1 Wednesday, 1 September 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.25 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone. Madam Registrar, would
6 you 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 Before we invite the Prosecution to call its next witness, I would
11 like to deliver two oral decisions. The first one is a decision on the
12 Prosecution's motion for protective measures at trial for Witness 666, a
13 witness known under another pseudonym, another pseudonym in another case.
14 In accordance with Article 21 of the Statute and Rule 75(A) of the Rules
15 of Procedure and Evidence, the Chamber may order measures for protection
16 of witnesses provided that the measures are consistent with the rights of
17 the accused. To order protective measures, the Chamber must be satisfied
18 on the basis of information provided by the Prosecution that the
19 circumstances justify withholding information from the public. In its
20 decision of the 11th of December 2003, the Chamber ordered that Witness 66
21 be referred to by pseudonym and ordered the delayed disclosure of the
22 transcripts of the witness's interviews and of related exhibits.
23 The Prosecution now requests image and voice distortion for the
24 witness's testimony and that he be permitted to testify in private session
25 for those portions of his testimony that are reasonably likely to reveal
1 his identity.
2 In the Defence response filed on the 19th of July this year and in
3 the further response filed on the 26th of July, the Defence opposed the
4 motions on the grounds that the information thus far disclosed to the
5 Defence did not satisfy the Prosecution's burden of proof for the
6 imposition of the additional protective measures. The Chamber has
7 considered the information submitted by the Prosecution on Witness 666.
8 The Chamber is satisfied that the witness's family has received serious
9 threats to their security and that the witness has a genuine fear of
10 reprisals against his relatives and against himself should it become known
11 that he testified before the Tribunal. The Chamber is further satisfied
12 that the protective measures requested strike an appropriate balance
13 between the rights of the accused to a public trial and the protection of
14 Witness 666 and his family.
15 The protective measures in question are hereby granted and the
16 Trial Chamber requests Madam Registrar to convey to the Victims and
17 Witnesses Unit the content of this decision.
18 The second decision to be delivered is a decision on the Defence
19 application for certification. It's an application by the Defence for
20 certification to appeal the Chamber's oral decision of the 30th of July
21 dismissing the Defence Motion of the 23rd of July on translation of
22 transcripts and other documents into B/C/S. Rule 73(B) of the Rules
23 states that a Trial Chamber may grant certification for interlocutory
24 appeal if the impugned decision involves an issue that would significantly
25 affect the fair and expeditious conduct of the proceedings or the outcome
1 of the trial and for which in the opinion of the Trial Chamber an
2 immediate resolution by the Appeals Chamber may materially advance the
4 In its application, the Defence asserts that two criteria of Rule
5 73(B) are met. The Defence claims that in the first place the issue of
6 translation goes to the heart of Mr. Krajisnik's ability to defend himself
7 adequately through his counsel. Accordingly, the Defence continues, it
8 impacts directly on the fairness of the trial and is clearly capable of
9 significantly affecting the outcome of the trial. As to the second
10 criteria, the Defence claims that Mr. Krajisnik's ability to work with
11 certain types of printed documents including transcripts of the current
12 proceedings in his own language will improve the efficient presentation of
13 his Defence. The Defence asserts that this will benefit all participants
14 in this trial in the search for the truth and will therefore in itself
15 materially advance the proceedings.
16 On the 17th of August, the Prosecution filed a response asking the
17 Chamber to deny the application.
18 In the Chamber's opinion, the Defence has failed to make a case on
19 the first criterion. It has failed to show that Mr. Krajisnik's access to
20 B/C/S audiorecordings of the proceedings, that his lack of access to hard
21 copy transcriptions of those recordings constitutes a deficiency which
22 would significantly affect the fair and expeditious conduct of the
23 proceeding or the outcome of the trial. Chamber recognised in its
24 decision that Mr. Krajisnik would perhaps be able to more efficiently had
25 he had access to transcriptions of the B/C/S recordings, but lesser
1 efficiency is not necessarily a handicap which rises to the level of
2 significantly affecting the fairness of the proceedings. The Defence has
3 not shown that this presumed lesser efficiency has that effect in the
4 present case. In the impugned decision, the Chamber reiterated the
5 operative principle that the guarantees provided in Article 21, Section 4
6 of the Statute do not extend to all documents, but only to evidence which
7 forms the basis of the determination by the Chamber of the charges against
8 the accused and that this right is ensured inter alia by the fact that all
9 evidence admitted at trial is provided in a language the accused
11 This principle is fully complied with in the present proceedings.
12 What the Defence is asking for is more than this. It's asking for the
13 translated material to be supplied in a certain format and it is asking
14 for the essentially routine translation of a variety of material on top of
15 the material proposed for admission as evidence. The case law of the
16 Tribunal, including the Celebici, Naletelic and Kvocka cases, the first
17 case, the decision of the 25th of September, 1996 in Naletelic, the
18 decision of the 18th of October 2001, and in Kvocka, the decision on Goran
19 Zigic Motion for translation of documents pertaining to his appeal of the
20 3rd of October 2001, the cases cited in the Chamber's impugned decision
21 supports the conclusion that the Chamber is complying with this principle.
22 To meet the burden of the first criterion of Rule 73(B) the
23 Defence would need to show that the Chamber decision, though complying
24 with the case law of the Tribunal, breaches an established principle of
25 fairness as expressed in Article 21 of the Statute, but no such principle
1 has been put forth by the Defence, nor has the Defence shown that the
2 Chamber's decision may have breached the principle I read out a moment
4 Since the Defence has not made out the first criterion of the
5 certification rule, the Chamber does not need to consider the Defence
6 submission on the second criterion. The Defence application therefore is
8 These are the two decisions I'd like to deliver to you.
9 Another issue that has been very much on the mind of the Chamber,
10 both before the recess and also after the recess, was the pace in which we
11 were operating in this case, apart from times not used to sit, days not
12 used to sit, because on the average only 1.8 hours a day were used for
13 examination-in-chief. This is not to blame one of the parties, but rather
14 it's just something important to establish. The Chamber refrains,
15 however, from further considering this matter at this very moment,
16 although it will certainly further monitor this matter. Since it's the
17 experience of the Chamber that not only during the last two days, but also
18 during the last two days, that the parties better and better managed to
19 examine the witness within the estimated time, even more and more often
20 now considerably within the estimate given, and the Defence is keeping
21 well within the limits of the -- what I would call the 60 per cent rule
22 for the cross-examination. Therefore the Chamber at this moment feels
23 that it's wiser to encourage the parties to continue. If I look at the
24 last two days, the time scheduled for examination-in-chief was seven
25 hours. That would add another four hours for cross-examination. That
1 would take 11 hours. But the two witnesses were -- the examination of the
2 two witnesses was concluded not only within the eight hours we were
3 sitting these two days, but even within the even lesser number of hours
4 available since we also had to deal with a few procedural issues. So the
5 Chamber decided that it would encourage the parties to continue in this
6 way to use the time in court as efficiently as possible.
7 These were the procedural issues the Chamber would like to raise
8 at this moment. There might come a few more during the coming days.
9 Therefore, I'd like to invite the Prosecution, and if I do understand
10 well, it will be Ms. Karagiannakis who will examine the next witness. Is
11 that correct? Ms. Karagiannakis, now you are also introduced already on
12 the record for reasons of the transcript.
13 Madam Usher, could you please -- yes, Mr. Stewart.
14 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, good morning, and it's very nice to be
16 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon as far as I'm concerned.
17 MR. STEWART: Well, good afternoon. It's very nice to be back
18 even in the afternoon, Your Honour, and thank you. I -- what Your Honour
19 just said over the last few moments sounded suspiciously like a compliment
20 to those that were dealing with the matter in court the last couple of
21 days so I am certainly delighted on the Defence's behalf to hear the Trial
22 Chamber's approval of the way in which the matter has been dealt with.
23 The -- just a couple of matters. I had proposed to be here, which
24 is just mentioned as a courtesy to Your Honour, just for the first session
25 today, but I am dealing then with the next two witnesses. So I promise
1 I'll be back.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. STEWART: The -- I did mention to Mr. Harmon this morning,
4 not -- I didn't see him or speak to him, but I just sent him an email
5 that in relation to one matter, which is a Prosecution motion in relation
6 to a witness with the number 623 in this case. That's for protective
7 measures. There's a motion on the table for protective measures, that
8 there is a reference in that motion to a decision of the Tribunal which
9 was made on the 5th of April -- was it this year? 5th of April this year.
10 It was made on an ex parte application. I understand it was a
11 confidential decision. We have not been supplied with it. My
12 understanding is that I should ask the Trial Chamber for that decision to
13 be made available to us, which I therefore do.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Unless Mr. Harmon would think that whether
15 reasons why he asked for an ex-parte decision at that time do not exist
16 any more. Sometimes, for example, delayed disclosure is something you
17 would apply for ex parte, but if it comes to protective measures and if
18 the date comes close to where the witness will testify, the delay has
19 found his end, and then of course there might be under circumstances, it
20 might not be necessary for the Chamber to interfere, but that the
21 Prosecution could at that time then disclose the existence of such a
22 decision to the Defence.
23 MR. STEWART: That helps me, Your Honour. I had not understood,
24 but it may be that my misunderstanding is therefore being corrected. I
25 had not understood that it was within the Prosecution's unilateral power
1 simply to release to us a decision which was given as a confidential
2 decision. If it is, then we shall in future then simply apply in the
3 first place to the Prosecution and only trouble the Trial Chamber if there
4 is an issue.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, it depends on the reasons why a decision
6 was given ex parte. But delayed disclosure is one of the -- I would say
7 one of the typical decisions where at a certain moment, the -- it's not
8 needed any more to keep something secret because then disclosure will take
9 place anyhow.
10 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm slightly -- I was puzzled. I had a
11 discussion with one of our legal assistants this morning. It seemed to
12 me, unless I've got it wrong, to be two completely different concepts.
13 One is ex parte where the application is made ex parte without reference
14 to the other party, and the other is when the decision is actually given
15 as a confidential decision, the two being strictly speaking different
16 things. If it has -- is given as a confidential decision, and my
17 understanding was that it -- maybe I'm wrong about that, but it's then not
18 within the unilateral power of the Prosecution to waive that or release
19 it. But we would at the very least have to make, it might be a fairly
20 formal step on occasions, but at the very least have to have the approval
21 of the Trial Chamber.
22 JUDGE ORIE: If a decision is given only confidentially, then it's
23 usually known to the parties. And if it's ex parte and confidential, then
24 it would be different. But confidentiality does not exclude one of
1 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, perhaps I'm not making myself clear.
2 When the application is made ex parte, as it was, then by definition we
3 were not there and were not involved. If the decision on that ex parte
4 application is then a confidential decision, we have not received it
5 because it was an ex parte application. But we -- again, unless I've
6 misunderstood it, the fact that the decision was then given as a
7 confidential decision means that it's only the Trial Chamber that can then
8 release the decision from that confidentiality and --
9 JUDGE ORIE: From the ex parte character or --
10 MR. STEWART: Well, the ex parte character is a sense what -- if
11 it started off as confidential, if it was a confidential decision,
12 confidential to those that were party to that application, then that's
13 only the Prosecution.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Therefore -- if then a decision would be given ex
15 parte and confidential, that would be double. There would be no need.
16 It's my understanding of the system of this Tribunal, but I'm also looking
17 at the Registrar, that if a decision is given ex parte that means that the
18 other party is not involved or even aware, perhaps, of the application
19 that was at the basis of the decision. It's sometimes from the very
20 nature of the reasons why the application was made ex parte, it becomes
21 clear that if certain conditions are fulfilled, that the Prosecution in my
22 view could lift that ex parte character. And, of course, the question is
23 whether they would need leave by the Trial Chamber to do that. I think it
24 never causes any damage if you ask, but whether they would need it even
25 under the circumstances as I just described, that's not -- that doesn't go
1 without saying as far as I'm concerned. But even if then the Prosecution
2 would say, well, let's say, the late disclosure of a protected witness,
3 the disclosure has to take place within 30 days before the witness has
4 testified and the witness is supposed to be called at the 1st of October,
5 then on from the 1st of September, there would be no need to keep that
6 decision ex parte any more because the other party would ask themselves
7 why they didn't receive that material any earlier. So it even makes
9 But then still the decision would still be confidential to the
10 extent that the outside world would not know about its contents, would not
11 know about who is granted what pseudonym, et cetera. So ex parte and
12 confidential can exist next to each other.
13 But let's not --
14 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I say, I'll read the transcript
15 tonight to see whether I can understand what on earth any of this is
16 about. It's taking me a while to get into the swing of it.
17 The -- but the key point actually, and the -- whatever the precise
18 procedure, Your Honour, is, may we with whoever's permission is required,
19 may we see this decision of the 5th of April 2000 which at the moment is
20 not available and has not been available to us without which we can't
21 fully understand the motion to which we now have to respond. And whoever
22 is empowered to give that permission on that release, may we have it.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I haven't got, of course, the decision clearly in my
25 Mr. Tieger, could you -- it's printed out for me at this very
1 moment but if you answer.
2 MR. TIEGER: The answer is relatively simply, Your Honour. And
3 that is that the premise that underlines -- underlies the request, I
4 think, is faulty. The motion before the Court at this point, the motion
5 that was filed on August 24th, is not predicated in any manner on the
6 previous ruling. It stands on its own and can be understood on its own,
7 responded to on its own, and ruled on on its own. And no previous filing,
8 confidential, ex parte or not, is needed in order to formulate a response.
9 MR. STEWART: That takes us slightly by surprise since the
10 decision is expressly referred to and footnoted in the motion. But if the
11 position is that nobody will look at that decision, neither the Trial
12 Chamber nor the Prosecution nor anybody else, and it will be completely
13 disregarded and all its contents completely disregarded for the purpose of
14 deciding the motion, then I'm entirely content. But if that's not the
15 position, then I'll press my application.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'll check that. Of course, if it's of no
17 importance for understanding the motion, if it's fully apart, then of
18 course one would wonder why to mention it in the application at all. But
19 we'll have a look at it. It's printed out to me now. It's confidential
20 and ex parte. Any further issue.
