1 Wednesday, 3 July 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Please be
6 seated. And 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.
10 MS. KORNER: Joanna Korner assisted by Ruth Karper, case manager.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And for the Defence.
12 MR. LUKIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and
13 John Ostojic for the Defence.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Before we come to the witness of
15 today, some few administrative matters. First of all, as it seems to be
16 usual when one sends out a message, the next day it's already outdated.
17 This is also true for our court schedule until August. As you can see,
18 there was nothing on August the 2nd, but instead of this, there will be a
19 hearing the entire day of 1st August, morning and afternoon. And the 23rd
20 of July, there will be an exchange of courtrooms, and therefore also a
21 change of morning shift and night shift. This means that day, we'll sit
22 instead of the morning, in the afternoon, 23rd of July. The courtroom
23 will be I or III, may I ask the registry?
24 THE REGISTRAR: On the 23rd of July and on the 1st of August, we
25 will move to courtroom I.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
2 Then we received a motion by the OTP requesting for subpoena. It
3 is received by the Defence as well? And may I hear some comments to
4 this -- on this issue, please, if any.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, good afternoon, Your Honour. Thank you. We
6 did receive just this afternoon the motion seeking a subpoena in
7 connection with this case. We haven't had an opportunity to discuss it
8 with our client at all because we, although we visited him this morning,
9 we didn't receive this until approximately within the last hour. We hope
10 to have a full response for you tomorrow. In essence, we would object to
11 some of it, because we think it's overbroad, namely, paragraph 2 of the
12 proposed subpoena, an order seeking all such original documents, but we
13 would rather reserve our right to explain our position in full tomorrow,
14 if possible, or later this afternoon.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you be so kind and let's discuss it a
16 quarter to 7.00 at the end of today's hearing.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then we proceed to Witness Number 3. Any
19 changes as regards the protection, the protective measures?
20 MS. KORNER: No, Your Honour. It's just in full open session.
21 Can I just before Your Honour gets to that, ask Your Honours assistance on
22 one matter, and that's the videolink. We would be grateful if Your Honour
23 could give us a date now because there are arrangements that have to be
24 made. We have been given a series of differing dates as to when it is
25 going to take place.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we indicated that we are open until the
2 1st of August. All dates are available.
3 MS. KORNER: We got a message from the registry suggesting some
4 date, and I don't know what the situation is. But we need to know what
5 date they are suggesting, effectively.
6 THE REGISTRAR: It will be one day during the last week of July,
7 the week of the 29th of July.
8 MS. KORNER: Which day?
9 THE REGISTRAR: We will combine it with other videolinks in
10 another case, so in this case we have to discuss this. If you agree we
11 can do it during this week, then we can arrange the mission.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: From our point of view, it's totally open.
13 MS. KORNER: Provided, if the registry could be kind of to tell us
14 when the date is suitable for their arrangements, then we can get our
15 arrangements made.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We will try to do our best together. Any
17 problems from the side of the Defence as regards the date?
18 MR. OSTOJIC: No, Your Honour. Thank you.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Anything else? I can't see, so
20 therefore, may the usher please bring in the witness.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon. Can you hear me in a language
23 you understand?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you please be so kind and give the solemn
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you very much. Please be seated. And the
5 examination-in-chief may start.
6 WITNESS: IVO ATLIJA
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Examined by Ms. Korner:
9 Q. Mr. Atlija, is your full name Ivo Atlija?
10 A. Yes, my full name is Ivo Atlija.
11 Q. Were you born on the 19th of May, 1963, in Brisevo, in the
12 Prijedor Municipality?
13 A. Yes, I was.
14 Q. And are you by ethnic origin a Croat?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And I think you are a Catholic by religion, Roman Catholic by
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. Mr. Atlija, just before we deal with the events, I just want to
20 run through with you the various statements you made to the authorities.
21 Whilst you were in Zagreb, in Croatia, did you have an interview with
22 something called the Croatian Information Centre?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And after that interview, which took place in January of 1993, was
25 a statement prepared?
1 A. Yes, a statement was prepared.
2 Q. And before you signed it, did you take a copy of that statement
3 and discuss it with other refugees from the Brisevo area who had
4 experienced the events?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. However, when you signed the statement, were you satisfied that it
7 was an accurate reflection and a truthful one of what you had said to the
9 A. Yes, I was.
10 Q. And then in October of the year 2000, did you make a statement to
11 investigators from the Office of the Prosecutor?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. And were you given an opportunity to read through the statement
14 that you had made to the Croatian Information Centre?
15 A. Yes, I was.
16 Q. And make any corrections that you wished to what was in that
18 A. I had the opportunity to do so.
19 Q. Right. Now, can I come straight away, please, to the area in
20 which you lived until the events of 1992. You were born in the village of
21 Brisevo. Does that come within the local commune of Ljubija?
22 A. Yes, it does.
23 Q. And were there other villages which formed part of that commune,
24 namely, Zune and Raljas?
25 A. That's true.
1 Q. I'm going to ask you, please, to look now at a map of the area.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I understand that is S14. And I think
3 if we can put it on the ELMO. I think -- could I have it first of all,
4 because I can just get the relevant bit of this map. Thank you.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 14 would be the map of Prijedor Municipality.
6 MS. KORNER: Yes, it would, Your Honour. And it's just easier if
7 I fold the map to the relevant part.
8 Q. Mr. Atlija, if you could look to your left, you will see on the
9 machine next to you, there's a map. And I just want you to indicate --
10 you have got a pointer there. Could you indicate, first of all -- yes.
11 Can we get more of the map on to -- it may not matter. Whether we can do
12 the focus -- no, to the left, please, as we look at it. Thanks. That's
14 Do we see there Ljubija, and then --
15 A. Yes. This is Ljubija.
16 Q. And then going down the map, if we can move the map up slightly,
17 can we see Raljas? I think that's the way to pronounce it. Come down
18 again, sorry.
19 A. Can you please just put the map back up a little bit. Now it's
20 all right.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 A. This is the area of Brisevo and Raljas.
23 Q. Okay. Yes. Thank you very much. That's all I need for the
24 moment although we may need to look at the map later.
25 Was Brisevo a village of approximately 120 houses?
1 A. According to the last 1991 census, yes, about 120 houses.
2 Q. And was that village occupied by Croats, or each house was
3 inhabited by persons of Croat ethnicity?
4 A. There were only two or three women of Serb ethnicity who were
5 married to Croats from Brisevo. All the others were Croats.
6 Q. And was there a Catholic church in the village?
7 A. Yes, there was one.
8 Q. Did most of the men who lived in Brisevo work in the Ljubija iron
9 ore mines?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. And I think they were located within the suburbs of Ljubija
13 A. That's true.
14 Q. Now, the other villages that you mentioned that came within the
15 Ljubija commune, what was the ethnic makeup of those villages?
16 A. Mostly Croats.
17 Q. And what about Ljubija town itself?
18 A. The town itself, Gornji Ljubija was almost purely Croatian, while
19 Donja Ljubija was predominantly Muslim.
20 Q. Was there a Catholic church in Ljubija?
21 A. Yes, there was one.
22 Q. And what about elsewhere within the commune?
23 A. As far as I know, there was no Catholic church in Zune.
24 Q. And Raljas?
25 A. Raljas was part of the Ljubija parish, and there was a Catholic
1 church in the neighbouring village of Gornja Ravska, too.
2 Q. You told us that Ljubija, one part, contained a Muslim population.
3 Were there mosques, therefore, in Ljubija?
4 A. Yes, there were mosques.
5 Q. Now, I want to ask you a little bit about your background. Did
6 you, in fact, attend high school, it was a technical school, after your
7 elementary education, in Prijedor?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. And then in 1982, after you had left school, did you go to do your
10 compulsory military service?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Which you did for about -- just about 13 months?
13 A. That's true.
14 Q. I think you first trained in communications, and then were
15 transferred to the military police.
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. As a result of your military service, did you become familiar with
18 the uniforms and insignia that were used in the JNA?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. After you had finished your military service, after a couple of
21 months, in 1983, did you get a job at the central repair shop for the
22 Ljubija mines?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. And did you work there until April of 1992?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. I think that you moved into an apartment in Prijedor town, which
2 had been given to your father, but which you occupied.
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Now, after the -- I'm sorry, before the formation of the
5 multinational parties in 1990, were you a member of any political
7 A. No, I was not a member of any political organisation or party.
8 Q. After the formation of the national parties, did you join any of
10 A. Not one of them.
11 Q. I want to ask you just briefly about the relationships between the
12 different ethnicities in your area, in the Prijedor area generally. Was
13 there any sign of any tensions or anything like that before the election
14 campaign in 1990?
15 A. Yes, in my opinion, I would say that we had very good interethnic
17 Q. Did that change, however, as a result of the election campaign?
18 A. Even during the election campaign, it began to change.
19 Q. And what was it that you most observed as a change?
20 A. The greatest change was that people stopped trusting each other
21 and socializing with each other, even at work.
22 Q. And what in your view caused that change, that lack of trust?
23 A. In my view, the most important cause was aggressive propaganda by
24 the then recently founded SDS in Prijedor.
25 Q. And you say that it was aggressive. What are we talking about?
1 What type of propaganda?
2 A. We're talking about verbal propaganda, first of all, where members
3 of other non-Serb nationalities were publicly called "Ustasha,
4 fundamentalists, balijas, Turks," and other such derogatory names.
5 Q. You say that this was the SDA propaganda. Were the Croat national
6 party, the HDZ, or the Muslim national party, the SDA, indulging in such
8 A. They had very few possibilities to reach the media, to use the
9 media, and go public. So that there was no opportunity for them to really
10 counter the SDS with their own propaganda.
11 Q. And why was it that the SDS had a greater possibility of reaching
12 the media?
13 A. Because with the assistance of the JNA, they occupied the repeater
14 at Mrakovica from which -- from then on they started emitting only the
15 Serb programmes and also through the Vjesnik in Prijedor, which were the
16 only local newspapers. And they banned and stopped all other information
17 from Croatia or any other republic where Serbs were not a majority group.
18 Q. Can you tell us roughly at what date it was, the year, and if
19 possible, the month, that the repeater at Mrakovica was occupied?
20 A. I think it was in late 1991, or possibly early 1992. I'm not
21 sure, however.
22 Q. You told us that the type of propaganda was to use derogatory
23 names such as Ustasha, balijas, Turks, do you recall any other specific
24 propaganda that was relayed?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. And what was that?
2 A. I will list some of the more drastic examples. Information was
3 released that Dr. Mirza Mujadzic had given pregnant Serb women injections,
4 the consequences of which that those women could only give birth to female
5 children and the birth rate among Serbs in that part of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina was thus reduced.
7 Q. Where did you hear that, with a that on television or the radio or
8 did you hear that at some kind of a meeting?
9 A. That was on Radio Prijedor, and then it spread by the word of
11 Q. What was the reaction of the Serbs, for example, that you worked
12 with to this propaganda? Did they accept it, or were they skeptical?
13 A. In my view, the reaction was difficult to understand, because they
14 accepted this propaganda without giving it a second thought or question if
15 anything like that was possible. As far as I know about medicine, there
16 is no way to tell the gender of a child, to determine the gender of a
17 child in advance, especially not by injection.
18 Q. And this sort of type of propaganda, what effect was it having on
19 the non-Serb population?
20 A. We lived in great fear.
21 Q. Now, did you notice an increase in the carrying of weapons?
22 A. In the town of Prijedor itself, there was an enormous amount of
23 armed persons in the streets, in the cafes, all over the place.
