1 Thursday, 6 June 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon. Please be seated. Call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T,
8 the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Appearances.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Nicholas Koumjian and Ann Sutherland, assisted by
11 Ruth Karper for the Prosecution.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
13 MR. LUKIC: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Branko Lukic with Mr.
14 John Ostojic for the Defence.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any obstacles before we start?
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: We have the exhibits from the last witness first.
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, the Prosecution seeks to tender
18 exhibits premarked S119, S120, S121.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I suggest that we do this entire from
20 together with list 2 and 3, after we have heard Witness, not to lose any
21 time, and to be on the safe side that we really can conclude this witness
22 this week. Thank you for the understanding.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Sure.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: My understanding was that the actual witness is
25 in open session, no protective measure.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: That's correct, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then Mr. Beglerbegovic be brought in, please.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon, Mr. Beglerbegovic. You can
5 understand me? Thank you. Could you please give us the solemn
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Previous translation continues]... Start the
11 WITNESS: IBRAHIM BEGLERBEGOVIC
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examined by Mr. Koumjian:
14 Q. Doctor, would you please state your name for the record.
15 A. Ibrahim.
16 Q. And your family name?
17 A. Beglerbegovic.
18 Q. Dr. Beglerbegovic, can you tell the Court the year that you were
20 A. I was born in 1946.
21 Q. Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
22 A. I was born and I grew up in Prijedor.
23 Q. Can you tell us what your --
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: Excuse me, we are getting the French translation on
25 the English channel. At least, I am.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You're right.
2 MR. KOUMJIAN:
3 Q. Sorry for the delay, Doctor. Minor technical problem.
4 Doctor, can you tell the Court what your education was. Where
5 were you educated, and in what field?
6 A. I finished primary and secondary school in Prijedor and the
7 medical faculty in Zagreb. I specialised physical medicine in Zagreb in
8 1985. I finished my university in 1971.
9 Q. After finishing university and during your medical studies, did
10 you begin to practice medicine in the municipality of Prijedor?
11 A. After finishing, yes, I got a job in Prijedor municipality, and at
12 first I worked at the health centre in Prijedor. And after I returned
13 from the army, I got a job at the health station in Omarska.
14 Q. Can you give us the years that you worked at the health station in
16 A. I started working there in 1973, in the spring of 1973. And I
17 worked there for nearly ten years, until the beginning of 1983.
18 Q. After leaving that position in Omarska, where did you work?
19 A. I finished my specialisation, and I found a job in the Prijedor
20 hospital, department of physical medicine and rehabilitation, which was
21 one of the departments at the hospital.
22 Q. So in 1992, beginning of the year, where were you working and what
23 was your position?
24 A. In 1992, I was still working at the Prijedor hospital. I was head
25 of the physical medicine and rehabilitation department in the Prijedor
2 Q. Was that hospital part of a bigger centre or complex?
3 A. Yes. The hospital was part of the medical centre of Prijedor.
4 The name of the centre was Mladen Stojanovic. Mladen Stojanovic was a
5 partisan doctor from World War II. Within the medical centre, there were
6 also health centres, pharmacies, that sort of thing.
7 Q. Where did you -- what neighbourhood, without giving me the
8 address, but what neighbourhood did you live in the beginning of 1992?
9 A. I lived nearly plumb in the centre of Prijedor, and that part of
10 town was called Local Commune Prijedor 2, and there was the neighbourhood
11 of Puharska also very close, but actually where I lived was closer to the
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Perhaps we could have S3, the town map, put on the
15 Q. Doctor, the usher is preparing a map that will be on our
16 videoscreens, but I would like, if possible, for you to actually look at
17 the map on your right. And if you could -- you have a pointer there. If
18 you could point to the general area where your house was and where the
19 hospital was that you worked at.
20 One moment, please. It's not quite ready yet. We're not getting
21 an image. We're getting the doctor's tie at the moment on the screen. I
22 think the mirror is not focussed on the map.
23 A. The map is a bit small, but I hope I can point out everything.
24 Approximately here, this is where my house was. It was beside the railway
25 to Bosanski Novi.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: For the record, the witness indicated in the centre
2 of the map, just above what appears to be the railway line running
3 diagonally across the map.
4 Q. You indicated where you lived. Where was the hospital?
5 A. The hospital was here. Excuse me, no, it was here in this place.
6 Q. While we're with the map, can you tell us, how far away from your
7 house is the Keraterm camp? Where would that be in relation to the map?
8 A. I'm not sure about how big the map is, but I think it must have
9 been less than a kilometre.
10 Q. From your house?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. Thank you. We're done with the map. Thank you.
13 As a medical doctor in Prijedor, did you know of a Dr. Stakic,
14 Milomir Stakic?
15 A. Yes, we did know each other. He was younger than I was. But
16 after I quit the job in Omarska, he came to work there, and we did meet
17 several times. I believe that he knew me before I knew him, but yes, we
18 did know each other.
19 Q. Can you tell us what you know about Dr. Stakic? Do you know where
20 he was from?
21 A. Yes, I do. He's from the village of Maricka, close to Omarska,
22 and it belongs to the Omarska district. When he was a young doctor, he
23 came to the health centre in Omarska after I left. I didn't know a lot
24 about him, not earlier at any rate. We did not have any contacts earlier.
25 We belonged to different generations. Probably he studied elsewhere. I
1 studied in Zagreb, so there wasn't really an opportunity for us to meet
2 because we didn't live in the same area. So our paths never crossed
3 except after he had become a doctor.
4 Q. The medical community in Prijedor, would you describe it as -- was
5 it common for doctors to know each other or know of each other?
6 A. Yes, it was common. There were certain meetings to attend by all
7 doctors, and younger doctors, by the very nature of their work, had to
8 consult older colleagues. So sometimes they even sent their patients to
9 specialised doctors. So that was also another way for them to meet their
10 older colleagues. And aside from that, there were cases where conferences
11 were organised by pharmaceutical companies selling different medicines.
12 So sometimes at these conferences, after these conferences, we had
13 cocktail parties, and that's where doctors would, perhaps were not
14 directly connected in their daily work, had an opportunity to meet. So I
15 believe we must have met at one of these conferences. I can't remember
16 when exactly, but that seems quite likely.
17 Q. Doctor, can you tell us, were you a member of any political
19 A. Just before the war, I was a member of the Communist Association
20 of Yugoslavia. That is, of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most people in
21 Yugoslavia at that time, especially in Bosnia, most people who had jobs
22 and were employed were members of the communist party.
23 Q. In the 1990 elections, that period of time, after the fall of
24 communism and prior to and during the conflict that took place in Bosnia,
25 were you a member of any political party during that period of time?
1 A. No, I wasn't. After the disintegration of the communist party, I
2 did not join any political party.
3 Q. Following Dayton and the peace agreement in 1996, did you join or
4 form any political party?
5 A. In 1997, I was a refugee in Sanski Most. I found a job there and
6 worked at the health centre in Sanski Most. There were many people from
7 Prijedor there. And together with a group of people from Prijedor, we
8 founded a branch of the Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina. I was one of
9 the founding members.
10 Q. Who were the other founding members of that party from Prijedor?
11 A. One of the better known ones was Muharem Murselovic, who is now
12 the president of the Prijedor Municipal Assembly. Furthermore, there were
13 other people, but their names are not so well known. I think his is the
14 best known because he holds that sort of position. There was Sead
15 Suljanovic, Adim Selimbegovic, Fuad Grozdanic and other people.
16 Q. Thank you. Did you ever run for any political office as a member
17 of that party?
18 A. Yes, I did. I was on the list, and I was appointed a delegate in
19 the Prijedor Municipal Assembly in the 1997 elections.
20 Q. Were you ever a member of the SDA party?
21 A. No, I never was a member of the SDA.
22 Q. Doctor, are you aware of any political parties that the accused
23 Dr. Milomir Stakic belonged to?
24 A. I remember that at the time of the campaign for the founding of
25 new parties when people from other republics, from Serbia and from Croatia
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 came to Bosnia, once in the village of Nisevic close to Omarska, a party
2 was founded. I can't remember what it was called. Whether it was called
3 or radical or liberal or a combination of these two I can't remember. But
4 the president of that party was the man named Guberina. And the head of
5 the party for the area of Omarska was then Mr. Stakic. He was elected.
6 Q. Do you know what role Dr. Stakic had in Prijedor in the 1990
7 elections, if he obtained any position?
8 A. Yes, in the 1990 elections, the greatest number of seats in the
9 Municipal Assembly in Prijedor was won by the SDA, and then the SDS came
10 second, then the HDZ and several other parties with a minor number of
11 votes. There was the Reformist Party founded by Ante Markovic and some
12 other parties, too. At the moment when the elections took place, I'm not
13 sure whether this gentleman was a member of the SDS, but I know that the
14 way positions were distributed and the rule was that the party that wins
15 the greatest number of votes should elect the president of the Municipal
16 Assembly. And those who come second have the right to appoint the deputy
17 president. Mr. Stakic was appointed president. I'm not sure what that
18 meant, but he must have changed his allegiance, because I don't think that
19 being the party in which he was he would have been appointed. The SDS
20 requested that all the people in the leading positions be their members.
21 I think the area that Mr. Stakic comes from is predominantly a Serb area,
22 and according to some rules, that area was supposed to have a
23 representative in the parliament, a position of power in Prijedor. I
24 think he was -- he was a good choice because he was an intellectual. He
25 was a gentleman. He had finished university, so he met their criteria for
1 being appointed. And that's why they elected him to represent them, so he
2 was elected the deputy president of the assembly.
3 Q. Do you know what other positions Dr. Stakic assumed in 1992?
4 A. Apart from this position of deputy president, I can't remember
5 anything else.
6 Q. Do you know what positions Dr. Stakic took after the takeover on
7 the 30th of April, 1992, of the municipality?
8 A. After the takeover in Prijedor, the so-called Crisis Staff was
9 established which took over the functions of the legally elected assembly,
10 because all the members of the assembly who were not Serbs were either
11 expelled or thrown out. There was the so-called Serbian Municipality of
12 Prijedor, and after the Serbian municipality was established, the Crisis
13 Staff was established, headed by Mr. Stakic. Probably by virtue of his
14 function in the Municipal Assembly, he was appointed as the president of
15 the Crisis Staff.
16 Q. Can you tell us during the events that you witnessed, that you
17 live through in 1992, did you hear much about this Crisis Staff?
18 A. Yes. Most of what was happening in the positions of power was on
19 behalf of the Crisis Staff, whenever there was some sort of proclamation
20 it was always by the Crisis Staff. If a rally was organised, if there was
21 a warning, a public warning to the citizens. Most of the decisions that
22 were made at that time, when the Crisis Staff was founded, came from the
23 Crisis Staff or on behalf the Crisis Staff.
24 Q. During 1992, did you ever see Dr. Stakic mentioned in the media?
25 A. There were a number of such cases in the newspapers, on TV,
1 whenever something was happening, rallies, he was present by virtue of his
2 position because he was the first man in Prijedor. It was logical for him
3 to appear whenever these events were covered in the newspapers or on TV,
4 the radio stations, of course, he was always there.
5 Q. Did you ever meet with Dr. Stakic after the conflict?
6 A. After the conflict, I did meet him in Prijedor in 1996. I think
7 it was February or March, I can't remember. But it was early 1996. I was
8 one of the five members of the delegation that came from Sanski Most to
9 Prijedor for negotiations as a delegation of the charitable society of
10 Merhamet, whose member I was. And we came to talk to the Red Cross people
11 from Prijedor in order to make contact. It was under the aegis of an
12 international organisation. I can't remember which one, and they wanted
13 this to be the initial attempt at rapprochement, and it was the first time
14 after the Dayton agreements that anyone from Prijedor came back to
15 Prijedor as a refugee from Prijedor. We met at the Municipal Assembly
16 hall in Prijedor. I can't remember who were the members of his
17 delegation. I remember that we shook hands. It was a very cold meeting.
18 There was no warmth between us. I had the impression that they only
19 decided to go ahead with this meeting because the international
20 organisation that organised the meeting demanded that we meet. But I
21 believe that if it hadn't been for the international organisation, this
22 meeting would never have taken place.
23 Q. What was Dr. Stakic's position at that time, in early 1996, when
24 you met him at the Prijedor Municipal Assembly building?
25 MR. LUKIC: Objection, Your Honour. We let the opposite side to
1 have one question, but we think this is outside the scope of the
2 indictment. So that's basically our objection.
3 [Trial Chamber deliberates]
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Dismissed.
5 MR. KOUMJIAN:
6 Q. You may answer, Doctor. Do you know what Dr. Stakic's position
7 was in early 1996 when you met him?
8 A. He was then the president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor.
9 Q. Going back to 1992, you talked about seeing Dr. Stakic in the
10 media and at public, or reported to be at public meetings. Did you make
11 any observations about his attitude towards the SDS policies and what was
12 going on in Prijedor at that time?
