1 Monday, 29 July 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon to everybody. May we please hear
6 the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. Case Number IT-97-24-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the appearances, please, for the OTP.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian,
11 Ann Sutherland, Michael McVicker with Ruth Karper for the Prosecution.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And for the Defence?
13 MR. LUKIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and John
14 Ostojic for the Defence.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And I have to recall that the
16 accused himself has waived his right to be present for the first moments
17 of the hearing of the witness before us.
18 First of all, good afternoon to you, Witness. And may we please
19 hear your solemn declaration. Please stand. Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
21 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Please be seated. And the OTP may
23 start the examination-in-chief, please.
24 WITNESS: NUSRET SIVAC
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Examined by Mr. Koumjian:
2 Q. Sir, for the record, would you please tell the Court what your
3 name is.
4 A. My name is Nusret Sivac. I was born on the 19th of August, 1947
5 in Prijedor, where I lived all my life until 1992. On several occasions,
6 such my military service or my schooling, I was absent from Prijedor, but
7 only for brief periods of time.
8 Q. Okay. Thank you. Mr. Sivac, as I've explained to you, we have
9 been requested to perform a little identification exercise at the moment.
10 Five individuals are going to enter the Court. I would ask you to
11 please -- six, excuse me, six individuals. I'd ask you to please note the
12 position of those individuals with the one-- they will be standing on your
13 left. And as you turn towards your left, the person farthest to your right
14 will be the first, that should be the first person to enter. And the
15 person last to enter who will be farthest to your left, will be number 6.
16 They're going to be in court and walking and if you have any request to
17 have them repeat any motion or gesture, you may make that request. The
18 purpose is to see if you recognise any of those six individuals. Do you
20 A. Yes, I do. Completely.
21 Q. Thank you. We will not ask you for your opinion until after they
22 have left the courtroom. So you will not have to speak until after they
23 have left. So at the present time, the individuals will enter the
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: Does Your Honour wish to have this in open session
1 or private session?
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we discussed this matter, and the
3 parties agreed to do this in closed session. So therefore, please, closed
5 [Closed session]
12 Page 6554 – redacted – closed session.
11 [Open session]
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I already now take the opportunity to
13 announce that it will be necessary, immediately after the break, to
14 discuss some urgent matters as regards the case and the scheduling order.
15 And therefore --
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, did Your Honour receive -- I don't
17 know if you want to wait for Mr. Stakic to be here. Perhaps I should.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's necessary to do it in the presence
19 of all the participants and Dr. Stakic immediately after the break, only
20 to inform you that we can't continue immediately with our witness after
21 the break.
22 [The accused entered court].
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon, Dr. Stakic.
24 Dr. Stakic, you have been informed by your own Defence counsel on
25 the outcome of this identification parade?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I have, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then please, be seated. And the OTP
3 may continue, please.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN:
5 Q. Mr. Sivac, before the accused was in court, you indicated that you
6 were born in 1947 in Prijedor. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. Had your family lived in Prijedor for long before that?
9 A. Yes, for about 300 years.
10 Q. Can you tell us --
11 A. [No Interpretation].
12 Q. I'm sorry I interrupted, but we missed your last comment.
13 A. Yes, 300 years, about 300 years, that's how long my family had
14 lived in Prijedor for.
15 Q. Thank you. What is your ethnicity? What do you identify yourself
17 A. I am a Bosniak and a Muslim.
18 Q. Are you married and do you have children?
19 A. Yes, I'm married. I have two children.
20 Q. How old were your children in 1992?
21 A. My son was 6, and my daughter was 11.
22 Q. Is your wife also a Bosniak?
23 A. Yes, she is.
24 Q. Sir, what was your profession prior to the 1990s, let's say?
25 A. Prior to 1990, I worked for a year in the Ljubija iron ore mine,
1 and then I started working for the security services.
2 Q. When you say the security services, would it be correct to say
3 that in Bosnia and in the former Yugoslavia, the State Security Service
4 was divided into two general parts, one being the regular police, and one
5 being state security?
6 A. Yes, mainly, you could break it down like that. The security
7 service was usually divided into a number of sectors. And that depended
8 and changed from time to time. It all depended on how the security
9 service was organised at the republic level, what sort of decisions were
10 made in Sarajevo in the SUP, the republican secretariat for the interior.
11 The organisation of local security services were articulated there. In
12 Prijedor, for a while, you only had the municipal SUP with competencies
13 only in Prijedor municipality, and then for a while you had the regional
14 for the security service. When I say that, it was the security service
15 for the areas around Prijedor also, Bosanski Novi, Bosanska Dubica, Sanski
16 Most, and so on. With time, the hierarchy and the structure in Prijedor
18 Q. For what years did you work for the State Security Service?
19 A. Look, the service I worked for was the communications and
20 crypto-security centre or the communications centre. That was the
21 abbreviation we used. And then through different transformations, first,
22 it belonged to the State Security Service, and then by a new
23 organisational scheme, it was part of the public security service. So,
24 the centre where I worked was transferred from one type of organisation to
25 a totally new scheme, in order to serve the general needs of the security
1 services in Bosnia and Herzegovina and within the larger framework of
3 Q. Okay. So forgive me for misusing the term, but for what years did
4 you work in the security services, meaning whatever way it was organised?
5 For what years did you work for that organisation?
6 A. Since 1973, until the end of 1989.
7 Q. You indicated that you worked in a specialty of communications and
8 encryption. Does that mean that you were in charge of sending messages
9 between the local station and higher authorities? Was that part of your
11 A. Well yes, but my centre, the communications centre within the
12 security service served all the different security services in Prijedor
13 Municipality, and even in a wider area. I'm referring to the surrounding
14 municipalities, local communes. And we did missions of importance for the
15 state and for the republic, for the different segments, within the
16 municipality in the committee we worked for the post, for the Territorial
17 Defence, for the secretariat for national defence, for all the different
18 bodies of authority in Prijedor Municipality.
19 Q. I want to take advantage of your experience with the security
20 service to ask you some questions about how that operated in Prijedor. I
21 believe after the 1990 elections, the chief of police for Prijedor was
22 Mr. Talundzic. Is that correct?
23 A. No, the chief was Talundzic, yes, yes. Hasan Talundzic. Hasan
24 Talundzic was appointed chief of the security services upon the proposal
25 of the Party of Democratic Action, and that was a unique case. Up to that
1 point, and I must emphasise this, the head of the Security Services Centre
2 was never a Muslim, and that was the first time a Muslim was appointed to
3 that position.
4 Q. Would it be correct that after the takeover by the SDS,
5 Mr. Drljaca replaced Mr. Talundzic? You can just answer yes or no.
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. My question, sir, is if you could help us by discussing your
8 knowledge of the relationship between the head of the Prijedor SUP in the
9 normal operations throughout your career and the president of the
10 municipality of Prijedor? Would there be any interaction between those
11 two positions?
12 A. Let me tell you, no one could be the chief of the security
13 services in Prijedor Municipality without his appointment having been
14 approved by the president of Prijedor Municipality and other segments of
15 authority within Prijedor Municipality.
16 Q. In your experience, was it common for the chief of the SUP to keep
17 the president of the municipality informed about major events occurring in
18 the work of the SUP?
19 A. Well, let me tell you, in my time and later, as far as I could
20 tell, all security and information situations in Prijedor Municipality,
21 how many crimes had happened, traffic infractions, and all other criminal
22 actions in the municipality, both the president of the municipality and
23 the president of the Municipal Assembly were regularly informed. And the
24 assembly discussed these issues in its regular sessions. For a while, the
25 Municipal Assembly even published a gazette, an Official Gazette, on the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 security situation in Prijedor Municipality over 10 or 15 days or a month
2 and so on.
3 Q. Can you tell us, why did you leave your position with the security
4 services in 1989?
5 A. Parallel to my work for the security service, I started work for
6 TV Sarajevo. I sent reports from Prijedor and the surroundings of
7 Prijedor. Due to the interhuman relationships and due to the fact that
8 Milos Jankovic was appointed the head of my section, whose task was to
9 ethnically cleanse my section, the section of the services in which I
10 worked. May I please draw Your Honours' attention to the following fact:
11 My service was one of the most delicate services within the security
12 services, and until Milos Jankovic was appointed, there was rigorous
13 control over how many people were employed and about their national
14 background. But when Milos Jankovic was appointed, a friend of mine, a
15 colleague of mine, Esad Vojnikovic was fired from the services for a
16 trivial reason. And after Esad Vojnikovic had been fired, he was one of
17 the man encrypters, one of the ablest people for that sort of job. Milos
18 Jankovic started a number of verbal, at first, and then physical, duels
19 with me. I couldn't cope with this, why stand this, so I resigned from my
20 position within the security services.
21 Q. Thank you. You indicated that, parallel to your work for the
22 service, you worked as a journalist for TV Sarajevo. Is it correct that
23 as part of your duties -- let me start again. Can you tell us in your
24 work as a journalist for TV Sarajevo, what were the duties that you had?
25 What kind of events would you cover?
1 A. Well, mostly, I worked as a cameraman. I made independent
2 coverages, and we covered all the segments of life in Prijedor, Bosanski
3 Novi, that part of Bosanska Krajina, all segments of life, all aspects of
4 life, culture, sports, that sort of thing.
5 Q. Did you cover events in the political life of Prijedor?
6 A. Yes, that's one thing I forgot to say. And very often, I did
7 cover events from politics in Prijedor Municipality and the surrounding
9 Q. Through your work, did you become familiar with some of the
10 political figures in Prijedor?
11 A. Yes, it was unavoidable. We were in close contact with the
12 politicians who were in power. We often conducted interviews with them.
13 We made special features, special coverages regarding the political
14 situation in Prijedor. And what should be done in order to improve this
15 situation and so on and so forth.
16 Q. Mr. Sivac, have you ever been a member of any political party?
17 A. Well, yes, I have. We had to be members of the Communist League.
18 Nobody who was involved in this sensitive type of work could do this work,
19 could have this kind of job without being a member of the Communist
21 Q. I understand. After the multiparty system came into place in
22 1990, did you join any of the political parties, either the descendants of
23 the communist party or any of the leftist or nationalist parties?
24 A. No, I was never a member of any such party.
25 Q. Were you ever a member of any paramilitary organisation or any
1 secret organisation tied to any national parties or national group?
2 A. No, of course not.
3 Q. Did you cover a political event that was, I believe, the first
4 rally of the SDS in Prijedor?
5 A. The first rally of the Serb democratic party for the Prijedor
6 Municipality was held on the Ilinden holiday on the 2nd of August, 1991,
7 the village of Maricka in Prijedor.
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure about the year the
9 witness mentioned.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN:
11 Q. What year did that event take place in, to the best of your
13 A. It took place in the summer of 1990.
14 Q. Thank you. You mentioned a village named Maricka. Is that
15 outside of Omarska?
16 A. Yes, it is very close to Omarska, actually.
17 Q. In the history of Prijedor as you know it, did that particular
18 part of Prijedor have any political history different from other parts of
20 A. In a way, yes. How shall I put this? The Prijedor Municipality
21 was unofficially divided during the Second World War. One part of the
22 municipality, above the Prijedor/Banja Luka Road and the railway line,
23 that is, the mid-part of the area, which gravitates to the Kozara Mountain
24 was pre-dominantly pro-partisan, whereas the southern part, the villages
25 around the town of Omarska, such as Maricka, Jelicka, Krivaje, were rather
1 pro-Chetnik in their orientation. And in the Second World War and at the
2 end of the Second World War, there were a large number of people who sided
3 with the Chetniks from that area. In school in Prijedor for about 50
4 years, they taught us that no Chetnik had ever managed to enter the Kozara
5 Mount, but unfortunately, they were very active in the southern parts of
6 the municipality around the villages of Maricka, Jelicka and other
7 villages in the area of Omarska. And the Chetnik warlords were quite
8 famous, Rade Rajic [phoen], Vaso Mijatovic, Drenovac, who was very known
9 at the time and other Chetnik warlords were very active in the area.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, it just occurred to me that the
11 proofing note I prepared this morning which I gave to the Defence before
12 court, I had not yet distributed to the Trial Chamber.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think actually we got it. It's telephone
14 notes or --
15 MR. KOUMJIAN: No, no, this is --
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In addition. Okay. Thank you. Thank you for
17 this courtesy.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN:
19 Q. At that first SDS rally - you said it took place in 1990 - do you
20 recall some of the more recognisable personalities that were present, that
21 spoke at that rally?
