1 Thursday, 25 October 2001
2 --- Upon commencing at 9.28 a.m.
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE HUNT: Call the case, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. This is the case number
7 IT-98-32-T, the Prosecutor versus Vasiljevic.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. Mr. Vasiljevic, you better come back to
9 the witness box.
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 WITNESS: Mitar Vasiljevic [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet.
14 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Examined by Mr. Domazet: [Continued]
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vasiljevic, the day before yesterday, we
17 adjourned at about the time when you told us about your stay in Uzice,
18 that is, when you were transferred to the psychiatric ward. Do you
19 remember that?
20 A. I do.
21 Q. And you stayed in that ward until when; do you remember that?
22 A. Until the 28th of July. That's what the discharge papers say.
23 Q. And when you were released from the orthopedic ward, were you
24 wearing a plastic cast on the injured leg?
25 A. Yes, I was.
1 Q. Up to the knee or above the knee?
2 A. Up to the hip.
3 Q. And when you were discharged from the hospital, that is, from
4 both -- from the psychiatry too, were you still wearing a cast?
5 A. Yes, I was.
6 Q. And for how long; do you remember?
7 A. After the extension of my leg, and that took 21 days, a plastic
8 cast was applied to my leg and I was told that I had to wear it for two
9 months. And they put a plastic cast up to my hip, and 45 days later they
10 shortened it below the knee, that is, a so-called plaster boot, as they
11 call it. So after 45 days, they cut it down below the knee.
12 Q. And could you move around during that time?
13 A. On crutches. That is, only with the help of the crutches.
14 Otherwise, I couldn't.
15 Q. Did you attend checkups either in Visegrad or in Uzice?
16 A. Well, it was from Visegrad that I went to have this plastic cast
17 shortened and for the checkup, to Visegrad; that is, I had to report to
18 the general practitioner, then he would give me a paper to go to the
19 specialist, and the treatment was based on the advice of specialists in
20 Uzice. They were responsible for the treatment. And the specialist then
21 wrote to the general practitioner in Visegrad when I was to come for
22 another checkup and things like that. And I also had to go for
23 psychiatric checkups, and I did that on some occasions when I went to see
24 the orthopedic surgeon.
25 Q. In your testimony you mentioned that both in Visegrad and in Uzice
1 you had x-rays made of your left leg. Do you have in your possession any
2 of those x-rays, or did you have them in your possession?
3 A. I had all those x-rays. There could have been 10 or 15 of them
4 altogether. And I also had the x-rays of 1992 and 1993. I had it all
5 wrapped and I had it all at home, but at home those things that we did not
6 need, I mean old clothes, old footwear, everything that you didn't need
7 much, we took to the new house. And when we were to get it ready, my wife
8 and my daughter and I simply discarded all sorts of things we thought we
9 did not need. Whether I threw away those x-rays, I don't know. Both my
10 wife and I looked, and I asked my wife once again to go through every nook
11 and cranny in that house to find them and she can't. Whether I threw it
12 away, whether my wife did it, my daughter, I simply do not remember what I
13 did with them. And I had all the x-rays from before and from every
14 checkup. I must have had not less than ten x-rays -- no, surely more, and
15 back to 1993. It was all wrapped, rolled up and wrapped, but I have
16 simply no idea what I did with them, because whenever I went for a
17 checkup, I had to take an x-ray and then go to see the doctor. That's
18 why I had all of those x-rays.
19 I also had the x-rays when I had surgery on my spine, and all
20 that. How it happened that I do not have a single x-ray any more, beats
21 me. Perhaps they are somewhere. I don't know. I asked my wife to go all
22 over the house, in the attic and all over the place, but she simply has
23 not found them yet.
24 Q. You mentioned the x-rays of the -- spinal x-rays. When was that,
25 and did it have to do with some treatment or what?
1 A. I suffered back pain from March 1994, March 1994, that is, I did
2 feel that before that, but in March 1994 I could barely walk. I was
3 practically bent to the ground. So that I went for treatment to the
4 Visegrad spa, Visegradska Banja, but nothing helped. I spent 21 days
5 there. And I went for checkups to a neurosurgeon, I knew the
6 neurosurgeon, Dr. Davidovic, a good old surgeon. He said that I would
7 have to have it operated, that I had a herniated disk.
8 So that in June, they sent me to the Zemun hospital in Belgrade,
9 to their neurosurgery, and they did x-rays and all the checkups and then I
10 had my spine operated in Zemun. If I remember correctly, it was the
11 doctor Radomir Vujovic who did the operation. I spent nine days there. I
12 think so. Yes, nine days or something like that. And then they
13 transferred me to the rehabilitation ward, that is, the same hospital, the
14 Zemun hospital, but to their rehabilitation section, and I stayed there --
15 or, rather, I had to stay 30 work days for exercises.
16 Q. Fine, fine. That is enough. You've told us enough about that.
17 Let us not waste time. So that was 1994.
18 Will you now please explain to me, in 1992, when you left the
19 hospital, do you remember for -- did you say that you were disabled and
20 unfit to work and serve the army, and for how long; that is, when is it
21 that you were called up for the first time after that injury?
22 A. After that injury, 1992, until the very end of March 1993, I was
23 on a sick-leave. And it was the very end of March, there was still snow
24 on those mountains around, and I was assigned to the village of Rujiste.
25 And I was there, attached to the command with elderly people, with sick
1 people, those who could not move about; that is, we were not assigned any
2 particularly heavy tasks. There was a Susnjar with me. He had also
3 broken a leg, and we were together. He had fallen off his motorbike or
4 something. And I stayed there for about 15 to 20 days.
5 Then they transferred me to the village of Paocici, about two or
6 three kilometres towards the Drina for about ten days. And then from
7 Paocici, I went to my village, to Djurevici. And then I stayed there
8 until the 6th of May, 1993, because that is my father's family's saint
9 day, St. George, so that my wife and children came from Visegrad so that
10 we could mark the holiday together. And that afternoon, when they were
11 off to Visegrad, I went to see them off and I break my leg again on 6th of
12 May, 1993. I slipped in the meadow and broke it again.
13 So that in 1993, I once again -- that is, a driver came. It was
14 some -- I'd say, well, 20 kilometres, yes, about as many, to Visegrad --
15 from Visegrad. So a driver came, took me to Visegrad, took the x-ray and
16 decided it was another fracture, so once again to hospital in Uzice, and I
17 was admitted by Dr. --
18 Q. Right. Fine, fine. Mr. Vasiljevic, we don't have to go that far
19 because that is not the period that we are concerned with.
20 But what I would like to know, however, is your knowledge of
21 weapons and use of weapons. At the time when you were with the army in
22 1973, 1974, what kind of a weapon were you issued with and practiced
24 A. I was in the quartermaster service and was issued with a rifle 48,
25 that is, M-48, and the soldiers in my company, a company with three
1 platoons, that is what we had, the kind of weapons that we had, so that we
2 were not issued with anything special because we did not have any better
3 weapons since we were quartermasters.
4 Q. And that rifle, M-48, it is a rather old model, it is not a
5 semi-automatic or automatic rifle; is that correct?
6 A. It is.
7 Q. However, you yourself said that in 1992 you were issued with an
8 automatic rifle for awhile.
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. Did anyone train you to use that rifle?
11 A. Well nobody coached me. I mean they tell you how you fire
12 individual shots or rounds of fire. It's not particularly difficult to
13 grasp that.
14 Q. Did you ever suffer any incident? Were you ever injured by the
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Tell us in a few words.
18 A. In 1993, on the front line in Kladanj, that is, not exactly -- no,
19 no, no, it's a place called Slivanj, I was on guard duty from 4.00 to
20 6.00. And as the day began to break and those three men who were with me
21 were to get up, I was about to put a pot to make some coffee. And the
22 rifle of one Nevenko Bozic, he had left his rifle there under a tree, and
23 the snow was thawing and it was dripping and I asked, "Whose rifle is
24 that?" and he said, "Mine," and he said, "It's cocked." He said, "Well,
25 you can remove it." So I thought I would do it. And I folded the butt
1 and I was to hang it on a tree, but then it fired off and wounded me, so
2 that I was transferred that morning to Sokolac, to the hospital there, and
3 I spent about 20 days or so there. I don't remember exactly.
4 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, apart from that shot when you wounded yourself in
5 the leg, and what you were trained to do in the army, during those years,
6 1992, 1993, or later, did you ever fire a weapon?
7 A. Did I fire a weapon? Well, not really. Perhaps come Christmas
8 and perhaps I would do it on -- or on the front line when you wanted to
9 clean your weapon, then you usually have to fire a round. But I never
10 took part in any operations or anything. I was breaking my leg. I
11 couldn't run. And it happened twice.
12 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, your last question incorporated
13 something which was not in the previous answer. It may or may not be
14 important. But you said, "Apart from that shot when you wounded yourself
15 in the leg ..." Now, if you want to get that into evidence, you haven't
16 got it into evidence yet, and may I suggest that you do it with a
17 nonleading question if you do want to get it into evidence.
18 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The accused said
19 he hurt his finger, but I understood that it was a toe.
20 THE INTERPRETER: In our language one uses the same word for both
21 fingers and toes.
22 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Witness, will you please clarify, did you hurt your finger or a
25 A. A toe, a toe.
1 Q. I apologise. I should have asked that earlier.
2 JUDGE HUNT: I don't know whether it was important or not, but it
3 just wasn't there in evidence, that's all.
4 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you.
5 Q. [Interpretation] You said that you knew well somebody called
6 Stanko Pecikoza.
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. Was Stanko his proper first name, or is it what you called him; do
9 you know that?
10 A. Well, I know him to be Stanko. I worked for him because he had a
11 sawmill. I mean, I wasn't his proper worker. But after work, when I was
12 building my house, I would go there to his storage space to get some
13 timber and that. Stanko, well, I don't know, perhaps he was Stanimir and
14 Stanko was for short. But I know him as Stanko.
15 Q. Can I show you his death certificate, a certificate, and then
16 perhaps you can tell us whether that's the person you mean on the basis of
17 the particulars in those documents.
18 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Could I have Defence Exhibit D17 or
19 18. They are both in English. I have both these documents, D17-1 and
20 D18-1 in B/C/S. And could these documents be shown to the witness,
21 please -- to the accused, excuse me.
22 JUDGE HUNT: When you call it a Defence exhibit, it's not an
23 exhibit. It's obviously a document you've numbered 17.
24 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour, that's true.
25 Q. [Interpretation] So is that the man that you talked about?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Pecikoza what?
3 A. Stanimir.
4 Q. And this death certificate says that his name is the accused
6 A. Yes, because the name of his mother and father and his wife is
7 correct. And I also know his daughter.
8 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I should like to
9 tender this into evidence, two documents, that is, the death certificate
10 of Stanimir Pecikoza, D17 in English, and D17-1 in B/C/S, and D18 which is
11 the doctor's -- the coroner's finding which says Stanimir, Stanko, that
12 is the document D18 in English, and D18-1 is the B/C/S.
13 JUDGE HUNT: Any objection, Mr. Groome? Have you got copies of
14 these documents?
15 MR. GROOME: We received them yesterday, and I didn't bring mine
16 to court, but it's no fault of Mr. Domazet.
17 Your Honour, just looking on the ELMO, I'd ask for some
19 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel, please slow down for the interpreters.
20 Will you slow down, please, Mr. Groome.
21 MR. GROOME: Sorry. Is this document a photocopy of the original
22 document? I see the date of September 2001 handwritten on the bottom of
23 it. Can we have some clarification as to how this document came to be
25 JUDGE HUNT: What's the point of all of this? Why do you need to
1 prove his death, Mr. Domazet? Is it to explain why you can't call him as
2 a witness, or is it to prove the date of his death?
3 MR. DOMAZET: Yes. [Interpretation] Yes, the date of death is
4 here. It is true that this death certificate in Visegrad was issued on
5 the 27th of September, 1992, and these are photocopies -- 2001, excuse
6 me. And the coroner's report is the report of the army authorities
7 showing that Pecikoza -- Stanko Pecikoza was killed on the 20th of June,
8 1992, and we only have the photocopy of that document.
9 JUDGE HUNT: But Mr. Groome has drawn the attention of the date on
10 the bottom of the death certificate itself which is a date in 2001, which
11 sounds as if it's just been issued.
12 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you let me explain.
13 Up on the top there is the registration number and when the death was
14 noted. And it says it was of 1992. And at the bottom of the paper, we
15 have the date when the death certificate is issued, not the original.