13 A. There were certain occasions when leaders of the Republika Srpska
14 came to Prijedor. The president Biljana Plavsic, Mr. Krajisnik, Karadzic.
15 Before that, Karadzic was president, of course, and then Biljana Plavsic
16 came. By virtue of his position, of course, he was the one who received
17 them. He could be seen there, and I got the impression that he was happy
18 to be in a position to receive these people in Prijedor, talk with them
19 and so on.
20 Q. Do you recall the events of the 30th of April, 1992?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Tell us when you became aware of what was going on and what your
23 reaction was to it.
24 A. I wasn't aware of what was going on for a very long time.
25 Whatever was happening, I thought it was a short-term thing, something
1 that would soon pass. And the same applies to the event on the 30th of
2 April, 1992. I got up in the morning and I saw, in some very prominent
3 places outside important institutions, outside companies, I saw Serb flags
4 in certain spots along the road to the city. I saw armed guards,
5 soldiers. They were IDing people who were passing by these checkpoints.
6 And then I saw that something had happened that night. In a peaceful way,
7 perhaps without a single bullet fired, a group of people probably led by
8 the SDS toppled the government of Prijedor and proclaimed the Serbian
9 Municipality of Prijedor. Those were the first signs of the changes that
10 were taking place. Later people were fired from their jobs, Muslims, most
11 of the Croats, too. In some companies more, in some with a certain amount
12 of reserve, not unmasked like that but then increasingly so.
13 Q. You talked about checkpoints. Were you able to go to work that
14 day after the takeover, and how did it affect your life? Were you able to
15 continue working?
16 A. I was able to work, but I had to pass through a checkpoint at a
17 crossroads between my house and the hospital, and also at the entrance to
18 the hospital, although I had been working there for almost ten years. I
19 started in 1985, so well, it wasn't ten, it was about seven years. All
20 the porters knew me, everybody at the entrance knew me, but the porter
21 still asked to see my ID card and looked at it before letting me in. So I
22 was able to work but was subject to checks.
23 Q. These checkpoints, could you tell who was manning the checkpoints
24 or can you describe if they were wearing any uniforms or had weapons?
25 A. The people manning the checkpoints wore uniforms of the JNA, the
1 Yugoslav People's Army, but the reservists, they wore olive-grey uniforms,
2 which every reservist had at home in case a situation arose, an exercise
3 or something worse. And they were wearing those uniforms.
4 Q. Was it possible for you, in any way, to tell the ethnicity of the
5 people that were manning the checkpoints?
6 A. Well, those people I knew, if I knew who they were, then I could
7 see that those people were Serbs. I don't remember seeing any Muslims or
8 Croats at a checkpoint or wearing the uniform at that time. I'm not
9 claiming that there weren't any others, but mostly they were Serbs.
10 Q. You mentioned that people were dismissed from their positions.
11 Let's start first with your position as head of the department. Can you
12 tell us, did you maintain that position throughout 1992?
13 A. No. I continued working, but very soon the director handed me a
14 decision which told me I was no longer the head of the service for
15 physical medicine and rehabilitation of the hospital in Prijedor.
16 Q. Do you remember approximately when that was?
17 A. It might have been around, well, in the first ten days of June
19 Q. You said that the hospital was part of a centre. Was there a
20 director of the hospital, separate from a director of the centre?
21 A. Yes. There was the general director of the medical centre. That
22 was one person. And there was another person who was the director of the
23 hospital which was part of the medical centre.
24 Q. I'd like the witness -- who was the director of the centre?
25 A. At the time of these events, the director of the medical centre in
1 Prijedor was Risto Banovic.
2 Q. When you say "at the time of these events," are you speaking of at
3 least before the 30th of April, 1992?
4 A. Yes, precisely so. Before April 1992, and immediately after that,
5 but only for a brief time. Very soon, he was replaced.
6 Q. What was the education of Mr. Banovic or Dr. Banovic?
7 A. He was not a doctor; he was a psychologist. He graduated in
8 psychology, but he had a university degree, and he was a psychologist.
9 Q. Who was he replaced by?
10 A. He was replaced by Ranko Sikman, who was a senior technician, a
11 man of far less education, but he was appointed there at the orders of the
12 SDS, as an SDS member.
13 Q. Well, Mr. Banovic was of Serb ethnicity. Isn't that correct?
14 A. Yes, Mr. Banovic was a Serb.
15 Q. Do you know if Mr. Banovic was a member of the SDS or some other
16 political party?
17 A. Banovic was not a member of the SDS. He was in the SDP, which
18 remained after the communist party fell apart. It was called the Social
19 Democrat Party or something like that. Anyway, it was the SDP, and he was
20 a member of that.
21 Q. Do you know, was Mr. Banovic an active or high-profile member of
22 the SDP?
23 A. I wouldn't say he was very active or high-profile member. He was
24 better known as a citizen and as the director of the hospital than as a
25 member of that party.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honours, I'd like the witness to be shown S86.
2 And for the record, again, this is a document that indicates in the
3 letterhead: "The Crisis Staff and the war presidency of the Prijedor
4 municipality, Municipal Assembly of Prijedor, Prijedor. Subject: Action
5 upon the objections submitted by the Omarska club of deputies." And the
6 signature line on the second page indicates: "Crisis Staff, war
7 presidency," with no handwriting. But the very last lines indicates
8 "decisions on dismissals and appointments were published in the official
9 gazette of the Prijedor municipality, number 292, with 25 June, 1992 on
10 the with names included as above." If the witness could be shown 86B, the
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you please also provide us with the 65 ter
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: It's 65 ter number 299.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: We have two extra copies if it would be helpful to
17 the Chamber.
18 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me. Is that exhibit on the list we received?
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Ms. Karper indicates she called today. I just
20 found this actually.
21 MR. LUKIC: Okay.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Defence has a copy of the document?
23 MR. LUKIC: Yes, we do, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Thank you.
25 MR. KOUMJIAN:
1 Q. Dr. Beglerbegovic, directing your attention to the first point of
2 these 17 numbered points, it indicates "Ranko Sikman has been appointed
3 acting director of the MC, replacing Risto Banovic." Are these the two
4 individuals that you just described to us?
5 A. Yes. Yes, they are.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm finished with that document.
8 Q. Doctor, were more people in the hospital dismissed besides Mr.
10 A. You mean Risto. There's a slight misunderstanding.
11 Q. Sorry. Excuse me. Mr. Banovic.
12 A. I have already said quite a lot of people were dismissed. That
13 applies to the hospital, too. But after the attack on Prijedor on the
14 25th of May, 1992, there was a large number of dismissals, mostly of
15 Muslims and Croats, because of the fighting and because communications
16 were cut off, especially for people commuting from outside town and they
17 were simply unable to go to work. This was taken as grounds for
18 dismissal. And in many decisions issued at the time, it is stated that
19 failure to report to work was the reason for the dismissal. And the
20 decisions always refer to the decision issued by the Crisis Staff of the
21 Prijedor Municipality.
22 Q. Who was the director of the hospital before the takeover?
23 A. Before the takeover of power, Dr. Nikola Tesinic, who was an eye
24 specialist, was the director of the hospital.
25 Q. What was his ethnicity?
1 A. He was a Serb.
2 Q. Do you know if he was a member of the SDS?
3 A. I think he wasn't.
4 Q. Who replaced Mr. Tesinic?
5 A. Dr. Tesinic was replaced by Dr. Radojka Elenkov, a specialist in
6 internal medicine who worked at the hospital.
7 Q. Do you know if this doctor was an SDS member?
8 A. I'm not sure, but I think she was.
9 Q. Sir, were you married at this time?
10 A. Yes, I was.
11 Q. Was your wife also a Bosniak? Excuse me, I haven't asked you that
12 question yet, so I should first ask you. What is your ethnicity?
13 A. I'm a Bosniak.
14 Q. What is your wife's ethnicity?
15 A. My wife is also a Bosniak.
16 Q. Can you tell us, what was your wife's position before the
18 A. My wife graduated in pharmacy, and she was the director of the
19 pharmacy organisation covering all the pharmacists in the area of Prijedor
20 that belonged to the medical centre. It was a so-called basic
21 organisation of associated labour. This was a remnant from the former
22 system, but that was its name. And within this organisation, there were
23 three pharmacies in Prijedor, a pharmacy in Sanski Most, one in Omarska,
24 one in Kozarac, and one in Bosanski Novi. There was a director
25 responsible for all those pharmacies, and my wife was the director at the
2 Q. Was Prijedor considered to be the centre of that regional
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What happened to your wife regarding her position after the
7 A. My wife, from the 1st of June, 1992, was told orally that it would
8 be better for her not to come to work until the situation calmed down.
9 And she and all the other women working in the pharmaceutical division who
10 were women who were Bosniaks, they stopped going to work because without
11 any written decision or anything in writing, they were simply told by word
12 of mouth not to report for work any more.
13 Q. Did she continue to receive any salary?
14 A. I can't remember. I think that maybe in the first month she was
15 even on the payroll, but she didn't want to go and receive the money
16 because she was proud. And she was hurt that she had been told not to go
17 to work. So she refused to take that salary.
18 Q. Did you have a brother who was working in Prijedor?
19 A. Yes, I had an older brother who was an economist by profession.
20 And at the time of these events in 1992, he was the director of a building
21 construction company called Mrakovica Prijedor.
22 Q. Did your brother maintain his position after the takeover?
23 A. No. The list of 17 people that was shown recently also contains
24 the name of my brother, Janko Stjepic, who was dismissed [as interpreted].
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we, in addition, ask the first name of your
1 wife, please, for the record.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sadeta Beglerbegovic.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And Rizah Beglerbegovic?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's my brother.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And that's a person on the document we just saw,
6 number 15. Right?
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes. Would Your Honour like that put before the
8 witness again?
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, please.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Please.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Giro Mrakovica instead of
12 Beglerbegovic, Rizah, Janko Stjepic is appointed director.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification. Please
15 MR. KOUMJIAN:
16 Q. On the 1st of July, 1992, did you go to work?
17 A. Yes, on the 1st of July, 1992, I went to work as I did every
18 morning. And I had to show my identity card at the entrance. After that,
19 I went through the security check, and I went to my workplace, although on
20 that day, a large number of Muslims, or Bosniaks, who had not been
21 dismissed on the 1st of June were dismissed on that day. I met my
22 colleague, a senior therapist, a Bosniak, who was told to go home. He was
23 told not to work any more. And he was surprised to see that I had gone
24 through the security check, because under the same criteria, I, too, was
25 supposed to stop working. Probably at the moment I was at the checkpoint,
1 the former director or even the then director, but I think it was the
2 former director, Mr. Tesinic, the doctor I have mentioned, and the people
3 who are doing the checks respected him. So maybe that's why they made the
4 mistake and let me through. I learned that at 10.00 a.m. when we had our
5 break, and there were very few patients there at the time, at least in my
6 ward, because we don't have any emergency cases in that ward. Suddenly, I
7 heard military boots coming down the corridor in the direction of my
9 A reserve policeman entered the office. He was not an active but
10 a reserve policeman. He was wearing a camouflage uniform which was a blue
11 camouflage uniform of the kind worn by policemen, distinct from the kind
12 worn by soldiers, so you could tell reserve policemen apart from reserve
13 soldiers because of the colour of the camouflage uniform. And he
14 addressed me very rudely and said: "What are you doing here?" I was
15 surprised, and I said: "Why are you asking me what I'm doing here? This
16 is where I work." And he said to me: "You don't work here any more. Get
17 your things together and go home." So what else could I do? I gathered
18 up my belongings, and I went home.
19 Q. Did you ever receive any formal document regarding your dismissal?
20 A. No. I never got any kind of document in writing, either then or
21 later. Later on, I learned that I had been removed from work, not
22 permanently, but that I was on what they called standby, that's what they
23 called it when people were sent home because there was not enough work.
24 They were not dismissed, but they were put on standby, and they were
25 obliged to report every so often. I was told to report to the management
1 or the administration of the hospital in Prijedor every 15 days, which I
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, with the Court's permission, I'd like
4 to show the witness two documents, 65 ter numbers 477 and 478. There is,
5 at the moment, no translation. The documents, I believe, are identical
6 except for the blanks that are typewritten in.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could the witness be so kind and read out one
8 document that we have access to the contents of the document. I believe,
9 indeed, it is at least similar, the second document. So it's only
10 necessary to have one document in the transcript. Would you please be so
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It says in the heading: "Work
13 organisation, Medical Centre, Dr. Mladen Stojanovic, Prijedor. Dr. Mladen
14 Stojanovic, Prijedor. Basic Organisation of Associated Labour. Working
15 community. General hospital. Prijedor. Number 02674/1. Date: The 25th
16 of May, 1992.
17 "Pursuant to Article 75, paragraph 2, item 3 of the law on the
18 basic rights stemming from employment, and in connection with with the
19 conclusions of the Crisis Staff of the Prijedor Municipality number
20 02111-132/92 of the 5th of June, 1992, I hereby issue a decision on the
21 termination of employment.
