Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10557

1 Thursday, 8 September 2005

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE AGIUS: [French interpretation coming through on channel 4].

6 I thank you. It's a good thing I understand you in French because

7 I'm receiving French on the fourth channel. So I think there is a

8 technical problem which can be adjusted very easily. It has happened in

9 the past. So channel 4 should be the English translation. I am no longer

10 hearing French so I take it that the matter has been rectified already.

11 Mr. Oric, can you follow the proceedings in a language that you

12 can understand?

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

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

15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you. Appearances

16 for the Prosecution? And we are happy to see you back, Mr. Wubben.

17 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour, and thank you for expressing the

18 concerns regarding my health, also towards the Defence team.

19 Good morning to you, Your Honours and my learned friends on the

20 Defence. My name is Jan Wubben, lead counsel for the Prosecution. I'm

21 here together with co-counsel, Ms. Patricia Sellers, Mr. Gramsci di Fazio,

22 Ms. Joanne Richardson, and our case manager, Mrs. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Wubben. And good morning to you and

24 your team.

25 Appearances for Naser Oric?

Page 10558

1 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. My name

2 is Vasvija Vidovic and together with Mr. John Jones, I appear on behalf of

3 Mr. Naser Oric. With us are our legal assistant, Ms. Jasmina Cosic, and

4 our CaseMap manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts. Good morning to our colleagues

5 from the Prosecution.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Vidovic and good morning to you

7 and your team.

8 Any preliminaries before we bring in the new witness?

9 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.

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

11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you both. Let's get the witness in.

12 Ms. Vidovic, has he been informed that he will be here on Monday at least,

13 possibly even Tuesday?

14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.

15 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honours, while the witness is being brought in

16 I understand from a brief conversation with Mr. Jones outside of court

17 earlier today he expects he will be either two days or perhaps the lion's

18 share of two days. If that be so I would prefer to start my

19 cross-examination on the Monday, if that of course is convenient to the

20 Trial Chamber. And, of course, if he doesn't finish very early tomorrow.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Perhaps we can hear your comments on this.

22 You know how much you need.

23 MR. JONES: Yes, I think I'll be about two days.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: About two days.

25 MR. JONES: The estimate is five hours.

Page 10559

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Two full sittings would be three hours and a half

2 plus three hours and a half. That's seven hours.

3 MR. JONES: Yes but the estimate was five hours and I think it's

4 going to be more like six hours. That's why I say two days.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: In that case, unless things take a different turning

6 than expected, which sometimes happens, and the cross-examination finishes

7 very early tomorrow, then of course we will start the cross-examination on

8 Monday, but do I take it also that you intend to finish your

9 cross-examination on Monday?

10 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, there is a lot of exhibits in the Defence

11 Exhibit list. You know that I honestly hope to finish it on Monday but

12 I --

13 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm just asking for an indication from you because

14 when you told me -- for the time being the witness can sit down.

15 MR. DI FAZIO: My prediction is, Your Honour --

16 JUDGE AGIUS: He's heard me.

17 MR. DI FAZIO: My prediction Your Honour is that I will take all

18 of Monday at the very least.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Monday is the 12th or the 13th? The 12th, yeah.

20 Monday is the 12th. So we have scheduled this witness to be here up to

21 the 13th. So if Mr. Di Fazio doesn't finish on Monday we are still

22 within -- it won't disrupt our schedule for next week.

23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Then I can comfortably tell you, unless my

25 colleagues disagree with me, that chances are that we will say, okay,

Page 10560

1 start on Monday. All right?

2 I mean, do keep in mind, I've been making assessments as we go

3 along and this last witness, for example, the time taken by the

4 Prosecution excluding the re-examination -- by the Defence, excluding the

5 re-examination, and the Prosecution has been exactly the same, just two

6 minutes difference. So if you need two days, I wouldn't be surprised if

7 we are going to have -- find ourselves with you taking another two days.

8 This is an important witness, there is no question about it. All right?

9 [The witness entered court]

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Buric, could you stand up, please?

11 Good morning to you, Mr. Buric.

12 I take it that you are receiving interpretation in your own

13 language of what I'm --

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: -- saying. Good. If at any time between now and

16 when you finish your testimony next week there are problems with

17 interpretation, in other words if you are not receiving interpretation in

18 your own language or if the volume -- sound level is too high or too low

19 then please draw your attention straight away and we will rectify the

20 matter immediately.

21 Welcome to this Tribunal. And also welcome to this case which has

22 been instituted against Naser Oric. You have been summoned as a witness

23 by the Defence and very soon you will start giving evidence.

24 Our rules require that before you do so, you make a solemn

25 declaration, something which is equivalent to an oath in some domestic

Page 10561

1 jurisdictions and the essence, the substance of the solemn declaration, is

2 an undertaking on your part that in the course of your testimony, you will

3 be speaking the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The

4 text of the solemn declaration is going to be handed to you now by

5 Madam Usher. Please read it out aloud and that will be your solemn

6 undertaking with us that you will be testifying the truth. Go ahead.


8 [Witness answered through interpreter]

9 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare I will speak the truth, the whole

10 truth, and nothing but the truth.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. Buric. Please make yourself

12 comfortable.

13 I will explain very briefly what's going to happen. Since you

14 have been summoned as a Defence witness, it is one of the lawyers

15 conducting the Defence of Mr. Oric that will be examining you in chief.

16 This time it is Mr. Jones, I take it, whom I with will imagine you have

17 already met and discussed things. The examination-in-chief is expected to

18 last today and tomorrow but it could also go longer. After that, we will

19 start with your cross-examination, and it is Mr. Di Fazio, the gentleman

20 who is nearest to you on your right from the Prosecution team that will be

21 cross-examining you. Again, the cross-examination may last from one up to

22 two days. So you're anticipated to be still here testifying on Tuesday of

23 the coming week.

24 I take it you are already -- you have already been made aware of

25 that.

Page 10562

1 In between sessions and in between sittings, and especially since

2 you are going to be here the weekend, you are required not to communicate,

3 not to communicate, with anyone nor -- or neither to let anyone

4 communicate with you on matters that are related to your testimony or to

5 the events that happened in the territory of ex-Yugoslavia upon which you

6 will be testifying.

7 Do you understand me?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: It doesn't mean that you need to remain

10 incommunicado, that you cannot, for example, ring up members of your

11 family or that you cannot receive calls from family members or friends.

12 It doesn't mean that. It just means that you're not to discuss these

13 things with anyone.

14 Now, my name is Carmel Agius, I am the Presiding Judge in this

15 case and I come from the Mediterranean island of Malta. To my right I

16 have Judge Hans Henrik Brydensholt from the Kingdom of Denmark. And to my

17 left I have Judge Professor Albin Eser from Germany. Together we compose

18 this Trial Chamber and we will make sure that the procedure is adhered to

19 and that you will be able to give your testimony in full.

20 One short advice, but an important one, that I would like to give

21 you is that don't fall into the temptation of giving -- of providing more

22 evidence -- more information than you are being asked to do. If you get a

23 question that can be answered by a yes and a no, it does not need any

24 further elucidation or explanation on your part, then answer it by a mere

25 yes or a no. Don't volunteer more information than is required from you.

Page 10563












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Page 10564

1 We are not here to hear the entire history of the events in Yugoslavia but

2 only to hear your evidence in relation to the questions that are put to

3 you.

4 Now, there will be questions from the Defence and there will be

5 questions from the Prosecution. Your responsibility pursuant to the

6 solemn declaration that you have made is to answer all questions

7 truthfully and fully and to the best of your ability irrespective of who

8 is putting the question to you. Have I made myself clear to you? Do you

9 have any questions before we start with your testimony?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is all clear to me. I have

11 no further questions, Your Honour.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much for your cooperation, Mr. Buric,

13 and Mr. Jones now will start with his direct. Thank you, Mr. Jones.

14 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.

15 Examined by Mr. Jones:

16 Q. Good morning from me, too, Mr. Buric.

17 A. Good morning.

18 Q. Could we start by you please giving the Court your full name?

19 A. Nesib Buric.

20 Q. And is it right that you were born on the 18th of October, 1963?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And you were born in Osmace?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Can you tell us which municipality Osmace is in?

25 A. Osmace are within the Srebrenica municipality.

Page 10565

1 Q. All right. And is it right that you were married in 1989 in

2 Brezani?

3 A. Yes. I got married in Brezani in 1989.

4 Q. And that you have three children, a girl born in Tuzla, in 1997

5 and twin boys born in 2000?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. But is it also right that your family were not with you during the

8 war in Bosnia?

9 A. It is true. My wife was in Germany.

10 Q. All right. Finally as far as your education is concerned can you

11 confirm that you went to primary school in Osmace and then in OSAT

12 graduating in 1977 -- sorry, in 1978?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. You went to high school in Srebrenica and graduated in 1981?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And that in 1981 you enrolled in a teacher training programme,

17 graduating in 1986?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And is it right that from 1987 to 1992, you were employed as a

20 maths and physics teacher at the primary school in Brezani?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And finally, after the war, is it right that you worked in the

23 municipality of Srebrenica in the field of education?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And you retired in the year 2000 and you currently live in Tuzla?

Page 10566

1 Can you confirm that?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Thank you. Now, you were born in Osmace. Did you grow up there?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. So were you there at the start of 1992?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. All right.

8 MR. JONES: Your Honours, we have a new exhibit of a map. In our

9 never-ending search for the perfect map we have a map which is larger than

10 the ones we have been looking at so far but we think that might assist.

11 So if copies could be distributed, please.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: I would suggest that this be left if the proximity

13 of the witness because I take it that we will be making use of it --

14 MR. JONES: Yes, precisely, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: -- as we go along, instead of having to go -- take it

16 to and fro.

17 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. If I could also request

18 that the witness use this pen? It's a bit thinner than the ones which

19 have been used before.

20 Q. Now, if you could take a moment, Mr. Buric, to familiarise

21 yourself with the map and then locate Osmace, and please circle it.

22 Thank you. Now, you've circled Osmace, the words Osmace and then

23 you've drawn a larger circle. Can you explain the significance of those

24 two circles?

25 A. Osmace are a somewhat larger settlement with five or six adjacent

Page 10567

1 hamlets, those being Mahali, Hadrovici, Ostrana, Secimici, Marsalovic, and

2 Prisoj, six hamlets plus Osmace is the entire village.

3 Q. All right. Can you tell us, before the war, what was the ethnic

4 composition of the village of Osmace?

5 A. Osmace were 100 per cent Muslim. It used to have about 1.000

6 inhabitants.

7 Q. What was the nearest Serb village to Osmace?

8 A. The nearest Serb village is the village of Brezani.

9 Q. Could you locate that, please, on the map and circle it?

10 A. [Witness complies]

11 Q. And have you circled the larger settlement of Brezani just there?

12 A. Yes. Brezani are an ethnically pure Serb village consisting of

13 three to four units, Turija, Primorac, and the main one being Brezani.

14 Q. All right. And what was the approximate population of Brezani

15 before the war?

16 A. According to the old administrative organisation, Osmace and

17 Brezani were together in the local commune of Brezani so the Muslims were

18 in the majority up to 80 per cent, the remaining 20 were Serbs.

19 Q. Right. So in the area that you've circled on the map for Brezani,

20 roughly how many inhabitants would there be before the war?

21 A. Before the war, there were about 50 households, around 200

22 inhabitants.

23 Q. And how far away is Brezani from Osmace?

24 A. Brezani are about five kilometres away from Osmace, four to five.

25 Q. And from Osmace, if you're standing in Osmace, can you see what's

Page 10568

1 going on in the village of Brezani?

2 A. Yes, very clearly. As the crow flies, it is less than 1.000 or

3 1500 metres, between Osmace and Brezani, with certain depressions in

4 between. So four to five kilometres by road and as the crow flies, around

5 1500 metres.

6 Q. All right. Now, before the war, were there any sort of military

7 facilities in Brezani?

8 A. Yes. In Brezani, there was the conscription centre for the

9 reserve force are of the former JNA and the TO was trained there, the TO

10 of the Srebrenica municipality. There were trenches and fortifications,

11 and the infrastructure including a school, the old school, where the

12 reserve forces used to be accommodated when they were being trained in

13 Brezani.

14 Q. Now, you've confirmed that before the war, you were a school

15 teacher. Where exactly were you teaching?

16 A. The school was between Osmace and Brezani n the location of

17 Pazaric. It is not marked on the map, but I will try to point to the

18 approximate location where the school was. Next to Secimici.

19 Q. All right. Thank you. Now I want to take you to 1991, 1992, when

20 the wars in the former Yugoslavia were starting. Did you hear any talk at

21 the school about the outbreak of war in the former Yugoslavia in 1991?

22 A. Yes. When the conflict broke out in Croatia in 1991, the Serb

23 children from the primary school at Brezani left school en masse and they

24 were sent to schools in Serbia, Bajina Basta, Lazarjevic [phoen], Cacak,

25 because the Serb population of the village of Brezani mostly had houses in

Page 10569

1 Serbia, 99 per cent of them did, and we suddenly realised that their

2 conscripts were all leaving for the battle grounds in Croatia and the Serb

3 children used to tell about it to the Muslim children, either because they

4 didn't know that they shouldn't say anything or because they wanted to

5 boast, but -- well, that's how we had the information as to what was going

6 on in the village of Brezani as well.

7 Q. All right. Thank you. And in Brezani you told us that before the

8 war, that there were TO were trained there and that there was a JNA

9 conscription centre. Did you hear at any time talk about the JNA taking

10 the weapons of the TO?

11 A. Yes. When the conflict broke out in Croatia, all weapons from the

12 Territorial Defence were taken by the JNA and distributed to the Serb

13 population, not just in Srebrenica but all over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

14 Q. Do you know if local Serbs, Serbs in your area, received weapons

15 from the JNA which had taken those weapons from the TO?

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Did they have to be weapons taken from the TO,

17 Mr. Jones? Or any weapons?

18 MR. JONES: I was talking specifically with the TO but indeed

19 receiving weapons would also function for my purposes.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Require them as being identified as being TO

21 weapons.