22 A. One of the key figures at the time was Jovan Raskovic, leader of
23 the Serbs from Knin. Apart from him, the entire leadership of the Serb
24 Democratic Party was present there, those who were later to hold their
25 rally in Sarajevo. In particular, Karadzic, Plavsic, and others. And
1 other supporters from the SDS from the area of Prijedor and the
2 surrounding villages.
3 Q. Thank you. Mr. Sivac, we started today when you pointed out
4 Dr. Stakic. In 1990, was Dr. Stakic someone that you knew?
5 A. No, unfortunately, I didn't know Dr. Stakic in 1990.
6 Q. When did you first become aware of Dr. Stakic?
7 A. After the first democratic elections, after the key political
8 offices were distributed in the municipality of Prijedor.
9 Q. I want to go now to the events of 1992. On the 30th of April of
10 1992, first, can you tell the Court in what area of Prijedor did you live?
11 A. I lived in Marsala Tito Street in the centre of Prijedor town, on
12 the main street in Prijedor, house number 25. The building in question
13 was located near the old mosque that once stood in the centre of Prijedor.
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, it might be helpful if S3 be placed on
15 the ELMO, that is, the map of the town.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do so. It could also be of assistance if
17 the other map, I think it's S14, be placed on the ELMO that we can
18 identify Maricka on this map.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The image is not very clear.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN:
21 Q. We're testing your eyesight in many ways today, Mr. Sivac.
22 A. Yes. But this is not a complete town map. As far as I can see,
23 this is the Bosanski Novi/Prijedor railway line. I can see the northern
24 parts of the town, Puharska and Urije. To the right, I can see Keraterm,
25 the football stadium, and the new residential area around the football
1 stadium. And as for the old part of the town, I don't know. Did you want
2 me to point out to the street where I lived?
3 Q. Yes, please.
4 A. The main street in Prijedor, must be here, in this area here.
5 Q. Okay. Thank you, indicating --
6 A. It's here in parallel with this street which ends up at the
7 Prijedor Hotel. This is not a very well marked map. It's difficult to
8 make out --
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. -- the details, but it's in this part of the town.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: The Witness indicated, he said parallel to the
13 street where the Hotel Prijedor is. You can see the Hotel Prijedor just
14 before the river, and I believe --
15 Q. Is it correct that that street's name was Uliza Yugoslav [phoen]
16 or Yugoskan [phoen]? It's very difficult to read.
17 A. The street that was perpendicular to the Prijedor hotel, I think
18 was called Mira Cikota Street. However, after the takeover the SDS and
19 the Prijedor Municipality leadership changed a number of street names. So
20 I don't know whether this map was from that period of time, that is, after
21 the takeover or before.
22 Q. How far away was the mosque from your house?
23 A. Up to 15 metres.
24 Q. And how far away was Stari Grad, the beginning of Stari Grad?
25 A. From my place? Maybe 800 to 1.000 metres away from my place.
1 That's where the Stari Grad began. Maybe even closer.
2 Q. Thank you. And now, if we could have the other map marked brought
3 out. I believe -- okay. Yes, the lower right is the area around Omarska.
4 Perhaps the map could be centered more around Omarska.
5 A. Are we now looking for the village of Maricka?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. This is Maricka, this area here. It actually consists of a number
8 of hamlets, but they are commonly referred to as Maricka. The whole area
9 is called Maricka, this area here, below the Omarska mine. So the east,
10 there is a fish pond, a large fish pond in Sanicani, and south east, we
11 find the Tomasica mine, Busnovi, and so on.
12 Q. Just to the record is clear, the transcript, you've indicated an
13 area. Perhaps I can give us the names of some of the towns in that area.
14 Are you saying, for example, from Muzicka to the west, Miodragovici in the
15 northwest to approximately around Stakici in this area, east?
16 A. Yes, Vuckovic, Mikanovici, Radici, this whole area here including
17 Grubani, Radici, these are the names of a number of families that are
18 named after these villages. Actually, it's probably the villages that got
19 named after the families who lived there. Kabici, for instance, is the
20 place where most of the people are called Kabici. Markovici, Grabezi,
21 Mikanovici, Majstorovici, Grubani, Zrnici; these are all family names of
22 the local families, people who lived in the area.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you.
24 The interpreters haven't complained, but if I could ask you to
25 speak a little bit slower for their benefit, so we don't lose anything.
1 A. [In English] Okay, I'm sorry.
2 Q. Going to the 30th of April --
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, I'm done with the maps.
4 Q. Going to the events of the 30th of April, 1992, Mr. Sivac, can you
5 tell us when you became aware of a change in Prijedor that day?
6 A. It happened in the early morning hours in the street where I
7 lived. We could hear, all of a sudden, voices of the soldiers and we
8 could tell that there was a commotion down there. Military APCs passed
9 along the street, and at first, we didn't realise what was going on in
10 Prijedor. A Serb neighbour of mine, a lady neighbour of mine, came to my
11 apartment, and she told us to turn on the radio and find the local
12 Prijedor station and listen to the news that were being broadcast by the
13 station at the time. Which is what we did immediately.
14 We switched on the radio, and we listened to the Prijedor station
15 which was playing Chetnik songs. But there was also an announcement that
16 was read over the radio, an announcement which spoke about the fact that
17 the Serb Democratic Party had taken over all power in Prijedor, that it
18 was no longer possible to wait, that the Serb -- that the Party for
19 Democratic Action, which had been in power in the Prijedor Municipality,
20 was destroying Prijedor, and that it was impossible for the members of the
21 Serb Democratic Party who shared power with them, to find any agreement
22 whatsoever with the SDA, that there was a total chaos in the municipality,
23 and that that was the reason why the people from the SDS, assisted by the
24 military and the police, had carried out a military coup, that they had
25 taken control of all vital positions, vital points in and out of the town
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of Prijedor, and that from that time on, the Serb Democratic Party would
2 be in power in Prijedor Municipality.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you. It's not -- thank you for slowing down, but
4 it's not necessary to do to pause quite as much as you did. They are very
5 quick, the interpreters. You can speak in a normal voice, but just take
6 care not to speak too quickly.
7 Do you recall any political figure speaking on the radio that day
8 or in the days soon after that regarding the takeover?
9 A. Yes, sometime during that day, the listeners of the Prijedor radio
10 station had an opportunity of hearing the new president of the Prijedor
11 Municipality, Mr. Milomir Stakic, who, in his speech, repeated everything
12 that had already been said in this announcement I mentioned.
13 Q. Now, I'm going to skip to the 12th of May. On the 12th of May,
14 were you still living in your apartment?
15 A. Yes, on the 12th of May, I was still in my apartment.
16 Q. On that day, did something happen to you? And if so, can you
17 please explain to us what happened.
18 A. Two men from the security service came to my apartment, two
19 individuals whom I knew very well. One was called Pravoslav Sekulic and
20 the other Neso Babic. They said that they had an order to take me to the
21 Security Services Centre. When I came to the security service, to their
22 offices, I was taken to their chief whose name was Ranko Mijic. Ranko
23 Mijic used to be the chief of the crime department in the Prijedor SUP.
24 He was very rude. He said that he had been issued with an order by the
25 new Serb authorities and the Crisis Staff to seize all of my equipment,
1 the equipment that I needed for my work as a reporter for the Sarajevo TV.
2 I knew him very well. And I asked him whether it could wait a little,
3 that I needed some time to collect all this equipment that he had asked
4 for. But he was very adamant. He said that all the equipment should be
5 returned immediately. And he appointed, apart from the two individuals
6 that had taken me there, two more men who took me to the premises of the
7 Sarajevo TV station, and we found there the equipment that I used for the
8 purposes of my work as a reporter.
9 After that, I was taken back to the security service where I
10 stayed for a while. I didn't know what would happen with me. And one of
11 the guards told me that I would probably be taken to the prison in Stara
12 Gradiska. However, after a number of brief telephone consultations, with
13 I don't know whom, Ranko Mijic came out, and he said that those who had
14 taken me into custody should take me back home. He said that I should not
15 leave Prijedor, that they would have some additional questions to ask of
16 me, but later on.
17 Q. Can you tell us what equipment or property that -- did you have
18 that was confiscated on that occasion?
19 A. The usual equipment, which all local news agencies had in Bosnia
20 and Herzegovina. It consisted of a large vehicle adequately equipped with
21 cameras and additional property which is necessary for TV coverages.
22 Q. So the vehicle was also confiscated in addition to the video and
23 electronic equipment?
24 A. Yes, yes, it was. Everything, even some of my private tapes. I
25 was a film amateur. I had covered the life of Prijedor town for quite
1 some time on an amateur videocamera. But everything was confiscated, and
2 I'm very sorry because I had a lot of such things.
3 Q. Now, I want to go to the events of the 30th of May of 1992. Do
4 you recall that day, and did you become aware sometime during that day of
5 some unusual events taking place?
6 A. I will never forget that day. I don't think that any resident of
7 the Prijedor will ever forget that day. I noticed in the evening hours of
8 that day that the situation had calmed down in the town. Before that,
9 there had been a lot of noise, a lot of commotion. But all of a sudden,
10 everything was very quiet, and I noticed from the surrounding high-rise
11 buildings which were located in the vicinity of my house, I noticed that
12 there were no longer any Serb soldiers and snipers on those skyscrapers,
13 because from the beginning of the takeover, they were there, closely
14 following the situation in the town and the movement of the population
15 there. They were on the roofs of those skyscrapers. So this quiet was
16 rather unusual, and I thought that perhaps the new authorities were trying
17 to bring the life back to normal, and that that was the reason why they
18 removed those soldiers who had been positioned on the roofs of those
19 skyscrapers. And I thought that they would also remove the machine-gun
20 nests that had been put in place in front of a number of major buildings
21 in the town.
22 But it turned out that the situation was completely different.
23 Q. What happened?
24 A. Around 4.00 in the morning, on the 30th of May, at dawn, a group
25 of people headed by Slavko Ecimovic who, after the takeover of the SDS,
1 were exposed to a number of threats. Slavko Ecimovic's house had been
2 attacked a number of times with hand grenades. He was persecuted by Serb
3 police officers -- actually, he had been persecuted by Serb police
4 officers. And at one point in time, he went to the Kurevo woods with a
5 group of people from Prijedor, mainly the people who had failed to respond
6 to the mobilisation which was carried out en masse by what was already a
7 Serb army. Some of those people were sacked and dismissed from work. So
8 after the takeover, they knew that they could no longer live normally in
9 Prijedor. And that they would be severely punished.
10 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Sivac, but for reasons of time mainly, I want to go
11 just to the attack if you can describe what you saw at that time.
12 A. Well, at 4.00, at 4.00, in Prijedor, shooting began, terrible
13 shooting. We didn't know what was going on. We didn't know that
14 Slavko Ecimovic and his group tried to, as they said, liberate Prijedor.
15 We turned on the radio again to listen to Prijedor radio station, and we
16 heard announcements and songs that we had never heard up to that point.
17 Radical Chetnik songs calling for the killing of Turks and other non-Serb
18 people, announcements read by speakers of Radio Prijedor whom I had known
19 very well, Senija Dzafic, a Muslim lady, Jadranka Vejo, unfortunately also
20 a Muslim lady. Those announcements informed the Serb people about Muslim
21 extremists led by Slavko Ecimovic having attacked the town of Prijedor.
22 The announcements said that all those Serbs who had been assigned weapons
23 should stand up and defend the town.
24 The group led by Slavko Ecimovic, they said, should be destroyed.
25 That's what happened.
1 Q. You said you heard the shooting beginning at 4.00. Did the -- was
2 the shooting that you heard, was it small arms or heavier weapons and did
3 it change during the course of the day?
4 A. Let me tell you, at the beginning it was just light infantry
5 weapons. Slavko's people, people from Slavko's group had such weapons.
6 Later on, the unequal confrontation between Slavko's group and the
7 Prijedor SUP members and the Serb army led by Zoran Karlica and Radmilo
8 Zeljaja, Slavko Ecimovic's people did not stand a chance.
9 Q. What did you see from where you were? I presume, was it correct,
10 you were in your apartment throughout this day until taken outside?
