1 Monday, 17 June 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 4.01 p.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. Good afternoon, everybody.
6 May we hear the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T,
8 the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the appearances. For the OTP,
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian
12 and Ann Sutherland assisted by Ruth Karper.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And for the Defence.
14 MR. LUKIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and
15 Mr. John Ostojic for the Defence.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
17 Unfortunately, we are not able to continue immediately with our
18 witness. But I learned, and I am quite sure, that nothing else will
19 happen that we can continue at 5.00, as scheduled, with the witness.
20 Nevertheless, we have numerous questions to resolve today. But
21 first of all, I want to invite the parties, are there any new observations
22 to be made? Okay.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Actually perhaps, if we have extra time this
24 afternoon, we could meet in Chambers briefly as a 65 ter.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's necessary, first of all, to discuss
1 the pending motions. There are two, one of the OTP. The third notice for
2 admission of transcript and statement pursuant to Rule 92 bis. The
3 Chamber is prepared, and it was said in the hearing of -- let me find
4 out -- of Monday, 10th of June, that it should be decided today. May I
5 hear the observations by the Defence as regards the six witnesses on this
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Thank you. On behalf
8 of the Defence, we have evaluated the statements and the transcripts
9 provided by the Office of the Prosecution and have an objection to 65 ter
10 number 36, dated July 16th, 2001, specifically described in the motion as
11 a 92 bis statement. I can elaborate with respect to that particular
12 witness, 65 ter number 36, but for the record, initially, I'd like to
13 state that we do not have an objection to the documents as identified in
14 the motion by the Prosecution under 65 ter number 20, which is the Omarska
15 transcript of that individual witness, taken on October 3rd and 4th of the
16 year 2000. Likewise, we do not have an objection to 65 ter number 32
17 described in the OTP motion as the Omarska transcript, dated June 7th,
18 2000. Moreover, we do not have an objection to Witness 65 ter number 42
19 and the description, as offered by the OTP in their motion, as a 92 bis
20 statement dated January 11th, 1996. We also have no objection to the ICTY
21 signed statement as described of Witness Number 16, date of statement:
22 October 9th, 2000. And finally, Your Honour, we do not have an objection
23 to Witness 65 ter Number 27 of a signed statement dated March 13th and
24 14th of the year 2000.
25 With respect to Witness 65 ter Number 36, we do have an objection
1 specifically because we believe that the witness's statements fall outside
2 the provisions required to be submitted as a 92 bis witness. There are
3 allegations or statements made in the statement which are conclusory,
4 which go to the heart of the issues as they appear in the fourth amended
5 revised indictment against Dr. Stakic. In light of that, we would ask the
6 Court to either prevent this witness live or reject the motion as it
7 relates to this witness or present the witness at the very least for
8 purposes of cross-examination on behalf of Dr. Stakic.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this. May we go through the
10 witness number by number. I have the impression your answer was detailed
11 and, to a certain extent, sophisticated. But to be quite clear, as
12 Witness Number 16, the Trial Chamber does not withdraw former observations
13 that they regard it, especially in view to the detailed fourth amended
14 indictment, that this witness should be heard either as a live witness or
15 by the means of a videoconference.
16 Is it the understanding of the Defence that, on the basis of the
17 written statements available, made available by the OTP, it is not
18 necessary to hear this witness, even not for the purposes of the
20 MR. OSTOJIC: As stated, Your Honour, with respect to Witness
21 Number 65 ter Number 16, we do not have an objection to merely the
22 submission of the ICTY's signed statement dated October 9th, 2000.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any additional comments from the OTP? To 65 ter
24 Number 20?
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: Number 20 or Number 36?
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No, 16 is already resolved. Now we are with 65
2 ter Number 20.
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: Number 20, we believe is a crime-based witness. I
4 don't believe there's an objection from the Defence to Number 20. They
5 were objecting to Number 36 --
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I just wanted to go through witness by witness.
7 Then the documents provided as regards Witness Number 20 are admitted
8 under Rule 92 bis.
9 What about 27? It's my understanding that there were no
10 objections at all by the Defence.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: That's correct, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then also these statements are introduced under
13 92 bis.
14 My understanding was there were no principal objections by the
15 Defence, as regards Witness 32, but the Trial Chamber doubts whether it
16 wouldn't be necessary to have some more information. First of all, on the
17 role of the Territorial Defence, one could conclude from the statements
18 before us that (redacted)
19 (redacted) and he can give us
20 some detailed descriptions on Omarska camp and that what happened to the
21 parents there. So therefore, the Chamber is not --
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: May I be heard on that, Your Honour. As to Number
23 32, this witness has testified. This witness testified -- I believe your
24 microphone is on. This witness testified about what he experienced, which
25 was that as a very young adult, (redacted)
4 (redacted). There's
5 nothing to be gained by making him come back and repeat that testimony we
6 feel, again. I spoke to this witness, Your Honour, personally, and his
7 wife. They had great difficulty recovering from the trauma of testifying.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We understand this point. Observations from
9 your side, taking into account once again these observations?
10 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, and I think, Your Honour, with respect to 65
11 ter witness number 32 we do not object that the transcript be introduced
12 as evidence, so long as it's in its whole, both the direct and
13 cross-examination questions, and other than that, we don't want to have
14 the witness exposed to any unnecessary further trauma that he may sustain
15 from either being questioned or recollecting on those events. So we have
16 no objection to it
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The statements of 65 ter witness number 32,
18 including the cross-examination is admitted under Rule 92 bis as well.
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, could I request a redaction from the
20 transcript of my argument because I gave some information that would
21 identify the witness. And also I believe at 16.10.38, Your Honour
22 indicated the position of the father of the witness.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I'm just signing this document.
24 Now, coming now to Witness 65 ter Number 36, and there were some
25 observations against the admission under 92 bis, and I want to recall that
1 the Trial Chamber, already in the past, has indicated that this should be
2 a witness, a witness to be heard, first of all as long as the killings in
3 the -- the alleged killings in the Benkovac barracks form still part of
4 the fourth amended indictment. And until now, we didn't hear any witness
5 on this issue. It could be Witness Number 42, but we can't have both
6 under 92 bis. So therefore, although here it's true what we stated as
7 regards Witness Number 16, the Trial Chamber invites the OTP either to
8 hear this witness under -- as a live witness or, and here I need some
9 other observations by the Defence, would the Defence agree that this
10 witness would be heard by the means of a videolink?
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. As in the past, the Defence
12 will cooperate in any way with the Trial Chamber's suggestions and with
13 any suggestions that the OTP may have with processing the witnesses,
14 whether live or through videolink. We would just like, as stated earlier,
15 to have an opportunity to cross-examine this witness, by the means
16 available and provided by the Court.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then, therefore, in principle, we should like to
18 hear this witness as a live witness. If not possible, by the means of a
20 Let's finally turn to 65 ter Number 42. And given that Number 36
21 is available now.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: As stated earlier, Your Honour, we do not have an
23 objection to the acceptance into evidence of Witness 65 ter number 42 and
24 its 92 bis statement dated January 11, 1996.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And you are aware of the fact that -- probably
1 I'm wrong -- but this is the only witness testifying about Serb attack,
2 the alleged Serb attack on the villages of Kevljani and Jakupovici?
3 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then the statement of 65 ter Witness Number 42
5 is admitted under Rule 92 bis. This concludes the discussion of the
6 motion of the OTP.
7 The other motion was the one by the Defence. And I have to ask
8 the OTP whether or not the OTP is prepared to respond, or does the OTP
9 regard it necessary to respond in writing?
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: We would like to do whatever Your Honours prefer.
11 We can respond orally or in writing.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please, if you are prepared, then do so.
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, it's rather a general motion, so it's
14 difficult to respond in concrete terms without having a particular
15 question in front of us. But speaking in general terms, our case against
16 the accused, as Your Honours have seen, is based upon, not his presence at
17 the scene of crimes, not -- we're not going to present evidence of a
18 direct order to commit murders, but our evidence, we're trying to show in
19 this case that in 1992, during the time that the accused was in a position
20 of great responsibility and described as the "number one man" in Prijedor,
21 events were taking place throughout the municipality on such a scale that
22 it was -- it would be impossible for a person in that position to take no
23 action, that if he was doing that, that by that, he was aiding and
24 abetting and furthering the scheme. Our position is that each of the
25 crimes discussed by the witnesses that come here and testify for, perhaps
1 a day or two, they are talking about what they experienced, and really
2 they are telling you about -- to use an American analogy, about individual
3 trees, and our case is the forest. We need Your Honours to see the entire
4 forest. But a witness can only come in and talk about a particular crime
5 and individual trees that they saw.
6 It's impossible for them to relate everything that they observed
7 throughout 1992 or the period of this indictment. Sometimes we ask a
8 witness, based upon their presence during that time period, about their
9 general impressions and observations about what was taking place. I think
10 that that can be a proper question in the proper context because witnesses
11 are telling you at that time about the forest, about how it was obvious to
12 anyone who was present at the scene that what was going on, for example,
13 was not individual crimes unrelated, but crimes that were taking place in
14 an organised and orchestrated fashion.
