Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1828

 1                          Tuesday, 23 October 2001

 2                          [Defence Opening Statement]

 3                          [Open session]

 4                          [The accused entered court]

 5                          --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.

 6            JUDGE HUNT:  Call the case, please.

 7            THE REGISTRAR:  Case number IT-98-32-T, the Prosecutor versus

 8    Mitar Vasiljevic.

 9            JUDGE HUNT:  Mr. Domazet, I understand from one of the legal

10    officers that you are concerned as to whether you are permitted to speak

11    to your client during the United Nations holiday tomorrow.  You understand

12    that the general rule here is that once a witness starts to give evidence,

13    his counsel cannot speak to him.  The purpose of the rule is to overcome

14    what was seen to be the practice, unfortunately, from the Prosecution

15    side, of coaching the witness while they're giving their evidence.  If you

16    had finished his evidence-in-chief today and before he started his

17    cross-examination, the Trial Chamber would consider giving you permission

18    to speak to him.  But if he's in the middle of either his

19    evidence-in-chief or he's into his cross-examination, it would be unwise

20    from his point of view because of inferences which could be drawn if he

21    changes his evidence in any way.  I'm not suggesting that there's going to

22    be any impropriety, but it's just that the inference is open and it's

23    wrong that your client should suffer if indeed it's a purely innocent

24    discussion about the future conduct of the case.

25            If you have finished your cross-examination before the end of

Page 1829

 1    today -- I'm sorry, if you finish your evidence-in-chief before the end of

 2    today, we would consider adjourning early so that the cross-examination

 3    can start on Thursday.  We seem to have plenty of time in relation to only

 4    two witnesses this week.  We'll hear what you want to say, Mr. Groome,

 5    about it later, but it seems to me if counsel are going off for what is

 6    now two weeks to prepare the case, it would be unfortunate if they were

 7    not able to take advantage of the UN holiday tomorrow, but obviously the

 8    timing of it will be important.

 9            Well, are you ready to start now, Mr. Domazet?

10            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, thank you.

11            [Interpretation] The Defence of the accused Mitar Vasiljevic

12    doesn't propose today to analyse the evidence that has been led by the

13    Prosecution because we believe that it is appropriate to do so during the

14    closing arguments of the Defence.  We wish, Your Honour, during this

15    opening statement merely to announce the evidence that we propose to lead,

16    that is, the evidence to the fact which will prove that Mitar Vasiljevic

17    did not commit the crimes with which he has been charged in the

18    indictment.

19            The witnesses of the Defence, including the accused Mitar

20    Vasiljevic himself, will seek to prove that he was never a member of any

21    paramilitary formation, neither a group belonging to -- neither the group

22    belonging to Milan Lukic, nor did he ever use any weapon against anyone,

23    nor did he participate in the planning or perpetration of the crimes with

24    which he has been charged.

25            Mitar Vasiljevic originates from a poor but honourable peasant

Page 1830

 1    family and, ever since his school days, he has been living of his own

 2    work, first as a waiter trainee, then as a waiter, and he was always a

 3    very good worker and liked by his colleagues and his guests, his clients.

 4            He started a family, he raised two children, and he began to build

 5    his family house.  He was never involved in politics, neither prior nor

 6    during 1991 and 1992, the time when interethnic relations in the town of

 7    Visegrad got so exacerbated that numerous Serb families or individuals, as

 8    a minority, started abandoning the town of Visegrad either temporarily or

 9    for good.

10            Mitar Vasiljevic continued with his life and his work there up

11    until the month of May 1992, and he never had any differences with either

12    Muslims or Serbs, nor did he enter into any kind of conflicts with either

13    community.

14            At one point in time he was mobilised into the Territorial

15    Defence, and he took from his home the only military uniform which he had,

16    the kind of uniform that other reservists had at the time; namely, a JNA

17    uniform, a so-called SMB olive-drab uniform, so a unicoloured uniform.  He

18    was also issued with a weapon, and he started working in a military

19    kitchen, in a canteen, in the village of Prelovo, which is located some

20    ten kilometres from the town of Visegrad down the Drina River.  The

21    village is located at the same distance from his house which is situated

22    on the outskirts of the town.

23            We propose to call witnesses, Your Honour, who will testify to

24    this particular fact, the witnesses who were with him in Prelovo, and who

25    had also been mobilised to work in the military kitchen in Prelovo.  They

Page 1831

 1    will testify that Mitar Vasiljevic was, throughout that period of time,

 2    with them in Prelovo, that he was working in the kitchen, that he was

 3    involved in procurement and maintenance of the kitchen, and that from time

 4    to time, whenever it was possible, he would go home to Visegrad where

 5    sometimes he would spend the night and then the next morning he would go

 6    back to Prelovo.

 7            Since he was never a driver - he never owned a driver's license or

 8    a car - on such occasions he would commute by hitchhiking and using

 9    vehicles that were passing by along the road or by covering some of the

10    way on foot.

11            And so it happened that on one particular night, in late May 1992,

12    he was given a ride from the village of Prelovo to the town of Visegrad by

13    Milan Lukic who, on that particular occasion, called in the village of

14    Musici, a fact which was testified about by some Prosecution witnesses.

15    And this is something that Mitar Vasiljevic will also testify about.

16            Although the two families, the families Vasiljevic and Lukic, have

17    had a very long relationship, more than 100 years old, a very close

18    relationship, that of kumship, which means that they have many mutual

19    godfathers and godmothers as well as best men and bridesmaids, which is a

20    very old, very traditional Serbian - but not only Serbian - custom in that

21    area.  So despite that fact, Mitar Vasiljevic, up until that time, had

22    almost not known Milan Lukic at all, because Milan belongs to a younger

23    generation, a much younger generation than Mitar Vasiljevic; and

24    furthermore, he was exiled from the area for a certain period of time and

25    spent several years working and living in Switzerland, and also in the

Page 1832

 1    town of Obrenovac in Serbia.

 2            It was only at that period in time, that is, in the month of May

 3    1992, that he came to the area of Visegrad together with his people from

 4    the town of Obrenovac in Serbia.  Local residents of the town of Visegrad

 5    did not belong to his group, neither did Mitar Vasiljevic who, at that

 6    time, was a reservist serving in the military kitchen in Prelovo.

 7            Mitar Vasiljevic will testify, as will several other witnesses of

 8    the Defence, that he, Mitar, was even arrested at one point in time and

 9    detained in the prison in Uzamnica in late May 1992 or early June 1992,

10    on which occasion he came to the Visegrad town on his own, on his own

11    initiative, and went to his command at Bikavac to see Drago Gavrilovic.

12            His intention was to return, again on his own, his weapon because

13    he had refused to distribute food from the village of Prelovo to some

14    positions which were not secured and where he was asked to go during the

15    night. Because of this behaviour, because of this conduct of Mitar

16    Vasiljevic, and also apparently because of the state of inebriation in

17    which he was at the time he did this, he was arrested, he was taken into

18    custody on the same day by the military police and detained in the prison

19    in Uzamnica where he was visited and treated by witness Dr. Radomir

20    Vasiljevic.

21            It is very likely that Mitar Vasiljevic would have spent much

22    longer time in that prison, longer than the three or four days that he

23    spent there, if his cousin, his uncle's son, had not been killed, Sikiric

24    Zeljko from the town of Vardiste, whom he loved very much.  Following this

25    incident, he went on a hunger strike and he asked to be released from

Page 1833

 1    prison to be able to attend the burial of his cousin.  He was, therefore,

 2    released from prison and he started getting drunk very often, something

 3    that he hadn't been doing for quite some time because he had, prior to

 4    that, undergone treatment for alcoholism.

 5            Your Honour, we will call witnesses to testify about this, the

 6    witnesses who will also testify that on the day of the burial of his

 7    cousin, Zeljko Sikiric, he was completely drunk and totally beside

 8    himself and that it was impossible to establish any normal contact with

 9    him at that time.

10            During those days, pursuant to a permission which was issued by

11    his command, in order to avoid going to the military positions and to the

12    former military unit which was located in the kitchen, he was tasked and

13    he, indeed, began -- he was tasked with and began cleaning the streets of

14    the town, including shop windows in business premises, from various kinds

15    of debris and rubbish.  It was for the purposes of this particular task

16    that he assembled all of the local residents whom he was able to reach at

17    that period of time, regardless of what ethnic community they belonged to.

18            In those days, Your Honour, he wore a red ribbon tied around his

19    sleeve, the same red ribbon which he used to wear earlier on in Prelovo.

20    However, he no longer wore any military uniform nor did he carry any

21    weapons.  We will call witnesses to testify about this particular fact,

22    the witnesses who knew him very well and who indeed used to be his

23    neighbours.

24            And that is how he happened to be, on the 14th of June, 1992, in

25    the afternoon hours of that day, in the Pionirska Street.  At the time,

Page 1834

 1    when coming from the direction of the centre of the town, a group of

 2    women, children, and elderly people arrived and found accommodation in the

 3    two houses belonging to the Memic families.  At that moment, Mitar

 4    Vasiljevic was in the same street, however slightly further up the street,

 5    in the vicinity of the elementary school building.  It was at that point

 6    in time that he came across a very good acquaintance of his, (redacted)

 7   (redacted), with whom he often used to go out and have a drink, and that is

 8    what he did on this occasion as well.  He offered him some drink from the

 9    bottle that he was carrying and from which he had already been drinking.

10            That particular conversation with (redacted) and the drink was

11    everything in terms of contact that he had with that particular group of

12    people, because this is -- it is because of this particular event that he

13    was able to remember the events of the day.

14            After that encounter, he continued further up the street to the

15    spot where he found a horse which he rode all the way to the centre of the

16    Visegrad town where, probably because of the slippery road conditions,

17    because it was raining on that day, or perhaps because of the turn he did

18    towards one of the witnesses who had called him, the horse fell down and

19    Mitar consequently fell down as well.  It was during that particular

20    incident that Mitar Vasiljevic sustained a fracture on his left lower

21    leg.  This, Your Honour, will be testified about by witnesses, indeed,

22    eyewitnesses who were present when Mitar Vasiljevic fell off the horse,

23    the witnesses who assisted him before the arrival of the ambulance, which

24    arrived upon somebody's invitation and whose driver, who will also be

25    called to testify about these events, assisted by those who were present,

Page 1835

 1    again who will testify as witnesses, he carried Mitar into the ambulance

 2    and drove him to a physician on duty in the medical centre in Visegrad.

 3    The doctor examined him, sent him to have an x-ray taken, and ordered that

 4    he be transferred to the surgery ward to undergo medical surgery and

 5    further treatment in the hospital in Uzice.  It was the same physician who

 6    ordered the driver to take him there as soon as it was possible.

 7            During that same afternoon, while it was still daylight, the

 8    driver, who was at that moment accompanied by the chief of accounting

 9    service of the medical centre, who will also be called to testify in this

10    case, left in the ambulance for Uzice.  Mitar was lying down in the

11    ambulance and they started driving towards the town of Uzice, although the

12    road was not safe enough because of very frequent ambushes but also

13    because of very poor road conditions and weather conditions as well.

14            During that journey, they stopped in the village of Vardiste which

15    lies on the very road to Uzice in which village Mitar's uncle had a cafe.

16    And the same witnesses will testify about this particular fact.  They

17    stayed there in that cafe for awhile.  Mitar was given a blanket to cover

18    himself because he did not leave the vehicle, he did not get out of the

19    ambulance.  So after that brief visit, they continued on their way to

20    Uzice, arriving there sometime around 10.00 in the evening, and at that

21    time, it was already dark.

22            From information that we were able to obtain later on, the

23    information which was obtained mainly from the hospital's register, which

24    will also be presented as a Defence exhibit, we will be able to establish

25    that the exact time of Mitar Vasiljevic's admittance into the hospital was

Page 1836

 1    21 hours, 35 minutes of that day, that is, the 14th of June, 1992,

 2    although he had arrived sometime earlier than that.

 3            So he was admitted into hospital on the same day, x-rays were

 4    taken again, and he underwent surgery on the following morning.  He spent

 5    three weeks immobile.  And because of the crisis that he was undergoing

 6    due to his alcoholism and because of his behaviour in such a condition,

 7    after the weight extensions were taken off, he was transferred to the

 8    psychiatry ward where he spent, as an in-house patient, a certain period

 9    of time.  He left the hospital on the 28th of July, 1992, the time when he

10    was released from hospital on the explicit request made by his wife and

11    not on the doctor's request.

12            As regards this particular period of time, we intend to call

13    certain witnesses who will also present numerous written and other

14    material regarding his treatment.  The Defence will show that he was

15    admitted to hospital on the 14th of June, 1992 and that he spent that

16    entire period of time in hospital, that is, until the end of the month of

17    July 1992.  We propose to call witnesses, Your Honour, to testify about

18    these facts, the witnesses which will include members of the relevant

19    hospital establishment, including physicians and nurses who participated

20    in his treatment.  Likewise, we intend to call witnesses who visited him

21    while he was hospitalised or witnesses who happened to be in the same room

22    as he was, as was the case of a man who had been seriously wounded and who

23    is a Muslim national, of Muslim ethnic background, who was in hospital

24    during that period of time having been admitted to that particular

25    hospital on the 6th of May, 1992.  That witness, Your Honour, will testify

Page 1837

 1    that Mitar Vasiljevic was indeed with him, that his behaviour was rather

 2    odd and strange, which was the main reason why he was transferred to the

 3    psychiatric ward for further treatment.

 4            Because of this behaviour of Mitar Vasiljevic and his delirious

 5    state due to alcoholism, evidence that he had undergone treatment for

 6    alcoholism before that, and his behaviour after his cousin died, and in

 7    view of all the available medical documentation and testimony of the

 8    physicians who treated him, and other medical personnel, we proposed a

 9    psychiatric expert witness who would examine the accused in order to

10    establish his mental state and his accountability at the critical time,

11    and an expert witness will testify to that.

12            The period after Mitar Vasiljevic left the hospital is not covered

13    by the indictment of Mitar Vasiljevic, the amended indictment, that is,

14    and there was, therefore, no need for us to offer proof of his subsequent

15    invalidity even if there is relevant medical documentation about that and

16    even though there are witnesses who can also testify to these facts.

17            On the basis of all the evidence produced, witness testimonies and

18    evidence in writing, the Defence will show that there is not even a

19    reasonable doubt [as interpreted] that Mitar Vasiljevic took, personally,

20    part in the otherwise truly severe crime such as the murder of a large

21    number of women, children, and elderly, caused by a fire in the night

22    between the 14th and the 15th of June, 1992.  He did not even know about

23    this fire, nor could he even assume that anything like that could happen.

