Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 9589

1 Thursday, 14 July 2005

2 [Open session]

3 [The witness entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.

5 [The accused entered court]

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,

7 please.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number

9 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Oric, good morning to you. Can you follow the

11 proceedings in your own language?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, ladies

13 and gentlemen. I can follow the proceedings in my mother tongue.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You may sit down. Good morning to you.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Appearances for the Prosecution.

17 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours, my name is Jan Wubben

18 lead counsel for the Prosecution. Also good morning to my learned

19 friends of the Defence. I'm here together with co-counsel Mr. Gramsci di

20 Fazio and our case manager Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Wubben and good morning to you and

22 your team. Appearances for Naser Oric.

23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning Your Honours my name

24 is Vasvija Vidovic and together with John Jones I appear for Naser Oric.

25 With us are our legal assistant, Ms. Adisa Mehic and our CaseMap manager,

Page 9590

1 Mr. Geoff Roberts.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you Madam, and good morning to you and your

3 team. Any preliminaries?

4 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.

5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: So good morning, Mr. Bekric.

7 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honours.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome back. We are going to proceed and conclude

9 with your testimony today. You will be cross-examined starting as from

10 now by Mr. Jan Wubben, who is lead counsel for the Prosecution in this

11 case.

12 Mr. Wubben.


14 Cross-examined by Mr. Wubben:

15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Bektic. My name is, as said, Jan Wubben, lead

16 counsel for the Prosecution. I have some questions for you.

17 A. Good morning.

18 Q. My first question is: Do you know a place called Bajramovic?

19 A. Yes, I do.

20 Q. Have you ever been there?

21 A. Yes, I have.

22 Q. Do you know of a meeting in Bajramovici in May 1992?

23 A. No I'm not aware of that.

24 Q. Were you on any meeting with Naser Oric, Atif Ustic, Zulfo

25 Tursunovic and others?

Page 9591

1 A. No, I have not been.

2 Q. So you're not aware of a meeting where decisions were made about

3 the command structure of the Srebrenica TO staff?

4 A. No, I have not -- I'm not aware of it.

5 Q. Yesterday, you mentioned the names of Akif Ustic, Zulfo

6 Tursunovic as commanders who had no supreme commander above them.

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. What is your basis for that?

9 A. Well, like I said yesterday, for Hakija Meholjic is the Sukrija

10 who was our guide from Mocevici area to Srebrenica. He introduced

11 himself as Hakija Meholjic man. And then also from people from my own

12 village who were Hakija Meholjic's unit. And then also people that I

13 know from my village that were in Akif Ustic's unit together with people

14 that I know from Suceska that was of Tursunovic's unit. And from my

15 understanding from talking to people from my closest people that I know

16 from my village there was no supreme command over those commanders.

17 Q. And regarding Zulfo Tursunovic?

18 A. Same thing applies to Zulfo Tursunovic. He did not have a

19 supreme commander and he was not commander of any other commanders in

20 Srebrenica.

21 Q. And these people that informed you about that, those facts, did

22 they -- were they present at that meeting, at that meeting in Bajramovic

23 in May 1992?

24 A. Like I said I'm not aware of the meeting and I do not know if

25 they were present or not.

Page 9592

1 Q. You spoke about information you had from people related to this

2 topic of command structure. How did that topic arise in your

3 conversation with those people?

4 A. The topic in Srebrenica, with the people in Srebrenica, the

5 refugees especially who were in refugee in Srebrenica from Bratunac, that

6 was everyday conversations. You know every single day what's going on

7 the town, who is who, who is the leader, who is the commander, who is in

8 which area. So it's an everyday things you talk about.

9 Q. And as such, you're not aware of a meeting in Bajramovici in May

10 1992?

11 A. Absolutely not.

12 Q. I move to the next issue. Yesterday, you stated that you reached

13 Srebrenica in June 1992.

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. You said it was like a ghost town.

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. What did you mean by that?

18 A. It was like I said yesterday it was before war very busy, active

19 little town and when we arrived in Srebrenica it was totally deserted,

20 empty, no people. All the cafes, restaurants, stores, everything was

21 empty, looted, glass broken. Many houses burnt, no cars moving around

22 Srebrenica, no people walking around like used to be before war.

23 Q. So it was pretty quiet, like a ghost town?

24 A. It was totally it was totally quiet and deserted area.

25 Q. And that was also the situation in July 1992?

Page 9593

1 A. Later on, as the refugees started flowing in it was getting more

2 and more busy.