22 "One, to the employee, Dr. Majda Sadikovic, who is at the post of
23 a person doing her specialisation, in the organisational unit of
24 anaesthesia and intensive care, whose employment is to be terminated on
25 the 25th of May, 1992 because of unauthorised absence from work at the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 time of a work obligation.
2 "Number two, on the day when her employment is terminated, the
3 above-named loses all her rights stemming from employment.
4 "Grounds or statement of reasons: On the basis of the general
5 mobilisation on the territory of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, work
6 obligation has been introduced in the working organisation, Dr. Mladen
7 Stojanovic medical centre Prijedor for all employees, starting from the
8 25th of May, 1992. The Crisis Staff of the Prijedor Municipality, at its
9 session held on the 5th of June, 1992, issued a conclusion whereby all
10 directors of basic organisations of associated labour shall, for workers
11 or employees who have not responded to the work obligation, they shall
12 dismiss them from work.
13 "The law on the basic rights stemming from employment, Article 75,
14 paragraph 2, item 3, prescribes that an employee's employment shall be
15 terminated without the agreement of the employee, if he's absent from work
16 without justification for five working days. As the above-named employee
17 has not responded to the work obligation in the -- within the deadline
18 mentioned above, all the above-mentioned conditions for the issuing of a
19 decision on the termination of employment have been met.
20 "Legal remedy: The employee has the right to complain to the
21 Workers' Council of the Basic Organisation of Associated Labour within 15
22 days of the date of receipt of this decision.
23 "Delivered to the above-named, to the acting director, to the
24 personnel service, to the archives, acting director of the basic
25 organisation of associated labour, the working organisation, Dr. Radojka
1 Elenkov, specialist of internal medicine."
2 MR. KOUMJIAN:
3 Q. Thank you, Doctor. Do you know Dr. Majda Sadikovic?
4 A. Not very well. But yes, I was acquainted with her.
5 Q. What was her ethnicity?
6 A. Muslim, Bosniak.
7 Q. Referring to the next document, do you know Dr. Mirsad Osmanovic?
8 A. Yes, I know him, too.
9 Q. What was his ethnicity?
10 A. He was also a Muslim, a Bosniak.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour. Did we give these an S number?
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No. Not yet. Correct me if I am wrong, 477
13 should go as S124B. And it should be added to the record that a
14 translation of the basic text can be found on page 21 of the transcript of
15 6 June 2002. And Document 478 should go as S125B. And the translation
16 can be found on the transcript of 6 June, 2002, page 21.
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Just to conclude this point, are there any
19 objections as to the admission into evidence of these two documents?
20 MR. LUKIC: No objections, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence under these two numbers.
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. I'm done with these documents and am
23 prepared to move into a new area if you'd like to take the break now.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Come back to the third document that you have
25 for today. That would be in the context.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: That will come up later.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Then the trial stands adjourned until
4 --- Recess taken at 3.16 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 3.49 p.m.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. And please continue.
7 MR. KOUMJIAN:
8 Q. Doctor, sometime in May of 1992, did you hear an announcement
9 regarding surrendering of weapons?
10 A. Yes, there was an announcement outside the Crisis Staff that all
11 those who were in possession of weapons, legally or illegally owned
12 weapons, should turn in their weapons at a determined place at a
13 determined time. The deadline was the day before the attack. I can't
14 remember, the 24th or the 25th of May. It was Saturday. The attack took
15 place on Saturday. That was the last deadline for the weapons to be
16 turned in. I was in possession of a legally owned pistol, and I was
17 getting ready to turn it in at the police station where we were supposed
18 to turn in our weapons.
19 Q. What did you do with your pistol?
20 A. Unfortunately, I didn't turn it in eventually, because early in
21 the morning the attack was launched and it wasn't possible to go to the
22 centre or to the police station. There was shooting for the whole
23 morning. So I couldn't go, but members of the army, who were in my
24 street, came into my house, searched the house, and took the pistol. So I
25 didn't turn it in where I was supposed to turn it in, but it was taken
1 from me, with no written certificate. One of the soldiers just took it
2 and left.
3 Q. When you talk about an attack and shooting, are you talking about
4 shooting in the town of Prijedor?
5 A. Yes, probably, because we could hear it very clearly when the
6 shooting began. I didn't know exactly where, but it appeared to have come
7 from the bridge on the Sana, and I later found out that most of the
8 shooting took place there. But at that moment I couldn't tell because I
9 was staying quite far from that place.
10 Q. There's a little confusion perhaps because I'm not sure which
11 event you're talking about. Are you talking about, as far as you know, an
12 attack upon Prijedor from non-Serbs, from mainly Muslims?
13 A. Yes, that's true.
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: I wonder to make the transcript clearer if we can
15 agree with Defence counsel on the correct date for that event.
16 Your Honours, I propose that the parties agree that the event in
17 question, what we have been referring to during this trial as the attack
18 on Prijedor was the 30th of May, 1992.
19 MR. LUKIC: We stipulate to that, Your Honours.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: The Prosecution agrees to that fact also,
21 stipulates to it.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for these agreed facts.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN:
24 Q. Doctor, we recognise that you don't carry a calendar for 1992, or
25 diary with you. That event occurred on the 30th of May, the attack on
1 Prijedor the town by the Muslim forces. The announcement that you're
2 talking about, when did that occur in relation to that attack on the 30th
3 of May?
4 A. The announcement was published before that event. That was
5 earlier, but I must have confused the dates. The 24th and the 25th was
6 the attack on Kozarac, by a different army. So this may be a mistake that
7 I made. But the announcement was given before the attack of, as you have
8 just said, the non-Serb forces on Prijedor.
9 Q. Just so we're clear, and tell us if you're not sure, is the
10 announcement you're talking about, did it occur before the attack by the
11 non-Serb forces on the 30th of May, or before the attack on Kozarac on the
12 24th of May? Do you recall which event this announcement preceded? And
13 if you're not sure, say so. What's your best recollection now?
14 A. I can't say with any degree of certainty, but the announcement did
15 not refer to one day only. Maybe it was there for several days. But as
16 far as I can remember, the last deadline for turning in the weapons was a
17 Saturday, and I wanted to turn in my pistol on that Saturday. But that
18 was the day the attack began.
19 Q. After the attack on the town which we've agreed is the 30th of
20 May, was there some announcement by the authorities regarding -- I'm
21 sorry, perhaps I can stop for a moment.
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't know if anyone has the calendar for 1992.
23 We believe that the 24th of May is a Sunday. Perhaps later we can
24 stipulate to that.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's come back to this after the break.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Okay. Thank you.
2 Q. Sorry, Doctor. Going back, after the attack on Prijedor by the
3 non-Serb forces, was there an announcement regarding the safety of Muslims
4 in Prijedor?
5 A. For the whole day, when the shooting stopped and when the
6 situation calmed down in a way, on Radio Prijedor there were
7 announcements. They explained, they exhorted, and one such announcement
8 that got me really worried at that moment was an announcement requesting
9 all the citizens of Prijedor to recognise the authorities. But they said
10 at the end of the announcement that the safety of the Muslims was not
11 guaranteed. I was afraid that someone would just simply come over to my
12 house and kill me, and my wife and my children were also in the house.
13 But this really remains clear in my memory. At the end of the
14 announcement, they said that the safety of the Muslims was not guaranteed.
15 Q. At that time, was there a further announcement regarding non-Serbs
16 marking their houses, identifying their houses in some way?
17 A. Yes, indeed. On that day, members of the Serbian army ordered all
18 Muslims to hang a white flag on their houses, or something resembling a
19 white flag, a blanket or a towel, a white towel. It was compulsory to
20 mark all these houses with a white flag, a piece of cloth.
21 Q. At that time, back in late May of 1992, what was your reaction to
22 an announcement like that for Muslims to mark their houses?
23 A. As everyone else, I was afraid that something would happen because
24 in their explanation, they said whoever failed to do this, their houses
25 would be shelled because there were tanks in the town. I saw two tanks
1 passing by. And they said: "Whoever fails to put out a white flag, their
2 houses will be shelled." I saw that all my neighbours had done it, so I
3 put one up, too, a big white towel, sort of like a flag.
4 Q. After the takeover on the 30th of April and leading up to the
5 summer of 1992, did you become aware of any arrests of non-Serb citizens
6 in Prijedor?
7 A. Yes, there were arrests. But most of the arrests started taking
8 place after the attack, after the 30th of May. There were sporadic
9 arrests earlier, too, but not in such a drastic measure.
10 Q. At some time, did you become aware of camps where non-Serbs were
11 detained in the municipality of Prijedor? And excuse me, we've talked
12 about this, I believe, you and I in the last few days. If you feel you
13 come to a point where you need to give us confidential information that
14 should not be public, please so indicate. And before you do so, and we
15 will go into private session.
16 A. Yes, I learned about the camps from other people's accounts, but I
17 also had a source, another source, that unless I have to, I would not
18 disclose publicly. This source told me about the camp, what was happening
19 there, what the conditions were like, how people lived in the camp and so
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't need the name, but if Your Honours or the
22 Defence does, then we can go into private session.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's please go into private session.
24 [Private session]
12 Page 4106 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 4107 – redacted – private session.
13 [Open session]
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Confirmed. Please proceed.
15 MR. KOUMJIAN:
16 Q. What did this person tell you about what was happening at the
17 Omarska camp?
18 A. He told me that the situation was very bad over there, that it was
19 overcrowded, that the living conditions were awful, that they slept on the
20 floor, on cement, on the tiles, that the hygiene facilities were minimal,
21 that food rations were distributed once a day only, usually consisting of
22 some sort of soup, just water heated up, so to say, that the prisoners
23 were being beaten and killed, and that the estimate was that they would
24 all eventually be killed.
25 Q. Did that worry you for a particular reason?
1 A. It did worry me very much because at the time he gave me this
2 information, my brother was already in the camp. So at that moment, it
3 didn't even occur to me that I myself might end up there, too, but I was
4 very much afraid for his sake because he was already there.
5 Q. This is the brother that you mentioned earlier who was the
6 director of the construction company?
7 A. Yes, that's correct. I only have one brother, and he is this
9 Q. Was your brother married, and if so, what was the ethnicity of his
11 A. He was married, and his wife was a Serb.
12 Q. Did your brother have any political -- was he involved in politics
13 at all prior to his arrest?
14 A. Yes, he was. He was a member of the Reformist Party led by Ante
15 Markovic. He was the deputy president of the party for Prijedor.
16 Q. Did he hold any elected position?
17 A. As a member of the party, he was appointed a delegate to the
18 Prijedor Municipal Assembly.
19 Q. Did you know other people who had been arrested and taken to
20 camps, or as far as you know were arrested and taken away?
21 A. Yes, man people were arrested. I know that the now president of
22 the Municipal Assembly, Muhamed Cehajic, had been arrested, and the
23 director of the -- the director of the cookies factory, who was a Croat by
24 ethnicity, was also arrested. A lawyer, the president of the Prijedor
25 HDZ, Saric Silvije was also arrested. I just remembered their names now,
1 but there were other people, too.
2 Q. You mentioned that you heard about the camps from other people
3 besides this source. In your opinion, was it common knowledge at that
4 time that there were camps in Prijedor municipality?
5 A. News spread very soon about camps being set up, because the
6 relatives and acquaintances of the people who were already in the camp
7 knew about the camps. They knew that the camp had been established and
8 that it was in Omarska.
9 Q. On the 6th of July, what happened to you?
10 A. The 6th of July, 1992, around 2.00 in the afternoon, a car with
11 civilian license plates, a Mercedes pulled up, and a policeman came out,
12 an active-duty policeman from the Prijedor police station. Bato
13 Kovacevic. I was in my garden. It was summer, so I was only wearing my
14 swimsuit. He knew me, and he spoke to me. He said: "Doctor, get ready,
15 you're coming with me." I knew that Bato had already taken many people
16 away and taken them for an interview like he came for me, and I knew that
17 it was now my turn. I asked him what I should put on. I was a bit clumsy
18 with these things. I didn't know what to wear, and he told me: "This
19 will all be over very soon. You're just coming for an interview, but it
20 won't take long." I put on some light clothes. He took me there in a
21 car, and there was another policeman with us. I think his name was Zrnic,
22 but I'm not sure. He took me to the police station. We went into one of
23 the rooms there. Waiting for us there was a man I knew, a Serb policeman.
24 He was very cold, and he didn't show that he knew me. After a couple of
25 minutes, I sat down, and the man who brought me there came in. He asked:
1 "What shall we do with him?" as if he had gone out of the room to ask, to
2 consult, one of his superiors as to do with me, and he came back after a
3 while and said: "We'll do the same thing as we did to the previous one."
4 I was taken out of the office then through the garden to another room
5 which had an iron door. It was dark, no windows. 3 times 3 metres. I
6 went in. It was dark. And it was difficult to adapt to darkness. I
7 couldn't see anything. Where there was supposed to be a window, there was
8 only a piece of tin, perforated, very small holes that allowed some light
9 in, but that was very difficult for a man who just walked in from outside,
10 from sunlight, to see anything in that room. I found there another two or
11 three people who sat on some sort of a wooden board inside the room.
