1 Wednesday, 20 October 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, would 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, Madam Registrar.
10 Could I first ask the parties whether further discussions have led
11 to any further agreement on the statement of Witness 144.
12 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, we have not had any further
13 discussions on that matter.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Do you intend to have any further discussions or is
15 it --
16 MR. MARGETTS: From our perspective, we had those discussions
17 yesterday in the last break and we disagreed on a fundamental matter and
18 we didn't intend to continue.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then the Chamber will give a decision soon. It
20 will an oral decision, I take it, that it will be given after the first
22 MS. LOUKAS: So Your Honour is not giving -- Your Honours are not
23 giving a decision now in relation to the objections?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Not right away. You would say that if we finish the
25 cross-examination of the witness, we'd rather need a decision anyhow
1 before we excuse the witness. That's, of course, something to be
2 considered. If you think that for your cross-examination it would be
3 important to have that decision, then we could --
4 MS. LOUKAS: In fact, it is, Your Honour, because there are some
5 matters that I've objected to that if they are part of the evidence --
6 JUDGE ORIE: It's different, yes.
7 MS. LOUKAS: -- I'll have to cross-examine on them, so it will
8 affect my cross-examination.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps then ...
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I don't think that it will take us any more
12 than ten minutes to deliver that decision, but of course we first wanted
13 to know whether any further agreement between the parties was there. So
14 we'll adjourn for some ten minutes, and perhaps we could use that break
15 that when we restart, that the witness is already in, because that means
16 curtains down and to be pulled up again.
17 We'll adjourn for ten minutes.
18 --- Break taken at 2.25 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 2.49 p.m.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber took a bit more than ten minutes.
22 As far as your objections are concerned, Ms. Loukas, the Chamber
23 would not accept in evidence paragraphs 20 and 21 of the statement. It
24 does, however, admit into evidence paragraphs 22 - 23 was already out -
25 24, and in respect of 24, the Chamber notes that the relevance of that
1 paragraph is mainly that the witness heard similar language in Kotor Varos
2 as he heard from Belgrade.
3 Then the objections up until 46 are further denied, so we admit
4 all those paragraphs in evidence.
5 Then we come to paragraph 60. We do not admit into evidence the
6 last half-sentence of paragraph 60, starting with "but it was a step
7 forward." At the same time, if the Prosecution would like to ask further
8 questions about this issue, then it will have an opportunity to do so.
9 As far as the first part of that sentence is concerned, starting
10 with "the proclamation," the Chamber considers this to reflect the
11 perception of the legal status of that proclamation by the witness. And
12 of course, further questions can be put to the witness in that respect.
13 Paragraph 63. The part starting with "ballot papers" is admitted
14 into evidence, but not the subsequent sentence, starting with the
15 word "this" and ending with the word "discrimination."
16 In respect of paragraphs 66 and 67, the Chamber understands that
17 in these paragraphs the witness puts into a certain context an experience
18 he had himself. And paragraph 67 allows the Chamber to see whether the
19 description of the event that is put in the same context by the witness is
20 described in such a way that it is in accordance with evidence already
21 presented, and to that extent, allows the Chamber to further assess
22 reliability of the written statement. And therefore, 66 and 67 are
23 admitted in evidence.
24 Paragraph 90, the objection is also denied, Ms. Loukas. The
25 Chamber considers paragraph 90 to reflect what kind of information, what
1 information the witness received through the media, which, of course, does
2 not automatically mean that whatever was shown on the media was the truth
3 or was the complete truth or part of the truth, but at least it indicates
4 what information could be received.
5 That's the decision on your objections. Oh, no. We still
6 have 99. 99, your objection is also denied. The Chamber understands,
7 especially the first few lines of paragraph 99, to reflect the perception
8 of the witness of what happened. So if it reads: "The statement by the
9 JNA officers could not go unnoticed and it meant something like," then of
10 course it does not -- admission into evidence does not mean that the
11 Chamber shares the view that this was the meaning but that the Chamber
12 accepts that this was the way the witness perceived that event.
13 I think I dealt with all your objections, Ms. Loukas.
14 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour. All the objections have been dealt
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If this decision would cause the Prosecution to
17 ask further questions about those parts that were not admitted, you have
18 an opportunity to do so.
19 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, we will not need to ask any further
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Then, Ms. Loukas, you may cross-examine
22 the witness.
23 Witness 144, you'll now be cross-examined by Ms. Loukas, who is
24 counsel for the Defence.
25 WITNESS: WITNESS KRAJ 144 [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 MS. LOUKAS: Yes. Prior to my commencing, Your Honour, I might
3 indicate that in light of the ruling on the objections, I may take a
4 little bit longer than an hour. I still propose, as much as possible, to
5 keep it within the hour, but I might take a little bit longer in view of
6 the further matters that I'll have to deal with.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 Cross-examined by Ms. Loukas:
9 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
10 A. Good afternoon.
11 Q. Now, if the witness might be shown the Defence document that has
12 been I think given to the Prosecution and the interpreters and the
14 Now, Witness, I'd like to --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could it be assigned a number.
16 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, certainly, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit D29.
19 MS. LOUKAS: I might indicate for the benefit of the Court, Your
20 Honour, that this document was provisionally translated by Ms. Cmeric
21 overnight, so the -- there's no actual official translation of the
22 document in question. What I propose to do, in view of the fact that the
23 interpreters do have the relevant document, if the witness might read the
24 relevant portion that we have there onto the record, slowly, and then it
25 can be placed on the record in that fashion and the interpretation can
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 come through at the same time.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please do it the way you suggest.
3 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you.
4 Q. Now, Witness, you have that document before you?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, if you would care to read slowly onto the record what's
7 contained there in B/C/S. That's pages 220. There's a half page there,
8 and half page on 221. And then I'll ask you some questions about that.
9 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. MARGETTS: We may make a practical suggestion. Ms. Cmeric is
12 more familiar with this document and the court process, and the same
13 objective would be achieved, I think, if she read this into the record.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Whoever reads it is, of course, the most
15 important thing is that it's on the record, and perhaps Ms. Cmeric may
16 have a better ability to know whether she is going too slow or too quick
17 for the interpreters. Could you please -- would you mind, Ms. Loukas, to
18 ask Ms. Cmeric --
19 MS. LOUKAS: No, Your Honour. I mean, that's a sensible solution.
20 I thought it would be useful for the witness to actually read it himself,
21 but I think the same purpose is served.
22 JUDGE ORIE: If it's read out, could you also follow it by reading
23 the text, and Ms. Cmeric will read it aloud.
24 Ms. Cmeric.
25 MS. CMERIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 [Interpretation] On the 7th and 8th of February, 1992, in the
2 village of Mehurici, near Travnik, a session of a military council was
3 held that was later to be called an historical one. At this session, the
4 commanders of the regional staffs and part of the Main Staff of the
5 Patriotic League of Bosnia and Herzegovina met. The aim of this
6 counselling was to harmonise plans by regions and the handing out of tasks
7 for the following period of time.
8 The preparation of this meeting began in late 1991, when I sent
9 instructions to all the staffs in the fields, tasks for the RVS. This was
10 a document that, among other things, paved the way for our local purpose
11 industry. When we met, I presented the military and political situation
12 at the meeting, and I presented an evaluation of our future strategy.
13 The foundations of my presentation were agreed to and adopted at
14 the meeting and put forward briefly in the first two items or paragraphs
15 of the most important PL document. The directives for the defence of the
16 sovereignty of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the presentation
17 and reports of commanders, an immediate exchange of opinions and
18 information, supplemented this document that was completed on the 25th of
19 February in Sarajevo.
20 As the document was being prepared and produced, as well as at the
21 meeting in Mehurici itself, Rifat Bilajac and Zicro Suljevic assisted me
22 as advisors. However, this directive is my own work. Copies were made of
23 the handwritten document, and it was only typed up later and forwarded to
24 the commanders of regional staffs. Tasks for the RVS:
25 Draw up a plan for municipalities and regions with the following
1 features: 1: Disposition of SDS units, their strengths and composition,
2 disposition of JNA units, their strength and composition. Disposition of
3 storage facilities for weapons and ammunition, mark on the map the ethnic
4 structure by villages, local communes, urban and suburban settlements, in
5 parentheses, Muslim and Croat villages - full green circle. Next to the
6 Croatian villages place the letter H. Serbian villages - blue circle.
7 Mark on the map possible operational modalities for SDS and JNA units and
8 mark this with thin broken lines.
9 2: Disposition of our units, their strength and composition -
10 potential in the brackets or planned modalities for operations to take
11 place. If necessary, the way in which barracks are to be blocked, how to
12 attack storage facilities for the taking of weapons or merely for blocking
13 them. Mark the positions or locations of these planned facilities for
14 carrying out acts of sabotage, accurately mark the places or regions for
15 municipal logistics bases and regional logistics bases. Plan the areas,
16 villages, and local communes from which the Muslim population will be
17 moved out. Plan the evacuation route, who is to provide security, a place
18 where the population will be received and accommodated. Plan the way in
19 which to secure the federal and republican commodity reserves.
20 3: Produce this plan on a map and the ratio will be 1:50.000.
21 Use the symbols from the written instructions for the production of maps,
22 and use colours as stipulated in item 1.
23 4: For the meeting of coordinators and commanders of the RVS,
24 prepare a presentation between 10 and 15 minutes long during which the
25 plan will be presented, problems put forward, and proposals made for
1 solutions, a request of the Main Staff of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2 5: Harmonise plans for regions and produce a defence plan for
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Muslim population. This will be held
4 immediately after the new year. A date will be set at a later stage.
5 6: In this presentation, special attention must be given to
6 special purpose military industry, the kind of production, and explain our
7 positions and our plan.
8 7: Review the possibilities of small industry for the production
9 of formation and auxiliary equipment: Bombs, or rather, shells, mines,
10 et cetera, with corresponding documentation.
11 8: The possibilities of storing and keeping large amounts of
12 weapons and MES.
13 [In English] That's the end of the document, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Cmeric.
15 Ms. Loukas.
16 MS. LOUKAS:
17 Q. Now, Witness, just for your information, that comes from the
18 book "Cunning Strategy" by Mr. Sefer Halilovic. Have you read that book?
19 A. No.
20 Q. The activities that are described in the pages that were read out
21 by Ms. Cmeric on pages 220 and 221, were you aware of any of those
22 planning activities?
23 A. No.
24 Q. So in relation to these aspects of military planning in February
25 1992, you would tell the Court that you had no awareness of this
1 occurring; correct?
2 A. I had no awareness of it.
3 Q. Now, in relation to the time of the referendum round about March
4 of 1992, the referendum in relation to the independence of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that created quite some political division, did it
6 not, in your local community?
7 A. You mean in my town or in my local commune?
8 Q. In your local commune and in your municipality generally.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And were you aware of a gathering in about April 1992, a gathering
11 in Novi Travnik which was presided over by Franjo Boras, that Croats were
12 discussing with the assistance of Muslims making Kotor Varos an integral
13 part of the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna?
14 A. I don't know about that.
15 Q. Okay. Were you aware in May 1992 that the three national parties
16 in your local municipality, in an attempt to prevent inter-ethnic clashes,
17 there had been a meeting organised by the Municipal Assembly and the Croat
18 representative, a Mr. Anto Mandic, did not go there, and rather, held a
19 separate meeting with Muslims in the local area, in the handball stadium?
20 Are you aware of that?
21 A. I'm aware of the fact that a public meeting was held at the
22 stadium with members of all the three leading parties in Kotor Varos
23 present: The SDS, the SDA, as well as the HDZ.
24 Q. Now, are you aware of the killing of Boro Popovic in June of 1992,
25 a Serb?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 A. No.
2 Q. Are you aware of, in June 1992, the Crisis Staff of the
3 Kotor Varos municipality, in an attempt to calm inter-ethnic tensions,
4 establishing contact with all the religious leaders of the three
6 A. No.
7 Q. Are you aware of telephone lines going down in the local area in
8 about June 1992, so that telephone contact was lost?
9 A. Yes. The lines were cut.
10 Q. Were you aware in June of 1992 of clashes between Serbs, on the
11 one side, and Croats and Muslims on the other, in villages of Plitska,
12 Bilice, Cirkino Brdo, Cirkici, Hanifici, and Vecici?
13 A. Your Honours, can we please have the names of these villages
14 pronounced properly, because there seem to have been many mistakes made.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps we could invite Ms. Cmeric to read
17 MS. LOUKAS: I think that's a very good idea, Your Honour. I
18 think that somehow Ms. Cmeric's pronunciation will be a lot more
19 accomplished than mine.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We have the same problem, all, Witness 144,
21 that we are not native B/C/S speakers.
