International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

  1. 1 Tuesday, 24th February 1998

    2 (9.00 am)

    3 (The accused entered court)

    4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, ladies and

    5 gentlemen. Now we are going to resume our proceedings

    6 and if I am not mistaken, we are going to resume with

    7 yesterday's witness; is that right?

    8 MR. NIEMANN: That is correct, your Honour,

    9 yes.

    10 (The witness entered court)

    11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning,

    12 Mr. Osmancevic. Please be seated. Now we are going to

    13 pursue with your testimony. Now, I would remind you

    14 that yesterday you made a solemn declaration whereby

    15 you would speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing

    16 but the truth. Are you going to go on in the same vein

    17 this morning?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please answer the questions

    20 from the Prosecutor's Office, if you would.

    21 DZIDO OSMANCEVIC (continued)

    22 Examined by MR. NIEMANN (continued)

    23 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, yesterday, just before we

    24 broke up in the evening, you were telling us that you

    25 had been taken to various places for trench digging and

  2. 1 you mentioned places such as Loncari, Kacuni, Kula, and

    2 so forth. I wonder if you would look at the map that

    3 I now show you, please. If this map could be put on

    4 the overhead projector and I will give you

    5 a highlighting pen.

    6 Perhaps it could first be marked as an

    7 exhibit, the next in order for the prosecution.

    8 (Handed).

    9 Show it to Mr. Mikulicic on your way through,

    10 please, if you would.

    11 Now, looking at it on that particular -- on

    12 the video projector there, with that highlighting pen,

    13 would you be so kind, if you can, to mark some of the

    14 places that you recall that you were taken to for the

    15 purposes of trench digging? Could you mark them for

    16 us.

    17 When you mark them, tell us which ones you

    18 are marking, if you would, for us, just say the name of

    19 the place when you mark it.

    20 A. Kula.

    21 Q. Would you put a heavy mark on that, so we can

    22 see it, that is the idea.

    23 A. (Witness marked map).

    24 Q. Now, that is a good one. The next one? The

    25 next place that you went to?

  3. 1 A. Kula, Loncari, Bare. I cannot remember the

    2 other parts. I mentioned some of them yesterday.

    3 I have forgotten -- I cannot find my way on a map so

    4 well, but I will try.

    5 Q. Yes, if you would. Take your time, there is

    6 no hurry. If you look up and see Bare, can you see

    7 Bare there?

    8 A. I will try. Yes, Kudanic, Nadioci, that

    9 region. I found Bare. I know this area, Jazvine,

    10 I did not dig there, but I did dig between Rona and

    11 Bare. Round about here. (Indicating).

    12 Q. If you put a circle round about here. What

    13 about on the other side of the river, is there any

    14 towns up there you were taken to dig, what about

    15 Loncari?

    16 A. I will try and find Loncari, on the other

    17 side. Loncari and Komari, I dug there too, in Komari.

    18 Q. Do you see Komari there?

    19 A. Yes. I can see them. I had a field of my

    20 own there but I just passed through there.

    21 Q. That is near where you had your own property,

    22 was it?

    23 A. Yes. A little lower down. That is I dug

    24 below my own field, my own property.

    25 MR. NIEMANN: Okay. I will tender that, your

  4. 1 Honour, if I may.

    2 Now, Mr. Osmancevic, you said when you first

    3 went to the camp you stayed in the hangar of the camp

    4 and it was when you were in the hangar that you were

    5 taken out in order to do digging. Can you describe for

    6 us, as best you can, the circumstances? What it was

    7 like when you went digging these trenches; what were

    8 the conditions like?

    9 A. At the beginning when we would start off for

    10 the trenches, we were not allowed to look around too

    11 much, we had to get straight into the truck. Maybe

    12 I told you all this before, maybe not. There was this

    13 table with the registrar, he would take note of our

    14 names and surnames, then we would enter the truck.

    15 I remember the driver very well, Padovani,

    16 and his order was not to look left or right but just to

    17 enter the truck, to be taken to our destination, our

    18 digging destination, all the points I mentioned.

    19 When we came to the place we were to dig, he

    20 said: "If somebody escapes, I kill the rest", that is

    21 what the guard would say.

    22 Food was brought to us every 48 hours. On

    23 the first 20 days it was very difficult, the Red Cross

    24 would bring us food. I am not quite sure when the Red

    25 Cross arrived with the food.

  5. 1 Yes, I do remember the divisions and Kula --

    2 Podjele and Kula, we dug a great deal without being

    3 given food or water. Perhaps I am speaking a little

    4 fast, I can slow down if you want me to.

    5 Q. If you could go just a little bit slower it

    6 would make it easier for the interpreters, thank you.

    7 You were about to tell us of the conditions

    8 that you had to work under. For example, how long did

    9 you have to work, not every day but what was the sort

    10 of longest period you had to work without a break; do

    11 you remember that?

    12 A. Well, there were no pauses, you were not

    13 allowed to have a break or we tried to do this

    14 ourselves, but I did not have a watch with me. About

    15 48 hours or more, that is what the others told me too,

    16 but I was not able to look at my watch and see exactly

    17 how long it was, but about 48 hours or more.

    18 Q. Did you feel, at any time in danger of being

    19 shot from people from the other side of the line, the

    20 front-line?

    21 A. At the beginning, like all of us, we thought

    22 we would be there for two or three days, five days at

    23 the most. But, when I went digging for the first time,

    24 in the swampland I lost all hope of getting away from

    25 there ever.

  6. 1 Q. Did you ever see soldiers on the other side

    2 that were firing in your direction at any stage when

    3 you were out trench digging?

    4 A. It was difficult to see any soldiers. I am

    5 speaking of myself, my own experience. I did not see

    6 any soldiers, I could not see them. This was -- you

    7 mean the Bosnian Herzegovina Army, but whether there

    8 was ammunition -- yes, we could hear rifle fire but

    9 high up near Podjele, whereas a journalist from the

    10 Croatian side, when two of our fellows were wounded in

    11 Bare, the army was not able to shoot there. The

    12 journalist, himself, saw this.

    13 There is a particular spot where -- well,

    14 I will tell you of that event too, because it is in the

    15 centre, along the centre, the prisoners were wounded,

    16 the detainees were wounded. In front of them there was

    17 a soldier and behind them there was a soldier and there

    18 was not any shooting there, in front and behind. They

    19 asked us about this. Some said it was the army, some

    20 said it was not.

    21 I personally have my own supposition; some of

    22 the prisoners said yes, it was, and they cursed when

    23 the journalist arrived.

    24 Q. You said you were kept in the hangar for

    25 a while. Then what happened after being kept in the

  7. 1 hangar; were you moved somewhere else?

    2 A. Yes, in front of the second hangar with the

    3 cells, which is where the warden was and probably the

    4 other guards who slept there.

    5 Q. Did you know, or come to know, who the warden

    6 of the camp was?

    7 A. I learned who the warden was during the first

    8 three days. He said: "I am your warden. If anybody

    9 needs a doctor or anything else"; we did not think we

    10 would stay there for very long. Now, how far he was

    11 able to influence any of these matters, I do not know,

    12 but we lost hope after several trench digging

    13 experiences. Then he worked in Zenica as well. I do

    14 not know what he was there in the prison, but somebody

    15 told us that he was a policeman, a militia man and that

    16 he knew his brother-in-law and he called him on the

    17 phone.

    18 We did hope that we would be released, but

    19 afterwards we lost all hope. From the very beginning

    20 I know that we were dealing with Zlatko Aleksovski, we

    21 were told this name by the man who worked with his

    22 brother-in-law.

    23 Q. Did you ever see him on the occasions before

    24 or after you had been taken out for trench digging;

    25 this is Zlatko Aleksovski?

  8. 1 A. When we went trench digging, in the instances

    2 that I went trench digging, and when our names were

    3 written down to go digging, I myself never saw the

    4 warden. I never saw him present when our names were

    5 taken down. Ljubo was there. I called him Pisar, his

    6 nickname is Pisar. Whether he is a guard or whether he

    7 has a higher office, I do not know. They did not wear

    8 any insignia, maybe they did have some insignia, but

    9 I did not know of it.

    10 The second was Zec, but the warden in my

    11 presence when I went trench digging and while I was in

    12 the camp, I never saw him. When we come back can --

    13 came back from the trenches he was present, not every

    14 time, but on occasion.

    15 Q. What did he do. What did you see him do when

    16 you came back from trench digging on those occasions

    17 that he was there? When he was there, what was he

    18 doing?

    19 A. Usually at the entrance to the second hangar

    20 with the cells. He was outside the hangar. When it

    21 got warmer he was on the other side and would be

    22 sitting on a bench in front of a fire. When we were

    23 returned on several occasions, he would ask us whether

    24 we are all there.

    25 Q. Would he ask you or would he ask one of the

  9. 1 guards whether you were all there?

    2 A. Usually he would ask who brought us with --

    3 he would talk to Mr. Ljubo, not with us.

    4 Q. Mr. Ljubo, I think, was the gentleman who took

    5 your names down originally; is that right?

    6 A. Yes, that is right.

    7 Q. Was there ever an occasion when people were,

    8 in fact, missing when you came back?

    9 A. Yes. In my presence, while I was digging in

    10 Bare, I am quite sure that three people went missing,

    11 maybe four. I am not quite certain, but I, myself, can

    12 vouch for three, because they were close to me, I was

    13 up there.

    14 Q. Do you know the names of these people that

    15 went missing?

    16 A. They live in close by villages, near

    17 Loncari. Sunula Pasic, Rasima Salih and the third is,

    18 his name is Ramo, he is from Loncari too, and he was

    19 wounded, and a young man was in one of the convoys,

    20 whether he was a driver or co-driver, he was from

    21 Tuzla. He was a Hodza. Whether he actually was

    22 a Hodza or not, I am not sure. Whether his surname was

    23 Hodza or his nickname was Hodza, but the drivers used

    24 to refer to him as "Hodza", "the Hodza". He was

    25 wounded there too.

  10. 1 Q. What happened when these three went missing,

    2 when you returned to the camp? What did Mr. Aleksovski

    3 do in relation to these three that were missing?

    4 A. I do not know what he did, but when we

    5 returned, and there was a lot of torture that day, both

    6 with regard to wounds, wounding and they would line us

    7 up to shoot us and they did not, but when we came back

    8 Aleksovski would ask, I do not know whether exactly he

    9 asked Ljubo or Padovani, I think Ljubo was there too.

    10 He would have in his hand his list with our names and

    11 he would ask: "Are they all there?" Ljubo would just

    12 hug Aleksovski and walk off with him towards the

    13 hangar. He put his arm round him and I could not hear

    14 what he said to him. I do not know what happened after

    15 that.

    16 Q. Just to make it clear, the person that had

    17 the list when you returned was Mr. Aleksovski?

    18 A. I do not know if he had his own list, but

    19 Ljubo quite definitely did have the list.

    20 Q. Did you ever see Mr. Aleksovski with a list;

    21 whether it be his own or anybody else's does not

    22 matter, did you ever see him with a list?