3 Q. And when was that?

4 A. I can't be specific but you know the group -- first group when we

5 arrived was in June so after that you know the streams of refugees

6 started flowing in. You know, some in smaller groups, some in big groups

7 and continuously -- continually after I arrived and all time I was there,

8 until 1993 the refugees were coming constantly.

9 Q. That's by the end of -- starting by the end of 1992?

10 A. No, no, no. That's from the time I arrived in Srebrenica, in

11 June, which is the first group of refugees that arrived in Srebrenica.

12 And then after that, continually until April 1993 when I was there, the

13 refugees was streaming in.

14 Q. Let me go to another issue. Yesterday several attacks or actions

15 had been discussed. You witnessed that thousands of civilians were

16 involved next to fighters.

17 A. That's true. That's -- I testified yesterday thousands of

18 refugees who were together with fighters in many actions, some before the

19 fighters, some with the fighters, and many after the fighters.

20 Q. Let me take the action on Bjelovac as an example. That's

21 December 1992.

22 A. That's fine.

23 Q. So also during the action on Bjelovac, you stated that you were

24 together with thousands of other people from various municipalities.

25 A. That is correct.

Page 9594

1 Q. You and those other civilians, thousands, knew beforehand that

2 this action was going to take place.

3 A. Absolutely.

4 Q. You knew that from the fighters or the family of the fighters

5 involved?

6 A. Like I said yesterday, it is the people from my village, people

7 from the Bratunac municipalities who lived together with their families

8 in their homes and they discussed the actions. And people would talk

9 between each other and basically everybody knew in Srebrenica that

10 actions would take place.

11 Q. So thousands of people, civilians, had to organise to get to the

12 place of the action, the attack.

13 A. The refugees were not organised. It's like mobs, going in every

14 single direction. They wanted to go toward the area where the action was

15 taking place.

16 Q. Thousands of people had indeed to do a timely start to get to the

17 place of the action, isn't it?

18 A. That's definitely true. Some people go the day before, some can

19 go during the night, some can go after. So you can never know with the

20 refugees.

21 Q. And thousands of people had to make sure as well that they didn't

22 get in the way of the fighters, isn't it?

23 A. Absolutely not, because many refugees, many civilians were killed

24 and there were in the various actions when the action was taking place.

25 Q. Let me rephrase my question, then. I'm here in the phase of

Page 9595

1 getting to the place, the route to -- towards the place of the action,

2 not the action itself. So let me rephrase the question. Thousands of

3 people had to make sure that they had to start in time to finally get in

4 time to the place of the action, isn't it?

5 A. I don't know about timing part. So many, like I said, refugees

6 who start night before, some would start the same day the action was

7 taking place, some went night before. So it can be -- many came after

8 the action. So many came on time when the action was taking place and

9 many came same day and many came day after and then many other ones came

10 even later, you know.

11 Q. Yes. But anyhow, even if this part of it -- I assume that they

12 had to organise to be there and to plan a route, a safe route, isn't it?

13 A. There was no safe route where refugees went and there was no

14 planning. So with the refugees everybody took their own route whether

15 safe or not safe.

16 Q. And they all took the same route?

17 A. Absolutely not. Everybody went in different directions.

18 Q. So they knew where to go from different direction towards the

19 place of the action aforehand?

20 A. When you go in the action if you have a group, lets say five

21 people or five friends who they want to go to the action they can take

22 their own chances, make their own route, or they can go where there is a

23 route already safe to go there. So it's your chance, it's your life.

24 You take a chance. Do what you want to go.

25 Q. And then they are all organised together, those thousands of

Page 9596

1 people around the area of the action, isn't it?

2 A. I wouldn't use the word organised. There were thousands of

3 refugees there but they were not organised, as like I said like animals.

4 Q. Well, I will not compare them with animals but are these

5 civilians, as I may use that qualification, are these civilians there

6 waiting for the action or waiting for any signal?

7 A. The refugees who were there when the action is taking place. So

8 they can go during the fighting, after the fighting, whenever they felt

9 like, like I said it's your chance to take to go when there is action.

10 Q. And there is of course a resistance to be expected from the

11 inhabitants of the village to be attacked, isn't it?

12 A. Well, there has always been very strong resistance from the

13 inhabitants that live there and from the force that is came from outside

14 into the area.

15 Q. And yesterday you used qualifications like fierce fighting, and

16 use of artillery, having heavy weapons. So there should be an element of

17 surprise before such an attack, isn't it?

18 A. Well, when you see -- we refugees and the people in Srebrenica

19 were never surprised when we go -- when there is action and when there is

20 shellings and when there is fierce fighting that's nothing new. We knew

21 that Serbs had very strong heavy weapons and they going to use everything

22 at their exposal [sic] to fight.

