Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 7220

 1                           Wednesday, 20 May 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.

 5             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Yesterday, the Milan Lukic Defence filed their

 6     fifth motion for the admission of documents from the bar table requesting

 7     the admission of three death certificates into evidence.  I am to ask the

 8     Prosecution whether they have any submissions to make on this motion.

 9             MR. GROOME:  Yes, I do, Your Honour.  The Prosecution would like

10     to respond to that motion that was filed yesterday.  The documents in

11     issue were disclosed to the Defence on the 5th of September, 2008, prior

12     to the testimonies of any of the Varda witnesses and prior to the

13     testimony from Prosecution experts who gave evidence in relation to the

14     fates of the victims.  The application is untimely, and the Defence had

15     numerous opportunities to present this evidence previously and elected

16     not to, and all matters related to the proof of death of victims has been

17     exhaustively and finally litigated in this case.

18             The information contained in these death certificates is already

19     in evidence within Prosecution Exhibit 119 on page 1.  The Defence

20     presents these documents as if they are new; they are not.  They are part

21     of a body of data Ms. Tabeau has considered and has included already in

22     her report.

23             Beginning on page transcript -- page 6119 of the transcript,

24     Mr. Alarid questioned Dr. Tabeau for over five pages of testimony as to

25     the manner in which death certificates are applied for by family members

Page 7221

 1     and issued by governmental authorities.

 2             The information in these death certificates, including the

 3     believed date of death, is provided by the family member who may or may

 4     not have been a witness to the crime.  Dr. Tabeau explained how she

 5     considered this information along with all other available information

 6     before preparing Prosecution Exhibit 119 and her subsequent

 7     clarification.

 8             The key information from these certificates has already been

 9     admitted into evidence and fully explored during the course of

10     Dr. Tabeau's two appearances before this Chamber.  In light of this, the

11     Prosecution takes no position and defers to the Chamber.  If the Chamber

12     determines these documents will assist it in its work, the Prosecution

13     does not oppose their admission.

14             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Mr. Alarid.

15             MR. ALARID:  Your Honour, I think they should simply come in for

16     completeness of the records.  I agree that they are somewhat referenced

17     in P119, but I don't think they're cumulative because they are the

18     official government document, and considering the fact that I received

19     them in September, they were untranslated, and so sometimes things get

20     missed in a case with voluminous paperwork, especially untranslated.  I

21     think it's appropriate they come in.

22             JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT:  I have a question for Mr. Alarid.  Do

23     they concern persons mentioned in the indictment?

24             MR. ALARID:  Yes, Your Honour.  All three are members of the

25     Varda allegation, the seven alleged dead people of Varda.

Page 7222

 1             JUDGE VAN DEN WYNGAERT:  Thank you.

 2             JUDGE ROBINSON:  The Chamber will admit the documents.

 3             Now, Mr. Alarid, yesterday you indicated that the accused

 4     Milan Lukic desired to make a statement.  How long will that statement

 5     be?

 6             MR. ALARID:  Fifteen to 20 minutes.  Fifteen, I would say, other

 7     than him speaking slow.

 8             JUDGE ROBINSON:  We are disposed to allow it with that time-limit

 9     in mind.

10             MR. ALARID:  Thank you, Your Honour.

11             JUDGE ROBINSON:  So Mr. Lukic, you may make your statement of

12     15 to 20 minutes now.

13             THE ACCUSED MILAN LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

14                           Statement of the Accused Milan Lukic:

15             THE ACCUSED MILAN LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by

16     listening to the Prosecution witnesses in this courtroom, I was on the

17     verge of a nervous breakdown.

18             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the speaker please come closer to the

19     microphone, and read slowly.  The interpreters do not have the text.

20             JUDGE ROBINSON:  You are being asked to come closer to the

21     microphone.  In fact, you may sit.  You may sit.  You don't have to

22     stand.  Sit, and read a little slower.

23             THE ACCUSED MILAN LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

24             Your Honours, listening in this courtroom to the Prosecution

25     witnesses, frankly speaking, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Page 7223

 1     The nebulous things and lies that they said about me are completely

 2     unreasonable, especially given that they clearly indicate what the

 3     Prosecution is capable of doing.  Throughout the Prosecution case, I had

 4     to take tranquilisers and painkillers because I could not stand the

 5     monstrous fabrications and lies similar to scenarios in horror movies.

 6     In order for you not to have a distorted picture of me, I decided to say

 7     a few words to you in order to tell you the truth about who I am and how

 8     I found myself in the war in 1992 in Visegrad.  My purpose is to destroy

 9     the plan of the Prosecution.

10             I was born in a mixed Muslim Serbian village Rujiste, a small

11     village.  I was born in an ethnically mixed small village of Rujiste

12     where Muslims and Serbs lived.  This village is on the right bank of

13     Drina, some ten or so kilometres from Visegrad.  I'm the youngest child

14     of my parents.  I was brought up and I grew up with my sister, two

15     brothers, and my friends; Serbs and Muslims.  We lived modestly, just

16     like all other residents of the village.  We were raised in a patriarchal

17     atmosphere where honour and dignity were considered prime values.

18             My father was orphaned in World War II because fascists during

19     the war broke into the house and took his father away.  Thanks to the

20     good people and neighbours, both Serbs and Muslims, my father, his sister

21     and brother, and their mother -- single mother survived all the horrors

22     of World War II.  My father, the long-suffered father, and my mother

23     always taught us children that we should always help everybody in need

24     regardless of their faith and ethnic background because one measures a

25     man based on his characteristics and his integrity.

Page 7224

 1             This is why without any bias I had a lot of friends among

 2     Muslims.  I played with them and shared whatever I had, frequently shared

 3     a meal or a bed in my home or in their home under watchful eye of our

 4     parents.  Socialising with Muslims continued throughout elementary

 5     schooling, secondary schooling, and later on when I attended school in

 6     Belgrade and when I started working in Germany and in Switzerland.  My

 7     first love was a Muslim girl.  I always considered and still do Muslims

 8     -- I always think all the best about Muslims, just like I do about all

 9     other peoples.

