1 Wednesday, 28 August 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Very good morning to everybody. May we please
6 hear the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the enlarged appearances for the
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good morning, Your Honour. Nicholas Koumjian,
12 Kapila Waidyaratne, and Ruth Karper for the Prosecution.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And for the Defence.
14 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Branko Lukic,
15 John Ostojic, and Danilo Cirkovic for the Defence.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
17 Before starting, I have to express my gratitude that already
18 today, the registry has provided us with a list of the documents of
19 yesterday. No doubt that during this marathon, there was a slight
20 mistake, but we can rely on this List 6 of the new documents. I hope you
21 all have it with you, and it ends with S276A, Official Gazette Number 1.
22 Not to forget, having now Official Gazette Number 1, this makes greedy
23 [phoen] in the direction.
24 What about the last Official Gazette before this Official Gazette
25 Number 1? Remember, we discussed the issue whether or not there was a
1 change of the board of editors in Kozarski Vjesnik, and I think it's of
2 some interest whether or not there was a change or some continuity in the
3 Official Gazettes in Prijedor. And therefore, I would invite the OTP to
4 go through their own documents, whether or not they have available the
5 last former Official Gazette before this one, Number 1, from May 1992.
6 We have to come back to some of these documents during the hearing
7 of Madam Tabeau and Mr. Inayat. Having had a look on the issues already
8 at stake as regards Mr. Inayat, I would ask the parties whether or not it
9 could be possible that the parties have, first of all, a meeting with
10 Mr. Inayat for a first clarification of formalities of the core issues and
11 the central issues which are really relevant for this case - they have, no
12 doubt, to be discussed in the courtroom. But that we can already exclude
13 the first layer of more or less formal problems in this informal setting.
14 And I would appreciate if the parties could agree on this procedure.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: That's acceptable, Your Honour, to the Defence.
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm not prepared yet to do that, but I think it
17 could set a precedent of having our witnesses preinterviewed that we do
18 not want to see established. Unless the Defence will allow me to
19 interview all their witnesses before they testify. It's the same --
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I don't think it's now -- it's not a question of
21 interviewing a witness; it's a question of clarification how some
22 documents were found or not. I think --
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: I would propose alternatively that I could get
24 together with the Defence if there's questions about our procedures, and I
25 can give them information that they may request regarding this.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sometimes the Judges should have also advantages
2 from this party system, and therefore I invite the parties to find out the
3 best way how to proceed in the way that we can really concentrate on the
4 core issues that we can call issues worthwhile discussing in the
5 courtroom, because no doubt to a certain extent Mr. Inayat is part of one
6 of the parties in this case.
7 So let's -- if there are no other administrative matters, I can't
8 see them. Then we -- Mr. Koumjian, please.
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: Sorry, just to remind Your Honour, we do have --
10 Your Honours requested to view originals of some of the documents.
11 Provisional S254, S258, S264, which was a Kozarski Vjesnik I believe. Is
12 this the one the Court asked for better copies? Those copies are
13 available, and the original can be viewed.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May it please be presented first to the Defence,
15 and then to the Bench.
16 Okay, let's start with the copy of S264. Can we all agree that
17 this is readable, and therefore a copy to work with of Kozarski Vjesnik of
18 25 September, 1992, S264B.
19 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, we can accept that this is the original.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, we have seen for the transcript the
21 original Radno Izdenje of Kozarski Vjesnik of 25 September, 1992, page 2
22 in front of us, and we have seen that this is a real copy. Thank you for
23 this. This problem has been solved. Thank you.
24 Then let's turn to Document S258. Are there any comments by the
25 OTP as regards to this combination of two sheets of paper?
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: No, Your Honour. Apparently they were attached
2 when found. The faxed document or the sheet showing the fax number is
3 not -- at this point we don't see any particular -- it's not of particular
4 interest to us. But it was attached to the other document. It may have
5 some information regarding how that document was received at the location
6 where it was seized.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Probably there remains a question for
8 Mr. Inayat, some problems from the side of the Defence.
9 MR. LUKIC: Hopefully we'll be able to clarify that matter with
10 Mr. Inayat, yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But we have seen and clarified that indeed there
12 were two sheets of papers, and therefore having seen the documents, these
13 documents are admitted into evidence as S258A-1, the stripe with fax
14 coordinates, and the attached document, -2. The original may be returned
15 to the OTP.
16 Then S254, I can see by the red registration number that indeed
17 evidently you didn't get a better copy. Or this --
18 MR. KOUMJIAN: That's the original that we seized, or that's the
19 document we seized.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The document seized. And I think it was already
21 admitted into evidence. Please correct me, Madam Registrar, if not. It
22 was admitted. Here it remains only to have at least an attempt to
23 translate the content of the stamp that we find at the bottom of this
24 document. The document may be returned to the OTP. Thank you.
25 So if we can rely on the list before us, it remains only to be
1 shown the original of S267, and not yet admitted was S273. Correct?
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: I believe some of those documents have already been
3 submitted for analysis, and they are out of the building. So that may
4 take some time. They are not available for a period of time. We'll check
5 on that, though.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: They should be available in due time before we
7 hear Mr. Inayat in the courtroom once again.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: That may require taking them away from the document
9 examiners, and we can do that.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's find a solution in the moment we have
11 fixed the date for the hearing of Mr. Inayat.
12 So anything else to be discussed urgently this morning? Yes,
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Your Honour. I do have one issue that
15 was raised by the Court yesterday towards the conclusion of our session.
16 And it was I think an interesting and important matter which perhaps we
17 can address this morning.
18 The Court seemed to suggest that various witnesses should be
19 compelled to call, either by the Office of the Prosecution, the Defence,
20 or by the Court as permitted by the rules. Although we do not want and do
21 not intend to infringe upon the rights of other defendants in this case,
22 such as Mr. Mrdja, General Talic, or Mr. Brdjanin, we do believe that
23 there was one particular witness that might be helpful to us that the
24 Office of the Prosecutor has interviewed who is a defendant who was
25 represented during the interview process. The issues relating to
1 Dr. Biljana Plavsic we believe may be relevant to this case if indeed the
2 Office of the Prosecutor intends to continue with their allegations and
3 assertions based upon joint action and concert with criminal activity.
4 With respect to the subcategories of all those issues, we believe that
5 Dr. Plavsic voluntarily, based upon information believed while being
6 represented by counsel, has given extensive interviews to the OTP on these
7 and other matters.
8 By way of background, the Court may already know that Dr. Plavsic
9 was one of five members of the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
10 Republika Srpska, in particular, during the relevant time periods in this
11 case. Although we don't know the sum and substance of that interview or
12 the matters in which she responded to, we believe that it may be of
13 assistance to both the Court and the Defence in establishing some of these
14 preliminary yet fundamental issues.
15 So we would ask orally and, if necessary, in writing that the OTP
16 provide and produce that interview and those documents to us at a
17 reasonable time.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I can understand your contribution.
19 Nevertheless, you will understand that the notion "may be of assistance"
20 seems not to be enough. It should be more concrete as to what points
21 Dr. Plavsic may and really can assist us in finding the truth and justice
22 in this case. And therefore, it would indeed be helpful for the
23 evaluation and the decision on this issue if the Defence could provide us
24 with a document or in writing what they expect to hear from Dr. Plavsic
25 and, in addition, the relevance for this case inconcreto for what charges,
1 in relation to what facts. And then no doubt, we have to decide whether
2 to ask the OTP or whether to act ex officio. If not, the OTP plans ex
3 officio to call Dr. Plavsic in this case.
4 And it still remains open, and I want to ask the representative of
5 the OTP: When will the Defence counsel of Mr. Mrdja arrive in The Hague
6 in order to find out whether or not it is possible, necessary, mandatory,
7 to hear Mr. Mrdja in this case?
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Well, I can tell the Court informally, because
9 again I did speak to him but I don't represent him by any means, that he
10 told me he was trying to arrange with the registry to come next week.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Next week.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: I just want to make it clear that our position in
13 the OTP is we decide which witnesses we're going to call on our case. If
14 the Defence wants to call witnesses, they can call witness in their case.
15 But I think the rules envision that the choice of witnesses by the OTP is
16 our choice. The Court also has the power to call witnesses on its own,
17 and the Defence does.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No doubt about this. But please understand that
19 we don't want to interfere in the one or other party's case, and the first
20 right to call a witness during a case is for the party. And only if we
21 know definitively that a party will not hear a witness, then it's up to us
22 to decide.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: I can state definitively that the OTP will not be
24 calling any person who are accused as witnesses in this case.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the same is true for persons already
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: On this particular case, that is true. Your Honour
3 may recall we did attempt to call one person who was convicted on this
4 case earlier, and there may be circumstances --
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. But if I recall correctly, it was another
6 municipality, wasn't it?
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And I have persons in mind closer to this case
9 already convicted, and I'm more than surprised not to have presented these
10 persons. I don't know why, but -- I can't imagine. Anything else to
11 discuss today?
12 MR. OSTOJIC: No, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So we can turn to the already-waiting witness.
14 May I ask, anything changed? What about the actual protective measures
15 necessary for Witness 2?
16 MR. WAIDYARATNE: No, Your Honour, there are no protective
17 measures requested by this witness. He has testified in previous trials
18 in open session.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So we can ask the usher to bring in Mr. Jusuf
21 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Jusuf Arifagic. Thank you.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, Mr. Arifagic. You can hear me in
24 a language you understand?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Could we please hear your solemn
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
4 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Please, be seated and be open to
6 answer the questions of the OTP. The floor is yours.
7 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 WITNESS: JUSUF ARIFAGIC
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 Examined by Mr. Waidyaratne:
11 Q. Mr. Arifagic, could you kindly state your date of birth.
12 A. 17th of August, 1961.
13 Q. You were born in Kozarac. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Your father's name is Dervis Arifagic. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You have a brother and a sister?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Both of them are married?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What was your education? Where did you have your primary
23 A. I completed my primary education in Kozarac.
24 Q. And your secondary education, did you go to Prijedor?
25 A. Yes, I completed my secondary education at the technical school in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 Q. Did you specialise in any particular field?
3 A. Yes. Upon the completion of the secondary technical school, I
4 became a machine technician.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Arifagic, before we proceed further, you said that you
6 had a brother -- you have a brother. Can I know the name of this brother,
7 please, of the brother?
8 A. My brother's name is Adem, Adem Arifagic.
9 Q. And the sister's name?
10 A. Emira Causagic. She is married.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 Q. Now, after your secondary education, did you do your compulsory
13 military service?
14 A. Yes, I did my compulsory military service.
15 Q. If I say that it was in the year 1980 and 1981, is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Where did you serve?
18 A. I did my military service in Pancevo near Belgrade, and only a
19 small part of it in Belgrade itself, in these two cities.
20 Q. That was in Serbia?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Was it a special unit, or did you have any specialised training
23 during this service?
24 A. Yes, I was a member of the infantry. My unit was a special unit.
25 It was a sabotage unit of the general headquarters of the then Yugoslav
1 People's Army.
2 Q. After your compulsory service, did you serve with the reserve?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Now, after your service, military service, were you engaged in any
5 kind of employment?
6 A. Yes, I was. I found employment in Croatia. I worked in a
7 Croatian company as a foreman, and I was involved in -- I worked with
8 anti-corrosive agents and anti-corrosive protection.
9 Q. Now, after you served in Croatia, you continued to work in the
10 same field, and you worked in Libya, am I correct, for almost -- for five
11 and a half years?
12 A. Yes, that is correct.
13 Q. In between this period, you used to come to Kozarac?
14 A. Yes. I went to Kozarac for holidays every four or five months.
15 Q. And you lived with the parents. And in the year 1986, you got
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. By that marriage, you had a child. And --
19 A. Yes, I had a daughter in this marriage.
20 Q. And you lived with the parents in the parental house at Kozarac?
21 A. Correct, yes.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Arifagic, could you explain why you returned to Kozarac
23 in 1991 and for how long you were there.
24 A. In December of 1991, I went back to Kozarac. My sole reason for
25 going back to Kozarac was my desire to start building a family house of my
1 own. I remained there in December 1991. And in early 1992, I started
2 working on my family house. And sometime in March, that is, prior to the
3 outbreak of the conflict, I moved into this house with my family. So that
4 was the reason why I went back and why I took a longer leave, that is, to
5 complete my house and to move in with my family.
6 Q. Now, in the period -- to be specific, in the year of 1991 and
7 1992, were you involved in politics while you were in Kozarac?
8 A. No.
9 Q. You were not a member of any political party?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you, if I may ask you -- you can refrain from answering, did
12 you vote in the elections, the last election which was held in Kozarac in
13 1991 and 1992 -- 1990, I'm sorry?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Now, moving to another area, speaking about Kozarac, could you
16 explain as to -- about Kozarac, which villages, what ethnicity was the
17 population that was in Kozarac?
18 A. The majority of the Kozarac population, 86, 87 per cent, were
19 Bosniak, Muslim, and the remainder of the population, 1 or 2 per cent
20 perhaps Serbs, and another smaller percentage of Croats, Catholics.
21 Q. Kozarac is an area comprised of many villages and hamlets and
22 mainly populated by Muslims. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. These villages, if I name some, were Kamicani, Kevljani, Babici,
25 Hrnici, is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. Mr. Arifagic, are you aware of the villages which surrounded this
3 area which you call Kozarac?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Were there Serb villages, or mainly consisting of a population of
6 Serbian nationality?
7 A. Yes. Serbs constituted the majority in these villages except for
8 one village which was predominantly Catholic.