15 It's not our intent to have these witnesses answer questions as an
16 expert, but these are all people who experienced what happened in 1992.
17 All of us are trying to recreate what it was like back there ten years
18 ago, from a position far, far removed. And while we can get details about
19 individual incidents that happened, I think it's also helpful to get the
20 impression of someone who was present and lived through those events.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Any comments in response?
22 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
23 What I think the Court, respectfully, has heard from the Office of
24 the Prosecution is an argument that witnesses should be allowed to testify
25 on issues relating to matters of fact and observations. Our motion,
1 respectfully, goes well beyond that. Our motion goes to opinion testimony
2 which was previously undisclosed in violation of the rules that we must
3 adhere to here before the International Crimes Tribunal for the Former
4 Yugoslavia. Those rules specifically state that when a witness, despite
5 the fact that, in addition to having opinions, is also a fact witness,
6 must be disclosed as an opinion witness. And we, the Defence, should not
7 be surprised on the eve of trial, as it was with the current witness, Mr.
8 Sejmenovic, to get a written statement dated July 11th, 2002, and his
9 testimony commencing on June 12th, 2002. If we read those statements from
10 that witness in particular, and from others that are coming down the pipe
11 as we see them, it is a direct violation of that rule. Mr. Sejmenovic can
12 testify, and we invite him to testify about the events that he, himself
13 personally saw, experienced, and recollects. However, if we take the
14 events of his three prior sworn testimonies that he provided to the
15 Tribunal on three separate occasions, and his one prior written statement
16 given last year in 2001, it is impossible, and it is not practical, to see
17 that the witness that is provided here starts in its June 11th, 2002
18 statement by saying: "I have been given numerous documents to review,
19 immediately prior to my testimony." If the OTP can show me where in its
20 prior statement or in the three prior times that this witness has
21 testified before this Tribunal, where he was once mentioned that he has in
22 preparation reviewed any such documents or is offering any opinions close
23 to those that he highlights on page 2 of his June 11, 2002, statement.
24 In order to put it in better perspective and in context, this
25 witness was called as a witness in July of 1998 before a trial with the
1 defendant named Milan Kovacevic. Similarly, the indictment in this case
2 is against a member purportedly of the Crisis Staff. At that time, the
3 opinions were not solicited from this witness because he was a fact
4 witness. Now, because of some change, either in strategy or positioning,
5 they have decided to expand this witness's prior testimony and knowledge,
6 having shared with him documents which I hope I will be given latitude to
7 examine him on, which documents, et cetera, for purposes of forming
8 conclusory opinions that not only other experts will be formulating for
9 this Chamber, but also respectfully that this Chamber will be formulating
10 on its own based on the evidence and the documents. So our motion is not
11 just a general motion; it's specifically addressed to the problem that we
12 see, not only with this witness Mr. Sejmenovic, but with other witnesses
13 when the rules are quite clear, in our opinion crystal clear, as to what
14 the notice provisions, and obligations and duties by the OTP for giving
15 proper notice to the accused in order to ensure that he has a fair trial.
16 We respectfully think that those rules have been violated by virtue of the
17 witness statement that was provided to us on the eve of Mr. Sejmenovic's
18 testimony. Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May I just, for clarification, ask,
20 because reading very carefully your motion, I didn't really understand, is
21 this motion related to several witnesses, or to the testimony of
22 Mr. Sejmenovic only?
23 MR. OSTOJIC: When the motion, Your Honour, was quite honestly
24 initially drafted, it was to address what we believe is a general practice
25 that we didn't want to get ambushed during the testimony. Interestingly
1 enough, the timing of the motion could not have been better, in my
2 opinion, and it relates specifically to this witness now, because that's
3 the witness before us. We hope that the problem doesn't arise again. We
4 think that particularly, it's a most timely as it relates to
5 Mr. Sejmenovic. Because if we look through his statement on pages 2, and
6 specifically pages 3, there are clear, conclusory opinions based on his
7 review of these numerous documents." So if necessary, I'll revise our
8 motion so that it would be specific for Mr. Sejmenovic, but at the time
9 when it was initially drafted, it was -- since we saw from prior witnesses
10 in our opinion that some of their testimony seemed to be either borderline
11 opinion testimony or even beyond that borderline level which we felt
12 comfortable. And therefore, we decided to present that motion as a
13 general motion, but orally we're specifically insisting, respectfully,
14 that the motion apply to this witness Mr. Sejmenovic in light of his June
15 11th, 2002 statement.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But you're aware that the motion as it reads now
17 may be -- we haven't discussed it yet as a Bench -- may be not admissible
18 because being not concrete enough and leaving it open to which witnesses
19 it shall be related. And therefore, I think it would be preferable to
20 have a more concrete motion on Mr. Sejmenovic only, if you so want. Or,
21 to be more concrete. Otherwise probably, the Bench would have to say we
22 don't know what is the scope of application of your motion because you
23 mention only the words -- I quote from the top of my head -- "previous
24 witnesses" and leaving it open what is really the subject matter of the
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. We, we would orally, unless
2 the Court would like it in writing to amend and revise our motion so that
3 it specifically incorporates the arguments we presented to the Court today
4 to be limited, so that there's no doubt about it, to at least this
5 witness and when the time is ripe, we will obviously make a decision and
6 most likely if the issue arises again would file another motion and be
7 more specific with the witnesses in which we believe that go beyond what
8 has previously been identified as their testimony.
9 However, I'd like to only add one other point: It is difficult
10 for the Defence to anticipate that anyone will violate the rules that are
11 provided here. So we are not saying that the OTP has violated the rules
12 with any future witnesses, but we think that it's a motion that
13 necessarily would put all of us on guard with further having respect and
14 understanding of those rules and allowing the defendant to have a fair
15 trial by giving the proper notice. If proper notice was given of this
16 witness's opinions, we wouldn't be arguing this point here now. With
17 respect to future experts that they have, we have their opinions, and the
18 bases for those opinions. So we're not raising an objection for those
19 expert witnesses. I can, for the court, if it likes to elaborate on the
20 prior witnesses that we believe were borderline but I'd rather reserve
21 that right and bring it by way a of a written motion with the transcripts
22 attached as exhibits, comparing that to the prior documents or testimony
23 that were provided to us relating to the substance of their testimony.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I believe the best would be if you prepare a new
25 motion based on the concrete witness before us at present, and then we can
1 concentrate our response and our decision on this issue and, thereby,
2 hopefully facilitate the cooperation in future.
3 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just one observation: Part of the difficulties
5 that we face is due to the rather unique nature of this institution. Many
6 of the witnesses, particularly the witnesses from the Prijedor area, were
7 first interviewed back in about 1995, 1996 where they were asked for all
8 of their experiences during the war. Many of these statements have been
9 used in cases involving particular camps or statements involving
10 co-accused. It's always the case that when a witness comes to The Hague,
11 there are going to be more specific questions that the lawyer that's going
12 to present that witness has for the witness. We try to give the Defence
13 as much notice as possible, but providing proofing notes that, in this
14 case, Ms. Korner because she recognised that there were significant
15 additions by Mr. Sejmenovic and the importance of him as a witness went
16 the further step of getting a signed statement. But the reality is 65 ter
17 only requires a summary of the facts the witness is going to testify to,
18 and all of us are faced with the fact that we're always going to think of
19 and Your Honours are going to think of additional questions that haven't
20 been asked previously.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Right. I believe we should leave it for today,
22 and we expect a new motion substituting the motion before us and being
23 more concrete and more to the point. And because of the fundamental
24 question raised here, it will be then decided in writing.
25 The third question is now, was it possible for the OTP to present,
1 as it was stated the 10th of June, as regards all the documents related to
2 Dr. Stakic in person, be it a clip, newspaper, be it an unsigned document,
3 be it a signed document by whomsoever, was it possible to present this
4 document in the "most original version"?
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, what we have so far is collected those
6 documents that we believe have the signature of the accused on them that
7 have been admitted into evidence. There's an additional list of documents
8 that may be coming up later and documents that we believe the accused is
9 responsible for, for example, if it says "Crisis Staff" without a
10 signature. But we have in this binder the documents that were seized.
11 These are the originals from the evidence unit, which we could present to
12 the Defence counsel and the Court, of those documents with signatures that
13 we believe are the accused, that have been admitted into evidence to date.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Is it possible that during the next
15 break, the Defence is discussing this issue together with the accused?
16 Because it's also a fundamental right of the accused to have a look at
17 these documents in person. I don't think it's appropriate to do this in
18 our presence.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour. We agree. And we'll accomplish
20 that, hopefully.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
22 Therefore, I don't want to continue on the fourth issue, which, of
23 course, is a question of signatures, right now.
24 As indicated beforehand in the remaining time until 5.00, it is
25 for us to proceed with reading out a few documents. And I emphasise, with
1 a view to the booth, "a few documents" only, from the lists 2 and 3.
2 Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think the next would be 73
3 in the order we find in list 2. Right?
