1 Tuesday, 13 November 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.
5 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet.
6 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 WITNESS: MITAR VASILJEVIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Re-examined by Mr. Domazet: [Continued]
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Vasiljevic.
11 A. Good morning to you, too.
12 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, yesterday, Mr. Groome asked you a question with
13 respect to who had bought the bottle of brandy that you drank from in
14 Pionirska Street, and if I understood your answer correctly, it was the
15 following: That it was the bottle that you had brought and that you
16 consider that in your conversation, you did not say that Mujo had gone to
17 buy it but that you had, in your statement. Am I right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, you said that you think that that is what it said
20 in your statement when it was written down. I should like to read a
21 portion of that statement of the 17th of November in B/C/S, which I
22 believe is the original. So could you tell me whether that is what you
23 were thinking of when you said it, and it is page 78 of the B/C/S version
24 and it says the following, your words:
25 A No, I only went, took the alcohol, the alcohol I
1 drank with Mujo and that neighbour of his. I don't know his name. I
2 wasn't, um, carrying anything.
3 Q. That means that you brought it. The witnesses say
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. The question was the bottle.
7 A. I asked Mujo were we going to have a drink. "Yes,"
8 he said, "let's", and I went and bought.
9 Q. I seem to feel that you said yesterday that he went
10 to buy it.
11 A. No, no, I did.
12 On the basis of that, it emerges that you bought the bottle, but
13 if I understand it correctly, you didn't buy it then but previously
14 earlier on and you had the bottle already; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In answering a question with respect to the time you spent in
17 hospital, on two -- twice you talked about your transfer to the
18 neurosurgery department; is that correct or were you thinking of
20 A. I apologise, I was thinking about neuropsychiatry, the
21 neuropsychiatric ward because when I had operated my spine in Zemun, I was
22 at the neurosurgical department. But this was in Uzice, and as far as I
23 know, there isn't a neurosurgical department in Uzice. It was the
24 neuropsychiatric ward.
25 Q. When you answered the question from Mr. Groome with respect to
1 some photographs or pictures or drawings, you said that often, some
2 patients would stick a picture of a horse up above your bed and that this
3 was a joke, a practical joke. Does that mean that all of them knew that
4 you had broken your leg falling off a horse or was it for some other
6 A. They all knew, everybody knew, and they were making practical
7 jokes. It was -- they were joking because they had nothing better to do.
8 They had a lot of time on their hands.
9 JUDGE HUNT: May I remind you both to pause, please. You are
10 stretching the interpreters with the speed.
11 MR. DOMAZET: Yes. Thank you.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vasiljevic, talking about (redacted) and
13 your explanation and answer in response to Mr. Groome's question regarding
14 some sort of written document which the witnesses are mentioning, have
15 mentioned, you answered, but I'd like to confirm this again to see whether
16 that was precise, whether you remember at all having written this
17 certificate, this kind of certificate, because you said that if it existed
18 at all, it might have been a telephone number and address. Did I
19 understand that to be your answer to Mr. Groome?
20 A. Yes. I couldn't have written any other kind of certificate for
22 Q. Mr. Groome also asked you whether (redacted) knew your address in
23 view of the fact that, according to what you said during your testimony,
24 he kept passing by your house. Now, my question for you is this: Did he
25 ever come into your house and did he know your telephone number or did you
1 ever talk over the phone with him?
2 A. No, I don't think they had the telephone. I don't think so. I'm
3 certain, actually.
4 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, Mr. Groome asked you about cleaning the town.
5 Now, do you consider that the sanction or punishment towards you was
6 instead of serving a prison sentence, you were told to clean the town?
7 Actually, you said yes to that question.
8 Now, the question is: Did anybody tell you at all that you were
9 punished in any way? Did they give you a document stating that or was the
10 cleaning of the town a work assignment or had your prison sentence been
11 reverted to this town-cleaning punishment?
12 A. As a work obligation, you mean?
13 Q. A work obligation in fact.
14 A. Although they didn't say they wouldn't lock me up. Well, later
15 on, I broke my leg, so perhaps I would have problems if I didn't want to
16 go up to the line, front line. They had other problems.
17 Q. Mr. Groome asked you how you dared to report the case in Sase to
18 the chief of police, Tomic, and were you not afraid of the consequences.
19 Now, did you have trust and confidence in the then-chief Tomic to
20 tell him something that might have jeopardised you or was something else
21 the case? Was it because of something else?
22 A. Tomic was the chief of police. I trusted him. And we're
23 neighbours. We live close by. We're not next-door neighbours, but we do
24 live close by. We lived in the same street.
25 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, talking about the things you were accused of, the
1 singing of songs for which you and some others were sentenced, can you
2 remember the actual judgement for these convictions? Were you singing one
3 song or more than one song? What did it say in the judgement?
4 A. One song. That's what it says in the judgement, one song.
5 Q. Was it just one line or several verses?
6 A. Well, it was just a short song, perhaps ten words to the song.
7 Q. And what about the other case, the -- you said that you had come
8 into conflict with a neighbour because of your sister, that she was the
9 cause, but I think that it would be a good idea if you explain to us what
10 had actually happened to your sister, that is to say, what had caused your
11 reaction to this neighbour in connection with your sister?
12 A. Well, the neighbour always made problems. He was always going to
13 court for one thing or another. He would provoke and insult and joke with
14 my sister. I am the father -- I and my father cautioned him, but he
15 wouldn't listen. And I was convicted to four months in prison and one
16 year parole.
17 Q. So this was a conditional sentence, meaning that you would go to
18 prison for four months if you were to repeat that act?
19 A. Yes, and one year parole.
20 Q. But you never repeated that kind of act, did you? So that
21 conditional sentence was never applied and put into effect, was it?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Mr. Groome also asked you and said that he considered that you
24 were the only, or almost only, person who knew that the people were from
25 Koritnik in Pionirska Street.
1 My question is: As you had heard -- as you have heard in the
2 course of these proceedings that the people passed the Rvez bridge going
3 up to Visegrad Hotel, and then from the Visegrad Hotel back across the
4 Rvez bridge taking the Uzice road to Pionirska Street and into Pionirska
5 Street, was that the centre, the actual centre of town? Were there lots
6 of people living there? And how many people could have seen this
8 A. I apologise, but do you mean in town or in Pionirska Street? When
9 you say "the centre of town," are you thinking of Pionirska Street or some
10 other locality?
11 Q. I'm thinking about their movement from the Visegrad Hotel, through
12 town, across the Rvez bridge to Pionirska Street and the entrance into
13 Pionirska Street, which if I'm right, goes from the main street -- main
14 road leading to Uzice.
15 A. Well, there could have been quite a number of people. It was
16 town, buildings all round, the urban area, and they were in the police
17 station, as far as I understood, and then went to the hotel where the
18 police was and to the Red Cross. That's where they -- the direction they
19 pointed them to, as they said. And then Pionirska and the school, there
20 were soldiers up there. The army was close by. And I didn't know where
21 they were. They were in the house, as you saw, by the road.
22 It's quite wrong that I was the only one who could have known.
23 Q. Asked by Mr. Groome about the horse that you went to fetch and
24 what you were going to do with it, what your intentions were, you said
25 that you felt like having a ride, riding the horse, and then that you were
1 going to release him and point him in the direction which you mentioned.
2 Now, my question for you is the following, in concrete terms: Did
3 you like horses and riding that much, and did you not perhaps want to keep
4 the horse a little while longer and be able to ride it before you released
5 it, before you let it go?
6 A. Let me explain this to you. I liked horses when I was a child,
7 and my house had horses, and I had a horse. And I fell off the horse and
8 was in hospital, hitting my head when I was in eighth form. I would earn
9 for my books and for my -- the books and the textbooks that my sisters
10 used. And my father bought some tar, buying tar.
11 And I liked horses. I always liked horses. And it was very
12 difficult for me when my father sold our horse. I loved that horse. And
13 I wouldn't change it for any other animal, especially a good horse.
14 Q. Yesterday, Mr. Vasiljevic, I think you said that in Visegrad, at
15 the time, that there were two imams or hodzas as you called it. "Hodza"
16 is the other name for "imam"; is that correct? Is that what you said?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Where did they live, in town or out of town?
19 A. In town, right by the Panos restaurant, in the centre. Or more
20 precisely, from the post office under the Panos restaurant there was a
21 warehouse, and they had the Islamic religious house there and they lived
22 there. I know both of them.
23 Q. Did any of them have a horse, either one of them?
24 A. No. They lived in town. I don't think they had a horse.
25 Q. As far as you know, were you alive -- were they alive? Sorry.
1 Did you hear that anything had happened to them?
2 A. No. I didn't hear that anything had happened to them, and I'm
3 quite sure that they are alive today. People would have heard about it,
4 because they're hodzas, religious leaders. People would have known. He
5 was the main man for religion. And as -- a witness said that, but that
6 can be checked out. There's no problem. It's no problem.
7 One of them was younger; one of them was older. So somebody would
8 have said if something had happened to any of them. One was 65 years
9 old. The other might have been about 50.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vasiljevic.
11 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
12 JUDGE HUNT: You may return -- yes.
13 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, just one bit of confusion. If I could
14 just inquire of Mr. Domazet, he referred to page 78 of a B/C/S
15 transcript. Was he referring to the 16th, the interview of the 16th or
16 the interview of the 17th?
17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Unless I got muddled, the B/C/S page
18 is 78. It should be the 17th. It doesn't say on the page, however, but
19 as it refers to the conversation and interview of the previous day, that
20 it was on the second day.
21 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I may, I'd -- if I may ask a single
22 question to Mr. Vasiljevic to clear up what I believe is a confusion on
23 the record.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Why? It's a matter of re-examination. You raised
25 the issue about it. You can tender the statement or it has been tendered.
1 MR. GROOME: It has been tendered.
2 JUDGE HUNT: What is the point of all this?
3 MR. GROOME: Just to clear it up for the Court for clarification.
4 JUDGE HUNT: Re-examination is re-examination. Mr. Vasiljevic,
5 you may return to your seat behind your counsel. Oh, I'm sorry, my
6 colleagues wish to ask some questions. Go ahead.
7 Questioned by the Court:
8 JUDGE JANU: Mr. Vasiljevic, I would like to bring you back to the
9 situation which was described by VG81. You said you know her for many
10 years. She says she knows you for many years, and you say you recognise
11 her immediately when she entered the room here.
12 This situation happened on May 18, 1992, and it's at transcript
13 page 1.220, line 18. I will read it what she -- to you what she said: "I
14 went with my family to Kosovo Polje with the intention to work on the
15 land. I was carrying basket with some seeds. At the entrance at the gate
16 of the Mr. Vasiljevic's house, there stood Mitar with his wife and three
17 unknown uniform individuals. Mitar Vasiljevic approach us and he wanted
18 my ID card, identity card. He kept my identity card and he told me, and I
19 quote, she said, 'Don't let me look for you,' and it happened about noon
20 on 18th of May."
21 My question is: If such an incident happened, why you wanted her
22 ID card if you know her for 15 years? And my second question is: What
23 you have done with this ID card?
24 A. Madam Judge, individual 81 I know excellently. I know her very
25 well. She lived while -- before she was married, she lived in my
1 neighbourhood one kilometre away. I also know her husband, and I'm
2 wondering she thought this up. Now, why would I need her identity card, a
3 woman that I know well. I know her brother. I know her family well. I
4 have known her for years.
5 I worked in the -- in restaurants. She worked in the municipality
6 building, and would come and have breakfast in the restaurant. I knew her
7 very well. I would like it if her husband came to testify about that,
8 perhaps she'll convince him, but I'd like to hear his statement. I'd like
9 his opinion. I'd like him to state his opinion.
10 JUDGE JANU: So do you understand well that this situation
11 happened, you were standing in front of your entrance with your wife, and
12 she was passing, because you said with her husband, she said with her
13 family here, but you didn't ask her for ID card. Do you understand well?
14 A. No, no, I didn't see her. I don't remember having seen her.
15 That's not true. None of it's true. I didn't see her there. That's what
16 she says. I didn't see her, and my wife will testify and say the same
17 thing, I'm sure. And even if I had seen her, why would I ask for her
18 identity card when I know her?
19 JUDGE JANU: So you are stating that this situation didn't happen;
20 is that okay?
21 A. Yes, Madam Judge, just like the other things that she's been
22 saying. She says she saw me from the 14th to the 25th, and I was in
24 JUDGE JANU: Can you tell me, Mr. Vasiljevic, what is the
25 profession of Mr. Lukic? You are waiter. What is his profession, Milan
2 A. Milan Lukic, I think, completed secondary school for plumbing, for
3 plumbing, plumbing secondary school, but I don't think he ever worked as a
4 plumber. He didn't actually work at all. Now, whether he worked in
5 Serbia, perhaps he did for a short time. I know he worked in Switzerland,
6 that he had a cafe there of some sort, but he didn't do -- he didn't
7 follow his profession, what he was trained to do, and then from
8 Switzerland he came back.
9 JUDGE JANU: So can you estimate for the Chamber that this sort of
10 education is done at 18 or what age he finished his studies?
11 A. The school lasts 11 years, which means exactly 18. We start
12 school at 7 and we finish school at 18, that is, secondary school. And a
13 trade means 8 years of primary school and 3 of trade makes it 11 years of
14 schooling. You need 11 years of schooling. That's that secondary level
16 JUDGE JANU: And you said that you were no possibility to
17 socialise with him, that he left soon, he was working in Obrenovac,
18 Switzerland, Germany or some other places and you also said that there was
19 an age difference between you and him, and all this meant that he wasn't
20 present at the Visegrad municipality, is that true, for many years?
21 A. Quite certainly, he wasn't there. After school, he went to the
22 army for 15 months, and he never worked again there, but if he came back
23 from Switzerland for his holidays, that was for brief periods. I don't
24 remember seeing him. Mostly, I knew him when he was a child at school.
25 We sort of saw each other then, but not afterwards, and I'm 13 years
1 older. I think he was born in 1967.
2 JUDGE JANU: So am I right if I conclude that he wasn't present in
3 the area for 6 years? Because I think I remember 1992 he was 24.