24            With reference to the incident of the 7th of June, 1992, Mitar

25    Vasiljevic is, unfortunately, the only witness for the Defence.  At least,

Page 1838

 1    he was an eyewitness to this event and he offers a very logical and very

 2    persuasive explanation that he found himself at Vilina Vlas that day

 3    without a uniform and without any weapons as he did not have them any more

 4    at that time, and that he could -- he had no way of knowing or expecting

 5    that Milan Lukic and his group would also bring along a group of seven

 6    Muslim civilians whom, by all appearances, he wanted to leave there and

 7    then changed his mind and took them back in the same car whilst Mitar

 8    Vasiljevic, unfortunately, followed them, came along with them, believing

 9    that he was indeed taking them back and that they would give him a lift to

10    his house as it was on their way.

11            Regrettably, by all appearances, Milan Lukic has already devised a

12    completely different plan, and rather than turning left towards Visegrad

13    at a place called Sase, he took a right turn, heading for Prelovo, and

14    shortly stopped the vehicles, and with two of his soldiers, took those men

15    towards the Drina.  Mitar Vasiljevic not only took no part in this,

16    because, to begin with, he had no weapons, nor did this ever cross his

17    mind, not to mention that he simply had no way of preventing Milan Lukic

18    and his soldiers from doing what they were about to do.

19            He was very distraught by this fact because, for the first time in

20    his life, he witnessed killing, and in particular because one of the

21    victims was his former and older colleague with whom he had always been on

22    good terms.

23            Following that, Mitar Vasiljevic was very depressed and continued

24    to drink, which he had regrettably done before too and especially after

25    his cousin's death which immediately preceded this incident.  He then

Page 1839

 1    complained to his wife, who will also testify to these facts and other

 2    facts of relevance in this case, and he also complained to the then-chief

 3    of police, Tomic, who was the only man he trusted as Tomic had a

 4    reputation of a very honest man and policeman.  However, by all

 5    appearances, he was also afraid to take any action whatsoever.  And in

 6    addition to his already poor state of health, Mitar found that a

 7    sufficient reason to avoid any further encounter with Milan Lukic and his

 8    soldiers until his fall on the horse and injury on the 14th of June,

 9    1992, after which date he was absent from Visegrad.

10            These facts and the situation will be the subject of the defence.

11    The Defence will try to show these facts by producing evidence and by

12    having already produced some evidence and the witnesses it will call to

13    testify about these facts and produced evidence in writing and findings of

14    expert witnesses, the Defence expects that all of this evidence will show

15    that there cannot be any reasonable doubt that the accused Mitar

16    Vasiljevic, during the critical period of time, committed any of the

17    crimes he's charged with between May and June of 1992, that he was never a

18    member of Milan Lukic's paramilitary formation or any other formation, or

19    that he committed any of the crimes for which he is accused.

20            The Defence of Mitar Vasiljevic also proposes to begin its case by

21    calling Mitar Vasiljevic as the first witness for the Defence before all

22    the other evidence that the Defence will produce.

23            JUDGE HUNT:  Thank you, Mr. Domazet.  One particular thing I

24    should raise at this stage:  I don't know whether the accused's wife is in

25    any position to hear the proceedings.  If she is, she should now go away

Page 1840

 1    somewhere.  She should not hear her husband's evidence before she gives

 2    her evidence.

 3            Secondly, just out of pure curiosity - and I hope you'll give some

 4    evidence about this - but can you explain to us what was the purpose of

 5    wearing this red ribbon?  What did it signify?

 6            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as far as I could

 7    gather from witnesses and Mitar himself, in Prelovo, all those who worked

 8    for the quartermaster, who worked in the army kitchen or were kitchen

 9    sweepers or something, had that red ribbon.  That was sort of a mark to

10    show that they were part of that unit.  And he started wearing this ribbon

11    again when he began to clean the town.  At that time, he did not have any

12    proper uniform or anything, so he wanted to wear it to show that he was

13    responsible for the job.  That is the only explanation, and I believe that

14    Mitar himself and other witnesses will make the same kind of explanation.

15            JUDGE HUNT:  Thank you.  One last thing:   You said that there

16    was an x-ray taken at the Visegrad medical centre.  I notice that's not on

17    the list of exhibits.  I don't know whether this is something that you

18    would like to pursue during your two-week break, but it is something which

19    may or may not be very important.

20            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think it will be very

21    important if we could find any x-rays dating back to that time, bearing in

22    mind, in the first place, that the x-ray which is in the record and which

23    is part of the medical documentation and was turned over by the staff in

24    Visegrad is questioned.  So we really want very badly to find such an

25    x-ray because that was done in Visegrad and in Uzice, of course.  However,

Page 1841

 1    witnesses will testify about that.

 2            Under the then conditions, and generally in Yugoslavia, the

 3    practice was to give the x-rays to the patient himself so that he could

 4    take them and show them whenever he went for further checkups outside that

 5    particular institution.  Mitar Vasiljevic did have some of these x-rays,

 6    perhaps not all of them, but unfortunately, these x-rays are no longer in

 7    his house, because when he was moving house he did away with very many

 8    things and presumably these same household documentation because he never

 9    thought he would need it again.  We shall, nevertheless, try to find it,

10    and if we succeed to do that in this fortnight that we have at our

11    disposal, yes, I would be the happiest if we could find another x-ray.

12            JUDGE HUNT:  In any event, if you are unable to produce it, we

13    would expect you to lead some evidence about the attempts or perhaps the

14    provenance of the original x-rays and the attempts to find them.

15            Now, are you ready to call your client?  Thank you.

16            Mr. Vasiljevic, will you come across to the witness box, please.

17                          [The witness takes the stand]

18            JUDGE HUNT:  Stand up first, please, sir.  Yes.  Would you please

19    make the solemn declaration in the document which the court usher is

20    showing you.

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

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

23                          WITNESS:  Mitar Vasiljevic

24                          [Witness answered through interpreter]

25            JUDGE HUNT:  Sit down, please.

Page 1842












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Page 1843

 1            Yes, Mr. Domazet.

 2            MR. DOMAZET:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 3                          Examined by Mr. Domazet:

 4       Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Vasiljevic, I should first like to ask you to

 5    give us some particulars about yourself and your family.  You were born in

 6    the village of Djurevac; is that correct?

 7       A.   It is.

 8       Q.   And your father's name is?

 9       A.   Ljubisa.

10       Q.   And your mother?

11       A.   Vojka.

12            THE INTERPRETER: Will the counsel and witness please pause between

13    question and answer.

14            JUDGE HUNT:  Both of you have been here long enough to know that

15    there are problems with the interpretation if you answer straight away and

16    if you ask the question straight away.  So, Mr. Vasiljevic, please pause

17    before you give your answer to enable the interpreters to catch up.  Do

18    you understand that?

19            THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do, Your Honour.

20       A.   I was born on the 25th of August, 1954.

21            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

22       Q.   Do you have any brothers or sisters?

23       A.   Yes, I have one brother and three sisters.

24       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, can you tell us something about your education and

25    how you learned your trade.

Page 1844

 1       A.   I graduated, I matriculated from a school of restaurant business,

 2    and I became a waiter.

 3       Q.   And where did you work?

 4       A.   I spent my career in a hostelry enterprise in Visegrad called

 5    Panos.

 6       Q.   In other words, from your early days until the end, you worked

 7    always for one company only?

 8       A.   Yes, I only worked for Panos.  That was my only employer.

 9       Q.   And that company had a number of restaurants, of coffee bars,

10    hotels, and so on, isn't it?

11       A.   That's right.

12       Q.   Where did you work, or rather, did you work in different places,

13    and for how long?

14       A.   I started my career, I began -- my first job was in a spa, the

15    former spa.  Later on -- that is, I spent there some four or five years,

16    I'm not sure.  Then I moved over to Visegrad Hotel.  Well, I practically

17    worked at most of their facilities.  Perhaps a couple -- there are a

18    couple of coffee bars where I didn't, but Panos had a restaurant which

19    was called after the company and that is in the centre of the town, and I

20    worked there too.  I worked at the restaurant called Usce, Brodar,

21    Mezalin, and so on.  I also worked in Pivnica, that is a brewery, and

22    then we also had a restaurant called the Drina and I worked there too.

23    There was a restaurant a Dobrun but I never worked there.  And then we

24    had another restaurant in the direction of Medzedza, I also worked

25    there.  There was a restaurant, or rather, a little coffee bar and I

Page 1845

 1    worked there too for awhile.

 2       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, I believe you mentioned that your first job was in

 3    Stara Banja, that is, old spa, Vilina Vlas, and the hotel that is often

 4    mentioned in this case, was that hotel part of your company, Panos, in

 5    1992, or wasn't it?

 6       A.   No, not in 1992, because they had split, some three years before

 7    that, into individual units, so that Panos and the old spa, Stara Banja,

 8    and the Vilina Vlas Hotel, was renamed the hotel and rehabilitation

 9    centre, recreation centre, Vilina Vlas.  It was a kind of sanatorium.

10       Q.   So at that time, in 1992, it was a separate company, it was a

11    company which became independent of Panos' company.

12       A.   Well, no, it was a self-contained unit practically because we had

13    our separate payroll and all the rest, and we were all part of Ehos

14    company in Sarajevo.

15       Q.   And in your company, the personnel must have included both Serbs

16    and Muslims, isn't it?

17       A.   That is correct.

18       Q.   And on what kind of terms were you with those people; that is, did

19    you -- were you at odds with any of them?  Did you ever have any argument,

20    any differences with them that would derive from your different ethnic

21    origins?

22       A.   No.  The relations were very good.  It had nothing to do with the

23    ethnic composition.  We all worked together and one never asked whom you

24    were working with, whether it was Muslim or Croat or whoever.  We did our

25    jobs.

Page 1846

 1       Q.   Did Meho Dzafic work with you?

 2       A.   Meho Dzafic worked with me for a very long time until his

 3    retirement.  I think that in 1990 or 1991, perhaps a year or two before

 4    the war, he retired, and he was also my supervisor at the time when I was

 5    an apprentice under him and he was a very good tutor.  He was an excellent

 6    waiter.

 7       Q.   Did you have any problems, did you ever fall out with him?

 8       A.   No, never.  Meho Dzafic was very good to me, and I am in great

 9    debt to him because he was my tutor.  Usually you underwent a two- or

10    three-year apprenticeship.  You work as a trainee, and then after you'd

11    finished this, he often would invite me to his home.  If it rained, if we

12    worked long into the night, then he would invite me to spend the night at

13    his place, or sometimes would -- he'd take the shift -- he'd take my shift

14    so that I wouldn't have to stay there long, so on and so forth.  And we

15    worked there together for a long time.

16       Q.   When you said that he was your supervisor, you mean he was a

17    senior colleague of yours who trained you; you did not imply any kind of

18    hierarchy.

19       A.   No, no.  He was my teacher while I was an apprentice, while I was

20    a trainee waiter.  Once you complete your education, you become also what

21    we call majstor, master, so it was in that sense that he was my teacher,

22    and he was helping me as a junior waiter.  At the time, I still had a lot

23    of things to learn; how to manage to bar, how to serve people, and so on

24    and so forth, because I did not have relevant experience, and he was there

25    to impart his knowledge onto younger generations, including myself.

Page 1847

 1            JUDGE HUNT:  Both of you are forgetting that pause.  Please

 2    remember.  We want to hear all of your evidence, Mr. Vasiljevic, but we're

 3    going to lose some of it if you don't wait for a few seconds before you

 4    start your answer.  So please remember that.  I'm afraid, Mr. Domazet, you

 5    came in a few times there too.  So just give us a pause.

 6            THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour.

 7            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

 8       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, did you complete your compulsory military service

 9    with the former JNA?

10       A.   I did my military service, yes, in the former JNA.

11       Q.   When, where, and in what section of the army you served?

12       A.   I did my military service, that is, I completed my military

13    service in late November 1973.  Actually, it was the time I started my

14    military service, and I was still in the military in 1994, up until

15    mid-January 1995.  The military service lasted 15 months, and I served in

16    the town of Skopje, that is -- sorry, I apologise.  I underwent training

17    in Gorce Petrov, which is a town not far from Skopje, some ten kilometres

18    away from the town of Skopje.  It was a training centre.  And after a

19    four-and-a-half month course, I was transferred to the town of Stip, also

20    in Macedonia, whereupon four of us cooks were transferred to work in the

21    field, to the village called Leskovica, where we stayed until the end of

22    our military service, working as cooks for force engineers, because force

23    engineers unit was engaged on building a road there.  So it was actually

24    in the field that we did our military service.

25       Q.   You said you were with the quartermaster service.  Could you

Page 1848

 1    explain that to us?  You said you were a cook.  Does it mean that you

 2    worked in the kitchen, in the procurement, in similar services and that is

 3    what you did throughout your military service?

 4       A.   Yes, yes, we were cooks.  We prepared food.  We worked in the

 5    kitchen.

 6       Q.   You said that you went -- that you began your military service in

 7    late November 1973; is that correct?

 8       A.   Yes.

 9       Q.   At that time, the compulsory military service lasted how long?

10       A.   Fifteen months.  But I didn't serve 15 months because I did not

11    use -- I did not avail myself of our regular leave, which was 20 days, and

12    then I had some compensatory time off, so I managed to leave, to complete

13    my military service earlier than usual.  I was sent home earlier.

14       Q.   But you completed your service sometime in January 1975?

15       A.   Yes, it was in mid-January that I left the army.

16       Q.   I've asked you this question again because I think you misspoke,

17    and the transcript says that you completed your military service in 1995.

18    Is that an error?

19       A.   Yes.  I finished my military service in 1975.

20       Q.   Thank you.  When did you start a family, Mr. Vasiljevic?

21       A.   I got married in February, 1988.

22       Q.   Where did you live after you got married?

23       A.   In Visegrad.  And even prior to my marriage, I lived in Visegrad

24    town.

25       Q.   Did you live in the same house?  Did you continue living in the

Page 1849

 1    same house?

 2       A.   Yes, I continued living in the same house, which is actually our

 3    family house.  But I was the only one living there at the time.  I can

 4    provide you with the relevant details, if necessary.  It was my father who

 5    bought the house, and I lived there.  And since there was an agreement

 6    that I would build my own house, my father left the house to my brother,

 7    and it was agreed in the family that they would help me as much as they

 8    could to build my own house.  And once I'm able to do that, that I would

 9    move to my new house, whereas the old family house would become the

10    property of my brother.  And it is still the property of my brother, but

11    he never lived there.  He works in Belgrade, and he's nine years younger

12    than me.  He found his first employment there and he never went back to

13    Visegrad, so he never needed any accommodation in Visegrad, and that's why

14    he never lived there, in that house.

15       Q.   So you actually lived in the house which was bought by your father

16    but which was intended for your brother, who at that time lived in

17    Belgrade; is that correct?

18       A.   Yes.  Yes, I lived in that house from 1976, I believe; since it

19    was bought.  It was in 1976 that it was bought.  Yes, 1976.

