1 Monday, 8 October 2001
2 [The accused entered court]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [Open session]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Call the case, please. Unfortunately I gather we
7 are not going to have access to LiveNote until it is fixed but I think it
8 is important we proceed. Now I've just been proved to be a liar but there
9 are some problems with it, I gather.
10 Now, Madam, would you please stand up? And would you make the
11 solemn declaration in the terms of the document which the court usher is
12 showing you?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the name of God whom I respect,
14 I make the solemn oath and I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth,
15 the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE HUNT: Madam, sit down, please.
17 Mr. Groome.
18 WITNESS: WITNESS VG18
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 MR. GROOME: Before I begin with this witness I just want to
21 inform the Court and Mr. Domazet of a small matter or short matter that
22 may have a Rule 68 implications. Over the weekend it was my first
23 opportunity to speak with this witness. She informed me over the weekend
24 that she made a statement to police authorities in Srebrenica so it may
25 have some impact on the weight that the Court gives to Exhibits 59.1 and
1 59.2 and I make Mr. Domazet aware a so that he may question the witness if
2 he wants regarding those exhibits.
3 JUDGE HUNT: But have you given Mr. Domazet the statements she
5 MR. GROOME: He is in possession of all those statements and has
6 been for sometime.
7 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you.
8 MR. GROOME I'd ask that the witness be shown the pseudonym sheet.
9 Examined by Mr. Groome:
10 JUDGE HUNT: What number are we up to in your list of exhibits?
11 MR. GROOME: 90, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE HUNT: Very well, that will be Exhibit P90 and it will be
13 under seal.
14 Q. Good morning, Madam. I'd ask you to take a look at the top line
15 of the document that's before you, Prosecution Exhibit 90. Is that your
16 name on that first line?
17 A. No. In the first line, as far as I can see -- ah, yes, up there,
18 yes, you're right. I can see it. It is.
19 Q. And the second line, is that your date of birth?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. Thank you. For the purposes of concealing your identity we will
22 refer to you as VG18 throughout the course of your testimony. I'd ask you
23 if you need to refer to any of the people indicated on that sheet in front
24 of that you please do so by using their number. Okay?
25 I want to ask you, begin by asking you what village have you lived
1 in for the last approximately 27 years?
2 A. Koritnik, 7 kilometres away from Visegrad.
3 Q. And what occupation were you engaged in?
4 A. Housewife.
5 Q. Can you tell the Chamber what was your highest level of
7 A. Four years.
8 Q. And what is your ethnicity?
9 A. Muslim, Bosnian.
10 Q. I want to draw your attention to the spring and early summer of
11 1992. Did there come a time when a number of people came to your house
12 and inquired about your husband?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you tell us approximately when was that?
15 A. Approximately before the departure and you said before April,
16 before the departure in June, they came to look for my husband, and take
17 him to our local community.
18 Q. And who were these people?
19 A. There was Radomir, they called him Mica, his nickname, Milorad.
20 I can't remember but, yes, Milorad, and they called him Mica, his nickname
21 was Mica.
22 Q. And approximately how many people altogether came inquiring about
23 your husband?
24 A. Well, they came, six or seven of them, said that they hadn't just
25 come to call my husband to go to Prelovo, that they had come to call two
1 others and that we had to sign that we had to leave.
2 Q. What did you tell them about where your husband was?
3 A. That he was looking after the live stock in the woods. He knew
4 the man. But that was true.
5 Q. Did these people that came to your house, did they go with two
6 men from your village to Prelovo?
7 A. Only after my statement. Then they said that I could call Osman
8 Kurspahic and Redzo Memisevic and I volunteered to go and fetch my husband
9 and stay with the cattle but they said no.
10 Q. And did these two men go to Prelovo?
11 A. I went and found them working in the fields and I said that I
12 told them what Micun had said that they were to go to Prelovo and they
13 said where is my husband, why didn't I send them? I explained and they
14 had to go.
15 Q. Were they given assurances that they would be safe on the trip to
17 A. Yes, yes, yes, that they would go with them.
18 Q. Did there come a time when these two men that you mentioned
19 returned from Prelovo?
20 A. Yes, by my house, and they called them and told me not to call
21 them any more ever again, but I had to.
22 Q. When you say "them" are you referring to Osman Kurspahic and
23 Redzo Memisevic?
24 A. Yes. They provoked them there, saw people they didn't know with
25 beards, things like that. I don't know.
1 Q. Approximately how much time transpired between the time these men
2 left Koritnik and they returned from Prelovo?
3 A. Well, you're asking a little too much of me but I think four or
4 five hours, perhaps, thereabouts.
5 Q. And when they returned, did Osman Kurspahic tell you what
6 occurred in Prelovo?
7 A. Yes, yes, that he signed, it was a Thursday, and that we had to
8 be ready all on the Sunday to go to Visegrad, that he had signed and that
9 we would be exchanged either in Kladanj or Olovo
10 Q. And did he tell you how he was treated in Prelovo?
11 A. Terrible.
12 Q. Did there come a time after that that a person by the name of
13 [redacted] came and spoke with you?
14 A. Yes, yes. He did, and before that, too.[redacted]
16 Q. Around this particular point in time, can you tell us when it was
17 that he came and spoke to you?
18 A. He came when we were to go the last time and when I took out my
19 things to Ljubisav Grujic and Dusan, I wanted to leave some of my things
20 there and they promised, and he noticed that and he came in front of the
21 door and said, "Where is my machine-gun?" And I said, "Over there." I
22 built my own house, it has three floors. "Here is your machine-gun, I
23 don't need a machine-gun," because I knew all those children and I
24 protected them like I did my own. I lived with them for 27 years. And
25 never exchanged any bad words. We celebrated Christmas and Bajram
2 Q. Did you in fact have a machine-gun?
3 A. No, no, no, never had a pistol. What would I need that for? Of
4 course not. Nobody dealt with things like that. I didn't even have
5 anybody in the police force, if a forestry man came or a policeman, I saw
6 that in all my 27 years, no, no.
7 Q. Mr. Gavrilovic, what was his ethnicity?
8 A. Serb.
9 Q. And did he hold a political position that you were aware of?
10 A. No, no. His mother had divorced his father. He lived in Saban,
11 that's where he was brought up. When the war broke out in Zadar, he fled
12 to his father and that's what it was like, his behaviour towards us and
13 the other neighbours.
14 Q. At the point in time you're having this conversation with him,
15 did he make any statement regarding where you should go?
16 A. No, no. What he said was he told me that if my husband doesn't
17 find the machine-gun, they would kill us. And my husband heard all this.
18 He was hiding.
19 Q. I want to draw your attention now to the last night you spent in
20 your house in Koritnik, do you recall that night?
21 A. Well, yes, I remember. Why not? Yes, I remember. It was by my
22 house. That's what he said to us. We couldn't sleep. He said he would
23 kill us but he didn't want us to leave a stench there. But when we go
24 down there, probably he meant Visegrad, and we couldn't sleep because from
25 April to our departure we weren't allowed to sleep in the house because if
1 we were in the house, me and my (redacted) and my son, my husband had to
2 stand guard over us but for a time, we didn't dare. We had a raspberry plot
3 outside the house and that's where we slept there not inside the house.
4 Q. You just referred to a statement that Mr. Gavrilovic stated or
5 said to regarding that he would kill you. I Would ask you to say exactly
6 what he said to you using the words that he used, please
7 A. That's what he said, that's what he said to us, what I've just
8 told you. That's what he said. That he didn't want us to leave a stink
9 there, but when we go down, that he would do it. He didn't say where, he
10 didn't mention Visegrad, but I think he meant Visegrad.
11 Q. What was the day, as best you can remember, that you left
12 Visegrad for the last time, I mean, sorry, left Koritnik for the last
14 A. Well, only when I die and close my eyes then I won't be able to
15 but now I can of course, that was the 14th of July. I left my beautiful
16 house at 6.30. How wouldn't I be able to remember my lovely native
18 Q. Now you say it was the 14th of July. Was it also a Muslim
20 A. Yes, it was. It was the 4th day of the Kurban Bajram holiday,
21 and Kurban is the day I remember we didn't slaughter a sheep in memory of
22 my father-in-law who had died.
23 Q. And would that have been the ordinary custom that you would have
24 done on Kurban Bajram?
25 A. Yes, that was our tradition. We slaughtered a sheep for the dead
1 for fathers, dead fathers and mothers, and if you had the wherewithal and
2 means you would do this for your whole family, but usually it was your
3 nearest and dearest, your mother and father if you were able to, of
5 Q. Without telling us the name of any person, did you in preparation
6 for leaving did you give some of your possessions to a Serb neighbour that
7 you trusted?
8 A. Yes, I did. I took out what I could because they promised, but
9 when I left, and turned around to look at my house and leave my house, I
10 didn't take anything out.
11 Q. And what -- which of your possessions did you give to this
13 A. Well, what I could take, a chest, a fridge, a cooker, a mower and
14 of course when I left, I took the car keys, the car stayed in the garage
15 but I just handed them the keys, and handed over the keys to my house to
16 those people. I didn't lock my house because I thought that I would come
17 back there, so I didn't lock my house up.
18 Q. At the time you left this morning, did you believe that you would
19 return to Koritnik one day?
20 A. Yes, I still think so today. I think that today, too. Because
21 if you collect all those animals up who did all those things, then I would
22 return tomorrow. My two houses, my plot of land, and everything else. I
23 have to go back because I have nothing to live for. I don't have a
24 pension. My husband hasn't got a pension. We live -- we are on Serb land
25 and in a Serb house and we live out of the small plot of land we farm
1 there, and the whole of eastern Bosnia is empty. There are no Muslims in
2 1992 and 1993, none of the Muslims stayed there. They all had to leave.
3 And especially us, across the Drina, over the Drina is our mother and
4 Visegrad is too.
5 Q. Drawing your attention back to this morning of the fourth day of
6 Kurban Bajram, did you assemble with other members of the village to leave
8 A. Yes. My husband heard from his father who went to the woods and
9 stayed alive so he called us and our son to go, but I didn't want to leave
10 my people, and he is safe there when he was alone because if there were
11 more of us, it would make things more difficult, if you were to come
12 across anyone, meet anyone, you would be suspicious. So for his own
13 safety and security, I decided to leave with my own people. There were
14 some 40 of us who left from the village. There were perhaps 25 houses, 25
15 households. I don't know the exact number, but that's about it.
16 Q. Did your husband want you to not go to Visegrad that morning but
17 to go with him, flee with him, into the woods?
18 A. Yes and not only that morning but before, too. He called me to
19 go through the woods to Zepa with him before as well, that we should take
20 to the woods and go to Olovo for instance or further on to search for free
21 territory, but for his own security and safety, it was safer for him to go
22 with another man rather than go with a woman, to go with me, because it
23 was all territory that was not free.
24 Q. Did you and your husband have a son at that time, a young son?
25 A. Yes, yes, of course, I did. He was young. He was a frail boy.
1 He suffered from tonsillitis and those three months it kept raining. It
2 was very cold weather and the Serb children had taken his bicycle and they
3 were riding it by our house. And we had to put on heavy clothing and take
4 to the woods.
5 Q. Did you discuss with you are husband whether you are son would go
6 with your husband into the woods or go with you and leave Koritnik?
7 A. He did call him. He told the child -- he wanted to take the
8 child but I couldn't separate myself from the child. And that's what it's
9 like today. We spent the whole war alone and together. We were in
10 Visegrad, Zepa, Srebrenica, Tuzla, Visoko, and when in 1996, or whenever
11 the integration was, I came to Sarajevo and I had a daughter and son who
12 were studying at university.
13 Q. After you had this discussion with your husband, did your husband
14 speak with a Serb person living in Koritnik and ask him to do something?
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 Q. And who did he speak with?
17 A. Yes. The one that we took the things to, because he was always a
18 good person, but he didn't dare and I hid at his place with my son. But
19 later on, he said he didn't dare harbour us any more and said that we
20 would have to find another place to hide because he didn't dare because of
21 the authorities who noticed that he was protecting us and because our
22 children and his children were the closest of friends. They were
24 Q. And what did your husband ask this man to do?
25 A. My husband asked him to go with us down there to where we were
1 supposed to go, because he said a bus would be waiting for us and he said,
2 "Go with them, please, go with the two of them, and accompany all the
3 people." Because this man said that they would kill all of them but not
4 up here, down there, when they get down there, and he said that he wasn't
5 working, on duty, that day, otherwise he was in the police force, but he
6 said he was on duty that night and not during the day.
7 Q. This Serb neighbour that your husband spoke with was a policeman?
8 A. No. That other one who told us, he told them -- the neighbour
9 told my husband. It wasn't that one. It was the other one who said he
10 would slaughter us all.
11 Q. Mr. Gavrilovic?
12 A. He was a policeman the one who said he would kill us, yes, that's
13 right. That's right. He can't be a mister, he can't be a mister, a
14 gentleman, no, this man.
15 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, I have missed it but what is the
16 significance of her husband? Is he of a different ethnicity?
17 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour.
18 Q. What was your understanding regarding where you were to get the
20 A. Greben, perhaps two kilometres away from our village, the place
21 was called Greben.
22 Q. And did you go to Greben?
23 A. Yes, my husband asked the neighbour and he took an automatic
24 rifle and started out with us because the column had already left. It had
25 gone on ahead so my husband asked him to accompany us there. And when we
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 said goodbye to my husband, he went to the woods, and we left and I said
2 to my son, "I don't know when we'll see him again."
3 Q. Now, when you arrived in Greben were there other villagers from
4 Koritnik already assembled there?
5 A. They were waiting for us. We arrived in the village, the Serb
6 village, and I reached my neighbour's and then we all moved off in the
7 same column and Dusan went with us, behind us, and the column moved on
8 ahead. And halfway between our village and Greben, (redacted), a
9 Volkswagen came up and Ilija Gavrilovic came and that other man Dragomir,
10 Gavrilovic his surname is too, and he put out his hand and made the sign
11 that we should go down there and the other one pulled his hand into the
12 car, Ilija, whereas he had showed us by his giving us a sign with his hand
13 that we should go on and we went towards Visegrad.
14 Q. And you're making a waving motion with your hand; is that
15 correct? Is that what he did that day?
16 A. Yes, that we should go.
17 Q. Now, when you arrived in Greben approximately how many people
18 from Koritnik were there, altogether?
19 A. When we arrived there, at the place we were supposed to get into
20 the buses, there were only the people from our village there, because that
21 was a Serb village, so it was only the people from our village who had
22 been expelled and there was another village that remained above us, two
23 hours away on foot. I didn't hear them leaving, but from Prelovo and from
24 that region, all of us were there, there were no more Muslims left.
25 Q. How many Muslim residents from Koritnik were assembled in Greben
1 at that time, when you arrived in Greben?
2 A. Well, about 40, 45, 47, I don't know the exact number. Don't
3 hold me to the number because it was ten years ago, so I can't give you an
4 exact figure, but thereabouts, quite certainly there were more than 40 of
5 us. The whole settlement, all the households, everyone. We were there.
6 There was a family called Ajanovic, Memisevic.
7 Q. Without telling us the names of all the people that were there,
8 I'd ask you were those people, were they all civilians?
9 A. Yes, yes, all civilians, nothing but civilians. They all were
10 retired and lived on off a pension and farming, just pensioners and
11 farmers. Nobody had anything to do with anything. Nobody was a member of
12 an army of any kind. They were all people 50, 55 and over. There were
13 some women, because the ones that might have been members of some
14 organisation, Kurspahic for example, they were taken away from their
15 workplace and they worked there with us. If you want I can enumerate
16 their names, but their wives and children were with us.
17 Q. Was there a young baby among the group?
18 A. Yes, yes, yes, 48 years old (sic). She was born in the woods.
19 She hadn't been washed yet, bathed or cleaned. The -- her mother either.
20 We were all women, all mothers. We knew what was to be done but she had
21 just given birth and had to go down from the woods some 10 kilometres to
22 join us and then 7 kilometres more to Visegrad, and the woman was perhaps
23 17. She spent two days in labour in the woods giving birth. There was no
24 other way out for us. That was it.
25 Q. Could you to please just tell us again the age of the baby?
1 A. 48 hours old. On that day.
2 Q. When you arrived in Greben, did you wait for a bus that day?
3 A. Yes, we did. The army came by wearing uniforms. They were young
4 soldiers, they asked us what are we waiting for, where are we going? We
5 said, "We are waiting for the buses and we are going to Kladanj or to
6 Olovo," and they said that Kladanj was in Serbia and that that's where we
7 were going. They mistreated us that way. And some of the people who were
8 there were our children's schoolmates and they asked where Kurspahic was.
9 They were actually schoolmates but they had turned wild.
10 Q. Did a bus ever come?
11 A. Never, never. We called them up on the phone from a Serb house
12 belonging to Slavka Gavrilovic, a little further off, half a kilometre in
13 front. There were some people, Kurspahic and this person Dusan, but not
14 -- no buses because as soon as we reached the -- our destination we saw
15 that something was wrong.