23 Q. So an element of surprise, attacking by surprise is important for

24 a successful action, isn't it?

25 A. Well, I can't say how it was important you know in the for those

Page 9597

1 people how they planned the action and those people who were in those

2 villages, whether it's important or not. I have no idea. I was not a

3 soldier and I was there as a refugee.

4 Q. And -- but can I put it to you that if there is no element of

5 surprise, it would be so that the villages attacked will give resistance

6 already by the very appearance of the attackers, isn't it?

7 A. Well, the villagers or the army that was in the villages, they

8 themselves made many actions against the Muslims. So when there is

9 attack against them, they always had weapons and they will confident to

10 defend themselves so I don't think it was a big surprise to them.

11 Q. That's not a real answer to my question, isn't it? So I will ask

12 you again. If there is no element of surprise, it would be so that

13 whenever they are defending their village they will open fire immediately

14 upon appearance of the first attackers they expect.

15 A. Absolutely. They would open fire on the attackers that were

16 being attacked, yeah.

17 Q. So this element of surprise is important, isn't it?

18 A. I would say so.

19 Q. So these thousands of people, as you call them refugees,

20 civilians, should also be silent before the attack.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones? I'm sorry I was looking on the

22 other side.

23 MR. JONES: Yes, the last series of questions which I think I

24 have to note, I think is unfair of my learned friend to say that there

25 wasn't a real answer to the question because he's putting a series of

Page 9598

1 speculative questions about would it be important to have surprise if

2 such and such were the case. This witness is not a military expert.

3 He's here testifying about what he saw and experienced and so to put a

4 series of questions about, well, if there were no surprise would this

5 happen; if there were surprise would something else happen; assuming the

6 other would this be important. It's not appropriate for this witness to

7 be asked to have such questions put to him.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: But the witness is a very intelligent young man and

9 I think he's fully capable of answering only those questions that he can

10 answer.

11 MR. JONES: Right. But if you --

12 JUDGE AGIUS: And I don't think the questions that are being put

13 are speculative. If he's not in a position to answer them, he's free not

14 to answer them and explain why.

15 MR. JONES: Yes, and in that event if he does give an answer to

16 the best of his ability, I don't think it's fair to say it's not a real

17 answer. He's doing his best to answer.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: He's not a military expert. I agree with you. He

19 wasn't a military expert then although he knows all the types of weaponry

20 by name and calibre and description.

21 MR. JONES: Yes, from having seen them. It's a different matter

22 altogether.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: I can understand that at age 14, 13 in those

24 circumstances it's not surprising at all. So when I was much younger

25 than he was then I knew all the fighter jets and bombers and was a keen

Page 9599

1 reader on a daily basis of the Jane's book of aircraft and the Jane's

2 book of -- so. I'm not surprised. Still, it doesn't mean that he's a

3 military expert and we are not considering him as such.


5 Q. So, Witness, can I also take it that before the action at a

6 certain time, these thousands of civilians, of refugees, around the area

7 of the place of the action, they were silent, they kept silent?

8 A. Well, I can say where I was, that particular spot, and I can see

9 all thousands around, I know where they were. But you know you know if

10 they kept felt like being silent they would be silent. They were in the

11 hills. Some were silent. Some were not.

12 Q. But they were indeed silent to such a level that action -- the

13 action would benefit from the surprise element, isn't it?

14 A. Not really, because when the action is taking place, when you

15 hear firing and shelling in every direction so what's the point in being

16 quiet?

17 Q. No, I'm -- so this is -- this is not an answer to my question.

18 I'm not speaking about when action is taking place. I'm asking you about

19 the phase before the action take place and when -- when those thousands

20 of people were more or less silent to give the fighters the most

21 successful outcome by making use of the element of surprise.

22 A. Well, there were -- there were -- quiet but they were not I can

23 say silent, absolutely not. Because you can hear children running,

24 screaming. You can hear horses, you can hear everything around. It's

25 not so silent.

Page 9600

1 Q. But you were close to those thousands of people, isn't it?

2 A. Yes, I was right there because -- I'm standing right here and 20

3 metres away I can see somebody is, you know, talking or keeping quiet or,

4 you know, whatever they were doing.

5 Q. And place of the action was far away, isn't it?

6 A. The first day when I was in Dimnici, the village, it was, you

7 know, not that far. It was -- to Plice upper [phoen] and Pozlodnik, when

8 I was closer to Bjelovac it was much closer than Dimnici but overall it

9 wasn't that far.

