Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 2226

1 Monday, 19 April 2004

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.39 a.m.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone. Madam Registrar, would you

6 please call the case.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus

8 Momcilo Krajisnik.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much, Madam Registrar.

10 Everyone might have expected that we would start to deal with the

11 Treanor exhibits, but since there is a problem with the computers, I'd

12 rather delay that until everything is functioning fully, so that the

13 Registry can file, or at least can register all the necessary numbers,

14 et cetera, in a proper way.

15 That means that we could then continue with your next witness,

16 Mr. Hannis.

17 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm Thomas Hannis, on behalf

18 of the Office of the Prosecutor.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps I should do that at the beginning of

20 the week to see who is there. Whenever I see any new faces. I see that

21 the Prosecution is supported by or at least there's some other person.

22 MR. HANNIS: Yes. Your Honour, the new face to my immediate left

23 is Mr. Willem Wijermars, who is from our trial support unit and will be

24 appearing on occasion to assist.

25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you very much. Well, the Defence is

Page 2227

1 still the same as usual: Mr. Stewart, Ms. Loukas, and Ms. Cmeric.

2 Now your next witness will be a 92 bis witness and I take it

3 you'll introduce that witness in a way as we usually do. Yes.

4 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I see that Judge Canivell has an earphone but

6 doesn't hear anything. Let's just check whether it properly functions.

7 Yes. I'll say a few words, Judge Canivell, so that you can test your ...

8 Yes.

9 MR. HANNIS: Yes. Good morning. Can you hear me?


11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. This problem having been solved, your next

12 witness will be, Mr. Hannis?

13 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, our first witness this morning will be

14 Mr. Mustafa Ramic, whose evidence is sought to be admitted pursuant to

15 92 bis and then the Court had ordered that he appear for

16 cross-examination.

17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Usher, would you please escort Mr. Ramic

18 into the courtroom.

19 [The witness entered court]

20 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Ramic. Before giving evidence in

21 this Court, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require you to make a

22 solemn declaration that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and

23 nothing but the truth. The text will be handed out to you now in your own

24 language. May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.


Page 2228

1 [Witness answered through interpreter]

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ramic. Please be seated.

5 Mr. Ramic, you have given earlier statements and you have already

6 testified in this Tribunal. That means that the emphasis today will be on

7 questions to be put to you by the Defence. But first, Mr. Hannis of the

8 Prosecution will introduce you as a witness before you'll be examined by

9 the Defence.

10 Mr. Hannis, please proceed.

11 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. This witness previously

12 testified in this Tribunal in the Jelisic and the Milosevic cases. In

13 addition, pursuant to 92 -- Rule 92 bis, we had sought the admission of

14 both those testimonies and testimony from his prior statements to the

15 ICTY. I would like to read briefly, fairly briefly, a summary of what we

16 believe that evidence is.

17 Mustafa Ramic was heavily involved in the formation of the SDA in

18 Brcko in 1990. The witness explains in earlier testimony that the SDA

19 came in second in the 1990 multi-party elections, with 23 seats. The SDP,

20 or Communist Party, won the majority of seats in the Brcko municipal

21 parliament. They were a mixed group, that is, there were Bosniaks, Serbs,

22 and Croats amongst them. After the election, there was a coalition set up

23 by the SDA, HDZ, and SDS.

24 The Executive Council comprised three SDA, three HDZ, and three

25 SDS members. This witness describes the various posts in the municipal

Page 2229

1 government occupied on a parity basis by Serbs, Muslims, and Croats. The

2 highest-ranking position was occupied by the witness. He was president of

3 the Brcko Municipal Assembly.

4 For several months before the war broke out, the JNA was

5 distributing weapons among the Serb population in villages in Brcko

6 municipality. There was a noticeable increase in military activity and an

7 increased number of troops at the JNA barracks in the town of Brcko. The

8 witness telephoned the JNA commander, Lieutenant Colonel Pavle Milinkovic

9 repeatedly about what was happening. He also went to see him to ask why

10 tanks were digging in and why groups with machine-guns deployed around the

11 town. It was particularly odd that most of these weapons were aimed

12 towards the town. Milinkovic would not discuss it. He would say from

13 time to time that these activities were being conducted also as a defence

14 against incursion of some foreign forces from Croatia. The witness

15 proposed a joint unit made up of Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, but this was

16 refused.

17 The SDS wanted to partition the town into separate areas, with

18 Serbs getting control of a significant portion of the downtown and

19 industrial areas of Brcko. This was debated at a televised parliamentary

20 session on about the 27th of April, 1992. At an earlier meeting with some

21 SDS officials, the witness was warned that if the Serb demands were not

22 accepted, bad things would happen in Brcko.

23 The witness describes an occasion in which he and his brother

24 questioned Dr. Milenko Vojinovic, also known as Dr. Beli, SDS Main Board

25 member and Brcko representative to the Bosnian Serb National Assembly,

Page 2230

1 about why the SDS was insisting on a Serb municipality of Brcko and

2 division of the town. Dr. Beli told the witness that Dr. Radovan Karadzic

3 and the SDS leadership required this of him. In a subsequent

4 conversation, Dr. Beli told the witness that if the proposed division of

5 the town was not accepted, then it would be carried out by force.

6 The SDA's position was that the proposed division of the town was

7 unacceptable, but because of the Serbs' control of the local JNA, the

8 police, and the Territorial Defence, the SDA reluctantly agreed to SDS

9 demands in hopes of avoiding bloodshed. All three parties took part in

10 the debate, and the matter was continued for further discussion at another

11 meeting to be held on 4 May 1992.

12 By the 1st of May, 1992, after the bridges in Brcko were

13 destroyed, there was not a single bridge across the Sava River by which

14 one could go to Croatia. Two bridges were blown up in Brcko: The railway

15 bridge, and the bridge for vehicles and pedestrians. The railway bridge

16 was blown up within three minutes of the pedestrian bridge. The blowing

17 of the bridges caused panic in the town and large numbers of people began

18 to leave.

19 This witness had ordered that the pedestrian bridge be protected.

20 A group of policemen had been set up as a checkpoint there. They later

21 told the witness that the people who had blown up the bridge were very

22 well prepared, that they numbered about 20, and that they were from

23 Serbia. These men had taken over the checkpoint and waited until morning

24 to activate the explosives. About 150 civilians were on the bridge at the

25 time.

Page 2231

1 After the bridges were blown up, the witness says that he went to

2 a meeting with JNA Lieutenant Colonel Milinkovic at the Brcko barracks.

3 Milinkovic said that he would bring the army in to take control of all the

4 important points in town. Mr. Ramic asked to keep the JNA out and allow

5 the civilian police to handle law and order. Milinkovic said that he

6 would agree not to bring in the army if the witness would go on television

7 and succeeded in calming the people down.

8 The witness agreed to do so and he was escorted to the TV station

9 and attended there by the JNA assistant commander for security matters,

10 Captain Momcilo Petrovic, during that broadcast. People telephoned in and

11 said that the army was already entering the town. At one point, people

12 phoned up from a local community called 4th of July and said: "The army

13 is at present shooting at us."

14 The witness asked the deputy commander of the garrison what this

15 meant, given that the army had agreed not to enter the town. The

16 programme was interrupted and the witness left the television studio. He

17 has testified that he thought if he had stayed, the Serbs would probably

18 have killed him.

19 The witness went ultimately to Gornji Rahic, which was located in

20 free Brcko. He spent most of his time there during the war. When an

21 attack was launched by the JNA and paramilitary units, he organised the

22 defence of the rest of the town. They succeeded in controlling part of

23 the town and the southern areas.

24 This witness has produced and verified several documents in his

25 prior testimonies, including a list of names of prominent Muslims killed

Page 2232

1 during the first days in May 1992 in Brcko and whose bodies were found in

2 mass grave sites in the Brcko area; organisational charts showing the

3 division of power between the three national parties in Brcko; and a list

4 showing the structure and ethnic composition of the local police and

5 Territorial Defence.

6 The evidence of this witness, Your Honours, is relevant to

7 paragraphs 4 through 8, 15 through 19, and 24, and also to counts 1

8 through 6 of the indictment.

9 Your Honour, that concludes my reading of the summary, and I have

10 no question for the witness at this time, and proffer him for

11 cross-examination by the Defence.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, is the Defence ready to cross-examine

13 the witness?

14 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.

16 Mr. Ramic, you'll now be cross-examined by counsel for the

17 Defence.

18 MR. STEWART: Just to check that I'm near enough to the microphone

19 for everybody. Otherwise I'll have to move it or myself. If there's no

20 problem, then ...

21 Cross-examined by Mr. Stewart:

22 Q. Mr. Ramic, can you tell the Tribunal about an incident at a

23 village called Sijekovac in early 1992?

24 A. I'm not aware what this is about.

25 Q. When you say you're not aware what it's about, do you mean that

Page 2233

1 you know literally nothing whatever of what it's about?

2 A. Well, there is no village of Sijekovac in the municipality of

3 Brcko. Are you sure you read out the name of the village correctly?

4 That's the first reason. And second, I don't know which incident you have

5 in mind.