16 Q. And did there tomorrow a time when you left Greben in the
17 direction of Visegrad?
18 A. Yes. This Dusan asked Micun, Milorad, to accompany us to the
19 Banja, to go with us. And he took a rifle and he set off with us as far
20 as Sase, also known as Banja, a spa, on foot.
21 Q. Now the place that you're referring to as Sase or Banja, is that
22 where the road that you were on intersects with the road that goes up to
23 the Vilina Vlas hotel?
24 A. Yes, it is, yes.
25 Q. And that location, did you see any people in uniform?
1 A. Yes, I did. The military police. They identified everyone
2 there, asked for ID cards. And we saw soldiers down there in a house, I
3 forget the name of that man, they called him Crni. We saw a lot of
4 soldiers because his wife was with -- very close to me but she never cast
5 a glance at me and she didn't even come out. This house was on the other
6 side of the road and there were a lot of soldiers but they didn't do
7 anything to us. It was only the police who were asking where we were
9 Q. Did one of the policemen say something to you regarding the fact
10 that you had men and boys among your group?
11 A. Because I don't know his name but I know that he is a school mate
12 of our children because they would pass through our village for eight
13 years going to school and there were girls in our village so they knew
14 each other from dances, from parties, and I can't remember the name of
15 this girl. Any way, he came up to this girl and said, "I understand you
16 women going, but where are these men going?"
17 Q. Did he say anything else regarding whether the men and boys
18 should go to Visegrad?
19 A. No. He just said that all sorts of things were going on in
20 Visegrad but I don't know, I don't remember. He may have said something
21 but I do apologise if I leave something out because ten years is a long
22 time, you know.
23 Q. At this point in time, did some people who lived in Sase join the
25 A. Yes, they did. The (redacted), Meho, his wife, Murka and
1 Kurspahic, Igbala.
2 Q. And did the group then continue on to Visegrad?
3 A. Yes, we did, from there we went on alone. This one said goodbye
4 to us, he had to go back on duty, guard duty in Kamonica.
5 Q. When you say this one, who are you referring to?
6 A. I'm referring to Milorad, Micun.
7 Q. Now when you arrived in Visegrad, where was the first place that
8 you went?
9 A. We went to the police, the police.
10 Q. Is that the police station, the SUP station?
11 A. Yes, it used to be called SUP. It's always ours. It's still
12 ours. I can't say it's anyone else's. My home is not [redacted].
13 Q. Can you tell us what happened when you were at the SUP station?
14 A. Osman Kurspahic went with a man of 25 to 30, a man in uniform, a
15 policeman, I don't know him. I didn't dare look. And he said, "Who had
16 called you?" And this Osman Kurspahic said that we had set off to be
17 exchanged, to Kladanj or Olovo, and he said, who had called us? And they
18 said, the Red Cross, and then he told us that the Red Cross was at the
19 hotel at the Drina, that we should go there but that we should not take
20 the main road but another road along the Drina River where the trucks,
21 road used by trucks, and that we should go in a line two by two.
22 JUDGE HUNT: Line 6 of the current page -- I finally got the
23 transcript up on my screen -- should the reference the last word, be
25 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
1 Q. The person that you're telling us instructed you to go to the
2 hotel, was this the person who came out of the police station?
3 A. Yes, he came out of the SUP.
4 Q. And what is your understanding of why you should walk by the
5 river two by two?
6 A. I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.
7 Q. Did you arrive at the hotel or did you go to the hotel?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. And is this the hotel that's near the old bridge in Visegrad?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. And can you tell us what happened after you arrived at this
13 A. I can. When we arrived there, it was a large group and then
14 Osman Kurspahic went inside again and again he came out with a young guy,
15 if I can call him that. He was also in uniform. And he said, why hadn't
16 we come earlier? Because six buses had left and I don't know how many
17 trucks, that they had gone for Olovo or Kladanj, I don't know which, and
18 why hadn't we come earlier? What are we going to do with you now?
19 Q. You said a young man. Can you give us his approximate age, as
20 best as you recall?
21 A. Yes, like the Judge over there in front of me.
22 JUDGE HUNT: Do you want my age?
23 MR. GROOME: Can you take judicial notice of that?
24 JUDGE HUNT: I just look old, that's all?
25 A. About 30, I don't know. I didn't dare look. You're asking me
1 too much.
2 MR. GROOME: Okay.
3 JUDGE HUNT: Now I do feel --
4 A. Because one didn't dare look to see, maybe it's hard for you to
5 believe, all you had to do was look in front of you and listen to what was
6 being said to you.
7 MR. GROOME:
8 Q. Do you remember anything about the uniform that this person was
9 wearing? Can you describe it as best you're able?
10 A. Black, black.
11 Q. And was this person wearing anything on his head?
12 A. A cap, like a beret. The policeman's cap, something like that.
13 I don't know.
14 Q. Do you recall anything about the colour of that cap?
15 A. I don't remember. Of course, the same colour as the suit he wore
16 but I don't know. I didn't look. It didn't interest me.
17 Q. Now, you've said -- you testified that this man told you that you
18 had missed the buses that morning. Did he tell you when the next buses
19 would arrive?
20 A. Oh, yes, yes. He did, yes. That we hadn't come on time, that we
21 should go back to Pionirska Street, up there, that meant for a kilometre
22 or more back, and that in the evening and the next day, buses would come
23 to pick us up, that we should be there between 8.00 and 12.00 so that we
24 would leave like the prefer convoy had left at 12.00.
25 Q. And were you told to go up to Pionirska Street, to stay there the
2 A. Yes, yes. We were told to go to Pionirska Street, to go there,
3 to all the Muslim houses are empty up there, but that's what we were told.
4 If I've left anything out --
5 Q. Did you think there was something suspicious about being directed
6 up to Pionirska Street?
7 A. Yes, yes. Because there were Muslim houses nearby. My brother's
8 house. He had an apartment. He had left a long time ago, already in May.
9 When I passed by, I saw the curtains in my brother's apartment still
10 hanging, and as soon as they told us to go back to a suburb, this
11 Pionirska Street was in a suburb, we immediately found that suspicious.
12 Q. Aside from your brother's apartment were there other Muslim
13 houses or apartments that you were aware of that were vacant right in the
14 centre of town?
15 A. Yes, yes, yes. They were all. Maybe only ten per cent of the
16 Muslims were still around.
17 Q. Approximately how far away was your brother's apartment from the
19 A. Well, between the hotel and my brother's apartment, [redacted]
21 [redacted]. I passed by it again on the way back.
22 Q. Did you go up to Pionirska Street as you were instructed to do?
23 A. Yes, of course. Where else? Yes.
24 Q. And how long did it take you to get up there, approximately?
25 A. We were tired, wet through from the rain. It took us an hour to
1 get there, and dragging our bags as well.
2 Q. And on the way up, do you recall seeing any houses that you knew
3 belonged to Muslims burned?
4 A. I saw, when I was approaching the town, the house of our doctor,
5 Safet, I don't remember his surname, that it was burnt to the ground and
6 some others, but I didn't pay attention because this was ordinary by
7 then. Everything was burning except for our village while I was still in
8 the village.
9 Q. Do you recall if you were escorted by any Serbs on the trip from
10 the hotel up to Pionirska Street?
11 A. No. There was no one, no.
12 Q. Now, when you arrived at Pionirska Street, was there a woman
13 among your group that suggested that the group spread out and find
14 different places to stay that night?
15 A. From our column, because I was at the back of the column, I had
16 five bags and my child was tired, and then one of my neighbours said that
17 she should go and look up her uncle. They were there. That we should
18 spread out, that she should go and stay with them and she said to her
19 mother, "Look after the children I'll go and check whether they are in the
20 house and I'll come out and meet you." And that was her suggestion that
21 we go there.
22 Q. Why did she suggest that you spread to several houses?
23 A. For safety sake because we had heard from others, from before,
24 that it will be better not all of us to be together in one group.
25 Q. Did there come a time when she returned from going up to speak
1 with her relatives on Pionirska Street?
2 A. She didn't have anyone to talk to. She came back immediately and
3 told us -- not to everyone, but I was going with her mother-in-law and her
4 children and she said that her uncle and aunt had been killed, that they
5 were covered with blankets in the house and she started crying.
6 Q. Do you know the approximate age of her uncle and aunt?
7 A. Yes. They were our neighbours from our village. But he had a
8 house in Pionirska Street where his sons lived but he used to live with us
9 in Koritnik.
10 Q. What was his approximate age?
11 A. Maybe about 65 or 70. She was younger, so I don't know.
12 Q. Did there then come a time when the group gathered by the house
13 of Jusuf Memic?
14 A. Yes. We stopped there. I knew the house. The teacher of my
15 children, Dennisa Karcic used to live there until she built her own house
16 and I used to visit her so I knew the house. All those houses were
17 vacant. We didn't enter. We stood there, and that is when Mitar
18 Vasiljevic appeared.
19 Q. Approximately what time of the day is it when this person you're
20 referring to as Mitar Vasiljevic was there?
21 A. About 3.00, half past three, I don't know exactly. It could have
22 been around that time. If you want the exact time, I don't know.
23 Q. Did you know this person you're referring to now before this day?
24 A. No. I knew his wife as a very fine woman. She worked at the
25 Banja as a sales woman. She was a very fine person.
1 Q. And what was her name?
2 A. Milojka.
3 Q. How did you learn the name of this person that you're referring
4 to now as Mitar Vasiljevic?
5 A. We were looking around what to do, and I saw him shaking hands
6 with (redacted), and this one said to him, "How are you Mitar? Where
7 have you been, Mitar?" And so we turned around. I may have seen him
8 before, because he used to work as a waiter, so maybe I saw him sometimes
9 with my son and daughter but I didn't remember, no, because we were very
10 frightened when we got there. And so he himself said he was Mitar
11 Vasiljevic and that he was coming on behalf of the Red Cross to put up the
13 Q. Do you believe you would recognise this person if you saw him
15 A. I could. Only once I die I would no longer be able to
16 recognise. But when I see someone once, I can, yes. And even then, I --
17 he's over there. There he is. Of course I can, yes.
18 Q. Do you recognise him in the courtroom here today?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you describe who you're referring to now by telling us where
21 this person is sitting and what he is wearing?
22 A. Here, or when he was in our place, in Visegrad? I can. He's
23 sitting to my left. I didn't look really to see how he's dressed. Of
24 course he's in black, but I don't even want to look at him, because he
25 didn't keep his word.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. I'd ask you to look now and be certain of what you're testifying
2 to. Is the person that you're referring to now in this courtroom the
3 person that you saw that day?
4 A. I can. He's behind this man here.
5 Q. Can you tell us what he's wearing?
6 A. It's not black. It's brown, I think. I can't see too well at a
7 distance. It's brown, brown. Only he's ten years older now. He looked
8 better in those days.
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, may the record note that the witness
10 has identified the accused in this case?
11 JUDGE HUNT: The transcript will, yes.
12 MR. GROOME:
13 Q. Now would you describe for us what he was wearing back on this
14 day, this day on Pionirska Street.
15 A. He had black clothing, a black coat right down to the ground, a
16 hat with a feather in it, as if he was in the movies.
17 Q. Can you describe more specifically what you mean by "as if he
18 were in the movies." What type of movie did this hat remind you of?
19 A. Well, like a man as -- he wasn't like the usual people in
20 uniform, but please don't tie me with these things.
21 Q. We're just asking you to the best of your recollection to
22 describe what you remember. Do you remember the colour of the hat?
23 A. Was it black like his suit? I don't know. I wasn't even
24 looking. I was looking around what to do,, I didn't even look at him, to
25 tell you the truth. It must have been the same colour as his suit, black.
1 I don't know.
2 Q. Did there come a time when Mitar Vasiljevic addressed the group
3 of people from Koritnik?
4 A. Yes. He shook hands with Mujo and he addressed us too, saying he
5 was Mitar Vasiljevic, that he was accommodating refugees on behalf of the
6 Red Cross, and that we should feel free and safe, and that we should all
7 be in one group, and that no one may touch us and no one would.
8 Q. Can you explain what you mean by that, "should remain as one
9 group." Can you tell us exactly what he said regarding that?
10 A. That we shouldn't part, that we should all stick together. There
11 were persons who had their sons' houses in town and they thought they
12 would go there, but he told us to stay together. So we were a bit
13 uncomfortable about it, but still we stayed there.
14 Q. Did there come a time when you saw him write something?
15 A. Yes, I did. He took out a notebook pad and he wrote down
16 something. I didn't know what he was writing. He was writing a
17 certificate that we would be safe there, that no one would hurt us there,
18 and he gave it to (redacted). And he came in last, (redacted),
19 and he showed us this piece of paper and said, "This is what Mitar
20 Vasiljevic gave me."
21 Q. And did Mitar Vasiljevic explain the significance of this piece
22 of paper, or what it meant?
23 A. Yes. He explained it to Mujo but not to us. He just said that
24 we were safer there and if anyone should come to mistreat us, that we
25 should show them this piece of paper, that we were legally there. That
1 was our understanding and ...
2 Q. Did he give you any information regarding a bus the next day?
3 A. He did, yes. That we would spend the night there and that the
4 next day, we should go down there to the bus, where the bus would come to
5 pick us up.
6 Q. Without telling us the name of your brother or where he worked,
7 did you at some point have a discussion with Mitar Vasiljevic regarding
8 your brother?
9 A. Yes, I did. When he said that he was a waiter from the new
10 hotel, [redacted]
12 [redacted] Maybe he'll remember saying that to me now.
13 Q. And was he correct about where your brother was working at that
15 A. Yes, correct.
16 Q. After Mitar Vasiljevic spoke to the group, did he have an
17 additional conversation with Mujo?
18 A. I don't know. I don't know. We entered, so we believed him that
19 we would be safe, that he was a person responsible for refugees. He gave
20 us this piece of paper. And I don't know anything more. I didn't see him
21 again there. I went inside. Perhaps you can ask me more.
22 Q. Did Mujo go inside at the same time that you went into the house?
23 A. He followed us. He was carrying a small glass of brandy, saying
24 that Mitar Vasiljevic had given it to him, and he was carrying this piece
25 of paper as well.
1 Q. Approximately how much time transpired between the time you went
2 into the house of Jusuf Memic and Mr. --
3 A. Well, this was immediately, one after another. We weren't
4 standing around in the street. He came very shortly after us, immediately
5 after us.
6 Q. At this point in time, would it be fair to say that most of the
7 people from Koritnik were now inside the house of Jusuf Memic?
8 A. Yes, yes, of course. All the people who had lived in Koritnik,
9 everyone, except my husband. All the others were there.
10 Q. I want to you look at that sheet of paper down in front of you
11 and I want you to look at the name next to VG101. Without saying that
12 person's name, was that person in the house of Jusuf Memic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And I'd ask you to look at the name above that, VG78. Was that
15 person also in the house of Jusuf Memic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, after the point in time when you enter the house of Jusuf
18 Memic, after receiving the certificate, did there come a time when other
19 men came to the house?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. And approximately how much time transpired between your entering
22 the house and these men arriving at the house?
23 A. About an hour later. We were praying to God, having lunch, about
24 an hour later, a little less. I don't know exactly.
25 Q. And it was your belief that this was connected to Mr. Mitar
2 A. I don't know. When Mitar Vasiljevic was there, I didn't see
3 anyone else. Now, whether he sent someone, I don't know. I have come
4 here to tell you about what I saw with my own eyes. Now whether he sent
5 someone, let him tell, let him say.
6 Q. Can you tell us, did you learn the identity of any of the people
7 that came to the house at this time?
8 A. No. How could I, for heaven's sake? You don't dare look.
9 Q. Did you recognise any of the men that came at this point in time?
10 A. Well, they came before. There were some that came before, and
11 they said, "You and you, there is a corpse near the Drina." This was
12 before. "There is a corpse that needs to be buried. You and you, there
13 is a body near by in Potok." So these men who had come with us,
14 Kurspahics, they went to bury those bodies.
15 Q. Did some of the people in the group know these men who came to
16 the house at this point in time?
17 A. You mean to take them off to dig the graves? Those people? I
18 didn't quite understand you.
19 Q. I'm asking you about the men that came to the house after Mitar
20 Vasiljevic gave you the certificate. How many men came to the house at
21 that time?
22 A. Sredoje Lukic came with the people. He introduced himself. I
23 wouldn't have recognised him but he introduced himself and said he was
24 Sredoje Lukic and two other people came with him, came to our house, an
25 hour, an hour and a half later. So let's go on to that now.
1 Q. Yes. Did you learn the names of those other people that were
2 with the person who identified him as Sredoje Lukic?
3 A. When the people left, when they finished all their business, then
4 the others recognised him, I didn't, and told me.
5 Q. Okay. And who did they tell you these people were?
6 A. There was Laco and Milan Lukic, Laco, as well.
7 Q. Aside from Milan Lukic, Sredoje Lukic, and Laco, was there
8 anybody else with these me at that time?