10 Q. How far?

11 A. As the crow flies, probably two, three kilometres.

12 Q. Okay. So if you make a noise like you described, it won't be

13 heard of on a distance -- at a distance of 2 or 3 kilometres, isn't it?

14 A. No, you could not hear.

15 Q. So is it safe also to say that everybody thus cooperated in order

16 to achieve a successful action?

17 A. Absolutely not. Because where I was, you could not hear when we

18 were -- if I was screaming or yelling. But like I said, there is

19 thousands of refugees all over the place so I can't testify whether

20 refugees down close to Pozlodnik or to -- close to Plice on the first day

21 if they were silent or not, if they were screaming or not, if they were

22 yelling or not, if they were running around or not. I'm testifying where

23 I was. On the first day if I was screaming couldn't hear me. With the

24 other refugees, thousands of them all over the place, I can't testify

25 what they were if they were noisy or they were close to battle or quiet.

Page 9601

1 Q. Now, let me move to another issue.

2 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honours, I would like to have private session.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session, please. Madam

4 Registrar.

5 [Private session]

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

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24 (redacted)

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Page 9606

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5 (redacted)

6 [Open session]

7 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session, Mr. Wubben.

8 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.

9 Q. Yesterday, you testified about an incident during the Kravica

10 attack.

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. A woman had been slapped because she set a house on fire after

13 she took what she wanted.

14 A. That's right. The woman was in the house, took what she wanted,

15 and she set the house on fire and walked the front door and then a

16 fighter slapped her from doing that so.

17 Q. I had not put any question but they will be related so please

18 wait for this information and you will -- you were able to give me an

19 answer. Where in Kravica did that incident occur?

20 A. Around centre part of Kravica.

21 Q. What time of the day was it?

22 A. I would say it was mid-morning, sometimes mid -- toward mid-day.

23 So probably I would say mid- to late morning.

24 Q. How close were you to that woman?

25 A. Probably ten metres.

Page 9607

1 Q. Ten metres. So what made you believe that the woman took what

2 she wanted?

3 A. Because I saw what she had in front of her. She had 25 kilos of

4 flour and a bag of full of stuff that she wanted from the house that she

5 carried out side. She had right next to her.

6 Q. And can you tell me something about that house? What did the

7 house look like?

8 A. It was one storey with -- how would I explain to you in --

9 because basic Bosnian or Balkan house with two -- top -- bottom floor and

10 top floor.

11 Q. And the woman herself, did you know the name of that woman?

12 A. I did not know the woman's name, no.

13 Q. Did you ever saw her before?

14 A. No, I have not.

15 Q. So can you give her a description of her?

16 A. Yes --

17 Q. To the best of your ability?

18 A. I apologise. She was probably mid-age, typical, Bosnian woman.

19 I would say she was anywhere between 35, 40 years old who had those

20 Bosnian dress and thing on her head, like a scarf on her head. And she

21 had like everybody else had -- we wear like I said yesterday I wore the

22 sheet but she didn't have the sheet. She had like a top part was white.

23 Q. And what was her reaction to the slapping by the fighter?

24 A. She screamed back at the fighter and that's about it. Took her

25 stuff.

Page 9608

1 Q. What did she scream?

2 A. I don't remember exact same words. It's kind of like -- in kind

3 of way like Go away you idiots, that kind of way. I don't know exactly

4 the wording that she said.

5 Q. And what was your reaction to that?

6 A. Nothing. Looked at it, I kind of felt hate against the fighter

7 and I continue on.

8 Q. Why did you felt hate against the fighter?

9 A. How can anybody slap the poor woman who came there to get to --

10 food for her children for herself, for her family, who was expelled from

11 her own place same as I was, and there is this guy who was going to slap

12 her for taking stuff and burn the house?

13 Q. So she was expelled from the same place as you were. So you knew

14 her?

15 A. No, I didn't mean exact same village I mean probably same as I

16 was, kind of, expelled from the -- from her place, home, wherever was.

17 Same ways I was, probably.

18 Q. You said you felt hate against the fighter. Did you recognise

19 that fighter who slapped her?

20 A. No, I did not. I did not recognise him at that time.

21 Q. Can you describe the fighter, how he looks like?

22 A. He had a rifle what we call PAP and he had a kind of like a

23 ragged jacket with sweater and dark pants at the bottom and with the

24 rubber boots.

25 Q. And how did you knew he was a fighter?

Page 9609

1 A. Well, it's too obvious, if he's got a weapon his shoulder and his

2 hands to me that's fighter.