20       Q.   So you had an agreement with your family according to which you

21    would build your own house next to the family house, and once that house

22    was completed, that you would move to this new house, leaving the family

23    house to your brother?

24       A.   Yes, that is correct.

25       Q.   So it was actually up until very recently that you were engaged in

Page 1850

 1    building that new house?

 2       A.   Yes.  Yes, I spent a lot of time working on it.  I was not in a

 3    hurry.  I spent about 15 years working on it.  But, you know, there was no

 4    need for me to hurry because I had accommodation.  So I would work on the

 5    house whenever I had some spare time.  And I personally never lived in

 6    this new house.  My family now resides in that house.  When I completed

 7    the house, when it became habitable, so to speak, I actually rented it out

 8    to members of the French SFOR contingent, so they were actually the first

 9    occupants of the house.  And the house is located next to the old family

10    house, some five or six metres away from it.  So once again, I personally

11    never lived in that house, but my family now resides in it.

12       Q.   So it was with the assistance of your father that you spent 15

13    years building that house, and the first occupants of the house were

14    actually members of the French contingent of SFOR; is that correct?

15       A.   Yes.

16       Q.   When did you actually rent it out, prior to your arrival here in

17    The Hague?  When was it exactly that you rented the house?

18       A.   It was on the 14th of July, I think, 1999.

19       Q.   So it would have been six months that those soldiers spent living

20    in your house?

21       A.   Yes.  From the 5th -- until the 5th of January, 2001.

22       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, when did you get married, and when were your

23    children born?

24       A.   I believe I already told you that I got married in February 1988.

25    My first child, my daughter, was born -- actually, my first -- my very

Page 1851

 1    first child was a son but the baby died during the childbirth in 1989.

 2    And then I had a daughter on the 14th of July, 1980 [as interpreted], and

 3    then we had our third child, again a girl, who also died at childbirth.

 4    My wife had very severe problems with child-bearing, and eventually she

 5    had a Caesarean with her fourth child, a baby boy who was born in 1988 [as

 6    interpreted].  So that, thank God, I now have two children, a son and a

 7    daughter.

 8            JUDGE HUNT:  Mr. Domazet, the dates, at least as interpreted, are

 9    a little strange.  The first son -- first child was a son who died during

10    the childbirth in 1989.  That seems to be all right.  Then your client is

11    reported as having said he had a daughter on the 14th of July, 1980, and

12    then there was the third child, no date is given, and then a baby boy who

13    was born in 1988.  Now, there seems to be some confusion either in the

14    witness's mind or in the interpretation.

15       A.   I apologise, Your Honour.  My first child, a boy, was born in

16    1979, not in 1989, because my daughter was born in 1980, the second

17    child.  Sorry, I was wrong ten years.

18            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

19       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, were you also wrong about the date of your

20    marriage?  Because the transcript said that you got married in 1988.

21       A.   Oh, yes, I'm sorry, I apologise; in 1978, when I got married.

22    Yes, 1978.

23            JUDGE HUNT:  I think we're straight now.

24            THE WITNESS: I apologise.

25            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

Page 1852

 1       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, I should like to ask you now about something that

 2    turned out to be quite significant in this case, and that is the

 3    relationship of kumship between your family and the Lukic family which

 4    originates from the village of Rujiste.  Would you please explain to the

 5    Court how long have your two families been related in this particular

 6    manner, and in what way has this relationship been sustained all these

 7    years?

 8       A.   I cannot give you the exact details as to when we first

 9    established this relationship of kumship.  I don't think my father or my

10    grandfather would know about it.  It is not only our particular Vasiljevic

11    family that is in this particular relationship with the Lukic family; it

12    extends further on to all of the Vasiljevic families from my village.  All

13    of our families have this very close link with the Lukic family from

14    Rujiste.  We exchanged godfathers, godmothers, best men at weddings, and

15    so on and so forth.  So all of the Vasiljevic families have been in this

16    type of relationship with the Lukic family for a very, very long time.  As

17    to where it all began, I really couldn't tell you, I just know that it is

18    a very long-standing tradition within our two families.

19       Q.   So if I understand you correctly, it extends beyond the generation

20    of your grandfather.  So can we agree on the fact that this particular

21    relationship has been going on for more than a hundred years between your

22    two families?

23       A.   Yes, that is correct.

24       Q.   And likewise, if I understand you correctly, this relationship

25    concerns and involves all other families originating from the old

Page 1853

 1    Vasiljevic and Lukic families from the village of Djurevici and Rujiste

 2    respectively, regardless of their subsequent places of residence?

 3       A.   Yes, that is correct.

 4       Q.   So Milan Lukic is also from one of these Lukic families with whom

 5    your family, the Vasiljevic family, was closely related?

 6       A.   Yes.  My father was his godfather and he was also his sister's and

 7    brother's godfather.  And maybe even my grandfather, I don't know.

 8       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, how well did you know Milan Lukic personally

 9    before the month of May 1992?

10       A.   I knew Milan Lukic as a student while he was attending school in

11    Visegrad, and I also knew him when he was a child.  And then I know that,

12    when he completed his secondary school, he went off to the army to do his

13    military service, after which he left for Switzerland and I no longer saw

14    him until 1992.  Well, as to how well I knew him as a person, that is a

15    different matter.  He is, I believe, 13 years younger than me, and we

16    never socialised together.  We didn't belong to the same generation, and

17    so I can't say I knew him very well.  And then he was not living in

18    Visegrad, he was in Switzerland.

19       Q.   So after he finished his secondary school and completed his

20    military service, he left the area of Visegrad; is that correct?

21       A.   Yes.

22       Q.   He worked in Switzerland.  Do you know his place of residence at

23    that period of time, since everybody worked abroad needed to have an

24    official place of residence abroad?  Was his official place of residence

25    still in Visegrad or was it abroad?

Page 1854

 1       A.   I'm not sure I quite understand you.  What do you mean, that he

 2    lived in Visegrad and worked in Switzerland?  I apologise.  I don't think

 3    I understand your question.

 4       Q.   No, Mr. Vasiljevic, I was not referring to his formal, official

 5    whereabouts, though if you know that, you can tell us that, of course.  I

 6    would like to know where in Yugoslavia he was registered as a resident

 7    while he was working in Switzerland.  Was he a resident of Visegrad?

 8       A.   I think his place of residence, officially speaking, was in

 9    Belgrade, that he bought an apartment in Belgrade at the time he was

10    working in Switzerland.

11       Q.   The town of Obrenovac has been frequently mentioned in this case.

12    Is that town in any way related or connected with Milan Lukic or not?

13       A.   Whether prior to his departure for Switzerland he had worked in

14    Obrenovac, I don't know.  All I know, that his brother used to work in

15    Obrenovac as a teacher.  Whether Milan worked there as well, I don't

16    know.  Even if he did, that could have only been prior to his departure

17    for Switzerland, if he did work there.  Obrenovac is not very far from

18    Belgrade.

19       Q.   The Lukic family is a very large family; am I correct?

20       A.   Yes.

21       Q.   Did you answer my previous question, was your response that Milan

22    Lukic was officially residing in Belgrade at the time he was working in

23    Switzerland, that is to say that he was no longer officially a resident

24    of Visegrad?

25       A.   Yes.  Yes, he has an apartment in Belgrade, that is correct, at

Page 1855

 1    the Bezanijska Kosa neighbourhood.

 2       Q.   During that period of time, that is, several years before the

 3    events in May 1992, did you ever happen to see him in person?

 4       A.   Before or after May?  I'm sorry.

 5       Q.   Before the month of May 1992.

 6       A.   No.  Especially the last year or two, no.  No, I don't remember --

 7    I don't remember seeing him during those five years, perhaps.  No, no, I

 8    didn't see him.

 9            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm about to cover one

10    portion -- actually, I have covered this subject matter, and I think this

11    is the convenient time for a break.

12            JUDGE HUNT:  Very well.  We will adjourn now until 11.30.

13                          --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.

14                          --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.

15            JUDGE HUNT:  Yes, Mr. Domazet.

16            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

17       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, let's turn to you and the state of your health.

18    We have heard here about certain injuries that you sustained, and

19    fractures.  You broke your leg in 1992, on the 14th of June, as you rode a

20    horse; is that correct?

21       A.   It is.

22       Q.   And before that, did you ever sustain a similar injury; that is,

23    did you break your leg on any other occasion prior to that?

24       A.   No, never.  Never leg or arm or anything, not even a finger.

25       Q.   And after that, after 1992?

Page 1856

 1       A.   I broke my leg in 1992 and then I broke the same left leg in

 2    1993.

 3       Q.   And in which hospitals did you receive treatment on those two

 4    occasions?

 5       A.   Both these fractures were treated at the Uzice hospital.

 6       Q.   Were you ever hospitalised in the Uzice hospital at any other time

 7    and on any other occasion?

 8       A.   In 1976, I was hospitalised there because I had trouble with my

 9    lymph nodes, and I spent there two months, and then I was transferred to

10    Sarajevo to the hospital called Pod Hrastovima, under the oaks.  And in

11    1980-something, four or something, I was again in hospital receiving

12    treatment for alcoholism.  I think I was in the Uzice neuropsychiatric

13    ward on three different occasions.  And that thing in 1992 was, I think,

14    my fourth time in the neuropsychiatric ward.

15       Q.   So on these three occasions prior to 1992, were you then on all

16    those three occasions hospitalised for alcoholism?

17            THE INTERPRETER:  We did not hear the answer.  We are sorry.

18            JUDGE HUNT:  You better ask the question again.  There was no

19    answer.

20            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

21       Q.   When you mention three times when you were admitted to hospital in

22    Uzice prior to 1992, were you hospitalised on all these three occasions

23    for alcoholism?

24       A.   I said in 1976 was the first time that I was in the hospital, to

25    treat my lymph nodes, and then, yes, I was admitted to the hospital three

Page 1857












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

13   English transcripts.













Page 1858

 1    times to receive treatment for alcoholism, and that was when I was at

 2    the neuropsychiatric ward.

 3       Q.   Apart from the treatment in hospital, were you also treated as an

 4    outpatient

 5       A.   Yes, in Visegrad.

 6       Q.   Could you tell us, Mr. Vasiljevic, something about your reactions

 7    when you are under the influence or drunk.   What can you tell us about

 8    how you behave under those circumstances?

 9       A.   Well, if I start drinking, it is difficult for me to give up.  I

10    crave for alcohol.  So that - I don't know how to put it - if I'm not too

11    deep into it and if I go to the outpatient clinic for infusion in time

12    and start eating, then I manage to pull myself away.  I was an addict,

13    really.  I mean, if I got to drinking, it was very difficult for myself to

14    pull myself away, although -- and I couldn't eat.  I simply craved for

15    alcohol.

16       Q.   And in such situations and when you were in such a state, were you

17    aggressive?

18       A.   No.  I liked to have company when drinking.  I liked to drink, I

19    mean, I liked to drink.  It didn't matter who it was with.  If I had -- I

20    was capable of spending all the money I had on me, and everybody around me

21    drank when I drank.  People knew me in the -- around town and people felt

22    sorry for me, my colleagues reproached me.

23       Q.   Yes, I understand that.  But my question was specifically what do

24    you think, were you aggressive on such occasions towards people around

25    you?

Page 1859

 1       A.   No, no, no.  I was -- I simply liked to drink.  I didn't quarrel

 2    with anyone if someone provoked me.  At times, I could even work.  Well,

 3    not when I was really drunk, but I could even work.  I would just go

 4    behind the bar and have a couple and -- well, I couldn't, of course, work

 5    when I was stone drunk, when I was stoned, but otherwise I could drink and

 6    work.

 7       Q.   When I asked you if you were aggressive, I mean physical

 8    aggression --

 9       A.   No.

10       Q.   Please wait for my question.  But in such situations, did you ever

11    attack anyone around you or --

12       A.   No, no, no, never.  Never.  I never.  I liked to sing and drink,

13    and that -- no, no, I never offended anyone.

14       Q.   Did it ever happen, then, that in such situations, when in such a

15    state, you would start talking uncontrolled, perhaps start talking,

16    whatever, and then insult, even unwittingly, anyone?

17       A.   Well, let me tell you, in the beginning, when I was younger, even

18    when I was sloshed, I knew perfectly well who I was with, how I was, what

19    coffee bar or what, whether I'd walked home or been driven to it.  Later

20    on, I stopped being aware of those things, and quite often I wouldn't know

21    who I'd been with and who had brought me home.  Who knows all that went on

22    and how it went on; I didn't.

23       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, when you say when you were younger that you could

24    take drink better, that you still remember events, and that later on you

25    stopped remembering these things, but do you ever recall if, when under

Page 1860

 1    influence, when you were very young, do you remember committing any

 2    offence, any crime, for which you were imprisoned then?  Do you recall

 3    that?

 4       A.   I do.

 5       Q.   And was that offence the singing of an offensive song in the

 6    company of other persons who were also brought to justice together with

 7    you?

 8       A.   Yes.

 9       Q.   How old were you then, Mr. Vasiljevic?

10       A.   I was 18, 18 -- 18 and 11 months, thereabouts, or 18 and 10

11    months.  I was 18 and 10 months old.

12       Q.   Right.  But under Yugoslav law, it means you were of age already

13    and you were tried and sentenced and you served your term, didn't you?

14       A.   Yes, yes, I did.

15       Q.   Was that the only time that you served a term in prison?

16       A.   Yes.

17       Q.   Now, Mr. Vasiljevic, I'd like to move on to another topic, and

18    that is Visegrad on the eve of the arrival of the Uzice Corps, in other

19    words, early April 1992.  Can you tell me, but concisely, what you were

20    doing then, and in briefest possible terms, what went on in Visegrad at

21    the time.

22       A.   Well, what do you want me to tell you?  Before the Uzice Corps,

23    there were some -- I don't know where to begin.  I think that the police

24    split up into the Muslim and Serb police.  They stopped working together.

25    Whether all of them or not, I don't know.  So that this tension rose.

Page 1861

 1            And sometime around the 10th or 11th, I was at home at the time,

 2    and there was a threat that the whole power plant would be blown up, and I

 3    heard this conversation on the radio.  And people panicked.  Nobody

 4    believed that that might happen.  But some of the gates were opened and

 5    water -- but if it happened, then water started to pour in.  I don't know

 6    whether there were any people in the town, Serbs or Muslims, but I know

 7    that we withdrew to the village called Omar.  And the Serb policemen were

 8    captured at the time, some of the regular force and some of these - what

 9    you call it - the reserve force, and they were taken up to the hydro power

10    plant or something.  I can't tell you every little detail, but all I know

11    is that they were captured.

