1 THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL CASE NO. IT-94-1-T
2 FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
3 THE TRIAL CHAMBER
4 Wednesday, 19th June 1996
5 (10.00 a.m.)
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Good morning. Mr. Niemann, would you like to call
7 your next IN witness, please?
8 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. Before I do that I would like to correct
9 something I mentioned yesterday. I think I said that the first
10 identification witness would be the ninth. I was mistaken when I said
11 that. It is, in fact, the seventh witness from Mr. Mujcic, but in any
12 event we can change the order around if that is necessary to extend it
13 further down.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Do you intend on submitting a response to the
15 submission of Mr. Wladimiroff?
16 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, we will do, your Honour.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK. When do you plan on submitting that? What is
18 the day, Wednesday. I do not know how your witnesses are going. I
19 have not added up the hours, but just a quick check, I do not think we
20 would get to that witness until July now since we are recessing or
21 adjourning Wednesday of next week.
22 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. It may be that we do not get to the
23 witness. Alternatively, if we get to it, it will be next week. We
24 would expect to submit our response by Tuesday, at least, so the
25 witness could then follow after that time, but it could well be July.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK. No later than next Wednesday then, submit your
2 response. If based on the movement of the witnesses that it appears
3 we are going to have to hear from a witness, say, on Wednesday, then
4 you will have to give it to us a little bit sooner so that we can
5 resolve it.
6 MR. NIEMANN: We will do that.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK. Very good. Thank you.
8 MR. NIEMANN: I call Salko Karabasic.
9 MR. SALKO KARABASIC called.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That should be No. 22. Do you - have you a change
11 in the order of your witnesses? I see, the new was 22, the original
12 was 26. I see. You have renumbered them under the new column. OK,
13 very good. Mr. Kay, does that look all right to you? You are both
14 looking a little surprised.
15 MR. KAY: We were expecting someone else.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: But you see in the new column it would be No. 22, in
17 the left-hand column it follows. This is correct. It is the 22nd
18 witness according to the new listing which you submitted June 11th?
19 MR. NIEMANN: Yes.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Karabasic, would you please take that oath?
21 THE WITNESS [In Translation]: I solemnly declare that I will speak the
22 truth and nothing but the truth.
23 (The witness was sworn)
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, sir. You may be seated.
25 Examined by MR. NIEMANN
1 Q. Your full name is Salko Karabasic?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What is your date of birth?
4 A. March 10th.
5 Q. Where were you born?
6 A. In Brdjani.
7 Q. Can you just tell us approximately how far Brdjani is from the centre
8 of Kozarac?
9 A. One kilometre.
10 Q. Where did you attend your primary school?
11 A. In Kozarac.
12 Q. Your secondary education?
13 A. I only have four grades of the elementary school.
14 Q. I see.
15 JUDGE STEPHEN: If it is a matter of concern, the date of birth does not
16 give the year, only the date.
17 MR. NIEMANN: I am sorry, your Honour. (To the witness): Can you tell me
18 the year that you were born in?
19 A. 1945.
20 Q. Up until 1992 at the commencement of the war in Kozarac, where had
21 you lived during your life?
22 A. In Kozarac, in Brdjani.
23 Q. What was your occupation during that period, up until 1992?
24 A. I was a labourer.
25 Q. Where did you work?
1 A. In Kozarac, at the sawmill.
2 Q. Did you do your military service?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. When did you do your military service?
5 A. In 1965.
6 Q. Where did you do your military service?
7 A. In Celje in Slovenia.
8 Q. Are you by religion Muslim?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were you involved in the Territorial Defence or in the JNA
11 immediately prior to the commencement of the war in Kozarac in 1992?
12 A. In Territorial Defence.
13 Q. Were you on reserve service in the Territorial Defence at that time?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is that in common with most other people who do military service in
16 the former Yugoslavia prior to that time?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you know the accused in these proceedings, Dule Tadic?
19 A. Very well.
20 Q. For how long have you known him?
21 A. I have known him since I was -- since he was 15 years old.
22 Q. Where did you come to know him?
23 A. I would pass by his house every day when I was going to work or
24 coming back from work.
25 Q. The place where you worked was at the Trnopolje end of Kozarac, is
1 that right?
2 A. I did not have to cross the road to Banja Luka; it was right next to
3 the road to Banja Luka.
4 Q. That is right. You lived up in Brdjani which was up towards the
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. During the time that you lived in Kozarac up until 1992, did you see
8 the accused Dule Tadic only rarely or occasionally or did you see him
10 A. Occasionally.
11 Q. Are you able to describe where he lived in the town of Kozarac?
12 A. I can.
13 Q. Can you tell us where that was?
14 A. He lived by the school, above the new school, the new large school,
15 and basically across from the school above the Restaurant.
16 Q. Was there a restaurant attached to his premises, was there?
17 A. No.
18 Q. When you say "above the restaurant", what do you mean by that?
19 A. In that direction towards, up to Kozarac from the Banja Luka road
20 there was a Restaurant and then there was a house belonging to Banda,
21 and then above his house up there.
22 Q. I see. So that was a rather large building which was known locally
23 as the "Restaurant", that is what you are referring to?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The place that you describe where Dule Tadic lived, so far as you are
1 aware, did he live there all the time that he was in Kozarac?
2 A. As far as I remember, he did.
3 Q. Do you know what he did, what his occupation was, before the war in
5 A. I do not know that.
6 Q. Did you know his wife?
7 A. Yes, very well.
8 Q. What was her name?
9 A. Vidovic, Mira. Mira Vidovic.
10 Q. Did you know any people who were friends or seemed to be associates
11 of the accused Dule Tadic?
12 A. Yes, I did know some of them.
13 Q. Are you able to name any of them?
14 A. Emir Karabasic was a very good friend of his.
15 Q. You mentioned his wife's family, Vidovic. Do you know where they
16 lived, where his wife's family lived?
17 A. Yes, I know.
18 Q. Where was that?
19 A. In Vidovici.
20 Q. Do you know what her father's name was, his wife's father's name?
21 A. Mira.
22 Q. I am sorry, do you know what the accused Dule Tadic's wife's father's
23 name, first name was?
24 A. Yes, I know Radovan.
25 Q. When you knew the accused Dule Tadic in the town of Kozarac, did you
1 know him to be a man who was clean shaven or did he have a beard?
2 A. Sometimes he would have a very short beard, that day when I saw him.
3 Q. Do you know whether he was engaged in any sporting activities in and
4 about the town?
5 A. Yes, I heard from others that he was into karate, that he was
6 training karate.
7 Q. Apart from when you saw him in the town at Kozarac, did you see him
8 in other places in and about the area or the region of Kozarac?
9 A. When I saw him, I saw him that day and then I did not see him
11 Q. No, I am asking you prior to 1992. You said earlier in your evidence
12 that you had seen him at his house when you used to go to work in
13 Kozarac. I am asking you other than at that place did you see him in
14 other places about the region of Kozarac prior to 1992?
15 A. I did not understand the question.
16 Q. Did you see the accused, Dule Tadic, prior to 1992 in another place
17 or other places in the area of Kozarac, but not necessarily in the
18 town of Kozarac, on an occasion or occasionally prior to 1992?
19 A. I did not see him because up until 1992 I was always in Kozarac. I
20 was not leaving Kozarac.
21 Q. I think you said earlier that you knew where his wife's father lived.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Just tell us again, where was that?
24 A. Where his father lived?
25 Q. No.
1 A. Do you mean Dule's father?
2 Q. No, no. You said a moment ago that you knew where his wife's father
3 lived. Do you know where that is?
4 A. Yes, yes. I knew he lived in Vidovici.
5 Q. Is that near to where you used to live?
6 A. It is about half a kilometre from my village to Vidovici.
7 Q. Did you from time to time see people in and about the area of
8 Vidovici? This is prior to 1992.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you ever see the accused's wife, Mira Vidovic, in that area?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you ever see the accused in that area?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you recall when the attack on Kozarac began?
15 A. On 24th May.
16 Q. Approximately what time in the day did it commence?
17 A. It commenced somewhere in the afternoon.
18 Q. Was that early afternoon or late afternoon?
19 A. Early.
20 Q. Where were you at the time at the commencement of the attack on
22 A. I was in the mountaineers' lodge.
23 Q. Where is that in relation to the town of Kozarac?
24 A. It is from Kozarac, first you get to Brdjani, then to Vidovici and
25 then this is about 500 or 600 metres from Vidovici.
1 Q. What were you doing at this place when the attack commenced?
2 A. We were there on guard.
3 Q. On guard as what?
4 A. We were there as part of the reserve units.
5 Q. Of the Territorial Defence?
6 A. Yes, Territorial Defence.
7 Q. Do you know who was the Commander of the Territorial Defence at that
9 A. Vaskan Kulasic.
10 Q. When you were there on guard how were you dressed?
11 A. We were dressed in JNA uniforms.
12 Q. Where did you get that JNA uniform from?
13 A. I got it from the Territorial Defence.
14 Q. How long before 1992 did you collect that uniform from the
15 Territorial Defence?
16 A. Exactly eight months before the war. I cannot remember the date.
17 Q. Were you armed at the time?
18 A. Yes, when I got the uniform I got the weapon as well.
19 Q. On the day of the attack on 24th May 1992, were you armed on that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. With what were you armed?
23 A. A rifle, model M48.
24 Q. Is this a World War II type weapon?
25 A. Yes, it is an old weapon.
1 Q. Did you have any ammunition?
2 A. 25 pieces.
3 Q. Can you tell me just exactly what it is that you were doing there at
4 this particular time?
5 A. I was there, my shift was on.
6 Q. What were you doing? What were you guarding?
7 A. We were guarding, first, we were in front of the Local Commune in
8 Kozarac and we were guarding that and then by the store so that people
9 would not loot the store, and then after that they transferred us to
10 the mountaineer lodge up there.
11 Q. When you say "they" who are you referring to?
12 A. The Territorial Defence.
13 Q. Approximately how many members of the Territorial Defence were with
14 you up at this mountain lodge above Kozarac?
15 A. I do not know exactly the number because we were constantly changing
17 Q. During the course of the bombardment or attack on Kozarac, did you
18 yourself personally encounter any attacking Serb forces and did you or
19 did you not fire your weapon?
20 A. I did not fire a single bullet when I was at the mountain lodge.
21 Q. For how long did you stay up in the mountain lodge?
22 A. Until it started, they started shelling and at that time everybody
23 went in their own directions.
24 Q. Did you at this stage abandon your rifle and uniform?
25 A. Yes ---
1 Q. What did you do -----
2 A. -- the same day.
3 Q. What did you do with your rifle and uniform?
4 A. I took it home. I buried the rifle and the bullets and I know where
5 they are and I took my uniform and left it at home.
6 Q. Did you then join your family?
7 A. I was looking for my family for one day and then I found them, and
8 then I joined them.
9 Q. Can you recall what day this was?
10 A. You mean when I found my family?
11 Q. That is right, yes.
12 A. That was Monday, 25th.
13 Q. 25th May 1992?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. When you found your family what did you do then?
16 A. Then we were hiding in refuges and basements and we were looking for
17 the safest and largest basements, and this is how we were hiding.
18 Q. Did you go back to your house on 26th May 1992?
19 A. Only occasionally to see my house and then I would go back to those
21 Q. When you went back to see your house, did you see the approaching
22 Serb forces coming towards your village?
23 A. We saw in Kozarac, they were already in Kozarac.
24 Q. I see. So what did you do then? What did you do next?
25 A. What did I do? I went back. I found my family and I stayed with
2 Q. Where did you stay with your family when you went back?
3 A. We were in a house, one woman's house, her name was Suada Blazevic.
4 Q. In what town or village was this?
5 A. This is right between Brdjani and Vidovici, halfway between those two
7 Q. How long did you stay there?
8 A. We stayed there, I am not sure, that whole day, I think.
9 Q. Then did you go to the town of Vidovici itself?
10 A. Eno Mehmedagic from Brdjani came and he remained at home when the
11 army came in, and when the tank went into Brdjani they forced him out
12 and he came up to Vidovici and he told us, "Get lost from here and
13 walk towards Kozarac; if you do not do that, then they will shoot all
14 of you".
15 Q. What day was this?
16 A. That was on 27th.
17 Q. Did you do that? Did you head towards Kozarac?
18 A. Yes, we were by -- we were staying with Radovan and Ostoja Vidovic,
19 and they told us, "You had better leave otherwise we will have to go,
20 we will get in trouble with you as well". This is what we did and we
21 left; all of us who were there in that village, we left.
22 Q. So you were seeking refuge, were you, with Radovan Vidovic?
23 A. Yes, with Radovan and Ostoja Vidovic. They allowed us to come in.
24 Q. Is the Radovan Vidovic that you were staying with, or who was giving
25 you shelter, the father-in-law of the accused Dule Tadic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So you then left, did you, on 27th the village of Vidovici and
3 travelled towards Kozarac?
4 A. Yes, it was quarter to 12 when Eno came and brought us the news and
5 then we left that village and headed towards Kozarac.
6 Q. When you say "we", was it just you or was there a number of people
7 walking in that direction or travelling in that direction?
8 A. A number of people that were staying up there in Vidovici.
9 Q. Are you able to give an approximate or an estimate of the number of
10 people who started to move in this convoy towards Kozarac?
11 A. I could not give you an exact number, but there must have been at
12 least 200 or 300 people there, women, children.
13 Q. What was the nationality of the majority of the people in that
15 A. Muslim.
16 Q. How were the people travelling? Were they all travelling on foot or
17 were some on motorized vehicles or horse driven vehicles?
18 A. There were tractors, a few tractors. Most of the people were on
20 Q. I would ask you to look, if you would, please, at Exhibit D12, which
21 is a map of the region. Could you just examine that map for a moment
22 and just orientate yourself, please?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What I want you to do for me, please, if you would, is we will put
25 this particular map, D12, on the overhead projector which is beside
1 you there, not in front of you but beside you -- I will ask Miss
2 Sutherland to help you -- then I will ask you with a finger or with a
3 pointer, if you would, to give us the general direction that the
4 column marched on its way from Vidovici down towards Kozarac. So if
5 we can put that on the overhead projector? You are going to have to
6 point to this on the overhead projector because even though it will
7 come up on your television screen, if you point to it on the screen we
8 do not see what you are pointing at. So you have to point to it as
9 you see it there. So can you generally trace the course that you
11 A. Vidovici towards the Mutnik Mosque, and then down Kozarac towards the
12 Banja Luka road, and somewhere here the road bifurcates and one branch
13 goes to Kalate.
14 Q. Can that map be returned to the Registrar? As this column, march of
15 people came down towards Kozarac, did you see any Serb forces or their
16 equipment in and about the area -----
17 A. We saw Serb forces as soon as we reached Brdjani and they were all
18 lined up along the streets.
19 Q. Did they appear to you to be regular JNA or were they irregular
21 A. JNA members.
22 Q. Did you see whether they had any military or heavy military equipment
23 there at the time with them?
24 A. There was a tank in Brdjani.
25 Q. Did you see whether any of the houses or buildings had been set on
2 A. Yes, some were already.
3 Q. Did you see whether there were any bodies of people that had been
4 killed in and about the area as you moved down?
5 A. You mean in Brdjani?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. No.
8 Q. Did you subsequently see people that had been killed?
9 A. In Brdjani, you mean?
10 Q. No, later on after you left Brdjani?
11 A. When we entered Kozarac then, yes, I did see.
12 Q. As you came down, in towards Kozarac, did more people join this
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Were members of your family in the column with you as you were moving
17 A. Yes, yes. Yes, they were.
18 Q. Were they your immediate family, that is, your wife and children?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. They were with you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What about your brothers or sisters or mother and father, were they
23 also in the column?
24 A. They were also in the column, but were not together. We were not in
25 one group as we moved with the column.
1 Q. As the column march came down into Kozarac, what happened then?
2 A. When we came down the Brdjani road to Mutnik Mosque, then we followed
3 -- first, there is the old school, that is where the TO had its
4 premises, then beyond the school is a well, there you turn to Kalate,
5 and on the corner itself there was a kiosk, chickens and bread were
6 sold there. There was a kiosk there. A stand was there.
7 Q. I would ask you to look at this photograph that you are now shown.
8 Might this be marked for identification 224? Could that be marked for
9 identification 224? Could you just examine this photograph for me,
10 please, and tell me if you can recognise ---
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. -- what it is a photograph of?
13 A. Yes, I can.
14 Q. What is it a photograph of? I am sorry, what is it a photograph of?
15 A. This picture here shows the Local Commune and further up is a sort
16 of a club or a sort of a pub, or something like that, and here by this
17 poplar was this kiosk. Now it has gone, you see.
18 MR. NIEMANN: I tender the photograph, your Honours.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection?
20 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Prosecutors's Exhibit 224 will be admitted.
22 MR. NIEMANN (To the witness): Mr. Karabasic, would you please now have
23 that photograph -- we will put it on the screen -- and with the
24 pointer again I will ask you to point, if you would, please, to
25 various points on this photograph. Perhaps that could be expanded to
1 its full size? Firstly, just looking at the photograph there, could
2 you put the pointer in the direction of the road towards Kalate?
3 A. Here to the right is the road to Kalate.
4 Q. You will need to do it on the projector, otherwise we cannot see what
5 you are pointing to if you point to the television screen. You will
6 need to point to the photograph itself.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Over to your right, Mr. Karabasic.
8 THE WITNESS: Here, this is Kalate road to the right.
9 MR. NIEMANN: OK then. Can you tell me the direction of Marsala Tita
10 Street, the main street in Kozarac, which direction is that?
11 A. Well, here behind this building, behind this tall building, but you
12 cannot see it.
13 Q. Can you point to the place where that kiosk was that you referred to?
14 A. The kiosk was here right next to this poplar tree. It was on the
15 very corner and the kiosk was right behind it.
16 Q. Perhaps that photograph can be returned to the Registrar? Your
17 Honours, we are having additional copies made which we will make
19 As you came down to that place you just pointed to on the
20 photograph, can you tell me what happened, what you saw?
