1 Thursday, 17 July 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.36 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Before we will hear the testimony of the next witness, I would
12 like to briefly into turn private session.
13 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 The Chamber understands that the objections against paragraph 12
11 of the statement of the witness have been withdrawn by the Prosecution
12 through an informal communication, but it's hereby on the record.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Vujicic.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the rules require that you
17 make a solemn declaration. The text is now handed out to you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
19 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: MILUTIN VUJICIC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Vujicic. Please be seated.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vujicic, we were informed that you may have some
25 difficulties now and then in hearing, and that this would especially
1 apply --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: -- when there is an overlap.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Especially -- precisely.
5 Precisely. When people speak to me in a foreign language, then it is
6 being conveyed to me into the Serbian language that I speak and then a
7 bit of it is lost, so technically speaking, could this please be taken
8 into account? Could at least a sentence be uttered to me in the foreign
9 language that is spoken and then I hear the interpretation into Serbian?
10 I think I will actually speed things up that way so I don't have to ask
11 for the question to be repeated to me once again. Right this very
12 instant, I can hear it well.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, it may not always be possible to wait
14 with the translation until after the question has been put, but if ever
15 you have any difficulties in understanding or in hearing, please raise
16 your hand, draw my attention to it, and we'll accommodate you in whatever
17 way, most likely by repeating the question. At the same time I invite
18 the parties to avoid any overlap which may confuse the witness.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vujicic, you'll first be examined by Mr. Ivetic.
21 Mr. Ivetic is to your left. Mr. Ivetic is a member of the Defence team
22 of Mr. Mladic.
23 Mr. Ivetic, please proceed.
24 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Examination by Mr. Ivetic:
1 Q. Good day, sir.
2 A. Good day.
3 MR. IVETIC: If we could have in e-court the 65 ter number
5 Q. Sir, if you can please look at the signature on the first page of
6 this statement and tell me if you recognise it.
7 A. I recognise this. This is my statement. This is my signature.
8 The one that I made personally, in respect of this statement.
9 MR. IVETIC: If we can turn to the last page of the document in
10 the original Serbian.
11 Q. Sir, you will see a signature there as well. Can you tell us
12 whose signature this is?
13 A. This is my signature personally, my statement that
14 conscientiously, without being talked into anything by anyone, that
15 I personally gave this statement and signed it on the 5th of June 2014.
16 Q. Sir, after signing this statement, did you have occasion to
17 review the same in the Serbian language to verify its accuracy?
18 A. Yes, yes, yes. I checked it and it is exactly the way I gave it,
19 the first time I gave it. And as far as I'm concerned, it can be
20 admitted into evidence in this Court.
21 Q. We will get to that, sir. First of all, I have to ask you, do
22 you stand behind everything that is written in your statement as being
24 A. I stand by that, everything that I was in a position to say then.
25 And I'm also giving the possibility to everyone to put additional
1 questions to me. I am prepared to answer all questions that you may
3 Q. And, sir, if I were to ask you questions today about the same
4 topics as covered in your statement, would your answers be the same in
5 substance as is already contained in your statement?
6 A. I hope so.
7 Q. And given that you have taken the solemn declaration to tell the
8 truth, would those answers as contained in your written statement be
10 A. Yes. I've already said that I will speak the truth the whole
11 truth and nothing but the truth, and I will do my best to speak the
12 truth. I will speak about what I know. And if somebody asks me
13 questions about what I had not seen with my own eyes but that I had just
14 heard about, I cannot guarantee about that. I mean, in respect of such
15 questions, I can say that I heard something, even if I hadn't seen it
16 with my very own eyes.
17 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I would tender 1D01658 into evidence
18 under Rule 92 ter at this time.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
20 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D1658 receives number D579, Your
22 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
23 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, at this time I would read the public
24 summary of the witness's statement, which has been explained to him.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please read the summary, Mr. Ivetic.
1 MR. IVETIC: The witness stated that in the first half of April
2 1992, the civilian authorities of Foca decided to start a shelter for
3 Muslim women from Foca in the Partizan sports club. This was because
4 Foca was a scattered geographic community and the authorities were unable
5 to maintain control and ensure security for the civilian population of
6 outlying villages. This was styled a reception centre.
7 In one such centre 150 metres from the witness's home, he was
8 engaged to provide armed security with a rifle for four nights. He was
9 given the task of not allowing anyone to enter the premises during his
10 shift. Several women were at this facility. The women were free to move
11 in and out of the facility, and during the time period he was a guard
12 there, there were no incidents.
13 The witness does know that in other places, the houses of Muslims
14 were protected by guards also sent by the civilian authorities. He knows
15 of one incident where a guard at a house of the Rikali family tried to
16 stop a paramilitary member from entering the house and shot and killed
17 that paramilitary.
18 The witness says the first shots fired and the first house burned
19 in Foca when the conflict broke out were acts done by Muslims. The
20 mosques were used to store large caches of weapons and a Bosnian Muslim
21 sniper fired from the minaret of the Aladza mosque. The Aladza mosque
22 was not damaged or destroyed during the first clashes and was barricaded
23 and taped off until August 1992 when unknown individuals blew off
24 explosives in that mosque. This explosion damaged 50 buildings in the
25 vicinity of the mosque whose owners were mostly Serbs.
1 That completes the public summary of the witness's statement.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. If you have any further questions to the
3 witness, please put them to him.
4 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Sir, I would like to ask a few questions about your statement.
6 If we can turn to page 2 in both languages, and if we can focus on
7 paragraphs 4 through 9 of the same, and, sir, here you talk about
8 providing security for four nights to a facility that was 150 metres from
9 your home. Can you please identify by name that facility so we know
10 exactly what it is you are talking about?
11 A. Yes. Yes. That facility was called the sports centre Partizan.
12 It was a recreation sports centre for young people. It had a big hall
13 inside, and also some auxiliary premises like bathrooms and so on. Also
14 some small offices.
15 These premises were used in the second half of April 1992 when --
16 you know, the municipality of Foca is the largest municipality in the
17 former Bosnia-Herzegovina. There were lots of villages. It was very
18 big. The villages were scattered all about. The authorities could not
19 control each and every house. And in these houses, after the cleansing
20 and after the clashes and after the removal of the Green Berets and this
21 Patriotic League, some families remained unprotected, including women,
22 frail old men, et cetera.
23 The civilian and military authorities, or rather this Territorial
24 Defence issued an order as follows: Whenever such structures and
25 families are under threat, they should come to a single place where they
1 could stay, and these women were accommodated right there at Partizan.
2 When they arrived there during those first days, the territorial or
3 rather, no, the Crisis Staff of this Territorial Defence issued an order
4 to protect this facility, day and night.
5 For four nights, I --
6 Q. Go ahead, finish your answer.
7 A. All right. For four nights, I stood guard with the rifle in my
8 hands. Some commissioner from the Crisis Staff gave me a rifle, issued
9 an order saying that we should not allow anyone in during the night. If
10 anybody tries to enter by force, that we should stop them, even
11 physically. However, fortunately, during those four nights, I was not on
12 my own totally. There was this other man on one side, and all of this
13 security was there so that nobody could come. So it was safe. Nobody
14 came so we did not have a problem.
15 After that, I --
16 Q. Sir, we have much of that in your statement. I'm limited with
17 time. I would please like to ask questions and get your answers to them
18 so we may proceed.
19 Now, at the time that you were providing security for the
20 Partizan sports centre, what was your status? Were you part of either
21 the police or the military or something else?
22 A. I was a civilian, and during the pre-war period, I was president
23 of the Gornje Polje local commune where this facility is. So I was a
24 civilian. And as for my age, according to the then-regulations, I was
25 not even a military conscript.
1 Q. What can you tell us about the provision of food and water for
2 those persons that were inside the facility?
3 A. I know that these persons were provided for. Somewhere there was
4 a kitchen at the hotel and food was being brought to them, and during the
5 day they had the opportunity of going down to the hotel and having lunch,
6 dinner, et cetera. During the night they were closed up. They had a key
7 on the inside; they were locked in.
8 While I was there, I knew that women were there. I never saw a
9 single one of these women. I never opened the door; I never even took
10 the doorknob into my hands. That's what I can say. I can also say that
11 during the day, these women had the opportunity of leaving, going out on
12 visits. There were Muslim women there and then they knew some Serb women
13 from town, and they would see each other. But during the night, that is
14 what I'm telling you, nobody came by.
15 Q. Now, sir, you've identified that during the night they were
16 closed up. They had a key on the inside; they were locked in. Who is
17 "they" that had the key to the Partizan sports facility during the
19 A. Who they were?
20 Q. Who had the key?
21 A. They, the women, they locked up during the night and then during
22 the day they could go out for walks in town, et cetera.
23 Q. During the four nights that you provided security, how did you
24 obtain food and eat?
25 A. There was a woman there in the same facility, on the other side,
1 all by herself, this woman, and once, one night, two nights, she prepared
2 food for us because we did not -- we could not leave that facility at
3 all. My apartment was about 150 metres away from that facility and
4 I didn't dare leave, go have dinner at home or breakfast at home, until
5 the people from the other shift would come in. I don't know about the
6 day-time shifts, especially from the moment when I was mobilised into the
7 Territorial Defence units.
8 Q. Okay. We will get to your mobilisation. I'd like to first ask
9 you, how did you regard those persons that were inside the facility?
10 Were they your prisoners?
11 A. No. This was -- may I start now? This was just a reception
12 centre. They were free women, like all Muslim and Serb women in the town
13 of Foca, except that they had had come from the villages in order to be
14 safe in one particular place so they could be protected properly.
15 Q. Have you ever heard of any incidents occurring at that location,
16 the Partizan sports club, where people from the outside came and
17 repeatedly mistreated these civilian women who were inside the hall?
18 A. After I left, I really did not hear about any incidents. Also,
19 my wife, who was nearby, 100 or 150 metres away, she never told me about
20 any such thing. I was at the front-line, you see, but she never told me
21 about any accidents during the day or during the night.
22 There is nothing more I can tell you except for this: I had been
23 mobilised, so I would return every 15 days it in order to get a change of
24 clothes, et cetera, so please don't ask me any more about this because
25 I really don't know. I have nothing more to say.
1 Q. Looking at paragraph 8 of your statement, you say that Muslims
2 began to leave Foca. Did any Muslims also stay in Foca?
3 A. Yes. Many Muslims, after the conflict broke out, left Foca
4 together with -- and withdrew together with the Green Berets and the
5 Patriotic League towards Gorazde, towards Ustikolina. Most of them.
6 That has been recorded.
7 And a good part of the families of Muslim ethnicity remained in
8 town. All summer they lived as they wished and the civilian authorities,
9 when they applied for leaving, always told them, "There is no need for
10 you to leave. You can stay. You will be safe like all other citizens in
11 the Foca area." And when they left, they always left on the pretext that
12 they wanted to reunite with their families, probably with those who had
13 left before or those who had left with the units of these Green Berets
14 and the Patriotic League.
15 Q. Now, in the same paragraph --
16 A. I apologise. And many of them in fact remained throughout the
17 time of the conflict until 1995, and there were some of them who even
18 were in units of the territorial units. And after June, when the VRS was
19 organised, they actually joined the units of the Army of Republika Srpska
20 and discharged specific duties there. I can tell you their names, if
21 need -- if necessary. I can name a few by name.
22 Q. You have identified in paragraph 8 and today that you were
23 mobilised. Into what formation were you mobilised? Was this the VRS?
24 A. At that time, the Crisis Staff was active and the Territorial
25 Defence, they were the army. That was April. And the Army of Republika
1 Srpska was set up only after June, perhaps in the first half of July.
2 But until that time, it was a Territorial Defence that was active
3 comprising these units of so-called village guards who were gathered,
4 rallied and so on.
5 The army was organised, two brigades were organised in July, the
6 11th and the 12th Light Infantry Brigade, and of course the officers at
7 the orders of the commander Marko Kovac. Until that time we had a
8 Territorial Defence which consisted of people who had rifles in their
9 arms but they were civilians in civilian clothing and they had no
10 equipment to speak of. These were people with rifle in hand, infantry
11 weapons. Even when the army of the Republika Srpska was formed up, it
12 was the Light Infantry Brigade, which actually meant that they had
13 infantry rifles.
14 Q. After you were mobilised, did you at any time receive instruction
15 in the laws of war and how to deal with enemy prisoners and civilians
16 encountered during combat?
17 A. On several occasions, as people got mobilised, they would be
18 lined up in front of the secondary school centre. I was in one of those
19 lineups. I was engaged as a combatant. They read to us the conventions
20 on international war law and I had been familiar with those in view of my
21 profession already. And they literally read out everything which is in
22 the conventions, namely how a fighter, a soldier, should conduct himself,
23 how the officers should behave, how the population should be protected.
24 And there should be no torching, no killing. And if there were prisoners
25 of war taken prisoner as fighters, there could be no summary judgements.
1 They should be put on trial, their responsibility actually investigated,
2 and that was all read out to us. It was not only read out to me; it was
3 read out to the entire lineup. I was standing at attention as that was
4 being read.
5 Q. Okay.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, could I seek clarification on two
8 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: First you said you were familiar with the laws of
10 war in view of your profession. Your profession at that time was what?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am a jurist. Now I'm a
12 pensioner, so I learned about laws of war during my studies.