12       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, did this make people leave the town, I mean, both

13    the Muslim and the Serb inhabitants, were they prompted to leave the town?

14       A.   Well, I didn't go into town to tell you whether they'd all left,

15    but yes, most people did, Muslims and Serbs, as likely as not, because

16    when water was released, nobody could be happy about that.

17       Q.   So if I understand you well, Mr. Vasiljevic, before that happened,

18    you had already left Visegrad and you were somewhere in the vicinity.

19    When you say Kalate, is Kalate the name of the locality where your house

20    in Visegrad is?

21       Q.   And how far was that from your house, that is, the town itself?

22       A.   You mean where we went to, where we went from Kalate?

23       Q.   Yes.

24       A.   Well, it's not far.  It's a hill of 500 or 600 metres, the village

25    of Omar.  But it wasn't safe there.  Serbs were arriving from the town on

Page 1862

 1    the run too, so that we moved on to Banja, to the spa, which is some three

 2    kilometres further away, the village of Jelasica.

 3       Q.   And why wasn't it safe, as you say?  Can you explain it?  How

 4    wasn't it safe?

 5       A.   Well, these Serb policemen were captured, and people fled up

 6    towards the border with Serbia, so that we all had to fear.

 7       Q.   You say people fled towards the boundary with Serbia.  What people

 8    do you have in mind, Mr. Vasiljevic?  Do you mean the Serb or the Muslim

 9    population, or both?

10       A.   Serb, by and large, but there were also some Muslims who were

11    fleeing to Serbia.  I know that up at the sanatorium, there were Serbs and

12    Muslims, and that we transferred all the patients there to the boundary as

13    we went, as we were on our way.  They were all heading towards the

14    boundary.

15       Q.   And in that village, in the village of Jelasica where you were,

16    were you there when the Uzice Corps arrived in Visegrad?

17       A.   Yes.  We heard that the Uzice Corps had arrived whilst we were up

18    there.

19       Q.   From what you could hear or learn personally, did the arrival of

20    the Uzice Corps help to improve the situation, to calm down the situation,

21    in Visegrad and around it, or was it the other way around?

22       A.   Well, when they came, the situation became more normal.  There was

23    no more tension.  They invited all the population, Serb and Muslim, to go

24    back to work.  And then, well ...

25       Q.   And did people go back to work and to the town itself?

Page 1863

 1       A.   Yes.

 2       Q.   And you, Mr. Vasiljevic, do you have any recollection of any

 3    incident at that time, any note-worthy incident during that time while the

 4    Uzice Corps was still in the town?

 5       A.   Before the Uzice Corps came, yes.  The first victim was, I

 6    believe, a Serb.  He could have been around 25 or so, Mico Indzic, and

 7    I think he was the first victim.

 8       Q.   Yes, but you are talking about the time before the Uzice Corps

 9    arrived and you yourself said that there was tension in Visegrad.  But my

10    question was while the Uzice Corps was there, were there any serious

11    incidents then in Visegrad?

12       A.   Well, I don't know if there were any serious incidents.  I did not

13    hear anything about any serious incidents.  They had their commanders.

14    They were the army.  The army was under the command.  There could have

15    been a victim or two.  I know there was some Smajic and his wife, but I

16    don't know how that came about.  Medo Smajic, I think.

17       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, did these soldiers of the Uzice Corps have their

18    checkpoints on the roads, and if yes, was one such checkpoint near your

19    house?

20       A.   Yes.  They had their checkpoints usually, as a rule, on bridges,

21    then at junctions, at the intersections, and one was near my house, that

22    is, towards the village of Omar.  That was one such crossroads.  And they

23    manned it for some ten days or so, when that checkpoint was moved to the

24    village of Sase.

25       Q.   Your street, the street on which your house is, is called Vojvode

Page 1864

 1    Stepe; is that right?

 2       A.   Yes.

 3       Q.   And is it on the main road, or perhaps the only road leading from

 4    the centre of Visegrad to Sase, that is, Vilina Vlas, and Prelovo which is

 5    still further away, that is the only road there?

 6       A.   If you go by car.  If you go on foot, you can cut across the

 7    woods.

 8       Q.   Speaking of the checkpoint which was located in the vicinity of

 9    your house, on the road, that is, in your street, did you, at any point in

10    time during that period, have any specific tasks such as duty shift?  Were

11    you in charge of controlling people passing through that checkpoint?

12       A.   No.  It was impossible for us to participate in their duties.

13    They had their own army, their own command.  They did not ask us to do any

14    such tasks.

15       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, could you now describe for us what happened with

16    you specifically after the departure of the Uzice Corps.

17       A.   After the Uzice Corps had left, I received call-up papers for

18    mobilisation.  I was asked to report at the school in Prelovo.

19       Q.   Did you respond to the call-up papers that you received?

20       A.   Yes, I did.

21       Q.   At that time, did you have a uniform belonging to the reservists

22    of the JNA at house [as interpreted]?

23       A.   Yes, I did.

24       Q.   And did you take that uniform with you when you went to Prelovo?

25       A.   Yes, I did.

Page 1865

 1       Q.   Could you please describe for us what kind of uniform it was.

 2       A.   It was a former JNA uniform, the so-called SMB uniform.  I was

 3    issued that uniform some ten years prior to the events.  That kind of

 4    uniform was issued to all of us, Muslims, Serbs, Yugoslavs.  It was in the

 5    former Yugoslavia, and it was the kind of uniform that we kept at home, we

 6    members of the reserve forces.  Usually, once you were over 30, you would

 7    become a member of the reservists, of the reserve force of the army.  So I

 8    had that uniform for about ten years, and it was a regular olive-drab

 9    uniform.  I was not the only one.  All of us had this kind of uniform.

10       Q.   Would it be correct for me to say that all members of the reserve

11    force had such a uniform at home, and that that was the kind of uniform

12    that they would take when they were called to perform military exercises?

13       A.   Well, I cannot say that all of us had such uniforms, but the

14    majority of us did.  Some people maybe didn't have it; maybe they received

15    it later on.

16       Q.   When you said that it was an olive-drab uniform of the former JNA,

17    did you mean that it was a unicoloured uniform which was olive-grey in

18    colour, a rather light hue of olive-grey?

19       A.   Yes, yes, it had only one colour.

20       Q.   Could you tell us something more about the unit to which you were

21    sent in Prelovo.

22       A.   It was a quartermaster unit.  It belonged to the quartermaster

23    department.

24       Q.   What does that mean, Mr. Vasiljevic?

25       A.   I was assigned to that particular unit together with another

Page 1866

 1    cook.  We had an assistant as well and a driver, and there was also a

 2    paramedic with us, a male nurse.  So that would have been, what, five of

 3    us altogether.

 4       Q.   Do you remember any of the names of those people, Mr. Vasiljevic?

 5       A.   I know all of them.

 6       Q.   Could you please tell us the names you remember.

 7       A.   The chief cook was an elderly man who, prior to that, used to work

 8    in various canteens and restaurants in Serbia.  Whether he was retired or

 9    not, I don't know.  But his name was Vaso Vojnovic.  The driver was a

10    relative of his who used to work in Visegrad as a driver for the forestry

11    company, and his name was Obren Vojnovic.  The assistant was Dragisa

12    Lindo, and the paramedic, Stevo Grujic, and myself.

13       Q.   Do you remember anyone else who was there but not a member of your

14    unit?

15       A.   I know that Dragan Simic was there, the commander Krsto Papic,

16    because the command was there as well.

17       Q.   So, Mr. Vasiljevic, could you give us a description of your

18    personal duties during your time in Prelovo.

19       A.   When I arrived in Prelovo, we were immediately assigned to various

20    tasks.  The main cook, the chief cook, as I said, was Vaso Vojnovic.  And

21    I was tasked with procurement of foodstuffs and kitchenware, because it

22    was at the very beginning, so I was also supposed to help with the kitchen

23    work whenever I was there.  So that is how we began our work at the school

24    there.  But we had some difficulties with cooking there so we moved to

25    another building, to a house nearby, in order to be separate from the rest

Page 1867

 1    of the troops.

 2            So we prepared food there.  My duty was to take food to the front

 3    line, together with the driver, Obren Vojnovic, so this is what we did.

 4    We would drive the food to the front line, which at the time was in the

 5    village of Blace.  We distributed lunch, and in the evening, dinner,

 6    except on the occasions when they only had a can of food or a sandwich for

 7    dinner, something not cooked.  In general, then that would be distributed

 8    together with the lunch so that we didn't have to go again in the evening.

 9       Q.   The distribution of food to the front lines, in your opinion, was

10    it dangerous for you during that period of time?

11       A.   Yes.  I personally was scared, especially during the night.

12    During the day, it was more or less okay, I wasn't that afraid.  However,

13    during the night, I had problems doing it.  It was really difficult for me

14    to do that, but I had to.

15       Q.   Did you complain about that problem to your superiors?

16       A.   Yes.

17       Q.   I omitted to ask you at the beginning of this Prelovo section

18    whether you were issued any weapon.

19            THE INTERPRETER:  We believe the witness said yes.

20       A.   I was issued with an automatic rifle, some machine-gun called

21    Schmeisser, before I left for Prelovo.  So when I got to Prelovo, I

22    returned that weapon and was issued instead an automatic rifle; that is, I

23    returned the Schmeisser or the sub-machine-gun.

24            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

25       Q.   So that was the rifle that you carried with you at the time you

Page 1868

 1    were in Prelovo; is that correct?

 2       A.   Yes.

 3       Q.   Did you ever go to Visegrad, either on business or for other

 4    reasons, during that period of time?

 5       A.   Yes.  I would usually go to Visegrad in the morning to obtain the

 6    necessary things, and sometimes I would even go twice a day if I needed to

 7    bring some kitchenware, some pots and pans, if necessary, if there were

 8    things that needed to be brought to the kitchen.

 9       Q.   You have told us that you personally never drove a car, neither

10    did you have a driver's license.  Who was it who took you there?

11       A.   Obren Vojnovic did, in a van.

12       Q.   That would have been your official journeys from Prelovo and back

13    for the purposes of the kitchen you were working for?

14       A.   Yes.

15       Q.   Did you ever leave Prelovo to go to your house?  Did you stay at

16    your house for awhile and then return to the unit?

17       A.   Yes.  If I was able to find some transport, I was allowed to go

18    home until the following day.

19       Q.   If I understand you correctly, whenever it was possible for you to

20    do that, in view of the duties that you had at Prelovo, and whenever you

21    were able to find some transport, you would go home in the evening and

22    then come back on the following day?

23       A.   Yes, except that we were not allowed to use the van for our

24    personal purposes, only for the kitchen.  But we personally were not

25    allowed to use it for our needs, no.

Page 1869

 1       Q.   So on those other occasions, how did you go home?

 2       A.   Well, usually, I would stop a car passing by.  Someone would give

 3    me a lift.

 4       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, do you remember one particular occasion during

 5    that period of time being driven from Prelovo to your home by Milan Lukic,

 6    personally?  Do you remember that?

 7       A.   Yes, I do.

 8       Q.   Would you please tell the Court when that was and whether you made

 9    a stop on the way.

10       A.   It was sometime in late May.  I was standing by the road, waiting

11    for someone to pass by, and Milan Lukic, together with two other vehicles

12    coming from the direction of Prelovo, passed by, so I stopped them and

13    asked them to give me a lift to Visegrad.  As we were getting near the

14    village of Musici, which lies some three or four kilometres away from

15    Prelovo, he said he had to stop to check if anyone had any weapons there,

16    because allegedly someone had opened fire on the police patrol.  And I

17    said, "Milan, why do you want to have anything to do with them?  I mean,

18    you were not shot at."  But he stopped in that village, and others got out

19    as well, and they went towards the [redacted] house, and I said, "Milan, for

20    God's sake, please don't touch those people."  I knew all of them.

21    Perhaps not personally, but I did know them.  But he entered their house

22    and he asked if anyone had any weapons.

23            To tell you the truth, I was aware of the fact that both [redacted]

24 [redacted] were members of the [redacted], but I never told him

25    that.  I didn't want to tell him that.  It wasn't my intention to say

Page 1870

 1    anything.  I know for a fact that both [redacted] were members of the

 2    [redacted], but I never told him that.

 3            JUDGE HUNT:  Just one moment, sir.  What's the problem?

 4            MR. GROOME:  He's referring to protected witnesses.  If I might,

 5    I've prepared a pseudonym sheet for cross-examination.  I would offer it

 6    to Defence, if they care to use it, and he can refer to them by their

 7    pseudonyms.

 8            JUDGE HUNT:  That might be a very good idea, Mr. Domazet.

 9            Have you got a copy of it for us so that the redactions can be

10    made?

11            MR. GROOME:  Yes, Your Honour.

12            JUDGE HUNT:  Have you ascribed a number for it?

13            MR. GROOME:  Just a second, Your Honour.  While we're discussing

14    this, I might also state that in the accused's interview in November, he

15    expressed concern that two names would be mentioned, that it could cause

16    possible harm to his family.  I would have no objection if the Court

17    assigned them Defence pseudonyms.  I will be asking him about those two

18    gentlemen, and their names are on the bottom of that sheet.

19            The next number would be Prosecution document number 164, Your

20    Honour.

21            JUDGE HUNT:  That will be Exhibit P164, and it's under seal.

22            In relation to Defence pseudonyms, have you thought of any

23    numbers?  We've used VGD-1 and VGD-2.  But have you organised any others,

24    Mr. Domazet, or shall we just proceed with 3 and 4?

25            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] I agree, Your Honour, that we

Page 1871

 1    continue with numbers 3 and 4, because I still don't have a separate list

 2    so I don't think there's any problem with that.

 3            JUDGE HUNT:  Well, the first of the additional names on Exhibit

 4    P164 should be referred to as VGD-3, and the second of those names as

 5    VGD-4.  Perhaps they better be written on the sheet that the witness has

 6    so that he's got them readily available to him.

 7            I interrupted the answer, I'm sorry.  Can you pick it up,

 8    Mr. Domazet?

 9            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.

10            JUDGE HUNT:  Thank you, Mr. Groome, for that.

11            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

12       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, before we continue, I should like to ask you to

13    have a look at this list, and should it become necessary for you to

14    mention any of these individuals, to indicate them by number instead of

15    using their names.

16            As regards the two last individuals on the list, you have separate

17    numbers if we should have any questions in relation to them.

18       A.   I apologise, Your Honours, for having mentioned the name of

19    Witness 059.

20            So when he got to their house, he entered the house.  I was

21    standing in front of the door --

22       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, would you please wait for my question first.

23            Mr. Vasiljevic, try to concentrate on my questions and give me

24    specific and brief answers to them.  First of all, do you remember how

25    many vehicles there were in addition to Milan Lukic's car with whom you

Page 1872












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Page 1873

 1    drove?