    23 A. No.

    24 Q. Now, how often did you see him in the camp,

    25 Mr. Aleksovski, in the whole time you were there? Did

  11. 1 you see him only once or twice or did you see him on

    2 a number of occasions?

    3 A. On a number of occasions. I saw him

    4 throughout my time at the camp, either when we returned

    5 or when we left for the trenches. Several times,

    6 particularly in the summer time when the days got

    7 warmer and he was outside more often.

    8 Q. Did you see him more often when you were in

    9 the cells as opposed to the hangar?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. Did you ever, on any occasions, have

    12 a conversation with Mr. Aleksovski, while you were in

    13 the camp?

    14 A. Yes, I did.

    15 Q. On how many occasions, can you recall?

    16 A. Only once.

    17 Q. Can you tell us approximately when it was

    18 that you had this conversation?

    19 A. It was when I was transferred to the second

    20 hangar, about a month -- 20 days or a month later.

    21 I do not know exactly when I was transferred, but

    22 Aleksovski did not come to the door, the guard came to

    23 the door and took me to the place where he lived and we

    24 talked there about the problems; shall I carry on and

    25 tell you about that or not?

  12. 1 Q. Yes. You might tell us firstly where it was

    2 as precisely as you can, that you were taken to. You

    3 said, "the place where he lived". Where was that in

    4 the camp?

    5 A. It was at the entrance to the second camp,

    6 right by the door. I do not know exactly whether it

    7 was on the left or the right; left-hand side or

    8 right-hand side, but it was on the entrance. He had

    9 his office there, in fact.

    10 Q. You have described that as, "the camp". Is

    11 that where the cells were?

    12 A. Yes, where the cells are. That is where

    13 I talked to him for the first time. We were already in

    14 the cells. That was about a month later, 20 days after

    15 I had been taken there.

    16 Q. Now, tell us, what did he say to you and what

    17 did you say to him, as best you can recall? What was

    18 the nature of the meeting that you had with him?

    19 A. The guard was present, the guard who came to

    20 take me to call me to the telephone because one of my

    21 neighbours had been taken prisoner with the BiH army

    22 and he told me that my mother was a witness for that

    23 neighbour, that he had committed some crimes, and that

    24 I was to telephone. They gave me a number in Zenica

    25 and to talk to my mother.

  13. 1 But, as my mother is a diabetic, I was not

    2 able to talk to her. My sister came to the phone and

    3 Aleksovski was present during that telephone

    4 conversation, along with the guard.

    5 Q. Who told you to make the phone call; the

    6 guard or Mr. Aleksovski?

    7 A. Aleksovski told me, because he had already

    8 called another prisoner, who worked with his

    9 brother-in-law. He also called him to come. He stood

    10 by the telephone and one of the receivers was held by

    11 Aleksovski, the other was held by me. The telephone

    12 had two receivers. I said: "Yes, were you a witness?

    13 You should withdraw your testimony." That is what

    14 I said. But she did not go to testify against this

    15 neighbour, in actual fact.

    16 Q. Who told you that you should tell your mother

    17 to withdraw her testimony?

    18 A. To withdraw her testimony, the guard told me

    19 this. I do not know whether he did too, but I know

    20 that -- I remember that he said to the guard: "Well,

    21 Stipe until the neighbour comes out, we are not going

    22 to let him out either, Stipe will come."

    23 Q. "Until the neighbour goes out, we are not

    24 going to let him go either"; tell us who you mean by

    25 that. "Until the neighbour goes out", what does that

  14. 1 mean; until the person was released in Zenica, is that

    2 what you are saying?

    3 A. In Zenica they meant Vinko Vidovic by that.

    4 Q. Until he was released, you were not going to

    5 be released, is that what you meant, by that you said

    6 there? Until the neighbour goes out --

    7 A. Yes, yes, that is correct.

    8 Q. So, your release was to be dependent upon the

    9 release of this person in Zenica?

    10 A. That is right. Although I did go out

    11 although Vidovic was still there. He was released

    12 later on. That is what I heard, or maybe he did not

    13 leave by that time, I do not know.

    14 Q. Where was Vinko Vidovic being held, do you

    15 know?

    16 A. Somewhere in Zenica. I do not know, I did

    17 not pay any visit to him because it was not possible to

    18 go there, to visit people there, and I had problems of

    19 my own.

    20 Q. Did you have an understanding that he was

    21 being held in custody or was he free, or what did you

    22 understand when you made this phone call?

    23 A. My understanding was that he was in

    24 detention, since he had been captured as a soldier.

    25 Q. Now, after you had made this phone call and

  15. 1 spoke to your sister, what happened then? What

    2 happened after that?

    3 A. After that, he told me that I should not talk

    4 too much over the telephone, so I just, you know, said

    5 that I was okay and I told her to tell the mother to

    6 withdraw the complaint. Then she said that she did not

    7 even do that, that she did not even lodge a complaint.

    8 So, Aleksovski just nodded his head. He

    9 stopped -- he cut me off and that is basically what

    10 happened until Vidovic is released. After that I was

    11 left alone, they no longer called me about that. I was

    12 returned to the cell.

    13 Q. Was that the only time that you ever had

    14 a conversation with Mr. Aleksovski that you can

    15 remember, or was there any other occasion?

    16 A. I told you that I used to see him, but that

    17 was the only conversation that I had with the

    18 gentleman.

    19 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you.

    20 Now, you mentioned in your evidence how you

    21 were taken to the cells. Yesterday, you marked on

    22 Exhibit P18 the place -- the hangar that you first went

    23 to.

    24 If the witness could be given P18 again,

    25 please. I would like you to mark with the highlighter

  16. 1 the letter "B", the location of the cells, if you can

    2 remember, in Kaonik camp that you were taken to, that

    3 is the second location. (Handed).

    4 If you could put a big "B" for me at the spot

    5 where you think the cells are that you were taken to

    6 subsequently.

    7 A. (Witness marked map).

    8 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you.

    9 Now, would you look at the photograph that

    10 I now show you? Perhaps that might be marked the next

    11 exhibit number in order.

    12 Could you please show it to Mr. Mikulicic

    13 before you show it to the witness? Perhaps you might

    14 return the exhibits on the ELMO to the Registrar,

    15 please. (Handed).

    16 Your Honour, I am not sure that I actually

    17 tendered Exhibit P18. If I have not done, I now tender

    18 that, it having been marked on the two occasions.

    19 Just looking in that photograph that is now

    20 appearing on the screen, do you recognise that at all?

    21 It is not a terribly good photo but you may be able to

    22 recognise it.

    23 A. Yes, I can recognise the photograph. I can

    24 see the table at which we used to sit and eat. I do

    25 not remember the number of the cell.

  17. 1 Q. Are you able to mark approximately, to the

    2 best of your ability, where your cell was, the cell

    3 that you were put in?

    4 A. (Witness marked map).

    5 Q. Perhaps you might put the letter "A" there

    6 for me, so we can be sure that is where it was.

    7 The windows into the cells themselves, where

    8 are they? Can you indicate those from that

    9 photograph?

    10 A. Well, I do not know exactly about the others,

    11 but this is one of them. (Witness marked map).

    12 Q. Let us mark it with the letter "X". I wonder

    13 if you could do something else for me. Could you draw

    14 an arrow pointing in the direction of where

    15 Mr. Aleksovski's office was. Draw an arrow. I know it

    16 probably is not shown there but if you draw an arrow in

    17 that direction.

    18 A. (Witness marked map).

    19 MR. NIEMANN: Fine. I tender that, your

    20 Honours.

    21 The arrow is very faint, but it is at the

    22 bottom.

    23 Perhaps if you show the witness that one too,

    24 please. (Handed).

    25 The next photograph, might that be marked the

  18. 1 next exhibit number in order, please? I tender the

    2 photograph that was just marked by the witness.

    3 Mr. Osmancevic, did you know where any of the

    4 other prisoners in the camp were kept, in the cells

    5 were kept?

    6 A. Across my cell there was some drivers whom

    7 I did not know very well, but in the big -- in the

    8 large hangar there were some people I knew. Down

    9 there, as we used to sit at the table, because we used

    10 to eat together, people would come out from other

    11 cells.

    12 There was a man -- two men from Karina

    13 region, a Croat and a Muslim. They ate with us and

    14 they were also exchanged with us, but the Croat was

    15 kept by them.

    16 The two of them I think were members of the

    17 army and that is how they were captured.

    18 Down there, down the corridor, there was

    19 a Croatian soldier whom I never saw. I only heard him

    20 scream as he was being beaten. And there was another

    21 one who used to eat with us. I think he was an Arab,

    22 and there was a man by the name of Hando from Han

    23 Bijela, who also used to eat with us. He was in one of

    24 the cells down there.

    25 I do not know exactly which cell exactly they

  19. 1 were kept. Anyhow, they were in the lower part of the

    2 corridor. Across my cell, there were those drivers and

    3 my neighbours and here, this Croat must have been

    4 because we used to hear him -- we used to hear noise

    5 coming from that direction. (Indicating).

    6 Here, on the other side, I am not sure

    7 whether the Arab was there or whether it was Hando who

    8 was kept there. Anyway, the two of them were kept

    9 here, in this area.

    10 Q. Okay, you must just for me do the following,

    11 where you think the Croat was kept, you might put

    12 a "C". Just write the letter "C", where you think he

    13 was.

    14 A. (Witness marked map).

    15 Q. Where you think the driver was kept you might

    16 put the letter "D".

    17 A. (Witness marked map).

    18 Q. Where you think the Arab person was kept you

    19 might put the letter "A" for me.

    20 A. (Witness marked map).

    21 MR. NIEMANN: That is E, it appears as E

    22 there. Thank you.

    23 I tender that, your Honours.

    24 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecutor's Exhibit 21.

    25 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, if I may, I ask

  20. 1 that we go into private session. It is just a matter

    2 of turning the sound off outside, if I could, please.


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    15 (Open session)

    16 MR. NIEMAN: Mr. Osmancevic, were you then

    17 subsequently registered with the ICRC?

    18 A. Yes, I was

    19 Q. After you became registered by the ICRC did

    20 circumstances in the camp change?

    21 A. Yes, they did, quite a bit. After wed were

    22 registered by the ICRC and given blankets we did not

    23 remain the hangars for very long. The situation was

    24 somewhat better.

    25 It really meant a lot for us when the

  23. 1 situation was quiet at the front-line because whenever

    2 there were problems at the front-line, we had problems

    3 as well. When there was fighting going on in the

    4 battlefield, we would be taken out to dig trenches and

    5 if one of their soldiers was killed, there would be

    6 retaliation and so on. As long as the situation was

    7 quiet, we were left alone as well.

    8 After the ICRC registered us, I was

    9 transferred to the other hangar, next to the warden's

    10 office. The food was much better there. It is true

    11 there were people coming from the field, soldiers who

    12 would enter the cells. They used to beat people, abuse

    13 us verbally, and so on, but you could say that the

    14 situation improved after we had been registered by the

    15 ICRC.

    16 Q. Were you then exchanged?

    17 A. After two months and six days, I was

    18 exchanged, yes.

    19 Q. What date was that; do you remember -- the

    20 date of your exchange?