24 Q. Those armed persons, were those members of the military, the
25 regular JNA?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. They wore the uniforms and insignia of the then regular JNA, but
2 there were armed people in the -- wearing police uniforms, the police that
3 was then referred to as "Milicija".
4 Q. The increase in armed persons, was that true of all ethnicities?
5 A. Mostly armed people walking around were Serbs.
6 Q. And did you speak to any of the Serbs that you knew about why they
7 were carrying arms?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. And what explanation did you get?
10 A. The most frequent explanation was that they only wanted to
11 successfully defend Yugoslavia and for all Serbs to live within one state,
12 and that they would never allow that part of Bosnia-Herzegovina to become
13 Croatian, Ustasha soil, or a dzemaharija, which was a derogatory name they
14 used for a state in which Muslims would live and be in power, something
15 like that.
16 Q. Can you give us again a rough idea of when you first noticed the
17 increase in armed men in Prijedor?
18 A. Most frequently, end of March, beginning of April 1992.
19 Q. All right. I want to come now, then, to the events at the end of
20 April. You told us earlier that your last day of work at the repair shop
21 was April 1992. How did it come about that your work there ceased?
22 A. I went to work in the morning, and I saw checkpoints, bunkers,
23 along the road, armed Serb soldiers, Serb flags outside the municipality
24 building. I came to my work, and the manager told us that orders had
25 arrived that the SDS had taken power in Prijedor, and that we should now
1 disperse and go back to our homes.
2 Q. Now, you told us you saw checkpoints, bunkers, and then armed Serb
3 soldiers. Again, were those members of the JNA?
4 A. They wore uniforms of the former JNA, but there were policemen,
6 Q. Were there any persons manning these checkpoints or bunkers who
7 were not wearing uniforms of the former JNA but a different sort of
9 A. Yes, but fewer. Some wore only parts of the uniform and were not
10 wearing the five-pointed star, the insignia of the JNA, but a cross with
11 four S's, instead, or the so called Kokardas from the Second World War
12 that the Chetniks used to wear in World War II.
13 Q. You were told that orders had arrived by the manager -- sorry,
14 start that again. The manager told you that the SDS had taken power in
15 Prijedor, and that you should disperse and go back to your homes. Did you
16 return to Prijedor?
17 A. I did not return to my own flat, but I look the bus to Ljubija,
18 and there on, I walked to my native village of Brisevo.
19 Q. Did you thereafter, for the next few months, remain in Brisevo?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. Was it possible to travel to Prijedor from Brisevo without any
22 difficulty during that period?
23 A. You needed to have a permit from the Serb authorities in Ljubija.
24 Q. And did you during that period go back to Prijedor at all?
25 A. No.
1 Q. What happened to the apartment that you had been occupying in
3 A. One of my colleagues from work, a lady who had remained in
4 Prijedor, let me know through her brother in Ljubija who walked to my
5 place in Ljubija that a Serb, Milan Mutic, from Donja Ljubija, had moved
6 into my apartment and he was still there.
7 Q. Did you make any attempts through the authorities to have him
9 A. At that time, I didn't try anything.
10 Q. And why was that?
11 A. Simply, I was scared.
12 Q. Now, I want to move next, please, to what happened in May of 1992.
13 From your location in Brisevo, were you able to see villages which were
14 predominantly Muslim ones, such as Kozarac, Hambarine, Carakovo,
15 Rizvanovici, Biscani, Zecovi, and Kevljani?
16 A. One could see that very well because Brisevo is on a higher
18 Q. In May of 1992, did you have coming to Brisevo people seeking
20 A. May 1992, there was a large group of people coming from the
21 village of Hambarine, and we kept them in our homes for about seven or
22 eight days.
23 Q. Was that before or after the attack on Hambarine?
24 A. This was the day of the attack on Hambarine.
25 Q. Can you tell us what you personally heard or saw of that attack.
1 A. Well, personally, I was able to see only people who were quite
2 small, because I was at a distance. I saw a number of tanks firing at
3 Hambarine. I could hear the shooting very clearly and seeing people move
4 in the direction of Hambarine, soldiers stopping and moving towards
5 Hambarine. I could see houses burning. I could see smoke and hear
7 Q. Before the attack took place, did you hear anything being said on
8 the radio in respect of Hambarine?
9 A. Before the attack, Radio Prijedor, for a number of hours,
10 broadcast the so-called ultimatum for a person called Aziz Aliskovic to
11 surrender. If he did not do so, Hambarine would be attacked.
12 Q. And did you know who this person was, or why he was being ordered
13 to surrender?
14 A. I knew that he used to be a policeman, and I knew that a small
15 group of Serb young men was shooting at Hambarine, at a checkpoint or at a
16 house, and that Aziz Aliskovic, if that was his name, tried to resist.
17 And that was the reason, or should have been the reason.
18 Q. Now, you told us that you could see a number of tanks that were
19 involved in the attack, and you could see people move in the direction of
20 Hambarine, soldiers.
21 MS. KORNER: Sorry.
22 Q. First of all, can you remember roughly how many tanks you saw?
23 A. Well, two or three tanks. There were not very many. There was
24 not a large of number of tanks.
25 Q. The soldiers, roughly, could you tell how many there were taking
1 part in the attack?
2 A. It is difficult to say, but I think there may have been about a
4 Q. And from your viewpoint, were you able to see whether this was the
5 regular JNA or what you've described as people who were not in proper
6 military uniform, or full military uniform?
7 A. I couldn't really distinguish between these people.
8 Q. Now, you say you saw the tanks firing. How long did that go on
10 A. It didn't last a long time, a few hours only.
11 Q. Did you see anybody firing back from the village, any returning
12 fire from mortars or other artillery?
13 A. No, I didn't see, but I could hear individual shots from Hambarine
14 to the Prijedor Polje from where the Serb soldiers were coming.
15 Q. Once the tanks had stopped firing, what did the soldiers do that
16 you saw?
17 A. I saw when the soldiers were moving forward and when the shots
18 were coming from Hambarine. They would lie down. I didn't see whether
19 they were wounded or anything, but then the group would move on.
20 Q. And you've told us, I think, that you saw houses on fire. Is that
22 A. That's true.
23 Q. Are you able to tell us, was the -- were -- the fires to the
24 houses, were they caused by people, the infantry going into the village,
25 or by the shelling?
1 A. I couldn't see whether they were torching or whether it was due to
2 the artillery fire.
3 Q. All right. Now, you've told us that that same day, a number of
4 refugees arrived from the area. What kind of refugees? In other words,
5 men, women, children, a mixture?
6 A. There were mostly women, children, elderly men, and there were
7 some younger men but not so many.
8 Q. And roughly how many were there?
9 A. Perhaps about 400.
10 Q. Did you talk to any of these refugees about what they had
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. What generally did they tell you had happened to them and their
15 A. They were terrified, and they kept saying that the Serbs were
16 killing everyone they could see, that they were raping women, and torching
18 Q. Did any of the women tell you that they personally had been raped?
19 A. I didn't ask, nor did any of the women tell me.
20 Q. That was Hambarine. Did you see any other villages being attacked
21 during the following days?
22 A. One could see the attack on Kozarac very clearly.
23 Q. What did you see happening in the attack on Kozarac?
24 A. Well, the distance from us to Kozarac is a little larger, so we
25 could only hear the detonations, the explosions. We could see houses
1 burning, and this went on for days. I think seven or eight days.
2 Q. Were there any refugees from the Kozarac area as a result -- who
3 came to your village as a result?
4 A. I don't know of anyone from Kozarac coming.
5 Q. What about Carakovo and Rizvanovici? Did you see anything
6 happening to those villages?
7 A. We couldn't see those villages in detail, but we could hear the
8 detonations. We could see the fire and the smoke. But from those
9 villages, refugees did come to Brisevo.
10 Q. Whilst these villages were being attacked, did you hear
11 announcements or what Prijedor Radio was broadcasting?
12 A. This was, again, a typical propaganda. They boasted of great
13 successes of the Serb army, and they kept saying that an Ustasha
14 fundamentalist stronghold had fallen, and that a large number of Ustashas
15 and Green Berets had been liquidated and so on.
16 Q. When these announcements were being made, did the radio say on
17 whose behalf those announcements were making, who was making those
19 A. It was most frequently said that "on the behalf of the Crisis
20 Staff," of the so-called Crisis Staff that was operating at the time.
21 Q. Now, can I move then, please to the 27th of May of 1992. Did
22 something wake you that morning?
23 A. I think it was May -- on 27th of May, there was an explosion of
24 mortar shells that woke me up.
25 Q. And where was that explosion?
1 A. Near the home where I was sleeping, near my home.
2 Q. So -- sorry. It was in your village?
3 A. Yes, in Brisevo.
4 Q. Was it -- one explosion woke you up. Were there further
5 explosions after that?
6 A. Yes. The shelling continued, in a continued fashion actually.
7 Q. And could you see where the shelling was coming from?
8 A. They were coming from the village of Rasavci and Ostra Luka.
9 MS. KORNER: Thank you. If we can have a look again at the map,
10 I'm not sure the villages are shown on the map, but if we just have
11 another look at it.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We can see them.
13 MS. KORNER:
14 Q. Then, yes, if you would indicate.
15 MS. KORNER: Again, bring it up to...
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These are Rasavci, Rasavci are here.
17 And here is Ostra Luka.
18 MS. KORNER:
19 Q. Sorry, could you just indicate that again. Would you be so kind.
20 A. Rasavci.
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. And to the south, Ostra Luka.
23 Q. Yes, I see. Thank you. We can see it written across the map.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MS. KORNER:
1 Q. Yes, we can see it written across the map. That's what was
2 confusing me slightly.
3 All right, so that was the area from which the shelling was
4 coming. Could you see where the shells, what type of shells there were?
5 In other words, were they tanks or mortars or other weaponry, or field
7 A. There were only mortar shells on that day.
8 Q. And those two places that you've mentioned, what ethnicity were
9 the inhabitants of those villages or areas?
10 A. Those were Serb villages with a hundred per cent Serb population.
11 Q. And were you able to see this because you and some other men from
12 your village went to have a look?
13 A. That is right. We went to a point where we could see Rasavci and
14 Ostra Luka both.
15 Q. How much damage did the shelling do to the village that first day?
16 A. On the first day, there was practically no damage, no physical
17 damage, no one was wounded on that first day.
18 Q. Before that shelling started, had there been any kind of warning
19 or ultimatum which had been given to your village of Brisevo?
20 A. No.
21 Q. All right. Having seen where this was coming from, did you join
22 the other men of the village in the village hall?
23 A. That's right.
24 Q. And what did you all decide to do?
25 A. We decided to send a delegation to Rasavci and Ostra Luka to ask
1 why we were being attacked, because we were not guilty of anything.
2 Q. And who -- how many men made up that delegation?
3 A. Five or six men.
4 Q. All right. And did they go to the village, or to the area, Ostra
6 A. They did.
7 Q. When they came back, what did they tell you?
8 A. They told us that the Serbs had issued an ultimatum that we had to
9 surrender all our weapons, including the Bofors, and if they didn't, they
10 would search the houses. And if they were to find the weapons there, the
11 houses would be burnt down, and the owner of the house arrested.
12 Q. All right. Now, can we come to the question of weapons in your
13 village. How many people had weapons?
14 A. Well, five or six hunting rifles, and a few pistols which the
15 people owned and had legal permits for that. But Bofors and other types
16 of weapons of that kind did not exist.
17 Q. You've mentioned that twice, the Bofors gun, was that something
18 the Serbs had mentioned to your delegation?