21 A. We passed by this old school and then this well here and immediately
22 to the right, you turn to Kalate, that is where Dule Tadic was
23 standing, right across it by the kiosk on the other side but on the
24 side of the road was Goran Borovnica.
25 Q. What else did you see?
1 A. When I came up there was singled out there, my brother, Ismet
2 Karabasic, and Foric. They were next to this koka.
3 Q. Do you remember Foric's first name?
4 A. Redzep.
5 Q. When you say "next to the koka", are you referring to the kiosk?
6 A. Yes, I mean the kiosk. It was all in one.
7 Q. What happened then?
8 A. Then Dule Tadic pointed with his finger and said to Borovnica, "Take
9 this out", and then he got him by the top of the neck and brought him
10 as a third one next to the kiosk; and my son who was going next to me
11 in the column, he turned back to see my brother, Ekrem, and Dule told
12 to Borovnica, "And get this one too", and he came and grabbed my son,
13 and I was pulling him and he was pulling him, and we were both pushing
14 him and pulling him.
15 Q. I just need to go over that a little bit more slowly. The first one
16 that you saw taken out of the line was your brother, Ekrem, by
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Then you say that your son who was with you, was he -- was your son
20 with you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What was your son's name?
23 A. Sejdo.
24 Q. Borovnica then came down, did he, towards where Sejdo was?
25 A. He came down, yes, and I tried to pull my son towards me, and he was
1 pulling him from me and he snatched him away from me and he said: "Do
2 you want to come here too?" he told me.
3 Q. Where was your son Sejdo then taken?
4 A. Together with Ekrem and Enver and Redzo.
5 Q. When you say "together with" them, do you mean over towards the
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Where was Dule Tadic, as best you can -----
9 A. He was standing in the same place where I had seen him first. I
10 would not -- I would recognise the square metre where he was standing.
11 Q. For how long were you able to see Dule Tadic as you approached this
13 A. It was brief, like going across this room here, I should say that was
15 Q. How close?
16 A. -- that was it.
17 Q. I am sorry. How close was the closest that you got to Dule Tadic as
18 you went past this place?
19 A. Not more than two and a half to three metres.
20 Q. Were the weather conditions clear or was there anything about the
21 weather that made it difficult to see?
22 A. It was a very nice day.
23 Q. Was your view in any way obstructed by anything as this happened?
24 A. No, nothing.
25 Q. Did you hear Dule Tadic's voice?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you recognise that voice?
3 A. I did.
4 Q. The person that Tadic was with, Borovnica, had you seen him before in
5 the town of Kozarac?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you know him?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you observe how Dule Tadic was dressed on that occasion?
10 A. Yes, I saw it.
11 Q. How was he dressed?
12 A. He was in some multi-coloured uniform and he had a multi-coloured hat
13 on his head.
14 Q. Was he armed at the time?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. How was he armed, with what was he armed, I should say?
17 A. He had a pistol in his belt and had some automatic weapon in his
19 Q. Was it Dule Tadic that was giving instructions or was Borovnica just
20 acting on his own accord?
21 A. Dule Tadic was issuing orders and Borovnica was executing them.
22 Q. After your son and your two brothers were taken over to this kiosk
23 that you described, what happened then?
24 A. He took out another one, Meho Mujkan, the fifth one.
25 Q. What occurred then?
1 A. And Dule ordered again, and Borovnica again approached us and took
2 out Meho Mujkan and he joined the other four.
3 Q. At this stage when this was happening was the column still moving
5 A. Well, they said, "Slower, slower, slower, slower, short step, short
7 Q. But, nevertheless, it was still continuing to move, was it?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. In what direction was the column continuing to move?
10 A. Towards Banja Luka/Prijedor road.
11 Q. Did you at one stage get close in the column to where that kiosk was,
12 where the men were standing?
13 A. I passed by my brother, Ismet. He was not more than two metres away
14 from me. On the corner by the kiosk was my brother, Ismet, and all he
15 managed to do was show me, indicate with his hand, to move on.
16 Q. Did Ismet give you a sign to keep moving on?
17 A. Yes, yes, with his hand.
18 Q. How was Ismet standing against that kiosk that you can remember?
19 A. Well, he was standing like this and had his hands as so against the
20 kiosk, and he slightly turned his head towards the road and only made
21 a slight sign to show that we should move on.
22 Q. Did the column move on?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Would you look, please, at this plan that I now show you? Might that
25 be marked for identification as 225? That is not a plan that you
1 yourself drew, but by looking at the markings on it and the shape of
2 the plan itself, are you able to recognise what it is a plan of?
3 A. This is the plan next to this koka on this small junction. To the
4 right is where the road branches off to Kalate, and if you continue a
5 little bit down here you come to the tower.
6 Q. OK. I would like you with the pen that I now give you, and putting
7 the thing on the plan, would you please draw for me with the pen on
8 the overhead projector, firstly, the direction that the column was
9 marching? You might do that with an arrow, if you would please, and
10 put a "C" above the arrow. So if you could just draw for me an arrow
11 in the direction the column was marching?
12 A. (The witness marked on the plan) This is where it goes to Kalate and
13 here to the tower.
14 Q. OK. The tower is Kula, is it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The first mark, would you put an arrow showing the direction the
17 column was going? Just make it an arrow.
18 A. (The witness marked on the plan).
19 Q. Right. I want you to look at the top of the plan, if you would, for
20 me and do you see the words there "Mutnik Mosque"?
21 A. Sorry, I do apologise. I put it upside-down.
22 Q. That is OK.
23 A. I turned the map upside-down.
24 Q. It is easier for you to look at it this way. Perhaps you might draw
25 an arrow in the direction that you remember the column was marching.
1 A. (The witness marked on the plan). This is where the column moved.
2 Q. Would you put a "C" under that little arrow that you have just drawn?
3 Thank you. As best you can remember, would you put a "W" at the
4 spot where you say that well was in front of the old school which was
5 used for the TO building?
6 A. This is where it was. (The witness marked on the plan).
7 Q. Could you put a "T", the letter "T", where you say you saw Dule
8 Tadic, approximately the spot where you saw Dule Tadic?
9 A. (The witness marked on the plan).
10 Q. Could you put the letter "B" in the spot where you say you saw
12 A. (The witness marked on the plan).
13 Q. Would you put the letter "K" in the spot where you say that kiosk is?
14 A. (The witness marked on the plan).
15 Q. Would you mark with an "X" the spot where you say those men were
16 lined up against that kiosk?
17 A. (The witness marked on the plan).
18 Q. Would you draw the wall of the kiosk against which they were
19 standing, please?
20 A. (The witness marked on the plan).
21 Q. Thank you. I tender that, your Honour.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection?
23 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour, but we would like to have a copy of it
24 because we had no clean one to draw for ourselves.
25 MR. NIEMANN: I can supply one.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We will have a copy made for you. You want a copy
2 of the one that is marked?
3 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We will have that at the recess, if not sooner. I
5 think it can be done now if you are not going to continue to use it.
6 MR. NIEMANN: No, I am not, your Honour.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 225 will be admitted.
8 MR. NIEMANN: You said a moment ago in your evidence, Mr. Karabasic, that
9 the column was moving, although it was moving slowly it was continuing
10 to move down the street, is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you then go on down towards the bottom of Marsala Tita Street ---
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. -- in the column? Did you hear anything as you walked down the
15 street, down Marsala Tita Street?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Where did you go after you got to the bottom of Marsala Tita Street?
18 A. Then we headed right towards Kozarusa.
19 Q. What about your son Sejdo did you ever see him again from that day?
20 A. Never again. I never saw him again.
21 Q. Your brother, Ekrem, have you ever seen him again?
22 A. No.
23 Q. How old was your brother, Ekrem?
24 A. He was born in 54.
25 Q. What did he do for a living?
1 A. He was a worker.
2 Q. Was he involved in the army or the JNA at the time of the attack on
4 A. He was in the Territorial Defence with me.
5 Q. When he was pulled out of the line on that day that you have
6 described on 27th, was he armed?
7 A. That day, you mean, or before that?
8 Q. No, just at that moment he was pulled out of the line by Borovnica --
9 that time when he was in the line there, was he armed?
10 A. I would not know. I do not know who pulled him out because he was in
11 the beginning of the column so I do not remember. I do not know who
12 it was that pulled him out and whether he had anything because when I
13 came up he was already singled out, standing there.
14 Q. I am sorry, yes. My question was not clear. When you saw him there,
15 did he appear to be armed at all?
16 A. How could he be when he was bare handed brought there?
17 Q. Was he dressed in ordinary civilian clothes or was in military
19 A. Civilian.
20 Q. What about your brother, Ismet, when was he born?
21 A. 1950.
22 Q. When you saw him there at that place on the corner near the kiosk on
23 27th May 1992, did you notice whether or not he was armed in any way?
24 A. He was not.
25 Q. Was he dressed in civilian clothes or in military clothes?
1 A. Civilian.
2 Q. From that day until now have you ever seen your brother, Ismet,
4 A. No.
5 Q. When was your son Sejdo born?
6 A. '68.
7 Q. At the time that he was taken out of the line on 27th May 1992, at
8 that place in Kozarac, was he armed, so far as you could see?
9 A. He did not have anything. He was no member of any organisation. He
10 was never in anything.
11 Q. Was he dressed in civilian clothes?
12 A. Civilian.
13 Q. What of Redzo Foric? Was Redzo Foric in civilian clothes?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you know approximately how old he would be?
16 A. He, I think, is like Ismet, around 1950.
17 Q. Was he dressed in civilian clothes?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. From that day till this, have you ever seen him again?
20 A. No.
21 Q. What happened to the column after you went down towards the end of
22 the main street in Kozarac, where did you go then?
23 A. We turned right towards Prijedor, towards Kozarusa.
24 Q. Where did you go? Did you go to Kozarusa?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What happened when you got to Kozarusa?
2 A. There the Serb army command was, that is where we were separated,
3 that is women, old and children to one side and men to the other.
4 That is where the separation took place.
5 Q. On this walk towards Kozarusa did you see any dead bodies of people
6 beside the road?
7 A. Yes, yes, I did see them.
8 Q. Did they appear to you to be dressed in civilian clothes or military
10 A. Civilian.
11 Q. Did any of them appear to have in their possession arms, military
12 weapons of any sort?
13 A. Those who were killed, you mean?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. No.
16 Q. When you got to Kozarusa you say that people were being separated
17 out. Were you separated from your family?
18 A. Yes, I was separated.
19 Q. Where were you taken?
20 A. I was taken on a bus to Keraterm.
21 Q. With you on that bus were there women and children or was it only
22 males that you could see?
23 A. Where I was on the bus there were only men.
24 Q. Was the nationality of these men Muslim, as you could see?
25 A. Yes, Muslim.
1 Q. How long did it take you to get to Keraterm?
2 A. It took us approximately from Kozarac maybe an hour-and-a-half to two
4 Q. What happened when you got to Keraterm?
5 A. When we came to Keraterm they took us out of the bus. They unloaded
6 us and then the bus went somewhere else and then new buses would
7 arrive with new people.
8 Q. Did you enter into any of the buildings there at the camp or did you
9 just stand there once you had been taken off the buses?
10 A. I was outside.
11 Q. How long did you stay in this place where you were taken off the
13 A. I could not tell you exactly, but maybe four to five hours.
14 Q. What happened then?
15 A. Then the buses, new buses, were arriving and they were loading people
16 on the buses and taking them to Omarska.
17 Q. What happened to you?
18 A. I was put on a bus and I went to Omarska.
19 Q. Did anything happen in the buses on the way from Keraterm to Omarska
20 that you could see?
21 A. There was night already and in my bus where I was nothing happened.
22 Q. What time did you arrive at Omarska approximately? Can you remember?
23 A. It was maybe 4 o'clock in the morning, the dawn was there.
24 Q. Was this the next day, was it, 28th May 1992?
25 A. Yes, it was a Thursday, 28th.
1 Q. When you arrived at Omarska what happened then to you?
2 A. They parked the bus there by the door, and we came out. We had our
3 hands behind our neck, by our arms, and then the buses were taken
5 Q. Where were you taken?
6 A. We were taken up there to another floor.
7 Q. When you say "up there to another floor", were you taken to the large
8 garage type building where the mining equipment, trucks, were kept and
10 A. Yes, we passed by the garage and then we went up, we turned right and
11 went up to another floor. There was a room there.
12 Q. So it was an upstairs section of this large garage?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. On your first night when you were in Omarska camp, did you ask to go
15 to the toilet?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What happened when you did that?
18 A. I asked to go to the toilet and they allowed me. The guard there who
19 was in the hall allowed me to go there and I went into the toilet and
20 there was no handle on the door. There was no handle. So I went
21 into the bathroom and he cursed my mother and he said, "Close the door
22 behind you", and I tried to close the door but the door immediately
23 locked and then he cursed my mother again, my Muslim mother, and he
24 said, "You will see now" and then he went into the hall, and then he
25 found another handle and came back and opened the door and then made
1 me force, made me face the wall and then we was beating me with the
2 rifle on my back and on my head.
3 Q. What part of the rifle did he beat you with on your back and on your
5 A. With the butt of the rifle.
6 Q. Was he hitting you with the rifle at full force?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you lose several teeth as a result of that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. About eight days later were you then taken for interrogation?
11 A. Something like that, yes.
12 Q. What were they endeavouring to find out during the course of your
13 interrogation, do you recall?
14 A. They were trying to find out whether there was some extremists there,
15 whether I was among the extremists, and that is what they wanted to
16 know. That was the interrogation.
17 Q. How long did you stay in this garage building, the large garage
18 building, how long were you kept there for?
19 A. During the whole time while I was at Omarska camp.
20 Q. While you were at Omarska camp did you ever see any dead bodies?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you see these bodies on regular occasions?
23 A. Yes, regularly.
24 Q. Were these dead bodies dressed in civilian or military clothes?
25 A. Civilian.
1 Q. From what you were able to see, did these people seem to be inmates,
2 prisoners, in the camp?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Where did you see these bodies on a regular occasion?
5 A. When they took us to lunch or breakfast, here across pista, by the
6 house there, we would see the bodies around the white house lying on
7 the ground.
8 Q. How many approximately did you often see? How many bodies would you
9 often see in this place?
10 A. I could not tell you exactly, but we were not allowed to raise our
11 heads and look up. We would just, sort of, look to the ground and
12 then try to see something and I could not even count those bodies.
13 Q. What was the food like when you were in Omarska?
14 A. Bad, really bad.
15 Q. Did you hear people being beaten during the time that you were in
17 A. Yes, when we went to the lunch people were taken out frequently.
18 Q. During the course of the night were people beaten while you were in
20 A. It was impossible. It was impossible how they beat them.
21 Q. Did you see people that came back with wounds and injuries as a
22 result of what had happened to them, the beatings that they had
24 A. Yes, I saw people who came back and then we would try to put
25 compresses on them, we would take our shirts and t-shirts off and put
1 them in the cold water and then put it as a compress on the people
2 that were beaten.
3 Q. Was the period of time leading up to Petrov Dan a particularly bad
4 time for beatings in the Omarska camp?
5 A. It was a bad period.
6 Q. For the benefit of the court, can you tell us what your understanding
7 of Petrov Dan is?
8 A. I am not sure. It is a Serbian holiday, something like that.
9 Q. When does this Serbian holiday fall, approximately?
10 A. I am not sure of exact date. I do not know.
11 Q. Is it in the month of July?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Apart from your involvement in the Territorial Defence and when you
14 did your military service, were you in any other way involved in any
15 military or paramilitary groups which were offering or providing armed
16 resistance to the Serbs?
17 A. No.
18 Q. To your knowledge, was there anyone who lived in the Kozarac area who
19 looked in any way or very much like the accused, Dule Tadic?
20 A. No, there was nobody that looked like him.
21 Q. Did you ever hear of any instance where the accused Dule Tadic was
22 mistaken by somebody else who lived in the area on the basis that this
23 person looked like him?
24 A. No, I have not heard.
25 Q. I would ask you, if you would please, to look around the courtroom
1 and tell me if you see the person that you know and recognise as Dule
2 Tadic in the courtroom?
3 A. Yes, there he is. He is sitting over there.
4 Q. Is he the gentleman -- can you just tell me where precisely he is
5 sitting; just point to him and describe him for me?
6 A. He is sitting there between those two policemen.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Might the record mention that, your Honour?
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes. The record will reflect that the witness
9 identified the accused.
10 MR. NIEMANN: In June 1995 were you interviewed by an investigator from
11 the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Tribunal at your
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Was there taken at that stage a written statement in the English
15 language of the interview that was conducted with you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was that statement that was taken in the English language produced
18 into writing and read to you in your own language?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you then proceed to sign your name on that statement that was
21 read to you in your own language?
22 A. I did.
23 Q. Since coming to The Hague to give evidence in these proceedings, has
24 the statement in parts at least been read back to you?
25 A. The part of the statement, yes.
1 Q. Yes. Have you noticed that there is at least on one occasion an
2 error in the statement that was taken from you back in June 1995?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Does that error relate to who was taken out of the line and whom you
5 observed being taken out of the line when you were at that place in
6 Kozarac on 27th May 1992?
7 A. That is exactly that error.
8 Q. Yes. Can you just, in your own words, describe to us the error that
9 you observed or noticed when the statement was read to you, as best
10 you can?
11 A. It was read to me that Ekrem was singled out with Ismet. It was not
12 him. It was Redzo that was singled out with Ismet. That was the
14 Q. When you saw Dule Tadic at that place in Kozarac on 27th May 1992
15 when your son Sejdo was taken out of the line, are you sure that it
16 was Dule Tadic that you observed on that day?
17 A. A thousand per cent sure.
18 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions, your Honour.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Kay, cross-examination? We will stand in recess
20 now for 20 minutes, Mr. Kay.
21 MR. KAY: Yes, your Honour.
22 (11.15 a.m.)