6 Q. Sijekovac. Does that sound right to you as the name of a village?

7 A. I believe I've heard the name of the village somewhere, but I was

8 the president of the Brcko municipality, and I'm familiar with this

9 particular municipality. There is no village of Sijekovac in the

10 municipality of Brcko. Maybe there is a part of the village with a

11 different name. Are you referring to the village of Bijela or Bukvik or

12 Vitanovici. Could it be one of those villages?

13 Q. I'm referring to the village of Sijekovac, which is in Bosanski

14 Brod. Do you know that village?

15 A. No. No. That's exactly what I'm talking about. Bosanski Brod is

16 a different municipality. This is not part of the Brcko municipality in

17 respect of which I can give testimony. As for Bosanski Brod, you're

18 referring to the overall war events. I thought you were talking to a

19 particular village in the Brcko municipality. Now I understand what you

20 mean.

21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ramic, you've come here to give testimony on

22 whatever you know, whether it is within or outside of Brcko municipality.


24 JUDGE ORIE: So if you're asked whether you know a village

25 Sijekovac, then please tell us whether you know of the existence, wherever

Page 2234

1 it is, whether it's Brcko or not. You're asked about an incident in a

2 certain village. If you know that village or if you know about the

3 incident, please tell Mr. Stewart, and if you are not familiar even with

4 the existence of the village, then say: I do not know whether such a

5 village exists. Yes. Is that clear?

6 Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.

7 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.

8 Q. With those ground rules, if I may put it that way, from His

9 Honour, Mr. Ramic, perhaps we'll just start again.

10 Have you heard of a village called Sijekovac in Bosanski Brod?

11 A. Yes, I have.

12 Q. And have you ever heard anything about an incident which occurred

13 in that village, or around that village, in early 1992?

14 A. I think you are referring to the plight of the Serbian population

15 in that village.

16 Q. Mr. Ramic, I am, I hope with His Honour's support as necessary

17 here, I'm going to attempt also to try and have some ground rules between

18 us. Mr. Ramic, if you stop speculating about what I am doing and what the

19 point of my questions is, and if you confine yourself strictly to what His

20 Honour asked you to do, which is to answer my questions, then we shall

21 make much more rapid and effective progress. Do you understand that?

22 A. It's okay.

23 Q. Thank you. Have you ever heard anything about an incident which

24 occurred in that village, or around that village, in early 1992, the

25 village in question being Sijekovac?

Page 2235

1 A. I'm not sure what incident you are referring to. You have to give

2 me a few more hints.

3 Q. All right.

4 JUDGE ORIE: If you know about any incident, tell us about the

5 incident you know about. If you say: I know about three incidents, tell

6 us which three, and from the next questions, it will be clear to you what

7 incident Mr. Stewart is specifically interested in, but tell us what you

8 know. So do you know about one or more incidents that you're aware of

9 took place in that village?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at this moment, I can't

11 recall any specific incident that took place in Sijekovac village.

12 JUDGE ORIE: If you say not a specific incident, what do you know

13 about an incident or incidents having taken place in that village? We'd

14 like to know what you do know, not what you do not know.

15 Please proceed.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I repeat: I am not sure that I can

17 say anything specific about any incident which took place in Sijekovac

18 village.


20 Q. Mr. Ramic, I discourage you from doing it, but you said -- one of

21 your answers to this question, that you thought I was referring to the

22 plight of the Serbs in that village. Mr. Ramic, it does appear that you

23 do know something about an incident in that village. Please will you tell

24 the Tribunal what you know.

25 A. Your Honour, a little while ago, I tried to say what I think.

Page 2236

1 However, the Defence counsel has discouraged me from doing that, and

2 that's why I'm saying that I don't know exactly what this incident this is

3 about. But I believe that this had to do with the plight of the Serbian

4 citizens in that area. I did hear about the plight of the Serbian

5 population in that area. This is what I heard.

6 Q. Mr. Ramic, I don't want to have to play games or have a debate

7 with you, but you are trying to be clever here. You said that I

8 discouraged you from saying what you thought. Mr. Ramic, let's make it

9 absolutely clear. I discouraged you from saying what I, Nicholas Stewart,

10 thought. That's a completely different thing. Can we stick to what

11 you're here to do, which is you to answer my questions.

12 But since you seem to be so reluctant, I will give you a little

13 bit of help. I suggest to you that there was an incident in the village

14 of Sijekovac, in Bosanski Brod, in late February 1992, involving an attack

15 on the village. Is that correct?

16 A. I don't remember that.

17 Q. You've been asked about this before, haven't you, in giving

18 evidence before this Tribunal?

19 A. Yes, and my answer was similar. I said that I thought that there

20 might have been an attack on the Serbian village, but I don't have the

21 exact information about this incident.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ramic, give us the information you have. You

23 can't give any information you don't have, but you seem to have

24 information. Give us the information you have.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you have to allow me a

Page 2237

1 moment to describe what I know. What I know is as follows: I know that

2 in that area, in Brod municipality, that is, Bosanski Brod municipality,

3 there were conflicts and clashes, and that there were attacks on Croatian

4 villages, as well as on Serbian villages. As far as I remember at this

5 moment, Sijekovac was a Serbian village, and at one point in time, it came

6 under attack, and I think that there was a number of killings committed

7 there. But I have to tell Your Honours that this is what I heard from

8 other people, and I don't have the exact information, the exact data about

9 those events.

10 JUDGE ORIE: If you would have given this answer at the first

11 question of Mr. Stewart, we would have saved 15 to 20 minutes, because

12 it's entirely clear to us now that you have, although secondhand knowledge

13 of events that happened over there. Could you please, for the next

14 question of Mr. Stewart, give him the answer right away. Whether it's a

15 pleasant answer or not is not the main issue. Whether it's good for

16 whomever is not the issue. Just tell us what you know, whether you heard

17 it from someone, whether you saw it yourself. Just tell us what you know,

18 and we'll move on far better than we did until now.

19 Mr. Stewart, please proceed.

20 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.

21 Q. Mr. Ramic, what do you know about the formation of the 108th

22 Brigade of the Bosnia-Herzegovina army, and specifically, the 3rd Company

23 of the 108th Brigade?

24 A. The 108th Brigade is a brigade which was established in the

25 territory of Brcko municipality. It was established on the 17th of May,

Page 2238

1 1992. 17 days after the beginning of war, or the aggression against the

2 town of Brcko.

3 As far as the 3rd Company is concerned, the brigade was divided

4 into battalions, and when you say the 3rd Company, I am thinking now in

5 order to be able to decide what formation are you referring to. Can you

6 please be more precise in your question.

7 Q. I'll ask you a different question. Who is or was Rasid Guso.

8 A. Rasid Guso was one of the fighters in the 108th Brigade. I

9 believe that he was the commander of this 3rd Company. I believe he was.

10 Q. Wasn't he in fact the commander of a special Muslim unit within

11 that brigade?

12 A. He was a well-known fighter. And as far as I can remember now, he

13 was the commander of a company, and I believe that the company was that

14 precise company. I don't know, I'm not sure that he was the commander of

15 a special unit, but in any case, he was a very well-known fighter.

16 Q. So is the position as far as you know that he might have been the

17 commander of a special Muslim unit or he might not, but you personally

18 simply don't know?

19 A. He might have been, yes. I will allow that. He might have been.

20 Q. Did you know him personally in 1992?

21 A. Yes, I did. I knew him.

22 Q. How well?

23 A. Before the war, I didn't know him at all. During the war, I got

24 to know him as much as one could get to know a fighter during such events.

25 I knew him as a fighter. I didn't know him as a private individual.

Page 2239

1 Q. Did you know him as a fighter before the blowing up of the bridge

2 at Brcko?

3 A. Your question is not clear to me. There were no fighters before

4 the bridge was blown up.

5 Q. Did you know him before the blowing up of the bridge at Brcko on

6 the 30th of April/1st of May 1992?

7 A. No, I didn't.

8 Q. Do you know who Blaz Lovric is?

9 A. No.

10 Q. He also had a name Baja, Baja. Does that jog your memory?

11 A. Yes. Yes. This does ring a bell. He was also a well-known

12 fighter.

13 Q. And was he the commander of a special Croat unit within the 108th

14 Brigade?

15 A. I apologise for having to say it once again, that I am not sure,

16 but he might have been. I'll allow that.

17 Q. Do you know that there were, in fact, whoever was -- were

18 commanders, there were in fact a special Muslim unit and a special Croat

19 unit within the 108th Brigade?

20 A. There were no special units. There were so-called intervention

21 platoons. And if you are referring to those units, then the answer is

22 yes. In any case, we called those units intervention platoons.

23 Q. What did that mean, the title "intervention platoon"?

24 A. One could say that those units had a special purpose. They were

25 called to deal with very special situations, for example, when the

Page 2240

1 situation on the front line was especially dire, they would be sent there

2 to deal with the situation. So those units were sent to deal with special

3 situations.

4 Q. Do you know that on the 11th of June, 1992, a Serb village of

5 Bosanska Bijela was attacked by members of the 108th Brigade?

6 A. I can give some answer with this regard, but let me first correct

7 you. It could not have been an attack, because Bosanska Bijela was under

8 the control of the 108th Brigade. It was under their control, and there

9 was no special reason to attack the village. Secondly, this village,

10 Bosanska Bijela, was predominantly a Catholic village. 70 per cent of the

11 villagers were Catholic and 30 per cent of the villagers were Serbs.

12 However, during that period, there was an incident in that village, yes.

13 Q. And what was that incident? Please describe it in the first

14 place, briefly.