22 MS. CMERIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. The name of the
23 villages are Plitska, Bilice -- I apologise, then. It must be then --
24 misprint then.
25 Cirkino Brdo, Cirkici, Hanifici, and Vecici.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was aware of what I could see for
2 myself from my own house. I had a view of Bilice, and an elevation where
3 Hanifici is situated. I could see vaguely that houses were being set
4 alight during the night, during the shelling as well as during the day.
5 As for these others, I was not aware of those.
6 MS. LOUKAS:
7 Q. Yes. Thank you, Witness. Now, were you aware, round about the
8 24th or 25th of June, 1992, Croat and Muslim representatives calling on --
9 Croat and Muslim representatives Stipe Maric Sprzo and Muhamed
10 Sadikovic - I hope that pronunciation is adequate - calling on soldiers
11 for negotiations and then organising an ambush in which soldiers were
12 killed and wounded, including Captain Slobodan Zupljanin?
13 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour --
14 A. I'm not aware of that.
15 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if we could just be careful to ensure
16 that the microphones are turned off prior to the witness answering the
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MS. LOUKAS: I would indicate that Ms. Cmeric is ably dealing with
20 the microphone at every available opportunity.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You're referring to the -- in your question
22 you're referring to the part of the video shown yesterday; is that ...
23 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour. There seems to be -- that's the
24 aspect that appears to be dealt with there.
25 Q. Now, you've referred in your statement to the statement of
1 Mr. Radovan Karadzic in parliament. Do you recall that part of your
3 A. Yes. I recall that this was broadcast on TV.
4 Q. And did you watch it on TV?
5 A. Yes. All the broadcasts of those meetings were of a public nature
6 and usually they were directly broadcast.
7 Q. So you listened to the entire speech?
8 A. For the most part, yes.
9 Q. And you're aware, of course, that when making that statement that
10 you've referred to in your statement, it was immediately followed
11 by "please, I know those are serious words. Serious situations call for
12 serious words. How will you prevent that everybody start killing
13 everybody in Bosnia and Herzegovina?" You recall that bit as well, I take
15 A. In part.
16 Q. That he was referring to everybody killing everybody?
17 A. Not quite like that.
18 Q. Okay. Now, just in relation to this question of what Mr. Karadzic
19 was saying in parliament, you were, of course, aware of the statements
20 that were being made by Mr. Izetbegovic?
21 A. Which ones do you mean?
22 Q. Well, for example, February 27, 1991: "I would sacrifice peace
23 for a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina, but for that peace in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina I would not sacrifice sovereignty." You recall that
1 A. I do.
2 Q. And statements of that nature, of course, did cause some concern
3 in your local community, did they not?
4 A. In part.
5 Q. And of course you are aware that Mr. Izetbegovic stated two years
6 before the war broke out that the Muslims were -- did not yet comprise a
7 big enough majority to make Bosnia a Muslim state? Are you aware of that
9 A. No.
10 Q. Were you aware of local Serbs in your community being concerned
11 about being a Serb minority within an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 A. That's what they pointed out, yes.
13 Q. Were people in your local community disturbed about the fact that
14 Mr. Izetbegovic, on a visit to Turkey in July 1991, asked to join the
15 organisation of Islamic countries?
16 A. I don't remember that.
17 Q. In terms of events in 1993, Witness, were you aware that Serbs
18 from Kotor Varos accepted Croats who in 1993 had been expelled from
19 Travnik by Muslims?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Are you aware of Croats leaving -- significant numbers of Croats
22 leaving Kotor Varos on their own request?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, just in relation to further internal matters in Kotor Varos:
25 Was there in the local politics in terms of the coalition between the HDZ
1 and the SDA felt by the Serbs that the events there were becoming - to
2 your knowledge, of course - politically polarised?
3 A. There was no coalition.
4 Q. So you tell the Trial Chamber there was no coalition between the
5 Muslims and the Croats in your local area; is that correct?
6 A. That's right. Not in the political sense.
7 Q. In terms of the set-up of the Executive Board in your local area,
8 there were I think three Serbs and three non-Serbs; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And was it the case that SDA and HDZ delegates initiated certain
11 questions during the Assembly sessions without going through the Executive
13 A. I don't remember that.
14 Q. Were you aware of Muslims and Croats in your local area arming
16 A. No.
17 Q. Were you aware of paramilitary formations in your local area?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Were you aware of a number of people, a significant number of
20 people, prior to the outbreak of hostilities, people from all three
21 backgrounds - Serb, Croat, and Muslim - wanting to leave?
22 A. No.
23 Q. So you're not aware of people wanting to leave in the period
24 April, May, June; is that what you're telling the Court?
25 A. I know that at one of the meetings of the council for national
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 defence, the president of the municipality, who was a Croat by ethnicity,
2 came up with a proposal for Croats to leave Kotor Varos and take their
3 property with them in exchange for which they would be compensated.
4 Following that proposal, the SDS president, Nedjeljko Djekanovic, stated
5 in no uncertain terms as follows: You will not be leaving whenever you
6 see fit, but rather, you will be leaving when we decide, and how we
8 Q. Are you aware of a meeting with the archbishop of Banja Luka,
9 Bishop Komarica, and the religious Muslim head from Banja Luka, meeting in
10 the Kotor Varos municipality, seeking to find some peaceful outcome? Are
11 you aware of a meeting of that nature around June 1992?
12 A. No.
13 Q. So you're not aware that there was some discussion about perhaps
14 the possibility of temporarily moving people out so that they could
15 sustain themselves during the period of the conflict? You're not aware of
16 anything of that nature?
17 A. No
18 Q. Are you aware of Muslim and Croat paramilitary formations in the
19 directions of Bilice and Kotor? I hope that pronunciation leads you to
20 understand what villages I'm talking about.
21 A. I was not aware of that. I have no idea about that, in fact.
22 Q. Yes.
23 MS. LOUKAS: No further questions, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Loukas.
25 Mr. Margetts, has the cross-examination raised any wish to --
1 MR. MARGETTS: No, Your Honour, we have no questions.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Judges will have a few questions. First
3 Judge Canivell.
4 Questioned by the Court:
5 JUDGE CANIVELL: Witness, please, can you tell us during these
6 years 1991, 1992, 1993 you had been speaking about, you had -- you were
7 following what was happening in your town and your village and in the
8 capital town nearby. But at the same time, how did you follow the events
9 in the rest of the country? Through papers, through TV? You did it
10 assiduously, every day? Tell us, please.
11 A. In the course of 1991 and 1992, we received information over the
12 media, the television, and the press. I did not, however, watch TV every
13 day. However, there was a free flow of information up until 1992, spring
14 of 1992, when two relays were blocked in Vlasic and Kozara and when we in
15 Kotor Varos were able to cover -- to watch only the programmes aired from
16 Banja Luka and Belgrade. The radio signals which were, however, very
17 poor, did transmit the information from Sarajevo. In part, some of the
18 residents were able to watch TV Zagreb, depending on the range of their
19 antennas. The rest of the information could be gathered from the press,
20 which was mostly from Banja Luka. In 1991, it was Banjalucki Glas. In
21 1992, it was Srpski Glas. It was renamed. And in part, one could read
22 the press from Belgrade. But, however, in a very restrictive manner from
23 Sarajevo as well. This was in 1992.
24 JUDGE CANIVELL: You said that until the spring of 1992, there was
25 still a free flow of information. What did you mean by that? When you
1 tell us that you had the information coming from different points -
2 Banja Luka, Sarajevo, or even Zagreb - could you precise the sources of
3 this information, in the sense that not the placing from which they were
4 sent; rather, what we would like to know is: I mean the source of the
5 information in the sense of it was the Serbian information, it was Serbian
6 free information, it was Serbian influenced information, it was Croat
7 information, it was Muslim or Bosniak information. Can you precise a
8 little bit about that?
9 A. The information from Sarajevo originated from the republican TV
10 that was controlled by all the three nationalities in 1991. The
11 information from Belgrade originated from the Serbian national TV, and the
12 same was true for Zagreb, that broadcast the information from the Croatian
13 television. There were no private television channels in 1991.
14 In 1992, having used the relay facilities that we had, we also
15 received information broadcast by the Banja Luka TV. I cannot speak for
16 1993 because I spent the year in detention.
17 JUDGE CANIVELL: This Banja Luka TV could be considered as a
18 Muslim or, rather, Serbian source of information?
19 A. It could be considered as the Serbian source of information.
20 JUDGE CANIVELL: Okay. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Judge El Mahdi has one or more questions for you.
22 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 [Interpretation] Witness, I would kindly ask you to clarify
24 several things first. You've said, as far as your experience in detention
25 is concerned, that you established - and this is what you said in
1 English - that there were two factions: There were the Special Forces
2 and the Serbian police force, or the Serbian guards. You've said that the
3 Serbian police was not cruel, that is, it did not mistreat the detainees,
4 but that those who were responsible for that were members of the Special
5 Forces. Is this what you said, Witness?
6 A. In part, that is true. We were mostly tortured by members of the
7 Special Forces, by the people wearing camouflage uniforms, under the
8 command of Zdravko Samardzija, and later on, Slobodan Dubocanin. The
9 Serbian police force wore blue uniforms. While we were in detention, they
10 were the guards there. Some of them, like, for instance, Dragan Krejic,
11 who was commander of the camp for a while, used to beat detainees on a
12 daily basis. This is also true for Radenko Keverovic. They, as well as
13 many other guards in the camp, opened the gates to members of the Special
14 Forces and other reserve-force military men to enter the camp and beat the
16 I will only recount one case here. It happened in August 1992, at
17 the point when I was supposed to be exchanged and returned again to the
18 prison in the school. One evening, members of the Special Forces came in
19 to beat us. I was among the ones who were beaten. A guard at the prison,
20 Popovic, also known as Pop, and known to everyone in Kotor Varos as the
21 waiter Pop, went to the public security station and brought along the
22 inspector Ljubo Petrusic, and following a very long discussion between
23 Petrusic and members of the Special Forces, one could see that they did
24 not have a joint command. Members of the Special Forces went out, only to
25 return an hour later and beat us just as they did earlier on.
1 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Therefore, I can conclude the
2 following: When you say they were mostly beaten by members of the Special
3 Forces, you wish to say that it was more the members of the Special Forces
4 who did that rather than the guards.
5 A. For the most part, this was done by members of the Special Forces,
6 but this was done in the presence of the Serbian police officers in blue
8 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Could you establish the
9 membership of these Special Forces, who they belonged to?
10 A. These Special Forces came from Banja Luka, according to what
11 Zdravko Samardzija said, that they came from the security services centre
12 in Banja Luka. I remember very clearly the moment I first encountered
13 Zdravko Samardzija, when I got the pass from him and when I told him that
14 I was a member of the SDA party. He, in turn, told me that this was not
15 an illegal matter, that they had searched our premises, that is, the
16 premises of the SDA party, and that they hadn't found anything that will
17 be in contravention to the Serbian law, unlike the case in Doboj, where
18 they found the, as they called it, the Pastete. When I asked him what it
19 was, he told me it was a type of a land-mine. And I had never heard of
20 that term before, because I wasn't in the army.
21 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] These land-mines were found
23 A. In Doboj.
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Where?
25 A. In the premises of the SDA party. That is what he said.
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] In the premises of the SDA party?
2 A. Yes. In Doboj. This is another town which is --
3 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Fine. I will now change the
4 topic. You have said there's one man, who was a Croat by ethnicity, who
5 was a member of the Assembly, Municipal Assembly, that he had suggested
6 that the Croats leave the area in exchange for a compensation for their
7 property. And then you added that the SDS president, a man by the name of
8 Djekanovic, was against that, was opposed to that. When did this take
9 place, and could the SDS president really do this? Could he have
10 prevented this suggestion from being put into place, and how was it solved
11 in the end?
12 A. It is true that the president of the Assembly, Anto Mandic, came
13 forth with this proposal, because it happened at the end of May in 1992,
14 at the meeting of the council for national defence, when he said the
15 following, "The Croats will not wage any wars in Kotor Varos. Allow us to
16 leave, to take our belongings, to save our lives, in exchange for which
17 you will give us compensation for our property." Djekanovic's reaction
18 was not a calm one. It was a reaction of revolt, because he said, "It is
19 not up to you to decide when you will leave. You will leave when we say
20 so and if we say so, and the way we say."