23 (The court adjourned for a short time)
24 (11.35 a.m.)
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Kay, would you like to conduct the
2 MR. KAY: Yes, your Honour, thank you.
3 Cross-examined by MR. KAY
4 Q. Mr. Karabasic, I would like to ask you some questions, first of all,
5 about the time when you had left Kozarac town because of the attack
6 upon it and you were in the Vidovici area?
7 A. I was not even in Kozarac when the attack commenced on the city.
8 Q. Yes, I understand that. I just want to ask you questions about the
9 time that you had moved from Brdjani to Vidovici and were there
10 sheltering because of the attack on the area.
11 A. I went to Vidovici somewhere in the morning.
12 Q. In that place shelter was given to you and others from Kozarac by the
13 Vidovic family, is that right?
14 A. Yes, we were staying with Radovan and Ostoja Vidovic.
15 Q. In that particular hamlet there are about 10 or 11 houses, is that
17 A. There are nine houses, as far as I know.
18 Q. Were there a large number of people with you taking shelter -----
19 A. I could not give you the exact number but, yes, there were a lot of
20 men, women and children.
21 Q. But the time came when it was too dangerous for those people to
22 continue giving you shelter and you had to leave Vidovici, is that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you remember what time you left Vidovici in the convoy on 27th?
1 A. Quarter to 12.
2 Q. The time that you reached Mutnik Mosque in Kozarac, can you remember
4 A. It was maybe 12.30 or sometime around that, 1.00, 1.00, but not more
5 than 1 o'clock.
6 Q. Then you moved down Marsala Tita Street, moving ---
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. -- through Kozarac, is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. If we look at the plan you have drawn, Exhibit 224 -- perhaps a copy
11 could be put back in front of the witness?
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I think it is 225.
13 MR. KAY: Thank you. (To the witness): You have drawn on that plan by a
14 wavy line the position of the chicken kiosk, is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. If we look at that line, it shows that the kiosk appears to be at an
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is that right?
20 A. It was at an angle.
21 Q. So that one end of the kiosk faced on to Marsala Tita Street, is that
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And the other end of the kiosk faced on to the road that takes you to
25 Kalate, is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. If we look at the photograph, Exhibit 224 -- the court does not have
3 a copy of this but perhaps it can be put on the monitor -- there is a
4 tree which is right on the junction of Marsala Tita Street and the
5 road that takes us to Kalate, is that right?
6 A. Yes, that is right.
7 Q. So looking at that photograph would we be looking at the front of the
8 kiosk, if it was still there, where you would go up to buy chickens?
9 A. Do you mean we are looking from the side?
10 Q. Yes. Perhaps I could put the question in a different way: did the
11 front of the kiosk face towards the corner of the street, as you have
12 shown it in your plan?
13 A. The front of the kiosk faced the main street and the window where we
14 were buying newspapers and chicken and bread, and the other side where
15 Borovnica and where Dule were standing, that was the other side of
16 the kiosk and that was behind the street.
17 Q. Did that part of the kiosk have any windows or offer any service from
18 there, or was it just the end of the kiosk, a blank wall?
19 A. It did not have any windows. That side had no windows and then the
20 windows where we were buying things were facing the main street.
21 Q. Thank you. What time was it about that you got to this place in
22 Marsala Tita Street?
23 A. It must have been between 12.00 and 1 o'clock.
24 Q. At this stage you were in a column with a group of your family, is
25 that right?
1 A. Yes, my family, yes.
2 Q. Can you remember whether you were at the head of this column that had
3 moved from Vidovici, in the middle or at the end?
4 A. I was behind the middle of the column.
5 Q. About how wide was the column of people? Did it take up the width of
6 the road down Marsala Tita Street?
7 A. Not the whole street, but a larger part of the street, approximately.
8 Q. The scene in Kozarac at this time, was it one where buildings were on
9 fire and there had been damage and destruction to buildings in the
11 A. Not that much destruction, but some houses were burning.
12 Q. When you said that the military were there, did you mean by that the
13 regular JNA?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Were they dressed in JNA uniforms?
16 A. They were.
17 Q. Were there many soldiers in this part of Kozarac?
18 A. Yes, there were many soldiers, not that many, but there were
20 Q. I would like to ask you now about what you say you saw in Kozarac at
21 this time at the junction of Marsala Tita Street with the road to
22 Kalate. You were in a group of your family and did you see Ismet
23 Karabasic singled out from the convoy of people?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did you see Foric Redzep singled out from the column of people?
1 A. I did not see.
2 Q. Did you see them standing near the kiosk?
3 A. Yes, I saw that as I approached.
4 Q. So at some stage before you got there Ismet and Foric had been taken
5 out of the convoy?
6 A. Not Ismet Foric, Redzep Foric.
7 Q. I understand, I said Ismet and Foric.
8 A. Substituted the name and the last name, Ismet Karabasic, not Ismet
10 Q. I think something got missed in the translation. Did you see Ekrem
11 being singled out from the convoy of people?
12 A. He was not singled, he was singled in front of my eyes.
13 Q. Your evidence earlier this morning was that it was Dusko Tadic that
14 pointed his finger and said to Goran Borovnica to take Ekrem away from
15 the other people, is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Also your son Sejdo was also taken out of the group of people?
18 A. Yes, Sejdo turned his head to see how, how they are removing Ado and
19 then Dule Tadic said, pointed to Sejdo and said, "Take this one out
20 as well".
21 Q. When you said that Sejdo turned his head to see how they were
22 removing, you mentioned a particular name, Ado, who do you mean by
24 A. Sejdo? Ado, Sejdo.
25 Q. You said that Sejdo was taken out of the group of people when he
1 turned his head. Was Sejdo looking at anything in particular at that
3 A. Yes, he was looking after my brother, Ekrem. He was looking at Goran
4 taking Ekrem out, Goran Borovnica taking Ekrem out.
5 Q. So was Ekrem behind you in the group of people?
6 A. In front of me.
7 Q. So Ekrem was taken from the group first and then soon after Sejdo was
8 also taken, is that right?
9 A. I do not understand it. Yes, the first one to be taken out was Ismet
10 and I saw him. I did not see who pulled him out; and then after that
11 Ekrem was pulled out and then after Ekrem, Sejdo was pulled out.
12 Q. As I understood it, you also said that Redzep Foric was also taken
13 out, yes?
14 A. Yes, he was taken out before I approached that spot, before Ekrem and
15 before Sejdo. He was taken out with Ismet.
16 Q. Just so that we are clear about it, first of all, Ismet and Foric are
17 seen by you on the side of the road standing, having been taken out of
18 the column, is that right?
19 A. Not Ismet Foric, Redzep Foric.
20 Q. The two people, Ismet Karabasic and Foric Redzep ---
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- were both taken out?
23 A. Yes. Yes, they were taken out.
24 Q. But you did not see that?
25 A. I saw them, but I did not see when they were taken out.
1 Q. The next person who was taken out of the column you said that you saw
2 being taken, and that was Ekrem?
3 A. Ekrem, yes. As I approached, Ekrem was the first one taken out after
4 Ismet and Redzo. Redzo has been pulled out before and I did not see
5 who pulled him out, and then in front of my eyes Ekrem was taken out.
6 Q. After Ekrem you also saw Sejdo being taken out?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Mr. Niemann has already referred you to a statement that you made
9 last year concerning what took place on this occasion. Do you remember
10 him asking you questions about that earlier this morning?
11 A. I remember.
12 Q. I have here a copy of that statement in your own language that has
13 been translated. Your Honour, I put this before the witness at this
14 stage. There is a copy also for the Prosecution. (Statement handed
15 to the witness).
16 This is a statement that has been provided as a translation
17 from that statement that was originally taken through an interpreter
18 and put into English. You can see that on the first page it contains
19 the details about you, your name and who was present when you were
20 questioned. Miryana Chok was your interpreter. Do you remember her?
21 A. I do not remember who it was.
22 Q. If you turn over the page, you will see there that your statement
23 starts with details about your address and your background, the fact
24 that you have been in the JNA, and then what happened ---
25 A. I was in the Army.
1 Q. -- on 24th May 1992, can you see that? On the third page of the
2 statement, if you turn over, can you see the passage that begins, "We
3 left the village of Vidovici and began to travel towards Kozarac"? It
4 is the third paragraph on that page 3. Would you like to read that to
5 yourself for a moment?
6 A. To myself only?
7 Q. Yes. Just looking at what you said on that occasion, you said that
8 your two brothers, Ismet and Ekrem, were ahead of you at the front of
9 the column with their families, is that right?
10 A. This is not right. Ekrem was with me.
11 Q. You also said, "Although I did not see them being picked out of the
12 line with my own eyes" -----
13 A. I did not see when Ismet and Redzo were taken out. I did not see
15 Q. Yes, I understand that is what you say, but I would like to continue
16 through this statement because you do mention there Redzep Foric, but
17 you say that you were told by Ajka Karabasic what had happened, that
18 Ismet and Ekrem had been picked out from the column, is that right?
19 A. No, this is not, this is not true.
20 Q. I just want at this stage to confirm what you said at that time. "I
21 saw my two brothers Ismet and Ekrem standing to the right with their
22 hands against the wall of the store that sells chicken"?
23 A. I saw them there only when Ekrem was also taken out and he was taken
24 up to Ismet. That is when I saw both of them there.
25 Q. But did you say also on this occasion that standing with your
1 brothers were two other Muslims whom you recognised? They were
2 Redzep Rasima Foric and Meho Edhema Vujkanovic?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Would you like to just look at your statement there? Perhaps you
5 would like to turn back to page 3 because in this statement here you
6 do mention Redzep Foric, do you not?
7 A. Yes, I do mention Redzep Foric but we simply cannot agree. I
8 mentioned Redzep Foric as I was passing by the kiosk. I am simply
9 listing people who already were there.
10 Q. Yes, and you in this statement here at this time said that he was
11 already standing there?
12 A. Yes, he was standing as I was passing by them.
13 Q. With Meho Edhema Vujkanovic?
14 A. Yes. Mujkanovic with an "M", with an "M" rather than "V".
15 Q. Yes, there is a spelling mistake here and it is a "V" instead of an
16 "M", is that right?
17 A. That is right.
18 Q. It is not a question, according to this statement, of you muddling up
19 Redzep Foric and Ekrem, is it, because you have already got Ekrem
20 standing by the kiosk?
21 A. No, I think that the person who interrogated me simply did not put
22 the sequence correctly. I said who was there when they were there,
23 and this is what I said when I was passing by. I mean, as I was
24 passing by they were already all there, and that is the mistake that
25 was made.
1 Q. Because what I suggest to you is that you did not see Dule Tadic pick
2 out anyone from that column of people, that he was not there.
3 A. I did not see him pick out Ismet and Redzep, I did not see that.
4 Q. You have told the court today that he was dressed -- this was Dule
5 Tadic -- in camouflage uniform?
6 A. Yes, a uniform of many colours, yes, I did say that.
7 Q. Why did you say in this statement that he was dressed in civilian
8 clothes? If you turn to page 4 -----
9 A. I remembered it later. I was so depressed and then I remembered,
10 then I recalled how he was dressed.
11 Q. So you agree that you have said on an earlier occasion that he was
12 dressed in civilian clothes?
13 A. I did say that, but later on I simply regained my memory and I
14 remembered it. At first I did think it was a civilian uniform, but it
15 is not a civilian uniform, some kind of military uniform. I know that
16 some people in Kozarac also had some kind of uniform, something of
17 many colours and the like, and I have always thought it to be some
18 kind of civilian uniform, but it is not. I was wrong. It was a
19 military uniform.
20 Q. Can you recollect any other Serbs other than Borovnica and Tadic ---
21 A. No, I cannot.
22 Q. -- who were -----
23 A. I cannot. I cannot.
24 Q. Because they were not just on their own, were they? Were there
25 others with them?
1 A. They were military.
2 Q. But were there other people who were not military who were there at
3 this place?
4 A. None others except for us that were moving in the column, the
6 Q. Were Tadic and Borovnica with any others in a group?
7 A. I did not see that, because they were standing each on his own, one
8 on one side and the other one on the other.
9 Q. So you cannot name any other people there who were around in that
11 A. I cannot.
12 MR. KAY: Thank you. I have no further questions.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Kay, we will have that translation that you have
14 prepared, the statement that was given to the Prosecutor by this
15 witness, we will have that marked for identification purposes as
16 Defence 14, just so that the record will be straight.
17 MR. KAY: I am much obliged, your Honour.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Do you have redirect?
19 Re-examined by MR. NIEMANN
20 Q. Mr. Karabasic, would you look for me, please, at the Defence document
21 that you were just shown, 14, and would you go to the fourth page?
22 Can you find the fourth page of that? The numbers are down at the
23 very bottom. Do you see right at the bottom it says No. 4? Would you
24 count down 14 lines from the very top, would you just count down the
25 numbers 14 lines from the top, would you just count them down, and
1 when you have got to No. 14, tell me.
2 A. Sure --"I am not sure but I think that Dule Tadic was carrying an
3 automatic rifle and that he was dressed in civilian clothes. Now I am
4 not sure even of what I had on me that day. As we were approaching, my
5 son Sejdo" ---
6 Q. If you just ----
7 A. -- was walking on my right side.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The record will reflect the witness is reading now
10 from Defence 14.
11 MR. NIEMANN: Yes. If I just repeat the English version to you, just so
12 that we can pick up precisely the quote? Would you listen and look at
13 what I have just shown you in the transcript and does it read to this
14 effect: "I am not sure but I think Dule Tadic was carrying an
15 automatic rifle and was dressed in civilian clothes. I am not even
16 sure right now exactly what it was that I was wearing on that day".
17 A. Yes, that is it.
18 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Kay?
20 MR. KAY: No further questions, your Honour.
21 JUDGE STEPHEN: I wonder if you might ask the witness for my benefit was
22 it Enver or Emir Karabasic that was, he said, the very good friend of
23 Tadic? That was right at the beginning of his evidence.
24 THE WITNESS: Yes.
25 MR. NIEMANN: You heard his Honour's question; can you tell us whether it
1 was Enver or Emir Karabasic that was the good friend?
2 A. Emir.
3 JUDGE STEPHEN: Could you tell me then what the relationship is between
4 Emir Karabasic and yourself?
5 A. We have the same surname but we are not related at all.
6 JUDGE STEPHEN: Thank you.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any additional questions, Mr. Niemann?
8 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Kay?
10 MR. KAY: No, thank you.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection to Mr. Karabasic being permanently
13 MR. KAY: No, your Honour.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Sir, you are permanently excused. You may leave.
15 Thank you for coming.
16 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
17 (The witness withdrew)
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, would you call your next witness,
20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour. The Prosecution's next witness is
21 Uzeir Besic.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I have timed the Prosecution. You have listed Mr.
23 Karabasic for three to four hours and you took an hour and 11 minutes.
24 Maybe that explains why the next witness is not standing out there.
25 JUDGE STEPHEN: Perhaps while we are waiting, I might ask one question
1 really of counsel and it is this: Mr. Karabasic was asked was he a
2 member of the TO and then Reserve service. I must say from previous
3 evidence I had thought that there was the JNA and it was split into
4 active duty and reserve. I did not realise the TO was also divided.
5 I do not think that last witness could have answered it, but it might
6 be clarified whether there was a reserve also in the TO.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I will myself check it because my
8 understanding is that some members were reserve, but I would like to
9 confirm it before I answer your Honour on that.
10 JUDGE STEPHEN: Thank you.
11 ^^ MR. UZEIR BESIC was called
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Sir, would you take the oath that is before you,
14 THE WITNESS [In translation]: I solemnly declare that I will speak the
15 truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
16 (The witness was sworn)
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You may be seated. Thank you.
18 Examined by MR. TIEGER
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.
20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour. Sir, what is your name?
21 A. Uzeir Besic.
22 Q. Where were you born, Mr. Besic?
23 A. Kozarac.
24 Q. What year were you born?
25 A. '63.
1 Q. What is your nationality?
2 A. Muslim.
3 Q. Did you grow up in Kozarac?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In what part of Kozarac?
6 A. Besici
7 Q. Besici is a portion of Kozarac?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. It is beyond, just beyond, the mosque up toward Mrakovica, up toward
10 the mountain?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I wonder if we might show a portion of what I
13 believe is Exhibit 195 -- in any event, the technicians know the
14 portion of that particular exhibit -- for the purposes of seeing if we
15 might point out where Besici is located?
16 Sir, I would ask you to run the video through and see if you
17 recognise first the general area that is shown. (The video was
19 A. Yes, I can recognise some of these things.
20 Q. Do you see the river below the road?
21 A. Yes, yes, I do. This is Besici.
22 Q. Can we continue, please, for a moment?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you see this structure or a kiosk, the checkpoint. Can we stop
25 for a moment, please? Did you see that structure we just passed?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Is that directly across from the Mutnik Mosque?
3 A. I believe so.
4 Q. Can we continue, please?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. Do you recognise what is shown on the video now?
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. What is this building?
9 A. It was the school.
10 Q. Can we stop here, please? Do you see the white building we are
11 approaching now?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What building was that?
14 A. The youth centre, this was not there. This was not here before.
15 Q. When you say "this" are you referring to the small structure on the
16 right side of the screen?
17 A. Yes, yes, this structure here. The Local Commune, Kozarac Youth
18 Centre. There was a kiosk here. Now it has gone.
19 Q. Can we return to reverse the video for a moment and return to the
20 portion where we began? Can we start it forward again? Mr. Besic, can
21 you ask us to stop the video when we get the best view of Besici?
22 A. Here, yes, that is fine.
23 Q. All right. Can we continue just a little further? There is a
24 panning shot which may show a larger portion of the hills?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you stop here?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is Besici the portion depicted in front or further toward the hills?
4 A. Up there, higher towards the hills.
5 Q. Thank you. What nationalities lived in Besici?
6 A. Muslims.
7 Q. Approximately how large was the village or hamlet of Besici?
8 A. Well, there were up to 80 households. I would not be able to say
9 exactly, but roughly.