13 JUDGE ORIE: My second question is: Did you learn that prisoners
14 of war should be put on trial?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No trials were conducted of
16 civilians at all. If they were brought into places, they were there to
17 be protected. But those who torched Serbian villages --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- there were no trials. There is
20 not a single judgement in Foca handed down to anyone, not the members of
21 the Green Berets or the Patriotic League.
22 JUDGE ORIE: If I give you a signal to stop, please stop talking.
23 My question was and I read to you what you initially said: "There should
24 be no torching, no killing. And if there were prisoners of war taken
25 prisoner as fighters, there could be no summary judgements. They should
1 be put on trial."
2 Do I understand that you learned that prisoners of war taken
3 prisoner as fighters should be put on trial?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not what I said. There was
5 not a single judgement to such persons. They would be brought in.
6 Perhaps they were subjected to investigation, but there were no
7 judgements, there were no trials conducted against such persons. Against
8 such persons, I don't know about that. I know that there were no trials.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I was not asking whether there were trials but
10 whether you were taught that prisoners of war should be put at trial.
11 Whether it happened is a different matter.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. When these regulations, laws
13 of war and these conventions were being read out to us, it was never said
14 that they would be put on trial but that they would be treated in
15 compliance with the rules of the laws of war.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, there may be a translation issue, but
17 what I just read to the witness sounds different. If there is any
18 translation issue, please let the Chamber know. Otherwise, we'll -- and
19 then of course we will verify it. If not, however, then we'll just take
20 it that the witness said what is on the record.
21 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
23 MR. IVETIC:
24 Q. Now, sir, at paragraphs -- you have two paragraph 10s in your
25 statement, both of which occur at pages 2 to 3 in the English and 2 to 3
1 in the Serbian, and in both paragraphs you mention paramilitaries. Where
2 did these paramilitaries come from?
3 A. Well, frankly speaking, I don't exactly know where they came
4 from. They crossed the borders with Montenegro, with Serbia, and from
5 some parts of Croatia, and via Dubrovnik and so. But who they were, what
6 they were, I don't know.
7 Q. What were they doing in Foca? What kind of activities?
8 A. There was not an order of the Crisis Staff or the Territorial
9 Defence that they acted upon. They came of their own accord. They were
10 independent in their actions. And when the Territorial Defence of the
11 Serbian Foca had put things in order and when peace prevailed in the
12 city, the focus shifted to the villages, and these units were more in the
13 villages as of then.
14 Q. Okay. Did they cause any problems with the local population?
15 A. Yes, yes. They did cause problems, both for Serbs and for the
16 Muslim population in a specific way. Well, to tell you frankly, from
17 what I could see and observe and assess, they were more looters than
18 anything else, these groups. And they were removed.
19 The Crisis Staff, while we had the Territorial Defence and
20 especially later, after the setting up of the VRS, they were eliminated,
21 they were thrown out. They were told in no uncertain terms that they are
22 undesirable in Foca and that they had to leave, and they left our area.
23 They were active for a brief time, maybe in April, until the end of
24 April, from the 8th of April until the end of April.
25 Q. Now, you said, "especially later after the setting up of the VRS,
1 they were eliminated." Did anyone come from outside Foca to resolve the
2 paramilitary problem?
3 A. There was a constant conflict going on between them and the
4 Territorial Defence and the Crisis Staff, but finally and formally that
5 was resolved after June. Ratko Mladic also came to Foca and he put
6 things in order, completely the way it should be and the way the army,
7 the future army of our Republika Srpska should actually comport
8 themselves. As far as I can recall, it was either July or late June when
9 Ratko Mladic arrived in Foca for the first time.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask one question to clarify? You said they
12 were looters and they were thrown out. But were they not investigated
13 and arrested?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, some were arrested and
15 brought in, but there was no particular investigation, in fact. Many of
16 them just left, left in an unknown direction, probably left to wherever
17 it was that they had come from.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us the names of some who were
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I really do not know a single
21 one. I just know -- I could recognise the faces of some and I do not
22 know their first names or their last names or to what groups they
23 belonged or what the name of the group was. I don't know that at all.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And those arrested, what was done with them? Were
25 they investigated? Were they prosecuted?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think that they were
2 detained because that would have caused huge conflict between the
3 paramilitary forces and our Territorial Defence prior to the
4 establishment of the VRS.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
6 MR. IVETIC: I'd like to now call up document 1D04145 in e-court.
7 Q. Sir, are you familiar with this publication that's on the screen?
8 A. Yes. Yes, I'm familiar with it. This is the paper called Vox,
9 which quite a long time before the war broke out was published by the
10 Muslims, and Senad Pasic, nicknamed Saja, was actually the main
11 protagonist of that. I had it several times before in front of me. It
12 was a bi-weekly or a monthly; it is not a daily. But it was published.
13 It came out for quite some time.
14 Q. The individual that you identified as the protagonist of the
15 paper, Senad Pasic, nicknamed Saja, did he have links to any political
17 A. Yes, he did. He was the president of the SDA, local chapter, the
18 municipal organisation, and he cooperated closely with Alija Izetbegovic,
19 with Cengic, with Halid Cengic from Odzaci, from Ustikolina, et cetera.
20 He was a grocer. Actually, he had a shop. He traded in agricultural
21 produce, fruit, vegetables and such like.
22 Q. Was this publication distributed and read in Foca during 1991 and
24 A. I did not buy it, and I did not hear about its being sold, but it
25 was distributed. I had it before me, several issues in fact, on several
1 occasions. This paper had very vitriolic and dangerous messages,
2 vis-à-vis the Serb people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 Q. If we could turn to page 2 of the document in both languages,
4 there is an Article entitled, "What to do with Serbs in the Islamic
5 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina." Are you familiar with this article?
6 A. Yes, I am. I've read it several times, and to tell you honestly,
7 I do not remember all the details after so much time. But this article
8 sends the message how the Serbs could remain in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
9 how they should comport themselves, what lay in store for them. This is
10 something that when you read it, it really raises the hairs on your head
11 and you get goose bumps.
12 Q. What was the reaction of both Serbs and Muslims in Foca to this
13 article when it came out?
14 A. There were many Muslims too who were dissatisfied with what was
15 being written, with the fact that something of this kind was being
16 written, because there were good neighbourly relations and the
17 connections, many Muslims and many Serbs did not wish for this to happen
18 in Bosnia-Herzegovina or for any kind of war to be provoked. It was
19 quite clear to both Serbs and Muslims. The Muslims protested, they aired
20 their grievances, and the Serbs were very much afraid. They were
21 dreading because of what was in store for them.
22 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I would tender this document into
23 evidence at this time.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
25 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D4145 receives number D580, Your
2 JUDGE ORIE: D580 is admitted into evidence.
3 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
4 Q. Now, for my last topic, if we could turn back to D579, your
5 written statement, and page 3 in both languages, focusing on paragraph
6 12. Now, sir, in paragraph 12 you state that, "During April clashes in
7 Foca, Muslim places of worship, mosques, from where Muslims opened fire
8 and engaged us were destroyed or damaged."
9 I want to know, when and in what manner were these mosques
10 destroyed or damaged, as you state in this paragraph?
11 A. I apologise. I have to elaborate a bit on this particular
12 question, if you will allow me. Namely the Muslims started to arm
13 themselves quite early on, which they did through Focatrans. Perhaps the
14 Foca conflict, the Focatrans conflict between the Serbs and Muslim
15 workers there is known.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, that appears already in your statement.
17 There is no need to repeat what is already in your statement. So would
18 you please focus your answer on what Mr. Ivetic specifically asked you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. So when the Muslims
20 procured arms and imported weapons into Foca, they predominantly put them
21 in some places of worship. Some, not all. This is where they stored
22 their weapons, the explosive substances and such like.
23 Furthermore, in parallel, in some of those facilities, such as
24 the Pilav mosque in Gornje Polje, they trained the Green Berets and their
25 armed forces and the Patriotic League. There were quite a few people who
1 came from elsewhere, from other parts, from the Sandzak, for instance,
2 and with the war -- I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I didn't see you. I can stop
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because you're now explaining to us what
5 activities took place in those mosques, but the question was when and in
6 what manner the mosques were destroyed or damaged. That was the
7 question. Could you please focus on that?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These mosques were demolished, for
9 the most part, in conflicts, in combat activities, precisely because the
10 Muslims opened fire from the minarets of some of these mosques.
11 I personally could see Muslims shelling Serb positions and Serb houses
12 from some mosques.
13 And then on the other hand, later, sometime in 1995, after the
14 NATO forces fired several projectiles on Foca, these mosques, as very old
15 buildings, were damaged considerably and demolished. This is how these
16 places of worship came to be destroyed.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And can you then tell us perhaps a bit more detail.
18 Were they shelled or was it other arms that were used that caused the
19 damage or the destruction?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in 1995, there was in the
21 immediate vicinity around the bridges, the upper and lower Drina bridge
22 where these NATO shells impacted, that's where the places of worship
23 were, these old buildings, dilapidated buildings, 300 or 400 years old,
24 that is one thing.
25 And during the conflict, on the other hand, between the Serbs and
1 the Muslims, these facilities, one of these --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the name.
3 A. -- was demolished because the recoilless gun was the heaviest
4 piece of weaponry that the Territorial Defence had, and its shell could,
5 if it fell on a mosque, it could destroy it. But it was only used
6 against facilities where there were Muslim forces opening fire against
7 Serb houses and Serb positions.
8 JUDGE ORIE: You distinguished between the damage done during
9 combat in, I understand, the early stages of the conflict, and you told
10 us about NATO shelling. Did NATO shells hit mosques or was it -- or were
11 they damaged by NATO shells?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Not a single projectile fell
13 on the mosques, but they did fall in the vicinity of the mosques. Some
14 mosques were nearer; some were farther. The nearer ones were damaged. I
15 know that when the shells landed on the bridges and around the bridges
16 and on some other facilities, my flat also was completely devastated.
17 All the glass panes were shattered. The door jambs were actually
18 dislodged. And this was the kind of fire that was opened. So we were
19 also collateral damage, and that was collateral damage generally.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Let's focus on the mosques. Could you tell us
21 which -- first of all, did you personally observe the shelling by NATO
22 that damaged mosques?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I personally did see.
24 For instance, the mosque near --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us what impact was closest to a
1 mosque so as to damage it?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Around 100 or 150 metres, in that
3 circle there were several mosques which are in the town of Foca.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us on what those shells or the
5 closest shell impacted? Was that an open space? Was that a street? Was
6 that a house? Was that a military facility? Could you tell us on what
7 the closest shell, as you said, 100 or 150 metres away from the mosque,
8 on what it exactly impacted?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They hit the bridges on the Drina
10 and the repeater on the Kumur. That's a military installation of the
11 former Yugoslav army.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
13 Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
14 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
15 Q. Now, in this same paragraph of your statement, paragraph 12, you
16 talk of your personal observations at the Pilav mosque and what you saw
17 there. What I want to know is what year was this? Was it before or
18 after the war started?
19 A. At the Pilav mosque in Gornje Polje, training went on of the
20 Green Berets. That was considerably before the war broke out in Foca.
21 That was in March and in February 1992. I personally went into this
22 mosque later to see, because I was interested because a man worked with
23 me who was called Pilav, the Pilav mosque, and when he told me what had
24 had happened in the Pilav mosque, he told me it has fallen upon this
25 generation to reconstruct this mosque. But it was not reconstruction, it
1 was actually training, because there was a blackboard in this mosque and
2 I don't see that a blackboard is used for prayers to Allah.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you, sir, for your answers.
4 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, that ends the examination. I see we
5 are also at the time for the break.
6 JUDGE ORIE: It is time for the break.
7 We will take a break of 20 minutes, Mr. Vujicic. After the
8 break, you'll be cross-examined. You may follow the usher.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE ORIE: We will resume at 10 minutes to 11.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
14 [The witness takes the stand]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, before we start, three hours were
16 announced. Is that what you really need?
17 MS. BIBLES: No, Your Honour, I expect to come in substantially
18 under that time.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Vujicic, you'll now be cross-examined by
20 Ms. Bibles, you'll find her to your right. Ms. Bibles is counsel for the
22 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Cross-examination by Ms. Bibles:
24 Q. Good morning, sir.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. I'd like to start by asking some background questions, but
2 I think I'll preface my questioning by commenting or asking you to do a
3 favour. You've testified that you were a jurist during your career so
4 you would understand the importance of listening carefully to the
5 question and then, please, only answering the question that I've asked.
6 Can you agree to do that?
7 A. I shall refrain as much as I can. I understand. You are right
8 in what you're saying. That's very important. That is simultaneous
9 interpretation. One has to understand the question and respond only
11 Q. Sir, you've testified that Foca was a large -- the largest
12 municipality in Bosnia. I want to just go over a few features of Foca.
13 First, is it true that it bordered with Montenegro to the south?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And Gorazde, which was a Muslim enclave during the war, is on the
16 northeastern border of Foca municipality?
17 A. From Foca, downstream about 30 kilometres. That is how far away
18 the town of Gorazde is from the town of Foca.