15 A. I think that there was a clash between the parts. I believe that

16 the intention was to disarm the Serbian population, who had weapons during

17 that period of time, and that this resulted in a clash.

18 Q. Do you remember that about 20 Serb civilians were killed by

19 members of the 108th Brigade?

20 A. There were casualties. I don't know what their number was, and I

21 don't know who the dead people were.

22 Q. Now, going back a bit, then, to when the -- there was the outbreak

23 of hostilities in Brcko at the end of April and very beginning of May

24 1992. You, Mr. Ramic, were the head of the Defence Council, weren't you?

25 A. Yes. That was the name of the body, the Defence Council. It was

Page 2241

1 an institution of the government in the then-Bosnia-Herzegovina or its

2 municipalities.

3 Q. And you've told this Tribunal before that when the -- this is your

4 evidence, that when the shooting started and the attack on Brcko - that

5 was your evidence - was launched by army and paramilitary units, that you

6 organised the defence of the rest of the town. That's right, isn't it?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And you said you succeeded in controlling part of the town and the

9 southern reaches. And "you" here means the Muslim community, doesn't it?

10 A. If you will allow me, I would say that this was the other way

11 around. I can't answer your question, because it is not precise, and my

12 answer cannot be the answer to your question. Brcko came under attack.

13 There was aggression against Brcko. I was the representative of the legal

14 bodies of government and I was not the one to place the town under

15 control. I was defending it, and one could say that at that moment, we

16 managed to defend one part of the town, and that would be my answer to

17 your question.

18 Q. Well, let's be more specific, then. When in your previous

19 evidence you said - and this was in the case against Mr. Jelisic - you

20 said: We succeeded in controlling part of the town and the southern

21 reaches. And that's just -- for everybody's reference, that's at page

22 1741 of the transcript in that case. When you say, "We succeeded in

23 controlling part of the town and the southern reaches," can you tell this

24 Tribunal specifically who is "we"?

25 A. When I say "we," I'm referring to the representatives of the

Page 2242

1 then-legal government of the town of Brcko, the legal authorities. And

2 I'm referring to myself, the police, and the Territorial Defence that we

3 had at that time.

4 Q. Let us try and be realistic, Mr. Ramic. Was anybody who was

5 included in "we" for these purposes not a Muslim?

6 A. Of course. There were Croats as well as Bosniak Muslims. But I

7 would like to tell you another thing. When I say "we," I'm also referring

8 to a number of Serbs. There were not many Serbs, but there were Serbs

9 among us.

10 Q. How many?

11 A. At this moment, I can't remember exactly, but there must have been

12 anything between five and ten of them. I'm sure of that.

13 Q. Out of a total number included in "we"? Total number of how many?

14 A. I cannot speak about the total number at this moment. The war

15 line was established at that time. On the one side of that line were

16 Muslim Bosniak and Catholic villages, as well as two Serbian villages. So

17 when I say "we," I'm referring to that area. And now, as for the number

18 of people who defended that line, there must have been several hundreds of

19 such people.

20 Q. And in order to control part of the town and the southern reaches,

21 as you described it, you must have had, I suggest to you, at least a solid

22 foundation of weaponry.

23 A. Not exactly. We did not have enough weapons. We were not well

24 armed. We did have weapons, however.

25 Q. Well, I'd like you to be as specific as you can, Mr. Ramic, about

Page 2243

1 the extent of the weaponry in the hands of the -- I think several hundred

2 that you mentioned.

3 A. If you will allow me, I would like to say this. There were

4 several hundreds of people, but they did not have weapons. The following

5 would happen: On the front line, we had teams with weapons. They would

6 be replaced by other teams who would then take over their weapons. So not

7 everybody had weapons. Now, if you are asking me about the weapons, those

8 were private hunting rifles. There were people who had licences to carry

9 weapons for their private individual needs. There were also police

10 officers who had their official weapons, and there were also members of

11 the Territorial Defence who had weapons belonging to the Territorial

12 Defence. This is the weapons that I am referring to.

13 Q. So were there several -- I assume they were men for practical

14 purposes. Were there several hundred men who each had at least some

15 weapon?

16 A. No. No.

17 Q. So can you say roughly how many included in your description

18 of "we" that controlled part of the town, how many, from your

19 recollection, had their own weapons?

20 A. At that moment, at the beginning of war, I can't give you the

21 exact number. I can give you an approximate number.

22 Q. Yes, please.

23 A. It was less than a hundred people who had weapons. Less than a

24 hundred.

25 Q. And were you able to acquire any further weapons within, let us

Page 2244

1 say, the first two weeks of May 1992?

2 A. Yes. Yes, we did acquire some. In the course of May, we did

3 acquire some infantry weapons. I'm referring to automatic rifles and

4 semi-automatic rifles. We also acquired at the very beginning of May

5 about a hundred such pieces of weaponry.

6 Q. Where did you get them from?

7 A. We got them through an urgent intervention via our friends in

8 Croatia. We didn't get it through official channels, from the Croatian

9 government or the Croatian army. We got them from our friends in Croatia,

10 with the help of some people from Brcko municipality who had gone to

11 Croatia to search for weapons, to find weapons, and buy weapons. We had a

12 group of people from Brcko who went to Croatia.

13 Q. Was that group in operation, in the way that you've just

14 described, before the end of April 1992?

15 A. No. No.

16 Q. How quickly do you say it was formed after the 1st of May?

17 A. This group was dispatched urgently, on the second day. The

18 aggression against the town took place on the 1st of May, and this group

19 of people was dispatched to search for weapons on the 2nd of May.

20 Q. So let's get it straight. The group was then formed on the 1st or

21 2nd of May and dispatched on the 2nd of May? That's what you're saying?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. How large was this group?

24 A. There were three people, three men in this group.

25 Q. And what were their names?

Page 2245

1 A. Your Honours, I do not wish to --

2 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour. Maybe we should go into

3 private session for this. If it's necessary. Your Honour, and at this

4 point I guess I should say I'm not sure I see the relevance of this line

5 of testimony at this point.

6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, the first question is whether this

7 question should be answered in open session or in closed session. And the

8 second question, if you could answer that without influencing the witness

9 in such a way, that's the relevance question. You could do it in his

10 presence. If you think, however - and I rely on your fair judgement -

11 that you should do it in the absence of the witness, we could ask the

12 witness to leave the courtroom for a second.

13 MR. STEWART: I don't think I have a problem, Your Honour. The

14 two questions, I might myself put them logically the other way around.

15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, of course they're not related but they

16 come up at the same time.

17 MR. STEWART: So the question for me to answer is the relevance.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's the question for you to answer. The

19 other is whether we -- when you're asking the witness to answer your

20 previous question, whether it should be done in open or in closed session.

21 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm perfectly happy to deal with this.

22 So far as the relevance is concerned, that is very simple. The Defence

23 wishes entirely legitimately to have such information as it can get in

24 relation to these that the witness knows, and it is entirely legitimate

25 for us to ask him to give such information so that we may pursue lines of

Page 2246

1 inquiry, if necessary. That's a perfectly legitimate element of

2 cross-examination. Leaving aside the second question.

3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The answer to this question, as you've just

4 given it to us, would be valid on whatever question one would ask a

5 witness about facts.

6 MR. STEWART: Indeed.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That means that there would be no limit as far

8 as relevance is concerned any more because this answer would always be

9 valid if -- to the full extent supported by the Chamber to put a question

10 to a witness, because it could always be a source for further inquiries.

11 Before -- let me just confer.

12 MR. STEWART: May I add something first, Your Honour, to that?

13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.

14 MR. STEWART: With respect. Well, yes, what Your Honour says is

15 perfectly true. It does have this protection, Your Honour, which is not

16 trivial. These questions are in the hands of professional advocates who

17 are not simply asking completely irrelevant questions just for the fun of

18 it and that is something on which the Tribunal is entitled to place and

19 should place very significant reliance.

20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Although it should not be the final answer to

21 relevance or not. Otherwise, the Bench had an easy task.

22 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm not suggesting the Bench abdicates

23 or hands over its responsibility, but it is a very important element.

24 [Trial Chamber confers]

25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Chamber will not prevent the witness this

Page 2247

1 answer on the basis of relevance. It's also -- I think you justly asked

2 some confidence from the Chamber, the Chamber gives it to you. It's also

3 in your hands to keep the Chamber to be confident in the professionality

4 of counsel. Should the question be perhaps better be answered in closed

5 session, or at least in private session?

6 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, so far as that is concerned, it's

7 always slightly difficult here. One possibility is to go quickly into

8 closed session to explore why it needs to be in closed session. But it

9 may be, in order -- because that does take a certain amount of time. It

10 seems to me that it's perfectly safe to ask the witness, in very general

11 terms, the witness himself realising that we are in open session, to give

12 some indication as to why the withholding of these men's names requires

13 closed session. Because we've explored this before. There clearly must

14 be some solid reason given before we go into closed session. I suggest

15 that's a suitable course.

16 JUDGE ORIE: Whether it's up for a witness to give the solid

17 reason or to express his doubts, whether he could answer a question in

18 open or in private session is a different matter.

19 May I ask you, Witness, Mr. Ramic: You were asked to give the

20 names of those who were in the group who tried to get weapons abroad. Are

21 you willing to give the names of these persons?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you have to understand

23 me. I would have to have the consent of the people involved, because

24 they're still alive. And for reasons of their safety, of the safety of

25 their lives today, I do not wish to tell you their names in an open

Page 2248

1 session. However, if you insist, I can give you the names in a private

2 session.

