Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 623

1 Thursday, 24 August 2006

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.

5 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, good morning to you. And

7 could you kindly call the case, please.

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

9 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam.

11 Same advisory to all the accused: If at any time during the

12 proceedings you are not receiving interpretation, please draw our

13 attention straight away. Thank you.

14 I see no alterations in the team. Mr. Nicholls is here, and I say

15 it for the record.

16 Yes, are there any preliminaries? Madam Faveau?

17 MS. FAVEAU: [No interpretation].

18 JUDGE AGIUS: I can understand what you are saying and the

19 technical problem that you say you have but -- in relation to this

20 witness, but as far as I am concerned, I am not receiving interpretation

21 into English, and that is the second technical problem. And I am on

22 channel 4, so it is not a question of not being --

23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Faveau, could you kindly repeat your

25 remark or your comment.

Page 624

1 MS. FAVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. It is

2 actually a technical problem I'd like to put to you. We have received the

3 transcript of the testimony of this witness last week, last Wednesday. We

4 only received the audio recording in B/C/S on Friday. We can't give such

5 recordings to our client until Monday morning, then Monday morning there

6 is the whole procedure of getting audio recording into the Detention Unit,

7 so that they only received it on Tuesday afternoon. They were able to

8 listen to it only yesterday afternoon. My client and others, I believe,

9 have had some problems to open the software in order to listen to the

10 testimony. We're not asking for the trial to be postponed. We're ready

11 to go, but we'd like you assistance for the Prosecutor to provide us with

12 this B/C/S material earlier so that the communication procedure with the

13 Detention Unit be better, smoother, and faster. Thank you.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Faveau, for pointing that out.

15 Who is going to respond to that? Mr. Nicholls.

16 MR. NICHOLLS: I agree, Your Honour, we will try and make sure it

17 isn't provided that late again.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Nicholls, and also for your

19 cooperation.

20 And incidentally, those of you who may wish to go last or towards

21 the end of the cross-examination because of this technical problem, please

22 make the necessary arrangements amongst yourselves and you will be

23 accommodated accordingly. Thank you. So the other thing I wanted -- yes,

24 Mr. Nicholls.

25 MR. NICHOLLS: Just one small point, Your Honours. I think it was

Page 625

1 discussed yesterday. We had prepared some map books. The Defence kindly

2 have not objected to those, so those should have been passed out to Your

3 Honours. Those are not yet, I understand, in e-court, but they will be.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, they are here. I thank you for them. The only

5 thing I want to mention is that if you intend to make use of these maps

6 with the witness or, for that matter, any other maps or any other photos

7 with witnesses, make sure that if there is an explanation, like there is

8 on this map, "Srebrenica has been Serbian and remains Serbian," et cetera,

9 or "Zepa is also Serbian," or a map with handwritten memos and indications

10 of places and sites, et cetera, that you don't use those maps with the

11 witness. Let the witness mark on maps, but don't give witnesses

12 ready-marked maps which would be tantamount to eliciting information which

13 is already there on the map or on photos. We had the same problems in

14 other cases.

15 MR. NICHOLLS: I understand that, Your Honour. I was thinking

16 about using map 5 in that book with this witness. It does have markings

17 on it and notations. In that case, I will not do that and we'll try to

18 get a different map during the break if I need to use a map.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: This one I think is harmless, if there is no

20 objection from the Defence. This seems to be a translation of what there

21 is handwritten on the map, so it does not really create a major problem.

22 But if there are other markings --

23 MR. NICHOLLS: I think it is map 5, Your Honour, does have some

24 markings on it.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, let me just go through them.

Page 626

1 But by major problems is when you have, for example, a photo of a

2 destroyed house and then underneath: "House of Mirzad Dudic" and then ask

3 him: Do you recognise this house? for example, all right?

4 MR. NICHOLLS: I understand, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Or a photo of some place marked underneath,

6 indicating the location, and then you ask him, the witness: Do you

7 recognise this road in the countryside with the buildings in the

8 background?

9 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.

10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just on a related issue that might help speed

11 things along. As you know, Mr. Ruez will be testifying soon.


13 MR. McCLOSKEY: And we have in the past had him mark maps prior to

14 him getting into court. It's not the -- sometimes the traditional way,

15 but it does save time and it's not the problem you're talking of, but it's

16 similar. So that is our expectation that he will have -- he will be the

17 one who will have marked the maps.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: That's not the problem I was referring to,

19 definitely.

20 All right. Are there any other preliminaries? I just wanted to

21 confirm to you that later on in the morning we'll be handing down the

22 decision on the e-court filing of cross-examination documents, as per the

23 agreed suggestions. And nothing else, so we can -- yes?

24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I know everyone's working on it, but the final

25 dates for the confidential programme would help with setting up witnesses.

Page 627

1 I know that's --

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, I think we can go into private session for a

3 couple of minutes.

4 [Private session]

5 (redacted)

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Page 628

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14 [Open session]

15 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much.

17 Yes, I think we can admit the witness. The witness is testifying

18 under the protective measures included in the -- indicated in yesterday's

19 decision - that is with a pseudonym - and we have to decide what number we

20 are going to give him because you've not indicated this in your motion,

21 consequently we did not allocate a pseudonym ourselves. And of course

22 with face distortion. Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

23 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm sorry we didn't put

24 that in our motion. We -- I believe we're up to PW-110 will be his

25 number.

Page 629


2 MR. NICHOLLS: 110.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: 110, okay.

4 (redacted)

5 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm not sure we need to bring the shutters down

6 when he comes in, Your Honour.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Pardon?

8 MR. NICHOLLS: I can't recall if we bring the shutters down

9 because he has a pseudonym.


11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

12 JUDGE AGIUS: No, we don't need to bring down the curtain, I'm

13 being told, because precautions are taken.

14 [The witness entered court]

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, sir.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. Very shortly you will

18 be starting your testimony as a Prosecution witness. As per your request,

19 we have granted you some protective measures. You will not be referred to

20 by your name, but by a nom de plume, a pseudonym. You are going to be

21 Prosecution Witness 110. And anyone who is following the proceedings from

22 outside this courtroom will not be able to see your face because we have a

23 mechanical means of hiding it, as you will see on your own monitor as we

24 go along. Otherwise, the other thing I wanted to tell you is that Madam

25 Usher, who is standing next to you, will be handing to you a solemn

Page 630

1 declaration, which is tantamount to an oath in various jurisdictions, and

2 that is your undertaking to speak the truth in the course of your

3 testimony. If you at any time require a break, please tell us you're

4 feeling tired, and we will grant you -- we will give you a break.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.

7 Please take the solemn declaration and read it out and that will

8 be your undertaking.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

10 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.

12 Mr. Nicholls on the Prosecution side will be asking you a series

13 of questions. Please try to keep your replies, your answers, as brief as

14 possible, and when you are being asked for a yes or no answer, stick to

15 that. If you need to go further, let us know and we'll decide whether to

16 give you permission or not.

17 Mr. Nicholls.

18 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours.


20 [Witness answered through interpreter]

21 Examination by Mr. Nicholls:

22 Q. Good morning, sir.

23 A. Good morning.

24 MR. NICHOLLS: The first order of business, if I could have the

25 assistance of an usher, is to show the witness the pseudonym sheet.

Page 631

1 Q. Sir, please read that to yourself silently, and I'll ask you: Can

2 you confirm that your name is written on that sheet of paper which you've

3 been handed?

4 A. Yes.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Would you kindly show it to the members of the

6 Defence teams, and then it will be handed to the registrar, who will enter

7 it into the records as a sealed document.

8 Registrar, could you please indicate to us which number you are

9 going to give it, which exhibit number.

10 MR. NICHOLLS: I understand in the future, Your Honour, these will

11 also be in the e-court system.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, do you want to see it, Mr. Nicholls?



15 So this will become Exhibit Number?

16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit Number P2101 [Realtime

17 transcript read in error "P2102"].

18 JUDGE AGIUS: P210 -- that's correct, then, because on the

19 transcript it's P2102 and I heard you say P2101.

20 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour; P2101.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's corrected.

22 Mr. Nicholls, please proceed.

23 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.

24 I request we go into private session for some preliminary

25 background.

Page 632

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session.

2 [Private session]

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Page 633











11 Pages 633-637 redacted. Private session.















Page 638

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 [Open session]

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

5 We are in open session now, Witness.


7 Q. Sir, how long did you stay in Konjevic Polje?

8 A. I was six days in Konjevic Polje, and during those six days I

9 believe that Mr. Morillon came, the commander of UNPROFOR forces, and he

10 went up there to a mosque in Hrncici. I don't know exactly because I'm

11 not familiar with the area. I believe it was the Hrncici mosque. This is

12 where he hoisted up the UN flags. And then the Serbs who were in Tumace

13 opened fire on the population right before Morillon's face. I'm not 100

14 per cent sure, but I believe that one UNPROFOR soldier was seriously hurt.

15 There were a lot of people killed, a lot of people injured. Morillon

16 was there and he was watching that with his own two eyes. If he was a

17 good man, he would be sitting here today and he would testify to the event

18 that happened right before his eyes.

19 Q. Thank you. That was a bit of a long answer to the question, but

20 thank you. Now, where did you go from Konjevic Polje?

21 A. After that, we moved to Pervane. That's where we stayed for three

22 days. And then a decision was issued. Everybody started withdrawing

23 towards Srebrenica. I and my two brothers arrived in Srebrenica on the

24 14th of March.

25 Q. 1993?

Page 639

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. While in Srebrenica, did you do any kind of work, you personally?

3 A. Yes, I worked as a farm worker. We had a horse, a cow. We had

4 the cow for milk and the horse to carry stuff for us, and that was that.

5 Q. You said you went with two of your brothers. Were either of your

6 brothers in the --

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Please wait -- thank you, but please wait for me to finish the

9 question. Was either of your brothers in the army, the Bosnian army, in

10 the enclave?

11 A. The one who had not arrived, he was a cook -- actually, a baker in

12 a private store in the village, throughout all that time. In my own

13 village, he was also a cook, he was never a soldier.

14 Q. Okay, just to be clear, are you saying he was a cook for the army

15 in the enclave?

16 A. Yes, yes. He was a member of the -- some sort of reserves. I'm

17 not a hundred per cent sure. The enclave was under the patronage of the

18 United Nations, the arms had been distributed, and he was acting as a

19 cook. He was something as a cook there.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: It is not clear. What time are we talking about

21 here? Is it still March, 1993, or later? Because he refers to Srebrenica

22 being an enclave under the patronage of the United Nations. If it's after

23 16th April, we're talking of the period of demilitarisation, and he speaks

24 of arms being distributed instead of arms being collected. Perhaps he

25 could clarify all this.

Page 640

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. The arms had been collected

2 by UNPROFOR. There was just an observation point at a most critical

3 point. They didn't have arms. Whoever was seen with arms by UNPROFOR,

4 the arms would be seized from them by UNPROFOR.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: That makes it clear.

6 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.

7 Q. From the time you arrived until July, 1995, was your brother a

8 cook for the army, or reserve as you called them, in the -- in Srebrenica?

9 A. He was only observing. They could not hold arms because of the

10 UNPROFOR. They only had an observation point in an area that I am not

11 familiar with. I never went there, and that's the only thing they were

12 doing, they were just observing, without any arms.

13 Q. Listen to my question, please. I'm asking if your brother worked

14 as a cook for these reserves until July, 1995.

15 A. Yes, yes, yes. He was a cook. He was always a cook, before that

16 and during that time. He was never a soldier. He was always a cook, just

17 a cook.

18 Q. Now I want to talk a little bit about how you came to leave

19 Srebrenica. When did you leave Srebrenica?

20 A. When the Serbs started coming in in order to occupy Srebrenica.

21 We left on the 11th of July in the morning. Some went towards Potocari,

22 some of us went through the woods. On the 11th of September, the entire

23 population - I apologise, it was in July - on the 11th of July, the whole

24 population left Srebrenica.

25 Q. Very briefly - very briefly - describe to me what the week before

Page 641

1 July 11th was like for the inhabitants of Srebrenica. What was going on?

2 A. Well, the area was rife with panic, and the people moved from the

3 upper part of Srebrenica. They all came to Vidikovac and lower down.

4 From Sunday till Tuesday, nobody was there, save for some bedridden

5 people, people who could not leave their houses.

6 Q. Now, were there any announcements made that you heard, about

7 leaving on the 11th of July?

8 A. No, no, no.

9 Q. You said that some people went to Potocari and some people went

10 into the woods --

11 A. Yes. Women, children, and the elderly went to Potocari. I don't

12 know if any younger people went there as well.

13 Q. Where did you go?

14 A. I went in the direction of the village of Susnjari. There we

15 formed a column and proceeded towards the free territory.

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

21 MR. NICHOLLS: I just thought perhaps a redaction.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I was marking -- making a mark.

23 MR. NICHOLLS: Not a huge issue, but --

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, okay. Yeah. That's -- there isn't much of it,

25 but I think we need to redact line -- from line 16 to 18; I would redact

Page 642

1 the three of them.


3 Q. Now, sir, what about your other brother? Where did he go?

4 A. My other brother was an invalid. He went to Potocari. And

5 luckily for him, although they kept people behind, he was allowed to go

6 and he went from there.