3 Q. And did he also wear a kind of ribbon?

4 A. No, there was no ribbons.

5 Q. No ribbons at all?

6 A. No ribbons.

7 Q. Not on the held or shoulder?

8 A. Just average person, like dressed like anybody else would be.

9 The only difference is that he had a gun in his hand.

10 Q. And did the soldier said, this fighter, said anything to you in

11 person?

12 A. No, he didn't with me. I just saw the incident and I continued

13 walking on. He did not say nothing to me.

14 Q. So you saw the incident, you were a child, 14 years old, among

15 this action, witnessing a fighter slapping an adult.

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. And this fighter didn't explain to you, a child, this unusual

18 incident?

19 A. I was not the only child there. There was much more -- many

20 people my age, many kids my age, many civilians, women, children,

21 everybody else was there. So the soldier or fighter had nothing to do

22 with me. I just saw the incidents and I continued moving on.

23 Q. I will move to another issue.

24 Yesterday you testified about a person --

25 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Wubben. Sorry to interrupt you

Page 9610

1 like this.

2 But you said that this fighter did not have any ribbon, just a

3 rifle, which you also named. How would you have known that he was a

4 Muslim fighter and not a Serbian fighter? How would you have

5 distinguished him?

6 THE WITNESS: Well there is many ways to distinguish, Your

7 Honour. First of all, he was on the same side as civilians who are in

8 the area. If he was a Serbian soldier he would have started shooting

9 everybody around.

10 Secondly, it was very easy to identify between a Serbian soldier

11 and a Muslim soldier. Serbian soldiers got full combat with very

12 sophisticated weapons and then on Muslim side you got a ragged, average

13 man walking around with whatever rifle that can get in their hands with

14 no signs of -- that looked like a soldier.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you ever seen the Muslim fighters in any one

16 of the actions that you were present at, wearing headbands or armbands,

17 coloured --

18 THE WITNESS: No, Your Honour, I have not seen that.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Yes, Mr. Wubben.

20 MR. WUBBEN: Thank, Your Honour.

21 Q. Mr. Bekric, yesterday you testified about a person called Hazim

22 Omerovic.

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. You witnessed that this person made use of resemblance with Naser

25 Oric.

Page 9611

1 A. Absolutely.

2 Q. Yesterday you stated that he'd ask for things, making use of that

3 resemblance.

4 A. That's right.

5 Q. Can you tell me what would people then give to this Hazim

6 Omerovic?

7 A. Whatever he would ask for. If he asked for there is bread in the

8 house he asked for that, if there is brandy, he will ask for that, if

9 there is whatever he want, tobacco, he would ask for that.

10 Q. Can you recall what was the most valuable thing people gave to

11 him?

12 A. Most valuable thing that they gave to him personally?

13 Q. Yes.

14 A. I don't know what was the most valuable but I'm sure if he -- if

15 he asked for something that people had they would give it to him.

16 Q. Give examples of valuable things?

17 A. Well, I don't think that known of us had very valuable things.

18 Q. Bread is valuable, isn't it?

19 A. Bread is very valuable. So when you talk about the food that's a

20 different story. Like I said earlier if he asked for bread, they would

21 give him bread. If you ask for tobacco, they would give him tobacco if

22 they had it. If he asked -- they asked for plum brandy, if he would give

23 him plum brandy if they had it.

24 Q. And why should people give these valuable things to Hazim

25 Omerovic?

Page 9612

1 A. I can't say why they gave to him. So obviously they gave it to

2 because they want to give it to him. I can't say why they gave it to

3 him. He acted that way like he thought he introduced himself like he

4 looked like Naser Oric and he acted in the villages -- I'm Naser Oric

5 give me this. So they gave him. Why they gave it to him I have no idea.

6 Q. There must be a reason to give this person such things upon the

7 simple request, isn't it?

8 A. I'm sure there is reason and if I could find the person that he

9 asked for I would ask him why.

10 Q. But you never ask him?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Was the kind of attention that he liked? Yesterday, you stated

13 that Hazim Omerovic liked the attention; is that correct?

14 A. Well, he -- I'm sure he enjoyed the attention, you know, to act

15 that way.

16 Q. Yeah. Was it a kind of joke for Hazim?

17 A. Well, it was a benefit for Hazim. But there was a joke or not,

18 that's -- no idea. I'm sure he benefit from it he has --

19 Q. Or was it indeed just to get favours or both?

20 A. No idea. I'm sure he enjoyed the benefit he was getting from it.

21 Was the reason I have no clue.

22 Q. Do you yourself think it was funny?

23 A. I don't think it's funny.

24 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, I'm now to the last issue to address in

25 my cross.

