1 THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL CASE NO. IT-94-1-T
2 FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
3 IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER
4 Wednesday, 15th May 1996
5 (10.00 a.m.)
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann, would you call your next witness,
8 MISS HOLLIS: Yes, your Honour, I will be calling the witness.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You may do that.
10 MISS HOLLIS: Your Honour, the Prosecution calls Mr. Gasi.
11 MR. ISAK GASI, called.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Would you take that oath, please, Mr. Gasi?
13 THE WITNESS: [In translation]: I solemnly declare that I will speak
14 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
15 (The witness was sworn)
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you.
17 Examined by MISS HOLLIS
18 Q. Would you please state your full name?
19 A. Isak Gasi.
20 Q. What is your date of birth?
21 A. 5th May 1957.
22 Q. What is your nationality?
23 A. Muslim.
24 Q. What is your place of birth?
25 A. Brcko.
1 Q. That is in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
2 A. Yes.
3 MISS HOLLIS: Your Honour, at this time I would like to offer the next in
4 line Prosecution exhibit, I believe it would be Prosecution Exhibit
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I ask that the usher please take it from you and
7 give it to the representative from the Registry who will mark it as
9 MISS HOLLIS: If I could show that to the Defence as well, please? If
10 that could be placed on the projector, please?
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection to Prosecution Exhibit 73?
12 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 73 will be admitted.
14 MISS HOLLIS: Thank you, your Honour. (To the witness): Mr. Gasi, could
15 you please look at Prosecution Exhibit 73 and would you for the court
16 please point to Brcko, the area from which you come?
17 A. Here.
18 Q. Would you indicate, please, and point on to the projector? Thank you.
19 Mr. Gasi, what Opstina is Brcko in?
20 A. Before, it was the assembly of the municipality of Brcko before the
22 Q. Are you from the town of Brcko or a village within the Opstina of
24 A. From the town of Brcko, from the centre, from the centre itself.
25 Q. Brcko borders on what former Republic and now a country?
1 A. North, there is the Sava River which separates us from Croatia.
2 Q. How long did you live in Brcko?
3 A. Since the date of my birth until I left the city on 7th June 1992.
4 Q. If you know, could you tell us the ethnic composition of Brcko?
5 A. The majority population in the municipality and in the town were
6 Bosnian Muslims, Croats came the next and the third group of
7 population were the Serbs.
8 Q. Mr. Gasi, what was your prior occupation?
9 A. I worked for Elektrodistribucija Brcko for 15 years, that is, I was
10 an electrician.
11 Q. You worked there until what date?
12 A. Till 27th May when I was arrested.
13 Q. What year was that?
14 A. '92, May 1992, the 27th May.
15 Q. What were your duties there?
16 A. I worked on the control and the maintenance of this equipment in the
17 territory of the municipality of Brcko, I mean, electrical equipment.
18 Q. Did your duties carry you to areas of Opstina other than the town of
20 A. Oh, yes, throughout the municipality.
21 Q. Were there any sports that you participated in?
22 A. Yes, rowing -- canoe.
23 Q. At what levels did you participate in this sport?
24 A. Well, a rather high level in the old Yugoslavia and outside
25 Yugoslavia, somewhere in the middle, shall we say, I was in the
1 middle in Europe.
2 Q. So you also participated at the international level?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. As a result of your sports activities would you say that you were
5 well known or, at least, known throughout Yugoslavia?
6 A. I believe so, yes.
7 Q. Did you ever engage in any military service?
8 A. Yes, regularly I served in the regular Yugoslav Army.
9 Q. When was that?
10 A. October 1977 to December 1978.
11 Q. Where did you perform that service?
12 A. First, we had training in Kraljevo and then they were sent to
13 Prokuplje, that is, traffic something, what was it called, in Serbia,
14 in the central part of Serbia.
15 Q. Where is Kraljevo?
16 A. Well, as I told you, it is the central part of Serbia.
17 Q. What were your duties in the military?
18 A. Driver.
19 Q. During your service in the military did you become familiar with JNA
20 uniforms, weapons, equipment and markings?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In addition to your military service in Serbia, were you in Belgrade
23 for other reasons?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Why were you there?
1 A. Well, as an athlete and I also studied there.
2 Q. Over what period of time did you study in Belgrade?
3 A. 79 to '81, two years, three years and a half, roughly.
4 Q. As a result of your military service and your study in Serbia, did
5 you become familiar with Serb dialects and accents?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. During the period 1990 through 1992 did you notice the establishment
8 of political parties in your area?
9 A. I did.
10 Q. What political parties were established in your area?
11 A. Specifically in the town of Brcko I know the party for Democratic
12 Action, Croatian Democratic Union, Serb Democratic Party, and Former
13 Communists, the Social Democratic Party. These were the larger ones.
14 Q. Were there any acronyms that were used for those parties such as SDA
15 or HDZ?
16 A. Yes, I gave you their full names but, yes, these are their acronyms,
17 SDA, HDZ, SDS, SDP.
18 Q. Were you a member of any of those parties?
19 A. Yes, I was.
20 Q. What party was that?
21 A. SDA.
22 Q. Did you hold any position in that party?
23 A. I did.
24 Q. What was that position?
25 A. A member of the town's Executive Committee of the town of Brcko.
1 Q. What were your duties in that capacity?
2 A. Well, I attended meetings; I did not have any special duties.
3 Q. Do you recall the elections that were held in your area?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. Prior to those elections did you attend any rallies or meetings at
6 which Serb spokesmen made remarks?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. Do you recall one such meeting at which Mr. Karadzic was present?
9 A. I know he was there twice. He was there at the founding assembly of
10 SDS and I think there was also an election rally of SDS.
11 Q. Do you recall any comments which Mr. Karadzic made pertaining to Serb
12 unity or nationalism?
13 A. Yes, I remember.
14 Q. What comments do you recall?
15 A. There was one commentary which impressed me which I remembered about
16 the red colour in the Serbian flag and he commented on that, as of
17 that red colour representing the blood shed by the Serb people, by
18 the Serb people during that joint Yugoslavia and before that. That
19 is something that left an impression on me, that it should not happen
20 again to the Serb people, and that that should never happen again.
21 The Serbs should not allow it again. That is something that I think
22 he commented or, rather, spoke.
23 Q. At the elections that were held in Brcko in 1990, who won in the
24 Brcko area?
25 A. Former Communists, SDP.
1 Q. As a result of that victory by the Communist party, did the other
2 parties form a coalition against the Communist party?
3 A. Yes, they did. The three national parties.
4 Q. I would like to ask you some questions concerning the leadership in
5 Brcko after these elections. Who was the President of the Assembly
6 there after the elections?
7 A. A member of SDA, of the party of the Muslim people, Mustafa Ramic.
8 Q. And a representative of what party became a President of the
9 Executive Council?
10 A. A representative of the SDS, Serb Democratic Party.
11 Q. The police organisation in Brcko, is it correct that it was organised
12 into two departments or units?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. That was the regular police and the State Security?
15 A. Yes, it has always been like that.
16 Q. After these elections, what party representative held the position of
17 chief of the regular police?
18 A. HDZ, Croatian Democratic Union.
19 Q. Who was in charge of the State Security Department?
20 A. Always, I mean before the war, it was always a Serb, and when the war
21 was beginning that Serb retired and the one who succeeded him was
22 again a Serb. I do not know if he was a member of the SDS but he was
23 a Serb.
24 Q. At the time of the elections in Brcko, did the Territorial Defence
25 exist there?
1 A. Yes, it did.
2 Q. Who was the head of the Territorial Defence?
3 A. Milutinovic Milisav.
4 Q. If you know, what was his ethnic group?
5 A. Serb.
6 Q. Of the positions that we have discussed, based on your understanding
7 of the power structure in the Opstina, which positions held the most
9 A. I should say Bosnians and Muslims after the elections.
10 Q. As to the positions themselves between, for example, the President of
11 the Assembly and the President of the Executive Council, which was
12 the most powerful?
13 A. The office of the Mayor of the President of the Opstina ranks first,
14 but the Executive power was in the hands of the representative of the
15 SDS because he was the President of the Executive Council of the
16 municipality of Brcko.
17 Q. To your knowledge, these people we have spoken of, did they remain in
18 these positions in 1992?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you know any of the police officers on the police Force in Brcko?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. What was the composition of the police Force in Brcko, as far as the
23 ethnic composition?
24 A. Most of them were Serbs even before the war under the old regime and
25 when the elections were over.
1 Q. During the time period 1991 and 1992, did you become aware of the
2 creation of any new Serbian autonomous region around the area of
4 A. Yes, I did, yes, I saw it.
5 Q. How did you become aware of those?
6 A. Well, I went to work, when I went on my regular rounds, I moved
7 around those areas but they were Serb villages.
8 Q. How do you know that there was this Serb autonomous region in
10 A. Well, it was written on some of the roadsigns in paint, and when I
11 went towards Bijeljina there was SAO Semberija and Majevica on the
12 road immediately after leaving the town.
13 Q. Did Brcko itself become a part of this Serb autonomous region?
14 A. When I used to go out of the town there were no slogans or notices of
15 that kind in that town. It was only on the outskirts of the town
16 that one saw the roadsigns they had written that that was where that
17 region was beginning, that that was the entrance into the region.
18 Q. In the time period 1991, do you recall the military mobilization of
19 Serb men in the area of Brcko?
20 A. Yes, there was, there were summons by the municipality's Secretariat
21 for national defence, they were sending summons to men who served on
22 the reserve JNA units. It was sometime towards the late, towards the
23 end of 1990 in my municipality is when it began.
24 Q. After that mobilization call, do you recall seeing many men in Serb
25 villages wearing military uniforms?
1 A. Yes, I did, I saw them.
2 Q. What type of uniforms did they have?
3 A. Reserve uniforms of the JNA.
4 Q. Did you see the same thing in Muslim villages with many men wearing
5 these JNA uniforms?
6 A. No, I did not. I did not see them. There was nothing there.
7 Q. In the time period February and March 1992, do you recall the
8 referendum for independence being held?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. Do you recall the question that was posed?
11 A. Well, I cannot be 100 per cent sure and quote the questions, but
12 roughly it said: "Are you for an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 composed of Muslims, Serbs and Croats?", something to that effect. I
14 think it was taken over from the old constitution which already was
15 in existence, that is, one of 1991 and you could vote for or against.
16 Q. Prior to the referendum itself, did you attend any rallies or
17 meetings at which Serb leaders spoke about this referendum?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you recall any of the Serb leaders who were present at any of
20 these rallies?
21 A. Yes, I do. Yes, yes, they were there, many of them.
22 Q. Can you tell us who you remember being there?
23 A. Well, there was Mr. Karadzic at the time, the representative of the
24 Serb Democratic Party for Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Momcilo Krajisnik,
25 Mrs. Biljana Plavsic, Mr. Nikola Koljevic, Mr. Aleksa Buha,
1 Maksimovic. I think the entire leadership of that main board of SDS
2 attended one of those rallies.
3 Q. Do you recall any occasion when a minister from Belgrade also
4 attended one of these rallies?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Do you recall his position, how it was described?
7 A. They called him, those who announced the speakers, they announced
8 him, they called him Minister for Trans Drinaic Serbs or the Serbs
9 across the Drina. His name was Mr. Cvetic or Cvetinovic. I cannot
10 remember exactly but that was roughly what it was.
11 Q. Did you understand what they meant by Minister for Serbs across the
13 A. Well, yes, I think I did.
14 Q. To whom was he referring?
15 A. Well, they were those -- our Bosnian Serbs and, I guess, Krajina
16 Serbs, that is, those who were not in the Republic of Serbia but
17 outside the Republic of Serbia.
18 Q. And the Drina is what?
19 A. Well, it was the border between the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
20 and the Republic of Serbia in the old Yugoslavia.
21 Q. Do you recall the comments that were made at any of these rallies by
22 these Serb leaders?
23 A. Well, among other things as I listed them, Mr. Karadzic said that
24 nobody had the right to separate the Serb people from their mother
25 country, he meant Serbia, I presume; that no referendum or, I do not
1 know what his words were, but no referendum, no force. They did not
2 recognise, or something to that effect. Many of them spoke roughly
3 about that at that rally, at that meeting.
4 Q. Prior to this referendum itself, did you make any public
5 pronouncements on the topic?
6 A. Yes, twice, I think.
7 Q. What did you say?
8 A. More or less, I advocated, I spoke for common life because Yugoslavia
9 as it existed before was no more, so that we should try to live
10 together in Bosnia again, irrespective of the ethnic origin or
11 religion. That was the gist of my interview on Sarajevo television
12 and at the local television station in Brcko.
13 Q. After this referendum, what was the reaction of the Serb leaders in
14 the Brcko area to the results of the referendum?
15 A. Well, there were no any outbursts in the town, as far as I know. I
16 attended a couple of local rallies of the Serb Democratic Party, and
17 those of local Brcko leaders of the Serb people; repeated what I had
18 already mentioned, what Mr. Karadzic and that Minister for the Serbs
19 across the Drina used to say.
20 Q. And what was that?
21 A. Well, that nobody could separate the Serb people from their mother
22 country Serbia, that nobody had the right to do it, and that Serb
23 people had said what they wanted and that the Serb people wanted to
24 live in peace with their neighbours, but if that failed that there
25 would be another way. These would be roughly the quotations that I
1 can recall.
2 Q. To your knowledge, what military installations were there in the town
3 of Brcko itself?
4 A. There was a garrison of the Yugoslav People's Army in the town, and
5 then nearby, that is, close to the company where I worked, there were
6 the training grounds and warehouses and hangars, depots, for heavy
7 artillery and vehicles, and there was another warehouse in a village
8 some 10 kilometres out of town on the other side of the town.
9 Q. Where was your home in connection to this garrison?
10 A. Well, next to the garrison itself. My house was next to the
11 garrison. My back garden overlooked the garrison, for some 50 to 100
12 metres from the garrison.
13 Q. Where was your work in relation to this other training area and
14 equipment storage area?
15 A. The training area was across the road. There was only the road
16 between my company and them, and the garages for heavy vehicles were
17 on the same road, perhaps up to 200 metres.
18 Q. During the time period 1990 through 1992, did you notice any increase
19 in weapons, equipment or military convoys moving into the Brcko area?
20 A. Yes, they were passing through the town. As of the end of 1990, I do
21 not know, I presume as they were withdrawing from Croatia and they
22 were moving towards Bijeljina, and some stayed in the town in those
23 garages and some went on passing my company and towards Bijeljina.
24 There were many convoys.
25 Q. In those convoys what did you notice as far as troops, equipment or
2 A. Well, tanks were loaded on those big transporters and then guns and
3 some radio communications, components, elements were drawn by JNA
4 vehicles, and there were also rockets but we could see them in part.
5 I presume they are anti-aircraft. There were very many convoys
6 which passed through the town, and there was army also. Every second
7 day there would be one or two convoys passing through the town.
8 Q. Did you recognise the equipment, weapons and the vehicles in these
9 convoys as JNA?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. You said that some of this equipment moving through the town remained
12 in the town. What types of equipment or weapons remained in the
14 A. Well, what I saw were the garage facilities that were full overnight,
15 became full overnight, with some very large guns. They were visible.
16 They were not hidden and there at the training areas there were
17 guns, quite a number of them. I do not know. The armoured vehicles,
18 all this was the JNA weaponry.
19 Q. In 1992 do you recall seeing weapons or equipment in Serb villages
20 surrounding Brcko?
21 A. Yes, I saw them.
22 Q. How did you happen to be able to see this?
23 A. As I said, because of the nature of the work I did, I had to go in
24 those Serb villages, and I had to take care of the electrical
25 appliances in some important facilities.
1 Q. What types of weapons and equipment did you see in these villages?
2 A. All kinds of weaponry that the JNA used to have, tanks, the guns of
3 all calibre, then armoured vehicles, motor vehicles for special
4 purposes, like, for example, some communications vehicles, then first
5 aid vehicles. All of them wore the marks, the insignia of the JNA.
6 Q. During this same time period did you see any similar weapons or
7 equipment in any of the Muslim villages?
8 A. No, no. I had not seen them. They were not there.
9 Q. Again in the spring of 1992, did you notice the establishment of any
10 checkpoints around the Brcko area?
11 A. Yes, I saw that.
12 Q. When did you first see these?
13 A. I think it must have been mid 1991, yes, somewhere mid 1991, it
15 Q. They continued to exist there through the spring of '92?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Where did you see these checkpoints?
18 A. Not in the town, but outside of the town at the access, road access
19 towards the town.
20 Q. Who manned these checkpoints?
21 A. The military policemen of the JNA and also the civilian policemen
22 from the municipality of Brcko, that is, the Secretariat for the
23 Interior of the municipality of Brcko which was mixed.
24 Q. In addition to these checkpoints at the access to the town of Brcko,
25 did you see any other checkpoints in the Opstina?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Where were those located?
3 A. The access leading to Serb villages in the area of the Brcko
4 municipality, there were checkpoints of the military police of the
6 Q. During the spring of 1992, did you see any Serbs in the Brcko area
7 being given weapons and fuel?
8 A. Yes, I saw that.
9 Q. Where did you see this?
10 A. Many of them had already the weapons and the JNA uniforms, and
11 especially I was there when they were distributing weapons to the
12 civilians in the villages like Srpska Gredica or a suburban part of
13 town where 100 per cent of the Serbs lived.
14 Q. When you were there and saw this, tell us what you saw?
15 A. In that part called Srpska Gredica, there was a JNA truck, TAM 5005D
16 -- that was the make -- was parked there in front of this local
17 office, and the local civilians from that village were there in a row
18 and the weapons were distributed from the boxes that were taken out
19 of the truck. There were three or four officers; one of them was a
20 lieutenant from the JNA.
21 Q. In the other area, you said one of these Serb areas of the town, what
22 did you see there?
23 A. Yes, in Potocari, yes, that is a suburban commune there; they were
24 distributing the weapons to the civilians, to my neighbours. I lived
25 very near that particular commune.
1 Q. Again who were the people who were distributing the weapons?
2 A. The Yugoslav Army. There was always an officer there and two
3 soldiers, one driver and maybe several other soldiers. They were
4 always present there. I even saw what they call the armour registry
5 books. For every rifle that had to be distributed, those people had
6 to acknowledge with a receipt. That was the way it was done.
7 Q. Did you ever see a similar distribution of weapons in any of the
8 Muslim villages?
9 A. I did not see that. I cannot say.
10 Q. Again during the spring of 1992, did you ever see any military
11 helicopters land near your home?
12 A. Yes. They landed in the barracks.
13 Q. When was this that you saw this?
14 A. I think it must have started somewhere towards the end of 1991, and
15 then it started to be more frequent at the beginning of 1992.
16 Q. Do you recall one occasion when a helicopter landed at the barracks
17 and individuals wearing red berets got out of the helicopter?
18 A. Yes, I remember, of course I remember. I know exactly.
19 Q. When did that occur?
20 A. I think about a month before the conflict started in my town.
21 Q. Did you recognise the helicopter to be a JNA helicopter?
22 A. Yes, yes. It was marked that it was JNA helicopter. It was olivey
23 greeney colour and it had the Yugoslav flag on it -- all these things
24 that mark of the JNA.
25 Q. These men wearing red berets, what types of uniforms were they
2 A. They wore this olivey green camouflage uniforms.
3 Q. When they came from the helicopter where did they go?
4 A. Probably into the barracks because they landed on the barracks ground
5 and they must have entered the barracks buildings. They had nowhere
6 else to go.
7 Q. When they landed there, were there any other military personnel
8 waiting for them?
9 A. Yes, they also wore uniforms, not the camouflage uniforms but the
10 regular JNA uniforms. They were standing there maybe some 50 metres
11 or 70 or 100 metres away from the helicopter.
12 Q. When you a say a regular JNA uniform, could you describe for us what
13 colour that was, what it looked like?
14 A. Well, the camouflage uniforms are various colours. They were not
15 worn for regular duties, and those people who were wearing these
16 regular uniforms that are worn every day, sort of a grey, olivey
17 grown colour.