10             In Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the former Yugoslavia, people

11     disregarded the faith of people they socialised with and their ethnic

12     background.  It was a beautiful country, and people lived in harmony.  To

13     this day, I maintain contact with many Muslims, nowadays unfortunately

14     only by phone.  The nationalists of the former Yugoslavia together with

15     various mentors created hatred and disagreement in our country and

16     destroyed a wonderful country.  Following my mandatory military service

17     lasting one year in Slovenia, I found myself in Belgrade where I attended

18     university.  I had various jobs as a student, and then in mid-1988 a

19     school friend of mine from elementary school asked me to come and be a

20     guest in the house of him and his parents.  When I arrived in Germany, I

21     soon understood that this was a paradise.  I liked the country so much

22     that I wanted to remain there.

23             Since I was athletically talented, I obtained papers, residence

24     papers and a job through a football club.  I didn't mind doing various

25     jobs as long as they were honourable.  I remained in Germany for more

Page 7225

 1     than a year.  I met a girl from Switzerland, and then I moved to Zurich.

 2     I started working and training football there.  When the war broke out in

 3     Bosnia-Herzegovina, I was in Switzerland.  In May of 1992, I came to

 4     visit my parents, and to my misfortune I was immediately mobilised by the

 5     public security station in Visegrad.

 6             I was assigned as reserve policeman in the public security

 7     station in Visegrad.  I remained in that position three months, and later

 8     on I was assigned to a reconnaissance unit of the Army of Republika

 9     Srpska.  Throughout the war, I had no command responsibility or position,

10     nor did I engage in politics.  I could not stand injustice, and I

11     publicly spoke out against Mafia attitude, communist links that prevailed

12     in Visegrad, and all those protagonists took their revenge against me.

13     They killed my brother in his house in the presence of his wife, and

14     nobody was ever brought to justice for that crime.

15             I was young, innocent, and I had no idea what would come about

16     and how war profiteers, communists, and various criminals would use

17     everything they had to accuse me.  Throughout the difficult days of war,

18     as much as I could, I helped everybody of Muslim faith and origin.  Even

19     though I was not charged with rape, the Prosecution brought various women

20     here to lie about this, about this alleged rape.

21             I have always held women in great respect, and this is something

22     that was instilled in me by my mother and my older sister.  I could never

23     stand rapists and those who used power, and they knew about that, and

24     they never dared come close to me.

25             Throughout the war in Visegrad, I had a girlfriend who was a well

Page 7226

 1     known doctor in the medical centre in Visegrad, and she was a well

 2     respected woman, and it is clear to everybody that all these stories

 3     about rape are just a fabrication of a sick mind.  I only recognise love

 4     and respect, and I have nothing but despise for rapists.

 5             Currently I have two young girls and I always, as I said, held

 6     women in great esteem.  Now that my girls need me the most, I

 7     unfortunately am not next to them.  They suffer due to my absence, and

 8     they suffer even more due to these fabricated false accusations against

 9     me.  I haven't seen my parents since 1998.

10             You are well aware that in 1992, there were some 20 passengers

11     Muslims that were kidnapped from a passenger train in Strpce.  Those

12     people disappeared without a trace.  It is believed that all of them were

13     liquidated.  I was accused as the main perpetrator even though when the

14     kidnapping took place, I was far away from the place of the incident.

15     This is why the police of Serbia arrested me, and I spent 14 months in

16     prison in Serbia.  Throughout my stay in prison, I was subjected to

17     various methods, including lie detectors, and after everything the court

18     in Serbia acquitted me because there was no evidence confirming my guilt.

19     I was even paid damages due to my unjustified stay in prison.

20             As a result of that, I once again went abroad to work, and it was

21     there that I found out that criminal proceedings were put in place

22     against me due to alleged kidnapping of Muslims who were travelling on a

23     bus in Severin in 1992.  I had nothing to do with this incident either.

24     Until a man from Serbia working for the state security stated in this

25     court that he had information that the kidnapped Muslims were later seen

Page 7227

 1     in the public security station in Visegrad after the kidnapping, it is

 2     well known that at the time when these men were kidnapped, I no longer

 3     worked for the public security station in Visegrad.  I was a soldier for

 4     the Army of Republika Srpska.  Whoever organised this kidnapping and took

 5     these innocent people to the police station in Visegrad knows where these

 6     people ended up.  People who are in charge of life and death in Visegrad

 7     -- who were in charge between 1992 and 1996, Perisic and Savovic knew

 8     much more about this.  They can answer your questions as to why these

 9     people were kidnapped and where these innocent kidnapped people ended

10     their lives.

11             The Prosecutor here accused me of murders in Visegrad in private

12     homes and in Bikavac.  They accused me of crimes that I took no part in

13     it.  The Prosecution put on the list of victims many people who are died

14     or who died before the war, and they also put the names of people who

15     never even existed.

16             As for the incident on the Drina River, I did not take part in

17     it.  One of the alleged survivors described a perpetrator who does not

18     resemble me at all.  The testimony of other two witnesses, one of them

19     was a protected witness, MLD-025, and they made me as one of the

20     co-perpetrators, and it has been proven that at the time of the crime

21     they could not have been present at the site.  You were able to see that

22     this protected witness lied in order to protect himself.

23             More than 90 percent of OTP witnesses linked me to this red

24     Passat car as though it was some identifying mark, and this car in fact

25     belonged to the police station in Visegrad.  It is true that the red

Page 7228

 1     Passat was used by the members of the public security station in

 2     Visegrad.  How this car came to be in possession of the public security

 3     station in Visegrad is something that Risto Perisic could tell you about.

 4     He is the chief of the public security station in Visegrad who was in

 5     that position between 1992 and 1996.