19 Q. And the Drina River flows right through the middle of Foca town;
20 is that correct?
21 A. Not through the centre. Foca is on the right bank of the Drina,
22 more than 90 per cent of it, and the Drina flows to Gorazde on the left,
23 but then through Gorazde it basically goes through the centre of town.
24 So Gorazde is both on the left and right banks of the Drina River.
25 Q. Sir, you would agree that the area known as the Sarajevo
1 municipalities shared a border with the north central part of Foca?
2 A. Foca had a border with the western part of the municipality of
3 Gacko, then Nevesinje, and to the east Trnovo. Partly in the local
4 commune of Jabuka, there was the area of Jahorina and there was the
5 border with the municipality of Pale there, and then what I've already
6 said, Gorazde. And what I've already said, Montenegro.
7 Q. Sir --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, even in my wildest imagination, I could
9 not think of any dispute about these geographical matters. Now, if you
10 need them for the witness, then just put it to him and ask your
11 questions. But we have now spent a couple of minutes just on the layout
12 of the municipalities, et cetera, which is really superfluous, I would
13 say. We have maps, by the way. Please proceed.
14 MS. BIBLES:
15 Q. Sir, would you agree that all of these locations, the Drina, the
16 various Sarajevo municipalities, and the Montenegrin border, were all
17 important locations or points for the Bosnian Serb leadership?
18 MR. IVETIC: Objection; calls for speculation.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, if you could first explore what the
20 witness knows about the positions taken by the Bosnian Serb leadership,
21 then we can continue.
22 MS. BIBLES:
23 Q. Sir --
24 MS. BIBLES: Actually, Your Honours I'll return to this. I'll
25 move on from this point and come back to it a little bit later.
1 Q. Sir, would you agree that in 1991, a slight majority of the
2 residents in Foca were Muslims?
3 A. This is what I can say to you.
4 Q. Sir, moving on, you were mobilised on or about the 26th of April
5 1992. Is that correct?
6 A. I don't understand the question. What was that, the 26th of
8 Q. Is it true that you were mobilised on or about the 26th of April
10 A. Exactly on the 26th of April. That was the first day of my
11 mobilisation. That was the 26th of April. It was Easter.
12 Q. Sir, am I correct that you remained in the military until 1994?
13 A. Yes, until June 1994.
14 Q. Who was your commander?
15 A. Well, what can I say? They changed. They --
16 Q. Sir, let's start, then, who was your commander when you were
17 initially mobilised?
18 A. It was Zoran Vukovic, commander of the 1st Battalion, and I was
19 mobilised into that battalion as a soldier, a marksman in the trenches.
20 Q. Now, when you testified today at transcript page 11, temporary
21 transcript page 11, line 24, there may have been a mistake when you
22 discussed the 11th and 12th Foca Light Infantry Brigade. What were the
23 correct numbers for the brigades from Foca?
24 A. Well, the 11th and 12th Light Infantry Brigade of Foca, two
25 brigades. They were established only after the month of June. Say up
1 until the 15th of July, and until that time, there was the Territorial
2 Defence and there was the Crisis Staff that was in charge of this
3 Territorial Defence. There were combatants from villages who defended
4 their villages, and they all grouped together and that's how the
5 Territorial Defence was established. And it operated, say, up until the
6 15th of July 1992.
7 Q. Sir, which of the Foca Light Infantry Brigades were you a part
9 A. The 1st Battalion of the Light Infantry Brigade, the 12th.
10 Q. And just to be clear, is it true that the order incorporating the
11 Serb forces of Foca into the VRS was by order dated 29 June 1992?
12 A. I don't know. I just know that up until that time, there was the
13 Territorial Defence, and there was the order of Marko Kovac of this
14 tactical group to establish units of the Army of Republika Srpska up
15 until the 5th or 6th or 15th of July --
16 Q. Sir --
17 A. -- that year, 1992.
18 MS. BIBLES: If we could see P2838 on our screens?
19 Q. Sir, as this document comes up, I'd first like you to just take a
20 look at the document and then I will have a question for you. Sir, is
21 this the order by Kovac that you were just describing?
22 A. Yes. This is an order of the commander of the tactical group,
23 Marko Kovac. This was the very beginning, and then from that moment
24 onwards, the territorial units were supposed to grow into the Army of
25 Republika Srpska. I don't remember these deadlines very well. It's been
1 a long time. But I remember full well that it was Marko Kovac's order.
2 It was the end of June, the 29th of June, on the basis of an order of a
3 higher command. This was issued --
4 Q. Thank you, sir. The date 29th June, has that been refreshed,
5 then, by looking at this document?
6 A. This is correct, the 29th of June. That's when the order was
7 issued. And as for the --
8 Q. Thank you, sir.
9 A. There was this deadline up until when the units of the VRS were
10 supposed to be established in Foca.
11 Q. Sir, again, I'll remind you, if you can listen very closely to
12 the question I'm asking and simply answer the question.
13 I'm next going to shift gears a little bit and talk about or ask
14 you about some of the commanders of the Bosnian Serb units in Foca.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before you do that, can I ask a question?
16 MS. BIBLES: Yes.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, you've been talking about the 11th and the
18 12th Light Infantry Brigade. I see this order refers to the 1st Foca
19 Light Infantry Brigade. Could there be a mistake somewhere? Or did you
20 belong to the 1st Light Infantry Brigade and not the 12th?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To tell you the truth, when I was
22 mobilised -- well, maybe afterwards it was the 11th and the 12th. Maybe
23 it was just the Light Infantry Brigade of Foca. I don't remember very
24 well. I was not really in these military commands. I was a rifleman at
25 the separation line, this administration line between Gorazde and Foca,
1 Zebina Suma. That's what this area is called and I stayed there all the
2 way up until 1994. Maybe it was just this one Light Infantry Brigade and
3 then later on two were formed out of that one, the 11th and the 12th.
4 But all of this was up until the end of June. After the month of June,
5 as I've already said, the Army of Republika Srpska was established and
6 this went on all the way up until mid-July that year.
7 MS. BIBLES: If we could turn to the second page of this
9 Q. And sir, at the top of the page, you'll see that this order
10 distinguishes which battalions are in the 1st Foca Light Infantry Brigade
11 and which are in the 2nd Foca Light Infantry Brigade. Now, looking at
12 this, it appears that you would have been in the 2nd Foca Light Infantry
13 Brigade; is that correct?
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In the B/C/S it's not on the top of the page.
15 MS. BIBLES: I'm sorry. Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. About halfway down the page, sir, do you see the division of the
17 two brigades?
18 A. I don't know when this Territorial Defence was divided up into
19 these brigades but at the time when I was mobilised, I was mobilised into
20 the 1st Battalion. I think it was the 12th Light Infantry Brigade.
21 That's what it was called then. Later on, these brigades were abolished
22 and they all became one brigade in 1994.
23 Q. Sir, I just want to ask a question. You seem to have trouble
24 remembering some of the details from back then. Is that -- is that a
25 difficulty for you in remembering details from 1992?
1 A. Well, some details. Well, at my age, 22 years later, it's
2 possible that I don't remember some details. But what is important is
3 the question. And then if I remember later, I will tell you. But if
4 I simply cannot remember, then I'm going to tell you that too, that
5 I simply cannot state anything because I don't remember. So that would
6 be it.
7 Q. Sir, I'd like to shift topics and I'd like to ask you what you
8 know or what you remember about some of the commanders of the Bosnian
9 Serb units in Foca.
10 First, Brane Kosevic led an intervention unit; is that correct?
11 A. This is the first time that I hear this name, now, from you.
12 I really cannot say anything because I have never heard of this name
14 Q. How about Gojko Jankovic? Was he a commander that you recall?
15 A. I remember Gojko Jankovic, not Jerkovic. You know what? I've
16 already said that this Territorial Defence consisted of Muslim forces.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Village guards.
18 A. Jankovic was somewhere from Brod, near Suceska. He was not the
19 commander. He was, I mean, the commander of some reconnaissance unit,
20 the so-called intervention unit which later on, when Foca calmed down,
21 when there were no problems, when there were no clashes, then the war
22 continued in the villages. And then Gojko was out in the field and he
23 was observing how and where --
24 JUDGE ORIE: The simple question was whether you were familiar
25 with that name, and Ms. Bibles will then put further --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, correct. I do know the
2 name, yes, Gojko Jankovic. I know Gojko Jankovic. Yes, Gojko Jankovic.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Wait for the next question, what Ms. Bibles would
4 like to further ask you.
5 MS. BIBLES:
6 Q. Do you know who he reported to?
7 A. There was the tactical group or rather the Crisis Staff, and it
8 was in charge of the Territorial Defence. To tell you the truth, the
9 Crisis Staff, as far as individuals are concerned, I really don't know.
10 Very often they would not have one particular officer in charge,
11 especially in the beginning.
12 Q. Sir --
13 A. It was a question of saving Serb villages.
14 Q. Sir, if you could try to focus your answers on the very specific
15 questions that I've asked.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, in all fairness to the witness, if you
17 ask to whom he was reporting, then the witness may not know whether you
18 intended to say what entity or what person, and he explained that. So to
19 that extent, I would think that he focused on your question. Please
21 MS. BIBLES:
22 Q. I'd like to direct your attention to Pero Elez. Which battalion
23 was he the commander for?
24 A. I don't know whether he was battalion commander for a while, but
25 I know that he was a commander of a group in the area of Miljevina. Pero
1 Elez from Miljevina, I knew had him personally. He was killed during the
3 Q. I'd like to shift gears now and talk a little bit about your
4 political role, both before and then after the war. Is it true that you
5 lived in the largest local commune in Foca?
6 A. Yes. That's true. The local commune of Gornje Polje, I had two
7 terms of office as president of that local commune and then the war
8 started during my second term of office.
9 Q. I'd like to ask just a couple of questions about that. Before
10 the war, first, were you a member of the SDS?
11 A. Yes. But before the war, or actually just before the conflict
12 broke out, I was a member of the SDS. I became a member then, but I was
13 not part of any of the SDS organs, the municipal organisation of the SDS.
14 Q. So, sir, your position as president of the local commune before
15 the war was a purely municipal function as opposed to the SDS position?
16 A. Well, the local commune, according to the constitution that was
17 in force then, was a territorial organisation. It was called a local
18 commune, it had certain functions within the civilian authorities, and
19 everything that happened happened in cooperation with the municipal
20 organs and the municipal administration.
21 Q. Sir --
22 A. It resolved the problems of the citizens in that area. It had
23 its statute, it had its organs, and so on and so forth.
24 MS. BIBLES: In that vein, if we could bring 65 ter 08611 to our
25 screens, please?
1 Q. Sir, this is the Official Gazette of the Serbian Municipality of
2 Foca. If we could start at page 1 in both languages. Starting at the
3 page that's on our screen, we read, "First session of the Assembly of the
4 Serbian municipality of Foca," and, "pursuant to the decision to
5 establish the Assembly of the Serbian People in Bosnia-Herzegovina of 25
6 December 1991," and then after some legal language, it notes, "the
7 decision to establish the Assembly of the Serbian People in Foca
9 Is this -- what we are looking at here, is that what you were
10 just describing in your testimony?
11 A. No. I was not an assemblyman. I did not work in the
12 administration of the municipality or in the executive organs or in the
13 assembly of the municipality. I had no function there whatsoever. The
14 session where this was promulgated, all of that had nothing to do with
15 me. And to tell you the truth, I know that this was promulgated, but
16 this is the first time that I see this decision before me.
17 MS. BIBLES: If we could turn to page 3 in the English at Article
18 6 but stay on page 1 in the B/C/S version.
19 Q. If I could have you look at Article 6, sir, we see, "The assembly
20 of Serbian people in Foca municipality shall recognise the validity of
21 all federal regulations." Does this mean regulations, sir, from the
22 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
23 A. Yes. Since the Municipal Assembly was established in the
24 beginning of the war actually, I wanted to say that there weren't any
25 regulations in force. So everything that existed in the days of the
1 former Yugoslavia and the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in terms of
2 republican regulations and federal regulations, it says here that all of
3 that should be taken over and that all of this will be acknowledged until
4 new regulations are passed.
5 MS. BIBLES: Now, if we could move to the top of page 4 in the
6 English and the middle of the second column in page 1 in the B/C/S.
7 Q. We see the date for this entry is 25 December 1991. Now, sir,
8 the Chamber has received evidence that just a few days before this, the
9 main board of the SDS issued instructions that Serb assemblies should be
10 created. Were you aware of those instructions?
11 A. No. No. Really. I did not know about that. I did not have
12 those instructions before me. I never saw that. I really don't know.
13 I didn't even go into that kind of thing. It was the beginning of the
14 war. There was a lot of commotion, a lot of nervousness. So many things
15 and all sorts of things. And I didn't really go into any of that. As a
16 matter of fact I thought --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you said you didn't know. That's the
18 answer to the question.
19 Ms. Bibles.
20 MS. BIBLES: Thank you. Now, if we could go to page 14 in the
21 English, and unfortunately, I am not sure where to go in the B/C/S. I
22 believe it's the second page. I apologise for that.