11 A. Yes. I was in the flat for the whole time, and I saw roughly how
12 the fighting on the main street developed, how Slavko's people retreated
13 towards the Sana River in a bid to leave Prijedor because they realised
14 that they were powerless to achieve anything in the town. They were
15 already being followed by the frantic, in a manner of speaking, defenders
16 of Prijedor with their APCs, with their tanks. And with a large number of
17 heavy artillery weapons which they even mounted outside my building.
18 That's how they defended the old town in Prijedor and the other parts of
19 Prijedor where mostly Muslims lived.
20 Q. What happened, then? Did the --
21 A. Well, after -- I mean, in the early hours of the morning, the
22 ethnic cleansing, let me say, of the town of Prijedor began. With all the
23 artillery weapons they had and a very large number of soldiers, the Serbs
24 encircled section by section of the town. I saw when they brought people
25 in long columns outside my building from the Raskovac and Skela area. They
1 were all moving in a column two by two. They had white straps on their
2 arms, and each column was led by a man carrying a white flag. They were
3 escorted by brutal guards. There were many elderly people and children,
4 people who couldn't move. They just pushed them along in wheelchairs.
5 They were brought to certain places where buses arrived to pick these
6 people up and take them away, some to Trnopolje, some to Omarska camp, and
7 some to Keraterm.
8 Q. Did you see any areas that the tanks or artillery were firing
9 upon, or did you see any portions of the city burning from your apartment?
10 A. Well, almost for the whole day until late in the afternoon, from
11 those positions outside my house, the bank of the Bereg, for a long time a
12 tank and several grenade launchers were firing upon the old town. The old
13 town was ablaze since the early morning hours. Allow me please to mention
14 that the old town is actually the old core that the town developed from.
15 There were over 200 houses there built from the ancient Bosnian style.
16 Muslims were the predominant population in the old town. There was only a
17 single Serb family living in the old town. Of course, the first to be
18 struck in the old town and in Zagrad, the Bereg part of the town, were the
19 mosques. Both mosques had been hit and destroyed and burned during the
20 first -- the initial onslaught.
21 Q. You indicated that they were hit during the initial onslaught.
22 Did you see any mosque or church damaged after the initial fighting?
23 A. In the evening hours roughly, I saw a very good acquaintance of
24 mine, Milenko Milic, who was a member of Milan Andzic's paramilitary unit.
25 With him was his commander, Momcilo Radanovic, Cigo, and Milorad Vokic, a
1 professional police officer, who was a personal bodyguard to Simo Drljaca.
2 At 6.00 in the afternoon on the 30th of May, they entered the yard outside
3 the main mosque in the town of Prijedor and set fire to it.
4 Q. Did anyone come to your apartment that day?
5 A. That day, a number of soldiers came on a number of occasions with
6 red berets, with red straps, with red hats. They were wearing all kinds
7 of insignia, so I couldn't quite make out which unit those soldiers
8 belonged to. They were searching flats for weapons, not only my flat but
9 also other flats for valuables. They were looking for alcohol, and that's
10 what they would then take and carry off with them.
11 Q. Did they come into your apartment and take valuables or alcohol?
12 A. Yes, yes, they entered my flat, my neighbour's flat, too. Mostly
13 Muslim flats, and they would take whatever they liked.
14 Q. Was your family at home?
15 A. Yes, of course. The whole time, my wife was with me, my son, who
16 was 6, and my daughter, who was 11. They cried and screamed. They were
17 scared out of their wits really, and it was really difficult to put up
18 with the situation.
19 Q. That day, were there any announcements on the radio that you heard
20 giving instructions to Serb or Croat residents of the Prijedor town?
21 A. Well, yes, there were several announcements warning -- informing
22 non-Serb population to put out white flags on their houses and flats so
23 that non-Serbs, that's the term I will use, would be made to wear white
24 straps on their arms. And that until further notice, they would not be
25 allowed to move freely around the town of Prijedor.
1 Q. Did you remain in your apartment the entire day, or were you asked
2 to go out on the street?
3 A. At one point, a group of soldiers arrived led by a Serb soldier
4 wearing a red beret. Another had a Chetnik Subara for a hat. He had a
5 beard, and the others wore black bands, headbands, around their heads.
6 Although I knew many people in Prijedor, I had never seen anyone from that
7 group up to that point. And they ordered all Muslims to leave the
8 building and wait outside the entrance. There was only my family left in
9 that house who were Muslims, and the flat below mine belonged to Safet
10 Ramadanovic, a neighbour of mine, and his family. We came out and they
11 made us turn around, our face -- our faces to the wall. And the commander
12 said: "Should anyone move, mow them down."
13 But we were quite lucky because at that time, Milorad Vokic was
14 passing by. He was an old policeman from Prijedor, and he walked up to
15 the commander who was wearing a red beret, and he told him something. And
16 then the commander told us to go back to our flats. Milorad Vokic then
17 spoke to me and Safet, and he said: "I saved your lives now, but should
18 your name appear on any arrest list, I will not be able to help you."
19 Q. Did you later see your neighbour Safet in the Omarska camp?
20 A. Yes, Safet Ramadanovic, an elderly person, he was soon after taken
21 to Omarska. And I witnessed his death in the camp, death which came as a
22 result of the beatings that he had been subjected to.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, this would be an appropriate time to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Trial stands adjourned until 4.00 sharp.
2 --- Recess taken at 3.31 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 4.03 p.m.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
5 First of all, I have to inform you on the development in the case
6 of Mr. Mrdja, which would have an impact on the case before us as regards
7 the schedule. I was informed last week by a memo sent by Ms. Joanna
8 Korner, that the OTP is prepared to proceed with the Prosecution's case in
9 chief in that case, Mrdja case, on 1 October 2002. As I said earlier, the
10 next prerequisite would be to have the assignment of ad litem Judges or
11 permanent Judges to this other case to be heard in a break of this case.
12 I have to inform you that on requesting so, the 25th of July, the
13 President informed me as followed, and please take this document as a new
14 J document. And I would ask you to read this document out. Thank you.
15 THE REGISTRAR: This is Document J11.
16 [Interpretation] "Dear colleague, following your oral request of
17 the 25th of July, 2002, I would like to inform you that the case Mrdja has
18 been referred to the International Tribunal and could be heard in October
19 this -- could not be heard in October this year because of nonavailability
20 of the judge.
21 "Sincerely signed, Claud Jorda."
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The background has to be explained a little bit.
23 First, there was policy, in the past there was only one policy. There's a
24 policy to assign ad litem Judges to one case only, as the word "ad litem"
25 and not ad lites, plural, indicates already. I have to accept this
1 decision by the President, and this means that we have to hear this case
2 without any break. And we find the words in parenthesis, it is linked
3 evidently to a presentation, the President of this Tribunal gave on behalf
4 of this Tribunal at the Security Council last week indicating that in
5 future, only cases against the main responsible ones should be heard here
6 in The Hague. This will cause some problems, no doubt. But we have to
7 discuss this in the framework of the case Prosecutor versus Mrdja. In
8 addition to that, I was informed today in this other case that there, the
9 Defence would not be prepared to start the Defence case without a break of
10 additional two months after having heard the Prosecutor's case.
11 Additional problems rose there due to the fact that the Defence counsel
12 himself as he said "used to be the republic Prosecutor of Republika Srpska
13 in the period of 20.3.1998, to 20.3.2002." This means -- the meaning for
14 our case, and this is an additional background for the President's
15 decision to act as he did. It was the fear that this case could be
16 additionally delayed, and therefore, it's indispensable that we stick to
17 the scheduling deadlines in the scheduling order of 4 July 2002, without
18 any additional break or delay.
19 Any observations as regards this point?
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: Not for this case, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Just for your information, I separately summoned
22 a Status Conference the last week of September. Yes, please.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: If I may, Your Honour, in response to your question
24 with respect to the scheduling that would commence in -- namely the
25 Defence case in chief commencing on the 11th of November, I believe, based
1 on the schedule offered on the 4th of July of this year, in light of the
2 fact that the Defence will be bringing all of its witnesses from a third
3 country or another country, unlike the OTP, who has in-house witnesses who
4 they can call at a shorter notice, we would like at the very least for the
5 Court to consider, and perhaps give us an opportunity, such as in the
6 OTP's case in chief to suspend the proceedings from going forward on
7 either alternate Fridays or every Friday. It would give the Defence, we
8 believe, an opportunity to coordinate better with the witnesses because it
9 will give us a chance to meet with them and discuss the aspects of it and
10 be more efficient. Likewise, it would give us an opportunity to reflect
11 back on the testimony and make the Defence strategy necessary, in order to
12 meet between ourselves as counsel and also to meet with our client
13 Dr. Stakic. We think especially in the Defence case, it is imperative that
14 we consult with Dr. Stakic even more so than we have when the witnesses
15 were called from the Prosecution. Namely, because we did get in advance
16 some of the statements. And in our defence, we necessarily would not have
17 the exhaustive, because of the equality of arms issues, statements, we are
18 still in the process of compiling them. And with the assistance of
19 Dr. Stakic, we would request that in the very least as in the OTP's case
20 we be given alternate Fridays, if not every Friday off, so we can
21 efficiently produce the witness and conduct our Defence in a manner
22 prescribed by the rules. Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. I think this is a fair approach, and also
24 from the perspective of the Bench, maybe also the OTP, it seems adequate
25 to have at least one day during the week for thinking and not only acting.
1 And therefore, we will take care that there will always be a possibility
2 of acting this way. But please understand that I can't already now tell
3 you when there will be such a Friday off, but it starts already the 15th
4 of November, court maintenance day, first Friday. Then the 5th of
5 December, United Nations holiday. Friday, the 6th of December, there will
6 be a so-called bridge day, no court. And as regards the other days, we
7 will have to decide on a case-by-case basis, but we will let you know in
9 Having said this, we have made reservation for this courtroom
10 during the entire period. Therefore, if the Defence believes it would
11 make sense, we could even - we discussed this this morning - we could even
12 hear the first witness already one week before. It's only an invitation.
13 And in addition, I have to reemphasise that that what can be read in the
14 beginning of this scheduling order is still valid, the invitation to come,
15 if not in toto but then in part to an agreement in this case because
16 listening to the parties, I'm aware that numerous details contested in the
17 past are no longer really contested. And therefore, it seems really
18 appropriate if both parties come together and try to come to a kind of at
19 least part -- agreement in part.
20 But the most crucial point is that if we can't shorten in any
21 event, we have to stick to this scheduling order as it was planned. And
22 the fact, mere fact that we cannot hear five days a week is not a reason
23 to postpone or to prolong the case.
24 Then I have to turn back to another issue. As regards the
25 documents already admitted into evidence, the entire bundle of documents
1 S235, this is the document seize -- the bundle of documents seized by
2 Witness O'Donnell we heard the last day. We had the impression that it is
3 the Defence case here to try to contest the admissibility of this evidence
4 under the doctrine of the fruit of the poisoned tree. Therefore, we have
5 to rethink this issue, and we invite the parties to give their
6 observations to the admissibility in the obvious absence of a search and
7 seizure order in this case, a problem we always have in these cases. In
8 the absence, once again, of rules governing the investigation, and this is
9 for the simple reason that, normally, in the beginning, it was the
10 intention of the drafters of our statute and our rules that one could rely
11 on the Rules of Procedure and Evidence or the code of criminal procedure
12 in the requested country to work on this basis there, which is not the
13 case on the territory of the former Yugoslavia and rules had to be
14 developed. But for these reasons, we reopen the discussion on the
15 admissibility of this evidence. For the Defence, contesting this
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour, we continue to maintain our
18 objection, that the material disclosed should not be admissible for
19 several reasons as outlined previously in our oral presentation to the
21 However, not only does the fruit of the poisonous tree play an
22 enormous part here, we believe that in addition to that, irreversible harm
23 has been caused by the OTP offering such a document and insinuating,
24 without laying a proper foundation, that the originals of those documents
25 were somehow returned to Dr. Stakic. We take great exception to the OTP
1 testifying on this fact and continued to demand from them that they
2 present to us the individuals who claim that they returned the original
3 documents back to Dr. Stakic. My learned friend Mr. Koumjian advised the
4 Court last week that he's asking for a certain search could be conducted
5 of the Detention Unit of Dr. Stakic so as to avoid him being present, so
6 that they can find the documents, again leading in my opinion respectfully
7 to an inappropriate impression or inference that the OTP would like to
8 present. Those documents, Your Honour, have never been established by the
9 OTP to have been returned to Dr. Stakic. Now, upon having the search
10 being fully conducted, and admittedly initially inappropriately for
11 whatever the reasons, conducted subsequently not having found those
12 original documents, I think it casts a significant cloud, not only on the
13 very documents that are sought to be presented, but on the very testimony
14 that the OTP claims their expert may have an opinion. Specifically, the
15 OTP has stated that they needed original signatures in order for there to
16 be any relevance or credibility to their expert handwriting witness.