 6             When it comes to incident concerning the Zukic family, I can tell

 7     you this, that Bakira Hasecic from the women's association together with

 8     secret Bosnian services AID and SIPA pressured women, Zukic Dzenita and

 9     her sister, to come to The Hague Tribunal to falsely accuse me of taking

10     a car away from their family and killing their family members, father,

11     mother, and brother.  Since these girls knew the truth, they knew that I

12     had nothing to do with their car or with their family.  They did not wish

13     to come here to lie and accuse an innocent man, all the more so since

14     they are pious women and they are afraid of God.  The Zukic girls wanted

15     to testify for my defence, but due to threats and the fact that their

16     children's lives were threatened in Sarajevo, I gave up from calling them

17     to come here to testify because it my duty to protect these honest and

18     honourable girls, now women and mothers.  They do have the right to know

19     what happened to their father, mother, and brother, but not the way the

20     Prosecution wants them.

21             I would now like to address the issue of the Koran book that was

22     seen here in the courtroom at my table.  I was given this book as a gift

23     by Muslim general whom I came to know here at the Detention Unit.  He

24     told me, Since you are an honest and pious man, I will give you this book

25     to take it to the courtroom with you, to hold it in front of you so that

Page 7229

 1     any false witnesses and anybody who uses lies will be persecuted by

 2     devil.  Whoever took this book to the courtroom was given minimal

 3     sentences, and why doesn't an honest and honourable Serb have the same

 4     fate?  I read Koran several times, and had everybody who was involved in

 5     the war read Koran and Bible, there would have been no war.

 6             Your Honours, it was my desire to study Arabic language.  I know

 7     a lot about Muslim faith, but I didn't convert into Islam even though I

 8     had a lot of respect for that religion.  Your Honours, you are able to

 9     see that I'm innocent.  It is up to you to be guided by professional and

10     legal principles and norms.

11             Please do not allow somebody else such as a media campaign to

12     take charge of your conscience.  The true perpetrators should be found

13     and punished but not an innocent man.  Do not allow this court to be used

14     as a tool to achieve injustice.  Do not give up in the face of these

15     pressures.

16             You need to set free an innocent man who has been falsely accused

17     in public.  I feel sorry for every single victim who fell in the war in

18     Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Visegrad.  The scum became rich, and innocent

19     people fell victims.  The life of me personally and my family since 1992

20     has been hell.  I despise the war because that is the greatest enemy of

21     an honest lie [as interpreted], and I would advise every man to flee any

22     war-like situation.

23             Having faith in your professionalism, I calmly await the

24     judgement, and I thank you very much for allowing me to give this

25     statement.

Page 7230

 1             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Thank you, Mr. Lukic.

 2             Now, Mr. Cepic, for your closing remarks.

 3             MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

 4                            Defence for Sredoje Lukic Closing Statement:

 5             MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Esteemed president of the Chamber,

 6     esteemed members of the Chamber -- [French on English channel] -- it is

 7     my pleasure to present our closing argument.  First of all, we completely

 8     agree with Mr. Groome's assertion when he said that this case is not only

 9     about identification but also about inconsistencies.  But we completely

10     disagree that these inconsistencies are minor.

11             Bearing in mind the magnitude of these inconsistencies, the

12     explanation provided by the Prosecution is neither sufficient nor

13     convincing.  Contrary to the Prosecution's assertion that the Defence has

14     presented this case in an artificial and unnatural manner, the closing

15     argument of the Defence clearly indicates that the Defence has analysed

16     and presented all the evidence in a full context.

17             I would like to address the propositions put forward in the

18     Prosecution's final brief and closing argument.  I submit that they are

19     based solely on assumptions rather than facts, and it is well known that

20     all assumptions crumble in the face of a single fact.

21             A distinguished and considerably more colleague who appeared

22     before his court and who is now a judge in the UK has given me the

23     following advice:  Always check the references and footnotes contained in

24     the Prosecution's submissions.

25             In this particular case, we were astonished, not only I, but all

Page 7231

 1     members of our team to find a substantial lack of references, a large

 2     number of misquotes, and incorrect references leading to wrong

 3     conclusions.

 4             I will devote only one part of my closing argument to these

 5     incorrect references and misinterpretation of evidence.  Let me start

 6     with witness VG-013.  In paragraph 216 of the Prosecution final brief

 7     states that VG-013 has seen Sredoje Lukic on the occasion in question by

 8     making reference to transcript page 1031.  We can see this part of the

 9     transcript in front of us which clearly indicates that she hasn't seen

10     Sredoje Lukic on that occasion.

11             What I would like to say about this witness, her testimony under

12     oath in response to the questions, including the question asked by the

13     esteemed president whether she has seen Sredoje Lukic, she clearly

14     answered that she hasn't.  She confirmed the same that in -- in -- that

15     she didn't -- she didn't see Sredoje Lukic and that she didn't know him

16     from before.  Furthermore, she clearly stated that on that particular day

17     she didn't see Sredoje Lukic.

18             The Prosecution wanted to defy or to deny the authenticity of the

19     interview of this witness by saying that the adages probably have edited

20     part of this.  It is simply illogical to me that this witness

21     persistently quotes two names of perpetrators, and that is simply

22     impossible for an editor to cut out the third name.  The witness

23     confirmed the authenticity of this interview page 1130, and the

24     Prosecution had an opportunity in redirect to ask the question about the

25     interview, which he failed to say.

Page 7232

 1             Furthermore, I would like to make reference to the testimony in

 2     the Vasiljevic case during which this witness never mentioned the

 3     involvement of Sredoje Lukic.

 4             I would particularly like to stress Prosecution Exhibit P62,

 5     which is a statement given by VG-013, given under no oath to the district

 6     public Prosecutor in Sarajevo in which it gave a full description of the

 7     incident without ever mentioning the involvement of Sredoje Lukic.

 8             In paragraph 167, the Prosecution designated Edhem Kurspahic as

 9     an alleged recognition witness.  VG-013 stated that she had allegedly

10     heard from Edhem Kurspahic that Sredoje Lukic was outside the house.

11     However, there is not a single statement or interview given by Mr.

12     Edhem Kurspahic with relation to this incident, which would enable us to

13     verify whether Edhem really knew Sredoje Lukic.

14             Asked about this issue, VG-013 was unable to give a reliable

15     answer but only a supposition.  That's referenced in the transcript,

16     page 1121.  At that time our team thought that there was a clear doubt

17     about this question.  However, we decided to take a step further in order

18     to clarify the issue of whether Edhem Kurspahic really knew

19     Sredoje Lukic.

20             During yesterday's closing argument, the Prosecution wanted to

21     downplay the fundamental importance of testimony of VG-018 related to

22     Edhem Kurspahic, namely, after the incident VG-018 and her son VG-084

23     lived as refugees in Srebrenica together with Edhem Kurspahic; reference,

24     transcript page 1360.  It is only reasonable to conclude that they often

25     discussed the Pionirska incident in the period following it.