18 Q. At the time you saw these men in red berets getting off the
19 helicopter, did you know what unit they were assigned to or what type
20 of unit they were assigned to?
21 A. No, I did not, but I saw this camouflage uniform before in the JNA,
22 but I had never seen before these with red berets. Maybe they
23 belonged to some special kind of unit, but while I was in the
24 military I never saw them.
25 Q. Did you later learn what type of unit they belonged to?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. And from whom did you learn that?
3 A. From that gentleman that freed me from Luka, the camp of Luka.
4 Q. Who was that?
5 A. Captain Rade Bozic.
6 Q. Who was he?
7 A. How can I say that? He was a captain of a unit, of a military police
8 unit of the JNA for special purposes. That is what it was called.
9 That is what he told me.
10 Q. He told you what about the red berets?
11 A. That those were members of those special units of the JNA and they
12 are under direct command. Above him were the Captain Dragan's
13 soldiers that came from Serbia. That is what he told me later on
14 when I met him.
15 Q. After this occasion when you saw these men with red berets coming
16 from the helicopters, did you continue to see helicopters landing at
17 the barracks?
18 A. Yes, yes, I saw that. After that usually they used to come during
19 the night, so they would wake us up because the helicopters were
20 noisy. Then we would go out on the balcony and look on the barracks
22 Q. When you looked at these helicopters landing, did you see anything
23 being taken off or put on these helicopters?
24 A. On many occasions I saw them take off some boxes from there or
25 sometimes they would put something back on the helicopter. I saw
1 that on several occasions.
2 Q. These red berets that you spoke of, after seeing them land in the
3 compound did you ever see them in the Brcko area after that?
4 A. Yes, I saw them in the barracks premises almost every day.
5 Q. What were they doing when you saw them?
6 A. They were training some soldiers, our neighbours. They trained them
7 to put police handcuffs on arms. Some of them must have played the
8 role of the victims, so he would pretend to fall down and then they
9 would put a pistol to his head. Those special units, and then have
10 to deal if you are attacked with a knife or how to arrest, those
11 kinds of things, and jumping over some obstacles.
12 Q. The men who were being trained, what did they wear?
13 A. All of them, those that played the role of the victim and the
14 instructors, they were all dressed in those camouflage SMB JNA
16 Q. You indicated that some of these were your neighbours. Did you
17 recognise any of these men being trained?
18 A. Yes, yes, from the building where I lived there were at least six
19 people, and also some local people, some Serbs from Brcko that in
20 that case were voluntaries -- volunteered.
21 Q. All of these men that you recognised, the men that you knew, what was
22 their ethnic group?
23 A. All of them were Serbs.
24 Q. On 30th April, do you recall two bridges being blown up in Brcko on
25 that date?
1 A. Yes, I remember very well.
2 Q. Before those bridges were blown up, did the town of Brcko receive any
3 ultimatums or orders from the Serbs?
4 A. As far as I know, the only ultimatum was that the municipality should
5 split up in a Serb municipality of Brcko, the Croatian municipality
6 of Brcko and the Muslim municipality of Brcko. That was an ultimatum
7 given by the members of the SDS party in the parliament of our
9 Q. When they made this demand for a separation, did they indicate what
10 the boundaries would be?
11 A. Yes. They drew the boundaries and all the people in the town knew
12 about it.
13 Q. What areas of the town, if you remember, would come under Serb
14 control based on their demand for a separation?
15 A. Mostly those were the Serb villages that were on the eastern side of
16 the town of Brcko, partly on the south-eastern part of the town of
17 Brcko, and that boundary, that separation line in the town, ended
18 somewhere in the very centre of the town.
19 Q. The areas of the town that the Serbs wanted included in their
20 section, to your knowledge, were these areas of the town that were
21 predominantly Serb in their population?
22 A. No, no. The others or the other nationalities and minorities lived
24 Q. Did the SDS leaders explain what these other minorities should do or
25 the other nationalities should do once the separation was effected?
1 A. No, they did not explain anything that would happen to the others.
2 Q. You indicated that they gave an ultimatum that this was to be
3 accomplished by a certain date; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. Did they indicate anything about what might happen if their demand
6 was not met?
7 A. No, they did not say anything concretely. They said that this
8 separation had to be done by 4th May 1992, and after that no
9 negotiations would be possible.
10 Q. What was the response of the other groups to this ultimatum?
11 A. The answer was such that the others negotiated at the meetings of the
12 parliament of the municipality. They negotiated with them but, as
13 far as I know, for the most part, the people who were in the
14 municipality parliament were for not that -- not to split the town or
15 the municipality.
16 Q. On 30th April were those negotiations ongoing?
17 A. No, they were not going on. I know that that was interrupted
19 Q. How was it represented?
20 A. We were following those meetings of the municipality parliament
21 through the local Brcko TV station. We could all see that all the
22 delegates separated and they split up and they never met again, I
24 Q. The two bridges that were blown up on 30th April, did you ever learn
25 who was involved in blowing up those bridges?
1 A. Yes, I learned that.
2 Q. From whom did you learn that?
3 A. From Mr. Rade Bozic that freed me from Luka camp.
4 Q. This was the JNA captain that you spoke of earlier?
5 A. Yes, that was that captain, JNA captain.
6 Q. What did he tell about the blowing up of these bridges?
7 A. Well, roughly speaking, he said that he was responsible for that and
8 that he was commanding that operation of the blowing up of both
9 bridges over the Sava River, and that he was really sorry because he
10 had made a great mistake.
11 Q. What did he mean by that?
12 A. Probably what he thought was if he thought of the civilians that were
13 killed, that were blown up together with the bridge, that old bridge
14 over the Sava River.
15 Q. This bridge that his unit blew up, it connected Brcko with what town,
16 do you know?
17 A. Both of those bridges on the River of Sava join us and connect us to
18 the Republic of Croatia. There are no towns that are near. The
19 nearest town in Croatia is Zupanja and right across us there is just
20 a small village called Gunja.
21 Q. What was this pedestrian bridge used for?
22 A. Mostly for pedestrians, mostly for pedestrians and for some lighter
23 motor vehicles.
24 Q. On 30th April after the bridge was blown up, did you take your family
25 from the town on that date?
1 A. Yes. Yes, I took them away.
2 Q. Did you receive any assistance in doing this?
3 A. Yes, one of my neighbours helped me. His flat is right underneath
5 Q. What is his ethnic group?
6 A. Serb. He is a Serb.
7 Q. Did he or his wife say anything about the attack on Brcko that day,
8 on the bridges?
9 A. They said my wife refused to leave the town. This lady neighbour of
10 mine arrived to our flat very early in the morning and she said:
11 "Jasminka, you have to leave the town".
12 Q. Did she say why?
13 A. Yes, yes, she said.
14 Q. What was that?
15 A. "Because the war has broken out, Jasminka", she said.
16 Q. Where did you take your family?
17 A. To Bijeljina, in a different town.
18 Q. Did you yourself come back then to Brcko that day?
19 A. Yes, I came back because they called us to go and work, all the men,
20 because there was a work duty.
21 Q. Who called you to do that?
22 A. When they blew the bridges up on the Sava River, I went to my company
23 because it was a working day. So, the manager of the company told us
24 that we should be at our homes because work duty had been introduced.
25 Q. On 30th April and the following days did you see soldiers in the town
1 of Brcko?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. What types of uniforms did they wear?
4 A. All kinds of uniforms of the Yugoslav People's Army, from camouflage
5 uniforms to reserve uniforms to normal regular uniforms.
6 Q. In the next few days did the attack on Brcko continue?
7 A. The war broke out in Brcko on 3rd May. This was a real clash and it
8 went on all the time while I was there.
9 Q. What was happening to the town? How was it being attacked?
10 A. In the town, in the very centre of the town, nothing was going on,
11 only in the access routes to town, in those parts like the Dizdarusa,
12 Vikici or Meraje, there you could hear infantry ruffles very
13 concretely. That was on 3rd May.
14 Q. During this time, 30th April until 3rd May, did you see any type of
15 fighter aircraft in the Brcko area?
16 A. Yes, there were two aeroplanes that had flown, I think, from the
17 south east, somewhere from that direction between the 4th or 6th
18 May. They flew in and then they flew towards the north western part
19 of the town. They were flying very low, and soon afterwards one
20 could hear a very strong detonation and the whole town was shaken. I
21 do not know what they were aiming to shoot at, but that was somewhere
22 in the north western part of the town.
23 Q. In this area towards which they were flying, if you know, what was
24 the ethnic group of the people that lived in that area?
25 A. I know mostly those people were Muslims and Croats, the absolute
2 Q. You said that these aircraft were flying very low, were you able to
3 distinguish colour or markings on the planes?
4 A. The marking was "U", "JU", and there was the old Yugoslav flag on the
5 hind part of that, of that aircraft, so that it means that those
6 aircraft belonged to the JNA at that time.
7 Q. After 30th April, were the inhabitants of Brcko given any sort of
8 orders or messages by the Serb leaders who had taken over the town?
9 A. The only message was on 1st May in the morning and I saw it on the
10 local television and it came from the President of the municipality,
11 Mr. Captain Petrovic. He introduced himself as the captain of the
12 army unit, of the military police Force security, and they
13 transmitted the message that his unit had been given the mandate to
14 take over the control of Brcko within 48 hours.
15 Q. After 30th April, were the people in Brcko free to move about as they
17 A. Yes, yes, they could move about. In those parts of the town where I
18 was, well, I moved around.
19 Q. How long were you able to remain in your home?
20 A. I stayed in my home until May 10th.
21 Q. On that date what happened?
22 A. On that day people from my company came and took me because we were
23 under labour directions in my company.
24 Q. You were taken where?
25 A. I was taken to Elektrodistribucija, Brcko.
1 Q. After 10th May did you remain at your company?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. Until when?
4 A. Till 27th May, 27th May 1992.
5 Q. What happened to you on that date?
6 A. In the morning of 27th May, police came wearing the uniforms of the
7 civilian police and they took me to the police Station in Brcko.
8 Q. I would like to ask you some questions about the time period from
9 30th April until 27th May when you were arrested. During that time
10 period were you free to move about in the Brcko area?
11 A. Yes, yes, I was. I moved about.
12 Q. After 10th May when you were taken to your work, what duties did you
13 have to perform?
14 A. We went removing failures on transmission lines in the town which
15 were damaged, I guess, due to the fighting.
16 Q. So during this time, between 30th April and 27th May, when you were
17 free to move about the town of Brcko, during that time, did you see
18 any persons killed in the town of Brcko?
19 A. Yes, I was in the immediate vicinity when they shot civilians in the
21 Q. When was that?
22 A. On 7th May at 11 o'clock in the morning.
23 Q. What did you see on that date?
24 A. In one part of town called Stari Grad I saw civilians being shot in
25 the middle of the street in groups of four to six to seven persons
1 fired at, shot by men wearing camouflage uniforms of a grey olive
2 green colour, and in the same place on the same spot they killed
3 three men. They were killed by members of the civilian police in
4 uniforms, that is, one of them shot three of them. He fired behind
5 their backs, at the back of their heads.
6 Q. These other groups of civilians who were killed, how were they
8 A. In these two groups, they lined them up against a wall, and
9 surrounded them in a semicircle and fired from automatic rifles at
10 stomach or chest level. I could not really tell you where they hit
12 Q. During the same time period did you see any dead bodies, other than
13 these groups that you saw killed, in the town of Brcko?
14 A. Yes, I did, I saw them.
15 Q. Where did you see them?
16 A. On 12th May in front of the gymnasium "Partizan" near Hotel Galeb in
17 a parking lot.
18 Q. Were you able to recognise any of these people?
19 A. No. They were far away from us. We were in a car, in a company car.
20 Q. Were you able to see what kind of clothing they were wearing?
21 A. You mean the killed ones?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. Civilians, they were civilians, they wore civilian clothes.
24 Q. Where this group of bodies was located, did you see any persons in
25 military or police uniforms in that area?
1 A. They were in front of the Galeb Hotel in camouflage SMB uniforms, in
2 front of the Galeb Hotel, not where they, those people were lying
3 dead, but very near.
4 Q. Was there any other occasion where you saw dead bodies?
5 A. Yes, I saw them.
6 Q. Where was this?
7 A. Near to where my company was, they dug out a hole with a bulldozer
8 with an excavator, as a matter of fact, and on an occasion we were
9 working there and they were -- they brought them in a truck and
10 unloaded them there.
11 Q. Could you see what kind of truck they brought them?
12 A. Yes, sure I did, I saw it.
13 Q. What kind of truck was that?
14 A. It was a truck used for meat, for the meat industry in Brcko, painted
15 white, a white truck with a freezer. It was used for meat, to
16 transport meat.
17 Q. Were you able to see who was unloading these bodies?
18 A. There were three of them in camouflage grey, olive green uniforms,
19 but I did not know, I could not recognise any of them. They were too
20 far away.
21 Q. Did you see what was done after these bodies were unloaded?
22 A. Well, the bulldozers covered that hole that was dug out, that is,
23 covered it with the earth that was next to the hole.
24 Q. You said that were you arrested on 27th May by two police officers, I
25 believe. Did you recognise these police officers?
1 A. Yes, I knew them before the war very well.
2 Q. Who were they?
3 A. Stevo Knezevic and Dragan Pantelic, and the latter was a
4 professional policeman before the war in Brcko SUP and the other one
5 was a member of a sports club in Brcko, or shooting club.
6 Q. What was their ethnic group, if you know?
7 A. They were Serbs.
8 Q. I believe you said you were taken to the SUP by these two police
10 A. Yes, I ended up in the SUP.
11 Q. How were you taken there?
12 A. At the gate, at the entrance, to my company were those two, put
13 plastic handcuffs on me but fixed them.
14 Q. How did they transport you to the SUP?
15 A. The car, a Renault, before the war it was used by Interplet, which is
16 a textile industry. It was used to carry textiles, to transport
17 textiles. So they put me in the back and took me to the SUP in
19 Q. How long did they hold you at the SUP in Brcko?
20 A. Not more than an hour in that room without any light, closed.
21 Q. Where did they take you from there?
22 A. From the SUP they took me to Luka. It is a site on the bank of the
23 Sava, huge hangar. They took me there again in a civilian car
24 belonging to an enterprise or something like that.
25 Q. Who took you there?
1 A. This time they wore the uniforms of the reserve JNA, two of them. I
2 know one of them, it was a local neighbour, a Serb from Brcko.
3 Q. How long were you held at this Luka camp?
4 A. In Luka camp, I was from 27th May until 7th July 1992. I left at 4 or
5 5 o'clock in the afternoon.
6 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us a bit about the conditions in this camp?
7 What type of food did you receive and how often?
8 A. On concrete, sometimes there was perhaps some cardboard, some
9 cardboard packaging, to cover but normally we used to -- we lied on
10 concrete. The food, well, there were no, you know what I mean,
11 plates or spoons. We had to use our hands to eat from some boxes,
12 from tins.
13 Q. How many meals a day did you receive?
14 A. One or two while I was there or, perhaps, sometimes none while I was
15 there per day.
16 Q. While you were at the camp was the camp guarded?
17 A. Yes, yes, there were guards.
18 Q. What did these guards wear?
19 A. The guards were outside the hangers, around those hangars, and they
20 again wore reserve JNA uniforms.
21 Q. Were there other camp personnel who were located inside the camp?
22 A. Yes, there were.
23 Q. What did these individuals wear?
24 A. Some wore police uniforms, and there were also some in camouflage
25 uniforms who came from time to time to the camp.
1 Q. Did you know any of these camp personnel?
2 A. Yes, I do, I do. The one who received us the first day and then
3 continued to call our names out every night or in the morning by name
4 and surname, I know him well.
5 Q. Who was that?
6 A. We used to call him call Kole but his name is Konstantin Simonovic,
8 Q. What is his ethnic group, if you know?
9 A. A Serb. He was a Serb.
10 Q. What was his position at the camp?
11 A. At that time he was fond of saying that he was the Commander of the
12 Luka camp.
13 Q. During the time you were at Luka were there other detainees there?
14 A. Yes, there were. There were a number.
15 Q. Did you know any of these other detainees?
16 A. Many of them. I knew many of them there.
17 Q. What was the ethnic group of these men that you knew?
18 A. Bosnian Muslims, most of them, and a few Croats, Bosnian.
19 Q. While you were at the Luka what was the gender of the people being
20 held at that camp?
21 A. They were mostly, when I say "mostly", men but there was a woman.
22 There was one woman I remember well. She was released. But mostly
23 they were men.
24 Q. During the time you were at Luka camp, did you see anyone physically
25 abused or killed at the camp?
1 A. Physically mistreated, I watched that often, and on an occasion I
2 watched when they killed two at least, what I saw, and there were
3 four in the group.
4 Q. Were you able to see the people who were physically abusing the
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. Who was doing this?
8 A. Well, on an occasion some four or five of them broke in, those in the
9 camouflage uniforms, and then they started beating all around with
10 whatever they could lay their hands on, sticks, metal objects, just
11 hitting out at random. They were strangers, they were not local
12 Serbs from Brcko; and, as for killings, one of them was my neighbour
13 from the building where I live.
14 Q. By that do you mean one of the victims was your neighbour or one of
15 the perpetrators was your neighbour?
16 A. One of the perpetrators, one of the Serb soldiers, the one who killed
18 Q. Who was that?
19 A. Ranko Cesic.
20 Q. What his ethnic group?
21 A. Serb. He was a Serb.
22 Q. During the time you were at Luka camp, do you recall seeing a
23 detainee named Ibrahim Levic in the camp?
24 A. Yes, yes, he slept next to me; next to me he slept.
25 Q. Did you know him from before you went to the camp?
1 A. Yes, I knew what he looked like, but I did not know his name. I met
2 him, that is, I learned his name and surname in the camp.
3 Q. Do you recall an incident involving him in the camp?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. Tell us what happened.
6 A. Well, one came in a camouflage uniform, took a knife, grabbed him by
7 the neck and incised a cross in his forehead with a knife.
8 Q. This person who came and did that, had you ever seen this person in
9 the camp before?
10 A. Yes, he came all the time. He was one of the more prominent who was
11 very fond of hitting or striking or beating the prisoners.
12 Q. What type of military uniform did he wear?
13 A. Camouflage, SMB uniform.
14 Q. Did he have any type of insignia or patches on that uniform?
15 A. I do not think so, but he was fond of introducing himself as, and
16 that is what he called himself, a member of the radical party from
17 Bijeljina, a Chetnik. That is how he used to introduce himself.
18 Q. Had you heard of this party before that called itself "Chetniks"?
19 A. Yes, I had heard of the Serb radical party before the war, but at
20 that time they did not call themselves Chetniks. It started down
21 there in the camp when they began to use that terminology.
22 Q. Do you know who the leader of that party was?
23 A. I know in Yugoslavia and I know at local levels also.
24 Q. Who was the higher level leader?
25 A. Mr. Vojislav Seselj in Belgrade.
1 Q. And your local leader?
2 A. Of those whom I met in Brcko there was Mirko Blagojevic. They called
3 him "Vojvoda". He was the President of the Radical Party in
5 Q. In addition to this one man who said he was a Chetnik, were there
6 other paramilitary members who came to the camp?
7 A. Yes, they came, many of them wearing different uniforms.
8 Q. Did you learn what paramilitary units they belonged to?
9 A. Yes, I can tell you that with certainty because they introduced
10 themselves and their insignia, of course, were quite telling.
11 Q. What paramilitary units did they introduce themselves as belonging
13 A. From the Serb Volunteer Guard, Arkan's Tigers. I repeat, that is
14 what they called themselves, Chetniks.