7 Q. When you say "they kept people behind," some people, who's "they"?

8 A. Serb soldiers.

9 Q. Are you okay, sir?

10 A. Yes, but my headphones keep moving on my head. Otherwise, I'm

11 okay.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.

13 Usher, please, if you could kindly make the necessary adjustments

14 for him.

15 Mr. Nicholls, and any of the Defence teams that are nearer to the

16 witness than we are, usually we can more or less have a very close visual

17 view of his face on the monitor, but when it's -- visual -- face

18 distortion, we can't. And you're much nearer to him than we are. If you

19 notice any sign of tiredness or need for a break, please draw our

20 attention straight away.

21 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Because we can't see as much as we would see under

23 normal circumstances, in other words.

24 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

Page 643

1 MR. NICHOLLS: There used to be an option to see the undistorted

2 video in the courtroom. I don't know if that is --

3 JUDGE AGIUS: No, we don't have it.

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11 MR. NICHOLLS: Perhaps that's correct, Your Honour. Private

12 session just for one moment.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.

14 So let's redact from line 5, please -- from line 6 to here, and

15 let's go into private session for a while.

16 [Private session]

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Page 644











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Page 645

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13 [Open session]

14 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in public session again. Thank you.


16 Q. All right. Now I want to talk to you about something you spoke

17 about earlier, the formation of the column in Susnjari, and the night of

18 the 11th to 12th of July in Susnjari. Now, where did you sleep that

19 night?

20 A. In Susnjari.

21 Q. But where in Susnjari? What type of place did you sleep in?

22 A. In a meadow, where everybody was, all the men who had arrived

23 there.

24 Q. And how many men was that, approximately?

25 A. According to an estimate, there must have been at least 15.000

Page 646

1 men.

2 Q. Is that your estimate or an estimate you heard?

3 A. Well, we talked amongst each other. We looked at each other. We

4 thought that there may have well been over 15.000 people, even 20.000,

5 maybe.

6 Q. Was it all men or were there any other women or children in this

7 column?

8 A. At that time, there were neither women nor children there.

9 Q. What time did you leave Susnjari? I mean the --

10 A. I left in the afternoon, on the 12th of July. I was with the last

11 group of people who left Susnjari.

12 Q. And where was your other brother at this time? Don't say his

13 name.

14 A. He was there. He was there.

15 Q. With you?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Can you just describe for us a little bit, so we get a picture,

18 the terrain that you and all these men were walking through in the

19 direction towards Tuzla.

20 A. We were walking in a column -- actually, in several columns. Not

21 -- sometimes we were walking single file because of the way the terrain

22 looked.

23 Q. And were any men in this column armed?

24 A. Yes. There were very few armed men, and those men walked with the

25 front of the columns. They left with the first columns that left.

Page 647

1 Q. Were you able to form an estimate of how many men were armed?

2 A. Maybe 400 or 500. It was very difficult to tell with so many

3 people being there. It was difficult to tell how many people were armed.

4 Q. I understand, sir. I didn't -- I wouldn't expect you to know an

5 exact number. What kind of weapons were they armed with?

6 A. Infantry.

7 Q. Infantry what? If you could explain what --

8 A. Rifles. They mostly had rifles.

9 Q. Were you armed? Did you have a rifle?

10 A. No, no.

11 Q. What about your brother?

12 A. No.

13 Q. What did you bring with you as you -- as you set out on this trek?

14 A. A rucksack, and I had three tins of meat that I had received from

15 humanitarian aid. I had a spare jacket across my shoulder and a sack of

16 sugar. That's all I had.

17 Q. And now if you could just look -- sorry. You had a jacket -- or a

18 spare jacket. What kind of clothes were these? Were they military?

19 Civilian? Could you describe your clothing.

20 A. No, I wore civilian clothes. I wore a leather jacket, a pair of

21 trousers, some shoes. I can't remember exactly. What I had on my

22 shoulder was a rucksack; that's all I had.

23 Q. And then you said you left in the afternoon of the 12th. Describe

24 a little bit that day in your own words where you went and what you did.

25 A. I'm telling you, on that same day we left Susnjari and we walked

Page 648

1 until the sun set, when we could no longer see. I did not sleep at all

2 that night. I did not sleep the previous day, and I had not slept the

3 previous night, and then I lie down and slept that night. When the day

4 broke, my brother was no longer there. Some people were on their way

5 back. Some were moving forward. I returned a little, and then some

6 people started moving forward. I went with them. I found my brother

7 there. We sat down. We discussed as to what should be done. In the

8 meantime, the Serb soldier took a megaphones and --

9 Q. Let me stop you. Thank you. We'll get to those other parts of

10 what happened next. Do you know approximately where you spent the night

11 of 12th/13th July? You said you hadn't had much sleep, you laid down.

12 Where did you spend the next night?

13 A. In the forest called Buljim.

14 Q. So now we come to the 13th July. You started describing how you

15 woke up that morning. Let's start with where was your brother that

16 morning when you woke up? You began to talk about that.

17 A. I'm telling you, a group of people returned, and I returned with

18 them. And then the same group of people moved forward. I went with them

19 and he was a bit further down, close to the area where we exited from the

20 woods, this Samici, Lolici, I haven't a clue what the name is.

21 Q. The transcript says "Samici." I think you said "Sandici."

22 A. Not Samici. Sandici is the name.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for pointing that out, Mr. Nicholls.

24 Thank you.


Page 649

1 Q. If I can just clarify one moment, Witness, your last answer. You

2 woke up, your brother wasn't there, you moved with some other people

3 [Realtime transcript read in error "brother"], and then you were reunited

4 with your brother. Is that right?

5 A. Yes, yes.

6 Q. Now, you said the area where you exited the woods was something

7 like Sandici or Lolici, you're not sure what the name is. Tell me about

8 how you came to be --

9 A. No, no. No. It was also in Buljim, but when we went down, when

10 we surrendered, it was in Sandici. It was also Buljim, the place where I

11 found my brother.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: I understand Buljim to be the name of the forest, if

13 I understand him well.

14 Yes, Mr. Bourgon.

15 MR. BOURGON: Your Honour, I would just like to get some

16 clarification. I'm looking at the question that was put by my colleague

17 at page 27, line 4. Of course it's kind of a leading question, but that's

18 not the point of my objection. I'd just like to get clarification,

19 because I don't quite get the question. It says: "Could you clarify.

20 You woke up, your brother wasn't there, you moved with some other brother,

21 and then you were reunited with your brother." And then the answer is

22 yes, but I fail to understand this part.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, you're a hundred per cent right. It's the

24 transcript which is wrong. He never said I moved with another brother, he

25 moved with some others and then he was reunited with the brother. So it's

Page 650

1 the transcript that needs to be corrected.

2 MR. NICHOLLS: I thank my colleague for pointing out --

3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank Mr. Bourgon as well.


5 Q. Please describe how you came to leave the woods and how you ended

6 up in Sandici.

7 A. As I told you, the dawn broke, the Serb soldiers took up

8 megaphones, and started calling out to us to surrender. There were people

9 in camouflage uniforms amongst us who said: Yes, we will surrender, but

10 bring UNPROFOR and the Red Cross over. However, they made no promises;

11 rather, they issued an ultimatum to the effect that we should surrender by

12 10.00 or else. Since we did not surrender until 10.00, we were issued

13 with another ultimatum to surrender by 3.00 in the afternoon. It was at

14 that point that we decided to surrender ourselves.

15 Q. All right. Let me ask you a quick follow-up question. You said

16 you were up in woods and the Serb soldiers took up megaphones and started

17 calling out to you to surrender. Where were they calling from, these Serb

18 soldiers? Where were they?

19 A. They were a bit further away from us, but in the same general

20 area, in the same field. This was a rather large mountain, woodland, and

21 it would take you a couple of hours to cross it through, certainly.

22 Q. And you say you decided to surrender. What about your brother;

23 what did he decide to do?

24 A. He decided the same.

25 Q. And then what did you do? What happened?

Page 651

1 A. The column set out to surrender. As we came down there, the Serb

2 soldiers approached us and asked us for any money that we might have in

3 all foreign currencies. They threatened us that if we should not

4 surrender all our money, we would suffer the same fate as those before us.

5 Of course we didn't ask who those before us were or what happened to them.

6 As we went along, there were women and children passing by in a

7 bus. I knew some of the women on the bus, and they were looking at us

8 just as I'm looking at you now. They went away whilst we remained there

9 as prisoners.

10 Q. Okay. I was going to talk about that a little bit later, but

11 let's talk about it now. How many buses did you see with, as you say,

12 women and children passing by?

13 A. Several vehicles went by. There was my aunt there, another lady

14 from Drinjaca near Zvornik. There was one -- third lady that I didn't

15 know, but she told my brother that we had been captured.

16 Q. Which direction were these buses going in on this road?

17 A. They went toward Vlasenica and the free territory there. That was

18 where the women and children were transported to.

19 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nicholls, I wonder if you could clarify with the

20 witness whether there were some armed people when they surrendered to the

21 Serb forces.

22 MR. NICHOLLS: I was -- I will do that now.

23 Q. If you heard Your Honour's comments, sir, were there any armed men

24 in the column at this point you surrendered?

25 A. No, no. There was one person among us who had military boots on,

Page 652

1 and he was immediately criticised for it by Serb soldiers, but none of us

2 had any camouflage uniforms. This person wearing military boots had them

3 by necessity, of course, because probably he didn't have any other

4 footwear. It was summertime and it was very hot. It must have been very

5 uncomfortable for him.

6 Q. Well, that aside, then, just to be clear, did anybody have any

7 rifles at the time of this surrender? I think you answered it, but I want

8 it to be very clear.

9 A. No.

10 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Witness, did you know at the time that where 400,

11 500 who had been armed went?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They went off in the first column.

13 We didn't know where they were. This particular column had been cut off

14 from us, which of course we weren't aware of at the time.

15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.


17 Q. And I'll ask one question to try to continue to clarify that. I

18 think you answered this before, Witness, but where in the overall column

19 were you and your brother?

20 A. I myself was perhaps somewhere halfway through the column.

21 Q. And is that the whole column or your segment of the column?

22 Because you said it broke up.

23 A. No, no. Do you mean when we were surrendering? When we were

24 surrendering, I was in the last column to leave Susnjari.

25 Q. Okay. All right. Now, you talked a moment ago about soldiers

Page 653

1 demanding money and foreign currency. What happened next after that?

2 A. We raised our arms. They told us to move, running, and people

3 were already seated in the meadow there. We were simply filling out the

4 ranks. There was one Serb soldier who had this red ribbon. He seemed to

5 be the main person there. He said: We were already negotiating for your

6 exchange with other -- with the UNPROFOR. And there was a young man there

7 who told me some 10 or 15 minutes later, when we saw women and children on

8 the buses passing there, he --

9 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. I hate to interrupt the witness.


11 MR. LAZAREVIC: But it seems we have some problems. I believe

12 that the witness is speaking too fast and it does cause some problems to

13 the interpreters, because we understand his language and we know what he's

14 talking. Well, let me just make one brief example. The witness just said

15 that the person with the -- the --

16 JUDGE AGIUS: The red ribbon.

17 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- that the governments are negotiating. Instead

18 of this, we read here that "we are negotiating with UNPROFOR," and it

19 basically does --

20 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, it does make a difference, of course.

21 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- make a difference.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you for your observation and for your help,

23 Mr. Lazarevic.

24 Mr. Nicholls -- first of all, I do wish to have a confirmation

25 from the interpreter's booth.

Page 654

1 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, Your Honour, this may have been the case.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.

3 So I understand, Witness, that you need to speak a little bit more

4 slowly. Let me --

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the way I speak, and I do

6 consider it to be slow.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: But it's not slow enough. Let me explain to you

8 what the problem is. Here, when I speak in English, as I am doing now,

9 what I am saying has to be translated by people behind the windows that

10 you see on the sides into your language - otherwise you would not

11 understand what I am saying - and it has to be translated also into the

12 French language for those who are following in French. Similarly, when

13 you are speaking in Serbo-Croat, the interpreters have to translate to us

14 in English and they have to catch up with the speed of your delivery of --

15 so the slower you speak, the better it is for them to be able to catch and

16 translate every single word that you say.

17 No one is criticising the way you speak or that this is -- we are

18 trying to make it difficult for you, but we're just asking you to slow

19 down a little bit more so that you make the interpreters' task a little

20 bit easier. All right? And I am sure you will cooperate in this. Okay.

21 I thank you.

22 Mr. Nicholls.

23 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: And once more, thank you, Mr. Lazarevic.


Page 655

1 Q. Yes, sir, please, I'll try to speak a little bit slower. Maybe we

2 both can. We want the record to be as accurate as it can be.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, and I think it's the case of going through

4 this part again, since, as Mr. Lazarevic pointed out, it's not correct or

5 it -- let me go through it. You were asked this question, sir.

6 Mr. Nicholls asked: "Okay. All right. Now, you talked a moment ago

7 about soldiers demanding money and foreign currency. What happened next

8 after that?"

9 And then you started answering. You said: "We raised our arms.

10 They told us to move, running, and the people were already seated in the

11 meadow there."

12 Do you confirm this?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Then in the transcript we have the following: "We

15 were simply filling out the ranks." Do you confirm that?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: And then I have: "There was one Serb soldier who

18 had this red ribbon," a bandanna. Do you confirm that?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was black.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: So that's the first item that needs to be corrected.