Page 7233

 1             In the course of giving evidence when asked by Sredoje Lukic's

 2     Defence team and the esteemed presiding judge, if Edhem Kurspahic had

 3     known Sredoje Lukic, VG-018 responded by confirming quite clearly that

 4     she had not known him.  We can see now the references to her response on

 5     our screens.

 6             Now, the next Prosecution witness mentioned quite a few times

 7     yesterday by the Prosecution, and that is witness VG-038, an alleged

 8     recognition witness.  The position of the Defence is that this witness

 9     couldn't have seen anything more during the incident than his mother

10     VG-013 since at the time of the incident he was only 13 years old and

11     that he was with his mother throughout the entire course of the

12     incidents; reference, transcript page 1121.

13             What I would like to emphasise is that the credibility of this

14     witness has been undermined to such an extent that it makes it impossible

15     to accept his testimony in full with regard to Sredoje Lukic.

16             During -- this witness gave evidence about something not

17     mentioned in his previous statements in the previous testimony.  I would

18     kindly ask for this not to be broadcast.  He responded to the president

19     of the Chamber that he had known Sredoje Lukic for a period of seven

20     years before the incident and added that Sredoje Lukic was a police

21     officer and that that was how he came to meet him.  However, during

22     examination-in-chief, he completely changed his statement --

23             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction:  During

24     cross-examination.

25             MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] He completely changed his statement

Page 7234

 1     by claiming that he had never known Sredoje Lukic.  The clear answer

 2     given by this witness on this issue was tried to be explained by the

 3     Prosecutor yesterday that it was allegedly taken out of context; that's

 4     yesterday's transcript page 46, line 15.  We would like to point to the

 5     entire context of this examination and this particular page of the

 6     transcript that you see on the screens in front of you, which clearly

 7     indicates that nothing was taken out of context, but that this witness,

 8     however, gave a clear answer which corresponds to his other statements

 9     and testimonies in the Vasiljevic case.

10             Therefore, this witness neither knew Sredoje Lukic before the

11     incidents or anything about him, which is clearly shown in the testimony

12     in the Vasiljevic case, which is page of the transcript 54 --

13             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction:  Page 1409, line 54.

14             MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Also, a statement given in 1995,

15     which is Exhibit 1D26, in which it is stated that Sredoje Lukic was a

16     worker at the Unis wire factory.  [English]  Yes, thank you very much.

17             [Interpretation] So if somebody was working in a wire factory, he

18     definitely cannot be a policeman at the same time.  I would also like to

19     point out to the statement given to the OTP 1998, Exhibit 2D4.

20             And finally, concerning the statement by the Prosecutor given

21     yesterday on page 47, wrongly asserted that VG-038 was wrongly quoted in

22     our exhibit, and he referred to page 1377 of Exhibit P44.  We have to

23     point out that on this page nothing was said specifically, but that is in

24     fact transcript page 1378 of the Exhibit P44, where this witness clearly

25     testified that he did not dare to look at the man.

Page 7235

 1             I would like now to address the assertions in the final brief by

 2     the Prosecution in which witnesses 18, 84, 78, and 101 were designated as

 3     identification witnesses.  These are paragraphs 172 and 173 in the

 4     Prosecution final brief.  I have to point out that we have persistently

 5     insisted throughout the proceedings and explained in our final brief why

 6     we were opposed to identification in the courtroom, and I would like to

 7     add that not a single one of these witnesses neither in the courtroom nor

 8     in any other way made a positive identification of Sredoje Lukic.

 9             Witness VG-018 claimed that she had heard Sredoje Lukic introduce

10     himself in the house.  However, she didn't know Sredoje Lukic, nor was

11     she able to provide any reliable information about the perpetrators.

12     This explains her answer that she did not dare look in the direction of

13     the perpetrators.  This is on page 1317, which you can see right now on

14     your screens.

15             Her son, VG-084, had also not known Sredoje Lukic before the

16     incident and was with his mother all the time while this incident was

17     going on, and this is reference 1272 and 1273 pages in the transcript.

18     This witness claimed to have heard Sredoje Lukic introduce himself.

19     However, when asked about these circumstances by the esteemed president

20     of the Chamber, this witness responded under oath that he had heard

21     nothing that would enable him to identify Sredoje Lukic.  We can see this

22     response on our screens at this very moment.  So this is a considerable

23     discrepancy in the statement.

24             Furthermore, I would like to say that in the Prosecution brief

25     more than 25 people involved in the incident knew Sredoje Lukic, and this

Page 7236

 1     conclusion was drawn based on the testimony of VG-084.  However, when

 2     asked to give the names of at least some of these 25 percent of the

 3     people --

 4             [In English] I have to intervene.  Page 17, line 6, 25 percent of

 5     people involved has to be.  Thank you.

 6             [Interpretation] However, when asked to give the names of at

 7     least one name of these 25 percent of the people, the witness was unable

 8     to provide a single name.  We can see this is reference shown on the

 9     screens right now.  Nearly all the other answers given by this witness

10     were that he did not remember.

11             The next two witnesses, VG-078 and VG-101, the Prosecution state

12     that these two witnesses did not know Sredoje Lukic from before but were,

13     rather, told that night from other individuals that that was

14     Sredoje Lukic.  The Prosecutor even quotes references in footnote 494 in

15     their brief to the effect that VG-078 mentioned Sredoje Lukic in her

16     testimony.  This reference refers to transcript page 1378 --

17             THE INTERPRETER:  87, interpreter's correction.

18             MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Looking at the page of the transcript

19     before us, we can clearly see that there is no mention of Sredoje Lukic.

20     We particularly wish to emphasise that these two witnesses, not only on

21     this page of the transcript, but in their statements and other

22     testimonies have never mentioned the name of Sredoje Lukic, nor provided

23     any description that would match that of Sredoje Lukic.

24             Now we come to witness VG-115, designated by the Prosecution as a

25     recognition witness in paragraph 169 of their final brief.  And in

Page 7237

 1     yesterday's presentation by the Prosecution, I nearly understood this to

 2     be one of the key witnesses for the Prosecution.  The Prosecution tried

 3     yesterday to misinterpret the conduct of the Defence in cross-examination

 4     of this witness and VG-013 stating that Defence had improperly

 5     interrupted the testimony on several occasions.