16 This is when it was requested and issued. So that down there we have the
17 number of the application, which is 04, and so on and so forth, and the
18 date when this certificate was issued. But above, under the number 24,
19 and the year 1992, is when it was in the register of deaths, when it was
20 recorded in the register of deaths.
21 JUDGE HUNT: Is this the explanation that anybody can go along and
22 purchase or obtain a death certificate which is taken -- copied from the
23 register and dated the date that it is issued. If that's the practice in
24 the former Yugoslavia, then I don't see any problem with that. Most
25 people get a death certificate, and once it's issued they keep a copy of
1 it. But you got it for the purposes of getting evidence; is that so?
2 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed, Your Honour, for
3 another person who was killed meanwhile. You will see an identical
4 document issued on the same day. Of course, it is a different person and
5 a different date of death.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Well, now, Mr. Groome, it's a simple enough
7 explanation, I think.
8 MR. GROOME: I have no objection to the admission of this
10 JUDGE HUNT: Very well. They will be Exhibits D17, 17.1; D18 and
12 Have you got copies for us?
13 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE HUNT: A copy for the exhibit itself and a copy for each of
15 the Judges?
16 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, yes, in English and in ...
17 JUDGE HUNT: We don't have the English version.
18 MR. DOMAZET: The English version is -- you must have the English
19 version. I give you --
20 JUDGE HUNT: If you say so.
21 MR. DOMAZET: Yes.
22 JUDGE HUNT: Just wait for the court deputy to sort it out.
23 THE REGISTRAR: I have extra B/C/S copies here but no English
25 MR. DOMAZET: You must have an English, I think.
1 JUDGE HUNT: We have lots of B/C/S versions, apparently, but no
2 English version.
3 MR. DOMAZET: I think that you have it now.
4 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. Yes, we have them now.
5 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, did you know the person by the name of Mitar
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How long did you know him, and how was it that you knew him?
10 A. He is from the area of Zupa by origin, not very far from my
11 village, some ten kilometres away, and he used to have a house in the
12 vicinity of Prelovo, towards the village of Omar, I think, or Stari Grad.
13 I don't remember the name of this hamlet. I didn't have much to do with
14 him. He spent two years working in Dubrovnik, and once the war started
15 he came back to Visegrad.
16 Q. Do you know anything about what he did during the war?
17 A. Well, I heard things. I heard that he was in Lukic's group and
18 that he did all kinds of things, that he committed atrocities.
19 Q. He bore the same name as you do. Was there any other individual
20 in Visegrad and around Visegrad with the same name and surname -- with the
21 same name?
22 THE INTERPRETER: I apologise.
23 A. Yes, but Mitar is not a very common name. I know maybe four or
24 five Mitars in Visegrad, all generations included. It's a rather rare
25 name, actually.
1 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
2 Q. I am now going to show you a piece of paper that refers to him,
3 but let me ask you first of all if that individual is still alive.
4 A. No, he is not.
5 Q. I would like to show you now the death certificate for Mitar
6 Knezevic so that you can tell us whether that was the individual that you
7 just described.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So is this the Mitar Knezevic whom you spoke about?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] I should like to tender the death
12 certificate for Mitar Knezevic into evidence, D16 in the English version
13 and D16-1 in the B/C/S version.
14 JUDGE HUNT: Any objection, Mr. Groome?
15 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. They will be Exhibits D16 and D16.1.
17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
18 Q. There is one more individual that I would like to discuss. You
19 mentioned your cousin, Zeljko Sikiric, who was killed, and you described
20 his funeral. I should now like to ask you to have a look at his death
21 certificate and also the certificate which was issued by the local
22 monastery and concerns his funeral, his burial. And you can please tell
23 us whether that is, indeed, the individual whom you spoke about.
24 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] The death certificate should be D19
25 and the certificate issued by the monastery, D14.
1 JUDGE HUNT: Any objection, Mr. Groome?
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if I could just take a look at these
3 documents. I haven't seen these documents.
4 JUDGE HUNT: All right. We've got 19, and now 14.
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Any objection?
7 MR. GROOME: I have no objection, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. They will be Exhibits D14, 14.1, and D19,
10 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, when you testify about the event which took place
12 in Sase on the 7th of June, and your visit there, I should like to know,
13 up until the 14th of June, did you happen to see the person by the name of
14 Milan Lukic; that is, between the 7th of June, which you testified about,
15 until the 14th of June, 1992, during that period of time, did you, at any
16 point in time, see Milan Lukic?
17 A. I don't quite remember. I probably did, but I didn't have any
18 contact with him until the 14th of June. I no longer had anything to do
19 with him, because I had witnessed what he had done and I simply could
20 not -- no longer have any contact with him. I would probably see him pass
21 by in the street in his car or something like that, but that was all.
22 Q. If I understand you correctly, you allow for the possibility that
23 you did see him in passing in his car, but your testimony is that you did
24 not have any contact with him during that period of time; did I understand
25 you correctly?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you - at any point in time - until your arrest, hear about any
3 survivors of the killing in Sase that you witnessed?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Could you tell us when it was that you heard about that, and from
7 A. I think I heard about that in 1994 or 1995 from Milomir Obradovic,
8 called Mica, who was captured in Gorazde and spent some time in captivity,
9 a year or a year and a half, I don't know exactly how long. He is a
10 colleague of mine, he's also a waiter by occupation, and he used to be my
12 Q. What exactly did he tell you?
13 A. Well, he told me that while he was being held prisoner, that one
14 of the survivors told him about the incident in Sase, that Lukic had
15 picked them up together with these two other individuals and that they
16 were taken there to be executed, and that I too was present there. He
17 didn't say anything about my participation in it, nothing of that sort,
18 but I said that I was there. And I also mentioned the individual by the
19 name of Meho Dzafic, whom I already spoke about.
20 Q. Did he tell you which one of the survivors told him that story? I
21 don't want you to use the name of the individual, but have a look at the
22 list with pseudonyms.
23 A. I'm sorry, but the other day in the Detention Unit, the guards
24 took the document because apparently someone had called them from the
25 Registry, because I had taken the list of witnesses together with me in
1 the Detention Unit, and the guard came to my cell and ...
2 JUDGE HUNT: You'll be given a copy, Mr. Vasiljevic. Has that got
3 the numbers 3 and 4 written against the two names on the bottom.
4 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. For the record, that's P164.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 JUDGE HUNT: That was a copy of Exhibit P164.
7 A. Witness 32, VG032.
8 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
9 Q. So Obradovic told you that it was Witness VG032 who had told him
10 about that incident?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. During that period of time leading up to your arrest, did you ever
13 hear through the media that that incident was being talked about, or
14 any other event in which you allegedly took part? Did you hear anything
15 about that from the media in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the Federation of
17 A. In 1994, I happened to receive a tape, an audiotape, which
18 contained a recording of a radio broadcast, radio programme, and I
19 remember that something was being said to the effect that Milan Lukic had
20 brought five Muslims to the Visegrad spa, that they spent five or six days
21 there, that he had taken their gold and money, and that he bit an
22 individual by the surname of Sisic so hard that his eyes fell out of their
23 sockets. So that was the first thing. And then there's something about
24 another individual whose name I don't want to mention because he's
25 probably a Prosecution witness, but I can write down his name -- I'm
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 sorry, actually, I haven't finished the first one. And then they were
2 apparently released by one of our Serb neighbours, but the name of that
3 neighbour was not mentioned.
4 And then there was this other story which was told by a witness
5 who testified here in public - I can mention his name - Ferid Spahic,
6 that they had been victims of the events in Rogatica, and he went on to
7 mention names of two individuals from Visegrad, the name of two Serbs who
8 apparently carried out the execution.
9 And then they went on to say that another mass crime had occurred
10 in the village of Bikovac, in which incident Momir Savic, Zoran Sekulic,
11 and Mitar [Realtime transcript read in error "Mito"] Vasiljevic, forced a
12 large number of Muslims into a house which they subsequently set on fire,
13 and the incident resulted in their deaths, all of them, with only one who
14 survived the incident.
15 So the overall story was told by the journalist, but the specific
16 descriptions were given by the witnesses. And I felt terrible, I
17 panicked, because I knew that it was not me, especially because I never
18 had anything to do with Momir Savic or Sekulic. I don't know what Savic
19 was. I think he was some kind of local commander in his area. But I
20 never had anything to do with them.
21 But anyway, that's what I heard on that tape, and then later on I
22 heard from some other people that the person who survived the incident at
23 Bikovac underwent treatment in France, and that he -- and that the
24 survivor gave a statement on TV in which the name of Milan Lukic was
25 mentioned together with his men, and I wanted to know whether she
1 mentioned me and he said no. And I felt relieved because the story was
2 told by the survivor of the incident.
3 Later on, perhaps in 1967 --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Says the witness.
5 A. -- a book was published about the incidents, the events in
6 Visegrad, and this survivor again spoke about those events and she
7 mentioned that particular group but did not mention me once again. So
8 again I must say that I felt a certain relief because, after all, it was a
9 survivor of the incident and my name was not mentioned in the story of
10 that survivor. So I simply put that problem away. I really felt
12 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Domazet, the transcript has recorded the witness
13 as saying Mico Vasiljevic rather than Mitar Vasiljevic, but I think it's
14 clear from his answer that he thought his own name had been used. This
15 was about the other house burning.
16 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, yes, Your Honour.
17 THE INTERPRETER: We wish to note that there's no way of knowing
18 whether the survivor is a woman or a man.
19 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, you mentioned a year when this book was
21 published. It simply cannot be 1967. Can you remember the year when it
22 was published?
23 A. I don't know what I said. 1996 or 1997.
24 Q. The record read 1967, which is impossible.
25 A. I apologise.
1 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, you said that you heard from this person by the
2 surname of Obradovic about this witness story, and you also heard from
3 others that your name was mentioned in that context. Did you ever -- did
4 it ever occur to you that you might be arrested and taken to court?
5 A. No, no. I know that I did not have a weapon, that I had already
6 returned my weapon before the incident in Sase. I had no knowledge
7 whatsoever about Pionirska Street until I arrived here in The Hague, I
8 didn't know I was charged with it. I also know that I was not present at
9 Bikovac. I mean, why, for example, would I ever rent a house to the
10 French members of SFOR if I had been involved in such incidents? I mean,
11 I would never dare do such a thing.
12 Q. Did you live in Vojvoda Stepe Street in Visegrad throughout that
13 period of time, or did you absent yourself from the town of Visegrad for a
14 longer period of time, or not?
15 A. I lived in Vojvoda Stepe Street for the past 20 years. More than
16 20, 25 actually, from 1976 or thereabouts, and I never left that house. I
17 was never away for any longer period of time, except for the time that I
18 spent in hospitals. And when I finished my treatments, only during those
19 periods of time when I was at the front line, that would have been, like,
20 seven days at most, I never worked outside Visegrad, nor did I ever work
22 Q. For throughout that period you lived and you worked in Visegrad,
23 and you resided at the address you indicated?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you rent out your house to the members of the French SFOR
1 under your name and surname?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So did they know your identity? Did they know that your name was
4 Mitar Vasiljevic?
5 A. Yes. That was stated in the contract. That was the contract that
6 actually I received from them, the layout of the contract. And not only
7 my name and surname, everything was there, all the details, the rent and
8 other terms and conditions which are normally found in a contract like
10 Q. So they lived during that period of time next the house where you
11 lived in?
12 A. Yes. They lived in my house and I lived in this other house that
13 I told you about.
14 Q. How long did it last?
15 A. I think that they arrived on the 14th of July, 1999, until I was
16 arrested on the 25th of January, 2000. It was not only one group of
17 soldiers. There were, like, three groups or three shifts, each consisting
18 of seven soldiers.
19 Q. Would you see them from time to time? Did you have any contact
20 with them?
21 A. I would say them on a daily basis. I mean, the house is, after
22 all, only 6 or 7 metres away. Sometimes my wife would cook something
23 for them. They would buy things. And they were really very fair and
24 correct. They would also invite us over to their place, and they were
25 always very considerate with my children. They would buy little things
1 for them. And I often went to the town with them. And then when this --
2 when a new group arrived, they always wanted to know where the best
3 restaurants were, where they can have a good meal, so they always wanted
4 me to accompany them on the first day. Sometimes we would go together to
5 the swimming pool. And on the eve of my arrest, on the 24th of January,
6 they were in my house, they spent the evening at my place. We were
7 together all the time. Sometimes it was difficult for us to understand
8 each other, but they had a little dictionary. And I would accompany them
9 to the local shop and I would help them with the language. It's not that
10 I could speak any French, but they had this little dictionary and I -- so
11 I was able to talk to them.
12 My daughter speaks some English, not very much, but she could say
13 a few words in English to them. Yes, I saw them every day. We were
14 living in two houses which were right next to each other.