3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We turn into private session.

4 [Private session]

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 2249












12 Pages 2249 to 2256 redacted, private session














Page 2257

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 [Open session]

13 JUDGE ORIE: We are in open session again. The Chamber has heard

14 part of the testimony of the witness in private session. There has been

15 some argument on whether it was appropriate to hear all this evidence in

16 private session. The Chamber has considered the matter and decided that

17 it should not be kept from the public, that among those persons who were

18 seeking weapons abroad was your brother, but leave it to that and give no

19 further information. The Chamber has to balance the impact on the public

20 character of the trial, on the one hand, and of course also keeps in mind

21 to what extent the Defence will be deprived from its facilities to further

22 inquiry into certain matters. Of course, private session does not

23 prohibit the Defence from further inquiring into matters, because even if

24 protective measures were granted, then, to the extent necessary for the

25 preparation of the defence, of course, the Defence may operate with those

Page 2258

1 data. Of course, on the other hand of the balance is the risk for

2 persons, and if we are talking about the protection of a witness, a

3 witness himself put forward what in his view is of importance in relation

4 to his protection. Whereas if we're talking about third parties, they are

5 not in a position to present themselves here in Court. And the Chamber is

6 also aware that if you make mistakes in this respect, that it could have

7 disastrous consequences.

8 For that reason, the Chamber has decided to proceed cautiously in

9 this respect.

10 Mr. Stewart, you may proceed.

11 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm sorry. There would be a slight

12 nuisance for which I apologise, because the Court has gone into open

13 session again. But Ms. Cmeric tells me that we're not 100 per cent clear

14 about one of those other names, anyway. It seems that there are two men

15 with the same surname, so that we would need perhaps to go very briefly

16 into private session just to clarify those names.

17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Ramic, could you perhaps please write down

18 the two names of the other persons you gave, and it will then be given

19 through the usher to the Defence.

20 MR. STEWART: Yes. That's perfectly satisfactory, Your Honour.

21 Thank you.

22 JUDGE ORIE: So if you'd please write them down and then,

23 Mr. Stewart, we'll continue.

24 MR. STEWART: Thank you.

25 THE WITNESS: [Marks]

Page 2259

1 JUDGE ORIE: You may give it to the Defence.

2 MR. STEWART: Thank you.

3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.

4 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.

5 Q. Mr. Ramic, the evidence that you've given so far, then, is that

6 this group of these three men, including your brother, Ibrahim, started

7 to -- the exercise of obtaining weapons from Croatia on, I think you

8 said, the 2nd of May. And how quickly did they manage to obtain those

9 weapons?

10 A. Approximately one week to ten days.

11 Q. And can you say what the nature and quantity of what weaponry was

12 obtained?

13 A. If my memory serves me right, we're talking about a hundred or so

14 automatic rifles, about 50 pieces of smaller arms, pistols and little

15 automatic weapons. And I also believe that there were some others. I'm

16 not a hundred per cent sure, but I believe that there were some four or

17 five mortars.

18 Q. So according to your evidence, it was around the -- it would have

19 been around somewhere between perhaps the 9th and the 12th of May before

20 that additional weaponry was obtained?

21 A. Yes, that's about correct.

22 Q. So when you referred in your evidence in the Jelisic case to: "We

23 succeeded in controlling part of the town and the southern reaches," at

24 what point in the chronology, at what point in April, May 1992 did you

25 succeed in controlling part of the town and the southern regions?

Page 2260

1 A. I thought that you understood me the first time round. On the 1st

2 of May, the war activities started. On the following day, they

3 intensified. The separation line went through the town somewhere near the

4 Brka River, and this is how the situation stayed for a few days. We were

5 on the other side, and the aggressor was in the main part of the town.

6 This is what I was referring to.

7 Q. So just to get it clear, then: That success in controlling part

8 of the town and the southern reaches was achieved very soon, within a day

9 or so, after the blowing up of the bridges; is that correct?

10 A. If you will allow me. I have to answer the following way: I

11 believe that it would be better to say that the aggressor did not achieve

12 to cross the river and get to the other side. This would be a better way

13 of putting it, rather than saying that we managed to gain control. We

14 were there, and it was not up to us to gain control, because the control

15 had never been taken away from us in the first place.

16 Q. Just to try and calm things down a little, Mr. Ramic. May I make

17 it clear that the way of putting it, which you took some exception to a

18 moment ago, was my quotation of your words in a previous case. Do you

19 understand?

20 A. I apologise. Yes, I'm clear about that. However, I can't

21 remember exactly which words I used in the Jelisic case. However, I

22 remember other things very well, and this is the only truth. We

23 controlled the entire town. Then we lost control over half of the town,

24 because the aggressor, the JNA, with other paramilitaries, gained control

25 of that part of the town but never managed to cross the River Brka and

Page 2261

1 reach the other part of the town that we had controlled all the time, and

2 that is the whole truth.

3 Q. How would you describe the -- what are called the military

4 situation -- I'll explain what I mean. Obviously you've got fighting

5 sides. That's absolutely clear from your evidence. So from early May,

6 during the first few days of May, clearly you've got groups fighting with

7 each other. So that's what I'll call the military situation. At the

8 point when you did acquire these additional weapons, you agree is probably

9 sometime between the 9th and the 12th of May, how would you describe the

10 military situation as it was then?

11 A. Let me put it this way: The description of the situation would be

12 as follows. From the 2nd of May up to the moment when we received the

13 weapons, around the 10th of May, I was in charge of the defence of that

14 part. However, it was my constant fear that we wouldn't manage to fend

15 the attacks off on the following day. This is what the situation was at

16 that time. We lived from one day to another, in fear that we wouldn't be

17 able to defend ourselves. Every day, in the evening, when I reviewed the

18 situation of the previous day and the operations on the front line, the

19 ratio of the forces, and my conclusion every evening was that on the

20 following day we wouldn't be able to defend ourselves any longer, up to

21 the moment we finally received the weapons, and then the situation

22 improved in our favour.

23 Q. So at the point immediately before you received those extra

24 weapons, let me put it this way: Supposing you were giving a military

25 report on the situation at that point, briefly, what would you have said?

Page 2262












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Page 2263

1 A. In that case, let me give you a description. We were under attack

2 by the complete JNA, which was stationed in the territory of Brcko

3 municipality. Together with the JNA, there was a huge number of some

4 other paramilitary formations. I knew that. I had information and I saw

5 them with my own two eyes. There were Arkan's guard, who had come from

6 Serbia. There were also the so-called White Eagles from Serbia as well.

7 There were also members of the military formation of the Serbian Radical

8 Party from Bijeljina, as well as some other Serbian volunteers. This was

9 the force that had attacked us. On their strength, they had at that

10 moment over ten tanks, in addition to other artillery. Also, according to

11 my information, they had four or five artillery divisions at their

12 disposal, and they were constantly shelling us from howitzers. They also

13 had a number of mortars turned towards us. The number of soldiers who

14 attacked us, I don't know exactly what their numbers were, but according

15 to my estimate, there must have been over a thousand of them at the time.

16 On the other hand, during the first couple of days, we managed to

17 set up the defence line along the Brka River, which flows through the

18 middle part of the town, dividing it into two parts, the south-west and

19 the north-east. We were in the south-west part and we held this front

20 line for two days.

21 Then, obviously, they crossed with the tanks and they gradually

22 pushed us from that part of the town and the defence line was slowly

23 moving in their favour.

24 Q. Mr. Ramic, you appear to have, on your evidence, you, that group

25 that you described as "we," appear to have defended yourselves for some

Page 2264

1 days against what you describe as very heavy forces of what you describe

2 as the aggressor, when, according to your evidence, you had a total of

3 about a hundred weapons, among which were hunting rifles. Could you

4 perhaps explain what it was with such limited resources which enabled you

5 to be at least relatively successful at that point in defending

6 yourselves.

7 A. Kindly understand me when I say this: I did mention hunting

8 rifles, but this was not the most important weaponry. I also said that

9 there were weapons from the police, and the police officers who had them

10 were Bosniaks and Croats. They had their police weapons. These were not

11 hunting rifles. There were also parts of the Territorial Defence who at

12 that moment managed to keep some of the weapons. Again, these were not

13 hunting rifles.

14 Secondly, during these first moments, the aggressor was so much

15 more powerful that, according to my estimate, they showed arrogance in

16 their approach. They thought that it would be easy to take the town. They

17 suffered huge losses. However, because we ambushed them from behind the

18 houses, and I believe that during these first couple of days, the

19 aggressor suffered, according to my estimate, some 30 dead men, and this

20 managed to stop them. It was then that they realised that it wouldn't be

21 so easy, and they became more cautious, and they withdrew a little for a

22 moment and then, after that, they treaded with caution and only with tank

23 support and the support of armoured vehicles.

24 Q. Before the 1st of May, Mr. Ramic, was there any sort of group in

25 action on attempting to obtain weapons in the way that you have described

Page 2265

1 your brother and these two other men obtaining weapons after the 1st of

2 May?

3 A. The group was organised by the municipality that I was the head

4 of, or the Territorial Defence, did not exist before the 1st of May.