10 Q. Did you attend primary school in Kozarac?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you walk to school every day from Besici?
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. How long a walk was that?
15 A. Well, say 15 minutes or so.
16 Q. After primary school, did you train as a machinist, train to become a
18 A. No, I was not a machinist.
19 Q. Did you do some kind of work related training after primary school?
20 A. First I worked in Ivanic-Grad. Then I went to do my military
21 service. I returned from the army to Ivanic-Grad, to the company I
22 worked for, and then I was trained in the Dvor Na Uni.
23 Q. Do you recall approximately when you began working in Ivanic-Grad?
24 A. I began in 1980.
25 Q. Were you a painter for a firm in Ivanic-Grad?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Ivanic-Grad is in Croatia near Zagreb, is that right?
3 A. Yes, near Zagreb.
4 Q. How often did you return home to Kozarac when you were working there?
5 A. Every weekend.
6 Q. You also told us that you performed compulsory service with the JNA;
7 what year was that?
8 A. From '82 to '83.
9 Q. In the JNA were you in the infantry for three months and then worked
10 in the laundry service after that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In 1986 did you begin work for a construction firm in Ljubljana in
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How often did you come home at that time?
16 A. Well, every fortnight or once a month or so.
17 Q. In 1990 did you return home to Kozarac when the firm you were working
18 for went bankrupt?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you then stay in Besici until the attack on Kozarac?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know Dule Tadic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. How long have you known him?
25 A. Ever since I was a school boy.
1 Q. Was your school close to his house?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you see him regularly in town while you were growing up?
4 A. By and large.
5 Q. Was he a well-known person in town?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. For what reason?
8 A. Well, because of karate and he practised karate, he was around.
9 Q. Did you have friends who trained with him or learned from him?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you sometimes watch Dule Tadic and your friends train?
12 A. Well, sometimes, sometimes -- very seldom however.
13 Q. Is Dule Tadic your age?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Is he older or younger?
16 A. Older.
17 Q. Do you have a brother about his age?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did your brother know Dule Tadic well?
20 A. Yes, generally speaking, he knew him better than I did.
21 Q. When you and Dule Tadic passed each other on the streets in Kozarac,
22 would you greet each other, say "hello"?
23 A. Well, it was mostly in company when I would be with some friends of
24 mine, and when they would be more people that he knew, then we would
25 greet each other, but we never socialised. We never went to some place
2 Q. Was he married?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What was his wife's name?
5 A. Mira.
6 Q. What did she do?
7 A. I believe she was a nurse.
8 Q. Did they have children?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. How many?
11 A. I think they had two.
12 Q. Back in Kozarac, do you remember what size man Dule Tadic was? Can
13 you describe his physical size and build?
14 A. Tadic was of medium height. He was taller than I am, rather sturdy
15 and so.
16 Q. Did he sometimes have a beard?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did he sometimes not have a beard?
19 A. Yes, sometimes he was without a beard, sometimes with a beard --
20 mostly with a beard.
21 Q. Mr. Besic, I would like now to ask you a few questions about the
22 period of time between the takeover of Prijedor by Serbian authorities
23 and the attack on Kozarac. Had Serbian military forces set up
24 roadblocks on the main road between Kozarac and Prijedor and between
25 Kozarac and Banja Luka?
1 A. I think they did set up roadblocks when they took over the power in
3 Q. Were Serb military forces and equipment positioned in the area of
4 Kozarac during that time?
5 A. Yes, they were positioned.
6 Q. Did Serbian authorities send a message to the people of Kozarac to
7 surrender all their weapons and to accept the Serbian flag?
8 A. Yes, there were negotiations to have the people surrender and disarm,
9 to have the Territorial Defence and police disarm, to give, surrender
10 our arms to the Serbs and in that case we would not have any problems.
11 Q. Did Muslim leaders from Kozarac attempt to negotiate some sort of
12 peaceful solution with Serbian authorities?
13 A. Yes, they went to negotiations, to peaceful negotiations. I am not
14 really well informed about this, but I hear that they went to
15 negotiate and to have the problem solved peacefully but they did not
16 manage to do so.
17 Q. When did the Serbian attack on Kozarac begin?
18 A. On May 24th.
19 Q. About what time of day?
20 A. I think it was around 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
21 Q. Despite the gathering of troops and equipment, despite the ultimatum
22 by Serbian authorities to hand over weapons and accept the Serbian
23 flag, did the attack come as a surprise to you and to your family and
25 A. Well, it was a surprise, yes, something was expected, but nobody
1 really expected an attack.
2 Q. Was Kozarac prepared to defend itself militarily?
3 A. No, it was not.
4 Q. You mentioned there was a local police force and a TO. Had there
5 been some guarding of local institutions before the attack occurred?
6 A. Yes, there was TO, naturally, and police; there were some watchers,
8 Q. During the period of time shortly before the attack, was there an
9 attempt to mobilize the local TO?
10 A. Well, there was. There was mobilization, but we had nothing else,
11 nothing came out of it.
12 Q. Had you heard any talk about any individual attempting to organise
13 some kind of defence?
14 A. Yes, there were individuals who tried to do something but all in all
15 they did not succeed. It was not possible to defend Kozarac.
16 Q. After the attack on Kozarac occurred, did you see any indication that
17 anyone had managed to put together a military defence for the town?
18 A. No, I did not.
19 Q. Where were you when the attack began?
20 A. I was at home in Besici.
21 Q. Who were you with?
22 A. I was with my family -- father, mother, wife, children.
23 Q. How did the attack begin, with what kind of weapons?
24 A. It started with shelling.
25 Q. After the shelling began, what did you and your family do, where did
1 you go?
2 A. We went to a nearby basement because we did not have a basement in
3 our house. So ----
4 Q. Did other people from Besici gather at the neighbour's basement?
5 A. Mostly they were in the basement. That was the first refuge they
6 sought out; whoever could find some kind of a place to hide.
7 Q. Did you stay that night in Besici?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How steady or intensive was the shelling that day of Kozarac?
10 A. It was very heavy shelling.
11 Q. Was Besici shelled?
12 A. Mostly not, or to a smaller degree.
13 Q. The next morning did the shelling continue?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you and your family leave Besici?
16 A. Yes, we went up there towards the mountains, towards the forest and
17 other people from Kozarac, nearby towns, were joining us. We were
18 mostly fleeing towards the forest. We were looking for a place where
19 we could be saved.
20 Q. You indicated that you and other people from Kozarac and nearby towns
21 were joining you. How many people gathered in the forest, if you can
23 A. A lot of people were going into the forest, hundreds, but there were
24 many people, many people. They were coming from Kozarac and from
25 other parts, other parts of Kozarac, from Besici and so on.
1 Q. Were they gathering in the same place or in different parts of the
3 A. They were not all in the same group, but there were large groups.
4 Q. These were men, women, children, old people?
5 A. Yes, they were women, elderly, children, everyone.
6 Q. What ethnic group were these people?
7 A. They were Muslim.
8 Q. Did you and your family stay in the forest on that night, the day
9 after the attack began?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The next morning did you and your wife and children return to Besici?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you return to the forest briefly that morning?
14 A. Yes, I returned because people were leaving the forest and then
15 coming back, and then somebody saw my mother, said that she remained
16 up there, she could not come down, and I went back to fetch her and I
17 brought her back into Besici.
18 Q. What was happening in Besici on that morning, on Tuesday morning?
19 A. Somebody came and informed, somebody came from Kozarac, I do not
20 remember who it was, and told us that we can go downward in columns
21 and that people are going down there to surrender; there were women,
22 children in the columns and that the column was walking with a white
23 flag in front of it. But there great panic arose among people because
24 we heard that they were taking out men, capable men, and shooting
25 them, so that I sent my wife and children there and I myself went
2 Q. When the people went down into Kozarac to surrender, how did they
3 indicate they were surrendering?
4 A. They indicated by the great column that had a white flag in front of
6 Q. What about your parents, did they decide to go down with the column
7 and surrender?
8 A. My parents remained at home. They did not want to leave their house
9 as well as some other people.
10 Q. Did they hope that things would be all right for older people such as
12 A. They were hoping that nobody would touch them. They were in their
13 own house. They did not want to go. They remained in their house.
14 Q. Did you later find out what happened to the people who remained in
15 Besici such as your parents?
16 A. Yes, I heard when I was in Keraterm camp that my father was shot.
17 Q. Did you find out what happened to your mother?
18 A. My mother was with my aunt and another woman. They remained there.
19 I heard that she was wounded and then I don't know what happened to
20 her afterwards.
21 Q. Did you leave Besici and return to the forest?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were there still people in the forest?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. As many as before?
1 A. No, there were less.
2 Q. Were some of those people preparing to surrender?
3 A. Some were preparing to go and surrender and some remained, continued
4 to stay in the forest and were making plans where to go what would be
5 the best thing to do.
6 Q. Was this mass of people separating into smaller groups?
7 A. They were mostly separating into groups, into smaller groups.
8 Q. How were these groups chosen, friends, relatives? What was the basis
9 for forming a group?
10 A. Generally the group was formed based on relatives; the group was
11 formed out of relatives, friends, acquaintances.
12 Q. Did you become part of such a group?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were the people in your group relatives and friends of yours?
15 A. Yes, they were relatives and friends.
16 Q. How many people in your group?
17 A. There were 12 of us.
18 Q. Did the others decide to remain in the forest for the same reason you
19 had because of fear of what might happen to the Muslim men who
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What did the men in your group hope to do?
23 A. We were thinking about -- we thought that they would not get to the
24 forest that fast. We were thinking about what we ought to do and we
25 mostly thought to go to Croatia through Kozara.
1 Q. Did any of you have weapons?
2 A. No.
3 Q. How long did you and your friends remain in the woods?
4 A. Until 31st May.
5 Q. During that time until 31st May what were you doing?
6 A. We were in the forest. We were looking for food.
7 Q. Were you hiding?
8 A. Yes, we were hiding in the forest, sleeping there.
9 Q. Now on 31st May did some members of your group go to try to find some
11 A. Yes, four from our group because we decided that we needed to find
12 more food and try and go to Croatia, and eight of us remained in the
14 Q. During that day were the eight of you spotted by Serbian forces?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did they fire at you?
17 A. Yes, they fired first at us, they noticed us, and we were frightened
18 in the forest and we scattered away through the forest. They were
19 calling at us to come out and not be afraid because they would not
20 hurt us, they would not do anything to us and not to worry.
21 Q. Did any of the members of your group respond to that call to come
23 A. Yes, a friend of mine frightened, we were all frightened, we were all
24 in panic and this was the first encounter of that kind that we ever
25 had, he started yelling, "Don't shoot, don't shoot, we are coming
1 out", and he ran out into the road and this was by a road, by a place
2 called Kadina.
3 Q. What did the rest of you do after your friend ran out?
4 A. We came, all of us came out.
5 Q. Did the Serbian forces take your documents and valuables?
6 A. When we came out the forest a group of Serbian soldiers came before
7 us and they said, they told us to raise our arms up there and ordered
8 us to empty our pockets and take out anything that we had there,
9 documents, money, to take out anything that was in the pockets.
10 Q. Did you recognise any of these Serbian soldiers as local Serbs,
11 people from the area?
12 A. No, not at that moment, I did not recognise anyone.
13 Q. Did any of them know or recognise any members of your group?
14 A. Yes, one of them recognised a friend of mine and he called him by his
15 name and said: 'Oh, so you are here too. You'll get what you
17 Q. Where did the Serb soldiers take your group?
18 A. They took us in front of a house that was underneath Kozarac hills,
19 and when we came there there was a lot of Serb army there. In front
20 of that house there was a woman, an owner of the house, Jasna, that I
21 know and on one bench there was a man with a beard, with a long beard,
22 and he was not in a camouflage uniform. On his head he had a fur hat
23 and on the fur hat he had a Kokarda sign.
24 Q. Was he in a kind of Chetnik uniform?
25 A. Yes, that was a Chetnik.
1 Q. What did the Serb soldiers do with you and the other members of your
2 group at that point?
3 A. They tied us, they tied us with some kind of a rope, and then we lay
4 down in front of that house. I was third from the beginning. This is
5 how we were lying down and they provoked us. They were insulting us,
6 cursing us. They did not beat us, but they were pointing weapons
7 towards us and aiming at us.
8 Q. You mentioned that the soldiers were insulting you and cursing you.
9 Were they using ethnic insults?
10 A. Yes, those were ethnic insults. They were cursing our Turkish
11 mothers, Muslim mothers.
12 Q. Were they also using the word "balija"?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were you singled out from the others?
15 A. At one point the woman, the owner of that house, was ordered to go
16 into the house and her daughter-in-law stayed there and then she
17 started crying and then she joined her into the house. She went into
18 the house and then later on a Serbian soldier came and hit me with his
19 leg and he told me to get up, and I got up and he told me, "You will
20 come with us towards Kozarac", and I was frightened. I did not feel
21 like going and I did not feel like separating, like being separated
22 from my group. I was afraid. He said: "Come on, why don't you start?
23 What are you waiting for?" So a group of my relatives and friends
24 remained there and I just turned towards them and they looked, those
25 friends and relatives of mine looked at me. Then I had to start
2 Q. As you set off into the forest, did you hear anything, any sounds,
3 coming from the area that you had just left?
4 A. Yes, when I started walking with them after about 50 or so metres I
5 heard screams, shooting. I immediately figured out and I thought, oh,
6 they shot them all, and I was thinking, what shall I do with myself?
7 How will I go on? I just said to myself, if they start doing
8 something to me, I will start running and they can shoot me if they
10 Q. Did you or any other friends or relatives ever see any of those men
11 alive again?
12 A. Serbian men?
13 Q. The members of your group, your friends and family?
14 A. I did not understand the question well.
15 Q. Did you ever see any of the members of your group, your friends and
16 family, alive again?
17 A. No, I did not see them.
18 Q. Later on in 1993 after you had left Bosnia, did someone approach you
19 and indicate that pictures had been taken by someone of bodies in the
20 general area where you had been?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Were those pictures presented to you in 1993?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Were you able to recognise the bodies depicted in those photos from
25 the clothing the persons were wearing?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Your Honour, may I have these four photographs marked Exhibit 226, A,
3 B, C and D?
4 Sir, can I ask you to look at those photographs and tell us if those
5 are the photographs you were just referring to?
6 A. Yes, those are those pictures.
7 Q. May those be placed on the monitor, please? Are those four members
8 of your group, Mr. Besic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can the photograph be moved, there is a glare on quite a portion of
11 it. Can we see the next photograph, please? Is this another member
12 of your group, sir?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The next photograph, please? Is this the sixth member of your group,
15 another one of your friends or relatives?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The last photograph, please. Sir, do you know exactly when these
18 pictures were taken?
19 A. The pictures were taken after, after a month I think, a month after
20 this event.
21 Q. Is this the seventh member of your group, another friend or relative?
22 A. Yes. Yes.
23 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I would tender 226 A through D for admission.
24 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 226 A, B, C and D will be admitted.
1 We will stand in recess until 2.30.
2 (1.00 a.m.)
3 (Luncheon Adjournment)
5 (2.30 p.m.)
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann?
7 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour. Your Honours, I just wanted to make
8 reference to the witness list and indicate to the court and foreshadow
9 there may be some variation in the order.
10 Witness No. 26 on the list is from North America. He has had
11 difficulty with passports, so it does not look as though he will be
12 here on time to give evidence as we expected.
13 Witness No. 27 is the ID witness that we have spoken of and
14 have pushed further back down the list now because of the ID issue
15 which is to be resolved. So, we will drop him from that order.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Where would you put 27?
17 MR. NIEMANN: It is a bit hard to guess at this stage, but either late
18 next week, that would be Wednesday of next week, or he may fall over
19 to the period after July, depending on how we are going then, your
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: So you will not call witness 27 after Mr. Besic?
22 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honours. We will wait until that issue of ID has
23 resolved itself.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: So your next witness will be 24, then 25 and then 26
25 -- no, you are not certain about 26, when you will call him, because
1 of the passport problem?
2 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, he has passport problems.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: When will you know about that? When will you know
4 whether that has been worked out?
5 MR. NIEMANN: This is the hands of the Government that issues the
6 passports, your Honours, and we are uncertain as to when that will be
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: What are we going to do? When would you be able to
9 tell the Defence? I am really concerned about the Defence. They want
10 to know because they want to be able to cross-examine. You will have
11 27, 24, 25 and then what happens?
12 MR. NIEMANN: 25 and then ----
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Then either 26 or 30?
14 MR. NIEMANN: Then we go on to the next one after 25 will be now No. 30.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes.
16 MR. NIEMANN: Then 31.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: How much lead time will you have regarding 26 in
18 terms of the passport situation?
19 MR. NIEMANN: He was spoken to yesterday and his application is still
20 being processed. We have spoken to officials in the government where
21 he lives and asked them to expedite it as quickly as they can. It is
22 really a day-to-day issue as to whether it will be cleared. We had
23 hoped that the issue would be resolved by now and he would be on his
24 way here and there would be no problem, but as of the moment that has
25 not been resolved.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You will tell Defence counsel then the day before
2 you intend to call him?
3 MR. NIEMANN: Certainly.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: At least the day before, no later than the day
5 before, you intend to call 26. So we will leave 26 kind of floating
6 for the moment until you let us know about that. 27, you will be
7 putting after which witness?
8 MR. NIEMANN: After the argument on and resolution of the issue on ID.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 27 is the first ID witness. Is there another one
10 that comes up?
11 MR. NIEMANN: Not before.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: When is the next one after 27?
13 MR. NIEMANN: The next witness after 27 or the next ID witness?
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there another ID witness after 27 and, if so,
15 what number?
16 MR. NIEMANN: I am not in a position to answer that, your Honour. There
17 are other ID witnesses we are calling, but he is the first ID witness
18 that will come up in these batch of witnesses. We have pushed him
19 back because the issue needs to be resolved before calling him, but
20 there will be others later on. But I am not in a position to answer
21 that yet, your Honour. I will have to go through and check each
22 statement to see which one is ID as opposed to which one is
23 recognition ---
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK.