15 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, could you tell us, but very briefly, something
16 about your arrest. Under what circumstances did it take place?
17 A. I was arrested in the new house. I was on my way back from the
18 town and they were in this vehicle, and I said but did they want to -- if
19 they were going there to my house. So they stop and they gave me a ride.
20 And then when we got home, one of the soldiers said that the central
21 heating was not okay. But it was not actually the central heating, but we
22 called it that way. It was some kind of stove. So apparently there was a
23 problem with it, so I wanted to -- went out to check the electricity. I
24 didn't know what the problem was, and I had to do something because they
25 didn't have any heating. So I was thinking of what I should do. And then
1 as I went upstairs, I just saw a number of soldiers wearing masks, and
2 they put this hood on my head and some kind of ear stops in my ears. They
3 tied me down and put it on a stretcher, I don't know what it was, exactly,
4 and then they took me to a vehicle and transported me. I actually
5 couldn't see any of the soldiers who arrested me. I cannot tell you who
6 they were. They were wearing those masks. I don't know. I don't even
7 know how many there were. Maybe there were some other soldiers. I don't
8 know. They were wearing those caps, those hoods on their heads.
9 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, you didn't know about the proceedings, and you
10 were arrested on the basis of a secret indictment. Had you known that an
11 investigation had been initiated against you, would you have responded to
12 the summons?
13 A. I would have, of course, responded to the summons. And if I had
14 known about the charges, that is, the house at Bikovac and in Pionirska
15 Street, I would have talked to those soldiers about it, because I had the
16 relevant medical documentation, I would have asked those people, those
17 soldiers who were at my house, who to contact, because I would have tried
18 to establish contact with relevant authorities. I would have shown them
19 what I had. Of course, I wasn't going to spend my whole life in hiding.
20 Lukic, for example, he can spend the rest of his life in hiding, but it's
21 a shame. I mean, I'm here in detention, and this person killed all those
22 women and children. I really feel terribly, terribly embarrassed. I feel
23 so sorry for the families of those people. I mean, after all, they were
24 children and women. I mean, there's nothing I can do about it. I had
25 nothing to do with it. I just keep hoping.
1 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, I have only two or three very brief questions for
2 you. Did you ever have a moustache?
3 A. No. No, never.
4 Q. Did you ever have a nickname?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Does the nickname of Mrkela tell you anything? Have you ever
7 heard of an individual with a nickname like that?
8 A. There was in my neighbourhood a person by the nickname of Mrkela.
9 He was killed in war. He was younger than me. Dusko, Dusko Ranac, I
10 think, was his name. His house was a little bit further from my place.
11 Q. Did you ever hear people say that you were known under that
12 nickname, and that it was under that nickname that you participated in
13 certain actions?
14 A. Mitar Vasiljevic, called Mrkela? No, no one ever called me that
15 way. There was a very famous football player from the Red Star club from
16 Belgrade who was called Mitar Mrkela, so maybe that was sometimes used as
17 a joke. No, I was never called Mrkela. I just knew this individual by
18 the nickname of Mrkela.
19 Q. So, Mr. Vasiljevic, you never had the nickname Mrkela, you were
20 never known under that nickname?
21 A. No.
22 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Vasiljevic. Thank
23 you, Your Honour. This concludes my examination of the witness.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome.
25 MR. GROOME: Can I just ask that the ELMO be shifted a little
1 bit. I'm unable to see Mr. Vasiljevic.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Groome:
3 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, the first thing I'd ask you to do this morning is
4 to take a look at that document in front of you, P164. A number of those
5 people have come to court and have testified that they recognised you and
6 in fact pointed you out here in the courtroom.
7 My question to you is: When some of those people came into the
8 courtroom, did you recognise any of them by name? So did any of those
9 people enter into the courtroom and you immediately recognised them and
10 you knew their name? Can you look down that list and tell us, were there
11 any such people like that?
12 A. Yes, there are.
13 Q. I'd ask you to indicate who they were by using the number.
14 A. First I'll tell you about the persons who did not seek
15 protection. I know Poljo, Suad, and Ferid Spahic, I know them. I'll go
16 just down the list. VG32, VG55, 59, 61, 87, 115. 014, had somebody asked
17 me about his name before, I wouldn't have known him. I mean, I knew him
18 by sight. And this one here, he testified in public, this one here, let
19 me just check it, I don't want to go wrong there -- no, perhaps I'm not
20 sure, so I shouldn't read out his name. The witness who testified about
21 Zepa, I think he testified in public. I think his name is [redacted]. I
22 know him too.
23 Q. Now, aside from these people now who you have indicated you knew
24 them by name when they entered the courtroom, I think you mentioned that
25 VG14, you didn't know his name until he entered the courtroom. Are there
1 other people on this list whom you recognised as having seen in Visegrad
2 or perhaps in the restaurant but you did not know their name when they
3 entered this courtroom?
4 A. I mentioned 014, and I see that from 014's statement. But had I
5 come across him somewhere, had I met him, I wouldn't have known his either
6 first or last name. I remember his face, though. 013; 018, no, I
7 wouldn't -- I wouldn't have been able; 38 especially, because it's a
8 child; 55, 59, yes, I would; 61, yes, I would, I always remember him;
9 77, no, I don't think would have remembered him; 78, likewise -- oh, no,
10 sorry; 081, I don't know if I told you that I had known him. I did know
11 her. Well, she was practically a former neighbour, about a kilometre
12 away. I don't know if I mentioned her as having known her. Then 84, 87,
13 yes, I did recognise that person, even though it was by videolink; 101,
14 no; 105, no; 115, yes, I would have recognised that person, and I also
15 met him in the street somewhere; and this one, 014, yes, I would have
16 recognised him, but I wouldn't have known his name, either first or last.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, let me ask you some questions in
18 particular regarding some of these people.
19 Let us first go down to VG81. You just told us that you lived
20 about a kilometre away from this particular person; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, she lived -- no, as a matter of fact --
22 Q. Without telling us where she lived specifically, please. Without
23 telling us where she lived specifically, can you give us an idea of
24 approximately how many years you knew VG81?
25 A. Well, I knew her for a long time. I knew her -- well, I wouldn't
1 know exactly how long, but it was long, because I was a waiter and she
2 worked somewhere, I won't mention where, and they used to come there, they
3 had their meals there. So I know her very well. I know her brother, I
4 know what her brother's name is. [redacted]
5 [redacted]. But she lived somewhere in the town.
6 Whereabouts in the town, I wouldn't know.
7 Q. And on the times that she would come into your restaurant, would
8 it be fair to say that you would have normal conversation with her?
9 A. Well, yes, she would be a patron there. They would have their
10 breakfast or they would have their brunch there. But not only -- that was
11 not the only way that I knew her. I knew her from around the town. I
12 know her well.
13 Q. Would you be able to estimate that or agree with me that during
14 the course of the years you had an opportunity to see her over 100 times?
15 A. Well, not a hundred times. Well, not as many. But there's no
16 need to, because I didn't always work in one place. That particular
17 restaurant was near the municipal hall. When I worked at the Visegrad
18 hotel, they didn't come to have their breakfast there, or in the Visegrad
19 spa. But I know her well enough, and I also know what her brother's name
20 is, and I know where her brother works too.
21 Q. Let me now ask you about VG84. The transcript is a bit unclear
22 on this person. Did you know this person, or did you recognise this
23 person when VG84 entered the courtroom?
24 A. If I am correct, it is the person -- no, let me see. How shall I
25 put it, the person who was born in 1988, isn't it? So it's a child.
1 Q. Yes. Just to clarify, did you recognise this person when VG84
2 entered the courtroom?
3 A. No. It was a child far removed from me, and he came from a
4 village somewhere. No, I didn't know him when he was a child. I never
5 knew him.
6 Q. Now, VG87, can you give us an idea of how long you knew VG87?
7 A. I know him well too.
8 Q. And approximately how many years have you known VG87?
9 A. I've known him as a child.
10 Q. And would it be fair to say, during the course of the years that
11 you have known him, that you have spoken to him on a number of occasions?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. Now, VG115, again, can you give us an idea of how long you've
14 known this person?
15 A. Well, I wouldn't know how long. That person comes from a town; I
16 won't mention which one. I know that she was married to a man -- or,
17 rather, she married and she came with him to Visegrad, and then she
18 remarried, and her first husband came from my area. I know that she --
19 that she worked for a company. Whether I ever communicated with her in
20 any way particularly, no, I don't think so.
21 Q. Can you give us an idea of approximately how many years you know
22 this person, or perhaps the year that you first came to know this person?
23 A. Well, what I can tell you is that I didn't know what she was
24 called. I know her as an individual. When? When she arrived and when
25 she came to live in Visegrad, I wouldn't really be able to tell you.
1 Q. Would it be more than five years?
2 A. Well, it could be, thereabouts. Well, she married, and, well, if
3 we take 1992, yes, could be. Could be longer than that.
4 Q. Okay. Would it be as many as ten years?
5 A. I wouldn't know. I can't really say.
6 Q. But it's at least five years; you would agree with that?
7 A. Yes, that's right. I knew her by sight from around the town.
8 Q. Now, Mr. Vasiljevic, during the course of my questions to you, I
9 will ask you for certain information. During the course of your
10 statement, you indicated some fear for your family at mentioning certain
11 individuals. My intent is not to jeopardise your wife or your children or
12 your family, so if I ask you a question that you feel the answer does
13 maybe perhaps cause some jeopardy to your family, I'd ask you to tell the
14 Court so that we may deal with it; is that understood?
15 A. Yes. I want to ask you once again, you and Their Honours, when we
16 speak about persons, not to do it in public. I won't mention -- I won't
17 mention those persons, because I have a child at the university, a brother
18 is in Belgrade, and a sister. So if you could phrase it in some other
20 JUDGE HUNT: Are there other names that we can add to the list
21 that you've put at the foot of Exhibit 164?
22 MR. GROOME: Those are the only two names that he expressed
23 concern regarding in the statement. There may be more, and perhaps he can
24 advise the court about that.
25 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Vasiljevic, the best way of dealing with this
1 will be, if you don't want a particular name referred to, you better make
2 a list of them sometime when you have a moment, so that we all know those
3 are the names you do not want mentioned. Are you able to do that during
4 the short adjournment?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you.
7 MR. GROOME: I will not get into any area that would require him
8 to mention those names before the break, Your Honour.
9 Q. I want to talk to you or ask you a few more questions regarding
10 this relationship called kum in Serbian culture. You told us on Tuesday
11 that your father was the godfather of Milan Lukic and Milan Lukic's
12 brother and sister; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now --
15 A. Sorry, let me try and explain it to you. What I said was that he
16 was Milan Lukic's and his brother's and sister's godfather, but we are
17 related as kums. I think I said he was the godfather. Yes, he was their
18 godfather. So kum, that is kum, and Milan's father was -- my grandfather,
19 for instance, was the godfather of Milan's father, something like that.
20 Q. In the Serbian culture, would a godfather have a life-long
21 commitment to protect his godchildren, to advise them, to counsel them?
22 Would that be a life-long commitment to his godchildren?
23 A. Yes, it is his lifetime commitment to christen, to be the best man
24 at weddings. Well, it is not a commitment, but it is said that it is a
25 sin to break up that relationship, and it happens very seldom that this
1 kind of relationship is broken. You go and you christen somebody's child,
2 and I know of cases when the man arrived from Australia to be the
3 godfather or godmother, so that -- because it is important.
4 If, for instance, the presumed godfather falls ill or something,
5 then people will wait for him to get well in order to perform the ritual.
6 Q. Now, your children, who was the godfather of your two children?
7 A. My children, I've told you that all members of the Vasiljevic and
8 Lukics are mixed -- involved together; that is, Milan Lukic or his
9 brothers could not christen my children, could not be godfathers to my
10 children. My children's godfather was Luka Lukic. My daughter's
11 godmother was his mother, and my daughter, by Luka Lukic, and I couldn't
12 be the godfather of Luka Lukic's son, for instance, I couldn't do that,
13 because he was my -- he is my godfather.