21 And then also in relation to this Serb soldier you are reported to having

22 said: "He seemed to be the main person there." Correct?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: "And he said: We were already negotiating for your

25 exchange with other -- with the UNPROFOR." Is this correct?

Page 656

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. No, none of us told us [as

2 interpeted] there were negotiations with the UNPROFOR, but rather that the

3 negotiations were in course between the Serb and Bosnian governments --

4 Bosniak government.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And then we have: "And there was a young man

6 there who told me some 10 minutes or 15 minutes later, when we saw women

7 and children on the buses passing there --" and you were stopped in -- at

8 that point.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not a young man. There was a woman

10 with a child aged 10. This man with the black bandanna told the lady to

11 go down there where the bus was parked. We weren't able to see the bus

12 because of the lay of the terrain. The lady -- the woman thanked the

13 soldier for it. Two young girls also stood up. One that was more

14 beautiful of the two --


16 Q. Stop right there. We'll get to that. We're getting a bit ahead.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

18 And I thank Mr. Lazarevic again. And if there are substantive

19 mistakes in the transcript, please draw our attention straight away. If

20 they are minor mistakes that can be rectified later, let's not waste time

21 on them. We will attend to them later on. But any substantive mistakes

22 in the transcript from what the witness is testifying are important to be

23 noted down immediately.

24 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

25 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I ask Your Honours to ask the booth if the

Page 657

1 problem is the speed the witness is talking or if there is any other

2 problem, because "UNPROFOR" and "government" --

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I don't need to put the question now. They

4 have heard you. It seems that the problem, at least as far as I can say,

5 because I am not following the proceedings in French, is the translation

6 in the English -- translation from B/C/S to English. If you could

7 indicate to me what the problem is -- first of all, where is the -- that's

8 okay. I think it's there, if I can see well.

9 What is the problem?

10 THE INTERPRETER: It was the speed, Your Honour.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: The speed. Okay.

12 So as you can see, Witness, it's the speed that has complicated

13 matters. If you can slow down again, as I asked you to do earlier on, it

14 would be very important.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will try to slow down a bit.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

17 And if at any time, Madam Interpreters, he is going too fast,

18 please draw my attention straight away. Thank you.

19 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. I spoke we go to 10.30?

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, correct.


22 Q. Now, sir, approximately how many men came out of the woods and

23 surrendered in this incident you've been discussing?

24 A. According to an estimate, there must have been over a thousand of

25 them.

Page 658

1 Q. When you reached the meadow where you say you were -- sat down,

2 was the meadow empty, or were there already prisoners there when you

3 arrived?

4 A. There were prisoners there.

5 Q. How many would you estimate were already there when you arrived?

6 A. Perhaps about 500 of them, but others kept coming in.

7 Q. Now, were you able to sit anywhere you wanted in this meadow or

8 were you told where to sit?

9 A. No. Wherever there was an empty spot. We were just filling out

10 the ranks.

11 Q. Okay. And were there any soldiers at this field? Serb soldiers,

12 I mean.

13 A. Yes. The ranks were about 20 or more metres long, and every

14 single row was guarded by two soldiers at each end of the row.

15 Q. Row of prisoners, you mean?

16 A. Yes, yes, prisoners.

17 Q. Now, you've explained well that you were told that negotiations

18 were taking place between the governments for an exchange. Did that --

19 and then you started to tell us about how that soldier sent one woman and

20 her child to a bus to get on. Can you finish telling me about any people

21 who left the meadow.

22 A. When the soldier ordered the lady and the child to leave, he --

23 she stood and thanked him. There were two young girls there, too. When

24 they stood up, the Serb soldiers who were there told the more beautiful of

25 the two that she should -- they told this particular soldier that she

Page 659

1 should stay behind. However, the Serb soldier did not listen to them. He

2 told the girls and the lady to leave. There were about a dozen young boys

3 who also stood up, but then the soldier told them: No, no, you should sit

4 down because you're capable of carrying a machine-gun.

5 Q. Okay. I think this is a point that might need clarification. How

6 many boys stood up -- you started talking about some boys who stood up to

7 leave. How many of them were there?

8 A. About a dozen. I don't know precisely. I didn't count them, but

9 there were about a dozen of them.

10 Q. Were any of them allowed to leave of these boys?

11 A. Pardon?

12 Q. Were any of these dozen boys allowed to leave and get on buses?

13 A. Oh, yes. They left, the dozen of them, perhaps a bit more or a

14 bit less than ten. I didn't count them all. I didn't know what was to

15 come. Had I known what was ahead of us, I would have tried my best to

16 memorise things better.

17 Q. That's all right. Nobody -- at least, I don't expect you to

18 remember everything from what happened 11 years ago. How many boys were

19 told to sit down because they could carry a machine-gun?

20 A. I think there was just one.

21 Q. About how old were the boys who were allowed to leave and were

22 allowed to get on the buses?

23 A. I think that none of them had -- were 15 yet.

24 Q. Now, on this meadow, how many -- how long did you spend there

25 before you were -- before you went someplace else?

Page 660

1 A. We stayed there for a couple of hours at least.

2 Q. During that time, were you provided with any food?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Were you - and by "you" I mean the prisoners collectively -

5 provided with any water?

6 A. Everyone was given water, but I don't know if they had received

7 enough because we just couldn't get enough water with the thirst that

8 there was.

9 Q. Now, were you able to see whether there were any wounded prisoners

10 or any prisoners who looked as though they needed medical treatment?

11 A. Yes. There were wounded there. People were asking for bandages

12 from the soldiers, but the soldiers told them: No. Well, if you are --

13 can manage to find some bandages on your own, well, fine. But they

14 wouldn't provide us with anything.

15 Q. While you were on that meadow, was there any kind of physical

16 abuse of the prisoners by the soldiers?

17 A. No.

18 MR. NICHOLLS: It might be better to break now, Your Honour, if

19 that's okay, because I think the next little chunk might not finish in

20 five minutes.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, Mr. Nicholls.

22 We'll have a 30-minute break because there were some redactions,

23 and because of that we need 30 minutes.

24 Yes, Mr. Meek.

25 MR. MEEK: I apologise, Your Honour. I was just trying to get

Page 661

1 Steve's attention.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.

3 MR. MEEK: Sorry.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes. Thank you.

5 Do we need -- because since there are members of the public in the

6 gallery, I suppose we need to put the curtains down before the witness is

7 -- leaves the courtroom. Alternatively, the guards can ask the members

8 of the public to leave the gallery now, and it will spare us having to put

9 down the curtains.

10 Wait, wait, wait, Usher.

11 And the cameras are not to focus on the witness as he exits the

12 courtroom. Thank you.

13 There will be a break of 30 minutes from now. Thank you.

14 --- Recess taken at 10.24 a.m.

15 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

17 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.

18 Q. We left off before the break, sir, we were still talking about the

19 time you were held prisoner in the meadow at Sandici. While you were

20 there, did any senior officers arrive at the meadow?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Can you describe that, please.

23 A. As we were sitting on the meadow, this was close to the dusk,

24 General Mladic arrived. I didn't know him at the time, but certain

25 persons --

Page 662

1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness explain who.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- told us that Mladic had arrived.

3 He told us, "Good evening, Neighbours." He also promised and said our

4 governments were negotiating and tomorrow you should all be exchanged, all

5 for all. He told us that we were to go to certain hangars. The soldier

6 wearing a black bandanna told us that we would receive some supper, but

7 Mladic said, No, you're not going to get any supper, you're just going to

8 get some water. Then he went away. Let me just say this once again:

9 When he told us that we would be exchanged the following day, all for all,

10 we applauded him and said, Thank you, sir.


12 Q. Thank you. Again I'll remind you to please, if you can - I know

13 it's difficult - to speak a little bit slower than you normally would.

14 Who was it who told you this person you hadn't seen before was

15 General Mladic?

16 A. Persons who were captured, who I -- I hadn't seen him before.

17 Q. Did you ever see a picture of General Mladic after these events?

18 A. I did. Later on, when he came to Potocari I saw it on TV when I

19 went to the free territory. And I'm a hundred per cent sure that that was

20 Ratko Mladic.

21 Q. We'd also finished, and you had explained to Their Honours that

22 there was no physical abuse of the prisoners in the meadow. Was there any

23 kind of humiliating treatment that you observed?

24 A. No. Only one person who was sitting on the transporter told us:

25 Let me not shoot you all and go straight to The Hague, because at that

Page 663

1 time that was already something that existed.

2 Q. All right. Now, I'd like to have you please explain to us how you

3 came to leave the meadow, you personally, and what you could see how the

4 other prisoners left as well.

5 A. When they wanted to transport us from there, the lorries and the

6 buses that transported the women and the children and returned empty, a

7 command was issued, the first line run to the vehicles and load them, the

8 second line, and then all the way up to my line. And then I stood up. I

9 ran down the hill. They told us to get on the lorry. I got into the

10 trailer behind the lorry - it had high sides - and I saw a Serbian soldier

11 with a black cap, and he told us that he would get on with the driver.

12 And as a vehicle was full, it would leave. And as soon as it was dark, we

13 were driving up the hill and we saw vehicles moving by us. We didn't know

14 who they were, what vehicles those were. And when we arrived in Bratunac,

15 one driver who was there told us: Those are Vihor's garages on the

16 left-hand side. We could see the buildings on the right-hand side. We

17 couldn't see anything. We did not dare lift our heads or put our hand on

18 the sides of the trailer. Then the Serb soldiers surrounded the vehicles,

19 and they started asking whether there were -- there was anybody from the

20 villages around Srebrenica, for example, Husmanici, Potocari, Slatina,

21 Bljeceva. Glogova was also mentioned. In the meantime, if somebody

22 appeared, they would ask his father's name --

23 Q. Thank you, Witness. Again, I know it's difficult. Please try to

24 speak a little more slowly. We want everything to be captured by the

25 interpreters and captured by our transcript. So please continue a little

Page 664

1 bit more slowly.

2 A. And then, as a person appeared, they would take him away. And the

3 driver who was with us in the same trailer, he told us: These are Vihor's

4 garages. I don't know to this very day where those garages are. And he

5 was a driver by profession. I don't know who he was affiliated with, but

6 I know he was a driver. And as the person was taken up there, we would

7 hear a blunt hit and the person would start crying out and wailing.

8 Q. Okay. Let me ask you a couple questions now.

9 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, could we go into private session for

10 one moment?

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go into private session for a while,

12 please.

13 [Private session]

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 665

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 [Open session]

11 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session. Thank you.


13 Q. Let me ask you a few follow-up questions, sir, about your journey

14 to these Vihor garages. Which direction were the trucks, one of which you

15 were on, going on the road? Which direction were they going as they took

16 you away? Towards which town?

17 A. Bratunac.

18 Q. You said that a driver told you once the vehicles -- excuse me,

19 the lorry had parked, that it was Vihor's garages where you were.

20 A. Yes. The one who was captured together with us, he told us that.

21 I know his name, if you want me to tell you his name, and I know where he

22 is from. I had not met him before. I only met him in Srebrenica. But I

23 can tell you his name.

24 Q. That's what I wanted to clarify. The driver was a fellow prisoner

25 who worked as a driver; it wasn't the driver of the truck who brought you

Page 666

1 to Vihor's garages?

2 A. That's correct, yes. He was not the driver of that vehicle.

3 Q. You said that the vehicle had high sides, the truck you were in.

4 Did it have a roof?

5 A. Yes, high sides but no roof. It was open -- an open lorry. There

6 were just some boards on the bottom, and that's all it had. Those boards

7 were there so as to have the women and the children not sitting on the

8 very bottom of that trailer. And that's all the trailer and the lorry

9 had.

10 Q. Thank you. Approximately how many men were in your trailer?

11 A. There were at least 30 to 40 people there. We could not stretch

12 our legs. We had to sit very tight. The lorry was rather long, that

13 trailer was rather long.

14 Q. Once you were parked at the Vihor's garages, could you -- were you

15 able to see out of the truck or were the sides too high?

16 A. Nobody was allowed to lift their heads, and unless you lifted your

17 head you couldn't see a thing. That's how high the sides were. As we

18 were sitting down in the lorry, we could not see anything without lifting

19 our heads, which we didn't dare do.

20 Q. Did anybody try to look out?

21 A. I only heard somebody putting their hand on the side of the lorry

22 and was immediately hit with a rifle. Nobody else dared repeat that.

23 Q. From what you could hear, were you able to estimate how many other

24 trucks were parked alongside the lorry or trailer that you were in?

25 A. There was a column of vehicles parked there. I don't know how

Page 667

1 many vehicles were there. Only on the following day could I see how long

2 the column is, as we were climbing up the hill. I don't know whether all

3 the vehicles were there, whether we were all there, or whether some other

4 -- some vehicles went in some other directions. I didn't know at the

5 time.

6 Q. Thank you. You were talking about how you could hear people being

7 called out according to which village they came from, their names, and

8 then you would hear sounds of, you said thuds, I think, and screams and

9 shouts. Can you describe just briefly to us how that worked. Who was

10 coming and asking -- calling out names of villages and calling out names

11 of people?