 6             The Defence would like to point out that this is not just the

 7     right of Defence but also its duty to lead the witness in

 8     cross-examination.  I would like to point out that this witness, VG-115,

 9     in the Mitar Vasiljevic judgement was characterised as an unreliable

10     witness particularly with regard to identification so much so that his

11     evidence could not be accepted, and I have to underline that all parties

12     agree and that is that this case is based on identification.

13             Let me also point out paragraph 120 in the final brief of the

14     Prosecution, in which this witness claims to have allegedly seen

15     Sredoje Lukic.  However, an important detail is omitted, which is that

16     she saw Sredoje Lukic wearing a balaclava.  Yesterday on transcript

17     page 42, the Prosecutor provided an explanation saying that this stocking

18     or, rather, balaclava was worn on the head just to cover the shaved head.

19     The Prosecution referred, also, to a video footage from April 1992 saying

20     that at that time Sredoje Lukic's head was shaven.  This is P203, and it

21     clearly shows that he only had short hair at the time and not a shaven

22     head.

23             I would also like to point out to page of the transcript 686, in

24     which, speaking about the Pionirska incident, this witness clearly said

25     that he had some kind of stocking over his head, over his whole head.

Page 7238

 1     This is what we see on the screens right now.  In addition to this, the

 2     testimony of VG-115 are so illogical starting from the possibility -- her

 3     impossibility to see at all how people had been brought into this house,

 4     which was also confirmed by Cliff Jenkins, the expert witness of the

 5     Defence, and all of us who were there, we all could see that it was

 6     impossible to see the door to the house from the street.  And in

 7     addition, this witness marked completely differently the door to the

 8     house where this incident took place.  And also, it was said that this

 9     incident kept -- happened on a working day; however, the

10     adjudicated fact 62 and 65 confirm that this incident took on a religious

11     holiday in both faiths, the Christian and the Muslim faith, around [as

12     interpreted] the 14th of June.

13             I would now like to say something about Hasib Kurspahic, a

14     hearsay witness.

15             [In English] Page 19, line 6, I said "on," not "around" 14th of

16     June, because it's so precise adjudicated fact.  Thank you.

17             [Interpretation] The next witness about whom I would like to say

18     a few words is Huso Kurspahic designated by the Prosecution in their

19     final brief, para 159 and 161 as a recognition witness.  As we know, this

20     witness has secondhand knowledge because it was his father who survived

21     the incident, whereas this witness was not present there himself.  I

22     would like to say that this witness also testified about the same

23     incident in the Mitar Vasiljevic case, but the Trial Chamber dismissed

24     his testimony.

25             This witness claims that his father allegedly told him that

Page 7239

 1     Sredoje Lukic was one of the perpetrators; reference, transcript page 879

 2     and Exhibit P36, page 3.  I would kindly ask for this portion of the

 3     transcript not to be broadcast outside of this court.  The father of

 4     Huso Kurspahic, Hasib Kurspahic, is one of the survivors of this serious

 5     incident.  The Prosecution has designated Hasib Kurspahic as a

 6     recognition witness.  One of the few facts that the Defence and the

 7     Prosecution agree is that Hasib Kurspahic knew Sredoje Lukic very well

 8     and that he actually knew him much better than any other person.  It has

 9     been clearly demonstrated during the trial that Sredoje Lukic and

10     Hasib Kurspahic had met frequently, shaken hands, and that Sredoje Lukic

11     ate at his home and spent time many, many times.

12             The Defence would like to stress that perhaps the key evidence in

13     Sredoje Lukic's Defence case is an interview with Hasib Kurspahic gave

14     only 24 days after the incident.  Generally speaking, this is in fact the

15     first piece of evidence obtained after the incident.  Yesterday on

16     page 51, the Prosecutor suggested that Hasib didn't dare mention anyone

17     because he was frightened.  Only after he had united with his son, he

18     felt safe enough to tell him who the perpetrators were.  However, I would

19     like to point out to the Chamber, and this is exactly what you can see on

20     the screen, is part of the statement given by this witness, which says

21     that "... Mitar the waiter had come and said that he was a town

22     commander."  If this witness was able to indicate who introduced himself

23     as a town commander, it was only logical to conclude that he would be

24     able to identify other perpetrators that he now knew from before.

25     However, as we can see on the screen, this witness, that is to say

Page 7240

 1     Mr. Kurspahic, when asked directly whether he had identified or

 2     recognised anyone during the incident that lasted for hours and through

 3     several contacts that he had an opportunity to establish with the

 4     perpetrators during the looting and the taking out of people of their

 5     house, this witness gave a straightforward answer that he did not

 6     recognise anyone.

 7             A considerable number of statements given in 1994, 1995, and

 8     1996, given to the investigating authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina have

 9     been admitted into evidence in this case.  Huso Kurspahic, as an

10     experienced policeman, if he had really heard such information from his

11     father, could have simply taken a statement from him, compiled an

12     Official Note, which is the duty of every policeman, or quite simply

13     called the investigating organs of Bosnia-Herzegovina or any other organs

14     over the period of three years in order to take a statement from

15     Mr. Huso Kurspahic about these particular circumstances.

16             Thank you for your attention.  Now I would like to address the

17     Bikavac incident.  The Prosecution has identified four witnesses in

18     paragraph 311 to 313 as identification witnesses.  I will first refer to

19     paragraph 311 and witness Zehra Turjacanin.  In their brief, the

20     Prosecution is trying to create an impression that Zehra Turjacanin

21     recognised Sredoje Lukic as one of the perpetrators involved in the

22     Bikavac incident.  However, her testimony and all other exhibits admitted

23     into evidence create a completely opposite impression.

24             The witness has not indicated or described Sredoje Lukic as a

25     potential perpetrator involved in the incident in any of her testimonies,

Page 7241

 1     statements, or interviews.  During the examination-in-chief -- and I

 2     would also kindly ask this next portion of the transcript not to be

 3     broadcast because it contains confidential information.  So during

 4     examination-in-chief, Zehra Turjacanin mentioned that Milan Lukic was

 5     with a relative of his who was 20 years his senior and who used to work

 6     in the police.  The Defence would like to point out that Sredoje Lukic is

 7     of the same age as witness Zehra Turjacanin, and that he was an active

 8     duty police officer at the time, and that he was not someone who had been

 9     a policeman in the long-distant past.