14 Q. Now, does Milan Lukic have children, to your knowledge?
15 A. He has a little daughter.
16 Q. Were you involved in the baptism of his daughter?
17 A. Yes. I was her godfather.
18 Q. So you are the godfather of Milan Lukic's daughter?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. And how old would she be today?
21 A. Well, four or five maybe.
22 Q. So that would mean that she would have been baptised in 1996,
23 around that time?
24 A. I think she was already two or two and a half when she was
25 baptised. 1998 or was it 1997, I'm not sure. Either 1997 or 1998.
1 Q. Now, you mentioned in your testimony on Tuesday that this
2 relationship, members of a kum would also participate in each other's
3 weddings; do you recall that?
4 A. That is right. Weddings, family saints, that is, Slavas, they
5 were -- they are there. Funerals too, of course, they are bound to
6 attend --
7 Q. Did you participate --
8 A. -- funerals, if they are there, of course.
9 Q. Did you participate in -- sorry. Did Milan Lukic participate in
10 your wedding?
11 A. No. No, he couldn't do that, he couldn't be my best man. Luka
12 Lukic was my best man, again.
13 Q. Was he present at your wedding?
14 A. No, no, no. No, he wasn't.
15 Q. Is Milan Lukic married?
16 A. He is.
17 Q. And did you attend his wedding?
18 A. I was his best man.
19 Q. So you were Milan Lukic's best man at his wedding?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. And when was he married?
22 A. 1995 or 1996, one of those two years.
23 Q. He wasn't married in the summer of 1992, was he?
24 A. No, he wasn't.
25 Q. Now, you just mentioned about funerals, and I think you said that
1 members of kum are bound to attend funerals in the other family; is that
3 A. It is.
4 Q. And --
5 A. Let me just add. Well, I mean, yes, it is your duty, but if you
6 cannot come, if you are prevented from attending, then of course you
7 don't. But that is how it should be done. If you are there, if you are
8 present, if you are available, it would be really a disgrace if you didn't
9 attend the funeral. Now, say, if I'm in Belgrade, to attend a funeral in
10 Visegrad, well, no, not in that case. But to be a kum at the wedding or
11 be at the baptism, that is, to have the godfather or the godmother or the
12 best man, no, that is a confirm commitment then, otherwise he'd have to
13 wait. For instance, if I'm ill, if I'm in hospital, then he would have to
14 wait for me to get well and come there to do that. He cannot pick up
15 another kum, that is, a best man or the godfather.
16 Q. Now, between 1992 and the time of your arrest, were there funerals
17 either in your family or the Lukic family that you attended and that Milan
18 Lukic was also present?
19 A. No, no, no. Nobody died in my family, and I think nobody died in
20 his either. No, no.
21 Q. I want to ask you a hypothetical question to maybe understand this
22 kum relationship a little bit better, and the question would be: If your
23 wife and Milan Lukic's wife didn't like each other or had an argument,
24 would that affect the bond of kumship between yourself and Milan Lukic?
25 A. To break it, you mean?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Yes. Would it break it?
2 A. No, no, no, it wouldn't, no. No. We'd have to resolve it
3 somehow, to see whose mistake it was, whose responsibility it was. But
4 that kind of relationship would not be called into question, oh, no. No
6 Q. Would it be fair to say that the relationship between two men that
7 are in kumship would be as strong as the bond between two brothers?
8 A. Oh, dear, let me see how to put it. Well, with a brother you
9 communicate like a brother. But I think -- I mean, if brother asks you
10 for a favour and you're against it or you say no, I won't do it for you,
11 or if -- for instance, if you will serve a better meal to your brother or
12 to your kum, it is the latter one who will get it. So if, for instance,
13 you can choose between two types of a meal, then you'll give the better
14 one to your kum rather than your brother. And the question who you are
15 more -- who you are fonder of, well, that's another story. But, you know,
16 a brother is a brother, after all. So a kum is not a blood relation.
17 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, perhaps this would be a good place to
18 take the morning break.
19 JUDGE HUNT: Very well. We will resume at 11.30.
20 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
22 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome.
23 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I've just been handed a sheet of paper
24 with the names that the accused wishes not to mention publicly, so perhaps
25 we can deal with how the Court would like us to handle this matter at this
1 stage. It's a list of 19 different names.
2 JUDGE HUNT: Well, I suggest we proceed with the numbering system
3 that we've started on Exhibit P164. So we'll start at the top and we'll
4 call that first one VGD5 and go down the list.
5 MR. GROOME: I'll just point out that number 7 has already been
6 assigned a number, VGD4.
7 JUDGE HUNT: Sorry, number 7, is that the same -- same given
9 MR. GROOME: I believe it's the same person. We can, of course,
10 inquire of Mr. Vasiljevic.
11 JUDGE HUNT: I see. He's written it beside it. I'm sorry.
12 VGD4. Is that the only one that's already been given a number?
13 MR. GROOME: I believe so, Your Honour. I'm sorry. I had this
14 name misspelled. Number 6 has already been given a number, VGD3.
15 JUDGE HUNT: VGD3. Well, now, if everybody has their sheet in
16 front of them, the first name will be VGD5; the second name is VGD6; the
17 third name is VGD7; the fourth name is VGD8; the fifth name is VGD9;
18 the sixth name is VGD3; the seventh name is VGD4; the eighth name is
19 VGD10; the ninth is VGD11; the tenth is VGD12; the eleventh is VGD13;
20 the twelfth is VGD14; the thirteenth is VGD15; the fourteenth is VGD16;
21 the fifteenth is VGD17; the sixteenth is VGD18; the seventeenth is
22 VGD19; the eighteenth is VGD20; and the last name, the nineteenth is
24 Now, that document will be Exhibit D -- Mr. Domazet, you've
25 started to use numbers, obviously. What's your next free number?
1 MR. DOMAZET: Number 22.
2 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. This will be Exhibit D22, and it will be
3 under seal. Number 22 under seal.
4 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, just one other thing. I'm sure the
5 Court is already aware, one of these people is an indictee in this case.
6 I'm not sure how it will be possible to discuss him without -- I'm not
7 sure that the number will give the protection that is sought. Would the
8 Court want me to pause before I ask questions regarding that person?
9 JUDGE HUNT: Normally one wouldn't worry, but I suppose the
10 accused's concern is what he may be seen to be revealing in relation to
11 that person, so it would be just as well if we can avoid dealing with him
12 until you have raised it specifically.
13 MR. GROOME: Okay.
14 Q. Now, Mr. --
15 MR. GROOME: I'd ask that the ELMO be adjusted again so that I can
16 see the accused.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Vasiljevic, we ended the first session this morning with
18 you using a metaphor of the kum would get a better meal than the brother.
19 Do you recall that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can I take by your answer that the relationship between the kum is
22 even stronger than that of between two brothers?
23 A. No, no. That's not what I meant. It implies a certain respect
24 for the relationship of kum, but one cannot say that that relationship is
25 stronger than the relationship with one's brother, no. A brother is
1 always a brother, of course. It's just that I -- it would be out of
2 respect that I would serve my kum in a better way, that I would give him a
3 better bed in my house. For example, if both of them were my house
4 guests, my brother and my kum, I would probably give my kum a better bed
5 because your brother would always forgive you if you're not on a certain
6 level. But you have to treat your kum with a certain amount of respect.
7 It's not that your relationship with him is stronger than your
8 relationship with your brother. Of course, a brother is always a brother.
9 You can complain to your brother if you have problems, but you should not,
10 for example, explain to your kum in you're lacking something. You would
11 always turn to your brother first, of course.
12 Q. Do you have a brother?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Would he have --
15 A. One brother.
16 Q. Would he also be considered a kum of Milan Lukic?
17 A. Yes, yes, but he is his kum, regardless of the fact that I was his
18 best man and I christened his child. That doesn't really matter. It
19 could have been my brother. It would not constitute any serious, I don't
20 know, violation of the tradition, no. It all stays in the family. It's
21 all one and the same relationship.
22 Q. Now, can you estimate for us how many different men would be in a
23 similar relationship of kumship to Milan Lukic? Not an exact number, but
24 just give us an estimate.
25 A. I don't quite understand what you mean. For example, are you
1 asking me whether I can have other kums except for Milan Lukic, is that
2 what you have in mind, or whether he can have other people as his kums
3 from some other family, not only from the Vasiljevic family? Yes, they
4 can have three or four kums all bearing different surnames. At the same
5 time you can act as a kum to a member of a different family. That has
6 nothing to do with that. I mean, I can have this type of relationship
7 with ten different families. But I have to tell you that I probably
8 wouldn't accept if someone called me to act as his kum just because his
9 other traditional kum is someone he's having problems with, if he had some
10 kind of quarrel with him or things like that. In that case, I wouldn't
11 accept. But usually, in most of the cases, it's a very long-standing
12 tradition within each family. I don't know in my family how old this
13 relationship is, probably over a hundred years old, and it was never
14 broken in any way.
15 Q. Let me state the question again. If Milan Lukic were here and he
16 were to be asked, how many different kums do you have, can you tell us how
17 many different men could you name, approximately, that Milan Lukic would
18 say, these are my kum? Is it five? Is it ten? Is it 15? Can you
19 estimate for us, please?
20 A. Well, for example, all Vasiljevic families are his kums. It's
21 just that he cannot be a godfather to every child from that family. One
22 always knows exactly whose godfather or best man you can be. For example,
23 Milan Lukic cannot be my best man, he couldn't have christened my
24 children, but I can do that to him. In my case, it was his cousin who was
25 my best man and the godfather of my children.
1 Q. In the Vasiljevic family, how many men would be considered the kum
2 of Milan Lukic?
3 JUDGE HUNT: May I suggest that you limit that question to those
4 who could be his best man or to christen his child. Isn't that what
5 you're trying to get to eventually? Because you've asked that question
6 and he's given you the question. All men are.
7 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, in the Vasiljevic family, how many men were
9 possible candidates to be Milan Lukic's best man?
10 A. I can be his best man, my brother too, my uncle's sons, my
11 father's brother's sons or daughters, no matter, but it usually involves
12 male members of the family. So Milan Lukic's children, the children of
13 his brother can be christened by myself, my brother, and my uncle's
14 children. Not anyone else. If I had five uncles, then of course all of
15 their children would be the candidates. But not my aunt's children,
17 Q. Approximately how many people are you talking about now?
18 A. In this particular case, the case we are talking about, four of
19 us. I, my brother, and my two cousins, sons of my uncle, because they are
20 the only two cousins that I have.
21 Q. Now, are you personally aware of any other families, not
22 Vasiljevics, who are in this special relationship with the Lukic family?
23 A. Well, as far as I know, no, I don't know of any specific families
24 involving this type of relationship. Well, they probably have close links
25 with other families as well, but they have their relatives, their in-laws,
1 like myself.
2 Q. Now, separate and apart from this relationship of kumship,
3 Mr. Domazet asked you on Tuesday whether you socialised with Milan Lukic,
4 and you told him that you did not, in part, because he is 13 years younger
5 than you; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, yes. Well, let me tell you, we didn't have an opportunity to
7 socialise. I'm 13 years his senior. I was already employed; he was still
8 a child. Once he completed his education, he was still very young. He
9 was a child when I started to work. He completed his education, he did
10 his military service, and then he left Visegrad. I don't know whether he
11 went to Switzerland right away or spent some time working in Serbia. That
12 I don't know. But anyway, he was absent and he didn't visit very often,
13 so I didn't have much opportunity to socialise with him, no.
14 Q. In the period between when he returned to Visegrad in 1992 and the
15 7th of June, 1992, did you socialise with him at any time during that
17 A. As I told you, he was in Switzerland. I didn't have opportunity
18 to see him. Maybe he would come over on holidays, but I don't remember
19 those days before the war. I don't remember seeing him or socialising
20 with him in particular. He would be there for awhile on leave or on
21 holiday, but he wouldn't stay very long. I don't know whether he had an
22 apartment in Belgrade -- yes, yes, he did have an apartment in Belgrade
23 before the war, but he would probably go to his family's house in his
24 village when on holiday.
25 Q. But there did come a time in May of 1992 that he did return to
1 Visegrad from Switzerland; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, the time between when he returned in May of 1992 and the 7th
4 of June, did you socialise with him at any time in that period?
5 A. Socialise with him, well, I would see him on the street from time
6 to time, but I didn't have any particular contacts with him, no.