 2       A.   Three.  I believe that there were three vehicles.

 3       Q.   Did Milan Lukic's car stop some 20 metres away from the house of

 4    Witness VG-059?

 5       A.   Yes.

 6       Q.   Where did the other vehicles stop?

 7       A.   I think they stopped somewhere in the vicinity.  It's a small

 8    village.

 9       Q.   The individuals who were in those other vehicles, were they

10    wearing a uniform and carrying weapons?

11       A.   Yes, as far as I could tell.  I don't know whether all of them

12    were.  I don't know.  I mean, I didn't know all of them.

13       Q.   What kind of uniforms did they have, including Milan Lukic?

14       A.   Most of them were wearing camouflage uniforms.

15       Q.   Did Milan Lukic also have a uniform like that?

16       A.   Yes, he did.

17       Q.   Were you wearing your uniform, the one that you had when you were

18    in Prelovo?

19       A.   You mean the SMB uniform?

20       Q.   Yes, yes.  Did you have it on on that evening?

21       A.   Yes, most probably -- yes, I did.  I don't know what else I would

22    have had on.

23       Q.   Did you also have your weapon, the one you were issued whilst in

24    Prelovo?

25       A.   Yes.

Page 1874

 1       Q.   A moment ago you told us that it was only Milan Lukic who entered

 2    the house of VG-059.

 3       A.   Yes.

 4       Q.   And you only reached the door and stood in the doorway.  That is

 5    how you explained it to us.

 6       A.   Yes.

 7       Q.   Did you see where other soldiers went?

 8       A.   Well, they were there in the village.

 9       Q.   Can you tell us if Milan Lukic said something or if he asked

10    something from those people whose house he had entered, briefly?

11       A.   Weapons only.

12       Q.   When you say "weapons only," does that mean that he asked them if

13    they had any weapons, or something else?

14       A.   If anyone had any weapons and if they knew who had weapons.

15       Q.   And what did they answer?

16       A.   Nothing.  They said they had nothing.  And people from the village

17    gathered.  He was with them there.  What they talked about word for word,

18    I cannot say.  But he was looking for weapons, saying, "Does anyone have

19    any weapons?  If yes, turn it over," things of that sort.

20       Q.   Let's move slowly, Mr. Vasiljevic.  If I understood you well, at

21    first Milan Lukic was alone with the members of the family of the witness

22    059, and then you say other people gathered.  Does that mean that other

23    villagers had come to that house?

24       A.   The house that he entered belonged to the father of Witness 059,

25    and his brother was there too, and 59 too, 55 was there, the wife of 59,

Page 1875

 1    but they came later.

 2       Q.   If I understood you well, you said that a little later some other

 3    villagers of Musici also turned up; is that correct?

 4       A.   It is.

 5       Q.   And did Milan Lukic say to them the same thing about weapons, or

 6    perhaps did he ask something else?

 7       A.   Yes.

 8       Q.   And during that time while you were there, were there any

 9    incidents or did anything happen that would indicate that there was

10    something between them?

11       A.   In the house belonging to the father of 059, no.

12       Q.   Did you then leave the village of Musici altogether and head for

13    Visegrad?

14       A.   I asked and gave my word to Milan that those people were good

15    people, because I went to school with the brother of 059, and he wanted to

16    go and search.  And I gave him my word that he was telling the truth, that

17    there was nobody up there.  And Witness 59 said so in his statement to the

18    investigators.  I trusted those people, I said.  And that day, there was

19    nothing; he didn't rob them or hit anyone, he didn't.

20       Q.   If I understand what you are saying, nobody searched the houses,

21    nobody went to the attic or --

22       A.   No, no, no, not the attic.  Just the rooms and kitchen, I think,

23    but not the attic.  I said I know, the many questions said to me, there is

24    nothing and I said so because I ...

25       Q.   And after that, did you leave Musici altogether?  I mean, the same

Page 1876

 1    vehicles, you in the car that you had come up in and the others in their

 2    cars?

 3       A.   Yes, I left with them, I think all of them.  I got off where my

 4    house is because it's slightly in front of Visegrad, slightly before you

 5    enter Visegrad.

 6       Q.   So with them, you reached your house which is at the entrance into

 7    Visegrad, on the same road, and that is where you parted company with

 8    them.

 9       A.   Yes, yes, I got off when we reached my house.

10       Q.   And after that, did you ever go to the village of Musici again

11    with Milan Lukic or anyone else from his group?

12       A.   No, never again did I go there with Milan Lukic, to the village of

13    Musici, and I'm quite positive about that.  I did go through the village,

14    though, because that's the only road which takes one to Prelovo.  But not

15    with Milan Lukic, no.

16       Q.   And did your unit, that army kitchen at Prelovo, did it receive

17    orders to relocate to the village of Blace, or in its direction?

18       A.   I asked to be transferred to the village of Blace to avoid

19    commuting by night, but they would not allow it.  And later on it turned

20    out that I had been in the right, and then they did transfer me.  Perhaps

21    we do not understand one another.  We took the food to the village of

22    Blace, and the army kitchen was moved over there later on.

23       Q.   If I understand you well, at the time when the kitchen was

24    relocated to the village of Blace, you were no longer with it?

25       A.   No, no, no.  It was transferred to the village of Blace while I

Page 1877

 1    was still in Prelovo.

 2       Q.   Will you tell us, how did it come about that you stopped being in

 3    Prelovo, rather, in that army kitchen?

 4       A.   The line from Prelovo to the village of Blace where we took food

 5    was to be moved five kilometres on to the village of Rujiste and the

 6    village of Paocici which is below the village of Rujiste.  The road takes

 7    you through the forest there.  And I refused to take the food there at

 8    night, and they then returned to Visegrad and gave me a reference so that

 9    I would report to the command.

10       Q.   So where did you go, and what happened then?

11       A.   I went to Bikavac where the command was, reported to Drago

12    Gavrilovic, and he says to me that I have to go back and I tell him that I

13    won't.  There was no way that I could take any food anywhere at night,

14    especially now that the front line was being moved another five

15    kilometres.  "You have to do it."  "I can't, I daren't, I won't."  "Well,

16    drink less and then you'll dare," he says.  To tell you honest, without a

17    drink, I would never move from my house, I would be afraid to do that.

18            So we did not manage to see eye to eye.  I returned the weapon --

19    no, I forgot to say, I didn't -- when I had started from Prelovo, up there

20    they took away my automatic rifle and gave me back the submachine-gun, the

21    one that I had been issued with before.  At Bikavac, I returned the

22    submachine-gun, and Drago says, "Mitar, you're going to be put behind the

23    bars."  I said, "It's all right with me.  I don't care.  I am too afraid

24    to go there," and that's the end of it.  And they did arrest me that day.

25       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, do you remember the day when that happened or the

Page 1878

 1    period of time when that happened?

 2       A.   I think it was the 29th.  They did not give me any disposition or

 3    decision or anything.

 4       Q.   So you think it was the end of May 1992; is that it?  When you say

 5    that you were arrested the same day, was it at that same place or where?

 6       A.   It was down in the town.

 7       Q.   And who arrested you?

 8       A.   Two military policemen.  Let me tell you, they invited me to board

 9    their car.  They did not try to do anything to me; they did not use any

10    force.  "Come along, get into the car."  I did.  They took me to the

11    station.  They were quite correct.  I didn't expect that.

12       Q.   But he gave you -- they gave you no paper, no document about it at

13    all?

14       A.   No.  I asked for it and they promised.  They said allegedly I'd

15    spent 15 days in gaol.

16       Q.   And where did they take you?

17       A.   To the Uzamnica -- to Uzamnica.

18       Q.   Was that a prison or what?

19       A.   It was the barracks.  Earlier, I mean, it was the JNA

20    barracks.

21       Q.   Do you recall any of the people who worked there or who were

22    possibly serving terms at the same time?

23       A.   When I arrived up there, I found there another prisoner, Pero

24    Simcic his name was.

25       Q.   And that Pero Simcic was incarcerated in the same place, in the

Page 1879

 1    same room?

 2       A.   Yes, we were in the same room.

 3       Q.   And do you remember any of the staff of that prison?

 4       A.   Well, there was a colleague of mine who distributed food there.

 5    There were guards too.

 6            THE INTERPRETER:  I did not catch the name of the man who

 7    distributed food.

 8            JUDGE HUNT:  The interpreters lost the name there, if he gave one.

 9            Mr. Vasiljevic, you do drop your voice quite often.  Just

10    remember that it's got to get through to the interpreters.  Indeed, it's

11    got to get through to Mr. Domazet as well.

12            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

13       Q.   Will you please repeat the name of that man who you say is your

14    colleague and served food there.

15       A.   Ilija Zecevic.

16       Q.   Thank you.  And during the term, did you receive any medical

17    attention?

18       A.   I did.

19       Q.   Whose?

20       A.   Dr. Vasiljevic, and a nurse who came with him.  I think her name,

21    her first name is Marica.  I don't know what her last name is.

22       Q.   And why did that doctor and that nurse come to see you?

23       A.   My nerves were in a bad state.  I suppose alcohol had something to

24    do with it.  So he gave me an infusion.  I was on a hunger strike.

25       Q.   Do you remember how, at the time when you were arrested and taken

Page 1880

 1    to Uzamnica, if you were drunk then?

 2       A.   Well, yes, to be quite frank, I never stopped drinking at the

 3    time.

 4       Q.   Was that the reason or one of the reasons for the intervention by

 5    the doctor and the nurse?

 6       A.   Yes.

 7       Q.   Do you remember, how many days did you spend at Uzamnica?

 8       A.   Well, I was released from Uzamnica after my cousin was killed.

 9       Q.   Which cousin, Mr. Vasiljevic?

10       A.   Zeljko Sikiric.

11       Q.   And where was he killed; do you know that?

12       A.   Up there somewhere near Brodar, in the direction of Medzedza.

13    Somewhere in the woods.  I don't know exactly where, but it was near

14    Brodar somewhere.

15       Q.   You say that was the reason why they let you out of the prison.

16    After how many days; can you remember that?

17       A.   I spent three days up there.  Three or maybe four.

18       Q.   And did you attend the funeral of your cousin Sikiric?

19       A.   I did.

20       Q.   Did this funeral take place only, more or less, immediately after

21    he died, or did it take place a few days later; do you remember that?  Or

22    let me rephrase this.  Funerals usually take place a day or two after the

23    demise.  That is a custom with us.  Was that the case in this particular

24    instance?

25       A.   No, because they were killed in the woods.  There were two

Page 1881

 1    neighbours with him, and these other two were -- got out before him and

 2    they were buried a couple of days before him.  So one had to wait, I don't

 3    know how long really, while they found them and then could get to them.

 4    They had to wait for the army to liberate it.  So that he wasn't brought

 5    that same day, no.

 6       Q.   So from the moment when your cousin was killed until the time when

 7    his body was pulled out and then buried, several days elapsed; is that

 8    correct?

 9       A.   Yes, yes, it is.

10       Q.   Can you explain the relationship?  Who is he?  What is he?

11       A.   He's my uncle's son.  Dobrivoje Sikiric.

12       Q.   So Dobrivoje Sikiric is your mother's brother; is that it?

13       A.   Yes.

14       Q.   Where did he live?

15       A.   In the village called Vardiste.

16       Q.   And Vardiste is on the main road from Visegrad to Uzice; is that

17    correct?

18       A.   Yes.

19       Q.   At that time, did he have a coffee bar in that village?

20       A.   He did.  He must have had it for some ten years at the time,

21    perhaps even longer.

22       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, did you attend Zeljko Sikiric's funeral?

23       A.   I did.

24       Q.   Did you -- if you can remember, that is, were you under influence

25    at that time or not?

Page 1882

 1       A.   I was, yes.

 2       Q.   Why?  Could you explain it, please?

 3       A.   Well, I was sorry; we were relatives.  I grieved.

 4       Q.   Thank you.  Now I'll move on to another matter, and that is the

 5    7th of June, 1992 and what happened that day.  Let me remind you.  It was

 6    the incident with which you are charged.  Do you remember what you did

 7    that day, and how did it happen that you went to Vilina Vlas?

 8       A.   When they released me from Uzamnica, from prison, I reported to

 9    the command and begged them not to lock me up again.  And then they let me

10    organise the cleaning of the town.  And that day I was on my way back

11    home, and before I got there, Stanko Pecikoza in a car caught up with

12    me.

13       Q.   And who was Stanko Pecikoza?

14       A.   Stanko Pecikoza was a Serb from Vise, a businessman.  He had

15    his sawmill and his carpenter shop about a kilometre from my house, in a

16    village called Kosovo Polje.

17            JUDGE HUNT:  Is this convenient, Mr. Domazet?

18            MR. DOMAZET:  Yes, Your Honour.

19            JUDGE HUNT:  How are you going for your estimate and the length of

20    your evidence-in-chief?  I have in mind your wish to speak to the witness

21    tomorrow.  Do you think you'll be finished by 4.00?

22            MR. DOMAZET:  Yes, Your Honour, I hope to finish before then.

23            JUDGE HUNT:  I don't want you to hurry it in any way, but it

24    certainly would be to yours and the accused's advantage if you do finish

25    by 4.00.  But please don't feel in any way pushed.

Page 1883

 1            We'll adjourn now until 2.30.

 2                          --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
























Page 1884

 1                          --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.

 2            JUDGE HUNT:  Mr. Domazet.

 3            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

 4       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, we left off at the moment when you started talking

 5    about Stanko Pecikoza and his encounter with yourself on the 7th of June.

 6    I should like you to continue describing that particular encounter.  On

 7    that day, Stanko Pecikoza stopped his car and then you saw him, and can

 8    you please tell us what happened next.

 9       A.   Yes.  Stanko stopped his car and he asked me whether I knew where

10    Lukic was, whether I had seem him around.  I said, "Stanko, I don't know.

11    It's possible that he's at Banja, because that's where he usually spends

12    the night."  And then he asked me whether I would like to join him, to go

13    to Banja, and I said, "Yes, why not," because it was an opportunity for me

14    to take my waiter's uniform which was left over there.

15       Q.   Your waiter's uniform was there for how long?

16       A.   Well, I left it there at the time I worked there at Banja, while

17    the Uzice Corps was there, while I worked there.  But not all the time,

18    maybe for about 15 days.  So that is how we set out towards Banja.

19       Q.   Just a moment.  Does that mean, Mr. Vasiljevic, that you had not

20    been at Banja ever since, that is, since the time you left your waiter's

21    uniform there?

22       A.   Yes, I did go to Stara Banja once or twice while the locality was

23    still functioning, while the corps was there.  But no, I didn't go there

24    very often, no.