21 We, however, did not understand fully the meaning of this
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And when he said, "This is up to
24 us, we are to decide about this," what did he mean by this? Who was
25 the "we"?
1 A. He meant to say that it was up to the SDS to decide about it. A
2 similar statement at the same meeting was given by Savo Tepic, who was the
3 chief of the public security station in Kotor Varos, who said, "Whether
4 Kotor Varos will be part of Republika Srpska is not the point. The point
5 is: Will it be done by force or through peaceful means."
6 The meeting ended in a way that it was concluded that a public
7 meeting should be held in Kotor Varos, in a cinema theatre. But since the
8 interest was quite overwhelming, it was held at a stadium.
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. You were talking about late
10 May 1992?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And in fact, this meeting was
13 held at a stadium; right?
14 A. The meeting was held in early June, yes, at the stadium.
15 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And what was the conclusion
16 reached there?
17 A. The meeting of the council for national defence decided that the
18 SDS should invite their representatives from Banja Luka in order for them
19 to address the citizens of all ethnic backgrounds and explain to them what
20 kind of an advantage would it be for Kotor Varos in joining the Serbian
21 Autonomous District of Banja Luka, that is, the Serbian Republic. The SDS
22 leaders agreed with the idea of them inviting their representatives from
23 Banja Luka; however, on that day when the meeting was scheduled, nobody
24 showed up from Banja Luka. Thus, the presidents of all the parties - the
25 SDS, the SDA, and the HDZ - addressed those present and presented the
1 situation in Kotor Varos and put forth suggestions. They were suggesting
2 a peaceful solution. They suggested that peace should be ensured in
3 Kotor Varos - this was suggested by the SDA - and that we should work for
4 the end of the conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to try and reach a
5 peaceful solution as to which body Kotor Varos should belong to.
6 Djekanovic, the SDS president, said that Kotor Varos, in territorial
7 terms, did belong to Banja Luka and that it ought to be part of the
8 Banja Luka region. This was met with general opposition. He was -- then
9 he just left the meeting.
10 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. But did it not seem to you
11 that the SDS members from the local area were not in contact? Did it not
12 seem to you that they did not have any contacts with their superiors in
13 Banja Luka? Because it happened, for instance, that they would say
14 something, and then those people in Banja Luka would disagree with it.
15 Were there any contacts between them?
16 A. There were communication contacts between them, because at the
17 meeting of the council for national defence, they did agree to the
18 suggestion that they invite their colleagues from Banja Luka. However, at
19 the public meeting, they said that, due to previous commitments, these
20 certain persons were unable to come.
21 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you for this last answer.
22 You've answered the question concerning the neighbouring village, the one
23 that you lived in, and you said that you yourself came to the conclusion
24 that houses were being set alight during the night, while the villages
25 were being shelled. Did I understand you correctly at the time, or ...
1 A. Yes. I did see that the neighbouring villages that I could see
2 from my house, that they were being shelled and that there was fighting
3 going on in the area, and that houses were being set alight, especially
4 during the night, because you could clearly see the fire in the dark.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] We, therefore, came to the
6 conclusion as to why they were set alight, and you even said that they
7 were being torched during the day.
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Does this mean that they were set
10 alight both during the day and during the night? Did this surprise you at
11 all? Did this take place all the time?
12 A. Yes. The houses were set alight during the day and during the
13 night, whenever there were clashes on.
14 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] I understand that these villages
15 were mostly populated by Bosniaks.
16 A. In the village of Bilice, there were Croats. In Hanifici, there
17 were Muslims.
18 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 A. I apologise. I meant to say in Hrvacani.
20 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But there were no Serbs there?
21 A. No. In the suburban areas, in the outlying areas, there were
22 Serbs, meaning in the outlying areas surrounding Kotor Varos. Around
23 Hrvacani, there were several smaller Serb-populated villages, but there
24 were no Serbs in Hrvacani.
25 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] You said that houses that came
1 under attack were being torched during the night. It seems to me that if
2 the houses were lit, that this light could serve as a guide to those who
3 were attacking the village and make their job easier?
4 A. Perhaps so.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Thank you,
6 Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I would have one or two questions to you, but I first
8 have to inquire whether we'd still have time on the tape. Because
9 otherwise I'd like to finish before the next break. Yes, we still have a
10 couple of minutes.
11 Witness 144, yesterday some questions were put to you in relation
12 to two documents, one being conclusion of the resettlement of Rasim
13 Mehmedovic to Zagreb - you testified you knew him - and the other one was
14 a document in which someone declared that he was voluntarily leaving
15 Kotor Varos municipality for the following reasons, and then stated why he
17 You were asked about conditions imposed in order to leave the
18 municipality, and you said you heard about one condition imposed to be
19 voluntarily giving up your property. And we saw on one of these documents
20 that a burned house was given up by that person. I have some difficulties
21 in reconciling conditions imposed and voluntarily giving up. Could you
22 explain exactly what the margin of free will was for those who wanted to
24 A. I think that at that point, they had no freedom of choice. They
25 could either stay in Kotor Varos or, if they decided to leave, they had to
1 leave their property to the municipality of Kotor Varos. If, for
2 instance, they said that they wanted to leave Kotor Varos, then, if the
3 authorities of Kotor Varos found that they did something that was contrary
4 to the law, they would then be detained.
5 JUDGE ORIE: What kind of acts contrary to the law would be taken
6 into consideration for detaining those people?
7 A. While I was in prison, a number of detainees were brought in who
8 had registered as wishing to leave Kotor Varos with their families. They
9 would be brought to the prison, whereas the women and children were
10 allowed to leave. From conversations with these people, I learnt that
11 they were being accused of having been opposed to the Serbian authority,
12 that is, of not having been loyal to the Serbian authorities.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer. I've got one more
14 question about the relation between the Special Forces and, as I could
15 say, the regular police forces. When you were in detention, did the
16 regular police forces explain to you why you were detained and what the
17 legal basis for your detention was?
18 A. No. They never explained this to us, not a single time.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Was it ever asked to them? Did you ever ask: Why do
20 you keep us in detention?
21 A. We asked the guards, the guards that we knew from before, the
22 guards that we had once worked with or had been friends with. Their
23 answer, however, was, "We received orders to keep you here. We do not
24 know the reason behind this."
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then my last question is: When regular police forces
1 were present when Special Forces ill-treated detainees, did they ever
3 A. No. They never stood up against that.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for your answers, Witness 144.
5 Is there any need for further questions?
6 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, we have one question that arises from
7 an answer provided to a question from His Honour Judge El Mahdi.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Registrar, I'm looking at the clock.
9 Would we still have for one question and answer? Ms. Loukas, would you
10 have any further questions?
11 MS. LOUKAS: No, Your Honour. I have no further questions.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then let's try to finish before we are running out of
14 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, the only difficulty is this: I have a
15 document I'd like to present to the witness.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Do it, then, as quickly as possible.
17 MR. MARGETTS: If it could be distributed.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes. This might be a signal that ...
19 Further examination by Mr. Margetts.
20 Q. Witness 144, you have before you a decision on the formation of
21 the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina and it's dated 5 May
22 1992. Do you recognise the name marked at number 14 of that decision?
23 A. Slobodan Dubocanin. I recognise that name. He was one of the
24 special unit commanders in Kotor Varos.
25 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I just note that I hadn't ask for an
1 exhibit number for this document.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar will give it to you.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit P348.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. Any further questions?
6 MR. MARGETTS:
7 Q. Yes. Witness, you were asked by His Honour Judge El Mahdi whether
8 you could establish the membership of the Special Forces and who they
9 belonged to, and your answer was that these Special Forces came from
10 Banja Luka. According to what Zdravko Samardzija said, that they came
11 from the security services centre in Banja Luka. Is the membership of the
12 commander Slobodan Dubocanin, of the ARK Crisis Staff, consistent with
13 your observations as to whom these Special Forces belonged to?
14 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, I'd object to that question. That's --
15 the witness has given his evidence. He's been, Your Honour,
16 cross-examined, he's been asked questions by the Judge. In essence,
17 Mr. Margetts is asking a question that is actually a determination to be
18 made by Your Honours in terms of assessing the evidence. And
19 particularly, to ask it in that leading form, additionally, Your Honour,
20 that question is wholly objectionable.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, from the evidence until now, we see the
22 position of Mr. Dubocanin and in the war staff, and we heard extensive
23 testimony on his role. Wouldn't that be sufficient? I mean,
24 consistency ...
25 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. I'm satisfied that there's no
1 need for any further questions.
2 JUDGE ORIE: So that question is then withdrawn.
3 Mr. Margetts, I take it that P348, that the original in B/C/S,
4 only the top part, is tendered into evidence, since only that part is
5 provided in translation.
6 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. That's correct. This is just
7 part of a gazette, and accordingly this is the page from the gazette.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So only the upper part, up to where it reads in
10 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Witness 144, this concludes your evidence.
12 We'll deal with the documents at a later stage, Mr. Margetts. Yes.
13 MR. MARGETTS: Just one matter, Your Honour. The witness has not
14 been present when the summary of his evidence is read out.
15 JUDGE ORIE: No. But the summary of his evidence is something
16 which is mainly for the public and not primarily for the witness.
17 MR. MARGETTS: Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I mean, it's to inform the public about the written
19 statement of the witness of which he said that he has reviewed it. So
20 he's aware of it, so we could -- I think we could excuse the witness and
21 then read out the remaining part. But still, of course, we have to see
22 whether there's any agreement finally on what the summary should be.
23 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. I think we've reached agreement
24 on that. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: That's fine. I'm also a bit concerned about the time
1 and running out of tape.
2 Witness 144, you have come a far way to The Hague. You have
3 answered all the questions put to you by Prosecution, by Defence, and by
4 the Bench. I'd like to thank you very much for coming, and I wish you a
5 safe trip home again.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 JUDGE ORIE: We'll adjourn until half past 4.00. And once we
9 start again, we first deal with the exhibits and with the summary. And,
10 Mr. Harmon, I don't know when you had scheduled Mr. Hannis to appear for
11 P202, 203, but ...
12 MR. HARMON: He'll be here when we recommence.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, okay. Then we'll deal with these technicalities
14 once we resume, and then I take it the Prosecution is ready to call its
15 next witness.
16 We'll adjourn until 4.30.
17 --- Recess taken at 4.07 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 4.33 p.m.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Margetts, I take it that we'll receive the
20 newly redacted version of the statement soon, in accordance with the
21 decision given --
22 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: -- by the Chamber. I do also understand that the
24 parties have agreed on reading out the 89(F) summary.
25 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour. We have agreed.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Margetts, the Chamber wants to express this
2 is not against you or against Ms. Loukas, that, as a rule, we'll read out
3 those statements in the presence of the witness, because that's
4 preferable. It was only under the special circumstances that, well, the
5 witness concluded his testimony and that we would have -- we would have
6 had to ask him to wait for another half an hour for the statement to be
7 read. So therefore, as an exception, we'll now read it in the absence of
8 the witness. Please proceed.
9 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. And the basis for my question
10 was in fact just so the witness was aware of the extent of the evidence
11 that he'd given and that it had come to the Court's attention.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course, the witness could be -- no. We have
13 no English -- we have no B/C/S summaries or -- perhaps you could -- I
14 think that would be proper, if you would -- no, we have no B/C/S.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ORIE: If the witness would be still around, of course, we
17 could invite him to, but he may have left.
18 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
19 JUDGE ORIE: If the witness would be still around and if he would
20 prefer to be present, I even would pull the curtains down for that reason,
21 because we really prefer to do that, and perhaps I decided too quickly
22 that we would have a break first.
23 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour. I don't see a need for
24 that because he's accepted your ruling as it was and the reasons for it,
25 and I have advised him of the content of his statement, that I wished to
1 raise it before you [indiscernible] the possibility.
2 JUDGE ORIE: If that's the case, I think we could proceed. Yes,
3 please proceed.
4 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 This is the 89(F) summary of Witness 144.