9 A. Well there were people around the house. You could hear voices
10 but only the three of them went into the house whereas the others were
11 standing round the house and you could hear them talking.
12 Q. Prior to this day, had you seen any of these men before?
13 A. You mean the one that went -- the one that came into the house?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. No, I didn't, no.
16 Q. As best you're able to describe, can you tell us what these men
17 were wearing?
18 A. Well, they were in uniforms. They had uniforms on. They had
19 rifles. That's it.
20 Q. I neglected to ask you a question regarding Mitar Vasiljevic.
21 The first time you saw him, was he armed with any weapon?
22 A. I don't remember. I didn't even look when I was talking to my
23 brother -- about my brother, I don't know. I can't say whether he had or
24 didn't. I don't know. I don't know. I can't say. I really don't know.
25 Q. Can you describe for us what happened inside the Jusuf Memic
1 house after these three men entered the house?
2 A. Yes, I can.
3 Q. Please tell us the first thing that happened.
4 A. Let me take a rest, please. They came to the house and this one
5 introduced himself, saying he was Sredoje Lukic and he said that we should
6 all go into one room. And cash, he wanted cash, money and gold. And he
7 said, "If I find a single dinar on anyone after that," and he pulled out a
8 knife of some kind from his boot, and he flashed it around and said, "If I
9 find a penny on anybody else, I will use this -- strip you naked."
10 Q. What happened then?
11 A. We all went into this one room and put our -- took our money out
12 and gold, jewellery. We all put it out on the table. And Laco then went
13 into another room, he sat down, he had his rifle here, he made the sign of
14 three, telling three people to come in, and the three of us went in and
15 then he said, "Take your clothes off."
16 Q. Were you among the first to go into that room, that second room?
17 A. Yes. I was in that first group. I was with those first people.
18 I was always together with them. And I was -- when he said, "Three of you
19 come in," I was with those three. He was sitting down and he said, "Take
20 your clothes off." And I started unbuttoning my jumper. I unbuttoned it
21 and I unbuttoned my blouse and I said I wasn't going to do anything -- any
22 more, and he said, "Take your clothes offer," like this.
23 Q. You're holding up your finger did he hold up his finger and make
24 any reference to his finger?
25 A. This is what he showed me. He said that I should be as naked as
1 this finger here.
2 Q. Please continue.
3 A. And then I started taking off my underwear, my bra, and
4 underwear, and came and stood in front of him and went round in a circle
5 and he asked me where my husband was and I said my husband had gone to
6 Montenegro because that's what this other man Mica, nicknamed Mica, told
7 me, Milorad his name was. I'm going back a little. And he said, "Why
8 didn't [redacted]go?" My husband, and I said, he didn't dare. And he asked
9 me where my husband was? And I said, "Went to Montenegro to work." And
10 he said he was gone to Gorazde to deal with our women there and he said
11 no -- and I said, "No, he's gone to Montenegro to work like he does every
12 season, every year." And he said, "Put your clothes on." And I put my
13 clothes on.
14 Q. Can you tell us just the first name of the other two who were in
15 the room with you?
16 A. I see the name here.
17 Q. Then would you refer to it, refer to that person by number?
18 A. Number 78.
19 Q. Were there two people in that group with the same name, with that
20 name, of VG78?
21 A. Yes, yes, with the same name, yes.
22 Q. The person who was in the room with you, what is her approximate
24 A. She was born in 1968. I know that. Together with my daughter.
25 Q. What's the approximate age of the other person with the same
2 A. She has two children, three children, that is, she had three
3 children, and her husband was taken away, also [redacted], before we left.
4 She was 27 years old or thereabouts, she's still a young woman.
5 Q. Did one of the two women that was in that room with you refuse to
6 get undressed?
7 A. Yes. Number 78.
8 Q. And what happened when she refused to get undressed?
9 A. She was with me. She said that she wasn't going to get dressed
10 and -- get undressed and that he could kill her. But this other person
11 held her and I unbuttoned her clothing and we took her clothes off.
12 Q. Were all the people in the room that or in the house that day --
13 at that time searched in a similar manner?
14 A. The women, the three of us women, were there and then there was
15 another empty room and then the next three came in and experienced the
16 same thing we did, all of them, every single one of them.
17 Q. Approximately how long did it take for all of the people in the
18 house to be searched in this manner?
19 A. Well, I don't know. It was fairly fast, perhaps an hour, an hour
20 and a half, I don't really know. When they left, it was still day light.
21 It wasn't dark yet.
22 Q. During the time that this occurred, did you see Mitar Vasiljevic
23 inside the house?
24 A. No, no, I didn't see him in the house. I can't say that. But
25 there was somebody outside because when we were in the room, it was not
1 so -- it was quiet and we could hear them talking, somebody talking
2 outside the house, but he wasn't in the house.
3 Q. After all of the people in the house had been searched, did these
4 three men leave?
5 A. Yes. They searched everyone, looked in the children's pockets.
6 And a little boy, whose father had been taken off, he didn't know, and the
7 women put a lot of money into the children's pockets. They put money into
8 [redacted] pockets too and the child didn't see that somebody had put some
9 money in his pocket. I don't know how much there was. Two million, I
10 think, then Sefer and Milan found the money and hit him like this. And
11 Osman Kurspahic said, who was his [redacted], said, "Don't touch the
12 child," and he said, "I'll touch you too in a minute." And that's what
13 happened. The others were with the men over there.
14 Q. And you've just indicated what he did by holding a fist up to the
15 side of your head. Is that what that person did? You need to answer yes
16 or no.
17 A. I didn't understand.
18 Q. When you were describing what this person did, you held your
19 right hand in a fist up to the side of his head. Is that what this person
21 A. Yes, that's what he did. He hit the child, yes.
22 Q. Now before they left, did one of these men say something to the
23 group regarding where they were going and what they were going to do?
24 A. After that, they collected the money, put it in a bag, and the
25 jewellery in another bag, filled the bags up, especially the money, and
1 when they searched everything, they said, "You in the leather jacket, and
2 you, Vila come out." That's what Sredoje Lukic said.
3 Q. And who were they talking to?
4 A. Well, they told Jasmina Vila and a young woman who was pregnant.
5 She was very young, though. She was 17, perhaps. They said, "You in the
6 leather jacket and you, Vila," because he knew Vila from before, "you go
8 Q. Had this person you referring to as Jasmina Vila stayed in your
9 house just before this?
10 A. Yes, and she started off with us from my house.
11 Q. And while she was in the Memic house, did she make an attempt to
12 try to hide her face?
13 A. Yes, she hid her face when she went after us, she put a scarf
14 around her face like this. She prepared the uniform for an elderly person
15 and that's what she did.
16 Q. And did these men leave with these two young girls?
17 A. Yes, they did.
18 Q. And did those girls return at some point to the house?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. And approximately how much time transpired between the time they
21 left and the time they returned?
22 A. Half an hour perhaps, something like that.
23 Q. Can you describe the condition of these two women when they
25 A. Well, I can't describe it. They looked terrible. The mother and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 father-in-law of this one were there and the other was a girl. She wasn't
2 a woman. I can't describe it. They looked terrible. They had changed a
4 Q. Can you describe what, if anything, you noticed different about
5 their clothing?
6 A. Well, yes, yes.
7 Q. What was different about their clothing?
8 A. Well, I don't really know how to describe it. I can't. I can't
9 describe it.
10 Q. Can you describe their emotional state at the time they returned?
11 A. They were abused. Somebody had said something to them but they
12 didn't dare tell us what.
13 Q. Were either of these women crying?
14 A. Yes, this one, the one that had her in-laws there. She cried a
15 lot. It was terrible.
16 Q. Before the men left the house, did they say anything regarding
17 the safety of the group?
18 A. They said, "Well, we didn't do anything to you. We are going to
19 get" -- "collect two sheep, take two sheep away and eat them. And we've
20 earned a lot of money." That's what they said.
21 Q. Did the men return a second time or another time that night?
22 A. Well, of course they did. Had they not come, I wouldn't be here
23 to start off with. I would be in my own house with my own people.
24 Q. And this next time that they arrive at the house, is it dark at
25 this time?
1 A. Dark, night, yes. It was perhaps half past 10.00. The children
2 had gone to sleep.
3 Q. Can you tell us or describe for us what happened to make you
4 realise that they had returned?
5 A. Well, we heard a car coming up. And there was the kind of noise
6 that when you didn't have an exhaust pipe on the car. You could hear the
7 car coming. We saw them moving up our street because we were right by the
8 street, and when they turned, the lights of the car hit our windows and
9 lit them up and one of the women said, Kurspahic said, "They are going to
10 kill us now or strangle us. Or set light to us."
11 Q. Approximately how many people returned?
12 JUDGE HUNT: Just a moment. Was that a correction?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat what she said? I
14 didn't understand whether she said strangle or light.
15 MR. GROOME:
16 Q. I'd ask to you repeat what you just testified this other person
17 said when they approached. What exactly did she say?
18 A. When they came in front of our house, whether I said anything or
19 not, but the person lived in a village by the Drina, not far from us and
20 there were several cases there. And she went into town and learnt of
21 things like this and as soon as the car came in front of the door and our
22 windows, she probably, whether she heard or what, but she said, "They are
23 going to kill us or set fire to us."
24 Q. Thank you. Approximately how many people returned to the house
25 at this time?
1 A. One of them came to call us but we heard more of them downstairs.
2 Q. Can you describe what happened?
3 A. We jumped up straight away and saw that something was wrong. The
4 children were still sleeping. My child was still asleep. And he came to
5 the door and said, "You have to leave. You have to go away from here.
6 You're not safe here. The Green Berets are shooting up there from Babin
7 Potok. You're on the road here, on the line of fire. So you have to
8 leave. We can't look after you here." That's what he said.
9 Q. The person you're referring to as "he," do you know the name of
10 that person?
11 A. I don't know. Had I known his name, I would tell you now, but I
12 don't. He was wearing a uniform and the people who took away our gold and
13 money, those -- it was organised. It wasn't done by one man. It was done
14 by a group of men.
15 Q. Did you see any of the same people who had come earlier in the
16 day and took the gold and money?
17 A. While they were talking, I noticed that it was probably those
18 people because nobody knew about us but them. But I can't say I actually
19 saw them. I jumped up, got my child, and carried out the order, got my
20 things together, got my child. He said we should leave our things there
21 and that we could come back for them tomorrow morning but that we should
22 go towards this destination where we were going, that we should leave
23 straight away.
24 Q. When this person made a reference to the Green Berets, did you
25 take that to mean that they were saying Muslim forces were attacking the
1 town of Visegrad?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. What happened next?
4 A. We got ready and the people started leaving towards this
5 destination point. I stayed on last. I put -- I dressed my child, got my
6 things and started off. The man went behind me and I saw the others along
7 the road, you could see a little bit, but then they turned the lights, the
8 car lights off. I didn't dare look around much but I saw that there were
9 some people over there but I didn't look to see who it was. And when I
10 got down there, they had already boarded, and I saw -- I heard the stories
11 of the women who had been brought there before us, for example [redacted]
12 [redacted]. She went to stay with her daughter
13 Jasmina and I heard that Jasmina was crying and there was a child crying,
14 and she was quietening this two-year-old child down and I saw that
15 something was very wrong. We were going down to the water, to the creek,
16 and I knew that something was going to happen. And when I wanted to go
17 in, he hit me with his butt in my back here and said -- he swore at our
18 balija mother, and said, "Where is Alija now? Why doesn't he help you
20 Q. I want to ask you a few specific questions regarding the trip
21 from the Memic house to this other place you're describing. You have told
22 us that car lights were turned off. At the time you first left the Memic
23 house, were there some car lights on at that time?
24 A. Well, by the other houses, yes, where people lived, but our house
25 there was no light inside or outside. You could just see a little from
1 the other streets, from the light coming from the other streets where
2 there was a little light, but I didn't dare look around. I just listened
3 to the orders given us and did what I had to do. I didn't look around to
4 see if there were any lights or not. He was right beside me and I didn't
5 even raise my eyes to look at him. I wasn't interested. I thought they
6 were taking to us a better destination than we were at that time. That's
7 what I thought.
8 Q. And approximately what was the distance between the Memic house
9 and this other house that you went into?
10 A. Well, I don't know. If you want me to be specific, I don't
11 know. Perhaps 20 metres. I'd like to go and see the house again to see
12 everything, rather than going back to my own one where I lived for 30
14 Q. And were you the last person to leave the Memic house?
15 A. The last, yes.
16 Q. And were you also the last person to enter this other house?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, you've described something being shoved into your back. Can
19 you tell us in greater detail, if you're able, what it was that was shoved
20 into your back?
21 A. Well, the one walking beside me, he behaved in a proper and
22 correct manner, until we got there. I couldn't go in because the house
23 was full and then when I heard from the people who weren't with us, I knew
24 that something was amiss, that there was some criminal acts going on, and
25 that something was going to happen to us. So when I came to the door
1 there, but not while I was walking, because I thought that what they said
2 was true, that it wasn't safe where we were and that we had to be
3 transferred to another place. That's what I actually thought.
4 Q. And what did this person do to you as you were at the doorway of
5 the second house?
6 A. He said, "Get in, balija" and then he cursed my mother and said
7 where is Alija to help us now?
8 Q. Did he fire his weapon at any time?
9 A. No, not then. When he shut us in, I wasn't able to go in because
10 the house was full, so I was forced in, and then there was -- he shot a
11 burst of gun fire in front of the door and opened the door again and said,
12 "Listen, that's the Green Berets firing from up there." But we weren't
13 mad. We knew what was happening.
14 Q. And can you tell us, was there something shoved into your back?
15 A. Yes, a rifle. And even now, I can feel my body going numb where
16 he did this.
17 Q. When you first went into that house, were you able to hear
18 children crying?
19 A. Yes, yes, of course, the little baby that was 48 hours old, two
20 days old, never stopped crying. And then I heard Jasmina's child, the
21 two-year-old child, he kept crying. He was screaming and she said, told
22 him to keep quiet. It was dark. There was shooting in front of the
23 door. Of course.
24 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, may I suggest here is the place to
1 JUDGE HUNT: Very well. We will resume again at 11.30.
2 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
4 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome?
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. Witness VG18, we left off at the point in time when you had just
7 entered this second house. I want to ask you, from the time that the --
8 these men returned this night until the time that you were -- the time
9 that you went into this second house, did you see Mitar Vasiljevic?
10 A. I didn't see him, shall we say, in the house and on the road,
11 because I didn't look around, but there were some soldiers down there who
12 were talking and laughing, but I can't say that I spoke to him and that he
13 was there. I didn't. But there were other men around the house so I
14 can't say.
15 Q. Now, you testified earlier about some women who were not from
16 Koritnik being inside this second house. Do you recall that? And I'd ask
17 you not to mention their names.
18 A. Very well. [redacted] and some others with their children.
19 Q. I'd ask you --
20 A. I don't know. I don't know these others who were there with
21 children. The house was packed full. I recognise some of the women by
22 their talk. I didn't mention their names, only their surname. There were
23 some, yes.
24 Q. I'd ask you to look at that sheet of paper in front of you and
25 draw your attention to VG87. Without mentioning any names whatsoever,
1 surname or first name, was the wife of that person in this house?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Could you describe the inside of the house for us, as best you're
5 A. I can't, because the door was shut. There was shooting. They
6 cursed our mothers. I didn't look around. I just looked how I could save
7 myself. It was like any big room, because there were a lot of people. It
8 was as full as a match box. I could feel that I was stepping on people as
9 I was trying to pass through and reach the window. Of course, there was
10 furniture, when people were sitting around, and when the shooting was
11 heard they started screaming, so I don't know.
12 Q. Did any of the other people in the house say something regarding
13 the floor of the house?
14 A. I heard, afterwards, stories, but I don't know that. I was the
15 last to enter. I was frightened. I wouldn't even be able to tell you
16 exactly where my child was. I had lost control.
17 Q. At the time that you went into the house, did you hear anything
18 about the floor of the house?
19 A. Yes. They were saying that there was something sticky, that
20 something had been done before the people got there, but I don't know.
21 Q. Were you able to feel anything sticky on your feet?
22 A. I don't know. Everyone has his own opinion about these things.
23 I've told you that there were so many people that I couldn't really reach
24 the floor so I don't know. And we were frightened so I don't know.
25 Please don't insist. I heard stories about that, that there was
1 something, but I'm telling you what I myself experienced.
2 Q. As you walked around the -- around inside this house, were your
3 feet able to reach the floor?
4 A. No. There were so many people, it was packed. I didn't move
5 around. I saw the window immediately and headed towards it, and as I went
6 there, I saw that there were some people there who hadn't been with us,
7 who must have come before us, and that something was in the making.
8 Q. Did you hear some of the people praying at this time?
9 A. Yes, yes, yes, I did. That we should pray to God. My father was
10 a religious man and he said one should pray to God but one should seek
11 salvation, too.
