1 Monday, 18 June 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, you are to continue -- or did you
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
9 questions for this witness. Thank you.
10 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: There was a map that we were discussing when we
12 ended, Mr. Tapuskovic, and I'm not sure whether we had settled the issue
13 of its admission.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: So the question is whether you want to have this
16 map admitted.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] At this moment, it is not
18 necessary. I think the witness explained certain things concerning that
19 map and we shall not insist on its admittance.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
21 Mr. Waespi.
22 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, the Prosecution would like to tender
23 this map. It's very difficult to read a transcript to which the witness
24 referred to making these thoughts, so I think it should be part of the
25 record as an exhibit.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's a little unusual for the Prosecutor to seek
3 to tender a Defence exhibit, but why not? We will admit it.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I understood
5 well, and according to the information I have, it wasn't saved at that
6 moment the way it was with all of its markings and some additional
7 markings should have been entered. That's why I expressed our view that
8 we didn't seek its admission. If it is in the form it used to be, then I
9 have nothing against its admittance; but unless all of the markings are
10 there, we need to enter them again. If need be, I can go through it all
11 with the witness again, but I wanted to try and save some time.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 MR. WAESPI: I don't want to make an issue out of it. If the
14 Defence feels the exhibit doesn't properly reflect what the witness said,
15 then fine, it doesn't need to be tendered from my point of view.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: We have already admitted it and we maintain that
19 Yes, Mr. Waespi.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this was previously marked as --
21 marked for identification as D237, but now it will be admitted as P773.
22 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we have another
24 look at the map just to make sure. We don't object it becoming a Defence
25 exhibit, but the way I understood was that it is no longer there, that the
1 markings have been raised. Of course, as Defence counsel, I do not object
2 to its admission.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Tapuskovic, if I recall -- if I recall the
4 course of events correctly from last Thursday, the witness put some
5 markings on the Dobrinja map, but then for some reason, for some technical
6 reason, it all disappeared. And then we asked the witness to put the
7 markings back again, and I think this is what now appears on the screen.
8 And I find this map with the witness's markings to have some evidentiary
9 value, so I suggest we just take it as your exhibit.
10 [Defence counsel confer]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Waespi, we have spent enough time on this.
12 Please commence your cross-examination.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Therefore, I was misinformed. I
16 have nothing against this being admitted as a Defence exhibit. I saw it
17 now, but the way I understood was that it was lost, that it no longer
18 existed. That's why I tried to save time. Of course the witness entered
19 his markings, and since he's our witness this should be admitted as a
20 Defence exhibit.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: It was lost but has been found.
22 Mr. Waespi.
23 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 WITNESS: LUKA JOVIC [Resumed]
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Waespi:
2 Q. Good morning, Mr. Jovic.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. I hope you had a good rest over the weekend. I don't think it
5 should take too long this morning. I would like to ask you a few
6 questions first about your unit. You remember on Thursday you were asked
7 several questions about your unit, about the weaponry used by your unit,
8 even the weaponry or the armament used by the ABiH. You, I think, were
9 asked a question about what kind of projectiles you heard whizzing past
10 your head in those days. Do you remember that?
11 A. I don't remember the date. There were some ropes or something, I
12 don't know what it's called exactly, but they went across Dobrinja. The
13 lines would fall on to Dobrinja and kids would run out into the street and
14 try to grab the line or the thread. You could hear it whizzing around and
15 see the rips, but in Dobrinja we were safe. It was quite close to the
16 confrontation lines, but still rather quiet.
17 Q. Yes. Let me ask you first, you told us, you believe, that you
18 were part -- that your company was part of an armoured battalion. Do you
19 remember saying that?
20 A. At the beginning there was the TO --
21 Q. Yes, Mr. Jovic --
22 A. -- at Ilidza.
23 Q. Yes, Mr. Jovic let me just focus on the time of the summer 1994
24 and into 1995. I think you told us that you were a company
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you were also in charge or concerned with communications. Is
3 that correct?
4 A. I worked on communications and on securing food for the troops.
5 There weren't too many of them, so I was also assigned to be on duty next
6 to the telephone.
7 Q. Yes. And that applied to the time after August 1995 and -- after
8 August 1994 and 1995, is that correct, during that time you were
9 quarter-master of your company and at the same time doing communications?
10 A. Well, I was someone from the logistics. I was a quarter-master of
11 sorts since I was tasked with providing food for the soldiers and also
12 worked with communications.
13 Q. Yes, that's fine. The only part I'm now interested in is a time.
14 Is it correct that your function you just described you held sometime from
15 the middle of 1994 and during the whole of 1995. Is that a correct
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, can you tell us again, did your company have a name, have a
20 A. Its name was an infantry company with the armoured battalion, but
21 we were never actually a part of that battalion, or rather, we never left
22 our positions at Dobrinja IV, although we were attached to a higher
24 Q. And who was the commander of your company, which you told us on
25 Thursday was comprised of about 24, 25 people?
1 A. To be honest, I don't remember. It was a long time ago and I'm an
2 elderly man. I don't know what the name was. There were changes all the
3 time. One would arrive and then one would flee or leave the positions and
4 so on and so forth.
5 Q. Very well. Do you remember the name of another officer, perhaps a
6 captain, perhaps a major, who was part of your company, of your battalion,
7 of your brigade, can you assist us with a couple of names, during that
8 time in 1994 and 1995? It doesn't matter if you don't remember, then you
9 just let me know.
10 A. I really don't remember. I'm unable to.
11 Q. Thank you. Let me go back to what you also told us on Thursday,
12 that you believe you were part, I think you said, the
13 Sarajevo-Romanija Brigade. Now, I'm curious because we were told by the
14 Defence that you were part of the Ilidza Brigade and that you would
15 testify about the weaponry, about the activities of the Ilidza Brigade,
16 and that's, in fact, what we prepared for. So were you -- was your armed
17 battalion, your company, operating in Dobrinja IV, was that part of the
18 Ilidza Brigade?
19 A. I am unsure how to explain that. We were a unit in Dobrinja IV,
20 and we were not attached to anyone in particular. We also were not
21 supplied by anyone. Therefore, we asked the municipal president, that is,
22 the president of the Serb municipality of Ilidza, to help us since that
23 was or used to be a part of the Ilidza municipality. They accepted, and
24 they forwarded humanitarian aid on a monthly basis, particularly for the
25 civilians of Dobrinja I and IV. That I know for sure.
1 Q. So are you confident enough to tell us that you were a part of
2 the Ilidza Brigade or not?
3 A. I stand by what I said. We didn't belong to anyone in particular.
4 Those up there wouldn't accept us as their own. We were simply the people
5 trying to defend the population of Dobrinja I and IV. Since there were
6 but a few of us, we were assisted by some others, for example, the farmers
7 and citizens who lived there. When there was a skirmish, they would come
8 to lend a hand.
9 Q. You told us on Thursday, and this is on page 6.708, that you heard
10 over your radio that Ilidza had been attacked and shelled and that was in
11 June 1995. What kind of a radio was that, Mr. Jovic? Was that the radio
12 you were listening to as part of your second job, in communications?
13 A. We had some car batteries and we connected the equipment to the
14 batteries. That was the only way to hear anything when we had -- we had
15 small transistors that we could listen the news over.
16 Q. Very well, I understand. That was a normal, commercial radio,
17 although makeshift, you were listening to that. That was public radio you
18 were listening to, not a military radio system?
19 A. It was -- we listened to the public radio.
20 Q. The brigade that was around Ilidza, that did also comprise the
21 sector of Nedzarici. Is that correct?
22 A. I keep telling you that I never left Dobrinja IV. According to
23 the information I had, there was the TO in Nedzarici. I could hear
24 information now and then on the news.
25 Q. Do you remember the name of Colonel Vladimir Radojcic, the
1 commander of the Ilidza Brigade? Does that ring a bell with you?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Very well. Let's leave that subject and go on to the situation in
4 Dobrinja. Where was your location as a quarter-master in September 1994?
5 Where was your office or where was your trench or whatever location you
6 had at that time?
7 A. We were on duty in an apartment of the building. We had no
8 trenches whatsoever. We guarded that part of Dobrinja from the apartments
10 Q. And I think you told us on Thursday that the only thing you could
11 see was Mojmilo hill and the sky above Mojmilo hill. Do you remember
13 A. I remember it, and if I may add, I could also see two large
14 buildings that are in federation territory nowadays, and we feared those
15 two buildings the most, since these are high-rises dominating the entire
16 territory inhabited by Serbs.
17 Q. You also told us on Thursday that you were told not to shoot at
18 civilians. Do you remember that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And did that warning or that order apply throughout the period of
21 1992 until the end of the war?
22 A. Whenever it was ordered, no one fired. I know that for certain.
23 Q. Let me just ask you again. That order, not to fire at civilians,
24 did that apply to you in second part of 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, or only in
25 a specific period within that time?
1 A. Let me tell you this, to us, the Orthodox, it wasn't in our
2 interest to destroy civilians. It was in our interest to remain in the
3 parts where we were and to be left alone. We left attacked anyone. I can
4 tell you for sure that no one would open fire on civilians. If one does
5 that, it is an act of genocide, in my terms, it is a crime, a horrible
7 Q. And who was it that ordered you not to shoot civilians? Can you
8 tell Their Honours a specific individual? Do you remember anybody who
9 told you that?
10 A. We would be conveyed orders by the officer on duty, that person
11 would usually introduce themselves, and they would say that the orders are
12 not to fire in any circumstances. And if someone fired and they would be
13 able to hear it, then on occasion they would call and say, Who's the fool
14 who fired and why? But as far as I know, none of our soldiers ever fired.
15 There were some people who assisted us on occasion in Dobrinja IV.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Jovic, Mr. Jovic --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- counsel had asked you whether the order not to
19 fire at civilians applied in the second part of 1992, all of 1993, all of
20 1994, and 1995. He wanted to know whether the order not to fire applied
21 from 1992 to 1995, but you didn't answer that question directly. What is
22 the answer to that?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was a standing order from the
24 beginning of the war not to fire on the population and for no reason. It
25 was there in 1992, 1993, and especially in 1994 and 1995.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Dobrinja, it was calm throughout.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
4 Yes, Mr. Waespi.
5 MR. WAESPI: Thank you for your assistance, Mr. President.
6 Q. Mr. Jovic, you told us that the officer on duty, the duty officer,
7 conveyed the orders to you not to shoot at civilians. Do you remember the
8 name or the rank at least of this duty officer?
9 A. How would I know? I never left Dobrinja IV. I could only hear a
10 voice over the telephone, and it was a line going directly to the Lukavica
12 Q. And why was it a repetitive order if, as you say, you never were
13 shooting at civilians? Why did it have to be repeated throughout the
15 A. When fire was opened from the other side targeting us, then there
16 would be a reply, so they kept calling. As soon as they would hear fire
17 from our positions, they would call us and tell us, Don't fire, don't
18 respond to any provocations. It often happened.
19 There was a sniper shooting at civilians and, for example, that
20 shooter would wound or kill a civilian, and in order for us to be able to
21 reach that civilian we had to target the sniper in order to pull that
22 person out.
23 Q. So you're saying that the ABiH used snipers to target civilians on
24 your side? Is that what you're saying?
25 A. To tell you honestly, I saw a sniper, I saw that rifle. People
1 often referred to it as a sniping rifle, but it may have been an ordinary
2 rifle, too, because there was not more than 100 metres between the
3 confrontation lines. It sufficed that someone stuck his head out, or if
4 there was a woman or a child, to get shot.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Jovic, please attend to the question which is
6 being asked, and the question was whether you're saying that the ABiH used
7 snipers to target civilians on your side. Never mind the characteristics
8 of the rifle. Are you saying that the ABiH used snipers to target
9 civilians on your side?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't believe they did, and I
11 didn't see that happening.
