1 Thursday, 14 February 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.35 p.m.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-98-32-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Mitar Vasiljevic.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Now, sir, would you please take the solemn
10 declaration, which is set out in the card which the Court usher is showing
12 WITNESS: WITNESS VGD24
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
15 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE HUNT: Sit down, please, sir.
17 The late start this afternoon should not indicate that this is the
18 time we're going to start every afternoon but there were some technical
19 problems with the Court.
20 Yes, Mr. Domazet. Your witness.
21 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
22 Examined by Mr. Domazet:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. I will examine you on
24 behalf of the Defence of Mitar Vasiljevic today; and I would like to
25 advise you not to mention your name and surname, and the number under
1 which you will testify is VGD24.
2 I also kindly ask you that during your testimony, you should
3 mention a person that has also been protected, please use her pseudonym,
4 which will be given to you, which is VG117. You will have before you the
5 name of this person, but please do not pronounce that name.
6 JUDGE HUNT: That will be Exhibit D48, that we can use again.
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 JUDGE HUNT: We have got a new sheet, so that will be Exhibit D49,
9 and it too will be under seal.
10 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. VGD24, we shall begin the examination now, and can you give us
12 some information about yourself, but do not disclose your identity nor
13 your name and surname. First I should like to ask you, where are you
14 currently residing?
15 A. VGD24, I live now in [redacted].
16 Q. What is your current occupation?
17 A. I am, at present, a [redacted].
18 Q. How old are you?
19 A. I am [redacted] years old.
20 Q. In the year 1992, where was your place of residence?
21 A. I lived in Visegrad, in the [redacted],
23 Q. Do you remember the period of May 1992, the time when the Uzice
24 Corps had left the area?
25 A. I remember May. The Uzice Corps left on May 19th or 20th of 1992.
1 Q. What were you doing at the time?
2 A. I wasn't a policeman then. I worked in a chemicals plant,
3 Terpentin. It's a colours and paint factory.
4 Q. I assume that you're referring to the time period until the
5 departure of the Uzice Corps.
6 A. Yes, that is correct.
7 Q. What did you do when the Uzice Corps left Visegrad?
8 A. When they left, I became -- I was mobilised in the reserve police
10 Q. Before that period, were you a reserve policeman?
11 A. No. I had never been a reserve policeman. I was employed in the
12 Territorial Defence.
13 Q. From that time onwards, following the departure of the Uzice
14 Corps, you were mobilised in the police in Visegrad?
15 A. Yes. When the Uzice Corps left, a few days later, I was mobilised
16 in the police ranks.
17 Q. Who was your commander at the time?
18 A. At the time, my commander was Dragan Tomic, who was killed in July
19 or August, I think. He was killed.
20 Q. What were your duties at the time on that post, your main duty, as
21 far as you can recollect?
22 A. Well, there were war conditions then, and I was a reserve police
23 officer, as well as the other police officers. We secured the
24 communications, that is, the roads.
25 Q. Do you know where the Vuk Karadzic school was in Visegrad?
1 A. Yes, I know where that school is.
2 Q. At the time you're referring to, at some point in time, were you
3 assigned to secure that school? Was that your duty?
4 A. Yes. On one occasion I, together with a colleague, was assigned
5 to secure the school and its surroundings.
6 Q. When you say "with a colleague," do you remember who that
7 colleague was?
8 A. His name was Boban Simsic.
9 Q. Can you remember when this happened?
10 A. Well, it was the second half of June. It may have been the 22nd
11 of June.
12 Q. Although you are not mentioning the year, I assume you are
13 referring to the year in which you began carrying out this duty.
14 A. When the war broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that was the
15 month of June, 1992.
16 Q. Please tell me: What do you remember in connection with your
17 assignment that you performed along with Simsic Boban in regard to
18 securing the Vuk Karadzic school in 1992?
19 A. Well, we received an oral order from a commander, which I
20 mentioned earlier on. His name was Dragan Tomic. In the mornings, from,
21 let us say, 10.00 in the morning, that we should be present in the
22 vicinity of the Vuk Karadzic school because people of the Muslim ethnicity
23 were to arrive, and that they were to be taken by convoy to places to
24 which these people wished to go.
25 Q. Were you told where these Muslims were supposed to come from?
1 A. From the area of Zupa, the village of Velika Gostilja, Zep, Kuka.
2 Those are the three villages mentioned.
3 Q. Did you act on those orders?
4 A. Yes, I did. I carried out that duty assigned to me by my
5 commander, Mr. Tomic.
6 Q. Did you - and when and what time did you - go to that school, and
7 if so, what did you find there?
8 A. Well, we went at about 10.00, and we came to the plateau in front
9 of the Vuk Karadzic school. There we found a number, a larger number of
10 women and elderly people. Some of them had already entered the school and
11 others were moving around the plateau -- on the plateau in front of the
13 Q. On that occasion, did you see vehicles which brought these people
14 to the school, or were there no vehicles?
15 A. When we came to the spot, there were no vehicles there, but whilst
16 we were going there to the place we were supposed to secure, we
17 encountered three trucks which were going in the direction of the town.
18 Q. Did you perhaps notice the three trucks and to whom they belonged?
19 Were they military or civilian vehicles? Did they have any markings to be
20 able to see to whom they belonged?
21 A. Well, those trucks were not the property of the army but the
22 property of the Centrotrans Visegrad Transport Company.
23 Q. Do you recall whether in those trucks, besides the drivers of
24 their trucks, were there any other people along with the drivers?
25 A. Well, in addition to the drivers, there were no other persons in
1 the trucks.
2 Q. You said that you had arrived in front of the school and that you
3 had encountered a large group of people. Some of them were in the school,
4 some of them were still outside the school. In addition to those people,
5 did you perhaps notice some soldiers with them?
6 A. Well, there were two soldiers present. One was Ciro Djuric - I
7 think his name is Zoran - and the other was Goran Ristic, and his nickname
8 was Boban.
9 Q. Were they wearing uniforms? If so, what sort of uniforms?
10 A. They were wearing the SMB uniforms of the former Yugoslav army.
11 Q. Were they armed?
12 A. Yes, they were armed.
13 Q. Besides the two soldiers you mentioned, did you notice any other
14 soldiers or any other armed person?
15 A. No. There were no other soldiers wearing uniforms or carrying
16 arms. There may have been some citizens from the neighbourhood, of Serb
17 nationality, who were communicating with those people who had just arrived
18 from Gostilja.
19 Q. What else did you notice?
20 A. Well, nothing in particular was happening. Those that were on the
21 plateau, they eventually entered the school building also.
22 Q. If I understood you well, at the time when you arrived, you said
23 that a part of these people had already entered the school, and while you
24 were still there, the remaining people were also entering the school.
25 A. Those who had been on the plateau also entered the school
2 Q. While these people were entering the school and finally entered
3 the school building, were you present all the time?
4 A. Yes. We were present in front, on the plateau, until everyone
5 entered the inside of the building.
6 Q. On that occasion, did you notice that someone was recording the
7 names of the people who were entering the school building?
8 A. No one was present there to write down those names and establish
9 the numerical figures. They were neither in front of the school nor in
10 the school, with the exception of Djuric and Ristic and the policemen and
11 a few women who were talking to the people that had come from Gostilja.
12 Q. If someone was writing those names down, would you have been in a
13 position to see that, given the place where you were?
14 A. No. The plateau was clean. There were no obstacles there. I
15 could not see anyone there, writing down the names of the people at that
17 Q. Did you notice at the entrance a table or some chairs?
18 A. No. There was nothing there; no objects, no tables, no chairs, no
19 other objects. The plateau was clean. It was covered with asphalt.
20 Q. As you told us you were outside the building until the time when
21 everyone went into the school building, how long did you remain after that
22 in front of the school building?
23 A. Well, we stayed an hour, perhaps a bit more. Occasionally we
24 visited the neighbourhood and then we would return, and we were in
25 communication with the two soldiers, to see whether there were any
1 problems involved, and so forth.
2 Q. If I understood you well, at the beginning when you arrived, you
3 stayed there an hour, at least, and then, after that, you would
4 occasionally leave and come back.
5 A. Yes. We stayed, at the first moment, an hour or so, and then we
6 would occasionally leave for short periods of time. We were either in the
7 vicinity of the school or in front of the school building.
8 Q. When you say "for short periods of time," what period of time are
9 you referring to? Can you perhaps assess what the time period was between
10 your departures and returns?
11 A. Well, perhaps 10 or 20 minutes, intervals of 10 or 20 minutes. We
12 would visit the settlement, the area, and then we would return to the
14 Q. I forgot to ask you at the beginning, I believe: Did you come and
15 visit on foot or by car?
16 A. We were on foot. We were a pedestrian patrol.
17 Q. On that day when you saw these people for the first time, do you
18 remember any incident occurring in respect of those people who were coming
19 or going from the school?
20 A. While we were present there, and even when we were absent and when
21 we returned, we communicated with the two, Djuric and Ristic, and they
22 informed us that no incidents had occurred on that day in front of the
23 school, in the school, or in the surrounding area.
24 Q. Could you notice that the people who were accommodated in the
25 school, that some of these people were leaving the school or that other
1 people from outside were coming into the school? Were they able to do so?
2 A. Well, all the people that were put up in the school had freedom of
3 movement. This was not restricted in any way. They were visiting their
4 family, their friends, for coffee, and they were waiting for the convoy to
5 come and to take them to the places they wished to go.
6 Q. Can you tell us, as far as you could see, how many people were
7 there present?
8 A. I cannot give you the exact figure, but I would say about a
9 hundred people; men, women. All in all, about a hundred people.
10 Q. Witness, if you have the list of the witnesses including names and
11 pseudonyms, to tell me whether you see VG117 in front of you.