Page 9613

1 JUDGE AGIUS: It's up to you. I have got a whole day, as far as

2 I'm concerned.


4 Q. It's about PTT building in Srebrenica. Yesterday you stated that

5 your residence in Srebrenica was close to the PTT building.

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. It's about a hundred metres from the house.

8 A. If that much, yeah, somewhere there.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: He saw across the road -- a hundred metres across

10 the road from the hospital that's how --

11 MR. WUBBEN: A kind of triangle, then.


13 THE WITNESS: The hospital was right across from PTT building but

14 my house was a little bit to the left, right next to the hospital, to the

15 left-hand side probably a hundred or so metres.


17 Q. So you saw the PTT building a lot of times during your stay in

18 Srebrenica?

19 A. Of course, absolutely.

20 Q. And you were even aware of the PTT building before the war, isn't

21 it?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. What was the function of the PTT building?

24 A. Before the war or during the war?

25 Q. During the war.

Page 9614

1 A. Well, we knew -- as civilians that there it was a radio

2 communication in PTT building, what we called one address for the all.

3 So all the people that were in Srebrenica during -- in the refuge and

4 they had families outside Srebrenica they would receive messages to that

5 radio communication. Whatever was in PTT I don't know. And then they

6 would post a message saying family -- loved ones writing message from

7 Tuzla or from the --

8 Q. So it was possible to have contact with the outside world from --

9 from Srebrenica by means of radio communication?

10 A. Well, like I said, only I know that we received messages from the

11 loved one that were outside Srebrenica. How was in the PTT building, how

12 did they received it, I have no idea whether it was a radio or whatever

13 it was.

14 Q. With you the communication was a fact and well known?

15 A. Like I said, I know we received messages but how it was inside I

16 have no idea what kind of communication it was.

17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Please, Mr. Wubben, I would like to know was this

19 so until you had -- was it still like that until you had the incident on

20 the soccer field or was it different at any different -- at any special

21 time?

22 THE WITNESS: I do not -- as I can remember, the -- we started

23 receiving messages it was probably late summer and then that I believe

24 went on --

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Late summer of 1992, in other words.

Page 9615

1 THE WITNESS: Right, late summer 1992. And it was there until

2 Morillon arrived and then after that the peacekeepers were there in the

3 PTT building. So whatever was there after that, I have no idea.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, Mr. Wubben. I apologise to you

5 for having interrupted you.


7 Q. Question: Were you aware of any communication directly to

8 Sarajevo and Tuzla from the PTT building?

9 A. Absolutely not.

10 MR. WUBBEN: This finalise my cross.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: How would you know? If there was contact with

12 loved ones living outside Srebrenica, how do you exclude the possibility

13 of contacts with Tuzla and Sarajevo?

14 THE WITNESS: Well, I am here to testify what I know. So if

15 there was communication, it was. If there wasn't it wasn't. I have no

16 idea if it was or not.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: But you didn't say I wouldn't know, I don't know,

18 you said that there wasn't.

19 MR. JONES: Your Honour, he said were you aware and he said

20 absolutely not. Absolutely not, he wasn't aware.

21 THE WITNESS: When he asked me question if I knew about it I said

22 absolutely not.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Any re-examination?

24 MR. JONES: No, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Any questions? Judge Brydensholt is going to ask

Page 9616

1 you a question.

2 Questioned by the Court:

3 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: It is only one question. It is regarding

4 this accident or what you would call it where Mr. Bogilovic shot your

5 police cap off your head. Could you give me a little more detail about

6 that. Do you really mean that he shot with a pistol or something your

7 hat off? Or what is it you are telling us?

8 A. I was in the centre of the town and I was in the apartment trying

9 to find food and clothing and I found some clothes and I found a police

10 cap which I thought was unique, that I saw before the war. I took it I

11 put it on my head. Walked outside in the street and I saw Becir

12 Bogilovic walking up the street with a rifle in his hand. Just put his

13 rifle on his shoulder aimed it and fired right on my head. Knocked it

14 off my head and it flew far away from me. It flew right off my head, so

15 I don't know how far it went, two metres, five metres, ten metres, I

16 don't know.

17 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: So he really shot a hole in this hat or cap?

18 A. A hole right where the star is on the cap, right above it. Like,

19 right there.


21 JUDGE AGIUS: How far was he from you when he shot, when he fired

22 the rifle?

23 A. Anywhere between ten, 20 metres.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge Eser?

25 JUDGE ESER: Mr. Bekric, I also have some questions. Yesterday

Page 9617

1 you have been asked with regard to your knowledge of Naser Oric, and you

2 told us that you did not see him between beginning of the war and the

3 arrival of Morillon. Now, you had seen him before the war, on what

4 occasion? How did you got to know him? How did you recognise him?