12 MR. WAESPI:
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Jovic. But there were civilians living on the
14 ABiH-controlled side of Dobrinja, for instance, in Dobrinja II and III.
15 That's correct, Mr. Jovic, isn't it?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And very much like you, these people had to go into the outside to
18 get food, to get water. Isn't that correct, Mr. Jovic?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. On Thursday in the first time you looked at this SFOR map you
21 circled a church, I think that was the Orthodox church, and you marked it
22 with a C. Do you remember that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And this Orthodox church, the Serbian Orthodox church, was a very,
25 very good observation point from which you could observe the whole of
1 Dobrinja. Isn't that correct?
2 A. I was never in that church nor could I come close to it.
3 Q. But there were people from your side, perhaps these people, you
4 had explained a moment ago who came to assist your company, who were
5 occupying that Orthodox church?
6 A. We never occupied the Orthodox church. As far as I know, I even
7 made a contribution when that church was being built. There was no need
8 to occupy it when it was on Serb-held territory. It was on territory
9 occupied by Orthodox people -- I mean where Orthodox people lived.
10 Q. But, Mr. Jovic, you and your unit, whether it was your company,
11 whether it was the armed battalion in that area, were defending that part
12 of the line. Is that correct?
13 A. Dobrinja IV, yes.
14 Q. Why would you not use such a fantastic vantage point like the
15 Orthodox church provided you with?
16 A. My family was in Dobrinja IV and the church was a bit further away
17 from Dobrinja IV. I was looking after my family and the families of the
18 people who were with me. I was not interested in what they were doing on
19 the other side. Our aim was only to prevent slaughter of the population.
20 Q. Yes. My question was more towards the people who were a part of
21 your battalion, and I said that there might be people part of your
22 battalion who were sitting, observing, perhaps shooting from those
23 excellent positions on the Serbian Orthodox church. Do you have any
24 knowledge about people occupying positions on the Serbian Orthodox
1 A. I know it was abandoned, but quite honestly I don't know the
2 answer to your question.
3 Q. Let me just go back to what you told us a minute ago, and I
4 already referred to that as well. You told us that there were some people
5 who assisted us in the defence of Dobrinja, and this is on page 10, lines
6 14 to 16. Who were these people who came to assist you?
7 A. They were men from the rear, cooks and the inhabitants of the
8 suburban villages, the villages near the town, who had their families in
9 those villages.
10 Q. Now, you told us on Thursday as well that you were the, I think,
11 local president of Dobrinja. Do you remember that? The president of the
12 local commune, and this is on page 6712.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So I take it you knew and still know Dobrinja fairly well, not
15 just the Serb parts at that time, Dobrinja IV and I, but also Dobrinja II
16 and III. Is that correct?
17 A. I was the president of Dobrinja I, and so I knew that area quite
18 well. But I didn't know the neighbouring areas so well. Everybody had
19 his own local commune.
20 Q. But you are familiar with the river Dobrinja that was in the
21 middle of Dobrinja II and Dobrinja III?
22 A. Yes. I went to positions at Dobrinja IV, and I saw that river
23 flowing through Indira Gandhi.
24 Q. So from your positions at Dobrinja IV, you could see the
25 River Dobrinja flowing through?
1 A. No.
2 Q. But you're familiar with the fact that there were bridges over the
3 River Dobrinja, connecting Dobrinja II and Dobrinja III within ABiH-held
5 A. One could see that from the building.
6 Q. Now, you told us also on Thursday that you could not believe that
7 snipers would target a girl or a woman. Do you remember that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, have you heard that on 6th of January, 1994, a woman aged 32
10 who was riding on her bicycle was shot at when crossing one of the bridges
11 between Dobrinja II and III, and it was determined that the shots
12 originated from the Orthodox church, the Serbian Orthodox church? Did you
13 hear of that at that time?
14 A. No. No, I'm sorry about that.
15 Q. Did you hear of other incidents, and I just give you one example.
16 On 11th of July, when a 48-year woman was killed, again in ABiH-held
17 territory, just at the Dobrinja part facing you and she was killed when
18 fetching water from the Dobrinja water -- from the Dobrinja River. Have
19 you heard of that example?
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, only the 11th of
22 July was mentioned but no year was mentioned. We don't know what year
23 that was.
24 MR. WAESPI: I thought I said it, but I'm happy to repeat. It's
1 Q. 11th July 1993. You haven't heard about the killing of a
2 40-year-old [sic] woman who was trying to fetch water in the Dobrinja --
3 at the Dobrinja River? You haven't heard about that?
4 A. No.
5 Q. You also told us, Mr. Jovic, that occasionally you would go out
6 and stretch your legs and play football. Do you remember that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Well, your colleagues on the other side did the same, they also
9 wanted to stretch their legs and play football. Have you heard that on
10 the 1st of June, 1993, there was a makeshift football game organised in
11 Dobrinja III B on the parking lot only a few hundred metres opposite where
12 your positions were; and two 82-millimetre mortar shells were launched on
13 to a large crowd, perhaps about 200 people, including numerous civilians,
14 and there were casualties. And the shots were determined to come from
15 SRK-held territory. Have you heard about that, 1st of June, 1993?
16 A. Well, let me tell you, I'm truly sorry if this happened, but I
17 don't know who could have done that and why. I don't know where it could
18 have been fired from. Perhaps it was a stray projectile. I don't know.
19 Q. And have you heard that in June 1995 the Simon Bolivar school, to
20 which you referred to on Thursday as well, was shelled, causing casualties
21 among civilians who were queuing for water? Have you heard about that?
22 A. I remember on the federation television they said something about
23 that, and to tell you quite sincerely, I am sorry for all the victims. I
24 am sorry about my family but also about all the others on the other side,
25 too. I'm sorry there was a war.
1 MR. WAESPI: No further questions, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
3 Any re-examination?
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. No
5 further questions.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Jovic, that concludes your evidence; thank
7 you for giving it. You may now leave.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, may I say something to
9 this Court?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's not -- it's not customary, Mr. Jovic. You
11 have given your evidence and that is what you came here for, so you may
12 leave now.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: The next witness? The next witness?
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The next witness is Mr. Branislav
17 Dukic, and I believe he's ready.
18 [The witness entered court].
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
21 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may begin, Mr. Tapuskovic.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
1 WITNESS: BRANISLAV DUKIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, can you tell the Court your full name?
5 A. My name is Branislav Dukic.
6 Q. I've already told you this, but I would like to repeat it. Please
7 look at the transcript appearing before you, and when you see the end of
8 my question, when words stop appearing on the screen, only then please
9 begin to answer my question.
10 You were born on the 7th of September, 19 --
11 A. -- 51.
12 Q. In Bosanski Petrovski, in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You completed primary school in Petrovac?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The secondary technical school in Sarajevo?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The faculty of work organisation in 1987, in Sarajevo?
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure about the year.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. And you've been living in Sarajevo since 1965?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you tell Their Honours where you worked, where you were
24 employed, and in what part of Sarajevo this was.
25 A. Your Honours, it is a special honour to be here before you today.
1 I have not come to defend General Dragoljub [as interpreted] Milosevic,
2 but to tell you my truth as I experienced it in Sarajevo. I was not a
3 member --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: You are to answer the questions asked by counsel.
5 Just attend to the questions which he asks and answer them. Don't
6 volunteer any statements.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not a member --
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Dukic, please. Just answer my questions. This is very
10 important, please. Just tell us what you experienced yourself. The Court
11 is interested only in what you saw and experienced, so I'm asking you,
12 first of all, where were you employed and where you lived.
13 A. I worked in Famos.
14 Q. Just a moment, please wait for my question to appear on the
15 monitor and then start your answer.
16 A. I worked in Famos. I lived in Hrasnica.
17 Q. How long did you live in Hrasnica and since when have you been
18 working in Famos?
19 A. I've been working in Famos since 1976.
20 Q. And where did you live with your family and who were your family
22 A. I lived in the Partiranska Street 2B in Hrasnica. I had a wife
23 and a son. I lived with my wife and son.
24 Q. Well, now please explain to the Judges what happens, or rather,
25 what happened in early 1992.
1 A. As I said at the outset, that I was not a member of any political
2 party, I did not want to leave Sarajevo. I remained with my family, my
3 wife and my son. But before that, in March, I was called-up by the TO,
4 the Territorial Defence of Ilidza.
5 Q. Thank you. Did you get call-up papers from anybody else?
6 A. No.
7 Q. And what did you do?
8 A. I did not accept this call-up, and I did not want to carry a gun,
9 a rifle.
10 Q. And what happened then?
11 A. On the 18th of April, 1992, Samir Agic, a neighbour of my mine,
12 and three other men entered my flat, fired shots from a Kalashnikov in the
13 hallway of the building. They arrested me and they handcuffed me with
14 plastic handcuffs. My son was only 13. They locked him in the bathroom.
15 My wife lost consciousness.
16 Q. Thank you. Was anybody killed on that day?
17 A. Well, not on that day, no. They took me to the Aleksa Santic
18 primary school. When I arrived there, I saw between 25 and 30 men in the
19 lobby of the primary school. We spent three or four hours there. We were
20 surrounded by armed men, armed with light weapons. And after a few hours
21 they took us toward the football stadium belonging to the Famos football
22 club. There were wooden and iron bars on the outside. They put us there.
23 There were guards there, people with light weapons.
24 Q. Thank you. And how long did you stay there? What happened there?
25 A. We spent only a few hours there. Then they took us back to the
1 primary school, the Aleksa Santic primary school, where I found another
2 group of ten Serbs who had been brought in. Ratko Stjepanovic was among
3 them, and he cursed their Muslim mother. Then they shot him, they killed
4 him, in that primary school.
5 Q. And you saw this happen?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And what happened next? How long did you stay there?
8 A. We stayed there for five or six days. We had some sort of
9 blankets. A few days later Amir Sabovic arrived, I know him personally,
10 these are all people from Famos. They introduced him as a police
12 When Mr. Sabovic saw me and some others he knew, he asked that we
13 be released and allowed to go home. Unfortunately, those were
14 Juka Prazina's Green Berets and there was some sort of trouble among them.
15 And we learned a few days later that Amir Sabovic had been dismissed from
16 the post of police commander.
17 We were taken from that primary school to a residential building,
18 we were taken to the basement there. They threw in a few blankets and a
19 few boards for us to make beds for ourselves.
20 Q. Sir, can you be very brief and just tell us the most important
21 points, because we have very little time. So we cannot tell the Court
22 about everything you saw and experienced.
23 A. There were 51 of us in our group, and they immediately gave us
24 picks and shovels. And we set out towards the source of the River Bosna,
25 where Tito's villa used to be. That place is called Stojcevac. I had a
1 pick and comrade of mine had a shovel, and in one day we had to dig 2 and
2 a half metres in length and 1 and a half metres in width. We were digging
3 trenches. This went on for days and days.
4 After that, we went towards Bojkovici, and then to Igman to dig
5 dug-outs and trenches, as well as trenches for 120-millimetre mortars.
6 When I say that, I'm a reserve officer so I'm familiar with different
7 types of weapons.
8 We would spend as much as a month there sleeping in tents right
9 next to the front lines and their army.
10 Q. Can you say what happened? Was there any shooting, firing, from
11 either side?
12 A. In 1992, at the very beginning, there was no shooting; but in
13 1993, that was hell for us.
14 Q. Please, sir. In 1993 -- you'll tell us what happened, but what
15 happened in August 1992?
16 A. In 1992, on the 4th of August, 1992, the Muslim forces attacked
17 Famos and there were big battles. There were heavy losses on the Muslim
18 side. Around 1700 hours in the afternoon, they took a group of 51 of us,
19 our group, and they used us as a human shield in order to pull out their
20 dead. When we arrived at the front line, when we looked towards Lasica,
21 the area between Lasica and Famos, we saw that there were women and
22 children there holding hands to terrify people and to prevent a
23 counter-offensive by the Serb forces. Then I saw my 13-year-old son in
24 that group of women and children.
25 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Just a question. The witness said
1 he could clearly make a difference between a 120-millimetre mortar and
2 other weapons because he was a reserve officer. In French I heard this
3 translated as "officier de reserve" but this I think leads to some
4 confusion because "officier de reserve" in French means somebody who has
5 the rank of a commander. Because "officier de reserve" in French could be
6 a simple rank-and-file soldier. Could the witness kindly tell me what
7 exactly was his rank at the time when he was reserve officer and which his
8 specialisation was, or what he was specialised in.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Previous translation continues]... reserve force.