8 From late 1990 and throughout 1991, various events in Kotor Varos
9 resulted in disagreements between the SDS and the HDZ and SDA, setting the
10 JNA and the local Serbs against the SDA and the HDZ, including these
11 events: The removal of Territorial Defence weapons by the JNA, the
12 passage of Serbian military convoys through the area, the building of a
13 new military training ground near Maslovare, the mobilisation after the
14 start of the war in Croatia, JNA's seizure of mobilisation lists and
15 records from the local secretariat for national defence, the Serbs'
16 efforts to join Kotor Varos to the Serb-proclaimed Serbian Autonomous
17 Region of Krajina.
18 In discussions preceding the removal of weapons, representatives
19 of the HDZ and SDA were threatened by a JNA colonel and by the SDS
20 representatives Slobodan Juric. In October 1991, during the course of
21 discussions in the Municipal Assembly, Nedjeljko Djekanovic, the president
22 of the SDS, threatened the witness, stating, "You have something against
23 the Serbian people. Watch out. Something may happen to you."
24 In the spring of 1991, the witness travelled to Sarajevo with
25 representatives of the SDS, HDZ, and SDA from Kotor Varos to discuss an
1 SDS demand for over 50 per cent of the authority in the Executive Council
2 even though they did not have the majority of seats. In Sarajevo he met
3 with Velibor Ostojic, subsequently the minister for information in the
4 Republika Srpska, and Radovan Karadzic. Ostojic threatened the Muslim and
5 Croat representatives with the use of force. Later, Karadzic joined the
6 meeting, and the SDA candidates felt compelled to accept the solution
7 presented by the SDS in order to maintain the work of the municipal bodies
8 in Kotor Varos.
9 Effectively, there were two political blocks in Kotor Varos: The
10 SDS Serbian block, supporting Slobodan Milosevic's politics, promoting a
11 Serb-dominated Yugoslavia, and the block of the HDZ and SDA opposed to it.
12 From early April 1992, the Serbs declared a new Serbian police
13 force and insisted that the police make declarations of loyalty to the new
14 Serb force. The head of the CSB in Banja Luka, Stojan Zupljanin, attended
15 a meeting in Kotor Varos and was informed that no non-Serb staff wanted to
16 declare loyalty to the Serbs.
17 From around May 1992, checkpoints were set up and movement was
18 restricted around the town. Pursuant to an order from the SDS, there was
19 dismissal of Muslims and Croats from their jobs.
20 In late May 1992, the witness attended a meeting with local SDS
21 officials and two JNA officers from Banja Luka to discuss the issue of
22 Kotor Varos joining the Bosnian Serb Republic. A JNA colonel made it
23 clear that if no agreement could be reached then the incorporation would
24 be carried out by force. The HDZ representative even suggested that the
25 Croats move out, take their belongings and be given a suitable substitute
1 for their property. Nedjeljko Djekanovic told him, "You're not going to
2 move out when you want but when we decide and in the way we decide."
3 The SDS police chief Savo Tepic stated that the question was not
4 whether Kotor Varos would join the Serb Republic but only whether it will
5 be by force or voluntarily.
6 In late May 1992/early June 1992, the SDS took over the municipal
7 building and did not allow non-Serb representatives to enter.
8 Beginning about 11 June 1992, Serb armed forces, including local
9 soldiers, began military action in and around Kotor Varos.
10 On 12 June 1992, the Serbs, Momcilo Komljenovic, president of
11 Executive Council, and Dusko Skoric, together with a special unit dressed
12 in camouflage with insignias, came to the area of town where the witness
13 was. One of the members of the special unit identified himself as Zdravko
14 Samardzija, a lawyer from Banja Luka. Komljenovic stated that the SDS had
15 taken over Kotor Varos and that the town was now considered as part of the
16 Serb Republic. It was also stated that a Serbian Crisis Staff had been
17 formed. They ordered that all weapons be handed over the next day.
18 In late June, firing was directed toward the houses in Cepak and
19 the witness fled to other parts of town, first Sokoline and then to Ravne.
20 On 7 July 1992 the witness was arrested by Serb soldiers and taken
21 to the police station. Between 7 July 1992 and --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down for the interpreters.
23 MR. MARGETTS: -- And 23 July 1993, the witness was detained
24 overnight, first detained overnight in the police station, then for one
25 and a half months at the Kotor Varos elementary school, and for 11 months
1 in the Kotor Varos prison. On 23 July 1993, he was taken by the ICRC to
2 Karlovac and exchanged.
3 At the police station on 7 July he was interrogated, confined,
4 brutally tortured, and beaten by special unit members under --
5 Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, the French translation has now finished
7 what you have said.
8 MR. MARGETTS: Apologies to Your Honour, and apologies to the
9 translation booth. I will proceed at a more appropriate rate.
10 I'll start this paragraph again.
11 At the police station on 7 July 1992, he was interrogated,
12 confined, brutally tortured, and beaten by special unit members under the
13 command of Samardzija. ARK Crisis Staff member and special police unit
14 commander Slobodan Dubocanin entered the room where the witness was being
15 held and told the witness that unless he gave his interrogators the
16 information that Dubocanin sought, his family would be brought to the
17 police station to be tortured in front of his eyes. Following Dubocanin's
18 appearance, the witness was subject to a game of Russian roulette,
19 witnessed four Cyrillic S's being carved into the back of a fellow
20 detainee and was beaten unconscious.
21 The witness was detained in the elementary school for
22 approximately one and a half months, where he was beaten regularly, forced
23 to perform labour, taken to the front line to dig trenches, and tortured.
24 The following commanders visited the school whilst the witness was
25 detained: Zdravko Pejic, Slobodan Dubocanin, Savo Tepic, Ljubo Petrusic
1 (a police inspector from Zagreb) and Nenad Kajkut.
2 In late August 1992, the witness was transferred to the municipal
3 prison in Kotor Varos. The Special Forces paid regular visits to the
4 prison and beat the prisoners. Prisoners were beaten to death. During
5 1992, the commanders of the prison, were the former policemen Goran Zaric
6 and Dragan Krejic. They received orders from Zdravko Pejic, Ljubo
7 Petrusic, Savo Tepic, Dragan Bojic, the commander of the Serbian police in
8 Kotor Varos, Slobodan Dubocanin, and Zdravko Samardzija. Zaric told the
9 prisoners that he performed security escorts of convoys that took the
10 non-Serb population across the Vlasic mountain to Travnik.
11 The witness was finally released in July 1993.
12 That concludes the 89(F) summary.
13 JUDGE ORIE: The speed was perfect, because the interpreters have
14 finished the translation.
15 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then we have to deal with the exhibits. Madam
17 Registrar, could you assist us.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit P324, under seal, pseudonym
19 sheet. P325, under seal, ICTY witness statement dated 18 and 19 December,
21 JUDGE ORIE: Before we give any decision on that, I don't think
22 that we have received -- or have we received the final version? So P325
23 still to be received by the registrar in its final version.
24 Yes, Madam Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: P326, map of Bosnia with location of Kotor Varos
1 marked. P327, map of Kotor Varos municipality. P328, under seal, map of
2 Kotor Varos city and surroundings, pre-marked. P329, national structure
3 of the population according to local communities, including the ethnic
4 composition of Kotor Varos. P329.1, English translation. P330,
5 assessment of security situation in the area of Kotor Varos, dated 10th of
6 May, 1993. P330.1, English translation. P331, under seal, Executive
7 Committee statement dated 27 March 1992, and P331.1, English translation.
8 P332, under seal, excerpt from the minutes of the 13th Session of the
9 National Defence Council of Kotor Varos, dated 7 April 1992. P332.1,
10 English translation. P333, minutes of meeting of the Garici branch
11 office, dated 24 May 1992. P333.1, English translation. P334, video of
12 extracts from the Krajina television. P334A, transcript of P344 [sic].
13 And P334.A.1, English translation.
14 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, just one matter. I think it came
15 across as the transcript of P344, not 334.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That's how it appears in the provisional transcript,
17 but of course it should be 334. Please proceed, Madam Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: P335, extract from the minutes of the 54th Session
19 of the War Presidency, held on 15 August 1992. P335.1, English
20 translation. P336, precis of minutes of 51st Meeting of War Presidency,
21 held on 8 August 1992. P336.1, English translation. P337, decision
22 permitting freedom of movement in Kotor Varos dated 15 June 1992. P337.1,
23 English translation. P338, under seal, extract of the minutes of the 28th
24 meeting of the Crisis Staff, held on 20 June 1992. P338.1, English
25 translation. P339, conclusion on the resettlement of Rasim Mehmedovic to
1 Zagreb dated 18 June 1992. P339.1, English translation. P340, statement
2 dated 21 August 1992. P340.1, English translation. P341, extract from
3 the minutes of the 26th Session of the Crisis Staff held on 19 June 1992.
4 P341.1, English translation. P342, extract from the minutes of the 31st
5 meeting of the Crisis Staff held on 21 June 1992. And P342.1, English
6 translation. P343, extract from the minutes of the 36th Session of the
7 Crisis Staff held on 24 June 1992. P343.1, English translation. P344,
8 extract from the minutes of the 40th Session of the Crisis Staff held on
9 26th June 1992. P344.1, English translation. P345, under seal, list of
10 camp prisoners in Kotor Varos from 11 June 1991 onwards. P345.1, under
11 seal, English translation. P346, extract from the minutes of the 48th
12 meeting of the Crisis Staff held on 30th of June, 1992. P346.1, English
13 translation. P347, extract from the minutes of the 46th Session of the
14 Crisis Staff held on 29 June 1992. P347.1, English translation. And
15 P348, decision on the formation of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous
16 Region of Krajina dated 5th May 1992. P348.1, English translation.
17 There's one Defence exhibit.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before you turn to D29. Ms. Loukas, you have
19 read the content of this document into the record, and then the witness
20 testified that he didn't know anything about it. Do you insist on
21 tendering D29?
22 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, I do, Your Honour. And I can indicate that we
23 will obtain an official translation and forward that to the Court as well.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that, if it would be admitted,
25 that we would need an official translation. But I mean, what's the
1 purpose of this being in evidence? I mean, apart from that it was read to
2 the witness, because he ...
3 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, yes, it was read to the witness.
4 The fact is that where that meeting occurred is near that particular
5 municipality. It is a matter of relevance, I would submit, that these
6 events occurred in the circumstances, and I think in terms of the context
7 of the events in the relevant municipality and surrounding areas are
8 important. One looks at the sort of -- the vast bulk of material that
9 comes from the Prosecution on a purely contextual level, Your Honour, and,
10 Your Honour, I submit it's as relevant as the contextual material put
11 forward by the Prosecution in the circumstances.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
13 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, we don't object to this extract from
14 that book coming in. We accept the Court's observation that this witness
15 has added nothing to that document.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. MARGETTS: And effectively, it's been tendered from the Bench.
18 But we don't object to its admission.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do agree that it's rather a dossier piece, I
20 would say, of evidence, rather than anything else. Because otherwise you
21 could read whatever you want to read to a witness and he says, "Well, I
22 don't know anything about." And that document would be in evidence. But
23 I think the parties fairly well understand what it means that this
24 document is then admitted into evidence, that it exists as -- and I also
25 do understand that it's not contested, that it is part of a book, because
1 this is not -- well, this is just explained by Ms. Loukas. So if it's not
2 contested, the Chamber will, I think, accept that it's part of that book
3 of Mr. Halilovic.
4 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MS. LOUKAS: Just in relation to the Prosecution exhibits --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MS. LOUKAS: Just in relation to the Prosecution exhibits, of
10 course, Your Honour, I did register an objection in relation to I think it
11 was 330. That's a document, of course, that contains no signature, no
12 seal, and I asked for further --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MS. LOUKAS: -- information from the Prosecution in relation to
15 the provenance of the document. And just a more general point in relation
16 to the documents put forward by the Prosecution. It is, of course, for
17 the Prosecution to prove their documents. I think it would be important,
18 I would submit, to ensure that when a group of documents are tendered,
19 that the Prosecution indicate how they came into possession of these
20 documents and where they emerge from precisely. I want to make that point
21 of a more general nature. I've made the specific point in relation to the
22 document 330. But I'd like to make that a more general observation in
23 relation to that, that the Prosecution should be providing, in my
24 submission, an indication of where and when the Prosecution came into
25 possession of particular documents.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
2 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, the way that we had intended to
3 proceed was instead of taking the Court's time with a submission on each
4 and every document, we had intended to only make submissions of that
5 nature in regard to the documents that are contested. Some documents on
6 their face don't admit, in our submission, for a contest, if they have a
7 seal, they're signed, and they're apparently authentic and they're
8 contextualised, then it seems to us to be rather excessive to then also
9 take the Court's time presenting evidence as to the chain of custody and
10 how we came to be in possession of them. So it had been our intention to
11 present these documents. Should there be objections in respect of
12 specific documents, then to call the evidence as those objections arise.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course, now the question is whether we
14 should provisionally admit into evidence that document or to delay.