15 Q. Did you ever hear anything about Major Mauser and his group?
16 A. Yes, yes, I did many times and I met him and I met him once.
17 Q. Did you meet him in Luka camp?
18 A. He did not come to Luka while I was there.
19 Q. Where did you meet Major Mauser?
20 A. On the premises in the yard of my company where I worked.
21 Q. How did you know it was Major Mauser?
22 A. The gentleman introduced himself, lined us up ---
23 Q. What happened then?
24 A. -- and, as he put it, delivered a lecture to us.
25 Q. What was this lecture?
1 A. About how he had lost a couple of his wounded soldiers who died on
2 operating tables in the town hospital, because there was not enough
3 power, electrical energy, in that part of the town. He thought that
4 we were responsible for it, but we could not gain access to that part
5 of the town. Then he put a pistol on the neck and threatened us:
6 "If it happens again, I'll kill you, all Turks, balija", and things
7 like that.
8 Q. You have mentioned that in the camp people were abused by individuals
9 wearing military uniforms and by individuals who identified
10 themselves with paramilitary groups. In addition to that, did you
11 ever see any of the guards or camp personnel abuse people in the
13 A. Yes, I did. The guards, our guards, were outside the building, they
14 never abused anyone. But those in multi-coloured uniforms, they were
15 the ones who mistreated us.
16 Q. While you were at Luka camp, did you ever see any dead bodies in the
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. Did you ever have to take part in disposing of some of these dead
21 A. Yes, yes, once.
22 Q. Would you tell us about that, please?
23 A. Well, three or four of them came into the hangar and Kosta was with
24 them and they were looking for volunteers. Now, some people stepped
25 out of their own will to go and do something.
1 Q. Were you selected to be a volunteer?
2 A. Yes, one said: "Well, you look well, I think you can work well, come
4 Q. Where were you taken?
5 A. Well, we went out and the other side of the hangar we passed through
6 another hangar and came out towards the bank of the Sava River.
7 Q. What did you find there?
8 A. There was a group of dead bodies in a pile, and those who brought us
9 there, those soldiers, they said: "Well, now grab them by the arms
10 and the legs and throw them into the water".
11 Q. Did you do that?
12 A. Yes, I think I threw two of them into the water.
13 Q. What were these bodies wearing, what type of clothing?
14 A. Civilian clothes, dressed normally, as I am now, civilians.
15 Q. What was the gender of these deceased persons?
16 A. Men, they were all men.
17 Q. Were you able to see any injuries or wounds on the bodies?
18 A. Yes, there was holes in their backs and on the head here, and puddles
19 of blood.
20 Q. Are you certain that all of these people were dead?
21 A. One of them opened his eyes when we turned him around and took him to
22 throw him away to the water, he opened the eyes. It seems to me that
23 he was alive, but I may be wrong. I do not know.
24 Q. Did you tell the military persons with you that one of them appeared
25 to be alive?
1 A. No, I had no time because they started the fire from Croatia, whether
2 against us or the Serb soldiers, so they hid behind those wagons and
3 I lied down. I wanted to run towards the hangars, and one of the
4 guards said: "Why do we not shoot these too? Fuck their mother",
5 and another one said: "Well, let them go, let them run, let them
6 save their life".
7 Q. When they said, "Why do we not shoot these two", were they referring
8 to you?
9 A. There were not two of us, there were several of us there.
10 Q. So they were referring to the volunteers?
11 A. Yes, yes, the volunteers.
12 Q. These people who took you to remove these bodies, were these regular
13 camp personnel?
14 A. No, no, those who were on the outside, I did not know where they
15 came, but they were wearing camouflage uniforms, but they used to
16 come even before that incident.
17 Q. Did you know any of them?
18 A. No, no, in that group there were all others. I do not know if they
19 were from the town, whether they were Serbs from Brcko; one of them
20 was, but he did not come with us to that place where we were
21 disposing of the bodies. He had stayed behind probably with Kosta in
22 the office, and there was a Serb from Brcko with them.
23 Q. Were you yourself mistreated at Luka camp?
24 A. Yes, yes, I was.
25 Q. By whom?
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Excuse me. Before you continue into that line of
2 questioning, we will stand in recess, please, for 20 minutes.
3 (11.35 a.m.)
4 (The hearing adjourned for a short time)
5 (11.50 a.m.)
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We are waiting for Defence counsel. We have
7 completed our recess.
8 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I apologise for being so late, your Honour.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Fine. Are you ready to proceed, Miss Hollis?
10 MISS HOLLIS: Yes, your Honour. (To the witness): Mr. Gasi, before the
11 recess, I had asked you if while you were at Luka camp you yourself
12 were mistreated and you had begun to answer that. Could you tell us,
13 please, were you mistreated while you were at that camp?
14 A. [Original in Bosnian]: Yes, I was mistreated.
15 Q. Can you tell us what was done to you?
16 A. The first day upon my arrival when they took me there, one of those,
17 his name was Ivan, he entered into the middle of the hangar. There
18 were two others with him dressed in the same way wearing grey olive
19 camouflage uniforms. They were standing behind him and they were
20 carrying automatic weapons, and he also held a metal object in his
21 hands. Then he entered into the middle of the hangar and he asked:
22 "Where is that Shiptar Albanian who arrived today?"
23 Q. By that did he mean you?
24 A. The first moment I did not realise whether he meant myself because I
25 saw another prisoner on the other side, his father was also Albanian,
1 so I was not too sure who he meant.
2 Q. What happened after he asked that question?
3 A. He repeated the question once again, and then I stood up and then he
4 said: "Come here, near me."
5 Q. Then what happened?
6 A. When I came near him, he waved with his hand that contained a metal
7 object, I think it must have been a wrench for the fire hose, and he
8 waved it, I think, to hit me in my head, but I stepped aside and then
9 he missed, and then he waved again with that wrench, and then I
10 stepped aside once again and he hit me in my other shoulder and then
11 I fell down not completely but on my knees. One of those two men
12 behind him said: "You can't knock him down by just one blow,"
13 meaning that I was so strong that he could not knock me down just by
14 giving me one blow, and then he started to kick me with his feet. At
15 some stage he kicked me with his feet, with his military boot, into
16 my head and for a moment I think I fell unconscious, and then ---
17 Q. Please go ahead.
18 A. -- one of those men accompanying him, he came behind my back and made
19 me stand up and then Ivan took a pistol out, triggered it and put it
20 into my mouth.
21 Q. What did he do then?
22 A. Then he pulled the trigger, but did not shoot. Then he said that I
23 was lucky because on this occasion he did not have a bullet for me,
24 but he would have it on another occasion, and then he, the other man
25 let me go and I fell down on my knees and hands and then he said: "I
1 will come again, you are free for now."
2 Q. You said the man that did this to you was named Ivan; was he a
3 regular camp guard?
4 A. No, he was -- he belonged to that group of men who used to come to
5 the camp. He was not one of the guards that guarded the camp from
6 the outside. He used to come from time to time.
7 Q. Did you ever learn what group he belonged to?
8 A. I think, I do not think I know because I asked later on. One of those
9 people accompanying him were wearing insignia of the Serbian
10 Volunteers Guard. They were called like that at that time, Arkan's
11 soldiers. He was one of them.
12 Q. What is that insignia?
13 A. What they call real Arkan's men, they wore on the left-hand side of
14 their uniform the flag of the Republic of Serbia, and on their
15 sleeves they also wore the same small insignia and they also wore
16 heads of tigers, a drawing of a tiger's head, and it was written the
17 "Serb guard" on one of those uniforms.
18 Q. During the time that you were at Luka camp did any military officers
19 come to the camp?
20 A. Yes, at one occasion they came driven in a blue Golf belonging to the
21 police, the police that existed before the war. That Golf pulled up
22 in front of the door of the camp, Luka, and it was written ,"The
23 Republic Secretariat for the Interior of the Republic of Serbia" with
24 the old coat of arms of the Republic of Serbia, and that gentleman
25 was wearing a camouflage grey olive uniform. He did not have any cap
1 on his head. He was accompanied by two civilian policemen that also
2 wore the insignia of the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia, and the
3 other one had the Federal Ministry of the Interior insignia, and they
4 came into the hangar, and then Kosta came into the hangar because he
5 was probably surprised to see them there and they entered the hangar
6 and they went into the middle of the hangar.
7 Q. Then what happened after they came into the middle of the hangar?
8 A. He then asked, Kosta arrived in the meantime, he asked: "Kosta, let
9 me see those", as he said, "the Muslim sniper man; I heard you had
10 two of them here".
11 Q. Then what happened?
12 A. And then Kosta said : "They are there in the corner of the hangar
13 down there". Those two men were lying on some kind of a sport type
14 of mattress. They were sleeping on that mattress, two men I know
15 from Brcko.
16 Q. What happened with these two men?
17 A. The Major who accompanied Kosta and the other two stood in front of
18 them and he asked the first gentleman, "Why are you here in Luka, in
19 this camp, why are you detained here?"
20 Q. What did the man say?
21 A. He said more or less, "To tell me, to say to me that I am some kind
22 of a Muslim sniper man; I am not that, Major".
23 Q. Were these two men abused by the people who came or by Kosta?
24 A. I cannot say for sure for Kosta, but Goran Jelisic regularly beat,
25 and when I say "regularly", that means non-stop during the day, some
1 five times per day and regularly before going to bed.
2 Q. The Major and the two policemen who came in this blue vehicle, did
3 they do anything with these two men who had been identified as
4 snipers? Did they take them from the camp?
5 A. No, they did not do anything to them, but the Major only said:
6 "Kosta, fuck you. If the Muslim snipers are like that, I would not
7 lose a single of my soldiers in Brcko. You have to bring, call a
8 doctor straight away to give some medical care to those people", and
9 really the next day came a doctor that simply with some clean water
10 washed them. We could not have any other kind of care in Luka.
11 Q. Do you recall an occasion when you were with Kosta and there was a
12 2nd Lieutenant with Kosta?
13 A. I was with Kosta, that was not a 2nd Lieutenant, but he wore the
14 insignia. His name was Goran Jelisic. I was taken to Kosta's office
15 during the night and he had the insignia of a 2nd Lieutenant.
16 Q. What was Goran's position?
17 A. I do not know what his position was, but nobody stood in his way when
18 he was coming to the camp.
19 Q. So he had the insignia of a 2nd Lieutenant; what type of uniform did
20 he wear?
21 A. A multi-coloured camouflage uniform. Goran never wore the regular
22 soldiers' uniform. It always had to be a special uniform, whether a
23 police uniform or a special army unit uniform.
24 Q. So you knew this man from before you were in Luka camp?
25 A. No, no, I did not know him from before.
1 Q. How did you learn his name?
2 A. Well, he introduced himself to us whenever he could come to Luka.
3 Q. Why would he come to the camp? What would he do there?
4 A. Every time when Goran Jelisic would come with Kosta's sister, Monika,
5 they would beat four or five men, just like that. He liked to
6 introduce himself, he would say he was Goran Jelisic, that is what he
7 would say, wave the pistol around and said that he killed himself 97
8 people and that he was going to kill another 97 people in Luka. That
9 is what he used to say.
10 Q. You indicated that you left Luka camp on 7th June of 1992.
11 JUDGE VOHRAH: Miss Hollis, I am having difficulty following who Kosta
12 is; I probably missed that.
13 MISS HOLLIS: I believe you mentioned earlier, would you explain again,
14 when you refer to "Kosta" who are you referring to?
15 A. I speak about Kosta, Konstantin Simonovic. At that time he wore a
16 uniform, a police uniform, and he introduced himself. He would say
17 that he was the Commander of the Luka camp at Brcko. That was Kosta.
18 JUDGE VOHRAH: Thank you.
19 MISS HOLLIS: You indicated that you left Luka camp on 7th June of 1992.
20 Can you tell us how were allowed to leave on that date?
21 A. On 7th June at, roughly speaking, 2 p.m., Mr. Rade Bozic came, a
22 captain. He entered accompanied by Kosta into the hangar. Then they
23 called me out, my first name and my surname. I stood up, and Mr. Rade
24 told me, "come nearer", and I went towards them and then Kosta just
25 said, "Oh, come on, do not be afraid, you are going to row for
1 Yugoslavia again". He meant the sport I was good at, and then we
2 shook our hands and said "Hello" and introduced ourselves and then
3 Kosta said, "Well, Rade, we can go out so you could drink a coffee
4 with Isak so that you can get to know each one other better".
5 And so we went out, drank that coffee. He asked me about
6 my nationality, and so on. Then he said, "Would you like me to help
7 you in any way?" and I said, "Yes, if you can, help me to get out of
8 here." He said, "OK, we will see what we can do." Then after that
9 conversation, I said, "Yes, I would like to return to the hangar if
10 you have nothing against it." He said, "OK, go to the hangar and I
11 will do everything I can to take you out of here because your place
12 is not here". That is what he said.
13 Q. Did you see Captain Bozic again that day?
14 A. Yes, yes, I did, maybe some two hours later after that first meeting
15 he came again with the same -- in the same vehicle in which he came
16 the first time round, and Kosta accompanied him this time as well,
17 and Kosta was carrying my identity card and a piece of paper that one
18 could put into a typewriter and then he said, "OK, hurry up, Isak,
19 you are going home". And all the other prisoners stood up and we
20 said "goodbye" and they took me out of the hangar. To tell you the
21 truth, I did not know where they were taking me because they simply
22 told me, "You are going home". Whereabouts, I did not know at that
23 time. They just took me out of the hangar.
24 Q. Who was it who had this piece of paper and your identity card?
25 A. Kosta.
1 Q. Who was it who told you that you are going home?
2 A. Rade told me that.
3 Q. Then he took you away from Luka camp?
4 A. Yes, in that vehicle they had. We sat in that vehicle and drove
5 towards the centre of the town. He asked me where I lived.
6 Q. What type of vehicle was this that he was driving?
7 A. That was a simple or luxury vehicle like the jeeps that you would use
8 in regular traffic. I think the make was Pajero automatic but it had
9 no plates. It had this rotating lights on the roof. They put that
10 later on because it used to be a civilian vehicle.
11 Q. Where did he take you after you left the camp?
12 A. To my flat near the barracks, as I said. I told him to drive me
13 there so we went there. He told me that they will come with me into
14 my flat, and then he told, "Take all your things and you are going to
15 go out of the town; we will stay for a lengthier period".
16 Q. Were you able to take all of your possessions from the flat?
17 A. I took one bag, one sports bag, with some personal belongings,
18 clothes, nothing more.
19 Q. After you left your apartment where were you taken then?
20 A. He told me then whether I would like to go to Belgrade. I said, "Yes"
21 and then he said, "Your wife and your child are there?" I said,
22 "Yes". So he said: "That is where you will go".
23 Q. Is that where he took you?
24 A. Yes, later on, yes.
25 Q. Right. Before he took you to Belgrade, did he take you to meet with
1 anyone else?
2 A. Yes, I met someone at Zvornik in a motel on the very bank of the
3 River Drina, I met a gentleman, a very important gentleman.
4 Q. Who was that?
5 A. Personally Captain Dragan.
6 Q. Did you know who this Captain Dragan was?
7 A. Yes, I knew because I saw him before the war in Bosnia on TV. I saw
8 him on TV and I read in the newspapers about him.
9 Q. Who was this?
10 A. He was the leader of some kind of special units, as they called them
11 at that time, a volunteers unit that had been formed in the area of
12 Knin, the Serbian Krajina in Croatia. He was very popular among the
13 Serbs in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina. So he was the
14 commander of these red berets, as they called them, the Kninja.
15 Q. When you were talking with him, were any of these red berets present
16 with him?
17 A. When Rade and I arrived in front of the motel, there in front of the
18 motel there must have been some 30 or 40 of them at the entrance of
19 the motel in Zvornik, and when we parked the vehicle Captain Dragan
20 went out in plain clothes accompanied by journalists from Politika
21 and a lady.
22 Q. Did he give some sort of press conference that you saw?
23 A. No, we said "Hello", as if we knew each other for a number of years,
24 very nicely.
25 Q. Do you know if that was photographed?
1 A. Not then, but in Belgrade, yes.
2 Q. Did this Captain Dragan explain to you why you had been released from
3 the camp?
4 A. Yes, he did. He told me briefly that my wife had helped me and a
5 sports friend of mine who used to live (and still lives) in Belgrade.
6 Q. Now after this conversation with Captain Dragan, did you eventually
7 go to Belgrade?
8 A. Yes, we went directly from Zvornik. We crossed into the Republic of
9 Serbia. Captain Dragan was with us, that journalist and the lady
10 from his fund and then Rade drove us towards Belgrade.
11 Q. When you crossed from Zvornik, is Zvornik in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 A. Zvornik is, a little Zvornik partly is not.
13 Q. So when you passed from the part of Zvornik in Bosnia-Herzegovina
14 into Serbia, did you have any difficulty in being able to enter
15 Serbia there?
16 A. Yes, because on our Bosnian side there used to be a Serb militia
17 checkpoint. They did not stop us but the Serb policemen did stop us
18 because they had a checkpoint there as well. They knew Captain
19 Dragan. He lowered the car window and then they said: "Oh, Captain
20 Dragan", so they let us go.
21 Q. How long did you remain in Belgrade?
22 A. Two months, roughly speaking.
23 Q. From Belgrade then did you go out of the area of the former
25 A. Yes, first of all, to Macedonia, and I spent two months there with my
1 wife and my child, and then into western Europe.
2 Q. Mr. Gasi, prior to the conflict coming to the Brcko area, were you a
3 member of any anti-Serb military or paramilitary organisation?
4 A. No, no. No, never.
5 Q. Were you a member of any organised anti-Serb resistance?
6 A. No, no.
7 Q. After the beginning of the conflict on 30th April, did you become a
8 member of any of these types of anti-Serb organisations?
9 A. No, never.
10 MISS HOLLIS: Thank you. No further questions.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Cross-examination?
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Wladimiroff
13 Q. Mr. Gasi, could you tell us again your rank during your military
14 service in the JNA, please?
15 A. I was just a simple soldier in the traffic unit. That is how it was
16 called. I was just a regular soldier in the traffic unit; literally
17 it meant the driver.
18 Q. Would you, please, describe to us the regular JNA uniform in 1991,
20 A. A grey olivey green uniform -- that means there was a single colour,
21 no kinds of multi-colour lines or patches over it -- with a cap worn
22 on the head, on the head and with a star. That was the uniform of the
23 JNA, be it the regular army or the reservists.
24 Q. Right. Could you describe to us the uniform, the regular uniform, of
25 the JNA in 1992 up to May, please?
1 A. All those uniforms, as long as I was in the town of Brcko, were
2 there, these uniforms with these, the old insignia.
3 Q. But could you describe to us the uniform of the JNA in the period of
4 January up to May 1992, please?
5 A. I repeat, regular uniforms of the JNA regular soldiers, not any kind
6 of special unit. This was just in one colour which was the grey
7 olivey green colour with buttons.
8 Q. Did you see that uniform you just described to us after May 19th in
9 Brcko, May, 19th, 1992?
10 A. Up until 7th June when I left the camp Luka, I used to see those
11 uniforms. Most of those uniforms were of such a type.
12 Q. Could you describe then the regular uniform of the TO, military
13 personnel working with the TO, of Bosnia?
14 A. Identical uniforms, identical colour and the reserve strength of the
15 JNA had the same kind of uniforms and the Territorial Defence of that
16 former, whatever it was called at that time, Territorial Defence.
17 Q. So there is no difference between the uniforms of regular JNA and
18 those working with the TO, is there not?
19 A. Before the war and after the beginning of the war, that is how it
21 Q. Was there any difference then in the month of May 1992?
22 A. I do not know. I do not know. I did not see. Yes, if you mean the
23 camouflage uniforms, the camouflage uniforms also began to appear in
24 the town, around the town, in the municipality.
25 Q. What was then the difference between the camouflage uniform of the
1 JNA and the camouflage uniform of the TO in the month of May 1992?
2 A. The camouflage uniforms existed in the Yugoslav People's Army, for
3 special branches of the Yugoslav People's Army. They are regular
4 uniforms; they were at that time and before that.
5 Q. Could you describe that uniform, that camouflage uniform?
6 A. Grey olive green with some lighter patches, and those darker nuances
7 were on them. It depended on a particular branch of service that
8 they belonged to. Those who belonged to recognised units were of a
9 lighter colour. The military police, as far as I know, the old JNA,
10 their uniforms were slightly darker.