9 Q. Can you name some of these villages that you name as -- or which
10 surrounded Kozarac?
11 A. Vidovici, Balte, Lamovita, Omarska, Jelicka, Maricka, Tomasica,
12 those would be these villages, Jaruge, Orlovci, Donji/Gornji Garevci.
13 Q. I will take your attention to another area which will be towards
14 the year 1992, the beginning of 1992. In January, you were in Kozarac?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you notice or observe any change that took -- that happened
17 during that time relating to the takeover in April? If I specifically
18 say, any military changes or politically changes that you observed.
19 A. What I was able to observe concerned the military situation. Up
20 until that time, this was not very usual; however, from January 1992, one
21 could observe intense movements of the military columns and vehicles of
22 the JNA. According to our information, the JNA when withdrawing from
23 Croatia stationed a number of their units in the surroundings of Prijedor
24 and Kozarac. Very often, one could see convoys of vehicles passing on the
25 road from Prijedor to Banja Luka. Some of these convoys passed through
1 Kozarac and to quarters near Benkovac not far from the Mrakovica
3 Every day one could see in the streets of Kozarac local Serbs or
4 Serbs from the surrounding villages walking around the streets with
5 weapons after they had come back from the front line near Lipik. Very
6 often in those days they carried weapons, even when they were in cafes.
7 The population of Kozarac got irritated as a result of that because they
8 were very often quite aggressive would open fire, shoot in the air, or
9 throw hand grenades. So these were the things that were not normal or
10 customary prior to that period of time in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 Q. Going further, did you observe the arming of people, specifically
12 the Serbs in that area?
13 A. We did. Most of the Serbs from the area were armed ever since
14 1991. According to the knowledge we had, in the 5th Kozarac Brigade, that
15 is, the Prijedor brigade, there were many of them who participated in
16 operations in Croatia. So when they came back from the theater, they kept
17 their weapons with them while they were on leave. This caused irritation
18 amongst the citizens of Kozarac. Very often during the night, one could
19 hear shooting, and this influenced the overall situation and the sense of
21 Q. The association or the contacts between the Serb population and
22 the Muslim population during this time, did you observe a change in that?
23 A. Well, this affected the way they communicated and behaved. Very
24 often, they would accuse us of being deserters and they said that it would
25 be perfectly normal for us to participate alongside them in the war of
1 Croatia with the aim of preserving Yugoslavia. They argued that they
2 wanted to preserve Yugoslavia, and they often referred to us Muslims as
3 Ustashas, as deserters, as betrayers of Yugoslavia.
4 Q. During this time, Mr. Arifagic, what developments or change did
5 you see in the TV and the radio, in the programmes that you watched?
6 A. Sometime in late February, I noticed that the programme which we
7 normally followed up until that period of time, that is, the Bosnian TV,
8 the Sarajevo TV - we did have opportunity to watch Croatian programmes
9 also - disappeared all of a sudden. All these programmes could no longer
10 be seen, and we could follow only broadcasts from Banja Luka and
11 Belgrade. The explanation was that the JNA had taken over the TV relay at
12 the Kozara mountain, and that allegedly everything was now under control.
13 They also said that some kind of Banja Luka SAO Krajina had been
14 established, so we could watch from then on the Banja Luka and Belgrade
15 TV. This also included the Prijedor TV and radio stations. They started
16 broadcasting programmes which were not usual until that time. All of a
17 sudden, we started listening to the songs which ten years ago would have
18 been forbidden. There would have been a ban on broadcasting such songs.
19 And there were interviews, for instance, with the leaders of the
20 SDS party. And most of these interviews boiled down to the desire to
21 preserve Yugoslavia, that there was a constitutional right for them to
22 preserve Yugoslavia, and that Muslims and Croats and Ustashas wanted to
23 destroy Yugoslavia and similar allegations were broadcast at that time.
24 Q. Mr. Arifagic, you referred to in your answer saying that there
25 were discussions by political leaders of the SDS. Do you recall any
1 specific -- any special person or leader from those parties -- from the
2 party of SDS who came on TV or radio?
3 A. As I have already indicated, I was not involved in politics, so I
4 didn't know most of these leaders. However, the majority of them were
5 members of the SDS leadership in Banja Luka, perhaps a small number of
6 them were in Prijedor. We knew that they were leaders of the SDS, local
7 leaders of the SDS.
8 Q. Going a step further, in February, month of February 1992, did you
9 observe helicopters moving in the area of Kozarac and the surrounding
11 A. Yes, during that period of time, one could observe intense
12 movements of helicopters. They flew in the airspace of the Kozara region,
13 over Kozara mountain. I remember I once was able to see a helicopter land
14 in a nearby Serb village, the village of Balte.
15 Q. Did you learn as to why these helicopters were moving around that
16 area and why it landed in Balte? Did you pursue that matter?
17 A. According to our sources, this helicopter landed in Balte with
18 cargos of weapons, that there was an arming of the local population going
19 on in this village.
20 Q. Local population means they were Serbs? Is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, the village of Balte was in the border of Kozarac. Is that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And how would you define that village? Was it a Serb majority
1 that lived there, or Muslims population, non-Serbs?
2 A. The village of Balte was exclusively populated by Serbs.
3 MR. WAIDYARATNE: May I be permitted to, Your Honour, use S14, the
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do so, with the assistance of the usher.
6 I don't want to be impolite, but as we have heard a lot of these
7 issues already beforehand with the assistance of other witnesses, could
8 you please be so kind and concentrate on the core issues where we decided
9 that it would be necessary to hear this witness in addition, giving some
10 additional information, and go more concretely into details and not leave
11 it to answers such as "according to our sources" and not asking what are
12 these sources. And then the answer "local population means they were
13 Serbs" and leave it with the answer "yes." I don't think it helps very
14 much. I would ask you to go more into details. Thank you.
15 MR. WAIDYARATNE: I would do my best, Your Honour. I will follow
16 your advice. Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Arifagic, would you kindly indicate to the Court as to the
18 place that you referred to as Balte, the village of Balte. If the
19 audiovisual person could -- you could look at the map and first point out
20 to the place where you referred to as the village of Balte. The place
21 that you are pointing out, it is in the borders of --
22 A. Yes, Balte is here.
23 Q. How far was the village of Balte from Kozarac?
24 A. The village of Balte is perhaps 1 kilometre, to 1 kilometre and a
25 half, away from my village, as the crow flies.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to interrupt. Did we discuss the hamlet
2 of G. Balte or D. Balte?
3 MR. WAIDYARATNE: I will come to that, Your Honour. My next
4 question is that.
5 Q. Now, in the map it is indicated as G. Balte. Is it Gornji Balte?
6 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you. I thank the usher.
7 A. It is true there is Gornji Balte and Donja Balte. But actually it
8 is a very small village and represents a whole. The two hamlets represent
9 the whole.
10 Q. What does Gornji and Donja Balte mean?
11 A. Gornji Balte is the upper Balte. They are situated a little bit
12 further up with respect to Kozarac, whereas Donja Balte is situated
13 towards Kamicani, in the lower area.
14 Q. Thank you. And could you also take this opportunity, and you
15 spoke about a place called Benkovac. If the map... If it could be moved?
16 A. [Indicates].
17 Q. And also could you point out the place Mrakovica.
18 A. [Indicates].
19 Q. How far was Mrakovica from Kozarac?
20 A. 12 kilometres.
21 Q. And also, taking this opportunity, could you also show the village
22 of Javori, if the map... Is that shown in that map?
23 A. I don't think it is. I cannot find the name of the village of
24 Javori here.
25 Q. Was it -- how far was it from Kozarac?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. From the centre of Kozarac, maybe 3 kilometres.
2 Q. Now, we were -- thank you. We were talking about the village of
3 Balte and its population, and you said that it was mainly consisting of
4 the Serb -- a Serb population there. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you, in your previous answer, when you were referring to the
7 distribution of weapons or the Serbs receiving weapons, you said "our
8 resources" or - sorry - "our sources." Could you explain how you heard or
9 got to know about this, what your source was?
10 A. I think that on one occasion, even the Kozarac police received the
11 information that a helicopter had landed in the village of Balte, that
12 weapons were being brought in, and they tried to carry out an
13 investigation. However, they were prevented from doing so, and they came
15 Q. Who told you this?
16 A. A cousin of mine who worked in the police in Kozarac. I think he
17 was a member of the patrol who went there. Later, we talked, and he told
18 me that there was an arming of the population going on from the village of
19 Balte and the surrounding villages, that they had information to that
20 effect, that they had tried to enter the village but couldn't do so, so
21 they went back.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Arifagic, you mentioned a person as a cousin of mine who
23 worked in the police. Are you able to give the name of this person?
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could we go in private session, please.
25 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 [Private session]
12 Page 7064 – redacted – private session.
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Confirmed. Please proceed.
14 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Arifagic, now, going ahead, did you learn that these Serbs had
16 taken over the power in the municipality of Prijedor?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. If I say that it was on the 30th of April, 1992, is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, after the takeover on the 30th of April, what did you hear
21 and see?
22 A. The explanation we were given is that all the policemen who had up
23 to that point worked at the police station in Prijedor were disarmed and
24 told to leave their jobs, that the SDS took over power in Prijedor. And
25 they convinced all the population of Prijedor Municipality that they had
1 nothing to fear and that they had every reason to feel safe because now
2 everything was going to be all right. The population from the surrounding
3 villages were the predominantly Muslim and Croat population and was
4 required to sign an oath of loyalty to the SDS authorities in Prijedor.
5 Q. Now, how did you get to know -- did you hear this -- how did you
6 have this information that the non-Serbs had to sign the loyalty oath?
7 A. It was broadcast on the local radio and TV, mainly the radio,
8 every day, that the local population should sign an oath of loyalty. This
9 was also required from those policemen who had been disarmed. They said
10 if they signed the oath of loyalty to the SDS and the authorities in
11 Prijedor, they can stay and continue to work for the police.
12 Q. Did they say as to what would happen if they did not do that, what
13 would result or the consequences would be?
14 A. Well, mainly those who failed to sign the oath of loyalty were
15 supposed to turn in their weapons, no matter whether legally or illegally
16 owned. Hunting rifles, all kinds of weapons, that's what was requested.
17 And if not, then the JNA would take over control of the area. What that
18 really meant was that there would be an attack.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Arifagic, previously in answer to one of the questions,
20 you said that "the Muslim and Croat population was required to sign an
21 oath of loyalty to the SDS authorities in Prijedor." Did you know any of
22 these people from the authorities in the SDS in Prijedor?
23 A. Very few, only what was broadcast on the radio, the names of as I
24 Simo Drljaca, Radmilo Zeljaja, those people mainly. That's what I could
25 hear. The Crisis Staff in Prijedor was also referred to, Mr. Kovacevic.
1 Q. Did you hear any other names during those announcements, members
2 of the Crisis Staff in Prijedor?
3 A. I probably did.
4 Q. Do you recall any of those, other than the names that you have
6 A. No, not at this moment.
7 Q. Mr. Arifagic, now, what did you do? Did you abide by the request
8 or the announcements or the orders by the SDS in Prijedor? Did you want
9 to sign a loyalty oath?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did the population, the majority in Kozarac, agree to abide by
12 what was announced by the new Serb authorities in Prijedor?
13 A. In the sense of signing an oath of loyalty, no, we were not
14 prepared to do that. We were still trying to follow the instructions from
15 the Sarajevo government, and we were in touch with people who had been
16 elected in the last elections to be local representatives of the
17 government at the local level. And we had conversations with them. They
18 wanted our opinion, and the decision by the population of Kozarac was to
19 sign no oath of loyalty. We kept emphasising that we did not want to
20 attack anyone; we just wanted to stay in our homes and live on.
21 Q. Did you believe -- what did you believe would happen if you did
22 not sign the oath?
23 A. At that moment, we had no idea what could happen. But we did have
24 some information that certain villages did, indeed, sign oaths of loyalty
25 and turn in their weapons, but that despite that, these same villages were
1 later attacked.
2 Q. Now, did you any local representative -- you referred to some
3 people as the local representatives from the locality of Kozarac and other
4 Muslim areas. Did any of these people speak to the authorities in
5 Prijedor, the newly established authorities in Prijedor?
6 A. Yes, they were in touch all the time. They talked -- they tried
7 to reach an agreement. They tried to convey the opinion of the citizens
8 of Kozarac, to explain the situation that they had every guarantee from us
9 in Kozarac that we would never attack anyone, that the only thing we
10 wanted was to stay in Kozarac but that we could not sign an oath of
11 loyalty to an authority that was proclaimed and supposed to be in charge
12 of our area too.
13 Q. In your answer you referred to a situation or -- you used the
14 words: "to explain the situation that they had every guarantee from us in
15 Kozarac that we would not -- never attack anyone." Now, you mean to say
16 "they" in the sense of the authorities in Prijedor?