21 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. I wasn't here on Monday when I
22 noticed -- though in private session, I noticed that my name was taken
23 either in vain or was certainly mentioned on occasions. There was an
24 issue. I -- I'm -- we're in open session at the moment. I certainly
25 don't propose to trespass into any sensitive areas, though I must say I
1 didn't see very many in that private session on the transcript as it
2 happens. But I just wanted to assure Your Honours that I am going to take
3 the earliest reasonable opportunity to speak to Mr. Krajisnik again about
4 such matters. I'm going to see him tomorrow afternoon, and I will do my
5 very best to resolve such factual and other issues as arise in relation to
6 that matter.
7 I just wanted to make one thing clear, though, with respect, so
8 there is no misunderstanding, because one of the points -- and I don't
9 believe this is a sensitive matter which is inappropriate for me to
10 mention in open session, Your Honour, was the question of proceeding now
11 and I think Your Honour mentioned an issue which the Trial Chamber didn't
12 wish to get into which was the professional responsibilities and
13 professional ethics. As far as we are concerned, the Defence counsel, the
14 position is very clear. We have the conduct of the case. And as long as
15 we are counsel on the case, we will proceed in the normal way according to
16 the normal criteria so that unless there is some reason according to the
17 normal criteria why we would apply to the Tribunal for further time before
18 we proceed with cross-examination or unless there's some reason why we
19 should decide not to cross-examine, which of course is a perfectly normal
20 decision that one might take, that we will proceed according to the normal
21 criteria. And so Your Honour can assume safely that there will be
22 cross-examination of all the witnesses who are programmed to come up over
23 the next few days. Whether it's short or long, that's another matter but
24 we will proceed with, of course, as I have mentioned, the usual way.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for this information.
1 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just before --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, yes.
3 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour. Just before the next witness
4 is brought into the courtroom, there is one matter I should place on the
5 record. At 10.30 last night, the Prosecution forwarded their summary in
6 relation to the last witness via email. And then also in addition a
7 supplementary information sheet.
8 Now, I think that whilst I don't have a problem with material
9 being forwarded at a late stage by the Prosecution or -- the Defence are
10 under enormous pressure. At the same time, a summary at 10.30 at night,
11 which of course I received this morning because I tend not to be on the
12 internet late into the evening, is inappropriate. And I would like to
13 think that if it could be avoided in the future it should be avoided in
14 the future. I think a marker was put down by the Defence at some point
15 that perhaps if a summary could be delivered perhaps by 9.00 the previous
17 The other aspect is this, and I don't blame Ms. Karagiannakis for
18 this, I mean we're all under a lot of pressure, but it would be preferable
19 if we could get this material earlier to ensure that we are efficient in
20 court. Secondly, the supplementary information sheet is not a short one.
21 There are two pages of material. That's in addition to the summary. And
22 I would indicate this: That, Your Honour, I cannot guarantee that I will
23 commence my cross-examination once the evidence in chief of this witness
24 has been completed today. I will make that decision as the evidence
25 progresses and as the additional material is interpolated into the
1 evidence in chief. And, of course, we do have other matters that we can
2 go on with. But Your Honour would be aware that the Defence does not have
3 the luxury that the Prosecution has. For example, this week of having a
4 different Prosecution counsel for every witness. And I place that on the
5 record, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand. Now, whether that's only a
7 luxury or whether there are other reasons behind that is another matter.
8 But may I take it, and I'm addressing you, Mr. Tieger, because, of course,
9 I could ask you for explanations, et cetera. May I take it that this
10 happened in the first week after the recess and that we are not facing all
11 kind of practical consequences due to the fact that the summaries have not
12 been provided in due time, and I think 9.00 the prior evening is a -- is
13 already a very generous situation.
14 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, you can certainly assume that -- well,
15 first of all, I don't know the extent to which the recess and the
16 resumption played a role. But I wouldn't be at all surprised if it did.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It gave you a way out.
18 MR. TIEGER: So I -- and of course, the Court is aware, we will
19 make every effort to ensure that the summaries are provided as early in
20 the process as possible. Furthermore, when it -- that proves not to be
21 the case for some reason, we will try to work as closely with the Defence
22 to ensure that it doesn't handicap the process any more than absolutely
23 necessary and we will certainly try to wrest the underlying reasons that
24 might cause such a delay if it were to occur.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand. That is a long sentence for it
1 will not happen again. Ms. Karagiannakis.
2 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Can I just add a few words by explanation,
3 Your Honour?
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but few words.
5 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Just a few words. Well, in relation to the
6 additional information, obviously, I only saw the witness beginning
7 yesterday morning. So I wasn't in a position to conclude and provide that
8 additional information until after I'd seen the witness.
9 In relation to the summary, yes, we will endeavour to have those
10 summaries done beforehand. But of course, the summary is not the evidence
11 in the case. It's simply something we're reading out for the purpose of
12 the public record. And the evidence in this case, we'll seek to have two
13 statements of the witness admitted pursuant to the 89 -- Rule 89(F)
14 procedure, and of course they have been in the possession of the Defence
15 for some time now, I think, from at least the 17th of August. I just
16 wanted to add those few brief comments.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. Let's not -- I do understand that you
18 can't get any additional information until you've seen the witness. On
19 the other hand, then you have to take care that you see the witness at
20 such a time that the additional information reaches the Defence in time.
21 Because I do agree that under Rule 89(F) it might be less traumatic, but
22 if new information comes in, it should be there in time in order to enable
23 the Defence to make any further inquiries as necessary. So the mere fact
24 that you couldn't give it before you had spoken to the witness is not
25 very convincing.
1 Let's proceed. Madam Usher, could you please escort the witness
2 into the courtroom.
3 Ms. Karagiannakis, I do understand there are no protective
4 measures in effect and that your next witness is Mr. Osmanovic.
5 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Correct, Your Honour.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon. Mr. Osmanovic, at least I take it
8 you are Mr. Osmanovic, can you hear me in a language you understand?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Before giving testimony in this court, the Rules of
11 Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn declaration that
12 you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The
13 text of this solemn declaration is handed out to you now by Madam Usher.
14 May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Osmanovic. Please be seated.
18 You'll first be examined by Ms. Karagiannakis, counsel for the
19 Prosecution. Please proceed, Ms. Karagiannakis.
20 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: As I said, Your Honour, we will be seeking to
21 introduce two statements through the Rule 89(F) procedure.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Registrar, would you please give them a
24 THE REGISTRAR: The witness statement dated 5, 7, and 10 October
25 1994 will be Prosecution Number P265. The statement dated the 7th of June
1 2001 will be Prosecution Exhibit Number P266.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
3 What's the original, in this case, Ms. Karagiannakis? Is that the
4 English, as usual? So then the B/C/S translation would get P265.1 and
6 Please proceed.
7 WITNESS: IBRO OSMANOVIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Examined by Ms. Karagiannakis:
10 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Could the witness be provided with the
12 JUDGE ORIE: With his statements, yes.
13 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
14 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, can you see the two ICTY statements in front of
16 A. Yes, I can.
17 Q. Do you recognise these statements as statements you've given to
18 the representatives of the OTP?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you have a chance to review these statements yesterday before
21 today's court proceedings?
22 A. I did.
23 Q. And are you satisfied that these statements are a correct and
24 accurate -- are correct and accurate, and are you willing to confirm to
25 this Court that's the case?
1 A. I did give these statements, and they are correct and accurate.
2 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: At this stage, I would like to move for the
3 admission of P265 and 266.
4 JUDGE ORIE: We usually decide at the very end on the admission
5 into evidence. And the supplemental information sheet is not at this
6 moment --
7 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: I chose not to introduce it through the 89(F)
8 procedure because of the delivery last night.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, please proceed.
10 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: I propose to read out a summary of these
11 statements. And then I will ask some additional questions clarifying
12 what's in the statements, and then leading the additional information that
13 the witness provided yesterday afternoon.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
15 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Mr. Osmanovic was living and working in the
16 Municipality of Vlasenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1990. From August
17 1991 to April 1992, he noticed an increase in Serb nationalism and noticed
18 that Serbs and Muslims were starting to divide.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Karagiannakis, you know that when you're reading,
20 usually the speed of speech goes up. Would you please slow down a bit for
21 the interpreters.
22 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Yes, Your Honour. Little bit rusty.
23 On or about the 23rd or 24th of April 1992, the JNA took over most
24 of the vital departments in the town, including defence, justice, bank,
25 post office, and police. The witness believes that prior to the -- sorry,
1 the witness states that prior to the conflict, the SDS and the JNA were
2 working together. After the takeover, a local Serb called Milakovic who
3 was a member of the SDS assisted the JNA by assisting in the mobilisations
4 of the local Serbs into the JNA. Local Serbs assisted the JNA by
5 collecting weapons and manning checkpoints.
6 Milomir Stanic was appointed mayor of Vlasenica before the war and
7 became head of the SDS Crisis Staff. The witness says in his statement
8 that the SDS Crisis Staff governed the municipality after the takeover and
9 the departure of the JNA. Stanic was in charge of all civil and military
10 departments in Vlasenica. Directly under him were Milenko Djuric, in
11 charge of civil departments, and Kraljevic, who was in charge of military
12 departments, including Serb special forces. Basic reported to Kraljevic.
13 The witness saw Basic at Susica giving lists of names to Dragan Nikolic of
14 prisoners to be transported to Batkovic camp in Bijeljina Municipality.
15 The witness also saw Kraljevic at Susica. Dragan Nikolic reported to
16 Kraljevic and Basic. The Susica camp guards reported to the camp
17 commander Dragan Nikolic. The local president of the SDS was
18 Milomir Lukic. The headquarters for the special forces and the crisis
19 committee was the bauxite premises.
20 After the takeover in April and May 1992, Muslims were not allowed
21 to withdraw all their money from the bank. They were only allowed to
22 withdraw a restricted amount, whereas people of Serb ethnicity had
23 unrestricted access to their money. Muslims working at the bauxite
24 company did not receive their monthly salary in May 1992 whereas Serb
25 coworkers did. Muslims were scared to open their stores after the
1 takeover as they found that the stores of Muslims who had left Vlasenica
2 had been broken into and had signs painted on their shops and houses
3 reading, "Muslims leave", I quote, and, I quote, "We will kill all
5 Between 22nd April and 22nd May 1992, the non-Serb population was
6 not allowed to move freely within the municipality or to leave it.
7 Transit permits to move within the town were issued at the municipality
8 building. The permits were headed Serb Municipality of Vlasenica-Crisis
9 Staff, and signed -- and were signed by Stanic. The Crisis Staff also
10 announced that the residents would lose their jobs in Vlasenica if they
11 did not return to work. The witness saw another Crisis Staff order signed
12 by Stanic as president of the Crisis Staff to the 10 August company
13 telling the company to provide wooden boards to the army.
14 When the regular forces of the JNA left Vlasenica on or about 17
15 or 18 of May, they left all their equipment behind to the local Serbs who
16 used this equipment to shell a number of nearby villages. The shells were
17 incendiary and were designed to burn houses. As a result of the shelling,
18 some Muslims were killed, and the remainder of the Muslim population fled.
19 After his arrest on the 22nd of May, the witness was taken to the
20 police station with 20 other Muslim detainees. He was subjected to
21 beatings with police batons, metal pipes, and metal chains by special
22 military police. He saw other detainees being repeatedly beaten with
23 metal pipes chains, and grip portions of guns over the following days.
24 Whilst at the police station he witnessed the murder of Mr. Ambeskovic who
25 was a Muslim who had organised the referendum for a separate Bosnia and
2 Mr. Osmanovic was held there for 11 days before being transferred
3 on the 2nd of June to Vlasenica prison. It had the capacity to hold 50
4 men, but actually held about 150 Muslim men. Upon arrival, his valuables
5 were taken away. He was regularly beaten at Vlasenica prison, and many
6 detainees were taken out and never returned. While at the prison, he was
7 taken to help bury 22 villagers killed in the Muslim village of Drum on
8 the outskirts of Vlasenica. All were male, and all but one had a single
9 bullet hole in the middle of the forehead.
10 The witness was then taken to Susica camp on the 18th of June 1992
11 which then held about 500 to 550 people of which six or seven were women.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Please make a break. Please pause for the
13 interpreters. Thank you.
14 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: The oldest woman was about 80 years old.
15 Susica camp was run by Dragan Nikolic. He told detainees he was God and
16 law, and the guards reported to him. The witness saw two of the detainees
17 taken out of the hangar by Nikolic. They were beaten so badly that
18 shortly after their return they died from their injuries. He also saw a
19 detainee called Reuf beaten so badly over a four or five day period that
20 he begged to be killed. Nikolic, however, told him that a bullet cost 3
21 deutschemarks. Nikolic mistreated prisoners by threatening them with a
22 tear gas canister, firing his weapon, placing a pistol in the mouth of a
23 detainee and continually beating them. The witness was forced by guards
24 to leave the camp and loot Muslim property.
25 Mr. Osmanovic was transferred to Batkovic prison on the 30th of
1 June 1992 where he was remained for 13 months. Upon arrival at Batkovic
2 camp, Mr. Osmanovic was beaten by the guards and remaining valuables were
3 taken. He witnessed several beatings including one of a 70-year-old man
4 who died as a result of the beatings he received. In addition to the
5 guards, policemen from Zenica participated in the beatings. Several
6 detainees, in particular older people, died as a result of their
7 mistreatment in Batkovic.