4 A. Well, yes, thereabouts, 24. He wasn't much older than 24.
5 JUDGE JANU: But after all those years of absence in the area, it
6 must have been very difficult for him to know who is who, and which house
7 belongs to whom. My question is: Did Milan Lukic ask you to give him
8 information about people and ownership of the houses concerning the
9 ethnicity of the people? That's one question. The second question is:
10 Did you ever give him such information, information voluntarily?
11 A. Let me see. As far as this area downstream is concerned, he knows
12 well which are the Muslim villages and which are the Serb villages. He
13 has many friends from school there, and we all know which are the Muslim
14 and which are the Serb villages. Whether he knew in town which are the
15 Muslim or Serb houses, he probably didn't, but I don't think he made any
16 selection. All he cared about was that somebody was a Muslim.
17 JUDGE JANU: So coming back to my question or questions, did he
18 ask you to give him information about the people and the houses concerning
19 the ownership? That's my question. Please answer yes or no.
20 A. No, Your Honour. He never asked me to tell him, never.
21 JUDGE JANU: And did you ever give him at least single information
22 concerning this point voluntarily, without asking?
23 A. No.
24 JUDGE JANU: I would like to bring your attention to the VG14 who
25 stated here on the 13th of September, and it's transcript page 436, line
1 7, and I will read it for you, and he, VG, stated that on 7th of June,
2 when they were driven in the direction of Sase, so you were approaching
3 the Drina River in the cars in the direction of Sase, "Mitar Vasiljevic,
4 when they stopped near the house, said to Milan Lukic, and I quote what he
5 said, 'That this was a Muslim house.'"
6 Did you say this, and if yes, why?
7 A. Milan Lukic knew which were the Muslim and which were the Serb
8 houses, and the house that is shown on the photograph is not a Muslim
9 house. It's a Serb house.
10 Kosoric is the surname. Stojan is his first name.
11 JUDGE JANU: You know, I'm not familiar with the area, but the
12 witness VG14 said when you stopped, you told to Milan Lukic that this is a
13 Muslim house. That is in his statement.
14 A. When the car stopped -- I couldn't have said that. I wasn't with
15 Milan in the car. He said that in -- that there were six people in the
17 JUDGE JANU: With him in the car -- you were not in the car with
18 Milan Lukic?
19 A. I was in the Yugo, with Meho Dzafic, the second car, another car.
20 JUDGE JANU: And my last question -- thank you for this. And my
21 last question is: Evidence which was presented in this case suggested
22 that Mr. Gavrilovic had an official function in the SDS, Srpska Democratic
23 Stranka. You also mentioned that after the funeral of your cousin, you
24 reported back to Mr. Gavrilovic in Uzamnica and begged not to be
25 imprisoned any more.
1 My question is: Is Mr. Gavrilovic, who you reported to, the same
2 person as the one who has an official function in Serbian Democratic
4 A. It is the same person, only I apologise if I said that I addressed
5 him in Zemunica [sic]. He was at the command in Bikavac. I was in the
6 prison in Uzamnica. So if I said I spoke to him in Uzaminica, please
7 correct that. That's wrong. He was working in the command, and the
8 command was up there at the hotel in Bikavac.
9 So if I said that I addressed in Uzaminica, I should like to
10 correct that. That's wrong.
11 JUDGE JANU: Thank you. And to your knowledge, what function did
12 Mr. Gavrilovic have in the SDS? Is his first name Dragan?
13 A. I know him as Drago. It's probably Dragan or Dragomir, but I know
14 him as Drago. He was influential, and later on, I think he was president
15 of the SDS party. Not at the beginning of the war. It was Branimir
16 Savovic who was president, and later on it was him. I don't know when he
17 took over that duty. Maybe it was in 1994 or 1995, but I'm not sure. But
18 I do know that for a time he was president of the party.
19 JUDGE JANU: Yes. He was influential in the party. Thank you.
20 And another question is --
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE JANU: -- did he give you the task of cleaning the street?
23 Was it him who gave you this task?
24 A. Yes. He told me. We went to school together, so he said,
25 "Organise cleaning of the town," and I agreed, and that's how it was.
1 JUDGE JANU: And in what function did you -- did he give you this
2 task? He was your commander?
3 A. He wasn't the main commander. He did have a position in the army
4 at some higher level. What duty exactly he had, I don't know. He wasn't
5 the commander-in-chief, but he was working up there in the command, and he
6 was influential.
7 JUDGE JANU: So did he have any function in TO, Territorial
9 A. I think that -- I don't know how to put it to you. He was --
10 shall we say, from the 6th of April, he was the most important person as
11 the commander in the military department. But later, as those changes
12 occurred, then a captain came, Vinko Pandurevic, he took over. But at the
13 beginning, he was in charge. He was the main person who organised all
14 these things.
15 JUDGE JANU: And my last question, Mr. Vasiljevic, is: Who
16 decided that you wouldn't be issued a weapon after being released from
17 Uzamnica? Who decided on this?
18 A. He. He wouldn't give it to me. I handed it over to him, and he
19 didn't give it to me again. I didn't want to go to the front line.
20 JUDGE JANU: And you are the man who was in the army in your
21 regular service --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Would you, Your Honour, please speak into the
24 JUDGE JANU: You were a man who was in the army in the regular
25 service. Wasn't it not normal for you, because you told us that you were
1 issued this weapon against the signature. Didn't you ask, when you were
2 deprived of your weapon, to have some declaration that you don't possess
3 the weapon any more?
4 A. They didn't give me anything. As I was saying when I spoke to
5 him -- when I had to report to the command, I spoke to him. He took away
6 my weapon, and he said, "You will go to prison." And I said, "Put me in
7 prison. I won't eat." I went down to town an hour or two later, and then
8 the military police came.
9 JUDGE JANU: I know this. I considered this quite normal that you
10 were in detention and you were deprived of your weapon, but after you had
11 this task of cleaning the street, you said you were afraid and the
12 situation was dangerous. Why you were not issued the weapon again?
13 Because after the return, you told us, from the hospital, you had these
14 psychiatric problems and you were issued a weapon after that. So why this
15 period you were without it? Can you explain this to me?
16 A. You mean before I went to hospital, while I was in Visegrad? I
17 didn't quite understand you. You mean while I was in Visegrad why I
18 didn't have a weapon, before I went to hospital? Is that what you're
19 asking me?
20 JUDGE JANU: I understood that when you were detained, you were
21 deprived of your weapon. After you were released, you got this task to
22 clean the street, but you said you had not your weapon back. So my
23 question is -- I'm asking you for explanation, if you have any explanation
24 why you were not issued with your weapon.
25 A. I didn't need a weapon any more. I was in town. I wasn't --
1 there was no need for it. I didn't insist that much. What was important
2 for me was not to go to prison. I didn't need a weapon. I was in town.
3 JUDGE JANU: All right. Thank you. Thank you.
4 JUDGE TAYA: When you were admitted to Uzice hospital as an
5 emergency case, who explained the cause of your injury? It was you or
6 someone else?
7 A. When they brought me by car to the hospital, they took me to the
8 admission department. The driver gave these documents to those nurses, as
9 is normal. He probably explained that it was a fracture. They X-rayed my
10 leg. And there was a doctor on duty. His name was Dusko Jovicic. And
11 that doctor who admits a patient, he treats him until the end. So I think
12 that's how it goes. So the doctor who admits a patient to hospital. Of
13 course, other doctors treat him as well, but the doctor who admits him to
14 hospital, he is the person most responsible for the patient.
15 So they X-rayed my leg, and they told me that both bones had been
16 broken, though I knew that already in Visegrad when they X-rayed my leg,
17 because Dr. Goran Loncarvic told me that already in Visegrad, that both
18 bones had been broken.
19 JUDGE TAYA: No. My question is: Who explained the cause of your
20 injury? That is you?
21 A. Probably the driver told them. I told the doctor whatever he
22 asked me.
23 JUDGE HUNT: The question, though, is: Did you explain to the
24 doctor how the injury was caused? That's what Judge Taya is asking you.
25 A. To be quite honest, whether I actually explained to this
1 particular doctor, Dusko Jovicic, myself, I can't recall. But later on,
2 everyone knew. I told them. The patients knew.
3 Now, to be quite honest, whether just then I told that doctor -- I
4 don't even know whether he was present when the leg was X-rayed or was it
5 being done by someone else, you know, specialists working with these
6 machines, X-ray machines. So whether I had told him just then that I had
7 fallen off a horse, I can't really remember. Maybe he didn't even asked
8 me. He was just looking at the injury.
9 So I'd rather not say that I did tell him just then. I really
10 can't remember. If he asked me how the injury had occurred, then
11 certainly I explained it to him.
12 But they all knew that later on, everyone knew.
13 JUDGE TAYA: Can you remember what did you explain, how did you
15 A. I'm trying to tell you that I don't know whether I told him just
16 then or whether he asked me just then. He just looked at the x-rays which
17 he had, those from Visegrad. They did fresh x-rays. They established
18 that there was a fracture, and he told me that both the bones had been
19 broken. Now, whether I told him just then the cause, I just can't
21 JUDGE TAYA: You didn't say that you fell on the flat surface in
22 the battlefield?
23 A. No, I didn't say that. As far as I understand, it says in the
24 discharge paper "from the war zone of Visegrad." I think that's what they
25 wrote for all the patients. Maybe it's because of the payment of hospital
1 costs that this had to be indicated.
2 JUDGE TAYA: You didn't mention the horse to the doctor?
3 A. I'm saying that I don't know whether I mentioned it just then, but
4 later on everyone knew, the doctors knew. There was joking about it among
5 the patients, and everybody, everybody knew.
6 JUDGE TAYA: Have you ever seen your case history which was
7 prepared in Uzice hospital about you?
8 A. I don't have anything except what it says on the discharge
9 document, but what else the doctors write, they probably keep these
10 records every day, so all the patient gets to know is what is written on
11 the discharge document.
12 JUDGE TAYA: Were you asked whether you were at work or out of
13 work when you injured your leg?
14 A. I don't think they asked me that. I don't know. I can't
16 JUDGE TAYA: Were you asked also the day and hour of injury?
17 A. They didn't ask me. They knew the day, because I was transferred
18 on the same day from Visegrad to Uzice.
19 JUDGE TAYA: They could know when you arrived, but they could not
20 know when the injury happened.
21 A. On the same day, I'm telling you, I was transferred from Visegrad
22 to Uzice. If he asked me, "Today," I must have said, "Today, yes."
23 JUDGE TAYA: You explained also your job?
24 A. I didn't talk about that. No one asked me any questions about
25 that. The doctor didn't ask me.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE TAYA: You didn't say your job is reservist?
2 A. That's how they treated us. They know that, what is written in
3 the discharge document, Territorial Defence. Yes, probably if he asked
4 me, then I must have told him. I told him whatever he asked me.
5 JUDGE TAYA: I think that information, that is to say, whether you were
6 at work or outside work on that day and hour of injury are essential to
7 obtain health insurance; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE TAYA: As to the witness list submitted by Defence counsel,
10 did you consult with your Defence counsel before its submission?
11 A. You mean Defence witnesses, whether I consulted with my attorney
12 20 days ago or a month ago; is that what you're asking me?
13 JUDGE TAYA: Whenever you have consulted with your Defence
14 counsel. I don't know --
15 A. I don't quite understand what you mean. When the attorney came to
16 see me in February 2000 for the first time, when I decided that
17 Mr. Domazet should be my Defence counsel, I told him that -- let me put it
18 this way, when I gave my first statement, there was an
19 officially-designated attorney from Foca, Slavisa, and I told him, too,
20 that I had been in hospital. And then later, when Mr. Domazet came in
21 February, I told him, "Vlado, you'll go to the hospital in Visegrad, the
22 hospital in Uzice."
23 JUDGE TAYA: 18 October 2001, Defence counsel submitted the list
24 of witness. Before the submission of this list, you have consulted with
25 Defence counsel?
1 A. Whether he should call those witnesses; is that what you mean?
2 JUDGE TAYA: No. Who you want as a witness and the contents of
3 the testimony of the witness, you have consulted with the Defence
5 A. As far as the medical witnesses are concerned, I told him about
6 Dr. Loncarevic in Visegrad, then I mentioned Moljevic and Jovicic, and the
7 other witnesses applied themselves, the nurses and the neuropsychiatrist
8 and the other physicians from the orthopaedic ward. They offered to come
9 themselves because they watched it on television, they watched the witness
10 statements and they, themselves, wanted to come.
11 JUDGE TAYA: On that list, there is no name of Dr. Jovicevic who
12 treated you as an emergency case, also Piresk [phoen] according to the
13 case history of Uzice hospital. There is no name of Dr. Jovicevic. What
14 is the reason why he is not called on the list of witnesses of Defence
16 A. I insisted with Mr. Domazet, but as far as I understand, the
17 Defence counsel -- Mr. Jovicevic has to have his spine operated. Maybe
18 Mr. Domazet can explain that. He is ill, he has problems with his spine
19 and he has to undergo surgery.
20 JUDGE TAYA: On the same list, there are no names of Dr. Gordic,
21 surgeon, and Dragana, nurse, who carried out the operation on 15th June
22 1992 according to the case history. What are the reasons why they are not
24 A. I don't know why. As regards the nurse, I know she was there and
25 Gordic, who drilled my heel. I don't know whether Mr. Domazet spoke to
1 them, but he can explain best. I just told him to go to the Uzice
3 JUDGE TAYA: After when you received outpatient treatment?
4 A. I was orthopaedic department for 21 days. I explained they
5 drilled my heel and put weights on, and at the end of those 21 days, they
6 put my leg in a cast right up to my hip. Then I started walking with
7 crutches, and they transferred me to the neuropsychiatric ward and I
8 stayed there until the 28th of July, 1992 at the neuropsychiatry
10 JUDGE TAYA: But after you left the Uzice hospital, you received
11 treatment as an outpatient?
12 A. No. I didn't have to stay in hospital. I went for the first time
13 for the plaster to be shortened to below my knees; they call it a boot.
14 And then when I went for a check-up the second time, the plaster was
15 removed, and so when the doctors made an appointment for a check-up, I
16 would get a document from Visegrad to go and see the specialist. I didn't
17 have to go to the ward. There was a department on the ground floor where
18 they work, and whichever doctor is on duty, he examines the patient.
19 JUDGE TAYA: What is the name of the specialist you mentioned just
21 A. You mean the doctor who was on duty? Whoever is on duty, whoever
22 is on duty that day.