10 Q. Please wait. Judge Mindua wanted to know something. Can you
11 explain to the Court how come you had that rank and in what time, when was
12 it that you were with the reserve.
13 A. You know that I served my military term with the JNA. Once I
14 completed the university, usually such people went to attend a reserve
15 officer's school. After that I was awarded the rank of a lieutenant, 2nd
16 lieutenant, and we were taught in manoeuvre operations at peacetime, after
17 which I received the rank of a lieutenant. After that training, I no
18 longer attended exercises of the reserve force and I remained a
20 Q. And you had no further dealings with the army?
21 A. No. We were all there, ready to be mobilised, as any other
22 soldier. The only difference was that we with the reserve force.
23 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. So did you have any
24 special training in handling of arms, because you mentioned a
25 120-millimetre mortar? In other words, what was your field?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I worked with 120-millimetre
2 mortars. I was with the artillery.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. After completing university, you were with the reserve force?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Between the 18th of April and until the end of the war, what were
9 A. I was a prisoner, digging trenches. I was exchanged on the 20th
10 of January, 1995, as part of the exchange organised by the International
11 Committee of the Red Cross.
12 Q. Can you tell me what ensued after April. What was happening
13 during the time you were digging those trenches? Can you tell us the
15 A. As I said, we were digging trenches all the time. We started from
16 Stojcevac in Igman towards Vojkovici, Ilidza, Butmir, and in 1993 we were
17 forced to dig a tunnel.
18 Q. You were digging a tunnel, but before that while you were digging
19 trenches, what was happening with the people who were doing that and what
20 did it look like?
21 A. Quite often certain people could not stand the psychological abuse
22 and the daily physical labour. Some of them tried to flee to the other
23 side, and then they would be killed. It happened that in a single month,
24 two or three of them were killed, those of us who were digging trenches.
25 We were always at the front line, and sometimes one couldn't really know
1 who was it that killed that person, whether it was a shell that landed or
2 someone fired directly at that person. We didn't know exactly where we
3 were and how things stood. We were abused by people we didn't know. On
4 the other hand, the people that we knew did not want to stand up for us
5 and, in a way, they tried to steer clear of such situations. Those who
6 abused us were always people we didn't know.
7 May I add something else? There were people who would start
8 fleeing through the woods and come across a land-mine or a field of mines.
9 I know of such a case of a man who was inside a minefield for three months
10 and no one could pull him out.
11 Q. You mentioned the mortars that you can -- recognised from some
12 previous times. Did you have anything to do with such mortars and what
13 did that look like?
14 A. Since we were with the troops non-stop --
15 Q. Take it slowly, please.
16 A. Since we were with the soldiers at the front line all the time,
17 when they would be discovered by the Serb side, when the Serb side would
18 reveal their mortar positions, then what would ensue would be a command to
19 move the mortars to another position. And we would have to dig day and
20 night, making dug-outs and the rest at the new position, and then together
21 with the troops we were also supposed to transport ammunition and the
23 Q. Can you tell us how many mortars were there in Hrasnica,
25 A. Since I'm an artillery man, according to my military specialty, I
1 can tell you that an artillery battery comprises six mortars. There were
2 three times six of such mortars, that is, 18 --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
4 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, perhaps I'm not completely sure, but
5 I don't recall the witness saying there were mortars in Hrasnica; and if
6 indeed he did not say that, then my submission would be that the question
7 is leading.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't say in Hrasnica, I said at
9 Igman. Igman is a mountain.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The witness said"Hrasnica."
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Muslim positions were up there.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Avoid leading questions --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Hrasnica is a town.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Avoid leading questions, Mr. Tapuskovic.
15 How much longer will you be with your examination-in-chief?
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have been given
17 one hour. I began half an hour ago.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not asking for that reason. It's because at
19 the end of your examination-in-chief I'm going to ask you to identify the
20 particular relevance of this evidence to the indictment. Go ahead, but
21 prepare yourself for that.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Certainly. I was expecting it.
23 Q. Witness, tell me directly, please, while you were at the positions
24 doing all the things you did, such as digging, for how long did
25 you stay in the prison? Let's start with that.
1 A. I was in Hrasnica in prison until the 5th of September, 1994.
2 Q. Thank you. Tell me this --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, as a matter of fact, I'd like you
4 to do that right now, to say to us how this witness's evidence, the
5 evidence that he's given thus far, assists you in the defence of the
6 accused, who is charged with terror, who is charged with crimes against
7 humanity, and certain other offences in breach of the Geneva Conventions.
8 He has given evidence which may very well be credible of how the
9 Serbs suffered at the hands of the ABiH. Now, tell us how this particular
10 evidence relates to the charges in the indictment.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this witness's
12 testimony will help you establish how many imprisoned Serbs were there and
13 as well as people of other ethnicities and how many of them were killed --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why do you need to establish how many imprisoned
15 Serbs there were? What -- how is that relevant to any of the charges?
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] It proves that terror suffered by
17 the Serb population in the part of Sarajevo controlled by the Army of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is proof that this man, as well as some others -
19 and I will bring another two witnesses who will testify to that - that all
20 this was unnecessary, the suffering they underwent, and because of which,
21 particularly towards the end of the war, the people had to --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: So what if it was unnecessary? The accused is
23 charged with certain crimes, you know, and what this gentleman is saying
24 that the Serbs suffered. I don't understand the Prosecution to be
25 contesting that.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The only motive during the
2 relevant period and other periods due to which people stayed at their
3 positions, the positioned discussed here, was because they wanted to avoid
4 the fate, such as mentioned here, to -- not to have to undergo the
5 treatment this man suffered. They tried to flee to the other side, and
6 the people on the other side, the Serb side of the line, tried to save
7 their lives and to defend themselves.
8 During the period of the indictment, such people were only
9 concerned with staying at the positions so as not to be exposed to the
10 treatment suffered by this and other men in the hands of the Army of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and there were -- there were 126 prisons in the ABiH
12 territory. The suffering people saw was what kept them in the trenches
13 and at the front lines, because they did not want to suffer the same fate.
14 In the area of responsibility of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, such
15 things did not occur. The terror mentioned here, especially during the
16 period of the indictment, actually existed but it was inflicted upon the
17 Serb population in the part of Sarajevo controlled by the ABiH and not at
18 Grbavic, Nedzarici, or the other parts that was controlled by the Army of
20 There were hundreds killed -- people killed while digging
21 trenches. Things like that were the main motive of the people to defend
22 their homes, and of course they had to reply to such behaviour.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: So far the most relevant point that you have made
24 is that the terror that was inflicted during the period of the indictment
25 actually existed, but it was inflicted on the Serb population in the area
1 controlled by the ABiH and not at Grbavica and Nedzarici. So you're
2 saying that the terror that is charged in the indictment is not
3 attributable to the accused and the Serbs but to the ABiH. Is that how
4 you're seeking to answer the indictment?
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will provide an
6 answer to your question.
7 At this moment, I still don't know what the scope of things that
8 the Prosecutor is trying to prove is. I'm trying to deal with certain
9 facts that may here be seen as adjudicated facts. This is why I keep
10 stressing the importance of these issues. On the other hand, I never
11 contested that the combat activities at that time were something that
12 inflicted suffering upon both peoples. I do not dare do that and I am
13 certainly not allowed to. But to state that the only goal of the Army of
14 Republika Srpska was to terrorise inhabitants, particularly during the
15 relevant time, is completely out of place.
16 During the period referred to in the indictment with a view of
17 everything that was taking place and with a view of things that this
18 witness was testifying to was the main reason why the people on the Serb
19 side remained at their positions. They simply did not want to meet the
20 fate met by this and other people. Of course there was suffering on both
21 sides because of the military activities. I just wanted to show that
22 inflicting suffering and terrorising the population on the other side of
23 the line was not the goal of the Serb army. The true terror, literally
24 speaking, existed within the area of responsibility of the Army of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina throughout the war. The same situation did not exist
1 within the area of responsibility of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps when we
2 count the number of human lives and people killed outside combat
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
5 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, just for the record, I want to
6 submit that the Prosecution's position is that not that the accused
7 terrorised -- that the only goal of the VRS was to terrorise the civilian
8 population in Sarajevo but that it was the primary purpose. And
9 therefore, we're not required to prove that it was the only purpose, the
10 VRS activity in Sarajevo.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I was just about to read that from the
12 indictment, in fact, from Articles 51, paragraph 2, of Additional Protocol
13 I, and Article 32 of Additional Protocol II.
14 "Acts or threats of violence, the primary purpose of which is to
15 spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited," but then I
16 would imagine Mr. Tapuskovic is -- would be saying that that is not
17 established, you know, you have not established that the primary purpose
18 of such acts of violence or threats of violence as there were was to
19 spread terror and that any terror that existed was incidental to the acts
20 or threats of violence, which are a normal part of any war.
21 So that may be his case, but I still have difficulty detecting
22 the linkage, the tie, between this evidence and that broad proposition.
23 It must be that what you are saying is that any terror that existed was,
24 in fact, caused by the ABiH, the acts of violence of the ABiH, not the
25 Serb army. And any that was caused by the Serb army would not amount to
1 being the primary purpose of those acts or threats of violence.
2 I'll consult my colleagues on this.
3 [Trial Chamber confers] [10.25.50]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, in the circumstances, we are
5 allowing you to continue.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, for
7 the speed with which I speak because of course then the interpreters
8 cannot interpret everything I say. So I will try to say a few sentences
9 in three or four minutes to clarify my position. Because I am hurrying, I
10 am sometimes unable to --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's get on --
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] -- explain things in the right
14 Q. Witness, to expedite matters, while you were imprisoned - and
15 you've already explained what happened - how many people who were
16 prisoners were killed in the course of the time up to 1994 that you were
18 A. I said until the 9th of September, 1994, I was in Hrasnica. As
19 there was no Orthodox cemetery or Serbian cemetery in Hrasnica, 96 men
20 were killed, including three or four children, and a new cemetery was
21 created near the old primary school at the entrance to Hrasnica.
22 Q. Thank you. But how were these people killed? Can you give at
23 least a few examples of people you knew?
24 A. Well, at the outset, I already said that some were killed while
25 trying to escape, others were killed even in their own homes. Some were
1 killed while digging, and those were the ones we buried; and to identify
2 them we secretly put their first and last names on the corpse. I don't
3 want to assert anything, but when I was exchanged I learned that in
4 Hrasnica there were 126 graves.
5 Q. You mentioned the tunnel. What can you tell us about the tunnel?
6 What did this look like and did you have anything to do with it?
7 A. In 1993 work on digging a tunnel under the Butmir runway began
8 from the Butmir side. As I've already said that we dug towards Ilidza,
9 Butmir, and Vukovici, we prisoners were taken to dig those tunnels as
10 needed when we had to dig other lines we would then be transferred to
11 Igman to dig more trenches.
12 Q. But what did the digging of the tunnel look like from your side,
13 were there any casualties?
14 A. When we started digging, we started from an old house, and then we
15 had to break through the basement and three men were killed digging the
16 tunnel; because they were so weak and exhausted that they could no longer
17 dig, and this would give rise to an argument and then they would be
18 killed, murdered.
19 Q. Do you know who these people were?
20 A. Yes. One of them was a relative of mine, Stevo Dukic, and I could
21 list many others but let me mention just his name.
22 Q. While you were in prison in that place, did anyone visit you and
23 inquire about the fate of those men?
24 A. Well, you see, we knew that the International Committee of the
25 Red Cross was coming to Hrasnica, and we managed to speak to some people
1 from SFOR asking for help. But unfortunately they did not help us. The
2 International Committee of the Red Cross was unable to find us because
3 they would hide us, they would conceal us, moving us from one location to
4 another when they learned that the ICRC was about to pay a visit.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think it's time
6 for a break now.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, you're more observant than I am. Yes, it
8 is time.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Q. Witness, you said that you were there from April 1992 to September
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you tell us throughout this time who did you observe in the
17 area. If you could first explain to Their Honours what Hrasnica actually
18 is. Where is it exactly?
19 A. Hrasnica was a part of Sarajevo, a part of Ilidza municipality,
20 which was part of the city of Sarajevo. The population of Hrasnica was
21 about 70 per cent Muslim and about 30 per cent Serb and Croat. The Muslim
22 forces going out went via Hrasnica, Igman, Turcin, and on towards Croatia.