12 Q. Did you join them in prayer?
13 A. Of course I did, but I was looking around how to save myself, and
14 God did help me, helped some of us to save ourselves. But the most
15 important thing is to try and save yourself, even though you pray to God.
16 Q. Can you tell us what happened inside that house?
17 A. I can. That's why I've come. To tell the truth about my people.
18 When the door was locked and the shooting was heard, they were laughing
19 outside the door. There were several voices and then they opened the
20 door. And I was close to this [redacted] whose grandchild was crying, this
21 baby. "Can I come up to you, [redacted]?" And she said "Do," and I was close
22 by, and she was right next to the window. However, the door opened and as
23 soon as the door opened, the flames shot up in different colours, blue,
24 yellow, as if somebody was heightening the fire, and then the screaming
25 started. I turned my head away from the smoke and I had reached the
1 window. Then I put this hand over my mouth and I hit against the window.
2 The window was covered with thick glass. I noticed this glass, it was
3 reinforced. I turned around to look at it. I noticed it as soon as I
4 went in, and I hit against the glass with this hand and held the other one
5 to my mouth, and then the glass broke but in the way a windshield breaks,
6 it didn't fall out. I couldn't pass. And I didn't know anything about my
7 child. I couldn't pass. There seemed to be some wires that wouldn't let
8 me pass. And just then, God saved me. My child pushed me. I fell and he
9 fell on my back and he said, "Run. Run, mother" and when I turned around,
10 I saw my neighbours with small children protecting them. They were
11 screaming, each one of them had one, two or three, and then this baby and
12 this little girl of nine, Sanisa, and the grandson, was on her lap
13 screaming and I passed and jumped out and my son jumped on my back and he
14 said, "Let's run, mother." I couldn't walk because a bomb was thrown into
15 the other part, and the shrapnel hit me in my neck, not much because I was
16 crouching. And these shrapnel were falling on my neck and head and hand
17 and as I jumped, from the explosion I couldn't feel my body because, as I
18 jumped I sort of felt as if half my face was missing and my son pulled me
19 and said, "Let's run." And we ran down to the creek and we hid there and
20 we -- as we were crouching there, there was a kind of flashlight lit up.
21 They were already by the door. And when they saw that some people had
22 jumped out, myself and my son and this person number 30, 80 and 13, 38
23 came out, they came after us. We reached the creek and then number 13
24 they caught her, and they wounded her and she stayed there.
25 Q. I want to ask you a few specific questions about the house before
1 you jumped out of the house. You've described a reinforced glass. Have
2 you seen a glass similar to that here in the Court house?
3 A. I said the first time, when I entered your building that I
4 noticed at the door the same kind of glass, with wires through it, because
5 I have the same kind where I live in the staircase, and I don't like to
6 look at it. I find it hard to see it, to look at it.
7 Q. Is that the glass that's in the hall doors outside of this
9 A. I don't know. Somewhere downstairs I noticed it, at the entrance
10 on the door.
11 Q. How many times did you hit the glass before it finally broke?
12 A. Well, I hit it several times but this glass is thick and you
13 can't break it. I thought it was thin glass, like normal glass, that you
14 can break, but I hit it a number of times, but I don't know. I couldn't
15 tell you because I was in a lot of -- there was a great deal of fear.
16 Q. You've described the flames that you saw. Can you describe for
17 us the condition of the smoke inside that house?
18 A. Yes. As I turned around to see what was happening, I couldn't
19 turn my head back to look where I was going because I was choking, and
20 even now when I'm telling you about it, I -- I feel choking.
21 Q. After you jumped out of the house, can you tell us, as best
22 you're able, where you went immediately?
23 A. Could you repeat the question, please?
24 Q. As best you're able to describe the location, where was it you
25 went as soon as you jumped out of the house?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I understand. I went towards the creek, below the house, and
2 from there, about 20 metres under a little bridge and that's where I spent
3 the night with my child, in the water. The water was coming into my
4 mouth, so the sewage water. One could hear talk. People whispering and
5 looking at those houses that were burning. I couldn't see -- I couldn't
6 look because I was under a bridge. I couldn't see. I could just hear the
7 screams for about an hour and a hour and a half, and the last scream of a
8 woman. I don't know whether she is here. I heard her saying, "Oh, dear,
9 my dear mother." Those were her last words that I heard.
10 Q. After you heard that, did you hear any other sounds from the
12 A. Before that, I heard, people who didn't have small children could
13 have saved themselves like we had, if they hadn't come under the window
14 and shot them individually. I heard the gunshots and I heard the voices
15 coming out of the house, when they were being killed. This was the last
16 person that was being killed, who I heard saying, "My dear mother." That
17 was the last I heard.
18 Q. You described for us seeing at least one flashlight. I'd ask you
19 to tell us specifically how many flashlights you saw and where you saw
21 A. Lights, I didn't understand your question.
22 Q. After you were outside of the house, did you see people with
23 flashlights or torches?
24 A. Yes. Those men had them when we came out. When they noticed
25 people were escaping, they came under the window and did what they did.
1 Q. And was that at the rear of the house?
2 A. It was -- I don't know. I don't know whether I came out the rear
3 of the house or in front. I don't know. I was terrified. Can you
4 imagine? I didn't know where my child was. What more can I say?
5 Q. Let me ask the question in a different way. The men with the
6 flashlights, were they between the house and the creek?
7 A. Yes, yes, yes, yes. They were there where the people were
8 jumping out to save themselves.
9 Q. Could you describe for us what injuries you suffered that night?
10 A. I can. Everything. I can. To this day, look at my hand, look
11 at it. What more can I say? From the explosion, my neck, everything was
12 hit by shrapnel. Everything was injured. Everything. First of all my
13 heart and then everything else.
14 Q. And did there come a time when you and your son were able to
15 escape Visegrad and get to a safe place?
16 A. Yes. We did. We joined my husband, a village. There were lots
17 of people there, our whole area had gone there.
18 Q. A number of the witnesses that have testified --
19 A. To the village of Gostilja.
20 Q. -- who have testified before you have told us the names of some
21 of the people in that house. I'm going to ask you to take a look at a
22 document and see, do you recall other people who have not been mentioned
23 as of yet? I'd ask that the witness be shown Prosecution document number
24 66. And Witness VG18 I'd ask you to look at the 15 names on that list and
25 when you finished looking at them, if let us know, and I'll ask you a
2 A. Yes, yes. They were all there, yes. I don't know this one,
4 Q. Just tell us the number, please. You do not recognise the number
6 A. No.
7 MR. GROOME: Your Honour at this time --
8 A. I know something about him.
9 Q. Was number 2 in the fire that night?
10 A. No. He was taken away with his father.
11 Q. Aside from number 2 were all the other people on that list inside
12 the house when it caught fire that night?
13 A. As far as I can see, yes, yes.
14 Q. And since the fire, have you seen any of these people again?
15 A. No. Let me see. No. As far as I can see, no.
16 MR. GROOME: Your Honour at this time, I would tender this
17 exhibit with the caveat or the amendment that we draw a line through
18 number 2 and I would tender it as Prosecution Exhibit number 66.
19 JUDGE HUNT: Why were you concerned about her using the number
20 rather than the name?
21 MR. GROOME: Just in an abundance of caution, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE HUNT: But there is no point that you seek to have this
23 document under seal? The others were under seal because they disclosed a
24 relationship to the particular witness who established them but the names
25 are, as I recall, in the indictment.
1 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour I was just concerned that the
2 witness may describe her relationship to some of these people.
3 JUDGE HUNT: That's all right.
4 MR. GROOME: That's why I asked her to refer to the number.
5 JUDGE HUNT: Any objection to it Mr. Domazet?
6 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. It will be Exhibit P66.
8 MR. GROOME: Your Honour that concludes my examination of this
10 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. Mr. Domazet?
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Domazet:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Madam, when you were talking about your
13 neighbours, in the village in which you lived. If I understood you
14 correctly, they were your Serb neighbours. They acted differently towards
15 you. Some acted badly and others acted well. Did I understand you
17 A. Yes, yes, yes.
18 Q. The person you mentioned by the name of Gavrilovic was one of
19 those who acted badly, who threatened and insulted you; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. On the other hand, there were others who were sorry to see you go
22 and who even gave you money, including money for your son, to help you
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The person you mentioned as being called Mico or Milorad, would
1 you say that he was one of those who treated you well or those who treated
2 you badly?
3 A. No. Because he was the first to come and tell us that we had to
5 Q. When he told you that you had to go, did he give an explanation?
6 A. Yes. That was clear. Cleansing, of course, for exchange, to
7 Olovo or Kladanj. In my opinion, and according to my understanding, but
8 I'm still not sure. I didn't ask, because I didn't dare ask. They said
9 that we would be exchanged for Serbs to come to our area and we should go
10 to there.
11 Q. Did he tell you that there was a danger, threatening from other
12 Serbs or paramilitaries?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Was that the same person that you referred to in Greben that
15 Dusan Grujic asked him to continue escorting you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And this Milorad or Mico accompanied you only as far as Sase and
18 then he went back?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Are you quite sure that he didn't go on with you as far as
22 A. Yes, as far as I was able to see, but everyone has his own
23 opinion. My answer is yes.
24 Q. While he was with you, accompanying you from Greben to Sase, did
25 he say anything insulting to you or did he threaten you or do anything
1 like that?
2 A. No, no. I don't know. There was a large column of us. He
3 didn't do any such thing to me. Whether he did it to others, I don't
4 know. I'm telling you what I know and what I saw.
5 JUDGE HUNT: Madam, please wait until Mr. Domazet has finished
6 his question before you start to answer and then pause to enable the
7 interpreters to catch up with you.
8 MR. DOMAZET:
9 Q. [Interpretation] You said, Madam, that you don't remember the
10 surname of that person. Could I ask you, will it help you if I say was
11 his surname Lipovac?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you remember that as you were walking towards Visegrad, you
14 were caught up by some buses full of people?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you know where those people were coming from and where they
17 were going?
18 A. From Prelovo and they picked up one of our old women. She was
19 following us at a distance of some 50 metres. She couldn't keep up with
20 us. And they took her to the same destination that we were supposed to go
22 Q. Those buses, then, with those people, passed by and took one of
23 the women from your column who wasn't able to walk and took her off in the
25 A. Yes, she was an elderly woman, Kurspahic. She died.
1 Q. Did you see those people in those buses when you got to Visegrad
2 or weren't they there any more?
3 A. No. They reached their destination and went off with the buses
4 where they were supposed to go, where we were supposed to go, too.
5 Q. Was that person you mentioned a moment ago with them?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Madam, when you reached Visegrad, you were in the police station
8 first and a policeman told you to go and look for the Red Cross by the new
9 hotel; is that right? He indicated where you should go. On that road to
10 the hotel, were there other soldiers? Was the town full or empty?
11 A. Well, there would be a passer-by here and there but I didn't
12 actually look. There were some passers-by but I wasn't interested in
13 paying attention to them.
14 Q. You mentioned in front of the hotel that a soldier wearing a
15 uniform came out, that he was young and that he told you that the convoy
16 had left and he had advised you to go to Pionirska Street; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You said here in the courtroom today that he was as young as the
19 Judge sitting in front of you.
20 A. Well, I wasn't actually looking at him but he was about the same
21 age. I don't want to be specific but it was a long time ago so you have
22 to understand me, Mr. Judge.
23 Q. But my question is: Were you thinking of the person, the
24 gentleman sitting straight in front of you wearing black?
25 A. Yes, wearing black, that's who I mean.
1 JUDGE HUNT: You just destroyed my dream, Mr. Domazet.
2 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] [In English] Yes. I'm sorry. I
4 JUDGE HUNT: Well, Mr. Mettraux will be very pleased.
5 A. I wasn't speaking about the uniform. I was speaking about the
7 MR. DOMAZET:
8 Q. [Interpretation] You didn't recognise that person yourself?
9 A. No, I wasn't interested.
10 Q. What about the other people who were with you, did they say who
11 it was?
12 A. I don't know. Well, we didn't discuss it at all while we were on
13 our way to where we were going. So I don't know. I'm just talking about
14 what I know.
15 Q. Madam, a few years ago, or rather in 1998, you gave a statement
16 to the investigators of the OTP from The Hague; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you remember that on that occasion, you said that you didn't
19 recognise that person but that other people said that they were from
20 Lijeska and that he was a conductor? Do you remember that now?
21 A. Yes, I do remember, yes.
22 Q. So you remember that other people said that the man who was in
23 front of the hotel and sent you to Pionirska Street was a young man from
24 Lijeska and that he was a conductor?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you notice any other people in front of the hotel or did you
2 happen to speak to anyone else in front of the hotel?
3 A. No, I don't know. We went back following his orders. We went
4 back to Pionirska Street. I don't know.
5 Q. When you say, "We went back," you mean you went to Pionirska
6 Street, because that was the direction you had come from; is that right?
7 Is that what you mean?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you happen to remember how you went? Was it a long column?
10 Did you follow each other in line? Or whether it was shorter and how did
11 you move?
12 A. There were two of us, two by two, in the column.
13 Q. If you went ahead two by two, then it must have been rather a
14 long column?
15 A. Well, yes, there were about 40 of us - more than 40, I would say
16 - because we had all been gathered together.
17 Q. As far as I remember, you said you were somewhere at the end of
18 the column?
19 A. I was the last one.
20 Q. The column, as you said today, did not have any escort, and it
21 went to Pionirska Street; is that right?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. As you say you were at the end of the column, or rather the last
24 person in the column, do you happen to remember up until the time you
25 arrived at the Memic house, were the people who were at the head of the
1 column taking their places inside the house?
2 A. No. We just stood there. We all stood there to see where we
3 would be going and what we should be doing. As far as I remember, that's
4 how it was.
5 Q. When you say, "We stood there," did you stand out on the street
6 or by the houses in the courtyards?
7 A. Well, those houses are next to the street, so we stood in front
8 of the house. One was next -- the two houses, one owned by the son and
9 one owned by the father.
10 Q. Did you meet somebody along the road coming from the opposite
11 direction whom you might have known or whom perhaps you didn't know? Did
12 you meet anyone coming in the opposite direction?
13 A. Other people, I don't remember. I don't know. When we got
14 there, there was this man, Mitar Vasiljevic, who introduced himself.
15 Q. No, I mean before that. While you were on your way walking along
16 from the beginning of Pionirska Street to the Memic house, did you happen
17 to meet anybody?
18 A. No. I don't know. No. I do not really know. I don't remember.
19 Q. You mentioned the time, if I understood -- the weather. If I
20 understood you correctly, it was raining; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. When you met -- when (redacted) and Mitar Vasiljevic met, I
23 assume that that was the first time you actually saw Mitar Vasiljevic; is
24 that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you happen to notice whether he was holding anything in his
2 hands, Mitar Vasiljevic? Did he have anything in his hands?
3 A. I don't know. I didn't pay attention. I just turned around when
4 he was shaking hands and when he said, "Where have you been, Mitar?" And
5 when they shook hands, I turned around because there was a large group of
6 people, women and children. We were busy thinking about where we would be
7 going and what we would be doing, and he didn't address us. He didn't --
8 wasn't speaking to the column.
9 Q. May I take it from your answer, then, that you paid very little
10 attention to him, that you just happened to glance at him?
11 A. Well, yes, I glanced at him. I saw that he came and that he
12 wasn't -- hadn't -- wasn't there before. That's why I looked, because he
13 had turned up. And he shook hands with (redacted). That's when I happened
14 to glance at him and then he moved over to our group and said that his
15 name was Mitar Vasiljevic. He introduced himself and he said that he
16 would be putting the refugees up on behalf of the Red Cross.
17 Q. I know that. Yes, you said that, Madam. All I'm asking you now
18 is the following: I think you said you just glanced at him and that
19 perhaps you weren't able to notice the other details like whether he was
20 holding anything in his hands.
21 A. Well, I don't know. I can't remember. I didn't look. And I
22 didn't give a statement of that kind anyway, whether he had a weapon or
23 anything else. He took out a notebook from his pocket and a piece of --
24 and a pencil and wrote down in the affirmative that we would be safe, and
25 gave it to (redacted), if anybody were to turn up that we were to show
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 this certificate. That's what he did. That's what I know, and I know
2 that he said that he was [redacted]
5 wife, Milojka very well. I knew her.
6 Q. And you also said that Mujo in addition to this certificate, that
7 he came with a glass of brandy, that Mitar had offered him this glass of
8 brandy. Did you see this bottle of brandy?
9 A. No, Mujo when he came, he had a small glass like this and I
10 didn't see Mitar having anything like that Mitar, and I can't know because
11 I talked to him about my brother. I asked him where the glass was from,
12 and Mitar must have known Mujo and known that he was an alcoholic, so he
13 gave him a little glass of brandy, but I didn't see the bottle at all.
14 Q. So you didn't see the actual point at which he poured the brandy
15 into the glass and don't know whether he had a bottle?