23 JUDGE TAYA: So it changes every time?
24 A. Yes, usually. I think there are about -- I don't know how many
25 exactly, there were five or six doctors working in the orthopaedic
1 department, and I also had to go for check-ups to the neuropsychiatry
2 department, and in that case, I did have to go to the actual ward
4 JUDGE TAYA: You never broke your right leg; is that correct?
5 A. Never, no.
6 JUDGE TAYA: Many witnesses gave testimony about some kind of
7 certificate you wrote and handed over to (redacted). Even after those
8 testimonies, you cannot remember about the certificate; is that correct?
9 A. I couldn't have given him any kind of certificate. I was not a
10 person who could issue any such official document. If I gave him
11 anything, it could have been my telephone number or address or something
12 like that.
13 JUDGE TAYA: Then this is hypothetical question: A kind of
14 certificate written by someone like you, if there were, and if it was
15 shown to the police, it would guarantee the safety of people from Koritnik?
16 A. You mean if I would have given such a certificate. You're just
17 asking me as an example. No. Who was I? The police has its own
18 superiors, people in charge. They could just put me in prison if I were
19 to issue any such certificates.
20 JUDGE TAYA: So according to you, such a certificate would never
21 have such efficiency; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE TAYA: My last series of questions concern your report on
24 the Drina River incident to the police. You said that after the Drina River
25 incident, you reported the crime committed by Milan Lukic and his group to
1 Police Commander Tomic. That means that according to your understanding,
2 the Drina River incident should be investigated by the police. Is that
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE TAYA: That also means that if you happened to know the
6 exact place where Milan Lukic was, you would inform the police or the
7 investigation authority; is that correct?
8 A. You mean if I knew where he lived?
9 JUDGE TAYA: Yes.
10 A. I would, of course. But I think they knew where he lived. They
11 were living in Banja at the time.
12 JUDGE TAYA: Such attitude of yours has not changed after the
13 Drina River incident until today; is that correct?
14 A. I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean. My behaviour hasn't
15 changed? My attitude hasn't changed?
16 JUDGE TAYA: Yes. If you know the exact place where Milan Lukic
17 is, even today you would inform such information to the investigation
19 A. Your Honour, I'd like to know. He's certainly in Serbia. There's
20 no one who'd want him to be arrested more than me, because I'm being held
21 responsible for his misdeeds. No one would be happier than me if he were
23 JUDGE TAYA: You said that in 1997 or 1998, you attended the
24 baptism of the daughter of Milan Lukic. Where did that baptism take
1 A. Visegrad, in the church.
2 JUDGE TAYA: You were informed about that baptism beforehand?
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE TAYA: Milan Lukic also attended at that baptism?
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE TAYA: Did you give that information to the police or SFOR
7 stationed in Visegrad at that time?
8 A. The police knew full well where he lived when he was released from
9 prison in Belgrade and then transferred to Sarajevo and Kula. There was
10 an apartment waiting for him in Visegrad and new furniture and everything,
11 and he live there. They knew where he was. No one needed to explain it
12 to them.
13 JUDGE TAYA: French forces --
14 A. I apologise. They gave him a coffee bar, too.
15 JUDGE TAYA: The French forces of SFOR stationed in Visegrad at that
16 time also knew?
17 A. You mean where he lived, whether they knew that?
18 JUDGE TAYA: No. Milan Lukic was at that time in Visegrad to
19 attend at the baptism.
20 A. Yes, yes. He was present at the christening.
21 JUDGE TAYA: No. My question is: The French force of SFOR
22 stationed in Visegrad knew about the baptism that Milan Lukic attended?
23 A. Well, I don't know whether the French forces were in Visegrad just
24 then. The French forces were there from June 1996. No. I'm sorry.
25 Yes. From June 1999, 1999, and the baptism was in 1998.
1 JUDGE TAYA: No. The French forces were stationed there beforehand.
2 A. Yes. Well, whether they knew, I don't know. I never had any
3 contact with SFOR soldiers except those who were living at my place. They
4 asked me whether they could live there and so on.
5 JUDGE TAYA: So you informed nothing to the police, neither to
7 A. About the baptism, that he would attend the baptism? No. No. He
8 was in Visegrad at the time. I don't know how to put it to you. He would
9 come and go. He would be absent for two or three months, then he would
10 come back for a couple of days. He moved around a lot.
11 JUDGE TAYA: Thank you.
12 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, do you want to ask any questions arising
13 out of the Judges' questions?
14 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
15 Further examination by Mr. Groome:
16 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, Judge Janu has inquired about an ID or
17 identification papers. My question to you is: Would it be correct to say
18 that if a person did not have their identification papers with them -- I'm
19 sorry. Let me withdraw that.
20 Would I be correct in saying that at the various checkpoints that
21 were set up around Visegrad, that when a person would try to pass a
22 checkpoint, they would be required to show their identification papers?
23 Isn't that correct?
24 A. Well, I don't know, sir. I never worked at those checkpoints. I
25 never controlled anybody. I don't know. When the Uzice Corps were there,
1 they were probably in control, and they didn't know the people. They
2 probably controlled the Serbs, too.
3 Q. Well, certainly at some point you, yourself, must have tried to
4 pass a checkpoint. When you tried to pass the checkpoint, were you ever
5 asked to show your identification papers?
6 A. Well, let me tell you this: I had a checkpoint underneath my --
7 there was a checkpoint underneath my house when the Uzice Corps was there,
8 and they never asked me for that. I lived there. I would make them a cup
9 of coffee sometimes, to be frank.
10 Q. And did you ever see anybody at that checkpoint being asked to
11 produce their identification papers?
12 A. Yes. They did stop a car, for example, going from Zupa. They
13 controlled everyone, Serbs and Muslims alike. They would go into -- board
14 a bus on one door, and the passengers would come out the other. They
15 controlled everybody, checked everybody.
16 Q. And when they checked everybody, one of the things they would
17 check would be the identification papers; correct?
18 A. Well, yes, personal documents.
19 Q. So would it be correct to say that a person within Visegrad,
20 attempting to leave Visegrad, would not be able to pass that checkpoint
21 unless that person had their identification papers? Isn't that correct?
22 A. Well, probably. Well, I don't know what they would do, how they
23 would regulate this. I think all the inhabitants knew that they had to
24 carry them with them. Well, somebody would guarantee for somebody if they
25 knew them so that they could pass perhaps that way. That wouldn't be a
1 problem either. I think that -- that's what I think.
2 Q. You've also just told us now that regarding the police commander,
3 Dragan Tomic, that you and him were good friends, that you trusted him and
4 he trusted you; is that correct?
5 A. Well, we were neighbours. We weren't that close. We were sort of
6 the good friends. He -- in a neighbourly way. He was seven or eight --
7 he lived seven or eight houses away towards Visegrad. He was the chief of
8 police or militia, as we called it. I knew him for years in that kind of
10 Q. Would it be fair to say that other people in the area also knew
11 about this relationship that you had with Dragan Tomic?
12 A. How do you mean? You mean were we great friends and did we go out
13 together in times of peace? Or in cafes, did we frequent cafes? No. He
14 had his own friends, his own circle of friends. That wasn't it. But
15 we're good neighbours. That's our relationship, a good neighbourly
16 relationship. Because I would pass by his house every day on my way to
17 work, and I would stop if I was going by car. Or if he was going by car,
18 he would take me in his car and drive me, give me a lift into town, that
19 kind of thing, just like others would.
20 Q. Would I be correct in stating then that (redacted), who
21 frequented your house, would have been aware that Dragan Tomic was a
22 neighbour of yours?
23 A. Well, yes. (redacted) knew him. He went by the same street.
24 He knew that Dragan Tomic was a neighbour of mine. Mujo knew that.
25 Q. And Mujo also would have known that you and Dragan Tomic shared
1 good neighbourly relations? Would that be correct?
2 A. Well, I never said that. Let me say again. Let me tell you this,
3 too: I was in Dragan Tomic's house for the first time perhaps in 1994 or
4 1995. And the first time I went was when his father died, actually. He
5 never came to my house. He was never in my house, he or his brother, and
6 I went to his house only when his father died. So we weren't close
7 friends in any way.
8 I want to explain that to you. We weren't friends like friends
9 are, when you visit each other and so on, that close.
10 Q. But you've told us that your relationship with Mr. Tomic was close
11 enough that you trusted him with information that could have jeopardised
12 both you and your family, correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So it was more than just an acquaintance. It was somebody who you
15 trusted with the lives of yourself, your wife, and your children;
17 A. Well, yes. That's his duty, because I trust you, too, for
19 Q. Now, would it be fair or would you agree with me that it would not
20 be unreasonable for (redacted) to believe that if Dragan Tomic, as the
21 commander of the police, became aware that you had written a letter or
22 some kind of certificate ensuring the safety of Mujo and the other people,
23 that Dragan Tomic would respect that and would not harm those people?
24 Isn't that reasonable for Mujo to have believed that fact?
25 A. I don't know. Had I written a certificate like that, Mujo had
1 showed it when Milan Lukic came by, and Susnjar, the other man, and if it
2 had been of any worth and valid, then I'm sure he would have shown it, had
3 he had anything like that, but let me tell you, for me to issue any kind
4 of certificate, that would not be any kind of authority for Tomic. He
5 would criticise me and he would report me because it's not in my
6 competence and authority to do so.
7 How could I give anybody a piece of paper or anybody give anybody
8 a piece of paper if he didn't have the authority to do so? All he could
9 do was punish me for doing that. What's my paper worth? Nothing.
10 He is in a position to issue a paper or the army or the competent
11 authorities, some commander, some leader, some chief of some kind,
12 somebody in charge of those people who is officially in charge of
13 accompanying -- what would my paper mean, sir? My paper means nothing,
14 who am I?
15 Q. So let me ask you this question: So is it your testimony, and
16 this is in some ways a hypothetical question like Judge Taya has asked you,
17 if Mujo -- if Dragan Tomic had come to that house and spoken to (redacted)
18 (redacted) had shown him a piece of paper signed by you, saying
19 something to the effect that these people are okay, they should not be
20 harmed, it's your testimony that Dragan Tomic would have come and punished
21 you for having written that on a piece of paper? Is that your testimony
22 here today?
23 A. Well, he knows that those people are okay better than me. It's
24 his duty to follow people and monitor them and to ensure that the police
25 station has a command. If you gave a bad piece of paper, then you
1 couldn't do that either. Now, a piece of paper, if it was something good,
2 then there wouldn't be any grounds, but I don't know how to explain this
3 to you or how to express myself. I don't know how to explain the thing to
5 MR. GROOME: I think you have, Mr. Vasiljevic. No further
7 JUDGE HUNT: Now, Mr. Domazet, have you got any questions arising
8 out of the questions of either of the Judges or Mr. Groome?
9 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour.
10 Re-examined by Mr. Domazet:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vasiljevic, you spoke about Drago Gavrilovic
12 as a sort of a commander and sort of a high functionary or president of
13 the SDS. Were you personally a member of the SDS or any political
14 organisation at that time?
15 A. Let me tell you exactly. That I was a member, no, I was not.
16 Now, how do you explain when you vote for someone, when you vote for a
17 party? Now, that I was a member or attended meetings at any time or any
18 meeting, no, I did not. That wasn't -- I wasn't --
19 Q. So you weren't a member of the SDS or any other political party,
20 were you?
21 A. No, I was not.
22 Q. I didn't ask you who you voted for. When it comes to giving back
23 weapons, the question was whether you received a certificate or piece of
24 paper for returning the weapons, and you said no. Now, my question is:
25 Were you issued a piece of paper when you were issued a weapon?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Was it customary for anybody handing in weapons or getting weapons
3 to receive a certificate to that effect?
4 A. Well, I think the command takes that into account, the
5 headquarters, the staff working at the headquarters sees to that, keeps
6 records of that.
7 Q. And if I understand you correctly, asked by the Judge about the
8 incident at Sase, you said not only did you not point out the house which
9 was opposite that place as being a Muslim house, but you claim that, in
10 fact, it was a Serb house belonging to a man named Kosoric?
11 A. Yes, it's the house belonging to Stojan Kosoric.
12 Q. When we're talking about discharge papers and what it says in the
13 different columns of the discharge sheet, one question was: Did you
14 personally look to see when you left hospital, did you look at the
15 document and did you pay attention to everything that is written -- was
16 written in that document? Did you personally look at everything in the
18 A. Well, I read the discharge paper, of course, several times but I
19 didn't have it in my hands for years afterwards. It was in the archive
20 and until you showed it to me.
21 Q. When -- there was mention of insurance, some -- and we talked
22 about insurance here today. There was a question raised about that. Now,
23 in -- let's be more specific. Insurance can mean remuneration, you can
24 receive remuneration for being injured, or it can also mean insurance,
25 that is, the costs and expenses of medical treatment is paid by somebody
1 for the treatment you receive. Now, my question is: Did you receive any
2 remuneration and compensation for being injured and for being in
3 hospital? Did you receive compensation of any kind?
4 A. No, I received no compensation for being treated in hospital or
5 anything. How would I receive compensation? No, nobody asked me about
6 that. And as far as insurance goes, well, the insurance, medical
7 insurance goes via the TO, Territorial Defence. Now, I had got medical
8 insurance from the company I worked for, and I don't know how this is
9 regulated in wartime via the municipality or how it works.
10 Q. You, personally, did you pay for the costs of the operation, the
11 hospital costs and treatment?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Did you pay any costs at all?
14 A. No, no.
15 Q. And one more question connected to the question about Milan
16 Lukic. If I understood from your answer, you say that he did not hide
17 during the time he was in militia, he did not hide from the authorities in
19 A. No, he didn't hide from the authorities. And in 1996, for
20 example, he never went -- now, when he started to hide when the SFOR
21 forces -- when the presence of the international police were stepped up,
22 perhaps that was in 1988 and 1989 [as interpreted], then he didn't have
23 the cafe any more and he began to hide then and change the places he was
24 in. He changed his residence and so on, began to hide intensely after
1 Q. Would you take a look at the transcript and look at the years. Is
2 there a mistake there? It says 1988 and 1989. When you're talking about
3 it, what year was it? What years are you thinking about when he started
4 to hide, what years did you say?
5 A. 1998 and 1999, I would change that. I said 1998 and 1999.
6 Q. Did you know whether Milan Lukic was accused, is there a secret
7 indictment of The Hague Tribunal? Did you know about that?
8 A. I didn't know that he was on an indictment, but I do know that he
9 was in hiding, that he is in hiding. The papers wrote about that. The
10 papers wrote about him. But I didn't know that there was an indictment
11 against me in The Hague either, and I didn't like to associate with him
12 because I expected him to be arrested. And even if I had to drink a cup
13 of coffee, I would try to get away as soon as possible. Yes, I did know.
