killed from Klisa and from your village
14 were not found, were they?
15 A. True. From my village, they were not found, but some were found
16 that were from Klisa.
17 Q. And they don't know under what circumstances they lost their
18 lives. What is it during the war? Were they members of BH army ranks or
19 were they executed? You yourself don't know where they are.
20 A. The bodies of people that were found were executed in Karakaj.
21 Q. Why did you then, as you say that you amongst yourselves, talking
22 amongst yourselves, crammed as you were to such an extent that 20 people
23 suffocated to death you found out how many of you were there, exactly that
24 figure, that number of you were brought there? Were the reasons why you
25 knew how many were brought there this testimony of yours today, or do you
1 have some other logical reason to give as to how you knew exactly how many
2 of you were there though you were able to communicate only with the three
3 or four men immediately next to you as you were so crammed in there?
4 A. Mr. Milosevic, I knew exactly how many people had been captured
5 from my village, and the other people also knew for their own villages how
6 many people had been captured. So it wasn't difficult to add up the
7 figures like two and two.
8 Q. Very well. I am not very good at that kind of arithmetic, but as
9 you say that on the first night 20 people choked to death in the room that
10 you were in and that later on a relative of yours, I won't say in public
11 session how he's related to you, you gave his name, that among those 20
12 there were two men that you name, how is it possible that you didn't see
13 the two of them that suffocated but you -- you were told about them by
14 this relative subsequently? How come you yourself didn't see them?
15 A. I knew those two very well, but I didn't see them.
16 Q. Well, that's why I'm asking you. As you say you saw these men who
17 had suffocated from this pressure and lack of space later, and you are now
18 confirming that you knew them well, but you didn't see them. How is it
19 possible that you saw them, saw those that choked but you didn't see the
20 two that you knew so well?
21 A. At that point in time, I just couldn't look at the bodies. It
22 made me sick to look at them.
23 Q. Very well, Mr. 1098. You claim on page 5, fourth paragraph, that
24 in four days in Karakaj, the Serbs, as you say, killed 160 men and that
25 you remember the names of only five of this figure of 160, that you don't
1 remember the names of the rest because you left the area when you were 17
2 and went to Belgrade; is that right? That's what you confirmed a moment
4 A. During those five days, I am claiming to this very day I don't
5 wish to say that I am a hundred per cent sure of the figure, but 50 or 51
6 people from Trsic were captured, and the same man from Trsic killed all
7 the people from Trsic while they were in Karakaj. So there were 50 of
8 them alone. What about those other 20? Then another 25, they allegedly
9 drove to Sarajevo to be exchanged and those that were taken out four at a
11 Q. So you worked it out. So you said people from Trsic who were
12 captured. Was there fighting? Was there a battle in Trsic?
13 A. They also fled to Klisa.
14 Q. I'm asking you whether there was fighting, combat in Trsic.
15 A. I'm afraid I'm unable to say. That's quite a way from me.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, we didn't hear the question.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. You didn't hear anything about fighting in Trsic?
19 A. I said that is far away from me, 15 kilometres away. How can I
20 know what is going on over there?
21 Q. But you said that 50 people were Trsic were captured. Were they
22 civilians who were captured, those 50 people from Trsic or were they
23 captured in fighting against Serb forces? Are you claiming that they were
24 captured civilians?
25 A. Civilians.
1 Q. Very well. In view of the fact that the killed were taken out on
2 different days, sometimes in groups of two or three, sometimes
3 individually, what kind of arithmetic did you use to reach this figure of
4 160? What you explained a moment ago, how many people were captured in
5 Trsic and then there are 20 more or 30 more, how are you claiming all
6 these things, on what basis?
7 A. Because when they took us off to Pilica in Drinatrans buses, we
8 had been almost halved or, rather, a third had been killed.
9 Q. And how do you know that?
10 A. I know because when they drove us to Pilica and shut us up there,
11 so many people were missing. One-third were missing right away, even more
12 than a third.
13 Q. Perhaps they took them off in some other direction. They just
14 weren't with you. You don't know what really happened to them.
15 A. If I could go back and have that sketch again so I can explain
16 some things to Mr. Milosevic, where they were killed, how they were
17 killed, how they were taken out, and how many of them were killed.
18 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness have his sketch. Or at least put it
19 on the Sanction may be the best way to deal with it.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Milosevic, the room marked with
21 the number 3 and the letter "A" and you see this kind of fence, they took
22 people to the previous room where there was 700-odd of us, and then from
23 there they called people out and took off the wealthier ones, people who
24 had the coffee bars, shops, businessmen, they took them out first killing
25 them and demanding money and jewellery from them. Every day this happened
1 several times a day. So it wasn't hard to count if you want to know. It
2 wasn't hard too count.
3 Q. So how did you count them?
4 A. I didn't count them all. I didn't even know that I would survive.
5 It didn't interest me that much. All I know is that when we got to Pilica
6 so many were missing.
13 MR. NICE: Private session or redact.
14 JUDGE MAY: Redact. Yes. A few questions more and we're going to
15 adjourn, Mr. Milosevic.
16 THE REGISTRAR: We're still in open session.
17 MR. NICE: And Your Honour, before he resumes with these questions
18 may I make this observation. It's difficult to be quite sure in this
19 cross-examination whether the accused is advancing a positive case built
20 on material available to him or that he's really just testing the witness
21 with the allegation that the witness is simply making it all up. I don't
22 want to deprive myself of the forensic flourishes that come in
23 re-examination but the Chamber might want to know, may want to have the
24 advantage of considering over night that this witness made a statement
25 about these events five days after the incident he's telling about. I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 should be re-examining on that and there are of course international
2 documents or documents of international organisations that we will produce
3 dealing with the disappearance of these people.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You've got about two minutes left and then we'll
5 adjourn, Mr. Milosevic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. So regarding those four days, you know five names of the people
9 killed, and on the other hand, among the 24 guards or soldiers who are
10 whatever you want to call them, Serbs, you knew as many as four, is that
11 right, by name?
12 A. I don't know where that is stated.
15 JUDGE MAY: We're going to adjourn now. It's past of the time.
16 The last question will be redacted.
17 You have 20 minutes left for cross-examination tomorrow morning.
18 Witness B-1098, could you be back, please, tomorrow morning at
19 9:00 to conclude your evidence.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 3rd day of June,
22 2003, at 9.00 a.m.