7 Q. And then from the 7th of June to the 14th of June, you testified
8 here this morning that you made a decision not to have any further contact
9 with him because of what you observed him do on the 7th of June; is that
11 A. How shall I put it? I was present there. I have already told
12 the story, I can tell it to you again, but I simply tried to avoid him as
13 much as possible because I too was afraid, despite the fact that he was my
14 kum, that we were in this kum relationship, regardless of that fact, it
15 was just very embarrassing.
16 Q. You do admit that earlier today you did tell us that you simply
17 could no longer have contact with Milan Lukic after the 7th of June; do
18 you admit that?
19 A. You mean if I saw him at all or ...
20 Q. No, we were talking about whether you would socialise with him
21 after the 7th of June and before the 14th of June, when you say you went
22 into the hospital. During that period of time, in response to a question
23 Mr. Domazet asked, you stated, "... I simply could not -- no longer have
24 any contact with him." Do you remember saying that here this morning
25 about an hour ago?
1 A. Yes, I believe I said that. How can I explain this to you? It's
2 just that I did not wish to have any contact with him. I didn't want to
3 have any contact with him. It was just my natural impulse.
4 Q. And can you tell us why you didn't want to have contact with him?
5 A. Well, frankly speaking, it was because of the fact that I was
6 present there, of how he behaved, of how heartless he was. I'm referring
7 to the incident by the river. I was present there, yes.
8 Q. So you've used the word embarrassed. Is the reason for not having
9 contact with him because you were embarrassed to be seen with him because
10 of what he did?
11 A. To tell you the truth, I really no longer felt like -- I mean, I
12 christened his child and I was his best man because I had to do it. But
13 ever since that time, it was very embarrassing for me to be in his
14 company. Sometimes he had come over and we would have a drink, but I -- I
15 couldn't wait to see him off. I mean, I really didn't feel like being
16 with him. And when he was in prison, I never visited him there. I don't
17 know how long he spent in prison, five or six months, but I never went
18 there to see him, I never inquired about him, I wasn't interested in his
19 situation at all. I never went to see him there. If I had had any
20 respect left for him, I would have visited him in prison, but I never
21 attempted to do that, I never inquired about him at all.
22 Q. Now, if you felt this way, wouldn't it have been possible to ask
23 one of the other four or five members of your family to be his best man,
24 to be the godfather of his children? Wouldn't that have been a
1 A. See, if he comes to see me and if he asks me, it's very difficult
2 for me to refuse. I mean, he was the one who directly contacted me for
3 that purpose. If he had gone to my brother or my cousin, it would have
4 been also difficult for them to refuse the offer and to send him over to
5 me, to Mitar. It would really have been a pity because of the children
6 and because of other kums. It's not only that he would be offended,
7 everybody else would have been offended and angry, and I would have
8 probably been exposed to the criticism of my family. It's this kind --
9 it's -- it was my duty, my Christian duty. But he spent more time in
11 Q. So of the four or five people that could have been his best man
12 and the godfather of his children, did Milan Lukic ask any of those before
13 he asked you, or were you the first person he asked of those people?
14 A. I was the first person he asked.
15 Q. Now, you said that you were in the hospital between the 14th and,
16 I believe, the 28th of July. When you returned from the hospital, did you
17 socialise with Milan Lukic at that point in time?
18 A. No. At that time I still had my plaster on and I was on
19 sick-leave and I was walking on crutches. So I spent most of the time at
21 Q. So from the time that you came home from the hospital, you did not
22 socialise with Milan Lukic; is that correct?
23 A. During that period of time, no, it was impossible for me to
24 socialise. I was at home most of the time, all the time actually, except
25 for my checkups, especially after my cast was taken off. I had to be very
1 careful. The doctor's recommendation was that I was to move as little as
3 Q. For the remainder of 1992, did you ever socialise with Milan Lukic
4 at all?
5 A. I would see him from time to time, but I cannot say that we
6 socialised. It was getting winter time and I was still very ill. I
7 didn't want to go out because of the road conditions. And it was until
8 the end of March that I was on sick-leave. I don't know exactly when it
9 was that he was arrested in 1993, whether it was in January or February.
10 I don't recall.
11 Q. I want to draw your attention to the 16th and 17th of November,
12 2000. Do you recall participating in an interview in this building, in
13 the basement of this building?
14 A. With the Prosecutor? With you? Yes.
15 Q. Myself and other members of the Office of the Prosecutor's staff?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. And was that a voluntary statement?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And before you gave that statement, were you advised of your right
20 to the assistance of an attorney and an interpreter?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And, in fact, was Mr. Domazet present during the entire statement?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Were you also advised that you did not have to answer any
25 questions that were put to you? Is that correct?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. And were you also advised that that statement could be used in
3 evidence at trial?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And after being advised of those rights, did you proceed with the
6 interview? Did you give a voluntary statement?
7 A. Voluntary, yes.
8 Q. Now, do you recall in that statement, or do you admit that in that
9 statement, in response to a question, you gave the following answer: "I
10 know that when I came back from the hospital they, meaning Milan Lukic and
11 his group, were no longer part of the police force. I know because I
12 socialised with Milan Lukic." Do you admit having said that during the
13 course of this statement on the 17th of November?
14 A. Well, it is possible that I stated something to that effect, but I
15 didn't have control over that. I mean, if I socialised with him, I knew
16 the man, of course, but even if I wanted to socialise with him, it would
17 have been impossible for me to do that because I had recently been
18 released from hospital, I was still recovering. It was impossible for me
19 to socialise with him, properly speaking, not only with him but with
20 everybody else, except for perhaps my next-door neighbours who would come
21 to see me and then we would have a cup of coffee. But he, he lived
22 further away, he lived in a different section of the town. I lived at
24 Q. Well, can you tell us what kind of interaction you were talking
25 about with Milan Lukic when you said that you socialised with him on the
1 17th of November?
2 A. Well, when I saw him. I remember one occasion when he came to see
3 me at home after I had been released from hospital.
4 Q. So when you said "socialised," you meant that he just came to see
5 you one time; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Just one more question about that statement. Do you recall that
8 prior to agreeing to participate in that interview, you set a condition
9 that had to be met beforehand? Do you recall what that condition was?
10 A. I think under 3 and 4, at the bottom of the list.
11 Q. I'm not referring to your request during the statement, I'm
12 referring to a request you made before the interview even was scheduled.
13 And do you recall that you would only agree to be interviewed after you
14 were provided a copy of all the witness statements taken in this case? Do
15 you recall making that request or condition before you were interviewed?
16 A. Statements of all witnesses? I don't know if -- I don't know. If
17 you have it there, maybe. I don't remember everything that I said. I
18 don't exactly know what you're talking about.
19 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, it sounds very much to me like a lawyer's
20 request, if it was made on his behalf by Mr. Domazet. If you've got
21 something in writing, why don't you do it that way.
22 MR. GROOME: I'll leave it at this point, Your Honour. It doesn't
23 seem that he recalls it.
24 Q. I'd like to now talk about any contact you've had with Mr. Lukic
25 more recently. Did you socialise with him in the year 1999, prior to your
2 A. Let me tell you, when the International Force entered Visegrad,
3 BH, Republika Srpska, whatever you want to call it, then Milan Lukic took
4 to hiding. He changed his place of residence so I couldn't even easily
5 trace him. I didn't ask him. He would come to Visegrad for a short while
6 and then leave. He was hiding. Even if he did come to Visegrad, it would
7 be for a very short period of time.
8 Q. In those times that he came to Visegrad, would you and he speak?
9 A. Well, if I met him in the street or if he'd come to a place -- to
10 the place that I'd worked, then ...
11 Q. And approximately how many times did he come to the place where
12 you worked in 1999?
13 A. Well, I don't know. What do I say. I'm a waiter. A patron is a
14 patron. He was like any other patron. He didn't frequent only my place.
15 There are lots of taverns and places around the town. He had his own
16 place too.
17 Q. Can you tell us approximately how many times he came into the
18 place where you were working and had coffee in that place?
19 A. What do I know? Sometimes he would have a meal there too. Not
20 only when I was on duty, but when other people were on duty. I wasn't on
21 duty round the clock, so he came when other people worked. Yes, he came.
22 Q. I'm just asking you about the times that you were present. How
23 many times when you were present did Milan Lukic come into the place where
24 you worked and had a coffee or a meal?
25 A. Well, I can't really say. I don't keep that kind of score about
1 our patrons. Not all that often is what I can say. He wasn't -- he
2 didn't have his meals there every day, but he -- he came. At times he
3 would be served by a fellow waiter, depending on which part of the
4 restaurant he would sit in.
5 Q. And would it be -- would I be correct in saying, when he did come
6 to the restaurant you were working in, you would sit, have a coffee with
7 him and talk with him; is that correct?
8 A. Well, that happened too, yes. If he invited me to have a coffee
9 with him, then I -- then I would sit down and have a cup of coffee with
10 him. I mean, I couldn't do it on my own, I couldn't do it with a patron,
11 to just sit down on my own. But it wasn't all that often. And if he
12 invites me to, what can I do? I mean, we're kums. He may have sinned but
13 I did not try to justify that.
14 Q. And approximately how many times in 1999 did you sit and talk with
15 Milan Lukic over a cup of coffee?
16 A. Well, those meetings were few and far between because he was in
17 hiding, he wasn't in the Visegrad area any longer. He would be away for
18 two or three months and then he'd come for a couple of days. At times he
19 came and I never saw him, because he went elsewhere. He was in hiding all
20 the time.
21 Q. Now, despite the fact that Milan Lukic was in hiding, did you
22 attend weddings or funerals or baptisms with him in the year 1999?
23 A. You asked me, you mentioned that tape. I couldn't remember. Then
24 I started thinking about it, and I talked to my lawyer, and I still am not
25 sure what it's all about. And I did say that I was present at my cousin's
1 wedding. If that is the tape that you mean, my cousin's -- because when
2 his son was getting married, because Milan Lukic is their best man, he is
3 the one who married them. So Milan Lukic was the best man, and I was
4 invited there as part of the wedding party, as everybody else. It took
5 place in the Visegrad Hotel. I think there were about 300 guests there.
6 That relative that I have, he works in Austria, and his son was getting
7 married, so I was at that wedding, if that is the tape that you had in
8 mind, I don't know.
9 Q. Can you tell us when this was the wedding that you and Milan Lukic
10 attended, Milan Lukic being the best man and you being a member of the
11 wedding party? When did that wedding occur?
12 A. 1999, I think.
13 Q. I want to ask you some questions regarding the person who is now
14 being referred to as VGD10.
15 MR. GROOME: And the problem that I raised a few moments
16 ago is now upon us.
17 JUDGE HUNT: Is this going to reveal matters in relation to the
18 indictment with which this accused is not charged, or ones with which he
19 is charged?
20 MR. GROOME: Actually, Your Honour, I think that having just --
21 the situation arise, I don't think any of the questions I'm going to ask
22 will refer to -- of course, I can't predict the answers, but I don't think
23 it will identify this person.
24 JUDGE HUNT: Well, see how you go, and he can give a -- he can
25 give the pseudonym in his responses. You mean the matters about which you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 are going to ask him are not likely to identify the person otherwise?
2 MR. GROOME: I don't believe so, although I will be asking where
3 this person worked, but there would be a number of people who worked in
4 the same place.
5 JUDGE HUNT: See how you go.
6 MR. GROOME:
7 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, do you have -- the piece of paper that you handed
8 up to the Court, do you have the numbers that have now been assigned to
9 these people on that sheet? You had numbered them but then the Court had
10 given them another set of numbers.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I believe the numbers that we will use during this examination are
13 to the right of their name, okay? I want to draw your attention to
14 VGD10. Can you find that on your sheet?
15 A. Yes, I have.
16 Q. Is this person also in the relationship of kum with you?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So would it be fair to say that the same close relationship you've
19 described regarding Milan Lukic, you also have a similarly close
20 relationship with VGD10?
21 A. That's right, identical.
22 Q. Now, VGD10, was he a police officer in Visegrad?
23 A. He was.
24 Q. And he was a police officer for approximately ten years; is that
1 A. Thereabouts, yes.
2 Q. And was he fired from his job in the police or from the police in
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was he one of several police officers that were fired at the same
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Were all of the police officers suspended or fired at that time
9 with VGD10, were they also Serb?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Approximately, how many police officers were fired at this point
12 in time?
