1 Wednesday, 26 September 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.31 a.m.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-98-32-T the Prosecutor versus Mitar
9 JUDGE HUNT: Now, madam, would you stand up, please, and make the
10 solemn declaration in the document that the court usher is giving to you.
11 WITNESS: WITNESS VG115
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
14 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 JUDGE HUNT: Sit down, please, madam. Thank you.
16 Mr. Groome.
17 MR. GROOME: Good morning, Your Honours.
18 Examined by Mr. Groome:
19 Q. Good morning Witness 115. I'd ask you to sit back and relax and
20 there's some water there. Feel free to have a drink any time you need
21 during your testimony here today.
22 A. Good morning and thank you for everything.
23 JUDGE HUNT: Just one moment, madam. Because of the voice
24 distortion, you've got to turn your microphone off. Having trained you to
25 turn it on, remember to turn it off because otherwise her voice will go
1 through the ordinary system.
2 Sorry, madam. That is just for your protection.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Where do I turn it off?
4 JUDGE HUNT: No, no. Yours is all right. It was counsel's
5 microphone that I was asking him to turn it off so that your voice would
6 not go through the normal system. Your microphone there is the one with
7 the voice distortion in it, so you need not worry.
8 Now, you were asked -- you hadn't been asked a question.
9 Off you go, Mr. Groome.
10 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'd ask that the witness be shown her
11 pseudonym sheet.
12 Q. And I would ask the witness: Is that your name and your birth
13 date on that sheet?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 JUDGE HUNT: That will be Exhibit P81, and it is under seal.
16 MR. GROOME:
17 Q. Witness 115, I would ask you to briefly describe your educational
18 back ground for the Court, without specifying what schools you may have
20 A. I went to the higher school of economics.
21 Q. And was that post-secondary school?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now I'd ask you to briefly describe for the Court your
24 professional background, again without specifying any specific companies
25 you may have worked for.
1 A. I worked for 14 years in [redacted]
4 Q. And would you please tell the Court, what is your ethnicity?
5 A. I am a Serb by ethnicity, unfortunately.
6 Q. And did you marry a person of Muslim ethnicity?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I want to draw your attention now to the early summer of 1992 and
9 ask you: At that time did you move to live temporarily in the area of
10 Pionirska Street in Visegrad?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. At that time was there a curfew in the town or were the Serbs in
13 the town informed of a curfew?
14 A. Yes. That was compulsory.
15 Q. And can you tell the Court what time the curfew was?
16 A. Between 8.00 and 9.00 in the evening.
17 Q. Now, the house that you stayed in temporarily in Pionirska Street,
18 did you also own a house in another part of town, without telling us that
19 part of town?
20 A. Yes, I did, and it was a newly built house. My own property, my
21 own house, in which I never actually lived; I never succeeded in living in
22 the house I'd built.
23 Q. Now, in the early summer of 1992, when you were temporarily living
24 in Pionirska Street, did you see people or two persons you knew to be
25 Milan Lukic and Mitar Vasiljevic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And when you first saw them after moving to Pionirska Street, did
3 you see them in a car?
4 A. In a red Passat-type car.
5 Q. Do you know who the owner of that car was?
6 A. The former owner was a lady. Her name was Behija and she was from
7 the Dusce part of Visegrad. She had a shop selling vegetables, a grocery
8 store selling fruit and vegetables. I don't remember her surname.
9 Q. Was there a third person with Mr. Lukic and Mr. Vasiljevic?
10 A. Yes. There was a third person behind whom I did not know.
11 Q. And who was driving this car?
12 A. Milan.
13 Q. Now, at this time in the area of Pionirska Street, would it be
14 fair to say that many of the Muslim residents had fled the area?
15 A. Mostly they all fled.
16 Q. And in the course of their fleeing, was it common for lights to be
17 left on in the houses that these Muslim people had abandoned?
18 A. Some people probably came to take things clandestinely and
19 left the lights on. Probably that was the case.
20 Q. I'm going to ask you to describe for the Court: What did you
21 observe Milan Lukic and Mitar Vasiljevic do this first time you saw them
22 on Pionirska Street?
23 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, it would be of more assistance if before
24 we did that, we a ascertained from her, if necessary in private session,
25 how she knew them. Isn't that rather important?
1 MR. GROOME: I was going to do that at the end, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE HUNT: Well, we've been through this before. Logically it
3 would be preferable to have that before we hear the evidence.
4 MR. GROOME: And we can do that in public session, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE HUNT: Fine.
6 MR. GROOME:
7 Q. Witness 115, before you answer that question, I would ask you to
8 describe for the Court how is it that you knew Mitar Vasiljevic?
9 A. I have known Mr. Vasiljevic. He worked in catering in Visegrad in
11 Q. And did you yourself frequent that restaurant?
12 A. It was more for men. They played a game, tombola, and I would
13 pass by the door every day along the pavement, that's in Visegrad, but I
14 very rarely entered. My husband would frequent the place more often.
15 Q. Prior to seeing Mr. Vasiljevic on Pionirska Street, can you
16 describe for us approximately how many times you would have seen
17 Mr. Vasiljevic before this day?
18 A. Before that day, I can't remember how many times I saw him,
19 because it was wartime in Visegrad, but under normal conditions, while
20 everything was normal, the atmosphere was normal and people went around
21 town, I would see him often.
22 Q. I would ask you to look around the courtroom here today and tell
23 us whether you recognise the person you're describing as Mitar Vasiljevic?
24 A. Yes, I recognise him. He's sitting wearing a brown suit, but he's
25 put on a lot of weight.
1 Q. Could you tell us where he's sitting in the courtroom?
2 A. He's sitting to the left, that is, to the right of the policeman.
3 Is it the right or the left? Which way do you want it?
4 JUDGE HUNT: There's only one person wearing a brown coat in the
5 whole courtroom and that is the accused, so I think you've made that
6 point. Very well
7 A. With a tie.
8 MR. GROOME:
9 Q. Thank you, Witness 115. Your Honour, may the record reflect the
10 witness has identified the accused in this case?
11 JUDGE HUNT: I've already said that.
12 MR. GROOME:
13 Q. Now I'd like you to return to this first sighting of
14 Mr. Vasiljevic.
15 JUDGE HUNT: I'm sorry. What about the Lukic? It's the same
16 problem we're going to get throughout these cases unless you tell us how
17 they know the -- the witnesses know these people, we're left up in the air
18 the whole time.
19 MR. GROOME: Sorry, Your Honour.
20 Q. Witness 115, would you please describe for us how you knew Mr.
21 Milan Lukic.
22 A. I didn't know Milan Lukic from before, when times from normal in
23 Visegrad. At that time he was a very young man, nice, tall, dark. He
24 came from the surroundings of Belgrade, Obrenovac, but otherwise he is a
25 native of Bosnia, and I think he comes from a village called Rujiste,
1 actually. I had occasion to meet Milan personally at work, in the offices
2 I worked in, both before the war and after the war.
3 Q. Now I'd ask you to go to the point in time that you were
4 describing seeing these two men in the red Passat. Would you please
5 describe what you observed them do?
6 A. In the red Passat, they came prior to curfew. It was already
7 dusk. They came to Pionirska Street, where I was residing temporarily,
8 because my husband had already left Visegrad. I was collecting papers and
9 documents for my children. And when I was going down the steps in the
10 house that I lived in, I thought that it was a car coming from my own
11 company to look for me personally. But when I approached the car, I
12 realised which car it was and I assumed who was inside. That was my first
13 meeting with Milan. He got out of the car. He was a little arrogant in
14 his behaviour, asked me where my husband was. I told him where he had
15 gone, that he was on official business, on a business trip. I said
16 that -- I told him the town my husband had gone to and said that my
17 parents lived there. He shouted at me and asked me why the lights were
18 on, asked whether there were any Muslims roundabout. I said I didn't know
19 whether there was anybody. I didn't think so. Then I recognised Mitar
20 next to him. There was a third person lying down in the seat behind,
21 probably I didn't know that person. When I mentioned the town to which my
22 husband had gone, that third person reacted all of a sudden because he was
23 probably from that particular town himself.
24 Q. Witness 115, I'd ask you to describe what was Mitar Vasiljevic
25 doing at the time you were having with conversation with Milan Lukic?
1 A. Mitar Vasiljevic was sitting. He wasn't doing anything. He
2 didn't ask me anything.
3 Q. Did all of the men remain inside the car?
4 A. They remained in the car. They went round in circles in the lower
5 street, the parallel street to Pionirska Street, above which I lived.
6 They received information that in a large house there, there were two
7 elderly persons: An elderly man from Koritnik and his old grandmother from
8 Koritnik. Their surname was Kurspahic.
9 Q. Witness 115, before leaving did they ask you to show them any
11 A. No. No, they didn't ask me anything, and that was lucky. They
12 didn't ask me at that moment what my husband's name was, so they knew
13 nothing at that particular moment. They just asked me where my husband
14 was. They didn't know my name or his, so I didn't actually say my name
15 and they didn't ask for documents either. They didn't ask for anything,
16 in fact.
17 Q. Approximately how long did this conversation take place?
18 A. Not long. Very short. Five or six minutes, perhaps, ten at the
19 most. Not long. I was very frightened, but they left very quickly. They
20 didn't go into any of the houses. They looked through the lower street
21 and they had probably received information, and then they went into the
22 Kurspahic house with a battery, with a lamp. It was dark, and they found
23 the old people on the first floor.
24 Q. Witness 115, the area that you were staying in, would it be fair
25 to say that that was a predominantly Muslim area?
1 A. It was a mixed population.
2 Q. And how about this other street that you say you saw them drive
4 A. In the other street there were both Muslim houses and Serb houses
5 on the left-hand side.
6 Q. Now, you've described them going to the house of an elderly couple
7 by the name of Kurspahic from Koritnik; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. And what was the approximate age of this couple?
10 A. About 70. And during the day when I came back from work, I saw
11 the old woman. She was digging in the garden. And I told her that it
12 wasn't a good idea for her to be outside at that particular time.
13 Q. Can you explain to the Court where in relation is the house
14 belonging to the Kurspahics from the house that you were staying in at
15 this time?
16 A. The courtyards border on each other, but the house I was in is a
17 higher house, but parallel, below the house I was living in, and there
18 wasn't a partition between the courtyards of those two houses either.
19 Q. Were you able to see whether the lights were on or off in this
21 A. The lights were off. They were hiding, the old people were hiding
22 on the first floor.
23 Q. And did you see a flashlight inside that darkened house at some
25 A. Yes. They searched the house with flashlights. They went right
1 up to the third floor, second floor, and first floor, searching.
2 Q. Were you able to see the red Passat from where you were at this
4 A. The house is a big one, and the Passat was parked right below the
5 Kurspahic house.
6 Q. And were you able to see Milan Lukic, Mitar Vasiljevic, or this
7 other person during the time you are now describing?
8 A. I was able to all the time that they went in and searched the
9 house from the third floor to the first floor, because the Kurspahic house
10 is parallel to the terrace and windows where I was staying.
11 Q. Did there come a time when you were able to determine that they
12 found the Kurspahic couple inside the house?
13 A. The lights went on on the first floor. They made some noise and
14 asked where their sons were and called out the sons' names. The old woman
15 entreated them not to kill them, and it all lasted for a very brief
17 Q. When you say "the old woman entreated them not to kill them," were
18 you able to determine who she was referring to when she was using the word
20 A. Mitar Vasiljevic, Milan Lukic, and a third person whom I did not
22 Q. Were you able to determine whether she was referring to her sons
23 or to her and her husband?
24 A. She was screaming. She said that her -- she didn't know anything
25 about her sons, that they're clean, that they had done nothing, and they
1 said, "Please don't kill us." However, there was a burst of gunfire. It
2 was all very terrible. And I heard the screams of the old woman. They
3 killed the old man first and then there was a burst of gunfire and then
4 they killed the old woman too.
5 Q. The next day, did you happen to go in front -- by the front of
6 that building of the Kurspahic house?
7 A. The next morning I had to go to work. The doors were open -- the
8 door was open and their legs were sticking out. It was a terrible sight
9 and I was very much afraid all through the night and all through the day
10 and all through the ensuing days that I spent in the town. The body was
11 there for more than five or six days, until somebody finally took it away
12 from there.
13 Q. Now, did there come a time during your stay on Pionirska Street or
14 in the area of Pionirska Street that you became aware of a fire in which
15 people from Koritnik lost their lives?