14 I didn't know -- it wasn't only me who knew. The whole of Visegrad knew
15 about this.
16 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Vasiljevic.
17 Thank you, I have no further questions.
18 JUDGE HUNT: You may now return to your seat behind your counsel,
19 Mr. Vasiljevic.
20 [Accused stands down]
21 JUDGE HUNT: Yes, Mr. Domazet.
22 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before the Defence --
23 the next Defence witness enters the courtroom, I should like to ask you to
24 try and solve some problems with respect to the arrival of some witnesses
25 and their testimony and the request made by some of them for protective
1 measures in view of what they experienced in coming here, but I would like
2 to discuss this in a private session, please.
3 JUDGE HUNT: Very well. We'll move into private session.
4 [Private session]
13 Page 2289 – redacted – private session.
13 Page 2290 – redacted – private session.
13 Page 2291 – redacted – private session.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
15 --- Recess taken at 11.04 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
17 [Open session] [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE HUNT: Now, Mr. Domazet, is this one of the witnesses for
19 whom we've made an order for protective measures?
20 MR. DOMAZET: No, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE HUNT: Sir, would you please make the solemn declaration in
22 terms of the document that is being handed to you by the court officer.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
24 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 WITNESS: DRAGISA DIKIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE HUNT: Sit down, please, sir.
3 MR. DOMAZET: It will be Mr. Tanaskovic.
4 JUDGE HUNT: Yes, Mr. Tanaskovic.
5 Examined by Mr. Tanaskovic:
6 Q. Mr. Dikic, good morning.
7 A. Good morning.
8 Q. I hope you feel better now after the unpleasantness and the
9 provocations you were exposed to on your journey to The Hague and that
10 you're able to testify today.
11 A. I am. Thank you.
12 Q. Tell us your name, please.
13 A. Dragisa Dikic.
14 Q. Tell us when and where you were born.
15 A. On the 13th of September, 1948, in Loznica near Visegrad.
16 Q. And where do you reside?
17 A. I am living now in Vojvode Stepe Street, no number, in Visegrad.
18 Q. Since when have you been living there?
19 A. I've been living in that street, or, rather, my parents have been
20 living there for more than 40 years, and I have been there all the time.
21 Q. Could you please make a pause between my questions, and answers so
22 that the interpreters have time to interpret. And you can look at the
23 transcript on your monitor, if it's switched on, to be able to follow.
24 Tell me, what is your profession?
25 A. By profession, I am an auto mechanic and bodyworker.
1 Q. Are you married?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Tell me, what is your occupation now?
4 A. I am practising the same trade, as a mechanic and a bodyworker.
5 Q. Does that mean that you have your privately-owned business?
6 A. Yes. I have had that private business for some 30 years.
7 Q. So that means that that was your occupation before the war as
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you know Mr. Vasiljevic?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. Where did you meet him?
13 A. He's my neighbour, Mr. Vasiljevic is. He lives about 100 or 150
14 metres away from me.
15 Q. For how long has the Vasiljevic family been living in your
17 A. Let me tell you, sir, I don't know exactly since when the
18 Vasiljevic family has been living there, but roughly as far as I am able
19 to remember, for some 20 years and more.
20 Q. Did you know Mr. Vasiljevic prior to that 20-year period? Please
21 wait a moment before giving your answer.
22 A. I have known Vasiljevic ever since he started working as a
23 waiter. I am unable to tell you how long that is exactly, but it's been a
24 long time, many years that we've known each other.
25 Q. When you say that you know him as a waiter, do you know where he
1 worked as a waiter?
2 A. As far as I know, he worked throughout in the catering
3 establishment called Panos of Visegrad.
4 Q. Does that company have several catering establishments?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you know in which of those establishments Mr. Vasiljevic
8 A. I think that Vasiljevic worked in all the different
9 establishments, at least those I am familiar with: The Visegrad Hotel,
10 the old Panos, the Visegrad Banja Ospar [phoen]. He probably worked at
11 Bikavac well, but I can't remember with precision.
12 Q. As neighbours, would you see Mr. Vasiljevic frequently and his
14 A. Well, virtually every day, especially more recently because I have
15 a workshop which is on the road itself so that I see everyone as they pass
17 Q. Tell me, where were you during the war?
18 A. During the war, I was mobilised to the Territorial Defence or
19 as -- by the military. I was assigned to the workshop for the maintenance
20 of vehicles, and that is where I spent the whole war.
21 Q. Does that mean that you were deployed there, assigned to that
22 position by the TO or the military?
23 A. Yes. I was assigned there. I got a call-up, and that was my
24 assignment. Before, it was called the JNA, then it was the TO.
25 Q. Can you tell us where that workshop was to which you were
2 A. The workshop was on the bus station, at the bus station slightly
3 outside town. It was the workshop owned by the company Centrotrans, and
4 that is where we worked all the time.
5 Q. When you mentioned Centrotrans, what was the area of activity of
6 that company?
7 A. Centrotrans was a company for the transport of passengers, and
8 they had a department for technical examinations of vehicles, and it was
9 that department that was used for the maintenance of vehicles where I
11 Q. In addition to you, were there other mechanics and workers in that
13 A. I had three other colleagues of mine working with me and a boss, a
14 superior, and then there were other services like locksmiths and others.
15 Q. Whose vehicles did you repair?
16 A. We repaired the vehicles of the Territorial Defence.
17 Q. Does that mean that this workshop had any kind of special security
18 measures, that everyone could not freely go in as they wished?
19 A. The workshop had a number of vehicles, I don't know the exact
20 number. There was a barrier. There was an office, a guard who would let
21 the vehicles in. Because all vehicles could not come in, those that were
22 not in the possession of the Territorial Defence or the army.
23 Q. You said that you were assigned to this workshop. My next
24 question is: Did you go home at all?
25 A. We were accommodated on the upper floor of the same building where
1 the workshop was, that is where we slept. But I went home quite often
2 because I was able to go in a car to visit my family and to come back.
3 Q. When you went home, would you see Mr. Vasiljevic then, too?
4 A. Yes, I would see him.
5 Q. Tell me, please, do you know whether he had any assignment and
6 what it was, if you know?
7 A. I can't tell you who was assigned where, but I would see
8 Vasiljevic quite frequently in the street with a small group of men
9 cleaning the town. That's what I saw.
10 Q. When you say that you would see Vasiljevic frequently, did you
11 notice that he had a weapon on him?
12 A. No.
13 Q. When you would see him in the street cleaning, can you remember
14 how he was dressed?
15 A. I can remember because whenever I saw him in the street, he was
16 wearing civilian clothes. I remember that well because I always wore my
17 own clothes, so actually I hardly had any clothes at all at the time.
18 Q. Can you remember, try to remember - I know it's difficult - what
19 colour those civilian clothes were?
20 A. I just know that he always wore, as he always did for as long as
21 I've known him, dark coloured suits like I wear, not light coloured. So
22 he wasn't that conspicuous. I can't remember the colour exactly, but I
23 know they were not light colours, but dark colours.
24 Q. When you said a moment ago that you would see him cleaning the
25 town, tell me what the town was being cleaned of, and did Vasiljevic do
1 this alone or with others?
2 A. The town was cleaned of various rubbish thrown by people out into
3 the street, so it was really very dirty. I would clean, too. Then there
4 were shopkeepers who would clean in front of their own shops, and
5 Vasiljevic would lead this group of five or six men, I think there were,
6 to clean, and they removed the rubbish. There were some larger objects,
7 too. I don't know. People were throwing out all kinds of things into the
9 Q. In your opinion, was the town clean after the cleaning began to be
11 A. Yes, it was clean. It couldn't be absolutely a hundred per cent
12 in order, but if it hadn't been for this cleaning, one couldn't pass, walk
13 along the street properly. And I drove the car a lot, and I was able to
14 notice it. And somebody had to do that work.
15 Q. Tell me, who was working with Vasiljevic on the cleaning job?
16 A. Doing the cleaning, as far as I noticed, there were men of other
17 ethnic groups. There were Serbs and Muslims, shopkeepers. Salesmen would
18 also clean, probably under his kind of orders or requests. I don't know.
19 Q. A moment ago, you said that he wore a civilian dark suit or
20 clothes, as you put it. Tell us, please, when you saw him cleaning the
21 town or organising the cleaning, did you notice him wearing anything on
22 those clothes? Wait a moment, please. Don't hurry.
23 A. Yes, I did. On his arm, he had a red ribbon, only I can't
24 remember exactly which arm.
25 Q. On that ribbon, was there any sign or emblem, or was it just a red
1 ribbon, plain red ribbon?
2 A. A red ribbon, an ordinary red ribbon of -- made of some material,
4 Q. Mr. Dikic, can you tell us, when you would see him involved in the
5 organisation of the cleaning of the town, what period was that? What time
7 A. I cannot remember exactly the time, but he cleaned the town. From
8 the beginning of the war, as far as I remember, he was involved in the
9 cleaning of the town. I don't know the exact dates. I wasn't aware that
10 I would ever need to remember those things.
11 Q. If you could tell us, was that before the Uzice Corps arrived or
12 after they had left?
13 A. I can't remember exactly when that cleaning took place. He didn't
14 just clean the town on one day for me to be able to remember the day. I
15 just know that I saw him many times cleaning the town. I think it could
16 have been after the Uzice Corps left and also before they left.
17 Q. Do you remember when the Uzice Corps arrived or when they left?
18 Do you know that?
19 A. Again, I can't tell you the exact date, but I think that the corps
20 was there in May. I don't know exactly.
21 Q. Did you see Mr. Vasiljevic after that?
22 A. I did see him, but again I can't give you any exact date. I saw
23 him on crutches, but again I can't tell you when exactly that was.
24 Q. When you saw him carrying crutches, where would you see him?
25 A. Also in passing, because as I was saying, I used the car a lot, so
1 that as I drove by, I would see him going walking with crutches.
2 Q. Did you know or did you learn why he was using crutches?
3 A. I did. As according to what I heard - I didn't see it - he fell
4 off a horse, and he broke a leg.
5 Q. Do you know or do you not know for how long he used those
7 A. For a couple of months he did, but again, I can't tell you any
8 exact dates.
9 Q. You told us you knew your neighbour Vasiljevic well. Tell me, did
10 he ever wear a moustache?
11 A. No. I don't remember ever seeing him with a moustache.
12 Q. Do you know whether he had a nickname?
13 A. No.
14 Q. You said that Mr. Vasiljevic worked as a waiter and also he was
15 your neighbour. Tell us, please, do you know that Vasiljevic liked to
16 have a drink and that he got drunk quite often?
17 A. Yes, I know that. He liked to have a drink.
18 Q. And where would that usually be?
19 A. Usually in the -- in the restaurants he was working in, in Panos
20 or in Cadzava, in Mezalin. In those coffee bars which were not too
22 Q. So I can take it that you would see him drunk?
23 A. Yes. I would see him under the influence of alcohol, drunk.
24 Q. Do you know how he behaved when he was under the influence of
25 alcohol? Was he aggressive or anything like that?
1 A. I would see him drunk many times. He's funny. He becomes funny.
2 As far as I know him, he was never aggressive, nor did I ever see him
3 provoking a quarrel or a conflict. He wasn't very interesting when he was
5 Q. Does that mean that in that condition, in your opinion, he would
6 not cause any excesses?
7 A. As far as I know and the many times that I was present, he did
9 Q. Tell me, please, did you ever see Mr. Vasiljevic wearing a
10 uniform? And if you did, what kind of uniform?
11 JUDGE HUNT: Haven't you already asked him that question? I
12 thought you asked him that a long time ago, and he said no, he'd never
13 seen him in a uniform. I don't know whether -- I'm sorry. I'm reminded
14 it might have been a cleaning uniform. You're asking now about an army
15 uniform, are you?
16 MR. TANASKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 Q. Can you answer that question, Mr. Dikic, please?
18 A. I don't remember seeing him wearing a uniform. And to be a
19 hundred per cent truthful, it's possible that I may have seen him wearing
20 an SMB shirt. That is an olive-green coloured shirt, the shirt worn by
21 our former army. Actually, it still exists. It is the colour of military
22 uniforms. But as for any other part of the uniform, I really never saw
23 him wearing anything but civilian clothes.
24 Q. Can you tell us, in your street, your street and Mr. Vasiljevic's
25 street, was there a checkpoint, and if so, when, if you can tell us?
1 A. There was a checkpoint. Actually, between his house and mine, in
2 fact closer to his house than mine. It was a military checkpoint manned
3 by the Uzice Corps, and I think that it existed, and I apologise again if
4 I give you the wrong date, but when the Uzice Corps arrived at the
5 beginning, so this may have been April or May, end of April. I don't know
6 exactly. When the Uzice Corps entered, they immediately set up this
8 Q. Before the arrival of the Uzice Corps and after its departure, in
9 your street was there a checkpoint still?
10 A. No.
11 Q. When you said that the Uzice Corps had set up the checkpoint, who
12 manned the checkpoint, who was on duty at the checkpoint?
13 A. Well, the army of the Uzice Corps, the soldiers.
14 Q. Do you happen to know that at that time some paramilitary groups
15 were in existence?
16 A. At the beginning of the war, some groups, the paramilitary did
17 appear, that they were called something like that. But I didn't have much
18 contact, in general terms, with any of those soldiers or anything like
20 Q. Do you know what the groups were called; do you know their names?
21 A. Well, I don't know. I remember well that some White Eagles
22 appeared on the scene. I don't know. There were some sort of terrible
23 strange names, but I wasn't interested and I don't really remember them.
24 May I just add, I remember the White Eagles because once, when I
25 came by in my car, that a man stopped me and took my particulars and
1 threatened to lock me up. He said, "I don't want to see you in the
2 streets or I'll put you in gaol." That's how I remember, and that's how I
3 remembered the name the White Eagles.
4 Q. May we then take it that that man was a member of the White
5 Eagles; is that what you're saying?
6 A. Well, I don't know. He was masked, and my colleagues in the work
7 shop commented and said that they had heard that they were the White
8 Eagles. Probably, hm, well ...
9 Q. You said that he was masked. Can you describe how, what do you
10 mean by that, how was he masked?
11 A. Well, yes, I can. His head was painted. You could just see his
12 teeth and eyes. I couldn't recognise the face. I couldn't see the face.
13 Well, quite simply, I was afraid when I saw him looking like that.
14 Q. Can you tell us whether the members of those White Eagles, as you
15 call them, were from Visegrad, the Uzice Corps or some third group?