25 MR. NIEMANN: -- and I have not done that.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Make sure that we have enough time to resolve the
2 issue then before we hear 27. Maybe tomorrow morning you can tell me
3 when you want to put 27 because, I gather, there are some in between
4 here who are not eyewitnesses -- ID witness problems.
5 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, all the others are recognition, your Honour. We have
6 worked out a new list to keep us going, so now it will be the same
7 list, except that 26, 27 and 29 at the moment are dropping down, but
8 28 is still in place and No. 30 and 31 are still in place. I will
9 prepare a new list so it is easy to follow.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 30 and 31 are not ID problems?
11 MR. NIEMANN: No, and nor is 28.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: What about 32?
13 MR. NIEMANN: Nor is 32.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK. I think we have enough witnesses; we certainly
15 have enough witnesses through this week and probably even Tuesday too
16 before we even get to the ID problem.
17 MR. NIEMANN: That is our plan, your Honour.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Probably we need to talk about the ID problem then
19 on Wednesday. I will talk with the Judges to see if we can come up
20 with a time -- maybe Wednesday morning.
21 MR. NIEMANN: One other matter, your Honours, I have had discussion with
22 the Defence and we have agreed amongst ourselves that when we refer to
23 our interpreters, rather than mention their name, we will merely pass
24 the statement to the witness and ask the witness whether that was the
25 interpreter that was present, if that convention is acceptable to the
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Very good. Mr. Kay and Mr. Wladimiroff, will you do
3 that, avoid mentioning the names of the interpreters?
4 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes, your Honours.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there anything else?
6 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Very good. Continue with the witness.
8 MR. UZEIR BESIC, recalled.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, you may continue.
10 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour.
11 Mr. Besic, just before the recess you identified the
12 photographs of your friends and families. Can I ask you what ethnic
13 group these people belonged to?
14 A. Muslim.
15 Q. You indicated earlier that when the Serbs singled you out and took
16 you off it was for the purpose, they said, of having you direct them
17 to Kozarac. Did they take you all the way into Kozarac?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Where did they stop?
20 A. They stopped by the first houses towards the village of Besici.
21 Q. Did they ask you either at that time or earlier where certain parts
22 of Opstina Prijedor were?
23 A. As we were coming down from the house where we were, a group stayed
24 there, as I have said, and with me climbed down one of the Commanders
25 and part of the army; and their superior asked me where I was born,
1 where I had worked, what I was doing, and I told him. He asked me if
2 I had any children, I told him and then he took out a knife -- I was
3 tied -- and he untied my hands. When we reached the first houses we
4 stopped there and they asked me where the village Rajkovici was, in
5 which direction were Prijedor and Corici.
6 Then they went to a house, a group of soldiers went to a
7 house, and set it on fire. This Commander asked me where would I go
8 if he let me off, and I did not know where to or how. I was
9 frightened out of my wits. Now, by another house there was an old
10 woman and an old man and a boy. So I asked if I could, "Can I stay
11 with them?" and he said, "Do that". They were still there and there
12 they took their positions. I then realised that perhaps he would not
13 kill me, or I do not know.
14 Q. Did you stay at that house for some time?
15 A. Yes, he told me to stay in that house, but he also said, "Now
16 another round of the army come and I will give them your name so that
17 nothing happens to you". So, then they left and another group of
18 military came. They were wearing SMB uniforms and they had white arm
19 bands. They asked me about my first name and my family name, because
20 this one, the first one, must have told them -- he had a walkie-talkie
21 or something -- that I was there so I was there until right until the
22 3rd, until the 3rd.
23 Q. Did the other soldiers who came, the ones in the SMB uniform, tell
24 you not to leave, not to try to escape?
25 A. Yes, later on as I was in this house with this old man and old woman
1 and this boy, a soldier came and told me not to even try to escape,
2 not to go anywhere.
3 Q. On your way to this area did you see other Serb soldiers in the
4 region when you were walking from the place where you had left your
5 friends and family to the area of Besici?
6 A. I was in the house until the 3rd and then the orders came to leave
7 that house, myself and that old man, woman and the boy, and they took
8 us towards Rajkovici. We were going to the forest and, as we were
9 coming closer to Rajkovici, there were all Serb soldiers, all one next
10 to the other. They had taken up positions there.
11 Q. You mentioned the 3rd, is that 3rd June?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What kind of village was Rajkovici, that is, what nationality or
14 nationalities lived in Rajkovici?
15 A. The majority of Rajkovici villagers were Catholics.
16 Q. So they were a Croat nationality or Croat origin?
17 A. Yes. Croats, Catholics, Bosnian Croats, shall we say.
18 Q. During these days did you hear any of the soldiers speaking in a way
19 that indicated they were from outside Bosnia?
20 A. Yes, their accent was different. Their accent was not Bosnian, and
21 that was how I knew they were not local Serbs from local places.
22 However, there were some local ones among them, but I believe from
23 other parts.
24 Q. When you were taken to Rajkovici, in addition to seeing many
25 soldiers, did you also see another Croat or Muslim captive?
1 A. Yes, when we arrived in Rajkovici, I saw a boy tied to a tree. He
2 had been wounded and beaten up and was tied to a tree.
3 Q. Approximately, what age was this boy or young man?
4 A. I should say he was my age, more or less.
5 Q. What was his condition, his physical condition?
6 A. He was battered, he was severely beaten up and his leg was injured.
7 Q. Did the soldiers ask you if you knew him?
8 A. Yes, later I was approached by two Serb policemen and they took me to
9 him and asked me if I knew him. I said "no". Then they asked him if
10 he knew me and he only made a sign with his head to show that he did
11 not. Had I even known him, I would not have been able to recognise
12 him, he was that badly beaten up.
13 Q. What happened to you after you said that you did not know the young
14 man and he said he did not know you?
15 A. Well, then they beat me, soldiers and so .....
16 Q. How did they beat you?
17 A. They kicked me with their feet and the like. I cannot even remember
18 how it was. I only know they beat me. I know I was beaten up there.
19 Q. Were they saying anything to you, were cursing you, as they were
20 beating you?
21 A. As they beat me, yes, they did. They cursed at me, my "balija
22 mother" and the like. They were mostly ethnic curses.
23 Q. When the beating stopped what did they do with you?
24 A. When the beating stopped a Commander of sorts came, I assume he was
25 the Commander, and he told them to untie the one that was tied to a
1 tree, and to tie us with the wire and to put us on a military vehicle
2 -- it was a van or something -- and to take us away somewhere.
3 Before that, they asked, "And what are we to do, what about
4 these two old people?" because there was this old man and the woman --
5 the old man I knew, the woman I did not -- and they said, "Take them
6 to the forest and kill them because they defended this camp".
7 Q. Was the old couple taken away into the forest?
8 A. Yes, and they were taken up towards the forest. I heard shots and
9 then we were put in a van and we took off.
10 Q. Who was put in the van?
11 A. Myself, the one who was tied to a tree and the boy that was with
12 those old people who came with me.
13 Q. Approximately how old was that person, not the one who had been tied
14 to a tree, but the other young man?
15 A. Well, he was 17 or 16, maybe 18. I would not know exactly. He was
17 Q. Did the van in which the three of you were transported have windows?
18 A. Yes, there were windows.
19 Q. Were you able to see the place where you were taken when you arrived?
20 Were you able to see it and recognise it?
21 A. Yes, as we rode in that van I saw something. I could turn my head
22 and could see that we were heading towards Prijedor, and when we
23 arrived I realised that we were in the Prijedor barracks.
24 Q. Is that the JNA barracks, by the way?
25 A. Yes, the former JNA.
1 Q. When you arrived at the Prijedor JNA barracks, where were you taken?
2 A. When we got off the van we were taken to a building. We entered a
3 corridor and the one who had driven us there took us in. I do not
4 know what they were, policemen or what, and said, "There they are",
5 and he point and said that, "This one had a machine gun, and beat
6 him", and they started to beat me. They were beating me with their
7 foot and with their batons.
8 Q. When you were taken inside this building and into a hallway, were you
9 and the other two placed in some portion of the hallway?
10 A. Yes, we first came into that hallway and I remember there was a room
11 there, a toilet and we stood there against the wall. Across the
12 hallway, across the corridor, were rooms and we faced the wall.
13 Q. Was there a portion of the hallway to your right as you faced the
15 A. Yes, a longish corridor, a longer hallway, as I said.
16 Q. Were there offices or rooms down the hallway to your right?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. Was there also a portion of hallway to your left as you faced the
20 A. Well, there was the exit from the building.
21 Q. Were the other two young men with you to your right or to your left?
22 A. To the left.
23 Q. You said the soldiers then started to beat you. Did they say
24 anything to you as they beat you?
25 A. The common curses.
1 Q. Did they beat you with any objects?
2 A. They beat us with police batons.
3 Q. Did you remain standing after the beating started?
4 A. After the blows I crumbled down on the floor.
5 Q. What part of your body were they hitting when the beating began?
6 A. In the beginning around my shoulders, my back.
7 Q. You say you crumbled down to the floor, in what position were you?
8 A. I collapsed. I was on my knees and I was by the wall facing the
10 Q. Was your face facing forward, facing left or facing right?
11 A. Facing to the right.
12 Q. After you crumbled to your knees, did the soldiers continue to beat
14 A. Yes, there were some easier blows, lighter blows, and they were also
15 hitting me with their legs.
16 Q. As you were down on your knees with your head facing right, did you
17 see anyone coming from an office down the corridor?
18 A. Yes. While I was on my knees, out of a room which was up there in
19 the corridor, I saw Dule Tadic coming out from a room and walking
20 outside, outside of the building.
21 Q. Walking in your direction?
22 A. Yes. He was walking towards exit.
23 Q. How was he dressed?
24 A. He was in camouflage uniform.
25 Q. Did you see him leave the office and then see him approach toward you
1 down the hall?
2 A. Yes, he was walking towards us. He left the room. He was walking
3 towards us, and as he was going out he kicked me a few times with his
4 feet and then he went out. I do not know where he went after that.
5 Q. After that what happened?
6 A. After that we were untied. Nothing was happening. They were not
7 beating us. They were pretending that nothing happened and they
8 started interrogating us in a room, in an office.
9 Q. During the course of the interrogation did they ask you about weapons
10 and arms?
11 A. Yes, they asked me about arms, where I was, what I was doing, and the
12 like; what kind of an arm -- what kind of a weapon I had.
13 Q. What did you tell them?
14 A. Well, the person that was interrogating me told me it is better to
15 admit that I had a rifle, so I had to admit that I had a weapon and
16 then, finally, I signed a statement which said that I participated in
17 arm uprising -- armed uprising against Serbian people.
18 Q. After being presented with this document and at the conclusion of the
19 interrogation where were you taken?
20 A. After that interrogation, the three of us -- a car came, the Yugo car
21 came with two policemen and they took us to Keraterm camp.
22 Q. They took you and the two others who had been with you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. When you arrived at Keraterm were the three of you confronted by any
25 uniformed Serb?
1 A. When we came to Keraterm these two policemen that brought us and
2 drove us in, gave us, turned us over to a soldier whose name was Zoran
3 Zigic. When I say "Zoran Zigic", I did not know this person before,
4 but I heard his name mentioned in the camp afterwards, and he stood
5 there and greeted us there with some other soldiers, guards.
6 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, may I ask that Z3, 30-9 -- I am told we would be
7 better off placing this on the elmo, so if I could have this
8 photograph marked for identification as Prosecution 227?
9 Mr. Besic, do you recognise what is shown in this photograph?
10 A. Yes, I recognise.
11 Q. Does that depict the general area where you were with Zoran Zigic?
12 A. Yes, it depicts, this is -- there are a scale. I think that this is
13 a scale. I have never been in this facility before.
14 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I would tender this 227 for admission.
15 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 227 will be admitted.
17 MR. TIEGER: If I may have this marked as Exhibit 228?
18 Mr. Besic, does this photograph more clearly depict the area
19 you were speaking about?
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. TIEGER: I would tender 228, your Honour.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection?
23 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Which photograph is that, which number?
24 MR. TIEGER: 29-16.
25 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 228 will be admitted.
2 MR. TIEGER: May that be placed on the monitor, please? Your Honour, I
3 can show 227. It is just a ----
4 JUDGE STEPHEN: If it is an exhibit, we should see it.
5 MR. TIEGER: Sure. This is 227, your Honour. For the record, the exhibit
6 now on the monitor is 228.
7 (To the witness): When Zigic confronted the three of you in
8 this area, what happened? What did he first ask or do?
9 A. When we came there by him he asked us what nationality we were. We
10 told him we were Muslim. Then he ordered, he ordered us, "Let's see
11 how the Muslims pray to the God". So we had to show him. Then later
12 he said, "Let's take" -- he told us to take our underwear off so that
13 he can see if we were circumcised and if we were not that he would do
14 that. So we had to do at that as well. Then he beat us with his
15 feet. I think he also had a rifle and he beat us with his -- with the
16 butt of the rifle and then he sent us to a room. I think it was
17 called No. 1. There was already full of detainees.
18 Q. Did Zigic tell you to stay in a particular part of room No. 1?
19 A. Yes, straight at the door he told us: "Well, you will stay here".
20 Q. Later that same day were other prisoners brought to Keraterm and put
21 in the same cell?
22 A. Yes, the same day and sometime afterwards, a little bit later and
23 then came full of inmates and later we heard that they were from
24 Ljubija near Prijedor. Those were Croats and Muslims.
25 Q. How many Croats and Muslims were brought from Ljubija that day?
1 A. There were 10. I think there were 10.
2 Q. Did Zigic confront them when they arrived as well?
3 A. Yes, he treated them the same way. I saw from behind the corner
4 where I was standing that he beat them and then he brought them
5 upstairs and put in the room where I was.
6 Q. The translation says "upstairs"; were you on the ground floor or in
7 an upstairs area?
8 A. It was ground floor but when I say "up" there, I meant from the
9 scales towards the room where I was, close to the room where I was.
10 Q. You also said earlier there were many other prisoners in room No. 1
11 or cell No. 1 when you arrived; what nationality were those prisoners?
12 A. They were mostly Muslims and there were some Croats.
13 Q. Over the next two weeks were you and others taken from room No. 1
14 repeatedly and beaten?
15 A. Yes, regularly. We were regularly taken out by Zigic and we were
16 beaten by him, but he was also taking out other people. In front of
17 the door he would order us to sing the songs and he would beat us at
18 the same time.
19 Q. Who was taken out with you?
20 A. Other than myself it was -- they took out the guy that came with me
21 from Rajkovici who was tied up there and others that came after me to
22 Keraterm from Ljubija.
23 Q. Do you recall whether they also took out the young man who came with
24 you from Besici to Rajkovici to the barracks and then to Keraterm?
25 A. No, he was not taken out.
1 Q. You said that you and the others were forced to sing. What kinds of
2 songs were you forced to sing?
3 A. We sang Serbian songs, and then Zigic just wanted to play with us,
4 and we sang some, are extremist song, just like if we were extremists,
5 and he was ordering us to sing the extremists songs and he would order
6 us to sing this song: "We will beat JNA and Krajina will collapse and
7 Alija is our leader", so he would be standing in front of us and we
8 would be singing and he would say: "Well, who is going to collapse?"
9 Q. Did Zigic force the prisoners to hit one another?
10 A. Yes, he would force us.
11 Q. You also indicated that other prisoners besides you and the people
12 you mentioned who were called out with you would be called out from
13 the room and beaten. How often did this occur?
14 A. It would occur mostly when Zigic's shift was on. He would call out
15 people in the evening, take the people out, beat them.
16 Q. How long did you stay in Keraterm?
17 A. I cannot tell exactly, but around 14 days.
18 Q. Where were you taken after that?
19 A. After that a police car, a police van, came and there were 13 of us
20 called out and we were taken to Omarska.
21 Q. When you arrived at Omarska were guards there to take you from the
22 police car, the police van?
23 A. Yes. When we came to Omarska there were guards there. We came out
24 one by one and we were told to raise our arms behind our neck and go
25 into garage one by one. Then we lined up and when we entered the
1 hangar, as we were walking they were hitting us, beating us and took
2 us to the room No. 15.
3 Q. Did you remain in that room until you were interrogated?
4 A. In the room No. 15 I was, I stayed there until I was interrogated.
5 Q. Where were you interrogated?
6 A. We were interrogated on the floor by the restaurant, in a room there.
7 Q. Was that on the ground floor or on the upper floor?
8 A. Upper floor.
9 Q. Did you know the person who conducted the interrogation?
10 A. I was interrogated by Radakovic, the head of the National Park in
11 Kozarac. I knew him in Kozara, National Park in Kozara. I knew him a
12 little bit.
13 Q. Did Radakovic know that you had previously been in the JNA barracks
14 and in Keraterm?
15 A. I think he knew. I also told him everything. I told him what
16 happened, how I got there and what happened up until then, up until
17 that moment when I was interrogated.
18 Q. Were you beaten during the interrogation?
19 A. First, I was interrogated and then after that Radakovic did not beat
20 me, but I was beaten by the guard that brought me to the room where I
21 was interrogated.
22 Q. How were you beaten?
23 A. I was beaten so that I had to kneel and they would beat me from up
24 there with the batons. They would beat me on my back and on my kidney
1 Q. At the end of this interrogation and beating, were you presented with
2 something to sign?
3 A. After that interrogation, I came out to pista and after a certain
4 time I was called out by a guard and he took me back there to
5 Radakovic. They read to me everything that I told them, everything
6 that occurred during the interrogation, and then I signed that
7 statement and went back to pista.
8 Q. The pista is the open space between the restaurant building and the
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. That is a concrete area?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you stay there during the day?
14 A. Yes, during the day we were there. In the evening, we would mostly
15 go to the restaurant and sometimes we would sleep outside.