17 A. Yes, the authorities in Prijedor. We just wanted to convey very
18 clearly our message and our guarantee that as far as the population of
19 Kozarac was concerned, not a single one of the surrounding Serb villages
20 who we still considered our neighbours would be attacked by us. But we
21 also said that we simply did not want to sign any oath of loyalty to the
22 SDS in Prijedor because we still thought that Bosnia and Herzegovina as a
23 state was in existence. And that the population living in that territory
24 should be loyal and follow the instructions by the government in Sarajevo
25 and the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1 Q. Now, Mr. Arifagic, who are the people from the local authorities
2 or from Kozarac who were in touch with the authorities in Prijedor?
3 A. If we look at the political situation, it was Becir Medunjanin,
4 Besim Alic, people who were at the head of the SDS [sic] and who had been
5 appointed to official positions in Kozarac local commune at the last
6 elections. When talking about the Kozarac police, then it was the chief
7 of police in Kozarac -- excuse me. When talking about the police, it was
8 the commander of the Kozarac Police Station, Osme, and there was another
9 person who had left the JNA prior to that. Probably he was in
10 disagreement with their war policy and returned to Kozarac. Up to that
11 point, he had been an active officer in the JNA. His name was
12 Sead Cirkin.
13 Q. Mr. Arifagic, in your last -- the previous answer, you have -- you
14 said: "People who were at the head of the SDS and who had been appointed
15 to official positions in Kozarac local commune." Isn't it correct that it
16 should be corrected as SDA?
17 A. No, what I meant was the SDA.
18 Q. So it should be SDA?
19 A. I'm sorry, yes.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 Did you know any persons from the Prijedor authorities, in
22 Prijedor, any persons who were contacted by the Muslims or the authorities
23 in -- people from Kozarac? Who were the people from Prijedor?
24 A. I think the commander of the Kozarac Police Station only made
25 contact with the commander of the Prijedor Police Station, Simo Drljaca, I
1 think that was his name. But most often, contact was made with
2 Radmilo Zeljaja as far as I knew. Probably there were other contacts
3 being made with other persons, but I had no opportunity to learn anything
4 about those other contacts.
5 Q. Mr. Arifagic, before we leave this area, now, who informed you
6 about what was said by the authorities in Prijedor? Were these people
7 that you mentioned, people like Becir Medunjanin and Besim Alic?
8 A. Yes, those were the people. After every talk or meeting with the
9 SDS people and after every new information that was obtained, they tried
10 to go out and visit the people on the ground, discuss the newly arisen
11 situation. They wanted local opinion, the opinion of the people of
12 Kozarac. They wanted to know whether they were ready to accept the new
13 conditions and whether they were still not prepared to sign the oath of
14 loyalty. And they wanted to know how to proceed with talks with the
15 authorities in Prijedor, their strategy for these talks very much depended
16 on our response.
17 Q. Now, you recall that the attack on Kozarac was on the 24th of May,
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Before that, the takeover of Prijedor, or the taking of the power
21 in Prijedor was on the 30th of April?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So from the 30th of April and the 24th of May, did you take part
24 in any guarding or standing guard at any place?
25 A. Since the takeover in Prijedor, we tried to organise ourselves a
1 little -- excuse me. The population of Kozarac wanted to try to control
2 the outer border of Kozarac. We wanted to protect ourselves from any
3 incursions from outside into the Kozarac area.
4 Q. Where were you? Where did you stand guard?
5 A. I was with a group of people in the Javori, in the village of
6 Javori which had the same population. So it was at the far end of the
7 village of Javori. That was the last village before the village of Balte.
8 We stood guard duty there and tried to prevent anyone from breaking into
9 that area so that nothing unpleasant would happen.
10 Q. Were you armed?
11 A. We were mostly armed with hunting rifles. There were people who
12 tried to devise weapons of their own making. Some people had pistols.
13 But mostly, if you had a hunting rifle, then those people who were on duty
14 there tried to control the situation. And when they left, they would just
15 leave their rifle to those who came to relieve them.
16 Q. How many people stood guard there?
17 A. There were perhaps five, six, maybe ten people in my group. But
18 you must know that there were other people living in that village, people
19 who were permanently residents in that village.
20 Q. Now, moving on to the 24th of May, 1992, do you recall the attack
21 or the shelling of Kozarac?
22 A. Yes, I do. I was just there in the village of Javori. Around
23 1.00 past midnight, we heard shots. It was barage fire from automatic
24 weapons from Donja Garevci. From the village of Orlovci, fire was opened
25 on Kozarac which lasted for about five or ten minutes, and then everything
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 was silent again.
2 Q. How many people were with you at that --
3 A. Five or six of us in that group.
4 Q. How long did the shelling or the shooting go on?
5 A. At that moment, it went on for about five or ten minutes, and then
6 there was a lull, and then it was continued in the morning.
7 Q. How long did that take, go on for?
8 A. Later, the shelling of Kozarac, the continued shelling of Kozarac
9 lasted for about 48 hours. There was constant shelling, and shells were
10 coming from a number of different sides. So I'd say about 48 hours
12 Q. That means it went on until the 26th of May, 1992?
13 A. Yes, thereabouts.
14 Q. Did you see any casualties?
15 A. Where I was in that village, a shell fell, and six fellows were
16 killed by that shell. They were sitting together near the village, and a
17 shell landed just in the middle of that group, and those people were
19 Q. Did you know as to what was taking place in the other parts of
21 A. I know that fire was coming from all the different directions. I
22 was informed that infantry and artillery had set out from Omarska and that
23 the civilians who tried to protect the Jakupovici and Kamicani villages,
24 those lines had been penetrated and the population was retreating towards
25 the centre of Kozarac. The same thing was happening in Kozarusa, too. So
1 the whole population of Kozarac and the surrounding villages was
2 retreating towards the centre of Kozarac.
3 Q. What did you do in the place you were in, from Javori?
4 A. As we had already seen that Kozarac would be taken, that it would
5 fall, a friend of mine who was a reserve police officer and myself, we
6 went to a motel near a village where the Kozarac hospital had been moved
7 to. There were lots of wounded people there. I tried to find Becir
8 Medunjanin and Sead Cirkin and see what was to be done, but then I was
9 told that the personnel there had no idea where Becir was. The Prijedor
10 authorities had told the Kozarac police to hand in their weapons so that
11 the wounded civilians would be admitted to the hospital in Prijedor.
12 Later, I returned to the village of Javori and informed the people
13 there roughly about what was happening. Then they left the village, and
14 we also retreated towards the centre of Kozarac.
15 Q. Now, on the 26th of May, 1992, late that day, did a large number
16 of the population in Kozarac surrender?
17 A. Yes, most of the population in Kozarac surrendered. They left the
18 centre. But a smaller area, the place where I lived in that area, there
19 were between five and ten thousand civilians in that area, women,
20 children, in the cellars of the houses there. The army had already
21 entered the centre of Kozarac, the place called Stari Grad in Kozarac.
22 And together with my relative, Hamdija Mrkovic [as interpreted], I
23 discussed the possibilities of what could be done. But he said that if
24 the shelling continued, probably the consequences would be that a large
25 number of civilians, women and children -- that a large number of
1 civilians would end up as victims, would be killed. And as he worked with
2 the police, for the police, he felt responsible and thought he was
3 supposed to do something. From where we were staying at that point, he
4 saw a Serb tank manned by Zoran Karlica, a man he used to know very well.
5 He decided to a make white flag. He sat on a motorbike and went towards
6 the tank. From what I could see, he was talking to Zoran Karlica on the
8 When he returned, he told me that he had received orders to take
9 his car, his wife and children, that he had to form a convoy and lead the
10 convoy, that he was supposed to lead the convoy and no one else.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Arifagic, did you know where this convoy headed towards,
12 went towards, and what happened to them?
13 A. It was explained to him that all those who wished to surrender
14 could join the convoy and that there would be a cease-fire during that
15 period. So these people followed him and surrendered. I learned that
16 they reached the main road, the Banja Luka/Prijedor main road, that the
17 women and children were separated from the men, and that the women and
18 children were then sent to the Trnopolje camp while the men were sent to
19 Keraterm and Omarska.
20 MR. WAIDYARATNE: May this be a convenient time to have a break.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until 11.30.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.58 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.36 a.m.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
25 I have asked to start this part of the hearing in the absence of
1 the witness. I don't really know how come that none of the parties
2 requested this, that this witness could be introduced under 92 bis. We
3 can read on the summaries the words "92 bis" but evidently we rechecked
4 during the break, there was no application for 92 bis. Could we please
5 know why, and is there a possibility, and I would ask for this, that we
6 really concentrate on issues not yet covered exhaustively by former
7 witnesses. It does, of course, not mean that we are convinced by all that
8 what has been said in the past by other witnesses, but we have to avoid
9 too much -- too many repetitions.
10 So therefore, we should really concentrate on the absolutely
11 necessary in the future, if this is feasible for you. But please, if you
12 could indicate the reasons why we didn't get an application for this
13 witness under 92 bis, what are the core issues that we are aware of these
14 core issues we have to expect today?
15 MR. WAIDYARATNE: May I, Your Honour, as I am dealing with this
16 witness. I too, saw that he was going to become a witness under 92 bis,
17 but we did not make that application.
18 He would, as you would see under the 65 ter, would testify with
19 regard to some of the matters that I have already led, and he would be
20 testifying with regard to his experience in the Keraterm camp where it is
21 alleged in the indictment under paragraphs 46 and 47 certain massacres at
22 that took place in Keraterm. There had not been any other witnesses who
23 have testified to that effect.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. One can read this already from the
25 summary, but I think it's not necessary to touch upon once again the
1 taking over the Kozarac television broadcast tower, whether this happened
2 or not, and all the issues related to the area of Kozarac as such. And
3 therefore, I invite, if possible -- of course, I can't restrict you if you
4 believe there's something new in addition to the area as regards the area
5 of Kozarac. But please, then concentrate on the situation in the Keraterm
7 MR. WAIDYARATNE: I would, Your Honour. I have tried my best to
8 restrict the areas. Unwillingly sometimes the witness would speak about
9 certain -- and to have a sequence, I have been asking these questions.
10 But I will make it -- I will try my best to keep or restrict my
11 examination and only refer to the main matters that would be necessary for
12 the trial.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
14 The usher may bring in, please, the witness again.
15 The OTP may proceed, please.
16 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour. Before I start, Your
17 Honour, I have been informed by the interpreters to caution the witness to
18 slow down a little bit while he answers. Could I do that, or Your Honour
20 Q. Witness, could you, when you answer the questions, please speak
21 slowly and slow down possibly that the interpreters could keep up with
22 you. Thank you.
23 MR. WAIDYARATNE: May I, Your Honour? Thank you.
24 Q. Now, we were -- very quickly, we'll go through some areas before
25 we come to the arrest. You were among some of the people in Kozarac who
1 did not surrender or who did not want to surrender. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Why didn't you surrender?
4 A. I wanted to wait and see what would happen because I knew that if
5 I surrendered, that would be it. It was this feeling of uncertainty that
6 I had that made me try and stick around for a while. I still believed
7 that we would be given the opportunity of staying at our homes.
8 Q. Now, did the group that you were in -- you were in a group of
9 people from Kozarac, the villagers, that retreated to Mount Kozara. While
10 you were towards Mount Kozara, you were ambushed at a place called
11 Zeciji Kamen. Do you recall that event?
12 A. Yes, I do. We were ambushed, and in this column of people there
13 were women, children, and civilians. We tried to cross the road leading
14 to Mrakovica from Kozarac, and at the location that we call Zeciji Kamen,
15 we were shot at. According to what I know, 120 people were captured in
16 this incident. They were subsequently taken to Benkovac. Some of them
17 were immediately executed, and some were later transferred to the Omarska
18 camp. Others, women and children, continued towards Kozara Mount. We
19 made contact with Kapetan Cirkin. We found Becir Medunjanin and others.
20 We contacted them because we wanted them to tell us what should we do next
21 and what the next plan would be.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Arifagic, if we go ahead, proceed further, is it correct
23 that you were arrested on the 14th of June, 1992, at Mujkanovici?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And until the 14th of June, 1992, until your arrest, you were in
1 the forest?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Were you armed, or did you -- what did you do with your -- did you
4 have a weapon with you?
5 A. We had hunting weapons which we kept for a while.
6 Q. Did you get rid of the weapon?
7 A. Yes. I discarded my weapon because I decided to cross the
8 Prijedor/Banja Luka Road at one point and went to the village of
9 Mujkanovici. The reason I did that was because I had already received
10 information that my wife, my daughter, my mother, my father, and my
11 brother were already in the Trnopolje camp.
12 Q. Now during this time, did you see any Serb soldiers in the village
13 of Kozarac or the surrounding villages?
14 A. I was able to see Serb soldiers to loot systematically the Kozarac
15 town and the surrounding villages on a daily basis. Anything that was of
16 any value was taken away, driven away on tractors and other vehicles,
17 household appliances were looted. Some of the machines were left in
18 place, the things they couldn't take with them. Those were subsequently
19 destroyed. So the town of Kozarac and the surrounding villages were
20 systematically looted and set on fire.
21 Q. Now, going to the date of the 14th of June, 1992, could you very
22 briefly explain as to what happened at Mujkanovici?
23 A. I went to the village of Mujkanovici because my mother's sister
24 lived there. The village is situated in the vicinity of the Trnopolje
25 camp, and I wanted to meet with my mother there. However, on that day, in
1 the village of Mujkanovici and the surrounding villages, the so-called
2 cleansing occurred. That's how the Serbs called them. These villages
3 were encircled and men were systematically taken away from their homes.