22 MR. JONES: Yes, the source isn't that important.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Right.


25 Q. Is the question clear or should I repeat it?

Page 10570












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Page 10571

1 JUDGE AGIUS: You better repeat it.


3 Q. Do you know if local Serbs in your area at this time that we are

4 discussing were receiving weapons from the JNA?

5 A. Yes. Most weapons that were taken from the TO were distributed to

6 the local Serb population. Those were slightly outdated weapons, such as

7 M-48 rifles, mortars, old weapons that was in the hands of the TO. By the

8 end of 1991 and the beginning of 1992, was distributed to the Serb

9 population, and we also had some papers on which it was stated that back

10 in 1976 also the Serb population was being given weapons.

11 Q. Now, apart from the weapons from the TO which were distributed to

12 the Serbs, did you ever become aware of local Serbs receiving other

13 weapons, newer weapons?

14 A. Yes. They -- as they withdrew, the JNA from Slovenia and Croatia,

15 they were bringing new weapons, automatic rifles, PMs and 84 machine-guns,

16 and the artillery weapons for the most part consisted of mortars.

17 Q. Thank you. Now, in the interests of statement we are not going to

18 dwell on the background to the conflict in Bosnia. I'm going to take you

19 straight to the beginning of 1992. At that time, did you notice any

20 goings on in Brezani?

21 A. Yes, indeed. In the beginning of 1992, as I've already mentioned,

22 Serbs were giving weapons, and they started organising neighbourhood

23 watches or -- and they all went into training at Brezani and in other

24 places, so those activities were already underway in the beginning of

25 1992.

Page 10572

1 Q. All right. Just dealing firstly with Brezani, is that something,

2 the training you've mentioned, is that something you can actually see with

3 the naked eye?

4 A. Yes. Brezani is between Muslim villages where villagers passing

5 by could see them on training, at playgrounds, for example at the

6 playground next to the school in Brezani, could you see it from the nearby

7 villages with the naked eye.

8 Q. All right. And you've mentioned seeing Serbs in a neighbourhood

9 watch, I think it was -- the term was interpreted as, anyway. Did you see

10 what the people that were the Serbs who were conducting this local watch,

11 what they were wearing?

12 A. Yes. All able-bodied Serbs who had gone through the military

13 training had the JNA camouflage uniforms, all those from the Territorial

14 Defence of the former Yugoslavia and necessary basically the same uniform.

15 Q. You said they were training in Brezani and other places. What

16 other places did you have in mind?

17 A. Yes. We had information, according to which the Serbs in that

18 part of the territory Podrinje, were organising active training in Jezero,

19 Brezani, Skelani and the main training centre was at Ruljevici next to

20 Fakovici.

21 Q. Sorry, I think it's not actually marked on the map but if you can

22 locate it and mark it with an R, that would be helpful.


24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the names of the

25 villages are extremely important to us. Perhaps the witness could repeat

Page 10573

1 them since they have not been included in the transcript correctly.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So Brezani.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Brezani we have already marked.


5 Q. You mentioned Ruljevici?

6 A. Yes, Ruljevici.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: And he also mentioned Skelani.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Skelani.


10 Q. Jezero?

11 A. And the main centre at Jezero. So it is in eastern Podrinje, the

12 eastern part of the municipality of Srebrenica. All these places are in

13 that area, Jezero, Skelani, Fakovici and Ruljevici. Fakovici and

14 Ruljevici are part of the municipality of Bratunac.

15 MR. DI FAZIO: Perhaps to assist Mr. Jones, perhaps we could have

16 something to designate one from the other, perhaps an R or a J.

17 MR. JONES: I was about to ask.

18 Q. If we give an R for Ruljevici, I think the other locations are

19 actually marked on the map.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you direct the witness straight. Let's take

21 them one by one. Can you direct him to Fakovici?

22 MR. JONES: Yes.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: So he knows where Fakovici is and one moment, I want

24 to make sure --


Page 10574

1 Q. Yes, could you circle Fakovici, please?

2 A. [Marks]

3 Q. And is it right that the -- thank you. And the area which you've

4 marked with an R, is that Ruljevici?

5 A. Yes, Ruljevici.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Further up and not further down. No, no, that's

7 further down. That's it.


9 Q. It's just at the left of Vranesevici; is that correct?

10 A. Yes. That's where the old school used to be and it was closed

11 down by the Serbs two years previously and it was turned into a training

12 centre for the Serb population. It is an ethnically Serb village so the

13 surrounding villages around Ruljevici were Serb villages as well. So

14 Muslims did not have much of an insight into what they were up to. It was

15 about three kilometres away from Grabovacka Rijeka and Grabovacka Rijeka

16 is about three kilometres away from Fakovici.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Could we go down on the monitor no where he -- one

18 moment, that's number 8. That's Jezero he's marked over there. Okay.

19 And any other markings that he has made.

20 MR. JONES: I think that's fine. Yes. Skelani has also been

21 marked.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.


24 Q. I'm going to come back to some of these locations shortly.

25 Sticking with Ruljevici for the moment. What you've just told us about it

Page 10575

1 being a centre for training, what's your basis for that information?

2 A. We had the exact information because the delegation of the

3 municipality of Srebrenica, since there had been tensions in the Zvijezda

4 area in the beginning of 1992, February, March or so, and a delegation

5 from the municipality of Srebrenica went up there to see what was going

6 on, but on their way back from Skelani, through Fakovici, either on

7 purpose or not, they went through this place called Ruljevici and I was

8 told about this by a man called Hasan, and the president of the

9 municipality of Srebrenica at the time, Basina Basovic [phoen] was present

10 as well, and they told me how they saw all those garden there were

11 soldiers, Serb soldiers wearing military olive drab uniforms, and so those

12 people were inhabitants from the surrounding Serb villages who were going

13 through this training and they all went through at least one or two weeks'

14 training in those centres.

15 Q. Thank you. In what period are we talking about?

16 A. February, March, 1992.

17 Q. Did you have any information about the numbers of people who were

18 in training -- who had been through training or who had been trained in

19 Ruljevici?

20 A. They supposed that there could have been about 300 participants at

21 that time.

22 Q. Just to clarify one thing in the transcript, you mentioned there

23 had been tensions in what the Zvijezda area in the beginning of 1992. Is

24 that correct? Did you say the Zvijezda area?

25 A. Lijesce area. It's near Skelani. The municipality is Skelani and

Page 10576

1 the hamlet is Lijesce, and there were some tensions there between the

2 Muslim and the Serb population and so a delegation from the municipality

3 of Srebrenica went up there to see what was going on.

4 Q. Could you spell Lijesce, please, for the transcript?

5 A. L-I-J-E-S-C-E.

6 Q. Yes, thank you. I see you're locating that on the map, and if you

7 could mark that with an L.

8 A. [Marks] It's about three to four kilometres away from Skelani in

9 the direction of Bujakovici.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Buric, could you put an L near the first

11 marking. And what's the other one that you put further up on top of it?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's from Skelani in the direction

13 of Bujakovici. It's south of Tihic.

14 MR. JONES: Thank you.

15 Q. So it's Bujakovici which is the other area that's been circled?

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.


18 Q. A moment ago we were discussing the arming of local Serbs with

19 weapons. Were you aware of any time of weapons being brought into the

20 area, into the Brezani area, by any conveyance?

21 A. Yes. They -- we got the information from a number of people from

22 the children, in fact, that people who had trucks were bringing weapons

23 into those villages. The main supplier of weapons for Brezani was a

24 Milajko Krtajic [phoen], Raso Orasanin, and the sons of somebody who was

25 called Milivoje. I don't know his family name, so it was a guy called

Page 10577












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Page 10578

1 Milivoje, and his sons had trucks and they were the main arms suppliers

2 for the area of Brezani.

3 Q. Thank you. And did you receive any information as to where these

4 trucks were coming from?

5 A. Yes. All weapons came from the direction of Skelani.

6 Q. And were trucks the only conveyances that were used to bring

7 weapons into the area or were you aware of other means?

8 A. Yes. When they no longer felt that that line, Skelani-Brezani,

9 was safe, they started getting weapons from Fakovici en masse and the

10 transport took place on horse back, and by roundabout mountain roads from

11 Fakovici to Brezani and also by JNA helicopters. So they were flying over

12 the area, the helicopters, I mean, the JNA helicopters, marked by a red

13 cross, in fact. They were flying across to Bosnia from Serbia and it was

14 something we could see with the naked eye from where we were in Osmace.

15 We could see very clearly from where those helicopters were coming from.

16 And so it was for Brezani, Ratkovici and Ducici because there was a corps

17 commander at the time who was a guy called Zivanovic and he was from the

18 village of Ducici. I think he was the commander of Drina Corps or

19 something like that.

20 Q. Thank you. You've mentioned Ducici and Ratkovici and you said so

21 it was for Brezani, Ratkovici, and Ducici. What do you mean by that,

22 precisely, that the weapons were being delivered to those areas? Is that

23 what you meant to say?

24 A. Yes. Weapons were being delivered to those Serb villages.


Page 10579

1 MR. DI FAZIO: To me it's not very clear evidence; Mr. Jones may

2 wish to clarify it. The witness said, talking about the influx of

3 weapons, that there were helicopters, and then said so it was for Brezani,

4 Ratkovici, and Ducici, because there was a corps commander at the time,

5 and it's not quite clear if there is any link between the influx of

6 weapons and the corps commander and if so, where was the corps commander

7 and so on.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair comment. Yes, Mr. Jones, could you address

9 this.

10 MR. DI FAZIO: And perhaps of course the occasion as well, if

11 there is any time on it.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.

13 MR. JONES: Yes.

14 Q. Firstly can you say when this was approximately?

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's mark them first of all on the map so that

16 we -- we know already where they are, but let the witness mark Ratkovici.

17 MR. JONES: And Ducici.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: And Ducici.


20 Q. Mark it please on the map.

21 A. [Marks]. So this is Ratkovici. I just marked it. And within the

22 area of Ratkovici, a smaller area is Ducici. And let me clarify this, if

23 I may. The commander who was in Knin, he was the commander of the Serb

24 armed forces in Knin and he was born in Ducici so he was originally from

25 there and he was arming his own village. He was not a commander in that

Page 10580

1 area. Later on, when he came from the Krajina area he became commander of

2 the Drina Corps in Zvornik but he was not a local commander at the time.

3 He was a commander in Knin but when Krajina fell, he came to the area of

4 Zvornik and he was a commander of the Serb Drina Corps.

5 MR. JONES: Yes.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: At the time he was arming the people of his village,

7 of Ducici, in other words, at the time, what was -- what was he doing?

8 Was he still in the Krajina in Knin, in Croatia, or not? In the Croatian

9 Krajina or had he already come back?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. He was in Krajina. He was at

11 the battlefield there, and it was in April 1992.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That is clear enough.

13 MR. JONES: All right.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Jones.


16 Q. Just to be absolutely clear it was in April 1992 that this was

17 going on, the arming of Ducici?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And did you ever find out how many weapons had been delivered to

20 the Serbs in that area, in Ducici, Ratkovici?

21 A. We noticed helicopters at least on four or five occasions, a

22 helicopter that was delivering weapons. And as to quantities, I don't

23 know.

24 Q. As far as Brezani is concerned, you've told us that that was

25 nearby and could you see what's going on there. What's the source of your

Page 10581

1 information apart from seeing helicopters that the weapons were

2 specifically reaching Ducici and Ratkovici? Did you ever any other source

3 of information?

4 A. There were rumours in the surrounding Muslim villages that they

5 saw that weapons were delivered to Ducici by helicopters from Fakovici,

6 and as to Brezani, we knew that they were getting weapons and that those

7 weapons were being transported on horse back from Fakovici, weapons and

8 ammunition, that is, and they went through the forests and creeks, et

9 cetera, in a roundabout way anyway.

10 Q. Thank you. When you refer to the surrounding Muslim villages,

11 which villages would those be, the villages which surrounded Ducici and

12 Ratkovici?

13 A. There are Muslim villages around Ducici and Ratkovici. They are

14 Poznanovici, Podkorjen, and Dedici. But on the other side, to the north,

15 there are other villages called Mocevici, Dimnici, and Brezovica.

16 Q. All right. And when you refer to receiving information or of

17 hearing rumours from Muslims in villages around Ratkovici and Ducici,

18 which villages did you have in mind?

19 A. Poznanovici, Dedici, and Podkorjen.

20 Q. Was there any incident at any stage which signalled to you that

21 the war in Bosnia had begun in early 1992?

22 A. Yes. The beginning of war-like conflict or something that

23 triggered off a large scale panic amongst the population in the area of

24 Srebrenica started on the occasion of the murder of two Muslim citizens,

25 Osmanovic, Bahrudin and Hrvac Meho on the 13th and 14th of April and it

Page 10582

1 happened at Vitez. They went to Bajina Basta, they bought fuel, and they

2 were on their way back, and then those guys who were in training at Jezero

3 basically massacred those two Muslims. So it was at Vitez. As you go

4 from Jezero to Kragljivoda, it is about five -- four to five kilometres

5 away. It's not marked on the map so I'm going to mark it myself. So here

6 is Vitez.

7 Q. Thank you.

8 A. I do apologise. It is slightly closer to Kragljivoda than to

9 Jezero, the site of the murder, that is. So it is only two kilometres

10 away from Kragljivoda, probably.

11 Q. So for the record you've marked Vitez with a V. You mentioned

12 these two people who were killed. Did you actually see the bodies of

13 either one or the other of them?

14 A. Yes. On that day, or, rather, on the day after, I was going to

15 the petrol station at Bajina Basta because there was a shortage of fuel in

16 the area. So I was on my way to Bajina Basta that and I went past that

17 location and I didn't notice anything amiss. When I got to my

18 mother-in-law's house at Dobrak she told me that during the night two

19 Muslims had been killed in the Vitez area. I returned home immediately

20 with my family, and I knew what the place was and I was driving slowly and

21 I saw it. I mean, I stepped out of my car and I saw Bahrudin Osmanovic's

22 body and I didn't see Meho's body because it was thrown into the woods, a

23 bit further down, about ten metres down, and something that struck me, and

24 I'm never going to be able to forget this, it was a completely massacred

25 body and he was wearing yellow boots and so on his -- his left leg he had

Page 10583

1 a boot and on the right leg, there was just a white plastic bag. So I

2 didn't have it in me to do anything more so I turned back and I got into

3 my car and I went in the direction of Osmace.