11 Q. Was there any difference in camouflage uniforms of the JNA and the TO
12 in that period of time, May 1992?
13 A. Not that I know of.
14 Q. Do you know when the army of the Republika Srpska was established?
15 A. I would not know. I did not know. I heard it when I was far, far
16 away already. But at that time there was no army of the Republika
17 Srpska while I was in the town.
18 Q. So, no army of the Republka Srpske in May 1992 in Brcko?
19 A. No. No, no.
20 Q. Could you tell us the distinction between those military personnel
21 working with the infantry and those working with the artillery of the
22 TOs? How could one tell by uniform?
23 A. I think that one cannot distinguish members of the artillery units
24 and the infantry units of the Yugoslav People's Army, in the Yugoslav
25 People's Army.
1 Q. Did the military personnel of the infantry of the TOs have insignia
2 different to the personnel of the TO? Was there any difference
3 within the TO?
4 A. Yes, when the war broke out in Brcko I guess they did not have enough
5 reserve JNA uniforms, so some wore a civilian trousers, and sneakers
6 and tennis shoes, and wore jackets of the uniform or winged jacket or
7 something. That was the difference. I do not know.
8 Q. How would you describe -- no, let me rephrase this question. How can
9 one recognise a member of the paramilitary group by his uniform?
10 A. If you mean paramilitary groups, that they called that at that time,
11 the only difference were those small emblems they would have on their
12 arms or on the chest somewhere. That would be the difference.
13 Q. So the colour of the uniform was the same as those of the TOs, is
14 that not right?
15 A. The colour of the uniforms worn by special forces and the TOs and the
16 Territorial Defence.
17 Q. So the only difference here are those small insignia on those
18 uniforms; is that right?
19 A. Well, if you like one could say that, if you wish.
20 Q. Now let us proceed to equipment. What were the markings on the
21 equipment of the JNA in 1991?
22 A. I have already described them: grey, olive green uniform and a
23 uniform colour of a uniform that was regular, and if you are talking
24 about camouflage special uniforms, I have told you it varied on the
25 branch of service. There was navy of course and their uniforms were
1 dark blue.
2 Q. I am referring to equipment. We are talking about vehicles and all
3 that kind of thing, so equipment. What were the markings of the
4 equipment of the JNA in 1991?
5 A. Grey, olive green trucks, all types of motor vehicles; they had their
6 plates, their licence plates. So, I really do not follow you.
7 Q. Were there any other markings on those vehicles other than the
9 A. Yes, there were. For instance, the tanks painted grey, olive green,
10 and they would have the plate, an old one, of the Yugoslav People's
11 Army and then the tank would be sprayed over saying that it belonged
12 to the Serb Radical Party from Bijeljina to Chetniks. That would be
13 the difference.
14 Q. Was there any change in markings on the JNA equipment in 1992?
15 A. I know there was. They changed it. They used to have the star and
16 now they had JNA.
17 Q. I am not referring to uniforms but to equipment, to vehicles and all
18 that stuff. Was there any change in equipment in 1992, the JNA
19 equipment in 1992?
20 A. No, not as far as I could see in Brcko. It was as it was, as it used
21 to be, except that the insignia, the markings on their caps was
22 slightly different.
23 Q. I am not referring to the markings on uniforms or caps; I am
24 referring to markings on equipment, tanks, vehicles and all that. Do
25 you understand my question?
1 A. Yes, I do understand.
2 Q. Right then. Once again, was there any change in markings on the
3 equipment of the JNA in 1992?
4 A. No. No, there were no changes on the vehicles.
5 Q. Can you tell us what were the markings on the equipment, not
6 uniforms, equipment of the TO in 1991?
7 A. If you mean the Territorial Defence, whether they had tanks or APCs,
8 the Territorial Defence never had them prior to these events.
9 Q. I am referring to equipment such as, for example, a vehicle. Could
10 you tell us the markings on the vehicles of the TO in 1991, please?
11 A. I did not see that they had changed the colour. Some removed plates,
12 older Yugoslav plates, markings.
13 Q. Is that in 1991 or are you referring to a different time frame?
14 A. I am referring to 1992.
15 Q. I see. Once again, what were the markings on the TO vehicles in
17 A. They did not exist the Territorial Defence did not have any vehicles
18 at that time. They used to borrow them from enterprises. They were
19 civilian vehicles.
20 Q. Right. Then we go to 1992. Did the TO have vehicles, military
21 vehicles in 1992?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What were the markings on those vehicles in 1992?
24 A. I told you they removed some markings, some plates from vehicles and
25 some did not. We all saw that in the town. I saw it. So they were
1 old markings.
2 Q. From what? Markings from the JNA?
3 A. Yes, yes, JNA.
4 Q. So what you tell us is that the markings of the JNA were removed and
5 then they got different markings of the TO in 1992; is that what you
6 tell us?
7 A. I am trying to tell you that they took them off some vehicles, and
8 old markings remained on other vehicles ----
9 Q. So ----
10 A. --- while I was in Brcko.
11 Q. So, is it true then that in May 1992 one could see in Brcko vehicles
12 with markings of the JNA though working with the TO and vehicles with
13 markings of the TO working with the TO; is that correct?
14 A. Specifically I came across JNA vehicles when I would leave the
15 company, and to my company came also civilian vehicles, mostly
16 civilian vehicles, with the markings written on the paper "TO", and
17 if that is the Territorial Defence, then that is the Territorial
18 Defence, as you say.
19 Q. But how can one tell then if you see a vehicle with, for example, JNA
20 markings on it whether it is in use by the JNA or used by the TO?
21 How can one tell?
22 A. Specifically, they would have in the front glass. They would have
23 their vehicle. There used to be a paper perhaps of this size with
24 the seal of the JNA garrison in Brcko, and the licence and the permit
25 that it could move around the combat zone.
1 Q. Right. Let us move then to the elections of 1990. Do you remember
2 the 1990 elections in Brcko?
3 A. The elections of 1992? The referendum of 1992.
4 Q. No, I am referring to the 1990 elections. Were there elections in
6 A. Yes, but you said '92. Yes, all right, 1990.
7 Q. Very well. You do remember the 1990 elections in Brcko?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Who won those elections?
10 A. I said already the former communists, SDP.
11 Q. And the 1992 elections, you remember them?
12 A. Referendum, not elections.
13 Q. Right. So let us go back to 1990 again, 1990, right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What was the percentage of the SDA in those elections? How many
16 votes? What was the percentage of the votes that the SDA got in
17 these elections?
18 A. Perhaps 28 per cent of the total.
19 Q. What would you say would have been the percentage of the SDS in the
20 1990 elections?
21 A. Approximately 17 per cent.
22 Q. So the SDS won those elections, did not they, if they got 70 or was
23 it 17?
24 JUDGE STEPHEN: Seventeen.
25 MR. WLADIMIROFF: That sounds much more realistic, I would say. What was
1 the percentage then of HDZ in the 1990 elections?
2 A. Roughly, I could be wrong by one or two, 22 to 23 per cent.
3 Q. What was the percentage then of the Former Communists?
4 A. They won all the rest that remained up to 100 per cent, so they were
5 the first political party in the local parliament. There were some
6 smaller political parties winning perhaps 1 or 2 per cent. I do not
8 Q. The Former Communists were they composed by Muslims, Serbs and
9 Croats, or was there a special large amount of Muslims or a large
10 amount of Serbs in that party?
11 A. In my town it was made of the members of all three peoples.
12 Q. Could you tell us about the percentage of the three Major ethnic
13 groups in the Former Communist party?
14 A. I would not know. I really do not know, but I know they had their
15 list of a mixed composition.
16 Q. Well, Mr. Gasi, you said that you saw no evidence of weapons or arms
17 in the Muslim villages, did you not?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Have you told us the truth about that?
20 A. The truth and nothing but the truth.
21 Q. Not a single weapon anywhere?
22 A. As far as I know, no.
23 Q. Did you have a weapon yourself in 1991?
24 A. No. Legally I did.
25 Q. So you had a weapon. In what capacity did you have it?
1 A. Yes, I did. I did.
2 Q. In what capacity did you have that weapon in 1991?
3 A. A small pistol.
4 Q. How come you had a weapon?
5 A. A gentleman who arrested me in my company, he was the President of
6 the Shooting Sports Club and when I was proclaimed the sportsman, the
7 athlete of the town in '87 and '89 he handed it to me, that was a
8 gift of a sports club to a sportsman. That was it.
9 Q. So you had a weapon in 1991?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you have a weapon too in 1992?
12 A. Yes, I did until they came and took it away.
13 Q. In 1991 did you know anyone who had a weapon who was of Muslim
15 A. Yes, I knew hunters. I knew hunters. They had rifles, hunting
17 Q. Besides those ----
18 A. I knew a number of people.
19 Q. Besides those who were hunting, having hunting rifles, did you know
20 anyone else of Muslim descent having a weapon in 1991?
21 A. Yes. Yes, I did. I knew them. My father, he also had a pistol, a
22 trophy pistol of World War II, and brother he also had a pistol but
23 he had a licence for it.
24 Q. Your father had a licence, did you say that, or did your brother have
25 a licence for that pistol?
1 A. Yes, you heard it well, both had licences, proper licences issued by
2 the authorities.
3 Q. Did you know other people of Muslim descent having weapons in 1991
4 except for hunters?
5 A. Well, I knew probably those policemen who worked, they had lawful
7 Q. And other people not working with the police in 1991?
8 A. I really do not know about others.
9 Q. Did you know anyone of Muslim descent not working with the police,
10 nor being a hunter, having a weapon in 1992?
11 A. Well, I did not meet such people. Perhaps I did not move in that
12 kind of company among the criminals. Criminals might have had them.
13 Q. Mr. Gasi, why did you become a member of the SDA?
14 A. Because I wanted to be a member. It was of my own volition.
15 Q. Was there any special purpose to do that other than a political
16 purpose? Would it provide you with safety or something like that or
17 any other reason?
18 A. At that time, no ----
19 Q. Did you have any ----
20 A. --- it did not.
21 Q. Did you have any position in that party?
22 A. Yes, I was a member of the Executive Town Committee of the SDA.
23 Q. So, I take it that you attended meetings of the SDA, did you not?
24 A. Yes, some of them, yes, in the beginning.
25 Q. And I suppose you did not only attend public meetings but also closed
1 sessions, did you?
2 A. Closed sessions? There were no closed sessions at the time.
3 Gentlemen came from other parties. They were invited. They invited
4 us, other parties invited us and we invited them. I do not know about
5 other closed meetings. I did not take part in any closed sessions.
6 Q. So let us go then to 1991. Did you attend any meeting of the SDA in
8 A. No, not any more as a member in my capacity of the Executive
9 Committee, but as an observer, as a passerby, yes, I did.
10 Q. So you did attend meetings of the SDA just as a member, did you?
11 A. Yes, no doubt.
12 Q. Were those meetings always in public, that is free access for others
13 than members?
14 A. Not only all members, but all those who wanted to attend that kind of
16 Q. There were discussions at those meetings about weapons, were there
18 A. I know nothing about that at those rallies which I attended. Those
19 were election rallies and they did not mention any weapons. I do not
20 know, not really. Not at those rallies. Perhaps at some others,
21 but I do not know. I do not know.
22 Q. Mr. Gasi, you were a member of the Kayak Klub, Haris Suljic, were you
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Right. Were there also Serb members of that club?
1 A. Yes, they were good friends.
2 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Thank you.
3 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Miss Hollis?
6 MISS HOLLIS: Mr. Gasi, concerning weapons possessed either by Serbs or
7 Muslims, you had indicated earlier that when you were doing your
8 duties out in villages you began to see on occasions that JNA weapons
9 were distributed to Serb civilians. Did you ever in your travels to
10 the Muslim villages see these types of JNA weapons distributed to
11 Muslim civilians?
12 A. I moved about a great deal around all the villages in the Brcko
13 municipality, and believe me, I never, really never, saw JNA members
14 distributing weapons to Muslims. This was the exclusive right they
15 gave to the Serbs. I know nothing else.
16 Q. You had also mentioned earlier that you saw in Serb villages, you
17 began to see heavy weapons such as artillery.
18 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I would object to that question, your Honour. I think it
19 is not within the cross-examination these questions.
20 MISS HOLLIS: Your Honour, may I be heard?
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes.
22 MISS HOLLIS: The Defence has raised the issue of arming the Muslims. I
23 am simply clarifying this with my witness on redirect.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I think you are now moving into artillery and heavy
25 equipment. The Defence on cross-examination asked the witness
1 whether he could tell the difference between JNA artillery and
2 weapons, no, equipment, vehicles I should say, and TO. When I say
3 "TO", Territorial Defence, TO. I gather this is what you are now
4 moving into, is that not so?
5 MISS HOLLIS: No, your Honour.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK.
7 MISS HOLLIS: My understanding of the questioning, and perhaps I had it
8 wrong, was that the questioning from the Defence had to do in general
9 with the arming of the Muslims. I do not believe the questioning
10 specifically limited whether they were receiving automatic weapons or
11 whether they were receiving larger type weapons. Perhaps I have
12 misunderstood the cross-examination, but that is my understanding of
13 it. Therefore, I also wanted to ----
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The question that you objected to, Mr. Wladimiroff,
15 was whether or not the witness had seen heavy vehicles and artillery.
16 Is that not your objection?
17 MR. WLADIMIROFF: That is right, your Honour.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The basis of it is that it goes beyond the
20 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Exactly.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Now, in response to that, what do you say, Miss
23 MISS HOLLIS: Your Honour, I am simply saying my understanding of the way
24 the Defence worded their cross-examination had to do in general with
25 arming of Muslims, and to the extent that implied larger weapons than
1 hand-held weapons I would like to cover that. If they were speaking
2 only of arming the Muslims with hand-held weapons, then I will not
3 cover the artillery.
4 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I did not deal with that subject. I dealt with the
5 identification of uniforms and equipment, and I dealt with knowledge
6 about weapons with Muslims. I did not deal with any weapons that
7 were with Muslims with Serbs whatsoever, and I did not deal with the
8 giving of weapons to Muslims either. So I think it is beyond the
9 cross-examination, this question.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: My colleagues say it is beyond cross-examination.
11 Actually, I thought you were going into another area. I thought you
12 were asking this witness whether or not he had seen any heavy
13 equipment and artillery. That was objected to. I do not see that
14 that is beyond cross-examination, but I will defer to my two
15 colleagues. I thought the next question was going to be: Could he
16 distinguish between JNA heavy artillery and TO heavy artillery, which
17 was certainly within the cross-examination. But I will sustain the
19 MISS HOLLIS: Thank you, your Honour.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Ask another question.
21 MISS HOLLIS: Thank you, your Honour.
22 Following up on the Judge's understanding of my question,
23 I would like to ask you a question concerning whether you ever
24 observed the TO with any type of artillery weapons, TO in Brcko?
25 A. I know before the war how the Territorial Defence was armed. I can
1 speak about that.
2 Q. And what were the arms of the Territorial Defence before the war?
3 A. Those weapons were in companies, so light infantry weapons, no tanks,
4 no guns, no helicopters or armoured vehicles. That did not exist in
5 the Territorial Defence before the war.
6 Q. So the types of weapons the Territorial Defence had were what?
7 A. Light infantry weapons, automatic rifles, semi-automatic rifles,
8 those old JNA rifles and 48. Those were the weapons that were in the
9 company where I worked in Elektrodistribucija. That is what I know
10 about the TO.
11 MISS HOLLIS: No further questions.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Wladimiroff?
13 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I have nothing else to question.
14 JUDGE STEPHEN: I have one question. You mentioned that in 1992 the
15 insignia on the cap or hat of the JNA was changed from a star to the
16 initials "JNA". Is that correct?
17 A. Yes, that is correct. Those were symbols that were written in
18 Cyrillic alphabet.
19 Q. And would that change also apply to the TO which I think you
20 sometimes call the Territorial Defence?
21 A. When they changed those insignia, I cannot remember anything changed
22 in the Territorial Defence.
23 Q. Does that then mean that the Territorial Defence continued to wear
24 the star that previously the JNA had been wearing?
25 A. Yes. Yes, because they had old uniforms.
1 Q. When did this change from a star to Cyrillic JNA take place in 1992,
2 what month?
3 A. The change in my town which I saw then, but that happened slightly
4 earlier; I could even say at the end or maybe in mid-1991 when those
5 events happened in Slovenia and Croatia. I cannot remember the exact
6 date but the instructions were given for that to be changed. We
7 could hear about it on the radio and see it on the TV.
8 JUDGE STEPHEN: Thank you.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Just a couple of questions, Mr. Gasi. How far is
10 Brcko from the Prijedor Opstina, if you know?
11 A. Roughly speaking, I can tell you that. To Banja Luka I think it is
12 something 180 kilometres and then from Banja Luka to Prijedor 210;
13 210 kilometres I would say.
14 Q. Were you released from the Luka camp on June 7th 1992 or July 7th
16 A. It was 7th June 1992.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. Miss Hollis, do you have additional
19 MISS HOLLIS: No, your Honour.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Wladimiroff?
21 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection to Mr. Gasi being permanently excused?
23 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Fine. You may be excused permanently. Thank you,
25 Mr. Gasi. We will stand in recess for lunch until 2.30. (1.00 p.m.)
2 (1.00 p.m.)
3 (Luncheon Adjournment)
4 (2.30 p.m.)
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Miss Hollis, would you call your next witness,
7 MISS HOLLIS: Thank you, your Honour. Your Honour, we would call Mr.
9 MR. FADIL REDZIC, called.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Would you take the oath, please, Mr. Redzic?
11 THE WITNESS [In translation]: I solemnly declare that I will speak the
12 truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
13 (The witness was sworn)
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. You may be seated.
15 Examined by MISS HOLLIS
16 Q. Mr. Redzic, would you please state your full name?
17 A. My name is Fadil Redzic.
18 Q. What is your date of birth?
19 A. I was born on 4th August 1946.
20 Q. What is your ethnic group?
21 A. I am a Muslim, a Bosniak.
22 Q. What is your place of birth?
23 A. Brcko.
24 Q. How long did you live in Brcko?
25 A. I was born there in 1946 and I stayed there up until the war broke
1 out in 1992. I did not go anywhere else.
2 Q. When you say were you born and lived in Brcko, do you mean the town
3 of Brcko in the Opstina of Brcko?
4 A. The town of Brcko.
5 Q. What was your prior occupation, Mr. Redzic?
6 A. I was a mechanical technician.
7 Q. Where did you work?
8 A. In the textile plant, Interplet, at Brcko.
9 Q. How long did you work there?
10 A. 23 years.
11 Q. Did you ever perform any active duty, military service?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. When did you perform this active duty service?
14 A. In 1966 when I was in the school for Reserve officers at Zadar.
15 Q. Where is that school located?
16 A. In Zadar, in the Republic of Croatia. It is in the middle of the
17 Adriatic coast.
18 Q. What did you study there in your course for Reserve officers?
19 A. I was trained there to become an officer of the JNA.
20 Q. Did you have any area of speciality within the JNA?
21 A. My speciality in the Reserve officers corps was the training on the
22 gun B76 millimetre. That was an artillery gun.
23 Q. You indicated that you trained as a Reserve officer. Can you tell us
24 within the JNA structure what was the difference between the Reserve
25 component and the active duty component?
1 A. We had military service for a year for the people who were in the
2 Reserve officers school; whereas the others that had the regular,
3 that were the regulars conscripts spent some 15 or 16 months and the
4 active duty officers went to the Military Academy and after that they
5 became part of the JNA.
6 Q. As Reserve officer then, you did not have full-time employment as a
7 JNA officer?
8 A. No, no.
9 Q. Concerning this artillery training that you received, you said that
10 this lasted a period of six months. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, six months.
12 Q. After you completed that training, what rank were you given?
13 A. I was a Sergeant.
14 Q. When you received the six months of training, your instructors, to
15 your knowledge, were these active JNA officers or were they Reserve
17 A. They were all active duty JNA officers.
18 Q. To your knowledge, were these officers of mixed nationality or were
19 they Serbs?