17 Those documents don't exist for whatever reason. We are in great dispute
18 with them as to where the originals of those documents are.
19 However, as we heard from Mr. Bernard O'Donnell last week,
20 admittedly he is a professional who has, I'm sure, great credentials in
21 connection with criminal investigations, he acknowledged not only that
22 improperly, in our opinion, those documents were seized, they were never
23 inventoried. A highly irregular and unusual procedure for an investigator
24 of his calibre working with this Tribunal. Had the documents been at the
25 very least inventoried, not by providing a detailed description but merely
1 stating the name of the document as reflected on the top, indicating
2 whether or not the document is signed, and then providing Dr. Stakic with
3 a sheet of paper, having him sign to indicate this chain of custody, which
4 is not only important in this proceeding but in any proceeding across the
5 world. We feel that these documents should not be admissible for those
6 reasons as well as the reasons we have cited previously. We think the OTP
7 has failed to lay the proper foundation, has inappropriately caused
8 inferences to be made as a result of these documents. And by their own
9 admission through their witnesses, have not only cast the doubt but have
10 confirmed that the documents were seized illegally, inappropriately, and
11 without the consent of Dr. Stakic. So we would ask that they be
12 inadmissible or not admitted. Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Your Honour. I appreciate the creative
15 advocacy by my opponent. I would like to address several of those issues,
16 first of all, at the end of the argument that there was no inventory of
17 the documents. In fact, that's not the testimony of Mr. O'Donnell. The
18 documents, every single page, was photocopied, and that's what is in
19 exhibit, I believe the number is 235. The entire -- all those photocopies
20 were entered -- given to the evidence unit, and we have them. What we
21 don't have are the originals, and I use that word to mean the documents
22 that were actually in Dr. Stakic's bag, because I can't say for sure that
23 those were originals or whether he had photocopies of some of those
25 For the Defence to say that there's absolutely no reason for us or
1 no evidence that these were returned to Dr. Stakic, well, the evidence
2 will come, if necessary, from the registry, the evidence will be that the
3 registry was given through the OLAD unit the documents. Part of those
4 documents the Defence knows were returned to Mr. Lukic. We can put on
5 evidence, I don't think the Defence is contesting that, of a signed
6 receipt from Mr. Lukic. I'm not saying that one of the eight pages that
7 are in dispute containing the signatures were in those. But we have a
8 receipt from Mr. Lukic for car keys, car registration, and at least one of
9 the documents - the receipt was not that specific - that are in these 81
10 pages. I don't think that's contested by the Defence.
11 As far as the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine is, Your
12 Honour, there is no poisonous tree in this case. In the legal system I am
13 most familiar with and in my, admittedly somewhat rudimentary, knowledge
14 of other systems, all the systems I know, items that are on the person of
15 a person arrested may be seized without a further order. We had an arrest
16 warrant in this case for Dr. Stakic. The reason that legal systems
17 recognise that these items can be seized without further search orders is
18 that, first, to prevent their destruction. And that's, in fact -- this is
19 a good example of it, perhaps, in this case. We are not saying that we
20 are going to prove that Dr. Stakic intentionally destroyed these
21 documents. What we do say is that the documents were returned to the OLAD
22 unit which indicates that they passed these on, and we don't have them any
23 more. Admittedly, many of these are rather innocuous, so we can't say why
24 they were not retained, they were not found in Dr. Stakic's cell.
25 Further, another reason why documents are allowed to be seized is second,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 to prevent any claim that the police have stolen documents or planted
2 documents on an accused. It's important, during the arrest, to document
3 those items that were on the accused at the time of his arrest. So when a
4 person is booked, as we say, following his arrest, it's important that all
5 of those items he had on him are taken into evidence or taken into
6 custody, which was the case here. In fact, the items were not seized
7 except to be photocopied, and then they were returned to Dr. Stakic. So
8 this procedure prevented any claim that anything had been stolen from him.
9 So for these reasons, I think in almost any jurisdiction, items
10 that are in the immediate possession of an accused may be retained in
11 evidence. There is no exclusionary rule in this Tribunal other than a
12 rule, which I'm sorry I don't know the number off the top of my head,
13 which indicates that the Court may exclude items where it offends the --
14 the means in which they were acquired is offensive to the administration
15 of justice. Or words to that effect. I think this is hardly the case
16 here. Your Honours have heard from the tape, how Mr. O'Donnell - from the
17 transcript of the tape - treated Dr. Stakic. He was allowed to take
18 medicine from his bag. This bag contained these documents. These
19 documents were then photocopied, and then returned to the OLAD unit. This
20 is not offensive to the administration of justice. In fact, this shows a
21 very careful procedure that's respectful of the rights of the accused. I
22 think -- my only criticism would be it went too far. The OTP, perhaps,
23 should have retained the originals and should not have returned those to
24 the accused. But it certainly is not offensive that the items were taken
25 and photocopied, and the photocopies retained by the OTP.
1 I also want to make the record clear that we think that the
2 photocopies themselves have great evidentiary value. Clearly, if there
3 were originals with signatures, that would much preferable on the part of
4 the handwriting expert. But the handwriting comparison expert can
5 sometimes make use of photocopies. And further, even outside of that,
6 it's very relevant to the issue of the type of signature, the manner in
7 which Dr. Stakic would sign his name which would be signing "S. Milomir"
8 or "Milomir," rather than Stakic.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I understand you made reference to Rule 95. This
10 is the exclusive rule in our rules on procedure and evidence for the
11 exclusion of certain evidence. And only under these circumstances laid
12 down there, evidence may be excluded. Is it correct?
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Correct.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any observations in return?
15 MR. OSTOJIC: If I may, Your Honour, with respect to the three
16 points raised by the OTP, first of all, we should not look at this
17 situation or this Tribunal as a typical setting that counsel may be
18 familiar with, whether in the United States or any jurisdiction. Truly,
19 when an investigator arrests or tries to make an arrest on an individual
20 of a crime, it happens not ten years later. His theory and arguments and
21 logic in connection with destruction of evidence simply baffles me, with
22 respect to claiming that evidence with respect to Dr. Stakic's personal
23 medical forms or dental forms or prescriptions that he is taking would
24 lead to any significant evidence here. If the arrest was made
25 contemporaneous with or near the time of events as alleged in the
1 indictment, perhaps that argument would hold some water. I do not believe
2 that it does.
3 I do, and must admit, that I admire the courage of the OTP to
4 suggest that that there were documents or arguing that planting of
5 documents does occur from time to time with respect to police
6 investigators and individuals who may try to incarcerate suspects under
7 indictment. The simple matter, Your Honour, is that we will not, and
8 probably cannot, prove any such theory in this case with respect to
9 Mr. O'Donnell's evidence and testimony. We do, however, find his
10 testimony on a personal and professional level to be very offensive,
11 unlike the OTP. Offensive, because Mr. O'Donnell clearly stated both on
12 the tape, and on the written transcript that he provided, that he advised
13 Dr. Stakic of his right to remain silent and encouraged him at one point
14 before the illegal search began of his bag that he will no longer ask him
15 any questions until after his legal representative would be appointed to
16 him. As I believe the record reflects, not less than ten minutes after
17 advising Dr. Stakic again of his right and advising Dr. Stakic that he
18 would have legal representation, did Mr. O'Donnell perform this illegal
19 search and this illegal taking of Dr. Stakic's personal bag and
21 Planting of documentation, as the OTP states, is an important
22 protocol that most criminal investigators follow. However, the protocol
23 that should have been followed was not as it relates to Mr. O'Donnell.
24 Any jurisdiction, no matter how sophisticated, trains their police and
25 investigators to inventory the documents that are seized, to make a list
1 of the documents that were taken, to advise the person from whom you're
2 taking those documents what it is that you're taking, and to seek from
3 them a signature, so that there can be no disagreement as to what those
4 documents or items or personal effects were that the police or
5 investigator confiscated. In this case, I believe the evidence is clear
6 that we did not, and Mr. O'Donnell did not follow that simple procedure,
7 despite the fact that he did not have any authority to remove those
8 personal effects from Dr. Stakic.
9 My final comment is with respect to what the OTP now claims, which
10 is different from their initial request of the Court. If the Court - and
11 I apologise for summarising this - if the Court would recall that the OTP
12 requested that all letters that Dr. Stakic sent or all correspondence from
13 the Detention Unit to outsiders other than those that were privileged be
14 confiscated and given copies of, if he sent them out, letters, so their
15 handwriting expert can take a sample and make a distinction because it was
16 important to get original documents or original signatures. The OTP
17 insisted that originals were necessary, and by their broad request in
18 their subpoena, admirably convinced this Chamber to issue that subpoena.
19 They have those records. Now, curiously enough, they claim photocopies
20 are sufficient and adequate to meet with their expert. We from the
21 Defence can only say we look forward to reading the experts' opinions and
22 also to be given an opportunity to cross-examine this expert on his
23 protocol, in connection with some of the statements offered by the OTP to
24 this Chamber previously and here today.
25 In summation, if I may, Your Honour, we would respectfully suggest
1 that the OTP has not rebutted any of the foundation issues that we raised
2 in connection with these documents. They have not, as suggested last
3 week, provided the Court with any analysis which would state that the
4 policy of the ICTY investigators is not only to incarcerate and to arrest
5 an individual but also to strip him of his personal effects, that policy
6 has not been brought forth. They have not provided us with a logical
7 explanation which would lead one to even infer that the documents in their
8 possession were remotely properly, ethically and legally inventoried. And
9 therefore, we believe that the bases we're providing to the Court should
10 be granted and the objection should be sustained and the documents not be
11 admitted into evidence. Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I believe that the opinions have been exchanged
13 exhaustively. The Trial Chamber will decide as soon as possible on this
15 I have to admit one omission. The registry just informed me that
16 documents with the provisional numbers S190 to S208 were not finally
17 admitted. We took into account the objections by Mr. Lukic given the 9th
18 of July, but following our policy on the admission of evidence, these
19 documents are hereby admitted into evidence.
20 Furthermore, we had to decide on the Prosecution's fourth and
21 fifth notice for admission of transcript pursuant to Rule -- and video, to
22 Rule 92 bis. We take into account that the Defence opposed and objected
23 the 22nd of July, I think it was page 59. But for the reasons given
24 earlier and in the beginning of this case, we can't see a fundamental
25 reason not to admit this evidence, and we can't see any kind of added
1 value to hear the witnesses listed there as live witnesses. So
2 it -- these documents are admitted, the statements and the video, are
3 admitted under Rule 92 bis. And I think it was agreed that Witness 40
4 will be heard as a live witness here in court.
5 Any other urgent matters to be resolved before we have court
6 recess? So please alert us in due time.
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: I just was going to inform the Court that this
8 witness, I think you saw in the proofing note, did bring a video with him.
9 A translation has been done of just the portion of the videotape where
10 Dr. Stakic is speaking. It's about a minute long. But no transcript has
11 been done of the entire tape, I'm not sure we're even going to do that of
12 the entire tape which is probably more than an hour or an hour and a half.
13 But I would like to play, while the witness is here, sometime, probably
14 tomorrow, that videotape, the one minute where Dr. Stakic is speaking.
15 And I have provided the Defence, and I believe the registry, a copy of the
16 one-minute extract from that video.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. From the Defence, any observations
18 in preparation of the following days of this week and the beginning
19 immediately after the court recess?
20 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. We actually
21 continue -- we do not object to the OTP providing the limited version of
22 the tape, although we haven't been given the opportunity to review it, we
23 did get what I think is a summary or at least an attempt of a verbatim
24 translation of the tape so we did review that today. So they may, with
25 your permission, obviously proceed in that manner.