16 A. As to the fire, I do know about the fire.
17 Q. What is your best recollection as to when this fire occurred?
18 A. The fire broke out while there was a curfew on round the clock,
19 non-stop. It was towards dusk, at the end of June. I was going up to the
20 [redacted] Mitar Vasiljevic, with his group of men, was taking a mass
21 of people. There were some elderly people there, older people, younger
22 people, women, children. They were taking them upwards Pionirska Street,
23 which is the street that I passed by every day until I left that area.
24 Q. At this time, were you staying in the same house that you just
25 told us you were staying in Pionirska Street when you observed the death
1 of the Kurspahic couple?
2 A. No.
3 Q. This night, did you stay in a different house?
4 A. I was in a different house. It also belonged to the [redacted], which
5 is quite a bit lower than the other one. But they're related. And
6 I had to go with my child to look for safety, to see where to hide, where
7 to take refuge, because it wasn't safe anywhere. And my daughter was with
8 me. That was the child that was with me.
9 Q. Can you describe for the Court where this second house is that you
10 stayed in in relation to the school that's on Pionirska Street?
11 A. I can.
12 Q. Would you please tell us? Will you please describe where this
13 second house is in relation to the school on Pionirska Street.
14 A. Oh, I see. In relation to the schoolhouse, the school and house
15 are on the right-hand side. The school is a higher building than the
16 house that I was in. So when I come from the centre of town, up the hill
17 of Pionirska Street, both the school and the house are to my right.
18 Q. Now, were you coming up Pionirska Street from town at the time you
19 saw Mitar Vasiljevic on this day?
20 A. I was coming from town. The column was exactly in front of me, so
21 that I had no chance of turning left or right or going back. I was
22 afraid. I didn't know what was going on myself. A lady - I don't want to
23 mention her name - was coming towards me, and she left the group. She was
24 well known to me. She was a neighbour of mine, a friend of mine. We used
25 to have coffee. He said, "You go with the people," but she didn't want
1 to, and she is alive and well and living in a town in Bosnia.
2 Q. When she -- when you saw her, which direction was she travelling?
3 A. She was going down Pionirska Street, coming towards the group, and
4 she went towards town. I couldn't help her. We just -- our eyes met,
5 that's all. We glanced at each other and I didn't dare do anything.
6 Q. And did you hear Mitar Vasiljevic say anything to this woman?
7 A. Yes. He told her to go with the people and to join the group.
8 She said, "I don't want to and I'm not going to." But Mitar didn't do
9 anything bad. He didn't react at all. He just went on with his
10 assignment. He had this mass of people in front of him and his
12 Q. And did you hear Mitar Vasiljevic say anything to the group or to
13 the remainder of the group?
14 A. He just told them to go forward, to move forward. I didn't dare
15 pay any more attention, I was so afraid.
16 Q. Did you see Milan Lukic here at this time?
17 A. Of course. I did see him, yes.
18 Q. Did you see Mitar Vasiljevic with a megaphone?
19 A. I don't remember that.
20 Q. Did you see any of the men in the group with a megaphone?
21 A. I just heard somebody speaking over the megaphone, but I don't
22 remember that it was Mitar Vasiljevic but that was very short,
24 Q. Where did you go after you saw this group?
25 A. I went to [redacted].
1 Q. And is that the house that you stayed in that night?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, at this time I'm going to ask that the
4 witness be shown Exhibit 17.4. I will ask her to make a mark on it, so I
5 ask that we deem this 17.4, 115, to indicate she is the witness marking on
6 this copy of the exhibit.
7 JUDGE HUNT: I'm not sure what you mean by deem it. We'll admit
8 it as that document when she has done it.
9 MR. GROOME: That's what I mean, Your Honour.
10 I would ask that it be placed on the ELMO.
11 Q. Witness 115, I would ask that you take the pen next to you and
12 just write the number 115 on the bottom of that photograph to indicate
13 that it's you that's making marks on this photograph.
14 A. Where do you want me to write the number? On the photograph
16 Q. Yes, on the photograph itself, somewhere near the bottom.
17 A. The bottom of the house or the whole photograph?
18 Q. No. Just on the bottom of the photograph. Would you just put
19 your witness identification number, number 115, so we know you drew on
20 this photograph.
21 A. I understand now. I understand. I've put 115.
22 Q. The first thing I'm going to ask you to do is to draw an "X" to
23 indicate where it was that you saw this group of people.
24 JUDGE HUNT: First saw, you mean, when you first saw them.
25 MR. GROOME: Yes. Where you first saw this group of people as
1 they were coming up Pionirska Street.
2 A. Shall I put a cross there?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. [Marks]
5 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm going to ask the witness to identify
6 the house that she was in, since this will reveal her identity, I would
7 ask that we go into private session for just a few moments and allow her
8 to do that.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Yes. I'm not sure that I can see where the cross is.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE HUNT: Yes, certainly. Private session, please. I can't
12 see where the cross is. Is it at that intersection there, is it?
13 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, do you object to the tender of this
8 exhibit as 17/115 -- I'm sorry 17/4, and then-115?
9 MR. DOMAZET: No, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. That will be Exhibit P17/4.115, and it is
11 under seal.
12 MR. GROOME:
13 Q. Witness 115, after you went to this house that you've just
14 indicated to us, did you remain there for the course of the night?
15 A. I had to.
16 Q. Did there come a time later on that day or later that night that
17 you heard some activity outside the house?
18 A. Yes, of course I did. It was nearby. I'm sorry, I'm unable to
19 show the house where this was happening. My mind was going, and forgive
20 me for this. I was full of fear.
21 Q. Approximately how much time had transpired between the time you
22 entered this house and the time you heard something outside the house?
23 A. Perhaps over half an hour. These activities didn't start
25 Q. And can you describe for us what you heard from the house that you
1 were in at that time.
2 A. Powerful explosions were heard, shooting, cries and screams of the
3 people, then smoke could be smelled in the air, burning.
4 Q. Did there come a time when you went to the balcony of the house
5 you were staying in and try to look at what was happening?
6 A. I was extremely afraid. I was running around the house. This is
7 a two-storey building and I ran from one window to another. The windows
8 faced three different sides, as did the balconies.
9 Q. Were you able to see the area where the sounds were coming from?
10 A. The house that I was in is on the right-hand side, and the sounds
11 were coming from the left-hand side, very nearby.
12 Q. Are you familiar with the creek that runs in the area of Pionirska
14 A. Yes. It's a creek between the settlement of Glavica and Pionirska
15 Street. It has very little water in it. It is almost dry.
16 Q. Can you describe for us where the sounds were coming from in
17 relation to that creek?
18 A. The sounds were coming from between the creek and Pionirska
20 Q. And approximately how long did these sounds go on for?
21 A. The sounds of burning and everything else lasted an hour and a
22 half, maybe up to two hours. It went on for a long time. That is to the
23 best of my recollection.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Are we going to be able to get any identification of
25 the approximate time? At the moment it's just later that day.
1 MR. GROOME: I'll ask her that, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you.
3 MR. GROOME:
4 Q. Was it dark at this time?
5 A. Yes, of course it was dark. Yes, it was dark.
6 Q. What is your best estimate or best recollection of the time that
7 you first began to hear the sounds coming from this direction?
8 A. I think it was early evening. I'm afraid it was a long time ago
9 for me to be more precise, but I think it was after 8.00 in the evening.
10 Q. And could you smell anything at the time you heard these sounds?
11 A. Yes, indeed. I could smell smoke, and there were powerful
12 explosions and the smell of smoke could be felt. People were burning in
13 horror, the burning of human flesh could be smelled.
14 Q. During the time that you heard these sounds, were you able or did
15 you see Mitar Vasiljevic in the area at the time you heard these sounds?
16 A. In that area, I mean, at the time the cries were heard, I was
17 unable to see him, because one couldn't look really. I would have --
18 people, when the curfew was on, would pull down the blinds and switch off
19 the lights. That is what we all had to do in the town of Visegrad. But
20 still, I peeped out, prompted by the horror of it.
21 Q. And you did not see him at that time?
22 A. I could not see him then. Even if I wanted to, there was a large
23 group of people with Mitar who were doing this.
24 Q. Were you able to see Milan Lukic at that time?
25 A. I couldn't. I couldn't recognise anyone from among the people who
1 were doing this. I could not recognise anyone. It was already dark.
2 Q. Now, I think you've told us this already, but just to be clear:
3 Your best recollection as to the day that this happened is that it
4 happened in late June; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, quite. That is correct, according to my recollection. It
6 was a long time ago, ten years ago.
7 Q. The morning after the fire, did you speak to a neighbour, without
8 telling us his name, did you speak to a neighbour regarding what happened
9 the night before?
10 A. I didn't sleep that night from fear. In the morning I set off to
11 work quite early. I had to leave the house. And I saw the neighbour, or
12 my former landowner, and he was carrying water in a plastic can to assist
13 somebody in the house. Somebody must have survived in that house.
14 Somebody did survive. It wasn't important whether it was a man or a
16 Q. Did he describe for you where that survivor -- where he found that
18 A. He told me.
19 Q. Would you please describe for us where he told you he found that
21 A. Before we had met, he had probably gone to that house earlier and
22 around the house and towards the creek, and he found a person with big
23 burns, and he said that the two- or three-day-old baby had been burnt to
24 death, and I assume that he was carrying water for that lady.
25 Q. What was the ethnicity of this neighbour?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. He was a Serb.
2 Q. And can you tell us what his reaction was to his discovery that
4 A. The man was out of his mind. He was worse than me, only he had
5 the courage to move around; I didn't. It wasn't a young man. His sons
6 were my generation.
7 Q. Witness 115, would it be fair to say that you remained in
8 Visegrad -- remained living in Visegrad up until early 1994?
9 A. I had to. I couldn't flee. They wouldn't give me a passport. I
10 was almost in captivity. I was under work obligation.
11 Q. Did there come a time later in the summer of 1992 that you saw the
12 accused Mitar Vasiljevic with a cast on his leg?
13 A. I saw him with a cast, but in the summer.
14 Q. Can you tell us your best recollection of the first time or the
15 date of the first time you saw him with a cast on his leg?
16 A. I think it was in the autumn. It was colder. Maybe September or
18 Q. At that time did you also see him walking with crutches?
19 A. A couple of times I did see him with crutches. On one occasion I
20 saw him on a horse.
21 Q. And was he riding the horse with the cast on his leg?
22 A. It seemed to me that he had a cast on his leg when he was on
23 horseback, though this wasn't important for me. I didn't look closely. I
24 didn't look at those people at all. I always hid from them.
25 Q. Do you know who owned the horse that he was riding?
1 A. No, I don't know. Believe me, I don't know.
2 Q. Now, I want to draw you back to the summer of 1992, shortly after
3 the fire on Pionirska Street. I'd ask you, did you observe an incident
4 involving a person by the name of Kahriman?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Can you tell the Court your best recollection of when you observed
7 this incident of Kahriman in relation to the fire on Pionirska Street, how
8 much time between the two?
9 A. Between the two incidents, this was the end of June. I had
10 already moved into housing, apartment building, so it was at the end of
11 June or the beginning of July. It was hot that day.
12 Q. And this apartment that you moved into, would it be fair to
13 characterise this as being in the centre of Visegrad?
14 A. Visegrad is a very small town, so everything is in the centre.
15 The apartment I lived in belongs to the part of town known as [redacted],
17 Q. Will you please --
18 JUDGE HUNT: Just a moment. The question you asked earlier was a
19 very leading one. I would like to see if you can ask her a question which
20 enables her to say when this was in relation to the fire.
21 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE HUNT: It's not much help if you lead them into these
24 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
25 Q. Will you please describe for us as best you're able the number of
1 days or the number of weeks between the fire in Pionirska Street and the
2 incident involving a man by the name of Kahriman?
3 JUDGE HUNT: That's still a leading question. What we want to
4 know is what happened first. This is going to be the issue here, isn't
6 MR. GROOME: Okay. Sorry.
7 Q. Witness 115, which occurred first, the fire on Pionirska Street or
8 the incident involving Mr. Kahriman?
9 A. Yes. First the fire occurred, and after that fire, after that
10 horror, I had nothing to do with Pionirska Street. I fled from there and
11 I found accommodation in an apartment that belonged to my company, with
12 the help of my - how shall I put it? - my bosses, I was given this
13 apartment to use, and I moved in with my daughter and I stayed there until
14 I fled, and that was at the beginning of 1994.
15 JUDGE HUNT: If I may say so, that should teach you that if you
16 ask her a non-leading question, you'll get a better answer. I'm sorry,
17 but this sort of thing is vital. Try to avoid leading.