4 Q. All right. And did the news of those deaths have any effect on

5 the Muslim inhabitants in the area?

6 A. In that part of Podrinje, the murders of Meho and Bahrudin

7 triggered off such a huge panic and chaos amongst the Muslim population

8 that masses of people started leaving and they started going away to

9 Slovenia, to Germany, in the direction of Tuzla, but at the time the

10 problem was that most people were unable to leave because there wasn't

11 enough fuel, they didn't have any transport; they couldn't leave. And

12 that's how they withdrew into themselves, into their own villages, and

13 they were kind of lying low in those villages, just making sure they

14 protected their lives because they knew of those units that were at Jezero

15 and Muslims had no weapons and there was an overall panic.

16 Q. You've spoken about units that were at Jezero, could you. Can you

17 just elaborate on that a little bit? What were you referring to there?

18 A. On that day when I was coming back from Bajina Basta, I saw

19 personally at Jezero a group of Serbs that was undergoing training, and

20 there may have been 30 to 50 people there. They were wearing olive drab

21 uniforms, that is the upper part was olive drab, and they wore civilian

22 pants, so rather their shirts only were of military nature.

23 Q. And what day was this, please?

24 A. I believe that was the 14th of April.

25 Q. All right. Now, at this time, were you aware of what was going on

Page 10584












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 10585

1 in Srebrenica? Around this time, the middle of April 1992.

2 A. No.

3 Q. Did you become aware of the fact that Srebrenica was taken over by

4 the Serbs in April 1992?

5 A. We received information, I don't know whether it was on the 18th

6 or the 19th of April, and when the -- these two lads were killed, there

7 was general chaos in the municipality. People withdrew in the larger

8 Muslim villages and the town remained empty. And the Serbs from Bratunac,

9 the -- Arkan's men, and the White Eagles, came from the region of Sase and

10 Potocari and entered the town of Srebrenica.

11 Q. And --

12 A. If I may add, whatever they found on their way, and the Muslim

13 people, they found there including the elderly and the handicapped, they

14 killed them, I don't know the exact number but there were about 50 people

15 killed in Srebrenica and they torched the main street. This was the

16 Petrici street, there were about 100 houses.

17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is likely that I'll

18 be on me feet rather often. I apologise but I have to -- the transcript

19 is incorrect. The witness said -- or rather, the witness didn't say that

20 on the 18th or 19th of April, these two men were killed. But that he

21 received the information on the events in Srebrenica.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were killed between the 13th

23 and the 14th.

24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] And he said that the information

25 about the events in Srebrenica was received by him on the 18th or the

Page 10586

1 19th.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Vidovic. Do you confirm that,

3 Mr. Buric? Do you confirm the correction that Madam Vidovic --

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, thank you.


7 Q. Now, you were telling us about how you learned that in Srebrenica

8 about 50 people had been killed, this is in April 1992 and that about a

9 hundred houses in Petrici were torched. Did you hear of any other goings

10 on in Srebrenica when it was taken over by the Serbs?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. What else did you hear?

13 A. We heard that from the people that were fleeing, the people who

14 managed to flee on the 18th or the 19th, and withdraw towards the

15 villages, and they told us that there was a state of general chaos in

16 Srebrenica, that the Serbs began robbing Muslim houses, businesses, and

17 that anything of any value was being taken away from Srebrenica, driven

18 away on trucks, that businesses are being torched. In those five or six

19 days, anything that was of value in Srebrenica was taken away, plundered,

20 taken away by trucks or destroyed, or killed for that matter.

21 Q. Thank you. Now, in terms of being taken away by trucks is that

22 something which you yourself saw?

23 A. Yes. Osmace and Brezani, that's relatively close, and one can see

24 the other place with the naked eye and we saw this massive arrival of

25 trucks and we supposed that they were plundering the property in

Page 10587

1 Srebrenica and from the industrial area of Zeleni Jadar.

2 Q. Thank you. We can see on the map that there is a road clearly

3 between Srebrenica and Skelani. How far is Osmace from that road?

4 A. Osmace are about 2 kilometres away from the road

5 Srebrenica-Skelani. But from Osmace, one can see the road. Some 2 to 3

6 kilometres of it can be seen with the naked eye.

7 Q. Now, in this time, mid-April 1992, did you see any traffic on that

8 road?

9 A. Since the population withdrew and didn't move about freely,

10 because of the murders that triggered off panic and fear, people didn't

11 leave their homes, didn't go -- want to go far, as much as 100 metres, and

12 they saw Serb trucks that passed by for days, taking away stolen goods, so

13 we are talking about military personnel, people in uniforms. They were

14 all equipped and they used trucks and passenger cars to take away

15 everything from Srebrenica and Zeleni Jadar.

16 Q. Thank you. Now I think you've referred already to an area called

17 Kragljivoda. Could you please locate that on the map and mark the area of

18 Kragljivoda?

19 A. [Marks]. It is marked here Kragljivoda in blue letters. It is an

20 overpass, in the mountains, and there were no immediate settlements there.

21 Q. All right. Do you know a village called Gladovici?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. So is that part or not of the Kragljivoda area?

24 A. Not a part of Kragljivoda, but it is adjacent to it. It is

25 perhaps 3 to 5 kilometres away from Kragljivoda.

Page 10588

1 Q. Do you know someone called Ilijaz Pilav?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Do you know where he's from?

4 A. From Gladovici.

5 Q. Now, you've mentioned this traffic of these Serb military vehicles

6 on the road between Srebrenica and Skelani. Did the people of Osmace or

7 the people in Kragljivoda do anything about that?

8 A. Muslims couldn't use that road for days. They couldn't -- and

9 didn't dare to use the road. The property was being taken towards

10 Skelani. A group of young men from Gladovici observed that and they were

11 also in Osmace and they saw that on the 7th of May a Serb bus with

12 soldiers and several trucks departed and on the 6th or the 7th they

13 torched Ljeskovik and Zeleni Jadar.

14 Q. When you say they torched Ljeskovik who are you referring to, and

15 Zeleni Jadar?

16 A. Those were Muslim villages and it was done by the Serbs in

17 Skelani. They went to Ljeskovik and Zeleni Jadar that were Muslim

18 villages, perhaps 150 houses were there, and on the 7th of May, they

19 torched the Muslim villages of Ljeskovik, Zeleni Jadar, and they killed

20 everyone that was left behind but was unable -- who was unable to flee.

21 Q. I'm going to read an extract from a book titled "War Hospitals."

22 I'd like in fact since it's only in English, I won't put it in front of

23 the witness but it's D199, "War Hospital," and the page reference is page

24 44, page 45.

25 I'm going to read an extract from this book War Hospital by Dr.

Page 10589

1 Sheri Fink, which is an exhibit in this case. Just for our benefit, page

2 44 sets the time and the place. Mid-April 1992. Vladovici and then it's

3 page 45, second paragraph.

4 I'll just read. It says, "In the mornings, Ilijaz and a few

5 friends hiked up the nearby hill, Kalina [phoen], to give themselves a

6 view of the single paved road that wound southeast from Srebrenica toward

7 the Bosnian border town of Skelani and ultimately across the bridge to

8 Serbia."

9 Pausing there, do you know the hill, Kalina?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Could you locate and circle that on the map, please?

12 A. [Marks]

13 Q. Thank you. Now, you've heard this reference to this single paved

14 road. Is that the road which you referred to earlier from Srebrenica to

15 Skelani? Is that a single paved road?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Now, carrying on it says, "From the hill top, they watched Serb

18 military patrols pass back and forth and saw tendrils of smoke, first

19 white, then dark, rise and bloom like flowers over the graves of Bosnian

20 Muslim villages to the southeast. They witnessed lines of villages

21 stumbling into Gladovici bent beneath hastily packed bundles of

22 possessions, searching for refuge from the Serb nationalist soldiers they

23 called Chetniks."

24 Now, you've told us you saw these Serb military patrols on that

25 road in April 1992. I want to ask you, firstly, did that have any effect

Page 10590

1 on communications or contacts between the people in Osmace and Gladovici

2 on the other side of the road?

3 A. We are therefore still talking about April and the beginning of

4 May. There was no possibility for Osmace to communicate with any other

5 Muslim village.

6 Q. All right. Thank you. And now staying with this passage which I

7 read out, the language is somewhat poetical but it refers to smoke rising

8 over the graves of Bosnian Muslim villages. Do you know what that would

9 refer to, which villages?

10 A. Ljeskovik and Zeleni Jadar.

11 Q. And then the reference to villagers with packs on their backs

12 stumbling into Gladovici seeking refuge from Chetniks, can you explain

13 what you would understand by that passage referring to events in April and

14 May of 1992?

15 A. It's the 7th of May of 1992. When Ljeskovik and Zeleni Jadar, the

16 two Muslim villages were torched, the people from there fled into the

17 woods, and those who managed reached the Muslim villages of Karacici,

18 Gladovici, or Urisici, but people mainly fled in all directions from these

19 Muslim villages. Those who were unable to were later killed. They killed

20 the elderly.

21 Q. Thank you. Now, I'll move down past the passage referring to the

22 lack of organisation in Osmace of resistance to the second-to-last

23 paragraph, "On May 6, Ilijaz climbed Kalina hill with several of his

24 neighbours. They looked down and watched a military truck moving slowly

25 along the Srebrenica-Skelani road. The idea of ambushing enemy vehicles

Page 10591












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 10592

1 had tantalised the men for days, using the element of surprise, that was a

2 way the weak could fight the strong."

3 And then the book then goes on to recount an ambush that took

4 place and which is described on page 46.

5 Are you familiar with an ambush taking place on that road?

6 A. Yes. I participated in that ambush myself. Kalina was on one

7 side of the road, looking from the river to the left, and Osmace are to

8 the right of the river. So we looked on from Osmace. Across from us as

9 the crow flies about five to six kilometres away was Ljeskovik. Zeleni

10 Jadar couldn't be seen but one could see Ljeskovik, and, in the morning,

11 7.00 or 8.00 in the morning, the bus departed together with two trucks

12 full of Serb soldiers. They went to that place and we were observing it

13 throughout and they torched Ljeskovik and Zeleni Jadar. We decided to

14 have an ambush on the right side, to open fire on the convoy, but on the

15 left side, independently from us, the people, the boys from Gladovici did

16 the same. When the two trucks were coming back, we opened fire, as well

17 as the -- a Mercedes vehicle that was with them.

18 Q. How many people from Osmace were involved in this ambush?

19 A. There were only five boys from Osmace.

20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter's correction: Nine boys from

21 Osmace.

22 THE WITNESS: And in total there may have been 18 to 19 people

23 from Gladovici and Osmace together.


25 Q. And was anyone killed from Osmace?

Page 10593

1 A. That day when we opened fire, despite of our fear, but we fled

2 immediately and then two people from Osmace were killed, Ismet Krdzic and

3 Zijad Delic, and then the Serbs moved on towards Skelani, and later on, a

4 Niva jeep came as well as the bus, and then the trucks and the Mercedes

5 vehicle, they all went in a convoy towards Skelani and we had two dead.

6 Q. We saw the phrase there, "using the element of surprise, that was

7 a way the weak could fight the strong." Would you care to comment on that

8 passage?

9 A. This was the type of resistance by the population that could no

10 longer simply stand by, because we were the next in line to be torched or

11 killed. The first village to the west closest to the Drina and Serbia was

12 the one that was torched first. They torched Ljeskovik and Zeleni Jadar.

13 The next would have been Karic [phoen] and then Osmace. We couldn't

14 simply stand by. The village of Osmace had 21 hunting rifles as well as

15 several rifles kept by some members of the reserve forces, and some pieces

16 of arms were actually purchased. In the ambush there were six or seven

17 pieces of arms. But the Serbs, there were probably around 100 of them so

18 six or seven boys on the other side could do nothing. We tried to use the

19 surprise factor in order to seize or try to seize some weapons and to

20 prevent further torching and plundering.

21 Q. You told us that in the village of Osmace you had 21 hunting

22 rifles. I think you told us that there were about a thousand inhabitants

23 of Osmace. So is it right, then, one in 50 people had a rifle of some

24 description?

25 A. Yes. Yes.

Page 10594

1 Q. I'd ask you now, please, to look at an exhibit, a new exhibit.

2 The ERN number is 04367573. And just for the record it's a document from

3 the command of the Skelani Independent Battalion dated 25 October 1993.

4 Battalion history and wartime record since the formation of the Drina

5 Corps, and it's to the Drina Corps command, forward to the first Birac

6 Brigade. Now, firstly, is it right, Mr. Buric, that I showed you that

7 document when you came to The Hague?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Have you ever seen this document before?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Take a moment to peruse it. I'm going to read two highlighted

12 sections. Firstly in the first paragraph, and it's starting from the

13 second sentence, "On 18 April 1992, in addition to village guards, a

14 company strong unit counting 120 men was established in the school in

15 Jezero and seven-day trainings began." Do you see that passage?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Is that what you were telling us in terms of Serb units and

18 activity at Jezero?

19 A. Yes, yes. This proves that they actively underwent training at

20 Jezero.

21 Q. All right. Then it goes on, "First combat operations were carried

22 out on [illegible] May 1992 when the unit marched along the Jezero-Stolac

23 axis and fired artillery at Osmace in response to the Muslim ambush of 6

24 May 1992 set up below Osmace village in which five Serbian civilians were

25 killed." Now, I'll ask you about the shelling of Osmace in a minute. But

Page 10595

1 were any Serb civilians to your knowledge killed in the ambush of which

2 we've spoken?

3 A. As I said a minute ago, that we opened fire and fled. No one was

4 killed on their side and we had two killed. They fired back of course,

5 with everything they had from the two trucks, and from the Mercedes.