4 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
6 MR. LUKIC: May I be excused so I can bring those documents so we
7 can follow.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
9 Nevertheless, can we proceed. We are grateful to hear that it's
10 possible that the document will be read out in B/C/S, and we have it then
11 available in French and English as well.
12 Document S73. I think we can start now.
13 THE INTERPRETER OF THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Serbian
14 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Autonomous Region of Krajina, Prijedor
15 Municipality, Crisis Staff. Number 02-111-143/92. Date, the 6th of June,
17 Pursuant to Article 7 of the decision on the organisation and work
18 of the Prijedor Municipality Crisis Staff, at a session held on the 6th of
19 June, 1992, the Prijedor Municipality Crisis Staff, with regard to
20 supplies of flour and other food items for the population, issued the
21 following order:
22 "One, Regional staffs are to establish needs, compile lists, and
23 collect funds for the continuous supply of flour for the population in the
24 area. And submit a report to the secretary for economic affairs for
1 "Before collecting funds, regional staff commanders are to have
2 the directors of Zitopromet, original illegible, Itopromet, standardise
3 the retail price of flour. Purchases are not to exceed two sacks per
5 "Additionally, regional staff commanders are to establish the
6 needs for other basic food items [Oil, sugar, salt, fat, pasta] as well as
7 needs for items for personal hygiene [Detergent, soap, toothpaste, et
8 cetera] and submit a report to the secretariat for economic affairs in
9 order to consider the possibility of procuring these items.
10 "Two: This order enters into force on the day it is issued. And
11 the regional staffs, the commanders, and the secretariat for economic
12 affairs shall be responsible for its implementation.
13 Lower left corner: "Delivered to: One, all regional staff
14 commanders; two, secretary of the secretariat for economic affairs; three,
15 Zitopromet DP, the director; four, files."
16 Lower right corner: "Chairman of the Crisis Staff, Dr. Milomir
17 Stakic." Handwritten: "For." Then a signature and a stamp.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And then S74.
19 THE INTERPRETER OF THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Serbian
20 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Autonomous Region of Krajina, Prijedor
21 Municipality Crisis Staff. Number: 02-111-152/92. Date:" -- Below the
22 number, there is the date, "7th of June, 1992. Pursuant to Article 7 of
23 the decision on organisation and work of the Crisis Staff of the Prijedor
24 Municipality, the Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality, at its meeting of
25 the 7th of June, 1992, issued the following decision:
1 "On the destruction of buildings which have been damaged beyond
2 repair by combat activities:
3 "One, authorisation is given to the municipal secretariat for town
4 planning and housing and utility services, to undertake the measures
5 necessary to destroy the following buildings, which are impossible to
6 repair since the damage they suffered from combat activities is
7 irreparable according to the expert committee."
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do the parties agree that we can continue now on
9 point 2 without reading out the single buildings? I can see no
10 objections. Please continue with paragraph 2.
11 THE INTERPRETER OF THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] "Two: This
12 decision comes into force on the day it is issued, and the municipal
13 secretariat for town planning and housing and utility services shall be
14 responsible for its implementation."
15 Lower left corner: "Delivered to: One, municipal secretariat for
16 town planning and housing and utility services; two, archives."
17 Lower right corner: "President of the Crisis Staff, Dr. Milomir
18 Stakic." Added handwritten: "For." Signed and stamped.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In the English translation, it reads: "Signed
20 Dr. Kovac." Is it contested that this signature reads Dr. Kovac in an
21 abbreviated form?
22 MR. OSTOJIC: My apologies to the Court. I do not have that
23 document in the English translation before me to make any observation as
24 it relates to that.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You have it in the B/C/S version before you?
1 MR. OSTOJIC: We do not, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could the usher please present the B/C/S version
3 to the Defence.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, that's one of the documents, we're
5 talking about Number 73, I believe, that we do have --
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 74.
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: 74. 4308 is the ERN number? 4305, I'm sorry. I
8 have the original. And we believe it says "Za," "for," and then
9 Dr. Kovacevic, signature.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: It appears that it says "Za" and then Dr. Kovacevic,
12 and I'm not sure we're in a position to tell the Court who wrote those
13 words on that, and we just don't know because we haven't evaluated that
14 with any of our witnesses or experts relating to that. It could be any of
15 a number of witnesses who may or may not have written that.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So the positions of the two parties are quite
17 clear. Thank you for this.
18 May we now turn to Document S75.
19 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter Number 230, for the booth.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the OTP, is this document also
21 available in your new binder?
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes. And this is a signature that we believe is of
23 the accused.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. So then please start and read out
25 the document.
1 THE INTERPRETER OF THE REGISTRAR: "Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina, Autonomous Region of Krajina, Prijedor Municipality Crisis
4 "Pursuant to Article 7 on the decision and organisation and work
5 of the Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality, at a session held on the 7th
6 of June, 1992, the Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality adopted the
7 following decision:
8 "Article 1: All confiscated technical equipment and materiel and
9 other illegally acquired goods that have been seized by inspectors are
10 hereby declared the property of Prijedor Municipality.
11 "Article 2: The Crisis Staff shall decide on the use of the
12 technical equipment and materiel and other goods referred to in Article 1
13 of this decision.
14 "Article 3: This decision shall take effect on the day of its
16 "Number 02-111-149/92. Prijedor. Date: 7th of June, 1992."
17 Below: "To: One, regional staffs. Two, inspectorate. Three,
19 Lower right corner: "President of the Crisis Staff, Dr. Milomir
20 Stakic." Signed and stamped.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Before we turn to Document S76, I
22 have to ask the OTP whether or not they allude special importance to this
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: I have to get my copy back from the court reporter.
25 One moment.
1 No, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then we may turn immediately to
3 Document S77. Is there a need for another B/C/S version? Then please,
4 start reading out this document.
5 THE INTERPRETER OF THE REGISTRAR: "Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, the Autonomous Region of Krajina, Prijedor Municipality,
7 Crisis Staff. Number: 02-111-198/92. Date: The 16th of June, 1992.
8 "Pursuant to Articles 3 and 7 on the decision on the organization
9 of work of the Crisis Staff of Prijedor Municipality, the Crisis Staff of
10 Prijedor Municipality, at its session held on the 16th of June, 1993 [as
11 interpreted], and in connection with the methods of payment and catering
12 for the army and the police, adopted the following conclusion:
13 "One: Simo Drljaca, Ranko Travar and Radovan Rajlic are charged
14 with making a comprehensive review of the possibilities and said criteria,
15 and recommending to the Crisis Staff the manner of payment to, and
16 catering for, the army and the police in the Prijedor municipal area.
17 "Two: This conclusion comes into effect on the date of its
19 Lower right corner. "Sent to, one, the above-named. Two, files."
20 Lower left corner, president of the Crisis Staff, Milomir Stakic,
21 signed and stamped.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And then finally before our break,
23 the next document, that would be Document S78.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, just to go back, just for a moment on
25 the last document, in the transcript it indicated the date at 16.65, June
1 1993. I believe it's 1992.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It should read 1992. It's not contested. So
3 may we then, please, hear Document S78.
4 THE INTERPRETER OF THE REGISTRAR: "Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina, Autonomous Region of Krajina, Prijedor Municipality Crisis
6 Staff. Number 02-111-202/92. Date: 16th of June, 1992.
7 "At its meeting of the 16th of June, 1992, Prijedor Municipality
8 Crisis Staff, pursuant to Articles 3 and 7 of the decision on the
9 organisation and work of Prijedor municipal Crisis Staff issued the
10 following order, relating to the manner of requisitioning MTS, materiel
11 and technical equipment, and supplies, and the control thereof:
12 "Order: One, requisitioning of MTS and equipment for the needs of
13 the army, police, and other structures shall be carried out strictly by
14 order and at the request of municipal secretariat for people's defence.
15 "Two: Prijedor garrison command and the public security station
16 are hereby obliged to identify their requirements for MTS and supplies and
17 to submit them as per establishment to the municipal secretariat for
18 people's defence so that MTS and supplies, which have already been taken
19 by the army and police, may be legalised in keeping with their actual
21 "Three: Control over goods in storage and available MTS may be
22 exercised only by authorised persons/inspectors of the economy and social
23 affairs and the municipal revenue administration.
24 "Four: Directors of all enterprises, organisations and
25 associations are hereby obliged to inform the municipal Crisis Staff,
1 without delay and in writing, of any continuing unauthorised exercise of
2 control over, or requisitioning of, stored goods and MTS.
3 "Five: This order shall enter into force on the day it is
5 Lower left corner: "Sent to: One, the above-mentioned. Two,
7 Lower right corner: "President of the Crisis Staff, Dr. Milomir
8 Stakic." Signed and stamped.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Before we have our break now, it was
10 said that during the break, the Defence will have the possibility to
11 discuss the documents provided by the OTP with the accused. But
12 immediately after the break, we have to turn to the testimony of our
13 present witness. And after the hearing of today, I should like to see the
14 parties for a short meeting in my office, 5 minutes after the finalisation
15 of this hearing.