19 A. They claimed that they had seen those guns in Brisevo.
20 Q. You've told us you didn't have them. Just for the purposes, if
21 you know what they are, can you describe to the Court, who may be more
22 conversant with weaponry than me, but what is a Bofors gun?
23 A. It is an anti-aircraft weapon. I don't know its calibre. It has
24 a semi-automatic firing. It is mounted on vehicles. Usually, there are
25 two or three barrels turned towards the sky. I don't know how to explain
1 this, describe this better.
2 Q. Had your village ever -- the TO in your village, had they ever
3 possessed a weapon like that?
4 A. No. I never seen weapons of this kind anywhere in the village,
5 nor with the TO.
6 Q. What had happened to the weaponry that the TO had had?
7 A. It had been returned earlier on.
8 Q. All right. So they were saying that they wanted the surrender of
9 all your weapons with the accompanying threat. What did you -- the
10 villagers decide to do?
11 A. We picked up our hunting guns and some of the pistols, I don't
12 know the exact number, and we handed them over to those people.
13 Q. And why did you do that?
14 A. Well, we didn't want to provoke them additionally, and we knew
15 that no one had any possibility to defend oneself with weapons of that
16 kind against the army and people who were better armed than us.
17 Q. That day, before the decision was taken to surrender the weapons,
18 had there been anybody firing in response -- I'm sorry, firing from your
19 village in response to the shelling that was going on?
20 A. Not a single bullet was fired.
21 Q. All right. So, you handed over the weapons. Was that taken to
22 Rasavci by another delegation?
23 A. Yes. Another delegation of people took the weapons to Rasavci.
24 Q. And when they returned, what did they tell you had happened after
25 the surrender of the weapons?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. They said that the representatives of the Serbs, of the Serb army
2 were very angry because they demanded much more weapons and the famous
3 Bofors they wanted as well.
4 Q. And what did they say they would do?
5 A. They said that they would send a delegation that would, together
6 with some people, some inhabitants of our village, search their houses,
7 and then the threats were the same, that the owner of the house would be
8 killed and the house set on fire. And our delegation said that they
9 agreed, and that they could come and look for themselves.
10 Q. Did any search take place that day or in the following day?
11 A. No, there were no searches ever.
12 Q. Did you receive any visits from any of the authorities in order to
13 conduct a search?
14 A. No, no one ever visited us.
15 Q. Now, that was the 27th, 28th of May. Did anything happen in the
16 next few weeks?
17 A. Well, at the beginning, it was peaceful. And then there were some
18 incidents. In the first few weeks, it was comparatively peaceful.
19 Q. Were you, the villagers, able to leave the village to go and buy
20 food supplies?
21 A. The village was totally blocked. No one could come in; no one
22 could go out.
23 Q. And what blocked it?
24 A. Well, all around in the woods and along the roads, everywhere Serb
25 soldiers were positioned. Whether they were manning checkpoints or in
1 ditches or walking around freely, they were there, in any case.
2 Q. Again, can I ask you, what type of soldiers are we talking about?
3 Regular JNA or irregular?
4 A. Well, most of them were wearing JNA uniforms and insignia, but
5 there were others as well.
6 Q. Now, did anybody try and pass those checkpoints?
7 A. Yes, Dimac Radislav tried to pass a checkpoint in the neighbouring
8 village, in Gornja Ravska.
9 Q. And what happened to him?
10 A. Where the road separates for Gornja Ravska several soldiers caught
11 him and beat him up, and he was returned, along with some children, to the
13 Q. You've told us that you couldn't leave. How did you survive?
14 A. Most of the inhabitants of Brisevo had their gardens, their
15 vegetable plots, and there was some amounts of food. So for some time, we
16 could live comparatively normally.
17 Q. What about medical supplies?
18 A. The situation was critical for the two people who had diabetes
19 because we couldn't get any insulin. And the rest, we somehow managed to
21 Q. Did there come a time on the 24th of June when some arrests were
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. First of all, who effected the arrests? Who came to make those
1 A. A police van from Ljubija drove up, and three or four police
2 officers arrived outside the shop in Brisevo and made several arrests
4 Q. Did you know any of the policemen?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. And who was that?
7 A. It's a bit difficult for me to remember now, but I have named
8 these people in my statement.
9 Q. All right.
10 A. For example, I think Dragan Vukic from Ljubija was one of them.
11 Bijekic, Baja Bijekic, as they called him, was also among of them. But
12 there were not only two of them, there were more people. Rade Zekanovic.
13 Q. What ethnicity were these policemen?
14 A. I think they were Serbs. Concerning Mr. Bijekic, I think he was
15 even a Croat. I'm not quite sure, but I think he was a Croat.
16 Q. The men who were arrested, how many of them were there?
17 A. Outside the shop, I think they arrested two citizens.
18 Q. Were you present at the arrests?
19 A. I was standing at around 15 or 20 metres from the scene, at most.
20 Q. Was any reason given that you heard for these arrests?
21 A. They didn't call it an "arrest." They said they were taking those
22 people for an interview, for a brief interview, in the police station in
23 Ljubija, an information interview, as they used to refer to it in the
25 Q. So those, you think there were two men then. Anybody else either
1 taken or go to the police station in Ljubija at that period of time?
2 A. That same day, they continued with the van to Jozo Buzuk's house
3 and Juro Jakara's house. Some people, they weren't home, and they left a
4 note for them to report to the police station in Ljubija the next day for
5 other such interviews.
6 Q. And did the men go?
7 A. Two of them didn't. I didn't go, and Emil Kovidovic didn't go.
8 The rest of them did go.
9 Q. And roughly in all, was that who went?
10 A. Vinko Mlinar went. His father, Slavko Mlinar, went, too. Juro
11 Marijan went, and another man whose name I can't remember now.
12 Q. So there were two taken off, and another four people after that.
13 What happened to those six people? Did they return to the village
14 that night or later?
15 A. They never returned at all.
16 Q. Do you know what happened to those men?
17 A. We later found out at first they were questioned and beaten in
18 Ljubija, and then they were taken to the Keraterm camp, then to Omarska,
19 and from Omarska to Manjaca. From Manjaca, then to Bijeljina, and from
20 Bijeljina to some small village, and later on they were exchanged. Some,
21 however, were killed and never returned. They were killed in a camp.
22 Q. Was there anything about these men that provided a link as to why
23 they should have been taken or asked to go to the police station for
25 A. I can't find any such link or inherent logic except that Vinko and
1 Slavko Mlinar were son and father. And perhaps because they took off one
2 of them they also took the other. But apart from that, I can't really
3 find a real reason.
4 Q. Were any of these men heavily involved in political life, for
6 A. As far as I know, not one of them was actively involved in
7 politics. Whether any one of them was a member of some party, I couldn't
9 Q. All right. Were any of them leaders within the -- your village?
10 A. We were not really organised in such a way as to have a leader or
11 anything like that. There was no leader.
12 Q. So that was in June. Were there any other incidents that took
13 place before the attack started on your village?
14 A. There were two other incidents.
15 Q. What was the first?
16 A. I can't remember the date exactly, but it was in late June. In
17 Ljubija, Dragan Dizdarevic was arrested outside in the street and was
18 taken to a camp. In mid-July, Milan Ivandic was beaten and cut with a
20 Q. Where did that happen?
21 A. That was just below his house, perhaps a hundred fifty metres from
22 his house.
23 Q. Which was in Brisevo?
24 A. That's actually the borderline between Brisevo and Rasavci.
25 There's a field there and a forest, so it's difficult to draw the line
1 between the two villages with any precision. We never knew the exact
3 Q. And who beat him and cut him with a screwdriver?
4 A. A number of young Serb men from Rasavci came over. They called
5 Milan and his brothers to help them pull a car out of the bog. When they
6 came, they first offered them brandy and made them sing with them. And
7 after that, they maltreated them, beat them, and poked them, cut them up
8 with screwdrivers.
9 Q. I want to come, then, to the day before the attack. That day, did
10 you decide to go swimming?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. And where were you going to swim?
13 A. We went to a lake in the neighbouring village of Stara Rijeka. In
14 order to get to it, you had to pass through Stara Kipe. Kipe were
15 remnants of iron ores. When you blow up a hill, then the hole fills up
16 with water, and that's how the lake was formed.
17 Q. On your way to the lake, did you pass any checkpoints?
18 A. There weren't any checkpoints around the lake.
19 Q. Whilst you were there, did a cousin of yours arrive, Branko
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. And what did he tell you?
23 A. He was all in panic, and he said that Zoran Marjanovic from Ostra
24 Luka, a Serb, had come to his place and told us to run because Brisevo,
25 Brisevo would be cleansed the next day. That two brigades were preparing
1 to cleanse Brisevo.
2 Q. You say this was a Serb. Did he explain why he had come to give
3 this warning, or did your cousin know why he had given this warning?
4 A. Because his sister was married to a Croat, and he had tried to
5 convince his sister and her husband to hide in his house in Ostra Luka
6 because he thought they would be safe there.
7 Q. When your cousin gave you this information, did you believe this?
8 A. No one believed him.
9 Q. What did you decide to do?
10 A. We just dispersed, went home. We didn't really have a choice. If
11 they should attack us, we thought we would run in smaller groups because
12 that way we would have better chances of survival.
13 Q. When did the attack actually start?
14 A. Half past 3.00 in the morning.
15 Q. Was that the following, the early hours of the following morning,
16 the 24th of July?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. And how did you become aware of that attack?
19 A. I was woken up again by explosions.
20 Q. Were the explosions the same type as had earlier happened in --
21 when you were shelled in May?
22 A. There were all possible explosions.
23 Q. Do you mean there were different kinds of explosions?
24 A. Yes. There were many kinds of explosions.
25 Q. As a result of the explosions, what did you decide to do?
1 A. My parents decided to hide in a neighbour's cellar that that could
2 be used as some sort of shelter, and I ran to the adjacent house owned by
3 Marko Buzuk, so we tried to arrange something to see what we could do in a
4 situation like that.
5 Q. When you left your house, what was happening? Was there any
6 damage at that stage?
7 A. I couldn't see any damage at that point, but there were explosions
8 very near. And between the explosions, there were very short intervals.
9 I had to lie down all the time as I ran.
10 Q. When you got to your neighbour's -- I'm sorry, to the house of
11 Marko Buzuk, were there other people already there?
12 A. Yes, there were other people there.
13 Q. And where were the people congregated?
14 A. They were all in the cellar under the house.
15 Q. Did you, then, decide together with Milan Buzuk to go to another
17 A. Together with his son, Milan Buzuk, I decided to go to another
19 Q. Why was that?
20 A. We wanted to see how many people there were in the other house,
21 and to see whether they had any idea and whether we could do something
23 Q. All right. And to whose did you then go?
24 A. The owner of that house was Luka Mlinar.
25 Q. And again, were there a number of people at his house?
1 A. There were a number of people there, but fewer than in the first
3 Q. So how did the events progress during the early hours of that
5 A. As time went by, infantry fire increased, not only artillery but
6 also infantry fire, from infantry automatic weapons. We also had the
7 first casualties, the first -- some people were killed.
8 Q. How long did the artillery and the infantry fire continue for?
9 A. For the whole day. The following night, it abated slightly, but
10 it did not cease all together. And then it resumed again the next day.
11 Q. Did you see, during that first day, what damage was being caused,
12 or did you remain in the basement of a house?
13 A. I couldn't see much really. In the afternoon, I came out of the
14 cellar of that house, and we went back to the cellar of Marko Buzuk's
15 house. And then I left that cellar, too, and I fled.
