1 Monday, 27 January 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
6 A very good afternoon to everybody. May we hear the case in the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. This is case number IT-97-24-T,
9 the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the appearances, please.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian,
12 Ann Sutherland, and Ruth Karper for the Prosecution.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the Defence.
14 MR. LUKIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and Danilo
15 Cirkovic for the Defence.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask how many witnesses will be here for
17 this week. You have concrete knowledge now?
18 MR. LUKIC: We have available three witnesses, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay.
20 MR. LUKIC: We plan that the second witness might take two days,
21 depending on the cross-examination and the questions of Your Honours,
22 so -- we think that we have covered four days.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Four days. So let's wait and see, and we have
24 to come back to this question of witnesses immediately. I just have to
25 inform you that ten minutes ago I learned that there was another -- there
1 will be another extraordinary bureau meeting held on Wednesday at 2.00.
2 Would there be any problem for the parties, in case we would have to
3 switch from morning to exchange with Judge Orie?
4 MR. LUKIC: No problem. We are even ready not to work that day.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I don't share the latter part of your view.
6 The Prosecution?
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: We have no problem with that, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I will inform you as soon as possible what will
9 be possible in the next week.
10 Let me take the opportunity to address some open questions,
11 because when there are problems, they could be discussed immediately, not
12 put under the carpet in -- also in order that the parties know how the
13 proceedings will continue.
14 And therefore, the first question would be for the Defence. I
15 already asked the question on how can we manage to hear 34 witnesses and
16 two additional experts when at the same time we have only 33 days
17 available? Is -- did you already take into account to 92 bis the one or
18 another witness -- did you take into account to take -- to request for
19 taking depositions in order to avoid problems with witnesses not prepared
20 to come to The Hague but, on the other hand, prepared to testify or make
21 use of the possibility of a videolink?
22 MR. LUKIC: For now, we know that two of our witnesses will ask
23 for the videolink. One cannot fly. And another one has some sick member
24 of family and he cannot abandon that member. So for two of them, we know
25 that there would -- there would be a videolink.
1 And regarding 92 bis, we are --
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Step by step. May I ask, did you already
3 discuss this with the Registry? Because I know that establishing such a
4 videolink takes time, human resources, and we need to know this in
5 advance. I think, Madam Registrar, correct me if I'm wrong, a minimum of
6 three to four weeks.
7 MR. LUKIC: We haven't discussed it yet, Your Honour. We will
8 probably discuss it today or tomorrow at the latest.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I should appreciate it.
10 92 bis?
11 MR. LUKIC: We are reviewing our witnesses, and obviously we will
12 have to have some 92 bis witnesses instead of having them live.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We are looking for which -- for the motion. It
14 might be a relative -- a short one, and only that we know what is the
15 basis and -- and may it be discussed amongst the parties before a motion
16 be filed that when there are obstacles from the point of view of the
17 Prosecution, then maybe it's unnecessary to file a motion. If the OTP
18 immediately agree, then it can be a very short motion. I know about your
19 personal workload, Mr. Lukic.
20 What about depositions?
21 MR. LUKIC: Depositions -- we'll know about depositions in three
22 weeks. So today I cannot really tell anything about depositions.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You should take into account that it would be an
24 advantage and it would limit the costs if the depositions could be taken
25 at the same time we have the videolink from -- from wheresoever in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So therefore, please be aware of the link of this
2 problem, depositions to be taken and videolink. Then it might be helpful
3 to address it, this question at the same time.
4 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour, for the advice.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We had -- or better said, in this case - I
6 didn't discuss this problem previously with my colleagues - but when
7 revisiting the transcripts of the last two weeks, I had the problem -- the
8 impression that there were the following problems: First, how to cure the
9 late disclosure. And it transpires from transcript page 10.616, that --
10 not to repeat the same words that the Defence was not amused at all that
11 the OTP has had the opportunity to open their case, to ask questions, to
12 submit new evidence, and to continue to establish their case. And it
13 transpires that, therefore, you would not be asking Dr. Mujadzic and then
14 later on Mr. Mayhew any other questions. Therefore, it should be
15 clarified, the way how to cure these problems emanating from the apparent
16 late disclosure of six statements.
17 First, as a matter of principle and following the rules of logic,
18 it is only possible to hear once again and to re-cross-examine or
19 additional cross-examine a witness when the case of the Prosecutor is
20 reopened. There can't be a cross-examination of a OTP witness within the
21 Defence case. That's also a question of balancing the time. But this is
22 not the predominant question. The predominant question is that in fact
23 there was a possibility to ask questions, to submit new evidence, because
24 here the scenario was different to the scenario related to five other
1 In the case we had before us - and I refer to the line of
2 questions prepared in writing by the Defence - the new questions were
3 emanating from the statement disclosed -- late disclosed but disclosed in
4 August, the statement of Mr. Srdjo Srdic. And there was, therefore, in
5 practice no prejudice at all because Witness Sivac had already been heard
6 at that point in time. Here the intention was to give at the same time
7 the possibility of re-cross-examination but also to avoid that during
8 rebuttal, during rejoinder, or proprio motu by the Appeals Chamber Witness
9 Sivac would have to come another to this Tribunal, and therefore the
10 opportunity was taken to hear him immediately.
11 In case the line of questions to be put on the basis of an
12 additional cross-examination to a witness - and this would be based on one
13 of the five other statements - no doubt we would immediately start after
14 having, as mentioned, reopened the Prosecution's case, with the
15 cross-examination. But there is no impediment at all and there is no
16 possibility to stop the Prosecution to re-examine as usual or the Judges
17 to put additional questions to the witness when called a second time for
18 the purpose of re-cross-examination.
19 So therefore, this distinction has to be drawn only in this -- if
20 the request is based on questions emanating from the five statements taken
21 before the beginning of this case and which should have been available for
22 both the Defence and the Judges, then it is -- if all the other
23 prerequisites are met, to reproduce the status quo ante. I hope that in
24 this connection there are no further misunderstandings that would lead the
25 Defence not to request a re-cross-examination.
1 MR. LUKIC: May I, Your Honour?
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
3 MR. LUKIC: As we said, the aim of the whole proceeding with
4 calling witnesses back is to cure something that was missed on the
5 Prosecution side. There is nothing to be cured. They had the
6 statements. They knew about the facts. They could have asked anything
7 those witnesses immediately. So there is nothing to be cured on their
9 Their questions were put without the Defence having those
10 questions in writing, as was ordered to the Defence. The Defence had to
11 submit the questions in writing, and the Prosecution didn't have to do the
12 same thing. I don't know why that distinction was made. So we think that
13 if the Prosecution evidence cannot be given during the Defence case giving
14 the right to the Prosecution to cross-examine the same witnesses again,
15 then we can agree that only the Defence has the right to cure the damage
16 that has been done to the Defence. So I would agree if somebody can
17 establish that there is any kind of damage done to the Defence with their
18 late disclosure of these statements. And that's why -- exactly why the
19 Defence does not want these witnesses back to allow the Prosecution to
20 have their case in chief during the Defence case. Thank you.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Before giving the floor to the Prosecution, I
22 have to re-emphasise the distinction has to be made between those five
23 statements that were available from the beginning of this case. There
24 it's quite clear. And we requested the line of questions only that we
25 knew whether or not there could have been a prejudice emanating from the
1 fact of this late disclosure, and on this basis we could decide whether it
2 would be for us to re-call -- or request the Prosecution to re-call this
3 witness. This was not the case with the six statements -- sixth statement
4 not available when we heard Mr. Sivac. So this first threshold is to show
5 good cause to hear the witness once again.
6 Then it can be cured by opening -- reopening the
7 cross-examination. But at the same time, the same rules apply, what
8 happens after a cross-examination. On the same scope, what will be
9 covered by the Defence, it is for the OTP to right to re-examine and for
10 the Judges in the same area covering the same terrain to put questions to
11 the witness when a witness comes back.
12 If we are in this second category emanating from the five
13 statements, the Trial Chamber will not allow to add new evidence because
14 this would be then later during the period of rebuttal, but not now. It
15 was due to the distinction we had to make and the basis of what you have
16 shown when you requested the re-cross-examination of this witness. In
17 this case, it was different, and therefore in order -- as stated to avoid
18 a third appearance of this person, we proceeded as foreseen, but I think
19 you will understand this distinction. But now, please for the
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I don't want to repeat what the Court
22 has already said. I would just point out that as to Mr. Sivac, the
23 questions that were written by the Defence all dealt with areas outside of
24 the five statements that were taken before Mr. Sivac testified. None of
25 them had to do with those five interviews which the Prosecution disclosed
1 after Mr. Sivac testified. The questions had to do with the sixth
2 interview that occurred after his testimony and with other evidence that
3 the Defence obtained subsequent to him testifying.
4 The Prosecution questions dealt with matters learned while he was
5 here on the Brdjanin case, but I think all -- if not all, almost all the
6 questions dealt with the newspaper articles which were mentioned in his
7 court examination the first time he testified. He indicated he had these
8 articles and the Court asked him to provide those to the Prosecution
9 because we did a videolink the rest of the day, that was never presented.
10 So it was, in a way, reopening that portion that was left open the last
11 time he was here because we didn't have time for him to retrieve those
12 newspaper articles and to bring them to the Court's attention.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. I hope it's clear now for the
14 Defence how the Court will proceed in future in case there is a request.
15 The question depends on what the line of questions are based. And of
16 course, the purpose of requesting the line of questions is not to ask you
17 for a -- the entire line of questions, if only on the basis of one
18 question it is shown that the threshold is met, that we can reopen the
19 cross-examination. And when it's based on the five late testimony only,
20 we will start with the re-cross-examination immediately.