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Once again, let me ask you to be careful not to mention the name
14 in question. Did you know this person at the time?
15 A. I did not know the person by the pseudonym VG117.
16 Q. Do you know if this person was amongst the people whom you
17 described as being at the school at that time?
18 A. I learned from Ristic and other soldiers who were there that there
19 was a family from Gostilja there that had a high-ranking officer - a
20 major, I think - serving with the Yugoslav People's Army in Belgrade.
21 Q. What did they tell you about her and members of her family?
22 A. I was told that they had to be taken to Serbia because this
23 officer would be waiting for them there to take them over.
24 Q. Do you know who else was with her? Do you know who had come from
25 Gostilja, any other family member?
1 A. I don't know exactly who was with her. I just know that there
2 were three or four members of this family that were supposed to travel to
4 Q. Did you know at the time where other people who had come from
5 Gostilja and other villages, where they were supposed to go? To Serbia as
6 well, or somewhere else within the Federation?
7 A. Well, I knew that some had to go to the Federation, some to Uzice.
8 There was a group that was supposed to go to Priboj.
9 Q. Do you know whether this person, VG117, and members of her family,
10 did indeed leave the school in question and travel to Serbia?
11 A. While I was there, at that time, while we were patrolling and
12 providing the security for the school building, no, they didn't go on that
13 day. However, I know that two days later they were returned to their
14 village and that Miloje Joksimovic, a neighbour of theirs, took them to
15 Gostilja, from where they continued on foot towards Racunici and further
16 on to Serbia, where they were eventually taken over by this officer, who I
17 think took them to Belgrade.
18 Q. Do you remember who it was who told you this, that they ended up
19 in Serbia?
20 A. I heard about that at the police station, because everybody knew
21 that this family would be taken to Serbia, that they were supposed to be
22 taken there and that this officer would take them over. I don't know who
23 exactly -- what kind of relationship it was, whether his father was one of
24 the people at the school. I'm not sure about that.
25 Q. You say that it was at the police station that you learned about
1 this. However, you told us that it was Djuric and this other soldier who
2 had told you about this. Does it mean that there were actually two
3 sources of information, that you heard from both of them about this family
4 and that they were to be taken to Serbia?
5 A. Yes. I heard this both from Ristic and other people, and also I
6 heard the same story at the police station.
7 Q. Do you remember, by any chance, whether what you were told about
8 this family at the police station took place before they came from
9 Gostilja or only later on?
10 A. I remember hearing the story about a family that had a son who was
11 serving in Belgrade and that they were supposed to be taken to Serbia,
12 where he would take them over.
13 Q. When you spoke about the time period in question, not everything
14 was very clear. Could you be more precise? You said that it was not on
15 the first day. Tell us when it was that they left Visegrad finally. When
16 did they leave the school?
17 A. I think that they spent two nights in the school and then were
18 taken to Miloje Joksimovic's place at Gostilja, who made contact with
19 their son, and I know that they went on foot to Racunici, which is on the
20 border with Serbia.
21 Q. I should like to ask you to try to remember when this family,
22 VG117 and members of her family, were taken away, what happened with the
23 remaining people, with this group of people that was at the school?
24 A. I know that they stayed behind, that they spent at least seven or
25 eight days at the school.
1 Q. Did you hear anything about the way in which VG117's family left
2 the school in Visegrad?
3 A. I heard that they had been transported to Gostilja in a Lada Niva,
4 that they were taken to Miloje Joksimovic's house in Gostilja and that,
5 from there, they were taken to Racunici, that is, to the border with
6 Serbia, where they were taken over by this relative of theirs who was a
7 serving member of the military.
8 Q. Speaking of the remainder of the group which was in the school,
9 the group of people that stayed after this family had left, could you
10 remember whether at any point in time they left the school building in an
11 organised manner? Were there any attempts to transfer them to any other
13 A. Yes, there were attempts to take them back to their village, their
14 villages, and I know that a number of vehicles were gathered. They were
15 supposed to be taken back to Gostilja. However, from the other side of
16 the Drina, Muslims opened fire, and it was at that moment impossible for
17 them to be returned to their village, so they had to be taken back.
18 Q. When you say they had to be taken back to the same place, are you
19 referring to the Vuk Karadzic elementary school?
20 A. Yes, I am referring to the Vuk Karadzic elementary school, where
21 they were brought initially.
22 Q. Do you remember how many days after their arrival in the school
23 that happened?
24 A. I'm afraid I don't quite understand your question. Do you mean
25 after the first day they arrived or after this attempt to have them
1 returned to their village failed? Could you repeat that for me, please?
2 Q. I am referring to the first day when they arrived in the school,
3 in an organised manner. How many days later was this attempt made to take
4 them back to Gostilja?
5 A. I believe it took place on the third, the fourth, or maybe the
6 fifth day after their arrival.
7 Q. And are you familiar with the reasons why this attempt was made to
8 take them back to Gostilja, in view of the fact that they were supposed to
9 be transferred to other locations?
10 A. I do remember this moment very well, this period of time very
11 well, because the roads were being endangered by Muslims and it was
12 impossible for them to be taken to these other locations where they wanted
13 to go.
14 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, aren't we straying a long way away? The
15 issue that the Prosecution was allowed to reopen its case in chief was
16 whether your client was seen pretending to be a member of the ICRC and
17 taking down the names and addresses of people. Now, not even on the
18 widest interpretation of that issue are we in the slightest interested in
19 what happened to these people later, unless it somehow affects that
20 witness's credit.
21 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do understand your
22 remark; however, my questions are focused on the examination which was
23 received by -- that is, the questions which we received from VG117. She
24 told us that she was amongst this group of people which was transported to
25 the village; that is, she described the events in a completely different
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 way compared to what the witness is telling us now and compared to what
2 this other witness told us yesterday. My questions go to the issue of
3 credibility of -- and reliability of the testimony of VG117, and I have
4 reasons to doubt her testimony.
5 However, I will be very brief. I'm nearing the end of this part
6 of my examination. I only had a couple of questions left, and I will go
7 back to the relevant issue, that is, the issue of Mitar Vasiljevic.
8 JUDGE HUNT: On that rather beguiling promise, Mr. Domazet, you
9 proceed. It really -- as I recall, you raised all this in
10 cross-examination of 117. It was irrelevant then and it seems to me, with
11 all due respect, to be irrelevant now. But you proceed, but please do try
12 to keep to your promise to finish it soon. It isn't of any real
13 assistance at the moment.
14 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Witness, do you remember, or did you maybe see or hear about any
16 incident taking place after this group was taken back to the school?
17 A. Yes, I did. Seven or eight days later, there was an incursion by
18 so-called White Eagles, who allegedly took away their money, their
19 valuables and jewellery and that, after that, they were removed from this
21 Q. Were you personally in the vicinity of the building? Were you
22 providing security to the building or is this something that you only
23 heard from other people subsequently?
24 A. No. At that time, I was no longer assigned to this task, but I
25 heard about the incident from my colleagues and some other people around
2 Q. Just one more question regarding this group of people, if you
3 know: Did these people finally leave in an organised convoy; and if not,
4 do you know in what manner they were finally transported from that school?
5 A. This group of people that we are now discussing were unable --
6 that is, it was impossible to transport them because the roads were not
7 safe. So some of them left for Serbia and some were taken to what is
8 today the Federation, that is, the territory which is under the control of
9 Muslim units.
10 Q. I should now like to ask you a few questions about Mitar
11 Vasiljevic. Did you know him at the time?
12 A. Yes, I did know Mitar Vasiljevic.
13 Q. How is it that you knew him, and how well did you know him?
14 A. I knew Mitar Vasiljevic very well. I knew him as a waiter. He
15 used to work in several catering establishments in Visegrad. I used to
16 see him at the Cadzava restaurant and in the New Hotel, where he worked
17 most of the time.
18 Q. Are you referring to the hotel which is situated in the vicinity
19 of the old bridge in Visegrad?
20 A. Yes. I am referring to the New Hotel, which is located next to
21 the old bridge.
22 Q. You said you knew him as a waiter. Does it mean that you
23 frequented cafes and restaurants and that that is how you knew him?
24 A. Yes. I went to this facility very often. It had a very nice
25 terrace, an open-air terrace, and it was Mitar Vasiljevic who waited on me
1 frequently when he was on duty.
2 Q. Can you remember in the years preceding the outbreak of the
3 conflict, that is, prior to 1992, where, at what locations, you saw him,
4 if he spent this time working at the same establishment?
5 A. Mostly I would see him in this New Hotel that I've described. That
6 is where he mostly worked at that time.
7 Q. Just one more question regarding that period of time. Are you
8 familiar with the New Hotel at Vilina Vlas, or Banja, near Visegrad?
9 A. Yes, I'm familiar with that hotel. There is a large swimming pool
10 there, where I often went to have a swim, not so much to have a drink.
11 Q. Did you ever see Mitar Vasiljevic working as a waiter in that
13 A. No. Mitar Vasiljevic never worked in that hotel. I may have seen
14 him there as a guest of the hotel, but he was never employed in that
16 Q. Did you know Mitar Vasiljevic well enough so as to recognise him
17 in every situation during those years? Could you be mistaken as to Mitar
18 Vasiljevic in any way?
19 A. No, I don't think I could. I really knew Mitar Vasiljevic very
20 well. I've known him for over 20 years. I don't think I could be
21 mistaken when it comes to Mitar Vasiljevic.
22 Q. Can you see the individual in question now in this courtroom?
23 A. I saw him a moment ago. I cannot see him now because you are in
24 front of me, you are obstructing my view of him.