8 JUDGE ORIE: You changed two times at least the word "believes."
9 And"that he states". I tried to check. Is that -- of course, that's a
10 different content of a summary. Is -- the one read out is the more
11 correct one? Or is --
12 MS. LOUKAS: I can indicate, Your Honour, that I actually objected
13 to the use of the term "belief" within the summary. As I understood it,
14 Ms. Karagiannakis was going to insert rather than "he believes," "in his
15 statement, the witness states that he believes." That was my
17 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, we can check in the statement whether in
18 the statement whether believe is expressed or whether in the statement any
19 observation of facts is...
20 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour, the statement does contain
21 "beliefs," you see. And that's why -- of course I'm uncomfortable with
22 the use of the term "belief" but if we're going to use the term "belief"
23 in a summary in the evidence, I think it should be made abundantly clear
24 that what the statement contains is -- that the witness statements
25 contains a statement of belief.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Ms. Karagiannakis, was it your intention to
2 summarise by saying "the witness stated that" or that "stated as his
3 belief that"?
4 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: It's just a summary --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please put your microphone.
6 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Pardon me, Your Honour. It's just a summary
7 of the witness statement. I believe that we will be addressing this
8 during -- throughout the course of this, so I'm going to take the witness
9 directly to the relevant sections and ask him what it is he is saying and
10 why it is that he is saying that.
11 JUDGE ORIE: The statements are tendered into evidence and the
12 only reason why I'm asking for it is in order to have a clear picture for
13 the public who has, of course, to rely on the summary read by you. Please
15 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Of course.
16 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, could you please look at paragraph 7 and 8 of your
17 statement dated 7 June 2001. Do you see those paragraphs?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Those paragraphs deal with the issue of transit passes. Can you
20 please read those two paragraphs and just clarify for us what type of
21 passes were available to people in Vlasenica between the 22nd of April and
22 the 22nd of May 1992.
23 A. All the Muslims in Vlasenica, between the 22nd April and 22 May
24 when I was taken to prison, those who wanted to leave the municipality of
25 Vlasenica and go to Kladanj and Zivinice got a transit pass from the
1 Crisis Staff. Those who remained in town got a pass which allowed them to
2 move about to their fields, to their work. There were two types of
3 passes. One was the so-called local pass, and the other one was the
4 so-called transit pass.
5 Q. Now, why were -- you say here in your statement, this is the
6 non-Serb population applying for these passes. That's paragraph 7. Why
7 were they asking for these passes?
8 A. Primarily for their own security. While these passes were being
9 issued, the transit passes, that is certificates allowing people to go and
10 leave Vlasenica and those allowing people to move about Vlasenica, the
11 able-bodied men were taken too the police station where they were
12 interrogated and beaten. Then they would return. Some managed to leave
13 Vlasenica during that time. Some remained in Vlasenica. Those who
14 trusted the SDS, the Crisis Staff and the local Serbs, remained in
15 Vlasenica. Unfortunately, many of them never managed to leave it.
16 Q. What sort of people got passes to leave the municipality?
17 A. Transit passes were given only to women, children, children who
18 were minors, and elderly, over the 65 years of age. The able-bodied men
19 could not get those passes unless they had some very good strings to pull
20 or unless they had money to pay for those passes.
21 Q. Now, in your statement, you said that you got a transit pass, and
22 you've just told us that there were two types of transit passes. What
23 type of transit pass did you get?
24 A. I got a transit pass which allowed me to move about Vlasenica and
25 to go to my field which was some 3 kilometres away. On the way there, I
1 had to pass the checkpoint which was manned by the local Serbs. So in
2 other words, this transit pass allowed me to go to my house, to my field,
3 and to my work.
4 Q. Can you please describe the contents of that pass to the Court.
5 A. It said "pass, the Crisis Staff of the Serbian Municipality of
6 Vlasenica," and pass for the person whose name was mentioned, and movement
7 is allowed within the boundaries of the municipality or it is allowed to
8 the bearer of the pass to leave the municipality. At the bottom of the
9 pass, there was a stamp of the Crisis Staff of the Serbian Municipality of
10 Vlasenica, and the signature was of Mr. Stanic.
11 Q. Do you have that pass with you here today?
12 A. I don't have it.
13 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Can the witness please be shown the next
14 exhibit, which is marked with number 03010815.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit Number P267.
16 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
17 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, can you please look at the B/C/S version of this
18 pass that's before you and please tell the Court in what ways is it
19 similar to the pass that was issued to you and in what ways if any is it
20 different from the pass that was issued to you?
21 A. This is a pass identical to mine. There's just one difference.
22 And that is the handwritten words "this is a pass allowing the bearer to
23 leave Vlasenica and travel to Zivinice." In my case, it said the movement
24 is allowed on route Vlasenica-Bregovi.
25 Q. Whose signature was on the pass that was issued to you?
1 A. Milenko Stanic.
2 Q. Thank you. I've concluded with that exhibit.
3 Mr. Osmanovic, the next set of questions I'm going to ask you
4 relate to your statement dated 5, 7, and 10 October 1994. Can you please
5 put that before and look at paragraph 65. In that paragraph, and I'm
6 summarising, you say that the Crisis Staff made all the final decisions in
7 the town. Then you say that the president of the Crisis Staff was in
8 charge because you saw his name on orders. Then you tell us about two
9 orders. The last part of that paragraph reads -- tells us about an order
10 that "the Crisis Staff committee also publicised that residents would lose
11 their jobs in Vlasenica if they did not return to work." Then you say "I
12 saw his name on this order and I had to note all the Muslims who did not
13 return to work in my section." Can you please tell us in more detail what
14 precisely was said in this announcement.
15 A. It appeared in the 10th August company where I was employed. A
16 paper was put in which it said that the Crisis Staff of Vlasenica
17 Municipality orders Muslims to return to work, those who were absent from
18 work for three days would lose their jobs. And it also said that a
19 certain amount of timber had to be surrendered to the army and the
20 signature on that notice was that of Stanic. And one more addition,
21 something that I heard was that a megaphone was used on a police vehicle
22 to inform the Muslim population to go back to work. Otherwise, they would
23 lose their work and their property. The SDS, the Crisis Staff guaranteed
24 full security to all the population of non-Serbian origin. This
25 announcement was read from a police vehicle via a megaphone, and the
1 previous two announcements were in a written form.
2 Q. I've got a number of questions. First of all, in relation to the
3 written announcements, did you see any stamps on those announcements?
4 A. It was the Crisis Staff stamp.
5 Q. And did you see any signature on those announcements?
6 A. The signature, again, Stanic's.
7 Q. When were those announcements posted? When did you see them?
8 A. I saw them when I arrived at work in the morning.
9 Q. Which morning was that?
10 A. Before that, we started working from 6.00. And after the curfew
11 was introduced, we started working at 8.00. A lot of people lived far
12 away from Vlasenica, and if they wanted to be on time for work, they had
13 to start during the dark because of the curfew, the working hours were
14 moved forward. I arrived around half past 7.00. Two or three days
15 after --
16 Q. Sorry, go ahead. Sorry, go ahead. You're getting to the point
18 A. It was two, three days after the factory started working because
19 the factory was closed for two or three days after the JNA and the local
20 Serbs took over the power in the town.
21 Q. Okay. Now, in relation to the announcement that you heard, did
22 you personally hear it or did somebody tell you that they heard it?
23 A. I heard it myself.
24 Q. And when did you hear that?
25 A. I heard it on my way back home from work. People were invited to
1 come back. I don't know how people in Zivinice heard about that. They
2 managed to return to Vlasenica. They heard that the SDS and the Crisis
3 Staff guaranteed full security. Some people from Zivinice returned to
4 Vlasenica. They managed to get to the municipal prison, and from there
5 they never returned alive. They never got out of there alive.
6 Q. Did you trust the message that was put out in that announcement?
7 A. I did unfortunately.
8 Q. Was your safety guaranteed?
9 A. I believed so. That was my impression. However, my impression
10 was wrong.
11 Q. Can you please now look at the first -- look at the same
12 paragraph, and you make a statement there. You say, paragraph 65, the
13 crisis committee appeared to make all the final decisions in the town.
14 Then you quote those examples. Are there any other reasons why you draw
15 that conclusion apart from the reasons that you've stated in that
17 A. I believe that there is. When the Serbian autonomous province of
18 Bihac was established, before Bosnia and Herzegovina was proclaimed an
19 independent state, a plebiscite was organised for the Serbian People who
20 voted in favour of staying in Yugoslavia. SAO Krajina, SAO Romanija, and
21 SAO Bihac were formed before that. And Vlasenica, Srebrenica, Bratunac,
22 Sekovici municipality together with Zvornik were included in the Bihac
23 Serbian autonomous province. There was a dual authority. There was a
24 legal municipality of Vlasenica, and in the Milici, the former local
25 commune, there was a so-called Serbian Municipality of Vlasenica with its
1 seat in Milici. So there was a dual power. When the JNA and the local
2 Serbs entered Vlasenica, the Crisis Staff arrived in Vlasenica in the
3 headquarters of the bauxite mine, and whatever was done from then on was
4 done through the Crisis Staff, nobody else. The Crisis Staff was the
5 leading body, the body which had power in the -- during the imminent
6 threat of war as they said.
7 Q. Did you please tell the Court how you come to know the facts about
8 the political situation that you've just described.
9 A. This was broadcast on television, and this could also be read in
10 the newspapers.
11 Q. Now, could you please look at paragraph 64 of that statement.
12 There you say that you believe Stanic was in charge of all civil and
13 military departments in Vlasenica, and then you go on to describe a
14 command structure, so to speak. Could you please tell the Court: What is
15 the basis of your opinion in that paragraph?
16 A. In the former Yugoslavia, the army had its own system, and they
17 controlled the Territorial Defence Staff, and they didn't interfere with
18 the civilian affairs. The former police had its own system, and they
19 didn't interfere with the army dealings. All the people wearing uniform
20 reported to the commander of the police station. The inspectors and
21 people working in civilian clothes reported to the chief of the police
22 station, the chief of police station was in charge of those.
23 In the military hierarchy, it is well-known that a lower-ranking
24 officer reports to higher-ranking officers. In the Susica camp, when
25 there was the first transport of people from -- to Batkovic, I saw Veljko
1 Basic giving a list to Basic [as interpreted], and he told him, Kraljevic
2 is my commander. When Kraljevic arrived, Kraljevic greeted Basic in the
3 military way although Basic was a former policeman. After that, Nikolic
4 also used the military greetings, the military salute, and that's where I
5 draw my conclusion from about the hierarchy that existed. Vojo Nikolic
6 who I mentioned here used to be a teacher, and then he started working in
7 the police station as an instructor. He worked with the uniformed police,
8 and among these people who are mentioned here, he was the only one who had
9 some education, and he was a regular police officer.
10 Q. Can I just stop you there. It may well be something incorrect in
11 the translation, but it says here that "at Batkovic I saw Basic giving a
12 list to Basic", and then he told him "Krajisnik is my commander". That's
13 at 9, 15:28:56 --
14 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, Kraljevic, not Krajisnik.
15 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Pardon me. Pardon me. My apologies.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Susica, when there was this
17 transport of people, from Susica to the Batkovic camp.
18 Q. And who told what to whom, can you just tell us again. Here in
19 the transcript, it says "I saw Basic giving a list to Basic." What
20 happened? Who gave the list to whom?
21 A. That's not what it says in the statement. I don't understand
22 English. But Veljko Basic gave the list to Nikolic.
23 Q. Okay, thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: If I may just interrupt you for one second. You are
25 speaking at quite a high speed, and the interpreters might have
1 difficulties in following you at that speed. If you speak a bit slower,
2 then there would be no need to correct later on. But I do understand that
3 you're not aware of it.
4 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
5 Q. All right. So if I understand you correctly, your knowledge of
6 this command structure is in part due to what you personally observed and
7 in part due to your knowledge about how military hierarchy operated before
8 the conflict. Is that right?
9 A. Yes, since I was a soldier myself and my father worked in the
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Ms. Loukas.
12 MS. LOUKAS: I think it's rather than summarising the affect of
13 the witness's evidence and what it might be, I think it's best if it comes
14 from the witness's mouth as opposed to the summary posited by
15 Ms. Karagiannakis.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Karagiannakis, if a summary or a short
17 repetition would create any risk of not exactly reproducing what the
18 witness said, we would rather stick to his own words. Please proceed.
19 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Yes.
20 Q. Could you please look at paragraphs 7 to 8 of your statement. In
21 those paragraphs, you describe local people assisting the JNA by setting
22 up checkpoints and disarming people. Could you -- were there any other
23 examples that you personally observed of local people assisting the JNA?
24 A. Between the 22nd and 23rd when the JNA and SDS took the town of
25 Vlasenica, the local Serbs were already armed in the morning and they had
1 white armbands. They had standard military equipment, and they were
2 providing security for vital institutions like the post office, the banks,
3 the hospital. They helped collect hunting weapons, legally-owned. They
4 helped collect hunting rifles and pistols which were legally owned with
5 the permission of the public security station. All those who had weapons
6 were recorded, were on record. Those who didn't have such a record
7 illegally possessed such weapons. They established a checkpoint by the
8 hospital which was closest to me. And at that checkpoint, Muslims from
9 the settlement and the pioneer division from Zeljko Lukica Street had to
10 hand over weapons by 9.00.
11 Q. Were weapons seized from people of all ethnicities in Vlasenica
12 Municipality or only particular ethnicities?
13 A. No, Your Honours, not from all ethnicities. Only from those of
14 Muslim ethnicity.
15 Q. Now, could you now look at paragraph 16 of your statement. In
16 that paragraph you describe how local Serbs used JNA equipment to shell
17 those villages of Pijuci, Dzamdzici, Bare, and Zaklopaca. Could you
18 please tell me what was the ethnic makeup of these villages.
19 A. The villages of Pijuci, Dzamdzici, and Bare, and Zaklopaca were
20 inhabited by Muslims exclusively.