21 Then another area: It was only last Friday the Defence complained
22 about the facts that previous statements or parts of the transcript were
23 put to a witness, and it was submitted this would not be in line with
24 previous rulings in this case. Having revisited the former transcripts, I
25 think it's absolutely clear that it is possible for both parties and for
1 the Judges to confront the witnesses with all kinds of admitted evidence,
2 be it video, be it an exhibit, or be it a former testimony from our
3 transcript. What was demanded in the past and will be demanded in the
4 future remains the same, to quote correctly without any omissions and in
5 context and adding the page of transcript that everybody can control,
6 whether this was the adequate quotation, and later on when we have to
7 evaluate the evidence, that it facilitates the search for this previous
9 So there's nothing special to put a former statement given by a
10 witness to another witness. It was only the question of the language that
11 I asked the Defence to rephrase a question because it would not be
12 correct, say -- now it's not from any transcript. It's just to give you
13 an example. It would not be correct to quote if another witness would
14 have stated, Would you call him a liar? This is not appropriate, both
15 because it's not the correct way to put the question to the witness or the
16 former testimony to the witness, and it's not the adequate way. It's just
17 serving for the purposes of refreshing the memory of the witness and to
18 confront the witness and maybe this is, in fact, in addition of assistance
19 or an attempt coming closer to the truth. And we would appreciate that
20 always in cases that there is a clear discrepancy between witness
21 statements that already and during the cross-examination by the Office of
22 the Prosecutor these discrepancies would be highlighted and in this way
23 clarified, because for the Judges it's absolutely impossible knowingly to
24 omit to put questions to a witness when we have a clear discrepancy of two
25 witness statements. And therefore, we have to find out, and one way of
1 how to find out the best possible way and how to come as close as possible
2 to truth is to confront a witness with a previous statement given here in
3 the formal form of evidence.
4 A second point, no doubt, is statements. And also here in the
5 past the ruling was that it would be only not allowed to ask out of the
6 blue if any witness would say the following: How would you comment on
7 this? Good cause must be shown and it must be shown that there is an
8 underlying basis for this question. For example, a previous statement
9 given in a formal setting to the OTP made available under 65 ter or under
10 68 or other Rules, but there must be a sound basis for this question. And
11 if so, no doubt also this in the appropriate way and in the appropriate
12 language can be put to the witness. And this is not only reflected in the
13 rulings as such -- I would have a number of examples available -- but
14 the -- I want to make reference to the minutes dated 23 January 2003. And
15 for the purposes of this small section, this strict confidentiality is
17 I quote from this. Here it states -- Ms. Korner objects to the
18 form of question: "What would you say if you knew what Srdic said," which
19 she considers improper. And then it continues, "Judge Schomburg disagrees
20 and states that it's a right of the Defence to ask this question and
21 of" -- "from the minutes."
22 So there can't be any doubt what the position of the Judges of
23 this Trial Chamber related to this question.
24 MR. LUKIC: May I?
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
1 MR. LUKIC: I can state here that I'm 100 per cent sure that this
2 right was denied to the Defence during the Prosecution case. I will use
3 it very often if I were allowed to do it.
4 Now this is introduced to this case when we cannot use this rule
5 any more. We don't have Prosecution witnesses any more. If this is a
6 ruling of this Chamber, we would like the certificate to appeal this
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If this is -- as I emphasised in the beginning,
9 it's not a ruling of the Chamber; it's only an explanation and a
10 compilation of that what can be found on the transcripts and what can be
11 found in the minutes. And maybe you recall, this was already in April or
12 was it the first week of May discussed in the framework of a meeting on
13 the question of leading and misleading questions. And there it was held
14 that a question would be misleading if there wouldn't be a sound basis, be
15 it on a former transcript or a former statement. But there was no
16 obstacle at all, and this was emphasised already in April and May 2002
17 that there's no obstacle at all to put this to witness only if there is a
18 sound basis for putting these questions or previous statements to the
20 It is only a compilation. It's no ruling. It's a summary of that
21 what has been said in this case.
22 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, what the Defence had right is to present
23 to the witness his own previous statements. We were never allowed to
24 present the witness anybody else's statement, never during the case,
25 never. We cannot have -- have a case, the Prosecution case without this
1 right when the Defence should have used it and then have the Defence case
2 with this right for the Prosecution.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think my statement was quite clear that the
4 same ruling was already made in April/May 2002. It's only a summary.
5 May I hear submissions by the Prosecution if they so want.
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, we don't have any submissions because
7 I think we're -- with all due respect to counsel and the Court, it's so
8 general right now that we're not accomplishing much by talking about it,
9 what happened months ago, unless we could point to specific instances. So
10 I think the record speaks for itself. We're confident that the record is
11 complete and supports that both sides have had a right to a fair trial.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Another point is that we -- the Judges and first
13 of all the Defence apparently were taken by surprise to be confronted with
14 three additional documents which not were presented under Rule 65 ter and
15 which in fact tend to be of relevance for this case. The Defence
16 indicated that they would move on this issue. Could you please explain
17 your complaints on this point.
18 MR. LUKIC: I would ask kindly the permission of Your Honours to
19 postpone this until tomorrow, because Mr. Ostojic is in charge of this
20 part, so I'm really not following this closely.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Maybe a submission that may be of assistance by
22 the Prosecution why this late disclosure of these three documents.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I wasn't present in court, but I would
24 say as a general rule where required by Rule 65 ter to provide all the
25 documents we intend to use, obviously at the time we begin our case.
1 During the Defence case, some points became relevant that we were not
2 aware of because we don't know what the Defence is going to put on until
3 they present that evidence.
4 When they do present that evidence, we do not believe that the
5 Rules require us or preclude us from producing additional document that
6 may now become relevant and that we now intend to use but did not intend
7 to use earlier. We think the Rules only require us to disclose Rule 68
8 documents pre-trial at the time and those documents we intend to use. But
9 obviously during the Defence case we may -- documents may become relevant
10 that we did not anticipate as being relevant earlier.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think based on this we may hear the comments
12 by Mr. Ostojic tomorrow.
13 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then this is now in both directions, in the
15 direction of both parties.
16 There were serious complaints on the application and
17 implementation of Rule 91 during the case. I recall the strong complaint
18 by Ms. Korner following the testimony of a British witness, and last week
19 we heard in return some similar complaints by the Defence. Therefore,
20 also here it seems to be necessary to give some general remarks.
21 Unfortunately, Rule 91(A) does not give any guideline when to warn
22 a witness of the duty to tell the truth. Unfortunately, because in
23 numerous legal systems it is the duty for the Judges to inform a witness
24 on the consequences that may result from a failure to tell the truth. In
25 the beginning of a witness statement related to each and every witness, I
1 don't know why in Rule 91 it reads only "may," and it's not mandatory,
2 because normally also a witness should be informed on the consequences.
3 The Defence took the liberty to try to make the statement that
4 based on this application of Rule 91, witnesses would not come to The
5 Hague. I think one should take care that this doesn't become a
6 self-fulfilling prophesy when stating that a witness would not be treated
7 in all the necessary fairness in this Tribunal.
8 And as to the fact that we heard the complaints also from the
9 Prosecution, it should be quite clear that we have only the interest to
10 hear witnesses stating the truth and nothing but the truth, and
11 there should no approach be taken in that way that from the outset a
12 witness from the other side should be regarded as a liar. I don't want to
13 repeat this from transcripts in order to avoid -- to worsen the situation,
14 but it is no doubt the obligation to take care that a witness tells us the
15 truth. And when a witness changes the testimony within minutes, it's no
16 doubt reason enough to give this warning.
17 And what has been said, especially by the last witness, is a good
18 example that the witness does not regard this as an obstacle to testify
19 but really to concentrate and to provide us with that what taking into
20 account the long period of time since 1992 he or she believes is the
21 truth. We take into account that the recollection may change, that it
22 might be misleading, that a person might try to forget, might try only in
23 order to survive -- to forget about all these heinous crimes and,
24 therefore, is in fact without lying not able to tell us what happened at
25 that time any longer. We are aware of this. And we are also aware of the
1 fact that it's difficult, no doubt for different reasons, for both parties
2 to bring witnesses to The Hague. But we can only be interested in
3 witnesses trying to tell us the truth. Otherwise, other witnesses to
4 hear, we are not interested in. But the presumption should prevail that
5 in principle a witness when appearing tries to tell the truth.
6 I thought one consequence could be that the witness does not have
7 the impression that it's specifically targeted against him or her or to a
8 certain group of witnesses, that it could be possible - because it only
9 reads "may" - that it could be possible to give this admonition or the
10 information of the consequences in all cases in the beginning of the
11 statement. But here I would agree that's too late. We didn't apply this
12 standard from the beginning, and therefore we have to decide also in the
13 future on the case-by-case basis giving, if necessary, the admonition
14 under Rule 91.
15 But please may I ask both parties, refrain from giving the
16 impression that "their" witnesses would be treated different and this
17 would then cause an obstacle for other persons to come here. Everybody --
18 every witness is welcome, a witness that wants to tell us the truth.
19 Any comments by --
20 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. First on this, in my system it's
21 also common that the witnesses warrant what can happen if he lies at the
22 beginning. If it's done in the middle of his testimony, then of course
23 that we cannot expect that the witness continues his testimony in the same
24 manner, not to be frightened and not to feel intimidated. Because it's
25 not my words. That's what I heard from my witnesses and that's what they
1 put in the questionnaires they were given by the Victims and Witnesses
2 Unit, that they were intimidated. It's not my word. That's what I heard
3 from them. That's one point.
4 The second point, when we spoke about the review whether the other
5 party can present the questions of another witness to the present
6 witness. On the page 2.995, during the testimony of Mr. Kapetanovic, line
7 1, I said -- line 2, I said: "We are not allowed to compare the
8 statements of the witnesses, Your Honour." Then you replied, "Probably
9 you can rephrase your question."