    21 A. I believe it was on the 19th June.

    22 Q. 1993?

    23 A. I guess 1993.

    24 MR. NIEMANN: I think, your Honour, I have

    25 tendered all the exhibits that I have shown to the

  24. 1 witness. If there is any of them which have not

    2 formally been tendered I do so now.

    3 I have no further questions.

    4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic.

    5 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, considering the

    6 fact that the witness was talking about an event which

    7 has been unknown to the Defence until now -- namely,

    8 the telephone conversation in the office of the accused

    9 -- I would kindly ask the court to enable me to have

    10 some consultations with my client. I would like to

    11 have a short break, please.

    12 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, if I just might

    13 say, firstly we have no objection, if your Honours are

    14 disposed to give Mr. Mikulicic a break, we do not object

    15 to that.

    16 I would like to indicate on the record that

    17 we did indicate to Mr. Mikulicic that this conversation

    18 that he now refers to was something we learned of when

    19 the witness came to The Hague just very recently to

    20 testify, that was the first we heard of it. We wrote

    21 to Mr. Mikulicic and told him there was a conversation,

    22 so it is not quite as though he has never heard of it

    23 before, but certainly he has not heard of the details

    24 of it and it was not in the statement.

    25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Chamber agrees, and we

  25. 1 are going to have a recess. I think three minutes,

    2 would that be sufficient?

    3 THE INTERPRETER: If the interpreter

    4 understood that rightly, whether it was three or

    5 another figure?

    6 MR. MIKULICIC: Did you say "three minutes",

    7 your Honour?

    8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: 30 minutes is what his

    9 Honour said.

    10 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honours.

    11 (9.53 am)

    12 (A short break)

    13 (10.25 am)

    14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We shall now resume our

    15 proceedings. Mr. Mikulicic, please proceed.

    16 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC

    17 Q. Thank you, your Honours.

    18 Mr. Osmancevic, my name is Mr. Goran

    19 Mikulicic. I am the Defence counsel of Mr. Aleksovski.

    20 I am going to ask you several questions. Would you

    21 please answer them to the best of your ability.

    22 Mr. Osmancevic, before the conflict in the

    23 Lasva Valley, where did you live?

    24 A. Jelinak.

    25 Q. Is that village in some way divided? Are

  26. 1 there several parts of the village or is it a exact

    2 whole?

    3 A. It is a exact whole.

    4 Q. Am I wrong if I say that there is the upper

    5 and lower part of the village?

    6 A. One part -- I do not know how to explain it

    7 to you -- one part has an upper and lower part, upper

    8 and lower part of the village, but in the upper part,

    9 there are no Croats. In the lower half, I, myself,

    10 have a neighbour who is a Croat. He is my neighbour,

    11 and all this lower half is for the most part a mixed

    12 population.

    13 Q. That was to have been my second question.

    14 Let me repeat: what is the national composition -- what

    15 was the national composition of the village of Jelinak?

    16 A. You mean in percentages?

    17 Q. Not in percentages, I am sure you do not know

    18 that. Was that exclusively a Muslim village or were

    19 there some other nationalities living in Jelinak?

    20 A. It was not exclusively Muslim. The Serbs

    21 lived a little apart, but all of us were there, Croats

    22 and Muslims in Jelinak proper.

    23 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, you said that you had a Croat

    24 as a neighbour. Can you remember their names?

    25 A. Vidovic Vinko, Ivo Brnada, Plavcic Zilan,

  27. 1 Brnada Niko, Brnada Slavko and several others.

    2 Q. Was one of the neighbours perhaps Mr. Stipe

    3 Andrijasevic?

    4 A. Yes. He was at the cross-roads a little

    5 further off from me, about 500 metres away from me.

    6 Q. But you knew him?

    7 A. Yes. We went to the brigades together. We

    8 worked together.

    9 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, where did you go to school and

    10 what school did you finish?

    11 A. I went to school in Zenica to the metallurgic

    12 school.

    13 Q. And before that?

    14 A. Before that to the primary school in Kaonik.

    15 In fact, eight forms of primary school and four classes

    16 in Putis.

    17 Q. Was it regular schooling?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, did you serve in the JNA Army

    20 before the war?

    21 A. Yes, in Sabac.

    22 Q. Were you commissioned in any way?

    23 A. No.

    24 Q. Awarded a commission?

    25 A. No.

  28. 1 Q. A rank?

    2 A. No.

    3 Q. You said in your introduction that in 1992

    4 you were a member of the Patriotic League; is that

    5 correct?

    6 A. Let us get things clear. I do not know if

    7 you are mixing things, by Territorial Defence,

    8 Patriotic League, and whatever. The Patriotic League,

    9 the real army perhaps existed, but in the village, in

    10 the villages, as I told you earlier on, the Territorial

    11 Defence, we were altogether. Whether it existed later

    12 on before the conflicts or after the conflicts as the

    13 Patriotic League, I do not recall. But I know that we

    14 were all in this TO, Territorial Defence, before the

    15 army was formed.

    16 Q. Yes, I am asking you this so that you can

    17 explain to me whether, during the events in the spring

    18 of 1993, whether you were a civilian or a soldier?

    19 A. I was in civilian clothing, just like my

    20 other neighbours, Croats, but they were in uniforms

    21 and --

    22 Q. I am asking you, were you a civilian or

    23 a soldier?

    24 A. If I am a soldier -- if I were a soldier

    25 I would have been ready from top to toe.

  29. 1 Q. So you were a civilian, is that my correct

    2 deduction?

    3 A. Yes, civilian.

    4 Q. Tell me, Mr. Osmancevic, were you a member of

    5 any political party at the time?

    6 A. No, I am not a member of any party, but I did

    7 vote for my own side.

    8 Q. That is your own personal affair, I am not

    9 asking you that.

    10 A. I just wanted to tell you that.

    11 Q. Tell me, Mr. Osmancevic, was there any

    12 fighting around your village?

    13 A. What fighting, if Stipe Andrijasevic's son

    14 guaranteed security and safety and a little bit of

    15 armaments, but it was mostly hunting, weapons and as

    16 they were together in the militia at the time, when the

    17 HDZ took over the leadership, they were in the militia

    18 until we had to give up all our weapons and they said

    19 they guaranteed our safety, and you can see what kind

    20 of safety they guaranteed in the long run.

    21 Q. I am not quite sure that I have understood

    22 the answer to my question: was there any fighting

    23 around the village of Jelinak?

    24 A. No, no fighting at all. While we were in the

    25 village and when we were taken from the village there

  30. 1 was not any fighting but afterwards there was. Some

    2 went to dig trenches but I did not have to go to dig

    3 trenches, they did not ask me to dig trenches.

    4 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, do you recall the day when you

    5 were brought to Kaonik?

    6 A. Yes, I do.

    7 Q. Tell us, please, who brought you to Kaonik?

    8 A. I was -- brought by imprisonment, or who

    9 transported me?

    10 Q. Who was with you?

    11 A. I know that my neighbour, Plavcic Mirko drove

    12 the van, the blue van, he is also a neighbour, he lives

    13 near Stipe, he was the driver. The co-driver was from

    14 Setulija, another village. I know him from my school

    15 days, but I cannot recall his name.

    16 Q. Was this transport van secured in any way?

    17 A. I saw no security upon entrance into the van

    18 because if someone guarantees your safety, then they

    19 will not put a sock over your head.

    20 Q. Who took you in when you came to Kaonik, did

    21 anybody take you in there?

    22 A. On that particular day, nobody, on that

    23 night. Who took us in? The guards of the camp, Cakic

    24 Anto and some others.

    25 Q. You said guards. Who were the guards?

  31. 1 A. I know that they were in uniform and that

    2 they had an insignia, an emblem of the Croatian Defence

    3 Council, HVO. The insignia had the letters "HVO".

    4 Q. Can you differentiate between the guards and

    5 the soldiers?

    6 A. No, I cannot. They all had the same

    7 uniform.

    8 Q. I think you mentioned yesterday the defenders

    9 of the homeland.

    10 A. There was some elderly people in front of the

    11 prison, the home guard, and they brought some of the

    12 people -- cigarettes to some of the people they knew,

    13 people whom they had worked with or were neighbours

    14 with. There were two of three of them, and one was

    15 a Serb.

    16 As I said, if he was in camouflage, then he

    17 had civilian trousers. If he had camouflage trousers

    18 he would have a civilian jacket or vice versa. But

    19 these were only older people. Those who were there all

    20 the time and who were younger, they were in uniforms

    21 like the warden all the time.

    22 Q. Now, what was their function when -- you

    23 mentioned these elderly people?

    24 A. They did not enter into the hangars, they

    25 were in front of the hangars. I just saw them as

  32. 1 ordinary guards. When we were let out in those first

    2 few days, we had no lavatory. When we were transferred

    3 to the other hangar we did have a lavatory, but when we

    4 would go out to dispose of the -- to empty the empty

    5 the buckets.

    6 Q. These home guards, did they have any weapons?

    7 A. Yes, some old 48s from the JNA Army, some old

    8 rifles. They did not have any automatic weapons.

    9 Q. So, if I understood you correctly, at the

    10 time when you were brought to Kaonik, there were two

    11 types of guard?

    12 A. Yes. It would appear so; some older guards

    13 and some younger guards. They would say that they were

    14 the home guard. They would call themselves the home

    15 guard.

    16 Q. As far as you know, did some of the guards go

    17 to the front-lines, if necessary?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. Can you tell us something more about that?

    20 How do you know that?

    21 A. Well, I know that because Dzemo Medugorac,

    22 a good guard, he was from Medugorac, he said Dzemo went

    23 to the front-line or somebody else would be said to come

    24 back to the front-line.

    25 Q. When they went up to the front-line, who

  33. 1 looked after the detainees?

    2 A. Well, there were not only two guards. There

    3 were the ones -- the bullies who beat us. I told you

    4 who the real guards were. They were the guards and the

    5 real guards, there were few of us in the camp, so we

    6 did not need many guards to guard us.

    7 Mr. Ljubo and the warden took shifts. There

    8 was always somebody there. They were the guards,

    9 whereas the bullies were others. Those who did not go

    10 up to the front-line. If somebody did not want to go to

    11 the front-line so he, himself, was beaten. My friends

    12 used to tell me that he had, in fact, not wanted to go

    13 up to the front-line.

    14 Q. Who beat him, I do not understand? Who was

    15 beaten by whom? Did you see this, did you witness

    16 this?

    17 A. I did not, no, but I heard the screams,

    18 cries, the noise.

    19 Q. I am not going to ask you more about that

    20 because you saw nothing yourself.

    21 Tell me, Mr. Osmancevic, you have described

    22 the fact that one of the detainees, one of the

    23 prisoners, was Semsudin Kovac and that he escaped. Do

    24 you know what the circumstances of his escape were?

    25 Did you see anything yourself?

  34. 1 A. I said I did not work with him and I did not

    2 see why he escaped or where he escaped to, just like

    3 none of the others saw this. Nobody saw it.

    4 Q. Tell me, please, do you know whether, during

    5 your stay in Kaonik whether there were any other

    6 escapes?