16 A. They were not from Visegrad, that's for sure. Now, they came
17 around the time that the Uzice Corps turned up. Where they came from, I
18 don't know, because Visegrad didn't have any army at the time except for
19 the Territorial Defence.
20 Q. Does that mean that had they been people from Visegrad, you would
21 have recognised them?
22 A. Well, probably. I was born in Visegrad, so most probably I would
23 recognise practically anyone either by their speech or by something else,
24 their eyes or the way they opened their mouths, what they said. That kind
25 of thing. And I think -- I'm convinced because I know, judging by myself,
1 that no person from Visegrad would have acted that way, not towards me.
2 Q. Did I understand you correctly to say that you concluded that from
3 their speech because they didn't talk like people from Visegrad, they
4 didn't talk the same way?
5 A. Well, the way they talked and the way they behaved, too. Their
6 manner was brusque, violent.
7 Q. And the next question: Did you know Milan Lukic?
8 A. I met Milan Lukic sometime, and don't hold me to the date, around
9 1996, perhaps, 1995 or 1996.
10 Q. How did you come to meet him?
11 A. Well, it was like this: I met Milan because after the war, I
12 started working in the shop, I opened my business again, and -- as that
13 was the only shop that was working after the war. So a man turned up with
14 a Golf vehicle, a Golf 3, and I remember that very well because in
15 Visegrad, there was not a single Golf type 3 in town.
16 I did some work on the Golf, as I recall. I put right a part in
17 the front of the vehicle, or the body; I did some bodywork or straightened
18 a part. There was nothing much wrong with the car, it wasn't a major
19 fault or breakdown, and when I had finished the work, the man who was in
20 the workshop with me asked -- said to me, "Do you know who that man is?"
21 And I said, "No." And he said, "Well, that's Milan Lukic. That's him."
22 And after that, he stopped by the workshop one more time, I think, and he
23 also had a minor fault with the car, and that's all. That's as much as I
24 know him.
25 Q. You said that that was the first time that you had actually seen
1 Lukic. Tell us, please, whether you had ever seen that particular man
2 with Mr. Vasiljevic ever.
3 A. No, I never saw Mr. Vasiljevic, nor did I ever see Lukic in
4 Visegrad before that.
5 Q. Let me now ask you another question about the relationship of kum,
6 kumship relationship. You are by ethnicity what?
7 A. A Serb.
8 Q. A Serb, you say. Very well. So I'm sure you know what kum and
9 kumship relations mean and imply.
10 A. As far as I know, a kum with us Serbs is something great. It is
11 something highly respected, a person who is really genuinely respected.
12 And that dates back a long way, to our forefathers, and is passed on from
13 one generation to the next.
14 With us Serbs, the worst thing that can happen is if you suddenly
15 decide to change your kum without any special reason for doing so or if
16 the kum asks for that to be done. It would be a big sin, sort of. That's
17 what I know, as far as I know about kumship.
18 Q. Mr. Dikic, you said that you were a neighbour of Mr. Vasiljevic's,
19 that you see him and his family around. Can you tell me, please, on the
20 basis of what you have said so far, can you give me your opinion, in fact,
21 what kind of man was Vasiljevic as a man and as a neighbour? What kind of
22 person was he?
23 A. Well, this is what I can say, briefly speaking, about Vasiljevic
24 as a neighbour: He was a really very good neighbour. I think he was a
25 good parent, too, looking at his children, judging by his children. I
1 don't think he neglected his family in any way, and that is something that
2 you can notice. You can notice it by the behaviour of the children. He
3 liked to help everybody in the neighbourhood.
4 His only -- the only drawback he has, his only fault, is that he
5 liked to drink a little too much, drink alcohol too much. Now, of course
6 when you're under the effects of alcohol, you can sometimes do something
7 that is not very good, but as far as I know, as far as I am aware, Mitar
8 did not make any transgressions vis-a-vis his neighbours, and that they
9 hold him in high esteem.
10 Q. You gave a statement previously with respect to that, and as far
11 as I remember, you said that the arrest of Mr. Vasiljevic surprised you.
13 A. Well, I personally really was surprised, because I could not
14 understand something. I couldn't understand that a man could be arrested,
15 if you can call it that, and if that is the case, as I see it personally,
16 who is innocent. He had some troubles and some good points, but that he
17 could have done some things that are ascribed to him, I just can't believe
18 it. I can't believe it. And I make this conclusion because I know him
19 well enough.
20 Mitar, as a neighbour, would stop by the workshop, sometimes would
21 chat. You know, the SFOR people lodged in his house, and he always said
22 very nice things about them. In fact, he said more nice things about them
23 than I would be able to say about people: that they were very clean and
24 tidy, that their behaviour was very nice towards him and his family and
25 his children, that he had absolute trust and confidence in them, so much
1 so that his children would drive around in their jeeps. He sent his
2 children to a course, to attend a course. And I talked to Nidzo. He
3 attended a French language course, as far as I remember, at the beginning
4 with them. And that's why I was so surprised, to tell you the truth, to
5 be quite honest.
6 Q. When you said his "Nidzo," who is Nidzo? Could you tell us,
8 A. Nidzo is his son.
9 Q. Mr. Dikic, in view of the fact of what you have just said and as
10 Visegrad isn't a big place anyway, big town, people know each other, would
11 you have noticed Mr. Vasiljevic had he been a member of, as you said a
12 moment ago, the group called the White Eagles or some other group? Let's
13 say paramilitary. Would you have noticed that? Would you see it or hear
14 about it?
15 A. Not only would I see it and hear about it, but it's something that
16 I just don't know how to describe to you. There was so much fear when
17 these masked people came up to you and frightened you. And Mitar could
18 never do that, could never act the part. Never, as far as I know him.
19 It's difficult to describe the terror they instilled in us if you hadn't
20 experienced it yourself, and I can guarantee that, that it was not him.
21 He was not one of them. He could not have been. He could not have acted
22 the part out, if I can put it that way, because the people that did those
23 things at that time, they came from somewhere else and they were trained
24 that way. An ordinary person couldn't do that, somebody who had never
25 been in that chaotic -- in those chaotic events and everything. Somebody
1 must have been in a war somewhere to be able to behave like that.
2 Q. Does that mean that in view of Mr. Vasiljevic's profession, a
3 waiter, and the small town that Visegrad was, where everything is heard
4 about, seen, and learnt of, that couldn't have --
5 A. Of course. Yes. It takes very little time for news to travel
6 through town. It whizzes past, and you can go right round the town in two
7 or three minutes. It wouldn't take you more to walk round the town, to go
8 round the town.
9 Q. And finally, let me ask you, did you ever hear of that or
10 something similar, or did it pass through town, any rumours of that kind
11 about Mitar Vasiljevic, anything connected to him of that nature?
12 A. I'm not clear on the question.
13 Q. It was something like that. That is to say, the events that you
14 have -- you said that anything like that would have been heard about in
15 town. Did you ever hear of rumours of those kind going round town
16 connected to Mitar Vasiljevic?
17 A. No. No.
18 MR. TANASKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
20 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Ossogo, yes.
21 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. My name is
22 Mr. Ossogo, for the interpreters.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Ossogo:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Dragisa Dikic, I'm going to ask you a few
25 questions with regard to what you have been just telling us about your
1 relationships with Mr. Mitar Vasiljevic and about some points in his
2 professional life and private life.
3 Let us go back to what you said about how you knew Mr. Mitar. You
4 gave us a number of details, and you said that you lived 150 metres from
5 his house and that your parents lived in the house for 40 years, over 40
6 years. Could you tell us how long you lived with your parents?
7 A. I lived in my family house until I got married, and that was 23
8 years ago, but I would come daily because my shop was connected to my
9 family house, my parents' house, that is to say, it was situated in the
10 lower part of my parents' house, that's where I had my workshop, so that I
11 would come there every day. It was all connected to my parents' house.
12 And afterwards, I built my own house, but that house, too, was linked to
13 my parents' house, adjoining my parents' house.
14 Q. Do you want to say that the house you built was adjoining to your
15 parents' house, not far away?
16 A. Right up next to the house, that is to say, it was four metres
17 away from my parents' house, right beside it. There was just a gap of
18 four metres between my parents' house and the house I built.
19 Q. That means that your new house was not far from Mr. Mitar's house
20 either. It was all the same neighbourhood.
21 A. Well, yes, it's the same distance. The difference, if you were to
22 measure it in metres, was five or six metres from my house and my parents'
23 house if you were to look at the distance from the actual entrance door of
24 the house or the threshold, if you were to measure it.
25 Q. You said that you often saw Mr. Mitar passing by, but you also
1 said that you visited each other. Did you visit each other frequently as
2 neighbours? Did you pay neighbourly visits often?
3 A. No. I don't think I said that our families saw each other, but
4 that I saw Mitar because my workshop faces the road which passes by
5 Mitar's house into town, and the door of my workshop is seven metres away
6 from the road. Those are the urban regulations. So that I would see
7 Mitar almost every day and his family members passing by and, of course, I
8 didn't talk to them every single day, we would just say hello, sometimes
9 we'd have a chat. That kind of thing.
10 Q. So we couldn't qualify your relationships as intimate, they were
11 just good neighbourly relations?
12 A. Yes, precisely.
13 Q. You would -- you qualified him as a good husband and as a good
14 father of his -- without having close relations with him, without being
15 intimate with, you have described him as a good father and a good husband?
16 A. That was my conclusion, and I stand by that. My conclusion was
17 based on the behaviour of his child who would come to the workshop daily,
18 every day. And you all know that all children, small children, are
19 interested in cars, and tools, and keys, and screwdrivers, and things like
20 that. So I would let children repair their bicycles, and it is for that
21 reason that I made the conclusion that he was a good father because the
22 child was always clean and well-dressed. He wasn't a neglected child. So
23 I personally came to the conclusion that he was a good father to his
25 I wasn't that close to him. I wasn't such an intimate friend with
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 him, but I was a good neighbour of his, and this is my personal
3 Q. You were assigned to this workshop, as you told us. Do you know
4 where Mitar was assigned to even though you don't have intimate relations
5 with him; you have information about his professional life?
6 A. I didn't have information, nor did I look for any such
7 information. I know that Mitar was working because I went to these coffee
8 bars and would see Mitar working as a waiter, serving there. He served
9 me, too, and others. And that was how I came to the conclusion that he
10 was an employee of Panos. And I can't be wrong when I'm saying that he
11 worked in Panos at the hotel or in the Banja or in Bikavac when it is all
12 one and the same company. There were no other companies. This was a
13 state-owned company with all these establishments.
14 Q. I was asking you whether you have any information about Mitar's
15 mobilisation, where he was deployed, as you were deployed to this
17 A. I don't know, and I'd rather not talk about that because I really
18 don't know who assigned him to the job I saw him doing, that is cleaning
19 and keeping the town in order. I know that I was called up and assigned
20 to the workshop. I don't know about him precisely. All I can say is what
21 I saw in passing.
22 Now, who mobilised him and whether he was mobilised is something I
23 don't know.
24 Q. You said that you would often go home. What did you mean, after
25 working hours or during working hours?
1 A. After work and also during working hours. You see, our work
2 didn't have fixed working hours. Our job was to be on duty all the time,
3 and I would go home because I had elderly parents and I went to check on
4 them. I had a sick father who died during the war from his illness. So I
5 would just run home for a moment to see how they were and come back
7 Q. You are giving us two reasons now why you couldn't know what the
8 professional position was of Mr. Mitar Vasiljevic. I should like to read
9 from your statement you gave last year and what you told us regarding this
10 point in the English version. [In English] "I don't know where and if
11 Mitar were assigned during the war because I worked day and night in the
12 workshop where I was assigned. Therefore, I seldom went home, and I
13 consequently seldom saw him."
14 [Interpretation] Is what you stated correct, which is rather
15 strange for somebody who has a minimum relationship with his neighbour?
16 A. I don't think that's strange at all. I think there's no
17 difference there. I don't know to what extent you think this is different
18 from what I said. I think that statement is almost -- not almost, it is
19 identical to what I said. I said that I would see Mitar cleaning the town
20 as I passed by. That doesn't mean to say that I saw him every day, but I
21 can't tell you exactly how often I rushed off home.
22 Q. No, it is the difference in the reasons you are giving, and that
23 you had the possibility of going home quite often, as you said in your
24 examination-in-chief a moment ago.
25 I'm just coming to this point of the cleaning of the streets. The
1 population, did it have a positive or negative attitude towards the work
2 done by Mr. Vasiljevic? And before he undertook the cleaning of the town,
3 were there others doing the same work?
4 A. At the time, no, at least I didn't notice others.
5 Q. I didn't quite understand your answer. You haven't answered my
7 A. When I saw Mitar and this group of people cleaning the streets, I
8 didn't see other organisations doing the cleaning. I don't know.
9 Nowadays, we have a public utility company and people wearing particular
10 clothes doing cleaning work. In those days, I didn't see any such people
11 doing the cleaning work.
12 Q. Mr. Dragisa, you spoke of what you knew about the existence of a
13 paramilitary unit at the beginning of the war which operated in the
14 environs of your place of residence and work. You also told us that there
15 were some units with a name, without telling their name, but most
16 frequently used name was the White Eagles; is that right?
17 A. I can't remember the other names.
18 Q. You told us that the other names could be obscenities and that
19 you'd rather not mention them.
20 A. I would tell you if I could remember. There's no reason for me to
21 avoid telling you.
22 Q. When you said "obscene" in addition to "White Eagles," you said
23 the other groups had obscene names. What did you mean?
24 A. Well, you see, when the Uzice Corps entered, in those days, at
25 that time, I think that these paramilitaries appeared. The White Eagles,
1 I noticed them because I personally experienced unpleasantness. All these
2 other names I just heard working in the shop, but it really didn't
3 interest me. So that is probably why I don't remember those names. I
4 just didn't register them.
5 Q. Do you know who could have been the leaders of the group whose
6 name you know, that is, the White Eagles?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Mr. Dragisa, this garage, was it a small garage, a big garage?
9 Was it visited by many people?
10 A. Are you referring to the garage that I was assigned to by the
11 military or after the war?
12 Q. After the war.
13 A. After the war. After the war, it's a smaller workshop of 160
14 square metres in area in which I carry out painting of cars, minor
15 repairs, general repairs. There are usually two or three people working
16 there. I -- just now I have some apprentices who are learning the trade
17 to become mechanics.