6 Therefore, not a single civilian was killed.

7 Q. And, in fact, just pausing from that document for a moment, I'm

8 going to refer to war hospital and it's page 46 and the second to last

9 paragraph, I'll just read it, "The groups shot at trucks and they shot at

10 cars, killing a number of Serbs. Ilijaz and his men insisted that they

11 killed only soldiers who returned fire. Indeed, two attackers in Osmace

12 also died, but Serbs in the area told a different story, that seven Serb

13 civilians, including two women, were killed."

14 So do I take it from what you said that as far as you know, there

15 is no truth in the claim that Serb civilians were killed in that ambush?

16 A. There were no civilians. They were in military uniforms. And

17 concerning the soldiers, we didn't see any Serb soldiers killed. The

18 trucks came and then went further towards Skelani. The only people that

19 were left there were our two dead men without weapons and they didn't even

20 have weapons prior to that. They simply came as observers.

21 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now going back to this document in front of

22 you, I'm going to read a second section, the second paragraph, where it

23 says, "The battalion first company was in the Jezero village sector and

24 organised flexible defence. The second company held its positions along

25 the Kusici-Gradina-Cosici-Bojakovici line. The third company held

Page 10596

1 positions on the Konjuv-Donji Zljebac line. The following villages were

2 mopped up in this period: Velika and Mala Daljegosta, Lijesce, Zabokvica,

3 Gumci, Dobrak, Barakovici, Zgunja, Kadrici, Pajici Peci, and Bukovik, and

4 Trubari." Now, do you know the villages mentioned there?

5 A. Yes. When the incident at Osmace took place, and when those boys

6 went, the Serb boys went on towards Skelani, their battalion, I don't know

7 how many soldiers there were in it, perhaps 500 to 600. It went out and

8 they went into Muslim villages, Velika Daljegosta, Mala Daljegosta,

9 Lijesce, Skelani, Resagici, Dobrak, Bljecova [phoen] -- sorry, not

10 Bljecova. Zgunja, Barakovici, Bukovik, Trubari. They torched in total

11 over 2.000 houses on the 7th of May, and they killed everyone they found

12 there. Everyone who was unable to flee into the woods. And they took the

13 cattle away and plundered the houses, and then they torched them.

14 Q. So these villages which we see in this document being referred to

15 as being mopped up, those were all Muslim villages?

16 A. They were all Muslim.

17 MR. JONES: I'd ask for an exhibit number, please, for this

18 document.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, before we give this document an exhibit number,

20 we also need to give an exhibit number to the map. So let's start with

21 the map, please. D7 --

22 THE REGISTRAR: D737, Your Honour.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: 737.

24 And the document that in B/C/S has ERN number 04367573 and the

25 corresponding English translation of same, being marked as Defence Exhibit

Page 10597

1 D738.

2 I think we can have a break.

3 MR. JONES: Yes, may I ask one question just before the break.



6 Q. To your knowledge, were any Muslim villages in the Skelani area

7 spared this mopping up?

8 A. No. All villages along the River Drina, all Muslim villages,

9 starting with Mala Daljegosta, that is furthest to the east, all along the

10 river to Kragljivoda, were torched. I'm referring to more than 2.000

11 houses that were torched on that day. And dozens of people who were

12 infirm or disabled or had not managed to escape for whatever reason were

13 killed. They were set alight alive, and they were thrown on to haystacks

14 and rubbers, rubber tires, et cetera, and they were set on fire and entire

15 families were thrown on to those fires.

16 MR. JONES: All right. Thank you.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a 30-minute break starting from now.

18 Thank you.

19 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.

20 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.

22 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.

23 Q. Before the break, Mr. Buric, you were describing the burning of

24 Muslim villages in the Skelani area. Do you know whether the Serbs who

25 were involved in those operations were local Serbs or were Serbs from

Page 10598












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13 English transcripts.













Page 10599

1 outside the area or both?

2 A. We obtained information in the beginning, in the beginning of May,

3 we obtained information that there were local Serbs as well as volunteers

4 coming back from the battlefields in Croatia. They used to help them on a

5 regular basis. They were people who had gone through training, a broader

6 type of training, and people who were sowing terror in Croatia, they would

7 come back from the battlefields over there and come to Srebrenica.

8 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, if a Serb living in this area in

9 early 1992 were to say that no Muslims were forcibly expelled from their

10 homes, that the Muslims decided of their own will to go and live in the

11 woods, would that be accurate?

12 A. No. Who would choose to live in the woods, and abandon their

13 homes and -- their ancestral homes? No absolutely not.

14 Q. And answer this only if you can. Knowing the area, the lay of the

15 land, people, the culture, do you think anyone expressing that view could

16 be expressing an honestly held belief?

17 A. Can you explain this a little bit? Because the question is not

18 all that clear to me.

19 Q. Let me put this a different way. Knowing the area, as you do, do

20 you think any Serb living there in 1992 could be ignorant of what was

21 going on in these Muslim villages?

22 A. I claim with a great deal of certainty that all Serbs knew what as

23 going on and what was being prepared for months and months in the end of

24 1991, throughout 1992, and then in 1993. I can state that every single

25 Serb knew about it.

Page 10600

1 Q. The smoke from burning Muslim villages, is that something you

2 could see personally with your own eyes in May 1992?

3 A. The entire population, let me reiterate this, the entire

4 population of the Drina valley that was torched on the 7th of May was

5 taking to the woods, and three or four days later, they would come to my

6 village, Osmace, to Miholjevine, to Podkorjen, and they were coming

7 through the woods trying to avoid Serb ambushes because they had patrols

8 in those forests as well, and then they would eventually get to our

9 village and we took them in. At one point in my village, Osmace, there

10 were 3 or four times more refugees than the local population, the number

11 of the local population.

12 Q. Thank you. That's helpful.

13 MR. JONES: I can rephrase --

14 JUDGE AGIUS: I hate to interrupt you but, as I say, he gave us

15 the information but he didn't answer your question.

16 MR. JONES: Yes.

17 Q. Just specifically on whether it was visible that Muslim villages

18 were burning on the 7th of May 1992, is that something you can confirm or

19 not?

20 A. Yes. There was a great deal of smoke. You could see it quite

21 clearly. And so basically, we saw it around Jezero. It was easy to see.

22 You could see Jezero and Bukovik burning.

23 Q. Thank you. Do you know a man called Branislav Gligic?

24 A. We had heard that this terror that was being spread around Skelani

25 was the work of the brother, Gligici, and somebody called Zivko who used

Page 10601

1 to be a police officer from Skelani, from the Skelani police station, and

2 I think he was a chief of police. I think he was appointed chief of

3 police in April 1992.

4 Q. Thank you. You referred to the brothers, Gligic. Do you know

5 their names, first names?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Do you know where they are from?

8 A. We know that they are from Skelani, and the population that was on

9 the run, that was fleeing the area, they identified them and they told us

10 about those three people that I've just mentioned, that they were the ring

11 leaders in all of that. When Mala Daljegosta, Velika Daljegosta, and

12 Tursunovici, three Muslim villages were emptied basically of populace and

13 the entire population was transferred to either Serbia or Macedonia, those

14 three people were leading the operation.

15 Q. All right. Thank you.

16 I'm going back to War Hospital very briefly. It's not necessary

17 for us all necessarily to have it in front of us. It's just one sentence,

18 page 49, the first paragraph, and referring still to the people in the

19 Kragljivoda area, it says, "Ilijaz's neighbour, the minaret builder Sefik

20 Mandzic came to lead the 'troops.'" Troops in inverted commas

21 Did you someone called Sefik Mandzic?

22 A. Sefik Mandzic was an inhabitant of Gladovici. He led no troops.

23 He was a somewhat more courageous man and together with those five or six

24 guys from the area of Gladovici, he fired at those trucks. But there were

25 no troops whatsoever. They were just four to five people with him.

Page 10602

1 Q. Did Sefik Mandzic survive the war in Bosnia?

2 A. No. Sefik was killed on the 5th of October 1992.

3 Q. And where was he killed?

4 A. Sefik Mandzic was killed on the road from Jagodinja to Fakovici.

5 Q. Thank you.

6 A. Or Vladijovici [phoen] in that area. The Muslim village of

7 Jagodnja was torched and he went there to help and then he stepped on a

8 landmine in a forest and that's how he died.

9 Q. All right. Thank you. I'm going to come back to that later.

10 Have you heard of Nedzad Bektic?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And do you know where he's from?

13 A. I do. He's from a place called Karacici.

14 Q. To your knowledge, was he ever involved in organising the

15 resistance in Kragljivoda, resistance to the Serbs?

16 A. No. He went to a military academy and he came to the area much,

17 much later but the organiser of the defence at Kragljivoda was Mandzic,

18 Sefik, and throughout that period, he was a local leader of that

19 resistance, of a local group, up until his death in October 1992.

20 Q. I'd ask if the witness could be shown P75, please.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly.


23 Q. Now, you will see this document dated 26 May 1992, refers among

24 other things to, quote, "Nedzad Bektic from Karacici being a member of the

25 Srebrenica TO staff, organiser of armed resistance in the area of

Page 10603

1 Kragljivoda." Now would it be true to say on 26 May 1992 that Nedzad

2 Bektic was "the organiser of armed resistance in the area of Kragljivoda"?

3 A. No. The organiser of resistance, and the leader of the

4 Kragljivoda group, was Sefik Mandzic.

5 Q. Now, it says that Bektic is from Karacici. What municipality is

6 Karacici in?

7 A. Karacici is in the municipality of Srebrenica.

8 Q. So that's referring to a village in the municipality of

9 Srebrenica. This document refers to Atif Krdzic from Srebrenica. To your

10 knowledge, was Atif Krdzic from Srebrenica, as this document claims?

11 A. No. Atif Krdzic is from Osmace.

12 Q. Did he have a house in the town of Srebrenica?

13 A. No. He had a house in Bratunac.

14 Q. Thank you. And Senahid Tabakovic. To your knowledge, was he from

15 Bratunac?

16 A. No. He is from Stozersko.

17 Q. In light of the answers you've just given, would you see this

18 document as a reliable source of information?

19 A. This document is definitely not a reliable source of information.

20 Q. Thank you.

21 MR. JONES: I'd ask if the witness could now be shown P4.

22 Q. And this document is dated 15th of June 1992. And it refers to

23 all the TOs which will be organised, i.e. in the future, to be organised.

24 And it refers to the Osmace TO among others, Territorial Defence. Did

25 your men in Osmace ever call yourselves or at least in June 1992, did you

Page 10604

1 call yourself the Osmace Territorial Defence?

2 A. No. I never heard this term Territorial Defence. It was a group

3 from Osmace, the Osmace group, encompassing all those hamlets that we've

4 mentioned before, Mahala and the others, and I never heard the term

5 Territorial Defence. It was a resistance organised by the population.

6 There were no military units of any sort. It is simply about the

7 population organising a resistance movement in the village of Osmace.

8 Q. Thank you. And well, I won't labour the point about Nedzad Bektic

9 but again we see that apparently he's charged with organising the

10 Kragljivoda Territorial Defence. To your knowledge in June 1992, was

11 Bektic involved in that?

12 A. I'm not aware of that and I don't think that we should confuse

13 things here because Kragljivoda and Karacici are two different things.

14 They are about five to six kilometres away from one another. I don't know

15 who was the leader of the group from Karacici but I know and I can claim

16 that the group from Kragljivoda was led by Sefik Mandzic.

17 Q. All right. Thank you. I've finished with that document.

18 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I'm not objecting; it's

19 just a clarification. The previous answer the witness gave, he never

20 heard of this what he says he never heard of the term Territorial Defence,

21 it was a group from Osmace and so on, and the witness went on to say, that

22 there were no military units, "it was a resistance organised by the

23 population, there were no military units of any sort." I understand that

24 the witness to be talking about Osmace but if he's not, and he's talking

25 about a broader statement, then I think that should be clarified. Just in

Page 10605












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13 English transcripts.













Page 10606

1 case my understanding is wrong.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: You're a hundred per cent right.

3 Yes, Mr. Jones, could you address this matter to the witness?

4 MR. JONES: Yes. I think first I think we need to be clear which

5 areas this witness can speak about.

6 Q. Obviously you know the situation in Osmace. Were you familiar

7 with the situation in Kragljivoda in, let's say, June 1992?

8 A. The population came along a road. We did not have any actual

9 links with Kragljivoda and they used to tell us that Sefik was the leader

10 there because we did not actually have any actual contact with them,

11 because we still continued. I mean, there was this road between Osmace

12 and Kragljivoda.

13 Q. All right. It's simply this: Your statement that there were not

14 units, organised military units, did that apply to Kragljivoda as well or

15 are you only talking about Osmace?

16 A. I'm referring to Osmace.

17 Q. Would you be able to --

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment. Thank you, Mr. Di Fazio.

19 Thank you, Mr. Jones.

20 And the witness.

21 Judge Eser?

22 JUDGE ESER: Just before we leave this document, I would like to

23 put a question directly here. If the witness perhaps would read this

24 document once more in the first paragraph, it speaks of that all local

25 leaders of self-organised armed groups are ordered to do this or that. So

Page 10607

1 the document speaks of local, self-organised armed groups. Is it in the

2 same sense as you spoke of self-organised groups?

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We just need to make a distinction

4 here. Those were not armed groups as such because the resistance on the

5 part of the population included people who were not armed as well. I

6 mean, I did mention that we only had 21 rifles and there were about 50 of

7 us in the group so not armed groups as such. There were about 50 men in

8 that group.


10 Q. This document were to suggest that there were self-organised armed

11 groups in Osmace and Kragljivoda, is that something which you would regard

12 as accurate or inaccurate, as of June 1992?

13 A. Let me continue. At Osmace, there was a group of about 50 men and

14 they had about 20 rifles, and as to Kragljivoda, as I've been saying all

15 along, as we heard later, Sefik had about 10 men, maximum. It was not

16 actually in Kragljivoda itself. It was a forest called Kalina which is 2

17 or 3 kilometres away from Kragljivoda because nobody dared go anywhere

18 near Kragljivoda even in June because the Serbs were in control of that

19 road and they would often drive up in a Niva car and they would fire their

20 arms, and at some point in mid-June, they torched the post office and shop

21 that had already been destroyed before. So in the month of June, Serbs

22 used to come to Kragljivoda and on one of those occasions, they torched

23 the post office and the shop which is actually empty.