18 MR. GROOME:
19 Q. Can you estimate the number of days or weeks or time period
20 between the fire and this incident with Mr. Kahriman?
21 A. Am I supposed to say something?
22 Q. Are you able to estimate the time period between these two events?
23 A. It wasn't long. It was a short time period. Don't forget that
24 things were happening in Visegrad at great speed. They followed one
25 another. And the suffering was awful. In June, July, and August, the
1 suffering of the Muslim people. And the events followed one another at
2 great speed. So I would say the beginning of July, when the incident with
3 the old man Kahriman from Dusce occurred.
4 Q. And can you please describe for us the people who were involved in
5 that incident?
6 A. Yes, I can. It was in the afternoon, when I was going back from
7 work. I was crossing the new bridge. I had no transportation that day,
8 so I went on foot. And this incident was taking place close to my
9 building. An innocent man was being mistreated in all kinds of ways.
10 Mitar Vasiljevic, Milan Lukic, and Slobodan Roncevic and Jovo Lipovac were
12 Q. And can you describe how this man was being mistreated?
13 A. The man was on my right as I was approaching the building. And
14 there were a lot of citizens, a lot of my colleagues were coming home from
15 work. There were passersby. This was daytime, it wasn't night-time.
16 It was daylight. They were mistreating the man. I saw that he had
17 handcuffs on. He was screaming. They were making cuts on his arms.
18 After that they cut his ears and mistreated him, because he was the father
19 of an alleged well-known extremist known as Cabre or his uncle, I don't
20 know which.
21 Q. Did Mitar Vasiljevic have anything covering his face or disguising
22 himself on that day?
23 A. No, no, he didn't. I was able to see Mitar. He wasn't masked.
24 No one was masked. According to the stories of my colleagues, they may
25 have used masks in the evening when they killed their neighbours so they
1 wouldn't recognise them.
2 Q. Did you leave this incident before it was concluded?
3 A. I was there very briefly. I couldn't walk properly. The man was
4 screaming. I was out of my mind. I didn't know whether I was normal any
5 more. I had some pills on me. I took those pills. And one couldn't
6 forget those screams. If it wasn't for my daughter, I would have killed
7 myself, but I had to go on living because of my daughter, who was a minor.
8 Q. Did you learn whether or not the man was killed?
9 A. Of course. The body could be seen for a long time. It ended up
10 in the Drina, like the others, eventually.
11 Q. Did there come a time after this event that you were in a friend's
12 house and you heard the person you've referred to as Slobodan Roncevic
13 talk about this attack on Mr. Kahriman?
14 A. Yes. This was a young man, a student from Novi Sad, Slobodan
15 Roncevic. He came to visit my friend. We were having coffee together.
16 She was unmarried and so was he, I think, and he recounted the story,
17 enjoying every moment of it.
18 Q. During this event that you witnessed, were you able to tell
19 whether Mitar Vasiljevic had a cast on his leg at this time?
20 A. I didn't notice it.
21 Q. I want to now draw your attention to an event involving a Medo
22 Mulahasic. Do you recall that day?
2 Q. What was his approximate age?
3 A. He was over 60.
4 Q. This event you're about to describe, did this happen before or
5 after the fire on Pionirska Street?
6 A. After the fire. I was surprised to see Muslims in the street.
7 Q. Did this event happen before or after the event you've just
8 described with Mr. Kahriman?
9 A. After. After Kahriman.
10 Q. And to the best of your recollection, can you tell us the time
11 period between what you observed with Mr. Kahriman and what you observed
12 with Mr. Mulahasic?
13 A. This incident occurred at the end of July 1992. The killing took
14 place on the old bridge next to the hotel.
15 Q. Can you describe for us what occurred?
16 A. I was carrying some commercial products for my company. I had my
17 driver. The car was parked in front of the department store. I got out
18 and I saw a skinny man with his back bent, being led by children. Mitar
19 Vasiljevic and Milan Lukic across the square. I looked closer and I saw
20 that it was Medo Mulahasic. They gave him a cigarette to smoke. I can't
21 forget that. So the citizens of Visegrad were teaching small boys to wage
22 war. They may have had 12, 13, or 14 to shoot at people.
23 Q. Where were you at the time that you were making this observation?
24 A. I was on the square, the square in the town of Visegrad, between
25 the hotel and the department store. The old bridge is nearby, the
1 Cuprija, known as the Cuprija.
2 Q. Were you on foot or were you in a car?
3 A. No. I had to walk to the car. I was always in the car. I didn't
4 dare walk a lot.
5 Q. On this occasion when you saw Mr. Vasiljevic, was there anything
6 disguising or covering his face?
7 A. No, nothing. He didn't have anything on him. This was before
8 noon. My business between -- [redacted]
9 [redacted] place between 11.00 and 12.00, so it was
11 Q. And Milan Lukic, was there anything covering or disguising his
13 A. No. He never disguised himself.
14 Q. Were you able to see what happened on the old bridge?
15 A. They shot at the back of his head and they threw him over the
16 stone wall into the Drina, at the small back of his head.
17 Q. And at this time, are you able to tell us whether or not he had a
18 cast on his leg?
19 A. I don't remember. I would be more prone to say that he didn't
20 have a cast.
21 Q. I want to now draw your attention to an incident that you
22 witnessed involving a person with the nickname Kupus, or cabbage. Do you
23 recall that incident?
24 A. I do remember that incident. This incident also occurred towards
25 the end of July, on a small bridge known as the Rzav bridge, there is a
1 small tributary of the Drina flowing below that bridge. It is called the
2 Rzav, and this small bridge is in the centre of town. We were going
3 home from work through town. There were other colleagues with me. I'd
4 rather not mention their names, because they are important to me. And at
5 the small bridge, next to an iron fence, Kupus was standing. I don't know
6 his first or last name. He used to sell tickets in a company.
7 Q. And can you tell us what people you saw involved in this incident
8 with Kupus?
9 A. I saw Milan Lukic, Mitar Vasiljevic, and another of the Lukics. I
10 lost a sandal. It was very hot, and Mitar yelled at me to hurry along so
11 as not to end up like this man. They were hitting him. They were
12 stabbing him with a knife. He was screaming. It was terrible. It was in
13 daytime. People were passing by. They scared people. They were
14 intimidating their own people, because only Serbs had remained, and they
15 too lived in terror and in fear.
16 Q. At this time was there anything covering or disguising Mitar
17 Vasiljevic's face?
18 A. No, there wasn't.
19 Q. Could you be more precise about what you saw each of these men do
20 in relation to Mr. Kupus? I'd ask you to begin by describing what Milan
21 Lukic did to this man.
22 A. Milan Lukic stabbed him with a knife lots of times, lots of times,
23 all over his body, and Mitar was right up against this man.
24 Q. Could you see whether he was holding the man?
25 A. He didn't have to hold him. The man didn't dare budge. His hands
1 were up against an iron railing.
2 Q. And approximately how far were you from this incident?
3 A. Perhaps 15 to 20 steps away, on the other side of the little
4 bridge and the railing.
5 Q. And did there come a time when Mitar Vasiljevic spoke directly to
7 A. He only told me to hurry up. I was so afraid, and something fell
8 off me, my leg, and he said, "Pass by quickly so that you don't end up
9 like this as well."
10 Q. During this incident, are you able to tell us whether or not he
11 had a cast on his leg?
12 A. I didn't notice anything. I was too afraid. I was in a hurry. I
13 hurried, like all my other friends, girls.
14 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Witness 115.
15 Your Honour, I have no further questions.
16 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Domazet:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Madam 115, when you began your testimony here
20 this morning, in answer to a question from Mr. Groome about your
21 ethnicity, if I remember correctly, you said that you were a Serb, and
22 then you added "unfortunately."
23 A. Yes, that's what I said.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Remember to turn your microphone off when she is
25 answering, please.
1 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Can you explain to me why you said that?
3 A. Can you not assume that for yourself? Don't you know the answer
5 Q. Perhaps I can, madam, but I would like to have your opinion and
6 explanation, not my own surmise and conjecture.
7 A. My opinion is that Mr. Vasiljevic and all members of that group
8 were of the Serb ethnicity, just like me, and I'm ashamed of that. I'm
9 ashamed of the place where I was born. I love the town. I love the town
10 of Visegrad and I haven't seen it for ten years.
11 Q. Madam, however, you stayed on in that town until the beginning --
12 A. Yes, you're right, you're right, sir. That's right.
13 Q. You stayed on until 1994. Would you please, madam, not interrupt
14 me, because of the interpreters and the microphone. So wait until I
15 finish my question.
16 You stayed on in Visegrad, and as far as I can see, you had no
17 problems. You were free to leave, you are free to go back. So perhaps
18 there is another reason why you don't wish to live in Visegrad any more.
19 A. Your Honour, Judge, that is not true. I cannot live in Visegrad
20 any more.
21 Q. Madam, you gave a statement to the investigator of the Prosecution
22 at the beginning of this year, or rather, in the course of this year; is
23 that true?
24 A. At the beginning -- or perhaps it was last year. I don't
1 Q. Very well. But you made a statement, one statement; is that
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. When you gave your particulars, in the faith column you answered
5 "none," your answer was "none." Could you tell us the reason for that?
6 A. I did not understand your question. Would you repeat your
7 question, please.
8 Q. Yes. Let me repeat my question. In the statement, in the column
9 for religion, in that column you state "none." You say you have no
10 religion. Can you explain that to me?
11 A. You're asking me about my religion, faith, that column?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. I don't know. I can't explain that.
14 Q. Very well, madam. Let me rephrase the question. Perhaps that
15 will help you. Your religion or faith, if you have it, what is it? What
16 is your faith?
17 A. My faith or religion, I am a Serb, because my parents are Serbs.
18 Both my parents are Serbs. Does that answer your question?
19 Q. Not all Serbs are of the same religion. Religion is something
20 different. Can you explain that or not?
21 A. Religion. I'm not a religious person. I haven't been trained,
22 brought up in the faith, religiously, and I had nothing much to do with my
23 parents, nothing to do with my parents. I went to school. I wasn't tied
24 to religion of any kind.
25 Q. Thank you. That answers the question.
1 A. You're welcome.
2 Q. Did you personally see the release of the water from the dam by a
3 certain Murat, and what happened after that? I think you mentioned it.
4 Can you tell us more about that, please.
5 A. Yes, I did. The release of the water and the dam, I don't know
6 the date now, and dates are always a problem for me, but it was much
7 earlier on, much earlier than what I was talking about in my testimony.
8 It looked terrible. Visegrad looked terrible when the water was
9 released. Now, if you're asking me about Murat and Avdija, they are
10 people, two men from Dusce. They were extremists before the war as well.
11 They were of an extremist orientation. Now, when I say "extremist," I
12 mean that they would, for example, stop cars randomly, passing over
13 bridges, they would stop buses. They did this before the war too. They
14 fought before the war. And they were dishonest citizens. I didn't know
15 them personally myself, but as a family, they're on the minus side, not
16 plus side. They weren't good citizens as far as Visegrad is concerned,
17 and did a lot of damage by releasing the Drina. There was chaos in town
18 as a result of it. The population dispersed, and that day was a horrible
19 day to remember. We had to flee to the centre of town. All the
20 surrounding villages had to flee into town to find an escape. When the
21 water was released, I personally too had to take to the hills. We all
22 took to the hills, towards Bikavac, to avoid being flooded and drowned in
23 the water. It was terrible. There was general darkness in town, a fog.
24 The water took away with it houses and trees and the whole scene was
25 terrible. So that in those few days, I was divided from my husband, and I
1 went to Prijepolje.
2 Q. You speak of the height of the waves in your statement. You say
3 they were 10 or more metres high.
4 A. Yes. That's what it looked like, perhaps even higher. That's
5 what it looked like.
6 Q. Did those waves take a bridge with them which was above Visegrad
7 towards Gorazde?
8 A. Yes. The bridge was near the power plant and it was destroyed by
9 the flood, and many of the houses on the banks of the Drina and the trees
10 were uprooted. Everything that was located along the banks of the Drina
11 was destroyed by the flood, by the waters.
12 Q. Can we say, then, madam, that at that time, because of that
13 situation, the town of Visegrad was practically empty, that all the Muslim
14 and Serb population had left the town?
15 A. Yes, that's right. Practically nobody remained in town. There
16 were some sporadic gunfire between the Serbs and Muslims. I don't know
17 that there were any killings, that there were any casualties or victims.