12 A. We couldn't hear people introducing themselves. They went from

13 one vehicle to another. They came to our vehicle and asked whether there

14 was somebody from Srebrenica. Nobody was taken out of my lorry until the

15 next morning, and if somebody answered, they would take them away. They

16 would hit them with the rifle butts, they would threaten them. And as

17 they took them to the garage, which was some 50 metres away from our

18 vehicle, and when we heard those thuds, then these men started screaming

19 and then they would start yelling: Stop that, stop that. And then we

20 would hear a burst of fire, and this lasted the whole night. In the

21 course of the night, one Serb soldier jumped on the trailer and did not

22 ask for people from various villages. He was very specific and said

23 whether there was anybody from Srebrenica. One person stood up. I know

24 his name because I knew him. Our fields were next to each other, and he

25 said: I was from Srebrenica. And the person asked him: Which village

Page 668

1 are you from? And he said from Ljeskovik. And then he said: Sit down.

2 He did not want to take that person away. That person was older than me

3 at the time. He may have been the same age as I am now.

4 Q. Thank you. While you were kept there on these trucks that night,

5 were you given any food?

6 A. No, never, never. We were never offered any food.

7 Q. Were you given any water?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And was there any offer of medical treatment to anybody that you

10 saw who might have needed help?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Now, you said the next morning someone was taken off your truck.

13 Did you spend the whole night on the truck?

14 A. The whole night. In the morning, the soldiers started shouting:

15 Don't let the civilians get away. Because I suppose they were afraid that

16 the civilians might have talked about the massacre. And they said: Don't

17 let the civilians anywhere near. And when it dawned, one Serb soldier

18 jumped on the trailer and said to one person which was in the left corner,

19 and he said: Where are you from? And he said: Omer, and I don't know

20 whether that was his name or his father's name. And then the soldier

21 said: Come off the truck. He took him away. The person got off the

22 truck. And then from the right-hand side they took another young man.

23 They had recognised him. I don't know who that Serbian soldier was. I

24 didn't know him, and he took that young man away from the trailer. And

25 then they started shouting: Take them to Fikret and Halija. The Serbs

Page 669

1 speak in a different way. They had H's where it is necessary. Instead of

2 Alija they said Halija and instead of Halid they said Alid, and they said,

3 okay, take them to Fikret and Halija and have them exchanged.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.

5 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, since I was invited by the Trial Chamber to

6 do some comment, to be honest, even I didn't quite understand what the

7 witness was talking about even though I understand the language. Frankly

8 I understood that some civilians -- I didn't understand whether he was

9 saying that some civilians were trying to approach these detainees, or

10 what was this all about? If we can go through this again. I really don't

11 know what that was all about.

12 MR. NICHOLLS: I can ask that question again.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please do, Mr. Nicholls.

14 I thank you, Mr. Lazarevic.


16 Q. Again, sir, please, as much as you can, try to speak a little bit

17 more slowly. You spoke about hearing in the morning: Don't let the

18 civilians -- hearing the soldiers shouting: Don't let the civilians get

19 away. And that you were --

20 A. No, no. The civilians were the local Serbs residing in Bratunac.

21 Those were not civilians from Srebrenica. Those were the local Serb

22 civilians, the locals of Bratunac. There was a building there. As we

23 arrived that evening, one young man peaked through the window and an

24 elderly lady pulled a curtain on the window so as to prevent the child

25 looking through the window. Those were the Serbs -- Serb residents of

Page 670

1 Bratunac. There were no Bosniak residents of Bratunac at the time.

2 Q. So what you heard the soldiers saying was that they needed to keep

3 the Bratunac Serb civilians away from the trucks and the prisoners.

4 A. They didn't say "Serbs," they only said: Don't let the civilians

5 come up here to that street. They didn't allow their own civilians to go

6 there. They were not referring to the Bosniak civilians.

7 Q. All right.

8 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we go into private session for just one

9 moment?

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session for a while, please.

11 [Private session]

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 [Open session]

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. We are back in open session,

24 Mr. Nicholls.


Page 671

1 Q. I'd like you to tell the Court now how you came to leave --

2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I don't think we have covered

3 the totality of Mr. Lazarevic's observation. So we've cleared one thing;

4 namely, that in the morning some of the soldiers were asking or shouting

5 that the civilians should not be allowed to come near the trucks. We've

6 cleared that. We've also cleared this last point that we had in private

7 session. But then earlier on when he was testifying, he said: "And when

8 it dawned --" at dawn, in other words -- "one Serb soldier jumped on the

9 trailer and said to one person who was in the left corner, and he said:

10 Where are you from? And he said: Omer." So this he needs to clarify.

11 Do you confirm this, first of all, Witness? Do you confirm that

12 at dawn or just after dawn one Serb soldier jumped on the trailer and

13 asked one of you who was on the left corner: Where are you from? Do you

14 confirm this?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it was not the soldier

16 who jumped on the trailer. He jumped on the back of the lorry, and he

17 recognised that prisoner. And I don't know whether his name was Omer or

18 his father's name was Omer, but this soldier recognised that person. It

19 was already daylight, and then he ordered that person to get off. And

20 then they -- this person also probably recognised the other man, the young

21 man on the right-hand side. He didn't ask the question that they had been

22 putting the previous evening, and that was what villages we were from.

23 They recognised two people on the trailer.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.

25 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that the main misunderstanding was about

Page 672

1 the question that the soldier posed to these men. We have here in

2 transcript the question allegedly posed was --

3 JUDGE AGIUS: "Where are you from?"

4 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- "Where are you from?" But actually what I

5 heard is the question was: "What is your father's name?" And the witness

6 did not understand.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. This is why it is important that you

8 slow down as much as you can, Witness. I know it's difficult sometimes.

9 It's difficult for me, too, but let's try a little bit better. Make a

10 next try of it.

11 So the question by this Serb soldier was not -- to this young man

12 was not: "Where are you from?" But: "What's your father's name?"

13 Do you agree to that?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. He asked him about either his

15 own name or his father's name. That's why I'm not clear whether Omer was

16 his name or his father's name. The questions differed in the evening from

17 those that were put in the morning. In any case, I know that this soldier

18 recognised this man.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: So this -- thank you. This person was then taken

20 off the truck. Is that correct?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: And he was taken away. Is that correct?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: And then you had continued, saying that -- "and then

25 from the right-hand side they took another young man. They had recognised

Page 673

1 him. I don't know who that Serbian soldier was. I didn't know him, and

2 he took that young man -- and they took that young man away from the

3 trailer."

4 Do you agree to this? Do you confirm this?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. He took him away just

6 like the previous one. I don't know where he took them, I haven't a clue,

7 because we did not dare lift our heads over the trailer side to observe

8 what was going on.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: And then we have another part in the transcript

10 which is very confusing and you need to clear it up for us, please. And

11 then you continued stating: "And then they started shouting: Take them

12 to Fikret and Halija." Then we have got something missing. So what did

13 they say? Take them to ...?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Take them to Halija and Fikret and

15 have them exchanged.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Did Fikret and Alija mean anything to you at the

17 time when --

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] How could it mean anything? We were

19 prisoners. It didn't mean anything to us.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: And then you are reported as saying here in the

21 transcript: "The Serbs speak in a different way." Did you say those

22 words? And if you did, what did you mean --

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: What do you mean by that?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what I said. I'm just

Page 674

1 quoting what they said. An educated person uses correct grammar. If a

2 word starts with an A, then they will start their words with an A. If

3 they are not educated, then they would add an H before that A, and the

4 other way around. I lived all my life with the Serbs, and I know that the

5 Serb villagers talk like that. If a person is educated, an educated Serb

6 would not say Halija if he is supposed to say Alija.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I think the rest of the transcript does not

8 need any further clarification. It's self-explanatory.

9 Let's proceed now. Yes, Mr. Nicholls, he is all yours.

10 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.

11 Q. Now, remembering, please, try to speak slowly. Tell me about how

12 you left Vihor's garages, where the truck -- trucks went.

13 A. When we set off in the morning, the lorries started moving towards

14 an exit from Bratunac. The column stopped at the moment, and at one point

15 we heard them shouting: We're waiting for the UNPROFOR. And this is

16 where we were sitting. It was very hot. The sides were made of metal.

17 The driver was very correct, he often brought us water, and he was joined

18 by a 15- or 16-year-old man from Bratunac, and he also brought us water.

19 And that young lad asked if there was an Ismet there, and I believe his

20 family name was Ramic. He was a shoemaker from Bratunac. Some people who

21 were imprisoned with us asked him: Why are you asking after Ismet? And

22 he said: He is my neighbour. And while we were standing there, a lorry

23 that was in Srebrenica that was transporting humanitarian aid - it was an

24 old truck - a group of elderly Serbs appeared. Their average age was over

25 60. Some of them wore uniforms. They wore the uniforms of the former

Page 675

1 JNA, and the others did not wear uniforms. They were all standing there,

2 and since the sides of the lorry were very tall, as they started passing

3 by the lorry, they started shouting: These are our people. What did they

4 mean by that, I don't know. And then that lorry went away. We probably

5 waited there for two or three hours. I don't know. At the time I didn't

6 have a watch. And then the column started moving on towards Konjevic

7 Polje.

8 As we drove by the -- by Avdaga's field and we started climbing up

9 the hill, then I could see how long the column of vehicles was. After

10 that we were not stopped anywhere. We passed Konjevic Polje and Drinjaca,

11 and when we arrived at Josanica, where there is the stone quarry, some

12 people saw, either before the tunnel or after the tunnel --

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Slow down. Because even I who don't understand your

14 language can sense the speed that you are going at. So please slow down.


16 Q. Let me ask you a question, sir. You said you were stopped for two

17 to three hours, and you said in the beginning of your answer that this was

18 at an exit near Bratunac. I want to be clear: Is that where you

19 waited --

20 A. Yes, yes, from Bratunac.

21 Q. So you waited for two to three hours at the exit from Bratunac?

22 A. Yes. That's where we were stopped and that's where we waited all

23 that time. They said that they were waiting for UNPROFOR; that's what we

24 heard.

25 Q. Okay. Now, you talked about how at one point during this journey

Page 676

1 you could see, because you were going up a hill, how long the convoy of

2 lorries or trucks was. How many -- if you remember, about how many trucks

3 were there in this convoy?

4 A. There was also a column of buses -- or rather, there were buses in

5 the column, and there must have been at least 20 vehicles in the column,

6 as it was very long, even 30.

7 Q. Now, you were just starting to tell us about something that

8 happened when you got to -- I think you said to a tunnel by Zvornik.

9 Could you explain where you were and what happened.

10 A. As we reached Josevac on the road to Josanica, there's a large

11 quarry there and we set out for Divic. As we came out of the tunnel

12 someone saw that there was an APC near the Vidikovac Hotel, which was

13 about 800 metres away from where we were. We continued our journey, went

14 through Divic. We reached Zvornik. In Zvornik we could only see two

15 persons going down there toward the Drina, and they were using a

16 pedestrian passageway towards Drina, and we continued our journey toward

17 Karakaj. When we reached Karakaj, the lorries and buses turned left

18 toward Tuzla. I was still hopeful that the exchange would take place,

19 that we would be taken in between the lines, and that we would be listed,

20 because we had not been listed up to that point. I was still hopeful as

21 we were setting out toward Tuzla that we would be exchanged. We -- the

22 drive was a short one, for maybe five or six minutes, and the vehicles

23 turned right.

24 At that point, it immediately dawned on me that we were not going

25 in the direction of Tuzla but in the direction of Krizevici. Next, the

Page 677

1 vehicles pulled up. As soon as the vehicle was emptied, it went back. As

2 we were getting close, we could see a school playground or a school yard

3 there, and there were between 30 and 50 Serb soldiers there. And then we

4 realised that this was indeed a UN APC, but it had been captured by the

5 Serbs. It was parked in the yard to the left side. There were two

6 soldiers in the UN blue uniforms and two Serb soldiers there, and there

7 was a civilian who was aged above 50 and he was walking with them. They

8 removed the UNPROFOR insignia, but they had the C in the insignia, which

9 stands for S in Cyrillic, and this was the only thing that was visible on

10 the APC plates.

11 As we were -- as people were getting out of the vehicles, they had

12 to run toward the school. I was wearing a leather jacket, and as I went

13 out of the lorry I was told by a man there that I should take the jacket

14 off and just throw it there on the ground, and I did. As I entered the

15 building, the school building, we turned left along the corridor, which

16 was about 10 metres. We had to run through the corridor, and then one

17 reached a door leading to a large hall. People there were mostly from

18 Potocari. They were elderly people; the average age was 70. I knew them.

19 We were filling up the ranks, and so it went along. When the place was

20 filled up, there were four young boys there and there was a grey blanket

21 there.

22 Q. Okay. Thank you. Let me ask you a few questions about what

23 you've been telling us, and then you can continue to tell us what happened

24 to you.

25 You said earlier that while you were on this journey and you

Page 678

1 thought, hopefully, that you were heading towards Tuzla to be exchanged

2 that you hadn't been listed yet and no one had been listed. What did you

3 mean by that?

4 A. I meant to say that no exchange could be carried out before people

5 were listed because the Serbs didn't know how many people they had. Not a

6 single one of us was registered by them. They can't even know our

7 numbers. Only if they counted the dead bodies could they know how many

8 people there were. They can't know how many people they killed, and it's

9 true, they can't know, because nobody asked for our names. There was this

10 one person, there were probably officers among them, who asked whether

11 there was anyone from the Zvornik municipality amongst us. But nobody

12 responded to that call and they asked no further questions.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, please slow down.