23 MR. IVETIC: Third page, I believe.
24 MS. BIBLES: Thank you. That's it.
25 Q. Sir, you did talk about the Statute of the -- I believe the Serb
1 municipality of Foca. Were you present at the Assembly of the Serbian
2 People in Foca on --
3 JUDGE ORIE: I think it's zoomed in on the wrong part of the
4 page. The Statute seems to be a little bit higher up on the right-hand
5 side. Could we just check that --
6 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: -- where it reads, "Statute." Right side of the
8 page, approximately the middle, that's where I see in Cyrillic,
9 "Statute." Yes.
10 MS. BIBLES:
11 Q. All right. Sir, were you present at the assembly on the 3rd of
12 April 1992, when this was officially promulgated?
13 A. As I've already said, I was not an assemblyman. I was not -- I
14 had no relevance to the municipality. I was talking about the Statute of
15 the local commune, not the Statute of the municipality. So nobody
16 invited me to this.
17 JUDGE ORIE: The question was whether you were present in
18 whatever capacity. Were you present or were you not present when this
19 was promulgated?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I was not present.
21 JUDGE ORIE: That answers the question.
22 MS. BIBLES:
23 Q. Sir, before we leave this page, I'll note that the new
24 municipality was part of the Serb Autonomous Region of Herzegovina. This
25 was the political entity the Serbs had declared the previous fall, wasn't
2 A. I cannot say anything about that, really. It was not something
3 that I was concerned with much actually.
4 JUDGE ORIE: But were you aware that there was a Serb Autonomous
5 Region of Herzegovina been declared?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What do I know? I cannot answer
7 that, really, because I'm not familiar with that thing.
8 JUDGE ORIE: But did you know that it existed at all or were you
9 unaware of the establishment of such a --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I knew that the municipality of
11 Foca, that there had been an Assembly of the Serbian People in Foca, that
12 this statute was adopted. But I didn't participate and how it all
13 unfolded I cannot say anything about that, whether it was part of eastern
14 Herzegovina. But I know that it is territorially linked with eastern
16 JUDGE ORIE: That, again, was not my question. I mean, you said
17 you were a lawyer. Were you aware of the establishment of something that
18 was called the Serb Autonomous Region of Herzegovina? Did you read it?
19 Did you hear it? Did you know about it in any other way?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not know about it.
21 JUDGE ORIE: If you don't know, then that has answered the
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not know about it, nor had
24 I read about it. I was at the front-line.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it's the position of the Prosecution that it
1 was established in fall 1991. So, therefore, you were not at the
2 front-line at that time, were you?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not at the front-line, but
4 neither was I in any of the municipal bodies and I did not have anything
5 to do with the preparation or the adoption of this.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And the witness said he wasn't aware of it. Let's
8 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, I'd ask that the gazette be MFIed.
9 I'll discuss with Defence counsel whether we can reach an agreement as to
10 whether certain portions of the contents should be tendered.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number?
12 THE REGISTRAR: Document 8611 receives number P6680, Your
14 JUDGE ORIE: P6680 is marked for identification.
15 MS. BIBLES:
16 Q. Now, sir, you have previously testified in the Karadzic case on
17 the 17th of January 2013. Do you recall testifying in the Karadzic case?
18 A. I do. That was last year, in January.
19 Q. Thank you. And, sir, you have signed two witness statements for
20 this Tribunal. Is it accurate that one was for the Karadzic case, for
21 the Karadzic Defence, and one was for the Mladic Defence?
22 A. Yes. I signed one for the Defence -- for the Mladic Defence
23 recently and previously I had signed one for the Karadzic Defence. And
24 when I signed for the Defences of Karadzic and Mladic, I stated that
25 I would say what I knew, whether it was in my favour or not.
1 JUDGE ORIE: The simple question was whether you gave those two
2 statements. The answer apparently is yes.
3 Please proceed.
4 MS. BIBLES:
5 Q. Sir --
6 A. Let us go on.
7 Q. Sir, would you agree with me that your statement in the Karadzic
8 case is 33 paragraphs long? Would you have any reason to dispute that?
9 A. I know that I gave the statement. I do not recall exactly how
10 long it was.
11 Q. Sir, today, for reference, at temporary transcript page 15,
12 starting at line 22, you testified that Ratko Mladic came to Foca in June
13 of 1992. Would you agree with me that this information is not in your
14 Mladic statement, in your Karadzic statement, or in your Karadzic
16 A. As far as I can recall, I didn't say that in the Karadzic case.
17 But as regards June, I cannot tell you with precision whether he came in
18 June or July. But he did come to Foca around the time the VRS was
19 constituted and organised, and that was at the end of June 1992.
20 Q. Sir --
21 JUDGE ORIE: The gist of the question was whether you ever
22 mentioned this before, either in the statement or in your testimony, and
23 that is today for the first time that you referred to that visit. And
24 I do understand your answer to be that you confirm that it's the first
25 time, today, that you mention it. Is that correctly understood?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. I didn't say so in the
2 Karadzic case.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Bibles.
4 MS. BIBLES:
5 Q. Did you mention or did you talk about this visit of Mladic to
6 Foca during any of your meetings with the Mladic Defence?
7 A. I did not see Mladic with my own eyes. I only know that --
8 JUDGE ORIE: I immediately stop you again. The question was
9 whether, in your conversations with the Mladic Defence, whether you had
10 mentioned this visit of Mr. Mladic to Foca in June, at whatever date.
11 Did you mention that?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Which Defence of Mladic's? I do
13 not know that man at all.
14 JUDGE ORIE: No. You were interviewed by members of the Mladic
15 Defence team, weren't you?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now --
17 JUDGE ORIE: In March of this year.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I know that -- generally know
19 that Ratko Mladic once came to Foca in 1992.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Again, you're not answering the questions. The
21 question is: During the interview which, as we see on the record, was
22 conducted in March of this year, did you mention to those who interviewed
23 you the visit of Mr. Mladic? Did you mention that during that interview?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To tell you frankly, I do not
25 remember. I might have mentioned it, if I had been asked about it or had
1 had I been asked about it.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles.
3 MS. BIBLES: If we could have 65 ter 30981 on our screens.
4 Q. Sir, this is the statement that you gave to the Karadzic Defence.
5 I'd like ask you some questions about some issues which you address in
6 your Karadzic statement which have not been included in your Mladic
8 If we could go to paragraph 3, when this comes up. Sir, in
9 paragraph 3, you describe the Serbian Democratic Party holding a rally in
10 Foca in September 1991 attended by representatives of the Serbian parties
11 from other municipalities. Do you recall this information? Just "yes"
12 or "no".
13 A. I do recall it, yes. It was in September and present were --
14 Q. Later in the same paragraph, you say that that year, which we
15 understand to be 1991:
16 "Both national parties started their own preparations to protect
17 the people. The SDA prepared the Muslims and the Serbian side prepared
18 the Serbs. This involved obtaining weapons for the people through secret
19 channels, but I do not know exactly where and how."
20 Simply, do you stand by this evidence?
21 A. Well, I cannot stand by these words exactly to the effect that
22 the Serbian Democratic Party was preparing the Serbian people for
23 something like that. But I do know well what the situation was like when
24 it came to the illegal arming, especially of Muslims in the city of Foca,
25 and how that unfolded. When they saw that, the Serbs started arming
1 themselves a bit later, and procuring weapons in different ways. This is
2 what I can say.
3 Q. So, sir, just to make sure I understand the answer, and that is
4 that you do not at this point stand by your evidence as presented in the
5 Karadzic statement as to that point?
6 A. I do stand in respect of the Serbian Democratic Party, namely
7 that they started doing so later. But for a while, when it comes to the
8 preparation for war, it was rather passive, the SDS was rather passive
9 relative to the SDA.
10 Q. Sir, I'd like to move now to paragraph 18.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, unless you would leave that for a later
12 stage, I would need an explanation for the witness about the change. But
13 if you deal with it at a later stage, I'll refrain from asking any
14 questions at this moment.
15 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, perhaps we should stay on page -- this
16 may be a good time to address that.
17 JUDGE ORIE: So you say it's better not at this moment. I'll let
18 you proceed.
19 MS. BIBLES: Well, Your Honour, obviously, if --
20 JUDGE ORIE: If you deal with the matter in the way you have
21 planned, then I'm happy, but it's not something that we should ignore.
22 MS. BIBLES:
23 Q. Sir, in paragraph 18, you say, "I also know that the JNA, which
24 had smaller units guarding military facilities in the Foca area,
25 completely pulled out from Foca in May 1992."
1 Do you stand by this statement?
2 A. Not in May, and before -- in March, and before March, it is then
3 that they started to withdraw. They had their depots, their warehouses,
4 and they were evacuating them and taking materiel away. And this was a
5 long time ago -- a long time before the war broke out in Foca. So these
6 depots were evacuated. These military facilities were in Ustikolina and
7 Gorazde and they were under Muslim control. So it was not in May. This
8 army did not exist. There was no army in Foca at all. We only had the
9 Territorial Defence then, not the army.
10 Q. Sir, so just to make sure that I'm clear, this information in
11 paragraph 18, where you describe the JNA pulling out from Foca in May of
12 1992, is it your testimony today that you no longer stand by that
14 A. The way it is written here, I said that the Yugoslav army
15 withdrew from Bosnia-Herzegovina sometime in May, but not from Foca.
16 There was no Yugoslav army in Foca at all.
17 Q. Sir, if we could move on now to paragraph 20, in paragraph 20,
18 you say:
19 "I do not know who took what from the JNA facilities, and I
20 cannot say much about that. All I know is that the depots found by the
21 armed forces of Republika Srpska after the withdrawal of the JNA became
22 property of the Serbian armed units. A large part of the equipment,
23 heavy weapons and the like, were subsequently taken by the JNA units with
24 them. The weapons which the Serbian forces seized in these depots were
25 mainly infantry weapons. I know that the Muslim forces locked the depot
1 at Ustikolina and took from the depot shelves anti-tank mines and the
2 like, weapons which killed most Serbian soldiers. The military depots
3 were held --"
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could you move to the next page --
5 MS. BIBLES: Oh, yes, thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- in English.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is correct, what you've said.
8 MS. BIBLES:
9 Q. "The military depots were held by the Muslim forces until
11 Do you stand by this evidence today?
12 A. They left a bit before that, because that was sometime in late
13 April, towards the end of April, that the Muslim forces, which held the
14 military depots in Ustikolina left. But these depots were totally empty.
15 They were empty, first of all, because the Yugoslav army had long ago, in
16 February that year, carted away everything of interest, and the rest
17 which remained was distributed by the Muslim forces to their fighters so
18 that when we entered those depots they were completely empty.
19 Q. Sir, in mid-May or, if I'm understanding your testimony today,
20 perhaps earlier than that, is it correct, then, that the military depots
21 were taken by the Bosnian Serb forces?
22 A. The Serb forces entered those depots, and the one in Ustikolina,
23 three days after Easter. I was in that unit so I know well that they
24 entered Ustikolina on the 28th or the 29th. I'm not sure. It might be a
25 couple of days. But I do know that there was absolutely nothing in those
1 depots. These were completely empty hangars.
2 Q. Sir, was one of the military depots in - I'm going to spell it -
3 Livade, L-i-v-a-d-e?
4 A. No. At Livade was the Territorial Defence and they had infantry
5 weapons for the training of the Territorial Defence there. In those
6 depots, when the war flared up, those depots were entered by the Serb
7 forces of the Territorial Defence and the Muslim forces entered the
8 penitentiary, the KP Dom, and there were infantry weapons on both sides.
9 And the Muslim forces also entered Focatrans, and these weapons were
10 predominantly for training purposes.
11 Q. Sir, moving on to a different topic within your statement in the
12 Karadzic case, if we could move to paragraph 16, you also described
13 non-Serbs leaving Foca. In this paragraph you say:
14 "The Muslim inhabitants from the town --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could we wait for a second so we can have the
16 relevant portion enlarged for the witness.
17 MS. BIBLES: Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
19 MS. BIBLES: Thank you.
20 Q. You also describe non-Serbs leaving Foca in this paragraph. Here
21 you say:
22 "The Muslim inhabitants from the town started leaving Foca, going
23 to other locations outside Foca and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro,
24 Serbia, the Dubrovnik area, the Adriatic coast, and Macedonia."
25 So can you confirm that you know Muslims fled from Foca across
1 the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina into other countries?
2 A. I can tell you that that happened. Some left before the
3 conflict, and most of them withdrew together with the Green Berets and
4 the Patriotic League. But at the same time, Serb civilians also left,
5 and many buildings in Foca town remained deserted. In my own building,
6 there were 40 flats and only I remained and another person. Everybody
7 else had left.
8 Q. Sir, I --
9 A. On a temporary basis, albeit.
10 Q. Sir, I just want you to confirm that you know that Muslims led --
11 fled from Foca across the borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina into other
13 A. I cannot confirm that they fled. They left because of the war.
14 Just like Serbs left Foca for a while. I can give you some details, if
15 you would like me to, how these matters unfolded. I had a friend who
16 called me, he said, "My house is damaged. I'm leaving, if you can look
17 after my house."