5 A. Your Honour, I said yesterday that I knew Naser from before war

6 from my village. He came in my village. In the village you know

7 everybody that lives in it and comes in it and goes through it. So Naser

8 comes in the village or whatever so before the war I knew who he was.

9 JUDGE ESER: That was Voljevica.

10 A. That's right.

11 JUDGE ESER: And do you know where Naser Oric is born?

12 A. Yeah, Naser Oric is from the Potocari area.

13 JUDGE ESER: This is normal, that people move around in those

14 villages?

15 A. That was before war, it was normal to move around villages, yes.

16 JUDGE ESER: Okay. Now, you did not see him between the

17 beginning of the war and the arrival of General Morillon. But did you

18 hear of him, if you did not see him? Perhaps you may have heard of him.

19 A. Yes, Your Honour. I heard from people talking that people from

20 Potocari with Naser having a fierce attacks coming from Bratunac and they

21 are fighting the front line in Potocari, resisting the breakthrough from

22 Zvijezda and from Bratunac.

23 JUDGE ESER: What do you mean with fierce attack? Was he leading

24 a group or --

25 A. Your Honour, the beginning of the war, the -- when the

Page 9618

1 paramilitary -- Arkan's paramilitary came from Bratunac area so that's

2 where people from Potocari stood up to them and then that's where they

3 had front line and that's where there was more vulnerable attacks from

4 Bratunac area and from Zvijezda and/or from the hills around from Caus,

5 shelling was coming towards Potocari. And it was a very main key to

6 Srebrenica to -- for survival of Srebrenica at the breakthrough from

7 Bratunac through Potocari. Then whole Srebrenica would be in crisis.

8 JUDGE ESER: And this incident you talked about, was it the only

9 one where you according to your knowledge, Naser Oric was involved?

10 A. Yeah, people admired Naser Oric because he stood up in beginning

11 of war with the people from Potocari to Arkan's men and that's -- the

12 people from Srebrenica and people from Bratunac knew that Naser's --

13 Naser and people from Potocari were located in Potocari area all through

14 the war.

15 JUDGE ESER: So he was only involved in the fight against Arkan?

16 A. He was involved with the -- anybody who attacked Potocari area

17 from all different directions, from Bratunac, from Zvijezda, from Caus

18 from all different directions. From Glogova area, that part. So whoever

19 attacked that area they were involved defending the Potocari area.

20 JUDGE ESER: Can I conclude from your answer that Naser Oric at

21 least was a leader of a group fighting against certain Serbian people?

22 A. From what I'm saying, from talking to people in Srebrenica, that

23 Naser together with the other men in Potocari were holding front lines

24 that were coming to Bratunac. Whether he was commander at Potocari area,

25 whether he was an average man as everybody else I have no clue, I can't

Page 9619

1 testify to that.

2 JUDGE ESER: If he was a normal fighter as anybody else was, why

3 was it so important to -- for instance for Hazim to be confused with him

4 that people would be impressed if they say, I am Naser Oric? I mean, if

5 he was only a normal soldier, what is impressive of that, when you have

6 thousands of people of this sort.

7 A. Your Honour, Hazim imitated Naser Oric but there was many other

8 men who imitated other leaders and other men who were admired. To me and

9 to other people that I know, Naser is admired as much as any other

10 leaders in Srebrenica who were -- who stood up to Serbian aggression. So

11 it was not specially Naser Oric. There was many people who liked Naser

12 Oric. There was many people who liked Zulfo Tursunovic as much as Naser

13 Oric. This and there were people who admired Hakija Meholjic more than

14 admired Naser Oric. So it's not like just Naser Oric.

15 JUDGE ESER: You told us that you have arrived rather close to

16 Hakija, that you knew him, that you also knew Zulfo who has been a

17 relative of your father, if I remember correctly.

18 A. Distant relative of my father.

19 JUDGE ESER: At any rate, you know Zulfo, you know Hakija. Did

20 you ever hear of any incidents that somebody would say, "I am Hakija, I

21 am Zulfo, please give me this or that"? Did you hear any -- at any time

22 hear of such a thing?

23 A. I did not see personally say Give me this, Give me that but I see

24 many people in Srebrenica imitate leaders like Zulfo the way he was,

25 Hakija Meholjic the way he was, the way Nedzad Bektic was. Many people

Page 9620

1 imitated them.

2 JUDGE ESER: It was very easy to go around and tell I am this or

3 that man and you got whatever you wanted.