18 Q. It is in this garage that you saw Milan Lukic for the first time
19 and that you said that you hadn't known him from before?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You spoke of this kumship relationship. Do you know that
22 Mr. Mitar Vasiljevic was -- had a kumship relationship with Mr. Milan
24 A. No.
25 Q. Have you heard any mention before these proceedings of any
1 relationship or criminal association between Milan Lukic and Mitar
3 A. No, I have not. I never heard anything like that.
4 Q. You yourself, were you ever mentioned having some criminal
5 association during the war and after that?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Have you ever heard talk of Mr. Mitar Knezevic?
8 A. I personally met Mitar Knezevic. Not actually personally, I never
9 needed him, but I do know, again from restaurants, from coffee shops that
10 I go to often.
11 Q. Did you have any closer contact with him ever?
12 A. Never, if that means anything. That I may have been sitting at
13 the table next to his, if that means anything.
14 Q. And apart from sitting at the next table, you never socialised
15 with him? You never even drank with him?
16 A. I was never a drinking man, nor did I socialise with him. That
17 was not my circle of friends at all.
18 Q. Mr. Dragisa, did you know Mr. Banovic?
19 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry. "Oliver Krsmanovic." The interpreter
20 apologises, didn't get the name.
21 A. I do know Oliver Krsmanovic.
22 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I didn't get the answer.
24 A. Yes, I do know him.
25 Q. How do you know him?
1 A. It is such a small town that I know the people living in town, in
2 the downtown area, and I know many of those people through my own
3 workshop, my garage.
4 Q. Was he involved in the paramilitary groups that you mentioned a
5 moment ago?
6 A. I don't know that.
7 Q. Do you know Mr. Novica?
8 A. Novica, I don't know.
9 Q. These mentioned persons emerged from certain investigations that
10 we have made, and your name appears involved in the activities, criminal
11 activities, that were engaged in in your area. What do you say to that?
12 A. Believe me, I am not aware of these things. I really don't know
13 to say to you.
14 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Ossogo, it may be that the question wasn't
15 properly recorded, but it's recorded as saying: "These mentioned
16 persons," those are the people you've been asking him of, "emerged from
17 certain investigations that we have made, and your name," that is the
18 witness's name, "appears involved in the criminal activities that were
19 engaged in in your area."
20 Is that what you asked?
21 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] That is correct, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE HUNT: How can he possibly answer that? If you want to put
23 something to him about his criminal activities, put it to him, put it to
24 him directly. You can't just ask somebody in a general sense like that
25 about somebody else has made allegations against him. Put the particular
1 criminal activities to him if you have any. But I can understand the
2 witness's problem.
3 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Mr. Dragisa Dikic, were you involved in one way or another in
5 criminal activities specifically in the area in which you lived and worked
6 in association with the persons whose names I mentioned?
7 A. I was never on any grounds whatsoever ever under criminal
8 investigation or called to court. I have never had any problems in my
10 As for involvement with some people which are under suspicion,
11 that is out of the question. I can guarantee that. I stand by that. I
12 have nothing to do with those people.
13 Q. Mr. Dragisa Dikic, let us come back to these facts and the
14 clothing of Mr. Mitar Vasiljevic, which you gave us some indication of a
15 moment ago. You told us that he wore a red ribbon around his arm when he
16 was cleaning the streets; is that right?
17 A. Yes. Yes, that is correct.
18 Q. Was it on his hand or on his shoulder, this ribbon?
19 A. Around his arm.
20 Q. And this ribbon had no particular signs on it?
21 A. I'm quite sure of that. It was an ordinary ribbon that I noticed
22 because it was red. On his arm like this, this part of the arm, an
23 ordinary ribbon. Probably a piece torn off or a piece of cloth, red
25 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Ossogo, I couldn't see where the witness was
1 pointing to, could you? When he said it was on his arm, the screen in
2 front of him had hid the movement from me, anyway. We should record where
3 it was he pointed to.
4 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
5 Q. Mr. Dragisa, would you please show us exactly where you saw this
6 red ribbon?
7 A. A red ribbon here, this part of the arm. I just don't know which
8 arm it was, but this part of the arm. That was where the ribbon was.
9 JUDGE HUNT: The witness is pointing to just above the shoulder --
10 I'm sorry, the elbow, the elbow.
11 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
12 Q. You heard the remark of the President. You were saying round the
13 arm or a part of the arm; is that what you meant, round the arm or on a
14 part of the arm?
15 A. I don't know what you mean "half the arm." I saw the ribbon
16 around his arm. It may have been like this wide, a red ribbon like this.
17 Q. How wide was it, could you tell us? Could you be more precise
18 about the width?
19 A. Well, five or six, maybe ten centimetres. Like this, like this,
20 an ordinary red ribbon. I can't tell you exactly.
21 Q. Five or ten centimetres. So it wasn't around his arm?
22 A. Yes. Yes. Around his arm, yes.
23 Q. Around the arm or --
24 JUDGE HUNT: He's saying the material is that wide, and he
25 identified what I would have thought was closer to five than ten
1 centimetres, but that's how wide the material is, not how long it is.
2 Now, could we get on to something which is a little bit more
3 relevant to this case? We've got the ribbon, we've got the ribbon around
4 his arm. He doesn't know which arm it was. It was just above the elbow.
5 It was about five centimetres wide, it could have been red material, any
6 piece of red material.
7 Now, I don't think you can really pursue this one any further,
8 Mr. Ossogo. Let's get on with it.
9 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. I didn't quite
10 understand whether he was speaking of the width or the thickness of the
11 material, but now I understand.
12 Q. Were other members of this group wearing this ribbon, this group
13 of five or six people?
14 A. No.
15 Q. So he was the only one wearing this ribbon?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did he, by any chance, give you -- tell you the reasons why he was
18 wearing it?
19 A. He didn't tell me. I never stopped to talk to him and ask him why
20 he was wearing this ribbon. Most probably, he was wearing the ribbon
21 because he was some kind of leader or boss or chief of something there,
22 that's why he probably wore it.
23 Q. Regarding Mr. Mitar's affiliation with the paramilitary group, you
24 were categorical saying that he never belonged to any one of these groups;
25 is that correct?
1 A. As far as I know, and as far as my opinion is concerned, as far as
2 I know, I don't have to know everything, but as far as I know, I do not
3 know that he was a member of any of those groups.
4 Q. What did you mean when you said you don't have to know
5 everything? Do you mean that you don't have all the information?
6 A. It's not that I don't have all the information. I'm not
7 interested in everything. I have my own problems and I can't think about
8 everything and everybody.
9 Q. You said that the behaviour of the members of the paramilitary
10 groups that were operating in your region could not be done by somebody
11 who was born in Visegrad, who came from Visegrad, they couldn't behave in
12 the same way; is that right?
13 A. Judging by their behaviour, as far as I am familiar with the
14 people of Visegrad, those I know, I think they couldn't have acted in that
16 Q. Are you trying to tell us that there was no violence in Visegrad
17 at this time during the war?
18 A. I am not trying to say anything. I am just saying -- telling you
19 what I know and what I saw, and if I didn't see something, I can't tell
20 you about it.
21 Q. But there were killings in Visegrad, after all?
22 A. I am not claiming anything. I really didn't see it. I had such a
23 work assignment that I was a little to the side. I told you where this
24 workshop was so I wasn't au courant. I didn't have any need to walk
25 around. I was doing the work I was assigned to do.
1 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it is 1.00, I think.
2 JUDGE HUNT: We will resume at 2.30.
3 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Ossogo.
3 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Mr. Dragisa Dikic, I'd like now to go back to some points that we
5 touched upon this morning. On the road your house was located on, there
6 were no house numbers; is that right? There were no house numbers for the
7 houses on your road?
8 A. The street and the actual name plate of the street, which is now
9 called Vojvoda Stepe Street, the actual plaque is on my house, and my
10 house is BB, which means "bez broja," which means no number.
11 Q. Do the other houses have numbers to identify their address on that
12 same street?
13 A. Yes. Yes, they do.
14 Q. Thank you. You told us that you worked in a workshop to repair
15 vehicles and the buses, the Centrotrans buses. Now, do you know whether
16 those buses transported Muslims in a selective way to other places, to
17 Gradacac or somewhere like that?
18 A. I don't know. It's not private. It's a company, a state-owned
19 company or socially owned, as we called it, and I think it still is. But
20 the workshop is separate. It has a fence separating it from the bus-stop,
21 so that I don't know. And if I need to clarify, between the workshop and
22 bus-stop, there is a ramp which that sort of keeper or watchman was there
23 who would let the vehicles pass, if that means anything to you.
24 Q. Yes. But outside your workshop, you weren't able to get that kind
25 of information as a well-known garagist or a garagist of a well-known
1 workshop? This was common knowledge that there were transports of this
2 kind in Visegrad.
3 A. I really don't know. It's not something I know.
4 Q. What about generally speaking? Did you not know that you had
5 Muslim neighbours or that there were Muslims in Visegrad?
6 A. I know there were Muslims in Visegrad.
7 Q. Do you know whether they were the object of discrimination or
8 violent acts of any kind on the part of the non-Muslims?
9 A. I don't know what -- in what sense you mean. As I myself am
10 concerned, nothing. Now, I don't know what -- I don't know how to answer
11 that. I don't actually understand your question fully.
12 Q. My question was very clear. You lived in a town, a city, a
13 municipality. And we're not interested in --
14 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, we didn't understand that bit.
15 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
16 Q. But you know there were ethnic clashes. Now, I'm interested to
17 know whether, in general terms, you know that the Muslim population from
18 Visegrad was the object of violence, that is, that violence was committed
19 by the non-Muslim population against them and especially the Serbs.
20 A. No, I don't know that.
21 Q. So you didn't know that there were inter-ethnic conflicts in the
22 Visegrad municipality?
23 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Ossogo, as I understand it, there's no real issue
24 about this case. Do we have to really take him through it when he keeps
25 on saying he doesn't know about it? There's no real issue about it.
1 There's been no dispute with any of the witnesses who have given evidence
2 about it.
3 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. We've had --
4 have a witness who took the declaration, and a garagist of that repute who
5 said that he wasn't au courant with the conflicts. Now, whether this is
6 because of arrogance or because he -- which leads us to doubt other points
7 of his testimony which are relevant in that case, or whether we are
8 amusing ourselves.
9 JUDGE HUNT: [Previous translation continues]... Now, please let's
10 move on to the matters which are at issue in the case.
11 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Dragisa, did you hear mention about a vehicle, a red Passat,
13 rouge, a Volkswagen belonging to a lady called Behija Zukic?
14 A. I don't know that.
15 Q. Did you hear mention about the murder of that lady? Did you hear
16 about that?
17 THE INTERPRETER: The witness gave no audible answer. The
18 interpreters could not hear.
19 JUDGE HUNT: Sir, could you repeat your answer, please? The
20 interpreters could not hear you. Did you hear about the murder of the
21 lady who owned the red Volkswagen?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I did not.
23 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]
24 Q. You said, Mr. Dragisa Dikic, that you had heard people saying that
25 Mr. Mitar had fallen off a horse and that he fractured -- had a fracture
1 as a result. Is that right?
2 A. I heard that he fell off a horse and broke his leg. Actually, I
3 saw him with crutches.
4 Q. Who did you hear that from, who told you that?
5 A. Well, people talked about it in the workshop, people talked about
6 it. I didn't see it happen, but I heard that he had fallen off a horse
7 and they said -- talked about it that particular day. Now, I can't
8 remember what that day was. I don't know the exact date.
9 Q. When you say "that day," what day do you mean?
10 A. Well, I don't remember the day. I don't remember the day.
11 Q. Do you remember the month?
12 A. I don't remember the month, but I know it was just about the time
13 when the Uzice Corps withdrew.
14 Q. Before or after the departure of the Uzice Corps?
15 A. After the withdrawal of the Uzice Corps.
16 Q. Where did you meet Mr. Mitar with crutches? Did he give you the
17 reasons for this?
18 A. I didn't even ask him.
19 Q. You didn't discuss that point?
20 A. No, I didn't talk about that at all.
21 Q. But he was your neighbour, you had very good relations.
22 A. Yes, but I was working in the workshop. I didn't have much
23 contact with my neighbours at that time.
24 Q. In the workshop where you learnt the news, you didn't -- they
25 weren't discussing the circumstances of this falling off the horse?
1 A. No.
2 Q. You said that he carried the crutches.
3 A. He had crutches, yes. I would see him with crutches when I met
4 him in the street. Now, if you're thinking about the rumour going around
5 the workshop as to how Mitar had fallen off the horse, the story was that
6 the horse had taken fright when he saw his reflection in a shop window and
7 that he did a jerky movement and Mitar fell off, if you're interested.
8 That was the story bandied around town, that the horse had taken fright.
9 Q. So that was the version of the facts that were talked about in the
10 workshop, that the horse saw its own reflection in a shop window and
11 jerked and the rider fell?
12 A. Well, knowing the town, as it happened in front of a department
13 store, there's a shop window, not a mirror. It was a shop window, not a
14 mirror. It's an ordinary shop window, glass.
15 Q. You said this morning that he was wearing crutches for several
16 months. Do you happen to know how many months he used the crutches for?
17 A. I couldn't say.
18 Q. Was he absent for a time, after that fall from the horse, from his
20 A. Well, he was. I didn't see him during that time, and I heard
21 people say that he was lying in bed in hospital in Uzice.
22 Q. Who told you that?
23 A. Well, people, townsfolk, the people in town. And they would pass
24 through the workshop and I would hear about things like that. That's what
25 I know.
1 Q. So no member of his family told you anything, not his wife and not
2 his children that you knew.
3 A. I did not even ask them, nor did they volunteer any information.
4 Q. Well, it seems improbable that you live in the conditions you live
5 in and that your neighbour has such a serious accident and that nobody
6 told you anything, and yet you say you had good neighbourly relations.
7 A. Well, as far as I know, I said what I knew. As far as I know, I
8 told you what I knew. Well, I couldn't contact with my neighbours much.
9 I would just see my neighbours in passing because I worked around the
10 clock day and night in my workshop.
11 Q. Mr. Dragisa Dikic, do you know why Mr. Mitar is here?
12 A. I know that he stands accused. As far as I was able to hear from
13 the media, that's what I know.
14 Q. You asserted, however, that you don't think he was capable of
15 committing any crimes. That's what you said this morning; that's right,
16 isn't it? Now, what crimes were you talking about?