13 A. I know about four, and I mentioned them here. If you want me to,
14 I can give you their names.
15 Q. Can you please refer to them by their numbers and give us their
17 A. Eighteen, VGD18, 19, 17, and 10.
18 Q. And were they fired because of some criminal activity that they
19 were alleged to have been involved in?
20 A. I wouldn't know, and I didn't ask. They used to work in the
21 police. They wouldn't have told me anyway what they had done. I mean, I
22 don't know why. I know that none of them work in the police today. I
23 mean, they never returned to the police service. And I also know that
24 they sued, they filed a suit with the court. But what happened with that,
25 I don't know.
1 Q. You heard, it seems a matter of weeks ago now, but you heard
2 Witness VG61 tell us that VGD10 was one of the police officers taken
3 into custody and subsequently released at the dam in Visegrad. Do you
4 remember that?
5 A. I do, yes.
6 Q. Is that correct? Do you recall VGD10 being one of those people,
7 one of those police officers taken into custody and released at the dam?
8 A. Yes. There were VGD10, VG18, 17, and there were -- I think
9 there were 11 or 12 of them. I'm not sure.
10 Q. Was VGD10 fired from the police before or after he was released
11 from the dam?
12 A. After. After. After that. They were captured in April.
13 Q. Now, when you say "captured," there was another witness who
14 testified with the same family -- I'm sorry. The first witness who
15 testified at this trial talked about a number of Serb police officers and
16 Serb reserve police officers being captured in the Dobrun area. Is that
17 what you're referring to now?
18 A. Yes, yes, except -- sorry, no, it wasn't Dobrun where they were
19 captured. I think -- I think they were captured somewhere above the
20 town. Now, what's it called? No, not Dobrun. Up there. Can't remember
21 what the village is called.
22 Q. But is it fair to say that what you're referring to now and what
23 the first witness at the trial was speaking about, it's the same incident
24 that you're both speaking about; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. Now, in your view, was VGD10 a hostage by the Muslim forces in
2 Visegrad? Was that your view at the time?
3 A. Well, they were captured or detained, arrested, whichever, before
4 the Uzice Corps came.
5 Q. Did you feel that they were rightfully arrested, or did you feel
6 that they were captured as hostages?
7 A. Well, how can I know that? All I know is that they were arrested.
8 Q. Being the kum of VGD10, did you feel obliged to do something to
9 help secure his release?
10 A. Come, I couldn't do anything. What could I do? I was just an
11 ordinary man. It's up to the authorities. What could I do?
12 Q. Were you angry that this kum of yours had been taken or had been
13 captured by Muslim forces?
14 A. Well, what do you want me to tell you? It was early days yet. I
15 hoped he'd come out, because it was all at the very beginning.
16 Q. I'm asking you how you felt about the people who had done this to
18 A. Well, not only he, everybody, all the others. I mean, nobody
19 likes seeing things like that happen regardless of whether it is he or
20 somebody else.
21 Q. I'm just trying to get to your state of mind at this time,
22 Mr. Vasiljevic, no one else's. How did you feel when your kum had been
23 captured by Muslims? Were you afraid that he might be killed?
24 A. Well, no. I don't know. No, I didn't think that, because after
25 all, it was their fellow policeman, a Muslim fellow policeman there. No,
1 no, I didn't think about it, but I wasn't afraid that he'd get killed.
2 No, not really, because they'd worked together for a long time. Besides,
3 as I said, it was early days. There was no killing at that time. I
4 didn't think that there would be a war. I thought that things would be
5 settled somehow, that people of intelligence, people holding high offices
6 would do something, would do something to prevent it, the authorities, the
7 state. How shall I put it? No, no, at that time, I did not think that
8 they'd kill them, no. No, it never occurred to me, because at that time
9 there were no killings or anything. It was early days.
10 Q. I'd like to --
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. -- I'd like to move now to the point in time when Milan Lukic
13 returns to Visegrad in May of 1992. Can you tell us, when was the first
14 time that you recall seeing Milan Lukic in the town of Visegrad in May of
16 A. Well, perhaps this is -- this will not be the exact date. It
17 could have been mid-May. Perhaps a little later or a little earlier. I
18 can't be more precise than that.
19 Q. Are you able to tell us whether it happened before or after the
20 Uzice Corps left on the 19th of May?
21 A. Well, I don't really know. I can't be specific. I cannot
22 pinpoint the time. Could have been before. I don't know.
23 Q. How was he dressed the first time that you saw him?
24 A. Camouflage uniform.
25 Q. Did he have any insignias or any indication on that camouflage
1 uniform that would indicate that he was assigned or part of a particular
3 A. Some insignia? Yes, those with eagles badges.
4 Q. You say "with eagles." Is that the double-headed eagle graphic
5 that we've heard about during the course of this trial?
6 A. Yes. It's the badges like the ones that police and the military
7 and the customs officers have now.
8 Q. At that time in 1992, was it -- did the police have a similar
9 insignia at that time?
10 A. They all had the same insignia, yes -- no, wait just a moment. On
11 their caps, they had the flag, I mean a metal -- a metal plate, a metal
12 badge, and a red, white and blue. And here on their sleeves, they had
13 patches as they do now. And now I think they have the same kind of emblem
14 on their sleeve and on the cap.
15 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome, I may be wrong, but wasn't this the
16 subject of a precise admission as to what was on the hat? When I say
17 admission, I mean an agreed fact.
18 MR. GROOME: You might be correct, Your Honour. I don't recall
19 that, but perhaps I can leave this to the afternoon session and I'll check
20 over lunch.
21 JUDGE HUNT: I've probably got the agreed facts here somewhere,
22 but where in this pile I'm not sure.
23 MR. GROOME: I will move from this and then we'll take it up after
24 lunch if we need to.
25 Q. The first time that you saw Milan Lukic, was he armed?
1 A. When I saw him the first time, I don't know, I guess so. But
2 precisely that first time when I saw him ...
3 Q. Did there come a time after he arrived back in Visegrad that you
4 distinctly remember that he was armed?
5 A. Yes, he was armed. Well, when I saw him around town, yes, yes,
6 yes, he was. I don't remember if he had -- if he was armed the very first
7 time that I saw him, but ...
8 Q. And when you saw him in May, was he armed at some point during the
9 month of May?
10 A. Why, yes, yes, must have, must have been.
11 Q. Can you describe for us what you remember about what weapons he
12 had with him at that time?
13 A. He had a sniper rifle with him.
14 Q. Do you recall whether that sniper's rifle had a silencer or
15 suppressor attached to it?
16 A. Yes, it had something on the top. Yes, it did.
17 Q. Was that the same weapon that you saw him with on the 7th of June?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And were you able to tell whether that was an old weapon or a new
21 A. I don't know. I mean, how could I know that? I never thought
22 about it. I never thought about whether it was an old -- the old weapon
23 or a new one.
24 Q. You don't know --
25 A. I still don't know. No, I mean whether it was a new weapon.
1 Q. The first time you saw him, do you recall whether he was alone, or
2 was he with a group of other people?
3 A. Oh, I don't know. I saw him with other people. Now, that first
4 time, I don't know.
5 Q. You know that at some point Milan Lukic formed a group of
6 paramilitaries in Visegrad; is that correct?
7 A. Why, I don't know when he did that, and how. I mean, I said -- I
8 mean, I can say who socialised with him and things like that, because I
9 was in Visegrad until the 14th. After that I cannot really say whether he
10 had more men or what.
11 Q. Let me ask you this: Did there come a time that you saw Milan
12 Lukic with other men that were dressed in a similar fashion and were also
13 armed with weapons?
14 A. Well, no, those others had automatic rifles. He was the only one
15 who had a sniper, as far as I know.
16 Q. These other people who had automatic rifles, did they appear to
17 you to be part of the same group as Milan Lukic?
18 A. I must say, I never gave it a thought. I don't know who belonged
19 to whom. I didn't socialise with him so how can I know?
20 Q. So is it your testimony here today that you were never aware that
21 Milan Lukic formed a group of other armed men in the town of Visegrad?
22 A. He did, he had those supporters, he had men, but men whom I didn't
23 know, men who are outsiders. Oh, yes, he was a leader, surely. I mean,
24 they turned to him to ask questions. Yes, there's no doubt about that.
25 Q. And approximately how many men were in this group that you're
1 referring to now?
2 A. I don't know. You want my precise answer here before the Chamber,
3 but I don't know. Maybe 10 or 15 people, because there were other
4 individuals whom I didn't know, who perhaps stayed there for a brief
5 period of time. I wasn't there for very long. I mean, I didn't spend all
6 my time with him. I didn't have an opportunity to meet those people. I
7 know about those whom I knew. As to whether there were others as well,
8 yes, of course, people from elsewhere.
9 Q. Was this group associated with a Chetnik movement?
10 A. Yes, I think they were called the Chetnik movement.
11 Q. So the name of this group was the Chetnik movement; is that what
12 you're saying here today?
13 A. I think so, yes.
14 Q. Can you describe for us what is meant by a Chetnik movement?
15 A. Chetnik movement. Well, the Chetniks were the Serbian army, Serb
16 soldiers, during the Second World War. That's what the Serb army was
17 commonly referred to. I cannot provide you with any serious explanation.
18 I'm not a historian, you know.
19 Q. Were there other Chetnik movements in Visegrad other than that led
20 by Milan Lukic?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Would you consider yourself associated in any way with the Chetnik
24 A. No. I was a member of the TO. And one other thing, well, it was
25 embarrassing for me to tell you that I was a drunkard. I mean, they
1 wouldn't have had me anyway because they didn't drink. He never drank or
2 smoked. I don't think even if I wanted to join them, that they simply
3 wouldn't have me because I liked to drink, and they had no use for people
4 like me.
5 Q. Now, you've told us that the name of this group was the Chetnik
6 movement. Would it be fair to say that many people in Visegrad, and in
7 particular Muslims, whether correctly or incorrectly, used to refer to
8 Milan Lukic and his men as White Eagles; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, maybe. I don't know, but I think that that's what he had in
10 mind. I cannot comment on that.
11 Q. Now, at any time between the time you first see Milan Lukic and
12 the day of the 7th of June, did you ever see blood on his uniform?
13 A. No. He was always very tidy. So even if he did, I mean, he would
14 have changed his uniform. It's not that I want to say that he never did
15 those things, no.
16 Q. And did you ever see blood on the uniforms of any of the other men
17 in this group?
18 A. No, no, no. I don't remember, no.
19 Q. You testified a moment ago that this group was outside of or
20 separate from the TO; is that correct?
21 A. I told you about these people here, except for VG10, I said that
22 they initially started working as -- no, let me begin once again. VG5,
23 6, 7, 8, 9, 3, 4, they had police insignia, and they came from 1 and 2 --
24 that is, 22, some of them, from 1 and 2. E, X, D22, from there.
25 Q. Let's see if I can clear this up. You're saying now that the
1 people on your list with the numbers VGD3 through 10 were always members
2 of this Chetnik group; is that correct?
3 A. No, no. I don't know what happened later, if they joined or not,
4 but they originally came from the towns 1 and 2, I mean they came from
5 there and they started working at the police. They were the ones who had
6 those kinds of insignia. Whether they formed a separate department, I
7 don't know. I know that they lived in the Graca neighbourhood, in the
8 building which was the administration of the civil engineers company,
9 because I would pass by on my way home from work. This is where they
10 initially started to work. How long they were there, I don't know. I
11 think that they were still there at the time the Uzice Corps arrived, but
12 I may not be correct. I'm not sure. I believe it was at the beginning of
13 May. However, I'm not sure about the dates. And I know that Milan Lukic
14 was not there at the time.
15 Q. After Milan Lukic arrived back in Visegrad, did any of these men,
16 VGD3 through 10, did any of these men join his group, this Chetnik
17 movement group?
18 A. To tell you the truth, I don't know when or how, because it was a
19 long time ago, but after I was released from hospital, I know that they
20 lived at Banja. I would pass by that place. Lukic was there with them.
21 VG7, 8, 9, 3, 64, and others who were from another area, whom I didn't
22 know. I don't know how many there were.
23 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, there seems to be some mistake in recording your
24 answer. It indicates that you said 64. Did you mean 6 and 4, or what did
25 you mean?
1 A. I apologise, 4. This is a D, actually. VGD4.
2 Q. How about VGD6? Was VGD6 one of the people that you knew lived
3 up in Banja?