16 The trial stands adjourned until 5.25.
17 --- Recess taken at 5.00 p.m.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 --- On resuming at 5.26 p.m.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. Sometimes even in these
21 premises, surprises happen. And we can continue with the witness.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I was in fact here at 5 to 5.00, but I
23 am very grateful, Your Honour, for the extra time.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the Defence may be quite sure that just in
25 case they can or they run into difficulties of the same nature, we will
1 show the same patience no doubt. But please, start immediately.
2 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
3 WITNESS: MEVLUDIN SEJMENOVIC [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Examined by Ms. Korner: [Continued]
6 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, at the end of Thursday's session, you had just
7 dealt with effectively the attack on Kozarac and what happened to the
8 people there. What, in fact, did you do after the attack? Where did you
9 go? And I don't mean immediately afterwards because we dealt with that,
10 but in the ensuing days until you went to Trnopolje.
11 A. During several days afterwards, I joined the people who were
12 escaping. As I've already explained, for several days and on several
13 occasions, I moved between the Trnopolje area, through the village of
14 Sivci to the village of Hrnici, that is, to a place which is about half a
15 kilometre far from Kozarac. On the third day, I began to hide. And this
16 hiding went on for a couple of days.
17 Q. Now, I want to ask you what you witnessed during the time that you
18 were hiding. Did you see a number of operations being carried out by
19 Serbs in various villages?
20 A. I saw several such operations, the so-called cleansing of the
21 villages. They were looking for and arresting the extremists, and then
22 they were mopping up the villages which had been emptied of their
23 inhabitants during the operations. Considering the position in which I
24 was hiding, that was just on the borderline between three villages.
25 Q. I'd like you to have again the map you were looking at last
1 Thursday, please. I've forgotten what the number is. S146, thank you.
2 MS. KORNER: And I wonder if I could have a copy myself. Perhaps
3 we better have it on the ELMO. I think it's probably better on the ELMO.
4 Close enough for the witness to be able to see it.
5 Q. Can you just indicate roughly the area, by pointing on to the map,
6 where you were hidden those first couple of days.
7 A. I will show you quite accurately. This area here, between the
8 village of Hrnici, Mujkanovici, Jaskici, and Gornji Sivci. Here you can
9 see the village of Sivci. So, close above is the village of Gornji Sivci.
10 The area I'm pointing at now is the border line between these villages.
11 Operations were carried out in each of these villages, but also the area
12 which I was was covered by the operation, so that when the operation took
13 place, the village of Hrnici, also this area was covered. Then the
14 village of Mujkanovici and then the village of Gornji Sivci. Each time, I
15 could watch the actions taken place as part of the operations that were
16 being carried out.
17 Q. Right. What I'm going to ask you about, those operations. You
18 said earlier that they were looking for and arresting "the extremists."
19 What do you mean by the "extremists?"
20 A. During the very first operations, after the burning of Kozarac,
21 when the Serb army started to enter areas where the population was
22 concentrated, at first, they came in with the explanation that they were
23 only looking for extremists, that is, members of the SDA or people that
24 had weapons in their possession. However, the next step clearly
25 demonstrated that that wasn't true because they were arresting all men and
1 taking them away somewhere. At first, we didn't know where, but later on
2 we found out where. During each of the operations, they killed several
3 people. Almost as a rule, in a group of 30 houses, there would, as a rule
4 be two or three victims. People were killed in their houses, on the way
5 to their houses, or just outside their houses.
6 Q. The people who were killed, was that random killing or because
7 they tried to run away or tried in some way to resist?
8 A. Those were random killings. For example, in the village of Sivci,
9 two old men were killed and two women, as far as I can remember. In the
10 village of Hrnici, three men and one woman were killed. In the village of
11 Elezi, a number of men and women were killed, mostly old people. And so
12 in these waves of extermination, of cleansing the villages, there was no
13 selection. Those were random killings of civilians. And afterwards,
14 there were threats to the effect that whoever was found in their homes
15 would be killed. So it was for these reasons that people started moving
16 towards Trnopolje, as the Serb army had told them.
17 Q. You talked about "they," the Serbs, who do you mean by that? Was
18 this army or police, or a mixture of both?
19 A. I meant all of them. Very often, the units carrying out this
20 so-called ethnic cleansing were composed of JNA soldiers, soldiers we
21 could still recognise as JNA soldiers, soldiers from the Serbian Krajina
22 in Croatia, many soldiers and half-civilians who only had a military shirt
23 but wore plain trousers. These operations were carried out in a
24 coordinated way by all of them. So it was difficult to say whether it was
25 being done by the JNA, the police, or whoever. It was a mixture of all
1 these different factors.
2 Q. Now, did you, yourself, witness these events that you've
3 described, the killings and the rounding up and all the rest of it?
4 A. Whenever an operation took place, someone would usually escape.
5 So we got in touch with these people later on because we were hiding
6 together, and then those people would tell us what they had seen. We only
7 heard sounds of shooting as close as a hundred metres from our house and
8 as far as two kilometres, but not more than that. Very close to the place
9 where I was, a primary school teacher was killed, maybe three or four
10 hundred metres further down from the house where I was. And at
11 approximately the same distance in the village of Sivci, the old people
12 that I have referred to were killed, and they were buried the same evening
13 behind the houses in that village.
14 Q. So the events you described, you learned from people who came from
15 these places. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes. Both them and the people who had buried the bodies. As far
17 as the killings themselves are concerned, I did not watch the killings
18 personally, but I did watch the army escorting the captured civilians down
19 the road to Trnopolje. I watched this from close by on one occasion; and
20 on another occasion, I watched it from an abandoned house. On a third
21 occasion, I watched this through a hedge behind which I was, and the hedge
22 was very close to the road down which they were going. So these are the
23 things that I could see myself.
24 Q. The accounts that were given to you by the people who came from
25 these various places, were there any major differences in their
1 description of the, as you call it "cleansing" of their villages, or was
2 it all much the same?
3 A. No.
4 Q. There were no major differences?
5 A. There were hardly any differences. Maybe depending on the area,
6 there could have been differences, the area in which the village in
7 question was. Sometimes the army came down the local roads, and sometimes
8 they came across meadows. But the point was always to round up a couple
9 of houses, a hamlet, or a whole village, to start shooting at all sides at
10 once, and then the army would subsequently enter the village, separate the
11 men from the women, according to some logic that I couldn't understand,
12 they separated the men and took part of the men to Trnopolje and part of
13 them to Kozarac. They transported some of the men in vans. I did see a
14 small bus once, and some walked. That's what I saw.
15 Q. Now, how long did you remain hiding in this general area?
16 A. I remained in the area for about a month. As far as I can
17 remember, yes, about a month. While a number of people still remained
18 there, a number of civilians, so when no operations were taking place, and
19 then the cleansing operations, after a month, everyone was gone, and I was
20 alone in the area.
21 Q. I want to ask you about a number of documents that relate to the
22 events of May and June of 1992 in the Kozarac area.
23 MS. KORNER: Could we start by having a look, please, at an
24 article that was publiced in Kozarski Vjesnik. It's been marked with the
25 65 ter number 192. I'm sorry, it's Glas, I'm sorry, dated the 30th of
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could we please have the next number available.
3 MS. KORNER: Court exhibit number.
4 THE REGISTRAR: It would be Number S147.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
6 MS. KORNER: We can take the map off the ELMO now. Thank you very
7 much, usher. And perhaps, if we look at, on the ELMO, the English version
8 while Mr. Sejmenovic keeps the Bosnian language version.
9 Q. This is an article that was published in Glas, apparently on the
10 30th of May, 1992, and the headline, there's a number of articles, but
11 this one we can see though, was "Kozarac, the Serbian answer."
12 Were you able to -- did you actually see any newspapers at the
13 time, Mr. Sejmenovic, or not?
14 A. No, I had no opportunity to read any newspapers at that time.
15 Occasionally, I listened to the radio, but that was it. And only
16 occasionally. I did not read newspapers.
17 Q. All right.
18 A. If we're talking about the period in which I was hiding.
19 Q. Yes, I imagined that would be the case. This was an article
20 reporting on a press conference given by the president of the SDS regional
21 board, Radislav Vukic, and I think you've already told us you knew
22 Mr. Vukic. I want to deal where he said in this press conference about
23 Kozarac. He stated in about the third paragraph in the translation that
24 "Bosnia will never again about a unitary state because it must be divided
25 in three parts," called all Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina to join the
1 front ranks of the Serbian army and the police. He went on to say this:
2 "This is a defensive war and we must defend ourselves. We have always
3 played with the black pieces, but this does not mean that in future, we
4 will not apply the principle of reciprocity. All Muslims and Croats who
5 provide illegal weapons should hand them in. We guarantee peace because
6 we, the Krajina Serbs, are not extremists. We will not touch anybody, but
7 we will answer every shot with a barrage." What this answer looks like
8 has already been seen. Kozarac was liberated in three days..."