16 Q. And where did you go to?
17 A. I ran to a place where my parents and several neighbours were
19 Q. Was that in a house?
20 A. That was in the cellar of a house owned by Pero Dimac.
21 Q. And sir, you say that the shelling continued all day, abated
22 slightly in the evening, but then started again the following morning.
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And that morning, did the Serb infantry arrive?
25 A. The Serb infantry entered the village in the evening, but I
1 couldn't see them from where I was.
2 MS. KORNER: I'm about to come on to the next part. I don't know
3 whether that would be a convenient moment.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Thank you. The trial stays adjourned
5 until 10 minutes past 4.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 3.40 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 4.22 p.m.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. Thank you. May you please
10 MS. KORNER:
11 Q. Mr. Atlija, we had just reached the point when you told us that
12 the infantry arrived in the village in the evening. When they arrived,
13 whereabouts were you?
14 A. I was still in the cellar where my parents where. The house and
15 the cellar were in a valley in the middle of the village.
16 Q. How did you learn, then, of the arrival of the infantry?
17 A. We could hear strong infantry fire, bullets were flying all over.
18 And we could hear them yelling.
19 Q. What was the first sighting that you had of the soldiers?
20 A. The morning of the following day.
21 Q. And where did you first see them?
22 A. At about 200 metres from the cellar where I was hiding.
23 Q. And was there a window in the cellar so that you could see out?
24 A. There were two windows.
25 Q. The soldiers that you saw as you looked out, were they in regular
1 JNA uniforms?
2 A. They were wearing JNA uniforms with red ribbons around their arms,
3 and some tied those red ribbons around their helmets.
4 Q. You were in the basement. Did any soldiers come there?
5 A. A group of some 10 or 12 soldiers came just outside the cellar,
6 but they did not go in.
7 Q. And who opened the door?
8 A. My father and Pero Dimac went outside to face them.
9 Q. What did the soldiers say or do to your father and Mr. Dimac?
10 A. At first, they only yelled, and they said: "Why are you firing at
11 us? Why are you firing at the Serb army? Hand over your weapons." They
12 were saying something to that effect.
13 Q. And what response did they get from your father or Mr. Dimac?
14 A. My father said: "We're not shooting, and we have no weapons. The
15 only one's shooting around here is you."
16 Q. How many of you were in the basement at that stage when the
17 soldiers arrived?
18 A. My father, Pero Dimac, my mother, Franjo Dimac, Janje [phoen]
19 Dimac, myself, and Viktor Tozan. Seven persons.
20 Q. Your father having told them that nobody was shooting, what did
21 the soldiers do?
22 A. They talked in a normal tone of voice. They said we should
23 disperse and go each to their homes, that no one would do anything to us,
24 that their task was completed. And then they continued on towards the
25 Catholic church in Brisevo alongside a hill.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And so did you all disperse?
2 A. We did disperse, but we did not all go to our respective homes.
3 Q. Now, where did you go?
4 A. Together with two friends, I went to the adjacent house to see
5 what had happened to them, whether they were still alive or whether they
6 had been taken off.
7 Q. And who lived in that house?
8 A. The owner of the house was Ivica Dimac.
9 Q. Now, when you arrived there, that is, the house of Ivica Dimac,
10 did anything happen, or did you hear anything?
11 A. After about 10 minutes, we heard shouts from Pero Dimac's house,
12 Pero Dimac's house, which is about 140 metres far from the other house.
13 So we could hear the shouts very clearly.
14 Q. Was Pero Dimac still with you?
15 A. He left his house, came out of the basement, and stayed in front
16 of his own house when we left. And my father and mother left and went
17 towards our own house.
18 Q. All right. So you heard the shouts coming from Pero Dimac's
19 house. What did you see happening and what did you do?
20 A. We ran towards Pero Dimac's house, and we saw two soldiers wearing
21 JNA uniforms but on their heads they had Subara hats with Kokardas, they
22 were unshaven with long beards, and they were engaged in a fervent
23 discussion with my mother and Pero Dimac, and then they left and joined
24 the other soldiers who were headed for the church.
25 Q. Now, you say that they were wearing JNA uniforms, but on their
1 heads they had Subara hats, what did that suggest to you? In other words,
2 were they regular JNA soldiers or not?
3 A. I can't really say now. But it was quite usual for soldiers with
4 such insignia, where we come from, to be called "the Chetniks." That's
5 from World War II. Those were paramilitary units in World War II.
6 Q. Was there anything else that distinguished what came to be called
7 the Chetnik soldiers from regular JNA soldiers?
8 A. Regular JNA soldiers, for example, one detail, the knife they
9 usually wore was part of the automatic rifle K-47 kit, A-47 or AB or AB 2,
10 depending on the type of rifle they were using. And these soldiers wore a
11 very different kind of knives, hunting knives, knives used for civilian
12 purposes. They are not really part of any military kit.
13 Q. So there had been something happening between your mother and Pero
14 and these soldiers. They went towards the church. What did you do?
15 A. We ran to Pero's and to my mother's, and the two soldiers didn't
16 notice us. They didn't want to notice us. They didn't react to us.
17 Q. And what sort of state were your mother and Pero in?
18 A. Pero was pale, and my mother was crying and shouting. She said:
19 "Run away, run off, they killed your father. Go wherever you can."
20 Q. What happened then?
21 A. We ran across a brook, and we crouched behind a small tree in a
22 small woods. And Pero and my mother remained in front of the house. They
23 couldn't move.
24 Q. Now, what happened to Pero and your mother?
25 A. After a few moments, a large group of soldiers, several hundreds
1 of people came, and they locked up my mother in the pigsty, and Pero was
2 thrown off onto the road.
3 Q. Was there still firing going on at that stage, shooting?
4 A. No, there was -- the shooting hadn't stopped at any single moment.
5 Q. So there was still artillery firing going on, was there?
6 A. Yes. The explosions echoed, but they were in front of the -- a
7 few metres in front of the infantry lines, in front of the soldiers.
8 Q. Now, you say that your mother was locked up in the pigsty, and
9 Pero was thrown off onto the road. What did you see happen to Pero?
10 A. Three or four soldiers beat Pero. They swore at him. They found
11 the Bible in his house, and they said: "Let the Catholic Jesus help him
12 now." They swore at his mother and asked why Tudjman wasn't helping him
13 then. They made him take off his clothes, and he was in his underwear.
14 Q. Now, you say that they found a Bible in his house. What did they
15 do with the Bible?
16 A. First, they hit Pero with it, and then they threw it back into the
17 house, and then they set fire to the house.
18 Q. Now, you say that they made Pero take off his clothes. First, how
19 old was he?
20 A. Well, at the time, he must have been 65, 66. Not more.
21 Q. And after they had made him strip, what sort of position was he
22 in? Was he standing, lying on the ground?
23 A. No, he was not lying on the ground. He was being beaten, and then
24 he was falling from one side to another after having beaten. And then he
25 would fall down, and then they made him run from one to another.
1 Q. Before they had hit him, as you told us, with the Bible, and
2 before they threw it back in the house, did they make him do anything else
3 with the Bible?
4 A. They made him to pray according to the Catholic ritual, and then
5 made fun of him.
6 Q. Okay. So having beaten him, you say they made him run from one to
7 the other. How did the whole incident come to an end?
8 A. One of the soldiers ordered him to run in the direction of where
9 we were hiding, Viktor Tozan and I, and then he shot him in the head.
10 Q. During this, did Pero offer any resistance at all?
11 A. Pero was crying, and I didn't see that he even tried to defend
13 Q. After he had been shot, did any of the soldiers say anything that
14 you heard?
15 A. Well, two soldiers approached him. They asked: "Where is he"?
16 And the other one said: "The Ustasha dog fell into the water."
17 Q. Now, I think that you drew a sketch plan of what you saw and where
18 you were when this happened. I wonder if it could be shown, please, the
19 document that was Annex D to your statement.
20 MS. KORNER: I believe Your Honours have copies of this.
21 Q. Now, perhaps if you can just indicate - I think - do we see on the
22 far left-hand side you've indicated where you were? I'm sorry.
23 A. Where I was is marked by a cross, and the I. A. Initials stand
24 there, and V. T., Viktor Tozan.
25 Q. And where we see the initials P. D., is that where Dimac was?
1 A. Yes, that was the place where Pero Dimac was killed. And the
2 little square represents his house, the location of his house.
3 Q. All right. And have you indicated the locations of other houses
4 in your village?
5 A. Yes, I marked the location of houses that were the closest to the
6 scene of that event.
7 Q. So, we see there were a number of other Dimac houses to, as we
8 look at it, the right of where Pero was killed.
9 A. That is right.
10 Q. And are you indicating, by the line that we can see through there,
11 the road?
12 A. Yes, that's the village road. It's not asphalt. It's an ordinary
14 Q. And then, if we go to the top right-hand corner, have you marked
15 there what we can see as the Catholic church?
16 A. That's right. That is where the Catholic church was, but I would
17 like to point out that the scale is perhaps not very good, and perhaps the
18 distance is not correctly represented, the distance between the church and
19 the houses.
20 Q. Don't worry about that. And does the road divide there? Is that
21 what you're indicating?
22 A. Yes, yes. It divides into two parts.
23 Q. So that it goes in one direction to Marijani and the other to
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Yes. Yes, thank you.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, unless there's an objection, may that
3 be made an exhibit.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections?
5 MR. LUKIC: No objections, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Entered into evidence as S183. S183.
7 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
8 Q. Now, after that, what did you see was happening in your village?
9 A. For a few hours, we remained concealed in that same place, and we
10 saw that houses were burning around that place.
11 Q. What were the soldiers doing?
12 A. The soldiers were passing by. For a long time, there was a big
13 group passing, and then smaller groups were passing. And then individual
14 soldiers were passing. Some of them were driving things that had been
15 looted. Some simply passed by. Others were shooting.
16 Q. First of all, again, the soldiers, were they JNA, Chetniks, or a
18 A. There was a mixture. But I would like to point out that most of
19 them had regular insignia on them, the JNA insignia.
20 Q. Now, you say that some of them were driving things that had been
21 looted. What sort of things were they looting?
22 A. Mainly technical goods.
23 Q. And by that do you mean -- I'm sorry, what do you mean by
24 "technical goods"?
25 A. Television sets, air-conditioning sets, videos, hi-fis, and some
1 pieces of furniture, too.
2 Q. And how were they driving them off? Were they driving trucks,
3 army trucks, or were they taking people's vehicles?
4 A. I saw civilian vehicles.
5 Q. And were those vehicles that belonged to your village or people
6 who lived in your village, or did they come in from outside?
7 A. As far as I know, only two tractors were from our village, taken
8 from our village. But the origin of the other vehicles, I do not know.
9 Q. Now, you've told us that you saw that houses were burning. How
10 were they being set on fire?
11 A. Well, the fire appeared from inside. I don't know how the fires
12 were set, but the fire always appeared from the inside. And when it
13 reached a certain level, it would reach the roof, and the roof would cave
14 in, and the flames would come outside.
15 Q. Were there officers present?
16 A. I was able to see only three or four people with officers'
17 insignia, those who were nearer to our hiding point. The others, I
18 couldn't see whether they held ranks or whether they were ordinary
20 Q. Did any of the officers, either the ones who were near you or that
21 you could see further off, make any attempt to prevent the looting?
22 A. I didn't notice that anyone tried to prevent the looting or the
23 beating or killing of people.
24 Q. Now, you say there were three or four officers who were near to
25 your hiding point. Did you hear them speak?
1 A. One of the soldiers had a radio station on his back, and he was
2 shouting quite loudly because there was something wrong with the links.