    7 A. One of the ones who went digging, he escaped

    8 but he returned. That was during the attack. There

    9 was an attack while we were trench digging and I saw

    10 him wearing civilian clothes later on when I left

    11 Loncari. He went off with a pickaxe and everybody

    12 wanted to escape from the grenades. That is that

    13 particular person.

    14 Q. Did you hear of any other escapes apart from

    15 Semsudin Kovac?

    16 A. Here in the camp, no; from the camp, no.

    17 Q. When you say, "here in the camp, no", did you

    18 hear of any other escapes elsewhere?

    19 A. Well, if I take into account the other

    20 prisoners, then there was always a lot of talk about

    21 who disappeared, who was wounded, who was killed, and

    22 so on. But I did not pay attention to those stories

    23 much.

    24 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, do you perhaps know that some

    25 of the prisoners in some other way left Kaonik or was

  35. 1 released from Kaonik in some other way? Apart from

    2 escape or exchange?

    3 A. I cannot remember. Perhaps -- but if

    4 I remember later on, I will tell you.

    5 Q. You talked about the conditions prevailing in

    6 Kaonik and the food, in particular. What kind of food

    7 did the guards eat? What food did they get? Do you

    8 know what food the guards were given?

    9 A. Yes. When we were transferred to the second

    10 hangar with the cells, the food was better there.

    11 I think that the guards ate the same food. They did

    12 not eat together with us, but we were told they were

    13 given the same food.

    14 Q. You described the conditions in the prison.

    15 Mr. Osmancevic, can you tell me please: during your stay

    16 in Kaonik, did you notice or see the existence of

    17 anything? I have in mind covers, heating, blankets,

    18 heating or any kind of facilities which you were

    19 lacking in?

    20 A. Yes, in the first hangar. We did not have

    21 any of this in the first hangar, but when we were

    22 transferred to the second hangar we did have blankets.

    23 The food was better, as I already said.

    24 Q. Yes, you did. I just wanted to tell you, was

    25 there anything that you saw that existed but you were

  36. 1 not given -- you did not have access to, when you went

    2 to the prison?

    3 A. Yes. I dug a lot without any pause and on

    4 the last day, when we were to be exchanged, we were

    5 taken to Kula to be exchanged. As far as food and

    6 blankets are concerned, we did have food and blankets.

    7 As far as any rest was concerned, during our

    8 digging, we did not have any rest. We had to dig

    9 trenches for 48 hours or more. No water or food.

    10 Q. You mentioned Kula. Do you perhaps know who

    11 the commander at Kula was?

    12 A. No.

    13 Q. You mentioned Loncari. Can you describe to

    14 us who took you to Loncari, if you know who did? Who

    15 took you there?

    16 A. As far as I remember, it was Padovani with

    17 the truck. There were vans as well. The van, whether

    18 they took me to Kratine, Loncari, and who the driver

    19 was I am afraid, I cannot remember.

    20 Q. Thank you.

    21 A. Perhaps I might remember later on.

    22 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, let us go back to the

    23 telephone conversation that you described earlier on in

    24 the office of the warden.

    25 Who came to fetch you, to take you to the

  37. 1 office for that telephone conversation?

    2 A. Stipe Andrijasevic, my neighbour came to

    3 fetch me.

    4 Q. He is your neighbour?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. Will you describe for us, please, in

    7 connection with that telephone conversation, what the

    8 role of Vinko Vidovic was? He was also your neighbour?

    9 A. Yes, that is right. Well Vidovic's role is

    10 the following: When I was brought by Stipe

    11 Andrijasevic, who came to the camp, to my cell, to

    12 fetch me, he said: "Come out for a moment".

    13 Q. In as much detail as possible.

    14 A. He came, Stipe, to my cell. He said: "Would

    15 you come out?". He called out my name and surname.

    16 Even if I did not want to, I had to. I came out of the

    17 cell. He took me to the office where there was

    18 a telephone and the warden was there and Vidovic --

    19 Vinko's father was there. I knew him. He was an older

    20 man. I think Stipe's younger son was there too.

    21 He asked me -- Stipe: "Do you know why you

    22 have been brought here?" I said: "No". "Do you know

    23 that Vina has been taken prisoner?" "No", I said. "Do

    24 you know that your mother is a witness -- Vina is being

    25 tried in Zenica and your mother is a witness?". "No,

  38. 1 I have no idea. How would I be able to know? You know

    2 that I am in the camp and how I was brought here".

    3 Then, the agreement -- then we had this

    4 agreement whereby we would remember somebody and

    5 remember the telephone number. I said: "You know that

    6 I have nobody in Zenica; nobody has a telephone in

    7 their flats". "Try to remember", they said. Then

    8 I remembered Miro Hadzic had a sister in Zenica.

    9 I went to him, to fetch him and he gave me

    10 the telephone number. He was taken back to his cell.

    11 Then I phoned this number and asked him to call my

    12 mother to come to the phone.

    13 Stipe Andrijasevic wanted my mother to

    14 withdraw her testimony, because Vidovic Vinko said that

    15 she was one of the witnesses in that case.

    16 I called Amidzic's sister and this is what

    17 happened tomorrow. I asked them -- I said I would ring

    18 them the next day. I did ring them the following day

    19 again and I did not talk to my mother, but I talked to

    20 my sister.

    21 Q. What is your sister's name? It is Fatima, is

    22 that right?

    23 A. Yes. I asked my sister whether what they

    24 said about my mother was true. The warden had one of

    25 the receivers by his ear. I was told not to talk too

  39. 1 much, not to say that I was in prison but to say I was

    2 alive and well, to talk about Vina in that particular

    3 case, to withdraw my mother's testimony. My sister

    4 said she was never a witness, she never went and none

    5 of these other things that they were saying -- and the

    6 warden looked at Stipe and I shrugged my shoulders and

    7 said: "There you are, my mother is not a witness".

    8 Then the warden cut off this telephone line

    9 -- the telephone line. Stipe said: "Does your mother

    10 know that you are in our hands?" The warden then said:

    11 "We are not going to release him until Vina is

    12 released, that is what it boils down to". I stood

    13 around in the office for sometime. Vina's father did

    14 not say a word during all that time. He just cried

    15 because he was sorry for his son.

    16 Was I clear enough?

    17 Q. Yes, you were clear enough. Let me just ask

    18 you several more questions: while you were waiting for

    19 the telephone connection, did you have anything to

    20 drink, perhaps? Were you given coffee?

    21 A. No. I had nothing to drink.

    22 Q. Tell me, Mr. Osmancevic, what you have just

    23 described to us in this entire event over the telephone

    24 conversation, if I have understood you correctly, and

    25 please correct me if I have not, your neighbours were

  40. 1 included, Stipe, Vina Vidovic. They are all people who

    2 you know previously.

    3 Am I correct in saying that they asked you to

    4 do them a service?

    5 A. Yes, it would appear that way. But what

    6 service could I do? My sister told them my mother was

    7 a diabetic, that she could not leave her house --

    8 Q. I am sorry for interrupting you, so your

    9 mother did not supply them with any testimony, any

    10 statements. So it was a misunderstanding, in fact, if

    11 I have understood correctly?

    12 A. Yes, misunderstanding, but I understood

    13 something, that I was being asked to do something.

    14 Q. Tell me, Mr. Osmancevic, you said that on the

    15 19th June you left Kaonik; is that correct?

    16 A. Well, I think it was the 19th June. I have

    17 a ticket --

    18 Q. All right, the date is that not important.

    19 What I want to ask you is something else. Do you know

    20 what happened with Vinko, when was he released and was

    21 he ever released?

    22 A. He was accused -- condemned of something --

    23 I do not know. I was not able to follow the case, but

    24 I think he was exchanged later on. When and how I do

    25 not quite know, but I do know that people said he was

  41. 1 exchanged somewhere around Mostar.

    2 Q. When was this exactly, before or after you?

    3 A. After me.

    4 Q. How long after your release?

    5 A. I do not quite know.

    6 Q. Can you tell me whether his release and your

    7 release coincided? Did it have any relationship -- was

    8 it linked?

    9 A. No.

    10 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, are you personally -- were you

    11 beaten ever in Kaonik personally? Did anybody hit you

    12 in Kaonik ever?

    13 A. Me and two other people were never beaten.

    14 This was just luck. It depended on luck whether you

    15 were beaten or not beaten. But unfortunately, I did --

    16 my luck ran out when I dug trenches. I had to dig

    17 trenches all the time but I was never beaten. I was

    18 lucky there.

    19 MR. MIKULICIC: No more questions, your

    20 Honours. Thank you.

    21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Counsel for the

    22 Prosecutor's Office, any further questions?

    23 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour.

    24 JUDGE VOHRAH: Witness, in your

    25 examination-in-chief, you used the expression "the

  42. 1 Hodza", what do you mean by "the Hodza"?

    2 A. Hodza, that is how they called him. Whether

    3 Hodza was his last name or whether he was a Hodza, I do

    4 not know.

    5 JUDGE VOHRAH: Thank you.

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Osmancevic, you are now

    7 done with your testimony here before the International

    8 Criminal Tribunal. We would like to thank you most

    9 heartily for having come to this Tribunal. Thank you

    10 very much.

    11 A. Thank you.

    12 (The witness withdrew)

    13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Counsellor, would you like

    14 to bring in the next witness?

    15 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, before I call

    16 the next witness for the prosecution, I would wish to

    17 make an application similar to the one I made yesterday

    18 in respect of the witness. His name -- the next

    19 witness's name is contained in the inventory which was

    20 filed before your Honours' court dated 16th February.

    21 It is in an inventory of witness statements and the

    22 name appears at number 4 on that list.

    23 In respect of that witness, your Honours,

    24 I am seeking permission of your Honour's court to have

    25 protective measures in place, moving your Honour's

  43. 1 Chamber so that pseudonym "B" -- that the witness be

    2 assigned a pseudonym, and the letter "B" be assigned to

    3 the witness and he also be granted face as well as

    4 voice distortion in his testimony.

    5 Your Honours, I have indicated this to my

    6 learned friend, learned counsel for the Defence, and

    7 I understand that he has no objections to my

    8 application.

    9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic?

    10 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, we have no

    11 objections.

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Chamber agrees, and

    13 would ask that the appropriate measures be taken.

    14 (The witness entered court)

    15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning. Please

    16 stand. Thank you for having come here this morning.

    17 You are now going to read out the solemn declaration

    18 which the usher is going to be presenting you with.

    19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

    20 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the

    21 truth.

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please be seated. Now, you

    23 are going to answer the questions which the counsel for

    24 the Prosecutor's Office is going to be putting to you.

    25 (11.00 am)

  44. 1 Please proceed.


    3 Examined by MR. MEDDEGODA

    4 Q. Witness, could you -- witness, I am giving

    5 you a sheet of paper now. Could you look at the sheet

    6 of paper and confirm whether the name which appears on

    7 that sheet is your name or not? (Handed).

    8 A. Yes, it is.

    9 MR. MEDDEGODA: Perhaps it could be shown to

    10 learned counsel for the Defence. I am tendering, your

    11 Honours, that sheet of paper containing the name of the

    12 witness as an exhibit.