24 Q. I'm going to come back to some of the areas mentioned here later

25 but for the time being I want to pass on to another subject. And still

Page 10608

1 approaching events chronologically, you described how in May, 7th, 8th of

2 May 1992, I think there was this torching of all of the Muslim villages in

3 the Skelani area. I want to ask you about villages on the other side,

4 along the Drina down from Bratunac towards Skelani. Did you hear of any

5 goings on in those areas, in the Muslim villages n May 1992?

6 A. On the 8th of May, in the morning, Serbs from Skelani started

7 taking artillery to an elevation called Stolac. This is at a distance of

8 about 2 to 3 kilometres from Osmace. So three to four buses full of Serb

9 soldiers drove up, and they surrounded the village of Osmace, and they

10 started shelling the village from all directions, from Stolac, from the

11 Tara plateau in Serbia, from the Serb village of Brezani, and from the

12 village of Ratkovici. And during a period of time of about three or four

13 hours, they were shelling us so much that there was about 5.000 shells

14 that landed there and so the entire population fled, and they escaped

15 through Pasalidji [phoen] to Subin. They went through Korjen to Subin.

16 Q. Can I stop you there? Were you among that group of people?

17 A. Yes, I was.

18 Q. Did you return to Osmace?

19 A. The entire population of Osmace fled to Subin. We had quite a few

20 wounded, women and children. And the shelling started from Brezani and

21 shells were hitting the school where quite a few people had taken shelter.

22 Ibrahim Malagic's family was killed on that occasion, and then the wife of

23 Ismet Malagic and his three children were injured, and Alija Delic's son

24 was killed as well. And so that shelling came from Brezani, so that's to

25 the west of Osmace. And then we abandoned the village and withdrew to

Page 10609

1 Subin through the woods, and I myself was in that group of people.

2 Q. Let me stop you there. For our purposes we are interested in

3 among other things damage which could be caused to property by shelling.

4 Did you return to Osmace and did you see the effect of the shelling which

5 you've described?

6 A. In the evening hours, we went back to the village, and there are

7 two hamlets, Mahala and Hetavica [phoen] which are on the hill, and they

8 had been totally devastated. There wasn't a single house left undamaged,

9 at least the windows or the roof or whatever, everything was damaged and

10 destroyed. Whatever could be destroyed was destroyed in that day.

11 Q. That was the effect obviously of Serb shelling over, what, a

12 three-hour period, I think you've said?

13 A. Yes. Roughly speaking three hours. That's what I suppose. And

14 Serbs didn't have the courage, and I don't know for what reason, but

15 anyway, they didn't have the courage to enter with the infantry into the

16 village, although the village had been totally surrounded, perhaps they

17 thought that people might have been armed, or I don't know for what reason

18 but at any rate they withdrew in the afternoon and that's when the exodus

19 started. Whatever was not torched on the 7th of May, that is to say

20 Jezero, Posevar, Hadzici, Trubari, Dobrak, et cetera, was finished off on

21 the 8th of May. So whatever they failed it destroy on the 7th of May was

22 finished off on the 8th of May, and razed to the ground. And let me just

23 add that Osmace had about 300 houses with all the sheds, et cetera, and so

24 99 per cent of that property was totally destroyed.

25 Q. All right. Thank you. Just on that theme, did you continue to

Page 10610

1 live in these damaged and destroyed houses in the months that followed?

2 A. Yes. People made do as best they could. They would have a

3 plastic sheeting, in lieu of a roof, of one room, or they could take some

4 building materials from the sheds and stables so as to be able to make

5 those houses habitable. And if I may continue, on that same day, on the

6 8th of May, that is, on the other side of the river, Serbs torched all

7 villages, Voljavica, Zaluze, Tegare, from the direction of Bratunac. That

8 was on the 8th of May. And we are talking about 2.000 to 3.000 houses

9 that were torched on that day and that entire population was forced to

10 withdraw in the direction of Mocevici, Poznanovici, and those villages

11 higher up to the north.

12 Q. Did you receive any of those refugees in your village, from those

13 areas, Zanjevo, Voljavica?

14 A. As I stated a minute ago, the entire population of the area went

15 to Osmace to the -- that is the area of Mihoilavici [phoen] and Delici,

16 and that the refugees outnumbered the local populace by two or three

17 times.

18 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please I have no problems with the

19 answers just given. It's line 14, down. The witness said the infantry

20 didn't enter Osmace although it was surrounded and I understood that he

21 said it was shelled, and then referred to withdrawal in the afternoon and

22 it's not clear to me what he's talking about, whether they withdrew from

23 the centre of Osmace or not. And then the witness went on to say that

24 whatever they failed to destroy on the 7th was finished off on the 8th and

25 razed to the ground. Now, I think in order for you to understand this

Page 10611

1 evidence of destruction you must know whether it was razed by arson,

2 torching, and so on, or whether the witness is talking about destruction

3 by shelling. So it's that one answer that is just not clear to me. I

4 don't know if the Serb troops went into the village one day or both days

5 or how the damage was caused.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: That's right. I'll leave that in the hands of

7 Mr. Jones.

8 MR. JONES: Yes.

9 Q. Just to clarify this Mr. Buric, and if you could just be yes or no

10 if possible so we can clarify it simply. First of all did the Serbs

11 actually enter Osmace, the village of Osmace, on the day that you've been

12 speaking about?

13 A. No.

14 Q. When you described the Serbs withdrawing or if that's the term,

15 where were they withdrawing from and where were they withdrawing to?

16 A. I already stated that in the morning, three buses of Serb soldiers

17 arrived and that they surrounded the village of Osmace and they were

18 firing at the population that was fleeing the village. They were not

19 entering the village itself. They were firing at the civilians fleeing

20 towards the woods.

21 Q. Is it right that all the damage that you saw in Osmace was done by

22 shelling rather than by arson?

23 A. Yes. Shelling.

24 Q. Finally, when you said whatever was not burnt that day or whatever

25 hadn't been burnt before they then burnt -- what areas were you referring

Page 10612












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13 English transcripts.













Page 10613

1 to where other villages or houses were razed?

2 A. As I said, that when their units were withdrawing, they were

3 torching the Muslim villages or whatever was left since the 7th, either

4 houses or the outhouses. So they finished it off. That was in Trubari,

5 Jezero and Posevar, Dobrak, Vesovici [phoen], Skelani, Lijesce, Mala and

6 Velika Daljegosta, and up the Drina, Zanjo [phoen], Voljavica, Tegare.

7 That was all on the 7th and the 8th.

8 Q. So in other words, the Serbs didn't go into Osmace and burn

9 houses, they shelled Osmace. As they withdrew they then went and burnt

10 what had already not been destroyed in the Muslim villages which you just

11 mentioned; is that correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, just dealing with the Muslim villages

14 along the Drina, Voljavica, Abdulici, Zanjevo, do you know what happened

15 to the possessions of those Muslims who had to leave their homes?

16 A. All possessions belonging to the Muslims who fled from their

17 villages was taken and then the houses and outhouses were torched, as well

18 as whatever it was that they couldn't take with them.

19 Q. I'd ask if the witness could be shown the next exhibit which is

20 ERN number 04360191. And it reads at the top, "Minutes, the minutes

21 prepared by the military police and Vukoman Simic on handover of objects

22 confiscated from citizens from the area of Fakovici that were collected

23 from Muslim houses and facilities as follows." And it refers to a list

24 follows of various items. Now, firstly, if you can just help us with

25 this: Looking at the names, Vukoman Simic, Miodrag Cvetkovic, Radenko

Page 10614

1 Milesic, are these Serb or Muslim names?

2 A. I believe these were Serbs.

3 Q. All right. So then this is minutes prepared by Serb military

4 police reporting on goods confiscated from Fakovici, which -- goods which

5 had been collected from Muslim houses and facilities. If you can cast

6 your eye down the list are you familiar with deserted Muslim houses being

7 pillaged of doors and windows and other items mentioned there by the

8 Serbs??

9 A. Not only these things but the Serbs took anything that was of

10 value. Whatever they found in the Muslim villages from -- including

11 agricultural machinery, trucks, food. This is just a scratch on the

12 surface of everything they took.

13 Q. Yes. I think you did get in 1 per cent -- one moment, please.

14 A. Not even .1.

15 Q. 0.1 per cent, that's what you said?

16 A. Yes.

17 MR. JONES: I'd ask for an exhibit number for this.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: This will become, Mr. Jones, Defence Exhibit D739.


20 Q. All right. Now, going to play a video exhibit in a moment. It's

21 D177. And just by way of background, you've referred to how Muslim

22 villages were burnt, torched, Muslims were killed in the Skelani area in

23 May 1992. Do you know, and perhaps you've told us, but where all these

24 Muslims went when their homes were destroyed?

25 A. The Muslims from the Podrinje villages were fleeing into the

Page 10615

1 woods, most of them, and they left towards Osmace, Tokoljak, Miholjevine,

2 Delici, and Poznanovici on the other side as well as Mocevici, Dimnici,

3 Storeska, Karacici, the Osatik [phoen] region.

4 Q. Thank you. We are going to play this video which -- it lasts 13

5 minutes. It's a Defence Exhibit. We have transcripts already. I'm going

6 to ask you, Mr. Buric, to comment as we go along, if you recognise any of

7 the places or the people or if you feel you can add useful information,

8 then please just do so and we'll pause the video at that moment. Thank

9 you.

10 A. Perhaps before we begin, I omitted to say something. Since the

11 houses had already been damaged by shelling in the Muslim villages, a lot

12 of the population was moving about together in groups, and they used

13 makeshift shelter, they dug out holes that they would cover in the woods,

14 so one could find entire settlements in Biljeg on Tokoljacko Brdo and

15 Sehiti, containing several hundred people in shacks. They used anything

16 they could find, local vegetation, without the minimum ability to live and

17 survive there.

18 Q. Thank you. Did you go to any of those places you mentioned, any

19 of those camps?

20 A. Yes. These were large groups of people. I wouldn't call it camp

21 or settlement but simply groups, a place of refuge. One of them was in a

22 forest and the other one was on Tokoljacko Brdo, where people from

23 Radovcici, Juscici [phoen], and Katanici, and Tokoljaci were.

24 MR. JONES: We'll play the video.

25 [Videotape played]

Page 10616

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe this woman's name was

2 Nesiba Smajic.


4 Q. And we also saw reference to Sehiti camp a moment ago which I take

5 is the one, the Sehiti you referred to earlier?

6 A. Yes, Sehiti.

7 [Videotape played]

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zildzija Smajic. That was the man

9 with the beard.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, I am not commenting anything for the

11 record because I find it difficult to do so because you've got the date

12 which is not even -- not even clearly established, and then an hour and a

13 minute, which hasn't changed as yet. So I wouldn't -- I wouldn't know

14 which fragment of the video to refer when he is --

15 MR. JONES: I see what Your Honour means.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the problem that I have. MR. JONES: That way

17 we're satisfied that he's identifying people as we go along.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: If we have difficulties on this, of course, we can

19 always see the transcript, see the video recording of the sitting. I

20 wanted to confirm to you why I am not commenting myself.

21 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you, I suppose the only other way to do

22 with it would be to refer to when the subtitles appear, but I think that

23 would be too lengthy. So I think it's fine. Thank you.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: If you have any other suggestion, please come

25 forward but I have been thinking about how to approach it.

Page 10617

1 MR. JONES: Yes.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: But I haven't got a solution myself.

3 MR. JONES: In fact it's being pointed out by our CaseMap manager

4 that there is -- there are numbers at the bottom, 0213.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Where is it? Let me see it.

6 MR. JONES: In small, green numbers. Bottom right-hand corner, at

7 least on our version.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Oh, I see, I see, I see.

9 MR. JONES: I can read that out if it helps. I have it on our

10 screen.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.

12 MR. JONES: Thank you. We'll continue.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks.

14 [Videotape played]

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nezir Smajic is the man with the --

16 for -- falling on the -- 11.48.15 over the eye, and this is Nezir's

17 Smajic's son.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, we are at 03 minutes point 32

19 seconds.


21 Q. And do you know where they are from?

22 A. Yes. From the village of Tokoljak.

23 Q. That was burnt on the 8th of May; is that correct, 1992?

24 A. Yes. That was one of the villages that was torched in May,

25 Trubari, Radovcici, Ivcici, Katanici, and Tokoljaci. So all of these

Page 10618

1 people were at this place of refuge in May in Sehiti and Tokoljacko Brdo.

2 There were two separate locations.

3 Q. Thank you. We've heard at the beginning of the video that it's

4 August 1992, and mentioned that there were -- the villages burnt three

5 months before, which brings us to May. I just make that observation.

6 Thank you, we'll continue.

7 [Videotape played]

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is Dzevada Dzananovic, the

9 woman who came out of the shack. She used to be a teacher. And her

10 brother was a physician.


12 Q. Which village was she from?

13 A. From Tokoljaca [phoen].

14 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, the comments by the witness were

15 made when we had arrived at still 06 minutes 18 seconds. Thank you.

16 [Videotape played]

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Akif Smajic, the boy talking now,

18 from Tokoljaci.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: And we are now at, for the record, at 07 minutes,

20 point 31 seconds.

21 [Videotape played]

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The man in the white shirt is Hamzo

23 Smajic from Tokoljaci.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: And for the record we are now at 07 minutes, 42

25 seconds.

Page 10619












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13 English transcripts.













Page 10620


2 Q. Just a question at this point. We see on the screen that the

3 refugee you just identified is saying, "We were receiving refugees that

4 came from all sides." Now, would you interpret that to mean that Serbs,

5 Muslims and perhaps Croats were all living in the woods in interethnic

6 harmony at this time or would you interpret it in some other way?

7 A. No. He was talking about the torching of Muslim villages from

8 various parts of the region. They had in mind Zanjevo, which is towards

9 the north of the region, Tokoljaci and Radovcici was to the east. So we

10 are talking only about Muslims from various villages.

11 Q. To your knowledge, at this time, this is August 1992 - sorry, if I

12 can just put the question - were you aware of any Serb refugees in the

13 Skelani area living in the woods under nylons, without food, without

14 shelter?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Thank you.