4 The women and children were given opportunity to remain and continue
5 living there in their homes alone without men.
6 Q. Now, when you were arrested, were you arrested by Serb soldiers?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. How many people were there with you ultimately when you were taken
9 away from the village?
10 A. Approximately 40 people in a group.
11 Q. Now, proceeding further, without going into details with regard to
12 what happened during that time, is it correct that from there onwards this
13 group of people that was taken away from the village of Mujkanovici
14 ordered to march towards Kamicani?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. On your way, you all were beaten, you all were asked to sing
17 songs, Serbian songs, by the Serb soldiers?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And ultimately, you were loaded or you were asked -- ordered to
20 board a bus. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes. It happened in the village of Kamicani at a checkpoint where
22 we were stopped. On that occasion, we were harassed and beaten. And me
23 and a young man who was standing at the head of the column were taken
24 away. From what we could hear from the soldiers who were taking us, we
25 thought we would be executed. They said that now you will see how people
1 are executed. But we were taken to a house, a nearby house, where we were
2 ordered to load some household appliances -- unload some household
3 appliances from a truck.
4 Later we heard that a bus had arrived, and apparently the two of
5 us were to be taken back. They made us run. They told us that those, the
6 one who is the last would be beaten up. I was the last one, and I got
7 beaten up, but I managed to get on to the bus which continued on its way
8 to Omarska.
9 Q. Now, the bus that you talk about, did you recognise these buses,
10 or did you know as to where they came from?
11 A. The bus belonged to the Autotransport company from Prijedor.
12 Q. Did you see any sign written on the bus?
13 A. Yes, there was a sign on the bus, on the sides of the bus
14 "Autotransport Company." I'm familiar with this bus because I used to
15 take it when I went to secondary school to Prijedor.
16 Q. Mr. Arifagic, to proceed further skipping some area, you were
17 taken in the buses to -- first to Omarska camp. Am I correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And from there, you all proceeded again, the bus went towards a
20 place called the Keraterm ceramic factory. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, going into details at the camp, could you describe what you
23 refer to as the Keraterm ceramic factory, its location.
24 A. It is located at the outskirts of Prijedor going from the
25 direction of Kozarac, near Cirkin Polje on the right side of the main
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 road. Keraterm is a ceramic tiles factory. It produced and distributed
2 ceramic tiles.
3 Q. Now, talking about the location, is it correct if I say that this
4 was a location on the Prijedor/Banja Luka main road?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Could anyone passing on this main road, the Prijedor/Banja Luka
7 Road, see any persons who were in the vicinity of the camp?
8 A. Yes, very clearly.
9 Q. When you were detained in the camp, did you see movement on the
10 Prijedor/Banja Luka Road, people going in vehicles?
11 A. Yes, we would see them very often, in particular on those
12 occasions when we were taken out to get some food, of which we received
13 always very little. But it was at that time that we were able to see the
14 road. In those days, there was very often fighting in the area of
15 Derventa, and every time a column of vehicles would pass along the road
16 coming from the direction of Banja Luka going towards Prijedor, we were
17 able to see them. We were there. We could see them pass by. We could
18 hear the soldiers singing songs and motioning with this traditional Serb
20 Q. Could you, in your estimate, say as to how far this Keraterm camp
21 was from Prijedor the town?
22 A. Taking into account the location of the town hall, the centre of
23 the Prijedor town, the police station, not more than 2, 2 and a half
24 kilometres, in my estimate.
25 Q. Mr. Arifagic, when you were brought to the camp on the 14th of
1 June, 1992, when the buses stopped, were you ordered to get out of the
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And what did they ask you to do?
5 A. Two Serb soldiers entered the bus, one on the front entrance and
6 the other at the back entrance, and they told us to leave the bus in
7 groups of five or six people. We were made to raise our hands, and we
8 were searched at that moment. Then we were ordered to lie down on the
9 concrete surface and to place our hands at the backs of our heads. The
10 people who were escorting us -- well, we couldn't see them because we were
11 lying down. But we surely did feel their blows and kicks. What I
12 remember very well is soldiers jumping on our backs, going from one to
14 Q. After that, were you ordered to go to any other location or any
15 room in the camp?
16 A. My group was ordered to get up and to run to Room Number 2. They
17 indicated to us where it was.
18 MR. WAIDYARATNE: May I, Your Honour, at this stage request your
19 permission to use an exhibit which has been already marked and admitted,
20 Exhibit Number S15-1.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do so.
22 MR. WAIDYARATNE: And also S15-33 to be given to the witness. If
23 that could be put on the ELMO, S15-1. Thank you.
24 Q. Do you recognise this -- what is depicted in this photograph?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Is this the place that you referred to as Keraterm camp?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. Could you kindly point out to the place that you referred to as --
4 if I may ask you to use S15-33. That would be very much appropriate.
5 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour. The witness is shown
7 Q. Could you point out to the place that you referred to as Room 2.
8 A. [Indicates].
9 Q. Did you, in the time that you spent at the camp, get to know there
10 were other rooms that were also called by numbers? If I may use, call it
11 Room 1, did you know that there was a place which was called Room 1 in the
12 camp, and could you kindly point it out?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You can use a pen or just your finger if it's difficult with the
16 A. [Indicates].
17 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you. Witness points out to the extreme
18 glass area as Room 1, and then the adjoining portion as Room 2.
19 Q. Then, Witness, did you get to know that there was a place also
20 called as Room 3?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Before you came to Room 3, there was an entrance to the toilet.
23 Is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So noting that place, the entrance to the toilet, could you kindly
1 point out to the place, the door, of Room 3, please.
2 A. [Indicates].
3 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Witness indicated --
4 Q. It looks as if it's a metal door. Am I correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, usher.
8 Q. Now, you were asked to go to Room 2. And when you went into the
9 room which is called Room 2, did you see any other persons who were there
10 at that time?
11 A. Yes, people had been put up there.
12 Q. When you say "people," did you get to know who these people were
13 and what they were doing there?
14 A. People were there who had been brought there in the same way they
15 were detained in the camp, mostly people from the surrounding villages of
16 Prijedor. A small number of people from Kozarac, and then from Puharska,
17 Gornji and Donji, from Prijedor town centre, from villages like
18 Rizvanovici, Hambarine, Gomjenica, mostly. Villages near Prijedor
19 Municipality mostly populated by Muslims and Croats.
20 Q. Mr. Arifagic, now you said that you were asked to go to Room 2.
21 Did the others who came with you, the group of almost 40 people, were also
22 sent to the same room?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What would your approximate estimate be of the people all together
25 in the Room 2 at that time?
1 A. At that time, perhaps 200, 250, 300 people. I didn't exactly keep
2 count, but the room was full.
3 Q. And how big was this Room 2, very briefly, if you could explain.
4 A. It was an irregular square, perhaps 30 by 20 metres on the inside.
5 Q. When you were inside the Room 2, could you see outside? Could you
6 see what was happening outside while you were in Room 2?
7 A. Yes. Everything happening at the gate, at the checkpoint, on the
8 way in, the same things were happening outside Room 1, Room 2, and the
9 other rooms. You could see a part of what was happening.
10 Q. Mr. Arifagic, very quickly, could you explain as to what happened
11 in the night. Were you called out that night with a group of people that
12 came with you and what were you ordered to do?
13 A. Sometime in the evening, that means earlier, it was night, and
14 then all the people who came in the last bus, that was us. We were called
15 outside. And once outside, we were ordered outside Rooms 1 and 2 to lie
16 down on the floor, on the asphalt floor, and put our hands behind our
17 head. Then there were beatings and maltreatments, and I was asked to
18 admit, to confess that I was a Green Beret. They beat me. My head, my
19 arms, and my knew were injured.
20 They beat me in order to confess that I was a Green Beret. I
21 tried to put up with the pain, but at some point, I'm not sure why, I told
22 them if I have a green beret I wouldn't be in the camp right now. I would
23 be out in the woods. And then the man who was beating me ordered me to go
24 to the bedroom. And then at the door I was stopped again and I was asked
25 to explain, that is, they asked me about a man who owned a cafe in Kozarac
1 by his name. I couldn't remember the cafe, but after they explained
2 everything to me, I remembered and I told them I knew the man but that I
3 didn't know where he was.
4 And at the same time, just outside Room Number 2, one of the
5 people who arrived there with me Adnan Kljucanin was being beaten. He was
6 lying on the floor. I was standing perhaps a metre away from him. They
7 were hitting him on the kidneys mostly, and they wanted him, too, to
8 confess, that he was a Green Beret. Later, they asked me whether I knew
9 him. I said I did and that as far as I knew, he was not a member of any
10 army or anything. And then at that point, I was ordered to go in.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Arifagic, did you sustain or suffer any permanent
12 injuries by this beating?
13 A. Yes, my head was injured. I was bleeding profusely. My left arm
14 was swollen three or four fingers. It was just a mass of blood. I didn't
15 know what had happened really. I had an injury on my knee also. That
16 wound, too, was bleeding. And during the night, it was hot. The pain was
17 unbearable. And then when the injuries got cold the next day, the pain,
18 again, was great. But then the camp inmates advised me that I should
19 apply some cold water on to my wounds. They told me that would ease my
20 pain. I tried that, but it didn't help very much.
21 Q. Next morning, you were taken to hospital with some other
22 detainees. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You were taken in a van driven by a person whom you knew before.
25 Is that correct?
1 A. Yes. We were taken away in some sort of a van or a minibus. The
2 man who was driving, I didn't know his name but I know that he had worked
3 as a conductor for Autotransport. On the passenger seat there was
4 Zoran Zigic holding an automatic rifle, and we were seated in the back.
5 Q. Did you make out or know any other detainees who were in the bus
6 with you who went to the hospital that day?
7 A. Emsud Bahonjic who had arrived in the camp earlier, and he had
8 many injuries. He was in a critical state. I think there was
9 Jasmin Colic there and other people whose names I can't remember also.
10 But these were people who were all severely injured.
11 Q. You said that there was a person by the name of Emsud Bahonjic and
12 he had many injuries. Do you know as to how he was injured?
13 A. Later, when we were returned from the hospital to the camp, I
14 talked to Emsud. We knew each other quite well from before. And he told
15 me that at the entrance gate to the camp when passing the cabin that was
16 on the way in, Zigic came up to him, tapped him on the shoulder, told him
17 that he was his sniper, that he knew he had had a sniper and that he was a
18 sniper. And then he said that Zoran Zigic and Dusan Knezevic, Dusa,
19 systematically took him out for beatings and in the end forced him to sign
20 a statement in which he confessed to having been a sniper, a sharp
21 shooter. And then they told him afterwards that he would not be
22 maltreated any more. But they only used these signed statements to
23 continue torturing him.
24 Q. Did you know whether Emsud survived the camp or what happened to
1 A. Emsud did not survive. After a couple of days, one afternoon,
2 Emsud died. And we carried his body out towards the guards' cabin. We
3 laid him down there and at night, when we went outside the bedrooms to get
4 some water and to go to the toilet, we saw that his body had been laid in
5 a place we used to refer to as the garbage dump. There was only a roof
6 there on concrete pillars. That was a place to deposit construction
7 material and other sorts of waste. We saw that his body had been
8 abandoned there.
9 Q. Now, at the hospital, were you treated? Were you given any
11 A. No. All I got was I met a nurse who knew my sister-in-law and
12 some other relatives of mine. She asked questions about her. This is
13 Hamdija Arifagic's wife I'm talking about. She tried to obtain
14 information about them, but could not. And then she told me that she
15 would try to help me. What she could do is she gave me some sort of a
16 gauze, a bandage. I put it over my head, and then she gave me another
17 bandage for my arm. She told me to rinse it in cold water and that she
18 would help me to dress the wound, but there was not much more she could
19 do. And she did the same with my leg. And then after that, I returned.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Arifagic, while your stayed in the camp, in Keraterm, did
21 you observe beatings?
22 A. Yes, people were beaten, especially at night. Names were called
23 out, and they were called to come out of their buildings, and then you
24 could hear cries and moans, people weeping. Some of those people never
25 returned, but those who did return were usually in a very bad shape with
1 their arms or legs broken, with bruises.
2 Q. Did you see dead bodies in the camp and they being removed?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Where did you see these dead bodies?
5 A. Most of these bodies I saw after the massacre the first night in
6 Room Number 3.
7 Q. Mr. Arifagic, I would come to that in a little while. Other than
8 the Room 3 incident that we would speak about, did you see any other
9 bodies in the camp?
10 A. Yes. Those were people who after being taken out at night and
11 killed, their bodies were usually dumped in the place we used to refer to
12 as the garbage dump. One night, Fikret Avdic was beaten. The man who was
13 in charge of the bedroom and who was in charge of contact with the guards,
14 he brought him in. But after 20 minutes, Fikret died. In the morning,
15 his body was taken out of the room and dumped in that same place.
16 Q. Mr. Arifagic, very quickly, could you say as to who were the
17 people who were responsible for these beatings? Did you know any of them
18 by names?
19 A. For us, those people were guard shift leaders and the guards
20 there. We didn't see anything else nor could we obtain any further
21 information. It all depended on who was standing guard, who was on the
23 Q. Do you recall -- before we leave this area, do you recall two
24 policemen who were former policemen being brought to the camp in uniform
25 as detainees?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you know the names of these two people, persons?