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 A. Yes, I am.

    18 Q. Your religion is Islam?

    19 A. Yes, it is.

    20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Maybe we could adjust the

    21 witness's microphone. Please see to that, usher.

    22 Can you hear me, sir?

    23 A. Yes, I can.

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Can the interpreters hear

    25 as well? I think we can pursue.

  45. 1 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, do you remember 25th

    2 January, 1993?

    3 A. Yes, I do.

    4 Q. On that day, do you recall where you were?

    5 A. Yes, I do.

    6 Q. And where were you on that day?

    7 A. I was at home in Busovaca, my neighbourhood.

    8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: One second, please.

    9 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, I apologise for

    10 interruption, we do not hear anything, my client or

    11 myself. We cannot hear the voice of the witness.

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Could the technicians make

    13 the appropriate arrangements? Is it possible to get

    14 this working?

    15 Just one minute, sir.

    16 MR. MIKULICIC: I can hear the interpreters,

    17 I can hear the Prosecutor and I can hear the court, the

    18 judges, but I cannot hear the witness.

    19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: So the problem is that

    20 Mr. Mikulicic can hear everyone, except for the

    21 witness. (Pause).

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Can we continue? Has

    23 everything be settled? Mr. Aleksovski, can you hear me?

    24 MR. ALEKSOVSKI: Your Honours, I can hear you

    25 very well, but in order to listen to the witness I have

  46. 1 to take off my earphones, I think it is a bit

    2 complicated but other than that it is okay. I do not

    3 know, I will try to listen to the witness now that he

    4 starts speaking and see if I can hear very well.

    5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Fine. Thank you. Well,

    6 maybe the technicians would want us to have a recess so

    7 they can get all this working properly.

    8 So I have not been given an answer; 10

    9 minutes to get this worked out.

    10 Right, I do apologise, Witness B, but we are

    11 going to have a recess for technical reasons.

    12 MR. MEDDEGODA: Before the recess, can I have

    13 redaction of line 2 on page 44.


    15 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you, your Honour.

    16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Now, we are going to have

    17 a 10-minute recess to get these technical problems

    18 straightened out.

    19 (11.11 am)

    20 (A short break)

    21 (11.27 am)

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I think we should be able

    23 to resume now. So counsel for the Prosecution, please

    24 proceed.

    25 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, you said you recall

  47. 1 25th January 1993?

    2 A. Yes, I do.

    3 Q. And where were you on that day?

    4 A. I was in Busovaca, in Ravanjska road, in the

    5 neighbourhood of Ravanjska.

    6 Q. Were you alone on Ravans --

    7 THE INTERPRETER: The microphone?

    8 MR. MEDDEGODA: Were you alone in the

    9 neighbourhood of Ravanjska Street?

    10 A. On that morning, I went to have coffee to my

    11 neighbour's house, together with three other neighbours

    12 and we did not finish the coffee and members of the

    13 HVO, round 6.00 am, opened fire and started firing at

    14 us. The house started burning.

    15 Q. And what did you do when the house started

    16 burning?

    17 A. We put out the curtains and couch and we hid

    18 under the stairway. The members of the HVO kept

    19 shooting all day long and we simply could not leave the

    20 house.

    21 Q. How did you know that there were members of

    22 the HVO who were shooting?

    23 A. I could tell by their uniforms and HVO

    24 insignia and also because they held the power in

    25 Busovaca and they had something against us, simply

  48. 1 because we were Muslims and the area where we lived was

    2 a Muslim area. There were only Muslim houses in that

    3 area, that is why they were shooting at us.

    4 Later on I was taken prisoner by them.

    5 Q. What was the uniform that is worn by the HVO

    6 soldiers?

    7 A. They wore camouflage uniforms. Some of them

    8 were wearing civilian clothing but most of them had HVO

    9 insignia with Croat chequer boards on it.

    10 Q. For how long did this firing last?

    11 A. Throughout the day, the whole day, until

    12 5.00 pm when they started approaching our houses and

    13 when we surrendered.

    14 Q. Together, you too surrendered to the HVO

    15 forces on that day?

    16 A. Yes, that is correct.

    17 Q. And together with you, did others surrender

    18 as well?

    19 A. Yes, my neighbours surrendered as well.

    20 Q. How many others surrendered together with

    21 you?

    22 A. There were three more persons who surrendered

    23 apart from myself.

    24 Q. Do you know -- did you happen to know any of

    25 the HVO soldiers who came to your village -- who came

  49. 1 to that settlement that day?

    2 A. I know the Pusic brothers, Smoljo --

    3 brothers, they were all my neighbours from Busovaca

    4 from the Busovaca Valley area.

    5 Q. After you and the other three surrendered,

    6 what happened?

    7 A. Then the HVO soldiers started mistreating

    8 us. I had to walk around barefooted and they also

    9 forced me to go to the house of my neighbour and one of

    10 the brothers of the HVO soldiers forced me to go

    11 there -- forced me to break into his house and he was

    12 shooting around and he said: "Look here, this is all

    13 a Croatian area, only one population only, one ethnic

    14 community should be living in this area", and things

    15 like that.

    16 Q. You said you were forced to break into

    17 a house of one of your neighbours?

    18 A. That is correct, yes. I was forced by an HVO

    19 member to do that.

    20 Q. And what happened when you -- did you force

    21 yourself into that house?

    22 A. He fired the rifle all around the house. He

    23 had a Kalashnikov, he just broke into the house and he

    24 fired a burst of gunfire all across the room.

    25 Q. After that, what did you have to do?

  50. 1 A. After that, they collected us, there was

    2 a commander here and they wanted to shoot us, they

    3 wanted to execute us, but then one person came --

    4 I think he was a commander -- and he started cursing at

    5 them, "let these people go".

    6 Then this commander -- I suppose he was

    7 a commander -- we had to raise our hands like this, put

    8 them behind our necks, and we were taken to the Kaonik

    9 camp.

    10 Q. How were you taken to the Kaonik camp?

    11 A. From my neighbourhood we went to the bus

    12 stop. They made us walk with our hands behind our

    13 necks and Zeljo Bubreg, the driver from the Zenica

    14 Trans company, took us in his bus to the camp.

    15 JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: I am sorry, but I do not

    16 know whether it is necessary to switch off and on the

    17 microphone every time.

    18 MR. MEDDEGODA: I thought that when the witness

    19 answers-- it is so sensitive that his voice might.


    21 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you, your Honours.

    22 Do you know what the Kaonik camp was prior to

    23 the war.

    24 I think I have got to switch it off.

    25 A. It was not a camp, it was a former JNA

  51. 1 barracks; I know that because I used to pass by when

    2 I went to Zenica by bus. We used to pass by Kaonik.

    3 On the right-hand side there is this Lektif cafe. Here

    4 the cafe, there was the entrance to the JNA barracks.

    5 The HVO had a plan about that. They wanted to destroy

    6 the Muslim population and they set up a camp there and

    7 organised the cells and everything.

    8 Q. About what time was it when you arrived at

    9 Kaonik camp?

    10 A. It was in the evening. It was between 5.00

    11 and 6.00 pm on that same day.

    12 Q. When you arrived at the camp, at what point

    13 did you have to get off the bus?

    14 A. When they took us in, the bus started out

    15 from the main road and then there is a 100 metre long

    16 dirt road and we had to walk to one of the hangars with

    17 our hands behind our necks.

    18 We were forced to do that by the HVO

    19 members.

    20 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, I am tendering

    21 an aerial map of the Kaonik camp, which I would be

    22 pleased if the usher could show to the witness.

    23 There are copies for the court as well as for

    24 learned counsel for the Defence. That document, your

    25 Honours, may be marked as Prosecution Exhibit P22 --

  52. 1 P23, your Honours. (Handed).

    2 THE REGISTRAR: This will be P23, yes.

    3 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you.

    4 Witness, could you place the photograph on

    5 the ELMO?

    6 A. Where do you want me to point?

    7 Q. Could you, please, point out the place at

    8 which you got off the bus when you reached Kaonik camp?

    9 A. Just a second. There is this road here.

    10 (Indicates).

    11 MR. MEDDEGODA: You may take your time with

    12 that --

    13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Sorry to interrupt, but --

    14 MR. MEDDEGODA: Please show on the photograph

    15 on the ELMO, on the projector. If you point it out on

    16 the photograph on the projector. Thank you.

    17 A. This is the main road leading to Zenica, and

    18 this is the turn that you have to take to go to the

    19 Kaonik camp. These are the hangars. (Indicating).

    20 This is the one were I was brought to.

    21 Q. Before getting to the point were you were

    22 brought to, can you tell this court the point at which

    23 you had to get off the bus when you reached Kaonik

    24 camp?

    25 A. Well, at some point here, on the road -- on

  53. 1 the way from the barracks to the hangars.

    2 (Indicating).

    3 Q. Thank you.

    4 Then when you got off, you said you had to

    5 walk a distance to your hangar?

    6 A. We had to put our hands like this.

    7 (Indicating). They brought us here in front of this

    8 hangar here.

    9 Q. You had to have your hands behind your neck?

    10 A. That is right.

    11 Q. Which hangar?

    12 A. To this one here. (Indicating).

    13 Q. Could you please circle that building and

    14 mark that with letter "A"? If you use the marker and

    15 circle that building and mark it with the letter "A".

    16 A. (Witness marked map).

    17 Q. Now, when you were taken to the hangar, could

    18 you tell this court what happened to you?

    19 A. On that evening, when I was brought there,

    20 there were about two or maybe even 300 Muslims there.

    21 The HVO members kept bringing in more Muslims to the

    22 hangar and there were only wooden pallets in that

    23 hangar and maybe a blanket that was supposed to be

    24 shared by two persons in that hangar.

    25 On the same evening -- maybe around 2.00 or

  54. 1 3.00 am -- members of the HVO arrived, including

    2 Mr. Aleksovski, and they came to make a list of us.

    3 I know him, I can recognise him. He introduced himself

    4 as the prison warden. He said he was the warden of

    5 that prison. He said -- he told us his name.

    6 Q. Yes, could you, please, look around in this

    7 court and say whether Mr. Aleksovski, the person who

    8 introduced himself as the warden of the prison, is

    9 present in this Trial Chamber today?

    10 A. There he is. That is the gentleman in

    11 question. (Indicating the defendant).

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Perhaps it should be made

    13 clear in the transcript that the witness pointed

    14 towards Mr. Aleksovski. Thank you.

    15 MR. MEDDEGODA: You said that HVO members at

    16 that time made a list of the persons who were brought?

    17 A. That is right.

    18 Q. Would you describe to this court how the list

    19 was made?

    20 A. Well, they brought some candles and some

    21 military torch lights. There was a table there. We

    22 were standing in a line and they put down our names as

    23 we would approach the table, each of us.

    24 In the meantime some of the people were

    25 returned during that night. People who were over 60 or

  55. 1 who were severely sick, they were returned to their

    2 homes by the HVO soldiers during that night. But those

    3 who were taken back on that night were later on

    4 returned to the camp again.