15 Q. Thank you. I think you answered my question. Then you said --

16 JUDGE AGIUS: And if -- having gone through the transcript, I

17 don't think there is an indication in it where we are, where is this

18 building where they happened to --

19 MR. NICHOLLS: You're correct, Your Honour.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: So if you could address that --


22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.


24 Q. That's where we're going. Could you tell us -- well, first of

25 all, this area you've been describing, you've described the journey from

Page 679

1 Bratunac to Zvornik to Karakaj and then left and ended up at this place

2 where you saw a school building. Which village were you in when the truck

3 stopped and you saw the school?

4 A. This was Grbavci or Orahovac, whichever way you want it. I know

5 that previously this place was called Grbavci; now it is called Orahovac.

6 I don't know whether the area now called Orahovac is larger than it was

7 previously, but I know that before this was called the Grbavci elementary

8 school.

9 Q. Thank you.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: And if he could also confirm the date for us,

11 please, now.


13 Q. Yes.

14 A. It was Friday, the 14th of July, I believe.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.


17 Q. Next question I want to ask you is about the soldiers that you

18 said were in UN uniforms. Who were they? Were those UN soldiers?

19 A. No, they were Serb soldiers.

20 Q. How could you tell that?

21 A. I know that because they didn't tell us anything, and they wore

22 automatic rifles produced by Zastava, from Kragujevac.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Incidentally, while we are at this, this is

24 something that we discussed this morning and which I was meant to

25 communicate to you at some point in time in anticipation of several

Page 680

1 mentions. We will be, in the course of this trial, have -- be referring

2 to various kinds of weaponry and other military equipment. What I would

3 like you to do as Prosecution is to compile a -- a document, a dossier,

4 which would indicate a picture or a diagram of the various weapons and

5 kinds of weaponry and tanks or armoured vehicles, whatever was in use in

6 the former Yugoslavia at the time, and to which witnesses will be

7 referring as we go along. Please, before you hand it over to the Trial

8 Chamber, make it available to all the Defence teams so that we ascertain

9 that they agree. I see Mr. McCloskey on his toes. Is there already such

10 a document?

11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, as you know, you will soon see a

12 video of many of these events, and we have a book of video stills that

13 goes along with it that have the APCs, the weapons, but we will -- as you

14 say, we will get a nice list for you. But for your knowledge, the -- the

15 classic Zastava automatic weapon that is used is recognisable worldwide.

16 You will -- it's an AK-47.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Right. But we have no military background in the

18 least, and although of course from other cases I know what an APC is and

19 I've heard about Zastava and so on and so forth, we will be coming across

20 various descriptions. And in the past there have also been some

21 disagreement between Prosecution and Defence on the correct nomenclature

22 and description of some weapons. So if there is agreement on this, it

23 will make everyone's life much easier.

24 Yes, Mr. Bourgon.

25 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. Of course when I hear the

Page 681

1 word "dossier" I get scared because it's not something I'm familiar with

2 and I don't like very much. But if my colleague wants to produce a

3 listing with pictures of weapons and types of weapons, I think that could

4 indeed be useful, however, I wouldn't like that he would say who was using

5 whatever weapon.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no.

7 MR. BOURGON: But to know it, to have a picture and a name of a

8 weapon, I think that may be useful.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: I have a specimen myself which I can show you, let

10 you have, and see whether you will agree to something similar to that, and

11 you can bring it up-to-date or work on it.

12 MR. McCLOSKEY: We can bring weapons in the courtroom, if you

13 would like.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: No, I don't think we need tanks and helicopters.

15 MR. McCLOSKEY: I mean handguns, but there's very clear video of

16 all this. I think if we can leave weapons out of the courtroom, that

17 would be nice. But we do have this weapon down in evidence if there is

18 any need.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think there is any need for that.

20 MR. McCLOSKEY: You have a weapon as well, Your Honour? It's nice

21 to be aware of that. Thank you.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So let's -- sorry for that interruption,

23 Mr. Nicholls. You may proceed.


25 Q. Were you able to observe how these soldiers with Zastavas were

Page 682

1 interacting with the Serb soldiers you saw there who were in Serb -- who

2 were in normal army uniforms?

3 A. Let me tell you, there was no difference there because the Serb

4 soldiers -- the other Serb soldiers also carried Zastava weapons, and they

5 were good-quality weapons. Of course they only had side-arms - none of

6 them had Howitzers or anything else - because they were confronted with

7 people who were unarmed.

8 Q. Maybe I didn't ask the question well. Thank you. That helps to

9 clarify, but were the UN -- were the soldiers dressed in UN uniforms

10 behaving any differently than the other soldiers there or were they all

11 acting kind of the same way?

12 A. They reacted in no way whatsoever, and there was a civilian there

13 who was an interpreter, but there was no reaction on their part

14 whatsoever.

15 Q. How many soldiers total at the school did you see, speaking now

16 about when you got off the truck?

17 A. Between 30 and 50 soldiers; quite a few of them.

18 Q. All right. Now, I was going to get to it a little bit later, but

19 I'll try to do it now.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. If I may interrupt you, Mr. Nicholls.

21 I'm curious about this interpreter reference. Answering your question, he

22 said that these soldiers, which previously he said were Serbs dressed in

23 UN uniforms, were not behaving or reacting in any way whatsoever. And

24 then he mentions: "And there was a civilian there who was an

25 interpreter." What's the significance of that? Because if we're talking

Page 683

1 of Serb soldiers wearing UN uniforms and Bosnian Muslim captives, what's

2 the purpose of having an interpreter there?

3 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. Yes, Your Honour.

4 Q. How did you know this person was an interpreter? Can you describe

5 this civilian; what they were doing and who they were?

6 A. Let me tell you how I knew that. That's the way the UNPROFOR

7 works. They always have a civilian who interprets for them, but these

8 were people impersonating UN personnel, and that's why they had this

9 person there who posed as an interpreter. But he was not an interpreter,

10 in fact, he was a Serb just as all the other Serbs there, even those who

11 were there to force us out of the truck. They parked the APC there, took

12 the UNPROFOR insignia off. Instead of an UNPROFOR registration plate,

13 there was just a plate with the letter C there, because Serbs using

14 Cyrillic, C stands for S.

15 Q. All right. So -- just so I'm clear, there was a civilian there,

16 and your impression was that this person was there to look as though there

17 was an interpreter?

18 A. It was just -- he was just there for pretense.

19 Q. All right. I'd like to now show you four photos and see if you

20 recognise the place in the photos. And we're going to try to do this on

21 e-court.

22 MR. NICHOLLS: If I could ask the court officer for 1691 is the

23 first number.

24 Q. Sir, this will - or should - appear on the screen in front of you.

25 It's not there yet; it may be there in a minute.

Page 684

1 MR. NICHOLLS: I do have hard copies, Your Honour. Not for

2 everybody, but in case we need them.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the school at Grbavci or

4 Orahovac. This here is the sports hall. In this part here, the lorries

5 were parked where people were taken off.


7 Q. Okay. Just wait a minute, Witness. Thank you for that.

8 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we blow this up and is there some way he can

9 then -- he was pointing at the screen, but so that we can see what he is

10 pointing at when he describes these places? And I'm sorry, I don't know

11 how that -- I've been trained, but I don't quite remember what I need to

12 do there to make that happen.

13 Q. I'm sorry, sir, just wait. We're trying to find a way for you to

14 point on the image.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's see how it can be done.

16 MR. NICHOLLS: Do I need to change my screen?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the sports hall, and this is

18 the auxiliary building where we were taken to. At the time I was there,

19 it was not walled up as it is now with concrete blocks --

20 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm very sorry.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think it's going to work like that. If you

22 have a hard copy, we can put it on the ELMO and I think it will solve our

23 problems.


25 Q. You're not doing anything wrong, sir --

Page 685

1 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, of course not.

2 MR. NICHOLLS: -- up to you.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think that's the way to go about it.

4 Yes, Mr. Meek.

5 MR. MEEK: Well, Your Honour, at least on my screen it appeared

6 that the witness did in fact touch the screen, and I see a red mark. I

7 think perhaps the witness just after that was not touching the screen. If

8 he just touched the screen and was shown how to do that, I think we could

9 probably proceed.

10 MR. NICHOLLS: We can try it once more, but the witness needs to

11 know how --

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's try it once more first. I see a red mark on

13 the screen, but I don't know if that's the result of --

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This red line?


16 Q. Yes. What I want you to do is you were describing this area very

17 well on the building. What I want you to do is first of all -- you've

18 made one red mark. Tell me, if you can see it there, under the windows,

19 what were you indicating with that red mark?

20 A. No, I wasn't showing you this top of the hall. I was showing this

21 other auxiliary part of the building. I don't know actually how I made

22 that red mark up there.

23 Q. That's no problem. Let's try it this way: Please draw the number

24 1 on the auxiliary building with that pointer thing they've given you.

25 A. [Marks].

Page 686

1 Q. Thank you. Please draw the number 2 on the building you called

2 the sports hall.

3 A. [Marks].

4 Q. That looks good. Thank you. And I think you -- I may be wrong,

5 but I think I heard you saying where you went into the building. If you

6 can see on here where you entered, put a number 3 at the entrance.

7 A. I think it was somewhere here, around number 3.

8 Q. All right. Thank you very much.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Will you be requiring him to make more

10 markings on this?

11 MR. NICHOLLS: Just one.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Go ahead. And then I tell you what the

13 problem will be.

14 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay.

15 Q. The last one, Witness, you said the trucks were parked "here," and

16 I couldn't see where you were saying the trucks were parked. If you could

17 just maybe draw an oval in the area where the trucks were parked.

18 A. Somewhere here in front of the school and inside the yard.

19 Q. All right.

20 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, Your Honour.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Now, the problem that I need solved is the

22 following: Previously when we were -- we didn't have e-court in place,

23 this kind of photo would be on the ELMO, you will make the marks on it,

24 and then he will initialise it. Of course he can initialise what we have

25 here. However, since this is a protected witness and normally the photo

Page 687

1 on the ELMO would then immediately go into a sealed envelope and marked as

2 a sealed document, we need to see how we are going to do the same,

3 protecting the witness, giving this photo a new exhibit number, separate

4 exhibit number from that we had discussed when we had the lessons or

5 training. So you tell us how we are going to go about this. I need his

6 initials on this photo without the initials appearing on the screen.

7 Yes.

8 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, I don't know if this is acceptable: I

9 would suggest, maybe just for today, that we put -- that he write his

10 witness number, PW-110, if that's okay, and we can figure something else

11 out later.

12 [Trial Chamber confers]

13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. If you're happy with that.

14 Are you happy with that? I see Mr. Haynes tempted to say

15 something, but ...

16 MR. HAYNES: Not really. Just in case there's another PW-110,

17 perhaps he should put the indictment number on it as well, but no, I'm

18 happy.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Meek.

20 MR. MEEK: No problem, Your Honour --

21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's do that.

22 So, Witness, could you please, the top left-hand corner put P --

23 write "PW-110."

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here?

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Yeah, yeah, that's good.

Page 688

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] W --

2 MR. NICHOLLS: Maybe just P --

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. 110.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 110?


6 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you very much.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Dobro. Thank you. And we can mark this document as

8 Prosecution Exhibit -- next number, 20 --

9 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry, Your Honour. That will be Exhibit Number

10 P2102, under seal -- I'm sorry.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Does it have to be under seal at this point in time?


13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So it's P2102. Thank you. So we've solved

14 that problem.

15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. Good point. You haven't

17 tendered, as yet, the clean picture, Mr. Jones -- not Mr. Jones,

18 Mr. Nicholls.

19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me for the interruption, Your Honour.

20 Perhaps it would save time if at the end of the witness's cross we could

21 just offer the ones that we --

22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.

23 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- think are appropriate.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. For the record, however, we'd

25 just like to point out that the witness made his marks on a photograph

Page 689

1 that carries ERN number 0046-1633. Thank you.

2 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.

3 Q. The next photo I would like to show you, sir, is number 1692.

4 Sorry, before we do that -- before we do that. The photo I showed you

5 that you've made markings on, it's still up there, not the one you marked.

6 But is that a fair, accurate, representation of the Grbavci school as you

7 remember it in July, 1995? Is there anything major that's different that

8 you want to point out?

9 A. I don't know what the school building looked like from the

10 outside. I know that I was there during the on-site investigation. The

11 building was the same. A couple of old cabinets had been thrown away, and

12 the area where the trucks were, the -- this part was walled up in the

13 meantime. But all the rest was just the same as before.

14 Q. All right. Everything was the same other than some cabinets

15 missing and some kind of wall where the trucks were parked. Is that

16 right?

17 A. Yes. At the spot where we were taken out from the room, there was

18 a lorry parked there. It was like with a ramp waiting for us to board it.

19 When I returned four years later, I believe, this particular part where we

20 came up from was walled up. All the rest was the same.

21 Q. Okay. Thank you. And we'll talk about that ramp a little bit

22 later.

23 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have 1692 now, please?