18 All the people sought refuge and shelter out of town, and we had to flee
19 mostly because of that damn Drina and the water.
20 JUDGE HUNT: Just a moment. Madam, because you and counsel are
21 both speaking the same language, there is a problem if you answer the
22 question straight away. The interpreters are having difficulty keeping up
23 with you, so if you would just pause just before you answer any question.
24 Mr. Domazet, similarly pauses before he asks you a question to
25 enable the interpreters who are giving it to us in English, your evidence
1 in English and French. It enables them to catch up. So just pause before
2 you answer. Thank you.
3 THE WITNESS: Okay.
4 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
5 Q. What you have just described to us happened several days before
6 the arrival of the army, or rather, the Uzice Corps to Visegrad; is that
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. After that, madam, you yourself returned to Visegrad, did you not?
10 A. I had to.
11 Q. Just a minute. I haven't finished my question.
12 A. Okay.
13 Q. And you spent that entire time in Visegrad continuously; is that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. During that time you worked in the factory in which you were
17 employed before these events; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And if I understood you correctly, then, and later, when you spoke
20 about the car drive, you were driven by a driver from the company you
21 worked for. It was the company driver and company car; is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I would now like to ask you something related to the event you
24 described that took place in Pionirska Street.
25 A. Yes. Please go ahead.
1 Q. It is in connection with the fire.
2 A. Yes. I'll be happy to answer that.
3 Q. You saw a blow-up, an enlarged photograph, a moment ago of that
4 part of town, of that part of Pionirska Street, in fact, which doesn't
5 show the whole of Pionirska Street; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. Your house, your new house, the one you were talking about, is it
8 on that photograph?
9 A. No, it isn't.
10 Q. Is it above the photograph, if I can put it that way, that the
11 photograph does not encompass it because your house was up above the area
12 the photograph showed?
13 A. That part of town was the Pionirska Mahala, and my house is a new
14 house in quite a different part of town which was not encompassed by the
15 photograph at all. You cannot see it at all on that section shown on the
17 Q. I don't think you understood me, madam. You're now telling me
18 about the house, your house, located on the other side of the Drina River;
19 is that right?
20 A. You mean my own personal house?
21 Q. If I understood you correctly, you had a new house in Pionirska
22 Street, a house that you yourself built together with your husband, which
23 you were to have moved into, but you said that you actually never moved
24 into it, that you actually never lived there, and you also said that you
25 had another house in another part of town, not to mention the district,
1 the area, but that that was on the other bank of the Drina, in quite a
2 different section of town; is that right?
3 A. No, sir. No. Can I explain it myself, please?
4 Q. Of course.
5 A. Everything to do with Pionirska Street and that settlement, I was
6 there renting. I rented the place there, whereas my own house, the house
7 I owned and built together with my husband, was located in quite a
8 different area, much higher up, on the other side, not across the Drina
9 River but on the other side, on the opposite side. And I didn't spend one
10 single night in my own house. It was a newly built house. All I have
11 left is the keys in the door. I didn't succeed in moving in all my
12 personal effects into the house ever.
13 Q. Very well, madam. I understand. In Pionirska, you lived in a
14 rented place and you had a landlord and you also lived in some other
15 houses temporarily from time to time; is that right? Have I got it right
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And the place you lived in as a tenant, can you see that house on
19 the photograph?
20 A. No. I'd need a larger photo.
21 Q. Was it above or below Pionirska Street?
22 A. [redacted]
23 Q. On the photograph -- the photograph doesn't even show the lower
24 part of Pionirska Street, which, as far as I know, begins from a street
25 leading from the centre of town towards the exit to town, in the direction
1 of Uzice; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you explain, looking at Pionirska Street from the place it
4 starts at, from the start of Pionirska Street upwards, where you saw, as
5 you said, the column for the first time which Mitar Vasiljevic was with?
6 A. The place I put my cross on the photograph first. There's some
7 streets missing there. There's the Smajlovic house there as well, to my
8 left. Going up the street, on my left, would be the Smajlovic house.
9 The man is in Sweden at the moment. His nickname is Tetak, and that's
10 where he was from. And I said that a portion of this area on the
11 photograph was missing.
12 Q. I think, madam, you placed a cross on the photograph of the place
13 I asked you about, but now I understand that that isn't the spot, that the
14 spot is actually lower down and can't be seen on the photograph.
15 A. Yes. Perhaps four or five metres lower. I said straight away
16 that a part of the picture was missing, or rather, the beginning of
17 Pionirska Street wasn't on the photograph that was shown to me.
18 Q. Madam, when you saw this group of people, as far as I was able to
19 understand, you were moving in the same direction behind those people; is
20 that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What were Mitar Vasiljevic's movements? Was he moving behind the
23 column? How long was the column or procession?
24 A. Mitar was mostly towards the side. There was a large mass of
25 people, and he had some assistants.
1 Q. That was to be my next question. Was he alone or were there other
2 people with him?
3 A. There were other people with him, yes.
4 Q. Can you tell us who those other people with him were?
5 A. Well, of course there were lots of Mitar's assistants. All the
6 Lukics were there, all the members of the Lukic; Vasiljevic, Lipovac, all
7 their members. Many people. There was Sredoje Lukic, Niko Vujicic, and
8 lots of people I didn't know.
9 Q. So this column of people from Koritnik were escorted, in addition
10 to Mitar, by a larger group, and you said that amongst that group you
11 recognised Milan Lukic, Sredoje Lukic, Niko Vujicic, but you also
12 mentioned some Vasiljevics and Lipovacs. Can you tell us who they were?
13 A. Vasiljevic. Perhaps his first name was Zoran. I don't remember
14 exactly. Of the Lipovac there was Jovo, a very short man, of short build.
15 Q. Can you remember what Mitar Vasiljevic was wearing on that
17 A. I don't remember.
18 Q. You can't remember at all?
19 A. I can't remember.
20 Q. How far were you behind that column, if you can remember?
21 A. Perhaps -- I was very near, actually. Ten metres, perhaps, until
22 I turned by the garage. The column went off in front of me, upwards.
23 Q. Was that the entire time that you were behind the column, you were
24 at a distance of ten metres?
25 A. Yes, that's right, but the whole thing didn't last very long,
1 because the short street is a short one, not a very long street.
2 Q. Madam, you were walking behind the column up until the place where
3 you left it to go to the house you indicated on the photograph, whereas
4 the column continued on its way with all these people up Pionirska Street;
5 is that right?
6 A. Yes, it is, sir.
7 Q. You mentioned, madam, a person today who was coming towards you
8 and who exchanged a few words with Mitar Vasiljevic. Can you tell me
9 whether it was a man or a woman?
10 A. It was a woman.
11 Q. Did you happen to notice a man doing the same thing, that is to
12 say, talking to Mitar Vasiljevic, or --
13 A. No, I did not.
14 Q. Do you remember the woman? I think you said that you knew her.
15 A. Yes, I remember her.
16 Q. Could you tell us her name and surname? Or if you think that it
17 is necessary, perhaps we can move into private session or perhaps we can
18 just -- she could just give a name to identify the individual. I think it
19 would be important for us to know.
20 A. Well, can I just give the first name? Can I just say the person's
21 first name?
22 JUDGE HUNT: Stop there anyway. You give us her first name. Are
23 you worried about identifying her?
24 A. I'll say the name. The lady's name was Hanka.
25 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Was that lady alone or was she with anyone?
2 A. She was alone.
3 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think it would be
4 helpful if we had the woman's full name, her first and last name, in view
5 of the fact that the name, first name, Hanka, is what she was called.
6 Perhaps her name was somewhat different.
7 JUDGE HUNT: I see. Well, then, we'll go into private session.
8 [Private session]
11 [Open session]
12 JUDGE HUNT: Yes. We're now in public session.
13 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know if it's
14 time for our break.
15 JUDGE HUNT: It certainly is. I hadn't noticed the time. Thank
16 you. We'll adjourn now and resume at 11.35.
17 --- Recess taken at 11.05 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.
19 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet.
20 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. We are now in public session, so I would like to ask you about
22 this person that we discussed a moment ago. Of course, don't mention her
23 name, please. We all know the name now. I would like to ask you first
24 whether you remember the spot where this occurred when you met her,
25 starting from the beginning of Pionirska Street upwards.
1 A. You mean going from the beginning of the street upwards? Maybe
2 about -- someplace between the house I was living and the beginning, I
3 think it was maybe halfway, midway between what was happening along this
4 part of the street.
5 Q. So well into Pionirska Street. It was in Pionirska Street?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did this person see you? Did she greet you? Did you say
9 A. We saw each other. We noticed one another. We didn't have any
10 conversation at all. We said nothing to one another.
11 Q. So she saw you, you exchanged glances, and she went on towards
12 town and you continued along your way down Pionirska Street?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Do you remember what the weather was like that day?
15 A. It was warm.
16 Q. Does that mean fine, clear, warm weather?
17 A. Yes, fine weather.
18 Q. When we're talking about the time of day, you said that from the
19 moment you turned off towards the house where you spent that night in,
20 that about half an hour later the explosions and the fire started, but you
21 didn't tell us whether while you were moving along the street it was still
22 daylight, or was it dusk or the beginning of darkness?
23 A. It was the beginning of the evening. Dark was just falling.
24 Q. So while you were following the column and turning off the road,
25 this was -- darkness was just falling.
1 A. Darkness was just falling. It was in the afternoon, early
2 evening, about 7.00 in the evening.
3 Q. Madam, when you were describing what happened the next day, in the
4 morning, or rather, what you heard and saw, you said that a neighbour of
5 yours, a Serb, was extending aid to a woman who had burns close to the
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is his name [redacted]?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Did he live in Pionirska Street?
11 A. He did.
12 Q. Do you know his surname?
13 A. I don't remember. I've forgotten it.
14 Q. Do you remember -- we're talking about the following day, in the
15 morning. When was this? Was this early in the morning, later in the
16 course of the morning, or some other time?
17 A. It was early in the morning. My working hours started at 7.00
18 a.m. I started work at 7.00.
19 Q. So this was before 7.00 as you were leaving for work?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you have occasion to see or talk to the person who was
23 A. No, no.
24 Q. Were there any other people alive, injured or uninjured, in the
25 vicinity of that house that morning?
1 A. I didn't see anything. I didn't meet anyone in the street.
2 Q. Did you see this woman or did you hear about it from this
4 A. I beg your pardon? Could you please repeat your question?
5 Q. Yes, let me repeat. You said that you didn't see anything in the
6 morning when I asked you whether there were any other people, either
7 injured or uninjured in the vicinity of the house, you said that you
8 didn't see any. So my question is: Did you personally see this woman and
9 your [redacted] or do you know about it from what he said?
10 A. From what my [redacted] said.
11 Q. So he didn't tell you that he saw any other person except that
13 A. He didn't say anything else.
14 Q. Did he tell you that he recognised that person or that he knew her
16 A. No. I didn't ask him that.
17 Q. In your statement that you gave to the investigator, you mentioned
18 the name of that woman as being Ismeta.
19 A. According to later stories, apparently the surviving woman's name
20 was Ismeta, and she is still alive.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
22 MR. DOMAZET:
23 Q. In your statement to the investigator, you said, and I quote, "I
24 also saw a woman in the grass who appeared to be alive. A local Serb
25 whose name was [redacted], he was over 50, went up to help her. Later I
1 heard that the woman's name was Ismeta."
2 So is it true that you saw her or you only heard about it from
3 this witness?
4 A. I heard all this from the witness [redacted].
5 Q. Madam, when you're talking about the incident that occurred on the
6 bridge, when the victim was a certain Medo, you said that you were with
7 the driver and that at the time you did not move around on foot but that
8 your driver of the company car drove you around; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you tell us the name of that driver?
11 A. I'm afraid I cannot tell you that, and I would really beg you: I
12 cannot ever tell you that, because this means a lot for my life and my
14 Q. Was he a Serb or a Muslim?
15 A. He was a Serb.
16 Q. Do you not want to give us his name because of any kind of danger
17 he would be exposed to or is there another reason?
18 A. There are many reasons, please, so that nothing should happen to
19 that driver. That driver saved my life, my life and my daughter, and he
20 took us from Visegrad, and so please, don't ask me anything else about
22 Q. Madam, perhaps I can have understanding for your concern, but
23 please understand also that that person is a witness of something you told
24 us about, and this can be very important for this case or maybe some other
25 case. And for us it is invaluable for us to learn of all possible
1 witnesses who, if necessary, would be equally protected as you are. So
2 could you please give us the full name of that person in a private
3 session, if necessary?