17 MR. JONES: We'll carry on with the video.

18 [Videotape played]

19 MR. JONES: All right. Thank you.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, since we missed the first two comments by

21 the witness, do you want us to go back to the beginning?

22 MR. JONES: No, that's not necessary, thank you.

23 Q. I want to ask you one thing which relates to an answer you gave

24 before we looked at the video. You referred to Biljeg area. And if

25 you'll give me a moment I'll just find what you said.

Page 10621

1 It's line -- page 51, line 12. You refer to entire settlements in

2 Biljeg. Were those settlements anything like those which we've seen in

3 the video? And I'm talking about the period May to August 1992.

4 A. Yes. It was always the same. We are talking about the Muslim

5 population which fled to the woods, in totally inhumane conditions. There

6 wasn't a minimum of hygiene for those people. They had diseases such as

7 scabies. They were flea bitten and they didn't have any water, and I was

8 in a settlement called Sehiti where there is a source of water. That's

9 where the water supply for my village of Osmace comes from, and together

10 with a couple of other lads from my village, we went there and we told

11 them that they could use that source of water in order for them to have

12 some drinking water, because we had about 300 people there, and we got a

13 hose for them because we had another possibility to get water in the

14 village.

15 Q. Thank you. I just want to focus on Biljeg for a moment because we

16 saw an exhibit a moment ago, P4, in which there is a reference to a Biljeg

17 Territorial Defence to be organised and a suggestion perhaps that there

18 was a self-organised armed group in Biljeg. And that's in June 1992. I

19 want -- would you agree or disagree that in these conditions that you've

20 described in Biljeg, there was an organised, armed group on its way to

21 becoming a well-organised Territorial Defence?

22 A. No. There were no units or organised groups of any kind. There

23 were locals from Miholjevine, Delici [phoen], Mocici there, and people who

24 had fled. I mean, those people who didn't want to go to Macedonia and so

25 from Jagosta [phoen] and Skelani they joined this group of people who were

Page 10622

1 hiding in the woods in Miholjevine.

2 Q. Right. And to put this in a time frame, when -- what period are

3 you talking about?

4 A. May, beginning of June, the end of May, the beginning of June.

5 And there were no organised armed units in the area at the time.

6 Q. I want to probe that a bit more in relation to Osmace. I'm going

7 to ask you a series of questions and if you can just answer yes or no, if

8 possible, did you have in Osmace in this period, May/June 1992, did you

9 have a commander who would issue orders to the fighters in Osmace?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Did you have uniforms?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Did you have ranks?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Did you have barracks?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Did you have an armoury?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Were you paid salaries, those of you who were fighters?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Was there any way of making someone do something he didn't want to

22 do, a fighter, let's say, to go to fight when he preferred to stay at

23 home?

24 A. No. Everything was absolutely voluntary.

25 Q. All right. Now, if someone were to say and --.

Page 10623

1 MR. JONES: For the benefit of the Trial Chamber, my reference is

2 to something in the official transcript of the hearing of 8th of June

3 2005, page 9013.

4 Q. If someone were to say that as early as April 1992, that Muslim

5 forces operating in the Srebrenica area operated in organised structure,

6 would that, by any stretch of the imagination, be true?

7 A. That would be 100 per cent incorrect. Not even in March 1993 did

8 we have any organised units in that way.

9 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, are we to read that answer

10 as applying "100 per cent incorrect, not even in March, 1993," does that

11 apply to the entire Srebrenica area or could we at least get some idea,

12 just make sure that the witness is not talking just about Osmace but the

13 wider area? That's the way I understood it but it's not absolutely clear.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: That's how I understood it, too, but, of course,

15 Mr. Jones, please. You can put a direct question to the witness.


17 Q. Let me put it this way: In Osmace, your fighters in Osmace, up

18 until March 1993, did you operate as part of an organised structure in the

19 area of Srebrenica?

20 A. There was no structure whatsoever in March, April, May, and the

21 year I'm referring to here is 1992. And I'm talking about the situation

22 within the village, but I can also refer to the broader area with regard

23 to March 1993. So in March 1993, when most villages had fallen, the

24 entire area had fallen, then there was no sort of structure whatsoever.

25 Q. Right. I'm going to come to March 1993 in a moment, but still --

Page 10624

1 while I still have the same reference to the transcript, if someone were

2 to say that the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Army of

3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, again as early as April 1992, had structures, command

4 and control arrangements in, and we'll limit it to your area, let's say

5 Osmace, would that be true to your knowledge that your fighters in Osmace

6 were part of an ABiH command and control structure?

7 A. I can state with a great deal of responsibility that never, ever,

8 had there been an organised structure of military units at Osmace. Never,

9 ever. We had 21 rifles, about 50 lads who had no logistics, no arms, no

10 ammunition supplies, nothing at all which could be qualified as a

11 military. People slept in their own houses. There was no specific place

12 where they could gather together.

13 Q. Now, I'm going to ask if the witness could be shown Prosecution

14 Exhibit P80, please.

15 Now, this is obviously a lengthy document. Did you see this

16 document with me when you came to The Hague?

17 A. No.

18 Q. You don't recall us reviewing this document in our offices in The

19 Hague?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Very well. Well, in that case, take your time to peruse this

22 document. For the record it's dated 19 September 1993 but it's referring

23 back to the period from April 1992 onwards and it's purportedly describing

24 the formation, structure of the Srebrenica armed forces during the past

25 period?

Page 10625

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's confirm first of all that he's got the right

2 document in front of him, Mr. Jones, to make sure, since he's not

3 remembering having seen this document before.

4 Usher, please, can you put the first page of this document that

5 the witness is reading now on the ELMO so that I can confirm which

6 document he is reading.

7 MR. JONES: Yes, that's it.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It is. Okay.

9 MR. JONES: All right.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Please hand it back to the witness, and Mr. Jones

11 you may proceed with your questions, thank you.

12 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.

13 Q. Now, it's a lengthy document but I only need to take to you the

14 parts relating to Osmace and Kragljivoda. So I'll take you directly to

15 those parts. Firstly, you see on the first page it deals with the first

16 formation structure and it's dealing with the time period from 17th April

17 1992 to mid-October 1992. And if we go to number 3, which I think it's on

18 the first page still of the B/C/S but page 2 of the English, it says "TO

19 Osmace." Do you see that? "TO Osmace, Ceta, Tokoljaci Ceta, Osmace,

20 Poznanovici." Do you see that, Mr. Buric?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Simply a couple of questions. In this period, to your -- April

23 1992 to October 1992, to your knowledge, was there something which could

24 be described as a TO Osmace consisting of three companies, a Tokoljaci

25 company, an Osmace company and a Poznanovici company?

Page 10626












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 10627

1 A. Never. We never had anything of the sort, and we never had any

2 link to Tokoljaci or Poznanovici and there was no Osmace company as such.

3 Q. Thank you. So that's wrong.

4 Did you have conscripts, i.e., people who were conscripted into

5 service as opposed to joining voluntarily?

6 A. No, never.

7 Q. All right. So that too is wrong.

8 Did you have 121 fighters in Osmace in -- in Osmace?

9 A. In March 1993, we didn't have that number of fighters. That was

10 at the end of war. And the period that you're referring to, certainly

11 not.

12 Q. So that too is false.

13 Let's look at TO Kragljivoda. Were there conscripts in

14 Kragljivoda, so far as you're aware, i.e., people who were conscripted

15 into military service?

16 A. I really never, ever heard anything about the area of Srebrenica,

17 the region of Srebrenica, having had any place where even a dozen lads

18 could go through some kind of training. This is the first I've heard of

19 it.

20 Q. Did Sefik Mandzic, to your knowledge, have, as this document

21 suggests, 235 conscripts under his command between April and October 1992?

22 A. I believe that the region around Kalina didn't have 235

23 inhabitants, let alone soldiers. I'm just talking to you about the

24 population. Had they had so many soldiers, no, definitely not.

25 Q. How many fighters do you think -- well, rather, do you think -- do

Page 10628

1 you know where in Kragljivoda in that period, April to October 1992,

2 roughly?

3 A. I think that there could have been about 50 lads tops, with Sefik,

4 within that group. And as to that particular position, never more than 10

5 or 15 at Kragljivoda.

6 Q. All right. 50 maximum, 10 or 15 Kragljivoda, not 235?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. It says that --

9 A. No.

10 Q. It also says, this document, that Nedzad Bektic was the commander

11 of TO Kragljivoda, and it suggests that he was a commander over Sefik

12 Mandzic. Is that true?

13 A. No, never. Let me reiterate this. Nedzad Bektic was never a

14 commander in Kragljivoda. The resistance organiser at Kragljivoda was

15 Sefik Mandzic, up until his death, and then he was followed by Ibro Dudic.

16 Q. Right. I won't pursue any further the inaccuracies which you've

17 already identified for the first formation structure but I'm going to go

18 to what's called the second formation structure which starts on page 3.

19 And this is dealing allegedly with a position from September 1992, 3rd of

20 September 1992. It's page 3 in English, and in B/C/S it's on the bottom

21 of page 2. [B/C/S spoken] Do you see that? The bottom paragraph on page

22 2, under the heading 2.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Let's look at Osmace, what's said about Osmace and Kragljivoda.

25 In English it's page 6, number 7, there is reference to the Independent

Page 10629

1 Osmace Battalion based in Osmace. Did you have a battalion in Osmace in

2 late 1992?

3 A. No. As I said, in 1993 there could have been 50 armed inhabitants

4 of Osmace at most.

5 Q. What would you understand to be a battalion strength unit? How

6 many soldiers, in other words, in a battalion?

7 A. There should be a minimum of between 300 and 600 soldiers, fully

8 armed, with heavy machine-guns, mortars, automatic rifles, semi-automatic

9 rifles. They had all that, the Serb side, I mean. They had a command

10 structure, they had weapons, they had everything, and if you have a group

11 of people with 20 hunting rifles, they can't really be called a battalion.

12 If you think they can, well, I don't know.

13 Q. Was Esad Dudic ever any type of commander in Osmace?

14 A. Definitely. Dudic, Esad, never even had as many as ten people in

15 his group, inhabitants, I mean.

16 Q. Right. My question was this document says he was the acting

17 commander of the Independent Osmace Battalion. Is that accurate, as far

18 as you're concerned?

19 A. I know that he did not even have ten people around him and he

20 certainly wasn't commander to anyone.

21 Q. And was Ejub Delic commander to anyone, to your knowledge?

22 A. He had -- no. He had about ten men, and he was from the village

23 of Hadrovici which is a part of Osmace, and he had about ten lads with

24 him.

25 Q. All right. You say he had ten lads with him. Could he order

Page 10630

1 those lads to do what he wanted? Could he issue orders, in other words?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Okay. And finally, in Kragljivoda, and I'm looking at item 3, the

4 3rd of May, Kragljivoda Brigade, where it says there were 927 conscripts

5 in three battalions, can you comment on the accuracy or inaccuracy of

6 that, what's written there?

7 A. That's 100 per cent incorrect.

8 Q. If I were to describe this document as a fantasy or a work of

9 fiction, would that be -- would that be overstating it or would you agree

10 with that characterisation?

11 A. This is pure fantasy. Obviously, it could have been wish

12 thinking -- wishful thinking, I mean, on our part but this is not even 1

13 per cent correct.

14 Q. Thank you.

15 A. Let me just clarify this. Had we had all this on the ground, we

16 would have been overjoyed. But we didn't even have 1 per cent of all

17 this.

18 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, this document, and others we've seen

19 refers to some areas besides Kragljivoda and Osmace, namely Biljeg,

20 Poznanovici, Tibici [phoen], Skenderovici, and I'd like, with the aid of

21 the map, to go through these areas and if you can indicate for each of

22 them, if you haven't already done so, the area. I'll go through one by

23 one, and whether you had any contacts in April to June of 1992 with those

24 areas, so let's start with Kragljivoda. In order to save time, I think I

25 can say that you've marked Kragljivoda on the map. You've also told us of

Page 10631

1 the road between Osmace and Kragljivoda and that that meant that you

2 didn't have constant contacts or contacts indeed with Kragljivoda. If you

3 could just answer this: What sort of contacts did you have with

4 Kragljivoda, you in Osmace in April to June of 1992? Were they regular?

5 Were they sporadic? Were they interrupted?

6 A. Since there was no road to speak of between Osmace and

7 Kragljivoda, as well as all the other Muslim villages, in other words,

8 most villages in that area of Podrinje were basically enclaves and they

9 were isolated so in May and the beginning of June there was no contact

10 whatsoever because there were Serb patrols all over the place. They kept

11 coming to Kragljivoda all the time. And from the left side they came

12 below Osmace, and on the other side they came from Brezani so we were

13 totally isolated. So that was within the villages, people had those

14 village guards around their houses, and they couldn't venture out seven or

15 eight kilometres. It was impossible.

16 Q. Just before I move on, when you said that these were enclaves,

17 would you apply that also to Biljeg?

18 A. Yes. All Muslim villages. 99 per cent of villages in that area

19 had no contact amongst themselves. And that includes Biljeg. They didn't

20 have links with Poznanovici or Osmace, between Biljeg and Osmace you have

21 a distance of about 10 kilometres and there was no contact whatsoever.

22 Q. And then how about Mocevici? Did you have contacts with Mocevici

23 in April to June of 1992?

24 A. No, not at all. Mocevici is all the way up north, and there was

25 Brezani and Pribicevac and Spat between us. I mean, the Serb villages.

Page 10632

1 And so there was no possibility of movement and there was no possibility

2 of conveying any information.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I recognise Mr. Di Fazio.

4 MR. DI FAZIO: The witness has actually just now partially

5 answered what was the query in my mind. The witness is talking about

6 contacts and links. He says there is none. Do I understand -- do we --

7 should we understand the witness to say that there was no regular

8 communication going on or no form of communication going on, or that it

9 was simply impossible to communicate? There is a distinction. I know

10 it's fine but I'd like to know.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Would you like to put that to the witness,

12 Mr. Jones, please?

13 MR. JONES: Well, I think I'd prefer to approach it in a different

14 direction which is to establish what was breaking -- what was preventing

15 communication or contacts because I think that will answer the question.