23 That was their main route.
24 Q. Do you know when the tunnel you worked on was finished and how it
25 was used?
1 A. The tunnel was large enough for two people to pass by each other,
2 and there was a small railway track there for a small train which could be
3 used to carry goods. We even loaded crates of ammunition passing through
4 the tunnel on that little train.
5 Q. At that time you say it was mostly Muslim, Serb, and Croats who
6 lived there, but while you were there who did you see there most often?
7 A. I know that when we were digging at Igman we also maintained the
8 so-called white road. Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, Haris Silajdzic, Ejub Ganic,
9 and many other public figures would come by from the fields of politics,
10 culture, the military.
11 Q. Well, that was not really what I wanted to ask, but since you said
12 that did these people see you there? Did they know who you were?
13 A. Yes, they knew. I won't go into it now, but I know that the
14 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina had a document where Alija Izetbegovic
15 says that Hrasnica and the other camps are camps for those held by the
17 Q. But can you answer my question: Who did you see there most often?
18 A. The Mujahedin also came via Igman.
19 Q. Well, that wasn't my question either, but since you've mentioned
20 it now, go on.
21 A. Well, the Mujahedin would come by way of Igman and pass through on
22 their way to Sarajevo.
23 Q. What was the situation at the time with respect to the civilian
25 A. Well, as regards the civilian population, the Serbs did nothing
1 but dig and work and there was no way they could go over to the free
2 territory. They were simply hostages.
3 Q. You mentioned mortars. Was there any fighting, any firing, and
4 were you able to observe that? What did it look like?
5 A. Yes, there was firing. I told you we were with the army all the
6 time at the positions, and of course they fired from mortars, from
7 small-arms, and everything else that they had at the time.
8 Q. And they were firing at what?
9 A. Well, in the direction of Ilidza, Hadzici, Vojkovici, and Trnovo.
10 Q. And how long did you stay there in that area?
11 A. I stayed there until November, when I was transferred through the
12 tunnel to the Viktor Bubanj barracks.
13 Q. Can you tell us where the Viktor Bubanj barracks was?
14 A. May I describe how we went through the tunnel?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. When they brought me and three others, because they transferred us
17 in groups, I was in the first group with three others. And when we
18 entered the tunnel, there were over 200 soldiers there waiting to pass
19 through. And when we arrived at the tunnel, they blindfolded us with a
20 white bandage. And then there was panic because they said, Are those
21 Chetniks you've taken prison? And they started hitting us with whatever
22 they -- came to hand. And someone even fired shots to calm those people
23 down, because we would simply have been killed by the soldiers, but there
24 were also civilians there among them.
25 When we were passing through the tunnel on our way to Dobrinja we
1 were met by another group, one of them even asked to cut off my ear. Of
2 course they didn't let him do that. They put us into a van and took us to
3 the Dobrinja police station. In Dobrinja we stayed for about an hour
4 there, and then we were taken to the Viktor Bubanj barracks.
5 Q. Where is the Viktor Bubanj barracks and what is it now?
6 A. The Viktor Bubanj barracks was a camp for Serbs, and on the
7 third -- on the second and third floors, that was where their army had its
8 quarters. When we entered the Viktor Bubanj barracks they broke my ribs,
9 and I can show it to you if need be, you can see it quite well. Then they
10 knocked out my front teeth and I was in a sorry state, and one of them
11 approached me and stuck a knife point into my eye, here where you can see
12 a scar. And when another guard told him not to do that, he said, Let me
13 beat the Chetnik. When I was able to beat my Alija in the prison in Foca,
14 my president, why wouldn't I be able to beat a Chetnik?
15 Q. Was there some kind of international control, a monitoring?
16 A. On the 10th of November of that year, the International Committee
17 of the Red Cross entered. There was a French woman there who registered
18 me and gave me a number, and then she told me, You have survived and now
19 you are under our control. And they visited us every week.
20 Q. Were there any proceedings instigated against you after almost two
21 and a half years?
22 A. Well, just before our trial, I was given an indictment, saying
23 that I avoided conscription, that I evaded the call-up, and
24 Alija Izetbegovic, Sulejman Ceric, and Jovan Divjak arrived in the
25 barracks. They entered my cell, cell number 1, and I had to introduce
1 myself when the guards opened the cell door.
2 Much later I saw Mr. Divjak who visited on several occasions.
3 And when he saw my eye, which was all swollen because of the knife prick,
4 they were taking me to the other side of the barracks where the
5 outpatients' clinic was. He saw that I was handcuffed, and so he probably
6 assumed I was a Serb, but he did not react.
7 Q. Were you taken before any judges?
8 A. Yes, there was a judge there, Amir Jaganjac as well as Miso Salem.
9 When I was brought in handcuffed, he asked that I stay handcuffed by
10 saying that, Chetniks are dangerous, even when tied up, let alone with
11 their hands free. There was also Idriz Kamenica there and Marko Mikerevic
12 as a judge juror. The note-taker was Almasa Mumanagic [phoen], if I
13 remember correct.
14 Q. What did the proceedings look like, was there a judgement?
15 A. Yes, we were all sentenced to two years in prison, and after
16 having heard the sentence, my then-counsel who was appointed to me, her
17 name was Senka Nozica, stayed there. And then after that we were
18 transferred to the central prison where I was taken to the cell number 79,
19 that was a central prison in Sarajevo. I was maltreated there as well by
20 the guards there who wouldn't allow me to eat properly. In January 1995
21 through the mediation of the ICRC, we were exchanged. They came in some
22 armoured vehicles and we were exchanged at the Brdstvo-Jedinstvo bridge.
23 Upon my arrival to Ljubica I met General Dragomir Milosevic. The
24 52 of us were in an open area. He came by and said, Take those people
25 away from this open aware because a shell will land and they will all be
1 dead. Before that I did not know him and I haven't seen him since.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Tapuskovic, I just wanted to clarify the
3 witness's explanation of the trial against him.
4 Do you understand me, Mr. Witness?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: You said that you were tried and -- by judges, and
7 that you eventually were sentenced to two years' imprisonment. And my
8 question is: What were you charged with? What was the offence that you
9 had allegedly committed?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Dodging a draft, dodging a military
11 service. I -- the president of the Republika Srpska Association of
12 Prisoners. I was at this tribunal before. I met Ms. Carla del Ponte
13 three times, and we submitted all of the documentation we had to her.
14 As concerns your question, she asked me the very same thing. I
15 handed her my indictment because I was given it by the ICRC. She shrugged
16 her shoulders. It reads, Dodging a military draft. At the beginning I
17 said that this was not my war and I did not want to bear arms. I did not
18 want such a war to happen.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Dodging military service because there had been a
20 call-up for everybody living in Hrasnica to join the ABiH, was that it?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: But at that time you had already been imprisoned
23 for quite a long time, hadn't you?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In March, they had been mobilising
25 people. I was taken prisoner on the 18th of April. In March, I refused
1 to accept the draft call and to report for duty. I believed that their
2 army was illegal. These were merely civilians, criminals in my terms,
3 people taking -- taken out of prisons. Some people told me that, but the
4 rumour had it on the Muslim -- among the Muslims and the Croats that
5 prisoners were released from jails.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. To establish a link between my examination and the questions posed
10 by Judge Harhoff, I wanted to ask you this: You were not tried on the
11 18th of April, 1992, rather, you were tried in 1995, a few years later,
12 charging you with the crime?
13 A. The trial took place in 1994. As I said, many Serbs went missing
14 and we didn't know where they are. There was no court in Hrasnica or
15 anything else. They were trying to hide us from the ICRC and the rest.
16 Q. How do you explain the fact that you were tried a short time
17 before you were released?
18 A. I don't know. I guess they knew why. Maybe they knew that there
19 was to be an end to the war soon. The only thing I know that we were
20 tried then in Sarajevo at the Viktor Bubanj barracks.
21 Q. When you met Carla del Ponte, did you hand over any documentation
22 concerning the camps in Sarajevo?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we look at DD003786,
2 Your Honours, upon my request, I received from the Prosecutor for
3 the first time this document, and it makes a whole lot of things clearer,
4 especially certain things that I tried to put through certain witnesses.
5 But at the time when they were here, I didn't have this documentation and
6 these were Prosecutor's witnesses. I don't have it translated. I've only
7 received it very recently, upon my request, and I will try to translate it
8 as soon as possible.
9 Could we for the time being have a look at this document and to
10 tell us what and when he handed over to Carla del Ponte personally.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When she came to Banja Luka, she
12 heard of our association, of the Republika Srpska Association of
13 Prisoners, and she asked to meet us. There was a meeting which lasted for
14 two hours in Banja Luka.
15 A month later, the same delegation from The Hague Tribunal invited
16 us to come to The Hague, to the Tribunal. We stayed here on a two-day
17 visit, on the 31st of May, 2004, it was. She took the documentation at
18 that time and signed a receipt. What she wanted to gain was access to
19 documentation about civilian casualties primarily because they -- there
20 were casualties among the civilians the most, among the Serbs who remained
21 in Sarajevo and the documentation pertains to that.
22 After that, Carla del Ponte again came to Banja Luka and again
23 asked to meet us. And on that occasion, we also handed over some
24 documentation. The cooperation is still ongoing, either she or people
25 from her team regularly come to Banja Luka or other places in Republika
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Is this the signature that Ms. Carla del Ponte affixed to the
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we look at the first page
7 so as to be able to see what the date is.
8 Q. You can see what the date is, and please look at item 11.
9 A. Yes, it concerns Sarajevo. The plight of the Serbs in Dobrinja,
10 Novi Grad municipality, Pofalici, and so on and so forth.
11 Q. Tell me this: On the list that you handed over, how many camps
12 were listed and how many Serbs went through such camps?
13 A. According to the numbers we have for Sarajevo and the number of
14 people there, there were 126 camps.
15 Q. Just a moment. It is the part of Sarajevo controlled by the Army
16 of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
17 A. Yes. There were around 18.000 -- 17.000 people, camp detainees,
18 and 90 per cent of which were civilians. I also wanted to say this, we
19 have information that around 5.000 people, detainees, came through the
20 Viktor Bubanj barracks. For the most part these were civilians arrested
21 in 1992 at the very beginning of the war. Unfortunately, many of them
22 were not tried and many never left the camp alive, the barracks of Viktor
23 Bubanj. Even today we are still looking for some of them.
24 Another important thing is that we told or asked
25 Ms. Carla del Ponte to react. There is a court of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
1 place there now. She tried to prevent the opening of such a court in that
2 very building since it used to be a camp, but it was too late for her to
4 Q. During such trials, what sort of guilt were the detainees asked to
5 state their position on?
6 A. I didn't understand.
7 Q. This document, DD003786 --
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] could it be admitted as a Defence
9 exhibit, since we will also want to use it further with other witnesses.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
11 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I object on the grounds of
12 relevance. The document, the receipt, also speaks to areas that are
13 not -- that are outside Sarajevo, the event of Visegrad, Mrkonjic Grad,
14 for example, and despite my learned friend's submissions this morning, the
15 Prosecution's position is that the alleged suffering of Bosnian Serbs
16 inside Sarajevo has no impact on the charges the accused is charged for.
17 And -- unless of course it's the Defence's position that this serves a
18 motive for the general in the VRS actions. But I don't see the -- I don't
19 see how this document is probative to the charges against the accused.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, if you take the position, Mr. Sachdeva,
21 that the suffering of the Serbs inside Bosnia-Herzegovina has no impact on
22 the charges in the indictment, then you would have to object to all of the
23 evidence, all of this witness's evidence, because this is what it is
25 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I was -- I had planned to at some
1 point make an objection on that ground, but then, Mr. President, your
2 question, in my submission, required the Defence to explain their
3 position. And in the Prosecution's position, we still don't agree that
4 this evidence of this witness is relevant to the charges.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Anything in reply, Mr. Tapuskovic? The
6 Prosecutor says this particular item that you're seeking to have exhibited
7 is not relevant. For one, he says, as I understand him, that it deals
8 with an area outside Sarajevo. What do you say to his submission?