4 A. No, I won't.
5 MR. GROOME: Objection, Your Honour, as to relevance.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Yes, Mr. Groome.
7 MR. GROOME: It's a collateral matter.
8 JUDGE HUNT: It's hardly a collateral matter. You're relying on
9 the incident that she said she saw and Mr. Domazet is seeking to obtain
10 the name of the driver so they can interview him to see whether he will
11 give the same evidence. How is that merely collateral?
12 MR. GROOME: It is not one of the crimes that the accused was
13 charged with
14 JUDGE HUNT: Then why did you lead evidence of it?
15 MR. GROOME: Because it shows the time that the --
16 JUDGE HUNT: Yes.
17 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour, it is relevant.
18 JUDGE HUNT: It clearly is relevant, isn't it?
19 MR. GROOME: I'd ask that we discuss, given the concerns that this
20 witness has regarding this information, I'd ask that we go into private
21 session and discuss this matter.
22 JUDGE HUNT: Very well, then. Let us go into private session.
23 [Private session]
13 Page 1056 – redacted – private session.
13 Page 1057 – redacted – private session.
18 [Open session]
19 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE HUNT: We are now in public session.
21 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
22 Q. You just said that you find it difficult to remember what happened
23 seven days ago, but today you are testifying about events which occurred
24 nine years ago without having testified about those events at all before
25 this year. So is it possible that with regard to the events you spoke
1 about today, your memory may be faulty, or do you insist that everything
2 happened in the way you have described?
3 A. Everything I said in my statement is correct. As to whom I was
4 with in the street, who was nearby, who was in front of me and who was
5 behind me, it's only normal that I can't remember those things. It was a
6 normal day and people were going about their business. My firm is rather
7 a big one. Some people are doing -- taking one bridge, some another, some
8 are going by car, some on foot. I mostly went by car for private problems
9 that I had. When I didn't have a car, I had to go on foot.
10 Q. Madam, when you were giving your statement to the investigator of
11 the Prosecution, you mentioned, among other things, the names of people
12 you knew, that you either personally saw or heard as having participated
13 in certain activities in the area of Visegrad. If you remember, I should
14 like to ask you to explain, because you said at the time that there were
15 two Mitar Vasiljevics, an older man, whom you described as being single,
16 without an eye, and a younger man, who you described as a waiter at the
17 Panos hotel; is that right?
18 A. Yes, that is right. When I was giving my statement, I made a
19 mistake. There was Mitar, the waiter, and there was a Mitar Knezevic, who
20 had an eye missing. His name was not Vasiljevic. He was Knezevic. He
21 died a natural death. He was older than Mitar Vasiljevic, the waiter.
22 Q. Yes, madam. I understand that. But you are now saying that it is
23 Mitar Knezevic, so you incorrectly told the investigator that there were
24 two Mitar Vasiljevics, and you described both of the men in your
1 A. Yes. I made a mistake with the surname. The older Mitar's
2 surname is Knezevic and the younger one's surname is Vasiljevic. If you
3 can please accept this apology, I made an error with the surname. There
4 were two Mitars. The older one was single, as far as I know. He was a
5 man living alone. He was noticed by people, and he personally came to my
6 apartment and did some evil things, but he is no longer alive and he died
7 of natural causes. I don't know whether that is a sufficient explanation
8 regarding the two Mitars.
9 Q. So this other older Mitar that you mentioned, you heard of him and
10 you personally saw him committing many acts in the area of Visegrad,
11 misdeeds in the area of Visegrad; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did that Mitar take part with Milan Lukic and his group?
14 A. Yes. He always took part. He had a subara, a hat on, and he
15 looked unkempt.
16 Q. Could you recognise Mitar Knezevic if you were shown a photograph
17 of him?
18 A. Yes, I could. If you have a photograph, I could recognise him.
19 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have here photographs
20 of that man Mitar Knezevic, and I should like to ask the witness to be
21 allowed to look at the photograph, and then I would like to tender it into
22 evidence. My photograph is in colour. I have made copies of it, and I
23 don't think it is different from this. I think that you can see it
24 properly, although I could hand you the other one in as well, but I
25 haven't got more copies. I just have the photocopies, several
1 photocopies, plus the original.
2 JUDGE HUNT: I'm not sure what you mean by your reference to the
3 other one. You've got one in colour and are there copies in black and
5 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Precisely so. The copies are black
6 and white and the enlarged photograph --
7 JUDGE HUNT: The colour one should be shown to the witness, and
8 we'd be grateful for the black and white at least. And then you can ask
9 her about the colour one.
10 MR. GROOME: Could the Prosecution get a copy, please?
11 JUDGE HUNT: You proceed, Mr. Domazet.
12 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Madam, is that that particular Mitar Knezevic whom you spoke
14 about? Would you please take a look at the photograph.
15 A. Obviously this is Mitar Knezevic, but in his younger years. Yes,
16 right. One of his eyes was damaged. He looks nice here. He's
17 clean-shaven. This is Mitar Knezevic, who is no longer alive.
18 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 May I, Your Honour, tender that into evidence as an exhibit, the
21 JUDGE HUNT: Any objection, Mr. Groome?
22 MR. GROOME: May I ask the witness a question, Your Honour?
23 JUDGE HUNT: For what purpose?
24 MR. GROOME: Voir dire on this exhibit.
25 JUDGE HUNT: The question is she is identified it. You'll be able
1 to cross-examine her about it. Does it go to its admissibility?
2 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE HUNT: She has said it's an old photograph and that he's
5 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Well, now, that makes it admissible on what she
7 said. You can ask her to qualify any of her evidence in ordinary
9 MR. GROOME: No objection, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE HUNT: It will be Exhibit D2.
11 Yes, Mr. Domazet.
12 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Madam, could you tell us which crimes or participation in crimes
14 did you see this Mitar Knezevic take part in?
15 A. Mitar Knezevic, as far as I remember, was noticed in Pionirska.
16 Q. When you say that as far as you remember, do you in fact remember
17 that you saw Mitar Knezevic in the group that accompanied and escorted the
18 column in Pionirska or do you mean that you heard from somebody else that
19 he was there then?
20 A. As far as I remember, I noticed him. It was easy to notice him.
21 He is of short build and a little on the fat side, and it was easy for me
22 to notice him because he had a very strange kind of hat on his head, and
23 his hair was unkempt. And I'm very surprised to see how nice he looks on
24 the photograph.
25 Q. Very well. So as far as you remember, he was in the column too,
1 the column moving up Pionirska Street, as you said, at around 1900 hours
2 or thereabouts?
3 A. Yes, sir, that's right.
4 Q. This Mitar Knezevic, did he take part in any other crime and that
5 you saw this personally take place?
6 A. I don't remember.
7 Q. May I remind you: Did he take part in the crime of the fire at
9 A. According to the stories told, yes.
10 Q. When you say "the stories told," may I take it that you heard that
11 he had taken part in the crime but that you personally had not seen the
12 actual event take place?
13 A. I saw part of it. It would uncover a great deal if I were to go
14 into the details, sir.
15 Q. I just have one question, and I'm going to put it to you, please.
16 Answer directly. Give us a yes or no answer. Did you see the event at
17 Bikavac? Just yes or no.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you. My next question: Did you ever, before giving
20 statements to the Prosecutor, the statement a year ago, did you testify
21 before any other organ, national or whatever, as to what took place in
22 Visegrad, apart from what you have said today?
23 A. No. Did I testify; is that what you're asking me? Can you ask me
24 the question again?
25 Q. Yes. To be more precise, did you give statements to any organ,
1 national or international, with respect to what you have testified, or was
2 your first statement the statement which was taken last year in September
3 by the investigator?
4 A. Oh, I understand, yes. The first time was last year. I never,
5 ever talked to any sorts of organs.
6 Q. Can you tell me, then, how come you came to be a witness? At your
7 own initiative or at somebody else's initiative? How did the OTP learn of
8 you as a witness, as a possible witness?
9 A. I wrote to them personally.
10 Q. That was after the arrest of Mitar Vasiljevic, which I'm sure you
11 saw in the papers and on television?
12 A. I don't remember what time I saw Mitar on television, when that
13 was when I saw him on television. I can't remember the date either when
14 Mitar was arrested. I don't remember all that.
15 Q. Yes, but what I'm asking you, madam, is to think of the time when
16 you came forward and said you would like to testify. Was that before
17 Mitar Vasiljevic's arrest or not?
18 A. I don't know. For example, I can't even remember -- the procedure
19 was rather an involved one, a long one. The time went by from when I sent
20 the letter to when they contacted me. It was a longer period.
21 Q. Yes, but could you tell us how much longer? A month, two months,
22 three months?
23 A. They answered several months later, I think, but I can't say
24 exactly. I would have to check out the dates myself first to be able to
25 do that.
1 Q. All right. But you waited for an answer for at least two or three
2 months before you were interviewed; is that right?
3 A. Yes. Perhaps even longer. Maybe it was even longer.
4 Q. Do you consider that -- let me reformulate that. Can you remember
5 your motives to write to the OTP, if you don't remember it being in
6 connection with the arrest of Mitar Vasiljevic and the publicity in the
8 A. I don't understand the question.
9 Q. I'm sure you know how long The Hague Tribunal has been in
10 existence, and I see that last year, in September, you gave a statement,
11 and several months before that you yourself contacted the Tribunal and
12 said you would like to testify.
13 A. That's right. I did.
14 Q. But you didn't come forward before that in 1999, 1998, 1996, and
15 that's why I'm asking you what your motives were, because it is logical
16 that this followed on from Mitar Vasiljevic's arrest, that that prompted
17 you to come forward and make your statement. But today you say you can't
18 remember what prompted you, so that's why I was asking you.
19 A. What prompted me to contact The Hague Tribunal was my own personal
20 crisis in life. It had nothing to do with Mitar Vasiljevic. The fact
21 that I came forward was not linked to his arrest and detention here.
22 Q. Very well. I understand, if that's what you're telling me. I
23 would like to ask you something else now, generally related to the events
24 you spoke about after the fire in Pionirska Street. You mentioned several
25 incidents: The Rzava bridge, the man named Kupus, Kahriman, and the
1 Prosecutor always asked you for each of these events whether you noticed
2 Mitar having a plaster cast and you said you didn't remember. In any of
3 these situations, did he have crutches of any kind?
4 A. I can't remember. I can't remember, looking back to those
5 incidents and situations, that anything out of the ordinary was connected
6 to Mitar, that he looked different in any way.
7 Q. Madam, I can understand when you say that you don't remember what
8 he was wearing, which is what you said, but if he had crutches or didn't
9 have crutches, this is a fact, something that I think you would have
10 noticed, of course if he had anything, any distinguishing features of that
11 kind, so I take it that you didn't see any distinguishing features and
12 that that's why you said no.
13 A. That's right. I didn't see any distinguishing features. I don't
14 remember having seen anything like that, anything out of the ordinary. I
15 didn't notice a plaster cast. I didn't see that Mitar
16 had a plaster cast of any kind or that he had anything in his hands.
17 JUDGE HUNT: Just one moment. Madam, remember to pause before you
18 answer so that the interpreters can catch up. You came in
19 straight after the question on that occasion and they were rushing a bit
20 to catch up to you.
21 Yes, Mr. Domazet.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. Yes.
23 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I understand that you didn't notice anything from your answer.
25 Did you happen to notice anything of that kind later on at some point?
1 A. Later on I noticed, in the autumn -- I noticed something in the
2 autumn, but Mitar was alone. He didn't do anything to me personally.
3 Nothing happened of interest in the streets. The man didn't do anything.
4 He was on a horse, and at that point I seem to remember Mitar having a
5 plaster cast.
6 Q. But madam, I asked you about crutches. Did you notice, later on,
7 not related to these incidents, because you lived in Visegrad up until the
8 beginning of 1994, did you ever come across him and saw that he was
9 walking on crutches?
10 A. I saw him once, perhaps, but from a car, and very briefly, a very
11 brief glance. I saw him limp. He was limping, with the aid of -- I can't
12 quite remember, because it didn't mean anything to me; it wasn't
13 significant for me.
14 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, of course. Thank you, madam.
15 Thank you, Your Honours. I have no further questions for this
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much too.
18 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, the question is whether we have the
19 Victims and Witnesses Section speak to the witness first before you
20 re-examine on the remainder of the evidence.