4 A. The last part of the question I did not understand, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE ESER: So it was very easy in Srebrenica according to what

6 you know, what you know, that you could just go around and walk around

7 Srebrenica and say, I am Hakija, I am Zulfo, I am this or that and you

8 got what you wanted. Is that your answer?

9 A. Yes, Your Honour. In Srebrenica the way it was in Srebrenica

10 everybody did what they wanted, how they wanted, when they wanted. It

11 was no law, it was no -- nothing to prevent, say, don't do this or don't

12 do that. So everybody acted the way they wanted. They dressed the

13 clothes the way they wanted, imitated by what they wanted did what they

14 liked.

15 JUDGE ESER: And did you personally ever attend -- have been

16 present when somebody would -- when Hazim would introduce himself as

17 Naser Oric? Have you ever been present at such an occasion?

18 A. Yes, I was present in Konjevic Polje and Suceska when he

19 introduced himself that way.

20 JUDGE ESER: And you knew it was not Naser Oric who but Hazim who

21 presented himself as Naser Oric?

22 A. Yes, Your Honour.

23 JUDGE ESER: And you did not explain to the people that they have

24 mistakenly given something to a man who was in reality not Naser Oric?

25 A. The more you keep quiet the better you off. So everybody did

Page 9621

1 their own business, what they wanted. I kept my own business to myself.

2 JUDGE ESER: No further questions.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: I have one question arising out of the last

4 question that Judge Eser.

5 You said you heard this Hazim present himself as Naser Oric and

6 ask for things when you were in Konjevic Polje.

7 A. M'hm.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: If Naser Oric was based in Potocari the way you

9 have described things, he had nothing else to do with the rest of the

10 territory, why on earth would Hazim Omerovic try to obtain whatever,

11 pretending to be Naser Oric in Konjevic Polje?

12 A. Your Honour, I cannot answer that. I have no idea why he acted

13 that way. I'm sure Hazim knew Naser possibly before the war or they met

14 somewhere but I can't testify why he acted that way in Konjevic Polje or

15 not.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. In Kravica, when you were in Kravica

17 during the action in Kravica, did you see Naser Oric there?

18 A. No, Your Honour, I have not seen Naser Oric there.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you ever see Naser Oric in any of -- present in

20 any of the actions that you were present for?

21 A. No, Your Honours. Like I said, I only -- the only time I saw

22 Naser was before war and in the PTT building when Morillon came.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you ever see him on a horse?

24 A. No, I have not seen him on a horse.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. That brings --

Page 9622

1 MR. JONES: Your Honour, may I just ask two questions in light of

2 the questions which Your Honours have asked, just two brief questions of

3 re-examination?

4 Re-examination by Mr. Jones:

5 Q. You were asked about this phenomenon, if you like, of people

6 imitating Nedzad Bektic, Zulfo Tursunovic and others. At this time were

7 there television images or magazines or newspapers which carried pictures

8 of these people so that people who -- knew who they were?

9 A. In Srebrenica there was no magazines, there was no newspapers to

10 carry the pictures.

11 Q. Thank you. And the second question: Were you when you spoke of

12 Naser Oric being in Potocari, were you testifying that he remained in

13 Potocari throughout the whole time and never left Potocari once, or are

14 you testifying that you don't know -- you don't know of his movements

15 over the whole period?

16 A. From talking to people he was in Potocari. Now whether he moved

17 around or not, I have no idea.

18 MR. JONES: All right. Thank you.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

20 Mr. Bekric, I must thank you for having come over in spite of

21 everything and give testimony in this case. If it's difficult for other

22 persons, it's more difficult for you. I can quite understand. So please

23 do accept our sense of appreciation, Judge Brydensholt, Judge Eser and

24 myself and our gratitude for your having come over to give testimony in

25 this case.

Page 9623

1 Madam Usher, now as soon as we are all gone, will assist you,

2 together with the rest of the staff, to enable you to return back to your

3 hotel, and then you will receive all the further assistance that you

4 require to facilitate your return back home from where you came from.

5 My last message to you is on behalf of everyone present here and

6 that is to wish you a safe journey back home.

7 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honours, ladies and

8 gentlemen.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Jones, before we leave, it's okay.

10 I know that the sitting ends here and we will not be sitting at 1.00.

11 However I wanted you to know that I had every intention to ask everyone

12 here to observe a two minute silence at 1.00 in remembrance of the

13 events, the unfortunate events, that took place in London last week.

14 Please I want you to know that we will be observing two minutes silence

15 in our respective chambers.

16 MR. JONES: That's very kind. I appreciate that, Your Honour.

17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 10.00 a.m.