    5 Q. Were you also registered that night?

    6 A. Yes, I was.

    7 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, I would submit

    8 that, at this stage, your Honours be pleased to move

    9 into private session for a few questions and answers

    10 that I would wish to go down on the record which

    11 otherwise would reveal the identity of the witness.

    12 For that reason, I would submit that your Honours, we

    13 please move into private session.

    14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Fine. We will move into

    15 a private session then.

    16 (In private session)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  56. 1












    13 Page 573 redacted - in private session













  57. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, perhaps we may

    10 go into open session at this stage.

    11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We are now in open

    12 session.

    13 (In open session)

    14 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you.

    15 After the registration in the camp, where

    16 were you put into?

    17 A. In camp A, that is where we were that night.

    18 On the pallets we had to crouch down, two sharing

    19 a blanket in that hangar.

    20 Q. Do you know where your other neighbours were

    21 put into that night?

    22 A. That night I said -- as I said -- when I came

    23 there were about 300 and the second morning there were

    24 about 500 Muslims in the hangar.

    25 Q. And did anything happen to you the next

  58. 1 morning?

    2 A. The next morning my name was called out.

    3 I cannot say which of the guards called out my name. A

    4 member of the HVO took me to the settlement where

    5 I lived.

    6 Q. Do you know who took you to the settlement

    7 where you lived; do you know the names of those HVO

    8 guards who took you to the settlement where you lived?

    9 A. Yes, I do. Ivcan Rajkovic and Niko Grubesic.

    10 Q. What happened when you were taken to that

    11 settlement?

    12 A. Members of the HVO took me to that

    13 settlement. When we got there we had a rifle from the

    14 settlement -- a Romanian rifle for the settlement,

    15 which I gave them. It was with a neighbour in

    16 a chicken coop.

    17 Q. You gave that rifle to the HVO soldiers who

    18 took you there?

    19 A. Yes, that is right.

    20 Q. After that, were you brought back to the

    21 camp?

    22 A. Yes, I was. That is right, they took me back

    23 to the camp.

    24 Q. When you were brought back to the camp, were

    25 you returned to the same building that you had spent

  59. 1 the previous night, or were you returned to a different

    2 building?

    3 A. They took me back to the same building. On

    4 that day, 20 or 30 of us were called out by name.

    5 There was a roll call for 20 or 30 of us from

    6 hangar A. They took us to this other hangar, where

    7 there were 16 cells. I think Mr. Aleksovski ought to

    8 know this, 16 original prison cells here.

    9 Q. You said you were taken out of that building,

    10 which is marked as, "hangar A", and taken to

    11 a different building; is that right?

    12 A. Yes, that is right.

    13 Q. Could you, please, point out on the map that

    14 you have on the projector to which building you were

    15 taken on that occasion?

    16 A. Building B.

    17 Q. Thank you. How many of you were taken to

    18 building B?

    19 A. About 20 or 30 of us group were taken and

    20 sent to cells. I was taken to cell number 6.

    21 Q. Together with you, were others put into cell

    22 number 6?

    23 A. There were 16 cells. Most of us that were

    24 called out were taken to cell number 6.

    25 Q. Do you remember the names of any others who

  60. 1 were put into cell number 6, together with you?

    2 A. Yes, I do.

    3 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honour, I would submit

    4 that my next question and answer would be moved into

    5 private session, your Honours.

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Fine, we are now in private

    7 session.

    8 (In private session)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (In open session)

    25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We are back in open

  61. 1 session.

    2 MR. MEDDEGODA: Now, could you describe the

    3 interior of cell number 6, to which you were put into?

    4 A. Yes, I can. The cell was located on the

    5 right-hand corner next to the lavatory on the other

    6 side of the hangar, on the far side of the hangar.

    7 The cell had two small windows, 40 by 60

    8 centimetres on the outer side. It had the entrance

    9 door, a wall and bars, iron bars above the door.

    10 The cell was, looking at it in length, it was

    11 about 50 to 60 centimetres long and two metres wide and

    12 it had wooden boards where we sat and slept.

    13 Q. And in that cell, did you have heating

    14 facilities?

    15 A. No. There were two stoves in the corridor,

    16 but then one of the stoves was taken away and there was

    17 one in a hangar -- this hangar. (Indicating). The two

    18 stoves were divided between the two hangars and the

    19 stoves were in the corridors, not in the cells; no

    20 heating in the cells.

    21 Q. Were there any electric lights in the cell?

    22 A. Not in the cell, but in the corridor and so

    23 as there was the iron bars above the door, then there

    24 was a little light coming in through the iron bars into

    25 the cell.

  62. 1 Q. From inside the cell, could you observe what

    2 was happening outside?

    3 A. We could see what was happening in the

    4 corridor. There were roll calls and when members of

    5 the HVO would call out the name of a Muslim, for

    6 example. While the Muslim said which cell he was in,

    7 then you would hear beating and you would hear water

    8 being splashed across him to bring him to after the

    9 beating.

    10 Q. Witness, I would advise you not to be so fast

    11 in your answers so the interpreters will be able to

    12 translate your answers accurately.

    13 A. Very well.

    14 Q. Who was taking the roll calls out in the

    15 corridors?

    16 A. Members of the HVO, the guards who were on

    17 duty.

    18 Q. What happened when the roll was called out?

    19 A. Whoever was called out knew that he would get

    20 a beating. They called out the names of the people who

    21 had been taken to dig the trenches and to form human

    22 shields, Muslims.

    23 Q. Was your name ever called out by HVO

    24 soldiers?

    25 A. Yes, it was. After seven to eight days spent

  63. 1 in the cell my name was called out.

    2 Q. What happened when your name was called out?

    3 A. When they called my name out, 19 other

    4 Muslims were called out by members of the HVO and we

    5 were taken by truck to the "11 Plavih" inn to dig

    6 trenches.

    7 Q. You said you were taken by truck to 11 Plavih

    8 inn, by truck?

    9 A. Yes, that is right.

    10 Q. From there, where did you have to go?

    11 A. From there, once again accompanied by the HVO

    12 guards. The 11 Plavih is the name of an inn. They

    13 took us to dig communication trenches at Prosje.

    14 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, may I tender

    15 five excerpts of Exhibit P34 for the court, as well as

    16 learned counsel for the accused and the witness?

    17 (Handed).

    18 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution's exhibit number

    19 24.

    20 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, could you look at the

    21 exhibit on the ELMO and point out Prosje, where you

    22 were taken to dig trenches? Could you look at the

    23 projection on the projector? Prosje, that is the place

    24 where you were taken to that day?

    25 A. Yes, it is.

  64. 1 Q. Could you mark that with the letter "A"?

    2 A. (Witness marked map).

    3 Q. Could you describe to this court what

    4 happened in Prosje?

    5 A. When we got to Prosje we were divided up by

    6 the HVO soldiers to our positions for trench digging

    7 and dug-outs and we dug the whole day until late at

    8 night, until about midnight. There was no maltreatment

    9 there, they were fair on that occasion, the members of

    10 the HVO who were with us, and about midnight, around

    11 midnight, they took us back to the inn, the 11 Plavih

    12 inn and we were taken back to the Kaonik camp.

    13 Q. Was that the only occasion on which you were

    14 taken to dig trenches?

    15 A. No, the next morning we, with a RAB, we were

    16 taken from Krcevine to Kula to dig trenches again the

    17 next morning. Petrovic was the driver of the RAB

    18 truck.

    19 Q. How many detainees were taken on that day to

    20 dig trenches?

    21 A. 20 of us. 20 of us. Myself and 20 others.

    22 Q. Would you please mark on the map that you

    23 have on the projector the place to which you were

    24 taken, the place in Kula to which you were taken for

    25 trench digging on that day.

  65. 1 A. (Witness marked map).

    2 Q. Could you please mark it with the letter

    3 "B"? For how long did you have to dig trenches in

    4 Kula?

    5 A. We dug trenches that whole day and the whole

    6 night. In the morning they told us that

    7 representatives of the ICRC had come to see us, to

    8 verify us, and to take down our names as detainees in

    9 the Kaonik camp.

    10 Q. Then were you brought back to the camp the

    11 next morning?

    12 A. Yes. We dug the whole day and the whole

    13 night. Then on that morning they took us back to the

    14 camp so that the Red Cross could make -- register our

    15 names.

    16 Q. So when you went back to the camp that

    17 morning, did the Red Cross arrive?

    18 A. Yes. It was there.

    19 Q. And were you registered by the members of the

    20 Red Cross?

    21 A. Yes, I was. I have their identification card

    22 of the ICRC. I have an ID from them.

    23 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, I would tender

    24 a copy of the ID card of the Red Cross pertaining to

    25 this witness as Prosecution Exhibit 25. (Handed).

  66. 1 THE REGISTRAR: P25.

    2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I think we are talking

    3 about a protected witness. I am not sure you want to

    4 identify the witness, do you?

    5 MR. MEDDEGODA: It may be under seal so the

    6 identity of the witness is not revealed. It need not

    7 be put on the ELMO, your Honour. It may be shown to

    8 learned counsel for the Defence.


    10 MR. MEDDEGODA: For how long did the

    11 registration process take?

    12 A. About -- it took us up to noon. By noon.

    13 They had finished by noon, and as soon as the Red Cross

    14 had left, the HVO read out our names again, did the

    15 name control, Krilic Marko was one of the HVO guards.

    16 The roll call was taken once again and we were sent

    17 back to Kula to continue digging.

    18 Q. For how long did you have to continue digging

    19 in Kula?

    20 A. We dug a whole day, the whole night. Then

    21 they took us back to camp for the Red Cross visit.

    22 Then we were taken back that whole day and another

    23 night. So all in all it was two days and two nights.

    24 Q. Was there any mistreatment when you were

    25 digging trenches in Kula?

  67. 1 A. Yes, there was, by the members of the HVO.

    2 Three groups of 20 of us, 60 people were beaten up on

    3 that occasion. I was one of them. I took a serious

    4 beating.

    5 Q. Could you describe to this court what

    6 happened to you on that occasion?

    7 A. One of the members of the HVO -- their

    8 nicknames were Hosovac, Maglajlija and Kakanjac and

    9 many other members of the HVO, some of them were masked

    10 with socks over their heads and faces. They started to

    11 call us out by name, one by one or two by two. They

    12 took us out and started hitting us, beating us.

    13 Q. Were you beaten as well?

    14 A. Yes, I was. That is exact. I was beaten

    15 amongst -- I was taken out amongst the first, one of

    16 the HVO members ordered me to open my mouth. When

    17 I opened my mouth, he cocked an automatic gun in my

    18 mouth. I managed somehow to move my head away and the

    19 gun went off round my shoulder, but none of the bullets

    20 hit me, I do not know how. The rifle fell from my

    21 mouth to my shoulder and went off, he fired it.

    22 Q. Did anything else happen to you?

    23 A. He cursed me, he cursed my balija mother.

    24 Then he threw the rifle away. I do not know whether it

    25 was an automatic gun, a Kalashnikov, or what. He took

  68. 1 a semi-automatic rifle with a bayonet, he cursed me and

    2 my balija mother again and he scratched me here. You

    3 can see the mark here, with the knife and across my

    4 nose. So across my neck and across my nose.