18 Q. Sir --
19 JUDGE ORIE: You've answered the question that you do confirm
20 that they left and I do understand that, that they left across the
21 borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina into other countries. Do you confirm that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Some of them left
24 and some remained in Foca, and they stated that they were leaving Foca in
25 order to reunite with their families. That is what I stand by.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but at the same time, what Ms. Bibles read to
2 you is that they went to other countries through Bosnia-Herzegovina. Do
3 you say that they reunited with their families in other countries?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. But nobody actually
5 expelled them from Foca. Some of them remained throughout the summer.
6 JUDGE ORIE: That wasn't the question. But since you're
7 insisting so much on it, how many stayed after all in Foca?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A great many remained in Foca, and
9 some of them remained throughout the war. They didn't go anywhere. Some
10 were in units of the VRS, Bosnians.
11 JUDGE ORIE: How many?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know the exact percentage
13 but a large number certainly remained. After the Green Berets -- when
14 the Green Berets were leaving Foca and after that, many civilians
15 remained and some families left occasionally after that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: You said that you don't know the exact percentage.
17 Was it more than 10?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] More than 10 per cent. Over 10 per
19 cent. Perhaps approximately 50 per cent remained in Foca town, and some
20 left towards Gorazde with Green Beret units. Where to, I don't know.
21 JUDGE ORIE: This Chamber also heard evidence that after the
22 initial conflict, that Foca was 99 per cent Serb. That's not true?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. The Serbs also left at that
24 time, and they returned after a certain period. But there were, in terms
25 of percentages, there were by far more Muslims in Foca. I know that
1 well. Other people can interpret it differently but I know that for a
2 fact. There were many more Muslims and many more than 10 per cent, that
4 JUDGE ORIE: After the conflict?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. After the conflict.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Proceed, Ms. Bibles. I said please
7 proceed but it's time for a break. Witness, if you would follow the
8 usher, we would take a break of 20 minutes.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at 10 minutes past 12.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 11.52 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.12 p.m.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, you may proceed.
15 MS. BIBLES: Thank you.
16 Q. We left off, sir, with paragraph 16 of your statement in
17 Karadzic. You continued on to say, referring to the Muslims:
18 "They asked to leave and for their relocation to be provided.
19 They requested buses free of charge and the buses were provided to them.
20 I was present when they asked for temporary relocation. Everything they
21 asked for was provided to them, and they were also told that no one was
22 forcing them to do this but they voluntarily decided to do it."
23 Sir, the request that you're discussing, this was made to the war
24 commission; isn't that correct?
25 A. It was made to some organs there. This was practically around
1 the Municipal Assembly, the Executive Board of the assembly. I remember
2 very well that I was present on one occasion when that happened and I
3 know that that's the way it was in general. What you read out is
4 correct. I have nothing else to say.
5 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, for the record, the war commission's
6 June 1992 decision on this point is P2822.
7 Q. Sir, you then go on to say:
8 "That was the situation in Foca municipality in 1992, after
9 which, due to such fierce interethnic clashes, Foca became practically a
10 complete Serbian area."
11 Now, do you stand by this statement, that Foca became practically
12 a complete Serbian area in 1992?
13 A. When we are talking about the authorities, it was the Serb
14 authorities, purely Serb. But there were Serbs, Muslims and Montenegrins
15 living there throughout the war. The population was mixed.
16 Q. Sir, just to make sure that I -- that we understand this, are you
17 saying that you do stand by your statement but that it doesn't read the
18 way it appears to read, or are you saying that you do not stand by your
19 statement that Foca became practically a complete Serbian area in 1992?
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Ms. Bibles, I think, in fairness -- excuse me,
21 sir. I think in fairness to the witness, the statement does say that
22 also if you read on in that same paragraph.
23 MS. BIBLES:
24 Q. Sir, to go on to finish the paragraph, you state:
25 "I cannot say that it remained a Serbian area because the Muslim
1 inhabitants had been expelled because no one forced them to leave. There
2 were those Muslims who safely remained in Foca for the duration of the
3 clashes while others fought in the units of the Army of Republika Srpska.
4 I know of at least ten of them."
5 Now, sir, trying to make sense of this, is the issue that you had
6 in this paragraph the notion that Muslims had been expelled or was it
7 the -- or was it a Serb municipality in 1992, a mostly Serb municipality?
8 A. Well, to say that they were expelled, that is mind-boggling, that
9 I would say something like that, that I would accept something like that?
10 No way. They left of their own free will. But then as far as the
11 authorities in the municipality, during the war, the authorities were
12 Serb but the population was Serb, Croatian, Montenegrin, Muslim, certain
13 percentages; other ethnic groups as well. That is what I can say. And
14 that is what I would accept as a statement.
15 Q. Sir, would you agree that you didn't mention the departure of
16 Muslims at any point in your Mladic statement?
17 A. What, in the statement? I'm sorry, I didn't quite understand the
19 Q. Sir, actually we'll move on to the conditions that the Muslims
20 lived in in Foca.
21 MR. IVETIC: For the record, paragraph 8 of the witness's
23 MS. BIBLES: That's where I was directing, to paragraph 8, if we
24 could go to that.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Lukic, I think paragraph 8 says the
1 women left the facility, not necessarily left Foca.
2 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, the third sentence, "The Muslims began
3 to leave Foca."
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles.
6 MS. BIBLES: Thank you.
7 Q. In paragraph 8 of the statement, let's go through this, you
8 describe measures that civilian authorities took to protect the Muslims
9 in Foca. You say first they brought Muslims from distant villages where
10 they could not be "controlled and protected to certain facilities in Foca
11 where they could be defended."
12 Do you affirm today that Muslims from the villages in Foca
13 municipality were brought to Foca town and brought to certain facilities
14 where they would be kept under guard?
15 A. A small part of the rural Muslim population in the municipality
16 of Foca withdrew with the armed Green Berets and the Patriotic League,
17 whereas some people, especially women, frail old men, et cetera, stayed
18 at home.
19 In order to protect that population, it was suggested or, rather,
20 the civilian and military authorities decided to take care of their
21 safety so that nothing undesirable would happen to that population. That
22 was it. Some centres were organised, like Partizan for women and so on.
23 So they came to Foca, and they saw Serb families, Muslim families, who
24 lived there, I mean this rural population. A large portion of the
25 population left on time and then some people just stayed at home, either
1 here or there, et cetera.
2 Q. When you say a large portion of the population left on time, what
3 is the time you're referring to?
4 A. At the time of the conflict and before the conflict, that's when
5 they withdrew. On both sides, there were -- there was fear, Serbs and
6 Muslims. My village, Vrbnica, on the slopes of Zelengora, a lot of
7 people left and the Muslim units took it without any resistance
9 Q. Sir, going on --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, could I ask one question?
11 In this statement given to the Karadzic Defence, you explained in
12 more detail than you did in the statement given to the Mladic Defence
13 about how the women were brought to the Partizan sports hall. You also
14 said the inhabitants of those villages who said they wanted to stay in
15 their homes were enabled to do so. Could you tell us how many stayed in
16 their homes despite the security offered to them?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In some houses, in certain
18 villages, there were some old men and also there were women there
19 throughout the war, and then later on they would link up with their own
20 family members at some point in time, which percentage and --
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear the end of the
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us how many approximately stayed in
24 those villages where they were offered security. That these were men and
25 women, I do understand. But could you tell us in a bit more detail how
1 many finally stayed in their houses and did not follow the invitation to
2 come to the Partizan sports hall?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You know what? You know what?
4 I've already explained that the municipality of Foca is very big, with
5 scattered villages, et cetera. After the Green Berets left and the
6 civilian population with them and before them, so here and there, in some
7 houses, there were some civilians left. And there were some people who
8 expressed their wish not to leave their homes and they stayed in those
9 houses then. As for others --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could I stop you there? Did you go to those houses,
11 to those villages, and were you present when people were left the choice
12 either to stay or to follow to the Partizan sports hall?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was in some places and I was not
14 in others. Where my unit went, that's where I was. That's where I was
16 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that this happened during the first
17 stages of the conflict when you were not yet in a unit. As you said, you
18 stood guard at the place where the women and children were kept. At that
19 time, did you go to the villages --
20 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not understand the
23 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I did not go to the village and
25 I don't know about that. I lived in town.
1 JUDGE ORIE: So you don't have firsthand knowledge of what was
2 told to those who were invited to come to the Partizan sports hall?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can just say here what it was
4 that I heard. But that I was on the spot before I was engaged, I cannot
5 say anything. I cannot say this; I cannot say that.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
7 Please proceed, Ms. Bibles.
8 MS. BIBLES:
9 Q. Going back to paragraph 8, you described that the second measure
10 the civilian authorities took to protect Muslims in Foca is by mopping up
11 the whole area of Foca municipality from Islamic soldiers and their
12 formations. Is it true that Foca municipality was completely mopped up
13 by the end of April?
14 A. No, no. Some areas had not been cleansed. There were Muslim
15 forces there keeping them under their control, like the local commune of
16 Suceska, Jelec, and so on. Suceska, all the way up until the month of
17 October, there were negotiations between them, to take care of things so
18 that no one would attack anyone, that there should be no incursions in
19 those villages and so on.
20 To tell you the truth, as far as Suceska was concerned, this was
21 violated by the Muslim side. So my village, which belonged to Suceska,
22 was razed to the ground, totally empty. In the month of April, people
23 moved out and it was only in the month of August, the 8th of August, that
24 it was devastated.
25 Q. Sir, moving on to paragraph 33 of your Karadzic statement --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could I nevertheless ask a question? Do
2 I understand you well that part of the Foca municipality remained under
3 Muslim control whereas other parts were under Serb control?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, precisely.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the part that was under --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mean those areas up there, those
7 rural areas.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, the parts that were under Serb control,
9 were they completely mopped up by the end of April?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Up until the end of April, as far
11 as the armed forces are concerned, the situation was quite clear. All of
12 that had been cleansed, and as I've already said, quite a few civilians
13 had stayed behind. The idea was to get rid of the Green Berets, who were
14 breaking into Serbian villages and committing crimes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And how did you know exactly if you would see a male
16 person not in uniform whether he would be a Green Beret or not?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Green Berets were marked.
18 Marked. They had these caps. They had had these insignia on their own,
19 on the epaulettes of their coats and so on. That was afterwards. But
20 while they were preparing in secret, then they acted as if they were the
21 civilian population. There were some in my very own building in town
23 JUDGE ORIE: Now, during this mopping up, was every male -- well,
24 let's say, between 18 and 55, recognisable as a Green Beret, or were
25 there also normal male civilians not identified as Green Berets?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite a few Muslims were not among
2 the Green Berets. They didn't want to join any armed units. These
3 people were loyal who did not want war, and people like that stayed on.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And could you tell us what approximately the portion
5 of those was among the Muslim population? Was it one-third? Was it a
6 half? Was it 10 per cent?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can tell you that at first, the
8 Green Berets and the Patriotic League were mostly people from elsewhere,
9 and to a lesser extent, ethnic Muslims from Foca. Later on, the war was
10 raging and there was general mobilisation on both sides.
11 JUDGE ORIE: That's not an answer to my question. My question
12 was, and I'll further specify it: What, approximately, was the
13 percentage of the male local population that was identified as Green
14 Berets or Patriotic League?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everybody on the ground was
16 recognised, those who were local citizens who didn't want to join the
17 Green Berets or the Patriotic League, and the Green Berets were
18 recognisable. The civilians who did not join the Green Berets, well,
19 that was a lesser number in the villages, on the ground. To tell you the
20 truth, I cannot tell you which percentage exactly.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
22 Please proceed, Ms. Bibles.
23 MS. BIBLES:
24 Q. Sir, I'd like to go to paragraph 33 of your Karadzic statement.
25 Continuing the discussion about Muslims who were accommodated in Foca
1 town, in paragraph 33, you mention that Muslims from neighbouring
2 villages were accommodated, and you testified about this in Karadzic.
3 Would you stand by the proposition that they came from villages, these
4 Muslims, where there had been conflict?
5 A. The civilian population that stayed behind was accepted. They
6 were received at the reception centres. That's the way it was. And
7 I stand by that statement.
8 Q. You stand by that the civilians who were in Foca town were
9 civilians who had come from villages in Foca where there had been
11 MR. IVETIC: Can counsel direct where that is in paragraph 33 of
12 the statement?
13 MS. BIBLES: If we could go to the Karadzic transcript, 32097,
14 and I'll have to get the 65 ter number for that. I believe it's 30980.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, what will now be read to you is not
16 available in your own language so carefully listen to what Ms. Bibles
17 reads to you.
18 MS. BIBLES:
19 Q. Sir, you were asked:
20 "Q. Did I understand you properly? Were those Muslims from the
21 villages that were affected by conflict?"
22 Your answer:
23 "A. Yes, precisely. Those people came from villages that were
24 some 15 -- excuse me, 10 to 15 kilometres away from Foca. Neither
25 Serbian forces nor the police could guarantee their safety. They could
1 not promise them that they wouldn't go unscathed. When the Muslim armed
2 forces left those villages, they remained unprotected and those of the
3 people who were left behind were women and elderly. Men would be
4 accommodated in some other facilities where they were protected, for
5 example they were accommodated in the penal institute, there were Serbs
6 and Muslims there, and they were some of the convicts who had been tried
7 before the war, whereas the female population was accommodated in some
8 facilities where there was room as a rule."