21 MR. GROOME: Whatever pleases the Court.
22 JUDGE HUNT: I think that would be preferable. Now, looking at
23 the time, we've got these video conferences starting at 2.30. Is there a
24 witness that we can deal with for the 40 minutes remaining or is it not
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I asked that the Court deputy convey a
2 message to you earlier today about the problem of the two witnesses
3 meeting each other, so we would need at least ten minutes to try to
4 arrange --
5 JUDGE HUNT: I asked you whether there was a witness that we can
6 deal with this in time. The answer to that is yes.
7 MR. GROOME: There is a witness. I think with the change, it will
8 be 30 minutes that we deal with the witness.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Well, except for this, that I think it's important
10 that we deal with this witness and get her evidence out of the way. So
11 we'll adjourn whilst she is spoken to by the Victims and Witnesses, and we
12 will not start the other witness until we've finished this witness'
13 evidence; otherwise this witness would have to sit around until we can fit
14 her in in the course of the videolinks.
15 MR. GROOME: I would agree with that, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE HUNT: Right. Well, we'll adjourn whilst the Victims and
17 Witnesses Section is able to ask this witness the basis of her concern in
18 identifying the driver who was with her at the incident she described in
19 her evidence. It will probably take a few minutes, so we'll return to our
20 rooms, I think, and if you'd let the Court deputy know how it's going,
21 we'll come back when you're ready.
22 Before we do adjourn, the most recent schedule we've got is the
23 20th of September at 2.00 p.m., or 1400 hours, and whilst we have a short
24 document dated the 21st of September telling us this week, the Court
25 deputy showed me a document which was a little bit more up to date, even
1 though the date and time on it is older. Is there something that we can
2 have so we can see where we're going?
3 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm not sure what document you're
4 referring to. I will clear it up and --
5 JUDGE HUNT: It's one dated the 20th of September, at 9.30, I
6 think, a.m.
7 MR. GROOME: I'll have a verified most recent copy to the Court
8 right after the break.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Okay. Thank you very much. We'll adjourn now.
10 --- Lucheon recess taken at 12.22 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.31 p.m.
2 JUDGE HUNT: I've asked them to keep the witness outside for a
3 moment. Now, you both should have now a copy of the statement that the
4 witness has given. I have excluded her present address from the top of
6 Mr. Groome, bearing in mind that the witness starts off by saying
7 she isn't sure whether the particular driver she wants to protect was the
8 driver on this occasion, I frankly see no point in pursuing the point, but
9 I think it has to be said -- this has to be said: The weight to be given
10 to any party's case depends upon the capacity of the other party to test
11 it, and it means necessarily that less weight could be given to the
12 Prosecution case in relation to this incident because Mr. Domazet is
13 denied any opportunity of testing it or obtaining evidence to contradict
14 it, other than the obvious source. Now, is there anything you want to say
15 about it?
16 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour. I recognise that it is a matter
17 of -- does affect the weight of this particular incident. I do know some
18 more of the particulars of this witness' fears and would agree to the
19 Court minimising the weight or even, I spoke with Mr. Domazet, would even
20 agree to withdraw any reference of this incident, rather than be faced
21 with a situation of placing this witness in grave jeopardy. I believe of
22 all the witnesses, this is the witness that faces the most real threat to
23 her safety and that of her family.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Very well. Thank you. Well, Mr. Domazet, that seems
25 to be the easiest way out of it is to exclude this incident from our
1 consideration and then you are not denied the opportunity of testing it.
2 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE HUNT: Very well. Then we'll mark this as an exhibit under
4 seal. It will be placed -- the original with the address on it will be
5 placed in an envelope. And the next available number -- I'm sorry. I
6 should ask: Have you got numbered documents for this afternoon,
7 Mr. Groome?
8 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. Ours begin with 56.
9 JUDGE HUNT: 81 is available, is it?
10 MR. GROOME: No. 81 was used on the pseudonym sheet of this past
11 witness, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE HUNT: I'm sorry. You're quite right. I haven't crossed it
13 out. It will be Exhibit 82 and it will be under seal and placed in an
14 envelope. Nevertheless she did give other evidence, so she should be
15 brought back to re-examination if you want her to.
16 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. The case manager informs me that
17 we provided a number of pseudonym sheets that have already been
19 JUDGE HUNT: That's what I was asking you. What would be your
20 next free number?
21 MR. GROOME: 84 would be the next number, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE HUNT: Right.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please pause between speakers. Thank
25 JUDGE HUNT: I've just been given a lecture in the terms in which
1 I usually give the parties and the witnesses. I'm sorry about that. It
2 will be Exhibit 84 and until be under seal and placed in an envelope.
3 Do you want to re-examine her?
4 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE HUNT: Well, now, I think that in the circumstances the
6 statement should be returned from those who have got it and we'll put the
7 statement and all copies of the statement will go into the envelope. The
8 Victims and Witnesses group have got - I'm sorry - Section have got a
9 copy, but the rest of them I think should be left nowhere where they could
10 possibly be lost or otherwise disclosed accidentally.
11 Can we have the witness, please.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE HUNT: Sit down, please, madam. We will not be asking you
14 any further questions about that. In the statement which you gave to the
15 Victims and Witnesses Section has been put in an envelope and it will be
16 sealed up and it will not be revealed to anybody else. But thank you for
17 giving it to us. But there are some more questions to be asked of you by
18 the Prosecution now.
19 Mr. Groome.
20 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour. I'd ask that the witness be
21 shown Prosecution Exhibit 56.1
22 Re-examined by Mr. Groome:
23 Q. Witness 115, I'd ask you: Do you recognise the picture on the
24 licence that you see before you, recognising its poor quality?
25 A. This is a picture of Mitar Knezevic.
1 Q. And are you able to tell from looking at that licence the day that
2 that picture or that licence was issued?
3 A. Just a moment, please, for me to find my way. The date of issue
4 is the 16th of March, 1992, if I have read the date correctly.
5 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, at this time I would tender Exhibit
6 56 -- or Prosecution document number 56.1 into evidence.
7 JUDGE HUNT: Any objection, Mr. Domazet?
8 MR. DOMAZET: No, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. It will be Exhibit P56.1.
10 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, Exhibit P56.1 was a document provided by
11 the Defence. The Defence is in possession of a clearer copy or an
12 enhanced photograph that is included on this. I would ask for the
13 cooperation of the Defence that that exhibit or that photograph be marked
14 and shown to the witness.
15 JUDGE HUNT: Did you give any warning to the Defence of that
17 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE HUNT: You want it shown to the witness?
19 MR. GROOME: Not that one, Your Honour. The document I'm
20 referring to is an enhanced, a larger pick of the smaller picture. I
21 can't see what you've been handed. I'd just ask Mr. Domazet if he has the
22 larger, clearer picture that was included on this document.
23 Yes, Your Honour. I would ask that this be marked as Prosecution
24 document number 56.2 and shown to the witness.
25 Q. Witness 115, do you recognise that person in that photograph?
1 A. On this photograph is again the image of Mitar Knezevic. The date
2 of issue is the 16th of March, 1992.
3 Q. And does that picture more fairly depict Mr. Knezevic's appearance
4 during the time that you testified of your observations of him in the
5 summer of 1992?
6 A. He looked different. He had an unkempt beard. And I never saw
7 him without a hat.
8 Q. Does this exhibit more accurately depict the condition of his eye
9 as you recall it in the summer of 1992?
10 A. Yes. One can see it. One can see that one eye is damaged. I was
11 personally able to see that for myself.
12 MR. GROOME: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you, madam. That --
14 Yes, Mr. Domazet.
15 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, while the witness is
16 still here, I would like to request the Prosecutor for his consent that a
17 part of the statement given by the witness to the investigator in relation
18 to her testimony today, that is, page 2050604 of the English version,
19 second paragraph, where it says: "A week after the incident in Pionirska
20 a similar incident occurred in the part of town called Bikavac. About 70
21 men, women, children, and elderly had to enter the house of Meho Aljic
22 which was [redacted]. I was on the main road when this
23 happened. They ordered them to enter the ground floor of the house. When
24 I say "they," I mean members of Milan Lukic's gang. As I got scared, I
25 went back towards the centre of town. I heard bursts of fire and saw the
1 fire and smoke coming from Meho Aljic's house. The shooting went on for
2 about two hours. I recognised the criminals. Among them were Milan
3 Lukic, Gojko Lukic, Mile Lukic, Sredoje Lukic, Niko Focak, Mitar
4 Vasiljevic, Jovo Lipovac, Zoran Vasiljevic, Veljko Planicic, Slobodan
5 Roncevic, Caruga, and many others whose faces I knew but whose names I
6 cannot remember."
7 That is the quotation, end of quotation. Today the witness said
8 that Mitar Knezevic participated in this and that the witness was an
9 eyewitness of that killing. Among those whose names have been quoted, his
10 name is not mentioned, whereas there is the name of Mitar Vasiljevic in
11 this group.
12 JUDGE HUNT: What is the purpose of this? It's not to contradict
13 her evidence, is it? You put to her a very specific question. You denied
14 her any opportunity of going into it any further by saying, "I want an
15 answer, yes or no." This is material that if you wanted to put to her,
16 you could have put to her in cross-examination. This process that we've
17 devised is to demonstrate an inconsistent statement. Now, the only
18 inconsistency here is that she has named your client when she did not name
19 him in her evidence. I don't understand what you're trying to do.
20 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] One of the things is that in her
21 earlier statement, as she herself admitted, she referred to two Mitar
22 Vasiljevics. She called Mitar Knezevic Mitar Vasiljevic. So that it is
23 not clear who she meant.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, you are putting in something which was
25 not previously in evidence. You are putting in that she has nominated
1 your client. Now, your client is not charged in relation to that
2 particular fire. It may be that you're seeking to use this in some other
3 proceedings, I don't know, but I do not understand the purpose for which
4 you want to do this. It's not the usual thing of demonstrating a prior
5 inconsistent statement, and if you wanted to deal with this, you should
6 have dealt with it in cross-examination. But you give her no opportunity
7 of explaining anything by doing it in this way, and your cross-examination
8 is concluded. There is nothing in the re-examination which could be
9 possibly regarded as new material. It arose directly out of your
10 tendering of the photograph of Mitar Knezevic during the course of your
12 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I understand that
13 Mitar Vasiljevic has not been charged with this but that it is stated in
14 this statement, and I have to say that upon the personal insistence of
15 Mitar Vasiljevic in the adjournment, he insisted that I say this, because
16 he has his own opinion about the testimony of this witness and her wish to
17 charge him even for things he is not indicted for. So that was the
18 point. If you feel that this should not be in the record, I will be
19 guided by your decision. But it was the wish of Mitar Vasiljevic that I
20 bring this up. Because I personally thought it should not be the object
21 of cross-examination, as it is not included in the indictment, even though
22 the witness mentioned it in her statement.
23 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, the first thing I will say is that you
24 are in charge of the defence and not your client, and you act in
25 accordance with what you believe to be right. That's your duty, not only
1 to the Court but also to the client, who doesn't always have the best
2 interests of the client in mind. It was a surprise when you even raised
3 this issue in cross-examination. I thought it might have been in relation
4 to some other proceedings which may take place in the future. But it is
5 not a matter which is relevant from our point of view. We are not
6 concerned with that. If your client wants to suggest that this witness is
7 in some way biased against him, that is a matter which should have been
8 raised in cross-examination. I would have thought myself it would not do
9 your client the slightest good to be doing so. But -- well, perhaps the
10 best way of putting it is that I would agree with your own view rather
11 than his as to what's appropriate in the case. Just one moment.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE HUNT: Yes. The view of the Trial Chamber is that it would
14 not be relevant [Realtime transcript read in error "would be relevant"] to
15 have this material dealt with by us in this trial.
16 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I agree.
17 JUDGE HUNT: Well, madam, that finishes your task -- I am sorry.
18 Judge Taya wants to ask a question.
19 Questioned by the Court:
20 JUDGE TAYA: Can you remember the weather on the day of the
21 house-burning incident in the Pionirska Street? Was there rainfall on
22 that day?
23 A. I'm sorry. Do you mean in the morning?
24 JUDGE TAYA: No. In the evening or at night.
25 A. In the evening I don't remember. During the day, it didn't rain.
1 As for the evening, I can't remember.
2 JUDGE TAYA: Thank you.
3 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, do you want to ask any questions arising
4 out of Judge Taya's question?
5 MR. DOMAZET: No, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome?
7 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Well now, madam, I think I can safely say that
9 finishes your task in this trial. We thank you very much for coming here
10 to give evidence and for the evidence you've given. You are now free to
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE HUNT: You should accompany the court usher now and he will
14 take you back to the Victims and Witness Section.