25 Q. Can you describe for us what he is wearing today?
1 A. Mitar Vasiljevic is wearing a brown blazer, a white shirt, and a
2 brown tie.
3 JUDGE HUNT: I think that does identify the accused.
4 MR. DOMAZET: Yes. Thank you.
5 Q. [Interpretation] I should now like to go back to 1992, the period
6 of time when you were mobilised into the reserve police force. Do you
7 remember hearing anything about the whereabouts of Mitar Vasiljevic in
8 those days, or did you maybe see him at any point in time?
9 A. Well, I had an opportunity to see him at the beginning of the
10 conflict. I think I saw him a couple of times.
11 Q. What do you remember? Could you describe for us any such
12 situation in which you saw him personally?
13 A. I remember seeing him once in the Mezalin settlement, cleaning the
14 street with a group of women; the street, the shops, and some business
15 premises there.
16 Q. Did you happen to notice what he was doing at the time? What was
17 his role?
18 A. Well, he was doing the same thing as this group of people that was
19 with him, these women. They were all cleaning this neighbourhood which is
20 called Mezalin.
21 Q. Did you ever see him again in a similar situation or in a similar
23 A. Yes, I did, a couple more times, in a similar role.
24 Q. Could you tell us when this was, approximately, in relation to the
25 time you were mobilised? And you said you were mobilised sometime around
1 the 20th of May. When did you see Mitar Vasiljevic after that date?
2 A. I think it was in early June, at the beginning of the month of
3 June, 1992.
4 Q. Do you recall whether he wore a uniform or civilian clothes at
5 that time? Do you remember the way he was dressed?
6 A. I'm not sure he wore a uniform. I think he wore a dark-coloured
7 suit. Maybe the trousers were olive-drab, but the upper part was darker,
8 maybe black.
9 Q. On those occasions, did you notice any weapons on him, that is,
10 that he was armed?
11 A. I never saw him armed in town.
12 Q. Were you able to notice anything particular in his attire at that
14 A. Yes, you're quite right to ask me that question because now I
15 remember noticing a band around his sleeve, indicating that he was
16 cleaning the streets.
17 Q. You used the term -- you said an orderly, that he was an orderly,
18 that he wore a band of an orderly. What does it mean?
19 A. Well, in my country, it means that during some public
20 manifestations, public events, whenever there is a large group of people
21 gathering, there are individuals who are in charge, and usually they would
22 wear a red band around their sleeve. I don't know whether it was the
23 right sleeve or the left sleeve.
24 Q. According to you, the word "orderly," does it come from the word
25 "order?" Does it mean that those individuals are in charge of
1 maintaining order?
2 A. Well, I'm not quite sure. Yes. Those people were there to
3 prevent incidents, to try and see to the public order.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just one objection. On
6 the record, page 18, line 14, when the witness said that he noticed an
7 orderly band, the interpretation reads as follows: "... indicating that he
8 was cleaning the streets." I must say that the witness did not use these
9 words. He did not say that he was cleaning the streets but that he wore a
10 band which indicated that he was an orderly, and he just provided us with
11 the explanation as to the meaning of the word "orderly." I don't think
12 the interpretation here was entirely adequate and accurately reflected the
13 words of the witness.
14 JUDGE HUNT: Well, your next question rather supports what you
15 say, because he hadn't mentioned, according to the translation, the word
16 "orderly" before you said, "Well, you've just said orderly." But it
17 doesn't seem to be very important. He's now given us what he said and
18 what he meant by what he said, so I think we can leave it as it stands,
19 Mr. Domazet.
20 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. That was the
21 reason why I asked some additional questions of the witness.
22 Q. Witness, you mentioned that the orderly -- this orderly band is
23 usually worn by the people who are in charge of maintaining public order
24 during some public events. Does it mean, according to you, that he was in
25 charge of what was going on at that time in the streets?
1 A. Most probably he was in charge of the people who were cleaning the
2 streets, the shops, and business premises.
3 Q. Did you notice, by any chance, on this band that you said was red,
4 whether there were any other markings or insignia?
5 A. No. It was a plain red band which had no markings on it.
6 Q. You said that you had seen Mitar Vasiljevic on a number of
7 occasions in the month of June. Can you tell us until when he was
8 assigned to that duty?
9 A. Well, I saw him performing that duty until mid-June.
10 Q. Do you know what happened to him then, in mid-June? Because you
11 say that you were seeing him until then.
12 A. In mid-June, in the streets of the town, he fell from a horse.
13 Q. Did you see that yourself or did you hear about it?
14 A. No. I was not an eyewitness to that, but it was something that
15 was discussed in town. People were laughing about him because he had
16 fallen from a mare and broken his leg.
17 Q. When you say that you had heard this from people who were laughing
18 at the incident, can you tell us why would these people laugh at an event
19 in which the person was injured?
20 A. It is unusual to ride a horse on the pavement, and people, I
21 suppose, were joking about that.
22 Q. On that occasion, when you heard of that incident and when you
23 heard about where the event took place and the time of the incident?
24 A. Well, this happened at the square near the New Hotel, where the
25 Kristal Bank is currently located, and there is a glass there where
1 posters are put up and where information is given.
2 Q. Did you hear when that happened?
3 A. Well, I heard -- well, people said, in fact, that this happened
4 during an Orthodox holiday, the Trinity Day.
5 Q. Tell us something about the Red Cross in Visegrad. Do you
6 remember, at the time, where the Red Cross premises were located?
7 A. I remember that very well. The Red Cross premises were located in
8 the second Podrinjeska Street, near the restaurant owned by Boro Sokra
9 [phoen] of Visegrad.
10 Q. Do you remember who was employed in the Red Cross in Visegrad at
11 the time?
12 A. I remember well. Milan Knezevic, nicknamed Bato; a woman called
13 Bugarin - I don't know her surname - and another woman called Stojka were
14 employed at the Red Cross at the time.
15 Q. Do you remember whether at some point in time a person by the name
16 of Zilic was employed there?
17 A. Yes. Stanimir Zilic used to work there. He is a former police
18 officer. Now he's retired. He used to work in the Red Cross, but at some
19 later stage.
20 Q. When you say "at some later stage," at the time we are discussing
21 now, June 1992, he hadn't been working for the Red Cross then?
22 A. No, he was not employed with the Red Cross at the time.
23 Q. Do you remember, how much later did he become employed with the
24 Red Cross?
25 A. I cannot remember exactly, but I think it was much later that he
1 began working in that institution.
2 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, can I just check the name that he
3 mentioned there?
4 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE HUNT: He's recorded as saying Milan Knezevic, M-i-l-a-n.
6 MR. DOMAZET: Yes.
7 JUDGE HUNT: Is that what you understood him to say?
8 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Did you say Milan?
10 A. Milan. Milan Knezevic, nicknamed Bato.
11 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, it's correct.
12 JUDGE HUNT: It's not Mitar, is what I'm interested in. I thought
13 this might have been --
14 MR. DOMAZET: No, no. Milan.
15 JUDGE HUNT: I thought this might have been your alleged
16 doppelganger but you haven't produced him yet.
17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
18 Q. The person called Zilic that you mentioned, can you say that he
19 started working with the Red Cross in a few months from then, or even
20 later than that?
21 A. I'm not quite sure when he started working with the Red Cross, but
22 it was later. I don't know the exact time, because he was in fact
23 distributing humanitarian aid; flour, sugar, and the like.
24 Q. Can you remember what he looked like? I'm referring to Zilic.
25 A. I don't really have to remember because I know the person
1 personally and I know exactly what he looks like. He is one metre, 75
2 centimetres tall, he has dark hair, dark complexion, he's not -- he's
3 averagely developed.
4 Q. From that description, because you say that you knew the person
5 quite well, do you see any similarity between that person and Mitar
6 Vasiljevic, whom you know very well too?
7 A. It is certain that there is a lot of similarity in terms of
8 height, colour of hair, complexion, build.
9 Q. But as far as you can remember, that person was not employed with
10 the Red Cross in June 1992? You are sure?
11 A. Yes, I'm sure. I didn't see him there.
12 Q. Finally, I would like to ask you: At the time when you were
13 assigned to the school Vuk Karadzic, did you at any time or in any
14 situation see Mitar Vasiljevic?
15 A. On that specific day, I didn't notice Mitar Vasiljevic anywhere,
16 standing or moving around.
17 Q. Not only on that day, but on previous days, did you see Mitar
18 Vasiljevic in those days?
19 A. From the time when he fell off the horse, he was taken to the
20 clinic in Uzice. His leg was fractured. And from mid-June onwards, I
21 didn't see him any more.
22 Q. Can you tell us: From the time when, as you have just explained,
23 that you heard that Mitar Vasiljevic was injured from having fallen from
24 the horse and to the time when you started securing the school, do you
25 know what time interval would that be? Can you remember?
1 A. Could you please repeat the question?
2 Q. Well, I will rephrase. Did you hear of the injury of Mitar
3 Vasiljevic before you secured the school Vuk Karadzic or after that?
4 A. About his injury? Well, I heard about it seven or eight days
5 before I went to secure the school in question.
6 Q. Are you sure of that, that this was the time interval, seven or
7 eight or more days?
8 A. Well, about a week, seven days.
9 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
10 questions, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome.
12 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Groome:
14 Q. VGD24, my name is Dermot Groome. I will be asking you several
15 questions on behalf of the Prosecution.
16 You've told us today here that Mitar Vasiljevic worked in the New
17 Hotel by the old bridge and some cafes in town; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that is correct that I said that Mitar Vasiljevic was
19 employed in the catering establishments you just mentioned.
20 Q. And would that have been in June of 1992?
21 A. No, it wasn't in June. It was before the war broke out in Bosnia
22 and Herzegovina.