10 We were not allowed during the Prosecution case to compare the
11 statements of different witnesses, only to compare the statements of the
12 same witness. And we stick with this statement. So we would not like to
13 have our witnesses to be subject to something we did not have right to
14 subject the Prosecution witnesses.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think your quotation speaks for itself.
16 May we turn to Rule 91.
17 MR. LUKIC: We agree that you can warn the witness before the
18 testimony but not every time when you think that it's different from what
19 the Prosecution witnesses said, because our witnesses really feel it as
20 intimidation. They are frightened. Some of them were in the same area or
21 even this area during this period, and it's very hard to convince them to
22 come here. It's very hard for us. We conducted at least 2.000
23 interviews. At the end we had 90 witnesses. Now we have in total more
24 than 50. But we will not have them as well if the same rumours were
25 spread in that area. The papers, TV, radio is spreading only sensational
1 news; they don't speak about substance. They speak every time that you
2 warned our witness, that somebody from the Defence side will be punished
3 because that witness lied. And the rest read it, and they don't want to
4 be intimidated. Nobody told me that he does not want or she does not want
5 to come because she's afraid that she or he could be punished. But they
6 have a feeling that they were not treated equally and fairly, as the
7 Prosecution witnesses were treated. So that's what I heard from them.
8 It's not my statement.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: But then I think it's for all the parties to
10 inform the witnesses correctly and not to make statements indicating that
11 in the past none of the Prosecution witnesses had been warned in the same
12 way and to make a statement that some of their witnesses, OTP witnesses,
13 they showed 20 times that they lied. Because this is a self-fulfilling
14 prophesy. If you make this statement in the courtroom, then no doubt this
15 will be spread around, and you know yourself well enough that this is not
16 true. And I hope that you revisited transcript page 11.068, where the
17 problem was not the one you mentioned later on page 11.069, making
18 reference to page 88, line 19, that it was a mere fact that the witness
19 within only three minutes gave totally different testimony, and this is,
20 no doubt, reason enough to warn the witness. I think you can agree with
21 this. And therefore, I only wanted to make this once again, because I
22 believe both parties should take care that their statements should not
23 become as such the basis for rumours and the basis for impressions to
24 witnesses that they would be treated in an unfair way. Because I think
25 the witnesses themselves, they have a better sensitivity on this issue and
1 they know from all legal systems of the world that when called as a
2 witness, they have to tell us the truth and nothing but the truth.
3 I think in this -- this exercise to find the truth, it's to the
4 contrary extremely difficult to implement Rule 91 because we have no
5 possibilities at hand to react when we really find out -- to react
6 immediately when we find out that a witness did not answer correctly and
7 in line with the truth and did not as, for example, the witness did in
8 favour of both parties the second day correct in part the previous
9 testimony, and this is the reason why to give such a warning. And if the
10 result is that, as I said, in favour of both parties the witness corrects
11 the statements, then it's just fulfilling the purposes of Rule 91. And
12 therefore, we can be satisfied with the outcome, for example, of the
13 testimony of our last witness, and the same was true also in the past
14 during the Prosecution's case. I recall very well when I cautioned three
15 times one witness, and the outcome at that time was the same positive one.
16 So we have to apply Rule 91. And when it states "may," we have always to
17 exercise our discretion and if necessary we will do so, taking into
18 account that we have to show, as opposed to national legal systems, some
19 self-restraint on the basis of the reasons you have given and the
20 Prosecution has given in the past. So therefore, this explanation how to
21 proceed with Rule 91.
22 Any comments on this?
23 MR. LUKIC: I just can hope that my witnesses would not give you
24 any grounds to warn them in the future.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
1 Anything by the Prosecution?
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: No, thank you.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
4 Then finally please don't misunderstand this, but it seems to be
5 necessary once again to remind the parties that they always have the
6 right - maybe sometimes even the obligation - to object to a form of a
7 question or to a question as such, but please do it in the correct way by
8 standing up. And whenever one is on his or her feet, I will immediately
9 take the first possible opportunity to interrupt to grant the possibility
10 to object. But please refrain from interrupting without having the floor
11 because this could have a detrimental impact on the testimony of a
12 witness, and therefore it's only a question of courtesy to wait until the
13 floor has been given to one of the parties. And please always correct me
14 if I'm wrong, if I have overseen that the one or other party stood up
15 previously. I will always follow the order who stands up first has the
16 first right to take the floor.
17 Any comments on this?
18 MR. LUKIC: We will try to follow this warnings and --
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's not a warning. It's just a clarification
20 that in the future as a kind of courtesy also vis-a-vis the witnesses they
21 are not interrupted. Thank you.
22 Anything else to be addressed as general problems? At the moment
23 I am aware we still have to come back to the three documents. But
24 anything else beside this? I can't see no requests.
25 Then as usual, the question emanating from your preparation with
1 the witness. Protective measures requested?
2 MR. LUKIC: No protective measures for this witness today. He had
3 protective measures in the past, but I asked him for today. He said I
4 don't need it any more.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This causes a slight problem. What about the
6 former transcripts and the protective measures there?
7 MR. LUKIC: You may ask maybe him, Your Honour. Maybe he can
8 waive his right to have these transcripts protected. I don't know.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If the OTP would agree to proceed this way.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes. I'm not sure that either, whether we're going
11 to need that transcript or to need to refer to it. But I believe both
12 parties have it, so we can proceed -- yes, we agree to proceed that way.
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If you -- if you could be so kind and indicate
14 whenever you need to make reference to this previous transcript that we
15 then go into private session and discuss this question with the witness.
16 And in case the witness agrees, then we need not ask, under the Rules, the
17 previous Trial Chamber. I think we should be as flexible and as liberal
18 as possible with this. Yes. No further comments on this specific rule.
19 I think -- may I ask the usher to escort the witness into the
20 courtroom. Thank you.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon, Mr. Dragojevic. Can you hear me
23 in a language you understand?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Yes, I can.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May we please hear your solemn
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 WITNESS: GORAN DRAGOJEVIC
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. You may be seated.
7 As you know, you are called as a Defence witness. Therefore, the
8 floor is for Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Examined by Mr. Lukic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Dragojevic.
12 A. Good afternoon.
13 Q. For the record, can you please state your full name.
14 A. My last name is Dragojevic. My first name is Goran. I was born
15 on 18 April 1957 in Prijedor.
16 Q. Where do you reside currently?
17 A. I currently reside in Prijedor in Zmaj Jovan Jovanovica Street,
18 number 12.
19 Q. What was your profession, Mr. Dragojevic, in 1992? What did you
20 do in the spring of that year?
21 A. I drove an ambulance, and I worked in the Prijedor general
23 Q. When did you start working as an ambulance driver?
24 A. I started working as an ambulance driver from 1980 onwards.
25 Q. I would like to ask you something about the events prior to April
1 1992. In 1991 and 1992, did people leave Prijedor municipality? Did they
2 start leaving?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What do you know about that? How much do you remember?
5 A. People started leaving the municipality. They would gather in
6 front of the Patrija department store and the Balkan Hotel. From there
7 they would leave by buses.
8 Q. Who were the passengers on those buses? What was their age? What
9 was their gender, their ethnicity? Can you tell us something about that?
10 A. During that period of time, people who left from in front of the
11 Patrija were mostly Muslims. They were mostly elderly people and women
12 with children. They could easily be recognised by their clothes. The
13 women wore special skirts looking like pants, and the elderly people wore
14 very typical hats on their heads.
15 Q. Can you tell us the name of that hat?
16 A. It's a fez.
17 Q. Is that a French style hat?
18 A. It's a fez, a French style fez hat.
19 Q. In 1991, were you mobilised?
20 A. In 1991, I took my ambulance to Slavonija as driver. So the
21 answer is yes. But soon after that I returned.
22 Q. Were you then demobilised?
23 A. Yes. Some one or two months later I was demobilised, and I went
24 back to do the same job that I did before I was mobilised.
25 Q. Where did you return to? Where did you go back to work?
1 A. I went back to the medical centre, the Prijedor general hospital,
2 where I worked as an ambulance driver, just like I did before.
3 Q. Up to the end of May 1992, were you mobilised again?
4 A. No.
5 Q. So throughout all that time you worked as a civilian driver of a
6 civilian ambulance.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you know that on the 30th of April, 1992 there was a takeover
9 in Prijedor?
10 A. Yes, I know that. I am a citizen of Prijedor, and obviously I
11 knew that.
12 Q. After the takeover, how did the situation differ as regards the
13 previous days? Was there any change at all?
14 A. The situation didn't change significantly. The only thing that
15 was different was the degree of tension. There was a lot more tension in
16 the air, and one could feel it. People were more tense than they were
17 before that date.
18 Q. Was there a killing immediately after the takeover, a killing that
19 you would be aware of at the time?
20 A. Yes. Sometime later, since my job was of that nature and I was
21 often in the situation to see what was happening and I could see the
22 wounded. I had to take them to the hospital -- I heard that a young man
23 had been wounded in Prijedor across the road from Bijelo Dugme by the
24 flyover. And there were rumours in the town that the lad had been
25 wounded -- basically not wounded but killed -- by the son of Miralem Ceric
1 who after that escaped and the police were look for him but couldn't find
3 Q. Do you know the name of the deceased?
4 A. His name was Dzapa Prodin.
5 Q. What was his ethnicity?
6 A. He was a Serb.
7 Q. Do you remember the suit that he was wearing when he was killed,
8 the clothes that he was wearing?
9 A. I don't know what clothes he was wearing at the time, but I heard
10 that he was a member of the reserve police, and I heard it from other
11 people that that's what he was wearing when he was killed.
12 Q. You mentioned the killer's name as well. What is the ethnicity of
13 the person who killed the late Dzapa?