24 Q. All right, sir -- now don't touch the screen yet -- but again do

25 you recognise the building here we've just been -- the building in front

Page 690

1 of you?

2 A. Yes, I do. This is the sports hall and the auxiliary building

3 that we all had to go through.

4 Q. And is there anything on this photo which you would like to draw

5 our attention to? Otherwise, you don't need to mark anything on it if

6 you've already explained this well.

7 A. No. I just wanted to say that this was -- that this is a sports

8 hall and the auxiliary room. This was all there. At the front was the

9 place where we exited from that building. There is nothing special to say

10 about this picture.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Meek.

12 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, I don't know if this is important, but

13 before we took the last exhibit away from the witness - I'm looking at

14 page 68, line 21 and 22 - the witness indicated, "This particular part

15 where we came up from was walled up." And he didn't mark that -- 67, page

16 67, line 21, 22. That was never marked before the previous exhibit, 1691,

17 was taken away from the witness. So perhaps he could mark it on this

18 photograph, if it is in fact visible.

19 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

21 Thank you, Mr. Meek.

22 MR. NICHOLLS: I didn't think that was necessary because he'd

23 indicated where the trucks were parked, if I recall by the number 3, he

24 said that was where the wall was --


Page 691

1 MR. NICHOLLS: -- so I thought the record was fairly clear.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: I think there are no walls here anyway, so let's

3 proceed.

4 For the record, however, the last photo that the witness has

5 referred to was 0040-9640. Thank you.

6 [Trial Chamber confers]

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We all agree that it is not necessary to go

8 back to this photo and see where the wall is. Let's proceed.


10 Q. Let me -- just to be -- let me ask one question about that wall

11 then. Was it directly at the same place where the trucks were parked on

12 the outside or was it somewhere else in relation to this school building?

13 Was the wall where the trucks were parked or was it somewhere else?

14 A. No, no. As we were taken away blindfolded, in this corner the TAM

15 lorry was parked. I know the lorry very well. This is where it was

16 parked, and I don't know how they had done that. I believe that the

17 podium is somewhat higher, as we climbed on the lorry we did not have to

18 take a large step. A TAM lorry is some metre from the ground, so if we

19 had to climb in from the ground, we would have had to take a long step.

20 Since we didn't have to do that, I believe they had built something like a

21 podium.

22 Q. Okay. So I think that was perhaps a translation, interpretation.

23 There was a ramp there or a podium to help people get onto the truck, but

24 not a wall. Is that right?

25 A. I don't know whether in the meantime this thing has been destroyed

Page 692

1 in the meantime. This was walled up later on. This wall or podium had

2 been built before we arrived, and then it was all walled up. In 1992, it

3 was walled -- it was -- in 1998 it was walled up, but it was just the

4 bricks. So I believe that that podium had existed before for us to climb

5 on the vehicle.

6 Q. Okay. Can we go back to 1691 just --

7 MR. NICHOLLS: I think I do need to clear this up, Your Honour.

8 Q. Let me ask you this: The ramp or podium, what was that made out

9 of?

10 A. You know what? This was something as high as your desk. It was a

11 structure. I believe this was not done at the moment when the building

12 was built. This may have been done a day two before, and that's why they

13 had destroyed that part of the wall. They just broke through one part of

14 the wall, and this is where the lorry was parked to facilitate the

15 climbing up. If you're blindfolded, how are you supposed to climb onto a

16 lorry, if the lorry is high, if there is no construction to help you get

17 onto the lorry?

18 Q. All right.

19 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we go now to the next photo, which is 1694.

20 We have 1697.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: 1694 or 1697?

22 MR. NICHOLLS: Oh, you do have 1694, can we bring that up, please?

23 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I think we have -- okay. Now

24 it's changing.

25 MR. NICHOLLS: And I'll say for the record, this photograph has

Page 693

1 the ERN number 00409650.

2 Q. Sir, take your time, take a look at that photo. Do you recognise

3 what is depicted in this photograph?

4 A. You can see the windows of the sports hall, and you can see

5 something like a basket for basketball.

6 Q. Is there any difference that jumps out to you of what you see in

7 this photograph that you remember from the sports hall in July 14th, 1995?

8 A. Let me put it this way: I can describe the entrance into the

9 sports hall. On the right-hand side there was a wall with the windows at

10 the top. Then on the left-hand side there was an opening leading into the

11 auxiliary room. This is the opening that we had to go through

12 blindfolded. The easiest for me is to look at a photo, but when I look at

13 this picture, I can only tell you that this is a sports hall with windows

14 and the basket, which is either drawn onto the fall or fixed onto the

15 wall. At the time when I was there, I don't remember this basket being

16 there.

17 Q. Thank you.

18 MR. NICHOLLS: Now could we assign this an exhibit number and give

19 it 169 -- and then go to the next photo, 1697. Actually, sorry, he didn't

20 mark it, so --

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you going to mark this one now or are you going

22 to stick to what you said earlier, that you will tender everything or

23 whatever later on?

24 MR. NICHOLLS: We will tender it later. I'm sorry, Your Honour,

25 I'd forgotten. If we could go to 1697.

Page 694

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment because I recognise Mr. Bourgon.

2 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. Now, the witness has

3 indicated that this is a gym --

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Sports hall, he said.

5 MR. BOURGON: -- and windows --

6 JUDGE AGIUS: The word I heard in the translation was sports hall.

7 MR. BOURGON: Or -- yes, sports hall, sorry, but he indicated that

8 this is -- I'm not sure if he used it, I don't have the transcript here,

9 he used sports hall, but he did not recognise this as being the sports

10 hall he was in. If later on my colleague asks for this photo to be given

11 an exhibit number, we would not object, but we would like the witness to

12 know whether he recognises this - yes or no - as the place where he was

13 held. Thank you, Mr. President.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls, could you --

15 MR. NICHOLLS: I think he explained his reaction to it, but I will

16 ask again.

17 Q. Do you recognise this photo? Can you tell from the photo whether

18 it's the same sports hall you were held in on July 14th, 1995? And if you

19 can't, just say you can't.

20 A. Yes, yes. This is where I was. I was in no other sports hall.

21 That's where I was. They did not take me all over Zvornik to see some

22 other sports hall. This was the sports hall where we were kept as cattle,

23 sitting on the floor, on the wooden floor. I don't know what was on the

24 floor. I did not dare look around -- what was around me. This is the

25 sports hall where I was held.

Page 695

1 Q. Do you remember, if you do, where you sat in relation to these

2 large windows we can see in the photo?

3 A. I was the closest to the auxiliary building, to the entrance into

4 that auxiliary building that everybody had to go through. I was not

5 sitting close to the big wall, but I was closer to the other, smaller

6 wall.

7 MR. NICHOLLS: Last one, then; 1697.

8 Q. Again, Witness, take a look. Take your time and tell me if you

9 recognise this place.

10 A. Yes, that's the sports hall in the school where we were kept.

11 MR. NICHOLLS: That's 00816804 [Realtime transcript read in error

12 "00816801"] is the ERN number.

13 Q. All right. Now, I briefly want to ask you some questions,

14 Witness, about your experiences in the sports hall at the Grbavci school.

15 You started off saying that you were forced to run into the school from

16 the lorry.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. What happened when you went into the school? I think you said

19 your jacket was taken from you. What was taken from you and what was the

20 process as you entered the school?

21 A. They took the jacket, and previously, when I was captured, they

22 took away the rucksack. And when I arrived at the school there was

23 nothing left to take away from me. The only thing that they could -- that

24 they could have taken away was my soul, but fortunately enough, they

25 didn't do that.

Page 696

1 Q. Was anything taken from other prisoners as they entered the

2 school?

3 A. The clothes. Some had to take their shirts off. They were

4 probably not allowed to put their shirts back on. There was nobody like

5 that in our lorry, but there was a very thin, elderly man who was

6 shirtless. There were a number of shirtless men, but we were not forced

7 -- the others were not forced to take their shirts off. They only told

8 me to take my leather jacket off.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Nicholls, and again apologies for

10 interrupting you, but line 14 on the previous page, page 73. The ERN

11 number of the document is wrong. It's not 00816801, but it is 00816804.

12 That's just for the record. Thank you.

13 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.

14 Q. Now, we've seen pictures of the room. How full was the sports

15 hall when you entered it?

16 A. When I entered, over half of it was full. And when everybody

17 entered, there was very little space left. But we all sat down crunched

18 and squeezed. We were sitting so tight that we could not move from the

19 place that we were assigned.

20 Q. From the time that you entered the sports hall, how long did

21 prisoners continue to arrive?

22 A. Five, six minutes, maybe even more. We were towards the back of

23 the column, but all this happened very fast. As you jumped off the

24 vehicle from either the lorry or the bus, before us there was a

25 Centrotrans Sarajevo bus with the registration plates that I saw for the

Page 697

1 first time in the Cyrillic. We had never had Cyrillic registration plates

2 before. It was then that I saw that Sarajevo registration with two C's,

3 and also a Zvornik bus. At the time, they had special registration plates

4 in Cyrillic, and it was only later on that we were all ordered to use the

5 same Latinic registration plates.

6 Q. And once all the prisoners, as far as you could tell, had arrived

7 and had been -- and had run into the school, how many prisoners do you

8 think were in the sports hall, approximately?

9 A. Anything between 500 and a thousand.

10 Q. Where were the --

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we be more precise? Because anything between

12 500 and 1.000, 1.000 is double of 500, so ...


14 Q. Yes. Just think about it for one moment and see if you can be

15 more precise. If you can't, then that's fine.

16 A. Let me tell you this: If I had known what would happen and what

17 -- that I would survive, I could count people. I could add up the width

18 of every person times the number of heads, but just like with the Serbs,

19 the Serbs didn't know exactly how many we were. They never made our list.

20 They didn't know how many we were. We don't know how many we were. Maybe

21 somebody was counting in secret. I can only draw my conclusion on the

22 length of the convoy. If everybody from the convoy had been put there,

23 then there must have been a thousand. But if people were separated, then

24 they -- there were fewer of us. But a lot of elderly people who arrived

25 before us filled up half of the room, and then the rest of us who had

Page 698

1 arrived on the lorries on that day, we filled the sports hall up. There

2 were a lot of vehicles parked ahead of our vehicle, and a lot stopped

3 after our vehicle. I don't know how many.

4 Q. Thank you. You said there was some elderly people. Can you tell

5 us the approximate age range of the prisoners in the room, from the

6 youngest to the oldest, people that you saw.

7 A. The youngest was 15 and the oldest around 70. And that person,

8 the oldest person, was from my village and he was aged 70 at the time.

9 Q. Let me ask you to think about that. How young was the youngest

10 person in the room?

11 A. Save for the four children who were there, the four children that

12 were there, one child was 10 and the oldest of the children was 14. But

13 they were separated from us.

14 Q. How were they separated, these four children?

15 A. We were sitting in lines, and they were sitting next to the

16 entrance door. And they faced the rest of us. The whole crowd was facing

17 these four children who were sat by the main door.

18 Q. Now, during this time you were there, these hours, were there

19 guards at the door at the entrance?

20 A. Yes. Very young lads who were holding rifles in their hands.

21 Somebody addressed them as soldiers, and they said they were not soldiers.

22 They said that they were Karadzic's Chetniks, Young Chetniks. That's --

23 they took pride in that. When somebody addressed them as soldiers, this

24 is what they said. Sometimes they would shoot in the air when there was

25 commotion among the people, then they would shoot into the walls and into

Page 699

1 the ceilings. And we could still see the traces of those bullets when we

2 went to the sports hall later on for field inspection.

3 Q. All right.

4 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, are we stopping now or are

5 we going another five minutes?

6 JUDGE AGIUS: It's up to you. If it's more convenient for you to

7 break now, we can break now.

8 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll continue.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: We've got another five minutes to go.

10 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: This inspection that he's just referred to, field

12 inspection, could he tell us when it occurred.

13 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll -- I was going to get to that.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.


16 Q. When you said this field inspection, you said "we," can you tell

17 us now, after leaving the Grbavci school on the 14th of July, 1995, when

18 did you go back to the school and who did you go with?

19 A. I apologise. I did not understand your question.

20 Q. I'm sorry. You said a field inspection. When you came back to

21 the school you could still see traces of bullet holes from when the

22 soldiers had fired into the walls of the school. When was that you went

23 back to the school?

24 A. Oh, yes. This happened in 1999, sometime in the autumn of that

25 year. I don't know the exact date. I believe that there is a record of

Page 700

1 that. There were two Campagnolas, the United Nations Campagnolas, and a

2 big transporter and SFOR troops, and the person who took -- who made the

3 record, and there was an interpreter as well.

4 Q. Now, again, similar question I've asked you before: While you

5 were in the school, was any food provided, was any medical care provided

6 while you were a prisoner, and to the other prisoners?

7 A. No. Nobody offered us any food. Some prisoners were asked to

8 bring water, but there were just too many of us. If they started from one

9 end, they could only give water to two lines of people. So we were always

10 thirsty. If you didn't experience that, then you can never know that

11 water is the most beautiful thing in the world. Nobody wanted bread, but

12 if somebody had brought you water, I believe that we would have drank 2

13 litres at once. That's how important water is, and that's why I'm saying

14 today that water is more important than bread. We were thirsty, and if

15 you've never been thirsty, you don't know the feeling. You cannot imagine

16 the feeling.