23 Q. Would it have been in May of 1992?
24 A. I saw him at the beginning of 1992 and before that.
25 Q. When is the last time you saw him working in establishments that
1 you've described for us?
2 A. The last time I saw him working in the Novi Hotel, the New Hotel,
3 which is near the old bridge over the Drina.
4 Q. And when would have been the last time you saw him there?
5 A. It was in winter, winter of 1992, that is, until the period of
7 Q. And you're sure that at no time he worked at the Vilina Vlas
9 A. I'm sure that he never worked in Vilina Vlas hotel. I had an
10 uncle there who was employed there and I used to go there quite
11 frequently, and I never met him there.
12 Q. When the JNA was in town, where were they staying overnight?
13 A. Would you please repeat the question in regard to the JNA?
14 Q. When the JNA came to Visegrad, where did the officers stay at
16 A. Well, the JNA arrived on April 16, 17, but where they spent their
17 night, I really do not know. I'm not sure.
18 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm going to be asking this witness
19 about another protected witness, so I'm going to tender at this time
20 document P96. It's a pseudonym sheet for VG81.
21 JUDGE HUNT: Is that a document which is already marked 86 -- 96,
22 I mean?
23 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour. It's a new one for the purposes of
24 this witness.
25 JUDGE HUNT: It will be Exhibit P96, and it will be under seal.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. GROOME:
2 Q. Now, VGD24, I'd ask you to look at the sheet in front of you, and
3 that's another witness who is protected, just like yourself, so I'd ask
4 you to refer to her as VG81. You arrested that woman in September of last
5 year, did you not?
6 A. Personally, I know the person 081, but I never arrested that
8 Q. Were you involved -- did you have any interaction with that person
9 on the 13th of September, 2001?
10 A. It is true that I was on duty on that day and I was there when
11 there was a conflict between VG081 and the wife of the accused, Mitar
13 Q. And what did you do with respect to VG81 with what you're calling
14 a conflict? What did you do?
15 A. I went to the scene, the place called Kosovo Polje, where the
16 person VG081, that is where she lives. I was accompanied by policemen.
17 We questioned the person, we established the facts, and I fined her on the
18 spot of ten convertible marks, which she paid on the spot.
19 Q. So you determined, after speaking to which people, that VG81
20 should be fined? Which people did you interview to determine the facts?
21 A. I talked with Mitar Vasiljevic's wife and with the person in
22 question, who confirmed that she had a quarrel with the wife of Mitar
24 Q. Did you fine the wife of Mitar Vasiljevic?
25 A. Yes -- no, I didn't fine Mitar Vasiljevic's wife because VG081 had
1 started the conflict.
2 Q. So you're telling us that VG81 was at her home, you were called to
3 go to that home, where you met VG81 and the wife of Mr. Vasiljevic, and
4 after talking to both of them, you determined that VG81 was in the wrong
5 and you fined her; is that correct?
6 A. That is correct. Policemen of the International Community were
7 present during that time, and they had no objections to the way I acted.
8 Q. And what did you fine her for? What violation of law did you
9 charge her with or fine her for?
10 A. Because when she was travelling Visegrad to Kosovo Polje in a
11 white Niva Lada, she had stopped by Vasiljevic's wife and she started
12 calling out to her, saying that Mitar Vasiljevic was a war criminal and
13 words to that effect, which she acknowledged when being questioned by me,
14 and I fined her. And she didn't object to that. She took out the
15 necessary amount of money and gave it to me, and I wrote a receipt.
16 Q. Were you aware that she was a witness, or was scheduled to be a
17 witness in this case?
18 A. No, I didn't know that she was a witness.
19 Q. Do you know where the village of Kragujevac is? That's
21 A. I know where Kragujevac is located. That is the town where I was
23 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, I would be interested to know what is the
25 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. I'm sorry.
1 JUDGE HUNT: It is rather important, I think.
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. Can you tell us what violation of law or crime was VG81 charged
4 with that she had to pay this fine?
5 A. Well, she disrupted public order, and this entails a fine of 10
6 convertible marks.
7 Q. And is there a section or a law that you can tell us, a section
8 number of the law that you specifically charged her with?
9 A. Yes, there is a section, provoking another person to quarrel and
10 using offensive language.
11 Q. And what is the section?
12 A. Article 2, para 1.1, as far as I can remember. I'm not sure.
13 Q. And what day was that on?
14 A. This was last year, autumn last year. I think that you mentioned
15 September 13. I'm not sure about the date, because I, of course, have to
16 punish people on a daily basis, so I cannot remember all these dates.
17 Q. So you're uncertain about the date; is that correct?
18 A. That is not a significant date. I don't remember him because I
19 have to fine people on a daily basis, for traffic -- breaking traffic
20 rules or for other things, and I cannot really remember all the dates.
21 Q. Well, your recall or powers of recall seemed quite impressive
22 earlier. You were able to tell us that the date that you went to the Vuk
23 Karadzic school was the 22nd of June in 1992, and you were able to tell us
24 that you had heard that some people were going to go to Racunici, and you
25 remembered that they left in a Lada Niva. How were you able to recall
1 with such great detail the events of almost ten years ago?
2 A. As regards the fines, it is something which the police does every
3 day, and we would have to have a computer to recall that information. But
4 the other incidents are incidents that occur only rarely, every ten years,
5 and that is why one remembers them.
6 Q. But it was your testimony that nothing happened at the school,
7 wasn't it?
8 A. I didn't testify to the fact that nothing happened there.
9 Q. Well, the day that the White Eagles apparently went to the school
10 and robbed the people there, can you tell us the date that that happened?
11 A. Well, I said that I hadn't been there on the spot, and I don't
12 remember the exact day, but from the time when these people arrived to
13 that building, that happened seven or eight days later.
14 Q. Do you know a person by the name of Milena Pencencic? That's
16 A. No. I'm sorry, I'm not sure about the surname. Can you repeat
17 the name and the surname? I didn't quite get it.
18 Q. The surname is Pencencic - and I've spelled it - and the first
19 name is Milena, M-i-l-e-n-a.
20 A. I know a family in Visegrad, a family called Pencencic. Whether
21 the person's name is Milena or not, I'm not sure. I know the family
23 Q. You told us that you were mobilised into the reserve police force,
24 but prior to being mobilised into the reserve police force, you were not a
25 member of the reserve police force; is that correct?
1 A. That is correct. I wasn't a member of the reserve police before
3 Q. And in 1993 you joined the police force officially; is that
5 A. Yes. In 1993 I had completed a course in Bileca, a three-month
6 course, and then I became a regular police officer.
7 Q. Well, can you tell us how it was you were notified that you were
8 mobilised into this reserve police force?
9 A. I was informed by messenger.
10 Q. And was the messenger a police officer?
11 A. I don't think he was a policeman. No, he was not a policeman.
12 Q. About how many people were mobilised in a similar way, if you
14 A. I'm not sure what the exact number of people who were mobilised.
15 About a hundred. I don't think there were more.
16 Q. Would it be fair to say that they were all Serb?
17 A. It is true they were all Serbs, because war had broken out in our
18 area. The Muslims had formed their own units, the Serbs had formed their
19 own units, and that was what the situation was at the time.
20 Q. Do you remember the date that you were mobilised?
21 A. I cannot remember the exact date. About 20th, 21st, or 22nd, one
22 of those three days when the Uzice Corps left.
23 Q. Do you remember the date when you were sworn in as a police
24 officer in 1993?
25 A. In July, the first half of July. 15th of July, 17th of July.
1 Q. How soon after you were mobilised as a reserve police officer were
2 you issued a weapon? Was it the same day, the next day?
3 A. When I reported to the police station, it was then that I was
4 issued with weapons.
5 Q. And how long were you at the police station before you were issued
6 with a weapon? An hour, two hours?
7 A. Well, as soon as I arrived; 10 or 20 minutes. In that period of
8 time, in those 10 or 20 minutes, I was issued with a weapon.
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, would this be a convenient place to
11 JUDGE HUNT: Very well. We'll adjourn now until 4.30.
12 --- Recess taken at 4.00 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 4.33 p.m.
14 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome.
15 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Stanimir Zilic, you've described him as looking somewhat similar
17 to Mr. Vasiljevic. What I'd ask you: Do you think it's reasonably
18 possible that some people might mistake Stanimir Zilic for Mitar
20 A. It's true that I have described Stanimir Zilic as looking similar
21 to Mitar Vasiljevic. As to whether one could confuse the two, I don't
22 know. That really depends on the observer. It is true that they resemble
23 each other by their hair, the complexion, the height and the build, I
25 Q. Have you ever mistaken one for the other?
1 A. Well, sometimes I am mistaken about people when I see someone
2 resembling some other individual that I know, and at that particular
3 moment I might be mistaken.
4 Q. I'm asking you about these two specific people. Have you ever
5 gone up to Stanimir Zilic and said, "Hello, Mitar. Oh, I'm sorry, I've
6 made a mistake." Have you ever made that kind of mistake with Mr. Zilic?
7 A. I did not have an opportunity to make such a mistake, I
8 personally. I saw them on a regular basis almost every day, so I didn't
9 have that opportunity.
10 Q. Now, I believe you said, when you described Mr. Zilic, you said
11 that he was retired now. So can I take from that that he is in his 60s or
12 perhaps older?
13 A. No. He's a relatively young man, the same age as Mitar
14 Vasiljevic, more or less. But he retired earlier than usual because of
15 health problems.