14 A. He was a Muslim. He lived in Urije.
15 Q. Did you hear of the existence of the Crisis Staff in Prijedor
16 municipality, and how were you informed about the existence of that body?
17 A. Yes. I heard of the existence of the Crisis Staff, and I was
18 informed about its existence in the following way: Ambulance drivers had
19 to before filling our tanks with petrol, we had to go to the Crisis Staff
20 and we had to obtain a certificate on which it read how much petrol we
21 were allowed to put into our vehicles at the petrol station.
22 Q. Where would you go to obtain those certificates, and who was it
23 who issued them to you?
24 A. We went to the Crisis Staff in Cirkin Polje. There was a house
25 there. And as far as I can remember - it was a long time ago, mind
1 you - there was Mr. Kuruzovic there and his staff were in charge of
2 issuing the certificates. I don't know their names, I'm afraid. We would
3 then use these certificates to go to the petrol station for petrol.
4 Q. Do you remember when was it that you had to go to the Crisis Staff
5 for the first time to obtain your first certificate? In the month of May,
6 when was it exactly?
7 A. It was in late May, before I was wounded. Around the 25th of May.
8 Q. Are you familiar with the fighting that took place around Kozarac
9 in May 1992?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. How did you become familiar with those events, and what was your
12 role as an ambulance driver around those days?
13 A. As I was an ambulance driver, our task was one day to go to
14 Susici, a village before Kozarac. It was my colleague and I who went
15 there with an ambulance car, and from there we transported elderly people
16 and children. That was our task, and we were said -- we were told to do
17 that if there was a need to transport the elderly and children.
18 When I got up there, I transported from there in five or six
19 rounds altogether from Susici to town or from Susici to the hospital. I
20 remember very well that I transported Mr. Revko Kapetanovic, him, his old
21 mother, and his wife. I took them to the hospital and then from the
22 hospital I took him to his brother-in-law in Pecani. Mr. Kapetanovic
23 worked in the hospital, in the hospital administration. He was the head
24 accountant in the hospital.
25 I don't know any other persons by name, but I know that there were
1 quite a few of them who were elderly and that there were a few children.
2 I took those people to town and left them either with their relatives or I
3 would leave them in front of the youth centre hall, the so-called Mladost.
4 Q. Who was it who told you that your last point of call was Susici
5 and that you couldn't go any further with your ambulance?
6 A. When we got up there, the army was already there and they wouldn't
7 let us through, or at least they didn't let the ambulance through. They
8 told us that it was not safe for us to proceed, that we were supposed to
9 pull over and await further instructions.
10 Q. That --
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Would it destroy your line of questioning if we
12 would ask the witness to point out the concrete area?
13 MR. LUKIC: No, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the witness to put on the
15 ELMO -- sorry, I can't see the exhibit number, but Madam Registrar no
16 doubt has it immediately.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit S14.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: S14. If you could please be so kind and show
20 Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
21 If you could please continue guiding the witness, Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Will you please try to point on this map -- could you please face
24 the map. Try to show us the exact location of Susici.
25 A. This spot here --
1 Q. Which direction is Kozarac?
2 A. To the right. To the right.
3 Q. So on that day you could only go as far as Susici from Prijedor.
4 A. Yes, only this far.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So to be quite clear, because I can't see Susici
6 on the map, it's between Kozarusa and Kozarac?
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Can you actually read the name "Susici" on the map or you just
9 know where it is, so you're pointing to that spot?
10 A. Are you asking me?
11 Q. Yes, I am.
12 A. I'm a driver by profession and I drove by Susici plenty of times.
13 It's a village between Kozarusa and Kozarac. Perhaps between 3 and 4
14 kilometres from the petrol station at the crossroads in Kozarac.
15 Q. So heading from Prijedor, that's -- Susici is before you reach the
16 petrol station in Kozarac.
17 A. Yes. That may be between -- around 3 kilometres, between Susici
18 and the petrol station itself.
19 MR. LUKIC: Would it be an appropriate time now, Your Honour, for
20 the break?
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stands adjourned until quarter past
23 --- Recess taken at 3.43 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
1 Please continue.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Dragojevic, are you ready to continue?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You pointed out Susici on the map, as we have seen, and that's
6 where you went the day people were leaving Kozarac.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. One day before the conflict in Kozarac, did you drive a patient to
9 Kozarac, which route did you take, and why?
10 A. Yes. Not only the day before but also several days before the
11 fighting broke out. But I remember clearly that one day before the
12 fighting in Kozarac erupted, I was driving a pregnant woman and I took her
13 to the centre of Kozarac near the mosque. I left her there, and she went
14 home. A paramedic was accompanying me. If I should state his name -- do
15 you want me to give you his name, the name of the paramedic?
16 Q. Please, if that's okay with you.
17 A. No, I don't see why there should be any problem. The paramedic's
18 name was Irfan Kurtovic.
19 Q. What's his ethnic background?
20 A. Muslim.
21 Q. Did you finish with your previous answer?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. This may have escaped you, but I asked you about the route you
24 took to get to Kozarac and why.
25 A. I drove down the same route you take to go to Banja Luka, and at
1 the crossroads near the petrol station I turned off the road into the
2 centre of Kozarac and continued for Mrakovica as far as the mosque. The
3 mosque was on the left-hand side just before you leave Kozarac. That's
4 where the pregnant woman got off. Before we arrived there, we were pulled
5 over in two different places; first just next to the sawmill. We were
6 stopped -- we were pulled over by a patrol. The people -- these people
7 were armed, and this man, the paramedic who was with me, he told me there
8 was nothing for me to fear, because those were only guards. They stopped
9 us and inquired about our cargo. When I showed them that there was only
10 the pregnant woman in the ambulance, they allowed us to continue our
12 When we reached the centre of Kozarac, we were again stopped by a
13 patrol, a group consisting of several people, and they asked the same
14 question and I gave them the same answer, and they said it was okay for us
15 to continue. The patient left the car there. I turned the vehicle around
16 and drove back to the Prijedor hospital.
17 Q. After the fighting in Kozarac, there is the attack on Prijedor.
18 Where were you in the morning of the 30th of May, 1992?
19 A. This morning I was at the hospital. I was on my regular duty,
20 working as an ambulance driver.
21 Q. When did you receive a call on that morning and what were you
23 A. That morning I received a call at twenty to 5.00. They called me
24 and told me that there was an urgent intervention to be made, an urgent
25 call. So I put on my clothes, because I was in my own room there, the
1 room I was using at the hospital -- I put on my clothes quickly and they
2 told me I should go to the Prijedor Hotel. They said there were patients
3 waiting there to be taken to the hospital.
4 Q. What type of vehicle were you driving at that time as an ambulance
6 A. I was driving a Lada caravan vehicle. It was an ambulance with
7 very conspicuous red cross insignia. Myself, I was wearing a white
8 overcoat, and I carried also a very visible conspicuous red cross sign on
9 my left arm. That was common for ambulance drivers.
10 Q. When you received this request to go and pick up the patient or
11 patients, did anyone tell you what the ethnic background of those patients
12 were or who you'd be driving, or were you simply told that you would be
13 picking up a patient?
14 A. No. No one informed us of their ethnic background nor of the type
15 of injuries that they had sustained. This is not very common, and as a
16 health worker you would know that they don't tell you this, because all
17 patients were equal for us. I didn't know who I was supposed to be
18 picking up nor what their nationality was. For me it never mattered.
19 Q. What time of day was it? Was there light, morning light, or was
20 it still dark?
21 A. I was called at twenty to 5.00, early in the morning, and I took
22 about five or ten minutes to get ready and start off. It had already
23 dawned and visibility was quite good.
24 Q. What happened on the way there, as you were on your way to pick up
25 these patients or patient?
1 A. Something terrible happened, perhaps one of the most terrible
2 thing that is have ever happened to me in my life. I wouldn't like to see
3 this happen to anyone else ever again.
4 On my way down from the hospital towards the hotel, I was supposed
5 to drive straight under the flyover in order to reach my destination, the
6 destination I was told to go to. Driving towards the flyover at one point
7 I noticed a group of people. There must have been between 14 and 16
8 people in that group. They were crossing the street. I drove on, not
9 suspecting anything. When I drove up very close to that group, I saw that
10 those people were armed. There were persons I knew in that group, persons
11 I knew from before, from the earlier times. Unsuspecting, I just drove
13 The very moment I drove past them -- I drove past them by perhaps
14 half a metre with the front of my car. I missed them by half a metre, and
15 I heard sounds of shooting, firearms being used, a barrage of fire. I
16 still remember the sound of the machine-gun, and I felt sudden pain in my
17 right arm, in my right leg, in my left leg, and my stomach. I was driving
18 at perhaps 40 kilometres per hour and the vehicle by inertia passed
19 through the -- passed under the flyover and stopped. But I still heard
20 sound of shooting behind me, and I could hear bullets hitting the car. At
21 this time I was much younger and very strong. I was physically strong and
22 I weighed perhaps about 120 kilos. I tried to ignite again. I happened
23 to be a professional driver. I tried to reignite the car and move it from
24 there. I thought that someone would come running to my aid if I managed
25 to get away from there. So with my left foot and my left arm, I managed
1 to reignite the vehicle. I pressed the clutch and headed off to the
2 Prijedor post office, the main post office in Prijedor. You go straight
3 down a street from the flyover straight to the centre.
4 After a while, I got lost. I was bleeding profusely. There were
5 bloodstains on my white overcoat. My right arm -- I couldn't feel my
6 right arm, and the same goes for my right leg. I didn't notice anything
7 in particular, but I felt a very strong searing pain and I could see
8 bloodstains. Again I tried to move the vehicle. I moved a further 100
9 metres down the road but then the car stopped. The car stopped dead in
10 its tracks and wouldn't reignite. So there I remained alone in the car
11 just lying, sprawling over the seat.