15 Because it might be that on many documents that we'll hear evidence at the
16 very end.
17 Could the parties perhaps exchange their views on what documents
18 will be contested and that at a later stage we'll deal with all those
19 documents at once, perhaps the first step to be that we receive an
20 explanation by the Prosecution on how they obtained possession of those
21 documents, and if that would not sufficiently resolve the matter, then, if
22 necessary, to even hear witnesses on it. As the parties are aware of
23 the -- the Chamber is not bound by any national rules of evidence and that
24 the authentication of documents might not always follow the -- of what
25 counsel are used to in their domestic practice.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ORIE: The decision on exhibits 330 will be delayed until
3 you have given a response to the objection of Ms. Loukas. I think the
4 first question is where does it come from and the absence of signature and
5 stamps is -- and seals is -- I don't know whether that's the final issue,
6 but if you would first exchange information about that. Then the Chamber
7 will hear whether there's any agreement or whether the objection still
8 stands. And if the objection still stands, we'll then decide on whether
9 or not to admit that document.
10 The Exhibit 325, the Chamber will first receive the -- through the
11 Registry, a new version of the statement and all the other documents are
12 admitted into evidence.
13 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just one further -- there's just one
15 further matter in relation to the exhibits. Ms. Cmeric has pointed out to
16 me that there are some translation issues with a number of the documents.
17 I point out that they are 332, 333, and P338.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MS. LOUKAS: So in all likelihood, I assume the best way of
20 dealing with this issue perhaps is for us to date to the Prosecution --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MS. LOUKAS: -- what the issues appear to be in relation to the
23 actual translation.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I think the proper procedure would be -- it's a
25 document tendered into evidence by the Prosecution, so they are
1 responsible for an accurate translation. So if you convey to the
2 Prosecution what the problems in relation to the translation are. If the
3 Prosecution, perhaps after having consulted the CLSS, agrees, then we
4 either receive a new translation or the Defence is satisfied that the
5 translation problem doesn't exist any more. So then either replace the
6 translation or do not hear about it any more. I mean, the only thing the
7 Chamber can do is to consult the CLSS as well, so I think it's the proper
8 way to ask the Prosecution to do that.
9 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. We will consult with Ms. Cmeric
10 and then convey the concerns to CLSS.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MS. LOUKAS: As Your Honour pleases.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE ORIE: D29 -- I mean, all the relevant part has been
15 translated into the transcript by the interpreters, so it can be admitted.
16 But D29.1 still has to be received, and then -- of course, it goes without
17 saying that translations are always admitted into evidence unless there's
18 any technical issue. But the admission of D29 is provisional to the
19 extent that the Chamber still has to receive the translation.
20 MS. LOUKAS: Indeed, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, Mr. Hannis, is it you who will examine
22 the next witness?
23 MR. HANNIS: I will, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I also did understand that as far as P300 --
25 no, 200 up to 203, that you still need to consult someone who left the
1 Office of the Prosecution. So we'll hear from that as soon as possible.
2 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then next witness is?
4 MR. HANNIS: Elvedin Pasic, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Is there no protective measures?
6 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, I'd like to ask you to escort the
8 witness into the courtroom.
9 Mr. Hannis, will there be any 89(F) summary?
10 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: It's just viva voce.
12 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And the time scheduled is three hours?
14 MR. HANNIS: That's correct, Your Honour. May I inquire what time
15 you anticipate the break?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Now I have to --
17 MR. HANNIS: I think we started at 4.30.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We started at 4.30. That means that we -- but
19 we had a late break. 4.30 would mean up to -- I would say a quarter to
20 6.00 would be ...
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Pasic. Before you give evidence
23 in this court, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require you to make a
24 solemn declaration. I invite you to make that solemn declaration, of
25 which the text is handed out to you now by Madam Usher.
1 MR. HANNIS: And I should indicate, Your Honour, this witness has
2 indicated he is preferring to testify in English.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So then I take it that you use the English
4 version of the solemn declaration.
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Pasic. Please be seated.
8 May I instruct you that whenever you feel that the use of the
9 English language would cause you any problems, either in listening or in
10 speaking, you're instructed then to address me, because we have
11 simultaneous translation available, and the Chamber would avoid that one
12 single aspect would be missing from your testimony due to language
13 problems. So we leave it up to you to speak English if you want to, but
14 whenever you have a problem, please address me.
15 Mr. Hannis, you may proceed.
16 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 WITNESS: ELVEDIN PASIC
18 Examined by Mr. Hannis:
19 Q. Could you again please tell us your name for the record, sir.
20 A. My name is Elvedin Pasic.
21 Q. And how old are you?
22 A. I'm 26 years old.
23 Q. Would you tell us your date of birth, please?
24 A. June 3, 1978.
25 Q. And Mr. Pasic, I should tell that you because we're both speaking
1 English, for the benefit of the interpreters, we need to leave a gap
2 between speaking.
3 A. Sorry.
4 Q. And I'll probably get in trouble more than you will.
5 Would you please tell us where you were born.
6 A. I was born in the village Hrvacani.
7 Q. And in what municipality and what country was that located?
8 A. Bosnia.
9 Q. And what municipality in Bosnia?
10 A. Kotor Varos.
11 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I'd like to show the witness an exhibit
12 that's already in. It's the map that's numbered 327.
13 Q. Do you recognise what's on the screen in front of you?
14 A. I'm sorry. It's not clear on the screen.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You see the original, so you if can testify on
16 the basis of the original in your hands.
17 THE WITNESS: Okay.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And, Madam Usher, if it's not clear on the screen, if
19 we have the computer monitor, then we have problems. If you take the
20 computer evidence it becomes more clearly, although even there the letters
21 are difficult to read.
22 MR. HANNIS:
23 Q. Mr. Pasic, if you could take a look at the map that's on the ELMO,
24 to your left. I don't know if you can see that any better.
25 A. Yeah, I can see it.
1 Q. Do you recognise what area that's a map of?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. And do you see your village of Hrvacani on the map?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. Can you tell us where, approximately, Hrvacani was located in
6 relation to the town of Kotor Varos? Which direction?
7 A. It's to my right, which is west from Kotor Varos, approximately 13
9 Q. And is that 13 kilometres as the crow flies or by road?
10 A. By road.
11 Q. Okay. You can set that down for a moment. I want to ask you some
12 more questions about some other villages later, but let me move on for a
14 How big was your village? How many houses in Hrvacani?
15 A. Approximately a hundred houses.
16 Q. And what was the ethnicity of the people who lived in your
18 A. All Muslims.
19 Q. You see on the map that two nearby villages to Hrvacani are Tepici
20 and -- to the north and Savici to the east. What was the ethnicity of
21 those villages?
22 A. Serbs.
23 Q. And also on the map, further south from your village, there is a
24 village named Dabovci. In 1992 did you have any relatives living in that
1 A. Yes, I did. My sister, who was married at the time.
2 Q. Do you remember what her husband's name was?
3 A. Yes, I do. Elvir Lihovic.
4 Q. And who in your family lived with you in Hrvacani in 1992?
5 A. I lived with my mom, my father, and later my brother who joined me
6 when he came back from Belgrade.
7 Q. And what was he doing in Belgrade in early 1992?
8 A. Right before the war, my brother, after high school, went to
9 Belgrade to join JNA, and he was accepted at that time.
10 Q. Now, in May of 1992, as I do my math, you would have been 13 going
11 on 14 years of age; is that correct?
12 A. That's correct, sir.
13 Q. Were you attending school then?
14 A. Yes, I was.
15 Q. Where did you go to school?
16 A. I went to Vrbanjci.
17 Q. And what kind of school was that? Did students of all three
18 ethnic groups - Croats, Serbs, and Muslims - attend that school?
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. In May of 1992, shortly before your 14th birthday, did you notice
21 any unusual activity in the neighbourhood of your village and your school?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. Would you please tell the Judges about what that was.
24 A. Sure. In May 1992, right before the holiday, Muslim holiday
25 Bajram, we noticed that our neighbours from Tepici and Savici were digging
1 trenches from both sides.
2 Q. I'm sorry. Please go ahead.
3 A. Our two well-known men at that time named Muho Dugonjic and his
4 brother Murat Dugonjic, with the concern seeing our neighbours digging
5 trenches, decided to go and talk to our neighbours in a place in
6 between -- there was an elementary school between Hrvacani and Savici,
7 where I attended my four grades. Asked our neighbours why they were
8 digging trenches around the village, and they told them that this is
9 nothing to worry about. It's just a military exercise.
10 Q. Before this event in May 1992, in prior years, had you seen
11 military exercises in your part of Bosnia?
12 A. Yes. When I was attending my school, actually, the end of the 7th
13 grade, one day I was outside taking a break in between classes, 15-minute
14 break. This was the first time when I noticed a big convoy of JNA tanks
15 and armed vehicles going from direction Kotor Varos, passing Vrbanjci. I
16 was with my friends across the street, and we couldn't cross the street
17 right away because of the armed vehicles passing by. We were greeted by
18 the soldiers with a sign -- this sign, and they were passing by. As soon
19 as they passed by we went back to school. We were nervous. We asked our
20 teachers what is going on and they didn't answer the questions. Nobody
21 knew. At that time, we noticed that something is going to happen.
22 Q. Let me stop there for a second. You indicated a sign and you held
23 up -- you held up your thumb and the first two fingers, as I'm doing now;
24 is that correct?
25 A. Yeah, that's correct.
1 Q. And what did that sign mean to you?
2 A. To me, at that time, we knew that there were a sign of JNA at that
3 time. I don't know exactly what that meant, but it meant that -- we
4 learned from our fathers that they were actually using the sign for the
6 Q. Now, prior to this year of 1992, had you seen other military
7 exercises by the JNA in your area, in previous years, in 1991 or 1990?
8 A. I remember as a little boy, in the past, that they used to have
9 exercise, and as a matter of fact, they were -- one day I remember they
10 had exercise in our village with the regular JNA uniforms, olive-green,
11 and I remember it was -- as a little boy, it was kind of fun for us to
12 join them, and they were carrying weapons, but not real. And they were
13 more like playing, and it was exercise. I remember we had fun with, you
14 know, they let us go with them and, you know, touch the gun and play. But
15 this time it was totally different.
16 Q. And on those previous occasions, had anyone ever dug trenches
17 around their villages in your neighbourhood?
18 A. No, sir.
19 Q. And had you seen tanks during the previous exercises in the
20 earlier years?
21 A. No, sir.
22 Q. Now, I think you said that you saw your neighbours in the Serb
23 villages of Tepici and Savici digging trenches around the time of the
24 Bajram holiday in 1992. Do you remember approximately what date that was,
25 or can you relate it to your birthday of June the 3rd? Was it before or
1 after that?
2 A. I don't really remember it, but I know it was May, and it was
3 really nice outside. I can't remember.
4 Q. And about this time, do you recall an incident where some Serb
5 soldiers came to your village?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. Can you tell the Judges about how that happened and what they did.
8 A. Approximately four or five days before holiday Bajram, we had
9 five, six armed -- well-armed soldiers in camouflage uniform walked
10 through our village from south side of the village and through the
11 village. I remember I was outside playing with my friends when we saw the
12 soldiers coming. Because my house was faced south towards Dabovci and
13 Vrbanjci and we could clearly see the road and people coming and going.
14 When we saw them, my mom -- we wanted to run. We -- as a kid, wanted to
15 run and, you know, join them. I remember my mom was telling me, "Don't
16 go. Don't go, because they might come in and get your brother."
17 And she put me in a room, and as a little kid, I didn't want to wait. I
18 escaped and rang on the back side of a house, and I knew that they were
19 going to cross the road right in the middle of the village, and I knew
20 that I can meet them there.
21 So we went, me and my friends, to see who is coming. And right at
22 this crossroad that was in the middle of the village, we had a place that
23 people hang out at night, you know, sit around and talk. We were waiting
24 there with an old man who was sitting there every day, and these soldiers,
25 they came in and, and as they were coming, they were -- they had bullets
1 crossed. They were fully armed. And they greeted us. They were saying
2 good day, and good morning. And they were just saying that this is a nice
3 village. Some of my friends and people later on knew. One of them -- I
4 noticed one of them, who was Boro. I don't recall his last name, but I
5 know him. I've seen him. He was a neighbour. And my mom later on told
6 me that they were all neighbours from Tepici and Savici.