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, all of a sudden
10 Hrasnica seems to be outside Sarajevo, whereas until now we've been
11 listening about different things done in Hrasnica. And now for the first
12 time we hear from the Prosecutor that Hrasnica is not a part of Sarajevo.
13 That was the first thing.
14 The second thing, although I'm short of time, in item 11 there is
15 mention not of Mrkonjic Grad, as the Prosecutor stated, but it mentions
16 Sarajevo and Dobrinja.
17 Could we move into closed session for a moment so that I can
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Closed session -- well, private
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I received this for
22 the first time --
23 [Private session]
11 Pages 6762-6763 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before you continue, I should say that at the
10 beginning of tomorrow's session, which is in the afternoon, I will spend
11 about half an hour considering this question of relevance. I will outline
12 the issue, which is a burning issue for me and for my colleagues as well,
13 and I'll hear from both the Defence and the Prosecutor on it.
14 It's an issue that is a recurring decimal in the -- it's a
15 recurring theme in the Defence case. And I would just like to have a
16 general discussion to hear submissions, legal submissions, on it tomorrow,
17 for no more than 20 minutes. That's at tomorrow's session in the
18 afternoon, the first 20, 25 minutes.
19 Yes, continue, Mr. Tapuskovic.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
21 questions of this witness.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva, it's your turn.
23 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Sachdeva:
25 Q. Good morning, Mr. Dukic, my name is Manoj Sachdeva, and I am a
1 lawyer for the Prosecution, and I am going to be asking you a few
2 questions today.
3 A. Good day to you, too.
4 Q. Can I just start by confirming that your evidence is that you were
5 detained from April 1992 through to September 1994 in Hrasnica. Is
6 that -- am I correct in that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And when you say "detained," by that I take it you mean that your
9 liberty was taken away from you. Is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And your evidence is that you were kept in camps during that
12 period, which is over a year?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. But it's right, is it not, that when you went to the trenches you
15 returned and went back to your house during that period in Hrasnica?
16 A. No. We had premises in a residential building, and we would spend
17 up to a month in the woods at Igman at the time.
18 Q. So let me just try and understand you. Are you saying that during
19 period from April 1992 through to September 1994, you were not able to
20 spend the night and the evenings at your house in Hrasnica. Is that
22 A. Sometimes they would let people go and see their families for a
23 day, but otherwise we were all in those premises.
24 Q. So in that period from April 1992 through to September 1994, how
25 many days were you at your house; in other words, at your house in
1 Hrasnica with your family?
2 A. Only twice, because my family left. If -- if need be, I can
3 explain how they left.
4 Q. I just want to -- I want to get the information about when you
5 went home. I want to understand that. So your evidence is that you went
6 home twice in that period, and for those times you spent one night at
7 home. Is that right?
8 A. When I said "twice," I meant twice. I asked to go and have a
10 Q. Yes, I understand that you meant twice, but what I'm asking you is
11 was that twice for a week, two weeks; or was that twice for just a night;
12 or was that twice for three months, four months. If I understand you
13 you're saying you went home twice and you spent one night in your house.
14 Is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Mr. Dukic, you gave a statement to the court in Banja Luka, did
17 you not, on March -- in March 1995?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And this was roughly one and a half months after you were released
20 in Sarajevo in January 1995. Is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And in March 1995, it's correct that the events that you
23 experienced in Sarajevo were fresh in your mind?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And presumably when you gave that statement to the court in Banja
1 Luka, you would have included every small detail that you thought was
2 important for the court to hear about your time and detention in Sarajevo.
3 That's also right, is it not?
4 A. They asked that of me. I didn't explain here all the things that
5 went on, but in the cell when digging trenches, I think there are some
6 things here. The team that interviewed me would go on asking questions
7 and would find out all the things that went on there.
8 Q. Yes, that I understand, but at least --
9 A. Excuse me, I do know that it says here that they urinated all over
10 us and things like that. I didn't say that here now but it's in those
11 statements; because they came from The Hague Tribunal and asked about
12 those things.
13 Q. I think perhaps we're not understanding each other. I'm not
14 talking about a statement you gave to the ICTY, which you did give a
15 statement to. I'm talking about the statement you gave in front of the
16 Banja Luka court in March 1995. You understand that I'm talking about
17 that statement, don't you?
18 A. No. I only know about a statement I gave to the investigators of
19 The Hague Tribunal.
20 Q. Mr. Dukic, let me start again. You gave a statement to the lower
21 court in Banja Luka in March 1995, didn't you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And that is the statement I'm speaking about at the moment. I
24 will move on to the statement you gave to the ICTY in a moment. And
25 again, what I want to ask you is that when you gave that statement to the
1 court -- to the lower court in Banja Luka, you gave information that you
2 knew to be correct and accurate. Is that right?
3 A. I don't remember that statement so well. It was probably all
4 fresh in my memory then. How relevant it is and the -- how competent the
5 judges were to take that statement, I don't know, but I do abide by
6 everything I said to the investigators of The Hague Tribunal.
7 Q. So, as I understand it, you're saying that when you gave a
8 statement to the court in Banja Luka, as you said the events were probably
9 all fresh in your memory, you understand what you were telling the court
10 was correct and it was the truth in your mind. Do you agree with that?
11 A. Well, certain moments, certain events, are still fresh in my
13 Q. Yes. Let's concentrate on the statement in Banja Luka. When you
14 gave that statement in front of the court, you were obliged to tell the
15 truth, were you not?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you were also warned of the consequences of giving false
18 testimony when you were giving that statement to the lower court. Isn't
19 that also right?
20 A. They took that when we left the camps. Those were not judges.
21 Q. Mr. Dukic --
22 A. These were people who took statements from us.
23 Q. I still think that we have a problem of understanding each other,
24 and I'm going to try again. In March 1995 did you or did you not give a
25 statement before the lower court in Banja Luka in front of a judge called
1 Djordje Stojakovic, you remember that, don't you?
2 A. No.
3 Q. So is it your evidence that you did not give a statement to the
4 lower court in Banja Luka? Are you saying that that did not happen at
6 A. I don't remember that person. I don't remember any judge taking a
7 statement from me.
8 Q. Well, perhaps I can assist in trying to refresh your memory.
9 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, could I ask for 65 ter 03289 to be
10 brought up on the screen.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, is my signature on that
13 MR. SACHDEVA:
14 Q. I'm going to show it to you now. Now, Mr. Dukic, you -- you can
15 see that this is entitled "Record of Witness Interview." You can see
16 that, can't you?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you can see the name of the judge there, Djordje Stojakovic,
19 you see that?
20 A. Well, believe me, I don't know either him or Jagoda Borojevic, the
21 name that's mentioned here, and Andrej Djordjevic Stojakovic. I don't
22 know who these people are.
23 Q. You see your name, Branislav Dukic, that's your name, is it not?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 MR. SACHDEVA: And if we go to the end of the document, please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My signature.
2 MR. SACHDEVA:
3 Q. That's your signature?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So now you remember you gave a statement to the lower court in
6 Banja Luka, don't you?
7 A. I don't remember. I don't remember that person,
8 Djordje Stojakovic.
9 Q. I'm not asking you about the judge, I'm not asking you about the
10 clerk, I'm asking you, as you've confirmed now, that that is your
11 signature. And I take it if that is your signature, you gave a statement
12 to the lower court in Banja Luka. You agree with that, don't you?
13 A. Yes. But I don't remember.
14 Q. And you also agree that as you -- when you gave that statement to
15 the lower court, you were under an obligation to tell the truth and to
16 recall the events as accurately as possible --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You agree with that, don't you?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. And in March 1995 it would have been easier for you to remember
21 the events in Sarajevo, because they were fresh in your mind, weren't
22 they, as you've already told the Court?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, I want to point to a particular topic in this statement.
25 MR. SACHDEVA: And if we could move to page -- it's page 4 of the
1 English, and I -- I think it's page 4 of the B/C/S.
2 Actually, I think it's page 3, I'm sorry.
3 Q. Okay, Mr. Dukic, the -- you see the first paragraph on your screen
4 on the right-hand side?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And -- and I want to concentrate at a part that is in the middle
7 of that paragraph where it says -- where you have told the court: "In
8 March 1995 I stayed at home for three months."
9 Do you see that there?
10 A. Well, at the beginning I said that they were taking us towards the
11 Famos stadium and the Aleksa Santic school where they mistreated us.
12 After that they didn't mistreat us but they gave us picks and shovels and
13 took us with them to dig trenches.
14 Q. Yes, I'm not actually asking that. What I'm trying to understand
15 from you is that you have told the Court here under oath that you went
16 home only twice in the period April 1992 through to September 1994 and in
17 this statement that you gave in March 1995 --
18 A. 1994.
19 Q. Yes. Your evidence is that you were detained from April 1992
20 through to September 1994, that's --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- how I understand it.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In this statement that you gave to the court in Banja Luka, you
25 have told the court that you spent three months at your house in Hrasnica.
1 And I'm trying to understand what is correct.
2 A. I don't see where that is. I don't see where it says.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Microphone not activated]
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Oh, I was asking whether the interpreter is able
6 to point to the passage in the B/C/S. In the English it's the seventh
7 line in the first paragraph.
8 MR. SACHDEVA: I think in the B/C/S it starts by saying: [B/C/S
9 spoken]; do you see that there?
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I can show the witness where that
13 is. It's on page 3, the sentence before the last, but let him read the
14 whole sentence.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says here that every day the
16 military police, the Green Berets, came, and it says that for three months
17 I was there and then I went -- but it was they who took me to work and
18 brought me back. That was what was meant probably, not that I stayed
19 there. I don't know how they understood this and wrote it down. You see
20 it says here the military police.
21 MR. SACHDEVA:
22 Q. Did you or did you not spend three months in your house, in
23 Hrasnica? That's all I'm asking you.
24 A. No, I did not. No, I did not. Because they came to get me. They
25 took me to work. They brought me back, and they let me see my family when
1 I needed to until they left, but I was accompanied or escorted by the
2 military police or somebody else, and the way they phrased this, I don't
3 know how they did that, how they formulated that.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Where did they take you?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To dig.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: To dig, and from where did they take you? They
7 took you from your home?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To begin with, when they took us
9 back from the stadium and to the school, before they created those rooms
10 in the residential building they would take us home and bring us back or
11 when we needed a bath --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did that happen every day?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. The -- it would happen in
14 the course of the first three months, because there was nowhere for us to
15 take a bath. They still hadn't made the showers and everything else in
16 those basements, in those residential buildings.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: So where did you spend those three months?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For a time I was at home and for a
19 time I was in those premises, and they would take us to dig with the army
20 for 15 days at a time, living in tents.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. And for what period were you in those
22 premises? For how long did you remain in those premises, and how long did
23 you remain in your house in that period of three months?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the morning the digging would
25 begin at 6.00 a.m. And it would go on until late at night. Then they
1 would take us to those premises, and if somebody needed a bath they would
2 take him to his home under a military police escort. He would take a
3 bath, spend the night, and in the morning they would take him to dig again
4 at 6.00 a.m.. And this went on for about three months until they arranged
5 those premises where we were, but we spent the least time in those
6 premises because we were constantly out in the field with the soldiers and
7 we would spend even up to a month sleeping in dug-outs and in tents.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. This really -- the question is asked to
9 test your credibility.
10 And it seems to me, Mr. Sachdeva, that there was a problem in the
11 translation. That's how it appears to me.
12 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, if I may, with respect, I understand
13 that the -- the sentence [B/C/S spoken] has been translated correctly in
14 the English; in other words, he stayed home for three months. But --
15 Q. Mr. Dukic, may I --
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Mr. Sachdeva is
19 insisting on only the first three words: "I spent three months at home,"
20 but let the witness read the whole sentence and the previous text. So let
21 him read not only the words Mr. Sachdeva is insisting on "I spent" -- but
22 let him read everything.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could not leave it except when I
24 went to report, and then I returned again immediately under the escort
25 with the Green Berets, and they came to search my house and they took away
1 a lot of my things, a lot of my property, they looted it. I didn't say
2 that here.
3 It says here quite clearly that the military police brought me to
4 take a bath. I wasn't allowed to leave the house. They would come to get
5 me and take me away again, and this went on for three months.