12 After quite some time, someone came and found me there, a young
13 man. He took me to the hospital, but he took the long way to the hospital
14 because, as he later told me, I kept falling unconscious and then coming
15 to. I was taken to the hospital. This young man took me to the hospital.
16 I was administered first aid, and they sent me off to Banja Luka, and then
17 the same day from Banja Luka to Belgrade by plane. I was seriously
18 injured, very seriously injured.
19 Q. What was your speed as you were reaching the flyover?
20 A. It was in the town itself, so my speed was about 40 kilometres per
22 Q. You say that you recognised some of the assailants. Did you
23 notice whether they in turn recognised you?
24 A. Yes. I got a clear look, and I recognised them clearly. Among
25 the assailants there were three persons whom I knew rather well. Among
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 11219 to 11227.
1 those three there was one person whom I knew particularly well, and this
2 person knew me particularly well for the simple reason that I had in the
3 past bought him so many drinks that it would have been impossible for him
4 not to recognise me. He is a native of Prijedor and so am I.
5 Q. How far from the vehicle were the people who were shooting at you
6 under the flyover standing and were they shooting as you were approaching
7 or after you had driven past them already?
8 A. They fired on me when I had just barely driven past them, and you
9 can tell from my injuries, from the kind of injuries that I suffered, you
10 can tell that they were shooting from close range and sort of from the
11 side. So after I'd just driven past them with the front part of my car,
12 as I was still passing, they opened fire on me and on the front seat of my
13 vehicle. They were standing to my right, maybe a metre and a half, up to
14 2 metres. On the left side they were perhaps the width of a lane far from
15 my car and they were standing on the pavement behind the pillars of the
16 flyover itself.
17 Q. Before you reached the flyover, you said you'd seen people running
18 across the road. Which side were they coming from? Which building were
19 they coming from?
20 A. I saw them as I was already beginning to drive into the passage,
21 into the pass under the flyover. They were crossing from left to right.
22 On the left-hand side of the road there is a flight of stairs taking you
23 from the bus terminal and railway station down, and to the right there is
24 another flight of stairs leading up to Puharska and what we refer to as
25 the small overfly. What really happened is that I cut their column across
1 the road in two as they were trying to take up position.
2 Q. Does that mean that at this moment they had already overpowered
3 the people who were in charge of securing the railway station?
4 A. I don't know, but that must have been the case because that would
5 have been the only way for them to reach the flyover from the railway
6 station. The only way to the flyover for them would have led past the
8 Q. Which direction were the attackers moving in?
9 A. As far as I could see, it was from left to right. That's where
10 they were standing. Some of them were on the left-hand side of the road
11 and some on the right. Some of them were crossing. That means that that
12 was their general direction.
13 Q. By taking the flyover, which road did the assailants cut off?
14 A. That's the main road into Prijedor itself, from the direction of
15 Banja Luka and from Bosanska Dubica, from Bosanski Novi, from the army
16 positions, from the hospital, and from Urije, where the police were
17 stationed, the reserve police.
18 Q. Therefore, by taking this position, the attackers on Prijedor cut
19 the town off virtually from the barracks as well as from the place where
20 the reserve police were stationed.
21 A. Yes, that would very much have been the case. And I'm sure it was
22 their aim to take that particular position in order to prevent aid from
23 reaching the town's defenders.
24 Q. You used a sound to explain what the shooting sounded like. That
25 was not reflected in the transcript, however. The sounds of shooting that
1 you heard when you were wounded, was that an automatic weapon being fired?
2 A. Yes, it was automatic fire. But the fire came from a number of
3 different weapons. Judging by my wounds, my injuries, and the photographs
4 that were taken of my injuries, you could see that they used bolt
5 [Realtime transcript read in error "both"] rifles, semi-automatic and
6 automatic weapons, because I had splinters and bullets in me, a very large
7 number of them. I had many bullets in my body and shrapnel.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Could I just ask for clarification. I thought I
9 heard the interpreter say "bolt rifles," but the transcript says "both."
10 I thought it was "b-o-l-t," but I'm not sure if I misheard that.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Yes. The Prosecution counsel is right, "bolt
12 action rifles."
13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this clarification.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. As far as you could see, was there just one person shooting at you
16 or more than one person?
17 A. More than one person shot at me. I saw a number of them in that
18 group. Among them I knew quite a few. And judging by my wounds -- I had
19 32 penetration wounds altogether, gunshot wounds, and it was obvious that
20 the fire came from a number of different sources, that is, a number of
21 people shot at me.
22 Q. We are now talking about your wounds. Can you please now tell us
23 where exactly were you wounded.
24 A. I was wounded in the right upper leg. It was cut into and the
25 bone in my upper leg sustained a damage in the length of 7 centimetres. I
1 was also wounded in the right lower arm. The right upper arm with the
2 collarbone, I still have screws in that bone, and the same is true of my
3 right upper leg. I have an iron plate and 18 screws that hold my leg
4 together and enable me to walk. Then I also had a gunshot wound, a
5 penetration wound, in the left upper leg; in the left lower arm, another
6 penetration wound there. In my chest, also a penetration wound. In the
7 stomach, again another penetration wound. In the neck, another
8 penetration wound there.
9 Q. Did you hear later on how many people were killed or injured by
10 the attackers on Prijedor?
11 A. Yes. While I was hospitalised in Belgrade and later on when I
12 returned, I heard that on that same day 18 young men were killed and that
13 about 36 people, including myself, were slightly or seriously wounded.
14 MR. LUKIC: I would like the usher now to show the witness an
15 exhibit marked by the Prosecution, 65 ter number 452. Sorry, it's the
16 Defence 65 ter number 452, but we got the document from the Prosecution.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. Provisionally marked as D53.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Dragojevic, in front of you you can see a list of people. Can
20 you please read the title of that list.
21 A. "Aggressors on Prijedor."
22 Q. Among these names, do you recognise any of the people whom you
23 recognised on that morning as your assailants, those people who attacked
24 you and the ambulance which you were driving? And if you could please
25 give us the number first and then the name.
1 A. Number 11, Nedzad Babic.
2 Q. Can you also tell us how you know that person and for how long.
3 A. I knew him for a long time. That young man grew up in Prijedor,
4 just as I did. We grew up together. And he together with another man was
5 the leader of that group under the flyover.
6 Number 17, Sead Halvadzic, he was also in that group.
7 Benjamin Jukic. I apologise. Number 77, Benjamin Jukic.
8 Number 100, Edo Cajic, Edin. He was a snooker pool maker, and
9 that's how he was known. He was the second in command of that group.
10 Q. Under 93 --
11 A. Just a moment. Number 93, Agan Sikiric. He was a teacher. I
12 know him well. And he was also in that group.
13 Q. There is no family name Sikiric in this list.
14 A. That is true, but I know very well that his nickname is Agan and
15 that he was a teacher in Hambarine.
16 Q. Do you also know other people in this list, at least some of them,
17 but you cannot identify them as the persons who attacked you on that
19 A. That is true. I'm sure I know them. When I looked at the list, I
20 saw a name under 73, Kadiric from Rizvanovici, also known as Politicki.
21 He was my colleague. We worked together in the hospital. He was also an
22 ambulance driver. I know that already in the year 1990 on the eve of the
23 elections he was always making jokes and he always promised that one day
24 he would become a politician. That's why he got his nickname, Politicki,
25 which means "politician."
1 Q. Thank you very much.
2 MR. LUKIC: [In English] We will not need this list.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It is my understanding that you tender this
5 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I hear objections, if any.
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: Well, there are -- my comments would go to the
8 weight of this document. Counsel hasn't indicated, but it's my
9 understanding it was seized by the OTP from the Prijedor police station,
10 and that's the only source of how it was compiled or who compiled it or
11 what the sources of information of the names are. But I think that goes
12 to the weight given the Court's previous rulings about the weight and
13 authenticity not affecting initial admission we submitted.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Due to -- and following the practice and what
15 was submitted to the parties before starting the case, it has nothing to
16 do with the evaluation of evidence and it serves, no doubt, for a better
17 understanding of the witness before us.
18 Admitted into evidence as D53A and B respectfully.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Dragojevic, after you were wounded, did you have to undergo
21 the assessment of your ability to work? Were you then proclaimed to be
22 handicapped and what is the degree of your handicap?
23 A. Yes, I was retired as unable to continue working. I have been
24 found as being 90 per cent disabled by a medical board.
25 Q. When we announced your arrival as a Defence witness - that was a
1 few weeks ago - you were not able to come at that time. Why were you not
2 able to come?
3 A. The main reason is the fact that I suffered a heart -- a minor
4 heart episode at that time, and immediately after that I got pneumonia
5 because of all the surgical procedures that I had to undergo, and there
6 were 16 of them altogether. And because of the transplantation, that is,
7 the blood that I had to be given during each surgery, my immunity is now
8 impaired so that I am now very prone to all sorts of infections and my
9 heart doesn't work as well as it used to work before all these surgeries.
10 Q. I'd like to go back to the time before you were wounded but after
11 the takeover in Prijedor. After the takeover, did your colleagues
12 continue coming to work?
13 A. No. Many colleagues stopped showing up for work.
14 Q. Did somebody fire them or they just simply failed to show up for
16 A. Some of my colleagues stopped coming to work back in 1991. And
17 the main reason why I had to return from Slavonija was the fact that the
18 hospital sent a request, either a written or an oral request to the army
19 to send me back home, because there were other drivers who no longer
20 wanted to work. That's why I was demobilised in October or in November
21 1991. I don't remember exactly when it was, but in any case, I stayed in
22 Slavonija for a very brief period of time.
23 In 1992, some colleagues left work. Among them there were also
24 some Serbs who no longer wanted to work. Mostly those were the people who
25 had sent their families away from Prijedor or simply moved their families
1 out of Prijedor before the breakout of any conflicts.