7 We also found out later on that when we escaped to Vakufci, that
8 this was a bet made between them that they can -- they're going to walk
9 through Hrvacani fully armed and see if somebody is going to stop them.
10 Q. And did anything happen other than they walked through the
12 A. No. They were just pointing at houses. I remember the house of
13 Muho Dugonjic, who was a well-known rich man, huge house, just finished,
14 it was enormous, and he -- one of the soldiers turned around and he said,
15 "Is that a hotel?" And we were saying no. He says, "Wow, that's a nice
16 house." And they were all staring at the houses and a mosque. No --
17 nothing. They just walk through the village and continue walking towards
19 Q. And how would you describe the houses in your village compared to
20 the houses in some of the neighbouring villages? I mean, how did your
21 village compare economically or in terms of prosperity with neighbouring
23 A. Well, our -- we -- our village had a lot of people working outside
24 of Bosnia and especially in Germany, Austria, and our village was
25 considered as a really rich economically. Houses, really nice houses, big
1 houses. We had telephones. Everything that can, you know, man can ask
2 for. I remember when they were ready to build the road with asphalt
3 through the village and we asked our neighbours, Tepici and Savici, to
4 join us, to get money so we can share the road. We always did share
5 before that. But to make it easier instead of having just a regular road.
6 I remember they refused, so we stopped with asphalt half a distance, and
7 Tepici and Savici didn't want to cooperate. So in my mind, I think we
8 were really a strong village at that time.
9 Q. Shortly after this event where the Serb soldiers walked through
10 your village during the Bajram holidays, did anything unusual happen with
11 regard to your neighbours in Savici and Tepici?
12 A. I'm sorry, can you repeat that?
13 Q. Yes. Around the time this happened, or shortly after this event
14 where the Serb soldiers walked through your village, did anything unusual
15 happen to your village in connection with those neighbouring Serb
17 A. I don't understand. I don't remember.
18 Q. What was the next thing of importance or the next thing that was
19 out of the ordinary that happened in your village?
20 A. Okay. Second day of Bajram. The tradition, our tradition is
21 families celebrate Bajram by going around and visiting families, friends,
22 and eating every day. As a little boy, I was running around, and on south
23 side of our village, looking at Dabovci, we noticed on Novakovo Brdo two
24 tanks and approximately 15 to 20 soldiers in the distance pulling out of
25 woods, going in and out. I immediately -- when we saw that, I immediately
1 informed my cousin, Akif, who was walking with the men from the house, to
2 the house, that something is going on in our south side of the village,
3 towards Novakovo Brdo. And soon he joined me and we find out that there
4 were two tanks right on Novakovo Brdo and some soldiers. They were --
5 they had uniforms, olive-green uniforms and, like I said, 15 to 20
7 Q. And could you tell us what Novakovo Brdo is. Is that a town, a
8 village, or what?
9 A. Novakovo Brdo is a hill, right above Dabovci. It's connected
10 actually to Dabovci but it's a hill, south side -- south from my village.
11 Q. What happened after you told your cousin Akif about this activity?
12 A. Akif and a lot of men, men who were walking from the house, to the
13 house, joined with hodza, gathered together, and it happened to be right
14 next to my house that they were passing by. So they decided to go in my
15 house, to sit down and discuss this issue that was going on with our
17 Q. Can you explain to me who or what is hodza.
18 A. Hodza is a -- he was in charge of mosque. He represents our --
19 he's imam who greets families, especially during the holidays, going from
20 house to house, joining the families, and he was in charge of praying and
21 calling people around to pray.
22 Q. Do you know what the men discussed?
23 A. I remember that they were saying something about that the war is
24 on our door and that they need to sit down and discuss how many weapons
25 there is in the village, and that they gathered in a -- we had a huge
1 house. In the house, approximately 20 men, including my father, and I
2 wanted to get in, but at that time he told my mom that we need to stay out
3 of this, and he closed the door. And I don't know what happened there.
4 Q. Do you know if there was any call or demand or request for the
5 people, the men in your village to surrender weapons before this date?
6 A. No, sir.
7 Q. And how long did the men meet and discuss things that you weren't
8 allowed to sit in and hear about?
9 A. Approximately 30 minutes, an hour.
10 Q. And what happened after that meeting finished?
11 A. The meeting finished. Everyone went separate directions. My
12 father told us to stay in the house and just to stay safe, because he
13 wants to go outside and see clearly that something's going to happen that
14 night, and he just left the house that night. I don't know where he went.
15 But we stayed in the house.
16 Q. And did anything happen that night?
17 A. Yes, sir. Approximately around 11.00 that night, bombing and
18 shelling started and lasted all night, until morning.
19 Q. And what did you and your mom do when --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please.
21 MR. HANNIS:
22 Q. Sorry. Could you tell us what you and your mom did when the
23 bombing and shelling started.
24 A. We joined our -- my aunt and my cousins. We gathered all
25 together. Because my aunt was -- her house was south from my house,
1 really close. My village was kind of expanding at that time and she was
2 close to Vrbanjci. She asked my mom if she can join us that night because
3 electricity went off. And I forgot to mention that also that night,
4 before shelling started, my cousin Akif came over to call his sister, who
5 was at Vrbanjci at that time, and he was trying to reach -- he finally
6 reached her on the telephone, and she told him that three tanks took
7 positions in Vrbanjci and that she was really afraid. And she asked him
8 what is going on. And at that time, he wanted to call -- we asked him to
9 call my sister, who was married -- who was at Dabovci. He was trying so
10 hard to reach her, but everything was -- he was trying so hard. So many
11 voices at that time, he could not reach her at all. At one point I
12 remember him saying, "Okay. I want to introduce myself. I want to reach
13 this person. Is there any chance that I can -- we can somehow introduce
14 ourselves so I can reach this person?" And they were -- they -- he told
15 us - we were sitting right next to him - that they just laughed at him,
16 and soon afterward telephone lines were cut off, and electricity.
17 So go back to my aunt. She asked my mom to come back and spend
18 the night, that night with us, and we went to -- into a house, our
19 neighbour house who was -- they had a room kind of going into the ground,
20 hidden room, and we found out that's the best place to stay that night.
21 Q. So the next morning, did the bombing and shelling stop?
22 A. I remember we were all together. It was just terrible that night.
23 It was just shelling everywhere. Serbs used megaphone and announced
24 that -- I remember that that was one of the terrifying scenes, hearing the
25 voices on the megaphones calling and saying: "Balija, boil the coffee,"
1 calling Muho's and Murat's name. "Have baklava and halva ready for us.
2 Soon we will come and dance kolo."
3 That was -- we were really scared when we heard that. Laughing,
4 bombing and shelling lasted all night. And I remember early in the
5 morning somebody broke the window, and it was my dad and he told us, "Get
6 out. Get out. You're the last group in the village. Serbs are taking
7 over." As a matter of fact, our neighbour house is in flames because it
8 was hit by something, by bombing. And he told us that they were coming
9 from the north side, from Tepici, and they were already in the houses and
10 burning houses.
11 At that time, it was just a chaos. We tried to follow him. He
12 says, "Just get out." Number one, we couldn't get out of doors because we
13 were faced, Novakovo Brdo, and they were shooting at us all the time. So
14 we had to crawl through the window and go behind the houses, run one by
15 one in a gaps that there was open area. And I remember for the first time
16 after all this, I saw my brother, who was waiting on the one -- there was
17 a road coming in our village, and he told us, "I want you to stay and
18 listen to me carefully. We got a sniper hitting and shooting this area,
19 and I want you to cross it quick as you can, one by one, and don't run on
20 the street. Just cross it and get down and just try -- stay cover."
21 I remember I was holding this little boy. His mom was pregnant,
22 and she was carrying small -- a little baby. And she told me, "Grab him.
23 Don't pay attention, if you pull his arm, if he's hurt, if he's crying,
24 just grab him and don't let him go."
25 We crossed that road, and they were firing at us all the time.
1 This woman, she couldn't run because she just had a baby. I remember we
2 got down into a -- we crossed the road. She was standing. We were all
3 shaking. She had holes between her legs from bullets. But thank God
4 nothing hit her. That was really scary.
5 We joined a group -- we joined a group of people who were older
6 people trying to catch up with the group. Already people were left and
7 going towards Plitska, which was mainly Croats. As a matter of fact, all
8 the Croat people living there, they offered us to come and just escape
9 from Serbs.
10 Q. Let me stop you there for a second and ask you a few specific
11 questions. Approximately how far was Plitska from your village?
12 A. Approximately three to four kilometres.
13 Q. And how many people did you see in your group? How many villagers
14 were trying to get out of the village and go toward Plitska?
15 A. Like I mentioned, I was -- our group of five families, six
16 families, were the last ones leaving the village, and I heard that most of
17 the villagers left except five to six people, elderly people who
18 couldn't -- decided to stay in the village, but they couldn't move.
19 Mainly everyone left.
20 Q. Did you later find out what happened to the elder people who
21 stayed behind?
22 A. Yes, sir. They all got killed.
23 Q. And you found out about that when you returned to your village
24 sometime later; is that correct?
25 A. That's correct, sir.
1 Q. We'll talk more about that later on. I want to kind of go in
3 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, would this be a good time for a break?
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's a quarter to 6.00. We'll adjourn until 5
5 minutes past 6.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 6.08 p.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you escort the witness into the
10 Mr. Hannis, please proceed.
11 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. When we broke, sir, you were telling us about leaving your village
13 and going towards Plitska. After you had crossed the road where you were
14 told there were snipers, did you have to go through any additional hazards
15 before getting to Plitska?
16 A. Yes, we did.
17 Q. Would you tell us about that briefly.
18 A. Right in between Hrvacani and Plitska, there was a field, open
19 field. Approximately 300 to 500 metres up the hill, we had to crawl to
20 get into a wooden area. That area was -- we were -- they were shooting at
21 us from Novakovo Brdo and Tepici. We had to crawl there to Plitska.
22 Q. When you got to Plitska, was your mom also there?
23 A. Yes. My mom -- finally joined my mom after we got a little
25 Q. And how about your dad and your brother? Do you know where they
1 were at this time?
2 A. My father, we got to Plitska together to join my mom. I haven't
3 seen my brother until later on.
4 Q. And how long did you stay in Plitska, approximately?
5 A. Approximately two to three days.
6 Q. And where did you go from there?
7 A. We went to Cirkino Brdo.
8 Q. And was that another village in the area?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. And what was the ethnicity of Cirkino Brdo?
11 A. Cirkino Brdo was all Muslims.
12 Q. And how did you decide -- or how did you happen to go to
13 Cirkino Brdo at this time?
14 A. When we got to Plitska, local people gave us weekend houses to
15 stay in them. When a guy name Hasan - I don't recall his last name - from
16 Cirkino Brdo came to pick up his sister Zena, who was my aunt, to take her
17 to Cirkino Brdo, that's when we joined Zena. And he came there with his
18 tractor and he took us to Cirkino Brdo.
19 Q. And who went with you personally? You and who else from your
20 family went?
21 A. I went with my mom.
22 Q. And approximately how long did you stay in Cirkino Brdo?
23 A. I don't know how many days, but I know that Hasan told us later on
24 that Serbs came to -- at that time, Cirkino Brdo signed loyalty to Serbs,
25 and one day he came in and he told us that Serbs told him if he continues
1 to feed balijas from Hrvacani, that his family and others are going to get
2 killed. That's when he told us and we left Cirkino Brdo, because we
3 didn't want to cause any problems to the other people.
4 Q. And when you say "we left," do you mean you and your mom or any
5 other people?
6 A. I left with my mom and other people who were in the area, but I
7 don't know how many of us.
8 Q. The other people, were they also people from your village of
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. Were they -- and these other villagers, were they military-aged
12 men, children, or what?
13 A. Just the civilians.
14 Q. Where did you go from Cirkino Brdo?
15 A. We went to Bilice.
16 Q. And is Bilice also a village in Kotor Varos municipality?
17 A. Yes, it is, sir.
18 Q. What was the ethnicity of that village, if you know?
19 A. Croats.
20 Q. And did the people there take you in, take you and your group of
21 fellow villagers from Hrvacani in?