25       Q.   So did you go to Vilina Vlas with Stanko Pecikoza in his car?

Page 1885

 1       A.   Yes.

 2       Q.   Did you see anyone there when you got there?

 3       A.   Milivoje Susnjar was at the reception desk and I asked him whether

 4    he knew about Milan Stanko, because they were looking for him because of

 5    the incidents that he was involved in.  Stanko was active in the party.  I

 6    don't know exactly what he was, he was a deputy chairman, I think.  And

 7    he was very much against Milan and his behaviour, his actions.  But

 8    anyway, he wasn't there, and Stanko told me to -- well, he actually asked

 9    me to stay there and he said, "If he should come back, please let me know

10    that he's there, and I'm now going to look for him, see if I can find

11    him."  He said, "I'm going down to Prelovo to see if he's there," because

12    he had already been looking for him for quite some time, around the town

13    mostly.

14            So Stanko left and I remained there with Milivoje for awhile.  I

15    was not able to get my uniform, my waiter's uniform, because the area

16    behind the kitchen was locked up, and that is where our cloakrooms were.

17    So I was unable to get there.  But I stayed there for awhile, half an hour

18    maybe, and then Milan Lukic came, together with seven Muslims and three or

19    four other people with him whom they had collected in Bikavac.  Meho

20    Dzafic was there and his son.

21       Q.   I should like you to pause for awhile.  Could you please focus on

22    my question so that we can give the Court as precise a description as

23    possible.  So you remained at Vilina Vlas, and Milivoje Susnjar was the

24    only individual who was with you at the time.  Milivoje Susnjar is the one

25    whom you found when you got there.

Page 1886

 1       A.   Yes.

 2       Q.   Some 30 minutes after Pecikoza left, Milan Lukic came with his

 3    men, taking with him a group of people amongst whom you recognised Meho

 4    Dzafic; is that correct?

 5       A.   Yes.

 6            MR. GROOME:  Objection.  Leading.

 7            JUDGE HUNT:  I think it was a leading question.  If it's

 8    important, Mr. Domazet, you really should not lead because it destroys the

 9    value of his answer.

10            If you want to object, let's hear you say it.  I can't look at

11    both sides of the courtroom at the same time.

12            MR. GROOME:  Yes, Your Honour.

13            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mitar Vasiljevic

14    himself said that seven Muslims arrived with him, including Meho Dzafic

15    and his son, and that was the reason why I phrased my question the way I

16    phrased it, because he had already given me the answer.  However, I will

17    try to rephrase it.

18            JUDGE HUNT:  If he had, it was some time ago, because I don't

19    recall it, frankly.  But if he had said it, then it was not a leading

20    question.  But let's not argue, let's get on with the case.

21            MR. DOMAZET:  Yes.

22       Q.   [Interpretation] The individuals whom you just mentioned entered

23    the hotel.  Where were you at that moment?

24       A.   At the reception desk of the hotel.  Actually, I was not inside, I

25    was in front of the reception.

Page 1887












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

13   English transcripts.













Page 1888

 1       Q.   In that lobby, there is a door on the left leading to the swimming

 2    pool, then a cloakroom, and then further down the hall is the reception.

 3    Can you remember exactly where you were at the moment those people entered

 4    the building?

 5       A.   Well, I was there near the desk.  I mean, I was around.  I was in

 6    the lobby, right in front of the reception desk.

 7       Q.   Were you armed?

 8       A.   No, I wasn't.

 9       Q.   At the time, were you issued with any weapon at all?

10       A.   No, I was not.  I told you that I had returned my weapon when I

11    was captured, when I was arrested, at Bikavac.  It was at Bikavac that I

12    returned my weapon.

13       Q.   Did you have your uniform on?

14       A.   Yes.

15       Q.   What kind of uniform?  Could you describe it for us, please.

16       A.   The usual SMB uniform; the trousers, T-shirt, a shirt, that is.

17       Q.   The trousers were part of the SMB uniform.  What about the shirt?

18    Was it a military shirt or a civilian shirt?

19       A.   Most probably it was also an SMB shirt, a sports shirt or a

20    similar one.  I don't know.  I changed shirts very often in those days

21    because I was cleaning the town, so I probably had this kind of a sports

22    shirt on at that time as well.

23       Q.   Did you have anything on your head?

24       A.   I had a hat.

25       Q.   What kind of hat, Mr. Vasiljevic?

Page 1889

 1       A.   A black hat which was usually worn by the military.

 2       Q.   Did you often wear this hat?

 3       A.   Sometimes, though not always.

 4       Q.   On that particular occasion, did you have a red ribbon tied around

 5    your sleeve?

 6       A.   Yes.

 7       Q.   Why did you wear that ribbon?  Could you explain that to us,

 8    please.

 9       A.   It was a kind of sign, indicating that I was working as a cleaner,

10    that I had my duty in the town.

11       Q.   Could you now tell us what happened when this group of people

12    entered the hotel, when they came to the reception?  Did any one of them

13    speak to Susnjar, who was the only person present there, and what happened

14    next?

15       A.   Susnjar was working at the reception.  He was a kind of janitor

16    there.  He had been one even prior to the war.  So when Milan and his men

17    entered together with those Muslims, he went to look for the keys.

18    Actually, Milan asked for the keys but Susnjar didn't want to give him the

19    keys because he was very rude, Milan, that is, and he was persistent.  He

20    wanted to have the keys but Susnjar wouldn't give him the keys.  Milan

21    wanted to lock those people up.  He wanted to take them upstairs.

22    Allegedly, he needed them for some kind of exchange.  I don't know exactly

23    what he had in mind.

24       Q.   Did he actually say that?  Did he actually tell you that he wanted

25    to lock them up or that he wanted to take them for an exchange, or is it

Page 1890

 1    something that you were able to conclude from his behaviour?

 2       A.   He wanted to lock those people up.  He was asking for keys to the

 3    rooms, but Susnjar didn't want to give him the keys, which made him very

 4    rude, extremely rude, and he started making a lot of noise.  Frankly

 5    speaking, I was very embarrassed because I was there with this senior

 6    colleague of mine with whom I had worked together for a very long time.

 7    But this didn't last very long, it all happened very quickly.

 8       Q.   Did Susnjar tell him why he didn't want to give him the keys?  Was

 9    there any specific reason for that, or did they discuss the subject at

10    all?

11       A.   Well, to tell you the truth, it's -- well, it's hard for me to

12    remember the details of the conversation.  Actually, it was with Meho

13    Dzafic that I went outside.  I know that Susnjar didn't give him the keys

14    most probably because he had been taking people there already.  I don't

15    know whether I can mention -- I mean, I've already said Susnjar.  I think

16    that he released some people that he had previously brought there.

17       Q.   Did anyone say something to that effect on that occasion?

18       A.   I cannot say that I personally heard that.  It is possible that at

19    that moment I was already outside with Meho.  It's difficult for me to

20    remember all of the details.  What I do remember, however, is that he was

21    very rude and that he insisted on having the keys and that Susnjar refused

22    to give him the keys.  He said he wanted to lock those people up and to

23    later take them to be exchanged, because allegedly some Serbs had been

24    taken prisoners and taken from Rujiste to Zepa.  I don't know who.  Who

25    would know?  I mean, all those plans that he had in mind, I really don't

Page 1891

 1    know.

 2       Q.   So what happened when he didn't get the keys?  What did Milan do

 3    at that point?

 4       A.   I left out -- I went out with Meho Dzafic and we talked for

 5    awhile, and Dzafic said, "I don't know what happened.  He came to my

 6    house, he picked up some people."  And then I said, "What does he want to

 7    do with you?"  He told me that he wanted to have them exchanged.  And I

 8    said, "Well, for whom are you supposed to be exchanged?"  And he said he

 9    didn't know.  He was very much afraid, and he said, "Mitar, could you

10    please come with me, if you can," and I said, "Well, Meho, I will."

11       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, would you please answer my questions.  My question

12    was:  What did Milan do after those keys were not given to him?

13       A.   He said that they were to go back to the vehicles, to the cars,

14    and that they were going to be exchanged.  So I got out of the hotel with

15    Meho --

16       Q.   So did they actually go there?

17       A.   Well, I went out with Meho and Meho asked me if I had a cigarette.

18    I gave him a cigarette, he smoked it halfway, and then Milan came and,

19    rude as he was, he snatched that cigarette from him and he threw it away.

20    He said, "You're not going to smoke in the car."  And I said, "Well, why

21    don't you let him finish his cigarette."  And he said, "He's not going to

22    smoke in the car," and then he said, "Now, get in the car."  And I

23    remember very well that I was sitting in the car -- Meho was sitting in

24    the middle and I was sitting next to him, and there was another Muslim

25    sitting to Meho's left.  I was sitting on his right.  There was also

Page 1892

 1    Meho's son with us, and the soldier under number 4 here.

 2       Q.   So you left Vilina Vlas in a car?

 3       A.   Yes, that is correct.

 4       Q.   Which car was the first one in line, in the column?

 5       A.   Lukic's car, a Passat.

 6       Q.   At one point in time you reached the junction at Sase.  What

 7    happened next?

 8       A.   Some 500 metres from the junction, to the right, in the direction

 9    towards Prelovo, he stopped the car.  In Sase, actually.

10       Q.   Did he leave the car?  Did he get out of the car?

11       A.   Yes, he did.

12       Q.   What about other passengers in his car?

13       A.   Yes.  We all got out of the car.  Also, the people who were in the

14    Jugo, they also got out of the car, pursuant to his orders.

15       Q.   And what happened next?

16       A.   He told us to continue down towards the Drina.  Then at that

17    point, people started panicking.  The situation was not normal.  And I

18    said, "Milan, for God's sake, leave these people alone."  He said, "I told

19    you to go down to the Drina."  So these people went down the meadow

20    towards the Drina.  Meho stayed with me.  Meho was crying.  And I remember

21    Milan at one point in time putting his arm around Meho and I thought that

22    he would have pity on him.  And he said, "Mitar, would you please help

23    me," and I said, "Milan, please, leave these people alone.  What have they

24    done to you?  Nothing."  And those other Muslims started to beg, but Milan

25    wouldn't budge.  He said, "No discussion.  Just go down the meadow,

Page 1893

 1    continue towards the Drina."

 2            Those people were still begging him.  There were people who

 3    couldn't swim.  But he just wouldn't budge.

 4       Q.   Who said, "Who can swim?"

 5       A.   Milan said.  Milan did.

 6       Q.   From what you have just told us, one can conclude that you too

 7    realised what the danger was, that you too could conclude that those

 8    people would be killed by Milan.

 9       A.   Yes.

10       Q.   And that is indeed what happened, they were killed sometime later,

11    except for the two individuals who managed to save themselves?

12       A.   Yes, that is correct.

13       Q.   Do you think that you were in a position to prevent that?

14       A.   I was trying.  I begged him, but it was impossible to order him to

15    do anything or to ask him anything.  He was -- he was cruel.  He wouldn't

16    listen.

17       Q.   So you went down towards the Drina with those people; is that

18    correct?

19       A.   Yes.

20       Q.   How far did you go with them?  How far did you accompany them; all

21    the way down, or did you stop at one point?

22       A.   I stopped some 10 or 15 metres before the river, because I

23    realised that there was nothing that can be done, that it was all over.

24       Q.   Did Milan or someone else line up those people on the bank of the

25    river?

Page 1894

 1       A.   Well, they went all the way down to the river.  I remained where I

 2    was, some 10 or 15 metres away from the bank, near some bushes.  I could

 3    hear the noise, I could hear people cry and beg, but it was to no avail.

 4    And then shooting started and I heard those shots and I heard those

 5    terrible moans, screams of people being drowned.

 6       Q.   How many of them opened fire?  How many of them actually shot?

 7       A.   Three of them.  Three of them actually went down to the river.

 8       Q.   Are you also counting Milan Lukic amongst those three individuals?

 9       A.   Yes.

10       Q.   Were you behind those people at the moment the shooting started?

11       A.   Yes.

12       Q.   How far were you, and where exactly where you standing?

13       A.   I was some 10 to 15 metres away from them, actually, away from the

14    water.

15       Q.   At the spot where you were, were there any bushes or trees?

16       A.   There were some bushes, some brambles growing near the water.

17       Q.   Could you tell us what kind of bushes those were?

18       A.   Well, it's the kind of -- it's a kind of bush or a tree which

19    grows near the water.  Usually you would find such bushes and small trees

20    growing near rivers.  And there were also some other trees there, some

21    poplars, the kind of trees that you usually find near the river.

22       Q.   So you remained there, near those trees, and you were some 10 or

23    15 metres behind the people, behind the individuals who shot at the group

24    which was standing at the bank of the river; is that correct?

25       A.   Yes.

Page 1895

 1       Q.   Did you watch the shooting itself?

 2       A.   Well, not directly.  I didn't watch them kill those people.  I

 3    turned around because it was very difficult for me to watch that.  But I

 4    could hear the shots and I could hear people getting drowned.  It was

 5    terrible to listen to all that.

 6       Q.   Did you ever -- were you ever present at any shooting incident

 7    before that?

 8       A.   No, never.  I had never seen any shooting except in the movies.

 9    Never.

10       Q.   And what happened next?

11       A.   They shot those people dead.  I started up the meadow; they

12    followed.  And, What did you do?  Why did you have to do that?  But he

13    wouldn't turn a hair.  He just didn't care, that's how he behaved.  So we

14    reached the vehicles.  We set off.  I got out at my house.

15       Q.   You mean your house at the entrance into Visegrad?

16       A.   That's right.

17       Q.   And who were you in the car with?

18       A.   Number 4.

19       Q.   So in the same car that you went to the Drina; is that it?

20       A.   Yes.

21       Q.   Did you discuss the things that you saw that day with anyone?

22       A.   It was difficult to do that.  I was very distraught even before

23    that, and it was -- it was very hard for me.  I tried to.  I was washing

24    my face, I poured water on the back of my neck.  Everything that happened,

25    it was just too hard to even think about.

Page 1896

 1       Q.   But what did you tell your wife?  Did you tell her the whole

 2    story?

 3       A.   I told her.  I told her how Milan had brought Meho and his son and

 4    another five and how he killed them next to the Drina.

 5       Q.   Did you talk about this with anyone else?

 6       A.   In the morning, I went to the police station and I told the

 7    commander, Tomic.

 8       Q.   Why him?

 9       A.   Why, he was the commander, and I knew him too.  He came from the

10    neighbourhood and he was the police chief, so who else would I go to?

11       Q.   Did Tomic say anything to you?

12       A.   He asked me what was that, what happened, who were those men.  He

13    wrote it down, the cause for that.

14       Q.   Do you know if he took any steps?

15       A.   I don't.  I don't know if he took any steps.

16       Q.   Now, I'd like to ask you about -- something about what you did

17    when you were a street-sweep.