16 Q. Was there any protection from the sun during the day for the
18 A. No, there was no protection. Those detainees who would get to the
19 hangar first there was just more shade there, but otherwise we had to
20 sit in the sun, in the scorching sun.
21 Q. Approximately how many prisoners were on the pista, if you can
23 A. I did not hear the translation well.
24 Q. I was just wondering if you could give us any estimate of how many
25 prisoners were on the pista?
1 A. On the pista maybe, according to my estimate, around 300, 500. I do
2 not know exactly, but I know that pista was always full.
3 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I wonder if I might at this time show some brief
4 video footage depicting that general area of Omarska camp?
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is that from an exhibit that is already in evidence?
6 MR. TIEGER: To my knowledge, it is not from an exhibit that is already in
7 evidence; it is from footage which the Defence has seen.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That will be marked, what do you propose, 229?
9 MR. TIEGER: 229, your Honour.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Very good.
11 (Exhibit 229 was shown)
12 Mr. Besic, does this show the pista looking toward the
13 restaurant building with the cameraman's back to the hangar?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What is now shown on the screen?
16 A. This is a restaurant.
17 Q. Does this now show the pista from the other side, that is, looking at
18 the hangar with the cameraman's back to the restaurant building?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Does this now show the pista with the cameraman standing in the
21 general area of the white house?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I would tender Exhibit 229.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection?
25 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 229 will be admitted.
2 MR. TIEGER: This might be an appropriate time to indicate to the court
3 that the footage previously shown I had indicated was from Exhibit
4 195; I am advised it is actually from Exhibit 107.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That was the film; is that correct?
6 MR. TIEGER: Yes. It showed the area of Besici.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Very good, thank you.
8 MR. TIEGER: During the day, Mr. Besic, how did prisoners stay on the
9 pista? How did they sit and, if so, in what position?
10 A. Well, we would sit, sometimes we would sit, sometimes we would lie on
11 our stomach. If we were sitting we would be, we would turn our backs
12 to the restaurant. If we were lying, then we would face the hangar.
13 Q. You said when you were sitting you would turn your backs to the
14 restaurant; did that mean you would face the hangar when you were
15 sitting? Which direction did you face when you were sitting?
16 A. If we were sitting, we would face the restaurant, if we were sitting;
17 and if we were lying on our stomachs, we would turn and watch and face
18 the hangar.
19 Q. Were there particular occasions when prisoners were made to lie down
20 instead of sit?
21 A. Mostly we were ordered to lie down. They would yell, "Lie down", and
22 if something, if there was an incident, something would happen, if
23 somebody was carried out from interrogation, then in order not to have
24 us see something, not to have us see what is happening.
25 Q. When prisoners were sitting were they generally discouraged by the
1 guards from looking around?
2 A. No, if something was happening, we would not be sitting down. If
3 they were beating somebody, or carrying them out, carry them out from
4 interrogation, because people were carried out from interrogation,
5 beaten up or they would be dead, in that case we would have to lie
6 down on our stomachs so that we would not see that, or if they were in
7 a bad mood, if the guards were in a bad mood, then sometimes we had to
8 lie for several hours in the sun.
9 Q. While you were on the pista did you ever see Dule Tadic in Omarska
11 A. While I was on the pista I saw Dule Tadic once.
12 Q. Where were you sitting at the time? Can I ask you to take that
13 pointer on the table and point to the position, the approximate
14 position, in which you were sitting when you saw Dule Tadic on Exhibit
15 130, the model?
16 A. Yes. I was sitting here more or less. (Indicated on the model).
18 Q. In what position were you sitting, not the position relative to the
19 camp, but just how were you sitting? On your knees? Sitting down?
20 A. We were sitting normally with my knees up, I think. I mean, like
21 this, like everybody else, so that my knees were up, up to here.
22 Q. In which direction were you facing?
23 A. I was facing in the direction of the building where the
24 interrogations went on.
25 Q. Before you saw Dule Tadic did anything bring your attention to the
1 area where you finally saw him?
2 A. Yes, I was drawn, the attention or, rather, I heard some yells and
3 shouts of some inmates or some detainees who were behind the building
4 where the interrogations took place. I heard some yells, some screams,
5 some loud cries, so that I simply looked in that direction.
6 Q. Can you point to the general area where you heard those sounds coming
8 A. Yes. The yelling came here, from this side, from here. (The witness
9 indicated on the model).
10 Q. Then what did you next see?
11 A. After that I saw the inmates coming in -- coming out. They had
12 already come out and there was Dule Tadic with some soldiers. I do
13 not know how many of them there were. All of a sudden, we were
14 ordered, "Lie down", and we have already learned that "Lie down", we
15 knew that it was a sign to go down in the prone position and so that
16 was that. Others to the right in the white house, those who were
17 coming out from the other side, from this other building, they also
18 came and lied down next to me in a line.
19 Q. So that before you took the position you were ordered to take lying
20 down on the pista, you saw Dule Tadic and some soldiers come from the
21 area behind the restaurant building along with prisoners?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you point out where he was when you first saw him?
24 A. The first time I glimpsed him he was somewhere here. (The witness
25 indicated on the model).
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Did you see that, Mr. Wladimiroff?
2 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Would you point it out again?
4 MR. TIEGER: Mr. Besic, if you could point it out once more?
5 A. Here, approximately.
6 Q. After you took the position laying down on the pista, the prisoners
7 who had been brought from around the corner of the restaurant building
8 came to the area near you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you show us again where you were at that time and where the
11 prisoners were?
12 A. Yes, here, more or less. All this was filled to capacity with
13 inmates and I was here; and when those came that I already mentioned,
14 they moved in here around here next to me, and each one took up some
16 Q. So the prisoners who had come from the area behind the restaurant
17 building took a position to your right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did you hear sounds coming from those prisoners? You may sit down,
20 Mr. Besic.
21 A. You mean those lying next to me?
22 Q. The prisoners who had come from the area of the restaurant who were
23 lying to your right, did you hear sounds coming from them?
24 A. Yes, they were lying around me. There were, I think, half cries of
25 pain, moaning, and as I was lying down I raised my head a little bit.
1 I saw they were being beaten, that they were kicking them, jumping on
2 them and Dule Tadic was hitting them, jumping on them and such like;
3 and then orders came for them to stand up and to move on and they went
4 towards the white house and entered. I could not see whether they all
5 entered it, or whether some went on and I saw them going after them,
6 but I saw them entering and what happened to those people then, I do
7 not know. I knew surnames of many of them. There were Alic's,
8 Foric's and others. I never heard about those people again, whether
9 they were still alive or not; at any rate, I never saw them again.
10 Q. When Dule Tadic was jumping on these prisoners and such, did you look
11 more than once while the beating was taking place?
12 A. I think I looked two to three times.
13 Q. How long did the beating last?
14 A. Well, it lasted not long but, say, I do not know, I cannot remember.
15 Q. Were some of the prisoners beaten so badly they had to be carried
17 A. Yes, some were so beaten up that they had to be carried away. I
18 remember a young man who was screaming and others had to carry him, I
19 mean, inmates who were not that badly beaten had to carry him, and he
20 was yelling, "Please do kill me". I think that his backbone was
22 Q. Were you moved from the pista within a few days of this incident?
23 A. A few days later I moved to room 26.
24 Q. Did you remain in room 26 until most of the prisoners in the camp
25 were moved from Omarska in early August?
1 A. Yes, I stayed in room 26 until the closure of the Omarska camp.
2 Q. Were you taken to Manjaca or Trnopolje when most of the other
3 prisoners were removed from Omarska?
4 A. No, I stayed for some more time with another 100 or so inmates in
6 Q. When most of the prisoners went to Manjaca and Trnopolje, were their
7 names called off of lists before they boarded buses?
8 A. Yes, there were calls out, I think some were called out. I believe
9 there were two groups. One group was taken towards the buses and
10 another group that went to Trnopolje later on, they were sitting on
11 the pista. Depending on whose name is called out and then he would be
12 told, "You go here" and "You go there". I believe there were two
14 Q. Were there many prisoners, that is, were there many names called for
15 people who did not respond?
16 A. Yes, most of them, when they would call out names they also called
17 out the names who had disappeared from Omarska camp, those who had
18 been taken away or been killed or died as a result of beatings. They
19 themselves did not know whom they had killed and what they had been
20 doing. So these people still featured on the lists of those alive.
21 Q. How many prisoners stayed in Omarska?
22 A. I cannot remember exactly, but I think 182 or 162. I cannot tell you
23 exactly. At any rate, that is when the Red Cross came in the Omarska
24 camp and put our names on record.
25 Q. What happened that night?
1 A. That night when everybody had left, one group had left to Manjaca,
2 another one later on to Trnopolje, and we stayed behind, we were all
3 frightened; "Everybody has left and we are still here; God knows what
4 will happen to us". Later on, we were in a room, we were put in a
5 room behind the canteen or, rather, below the building where we had
6 been interrogated; and after a while a big trailer truck arrived.
7 Several guards came and said that some 10 men had to come out and
8 unload something, and we went there and began unloading that trailer.
9 We saw military cots and we realised then that something would happen
10 to us, so we unloaded those cots and took them into the room and put
11 them around. That is how we spent that night.
12 Q. So beds arrived that night and were assembled?
13 A. Yes, we did not sleep at all. We were putting them up, assembling
14 them, putting them in order; and as the dawn broke out a Commander
15 came called Brk -- I believe his nickname was "Brk" -- and he ordered
16 us all outside the hall and said, "Today journalists will come", and
17 we were accommodated there so as not to say anything about what I am
18 telling you.
19 He told us, "You may not say that you have been here for more
20 than 20 days. You have to say that you have accommodation here, you
21 have beds, that you eat twice a day, that you were not beaten", and so
22 on and so forth.
23 True enough, that day we ate twice. We went to get our food
24 and there was a lot of food. Each of us was given half a loaf of
25 bread so that we really ate enough, but there was too much food, and
1 since we were all famished some of them got sick -- I was one of
2 those -- after all that food; and then we had to clean up those rooms
3 where the detainees had been kept to conceal any track of them, any
4 trace, any sign, that could show something.
5 Q. During the cleaning were prisoners ordered to clean up any or as many
6 traces of blood from the various rooms as they were able?
7 A. Yes, the orders were to clean up everything that could be indicating
8 a murder or something like that. Some people went to clean houses and
9 I was cleaning the hangar. There was a wire and there were still some
10 jackets or sneakers or shoes and things like that had been left behind
11 and we had all to put them together. There was a large container. We
12 were loading this in and then we took some hoses from the water
13 supply, and then we washed it all away, and near the -- in the white
14 house we saw that there were some lockers and they were all removing
15 them; presumably, they were trying to hide traces, holes of bullets or
16 something like that.
17 Q. Mr. Besic, in the translation we received it said in the white house
18 there were "locks"?
19 A. "Lockers".
20 Q. Thank you. It has been straightened out. You said that Brk told the
21 prisoners that journalists would be coming that day. Do you know
22 whether or not other journalists had come before most of the prisoners
23 had been removed from Omarska?
24 A. I heard those journalists were there but I did not see them.
25 Q. Did any among the 160 to 180 people who remained in the camp, did any
1 women remain in camp?
2 A. Yes, there were five women.
3 Q. Were they shown to the journalists or were they hidden from the
5 A. Whenever journalists or the Red Cross came, they would be taken away
6 somewhere and hidden, so that they were never shown in Omarska.
7 Q. Mr. Besic, you just explained a little bit of what conditions were
8 like in Omarska after most of the prisoners were taken to Trnopolje or
9 Manjaca and journalists were permitted in. What were conditions like
10 in Omarska before that?
11 A. Before that the conditions were terrible. We did not receive enough
12 food or enough water to drink. We were dirty. There was no hygiene.
13 We had lice, dysentery.
14 Q. Were prisoners regularly beaten?
15 A. Were they beaten after I stayed behind or before that? I did not
16 quite understand.
17 Q. Thank you. Before most of the prisoners were taken from Omarska,
18 were there regular beatings of prisoners?
19 A. Yes, there were regular beatings.
20 Q. Did those beatings take place when prisoners went to eat, for
22 A. Yes, when we would go to the restaurant we went in groups of 30.
23 Sometimes there would be no beatings but more often there were
25 Q. Were there women in camp in addition to the men?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Where were they held?
3 A. Women, during the day time, they were usually in the restaurant.
4 They sat there. When food was distributed, some of them worked in the
5 kitchen and, I do not know, cleaning something.
6 Q. Were prisoners called out from the various rooms at night and beaten
7 or killed?
8 A. Yes. People were called out, taken out, some returned, some never
10 Q. What was the nationality of the prisoners in the camp?
11 A. Muslims, most of them, and there were some Croats.
12 Q. What was the nationality of the guards and the Commanders of the
14 A. The guards and Commanders, I think they were all Serbs.
15 Q. What was the ethnic group, for example, of Mr. Radakovic who
16 interrogated you?
17 A. I think he was a Serb.
18 Q. Mr. Besic, I would ask you to look around the courtroom and tell us
19 if Dule Tadic is in court today?
20 A. Yes, he is.
21 Q. Can you point out where he is sitting, please?
22 A. Over there is that individual.
23 Q. What is he wearing?
24 A. He wears a suit, a tie. He is nicely dressed, clean shaven. His
25 hair is in order.
1 MR. TIEGER: May the record reflect the identification of the accused?
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Why do you not ask him a few more questions? There
3 are a lot of people in here dressed in suits and ties, are there not,
4 cleanly shaven, nicely dressed -- I am looking at a law clerk.
5 MR. TIEGER: He was pointing at the same time, your Honour, so I can have
6 him do it again. Sir, can you point to Dule Tadic once more, please,
7 the person you indicated was wearing the suit and tie?
8 A. Yes, I can.
9 Q. Please do.
10 A. This is this person sitting over there between two policemen. He has
11 a green suit, a tie, mottled, and he is nicely, cleanly shaven and
12 looks very neat. That is that individual.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, Mr. Besic. You may be seated. Yes, the
14 record will reflect that the witness identified Mr. Tadic.
15 MR. TIEGER: Mr. Besic, are you absolutely sure that this is the man who
16 kicked you in the Prijedor JNA barracks and who abused the prisoners
17 on the pista in Omarska camp?
18 A. Absolutely sure.
19 MR. TIEGER: Thank you sir. Nothing further, your Honour.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We will stand in recess for 20 minutes, please.
21 (3.55 p.m.)
22 (Adjourned for a short time)
23 (4.20 p.m.)
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann?
25 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, yes. I just would like to raise the matter
1 that was raised by Judge Stephen in relation to the Territorial
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK. I thought you were going to tell us some more
4 about witnesses. Every time we come in and you are standing, I say,
5 "Oh, what are you going to tell me this time?" OK. That is an easy
6 one. Tell us about the Reserve TO.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, the Territorial Defence, apparently, has a
8 standing staff, a small standing administrative type staff, in each
9 municipality which operates on a permanent basis. The actual manpower
10 of the TO is in the nature of a reserve. It is probably not quite
11 correct to call it "reserve" because it is, in fact, the manpower of
12 the TO and that is called up in times of emergency, but it is to be
13 contrasted with the permanent staff which are there all the time and,
14 apparently, some witnesses do refer to it as "reserve".
15 JUDGE STEPHEN: Thank you very much.
16 MR. UZEIR BESIC, recalled.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Will there be any cross-examination of Mr. Besic?
18 Mr. Tieger, are you finished -- you are. Mr. Wladimiroff, very good,
20 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes, your Honour.
21 Cross-examined by MR. WLADIMIROFF
22 Q. Mr. Besic, you have been interrogated in Germany in 1994, have you
24 A. Yes, yes. I was interrogated in Germany.
25 Q. From your statement you have given to the German authorities, it
1 appears that you have been asked, and I quote: "Mr. Besic, can you
2 make statements about war crimes and acts by the accused Dusko Tadic
3 that you witnessed first hand other than those about the two incidents
4 you report in your notes?" Can you remember that, you have been asked
5 this question?
6 A. I gave statements about seeing Dule Tadic in the barracks and in the
7 Omarska camp.
8 Q. That was, I take it, on the basis of your statement that you wrote
9 yourself, your handwritten written statement?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Your Honour, I want to show the witness that statement
12 for identification, please.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That will be Defence 15 -----
14 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I may not tender it so I just want it shown.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We still want to mark it for identification purposes
16 so we will have a record of it. That will be what now, Mr. Bos? 15.
17 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Mr. Besic, could you just look at it and it has been
18 typed out. Do you recognise that statement? It is not necessary that
19 you read it all.
20 A. Yes, generally, yes.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger?
23 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I had not had an opportunity to look over the
24 entire typed portion but, as Mr. Wladimiroff and the witness both
25 indicated, it was a handwritten document which was made by the
1 witness. I notice, for example, in this document quotation marks
2 which I do not readily see in the handwritten document itself. I
3 wonder if it would not be clearer and more useful to use the witness's
4 original document?
5 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Then I will show it to the witness, the handwritten
6 document, though the copy is quite poor, I would say, but let us give
7 it a try.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The handwritten is in his language, the typed
9 version is in what language?
10 MR. WLADIMIROFF: In his own language.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: In his own language too. That will be marked
12 Defence 16 for identification purposes.
13 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Is that your handwriting, sir?
14 A. Yes, it is my handwriting.
15 Q. Thank you. Why did you write that statement, Mr. Besic?
16 A. I wrote the statement because this is the truth.
17 Q. Did someone ask you to write that statement?
18 A. No, I did this by myself and while I was writing this in Goettingen,
19 I was there in a place for threatened peoples. I send it by fax there.
20 Q. Did you send that by fax spontaneously or were you asked to do so?
21 A. They asked for my statement because I told them that I saw Dule Tadic
22 there and then I wrote in short what happened to me, how I came to the
23 camp, where I saw him and so on.
24 Q. Who is "they"?
25 A. Those are people in Goettingen that work there.
1 Q. Is one of them called Mrs. Fadila Memisevic?
2 A. Fadila Memisevic yes.
3 Q. Why did she approach you and ask you to write these notes? Was there
4 a special reason to contact you?