3 They said: "9th Battalion deploy, go more forward," and things to that
4 effect. In any case, they were making a lot of noise.
5 Q. These officers, were you able to tell where they came from?
6 A. I couldn't conclude from where they were -- where they came from.
7 They spoke the Ekavian dialect. But the Ekavian language is the official
8 language of the army, so they were not necessarily from Serbia.
9 Q. And you say you heard the -- one of the officers shouting into a
10 radio and giving orders, for example, to the 9th Battalion. Did you hear
11 any arrangements being made as to where they would meet? Where the units
12 would meet?
13 A. They were all being asked to go in the direction of the Catholic
14 church and to meet at the point called Dizdari, it is a hill not too far
15 from the Catholic church.
16 Q. At that stage, did you know which units, which brigade of the JNA
17 was engaged in this attack?
18 A. At that time, this area was held by the 6th Krajina Brigade.
19 Q. And do you know where that brigade was based?
20 A. You're referring to the headquarters where the command of the
21 brigade was or where the barracks were?
22 Q. The command.
23 A. The command of the 6th Krajina Brigade, well, I cannot tell you
24 exactly where the command was. But the operational command, which was
25 carrying out this operation, it was located in Dizdari hill in the house
1 of Phillip Dizdari. That's where the command was established.
2 Q. And how were you able to find that out?
3 A. An inhabitant, Vlado Dimac, told me that. He was caught and taken
4 to the command. And there at the command, this Major Veljko Brajic said
5 that. And he said that he was in charge of the operation, and this was
6 his command, and he spoke with Vlado Dimac the whole evening.
7 Q. Were there any other units in the area, or brigades that you knew
9 A. Yes. In the direction of Prijedor and Ljubija, there was the 5th
10 Kozara Brigade. I think that it changed its name later on, but I'm not
12 Q. Now, were you able to establish which units did take part, which
13 brigades did take part in this attack, at a later stage?
14 A. Subsequently, I found out from other victims of that event that
15 from the side of Sanski Most, that there was the 6th Krajina Brigade, and
16 towards the north, it was the 5th Kozara Brigade, and then they joined,
17 and they created a ring, and they got together. They joined at Brisevo.
18 Q. In a moment, I'm going to ask you to look at another drawing that
19 you did to assist Court on the attack, but you heard from other victims.
20 Did you receive any kind of official confirmation from anybody in a
21 position to know that either of the two units had taken part, the two
22 brigades, I should say?
23 A. Later on, Mr. Vojo Kupresanin confirmed this, but he said it was
24 only a minor incident.
25 Q. I'm going to ask you to look at and explain to us the map you drew
1 to explain the attack, which was attached as Annex E to your statement.
2 Now, I think the best thing would be, Mr. Atlija, if you could
3 explain to us what you're indicating on this particular drawing.
4 A. Okay. Here you can see the northern direction, from the direction
5 of Ljubija. And on this -- from this side, the members of the 5th Kozara
6 Brigade were coming. And behind the direction of their action, I wrote
7 down which territorial units were part of that brigade then, the reserve,
8 the Territorial Defence of Ljubija, Ljeskare and Miska Glava and so on.
9 And from the south, from the direction of Sanski Most, through the Stara
10 Rijeka, Ostra Luka, and Rasavci villages, the members of the 6th Krajina
11 Brigade came. I said that the 5th, 6th, and 8th Battalion that took part
12 in this because I heard orders of the commanders with regard to that
13 battalion. For the others, I could not really find out whether all the
14 battalions of the brigade had taken part or only some.
15 The arrows show the direction in which the infantry encircled the
16 village, and on the second day of the attack, they descended into the
17 valley in the very centre of the village, and they gathered here on the
18 Dizdari hill which has been indicated by a larger dot. And then from
19 there, they dispersed once the action had been completed.
20 Q. And you -- I think in fact, the map itself was drawn by yourself
21 and another survivor. Is that right?
22 A. Yes, that is right. And we were also assisted by Luka Gavranovic
23 from the Croatian Information Centre in Zagreb.
24 Q. But can you just tell us what's written or just read to us so we
25 can get a translation on the top left-hand corner of the map? I hope it
1 has come out on your copy. It hasn't on mine. No, I think it's even
2 worse on yours.
3 A. Yes, I can see it on my sketch. In the left upper corner, you
4 said "attacks on the Croats on 24th of July, 1992, from the villages of
5 Brisevo and Stara Rijeka," and underneath, you see the date, "at 7.00 on
6 the 25th of July, 1992, the Serbs celebrated their bloody victory."
7 Q. Before this attack took place, you've told us that there were
8 announcements on Prijedor radio before the attack on Hambarine and the
9 like. Were any announcements made on the radio that you, the villagers of
10 Brisevo and Stara Rijeka should surrender?
11 A. There were no announcements for us.
12 Q. Any warnings through megaphones or other methods that your village
13 was going to be attacked in this manner?
14 A. No, there were no warnings.
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, then, unless there's any other
16 explanation that you would like Mr. Atlija to give, may that be made an
17 exhibit as well.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I first ask the office of the Prosecutor,
19 please provide us with a copy that we also can read what evidently is
20 written on the bottom line, and there's a signature and there is a date.
21 Unfortunately, it hasn't come out --
22 MS. KORNER: No, it hasn't on my copy either. But I'm not sure --
23 because this is a photocopy of what he provided to the Croatian
24 authorities. So it may be the best we can do.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You can see both the date and the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 signature in my copy, in case you'd like to have it.
2 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much, Mr. Atlija. We'll recopy it,
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
6 MR. LUKIC: No objections, only we had the same observations as
7 Your Honours did..
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence, S184. And for
9 clarification, because as regards S183, it reads "tendered as evidence."
10 Also this document was already admitted into evidence. Thank you.
11 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
12 Q. Now, Mr. Atlija, how long did the soldiers remain in your village?
13 A. Most of them dispersed the next day, the evening after the attack.
14 Some of them, and small groups, remained and kept coming throughout the
15 days that followed the attack.
16 Q. When you were able to go back into your village, what was the
17 level of destruction that you noticed?
18 A. The next day, we tried to make a round of the whole village who
19 see who survived and who was killed. 68 houses were burned down, and 68
20 dead bodies were lying around.
21 Q. I want to deal with the dead bodies in a moment, a separate issue.
22 You say 68 houses were burnt down. Was that in total destruction, as it
23 were, or partial?
24 A. That was a partial number, and the church was included, too.
25 That's what I forgot to say.
1 Q. You said there were -- I'm sorry.
2 A. The houses were burned down to the ground, and the walls of the
3 church were still standing.
4 Q. You said there were 120 houses in the village. What about other
5 houses that hadn't been burnt down, were they damaged?
6 A. Some were, but we didn't count exactly how many damaged houses
7 there were.
8 Q. Now, I think at a later stage, were you provided with photographs
9 that had been taken at a later stage of the damage to Brisevo?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. I don't think they were taken by you. Were they taken by somebody
12 that you knew?
13 A. I did not myself take any of these photographs.
14 Q. But having looked at them, are you able to confirm what they show
15 and when the damage occurred?
16 A. Yes. I could recognise every single house and every single place
17 that was photographed, because I lived there for almost 30 years.
18 Q. All right. And I'd like you, please, to have a look at the
19 photographs in the order in which they are numbered, which starts with
20 0107-4759 onwards.
21 MS. KORNER: And Your Honours, could they all be -- if Your
22 Honours enter them into evidence, could they be made one exhibit.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it's the understanding it should not be added
24 to our famous binder, S15.
25 MS. KORNER: No, I think Ms. Sutherland would be very upset. I
1 think it's better they stay with the witness as the witness's exhibits.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then it's -- I think there will be no objections
3 by the Defence. Then, admitted into evidence as 185-1 and following.
4 MS. KORNER: All right. Could we have the first photograph up
5 which bears the number 4579.
6 Q. What does that show us, Mr. Atlija?
7 A. In this photograph, you can see the Catholic church in Brisevo.
8 It was built in 1990.
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, we're going to show a video later of
10 what it looked like afterwards.
11 Then please, the next photograph, 4760.
12 Q. What does that show us?
13 A. In this photograph, you can see the remains of Ante Mlinar's
15 Q. And was that one of the houses that was destroyed when you went
16 through the village?
17 A. Yes. This house was burned down in the first onslaught, in a
18 manner of speaking.
19 Q. Thank you. The next photograph, 4761, what does that show us?
20 A. Here you can see the remains of, I think, Andjelko Mlinar's house.
21 Q. Again, was that destroyed in that attack?
22 A. Yes, it was.
23 Q. Then next, 4762.
24 A. I think these are the remains of Ante Mlinar's house, but taken
25 from a different angle.
1 Q. And the road that we can see here, is that the road that you
2 indicated in the first drawing, or is that a different road?
3 A. No, it's a different road. That's not the same as the one in the
5 Q. Thank you. Next, 4763.
6 A. These are the remains of the Matic family house.
7 Q. It's not easy to see, but I think we're going to see a close-up,
8 are we not, in the next photograph? Yes, so if we can look at 4764. Is
9 that the same house that we can see on the left of the previous
10 photograph, but taken from a different angle?
11 A. I think so, but from a different angle.
12 Q. And I think we can see clearly there the fire damage.
13 Next, 4765, what are we looking at there?
14 A. These are the remains of Stipo Dimac's house, but I think there's
15 a better photograph where you can see the same thing better from a
16 different angle.
17 Q. Yes, if we look at the last one, 4766. Is that the same house but
18 at a different angle?
19 A. Yes. This is the same house. This is the photo I meant, a
20 clearer view from a different angle.
21 Q. All right. And all these houses were damaged, were they, during
22 that attack on your village?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Yes, thank you. I'm now going to ask for you to look at a video
25 that you provided, which I believe the audiovisual unit have.
1 MS. KORNER: I think the best way of dealing with this subject to
2 Their Honours' consent is: It will be played, if there's anything that
3 you want to explain, if you just say "stop" into the microphone, they'll
4 pause the video.
5 Okay, if we could --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right.
7 MS. KORNER: I'm not sure that's --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These are the remains of the iron
9 ore mine, Ljubija.
10 MS. KORNER: Just pause for a moment, please. Just going to hold
12 Q. When was that destroyed or attacked?
13 A. There was no attack, strictly speaking, because no one was working
14 there. They just targeted it and hit it.
15 Q. Do you know when that was? Was that in the same period of time?
16 A. That was around the same period of time, but it went on for
17 several months. You couldn't do a thing like that in a very short time.
18 Q. I should have just done this before we go on. I think it's right,
19 is it, this film was shot by a German cameraman, from a news station?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. ZDF, I think.
22 A. ZDF, yes, that's right.
23 MS. KORNER: Perhaps we can go back to it now.
24 [Videotape played]
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Still the iron ore mine.
1 MS. KORNER: I think we can fast forward this a little bit.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think so, too.
3 MS. KORNER: If I think if you fast forward until we say stop or
4 one of us says stop. Gripping there, the horses.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the very entrance to the
6 mine, the gate from the direction of Ljubija.
7 Stop, please. In this building, there were the offices of
8 Slobodan and Djoko Karanjac, from the so-called Ljubija Serb command. I
9 don't know what it's official name was.
10 MS. KORNER:
11 Q. And this is where, in Ljubija itself, is it?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 MS. KORNER: Yes. We would like to go on.
14 [Videotape played]
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the town itself, Ljubija.
16 MS. KORNER: Pausing for a moment.
17 Q. Did anything happen to Ljubija? Was that in any way attacked?
18 A. Not while I was there. There were no attacks on Ljubija, no
19 shelling, no military conflicts. But people were being taken off,
20 maltreated, killed.