16 A. No, I didn't. I didn't see him with a bottle when he wrote out
17 the certificate and when Mujo came and showed it to us. I didn't see any
18 bottle. But Mujo came in after us and had this little glass with brandy
19 and said that Mitar had given it to him.
20 Q. As you saw him saying hello to Mujo and that you talked to him
21 briefly about your brother, would you have noticed had he had a rifle in
22 his hand or a weapon of that kind, of that size? Would you have noticed
23 that on that occasion?
24 A. Well, I don't know. I really don't know. Don't keep asking me
25 that. I really do not know whether he had anything or didn't. I was just
1 looking up at him. I really don't know. I can't say yes or no. I don't
3 Q. So you did personally talk to him, so you were probably quite
4 close to each other. May I just finish? And you would have been able to
5 see if he had had a rifle or any such weapon with him -- on him?
6 A. I don't know. I didn't look. Had he remained as he was then, I
7 wouldn't be here now. I would be in my own house. I am here to represent
8 all those many people who were burnt alive so I can't say yes or no. It's
9 up to you to decide. I simply don't know.
10 Q. Would it be fair to say, from your statement here today, that
11 that was the only time that you saw Mitar Vasiljevic and that you're
12 certain that it was him that day?
13 A. Well, if I were to die here and now, what my eye sees once I
14 never forget. I have not come here to tell lies. I am a mother. I have
15 three children. I'm the mother of three children. I have lived through
16 it all and I haven't come here to lie.
17 Q. It is precisely for that reason, Madam, that I'm asking you. I
18 don't doubt that you saw Mitar Vasiljevic when you say you did but I'm
19 just asking you whether that was the only time that you saw Mitar
20 Vasiljevic on that particular day. Are you sure of that?
21 A. Had he not said he was Mitar Vasiljevic himself, as I hadn't seen
22 him, then I would have -- then I wouldn't know that it was perhaps him.
23 But he came and he said that he would be putting us up in the Red Cross
24 and he introduced himself and told us his name, so I have no doubts there.
25 Q. Yes, I understood you. Yes, you've explained that in great
1 detail, but my question was a little different. Was that the only time
2 you saw him on that particular day? You didn't see him before that, in
3 front of the Visegrad Hotel or at some other place or after that? That
4 was my question.
5 A. Can I ask a question?
6 JUDGE HUNT: Is there something you don't understand, Madam, or
7 is it something else you want to know?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to say something. I
9 would like to say that it was Mitar Vasiljevic, and that he didn't leave
10 us in a safe place. Had he ensured that nobody had touched us. That's
11 what I want to tell the Judge.
12 MR. DOMAZET:
13 Q. [Interpretation] He didn't keep his promise. Yes, I understand
14 you Madam. When you speak about Mitar Vasiljevic today, I can see that
15 you hold it against him that he said that you would be safe, but that
16 quite the opposite happened to you later on. Is that what you're saying?
17 A. Well, he was responsible for us because he said we were safe and
18 secure. He said we should all stick together and that we'd be safe
19 there. Otherwise we would have dispersed. He said that nobody dare touch
20 us and for what happened to us. He is therefore responsible.
21 Q. That is your interpretation, that's why I'm asking you. And I
22 understand, but of course the Court will decide?
23 A. Of course.
24 Q. You are here only to tell us what you personally saw or heard.
25 So let me ask you once again, is my conclusion correct, that from what you
1 said today, from what you testified here today, it appears that you saw
2 Mitar Vasiljevic only once on that day, on that occasion with Mujo and
3 when you talked to him in front of the Memic house; is that right?
4 A. I saw him there, but I do not exclude the fact that he was down
5 there around the other house. I didn't see him but I can't exclude that
7 Q. When you say, Madam, that you do not exclude the possibility, do
8 you say that because you said today that when they were looting, the three
9 men, the three soldiers whom you identified as being Milan Lukic, Sredoje
10 Lukic, and Laco were inside and that you heard some voices outside? Is
11 that why you're saying that because you heard these voices outside, you
12 say that you cannot exclude the fact that Mitar Vasiljevic might have been
13 outside at that time? Is that right?
14 A. Yes, you've understood me correctly because nobody knew that we
15 were there until Mitar Vasiljevic came.
16 Q. So you suspect that because nobody knew you were there, that it
17 is possible that Mitar Vasiljevic either told those people to go or
18 brought the people there himself; is that right?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. Madam, before those people came, those three men who looted and
21 plundered, as you have explained in detail to us today, you also said that
22 some other people came who were looking for some people and took them off
23 to bury some dead bodies; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What about these people? I assume they were Serbs. Is that your
1 opinion or do you know something other than that? Do you think that
2 that's right?
3 A. Yes, that's right, because I assume that nobody else knew we were
4 there. He said, "You go," and he said, "I don't want to because they know
5 me." That's what happened before and that's what happened afterwards.
6 Q. How many of these other people came when they came to take the
7 people off? Do you remember?
8 A. You mean to take the people out to bury the dead?
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. Well, they turned up in a car, that's true, and now some -- I
11 don't know who stayed in the car but one of them came up to the door and
12 said, "You and you, go to below the Nedoci [phoen] village and bury the
13 bodies. You should go to Babin Potok and bury two bodies there."
14 Q. Were you able to recognise those people?
15 A. No, no. They were wearing uniforms but, no, I didn't.
16 Q. Did those people bring the people back whom they had taken to
17 bury the bodies?
18 A. Yes, they did. They brought them back. They took them away to
19 bury the bodies. Now, whether they brought them back or they came
20 themselves on foot, I don't actually know. My husband wasn't there or any
21 of my close relations and nobody dared talk about it. Just one man told
22 us. He was crying. He said that when he pulled the body and when he got
23 hold of the body, it was disintegrating. The body was washed out by the
24 Drina and it was summer and it was terrible and the others that went off
25 to Babin Potok. That man it was Safet and his wife Avet [phoen], the
2 Q. Can you tell us how much time went by before these men were
4 A. An hour, not long. Perhaps an hour. Because they had to dig
5 them into the ground properly. Bury them properly, deep into the ground.
6 Q. After you came to the Memic house, how much time went by before
7 they came to ask for people to bury the bodies first?
8 A. Well, I can't say, perhaps -- well the ones that looted us came
9 first and the others later or not, I can't remember now. I don't really
10 know which of them came -- turned up first. I don't know. But it was all
11 between half past three until dark because we could still see. That was
12 the time period that we were looted and that these people were taken away
13 to bury the bodies, so I can't be precise because it's been ten years
14 since then, you know.
15 Q. Did you personally, Madam, see the certificate that (redacted)
16 (redacted) brought with him to the house?
17 A. Yes, just as I'm listening to you here now. And I even saw him
18 write it out.
19 Q. Yes. I understand that you saw him write it out and Mujo bring
20 it, but after that, did you read the certificate yourself? Did you see it
22 A. No, Mujo put it in his pocket and nobody read it. He would do --
23 everybody would do what they were told to do and nobody asked for the
24 piece of paper.
25 Q. When Mujo brought in the certificate and said he had a
1 certificate of this kind, did he read it or did anybody else read it or
2 did he put it in his pocket straight away?
3 A. He put it in his pocket. We weren't interested in it because we
4 were told that we would be staying there and that we would be safe there
5 and he told us this orally. He told us that we would be safe and secure
6 there and that nobody would touch us there, and that he would come the
7 next day and be taken to the destination that we were being assigned to so
8 we didn't even ask Mujo about it any more.
9 Q. But after that, the three men turned up and looted and plundered
10 you, and did what you described to us a moment ago. But nonetheless, even
11 afterwards, you all stayed and slept in those houses and nobody left. Did
12 you not see a danger there as you had been abused and mistreated and your
13 belongings looted? Weren't you afraid?
14 A. Well, they took everything they needed from us, just our souls
15 remained. We didn't think they would take those. We thought we were
16 people and that we'd all live together again. We never, ever thought that
17 somebody would go wild and do what they did.
18 Q. If I understand you correctly, in spite of this looting that you
19 went through, you didn't leave the houses because you didn't expect anyone
20 else to come after that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. The three men that you mentioned, did you see them leave?
23 A. No. We were all in one room and once the three left, how could
24 we see them? Only when they took our clothes off. We saw that there were
25 some people outside left. When we went into the room with this Laco when
1 we were taking our clothes off, we heard talk, which told us that there
2 were some people outside the house.
3 Q. Did you see the car in which they came and left?
4 A. That same car, when it came to do what they did, of course, we
5 didn't see them. I didn't see them. But they came by car. They had
6 their own car. A car without an exhaust pipe. It made a lot of noise.
7 So we could hear it, that they had come in that car. I don't know what
8 colour it was. I didn't go outside because we didn't dare. We were told
9 to stick together.
10 Q. So this car, which you said that it was making a lot of noise, as
11 if it didn't have an exhaust pipe, so you heard it the first time when you
12 were looted and the second time that night when you were transferred to
13 the Omeragic house; is that right?
14 A. Yes. And this person who came to call us, one man came, as far
15 as I can remember, and the others were down there outside.
16 Q. Yes. But we are talking about the car now. So you're quite sure
17 that it was the same car, judging by the sound that you heard?
18 A. Well, if there were others, I don't know. There are plenty of
19 cars by the noise, but I don't know about others. I think this must have
20 been the same one but, as I said, I didn't see it.
21 Q. Madam, in your statement to the investigator of the OTP, you
22 said, and allow me to read from your statement, and I just wish you to
23 tell me whether that is what you told them, when talking about the
24 soldiers who left after looting your property, your belongings, your
1 JUDGE HUNT: Can you give us a reference?
2 MR. DOMAZET: Yes. 5593 -- it's -- 584559.
3 JUDGE HUNT: This is for the assistance of the interpreters. You
4 can give it to them in B/C/S but they will need to have the document so
5 they can check.
6 MR. DOMAZET: Yes. [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's just one
7 sentence is involved. And it says in this paragraph:
8 "The soldiers then said that we could stay there until the
9 morning. They said that they were going to buy a lamb or something like
10 that. I saw them get into a car and drive off. The car was old, quite
11 noisy. It was getting dark. It was around sunset. So I couldn't see too
12 well. All three of the soldiers left."
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Madam, do you remember saying that? Madam?
15 A. I don't know that I said they left in the car, but I know about
16 the noise, that they collected the money and the jewellery and
17 said, "We are going now to eat and drink. You stay there and you will be
18 leaving tomorrow." Now, whether I said that they entered the car, that I
19 saw them get into the car, I don't know that. I don't know. But to
20 everything else, I can say yes, but as to me seeing them get into the car,
21 I don't know.
22 Q. It even says here that you said that the car was very old.
23 A. Yes, yes, because of the noise. I knew by the noise that it was
24 an old car.
25 Q. Yes. But it also says that you saw them get in and that all three
1 left. Do you remember that?
2 A. They did leave, all three of them, but as to me seeing them
3 getting into the car, I don't know I said that. The car was old judging
4 by the noise and all three left, one after the another. Now, whether I
5 saw them getting into the car, I don't know that that is what I said. And
6 I'm telling you with precision now, regardless of the fact that he's a
7 Serb and I'm what I am and he's something else, I do not care about that.
8 I've just come to tell you exactly what happened.
9 Q. If that is what it says here, and this is a statement that you
10 signed, would you allow for the possibility that that is what you told the
11 investigator at the time?
12 A. It may be. This was ten years ago. But it's a long time ago.
13 Sometimes I can't remember what happened yesterday.
14 Q. You made this statement about three years ago, so your memories
15 were, one may assume, fresher then?
16 A. Maybe that's not all that important, whether they got into the car
17 or went off on foot. That is their business. I don't know these three. I
18 wouldn't recognise them if this one hadn’t introduced himself. I wouldn't
19 know Mitar either if he hadn't said what his name was. I wouldn't be able
20 to recognise him. And I would have said the same about him as I say about
21 these three men. I didn't know them. This Milan came and said that he was
22 Sredoje Lukic and that is how I know.
23 Q. The part of the description when you said that darkness was
24 falling, when these three soldiers left, that you could still see but
25 darkness was falling?
1 A. One could still see. It was almost dark but you could still see.
2 Q. Do you perhaps remember or could you tell us roughly what time it was?
3 A. It was in the summer, the 14th of June, so maybe an hour before
4 nightfall or half an hour before nightfall. I don't know, but one could
5 see when they were taking our things, because this house had no lights and
6 that is how I know that one could still see, because there was no
7 electricity anywhere then.
8 Q. Very well. I understand that one could still see but it was close
9 to nightfall, about an hour or half an hour before nightfall when these
10 men left?
11 A. Yes, they were obviously doing their business. And I know there
12 was no electricity and that is how I can tell, but really, I don't know
13 what time it was, so don't press me with these things, please.
14 Q. When you say, Madam, that there was no electricity in this house,
15 do you mean that there was no lighting at all inside in the Memic house?
16 A. There was from the side where people were living in the
17 neighbourhood, but in the house itself, when darkness fell, we couldn't
18 see. We could see the lighting of the other streets where people were
19 living but in this particular house, there was no light. I don't know.
20 Q. I understand that you could see from the light coming from other
21 houses, as you are telling us, but my question is: Are you sure that in
22 the Memic house that you were in that night, there was no electricity at
23 all so it was not possible to switch on any light?
24 A. I don't know. In the room I was in, because we spread out into
25 different rooms, there was no light. My son fell asleep and I sat next to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 him. As to whether there was light in the other rooms, I didn't walk
2 around, I don't know anything about others. I'm just talking about myself
3 and not about others, so there was no light in my room.
4 Q. Very well. That night, when you heard the noisy car arriving
5 again and this person who was with you who said, "These are coming to kill
6 us or to set us on fire," was there any lighting in front of the house, in
7 the house or did you just walk out into the darkness under the street
9 A. As they arrived, they switched on the lights and one could see.
10 And a soldier came to the door and told us to get ready, that we should
11 not take our things, that we had to go down there because they couldn't
12 protect us there, and he stood at the door. I woke my child up and got
13 him ready, and myself. I left my bags. Then these others left first. I
14 was the last. And this soldier was waiting for me. There was a little
15 light from somewhere but I bowed my head down and I led my child, and
16 headed in the direction I was told.
17 Q. You told us that at one point they switched off the car lights
18 before you headed for this other house.
19 A. Maybe, maybe. I don't know. I'm not quite sure. I don't know.
20 Anyway, when I was walking, there was a little light coming from
21 somewhere, but I bowed my head and I just followed the people who were
22 walking in front of me.
23 Q. Does that mean that you went in a line towards this other house
24 and you were at the very end of that line?
25 A. Yes. Well, everyone was getting ready in his own time. Someone
1 came out earlier. I was the last to enter that house. Everyone else had
2 got in. I was the last to arrive.
3 Q. And then the only light was the light coming from some houses
4 nearby, as you say?
5 A. Yes. I don't know. We were terrified so I didn't pay attention.
6 I just went forward so I don't know. I really don't know.
7 Q. As you were walking in that direction, do you remember now whether
8 you were walking in the dark or could you see quite well? Was it
9 well-lighted or were there no lights?
10 A. No it wasn't well-lighted. You could see a little. How much it's
11 difficult to say. I saw nothing anyway because I saw that we were going
12 towards the sound of the water and I realised that something was wrong. So
13 for me, it was darkness, with light or without light.
14 Q. Did you recognise any of the soldiers that were there then?
15 A. No, I didn't, but according to what others said, they were the
16 same ones that had plundered us and that had come now to take our souls as
18 Q. When you say that, that other people were saying that they were
19 the same ones, you mean Milan Lukic, Sredoje Lukic, and Laco?
20 A. I don't want to say whether this neighbour of ours took part. This
21 one, but I'm accusing him because he knew that we were there and he didn't
22 keep his promise. That is what I am accusing him, but as to whether
23 he was there or not, let him tell you that. That is what I am trying to
24 say to you. I'm not accusing him of anything else but the fact that he
25 made this promise and if he had kept that promise, I wouldn't have been
1 here and my people would be alive and everything would be better.
2 Q. One of those soldiers was a soldier, as you were saying, right
3 next to the door of the Omeragic house and who was pushing people inside.
4 He pushed you in too, didn't he?
5 A. Yes. He pushed me with his rifle and he cursed my balija mother
6 and he said, "Where is your Alija now to help you?"
7 Q. And you said that this soldier later shot his rifle and then
8 opened the door -- just let me finish, please. And then he said that it
9 was the Green Berets that were shooting; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you recognise that soldier?
12 A. I didn't even look at him. All I thought about was how to save
13 my life. I had no interest in looking at him. I just know that they were
14 the people who had put us up there.
15 Q. But Madam, in your statement to the investigator, you have given
16 the first and last name of that soldier. Do you remember telling the
17 investigator the first and last name of that soldier?
18 A. Of course it was Sredoje and Milan and these other people. Now,
19 whether it was -- if this fellow was there or not, let him tell you.