12 There was only a soldiers' blanket on that board. And in the corner behind
13 the door, something stank. I realised later on that they used the corner
14 for a toilet because there was no toilet there. I spent about two hours
15 there, talking to the people who were there. We discussed all sorts of
16 things, that you do in the circumstances, why did they bring you in, why
17 did they bring me in.
18 After about two hours, a paddy wagon came along. They took me and
19 another person out. The other person's name was Idriz Jakupovic. And
20 inside the wagon there was already one person. He took his from his home.
21 His name was Ibrahim Mujkanovic. They shut the door of the paddy wagon,
22 and we went somewhere. I know the town. I know where the police station
23 was, and where the camps were. They didn't tell us where we were headed,
24 but we knew that we were headed for one of the camps. I tried to
25 reconstruct the route in my head, according to how long the drive was.
1 And I couldn't see, but I knew that we had passed Keraterm already because
2 that would only have been a very short drive. This meant that we were
3 going to Omarska. And the drive from Prijedor to Omarska takes about half
4 an hour. We took the main road. I was very interested in seeing what it
5 was like in Kozarac, because houses had been burned there. And a lot had
6 been destroyed, but I couldn't see it from the car, from the paddy wagon.
7 We reached Omarska late in the afternoon, early evening. It was a hot
8 summer day. The driver opened the door, and we saw a large number of
9 people, lying on the ground. I didn't know then that this piece of ground
10 was called pista. It was outside a big hangar in Omarska. Some people
11 sat on the ground and some people lay on the ground. One of the people
12 who came with me was very impressed by what he saw, and his reaction was:
13 "Where did all these people come from?" That was his reaction. "What's
14 all this about?"
15 After the reception procedure, and we were received by policemen,
16 Mlado Radic, Krkan, who was on duty then. I knew him personally, and he
17 knew me, because I worked for years in Omarska and we attended a number of
18 meetings and rallies together even before the war. He verbally abused me
19 and he said: "Hey, Doctor, what are you doing here?" Because he was
20 apparently surprised that I was there. And I said: "Well, what do you
21 think, I just came by myself to have a look?" So their reception
22 procedure also consisted of searching us for weapons. And to go through
23 all the checks and reach the camp with some weapons on was an absurd idea,
24 but they still searched us because the rules said they should. They
25 wanted us to put our hands in the air and show three fingers like this
1 lined up as we were against the wall as they were feeling us for weapons.
2 Knowing this policeman, I just put all five fingers in the air, not three
3 as we were required to do. Someone with a very rough voice behind my back
4 said: "You, fatso, you too, get your hands up in the air." I don't know
5 why, but that was a rule apparently. I wouldn't like to make any further
6 comments now, but we were supposed to lift up in the air three fingers.
7 It's a special sign, someone who does not belong to the community that
8 uses this sign should not be made to do this, but I won't comment on this
10 After that, we were taken to the garage. It's a very famous place
11 in the Omarska camp. The garage is big enough to hold two big expensive
12 cars. It has an iron door. I found there about 70 people crammed in that
13 space. I'm not sure if I'm speaking too comprehensively. Should I go
14 into further details? Be that as it may, when I came in, what I saw was
15 just dreadful. There was a group of people inside who had been
16 transferred from the Keraterm camp to the Omarska camp on that day. They
17 originally came from the Ljubija area and from the villages around area.
18 There were a lot of Muslims, but also Croats because that area has a lot
19 of Croat villages. Those people were beaten black and blue. They moaned.
20 All the clothes they had on them, they used to make bandages. They had
21 all sorts of bruises of all sizes all over their bodies. And I could even
22 see a shoe mark on the body of one of them, a soldier's boot, the same
23 mark it leaves when pressed against fresh snow. They were lined up that
24 morning when they were brought in. I didn't see this myself but I was
25 told what happened to them. They lined them up in two rows against the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 garage wall with their faces against the wall and they were beating them
2 from the back with rods. They were kicking them. They used whatever they
3 could, and you could see the results. You could see the traces on most of
4 these people.
5 What else could I say about this room? It was stuffy. People
6 were lying on the floor. I can't remember if it was cement or ceramic
7 tiles. Some people found pieces of cardboard to lie on, and some people
8 used plastic. There was a tin container beside the door that was used as
9 a toilet because there was no toilet. And half a metre from this tin
10 container, the first prisoner was lying, and then they were all lying one
11 next to another in that garage. I found a place for myself to lie, and I
12 spent the night there. Some of the people there knew me, some of the
13 guards, too. So they just come over to see me. I didn't enjoy any
14 privileges, but I could tell that even some of them were not exactly sure
15 why I had been brought in. I could tell by their faces, but also I could
16 tell there was nothing they could do about it or change it. The only
17 change was that the next day, I was moved from the garage to the so-called
18 glass house, in the part of the camp that was close to the kitchen. From
19 the accounts of other prisoners, people who were put in the glass house
20 were considered to be slightly privileged, perhaps they bribed someone or
21 perhaps they were just well-respected citizens. But I saw there a number
22 of intellectuals and well-respected people. There were a couple of Serbs
23 there, too, two Serbs who must have done something wrong so they were put
24 there, too. I spent that night in the glass house.
25 And from the glass house, I could see that evening the arrival of
1 other people who were being brought to the camp. They were made to enter
2 the camp one by one, in silence. There was a large number of people being
3 brought in. I couldn't tell exactly where, but they came the same way
4 that they used to go to get their food. So there were several rows of
5 these people, and the room was filled with rows, lines, of people standing
6 next to one another. So there is no way to take up physically less space
7 than this, and then people were ordered to lie down, and then there would
8 be havoc because people started pushing and shoving. So that also left a
9 deep impression on me.
10 Sometimes it would happen that people spent -- slept outside, and
11 sometimes it would rain. Not that night, however. It was quite warm, and
12 I think most of these people would have been better off staying outside
13 for the night but they were still crammed into that room. I could also
14 see people queuing up for their food from the glass house. They came in
15 groups of 30, not more. The kitchen, I think, could hold at least 300
16 people because there were as many tables there in the kitchen. But they
17 apparently had their own rules and just split the prisoners up into groups
18 of 30, because that way it was easier for them to control people on the
19 way in. And every day, they would beat people on the way in. Some people
20 were starved, some people were sick, so they walked slowly, and they
21 floundered because they couldn't walk normally. But whoever halted and
22 whoever walks slowly would be beaten. There was a man, I didn't know his
23 name, he was completely disoriented. He didn't know where he was. And
24 none of the people who brought him there were able to help him. And the
25 guards really took it out on him. And they beat him black and blue. He
1 could hardly stand up. I said before what food rations were like, it was
2 warm soup with maybe a leaf of cabbage in it. The meal lasted for a short
3 time, maybe 2 or 3 minutes, and then we were ordered to go out. Most of
4 the people barely managed to drink some of the contents. People were
5 given one eighth usually of a loaf of bread, and they would all be chased
6 out and another group brought in. There were other things about this
7 kitchen. There were women there in the corner also who just stood there
8 and watched. Some of them helped with the distribution of food rations,
9 but most of them just sat by and watched these scenes.
10 The next day, when I got up in the morning, I was in the glass
11 house, I saw Zeljko Meakic, who was the commander of the camp. He was
12 wearing a uniform, and he gave a sign. He beckoned me through the glass
13 to come out, and then I came out. And he said: "I have good news for
14 you. 98 per cent -- it is 98 per cent certain that you will be released
15 and go home. And as for the 2 per cent of uncertainty, wait until I come
16 back from Prijedor." Which means that he had been told that I was to be
17 released but he had to go to Prijedor to doublecheck. So that's how he
18 explained the situation to me. Of course, I was glad to learn this, and I
19 believed that my release was quite likely. I was immediately in a better
20 mood. And then in the afternoon, he came back to tell me that I was free
21 to go home and I was released on the same day.
22 Q. Thank you, Doctor. I'd like to now go over a few details about
23 what you told us. The police station that you were taken to, was that the
24 SUP building, SUP, in Prijedor town?
25 A. Yes. It was the building of the SUP, right next to the Municipal
1 Assembly building.
2 Q. You said that you were taken in a wagon to Omarska with two other
3 people. I believe you said their names were Idriz Jakupovic and Ibrahim
4 Okanovic [Realtime transcript read in error "Mujkanovic"]. Can you tell
5 us, who was Idriz Jakupovic?
6 A. Idriz Jakupovic was the director of the social welfare centre in
7 Prijedor, the centre for social work. There is a mistake here. Ibrahim's
8 name was Okanovic, not Mujkanovic. There's an error in the
10 Q. The transcript you see in front of you is not the final one, so do
11 not be too concerned with spelling errors. But thank you. Who was
12 Ibrahim Okanovic? How did he get to be in Prijedor that day?
13 A. Ibrahim Okanovic was a citizen of Prijedor, who just before these
14 events in early 1992 left for Australia. He played football before the
15 war, and when he got older, he became a football coach in Prijedor and the
16 vicinity, and he went to Australia. I don't know what the circumstances
17 were, and he settled there, and even found a football club where he became
18 the coach. In April 1992, his father died. Maybe it was a bit earlier.
19 I'm not sure. But he didn't manage to attend his father's funeral, but
20 felt obliged to visit his father's grave. He arrived just before the
21 events in Prijedor, and then the borders were closed, and he was unable to
22 leave again. So he remained in Prijedor, and probably because -- well, I
23 don't know why, but he was arrested, like many others. He was arrested on
24 that day and taken to Omarska.
25 Later on, nothing was known about him or Idriz Jakupovic.
1 Q. You say "nothing was known about him..." Do you have any
2 information about their fate, whether they survived Omarska?
3 A. Well, when you say that nothing is known about someone who was in
4 Omarska, it's almost certain that they are dead. They were probably
5 killed and buried, but the gravesite is not known because nobody has been
6 found alive who went missing in Omarska, at least not so far.
7 Q. You described to us having to place three fingers up against the
8 wall. And you indicated that that was a sign of a particular group. Is
9 it correct that that is a sign of Serb nationalist symbol, the
10 three-finger salute?
11 A. It was used as a nationalist symbol at the time. I think it's a
12 symbol that deserves respect, because it's a symbol of the orthodox faith
13 It symbolises the holy trinity. I am not well educated in religious
14 matters, but I think it's something sacred for orthodox Serbs. But making
15 a Muslim prisoner make the sign, I think, is sacrilege. It's an abuse of
16 the sign. But it did have nationalist overtones at the time, although I
17 didn't think it should be understood in that way, in general.
18 Q. Thank you for that clarification.
19 When you were in the Omarska camp, is it correct from what you've
20 told us that you spent only two nights at the camp. Is that correct?
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. During those two nights, and at least part of three days, did you
23 ever see any corpses in the camp?
24 A. On the next morning when I woke up in the glass house, I was able
25 to see the white house from there. That's another part of the Omarska
1 camp. And next to the white house, there were four or five corpses in the
2 grass. I was looking from the glass house, and the white house was on the
3 right-hand side. And to the left of it, there were four or five corpses.
4 And some of the people who had been in the glass house from before told me
5 that these people had been killed on the previous night and put there that
6 morning. It was too far for me to see who they were, but I could see four
7 or five corpses. I can't tell you the exact number, but that's what I
8 saw. A man who arrived in the glass house before me explained this to me.
9 We could see the same scene every morning, sometimes there were more
10 corpses, sometimes less, but in any case, that's what I saw that morning.
11 Q. Did you see the corpses disposed of?
12 A. The corpses were disposed of, but I did not see it being done.
13 After a certain time, they were no longer there, so somebody had removed
14 them. I heard that it was prisoners who removed the corpses, that they
15 were used to pick up the corpses and put them on the vehicles they were
16 taken away in. But I only heard that. I didn't see it myself.
17 Q. Doctor, you had mentioned in the beginning of your testimony
18 having worked ten years in the Omarska area. At the camp, did you feel
19 that there were many people in authority there that you knew?
20 A. Are you referring to prisoners?
21 Q. No, sorry. Were there people running the camp that knew you from
22 your time in Omarska?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Did you know the commander of the camp?
25 A. First of all, if we go from the top, I knew Zeljko Meakic, the
1 camp commander, well, and he knew me well. We were often together. I was
2 the director of the health centre which was later renamed, and by the
3 nature of our work, we attended certain meetings that had to be attended
4 by leading people in various organisations and institutions in the town.
5 We also met at events such as weddings or celebrations, and also orthodox
6 feasts in the villages. Every family has a certain feast day that they
7 celebrate and we would meet at those celebrations. I also knew Miroslav
8 Kvocka who was his deputy. I knew many of the guards, Radic, Krkan,
9 Gruban, Ckalja. I knew many guards who were not guard shift leaders but
10 ordinary guards. The only people I didn't know were younger people who
11 had arrived before I was there, but yes, most of them knew me and I knew
13 Q. Doctor, did you get an impression from speaking to other prisoners
14 perhaps, or from other sources that your release from the camp was a
15 normal or unusual event? What was your impression?