16 It's obviously difficult for this witness to speak about all and any

17 contacts.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we can deal with it in that manner. Yes, go

19 ahead, Mr. Jones.

20 MR. JONES: Okay.

21 Q. So let's deal?

22 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a break shortly. I mean regulate

23 yourself and tell me when you would like to stop.

24 MR. JONES: Yes. Since there will be an extended period with the

25 map, this might be a good moment to ...

Page 10633












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 10634

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. How are you going with your time estimates,

2 Mr. Jones?

3 MR. JONES: I think I'm actually about on schedule for finishing

4 tomorrow, certainly.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's have a 25-minute break. I think that's safer.

6 Thank you.

7 --- Recess taken at 12.28 p.m.

8 --- On resuming at 12.59 p.m.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.

10 MR. JONES: I thank you, Your Honour.

11 Q. Mr. Buric, before the break, we were exploring the problems with

12 communications between the enclaves, the Muslim enclaves, Biljeg,

13 Kragljivoda, Osmace, Poznanovici. You had testified that there were no

14 contacts whatsoever between these -- between these enclaves. I want to

15 explore in detail precisely what if any contacts there were. May I take

16 it that you're not excluding -- and tell me if you are excluding the

17 possibility that occasionally a person or a few people would actually

18 manage to voyage let's say from Mocevici to Osmace or are you saying that

19 there was absolutely no contact whatsoever?

20 A. Refugees from the Drina valley managed to reach some Muslim

21 villages via certain roads. We cannot exclude completely the possibility

22 of some sort of contact between Osmace, Gladovici, and so on and so forth,

23 but on the low scale, concerning any sort of organised attempts, there

24 were none.

25 Q. Thank you. Now I want to explore first generally the sorts of

Page 10635

1 things which made contacts difficult. And I'm going to deal with the

2 period of time up to June 1992. Now, you've already mentioned in your

3 testimony some general items or general matters which might prevent

4 contacts. You mentioned Serb patrols on the road between Osmace and

5 Kragljivoda. So I take it that that is something which could disrupt

6 contacts, Serb patrols on a road. Is that something you would agree with?

7 A. Yes. Serb patrols from Serb villages moved about non-stop and

8 this is predominantly a wooded area and they sometimes went alone and it

9 is worse to meet a single armed person than a hundred civilians. The Serb

10 patrols patrolled around Zeleni Jadar. They would go to Brezani to

11 Kalina, from Kalina to Toplica, from there to Postolje. There was no such

12 communication between the Muslims because they couldn't move about.

13 Q. Thank you. So on the one hand, we have specific Serb patrols on

14 this road between Srebrenica and Skelani. Is it also right that there

15 were infantry patrols, Serb infantry patrols, which was disrupting

16 communications between enclaves? Is that -- is that your evidence?

17 A. Yes. For example, from Postolje and Podrid and Toplica, where

18 they would go -- they would go from those places to the training centre at

19 Jezero. They would go on foot every morning and as well from Brezani on

20 the other side from Osmace. The Serbs communicated between Brezani,

21 Ratkovici, Ducici, and Fakovici, and it cut between the Muslim villages

22 that were on the way. On the western side, there was Podravanje. And

23 there was the area where the Muslim population was unable to move.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio?

25 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I think that this is a

Page 10636

1 topic of some importance to the Prosecution and we would object to

2 questions that are leading. The previous two questions have suggested the

3 answer, lock, stock, and barrel to the witness, and all he had to do was

4 say "yes" and that would have been the end of it. So it's a topic of

5 controversy and we need to be absolutely clear that what's coming out of

6 the witness is his own evidence is and nothing that's been suggested.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: I saw you getting a little bit agitated when

8 Mr. Jones put the question but --

9 MR. JONES: May I respectfully disagree, Your Honour? The

10 question amounts -- the patrols, it's just really a matter of common sense

11 and proceeding expeditiously. The witness has said Serb patrols from Serb

12 villages moved about non-stop and this is predominantly in a wooded area

13 and they sometimes went alone and it's worse to meet a single armed person

14 than a hundred civilians. It's pretty obvious that the witness is talking

15 about Serb military patrols, so for me simply to pick up on that and say,

16 right, Serb military controls, is not leading.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's finish. That question has been answered and

18 there was no objection. That's why I allowed it in the first place,

19 irrespective of whether it was leading or not but you've now been put on

20 notice that on this matter, the Prosecution would object to leading

21 questions.

22 MR. JONES: Okay that's fine, that's fine.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: So that's -- and for the record, I mean, the --

24 please do remember that the understanding that there is between the Trial

25 Chamber and the parties, that we will not intervene when we even -- when

Page 10637

1 we consider that there is a leading question unless there is an objection.

2 MR. JONES: Yes, that's fine, thank you.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks.

4 MR. JONES: Right.

5 Q. Now, explain for us, Mr. Buric, and it may be -- it may seem

6 obvious, but why would -- why would it present a problem for communication

7 for Muslims to communicate between each other that there are Serb villages

8 in the vicinity? Why would that pose any problem? And this is -- I'm

9 talking about June 1992.

10 A. The whole of April, May, and June, there was no communication

11 between Muslim villages, because there were Serb patrols between all of

12 the villages. As I said a minute ago, they could move about freely. They

13 were armed, and they turned those villages into enclaves, the villages

14 such as Osmace, Bladojvici [phoen], Sljivica [phoen], Karacici, Ljeskovik,

15 and on the other side, Miholjevine, Delici, Poznanovici, Podkorjen,

16 Mocevici, between all of those villages there would be a one or a couple

17 of Serb villages. And even physically speaking, looking at the map, it

18 was a hindrance between the two, for example, and there was constant

19 transportation of weaponry between their villages as well. Therefore,

20 Muslims couldn't move around all the way until the end of June. Before

21 that, there were no links between villages.

22 Q. Thank you. And now aside from these patrols, was there anything

23 else which presented a difficulty for Muslims to move around in the

24 villages in this area in June 1992? Any other hazards?

25 A. Yes. The villages were heavily shelled from all Serb positions,

Page 10638

1 from Jezero, Pusici [phoen], from the Tara plateau, and on the other side

2 from Brezani and Ratkovici. And as I said already, they used routes and

3 forests to transport arms on horseback. And on several occasions,

4 villagers came across such a transport and they were killed by the Serbs,

5 when they would meet them transporting weapons in Kardinmedje [phoen] or

6 some other Serb villages.

7 Q. So -- I'm purely summarising, you referred to patrols. You've

8 referred to artillery. You've referred in your testimony to Sefik

9 Mandzic. Can you remind us of how he died? Not the whole -- [Microphone

10 not activated].

11 A. The two of us helped -- went to help in Jagodnja because the Serbs

12 from Fakovici came in and torched a part of that village in Josava.

13 Q. I'm sorry, I meant to interrupt you earlier but my microphone was

14 not working. Simply without telling the story which we'll come to, what

15 caused his death?

16 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we -- I know where you are so why don't you

17 put a direct question whether landmines --

18 MR. JONES: If I --

19 JUDGE AGIUS: -- constituted also an impediment.

20 MR. JONES: I was worried that might be leading.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: We will get there in any case, so why not get there

22 straight away.


24 Q. That's the question, Mr. Buric, did landmines also pose an

25 impediment?

Page 10639

1 A. Yes. Around most of their villages, Serbs laid mines, and in

2 places where they were short of people, and where the distance between one

3 and the other Serb village was too great, they would mine such an area,

4 and each village was mined in itself. So Sefik Mandzic stepped on a mine

5 on the 5th of October, together with four friends of his who tried to pull

6 him out. They were killed the same day. Not by the same mine, of course,

7 but the entire area was mined. The entire area around the Muslim villages

8 that were adjacent to some Serb villages.

9 Q. All right. Now, we've referred to Biljeg before. Would you be

10 able to mark Biljeg on the map, the area which corresponds to Biljeg?

11 A. Biljeg is not marked on the map. This is an elevation point in a

12 wooded area. This is not a residential area. Above Mosici I believe

13 where it says 669, I believe that to be Biljeg.

14 Q. All right. Thank you, you've marked that with a B?

15 MR. JONES: I think for the transcript I said you said Mosici

16 rather than Mocevici. If you could spell that village you just referred

17 to.

18 A. Mosici, M-O-S-I-C-I.

19 Q. Thank you, now in June 1992, which -- what if anything stood in

20 the way of contacts between Osmace and Biljeg? I'm speaking of specific

21 locations rather than general problems.

22 A. Communication between Biljeg and Osmace, all the way there was no

23 communication there because of Serb patrols, and the Serb settlements were

24 also a hindrance, those between Osmace and Biljeg.

25 Q. Can you name a couple of those settlements?

Page 10640












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 10641

1 A. Postolje, Podrid are the Serb villages, and the patrols from

2 Bozici and Blazevici cut the communication in half and on the other side,

3 Mljecva, Obarak, Zaviganj. All the names I mentioned are the Serb

4 villages. They communicated this between themselves but they interrupted

5 a communication between Osmace and Biljeg.

6 Q. Thank you. Poznanovici has been marked on the map already.

7 Again, in June 1992, which if any Serb settlements stood in the way of

8 contacts between Osmace and Poznanovici?

9 A. Postolje, Podrid, Grubanovici. On the other side, towards the

10 north, Crkvina, Mlecva, Obarak, Zaviganj, and Lijesce. So they were on

11 both sides. There were Blazevici here, and patrols were on the left and

12 on the right from Biljeg. And to reiterate it was a wooded area, an

13 elevation point, and on both sides there were Serb settlements.

14 Q. Thank you. When we turn to Mocevici that's of course beyond

15 Poznanovici as far as Osmace is concerned. I take it that there were the

16 same impediments to contact with Mocevici that you had with Poznanovici,

17 or were they different with other impediments?

18 A. The main obstacles from Brezani and on the other side Ratkovici,

19 Oparci, all the villages in between and their movement, of course, their

20 patrols and convoys that were pretty regular to distribute weapons.

21 Q. Thank you. Finally, I want to ask you about Skenderovici which I

22 think you haven't marked on the map yet, and if you could find

23 Skenderovici and mark it? And the same question again really, what stood

24 in the way of contacts between Osmace and Skenderovici in June 1992?

25 A. Turija, Brezani, and on the other side, Ducici, Ratkovici, and

Page 10642

1 there was regular communication between them, as well as Oparci. So we

2 had no links with Skenderovici.

3 Q. And in fact finally, Srebrenica. Did you have, you in Osmace, did

4 you have contacts with Srebrenica, the town of Srebrenica in June 1992?

5 A. No.

6 Q. And what, if anything, was preventing you from having those

7 contacts?

8 A. The Serb villages en route, as well as the Serb patrols, Brezani

9 and Turija were there, and on the other side, Srpska Jasenovo, linked to

10 Podravanje. And looking from the road, on the right, there were

11 Pribicevac and Spat, Brezani and Turija.

12 Q. Thank you. Now, in June 1992 -- yes, obviously the village names

13 will have to be corrected afterwards in the transcript. I won't spell

14 them all out now.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: That is a daily occurrence.

16 MR. JONES: Yes, yes, it's certainly.

17 Q. Did you in June 1992 have Motorolas or RUPs, I think they're

18 called, or any other sort of radio device, you in Osmace?

19 A. No, none. And not even in March of 1993. All the way until

20 Osmace fell, we had no Motorolas, no communication devices in Osmace.

21 Q. Right. Thank you. Moving on to a slightly different area.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Jones, Judge Eser, please.

23 JUDGE ESER: Just as a matter of clarification, could the witness

24 perhaps state once more which time he's speaking about when you had all

25 this restrictions on communications? Which period of time?

Page 10643

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is the period

2 between April, May, and June of 1992.

3 JUDGE ESER: From April to June, you would not have --

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Until the end of June of 1992. The

5 entire month of June, there was no communication.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Judge Eser and thank you, Witness.

7 MR. JONES: I'll ask if the witness can be shown Prosecution

8 Exhibit P73. And while that's being presented, it's the Bajramovici

9 document dated 20 May 1992. It states that it's a decision to form the

10 Srebrenica municipal TO staff.

11 Q. I simply want to ask you this: Firstly, do you know of a place

12 called Bajramovici?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. If you could locate it on the map and circle it, that would be

15 helpful.

16 A. [Marks]. To the west of Srebrenica.

17 Q. Yes, now on the 20th of May 1992, were you in Osmace able freely

18 to pass to Bajramovici?

19 A. No, never. Until the end of 1992 one couldn't communicate with

20 Bajramovici.

21 Q. Thank you. You'll see in this document a reference to Ahmo Tihic

22 from Lijesce. Now, you've mentioned Lijesce in Skelani already in your

23 testimony. You've also --

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Was that one -- in fact you've said that all Muslim villages in

Page 10644

1 Skelani were ethnically cleansed or people were expelled in May 1992.

2 Would that include Lijesce?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. All right. Now, here, Tihic is described as, "an outstanding

5 activist in armed resistance against the aggressor in the area of

6 Skelani." To your knowledge, was there ever armed resistance organised by

7 the Muslims in the Skelani area in May 1992?

8 A. In the first Serb offensive, Lijesce and Skelani were torched as

9 well as a dozen other Muslim villages.

10 Q. So that's inaccurate information, would you say, regarding Tihic?

11 A. It is not true. This is incorrect information.

12 Q. Thank you. Finished with that exhibit.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.


15 Q. Now, you've told us about Ratkovici and I take it there is no

16 objection in me summarising the evidence which has been given so far. I

17 can even give page and line reference if need be. You said from Ratkovici

18 they shelled your village, Osmace, on the 8th of May 1992. You said you

19 saw -- were aware of weapons being delivered to Ratkovici in 1992 on four

20 or five occasions. Is that a correct summary of what you've told us?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Prior to the 21st of June 1992, were you aware of any Serb

23 military presence in Ratkovici?