20 Whether he was one of them, let him say. And then these people came in an
21 hour and a half and then an hour and a half later again to take our lives,
22 whether he was among them, I don't know.
23 Q. Do you remember that you told the investigator the name of the
24 person standing in the door? Or do you wish me to remind you what you
25 told the investigators then?
1 A. Well, yes. Let me hear it.
2 Q. You said then that it was Sredoje Lukic. Do you remember?
3 A. Well, I just now said it was Sredoje Lukic, just before you asked
4 me this question.
5 Q. You said that you were among the last or maybe the last to enter
6 this room. Do you recall another elderly person who, like you, survived
7 this? Do you remember him being there too?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did he enter before you or after you?
10 A. He went in before me. He was next to the door. He was standing
11 next to the door.
12 Q. Do you remember how many windows there were in that room?
13 A. I saw my window, and when I was talking to this man, whose house,
14 a year later, he said that there was another window next to the window
15 that I broke and jumped out of, so I didn't look around. I don't know. I
16 was just looking for a way to save myself. I wasn't looking at the
17 windows because I didn't have time.
18 Q. So you know from what others said later that there were two
19 windows, but you only remember the window you jumped out of?
20 A. Yes, of course. That's right, yes.
21 Q. My next question was to be whether it was a window closer to you
22 or further away. That question is pointless. But could you tell us
23 whether the window was close to the side where the door to the house was?
24 A. No, no. I don't know. I just know about the window I jumped out
25 of. I don't know how I got in even.
1 Q. Do you perhaps remember that this person, the soldier who was at
2 the door, who pushed you in, that he mistreated another elderly person
3 with words or in some other way?
4 A. I don't know because I was the last to get in. Maybe he did, but
5 I don't know. I don't remember. Because if that is what I said, could
6 you repeat it to me? And I will say yes or no.
7 Q. No. You didn't say that. I was just asking whether you had
8 noticed that. Today, Madam, you said -- you were talking about the
9 people who had escaped through the window and you mentioned a witness
10 number 13, saying that this witness was wounded. Did you hear about that,
11 that he had been wounded, from that witness or from others later, or were
12 you able to see that at the time it happened?
13 A. VG39, when we reached the village where we found accommodation,
14 some 20 kilometres away, this witness said that his mother had jumped out
15 but that they had either killed her or wounded her, and we were the first
16 to get out, so I don't know.
17 Q. I'm sorry, I made a mistake. I gave you a different number. My
18 mistake. But you have answered my question. So Witness 38 is the witness
19 who told you that his mother had been wounded?
20 A. Yes, yes. He was the third to come out, because as we were
21 leaving, when they threw the bomb and set light to the house.
22 Q. Is it true to say that you and your son jumped out and that you
23 were not shot at?
24 A. No. They were still next to the door, watching how people were
25 screaming and yelling for help, and looking at the fire. Whether they had
1 some bottles in their hands or not, I don't know, but we were the first to
2 get out, and so when we reached the water, then some light was cast on us,
3 but we managed to jump into that water, into the stream.
4 Q. So the moment you were jumping out, there were no soldiers on
5 that side of the house below the window?
6 A. No, no. There weren't any when I and my son jumped out, but when
7 number 38 came, he saw his mother being wounded, and he said, "My mother's
8 either been killed or wounded."
9 Q. When you were describing those soldiers who were coming, you said
10 that they were in uniform. Do you have any understanding of military
11 uniforms, any knowledge of military uniforms?
12 A. Camouflage uniforms, multi-coloured, camouflage uniformed, those
13 who came to take our money and jewellery. But then later, when we went
14 down there, I didn't look. I just saw the one at the door, that he was in
15 a uniform. Now, as for the others, I don't know. I didn't see them.
16 Q. So when you were talking about the uniforms of these persons, you
17 meant camouflage uniforms? You've heard the word "camouflage"?
18 A. Yes. There were camouflage and also reserve uniforms, and also
19 multi-coloured. There were both. There were both kinds. When these
20 three men came, then they were, yes.
21 Q. You said of Mitar Vasiljevic that he was dressed in a black suit,
22 didn't you?
23 A. Yes, with a hat.
24 Q. Do you remember whether he had anything on his feet, and what?
25 A. No, it didn't interest me.
1 Q. You said today that he had a coat on?
2 A. Yes, yes, a long one. A long coat, a hat, a feather in his hat.
3 Q. Is that how you described him to the investigator?
4 A. Well, I don't know now what I said, I may have left something
5 out, but what I saw I am saying. I may have forgotten something, but if
6 there is more, please remind me and I'll say yes or no.
7 Q. Let me remind you regarding the coat, because in those
8 statements, you never mentioned a coat. You spoke about a suit and a hat,
9 but you never mentioned a coat.
10 A. Yes. He did wear a coat. Surely you don't think I'm making
11 things up. He had a long coat, as long as a skirt. Maybe they didn't
12 understand me when I was making my statement. What I'm saying now, I'll
13 say the same for as long as I live. Yes.
14 Q. After this event, did you discuss this with anyone else except
15 Witness 38 that you've just told us about? Did you talk to the other
16 survivors of this tragedy?
17 A. No, we weren't together, no. These died. I didn't. There was
18 one, Edhem Kurspahic. He said about Laco, that he knew him, so we did
19 talk, but I wasn't really interested in discussing it much.
20 Q. What I mean is -- I'm referring to the people who survived this.
21 So apart from Witness 38, in the eight or nine years that have gone by,
22 have you discussed the event with other witnesses, other survivors?
23 A. No one is close by to me because everyone is telling what they
24 experienced, and me, too. Each one of us had a different perception. I
25 was the last to get in. Someone got in first. And those who said that
1 there were something sticky, maybe they saw better. I'm only telling you
2 what I saw. And as for discussing it, I always avoided discussing it
3 because it affects my health.
4 Q. Very well. But my question is: How do you know that others told
5 the story differently if you never spoke to them?
6 A. I don't know what people say. I just said "perhaps." I've come
7 to tell you what I experienced but I -- if someone else said something
8 differently, I don't know.
9 Q. And this person that you mentioned a moment ago by surname, was
10 that a person who survived or has some connections to the event?
11 A. Yes. It was also a child. He was a child. What could I discuss
12 with him? He's not with me, so -- I talk to my own child, as to what we
13 experienced, and I don't know. He has a different perception. He got out
14 alone and left alone. He has a different perception.
15 Q. You're referring to your son?
16 A. No, no. I'm referring to this person under number 38.
17 Q. So you heard from him a different account; is that what you're
19 A. Well, I wasn't really listening. He didn't really tell me. I
20 didn't really listen. I can't hear a different opinion when I'm telling
21 you what I know. Let me -- I'm repeating it again. Everyone tells his
22 own story. Even my child. I lost control as soon as I got in. Even my
23 child will give a different account, who was there and who stayed behind
24 me, because I broke the window and I jumped out until he got -- caught up
25 with me and said, "Let's run mother." So I don't know what he'll say. He
1 will given you a different account, too.
2 JUDGE HUNT: It's 1.00. We will adjourn until 2.30.
3 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.28 p.m.
2 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet.
3 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Madam, when you were explaining this morning
5 about the moment when you jumped out, you said that there were no soldiers
6 shooting at you, but that that was what happened to the witness you
7 mentioned, Witness number 13, and that you heard that from Witness 38.
8 Asked by Mr. Groome, you said that a flashlight was pointed at that
9 person. Did you hear that from the witness too? As from your statement,
10 you don't seem to have seen that actually taking place.
11 A. I didn't understand you.
12 Q. [No interpretation]
13 JUDGE HUNT: We are not getting any translation. Might I suggest,
14 why don't you simply ask her did she actually see the flashlight herself
15 or did she just hear it from some other witness? That's the point of the
17 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Madam, my question was: Did you yourself
19 personally see one of the soldiers throwing light on the person that was
20 jumping out of the window and was shot, or did you hear that from one of
21 the witnesses?
22 A. I -- when I came down, I turned around and saw this light. I saw
23 it and thought that somebody was coming after me, to look for me. I don't
24 know anything about the witness, the witness who jumped out after me. I
25 saw them flash a light and I thought that they were pursuing me.
1 Q. So when you saw the flashlight, you saw it after you had jumped
2 out when you were down in the creek; is that right?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. Were you able to recognise the person who held the flashlight?
5 A. No, because when he was flashing the light, you couldn't see him
6 so, no, I didn't. I was doing my best to hide. I thought he was looking
7 for me.
8 Q. After what had happened to you, did you ever go back to your
9 native village?
10 A. Yes, three times.
11 Q. On one of those occasions, did you talk to the man we recognised
12 and named today as Milorad Lipovac?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In answer to a question by Mr. Groome, you said -- and would
15 you have a look at the list, the list if front of you, persons 108 and
16 101. You said that you recognised them and that one of them was with you
17 at the moment of the looting, when the looting took place and when they
18 forced to you take your clothes off; is that right?
19 A. Yes, yes. The number was 78. 78.
20 Q. Did the witnesses remain with you until the -- for the remainder
21 of the night until you went to Omeragic's house?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Can you explain what happened to them and how you know?
24 A. I heard this later. I didn't know at the time, because they all
25 left, but I heard this later on, when I was transferred to Zepa, that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 those two persons had escaped to some houses up above, not where we were
2 down below, and that they had left to the free territory.
3 Q. So you didn't actually see that, you heard about it later on; is
4 that right? Have I understood you correctly?
5 A. Yes, you have understood me correctly. That's how it was. I
6 didn't know whether they were inside because there were some people who
7 didn't appear. It wasn't that there were ten or 15 people. There were
9 Q. Do you know, Madam, whether any of the people who were with you in
10 one house or the other house, in the course of that night, left the house
11 and left, before the soldiers arrived?
12 A. I don't know which house you mean. Jusuf's house up above or down
13 below where we were forced to flee to. I don't know which house you
15 Q. I mean Memic's house, Madam, where you were before they sent you
16 to Omeragic's house?
17 A. Yes, yes. We were not all there. Other people were down below.
18 And they arrived before me.
19 Q. Madam, I don't think you understood my question. What I'm asking
20 you is this: Of the people that came together with you yourself, from
21 Koritnik and from Sase and who were in the Memic houses that afternoon,
22 did any of those individuals leave before the last arrival of the soldiers
23 in the night?
24 A. I don't know. As far as I know, -- well, I don't really know. We
25 were sent into three rooms after all the looting. I was together with my
1 son. I really couldn't say whether somebody left or not during the
2 night. I'm not quite clear. I don't know.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. DOMAZET: I have no further questions, Your Honour. I don't
5 know whether this is the right moment to try to harmonise something in the
6 statement to the investigator, together with the Prosecution, because I'm
7 going to do this with another witness. Do I do that now or not?
8 JUDGE HUNT: I suggest you do it now, Mr. Domazet.
9 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] On page 584559 of the English
10 version, of the English text, that is page 8, in paragraph 4, it says the
11 following: "That she saw the soldiers getting into the car. She saw that
12 the car was old and quite noisy, and that all three soldiers left." I can
13 read out that whole paragraph if necessary. If there is something that we
14 don't agree upon in that paragraph.
15 JUDGE HUNT: So that's not a quote, as the transcript suggests,
16 that's your interpretation of the paragraph, is it?
17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Perhaps the best thing would be for
18 me to read out the whole paragraph word by word and then Mr. Groome can
19 state his opinion.
20 JUDGE HUNT: No, just wait a minute. Do you agree that that's
21 what she said in the course of her statement?
22 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, my preference would be to -- Mr. Domazet
23 or myself to read whatever sentences he wants to put in issue and I will
24 agree that they have been accurately read from the statement. I'd prefer
25 he didn't paraphrase anything in the statement.
1 JUDGE HUNT: All right. You go ahead, Mr. Domazet.
2 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] I have the English version so I'll
3 try to read it out in English myself. [In English] Soldiers then said
4 that we could stay there until the morning. They said that they were
5 going to buy some lambs and eat well. I saw them get into a car and drive
6 off. The car was old, quite noisy. It was getting dark, around sunset,
7 so we could not see too clearly. All three of the soldiers left.
8 MR. GROOME: I agree that he has read that accurately.
9 JUDGE HUNT: I don't know how it could have been interpreted
10 otherwise than as Mr. Domazet suggested, but nevertheless it's fair enough
11 if you want it in terms. Yes, do you want to re-examine, Mr. Groome?
12 MR. GROOME: Just one question, Your Honour.
13 Re-examined by Mr. Groome.
14 Q. Witness VG18, Mr. Domazet asked you how it was you learnt that
15 Witness number 78 and Witness number 101 had escaped that night and you
16 said that you learnt about it in Zepa. Can I ask you to tell us
17 approximately when it was you learnt about this fact in Zepa?
18 A. Yes, I can tell you that. I fled to a village, the name is
19 Gostilja, and they came to make the people flee from there. That was the
20 last village. And a woman said, "Are you -- someone like you did the
21 Kurspahics" and they said, "Who did that? We don't know anything about
22 it." And then this woman came out. Such and such a person escaped. And
23 then some acquaintances of my brother's took me to Zepa, together with
24 their families, and when I got there, I heard that those girls had escaped
25 and that they had got to Babin Potok and that the brother of -- let me see
1 her number here, 78, and her sister, and that this brother took them
2 across the Drina to where our army and our people were.
3 Q. Did you learn about this fact during the summer of 1992?
4 A. Well, yes, yes. Perhaps not even a month had gone by. Yes.
5 MR. GROOME: Thank you very much. No further questions Your
7 JUDGE HUNT: Judge Taya wants to ask a question.
8 Questioned by the Court:
9 JUDGE TAYA: VG18, you answered to the Prosecution's question that
10 there were people with flashlights or torches between the house and the
11 creek. Then I ask you: How many people were there with flashlights or
12 torches at that time?
13 A. I don't understand. What I said that, when I went out and went
14 towards the creek, there was the light behind us. They flashed the light
15 behind us. But we quickly went into the creek and hid behind a thick tree
16 trunk so I don't know who was up there or which people could jump out.
17 All I was worried about was the two of us escaping. I didn't see anybody
18 else. We just heard the commotion but there was water, it was raining,
19 there were leaves so I don't know actually, I don't know.
20 JUDGE TAYA: Then flashlights were coming from only one
22 A. Yes, behind me.
23 JUDGE TAYA: Thank you.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Did you see a flashlight or did you see a light that
25 was flashing?
1 A. I said light, something coming from a hand. I don't know. All I
2 was worried about is to save my life. I wasn't looking to see what it
3 actually was. I just got into the water and continued on my way but of
4 course it wasn't a light bulb, it had to have been something that someone
5 had in their hand, from a hand.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, do you want to ask any questions arising
7 out of those answers?
8 MR. DOMAZET: No, thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome?
10 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you, Madam, your task now is finished. We are
12 very grateful to you for coming to give evidence and for the evidence you
13 gave. You are now free to leave.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank God.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, while the next witness is coming, I am
17 somewhat concerned about Dr. De Grave tomorrow. After I'd read his first
18 report, I made a suggestion I thought in fairly firm terms, that somebody
19 whose mother tongue was English should take him through so that he could
20 write a report that could be understood. This report is almost as bad as
21 the other. It hasn't got the glaring faults about the X-rays in it, but
22 it's almost incomprehensible. Now, how is his evidence going to be given,
23 from the reports or can we ask, for example, what did he see in the first
24 X-ray? What did he see in the second X-ray? Which are the real issues in
25 this case.
1 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour I will be asking him to compare the
2 two X-rays and what it was -- what did he base his opinion regarding
3 whether they are the same X-rays, X-rays of the same leg or not.
4 JUDGE HUNT: Half of his report I frankly do not know what it's
5 directed to. Now, I've been reading medical reports for 40-odd years, I
6 suppose, and I have never read any quite so incomprehensible as these. I
7 don't understand the relevance of most of it. He says, for example, that
8 the taking of the X-rays, the second X-rays, was disturbed by an
9 assistant. And he leaves it there. Now, is it significant or is it not?
10 Did it destroy the validity of the X-ray? This is the sort of thing which
11 I would have thought that you could find a better, if I may put it, a
12 better experienced witness who realises, as I'm sure Dr. De Grave does not
13 realise, that it's for us to make up our minds. We just don't accept his
14 opinion. We have to make up our minds based on the expert opinions that
15 are put before us. And this report gives us no assistance at all.
16 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, as you know the history of this, the
17 choice of this particular expert, he was on the Registrar's list of people
18 designated for this expertise. It wasn't somebody that the Prosecutor
19 sought out as the most competent person to testify but as somebody who had
20 been preselected by the Registrar as with the competency to give an
21 opinion to the Court on this particular matter.