16 A. Well, I don't know, but up until the time I was released, I don't
17 know that anyone was released. If there were any such people, it was a
18 very small number. I am one of the few who arrived in the camp but was
19 released before the camp was closed down. It's possible. I'm not
20 claiming that there was no one, but if there were such people, it was a
21 very small or negligible number. When I was released, it was a sign of
22 hope for the other prisoners. They hoped that there was a change coming,
23 a kind of thaw, and that others would also be released. People became a
24 little more optimistic and started believing that things were getting
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Did you see your brother at the Omarska camp?
2 A. Yes, I did see him. Let me tell you. I had a relative freedom of
3 movement because I knew the guards, and they did not treat me cruelly. I
4 was allowed to have contact with my brother and others. For example, Dr.
5 Eso Sadikovic, a colleague of mine who was already in the camp, so I did
6 have this opportunity, and I have to say that I was privileged in relation
7 to other prisoners because I was allowed to have contact with my brother.
8 Q. When you -- when Meakic indicated to you that you would be
9 released, did you ask him about your brother? Can you briefly explain?
10 A. Yes. When Meakic arrived with this news from Prijedor that a
11 definite decision had been reached to release me, the word went round, and
12 a group of people from Omarska, who were not guards but simply residents
13 of Omarska who knew me from before, arrived in the camp wishing to take me
14 away because the news spread very quickly through the village, through the
15 neighbourhood. And we sat next to a wall in the shade behind the kitchen
16 near the entrance where food was brought in. There was some nice shade
17 there, and we sat down and had some beer. And this was unprecedented for
18 a prisoner to drink beer. But I was no longer officially a prisoner. My
19 brother was also brought there and we sat down together and had some beer.
20 So I addressed Meakic on that occasion and said: "There's something I'd
21 like to ask you." He said: "Don't ask me to release your brother." Well,
22 to be quite honest, I didn't even dream of asking him that. I was a
23 little more naive. And I was only going to ask for my brother to be put
24 in a better room, because he was in Mujo's room or Burho's room which was
25 very uncomfortable. It was very, very crowded, and in the glass house
1 where I had spent the second night, it was quite pleasant because part of
2 it was open. You could see the open sky, but people slept under a roof,
3 so that even if it rained people wouldn't get wet, but they still had a
4 lot of fresh air. The glass house was built so as to have more light and
5 air in the dining room. I asked him to put my brother in the place that
6 was now vacant because I had been released. I wanted to get better
7 conditions for my brother. But later on, I realised I had been very
8 naive. He did indeed grant my wish, and my brother was moved to the glass
9 house. But there, he was more exposed to view, and there was more
10 possibility for him to be taken out, for his name to be called out. It
11 was like a shop window. Everyone could be seen, and it was very risky
12 being there because you were a target.
13 And whenever they wanted to, for any reason, I don't know what the
14 reasons were, they would take people out to be beaten.
15 Q. Tell us what happened when you were released. Did you go directly
16 home or did you have to get some paperwork?
17 A. I have already said that my acquaintances from Omarska turned up
18 and wanted to take me away in their private car. But they were told that
19 this was out of the question, and that I was to be taken back in an
20 official vehicle just as I had been brought in. And I was taken away in a
21 small van, which was used to bring investigators in from Prijedor. These
22 were people who interrogated the prisoners. I went back with them, and I
23 was taken to the police station again to be issued with a document saying
24 that I had been released from the camp and I was to keep this for my own
25 security and for my movement through the town. It was summertime, and it
1 was still light at 8.00 in the evening. Inspector Mijic was in charge of
2 issuing this document to me. Of course, he addressed me very formally.
3 He told me to sit and wait. I waited for an hour. Nobody came to get me.
4 I was sitting in a kind of lobby. People were going in and out. They
5 were well-built young men wearing camouflage uniforms. Some even had
6 leather jackets. They were wearing gloves with the fingers cut off, and
7 there were some men whom I didn't know, but fortunately they didn't know
8 me either so they paid no attention to me. At one point, the duty officer
9 approached me, and he was from Prijedor and knew who I was, and he hadn't
10 seen me there before. And he approached me and said: "What are you doing
11 here?" And I said: "I've come from the camp, I'm waiting." And he
12 said: "Get out of here, get out of here." He took me to a room, he
13 said: "If these special purpose men see you, they were some sort of
14 intervention platoon," he said, "you'll be dead." I was very naive and I
15 acted very naive during the war. I didn't think of hiding. But he took
16 me aside. I didn't get the document on that day. I was told to go home
17 and come back on the next day.
18 I received this document, if you want to know, on the next day.
19 On the next day I wanted to go, but a friend of mine advised me not to go
20 to the MUP building alone. He volunteered to go with me because he knew
21 Simo Drljaca personally. We went to see Simo Drljaca together and Simo
22 received me. We talked. He was a very rough man, but he treated me quite
23 decently. He didn't ignore me, as he did on previous occasions, and he
24 issued this document, which said that I had been arrested by mistake and
25 that after an investigation, it became clear that there was no reason to
1 detain me any longer and that this was the reason for my release. I was
2 also given another certificate which was permission to move around the
3 town, because the Muslims in Prijedor had to have such permission,
4 especially military-able men who were not in the army, but had other
5 obligations. And to move around the town, they had to have a certificate
6 issued by the secretariat of national defence or by the Ministry of the
7 Interior. It varied. But usually it was the secretariat of national
8 defence that issued these documents.
9 We had to report there and be issued with these certificates, and
10 in this way they knew how many of us there were in the town and who the
11 people were who still remained in the town.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: What time does Your Honour want to break?
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we can proceed for 20 minutes.
14 MR. KOUMJIAN:
15 Q. Doctor, you mentioned that the document said an investigation had
16 been done and you had been arrested by mistake. While you were in
17 Omarska, was there any serious investigation or interrogation of you,
18 concerning criminal allegations?
19 A. Every prisoner had to be interrogated. So my turn came as well.
20 The circumstances were rather strange. I was questioned formally. It was
21 simply a matter of form because I already knew that I was going home. So
22 this was done simply as a matter of form. There were some questions, for
23 example, they suspected that someone had taken medicines out of the
24 hospital where I worked, and I was asked if I knew anything about this.
25 And of course, I knew nothing about it. Then they asked me some questions
1 about my private life. I know the investigator who interrogated me. His
2 name was Drago Meakic. He was a relative of Zeljko Meakic I mentioned,
3 and we had been in the reserve units of the army together, before I was a
4 doctor. And he was a quartermaster, so we knew each other from the
5 exercises then. And he knew me well. So I had the feeling that this was
6 merely put up for show because they had to question me, but I had -- I
7 didn't have the impression that they were actually accusing me or charging
8 me with something.
9 Q. Just so we're clear, this interrogation occurred after you were
10 told by the camp commander you were released?
11 A. Yes, yes, that's what I said. It was after I found out that I was
12 going home. That's when I was questioned.
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I have a document that the witness --
14 or two documents that the witness has previously provided to the OTP.
15 Copies have been made available to parties and the Chamber. May it be
16 given a provisional number and shown to the witness, please.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: My understanding is they have no 65 ter numbers.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN: Correct.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it's on the one and the same sheet of paper.
20 Therefore, we should take only one number, and this would be S126B.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN:
22 Q. Doctor, first, can you explain briefly what these two documents
24 A. Well, the title is "Permission to Move Around." It's issued by
25 the Ministry of the Interior, and it even says here Sarajevo Security
1 Services Centre, Banja Luka, public security station, Prijedor. This was
2 issued to people who had to report to a certain place to be registered,
3 and then to be given permission so that when they were stopped in the town
4 by authorised officers, policemen, or whoever, they would be able to show
5 it. This document issued by the security centre was given to me at the
6 same time as the certificate saying I had been arrested by mistake and
7 released from camp. The other document was issued by the Ministry of the
8 Interior. You can see that the heading is different. And it's a form
9 that had been printed earlier. The title is different. It's the
10 "Ministry of Defence" and as a member of the Merhamet organisation, I was
11 allowed to move around, and it even says that I was not to be mobilised or
12 sent to work, under work obligation, like others. But rather, my
13 obligation was to work in the Muslim charity organisation Merhamet. That
14 was issued by Slavko Budimir, who was the head in that ministry.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Beglerbegovic, could you please be so kind
16 and read out both documents in toto.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I'd be pleased to do that.
18 "The Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ministry of
19 the Interior, Sarajevo. Security Services Centre in Banja Luka. Public
20 security station in Prijedor. Number 11-12. Date:" And then it says
21 323. Permission to move around for Beglerbegovic, father's name Vehbija,
22 Ibrahim. Allowing movement in the built-up area of Prijedor. (redacted)
23 (redacted) That's my address. From the 24th of July, 1992, except
24 during the curfew, from 2200 hours to 00.5 hours. This certificate shall
25 be valid with an identity card or a passport. Chief of the public
1 security station, Simo Drljaca."
2 The other document, at the top it says in Cyrillic: "Not to be
3 mobilised." That's some sort of signal that I was not to be sent to work
4 anywhere else. And then it says: "Republika Srpska, the Ministry of
5 Defence, Prijedor department, number 02-80-15/95. Date: The 22nd of
6 September, 1995. Pursuant to Article 8 of the decree on the organisation
7 and carrying out of work obligation, official gazette of Republika Srpska,
8 number 8/92, the Ministry of Defence, Prijedor department, hereby issues
9 the following certificate certifying that Beglerbegovic, father's name
10 Vehbija, Ibrahim has been assigned to the municipal unit of work
11 obligation, and that he is engaged in carrying out jobs according to the
12 plan of the municipal Crisis Staff --
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises.
14 A. -- Of the municipal staff of the civilian Defence in Prijedor.
15 This certificate shall be issued in order to regulate the status of men
16 liable for military service and will be valid until the 1st of November,
17 1995. Chief, Slavko Budimir."
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for that. Any objections against the
19 admission into evidence?
20 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, first of all, it has been wrongly
21 translated. On page 49, line 8, it says "Crisis Staff" of the municipal
22 staff. It doesn't say in this document. So I would like to read it so
23 the translators can, first of all, correct it. It says: [Interpretation]
24 "The municipal staff of the civil defence in Prijedor.
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did apologise for making the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: It just wasn't reflected in the record, Your Honour.
3 It just seemed to read through on that line in the transcript.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think now it's correct. What about the
5 admission into evidence? Objections?
6 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, we do actually object to the document
7 because it's broken down and it seems to be, although it's on one page
8 identified as S126B, there's a middle portion that's in Cyrillic text. We
9 would like to see the original and see what it came in the form.
10 Secondly, we would like to object to the witness and no one laying a
11 foundation on the signature of the individual. There seems to be three
12 separate signatures, obviously we know there's three different
13 individuals. The other objection on the second half involves a date that
14 is beyond the dates of the indictment of April through September 1992. So
15 we have an objection on relevance to that. Those would be our comments at
16 this point, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Before a decision, it seems to be
18 appropriate that the Office of the Prosecutor goes into some details of
19 this document, how the witness received the document and so on.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. And actually our interests is only the
21 top document, but both are on one page. Your Honour, I think out of
22 caution the address that was read out of the witness should be redacted
23 from the transcript. It was on the document.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: No objection, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The address may be redacted. But possibly, the
1 witness could explain -- once again, where and when precisely he received
2 the first document under which circumstances, and whether or not he still
3 has the original available.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN:
5 Q. Doctor, is it correct that this is a photocopy of two separate
7 A. Yes. That's correct.
8 Q. And were these documents, or this copy, given by you to some
9 investigators from the Tribunal?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The two documents are obviously from two separate years. Is that
12 correct? You received them on separate occasions?
13 A. That's correct. That's correct, yes. I don't know how it came
14 about that both documents were photocopied on one sheet of paper. But the
15 dates are different, and they were issued in different circumstances. The
16 one on the top was issued in the summer of 1992 on my release from the
17 camp when I was given the certificate of release from the camp. I was
18 issued these two documents on the same day. The one on the bottom half of
19 the page is in 1995, when I was already working in Merhamet, and that was
20 my work obligation. So I did not have to go to the front line and perform
21 my work obligation there. This was issued then. They have nothing to do
22 with each other, these two documents, except that they are both issued in
23 the same name. Their purpose was different. One was permission to move
24 around the town, and the other is a certificate about my work obligation.
25 Q. One question on the document regarding permission for movement,
1 did you receive more than one of these documents during the summer of
3 A. I don't know whether it was in 1992, but on several occasions, I
4 was called to report in a certain place because, as you can see, these
5 documents have an expiry date, and then a new one has to be issued. I
6 think the purpose was to count us and to have a register of all the people
7 in Prijedor. All the documents were issued for only rather short periods
8 of time. And the form of the documents differed. Sometimes they were
9 small cards. Sometimes there was a printed form like this one. And they
10 were issued on several occasions, but I can't remember at what intervals.