20 A. Most of them were Serbs, but it was mixed.
21 Q. Upon graduation where did you go?
22 A. I went to Delnice for training.
23 Q. In what Republic is that located in?
24 A. Delnice is in the Republic of Croatia in the northern part of the
1 Q. How long did you receive training at Delnice?
2 A. I stayed there for six months.
3 Q. What type of training did you receive there?
4 A. I was a Commander of a gun 76 mixed artillery, anti-aircraft.
5 Q. What size unit did you command?
6 A. Delnice, you mean?
7 Q. Yes, at Delnice.
8 A. That was the second battery with some 60 or 70 people; it depends
9 really on the type of the unit.
10 Q. Were you in command of the battery or of a smaller division of the
12 A. That was the battery.
13 Q. All right. You said that you were a Commander there. What type of
14 unit did you command?
15 A. An artillery unit.
16 Q. How many weapons did you have under your command?
17 A. The battery had six weapons.
18 Q. You yourself commanded how many?
19 A. The whole battery of six weapons.
20 Q. After your six months of training and working as a Commander at
21 Delnice, what rank did you achieve?
22 A. I became a 2nd Lieutenant.
23 Q. Where did you go after this?
24 A. I went back to Brcko, my home town.
25 Q. Once you returned to Brcko did you continue in the JNA reserves?
1 A. Yes, I did. I continued with my work as a Reserve officer in the
2 395th Brigade Veljko Lukic Kurjak.
3 Q. How long did you continue in the JNA reserves?
4 A. Up until 31st of December 1991.
5 Q. You indicated that you were assigned to the 395th Brigade; tell us
6 again where that Brigade was located?
7 A. The 395th Brigade was located at Brcko.
8 Q. What was the name of the military barracks?
9 A. The barracks were called Veljko Lukic Kurjak.
10 Q. In what part of Brcko were those barracks in?
11 A. Almost in the very centre of the town.
12 Q. Was this brigade part of the active duty JNA or was it a Reserve
14 A. Part -- it was part of an active duty unit.
15 Q. What was its combat status -- combat ready or Reserve?
16 A. It had combat ready, war A1 type of status.
17 Q. What type of units were assigned to this Brigade?
18 A. That Brigade was mixed; there were various types of units in it.
19 Q. What were the types of units?
20 A. It had an armoured battalion, a motorized Battalion and artillery
21 division, light anti-armoured tank division, then some rare type of
22 signalling unit and all kinds of other types of services that formed
23 that particular Brigade.
24 Q. To what division was this Brigade assigned?
25 A. In fact, the division belonged to the 395th Brigade.
1 Q. The 395th Brigade belonged to what organisation?
2 A. To the Army -- I cannot quite understand what you mean.
3 Q. I am sorry. The Brigade, what was the next higher echelon from the
4 Brigade in terms of chain of command?
5 A. The Division.
6 Q. Where was that located?
7 A. That Division was located at Tuzla.
8 Q. Was this an active duty or Reserve Division at Tuzla?
9 A. War, that means combat A unit.
10 Q. When you returned to Brcko, what was your position in the 395th
12 A. In the 395th Brigade, I was assigned to the mixed anti-armoured unit
13 and I was the Commander of the second gun battery.
14 Q. What types of weapons did you have command over?
15 A. I was commanded anti-armoured types of weapons. The type of gun is
16 called ZIS 416.
17 Q. The ZIS is primarily used for what?
18 A. It is anti-tank exclusively, but it can be used for other things.
19 Q. During the following years, until the end of 1991, what positions did
20 you hold with the 395th Brigade?
21 A. In the 395th Brigade, apart from being the Commander of the second
22 gun battery, I was also the Deputy Commander of that mixed artillery
23 battery. After that, I became the head in charge of the battery.
24 Q. During this time that you were in the 395th Brigade, where did you
25 perform your duties, at the military barracks or at other locations
1 as well?
2 A. Yes, at the military barracks but elsewhere as well.
3 Q. In what other locations would you perform these duties?
4 A. We used to go to various types of training exercises; it depends
6 Q. So the unit would actually deploy to another location for a training
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. As a Reserve officer, how much time did you devote to your military
10 duties each year?
11 A. Each year, on an average, between one month to one month and a half.
12 Q. During this time you were with the 395th Brigade, during this one to
13 one and a half month period, what types of duties would you perform?
14 A. Oh, these things I told you; the head of the artillery, if I was in
15 the Brigade or, in a smaller unit, I was the Deputy Commander of a
16 smaller artillery unit.
17 Q. When you became the Deputy Commander and later you became the head of
18 the artillery division, what types of duties would you be involved
20 A. As the head of the artillery, I co-ordinated the work of the mixed
21 anti-armoured smaller division or the howitzer.
22 Q. Were you ever involved in any co-ordination involving training for
23 the rest of the Brigade?
24 A. No, I only worked on the artillery type of duties.
25 Q. Were you involved in any types of training regarding artillery?
1 A. We were mostly preparing for performing the duties of the training
2 exercise and, after that, we would go and perform that particular
3 duty like shooting with real ammunition.
4 Q. If you received new weapons, did you participate in any type of
5 training regarding these new weapons?
6 A. Whatever weapons arrived to the 395th Brigade, no matter it was
7 artillery or something else, we had to become familiar with, to
8 familiarise with that type of weapons.
9 Q. At the end of 1991, did the Territorial Defence exist in the Brcko
11 A. Yes. They did.
12 Q. If you know, who was the Commander of the Territorial Defence forces?
13 A. The Commander of the Territorial Defence of Brcko was Lieutenant
14 Colonel Milisav Milutinovic.
15 Q. How did you know him?
16 A. I met him through the whole work I did, through my Reserve duties,
17 but he was otherwise a teacher of history.
18 Q. To your knowledge, what was his ethnic group?
19 A. He was Serb.
20 Q. Did the Territorial Defence have weapons available to it?
21 A. The Territorial Defence did have weapons.
22 Q. What type of weapons?
23 A. Various kinds of weapons; it depends on the particular composition of
24 the Territorial Defence unit. If they had equipment, infantry,
25 weapons, automatic, semi-automatic weapons and grenade launches,
1 mortar launches.
2 Q. Where were these weapons kept?
3 A. These weapons were exclusively stored in warehouses.
4 Q. During the time you were still a Reserve officer in the Brigade, did
5 you become aware of these weapons being taken from the TO by the JNA?
6 A. Yes, all the Territorial Defence weapons that were in companies were
7 taken out of those companies and partly put in the hangars at Teslic
8 and partly in the JNA barracks.
9 Q. You say in the hangars at Teslic, what is this?
10 A. Sorry, it was Krepsic. That was a warehouse of equipment, of the
11 whole equipment, on the 395th Brigade.
12 Q. That included weapons as well as other equipment?
13 A. Yes. All weapons and equipment of the Brigade were there.
14 Q. Were you ever present at your own workplace when the JNA came and
15 took weapons, took TO weapons, from your workplace?
16 A. Yes, I was personally present when the army took the weapons from my
17 textile plant, Interplet, and it was taken away on a military truck.
18 Q. Which time frame was this that these weapons were taken away?
19 A. It was in the course of the year 1991.
20 Q. You indicated that at least some of these weapons were taken to the
21 barracks in Brcko. How did you become aware of that?
22 A. I learned that while I was still in the Reserve. All the hangars
23 that were there were part of the equipment was and part of the
24 equipment was taken away earlier, and I was -- I later heard on from
25 the officers that were there that it was taken from the TO, and I
1 personally saw the weapons as well.
2 Q. You heard from JNA officers there?
3 A. Yes, yes. I was also at the barracks at that time.
4 Q. During 1991 did you become aware of any -----
5 A. No, while I was in Reserves in September up until 31st December.
6 Q. This was the time period during which these TO weapons were taken?
7 A. Yes, but before they took all these weapons from the companies.
8 Q. So, prior to September they had taken the weapons from the companies?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. During 1991, did you become aware of any distribution of weapons by
11 the JNA to inhabitants of the Brcko area?
12 A. During 1991, those weapons, while I was in Reserve, from the month of
13 September 1991 up until 31st December, that those weapons were
14 distributed exclusively to the inhabitants of the Serb nationality.
15 Q. How did you become aware of this?
16 A. At that time I was in the Reserve.
17 Q. How did that enable you to know that this redistribution was
19 A. I was personally present because I was there on the spot.
20 Q. As of 31st December 1991, do you have any idea how many personnel
21 were assigned to the 395th Brigade?
22 A. The exact number, I cannot say how many people received arms, but the
23 complete weaponry of the 395th Brigade was distributed the members
24 of the Serb nationality.
25 Q. I am sorry, let me repeat my question: By the end of 1991, how many
1 personnel were assigned to the 395th Brigade?
2 A. Oh, yes, in the 395th Brigade there were 3,300 people. That was the
3 number of the people, that personnel, in the Brigade.
4 Q. These personnel were comprised of whom?
5 A. Only the people that belonged to the Serb nationality.
6 Q. Were these individuals both active duty and Reserve?
7 A. Active duty and Reserve officers.
8 Q. In December 1991, when you left the Brigade, what type of weaponry
9 did the Brigade have?
10 A. The Brigade had, as I said previously, APCs, artillery division,
11 mixed anti-armoured artillery division, howitzer, 103 millimetres,
12 then signalling AB headquarters, and all the other accompanying
13 services as I mentioned before.
14 Q. The artillery division, how many weapons did it have?
15 A. The artillery division had 12 guns, anti-tank, 76 millimetres, and
16 howitzer division had also 12 howitzers of 122 millimetres.
17 Q. Did the Brigade possess any anti-aircraft artillery?
18 A. It had light PVO anti-aircraft division, 133 millimetres.
19 Q. The motorised divisions would have had what type of weapons?
20 A. The motorised battalion had 60, 80 and 120 grenades, grenade --
21 mortar launches, sorry.
22 Q. At the time that you left the Brigade, the Brigade also have
23 anti-tank rockets that were on a mounted chassis?
24 A. It had APCs with guided missiles, AP11.
25 Q. Who was in command of these APCs with guided missiles?
1 A. The Commander of the APCs with guided missiles was Stefan Nikolic.
2 Q. Where was that unit located?
3 A. The unit was located in Djakovo in the Republic of Croatia, and later
4 on it was transferred to Bosnia.
5 Q. Where was it transferred to in Bosnia?
6 A. It was transferred in the village of Pelagicevo, some 15 to 18
7 kilometres away from Brcko.
8 Q. When did that transfer occur?
9 A. It occurred in October. I saw that in October 1991.
10 Q. Did you know Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic?
11 A. I knew him then when I met him in 1991 -- only then.
12 Q. Was he an active duty or a Reserve officer?
13 A. He as an active duty officer of the JNA. He was a Lieutenant
15 Q. Did you learn where he was from?
16 A. Through this whole story because we co-operated for the transfer of
17 the weapons from Djakovo to Pelagicevo.
18 Q. Did you learn where he originally was from, where his home was?
19 A. I only know that he is a Serb. I do not know where he comes from
21 Q. Did you ever learn why this unit moved from Djakovo to Pelagicevo?
22 A. No, I never learned that, no.
23 Q. These weapons that you have talked about that were in the possession
24 of the 395th Brigade, for example, the 122 millimetre howitzers, what
25 is the range of such a weapon?
1 A. The range is 21 kilometre.
2 Q. The ZIS canon, what is the range of such a weapon?
3 A. The ZIS, 17 kilometres.
4 Q. The antiaircraft artillery, can that be used for any purpose other
5 than as an anti-aircraft weapon?
6 A. Yes, it can.
7 Q. If it is used for another purpose, what would be its range?
8 A. The range of the aircraft artillery would be 800 to 1,000 metres.
9 Q. To your knowledge, when you left the Brigade in December 1991, other
10 than the JNA, did any other groups in the area have 122 millimetres
11 howitzers or ZIS canon?
12 A. The Brigade had only that kind of canons.
13 Q. Did any other group to your knowledge have anti-aircraft artillery?
14 A. No, just the artillery brigade, 395th Brigade.
15 Q. Did any other group have armoured personnel carriers or tanks?
16 A. No.
17 Q. You indicated that the 395th Brigade was located in the military
18 barracks in the centre of Brcko. Was most of the weaponry located
19 there as well?
20 A. Most of the weaponry was located in the village of Krepsic not far
21 from Brcko. All the weapons and equipment of the Brigade were there.
22 Part of the weaponry was only stored in the barracks.
23 Q. To your knowledge, in 1991 were weapons moved from Krepsic to other
25 A. In the course of 1991, most of the armaments from Krepsic and other
1 equipment and material was transferred to neighbouring villages,
2 Donja and Gornja - Bukovica, Razljeva, Pipara, and some of it was
3 transferred to the village of Pelagicevo.
4 Q. These other villages to which these weaponry were transferred, to
5 your knowledge, what was the ethnic composition of these villages?
6 A. The ethnic composition was Serb, exclusively.
7 Q. By the end of 1991, had units of the Brigade moved from the military
8 barracks to other locations?
9 A. The complete Brigade was taken out of the barracks and transferred to
10 those places I just mentioned.
11 Q. Did any units at all remain at the military barracks?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Did any personnel remain at the military barracks?
14 A. Yes, some personnel remained in the barracks. The Commander, Pavle
15 Milenkovic, was there and Deputy Commander for political work,
16 Lieutenant Colonel Slavko Debic, Captain Petrovic and other personnel
17 of the Brigade, that is, lower ranking officers.
18 Q. Why did you leave the 395th Brigade in December 1991?
19 A. During the drill, Muslim officers were ignored so that I decided to
20 leave the Yugoslav People's Army on 31st December 1991.
21 Q. What do you mean that other officers were "ignored"?
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Muslims.
23 THE WITNESS: Well, they did not invite us to meetings, and whenever they
24 had to hold some important meeting they would let us go home.
25 MISS HOLLIS: When did this exclusion begin?
1 A. Well, sometime in November or December it was.
2 Q. You have mentioned some of the persons in command positions at the
3 395th Brigade. I would like to speak with you for a moment about
4 that. You indicated that Pavle Milenkovic was the Commander of the
6 A. He was the Commander of the 395th Brigade.
7 Q. What was his rank?
8 A. It was Lieutenant Colonel.
9 Q. Was he an active duty or a Reserve officer?
10 A. He was active duty officer.
11 Q. Do you know what his ethnic group was?
12 A. Serb.
13 Q. Do you know where his home was?
14 A. He lived in Brcko but, as far as I know, his home was in Novi Sad.
15 Q. Where is Novi Sad located?
16 A. Serbia.
17 Q. Did he have a Deputy Commander at the Brigade?
18 A. Deputy Commander for political activity was Slavko Debic and the
19 Chief of the Staff was Slobodan Milinkovic from Nis.
20 Q. Slavko Debic, was he an active duty or a Reserve officer?
21 A. Active duty; Lieutenant Colonel.
22 Q. What was his ethnic group?
23 A. Croat.
24 Q. Major Milinkovic, what his status? Was he active duty or a Reserve?
25 A. Active duty.
1 Q. What was his ethnic group?
2 A. Serbian.
3 Q. Do you know where his home was?
4 A. He lived in Brcko but his home was in Nis.
5 Q. Where is Nis located?
6 A. Serbia.
7 Q. You also mentioned a Captain Petrovic; what was his position in the
9 A. He was Deputy Commander for intelligence matters.
10 Q. Was he active duty or a Reserve?
11 A. Active duty.
12 Q. Do you know his ethnic group?
13 A. Serb.
14 Q. Do you know where he was from?
15 A. No, no, I do not.
16 Q. The next level of command below that would have consisted of what
18 A. The next level below that, below the Brigade? Could you please
19 repeat the question?
20 Q. Yes. You have named the Brigade Commander and his deputies. The
21 next level of command below them would have consisted of what
23 A. There was Deputy Commander for political affairs, head for
24 intelligence matters, Deputy Commander for logistics and all other
25 branches of service, that is, head of artillery, of anti-aircraft,
1 defence engineer, head of engineering division -- of engineering
2 section, etc. That would be the command of the Brigade, properly
4 Q. Did you know all of these gentlemen as well?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. To your knowledge, what was their status? Were they active duty
7 officers or Reserve officers?
8 A. Some of them were active duty, some of them were in the Reserve.
9 Q. When you left the Brigade who replaced you?
10 A. My post was taken by Zoran Pajic.
11 Q. What was his rank?
12 A. He was a Major at the time.
13 Q. What was his ethnic group?
14 A. Serb.
15 Q. Do you know where he was from?
16 A. Brcko.
17 Q. These other persons in positions of authority, do you know their
18 ethnic group?
19 A. They are all Serbs.
20 Q. When you left the Brigade at the end of December 1991, to your
21 knowledge, were you the last Muslim who had held a command position
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you know a Lieutenant Hajro Radonjcic?
25 A. Yes, I did know; he was a 2nd Lieutenant at the time, Hajro
2 Q. Was he an active duty or Reserve officer?
3 A. Active officer.
4 Q. Do you know where his home was?
5 A. In Brcko, but he originally came from Kosovo.
6 Q. Where is Kosovo located?
7 A. Serbia.
8 Q. From the time you left the Brigade, from 31st December 1991 until
9 30th April 1992, did you ever see any of these persons who had
10 command positions in the Brigade in Brcko?
11 A. Well, we used to met in the town until the conflicts broke out in
13 Q. From 30th April until 8th May 1992, did you ever see any of these
14 individuals personally or see them on television?
15 A. On television, I saw Captain Petrovic and Commander of the 395th
16 Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Pavle Milenkovic.
17 Q. What were they doing on the television?
18 A. The main purpose of their being on television was to say that there
19 would be no war in the town of Brcko and to tell people not to leave.
20 That was the JNA offering security.
21 Q. In the summer of 1992, do you recall learning about Lieutenant
22 Colonel Milenkovic's reassignment from the 395th Brigade?
23 A. Yes. Lieutenant Colonel Pavle Milenkovic was transferred, reassigned
24 and Lieutenant Colonel Kutlesic, Milorad Kutlesic, took his post.
25 Q. When did you hear this announcement?
1 A. I learned about it on television and media in the town.
2 Q. When did you hear this?
3 A. July.
4 Q. Of 1992?
5 A. No -- yes, it was July 1992, sorry.
6 Q. Did the announcement indicate where Lieutenant Colonel Milenkovic was
7 being reassigned?
8 A. No, no, nothing was said about it, but I saw him on television in
9 person. He was on the days during a ceremony in Novi Sad and
10 television transmitted that.
11 Q. You saw him there after this announcement?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. In the spring of 1992, did you observe any changes in your ability to
14 get certain radio or television stations?
15 A. Yes, there was local television Brcko and radio Brcko.
16 Q. Did there come a time that you were unable to get other channels you
17 had previously been able to receive?
18 A. Yes, one cannot hear anything afterwards when the bridges were blown
20 Q. What could you receive, what stations?
21 A. Do you mean television or radio?
22 Q. First television, what could you receive on television?
23 A. We could hear Novi Sad, Belgrade, Zagreb, Sarajevo on television.
24 Q. After the bridges were blown, what could you receive?
25 A. Only Belgrade and Novi Sad.
1 Q. On the radio?
2 A. We could hear Sarajevo, Belgrade and those other radio stations.
3 Q. After the bridges were blown, were you able to receive all of those
4 stations as well?
5 A. Yes, we still received only Belgrade and Novi Sad and Zagreb.
6 Q. After the bridges were blown up in Brcko on 30th April, did you send
7 your family from the town?
8 A. My family then left for a safe place.
9 Q. Did you remain in the town of Brcko?
10 A. Yes, I stayed behind.
11 Q. Where did you stay?
12 A. I was in my house.
13 Q. That is located in what area of Brcko?
14 A. It is at Mujkici.
15 Q. That section of Brcko was comprised of what ethnic group or groups?
16 A. Muslims constituted the majority. Over 95 per cent were Muslims.
17 Q. You remained in your home in the Mujkici section of Brcko until what
19 A. I stayed in my flat until 8th May 1992.
20 Q. During this time period from 30th April when the bridges were blown
21 up and 8th May, were there additional attacks on the town of Brcko?