9 I believe I'll leave it there. Do you stand by that testimony in
10 the Karadzic case, sir?
11 A. Entirely, entirely.
12 MS. BIBLES: And now I was going to go back to paragraph 33 of
13 the statement, unless there were questions.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I would have one question. Those men that would be
15 accommodated in other facilities such as the penal institute, were they
16 treated in a different way compared to those who were detained there?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for this male population that
18 had been accommodated at the KP Dom Foca, I cannot really say much about
19 them. But I know full well, as far as food is concerned, that all the
20 convicts and all the officials working there got their food from the very
21 same pots. It was as if these people were at home. If they wanted to,
22 they could leave, as far as the male population was concerned. This was
23 mainly old people, old men. That was the structure. The structure.
24 JUDGE ORIE: They could walk in and out the KP Dom, which was a
25 penitentiary institution, at their free will?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were treated somewhat
2 differently compared to the convicts from before the war. They had the
3 right to communicate. I don't know whether they had the right to go out.
4 I was not there and I cannot tell you for sure. I can just tell you
5 about what my brother said. He worked there. He had an office job
6 there, and I can tell you what the situation was like based on that.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to take you back to your previous answer
8 where you said, if they wanted to, they could leave, as far as the male
9 population was concerned. Now, in answer to my next question, you say, I
10 do not know whether they would leave at free will. Yes or no? Do I take
11 that the last answer is the one I can rely upon?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant actually I understand your
13 question whether they could occasionally leave and go to town. But when
14 it came to leaving Foca, they had the same right as those who lived in
15 the houses, those Muslims who lived in their houses, just as they could
16 decide whether they wanted to stay or go.
17 JUDGE ORIE: My simple question was: Could they leave the
18 detention facility as they wished to do whatever they wanted to do?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the city or outside the city?
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, irrespective.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that. I cannot say.
22 All I can say is that they had the right to opt for leaving Foca. As
23 regards their getting out of the facility and going into town, I don't
24 know about that at all.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Which would actually mean that if they did not
1 choose to leave Foca municipality, that they were deprived of their
2 liberty to enter and leave the facility where they were kept, as you
3 said, in order to secure their safety.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were entitled to a decision,
5 whether they would go back to their homes, stay with friends in town, or
6 move out of Foca. They had that right. They were not actually shut up
7 there. They were received there. That's a great difference.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. One earlier answer was that you didn't know,
9 but apparently you now do know.
10 Ms. Bibles, please proceed.
11 MS. BIBLES:
12 Q. Sir, this Trial Chamber has heard and considered evidence that
13 the men who were detained in KP Dom were in fact not free to leave the
14 facility. I put it to you that your evidence today on that point is
15 either in error or that you just don't know and you're making it up.
16 A. No. Perhaps I'm not understood. Maybe I'm not quite clear but I
17 shall repeat. When it came to whether they went out during the day,
18 whether they had the right to leave the KP Dom and go back to it during
19 the day, that is something I cannot say. But what I can say is that
20 these people, these elderly men, who were there staying there,
21 accommodated there had on a temporary basis, they could apply to the
22 civilian authorities just like any other citizen and apply for either
23 leaving the town of Foca or returning to their holdings, to their homes.
24 I hope I was sufficiently clear now. I don't know how else to explain
1 JUDGE ORIE: What Ms. Bibles put to you is that this is in
2 contradiction with other evidence this Chamber received.
3 Please proceed, Ms. Bibles.
4 MS. BIBLES:
5 Q. Sir, in the Karadzic case, when you testified, you did correct
6 some parts of your statement but you did not correct or clarify some of
7 the portions of your statement that you have changed here today. Isn't
8 it true that you have made those changes to the Karadzic statement after
9 swearing in court in that case that your statement was truthful?
10 A. I personally believe that today, before this Chamber, there was
11 more specific reference to this than in the Karadzic case. Perhaps it
12 might seem that there are some differences there, but basically I stand
13 behind what I said today as well as what I said in the Karadzic case. It
14 is only that here we have been a bit more detailed on the subject matter.
15 Q. Sir, when you were asked, I believe two sessions ago - I think it
16 was at temporary transcript page 3, although it may have been 5 - you
17 were asked if asked the same questions today that you were asked in the
18 statement you would give the same answer, your answer was actually,
19 "I hope so." Is that because you know you have difficulty with the
20 details and the information contained in your testimony?
21 A. Today, when I speak after 22 years, it is only normal that there
22 are some things that I cannot recall and that there are some consequences
23 there. Perhaps I cannot recall some things I could recall a year and a
24 half ago. But I cannot believe that everything that I said in the
25 Karadzic case differs much from what I basically said today.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let's move on, Ms. Bibles.
2 MS. BIBLES:
3 Q. Sir, is it true that by May of 1992, Foca town was under Serb
5 A. Foca town was under Serb control in May. In fact, it was under
6 their control in the second half of April.
7 Q. There were several mosques in Foca before the war; isn't that
9 A. Yes, there were mosques in Foca. There were active ones and
10 there were others that were not at all used as places of worship because
11 they were subjected to the ravages of time. Some were dilapidated;
12 others were under state protection; yet others were used as enterprise
14 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, the simple question was whether there were
15 mosques, several mosques. The answer apparently is yes.
16 Please proceed.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there was a number of mosques.
18 MS. BIBLES:
19 Q. Concerning your evidence -- and by the way, your testimony today
20 regarding the NATO bombing resulting in the destruction of mosques, have
21 you mentioned that evidence before?
22 A. No. No, but that is because no one asked me about it. I cannot
23 say that they were destroyed. They were damaged when the bridges were
24 shelled, and tens of projectiles of high destructive power actually fell
25 on those facilities, on all the bridges and the surrounding facilities
1 including mosques which were all collateral damage.
2 I did say that no shell hit the damage -- the mosques directly
3 because they were shot shelling the mosques. That was not their target.
4 No one in their right mind would think that.
5 MS. BIBLES: If we could have 65 ter 13426. This is a collection
6 of Council of Europe reports regarding the destruction of cultural
7 heritage in the former Yugoslavia. Your Honours, it is not translated in
8 part because we didn't have notice of this aspect of the witness's
9 evidence, which I will use it to respond to.
10 Q. Looking at the cover page, sir, once it comes up, we see the date
11 of 2 February 1993. If we could turn to page 33, please, sir, here we
12 see a list of destroyed mosques, and when we look at Foca, we see nine
13 mosques listed. If we could turn to the top of the next page, we see
14 additional destroyed mosques in Foca or the Foca region.
15 So, sir, as of February 1993, the Council of Europe was already
16 reporting a large number of destroyed mosques in Foca. Would you agree
17 that this is long before the NATO bombing?
18 A. Well, it was before and after. But if you will allow me to say
19 why some of them were damaged and some of them were demolished --
20 Q. Sir --
21 A. -- and perhaps it is superfluous for me to say --
22 Q. -- I simply asked you whether February of 1993 was before the
23 NATO bombings and I believe your answer was yes.
24 If we could now go to page 176, when it comes up, this will be a
25 portion of a report dated the 19th of January 1994, also from the Council
1 of Europe. And, sir, we read here in the middle of the page:
2 "Before this war struck Foca, there were 13 admirable examples of
3 Islamic sacral architecture to be found in this town. All of them
4 suffered grave damage from shells, and after the town was captured, many
5 of them were simply demolished."
6 It's true that 13 mosques in Foca have been gravely damaged
7 before the NATO bombing, isn't it?
8 A. Yes. That happened before and after. And there were mosques
9 that even in the time of the pre-war Yugoslavia, before these conflicts,
10 were damaged and were not at all used as places of worship but were used
11 as storehouses for shops and for other purposes. But these facilities
12 which were not used for their basic purpose existed also before, even
13 prior to the Second World War, and were never reconstructed and they were
14 used for other purposes.
15 Q. Sir, we are talking about 13 of the mosques in Foca that were
16 standing prior to the war, that were not standing by 1993; would you
17 agree with that?
18 A. I don't know exactly for how long they were in this condition,
19 but if anything, they suffered the most damage during the conflicts in
20 Foca, during -- between the Serb and Muslim forces. I've already told
21 you before that the Muslims used such places of worship to open fire from
22 them and to store their weaponry in them, and that they deliberately
23 provoked the Serb forces so as to actually have portrayed to the
24 international community that the Serbs were demolishing the places of
25 worship of the Islamic community.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, could I ask one question?
2 You earlier answered the question I put to you about what was the
3 shell coming closest to a mosque so as to damage it. Could you tell us
4 it was closest to what mosque where you said it fell at 100 to 150 metres
5 from a mosque, targeting the bridge, I think. Could you tell us which
6 mosque you had on your mind at that moment?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The shells landed around the
8 bridge, behind the bridge, at some distance from the bridge, and the
9 nearest mosque was one which is not even 100 metres as the crow flies.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please give me the name of that mosque?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Musluk in Donje Polje, and Cafe Bor
12 mosque in Donje Polje.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Is that in Foca town?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Foca town.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat the names? You said Musluk.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: If the witness could
17 please be asked to speak into the microphone.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you come closer to the microphone and could
19 you repeat the names of the mosques you just mentioned?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When the lower bridge on the Drina
21 was shelled, it was the Musluk mosque in Donje Polje which was not 150
22 metres away from the place the shells landed as the crow flies. I
23 believe the other was the mosque which is called the mosque called Cafe
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Which might mean by the
1 Bor cafe.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MS. BIBLES: Excuse me, Your Honour, if we could modify our view
4 on the page we are looking at to see the entire page.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Well, witness, if you're talking about the Musluk
6 mosque, then that mosque was already reported as being destroyed in 1993.
7 Not damaged but destroyed. Do you have any explanation for --
8 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, where are you seeing that?
9 JUDGE ORIE: I'm seeing that on page 33 of the first -- of the
10 Council of Europe report, where the -- I think Ms. Bibles has drawn our
11 attention to 13 mosques reported as being destroyed. And we find there
12 the mosque, the Musluk mosque, in the other report says Atik Alipasina?
13 Mosque. We find Atik Alipasina mosque 1546, and that is the same date in
14 the other report, being destroyed, that is two asterisks, in 1993.
15 MR. IVETIC: It says, "which it fears are damaged or destroyed."
16 JUDGE ORIE: I beg your pardon?
17 MR. IVETIC: It says, "which it fears are damaged or destroyed."
18 That's what the report says, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well, let me see.
20 MR. IVETIC: At paragraph 112 --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do agree that it says -- that's our problem
22 with trying to digest the information immediately. What we see in the
23 other report, that it's reported "suffered extensive damage in April
24 1992," and here, "it fears are damaged or destroyed." Well, I must say
25 that the language "fears" is a bit unclear to me, a bit ambiguous. But
1 I fully take your point, Mr. Ivetic, that it doesn't say -- yes.
2 But there apparently was already considerable damage to that
3 mosque. Would you agree with that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree with that, that the Musluk
5 mosque was damaged and, for the most part, demolished in April 1992
6 because Muslim forces opened fire from there, and there was a recoilless
7 gun which also opened fire from another direction where the Serb forces
8 were, and that they hit the minaret. That mosque would not have been
9 destroyed by NATO shells, but it could have been further damaged than it
10 already was. Other mosques also suffered some damage from the
11 bombardment, as did residential blocks and other buildings. All that was
12 collateral damage.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let's proceed. If the parties could agree in any
14 way on where the Bor or close to the Bor cafe mosque is, which one is
15 that in those reports, that would be appreciated.
16 Ms. Bibles, I think you presented the list as "destroyed" and not
17 that there was "fear that it was destroyed," which may have misled me
19 MS. BIBLES: I apologise for that, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
21 MS. BIBLES: Having pulled this document out while the witness
22 was testifying, I apologise for that.
23 Q. Sir, isn't it true that by the end of the war, there were no
24 minarets left in Foca municipality at all?
25 A. No, there were some that were standing. At the end of the war,
1 too. And today, in the city of Foca, there are still some structures
2 that were damaged prior to the outbreak of the war conflict and they are
3 still standing as such today.
4 Q. Sir, going to the destruction of one mosque, the Aladza mosque,
5 you've already agreed that Foca town was under Serb control well before
6 August of 1992 when the mosque was destroyed. Sir, isn't it true that
7 even if there had been explosives in this mosque at the beginning of the
8 conflict, by August of 1992, Serb forces had had several months to remove
9 any such devices?
10 A. Perhaps they could take those explosives away. I did not go into
11 the mosque to see what the quantity was. I only know that it was not
12 demolished, that mosque, until August 1992. Someone - who, we don't
13 know; they don't know whether it was an individual, was it groups,
14 whether it was in retaliation - someone actually blew up that mosque and
15 set the explosives on fire and it collapsed. But we know that someone
16 could have done it to exact revenge because the very first shell which
17 fell was on Serbs from the minaret.
18 Q. Sir, you're a lawyer and you understand the import of evidence.
19 Is it clear or is it your testimony that you simply do not know what
20 happened to that mosque, other than the fact that it was destroyed in
21 August of 1992?
22 A. It was destroyed in August 1992, but this was not organised by
23 the civilian and military authorities but by individuals or some other
24 groups or illegal groups which were able actually to mill about Foca
25 because it was a mosque that was under state protection. It was not
1 active. There were no services there. It was only at a later stage that
2 the Islamic people actually gathered there for that purpose. But during
3 the previous period, it was not an active place of worship.