16 Q. And does Mr. Zilic still live in Visegrad today?
17 A. Yes. He is still alive and he is residing in Visegrad.
18 Q. Did you bring a photograph of Mr. Zilic with you when you came to
19 The Hague?
20 A. No, I did not. There was no need for that.
21 Q. And do you know what village Mr. Zilic was born in?
22 A. Excuse me, who do you have in mind?
23 Q. Stanimir Zilic. Do you know whether he was born in the town of
24 Visegrad or was he born in one of the villages around Visegrad?
25 A. I think that his parents come from Rudo originally. I don't know
1 exactly where he was born, but I think that he originally comes from the
2 municipality of Rudo.
3 Q. Now, from what you've told us before the break, it seems that the
4 first thing that happened when you arrived at the police station in
5 response to this mobilisation was that you were issued your weapons. Is
6 that true?
7 A. Yes, that's true. That is what I testified. I was issued a
9 Q. Can you describe for us what weapons you were issued.
10 A. I was issued an automatic rifle.
11 Q. As a young man, did you do compulsory military service with the
13 A. Yes. I did my compulsory military service with the Yugoslav
14 national army.
15 Q. And was this the same type of rifle that you were issued when you
16 did your service?
17 A. Yes. I had the same kind of rifle, an automatic rifle, M-70.
18 Q. Were there any markings on the rifle to indicate that it was a
19 police rifle?
20 A. Weapons usually don't have any markings that would indicate the
21 type of formation that usually uses that kind of weapon. No, it didn't
22 have any specific markings, just M-70.
23 Q. Boban Simsic, was he a reserve police officer as well?
24 A. Yes, he was a reserve police officer.
25 Q. Were you ever issued a uniform?
1 A. Correct, yes, I was also issued a uniform.
2 Q. And when were you issued a uniform?
3 A. Sometime later than the rifle.
4 Q. Was it a matter of days or weeks?
5 A. Several days, maybe up to two weeks later.
6 Q. And during this up-to-two-week period, did you walk around the
7 town with your weapon in your ordinary civilian clothes?
8 A. No. I was not wearing civilian clothes, because I already had an
9 old JNA uniform at home. Every male in our country who had done a
10 military service with the JNA had one uniform at home in case of
11 mobilisation or training, things like that.
12 Q. Were you issued an identification card?
13 A. At that time, no, we were not issued with any such thing.
14 Q. And how long before you were issued with an identification card to
15 show that you were a police officer?
16 A. After I completed my training, police training, in Bileca, and
17 when we went back to the police station, we were issued by the Public
18 Security Service a certificate that we were members of the police force,
19 that we were police officers.
20 Q. Where is Bileca? Is that in Visegrad?
21 A. No. Bileca cannot be in Visegrad. It is situated in southern
22 Herzegovina, near the town of Trebinje.
23 Q. Now, some witnesses have described some of the checkpoints, police
24 checkpoints, around town. As a reserve police officer, were you ever
25 assigned to man one of the checkpoints?
1 A. Yes, of course I was. I was manning the checkpoints. But I don't
2 know which period of time you have in mind, peacetime or wartime. Could
3 you please repeat the question for me.
4 Q. I'm talking about the time after you were mobilised, and let's
5 confine ourselves just up until the end of June of 1992, during that
6 period of time.
7 A. Yes, I remember that period of time.
8 Q. And were you assigned to work on checkpoints during that period of
10 A. I was assigned, for instance, to the checkpoint in Dobrun.
11 Q. Were you ever assigned to work in the checkpoint on the road out
12 of Visegrad to Prelovo?
13 A. No, never, nor was there a checkpoint there.
14 Q. So there was no checkpoint on the road from Visegrad in the
15 vicinity of Kosovo Polje?
16 A. Not the one that would have belonged to our police. It is
17 possible that there was a checkpoint there while the Uzice Corps was still
18 present in the area.
19 Q. Did you ever wear a balaclava during the course of your duties as
20 a reserve police officer? And by that, I mean a cloth covering over your
22 A. No, never. I never wore any such mask except for a regular cap.
23 Q. Were you ever in possession of such a mask?
24 A. No, I was never in possession of such a mask. The only thing I
25 had was a regular military beret.
1 Q. Now, VG117 has described for us a certificate of safety that was
2 issued to her by your commander, Dragan Tomic. Are you familiar, or were
3 you familiar with such certificates of safety?
4 A. I'm personally not familiar with such certificates. They would
5 have been the responsibility of the commander. I was a simple policeman.
6 I was not aware of any such certificates being distributed.
7 Q. Well, in the course of your duties as a police officer during this
8 time, was it not one of your responsibilities to check the identification
9 papers of people who you saw on the street and perhaps did not recognise?
10 A. It is one of the regular duties, obligations, of any police
11 officer on duty. When they see an unknown individual in town, they have
12 to establish his or her identity by asking him identification papers.
13 Q. And in the course of doing this, you never saw anybody produce a
14 certificate of safety, some certificate verifying who they were, issued by
15 Dragan Tomic?
16 A. No, I didn't have an opportunity to see that, because most of the
17 time, I was outside the town, not in town.
18 Q. Are you familiar where the fire brigade building is in the town of
20 A. Yes, I know where the fire brigade is located.
21 Q. And isn't it a fact that, at different times during this period,
22 Muslims stayed in the fire brigade?
23 A. Which period of time do you have in mind?
24 Q. Again, May and June of 1992.
25 A. No, I don't know that. The only thing I know about is the Vuk
1 Karadzic school.
2 Q. While you were at the Vuk Karadzic school, did you ever see
3 anybody from the Red Cross at the school?
4 A. No, I never saw anybody from the Red Cross coming to the school.
5 Q. Did the Red Cross in Visegrad have another location where they
6 would allow people to stay, people who needed shelter? Was there another
7 place in the town?
8 A. I'm not familiar with any such information. The premises of the
9 Red Cross are very small indeed, and they were used as storage room, and
10 it was not possible to accommodate any larger group of people there.
11 Q. There's been some testimony in this trial about people being
12 interrogated by police. Can you tell us what locations you are aware of
13 where people were brought for questioning?
14 A. I'm not aware of the police conducting any such investigations or
15 interrogating people.
16 Q. Well, then, let me go back to a question I asked you a few minutes
17 ago. If you saw a person, let's say a man whom you did not recognise in
18 the town, and you asked him to identify him testify and he could not
19 produce identification, what would you do?
20 A. I would have to establish the identity of the individual in
22 Q. But if he has no papers to prove who he is, he gives you a name,
23 what would you do, or what would you have done?
24 A. I would have to take him to the office of the police, that is, to
25 the police station, and to conduct an interview with him in order to
1 establish who he is.
2 Q. Is the police station the only place that you're aware of where
3 people were brought to be interviewed?
4 A. In the course of our regular work, whenever I came across an
5 unidentified individual, I had to take him to the police station to
6 establish his identity if he didn't have any identification papers on him.
7 Q. What would happen at the police station if he had no
8 identification papers?
9 A. Well, his identity would have to be established through an
10 interview, and then it depends on the place where he comes from. We would
11 have to contact the relevant police station, depending on his place of
13 Q. And can you tell us, approximately how many times during this
14 period of time did you conduct such interviews of people?
15 A. I never had an opportunity to come across an individual who didn't
16 have any identification papers on him. Most of the time, the people would
17 have some kind of identification; a regular ID, driver's licence, a
18 passport, or some other kind of official document with his picture on it.
19 Q. Did you at any time participate in the interview of a person who
20 was perhaps detained by another police officer?
21 A. No. I never had an opportunity to interview an individual which
22 had been brought by another police officer. Usually, the police officer
23 who brought the person to the police station would conduct this activity
24 until the end.
25 Q. Mr. Djuric yesterday described for us, at least on one occasion,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 seeing some men who he believed to be paramilitaries in the town. Did you
2 ever see, in the course of your police duties, people that you believed to
3 be paramilitaries in the town?
4 A. I did see such people on several occasions.
5 Q. Can you describe for us the earliest period of time when you began
6 to see such people?
7 A. Immediately after the breakout of the conflict in Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina, in particular, in Visegrad, I started seeing such
10 Q. Did you see White Eagles there?
11 A. Whether they were White Eagles or Black Eagles, I don't know. All
12 I know is that I saw, from time to time, unknown individuals wearing
13 camouflage uniforms.
14 Q. And did you ever become aware that they had committed crimes in
15 the town?
16 A. I didn't hear anything in particular about them having committed
17 serious crimes, except for what I have mentioned, when they broke into the
18 Vuk Karadzic school and took the money belonging to those people, and
19 similar things.
20 Q. Tell me about the other similar things that you were aware of.
21 About how many other incidents were you aware of that paramilitaries had
22 been involved in?
23 A. I don't know of any specific similar incidents that would have
24 involved paramilitaries.
25 JUDGE HUNT: Can you tell me, sir, whether they were ever fined 10
1 convertible marks for interrupting public order?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably not, never. There was war
3 going on at that time, and the police was very rarely actually engaged in
4 normal police work. Most of them were at the front lines.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. Did you know a person by the name of Milan Lukic?
7 A. Yes, I know the person you're mentioning.
8 Q. Would you consider yourself a friend of his?
9 A. Not really. I don't think I can say that I'm a friend of his, but
10 we are acquaintances.
11 Q. Can you tell us under what circumstances you are acquainted with
12 Milan Lukic?
13 A. I knew him even before the outbreak of the war because he comes
14 from a neighbouring village, and I would see him from time to time.
15 Q. And did you see him during this period, between May and June of
17 A. I cannot recall exactly when that was, but from June onwards, I
18 would see him from time to time.
19 Q. Was he a member of the police force, like yourself?
20 A. No. He was never a member of any police force.
21 Q. Was he a member of the Territorial Defence?
22 A. He was not a member of the Territorial Defence.
23 Q. And when you saw him during this time period, was he armed with a
25 A. Yes, I saw him with a weapon.
1 Q. Would he not fit into your category of paramilitaries, somebody
2 who doesn't belong to any registered force?