6 MR. SACHDEVA:
7 Q. Mr. Dukic, it's correct, though, that you were not detained in a
8 camp from April 1992 through to September 1994? You were not detained all
9 of that time, were you?
10 A. I didn't understand your question. From 1992 to 1994?
11 Q. What I'm suggesting to you, Witness, is that, as you have
12 testified here today that you were in camp -- in a camp in Hrasnica from
13 April 1992 through to September 1994, I'm suggesting to you that that is
14 not correct.
15 A. Why is it not correct? If I was arrested on the 18th of April,
16 1992, and if they took us to our homes to have a bath and to have a shave
17 and then they took us back and they took us to dig trenches every day.
18 Q. Do you agree with me or not?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Okay. I'll move on. And I'm still going to stick with this
21 statement you gave to the court in Banja Luka.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, please. When you were at
24 home, the Green Berets were controlling what you were doing. Were you
25 able to get away at night?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They would take us there and take us
2 back again. No, no. Because there was a curfew and they were with us.
3 We were not allowed to leave any positions, even when we were digging in
4 the woods.
5 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I didn't get the translation in
6 French. I apologise. Could you repeat your answer, Witness, please, so
7 that I can hear the translation.
8 Witness, please, the -- I asked you this question to try to
9 understand this apparent contradiction between your written statement and
10 what you have said to us. This is why I am asking you this question.
11 During the time you were at home at night, for instance, could you
12 possibly get away, run away, and not go back; or were you always
13 controlled by the Green Berets?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't run away, because they
15 were always present. They knew of each and every one of us when we were
16 taken home to have a bath, and we were not allowed to leave until
17 6.00 a.m. the next morning, when they would come back to pick us up.
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. So from April until
19 September, you were, in fact, under arrest but you were at home, under
20 house arrest. And during the day you were working for the armed forces of
21 the ABiH to go and do your work. Is that right?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not at home.
23 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
24 You have the floor, Prosecutor.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I don't think we can take this issue any
1 further --
2 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- Mr. Sachdeva.
4 MR. SACHDEVA: Yes, I'm going to move on.
5 Q. Mr. Dukic, I now would like to, again, stay with this statement.
6 MR. SACHDEVA: If we could go back to page 2 of the B/C/S version,
7 also page -- and it's page 3 of the English.
8 Q. But while we're trying to get there, Mr. Dukic, you were taken to
9 the -- you said that you were taken to the Famos football stadium in -- on
10 the 18th of April, 1992 --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you said in your evidence that -- to the Court that you spent
15 two or three hours there. Is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And then after the few hours that you were there, you said that
18 you were taken to Aleksa Santic primary school. Is that also correct?
19 A. We were returned from the primary school to the stadium and then
20 back to the school.
21 Q. How long did you spend in the stadium?
22 A. In the premises, some stayed for seven days, while others returned
23 to the primary school.
24 Q. Yes, I'm asking about you. Counsel for the Defence asked you: How
25 long did you stay there, that is, the football stadium? And your answer
1 was: "We spent only a few hours there."
2 A. Seven days. I may have misspoken, but I was there for seven days
3 in the premises of the football stadium.
4 Q. And after you -- after you were at the football stadium, you were
5 taken to the Aleksa Santic school. Is that right?
6 A. Yes. And Amir Sabovic met us there. I mentioned him. He knew
7 all of us because he had worked at Famos and was later appointed a
9 Q. And you were there for six days, five to six days, that's your
11 A. Yes -- where five or six days?
12 Q. At the primary school.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In the -- in the statement you gave to the court in Banja Luka at
15 the -- if you see the page on your screen --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. It says at the bottom that you spent 14 days at the school in
18 Hrasnica, not six days. Which one is right?
19 A. As I said today, the stadium and the primary school of
20 Aleksa Santic, the total of 14 days more or less. And then we were moved
21 to the basement that they made. These rooms used to be a basement and
22 they converted into rooms for prisoners.
23 Q. And it's your evidence that Mr. Ratko Stjepanovic was shot in the
24 primary school. Is that right?
25 A. Ratko Stjepanovic.
1 Q. And --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you saw him shot? Did you see him being shot?
4 A. No.
5 Q. How do you know his name?
6 A. Because I used to know him well. He used to work with me in
7 Famos, and all of us there knew him. We knew each other very well, all of
8 us. Hrasnica is a small town and we all used to work in Famos.
9 Q. And I take it, therefore, you would not confuse him -- you would
10 not confuse his name, would you, you knew him well, as you said?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And if you look at the statement you gave in Banja Luka in
13 March 1995, the name on the statement is Gojko Stjepanovic.
14 A. As I said today.
15 Q. Well, today you said Ratko Stjepanovic, so which one is correct?
16 A. I may have misspoken, Gojko.
17 Q. And this is the person that you knew well. Is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Mr. Dukic, it's correct, is it not, that in March 1994 you met
20 someone called Mirko Pejanovic at the Holiday Inn in Sarajevo. Do you
21 remember that?
22 A. Yes. I didn't want to mention that here today. I was taken to
23 the Serbian citizens' council, and I met Mirko Pejanovic there as well as
24 Jubomir Berberovic, Ejub Ganic, and a journalist of this -- Sarajevo
25 radio, a woman by the name of Paunovic and others. I reported on the
1 situation in Hrasnica, the situation with the Serbs, and Mr. Pejanovic and
2 Berberovic reacted to it and after they came to visit Hrasnica, whereupon
3 they saw the 96 graves.
4 Q. Is it your evidence that while you were meeting with the Serb
5 representatives in Sarajevo that you were still detained, is that what
6 you're telling the Court?
7 A. When I was taken away from Hrasnica, taken through the tunnel to
8 the Holiday Inn, to meet the people at the meeting of the Serbian
9 Citizens' Council, I told Mr. Pejanovic about the things that were going
10 on in Hrasnica and that we were actually being held in camps.
11 Q. And that's why I'm asking you that you were given an opportunity
12 to represent the situation as you saw it with the Serbs in Hrasnica to a
13 Serb representative at the Assembly and you also spoke to a journalist.
14 And I'm asking you that in that situation are you still maintaining that
15 you were detained?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Mr. Dukic, let's move on. You told the Court that you were taken
18 to the trenches and you spoke about mortars. You remember that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And your evidence was that there was fighting between the two
21 belligerents at that location, on Mount Igman, I understand?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you can confirm that when you were speaking about mortars you
24 were not talking about mortars in Hrasnica, were you?
25 A. No, at Igman --
1 Q. Right, I just wanted to confirm that --
2 A. -- but to me it is all Hrasnica. It is understood. Igman is not a
3 locality, but it is a part of Hrasnica. Hrasnica is at the foot of
4 Mount Igman. Half of the hills are actually on a slope -- half of the
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
7 MR. SACHDEVA:
8 Q. But at the floor or at the base of Mount Igman where Hrasnica
9 lies, it's a residential area, is it not?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And the mortars that you're talking about were on the slopes of
12 Mount Igman. That's also right, is it not?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And in the centre of Hrasnica, the residential area, civilians
15 lived there, didn't they?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you would also agree with me that not only in Hrasnica but
18 also in the centre of Sarajevo civilians lived there, didn't they?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And in fact, as you have given evidence today, the civilians in
21 Sarajevo comprised not just Muslim civilians, but also Serb civilians,
22 Croat civilians, civilians of all ethnicities remained in Sarajevo, didn't
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And it's correct, is it not, that the hardship that the civilians
1 suffered in Sarajevo, the shelling of the city, the sniping into the city,
2 not just Muslims suffered but also Serbs and Croats, they all suffered,
3 didn't they?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Bosnian Serbs were also were also targeted, were also sniped at,
6 weren't they?
7 A. What sniping activity do you have in mind?
8 Q. I'm talking about the full period from 1992 to 1995, and in
9 particular 1994 to 1995, the VRS that were -- that encircled Sarajevo, you
10 would agree that when they sniped into the city and sniped at civilians,
11 it didn't matter to them whether the civilians were Muslim or Croat or
12 Serb; everyone suffered, civilians suffered, and civilians of all
13 ethnicities were targeted. Would you agree with that?
14 A. Since we had no electricity and could not follow the media, I
15 don't know that. As for the suffering, any human being of any race,
16 colour, or religious conviction suffers the same.
17 Q. But in your time in Sarajevo, you knew that the
18 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps were firing shells into the city, you knew that,
19 didn't you?
20 A. Sir, I did not even know of any Romanija Corps. I didn't know the
21 establishment and units of the Serb army.
22 Q. I'm not asking you to talk to me about the organisation of the
23 Romanija Corps. I'm simply asking you this: That in Sarajevo you knew
24 that shells were being fired into the city in Sarajevo, you knew that, you
25 heard about that, didn't you?
1 A. I saw it happen on both sides. I saw shells being fired from one
2 side and from the other.
3 Q. So you knew that shells were being fired from the other side, that
4 is, the VRS side into the city. You knew that, didn't you?
5 A. I could have only assumed or guessed at that. I didn't know it
6 for a fact. You can't see Sarajevo from Hrasnica, you can see Ilidza and
8 Q. And you know --
9 A. I'm not familiar with the terrain.
10 Q. And you know when you say that you saw shells being fired from
11 both sides, one side to another, you know that the shells that were fired
12 on Sarajevo injured and killed civilians?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you know, as you have been -- as has been your role since you
15 were released, you know that civilians are not supposed to be the object
16 of attack, they are not supposed to suffer in war, are they?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In your time in Hrasnica, you heard about modified air-bombs being
19 fired into the city -- into that residential area, as you've just
20 testified about the area being residential?
21 A. No. I didn't see it, and I didn't have such an experience with
22 any air-bombs --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Where did the witness testify to
25 that? It was interpreted to us that the witness actually testified about
1 knowing something about the air-bombs. I'm asking where.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: The question was: "In your time you heard about
3 modified air-bombs being fired into the city," and, "into that residential
4 area, as you have just testified about the area being residential." So
5 the reference to testimony was about the area being residential not that
6 he had testified about the air-bombs.
7 What's your answer to that, Witness? Did you hear when you were
8 in Hrasnica about modified air-bombs being fired into the city?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know what a
10 modified air-bomb is; although I served in the military. As for aviation
11 we, didn't see any sorties in Hrasnica. As far as I know, there was no
12 flying permitted let alone dropping bombs. As for the modified air-bombs,
13 well, could someone please explain to me what it is and maybe then I can.
14 MR. SACHDEVA:
15 Q. That's fine, whether it was a modified air-bomb or mortar or
16 other heavy weapons, you would agree with this proposition that the centre
17 of Hrasnica would not be considered a military target and that it would be
18 inappropriate to send shells into that town. Would you agree with that?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, might I have a second to confer with
21 my colleague?
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
23 MR. SACHDEVA: That completes my cross-examination. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
25 JUDGE MINDUA: Have you finished?
1 MR. SACHDEVA: I'm very sorry, Your Honour, I just would like to
2 tender the statement into evidence.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will go in as P773.
4 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, to the question asked to
5 you by the Prosecutor on page 63, line 20, to the question of whether you
6 knew about the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, you answered that you didn't know
7 about it. Either about the corps or about any of these units. I would
8 like to make sure that I understood you correctly; because you, as a
9 reserve lieutenant who in addition you were indicted for dodging your call
10 to serve under ABiH, you are saying that you didn't know that there was
11 a -- an army corps called the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps which was there to
12 detain the Serbian population -- or rather --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Correction of the interpreter --
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] To protect the Serbian population
15 in Sarajevo. Did I understand you correctly?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've only learned of that in 1995
17 after I was released, it was then that I learned of any corps on the
18 Serbian and the Bosnian side. I didn't have any access to information. I
19 only know what was in Hrasnica. I know that there was the 4th motorised
20 brigade there commanded by Fikret Prevljak. That is all. As for shells,
21 they landed in, Sarajevo, Ilidza, Vojnici, Hrasnica, and so on and so
22 forth. One could see that. We could also see a part of Dobrinja, Butmir,
23 Ilidza, Hrasnica, Vojkovici, and Lukavica. That is what you can see from
24 Hrasnica. As for the other parts of Sarajevo, Grbavica, Novi Grad, Stari
25 Grad, and the rest, I couldn't see those because of the layout.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
2 Now, your situation was the following: You didn't know about any
3 of the activities of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. Many Serbs in your
4 situation didn't know about the activities or even the existence of this
5 army corps.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't know about it until 1994,
7 or rather, in 1995, after my exchange. On the 20th of January, 1995, it
8 was then that I learned.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Any re-examination, Mr. Tapuskovic? And how long
10 will you be?