10             As we can see in this description provided by Zehra Turjacanin,

11     you can clearly see that this corresponds to Sredoje Lukic; and from

12     5230, we can see in the picture that he didn't look older than any person

13     of the age of 30.  Likewise, I wish to bring to your attention this

14     description now that you can see on your screens, which clearly

15     demonstrates that Sredoje Lukic was not identified as one of the

16     perpetrators.

17             I wish to emphasise that following this incident, this witness

18     gave three video interviews and a statement within a short space of time.

19     I wish to bring this to Chamber's attention.  These are P66, and this was

20     given in the presence of VG-032 when VG-032 was dressing the wounds of

21     this other witness.  And then we have a transcript of the interview in

22     2D37.  This was drafted in Medjedja after the incident.  And we also have

23     Exhibit P139, which was a statement given in Zenica hospital.

24             Following that, we have a statement of this witness given in

25     July 1992 in the presence of VG-032.  This is Exhibit 2D36.  We also have

Page 7242

 1     a statement in Exhibit 1D83, which is an interview given to the

 2     Prosecutor.  This is Exhibit 2D38.  And we have an interview in 2D39

 3     given to Oslobodenje where she lists names of many perpetrators but not

 4     that of Sredoje Lukic.

 5             I also wish to emphasise that not in a single of these pieces of

 6     evidence did Zehra Turjacanin mention Sredoje Lukic or describe anyone

 7     resembling him.  She didn't even mention any relative policemen, and it

 8     is indisputable that there were a number of people in the Lukic family

 9     who worked in the police.

10             I also wish to emphasise the testimony of witness VG-032, who

11     throughout the critical period of time was with witness Zehra Turjacanin

12     and was a witness to at least two interviews, that is to say P62 and

13     2D36.  There is even a video shot of this witness dressing the wounds of

14     Zehra Turjacanin, and he was also an eye-witness when the statement was

15     signed in 1992.  This witness said that he knew Sredoje Lukic, and he

16     said that he had heard nothing bad about Sredoje Lukic throughout the war

17     and later.

18             I also wish to reiterate that all other witnesses who base their

19     testimony on the Bikavac incident, and they base their testimony on the

20     basis of testimony of Zehra Turjacanin, and these witnesses, VG-119,

21     VG-058, and Huso Kurspahic are unreliable witnesses because we have very

22     clear evidence in the testimony of Zehra Turjacanin which in no way

23     implicates Sredoje Lukic in this incident.

24             Once again, I wish to go back to witness VG-115 who testified

25     about the Bikavac incident.  Yesterday, the Prosecutor wanted to explain

Page 7243

 1     how VG-115 actually explained that Sredoje Lukic had a stocking on his

 2     head just to conceal his shaven head.  Thank you.

 3             So, as I was saying, the Prosecutor wanted to explain how

 4     according to VG-115 Sredoje Lukic had a stocking just to conceal his

 5     shaven head.  As I have said earlier, such allegations are not

 6     corroborated, were not grounded in any other fact, and are completely

 7     contradictory to all other evidence.  We will now see part of the

 8     transcript of the testimony of witness VG-115 where this witness speaks

 9     about the Bikavac incident.  This is page of the transcript 780.  Based

10     on this, we can clearly see that this witness in line 24, page 780, of

11     the transcript said that witness had a sock pulled over the entire head.

12     I'm now wondering, how is it possible to recognise somebody wearing a

13     mask or a balaclava or a stocking over his head from a distance of dozens

14     of metres?  How it is possible to recognise the voice of a person wearing

15     a mask or anything else on his head from that distance?

16             Another element that undermines, already undermines credibility

17     of witness VG-115 is a very significant discrepancy between the

18     explanation of where she followed the incident at Bikavac from, where it

19     was given in the statement in Exhibit 1D18, where she says that she was

20     following the events from the meadow.  I would like this to be shown but

21     only in the courtroom.  This is Exhibit 2D2.

22             So there is a considerable discrepancy between the testimony

23     given in the courtroom and the statement given before.  In the statement,

24     she claims that she stood in the meadow, and while testifying here, she

25     said that she was on the main road.  And we can see on this map that this

Page 7244

 1     distance is quite significant between these two spots.  And I have to

 2     emphasise that Zehra Turjacanin stated that when she ran out of the

 3     house, the perpetrators of the incidents were lying on that meadow.  And

 4     now, VG-115 is claiming that she was on the same meadow where the

 5     perpetrators were.  This is why her allegations are completely

 6     unrealistic, also bearing in mind the significant discrepancy about the

 7     spot from which she was following the incident.

 8             The next witness that the Prosecutor mentioned in his closing

 9     argument yesterday is witness VG-035 and witness CW-002.  Namely, the

10     Prosecutor said yesterday that witness CW-002 did not know Sredoje Lukic

11     and as a result could not have seen him in the incident.  We believe that

12     it is a reasonable conclusion that she did know him because she clearly

13     explained that he had lived in her house.

14             In addition to that, I wish to emphasise that the statement of

15     witness VG-035 from 1998 that this witness gave to the Prosecution under

16     oath over two days significantly is corroborated by the statement of

17     witness CW-002.  Namely, none of them mention the participation of

18     Sredoje Lukic in the event on Bikavac on that day.  So one can reasonably

19     conclude that if VG-035 did know Sredoje Lukic, then she would have

20     certainly informed her fellow witness, CW-002, and told her this is

21     Sredoje Lukic, but as we can see, these two statements given earlier

22     completely corroborate and fully challenge the testimony of VG-035.

23             I also wish to say that VG-035 could not have given a single

24     reasonable explanation as to why in the statement given to the

25     investigators of the OTP under oath she failed to mention Sredoje Lukic

Page 7245

 1     as a perpetrator of this incident.

 2             The Defence is convinced that these two incidents are something

 3     that the Prosecution did not prove beyond reasonable doubt in relation to

 4     Sredoje Lukic.  But in addition to that, or despite of that, the Defence

 5     presented its case of the defence of alibi that had been notified to the

 6     pre-trial judge, Judge Thelin, and following that notification, the

 7     Defence also supplied to the Prosecution the statements of alibi

 8     witnesses.