21 Q. Right.
22 MS. KORNER: If we go back, then, to the film, please.
23 [Videotape played]
24 MS. KORNER: And again, I think we can fast -- yes.
25 All right, pause, please, there, what are we looking at?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. Here, we can see the remains
2 of that same Catholic church that we had seen in one of the previous
3 photographs, the Catholic church in Brisevo.
4 MS. KORNER:
5 Q. Was it in that state that we can see, and we will see a bit more
6 of it in a moment, when you emerged that first day and had a look at the
8 A. Yes, precisely in that state.
9 MS. KORNER: All right. If we just have a look at it then,
11 [Videotape played]
12 MS. KORNER: Can you just pause the video there?
13 Q. What are we looking at, although it may be obvious, Mr. Atlija.
14 A. We could see the place in the church where the altar used to be.
15 MS. KORNER: Yes, thank you. We could move on.
16 [Videotape played]
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the interior of the church.
18 MS. KORNER:
19 Q. And that is?
20 A. Here, you can see the rubble from the bell which hung in the
21 belfry and then fell down at some point.
22 MS. KORNER: I think we've seen sufficient. I'm not sure that the
23 tracking equipment is doing terribly well. Thank you.
24 Your Honour, I don't know when Your Honour is intending to have a
25 second break, but I'm going to move on to the burial of the bodies.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's appropriate to have the break now.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry. We resume at 5.45.
4 --- Recess taken at 5.21 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 5.56 p.m.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. Please continue.
7 MS. KORNER:
8 Q. Mr. Atlija, I should have asked you, do you know when that video
9 was taken from the cameraman from ZDF?
10 A. The exact date, and the related data, I have all of that at home,
11 but I can't give it to you now. I don't know these things by heart, so
12 I'm afraid I might give you the wrong date.
13 Q. If it becomes of importance, you can probably check for us when
14 you get home.
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, nonetheless, may I ask that that be
16 admitted into evidence.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Objections?
18 MR. LUKIC: No objections, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then admitted into evidence, S186.
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, just before I move on, may I confess to
21 yet another sin, which is that I had forgotten that last year, Mr. Inayat
22 took various photographs which are relevant to the evidence that
23 Mr. Atlija is giving. He has never seen them. I have given copies to my
24 learned friends. I think the best thing I can do, Your Honour, is I'm
25 going to ask him if he's able to recognise things. If he's not, then they
1 can't be admitted. And I will give Your Honours copies now.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If this is your own sin, there's no problem.
3 MS. KORNER: There are probably worse ones.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
5 MS. KORNER:
6 Q. Mr. Atlija, I want to come now to the subject of the bodies and
7 the killings, starting with what you told us about the village. You told
8 us that 68 people were killed during the course of this attack. Of those
9 people, if there's no dispute about this, I'll lead the evidence rather
10 than asking you to remember, were 14 women?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Were two of them males who were under 16?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. And were there also four people killed who were invalids?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, you told us that the main bulk of the soldiers withdrew. Did
17 they take with them any men in custody?
18 A. 36 men were taken to, as we found out later, Krings, in Sanski
20 Q. Were those men all men between 18 and 65, in other words, of
21 callup age?
22 A. I think they were.
23 Q. And is it right that those men were released after two months,
24 effectively through bribing somebody?
25 A. Nikola Marinovic was bribed. And it was through his intervention
1 that all those people were released from the camp alive and not one of
2 those people was killed.
3 Q. You told us that you witnessed yourself the killing of Pero Dimac.
4 Did you witness the killings of the other persons, the other 68?
5 A. Only the killing of Pero Dimac personally. The other bodies, I
6 only got to see when they were already dead.
7 Q. Now, I want to deal, please, with the burials that you
8 participated in. Were the first people that you buried Pero Dimac and
9 your father?
10 A. They were the first, and we buried the same evening on the day
11 they were killed.
12 Q. We know where Pero was killed. Where did you find your father's
14 A. We found my father's body about 15 or 20 metres further down from
15 his house.
16 Q. And were you able to see from his body what had caused his death?
17 A. He had three gunshot wounds in his back.
18 Q. And where did you bury your father?
19 A. We buried him about 10 metres from the place where he was killed,
20 because the soil was softer, and it was easier to dig there.
21 Q. Now, the following day, did you go through the village?
22 A. Yes, we did.
23 Q. And whenever you found a dead body, would you bury the person that
24 you found?
25 A. Not immediately, because soldiers would appear, and they would
1 start shooting at us if they saw us there. So that we only managed to
2 bury a number of bodies after three months.
3 Q. And in addition to people who you found in the village, did you
4 also - and I'm going to jump ahead, and then deal with each grave, as it
5 were, separately - did you also find other people in other areas who had
6 been killed?
7 A. In two other places, yes, we did find other bodies.
8 Q. And what I'm going to ask you about now, what you told the
9 Croatian Information people about, namely, the various graves, did you
10 either see the bodies, even if you weren't present at the actual burial or
11 take part in the burial?
12 A. Some I only saw, but I did take part in most of the burials.
13 Q. All right. Well, then, I want to take these in the order that you
14 dealt with them. The first grave that I want to ask you about, I think,
15 was at the Stara Rijeka. I think it may assist, although I know you
16 marked on a map the location of the various graves. It's not always the
17 easiest to see. I think it's easier if you use the map that you drew the
18 attacks on, because that I think shows most of the places.
19 MS. KORNER: I wonder if you could have back what is now our
20 Exhibit S --
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 184.
22 MS. KORNER: 184. Thank you very much.
23 Q. I think the first grave that you gave information about was one in
24 Stara Rijeka. Is that right?
25 A. Yes, I think so.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. All right. Did there come a time shortly after the attack on
2 Brisevo when a group of Muslims passed through your village or reached
3 your village?
4 A. I did not see them myself, but other villagers told me that a
5 group of about 12 Muslims indeed passed through our village and went off
6 in the direction of Stari Majdan, for which they had to pass through Stara
8 Q. Right. And subsequently, did you, yourself, pass through when you
9 were trying to go to Sanski Most, did you pass through Stara Rijeka?
10 A. Yes, I did, a number of times.
11 Q. Did you see any bodies there?
12 A. Across the way from Ljubica Dizdarevic's house, under a big pear
13 tree, there was a heap of between 10 and 12 bodies. It was difficult to
14 count them because they were covered over with earth, but hands and heads
15 were sticking out of this little mound.
16 Q. How close did you get to the bodies?
17 A. Very close, perhaps 5 or 6 metres, 10 at the most.
18 Q. Those that you could see, their heads, what sort of age did they
19 appear to be? Firstly, I'm sorry, what sex, first of all?
20 A. Those I could see were men.
21 Q. Could you guess roughly what age these men were?
22 A. Young, I think, about 20 years of age. Not older.
23 Q. Were you able to see in any of their cases what had caused their
25 A. Only on those bodies which were closer, there were blood stains
1 which looked like bullet wounds.
2 Q. And do you know yourself whether this grave was exhumed?
3 A. I think that only traces of excavation were found -- exhumation
4 were found in that grave, not bodies actually. And they told me about
5 this when they exhumed at a place called Jakerina Kos.
6 Q. Thank you. Next I want to move to the hamlet we call Dimaci.
7 Which if we look at your hand-drawn map, I think we can see to the
8 right-hand side of Brisevo, I think it's not quite clear on the screen,
9 but if you just point it out.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, was there a mass grave, in the sense of more than one person
12 in it, there?
13 A. In that grave, there were the remains of three bodies.
14 Q. Do you know who they were?
15 A. Those were the bodies of Stipo Dimac, Franjo Marijan, and his
16 wife, Mara Marijan.
17 Q. Do you know how old Stipo Dimac was, roughly?
18 A. Stipo Dimac was I think about 76 to 78 years old. I can't say
19 with any precision.
20 Q. Did you see the bodies?
21 A. I saw what remained of the bodies. The bodies were burned and
22 were very difficult to identify.
23 Q. And when you saw the bodies, were they inside a house or outside?
24 A. The remains of the bodies were inside the house.
25 Q. All right. And did you personally take part in the burial of
1 those bodies?
2 A. The burial itself, no, I didn't.
3 Q. I think you, however, were present after the bodies were exhumed
4 in September of 1998, and they were identified in Sanski Most.
5 A. Yes, that's correct. I was present also when the bodies were
6 buried several days later.
7 Q. And I should ask, how long after the attack on Brisevo did you see
8 these bodies, if you can remember?
9 A. At least three weeks. Maybe a day or two more.
10 Q. Do you know, and if you don't know, was this particular little
11 hamlet or village attacked when the main attack took place on Brisevo?
12 A. These are the fringe areas of the village, and they were attacked
13 the first night of the attack.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 All right. Could we come to the hamlet of Mlinari. Mlinari. I
16 think you're going to point out for us.
17 A. [Indicates]
18 Q. Now, how many people were buried there?
19 A. Many people were buried there.
20 Q. Did you see the bodies there?
21 A. I did see the bodies quite clearly because I took part in the
23 Q. What did you notice about those bodies?
24 A. Those bodies were also covered over with earth, but parts of the
25 bodies were sticking out with wounds of irregular shapes, probably not
1 inflicted by firearms. Next to the grave, there were some tools, a pick,
2 a spade, which bore the stains -- bloodstains and hair.
3 Q. Were you able to establish, from any eyewitnesses, what those
4 people had been doing before they were killed?
5 A. From the accounts of the eyewitnesses, they were made to dig their
6 own grave, and then they were killed with the same tools they had used to
7 dig the grave.
8 Q. And you, then, buried those people, did you, or reburied them?
9 A. Yes, we brought some more earth, and we buried the bodies in the
10 hole that they were already lying in.
11 Q. You've told us that they had irregular injuries, that they weren't
12 shot. Could you tell from when you helped rebury them where their
13 injuries were?
14 A. During the exhumation, it was established, for instance, that Luka
15 Mlinar had been killed with a pick on his head. And his skull was, in
16 fact, fractured by the pick. However, there were also broken bones. What
17 the cause of the death, well, I'm not a pathologist, a forensic expert, I
18 cannot tell you.
19 Q. Don't worry about that. Thank you. And you know that the grave
20 was exhumed, but you weren't present -- you weren't present at the
21 exhumation, but I think you were present at the reburial.
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. In addition to those bodies, were there any other bodies nearby?
24 A. In the immediate vicinity, there was another grave where Joso
25 Lovric had been killed, one of the four invalids I mentioned.
1 Q. And you told us that there were many bodies in the -- at the main
2 grave. Do you remember exactly how many?
3 A. In the main grave there was Luka Mlinar, Ivica Mlinar, I think
4 Jerko Ivandic was there, too, Milan Ivandic, and his two brothers. I
5 cannot recall their names right now.
6 Q. All right.
7 A. I think one was called Pejo Ivandic.
8 Q. All right. Can we move, then, please to the next place, which I
9 think is the hamlet of Buzuci, which is -- you can see on the map.
10 A. [Indicates]
11 Q. Yes, thank you.
12 Was there another grave there?
13 A. Yes. We buried people there also.
14 Q. Again, how many -- how did you come across the bodies? Where were
15 the bodies when you saw them?
16 A. If you are referring to the bodies in Buzuci, they were in a
17 terrible shape. They were lying in front of Marko Buzuk's house.
18 Q. And in what way were they in terrible shape?
19 A. Especially Milan Buzuk, he had cuts and wounds all over his body.
20 And a part of his skull was missing, and we found him a few metres
21 further. Ivica Buzuk was killed along with his crutch. He was wrapped up
22 in his crutch, and we could not separate the body from the crutch.