3 A. One of them was Drago, and the other I think was Fikret.
4 Q. Did you know them before the war?
5 A. Yes, I knew them by sight.
6 Q. The person whom you refer to as Fikret, is it correct if I say he
7 was Esad?
8 A. That's possible. I think his name was Fikret, but I'd only seen
9 him several times.
10 Q. Could you explain very quickly and briefly what happened to them
11 when they were brought to the camp?
12 A. They were brought there wearing police uniforms, the uniforms that
13 the Serbian police was using at that time. They had military boots on
14 their feet. And what they told us is that they had signed the oath of
15 loyalty required right away, on the first day, to the authorities in
16 Prijedor, the people who were in power then. And that after that day,
17 they had been working. But on that day, they told us they were disarmed
18 and brought to the Keraterm camp.
19 Q. And what happened to them thereafter?
20 A. That night, their names were called out. They were taken out of
21 the room. They were the only two people called out. They were outside,
22 and we could hear clearly that they were being beaten. You could hear
23 their cries. Fikret or whatever you think his name was came back alive,
24 but Drago didn't. What happened to him, I can only assume that perhaps he
25 was killed. But Fikret told us the next morning that Drago had, in fact,
1 been killed, that they beat them both with chains and with metal rods.
2 They made them walk on all fours around the building. Drago succumbed to
3 the beatings, and Fikret, I'm not sure how he made it but...
4 Q. Now, Mr. Arifagic, did you see your father being brought to the
5 camp on the 1st or 2nd of July, 1992?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you see him being beaten?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues]... And who beat him?
10 A. He was 62 at that time. In my statement, I said that he was in
11 the Trnopolje camp. As he was 62 years old, he managed to obtain from the
12 Serbian Red Cross and the people who ran the camp a certificate allowing
13 him to take my mother, his wife, and to look for accommodation in Durajci
14 at my grandfather's house. It's one of the villages nearby. That's the
15 village my mother came from.
16 On the 21st of July, that was the last village to be cleansed, the
17 Serbian army came and he was arrested alongside with the other male
18 villagers. He was taken towards the Trnopolje camp. He was beaten and
19 tortured there, and then from Trnopolje, they were transferred in buses to
20 the Keraterm camp.
21 He told me that at the entrance gate to the Keraterm camp, two
22 Serb soldiers boarded the bus and asked him to come out. One of them made
23 him leave the bus and the other was trying to get him back on the bus.
24 And all the while they were systematically beating him. One of them
25 accusing him of having killed his grandfather Radovan on Mount Kozara in
1 1942. However in 1942, my father was only 12 years old, so it's difficult
2 to see how this could have happened.
3 I found him in Room 3. His nose had been broken. I told him to
4 come to Room Number 2 where I was staying but he was scared. He said they
5 would kill me if I go. And then I told him: "You'll be killed anyway.
6 The only chance you still have is to come to the room where I am staying."
7 As he was a sick man and he was having stomach trouble, I thought that if
8 he comes to my room, I can try to see to his wounds, to dress his wounds,
9 and that maybe he would stand the chance of living a day longer perhaps.
10 Q. Later on, he was transferred to Trnopolje again. Am I correct?
11 A. Yes, he was taken away around the 15th of June, the 15th of July
12 from Keraterm. We didn't know where he was being taken to. But I later
13 found out that he was brought to Trnopolje. One thing perhaps I should
14 point out, if I may, the certificate he got from the Serb authorities he
15 showed the soldiers that he had been released. But they told him that he
16 could stick it up somewhere, so due to his being naive, he ended up back
17 inside the camp for a second time.
18 Q. Mr. Arifagic, I will take your attention to the 20th or 21st of
19 July, 1992. Do you recall the prisoners who were there already in Room
20 Number 3 being asked to go to other rooms or Room 3 being cleared during
21 that time?
22 A. Yes. We had orders to make room, that some of the people from
23 Room Number 3 were to be transferred to our room, and we did so. It was
24 difficult to see where exactly they would put these people, but they were
25 just simply crammed into the room, into the Rooms 2 and 4.
1 Q. After this, did you observe people being brought in buses to the
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Could you explain what you noticed or observed.
5 A. People were being brought in buses past the checkpoint on the way
6 in. Something was being written down there, and their documents were
7 being checked. Anyway, these people were put in Room Number 3.
8 Q. Did you get to know from where these people came from?
9 A. Yes, the night when the room was filled, when we couldn't go
10 out -- when we went out of the room, I met some people I knew. And those
11 were mostly people from the area we referred to as Brdo. It's a group of
12 four or five villages across the Sana River just above Prijedor. We
13 called the area Brdo because it's on some sort of an elevation above
15 Q. Did you see the people who were brought there being searched? You
16 said that you saw them being checked and their documents being looked
17 into. Did you get to know as to what they did with these documents?
18 A. I don't know what was done, but I knew that their documents were
19 taken away.
20 Q. From the prisoners or the detainees who were brought in buses?
21 A. Those who came on the buses, and some of the prisoners, too, who
22 were later brought in lorries.
23 Q. Now, these people who were brought in that day were sent to Room
24 3. Were they allowed to come out and contact the other people in the camp
25 that day?
1 A. Yes, on that day, they were. I met some people I knew. I talked
2 to these people. I know that those were people from that particular area.
3 Q. Were they allowed to come out of the Room 3 thereafter?
4 A. No. Later they weren't.
5 Q. Were you allowed to go out, the people in Room 2 and Room 1 and
6 Room 4?
7 A. A day or two later after they had been brought in, we did go out
8 occasionally, but those from Room Number 3 didn't.
9 Q. And on a particular -- couple of days after these people were
10 brought in from the Brdo area, were you all ordered to go to the room
11 early and were locked in thereafter?
12 A. Yes, just before nightfall, we were told to go into the bedroom,
13 to stay calm, to face the wall. There was a grid that was closed all the
14 time on Bedroom Number 2. Only some air could get into the room, but on
15 the other side there was a metal door that could be shut.
16 Q. Did you hear any movement, particularly late in the evening that
18 A. Yes. During that night, around 9.00 or 10.00, you could hear the
19 sound of vehicles coming, lorries. There was a lot of commotion. We
20 could hear the army enter the camp, and then you could hear voices
21 yelling. People were trying to agree on something apparently, but we just
22 stayed calm in the bedroom.
23 Q. Did you hear shooting after some time? Could you explain what you
25 A. What I heard and the rest of us around 11.00 perhaps, or later, I
1 couldn't tell you what time it was exactly. But suddenly, there was a
2 burst of gunfire, not only from light weapons, automatic rifles. So
3 probably those were heavy weapons being used. We could hear sounds of
4 metal breaking, glass shattered. You could hear bullets flying in through
5 the roof. And at one point we heard a voice saying, Don't touch bedroom
6 number 1 and 2. But then we heard cries and moans. It was a turmoil. We
7 heard terrible cries. We could hear sounds of things breaking, being
8 shattered. People were calling each other and asking for help. But we,
9 on the other side, we just kept calm all the time. We were afraid even to
10 breathe too loud.
11 Q. How long did the shooting last?
12 A. The shooting lasted for about half an hour, an hour, perhaps that
14 Q. What did you observe the next morning?
15 A. The next morning, when the doors to our room opened, we saw guards
16 who were looking for volunteers. They said explicitly that they were
17 looking for volunteers that were not afraid of the dead. I think that two
18 men went from my room; they were asked to go to Room Number 3. We could
19 see from our room, because the doors were open at the time, that a large
20 number of bodies were outside Room Number 3, that the whole area was
21 covered in blood.
22 The people who worked inside, we could see them. A very long
23 trailer truck arrived, a 20 or 30-metre long trailer truck, and the bodies
24 were loaded on to this truck. So we were able to observe all this, and we
25 thought that perhaps our turn would come the next day. When this work was
1 over, and when the truck left as it was moving out from the compound of
2 the camp -- I mean, we could see directly the checkpoint from our room,
3 something that keeps haunting me to this day. Something that I often try
4 hard to forget, but I've realised that this is something that I will have
5 to live with. It was the sight of a truck moving away and leaving traces
6 of blood behind. There was blood dripping from the truck, and we could
7 see that it was heavily loaded.
8 After the truck left, a fire engine arrived; that is, a vehicle
9 which had all kinds of cleaning and washing devices attached to it. They
10 tried to wash the area with this vehicle. They tried to remove the blood
11 and to wash off the blood of this area.
12 Q. Mr. Arifagic, were you able to talk to someone, a detainee, who
13 helped in the removal of the dead, the dead bodies, and did he say
14 approximately as to how many bodies were loaded that day?
15 A. I talked to a man whom I knew very well. His name was
16 Jasim Causevic. He was the brother of my brother-in-law, so we knew each
17 other very well. He was one of the volunteers who volunteered to load the
18 dead because those people used to be his neighbours. He told me that
19 there were four rows of bodies piled on top of one another. Whether we
20 are talking about hundreds of bodies, I don't know. I don't know whether
21 those were just parts of bodies or the whole bodies. I'm not sure, but
22 this is what he told me.
23 Q. Mr. Arifagic, after the area was cleaned, the same night, the
24 night the area was cleaned, did you hear again another shooting that took
1 A. Yes. The next night at approximately the same time, the same
2 thing happened again. But unlike the previous night, it didn't last that
3 long. However, at one point, we heard a voice shouting out: "What are we
4 going to do? There are survivors here." And then we heard individual
5 shots, and I started counting the shots. I thought that those were the
6 shots to finish off the survivors. I tried to count them. There were
7 perhaps 42 or 43 shots that I could count, but I'm not sure. After that,
8 everything became quiet again.
9 Q. Did you see the dead being taken away?
10 A. Yes. The same thing happened the next morning, except that the
11 next morning a smaller truck arrived; it was a Zastava 640. The bodies
12 were, again, loaded on to this truck. And then after that, they wanted
13 the people from Rooms 1, 2, and 4 who had wounds to come out. Many of us
14 were wounded. We had various kinds of injuries, cuts, and bruises. So
15 these people came out, and they were also -- they also boarded this
16 truck. And when this was over, even the people, the six people who had
17 collected the bodies, were loaded on to this truck.
18 I saw Jasim Causevic leaving on this truck. He was the last one
19 on the right side. He was sitting on the truck, and he still had this
20 uniform, his official uniform that he had as an employee of this factory
21 where he worked in Prijedor. And they were all taken away.
22 Q. Mr. Arifagic, when you were allowed to go after the first
23 shooting, the Room 3 massacre that took place on the first night -- when
24 you went out, did you see in the area, other than the machine-gun which
25 was permanently there, an additional machine-gun which was brought to the
2 A. Yes, I did. Outside Room 3, there was a path, a road, leading
3 away from the factory. And at the distance of some 20 or 30 metres, there
4 was a table, an ordinary table. And there was a chair behind it. There
5 was a huge floodlight on the right-hand side which can provide very strong
6 light. And the heavy machine-gun was there. It was an 84 millimetre
7 machine-gun which was facing Room Number 3, pointing at Room Number 3.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I just interrupt for a better
10 Witness, you told us after this incident, this first incident and
11 all the bodies were removed by this huge lorry, the same happened the next
12 day. Does this mean that Room Number 3 was refilled, or the victims were
13 such from other rooms of this camp?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. The people in question were the
15 survivors of the massacre that occurred on the first night in Room 3. So
16 the same happened again on the next day, but I'm talking about the group
17 of people who had survived the first night.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So we have first the group you could only give
19 us an estimate of the number. Then there were survivors. And then you
20 heard, just to be -- just for clarification, then you heard a voice
21 saying: "There are still survivors." And then you heard individual
22 shooting. So there was another group of individual survivors, all from
23 Room Number 3.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me try to explain. After the
25 first night, the killing or the shooting at Room 3 occurred again the next
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 night. The one who said those words, that there were still survivors
2 left, was probably referring to the people who had been wounded, the
3 people who were lying there but were not dead. So the next night, other
4 people were killed, and these other people were again loaded on to the
5 smaller truck, together with the people who had collected the bodies and
6 the people who were detained in other rooms and were wounded, and were
7 taken away together with them. After the second night, there was a small
8 group of people still in Room 3 who had survived both nights.
9 So Room Number 3 was full at the beginning. During the first
10 night, a number of people were killed. Then the second night, additional
11 number of people were killed. And then a smaller group of people
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you.
16 Q. Mr. Arifagic, the person whom you referred to as Jasim Causevic,
17 did you see thereafter, after you saw him last leaving in that truck after
18 the second night?
19 A. No, I did not. His name is Jasim Causevic.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 Now, you spoke about the shootings that took place in Room 3. Did
22 you know a person by the name of Simo Drljaca?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you know him before the conflict?
25 A. Yes, I knew him by sight.
1 Q. Did you know what position he held after the takeover in Prijedor?
2 A. He was a commander with the SUP.
3 Q. Did you see him in the Keraterm camp?
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: "He was the commander
5 of the SUP."
6 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you.
7 Q. Did you see him in the Keraterm camp after the shooting?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. Where did you see him, and when was it?