 9             This took place quite a long time before the trial started, at

10     the time where nobody even knew when the trial would begin.  In Belgrade,

11     the Prosecutor during the pre-trial phase, conducted interviews with

12     alibi witnesses, and all of these interviews were admitted in their

13     entirety into evidence when tendered by the Defence of Sredoje Lukic.

14             In addition to that, the Prosecutor inspected all of the

15     documents that had been adopted as evidence of alibi defence, and not a

16     single case their authenticity was challenged.  I also wish to point out

17     that alibi witnesses gave consistent evidence that clearly confirms alibi

18     of Sredoje Lukic, namely that on the 14th and 27th of June, 1992, he was

19     not present in Visegrad but was, rather, in Serbia, namely in Obrenovac

20     and Belgrade.  These two dates, the 14th and the 27th of June, 1992, are

21     not ordinary days just like any days in a year, especially not when it

22     comes to the alibi witnesses of the Sredoje Lukic's Defence.  Namely, the

23     14th of June was the Holy Trinity holiday and also an important village

24     feast or, rather, the patron saint day of that village, village Krtinska.

25     Witness for the Defence gave evidence stating - his name is Veroljub

Page 7246

 1     Zivkovic - gave evidence stating that he was with Sredoje Lukic on the

 2     14th of June in a shop there.  The Prosecutor in his cross-examination of

 3     this witness mostly dealt with his credibility and did not try to

 4     challenge the events on the 14th of June, 1992.  This is how Exhibits

 5     P199 and P201 were admitted into evidence, and those are judgements

 6     finding this witness guilty because he knocked down the fence of a

 7     witness.  The consistency of the evidence of Veroljub Zivkovic can be

 8     clearly seen from the statement that he gave to the Defence team.  This

 9     is Exhibit 2D41.  It can also be seen based on his interview given to the

10     Prosecution in Belgrade before the beginning of the trial; Exhibit 2D53

11     and 2D54.

12             The next Defence witness, Branimir Buganski, he testified before

13     this Trial Chamber in relation to the events taking place on the 14th and

14     27th of June, 1992, and he confirmed that in that period of time, the

15     family of Sredoje Lukic lived in one of his homes.  Defence believes that

16     not even numerous Prosecution questions and cross-examination could cast

17     a doubt on the reliability and credibility of this witness.

18             However, in their final brief in paragraph 447, the Prosecutor

19     completely wrongly explained the testimony of Mr. Bugarski claiming that

20     he wrongly stated when a NATO bomb had fallen in his village.  We can see

21     this on our screens now.  The Prosecutor tried to impugn to the witness a

22     reply that it was on the 28th of March, but the witness clearly explained

23     when that took place, during which month, and where he was at that time,

24     and the Prosecutor did not adduce any other evidence or document to

25     challenge the credibility of this witness.  This clearly states that the

Page 7247

 1     memory of this witness is fully reliable.

 2             Also, when it comes to the 14th of July, I wish to state that the

 3     confirmation that it was an important day for that village and that they

 4     had a village holiday on that day, a religious holiday, is also the

 5     certificate issued by the village priest which is Exhibit 2D48, and you

 6     can also see the church calendar or the religious calendar for June of

 7     1992.

 8             When it comes to the 14th of June, the Prosecution in their final

 9     brief, paragraph 434, claim that the incident in Pionirska took place on

10     or about the 14th of June, 1992.  However, I wish to reiterate that this

11     Trial Chamber established adjudicated facts number 62 and 65.  This is

12     decision that was handed down in August of 2008, where it is stated that

13     this incident took place exactly on the 14th of June, 1992.

14             Now, the 27th of June, 1992, was a significant day because it was

15     the eve of the greatest Serbian holiday, St. Vitus's Day, and in the life

16     of witness Zorka Lukic it was an especially important period of time

17     because on the previous day she had come home with her newly born baby,

18     Dragina, home; and this witness said that Sredoje Lukic on that day came

19     to visit her family because that was the custom, and she clearly stated

20     that in her testimony.

21             I wish to point out that under Rule 92 ter, we adopted the

22     statement of this witness given to the investigators of the Prosecution,

23     not to the investigators of the Defence.  The Prosecution did not lead

24     almost any evidence to rebut the alibi of Sredoje Lukic.  We only heard

25     an ad hoc testimony of witness VG-024 pertaining to the

Page 7248

 1     27th and 28th June of 1992, and her unreliability when it comes to those

 2     details is clearly explained in our final brief.  I do not wish to dwell

 3     on this any longer before this Trial Chamber.  We can clearly conclude

 4     that the Prosecution did not eliminate the possibility that the alibi of

 5     Sredoje Lukic is solid.

 6             Now, I wish to turn to a third incident that my client is charged

 7     with.  It relates to the camp in Uzamnica.  We heard three witnesses

 8     concerning this, and the statement of the fourth witness was adopted as

 9     well.

10             The witness who spent the longest in the camp is Nurko

11     Dervisevic.  In his testimony, he said that he saw Sredoje Lukic only

12     once in the camp.  Previous statements to this witness given under oath

13     and signed were confirmed by this witness when he came here to testify.

14     Exhibit 2D15 is a statement given on the 23rd of December, 1994.  And in

15     this statement, this witness never once mentioned Sredoje Lukic but

16     mentioned other perpetrators.  Then just two weeks later, he gave another

17     statement on the 6th of January, 1995.  This is Exhibit 2D16, and once

18     again, Sredoje Lukic is not mentioned in this statement either.  And the

19     third statement is 2D17, given on the 22nd of June, 2007, and once again,

20     in this third statement Sredoje Lukic is not mentioned by this witness.

21             This distinguished Trial Chamber adopted the statement of

22     witness VG-025 who spent some time in Uzamnica, and in this statement

23     this witness said he knew Sredoje Lukic as a police officer from Visegrad

24     but that he had never seen him in Uzamnica.

25             The next two witnesses, Islam Kustura and Adem Berberovic claim

Page 7249

 1     that they learned from others, namely from Nurko Dervisevic, that Sredoje

 2     Lukic had come to the camp several times.  I must mention that several

 3     weeks after being released from the camp, Islam Kustura gave a statement

 4     where he mentioned 16 perpetrators without ever mentioning Sredoje Lukic.