22 A. Yes, as beginning with 1st May until 8th May, shelling of Brodusa,
23 Dizdarusa, Klanac, Suljagica Sokak, Meraje, Mujkici and then on
25 Q. These names that you have just given are these sections of Brcko?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. To your knowledge, what ethnic group or groups inhabited those
3 sections of Brcko?
4 A. Muslims were the majority, over 95 per cent.
5 Q. Based upon your military training and experience, were you able to
6 recognise what types of weapons were being used to shell those
8 A. Mortars 60, 80, 120 millimetres and 122 millimetre howitzers.
9 Q. During the time of the blowing up of the bridge on 30th April and
10 also the time of the shelling that followed, were you aware of any
11 resistance by the local inhabitants?
12 A. Armoured resistance was offered, at the moment was offered in
13 Dizdarusa, Brodusa, Klanac, Mujkici and Suljagica Sokak.
14 Q. What was the nature of that resistance, what type of weapons?
15 A. I thought, by and large, infantry weapons.
16 Q. During the time period of 30th April until 8th June while in the
17 Mujkici section, did you have any conversations with any JNA officers
18 that you know?
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I think you mean 8th May.
20 THE WITNESS: Yes, on the telephone I talked to an officer and a
21 colleague gave me the number of the barracks, and I asked them to
22 take my family out. The telephone was answered by Milorad Sehovac
23 and said that was out of the question, and that he would burn down
24 that whole area. Those were the words he used.
25 MISS HOLLIS: Yes, your Honour. A correction for the record; I did mean
1 until 8th May. (To the witness): You said a Major Milorad Sehovac,
2 how did you know him?
3 A. Well, I knew him, he was in the Brigade. He was a Major, active
4 Major, and he headed an infantry battalion.
5 Q. You had called him to ask him to assist you in getting out of that
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What was his response to you?
9 A. That was out of the question and that he would burn down that area.
10 Q. On 8th May what happened to you on that date?
11 A. On 8th May 1992 at 8.30, I was called by the paramilitary of
12 self-appointed Major Mauzer.
13 Q. Who were you with at that time?
14 A. I, at that moment, I was with my brother, his wife and their two
15 children, my sister, my brother-in-law and their two children and
16 Ramadam Mujadzic and his wife, Radmila Mujadzic, had come to visit us
17 and we were marking the May Day.
18 Q. At the time that these personnel of Major Mauzer captured you, were
19 you armed?
20 A. No.
21 Q. To your knowledge, were any of the people you were with armed?
22 A. No, none of them.
23 Q. These people that captured you at this time, can you describe what
24 kind of uniforms they were wearing?
25 A. They were wearing camouflage uniforms. They had black caps on their
1 heads and they were painted all sorts of colours and they were armed
2 very well indeed.
3 Q. Did you recognise the weapons that they had?
4 A. They had automatic rifles, mostly automatic rifles, and there were
5 also a number had grenades, knives at their belts, two knives in
6 their boots, two knives at the back.
7 Q. Based on your training and experience, did these automatic weapons
8 appear to be JNA military type weapons?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. Do you recall if they had any type of insignia or patches on their
12 A. They had, whether on the left or right shoulder, I cannot remember
13 exactly, but they had the Serbia flag with four Ss.
14 Q. Once you and these other individuals were captured, where were you
16 A. That day we were taken to the cellar of the hospital.
17 Q. When you went to the hospital did you see any weapons near the
19 A. Near the hospital itself there were the anti-aircraft guns. Some of
20 them belonged to the light anti-armoured, anti-tank division.
21 Q. Did you recognise those as the type of weapons the 395th Brigade had?
22 A. Yes, those weapons belonged to the 395th Brigade.
23 Q. Did you see any type of flag or flags being flown?
24 A. At that time on the hospital, I saw the Red Cross flag, the white one
25 with the red cross and the Serbian flag hanging at the entrance of
1 the hospital.
2 Q. When you went to the hospital were there other people there as well?
3 A. When we entered this cellar of the hospital there were many Muslim
4 inhabitants who were captured in Mujkici at the time and were all
5 taken to that cellar.
6 Q. Did you also see persons with military uniforms at the hospital?
7 A. Yes, I saw many in uniforms, in SMB uniforms, of the former JNA and
8 the paramilitaries of Major Mauzer wearing camouflage uniforms.
9 Q. You have mentioned this Major Mauzer; when you were taken to the
10 hospital, did you know that one of the men there, did you know his
11 name was Major Mauzer?
12 A. At that point of time when I was captured, no, I did not know, but
13 when we were in the cellar I heard from his soldiers who talked about
15 Q. This man referred to as Major Mauzer, did you ever see him again?
16 A. I met this man in Brezovo Polje. We were detained when they took us
17 from there to Brezovo Polje.
18 Q. At that time did he tell you his name?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Then how did you learn his name there?
21 A. I learned his name from his soldiers who were moving about that
22 cellar because there were a number of those soldiers in the cellar,
23 and we were siting in a corner on a bench, and it was then that I
24 learned his true name and surname.
25 Q. How were his soldiers dressed?
1 A. His soldiers were in camouflage uniforms, so they had black caps and
2 were painted -- they had painted faces and, as I told you, they had
3 two knives behind their back, two knives in their belt and two
4 knives in their boots, and they were also carrying lots of ammunition
5 belts around their own -- over the chest.
6 Q. Did you see any type of patches or insignia on their uniforms?
7 A. I saw their uniform the same thing that I saw on the first
8 (indecipherable) rather, the Serbian flag and four Ss.
9 Q. This man that you were told was Major Mauzer, what has he doing when
10 you saw him at the hospital?
11 A. He had come from Bijeljina and he belonged, I learned that
12 afterwards, that he belonged to the military -- paramilitary group of
13 Black Panthers Brigade.
14 Q. What was he doing when you saw him at the hospital?
15 A. Well, then lined up his soldiers not far from me, some two or three
16 metres away, and he was to continue cleansing the Mujkici and he
17 ordered his men, he ordered them in person, I heard that, that today,
18 no prisoners. As I translated it, it was whoever you capture, you
19 kill him.
20 Q. How long were you held at the hospital?
21 A. I was in the hospital from 8.30 to about 1500 hours.
22 Q. Where were you taken from the hospital?
23 A. Around 1500 or 3.30 we were taken to Brezovo Polje.
24 Q. How far away from Brcko is Brezovo Polje?
25 A. Brezovo Polje is some 14, 15 kilometres away.
1 Q. What is the ethnic composition of Brezovo Polje?
2 A. It is a Muslim place exclusively with the exception of a couple of
3 teachers who were Serbs.
4 Q. How were you taken to Brezovo Polje?
5 A. Buses, they took us in buses.
6 Q. Were they military buses or civilian buses?
7 A. It was a civilian bus, but it was driven by a man in a grey, olive
8 green uniform.
9 Q. Were you taken there alone or were others taken there with you?
10 A. The whole family, that is, my family, my brothers and sisters, and
11 there were some 15 to 20 persons more.
12 Q. How long were you held at Brezovo Polje?
13 A. At Brezovo Polje I was detained from 8th May 92 to 1st June, sorry,
14 17th June 1992, 17th June 1992.
15 Q. Were there other persons who were also held there during that same
16 time period?
17 A. Yes, and there were many detainees from Brcko who had been
18 transferred to Brezovo Polje.
19 Q. Did you know any of these detainees, in addition to your family?
20 A. Well, yes, I knew almost all those who came from Brcko because I had
21 lived and worked with them.
22 Q. To your knowledge, what was their ethnic group?
23 A. They were all Muslims.
24 Q. While you were in the Brezovo Polje were you free to leave to Brezovo
25 Polje as you wished?
1 A. No, we could -- no, we were not free to leave Brezovo Polje because
2 it was blocked all around by this, by army.
3 Q. These individuals you referred to as the "army", what type of
4 uniforms did they wear?
5 A. Grey olive green uniforms, most of them. One of them had a
6 camouflage uniform.
7 Q. During the time you were at Brezovo Polje were you physically abused?
8 A. Yes, several times I was physically abused, harassed, battered.
9 Q. What was done to you?
10 A. They were Srdjan, Zeljko, Ratko.
11 Q. ----
12 A. They beat me until I lost conscious. They destroyed my right eye.
13 Q. How did they destroy your eye?
14 A. While they beat me with sticks, with boxes, with pistols, some 45 to
15 one hour they kept at it, beating me.
16 Q. You named several individuals as those who beat you. Did you know
17 these individuals prior to being taken to Brezovo Polje?
18 A. No, I did not know them.
19 Q. How did you learn their names?
20 A. I learned their names because there they held us on those premises,
21 and every morning at 8 o'clock all the able bodied men, we had to
22 report at 8 o'clock in the morning and 5 o'clock in the afternoon.
23 They would single out five or six people from those groups for
24 interrogation. They never said what kind of interrogation, and they
25 used to beat people and I was one of those people who were beaten and
1 they did it every day.
2 Q. But how did you become aware of their names? Did they tell you or
3 did someone else tell you?
4 A. We learned their names from the people who moved around and from the
5 villages, from Brezovo Polje. That is how we learned their real
7 Q. You indicated that you had to report to people each day while you
8 were at Brezovo Polje?
9 A. Yes. Every morning we had to report at 8 o'clock and then in the
10 afternoon at 5 o'clock, 1700 hours, so that they would have some
11 kind of a registry, so that nobody would leave.
12 Q. The people who were held there, what was their gender?
13 A. Mostly men, and some women, everybody, men and women, but the worst
14 thing was that nobody from that village was able to get out from
15 there, nobody.
16 Q. What about the age groups, were there only adults or children as well
17 as adults?
18 A. There were also children there, quite a lot of children.
19 Q. During this time you were held at Brezovo Polje, do you recall seeing
20 any officers from the 395th Brigade come to Brezovo Polje?
21 A. Yes, yes, I can recall that. In that time frame while I was at
22 Brezovo Polje, very near the place where I lived, Slobodan Milinkovic
23 came, Major Slobodan Milinkovic, with the 2nd Lieutenant, Hajro
24 Radonjcic, and then there were other people with grey olive uniform
25 with red berets on their heads. From the top floor of that house they
1 were overlooking at a village, Racinovci, which is across the river
2 in Croatia, across the River Sava.
3 Q. During the times that Major Milinkovic came to Brezovo Polje, did you
4 ever speak with him?
5 A. No, I never spoke to him. Only at that moment when I saw him, the
6 police came to take me for interrogation, he only said "hello" and
7 that was all.
8 Q. Do you recall the time period that you saw him in the village of
9 Brezovo Polje?
10 A. I know quite well that it was in May 1992. It was in an afternoon,
11 around 4 o'clock in the afternoon, before we were taken for
13 Q. Did you have any idea what part of May, what part of the month, when
14 you saw him?
15 A. I think somewhere in mid-May.
16 Q. You said at the time that he was there some police came to take you
17 for interrogation; did you recognise any of these police?
18 A. No, no. I did not recognise any of the policemen.
19 Q. What were they wearing?
20 A. He wore a police uniform, their police, Serb police uniform.
21 Q. Civilian police uniform or a military police uniform?
22 A. Civilian police.
23 Q. Can you describe that uniform for us, please?
24 A. The uniform was blue with a blue beret and with a Serb flag as
1 Q. Where were you taken for interrogation?
2 A. They took us to the school. The name of the school is 25th May.
3 Q. The people who interrogated you, did you recognise any of them?
4 A. No, I did not, not at that moment.
5 Q. What did they wear?
6 A. They wore police uniforms, the blue police uniform with a beret and a
7 Serb flag on the cap.
8 Q. Did beatings occur at these interrogations?
9 A. Not then, because that was the first time they took me for
11 Q. So you went subsequently to be interrogated?
12 A. Yes, at several times I was taken for interrogation.
13 Q. Each time you were taken for interrogation, was it individuals
14 wearing these police uniforms who interrogated you?
15 A. No, I was taken by the people wearing the grey olive green uniforms,
16 and when we would arrive there we would find people in camouflage
17 uniforms. Srdjan, Zeljko and Ratko were there among the others and
18 also Slobodan Markovic.
19 Q. Who were those individuals you have just named?
20 A. Those were their paramilitary groups that were there, I do not know
21 for what reasons. They had some duties, I cannot tell you what
22 reasons, I do not know.
23 Q. At these subsequent interrogations were you beaten?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. When you left the village of Brezovo Polje where were you taken?
1 A. On 17th June 1992, first of all, all the people from Brcko were put
2 into the gym of the school, the 25th May, and then about an hour
3 later all the men from Brezovo Polje were also imprisoned in the gym
4 of the school, the 25th May, and there we were taken to the notorious
5 camps of Luka Brcko.
6 Q. How long were you kept there?
7 A. I was at Luka between 17th June up until 1st July 1992.
8 Q. While you were at Luka, did you know any of the guards at the camp
10 A. Yes, when we arrived to Luka, I recognised Kosta Simeunovic by the
11 nickname of Kole who was the Commander of that camp at that time. He
12 is an interior decorator.
13 Q. Did you know any of the other camp personnel?
14 A. What do you mean exactly?
15 Q. Camp guards or other personnel who worked at the camp, did you know
16 any of them?
17 A. Yes, I knew several people who were there from Brcko. Among them was
18 Radoje Boric called "Okac" called, then Slobodan Radenkovic and
19 Predrag Dokic.
20 Q. These people you have just named, what positions had they held prior
21 to the camp?
22 A. Serb.
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. Rade, who used to be the guard there, he was a driver at my company,
25 textile plant, Interplet, and Predrag Dokic was also a driver there
1 at Interplet. There were quite a few people coming from the SUP to
3 Q. Coming to Luka from the SUP, in what capacity, working there or as
5 A. No, they were inspectors of the Serbian SUP, and mostly every day
6 they would take out people, interrogate them, abuse and beat.
7 Q. Did they take you out while you were at Luka camp?
8 A. Yes, they did.
9 Q. What types of uniforms did they wear?
10 A. The people who came from the SUP wore plain clothes, and Kosta
11 Simeunovic, Kole, who at that time was the Commander of the camp wore
12 blue trousers and a police blue blouse.
13 Q. While you were at Luka camp, did any military people come into the
14 camp who did not work there?
15 A. People came, personally I did not know those people, but mostly they
16 would come in a jeep with a picture of Captain Dragan on that jeep
17 wearing red berets, and wearing a red beret, and down it was written
18 "Captain Dragan".
19 Q. During the time that you were at Luka camp, did you know any of the
20 other detainees held there?
21 A. I knew all the people from Brcko. Most of them were Muslims. There
22 were also some Croats and some Albanians.
23 Q. After you left Luka camp, where did you go?
24 A. From Luka, I started to live with a friend of mine at his place. His
25 name was Asarevic, Hasan.
1 Q. Where was that place located?
2 A. Not far from Luka, some 400 or 500 metres from there, so in the
3 immediate neighbourhood of the ex JNA building.
4 Q. How long did you stay there?
5 A. At that time in the town, that is, from 1st July 1992, I stayed in
6 the town until 9th March 1994 when I was exchanged.
7 Q. After you returned to Brcko, to this area of Brcko, were you required
8 to do any type of duties?
9 A. At several occasions I was taken to the SUP by their policemen for
10 interrogation. They harassed me. I had to dig roads and I had also
11 -- I was also under labour direction. I was also kept in a primary
12 school for nine days and nine nights with other people from Brcko
13 without any food.
14 Q. How was it that in 1994 you were allowed to leave the Brcko area?
15 A. There was an exchange that took place between Brcko and Tuzla. I was
16 exchanged by the 2nd Corps of the army of the Republic of
18 Q. Mr. Redzic, prior to 30th April 1992, were you a member of any
19 anti-Serb military or paramilitary organisation?
20 A. No, I was not.
21 Q. Were you a part of any organised anti-Serb resistance?
22 A. No.
23 Q. After 30th April until the time that you were captured, were you a
24 member of any such organisation?
25 A. No.
1 MISS HOLLIS: No further questions.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Cross-examination?
3 MR. WLADIMIROFF: We have no questions, your Honour.
4 JUDGE STEPHEN: Miss Hollis, this witness and the previous witnesses have
5 referred to what are either SNB uniforms or SMB uniforms; I wonder if you
6 can elucidate that.
7 MISS HOLLIS: Yes, your Honour.
8 JUDGE STEPHEN: Thank you.
9 MISS HOLLIS (To the witness): Mr. Redzic, in your testimony you have
10 referred to former JNA uniforms as SMB uniforms; could you tell us
11 what you mean by SMB uniforms?
12 A. These uniforms were worn by the former JNA. They were grey, olive
13 green colour uniforms, but as at that time there were probably not
14 enough camouflage uniforms they could wear, most of those soldiers,
15 Reserve soldiers, wore the grey, olive green uniforms, SMB. That is
16 where every time I mentioned the word "SMB" this means grey, olive
17 green. They were really -- they really wore those uniforms, and all
18 the others that I described wore the camouflage uniforms. That is
19 how I described them and that is how it was.
20 Q. So the SMB uniform was the regular uniform of the JNA?
21 A. Yes. This was the regular, regular JNA uniform, and we wore it all
22 as reservists and all the conscripts wore it while doing their
23 military service.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I just have one, I think: Did I understand the
25 witness to say that all of the persons in the 395th Brigade were
1 Serbian except, of course, you were in the reserves, is that correct,
2 so are you saying that all of the persons in the 395th Brigade were
3 Serbians, that is, the regular members?
4 THE WITNESS: Yes, that is correct.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You were a member of the Reserves of the 395th
6 Brigade; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that is correct, but that was up until 31st December 1991, then
8 I left after that date. I answer to your question is the situation
9 after 31st December 1991, then I left the Reserve, the Reserves, and
10 the complete 395th Brigade was Serbian from then on.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Miss Hollis, as I understand the testimony, the
12 395th Brigade, the regulars, were all Serbian, is that correct? Is
13 that your understanding? You may want to put the question to the
14 witness. Of course, he is Muslim, Bosniak, and he was in the
15 Reserves of the 395th Brigade. I am trying to understand if I am
16 correct. I understand when he left that there were no more Muslims,
17 I understand that, but what I want to get clear is that the regulars
18 in the 395th Brigade were Serbs, all Serbs.
19 Re-examined by MISS HOLLIS
20 Q. Mr. Redzic, you have indicated that after you left the 395th Brigade
21 on 31st December 1991, then the Brigade was totally Serb; is that
23 A. I think that it is correct. All the Muslims left the 395th Brigade
24 and to replace them came only Serbian Reservists, so ethnically it
25 became completely Serb.
1 Q. So when you say that the 395th Brigade became exclusively Serb, you
2 are speaking of both the active duty component and the Reserve
4 A. Yes, both.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Fine, thank you. Do you have any additional
6 questions, any cross-examination in the light of that, Mr.
8 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Miss Hollis, additional questions?
10 MISS HOLLIS: No, your Honour.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection to the witness being permanently
13 MR. WLADIMIROFF: None whatsoever, thank you.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You may be permanently excused. Thank you very much
15 for coming you are excused.
16 (The witness withdrew)
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Miss Hollis, would you call your next witness,
19 MISS HOLLIS: Yes, your Honour. Your Honour, we call Mr. Osmanovic.
20 MR. IBRO OSMANOVIC, called.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We were just thinking -- here is the witness. We
22 can talk later after the witness. It is another matter that has
23 nothing to do with this witness' testimony.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Would you take the oath, sir?
25 THE WITNESS [In translation]: I solemnly declare that I will
1 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
2 (The witness was sworn)
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. You may be seated.
4 Examined by MISS HOLLIS
5 Q. Would you please state your full name?
6 A. My name is Osmanovic, Ibro.
7 Q. What is your date of birth?
8 A. I was born on 5th August in 1965 at Vlasenica.
9 Q. Is Vlasenica located in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. If we could retrieve Prosecution Exhibit 73, please?
12 THE WITNESS: Sorry, but there is something wrong with what I can hear. I
13 cannot hear it well. Some problems.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Can you hear in your language, Mr. Osmanovic?