11 His Honour asked me, and I can tell you that I do have the
12 originals but I didn't bring them with me. I didn't think it was
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But it is your testimony that the original where
15 we can see now photocopy of only the first part of the document, that was
16 a document permission to move around, that you got and had to carry along
17 with you. Right?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then, this, only the second -- only the first
20 part of the document, the permission to move around, is admitted into
21 evidence as S126B.
22 MR. KOUMJIAN:
23 Q. Doctor, after your release -- does Your Honour want me to proceed,
24 or would you like to take the break?
25 Doctor, after your release, what did you do?
1 A. When I was released from the camp and given this piece of paper
2 saying that I had been arrested by mistake and that there was no reason to
3 investigate me any further, I felt safer somehow because I felt as if I
4 had passed some sort of test and that I was no longer going to be
5 persecuted. So I remained in Prijedor, even though with hindsight I see
6 that my decision was very naive. However, fortunately, it ended well.
7 The time I had spent in Omarska, well, I thought that was over. It was
8 all over. But it wasn't like that. I did survive, however. But at any
9 time, anyone could have entered my house, killed me, or looted the house.
10 However, at the time, I naively trusted that everything was all right now
11 and that this paper was a sort of guarantee that I could remain in
12 Prijedor and go on living there.
13 Q. Were you able to work, or did you stay at home?
14 A. I wasn't able to work. As I told you, on the 1st of July, I was
15 dismissed from work, and I didn't work any more.
16 Q. When did you begin working for Merhamet?
17 A. It was in 1994 when I managed to send my two sons out of Prijedor.
18 I managed to send them to Croatia with a convoy from Banja Luka. Even
19 before that, there had been pressure from the representatives of Merhamet
20 in Banja Luka for me to start work as a doctor, because the Muslims in
21 Prijedor had no one to go to. The existing institutions, if they -- very
22 often they were not treated well or provided with adequate service or they
23 were afraid to leave their houses. There was, therefore, an initiative to
24 provide health care for them through this charity organisation. There
25 were several nurses there. I was one of the few doctors left in Prijedor.
1 There were also two other doctors who were women, but they were afraid to
2 move around because they had small children whom they didn't want to
3 leave. And I was under pressure to start working as a doctor in Merhamet.
4 I had two sons going to school. And Merhamet was not viewed with favour
5 by the existing authorities. However, it was established, because of
6 pressure from international organisations. The people working in Merhamet
7 were somehow marked, and I was afraid that my children might suffer some
8 consequences. That's why I did not join Merhamet until I had sent my
9 children away.
10 When they went to Croatia, I was less afraid. And then I joined
11 Merhamet. That was in 1994.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: Is it an appropriate time for a break?
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stands adjourned until 5.40.
14 --- Recess taken at 5.07 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 5.48 p.m.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
17 Please continue.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN:
19 Q. Doctor, you mentioned you worked for Merhamet in 1994. I want to
20 cover this briefly. In 1995, were you arrested while working for
22 A. Yes, I was. In 1995, I think in January, I was in a convoy headed
23 for Zagreb to get food for the Merhamet and medicine for the medical
24 department of the Merhamet, for the medical unit. There were four freight
25 vehicles with Merhamet officials. We went to Zagreb. And on the way back
1 from Zagreb, I think we were around seven people. As soon as we got home,
2 I only had enough time to take a shower before I was taken away by the
3 police and taken to the MUP building in Prijedor. As the duty officer
4 told us, this had been ordered by Simo Drljaca. No one asked us any
5 questions, nor were we interrogated for the whole night. We just spent
6 the night in the hall of the police building, the police station in
8 The next day at 7.00 in the morning, Simo Drljaca came to work.
9 He looked at us because he knew me. He just gave me a fleeting look, and
10 then he walked upstairs. We stayed where we were. People, police
11 officials, were coming to work. People came to get certificates and
12 different documents issued. Our presence there was not really conspicuous
13 because we might as well have been one of those people who came there to
14 get documents. Around 11.00 Simo Drljaca came down the stairs from his
15 office, and he saw me sitting opposite him. And he spoke to me. I was
16 sitting there. He said: "What are you doing here? What are you waiting
17 for?" I shrugged my shoulders and I said: "I don't even know myself."
18 After a while, I'm not sure whether it was due to his intervention, he
19 entered the room where the other police officers were. We were released
20 and free to go home. Only Adil Solo stayed in the police station and the
21 rest of us were released after 10.00.
22 Q. Was that Adil Solo who was the vice-president, I believe, of
24 A. Yes, he was the vice-president of the Merhamet and an activist,
25 too. He is also a religious official. He is a hodza, as we call them.
1 So he was there in his capacity as a hodza also.
2 Q. Did you leave Prijedor municipality later that year, in 1995? And
3 can you briefly describe the circumstances that led to you leaving
5 A. Yes. In 1995, in October, in early October of 1995, I was forced
6 to leave Prijedor. It was not of my own free will. I was expelled from
7 my house. At 3.30 in the morning, the police came knocking. They were
8 wearing Republika Srpska police uniforms. I knew two of the policemen who
9 came. One of them was called Mudrinijic, and the other was Zoran
10 Milojica. I don't know his first name. There were two other police
11 officers with them. I think they were police officers. But probably from
12 towns that had been liberated by the BH Army. Perhaps Petrovac or Kljuc
13 or another town like that. They all came to Prijedor after that. There
14 was a large number of refugees from Petrovac, Kljuc, in Prijedor. And
15 among these refugees, there were some police officers.
16 We were given half an hour to pack. And as the police officer put
17 it we would be free to go to a democracy, as he said. I'm not sure what
18 he meant. My wife was with me, and my mother, too, as well as my wife's
19 parents, her father and mother. We packed whatever we could, in the brief
20 time that we had been given. There was a van waiting outside the
21 building. We were taken to a huge parking lot outside the town's stadium
22 in Prijedor. We stayed until the next day at 3.00 in the afternoon.
23 Occasionally, other people who were deported like us would arrive there.
24 But in the afternoon hours, there was also a large number of people who
25 had applied to the ICRC to leave Prijedor, to the Red Cross. But there
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 was some sort of a bottleneck there, so there were lots of people who
2 wanted to leave but couldn't leave. And there were people who wanted to
3 leave and applied to leave, and those who were not willing to leave but
4 were deported and expelled. The convoy was set up around 3.00 in the
5 afternoon and set out for Banja Luka. We reached Banja Luka and set out
6 down the road across Borje. It's the name of a mountain, in the direction
7 of Teslic. We stopped a couple of times along the road. We were advised
8 not to leave the bus, not to show ourselves outside. Every bus was
9 escorted. There were persons who were escorting each of the buses who
10 were in charge of seeing to it that no one left the buses when the buses
12 We reached Teslic. Again, the buses were shut. Again, the
13 waiting. The escort person would leave the bus. They probably went out
14 to have dinner, because it was getting dark. We spent more than one hour
15 there, and we didn't know where we were going or what we could do. Then
16 we drove down mountain roads for an hour maybe. We passed by a building
17 with many police officers in it that must have been some sort of a forward
18 command post or some sort of a police station on the ground. We stopped
19 there, too. They came in and out. And then we continued very briefly,
20 and then the bus was stopped again and we were ordered to leave the bus
21 and take our things with us and to walk from there on. The path we took
22 led first past a group of policemen who happened to be there. They were
23 arrogant. They yelled at us. They had no scruples. They took our bags.
24 They asked for money. They would take a young girl and start taking her
25 towards the woods in full view of her parents, threatening them. In these
1 cases, the parents would obviously give away whatever money they had left.
2 A man walked up to me. He obviously saw that I was quite a stout
3 and strong man, and he told me: "You're good for digging the trenches.
4 We're not letting you go. But if you give me a hundred deutschmarks we
5 will let you go." Of course, I did have that and I gave it to him. Even
6 if he had asked for a thousand deutschmarks I would have given it to him.
7 I used to joke later on that he was quite cheap, so he let me go. I
8 carried my mother's luggage and my wife's luggage and everyone's luggage,
9 and we passed a makeshift bridge. It was put together with planks. So
10 even in a normal situation, a healthy strong man should be careful when
11 crossing that sort of bridge. And it was dark, and it was slippery. So
12 some people fell down from the makeshift bridge into the creek, and then
13 got up to continue walking. My wife's relative hurt his knee because he
14 hit his knee against something there, and the injury was so bad that he
15 ended up in a hospital. There was another thing. One of the things they
16 made us do was take off our watches. It's some sort of a routine thing,
17 but the watch comes off easily because when someone takes it from you, you
18 don't even notice. And they took all our packages and parcels. They just
19 heaped them on one side of the road and said they would look through them
20 later. And they blocked the road and told us: "On one side there is the
21 creek. The other side of the road is mine, so you can't go there." And
22 then they laid an obstacle across the road. It was a big -- it was not
23 really a piece of wood or a branch. It was the whole limb of a tree
24 placed on the road so that the branches faced in the direction of the
25 creek and the narrow part was pointing to the hill. So you needed to be
1 very physically able to get past it with all the luggage you were carrying
2 on your back.
3 When I managed to get across it, there was an elderly woman from
4 Prijedor who had both her legs amputated at her hips. So she was also
5 made to face an obstacle like this. And there was no way she could bend
6 or be physically able enough to get past this sort of obstacle. So we
7 helped her and carried her to get her across. So there were other cases
8 like this. The path we had to walk was muddy from the rain or from
9 humidity. It was soft mud. Everyone's shoes were wet. Everyone was
10 soaking wet, and we continued for about seven or eight kilometres until we
11 reached the BH Army positions where we were received and transported
12 further on by buses and by cars. Some were taken to Travnik. Some to
14 Q. Thank you. Going back to 1992 after you were released from
15 Omarska, during the time in 1992 that you spent at your house, did you
16 ever hear any explosions?
17 A. Yes, I did. They were quite frequent explosions, especially at
18 night. Not so much during the day. But as soon as it would get dark,
19 there were explosions until early in the morning. It was quite strange if
20 there weren't any explosions during the night. There was a shell almost
21 every night, hitting one of the houses or the buildings there. Some cars
22 were shelled, too, but I can't really say that there were many cars around
23 because all the Muslim cars were taken, had been taken from their owners.
24 Mostly Muslim houses were attacked.
25 Q. So you were able to determine when you saw the houses the next day
1 that these were houses that had belonged to Bosniaks?
2 A. Yes. We knew it. Those were neighbours. It was clear that those
3 were mostly Muslim houses. And this was one of the ways to put pressure
4 on people to leave their houses, to go away. Those whose houses were
5 damaged had to leave, and the neighbours of that person would just also
6 leave because they were afraid. So if only one street was shelled,
7 several families would immediately leave their street for fear that the
8 same thing might happen to them, too.
9 Q. Did you see any mosques or churches destroyed in Prijedor during
11 A. Yes, I did. All the mosques in the Prijedor town area were
12 destroyed. The mosque at Puharska. My part of town is also
13 territorially part of that district, in terms of religious services. It
14 was pulled down in late August. That was on the same day as an orthodox
15 holiday. They call it Gospojna. Velika and Mala Gospojna. I'm not sure
16 which holiday that was. Although I do know the Orthodox saints. I do
17 know about them, but I can't remember.
18 About five minutes after the mosque in Puharska had been
19 destroyed, a Catholic church nearby in Prijedor was also destroyed. That
20 is -- that was perhaps a hundred metres from my house. The mosque was not
21 much further either, but it was a bit further away than the church. There
22 were explosions all around. So many of the surrounding houses were
23 destroyed, the windows were broken, smashed. So when the mosque was
24 destroyed, the adjacent house was destroyed by the same explosion. And a
25 husband and wife who spent the night in that house were killed on that
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I do have a map that was prepared by
3 my office that I'd like, at this time, to show to the witness. I would
4 indicate that this shows certain religious institutions that are named in
5 our indictment, and they are numbered. The pictures are numbered
6 according to the numbers in our indictment. I think for purposes of
7 proof, it will be very helpful to all the parties to have this particular
8 document to understand which institutions we're talking about and how they
9 relate to the particular institution enumerated in the indictment.
10 So the Roman numerals on the photographs are the same Roman
11 numerals that appear on the paragraph of religious destruction in the
12 indictment. I would like, with Your Honours' permission, to ask this
13 witness to look at the photographs number 10 and 11.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we first of all, for the record, have this
15 document as provisional 127.
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: If the Defence doesn't have a copy, they can have
18 MR. OSTOJIC: We do have. Thank you.
19 MR. KOUMJIAN:
20 Q. Doctor, I'd just like you to look at photographs number 10 and 11.
21 Do you recognise -- tell me if you can or cannot recognise the areas
22 depicted. I'm talking about the upper right of the exhibit.