1 We do, however, have two additional points to make, which we think
2 are somewhat critical for purposes of both the Defence preparation and in
3 light of the fact that we would have approximately three weeks "summer
4 break." And that involves our discussions that we've had at numerous
5 occasions both in court and during Status Conferences before the President
6 of this Chamber, namely we continue to insist, and I advised my learned
7 friend of this this morning, we insist that the OTP provide us a complete
8 inventory either through Mr. Inayat, who said he can do it within 24 to 48
9 hours, and produce to us all of the Crisis Staff decisions or orders that
10 are in their possession, in connection with the time period namely the
11 30th of April, 1992, through the 30th of September, 1992. We have,
12 although orally been given some indication, the extent of the material we
13 have, we would like a formal response by the OTP if it's their position
14 that we are in possession of all the Crisis Staff documents, that they
15 make that position clear and unequivocal. And if not, we would request
16 this Chamber by way of an oral motion to compel, if you will, ask that
17 they be produced to us no later than the 26th of August this year which
18 would then enable us sufficient opportunity to prepare a Defence, if
19 necessary, in this manner.
20 Likewise, directly related to that are the documents that, as we
21 recall during Mr. Inayat's testimony, that were taken by way of a legal
22 search and seizure of Kozarski Vjesnik, which is the newspaper gazette,
23 that we've seen some evidence of. The Defence is actually hampered by the
24 fact that not only do we not have all the newspaper or articles in
25 connection with Kozarski Vjesnik that were in existence for that time
1 period, no copies of the full and complete set of documents were provided
2 to us. We believe that those documents would be enormously of great
3 assistance to the Defence and to some of our witnesses, both for purposes
4 of proceeding as well as some of our experts in this case. So we would
5 ask, as we have in the past, that both those items in complete be
6 presented to the Defence as required and prescribed by the rules in this
8 If I may just have one minute, Your Honour.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 MR. OSTOJIC: In addition, Your Honour, as our request previously
11 has identified, we would like also the news articles from the newspaper
12 outlet, which was in existence at that time, called Pre Porod, which is
13 the Muslim, if I may be to say, equivalent to the newspaper or some of the
14 newspaper articles that we have seen that were being shared before this
15 Tribunal and introduced in as evidence. Again, our request is only
16 limited to the time period prescribed in the fourth revised amended
17 indictment, and we are only looking for those articles in their
18 possession, which is my understanding that they do have, with respect,
19 that would deal with specifically Prijedor Municipality and the time
20 period prescribed.
21 Finally, although counsel, Mr. Koumjian, and I discussed this
22 briefly, there was a statement made by Dr. Tabeau last week in connection
23 with documents that she relied on. Although the Defence, at this time or
24 at that time, did not anticipate calling a demographer as a potential
25 expert witness in this case, we've rethought that position. We think it
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 may be necessary and enlightening. So we would ask that the OTP produce
2 to us some, of course, if not overwhelming to them, the documents that
3 Dr. Tabeau relied upon, specifically, we request that we be given copies
4 of the voter registrar or voter registration forms that she analysed in
5 her report while making this link, and if the Court remembers, it dealt
6 specifically with the methodology that she used in her report last week.
7 We think that would be necessary for our consultant and ultimate expert to
8 review. Likewise, we believe that from Dr. Tabeau's testimony, that they
9 are in possession, namely, the OTP and Dr. Tabeau, of records from the
10 UNHCR and the ICRC, which identifies certain individuals. We think, based
11 on her opinion and expertise or area of expertise, those documents should
12 likewise be provided to our consultant, so that we may make the
13 appropriate analysis for purposes of both completion and verification
14 similar to one of the models that Dr. Tabeau utilised in an annex to her
15 report. Although we haven't discussed it in detail, so we would be making
16 that request, Your Honour. Thank you.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I realise overall four specific requests.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, Your Honour. And I'm not clear if the Defence
19 is now making these requests under Rule 66, which would trigger reciprocal
20 discovery, because they had previously indicated that they did not want to
21 do that. But taking them, may I ask Your Honour to remind me of the four,
22 but taking them from the back the ICRC list I believe is a public list.
23 If counsel can't get that, the list of missing persons, we can provide
24 that, I believe.
25 Regarding the voter registration, I don't think we can provide
1 that. That is a privileged document like most countries' voter
2 registration list that was provided under Rule 70. In regards to the
3 Kozarski Vjesnik and the Muslim publication, well, I'll check on that. I
4 haven't heard of that Muslim publication being in our possession, but I
5 can check on that.
6 The Kozarski Vjesnik, I think we could probably work out some
7 procedure to have a Defence representative go through those in our
8 offices, because we actually have the physical newspapers, not every
9 article has any translation or summary. But we could probably provide a
10 desk for someone to temporarily go through the Kozarski Vjesniks for the
11 indictment period.
12 And as far as the Crisis Staff decisions, I did ask and one of our
13 people on this case has been tasked with preparing a list of all the
14 Crisis Staff decisions. I think I can give that list to counsel by the
15 end of the week. I have to caution, I'm not sure, it'd be very difficult
16 for me to represent with 100 per cent certainty that that is every
17 Prijedor Crisis Staff decision. We will fry to find all of those. One of
18 the problems is that seizures continue to take place, and not everything
19 is translated. But we will make every effort to provide those. I add
20 that caution because I recently was sent by another attorney working on a
21 different case some Crisis Staff decisions that appear to be the same as
22 those we have, but were taken from a different search than any of ours.
23 So it's possible that there are other copies of decisions that we have,
24 and we may have to look at those to see if there's any signatures on those
25 copies. But that I'll try to have by the end of the week.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. As regards the decisions by the
2 Crisis Staff in the time limit found in the fourth amended indictment, I
3 think all the participants, including the Judges, are more than only
4 interested in having access to all the material. We heard that you would
5 provide this, and indeed, it would be -- having heard the statement of
6 Mr. Inayat on this issue, it would be appropriate to have an updated list
7 immediately before the end of the Court recess, the summer court recess,
8 and not only an updated list, also those decisions we have not yet in
9 possession for the period limited by the amendment we have before us.
10 As regards Kozarski Vjesnik, I think it's a fair approach to give
11 the Defence the opportunity to have a look through all these documents,
12 these articles in Kozarski Vjesnik. Once again, limited to the time
13 indicated in the indictment, because I want to recall that already in the
14 past, we decided not to admit into evidence all the articles on a certain
15 page of this newspaper, but limited to the possible relevant documents.
16 So therefore, I think this has been resolved by the invitation of the OTP
17 to look through the documents of the Kozarski Vjesnik from that period of
19 I'm more reluctant as regards the -- sorry to call it, Muslim
20 newspaper, because I couldn't find the name on the transcript. Here, we
21 have to take care not to go into a fishing expedition. And once again, I
22 have to recall that tu quoque is not a defence in this case. As regards
23 Dr. Tabeau, finally, I think it would be fair and realistic for the OTP to
24 provide a list of documents they asked Dr. Tabeau to provide when coming a
25 second time as a witness and to provide us with the document in due time
1 before her second statement. The UNHCR and ICRC documents, indeed, they
2 are public domain, and they are accessible. But we heard from
3 Mr. Koumjian that, in case there would be a problem for the Defence, the
4 OTP is prepared is provide these documents. But I think there shouldn't
5 be a real problem as regards these documents. The most crucial point of
6 all the documents mentioned are indeed the Crisis Staff decisions in the
7 period of time.
8 Any further observations in preparation of this week, and let us
9 know what is your intention as regards the witnesses of this week? I know
10 we have the videoconference on Thursday. The witness before us takes
11 three days?
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: I would think that this witness will probably take
13 three days. I'll finish the direct examination some time tomorrow, and I
14 imagine there will be a lengthy cross-examination.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just want to correct one thing, when counsel
17 mentioned UNHCR and ICRC, I think the list is ICRC, the list of missing
18 persons. We would not be able to get UNHCR documents. We don't have
19 access to those, and they are quite strict on their -- providing their
20 documents to criminal Tribunals.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Some are, indeed, published. No doubt that they
22 have, put it this way, a very strict policy not to disclose some material
23 for the one or other reason we have not to judge upon. But of course, in
24 general, just saying UNHCR material is not enough. I think if there are
25 certain documents of probative value for this case, the Defence need to
1 identify these documents, document by document, and not only relating to
2 those documents in general.
3 MR. OSTOJIC: If I may, Your Honour, my request for the UNHCR
4 documents were based solely and specifically on the testimony of
5 Dr. Tabeau, although I don't have her transcript before me. On one
6 occasion, specifically, she identified, during her direct examination,
7 that she relied and reviewed documents from the UNHCR. And it is those
8 documents that we would expect and contemplate our potential demographer
9 would likewise need in order to perform his analysis and evaluation on
10 those issues. Likewise, although I understand the Court's ruling, just so
11 that the issue does not raise its head, are the voter registration or the
12 voters registries, a copy of which will not be provided to us pursuant to
13 our request or, as in our request, we did need that because it is a
14 critical secondary source, in our opinion, that should be used in the
15 methodology for evaluating these statistical demographic figures that were
16 brought to the Court. And since those were the only two, and I understand
17 they don't have the census, just the results of the census, we think that
18 the voter registration would be just as important having -- being
19 identified as the only source available for our consultant and expert to
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: And to the extent that it is confidential -- I
23 apologise, Your Honour. To the extent it is confidential, the Defence as
24 they have from time to time when instructed and ordered by the Court and
25 when requested by the OTP, we certainly would not disseminate any of this
1 information outside of the auspices of the Defence team and our consultant
2 who would be reviewing it and providing his or her analysis.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. When speaking about public domain, I
4 referred to those documents in part they are indeed even published on the
5 internet. No doubt, that the vast majority of these documents are
6 confidential, and measures have to be taken that they be kept
7 confidential. Nevertheless, I think it's appropriate to forward this
8 request to Dr. Tabeau, and it will then be for the OTP to answer whether
9 or not this material is in the possession of the OTP because if -- I think
10 it's fair that the basis for that what is presented to us can be contested
11 or we are aware of this basis, I'm only afraid that we'll hear once again
12 the answer that for this portion and for that portion, one of the other
13 two members of this expertise or preparing this expertise are responsible.
14 But nevertheless, this shouldn't be a real problem because the underlying
15 figures, they should be made available for the parties and the Judges, as
16 you can probably also identify on the basis of the line of questions by
17 the Judges to Madam Tabeau.
18 But I think we know now where we are, and it's enough for the
19 purpose of preparation of the week immediately after the court recess.
20 And there shouldn't be any delay due to the fact that, in the meantime, no
21 attempt was made to find and analyse the document requested on a fair
22 basis by the Defence.
23 Is it correct that we can continue now with the testimony of the
24 witness before us? Then may I ask the usher to escort the witness in
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: For the Registrar, I will be requesting S213.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I apologise for the delay. And the OTP may
3 proceed, please.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.
5 Q. You told us, Mr. Sivac, about the events of the 30th of May, and
6 you talked about the police entering your apartment. Were there other
7 occasions, before you were taken to Omarska, where the police came to your
9 A. Well, yes, quite frequently, not only the police but military
10 groups. Various people, soldiers, would enter flats, not only mine but
11 also Mr. Safet Ramadanovic's flat just below mine, because we were the two
12 only Muslim families in that building. And they were allegedly searching
13 for weapons which, of course, we didn't have. But I think this was just
14 their farcical excuse to enter our flats, check for valuables, and take
15 them off.
16 Q. Did they search the apartments of Serb families in your building
17 the same as they searched the apartments of Muslim families?
18 A. No, of course not. Serb families were protected, of course.
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'd like to show the witness S213.
20 Q. Talking about the events of the 30th of May, you talked about the
21 mosques that were attacked. I'd ask that you look at this document, S213,
22 and tell me if you recognise, in the photographs surrounding the map, any
23 of the buildings or any of the areas, because some are just areas with no
25 A. Yes, yes. Well, roughly, photo number 6, this photo here.
1 Q. What is that?
2 A. I think this is the old town with a couple of new houses. This
3 photo was taken recently, I think.
4 Q. So, where was the mosque in Stari Grad?
5 A. The mosque in Stari Grad was in the centre. I think on this very
6 plot of land, one of these here in the photo.
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: Indicating photograph number 6.
8 Q. Do you recognise any of the other photographs? Do you recognise
9 anything depicted?
10 A. Photo number 7, I think this is the mosque in Kozarac.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: The witness is actually pointing to number --
12 A. -- The remains of the mosque.
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: The witness is pointing to number 5. Thank you.
14 Q. How about any others?
15 A. It's a bit more difficult because I had not been to Prijedor since
16 1992. And many things happened and changed in terms of urban planning
17 there, in the different sections of the town. I think this is the Stari
18 Grad area as far as I can recognise overgrown with grass. Photo number
19 11, this one here, I think.