4 A. I don't think they were up there. These people had a brother in
5 Visegrad. Whether they spent a night there once or twice, I don't know.
6 Maybe they had. I didn't go there myself. I don't exclude that
8 Q. Were you related to any of these people?
9 A. VG5 and 6 are distant relatives of mine. We come from the same
10 village. I know them very well, but they are younger than me. They used
11 to live in Serbia, at number 2, where they worked. After they finished
12 school, they went there to work, both of them. But they went to school in
14 Q. Now, the remaining people from this group, VGD3, 4, 7, 8, 9, did
15 you know these people before this period of time in 1992?
16 A. Yes, except for VGD4.
17 Q. So VGD4 is the only person who you did not know before this
18 period in 1992?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, you've told us that these people came from the two cities
21 marked at the bottom of your sheet as number 1 and number 2. How was it
22 that you knew these people if they came from these two distant cities?
23 A. Like I said, 5 and 6 work in number 2, in the town number 2, and 7
24 and 8, in the city marked as number 1. And 9, I think he's also in the
25 town marked number 1. Number 3, I think that he too was there. Maybe
1 there were others who were not from the town. But number 4 is from the
2 town number 2 by origin. Well, as to how I knew about that, I knew about
3 these people because they're my relatives, and these two guys are
4 brothers, and my brother lives in the same apartment block as D7, so
5 that's how I knew. And I knew them from before because they originally
6 come from the same area where I was born. And I can also tell you, in
7 respect of this one, when I went to school from the fifth to the eighth
8 form, I went to school on foot and I would always pass by the house of
9 number 9 and 3.
10 Q. So is it your testimony that aside from number 4, the remaining
11 people that you mentioned in your answer were all originally from
13 A. Yes, yes, originally from the town of Visegrad, I'm sure about
15 Q. How did you come to learn the name of number 4?
16 A. These other guys knew him very well. He socialised with them, and
17 it is with him that he came. Five and 6 knew him. So that's how.
18 Q. Can you tell us the circumstances under which number 5 and 6 told
19 you who number 4 was?
20 A. Well, I'm not sure. They told me that he was from the town number
21 1 by birth. I also came to learn that his parents, whether both his
22 parents -- I'm sure about his father, I don't know about his mother, that
23 they were from a village near Visegrad but that they live in town number
24 2, that they'd lived there for a very long time.
25 Q. When did you learn number 4's name?
1 A. Sometime in May.
2 Q. And you've already testified that numbers 5 and 6 told you his
3 name. Can you tell us where that was?
4 A. How would I know? I mean, I don't remember. I used to see them
5 around the town all the time. It was a long time ago. I cannot remember
6 every single detail, every single moment. But I know that he's from town
7 number 2, I'm sure about that, and that he came with these other guys and
8 that he wore police insignia.
9 Q. Are there any other people on this list that were also part of
10 Milan Lukic's group, ones that we have not talked about already?
11 A. I don't know. Here, number 10 is also mentioned. To what extent
12 he was a member of that group, I don't know. He was a regular police
13 officer. But I don't know as for these others. No, I don't think so.
14 Q. Now, would I be correct in saying that, to your knowledge, Milan
15 Lukic's group never fought on the front line of the war; is that correct?
16 A. I don't know. I don't think so. I don't know. I'm sorry, but I
17 just cannot tell you. I was in Visegrad up until the 14th. I don't know
18 what their whereabouts were, where they went. I cannot be precise. I
19 don't know exactly what their movements were.
20 Q. I will ask you about your work in Prelovo this afternoon, but let
21 me ask you now, in the course of your work feeding the soldiers on the
22 front line in Prelovo, did you ever see any of the members of Milan
23 Lukic's group?
24 A. I went to Visegrad almost every day to fetch those things, so I
25 must have seen them around. Now, I don't know about Musici, whether I saw
1 them. I can't remember. I don't remember whether they came to Prelovo.
2 There were many troops there. I don't know whether I saw them in town. I
3 was not with them, you see, I was not a member of their unit, I was not a
4 police officer, I didn't pay much attention to that. I just didn't care
5 about those things. They had those police insignia at the time they
6 arrived. They had their own uniforms; they were all dressed the same.
7 Q. I'm just asking you did you see them, do you recall ever seeing
8 them on the front line in Prelovo? I'm not asking you about any other
9 place at this time.
10 A. No. The front line was not in Prelovo, the command was quartered
11 at Prelovo. But the front line was not there, it was further up.
12 Q. What I'm trying to get at is that you testified a few minutes ago
13 that this group was outside and separate from the Territorial Defence, the
14 TO; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. They were members of the police force. Well, later, how
16 that was all organised, I don't know, in what manner they were registered,
17 whether they were registered with the army or with the police, I don't
18 know. They were much younger than me, all of them.
19 Q. Now, from the time that you first saw this group and up until the
20 7th of June, did you ever see anything about these men, their cars or
21 their weapons that would have led you to believe that they were involved
22 in some criminal activity?
23 A. They had the same kind of weapons, automatic rifles, that is, so
24 they had the same kind of uniform.
25 Q. Did you ever see them with Muslim captives in their cars?
1 A. This thing at the river, at that time, yes, that's when I saw
3 Q. Prior to the event at the river, did you see anything or hear
4 anything about this group that indicated to you they were involved in
5 criminal activity?
6 A. But, you know, I didn't inquire much about that. I don't know. I
7 just didn't know many things about the police. They had their structure,
8 their commanders. I, as an ordinary man, had no way of asking, of
9 inquiring about the matters that concerned the police. And in those days,
10 I didn't socialise with them, especially after I went to hospital. I
11 don't know what happened to them nor how they were organised.
12 Q. Would I be correct in saying that, during the time that you were
13 still in Visegrad, that most of the activities of this group was either in
14 the town of Visegrad or in the surrounding villages of Visegrad?
15 A. Possible, that they went to various villages, that they were in
16 the town itself. Initially, as I told you, they worked for the police.
17 After I was released from hospital, none of them worked there any longer,
18 I'm sure about that. When I came back from hospital, none of them was
19 working for them.
20 Q. At the time before you went into hospital, you're suggesting now
21 that they did work for the police. Upon what do you base that conclusion?
22 A. Because they had those insignia and there was inscription which
23 said police. But let me tell you one other thing. I don't remember ever
24 seeing Lukic with this kind of insignia. Formally speaking, I think he
25 was -- well, he wore a uniform, but I don't remember him wearing this
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 inscription. However, as regards them, these other people, I know that
2 they had this kind of insignia. But they were -- they were seen together,
3 I mean, they socialised.
4 Q. You've made a reference to Milan Lukic being the leader of this
5 group. Can you tell us how it is you know that?
6 A. Who else would it be?
7 Q. Well, was there something about what you observed or heard that
8 led you to believe that he was the leader?
9 A. He was the one who had the most influence among those people.
10 Q. Aside from what occurred on the 7th of June, can you tell us some
11 other events or situations in which it was clear to you that Milan Lukic
12 had the most influence over these people?
13 A. Yes, I can. When I was in the village of VG59 -- or 55, as I was
14 coming back from Prelovo --
15 Q. Aside from what you observed in that village, were there any other
16 events or situations that led you to believe that he was in charge?
17 A. Oh, I mean, it was only him that could have had this function. I
18 mean, no one else.
19 Q. The relationship that this group had with the police, would I be
20 correct in saying that this relationship existed before the Uzice Corps
21 left on the 19th of May? Is that a correct statement?
22 A. Yes. Whether they worked together or whether it was some
23 detachment of the police, I don't know. I don't know whether they
24 actually had the same command.
25 Q. Prior to the Uzice Corps leaving, did you ever see this group
1 working jointly with members of the Uzice Corps?
2 A. No. The Uzice Corps belonged to the army, and they were the
3 police force. No, I don't know. And then the Uzice Corps had their own
4 military police. Whether they cooperated or not, I don't know.
5 Q. You've testified in your evidence in chief about a person by the
6 name of Mitar Knezevic. Was he a member of this group?
7 A. He socialised with Milan all the time. I think he was his right
9 Q. You think he was his right hand in this group; is that what you're
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When is the first time that you saw them together?
13 A. I can't -- I cannot tell you exactly when. Sometime in May.
14 Q. And was he dressed in the same fashion as Milan Lukic?
15 A. He too had a camouflage uniform.
16 Q. To your knowledge, what was Mitar Knezevic's nickname?
17 A. Chetnik.
18 Q. And would it be fair to say that when you saw Milan Lukic together
19 with Mitar Knezevic, that Milan would refer to him as Chetnik?
20 A. Yes. Everybody called him Chetnik. They would refer to him as
21 Mitar the Chetnik, Mitar the Chetnik, the revenger, something to that
22 effect. And he created a lot of trouble for myself. Many witnesses heard
23 about him. But the residents mostly knew him as Mitar the Chetnik.
24 Q. Now, he was missing an eye; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And can you tell us, did he have a glass eye or did he wear an eye
2 patch? How did he -- how did the eye appear to you?
3 A. No, he did not have a glass eye. I think that his eye was
4 damaged. Whether he still could see on that eye, I don't know. But, no,
5 he did not have this kind of glass eye. His eye was just damaged in a
6 way. It was slightly narrower than the other eye. He only had the -- he
7 did not have the iris of the eye, just the white part. I don't remember
8 exactly what the problem was.
9 JUDGE HUNT: There is a photograph of him in evidence. We'll take
10 the break now and resume at 2.30.
11 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.02 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m
2 JUDGE HUNT: Mr. Groome.
3 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, before the break or during the break, I
4 would like to pass on that the interpreters have asked both myself and Mr.
5 Vasiljevic to please slow down, so I would pass that on to Mr. Vasiljevic
6 in that manner.
7 JUDGE HUNT: Yes.
8 MR. GROOME:
9 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, before the break we were discussing Mr. Knezevic,
10 and the question I want to ask you is if somebody were standing face to
11 face with Mr. Knezevic, would it be apparent that he had something wrong
12 with his eye?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Would you describe yourself as looking similar in appearance to
15 Mr. Knezevic?
16 A. No.
17 Q. At any time in your life, has anybody mistaken you for Mitar
19 A. Well, I know that in 1992, people would stop me in the street and
20 ask me what I was doing in the village of Odzak, that allegedly I had been
21 to the village of Odzak provoking Serbs because they were protecting
22 Muslims, and I know I didn't. The people know me well, so somebody must
23 have said that. But eventually it turned up that it was Mitar Knezevic,
24 and I wasn't truly interested in that because I knew that I wasn't there.
25 It's a very small village, only a few dozen households. So that I really
1 didn't care much about this whole thing because I knew that it wasn't me.
2 And eventually I found out that it was he, that it was, indeed, the truth
3 that he did go up there and teased, provoked people, and spent there quite
4 some time. So that in the beginning -- up here and in the street, I mean,
5 how could you, I mean until people came to know him, when eventually they
6 did, then they stopped mixing us. I think that all the Visegradians have
7 a very poor opinion of him. He died. Nobody liked him.
8 Q. Aside from hearing this account that you've just told us that
9 happened in this village, no one at any time ever came up to you and said,
10 "Mitar Knezevic," by mistake, addressing you as Mitar Knezevic, did they?
11 A. No, no. Usually people knew me, I mean, people who knew me, they
12 didn't. But it was he that they did not know, because he hadn't been in
13 Visegrad. He had spent some time in Dubrovnik. And since I was a waiter,
14 most people knew me, but they didn't know him. And I guess somebody who
15 didn't know me -- but I don't remember that somebody addressed me as Mitar
17 Q. Now, Mitar Knezevic wasn't a waiter, was he?
18 A. No, no.
19 Q. And as far as you know, he never worked for the Panos company in
20 any capacity?
21 A. No, no, I don't think so. No, no, I -- I'm not aware of that. I
22 really don't. I think he didn't, because I should know it. I spent, in
23 Visegrad, a long time. I don't think he ever worked for that. Perhaps in
24 the forestry, but I don't think so, no. I don't think so, not in my
25 company, never.
1 Q. And he wasn't married, was he?
2 A. Well, I -- yes, I saw on that marriage certificate. No. But he
3 was married twice, once a anybody in a neighbouring village, Milanka
4 Bozic, and he divorced her. I think he was a nerve patient. And then he
5 married another one from our area, from the village of Uzamnica. But
6 which family she came from, was it Sevrt or Gudovics. And so he had
7 that wife and a child, and that wife and the child, perhaps the child has
8 not -- was not one year old yet, but she jumped with the child into the
9 Drina. That, I know that. And he was in prison in Sarajevo, in the
10 central prison in Sarajevo, but that was some 15 years ago. But then he
11 was acquitted. How all that happened, I just don't know, I never asked
12 him. But there, that's something that I know. And now I could see in
13 this death certificate, that I saw that he wasn't married to either of
14 those two women.