2 Q. Those colleagues of yours who did not want to work as ambulance
3 drivers and as a result of that you were demobilised, do you know their
4 ethnic background?
5 A. They were Muslims. And if you want me to tell you, I can give you
6 their names. Kadiric, Blazevic, Delkic, Crnalic. Those are the guys who
7 had worked with me for a number of years before that and all of a sudden
8 they stopped coming to work.
9 Q. You said that there were also Serbs who stopped showing up for
10 work. Can you give us any of their names?
11 A. Among them was my colleague and neighbour who was not a driver but
12 who worked with me in the hospital. His name is Vid Djakovic. He also
13 left work. He -- Vinko Latinovic also left work.
14 Q. Thank you very much. Those who continued coming to work after the
15 takeover in Prijedor, did they continue to work normally as every day?
16 A. During that period of time, we worked in shifts, but there was no
17 public transportation at the time. It didn't function normally. And
18 also, there were checkpoints manned by people in various settlements and
19 neighbourhoods, and there were a number of people who had to work in
20 48-hour shifts. And then the director or our superior ordered us to take
21 these people home, but even we could not drive all over the place. We
22 would take them as close as possible to their homes and then they would
23 continue on foot. Those who lived closer to the hospital had to bear the
24 brunt of that -- the requirements of work at that time because they could
25 go home, change, take a little rest, and come back to continue working at
1 the hospital. It was easier for them than for those who lived far away
2 from the hospital.
3 Q. You are saying that the circumstances were very special and that
4 as a result of that some people had to work for 48 hours without any
5 breaks. The hospital management faced the same problems. Do you know
6 whether a crisis staff was set up at the hospital?
7 A. Yes. Towards the end of that month, the month of May, I heard
8 that a crisis staff had been established in the hospital. Its main task
9 was to facilitate the functioning of all the services in the hospital,
10 starting with the technical services, medical services, and so on and so
11 forth, because of the events that preceded the setting up of checkpoints
12 and roadblocks and due to the fact that people were not able to come to
13 work or leave work, but I cannot remember who the members of that crisis
14 staff were. They were employees of the hospital, but I don't know who
15 they were.
16 Q. You have said that the crisis staff in the hospital was
17 established in late May. Does that mean a few days before you were
19 A. Yes, that is exactly how it happened. It may have been on the
20 24th or on the 25th. I can't recall the date, but I know that the crisis
21 staff was established and that its task was to facilitate the work of all
22 the services in the hospital. I know that they even changed the shift of
23 the guards, because there was a shortage of people at the time. So in
24 order to make everybody's life easier, they had to rearrange the shifts of
25 the guards.
1 Q. Did you hear that crisis staffs were also set up in other
3 A. Yes. There were stories about crisis staffs being established in
4 order to facilitate the work of the companies, various companies, in terms
5 of the functioning of their various services and departments.
6 Q. When did you return from Belgrade after your hospital treatment?
7 A. I returned 18 months later from the hospital treatment in
8 Belgrade. During that period of time, I was at various rehabilitation
9 centres and at the military medical academy in Belgrade.
10 Q. Does that mean that from the moment you were wounded, you were
11 absent from Prijedor for 18 months?
12 A. That is correct. I was away for 18 months after that.
13 Q. After the war ended in Prijedor, did you ever meet a person named
14 Dragan, Tomas? Where did you meet this person and how did you get to know
15 this person?
16 A. I'm sorry, can you please repeat the name.
17 Q. Tomas Dragan.
18 A. Yes. I met this gentleman last year, and I happened to know him
19 quite well because he worked at the graveyard and we used to call him
20 "undertaker." I was a jestful nickname that we used.
21 Last year I think at the beginning last year -- of the last year -
22 I can't remember the month - he came to Prijedor and he would go to cafes
23 that I usually go to, the same cafes, as well as other people in Prijedor.
24 Q. Another thing I'd like to ask you is whether you know Dr. Stakic,
25 what was the first time you heard of him.
1 A. I know Dr. Stakic. I've known him since before 1990.
2 Q. Have you known him personally since before 1990 or had you just
3 heard of him?
4 A. No, not personally. I'd merely heard of him through my colleagues
5 at work, as those were the doctors who signed our orders for -- as
6 ambulance drivers, transport orders. And I heard that there was a
7 Dr. Stakic working in Omarska at the health centre. That was prior to
9 As I reside in Prijedor, in the 1990s I heard of him when the
10 elections took place. After that I heard that he had become the
11 vice-president of the municipal assembly in Prijedor.
12 Q. Were there any rumours surrounding Dr. Stakic's appointment as the
13 vice-president of the municipal assembly?
14 A. Yes. I am familiar with this. The rumour was out that a small
15 man - and I don't mean to offend anyone - from a small village could
16 become the vice-president of the municipal assembly. And we, the natives
17 of Prijedor, were left out. So everyone was asking themselves, how come
18 none of the native candidates were appointed as the vice-president.
19 But I also heard something else at that time: Word was that
20 Dr. Stakic, who was a doctor, had been appointed vice-president through
21 political channels. They said that the coalition that was in power at
22 that time, the coalition between the SDS and his party, had granted him
23 the place of vice-president. His party was not a party that was based in
24 Prijedor; it was based in Omarska. The party was called Radical
25 something. I cannot really remember. But it was not the same radical
1 party that was in Prijedor. I'm talk about Mr. Seselj's radical party,
2 and there were some other people there. Dr. Stakic was a member of a
3 different radical party.
4 And I know about the SDS because I was at this time a member of
5 the SDS. I didn't take part in any of the meetings or anything. Everyone
6 knew what the elections were for. They were aimed at -- to bring about
7 the downfall of the one-party system so that everyone could make up their
8 own minds as to which party they would vote. So my idea was that I should
9 opt for the SDS. I was familiar with their platform and they were my
10 choice. So the story was that the SDS had given them, granted them the
11 position of the vice-president, although the SDS was, according to the
12 election results, entitled to fill that particular position.
13 I also know that during this same period many people in Prijedor
14 were angry. They were infuriated that someone like him, from a small
15 village, a man no one really knew, was appointed to an important position
16 in the municipal assembly. Myself, I don't think it was much of a
17 position, you know, in terms of decision-making. But that's what people
18 in Prijedor were saying.
19 Q. The other people in power, the other people occupying important
20 positions, were all of them from Prijedor?
21 A. 90 or more per cent of those people were natives of Prijedor. The
22 president of the municipal assembly was Mr. Cehajic, Mrs. Cehajic's
23 husband. His wife is a doctor. As far as I remember, the president of
24 the executive board, the late Dr. Mico, also a native of Prijedor. And
25 those other officials were also from Prijedor.
1 Q. When did you meet Dr. Stakic in person?
2 A. I met him in person when I went to the occupational medicine unit
3 to see Dr. Savic, because she was prescribing my therapy and the
4 painkillers they still use, as well as a number of other medications.
5 That was when I met Dr. Stakic.
6 Q. For the transcript - because it is not reflected in the
7 transcript - did you say "when I returned from Belgrade from the military
8 medical academy"?
9 A. Yes, I did. I did say that.
10 Q. Can you tell us in which month, in which year you came back from
12 A. I don't remember the month, but the year was 1994.
13 Q. Thank you. Did you sometimes see Dr. Stakic in cafes, and who
14 else came there? Who was he normally with? Who was keeping him company,
15 if you remember?
16 A. I sometimes saw Dr. Stakic in a cafe, in a coffee house called Kod
17 Pale and also in another cafe called Top, where people shoot pool. I used
18 to go there a lot myself. There weren't many cafes around that were open.
19 Of course people came there, and I could see him too. I'd also see the
20 late Dr. Mico. I saw him quite many times. But he was never shooting
21 pool. He'd just stand there, like myself, and he liked to tease people,
22 those who were shooting pool. Dr. Stakic was among them. A number of
23 people told me that he was a very good player.
24 At the same cafe I saw other people from Prijedor. I saw a number
25 of other people too there, so I'm not sure who you refer to. Did you mean
1 anyone specific?
2 Q. I'll try to specify. When you were spending time in those places,
3 did you ever see Simo Drljaca?
4 A. Yes. Simo would come in with a retinue. They were a group that
5 he socialised with. They would have a drink, and those people he came
6 with were actually his official escort. But he was - how should I put
7 it? - you know, he'd just drop by to have a drink and then he would leave.
8 He never joined the others who were shooting pool.
9 Q. Did you ever see Simo Drljaca in those cafes socialising with
10 Dr. Stakic, regardless of whether they were shooting pool together or not?
11 A. No. I'm talking about what I saw. They didn't socialise, no. I
12 even heard rumours that they were not on the best of terms and that that
13 dated back to a long time ago. I'm not sure how to put this. Maybe what
14 I told you before when I was speaking about a small man being appointed
15 vice-president of the assembly and not even being from Prijedor, maybe
16 that was the source of tension between the two of them, but I know that
17 they were not on very friendly terms. Simo had his own people that he'd
18 usually spend time with, people who surrounded him, that sort of thing.
19 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Dragojevic.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This concludes my examination.
21 Now there'll be questions from the Prosecution and from the
22 Honourable Chamber. Thank you again.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's appropriate to have the break now. The
24 trial stands adjourned until ten minutes to 6.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 5.31 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 5.53 p.m.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
3 Mr. Dragojevic, thank you for answering this line of questions
4 which no doubt were extremely difficult to answer for you, reopening
5 wounds. We are aware they were problematic, and please tell us if you
6 feel uncomfortable and believe that it would be necessary to have an
7 additional break. We would fully understand this. But could you please
8 be so kind and answer now the questions put to you by the Office of the
9 Prosecutor in the same way. Thank you.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Koumjian:
11 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
12 A. Good afternoon.
13 Q. Sir, would I be correct in understanding from your testimony that
14 based upon your experience as an ambulance driver for many years, had you
15 not received medical care when you did, those wounds would likely have led
16 to your death?