21 Q. What did the populations of those villages insofar as you know do
22 after the shelling?
23 A. Those who survived, because in Dzamdzici and Bare, there were some
24 dead, those who survived went to Vlasenica. At least the children and the
25 women did. Some set off in the direction of Kladanj and Zivinice, and
1 others in the direction of Cerska. The men who were there went in the
2 direction of Cerska illegally through the villages because they couldn't
3 use the public roads.
4 Q. In this statement you've described in detail the beatings and the
5 murders that you witnessed in the four detention facilities that you were
6 detained in. And I don't want to go into those because they are dealt
7 with in detail in your statement. However, I'd like to ask you some
8 additional questions just on the conditions that you experienced in those
9 detention facilities and the nature of your fellow detainees in those
10 facilities as far as you know.
11 Now, first of all, you were detained in Vlasenica police station.
12 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: At this stage, I would like the witness to be
13 shown a photograph. I think...
14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit Number P268.
15 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
16 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, could you take a blue -- red pen, please, it's
17 right next to you. A blue pen.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We have as a rule blue for the Prosecution, black for
19 the Defence.
20 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Yes, could you please take a blue pen, please.
21 JUDGE ORIE: If the witness is marking, could the document be put
22 on the ELMO. If at least you are going to invite him to mark anything.
23 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Yes, I am.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then we would like to see it. Madam Usher,
25 could you please move the ELMO in such a way that the witness...
1 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
2 Q. Now, the first place you were detained in was the Vlasenica police
3 station. Could you please take the pen and mark that location with the
4 number 1.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Sorry, I can't see it.
7 JUDGE ORIE: The witness marked a 1 on a white building in the
8 centre of the photograph with a blue roof.
9 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Okay.
10 Q. Do you know what the building to the left of the photo is as we --
11 as you look at it is, or was in 1992?
12 A. Under number 1, we have the police station building and the fire
13 brigade building. That's where I marked number 1.
14 Q. The building next to it, and there are buses in front of it. What
15 building was that?
16 A. The building in front of which the buses is the municipal assembly
17 of Vlasenica, and across the road we have the bank and the bus station.
18 We have the municipal building, the bank, and the bus station.
19 Q. Can you please mark the municipal building with the number 2.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. And the bus station with the number 3.
22 A. [Marks]
23 Q. Now, there is a building behind the police station which has
24 approximately two storeys. It's not the low building directly behind the
25 police station, but the building behind that. What was that building?
1 A. The big long building is the building of the municipal court in
2 Vlasenica. And behind is the former municipal prison which was closed
3 until the JNA and the SDS took power in Vlasenica, at which point it was
4 activated and put into function in April of 1992. It's the municipal
6 Q. Can you mark the municipal prison with the number 4.
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. Now, going back to the conditions in the Vlasenica prison, could
9 you please tell me the number of people detained with you in -- sorry, in
10 the Vlasenica police station, sorry. Tell me the number of people that
11 were on average detained with you.
12 A. In the prison, in the police station, there were about 20 of us on
13 average. The number would charge from 7 to 15, and 20 would be the
15 Q. What was the sex of the people detained there with you?
16 A. We were all men.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Karagiannakis, could you try to clarify the issue
18 of how many people were in the police station and the prison, because I do
19 understand that the police station is the building marked 1 whereas the
20 prison is the building marked 4 and the witness deals with both of them in
21 one number.
22 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
23 Q. Let's focus on the police station which is marked as number 1 on
24 the exhibit. How many people were detained there with you?
25 A. That's what I have just said. Up to 20 in the police station.
1 Q. Okay. And you said that -- what was the sex of the people
2 detained there?
3 A. They were men.
4 Q. What the age range of the people detained there?
5 A. From 18 to 60 years of age.
6 Q. Did you know any of them personally?
7 A. I knew all of them.
8 Q. And to your knowledge, of the people that you knew personally,
9 were any of those people involved in any military activities?
10 A. None of them participated in military activities.
11 Q. What was the ethnicity of those people?
12 A. They were all Muslims.
13 Q. What sort of food were you provided with at the police station?
14 A. We were in the police station in Vlasenica, and we received food
15 from homes on occasion, and sometimes we wouldn't receive any. If they
16 brought us food from homes, if there was anyone in these homes, they had
17 to beg to obtain such food. We were hungry far more frequently than being
19 Q. Did the police ever provide you with any food?
20 A. The police in the prison didn't provide us with any food, with the
21 exception of -- apart from on one occasion when they brought us some food
22 that had gone off. We didn't have any plates, we didn't have any spoons.
23 They poured it into our hands. It was as if we were animals.
24 Q. Were you provided with any medical care?
25 A. In the police station in Vlasenica, there wasn't any medical care
1 of any kind.
2 Q. Can you describe your access to water and toilet facilities.
3 A. We could use water. We had access to water but only in the
4 basement of the building. The person who went to get water or went to the
5 toilet would be beaten on the way there and on the way back.
6 Q. Finally, can you please describe your sleeping conditions.
7 A. Some of us slept standing, some sitting down, but there weren't
8 any beds. There were concrete tiles.
9 Q. How would you describe the atmosphere in the place where you were
11 A. The atmosphere, in the prison? It was an atmosphere of suffering,
12 of misery, of pain.
13 Q. Okay.
14 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Your Honour, I see it's nearly time for a
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: I just --
18 JUDGE ORIE: If this would be a suitable moment for you, we'll
19 have a break, and we'll continue at 10 minutes past 4.00. And I indicate
20 to the parties that the Chamber is inclined to start really in time.
21 --- Recess taken at 3.35 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 4.11 p.m.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Karagiannakis, please proceed.
24 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
25 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, I'd like to move on to your detention in the
1 Vlasenica prison which you marked on the previous exhibit as number 4.
2 Can you tell us who the commander of that prison was.
3 A. The commander of the municipal prison in Vlasenica was Sukanovic.
4 A policeman in uniform. Some of them recognised him as a worker, an
5 employee, of the central prison in Sarajevo. He was a professional who
6 held this position.
7 Q. How were you treated in his presence?
8 A. In the presence of the Mr. Sukanovic, the premises were aired,
9 cleaned, it was possible to go to the toilet, to drink water. It was
10 possible to have food brought from our homes. When he was absent, all of
11 this was prohibited. There were beatings which did not occur in his
12 presence. He treated us in a fair and correct manner, and as a
13 professional policeman.
14 Q. Approximately how many men were detained in that facility during
15 your stay there?
16 A. The premises of the municipal prison consist of five cells. There
17 were on average up to 150 of us.
18 Q. Were there any women or children there?
19 A. In the municipal prison, there were only men.
20 Q. And of the men that you knew personally at that prison, how many
21 of those did you know to be involved in military activities?
22 A. As far as I know, none of them were involved in such activities.
23 Q. What was the ethnicity of the people in the prison?
24 A. They were all of Muslim ethnicity.
25 Q. In general, what sort of food were you provided with?
1 A. We would receive food from our homes on a daily basis, and on one
2 occasion we were given food in the prison. The Serbs gave them this food.
3 These were the remains that they had. Everything else boiled down to
4 contributions from those who still had acquaintances who had remained in
6 Q. Can you describe your access to water and toilet facilities.
7 A. As far as going to the toilet is concerned and getting water,
8 while the warden of the prison, Sukanovic was there, that wasn't a
9 problem. But when he was absent, we were beaten on the way to the prison
10 and back. We would go to the prison on one occasion in the morning, and
11 sometimes on two occasions, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
12 Q. This may be a translation problem, but what you said was
13 translated back to us as, and I quote: "We would go to the prison, and on
14 one occasion in the morning and sometimes on two occasions, once in the
15 morning and once in the afternoon." That was in response to a question
16 about what sort of water and toilet facilities you had. Did you mean to
17 say prison or something else?
18 A. I was referring to the use of the toilets in the prison.
19 Q. Thank you. Were you required to do any work whilst you were at
20 the Vlasenica prison?
21 A. In the prison, in the police station, we didn't do any work,
22 whereas in the municipal prison, we were forced to work, to loot the
23 property of Muslims, to loot abandoned Muslim houses. We had to bury the
24 dead in the village of Drum. We had to unload flour for the former state
25 bakery, and we had to dig trenches at the front line in the direction of
2 Q. Where did you take the property that you had looted from abandoned
3 Muslim houses?
4 A. The items looted from abandoned Muslim houses were taken away in
5 the Varos Street to a Muslim house that was there and was also abandoned.
6 And it had extensive business premises in its basement.
7 Q. And who controlled those -- that house where the looted property
8 was stored?
9 A. People of Serbian nationality.
10 Q. Whilst at the Vlasenica prison, did you have access to medical
12 A. In the municipal prison in Vlasenica, we didn't have access to
13 medical care given that only on one occasion two persons in white overalls
14 came to examine us. There wasn't a physical checkup of any kind. There
15 weren't any medicines. We just had to see them, say where it hurt, if it
16 hurt, and then we had to return to our cells.
17 Q. Were you provided with any medications? Were you or anybody that
18 you saw that was beaten provided with any medication?
19 A. No one was ever provided with any medication.
20 Q. Finally, can you describe the sleeping conditions in that prison.
21 A. The sleeping conditions in the municipal prison consisted of the
22 hotel in the SUP. We slept on the floor, but there was no damper. There
23 was a parquet floor, and there were some shelves on which they used to
24 keep certain things. We were able to use them to sleep on, whereas in the
25 SUP prison we didn't have these facilities.
1 Q. When you say "SUP prison," are you referring to the police
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Moving on to Susica camp, can you please describe the food with
5 which you were provided.
6 A. In the Susica camp, for the first two or three days, they would
7 bring us food from our homes, and that depended on the goodwill of the
8 guards and of the warden. That is to say, of the commander, Dragan
9 Nikolic, also known as Yankee. We could get food if he was in a good
10 mood. If he wasn't, we wouldn't get any food. But subsequently, once a
11 day we were provided with a meal brought to us by people of Serbian
12 nationality in uniform. It was provided at about 11.00. We had about 10
13 plates, and as many spoons. We all had to eat from those plates. They
14 wouldn't be washed. There was no hygiene. It was necessary to use these
15 things to eat the food.
16 Q. How many people had to share those ten plates?
17 A. Between 500 and 550 people from the territory of three
18 municipalities, Vlasenica, Sekovici, and Kalesija.
19 Q. What sort of access did you have to drinking water?
20 A. In the Susica camp, drinking water was distributed twice a day.
21 One cup of water would be provided on each occasion. It was brought in in
22 a military canister of about 30 litres. And they went from man to man,
23 and one cup of water would be provided in the morning and another in the
25 Q. What sort of access were you -- what sort of medical care were you
2 A. As far as medical care is concerned, no care of any kind was
4 Q. What sort of access did you have to toilet facilities?
5 A. As far as toilets were concerned, we would get up at 6 -- up until
6 6.15 or 6.20 at the latest. All 150 [as interpreted] of us had to run the
7 gauntlet in order to relieve ourselves.
8 Q. What happened when people ran the gauntlet?
9 A. While people ran the gauntlet, armed guards, they had the usual
10 military automatic weapons, they were lined up to provide security of some
11 kind in spite of the fact that those premises were encircled by a wire
12 fence, and they kept urging everyone to hurry up. Everything had to be
13 done as fast as possible.
14 Q. Did all the people -- did all the detainees have to go to the
15 toilet within that time period you mentioned?
16 A. They all went out during that time period, all those who were in
17 that hangar. Anyone who needed to relieve himself went out whereas at
18 night, they would bring us a 10-litre pot which was used as fire
19 extinguishing equipment and 550 people used this to relieve themselves if
20 it was necessary in the course of the night.
21 Q. Can you describe your sleeping conditions.
22 A. As far as the sleeping conditions in the Susica camp, in Vlasenica
23 is concerned, those who had arrived before me and who were taken from
24 their homes had some sort of a blanket. Some people had a sort of sponge
25 in order to sleep on. And I and people from Kalesija and Sekovici slept
1 on concrete.
2 Q. Were you forced to do any work while you were at the camp?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Please tell us what that was.
5 A. Repair work to a road from Vlasenica in the direction of the
6 Susica camp. There was also the cleaning of Jusuf Dautovic's flat. This
7 person was of Muslim nationality, and it was -- involved transporting his
8 property in the vicinity of the Susica camp. Those items were set on
10 Q. Why were those items set on fire?
11 A. I don't know why they were burnt, but when we were unloading the
12 items from the ATC vehicle. We were given a jerry can with petrol in it
13 and we were given a lighter to set fire to these things. And they said
14 "you will set fire to them, not the Serbs."
15 Q. Did you have any choice as to whether you did the work that you
16 were asked to do?
17 A. If you refused to do what they asked the detainees to do, you
18 could be beaten. And we all feared for our lives.
19 Q. What was the sex of the people detained at Susica?
20 A. There were six to seven women, one of them was about 80 years old.
21 They were in the Susica camp. Most of the detainees were Muslims. They
22 were men. They were adults from the municipalities of Kalesija, Sekovici,
23 and Vlasenica, and there were some young men who were returning from their
24 regular military service in the JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army.
25 Q. And of the men that you personally knew in Susica camp, how many
1 of those were involved in military activities?
2 A. In the territory of Vlasenica Municipality, in the territory of
3 the town of Vlasenica, there was no military activity. Those people who
4 were in the Susica camp and whom I personally know, as far as I know, none
5 of them participated in a conflict of any kind.
6 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Could the witness please be shown the next
7 photographic exhibit.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Have we dealt with the previous one,
9 Ms. Karagiannakis?
10 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Yes, we have.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Because very often, the Registrar copies the short
12 description, and it says "aerial photo of Susica camp." But I haven't
13 heard anything about the previous one.
14 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: The previous one is an aerial photograph of
15 Vlasenica town.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but it's on your list indicated as Susica camp.
17 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: I'll seek to correct that, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: It's Vlasenica town. Yes, thank you.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit Number P269.