4 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I rise for a translation issue.
5 Temporary transcript page 66, line 3, my colleague tells me that the
6 witness did not say that it was the very first shell which fell, but
7 I did not catch the B/C/S to be able to assist any further.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please then revisit that matter.
9 Ms. Bibles.
10 MS. BIBLES:
11 Q. Sir, I now want to turn to a different direction. I want to ask
12 you about your time standing guard at the facility where women were held
13 in April of 1992. Who specifically told you to stand guard in that
15 A. This was instructed by the Crisis Staff. There were individuals
16 in Gornja Polje who designated me and somebody else, another person - I
17 don't know who was later assigned after I was mobilised - but they
18 assigned us to secure the facility because there were a number of women
19 in the Partizan facility.
20 Q. And just to make sure that we are clear, those were the only four
21 days in which you were physically present at Partizan hall yourself.
22 A. At night. At night. From morning till dusk, rifle in hand.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, apologies, but your observation about
24 page 66, line 3, would that mean that we would need to seek verification
25 of that portion of the transcript?
1 MR. IVETIC: Or ask the witness. Either way. I did not actually
2 hear the B/C/S.
3 JUDGE ORIE: That's what I suggested more or less to Ms. Bibles
4 who then moved on to another subject. Perhaps it's better to have it
5 clarified, Ms. Bibles, because otherwise once the translation has been
6 verified, the witness might be back home.
7 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Your Honour, and I apologise.
8 Q. Sir, we are going back to the last topic and we want to make sure
9 that we have captured your testimony correctly. Your testimony was, with
10 respect to the mosque, "But we know that someone could have --" wait,
11 that's not -- "but we know that someone could have done it to exact
12 revenge because the very first shell which fell was on Serbs from the
13 minaret." Is that what you said?
14 A. I didn't say "shell." What I said was that there was an armed
15 fighter of Muslim ethnicity who opened at passers-by. His name -- and
16 somebody was hit there in the immediate vicinity, and the name of the hit
17 person was Trifkovic. He was hit from the minaret of the mosque.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You're not asking to further elaborate on it, but do
19 we then understand that you wanted to say that someone could have done it
20 to exact revenge because the first fire or fire was opened on Serbs from
21 this minaret?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It was not a shell.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Proceed.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may just also point out something here. I
25 don't know whether there was a -- on this second topic that you were
1 talking about now, Ms. Bibles, the witness said he was keeping -- he was
2 at those houses for those four days at night, and then it was interpreted
3 from dawn to dusk. That seems to be a contradiction, dawn to dusk is in
4 the day, and if it's at night, it would be dusk to dawn.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely.
6 MS. BIBLES:
7 Q. Sir --
8 A. Precisely.
9 Q. So sir, just to clarify your testimony, you were there from dusk
10 to dawn?
11 A. That was a slip of the tongue, if that's what I said. It was
12 from dusk until dawn, throughout the night. Without any break, without
13 any replacements, throughout the night.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's clear.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, we are at the point where we should take
16 a break.
17 Witness, would you please follow the usher?
18 Ms. Bibles, could you meanwhile tell us how much more time you
19 would need?
20 [The witness stands down]
21 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, I actually thought I was going to
22 finish this session, but I certainly will finish in the next session.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I would expect, then, you to finish in the next
24 session in ten or 15 minutes, but let's try to conclude at least the
25 evidence of this witness.
1 MS. BIBLES: I am intending to do so, Your Honour, thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: But would there be sufficient time left for some
3 re-examination, Mr. Ivetic? Could you give us any --
4 MR. IVETIC: One question so a couple of minutes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the Bench may have some questions as well,
6 so you're encouraged, Ms. Bibles, to see whether you can finish in
7 anything between 15 and 20 minutes.
8 We will take a break and we will resume at 25 minutes to 2.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 1.13 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 1.35 p.m.
11 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to be brought
12 in, we briefly discussed what "it fears" means in the context of the
13 report, if the parties would have any further explanations for that,
14 other than it's just a way of saying, perhaps, that --
15 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I would direct you to page 33 where it
16 says for the Aladza mosque, where it says "rumour in Sarajevo has it that
17 the famous mosque was destroyed." So we are talking about rumours and
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well --
20 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, what I would suggest is that we MFI
21 this document, and perhaps Defence counsel and I, we may not be able to
22 agree, but that we make submissions.
23 JUDGE ORIE: At least you have a look at it together and of
24 course there is more evidence about it. I think we have Mr. Riedlmayer
25 who testified about mosques, and I have no clear recollection of what
1 exactly he said on these mosques. But, Ms. Bibles, let's proceed.
2 [The witness takes the stand]
3 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Sir, in your statement referring to what we've ascertained is
5 Partizan hall, you say, "All the women left this facility as far as I
6 know no later than June 1992."
7 Do you stand by that evidence?
8 A. I stand by that but perhaps even earlier, because they were there
9 very briefly. They left with the other citizens who wanted to leave
10 Foca. That is what they had the right to do. They expressed their own
11 wish, their own willingness to do that, and that's what happened.
12 Q. And sir, I want to clarify or, before we leave today, make sure
13 that we understand. Is it accurate that Partizan hall is the only one of
14 these facilities where Muslims were that you were present at during the
16 A. That facility was near the building where I lived. It was 150
17 metres away. However, since I was elderly at the time, I hadn't been
18 mobilised, the Crisis Staff, through their commissioners, selected people
19 who would carry out their duties conscientiously and stand guard by that
21 Q. Sir, I want to make sure that we understand that this is the only
22 one of these facilities in Foca that you were physically present at while
23 Muslims were being held in 1992.
24 A. That was the only facility, but there were also private houses
25 where there were women in Foca.
1 Q. Were you ever physically present at those private homes during
2 1992 where the women, other women, were being held in Foca?
3 A. Never, never. It never crossed my mind even.
4 MS. BIBLES: If we could bring up P2822, please?
5 Q. You've testified several times that people were free to leave
6 Foca or that they had been given permission to leave Foca, and I'd like
7 to clarify when that became true, sir.
8 So when this document comes up, sir, this document is dated 18
9 June 1992. And this is the war commission decision in which the
10 civilian -- it reads, in section 1:
11 "The civilian and military authorities shall allow all loyal
12 citizens who have not violated the laws of the Bosnian Serb Republic or
13 done anything in the still-ongoing war to endanger the safety of the
14 Serbian people in our area to leave in the direction of their choice."
15 Sir, isn't it true that until 18 June 1992, people did not have
16 the right to leave Foca?
17 A. Well, of course, as soon as the town of Foca became predominantly
18 Serbian, all loyal citizens of Muslim ethnicity had the right to say
19 whether they would leave or stay. And that's what they were told, and
20 this order puts that very nicely, that they could stay. They were even
21 persuaded to stay. As a matter of fact, the Serb population, it was
22 not -- oh, yes?
23 Q. Sir, isn't it true that the order that you've been talking about
24 and the ability to leave Foca began on 18 June 1992?
25 A. Well, you know what? In the month of April, whenever a citizen
1 of Muslim ethnicity wanted to move out of Foca, they could, through
2 Montenegro, Ustikolina, to Sarajevo, wherever they wanted to go. This
3 document followed only later. I know that personally.
4 MS. BIBLES: If we could now bring up 65 ter --
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you do that, before you do that, I would
6 like to put to the witness the following: If you look at this document,
7 I think it's the longer -- the third paragraph, there, it says:
8 "The present civilian and military authorities of the Serbian
9 Municipality of Foca have so far been preventing both Serbs and Muslims
10 from leaving the Foca territory."
11 How do you comment upon that?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I'm trying to say is that this
13 did not go for the civilian authorities, but the military authorities,
14 they did not exist. It was only the Territorial Defence at the time. It
15 was not desirable for any citizens to leave Foca, of any one of the three
16 ethnic backgrounds. It was in the explicit interest for all the
17 population to remain and --
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You just said before that the Muslims had the
19 right to leave wherever they wanted to go even before the 18th of June.
20 Now I read a part of this document to you that the authorities have so
21 far been preventing both Serbs and Muslims from leaving the Foca
22 territory. What is your comment on that?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can say that they did not prevent
24 anyone physically from leaving. Serbs and Muslims were leaving. I mean,
25 half of my family left Foca in the month of April and went to Serbia. My
1 son with his family went to Serbia.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before the 18th of June 1992?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes, in April. That's when
4 my son left, left Foca, that is, with a young child.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any explanation as to why what the
7 document says squarely contradicts what you're saying? Apart from an
8 example you gave?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that this document sounds
10 to me that none of the population should leave Foca, so that Foca would
11 remain intact with a mixed population so that everybody would be there.
12 That was the interest of that initial Serb authority in the municipality
13 and town of Foca.
14 JUDGE ORIE: When did your family leave Foca? What date?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Beginning of the month of April.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could you be a bit more precise? Was it before the
17 conflict broke out? That means before the 8th of April.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When it was getting obvious that
19 there was this danger of a conflict breaking out in Foca, I recommended
20 to my son that he leave with his three-month-old child - I will tell you
21 this - to leave Foca and go to Serbia.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I stop you here. No one asked you who advised your
23 son to leave. What I was interested in, whether it was before the
24 conflict broke out or after, and I do understand from your answer that it
25 was -- please do not interrupt me. Please do not interrupt me. I do
1 understand that it was before the conflict broke out. Thank you for your
3 Ms. Bibles, you may proceed.
4 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation].
5 JUDGE ORIE: Witness --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A few days, a few days, before the
7 conflict broke out --
8 JUDGE ORIE: I stop you. You've answered the question.
9 Ms. Bibles.
10 MS. BIBLES: Finally, if we could go to 65 ter 30984.
11 Q. Sir, this is a report from the Foca Tactical Group dated 31
12 August 1992. I'll have you look at point 5 which I believe will be on
13 page 2 in the English version. Yes, if we could go to page 2 on the
14 English version, please. Thank you.
15 Sir, we see that this is a report from Colonel Marko Kovac, and
16 it reads, on point 5:
17 "Special. In the course of 30.8 we released from prison a total
18 of 55 elderly, unfit Muslim males. On 31-08 we released 40 women and
19 children, to keep a visiting commission from discovering them and as an
21 Do you see that language?
22 A. What I can say about the exchange, as for people leaving the KP
23 Dom, that happened at one point in time. I don't know exactly when --
24 may I start?
25 Q. Sir, I simply asked to make sure that you were looking at the
1 right language. My question is this: I understand that it's your
2 evidence that women were detained in Foca --
3 A. Go ahead.
4 Q. Sir, that women were detained in Foca for their own protection.
5 If the VRS was detaining these women for their own protection, then why
6 would Colonel Kovac have felt the need to keep a visiting commission from
7 discovering them?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic?
9 MR. IVETIC: Misstates the evidence as to who was keeping these
11 JUDGE ORIE: Let's have a look exactly the -- of course, we -- by
12 saying it's --
13 MR. IVETIC: Paragraph 4 of the witness's statement, for
15 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, the language I was looking at was the
16 "we" in point 5.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's how I understood it as well,
18 Mr. Ivetic.
19 MR. IVETIC: Yes, and the document is from the Centre for
20 Information of Trebinje, not from the VRS.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Well, no one suggested that it was the VRS, at least
22 I didn't hear that in Ms. Bibles's -- or was it, Ms. Bibles?
23 MR. IVETIC: It was in the question; that's why I objected. If
24 the VRS was detaining these women, that's why I objected.
25 JUDGE ORIE: The question will be rephrased.
1 MS. BIBLES: I'll rephrase my question.
2 Q. Sir, I understand that your evidence has been that women were
3 detained in Foca for their own protection. If these women were being
4 detained for their own protection, why would Colonel Kovac have felt the
5 need to keep a visiting commission from discovering them?
6 A. This is the first time I see this document here right in front of
7 me. I'm not aware of this, but I know that the women who were first
8 received in Partizan, they went in a completely different way. Now, what
9 group of women this is about, I don't know.
10 Q. Sir, you would agree that Colonel Kovac by August of 1992 was
11 with the VRS?
12 A. That's what's written here, Marko Kovac.
13 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, I have no further examination for this
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The last question was not answered. Sir, was
16 Colonel Marko Kovac, in August -- end August 1992, an officer of the VRS?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When the Army of Republika Srpska
18 was formed, Marko Kovac came to the helm of the command of the Army of
19 Republika Srpska, when the Army of Republika Srpska was established, that
20 is. But up until August, I mean, no, July, Marko Kovac did not appear.
21 A bit before that, I think, he did appear. Well, that would be it.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Was he an officer of the VRS on the 31st of
23 August 1992? This is my question. Nothing else. "Yes" or "no"?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was an officer of the Army of
25 Republika Srpska in August 1992.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have something. May I? I
3 cannot? Nothing?
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No.
5 JUDGE ORIE: At the end of your testimony, if there is anything
6 you would like to, but at this moment, Judge Moloto wanted to address
7 Ms. Bibles, I think, and you're not supposed to interrupt him.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: What do you want to do with this 65 ter number?