15 Now, Mr. Groome, have we got the videolink waiting?
16 MR. GROOME: I believe it's set, Your Honour. Just before we do
17 that, I just refer you to line 16 on page 66. I think the Chamber was
18 misquoted in the record.
19 JUDGE HUNT: Yes. That should be -- it would not be relevant.
20 Thank you.
21 Is the videolink on line?
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE HUNT: It will be two or three minutes.
24 Mr. Groome, we must bear in mind at all times the statement you
25 made during the Status Conference that under that first count you relied
1 solely upon the two incidents, the burning of the house at Pionirska and
2 the shooting at the Drina River for that count. I have understood you to
3 be leading this other evidence to demonstrate an association between the
4 accused and the White Eagles, or the Lukics, whichever way you like to put
5 it, and in relation to some of them there is at least an issue as to
6 whether he could have been in hospital at the time that the incidents took
7 place. Is that right?
8 MR. GROOME: That is correct, Your Honour. That is the purpose of
9 those -- that evidence.
10 JUDGE HUNT: But it must be kept firmly in mind by us all that
11 we're not going to deal with those as a matter -- even if we find that
12 they took place, we cannot punish him for them because they're not part of
13 the charges.
14 MR. GROOME: That's understood, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you.
16 Well, we have a picture and we have a court deputy in view. Who
17 is the first witness?
18 MR. GROOME: It is Witness VG87, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you.
20 Sir, would you please stand up and make the solemn declaration in
21 the terms of the document which the court deputy is handing to you.
22 WITNESS: WITNESS VG87
23 [Witness testifies via videolink]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter].
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
1 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE HUNT: Sit down, please, sir.
3 It might have been a good idea, Mr. Groome, if we got a few more
4 telephone lines involved in this. It's a bit shaky, the picture, but
5 we'll see how we go
6 Examined by Mr. Groome:
7 Q. Witness 87, good afternoon.
8 A. Good afternoon.
9 Q. I want to ask you a few questions regarding your personal
10 history. Were you born in Visegrad?
11 A. No, I was not.
12 Q. Did you live --
13 A. I was born --
14 THE INTERPRETER: We've lost the tone.
15 MR. GROOME:
16 Q. I'll ask you to repeat your answer.
17 A. I was not born in Visegrad. Near Visegrad but not in Visegrad.
18 Q. And did you spend your adult life working in a place in Visegrad,
19 without telling us the name?
20 A. Since I was 13, I lived in Visegrad, and when I became an adult I
21 worked in Visegrad, right up until the war.
22 Q. And did you work as a manager in the factory in which you worked?
23 A. Yes. I worked as a manager and then I became the most
24 responsible -- I spent my entire life working in the production sector in
25 the economy.
1 Q. And from 1958 to 1960, did you do your compulsory military service
2 with the Yugoslav People's Army?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What is your ethnicity?
5 A. A Muslim Bosniak.
6 Q. And were you affiliated with any political party before the
8 A. Before the war I was a member of the League of Communists.
9 Q. Do you know a person by the name of Mitar Vasiljevic?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. I would ask you to describe for the Court how it is that you know
12 this person Mitar Vasiljevic.
13 A. Mitar Vasiljevic was born in a village around Visegrad called
14 Djurevici. Visegrad is a small municipality, and I had some business
15 there and also some political activity. I went to conferences, attended
16 them in the villages. I knew him as a boy and he came to live in town and
17 learned his trade as a waiter. We would say hello to each other, and I
18 think we respected each other and so on.
19 Q. Before I go any further, I would ask that the witness be shown
20 exhibit -- the Prosecution document number 83, the pseudonym sheet.
21 A. You mean this should be shown to me?
22 Q. I'd ask you to --
23 A. I've seen this. I've seen it.
24 Q. Is that your name and your date of birth at the top of that page?
25 A. Yes, yes, yes. It's all in order. Yes, quite right.
1 JUDGE HUNT: That will be Exhibit P83 and it is under seal.
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. Mr. 87 --
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you ever frequent the Panos restaurant or restaurants owned by
6 the Panos company?
7 THE INTERPRETER: The names are on the screen.
8 A. Yes. I always went. I was a man of the world. I always lived
9 amongst people.
10 MR. GROOME:
11 Q. And is it fair to say that in connection with your company
12 business, you brought visitors to a restaurant owned by the Panos company?
13 A. Panos. Yes, yes.
14 Q. I'm going to ask that -- before I do that, I'd just ask the
15 Court - I'm not sure of the mechanics of this - I'm going to ask that a
16 document or an exhibit be placed on the ELMO down in Sarajevo. I don't
17 know whether we need to go into private session to secure the identity of
18 this witness. His name does appear on the exhibit, and that's Exhibit
20 JUDGE HUNT: What is the exhibit?
21 MR. GROOME: It is the photo array that has his name written on
23 JUDGE HUNT: Oh, yes. Very well. It's on the front of it, is
25 MR. GROOME: Yes.
1 JUDGE HUNT: We'll go into private session for that purpose.
2 [Private session]
11 [Open session]
12 JUDGE HUNT: We are back in public session. Thank you.
13 MR. GROOME:
14 Q. Witness 87, did there come a point in time in the early summer of
15 1992 or the spring of 1992 when you left Visegrad because you were
16 concerned for your safety?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And approximately how long -- well, did you return to Visegrad at
19 some point?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And when was --
22 A. On the 11th of April, and I went back on the 27th of April.
23 Q. Did you return to your place of employment after you returned?
24 A. When I came back into my flat with my family, I went to work
25 immediately the next day and worked until the 6th of June, when I had to
1 flee because the Muslim population -- the Serbs started killing the Muslim
2 population en masse, with the terrorists as well, and then I went into
3 hiding in my settlement and I was there until the 15th of June, when I
4 definitely, once and for all, left Visegrad.
5 Q. Without telling us the exact address of your house, what was the
6 name of the settlement that you lived in?
7 A. It was Pionirska Street, and the settlement -- well, I don't
8 really know. They did have names, but I don't know. All I know is that
9 the street's name was Pionirska. I don't want to tell you which house and
10 which number, because I'm here anonymously, so I don't want to make my
11 identity known.
12 Q. Where precisely did you hide when you went into hiding after the
13 5th or 6th of June?
14 A. I hid near my house in that settlement. Pionirska Street in
15 Visegrad is perhaps the longest street, and they built many new houses
16 there with a Muslim population. Mostly they were inhabited by the
17 Muslims, but there were lots of empty houses, so I hid in my loft in my
18 own house. But the women folk and my neighbours told me that the danger
19 was becoming greater, so I moved to other houses and hid in different
20 houses on other people's -- in other people's lofts.
21 Q. I want to focus on the time -- I want to focus on the time that
22 you say you hid in your loft. By "loft," do you mean the attic space in
23 your house?
24 A. Yes. Yes. Under the tiles, the roof tiles, right up by the roof
25 tiles, in that space.
1 Q. And would you explain to the Court how you would get into this
2 hiding spot?
3 A. I would have to get up on to the bath and the washing machine and
4 then up into the attic. That's in my house. But in the other house I
5 would use some ladders and do this at night. Then I would go up there. I
6 would go up the ladder and go up to the attic. But those houses weren't
7 targeted, whereas my house was near the road, so I was afraid that they
8 might find me, because they did look around. They were searching for me.
9 They thought that I might be in the settlement. Well, actually, they
10 didn't know where I was, but I was afraid that they might know, so I had
11 to hide.
12 Q. Did the female members of your family, including your wife, also
13 hide in the attic or did they remain down in the house itself?
14 A. No. They were always up on the floor upstairs, but they would go
15 outside to get medicines and prescriptions for medicines. I was sick.
16 And they kept abreast of events in town, and I received news about what
17 was going on in town from them.
18 Q. Would the female members of your family give you signals when it
19 was safe to come out of the attic and when you needed to go into the
21 A. Sometimes I even went down for my meals. Well, I couldn't have
22 survived without them. My wife and the wives of my other neighbours.
23 There weren't many of them, though.
24 Q. During this period of time, did your wife attempt to get you
25 permission to leave Visegrad to seek medical treatment?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes, she did. She went to the MUP chief and I had a letter from
2 my doctor. I have that letter today, where he says that I'm sick and
3 require treatment. I had a heart attack and infarction before the war. I
4 have sick kidneys. I think it's the worst possible thing in the world you
5 can have. So I wanted to try and get out of Visegrad, to tell you the
6 truth, but Perisic, the chief, the then chief, didn't give me permission.
7 He said he couldn't guarantee. He told my wife he couldn't guarantee that
8 I would be able to get out alive, that they wouldn't kill me. He was a
9 professor, a teacher at the gymnasium, the secondary school, and then he
10 was the chief of SUP. I didn't see him, but my wife went to ask him and
11 he wasn't able to give her a permit for that.
12 Q. Now, while you were hiding up in the attic, was it possible to see
13 outside onto Pionirska Street?
14 A. Yes, of course, both from the attic and from the floor above. And
15 when it wasn't dangerous, I would go down to the floor below. I'd stay
16 there, get a bit of air, see a bit of sun light and then go back up to the
17 attic. I would take down one of the tiles, roof tiles, have a peek.
18 During the day, of course, not during the night. You'd have to keep quiet
19 during the night and crouch down, wait for dawn.
20 Q. So you were able to see outside by removing one of the roof tiles
21 from the inside of the attic; is that correct?
22 A. Well, yes. Yes. I would do this one side and then the other
23 side. Mostly I could do all this. You have to do what you can, fend for
24 yourself. You have to listen carefully, see if people were coming up the
25 stairs, things like that.
1 Q. From your vantage point [redacted]
3 A. [redacted]
4 Q. Could you see the [redacted]--
5 A. Breast a breast.
6 Q. Could you see the [redacted]
8 A. [redacted].
9 Q. Now, I want to draw your attention to Sunday, June 14th of 1992.
10 Do you recall seeing Mitar Vasiljevic on that day?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And can you describe for the Court approximately when it was that
13 you saw him?
14 A. I saw him and heard him, heard him very well, otherwise he's a
15 loud sort of guy -- I saw and heard him somewhere after 1.00 or between
16 1.00 and 2.00, when he spoke over a megaphone which he carried in his
17 hand. He appealed to the citizens of Pionirska Street to go out into
18 their yards and clean up the street, and he said, "Well, your street is
19 the cleanest street in town." And then one or two women would go outside,
20 and they didn't see what they were going to clean, because it was all very
22 Q. I'd ask you to tell us as precisely you're able, using the exact
23 words that Mr. Vasiljevic used, what he said over the megaphone at that
25 A. He said, "All citizens residing in Pionirska Street are requested
1 to go out into their yards and clean the street once again, although
2 Pionirska Street is the cleanest street around." Those were his very
4 Q. Did you find that statement to be confusing or unusual?
5 A. Well, I suspected that it was. I didn't know him to be a person
6 like that. I couldn't imagine him talking like that. So I had some
7 reservations, and I thought that he was doing this in order to count the
8 number of Muslim heads left in the settlement. That's what I thought,
9 although I didn't think he was a wise man, very wise, up until then
11 Q. At this point in time can you tell us approximately or were there
12 many Muslims left in the village or in the area around Pionirska Street?
13 A. No, there weren't. Just a few.
14 Q. Do you recall what Mr. Vasiljevic -- whether Mr. Vasiljevic was
15 armed with a weapon at that time?
16 A. He was wearing a uniform and he had a megaphone. He carried a
17 megaphone and a bottle of some kind, I think. Whether he had any weapons
18 on him or not, an automatic rifle or a large rifle, I don't think so, but
19 probably I wouldn't have been able to notice if he had a pistol. And to
20 be quite frank, I can't say with certainty. I can't say for sure. I have
21 to tell the truth. I'm not sure.
22 Q. And was he alone or with other people?
23 A. Could you repeat the question? I didn't hear you.
24 Q. Was Mr. Vasiljevic by himself or was he with other people?
25 A. He was almost always alone. Some people would come up, he would
1 chat with them for a moment or two, then those people would go their own
2 way, but he would always be on his own. He walked around Pionirska Street
3 in the direction of the school building. He probably passed his time that
5 Q. Can you hear me, Witness?
6 [Technical difficulty]
7 MR. GROOME:
8 Q. Witness 87, can you hear me?
9 JUDGE HUNT: Try it again now.
10 MR. GROOME:
11 Q. Witness 87, are you able to hear me?
12 JUDGE HUNT: Actually, the picture is frozen, I think.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE HUNT: It will be about a minute, I'm told.