    5 (Indicating).

    6 Q. What happened to you thereafter?

    7 A. I was taken out many more times after that.

    8 We dug trenches all the time and in the meantime the

    9 members of the HVO would take out from the line one or

    10 two people and beat them up seriously, gravely beat

    11 them up.

    12 Q. You said you had to dig trenches after coming

    13 back from the camp, after the registration by the ICRC

    14 the whole day and the whole night; am I right?

    15 A. Yes, that is right.

    16 Q. What time was it when you finished digging

    17 the trenches?

    18 A. We dug trenches the whole day and the whole

    19 night. In the morning, as they had beaten up myself

    20 and my colleagues, four of us were beaten up. Then

    21 they saw that we were no longer able to dig. The next

    22 morning they took us back to the camp.

    23 Q. How were you taken back to the camp?

    24 A. They took us back by truck. Myself and my

    25 three colleagues who were very gravely beaten. Us, the

  69. 1 Muslims who were with us, through orders by the HVO

    2 guards, they carried us and threw us into the RAB

    3 truck.

    4 Q. When you came back to the camp, were you

    5 taken for any medical examination?

    6 A. Yes. I was taken along with two of my

    7 colleagues. I was taken by the members -- I do not

    8 know who they were -- in camouflage uniforms with the

    9 HVO insignia and they took us to the medical centre in

    10 Busovaca.

    11 Q. Who requested that you be taken to the

    12 medical centre in Busovaca?

    13 A. We asked to be taken to, but they saw the

    14 condition we were in, that we needed help, we could not

    15 get up. It was just a formality, a pure formality.

    16 The sisters there did not even touch me with a finger.

    17 It was a pure formality.

    18 Q. You and your other beaten colleagues

    19 requested that you be taken to the doctor?

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. To which health centre were you taken?

    22 A. I was taken to the health centre in Busovaca,

    23 near the petrol pump, where IFOR is stationed now, but

    24 it was always a health centre there.

    25 Q. What happened at the health centre?

  70. 1 A. Before me, my two colleagues were taken

    2 there, Lah Ahmed and Cakara, and Ibreljic Mustafa, who

    3 succumbed to his wounds. He was beaten up so badly

    4 that he died as the result. Me and my colleague were

    5 taken -- they told me to take off my clothes, to bare

    6 myself up to my waist, to bare my chest. They asked me

    7 who I was, what I was, and when I said I was born --

    8 that I was -- they cursed my balija mother. When

    9 I said "helijode" instead of the Croat equivalent for

    10 1,000, which is "tisoco", nobody wanted to look at me.

    11 They were nurses, female nurses.

    12 Q. In short, you were not examined at the health

    13 centre?

    14 A. No, I -- I did bare my chest but nobody came

    15 up to me. I do not know if they even wrote my name

    16 down or gave me tablets or an injection, nothing.

    17 Q. You were not treated for your wounds?

    18 A. No. They did nothing, absolutely nothing.

    19 Q. After that, were you brought back to the

    20 camp?

    21 A. Yes, I was.

    22 Q. For how long -- for how many days thereafter

    23 did you spend in the camp?

    24 A. About three to five days because I did not

    25 want to dig any more trenches, I was returned to

  71. 1 hangar A. I was taken back to hangar A to sleep on the

    2 pallets. There was over 100 of us there, 150/200 of us

    3 who had been beaten up. As we were unable to dig

    4 trenches any more, we were taken back to hangar A with

    5 the wooden pallets on the floors.

    6 Q. You said about three to five days later --

    7 you said you spent about three to five days thereafter

    8 in the camp?

    9 A. Yes, that is correct. After having been

    10 beaten up, and on the eighth or ninth day the

    11 International Red Cross came back and I was exchanged.

    12 Q. In the exchange, where were you taken to?

    13 A. I was not taken. The ICRC members, when they

    14 came to verify us, I asked them whether there were

    15 any -- what rights we enjoyed as detainees, as

    16 prisoners. They said that there were three

    17 possibilities: one possibility was to remain in

    18 Busovaca, but that nobody on the side of the HVO could

    19 guarantee our safety there.

    20 The second possibility was to be taken to

    21 Zenica, the third to be taken to Kacuni under the

    22 control of the army.

    23 Q. Where did you hope to go?

    24 A. I went to Kacuni.

    25 Q. Now, during the days that you spent in the

  72. 1 camp, witness, did you have sufficient food to eat and

    2 water to drink and also water to wash yourselves?

    3 A. While we were in the camp, we got two pieces

    4 of bread, very thin pieces of bread, a plate -- one

    5 plate for two prisoners. We had to eat from the same

    6 plate. It was very watery beans. The food either was

    7 not salty or very salty. As for water, we would knock

    8 on the door of the cell if we were thirsty. If the

    9 guard was good he would ask the HVO to bring us water;

    10 if not he would not, he would say: "What do you want

    11 water for?".

    12 MR. MEDDEGODA: That is all, your Honour, in

    13 cross-examination. Thank you.

    14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Prosecutor.

    15 Mr. Mikulicic, would you like to proceed with your

    16 cross-examination at this stage? Please proceed.

    17 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC.

    18 Q. Thank you, your Honours.

    19 Witness B, my name is Mr. Mikulicic, I am

    20 Defence counsel for the accused, Mr. Zlatko Aleksovski.

    21 I will ask you a couple of questions and I will ask you

    22 to give me an answer to these questions to the best of

    23 your recollection.

    24 A. I will, thank you.

    25 (redacted)

  73. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 Q. For how long?

    4 A. For about two or three years.

    5 Q. You mean prior to the conflict before 1993?

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. And before that?

    8 A. I lived in the vicinity of Kacuni.

    9 Q. Did you know many people in Busovaca?

    10 A. I did, because I worked in Busovaca. I also

    11 worked in Zenica, but I used to pass through Busovaca

    12 on my way to Zenica. This was my municipality.

    13 Q. Did you have any problems with your health

    14 before? Did you have to see a doctor often, before the

    15 war?

    16 A. No. I can prove that. As for my health,

    17 thank God, it has been very good always.

    18 Q. Let us go back to the day when you were taken

    19 to Kaonik. You said that early in the morning HVO

    20 soldiers came to your house?

    21 A. No, no, no, it was not early in the morning.

    22 Early in the morning I went to my neighbour's house to

    23 have coffee with him and sirens were sounded around

    24 6.00 am and members of the HVO opened fire on the

    25 Muslim neighbourhood from all sides.

  74. 1 Q. What did HVO soldiers want from you?

    2 A. What they wanted from me? Before the

    3 conflict, HVO soldiers had all power in the area and

    4 the area was decorated with chequer boards, the Busovaca

    5 was simply covered with them, and they kept telling us

    6 things, like us being Muslims, not being welcome

    7 there.

    8 Q. Maybe you have not understood me, Witness B.

    9 I wanted to know whether HVO soldiers wanted something

    10 from you, whether they wanted you to surrender

    11 something.

    12 A. Who do you mean by "you"?

    13 Q. You personally?

    14 A. Me personally?

    15 Q. Yes, I mean you.

    16 A. They wanted to know whether I kept

    17 anti-aircraft weapons, rocket launchers, things like

    18 that, but there is evidence to that. There is not

    19 a single house -- Muslim house -- were weapons were

    20 hidden, and you know very well which houses were burnt

    21 down and which were not during the conflict.

    22 Q. But did you have any weapons, any weapons

    23 that you gave over to the HVO soldiers?

    24 A. Me personally, I did not have anything. In

    25 my street we had a rifle called Rumunka which

  75. 1 I surrendered to them, but it was not my personal

    2 property. It was a rifle called Rumunka.

    3 MR. MEDDEGODA: If I may interrupt my learned

    4 friend. I am moving for a redaction of a line which

    5 I have sent to the Registrar. Thank you, your Honour.

    6 Mr. Mikulicic may be shown the answer which

    7 needs to be redacted. (Handed).

    8 MR. MIKULICIC: No objections.

    9 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you.

    10 MR. MIKULICIC: Is it correct that you

    11 surrendered to the HVO soldiers two hand grenades?

    12 A. Two hand grenades, yes, that is correct, when

    13 they came to arrest me.

    14 Q. Could you tell us, where did you get those

    15 hand grenades from?

    16 A. Where I got them from? Well, I bought them

    17 before the fall of Jajce. I cannot tell you exactly

    18 who sold them to me, whether it was a Croat or Muslim.

    19 Anyway, I bought them in Busovaca.

    20 Q. Could you tell us why, to what purpose, did

    21 you purchase them?

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  76. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 Q. Let me repeat my question: why did you buy

    6 these two grenades?

    7 A. I bought them with my own money. You mean

    8 that?

    9 Q. No, I do not mean how, I just want to know

    10 what did you intend to use them for?

    11 A. What I wanted to use them for? I simply

    12 wanted to have them. It was war time. I cannot tell

    13 you what my intention was. In the name of Allah --

    14 I do not know what to tell you. I just wanted to have

    15 them. That is it.

    16 Q. What did HVO soldiers tell you when you

    17 surrendered these two hand grenades to them?

    18 A. Nothing. They just forced me to walk around

    19 barefooted. They forced me to break into my

    20 neighbours' houses, houses belonging to Smoljo and

    21 Pusic. I was forced to walk around and it was

    22 a January morning, a cold morning, I was forced to walk

    23 around barefooted. They would not let me put on

    24 anything.

    25 Q. Could you tell us whether you were a civilian

  77. 1 or a soldier at that time?

    2 A. Of course I was a civilian. If I had been

    3 a soldier -- and let me tell you there was not a single

    4 dug-out in our street, not a single trench. We did not

    5 even stand guard in our street. Of course I was

    6 a civilian, I was wearing a civilian clothing when

    7 I was arrested.

    8 Q. After that you were taken to Kaonik?

    9 A. That is right, to the camp.

    10 Q. You said in chief that the Kaonik prison was

    11 set up by the HVO, according to a previously conceived

    12 plan?

    13 A. Yes, it used to be a barracks. It is

    14 correct, just wait a second. It used to be a JNA

    15 barracks, that was this hangar A, where we were brought

    16 to, and the barracks was under the control of the HVO.

    17 Let me tell you, you know who built all those cells?

    18 Muslims or Croats?

    19 Q. I do not know, witness, that is why I wanted

    20 to ask you.

    21 A. Well, I know because I was there. That is

    22 why I am telling you.

    23 Q. Do you know when this construction work was

    24 performed?

    25 A. Not long before that, because you could see

  78. 1 that the paint was quite fresh on the walls. No, not

    2 long time before that.

    3 Q. But do you know how long before that?

    4 A. Well, I was not there at that time, but I can

    5 guarantee that it was not long before that. I used to

    6 pass by Kaonik and I knew what hangar A looked like as

    7 opposed to hangar B. You could tell that it was done

    8 for Muslims, for Muslims to be kept there and they used

    9 to say that openly. They used to say: "These cells are

    10 waiting for you, balijas".