10 A. I think it was either the next day or two or three days later. At
11 any rate, he was at the Keraterm camp. He was standing outside Room
12 Number 1, to the right side of Room Number 1, with a group of people. I
13 remember we were given an opportunity to get out at that moment, and those
14 who were closer to the guards were able to approach him. And apparently,
15 we received promises -- we received assurances from Drljaca. He said
16 something to the effect that this should not have happened, that better
17 control would be soon in place, and that we had his assurances that we
18 would not be harmed again.
19 Q. Who were the others who were with him? Did you recognise any of
20 those people?
21 A. Most of them were guards at the camp, but there were other
22 individuals with him. I remember a man who did not have -- who had only
23 one hand. I don't remember whether it was the left one or the right one,
24 but I remember that he was there. And another one who was a physician.
25 Q. When you say a physician, you mean to say is he a doctor from the
1 Prijedor hospital?
2 A. It's possible that he worked in Prijedor. I think he was a
4 Q. When did you leave Keraterm, the camp Keraterm?
5 A. We left Keraterm around the 1st of August.
6 Q. Where were you taken to?
7 A. We were taken to the Trnopolje camp.
8 Q. Were you taken in buses with others who were in Keraterm?
9 A. Yes. Me and a number of other detainees were taken to the
10 Trnopolje camp. However, before that, some hundred or hundred and thirty
11 people were told to get their belongings and to come out. These people
12 were loaded on to two or three buses. They were escorted by the guards
13 who immediately started beating them. They said that the buses would pass
14 by the sleeping rooms and that people should board the bus as it
15 approaches their room. And that is how a convoy was formed at the exit of
16 the Keraterm camp. We were transported to Trnopolje via Cirkin Polje and
17 Gornji and Donji Garevci. And we eventually reached the Trnopolje camp.
18 Q. Mr. Arafagic, in your opinion, who was in charge of the Trnopolje
20 A. Slobodan Kuruzovic. It's not only my opinion. Everybody knew
21 that he was the one who was calling the shots there.
22 Q. Did you know him before?
23 A. I may have by sight, but I'm not sure.
24 Q. How long were you kept in Trnopolje?
25 A. Until the 1st of October the same year.
1 Q. When you had to leave the camp on the 1st of October, were you
2 asked to do anything to leave the camp? Were you asked to sign any
4 A. Well, if we wanted to be registered with the International Red
5 Cross and leave the camp, we were asked to fill in some forms. We had to
6 submit a request for departure to the appropriate authorities in Prijedor,
7 which is what we all did. I think I still have this decision written in
8 Cyrillic script whereby pursuant to my request for leaving the territory
9 of -- the territory of Prijedor Municipality, this departure was
10 authorised, and also that I thereby relinquished all my property to the
11 authorities in Prijedor. Anyway, this is what we all signed, and it was
12 only after that that we were allowed to leave the camp by bus.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. WAIDYARATNE: That concludes the examination-in-chief. Thank
15 you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask you for our better understanding to
17 introduce the sketch drawn by the witness, the 23rd of October, 1994. And
18 that with the assistance of this sketch where we only can find the B/C/S
19 declaration of the rooms and other facilities, what is the meaning and the
20 situation of the rooms in this area. Could this please be presented on
21 the ELMO.
22 MR. WAIDYARATNE: May I, Your Honour, is it with the number
23 02015259, that's the English version; and in B/C/S, 0174439? Is it a
24 sketch with regard to the Keraterm camp?
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
1 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you. If this is shown to the witness, may
2 I ask a couple of questions, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I don't know whether others in this room are in
4 a better position than me, but I have first of all the B/C/S, and then,
5 yes, some English translation, put it this way, ending with number 259. If
6 you just could go briefly through this sketch.
7 MR. WAIDYARATNE: May I? Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Do you recognise this sketch? Was it drawn by you?
9 A. Yes, it was.
10 Q. I'm referring to the sketch which was the number 00174439. Now,
11 could you kindly show which room you refer to as Room Number 1, point out
12 what you refer to as Room Number 1.
13 A. [Indicates].
14 Q. Room Number 2.
15 A. [Indicates].
16 Q. Now, Witness, do you see Room 3 and the place that you have marked
17 as WC?
18 A. [Indicates].
19 Q. Do you see --
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Is there any correction that you need to do?
22 A. These two locations have been confused. The toilet is actually
23 behind, but they are next to each other. This is probably a mistake in
25 Q. What you -- if I get you correctly, the toilet must be before Room
1 Number 3? You get the toilet, and then after that the Room Number 3. Is
2 that correct?
3 A. Yes. You have to swap these two locations.
4 Q. And then next to the Room Number 3, you have the place that you
5 refer to as Room Number 4.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. If I may ask you, there were machine-gun nests, what you referred
8 to as machine-gun nests. Could you point out to those places? I'm not
9 talking about the additional machine-gun which you referred to in your
10 testimony, but the permanently -- where two machine-guns were placed.
11 Could you kindly point out to those places, please.
12 A. One was here. Outside Room Number 3 looking from the right-hand
13 side. There was a small hut here for the guards to protect them from
14 rain, I think. And the other one was here at this corner.
15 Q. If I correct the first portion of your answer, the first
16 machine-gun area that you showed was not in front of Room Number 3; it was
17 in front of Room Number 1, which is towards the Banja Luka/Prijedor Road.
18 Am I correct?
19 A. Yes, it was always there. And then the second one which was also
20 permanent is this one, where the machine-gun nest was.
21 Q. That was in front of Room Number 3.
22 A. This permanent location was in front of the toilet, outside the
23 toilet on the left side.
24 Q. And you spoke about an additional machine-gun which has been
25 placed on a table and a search light. Is it also marked on the map?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. Which is where it says "machine-gun and a spotlight used for
3 massacre in Room 3." Correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Does that satisfy Your Honour? Thank you. That
7 concludes the examination-in-chief.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You tender this as evidence?
9 MR. WAIDYARATNE: I may. I did not want to because as there was
10 an error with regard to Room 3 and the toilet. Now it has been -- as it
11 has been rectified, may I have the next number.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This would be S277. Objections?
13 MR. LUKIC: No objections, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admitted into evidence as S277A and B
16 MR. WAIDYARATNE: I thank Your Honour.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until 2.30.
18 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.58 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
21 Before I give the floor to the Defence, may the usher please, once
22 again, present Document Exhibit Number S277 on the ELMO, just for
23 clarification, because I am afraid there was a misunderstanding on the
25 To the best of your recollection, could you please tell us as
1 regards the situation of the restroom, toilet, was it situated between
2 Room 2 and 3, or 2 and 4? Was there access to this toilet from two rooms,
3 and please, point once again with your pointer to the exact point where
4 you recall that there was the access to this toilet.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The toilet, it's true that it was
6 after Room 2, but this part of the Keraterm factory here protrudes a
7 little bit. So you can't say that it was immediately after -- immediately
8 next to Room Number 2, but here, at this corner. And then after the
9 toilet come the rooms Number 3 and 4.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it was not in front -- as seen now from our
11 perspective, in front of Room 3, but between Room 2 and 3. Is this
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification to the
16 Now, the floor is open for the Defence, please.
17 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Lukic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Arifagic.
20 A. Good afternoon.
21 Q. We speak the same language. They refer to it here as B/C/S.
22 A. Yes, that's probably true.
23 Q. There might be some difficulty when I pose the question. Please,
24 make a short pause following my question so that the interpreters may have
25 enough time to interpret. Also, if you see me waiting for some time after
1 you've completed your answer, that doesn't mean I'm not happy with your
2 answer; that only means I'm waiting for the interpreters to finish their
4 Can we begin now?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You returned to Kozarac in December of 1992?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you work in Croatia before that time?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were you a member of the National Guard while you were in Croatia?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you bring back from Croatia the weapon that you had used
14 A. No, perhaps I owe you an explanation. The seat of my company was
15 actually in Croatia, but as I have previously said in my statement, I
16 spent five and a half years on a construction site in Libya with my
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter would like to correct the date
19 in the first answer. It's 1991, not 1992.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Thank you. Can you please explain where you obtained the weapons
22 from, the weapons you had in Kozarac.
23 A. The hunting rifle I got from one of the villagers. Plenty of
24 people in Kozarac used to hunt, so many people had hunting rifles. It was
25 a hunting rifle. So when someone came to relieve me at the guard duty
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 where I was, I just leave him the rifle.
2 Q. Following the 30th of April, 1992, how many members of the police
3 force were in Kozarac? I'm talking about both the active and the
4 reserve-duty police officers.
5 A. I could not give you the exact number, but there was a high number
6 of police officers in Kozarac at that time.
7 Q. Would you agree with some witnesses that there were about 100
8 police officers?
9 A. That sounds possible. I did not deal with the police, so I can't
10 tell you exactly how many people there were.
11 Q. Are you familiar with the fact that part of the police
12 equipment -- that the automatic rifle also belongs to the police
14 A. I know that the police had weapons, but I thought that was only
15 for wartime. I did not think that they carried these weapons in peacetime
17 Q. Are you aware of the existence of the Territorial Defence of
19 A. If you mean -- yes, if you mean the Territorial Defence that
20 existed in Kozarac for a while. However, it had been there in Kozarac for
21 a long time, long before the takeover and the beginning of the conflict.
22 The Territorial Defence was led by people who were members of the reserve
23 forces of the JNA wearing uniforms of the reserve forces. So the weapons
24 they had were weapons that belonged to the Territorial Defence. But as
25 far as I know all those weapons were later turned in.
1 Q. When you say "the weapons were turned in later," which moment
2 exactly are you talking about? Which point in time?
3 A. I don't know the exact date, but I know that the Territorial
4 Defence existed in Kozarac for at least half a year before the conflict in
5 Kozarac broke out. Who activated the TO forces, I don't know, because at
6 that point no one was even thinking about it.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 You say that the Kozarac area was surrounded by ten Serb villages.
9 A. About ten.
10 Q. You said you had set up checkpoints facing Serb villages in order
11 to protect yourselves?
12 A. You can choose to call it a checkpoint if you like.
13 Q. Or guard points.
14 A. Yes, we were in the Kozarac area, and we were simply observing.
15 Q. Does that mean that there were at least ten such points?
16 A. You mean around the whole of Kozarac?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. People mainly patrolled of their own initiative through the
19 Kozarac area trying to prevent anything bad from happening and watching
20 who was entering the villages -- the village.
21 Q. You said that the Serb media, particularly after the repeater on
22 Mount Kozara had been taken, referred to the Bosnian army as the "Green
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is it possible that this was -- that this was happening as early
1 as February or March 1992?
2 A. That sounds possible because even that early in Bijeljina and some
3 other places, conflicts had broken out. That was a name they used
4 referring to an army. They called this army the Green Berets, whether
5 this was such thing as a BH army or not, probably not.
6 Q. At that time, did you know or did you learn later about the
7 existence of the BH army?
8 A. I knew about the TO, but I didn't know about the existence of the
10 Q. Did you learn later on about the existence of the Green Berets?
11 A. Yes, after I had left the camp, I heard stories about the Green
12 Berets. But while I was still staying there, I knew nothing about that.
13 Q. Bosniaks and Croats refused to respond to the mobilisation
14 call-ups in 1991. Did you know whether anyone was arrested because of
15 that? Do you know of any such specific cases?
16 A. Not where I lived, but people used to hide, and they simply didn't
17 want to respond.
18 Q. Page 19 of today's transcript, you speak about a helicopter that
19 landed in Balte. And you say that this helicopter brought weapons to the
20 inhabitants of Balte. You say a relative of yours who worked as a police
21 officer in Kozarac informed you about this. When did you learn this from
22 your relative? Do you remember?
23 A. That was immediately prior to the takeover of Prijedor, before the
24 conflict broke out and before the Serb authorities took power in Prijedor.
25 Q. In your statement of 1994 to officials of this Tribunal, did you
1 not state that you had no idea what was in that helicopter?
2 A. That's quite possible.
3 Q. I would now like to ask you something concerning the oath of
4 loyalty. Were all inhabitants of Kozarac required to sign the oath of
5 loyalty to Serb authorities, or were only police officers required to do
6 so? Do you know that?
7 A. As far as I knew, probably what was required was the whole of --
8 for the whole of Kozarac to sign an oath of loyalty. What was implicit in
9 that request, I couldn't tell.
10 Q. You never actually saw this piece of paper that was to be signed,
11 did you?
12 A. No, I didn't.
13 Q. How did you learn about this request?
14 A. Becir Medunjanin and the people who held appointments, elected
15 appointments, in Kozarac were in permanent contact with the authorities in
16 Prijedor. And after that, they informed the people of Kozarac. They
17 asked for an opinion whether maybe in the name of the people of Kozarac an
18 oath of loyalty was to be signed; the people, however, refused.
19 Q. So you did not hear about this over the radio; Becir Medunjanin
20 told you.
21 A. Later I heard over the radio, too, that the population of the
22 surrounding villages - but that was some time before - was called upon to
23 sign an oath of loyalty to the authorities in Prijedor. But during the
24 war and during the events preceding the war, I was informed by
25 Becir Medunjanin that we were actually required to sign this oath of
2 Q. In connection with this, you say: "We had information that some
3 villages had, in fact, signed this oath of loyalty and turned in their
4 weapons, but that despite having signed the oath of loyalty, they were
5 later attacked." Can you tell us which villages exactly you had in mind
6 when you said this?