17 A. Well, I don't know. Over the media in our country, I heard that
18 Mitar had been accused of some killings, and that's what I was thinking of
19 when I said ...
20 Q. Mr. Dragisa Dikic, if you're showing such great indifference with
21 respect to a neighbour and his family that find themselves isolated from
22 their breadwinner, I don't know how you can state and put your hand in the
23 fire for something like that and say that your neighbour is innocent, a
24 neighbour with whom you don't seem to have any relationships when he was
25 undergoing a hardship.
1 We mentioned here several facts which refer to the situation in
2 Visegrad, but you say you know nothing about the killings or nothing about
3 the crimes that took place and that you know nothing about conflicts
4 between the Serbs and the Muslims, and from morning to evening, you say
5 all you did was work in the workshop. And sometimes you -- and you also
6 said that you would go outside the workshop and go home, but that you
7 don't know whether Mr. Mitar was assigned a work assignment of any kind or
8 who was there.
9 You claim that you had regular relations with his family and
10 children but that you didn't talk to Mr. Mitar about his injury and his
11 fall from the horse. However, you, nonetheless, say that he was a good
12 father, a good husband, so we're asking -- I'm asking myself whether you
13 are mocking us here.
14 Thank you, Mr. President.
15 A. I'd like to tell the gentleman that everything I said here and all
16 I said about Mitar, what kind of man he was, that's what I think. I think
17 he was like that right until the beginning of the war. I didn't speak
18 about Mitar only during the war.
19 Since I have known him, until the war broke out, that's my
20 assessment of him. That's what I said when I said that he was the kind of
21 man I think he is. And I stand by what I said, and I'm not ashamed to say
22 it. I'm not ashamed to say what I said here.
23 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Ossogo, it is not the usual practice of counsel
24 to be permitted to make comments such as that very long comment of yours
25 when you sat down.
1 If you want to ask questions, you ask questions. Later on during
2 the course of the final addresses, you may make comments, but that was no
3 more than a comment upon his evidence, and I hope you won't do it again.
4 Yes, Mr. Tanaskovic, any re-examination?
5 MR. TANASKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when Mr. Ossogo read
6 out a part of the prior statement of this witness, that is, Dragisa Dikic,
7 he read out only a part of that statement. So I would like to read the
8 continuation of that statement which Mr. Ossogo failed to read out.
9 So Mr. Ossogo read out quite correctly what Mr. Dikic said, but
10 then he goes on to say:
11 "What I know and what I saw is Mitar organised the cleaning of
12 the town and the streets from rubbish and waste" --
13 I apologise. I repeat:
14 "What I know and what I saw is that Mitar organised the cleaning
15 of the town and the streets of rubbish, all kinds of waste, so that some
16 citizens praised him, because if it hadn't been for him, one could hardly
17 walk along the streets of the town because of so much rubbish."
18 That was the rest of the statement made by Mr. Dikic on the 21st
19 of August, 2000.
20 Mr. Ossogo has this statement, so I think he will agree with me
21 that I have read it out correctly, I hope.
22 JUDGE HUNT: Is that right, Mr. Ossogo?
23 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] It is right, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. Now, do you have any questions to ask,
25 Mr. Tanaskovic?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. TANASKOVIC: [Interpretation] I do. I have another question
2 for Mr. Dikic, when he mentioned Mitar Knezevic.
3 Re-examined by Mr. Tanaskovic:
4 Q. Does he know that Mitar Knezevic had a nickname and what that
5 nickname was?
6 A. He did have a nickname. They called him "Mitar the Chetnik."
7 Q. Mr. Dikic, you explained -- when you met or saw Mitar Knezevic,
8 did you notice that he had any shortcomings?
9 A. In fact, that is how I remember Mitar the Chetnik. He had an
10 unusual appearance. He had an eye missing, so that he looked rather
11 dreadful when you look at him. And that is how I remember him from the
12 coffee bars. I had no other reason to remember him, and I had no other
13 contact with the man.
14 Q. When you had occasion to see Knezevic, was he perhaps wearing a
16 A. I don't remember.
17 MR. TANASKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
19 Questioned by the Court:
20 JUDGE JANU: Mr. Dikic, you gave us a very nice definition of --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
22 JUDGE JANU: Mr. Dikic, you gave us a very precise and very
23 expressive definition of kumship. You said:
24 "A kum is something highly respected that dates back a long way.
25 It passes from one generation to the next. For us Serbs, the worst thing
1 that could happen is that one would change the kum without special reason
2 or if the kum asks for that. It would be a big sin."
3 Is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE JANU: Please, can you explain to the Court in your point of
6 view, in your vision, in your opinion, what would be that special reason
7 why or under which the kum could ask to be released from his
9 A. Well, Your Honours, I don't know that much about these things.
10 It's as much that I have learnt from my elders.
11 A kum may request the disruption of his kumship if he's ill and he
12 can't come and there's no one to take his place, to inherit his position.
13 So he may come, apologise and explain he can no longer continue to be kum
14 for such-and-such a reason, and only then can this kumship be transferred
15 to someone else. Or he might propose someone, a member of his family, to
16 replace him.
17 So briefly put, it's possible, and the main reason being reasons
18 of health and if he has no successors.
19 JUDGE JANU: But what about the behaviour of one party in this
20 relationship? I give you an abstract example. What's your opinion about
21 this situation: The one person in this relationship would see that the
22 second party -- would see that the second party committed a crime, and
23 afterwards, that party who committed the crime would ask him for his
24 kumship duties. For example, to be his best man at his wedding. What
25 would you do in this situation?
1 A. Believe me, I can't give you an answer. It's very difficult for
2 me to answer directly unless I know the reasons, really. It's very
3 difficult for me to answer that question.
4 Could you be kind enough to --
5 JUDGE JANU: I gave you the example. You would see that the
6 person you are in this kumship, in this type of relationship, was
7 committing the crime, very serious crime in front of your eyes, and after
8 that, that person would ask you to fulfil your kumship duties. Is this a
9 special reason why to ask to be released from these duties?
10 That's my question, and I want just your personal opinion, how you
11 would behave in such a situation.
12 A. Believe me, I don't know. Kumship is not something regulated by
13 the courts. These are human relationships. So I really don't know how I
14 would feel. I don't know. I don't know what I would do.
15 JUDGE JANU: Thank you. I have another question. Did you know
16 Stanko or Stanimir Pecikoza?
17 A. I did.
18 JUDGE JANU: Do you know how he died or did you hear about it?
19 You said you were in the workshop. People are talking, coming to you.
20 Did you hear something?
21 A. I know that he was killed. He didn't die. He was killed. They
22 found him in the car. That's as much as I know. How this happened, for
23 him to be found in the car -- I know where this was, because afterwards I
24 would pass by those places. But I don't have the actual information as to
25 how this happened.
1 All I know is that I'm on quite good terms with that family. I
2 never discussed subject with them, but I heard that he was found in a car
3 in a river. Now, how that happened, I don't know.
4 JUDGE JANU: But you know them because you said you were born in
5 Visegrad and you grow up there and you live there so what is --
6 A. Yes, I do know them.
7 JUDGE JANU: [Previous translation continues]... so what can you
8 tell us about that family, you gave us the picture about Mr. Vasiljevic
10 A. It is a family that is well-known in Visegrad, especially as well
11 Stanko was alive, they had quite a large workshop, working well. His son
12 has inherited it. It's a fine family. What his death was, I would make a
13 mistake if I were to say anything at all because I don't know. He didn't
14 die, he was killed. How he was killed, I don't know.
15 JUDGE JANU: Do you know his position in some political party or
16 was he a member or leading personality in any political party; do you have
17 this knowledge?
18 A. I really don't know that. I just know him as a good and diligent
20 JUDGE JANU: Were you a member of the political party before
21 multi-party election or after multi-party election?
22 A. No.
23 JUDGE JANU: Mr. Vasiljevic gave us the evidence that the Serbian
24 Democratic Party was gradually since March 1992 distributed weapons,
25 rifles, and that everybody received the gun. Did you also receive one?
1 A. No.
2 JUDGE JANU: And when you were called as a reservist, were you
3 issued the weapon as a member of TO?
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE JANU: Did you, as a reservist who was assigned to the job
6 you have been doing, have you to wear some sort of ribbon as well as
7 Mr. Vasiljevic, maybe different colour?
8 A. No, I didn't have any kind of ribbon, nor did I have to wear one.
9 We just had working clothes for the workshop.
10 JUDGE JANU: Do you know about any rule, do you know about any
11 rule which assigned that different reservists will wear different ribbon
12 or different signs of this sort?
13 A. I really don't know. I know some of the superiors had ranks and
14 wore the appropriate insignias, but nothing else.
15 JUDGE JANU: Was it written on the sleeve or was it something
16 else? I believe -- I don't have very deep military knowledge but ...
17 A. In our army, there were insignia, but in the former Yugoslavia,
18 they wore insignia in the form of stars and stripes. To tell you the
19 truth now in this new army, I don't know what they wear. I have no
20 contact with them, so I don't know what their insignia are like.
21 JUDGE JANU: So what is your explanation about that ribbon which
22 Mr. Vasiljevic was wearing? Can you have some official explanation or
23 just you think it was his private decision to wear it or ...
24 A. This ribbon on the arm, these are ribbons of people on duty, these
25 are not ranks. This just indicated that somebody was on duty. Orderlies
1 usually wear them.
2 JUDGE JANU: Is it usual or was it usual in the reservist army to
3 do it or it's a rule or everybody knew, if somebody is wearing the ribbon,
4 red ribbon, that he is in some duty?
5 A. Even now, even today, red ribbons are worn probably so that people
6 would know who is the person on duty. For instance, who is the monitor at
7 football matches, for instance, or if there's a party, people wear these
8 ribbons. To this day they wear them now in our parts.
9 JUDGE JANU: Thank you.
10 JUDGE TAYA: You said that you had good relationship with Mitar
11 Vasiljevic as a neighbour. My question is you had good relationship not
12 only Mitar Vasiljevic but Milojka, the wife of the accused?
13 A. I had no reason at all not to be on good terms, good neighbourly
14 relations. I had the same kind of relationships with them as I had with
15 all the other neighbours living in that town. They had no privileged
16 position in relation to others, as far as I am concerned.
17 JUDGE TAYA: After the arrest of Mitar Vasiljevic, did you have a
18 good relationship with Milojka continuously?
19 A. I exchanged greetings as I have done always.
20 JUDGE TAYA: By what way you become a witness of Mitar Vasiljevic
21 case? I mean, you volunteered to become a witness or you are requested by
22 someone to become a witness?
23 A. I was asked by the attorney. Now, upon whose initiative, I don't
24 know, whether it was at Mitar's initiative or the attorney's, because I
25 had no reason to volunteer myself. I'm not even -- I didn't even know
1 that anything was needed. So the initiative came from Defence counsel as
2 far as I know. Now, whether Mitar asked Defence counsel to ask me, I
3 don't know.
4 JUDGE TAYA: You are not asked by Milojka?
5 A. No. I never even discussed the matter with Milojka.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Have you any questions, Mr. Ossogo, arising out of
7 the questions asked by the Judges?
8 MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Tanaskovic.
10 MR. TANASKOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you, sir. You are now free to leave. Thank
12 you for coming here to give your evidence.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you too, Your Honours.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE HUNT: Which is your next witness?
16 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour. The next witness is VGD22.
17 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. Mr. Domazet, have you any indication
18 whether he will name any of the witnesses that you have sought to have
19 pseudonyms used for?
20 MR. DOMAZET: I think not, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE HUNT: If this does occur, if you have a belief that they
22 will, it would be a good idea to have a pseudonym sheet, the same way that
23 the Prosecution has been providing. Only you can tell who the witnesses
24 may be referring to.
25 The court deputy has prepared a document with this witness's name
1 and his pseudonym on it so that we can have that tendered as an exhibit,
2 under seal, of course. But if you can do that for each of your witnesses
3 who have a pseudonym, it would be of some assistance.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE HUNT: Now, sir, would you please make the solemn
6 declaration in the form of the document which the court usher is showing
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE HUNT: Sit down, please, sir.
11 WITNESS: WITNESS VGD22
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet.
14 MR. DOMAZET: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Examined by Mr. Domazet:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. I will be addressing you
17 today under your pseudonym which has been assigned to you, and that is
18 VGD22. So we shall not be mentioning your name in view of the protective
19 measures requested by you and which the Trial Chamber has granted.
20 You understand that, don't you, VGD22?
21 JUDGE HUNT: We do need to have --
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE HUNT: We do need to have him look at that document, agree
24 that that is his name, and then we make that an exhibit.
25 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Will you look and see whether that is your first and last name?
2 Without reading it out, of course, just tell us if that is your name.
3 A. Yes, that is my first and last name.
4 JUDGE HUNT: I'm in your hands, Mr. Domazet, as to the next number
5 of your exhibits. Last one that we have or the highest one that we have
6 is 22, coincidentally. So is 23 your next number or have you assigned
7 them --
8 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, 23.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Very well. That will be Exhibit 23, and it is under
11 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Sir, though it is customary for us to ask witnesses to tell us
13 about their personal particulars, I will limit myself to only a few
14 points, precisely with a view not to have your identity revealed. So I
15 won't ask you about the date of your birth, but please tell us how old you
17 A. I am 38 years old.
18 Q. Where are you living now, sir?
19 A. I am living in Visegrad now.
20 Q. Where were you living in 1992?
21 A. I was living in Visegrad then, too.
22 Q. Can it be said that throughout that period you lived in Visegrad,
23 before 1992 until the present?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What is your current occupation?
1 A. My current occupation is that I am a professional military man in
2 the army of Republika Srpska.
3 Q. Prior to the outbreak of the conflict in Visegrad and the
4 surroundings, that is, sometime in spring 1992, what was your occupation
5 then? Where were you working?
6 A. Before the war started, I was a professional soldier with the JNA
7 at the time.
8 Q. Were you an officer or a civilian employed by the JNA?
9 A. I was a soldier on contract with the JNA.
10 Q. Could you tell us, please, where you were in April 1992,
12 A. In April 1992, from the 1st of April, 1992, my contract with the
13 JNA started to run, on the 1st of April, 1992.
14 Q. So with the 1st of April, 1992, you join the JNA as a soldier
15 under contract.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Where was your workplace at the time?