20 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
21 Q. Could you just describe what that picture depicts.
22 A. The picture depicts Vlasenica, the suburbs of Vlasenica. The road
23 that we maintained leading towards the Susica camp to big barracks and one
24 small barrack, the latter was not used while I was in the camp. And in
25 the larger frame, we can see the camp, the hangar where people were
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 accommodated. You can also see a smaller camp with the MTS, the materiel
2 and equipment. You can also see the sentry, and you can also see a house
3 in which women and children were, those who were brought to the Susica
4 camp. You can also see the place where Mr. Jusuf Dautovic's things were
5 set on fire.
6 Q. Can you mark with the number 1 the place where people were
8 JUDGE ORIE: The picture on the ELMO is not very clear. Could the
9 light be or... Yes.
10 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
11 Q. Can you mark with the number 2 where the sentry post was.
12 A. [Marks].
13 Q. I see you've marked two positions as sentry posts. Is that right?
14 A. Yes. At the entrance gate and another sentry post where guards
15 would be.
16 Q. Could you mark with the number 3 the place where the women were
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. And could you mark with the number 4 the town of Vlasenica.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Can you estimate the distance between Vlasenica town and Susica
22 camp, please.
23 A. The distance between Vlasenica and the Susica camp is
24 approximately a kilometre and a half to 2 kilometres.
25 Q. Thank you very much. I've finished with that exhibit.
1 Now, Mr. Osmanovic, I'd like to move on to the -- your detention
2 in Batkovic camp. In which municipality is Batkovic camp, prison?
3 A. The Batkovic camp is 12 kilometres from Bijeljina towards the Sava
4 River in the complex of the so-called Agrosemberija, the former wheat
6 Q. Where did the detainees that were in Batkovic camp with you come
8 A. The detainees who were in the Batkovic camp, the first group which
9 was transported from the Susica camp; the second group was transported
10 from the Susica camp and were told that they would be exchanged. Still we
11 found them in the Batkovic camp. After that, they started bringing people
12 from Zvornik, Lopari, Ugljevik, Bijeljina, Rogatica, and even 512 people
13 from Manjaca.
14 Q. How many people arrived with you to Batkovic from Susica camp?
15 A. Together with me, some 400 people came from the Susica camp and
16 their transportation took approximately three days.
17 Q. How many people arrived from Manjaca? Pardon me. Sorry, you've
18 answered that question. When did the people who arrived from Manjaca
19 arrive at Batkovic camp?
20 A. They arrived after the Manjaca camp was dismantled. Actually one
21 day before it would be dismantled.
22 Q. Do you remember the approximate date?
23 A. I can't remember the date. I believe it was in 1993. At the
24 beginning of 1993 or the end of 1992.
25 Q. All right, thank you. Of the people that were with you in 1992 at
1 Batkovic, can you please tell me what sex those detainees had -- were.
2 A. In the Batkovic camp, there were two women from Rogatica. And the
3 rest were men, and there were some children aged 16 who didn't want to be
4 separated from their fathers.
5 Q. What was the ethnicity of those detainees?
6 A. From Vlasenica, Kalesija, Sekovici, Zvornik, and Bijeljina, those
7 people were of Muslim ethnicity, whereas from Brcko some people who
8 arrived were also Croats. There were only Muslims and Croats in that
9 camp. Later on, they brought four Albanians who had worked as bakers
10 somewhere around Doboj. So finally, we ended up with some Albanians in
11 that camp.
12 Q. Of the people that you personally knew at that camp, how many of
13 those people were engaged in military activities before detention?
14 A. All those who arrived with me and whom I knew, none of them
15 participated in any military activities. Later on, one person was brought
16 to Batkovic camp. His name was Nedim Mostarcevic. He was from Tuzla. He
17 was brought wounded and we were told that he had been captured on the
18 front line. After him, they also brought a man from the territory of my
19 municipality. His name was Fadil Alihodzic. He was also charged with
20 being a member of the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 Q. I'm going to the conditions in the camp. What sort of food were
22 you provided with?
23 A. When we arrived in the Batkovic camp, we received a loaf of bread
24 for breakfast, and it had to be cut to 12 or 15 slices, and one egg. That
25 was our breakfast. For lunch, we would receive some cooked food. And in
1 the evening, we would get boiled corn flour. What we received the first
2 day was exactly the amount that we received on the day when the camp was
3 filled to its capacity.
4 Q. Can you clarify something, please. How much bread did you receive
5 for breakfast for each person?
6 A. Per person, one slice.
7 Q. What sort of access did you have to water?
8 A. There was water. There were five or six pipes, and we could use
9 water throughout the day. We had access to water.
10 Q. What access did you have to toilet facilities?
11 A. In the Batkovic camp, we were allowed to use toilet during the
12 day, not during the night. And we had a makeshift toilet. It was a hole
13 that was dug out 10 metres long, 1 and a half metres wide, and 50
14 centimetres deep.
15 Q. Can you describe your sleeping conditions.
16 A. In the Batkovic camp, there were two persons sharing a military
17 mattress, and a military mattress consists of three parts. And the size
18 of it is 1 square metre, and this had to be shared by two people. After
19 that, they removed those mattresses from us, and we had to sleep on straw,
20 on hay. This is what we used to sleep on.
21 Q. Were you required to do any labour?
22 A. We had to work every day. We had to go to Agrosemberija to work
23 in the fields. We work on constructing an airport at the exit from
24 Bijeljina. We also worked on the front line. We had to bury the dead.
25 We had to do the felling, various transports, whatever the people who were
1 on the front line couldn't do. On their behalf, the detainees had to do
2 instead of them.
3 Q. What did you do on the front lines?
4 A. On the front lines, we had to dig trenches for the Serbian army.
5 We also carried ammunition for the Serbian army to the areas which were
6 not accessible to vehicles. We also had to do felling for the Serbian
7 army so they didn't have to do that. We also built kilns for the dugouts
8 where they were located. Whatever their men used to do in the past, we
9 had to do instead of them. We also had to clean the streets in the town.
10 We did all sorts of work.
11 Q. When you were working on the front lines, was combat ongoing?
12 A. On two occasions while combat was ongoing. One time in the
13 vicinity of Lopari. That's when a young man from Divic was killed. That
14 was on the 5th of December 2002. And the second time, again, in the
15 vicinity of Lopari towards Celic village, we had two wounded and two dead.
16 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, you mentioned the date 5 December 2002. Did you
17 mean 2002 when you said it?
18 A. I apologise. I apologise. It was in 1992.
19 Q. Thank you. If you didn't want to do the work that was asked of
20 you, were you able to refuse?
21 A. In the Batkovic camp, you were not allowed to refuse to go to
22 work. There were group leaders who conducted people to looting in Ahmici
23 or to other Muslim villages. We were also taken to the front lines. This
24 person who was the group leader would just count people. They would be
25 loaded onto lorries and they would be taken to the designated places.
1 Q. You mentioned the village of Ahmici. Which municipality are
2 you -- in which municipality is that Ahmici village?
3 A. Village -- Akmadzici is on the Bijeljina-Ugljevik road and it is
4 in the Municipality of Bijeljina.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, in your statement dated October 1994, you name --
6 you identify by name a number of victims of killings and beatings in these
7 detention facilities. What is the ethnicity of the people that you have
8 identified by name?
9 A. Those people whom I named --
10 MS. LOUKAS: [Previous interpretation continues] ... I think for
11 the sake of the transcript it would be useful to have the paragraph
13 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: These names appear all the way through the
14 statement. But I can -- basically, they are in nearly every paragraph. I
15 can identify --
16 MS. LOUKAS: 1 to 70?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to be practical. Did the witness testify
18 about the ethnicity of those who were kept in Batkovic?
19 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then the question would be, well, let's -- I do not
21 imagine that any of the victims of these acts were those in charge of the
22 camp, but were those who were detained. So isn't it sufficiently then
23 established, at least on the basis of this testimony, what was the
24 ethnicity of those who were considered to be victims?
25 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, indeed, Your Honour. I was suggesting for the
1 sake of the transcript it would be useful to nominate the specific
2 paragraphs because we are dealing with a statement that is -- that has 70
3 paragraphs. And not all of them --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes, but I think the matter as such is not
5 really an issue. On the basis of the earlier testimony and -- let me ask
6 you, Mr. Osmanovic, whenever you are talking about -- whenever you
7 mentioned any name of a victim in Batkovic camp, what was their ethnicity?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Muslims.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. No Croats?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were Croats as well. But
11 those that I knew and that I was acquainted with were all Muslims.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And those you mentioned by name.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
15 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, could you please look at paragraph 9 of your
16 statement, paragraphs 9 and 7 of your statement. You named a number of
17 people who were assisting the JNA in the takeover. What was their
19 A. In paragraphs 7 and 9, I mentioned Dragan Bastah, also known as
20 Car, Dragisa Milakovic, he was Bastah's neighbour. These people were of
21 Serbian ethnic origin.
22 Q. In paragraph 11, you mention two names. Can you please tell me
23 what their ethnicity was.
24 A. In paragraph 11, I mention Rajko Ninic who worked in the 10th
25 August of Vlasenica -- the furniture company and also Mane Djuric who at
1 the time was the chief of the police station. Before the occupation, Mane
2 Djuric was an anti-fire protection inspector. And they are both Serbs.
3 Q. In paragraph 14, you mentioned a number of people that were
4 involved in your initial arrest. Could you please tell me what their
5 ethnicity was.
6 A. People mentioned in paragraph 14 are also Serbs. Stevo Mumovic
7 hailed from a different municipality, from Han Pijesak. The others hailed
8 from the territory of Vlasenica Municipality.
9 Q. In paragraph 17, you mention a number of people that were involved
10 in your initial long-term arrest and detention at the police station.
11 What was their ethnicity?
12 A. All these people mentioned in paragraph 17 are Serbs. At the
13 bottom of this paragraph, people mentioned there are my neighbours from my
14 neighbourhood. That's how I knew the names of their parents.
15 Q. You also mention some special military police in the following
16 paragraph, 18, that were involved in beatings. What was their ethnicity?
17 A. People mentioned in paragraph 18 are also Serbs. They differed
18 from others because they wore camouflage uniforms. They were allowed to
19 enter the police station, the prison, and the Susica camp.
20 Q. What was the ethnicity insofar as you know of the guards and other
21 official personnel at the Vlasenica police station?
22 A. They were all Serbs. The employees of Muslim origin who worked
23 until the day the JNA entered Vlasenica lost their jobs. They were
25 Q. What was the ethnicity insofar as you know personally of the
1 guards and other official personnel at the Vlasenica prison, municipal
3 A. Also Serbs.
4 Q. What was the ethnicity insofar as you know of the guards and other
5 official personnel at Susica camp?
6 A. They were all Serbs.
7 Q. And what was the ethnicity insofar as you know of the guards and
8 other officials at Batkovic camp?
9 A. In Batkovic, also Serbs.
10 Q. As far as you know and learned subsequently, how many Muslims
11 remained in Vlasenica town at the end of 1992?
12 A. In 1992 when I left, in the Susica camp there were about 150
13 people of Muslim origin. And there were some who had remained in their
14 houses. They were still there because Serbs had not taken them to the
15 prison. Currently, the municipal commission of Vlasenica Municipality is
16 still searching for some 1400 people from the territory of Vlasenica
18 Q. How many people remained voluntarily and freely as at the end of
19 1992, to the best of your knowledge?
20 A. Voluntarily, nobody would have stayed.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Ms. Loukas.
22 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. Of course, just an
23 objection in relation to the value of the evidence. Of course, he was, on
24 his own evidence, at the end of 1992 not at liberty. So it's doubtful as
25 to what value that sort of evidence might be for the Tribunal,
1 Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: The question started "as far as you know and learned
3 subsequently," and of course if the witness did not count the remaining
4 Muslim population of Vlasenica, then of course the source of knowledge
5 muse be a different one and should be evaluated. It is a matter that
6 could have been dealt with in cross-examination as well or at any later
8 Please proceed, Ms. Karagiannakis.
9 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS:
10 Q. I just have one final question for you, Mr. Osmanovic. Can you
11 please describe what happened to your family after the takeover of
13 A. After the takeover of Vlasenica, my older brother, whose wife was
14 a Serb and he lived in the Piskavice neighbourhood, he was in house
15 arrest, and he was killed on the 22nd of September 1992. My mother, my
16 two sisters, and my younger brother were also detained in the Susica camp.
17 From that camp, my mother was able to leave together with my older sister
18 towards Srpska. My younger sister and my younger brother stayed there.
19 The whereabouts of my younger brother are not known, and my sister from
20 Susica went to the Pelemis camp. An exhumation was carried out a few days
21 ago and it was established that all of the bodies there had burned down.
22 Only the two of us still remain of my entire family unfortunately.
23 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: That concludes my examination, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Karagiannakis.
25 Ms. Loukas, are you ready at least to start to cross-examine the
2 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour, I would indicate as I indicated
3 prior to the witness coming in, of course, I've received additional
4 information from the Prosecution today. I think it might be useful in the
5 circumstances, we could take an early break. There's some material I need
6 to obtain from Ms. Philpott. And then I'm happy to commence my
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Philpott is clear what Ms. Loukas expects
9 you to give her? Yes, okay.
10 I'm just looking at the clock. Ms. Loukas, if we would have a
11 break now, the second break usually is 20 minutes. Then we would have one
12 hour and three quarters left, which is just a bit too much for one tape.
13 If you could make, perhaps, a start, if it were only for 10 or 15 minutes.
14 MS. LOUKAS: I'm happy to do that, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Then we would still have an early break, but not as
16 early as you...
17 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, I'm happy to do that, Your Honour. I'll just
18 need the lectern.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Osmanovic, Ms. Loukas, counsel for the Defence,
20 will now examine you, but we'll soon have a break. Then she'll continue
21 after the break.