24 A. Yes. We supposed so because shelling was coming from that

25 direction. That is to the east of Osmace. There were Ratkovici and

Page 10645

1 Fakovici there and there was shelling non-stop. The shelling of all of

2 the Muslim villages. In one -- they were together in one direction, both

3 Ratkovici and Fakovici.

4 Q. Right. Aside from the shelling, were you aware whether actually

5 in the village of Ratkovici itself there was any sort of military presence

6 or not?

7 A. We had no information in Osmace because we had no contact. It was

8 a village further away. We had no contact with Ratkovici.

9 Q. Do you know of a place called Bradjevina?

10 A. I've heard of it but I don't know it. I was never there.

11 Q. Now, did you hear at any stage of any military action undertaken

12 in Ratkovici or any military activity in June -- I'll lead the date. On

13 the 21st of June 1992, were you aware of an action occurring on that date?

14 A. No.

15 Q. All right. Did you hear at think stage that Ratkovici had fallen?

16 A. I don't know when, perhaps in October or -- I may have heard in

17 July. I don't know exactly. Maybe in July.

18 Q. And what did you hear precisely?

19 A. We heard that Ratkovici attacked the Muslim village of

20 Poznanovici, and they torched a part of that village, and the villagers

21 went after them to try to repel them and they came into their village, and

22 they fled towards Fakovici. That's what we heard. I believe it was July

23 of 1992.

24 Q. Right. Two clarifications. When you say they torched a part of

25 that village, who is "they" and which is "that village"?

Page 10646

1 A. The Serbs broke into a part of a Muslim village called Poznanovici

2 and they torched it. They killed a number of shepherds who were guarding

3 sheep and working in the fields. And those lads from those villages,

4 Podkorjen and Poznanovici, went after them and they entered Ratkovici.

5 And so they fled in the direction of Fakovici.

6 Q. And you've told us when you heard about this, you think maybe in

7 July. When did -- when you did hear about it --

8 A. I think in -- I think it was in the beginning of July. I wasn't

9 really interested, to be honest. I didn't quite understand.

10 Q. Yes. Just to be entirely clear, are you saying that you believe

11 the action or that these events took place at the beginning of July or

12 that you heard of them at the beginning of July, just so that it's clear?

13 A. I heard about it in July, and I don't really know when the event

14 took place. Since they were under attack in Poznanovici, they were

15 shelled, in Podkorjen and Debici. As well they were being shelled on a

16 daily basis from Mlecka, Obarak, Ratkovici, Ducici, it was all done on a

17 daily basis. And there was a lot of shooting from infantry weapons, et

18 cetera. All that went on on a daily basis, and at some point in the

19 beginning of July we heard that they entered that Serb village.

20 Q. And who did you get this information that you've just given us --

21 from whom did you get that?

22 A. I don't know. Some local people. I can't remember.

23 Q. But local from which villages, if you can remember that?

24 A. Poznanovici or Podkorjen.

25 Q. All right. Now, I want to ask you about -- it's paragraph of the

Page 10647












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 10648

1 indictment, paragraph 30 of the indictment which says, "On the 21st and

2 27th of June 1992, the village of Ratkovici, including the surrounding

3 hamlets of Bradjevina, Ducici, and Gornji Ratkovici were attacked.

4 Srebrenica TO, Osmace TO, Kragljivoda TO, Skenderovici TO, and Biljeg TO

5 participated in this attack."

6 So I want to ask you a couple of questions about that allegation.

7 You've told us already that you didn't have in Osmace organised groups

8 like a TO. Did you or any of your fighters go from Osmace to Ratkovici in

9 late June to fight there, June 1992, to your knowledge.

10 A. I can state with a great deal of responsibility that as far as my

11 group of 20 or 50 something men from Osmace are concerned, nobody

12 participated in any action in the area of Ratkovici, and Kragljivoda,

13 because there was no physical activity. There was no physical contact.

14 There was no possibility for them to get there from Kragljivoda. In

15 Kragljivoda there were about 15 people guarding the road. The crossing

16 there. And there was no way they could withdraw in that direction.

17 Q. Thank you. Now, I'm going to move on now briefly from June 1992

18 into the summer, July, August, and September 1992. You've told us that

19 you had refugees in Osmace. How many, roughly? Can you say how many

20 refugees you had in Osmace in that period, the summer of 1992?

21 A. In the summer of 1992, there might have remained between 300 and

22 400 people in the village because I had said in the beginning that most of

23 them had left and gone to Slovenia, Germany, and elsewhere. Perhaps there

24 could have been 1.200 up to 1.500 inhabitants and refugees.

25 Q. Okay. And if you could just tell us briefly how -- how the

Page 10649

1 situation in Osmace develop? And by the situation, I mean the

2 humanitarian refugee and the military situation in July August, September

3 of 1992, if you could give us a snapshot?

4 A. In April 1992, the supply of any kind of commodities and

5 especially foodstuffs to Srebrenica was cut off. And people withdrew into

6 villages, and there were some supplies, some reserves, but they had been

7 exhausted but as I've said there were 3 to 4 times more refugees at the

8 time than the local population. So that there was a great deal of panic

9 in the village. There was nothing to eat. The hygiene condition was --

10 conditions were bad. There was no freedom of movement. There was

11 shelling every day, and people were getting killed and wounded. People

12 were dying. The wounded were dying because there was no medical

13 assistance whatsoever. So it was a state of hopelessness really. And

14 people felt they were in hell, and it was a village in which originally

15 there was a thousand people and then 300 remained and then new people came

16 along and there was no food. Everything had been destroyed. There was

17 total chaos in April, May, and June, in the area of Osmace.

18 As to any combat activity, as I said it was something we

19 experienced on a daily basis, this daily shelling, from all sides, from

20 all Serb positions, and there was no choice. One had to do something. In

21 all that, Brezani created most problems. It was to the west of Osmace.

22 We were unable to work the land in the fields. We weren't able to take

23 care of our cattle because they were shooting at us all the time, below

24 that village, and they were using mortars as well. So from that western

25 side, we had no way of getting out and we had to do something.

Page 10650

1 Q. Thank you. Now, you mentioned already in the course of your

2 testimony a place called Fakovici, and again I'm summarising for the sake

3 of the record, you've referred to a training centre in Ruljevici, which is

4 near Fakovici. You said that weapons arrived en masse in your area from

5 Fakovici by horse. You've stated how weapons were transported from

6 Fakovici to Brezani by helicopter, and you've also told us that Sefik

7 Mandzic stepped on a mine on the way to Fakovici. So there is no need to

8 repeat that evidence. I just want to ask you firstly, if you're aware of

9 any sort of military presence in Fakovici prior to October 1992?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Could you explain -- describe that for us, what your information

12 was about Fakovici prior to October 1992?

13 A. Yes. We received information from the field -- I mean the

14 villages that gravitated in that direction, we found out from them that

15 there were large numbers of soldiers, Serb soldiers there, that they were

16 involved in training at Fakovici and Ruljevici all the time and that they

17 came from Skelani and Bajina Basta, and they were going in the direction

18 of Bratunac, and that there were units from Bijeljina in that area,

19 white -- the White Eagles and other volunteers from Serbia. And we knew

20 that whenever any volunteers from Serbia came along, they were weekend

21 visitors, as it were, and they used to set up ambushes when Muslim

22 residents went back to their villages to collect food, and there was

23 constant shelling and shooting in Podkorjen, Jagodnja, Joseva, so that was

24 our impression of what going on down below.

25 Q. You said there were large numbers of soldiers, Serb soldiers,

Page 10651

1 there. Is that soldiers who were passing through or actually you talking

2 about a permanent stationing of soldiers in Fakovici? What precisely are

3 you referring to?

4 A. Fakovici had a battalion of the JNA army. They were fully

5 equipped. They might have had somewhere between 500 and 600 soldiers, so

6 that battalion was stationed in Fakovici.

7 Q. Now, did you go to Fakovici in 1992?

8 A. I did.

9 Q. And when was that?

10 A. On the 5th of October, we had already been in touch with Sefik

11 because there had been a powerful attack at -- on Kragljivoda. I think I

12 went up there on the 4th of October and there were 20 people with me in my

13 group, and Sefik and I went to Jagodnja, to a Muslim village called

14 Jagodnja.

15 Q. Sorry to interrupt. Can you locate Jagodnja on the map, please?

16 A. [Marks]

17 Q. Thank you. And you're also circling Joseva. How far are those

18 villages from Fakovici?

19 A. I don't know exactly. Seven or eight, no, five or six kilometres

20 away but those two villages, Jagodnja and Joseva are next to one another.

21 Those were two Muslim villages and Serbs went there on the 4th, and they

22 killed quite a few civilians and they torched a part of the village and

23 they captured some of the Muslim civilians and they took them away. So

24 Jagodnja and Joseva are Muslim villages.

25 Q. Thank you. Just for the record, it's 4th of October 1992,

Page 10652

1 correct?

2 A. Yes, on the 4th of October. I was at Kragljivoda. That's what I

3 said. I was at Kragljivoda to help Sefik out on the 4th of October and in

4 the early morning hours on the 5th of October -- no, maybe at around 8.00

5 in fact, we went in the direction of Jagodnja and Joseva.

6 Q. And if you can just explain why you went in the direction of

7 Joseva -- Jagodnja and Joseva, please?

8 A. In the course of the morning, some civilians came along and they

9 were fleeing Jagodnja and Joseva because they had been attacked by the

10 Serbs from Fakovici, Voljevica, and Boljevici, and they were running away

11 and they told us that those Muslim villages were on fire. And Sefik

12 Mandzic, who had about 30 to 40 people with him, and I had 20 people with

13 me because on that day, Kragljivoda had experienced a powerful attack and

14 those so those of us who were at Osmace came out to help and he asked me

15 if I would be willing to go with him and I accepted even though I was

16 rather tired. And so in the morning we set out for Jagodnja and Joseva.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio?

18 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honours, please, again it's a question of

19 clarification and trying to follow the witness's evidence. He's given

20 evidence that he went with 20 men -- 20 people, to see Sefik, there has

21 been no explanation who those 20 people were or why he went to see Sefik.

22 And you might expect that in -- if he's explaining this sojourn to that

23 area. So I think that -- I've got my assumptions about why he went but

24 it's not clear from the transcript.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: He said it. I beg to differ. If you look at,

Page 10653

1 before I miss it, last line of page 84 and first line on page 83, yes, "on

2 the 4th of October I was in Kragljivoda. That's what I said. I was at

3 Kragljivoda to help Sefik out on the 4th of October and in the early

4 morning -- or maybe around et cetera," so he's already stated that he went

5 to Kragljivoda to meet Sefik to help him.

6 MR. DI FAZIO: No problem with that.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Now the other part that you seek clarification

8 of, namely who was those -- who were those 20, 20 persons he had with him,

9 yes, of course, I mean perhaps Mr. Jones can address that.

10 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honours --

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Otherwise, is there anything else that you see that

12 I can't see?

13 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. To help him out, in what sense?

14 JUDGE AGIUS: I think even before he said the -- I mean -- and

15 what I read to you was -- probably will be shorter if --

16 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honours I don't want to interrupt Mr. Jones's

17 flow. Minimise it as much as possible. Perhaps I'll withdraw my

18 objection. I'll deal with it myself later.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: If you go to page 82, lines 9 to 13 or to 12, and

20 "on the 5th of October we had already been in touch with Sefik because

21 there had been a powerful attack on Kragljivoda and I think I won't up

22 there on the 4th of October and there were 20 people with me in my group,

23 and Sefik and I went to" - missing - "to a Muslim village called" -- and

24 the transcript doesn't show the name. So I think that part is clear.

25 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, it is clear.

Page 10654

1 JUDGE AGIUS: If you want further clarification on who these 20

2 persons -- the witness took with him were. Of course, I mean, it can be

3 done.

4 MR. JONES: Yes. If I may, Your Honour, I mean, my flow is being

5 interrupted.

6 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll withdraw my objection.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's not make any --

8 MR. JONES: No, Your Honour, I simply want to make this point,

9 that the evidence was clear and the comment by Mr. Di Fazio that the

10 evidence is unclear and explanations aren't being given is in a way his

11 comment on the unfolding evidence which I don't think is appropriate.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's come to the 20 persons.

13 MR. JONES: As far as 20 people are concerned, it's not part of my

14 examination-in-chief. It's not my plan to elicit the names of those 20

15 individuals. If Mr. Di Fazio want to, he can do it in cross-examination.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think that that's the essence of

17 Mr. Di Fazio's intervention.

18 MR. JONES: No, I'm coming to it.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: I gather whether these were fighters, whether they

20 were just ordinary civilians.

21 MR. JONES: Yes, I follow --

22 JUDGE AGIUS: This is what I think he means.

23 MR. DI FAZIO: That's exactly right.

24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please not overlap. Thank

25 you.

Page 10655


2 MR. DI FAZIO: That's the point I am concerned about.

3 MR. JONES: I follow that equally. At the same time I'm going to

4 explore the areas I need to explore and I think it's pretty obvious we're

5 talking about a war, and attack, going to help someone. I don't intend to

6 get many answers from this witness about exactly what they were doing.

7 It's pretty obvious what they were doing. They were going to help someone

8 who was being attacked.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think once you have yourself made that statement,

10 we can proceed.

11 MR. JONES: Thank you.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we all had the same assumption in any case.

13 We were all assuming that these were not curious persons accompanying the

14 witness to see what was happening. They were there for a purpose.

15 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you, although I might ask this question.

16 Q. Of those 20 people who went with you, were any of them in uniform?

17 A. No. They wore civilian clothes but they had arms as well.

18 Q. All right. Now, we are coming to the close but I just want to

19 deal with the part of your testimony which you've already given concerning

20 Sefik. I think when we left off you were describing how in the early

21 morning you proceeded and in fact, given the time, I'll deal with that

22 tomorrow.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So Mr. Buric, we are going to stop here

24 for today. We will continue tomorrow morning at 9.00. In the meantime,

25 may I remind you again of my advice to you earlier on this morning, you're

Page 10656

1 not to contact or let anyone contact you on matters related to your

2 evidence. Yes, thank you, and I think we are sitting in this courtroom

3 tomorrow at 9.00. Thank you.

4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,

5 to be reconvened on Friday, the 9th day of

6 September, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.