 5     Adem Berberovic gave a statement to the Prosecution.  A statement was

 6     given by Ib Jul Hansen who also testified here, and in that statement,

 7     this witness said that in a photo spread he pointed to Sredoje Lukic.

 8     This is 2D20.  However, the investigator of the OTP, the head of the OTP

 9     investigations team who testified here clearly state that no photograph

10     of Sredoje Lukic was ever used in photo identification.  Based on this,

11     we can clearly conclude that this witness never identified Sredoje Lukic.

12             What I have to reemphasise here is the description of Sredoje

13     Lukic given by these two witnesses.  Can we now see on our screens part

14     of the testimony of Kustura and Berberovic.  Both of these witnesses, and

15     not just these two witnesses, but also numerous other witnesses for the

16     Prosecution describe Sredoje Lukic as a person significantly shorter than

17     Milan Lukic.  We heard testimony of another witness who testified in the

18     rebuttal portion of the case and who said that Sredoje Lukic was

19     allegedly shorter than her, and her height is 175 centimetres.  Now, we

20     can see here that both Kustura and Berberovic said that Sredoje Lukic was

21     15 to 20 centimetres shorter than Milan Lukic.

22             Now, this difference in height of 15 to 20 centimetres, which is

23     more than half a foot, is a significant difference.  Some standards shown

24     before this court say that there is some degree of tolerance.  However,

25     such a significant difference clearly indicates that these people

Page 7250

 1     identified a completely different person, and all of us here are fully in

 2     agreement that the central issue of this case is the identification.

 3             I would especially like to bring to your attention that

 4     Sredoje Lukic is not shorter than Milan Lukic, not 10 centimetres, not

 5     15, not 20.  They are almost the same height, and you can see that in the

 6     courtroom -- in the photograph taken in the courtroom, Exhibit 2D52.  You

 7     can also see that from the certificate given by the Detention Unit about

 8     the height of Sredoje Lukic.  This is Exhibit 2D64.

 9             So we are clearly stating that these two people are of the same

10     height, which is completely contrary to what the Prosecution witnesses

11     claimed.

12             And finally, I would like to show part of the testimony -- but

13     please do not broadcast outside of the courtroom.  Now, speaking of

14     identification and based on all the evidence adduced in this case, we are

15     deeply convinced that Sredoje Lukic was not identified in any of the

16     incidents for which he was charged.  What is especially fascinating in

17     this case is the confirmation given by the chief investigator of the

18     Prosecution.  Can we see it on our screens, but please, not outside the

19     courtroom.  So the chief investigator of the Prosecution when testifying

20     here clearly and unambiguously confirmed that in the pre-trial

21     proceedings which lasted for a number of years, no identification

22     procedure was ever conducted in relation to Sredoje Lukic.  It sounds

23     shocking, but it is a fact, and we see a reference here, transcript

24     page 3137.

25             I now wish to turn to paragraph 628 of the Prosecution brief

Page 7251

 1     where they claim that Sredoje Lukic had power, ability, and duty to help

 2     Muslims, stating that he had saved the life of only one Muslim, which is

 3     what witness VG-064 claimed.  But what I wish to state is that VG-064

 4     clearly stated that Sredoje Lukic risked his own life to save the life of

 5     her husband and her brother.

 6             I also wish to say that we also heard from witness Mevsud Poljo

 7     testifying for the Prosecution who explicitly at his own request in

 8     examination-in-chief said that he wanted to describe how Sredoje Lukic

 9     helped Muslims and how he saved the life of his neighbour Moradif Karic

10     [phoen].  This was a great act of sacrifice on his part.

11             Now, as to how many other Muslims Sredoje Lukic saved during the

12     war, we don't know about that.  What we heard here, we heard from the OTP

13     witness in examination-in-chief.  I especially want to point out that a

14     significant number of OTP witnesses gave an extremely positive opinion of

15     Mr. Sredoje Lukic.  Let me remind you of the testimony of VG-133, where

16     it was stated that this witness never heard from anybody -- anybody of

17     any significance anything bad about Sredoje Lukic.  And then VG-011 said

18     that even nowadays he would like to sit down and have a drink with

19     Sredoje Lukic.  Also, VG-017 who is a man who suffered greatly having

20     lost two sons during the war.

21             JUDGE ROBINSON:  How much longer do you have, Mr. Cepic?

22             MR. CEPIC:  I'm almost completing, just two minutes.

23             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Yes.

24             MR. CEPIC:  Thank you, Your Honour.

25             [Interpretation] Bearing in mind everything said earlier, we

Page 7252

 1     would like to emphasise that the Prosecution has not proven beyond

 2     reasonable doubt their case against Sredoje Lukic, that the Prosecution

 3     has not eliminated the alibi of Sredoje Lukic as the truthful alibi.

 4     Consequently, the Defence proposes that Sredoje Lukic be acquitted on all

 5     counts of the indictment.

 6             Finally, I wish to express gratitude to the members of the

 7     Defence team, especially Mr. Jens Dieckmann, a very diligent co-counsel;

 8     then to exceptionally diligent case manager, Sladjana Marjanovic; our

 9     excellent assistants, Christina Kerll, Snezina Pusic; our investigator,

10     Nada Mandic; all exceptional individuals.

11             And finally, I wish to say that it has been a great honour and

12     pleasure to appear as Defence counsel of Sredoje Lukic before this

13     distinguished Trial Chamber.

14             Thank you very much for your attention.

15             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Thank you, Mr. Cepic.

16                           [Trial Chamber confers]

17                           [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]

18             JUDGE ROBINSON:  I just wanted to bring you up to date on the

19     motions that have either been filed recently and/or remain pending before

20     the Trial Chamber.  Can we go into private session.

21                           [Private session]

22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

24   (redacted)

25   (redacted)

Page 7253











11  Page 7253 redacted. Private session.















Page 7254

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7   (redacted)

 8                           [Open session]

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  We are in open session, Your Honours.

10             JUDGE ROBINSON:  I was saying that we will adjourn the

11     proceedings now and resume on the day when the Chamber will issue its

12     judgement in this case.  We are adjourned.

13                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.00 p.m.