7 A. Hambarine, for example. We heard that they had turned in their
8 weapons and signed the oath of loyalty, but several days later, we could
9 see the villages burning from Kozarac.
10 Q. Did you see Hambarine burning only two or three days before
11 Kozarac was attacked?
12 A. Yes, I think it was at that time.
13 Q. Did you hear about the incident that took place at the checkpoint
14 in Hambarine?
15 A. They did say something about that on the radio, about the
16 checkpoint being attacked, but I did not know anything more than that.
17 Q. In the course of your testimony, and even now, you mentioned that
18 you were given information about some things by Becir Medunjanin, special
19 information concerning negotiations with SDS officials. You claim that
20 after every round of negotiations, they would go and visit the people on
21 the ground explaining the situation, the situation at any given moment in
22 that period.
23 Q. Will you please tell us how this information was passed on? Were
24 meetings organised, or did they just go from house to house?
25 A. No, we mostly did this in the halls of culture we had in our
1 villages. People would assemble, then they would explain the situation,
2 they wanted the people's opinion, and then they would just leave and go
3 somewhere else.
4 Q. Can you please tell us how many such meetings do you remember?
5 A. In the part of town where I lived, we had two or three such
7 Q. Can you please tell us who attended these meetings.
8 A. The meetings I'm talking about were attended by Becir Medunjanin
9 and Besim Alic. The meetings were also attended by the local population
10 of the respective villages.
11 Q. When you say "the local population," do you mean military-aged
12 men, or do you also imply that women and children attended?
13 A. I think there was no need for children to attend such meetings, so
14 mostly these meetings were attended by men.
15 Q. You say you stood guard in the part of the Kozarac area in the
16 village of Javori.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you live in Javori?
19 A. No, I don't, but I live in the village that's next to it.
20 Q. Who was it who decided or ordered you to be in Javori? Who
21 assigned you to Javori?
22 A. No one in particular. We agreed amongst ourselves that there was
23 no need for guards to sit in front of their individual houses, that we
24 should go to the outskirts of Kozarac and stand guard there and try to
25 protect the population.
1 Q. Did anyone organise shifts of guards?
2 A. It was usually done on our own initiative. When we finished our
3 shift, another group would come, and they would take over our weapons so
4 that the guard duty could continue.
5 Q. Mr. Sead Cirkin, did he make any decisions in relation to these
7 A. Well, in view of his position, that is, the position that he used
8 to have in the JNA, yes, because we all believed that he would be able to
9 do something to avoid the conflict.
10 Q. You say that Simo Drljaca addressed the people after the massacre
11 that occurred in Room 3 in Keraterm. You testified that he said something
12 to the effect that this should not have happened. Do you know who it was
13 that he was addressing? Was he talking to the guards or the detainees?
14 A. I don't think I'm able to tell you who exactly it was he was
15 addressing. He was standing in the middle of a group of people, that is,
16 the people who were there. And the message was passed on us to detainees
17 that what happened was the result of a mistake and that in the future, we
18 would be better protected.
19 Q. One more point from today's testimony, on page 56, you told us who
20 accompanied Simo Drljaca, and you mentioned that there was a man there
21 whose one arm was missing.
22 A. Yes, there was a man there who had one arm missing from elbow
23 down. And he was wearing a white coat.
24 Q. And you think he was a doctor?
25 A. Yes, it was because of this coat that he had that I thought he was
1 a doctor.
2 Q. I've asked you this only in order to clarify a point in the
3 transcript because the record reflects that there was a man without one
4 hand, and another man. But actually, we're talking about one and the same
5 person. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. When meetings were held in Kozarac, the meetings which were
8 attended by Mr. Medunjanin and his collaborators, when he informed you,
9 the residents of Kozarac, on the prevailing situation in the Prijedor
10 Municipality, who organised, who convened these meetings if you know?
11 A. Usually a local resident would inform us that there would be a
12 meeting and where the venue would be, and that there would be some new
13 pieces of information. But mostly, as I say, it was the local residents
14 who would inform us about such meetings.
15 Q. Was it a unanimous decision, the decision not to sign the oath of
16 loyalty to Serb authorities, or was there any outvoting? How was the
17 decision not to sign the oath of loyalty reached?
18 A. At the meetings that I attended, the decision was made unanimously
19 but the Kozarac residents. They decided that the oath of loyalty should
20 not be signed. However, they also stated that as far as we were
21 concerned, the Prijedor authorities could be sure that we would not attack
23 Q. Can you tell us how many days after the takeover the first such
24 meeting was held?
25 A. I don't know exactly, a couple of days later perhaps.
1 Q. Was there ever -- were there ever any incidents at your
2 checkpoint, at the point overlooking the village of Balte, prior to the
3 24th of May, 1992?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Are you familiar with the fact that a large number of people from
6 Balte were mobilised and that they were not in their village at the time
7 but deployed at the front line?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did you ever establish any contact with the population of Balte
10 during these guard shifts?
11 A. Yes, there was a shop not far from Balte. I think that people
12 from Balte came to this shop from time to time, and we would occasionally
13 have a chat. I think that this happened even after the takeover in
14 Prijedor. I mean, these people were familiar to us. We knew them very
15 well. They were our neighbours, after all. Some of them even paid us a
16 visit in Keraterm.
17 Q. Seven days prior to the outbreak of fighting in Kozarac, at the
18 Prijedor/Banja Luka Road, at at least two locations on this main road in
19 the village of Kozarusa and the village of Jakupovici, there were both
20 Serb and Bosniak barricades, roadblocks, that is?
21 A. I don't think we can talk about roadblocks. As far as our side is
22 concerned, those were just regular guards as we had in Kozarac. I mean,
23 those were not machine-gun nests surrounded by sandbags. It was just a
24 group of people who were there just in case of an attack, in order to
25 ensure normal traffic on that road including the population and the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 vehicles so that the traffic would function normally.
2 Q. Is it your testimony today that the traffic was normal on that
3 road at that time?
4 A. At the time, seven days before the attack, no. Up until that
5 time, yes. However, when the presence of the guards was intensified, no,
6 despite the fact that there were no physical barricades on the road. This
7 was practically a response to the setting up of a checkpoint in Orlovci,
8 because as a result of that, we were not able to travel to Prijedor. We
9 were not able to travel to Omarska, so we knew that something was brewing,
10 that something would soon happen.
11 Q. Are you aware of a request issued by the Banja Luka command
12 concerning a passage of a military convoy on the 24th of May, 1992, when
13 the conflict in Kozarac broke out?
14 A. No, I'm not.
15 Q. But you must be aware of the fact that on that day, there was a
16 convoy of military vehicles moving from the direction of Banja Luka?
17 A. Yes, I heard about that.
18 Q. You heard when Kapetan Cirkin was being briefed by a commander
19 from the local checkpoint there, that is, the checkpoint in Jakupovici,
20 who was telling him that a military convoy was approaching?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You also heard when Kapetan Cirkin issued commands to the person
23 who had called him from that checkpoint, that is, when he told him that he
24 shall let the tanks come close to him, close enough so that he could
25 destroy them with a hand-held rocket launcher, with a Zolja?
1 A. Yes, but the convoy did not consist only of tanks, but also of
2 infantry troops. It was not an ordinary military convoy moving along a
3 road. It was a classical military attack.
4 Q. Do you know that at least one of the tanks was destroyed?
5 A. Yes, I think that that's what I heard subsequently that one was
6 destroyed, and that one was put out of order. Whether this information is
7 accurate, I don't know. I was not there.
8 Q. However, it is clear from this command issued by Kapetan Cirkin
9 that he knew that the people manning the checkpoint in Jakupovici had
10 Zoljas at their disposal?
11 A. Yes, that was probably the case.
12 Q. At the time of the negotiations with the Serb side, you said that
13 the decisions that were reached would be transmitted by telephone.
14 A. I'm afraid I don't understand your question. What do you mean by
16 Q. What I want to know is whether the telephone communication was
17 possible at the time.
18 A. I don't think that the telephone lines were operating after the
19 takeover. It's possible that there was telephone communication between
20 the police station in Kozarac and the police station in Prijedor, so that
21 was probably the channel that was used for that purpose.
22 Q. What kind of radio station did you have at your guard post?
23 A. We had this old-fashioned type of police radio station which was
24 improved, but later it stopped functioning because we didn't have
1 Q. But they were working on the day of the attack because
2 Kapetan Cirkin was able to use them to communicate with the checkpoints?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What about your radio station, was it built in in your vehicle, or
5 was it a portable hand-held radio station?
6 A. No, it was just a small portable hand-held radio station.
7 Q. Did the majority of the Kozarac population believe that the
8 situation would be peacefully solved?
9 A. Yes, I believe they did. I think that at the time the majority of
10 the Kozarac residents sincerely wished for a peaceful solution to be found
11 in order for the conflict to be avoided. I don't think that -- I think
12 that more than 90 per cent of us believed that there would not be any kind
13 of conflict.
14 Q. However, the fact remains that at the same time, the population
15 was being armed and that the conditions put out by Serb authorities were
16 not accepted, including the signing of an oath of loyalty?
17 A. I am not aware of any arming of the population. As to accepting
18 the conditions of Serb authorities, I think that what local people
19 considered to be their government were people who had been legally elected
20 at the elections, those who had taken power by force, we didn't consider
21 them as "legal" authorities.
22 Q. It is somewhat difficult to talk about legality and legal
23 authorities at the time.
24 A. Well, yes. I'm not a lawyer.
25 Q. Because then we would have to consider the issue of mobilisation,
1 and we would have to consider those who were not responding to
2 mobilisation as violating the legal request.
3 A. Well, there were people -- I think that the majority of people,
4 Croats and Bosniaks from Bosnia and Herzegovina, we did not want to go to
5 fight war in Croatia. I think that at least as far as I am concerned, if
6 I had been mobilised to go to Croatia and to fight Croats there, I don't
7 think I would have responded to the mobilisation call. We, the people of
8 Kozarac, never attacked anyone.
9 Even today, if you go to the area of Kozarac, you can see for
10 yourself that not a single Serb house had been attacked. We never
11 attacked any Serb villages. I wanted to remain at home. I wanted to live
12 peacefully, and I was naive enough to have moved into my family house 20
13 days before the outbreak of the conflict. I really believed in peace. I
14 wanted to live there with my family. Those were my thoughts at the time.
15 But it seems that I was naive.
16 Q. You may have been naive, but did you notice that other people were
17 sending their families away?
18 A. Are you referring to the people in Kozarac, that they sent away
19 their families from Kozarac?
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. Well, I believe that those people who had means to do that did
22 send their families away. I didn't do that. I didn't feel the need to go
23 and leave my home. I didn't think it was necessary for me to protect
24 myself in any way.
25 Q. Did anyone convey to you the exact request of the Serb authorities
1 from the population of Kozarac immediately prior to the attack? And if
2 so, what was it that was conveyed to us? What was the request made of the
3 population of Kozarac?
4 A. What I learned before the attack was that they wanted
5 Becir Medunjanin and two other residents of Kozarac, the representative of
6 the local religious community, and one other person to come to the
7 checkpoint in Orlovci to talk to Radmilo Zeljaja. However, they kept
8 repeating their request that the people of Kozarac should sign an oath of
9 loyalty and turn in their weapons.
10 Q. Is it true that the majority of the negotiations were held with
11 Radmilo Zeljaja?
12 A. That's quite possible.
13 Q. Do you know whether any minutes of that meeting were kept?
14 A. No, I was not present there.
15 Q. When the delegation returned from the last round of talks, and
16 after they had explained to the people what the situation was, did people
17 as a result of that become even more resolute in their intention to defend
18 Kozarac, or whether they were inclined to meet the requests of
19 Radmilo Zeljaja?
20 A. Well, they still -- they still maintained their position, that is,
21 that they would not attack anyone, but also that likewise they did not
22 want to sign any oath of loyalty or turn in the weapons.
23 Q. Let me now go back to the checkpoints in Kozarusa and Jakupovici.
24 You heard over the radio set that hand-to-hand fighting had started at
25 these two checkpoints?
1 A. I believe that it happened at the Jakupovici checkpoint, that the
2 convoy started moving and the people manning the checkpoint had no choice
3 and started retreating towards Kozarac.
4 Q. Towards the centre of Kozarac?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. At the checkpoint or the guard post where you were, you ordered
7 your people to open fire two by two so that it would look that they had
8 more ammunition than they, in fact, did?
9 A. Yes, because the people in Jakupovici -- at the Jakupovici told us
10 that they didn't have enough time to pull out all the women and children,
11 that the attack was coming from the direction of the village of Balte, and
12 that was the reason why we opened fire. But we didn't have enough
13 ammunition. We thought that if we opened fire, the attack would decrease
14 in its intensity and that it would give enough time to the people of
15 Jakupovici to pull out their women and children out of the area.
16 Q. What is the distance between Jakupovici and the centre of Kozarac?
17 A. The distance between Jakupovici and the centre of Kozarac is
18 perhaps 5 or 6 kilometres.
19 Q. The fact is, therefore, that the fighting that you started did, in
20 fact, keep the Serbs at bay and that it took them two days to reach the
21 centre of Kozarac?