23 Q. Were you able to establish from anyone what had happened to Milan
25 A. The mother of Milan Buzuk was an eyewitness, when he was caught,
1 tortured, and killed. And she told me the story.
2 Q. Again, do you know if that grave was later exhumed?
3 A. The grave was exhumed at the same time as the others, in September
5 Q. Then can we come, please, next to, I think, the hamlet of Jezerce.
6 I'm not sure that's shown on the map, is it?
7 A. You cannot see very well.
8 Q. Is it above Buzuci?
9 A. It is, so to say, below Buzuci. The map isn't very accurate
10 because it was drawn by hand. It is at a lower level than Buzuci.
11 Q. I don't think, I'm afraid, any of the other maps will help us
13 Again, did you find bodies there?
14 A. There, we found bodies as well. Sreco Buzuk's body, Ivo Lovric's
15 body, Vlatko Buzuk's body. He was also an invalid.
16 Q. Were you able to establish how they died?
17 A. There were bullet wounds, and in the underarms of Ivo Lovric,
18 there was no skin. The skin was missing.
19 Q. And again, I think those bodies were exhumed and they were
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. Can we move next please to the hamlet of Cengije, which I think is
24 A. Yes, it is about there.
25 Q. Yes. It's not marked actually, but it's marked on my copy. How
1 many people there?
2 A. There we found Marko Buzuk.
3 Q. And when you found him, what sort of state was his body in?
4 A. The lower part of his body was fully burned because even the grass
5 and the weeds around him had been burnt as well. The upper part of his
6 body was preserved, so to speak.
7 Q. And was this gentleman the father of Milan, the man you had
8 described as being tortured?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. Then can we move next, please, to the hamlet of Mustanica. Just
11 show us where that is.
12 A. In the lower part of the map.
13 Q. Yes. And is that where Pero Dimac was buried?
14 A. Yes. Pero Dimac on one -- in one place, and my father Atlija was
15 buried in another place.
16 Q. And in fact, is there one other body in that area?
17 A. I cannot remember whether there was someone else buried in that
19 Q. Do you remember somebody called Ante Matanovic?
20 A. Yes, I remember Ante Matanovic. He was buried about 2 kilometres
21 south from his house, but that part of that village is also called
22 Mustanica, and I apologise.
23 Q. That's quite all right. Can you remember what sort of condition
24 he was in when you found his body?
25 A. He was also an invalid. And he was in a state as someone who had
1 been running and was stopped abruptly.
2 Q. And could you ascertain from finding his body what had caused his
4 A. I think he was killed with a firearm. There was a bullet wound.
5 Q. And you say it looked as though he was running away and he was
6 stopped. Was the bullet wound in the front or the back, can you remember?
7 A. I think on the back.
8 Q. Right.
9 Now, was one person buried near the church?
10 A. Near the church, Jozo Jakara was buried.
11 Q. Did you see his body?
12 A. Yes, we saw his body.
13 Q. And were you able to ascertain, or if not you personally,
14 somebody, how he had died?
15 A. I didn't come near him really, but those that did said that his
16 throat had been slit with glass.
17 Q. Now, next, can we deal with a hamlet called Ivandici, if you can
18 just point that out on the map.
19 A. Here, but it hasn't been marked on the map. That hamlet has not
20 been indicated on the map, at least on the map that I have before me.
21 Q. No.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm just thinking, in fact, for the
23 purposes of the transcript, I suppose one ought to say that the witness
24 indicated just near the letter K in Kurevo.
25 Q. Again, there were a number of graves -- are there a number of
1 graves located in that hamlet?
2 A. There were several graves, but they were close to one another.
3 And then we marked them as one grave. I think that was the case.
4 Q. Again, how many people were there?
5 A. Several people, practically the whole Ivandic family, Stipo, his
6 wife, his two sons -- I don't know their names any more.
7 Q. And roughly how many women, can you remember? You said there
8 was --
9 A. In that place, there were three or four women.
10 Q. Again, how did you find the bodies?
11 A. When we were visiting the village, we passed by that location, and
12 we spoke with the other survivors. And everyone who knew that
13 someone -- that there was a body or a grave, he spoke to us, and then we
14 visited the entire area.
15 Q. The bodies, were you able to see what had caused their death?
16 A. Not in the case of all of them. But with most of them, we could
17 see bullet wounds.
18 Q. Now, again, going back to the hamlet of Cengije, is there another
19 mass grave there, other than the one you've already described?
20 A. There was. In that area, there was also another grave in that
22 Q. All right. Can you tell us about the grave which was close to
23 somebody called Ivo Zunic's house.
24 A. The grave near Ivo Zunic's house was similar to the one that we
25 described. There were several people killed and buried very close to one
1 another. So it can be considered as one grave.
2 Q. Were there any women in that grave, or graves?
3 A. I think there were women in -- that there were women in that
4 grave, too.
5 Q. And in particular, was there somebody called Kaja Komljen?
6 A. Kaja Komljen was found in a field. Her body was totally naked,
7 and there were many wounds on her body. But we didn't notice any bullet
9 Q. Were you able to discover from any witnesses what had happened to
11 A. The eyewitnesses, including her brother, said that she had been
12 raped and beaten until she died.
13 Q. The other people in the grave, in those collection of small
14 graves, were you able to establish how they had died?
15 A. Most of bullet wounds, but the eyewitness said that Luka Komljen
16 and his son Iva had been tortured for hours before they were killed, but I
17 wasn't an eyewitness to that.
18 Q. All right. Again, I think the bodies have been exhumed from that
19 grave as well.
20 A. All the bodies were exhumed.
21 Q. And can we deal, please, with graves on the Raljas hill, which I
22 think you have marked on the map.
23 A. I marked this on the map. We can see the top of the hill, and the
24 grave is actually a bit further down the slope.
25 Q. I think that there were two graves, were there not?
1 A. Two individual graves. I think there is the 14-year-old Luka
2 Mlinar buried in one of them, and in the other, the 14- or 15-year-old boy
3 called Mirsad Svraka. And he was not from our village. He was from
5 Q. And then again, I think one further grave in the hamlet of
6 Mlinari. Was that for a 74 year old woman called Mara Mlinar?
7 A. Yes, Mara Mlinar was buried there.
8 Q. Did you see her body?
9 A. I did, but I didn't come very close.
10 Q. Where was her body when you saw it?
11 A. It was in a field. Those who buried her said that she had been
12 killed by the shrapnel of the mortar.
13 Q. All right. I want to come now, to the Redak graves or killings.
14 Can you tell us where Redak is? I'm not sure you've marked it.
15 A. Redak is where two paths fork from the Ljubija road. One in the
16 direction of Gornja Ravska, and one in the direction of Brisevo.
17 Q. All right. When did you first come across the bodies?
18 A. Just after the attack on Brisevo, a friend of mine and I tried to
19 pass through to Gornja Ravska, and that's when we saw this heap of bodies.
20 Q. Whereabouts were the bodies?
21 A. The bodies were in a place where a path forks off for Brisevo for
22 the Ljubija Stara Rijeka road. There is a hole there, partly filled with
23 water, and close by, there are several dumper tyres. And that's how the
24 place could be identified.
25 Q. I'd just like you for a moment, please, to have a look at this
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 photograph, which you haven't been shown before.
2 MS. KORNER: And Your Honours, if he can identify it, I'll just
3 hand it out.
4 Q. Is that the place?
5 A. Yes, I think this is the place.
6 Q. All right.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, these photographs were taken last year
8 by Mr. Inayat. Can I hand out copies.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it correct that we saw this picture already
11 MS. KORNER: You've seen it already, have you?
12 Right. Your Honour, I'm told rightly that Your Honour may have
13 seen it with the witness.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Karagic.
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour is quite right. And Ms. Karper has told
16 me the same thing. So in that case, I needn't re-exhibit it. It's been
17 exhibited, has it? Only Ms. Karper doesn't see it on her screen.
18 Your Honour, I think a check is being made to see whether it has
19 been exhibited. But we can move on.
20 Q. Before you found these bodies, had you heard about these killings?
21 A. I had heard that buses with Muslims from the surrounding villages
22 of Prijedor were taken through Ljubija and being taken to Redak, and that
23 the buses were returned to Ljubija empty.
24 Q. Right. Had anybody come to your village and told you what had
1 A. As far as those who were killed at Redak, we did not know what had
2 happened until a boy about 16, 17 years of age came running all
3 frightened, telling us that he had fled from one of these executions. But
4 the conversation only lasted several seconds, and then we fled in a
5 different direction. We didn't ask him for his name or any other personal
7 Q. Was that the first time you'd seen that boy before?
8 A. It was the first time I saw him.
9 Q. Have you seen him again recently?
10 A. The young man at a hotel greeted me, said "thanks" and that his
11 name was Nermin Karagic and that he was the boy that he had met then,
13 Q. The bodies that you saw, can you remember roughly how many people
14 there were?
15 A. Quite many. We thought even as many as 200.
16 Q. And did you, yourselves, bury these bodies?
17 A. No, we just had a look, and then we ran off and never approached
18 the place again.
19 Q. All right.
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I think we've decided that this
21 photograph appears on one of the maps. I don't know whether it has been
22 formally exhibited yet.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I just have a look, but I think we saw also in
24 connection with this other map not only the small pictures around the map,
25 but separately these pictures. But indeed, I can't identify an S number.
1 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, just so that everybody knows what
2 he looked at, for the purpose of the transcript at the moment can I just
3 read out the ERN number on this photograph.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. And let's give these photos provisional,
5 the next following dash I believe 7, number 185 to the other photos linked
6 to the witness before us.
7 MS. KORNER: Yes. And the ERN number shown on this is 02033348.
8 Q. Now, finally -- Your Honour wanted to deal with other matters?
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No. Please proceed.
10 MS. KORNER:
11 Q. On the graves, did you find a grave in the Kurevo hills?
12 A. I couldn't exactly call that a grave. We found piles of bodies,
13 so to speak. They were not exactly buried in a grave or anything
14 resembling a grave.
15 Q. Can you remember roughly when you saw these bodies?
16 A. This may have been in August. We were trying to reach Ljubija and
17 Sanski Most, and we moved a lot about that particular area.
18 Q. Do you know who those bodies were? I mean, the actual names, but
19 where they came from?
20 A. We are convinced that those were people from the surrounding
21 Muslim villages who tried to run to Stari Majdan or to a different place,
22 Hambarine, Carakovo, Rizvanovici, Biscani, Zecovi.
23 Q. And how were you able to -- What convinces you of that?
24 A. Later on, other eyewitnesses passed by and told us about it. But
25 we witnessed ourselves when the soldiers set up ambushes along a road
1 above the Kurevo Road. They brought a praga and Bofors, and we heard when
2 they started firing at the forest. We heard yells and screams, people
3 running. These who escaped whom we sometimes met later on, they said they
4 were from Carakovo, Rizvanovici, Biscani, and that many of them had been
5 killed and remained there in the forest.
6 Q. Now, finally, on the question of these graves and exhumations,
7 you've told us you were present at the reburials. Were a number of people
8 reburied in a cemetery in Brisevo?
9 A. The cemetery is called Raljas and is on Raljas hill, the hill that
10 we've spoken about. Part of the bodies were transferred to Croatia and
11 buried there.
12 Q. Right. I want you to have a look, please, then at a photograph
13 of -- perhaps you can just identify two photographs, in fact. And then
14 I'll hand Your Honours copies.
15 Does that show the first --
16 A. This is not difficult to identify. This is the Raljas grave.
17 Q. And then if you look at the next photograph, please, does that
18 show your father?