22 A. Yes, they did.
23 Q. And approximately how long did you stay there?
24 A. I really don't remember.
25 Q. Do you know if it was days or weeks or --
1 A. I know it was weeks.
2 Q. There came a time when you left there, then?
3 A. When we got to Bilice, I remember we entered the side where 15 to
4 20 well-armed soldiers, mainly Croats, were waiting for us. They knew
5 that we were coming in. And they offered us houses and food to stay in,
6 with the local ones. We worked in the fields and stayed there. I don't
7 know how many -- it wasn't days, it was weeks, until the food was running
8 low, and we decided to move out of Bilice to Hrvacani.
9 Q. Back to your original home village?
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. You said earlier that Cirkino Brdo had signed loyalty to the
12 Serbs. I take it based on your description of the armed men in Bilice,
13 that they had not signed loyalty to the Serbs at that time.
14 A. No, sir.
15 Q. How many of you decided to go back to your home village from
17 A. Approximately 50 to 70 women and children.
18 Q. And do you recall approximately how far it was between those two
20 A. Between Bilice and Hrvacani?
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. I would say five to six kilometres, but I'm not sure.
23 Q. On your way there, did you meet any soldiers?
24 A. Yes. We met two soldiers close to our village.
25 Q. And do you know what ethnicity they were?
1 A. They were two Serb soldiers.
2 Q. Did anyone in your group know them or know where they were from?
3 A. Well, the area we met them was before war, three Serb houses in
4 between Plitska and Hrvacani. One of the guy -- we were getting tired of,
5 like I mentioned before, living and food was running low. We decided to
6 go back to Hrvacani and then we met them. And one of them was -- I guess
7 he was hurt, because he was -- the other guy was carrying him, and he was
8 holding his stomach like this. And when they saw us, they were surprised,
9 and they told us that -- one of them got really angry and says, "What are
10 you balijas doing here?" And my mom and this other woman, Razija
11 Dugonjic, said, "We want to go back to our village because there's no
12 other place for us to go." He says, "There is no place for you guys to go
13 other than Turkey. You belong to Turkey. And I don't care if you get
15 And then they left towards Vrbanjci.
16 Q. And did your group go on then to your home village of Hrvacani?
17 A. Yes, we did. We passed three houses and we entered our village
18 from south side.
19 Q. And tell the Court what you saw when you arrived there. What did
20 it look like?
21 A. When we entered the village from south side, the place was totally
22 destroyed. I remember my aunt had a house, like I mentioned before, was
23 brand new house, totally burned, destroyed, cattles were all loose, some
24 of them killed on the road. Then later on we find out that all the houses
25 were damaged, burned, totally looted and destroyed. But three houses who
1 were newly constructed were still remaining still.
2 Q. And at this time did you find anything -- find out anything about
3 the old people who had stayed behind when you all went to Plitska?
4 A. Yes, we did. When we reached the crossroad in the middle of
5 village, we got separated. Everyone was running to their home. I
6 remember I went with my mom to check our house. We walked through the
7 burns and destroyed houses and we got to our house. Just the four walls
8 left and two chimneys totally burned. Everything in the house was looted.
9 Nothing left. I found out my dog was killed, and we didn't want to stay
10 long because we got really nervous and scared. So I remember I got some
11 apples from the tree, and my mom called me and said, "Let's go. Let's go
12 meet others."
13 We went to this crossroad when we found this woman crying and --
14 crying and yelling. Then they found this old man, Dugonjic Ibro, who was
15 really religious man and didn't want to go at that time when we left the
16 village. He was killed and burned. They found his bones and they were --
17 Q. Take your time. If you want a break or a Kleenex, there's one
18 right there. Whatever you need.
19 A. My mom told me to stay there. They took his bones and they buried
20 him. Also, the rest of the remaining families went and looked to find if
21 there is anything left. They found four other elder people who were also
22 killed. They gathered the bones and we buried them.
23 Q. Was there a mosque in your village? I'm sorry. Was there a
24 mosque in your village?
25 A. The mosque was no longer standing. The minaret was destroyed.
1 And I wanted to go up there because I remember as a little kid I used to
2 go up there. And I wanted to go steps and my mom told me -- somebody
3 mentioned, "Don't go. Might be mines or something up there." So I didn't
4 want to actually -- I wanted to go, but I didn't want -- they didn't let
5 me to go. But minaret was totally destroyed.
6 MR. HANNIS: Could we have the next --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone, please.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, microphone, please.
9 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour. Could we have the next
10 photograph given a number and shown to the witness. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: There's no need to put off your microphone, since we
12 have no protective measures.
13 MR. HANNIS: I forgot, Your Honour. I'll leave it on.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number P349.
15 MR. HANNIS:
16 Q. Mr. Pasic, can you tell us if you recognise what's in that
18 A. This is remaining of dzamija in Hrvacani. There is no -- you can
19 see there is no minaret here, so ...
20 Q. Did you find out from anyone about how the mosque had been
22 A. Yes, we did. We found out that it was destroyed with explosive,
23 because during the time when they were shelling our village, when we left
24 the minaret and dzamija was still standing. And the people -- there was
25 one family who actually wanted to -- stayed there, and they told us when
1 we came back, when we were coming back, they were -- and they were
2 surprised at seeing us. Then later on they told us that it was destroyed
3 by explosive.
4 Q. And who were these people that told you about that?
5 A. An old man who stayed with his wife. He was -- lived close to the
6 dzamija. He didn't want to go anywhere, and he was at that time, he was
7 still alive, but later on we found out that they killed him too.
8 Q. And did he -- did he say -- did he tell who had done the mining of
9 the mosque, set the explosives?
10 A. He said that local ones did from Tepici and Savici. He did not
11 mention the names.
12 Q. While you all were there in the village and after you had each
13 looked at your homes, did anyone come and speak with you?
14 A. Soon after we all gathered and buried the killed ones, we saw
15 tractor full of soldiers coming from Tepici towards village. Then we all
16 gathered together. We knew that they were coming in. And soon, five
17 minutes later, tractor pulled off and 15 to 20 soldiers got out and some
18 of them had camouflage uniforms, some of them olive-greens, and also some
19 of them had covered faces. One of them was really vicious to us. He
20 started yelling and saying, "What are you balijas doing here? There's no
21 place for you."
22 And there was this one soldier who was really kind, who sustained
23 him and tried to calm him, and asked us nicely: What are we doing here?
24 And we told him we are coming back, there is no place for us but the home.
25 And also I remember we had a little -- we had one pregnant woman with us
1 who was ready to deliver a baby and she needed water so bad. When we were
2 asking for the water and this soldier told us to stay there and he'll send
3 somebody to get us from Tepici. And 15 minutes later they got us a bucket
4 of water. And he asked us, "Why do you want to stay here?" And like I
5 mentioned that we decided to stay. And he says, "Well, there is nothing
6 here. Everything is destroyed." And at that time my mom says, "Is there
7 any chance that we can go to Garici and Vakufci, to our relatives?" And
8 he says, "That's a better idea than stay here." But five to six families
9 decided to stay there because they didn't have anybody, no relatives in
10 Vakufci and Garici.
11 Then he offered us two soldiers, whoever wanted to go, we left
12 there for Garici and Vakufci, and like I mentioned, five to six families
13 stayed there that day.
14 Q. These soldiers who came from the direction of Tepici, did your mom
15 or anyone know any of them? Were they locals or were they Serbs from
16 somewhere else?
17 A. I did not recognise anybody. My mom says they were all locals.
18 Some of them from Tepici and some of them from Savici.
19 Q. Now, where is Garici generally in relation to your home village of
20 Hrvacani? What direction, and approximately how far, if you remember?
21 A. Vakufci is to our left, east side from Hrvacani, it goes Savici,
22 then Hrvacani, then Garici. I don't remember how far away from Hrvacani.
23 Approximately a kilometre, one kilometre.
24 Q. And what was the ethnicity of those two villages?
25 A. All Muslims.
1 Q. Did you have to go through any Serb village to get to Garici?
2 A. In order to get to Vakufci and Garici, we had to cross Savici,
3 which was a Serb village.
4 Q. Did anything happen to your group on your way to Garici when you
5 went through Savici?
6 A. When we got to Savici, there were civilians waiting for us, and I
7 remember this one woman was really angry and really vicious to us. My mom
8 knew her name, and later on her son, Dalibor, was going to school with me.
9 She was really angry. She wanted to shoot us. She was actually going for
10 the gun from this soldier. And asked us, "What are you balijas doing
11 here, moving around while our soldiers are dying at Vecici."
12 And she -- this soldier pushed her and told us just to move on, to
13 start walking. She started spitting on us and throwing stones.
14 Q. Do you remember how many of you were in this group that went from
15 your old village to Garici, approximately?
16 A. Approximately 50.
17 Q. And how long did you stay in Garici once you got there,
19 A. In order to get to Garici we had to cross Vakufci. Some families
20 stayed there, but we went straight to Garici because we had our relative,
21 Atif Agambegovic, who wanted us to come there. And we stayed at Garici
22 approximately three to four weeks.
23 Q. And why did you decide to leave Garici after three to four weeks?
24 A. Once again, food was running low. We helped, everywhere we go, we
25 helped people around to work on the fields, get some food. But nobody
1 expected this, and food was really running low. So we decided to go back
2 to Bilice.
3 Q. When you arrived back at Bilice, what was happening in that
4 village at that time?
5 A. The first time I saw my brother, he insisted for us to come to
6 Bilice. He was waiting for us and told us that somehow he got information
7 that Bilice would not hold out for a long time and that he gave us the
8 option to go to Vecici with him or go back to Garici, which he insisted us
9 to go back to Garici because it was getting dangerous. He gave us 200
10 Deutschmarks, and we noticed local ones packing and at that time we knew
11 that something is going to happen. So we didn't want to waste and we came
12 back again to Garici.
13 Q. This second time that you were at Bilice, approximately how long
14 did you stay?
15 A. Four to five days. I don't really remember.
16 Q. And you said you saw locals packing. What do you mean by that?
17 What were they doing exactly?
18 A. They were packing their belongings. And we asked -- because this
19 lady who gave us a house to stay in, we asked her, "Why are you packing?"
20 And she said, "We are going for Travnik. We have to leave. We have to
21 pack." And at that time, we -- people got -- it was just a chaos. We
22 didn't know where to go. But they were packing just their belongings to
23 get out.
24 Q. So you went back to Garici for a second time?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. Did you later hear about what happened to Bilice? Did it indeed
3 A. We heard that pope [phoen] cooperated with the Serbs, signed -- or
4 made an agreement for all the people living in Bilice that they're going
5 to -- Serbs offer them safe passage to Travnik as long as they give up
6 their weapons. And anyone who -- everyone who was in the Bilice at that
7 time did survive. Anyone who didn't want to stay, left to other places,
8 Vecici, Garici, Vakufci.
9 Q. How long did you stay in Garici this second time, approximately?
10 A. Approximately one to two months.
11 Q. And how did you come to leave Garici after this second stay there?
12 What happened?
13 A. I remember we were outside every night. Electricity was cut off.
14 It would come on and off sometimes a day and night. We were sitting
15 outside and watching sporadic firing at Vecici. When our cousin, Akif
16 Pasic, came in from somewhere and just jumped in the house and said,
17 "Okay. Let's have a coffee," and we got really scared because he looked
18 really terrible at that time, long hair, beard, and he was armed. My mom
19 asked him, "What are you doing here?" He says, "Well, I'm here to drink
20 coffee with my friends." And she was, like, "What do you mean?" He says,
21 "Well, I got two Serb friends waiting for me outside." So indeed, there
22 were two soldiers waiting for him outside. He says, "I'm here to tell you
23 that tomorrow civilians from Hrvacani, you need to pack and go. We made
24 an agreement with the Serbs for you to go to Vrbanjci, get a travel
25 document, and all of you need to go to Vecici." [Realtime transcript read
1 in error "Hrvacani"] He didn't stay for long, five minutes he drank, and
2 then he left with them.
3 Q. And these two soldiers that were accompanying him, what was their
5 A. They were Serbs, well-armed.
6 Q. And did it surprise you to see your cousin, who was armed, to be
7 with two armed Serb soldiers?
8 A. Yes, sir. We were really surprised.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, may I just ask one thing which is a bit
10 unclear in the transcript to me.
11 When you told us about an agreement that was made with the Serbs
12 for you to go to Vrbanjci and get a travel document and all of you need
13 then to go to -- and what did you then mention?
14 THE WITNESS: Vecici.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Vecici.
16 THE WITNESS: Yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you. Please proceed, Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. Could we have the next
19 document. It is entitled "Extraordinary Session of the War Presidency
20 continued." The English is 03005024. If that could be given a number and
21 shown to the witness.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution exhibit number P350.