18 A. At the time, my workplace was in the warehouse at Uzamnica in
20 Q. You mentioned the Uzamnica warehouse. Is that the same place at
21 the JNA barracks in Uzamnica?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Tell us, please, where the barracks are in relation to the town of
24 Visegrad itself.
25 A. The Uzamnica warehouse is about four or five kilometres upstream
1 in relation to Visegrad.
2 Q. Can it be said that it is in the direction of Gorazde?
3 A. Yes, in view of the fact that the Drina flows to Visegrad from
5 Q. Is it on the river bank of the Drina?
6 A. No, it's not right on the river bank. In fact, you can't see the
7 river from the warehouse.
8 Q. Is the hydro power plant's dam, the dam of the Visegrad power
9 plant, close by?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Could you tell us, please, what was your job, the position that
12 you took up in 1992?
13 A. My job was -- the position was that of a mechanic for ammunition.
14 Q. The barracks, was it at the same time an ammunition warehouse?
15 A. Yes, in fact, it was an ammunition warehouse.
16 Q. On the basis of the territorial organisation of the JNA at the
17 time, to whom did the barracks in Uzamnica belong?
18 A. It belonged to the logistic base that was headquartered in
20 Q. Could you tell us, in those days in April, what were the
21 relationships like in Visegrad itself? Were relations upset among the
22 ethnic communities, and how did this affect your work in the JNA or,
23 rather, in the barracks itself?
24 A. In my personal opinion, April was the time when events in Visegrad
25 climaxed and this affected, of course, our own organisation in the army
1 and the question of organising the defence of the warehouse.
2 Q. Could you explain in somewhat greater detail what you have in mind
3 in saying that?
4 A. What I had in mind was that as far as I can remember, by the end
5 of April already, water was released from the accumulation lake of the
6 Visegrad hydro power plant. The civilians or the population looked for
7 shelter and protection from us in the barracks, and we organised ourselves
8 to take care of all those people.
9 Q. Yes. We have heard about that, but those are events that occurred
10 when there was an imminent danger as a result of the release of the
11 water. But immediately prior to that in your barracks, was the security
12 situation increased or the alert, the level of alert, was it heightened?
13 A. Yes. Yes, it was.
14 Q. Why?
15 A. Because, as I said, there was an ammunitions storage there and we
16 expected that the barracks might be attacked in order to gain access to
17 the ammunition.
18 Q. So there was the danger, at least that was what the military
19 authorities thought, that somebody might try to take the ammunition that
20 had been stored there by force; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know who this referred to, that is to say, the potential
23 danger of attacking the barracks and seizing the ammunition? Who did they
24 think might do this?
25 A. Well, my superiors thought that it might come from the Muslim
2 Q. Do you happen to know that at that time, in the environs of the
3 barracks or in Visegrad or the surrounding areas of Visegrad that that
4 danger existed from this group of extremists who might attempt something
5 like that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Was it these people who had taken control of the dam or
8 hydroelectric power plant during those days in April of 1992, those same
10 A. Yes, precisely it referred to those people.
11 Q. However, the barracks at Uzamnica or your warehouse there was not
12 attacked during that time; is that right?
13 A. No, the barracks was not attacked. It was a storehouse.
14 Q. At that time, were you in the barracks all the time? And when I
15 say "all the time," were you on duty round the clock day and night or
16 would you leave at some point after you'd finished your work, would you go
17 back to Visegrad home, back home to Visegrad?
18 A. Our duties at the warehouse were round the clock, day and night,
19 and we did not have permission to go home.
20 Q. When the dam was taken over and when they threatened to raise the
21 dam and release the water from the Drina, how did this affect your
22 barracks? Did the refugees come into your barracks and the compound
23 around the barracks straight away?
24 A. The refugees who asked for our assistance came before the water
25 was released from the hydroelectric power plant that you mentioned.
1 Q. Do you know whether they came because of the threat of the water
2 being released from the dam or for some other reason? Do you know why
3 they came?
4 A. As I say, my superiors thought at the time that most had come to
5 ask for assistance, and some of them were there for other reasons. That's
6 what my superiors thought.
7 Q. Can you tell us how many people there were at that time, the
8 people that you took care of at the barracks at that time? Give us a
9 rough estimate, please.
10 A. Well, 700 to 800 refugees were in the compound around the
11 warehouse at the time.
12 Q. Can you tell us, in your assessment, what was the national
13 composition of those people? Were they of mixed ethnicity; were there
14 Serbs, Muslims, or only one ethnic group or only the other ethnic group?
15 What were they, those people there?
16 A. Well, the ethnic structure, I would say, was as follows: 90 per
17 cent were Muslims and the rest were Serbs. The minority, therefore, were
19 Q. How long did those people stay in the barracks with you?
20 A. The refugees who were in the barracks, in the warehouse, stayed
21 until approximately the arrival of the Uzice Corps to Visegrad.
22 Q. Can you tell us briefly what happened, once the Uzice Corps had
23 arrived, to the people who were with you and the people in other places
24 around Visegrad too?
25 A. When the Uzice Corps came to Visegrad, the situation went back to
1 normal, became more normal. The economy began functioning. Everybody
2 went back to work - when I say "everybody," I'm thinking about the Serbs
3 and Muslims - and life had almost got back to normal.
4 Q. So in your assessment, all those people returned to Visegrad,
5 mostly began to work. They went back to work and began to live normally.
6 So you consider that life, generally speaking, in Visegrad had returned to
7 normal, is that so?
8 A. Yes, compared to what the situation was like before.
9 Q. Can you tell us briefly what had happened before to cause a state
10 which was not normal?
11 A. Well, it wasn't normal for the Muslim extremists to exert terror
12 on the non-Muslim population. That was not normal, young and old alike,
13 on the streets, in the companies and businesses. There were threats,
14 there was mistreatment and everything that results from that.
15 Q. So in your opinion, that was before the arrival of the Uzice
16 Corps. That was what the situation was like before the Uzice Corps
17 arrived; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. At that time - and I'm referring to the period before the arrival
20 of the Uzice Corps because of what you said - were there situations where
21 the Serb population left town, had to leave town?
22 A. Yes. Many Serbs started leaving town at that time because of the
23 different threats.
24 Q. Did they, too, return to town after the arrival of the Uzice
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. After the arrival the Uzice Corps, what was your job? Did you
3 continue working at the Uzamnica barracks or did you have some other
5 A. With the arrival of the Uzice Corps, my assignment was or, rather,
6 the assignment of all of us was to ensure the dismantling of the warehouse
7 securely, that is to say, to dislocate it, to move it.
8 Q. How long did you work at the Uzamnica barracks for?
9 A. Well, I stayed in the Uzamnica barracks until the 19th of May.
10 Q. Why is that date important, the 19th of May that you just
11 mentioned? What happened on that particular day?
12 A. On the 19th -- the 19th of May was the date when the former JNA
13 left the territory of the former Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. On that day, did the Uzice Corps not only officially but
15 physically leave the Visegrad territory? And what direction did it leave
17 A. Well, in view of the fact that the Uzice Corps was a JNA unit, so
18 up until that date, it left Visegrad.
19 Q. Can I take that to mean that in days prior to that, the departure
20 of the Uzice Corps started and that the 19th of May was the last day, the
21 day when the last soldiers left Visegrad? Is that right? Is that what
22 you're saying?
23 A. Yes, that's quite right.
24 Q. Mr. VGD22, you were a soldier under contract to the JNA. What did
25 you do at that point? Were you offered the possibility of leaving
1 Visegrad together with the JNA, and what did you do?
2 A. We were all offered to choose whether we could wish -- whether we
3 wanted to remain, to have the JNA see to our status and whether we wished
4 to remain under the JNA or the TO of the day. I opted for the TO because
5 my family home is there, my family is there. So I wanted to stay.
6 Q. So you had the possibility of staying in the JNA, but if you were
7 to choose that, you would have to leave Visegrad with the JNA units, and
8 you have to leave Bosnia-Herzegovina altogether. Did I understand you
10 A. Yes. That was how it was exactly.
11 Q. And when you speak about the second option, that is to say, to
12 become part of the Territorial Defence, did you mean the Territorial
13 Defence in Visegrad proper, that is to say, where you lived?
14 A. Yes, that's right. The Territorial Defence headquarters and staff
15 and Visegrad decided on -- decided our status after that.
16 Q. And as you decided to stay in Visegrad and placed yourself at the
17 disposal of the Territorial Defence, what was your position or function
18 after that within that organisation?
19 A. My future assignment was within the composition of security,
20 securing the headquarters and command. I was assigned to that. I became
21 part of the military police in charge of security for the command and
23 Q. So you were in the military police, providing security for the
24 command of the Territorial Defence in Visegrad; is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Where was the seat, the headquarters of that Territorial Defence
3 A. The command was located at the time at the Bikavac Hotel in
5 Q. When you assumed that post, were you able to go home, and not like
6 when you were at Uzamnica when you worked round the clock, when you were
7 on duty round the clock and were not permitted to go home, were you able
8 to go home then afterwards?
9 A. Yes, I was able to go home from time to time afterwards.
10 Q. Could you tell us, please, where your house is located? Where did
11 you live in Visegrad, in fact?
12 A. My house is located downstream at 1.500 metres from town, so
13 downstream towards Visegradska Banja.
14 Q. Can we say that you lived near -- we won't say which house -- [redacted]
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you know him personally?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Since when have you known him, and how did you come to know him,
20 could you tell us that, please?
21 A. I have known Mr. Vasiljevic personally since he came to Visegrad
22 or, rather, since his father bought the house near my own house, quite
23 near my own house. I know him since then.
24 Q. How long is that, from now going backwards?
25 A. Probably more than 25 years.
1 Q. You said that his father bought the house and that they lived in
2 that house; is that right?
3 A. Yes. His father bought the house, but Mr. Vasiljevic, Mr. Mitar
4 Vasiljevic, lived in the house alone, of course, before he married.
5 Q. Do you know -- if you know that he married, do you know his
7 A. Yes, I know his family.
8 Q. Did he have to build his family house?
9 A. No, the house had already been built.
10 Q. You mean the house he moved into and lived at the time, that's
11 what you're thinking of, but do you know that next to that house, a new
12 house was built?
13 A. Yes. Mr. Vasiljevic personally, himself, built himself a house, a
14 new family house. He built it himself later on.
15 Q. When you say "built," that would mean that it was completed and
16 that they had moved into it. Now, do you know how long it took him and
17 whether he actually completed the building of the house?
18 A. The family house belonging to Mr. Vasiljevic I think had a roof
19 before the war. It had a roof over it, but they moved in only after the
20 end of the war.
21 Q. Do you know that when the house was completed, that he rented out
22 the house and lived in his old house? Do you know anything about that?
23 A. Yes. Mr. Vasiljevic went on living in the old house and he let
24 the new house.
25 Q. Do you remember who he let it to?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes. Members of SFOR were in -- it was rented out to the SFOR
3 Q. I should now like, sir, to go back to the time when the JNA had
4 left Visegrad and when you, yourself, were transferred from doing your job
5 in Visegrad and went to join the security for Bikavac and as you said,
6 yourself, were able to go home from time to time. Now, do you happen to
7 remember whether during that period of time, you saw Mr. Vasiljevic or
8 learnt from somebody else where his whereabouts were, whether he had
9 mobilised and, if so, where to?
10 A. When I first went home, and the first couple of times, I didn't
11 see Mr. Vasiljevic, but I heard from his wife that he had been deployed as
12 a cook to some unit. I think the place was Prelovo.
13 Q. When you say, sir, at first when you went home you learnt about
14 this, now, as -- after the 19th of May, you started doing your job at
15 Bikavac. Can we say that what you are talking about now was the period
16 after the 20th of May or, rather, the end of May 1992; would that be the
18 A. Yes, precisely that period. That means after the 19th and 20th of
19 May to the end of May.
20 Q. Do you remember whether after talking to his wife and learning
21 that from her, whether you happened to see him personally?
22 A. Yes. When I was on leave another time, I saw Mr. Vasiljevic in
23 front of his family house, and he confirmed himself that he had indeed
24 been sent to be a cook in Prelovo.
25 Q. Can you remember or if you can remember, when you talked to him on
1 that occasion, was he wearing a uniform of any kind, and if so, what?
2 A. As there were very few people in uniform to begin with in the TO,
3 I think Mr. Vasiljevic at the time was wearing an old uniform of the
4 former JNA type, which is the olive-green type of uniform that the former
5 JNA soldiers used to wear.
6 Q. Was that a uniform which at that time, that is to say, before the
7 departure of the JNA, was worn by the reservists who had been issued
8 uniforms of that kind and kept them at home?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you remember whether on the occasion he had any weapons on
12 A. As he was at home, I'm sure he didn't have any weapons on him.
13 Q. You saw him in front of the house. I think that's what you said.
14 So he was in uniform, but you couldn't notice any weapons on him; is that
16 A. Yes. His house is right up by the road, and I saw him passing
17 just in front of his house.
18 Q. And he told you on that occasion that he was in fact in Prelovo
19 and working in the kitchen there; is that right?
20 A. Yes. I think he also told me that that was his training from the
21 regular army, that when he was in the regular army, he had been a cook,
23 Q. When you say regular army, you mean when he was doing his military
24 service in the JNA, I assume. Is that what you meant, or did you mean his
25 reserve formation?
1 A. No. I meant his regular military service in the JNA.
2 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, I had said that Tuesday evening we would
4 look at how we're going with the list. I don't think that we ever
5 contemplated that your client would be in the box for quite so long, but
6 notwithstanding that, we're keeping up pretty well to the timetable you
7 have provided, and I rather suspect that we will run out of evidence
8 unless you can get some -- at least another witness along. Is it possible
9 for you to get another witness this week?
10 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, in agreement with
11 the Victims and Witnesses Unit. We're going to have a talk now, and they
12 tell me that there is the possibility of them bringing one or two
13 witnesses in to be here if we finish the witnesses we have before the end
14 of the week, that they would have two ready witnesses.
15 So are we -- may I just ask you, inquire whether we're working on
16 Friday afternoon or not?
17 JUDGE HUNT: Yes, we certainly are. I think we, having lost the
18 two-week spell there, we've got to keep moving. And you did get that
19 second week on the basis that we were sitting full time. So I don't think
20 I have to take the whole of the blame for it. But certainly I think you
21 should get somebody along if you can, because I suspect that these
22 witnesses will move a little bit more quickly than you've anticipated.
23 Very well. We'll adjourn now and resume at 9.30 tomorrow
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.03 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 14th day
2 of November, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.