22 Please proceed, Ms. Loukas.
23 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
24 Cross-examined by Ms. Loukas:
25 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Osmanovic.
1 A. Good afternoon to you, too.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Osmanovic, I don't propose to take you through any of the
3 unfortunate and tragic circumstances you have been through. What I will
4 be doing is asking you a series of questions that hopefully most of which
5 can be answered with yes or no. Are you with me?
6 A. Yes, I am.
7 Q. Now, first of all, Mr. Osmanovic, I think in your statement right
8 at the beginning, you indicate that - and this is your statement of 1994
9 that I think you have before you - and in about paragraph 2, you deal with
10 the fact, sort of historical background material in relation to August
11 1991. Do you see where I'm talking about?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Now, you talk there about the sort of -- the Serb nationalistic
14 songs and that sort of background. And continuing in paragraph 3, of the
15 communities beginning to sort of divide amongst themselves. Correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And of course, that was at the time you're dealing with there,
18 that was, of course, in the context of the background of the war that was
19 going on in Croatia. Correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, going on to the issue of uniforms and military service, you,
22 of course, as did all men in the former Yugoslavia of an appropriate age,
23 you had to serve compulsory military service. Correct?
24 A. Yes, that was when I was 18.
25 Q. And of course, when you did your military service, you were given
1 a uniform?
2 A. While I was serving in the army, I was given a military uniform.
3 Q. And of course, it was generally known at that time, of course,
4 throughout Yugoslavia that all people who had served their military
5 service and were reservists had JNA uniforms. Correct?
6 A. No, it's not correct. Those who had served compulsory service
7 became reservists, but they did not all have JNA uniforms. Those who had
8 a war assignment in another unit, in a different unit, such as was my
9 case. I was a member of a fire brigade. I had a firefighters' uniform,
10 not a military uniform. Those who were assigned to the maintenance of
11 some facilities in utility companies also didn't have military uniforms.
12 They worked in overalls.
13 Q. Now, I'm not trying to confuse you here, Mr. Osmanovic. So what
14 I'll do is just take you back to some previous testimony you gave when you
15 gave evidence in the trial against Mr. Milosevic, okay? I think you
16 nodded your head, but for the transcript it's important that you actually
17 say "yes" or "da" as opposed to --
18 A. Very well.
19 Q. Now, for the benefit of the Court, I'm dealing with the
20 cross-examination at page 29.504 of the transcript for the benefit of the
21 Court and counsel. Now, of course, when you gave evidence on that
22 occasion, you were again subject to the oath just as you are today.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you told, of course, the truth on that occasion?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I just want to confirm some answers you gave there in relation to
3 questions. The first question is "in relation to uniforms, you did your
4 military service, didn't you, and you had the same JNA uniform. Right?"
5 And your response was -- answer -- your answer was "yes." Correct?
6 A. That had to do with doing my military service.
7 Q. Indeed. I'm just getting you to confirm your answers from the
8 previous trial. Now, the next question you were asked was this: "Wasn't
9 it a generally known fact throughout Yugoslavia that all reservists had
10 JNA uniforms?" And your answer was "yes." Correct? Agreed?
11 A. Yes, for the reservists who were part of or with the reserve force
12 of the JNA.
13 Q. Yes. And further, you were asked this question: "So these who
14 were on the police force or on the reserve force, they all had these JNA
15 uniforms. They all wore JNA uniforms that were available to them all that
16 time even before the conflicts broke out. Is that right?" And your
17 answer was "yes."
18 A. This has to do with the reserve police force, and they had their
19 own uniforms. The police force had different uniforms. And this is now
20 about the beginning of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Those who didn't
21 have the uniforms of the reserve police, those who didn't have some other
22 kind of uniform, those who didn't have the olive-drab uniform of the JNA,
23 they put those uniforms on.
24 Q. Yes. But in any event, you agree, of course, here today with the
25 answers that you gave on a previous occasion. Correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And of course, the situation is that to your knowledge, of course,
3 there were a significant number of people who had uniforms throughout the
4 former Yugoslavia, prior to the breakout of the war?
5 A. Yes, there were quite a few people who had uniforms.
6 Q. And that's quite apart from, of course, people who were then
7 currently serving in the army. Correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, going on to another point, I just want to take you to your
10 statement, again the statement that's in evidence and you have before you.
11 And that's at, if you'd like to turn to paragraph 5 of your statement. Do
12 you have that before you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You indicate there that "everything was calm - indicating in
15 Vlasenica - until the 23rd or 24th of April when the JNA came in to town."
17 A. I stated in that paragraph that up until the arrival of the JNA,
18 it was calm in the town, yes.
19 Q. And I think the situation is that when the JNA arrived, you did
20 not see them abuse or mistreat anyone. Correct?
21 A. Madam, introducing a curfew also amounts to maltreating people.
22 Entering houses, keeping people in their houses is also maltreating
23 people. The JNA when they proclaimed together with the crisis staff that
24 arms should be handed over, they guaranteed full security, full safety for
25 people of Muslim nationality. Unfortunately, those who remained and
1 believed the army, such as was my case, they experienced these things.
2 Q. Okay. Again, Mr. Osmanovic I'm not trying to confuse you in any
3 way. What I'll do is I'll just get you to confirm a question and answer
4 that you gave when you were being cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic. Are
5 you with me?
6 A. I'm following you.
7 Q. Yes. You were asked this question: "When I asked you this, when
8 they arrived, when this JNA unit arrived whose size we cannot identify,
9 did they mistreat or abuse anyone"?
10 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Sorry, Your Honour, could counsel indicate
11 where their --
12 JUDGE ORIE: The page number.
13 MS. LOUKAS: Certainly. It's page 29478 for the benefit of the
14 Court and the Prosecution. Sometimes I get a little ahead of myself.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
16 MS. LOUKAS:
17 Q. And your response was: "Apart from walking about town, I did not
18 see them do anything like abuse or mistreat anyone." I take it you agree
19 with the response you gave in relation to this particular issue when you
20 were giving evidence in the trial against Mr. Milosevic?
21 A. I agree with everything that I stated.
22 Q. Now, just in relation to Mr. Nikolic, now, to your knowledge, of
23 course, Mr. Nikolic was, of course, a -- someone that you knew from before
24 the war. Correct?
25 A. Yes. I knew Dragan Nikolic before the war, too.
1 Q. And you knew him before the war as a local Serb. Correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And I think prior to the war, he was a civilian employee at the
4 Alpro enterprise. Correct?
5 A. Yes, in the factory for these aluminum products.
6 Q. And also, I think that when you were finally released from
7 Batkovic, you were exchanged for Serb civilians. Correct?
8 A. I was exchanged when there were other civilians of Serbian
9 nationality who were going over to the other side.
10 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, I think that this may be an
11 appropriate time and will leave us enough tape for the rest of the
13 JUDGE ORIE: It certainly does. Thank you, Ms. Loukas.
14 We'll adjourn until 5.30.
15 --- Recess taken at 5.11 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 5.32 p.m.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, please proceed.
18 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, thank you, Your Honours.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Osmanovic, just prior to the break, we were talking to
20 you about --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Your microphone, Ms. Loukas. If you use your
22 headphones, you'll hear that your microphone should be switched on.
23 MS. LOUKAS: I thought it was, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: In the beginning it wasn't. Please, please proceed.
25 MS. LOUKAS:
1 Q. Yes, now, Mr. Osmanovic, just prior to the break, we were dealing
2 with paragraph 5 of your statement in relation to the fact that everything
3 was calm until the 23rd or 24th of April when the JNA came into town. You
4 recall that, of course?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Now, just in relation to that, of course, so prior to the JNA
7 arriving, there weren't a lot of armed forces around, were there?
8 A. In the territory of the Municipality of Vlasenica, Your Honours,
9 there was no JNA garrison with the exception of Han Pijesak 18 kilometres
10 away. There was the military post 1524 there, and I saw a group of JNA
11 members in Vlasenica. They were in Tisca and Milici. That's where they
12 were located. Those municipalities in the vicinity of Vlasenica. And
13 there were military vehicles that were located there.
14 Q. But prior to the JNA arriving, you didn't see any tanks, did you?
15 A. No, I didn't.
16 Q. And of course, there were no threats from the SDS or anybody else
17 prior to the JNA arriving, were there?
18 A. No, there were no threats in Vlasenica.
19 Q. And you didn't notice a lot of armed people carrying arms or
20 anything of that nature?
21 A. In the Panorama Hotel, I noticed people who came there and they
22 were armed and were in uniform. They would sit down there, but they did
23 not act in a provocative way.
24 Q. So the only place that you saw armed people was at the Panorama
25 Hotel prior to the arrival of the JNA. Correct?
1 A. Yes. Before the JNA arrived in town.
2 Q. And there was, of course, no shooting during the day and that sort
3 of thing prior to the arrival of the JNA?
4 A. There was no shooting in the town before the arrival of the JNA.
5 When the JNA arrived, there was no shooting in the town either apart from
6 a few shots that were fired from the vicinity of an elevation, a hill
7 above Vlasenica. The shots were fired in the direction of the settlement,
8 and the person in charge of the SDS in Vlasenica was asked why there was
9 shooting from above. He said that the army was there to secure peace and
10 that there wouldn't be any problems and they would look into the affair.
11 Q. Now, I'd also asked you a question just before the break in
12 relation to Dragan Nikolic, and you indicated that of course you knew him
13 prior to the war as a local Serb and what his previous employment had
14 been. Correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And during the time that you saw him in Susica, he, I take it,
17 wore a camouflage uniform. Correct?
18 A. I saw Dragan Nikolic on one other occasion before I arrived in
19 Susica. He was in front of the Crisis Staff and armed with an automatic
20 rifle. He was wearing a camouflage uniform. But when I arrived in Susica
21 camp, I saw Dragan Nikolic was armed with an automatic rifle, a pistol, a
22 knife, and hand grenades. He was in camouflage uniform.
23 Q. I just want to take you to paragraph 13 of your statement. If you
24 can just open up your statement there at paragraph 13, that's the
25 statement of October 1994.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You indicate there that you had Muslim friends at the bauxite
3 company, and they told you they did not receive their monthly salary in
4 May 1992. And you indicate there that your brother was working there and
5 did not get paid. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Your friends and your brother were still working at the bauxite
8 company in May, of course?
9 A. They worked in the Alpro factory which is part of the bauxite mine
10 in Vlasenica. That's one company that consisted of a number of
12 Q. But of course, Muslims were still employed in Vlasenica in May.
13 That's what I'm just asking you to confirm.
14 A. Some of the Muslims who had remained were working because work
15 obligation had been introduced by the crisis staff of the Serbian
16 Municipality of Vlasenica. And whoever failed to go to work would lose
17 their job.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Osmanovic, I want to take you to paragraph 64 of your
19 statement. Thank you. And I think that you were asked some questions in
20 relation to paragraph 64 earlier today by Ms. Karagiannakis. You recall
21 being asked those questions?
22 A. I do recall it, and I think that I answered those questions, the
23 questions that Ms. Karagiannakis asked me.
24 Q. Now, you indicate in your statement there that you're of the
25 belief that Mr. Milomir Stanic was in charge of all civil and military
1 departments in Vlasenica. Correct?
2 A. I think that is correct because you could see his signature on all
3 the information reports, or rather orders from the Crisis Staff of the
4 Serbian Municipality of Vlasenica.
5 Q. So the basis for your belief is seeing his signature on orders
6 from the Crisis Staff. Correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, you were shown a document earlier today. That's potential
9 exhibit P267.
10 MS. LOUKAS: If the witness might be shown that document.
11 Q. Now, I think in your evidence you indicated that that was similar
12 or identical to the document that you received. Correct?
13 A. Yes, this has to do with permission to move freely.
14 Q. Indeed. Now, of course, the exhibit in question in front of you
15 is not signed, of course, by Mr. Stanic, is it?
16 A. This document was signed on behalf of Milenko Stanic, somebody
17 called R. Matic.
18 Q. Was that similar in relation to the document that you had, or
19 didn't you notice?
20 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Objection, Your Honour. Asked and answered.
21 I asked him that question in examination-in-chief. He said it was signed
22 by Stanic, the one that he had.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, the witness answered that question, so I
24 wonder, you more or less put it to him as if he had not noticed something
25 or where he was clear in his answer.
1 MS. LOUKAS: I'm happy to rephrase the question, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
3 MS. LOUKAS:
4 Q. Now, Mr. Osmanovic, I don't suppose at the time you paid a great
5 deal of attention to whether or not it was signed by Mr. Stanic or
6 somebody else on behalf of him. Would that be correct?
7 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Your Honour, I object to that question. The
8 witness was asked who signed it. He clearly stated it was signed by
9 Stanic. I don't see...
10 JUDGE ORIE: But that's not the question at this moment,
11 Ms. Karagiannakis.
12 Mr. Osmanovic, the question to you is whether at that time looking
13 at these kind of documents whether you paid any specific attention to
14 whether Mr. Stanic signed it or -- the question was whether that was
15 correct, whether you would not have paid much attention to it at that
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I didn't pay so much
18 attention to the signature. It was a standard form, and the name of the
19 person who applied for the pass was added in handwriting. All the passes
20 bore original stamps, and it was typewritten "Crisis Staff, Milenko
21 Stanic" on every pass.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Loukas.
23 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Now, just also in relation to that material you have contained in
25 paragraph 64 of your statement, I think you indicated in response to a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 question from Ms. Karagiannakis that your belief that Mr. Stanic was in
2 charge of all civil and military departments in Vlasenica was, of course,
3 based on your observation of this document and another document that you
4 saw when you went to work, and also on the basis of your own understanding
5 of hierarchy. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, going to paragraph 65 of your statement, you were again asked
8 questions about this earlier today. And what you've indicated in
9 paragraph 65 is that in that second sentence there "that the crisis
10 committee appeared to make all the final decisions in town." Correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And again, part of your -- that again is your belief. Correct?