9 Now first, Mr. Sejmenovic, from what you saw and your dealings
10 with the SDS, do you agree with Mr. Vukic's assertion that this was a
11 defensive war in which the Serbs were defending themselves?
12 MR. OSTOJIC: Objection, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, please.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: First of all, this witness clearly stated that he
15 did not have any access to newspapers or any such documents. And
16 subsequent, although we can assume that the witness obviously did not, at
17 that time, have this particular article or document, so it would be far
18 afield for this witness to give us factual observations that he may have
19 experienced at the time or at any time shortly thereafter. Clearly this
20 is an attempt to elicit an opinion testimony from this witness ten years
21 later, applying what I believe are distorted facts that have not been
22 properly read into the record and have not been read into the record
23 completely by the OTP because there are sentences and words that precede
24 where the OTP sought to stop, namely that the SDA party was being --
25 admitting certain factors. If the witness is going to be given documents
1 this and asked to give an opinion, we ask that they provide us that in
2 written form first under the proper notice requirements, governing the
3 ICTY here. This witness was clear and unequivocal in his prior testimony
4 and statement that he did not have access to any such newspapers which, in
5 my opinion, respectfully, would include this one from the publication Glas
6 dated the May 30th, 1992.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask you, would you accept if the entire
8 article of this newspaper is read out, and then the question then reads as
9 follows: "Can you, on the basis of the facts and your own observations,
10 state whether or not the observations made in this article are correct
12 MR. OSTOJIC: Formally, I never like to take a position that's
13 contrary to the Court, so I'm hesitant somewhat. But quite frank --
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I'm just asking.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: I understand. And quite frankly, Your Honour, I
16 think that with all due respect it would lead to a greater dangers and
17 expose items that would necessitate an enormous length of time in cross
18 because it's not just on one matter, but it's also showing a Nexus by
19 Mr. Radislav Vukic which is the alleged person who made these comments
20 with Dr. Stakic in this case. What does this have to do with what
21 occurred from a man in Prijedor or from a man in Banja Luka, I should say,
22 and what difference does it make if this individual witness had read it
23 and gives us an opinion on it? And I say it respectfully with the witness
24 being here. This witness is not an expert, is not competent to give
25 expert testimony on this evidence. He can share with us if he believes,
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts. Pages 4715 to 4719.
1 in his opinion, from what he observed at that time whether it was a
2 defensive war or not. But to read the statement, and then to take the
3 words provided in an article that appeared in Glas on the 30th of May,
4 1992, goes far afield to what this gentleman here is testifying to.
5 Counsel could have asked him that question straight away and
6 didn't, but choose instead to incorporate it as a formal opinion witness,
7 and we object to that, and unfortunately I would like just the record to
8 reflect that we would like to have either a standing objection on that,
9 meaning for all questions, or if it's a matter of convenience for the
10 Court, or I am going to have to formally object to each and every question
11 that falls within what, I believe, is the scope of our prior oral motion
12 soon to be a written motion, provided to the Court in connection with this
13 very topic.
14 [Trial Chamber deliberates]
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The objection is dismissed. And nevertheless,
16 we would ask the OTP to concentrate on questions related to facts. But we
17 have also to observe that the OTP, for example, referred specifically to
18 the sentence: "Kozarac was liberated in three days." Apparently very
19 close to that what the witness's testimony -- is testifying on.
20 Please proceed.
21 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honour, can I just make a point. I know
22 Your Honour wants to get on, but Mr. Ostojic does have a point on this.
23 If he goes on getting up and objecting like this, we stop each time and
24 have the argument. Your Honour, and each time, we have the same argument
25 and each time I make the same response.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I tell you --
2 MS. KORNER: He just --
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I interrupt you. During your absence, we
4 decided that the Defence will file a motion substituting the former
5 motion, and then we'll get a decision in principle on this issue.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I know. I saw that. I read it when I
7 came into court. But what I mean is for this moment, can we take it, as
8 Mr. Ostojic says, he has got a standing objection to any questions that I
9 ask relating to documents he says is out of this witness's expertise.
10 Then we can get on quicker. That's all.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please proceed.
12 MS. KORNER: All right.
13 Q. Sorry, Mr. Sejmenovic. Where were we? What was I asking you?
15 Let's get back to this article. Yes, Mr. Vukic, the head of the
16 main board, SDS, in Banja Luka was saying that this was a defensive war.
17 Now, from what you saw in Kozarac and other places, and indeed from your
18 negotiations with the SDS, was that an accurate assertion?
19 A. That was an absolutely inaccurate assertion. I will like to say a
20 couple of words more about this to help you understand the overall
21 situation. Prior to the events in Prijedor, when the SDS arrested,
22 arrested men of military age in Bosanski Novi and proclaimed
23 Serbian -- the new Serbian government in Bosanski Novi, when the SDS took
24 power in Prijedor in festive radio broadcasts and in announcement toss the
25 citizens, they kept repeating that Prijedor was liberated as had happened
1 in Bosanski Novi. I have mentioned Bosanski Novi because there were no
2 war operations there. But the SDS proclaimed this liberation after they
3 had rounded up the men, gave them yellow ribbons to wear, took them to the
4 town stadium, and then expelled them or had them put in prison. So on
5 that day, they announced the liberation of the town. Now I'm returning to
6 the situation in Prijedor. Our main worry, and the aim of all our
7 endeavours, was to in no way let anyone think that we were the enemies of
8 the Serbian people. And we made great efforts to demonstrate this through
9 our behaviour. When the operations began, when Kozarac was burned down,
10 the first announcements on the radio were: "Victory has been won, Kozarac
11 has been liberated." So this vocabulary was used wherever Serbs could
12 succeed in their plans. So Vukic was not the first to say something like
13 this. At least I had heard it from other people before in a number of
14 places where Serbs were successful with their policies.
15 What Vukic and these other people share is their common origin in
16 the SDS. They were officials in the SDS. And he was not the first to say
17 something like this. You could hear this sort of sentence many times
18 before. Across the municipalities, on the Serb TV, broadcast from Banja
19 Luka and on different shows and programmes.
20 Q. All right. Well, I think you've answered the question I was going
21 to ask you about the next part, "Kozarac was liberated in three days."
22 And I'll read out for the purposes of Mr. Ostojic: "And in Sanski Most,
23 the SDA president himself publicly apologized and said that his party was
24 to blame for everything."
25 Whilst were dealing with that, do you recall the leader of the SDA
1 in Sanski Most apparently apologising and saying that his party was to
2 blame for everything?
3 A. I can't remember anything like that. But I suppose he must have
4 said something like that. I must have said it myself in the Omarska camp,
5 when I was interviewed by Serb journalists and the Serbian television. It
6 was a question of life and death.
7 Q. Okay. And then if we just turn, please, in the translation, to
8 one more sentence in this article, going back to Kozarac he said this: "A
9 large number of extremists have been captured in the fighting at Kozarac,
10 and other places in Krajina. But there are also a lot of women and
11 children, who the Serbs are trying to take care of. If at all possible,
12 we will try to exchange them for Serbs detained in Livno, Duvno, Derventa
13 Modrica, and Travnik." And then, "the AR Krajina War Staff formed an
14 agency for the exchange of prisoners, in which experts employed in the
15 government of Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina will work."
16 What did you see the Serbs, who were operating in Kozarac, doing
17 with the women and children?
18 A. They were sending the civilian population to Trnopolje. They said
19 that there was a zone there, secured by the Serbian army, and that
20 civilians, women, old people and men who were not extremists could go to
21 Trnopolje and that nothing would happen to them there. I am talking about
22 an announcement via the local radio. On the ground, things were
23 different. People were compelled to do things there, killed, and
24 threatened and expelled in the direction of Trnopolje. Later on, convoys
25 of civilians from other parts of Prijedor started arriving in Trnopolje.
1 And then a month or a month and a half later, the population was
2 transferred from Trnopolje, supposedly to the free area of Gracanica, the
3 BH army-controlled territory. And then via Banja Luka towards Travnik --
4 via Banja Luka and Vlasic towards Travnik. The Serb authorities did this
5 either by train and by freight train which would reach Trnopolje and would
6 be filled by civilians there. And later on, they started doing this,
7 using trucks and buses. I watched some of these operations myself. Both
8 while I was outside the camp and while I was in the camp.
9 Q. I'll come on back to the transport in a while.
10 MS. KORNER: Sorry. Your Honour, I should say, is that document
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections.
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour. We do object as to both
14 foundation and to relevance.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. We regard it necessary to have the
16 entire article admitted into evidence, also, first of all, to give the
17 Defence a chance during cross-examination to come back to other parts of
18 this entire document. Therefore, the English translation is admitted into
19 evidence as S147A, and from the B/C/S, we have the document ending with
20 the number 942. Only the upper part, the four left-hand columns,
21 including this article on Kozarac, admitted to this. And I ask the OTP,
22 is it necessary to have 943 admitted into evidence?
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think that was only to show the date
24 of the article, because otherwise it wasn't --
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We can read this on 942. And therefore admitted
1 into evidence as S147B only the article in the first four columns
2 including both boxed texts.