5 However, I believe that there were individual attempts by people to arm

6 themselves. During the last 10 or 15 days of April, people felt tension

7 in the air. There was a state of chaos. There was a feeling of

8 uncertainty. According to my information, some individuals tried to arm

9 themselves at the time, but there were no organised groups set up to

10 obtain weapons.

11 Q. You see, I'll make it clear what I'm getting at, Mr. Ramic.

12 Evidence that you have given before this Tribunal, that you personally

13 have given, is to the effect that, for some considerable time, weeks and

14 possibly even going back months, there was great tension. You've

15 described considerable fears among the Muslim community, to the extent

16 that large numbers of the Muslim community actually left Brcko. You had

17 shortly before the events of the 30th of April and the 1st of May, in

18 fact, sent your own family to Zagreb. You have described your discussions

19 with the JNA. You have given evidence of weaponry pointing towards Brcko.

20 And against all that background, is it the case, Mr. Ramic, that there

21 were more organised and concerted efforts and arrangements put in place by

22 the Muslim community to obtain weaponry than you have so far told this

23 Trial Chamber today?

24 A. I don't think so. My answer is an explicit no. There was not an

25 organised group who was involved in armament. Up to the 1st of May,

Page 2266

1 everybody, including myself, hoped that there wouldn't be a war. We

2 invested a lot of effort into preventing any conflicts. This was where

3 our interests lay. We knew that we would never be able to arm ourselves

4 so well to be able to stand up to the other side, which was the official

5 armed force of that state.

6 Q. When you did acquire these extra weapons around the 9th to the

7 12th of May, how useful were they to you?

8 A. At that moment, this was a decisive thing for our survival. At

9 that moment, we realised that we would be able to hold for a while. With

10 that weapons, we soon started organising our military structure. Seven

11 days after that, we set up our first brigade, our first military unit.

12 Q. And what did that achieve for you in practice?

13 A. In practical terms, this meant the following: All able-bodied men

14 in the territory of Brcko municipality under our control were involved in

15 military formations, either directly as fighters or in other ways.

16 Secondly, when this unit was established, we managed to establish

17 a link with the military system of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

18 And thirdly, when this unit was established, we reached an

19 agreement with the Croatian part of the population, who were also

20 involved, and thus we managed to gain logistical support from Croatia,

21 primarily in weapons.

22 Q. The links between the Muslim community in Brcko and the Croatians

23 had gone back at least many, many months, hadn't they, before the events

24 of April and May 1992?

25 A. I must say that we had very good relationship with the Croatian

Page 2267

1 Democratic Union before the war. Those were not any particular special

2 links. And finally, it turned out that we were not as close as we might

3 have thought, and I can give you some facts to prove that.

4 Q. There was one common approach, wasn't there? In your evidence in

5 the Jelisic case --

6 A. Yes, that's correct.

7 Q. -- you were asked about the call-up of reservists to the JNA,

8 which had been issued to all citizens. That, of course, includes all

9 citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, regardless of their ethnic background, and

10 that was around the summer of 1991, wasn't it?

11 A. Correct.

12 Q. And you said that, in your evidence, and I'm quoting precisely,

13 page 1770 of the transcript in that case, that: "These reservists were

14 called up with the intention of sending them to war in Croatia, against

15 Croatia, and that is not what the people wanted."

16 Now, my question is: When you say, "That's not what the people

17 wanted," who do you mean by "the people"?

18 A. I was referring to the citizens of Brcko municipality.

19 Q. All the citizens of Brcko municipality or only some of them?

20 A. Probably. Probably some citizens, but they were a minority, did

21 not think that. According to my estimate, 80 per cent of the population

22 of Brcko municipality felt that way.

23 Q. And the minority that weren't opposed to call-up and fighting

24 against Croatia, did that minority have any particular identifiable

25 characteristics?

Page 2268

1 A. I know what you are aiming at. Yes, one could say that a large

2 majority of the Serbian population wanted to accept that. However, please

3 bear in mind that among the Serbian citizens were also those who were

4 opposed to that.

5 Q. But in general terms, the position was very clear, wasn't it,

6 Mr. Ramic: Those of Muslim and Croat -- well, the members of the Muslim

7 and Croat nations, I think you can describe them, were, in general,

8 opposed; and the Serbs were, in general, in favour of the fighting against

9 Croatia? I don't mean that there should be fighting, but since there was

10 fighting, they were supportive of the call-up and the JNA's action against

11 Croatia?

12 A. Your Honours, will you please allow me to give you an explanation?

13 I cannot answer in simple terms. In order for me to answer and for you to

14 be aware of the situation that was in place at the time, you have to be

15 aware of the following: At that moment, the people - and when I say "the

16 people," I mean everybody - the people had still not distanced themselves

17 along the ethnic lines. That was still not in place.

18 Another fact was that there was a war in Croatia in which the

19 Yugoslav People's Army was involved. This war was against Croats, and it

20 was only logical that Croats in Brcko did not want to fight against their

21 people there. It was also only logical that Bosniaks didn't want to go

22 there and to lose their lives there. But it was also only logical for

23 some Serbians not to want to go into war they didn't want themselves, and

24 I believe this would be the correct answer.

25 At that moment, there were still no ethnic divisions, or at least

Page 2269

1 they were not that obvious or visible.

2 Q. The way you described it in your evidence in the Jelisic case was

3 that when the people rebelled against, this that's the calling up of

4 reservists, when the people rebelled against this - I have to add this -

5 the army no longer called up reservists from other ethnic groups but Serbs

6 exclusively and the army turned into a uniethnic force.

7 So the background to that and to your complaint there, Mr. Ramic,

8 is basically very clear, isn't it? The rebelling was by Croats, for the

9 reasons you give, by Muslims, but not to any significant degree by Serbs;

10 is that correct?

11 A. No, that's not how it was. Let me add, please: The army called

12 up members of all ethnic communities. At the moment when it was known

13 that the soldiers would be sent to Croatia to fight there, all citizens

14 wanted to join the army, provided that the military would stay on the

15 territory of the Brcko municipality, which is what the army did not want,

16 because they would have been obliged to arm Croats and Muslims as well.

17 And that is why they decided to call up only the members of the Serb

18 community, when they decided to keep those units there.

19 Q. Now, of course, you at all times, the Muslim community, were in a

20 clear majority, weren't you, in Brcko?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Do you remember an occasion on which your brother, Ibrahim Ramic -

23 and I'm talking about before the end of April 1992 - publicly addressed

24 Serb representatives and said: According to the last census, there were

25 46 per cent of us in the town. God willing, on the next census, there

Page 2270

1 will be over 51 per cent of us and there will be no more of you left in

2 the town."

3 Do you remember your brother saying something either in those

4 words or close to those words?

5 A. I don't think that this is correct. I remember the conversation

6 you are referring to, and he did not use those words. I remember those

7 stories. I remember those conversations. I myself was present when this

8 was discussed. So he did not say: "There will be no more of you left in

9 the town." When he said that in the next census, there would be over 51

10 per cent of us, he was talking -- he was referring to the following: And

11 there were representatives of all ethnic communities there, including the

12 leader of the Serb community. He meant the following: Officially, about

13 44 per cent of the Muslims declared themselves as Muslims. However, there

14 was a large percentage of those who did not declare themselves as

15 Bosniaks. So there were at least six or seven per cent of Bosniaks who

16 had yet to be declared as Bosniaks. And that's what he had in mind. He

17 did not imply any war events or any unusual events. That's what he had in

18 mind, and this was, of course, known to the people he was addressing at

19 that time.

20 Q. This was a meeting of municipal leaders, wasn't it?

21 A. I'm not 100 per cent sure. Actually, I don't think that it was a

22 meeting at the municipal level. It was a meeting of the group of leaders.

23 I don't think that the parliament was the forum for that meeting.

24 Q. Anyway, you remember the conversation, and it -- whatever the

25 precise words, it was -- there was an aggressive underlying threatening

Page 2271

1 tone to your brother's remarks, wasn't there?

2 A. There was no reason for that. Please, let me reiterate. We did

3 not need to be aggressive. We were perfectly aware of the fact that we

4 stood no chance in such a war. We knew that we would be losers in any

5 such conflict. So I cannot agree with you.

6 Q. Before the end of April 1992, were there steps taken in Brcko to

7 reduce the number of Serbs in the police department?

8 A. In late 1990/beginning of 1991, multi-party elections were held,

9 and I became the president of the Brcko municipality, or the mayor. We

10 then proceeded with establishing the government together, with the

11 representatives of the Serb people, SDS, the representatives of the Croat

12 people through the HDZ. So it was a mutual, common agreement that we had

13 reached, to the effect that we would establish various structures of the

14 government on a parity basis, and that further appointments, further

15 employments at lower levels, would be amended or improved on the basis of

16 the ratio. It was not that we reached a specific decision at one point in

17 time. We just said that we would take into account the need to employ, or

18 rather, to proceed with the appointments on the basis of the ethnic

19 composition of the municipality. That was the agreement we had reached,

20 and it was also to be applied to the police, yes.

21 Q. Before the fighting that you describe as breaking out at the end

22 of April and the blowing up of the bridges, for some months since the

23 beginning of 1992, it's right, isn't it, that the Muslim community in

24 Brcko had erected barricades in some parts of the town?

25 A. Again, Your Honours, I need to provide explanation. At that time,

Page 2272

1 that is, prior to the 1st of May, during the month of April, because there

2 had been no barricades before that. However, in early April, certain

3 events took place in Zvornik and Bijeljina, and the news reached us.