15 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can. I can now.
16 MISS HOLLIS: Mr. Osmanovic, would you look at Prosecution exhibit 73, the
17 map? Would you take the pen or the pointer and point out to the
18 court where Vlasenica is located?
19 A. Vlasenica is in north eastern Bosnia here.
20 Q. If we could zoom on this section of the map for the court, please?
21 Mr. Osmanovic, I note on the map an area marked Han Pijesak; would
22 you point that out, please?
23 A. Han Pijesak is right next to Vlasenica, it borders Vlasenica.
24 Q. Is there a town of Han Pijesak as well as an Opstina of Han Pijesak?
25 A. Yes, there is.
1 Q. Is there a town of Vlasenica as well as an Opstina of Vlasenica?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, could you tell us how long you have lived in
5 A. I lived there since I was born there, up until the day when I was
7 Q. If you know, what is the ethnic composition of Vlasenica?
8 A. There were 67 per cent Muslims and the rest were Serbs. In the
9 Opstina, 63 per cent Muslims and the rest were Serbs.
10 Q. When you say you were from Vlasenica, were you from the town of
11 Vlasenica itself?
12 A. Yes, I was, and that was also the municipality of Vlasenica.
13 Q. How large is the town of Vlasenica or how large was the town of
15 A. Vlasenica had 6,000 to 7,000 people.
16 Q. Did you know many of those people who lived in Vlasenica?
17 A. Yes, some 70 per cent of people who used to live there permanently.
18 Q. Did you know the ethnic group of those people?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, what is your ethnic group?
21 A. I am a Muslim Bosniak.
22 Q. What was your prior occupation?
23 A. I used to work in the furniture factory, "Sipad".
24 Q. Where was that located?
25 A. The factory was in the industrial zone of the town.
1 Q. Did you ever perform any military service?
2 A. Only the regular military service in the former JNA.
3 Q. When did you perform that service?
4 A. From 8th April 1984 up until 1985.
5 Q. Where did you perform that service?
6 A. I was in Niksic.
7 Q. Where is that located?
8 A. Niksic is in Montenegro.
9 Q. What were your duties in the JNA?
10 A. I was in reconnaissance, a reconnaissance soldier.
11 Q. During the time that you were in the JNA, did you become familiar
12 with the JNA equipment, uniforms, weapons and markings?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. During the time you were in Niksic in Montenegro, did you become
15 familiar with the dialect spoken in that area?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. During the period of time 1990 and 1991, did you notice the
18 establishment of political parties in your area of Vlasenica?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What parties were formed in the Vlasenica area?
21 A. The SDA party, predominantly Muslim, SDS, the Serbian and SDP, the
22 Former Communists.
23 Q. Did you participate in the elections in your area?
24 A. Yes, I participated in the election as every citizen of the country.
25 Q. Who won, what party won in your area?
1 A. The SDS won.
2 Q. As a result of their victory, what political positions did they
3 obtain in the town?
4 A. The result of the victory was that they could appoint the leading men
5 of the Opstina and the SUP.
6 Q. When you refer to the "SUP", what are you referring to?
7 A. This was the Secretariat for the Interior, that means the police.
8 Q. To your knowledge, were there any JNA military posts in or near
10 A. In the territory of the Opstina of Vlasenica, there were no JNA
11 troops, rather, there were no garrisons.
12 Q. Were there any garrisons close to Vlasenica?
13 A. The next one was in Han Pijesak. That was the nearest garrison.
14 Q. Han Pijesak is the area you pointed out earlier?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. How far was Han Pijesak from the town of Vlasenica?
17 A. 18 kilometres and a half.
18 Q. If you know, what military units were located there?
19 A. JNA garrison, all sorts of formations but mostly infantry.
20 Q. I would like to direct your attention to August 1991 and ask you if
21 at that time you recall an incident that occurred in a church at Han
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Before the witness responds, we will stand in recess
24 for 20 minutes, please.
25 (4.00 p.m.)
1 (The court adjourned for a short time)
2 (4.20 p.m.)
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Miss Hollis?
4 MISS HOLLIS: Mr. Osmanovic, before the recess, I had asked you if you
5 recalled an incident that occurred in a church in Han Pijesak in
6 August of 1991; do you recall such an incident?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can you tell me were you present at this church at Han Pijesak when
9 this incident occurred?
10 A. I was present. That was in front of the church.
11 Q. What happened?
12 A. A group of Reserves from Vlasenica billeted in Han Pijesak, they
13 asked that group in attempt to sing the Serbian national songs
14 celebrating the Serb Chetnik leaders of World War II.
15 Q. When you say members of the Reserves, are you talking about the JNA
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What types of songs did they ask to be sung?
19 A. Serb nationalist songs forbidden in the former system in SFRY.
20 Q. Do you remember what any of the lyrics of those songs were?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I will not ask you to sing them, but could you tell us what the
23 lyrics are that you remember?
24 A. "From Topola to Ravna Gora, all guys are of General Draza".
25 Q. Any additional lyrics that you remember?
1 A. One of the songs was this "From Topola to Ravna Gora"; another one is
2 "Oh, Duke Sindjelic, you can hear the trumpet down to Kosovo".
3 Q. Did you recognise the names of any of these people that were included
4 in the lyrics?
5 A. Well, when we learned history, those individuals were members of the
6 Chetnik movement during World War II.
7 Q. What was the meaning of those lyrics to you?
8 A. Derogatory, belittling meaning for Muslims.
9 Q. What was the reaction of the people in front of the church when this
10 request was made?
11 A. Some of the people present there, some Muslims, simply left the
12 celebration in protest.
13 Q. These individuals who made this request, what were they wearing?
14 A. They were wearing regular uniforms of the Yugoslav People's Army.
15 Q. What were those uniforms?
16 A. Grey, olive green. They had three parts; they had the shirt, the
17 trousers and the jacket.
18 Q. When they first made this request, were those songs played?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. At that time is when Muslims began to leave that church area?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In 1991, did you become aware of any mobilization of men in the
23 Vlasenica area?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. How did you become aware of this mobilization?
1 A. I was present, I was in Dragisa, Milakovic, when an officer of the
2 JNA came and brought the summons.
3 Q. Who was Mr. Milakovic?
4 A. Milakovic was a man I saw every day; he was a friend of mine. Before
5 the war we saw each other every day.
6 Q. Do you know his ethnic group?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What is that?
9 A. Serb.
10 Q. Did he have any affiliation with the JNA?
11 A. Before the war he spent a lot of time in uniform. He spent some time
12 in Banja Luka and then in Han Pijesak and then in Milici in the
13 garrison there.
14 Q. To your knowledge, was he a member either of the active duty or the
15 Reserve component of the JNA?
16 A. Initially, he was in education, he was a Reserve.
17 Q. He was a Reserve, Reserve JNA member?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You said that a JNA officer came to him and brought him something.
20 This JNA officer, what rank, insignia, did he wear?
21 A. He was wearing the uniform of the JNA with regular ranks, insignia,
22 of a Lieutenant.
23 Q. Did you know this man?
24 A. No.
25 Q. What was it that he brought to Mr. Milakovic?
1 A. He brought him a large envelope and in this envelope were summonses.
2 Q. Did you have the opportunity to actually see these summons?
3 A. Yes, because I helped Milakovic to sort them out.
4 Q. Did you recognise any of the names on these summonses?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. The individuals whose names you recognised, did you know their ethnic
8 A. Yes. They were of the Serb ethnic origin.
9 Q. Did you recognise any Muslim names on these summons?
10 A. There were none.
11 Q. What was the summons for, what did they say, if you know?
12 A. It was saying summons to serve in the armed forces of the SFRY.
13 Q. Did Mr. Milakovic make any comment to you about these summonses?
14 A. Only that they were going to Banja Luka for a drill.
15 Q. After seeing these summonses at Mr. Milakovic's house, after that
16 time, did you begin to see more men in military uniforms in Serb
17 parts of Vlasenica?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. During the same time frame -- we are looking at the end of 1991 --
20 did you become aware of the creation of any new military units or
21 locations in the Vlasenica area?
22 A. A garrison at Milici was established.
23 Q. How did you become aware of that?
24 A. I was present with Mr. Milakovic when he went to the garrison.
25 Q. Milici, is that a village within the Opstina?
1 A. It is a mining settlement in the territory of the municipality of
3 Q. What ethnic group or groups inhabit this area?
4 A. They are almost all Serbs.
5 Q. At the end of 1991 and into the spring of 1992, did you become aware
6 of the creation of any Serb autonomous region in the Vlasenica area?
7 A. Yes, the Serb autonomous region of Birac.
8 Q. Were there any Opstinas within this Serb autonomous region?
9 A. There was Opstina Sekovici, Vlasenica, Bratunac, Srebrenica, Zvornik
10 and the newly established Serb Opstina, Milici.
11 Q. When the Serb autonomous region was formed, to your knowledge, were
12 separate Serb Opstinas formed at the same time?
13 A. Negotiations were on their way to set up Serb Opstinas in the
14 territory of those.
15 Q. Who was involved in those negotiations?
16 A. The Serb Democratic Party.
17 Q. Did anyone ever tell you why the Serbs wanted to form these Serb
18 autonomous regions and Serb Opstinas?
19 A. No.
20 Q. After the creation of this Serb autonomous region, did you yourself
21 notice any increase in the number of men carrying weapons?
22 A. No, it was not as many first before the war broke out.
23 Q. After the war broke out, did you notice such an increase?
24 A. Yes, a large number, a large part, of the Serb population began to
25 carry weapons around the town.
1 Q. Do you recall approximately when you first became aware of the
2 creation of this Serb autonomous region in the Vlasenica area?
3 A. This town was divided.
4 Q. The town of Vlasenica was divided?
5 A. Yes, Serb Opstina -- Serb Vlasenica Opstina was set up.
6 Q. When did that happen?
7 A. On the eve of the outbreak of the war.
8 Q. When was that?
9 A. 22nd April '92.
10 Q. Prior to that, in the spring of 1992, did you notice any changes in
11 your ability to get certain television stations?
12 A. Media, of the media systems, only Belgrade television and Novi Sad
13 television operated.
14 Q. Do you recall when that occurred?
15 A. Some time in the early days of the war in Bijeljina.
16 Q. Do you recall what time frame that was?
17 A. On 6th April 1992.
18 Q. So this was prior to the conflict in Vlasenica?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You indicated that the conflict in Vlasenica began on 22nd April. On
21 that date, what did you observe happen?
22 A. All vital functions of the town were blocked, the town hall, bank,
23 post office, police, the court, very many uniformed men people we did
24 not know and local Serb population under arms.
25 Q. When you say that these institutions were blocked, they were blocked
1 by whom?
2 A. They were blocked by the Yugoslav People's Army.
3 Q. What uniforms did these soldiers wear?
4 A. SMB, regular JNA uniforms.
5 Q. How did you first become aware that the military had moved into the
6 town of Vlasenica?
7 A. 22nd April, in the morning hours, a police vehicle with a loud
8 speaker was requesting that armaments, that weapons, legally obtained
9 were to be surrendered, that the army was there to protect the people
10 and that force would be used against those who did not obey.
11 Q. Did you see the individuals who were in this car from which this
12 broadcast was being made?
13 A. Only they were in uniforms; we could not recognise their faces.
14 Q. On this date, on 22nd April, did you see any type of heavy weapons or
15 armoured vehicles in the town of Vlasenica?
16 A. Yes, by the town stadium there were APCs and in the Muslim cemetery,
17 they were also there.
18 Q. Did you recognise these vehicles as being of the type that the JNA
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. When they said that people were to turn in their weapons, did they
22 give any time by which this was to be done?
23 A. The ultimatum was until 9 o'clock.
24 Q. You yourself that day, did you see any persons turning in weapons?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What types of weapons were being turned in?
2 A. They were turning in their personal weapons, that is, pistols,
3 revolvers and hunting weaponry.
4 Q. Did you recognise any of these people who were turning in weapons?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. The ones that you recognised, do you know what their ethnic group
8 A. Muslims.
9 Q. After this deadline for turning in weapons, this 9 p.m. deadline,
10 after that time, did you see civilians with weapons in the town of
12 A. A local part of the Serb population in uniforms carried weapons, and
13 some of these Serb local population wore white bands and also
15 Q. During this day, this first day of 22nd April, did you have occasion
16 to speak with any of the soldiers who had come into your town?
17 A. The first day in the afternoon of the first day, I talked to a
18 soldier who originally came from Bijelo Polje.
19 Q. Where is that located?
20 A. Bijelo Polje in Montenegro.
21 Q. How do you know that he came from Montenegro?
22 A. His pronunciation, that area is characteristic of a particular
23 pronunciation. I recognised that and I asked him where he came from.
24 He did not try to hide it. He said he came from Bijelo Polje.
25 Q. Did he tell you what unit he was with?
1 A. He said he was serving in Sremska Mitrovica and that he was doing his
2 regular military service.
3 Q. Had you heard of the Sremska Mitrovica military unit before that day?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Where is Sremska Mitrovica?
6 A. Sremska Mitrovica is in Srem on the Sava River; it belongs to Serbia.
7 Q. Did he tell you what his name was?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What was his name?
10 A. Predrag.
11 Q. Did Predrag ever tell you why he was in Vlasenica?
12 A. Yes, to calm down this possible conflict between the Muslims and the
13 Serbs, possible conflicts.
14 Q. Prior to that time, had there been any attacks by Muslims against
15 Serbs, to your knowledge?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Where was it that you saw this man?
18 A. In Panorama Hotel.
19 Q. Did you see any other individuals in the hotel?
20 A. Yes, but I did not know some of them.
21 Q. The ones that you did know, who were they?
22 A. They were largely from the Secretariat of the Interior and the Serb
23 Democratic Party.
24 Q. On this day, on 22nd April, were any other orders given by these
25 military people who had come into the town?
1 A. Yes, the movement was prohibited at night time, that is, the
2 factories did not work.
3 Q. Any other orders?
4 A. Those were the chief ones, to prevent movement during night time,
5 that is, from the twilight to dawn.
6 Q. Did you yourself go out after that curfew on that date?
7 A. After the curfew Dragisa Milakovic came to see me.
8 Q. What did he want to talk with you about?
9 A. He showed me a few sheets of paper and told me to look at them. On
10 one of them was my name, and he told me to take care of myself; that
11 all sorts of fools were carrying weapons around these days.
12 Q. Was there a number next to your name on that list?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What was that number?
15 A. 194.
16 Q. Did you see any of the other names on the list?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you recognise any of those names?
19 A. In the part which I saw I recognised many names.
20 Q. The names that you recognised, what was the ethnic group of those
22 A. Muslims.
23 Q. After he left and after the curfew, did you hear any sound of
24 vehicular movement in your area?
25 A. Yes, vehicles patrolled the street.
1 Q. During this day of 22nd April, were any of the businesses in
2 Vlasenica open?
3 A. No.
4 Q. During the following days, did some of the businesses in Vlasenica
6 A. The next day, Serb restaurants, pubs and shops were open or, rather,
7 enterprises that belonged to the state were under the directions of
9 Q. Did you see any Muslim businesses that you knew reopen in the
10 following days?
11 A. No.
12 Q. After the military came in to Vlasenica, what changes, if any, did
13 you notice in the living conditions in the town?
14 A. The changes that took place in the town and the conditions were the
15 curfew which disrupted the structure of work or, rather, the fact
16 that some people had reported to the Public Security Station the
17 prohibition to leave the town.
18 Q. Did you become aware of any new Serb departments or agencies being
20 A. I did not understand the question.
21 Q. I am sorry. After the military came into Vlasenica, did you become
22 aware of any new Serb agencies or public divisions, departments,
23 being created?
24 A. Yes, Serb municipalities, Opstina Serb Opstina, Vlasenica, with the
25 seat in Vlasenica was set up.
1 Q. What about the Fire Department, what happened with that?
2 A. That part of the Fire Brigade to which I belonged for many years, the
3 structure changed. Muslims were now out of the question, and only
4 three Serbs remained who were there before.
5 Q. The police Station in Vlasenica, what happened with that?
6 A. Muslims were not working in the police Station there, and they were
7 Serbs only.
8 Q. Were you given any type of work obligation during this time?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What was that work obligation?
11 A. I had to come to work, to the factory I worked in and to spend there
12 working hours from 7.00 to 3.00.
13 Q. Did you actually engage in performing duties there during those
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Were those the same duties that you had performed before?
17 A. Yes. The same thing that I did before only with a much lower
19 Q. Were you paid for the performance of these duties?
20 A. Yes, the salary per diems nominally, but we never collected that
22 Q. Were there any restrictions as far as the amount of money that you
23 could withdraw from the bank in Vlasenica?
24 A. Yes, it was limited to 5,000, that is, 5 billion Dinars, and that is
25 10,000 and 10 billion, which is about 70 German Marks.
1 Q. Did you observe other individuals going into the bank and being able
2 to withdraw much larger sums?
3 A. Yes, I was present when a fellow worker filled in a cheque to a much
4 larger sum than that, a much larger amount than that limit.
5 Q. The worker's ethnic group was what?
6 A. He was a Serb.
7 Q. During this time period, did you notice any type of graffiti on
8 buildings in Vlasenica?
9 A. On the houses of eminent Muslims there were graffiti such as
10 "Ustasha", "Muslims out", "We will slaughter", "Out", "This is Serb,
11 this is Serbia".
12 Q. What did "Ustasha", that term, mean to you?
13 A. It was another deprecating, belittling name because none of my family
14 belonged to that.
15 Q. To what group did Ustasha refer, if you know?
16 A. Croat and Muslim groups.
17 Q. After that first day that you saw Predrag at the Panorama Hotel, did
18 you see him again in Vlasenica?
19 A. No.
20 Q. I would like to direct your attention about the 22nd May and ask you
21 what happened on that date.
22 A. On 22nd May '92, I was detained in the police Station in Vlasenica.
23 Q. On 22nd May 1992, did there remain military personnel in the city of
25 A. In the town of Vlasenica there were members of the so-called Serb
1 militia and Serb army.
2 Q. During this time period from 22nd April to when the military
3 initially entered on 22nd May, to your knowledge, had there been any
4 type of armed resistance to this take over of Vlasenica?
5 A. No.
6 Q. During this time period from 22nd April until 22nd May, did you see
7 any local inhabitants being sent from the town?
8 A. Which local population? The Muslim local population had begun to
9 leave the town; whereas the Serb local population remained in the
11 Q. Was there any type of round up of people, of Muslim people, in
13 A. Not yet.
14 Q. When did that happen?
15 A. The gathering up of Muslim population started somewhere around 18th
16 May when the case of Sakopaca(?) happened, when the people started to
17 go towards Tuzla in great numbers.
18 Q. When you say the case of Sakopaca began to happen, what are you
19 referring to?
20 A. The rumour had it that to Vlasenica that the Sakopaca village had
21 been destroyed, physically destroyed.
22 Q. At that point in time Muslim people began to leave Vlasenica?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. How did they leave, what type of transport?
25 A. Those people who had a personal vehicle used that vehicle; those
1 people who did not
2 have a vehicle, a bus was organised, starting from the bus station
3 in Vlasenica that took the people out.
4 Q. Were you able to leave the town?
5 A. No, I was forbidden to do that.
6 Q. When you were arrested, who was it who arrested you?
7 A. Members of the so-called Serb militia, Bastah Dragan and Zoran Djuric
8 and then also Rade Milic and a person whom I do not know.
9 Q. What was this Serb militia that you referred to?
10 A. The unit, and it was written "Serb militia", that means the Reserve,
11 the Reserve Serbian policemen of the police Station in Vlasenica.
12 Q. These men that you named, their ethnic group was all Serb?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What type of uniform did they wear?
15 A. Dragan Bastah was wearing a camouflage uniform; the others wore the
16 uniform of war police.
17 Q. What is that uniform?
18 A. The uniform is dark blue.
19 Q. Where were you taken after you were arrested?
20 JUDGE STEPHEN: I wonder if it would be possible to have "war police"
21 explained? Does it mean the same thing as military police?