18       A.   Well, I told Stanko the same thing.  Stanko wanted to banish him

19    from Visegrad, but then Stanko got killed too so that -- well, you know.

20       Q.   Will you tell me something about what you did when you tried to

21    clean the town up.  You said that you organised the sweeping of streets.

22    Now, how, where, what did you do, and who helped you in that?

23       A.   The town was really in shambles, very unkempt, and so at Bikavac,

24    in the command, they suggested to me to organise the cleaning up of the

25    town.  "Would you do that?"  "Sure," I said.  "Who did this?"  "Well,

Page 1897

 1    those were salesmen or businessmen."  Everybody did in front of their

 2    buildings, or tenants in front of their buildings, postmen in front of the

 3    post office, in the neighbourhood -- in different neighbourhoods, I mean,

 4    where individual houses stand, it was usually the housewives.  And we

 5    worked until 9.00 or 10.00 so that the town was put back in order.   It

 6    had never been cleaner than then.  Never.  Everybody did his bit and

 7    everything was put in order, cleaned and swept.  You couldn't

 8    recognise it.

 9       Q.   When you say 9.00 or 10.00, that means one hour a day; is that it?

10       A.   Yes.

11       Q.   Did you do it daily, or did it depend on something else?

12       A.   Well, usually, yes.  In front of the shops, restaurants, selling

13    outlets, post offices, banks, newsstands, usually at that time.

14       Q.   When you organised these drives, what did you wear; civilian or

15    some other clothes?

16       A.   Well, everything.  I mean, civilian clothes.  I also wore that old

17    SMB, the olive-green/grey uniform.  At times I would have the army

18    trousers and a civilian shirt.  I mean, there was no obligation, one

19    didn't have to wear anything special, nor did I have any clothes that

20    would show what I was doing.  The only thing I had was this red ribbon.

21    And those people, I mean, the Visegradians, they knew me.  And they did

22    that, they liked to do that, especially in front of their shops and

23    businesses.  You didn't have to say anything to them, those people,

24    especially saleswomen, they all swept it clean.

25       Q.   And on such occasions, did you always wear that red ribbon?

Page 1898

 1       A.   Yes.  I think we were the busiest in my street, because when the

 2    lake was released, of course, the water had carried all sorts of things,

 3    poplar trunks and branches and all that, and so we had to bring some saws

 4    to -- some electric saws to do that, but of course it was the men who did

 5    that because it was all brought in by the water, but we managed to clean

 6    that up too.

 7       Q.   Did both the Serbs and Muslims take part in that?

 8       A.   Yes, yes, people from the buildings.  Yes, everybody.  Everybody

 9    who lived in the residential buildings, they would come down and do that.

10    Nobody was forced to do that.  There were no summons issued to people to

11    come out to that.  No, never.  And besides, I had no right to do any such

12    thing.  Nobody was forced to do that.  People accepted to do that, and the

13    town was clean as clean, and we helped.  We also helped the public

14    utilities company.  We tried to put all the rubbish in some parcels, and

15    then a truck would come and we would just load it in.

16       Q.   These drives, did they go on until that day when you suffered you

17    injury or, rather, when you broke your leg?

18       A.   Until up to that day, you mean, that day?

19       Q.   I mean the period preceding it and that day.

20       A.   Well, the preceding period, all the time up to that day and on

21    that day too.

22       Q.   And that day, that is, the last day, the day when you suffered

23    your injury, did you happen on Pionirska Street?

24       A.   Yes.

25       Q.   Do you recall how sometime, somewhere near the elementary school

Page 1899

 1    on Pionirska Street, how you walked down the street, inviting people to

 2    come out and clean the streets?   Do you remember that?

 3       A.   Let me tell you, I went everywhere; to Bikavac and Pionirska

 4    Street, and Jondza, and Kalate, and the area towards the station.  I did

 5    rounds of all that.  And people did it.  I asked people and they did it.

 6    I mean, really, everybody, whoever had time, and everybody was keen to do

 7    it, and people were very happy because the town was suddenly all clean.  I

 8    mean, it was so unkempt and it looked in such disorder and there was so

 9    much dirt around and waste paper and posters and all that, it was all over

10    the place, but that was all removed, taken away.  You couldn't recognise

11    it.  All the broken glass, all the shards, we all took that out, collected

12    it, removed it, everything.

13       Q.   Fine.  You have explained it to us all in detail, and I think that

14    is clear now.  But what I asked you was whether you remembered how, on

15    that day, you were on Pionirska Street, somewhere near the elementary

16    school, that is, in the upper part of the street, and as you walked down

17    the street, how you invited people to come out and sweep the streets.  And

18    do you remember if you had a loudspeaker of any kind or something, a

19    loudspeaker?

20            MR. GROOME:  Objection.

21       A.   No.

22            JUDGE HUNT:  Yes, Mr. Groome?

23            MR. GROOME:  Leading, Your Honour.

24            JUDGE HUNT:  Yes.  By the way, on the previous one, both you and

25    I, I think, probably missed, but about three questions before you took

Page 1900

 1    your previous objection, the witness had in fact referred to those.  I was

 2    distracted because Mr. Domazet had actually remonstrated with his client

 3    to answer his question, so I didn't really take much notice of the answer

 4    he had given but it had been given there.

 5            But this one, Mr. Domazet, whereabouts has the witness given

 6    evidence about this?  You opened it, but about the last three questions,

 7    if I may suggest to you, are suggesting to him the answer.  One of the

 8    worst of them was, "Did you just happen upon Pionirska Street?"  Now, do

 9    you suggest that he has given this evidence about the loudspeaker?

10            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a witness mentioned

11    that loudspeaker and he claimed that, on that occasion, Mr. Vasiljevic had

12    one such loudspeaker in his hands, and that is why I -- yes.

13            JUDGE HUNT:  Mr. Domazet, that is still a leading question.  Now,

14    please let the witness give the evidence.  Don't give it from the bar

15    table.  If you want us to place weight upon his evidence, please do not

16    lead him.  Now, that's very basic.  You are destroying your own client's

17    evidence by leading him along these lines.

18            I know the witness gave evidence about it, but that's not the

19    point here.  You ask him what he recalls having been said.  If he is

20    unable to do it, then you can draw his attention to the evidence which the

21    witness has given as such.  But that was clearly leading.  But the worst

22    of them, and I wondered why there was no objection, was that expression,

23    "You just happened to be on Pionirska Street."  Now, please, that's a

24    very vital issue in this case, so help your client by not leading him.

25            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour.  I will then

Page 1901

 1    withdraw this question.

 2       Q.   So, Mr. Vasiljevic, my question is:  What do you remember about

 3    Pionirska Street on that day; that is, what did you do there?  Did you

 4    have anything in your hands?  How were you dressed?

 5       A.   To be quite honest, I am charged with that crime on Pionirska

 6    Street, but I never knew about that crime until I arrived in The Hague.

 7       Q.   Just a moment.  We may arrive there, but I'm asking you to give me

 8    specific answers to my questions.  My question was whether you remember

 9    what you wore on that occasion, did you have anything in your hands, and

10    where were you headed when you found yourself on Pionirska Street?

11       A.   I had the SMB trousers, a shirt - it was of a dark colour because

12    it was after my cousin's death I told you about - boots, and a bottle, I'm

13    sure.

14       Q.   And did you have anything on your head?

15       A.   I don't remember.  I don't know.

16            JUDGE HUNT:  Well, now, Mr. Domazet, at that stage you are

17    entitled to ask him specifically about the witness's evidence as to what

18    he had in his hands and what he had on his head.  You can ask him

19    specifically now in relation to that evidence.  You've got him to exhaust

20    his recollection.

21            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Right.

22       Q.   So, Mr. Vasiljevic, apart from the bottle which you mentioned, do

23    you recall that you had anything else in your hands?

24       A.   No, I don't recall anything.

25       Q.   I'm speaking about that bottle.  What is that?  Was it a full

Page 1902












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

13   English transcripts.













Page 1903

 1    bottle or, rather, what was there in the bottle, if there was anything?

 2       A.   Well, alcohol, what else?  Brandy.

 3       Q.   Were you drinking then from that bottle?

 4       A.   Well, I must have, surely.

 5       Q.   And on Pionirska Street, did you then come across a person whom

 6    you had known from before?

 7       A.   Yes.  I came across (redacted).

 8            JUDGE HUNT:  Mr. Domazet, I don't know if you misunderstood me,

 9    but you are now entitled to put to him the evidence which the witnesses

10    have given to enable him to deny them if it be the case.  For example, if

11    he was wearing a big floppy black hat, was he wearing one?   I don't want

12    you to have misunderstood what I have said.  You have to get him, first of

13    all, to give his version before you can put the witness's evidence to him,

14    but now you've taken him through it, he says he has no recollection, you

15    can say to him, Were you wearing a big, black, floppy hat? if I've got the

16    right description, and you can put to him what the witnesses said he had

17    in his hand and he is then able to deny it.

18            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

19       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, you said that now and then you would wear a black

20    hat, but you could not remember that you had any head covering on that

21    occasion; is that correct?

22       A.   Yes, I did have a black hat.

23       Q.   And that black hat was a broad-rimmed hat, or how was it?

24       A.   No, no, no, it was a military hat with upturned brim.

25       Q.   So it was a narrow-brimmed hat; is that correct?

Page 1904

 1       A.   Yes, it is.

 2       Q.   Did you ever wear a straw hat?

 3       A.   No, never.  It's yellow.  A straw hat is yellow.

 4       Q.   Or perhaps a hat of any other colour except that black hat that

 5    you mentioned?

 6       A.   No.  That was the only one that I had.

 7       Q.   In addition to what you have just described, did you have a coat?

 8       A.   I never wore any coat.

 9       Q.   You say you never wore any coat.  So on that occasion or any other

10    occasion, you simply do not wear any coats?

11       A.   No, I've never worn a long coat in my life.  Had I had one, I

12    wouldn't have been soaked by the rain.  I never wore that, never in my

13    life.  I never had one.

14       Q.   And did you have any weapon on you on that occasion?

15       A.   I didn't.

16       Q.   And did you have a megaphone or some loudspeaker or some PA

17    device?

18       A.   No, no, I didn't.

19       Q.   Did you use any such contraption to call people, to summon people,

20    or did you use only your own unaided voice?

21       A.   Only the first day, only when this drive started, when I started

22    organising this, that was the only time I did that.  After that, no, there

23    was no need to do it.

24       Q.   I understand that once, in the beginning, you used a loudspeaker.

25       A.   Yes.  After that, people knew about that.  There was no need to

Page 1905

 1    organise people any more.

 2       Q.   Are you sure, or would you allow that you perhaps did have a

 3    loudspeaker with you on that occasion?

 4       A.   No, no, no, I was off on another -- on a different errand.

 5       Q.   And that was?

 6       A.   I went to get a horse from a settlement called Vucina.

 7       Q.   And is that the road to Vucina, you take Pionirska Street to go

 8    there?

 9       A.   Yes.

10       Q.   Awhile ago you said that you had noticed and approached your

11    acquaintance, (redacted).

12       A.   Yes.

13       Q.   Will you tell me something about that conversation that you had,

14    if, that is, you had any?

15       A.   I knew Mujo well.  He came from the village of Sase, and he'd pass

16    by my house every day when he worked -- when he went to work.  And he also

17    frequented various restaurants and coffee bars, especially coffee bars.

18    He was quite fond of drink too.  So we inquired after each other's

19    health.  "So what's new, Mujo?" and he said, "Well, nothing.  We have to

20    go."  He says, "We've just received orders to go to Kladanj."  "Why is

21    that?  What's that?"  And I know that he told me that his wife had left

22    already.  Well, we had a drink and he offered also his cows to me.  He

23    said, "I've got two cows.  Want them?"  "What do I want these cows for,

24    Mujo?  You know I have nowhere to keep them.  I have no use for them," I

25    said.  And so we talked for awhile, and I said, "Well, don't worry, boy,

Page 1906

 1    you'll be back.  All this madness will pass."  "Oh, well, I don't know

 2    what to do."  Well, it was nine years ago.  I don't really remember all

 3    that we talked about, but that was that, more or less.

 4       Q.   Do you remember anything else that was said in that conversation,

 5    or do you remember anything that you think would be important to tell us?

 6       A.   There was Mujo's neighbour with him.  I don't know what his name

 7    is, but he was building a house next to Mujo, on his left, about 200

 8    metres down below the road.  Mujo lived in Jasarevici, and this man -- you

 9    know, where that warehouse is.  They're neighbours.  As a matter of

10    fact, that house wasn't finished yet but he was building it, I know that,

11    passing by my place.  What his name is, I don't know.  I knew him by

12    sight.

13       Q.   Did (redacted) know about your cleaning drives, rather, that

14    you headed those actions?

15       A.   I'm sure he didn't because I didn't go down to villages.  But

16    he -- perhaps he did ask me because of the ribbon or something.  I may

17    have said something.  But what I'm not sure about I won't talk about,

18    because the crime is a very severe crime, so I won't talk about that.  And

19    it's a long time ago, and I wouldn't have remembered any of this had it

20    not been for (redacted) there, nor would I have remembered any of the

21    other people because I just passed by them.  I don't know what to say.

22    I'm being accused of having done this, so to give you every detail about

23    everything that we talked about, I really can't remember it all.  We might

24    have spent some half an hour together, I don't know.

25       Q.   Did you -- and you were drinking brandy all that while with him?

Page 1907

 1       A.   Yes.

 2       Q.   You say that you don't really remember it all because you never

 3    thought that it might become important.  But did you pay any attention to

 4    other persons who were possibly around there, or is it that you don't

 5    remember any such thing?

 6       A.   I know that he told me that they were ordered to leave, to go.

 7    There were quite a few people there, including women.  I remember the

 8    weather.  It was cloudy and the wind was blowing.  I was also in a hurry.

 9    I wanted to fetch that horse.  But I would have stayed with him for

10    awhile, I'm sure about that.

11       Q.   Apart from that conversation that you had with him, tete-a-tete

12    for about half an hour, did you personally address anyone else?  Did you

13    say anything to anyone, if you remember?

14       A.   No.  It wasn't possible for me to address them in any way.  I

15    didn't know who was behind it, who was in charge of the overall

16    organisation.  There was nothing I could have possibly told those people.

17    Nor did I know that they were heading somewhere.  I don't know who -- I

18    didn't know who was in charge, who took the initiative to take them

19    wherever they were being taken to.  I really didn't know anything.  I must

20    have told them something, if anyone asked me anything, but I wasn't

21    organising anything.  I never escorted any such group.  I had no idea

22    about such things.

23       Q.   I was just about to ask you, Mr. Vasiljevic, if you had heard, if

24    you had become aware before your conversation with Meho, that any such

25    group had left Visegrad, or was it at that time that you learned about

Page 1908

 1    that?