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Not long, I think, a few
12 questions concerning the statement that was tendered and a couple of extra
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll take the break.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: You were going to re-examine, Mr. Tapuskovic?
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have a
20 number of questions concerning the statement of the 1st of March, 1995,
21 that was tendered as a Prosecution exhibit. It used to be a
22 60 ter document which became the last Prosecutor's exhibit. The statement
23 of the 1st of March, 1995.
24 MR. SACHDEVA: If I can assist, I understand it's Exhibit P773.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: P773.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, I thank my learned
3 Re-examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, please have a look at the date when you
5 gave this statement.
6 A. No.
7 Q. It should be notes on the questioning of a witness. Can you see
8 the date? At the beginning. Witness, can you confirm to me what the date
9 is on the document? Witness --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Which document?
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. The one you have in front of you "Record of Witness Interview."
14 What date is it?
15 A. The 1st of March, 1995.
16 Q. Can you tell me when it was that you were released from the camp
17 in Sarajevo?
18 A. On the 20th of January, 1995.
19 Q. How heavy were you that day, compared to your regular weight?
20 A. I had 57 kilos upon my release, whereas I was 81 kilos heavy
21 before that.
22 Q. The Famos factory that you used to work in before the conflict and
23 before you were arrested, can you tell us where Famos was when the
24 war broke out in relation to the two belligerent parties?
25 A. Half of it was dug into a hill since it was a military company,
1 whereas the other half was on a clearing. Outside -- immediately outside
2 the perimeter there was a Serb settlement called Vojkovici, and then what
3 follows is Krupac, Kotorac, Lukavica, and so on. Looking at the other
4 gate to the factory, Hrasnica was there and that part was in no man's
6 Q. Where were you digging trenches?
7 A. Towards Vojkovici, and towards Trnovo at Igman, towards the source
8 of the Bosna, and I said that there was Tito's villa there at Stojcevac,
9 and then towards Ilidza past the soccer club of Igman, and then towards
10 Butmir and the tunnel. That is the area where I was digging trenches.
11 Q. While you were doing there what type of military operations on
12 either side were you able to observe, as you were frequently there on the
13 spot digging trenches, so what could you see from there?
14 A. Well, first I'll tell you that on the Serb side there were
15 infantry weapons and artillery weapons. On the Muslim side there were
16 also infantry weapons and artillery weapons.
17 Q. The weapons firing on Serb positions, where did whatever they
18 fired land?
19 A. Well, from Igman they were firing on Ilidza, Kotorac, Lukavica,
20 Vojkovici, and Trnovo. I don't know where the positions were on the other
21 side, but shells came from there.
22 Q. Thank you. You mentioned the tunnel you worked on and you've told
23 us enough about it, but can you tell me whether any troops moved through
24 the area where you were digging?
25 A. Well, the tunnel was built in order to establish communication
1 between Sarajevo via Igman, Lokve, above Hadzici and Bradina to Mostar.
2 That was the line that they -- the route they moved along. Mr. Alija
3 Izetbegovic was there.
4 Q. Well, leave him aside, I'm not interested in that. But please
5 tell us, did you notice where the command post of this brigade was that
6 Fikret Prevljak was commanding?
7 A. In the post office in Hrasnica, in the basement of the post
9 Q. Well, where is that?
10 A. It's in the centre of the town, the post office, and the command
11 was in the basement.
12 Q. When answering questions put by my learned friend, you spoke about
13 how Sarajevo was targeted. Was Grbavica part of Sarajevo? Nedzarici, was
14 Nedzarici part of Sarajevo? What is Sarajevo, explain to Their Honours?
15 A. I didn't see whether there was any firing from Grbavica or
16 Nedzarici or the other places, but Sarajevo consists of Vogosca, Ilijas,
17 below Pale, Trnovo, Hadzici, and over there by way of Ilidza. All that
18 was the city of Sarajevo.
19 Q. But I'm asking you what Grbavica is. Is that Sarajevo?
20 A. Yes, that's Sarajevo, too, that's the centre.
21 Q. What about Nedzarici?
22 A. No, the settlement of Nedzarici is closer to Ilidza.
23 Q. Nedzarici are not part of Sarajevo?
24 A. Yes, they are, it is, but geographically it's closer to Ilidza,
25 but Ilidza is also part of Sarajevo. It's all part of Sarajevo.
1 Q. When you finished what you were doing in Hrasnica, you were taken
2 to Viktor Bubanj. Did you see anything from there, what was happening
4 A. No, because I was in cell number 1 so I didn't see anything.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
6 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, now, in my submission, this moves
7 beyond the cross-examination. In fact, my learned friend had asked the
8 witness questions about the Viktor Bubanj barracks in chief, and in my
9 submission that would have been the appropriate time to ask these
10 follow-up questions.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Counsel says this doesn't arise from his
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Sachdeva asked directly, as
14 is his right, whether he saw civilians being killed in Sarajevo, and I am
15 asking, in view of the fact that he was where he was in Sarajevo what he
16 was able to see from there. Because civilians were killed on both sides,
17 as was said here, and my question is what he was able to see from his
18 prison cell at that time.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we'll allow the question.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't see anything from the
22 Viktor Bubanj barracks because I was in cell number 1, and I couldn't see
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Thank you. Now, let's take a look at what's on the record here
1 and finish this. Let's look at page 3 in B/C/S. I don't know where it is
2 in English.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we have page 3 shown to the
4 witness, the paragraph before the last.
5 Q. Is this what you said when you were describing how you were
6 digging trenches and what happened then? If we look at page 3, is that
7 what you said then?
8 A. I can't see. It's in English.
9 Q. It starts: "November 1992 ..." It's the second paragraph in
10 English, and if you look at the passage in B/C/S, towards the end of the
11 passage, it says: "Every Serb ..." and please tell me whether this
12 corresponds to what you have been saying here.
13 A. I can't see very well. I do apologise, but I can't see very well.
14 Q. Well, you can see it very well. They're now showing it to you.
15 A. "Every Serb" -- you mean "we who were digging 2 and a half metres,
16 140 centimetres deep, and 90 centimetres wide," that's the trenches that
17 the two of us had to dig in one day, that was the norm.
18 Q. Go on.
19 A. We were mistreated and beaten. I didn't say that because I was
20 trying to be brief.
21 Q. Witness, please read what it says here, read how you buried
23 A. Well, in addition --
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
25 Just a minute.
1 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I understand that I tendered this
2 statement; however, I tendered this statement purely on the issue of
3 credibility on the apparent contradiction between whether the witness was
4 detained or whether the witness could -- was free to go to his house.
5 These questions, in my submission, should have been asked in
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I agree.
8 Don't ask any more questions about this.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Move on, Mr. Tapuskovic, to another question.
11 Let's finish this matter.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will finish, but
14 this is a statement I have not seen before. It was introduced by the
15 Prosecution. It has to do allegedly with the credibility of this witness
16 which has been challenged, but these are matters which can confirm his
17 credibility by showing what he experienced. This document can demonstrate
18 the witness's credibility in view of what he said a month after he left
19 prison with half the weight he had when he entered it. If I can only put
20 one more passage to him so that the entire statement can be considered
21 with respect to the witness's credibility. Because if his credibility is
22 being challenged, let him say who all the people were who were killed and
23 how many people were killed with their first and last names, because he
24 remembered that then.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, if the question that you are going to put
2 relates to the credibility of the witness and if it relates to the -- to
3 the issue raised by Mr. Sachdeva, yes, you can put it.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will not be
5 obstinate. This document is in evidence. I will ask a question put by
6 Mr. Sachdeva.
7 Q. Who is Mr. Pejanovic?
8 A. You're asking me.
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. Mr. Pejanovic and Mrs. Lujic were in the Presidency of
12 Q. Thank you. Were they loyal citizens?
13 A. They were loyal citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. And what happened, you were taken from prison, where?
15 A. To the Serb Citizens' Council, and I told Mr. Pejanovic on that
16 occasion what we Serbs were doing and how we were being maltreated in
17 Hrasnica. After that he visited Hrasnica. He saw for himself that there
18 were 96 graves there, and then he sent Mr. Ljubomir Berberovic, an
20 Q. Thank you very much. And you were sent back to prison?
21 A. We had already been taken back to prison through the same tunnel.
22 Q. Thank you very much.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Dukic, that is your evidence. We thank you
24 for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You may now leave.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Next witness?
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] We have not prepared that list.
7 May we go into closed -- private session. Just a moment, please, to avoid
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session, yes.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 [Private session]
11 Page 6795 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation].
25 Q. Witness, you were born on the 5th of January, 1940?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In Nevesinje in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You completed primary school in Nevesinje?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You've been living in Sarajevo since 1955?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. In Sarajevo you completed secondary school and the faculty for
9 physical education?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, all of that data should be in private
12 session, Mr. Waespi, or it doesn't matter?
13 MR. WAESPI: Well, it's up to the witness. Since he said his name
14 shouldn't be made public, I think all these other identifying features
15 should also not be made public, but that's just my guess.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I explained all
17 this to the witness, and all the witness is asking is that his first and
18 last name not be pronounced, not be mentioned. He doesn't want to protect
19 any other piece of information, that's the witness's decision, which I
20 respect. As it's the witness's wish, I think it's all permissible.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: As long as he understands that by the personal
22 data being given, his -- it is possible for somebody to identify him and
23 to -- but if he understands that and he's perfectly prepared to go along
24 with it, then so be it.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By your leave, I'm doing all this
1 because of my wife and children in Sarajevo. I speak in public about the
2 things I will testify about. I have even written a book about them, so
3 there's no reason for me to conceal anything and to expedite matters and
4 to speed things up, I decided that we needn't move into private session.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
6 Well, let's proceed.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation].
8 Q. You have a Ph.D. in that area. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And in the -- you've been working at the Faculty of Physical
11 Education since then?
12 A. Since before the war in Sarajevo, and in the wartime conditions I
13 became the dean of the faculty for sports in Serbian Sarajevo, and I still
14 work there as a professor.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Waespi.
16 MR. WAESPI: Yes, just for the last time to make the point. I
17 think it's clear to everybody in Sarajevo, even I'm not from Sarajevo,
18 that this gentleman was the dean of the faculty of sports, even if the
19 name isn't mentioned, that's clear. So it just seems to me -- odd for me,
20 but it's the last time I'm making this point.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, you understand that these personal data
22 will allow somebody to identify you?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not afraid of my testimony or
24 ashamed of it. I wrote a book, I have written in the newspapers, I'm such
25 a public personage that it doesn't bother me.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I had a long discussion with the
2 witness about this, and it's his decision so I don't see why I should
3 oppose it because the witness --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's proceed.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Witness, for the sake of brevity, as you said that you'd written a
7 book, you testified in another case - you don't have to mention where. Is
8 that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you very briefly explain to Their Honours what happened in
11 Sarajevo in 1992 and in what circumstances you remained in the part of
12 Sarajevo under the control of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
13 A. The events in Sarajevo, and especially the events in the old town
14 and the area of Bistrik where I resided, were the forerunners of all the
15 events that would ensue. Why was Bistrik and the old town the epicentre
16 of everything that happened precisely because --
17 Q. Just a moment. In order to make this completely clear to Their
18 Honours --
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have a map on the
20 monitor. It's 65 ter 2872. If this eastern part could be enlarged and
21 put in the middle of the monitor, please. A little more, if possible.
22 Thank you very much.
23 Q. Can you now show Their Honours where the place where you lived in
24 is. You said it was at Bistrik?
25 A. Yes. It's this position here. It's red, this red area. I think
1 it's a park.
2 Q. Can you mark it with the letter K?
3 A. Well, if this thing would write. That's the old town and Bistrik
4 where I lived.