20 Q. Okay. Thank you. How about number 10? You had your pointer on
21 that before. Do you recognise that area at all?
22 A. This photo was taken from a very peculiar angle, so believe me
23 when I say that I'm not able to identify this location.
24 Q. That's fine.
25 A. No, I really can't. I'm sorry.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Thank you. How about photograph number 4? Again, it's -- not
2 much is depicted, but do you recognise --
3 A. I think -- I think -- photo number 4. This is the area where the
4 town mosque used to be in Prijedor.
5 Q. Is that the mosque that you spoke about earlier in your testimony
6 that you saw destroyed, the town mosque?
7 A. Yes, it was burnt down on the 30th of May, 1992, around 4.00 in
8 the afternoon.
9 Q. Did that mosque have another name that you can think of?
10 A. We used to call it the town or the Carsija mosque. It was in the
11 centre of Prijedor town itself.
12 Q. I'm going to skip in time a little bit, but while we're discussing
13 this subject, in late August 1992, were you back in the town of Prijedor?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. At that time, did you see the Catholic -- was there a Catholic
16 church in Prijedor?
17 A. Yes, there was a Catholic church in Prijedor. It was -- it was
18 renewed, renovated about ten years prior to 1992.
19 Q. Did you see anything happen to it in 1992, after your return to
21 A. It was during one night when two explosions woke up the citizens
22 of Prijedor. On many houses, glass was shattered and windows, too, and we
23 didn't know what was going on. It was only in the morning, the morning
24 after, that we heard from casual passers-by that the night before, the
25 Catholic church had been destroyed, as well as one of the most beautiful
1 mosques in this part of Europe which was in the Puharska neighbourhood.
2 Let me just add that the mosque was quite new. It had been built just
3 barely years prior to 1992, and it really was a masterpiece of Islamic
5 Q. Did you ever see the Catholic church or the Puharska mosque after
6 that night that you heard the explosions?
7 A. Yes, several days later. I must clarify this to Your Honours.
8 After the release from the camp, persons who had been released from the
9 camp were maltreated and persecuted like dogs. There were several
10 murders, too, where people who had left the camps in Omarska and Keraterm
11 were killed. One such killing took place in a street, Ivica Peretin, a
12 Croat, a friend of mine was killed who had spent the whole period in
13 Omarska. On my way to Puharska where, from time to time, I stayed with my
14 family at some friends' place, my wife's friend, who was a Serb, and she
15 was some sort of a guarantee for us that we will be protected. I saw her
16 outside the Catholic church in Prijedor, Dule, Dusan Miljus, who was an
17 engineer, a civil engineer in the Ljubija iron ore mine, I saw Veljko
18 Hrgar, who was an architect and the head of an architecture design bureau
19 in Prijedor, and several other people, operating a crane, a huge crane
20 used for construction trying to -- the belfry of the Catholic church, it
21 was nearly destroyed, but there were some stones still left intact, and
22 they were trying to raze it to the ground and destroy it completely. When
23 I went to see my friends in Puharska, I saw that glass and windows in
24 their houses -- on their house was shattered, and they took me to see the
25 remains of the mosque in Puharska.
1 It had been razed to the ground, and unfortunately, in that
2 explosion, my dear friend Zijad Kusuran and his wife, who lived just very
3 close to the mosque, were killed.
4 Q. Thank you. I now want to go to the events of the 10th of June.
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour is going to take a break at -- what
6 time would be appropriate?
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Half past 5.00.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN:
9 Q. Going to the events of the 10th of June of 1992, what happened to
10 you that day?
11 A. Well, on that day, Bato Kovacevic, an active-duty police officer,
12 and another lad we called Brkin in the town who was a reserve police
13 officer came to my flat. But before I get to that, let me just mention
14 that on the same day in the morning hours, my neighbour Safet Ramadanovic
15 and I
16 were having coffee together. He lived in the same building. Rade Strika
17 and a couple of other policemen I did not know came over and arrested
18 Safet Ramadanovic and took him to the SUP building. In a short while, I
19 looked from my window and saw that at a side entrance to my building, the
20 police were taking Omer Kerenovic away. He used to work at the municipal
21 court in Prijedor for a long time as a criminal law judge, and then after
22 another hour, they came for me, too.
23 They took me to the SUP building and ordered me to go to the yard
24 outside the Prijedor SUP building. I was surprised when, in the police
25 van, I found Safet Ramadanovic, my neighbour. Omer Kerenovic, the judge,
1 and Ivica Muntijan, a Croat, who worked at the municipal court in
2 Prijedor. He was a maintenance worker. Soon after, Tomislav Stojakovic
3 and Rade Bolta, the people who escorted us, joined us in the van and took
4 us in the police van to Keraterm. At the gate there, Zoran Zigic, a lad
5 whose last name was Lajic, he was a well-known criminal in Prijedor,
6 waited for us there. And then on the way in, they tried to get Omer
7 Kerenovic into the van because he had tried them a long time ago for their
8 criminal acts and they wanted to cut his throat. Our escorts, Tomislav
9 Stojakovic and Brane Bolta were very correct on that occasion, and they
10 managed to get the van as far as the administration building in Keraterm,
11 and they managed to take us up the stairs to the first floor where we
12 remained and waited until all the paperwork was done concerning our
13 admission to the camp.
14 Q. Did you go actually to the Keraterm facility or to the military
15 facility that was across the road?
16 A. No, we went to the administration building in Keraterm. We sat
17 there for about half an hour, perhaps an hour. Time went by very slowly.
18 And then at the door of one of the offices, Gostimir Modic, a man I used
19 to know quite well, he had worked with me in the security services, he was
20 an inspector, and Zivko Jovic, also an inspector for the Prijedor SUP
21 turned up. They told our escorts that we were not needed in the Keraterm
22 camp, but rather that they had agreed with their chief, their boss, Ranko
23 Mijic, for us to be transferred to the Omarska camp.
24 Not much later, we were taken back to the police van. However, in
25 the meantime, our escorts had transferred the Kombi very close to one of
1 the boxes in Keraterm from which they started taking out people and the
2 guards who happened to be there threw these people in the back, into the
3 back of the van. Those people moaned and groaned which probably meant
4 they were being severely beaten as they were being taken out and thrown
5 into the van.
6 When the guards finished with their action, they told our escorts
7 to take us in the van to Omarska.
8 Q. Did you then travel from Omarska -- excuse me, from Keraterm to
10 A. Yes. I was to find out later that we were actually some of the
11 first prisoners to be taken by the main road from Prijedor leading to
12 Banja Luka to be taken to Omarska, down that road. And later, as I talked
13 to my fellow inmates, most of them had been brought to Omarska by country
14 roads. And they clearly understood why. Because the road from Prijedor
15 to Omarska, when you head down from Orlovci, which is there, we saw a
16 horrible sight. On either side of the main road, we used to refer to as
17 the highway, pieces of furniture were lying scattered, cattle killed,
18 various objects. So, our escorts driving the police van, they had to
19 drive a slalom in a manner of speaking, they had to slalom among these
21 When you reach a suburb of Kozarac, when we reached that point,
22 almost all the houses were destroyed and on either side were pillars of
23 smoke rising. So the areas where the houses were burning, soldiers were
24 coming out driving tractors and horse-drawn carts, taking away household
25 appliances and different electronic devices. The crossroads dividing
1 Kozarac from Trnopolje, we saw two tanks with soldiers covered with blood.
2 They were Serb soldiers probably heading towards Kozarac or towards
3 Trnopolje. Those horrible images stretched all the way to Jakupovici,
4 almost all the way to the border line between Omarska, Kozarac, Kozarusa,
5 and Kamicani, all the other villages there, inhabited mostly by Muslims.
6 Kozarac and the surrounding area had the appearance as if an atom bomb had
7 been dropped there.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: Perhaps the witness could be given S14. If that
10 could be placed on the ELMO.
11 Q. Mr. Sivac, again, the print is very, very small on this map. But
12 can you locate the approximate location of the Keraterm camp on the map?
13 A. The Keraterm camp is here, in this area, near the Prijedor/Banja
14 Luka main road. Cirkin Polje is here, and the camp was there more or
15 less, as far as I can tell. It's very small indeed, but it's in this area
16 here, on the left side of the Prijedor/Banja Luka main road.
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Indicating the eastern part of the city along the
18 road marked in red that runs east/west.
19 Q. Can you trace for us the approximate route that you took to the
20 Omarska camp. And tell us where it was that you saw the events that you
21 talked about in your testimony, just previously.
22 A. We travelled along this portion of the road, and as early as here,
23 near Gornji Orlovci, on this side of the road, we saw houses on fire. In
24 this area here, this here as well. When we passed Kozarac and Kamicani,
25 we saw again houses on fire. And this is how we reached the junction
1 leading off to Omarska, and we went along this road here.
2 Q. And then which road did you take from that junction? You took the
3 road marked in yellow down, or orange? Excuse me.
4 A. Yes, this -- along this orange-coloured road near the overfly.
5 And this is where the entered the Omarska mine complex, through the main
6 gate to the camp. Immediately after you pass the railway line, and this
7 crossroads here, that is where the main gate to the Omarska mine is
9 Q. Let me ask you: If a person was living in Omarska or travelling
10 regularly between Omarska and Prijedor, would the route you took be the
11 most typical route for a person to travel? In other words, along that
12 road that runs alongside Kozarusa, Kozarac, Kamicani?
13 A. Yes, that's the best route you can take. And the road was very
14 good. It was recently built, and everybody took that road.
15 Q. Would it be possible to travel on that road without seeing the
16 destruction of the houses that you talked about?
17 A. No, of course not. It was so obvious that it was impossible not
18 to see it if you went along this road.
19 Q. What happened when you got to the Omarska camp?
20 A. In the Omarska camp, we were welcomed by the people there. First,
21 they took out the people from Kozarac, from one of the vans, and lined
22 them up against the wall next to the administration building. They
23 immediately started beating them. And after this procedure, after this
24 severe beating of the people from Kozarac, they took them in the direction
25 of the so-called white house. Actually, at the time I didn't know what
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 these various facilities were called. But when the turn came to my group
2 where Safet Ramadanovic was and others, they ordered us as well to line
3 against the wall. In the meantime, Tomislav Stojakovic who escorted us to
4 the camp gave a list of names to Miroslav Kvocka who happened to be there
5 when the detainees were arriving. So he took this list and went away. I
6 didn't know where he went. But after his departure, people
7 started -- they started beating people again. Safet took out some money
8 from his pocket, but they didn't seem to be satisfied. And they said:
9 "Safet, you've brought only very little money to the camp. You will have
10 to give us some more." Safet was a very famous private entrepreneur
11 there. He had a catering establishment. Shortly after that, Miroslav
12 Kvocka came, appeared again, and he said: "Who has brought Nusret Sivac
13 here?" And they said: "His name is on the list." And he said: "No,
14 you've made a mistake. You've brought the wrong person to the camp. It's
15 her sister's name that's on the list." My sister's name is Nusreta Sivac,
16 the difference being only one letter. And they said: "What do you want
17 us to do with him?" And he said: "Wait a second. Let me check." So, he
18 went away to the administration building and when he came back a few
19 minutes later, he said: "The boss, Ranko Mijic, said you should take him
20 back home," which is what happened.
21 They took me to the SUP building in Prijedor, and I got out there.
22 And they told me to go home. But that night, my sister, Nusreta Sivac,
23 was arrested and taken to the Omarska camp.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: This would be an appropriate time.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned 5.55.
1 --- Recess taken at 5.28 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 6.02 p.m.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN:
5 Q. Mr. Sivac, you just told us about the 10th of June and arriving at
6 the Omarska camp. Do you recall when you first got out of your vehicle
7 what you saw, what your impression was when you looked out at the camp?
8 A. My first impression was terrible. I saw a huge number of people
9 lying down, facedown on the pista. I couldn't tell whether they were dead
10 or alive because nobody seemed to move. I thought they had all been
11 killed. It was only some time later, I mean, shortly after, that I saw
12 some of them move, and I realised that they were alive.
13 Q. What was the weather like at that time, if you remember?
14 A. It was very hot. Really very hot.
15 Q. You mentioned that Mr. Kvocka told you that -- told the other
16 police that they had made a mistake, and that it was Nusreta and not you
17 that was wanted, your sister. What was your sister's occupation?
18 A. She had been working as a judge at the local court, at the
19 municipal court in Prijedor for a very long time. But after the takeover
20 by the SDS, she was dismissed. She was actually one of the first persons
21 to be dismissed after the takeover.