5 A. No. On one occasion I was in Goettingen and we talked about
6 suffering and I told my story and she told me to write something about
7 that and I did.
8 Q. So you wrote these notes on her request?
9 A. Not at her request; at my request.
10 Q. Mr. Besic, have you featured in the Monika Gras film?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Were you questioned by Monika Gras or one of her associates? Were
13 you interviewed for the purpose of that film?
14 A. Mostly in Monika Gras' movie, that movie talked about the bodies up
15 there where I was, the corpses, but one group went through Kozara and
16 this is how it was found out that I was alive and this is how I got
17 into the Monika Gras' movie.
18 Q. How many times were you interviewed by Monika Gras?
19 A. I think twice before the film and then during the shooting of the
21 Q. Were those interviews broadcasted in that film on television?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Is it true then that this Fadila Memisevic saw you on that film and
24 for that reason contacted you?
25 A. I think she saw me.
1 Q. So first you were interviewed by Monika Gras, then you were contacted
2 by Mrs. Memisevic and then you presented to her your notes; is that
4 A. Yes. I was in Goettingen and after that I wrote my notes.
5 Q. Mr. Besic, you also spoke to Professor Muenzel, do you remember that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did he interview you?
8 A. It was not exactly an interview; we just talked.
9 Q. For how long was that? How long did you talk?
10 A. I could not tell you exactly how long it lasted.
11 Q. Could it have been one hour, approximately?
12 A. Let us say it was one hour, maybe less, maybe more.
13 Q. Were notes taken of that interview?
14 A. I do not know. He was taking some notes, but I do not know what was
15 in those notes.
16 Q. This interview with Professor Muenzel, was that before you were
17 interviewed by Monika Gras or was that after the Gras interview?
18 A. I think it was after.
19 Q. Mr. Besic, you also gave interviews to French journalists, is that
21 A. I do not remember.
22 Q. From your German statement, it appears that you gave an interview to
23 French journalists, so if I put this to you, do you remember it then
25 A. I think I gave that interview in Goettingen.
1 Q. Did you speak to other people about your experiences and, more
2 specifically, about Dusko Tadic?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Never since you arrived in Croatia after you left the area of Bosnia,
5 you never spoke again about what happened to you except for what I
6 just asked you?
7 A. I did not understand the question well.
8 Q. Did you speak with other persons about your events, what happened in
9 Bosnia, more specifically about Dusko Tadic, with other people than
10 the people I have mentioned before?
11 A. I did not talk about Dusko Tadic, except with the people at Tribunal
12 and when I gave the statement in Germany and in Goettingen.
13 Q. Have you met other Bosnian Muslims who are living at a place where
14 you live, in the country where you live, and did you discuss with
15 those refugees what happened to you in Bosnia?
16 A. Well, where I live most of us there were detained in camps and
17 everybody has his own story about the camp.
18 Q. I suppose you have exchanged your experiences with each other, have
19 you not?
20 A. No, we were talking about specific events, how it was for us at the
21 camp and, "Do you remember this or that?"
22 Q. And "this and that" was not also related to Dusko Tadic?
23 A. Well, sometimes maybe there was something of that nature.
24 Q. Mr. Besic, in your statement today you told the court that you knew
25 Dusko Tadic from Kozarac?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You did not know him well, did you?
3 A. I knew him well enough. I was never in -- I never contacted him. I
4 never was friends with him. We were not in the same company. He is
5 older than me and he had his own company, but just from passing by. I
6 mean, I think that every person that lived in Kozarac knew Dule Tadic
7 because he was a famous person.
8 Q. Why was he famous then, Mr. Besic?
9 A. Well, he was famous for karate. He trained karate and he would come
10 to the school, to the gym where we trained, and he would train there
11 and other people trained with him.
12 Q. But in your statement today you said that when you were questioned,
13 you were asked: "Did you sometimes watch Dule Tadic and your friends
14 train?" Then you answered: "Well, sometimes, sometimes -- very
15 seldom however"?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So you hardly saw him?
18 A. No, I saw Dule Tadic seldomly when he trained because I was not
19 really interested in karate. As a child, sometimes as children, we
20 would peak through the windows to see what they were doing there in
21 the gym.
22 Q. You are older than Dusko Tadic, are you not?
23 A. No, that is not true that I am older.
24 Q. He is older than you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How tall are you, Mr. Besic?
2 A. I really do not know. I have not measured myself in a long time. I
3 am not tall. I am short.
4 Q. If I come back to your contact with other refugees in the country
5 where you live, and if I remind you of "this and that" also related to
6 Dusko Tadic. Did you also discuss to whom Dusko Tadic is married and
7 the composition of his family? Did other refugees make comments on
9 A. No, I never made comments as to who is he married to. I never talked
10 about his family with anyone.
11 Q. Do you remember when Dusko Tadic was arrested in Germany?
12 A. Yes, I remember somewhat.
13 Q. There was a lot of publicity, was there not?
14 A. I watched it on television.
15 Q. Later on, there were also broadcastings about the Tadic family, was
16 that not the case?
17 A. I do not remember what was said about his family. I watched his
18 arrest and some details about how that happened.
19 Q. I take it that you have seen the Monika Gras film, have you not?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. If I put to you, Mr. Besic, that Dusko Tadic does not know you, how
22 come that you are claiming that you know him?
23 A. I claim that I know Dusko Tadic, and I am firm about this.
24 Q. Is it true that you have been shown a photograph of Dusko Tadic when
25 you were interrogated by the German police?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Mr. Besic, let us move to the period of time before the conflict in
3 1992: you were a member of the TO, were you not?
4 A. No, I was not a member of the Territorial Defence.
5 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Your Honours, I want to show to this witness Exhibit D6,
6 please. Mr. Bos, perhaps you could show the witness page A1-73?
7 Mr. Besic, can you read what is typed down at the left top of
8 this page?
9 A. Shall I read this?
10 Q. Yes, please.
11 A. "Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Headquarters in
13 Q. What is typed -----
14 A. "TO Headquarters in Kozarac".
15 Q. Thank you. What is on the right side typed "Besici" ---
16 A. Yes, that is right.
17 Q. -- that is a place where you were born?
18 A. Yes, that is right.
19 Q. And where you lived?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could you read to the court the name which is typed beside No. 1?
22 A. It says "Besic Uzeir".
23 Q. In handwriting it also says your name. Is that your handwriting?
24 A. Yes, that is right. That is my handwriting.
25 Q. So you signed on this list beside your name which is mentioned beside
1 No. 1; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, that is right.
3 Q. Could you place that paper on the right hand on the elmo? Perhaps Mr.
4 Bos may do it? Thank you, Mr. Bos.
5 Could you read what is written beside your name? I read
6 something like "kusti" but you know better what it says?
7 A. It is typed "Besic Uzeir" and then goes my signature, and then it
8 says Russian -- Russian Dobosar.
9 Q. What does that mean?
10 A. It means the rifle produced, manufactured in Russia.
11 Q. Has that rifle been handed over to you while you signed on this list?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Do you know why this was written beside your name?
14 A. This came on the list from TO in Kozarac, in case there was a need to
15 mobilize all capable men. My house was the first in Besici and I was
16 the first on the list, and it went, they went down through the list --
17 at least, that is what I think -- and I am not sure who was carrying
18 those orders here; and we had to sign the mobilization order and in
19 case something happened, there was an uprising or something, in that
20 case I would be able to get this Russian rifle.
21 Q. Do you remember when you signed this mobilization list?
22 A. Immediately prior to attack on Kozarac -- perhaps a day or two before
24 Q. You just testified that, despite the attack was imminent, you did not
25 get the gun or the pistol that is mentioned here?
1 A. No, I did not get it.
2 Q. On the right side it is written "Privatna"; is that true?
3 A. Yes, that is right.
4 Q. What does that mean, Mr. Besic?
5 A. I am not sure. They probably added this later on.
6 Q. Is it not true then that you had this rifle or gun at your home in
7 private? You already had the weapon before you signed?
8 A. No, that is not true. That is not true. I did not have a weapon.
9 Q. In your evidence today you were questioned by the Prosecution and you
10 were asked, I quote: "Had you heard about any talk about any
11 individual attempting to organise some kind of defence?" and you
12 responded to that question by saying, I quote again: "Yes, there were
13 individuals who tried to do something, but all in all they did not
14 succeed". Do you remember that?
15 A. I remember saying that there were individuals who were trying
16 something, they were trying to create a defence of Kozarac, but that
17 they did not succeed in it.
18 Q. Were those individuals organised?
19 A. Well, they were, I am not sure how they did that. I did not attend
20 any meetings, so I do not know what they talked about and whether they
21 were organised with police or TO. I really do not know.
22 Q. Mr. Besic, if I may ask you now to look to your own statement and
23 perhaps you would take the typed one or, if you prefer, you can look
24 in your handwritten statement. If I may ask you to look at a passage
25 which I would say -- no, it is not in your handwritten statement,
1 excuse me. It is in your interview that you gave to the German
2 authorities so I will read it to you. It is not in your own
4 You told in your German statement, and I will read it to you:
5 "A former officer of the Yugoslav Army, a Muslim called Sead Cirkin,
6 set up a small, lightly armed group consisting of members of the
7 Territorial Defence forces and volunteers, and wanted to fight the
8 Serbs". Do you remember that, saying to the German authorities?
9 A. I do not remember. I do not remember saying something like this.
10 Q. Do you know Sead Cirkin?
11 A. I did not understand the question well.
12 Q. Do you know a person called Sead Cirkin?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Who is he?
15 A. Sead Cirkin, I did not know him before the war. I think he was in
16 the military. I heard about him. I saw him maybe a few times in
17 Kozarac and that is all, and in the camp, Manjaca camp.
18 Q. Did you hear about him organising a small, lightly armed group
19 consisting of members of the Territorial Defence and volunteers?
20 A. I heard that he organised something, tried actually to organise a
21 defence of Kozarac, but whether that was within the TO or within the
22 police, I do not know about that.
23 Q. I ask you again, Mr. Besic, were you a member of this group of Sead
25 A. No, I was not a member of this group.
1 Q. Do you know anyone who was a member of that group? Can you give me
3 A. No, I do not know any.
4 Q. Has this group also been active under the command of Sead Cirkin in
5 the area of Hambarine?
6 A. I do not remember. I do not know.
7 Q. When you were interviewed by the German authorities did you speak the
8 truth to them?
9 A. I think I speak the truth and nothing but the truth.
10 Q. But did you speak the truth then on that occasion in 1994 when you
11 were interviewed by the German authorities?
12 A. Of course I did.
13 Q. So how come that in your statement that you gave to the German
14 authorities you tell them about Sead Cirkin organising or setting up a
15 small lightly armed group consisting of members of the Territorial
16 Defence forces and volunteers, is that true what you said on that
18 A. Yes, I did mention Sead Cirkin. I think I mentioned him.
19 Q. Mr. Besic, in your evidence today you told the court that after you
20 were apprehended and brought to the village of Besici that you were
21 asked to step in a van that brought you to Prijedor. You do remember
23 A. No, it is not true that I got on to the van in Besici.
24 Q. Where was it then?
25 A. It was at Rajkovici.
1 Q. From there you went with this van to Prijedor, did you not?
2 A. With that, I was beaten up, tied with a wire. I was asked to
3 identify a boy who was tied to a tree and then we were put on to a van
4 and went to Prijedor, to the barracks.
5 Q. You testified today that you were able to see that you were heading
6 towards Prijedor and you arrived at a JNA barrack?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I want to show a map to the witness for identification
9 and I will tender it later on.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That will be Defence 17.
11 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Perhaps you could put it on the elmo later on? Will you
12 first show it to the witness and then later on -- Mr. Besic, can you
13 tell us what this is, what is on this map?
14 A. It is a map of sorts of Prijedor or I do not know.
15 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Right. I will tender this map, your Honour. For your
16 convenience, I made extra copies not only for the Prosecution but also
17 for you.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection, Mr. Tieger?
19 MR. TIEGER: Not in principle. I would like to see the map first.
20 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes, of course.
21 MR. TIEGER: No, there is no objection, your Honour.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Defence 17 will be admitted.
23 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Mr. Besic, if you try to orientate yourself on this map,
24 can you tell us where you entered Prijedor when you were in that van?
25 A. On this map?
1 Q. On that map, please. If you familiarise yourself with the map, would
2 you please then put the map on the overhead screen?
3 A. This map is not quite clear. I can explain where I came in, from
4 which direction, but I cannot show it on the map.
5 Q. Are you able to locate on the map the military barracks?
6 A. Not on this map.
7 Q. Do describe then how you came in Prijedor in this van and where
8 approximately these barracks are?
9 A. I entered Prijedor after we came with this van and there were windows
10 there so I could see something. I am familiar with the route, so when
11 we entered Prijedor we turned right towards Bosanska Dubica.
12 Q. If you just stop there? You entered Prijedor from the north or was
13 that from another direction?
14 A. From the direction of Kozarac.
15 Q. Right. You were driving on the main road then?
16 A. Well, we drove down -- yes, the main road Banja Luka/Prijedor.
17 Q. Was that the new road or the old road?
18 A. What do you mean old road, new road?
19 Q. That is the new road or the old road from Kozarac?
20 A. The highway Banja Luka/Prijedor.
21 Q. Right, and entering the city of Prijedor did you pass by the factory
22 of Keraterm?
23 A. Probably we did, but I paid no attention.
24 Q. If you look at that map again, and if you look to the right side of
25 that map, do you see a road starting on the right side?
1 A. I cannot really, I am lost with this map.
2 Q. Let us try again. You entered from the city of Prijedor on the
3 outer route, where did you drive then? Where were you in Prijedor
4 when you entered?
5 A. From Kozarac, I came out to the main road, Prijedor/Banja Luka. I
6 moved towards Prijedor. I know I entered Prijedor and reached the
7 barracks. When we arrived I knew I had arrived in the Prijedor
9 Q. Have you ever been before in those military barracks in Prijedor?
10 A. No, I have never been to the barracks in Prijedor. I have only
11 passed by it.
12 Q. So you were familiar with the location of the military barracks? You
13 have seen it before?
14 A. I was familiar with the barracks because I passed by it either riding
15 a bus or a car on my way to Croatia through Bosanska Dubica. I often
16 took this route.
17 Q. Are those barracks in the centre or in the outskirts of Prijedor?
18 A. The barracks is not in the centre of the town; it is in the part,
19 Puharska. I believe it is called Puharska.
20 Q. Where is that in Prijedor, in north, south, east, west?
21 A. The barracks is on a route to Puharska, towards Bosanska Dubica.
22 Q. You do not know whether that is on the northern part, western part,
23 southern part or eastern part?
24 A. I really do not have my sense of orientation.
25 Q. Is that a problem that is attached to a map or do you have a general
1 problem with orientation?
2 A. I have problems with the locality.
3 Q. I see. Arriving at that barracks you testified that was on June 3rd;
4 is that right?
5 A. Yes, I arrived in the barracks on 3rd June.
6 Q. You also testified that you were brought into the barracks and then
7 you were ordered to stop in a hallway where you were ordered to stand
8 against the wall.
9 A. Yes, I was ordered to enter the hallway and we stood against a wall
10 in the hallway.
11 Q. Facing the wall?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Were you standing there alone?
14 A. No, there was -- there were myself and those other two who had come
15 with me from Rajkovici.
16 Q. Where were they standing?
17 A. I was the first one since I had entered first and they were next to
19 Q. One on each side or both on one side?
20 A. I was standing to the right and they both stood to the left next to
21 the entrance.
22 Q. Then you were beaten up by soldiers while you were standing in the
24 A. They beat us with batons as we stood there on our backs and
1 Q. So all three of you were beaten up?
2 A. I think I was beaten and another one and that youngest boy, I am not
3 quite sure if they beat him, I think, but I am not sure.
4 Q. Where were you beaten? Were you beaten in your face?
5 A. No, not the face. They beat us on our backs and shoulders.
6 Q. You then testified that you collapsed and fell on your knees; is that
8 A. No, I did not faint. I merely collapsed.
9 Q. You were on your knees?
10 A. Yes. I fell down on my knees and was leaning against a wall.
11 Q. Were you dizzy?
12 A. I do not think so.
13 Q. Did the beating up hurt you much?
14 A. Yes, there was pain but I was fighting, I wanted to live. I wanted to
16 Q. Did you have wounds? Were you wounded?
17 A. I was not wounded.
18 Q. I take it that you were afraid, were you not?
19 A. Yes, we were. I was afraid but I was not wounded. My friend who
20 came with me and the other one, he was wounded in the leg.
21 Q. While you were standing there beaten up by those soldiers, when they
22 stopped where were the soldiers then?
23 A. I fell down after those beatings, after those blows with a baton. I
24 received a few kicks also and then I do not know where they went.
25 Q. You did not notice because you were beaten up?
1 A. No, they were behind me.
2 Q. So while you were facing the wall you could not see what happened
3 behind you?
4 A. I could not see what was on my left.
5 Q. You could not see what was on your left. The other two persons were
6 standing on your left, were they not?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you see if they were beaten up?
9 A. I heard cries of pain. One could hear the baton blows, one knows,
10 and I knew later that he was beaten but each one was fighting for
12 Q. In your statement you said that after this incident you saw Dusko
13 Tadic coming out of a room while you were standing there in the
14 hallway or lying on the ground?
15 A. I said I saw Dule Tadic while I was on my knees with my head against
16 a wall and looking towards the right, and then Dule Tadic came out of
17 a room and was moving towards the exit from that building.
18 Q. Dusko Tadic came out of a room and you were moving towards the exit
19 from that building at the same time; is that what you are saying?
20 A. No, I was not moving.
21 Q. So you were just there on your knees?
22 A. Yes. Yes, with my head against the wall looking towards right.
23 Q. Where was the room from which Dusko Tadic entered the hallway?
24 A. It was to the right. I cannot say exactly which room it was, but he
25 came out of one of the rooms.