    11 Q. Did you see that construction work being

    12 done?

    13 A. Tell me, is there any barracks that you could

    14 really get close to and see for yourself what is

    15 happening? But the mortar was fresh, I am telling

    16 you.

    17 Q. What time do you exactly have in mind?

    18 A. Not more than a year before that.

    19 Q. Does that mean that there were no hangers

    20 before that?

    21 A. There was this hangar. Only the cells were

    22 built later on.

    23 Q. Is it true -- it is true, is it not, that you

    24 did not see for yourself when the cells were built?

    25 A. Yes, you are correct, I did not see.

  79. 1 Q. Who brought you to Kaonik?

    2 A. We were not brought there. They drove us

    3 there. It was Bubreg Zeljo in his bus that drove us

    4 there. There were also some HVO members who were

    5 escorting us and carrying weapons.

    6 Q. But who took you in at Kaonik?

    7 A. Who did what?

    8 Q. Who took you in? Who spoke to you when you

    9 got to Kaonik? Did anyone speak to you?

    10 A. They just told us to put our hands behind our

    11 necks and they brought us to the hangar and the doors

    12 were closed and nobody spoke to us.

    13 Q. Did you know Mr. Aleksovski from before?

    14 A. No, I did not. I met him on that occasion,

    15 when those people came to verify us. He said that he

    16 was the warden of the prison and he said what his name

    17 was, Aleksovski. That is when I met him.

    18 Q. Did he say anything else?

    19 A. He did say something, but I do not know.

    20 Q. Could you remember exactly what he said?

    21 A. I do not know. I do not know whether it was

    22 him or another HVO member that said that, you know,

    23 what I mentioned about those who were elderly or sick.

    24 I do not know whether it was him who spoke about them

    25 or one of his colleagues. Anyway, somebody said that

  80. 1 those people would be returned to their homes.

    2 Q. But some of them were, indeed, returned?

    3 A. Yes, that is correct.

    4 Q. Do you remember how it was established who

    5 was sick and who was not?

    6 A. Some people had their medical documentation

    7 on them, like diabetes, heart condition, you know,

    8 things like that.

    9 Q. What about other people?

    10 A. Well, those who were above -- over 60, those

    11 were released.

    12 Q. You said that on the following day, the HVO

    13 soldiers took you back to Busovaca?

    14 A. That is right.

    15 Q. And that you handed over a rifle to them on

    16 that occasion?

    17 A. That is correct, yes.

    18 Q. How did they know about the existence of that

    19 rifle?

    20 A. Well, they kept taking roll calls and one of

    21 my neighbours said that there was a rifle there. In

    22 the meantime, my name was also called and I was taken

    23 there and when they asked about the weapons, I gave

    24 them the rifle that we had over there in our street.

    25 Q. And where did you get the rifle from? Did

  81. 1 you buy it as well?

    2 A. No, I did not buy it, I cannot tell you that;

    3 I do not know: I do not know where it came from, its

    4 origin.

    5 Q. Apart from that gun, did anybody from your

    6 neighbourhood turn over any arms?

    7 A. Not from my neighbourhood, no. The members

    8 of the HVO know this. I do not remember, no. Nobody

    9 did.

    10 Q. Were you taken to the mahala alone or anybody

    11 else?

    12 A. Anybody was taken. I cannot say exactly.

    13 They took me and others. The guards kept calling out

    14 names. The people who were taken away were brought

    15 back, beaten up and others taken and so on.

    16 Q. So you do not know whether anybody else laid

    17 down his arms from the mahala?

    18 A. No.

    19 Q. Does that mean that only you had two grenades

    20 and a rifle?

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 Q. Tell me, please, Witness B, you said that you

  82. 1 were taken out from Kaonik to the terrain to dig

    2 trenches?

    3 A. That is right.

    4 Q. Who took you from Kaonik to the terrain, to

    5 the area?

    6 A. The guards in the camp who read the roll

    7 call.

    8 Q. Who accompanied you to the digging site?

    9 Were you accompanied, escorted by the guards from

    10 Kaonik or by some other people?

    11 A. Once I was taken to Prosje, twice -- I cannot

    12 say exactly. They put us into the truck. Whether they

    13 were these guards or others, I do not know, but they

    14 were members of the HVO. Whether it was guards or some

    15 other escorts I cannot say, because when you are in the

    16 truck you put your hands behind your back and we are

    17 told to lie down, so I could not really see.

    18 Q. On the digging site, were you watched over by

    19 anyone?

    20 A. There were members of the HVO, there were the

    21 lines there. Members of the HVO, generally speaking.

    22 Q. Were you watched over by the same guards who

    23 were in Kaonik or some other individuals?

    24 A. Some other individuals. Some other members

    25 of the HVO. They were not guards from the Kaonik

  83. 1 camp.

    2 Q. You described the events when you were

    3 harmed, injured, and you said that, at your request,

    4 you and some others were taken to the health centre at

    5 Busovaca, to a doctor?

    6 A. That is right.

    7 Q. Do you know any one of the medical staff in

    8 Busovaca health centre?

    9 A. Beforehand, or when you were taken there?

    10 Q. When you were taken there. Or before, prior

    11 to the event.

    12 A. Previously I did know some of the staff.

    13 Dr Rozika Kordic. But on that occasion there were two

    14 female nurses or doctors, I do not really know, some

    15 others walked up the corridor. When I was there there

    16 were two females there. Whether they were nurses or

    17 doctors, I do not know, they did not say who they

    18 were. But I did not know them. They were unknown to

    19 me.

    20 Q. Did you learn later on who these two women

    21 were, whether they were nurses or physicians or

    22 doctors?

    23 A. No, no, how? Who would tell me that, when

    24 the health centre was in the hands of the HVO, how

    25 could I learn that?

  84. 1 Q. Does that mean that after these events, you

    2 never returned to Busovaca?

    3 A. I passed through Busovaca, but never -- no

    4 Muslims, sir, no Muslim ever, not only myself but no

    5 Muslims who were sent out of Busovaca ever returned.

    6 Q. Can you tell us of the injuries you

    7 sustained?

    8 A. I had two broken ribs here; I had a knife

    9 wound here and across my nose, knife sore and my nose

    10 was broken up.

    11 Q. Do you remember whether your wounds were

    12 registered into a physicians' record? Was a record

    13 made of your wounds and injuries?

    14 A. Where, in Busovaca, you mean, or in the part

    15 under the control of the army?

    16 Q. In Busovaca.

    17 A. I did not see them write anything. They just

    18 said -- no, I cannot say. I cannot guarantee one way

    19 or the other.

    20 Q. How did you feel, health-wise, after the

    21 examination? Were you mobile, were you able to move?

    22 A. Well, I was just able to move. Somebody had

    23 to lift me because for two months I was not able to get

    24 up. I had to be raised by some individuals. But once

    25 they managed to get me up, I was able to move around

  85. 1 a little.

    2 Q. Did you seek medical aid later on when you

    3 had left Kaonik camp?

    4 A. Yes, I did, in Zenica. And then they put

    5 some balms on me, made from honey. Some balms were

    6 placed on my wounds.

    7 Q. Who did this for you? Who administered these

    8 honey balms?

    9 A. Well, in the hospital when I was in Zenica

    10 there were no tablets, no injections, no X-rays, there

    11 was no electricity, so some of the doctors, when they

    12 sent me home and then my wife administered these

    13 honeycomb balms on my wounds, because there were no

    14 medicines.

    15 Q. After the examination at the Busovaca health

    16 centre, were you sent out to work?

    17 A. No, I was not.

    18 Q. How come you never went to dig the trenches?

    19 A. When I had returned from the health centre,

    20 they took me back to hangar A and all those members of

    21 the HVO who were Muslims -- the Muslims who were there,

    22 nobody went back to work from there.

    23 Q. Is it correct to say that you refused to do

    24 any more hard labour?

    25 A. They came -- some of the guards came to me

  86. 1 from time to time and all those who were of a certain

    2 age were told to stand up. As I was not of that

    3 particular age, I was not taken. I said: "I cannot

    4 walk, sir", and there were no problems there.

    5 MR. MIKULICIC: You told us earlier on --

    6 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honour, if I may

    7 interrupt my learned friend. I am moving, your

    8 Honours, for the redaction of lines 2 to 6 on page 75

    9 of the proceedings and of line 1 on page 81 of the

    10 proceedings. These may be shown to my learned friend,

    11 your Honours. (Handed).

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please proceed, counsel.

    13 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, thank you, your

    14 Honours.

    15 Witness B, you told us earlier on that you

    16 were in cell number 6?

    17 A. That is correct.

    18 Q. Who was with you in cell number 6? You

    19 mentioned Emin Saracevic, Senad Ermercic and Novalic

    20 Edin; do you remember any other names?

    21 A. Yes, I do, but it is not essential.

    22 Q. Could you tell the court what their names

    23 are?

    24 A. No, I do not want to tell you their names.

    25 Why are those names so important to you?

  87. 1 Q. Witness B, do you refuse to answer the

    2 question?

    3 A. No, I do not refuse to answer the question,

    4 but why are they important? I guarantee that Brizo,

    5 Senad Ermercic and Novalic were there. I cannot

    6 remember any more names. I do not refuse, no, I would

    7 gladly tell you, but I just cannot recall the other

    8 names.

    9 Q. Witness B, can you tell us whether, during

    10 the time you spent at Kaonik camp, there was another

    11 person of the same name and surname as yourself? Was

    12 there anybody else of that name?

    13 A. Yes.

    14 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honours.

    15 I have no further questions.

    16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.

    17 Counsel for the prosecution.

    18 MR. MEDDEGODA: No questions.

    19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Well then, Witness B, you

    20 have concluded with your testimony. Thank you very

    21 much for having come before this Tribunal.

    22 Just one second, let us bring down the

    23 curtains.

    24 (The witness withdrew)

    25 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, as regards the

  88. 1 next witness as well, I am seeking measures for

    2 protection. Of course, in his case, I am only moving

    3 for a pseudonym to be assigned to him and that he be

    4 assigned the letter "C", as well as --

    5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Sorry to interrupt you.

    6 Given the fact that we only have 15 minutes remaining,

    7 I think we should take due account of peoples' needs.

    8 Perhaps it would be best not to start now

    9 because we would be cutting off the witness in the

    10 middle. I do not know what you think, but I think we

    11 leave it there for today.

    12 MR. MEDDEGODA: I am inclined to agree with

    13 your Honours. In that event, the witness could be

    14 summoned to court tomorrow.

    15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, can you go

    16 along with that?

    17 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes. We agree, because really

    18 there is no point in examining the witness for about 15

    19 minutes and then interrupting him. It is better to

    20 start tomorrow and hear the whole testimony.

    21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. Thank you very much

    22 for your cooperation and for your understanding.

    23 We want to do things as expeditiously as

    24 possible, but there are other aspects that we do have

    25 to take into account as well. I think it is best for

  89. 1 us to call it a day and then tomorrow we will be back.

    2 See you all tomorrow.

    3 (1.00 pm)

    4 (Hearing adjourned until 9.00 am on

    5 Wednesday, 25th February 1998)