15 MR. GROOME:
16 Q. Witness 87, are you able to hear me now? Can you hear me? Are
17 you able to hear me? Witness 87, can you hear me? Can you hear me now?
18 A. I can't hear a thing.
19 Q. Can you hear me now?
20 A. Yes, I can.
21 Q. Sorry we were interrupted there. I'll try to continue. This
22 observation of Mr. Vasiljevic with the megaphone that you have described
23 for us, approximately how long were you looking at him?
24 A. Him? Well, why should I keep looking? I just glanced and turned
25 away. There wasn't any reason for me to keep looking at him. But I did
1 keep him under my eye and ear. Usually he was in Pionirska that day, and
2 very rarely did anybody come up. Usually people of the Serbian
3 nationality would come up.
4 Q. Did there come --
5 A. Women and children.
6 Q. Did there come a time later on the same day that you saw a group
7 of people walking up the hill on Pionirska Street from the direction of
9 A. Yes. At about 1400 hours of that critical day, Sunday, a group of
10 people, about 40, maybe 50 of them, they were carrying bundles with them
11 to take as much clothing as they could. Some had rucksacks, packages.
12 Women and children and elderly people, and they were coming in the
13 direction of my street. I saw that. And suddenly when they came to below
14 my house and the Memic house, the Memics, father and son, they went
15 between these houses and I wasn't able to see them any more or hear them
16 any more.
17 Q. This group of people, were you able to recognise where some of
18 those people were from?
19 A. Well, it's like this: I recognised people in the group, Osman
20 Kurspahic. He was a deputy in the village on the local community, and
21 Sumbula Kurspahic, another lady. And that village is quite far from
22 town. I didn't have occasion to visit those villages, so I didn't
23 recognise many of the people. Perhaps I recognised another two or three
24 of them, but I can't remember their names.
25 Q. Do you know the name of the village that these people came from
1 that you've mentioned? Can you hear me?
2 JUDGE HUNT: The picture is frozen again, I'm afraid.
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 MR. GROOME:
5 Q. Are you able to hear me now?
6 A. Yes, I can.
7 Q. Are you able to tell us the village from which the people you've
8 named came from?
9 A. Most of them were from Koritnik.
10 Q. Now, you testified that this group of people went in between two
11 houses, both of which belonged to the Memic family; is that correct?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. At this point in time, were the Memics still living in those
15 A. No, they weren't. Both houses were empty.
16 Q. Now, after the people went in between the houses, were you able to
17 see where they were or where they went?
18 A. Adem Omeragic's house was there. He had bought the property from
19 Jusuf, towards the stream behind the Jusuf houses, but the house was still
20 under construction. He had finished the bottom floor, the ground floor,
21 but not the upper storey. And I learnt through the women who was there
22 and who wasn't. At that time just a few people were in the house, but
23 most of them went to Adem Omeragic's house, which is not far off behind
24 the Memic houses.
25 Q. I want to draw your attention now to later in the evening, around
1 8.00. Was there a knock at your door?
2 A. [redacted] who was also
3 killed. He wasn't killed there, but he was killed by a shell, a grenade
4 explosion in Sarajevo. Nobody was in that house at the time, but his wife
5 appeared because she had been somewhere in the neighbourhood, and she
6 heard people knocking on the door, and she said, "Just a minute, people.
7 What do you want?" And they said, "Open the door for us to see who is
8 inside." She opened the door for them, they searched the premises. They
9 didn't take anything, they didn't do anything. They went off towards
10 the sheds, the garage, the outhouses and looked for the keys for the
11 garage there. [redacted] gave them the keys and they
12 opened the garage, looked for the car keys, which she didn't have. They
13 asked her, "Where are your menfolk?" And there were four women there and
14 a three-year-old child, and they said what suited them. So they went off,
15 and I thought everything was over for that day. I was a little heartened
16 by that, but not much time went by before another group returned --
17 Q. Witness 87, let me just clear up a matter.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. The house that you lived in, would it be fair to say that there
20 was more than one apartment in that house?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And this person you're referring to --
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. This person you're referring to as your [redacted], would it be
25 fair to say that [redacted]
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. [redacted]
3 A. Yes. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. You said that these people were given a set of car keys. Do you
5 know whose car those keys belonged to?
6 A. They didn't quite succeed. They got the keys from the garage.
7 Q. And did they take a car from the garage belonging to your house?
8 A. Yes. Yes, they did. They took the car.
9 Q. Was that your car?
10 A. No, it's not my car, but it was the car of one of my family
12 Q. Now, did there come a time when some people returned to your house
13 that night?
14 A. After that, when they took away the car, they returned between
15 8.00 and 9.00, again a group of men, and I heard them telling them to get
16 ready. There were four women in that house and four -- and a
17 three-year-old boy. They resisted, and I heard that they begged and
18 pleaded to stay another night because they had applied to the Red Cross to
19 be taken to Olovo as refugees. They just wanted to spend the night
20 there. And they cried and begged, but they wouldn't let them, and they
21 chased all five of them out of the apartment towards the school. They
22 kept them there until about 2300 hours, when they brought them back to
23 Pionirska Street, and forced them down the road, after which I could
24 neither see nor hear them. After that I knew nothing about them, nor
25 could I.
1 Q. The second time that these people returned, were you hiding in the
2 attic of your house at that time?
3 A. Yes, indeed.
4 Q. Was your wife among the people that was forced out of the house
5 into [redacted]?
6 A. My wife was, yes.
7 Q. After -- let me ask you this: How many people all together were
8 forced out of that apartment at that time, without saying their names?
9 A. Five.
10 Q. And were you --
11 A. I just know my wife, Ajnija, Ajnija's mother-in-law,
12 daughter-in-law, and grandson, but I don't know the names.
13 Q. After your wife was forced out of the house, did there come a time
14 later in the evening when you heard her voice again?
15 A. When they brought them back from the school, I heard them pleading
16 again, and she shouted louder than others, "Let us spend the night here,"
17 and that was the last time I heard her.
18 Q. Were you able to tell in which direction this group of people
20 A. Down the road, [redacted], Pionirska Street.
21 Q. After you heard your wife's voice, did you hear any other sounds
22 that night?
23 A. Yes. Yes. All four women were screaming and yelling as one, only
24 she was a little louder for me to hear that she was still alive. I assume
25 that was why she did it.
1 Q. For the remainder of the night, did you look outside through the
2 roof tiles of the attic?
3 A. When this was over, I didn't. I was afraid that they might come
4 back for a third time, and I was very anxious, so it didn't occur to me to
5 peep out or to go downstairs until the next day at 9.00, when I had to
7 Q. During the night did you hear or smell anything?
8 A. Between 8.00 and 9.00, I could smell as if something was burning.
9 There was smoke. But I didn't hear ever any screams from that direction,
10 nor did I see any flames. But it did seem to me that something close by
11 was on fire, but it wasn't so pronounced as it should be. I didn't notice
12 it. Maybe I was too scared. God knows what it was.
13 Q. You said between 8.00 and 9.00. Can you tell us what day you are
14 speaking about at this point?
15 A. It was Sunday, the night between Sunday and Monday, between the
16 14th and the 15th of June, 1992.
17 Q. So you are referring to 8.00 to 9.00 at night on Sunday, June
19 A. When they were chased out. Yes, yes.
20 Q. I'm asking you specifically about when you smelled the fire. What
21 time was that?
22 A. Before they came the first time.
23 Q. Are you able to approximate the time?
24 A. Well, roughly, this could be when I felt the smell, between 7.30
25 and 8.00.
1 Q. Was it dark out at that time?
2 A. It was dark. The street was not lighted up. If you could see
3 anything, you could only see from the houses, light coming from the
4 houses. It was still summertime. But the street itself was dark.
5 Q. Did there come a time in the morning of the 15th that you came
6 down from your hiding place in the attic?
7 A. Yes. At 9.00.
8 Q. And where did you go?
9 A. It occurred to me that I had no choice but to go to MUP, until the
10 very last moment I wouldn't reconcile myself that it was a fratricidal
11 war. I was a member of the League of Communists. I thought that it would
12 pass. And I said to myself I would go to MUP and they will protect me.
13 That was how I reckoned. So I headed for the MUP, but I dropped in at a
14 neighbour's. Maybe my sentence is too long. Maybe I should stop there.
15 Q. Let me ask you a specific question: Before you came down out of
16 the attic on the morning of the 15th, did you wait for your wife to signal
17 you that morning?
18 A. The 15th, yes.
19 Q. And did she ever signal you --
20 A. Yes, I did wait before that. I did wait, from 6.00 until 8.00 I
21 had signals. But that day there were no signals, so I immediately
22 suspected that it was all over for them, because she would have come if
23 she had been five kilometres away, because we got on very well together.
24 We had a fine life, for 35 years.
25 Q. Did you go to the MUP building on that morning?
1 A. I didn't.
2 Q. And just so --
3 A. If I may, if Their Honours permit it, for me to tell you --
4 Q. Let me ask a question first. By "MUP," do you mean the police?
5 A. The police, yes.
6 Q. Where did you --
7 A. Yes, police.
8 Q. Where did you go when you left your house the morning of the 15th?
9 A. I went along Pionirska Street, and then I sort of artificially
10 tried to see Adem's house and Jusuf's house, and I couldn't notice
11 anything in particular that would indicate that there was any burning, any
12 fire, and this encouraged me too. I didn't stay long. I went on along
13 Pionirska Street. I dropped in at a Serb neighbour's and asked his wife
14 where he was, and she told me that he had gone into town, that he wasn't
15 there. And I said I wanted him to take me by car to the left bank of the
16 Drina, to the hospital, because I had a kidney attack. And she said the
17 command of the Serb army had ordered that no one can assist anyone, and so
18 she said that even if he were there, he wouldn't be able to drive me over
20 Q. At the time you walked past the Memic house, did you stop to
21 inspect it or did you simply look at it as you passed by?
22 A. I just dropped in for a moment, looked around. I didn't dare stay
23 long. I just looked through the door. But I went on very shortly after
24 that. That is what I did to Adem's house. I didn't dare stay longer,
25 because I feared these individual terrorists who were looking for money or
1 something else, who might kill me.
2 Q. Did you see --
3 A. I think it would be terrible if even one man came across me.
4 Q. Did you see any of the people who you recognised from Koritnik the
5 day before? Did you see any of those people on the morning of the 15th?
6 A. Let me tell you: On the morning of the 15th I didn't see anyone.
7 But when we were assembling in Medzedza as refugees, I saw two or three
8 women who tried to tell me that my wife was pushed into the flames of a
9 fire, alive.
10 Q. Did you leave -- were you successful in leaving Visegrad on the
11 15th of June?
12 A. Yes, but after midnight. I had a lot of trouble. I was wounded
13 and ...
14 Q. And once you arrived in Medzedza, you were informed that your wife
15 was one of the victims of the fire on the 14th; is that correct?
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, at this time I'm going to ask that
18 Exhibit number 17.4 and perhaps we can call it 17.4.87, be placed on the
19 ELMO in Sarajevo for the witness to make some indications on.
20 JUDGE HUNT: You do realise, don't you, that you have not yet
21 tendered 55.87?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you want me to mark it? Do you
23 want me to mark my house or --
24 MR. GROOME: One second, please.
25 Your Honour, I will be tendering that with the investigator --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What do you want me to do here?
3 JUDGE HUNT: Why?
4 MR. GROOME: I can certainly tender it here, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE HUNT: Isn't it sensible?
6 MR. GROOME: The practice where I come from would be to tender it
7 through the investigator who had possession of it ever since then.
8 JUDGE HUNT: That may be the practice where you come from, but
9 it's not common sense, if I may suggest.
10 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, then at this time I would tender
11 Prosecution document number 55.87.
12 JUDGE HUNT: Any objection to that, Mr. Domazet?
13 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] I'm not quite sure, Your Honour,
14 which document we're talking about.
15 JUDGE HUNT: It's the one that he has signed, the photo array.
16 Any objection to that?
17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] No. No. No, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE HUNT: That will be Exhibit P57.87, and it will be under
20 Now, we're dealing with 17.4.87.
21 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I will be asking the witness to mark his
22 house, so I would ask that we go into private session for that purpose.
23 JUDGE HUNT: Yes. We'll go into private session.
24 [Private session]
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12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
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13 Page 1110 – redacted – private session.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.03 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 27th day of
14 September 2001, at 9.30 a.m.