3 A. Most probably he did belong to a paramilitary formation, because
4 he was neither a member of the police nor Territorial Defence.
5 Q. And how many people were in his group that you are aware of?
6 A. It was not possible for me to know how many people were in his
7 group. I was mostly in charge of securing the roads, and I would rarely
8 go to town. But when I did go to town, I would sometimes see him, but
9 that's all.
10 Q. And when you would see him, would he be alone or with other
12 A. Sometimes he was alone, sometimes he was in the company of some
13 other individuals that I didn't know.
14 Q. And these other individuals that you didn't know, would they be
16 A. Yes, they were all armed.
17 Q. And did you ever go up to one of these other individuals who you
18 did not know and ask them to produce identification?
19 A. Well, a moment ago I said that the police very rarely did usual
20 police work at that time. Most of the time, they were in charge of
21 securing the roads.
22 Q. You told us a moment ago that you never had occasion to stop
23 somebody who you did not know and ask for identification. Can I take from
24 that answer that you did not approach any of these unknown individuals
25 that were armed, that were with Milan Lukic, and ask them to identify
1 themselves to you? Is that correct?
2 A. Well, I said that I didn't spend much time in town, that we were
3 basically engaged in securing roads, that we were in the trenches and on
4 the front line.
5 Q. Sir, I'm not asking you about the time when you were out of town.
6 I'm asking you to tell us what you've -- you've described a time, at least
7 one occasion, in which, while you were in town, you saw these unknown men.
8 I'm asking you: On that occasion, did you attempt to identify those men?
9 A. No. I never tried to ask for their ID, nor was that my duty, nor
10 did I have orders to do so from my commander.
11 Q. We've heard from a number of witnesses that, during this time
12 period, it was common to see bodies in various parts of the town, as well
13 as buildings burning. Can you describe for us what you recall regarding
14 either bodies on the ground or any signs of violence in the town during
15 this time period.
16 A. I wasn't able to see bodies in the streets or similar locations.
17 Q. So during this entire time period, you never saw any corpses in
18 the town?
19 A. No. I never had the occasion to see corpses in the town, at
20 least, as far as I was concerned, I wasn't able to see them.
21 Q. How often would you receive instructions from your commander, Mr.
23 A. Well, when we were going to perform our duties, we would receive
24 instructions and orders from our commander.
25 Q. So can I take from your answer that, every day, Dragan Tomic
1 addressed you and gave you instructions on what you were to do that day?
2 A. Well, in most cases, he himself or his deputy or associate would
3 instruct us what we would have to do when we were going to perform our
4 duties, when we were to go to the front line.
5 Q. And during this time period, did Dragan Tomic or his deputies at
6 any time say to you or the other police officers: "I've received a report
7 that Milan Lukic has killed some men down by the Drina River. We need to
8 question him, possibly arrest him"? Did he ever say that to you or to the
9 other police officers?
10 A. Well, I don't know whether he would say that to other colleagues,
11 but he never said that to me, and I have never heard anything to that
12 effect from him.
13 Q. I want to go back to the 22nd of June and ask you: Did you
14 recognise anyone else there, aside from VG117?
15 A. No, I didn't quite understand your question, I'm afraid.
16 Q. Well, you've told us that you recognised VG117 there. Out of this
17 group of a hundred people, can you tell us who else you recognised there
18 at the school?
19 A. On no occasion did I say that I had recognised a person that we
20 call VG117.
21 Q. So is it your testimony that you did not see VG117 at the school
22 on the 22nd of June?
23 A. Yes. I am testifying that I didn't see her, I didn't recognise
24 her, nor that she was there. In any case, I didn't see her there.
25 Q. Okay. I'd ask you just to look down at the sheet in front of you
1 again to make sure we're not confusing two different people. It's VG117
2 -- I'm sorry. VG117. Is it your testimony you did not see her at the
4 A. Well, I said earlier on that I hadn't seen her personally but that
5 I found out that she was there because she was supposed to have gone to
6 Serbia by car.
7 Q. And who told you that she was there?
8 A. Djuric and Ristic, the soldiers of the Territorial Defence. They
9 told me that there were some people there that were to be taken to Serbia
10 and to be taken over by a high-ranking officer in Serbia.
11 Q. So it's quite possible that VG117 may have arrived at the school
12 after you had left the school; is that not correct?
13 A. She arrived along with the other people from the villages I
14 mentioned. She wasn't in the trucks, but she was driven in a Lada Niva.
15 Q. Would you agree with me that the group at the school was mostly
16 made up of elderly people, women and children?
17 A. Yes. Most of them were elderly people.
18 Q. And I believe you told us that the people remained at the school
19 for three to four days. Is that correct?
20 A. Well, they stayed for more days; seven, eight, or nine days.
21 That's what I said.
22 Q. And to your knowledge, were there any -- was there any place for
23 the people to get food at the school?
24 A. I'm not aware of that, whether they received food at the school,
25 but they could go to the shops, to their relatives living in town, or to
1 Serbs, to their neighbour Serbs whom they knew.
2 Q. One of the reasons you told us that they were at the school for
3 this period of time was because it was too dangerous to take them back to
4 the village of Gostilja; is that correct?
5 A. That is correct. There were attempts to return to Gostilja, but
6 the Muslims from the left bank of the Drina were firing and it was not
7 possible for them to reach the places where they resided.
8 Q. As the only road that you could go back or return to Gostilja,
9 would that be the road that runs along the Drina? Was that the only way
10 back to Gostilja?
11 A. Yes, that is true. The only road communications which could be
12 used by cars, by vehicles, was the one on the right bank of the Drina
13 River, and the Muslims were on the left bank.
14 Q. Well, sir, can you explain to us, then, if it's too dangerous to
15 take these people back along that road to their village, how was it not
16 too dangerous for the Lada Niva to drive with VG117 to Gostilja, to stay
17 at the house of Mr. Joksimovic? How is that not too dangerous?
18 A. Those people, when they were taken by truck to return to the
19 village of Gostilja, I repeat that the Muslims were shooting from the left
20 bank of the Drina, and therefore, to avoid casualties, these people were
21 returned to the school.
22 Q. Well, how could you be sure that the Muslims would not shoot at
23 the Lada Niva as it drove along the same road?
24 A. Well, I wasn't sure. The Lada is smaller in size and it's more
25 difficult to hit than a larger freight vehicle.
1 Q. Would you agree with me that the people, if they were permitted
2 to, could have walked through the hills to Gostilja from the Vuk Karadzic
3 school without ever going near the Drina River?
4 A. At no moment were these people prevented from coming or going.
5 Where they were at school, in the school building, they went to their
6 relatives who were Muslims or in the neighbourhood to Serbs. Their
7 freedom of movement was in no way restricted at any moment.
8 Q. Sir, I want to return to Milena Pencencic. You recognised the
9 last name, you were unsure about her first name. Isn't it a fact that
10 prior to the people of Gostilja being brought into Visegrad, that you and
11 approximately 15 other men, dressed in -- with the uniform you've
12 described or with balaclavas covering your faces, that you went to that
13 village shooting before you got into that village and that you disarmed
14 that village, and in fact took a young man who was an SDA member and
15 threatened him and threatened to burn down the village if the people there
16 did not turn over any weapons that they have? Is that not a fact, sir?
17 A. No, never. I had never occasion, while the war was waging, to be
18 in the village of Gostilja.
19 Q. Did you ever conduct searches for weapons in Muslim villages?
20 A. No, never did I have occasion to search for weapons. These were
21 not my orders, the orders I received from my superiors.
22 Q. Sir, my last question to you is: Isn't it a fact that, prior to
23 you agreeing to come to testify before this Chamber, you required some
24 guarantee that you would not be arrested or charged with a crime while you
25 were here? Is that not true?
1 A. No, I did not ask for such protection. Probably the Defence
2 counsel of Mitar Vasiljevic asked for that. Well, I only asked for facial
3 distortions because I have to move around the Federation and I don't want
4 to have any trouble.
5 MR. GROOME: No further questions.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet.
7 Re-examined by Mr. Domazet:
8 Q. [Interpretation] One of Mr. Groome's questions was whether anyone
9 from the Red Cross came and wrote names down. In any situation, did you
10 ever see people from the Red Cross coming to record the names of the
11 people who were preparing to join the convoy?
12 A. I never had occasion to see that. I have never seen people to
13 come to record the names of people who were to travel in a convoy.
14 JUDGE HUNT: Please remember, sir, that you are speaking the same
15 language as Mr. Domazet, so pause before your answer begins so that the
16 interpreters can catch up; otherwise, we lose some of your answer, and we
17 do want to hear everything you say.
18 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
19 Q. When you were answering Mr. Groome's question about whether you
20 personally could confuse the identity of Zilic Stanimir and Mitar
21 Vasiljevic, you spoke about general examples how this can happen, but in
22 the case of these two people, there was a very specific question. Do you
23 know both of them very well, and is that why you said that you could not
24 be mistaken about them?
25 A. It is true what I stated. I know both persons very well and I
1 could not mistake one for the other.
2 Q. Judging by the characteristics that you have mentioned, can you
3 say that these people look alike, and within the framework of what you
4 have said, would this change anything?
5 A. I just said that they had things in common, like same hair
6 colouring, same complexion and build.
7 Q. When you were answering the question about people that were taken
8 to the police station without ID papers, without being able to keep them
9 there, you said that these people -- you were asked whether these people
10 could have been taken to prison. Could you tell me whether a prison
11 existed in Visegrad before that or after that?
12 A. A prison always existed as a premise, but no one was taken there
13 to be arrested there.
14 Q. Which premises are you referring to?
15 A. I'm referring to the premise which every police station in the
16 former Yugoslavia had to detain people. But during that time, people did
17 not bring other people there to keep them there.