 2       A.   No, I never knew anything about that.  I had no idea that they

 3    would have to leave Koritnik and be taken somewhere.  I really didn't know

 4    who was the organiser.  I would have passed by and continued on my way if

 5    I had not seen Mujo.  But because I knew Mujo, I just wondered and I

 6    stopped, and then he was telling me all these things and I felt really

 7    sorry for him.  We had had a drink on a number of occasions before that,

 8    so I offered him to drink on that occasion as well, and I said that we

 9    would see each other soon again or something like that.  But now you're

10    asking me about specific things and who was in charge of the organisation

11    of all -- I mean, I really don't know.  Who was I, after all?  I wasn't

12    issuing any tasks, any duties to anyone.  They had been sent by the Red

13    Cross to the Pionirska Street.

14            JUDGE HUNT:  Mr. Vasiljevic, you really must pause before you

15    start your answer.  You're coming in far too quickly.  So pause a bit

16    longer, would you?

17            THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand you, Your Honour.

18            JUDGE HUNT:  Mr. Domazet, this is one of the problems when you're

19    having something translated; I may have interrupted his answer there.  I

20    thought he'd finished.  You may want to pick up about the Red Cross

21    there.

22            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, that's what I was

23    about to ask.

24       Q.   How do you know that, Mr. Vasiljevic?  How do you know that they

25    were sent by the Red Cross to go to Pionirska Street?

Page 1909

 1       A.   Mujo told me that.  He told me that they had been given orders to

 2    that effect, and he said that they were running late on that day and that

 3     -- yes, and I also remember that he told me that his wife had already

 4    left.  That, I remember.  But it's all blurred in my mind.  It was a long

 5    time ago.

 6       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, did you personally ever work for the Red Cross?

 7       A.   No, never.

 8       Q.   Did you ever introduce yourself as an employee of the Red Cross to

 9    anyone?

10       A.   No.  How could I?  I didn't dare.  I mean, why would I have done

11    such a thing?  Why would I have falsely introduced myself?  I would have,

12    I don't know, had to know something about the work itself and how it was

13    done.

14       Q.   On that occasion while you were with (redacted), did he or

15    anyone else ask you to write something down for them?

16       A.   No.  I couldn't write anything down for him.  I could have perhaps

17    given him my address or a telephone number, but no, no.  What could I have

18    possibly written to him?  I was just nobody, and he knew that.  And I -- I

19    was working at that time, but I was not dressed in a fancy manner, as an

20    official of some kind.  I didn't look like anyone in an official capacity.

21       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, could you answer my questions.  Is your answer no?

22       A.   Yes.

23       Q.   Did you carry a piece of paper or a pencil with you?

24       A.   No, no, I had no paper whatsoever.  It was -- it wasn't possible

25    for me to give them any such piece of paper, because such a piece of paper

Page 1910

 1    would have had to have a seal, a stamp of some kind.

 2       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, please concentrate yourself on my questions.  Did

 3    you have any paper, any pencil or pen with you on that occasion?  Did you

 4    have it on you?

 5       A.   No, no.  How could I have?  I cannot even remember that I had a

 6    piece of paper or a pencil.  I may have had it, but I don't know.  I

 7    didn't need it.

 8       Q.   After you left (redacted), did you continue on your way?  Did

 9    you go and fetch that horse?

10       A.   Yes, I went on.

11       Q.   On the way back, did you again see (redacted) or anyone else,

12    if you took the same street on the way back?

13       A.   Yes, I went back along the same street.  I didn't see Mujo.  I

14    don't remember seeing anyone else.  But I remember that I did not see

15    Mujo, that's for sure.  And it was going to rain.  I was riding that

16    horse, and at the moment I was leaving the town, when I was in the

17    outskirts of the town, I remembered that it began to rain and it was

18    actually quite a shower which struck suddenly.  And I remember that -- I

19    remember the sun rays coming through the clouds.  I remember that

20    particular moment because it was at that time that I fell off the horse.

21       Q.   So you were riding a horse along Pionirska Street and you were

22    going towards the centre of the town.  Does that mean that you were riding

23    in the direction of the Visegrad Hotel?

24       A.   Yes.

25       Q.   Do you remember how fast you were riding?  Slowly or quickly?

Page 1911

 1    What was your speed?

 2       A.   Well, I wasn't riding very fast.  The horse did not have a saddle

 3    on, and the horse didn't have horseshoes on, and that was perhaps one of

 4    the reasons why it tripped, and also because the surface of the street was

 5    slippery.

 6       Q.   How did you fall?

 7       A.   Well, at the moment, I was near the -- near a restaurant, I wanted

 8    to take the horse to the railway because I was afraid that somebody would

 9    take it.  It's difficult for me to explain.  It was Semso who called me

10    from the terrace, and this Professor Mitrovic was there.  I must have

11    turned around.  Maybe it was my fault that the horse fell down, that it

12    tripped.  But whatever happened, the horse tripped and it fell down, and I

13    fell, of course, with the horse and I fell on my left leg and it hurt

14    immediately.  The horse immediately stood up and I wasn't able to get off

15    the ground because my leg was hurting me very badly.  And then Pero and

16    this other guy approached me, and I remember that it was raining.  It was

17    no longer a shower but it was still drizzling.  And then Pero took my leg,

18    he felt it, and he said, "I think you've broken it."

19            THE INTERPRETER:  Microphones are off.

20       A.   So since I was unable to get up, they called the ambulance from

21    the hotel.  I spent some 10 or 15 minutes lying there, and then the

22    ambulance arrived.  They put me on a stretcher and they took me in to the

23    ambulance which drove me to the hospital in Visegrad.  Let me just say

24    that it was Zivorad Savic who drove the car.  I know him.

25            Once in hospital, I was admitted by a physician who was there.

Page 1912

 1    His name is Goran Loncarevic.  They took me to the x-ray machine, and

 2    the doctor said, "Mitar, you have broken two bones."  And they put the

 3    sling on my leg with some extension weights, and I was no longer in pain.

 4    Of course, when I tried to move the leg, it hurt, but as long as I was

 5    still, I was okay, it wasn't painful.

 6            I stayed there for awhile.  I waited for some time, and I think

 7    that in the meantime the ambulance left.  They were off to see a patient

 8    in his house.  The doctor provided me with the necessary documentation,

 9    including his opinion and recommendations, whatever I might need for this

10    other hospital, and he sent me to the hospital in Uzice.

11            I am not able to tell you the exact time, what time it was when we

12    left Visegrad.  Whether it was 7.00 or 8.00, I don't know.  I remember it

13    was still raining, it was still cloudy, and me and the driver left the

14    hospital.

15            As we were passing by the Sarajevo bank, a building in the centre

16    of the town, Mile Novakovic was there, he lived in the vicinity, and he

17    was head of the accountancy service of that bank.  And that is how we

18    started for Uzice.

19            As we were passing through the village of Vardiste, I asked the

20    driver to stop by the house of my uncle and to bring me a blanket because

21    I was getting cold.

22            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

23       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, you have now told us that story on your own,

24    without any questions.  I do not wish to repeat anything, but I would just

25    like to know whether that was the uncle who had this coffee shop in

Page 1913

 1    Vardiste and whose son was killed and whose burial you attended.  Is that

 2    the uncle you're talking about?

 3       A.   Yes.

 4       Q.   So it was your uncle who gave you this blanket for you to cover

 5    yourself.  Apart from that, did the driver and this person by the name of

 6    Novakovic who was with you stay at the coffee shop?

 7       A.   The two of them went to the cafe and stayed there for awhile.

 8    They had a coffee there or a drink, I don't know.  And they brought me

 9    some juice.  My uncle and my aunt came down to see me and they asked me

10    what had happened, "You've broken your leg," and I said yes.  "So you have

11    to go to hospital now?" and I said yes.  Then the driver came back

12    together with Mile Novakovic and we continued our journey towards Uzice.

13       Q.   Before that, Mr. Vasiljevic, I would like to know whether you

14    received any medication at the medical centre in Visegrad?

15       A.   No.

16       Q.   Do you know why?

17       A.   Well, they couldn't give me any medicine because of all the

18    alcohol that I had drunk that day.

19       Q.   Did you inform your family or wife of what had happened to you?

20       A.   When I came to Vardiste, actually, it was my uncle who gave her a

21    call because I told him to inform her.

22       Q.   So it was from him that she learned that you were on your way to

23    Uzice and that you had been injured?

24       A.   Yes.  Yes, she told me that he was the one who informed her first

25    about what had happened.

Page 1914

 1       Q.   Were there any checkpoints on that road, and did you have to stop?

 2       A.   Yes.  There was a checkpoint on the Bosnian side and then another

 3    one on the Serbian side.

 4       Q.   Do you remember what time it was when you reached the Uzice

 5    hospital, approximately?

 6       A.   I couldn't tell you the exact hour.  I mean, I can tell you what I

 7    can find in the documents.  The document says 2135, but it could have been

 8    some ten minutes earlier than that.  But it was at that time, more or

 9    less.  At least, that's what was recorded by the woman who was at the

10    reception.  So it was around that time that I arrived.

11       Q.   Was it already dark?

12       A.   Yes, it was.

13       Q.   At the time you left Visegrad, was it still daylight?

14       A.   Yes, yes.

15       Q.   Once at the hospital in Uzice, were any additional x-rays taken?

16    Were you examined?  What happened?

17       A.   They took some x-rays of my leg again.  Again, they diagnosed a

18    fracture.  I remember that I was admitted by Dr. Dusko Jovicic in that

19    hospital, whom I had not known prior to that.

20       Q.   Did you know anyone else?

21       A.   He was assisted by his colleague, Alexandar Moljevic, whom I knew

22    very well.  He is from Visegrad by origin and he used to work as a GP in

23    Visegrad for several years.  Later on, he specialised in something.  I

24    don't know exactly where he was for his specialisation.  I know that he

25    ended up working in Uzice, and he was the one on duty that night together

Page 1915

 1    with Jovicic.  But my lead doctor was Dr. Jovicic.  He was the one who

 2    followed me, because normally it is the doctor who initially admits you

 3    that is also in charge for further observation of the patient.  Anyway, so

 4    they took off the bandages that were applied in Visegrad, and I think they

 5    put them back again.

 6            The following morning, they took blood from me and carried out all

 7    the necessary examinations, the usual one which is done on admittance to

 8    hospital.  Then he said that I was to undergo a surgery, and I thought --

 9    I didn't know what they were going to do.  I was afraid that they might

10    amputate my leg.  And then he said, no, no, no, we're just going to drill

11    it a little bit.  So they took me away together with the bed which had

12    wheels on, and they took me to a surgery theatre.  There was a woman

13    patient before me, I remember, and some drilling surgery was performed on

14    her as well.  And I heard her scream and I thought that it was a very

15    painful procedure.  So when she was finished, it was my turn.  They

16    applied some ointment on my heel and they took this drill and --

17       Q.   Mr. Vasiljevic, I don't think that we need all of these details.

18    They are not crucial to the case.  So you were admitted to the hospital,

19    and on the following morning you underwent surgery.

20       A.   Yes.  Actually, they performed some minor drilling surgery on my

21    heel.  It was not a very complex operation.  They just needed to make a

22    little hole in my heel so that those extension weights could be applied on

23    my leg.

24       Q.   What was the purpose, what was the objective of that surgery?

25       A.   They needed to stretch my muscles so that the bones would heel

Page 1916

 1    properly.  I don't know exactly why they did it or what the reason was,

 2    but anyway, that is what I was told.  Anyway, when I was back to my room,

 3    I was lying on my bed, underneath some extensions with some weights on it,

 4    and I had to spend 21 days lying like that.  I mean, that was the usual

 5    procedure that was applied in cases like mine, and it lasted at least 20

 6    days.

 7       Q.   Does it mean that you were bedridden for 21 days with the

 8    extensions applied to your leg, together with the weights, and is it

 9    correct that you were not able to leave your bed because of that?

10       A.   Yes, that is correct.  It is impossible to leave the bed, because

11    those weights are applied to my -- to my leg through this hole that they

12    had drilled in my heel.  It was only possible for me to sit on the bed but

13    not to leave the bed altogether.

14       Q.   Do you remember the room where you were?  Did it have several

15    beds?  Were you there together with other patients?

16       A.   There were four of us altogether.  My bed was the one next to the

17    window.  There was an elderly gentleman from Uzice, then a Muslim who was

18    from Gorazde who had had his leg amputated, and then another man from

19    Uzice whose bed was next to this Muslim.

20       Q.   So you spent three weeks in that department, orthopaedic

21    department.

22       A.   Yes.

23       Q.   And after that?

24       A.   After that, I was transferred to the neuropsychiatric ward within

25    the same hospital.  I mean, it was part of the same hospital complex but

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13   English transcripts.













Page 1918

 1    in a different building.

 2       Q.   What was the reason for that transfer, Mr. Vasiljevic?

 3       A.   I was in a very difficult state, psychologically and emotionally.

 4    I had those visions and fears.  I was imagining all kinds of things, that

 5    I was talking to God, to the devil.  There were all kinds of strange

 6    visions and images that came to me.

 7       Q.   Did you have any problems, any quarrels with the staff of the

 8    hospital?

 9       A.   I think I did.  I don't remember the details, though.

10            JUDGE HUNT:  Mr. Domazet --

11       A.   But I had -- it was a very strange period of time.

12            JUDGE HUNT:  -- what do you think is left in your

13    examination-in-chief?

14            MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't have that many

15    questions left, but I think I can also finish for today and then continue

16    on Thursday, because there was -- I just wanted to use the day of tomorrow

17    to recover a little bit.  I am somewhat under the weather and I don't feel

18    very well.  However, if Your Honour thinks that it is important for me to

19    continue and see this examination-in-chief to its end, I can try and do my

20    best and finish today, but ...

21            JUDGE HUNT:  Not at all, Mr. Domazet.  It was in response to an

22    inquiry you made, as I understood it, of one of the legal officers that

23    you wanted to have a consultation with your client tomorrow, and I pointed

24    out to you that if you could fit that in between the examination-in-chief

25    and the cross-examination, the Trial Chamber would listen sympathetically

Page 1919

 1    to your application.  But if you are, indeed, in need of a recovery, you

 2    probably won't be going out to see your client anyway.  I certainly don't

 3    want you to pursue the case at this stage if you are not up to it, and if

 4    you are not in need or you are not able to interview your client tomorrow.

 5    So we will continue on Thursday morning.  It's a matter for you.

 6            MR. DOMAZET:  Yes.

 7            JUDGE HUNT:  Very well.  Then we'll adjourn now and we'll resume

 8    at 9.30 on Thursday.  Have a very happy United Nations holiday.

 9                          --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.05 p.m.,

10                          to be reconvened on Thursday, the 25th day of

11                          October, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.