4 Bijeljina is 40 kilometres away from Brcko, and many citizens of Brcko

5 have relatives or family living there. Terrible news reached us at one

6 point about what was going on there, and all of a sudden people became

7 fearful as to what might happen, and they thought about what they should

8 do.

9 At the same time, the Yugoslav People's Army - and this had been

10 going on for a while - started taking up strange positions. They were

11 digging in in the surrounding area of the town. There were heavy patrols

12 of the JNA all around the town, patrols that were accompanied by some

13 heavy vehicles, such tanks or similar vehicles.

14 The barracks, which is located in the centre of the town, was all

15 of a sudden surrounded by trenches, and machine-guns were placed around

16 the barracks, with the tubes facing the town. So obviously, it was only

17 natural for the citizens to begin to wonder. This resulted in an

18 incident, I admit, if this is what you're asking about. There were no

19 barricades; however, what happened was that one patrol, one army patrol,

20 at the end of April - it could have been on the 29th of April, according

21 to my memory, two days before the outbreak of the war - was stopped by a

22 group of Bosniak and Croat citizens in a suburb, and this is what

23 happened. However, it was the military, the army, that was engaged in

24 setting up barricades all around the town on the main approaches to the

25 town.

Page 2273

1 Q. There were barricades erected by both sides, weren't there,

2 Mr. Ramic, Serbs and Muslims?

3 A. I don't think I can agree with that statement. At that time,

4 barricades were not erected by Serbs either. It was the army that was

5 setting up barricades. As for the Bosniak or Muslim side, they were not

6 erecting barricades. What they did have, though, were patrols of sorts.

7 And this happened in late April, maybe during the last four or five days

8 in the month of April, but not before.

9 Q. In your previous evidence in the Jelisic case --

10 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, there's a similar issue to the one

11 which arose just before the adjournment.

12 Q. -- you described how, in a conversation when you had agreed to

13 talk with the -- and this was before the 30th of April -- agreed to talk

14 with the SDS leaders in the municipality about a division of the

15 municipality, and you referred to the president of the SDS, Mr. Vojinovic,

16 and you said -- Dr. Vojinovic. And as it happens, you did specifically

17 mention, I notice, your brother, Ibrahim Ramic, at that point. That's

18 page 1856 of the Jelisic transcript. You said: "For example, I knew the

19 president of the SDS pretty well, Dr. Vojinovic, my brother, Dr. Ibrahim

20 Ramic was a colleague of his. They worked together and of course they

21 would see each other often and talk."

22 That's the only context in which you mentioned him there. And

23 then you said in response to a question expressed directly to him, that's

24 Dr. Vojinovic, why they were doing that and why they needed the Serb

25 municipality of Brcko, which is what had been suggested, or a Serb region,

Page 2274

1 he answered that that is what those who were above him required from him.

2 And you suggested he was referring to Dr. Karadzic. And then you said:

3 "In another conversation when we agreed to talk about a division in

4 response to my question as to how we could carry out a division when the

5 entire area is intermixed, three quarters of the area is covered by the

6 Muslim people." His answer: The same president of the SDS, Vojinovic,

7 was... if you do not want to accept that, then that will be carried out by

8 force. He didn't say that he would be it, but he said it would be

9 implemented by force, meaning someone would come to it.

10 And then you said you organised a meeting where you brought them,

11 to which you brought the main people of the HDZ, the SDS, and the SDA.

12 There were about ten of you. Dr. Vojinovic was there. They brought maps.

13 You said: How are you going to do this? You said -- this was just before

14 the assembly on the 27th of April.

15 Then you said: One of them said in response to that -- and then

16 you said specifically: "I would not want to mention his name because of

17 his own safety, but I can give his name. He asked me that we have a

18 private conversation, that is to say, that is a man who did not wish me

19 personally any evil. That is a man who knew me for many years. Mustafa,

20 that's my name...", your name, Mr. Ramic, "... accept this, otherwise bad

21 things are going to come out."

22 Now, again, proceeding cautiously, Mr. Ramic, I ask you in the

23 first place, in summary -- well, first of all, did this -- you gave your

24 evidence in the case against Mr. Jelisic in September 1999. Would you, as

25 a starting point, consider that the same safety reasons for not mentioning

Page 2275

1 that man's name still apply now?

2 A. This is what this man told me. Those were his exact words. He

3 wouldn't have told me this if he had known that I would make it public.

4 He had told me this on a confidential basis, as a friend, and I consider

5 him to be a friend of mine. He would be in a very awkward position if

6 this should be made public. So if now you're asking me to tell you his

7 name, I have to ask the Court for understanding. I cannot disclose his

8 name. But in this conversation, he really said: "Mustafa, please accept

9 this. If you fail to accept it, if you don't accept it, a lot of evil

10 will come out of that."

11 I knew what he meant. I realised what the situation was and then

12 I talked to others, and then we agreed to accept it. And that's how it

13 happened.

14 Q. I want to be very careful not to get into discussion and argument

15 with you, Mr. Ramic, about matters which are not for us, you and me, to

16 debate, but to confine myself to what you can tell us about the situation.

17 Excuse me one second. Sorry. Just getting my page number again,

18 Your Honour.

19 You referred specifically to safety of this man when you gave your

20 evidence in the Jelisic case. My question was only whether the same

21 safety concerns apply now.

22 A. We discussed it before the break. Yes, the same concerns apply

23 now. And I appeal to your understanding. The area I come from is still

24 rife with distrust, despite the fact that circumstances have changed in

25 the meantime. I appreciate the efforts of this Tribunal to give its

Page 2276

1 contribution to normalising the situation. However, the safety concerns

2 are still present. In my assessment, the risk is still there.

3 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, the -- it seems appropriate in the

4 light of the witness's evidence at least at this point if I'd invite the

5 Tribunal to go into private session on this point.

6 JUDGE ORIE: We'll turn into private session.

7 [Private session]

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 2277












12 Pages 2277 to 2281 redacted, private session














Page 2282

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 [Open session]

17 JUDGE ORIE: We are now back in open session.

18 Mr. Stewart, could you give us an indication as far as the time of

19 the cross-examination is concerned.

20 MR. STEWART: Yes, easily, Your Honour. I have only one more

21 question. Of course, that may give rise to two or three questions to

22 clear it up, but I only have one more point.

23 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Thank you. Please proceed.

24 MR. STEWART: I suppose I could say it could take two hours, Your

25 Honour, but I'm not going to say that. It's a short point.

Page 2283

1 Q. Mr. Ramic, do you know of an organisation called Prosvjeta, I

2 think is how it's pronounced?

3 A. Yes, I am aware of that.

4 Q. And I think the translation probably is "enlightenment," into

5 English. Did you attend a rally under that label or under the aegis of

6 that organisation on the 18th of May, 1991?

7 A. I think so.

8 Q. Well, I think you spoke at that rally, didn't you? Didn't you

9 welcome the participants publicly?

10 A. Yes. Yes, I did.

11 Q. And do you remember who any of the speakers were at that -- the

12 other speakers were at that rally?

13 A. No. You will have to remind me, because I can't remember.

14 Q. Well, let me ask you very specifically. Can you say whether or

15 not Mr. Krajisnik was present at that rally?

16 A. To be honest, I'm not sure. As I sit here, I'm not sure. I don't

17 know. I can't remember.

18 MR. STEWART: I have no further questions, Your Honour.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stewart.

20 Is there any need to re-examine the witness, Mr. Hannis?

21 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'll ask my colleagues whether they have any

23 questions.

24 [Trial Chamber confers]

25 JUDGE ORIE: Before I finally make up my mind on whether or not to

Page 2284

1 ask any questions to the witness, could you, Mr. Stewart, explain perhaps

2 a bit more in detail what exactly the meaning, apart from allowing you to

3 make further inquiries, but what the direct meaning was about your

4 questions on what happened in this village at a distance from what I read

5 in the other testimony of this witness, of some 80 kilometres away from

6 Brcko, the attack, casualties. Do you remember?

7 MR. STEWART: Yes. This was the village of Sijekovac.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is there any direct link, apart from that you'd

9 like to make whatever inquiries you'd like to make.

10 MR. STEWART: Yes. I wonder whether I did specifically enough --

11 now that Your Honour mentions it, I wonder whether I did specifically

12 enough put to the witness -- I hope I did, but having caused some

13 nervousness now as to the participation of Muslims in the killing of a

14 number of civilians in that village. I begin to doubt whether I put that

15 sufficiently specifically. Perhaps, Your Honour, just, without --

16 JUDGE ORIE: For me, it's of importance to know what exactly this

17 incident or these events mean for the case of the Defence before I ask for

18 any further details. Because I'd like to invite the witness to give any

19 further details if there is a direct point of relevance for the case as a

20 whole. Because if it's just that during this time attacks were not

21 exclusively or mainly performed by one of the parties in the conflict, but

22 that other parties also made attacks now and then, if that's the issue,

23 I'll refrain from any further details, because that's clear even without

24 further details. But if there's any specific relevance of exactly that

25 incident, I'd like to know from you.

Page 2285

1 MR. STEWART: I beg your pardon. No. Your Honour, so there is --

2 there is -- let me put it this way, and I mean of course absolutely no

3 disrespect to those who were victims of what happened there. For the

4 purposes of this case there is nothing special about that particular

5 incident.