22 JUDGE HUNT: Well, his expertise seems to be extraordinarily
23 wide. The last time I heard him giving evidence was about a man's
24 testicles. I just don't know why we get somebody like this to tell us
25 about X-rays when he seems incapable of explaining what the relevance of
1 his comments are. So hopefully, we will be able to take it very simply on
2 what is relevant to the case. And it's very simple. We have got to work
3 out whether the second lot of X-rays are a fair indication of what was
4 seen by the first one, the length was the same, for example, and that the
5 injuries which are described were or were not on the first X-ray, and
6 whether the injuries on the second X-ray could possibly have been those of
7 the person who was X-rayed on the first occasion. Perhaps not possibly
8 but it's -- could it not reasonably have been possible that they -- the
9 two people were the same.
10 MR. GROOME: I'll be speaking with him later this evening and I'll
11 advise him of the Judge's concerns or the Chamber's concerns.
12 JUDGE HUNT: All right. Then, who is your next witness?
13 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the next witness for the Prosecution is
15 JUDGE HUNT: If he or she is not finished at 4.00, I think we
16 should start with Dr. De Grave in the morning and get him out of the way.
17 MR. GROOME: I believe he's arriving at 10.00, Your Honour. I
18 know he would appreciate being taken when he arrives, but I know he isn't
19 arriving until about quarter to ten.
20 JUDGE HUNT: If he can't get here at half past nine, then he'll
21 have to take his place on the list. All right.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE HUNT: Now, sir, will you please make the solemn declaration
24 in the documents which the court usher is showing you?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
1 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 WITNESS: WITNESS VG84
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE HUNT: Sit down, please, sir, thank you.
5 Now the pseudonym document will be Exhibit 91; is that right?
6 MR. GROOME: Yes, 91.
7 JUDGE HUNT: And it will be under seal.
8 Yes Mr. Groome.
9 Examined by Mr. Groome:
10 Q. Thank you. Good afternoon, Witness number 84. I'd ask you to
11 look at the -- I'd ask you to look at Exhibit P91, which should be placed
12 in front of you. Is that your name on the top line of that document?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And is that your date of birth on the second line of the
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In order to conceal your identity we will refer to you as Witness
18 number 84. If you need to refer to any of the witnesses indicated on that
19 sheet of paper, I'd ask you to do so by their code number indicated on
20 that sheet of paper. I'm going to ask you to briefly describe some of
21 your background to the Court. Were you born in the village of Koritnik in
22 the Visegrad?
23 A. Yes, I was born in the village of Koritnik, Visegrad municipality.
24 Q. And did you go to school in Visegrad?
25 A. No. In Prelovo, the local community of Prelovo.
1 Q. And what grade did you complete in Prelovo before leaving the
2 Visegrad area?
3 A. Seventh grade.
4 Q. Without telling us where, did you finish your eighth grade
5 education in another place?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Without telling us where, did you do some vocational training
8 for -- to be a traffic technician?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And have you also completed one year of university study in the
11 field of political science?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What is your ethnicity?
14 A. Bosniak.
15 Q. Can you tell the Chamber how old were you at the beginning of the
16 summer of 1992?
17 A. 13.
18 Q. Now, at that time, were you living in Koritnik?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did there come a time when you and other people living in Koritnik
21 fled to the town of Brstanica?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And can you approximate for us when that was?
24 A. It was in the month of April, towards the end of April perhaps. I
25 can't remember the exact date.
1 Q. And where is Brstanica with respect to Koritnik?
2 A. Across the Drina River, Drina divides Brstanica from the other.
3 Q. And how did you cross the river?
4 A. We crossed it in a boat.
5 Q. And as you crossed in the boat, did anything happen?
6 A. Yes. They shot at the boat, our neighbours, the Serbs, did.
7 Q. Without telling us anybody's names, what members of your immediate
8 family did you go to Brstanica with?
9 A. With my father, mother and some relatives.
10 Q. The first night that you stayed in the Brstanica area, did you
11 stay in the forest?
12 A. Yes, we spent the night in the forest.
13 Q. The second day that were you in Brstanica, did you see some
15 A. The second day, we were in Brstanica, we all had to, all the
16 people who were there, who were in the forest, had to go down to the local
18 Q. And did you see soldiers when you did that?
19 A. Yes. We saw the members of the Uzice Corps.
20 Q. And aside from soldiers from the Uzice Corps, did you see some
21 other soldiers who you did not believe to be regular soldiers?
22 A. Yes. They were soldiers with long beards, they weren't
23 clean-shaven, they were dirty. They looked sort of like that.
24 Q. Can you tell us what -- how their age was in comparison to the
25 soldiers from the Uzice Corps?
1 A. Well, they were over 30 years old.
2 Q. And the soldiers in the Uzice Corps, what would have been their
3 approximate age?
4 A. 20, 22 perhaps, thereabouts. Younger soldiers, quite a bit
5 younger. And they looked better kept. Their hair was cut. They were
6 shaved, shaven.
7 Q. Can you describe -- did the uniform of these unusual looking
8 soldiers, was it the same or was it a different looking uniform from those
9 you saw on the soldiers from the Uzice Corps?
10 A. Well, the regular soldiers of the Uzice Corps more or less were
11 wearing the same type of uniform. The others had similar uniforms because
12 they came from the same direction.
13 Q. Can you describe for us what these soldiers did with respect to
14 the people who came out of the forest and into the local community? What
15 did these soldiers do?
16 A. Well, two trucks turned up full of these soldiers and their guns
17 were attached to the trucks. The people who were there in Brstanica, who
18 had gathered in Brstanica were to move towards Visegrad, and the army came
19 to provide security for them. So we were in Brstanica for half an hour.
20 Two trucks came full of soldiers and took up their first positions. It
21 belonged to part of the Visegrad municipality which had not yet been taken
22 over by the army, which was not yet under the control of that army.
23 Q. Did the group of people in Brstanica go in the direction of
25 A. Yes. They moved in the direction of Visegrad.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Approximately how long was the column of people that went to
3 A. Well, the column was over 1 kilometre long.
4 Q. And were there JNA trucks at the front and the rear of the
6 A. Yes. In front of the column, the first truck went in front of the
7 column with this cannon or gun connected to it and the same thing happened
8 at the end of the column.
9 Q. Once the column reached the centre of Visegrad town, where did it
11 A. When we reached Visegrad, I wasn't able to recognise the town at
12 all. It had nothing to do with the beautiful town that I had remembered.
13 It was full of the military, tanks, trucks and other vehicles, all over
14 the streets. They had just arrived from the direction of Dobrun
15 Vardiste. They said things to us and by -- the older people did
17 but the people passed by those trucks and we managed to reach the Visegrad
19 Q. When you arrived at the stadium, were there people there already?
20 A. Yes. At the stadium, members of the White Eagles were already
21 present, and they introduced themselves as members of the White Eagles.
22 Q. And after you arrived, did additional people enter the stadium?
23 A. Yes. There were quite a lot of people before we arrived and there
24 were a lot that came after us.
25 Q. Can you estimate for us the number of people of Muslim ethnicity
1 that had gathered in the stadium that day?
2 A. Well, the stadium was full of people so that they were in their
3 thousands, several thousand.
4 Q. The soldiers that you say introduced themselves as White Eagles,
5 were they armed?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And --
8 A. There were quite a number that were armed, and there were others
9 who were not armed, but mostly they were armed.
10 Q. And can you tell us specifically where in the stadium were they
12 A. They were positioned in the middle of the stadium where their
13 leader was supposed to come and there were some also at the entrance gates
14 to the stadium.
15 Q. Aside from these White Eagles soldiers, were there also members of
16 the JNA, Yugoslav People's Army?
17 A. At the stadium?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. At the stadium, there were mostly members of the White Eagles so I
20 don't remember actually too well about JNA members. I just remember
21 soldiers that were mostly wearing white belts.
22 Q. Did you observe any of the Muslim people attempt to leave the
23 stadium after they had entered the stadium?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. Were they permitted to leave?
1 A. No.
2 Q. At some point, did somebody make an announcement using a megaphone
3 and make an announcement to the people?
4 A. Crowd -- yes, he addressed the crowd.
5 Q. And what did that person say over the megaphone to the crowd?
6 A. That their commander would come, the commander of the White
7 Eagles, from Uzice, from Serbia actually. I apologise, from Serbia.
8 Q. And did he say how he would come?
9 A. In a helicopter.
10 Q. And did a helicopter arrive soon thereafter?
11 A. Soon after that, the helicopter arrived, about 20 minutes later.
12 Q. And did a commander come from or leave the helicopter and address
13 the crowd?
14 A. Yes, yes. His soldiers took up positions in the middle of the
15 stadium and the helicopter landed. And their commander came out and he
16 addressed the people.
17 Q. Did he say something about the villages on the western or left
18 bank of the Drina?
19 A. Yes. He said on the left bank of the Drina all the people may go
20 back home because his army had already cleansed the area; whereas the
21 right bank of the Drina, people should not go back to, no one may go back
22 to, until the next day and that we had to spend the night in the Drina
24 Q. And which side of Drina is the -- is Koritnik, the right or left
1 A. The right.
2 Q. Were people searched at that time?
3 A. Yes, all the people were searched.
4 Q. Now, you've just told us that the people were -- or some of the
5 people were instructed to stay at the Drina hotel. Did you stay at the
6 Drina hotel that night?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And how many nights did you stay at the Drina hotel?
9 A. Yes, one.
10 Q. Can you approximate for us how many Muslims were in the hotel that
12 A. Well, there were quite a number of our people there, but I could
13 not tell you the number, because these were people from several villages
14 on the right bank of the Drina.
15 Q. Did you feel safe there?
16 A. We didn't feel safe.
17 Q. And why didn't you feel safe?
18 A. We had no protection there.
19 Q. That night, were you able to hear gunfire?
20 A. Yes, yes. There was gunfire and no one could sleep. It was close
21 by, the shooting.
22 Q. And did that gunfire last throughout the night?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did there come a time when you eventually did return to the
25 village of Koritnik?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. And were you escorted by any members of the military?
3 A. Yes, two soldiers.
4 Q. And on the way back up to your village, did you see whether any
5 houses belonging to Muslim people had been burnt on the way?
6 A. Yes. Some Muslim houses had been burnt.
7 Q. And were you insulted by people of Serb ethnicity on the way
9 A. Well, when we left town there were no insults by neighbours.
10 Q. After you returned to Koritnik, did you hear accounts of people
11 being arrested and other houses being burnt?
12 A. Yes. My village is 7 kilometres from Visegrad, and the whole
13 district counts some 30 villages, and all were burnt. My village and
14 another village, only remained and it was their turn to evacuate. And one
15 could see quite a lot of the burning and everything else.
16 Q. I want to draw your attention now to the second week of June in
17 1992 and ask you did there come a day when you saw a red van and a truck
18 driving in the direction of the village of Musici?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Was there something unusual about this red van?
21 A. Yes. This vehicle would move around the whole area, around all
22 those villages.
23 Q. And could you describe this red vehicle for us?
24 A. Yes. It's a vehicle that could take about six to eight
25 passengers. And in whatever village it appeared, so it came to my
1 village, two or three times, but the neighbours wouldn't let it come in.
2 So it was turned back. The vehicle didn't have an exhaust pipe and it
3 made quite a lot of noise.
4 Q. The neighbours that turned the red vehicle back, were they your
5 Serb neighbours?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. The day after you saw this red vehicle and a truck driving towards
8 Musici, did a person by the name of Jasmina Vila come and stay with you in
9 your house?
10 A. Yes. She came the next day to my house.
11 Q. What village is she from?
12 A. From the village of Musici.
13 Q. And did she describe for you what occurred in the village of
15 A. Yes, that day, the red van had come and all the men, about 20 of
16 them, I am talking in approximate numbers because I don't know the exact
17 number, they were called to attend some sort of a meeting.
18 Q. And what happened?
19 A. And then they all had to get on to the truck, there was no
20 meeting, and they were driven off in an unknown direction so that several
21 persons, Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic, and a girl whose name I don't
22 know, took part in this as well as several other soldiers. That was what
23 Jasmina Vila told us, who unfortunately is no longer alive. She lost her
24 life in the fire in Pionirska Street, because she knew well, Sredoje
25 Lukic, who had driven this vehicle seven days prior to this, and she had
1 run away from him.
2 Q. Did she describe being taken to the village of Rujiste?
3 A. Yes. Sredoje Lukic took her to his village, Rujiste, which is
4 about 30 kilometres from Visegrad. What he did to her, she wouldn't say.
5 She wouldn't tell me and my family.
6 Q. Did she tell you that she was afraid of him?
7 A. Yes, yes. That is why she came to my village, because her
8 village, Musici, was right next to the road.
9 Q. Did there come a time when a Serb neighbour of yours in Koritnik
10 came to your house and told you --
11 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, I'm afraid you've got so far ahead of the
12 French translation that you're losing them.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Shall we slow down?
14 MR. GROOME: I think so.
15 Q. Did there come a time when a Serb neighbour of yours from the
16 village of Koritnik came to your house and told you that you had to leave
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you tell us what day was that?
20 A. It was around the 11th of June.
21 Q. And when did that person say you had to leave the village?
22 A. We were supposed to leave two to three days later. That no one
23 could continue to guarantee our safety in that village.
24 Q. Do you recall the date on which you left the village of Koritnik?
25 A. Well, the 14th of June.
1 Q. Who from your immediate family, without telling us their names,
2 went -- left the village of Koritnik that day?
3 A. My mother and father. And many relatives. My whole family, my
5 Q. What was your understanding about where you were going that day?
6 A. We were told that we were going to Kladanj.
7 Q. Did your father go in that -- with you in the direction -- I'm
9 A. No. A Serb neighbour told him to take to the woods.
10 Q. What was your understanding of how you would get to Kladanj?
11 A. By bus. That's what we were told.
12 Q. And where were you to get on these buses?
13 A. A place called Greben, 20 kilometres from Koritnik. Again, I'm
14 giving approximate figures.
15 Q. And did you arrive in Greben that morning?
16 A. Yes. We arrived in Greben.
17 Q. And were there buses there?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Did you leave from Greben to go to Visegrad?
20 A. Yes. We headed towards Visegradska Banja, the spa.
21 Q. And after reaching Visegradska Banja, did you go on to the centre
22 of Visegrad town?
23 A. We were stopped there. There was their checkpoint there, the Serb
24 checkpoint. Those people had no information about the people coming, and
25 so they telephoned, they called up Visegrad, and the bus was standing at
1 the widening of the road, on the side of the road, but there was no
3 Q. Where precisely was the bus?
4 A. Just behind the Serb checkpoint in Visegradska Banja, so there was
5 the -- the road widened there.
6 Q. Is this area also known as Sase?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did there come a time when you left this area and continued on to
9 the centre of Visegrad town?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. Can you approximate for the Court when it was you arrived in
12 Visegrad that day?
13 A. So in Sase some more people joined us. I forgot to mention that.
14 And we arrived in Visegrad at about half past twelve or 1.00 roughly.
15 Q. And where was the first place that you went to when you arrived in
17 A. To the SUP building of Visegrad municipality.
18 Q. And what happened at the SUP building?
19 A. Well, the guard came out. He had no information about us. He
20 asked, "Who are you? What are you doing here?" And he said that they
21 were not responsible for this. And he told us to go to the Red Cross, the
22 new hotel.
23 Q. The new hotel, is that the hotel that's by the old bridge?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. And did you and other members of the group go to the new hotel?
1 A. Yes, and we arrived in front of the hotel.
2 Q. Did there come a time when somebody came out of the new hotel?
3 A. We arrived in front of the hotel and there too was a guard. He
4 was armed.
5 Q. Can you tell us what happened?
6 A. A dog started barking, belonging to one of my relatives, and he
7 asked whose dog it was. And my relative said it was his, and he said,
8 "Take him over there to the land" -- "plateau." He removed the rifle from
9 his shoulder and he shot about ten bullets into that dog. The owner came
10 back to join the group, and then he told others to pick up the dog and
11 carry him to the old bridge and throw him away. However, these people
12 said it wasn't their dog, and he said, "You go up there and I'll show you
13 too." However, the older women managed to plead with him and they took
14 the dog to the bridge and threw it over. So a person came out in front of
15 the Red Cross, who didn't introduce himself. He spoke to the people from
16 a distance of some ten metres, and again approximately, and the person
17 said that the convoys had left at 12.00 and that we had to spend the night
18 somewhere. And only the next day would there be a convoy for us.
19 Q. I'm going to ask you just a pull your chair in a little bit so
20 you're closer to the microphone. Apparently they are having some
21 difficulty hearing everything you're saying. Okay. Was anything said
22 about where you should spend the night?
23 A. Yes. In the Visegrad Mahala, that means the right bank of the
25 Q. And is Pionirska Street in the district of Mahala?
1 A. Yes. It's also known as the Pionirska Mahala.
2 Q. Did you and other members of the group go up to Pionirska Street
3 that day?
4 A. Yes. All of us, we headed for the Pionirska Street.
5 Q. And do you recall whether or not you were accompanied by any Serbs
6 on the way up to Pionirska Street?
7 A. I don't recall.
8 Q. And approximately how long was the group of people that travelled
9 up to Pionirska Street that day?