13 A. Yes, it is my personal belief for the following reason: Without
14 the pass being issued by the crisis staff, you couldn't leave the town.
15 You couldn't move about the town without that pass. The Crisis Staff also
16 introduced the curfew. It introduced the order on the delivery of timber
17 from the furniture factory without any other documents. And based on all
18 this, I conclude that the Crisis Staff was in charge of everything in the
19 town, that it had all the power in the town.
20 Q. Yes. So it's your belief. You based it on -- it's your belief.
21 Correct, yes?
22 A. Yes, it is my belief.
23 Q. It's your personal belief.
24 A. My personal belief.
25 Q. And you've based it on a number of things, including, one, the
1 appearance of Mr. Stanic's name on orders you'd seen that you've given
2 evidence of in your evidence in chief. Correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And also that you saw his name on an order in relation to the 10
5 August company asking the company to give the army wooden boards.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And also on the basis of the order in relation to the curfew.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In addition to that, I think you also indicated that your basis
12 for this -- for these beliefs that you have is that the background of the
13 plebiscite in relation to the various Serb autonomous areas. Correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And also in relation to what --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, why don't you come to your point. Please
18 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. And also in relation to what you saw on TV and newspapers.
21 A. Precisely.
22 Q. So this is the basis for your personal beliefs that you've
23 expressed in paragraphs 64 and 65. Correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, let's move to paragraph 70 of your statement. Now, I think
1 you indicate there a gentleman by the name of Kraljevic. Correct?
2 A. His family name was Kraljevic.
3 Q. Yes. What was his first name?
4 A. I don't know what his first name was. I know his family name was
5 Kraljevic. His sister, Malina, went to school with me, and he was born in
6 Malina village in Vlasenica Municipality.
7 Q. In any event, you've indicated there that - and I think the
8 background to this is that Nikolic indicated in Susica that he was God and
9 the law. Correct?
10 A. He stated that he was the God and the law as far as the Susica
11 camp was concerned. However, when Kraljevic was supposed to come, he came
12 in a vehicle owned by Mustafa Jasarevic who had disappeared. Nikolic told
13 us, hurry up, clean the premises, the king is coming, the commander is
14 coming. The major who had arrived to inform people during a briefing that
15 there would be an exchange of people from Vlasenica, Kalesija, and
16 Sekovici, Nikolic told him "I am the God and the law here, but Kralj - or
17 the king - is somebody I report to and I obey only him." When Veljko
18 Basic, the retired policeman came, he gave Nikolic a list. The latter
19 told him that Kralj was his commander. When Kraljevic arrived in the
20 camp, Kraljevic saluted, and Veljko Basic -- it was always the case that a
21 lower ranking officer would salute the higher ranking officer. I'm
22 talking about the military customs here.
23 Q. Yes, you're speaking about your understanding of military customs
24 from your experience when you were in the JNA serving your compulsory
25 service. Correct?
1 A. Based on my knowledge and experience, I wouldn't say. It has
2 nothing to do with my knowledge and experience. I'm talking about the
3 rules of service in the JNA. Before I served in the JNA and while I
4 served in the JNA, it is the lower rank that salutes the higher rank, and
5 then the higher rank, if they wish to do so, can salute back.
6 Q. Moving on to another topic, Mr. Osmanovic, on the 22nd of May,
7 when you were arrested, you were asked questions. Correct?
8 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Sorry. Could counsel please indicate whether
9 counsel is referring to the statement at this point?
10 MS. LOUKAS: I'm not.
11 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: I apologise.
12 MS. LOUKAS:
13 Q. Now, when you were arrested, Mr. Osmanovic, on the 22nd of May,
14 you were asked - 1992 - you were asked questions. Correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And what kind of questions were you asked?
17 A. From the moment I was taken out of my house from where I was
18 taken, I was asked a few questions. They were looking for Hasan Dzindo,
19 an SDA activist. I couldn't answer any of those questions. On the
20 following day, they started interrogating me at the police station.
21 Q. And they asked you things, like, for example, who are Muslims.
23 A. I was asked about certain members of the SDA. Since I was not a
24 member of that party, I couldn't answer them. They also asked me about
25 weapons. They asked me about a gun, and a gun is not a toy. You can't
1 hide it. It is a big artillery piece, isn't it? They also asked me about
2 mixed patrols and whether those people were armed or not.
3 Q. Yes. And they asked you who armed the Muslims. Correct?
4 A. They asked me if I knew whether anybody had illegal weapons. And
5 they also asked me about a good friend of mine, Mensur Smajic who had
6 surrendered his automatic rifle. They asked me whether I knew where he
7 got that weapon from.
8 Q. Again, Mr. Osmanovic, I'm not trying to confuse you here. I'll
9 just refer you back to some answers you gave when you were giving evidence
10 in relation to the proceedings against Mr. Nikolic. The page reference is
11 page 253 of the proceedings in relation to Mr. Nikolic for the benefit of
12 the Court and counsel. And you were asked by the Presiding Judge, in
13 fact, "what were the questions they put to you?" "What questions did they
14 ask you?" And your response was: "The questions they asked me were who
15 armed the Muslims, who prepared the uprising against Serbs, where is the
16 cannon, do I know of my neighbour Mensur Smajic, or the people who were
17 active in the Muslim party?" Now, do you remember that question from the
18 Presiding Judge when you gave evidence in the proceedings against
19 Mr. Nikolic?
20 A. It was in 1995, and I believe that I have answered those questions
21 again today. They asked me about the cannon. They asked me about Mensur
22 Smajic, about some people from the party.
23 Q. Yes. And they asked you about who armed the Muslims and who
24 prepared the uprising against Serbs. Correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And I think -- and of course, you also gave evidence in relation
2 to the proceedings against Mr. Tadic as well. Correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, the people that you've referred to at, for example, Batkovic
5 camp, were any of them wearing hats or caps?
6 A. When I arrived at the Batkovic camp, from the Susica camp to the
7 Batkovic camp, we were escorted by men in camouflage hats. In the
8 Batkovic camp, only Vojo wore a cap, and he wore insignia on the cap.
9 When we went to dig trenches, there were people there in olive-drab
10 uniforms and a Serbian flag on their hats. I also came across people who
11 wore head covers with crosses on them. I also came across people with
12 some eagle signs with the insignia of Draza Mihajlovic, that is to say,
13 cockades. There were different insignia there then.
14 Q. Just in relation to Batkovic, the men in uniform that you've
15 referred to in Batkovic camp were all bare-headed. Correct?
16 A. All but Vojo.
17 Q. Now, just going to some background material in relation to
18 Vlasenica, Mr. Osmanovic, were you aware of in September 1991 of mixed
19 Croat-Muslim paramilitary groups setting out stakeouts and frisking
20 travellers on the road between Milici and the bauxite mine?
21 A. No.
22 Q. You were not. Now, how about in February of 1992, were you aware
23 of paramilitary formations of Muslims and Croats kidnapping people and
24 hijacking trucks and conducting searches on the road between Milici and
25 the bauxite mine?
1 A. I apologise, Madam. In the territory of Vlasenica, there were
2 only two Croats whom I know. One was a waiter, and the other was a police
3 officer. They lived in mixed marriages. Their wives were Serbs. In
4 Vlasenica Municipality, there were only Serbs and Muslims. In Vlasenica
5 Municipality, we did not have any Croat inhabitants. I don't know what
6 Croats or formations composed of Croats and Muslims are you referring to.
7 Q. Now, Mr. Osmanovic, just listen carefully to my question because
8 my question didn't imply that the Croats were from Vlasenica. There are
9 Croats who don't live in Vlasenica. So all I need is a response to the
10 question I asked you.
11 A. I heard nothing of those.
12 Q. All right. Do you have any information in relation to around
13 about 16th of May 1992 the disarming of Muslim paramilitary formations in
15 A. Paramilitary formations in Zaklopaca, if women, children, and
16 elderly men are paramilitary, I don't know. I've never seen a woman or a
17 child carrying arms. You can read in the reports of the commission for
18 Srdj that has recently excavated 80 bodies of women, children, and elderly
19 men, the entire village of Zaklopaca.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Osmanovic, I'd like to give you the following
21 direction. The only question that was asked of you, whether you have any
22 information in relation to disarming of Muslim paramilitary formations in
23 Zaklopaca on the 16th of May. If you don't have such information, just
24 say "no, I don't know."
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't.
1 JUDGE ORIE: If you don't know anything about other groups or
2 other persons that would have been disarmed on the 16th of May in that
3 village, then of course you can say, well, I didn't know of any
4 paramilitary formations. But I know that, and then you tell us what you
5 know. But you are -- your response goes far beyond what was asked. And
6 I'd like you very much to focus and concentrate on the questions put to
8 Please proceed, Ms. Loukas.
9 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Now, were you aware on the 21st of May or have you any information
11 in regard to on the 21st of May on the road between Milici and Rudnik in
12 the village of Zutica of Muslims killing eight civilians including two
13 women and a child?
14 A. I'm not aware of that.
15 Q. Now, whilst you were in Susica camp, were you aware of Muslim
16 fighters who were kept there?
17 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Objection, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were only civilians in the
20 Susica camp.
21 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: I was just going to say asked and answered.
22 He was asked of the people that he knew at Susica camp.
23 JUDGE ORIE: One of the disadvantages of examining a witness --
24 witnesses through translation is that it's not easy to object immediately.
25 I think, Ms. Karagiannakis, that a similar answer has been given now, so
1 let's proceed.
2 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. So you tell the Court that you weren't personally aware of any
4 Muslim fighters being held in Susica camp. Correct?
5 A. I was not aware of any fighters that were in Susica camp.
6 Q. Did you speak to everyone in Susica camp?
7 A. I spoke to the people I knew and with whom I could speak. I
8 couldn't speak to people from Kalesija because I didn't know them. I
9 couldn't speak to people from Sekovici because I didn't know them either.
10 However, I could and I did speak to people from Vlasenica.
11 Q. Now, were you aware of any paramilitaries, Muslim paramilitaries,
12 in Vlasenica in late March or in April of 1992?
13 A. No, I was not aware of any Muslim paramilitary organisations in
14 Vlasenica during that period of time. However, there was a checkpoint
15 which was erected by villagers of Drum in the Muslim cemetery of
16 Vlasenica. Whether they were armed or not, I wouldn't know.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Osmanovic, just in relation to paragraph 16 of your
18 statement, you've indicated that the JNA left all their equipment.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, you're not in a position, of course, to know whether or not
22 in the entire Municipality of Vlasenica that the entirety of the JNA
23 equipment was left there, are you?
24 A. I was not in a position to know that. However, the tanks and the
25 armoured people carriers were parked by the playground.
1 Q. Right. So to your knowledge, as far as you're concerned, it may
2 be the case that the JNA did take a significant proportion of their
3 equipment with them. Do you agree with that proposition?
4 A. I would not agree with that.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Osmanovic, two of your statements have been tendered
6 today in evidence. But there is, of course, a third statement which you
7 gave on the 11th of October 1995. Correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And I'll just arrange to have a copy of the B/C/S version placed
10 before you.
11 MS. LOUKAS: Of course, the Prosecution have their own copies,
12 Your Honour, but I have copies of the English version for the Trial
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Loukas.
15 May I ask the Prosecution, the Chamber was in the assumption that
16 we would receive the statements, the previous statements by witnesses, and
17 I also indicated that the Chamber would read them in order to be better
18 able to control the examinations. Now, I see that this is a statement
19 which I do not remember having received.
20 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Your Honour, you're quite right. But I only
21 saw that instruction from the Chamber this day. And in the course of
22 preparation, I understand the instruction was given tomorrow we will
23 seek -- yesterday, sorry, we will seek to seek to comply with that in
24 future. But it somehow missed this witness.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then you still could have delivered it this morning.
1 Let's proceed, and I do understand it's a transitional problem. Please
2 proceed, Ms. Loukas.
3 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MS. LOUKAS:
6 Q. You have that statement before you, the third statement,
7 Mr. Osmanovic?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. And just in relation to that statement, of course, the -- what you
10 have there is true, accurate, to the best of your ability, of course, and
11 signed as such?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you indicate that there were three Muslim prisoners in
14 Batkovic. Correct?
15 A. We were all Muslims, and there were some Croats. The three who
16 were involved in the beatings.
17 Q. And these particular Muslims that you refer to in your statement
18 were involved in beating other Muslims. Correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And in fact, I think one of the prisoners you referred to, Fikret
21 Smajlovic wore a uniform.
22 A. There were two wearing a uniform, Fikret Smajlovic, known Piklic
23 from Brezovo Polje, and Esad Bekric, known as the Policeman
24 Q. So they both wore uniforms. Correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And I think it's the case that Mr. Smajlovic also had a car that
2 he had access to. Correct?
3 A. He had a red Jugo 45.
4 Q. All right.
5 MS. LOUKAS: If I might have a moment, Your Honour. I'm just
6 looking for a document. It's a problem, Your Honours, I think with
7 having too many papers.
8 Q. Now, just in relation to what I was asking you about in relation
9 to these Muslim detainees who were also beating the Muslims and two of
10 whom had uniforms and one of whom had a car, I think you've also indicated
11 something in relation to these gentlemen in paragraph 60 of your
12 statement. And you indicate that they appeared to be more violent than
13 the Chetnik guards. Correct?
14 A. Yes, especially the first two. Fikret Smajlovic, called Piklic,
15 and Zahirovic Dzemal, known as Spajzer.
16 Q. And just in relation to the situation there with these guards,
17 with these detainees, would you agree with me, Mr. Osmanovic, that it
18 seems to have been something of a chaotic situation at that camp?