22 A. No, I don't think so. We did open fire, but fighting occurred in
23 Jakupovici as well, that is, on the road, the Prijedor/Banja Luka Road.
24 And the distance between that and the centre of Kozarac is 4 or 5 -- 3 to
25 4 kilometres, that is, from Kozarac and the road where the fighting took
2 MR. WAIDYARATNE: May I be permitted --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 MR. WAIDYARATNE: I'm sorry to interrupt my friend at this stage,
5 but the question reads: "The fact is, therefore, that the fighting that
6 you started did..." There was no such position taken by the witness, just
7 for the record, Your Honour. That's incorrectly stated by the learned
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I tried to -- I wanted to ask the
10 witness about the fighting that he and his men joined in.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The witness never said or stated that he started
12 the fighting.
13 THE INTERPRETER: It may have been the interpreter's mistake, Your
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for your intervention.
16 MR. LUKIC: [In English] And I want to thank the interpreters for
17 helping me.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Do you know who issued the order for the guard
19 shifts to last 24 hours a day?
20 A. When the takeover in Prijedor took place, we knew that something
21 was going on and the decision was made that there should be a
22 round-the-clock guard duty. We wanted to prevent any incident from
23 occurring in the town of Kozarac.
24 Q. At that moment, was the number of guard posts increased?
25 A. Probably, yes. Where we were, the village was inhabited, and the
1 inhabitants also watched the outer perimeter of the village just in case
2 someone was to be prevented from penetrating the village.
3 Q. Were these guard posts positioned at regular intervals along the
4 whole perimeter of Kozarac?
5 A. We didn't have the sufficient number of people to have guard posts
6 proper. Those were patrols of two or three persons, just surveying the
7 situation to keep anything bad from happening. That's mostly how this
9 Q. However, immediately before the attack at your guard post, at your
10 own guard post, there were 50 people. Right?
11 A. 50 people? If you count the inhabitants who were also there, then
12 perhaps even more, but that was an inhabited village, and we who actually
13 stood guard duty, we were perhaps about 10 people.
14 Q. We'll come back to that later.
15 You said at one point that you only took orders from
16 Becir Medunjanin, and Osme, the police chief.
17 A. We obtained information from them on the current situation.
18 Q. Was there anyone in the Kozarac area who was in terms of hierarchy
19 above these two men?
20 A. I don't believe so. I think people mostly talked to Becir or
21 Besim Alic or to Cirkin concerning police matters because those were the
22 people who represented the people at that point.
23 Q. Let me ask you something else concerning the radio sets. How
24 often did you use radio connections to send reports about the situation on
25 the ground, and who did you send these reports to?
1 A. We never sent any reports of the kind. The radio sets were used
2 for us to obtain new information should there be any new developments, of
3 course. We were only receiving instructions to the effect that we should
4 never open fire on anyone or return fire. It mostly came down to just
5 having some sort of a communications system so we could be informed about
6 any new possible developments.
7 Q. Do you remember a situation you described at one point, Zeljaja
8 requested that Medunjanin, Besim Alic, who was president of the citizens
9 club in Kozarac, and other two citizens from Kozarac as well as a Muslim
10 religious leader should come to the Orlovci checkpoint for further
11 negotiations to reach some sort of an agreement?
12 A. Yes, I've talked about this already. That was the last attempt to
13 come to an agreement.
14 Q. Do you know what Mr. Medunjanin replied?
15 A. He replied that the people of Kozarac did not want to sign any
16 oath of loyalty, but that both he and the people of Kozarac could offer
17 guarantees, sure guarantees, to the people in Prijedor that we would not
18 carry out any attacks.
19 Q. Did Mr. Medunjanin try to organise another meeting after this?
20 A. I think he simply informed the citizens about what happened at the
21 meeting, and that's how it ended.
22 Q. Do you know the checkpoints in Jakupovici and Kozarusa, there was
23 a mine field surrounding those checkpoints? Do you know that?
24 A. No, I've never heard of anything like that.
25 Q. I would like to review a completely different area now. Can you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 please try to think back and recall the moment when you were released from
2 Trnopolje on the 1st of October, 1992.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. On that occasion were any conditions imposed on you that you
5 should sign over your property to the Autonomous Region of Krajina or
6 Republika Srpska or was there no talk of that at all in fact?
7 A. I think the signing of the documents we were given, first you had
8 to file a request for emigration, and then you had to sign over your
9 property. I think that was part of the forms, the documents, we were
10 given. And then later on we received a decision stating that our
11 emigration from the Serbian Krajina was approved. Signing the document
12 was a condition for us to leave -- in order to leave the camp. I had
13 nothing to sign over at that moment anyway, because all of my property had
14 been razed to the ground.
15 Q. The Keraterm case, page 1601, when you were questioned by
16 Mr. Ryneveld, I'll read this in English so you get a proper translation.
17 The question is: [In English] "Was there any mention made of your
18 property and what would happen to it?" Your answer was: "No, nobody
19 raised that."
20 A. It's quite possible that that was indeed what I replied. The
21 question really wasn't raised, but the condition to leave the camp was to
22 sign over your property. Had I done this under any normal conditions, of
23 course, I would never had chosen to leave my own country and my home after
24 so many years. I was compelled to file a request for emigration from the
25 Serbian Krajina.
1 And following that, I was not able to return to my home for the
2 next ten years. I'm not sure that anyone in the right state of mind and
3 under normal conditions would do a thing like that, file a motion like
4 that with some local authorities and then go away and leave for somewhere,
5 leaving their home behind.
6 Q. I feel I fully understand how you feel.
7 A. No, you don't.
8 Q. Because I shared your situation. I was in the same situation as
9 you. However, are you today positive that you signed this document
10 signing over your property, or are you not positive?
11 A. No, I signed no direct statement signing over my property to
12 anyone else, but I did sign a request for emigration. And I was sent a
13 decision that a certain committee in Prijedor Municipality approves my
14 emigration, and that I could emigrate of my own free will. But we all
15 know that this was not my will. I was compelled to emigrate; otherwise, I
16 would not have been able to survive.
17 Q. I accept this, and that's not what I'm asking you. I mean, that
18 you were compelled to file a request to emigrate. My question was: Are
19 you sure that you actually signed your property over to someone else or
20 renounced on your property?
21 A. I don't know this, but I know that if I go back to Prijedor
22 Municipality today, I have to file a request for my property to be given
23 back to me because it was taken away from me. I can't go back to my home
24 until I get a permission from the authorities in Prijedor to have my
25 property back, which means that it was taken away from me at some point.
1 The only thing that still remains is the land.
2 Q. But you will agree that this is the legal frame that is valid both
3 in the Bosnian federation and in Republika Srpska nowadays, and that this
4 is valid no matter whether someone has renounced their property or not?
5 A. I'm not sure about the situation concerning laws in Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina nowadays, but I know that when I go there to have something
7 which is mine back, as far as I am familiar with international law,
8 private property is inalienable.
9 Q. In our country, there are lots of things that are not normal or
10 common in the rest of the world.
11 A. Perhaps we should try and struggle to change these things.
12 Q. I fully agree with you, but we must go back to the hearing at
14 In your statement of the 28th of February, 1995, to the
15 investigators of the Tribunal, you contend that you as well as many other
16 inmates were in possession of an ID in the Keraterm camp.
17 A. I did, and I still am in possession of my old Bosnian ID today.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could Defence counsel please be so kind and come
19 back to our formal good habit to quote the page and the paragraph. It
20 facilitates really to come back to this.
21 MR. LUKIC: [In English] I have B/C/S. It's page 4, paragraph 1.
22 But I don't have an English version at all.
23 In English, the paragraph should start: "As far as I remember, at
24 the end of July..." Something like that.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The statement of 1995.
1 MR. LUKIC: 1995, yes. That's the only question I have from this
2 statement, so that's why I didn't want to bother you with the photocopying
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then please proceed.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Are you familiar with the following: The army arriving in the
7 Prijedor area from the beginning of 1992. Did all that army stay in
8 Prijedor, or were most of those units just passing through Prijedor?
9 A. Some of the units were just passing through. The units staying
10 there, I don't know. But this unit stayed -- passed through Kozarac and
11 was stationed for a long time near Mrakovica. Some other units may have
12 been stationed close to Prijedor, but convoys were passing to and through
13 every day. So I wasn't sure about the direction of each and every convoy.
14 Q. Was this also partly due to the withdrawal of the JNA from
16 A. I think so, because that's what we were told, that the JNA was
17 withdrawing from Croatia and taking most -- taking a large share of the
18 units over into Bosnia.
19 Q. I must ask you something that you have been asked before by my
20 colleague Greaves in the Keraterm trial. I will read part of your
21 testimony and I will ask you whether you remember stating that. It's
22 about the 27th of May when most of the people of Kozarac were surrendering
23 to the Serb forces. And you decided to head towards Kozara with your own
24 group and link up with Kapetan Cirkin. This is on page 7, English
25 version, the statement of 1994, paragraph 4. I'd like to quote a piece
1 from the middle of the paragraph.
2 You go on to say: "We passed the road, Kozarac/Mrakovica, in an
3 attempt to link up with Kapetan Cirkin and Medunjanin. As we passed the
4 road at Zeciji Kamen, there was a Serbian checkpoint. A fight then
5 ensued, and about 120 of the persons from our group were arrested. I
6 believe that some of those arrested were killed immediately, and that
7 others were transferred to Omarska."
8 Do you remember having stated that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Is this true?
11 A. Yes. We came under fire, and about 120 people were arrested. I
12 think first they were taken to Benkovac, and then later on to Omarska.
13 Q. The following paragraph, just after this sentence, you say: "The
14 rest of us escaped but stayed in the area. We eventually found
15 Kapetan Cirkin and Medunjanin. They were with a group of about 750
16 people. Some among this group were women. Some of them wanted to attempt
17 to cross over into Croatia, and others wanted to mount a new attack. We
18 opted for a new attack. We split up into three groups with about 250
19 people each. The group I joined attacked Kozarac from Brdjani."
20 So my question is: How many people really took part in this new
21 attempt to liberate or conquer Kozarac, depending on which side you're
22 looking from?
23 A. The group with Becir Medunjanin and Cirkin consisted of about 750
24 people. Some wanted to go to Croatia, but others wanted to return to
25 Kozarac. I would not call this an attack. There was no need for me to
1 attack my own town.
2 On the other side, there were our own women and children who had
3 been taken away. The only thing we could try was to return to our homes
4 in Kozarac. I think there were people who tried to return, but they were
5 the minority, and no one had control or knew exactly how many people were
6 taking part. But then people tried to get into the town. And when tanks
7 started firing again, as well as the artillery, the only thing they could
8 do was retreat again towards Mount Kozara.
9 Q. You described the battle in the next paragraph. I quote: "A
10 fight broke out between the two groups, but when they started attacking
11 with the tank, we withdrew to the area of Kozaracki Kamen. I could hear
12 sounds of fighting near the centre of Kozarac, and I realised that the
13 other two groups had been successful in their attempt to break through to
14 the centre. I later found out that they had been outnumbered by the enemy
15 and that they had also withdrawn from the village."
16 Did you later learn whether these two groups really managed to
17 reach the centre of Kozarac?
18 A. On their way to Kozarac, near Kozarac, near the centre of Kozarac,
19 they came across Serb troops who opened fire, and then several young men
20 were killed, and they withdrew.
21 MR. LUKIC: [In English] Your Honour, I think that I have another
22 half an hour at least with this witness. So should I proceed or...
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No, I think it's appropriate to restart
24 tomorrow; also from the side of the Judges, there are some questions
25 remaining. And let's proceed with the cross-examination tomorrow.
1 The OTP stands up. There must be a --
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: I had an oral motion, a very brief one, if I could
3 make it, unrelated to the witness. There is a report being prepared,
4 there's a draft -- should be available this afternoon, regarding the
5 exhumations that were performed by both the ICTY and the Bosnians in the
6 area that were concerning victims from Prijedor. The report names many of
7 our witnesses, so for that reason I'm asking permission from the Trial
8 Chamber to file that confidentially. It's to the Defence, but not
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No doubt agreed. And I would be more than happy
11 to hear my second language as soon as possible on a video.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: It's available for both parties.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it formally tendered as evidence?
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: No, Your Honour. I'm not -- we weren't going to do
15 that. I can review it again and see. To be honest, I watched it a very
16 long time ago, and haven't watched it recently --
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's come back to this tomorrow. Anything else
18 in preparation for tomorrow? What can we expect in case we can conclude
19 the cross-examination during the morning session?
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: We don't have any witnesses from abroad or experts
21 ready. We have the video that was provided by Witness Sivac which is
22 about 10 or 15 minutes - the transcript is prepared - we could play that.
23 And Mr. Inayat would be available also, if that's an appropriate time.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would you be prepared to cross-examine? I asked
25 you several times during the last month, and now we should take the
1 occasion when you are here.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: We anticipate to be prepared, Your Honour. So it
3 all depends on what his direct examination is. But we look forward to
4 seeing Mr. Inayat again.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Thank you for being prepared. And first
6 of all, I have to thank our witness of today for giving us the information
7 and for being prepared to give additional information tomorrow. Thank you
8 for this. You're excused for today.
9 The trial stays adjourned until tomorrow, 9.30, without any
10 doubt. 9.30.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
13 4.00 p.m., to be reconvened on
14 Thursday, the 29th day of August, 2002,
15 at 9.30 a.m.