6 JUDGE ORIE: Well, apart from that it happened and who were, in

7 the view of the Defence, those who started the incident and who were the

8 victims. That's the issue?

9 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. And there is also the point,

10 when -- and it becomes a matter of argument, when set against some of the

11 things that this witness has said in the past about no knowledge of any

12 such matters. But no, Your Honour is right. This is not some central

13 incident in the case in its own terms.

14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, Mr. Ramic, I have no further questions

15 for you either. That means that this concludes your testimony in this

16 Court. I'd like to thank you for coming a far way. I'm also thanking you

17 for answering questions from both parties, and I'd like to wish you a safe

18 trip home again.

19 Madam Usher, would you please escort the witness out of the

20 courtroom.

21 [The witness withdrew]

22 JUDGE ORIE: Both parties are on their feet. Ms. Loukas.

23 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour. There's just a matter I wanted to

24 mention prior to the introduction of the next witness. Your Honour may

25 recall that in relation to the 92 bis submissions, in relation to the

Page 2286

1 municipality of Brcko, that the Defence had sought certain excisions,

2 certain redactions which I don't know if Your Honour has perhaps the

3 Defence submission before you at this time.

4 JUDGE ORIE: No, I haven't it in front of me.

5 MR. STEWART: I can hand up my copy. In any event, I can just go

6 to it globally. We asked for two excisions, and when one goes to the

7 Prosecution's reply, there's -- the Prosecution there indicated that they

8 were prepared to agree to the second redaction proposed by the Defence but

9 not the first. I raised with my friend this morning the fact that that

10 redaction hadn't been made, the one that they'd agreed to, and I'm just

11 wondering if it might be appropriate for the Chamber to deal with the

12 question of the first redaction, which I don't think has been dealt with

13 by the Chamber prior to the introduction of the next witness.

14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis.

15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, that's correct. We had agreed to the

16 second requested redaction, which in the English version of his statement

17 appears on page 8, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 -- six lines up from the bottom, and it

18 was a statement where the witness said: "I found it ridiculous that the

19 government would --" I can't read the rest because I've blocked it out on

20 my copy.

21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm afraid that I've still got a full copy, so

22 I could help you out. But it's the part where you read: "I found it

23 ridiculous that the government --" yes. I don't know whether I should

24 read it now.

25 MR. HANNIS: I have omitted that statement and made that redaction

Page 2287

1 on the copies now.


3 MR. HANNIS: The earlier redaction they requested, I would remind

4 the Court that that was a proposal when we were going to bring this

5 witness as a 92 bis, but now he's here viva voce and the Defence will have

6 an opportunity to cross-examine him about it. We're not willing to make

7 that redaction from his statement. He has adopted that as part of his

8 statement and my -- I believe that when he's here he will say: "Yes,

9 that's part of my statement."

10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Loukas, any further issue at this moment

11 or ...

12 MS. LOUKAS: No, Your Honour. I just thought it appropriate to

13 raise the question of the fact that there had been this Defence request,

14 there had been a Prosecution acceptance in relation to 50 per cent of our

15 submission, and what was proposed to be done with the latter half.

16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then let me just check whether there are any

17 protective measures in force. There are not, as far as I can see.

18 MR. HANNIS: No.


20 MR. HANNIS: Two other matters if I may before we bring in the

21 witness, Your Honour. One, are we going to the regular time today, even

22 though we started at 9.30?

23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Because it has to do with the schedules of

24 those who are assisting us, and also this courtroom might be needed this

25 afternoon. So therefore, I'd rather not -- we'll lose half an hour today.

Page 2288

1 MR. HANNIS: And the second matter is regards the procedure with

2 89(F) on this witness. We went through his statement and determined that

3 there were significant portions of his statement that weren't really

4 relevant for this particular case, and we've gone through and blacked out

5 paragraphs on -- and parts of paragraphs in both the B/C/S and English

6 versions. We have numbered each paragraph, but what I did was because I

7 wasn't sure which was the best procedure used for Defence counsel and the

8 Court was that there is one set in which I've numbered every paragraph,

9 even those that now are entirely blocked out, which gives us a statement

10 which has 44 paragraphs, or, in some cases where I omitted a whole

11 paragraph I only numbered those paragraphs where there still remained at

12 least a sentence. And there we only have 30 paragraphs in that version.

13 I don't know which is best for everyone to work with, because if there

14 were some issue that the Defence wanted to raise about an omitted

15 paragraph, it might be more helpful to have the full number because that

16 would match up with the numbered unredacted version.

17 JUDGE ORIE: Does the Defence have any clear preference for --

18 MS. LOUKAS: Well, yes, Your Honour.

19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

20 MS. LOUKAS: Oh, sorry. Microphone again. Yes, Your Honour. I

21 think that it, from our perspective, it makes more sense as a sort of

22 general procedure when dealing with statements of this nature to number

23 every paragraph including --

24 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translations continues]... Yes. Even the

25 blackened out ones. Yes. It is so decided, then.

Page 2289

1 MR. HANNIS: Then, Your Honour, we will show the witness the --

2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Prosecution, please.

3 MR. HANNIS: We will show the witness, then, the one that has 44

4 numbered paragraphs.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Although many lines in black.

6 MR. HANNIS: Yes.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness into

8 the courtroom.

9 [The witness entered court]

10 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Fazlovic.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Fazlovic, before giving evidence in this court,

13 the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn

14 declaration that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but

15 the truth. The text will be handed out to you now by Madam Usher. May I

16 invite you to make that solemn declaration.


18 [Witness answered through interpreter]

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

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

21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Fazlovic.

22 Mr. Fazlovic, we have only 20 minutes left in this hearing, so

23 therefore you'll be only for a short period of time in this courtroom

24 today, but we intend to continue tomorrow.

25 Mr. Hannis, it's up to you to follow the procedure as we agreed

Page 2290

1 upon earlier on. I think it is very important that at least the identity

2 of the witness is always clearly established at the beginning of his

3 testimony.

4 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.

5 Examined by Mr. Hannis:

6 Q. Good morning, Mr. Fazlovic.

7 MR. HANNIS: Could the witness be handed a copy of his statement

8 with the redactions.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Is there a copy for the ...

10 MR. HANNIS: The Defence should have a copy already, Your Honour.

11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But the Chamber would like to know what's out

12 and what's in.

13 MR. HANNIS: Yes. And I would like to have one marked as an

14 exhibit, Your Honour, because I propose to move it in once we've gone

15 through this process.

16 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be Prosecution Exhibit

17 number P71.

18 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

19 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Hannis.

20 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.

21 Q. Mr. Fazlovic, do you recognise that document that's in front of

22 you?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Could you tell us what that is, please.

25 A. This is my statement which I gave in Tuzla.

Page 2291

1 Q. And did you have a chance to review that yesterday, to check and

2 see if there were any corrections or additions you wanted to make to it

3 before today's court proceedings?

4 A. Yes, I had an opportunity to do that.

5 Q. And are you satisfied now that that's a correct and accurate

6 version of your statement, and are you willing to confirm to the Court

7 that that's true?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Thank you.

10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we would like to move the admission of

11 that exhibit at this time, and I propose to read a summary of it before I

12 ask him some additional questions about particular paragraphs.

13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do we have sufficient copies now? Madam

14 Registrar, I see that -- we need, then, a -- do you have another copy?

15 Otherwise we could miss one for the time being. That is, two documents,

16 as a matter of fact: The English translation and the B/C/S version.

17 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I see that an English translation is --

19 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, my case manager just left the courtroom

20 to make some additional copies.

21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And I also do understand that drawings are

22 attached to the B/C/S version but not to the English version.

23 MR. HANNIS: Correct.

24 JUDGE ORIE: Although -- no. It's all English text which appears

25 on the drawings. I see that --

Page 2292

1 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, as a matter of fact, I would propose to

2 just detach those drawings from his statement. They're not discussed in

3 the text of the statement, and I don't think they're necessary for the

4 Court to understand his testimony.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The problem is that on the back of one of the

6 pages that might be relevant, so -- but we'll solve that at a later stage.

7 Please proceed, Mr. Hannis.

8 MR. HANNIS: All right. Thank you. And if I may at this time,

9 Your Honour, I'd like to read the summary of his statement.


11 MR. HANNIS: The witness Jasmin Fazlovic is a Bosnian Muslim who

12 lived in Brcko and worked there as a firefighter.

13 On 1 May 1992, a day after the bridges on the Sava River had been

14 blown up, a contingent of JNA soldiers from Serbia came to the fire

15 brigade and told the witness and his colleagues that they had to remain at

16 their place of work. These soldiers said that they were from Serbia and

17 had been sent to prevent the outbreak of war.

18 On about the 4th of May, 1992, a group of Serbian paramilitaries,

19 led by Mirko Blagojevic, came to the fire station and demanded to see

20 identification papers. The witness and his Muslim colleagues were

21 separated and taken outside, beaten, and then taken to the police station.

22 At the police station, the chief of police, Dragan Veselic, told

23 the witness and his Muslim colleagues that they were going to be taken to

24 Luka and killed. A policeman that knew the witness interceded and

25 persuaded Veselic to let the Muslim firefighters return to work. Goran

Page 2293

1 Jelisic came in during this time and asked if the witness's group was

2 coming to the Prosvjeta Hotel with him.