9 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, I tender 65 ter 30984.
10 MR. IVETIC: We reject. The witness has not had any prior
11 knowledge or been able to confirm the document.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Would you oppose against it to be bar tabled in
13 direct relation to matters the witness testified about?
14 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honour, we, at the Defence, have been
15 asked to cut down exhibits that we have that witnesses have actually
16 talked about and knew about, so in that situation, I would ask that both
17 sides be treated fairly. If we are cutting down documents that we have
18 witnesses who testify about in their written statements as associated
19 exhibits, then I think that the Prosecution should have documents
20 introduced that are actually able to be verified by witnesses.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, I don't have to remind you that if I ask
22 a question, that I always prefer to get an answer to that question, and
23 if you, for one reason or another, wanted to make a submission on the
24 matter, then I would allow that. But my question is still without an
25 answer, whether you would oppose, apart from whether you consider it at
1 this moment appropriate to tender anything from the bar table, whether
2 you would oppose this document which is in direct connection with
3 portions of the evidence of this witness to be bar tabled.
4 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honour. My understanding of the rules for
5 bar table are that there must be submissions made as to the authenticity
6 of the source of the documents. We don't have that at this present --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us something about the source of this
8 document, Ms. Bibles?
9 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, it will take me a few moments. Perhaps
10 we could MFI this and then come back to it before we leave the session.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We will MFI it for the time being.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, the Chamber will admit the document into
14 evidence. It is stamped. There are no specific challenges to the
15 authenticity at this moment. Therefore the Chamber at this moment sees
16 no reason not to admit it.
17 Madam Registrar, the number would be?
18 MR. IVETIC: Could I get a ruling, then, on my objection, Your
19 Honour? I said that the heading of the document does not purport to what
20 the document is. I said that earlier. I said it says, "The Republika
21 Srpska Centre for Information Trebinje." Can I get a ruling on that
22 objection on a document that's been tendered without a witness to testify
23 as to its authenticity?
24 JUDGE ORIE: I asked Madam Registrar to provide a number.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30984 receives number P6681, Your
2 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
3 Mr. Ivetic, you made an observation in relation to this document
4 earlier. I think you did not specifically ask for any ruling on that at
5 that moment.
6 Second - and you interrupted me; otherwise you would have heard
7 that from me anyhow - that if there is any specific reason to revisit the
8 authenticity of this document, you have an opportunity to do so, and the
9 Chamber would like then to receive a reasoned challenge to the
10 authenticity of this document.
11 I take it, Ms. Bibles, that you'll be prepared for that anyhow
12 and tell us then where the document comes from.
13 MS. BIBLES: Yes, Your Honour. This is part of the Herzegovina
14 Corps collection that came in to the OTP. I can provide -- well, I see
15 Mr. Ivetic on his feet. I'll be prepared to respond, in answer to your
17 MR. IVETIC: That's what I was wondering, whether I need to
18 respond or whether I need to initiate any submissions.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I beg your pardon? I'm sorry, I didn't hear you.
20 MR. IVETIC: I'm wondering whether I need to respond or initiate
21 any submissions as to the authenticity of this document? Where does the
22 burden lie?
23 JUDGE ORIE: Respond to what exactly, Mr. Ivetic? I mean --
24 MR. IVETIC: Well, I'm understanding your decision, Your Honours,
25 that's saying that I have to now present a submission as to the
1 authenticity of a document for which I have not had any tender of
2 anything from the Prosecution. I'm asking who has the burden to
3 establish the authenticity of the document. I believe the party
4 tendering it has that burden.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Well, there is no burden under the rules. The
6 Chamber may require proof of authenticity. That is what the rule tells
7 us, and I don't know whether I'm literally quoting but that's at least
8 the gist of it.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Ivetic --
10 JUDGE ORIE: And for that purpose, we have decided on the matter
11 and we allowed the Defence to revisit any authenticity issue if it wishes
12 to do so.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And Mr. Ivetic, it was really a misstatement.
14 The Presiding Judge clearly said on page 79, line 11 and 12, if there is
15 any specific reason to revisit the authenticity of this document, you
16 have an opportunity to do so. This is really different from what you
17 were putting to the Chamber.
18 MR. IVETIC: But how can the Defence make a submission about
19 authenticity of a document without the party tendering it saying where
20 they got the document from. It reverses the burden on the Defence for
21 something -- we are not submitting the document, Your Honour, so why
22 would we have to bear the burden of authenticating a document? That's
23 why I was confused.
24 JUDGE ORIE: A document is tendered into evidence, a document
25 which the Chamber, of course, has a look at its appearance. Meanwhile,
1 we know from the Prosecution where it originates from, and you referred
2 to the rule on who has to establish the authenticity. I referred you to
3 what I now see as Rule 89, under (e), "A Chamber may request verification
4 of the authenticity of evidence obtained out of court."
5 On the basis of your submissions and on viewing the document and
6 hearing that the Prosecution offered to give further information about
7 the source, the Chamber refrained from requesting or ordering the
8 Prosecution to give further information about the authenticity, but it
9 left it open that the Defence may revisit that matter.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: In addition, Mr. Lukic, the legal position at this
11 stage is that the Chamber has admitted the document. You're challenging
12 that ruling of admission so therefore the burden to initiate is on you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then let's proceed. You have concluded your
15 Mr. Ivetic, any questions on re-examination?
16 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honours, the one that I had foreshadowed.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
18 Re-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
19 Q. Sir, you were asked by Judge Orie about Muslims that stayed in
20 Foca, and at temporary transcript pages 47 through 48, were you shown
21 paragraph 16 of your Karadzic statement which talked about many -- pardon
22 me, of some Muslims that had fought in the VRS. Do you recall the names
23 or positions of any of these VRS personnel who were Muslims from Foca?
24 A. Well, I can remember some. I've forgotten the names of some
25 others. There was a Muminovic who was in the VRS. He was in charge of
1 providing food to units who held positions on the line of separation, the
2 administrative line of separation between Foca and Gorazde. There were
3 Croats as well, and so on.
4 Q. Thank you, again, sir for answering my questions.
5 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, that's the only question I had in
7 Questioned by the Court:
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were there more Muslims than this Muminovic in
9 the VRS?
10 A. Yes, there were more Muslims, and some people who hailed from
11 mixed marriages also.
12 JUDGE ORIE: But Muminovic is the only name you can tell us about
13 a Muslim serving in the VRS?
14 A. Well, I do remember this Muminovic. It was long ago. I cannot
15 even recall his first name. But there certainly were Muslims. If you
16 let me -- perhaps gave some me time, perhaps I could recall some names.
17 But at this precise moment I cannot recall the exact names of all of them
18 individually. There was a Muslim family which was loyal and in the
19 formation throughout the war, from a mixed marriage of Muslim ethnicity.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you used the word "loyal" and that is a word
21 that is used in some of the documents as well. What do you understand
22 exactly by "loyal"? Is it that they have to commit themselves to the
23 Serb --
24 A. Meaning that they accepted all the rules and the standards and
25 norms relative to the state, relative to the authorities, that were also
1 accepted by Serbs. This is what I mean by loyalty.
2 JUDGE ORIE: But --
3 A. But it was not as if they were blackmailed to the effect of "You
4 have to accept this or that." That was not that kind of loyalty.
5 JUDGE ORIE: But if they would oppose Serb rule but -- not taking
6 up arms but, well, let's say politically try to change the situation,
7 would those be considered to be loyal or would those considered not to be
9 A. Precisely during the war, no one actually forbade the SDA to
10 pursue the policy of the Muslim people. No one prohibited them from
11 doing that.
12 JUDGE ORIE: But that was not my question. But if they would
13 pursue a change of government, a change of local government, not
14 accepting that the Serb rule should apply, would they be considered loyal
15 or would they not be considered to be loyal?
16 A. Well, you know, it is a democratic right for one to declare one's
17 views and opinions and to pursue a specific policy. I do not think that
18 such citizens would have to bear any consequences.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 A. Because there were people of Serb ethnicity also who actually
21 sided with some other parties and there were mutual conflicts arising
22 between them.
23 JUDGE ORIE: This brings me to my next question. Was the Serb
24 rule in Foca established by democratic principles?
25 A. I believe so, yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And what was the moment that the democratic
2 decision-making in the municipality of Foca was adopted?
3 A. The democratic process was based on the decisions of the highest
4 organ of the -- organs of the Municipal Assembly and it was equal
5 vis-à-vis all citizens who lived there. That's the way it was.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Were Muslims still participating in that
8 A. If they were elected, yes, they were participating. I do not
9 know specifically that anyone was elected because they were in a minority
10 there after the war broke out.
11 JUDGE ORIE: But before the war broke out, who decided
12 democratically at what moment exactly that Serb rule would apply?
13 A. When the Assembly of the Serbian People was founded in the area
14 of the municipality and started issuing their regulations, that is how it
15 happened, and that was immediately prior to the outbreak of the war. It
16 was much later than this -- when this happened at the republican level
17 because the municipalities were always late in that regard.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Was the Assembly of the Serbian People established
19 by a democratic vote among the citizens of Foca?
20 A. Before the outbreak of the war, it was known who the Serb
21 Assemblymen were, and these assemblymen who were elected democratically
22 by democratic vote of the parties to be members of the assembly, they
23 were the ones who comprised the Municipal Assembly of Foca municipality.
24 So they were elected in a democratic way.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but it was only the Serb assemblymen elected
1 that later formed the Assembly of the Serbian People.
2 A. Yes, but -- yes, but those of other ethnicity who were not
3 elected democratically were not assemblymen before the war, could not
4 comprise part of that municipality. Had there been a Muslim assemblyman
5 who Foca who had been elected prior to this period democratically, he
6 would have become a member of this assembly too. There were
7 Montenegrins, there were Croats, who were assemblymen. At the helm of
8 the assembly was Milicic, Danilo Milicic. He was the president of the
9 assembly. He was a Montenegrin. He was democratically elected.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And he then became a member of the Serb Assembly?
11 A. Yes. He was elected prior to the war to the Serbian Assembly,
12 and he was the president of the assembly. And later, when it actually
13 set a part, he became the president of the Serbian Assembly of the
14 municipality and discharged that particular duty for a while.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. I leave it to that for the moment. I have a
16 few more questions for you. Do you know anything about, from personal
17 observation, about arming of Serbs in Foca?
18 A. Well, I have some partial knowledge about this. Both the Serbs
19 and the Muslims armed themselves in different ways. The Serbs began to
20 do that late, with the assistance of multiple sources.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I don't want general information. I would like to
22 know if you have any personal knowledge that is based on personal
24 A. I know that people actually did what they can in different ways
25 privately to get hold of arms.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's not what I consider personal
2 observation but, rather, a general statement.
3 Do you have any specific knowledge about the fate and, again,
4 personal observation about the fate of those who were detained in the KP
6 A. I have no knowledge whatsoever about the KP Dom. I cannot say
7 anything about it. I cannot say either "yes" or "no" or it was like this
8 or it was like that, because I really knew nothing about who was detained
9 there. I only know that some elderly people had been received into this
10 KP Dom, this penal and correctional facility, and that there they were
11 treated if a wholly different fashion than the prisoners prior to the
13 JUDGE ORIE: Again, you have no personal observation about it,
14 I understand.
15 A. No, I don't. I really cannot say anything.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then I said that at the very end of your testimony
17 you would be given an opportunity to add anything to answers you gave,
18 not to make general statements. But if there is any specific question
19 where you think you should have added something that you were not allowed
20 to do before, you may do it now.
21 A. This is all I wanted to say. When I was talking about places of
22 worship of the Islamic community, I want to say that all this happened
23 during the conflict in April, and I'm a bit surprised that nobody asked
24 me about what happened to Serb, Serbian places of worship, the churches.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, we leave it usually to the parties to ask
1 questions and to consider what is relevant for this case or not.
2 Ms. Bibles, I think I was the last one who put questions to the
3 witness. Any further questions?
4 MS. BIBLES: No, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic?
6 MR. IVETIC: No, I think not.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Then this concludes your evidence, Mr. Vujicic, and
8 I'd like to thank you very much for coming to The Hague, a long way for
9 you, and for having answered the -- I start again because I see you had
10 taken off your ear-phones already.
11 I would like to thank you for coming to The Hague, which is a
12 long way for you, and for having answered all the questions that were put
13 to you by the parties and by the Bench, and I wish you a safe return home
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for being very
16 fair in hearing what I had to say. Thank you very much.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for the day.
19 Ms. Bibles?
20 MS. BIBLES: With respect to the 65 ter 13426, I believe we
21 agreed to MFI that document, and Mr. Ivetic and I would attempt to reach
22 some sort of agreement as to whether -- there were certain agreements
23 about that, but I would ask that that be MFIed.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And I think I have forgotten, or at least I have
25 failed to ask for a number for it.
1 Madam Registrar?
2 THE REGISTRAR: Document 13426 receives number P6682, Your
4 JUDGE ORIE: P6682 is admitted into -- is marked for
6 We adjourn for the day and we will resume tomorrow, Friday, the
7 18th of July, 9.30 in the morning, in this same Courtroom I.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.17 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Friday, the 18th day of July,
10 2014, at 9.30 a.m.