10 A. It took about 30 minutes.
11 Q. The group of people that went up, was it one continuous group or
12 were there gaps between some of the people?
13 A. There were gaps, quite a lot, because people were carrying things.
14 Q. Would it be fair to say that some people were slower than others?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. Had you ever been to this area before?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And --
19 A. I had.
20 Q. On approximately how many occasions?
21 A. Well, maybe -- quite a number of occasions.
22 Q. And what was your reason for being in this area?
23 A. I had some relatives there. I went to attend certain tournaments
24 and with school there.
25 Q. Are you familiar with the school that's up on Pionirska Street?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. When you arrived on Pionirska Street, did you go to a particular
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you know the name of the person who owned that house?
6 A. I think the surname was Memic, Jusuf, something like that.
7 Q. And can you describe what happened after you arrived at the
9 A. So I was towards the end of the column, and when we arrived in front
10 of that house, a person arrived who exchanged greetings with (redacted)
11 (redacted) and shook hands with him.
12 Q. Can you describe for us how this person was dressed?
13 A. Yes. The person had a suit, a camouflage -- it looked black.
14 Q. And was the person wearing anything on their head?
15 A. Yes, a hat.
16 Q. Can you describe for us the hat in greater detail?
17 A. Well, it was a long time ago. I can't remember, to be able to
18 describe it.
19 Q. Can you describe what this person looked like, their approximate
20 height, their approximate weight?
21 A. Yes. The person wasn't tall, rather short, rather heavy. The
22 person was not armed. That's as much as I can say.
23 Q. Was this the first time that you saw this man?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did there come a time when investigators from the Office of the
1 Prosecutor showed you a set of photographs including pictures of 12
2 different men?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Were you able to recognise any of the people in that group of
6 A. I wasn't able to recognise because there were several photographs
7 that looked alike, so I did not recognise them.
8 Q. Now, you were telling us about -- or telling us that this person
9 approached Mujo. What is Mujo's last name?
10 A. Yes. (redacted), from the village of Sase, who was with us in
11 the column.
12 Q. And who spoke first, this person that you saw or Mr. (redacted)
14 A. This person, because Mujo didn't have a voice. He didn't dare
16 Q. And what did this person say to (redacted)?
17 A. He extended his hand and said, "Where have you been? How are you,
18 Mujo?" And the answer was, "And how have you been, Mitar?" So I knew
19 they were talking about a Mitar.
20 Q. Can you give us an idea of where you were at the time Mujo and
21 this person who Mujo referred to as Mitar, how far were you from these two
23 A. I was from between three to four metres away.
24 Q. And were you able to hear the conversation that occurred between
1 A. It was a brief conversation, and that person then addressed all
2 the people there.
3 Q. And were you present during that entire conversation between Mujo
4 and this person Mujo referred to as Mitar?
5 A. I was close by, close by. I was no longer interested in that, but
6 I was very close by.
7 Q. After they finished their conversation, what happened?
8 A. He introduced himself to everyone.
9 Q. I'd ask you to say what -- when you say, "He" who are you
10 referring to?
11 A. Mitar Vasiljevic.
12 Q. I'd ask you to use his words when you describe what he said. You
13 said he introduced himself to everyone. Can you tell us exactly what it
14 was he said?
15 A. "My name is Mitar Vasiljevic. I represent the Red Cross. I am in
16 charge of your accommodation and security."
17 Q. What else was said?
18 A. He asked us whether we had settled down in the house. And as he
19 saw that we were settled in, he said that we would be safe and secure.
20 And that we had to spend the night there.
21 Q. What happened then?
22 A. He said that there would be a convoy the next day and that nobody
23 would touch us.
24 Q. What happened then?
25 A. Then he left.
1 Q. Before he left, did he given anything to anyone in the group?
2 A. Yes, he did. I apologise. He did give something. He took out a
3 note pad, a certificate, and wrote down something and gave it to (redacted)
4 (redacted) so that if anybody would come and if anybody asked you who you
5 are and what you are, you can show this piece of paper.
6 Q. Did you see him writing on that piece of paper?
7 A. Yes, yes, I did.
8 Q. And what did he do with it after he wrote on it?
9 A. He gave it to (redacted).
10 Q. Now, after he gave it to (redacted), did he say anything?
11 A. Yes, he did.
12 Q. And what was it that he said?
13 A. If anybody asks who you are and what you are, you can take out
14 this certificate and show them.
15 Q. Did he say anything else before he left?
16 A. Yes. He said that, "You'll have a convoy tomorrow, in the
17 morning, early." And he said that nobody would harm us.
18 Q. After this person left -- well, sorry. Were you able to see in
19 what direction this person -- where this person went after they left?
20 A. No, I didn't.
21 Q. After this person left, did other people come to the house?
22 A. Yes. About 45 minutes to one hour went by.
23 Q. And who came to the house?
24 A. A man whom many people knew in the house.
25 Q. Do you know his name?
1 A. Sredoje Lukic.
2 Q. Had you seen this man before?
3 A. Well, no. That was the first time.
4 Q. And had you did you learn his name?
5 A. Many of the people, my relatives, knew him and they called him by
6 his name, Sredoje, Sredoje Lukic, so that I in fact saw that it was
7 Sredoje Lukic.
8 Q. What was the first sign that you saw that people were coming back
9 to the house?
10 A. How do you mean?
11 Q. Did this person arrive on foot or were they in some type of
13 A. They had their own vehicle.
14 Q. Can you describe it for us?
15 A. The people heard the vehicle. It didn't have an exhaust pipe, and
16 you could hear it coming up the street.
17 Q. And did you ever see the vehicle?
18 A. No, no, no.
19 Q. At the time of --
20 A. It stopped in front of the house.
21 Q. At the time of Sredoje Lukic's arrival or just prior to it, did
22 you hear any shooting?
23 A. Well, there was shooting, yes, as they were going up the street in
24 the vehicle.
25 Q. Now, in addition to the person you've referred to as Sredoje
1 Lukic, were there other people with him?
2 A. Yes, Milan Lukic.
3 Q. Anyone else?
4 A. And there was another soldier, whom I didn't know, and several
5 soldiers outside the house. They were outside. I couldn't see them. I
6 just heard them. I just heard them joking around. They were taking out
7 some girls, and joking, having a laugh.
8 Q. Can you describe how Sredoje Lukic was dressed?
9 A. He was wearing a camouflage uniform. He had a sniper rifle,
10 knife. He didn't have a cap on his head.
11 Q. And can you describe for us how Milan Lukic was dressed?
12 A. The same way, the same clothing. He had an automatic rifle,
14 Q. And prior to this day, had you seen the person you're referring to
15 as Milan Lukic before?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And how is that you learned his name?
18 A. Well, many of my relatives knew both of them, neighbours, so that
19 they called them by their names.
20 Q. I just want to ask you a question and I'd just asked you to repeat
21 your answer. Had you seen the person you referred to as Milan Lukic
22 before, yes or no?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat his answer, please?
24 MR. GROOME:
25 Q. Please repeat your answer.
1 A. No.
2 Q. They are just having trouble hearing you.
3 And the other soldier that you've referred to, can you describe
4 how he was dressed?
5 A. Well, the same way. He was wearing this same clothing.
6 Q. Did any of these men enter the house?
7 A. Sredoje Lukic, yes.
8 Q. And how --
9 A. In the middle of the house.
10 Q. And could you see where Milan Lukic and this other soldier were
11 when Sredoje Lukic entered the middle of the house?
12 A. In the hall way. Near the hallway.
13 Q. Now you've said that there were other people outside. Are you
14 able to approximate how many people were outside?
15 A. Another three or four.
16 Q. Can you tell us what happened in the house at that time?
17 A. He cleared the table and said, "Put your money to one side and
18 your jewellery to the other." He took out a knife and said, "If we find a
19 penny on anyone," he turned the blunt side of his knife and said that he
20 would use it. And that he would search us all later on.
21 Q. Now, who are you referring to when you say "he"?
22 A. Sredoje Lukic.
23 Q. And did the people comply with his demand?
24 A. Yes. Anybody who had any money or jewellery on them, they just
25 didn't have to take their earrings out of their ears, if they had any. A
1 man, a relative of mine, whose name was [redacted], had a ring, a rather large
2 ring, and he said, "Give me that ring." And he put it on his own hand.
3 And when the people had put all their money and jewellery, valuables, on
4 the table, I did so too, what little I had.
5 Q. And again, he -- who are you referring to when you say "he" when
6 you speak about --
7 A. Sredoje Lukic.
8 Q. That is him that is talking to (redacted)?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were people crying at this time?
11 A. Yes, people were crying, the girls were crying. He said that we
12 should clear the room so that they could all strip and be examined,
13 searched. A soldier I didn't know was sitting in an armchair in that
14 empty room, and the people went in three by three. And my turn came too.
15 I went into the house with two of my neighbours. He asked us whether we
16 had any money or anything else, whether our mother had given us some
17 money, we said no. I said no. And then we went out. And that's how all
18 the people were searched.
19 Q. This person who was sitting in the chair, was he armed?
20 A. Yes, yes, he was. He had a rifle, an automatic rifle on his
21 knee. It was an armchair rather than a chair. And he swung to and fro on
22 the armchair and his rifle was cocked -- across his knees.
23 Q. And were you made to take your clothes off in that room?
24 A. Yes, yes, I was.
25 Q. And the other people that were in the room with you?
1 A. Everybody had to take their clothes off, the girls, the elderly,
2 men and women, everyone. The girls were crying. The older women said --
3 advised them to take their clothes off and said that otherwise --
4 Q. Otherwise what?
5 A. Otherwise they would be killed, the young women. Because for
6 every mistake they would take up a rifle or knife, and ... I went back to
7 the kitchen where I was before. Sredoje Lukic took everything from the
8 table, the gold and the money. He put the money in one bag and the
9 jewellery in the other, and he told the people, "Off we go to have a drink
10 now. And nobody will touch you."
11 Q. At this point in time, is it daylight or night-time outside?
12 A. Yes. When?
13 Q. At the time the men or Sredoje Lukic says, "We are going to drink
14 now." Is it daytime or night-time?
15 A. Day, day.
16 Q. Approximately how long did all of this take?
17 A. Well, it lasted about an hour and a half, approximately.
18 Q. Did you see some young women taken out of the house that day?
19 A. Well, yes, they took them out to in front of the door. But they
20 came back quickly. What they said to them, I don't know, because there
21 were a lot of people there.
22 Q. After Sredoje Lukic said that he was going to go get something to
23 drink, did he leave?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And did Milan Lukic and the other soldier inside the house leave
1 at that time as well?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Now, with respect to the men that you heard outside of the house,
4 were you able to tell whether they left too?
5 A. Yes, together with them. You could hear them until they went
6 out. Then they switched the motor on and left.
7 Q. Was this the same car with the muffler missing?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. Did there come a --
10 A. Yes, an exhaust pipe, muffler.
11 Q. Did there come a time when they returned?
12 A. Yes. When it became dark.
13 Q. How long had it been dark, or how long after sunset would you
14 approximate it was when they returned?
15 A. Well, about two and a half hours. We heard shooting at the end of
16 the settlement, and the same vehicle which came up to in front of the
17 door, we heard, because we heard the same exhaust pipe. It made the same
18 noise. It was very noisy.
19 Q. Now you said you heard shooting at the edge of the settlement,
20 would that be the edge of the settlement closest to Visegrad or further
21 away from Visegrad?
22 A. I said, yes, the street begins about 150 metres in front.
23 Q. And the shooting --
24 A. About 150 metres away from that house, that's where the street is,
25 that's where it begins.
1 Q. And can you tell us the direction from where you heard the
3 A. From the direction of the road. That road that they had come by,
4 the vehicle.
5 Q. Was the direction closer to Visegrad from the house or was it
6 further away from Visegrad, going away from Visegrad?
7 A. It was 150 metres from the house, very close by. I don't know if
8 it was further or nearer, but 150 metres away.
9 Q. Did you hear the sound of that car get closer to the house that
10 you were in?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And did that car stop?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And where did it stop?
15 A. In front of the house.
16 Q. And what happened after the sound of the car stopped?
17 A. They got out and told the people that we would have to move, to go
18 to another house, that we weren't safe where we were. They said that
19 allegedly the Green Berets were shooting.
20 Q. When you say "they," were you able to recognise any of the people
21 that came to the house this time?
22 A. Yes. It was the same people who had looted us, who were in the
24 Q. And what happened?
25 A. We moved to the second house. All the people had to leave the
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13 English transcripts.
1 first house, Memic's house, and go to the other house that was nearer to
2 the creek, the house by the creek because allegedly the Green Berets were
3 shelling and shooting and attacking the town and they said we weren't safe
5 I was one of the last to leave the house. There was some light
6 coming but there was not a lot of light, and their flashlights. When we
7 came in front of the second house, by the entrance, by the door, the same
8 man was standing there with a sniper rifle.
9 Q. And what is the name -- do you know the name of that man?
10 A. Sredoje Lukic, who introduced himself, who said Sredoje Lukic was
11 his name when he looted us.
12 Q. I want to take you at the time when you're leaving the first
13 house, the Memic house. Did you have your shoes on at that time?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And --
16 A. Well, I put one shoe on, but I couldn't find the other shoe in the
17 dark. So I put something else on to go to that other house.
18 Q. You put on somebody else's shoe on your other foot?
19 A. Yes, yes. I came to that house. I passed several of their
20 soldiers on that part of the road.
21 Q. Now, just a few moments ago you mentioned flashlights. Can you
22 tell us approximately how many flashlights you recall seeing that day, or
23 that night?
24 A. Well, two or three perhaps. I'm giving you an approximation.
25 Q. And who was holding those flashlights?
1 A. They were. I didn't dare look at them, let alone anything else.
2 Q. You mean the soldiers that had returned?
3 A. Yes, yes, that's right. The soldiers. It was their flashlight.
4 Q. And where were they shining those flashlights?
5 A. On to the road, so that nobody should leave the road.
6 Q. Where was your mother at the time that you left the Memic house?
7 A. She had gone on in front of me.
8 Q. How close was she to you at that time?
9 A. Very close, but I can't be specific.
10 Q. Would you have been able to touch her if you wanted to? Were you
11 that close?
12 A. No, no, I couldn't.
13 Q. Now, taking you back to the time that you're about to enter this
14 house by the creek, you told us that you saw Sredoje Lukic at that point.
15 Can you tell us where precisely you saw him?
16 A. At the entrance, standing at the doorway. And he patted me on the
18 Q. And did you look at him?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did he say anything to you?
21 A. Nothing. He just smiled and patted me on the shoulder, and I
22 looked at his bombs, the one he had -- the ones he had around his belt.
23 Q. Can you describe what you're referring to as bombs? Had you seen
24 anything similar to this before?
25 A. Well, on television before.
1 Q. Were you the last person to enter the house that night?
2 A. Perhaps there was someone else, several others, but I was towards
3 the end of the column.
4 Q. And after you entered the house, was the door closed?
5 A. Yes, locked.
6 Q. How do you know that it was locked?
7 A. I heard the key being turned in the lock.
8 Q. Can you describe for us what you remember about the inside of that
10 A. Well, it looked -- how do you mean? Whether it was furnished or
11 that kind of thing?
12 Q. Do you know what, if any, furniture was in the room?
13 A. There was a table in the middle where I sat, several sofas, a
14 kitchen table in the middle of the house.
15 Q. And was there light in that room?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Were you able to see where your mother was inside that room?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was there sufficient light for you to be able to see her face?
20 A. No, just heard her voice.
21 Q. Can I ask you to describe for us the state or the state of mind of
22 the people in the room at that time?
23 A. It was overcrowded. When I went in, I sat on the table
24 straightaway. The children were crying.
25 Q. Did people appear scared to you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Could you hear anything from outside the house?
3 A. Yes. We could hear some sort of laughing and joking around, that
4 kind of thing, in front of the house. Nothing else.
5 Q. Did you feel that something dangerous was about to happen?
6 A. Well, I don't know what to say to that.
7 Q. Where was your mother at this time?
8 A. She was on the sofa underneath the window, by the window.
9 Q. And how far away were you from her?
10 A. Four metres perhaps. I'm always giving you approximations.
11 Q. Did you at any time hear your mother tell some of the people in
12 the house that she had a headache?
13 A. Yes. To a woman, a neighbour, she said she had a headache and
14 could she move to the window? And that's what she did.
15 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, may I suggest this as a place to pause?
16 JUDGE HUNT: Very well. We will resume tomorrow morning at 9.30.
17 If Dr. De Grave comes at an appropriate time where we could interrupt the
18 witness's evidence, we will take his, but otherwise, I'm afraid he'll just
19 have to wait.
20 MR. GROOME: I'll suggest to him he be here at 9.30. If he is
21 here at 9.30, will we take him then?
22 JUDGE HUNT: Yes. We will take him.
23 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Very well. We will adjourn now to 9.30 tomorrow.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
1 4.00 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 9th day
2 of October, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.