5 Q. Thank you, Witness. Please mark this with a K.
6 A. [Marks] -- Oh, like this. All right.
7 Q. Well, what happened here in 1992?
8 A. I said this was the epicentre of everything that was to follow in
9 wartime Sarajevo. Why do I say this? Well, precisely because this part
10 of the old town was more than 90 per cent Muslim or Bosniak, as they say
11 now, according to ethnic make-up. And there was a military command there,
12 the Supreme Command of General Kukanjac was there in the old town. There
13 was already hostility towards soldiers of the JNA. People no longer saw
14 those soldiers as soldiers of the people; they saw them as unwanted,
16 Q. Witness, we don't have much time, so please tell us only what is
18 A. I'd be happy to. At that time in early 1992, say in February,
19 March, and April, we could see people wearing the uniforms of the Green
20 Berets with a patch sporting a lily emblem, and that emblem was to become
21 the emblem of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I could see military
22 vehicles with mounted machine-guns and soldiers sporting handguns, rifles,
23 rifle-launched grenades. I saw all these war models, so to say, carrying
24 knives and stuff -- well, everything that can be found in any war.
25 Q. What was happening with you and your family?
1 A. All that contributed to an atmosphere in which the people had to
2 decide whether to stay or to leave. Most people decided to take their
3 families out of the city, the elderly and children, and they -- most of
4 them left on the planes to Belgrade as well as towards the embassies in
5 Croatia, particularly in Split. My children went to Split to stay with my
6 wife's parents. My wife and I stayed in Sarajevo, since after the 15th of
7 May one could no longer leave the city. It was encircled from all sides,
8 all roads and intersections around the road saw check-points being
9 established manned by the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the police and no
10 one could leave legally.
11 Q. You said "around the city"?
12 A. Yes, around the city.
13 Q. Please explain.
14 A. There were trenches being dug around the city and the Army of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina took up positions there with weaponry. It was
16 understandable that no one dared to approach or -- and try to leave the
17 city via such positions --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Tell us more about the -- these positions that
19 were taken up by the ABiH around the city. Exactly what does that mean,
20 around the city? How far -- for example, how far were these positions
21 apart from each other?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can tell you that for the two
23 years in the wartime Sarajevo until I left, I was digging trenches and I
24 know the situation very well. Perhaps I can mark it on the map. They
25 were up on the hills of Trebevic and on the north-eastern side at Borije
1 hill. The distance was 20, 50, up to 100 metres between the trenches.
2 And down below here where the trenches were engineered at the Jewish
3 cemetery at Nedzarici, the distance was perhaps one block of flats or one
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, go ahead.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Witness, how did it come about? You were providing an answer
8 posed by the President. How did it come about that you started performing
9 such work?
10 A. In early 1992, there were two drafts in Sarajevo. The one carried
11 out by the Croat authorities for their population between the ages of 16
12 and 65, they were enlisted with the HVO. And their premises were in
13 certain schools where they were quartered.
14 Another draft was for the Muslims and the Serbs and others,
15 which took place in another location. We were all sent draft calls
16 despite any previous limitation that had been set as to our physical
17 ability. I was included in a special forces unit, although I indicated
18 that I had back problems and that I had not served with the JNA and that I
19 had no military experience. Still, they put me in a special forces unit.
20 I never reported to the unit, I never wanted to take up arms; therefore, I
21 spent the rest of my time digging trenches for the Army of
23 Q. Thank you. How old were you in 1992?
24 A. 53.
25 Q. Can you show the Judges on this map where it was that you were
1 digging trenches. Perhaps you can mark all those locations with a -- with
2 short lines.
3 A. Let's start from here. This is the road to Pale and to the
4 Olympic centre at Jahorina. We were digging at the Ablakovina part around
5 here, whereas the Serb forces were down below on the road.
6 Q. Please mark it.
7 A. Here, and the Serb forces were on the road. That was the
8 distance. I think it was less than 30 metres here.
9 Q. Where else?
10 A. These are the slopes of Mount Trebevic. This is below the
11 funicular. There were Muslim forces there and below there were the Serb
13 Q. Please mark each of the locations.
14 A. Here, Jarcev Dol, and there is a hill here, and we had to dig
15 there during the night, not to be seen. Then across the Miljacka and on
16 the slopes here called Borije, and then we dug high up here. I don't
17 think it's on the map, it's called Donje Divosko, we were digging here.
18 If you have the photographs here, perhaps we can show it to the Judges.
19 Q. Stop there for a moment. Thank you.
20 A. This is the position, and further up the hill. It is about an
21 hour's walk from the urban part of Sarajevo.
22 Q. What did it look like? How long would you stay each time to dig
24 A. First of all, we were all collected from the streets. And
25 Moso Topalovic, Caco, who commanded the 10th Mountain Brigade he encircled
1 the entire area, and they picked up everyone who was able to do anything.
2 We were taken up there to dig trenches, which also presented an obstacle
3 to the proper functioning of the city; because people used to work in
4 various places.
5 Q. When you say you were collected in the street, what does that
7 A. It was an attack. They took up positions on both sides of the
8 street --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Waespi.
10 MR. WAESPI: Yes, if we could have an indication of the time-frame
11 because that will speed up cross-examination if we can figure out when all
12 these digging of trenches happened. If I --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I was just told by my colleague it is 1992,
14 but I don't know whether the witness gave that evidence.
15 MR. WAESPI: It --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can you tell us what period are you talking
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] More or less between June -- well,
19 and for a month or two until they reined in Caco, the commander, 1992.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues]...
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1992. And the rest of the time was
22 spent digging trenches, although they treated us better. Although the
23 actual practice of picking people up from the street never stopped.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Until when did that last?
1 A. I left in June 1994, although I know that some people stayed
2 behind, and they were forced to keep on digging.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Please, let's look at DD003790.
4 Excuse me, let us save the map with its markings, and I would like to
5 tender it.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As D239, Your Honours.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please show DD003790 to
9 the witness. Could we enlarge it a bit.
10 Q. Witness, please have a look at the date and what is stated below
11 the heading.
12 A. The date is the 3rd of June, 1993.
13 Q. Read the next part out loud. You've referred to it before, or
14 rather, it should show -- and tell us about the things you mentioned.
15 Perhaps you can tell us what is mentioned here in the order.
16 A. It says: "Committee for the establishment of responsibility with
17 regard to inhabitants of Sarajevo being taken to preform engineering
18 works." And what follows is: "Order" --
19 Q. Please read it out loud.
20 A. "Based on official requests from a large number of citizens,
21 several institutions in the town of Sarajevo committee -- court," and:
22 "Order," strictly confidential number stated, "which was not put into
23 practice and with a view of determining what the situation is concerning
24 the unlawful detaining and taking away of a number of citizens of Sarajevo
25 to perform engineering work at the front lines" --
1 Q. Thank you. Does this tally with what was taking place in the
3 A. Precisely so. It says here, "Considering the continuing practice
4 of forcible removal and taking away of citizens." Although there were
5 calls from the municipality to report in a certain place which was a much
6 more pleasant practice, people were still collected in various ways. As
7 soon as they would realise that they were not with the Army of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina or that they had no work obligation, people would be
9 taken away to dig trenches. And it is what this document is about, I
10 presume. Citizens did intervene.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Let us have a look at page 2 to
13 see who signed it.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sefer Halilovic, Supreme Command
15 Staff, yes, Sefer was the chief of the ABiH Supreme Command Staff.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] This document, DD00379, I wish to
17 tender it as a Defence exhibit --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Correction 3790.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
20 MR. WAESPI: Just for the record this is the first time we've seen
21 this. I've just checked, it's been communicated to us, I think, an hour
22 ago, just to put it on the record but just for your information.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: An hour is all of 60 minutes.
24 Yes, we admit it.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As D240, Your Honours.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] We received this document from
2 the Office of the Prosecutor not long ago, on Friday.
3 Your Honours, I now wish to show a photograph DD003969. If it
4 could be brought up on the screen. It's in e-court. I showed it to the
5 Prosecutor, to my learned friend Mr. Waespi, and as I understand it he
6 does not object to having this photograph shown to the Court and to the
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us see it.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can it be enlarged, please.
10 Q. Witness, what does this show? What street is this?
11 A. This is Bistricka Street in the area where I resided and where the
12 10th Mountain Brigade of Topalovic Caco was active. On the right-hand
13 side one can see the headquarters of Commander Topalovic, and a few metres
14 away from it is the military command where the Egyptian battalion was
15 later to take up residence.
16 Q. Thank you. Is this your street?
17 A. Yes, it's the street where I lived.
18 Q. Can you show the places on this photograph where you dug trenches,
19 if you can mark that?
20 A. Yes, yes. We dug trenches behind those rocks about a bit deeper
21 in, and there's a road there taking -- leading to the Olympic village.
22 Q. Thank you. But please listen to me. Compared to this ridge,
23 where were you digging trenches?
24 A. Below the ridge and behind this rock. That's Ablakovina.
25 Q. On which side of the rock were you digging -- or the ridge,
2 A. From this side of the ridge, some 50 metres in.
3 Q. You have to explain clearly, this side, that side?
4 A. Behind, behind this rock, some 50 metres behind this rock, there's
5 a meadow there and that's where we dug. And 40 metres beyond the meadow
6 is a road where the Serb forces were. I think I've been clear.
7 Q. What was the name of this ridge?
8 A. Ablakovina. I found out about these names when I was digging
9 trenches. I didn't know what these places were called before.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can you show us where the Serb forces were. You
11 said 40 metres beyond the meadow.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Beyond the meadow on the road
13 leading to Pale or the Jahorina Olympic centre.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can you mark it with a little X?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Behind this here, if I can draw a
16 line between these rocks and the hill up there, that's where the road
17 went, 50 metres behind the rocks, so you can't see it here. These are the
18 foothills of Mount Trebevic.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: So who was at the higher point?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, one can't really say who was
21 higher than the other side because we kind of looked at each other eye to
22 eye. It was on the same level. Everywhere else, if you go to the right
23 of Borije, it was the Serb forces that held the higher ground.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. (redacted)
1 A. All right, it doesn't matter.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, the witness is not angry.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Redact it, please.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As long as it doesn't get into the
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. His Honour Judge Robinson put a good question to you. Can you say
8 who was holding the higher ground here if you look at it?
9 A. Well, this whole road leading up there, the Serb forces were
10 there, and they were some 50 or 20 metres away from each other. That's
11 how it was. We could see each other. We looked at each other. Along
12 this whole road leading up to Trebevic it would be hard to say who was
13 holding the higher ground. They were right next to each other, because if
14 I can tell you the strategy of the fighting was similar to that in sport,
15 you know, when there is a clinch. You are thinking of victory, so the
16 closer I am, the stronger I'll be.
17 Q. Leave sports aside now. Just tell us who was holding the
18 foothills on that last bend, that last mountain pass.
19 A. Which mountain pass?
20 Q. Well, I can't testify. Just tell us. You said that the forces
21 were close to each other, and who was holding that point? You can see on
22 the left-hand side?
23 A. Well, I don't know. I can't --
24 Q. Well, where is the funicular?
25 A. Well, there isn't a funicular there. That's not that picture --
1 MR. WAESPI: Yes, I think the witness answered, he said, you know,
2 we were also at the same level. I also remind you, Mr. President, this
3 witness left the situation on the 9th of June, 1994, so he doesn't really
4 assist to the indictment period as it relates to this part of the
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: He may answer the question. But bear in mind
8 that he's actually your witness.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may, sir --
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation].
11 Q. Just a moment. Witness, before testifying here, you know how
12 things work here. The ridge that you marked here, you marked with a
13 single line. The single line shows both the trenches you dug and the
14 positions of the Army of Republika Srpska, as you say. Can you separate
15 this. You've already said it's behind the ridge. So can you now draw the
16 lines of the Army of Republika Srpska because you drew a single line?
17 A. Well, I would have to draw a parallel line here on the same level,
18 and those would be the positions of the Army of Republika Srpska, behind
19 this line. But they were on the same level, so you couldn't see that line
20 from where we are looking at it.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, our time is up, so
22 could we just save this photograph, please.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let it be saved, and we'll resume tomorrow at --
24 [Microphone not activated]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll resume tomorrow at 2.15 p.m.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 19th day of
4 June, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.