19 A. It wasn't just chaotic, it was more than chaotic.
20 MS. LOUKAS: No further questions, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Loukas.
22 Ms. Karagiannakis, is there any need to re-examine the witness?
23 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Just two questions arising out of the
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Re-examined by Ms. Karagiannakis:
2 Q. Mr. Osmanovic, when you were questioned in the Nikolic Rule 61
3 hearing, the Defence counsel recounted the Presiding Judge's questions to
4 you when you were arrested -- after you were arrested on the 22nd of May
5 and when you were interrogated, and you were asked about elements of
6 Muslim resistance. Do you recall your answer to that question?
7 A. I don't remember my answer to that question. I could tell you in
8 part that I couldn't answer the questions because I didn't know where
9 those people were. I wasn't a member of the SDA, and those are the people
10 they accused. They asked me about those people, and I didn't know about
11 their whereabouts. So I couldn't answer that question.
12 Q. Were you aware of any Muslim resistance at all?
13 A. I wasn't aware of any kind of Muslim resistance.
14 Q. And now, in relation to the three Muslims who were beating people
15 at Batkovic camp, how was it that they were able to do this or why were
16 they doing this?
17 A. Fikret Smajlovic, a.k.a. Piklic, was taken there with a group of
18 people from Brezovo Polje. According to what they themselves said, they
19 were providing security for the Sava to prevent the Croats from entering
20 Bosna. As soon as he arrived, he started issuing orders. He ordered
21 people to go and have breakfast or lunch, he ordered us to get up at a
22 certain time and ordered people to go to work. He could move around
23 freely both within and outside the camp. If anyone had any money on
24 them - those who had money had German marks - they could only exchange
25 these German marks with them. If they found out they were exchanging
1 those marks with someone else in order to obtain cigarettes, that money
2 would be taken from them. Zahirovic Dzemal was in the Susica camp in
3 Vlasenica. He came to the Batkovic camp, and when I arrived he was in
4 charge of a group that was working in the camp, that was fencing in the
5 camp. He beat those people with a baton, and Hidovic used more primitive
6 means. Chairs, sticks, wood, et cetera. Whereas Bekric Esad, known as
7 the Policajac, was brought there with a group of prisoners. He was in a
8 column of soldiers from Tuzla. He was taken to Bijeljina. No one beat
9 him. And he together with Piklic and Spajzer took out a group of
10 so-called specials, special men. That's the name that they gave to them.
11 Q. Can I just ask you, were the guards aware of the activities of
12 these individuals?
13 A. Yes, they were.
14 Q. What did they do about these activities?
15 A. Nothing. They just laughed.
16 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Karagiannakis.
18 MS. LOUKAS: I have no further questions to ask on the basis of
19 the questions that were just asked, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: No further questions.
21 Judge El Mahdi has one or more questions for you.
22 Questioned by the Court:
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Witness, I have two minor questions I would like to put to you.
25 My first question is about Mr. Sukanovic. As far as you are aware, was he
1 part of the SDS party? Was he a member?
2 A. With regard to Mr. Sukanovic, Your Honour, I don't know whether he
3 was an SDS member. The first time I saw him was in the Vlasenica
4 municipal prison. The second time he brought a group of prisoners from
5 the municipal prison, from the Susica camp, and he was recognised by
6 Danijel Mujkanovic there. And he told me, not just me, but to everyone,
7 but he knew that man and he had been in the central prison in Sarajevo
8 where he worked as a professional policeman. As to whether he was an SDS
9 member, I do not know.
10 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Perhaps this is a matter of
11 general knowledge that the key posts were shared between the parties. Was
12 the post of chief of police one that was given to the SDS party? Do you
13 know anything about this?
14 A. At the first multiparty elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
15 Your Honour, that is to say, in Vlasenica Municipality, the post of chief
16 of police went to the SDS party. The post of police commander went to the
17 Muslims. The late Fadil Turkovic held that post. Whereas the prison to
18 which Sukanovic came --
19 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] What post did Mr. Sukanovic have?
20 A. He wasn't in Vlasenica at all. The municipal prison didn't exist
21 until the SDS came to power and until the JNA arrived in the town. It
22 wasn't in function. The municipal prison was put into function when these
23 authorities arrived. He came from the other side.
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So he was appointed in a certain
25 sense by the SDS party. Is that right?
1 A. He was appointed by someone.
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Who held power, though?
3 A. The crisis staff did.
4 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And the crisis staff belonged to
6 A. To the Serbian Municipality of Vlasenica.
7 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] In other words, it was the SDS
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I've got a few questions for you as well.
12 First question is you told us that 512 prisoners in Batkovic
13 arrived from Manjaca camp. How do you know exactly that these were 512
14 and not approximately 500 or 511 or 513? What --
15 A. Because, Your Honour, two brothers distributed food to them, and
16 they were in a separate hangar. They had to count -- or they must have
17 counted 512 of them in Hangar Number 12 in Batkovic. They came from
18 Manjaca. They were provided with food. And I knew about this because
19 this is what the men who distributed food to them said.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then another question is about the crisis staff
21 or crisis committee. Do you know anything about when it was established?
22 A. I don't know the date of its establishment. But according to the
23 news, the television, the newspapers, and the radio, there was information
24 about the formation of the Autonomous Region of Birac and the Serbian
25 Municipality of Vlasenica with his headquarters in Milici. As to when the
1 crisis staff was formed, I don't know. But when the JNA arrived and when
2 the power was taken over by SDS members, there was a crisis staff in the
3 Municipality of Vlasenica and it had its headquarters in the bauxite mine
4 in Vlasenica.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you do not know whether it was there before
6 already, although perhaps invisible at that time for you?
7 A. I don't know.
8 JUDGE ORIE: You don't know how it was established? By whom?
9 Under what authority?
10 A. No, I don't. But the Crisis Staff of the Serbian Municipality of
11 Vlasenica couldn't have been founded by the Muslims, Your Honour, not if
12 it was called the "Serbian" Crisis Staff.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So your knowledge is -- or at least, you assume
14 on the basis of your knowledge that it was Serb-organised, but you don't
15 have any further details?
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then I have no further questions for you.
18 Do the parties have any further questions triggered by the
19 questions put to the witness by the Bench?
20 MS. LOUKAS: No, Your Honour, it does not trigger any questions.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 Mr. Osmanovic, this concludes your testimony in this court. I'd
23 like to thank you for coming. It's a long distance to The Hague. You've
24 answered the questions of both parties and of the Bench. I'd like to
25 thank you for that because it's important for this Chamber to hear the
1 evidence of those who have been present during that time in the relevant
2 places. I'd like to wish you a safe trip home again.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, you may escort the witness out of the
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, I would like to pay some attention to the
8 exhibits presented during the last few days, but there are still a few
9 outstanding issues which I would like to hear about.
10 MR. TIEGER: Certainly, Your Honour. First, with respect to the
11 intercept to which the Court drew our attention the other day, as I think
12 the Court suspected, and certainly as I suspected at the time, it was a
13 formatting problem. We had it checked against the B/C/S. It has been
14 corrected. The B/C/S lists the correct speakers, the name of the correct
15 speakers in accordance with the --
16 JUDGE ORIE: It's the empty box that's out now.
17 MR. TIEGER: That's precisely right. And we have also adjusted
18 and corrected the misleading pages numbers. They are now listed
19 sequentially as appropriate.
20 JUDGE ORIE: So you have copies of that transcript now for us?
21 MR. TIEGER: Yes. Ms. Javier has them and can distribute them to
22 the Court.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then we have a question about the date of the first
25 MR. TIEGER: The question there seem to be whether or not that was
1 an omission or reflected the fact that no date could be attributed to that
2 particular intercept. Based on my preliminary inquiries, and I say
3 "preliminary" because I haven't satisfied myself that every possible
4 measure has been taken to determine whether a date can be found for that
5 particular intercept, it appears that the reason there is no date is that
6 one cannot be determined based on the available information. There are a
7 handful of intercepts for which that is the case, and this appears to be
9 I've also made inquiries about the possibility of providing some
10 textual date; however, at this point, the most we can say is it's an
11 intercept from 1991 or 1992, but we're not in a position to pin it down
12 with any greater specificity than that. And we tell the Court it was not
13 an omission. It's a reflection of --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's clear. So we now receive the new copies
15 of the transcript of the 11th of December 1991.
16 Madam Registrar, could we please go through the list of the
17 exhibits that have been tendered since the end of the recess. I don't
18 know whether the parties have already prepared the rather long list from
19 before the recess. We could start with that -- no. Then I'll leave it to
20 that and just see that we get no further backlog at this moment.
21 Madam Registrar, could you please guide us.
22 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Since it's freshest in our mind, we start with the
24 last witness.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit Number P265, witness statement of Ibro
1 Osmanovic dated 5, 7, and 10 October 1994. P265.1, B/C/S translation.
2 P266, witness statement of Ibro Osmanovic dated 7th of June 2001. P266.1,
3 B/C/S translation. P267, Vlasenica Crisis Staff document for freedom of
4 movement. P267.1, English translation. P268, photograph of Vlasenica
5 town marked by witness. P269, photograph of Susica camp marked by
7 JUDGE ORIE: I didn't hear any objections, Ms. Loukas, so they are
8 admitted into evidence.
9 MS. LOUKAS: No, Your Honour, there's no objections.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Madam Registrar, we perhaps go back. The
11 previous witness.
12 MS. LOUKAS: I can indicate -- I constantly have issues with this
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. Be sure that your voice will be heard,
15 Ms. Loukas.
16 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed.
17 Now, Your Honour, just in relation to the document that I put
18 forward to the Court when I was cross-examining Mr. Osmanovic, that third
19 statement, I'll be indicating that the Defence proposes, of course, to
20 tender that as a Defence exhibit.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you'd like to have that tendered. Then that's
22 the... That is the -- Ms. Loukas, that's the witness statement given by
23 Ibro Osmanovic on the 11th of October 1995.
24 MS. LOUKAS: That's correct, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Of which we received an English copy only at this
2 MS. LOUKAS: That's correct, Your Honour. We have got three
3 English copies, and I've also forwarded a B/C/S copy as well. But
4 equality of arms does not extend to having a photocopier that works
5 properly in the Defence room. So we will undertake to provide further
7 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, then we would already assign a
8 number to it.
9 Ms. Loukas, I see that the English copy is signed by the witness.
10 Would that be the original, which is often the case where translation is
11 made usually only later?
12 That would be, then, Madam Registrar?
13 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit Number D26 and D26.1.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. And then we still hope to receive D26.1
15 soon. If there's no objection, then that would be admitted into evidence
16 as well unless there would be any issue of translation, of course, that
17 would be raised by the Prosecution.
18 MS. KARAGIANNAKIS: No objection, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 Madam Registrar, let's then go back in time, the previous
22 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit Number P260, coloured map
23 showing Kljuc and its borders. Exhibit P261, photograph view from
24 Karanfil Osmanovic's house of house of Sefik Medanovic. P262, photograph
25 view of ruin of Karanfil Osmanovic's house. P263, photograph view of
1 Sefik Medanovic's house showing ruin of Karanfil Osmanovic's house. P264,
2 list made by the Kljuc Army of those captured, killed in Prhovo. P264.1,
3 English translation.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Since I hear no objections, these exhibits are
5 admitted into evidence.
6 Madam Registrar, going back -- further back in time.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Witness Redzic exhibits: Exhibit P258, protocol
8 of the agreement on the territorial partition of Vlasenica Municipality
9 and the establishment of new municipalities between representatives of
10 Serbian and Muslim Peoples as authorised by representatives of
11 parliamentary parties and the Council for Interethnic Cooperation dated 11
12 April 1992. P258.1, English translation. P259, authentication sheet by
13 Witness Redzic of five recorded telephone intercepts. P259A, CD of
14 intercepted conversations. P259B, transcripts of P259A. And P259.1,
15 English translations.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
17 Is there any objection? If there's not, these documents are
18 admitted into evidence.
19 Mr. Tieger, it goes without saying that without a date, that one
20 transcript, of course, might have less probative value than with a date.
21 So the Chamber invites you to come up with any further information about
22 or any further evidence relating to the date of that transcript.
23 Then we have gone through the exhibits. We have approximately 15
24 minutes left. It was indicated that there were still some summaries to be
25 read into the transcript. It was even asked to do that on Thursday, but
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 it's now Wednesday, and we are already at a point that we have some time
3 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, first of all, I apologise. It seems to
4 me that I should have anticipated at least the possibility of concluding
5 early and being able to use this time for that purpose. The only thing I
6 can suggest at this point is that we see how quickly Ms. Javier can
7 retrieve them. However, under the circumstances, I'm not entirely sure
8 that's what we would want to do.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then I would like to turn -- yes.
10 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, before we do that, I would just indicate
11 that it was indicated to me --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please also direct the microphone in
14 MS. LOUKAS: I think this microphone is the bane of my existence,
15 Your Honour. Back in Australia, fortunately, we don't have to turn these
16 things on and off.
17 Just in relation to that, it was just indicated to me and, of
18 course it's unfortunate and Mr. Tieger has apologised, but it was
19 indicated to me yesterday by a member of the Prosecution team that they
20 thought that it was possible that we might finish early and that they
21 would have the summaries ready. But I'm sure the Court, as I do, accept
22 Mr. Tieger's apology.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you do, Ms. Loukas, how could the Court
24 refrain from accepting the apologies of Mr. Tieger.
25 I'd like to turn into -- one second.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber has nothing further at this very moment
3 the Chamber would like to raise. Therefore, we'll -- may I ask you,
4 Mr. Tieger, do you have a witness for tomorrow?
5 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: So we could start. I think we're sitting in the
7 morning tomorrow. We could start at 9.00. And so we'll adjourn until
8 tomorrow morning, same courtroom, Madam Registrar, 9.00.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.47 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 2nd day of
11 September, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.