17 A. Yes. Had I not been given medical assistance in a timely fashion
18 and had I been taken to a smaller hospital with not as many facilities as
19 the Prijedor hospital, I'm certain I would have succumbed to my wounds.
20 Q. Can you tell us, in 1992 - let's go to before the takeover - how
21 many ambulance drivers were there in Prijedor municipality to the best of
22 your knowledge?
23 A. Prior to 1990 -- and I know how many there were at the hospital.
24 And there was another service, duty service at the health centre but also
25 at the hospital. And even in Ljubija you had ambulance drivers, and they
1 would take people from the medical centre in Ljubija to Prijedor. And
2 then if anyone needed to be taken to Zagreb, Ljubljana, or another medical
3 centre from Prijedor, we would take over. In Kozarac there were a number
4 of ambulance drivers too. The shifts were 12, 24, and 48, about 12
6 Q. Okay. Thank you. You mentioned Ljubija. Do you recall the names
7 of any of the drivers from Ljubija?
8 A. I remember Vinko. I remember another man, just that I can't
9 really remember his name now. I do remember Vinko.
10 Q. Was this other man a Muslim, the other driver from Ljubija?
11 A. Yes. They had four drivers -- four, perhaps more, but four
12 working the shift.
13 Q. Okay. Thank you. If you recall that name later, perhaps I could
14 get it from you.
15 Sir, I want to go back to the 30th of April, 1992, the day of the
16 takeover of Prijedor. Where were you that evening? Did you participate
17 in any of the activities?
18 A. No. I was at home this evening. I remember clearly. I worked
19 the day shift until 7.00 in the evening, and after that I went home. I
20 had coffee with another colleague who worked the same shift as I did, a
21 paramedic, Irfan Kurtovic.
22 Q. When was it that you learned that Prijedor had been taken over on
23 the 30th of April?
24 A. I learned the next day, the next morning. When I got up and went
25 to the hospital, that's when I heard about it.
1 Q. Okay. I imagine - would I be correct? - that on that day you
2 listened to the radio to get the updates as to what was happening. Is
3 that correct?
4 A. No. I didn't say anything specific, and I can't say. But I
5 wasn't listening to the radio. As far as the media are concerned, I like
6 watching football games and I read the sports daily. That's all I used
7 the media for. When I was younger, I was into sports.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. And that's all that's really left with me.
10 Q. Okay. Thank you. So how was it that you learned about the
11 takeover? Was that from colleagues only that you learned information
12 about the takeover?
13 A. When I arrived at the hospital -- my house is some 100 metres or
14 so from the hospital, and I was at the hospital quite often at the time
15 and I worked two or three days in a row. I would only go home to change,
16 take a shower, have a bite to eat, and I would go back to the hospital.
17 So I didn't do 12, 24, 48 hours shifts, like others.
18 Q. Okay. I'm sorry, my question is: How did you learn -- who told
19 you about the takeover and -- let me first ask that question. Who told
20 you about the takeover?
21 A. My colleagues, paramedics, and other staff who were at the
22 hospital, we were having our morning cup of coffee and they told me that
23 on that day Prijedor had been taken over. So I didn't learn it from my
24 fellow drivers but other colleagues in the hospital.
25 Q. Thank you. And who were you told had taken over Prijedor?
1 A. I have already answered that question, I believe. My colleague,
2 paramedics told me that, and then the guards in the hospital were talking
3 about that. That's how I learned.
4 Q. Okay. I'm sorry, my question is: Who did they tell you had taken
5 over power? Prijedor was taken over by who? By the Croatian army? Who
6 took over Prijedor?
7 A. They told me that it was the SDS who had taken over the municipal
9 Q. As an SDS member, had you been -- received any weapons prior to
10 the takeover?
11 A. No, never. I never carried arms.
12 Q. You talked about the fact that you knew Dr. Stakic because you
13 were an ambulance driver and he was a medical doctor. Was it common in
14 Prijedor for people in the medical field to know each other? Was the
15 community small enough that people knew each other?
16 A. Yes, it was normal. Prijedor is a smallish town, and people know
17 each other. That's how I recognise all those people who shot at me. I
18 knew them because I lived in -- I had lived in that town for 33 years when
19 that happened. I was 33 years at that time. And through work I had an
20 opportunity to meet all the doctors. Maybe not all of those who worked in
21 outpatient's surgeries in villages, but those who worked in the health
22 centre, in the occupational medicine, in the hospital, I knew them. It
23 was normal.
24 Q. Would you agree based upon what you observed that medical doctors
25 knew each other and that it was likely that other doctors in Prijedor knew
1 Dr. Stakic and vice versa, he knew other medical doctors working in the
2 town of Prijedor?
3 A. Whether he knew them personally is up to him to answer whether he
4 had contacts with them. But as far as I know, it was not his duty to have
5 contacts with them. Whether he did or not, I wouldn't be able to tell
7 Q. But you just told us that it was common - am I correct - for
8 people to know each other in the medical field and that you, an ambulance
9 driver from Prijedor, knew Dr. Stakic, a doctor from Omarska. Correct?
10 A. It is true that I heard of Dr. Stakic as a doctor who worked in
11 Omarska. I met him only when I returned from Belgrade. That is when I
12 first saw him like I am looking at you now. That's when I first met him.
13 I knew of him before, just like I heard of the famous Dr. Kurjak who
14 worked in Zagreb but I never met Dr. Kurjak personally. That's what I'm
15 saying. I only met Dr. Stakic when I returned from Belgrade from the
16 medical military academy.
17 Let me tell you another thing: This doesn't imply that Dr. Stakic
18 knew all the doctors in the hospital. Only if he had personal contacts
19 with them did he actually get to meet them.
20 Q. Did you as an ambulance driver -- let me withdraw the question.
21 I'm going to move on to another topic.
22 Sir, you indicated that you were -- you went to Kozarac after the
23 attack on Kozarac. Is that correct?
24 A. No. I've already told you that I went to Susici during the
25 conflict in Kozarac. Whether that was an attack, I don't know. There's
1 no way for me to know. I was not in Kozarac. I told you that on that day
2 I went as far as Susici. That is where I stopped the car, and there was
3 another driver with me, Mladen Bogdanovic, and he also drove an ambulance
4 on that day. And I was in Kozarac before that, before the conflicts.
5 Q. On the day that you went following what you call "the conflict,"
6 you passed through Kozarusa. Is that correct?
7 A. On that day, I went as far as Susici from Prijedor. I can tell
8 you exactly where Susici is. On the left and on the right, there were
9 small shelters of the bus stops and this is where people could wait for
10 the bus. Before that, there is a bridge. As soon as I crossed the
11 bridge, I pulled over at the bus stop.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you.
13 A. And I --
14 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but did you pass through Kozarusa?
15 A. Everything that is before Kozarac, I had to go through it. All
16 the way up to Susici, where I stopped.
17 Q. So you did pass through Kozarusa. Some of us are not as familiar
18 with the area as you are, sir.
19 A. Yes, yes, yes.
20 Q. And on that day, you transported individuals, some elderly, I
21 believe you said, and some women, to the town of Prijedor. Is that
23 A. Yes, I transported people from there to the hospital. There were
24 people who also went on foot, and they were exhausted from walking. It
25 was very hot. So I took them in the ambulance -- I took them to the
1 hospital to be seen by the doctors. Those who didn't want to go to the
2 hospital, I took them to their relatives downtown, to their friends. Some
3 of them I took and left in front of the sports hall. And Mr. Kapetanovic,
4 I took him personally to his brother's -- to his wife's brother's.
5 Q. Do you know what happened to the people that were left at the
6 sports hall?
7 A. No, I don't know what happened to them.
8 Q. Can you tell us to the best of your recollection what day this
9 was? And to help you out, I'll remind you that the 24th of May was a
11 A. I can't remember the exact date or day, but I can tell you that it
12 was either the 24th or the 25th. It was then -- you have to understand
13 that after all I have been through, some dates escape me. But I can give
14 you a rough estimate of the time when that happened.
15 Q. That's certainly understandable. Was it then after -- sir, did
16 you see or hear about the shelling of Kozarac?
17 A. I heard later on. I heard shots and gunfire. But whether it was
18 Kozarac that was shelled, I don't know, because after that I didn't go to
19 Kozarac and soon after that I was wounded.
20 Q. When you went to -- was it -- I may mispronounce it -- Susici?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Susici.
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: Susici. Thank you.
23 Q. When you went to Susici and passed through Kozarusa, did you see
24 the effect of shelling or of burning of houses?
25 A. By the road I didn't see anything to that effect. And when we
1 reached Susici, the army stopped us because it wasn't safe to go any
2 further. And that is where we took the people that we were supposed to
3 transport either to Prijedor or to the hospital.
4 Q. This day that you went to Susici, was this at the end of a 48-hour
5 shift? Was it the second day of your shift? Was it the beginning of your
6 shift? Can you tell us if you were working the day before?
7 A. Let me tell you. Before these conflicts, I've already told you
8 there were very few drivers in the hospital, and that's why I was
9 demobilised and I returned from Slavonija. I worked practically all the
10 time in the hospital with two other colleagues of mine who even slept
11 there, and I went home from time to time to either have a bath or have a
12 bite to eat, and then half an hour later I would return to the hospital to
13 continue working. My house was very close. That's why I could go home.
14 But having said that, I can also tell you that I was present at the
15 hospital practically all the time.
16 Q. Thank you. So, sir, having been present at the hospital almost
17 all the time, would it be correct that what you've told us about the
18 people you transported from the Kozarac area - I know you said it was from
19 Susici - that those were -- and you've told us about all the people that
20 you transported from that area over those few days of the 24th, 25th, 26th
21 of May, 1992. Would that be correct?