3 Please proceed.
4 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
5 Q. Now, whilst -- before you went to Trnopolje, did you hear about
6 any kind of attack on Prijedor town itself?
7 A. I did. And I also saw the smoke coming from the direction of
8 Prijedor. I heard some unofficial information on the attack on Prijedor,
9 the information which I heard from the people who were fleeing and who
10 were able to reach Prijedor from Kozarac, or the people who happened to be
11 in the area of Sivci.
12 Q. In that case, I'd like you, please, to look at another article,
13 this time from Kozarski Vjesnik. It is marked with the 64 ter number --
14 65 ter number I should say, 223. And it's an article dated the 5th of
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please be so kind and read out the
17 entire document, in order not to confuse.
18 MS. KORNER: I was going to, Your Honour, on this occasion.
19 Q. The article is dated the 5th of June, 1992 and is headed:
20 "Removing the Consequences of Attack."
21 And it states -- I'm sorry: "Subject: Attack on Prijedor." I
22 don't know if that appears in the B/C/S.
23 "At its meeting on Sunday evening, the Crisis Staff discussed the
24 current course of the operation aimed at disarming the Muslim
25 paramilitaries, and a number of problems related to it. Over the last few
1 days, the Crisis Staff has undertaken a number of measures to remove the
2 consequences of military operations, from clearing up the battlefield to
3 looking after the people who left their homes. The large-scale operation
4 proceeded successfully and continued yesterday in the local communes in
5 the towns -- in the town and outlying areas. In the town itself, the
6 consequences of attacks by the Muslim fundamentalists were being removed.
7 After their attack on the town, the army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia
8 and Herzegovina undertook the necessary measures to neutralise the effects
9 of their operations and defend the vital facilities, the town, and its
10 population. In street fighting, 16 defenders were killed and 16 were
11 wounded. The largest number of soldiers in the army of the Serbian
12 Republic of BH were killed by fire of an ambush laid overnight by the
13 paramilitaries. Others, perfidiously from the back and still others,
14 treacherously from the windows of apartment buildings. The losses on the
15 side of the attackers were far greater. Infiltrated groups have been
16 completely destroyed while individual snipers were still active on the
17 streets of Prijedor yesterday. The army launched an operation yesterday
18 to remove and neutralise the snipers, in which two soldiers were wounded.
19 At its meeting, the Crisis Staff also discussed problems of temporarily
20 displaced persons taking shelter in camps because of the war operations.
21 The Crisis Staff concluded that the operation to collect illegal weapons
22 should also continue in the town area. At present, all the necessary
23 steps are being taken to restore normal life to the town and outlying
25 Now, Mr. Sejmenovic, having read that article, what was the
1 situation that you understood was taking place from what you saw and from
2 the persons that you spoke to?
3 A. Prior to the attack on Kozarac, parts of the Territorial Defence,
4 which I spoke about, in Kozarac were elsewhere in the territory of
5 Prijedor, such as Ljubija, Hambarine, Rizvanovici, and Biscani. It is
6 true that they had fewer members, because it's not such a large area. But
7 they were organised officially as Territorial Defence there.
8 After the attack on Kozarac, all communication with those elements
9 of the Territorial Defence was severed. As it was stated in the article,
10 Kozarac was destroyed within three days, together with its population.
11 Those elements of the Territorial Defence in the other region of Prijedor
12 inhabited by non-Serb population were to a certain extent organised. When
13 we heard about the attack on Prijedor, and I said that we had heard about
14 it while we were there with the refugee column, we assumed that the
15 Territorial Defence from Hambarine, Rizvanovici, Brdo, or Ljubija, had
16 undertaken some kind of action, some kind of operation in Prijedor. Once
17 again, we heard various kinds of ultimatum over the radio, and we heard,
18 as it is stated in the article, that a certain number of soldiers had been
19 killed, but we did not hear about any civilian casualties. This was not
20 typically broadcast over the radio. Only soldiers who had been killed in
21 these street fights were mentioned.
22 The resistance was crushed in one day, and that was the end of the
23 resistance in the area of Prijedor, generally speaking. As for the
24 details regarding the manner in which it was carried out and the number of
25 people who took part, I don't know anything about that because we were,
1 practically speaking, completely isolated and found ourselves in a totally
2 different area of the municipality.
3 Q. And you said that the resistance was crushed in one day. Who did
4 you hear that from?
5 A. We heard that on the Serb radio.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'd ask for the admission of that
7 document into evidence, please.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: Same objections, Your Honour, and also that the
10 testimony relied solely on hearsay evidence.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The English version is admitted into evidence as
12 S148. But we have to take care, opposed to that what was read out, on
13 page 37, line 8, it reads: "And still others by gunfire from the windows
14 of apartment buildings."
15 As regards the B/C/S version, it's only admitted into evidence,
16 the upper part, including the article, starting from the left-hand side,
17 the first four columns, and there is no need to admit into evidence the
18 second copy of the same document with the -- ending with the number 260.
19 So it remains 148B, the document ending with the registration number 365.
20 Please proceed.
21 MS. KORNER: Yes.
22 Q. In connection with the same event, could you look, please, now at
23 the next document marked with the 65 ter number 225.
24 THE REGISTRAR: We don't have 225, I'm afraid.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The same is true for us.
1 THE REGISTRAR: 24 and 26.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: And us as well, Your Honour.
3 MS. KORNER: In that case, I'll ignore it.
4 I'm sorry, Your Honour. It has already been admitted, Your
5 Honour. It's S70. Your Honour, if it has already been admitted, I'm not
6 going to bother.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: S70 has already been read out.
8 MS. KORNER: In that case, I won't trouble. I'm trying to deal
9 with documents that haven't been dealt with before. However, 226, can I
10 ask, Rule 65 ter 226, also admitted, is it? Yes, also been dealt with, I
11 gather. All right.
12 No, but I think -- I gather -- yes, all right. It may have been
13 read, but I'd still like to ask the witness about it, please. It's S71.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be aware that it was read out already.
15 MS. KORNER: Yes. I appreciate that. I gather it has just been
17 Q. What I want to ask you about this document, Mr. Sejmenovic, is
18 this: It states that the Crisis Staff discussed at its meeting of the 6th
19 of June, 1992, the security situation in Pecani and other parts of the
20 town, and then they issued a conclusion, relating to security at the
21 Prijedor hospital. That part of town, can I just ask you this: What sort
22 of area was it? Was it ethnically mixed, or was it Muslim only?
23 A. The majority was Serb, as far as Pecani. As for the area in which
24 the main hospital in Prijedor was situated, the population was almost a
25 hundred per cent Serb as far as I can recall.
1 Q. Yes, thank you.
2 Yes, now you spoke earlier about what was happening to women and
3 children and the like after these operations in the various areas. Could
4 you look, now, please at document with the 65 ter number 239, which I
5 don't think has been admitted yet. No.
6 Now, this is a document which apparently has been sent to the
7 local police, because if one looks at it, it's signed by Zupljanin, and at
8 the bottom, one can see -- I'm sorry, I should start at the top.
9 Attention, all persons concerned, chief. And then after the signature--
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. Before you continue, could you please
11 help us understand the document. We have English document of one page
12 before us, and then we have in B/C/S four pages before us. What are we
13 referring to? Is this a fax?
14 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honour, it is a -- I'm not actually sure.
15 It looks, though, it may well be a telex-type thing. We would have to get
16 the original out of the evidence vault, and Your Honour would probably
17 like us to do that. But we've translated, it looks like, just the first
18 two pages of whatever this telefax. In other words, 00478710 to 711.
19 There are two pages of the English, Your Honour should have. The second
20 page simply says: "Chief of centre, Stojan Zupljanin."
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it necessary for the OTP to work with such
22 doubtful documents?
23 MS. KORNER: Why is it doubtful, Your Honour, if I may ask?
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Because we can't identify what is really the
25 original, where we have translation of.
1 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry. It appears to me that the -- it's a
2 translation of -- we can get the original document out. Your Honour, I'm
3 just inquiring as to, it comes from -- all right.
4 Your Honour, we're just checking where it comes from. We have a
5 feeling it's from the Prijedor police station.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask you to proceed without this document,
7 please. Thank you.
8 MS. KORNER: Yes.
9 I'm sorry, Your Honour. I just lost my...
10 Q. All right, Mr. Sejmenovic, leaving documents for the moment -- I'm
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, in fact, I will come back to that
13 document. We'll get the original from the evidence vault. It comes from
14 the Prijedor Police Station.
15 Q. However, moving along, Mr. Sejmenovic, we'll come back to that on
16 another occasion, how long did you actually hide out for?