23 A. Marked with Roman number 10?
24 Q. Yes. First number 10.
25 A. Here, you can only see the area where the church used to be, but I
1 can't see the church there. There was a church there, but it was
2 destroyed. And number 11 was also a place. It's still the same. There
3 are only the ruins of the Puharska mosque that was destroyed. What I just
4 told you about. But where the Catholic church used to be, there's nothing
5 there now. I know Prijedor well enough to say that.
6 Q. Is it correct that those two photographs, 10 and 11 that you just
7 talked about, are the same church and mosque that you referred to earlier
8 in your testimony as being destroyed? Is that correct, or not?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. Thank you. Are you aware if there was a mosque in Stari Grad
11 before the conflict?
12 A. Yes, there was one.
13 Q. Did you see that mosque or see Stari Grad after May 30th, 1992?
14 A. Not immediately after, because I couldn't move about that area.
15 It was only later that I had a chance to see. But at the moment, when it
16 was destroyed, and for a brief period of time immediately after that
17 period, I couldn't see it just because I couldn't access the area.
18 Q. Was that mosque in Stari Grad destroyed in 1992, to your
20 A. Yes, it was.
21 Q. Do you see the area where that mosque was depicted in any of the
22 photographs, and if so, can you tell us the number on the photograph? And
23 if you're unsure, please tell us that.
24 A. I'm sure. It's photograph number 6. You could see -- you can see
25 there an empty meadow where the mosque used to be. And in the background,
1 you can see houses that have been reconstructed. But without these
2 houses, it would be difficult to say really because it's just a meadow.
3 But the houses that are being built there now prove that this indeed is
4 the scene.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm finished with that diagram.
7 Q. Sir, I'm interested whether you were aware of other crimes that
8 were occurring in Prijedor without people being arrested or any
9 investigation? Were you aware of people committing crimes openly without
10 being arrested or punished for those crimes?
11 A. Yes. There were cases where crimes had been committed, but the
12 perpetrators were not identified. And there were other cases where, as
13 you have said, crimes had been openly committed. And everyone knew who it
14 had been, but the perpetrator was never punished.
15 Q. Did you hear about a particular crime that occurred in the
16 hospital that was widely discussed?
17 A. Yes, I did. At the hospital, one of these perpetrators broke into
18 the hospital and there was a doctor who was carrying out an operation on
19 an injured man. And this man who broke in came into the hospital
20 following the man who was operated and killed this person on the surgical
21 table. We are talking about a man called Zigic. And the doctor who was
22 in charge was Mirza Bresic.
23 Q. Do you know the ethnicity of the person who was killed on the
24 operating table?
25 A. He was a Muslim. He was an accomplice of the perpetrator. They
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 were both taxi drivers. His name was Omer Karadzic. They used to work
2 together for a while, driving taxis. And for some reason Zigic found it
3 necessary to try to kill him outside his own house. But when he failed
4 and when they took the injured man to the hospital, he finished the job in
5 the hospital. As far as I know, he was never punished. He just continued
6 to work.
7 Q. After you were released from the Omarska camp, did you ever learn
8 through other people that Dr. Stakic had been talking about how you were
10 A. Yes. From a source I would not like to name, I found out that in
11 some quarters, Dr. Stakic said that I had offered a bribe of 50.000 German
12 mark to someone in the Omarska camp, and that was the reason why I had
13 been released. First of all, I never gave this sort of money to anyone.
14 And secondly, I don't know what the point of the whole story about the
15 bribe was.
16 Q. While you were in the Omarska camp, Doctor, did you see other
17 colleagues, medical professionals, that you knew?
18 A. Yes, I did. There were a number of my colleagues in the Omarska
19 camp. I have already referred to Dr. Esad Sadikovic, a throat, nose, and
20 ear specialist. I contacted him when we were both in the camp. He even
21 proposed, having realised that I was respected and privileged in some way
22 by the guards, that they were not expecting the same sort of behaviour
23 from me as they did from the others, he proposed to me that the two of us
24 should freely visit all the different sections of the camp and offer
25 medical assistance to those who were injured. This request or plan was
1 never carried out because I was released in the meantime.
2 Another doctor I saw there was Dr. Osman Mahmuljin, a man I was
3 surprised to see in such bad shape. He was the quartermaster's assistant
4 in the hospital. When the situation was still normal, he was a strong
5 man, slightly conceited, perhaps I should even say arrogant. He always
6 emphasised his own alleged superiority over everyone else, including me.
7 But when I saw him in the camp, he spoke to me as if addressing a parent.
8 He complained about some banality. He told me: "Ibro, I'm running a
9 fever. I'm sick. I need help." And his voice was that of a small child,
10 talking to a parent, asking for help. I knew this man. I felt his skin,
11 and I said: "Well, you're not running a fever." His arm had been broken,
12 and he probably had been tortured, so the way he felt was probably a
13 consequence of the treatment that he had undergone.
14 There was also Dr. Esad [as interpreted] Begic there. I didn't
15 know him so well as the first two I've mentioned. There was also Dr.
16 Rufad Suljanovic, a general practitioner. There was Dr. Habiba Harambasic,
17 called Biba, the dentist. So she was a woman inmate. There was Dr. Sead
18 Curak. My colleague. Then there was also earlier Dr. Zeljko Sikora, a
19 Croat by nationality, a physiologist. There is Dr. Jusuf Pasic, a general
20 practitioner from Kozarac who had worked for many years in Kozarac. He
21 was a living legend respected by everyone, not only people from Kozarac,
22 but also Serbs who lived in the area. He was their favorite doctor.
23 I'm not sure that's all, but that's more or less what I could say
24 about the doctors I saw in the Omarska camp.
25 Q. Just to clarify, the name of Dr. Begic, his first name, is Esad or
2 A. Enes. Enes. It could either be Enes or Enez, and as far as I
3 know his first name was Enez.
4 Q. And forgive me, but did you mention Dr. Rufad Suljanovic?
5 A. Rufad Suljanovic. Yes, I did mention him.
6 Q. Doctor, can you tell us what you know about the fate of Dr. Esad
7 Sadikovic, Osman Mahmuljin, Zeljko Sikora, Enez Begic, Jusuf Pasic, and
8 Rufad Suljanovic?
9 A. I know that they are not around, that they never came out of the
10 camp and they are not alive. But what exactly happened to them, I
11 couldn't say. I can't say anything about the precise circumstances of
12 their death.
13 Q. You told us earlier that the medical community in Prijedor was
14 intermingled and they knew each other. Based upon your knowledge of the
15 medical community, do you believe that Dr. Stakic was familiar or knew any
16 of these individuals that you've just named?
17 A. I think he knew most of them. I don't know about all of them. He
18 would know that. But working in Prijedor and in Omarska and having the
19 usual kinds of contacts, I think he would have known most of those
20 doctors, especially Sadikovic, Mahmuljin, and probably Dr. Jusuf Pasic
21 because they were specialists, and Dr. Pasic worked in Kozarac.
22 Q. Thank you, Doctor, for your testimony. One final question:
23 You've mentioned several times that you felt -- you feel now that you were
24 somewhat naive back in 1992 when these events were occurring. Looking
25 back now ten years later, can you tell us your impression of whether these
1 events that you witnessed were random events or whether you believe now
2 that they were part of a broader policy or plan?
3 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, we believe that this is speculation. So
4 we object to this question.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think if the question could be rephrased and
6 include the question whether or not there is a certain knowledge and basis
7 of facts for an answer, that would be correct.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Let me try to rephrase it and Your Honour can tell
10 Q. Doctor, can you tell us now why you believe you were naive in
11 1992? What has happened, or what are you aware of, that makes you think
12 now that you were naive back then?
13 A. Well, the fact -- I already said at the beginning that when
14 overnight there was this peaceful takeover in Prijedor, I thought that it
15 was something that had taken place in the heads of a group of ambitious
16 people and that it would not last long. Even when the second event
17 happened, I thought, "well, this is an isolated event." It's something
18 perpetrated by a small group of people. However, as time went by, when
19 things happen and you see that they are terrible and you think they can't
20 get any worse, and then they do get worse, you see that it's not
21 accidental, that it's not happening by chance, that it's part of a plan
22 that was drawn up somewhere and that is being gradually implemented step
23 by step, that a plan must have been drawn up somewhere and that it was
24 being implemented in various places and in various regions because if you
25 look at the way things happened, the Serbian autonomous regions that were
1 set up, and then there were attempts in the Prijedor itself on one
2 occasion, to publish a map dividing the town into a Serbian part and a
3 Muslim part which was unimaginable because there was simply no border like
4 that. But later on, it turned out that all of Bosnia was being divided in
5 this way. So all this led me to conclude that this was a premeditated
6 overall plan that was being implemented on the ground.
7 They were looking for excuses to start a conflict. Some sort of
8 attacks were mounted, a scenario was created in several places. And all
9 this leads me to conclude that none of it happened by chance. It's true
10 that I was naive, as it turned out, I was the most afraid when I found
11 myself in Sanski Most after the liberation when I looked back and saw what
12 sort of dire straits I had been in and how I could have lost my head. It
13 was only after the event. I don't know why I remained. It was probably a
14 wish to live in my hometown and to preserve what I had. It could have
15 cost me my life, but fortunately it didn't.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: This concludes my direct examination.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
19 Is it the understanding that it would be better to start the
20 cross-examination not today but tomorrow?
21 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. We just wanted to propose the same
22 thing to give Dr. Beglerbegovic a chance to rest until tomorrow. And we
23 could sort out our questions to have a speedy cross-examination.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. But we shouldn't conclude for today.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: I do have one question, with the Court's permission.
1 If I just may. In the transcript, the doctor mentioned that he cannot
2 mention a name in connection with a purported conversation with a third
3 individual of 50.000 German marks, just to put it in context. It happened
4 moments ago. If we can now maybe go into private session if it's allowed
5 or we will discover it tomorrow if the Court wishes, then maybe we could
6 get that name in private session and then redact and then maybe we could
7 move on to the other issues. It just seems to flow because it just
8 happened now. But whatever the Court wishes.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It forms part of the OTP's interrogation. Do
10 you want proceed?
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'd just as soon leave it to the Defence, but if
12 you'd like me to, I will.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. I think we should stay here in the
14 framework of the examination-in-chief. It's only fair that this would be
15 added. Therefore, we go now into private session just for a moment.
16 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let us make use of the time. And first of all,
14 we have to decide whether or not to admit into evidence Document
15 provisional S127. And without asking the Defence, the Bench decides that
16 this document will be not admitted into evidence. We already stated
17 earlier that there is no probative value at all with a document where
18 under the photos, we have the names of the building or the area. And
19 therefore, in future, we would expect to have these documents in a way
20 that it's really a recognition and not only a reading what everybody can
21 read be on the document. Therefore, no admission into evidence of this
23 May we then turn to that what was addressed in the beginning. We
24 still have open some documents from our last witness, Witness Q. And I
25 think it starts -- it started with S118. If you please, can recall what
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 document is what.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Document S118 is the name sheet of Witness Q. And
3 it has been admitted and marked confidential.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: S119, S120, and 121, these were the sketches
5 drawn by Witness Q. Objections?
6 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour, with the exception of one of them,
7 we do not object. On one of them which was with the initial, and I don't
8 want to give the initial out because it was the witness's initials, 3,
9 follow the initial, I don't have the documents, forgive me here. That one
10 which showed a photograph specifically in the centre of the page and it
11 showed that it was added that some bodies were exhumed in 1998. And I
12 purposefully asked the witness regarding that exhumation, it seemed that
13 she was in the area in 1998, but not for that exhumation. So it's our
14 belief that although it was written in English, that that was added on and
15 someone subsequently added that. Again, if the Registrar might just give
16 me those three exhibits, I might be able to direct the Court's attention
17 specifically to it.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I have it before me without seeing it.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, that's 120.
20 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 120, yes. But quoting from the top of my head,
22 I had the impression that there was no discrepancy between that what
23 actually you asked and the answer. I think it's not the most important
24 part of this exhibit. And yes, we are aware, and we can see it in
25 connection with your questions and the answers to this. Therefore, I
1 think it's only fair to admit these three documents formally, MD1, MD2,
2 MD3, as S119, 120, 121 into evidence.
3 Then it follows, we had two pictures ending with number 91. This
4 was S123-1. And ending with 96, S123-2.
5 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I'd ask that those two photographs
6 be put under seal as well, be admitted under seal because they are
7 photographs of the witness's residence.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right. Objections?
9 MR. OSTOJIC: No objection, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence under seal.
11 Then we have two pictures still from S30/6. This was S122-1 and
12 S122-2. Objections?
13 MR. OSTOJIC: My notes, Your Honour, forgive me, do not reflect
14 what those were.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If the registry could be so kind.
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: Would we be able to go into private session for
17 these exhibits, to give a description of these exhibits.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we can show it. Madam Registrar, do you
19 have those documents available? May the usher please bring the photos to
20 the Defence. You want also to have these documents under seal?
21 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: We do not have an objection, Your Honour. Thank
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence under seal.