22 A. I'm afraid I didn't understand your question. What was the
23 question, whether it was correct that I transported these people? Yes, I
24 did transport them to the hospital to Pecani, and some I left in front of
25 the sports hall.
1 Q. Okay. The persons that you transported, were they wounded?
2 A. No. They were -- may I? May I continue?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. They were elderly people who had walked from Kozarac to Susici.
5 There were also women carrying children, and those were the people who
6 could not walk any further, who said they needed medical attention, and
7 our superiors had given us the task to transport all such people to the
8 hospital for medical check-ups or to their relatives, if they expressed
9 the wish to go to their relatives rather than to the hospital.
10 Q. Thank you. During the previous day, did you ever transport any
11 wounded persons from the Brdo region, from Hambarine or surrounding
13 A. On the previous days I did not transport any wounded, either from
14 Brdo or wherever you say. On the previous days I took a pregnant lady to
15 Kozarac. I was accompanied by a paramedic.
16 Q. Okay. I'm just stopping you because you've answered my question,
17 and you've already told us about transporting the pregnant woman.
18 Sir, I understand that you told us that you viewed your job as to
19 help anyone who was injured, regardless of their ethnicity. If you had
20 received permission -- let me first ask you: Do you know a Dr. Idriz
21 Merdzanic who was from Prijedor but was working in Kozarac when the
22 shelling began?
23 A. I didn't know the doctor personally, but I heard that there were
24 doctors, many doctors up there, but I didn't know him personally.
25 Q. Did you become aware that Dr. Merdzanic asked Colonel Zeljaja to
1 allow the evacuation of two dying children from Kozarac?
2 A. No.
3 Q. If you had been made aware of that, you would have taken those
4 children to the hospital; correct?
5 A. If they had been down there in Susici, of course I would have
6 taken all of them.
7 Q. Doctor, you said that after -- excuse me. Sir, you said that
8 after Dr. Stakic was named the vice-president of the municipality, people
9 said some insulting things about that appointment and used words to the
10 effect of "a small man from a small village was in such an important
11 position." Would it be correct that you felt that those were insulting
13 A. Yes, they were insulting. However, at that time, as far as these
14 people are concerned, they had the right to express their opinion because
15 they felt sorry that somebody from a village made it to the municipality,
16 and there were people in the town, and it was well known at the time why
17 Dr. Stakic came and that was because the SDS gave his party a position in
18 the municipal assembly. That was the story that could be heard in town.
19 Q. And this man who was described as a small man from a small village
20 rose to become the president of the Serbian Municipality of Prijedor not
21 once but two times; correct?
22 A. I wouldn't know because I don't know what happened once I had to
23 go to the VMA. When I left, he was the vice-president of the municipal
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Just one minor question related to
2 your testimony on page 24, line 15 and following -- it's only for
3 informing the parties what I'm discussing you. You need not take care
4 that we are referring to our transcript.
5 Questioned by the Court:
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: At that previous -- during your
7 examination-in-chief you mentioned that once you went to the Crisis Staff
8 in Cirkin Polje. "There was a house there, and as far as I can
9 remember - it was a long time ago, mind you - there was Mr. Kuruzovic
10 there and his staff were in charge of issuing certificates." Can you
11 please tell us - you mentioned it was in the month of May - was this a
12 permanent institution, a permanent building where the Crisis Staff resided
13 in Cirkin Polje?
14 A. That building is close to where I live. It was just an ordinary
15 house that was adapted and turned into a storage or a warehouse. In the
16 front of the building, there was an office and visitors and clients would
17 go into that office. We did the same whenever we went there to fetch the
18 certificates for petrol.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I still don't have any kind of image of this
20 building. Can you tell us the size of this building, how many floors, how
21 many rooms approximately?
22 A. It had a ground floor and a first floor. How many rooms it had, I
23 don't know. I only went there on official business, and I would only
24 enter the front room. I would get the certificate. I would sign the
25 receipt, and with that certificate I could get petrol. At that time there
1 was a shortage of fuel, and I believe that it was their task to supervise
2 the rational use of petrol. I was not the only one who went there as an
3 ambulance driver. I also saw the drivers who worked for the fire brigade
4 and also civilians who needed petrol to maybe go to Banja Luka or some
5 business or elsewhere. So there were other people besides me who went to
6 that house.
7 It is just an ordinary family house. I even know the owner of
8 that house. His last name is Sabljic. It used to be his house.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: At that time was the house specially marked,
10 that everybody knew this was a building of the Crisis Staff? Were there
11 special emblems or insignia at the building?
12 A. I didn't notice any marks, but since I know the area -- I lived
13 there in the vicinity -- I was told that the Crisis Staff was up there and
14 that I could go there to get the certificate.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To the best of your recollection - I know it's
16 more than ten years now - who told you? In concreto, who was the person
17 telling you this was the building of the Crisis Staff?
18 A. My boss. The person who was in charge of all the ambulance
19 vehicles, he told me to go to Cirkin Polje. And let me tell you. This is
20 Mr. Sabljic's house, and the company was Merkator based in Slovenia and
21 this is where they bought mushrooms grown -- from growers. And that's how
22 the company -- it was known as the house where this company had its
23 premises and also that was the house where the Crisis Staff issued petrol
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So it's your testimony that it was limited to
1 issue petrol certificates; correct?
2 A. The only purpose of my going there were petrol certificates.
3 That's where we could obtain them. And that was the sole purpose of my
4 visits to that house.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to repeat the question. I fully
6 understood that for you it was the sole purpose, but were there also other
7 people requesting other certificates on other issues issued by the Crisis
9 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you that. I really don't know.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Once again, because my question was not that
11 clear: Could one read at the entrance door or somewhere else on the
12 building the words "Crisis Staff"?
13 A. Yes. I think at the main door, the main entrance, there was a
14 cardboard sign, if I remember correctly, which said "Crisis Staff." As
15 soon as you approached the door, someone would be there to ask you who you
16 were there to see or what it was that you needed. And I told the person
17 immediately that I needed the certificate, so it only took them a short
18 while to get one for me. And then I went straight off to the petrol
19 station to get petrol. Both myself and the other two colleagues who
20 worked with me, they would also go there to fetch their certificates.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And on the certificate as such, one could read
22 that it was issued by the Crisis Staff; correct?
23 A. Yes. Yes.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To the best of your recollection, when was it
25 that the first time you went to this building?
1 A. I believe the first time was around the 23rd or thereabouts. And
2 after that I went twice or three times perhaps because we were taking
3 patients from the hospital to Banja Luka.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: If it's reflected correctly on the transcript,
5 23rd would be 23rd of May, 1992; correct?
6 A. Yes, correct.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I have no additional questions myself.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Good afternoon, sir. I hope I have only one
10 question for you.
11 A. Good afternoon.
12 JUDGE ARGIBAY: You remember you told us about a young man being
13 killed who was a Serb and you told us also that you knew the killer who
14 was the son of some Muslim. That was on page 24, line 10 for the parties.
15 This killer, was ever brought to court? Was prosecuted, indicted,
16 or something?
17 A. Whether ever an indictment was issued against him, I don't know.
18 These are legal matters. I know nothing about that. But as far as I
19 know, he was never even brought in to the police station, the SUP.
20 JUDGE ARGIBAY: And were there other incidents similar to this,
21 that not need to be a killing but persons threatened or something like
22 that and the perpetrators were never brought into the police station or
24 A. I'm really not familiar with that. I was not familiar with that,
25 with those particular documents or whatever I should call them, but I know
1 that many such people were never even brought in. The people who attacked
2 me were never brought in either.
3 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Thank you so much.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: Only one. And I forgot -- Honourable Judge Argibay
6 reminded me.
7 Further examination by Mr. Lukic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Have you ever seen any of the perpetrators who
9 attempted to murder you in Prijedor?
10 A. Yes. Several months ago or perhaps one or two months ago I saw
11 one of them in the centre. He was one of the perpetrators in the attack
12 against me. He was one of the people who were shooting at me. And he was
13 walking about freely.
14 MR. LUKIC: I don't have any further questions, Your Honour. Thank
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
17 It remains for me to thank you on behalf of the entire Trial
18 Chamber and the parties for coming to The Hague to give us your testimony,
19 which no doubt was extremely difficult for you, recalling that what
20 happened to you and apparently has still an impact on your daily life.
21 And it is for us to assist and to do what we can to avoid that some things
22 like this will happen in the future too and that those being responsible
23 for these crimes will be held criminally liable for this and that there is
24 no chance in this our world that there is something like impunity and
25 persons are not taken responsible for that what happened, for instance,
1 against you.
2 So once again, thank you very much, and we all wish you a safe
3 trip home to your home country.
4 You are excused for today.
5 May I ask the usher to escort the witness out of the courtroom.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Thank you
7 very much.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: First I have not yet get a final confirmation
10 whether we can switch to the morning session on Wednesday, but in all
11 likelihood it will -- the session on Wednesday will take place in the
12 morning instead of the afternoon. I'll inform you as soon as possible
13 tomorrow morning when the other Trial Chamber has conferred.
14 From Friday's session, it remains open that there were provided on
15 a request of the Chamber three stills of Exhibit S157. I think both
16 parties had the possibility to have a look on these documents. If there
17 are no objections, these documents would be admitted into evidence as
18 S157-2, -3, and -4.
19 Any objections?
20 MR. LUKIC: No objections, Your Honour.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: No, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: They are admitted into evidence under these
24 Anything else to be discussed? Not that I can see.
25 This concludes today's session. The trial stays adjourned until
1 tomorrow at quarter past 2.00.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
3 at 6.40 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
4 the 28th day of January, 2003, at 2.15 p.m.