17 Q. What was the temperature like in the school that day?

18 A. I don't know. It was the 14th of July, the hottest period of the

19 year. It was very difficult to tell, but you know when you enter a room

20 full of people, even if it had been cold outside, the room would have been

21 heated up by the bodies of all of us in the room. And I believe that the

22 outside temperature was well in its 30s.

23 Q. And did any of the prisoners appear to you to need medical care?

24 A. Yes. People were complaining about feeling faint. I also wanted

25 to have more water. I -- but if anybody was feeling faint or sick, the

Page 701

1 only thing that they would do was for that person to move a bit further

2 where they could be given water, and that's all the assistance we ever got

3 from them.

4 Q. Okay. So my last question before we take a little break, sir:

5 What kind of toilet facilities were provided for all the people in this

6 room?

7 A. They gave us a bucket, but it was hot so nobody really felt the

8 urge to relieve themselves. It was just too hot. There were maybe a few

9 elderly people and a woman, maybe they used the bucket. The rest of us

10 didn't.

11 MR. NICHOLLS: I think it's time for the break, Your Honour.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.

13 We'll have --

14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Excuse me, not "and a woman." It is not good

15 translated.


17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is line 10.


19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Elderly people and -- "elderly people and a

20 woman."


22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, the women are mentioned in the -- in another

23 context.


25 Witness, if you could -- I'll read it out to you. If there is a

Page 702

1 mistake -- if there is a mistake, please point it out to us.

2 "They gave us a bucket, but it was so hot so nobody really felt

3 the urge to relieve themselves. It was just too hot. There were maybe a

4 few elderly people --" and then we have in the transcript "... and a

5 woman. Maybe they used the bucket."

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: So what is the correct testimony?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I apologise to the women who

9 are here in the room. I didn't say that there was a woman. I just

10 apologised to the women in the room for mentioning that there were people

11 who did relieve themselves in the bucket, because I mentioned that action.

12 I wanted to apologise to the women in the courtroom.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir.

14 We'll have a 20-minute break starting from now. Thank you.

15 Same precaution as before. If the guard could kindly ask -- all

16 right. The lady is leaving.

17 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.

18 --- On resuming at 12.53 p.m.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

20 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.

21 Q. Sir, while you were in the sports hall, could you see whether

22 there was any physical abuse of the prisoners? And ...

23 A. No. Only one man was slapped about. Why, I don't know.

24 Q. At any time while you were there, did any officers, senior

25 officers, arrive at the school that you could see?

Page 703

1 A. At the time I was there, some people arrived in civilian clothes.

2 They stood on one side, observing us. When the time came for us to set

3 out, a group of them gathered - I don't know whether they were civilians

4 or soldiers - and one of them asked, as I said previously, whether there

5 was anyone from the Zvornik municipality among us. Later on, I don't know

6 whether it was this same person who put the question before someone else,

7 when there was commotion in the hall, he said: Shut up, everyone. And we

8 did. And then he said: Four rows in the hall stand up. These were

9 mostly the elderly people I talked to you about. They stood up. He told

10 them to take the right turn and face the wall, turning their back to the

11 entrance. The next four rows had to do the same thing. This way they

12 faced the exit they were supposed to take.

13 As they approached my row, they issued the following order: Four

14 rows stand up, and we were supposed to face the other wall, adjacent to

15 the previous one. And in this way they lined us up. As you enter the

16 hall, somewhere to the right in the middle of the hall, a person said:

17 These people should not be killed. One of the Serb guards standing at the

18 entrance replied by saying: Who says so? And then this same person

19 repeated: These people should not be killed. This person wore only black

20 trousers and, I believe, a shirt. Nothing else. The soldier retorted:

21 Well, we'll see whether they should be killed or not. He said: Come

22 along. He took the person, the man, out of the school building. We heard

23 a rifle shot. The man started moaning. They took out another man, a

24 younger man than the previous one. He was maybe 30 years old. He was

25 also taken out, we could hear a rifle shot, and the man never returned.

Page 704

1 The persons carrying water were also prisoners, and they were at

2 that point prohibited from going out to fetch water, probably because this

3 was an attempt to conceal the crime.

4 At a certain point later on a man wearing a red beret showed up --

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop, stop. It's running out of hand,

6 Mr. Nicholls. Unless you control your own witness, we'll have to control

7 him ourselves. The question was a very simple, straightforward one: At

8 any time while you were there, did any officers, senior officers, arrive

9 at the school that you could see? And instead of answering that question,

10 he has given us an entire description of events that he was not asked to

11 describe. So this is something that we cannot -- we cannot -- I'm not --

12 sir, one moment --

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This other person was supposed to

14 say that I should stand up, too.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Be patient, be patient. We will get there when the

16 time arrives. But in the meantime, please try to answer the questions

17 that are put to you and not answer questions that are not put to you.

18 Mr. Meek.

19 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Mr. President. Again, I would just renew my

20 objection I made earlier today, and if you would look at page 82, line 3

21 and 4, the witness again is speculating on why someone did something.

22 It's pure speculation. He should leave that out, those extraneous

23 comments like that. That's my objection, Your Honour. "Probably because

24 this was an attempt to conceal the crime."

25 JUDGE AGIUS: But he is an --

Page 705

1 [Trial Chamber confers]

2 JUDGE AGIUS: We don't agree with your objection, Mr. Meek. He is

3 -- if that is the impression he formed at the time and he wants to relate

4 it to us the way he considered it to be, he has every right to do so.

5 However, what we definitely want rectified is the mode -- system we are

6 proceeding with. At least we will try to interrupt as least -- the least

7 we can, but at the same time try to control your own witness.


9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.

10 MR. McCLOSKEY: And just a brief statement, and it's -- when we --

11 when this witness first testified many years ago, it was under a different

12 system. The -- the Judge preferred not to hear much from the lawyers, and

13 they were pretty much just allowed to tell their story, and that's, I

14 think, partly what this witness is doing. We got closer to the question

15 and answer the last time, and so I think he understands this, but --

16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.

17 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- that's part of the problem here.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I appreciate that, Mr. McCloskey, and that is

19 -- provides a reasonable answer. But at the same time, the truth of the

20 matter is that he has not answered the question. Of course, what he has

21 been telling us is important, and we will need to come to it, but he also

22 needs to answer the question.

23 MR. NICHOLLS: I understand that, Your Honour, and I can certainly

24 break it up more. I was letting the witness go a little bit longer

25 because I thought it was easier for him to explain things that way and I

Page 706

1 was going to come back, but I will try to break this up a little bit more.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.


4 Q. So, Witness, please try to have a little bit shorter answers, and

5 we'll go through this step by step, what happened to you. I understand

6 you are trying to tell us what you think is important that happened to you

7 that day. Now, I had asked you about whether any officers appeared, and I

8 believe - it's off my screen - but you said: No, but some people dressed

9 in civilian clothes came and started giving orders to the prisoners. Is

10 that right, that you didn't see any senior officers?

11 A. No. No. It wasn't people in civilian clothes who arrived.

12 Actually, the civilian people came into the room before the military men

13 were to come. Of course there were officers coming in, because after they

14 came in, the process of taking people out started. Because from the

15 auxiliary building a bag of rags was brought in, rags that were used to

16 blindfold us. And of course there must have been a command issued,

17 because otherwise they would not have proceeded to do that. It was after

18 their arrival that the people were being taken out.

19 Q. When the officers came, did you see them inside the sports hall or

20 were they looking in? Can you just describe how you could tell these

21 officers had arrived.

22 A. It was after they issued an order to that effect, because it was

23 them who lined the people up, and they lined it up so that they faced in

24 the other direction. They had their backs turned to the door and their

25 face to the other end of the hall. When the soldiers went away, probably

Page 707

1 the people who were left behind there had received orders from them to

2 take the people out.

3 Q. Okay. Let me just be clear, and I think this will be the last

4 question on this topic: It was the officers who made the orders [Realtime

5 transcript read in error "officers"] for the people to line up and which

6 way they should face. Is that right?

7 A. Whether they were officers, probably yes. I didn't observe their

8 ranks, but they regulated the whole matter, and once they went away, the

9 process of taking people out started.

10 Q. And were --

11 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Is he capable of distinguishing between

12 an officer and a soldier?

13 MR. NICHOLLS: That's what I was going to ask.


15 MR. NICHOLLS: If they were wearing --

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, one moment.

17 Mr. Bourgon.

18 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. Just because the -- what

19 is on the transcript at line 6, page 85, line 6, "It was the officers who

20 made the officers for the people to line up." I heard something like it

21 was the officers who gave the orders, but I'm not sure that this is not

22 clear. "The officers who made the officers for the people to line up."

23 Could you clarify this, please.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Bourgon.

25 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

Page 708

1 MR. NICHOLLS: Yeah, I believe I said it was the officers who made

2 the orders for the people to line up.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so, too, but I think Mr. Bourgon is also

4 right, so let's proceed. I think it's clear enough, but let's proceed.


6 Q. Could you see the uniforms of the -- these men who you said you

7 thought were giving these orders and -- I'll just ask that for now.

8 A. You see, in wartime, all people wore camouflage uniforms and one

9 could not distinguish between ordinary soldiers and officers, save for the

10 fact that the officers had ranks. I wasn't able to observe the ranks. I

11 know that previously the uniforms worn by officers were different from

12 those of ordinary soldiers, whereas in this particular period they all

13 wore equal camouflage uniforms. I know that their officers wore rank

14 insignia on top of their shoulders, and I know that these others had some

15 sort of insignia on their jacket pockets.

16 MR. NICHOLLS: I think that clears it, Your Honour, that he --

17 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, he's your witness, Mr. Nicholls.


19 Q. Now, you started talking about this, about some blindfolds

20 earlier. I want you to describe how you and the other prisoners left the

21 gym. What happened? What was the process of leaving? And now I'm just

22 talking about how you leave the gym and go outside of the gym or sports

23 hall.

24 A. When the order came, they brought a bag of rags or strips of cloth

25 that were maybe some 50 centimetres wide -- some 5 centimetres wide -- or

Page 709

1 rather, 15 centimetres wide. And they asked prisoners to put these

2 blindfolds on each other. Near to the entrance there were two armed

3 soldiers wearing camouflage uniforms and there was one woman wearing a

4 camouflage uniform. And the woman gave every prisoner a glass of water

5 after they had put a blindfold on. Why, I don't know. Anyway, they had

6 guards, two guards, placed at the entrance so that they may control the

7 flow of people. It all went along very quickly.

8 Q. A little bit slower, please. Continue.

9 A. The person who escorted people to be executed wore a red beret, he

10 was quite young, and he didn't speak to anyone. He would go away with the

11 lorry. I don't know whether he was in the cabin of the lorry or under the

12 tarpaulin. I only know that he escorted people to be executed. When my

13 turn came, at this point we were told that all of us had to pass through.

14 And this was sometime in the evening that I stood up. I was blindfolded.

15 I was given water by the woman. I boarded a lorry, and it was -- I was on

16 the right-hand side close to the cabin, the driver's cabin. There was a

17 bench -- or actually, there were two benches running along the two sides,

18 and the lorry was full of people. I don't know whether there were 30, 40,

19 or 20 of them.

20 Q. Just one moment, please. Thank you. That's very clear. I wanted

21 to ask you a couple of questions. You talked earlier about a ramp or

22 something that was used by the prisoners to get on the lorry. Can you

23 describe how high --

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... this TAM truck was?

Page 710

1 A. I can't tell you how long the ramp was or how high it was, but it

2 may have been a metre above the ground, although we did not have the

3 impression of climbing high. I did -- of course didn't have occasion to

4 measure the height, but it was -- the ramp lay more or less at the height

5 of the TAM truck.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon.

7 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. Now, of course the

8 witness now has just mentioned the word "TAM truck," but the first time

9 that this was ever mentioned was by counsel, and I think in this way we

10 are leading the witnesses in terms of describing. He always referred to

11 that truck as being a lorry and he never said the word "TAM truck,"

12 Mr. President.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: I recall having on my transcript "TAM truck" much

14 earlier on in the day.

15 MR. NICHOLLS: That's my recollection, too, Your Honour --

16 JUDGE AGIUS: No, definitely.

17 But I can assure you, Mr. Bourgon, that it has been mentioned

18 earlier on.

19 Yes, Mr. Krgovic.

20 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may be of

21 assistance, the witness mentioned the term "TAMic," small TAM, but it was

22 at a different point in time and in a different context.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

24 Let's continue. Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

25 MR. NICHOLLS: One moment.

Page 711

1 Just for your record, Your Honour, page 69, line 17, the witness

2 talks about being taken away blindfolded, and in the corner there was a

3 TAM lorry, T-A-M, and it was parked, and then he starts talking about the

4 podium.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Nicholls.

6 Let's proceed.


8 Q. All right. Please describe now how many men were sitting in the

9 back of the TAM lorry and where they sat once you had been placed on your

10 blindfold.

11 A. I told you that there were two benches. I can't tell you how many

12 people can be seated on these benches. While people were boarding, we

13 still had our blindfolds on, and then as people -- other people got on,

14 there was no space on the benches. They occupied the floor between the

15 benches. People asked where these people were being taken, and the answer

16 was to the camp at Bijeljina, and after that no further questions were

17 asked.