18 Q. Yes, I understood that. Every police station has a room where it
19 keeps, it detains people for a certain period of time, and it is entitled
20 to do so, but this is restricted, the time is restricted.
21 A. Yes, this is restricted in time, and as the international
22 policemen are here, and according to the new laws, the people cannot be
23 kept there without the consent of the investigating judge.
24 Q. But my question does not refer to the premises in a police station
25 where you can detain someone for some period of time. My question was
1 whether the town of Visegrad had a prison. You're a policeman, you know
2 what a prison is.
3 A. Well, Visegrad as such did not have any prison, only in the
4 barracks there, there was a number of people who were captured and they
5 waited -- they were awaiting to be exchanged.
6 Q. One of Mr. Groome's questions was whether you saw members of the
7 Milan Lukic group. You said that you had seen them, that they were armed.
8 Amongst those that you saw, did you recognise any people from Visegrad,
9 and were the people belonging to his group, were they people from
10 Visegrad, as far as you know?
11 A. Aside from Milan Lukic, all other people were unknown to me, and
12 they were not from the territory of Visegrad, these were people from
13 Serbia. I don't know exactly from where, but they were not from the areas
14 of Visegrad, nor the town of Visegrad.
15 Q. One of Mr. Groome's questions was how come there was a danger to
16 the people who were being transported from the school to Gostilja and that
17 such a danger did not exist for the Lada Niva vehicle. And in connection
18 with that, I ask you: To the best of your knowledge, was there a danger
19 for the trucks passing by or was there actual shooting and that was the
20 reason why they returned?
21 A. I didn't say that there was only a danger, but there was actual
22 shooting going on, firing at the trucks that wished to return these people
23 to the location mentioned.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, the witness has taken no notice of me,
25 but he may take some notice of you if you just ask him, please, to pause
1 before he starts his answer. It's making it terribly difficult for the
3 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm just in the end.
4 Q. [Interpretation] One of Mr. Groome's questions was whether the
5 people from that school you mentioned, whether they could reach Gostilja
6 on foot, because you said that the only communication line was along the
7 Drina River. You said that they were not prevented from doing so and that
8 they could do so. I think that was your answer.
9 A. That is correct. The only road for vehicles was along the Drina
10 River; but on foot, they could reach Gostilja in different -- in a number
11 of different ways.
12 Q. The people who returned to this school and remained there as long
13 as they said, you said that they went in different directions. Do you
14 know whether these people returned to Gostilja on foot or not, to the best
15 of your knowledge?
16 A. Well, to the best of my knowledge, I know that some of them went
17 to Serbia, some went via Gostilja to Zepa, through the village where I was
19 Q. Only one last question. Well, you said what you knew about the
20 Red Cross, who was employed there and where the Red Cross was located. Is
21 the Red Cross still located there where it was located in 1992?
22 A. The Red Cross premises are now located elsewhere, because that
23 building, in fact, the building next to it, the restaurant next to it, was
24 mined, and due to the explosion, the Red Cross building was also damaged.
25 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 questions, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you, sir, for coming to give evidence and for
3 the evidence which you have given. You are now free to leave.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE HUNT: Well, Mr. Domazet.
6 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my last witness is the
7 accused, Mitar Vasiljevic, in connection with the Vuk Karadzic incident
8 and his acquaintance with VG117.
9 JUDGE HUNT: Right. Let's have Mr. Vasiljevic in the witness box,
11 MR. DOMAZET: Yes. Thank you.
12 WITNESS: MITAR VASILJEVIC [Recalled]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE HUNT: Now, Mr. Vasiljevic, you understand, do you, you are
15 still bound by the solemn declaration which you gave when you first gave
16 evidence before us?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE HUNT: You don't need to stand up; you can stay seated.
19 Yes, Mr. Domazet.
20 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Examined by Mr. Domazet:
22 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, I have a couple of questions for you concerning
23 what we have heard from VG117. Do you remember what individual I'm
24 talking about?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. And please bear in mind that you must not mention her name.
2 A. I understand that.
3 JUDGE HUNT: We're just placing one of those pseudonym sheets in
4 front of him.
5 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, if you remember, VG117 first spoke about her
7 childhood, and she told us that she minded the cattle when she was young
8 and played with the children from neighbouring villages. Among others,
9 she also mentioned yourself and your village. Do you know anything about
10 that? Do you have any recollection of that, and is there anything that
11 you can tell us about what you did and where you were at that time, what
12 property you had and did you also, from time to time, take care of the
14 A. I know exactly where Muslim property lies. It was at a
15 considerable distance from our property. Muslim and Serb properties were
16 quite apart, if you go from the Drina River. The Muslim property would be
17 situated further up.
18 Q. Well, you surely know your properties, that is, where your
19 father's property is, and you also know where the so-called Muslim
20 property begins. Are you referring to the people from the same village
21 that she comes from? And how is it that you know that this is Muslim
23 A. The village of VG117 is located there, and I know that the
24 property of those villagers belongs below -- begins below the village.
25 Q. Notwithstanding the distance of this property, do you remember
1 your childhood? Did you also from time to time mind the cattle? Did you
2 play with the children from neighbouring villages, including the village
3 where VG117 was born and lived as a child?
4 A. I went to school in the village of VG117. She is not exactly from
5 that particular village. She comes from a small hamlet situated one
6 kilometre away from the school, but I didn't pass through that hamlet on
7 my way to school. However, I do know people from that village, children
8 from that village who went to school with me, but I didn't know her,
9 because she is six years my senior, so I could not have played with her.
10 Q. When you say you couldn't play with her, was it because of the
11 difference in age, the six-year difference being considerable for that age
13 A. We didn't go to school together, and then -- well, I was what, 7
14 when I went to school. She was 13. We belonged to two different
15 generations, I mean. I was a small child, like I said. When I started
16 going to school, she had already completed four years of schooling, if
17 we're speaking about the same school in which I went.
18 Q. Are you trying to tell us that it was impossible for you to have
19 seen her at that school because the school had only four classes, four
20 forms, four generations, and she had already left by the time you went to
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. VG117, in her testimony, mentioned a couple of boys belonging to
24 her generation but who were from your village, if you remember that, and
25 she couldn't remember any other name except for yours, and I'm referring
1 to the names of children not belonging to her generation. Do you know the
2 persons whom she mentioned as being of the same generation as she is?
3 A. I know all individuals she mentioned. They're all my neighbours.
4 As for Bozo Kovacevic, he's not Kovacevic, he's Markovic. But I know them
5 all, although they are older. They went to school with her, not with me.
6 I don't remember -- I don't remember her from school. I was 5 years old
7 by the time they completed the fourth form.
8 Q. The three individuals that she mentioned and that you know, except
9 that she made a mistake with the surname of one of them, are familiar to
10 you; you know them. Did you ever play with them when you were a boy?
11 A. No, never. They are older than me. They did not belong to the
12 same generation. There were 39 of us who went to the school in the
13 village of VG117. There were 39 of us in my generation. I mean, some
14 went to the first form, some to the second, the third or the fourth, but
15 we were 39, that is, the people who were at that school at the same time I
17 Q. And one last question concerning this particular issue, Mr.
18 Vasiljevic: You spoke about the property of your father and the property
19 of these other families as being quite apart. Could you approximate for
20 us the distance, either in kilometres or in time, that you would need to
21 walk from one property to another?
22 A. Well, the way she explained, I don't think it was possible for me
23 to have minded cattle when I was 7. I was already at school. And before
24 that, I was much too young. I would have had to have someone older with
25 me. I could not have been a very reliable shepherd. It was an open area
1 and it was prohibited to walk around the cattle wherever you wanted. It
2 was simply not possible for me to have done that at that time. I'm much
3 younger than she is. She fabricated all of that.
4 Their property is at a considerable distance from ours. I would
5 have needed at least 20 minutes on foot to reach her property, though
6 exactly I don't know where that property is located. I just have an idea
7 of it. We're talking about rather large properties.
8 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, when you say that you would need at least 20
9 minutes to reach the property on foot, are you referring to the first
10 Muslim farms or the one that actually belonged to that family?
11 A. I don't know where exactly their farm, their property is. I just
12 know where these properties are all together. Like I said, I went to
13 school to this Muslim village. The school had only four classes, four
14 forms. And somewhere halfway to the school, Muslim properties began. So
15 first I would have to cross Serb properties, and then the second half
16 would be the Muslim properties.
17 Q. If you remember, Mr. Vasiljevic, Witness 117 then went on and
18 spoke about that, in addition to the fact that she knew you when she was a
19 child, she often saw you working as a waiter in Visegrad and that you
20 sometimes waited on her at the Panos restaurant and the restaurant
21 belonging to the Vilina Vlas hotel. I should now like to ask several
22 questions concerning the time that you spent working as a waiter.
23 To the best of your recollection, how many waiters were there
24 working in your company in Visegrad at that time?
25 A. The number varied, in particular, in summer, when seasonal workers
1 were employed. I don't know; 50, 60 to 70, and probably more in
2 summertime. We were one of the largest companies there.
3 Q. Would you please repeat the figure that you mentioned. Because I
4 don't think the record reflects what you said accurately. Would you
5 please repeat the number of waiters working at that time, to the best of
6 your recollection.
7 A. Between 65 and 70, and in summertime probably more. Between 65
8 and 70 waiters altogether.
9 Q. Thank you. That is indeed what you said initially, but the record
10 did not reflect that. I just want to make it clear for the record.
11 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, one of the reasons the record may have
12 been incorrect is that your client, I'm afraid, is not pausing before he
13 gives his answer, and he is starting his answer whilst the interpreters
14 are still translating your question. Perhaps you might remind him to
16 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I think I was
17 doing my best. Maybe I did speed up a moment ago.