1 Q. When he came out he passed you from your back side, did he not?
2 A. He was walking towards us, and as he was coming he kicked me several
3 times in the body and went out, I do not know where. I did not see him
4 any more.
5 Q. When you say kicking you, that was with his feet?
6 A. Yes, yes, with his feet.
7 Q. Mr. Besic, would you mind to look in your handwritten statement or in
8 the typed one, whatever you prefer? It is on the desk. Could you
9 look in that, please? Then I ask you to look at the paragraph that
10 starts with, "Then on June 3rd they took us, that is, me and the two
11 old people, into Rajkovici village". Have you found that?
12 A. Yes, I found it. Right.
13 Q. If you go down from there you will see much further on about I would
14 say eleven lines -- I am not sure whether this is the same in your
15 handwritten one -- "They tied the two of us with barbed wired and took
16 us straight to the barracks in Prijedor". Have you found it?
17 A. " ... straight to the barracks in Prijedor", yes, true.
18 Q. Can you keep your finger there so you will remember where you were in
19 your statement? Once again, you were on your knees in the hallway,
20 Dusko Tadic came out of a room, he passed by and he kicked you with
21 his feet, right?
22 A. He did not pass by me. It is not true he passed by me, but before he
23 passed by me he kicked me.
24 Q. Did he kick the other one -- no, the other two persons too or did he
25 only kick you?
1 A. I cannot remember that he kicked them.
2 Q. Now let us go back to your finger. The next sentence begins: "When
3 we got there they accused us" -- have you found that?
4 A. When we arrived in the barracks.
5 Q. Then go to the next line and would you read that for me, please?
6 A. " ... they accused the two of us of killing Serb children and
8 Q. The next line, please?
9 A. "Then again they beat us both".
10 Q. And the next line, please?
11 A. "They beat us and then they beat us in a hallway and from a room
12 Dule Tadic in camouflage clothes came out and after that beating
13 interrogation began". Should I go on?
14 Q. Yes, please.
15 A. "Towards the end of this interrogation I was brought some paper to
16 sign, and the paper said that I had participated in the armed
17 rebellion against the Serbs in the Prijedor barracks. I did not know
18 anyone except Dule Tadic".
19 Q. Thank you. In my translation it says "he", and it refers to Dusko
20 Tadic, "he hit us in the face too and beat us up".
21 A. No, it is not true that he hit us in the face and beat us. They wrote
22 it; I did not.
23 Q. Could you read that line again, what you have written there?
24 A. Yes, they accused the two of us of killing.
25 Q. When you please start when Dule Tadic came out of the room, start
1 there, please?
2 A. "From a room Dule Tadic in camouflage clothes came out and he then
3 hit us. After that beating began, the interrogation. Towards the end
4 of this interrogation" -----
5 Q. "He hit us" and in your notes does it say "He hit us in the face"?
6 A. No, no. It does not say so, and it is not true that he hit us in the
7 face. I do claim that.
8 Q. Thank you. Mr. Besic, after that you were brought to the Omarska
10 A. Not to the camp at Omarska, but to the camp in Keraterm. From the
11 barracks I went to the camp at Keraterm.
12 Q. You are right. I was mistaken indeed. After Keraterm you were
13 brought to Omarska camp, were you not?
14 A. Yes, after some time I was transferred from Keraterm to Omarska
16 Q. You have told the court about the pista and you have shown where that
17 pista is on the display in front of you.
18 A. Yes, I showed where the pista was on the model.
19 Q. Tell us again, when you were sitting on the pista, at what direction
20 would you look?
21 A. I was looking towards the structure where they conducted
22 interrogations and the restaurant.
23 Q. When you were lying on the concrete you were looking at?
24 A. While we were lying on the concrete, on the pista, we were facing the
1 Q. If you were sitting facing the restaurant, were you allowed to look
2 around or were you ordered to look only in the direction of the
4 A. We were not ordered to look only somewhere. One could cast a glance
5 here and there as we sat. It depended sometimes on the mood of the
6 guards when we lie down on the pista.
7 Q. I am not referring to lying down, but I am referring to sitting down.
8 Were you allowed, when you were sitting down, to look to another
9 direction, that is, not looking in the direction of the restaurant?
10 A. We mostly looked towards the canteen. One could look left and right.
11 One could not really think about how everybody was, what everybody
12 was looking at.
13 Q. When you were lying down were you allowed to look around?
14 A. It depended how one was lying and where his head was turned.
15 Q. You testified today that on some occasions you were ordered to lie
16 down, and those occasions were beatings or when someone was carried
17 out from interrogation, do you remember that?
18 A. We were ordered to lie down, especially when an incident would occur
19 when they would beat up, severely someone, or when someone from the
20 outside would come or if someone was carried dead from the
21 interrogation and things like that, then we were ordered to lie down
22 so as not to see something.
23 Q. So you would not see what happened?
24 A. So probably that it was so as not to see what was going on depending
25 on the case of something.
1 Q. If there were beatings and you were ordered to lie down, I suppose
2 that everyone followed strictly to that order in order not to get
3 involved, is that true?
4 A. I did not quite understand the question?
5 Q. If there were beatings on the pista and you were ordered to lie down,
6 I take it that no one was looking around, not taking the risk that you
7 could get involved in those beatings?
8 A. Yes. When there were beatings, yes, we were in the prone position,
9 we were lying down in the prone position on the stomach, and one could
10 perhaps cast a look sideways depending on the blows. When we were
11 lying down on the pista the head was not down, I mean not nose to the
12 ground; it would be turned sideways to one side or the other.
13 Q. Have you heard about occasions when people were punished because they
14 were looking around while they were ordered to lie down facing the
16 A. I do not remember such cases. I think there were such cases but I do
17 not remember any one of them.
18 Q. You told us today that when you were on the pista your attention was
19 drawn because you heard sounds coming from the direction of the
20 restaurant building; is that true?
21 A. Behind the canteen.
22 Q. Right. What was your association at that moment - beatings? Did you
23 think about beatings? Did you connect that sound with beatings?
24 A. I associated it with beating. When I heard something like that we
25 knew that somebody was being hit, that they were dealing blows, and
1 then one could hear cries of pain or screams "oh" "aargh" and they
2 would be running towards the pista. So that was how I cast a look
3 towards them to the direction from which they were coming.
4 Q. You were then ordered to lie down facing the concrete?
5 A. Before that I saw that group when they ran out. It all happened very
6 fast, and it was then that I saw Tadic and some other soldiers and
7 then it came "Lie down".
8 Q. While they were running in the direction of the pista you saw Dusko
9 Tadic and you were ordered lie down; is that correct?
10 A. When I saw -- it all happened very fast, you know, they were coming
11 from behind the canteen and just as they turned the corner the order
12 came to lie down.
13 Q. So you laid down, did you not?
14 A. Yes, as the orders came.
15 Q. Facing the ground?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Then the group ran to the side next to you?
18 A. That group of inmates, there was room next to me on the right side
19 because I was towards the end and I think they were also given the
20 order to lie down on the pista also in the prone.
21 Q. Were guards standing in the vicinity of you?
22 A. I do not remember if there were any guards next to me.
23 Q. Would you dare to take the risk that you would get involved in these
25 A. I do not know what you mean by "risk"?
1 Q. Would you do anything that might cause the risk that you would be
2 involved in those beatings?
3 A. I do not know.
4 Q. Would you just stand up to see what happened?
5 A. No, I would not stand up, for sure not.
6 Q. Would you sit down and see what happened?
7 A. No, I would not sit down. If I stood up or sat up I think that would
8 be a great risk.
9 Q. Would you raise your head to look around?
10 A. I would raise my head a little bit.
11 Q. You took the risk by raising your head a little bit?
12 A. Well, at that moment I was not really thinking about the risk.
13 Q. While the others were beaten?
14 A. I was interested, I wanted to confirm once again who was there.
15 Q. Mr. Besic, I suggest that you did not look because you were afraid to
16 get involved and you have been told this story?
17 A. I do not think that I gave a false story. I am telling you exactly
18 what happened.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Wladimiroff, are you moving into an another
21 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I have two things to ask and then I am finished.
22 Mr. Besic, do you know Mr. Danicic, a person called Mr.
24 A. No.
25 Q. Before you entered this courtroom today to give your statement, have
1 you been in this courtroom before?
2 A. Was I in this courtroom?
3 Q. Yes, before you gave your statement today were you shown the
4 courtroom before?
5 A. Yes, it was shown to me, the courtroom was shown to me.
6 Q. And was it told to you where all persons would sit, the Judges the
7 Defence, the Prosecution, the Defendant?
8 A. I was shown where the Judges would sit, the Defence, but they did not
9 show me where the accused was going to sit.
10 Q. Were you told where the Prosecution would be sitting?
11 A. Do you mean Tadic's Defence?
12 Q. No, the Prosecution.
13 A. The Prosecution? Yes, it was shown to me.
14 Q. Where would you expect Tadic to sit -- at the side of the Defence or
15 at the side of the Prosecution?
16 A. I did not expect, I did not know where he would sit. I did not know
17 where Tadic would sit.
18 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Thank you. No further questions, your Honours.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger?
20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: If we can finish with this witness, let us see if we
22 can do it.
23 MR. TIEGER: Let me suggest something quickly, if I may, before I ask the
24 witness questions and perhaps I can address this to the Defence
25 through the Court. I want to make sure there is no suggestion that
1 there was any inaccuracy in the witness's re-reading of his statement
2 as it was interpreted to this court, otherwise I would like someone
3 independent to re-read it. I do not want to have that issue
4 revisited. When he re-read the portions that Mr. Wladimiroff insisted
5 he had another interpretation on, a bad interpretation as it happens.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Wladimiroff, it seems that your English
7 translation as I heard you read it and as the witness then read his
8 written statement in his language, there was a difference.
9 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: So, Mr. Tieger wants to ask you to agree that the
11 witness read his statement correctly and that your translation just
12 was different.
13 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes. The translation that has been provided to me by
14 the Tribunal appears to be the translation of the typed version of the
15 statements. Apparently there is a difference between the typed
16 version and the handwritten version, but at this stage I would say I
17 will check it myself and see whether there is any difference on that
18 specific line. I take it that there is a difference.
19 MR. TIEGER: The typed version is not different.
20 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Is not different? If you check that then I take it that
21 the translation was not accurate, but I will check that too.
22 MR. TIEGER: That can, of course, be checked later. I just wanted to
23 satisfy everyone that the reading was correct and apparently Mr.
24 Wladimiroff agrees.
25 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I suppose that the reading was correct because I read
1 with the witness, though with the typed version, but I will check with
2 the written version too. So there is a difference apparently.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, are you satisfied or do you want to
4 handle it differently? We do not need to rush through this. We can
5 call the witness back tomorrow, however you want to handle it.
6 MR. TIEGER: Well, at this point I do not know how else to resolve it. I
7 think a look at the written version makes it clear that the words are
8 exactly the same as in the typed version, but I cannot force that on
9 Mr. Wladimiroff if he is concerned about potential differences.
10 MR. WLADIMIROFF: As a matter of fact, he read what he read. I agree he
11 did not read something else.
12 MR. TIEGER: OK, fine. He read his handwritten version.
13 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Fine. I will check that at least from the typed one.
14 That is the same, but the real issue here is what about the quality
15 the translation here? I am not able to make any comments on that at
16 this stage.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The written statement in Serbo-Croat is the same as
18 the typed statement in Serbo-Croat. The difference is in the English
19 translation. OK. Does that satisfy you?
20 MR. TIEGER: Yes.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The written and the typed Serbo-Croatian are the
23 MR. TIEGER: And the witness read verbatim from his handwritten statement.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: He read what was written on the Serbo-Croatian
25 statement, the handwritten one, is that correct? OK. Very good.
1 Re-Examined by Mr. Tieger.
2 MR. TIEGER: Just a few questions, Mr. Besic. Mr. Wladimiroff asked you
3 some questions about Sead Cirkin. The fact is, Mr. Besic, that you
4 expressly mentioned Sead Cirkin to the Germans, is that right, at
5 least according to the statement that was written down by the Germans?
6 A. Yes, I think I mentioned.
7 Q. Did you also tell the German authorities that the Muslims in Kozarac
8 wanted a peaceful solution to the conflict?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you also say that whatever Sead Cirkin was trying to do you could
11 not say how big the group was, for example?
12 A. I could not estimate that, but I think that it was not a large
14 Q. In fact, when the war, when the attack on Kozarac took place you saw
15 no evidence of any organised defence that had been set up in advance?
16 A. No, I did not see anything. When the attack on Kozarac started it
17 was not possible to defend Kozarac and I think that there was not any
18 kind of defence.
19 Q. In any event, you were not trying to hide Sead Cirkin from the German
20 authorities, and you mentioned him explicitly to them and it was
21 written in the German statement, correct?
22 A. I think something like that.
23 Q. Mr. Wladimiroff also asked you if the German authorities showed you a
24 photograph of Dule Tadic. Do you recall that question?
25 A. Did they show me a picture of Dule Tadic?
1 Q. He asked you that question, is that right, and you told him you had
2 seen a photograph of Dule Tadic?
3 A. Yes, there was a picture I think.
4 Q. He did not ask you about any other photographs you were shown. Were
5 you shown a series of photographs of people and asked to see if you
6 recognised Dule Tadic among those photographs?
7 A. No. No, there were several pictures, and I do not know exactly how
8 many there were and I was told to recognise the people that I knew, to
9 show the people that I knew. Among those pictures there was also a
10 picture of Tadic.
11 Q. Do you know whether or not there were at least 14 pictures, since his
12 is labelled No. 14 in the statement?
13 A. I do not remember what number it was labelled under.
14 Q. Mr. Besic, just out of curiosity, do you know what kind of rifle a
15 Ruski Dobosar is?
16 A. Yes, I know that. I have seen it in the army. Members of the TO had
17 that. The TO in Kozarac had that rifle, Ruski Dobosar. It is a short
18 rifle that had one drum of munition, something like that.
19 Q. How old is that rifle? Is it older than an M48, for example?
20 A. I think it is older.
21 Q. Mr. Besic, can I ask you to look once again at Defence Exhibit, the
22 page of Defence Exhibit 6 which you were shown? Looking at that list
23 of 38 people who were alive in Besici just a few days before the
24 attack, can you tell us the names of people on that list who are dead
25 or have never been seen again by their friends or families since the
1 attack on Kozarac or in their placement and camps?
2 A. Yes, I can. I would ask not to mention the name of the people. I
3 would just mention the number because I know there are still parents
4 looking for their children and I cannot say about some. I can know
5 about some that I am sure are dead, but some others are not confirmed
6 and there are hopes that they will reappear.
7 Q. That is an excellent suggestion, sir. I am sure no one has any
9 MR. WLADIMIROFF: As a matter of fact, I have no objection to mentioning a
10 number as such, but I have some problem with this witness answering
11 the question because how could he know?
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Well, that goes to the weight and you will be able
13 to cross-examine, so I will overrule it on that basis. It is really
14 beyond redirect, that is for sure. So if you have that objection I
15 will sustain it.
16 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK, it is sustained.
18 MR. TIEGER: Go ahead, sir.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Or it is beyond cross, actually.
20 THE WITNESS: Just the number?
21 MR. TIEGER: Yes.
22 A. I would have to take a look at this.
23 MR. TIEGER: I apologise.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I said it is beyond cross-examination. It was
25 offered only for the purpose of showing that the witness had signed,
1 number one, and whatever was adjacent to his name. So really he did
2 not go into it on cross-examination. It is beyond cross.
3 MR. TIEGER: Very well, your Honour.
4 Mr. Besic, I withdraw that question. You do not need to
5 answer it. Thank you.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Wladimiroff?
7 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No further questions, your Honour.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I just have one question. What were the dates you
9 were in Omarska camp, Mr. Besic?
10 A. The dates, I do not remember exactly what date it was when I came to
11 Omarska, but when Omarska was closed I remained there for another 20
12 days after everyone else, after everybody else. I was registered by
13 the Red Cross at Omarska camp.
14 Q. Do you recall the date when you testified that you saw Mr. Tadic on
15 the pista?
16 A. Do I remember the date?
17 Q. Yes, sir.
18 A. No, I do not remember the exact date.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, do you have additional questions?
20 MR. TIEGER: Can I have just one moment, your Honour?
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Sure.
22 Further Re-examined by Mr. Tieger.
23 MR. TIEGER: Mr. Besic, you arrived in Omarska at the beginning of June,
24 approximately June 3rd, is that right?
25 A. To Omarska?
1 Q. Excuse me, to Keraterm?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Then you were in Keraterm approximately two weeks?
4 A. Approximately, maybe less, maybe more. I do not remember exactly any
6 Q. Do you remember how long you were in room 15 until you were
8 A. Let us say 20 days, 25 days, I am not sure exactly.
9 Q. After the interrogation you were taken to the pista?
10 A. Yes, after interrogation I went to pista.
11 MR. TIEGER: Thank you.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Wladimiroff, do you have additional questions?
13 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Just one, your Honour.
14 Further Cross-Examined by Mr. Wladimiroff.
15 Mr. Besic, just to assist the court, can you tell us how do
16 you know that you arrived in Keraterm on June 3rd?
17 A. I know it was June 3rd because it was 31st May when the Serb Army
18 arrested us, took us prisoners. I know it was June 3rd, I remember
19 that well.
20 Q. But it needs an additional question, your Honour. How do you know
21 you were arrested on May 31st?
22 A. I know it was May 31st. I think it was a Sunday.
23 Q. Is there any specific reason why you have that date in mind?
24 A. There was, yes, a reason for me to know this. When the people from
25 my group were killed by Kozarac Kamen. I remember that relatively
2 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No further questions, your Honour.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger?
4 MR. TIEGER: Nothing further, your Honour.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection to Mr. Besic being permanently
7 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: No objection. Mr. Besic, you are permanently
9 excused. You may leave. Thank you for coming.
10 We will stand adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m.
11 (5.52 p.m.)
12 (The court adjourned until the following day).