18 Q. Okay. Just to be clear here, who asked where the people were

19 being taken? Was that the prisoners or somebody else?

20 A. Yes, yes. The prisoners themselves. As soon as they started

21 boarding these people, the question was put as to where the people were

22 being taken, and the answer was to the Bijeljina camp. After that, nobody

23 asked any more questions.

24 Q. Okay. Are you familiar with TAM trucks from before the war or

25 before you were placed on this one? Had you seen one before?

Page 712

1 A. TAM lorries were small lorries normally owned by farmers to

2 transport agricultural products, and TAMic is what we use to refer to a

3 2-ton lorry.

4 Q. Now, the one you were on, how many men do you think would fit in

5 the back with you at the time you were there?

6 A. At least 30 people; ten on each of the benches and ten of them on

7 the floor between the benches. I think 30 of them can fit.

8 Q. Okay. How far did the truck travel once you'd been -- once you

9 had gotten into the back with these other men?

10 A. The trip was quite short. I didn't know where we were being taken

11 to at the time. We had our blindfolds on. In my estimate, the lorry

12 headed to the left and it drove for a while along the gravel road. We

13 shook quite hard at the beginning, and then at a certain point it

14 pulled up. We could hear the voices of people outside. We were then

15 ordered to get off the bus. We did. We were then lined up. I don't know

16 whether we were lined up in one or two rows. Shooting started. I could

17 hear a burst of fire from the right-hand side, and I was positioned at the

18 left. And the shots came from the right-hand side. People started

19 falling over, and I fell down with them and I had my arm over the chest of

20 the man next to me. Then there was one person saying: We should finish

21 them off. And the other person saying: Take it easy, take it easy. Then

22 shots were fired again upon people lying down. I have a scar here, which

23 was probably just a piece of gravel that hit me, and then the shooting

24 stopped. Then I could hear shouts to the effect that: We should start

25 taking their watches off, and so on and so forth. Then others saying:

Page 713

1 No, we are not going to do that. At any rate, I didn't have a watch on me

2 at that time.

3 Then there was another lorry that arrived. The shooting was heard

4 again, and some 10 to 15 minutes later there was another truck arriving.

5 It was getting dark at that point.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop here for the time being. I didn't want --

7 Mr. Lazarevic, that's why I asked you to wait, because I didn't want to

8 interrupt the witness at such a crucial moment. But perhaps you could now

9 tell us --

10 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. I notice something in the transcript that I

11 haven't heard from the witness, actually, it is rather different, and it

12 deals with this moment when certain person asked the soldier to finish him

13 off. Here it says that -- well, allegedly one of the soldiers said:

14 Finish them off. What I heard was the person was begging. If

15 Mr. Nicholls could clarify this.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls, you've been able to follow.

17 Perhaps you can put a direct question on this.


19 Q. Let me go back over a little bit of what you said, sir.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: It does make a difference, obviously, because one

21 would be a Serb, the other one would not be a Serb.

22 JUDGE KWON: Line 20, 21.

23 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.

24 MR. LAZAREVIC: Perhaps I can assist Mr. Nicholls. It's on page

25 90, line 20, 21.

Page 714

1 MR. NICHOLLS: I've got it.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: 20, 21.


4 Q. You said, sir, after the shooting had taken place and you'd fallen

5 down, that there was one person saying, and this is what the transcript

6 says: We should finish them off. And another -- and the other person was

7 saying: Take it easy, take it easy.

8 Can you tell me what you heard when you were lying on the ground

9 at that time.

10 A. No. There was one person who had been hit that said: Finish me

11 off. And then the other person saying: Take it easy, take it easy. So

12 it wasn't the persons who were shooting at people who said that; it was

13 rather the person who was shot that said that, and then the other person

14 telling him: Take it easy, take it easy.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: So that clarifies the matter. I thank you,

16 Mr. Lazarevic, for pointing it out. Thank you.

17 [Trial Chamber confers]

18 JUDGE AGIUS: And again, I mean, our attention is being drawn that

19 he is going too fast. He needs to slow down a little bit further.

20 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm told that was a

21 translation error.

22 Q. Now, you said you heard somebody saying: Take it easy, take it

23 easy. Is that right?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Who was that? Is that a --

Page 715

1 A. It was the Serb soldier who was performing the killing.

2 Q. Just so this is clear, he was saying that in response to the

3 person saying: Finish me off? Are these statements connected?

4 A. Yes, yes.

5 Q. Now, you said that you were slightly injured and you pointed at a

6 part of your body. Could you show the Court where you were injured and,

7 just to make it clear, tell us what that injury was.

8 A. Yes. Right here between the fingers.

9 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay. So for the record, he pointed to his right

10 hand, just between the first and second finger.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Nicholls.


13 Q. And that wasn't a severe injury from what -- if I gather you

14 correctly?

15 A. Most probably a stone was set in motion by a burst of fire and got

16 me on my hand, and I was lucky that it was just that slight wound.

17 Q. Now, you described hearing trucks coming, gun-fire, trucks leaving

18 every ten minutes or so. How long did that continue for, you could hear

19 these -- these trucks moving and then gun-fire?

20 A. Let me tell you, this was in the early evening and went on until

21 it was completely dark. I don't know whether it took two hours or

22 thereabouts. The people gathered next to the excavator that was

23 excavating a pit there, (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 Q. Stop.

Page 716

1 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd ask for a redaction, actually, Your Honour, of

2 lines 20 through 22. I think it will be clear why I'm asking for that a

3 little bit later.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's redact lines 21 and 22, please, thank you.

5 After -- actually, we can start from after the words "excavating a pit

6 there," and you redact the rest from those two lines.

7 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: And that will need us -- require us to have a

9 30-minute break when you finish, of course.


11 Q. When -- now, you've described laying there for a few hours and

12 hearing these things. At any point did you take your blindfold off or

13 were you still blindfolded while you were hearing these shots and trucks

14 coming and going?

15 A. When it got really dark and when they went to a different meadow,

16 I took the blindfold off. The man who was lying over me, I didn't mind

17 that so much while it was still day-time. When it got dark and his body

18 got really cold and rigid, I couldn't feel my legs, they went numb(redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 Q. Stop.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated].

22 MR. NICHOLLS: If we could just take that name out, Your Honour,

23 and I will take care of this part --

24 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated].

25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the President, please.

Page 717

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Sorry about that. Lines 16 and 17, we redact

2 everything that goes after the words "they went numb."

3 [Trial Chamber confers]

4 MR. NICHOLLS: Can we perhaps go into private session?

5 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it will be safer to do that because I can

6 see where you're going, so it will be easier for him because he can't

7 distinguish --

8 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: -- really between one question and what he's

10 anticipated to answer in the next one. So let's go into --

11 [Private session]

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 718











11 Pages 718-719 redacted. Private session.















Page 720

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 [Open session]

13 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session, Mr. Nicholls, and please

14 make sure that the witness understands you.


16 Q. And I'll say it again, Witness: Please don't mention the names of

17 the people that we just finished talking about or their nicknames while we

18 were in private session.

19 All right. Tell me what happened next after you said these --

20 there was a discussion which you had overheard. What happened next? What

21 did you do?

22 A. They left to this other meadow. The three men stayed behind.

23 Later on some -- at a distance from me to there was some 300 metres. I

24 could hear shooting. In the meantime, a lorry came under light, and it

25 shone its lights on us, and all of them who had been killed were clearly

Page 721

1 visible, and it parked next to the person excavating the pit and they

2 started talking amongst each other, and I couldn't hear them because both

3 machines' engines were on. And when that person with the lorry arrived --

4 Q. Sorry.

5 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, Your Honour, could we go back into private

6 session for one minute?

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go back to private session, please.

8 [Private session]

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 722

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 [Open session]

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we are back in open session.

8 Mr. Nicholls.


10 Q. I'm sorry I interrupted you, sir. You were telling us that some

11 of the men left, and then a lorry came and shone its lights on the area.

12 A. It was not a lorry. It was a loader truck.

13 Q. Okay. A loader came. Please continue telling the Court what

14 happened when the loader truck came.

15 A. When this lorry came, there was a person alive next to the

16 excavator. He jumped on his feet, started running towards the woods.

17 Shots were fired after him. The person who came with the loader truck

18 turned his lights on the area of the forest where that person had fled

19 into. I moved at that moment and I heard the words to the effect of:

20 There is another person running away. Luckily enough, nobody heard him

21 and maybe he thought that he had just imagined, as his lights were shining

22 across the bodies. I looked around. Nobody was walking towards me. I

23 moved just twice, and I started crawling. I turned around to see if

24 anybody was following me, and then I jumped on my feet. I saw a stone --

25 Q. Thank you for stopping. The transcript said: "Luckily enough,

Page 723

1 nobody heard him." I'm not sure, is that right? Did you mean nobody

2 heard you, or did you mean nobody heard somebody else?

3 A. Those who were standing guard, the Serb soldiers who had been

4 killing, did not hear him say that there was somebody else alive.

5 Q. Okay. I understand. And just one follow-up question. The

6 transcript said "loader truck" and I used that word "loader truck." Can

7 you describe what a loader is, what it looks like.

8 A. It's a construction machine that loads material onto lorries. It

9 has a hoe the capacity of which is 2 cubic metres. It's a very good

10 machine that is used in construction. It's not used for anything else but

11 for loading construction material onto -- onto trucks. And this is a very

12 good machine for loading trucks.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, if you could please continue. Tell us in your

14 own words how you escaped from this field, from where you were.

15 A. And then when I stood up, I started running along the stone -- I

16 didn't know where I was. I didn't know what was there. And when I

17 climbed onto that stone, there was a rail track. I crossed the rail

18 track. I fell down the bank. Luckily enough, I ended up in a cornfield.

19 I ran through -- halfway into the cornfield. And then I realised that the

20 corn was moving, and I was afraid that they would see me. Then I started

21 crawling and I hid in a little thicket. I could hear the water, but I

22 couldn't see any water. The Serb soldiers who were standing guard ran

23 around the cornfield. They fired shots but probably in the air. I could

24 hear the bullets and I could hear the bullets breaking branches. But then

25 they returned.

Page 724

1 I was there all that time. And when all the shots stopped, I -- I

2 was thinking I know where I had been taken to, but when I was blindfolded,

3 I no longer knew where I was taken, whether towards Zvornik or where. And

4 when everything was quiet, I stood up, I started walking, and I was most

5 afraid when I left the cornfield that I would be awaited there by

6 somebody. Luckily enough, there was nobody there. I climbed onto the

7 railroad. I didn't know whether to go down the railroad or up the

8 railroad. I decided to go down the railroad.

9 And then I arrived in the same place. I arrived at a railway

10 station. The door was open, leading to a room. There was nothing there,

11 nobody there. I saw a village there which I didn't recognise, and I knew

12 I was not supposed to go there. I returned the same way: I went down to

13 the road by a well that was in the other meadow, and I saw the other group

14 of people that had been killed. That was the other meadow where the

15 soldiers had gone previously to kill the rest of the people.

16 Q. Thank you. We've got to finish in a few minutes. Witness, if I

17 understand, you left and ended up back at the same place, at the same area

18 and saw another field with dead bodies in it. Is that right?

19 A. That is right, yes.

20 Q. How far apart were these two fields?

21 A. Some 300 metres, not more.

22 Q. Difficult to say maybe, but how many bodies did you see in this

23 field?

24 A. Let me tell you, the bodies were prostrated across the meadow.

25 Most of the area was covered. I don't know how many bodies were there.

Page 725

1 There was a man who was barely alive who was separated away from the rest

2 of the bodies. And the sounds he produced were not human sounds. They

3 were more like animal sounds. And he was the only person who was a bit

4 away from the rest of the group. The people -- the bodies that were there

5 prostrated on that ground were either on their backs or on their bellies,

6 but they were spread out. That's how they had fallen when they were shot.

7 Q. And you said there was a well or something like that by the road

8 by this field. Did I understand you right?

9 A. Yes. It was a source of water, ever-running water that people

10 used to water their cattle. It was like a well that was taking care of

11 the people.

12 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, I have very little more, but I think

13 maybe if I could just finish that up in the first ten minutes tomorrow.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think that will be better.

15 MR. NICHOLLS: It's virtually finished.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: That will be better because this has been a long

17 session.

18 So I think the witness can be escorted out of the courtroom.

19 Sir, you will return tomorrow. We haven't finished as yet. There

20 will be a few minutes more when Mr. Nicholls, hopefully, will conclude his

21 examination-in-chief; and after that, we will start with the various

22 cross-examinations. I'll explain to you tomorrow. In the meantime, you

23 will be attended to. Important thing is that you're not to communicate

24 with anyone on the matters that you are testifying upon.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

Page 726

1 [The witness stands down]

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls and various Defence teams. I

3 mean, I've made a rough calculation. Two hours and a half has -- have

4 already become three hours and 35 minutes. So I'm not pushing you, of

5 course, because this is just the beginning and one understands that we

6 will need to be as flexible as possible, but at the same time try to

7 conclude, because obviously then we will need to ask the various Defence

8 teams whether they stand by their time schedule for cross-examination or

9 whether they would like it revised. So we will deal with all this

10 tomorrow morning at 9.00. Thank you.

11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,

12 to be reconvened on Friday, the 25th day of

13 August, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.