25 Then we have the video, S30/6, the video of Trnopolje, which forms
1 part of a video already admitted under 92 bis. But as it's only a very
2 small section of this video, I would not have any problems to admit this
3 part as evidence. What is your --
4 MR. OSTOJIC: We do not have an objection, Your Honour, to that.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Then admitted into evidence, only this
6 part of the video, as S30/6.
7 And then, please, could you help us with S15-24, 25. What was it?
8 MS. SUTHERLAND: S15-24 is the photograph of the Zeger bridge with
9 Prijedor town in the background.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: From the one hand side and from the other?
11 MS. SUTHERLAND: S15-24 has the ERN 02033419.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And 3420 the other. Right?
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, taken from the opposite direction.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections?
15 MR. OSTOJIC: No objections, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence. For clarification,
17 S15-24 ending with 19, and S15-25 ending with 20.
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour --
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Anything else?
20 MS. SUTHERLAND: No other exhibits, but one other matter in
21 relation to that witness. She has agreed to testify in the Brdjanin/Talic
22 trial. And I would seek an order that her transcript can be released to
23 the Defence counsel in the Brdjanin/Talic trial under the same conditions
24 as in this case.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections?
1 MR. OSTOJIC: No, Your Honour. No objections.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Granted.
3 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then we can start a more less difficult exercise
5 for the remaining 20 minutes that we know what we have ahead us for
6 tomorrow. Starting with list number 2, I hope everybody has this list
7 available. It starts with which provisional number?
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: I believe that the first relevant one would be
9 S207, when I reviewed this list.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I would say for not confusing, we should stay in
11 the order of the list.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: 207, 65 ter. S64.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you have another list? Mine starts with 99.
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: You might have missed that one because it says
15 "Crisis Staff signed" and I just want the Defence to be on notice that I
16 believe that's the signature of the accused. It doesn't have his name
17 printed below it, but the signature appears to be --
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Slowly, please.
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes. S64, it's 65 ter number 207.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you have the same list? This is Exhibit
21 Number 54.
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm sorry. Sorry.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: List -- Exhibit Number 54, this is list 2. And
24 this starts with 65 ter number 99. Right?
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: That's the binder Ms. Karper just gave me begins
1 with that. Although I'm confused about the difference, but let's proceed.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then the first was, not to repeat always, may I
3 ask just for yes or no. And when there's a no, for an explanation from
4 the Defence. It's former 99, now 59A and B.
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: My understanding is we are only going over --
6 MR. OSTOJIC: Sorry. Your Honour I know we agreed in principle
7 that we were going to go over list 2. However, the clarification that I
8 received, or that I'm in agreement with, was that the OTP was going to
9 isolate or set forth which exact exhibits they wanted us to examine. So
10 although list 2 does start with 65 ter number 99, Exhibit, provisionally
11 identified as, S59A and B, there's no dispute I think by the OTP that
12 that's a document by a gentleman by the name of Branko Dzeric. I'm not
13 sure whether the Court is looking for us to either object to it or are we
14 going to proceed, based on our earlier Status Conference.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It has nothing to do. We come especially back
16 to those documents we discussed this morning. I only want to try not to
17 confuse this binder. And I do believe that the Prosecutor had something
18 in mind when tendering this document, if you could please explain.
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour is asking now do we want to move these
20 into evidence?
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: I didn't come here prepared to talk about that.
23 The documents on list 3, all of those --
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 2.
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: List 2, I haven't actually -- list 2 in reviewing
1 that, it actually was put together by somebody else on my team. There are
2 a few of those documents I know that I do not want to move into evidence.
3 We could go through those one by one. But I'd have to review them
4 sitting here. Right now, I don't have that list. All on list 3, we wish
5 to put into evidence. What I reviewed this afternoon was whether or not
6 looking for the signature of the accused.
7 We could go through these one by one, and I could --
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you can't give us immediately reason, then we
9 leave it open. And then we proceed to 158. This is the next one.
10 Apparently this is a document to be discussed in depth.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes. We would definitely be moving that into
12 evidence. It has been...
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We are aware there's no signature, but this
14 would be one document evidently where some comment may come or may not
16 MR. OSTOJIC: We object, and the basis of the objection is just
17 that. It's an unsigned document.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: I mean, that's our initial basis. But there are
20 other bases. It's a document that was seized specifically by an officer
21 who's also or was on the staff as a Prosecutor, Mr. Michael Keegan, it was
22 not as Mr. Inayat -- 65 ter number 69 -- testified, it was not something
23 done by an investigator who we typically coin as an independent
24 investigator to search documents. This is an investigator whose name will
25 come up, I anticipate, other testimony later in the trial. So we object
1 to this, and we're not accusing anyone of anything, but we find it odd
2 that there are signed documents and then unsigned documents and certain
3 individuals always seem to appear when there are unsigned documents and
4 they are the one who have seized them. We object to that document as
5 well. We would like to further question Mr. Inayat on some of these
6 documents. I know he only provided us with limited testimony -- and it
7 was my understanding he will be called back -- and just gave us an
8 overview of how the mechanism behind the office of the investigator works.
9 So based on that, we would object to the admission of that document.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You know the policy of this Trial Chamber, and
11 these documents are, of course, only admitted into evidence as three
12 sheets of paper, and we have to discuss later on whether or not there is a
13 probative value. And therefore, I appreciate your objections, but
14 nevertheless, these documents are admitted into evidence as 60A and 60B.
15 May we now turn to 172.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: Same objection, same basis, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence as 61A and B.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: Same objection, same basis, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence, 62A and B.
21 Then 204.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: Same objection, same bases, in addition, however,
23 this document I believe does not bear a date, and we're not quite sure
24 what relevance this document has, nor does the name -- nor is the name
25 legible on the Cyrillic-type script which has the last three numbers 928
1 of the exhibit.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any remarks in favour of this document?
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes. Many of the crimes that we've talked about
4 were carried out with the cooperation of buses from Autotransport
5 Prijedor. It's our contention that this bus company was working under the
6 direction, at times, of the Crisis Staff, of the authorities of the
7 civilian government of Prijedor. This document, in fact, proves that by
8 indicating that Autotransport is being paid from the municipal budget.
9 And specifically indicates using buses for the needs of the Crisis Staff
10 in July 1992.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you have any witness in the future
12 corroborating or assisting us for the identification of this document?
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Of the documents, I don't believe -- we don't have
14 many insider, or any that I know of, insider sources that are coming to
15 talk about SDS documents and their authenticity. What we can tell you
16 from this document, where it came from, it was seized, as Your Honour can
17 read from the list of Mr. Inayat, from the police station in Prijedor.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Probably we can come back with the assistance of
19 this witness later on to this document.
20 And until now, it has only very, very limited, little probative
21 value. But nevertheless, it may probably serve as a kind of indicia. The
22 Defence may come back to this, but it's now, for today, admitted into
23 evidence as 63A and B.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour. We do object to this document.
1 And we also, just for the record, would like to say that the document is
2 inconsistent with the documents that were provisionally admitted, and
3 ultimately admitted through one of the witnesses that testified which
4 recognised purportedly Dr. Stakic's signature in the Cyrillic script.
5 This one certainly doesn't match his signature. It does not have his
6 correct spelling of his name. It seems to just have his first name
7 spelled, and this is one of many. And I could list out, if the Court
8 wants, or we can just say, same objection, same basis. This is one of the
9 examples that we found, and we found three to five various or seemingly
10 various handwritings, although we're not handwriting experts either.
11 There are some that we will confirm were that of Dr. Stakic, but this one
12 in particular we have as with others an objection to on those grounds.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Being aware of these objections, and, of course,
14 we have to come back to this, nevertheless, the documents as such are
15 admitted into evidence as 64A and B.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: This document, not to confuse the record, so we
18 won't say same objection, but it's similar to the objections we initially
19 had in connection with the first 65 ter 69, exhibit S59 and those that
20 follow immediately. This document is unsigned. It really does not show
21 who it was given to, what relationship it has. So on those grounds, it
22 would object, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Also for the record, admitting this now into
24 evidence as 65A and B will give the Defence a fair chance to point out
25 whether or not, once again, probably false documents are on the market.
1 And yes, to the relevance --
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just to be --
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: -- Of these documents. Please.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: False documents may be on the market, but these are
5 documents seized from public institutions in Prijedor.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: From the Judges' point of view, everything is
7 open until we find out whether or not a document is a real document.
8 And the next document having the headline "authorisation," it's of
9 course a headline --
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't want that. I'm not moving that document
11 into evidence.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So then we have to strike out 212 from the list.
13 Just for clarification, does it serve any purposes of the Defence, this
15 MR. OSTOJIC: Only in relation to the Court's prior comments. And
16 quite frankly on that one, if we look at the B/C/S version of that
17 document, it's actually added, Dr. Stakic's name is added, and then it
18 identifies him as being purportedly with the Crisis Staff, and then
19 misspells "Krizni Stab" in Serbian by not using the proper mark on top of
20 the S. And this is also another example of how the signatures do not and
21 are inconsistent on some of these documents. And this is yet a second
22 example of that.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did I understand correctly that this document is
24 not tendered by the OTP?
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: Correct. For relevance reasons.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it tendered by the Defence?
2 MR. OSTOJIC: Not at this time, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then it's Document J4, right, in the order? J4A
4 and J4B.
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't have an objection to keeping the same
6 number, because I think it's going to be very confusing if it has an S
7 number and a J number.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No, no. It was only provisionally and I just
9 wanted to comment on this. We leave the order, not to confuse the entire
10 exercise, but it's stricken from the list and we don't have any document
11 called S66. We have to come back because other documents included here
12 are previously admitted into evidence.
13 Then 218. Same objections?
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Just that it's unsigned, Your Honour. Yes.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence, 67A and 67B.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: With respect to 219, Judge, we would adopt and
18 incorporate our previous objection and bases that were given with respect
19 to Exhibit Number S64 which had a 65 ter number of 207.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Observations by the OTP?
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: I think it's a highly relevant document, and it
22 bears the name of the accused as the person authorising this order.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We have to come back --
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: There's a signature there. And I'm not a
25 handwriting expert. We attribute even documents that may not -- well,
1 this one appears to be signed by the accused. But even documents that may
2 not have the signature of the accused, if they are issued in his name, we
3 do find him responsible. We allege that he's responsible for those
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Probably we have to come back when we discuss
6 the signatures later on. Admitted into evidence, 68A, 68B.
7 And 224.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Same objection and same basis as outlined with
9 respect to S68A and B and S64A and B, ter number 219 and ter number 207
10 respectfully. However, I'd only like to add one thing, if I may, to the
11 Court because it reaches a logical point, not just because of the time,
12 but the following documents, if I may, which are provisionally marked S69,
13 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, we would have the same
14 objection and the same comments and the same bases. Because it flows
15 logically. We can go each one, and I'm willing to do it for the Court,
16 but --
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's fine. Then we can proceed this way saying
18 the documents from -- where did you end?
19 MR. OSTOJIC: S81, which has the ter number 257.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 257, then in a package solution, the documents
21 225 to 257 are admitted into evidence with the provisional numbers S70A
22 and B until S81A and B. And this concludes our today's session because we
23 are through the list, too. And tomorrow in the afternoon, as mentioned,
24 we continue with list 3 and the comments, or possible comments, on
1 The trial stays adjourned --
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just to clarify. Is that the end of list 2? I
3 have list 2 going through 92.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Until today, it's a package solution. And we
5 have to take care. It's 7.01.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: I do have one question of the Court, if I may, of
7 the Court if you could just give us some guidance very quickly. We don't
8 generally object to the principle of asking witnesses any questions.
9 However, a witness who is designated as a fact witness, we think, should
10 be prohibited from giving opinion testimony as we have just seen, or at
11 least that I've seen here. By asking a witness - and I'm speaking quickly
12 and I apologise - whether or not now his impressions have changed and
13 whether or not it's a random or whether or not it is a widespread and
14 systematic and something that is concrete, which are fundamental elements
15 that only this Trial Chamber will conclude, I think it's unfair to the
16 Defence. I think it raises numerous objections to us. I'm sorry. The
17 witness, obviously being a gentleman and being a professional, we did not
18 want and refrained from interrupting.
19 I just want to know for the future if other fact witnesses will be
20 transposed at the end of their testimony and become expert witnesses. And
21 if that's the manner in which we're going to proceed, just that the same
22 leeway, if you can call it that, be given also to the Defence, that we
23 have fact witnesses that may or may not have been in the various detention
24 centres or camps, and that they will be allowed to give expert, in
25 essence, opinion testimony which is what this witness, I regrettably
1 believe, gave. And I don't think it's his position to give it. I don't
2 think he has the knowledge, the background, the information to give this
3 Court that type of testimony.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Also in the future, we will decided on a
5 case-to-case basis. And indeed, we all, Judges included, should refrain
6 in principle from these questions. But we have really to conclude for
7 today. Thank you.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'll save my response for tomorrow.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
11 7.02 p.m., to be reconvened on
12 Friday, the 7th day of June, 2002,
13 at 2.15 p.m.