17 A. If we take into account the period which I spent in the house of
18 this woman who was hiding me, and the period of time which I spent alone,
19 up until my arrival in the camp, the total would amount to two months
21 Q. I'm sorry, I did ask you that before, but I had forgot that.
22 Now, eventually, did you go to -- back to Trnopolje?
23 A. Yes, I did. After all of the villages had been cleansed of their
24 residents, I spent some time alone in the area that I mentioned, in the
25 vicinity of these houses. Actually, in the vicinity of a Serbian
1 checkpoint. I slept in some very thick shrubbery some 50 metres away from
2 the Serb guards because I thought that was the safest place for me to hide
3 since they were searching the surrounding houses and the area generally.
4 Having spent some 15 days over there, I set out in the direction of
5 Trnopolje. And it took me about 15 days to reach Trnopolje, that is, the
6 area close to the place where I used to live, close to the place where we
7 have some property, my family. And it was from that vantage point that I
8 observed the Trnopolje camp for a while, its guards, the personnel, the
9 access roads and so on and so forth. And after that, I actually went to
10 the camp. I came close to the camp.
11 Q. Was there any barrier of any kind around the camp as you were
12 observing it?
13 A. I was perfectly familiar with the area in question, because it is
14 situated in the vicinity of my house. The entrance to the camp, from the
15 western side, from the direction of Prijedor, was 10 metres away from my
16 house. And it stretched up to the Trnopolje/Kozarac Road. This is where
17 I used to live, and I knew the area very well.
18 As for the barriers that existed at the time, and these barriers
19 had been there even before the war, one side of the complex had a wire
20 fence. One side had some metal fence interspersed with wire fence, but
21 the third side did not have any fence or wire. It was completely open,
22 but the borderline, the boundary, was the Trnopolje/Prijedor Road itself.
23 Q. Did you see any guards round the camp at all?
24 A. I did. When I approached the camp, I saw them posted on several
25 spots. I also saw some machine-gun nests, the checkpoints. When I
1 entered the camp, I inquired further about this, and I learned that there
2 were such places even elsewhere around the camp, the area which I was not
3 able to observe.
4 Q. The guards that you saw, police or military or both?
5 A. The military. From time to time, I saw policemen coming to the
6 camp. On one occasion, I remember seeing them going to the camp, taking a
7 group of people from there. I could see that because I was very close.
8 It was a mixed group of personnel, both police and military. As for the
9 checkpoints and machine-gun nests, they were manned exclusively by
10 soldiers. I'm talking only about those I was able to observe with my own
12 There were other places in respect of which I heard that there
13 were machine-gun nests and checkpoints, but this is not something that I
14 saw personally. The people who saw this told me that they were manned by
15 the military. The military was also at the checkpoint near Petrov Gaj.
16 They were always referring to soldiers. Nobody made any mention of the
18 Q. Now, did you decide to go into the camp?
19 A. I did.
20 Q. Why was that?
21 A. In my previous testimonies, in the Tadic case, for example, I
22 spoke in detail about this. Since I was familiar with the terrain, I knew
23 how to come close to the camp and to see what was going on without anyone
24 else noticing me. And I realised that the situation was not -- that the
25 situation was chaotic, that the men were not kept separated from women.
1 And I saw a spot where I was able to come really close to the fence on the
2 eastern side of the camp, so I made this decision. I went up to the
3 fence. The spot looked pretty safe to me. It was overgrown with some
4 shrubbery, and I knew I could hide there for a while, even sleep. So I
5 spent some time observing the situation inside the camp. And as I said,
6 it did look chaotic to me. I recognised some people, and I decided to go
8 My first question was whether it was possible for me to hide
9 there, or whether it would be better for me flee. And a neighbour of mine
10 told me that the whole camp was supposed to be evacuated to the village of
11 Gracanica. He said that there were very many people inside and all I had
12 to do was cover myself with something and try to avoid recognition. But
13 he also said, as far as I was concerned, they were trying to find me in
14 the camp. They searched for me in the camp a month ago, and he said that
15 they thought I was dead. So I decided to sneak in and to try and leave
16 the area in one of the convoys departing from there. But it turned out
17 that I was wrong, that this was not possible, and after several days, I
18 left the camp the same way I got in.
19 Q. The days that you were in the camp, what were the conditions like
21 A. Very bad. Food was not organised. There was an oven there, but
22 hardly enough for one tenth of the people who were there. The people who
23 were in the camp, or the doctors who were in the camp, tried to organise
24 some sort of medical assistance. They succeeded in obtaining an approval
25 from the command of the camp for some people to be issued with a permit to
1 go to their own homes and bring back flour so they could cook in the camp.
2 It was in this way that we had supplies of flour, but those were
3 insufficient in terms of quantity. The approvals to join convoys on their
4 way out were being bought and sold. When I entered the camp, they asked
5 for 300 German mark per person. The price had previously been about 2.000
6 German mark. I was advised by some of my friends to give them 300 German
7 mark, to dress up as a woman, disguise myself as a woman so that I could
8 be allowed to join one of those convoys. I only had a hundred German mark
9 on me, so this was not a possibility that I was in a position to consider.
10 Q. All right. So you decided to leave the camp. Did you go back to
11 where you had been hiding?
12 A. Yes. The reason for me to leave the camp very soon was that the
13 group of people who were staying with me in that part of the camp were
14 taken away, and as we thought, shot. It later turned out that all six of
15 them, those people were relatives among themselves, three times two
16 brothers by the name of Foric indeed had been shot. I slept near them for
17 three days just before that, and I talked to them. At first, I thought
18 that the Serbs had realised that I was there, and that that may have been
19 the reason why they had taken those people away. And now they were
20 waiting to see who else would contact me in order to kill that person.
21 One of the people from that group, I asked him whether he thought this was
22 the case, and he said he didn't think so. So after this, I made up my
23 mind to leave the camp in the middle of the night, and I did it around
24 half past 2.00. And again, I reached the place from which I had observed
25 the camp several days before.
1 Q. However, did you go -- I'm sorry. Did you go back then, to the
2 camp again after a couple of days?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. And what was the reason for that?
5 A. I had an agreement with my friend from Kamicani. He had also made
6 up his mind to leave the camp and to head for Kozara or for Grmec.
7 However, he was scared to leave because he was afraid that the whole camp
8 would later be evacuated, so he was afraid of missing his chance to live,
9 to reach the free territory without any risk. The camp commanders, the
10 Prijedor radio station, as well as the Serbian Red Cross, who would all
11 occasionally come to the camp were speaking about this possibility. Our
12 agreement was that he would take me to -- that he would reach me at a
13 place around a 100, 150 metres from the camp with a message as to whether
14 there was a mass evacuation planned. Or just leave the camp the same way
15 I left it and bring me food to last me several days.
16 So the same day we agreed that he should send the message or food,
17 I set out for that place. I did reach the place, but I could neither find
18 a message nor the food that he had promised. That for me was an obvious
19 sign that an evacuation was being planned, because there were a dozen
20 empty buses in the camp by that time. I thought that perhaps he was not
21 willing to take this risk, and I thought this was the day of the mass
22 evacuation which was the reason why I got back into the camp the same way
23 I used to before.
24 Q. Once you got back into the camp, did you discover that your
25 presence in the camp had been noticed?
1 A. Yes, I did. Immediately upon re-entering the camp, I contacted my
2 neighbour and friend, Adim Trnjanin. When he saw me, he began to cry. He
3 kept saying: "It's over, it's over. Mevludin, our time is out. The 15
4 of us, we had been shut up. Some of us had been beaten. They gave us
5 48 hours to tell them where you were. They said that if we didn't say,
6 they would kill us all. They sent out two intervention platoons to search
7 the area between the Roslja [phoen] field and on to Gornji Sivci and
8 Krajinska Crka [phoen]," because someone had told them that I was in that
9 area. So I went back to the camp in the morning, and their deadline was
10 to expire at I think 10.00 or 11.00. I told him to just give me half an
11 hour to take leave of a number of people and to leave a message for my
12 relatives who might survive. I told him to go get Captain or Colonel
13 Slavko, who was the chief of the guard duty around the camp.
14 I sat down on a stone alone as I was. He went and came back with
15 this Slavko. Slavko then approached me.
16 Q. And did this Slavko, in fact, take you -- was he on his own or was
17 somebody else with him?
18 A. He came alone. Adim went to the camp command building. He came
19 out with Slavko, and then turned to the right where the remaining camp
20 inmates were and Slavko headed for a clearing where I was sitting. He
21 approached me, and he took me towards the camp command building, outside
22 which Major Slobodan Kuruzovic, wearing a uniform, was already standing.
23 He was the then camp commander. It was the same Kuruzovic that I had
24 already referred to in reply to your questions.
25 Q. Yes, I was just going to ask you. This was somebody you knew?
1 A. Yes. That was Mr. Kuruzovic whom I had last seen at a meeting
2 with the SDS in Prijedor when they gave us the ultimatum that I had told
3 you about.