3 On their way back to the fire station, the witness saw a number of

4 dead civilians between the Prosvjeta Hotel and the library.

5 On 10 May, 1992, the JNA major, Milorad Sehovac, deputy commander

6 of the local garrison, came with some soldiers to the fire station and

7 demanded to know who had made a phone call to a part of Muslim-held

8 territory. One of the Muslim firefighters admitted the call. Major

9 Sehovac told a soldier to kill him. The man was taken away and this

10 witness heard a gunshot and then Sehovac ordered the body to be taken to

11 the JNA barracks.

12 Ranko Cesic, a Serb acquaintance of the witness, came several

13 times to the fire station between May and September 1992. Cesic wore a

14 red beret and a camouflage uniform and said he was part of a special unit

15 that was engaged in cleansing parts of town. He said they "picked up

16 balijas from the basements" and "took them to Luka or the barracks."

17 Cesic told about killing a local butcher and later said he had

18 killed a lot of people. He put his gun in the witness's mouth and asked

19 if the witness wanted to be killed. Later, when the witness asked Cesic

20 why he had done that, the answer was: "Because you are Muslim."

21 The witness reports that sometime in June or July 1992, all three

22 mosques in Brcko town were destroyed by explosives within minutes of one

23 another. When the first explosion occurred, a Serb firefighter told the

24 witness that the other two mosques would also be blown up.

25 When the witness went to the site of the burning wooden mosque, he

Page 2294

1 saw local SDS leader Djordje Ristanic arrive and heard him complain that

2 too much explosives had been used, thereby damaging the nearby houses and

3 medical centre. A military officer who appeared to be in charge told the

4 firemen to not put out the fire in the mosque but only to prevent it from

5 spreading.

6 The witness remained at the fire station until the 15th of

7 September, 1992, and then hid at the home of a Serb friend until he

8 managed to be exchanged in late October 1992.

9 The testimony of this witness is relevant to paragraphs 17 through

10 21, 23, 24, and 27, and to counts 1 through 8 of the indictment.

11 That concludes my reading of the summary, Your Honour.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.

13 MR. HANNIS: And now, Your Honour, I would like to ask him a few

14 questions regarding some of the specific paragraphs.

15 Q. Mr. Fazlovic, in paragraph 3 of your statement, you talk about an

16 event on May 1st when JNA soldiers came to the fire station and told you

17 you had to remain there. Can you tell the Court approximately how many

18 soldiers were in this contingent?

19 A. Approximately six Serb soldiers came to the fire brigade station.

20 The remainder were deployed along the main street in the town. They all

21 wore camouflage uniforms. They were fully armed and they were members of

22 the regular army. We talked to them. They behaved normally. They told

23 us that we could not go back home, that the army had come out to prevent

24 fighting, and they kindly asked us not to leave the building, not to go

25 out. They boasted two soldiers at the fire brigade station who guarded

Page 2295

1 the water tower and the fire brigade building.

2 Other Serb soldiers who were dressed the same, however, wore

3 insignia, the tricolour colour, without the five-points red star, they

4 apparently were there to clean up the street. I could see them walking up

5 and down the street.

6 Q. Mr. Fazlovic, did this group tell you where they were from? Were

7 they local Serbs?

8 A. No, they were not local Serbs. One of them said that they were

9 members of a special unit from Novi Sad. They spoke with Serbian accent,

10 so I know for sure that they were not from our town, which, after all, is

11 not that big, so I would have recognised at least some of them.

12 Q. And was this the day after the bridges had been blown up?

13 A. Yes. This was on the 1st of May, sometime around 2.00 -- between

14 2.00 and 4.00 p.m.

15 Q. Then I want to take you to paragraph 5 in your statement, where

16 you talk about the 4th of May. Between the 1st and 4th of May, did you

17 stay in the firehouse?

18 A. Yes. Throughout the period of time up to September, I remained in

19 the firehouse. I was not allowed to go home. All of us Muslims were

20 required to remain at the fire station.

21 Q. Were there times where you went out on official firefighting

22 business during that time?

23 A. Yes. Whenever we were called either from the police or from the

24 barracks, we went on firefighting business, usually extinguishing fire in

25 Muslim houses. But whenever we went there, they would tell us: "Why have

Page 2296

1 you come here? Why are you extinguishing fire in these Muslim houses?"

2 Although there were Serbs in the unit, there were Serb soldiers, and in 90

3 per cent of the cases, they would eventually prevent us from putting out

4 the fire. Only if the house in question was a Muslim house, but in the

5 vicinity of a Serb house, then they would let us protect this other house.

6 Q. On the 4th of May, you say in your statement that another group of

7 soldiers came to the fire station. Can you tell the Judges about that?

8 How many were they and how were they dressed, et cetera?

9 A. Before the 4th of May, nobody mistreated us. But on the 4th of

10 May, at around 8.00, we heard explosion coming up from the yard of the

11 firehouse. When we looked out through the window, we saw a group

12 consisting of 50 to 60 people, who had fired from an RPG. They then

13 rushed into the firehouse. They first lined us up and then told us to lie

14 down. Both Muslims and Serbs were there at the moment. And they wanted

15 to see our identity cards, to see who was what. Then they started

16 verbally abusing us Muslims, non-Serbs, and eventually they took us out

17 into the yard, where the Vojvoda Mirko was. Again, these people were not

18 originally from Brcko. They were not Brcko residents. There was Slalic

19 [phoen], Vojvoda, then -- excuse me. Blagojevic, then Stankovic, then

20 Captain Dragan, at least the person whom they referred as Captain Dragan.

21 But he was -- he behaved irrationally. I don't know why they took him

22 with them. They told us -- they accused us Muslims of being snipers and

23 they said that we should all be killed. This person by the name of Dragan

24 was the one in favour of that, that we should all be killed on the spot.

25 I don't know how things eventually were decided, but at one point

Page 2297

1 we were sent to the police station, where we had to walk with our hands

2 behind our necks. They escorted us --

3 Q. Let me stop you there.

4 A. There was about seven of us.

5 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt. This group of 50 to 60 men, can you tell

6 us what kind of uniforms they were wearing?

7 A. Some wore uniforms. Some had only the camouflage trousers or only

8 a camouflage shirt. But at any rate, there were perhaps 20 per cent of

9 them who wore complete uniform. The rest were dressed mixed, part

10 civilian, part military clothes. Stanko had a helmet. I remember clearly

11 that he had a helmet with four S's on it. Mirko Blagojevic had a military

12 shirt on. They all had white ribbons on their shoulders. It was probably

13 a sign of recognition, so that they could recognise themselves.

14 Q. Were they all armed with some sort of weapons?

15 A. Yes. They were all armed. They all had automatic weapons, RPGs,

16 the so-called Zoljas, and metal clubs, and the like.

17 Q. And who appeared to be in charge of this group?

18 A. You mean the group that actually entered the firehouse? The

19 leader -- their commander was Mirko Blagojevic, because it was to him that

20 they addressed themselves for everything. He located his headquarters

21 there in the firehouse that night.

22 Q. Tell us how many firemen there were in total staying at the fire

23 station at this time and how many were Muslims and how many were Serbs.

24 A. I think that we were five, that there were five Muslims and three

25 Serbs.

Page 2298

1 Q. Was that the total contingent, eight persons, no others?

2 A. No, this was not the total contingent. The unit had about 20

3 people.

4 Q. But it was only the eight of you present on this day?

5 A. On this day, I was on duty because we worked in shifts, and it so

6 happened that we were on duty on that day. Several days later, two to

7 three Serbs arrived on top of that. They joined the unit later. They

8 also worked there, but they were not on duty on this day.

9 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, this is would be a good point to break.

10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Hannis. Looking at the clock, we have to

11 adjourn. Mr. Fazlovic, we'll continue tomorrow morning at 9.00. So I'd

12 like to invite you to be back, but in another courtroom. That's in

13 Courtroom I tomorrow morning. And I'd like to instruct you not to speak

14 with anyone about the testimony you have given in this courtroom until now

15 or you're still about to give. So with no one.

16 We'll then adjourn, unless, Ms. Loukas, you would have something.

17 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour, just briefly, just after the

18 witness is excused.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Usher, could you perhaps escort

20 Mr. Fazlovic out of the courtroom.

21 [The witness stands down]

22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Ms. Loukas.

23 MS. LOUKAS: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. Just in relation to

24 that matter I raised just prior to the witness coming in. That was the

25 question of the excision/redaction. I received a copy of the newly

Page 2299

1 redacted statement while the witness was giving evidence, and the full

2 redaction was not in fact made. I would indicate that the excision agreed

3 to began: "I found it ridiculous," and ended: "Protect himself." That

4 first sentence has gone out but the second sentence has remained in, the

5 sentence that ends "protect himself."


7 MR. HANNIS: If that's correct, Your Honour, then I would ask that

8 that change be made. I didn't realise that the second portion of that

9 agreed upon redaction had not been made. That may be my failure to read

10 the B/C/S adequately.

11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. May I take it that it will be checked until

12 tomorrow morning, 9.00, and that we'll then see whether we get a new

13 redacted one. And if you give it to the Defence just five minutes in

14 advance so that they can check whether everything is all right now.

15 MR. HANNIS: I will do, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If there are no further issues, we'll adjourn

17 until tomorrow morning, Courtroom I, 9.00.

18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,

19 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 20th day of

20 April, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.