22 Q. The people that were at the camp, Mr. Kvocka and the others you
23 saw there, did you recognise them as people you had known or worked with
25 A. Yes. I had known Miroslav Kvocka for a very long time. We used
1 to work together. But I also knew his wife, Jasminka, very well. She
2 used to be my next-door neighbour. She is a Muslim.
3 Q. Were the personnel that you saw in the Omarska camp, were many of
4 them police officers or former police officers from the Prijedor SUP?
5 A. The guards whom I saw for the first time were the people I didn't
6 know. And as far as I can tell, they were not members of the police force
7 at all. They may have been reserve police officers or just people who had
8 been randomly picked up from the neighbouring villages to serve as guards
9 there. Later, I will learn the name of one of them, Miroslav Kos, Kule,
10 and I also learned that he was one of the shift leaders.
11 Q. I know that some of this information you learned later, but can
12 you tell us - I know I'm taking this out of sequence - regarding the
13 leadership of the camp, did you know Zeljko Mejakic?
14 A. Yes, he was a professional police officer who had been working at
15 the Omarska police station department together with Miroslav Kvocka for a
16 while. Drago Prcac would join them later. He used to work at the
17 Prijedor SUP as a crime technician. And I think that he retired some time
18 before 1992. I also knew Krkan, Mlado Radic, who was also a professional
19 police officer. But that's it. I didn't know other guards. I saw them
20 for the first time in the Omarska camp.
21 Q. Did you learn during your stay at the camp who the camp commander
23 A. Yes, I did. All of the detainees knew that. All the orders and
24 everything that happened in the Omarska camp was in the competence of
25 Mejakic and later, Miroslav Kvocka. The shift leaders who were in Omarska
1 addressed Zeljko as "commander" or "boss," as far as we could tell.
2 Q. You said that after Kvocka said that they had the wrong Sivac, you
3 were taken to the SUP, and then allowed to go to your home. Is that
5 A. Yes, yes. They allowed me to go home.
6 Q. Sometime after that, did you speak to Milos Jankovic about your
7 arrest on the 10th of June?
8 A. I did. I saw him sometime after that, and I asked him who had
9 signed my arrest warrant? And he said that anybody could sign such an
10 order at the SUP, that there was a total chaos there, that most frequently
11 such orders were written by the Crisis Staff and people such as Simo
12 Drljaca, Dule Jankovic, the commander of the police, and even Ranko Mijic
13 who was the chief interrogator at the camp. As for my order, or the
14 arrest warrant for my sister, I don't know. I was never able to learn who
15 signed those arrest warrants.
16 Q. Just to remind us, Milos Jankovic was your boss when you worked
17 for the security service. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes. He came sometime before 1992, several years before that, and
19 he was appointed chief of the communication and encryption centre of the
20 Prijedor SUP.
21 Q. What did you do between the 10th of June and the 20th of June?
22 A. At the time, Prijedor was in a terrible state. There was no
23 electricity, nor water. Military formations frequently searched
24 apartments and evicted people from their apartments. And as a result of
25 these very frequent searches, me and my family were forced to seek shelter
1 in Puharska, where we stayed with a friend of ours. Usually, it was with
2 this lady friend who was Serb. We stayed at her house.
3 Q. Did you feel safer because you were staying with someone who was
4 of Serb ethnicity?
5 A. To a certain extent, yes, but regardless of where we were, the
6 life in Prijedor had turned into a nightmare for us non-Serbs. We had to
7 listen to various types of propaganda on the Prijedor radio against all
8 non-Serbs, and this propaganda machinery by the SDS functioned perfectly.
9 Even Goebbels could be considered an amateur compared to them and what
10 they broadcast at the time. So, it was on the Radio Prijedor wavelength
11 that we could listen to the appeals addressed to Serbs to kill Muslims and
12 other non-Serbs. It was an appeal to lynch all of those who were
14 Q. Was it publicly announced who was the leadership of the
15 municipality at that time? Was that ever discussed on the radio? Or who
16 was giving orders for the events in Prijedor?
17 A. All these things happened as a result of the directives issued by
18 the Crisis Staff. Even the chief of the Prijedor radio, Mile Mutic - who
19 was an officer, I think he had the rank of major - at the time was wearing
20 a military uniform. And according to what I heard, he had a military
21 line, telephone line, in his office at all times, that he attended all
22 meetings of the Crisis Staff, and that he even personally invited the
23 population of Hambarine, Kozarac, and other parts of Prijedor Municipality
24 which were predominantly Muslim to surrender their weapons and told them
25 that the Serb authorities would guarantee their safety, and so on and so
2 In those days, the Prijedor radio station was specialised, so to
3 speak, for disseminating and forging biographies, CVs, of eminent
4 residents of Prijedor. It was as a result of the propaganda of the Radio
5 Prijedor that Edo Crnalic, Dr. Eso Sadikovic, Dr. Osman Mahmuljin were
6 killed, because it was over the Prijedor radio, that is, in one of the
7 programmes by Darko Maricic and another individual that a public trial was
8 organised against these individuals. The biography of Professor Muhamed
9 Cehajic was also falsely represented over the Prijedor radio in this
10 manner. And the people who were subject to these misrepresentations and
11 this type of invidious propaganda were later killed or perished in places
12 such as Omarska camp.
13 Q. What happened to you on the 20th of June?
14 A. On the 20th of June, they came for me again. It was the same
15 group of people, Ranko Kovacevic, called Bato, whom I had known for a
16 number of years. He said: "Well, it seems that you have to come with us
17 once again. But this time, there is no mistake." So when I got to the
18 SUP building, when I entered the hall there, I realised that Ago
19 Sadikovic, who used to work at the Prijedor SUP as an inspector for white
20 collar crime, had already been detained. Sifeta Susic was there as well,
21 who worked in the criminal evidence unit in the Prijedor SUP. Tesma
22 Elezovic was there as well, the woman who worked at the mountaineer's
23 lodge at Kozara Mount. Several minutes later, Rade Strika appeared at the
24 entrance. He was escorting a young boy, 13 or 14 years of age, and
25 ordered him to join our group. He went to the SUP building, and five
1 minutes later, he came back leading Dr. Osman Mahmuljin, escorting Dr.
2 Osman Mahmuljin, an eminent Prijedor physician. When we were all gathered
3 in the corridor there, he ordered us to get out to the courtyard. It was
4 around noon, and the atmosphere in the yard of the SUP was savage. Two
5 APCs were parked there, there seemed -- it seems as if a orgy was going on
6 in which armed people were taking part. They were arming their weapons
7 and singing Chetnik songs. And when Rade Strika lined us up against the
8 wall there, we were ordered to remove the laces from our shoes and the
9 belts that we were wearing. Members of the intervention platoon for
10 Prijedor arrived, and we were forced to run a gauntlet formed by them.
11 They beat us most savagely with some metal rods or bars, something that I
12 had never seen before. I mean I had never thought that it was possible
13 for someone to beat another fellow human being with such objects.
14 Dr. Mahmuljin fell down as a result of these beatings. Semir Malovcic,
15 the young boy that I mentioned, who was not 18 yet, was crying. He only
16 had a T-shirt on, and I think he had lost one of his boots, so he was
18 After that, they pushed us into a basement room, where the
19 detention premises used to be. I know that because I used to work there.
20 And this is where we detained criminals upon arrest. Dr. Mahmuljin
21 couldn't walk. Me and Ago Sadikovic had to carry him in. It was a matter
22 of covering -- a distance of about four or five metres. And when we laid
23 him down on a wooden bench in this detention area, we heard a scream
24 uttered by Dado Mrdja, Zoran Babic, and others. We heard them scream
25 these members of the intervention platoon who said: "The doctor didn't
1 get enough." And they rushed into this detention area like beasts and
2 they started beating us again. But they beat Dr. Mahmuljin the worst, and
3 at one point, he fainted. They hit Ago Sadikovic with this metal rod on
4 his head, and his temple bone was fractured. And all of a sudden, he was
5 covered in blood. And I never thought it was possible for a human being
6 to beat another human being so savagely. Dr. Mahmuljin couldn't move any
7 more. But throughout that time, Dado Mrdja and Zoran Babic kept shouting:
8 "We'll kill you. We'll kill you so you will never get a chance to kill
9 Serb children again." That threat was addressed to Dr. Mahmuljin. After
10 a while, we came out. But before they left, they threatened that they
11 would be back again, and that they would finish us off.
12 In this detention area, after a while, we helped Dr. Mahmuljin,
13 who was gurgling, and he was shouting "my arm, my arm." I think that his
14 left arm was completely motionless. It had been fractured on several
15 places, and Dr. Sadikovic would confirm that to us later on, when we met
16 in Omarska. Sometime later, we were ordered to board a police van which
17 was parked in the yard. Dr. Osman was not a very heavy man, but he was
18 completely motionless. He couldn't move. And Dr. Ago, I, and this young
19 man had to drag him, his feet were dragging on the asphalt, completely
20 motionless. And this is how we put him into this police van.
21 We got into the police van. We got into the back of the police
22 van. The door was shut, so we couldn't see the road that we took to get
23 to Omarska. I know that Sifeta Susic was thrown, as well as Tesma
24 Elezovic into the front part of the van, and they were taken together with
25 us to Omarska.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Do you remember the name of this boy who was in the cell with you?
2 A. I think his name was Semir Malovcic or something like that. He
3 was from a part of Prijedor Municipality called Raskovac.
4 Q. Did he tell you, did he indicate to you how it was that he came to
5 be in police custody?
6 A. Well, we all felt sorry for that young man who hadn't even gun to
7 shave, I suppose. When we got to Omarska, I asked him: "Why in the world
8 did they bring you over here?" And he said that the night before, during
9 curfew in his village, a group of soldiers arrived, raping all the women
10 there, but only the men were later taken away and to the camps. He wanted
11 to help these women, and he ran to the first checkpoint he could reach,
12 near his house, to report this incident to the military manning the
13 checkpoint. However, they, in turn, called the police, and then Rade
14 Strika arrived, took him away, and brought him to the Prijedor SUP, and
15 from there, he was taken to the camp.
16 Q. Did you see him in the Omarska camp?
17 A. Only while we were staying together in the garage. Until I got
18 out, until I went to be interrogated and was transferred to the pista, but
19 he remained in the garage. And I really don't know what later happened to
20 him. According to other people's accounts, he went missing in the Omarska
22 Q. You mentioned the part of Prijedor he was from. Is that part of
23 the town of Prijedor or is that outside? Can you repeat the name and tell
24 us where it is.
25 A. It's a part of Prijedor. It's a bit of a suburb, but the name is
1 Raskovac. Here, I can point it out to you on the map if you like.
2 Q. Okay. If we can go to the video evidence. I think the
3 witness -- do you want to use the other map, the town map, or is this map
5 A. This map is all right. I think it's all right. I can use this
6 map to point Raskovac out to you, only if you need something else.
7 Q. Whatever's easier for you. If you can use the map in front of
8 you, that's fine.
9 A. All right. That's the area.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Indicating on the map an area just to the northwest
11 of the populated area looking like Prijedor.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: For the record, it's still S14. Right?
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. Thank you.
14 Q. I am going to in a moment going to ask - I'm sorry for the lack of
15 notice - for S294.
16 Sir -- excuse me, 65 ter number 294, and that is -- I'll come back
17 to this tomorrow if necessary.
18 After the 30th of May, was there a -- did events happen in various
19 neighbourhoods of Prijedor that were populated mainly by non-Serbs?
20 A. Yes, indeed. At that time, an urbicide, so to speak, began in
21 Prijedor. A group of people I used to know, led by Dule Miljus, civil
22 engineer, Veljko Hrgar, an architect and head of an architectural bureau
23 in Prijedor, simply walked the streets formally, predominant Muslim and
24 Croat streets, and they were marking houses to be demolished. A large
25 part of the town of Prijedor was demolished during this intentional
1 action. In the days to follow, when Slavko Ecimovic's group clashed with
2 the Serb military and the police, according to the plan drawn up by the
3 Crisis Staff, parts of Prijedor were to be wiped off the face of the
4 earth, the Muslims parts. So in my immediate vicinity, my own
5 neighbourhood, a Roma people's settlement was pulled down, completely
6 demolished, because they had also lived in Prijedor for hundreds of years.