22 MISS HOLLIS: Yes, your Honour. (To the witness): Mr. Osmanovic, when you
23 referred to "war police", what do you mean?
24 A. In the previous system of the Yugoslav state, there was the active
25 duty policemen and the Reserve police. The Reserve police were
1 activated in case of war, and they were different only in their
2 uniform; one wore light blue and the other dark blue uniforms, but
3 their arms and insignia were the same.
4 Q. These war police that you refer to, are these civilian police or
5 military police?
6 A. Civilian.
7 Q. Where did they take you once they arrested you?
8 A. To the police Station.
9 Q. At the police Station in Vlasenica?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What happened once you arrived there?
12 A. I was imprisoned without any explanation.
13 Q. How long were you held there?
14 A. I was held there until 2nd June.
15 Q. Were other people held there with you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you know any of them?
18 A. Most of them.
19 Q. What was their ethnic group?
20 A. They were Muslims.
21 Q. While you were there, were you physically abused?
22 A. Personally, yes, and other people as well.
23 Q. What was done to you?
24 A. I was beaten. In that police Station I was interrogated for some
25 alleged cannon I never saw.
1 Q. Who was it that administered these beatings to you?
2 A. Zoran Obrenovic; he was the one who beat most among others called
3 Viskovic, Garic and Vukavic(?)
4 Q. Those people you have just named, who are they, are they persons who
5 beat others or are they victims who were beaten?
6 A. These were people who were beating other people.
7 Q. To your knowledge, what was their ethnic group?
8 A. They were of Serb nationality.
9 Q. What type of uniform did they wear?
10 A. Obrenovic, Garic and Viskovic wore camouflage uniforms.
11 Q. How many times did these beatings occur while you were being held
12 here at the police Station?
13 A. Sometimes twice, sometimes once, and they were very lucky days when
14 they did not happen at all.
15 Q. What injuries did you sustain as a result of those beatings?
16 A. Those beatings, I had five broken teeth and part of my leg and then
17 on both of my hands I have marks from a knife.
18 Q. When you were taken from the police Station, where were you taken?
19 A. On 2nd June, I was transferred to the municipality prison of
21 Q. How long were you held there?
22 A. Until 18th June.
23 Q. How were you transported there?
24 A. I was transported on foot. I was taken on foot to the prison.
25 Q. Who took you there?
1 A. I was taken by Miljanic(?), the policeman.
2 Q. Now while you were at the Opstina prison, were you mistreated?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What was the nature of that mistreatment?
5 A. Mostly beatings, thirst, we were hungry. We were not allowed to
6 sleep. I had to loot Muslim property for them. We had to do the
7 dirtiest types of duties in town and then bury the dead.
8 Q. You say that while you were at the prison you had to take Muslim
9 property. Where was this property located?
10 A. To take valuable objects from Muslim houses and we had to put them in
11 a large warehouse that was near the municipal prison.
12 Q. Now when you were taken out to loot these houses, who would take you
13 to do this?
14 A. Mostly they would come in camouflage uniforms; those were younger
15 men, all of them from Vlasenica.
16 Q. Did they wear any type of insignia or patches on their uniforms?
17 A. Neither insignia nor emblems.
18 Q. You say that you knew most of them?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What was their ethnic group?
21 A. Serb nationality.
22 Q. You also indicated that at one point you had to bury dead bodies?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Where did this occur?
25 A. The room settlement, some 3 kilometres from Vlasenica.
1 Q. Who took you there to perform these duties?
2 A. I was taken by Ljubisa Vukotic and Zoran Obrenovic and Sladjan Pajic.
3 Q. How were you transported there?
4 A. I was taken there by a tractor.
5 Q. Now this village of Drum, to your knowledge what was the ethnic
6 composition of that village?
7 A. There were only two houses that were Serb; all the other houses were
9 Q. How many bodies did you have to bury that day?
10 A. Twenty-two.
11 Q. These bodies, what type of clothing were they wearing?
12 A. Civilian clothes.
13 Q. What was the gender of these people?
14 A. ----
15 Q. I am sorry, what was the gender of these people?
16 A. They were males; they were all men.
17 Q. What was their age group?
18 A. From 18 to 65 years old.
19 Q. Did you know any of these people?
20 A. Four of them I knew.
21 Q. Did you see any type of wounds or injuries on them?
22 A. Hodic had bullets all over his chest, and all the others had a bullet
23 in their front.
24 Q. "In their front", you mean the front part of their body?
25 A. Of the head, above their eyes.
1 Q. Now how did you bury them? What did you use?
2 A. Already a hole that had been dug out by a machine of the company, and
3 we just had to put them there and then take all the valuables out of
4 their pockets and the machine put everything on them.
5 Q. How many people in addition to yourself were chosen to perform this
7 A. Three others.
8 Q. Did you know these three?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What was their ethnic group?
11 A. They were Muslims.
12 Q. Did you have to perform any other duties while you were held at the
13 Opstina prison?
14 A. Yes, we had to dig the rows on the front line between Vlasenica and
16 Q. And how were you taken there to perform this duty?
17 A. Truck, a military truck.
18 Q. Did you recognise the truck as a JNA type vehicle?
19 A. The model was TAM 110.
20 Q. Who took you there to dig these trenches or row at the front line?
21 A. People in the uniforms, in grey, olive grey uniforms, SMB.
22 Q. Did you know any of these people?
23 A. Just two of them.
24 Q. And the ones that you knew, where were they from?
25 A. They were from the village of Misari, a Serb village.
1 Q. What was their ethnic group?
2 A. They were Serbs.
3 Q. How long did you remain at the front lines digging these rows?
4 A. We went there twice a day; in the morning and then we would come back
5 in the evening.
6 Q. Was there any fighting going on in this area while you were digging
7 these rows?
8 A. No.
9 Q. I believe you indicated you were held at the prison until the 18th
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Where were you taken on that date?
13 A. On 18th June I was transferred to the camp of Susica.
14 Q. And how you were taken there?
15 A. Truck that belonged to Dragan Bastah.
16 Q. Was this a civilian type vehicle?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Were you taken there by yourself or were other persons transferred as
20 A. A group from the prison and a group from the police station.
21 Q. Did you have any escorts when you were taken to Susica?
22 A. We were in prison. There was a canvas and the people who accompanied
23 us were behind.
24 Q. What were these people wearing?
25 A. police uniforms.
1 Q. I am sorry?
2 A. police uniforms.
3 Q. Did you know any of these people?
4 A. From the company that accompanied us there was the police with a
5 police car and the people who were with us they were all wearing
6 civilian clothes.
7 Q. Now where is Susica to which you were taken?
8 A. Susica is by the main road to from Sarajevo to Belgrade that goes
9 through the region of Rumania towards Han Pijesak.
10 Q. So it was in the Han Pijesak area?
11 A. No, that was in the area of the municipality of Vlasenica.
12 Q. How long were you held at Susica camp?
13 A. Till 30th June.
14 Q. Now, while you were at Susica camp did you see any guards around the
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. What did these guards wear?
18 A. They wore uniforms, standard JNA uniforms, and standard weapons,
19 normal weapons in the JNA.
20 Q. Did you know any of these guards?
21 A. Most of them.
22 Q. And where were they from?
23 A. They were from Vlasenica and the nearby villages.
24 Q. To your knowledge what was their ethnic group?
25 A. They were Serbs.
1 Q. While you were held at Susica were there other detainees being held
2 there as well?
3 A. Yes, 550 people.
4 Q. Did you know any of these other detainees?
5 A. The people who came from the area of the Vlasenica municipality.
6 Q. Those you knew, what was their ethnic group?
7 A. Muslims.
8 Q. Now during your time at Susica did you learn who was in charge of the
9 camp there?
10 A. The commander was Dragon Nikolic called Jenki.
11 Q. How did you know that?
12 A. He arrived to the camp, he said that he was the commander of the
13 camp, the god, the law and without his permission nobody could go out
14 of the camp.
15 Q. What did he wear?
16 A. He wore a camouflage uniform and a cap on his head with a Kokarda.
17 He wore two grenades on his belt, a knife, a pistol and he always had
18 an automatic rifle of the 767 calibre.
19 Q. Now when you say he wore a Kokarda, could you explain for us, could
20 you describe that for us?
21 A. This is the symbol of the Chetniks from the Second World War. It
22 contains a two headed eagle, a skull, and bones that cross on it.
23 Q. While you were at Susica, what were the living conditions like? What
24 was the food like that you received?
25 A. We received one meal per day.
1 Q. And how much food did you receive?
2 A. Just as much to survive.
3 Q. What type of food did you receive?
4 A. Rice and bread. A piece of bread, one piece of bread, one loaf of
5 bread for 12 people.
6 Q. What were your living and sleeping conditions like in this camp?
7 A. We slept on the concrete. Some people had a jacket and they would
8 sleep on the jacket. We were not able to wash or bath; no kind of
9 personal hygiene because we had no conditions, no possibility to do
11 Q. These other detainees who were held at Susica, what was their gender?
12 A. Apart from seven women all the rest were men.
13 Q. What was the age group of the detainees held there?
14 A. From 10 to 80 years old.
15 Q. While you were at Susica camp, were you physically abused?
16 A. Physically abused once by Dragon Nikolic.
17 Q. And while you were at Susica camp did you see other detainees there
18 being abused?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. By whom?
21 A. Mostly by Dragon Nikolic and after that Ljuibisa Vukotic came and
22 Zoran Obrenovic, Sladjan Pajic, Goran Pajic, Goran Viskovic called
23 "Vjetar", the wind.
24 Q. All of these people who came to the camp, were they allowed free
25 access to the camp?
1 A. We were always accompanied by Nikolic.
2 Q. These other detainees that you saw abused, what did you see done to
4 A. Some people were only beaten, physically mistreated, beaten, and to
5 other people they injured them by pistol, rifle butts on their head
6 or the knives. They killed four people. They beat two people to
8 Q. These four people that they killed, did you see these people's bodies
9 after they were dead?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Then why do you say that they killed four people?
12 A. Because the guys that were with us they had to bury them in the
13 morning and myself, I was woken up that evening by Zoran Obrenovic
14 and Sladjan Pajic. They took three persons out, Dzevad Saric, Muso
15 Zekic and Muharem Kolerovic. I was taken to the door and then Ljuban
16 Kuduric took me back, and instead of me a fourth person was taken
17 out. We heard the rifle, one shot, and that was it. In the morning
18 the brothers Ferhatovic went to bury them and when they came back
19 they told us that they buried those four people.
20 Q. These four people, if you know, what was their ethnic group?
21 A. They were Muslims.
22 Q. While you were at Susica camp, were there any official visitors to
23 the camp?
24 A. Yes, twice.
25 Q. And these official visitors, did you learn who they were?
1 A. One had the insignia of a major, of a JNA major, and he told us that
2 we will be exchanged. On one occasion Nikolic made us go out and
3 then collect all the papers and clean everything around because the
4 commander was coming, the king.
5 Q. After he said this, can you describe the person who arrived at the
7 A. A man came with a civilian vehicle, the make was Golf, and he had a
8 lieutenant insignia, wearing a camouflage uniform with heavily
10 Q. Did you learn his name?
11 A. We knew that his name was Kraljevic.
12 Q. And did Dragon Nikolic tell you what this man's position was or where
13 he came from?
14 A. No. No, he did not tell us where he came from, but while we were
15 clearing everything he said, "Yes, Kraljevic is coming, the commander
16 is coming."
17 Q. What happened when this lieutenant arrived at the camp?
18 A. Nothing. He arrived and they sat in a building where usually guards
19 used to be and then he left.
20 Q. Now you said that at one point a JNA major came to the camp to talk
21 about an exchange. Do you remember when that was?
22 A. He came I think 24th on 25th June 1992.
23 Q. Now were you at that time exchanged?
24 A. No, people were transported on 27th.
25 Q. Now were you yourself taken to another camp after Susica?
1 A. On 13th June I was transferred to the camp of Batkovic.
2 Q. Where is that camp located?
3 A. Batkovic is some 12 kilometres from Bijelina towards the Sava.
4 Q. How were you taken to Batkovic camp?
5 A. We were transferred by bus and were heavily guarded.
6 Q. What type of bus was this, military or civilian?
7 A. Civilian bus.
8 Q. Now these guards who went with you on the bus, were they guards from
9 Susica camp?
10 A. No. They came specially to accompany us.
11 Q. Had you ever seen them before?
12 A. Just one of them, Shakovic.
13 Q. Where had you seen Shakovic?
14 A. Shakovici.
15 Q. Where is that located?
16 A. Some 20 kilometres from Vlasenica in the direction of Kalesija, that
17 is Tuzla.
18 Q. It is a village, this Shakovici?
19 A. No. This is a small town that was the centre of the Opstina of
21 Q. To your knowledge what ethnic group lived there?
22 A. Serb nationality.
23 Q. These escorts that took to you Batkovic, what did they wear?
24 A. They wore JNA uniforms, armed. They had regular JNA weapons and the
25 vehicles had the JNA plates.
1 Q. Were other individuals taken with you to Batkovic camp?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. How long were you held at Batkovic camp?
4 A. June 1992 till the 21st July 1993.
5 Q. Now the guards at the Batkovic camp, what types of uniforms did they
7 A. SMB uniforms, except for one everybody called him Veljko.
8 Q. What was his position at the camp?
9 A. He used to come there every day, opened the doors, call out people.
10 He would permit some people to go to work; he would be there when new
11 people would be coming.
12 Q. During the time that you were at Batkovic, were there other detainees
13 held there?
14 A. When I arrived in the camp of Batkovic were all the people who were,
15 all the people that left Vlasenica before.
16 Q. While you were at Batkovic were you yourself mistreated?
17 A. The abuse started the from the moment we arrived.
18 Q. What happened when you arrived?
19 A. On our arrival they made us run the gauntlet. We each and every one
20 of us had to run it. They would beat us up until to the door, and
21 then they would call a row and we had to go one by one to the corner
22 of the hangar. Then they called the row once again, according to the
23 list, and then we had to run the same type of gauntlet and then line
24 up by the wall.
25 Q. These people between whom you were running, the people who were
1 beating you, what were they wearing?
2 A. They wore SMB uniforms camouflage uniforms. They were dressed in a
3 different way but nobody wore civilian clothes.
4 Q. Did you come to learn who any of these people were?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Were they camp employees?
7 A. Some of them stayed there as guards, as sentries in the camp and they
8 were wearing SMB uniforms.
9 Q. During the time that you were held at Batkovic you indicated the
10 abuse began when you arrived. Did the abuse continue during the time
11 you were there?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. During the time that you were there did you ever see other detainees
15 A. Yes, regularly.
16 Q. What did you see done to them?
17 A. They were beaten until they lost consciousness and one of them was
18 battered to death.
19 Q. And who did the battering?
20 A. Damorvic was beaten by all of the guards present there.
21 Q. And the others who were beaten, who beat them?
22 A. All of them. They all took pleasure in that.
23 Q. While you were at Batkovic did you ever have to perform duties
24 outside the camp?
25 A. Outside the camp we went to the Muslim village of Kora and Oglena
1 and we felled trees, we dug trenches at the front line. We did
2 everything from agricultural, from farming work and onward.
3 Q. Now when you were taken to the front line to dig these trenches, how
4 were you transported there?
5 A. We were transported there in trucks.
6 Q. What types of trucks?
7 A. The trucks sent by the JNA Deitz.
8 Q. What is "Deitz"?
9 A. Deitz is a truck manufactured by the truck company in Maribor.
10 Q. And did you have escorts when you were taken to the frontlines?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Who escorted you?
13 A. Usually armoured guards.
14 Q. What did they wear?
15 A. SMB uniforms.
16 Q. These duties at the frontline, to your knowledge were any of the
17 people with you ever injured or killed while performing these duties?
18 A. Ahmed Basic, he was born in the village of Dilitinja , Zvornik on
19 5th December 1992, and Ferhudin from the municipality of Kalesija on
20 the same day.
21 Q. How were they injured or killed?
22 A. A shell fell and Ferhudin received six wounds and Basic died in the
23 hospital. He was wounded in the stomach.
24 Q. Now you indicated that in July 1993 you left Batkovic. How were you
25 allowed to leave on that date?
1 A. The International Committee of the Red Cross.
2 Q. So you were part of an exchange?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, prior to the soldiers coming in and taking over
5 Vlasenica, were you part of any Muslim armed force or organised
7 A. No.
8 Q. Did you resist the takeover of your town?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you have any weapons to turn over when your town was taken over?
11 A. No.
12 Q. After 22nd April and before your arrest, did you become part of any
13 Muslim armed force or armed resistance unit?
14 A. No.
15 Q. During the April takeover of Vlasenica did you see any signs of armed
16 resistance to that take over?
17 A. No.
18 MISS HOLLIS: No further questions.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Cross-examination?
20 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
21 JUDGE STEPHEN: You have referred to, particularly at Batkovic, men in SMB
22 uniforms. Were some of them sometimes wearing hats or caps?
23 A. With the exception of the escort which arrived with us from
24 Vlasenica, they were wearing camouflage, white brimmed hats and all
25 the others were bare headed.
1 Q. Were they wearing on their uniforms, the SMB uniforms, emblems of any
2 sort, any emblems or identifying signs?
3 A. In the beginning, no, except for individuals, some individuals wore
4 badges or Kokardas, but only individuals and most of them simply wore
5 JNA uniforms.
6 JUDGE STEPHEN: Thank you.
7 JUDGE VOHRAH: Mr. Osmanovic, you mentioned that you were made to loot
8 Muslim property. Was this removal done from one or two Muslim
9 properties or was it done from several?
10 A. Several Muslim houses.
11 JUDGE VOHRAH: Thank you.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Osmanovic, how many persons approximately were
13 detained at the Batkovic camp?
14 A. In the Batkovic camp there were close to 3,000 of us. The people
15 came and left and then new ones came. The first group that came to
16 Batkovic was from Kalesija; the second from Vlasenica; the third from
17 Koraj; the fourth from Zvornik; the fifth from Zavicia; the sixth
18 from Ugljevik; the seventh from Brcko; the eighth from Brezevo Polje;
19 the ninth from Telnova; the tenth from Bosanski Samac, Sanski Most
20 and Mijacia.
21 Q. Are all of these towns in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the towns you
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And what ethnic groups did these persons belong to, the detainees?
25 A. The first groups that arrived were Muslims and then Croats were also
1 with us.
2 Q. In this Susica camp you said there were 550 people held there?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What ethnic group did they belong to?
5 A. Muslims.
6 Q. Just Muslims?
7 A. Only Muslims.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Miss Hollis, do you have any additional questions in
9 the light of my questions?
10 MISS HOLLIS: No, your Honour.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any questions, Mr. Wladimiroff?
12 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Very good. Is there any objection to Mr. Osmanovic
14 being permanently excused?
15 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Osmanovic, you are permanently excused. Thank
17 you for coming. We would like to remain with counsel for a few
18 moments to discuss a matter that we had raised yesterday, I guess it
20 (The witness withdrew).
21 The matter had to do with the possibility of counsel meeting to
22 discuss ways to perhaps expedite the trial without in any way
23 intruding on any one's desire to present the case as fully as he or
24 she wishes. Where are we with that discussion? Mr. Wladimiroff, I
25 think you had told me that your team was not going to be altogether
1 complete over Thursday and Friday and Saturday and Sunday. Then you
2 also had some question as to whether you wanted to participate in
3 such a meeting. So I suppose I will turn to you first.
4 MR. WLADIMIROFF: We have given it very brief thought so far. I think Mr.
5 Orie and myself will contact the Prosecution office to see whether we
6 can meet on Friday, and just sit and listen to what the Prosecution
7 may come up with and we will just do that.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. Mr. Niemann, do you have anything to
9 report at this time?
10 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: So then you will make the time arrangements I gather
12 with Mr. Wladimiroff and Mr. Orie to discuss perhaps what can be done
13 with respect to the offering of evidence?
14 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour, we will contact the Defence.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK, very good. We will stand adjourned until Monday
16 at 10 a.m.
17 (The hearing adjourned until Monday 20th May 1996)