4 Q. Now you were taken in to see Major, whatever he was, Kuruzovic.
5 Were you questioned?
6 A. Briefly. In Trnopolje itself, I was only questioned briefly.
7 First they began beating me, but then Kuruzovic said: "It's enough. We
8 will receive our information later." There was a soldier who ran in my
9 direction, and he asked: "Major, shall we beat him right now?" And the
10 Major told him in as many words: "Sod off, we'll get our information
11 later." And he went to the house of one of my neighbours which had been
12 transformed to serve as the camp command building. He took me there and
13 started asking me questions. He and two or three other officers, but this
14 only lasted very briefly, maybe for about ten minutes. I only know that
15 he and another person that he spoke to on the phone, and Slavko, whom I've
16 also mentioned, could not agree whether they would take me to a military
17 prison or to a prison for civilians.
18 So this gave rise to a discussion that lasted for a while. I
19 don't know what the result was, but I know that after a while, with some
20 materials they had found in my house, a box full of materials, they put me
21 in a car and took me to Prijedor.
22 Q. Now, when they took to you Prijedor, did they use the main road or
23 the secondary road?
24 A. They used the secondary road, the Trnopolje/Prijedor -- that is
25 Omarska/Trnopolje/Prijedor Road.
1 Q. Okay. On your drive to Prijedor, what did you notice, if
2 anything, about the houses?
3 A. Leaving the camp itself, and then on to the village of Petkovici,
4 the houses had marks of fire shots on their walls, and some of the houses
5 were burned. A couple of houses were burned.
6 And most were just covered by artillery shots with all the glass
7 smashed. Going towards Prijedor from Trnopolje down this old secondary
8 road, there wasn't a lot of Serbian population in that area. When you
9 enter the village of Petkovici, there Serb territory begins except for a
10 small area further down after Petkovici. And there, in that area, there
11 were no signs of destruction. And the same all the way to Prijedor, that
12 is Cirkin Polje.
13 Q. Now, when you were in Prijedor, did you go anywhere near Keraterm?
14 A. They stopped just opposite Keraterm in a place where the old road
15 that we're talking about, very near Keraterm, meets the main road, the
16 Banja Luka/Prijedor main road. We went into some sort of a yard in the
17 industrial zone opposite Keraterm. There was the headquarters of one of
18 the main Prijedor enterprises. I'm not sure which one it was. But then
19 at that time it was used by the military police. And opposite that
20 building was the Keraterm camp. They stopped outside the police building.
21 There was a soldier sitting next to me. And we waited for about ten
22 minutes in the car while Slavko and Brane Beric, who sat in front with
23 Slavko, went inside the building. During this time, I could observe the
24 Keraterm camp, or at least the part that you could see from the car which
25 was most of it. I saw the camp inmates across the road. This may have
1 lasted for about ten minutes at the most before they returned.
2 I started talking to the soldier who was sitting next to me, and
3 we exchanged a couple of questions.
4 Q. I wonder if you could just have a look at the map, please, for a
5 moment, with some photographs.
6 MS. KORNER: Unmarked, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
8 MS. KORNER: I haven't the faintest idea what the exhibit number
10 Your Honour, I'm sure that Your Honours' registry must have the
11 photograph without the legend below.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No, we don't have. We didn't admit into
13 evidence a similar document with indicating --
14 MS. KORNER: I see. It has already been done. Your Honour, there
15 is now one prepared which has nothing to describe the photographs, so I
16 would ask that that be admitted into evidence.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If it could be first shown to the Defence,
18 please, and then to the Bench.
19 I take it that both the Defence and the Bench will receive copies
20 of this document.
21 MS. KORNER: Yes. I'm sorry, Your Honour. I didn't catch what
22 Your Honour said, so I was waiting for it to come up on the screen.
23 Q. Can you see -- looking at those photographs, could you identify
24 which photograph -- whether you can see a photograph of Keraterm.
25 A. Yes, I can.
1 Q. Does it have a number?
2 A. I can identify its position on the map. Can I just have a minute
3 to check.
4 I think it's photograph number 7. Just a minute, please. I think
5 it's photograph number 7.
6 Q. Yes.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I just wonder what you want me to do
8 with this. He has got it correctly, and we removed any indications from
9 the map.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's on the transcript. We can find on
11 the transcript that the witness identified, pointed to number 7. Yes, we
12 have it.
13 MS. KORNER:
14 Q. Now, where you were taken to Mr. Sejmenovic, you've described to
15 us. Is the area anywhere that we can see in the photograph there?
16 A. I'm pointing at it. This area.
17 Q. If you go back --
18 A. Where the pointer is --
19 Q. -- number 7. In that photograph, can we see the area to which you
20 were taken, where you were able to see the inmates of Keraterm?
21 A. It could be here.
22 Q. Off the photograph.
23 A. To the right, off the photograph.
24 Q. Okay. All right.
25 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This document should have number S150?
2 THE REGISTRAR: S149.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 149. Objections?
4 MR. OSTOJIC: None, Your Honour, with respect to the photograph
5 number 7. But then I don't know what the other photographs relate to, so
6 we'll reserve our right to object at that time, if it comes up.
7 MS. KORNER: Sorry, you've got a map which tells you what all the
8 photographs are, a separate one. It's the same as the one you had
9 originally, but we've just taken out from it the legend. It tells you
10 what it is.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I can see the objections. We have the photos
12 also available in another and better format. But nevertheless, it is
13 tendered by the OTP and admitted into evidence as S149.
14 MS. KORNER: I'm told, Your Honour, that the description was S2
16 Q. You said, Mr. Sejmenovic, you saw some of the inmates. How were
17 you able to see them?
18 A. I saw many people by the fence, many rows of people. The place
19 was, in a manner of speaking, teeming with people along the fence and also
20 deep into this area comprising the factory. I saw many people, most of
21 them were naked from the waist up. They were skinny, emaciated. I looked
22 several times, and I tried not to show that I was looking because of the
23 soldier who were sitting to my right.
24 Q. How long did you stay there?
25 A. After these approximately ten minutes, Slavko and Brane Beric came
1 back. They got into the car, and we drove off to Prijedor centre where
2 the police station was.
3 Q. Now, at the police station, what happened to you?
4 A. At the police station, I was first taken to a room. I was asked a
5 number of questions by a man I had known before the war. Sometimes we had
6 coffee together. Then a soldier walked in who started to beat me. He
7 also kicked me. He hit me with a club. And then after I fell to the
8 ground, he pulled the belt from my trousers, tied it up around my neck,
9 and poked fun at me saying that I was a deputy to the assembly and I
10 needed a tie to wear. And then he dragged me by the belt to another
11 office where an older policeman and an older man wearing civilian clothes
12 were. I knew them both by sight, and then these two continued to question
13 me, which took a bit longer. I may have stayed about one and a half
14 hours inside that office, after which I was taken back to my prison cell.
15 I was beaten again outside the cell, but they no longer went into the
17 Q. Was anything said to you before the beating started or took place?
18 A. Do you mean outside the cell?
19 Q. I mean -- sorry. Just sticking for a moment to the beating in the
20 office, the room. Did anybody say anything to you before the soldiers
21 walked in and started to beat you as to why they were beating --
22 A. This colleague of mine, the man I told you about, the one I knew,
23 he poked fun at me because I was a deputy. I was dirty and my shoes were
24 torn. I had no shoelaces. "Why don't I wash up," he told me. "Where is
25 my suit?" "Where is my tie?" He abused like that for several minutes,
1 and then Dragomir Saponja came in and did the job he was probably sent
2 over there to do.
3 After I had been beaten there, they started questioning me in the
4 other office. And the first sentence spoken by the inspector was - let me
5 make this clear; I'm almost quoting him - he said: "You're a
6 fundamentalist. You can claim you're not, but you are, and your father
7 was one, too, which means that you are one." And then they began. Where
8 was I born? When was I born? So the basic personal information. And
9 then charges of fundamentalism, fundamentalist policy, and this went on
10 for a while. They took a break, and after the break they questioned me
11 again for a while. Minutes were -- a record was drawn up during the
12 questioning. I behaved as best I could, trying with my answers to save my
13 own life.
14 Q. Had anything like this ever happened to you before, an unprovoked
15 beating like this and this sort of interrogation?
16 A. Yes. I did receive a blow or two in Trnopolje itself. When I
17 surrendered and when Slavko took me to Kuruzovic, I did receive seven or
18 eight blows there. But at that point Kuruzovic told the other man: "Sod
19 off, we'll get our information later." The same happened to me in Omarska
20 when I was taken there. First, I was taken to the white house as the camp
21 inmates called it.
22 Q. I just want to deal with this part, because I think that will do
23 for today. You say you received some slaps in Trnopolje. This, you say,
24 was a much greater beating. Was that the first time you had received
25 anything like that?
1 A. The first time was in Trnopolje. I was hit several times. And
2 then the beating I took in Prijedor was much worse. I fell down to the
3 ground while I was being beaten. And then while I was going questioned
4 outside the prison cell, they really beat me black and blue. I could even
5 stand up for a while afterwards. And then they threw my body into the
6 cell. After about ten days, I partly recovered.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I note the time.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we shall call it a day. And the trial
9 stands adjourned until --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's on. Until tomorrow, 2.15.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
13 7.00 p.m., to be reconvened on
14 Tuesday, the 18th day of June, 2002,
15 at 2.15 p.m.