7 They had blacksmithries. That's how they earned their livelihood. A
8 large part of Muharem Suljanovic Street was torn down also. That's the
9 street to the right of the Bereg area. A part of Zagrad was pulled down.
10 Most of the Stari Grad was destroyed, so that Prijedor seemed like a ghost
11 town without all those buildings which had been destroyed.
12 Q. On the 20th of June, you talked about at the SUP meeting members
13 of the intervention squad. You had worked for the police for many years.
14 Did this squad exist in the security services, during the years you worked
15 for the security service?
16 A. No, the group called "intervention platoon" was set up for the
17 dirty work to be carried out in Prijedor Municipality. The members of
18 that group were mostly people with a criminal past. People who were
19 outlaws, they had clashed with the law on numerous occasions. And they
20 did their dirty work, the dirtiest work of all in Prijedor Municipality
21 with admirable diligence.
22 Q. Did you ever see members of that squad in the Omarska camp?
23 A. Yes, they did come a number of times to visit the camp. Always
24 accompanied by a number of other persons who would come, who would then
25 give suggestions as to who should be killed.
1 Q. You mentioned that two of the members of the intervention squad
2 were yelling about -- to Dr. Mahmuljin, and that one said: "You'll never
3 kill Serb children again." Do you have any idea what he was referring to?
4 A. Well, how should I say? Just shortly before that, Radio Prijedor
5 published an announcement claiming that Dr. Osman Mahmuljin, while giving
6 medical treatment to another doctor, his colleague, Lukic, from a nearly
7 fatal heart attack prescribed intentionally the wrong sort of medicine to
8 this patient, thereby trying to kill him. This was just not true. This
9 was propaganda, misinformation, only to denigrate Dr. Osman Mahmuljin, to
10 bring him into disrepute and to mark him off for the kill which,
11 unfortunately, later occurred in Omarska.
12 Q. What happened after the beating, these beatings, at the SUP? What
13 happened to you and the others?
14 A. We were taken back to Omarska in a police van. They had us lined
15 up again, against the glass wall, the wall of the restaurant. And again,
16 the shift leader, Kurle Kos recognised me and said: "Here you are again.
17 And this time, it's no mistake." Dr. Osman Mahmuljin could not keep
18 standing up against the wall. So he knelt down. And Kos told the guards
19 who assembled like a pack of wolves to beat us again. When he saw the
20 state we were in, he told them: "Don't beat these, just put them in the
22 Q. And were you then taken to the area of Omarska known as the
24 A. Yes. That day, we were thrown into the garage between 80 and a
25 hundred inmates were already inside the garage from the Kozarac area. And
1 it was crowded enough as it was, and it was very difficult to squeeze new
2 people into the garage. But there we were, practically standing one on
3 top of the other. And close to the iron door in one of the corners of the
4 garage, Professor Muhamed Cehajic, president of Prijedor Municipality, was
5 lying all alone. He had obviously been beaten severely. You could see
6 that he had been maltreated. He urinated blood. I'll never forget that
7 night. Around 8.00 in the evening, the door slammed open, and a Serb
8 soldier appeared. He was wearing red shades. He began to yell and
9 threaten us. He cocked his weapon. Behind him, there were the other
10 guards standing. He was standing at the door and shouting, asking: "Who
11 killed my brother Dukic?" The older inmates answered in unison: "The
12 Muslim extremists led by Slavko Ecimovic, they killed him." He was not
13 happy with this answer, however, and he wanted the answer repeated several
14 times. And then he ordered us to sing. We started singing at the top of
15 our voices. The older inmates, the new inmates, all the Chetnik songs
16 "From Topola to Topola, all the way to Ravna Gora," all those songs, and
17 then also a song that I heard for the first time then.
18 Q. Was it common during your stay in Omarska for the inmates to be
19 forced to sing songs?
20 A. Yes, very common. They would even tell us that if we wanted to be
21 given a jerry can of water, we had to sing songs. This was common
22 practice in the camp.
23 Q. Can you tell us the general nature of these songs?
24 A. Well, mostly these songs abused other non-Serb people living in
25 those areas. They were songs in praise of Chetniks and Serbs in general.
1 Songs very humiliating for Croats, Muslims, and all the other ethnic
3 Q. You told me one of the lines of one of these songs this morning.
4 Can you repeat, please, for the Judges what you remember about the song
5 that you were taught to sing in the Omarska camp.
6 A. Well, I'll try to specify. It's a bit vulgar, I know, but please
7 excuse me. I'm not sure if it can be translated. It was one of the
8 guards' favorite songs that we were made to sing. "Early this morning, a
9 Chetnik man was fucking a Muslim woman. There is no guard without the
10 Kokarda," the Chetnik symbol, "and no soldier, if not a Chetnik."
11 Q. Did you find it humiliating to be forced to sing these songs?
12 A. Yes, that was only one of the pressures we were made to face and
13 put up with. We had no choice really.
14 Q. You mentioned Professor Cehajic, the president of the
15 municipality. Did you see any other political leaders that you recognised
16 in the camp as inmates?
17 A. Well, let me just finish what I was saying about Professor
18 Cehajic. Immediately after we had finished singing, he was taken out by
19 one of the guards, outside the garage, and beaten very badly. After a
20 while, the door opened again, and Professor Cehajic said: "They want me
21 to collect a hundred deutschmark for them. If I fail, they will kill me
22 on the spot." The camp inmates who had arrived in the camp earlier from
23 Kozarac, no one had anything on them. Dr. Osman Mahmuljin had hidden a
24 hundred deutschmark note in one of his pockets and gave it to Professor
25 Cehajic. And this bank note saved Cehajic's head that night.
1 When Professor Cehajic was taken out of the garage, the guard who
2 was taking him out asked him in a very ironic tone of voice: "So,
3 President, say, where are you now, and where is my neighbour, Stakic?"
4 His accent was strange. He must have been the neighbour of the accused
5 sitting here. He repeated this sentence several times. Professor Cehajic
6 later came back all black and blue, covered with bruises, and he couldn't
7 quiet down for a long time.
8 Q. Had you known Professor Cehajic from your work in -- as a
9 journalist and from living in Prijedor?
10 A. Well, yes, you might say I knew him as a professor at the Prijedor
11 high school. It's a very famous high school. He taught literature there
12 for a long time. He also lived in my neighbourhood for a while. We used
13 to see quite a bit of each other, and we regularly greeted each other in
14 the street. He was a very quiet, peaceful man.
15 Q. Do you know -- did you ever ask Professor Cehajic why, after the
16 takeover by the SDS authorities, he hadn't left Prijedor before he was
18 A. He had a very good explanation, I think a good one. Airtight for
19 that. He said: "I'd never had a quibble with anyone. The Serbs took
20 over in Prijedor, and there was nothing I could do about that. I never
21 imagined they would commit crimes on this scale. So, I stayed in Prijedor
22 waiting for decisions on a more global level, at the Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina level, decisions affecting the fate of Prijedor."
24 Q. Do you know what eventually happened to Professor Cehajic?
25 A. Professor Cehajic, the president of the Prijedor Municipality, was
1 taken on the 27th of July away, together with a group of other Prijedor
2 intellectuals, and was killed outside the Omarska camp, in the area of
3 Omarska village.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
5 MR. KOUMJIAN:
6 Q. Did you see any other political leaders in the camp?
7 A. Silvije Saric, a lawyer, was in the camp. He was the president of
8 the Croatian Democratic Union. Then, there was Idriz Jakupovic, who was a
9 member of the Socialist Democratic Party, who used to be a member of the
10 Communist League. Rizo Beglerbegovic, an economist, a member of the
11 reformist forces led by Ante Markovic, and a number of others, other
12 Prijedor residents who were members of the left-wing parties. But it is
13 interesting to point out that the very small number of Prijedor
14 intellectuals were members of the Party of Democratic Action.
15 Q. In the camp, did you see anyone who was -- had mental problems who
16 was held as a prisoner?
17 A. While I was at the pista, a friend of mine and a neighbour of
18 mine, Asmir Crnalic was with me for a while. We called him "Vico". For a
19 number of years, he had been a mental patient. He had suffered a number
20 of fits. And I was horrified to see that he was there on the pista.
21 During that period of time, the temperatures were very high, and the heat
22 was unbearable. And we often had to all lie down on the pista during
23 those days. One day, we heard a confusion coming from an area inside the
24 camp. And we saw Asmir Crnalic, Vico, there. We saw him stand up all of
25 a sudden, without an approval of the guards. And he had a glass or a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 bottle with him, and he pretended to be drinking water. Apparently, he
2 had asked to be allowed to go and drink some water, but the guard wouldn't
3 let him. So, he was pretending that he was drinking water. And he
4 started even spitting at one point in time. And then all of a sudden, he
5 started to dance, to stepdance, on the pista. And the guards started
6 joking and they shouted out to him: "Yes, come on, give us some more."
7 And then one of the guards coming from the administration building grabbed
8 him and took him to the white house.
9 The guard who took him to the white house put him in the first
10 room to the left, and as he was coming back to the administration
11 building, we heard a very short -- actually, two bursts of gunfire. The
12 first one was short; the second was long. We turned around, because we
13 sort of knew what was coming. And then one of the guards said: "Heads
14 down." And we had to lie down again, face down. But we managed to see a
15 guard who was also dressed in a recognisable way. He wore some kind of
16 raincoat with a hood. And he always stood guard at the post between the
17 white house and the administration building. He shot in the direction of
18 the white house. And after we spent some time lying like this face down
19 on the pista, an order came for us to sit down. One of the detainees on
20 the pista stood up, and we could clearly see the body of Asmir Crnalic,
21 Vico, lying motionless next to the white house. Sometime towards the end
22 of this shift, whose leader was Momo Gruban, Ckalja, he came to us to the
23 pista and asked if anyone knew this person. I said I did, and a number of
24 other people who knew Vico. He wanted us to tell him the name and the
25 surname of this man in order to establish his identity. And he wrote this
1 information on a small piece of paper which he carried to the
2 administration building.
3 Q. Was there a prisoner in the camp who was blind or almost blind?
4 A. Yes, it was actually very sad to see from the pista, Eso
5 Mehmedagic running after the column of the people who were going to the
6 restaurant. He had worked at the Prijedor court for a while, and he was
7 then transferred to the public attorney's office. At one point in time,
8 he would always run at the back of the column of these people. And he was
9 holding the hand of Becir, an engineer who worked to work at the Omarska
10 iron ore mine before. And this is how he went to the restaurant to get a
11 meal. And he would also run like this, in this fashion, on the way back.
12 And the women who used to work at the canteen there told us that
13 the guards would always push him around. Actually, they would push him to
14 the opposite side of the group. They engaged in all sorts of pranks like
15 this with him and ridiculed the man all the time.
16 Q. You said he worked at the court and public attorney's office. Was
17 he a lawyer, an attorney?
18 A. Yes, he worked as a defence lawyer for a while. He had a degree
19 in law, and he spent all his life working at the Prijedor court while his
20 sight was still good. Later on, he was transferred to the Prosecution
22 Q. Do you know what happened to him and Becir, the engineer who used
23 to guide him to the meal, to the restaurant?
24 A. Esad Mehmedagic was the first one to be killed. That night, the
25 lawyers were on target in Omarska. They killed lawyers that night, and it
1 was on that night that Esad Mehmedagic was taken to the white house and
2 killed. Later, when they proceeded to killing of the people who used to
3 work at the mine, Zivko Paunovic was killed. Then, sometime from the 25th
4 of July onwards, apart from the daily murders of the detainees who were
5 taken up for interrogation and spontaneous killings perpetrated by the
6 guards on their own, killings of specific -- of members of specific
7 professions started. The first ones on the execution list were the former
8 Prijedor police officer, Mirzet Lisic, Ago Sadikovic, inspectors of the
9 Prijedor SUP were killed together. Ismet Aras, Fikret Sarajlic, police
10 officers, Meho Mahmutovic, also a police officer. Emir Kodzic [phoen],
11 another police officer, were all killed. Only a few police officers would
12 leave the Omarska camp alive. Four or five of them survived, only four or
14 After that came the turn of Prijedor physicians, Prijedor doctors.
15 Namely, Dr. Jusuf Pasic --
16 Q. I want to get to that tomorrow as a separate question.
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: Can we break for today, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until tomorrow, 2.15.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
20 6.57 p.m., to be reconvened on
21 Tuesday, the 30th day of July, 2002,
22 at 2.15 p.m.