24 MR. HANNIS:
25 Q. Mr. Pasic, I want to refer you to the last paragraph in that
1 document, which is dated the 2nd of November, 1992. And if I may, I'll
2 just read that. It says: "In the further course of the session, Captain
3 Balaban brought representatives of Vecici to negotiate, namely, Raif
4 Alagic, and Pasic, to whom Colonel Bogojevic conveyed the position of the
5 command and then asked them how much time they needed to hand over their
6 arms and sent them back to Vecici to come back with an answer."
7 Do you know if the Pasic referred to in that paragraph in that
8 document would be your cousin who was involved in the negotiations?
9 A. I don't know. But I know that night he came in with the two Serb
10 soldiers, so I assume he was. Otherwise, why would he come with two
12 Q. And do you know approximately -- not the specific day, but in
13 relation to the time when your cousin came and told you about this, how
14 much later was it that Vecici actually fell?
15 A. I would say six to seven days, approximately.
16 Q. Okay. So the next day after Akif had came -- had come and told
17 you about this, did you go to Vrbanjci?
18 A. Yes, I did, with my mom and all the people from Garici and
20 Q. About how many of you were in that group?
21 A. I would say approximately 50 to 70.
22 Q. Any military-aged men?
23 A. No, sir. All civilians.
24 Q. And what did you do in Vrbanjci?
25 A. When we got to Vrbanjci, they told us to stay in front of old
1 school - I remember that school - until somebody goes in the new school to
2 get a travel document. At that time, I was -- we were on the grass,
3 sitting on the grass, and a lot of soldiers were passing by, when one of
4 the soldiers approached my mom and told her, "What are you doing here?"
5 And he was -- my mom told me that he was Josip. She knew him at that
6 time. She knew him from the past. He asked her, "What are you doing
7 here? And how is everything?" And my mom just responded, "We're fine.
8 We're okay."
9 Q. What was his ethnicity?
10 A. He was Serb.
11 Q. Did he say anything to your mom or your group about going to
13 A. He didn't say anything to us, but five minutes later, whoever came
14 from our group went and got the document, came back, and they told us to
15 get up and move on slowly towards Vecici.
16 Q. And how did you get to Vecici from Vrbanjci?
17 A. We had to talk from Vrbanjci all the way to Vecici, slowly.
18 Q. What happened when you got there?
19 A. I remember when we were crossing and going on the road and
20 crossing -- we crossed the bridge, after the bridge there was a road all
21 blocked with the trees. We had a hard time to cross it. And as soon as
22 we approached it to Vecici, we found a man coming out of bushes,
23 approximately 15 to 20 of them, well armed, waiting for us, and told us to
24 go in two different groups.
25 Q. At this time, who were the people in Vecici?
1 A. All Muslims.
2 Q. Were there any Croats?
3 A. That I don't know. I don't know.
4 Q. Any Serbs?
5 A. No Serbs.
6 Q. And what -- how big a village was Vecici, if you know?
7 A. Vecici was a big village, because they had two dzamijas in the
8 village. I remember when we approached the village, they -- somebody told
9 us, me and my mom, that we have to go on right-hand side from the Cvrcka
10 River that was dividing village on two sides. So we joined -- we went
11 right-hand side, and as we were passing by, I seen a lot of houses. It's
12 a big village, but I don't know how big. I mean, they had two mosques.
13 Q. And what condition was the village in, or the buildings in the
15 A. Everything pretty much was destroyed. I remember when we were
16 walking, at that time, my father joined us and he told us, "Okay. Follow
17 me." Because he knew some friend who is going to give us a place to stay.
18 And we were walking by, and these first 30 houses that we passed by were
19 completely burned. And we know why: Because when I was in Cirkino Brdo,
20 Serbs used the air strike for three days to attack Vecici. And I remember
21 the one third day when we were outside watching bombing, Serb soldiers
22 from this side of Croat village next to the Vecici approached. There was
23 a clear open area and we could have seen -- we easily saw and some of us
24 used binoculars. They entered the village and they broke the line. They
25 got there and they burned 30 houses and killed everyone who was in there.
1 And even our hospital that we know, because my aunt -- my cousin was in
2 the hospital, and he survived from that hospital because he crawled and
3 just -- into a ditch when they came in to kill everybody. And he was
4 telling us how everything went -- run out.
5 Q. Let me stop you there and ask you a few questions to clarify it
6 for me. You talked about seeing air strikes for three days on Vecici.
7 When had you seen that happen?
8 A. Like I mentioned that we were at Cirkino Brdo, me and my mom,
9 working on the fields and Hasan's house. And one day we were working on
10 the fields and aeroplane was really -- coming really low, and we thought:
11 This is it. We did not know what's going to happen. So we were just --
12 my mom, I heard my mom saying, "Just lay down and cover your head." They
13 came in and they were attacking from -- coming from Cirkino Brdo and
14 shooting at Vecici, for three days, during the day only.
15 Q. And you were at Cirkino Brdo right after you left Plitska, when
16 you first left your home village; correct?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. And you didn't come to Vecici village yourself until some months
19 later; correct?
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. Okay. In showing you around the village, did your father indicate
22 that some of this damage had been it done by aerial bombing?
23 A. Yes, sir. Like I mentioned, we -- somehow they got -- Vecici got
24 agreement with Serbs for five days, no fighting, for five days, no
25 fighting, no nothing. So the following morning, my father took me out and
1 he says, "I want you -- I want to walk -- I want to show you some, you
2 know, places where I've been." And he took me out. And the first weekend
3 house that he was living in at the time, he says there was a big old tree
4 in front of it. I remember I was walking by and he says, "Look at this
5 tree." And big, big bomb was laying right next to it. I guess
6 unactivated. Hit the tree and it felt like somebody just used a saw and
7 cut it off. He was in the house, and when they woke up they find out that
8 it didn't explode or anything. And he says, "Don't come near it, because
9 we don't know what is this." And then he took me -- we were passing by
10 mosque, and this one house that I asked him, "What is that, Dad?" And
11 they had three or four graves freshly in front of the house. And he says,
12 "This whole family got killed from air strikes. A bomb dropped on the
13 house and burned them all." So they buried them right in front of the
15 Q. And did he say anything about the burning bomb?
16 A. He says that according to him, they used napalm bombs, because
17 when they explode, everything was on fire.
18 Q. The unexploded bomb you saw where the tree had been sheared off,
19 how big was that?
20 A. I remember I was -- at that time I was 14 years old, so it was
21 my -- approximately my size. It was big, big.
22 Q. You seem pretty tall to me. How tall were you when you were 14
23 years old?
24 A. I know the bomb was this big.
25 Q. Okay. You're holding your hand out indicating a height of maybe a
1 foot higher than the desk you're sitting at.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. All right.
4 A. And this round.
5 Q. Okay. And you're indicating with your hands how many metres or
6 inches would you say that is?
7 A. Perhaps a metre or two. I don't know.
8 Q. Okay. All right. Now, how long did you stay in --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, for the record, I think the witness --
10 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- indicated approximately a height of one metre and
12 40 centimetres wide.
13 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. How long did you stay in Vecici?
15 A. Four to five days. I don't really remember, but I think it was
16 four to five days.
17 Q. And what was happening in Vecici during the time that you were
19 A. The fifth day, the bombing and shelling started, and soon we were
20 told that we have to go in cellar. And the people we -- in the house,
21 they said, "Okay. We have to go outside." And right next to the house
22 there was a cellar. We have to go in there and the fighting started
23 again. Firing, bombing. I think it was the fifth day.
24 Q. Why did you decide to leave?
25 A. I remember that night my father came, and he was -- he came over
1 to say goodbye to me and Mom, and he did. He came in and he hugged me and
2 he told my mom, "We're going to leave tonight. And I don't know if I
3 should take everything with me or if -- you know, I leave him, I'm afraid
4 if we leave him with you," we heard that Serbs were taking all the boys
5 from convoys in Banja Luka. "So I think he's better off if he goes with
6 me." And at that time my mom says, "I think it's a good idea if he goes
7 and joins you."
8 Q. And who was your father leaving with? Was he going by himself or
9 was he going with a group?
10 A. We left at night with a group of 500 to 700 people, total, mainly
11 men. I would say three females and approximately 15 boys.
12 Q. And what age were the boys? Your age?
13 A. My age.
14 Q. What about the rest of the people that were in Vecici? Were
15 there -- well, obviously you told us about your mom. Were there other
16 women and younger children in the village as well?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What were they going to do?
19 A. I remember my mom asking my dad, "So what are we going to do if
20 you guys are leaving? What are we going to do?" He says, "Tomorrow you
21 all raise the flag, white flag, find something, white shirt or something,
22 and just march towards Vrbanjci."
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, this might be a good point for me to
24 stop, if that's all right.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Mr. Pasic, we'll conclude for today. We'd like to see you back
2 tomorrow morning, a quarter past 2.00 in the afternoon [Realtime
3 transcript read in error "morning"].
4 Madam Registrar, this same courtroom? Yes. I give notice to the
5 parties that on Friday we are sitting in Courtroom II.
6 Madam Usher, could you please escort Mr. Pasic out of the
8 May I instruct you, Mr. Pasic, not to speak with anyone about the
9 testimony you have given until now and you're still about to give tomorrow
10 and the days that may follow.
11 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I note the transcript says -- you said a
12 quarter past 2.00 in the morning. I assume you mean 2.00 in the afternoon
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I meant a quarter past 2.00 in the afternoon.
15 I did not know what I said. But I said it wrongly, I do understand.
16 Mr. Pasic, it's understood that you're expected at 2.15 in the
17 afternoon and not any earlier.
18 Madam Usher, could you please escort Mr. Pasic out of the
20 [The witness stands down]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, just could you tell us whether you're
22 approximately on schedule?
23 MR. HANNIS: I am, Your Honour. I think I'll be done in an hour
24 or less.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And Mr. Pasic was scheduled for three hours.
1 MR. HANNIS: Correct.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Loukas, would there be any problem to start
3 or even to cross-examine the witness tomorrow, once Mr. Hannis has
5 MS. LOUKAS: No, not at all, Your Honour. And I would have
6 thought that the witness's evidence would be completed tomorrow.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 MS. LOUKAS: Thursday. So that leaves the question of what we're
9 going to do in relation to Friday.
10 JUDGE ORIE: That would be my next question, yes, under the
12 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour. And I don't know if that was
13 previewed to Your Honours, but we have no other witnesses after this
14 witness this week. I apologise to the Court for not being able to use
15 that time with the witness tomorrow. This was partly -- this was a week
16 that we had Ms. Hansen scheduled and then when we moved her, it was
17 difficult to find a good fit. And this witness we did not want to keep
18 over because he came from across the ocean. And we didn't want to have to
19 continue him over to the following week, when Monday is a holiday and we
20 have a summons witness on Tuesday, the 26th.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand, Mr. Hannis. I make two
22 observations. First of all, that Prosecution still has to get used to its
23 own higher speed; and second, that what the Defence doesn't get from the
24 Chamber, it gets it from the Prosecution. That means some additional
1 MS. LOUKAS: There's just one matter I'd like to mention, Your
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MS. LOUKAS: If it does appear that we won't be sitting on Friday,
5 I must say from the Defence perspective, all is not lost, because there
6 are in fact some Association of Defence Council training programmes on the
7 EDS system, the electronic disclosure system, CaseMap, LiveNote, that all
8 members of the Defence team were hoping to attend. So there may be a
9 silver lining.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes. As every cloud has.
11 Then most likely we'll not sit on Friday. If there's any time
12 left tomorrow, that might be possible, then I'd like very much to continue
13 reading into the transcript of 92 bis statements. We have still a few
15 MR. HANNIS: I think we have a number of those ready that we can
16 read in tomorrow.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. HANNIS: And I think maybe there's still a few exhibits from
19 prior witnesses that I'd like to move from.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But -- from prior witnesses. Of course we have
21 still a list of -- a limited list, but on that list is also numbers 200
22 until 203. But it might be that if we have no information yet, you
23 expected it to arrive only on Friday that we might deal with the remaining
24 exhibits to give decisions on that if any time is left.
25 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour. I had specifically in mind the
1 witness Mr. Medanovic, who testified on the 5th of October. He was the
2 gentleman from Kljuc. And I think there were only four or five exhibits,
3 308 through 312.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'll check that.
5 We'll adjourn until tomorrow, quarter past 2.00 in the afternoon,
6 same courtroom.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 21st day of
9 October, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.