19 A. Yes. This is the grave slab with my father's name. He's buried
20 in that grave alongside with other persons.
21 MS. KORNER: And Your Honours, I don't think Your Honours have had
22 these photographs before, have you? Can I hand out copies again and ask
23 they be exhibited as additional ones. I think it would be 9 and 10.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 10 and 11 now. There are no objections;
25 therefore, admitted into evidence.
1 MS. KORNER: Thank you. And just the ERN numbers of those for the
2 transcript are, for the large grave, photograph 02033351; and the
3 close-up, 02033352.
4 The Defence have got it. Thank you. I'll have them back, thank
5 you. That's our only set. Thank you.
6 Q. Now, just while we're on the subject of photographs, I want you to
7 look at this one, please, which is particularly awful, but let's see if we
8 can get some assistance.
9 MS. KORNER: And I think maybe Your Honours will need to have
10 copies in front of you, because it is a particularly terrible photograph.
11 Q. Are you able to recognise that?
12 A. It's quite difficult, but I think I do, yes.
13 Q. What are we looking at in that photograph? If you can't recognise
14 anything, say so.
15 A. No problem. I think these are the remains of the shop and the
16 school building, and up here the remains of the church. But I must say
17 this again: I'm not positive about this, because the image is not very
19 Q. No. If that is the church --
20 MS. KORNER: And Your Honour we can confirm it through Mr. Inayat.
21 Q. Can you just explain to us by looking at this photograph, when the
22 attack came, where were the -- we've seen it on your map. Where were the
23 troops based?
24 A. To the south where the 6th Krajina Brigade came from, that's where
25 the picture was taken from, the bottom of the photograph, there is a path,
1 a road, across a plain. Around the village, all the way to the church.
2 From this side of the road, on this side of the road and all the way
3 around, there were soldiers. And on these hills from Ljubija was the 5th
4 Kozara Brigade. And here, the 6th Krajina Brigade from where they
5 descended to the centre of the village here in the valley, and then
6 returned toward the church. And here is the Dizdari elevation, which we
7 have also referred to, where they eventually dispersed.
8 Q. Yes.
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, subject to confirmation, and I don't
10 think I'm anticipating too much by saying it will be confirmed by
11 Mr. Inayat that is the church, may that be admitted.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The witness has explained a lot on this picture.
13 No objections. Therefore, admitted into evidence as S185-12, which is an
14 enlargement of picture number 4 on S169.
15 MS. KORNER: And the number is 02033350.
16 Q. And I think finally this afternoon, has anybody gone back to live
17 in Brisevo?
18 A. No one, as far as I know, returned to live there.
19 Q. Have any of the, to your knowledge, any of the houses, anything
20 like that, been rebuilt?
21 A. I know that one man, Andjelko Mlinar, did build a house there, but
22 he doesn't live there. So it's only one house we're talking about.
23 MS. KORNER: Yes. Thank you very much.
24 I haven't quite finished the evidence, but Your Honours I have
25 only got another half hour tomorrow, I think. I think I ought to say I
1 think we're going to have a problem over witnesses.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: First of all, I have to thank you for your
3 informations of today. And we'll hear your additional evidence tomorrow
4 afternoon. And you're excused for today. We will proceed for another
5 five minutes.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we either seem to underestimate or
8 overestimate. This was thought this witness would take Thursday and
9 Friday, and I certainly, as I say, won't be more than half an hour
10 tomorrow morning. And I'm told that cross-examination is not likely to be
11 that long. The next witness is only due to arrive on Sunday.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Probably there is a possibility, then, to hear
13 Mr. Inayat. I think it will take a long time to hear this witness,
14 especially in cross-examination, I believe.
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's what occurred to us, that we
16 could recall Mr. Inayat to testify to fill in the time. I see
17 Mr. Ostojic --
18 MR. OSTOJIC: If that's the only option that we have, Your Honour,
19 but I actually had made arrangements for Friday that are of a personal
20 nature. So I would -- I was not going to be in attendance before the
21 Court in this case. But we'll proceed accordingly, however the wishes to
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Probably there might be another investigator to
24 be heard immediately, a person who is available in this premises for
25 Friday, or probably starting on Thursday?
1 MS. KORNER: I'm not quite clear what Your Honour is referring to,
2 but I'll make inquires of Mr. Koumjian. There's another --
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: There are, I believe, two other investigators on
4 the list from the premises. And we should come back to this issue
5 tomorrow. Unfortunately, we can then only decide tomorrow.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'll certainly make inquiries of
7 Mr. Koumjian as to who is available.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Thank you. But let's immediately, then,
9 first of all I would like to invite the OTP to give their response on the
10 motion under Rule 95, the new one of July 3, 2002, no later than Monday
11 next week. Will this be feasible?
12 MS. KORNER: I thought Your Honour was going to say right now. As
13 I hadn't read it, it was going to be difficult. Your Honour, yes.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it should be carefully dealt with. And
15 no doubt, as regards the other motion to exclude the prior motion, no
16 doubt, it's granted as requested, thereby the former motion is declared
17 moot and the Trial Chamber is no longer seized with this other first
18 motion. We still have to come back to this from today.
19 Then finally, we can maybe hear the observations as regards the
20 request for subpoena.
21 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. And before I address
22 the issue of the subpoena, if I may, I'm not sure if I misunderstood the
23 Court, our motion that was filed is not pursuant to Rule 95. We withdrew
24 that motion, just so that the record is clear on that.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Right.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you. Your Honour, with respect to the request
2 for subpoena by the OTP, we feel, in essence, that it fails to establish
3 the necessary prerequisites in order to mandate that such an order be
4 issued by the Court. Namely, we feel the subpoena is overbroad and
5 overreaching in the following respects: Their request under paragraph
6 number 1 clearly asks for items which constitute privileged materials.
7 They conveniently exclude, and we thank them for that, the attorney/client
8 privilege, however there are other privileges that are incorporated in the
9 request for items that they seek.
10 On paragraph number 1 (i) as it's identified in their request,
11 they ask for medical records, they ask for letters signed or handwritten
12 by Dr. Milomir Stakic, which would include materials that he wrote to and
13 from his wife, presumably. Also, to and from any pastoral privileges that
14 may exist, because I'm aware of one such letter which we believe
15 constitutes a privilege that he should not give to the Court or to the
16 OTP. The basis, however, of our request or the foundation of the
17 Prosecutor's request, can be found on page 2 of their supporting affidavit
18 or declaration. In there, they only set forth, as the minimum criteria,
19 that the request they are seeking would be helpful. They do not set the
20 proper foundation, which we believe is necessary under the rules, both
21 Rule 54 and 39, which would be a request to say that they have exhausted
22 all other remedies, that they have, in fact, requiring the material
23 because it is critical and necessary for any purpose within their case.
24 The Defence, however, does not object to the request made on
25 paragraph 2 of their request which includes documents such as, but we
1 think it should be limited to, driver's license, passport, and any
2 materials that Dr. Stakic, when he was incarcerated, had on his possession
3 at that time. In addition, the Defence does not object to any signatures
4 that were required of Dr. Stakic, during the initial appearance and
5 initial processing during the incarceration. However, we strongly feel
6 that the request is overbroad in asking for letters and other documents.
7 By way of an example of the breadth of their request, they are seeking, in
8 essence, all materials that Dr. Stakic is currently drafting during the
9 proceedings of this trial, meaning notes, his own impressions of witnesses
10 and/or items that are occurring within and throughout the trial. We have
11 not found one case or one decisional authority in the Tribunal which would
12 allow such an overreaching and overbroad subpoena as the one requested
13 here. In fact, the decisional authority in this Tribunal has been, thus
14 far, at the very least, to prohibit testing or requesting that an accused
15 give handwriting samples. We think this request is actually an attempt to
16 circumvent that current prevailing decisional authority. And so we would
17 ask that either the subpoena be withdrawn and the request be modified, or
18 that the Court, because the subpoena is overbroad within its own powers,
19 restructure it to limit it to the provisions under paragraph 1 (ii) of
20 their request. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Any observations in return?
22 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honour, the defendant, the accused, I'm
23 sorry, has refused to provide us with handwriting samples. The accused,
24 for the very first time, raised an issue over handwriting when this trial
25 began. It has never, ever been an issue raised in the pretrial brief or
1 at any hearing before this trial began. Your Honours have ordered the
2 Prosecution to obtain a graphologist, an expert, to examine the disputed
3 handwritings and give Your Honours the benefit of an expert opinion. In
4 order to do that, we can only do that if we can provide an expert, it's
5 common sense, general knowledge, it doesn't need somebody to say that, of
6 specific samples of the admitted handwriting of the person who has himself
7 raised the issue that this handwriting is not his. The summons is a
8 perfectly proper summons. It is not an attempt to circumvent any decision
9 of this Court. That decision, which in our submission in any event, is
10 wrongly decided, simply says that a defendant cannot be compelled to
11 testify against himself. Fine. But we, the OTP, have the power to
12 request Your Honours, and Your Honours have the power to grant us, to
13 obtain handwriting samples without which Your Honours will not have the
14 benefit of at least trying to see where the truth in this case lies, which
15 is what Your Honours are mandated to do.
16 Your Honours, we have specifically excluded any privileged
17 documents, letters to Mr. Stakic's -- Dr. Stakic's wife are not
18 privileged. It is well known that any of these communications, which are
19 in the Detention Unit, are not privileged documents other than that
20 between client and lawyer. Your Honour, we invite Your Honour to grant
21 the summons as drafted.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm confident the Court has reviewed the decisional
23 authority in question, examine it does not say that you only have a right
24 to remain silent or cannot be compelled to testify. The case law clearly
25 says the Court cannot --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You refer to Mutic, then we can cut the story
2 short. The Mutic decision of January 1998?
3 MR. OSTOJIC: I think it's Delic, Your Honour, in the Celebici
4 case, if I'm not mistaken.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, we speak about the same case. We are aware
6 of that.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Just to add as a comment, I think it is a privilege
8 that the client has, that all of us have, in keeping what is considered
9 our own impressions of the trial that's going on. What would happen if
10 this Court set a precedent that said at the end of the case for the
11 defendant, we're going to compel the defendants or the accused to turn in
12 all the notes that they have taken throughout the trial so that the OTP
13 can, during their rebuttal case, enjoy the benefit of all the comments,
14 whether they are positive or negative as it may relate to both the OTP,
15 the Defence lawyers, presumably even the Court, much less the witnesses,
16 which are critical. I think it's clearly overbroad. We do not have an
17 objection, as I said, and I must reiterate it, to paragraph 1 (ii), which
18 would be the materials and the passport and in the signatures that he has
20 I just have to add one comment, because I cannot allow this
21 statement to be made: The burden of proof is not on us. The OTP
22 continuously insists that we are making denials. They have the burden of
23 proof. They have the burden of proof to establish the element both as to
24 authenticity, foundation, on each and every element. I know it's
25 convenient for them to continuously shift that to us; we continue to
1 resist that. And we're resisting it because it's a matter of right and
2 it's a fundamental right guaranteed to us by the rules of this Tribunal.
3 And we are exercising those rights, Your Honour. Thank you.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think both opinions have been made quite
5 clear. They are exchanged, and they form the basis for the decision of
6 this Trial Chamber which will be handed down as soon as possible.
7 The trial stands adjourned until tomorrow, 2.15.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
9 7.07 p.m., to be reconvened on
10 Thursday, the 4th day of July, 2002,
11 at 2.15 p.m.