18 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, would you please pause between you starting to
19 answer my question, in order to avoid mistakes in the transcript.
20 As regards your colleagues, the waiters whose number you
21 mentioned, do you remember if there were any waiters coming from the
22 village of Gostilja, where VG117 lived?
23 A. Well, three of my colleagues were VG117's neighbours. They worked
24 with me for a long time. She did not mention them. She failed to mention
25 them but they are from her village.
1 Q. Do you know their names, and if so, could you tell us their names?
2 A. Yes. I know all three of them. Ismet Murtic, Milorad Joksimovic,
3 and Nenad Andric.
4 Q. Witness VG117 testified that she had been a client of yours in two
5 specific restaurants: Panos and Vilina Vlas hotel. Did you work in these
6 restaurants, and if so, when, according to what you can remember?
7 A. The Panos restaurant belonged to my company, the Panos company,
8 and I used to work there for - I couldn't tell you exactly - for maybe
9 seven or -- it was seven or eight years prior to the war that I didn't
10 work there. I worked at the Visegrad hotel. However, while I was younger
11 -- in this Panos restaurant, it is a town restaurant. It was usually
12 older waiters that worked there. And in wintertime, when we had no work
13 at the Visegrad hotel, we would either replace them when they were on
14 leave or for some other reasons, but it was mostly in wintertime that we
15 worked there. So I did work at the Panos restaurant on a couple of
16 occasions, I don't know exactly how many.
17 As for Vilina Vlas, I was never fully employed there, that is,
18 permanently. The facility was part of our company shortly after it had
19 been built, but very soon it was transferred to another company, to the
20 local recreational centre and spa. And those people who were employed
21 there at the time were also transferred, they were also there, but we
22 remained with the Panos restaurant.
23 Q. Did I understand you correctly when you said that, according to
24 your recollection, during the seven or eight years preceding the war you
25 did not work at the Panos restaurant?
1 A. I don't know how precise that is, but thereabouts. I know that I
2 didn't work there for several years prior to the war. How many, I don't
4 Q. In which restaurant did you work prior to the outbreak of
5 conflict, that is, before the spring 1992?
6 A. At the Visegrad hotel.
7 Q. Can you remember how much time before the spring of 1992 you spent
8 working at the Visegrad hotel?
9 A. I think I worked there up until March, thereabouts. I don't know
10 the exact date.
11 Q. What you want to say is that you worked there until March 1992.
12 I'm asking you about the time before that. How much time before that, how
13 many years or months did you work at the Visegrad hotel at all times, that
14 is, without interruption?
15 A. Yes. I worked there without any break, but I don't know exactly
16 how long. Perhaps for seven or eight years. But let me explain
17 something. We didn't go to the Panos restaurant to replace workers who
18 were on leave only. There were other restaurants; a Mezalin, Bruga
19 [phoen]. We waiters from the Visegrad hotel would often go to replace our
20 colleagues elsewhere, because we were not that many during wintertime. It
21 was not necessary for so many of us to be permanently at the Visegrad
23 Q. I think I understand your answer. However, I think it would be
24 advisable to add some clarification to it. Does it mean that you spent
25 seven or eight years prior to the war working at the Visegrad hotel;
1 however, during winter months, because terraces were closed, from time to
2 time you would be replacing your colleagues, waiters in other catering
3 establishments, who were on leave, who were on holiday? Is that your
5 A. I cannot be specific. I cannot tell you exactly in which
6 restaurant, in which year, and so on and so forth, and who it was that I
7 was replacing at that time. It was a long time ago.
8 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, before I ask you specific questions concerning
9 VG117, let me ask you something else. Since you spent your entire working
10 life working as a waiter and working in various cafes and other catering
11 establishments, how customary was it for women to go alone and have a cup
12 of coffee, a drink, or dinner in one of such establishments?
13 A. Not very often. I mean, very seldom did we have such women
14 guests, especially at the Panos restaurant, and in other cafes in town
15 very rarely did we have women who were alone, visiting the cafe. But, I
16 mean, they did from time to time. I'm not saying that it never happened,
17 but it was a very rare occurrence.
18 Q. In cases of such visits by lone women, would it be normal for you
19 to remember something like that?
20 A. I'm not trying to say that I never waited on VG117. That wouldn't
21 be fair, because I waited on hundreds of people. However, I don't
22 remember her as a guest, especially in view of what she told us, that she
23 was a very frequent guest of such establishments. We all know what a
24 frequent guest is, what a regular customer is. I didn't know her as such.
25 We are all familiar with our regulars.
1 Q. You probably remember, Mr. Vasiljevic, how she told us that she
2 would go to the Panos restaurant because it was situated close to the
3 market, and sometimes she went to the market to sell her goods there, and,
4 after that, she would go to that restaurant to have lunch. To your
5 recollection, did you have such customers in Panos when you were there?
6 Because you told us that from time to time you worked there. Was it
7 customary for people who came to the market to sell their own products to
8 come to your restaurant to have a meal after they had finished? Did you
9 observe that?
10 A. I remember that she said that, but I don't remember waiting on
11 anyone who was from the market. I mean, people who had just sold one kilo
12 or two kilos of some local produce, cheese or so, to come to the
13 restaurant and have a meal there, I don't remember that.
14 I'm not saying I never waited on her. Maybe I know her, but
15 again, it's ... Like I said, I cannot say that I never waited on her. I
16 spent, after all, 17 years working as a waiter.
17 Q. I don't quite understand what you said about your sister. Did
18 your sister also come to the market? Where did she live? Did she also
19 sell local produce to the market, and did she go to the restaurant to have
20 a meal?
21 A. My brother-in-law was into farming. He was a farmer and he was --
22 he went to the market on Wednesdays. Every Wednesday, he would be on the
23 market, and I never waited on my sister, no. It's quite expensive for a
24 farmer who sells his goods at the market to go to a restaurant and have a
25 meal there.
1 Q. That would have been my next question. You are familiar with the
2 circumstances and life in general at that time. People who sold their own
3 products at the market, could they afford to have a meal at your
4 restaurant, according to your assessment?
5 A. No, of course not. Many of those people went to the market on
6 foot. They couldn't even afford to have some other kind of transportation
7 to go to the market. They would cover kilometres on foot, and it's
8 especially those people who come to the market to sell their own goods who
9 are very, very frugal, very careful about how they spend their money.
10 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, when you said that you weren't clear or
11 you didn't understand what he had said about your sister, I heard nothing
12 about his sister. What did you hear him say about his sister?
13 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm afraid I was not
14 looking at the transcript. I don't know whether the interpretation in
15 question included the sister. But before I asked the question, he said
16 that her sister too [sic] had come to the market but that he had never
17 waited on her as a waiter in that restaurant. And that was -- I think
18 that he answered my question.
19 JUDGE HUNT: He certainly answered that when you raised the issue,
20 but I'm only concerned that we may have missed something. I don't know
21 whether it's important or not. But there is no record in the transcript,
22 that I can see, that he had ever mentioned his sister before you asked the
23 question, when you said you had not understood what he had said about
24 her. Now, if it was not important, let's proceed, but if it was
25 important, you had better get it recorded.
1 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Well, I'm sure that he did mention
2 sister, and that was the reason for the question that followed, but I
3 don't think that it is of any crucial importance.
4 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you.
5 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Let me now move on to the second part of the testimony of VG117,
7 when she declared that on the 22nd of June, 1992, she saw you in front of
8 the Vuk Karadzic school, that is, that she saw you coming and sitting at a
9 desk, making a record of something.
10 A. Well, I also testified before this Honourable Chamber that I had
11 gone to hospital on the 14th of June, 1992, and she simply could not have
12 seen that. It was not possible for her to see me, though she testified
13 that she had seen me.
14 Q. Is it your opinion that she knew you sufficiently well as to be
15 able to recognise you as Mitar Vasiljevic, the waiter?
16 A. I said a moment ago that I knew her husband. However, I never
17 knew that VG117 was his wife, never. But I know the husband, mostly
18 because it was with his brother, the officer who has been mentioned here,
19 is one of my school colleagues. I went to school with him, although I
20 think he was one or two years older than me. Maybe two. Yes, I think
21 he's two years older than me. And I know that he liked to drink. He
22 would keep his uniform on. He used to work as a janitor in a company, and
23 he would keep his uniform on. I knew him, but I never know the fact that
24 VG was his wife, until she testified that. Now I know. Now I know who
25 her husband is.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, I think we're coming to the end.
2 MR. DOMAZET: Yes.
3 JUDGE HUNT: There's just one question I'd like to have -- I can
4 probably find it if I look for long enough, but what year was your client
5 born in?
6 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] I think in 1954.
7 JUDGE HUNT: Is that what the evidence is or is that your
9 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] It is in the indictment, Your
11 JUDGE HUNT: Right. Okay.
12 Now, we'll have to adjourn now, but we have managed to obtain a
13 courtroom in the morning, so we don't have to sit through tomorrow
14 afternoon, I hope. How long do you think you'll be with the accused?
15 MR. DOMAZET: Your Honour, I think no longer than 15 minutes or 20
16 minutes, no more.
17 JUDGE HUNT: And without trying to tie you down, Mr. Groome, how
18 long do you think you'll be?
19 MR. GROOME: I think very briefly, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE HUNT: Okay. That means we should surely finish tomorrow
21 morning. We'll be in courtroom 3. We'll start at 10.00.
22 MR. DOMAZET: 10.00.
23 JUDGE HUNT: 10.00 tomorrow. We'll adjourn until then.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
25 6.00 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday, the
1 15th day of February 2002, at 10.00 a.m.