15 Q. Now, to your knowledge, neither of his wives had the name of
16 Miljoka, the name of your wife; is that right?
17 A. Milanka is the one who came from the Bozic family, because that's
18 quite near my village, and the other one, I don't know what her name was.
19 She was from the village Uzamnica. That is about 5 or 6 kilometres away
20 from my village. But I just don't know her name.
21 Q. As far as you're aware, he had only one child and that child
22 drowned in the Drina; is that correct?
23 A. It is. It was a long time ago.
24 Q. I want to return to some of the men that you have mentioned being
25 a member of Milan Lukic's group. The first question I want to ask you is
1 were you aware if they were police officers or connected with the police
2 in Serbia, in either Belgrade or in Obrenovac, the two places you said
3 they came from?
4 A. Policemen from Visegrad, you mean?
5 Q. You told us about VGD3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 as coming from either
6 Beograd or Obrenovac.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. To your knowledge, were any of them members of the police of the
9 Ministry of Interior in the Republic of Serbia?
10 A. No.
11 Q. So to your knowledge, their first work with the police was in the
12 summer of 1992, in Visegrad.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I want to draw your attention to number 8, and I would ask you,
15 can you describe briefly his physical appearance? Can you tell us his
16 height, his weight, his facial hair, and the colour of his hair -- I'm
17 sorry, if he had any facial hair, and the colour of his hair?
18 A. VGD8, you mean?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. Well, he had black -- he has black hair, no moustache, no beard.
21 Shorter than I am.
22 Q. And can you approximate his weight or compare it to your weight at
23 this time?
24 A. Well, he is shorter and thinner than I am.
25 Q. I'd ask you the same question regarding VGD7.
1 A. He is VGD8's brother, and he's very short, he's really small.
2 Q. And what colour is his hair?
3 A. Black.
4 Q. Does he have any facial hair?
5 A. No.
6 Q. And would you describe his build or his weight for us? Was he
7 heavy or thin?
8 A. Well, he was a very, very small man, a tiny figure, but rather
9 plump. Very short, markedly short, but plump.
10 Q. Now I'd ask you the same question regarding VGD9.
11 A. Short, thinner than I.
12 Q. How about the colour of that person's hair?
13 A. Black, but balding. He always wore either a hat or a cap because
14 he had at that time lost quite a lot of hair. In the beginning, he did
15 not have any beard or moustache, but he eventually grew a beard, a very
16 long beard, like this, and a moustache too.
17 Q. You've just indicated down in front of your chest. Was the beard
18 down in front of his chest?
19 A. Like this. An unkempt appearance, he had.
20 JUDGE HUNT: I'm afraid we could see nothing of where
21 Mr. Vasiljevic was indicating. You would be able to see. Where was he
23 MR. GROOME: Maybe if I can ask him to describe.
24 Q. Can I ask you to describe how many inches below, or how much past
25 the chin did the beard extend?
1 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is showing to mid-chest.
2 A. About 10 centimetres.
3 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you very much.
4 MR. GROOME:
5 Q. Now, VGD3, can I ask you the same question regarding VGD3.
6 A. Shorter than I, weighing more than I do. Dark. And he has a
7 slight speech defect.
8 Q. Can you describe that for us?
9 A. Well, I don't know how to describe it. You know when -- he
10 doesn't articulate properly every letter, every sound.
11 Q. And did he have facial hair?
12 A. He didn't. As far as I can remember, at times he would grow a
13 moustache, but not much, a small one. Not a beard, though. But very,
14 very small moustache.
15 Q. Can you tell us how tall you are?
16 A. I'm 175 centimetres, 176 maybe.
17 Q. Now can I ask you the same question regarding VGD4.
18 A. Tall, fair hair.
19 Q. When you say "fair hair," do you mean light coloured hair?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. We've heard a number of witnesses with respect to the Pionirska
22 Street incident describe a tall man with blonde hair. When you heard that
23 description, did you believe that they were talking about VGD4?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I'd ask you about VGD6. Would you tell us what you can about his
2 A. Tall. Now, his hair, black but not raven black, something between
3 brown and black, dark. Good looking. Taller than I am. A younger --
4 well, I just mentioned his age. Well, I'll tell you if I know the age of
5 any one of those. This one is my neighbour and a distant relative. I
6 think he's a year older than my brother, so that he could have been born
7 in 1962. Perhaps he's a year older than my brother.
8 Q. Now, finally, VGD5, can you tell us about his appearance?
9 A. He is VG6's brother. Tall, well built, chestnut hair. Well
11 Q. Does he have any facial hair?
12 A. No, no. Neither of them ever had any facial hair. I know them
14 Q. Now, Mr. Vasiljevic, the reason we're referring to these men by
15 number is that you believe them to be dangerous; is that correct?
16 A. No. I'd rather not. My daughter is at the university there, and
17 my brother and a sister live in Belgrade too, and if this becomes public,
18 if the media begin writing about it, I'd rather not, I'd rather not
19 mention their names. I simply don't feel like doing that. I mean, who
20 knows what can happen.
21 Q. But you do have some concern that these men might be prone to
22 violent acts; is that not correct?
23 A. Well, perhaps -- well, I don't know. They know me. They all know
24 very well who I was and what I did, and that I didn't do that. But let me
25 tell you, I -- the other day I spoke with my wife, when that recording was
1 shown, when I speak about Milan Lukic, his brother came to the shop where
2 she works and says, "Who is testifying there? What witness?" What does
3 he want me to do, not to mention his brother? But he knows very well
4 where I am and what I'm doing, and he wants me not to mention his brother,
5 but naturally I will mention his brother, I mean because I know what his
6 brother did and I'm being charged with that. So that I'd rather -- you
7 know, I'd rather that nobody asks any questions, especially, you know -- I
8 mean, my child is in Belgrade, I mean, she has nothing to do with that, so
9 why should I mention what he said. So that is it.
10 Q. Let me draw your attention to your statement on the 16th and 17th
11 of November. Didn't you express concern to members of the OTP staff that
12 at least VGD3 and VGD4 might cause harm to members of your family? Isn't
13 that true?
14 A. Yes, I am afraid. Yes.
15 Q. Now, what I want to ask you is that did you only recently come to
16 believe that these two men were dangerous, or at the end of May, beginning
17 of June, at that time did you also consider them dangerous?
18 A. Oh, yes, dangerous, dangerous. No, I'm saying this because -- I
19 mean, if I mention them now, of course I'm afraid that they could cause
20 some trouble to my family.
21 Q. Mr. Vasiljevic, no one is going to ask you to mention their names
22 now. What I am asking you is that at the end of May, the beginning of
23 June, did you feel that VGD4 was a dangerous person?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. And can you tell us what you based that on? Why did you believe
1 he was dangerous?
2 A. Well, I was present when they did what they did by the river. He,
3 Milan, and VGD3, they never had any good intentions, they never acted in
4 any good faith. They had come there to do what they did.
5 Q. Before the event at the Drina River, before that day, did you
6 consider VGD4 to be a dangerous person?
7 A. No, no, I had no opportunity to see him commit a crime.
8 Q. And I would ask you the same regarding VGD3. Prior to the event
9 at the river, did you consider him a dangerous person?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Were you familiar with the vehicles that Milan Lukic's group used?
12 A. Milan Lukic had a Passat kind of car. And those vehicles that
13 they rode in, I think they had stolen them.
14 Q. The Passat, was that the red Passat that a number of the witnesses
15 have spoken about during the course of this trial?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You say that you believed that -- strike that. Did you believe
18 that this red Passat was one of the vehicles, one of the cars that was
20 A. Well, I didn't, because he used to work in Switzerland, and I must
21 say that I never gave it a thought. It wouldn't be a surprise to have a
22 good car, I mean, if you worked abroad. And then besides, I didn't
23 communicate with them all that much. What did I know? It was early
25 Q. You've heard at least one witness, if not more, testify that this
1 red Passat was the only car of its kind in Visegrad and that it belonged
2 to a woman by the name of Bahija Zukic. Did you know that to be true?
3 A. That the car was hers? I don't know. Now I see that it's all
4 right. I somehow don't know when I learned that. I learned that he
5 killed -- I learned that he had killed that Bahija, but I do not know when
6 that was, before or after; that is, I don't -- I knew that, but I don't
7 know when I learned that. But, yes, this story went around. Somebody
8 said he shot her; others said he used a metal rod to break her skull. I
9 never asked him, and besides he would have never told me.
10 Q. Did you know Bahija Zukic? Some witnesses describe her as being a
11 prominent citizen in Visegrad. Did you know her?
12 A. Yes, I did know her and her husband. He was a grocer. Yes, I
13 knew the woman.
14 Q. Did they come into the Panos restaurant where you worked?
15 A. Well, the husband did now and then. She, I don't know. But they
16 were running a good business, they worked a lot, so they didn't have much
17 time to go around. They had a very good grocer's shop, and they worked
18 hard, so I don't think they went out very much. But I know them, both of
20 Q. Their grocer's shop was quite close to where you worked in the
21 Panos restaurant; is that correct?
22 A. No. I know where that grocers was. It was when you pass some
23 bridge, and then some 50 metres to the left of the Rzav Bridge. Now, I'm
24 thinking of whether perhaps she has another outlet in the town. No, I
25 don't think so. But about this one, I knew because very often on my way
1 back home, that was on my way home so that I would stop by and get fruit
2 or whatever. But perhaps he did have two different outlets, but -- no,
3 I'm not sure. I don't seem to recollect that there was any near Panos.
4 No. There were two other shops in the town. One belonged to a company,
5 UPI -- no, they both -- both those grocer's shops belonged to UPI, which
6 was a Bosnian company. One of them was run by a Muslim, on the
7 upper side -- now, what was his last name? I can't remember. But
8 somehow I don't think that that particular family had another shop.
9 Q. Would I be correct in saying that on the times that you passed by
10 their grocer shop on the way home, and in particular during the times that
11 you went into that grocer's shop, that on at least some of those occasions
12 you saw this red Passat parked by their shop?
13 A. As for this Passat, I know they had a white van which was usually
14 driven by her husband, as far as I can remember. But Passat, I don't
15 know. See, I never owned a car. I mean, I'm really not familiar with
16 types of cars. But it's possible. I know they have -- they used to have
17 a white van in which they transported groceries. I would see him often
18 stationed in front of the shop as I would pass by.
19 Q. You just testified that at some point you learnt or heard that
20 Milan Lukic had killed this woman, Bahija Zukic; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, yes, though I don't know when it was that I learned about
22 that, before I went to hospital or after. I couldn't be more precise. I
23 don't know.
24 Q. Is it possible that it was before you went to the hospital?
25 A. I don't know exactly. I don't know what to tell you. I don't
1 know. I really don't want to commit myself in any -- no, I don't know.
2 Q. When was the first time that you can recall seeing Milan Lukic
3 drive this red Passat?
4 A. Yes, he did drive it, and it was before I broke my leg, but
5 exactly when that was, I don't know. See, I really couldn't care less as
6 to what car was driven by whom, especially because I myself was not a
7 driver. I didn't have a car.
8 Q. Well, you've just told us a minute or two ago that you thought
9 that it was possible that he drove it from Switzerland. Can I conclude
10 from that statement that it would -- that you saw him driving this Passat
11 soon after he arrived back in Visegrad?
12 A. Yes, yes, he drove a red Passat, that is correct. I know that, I
13 know that he had a red car. As to when, I don't know. Probably
14 immediately after he'd killed that woman. Exactly when that was, I saw in
15 those statements that she was killed on the 19th of May, so it would have
16 been sometime after that date.
17 Q. Would it be fair to say that when you saw Milan Lukic driving a
18 car, most often it was this red Passat?
19 A. Yes. I don't remember seeing him in any other car, during the
20 war, that is. Later on, yes. Or hold on a second. I don't know what
21 happened with that Passat, but something did. I don't know exactly
22 what -- but he had a car all the time.
23 Q. Now, I will talk to you about what happened in Musici in a few
24 minutes, but let me ask you at this time, on the day that you got into the
25 car that Milan Lukic was driving in Prelovo, was it this red Passat?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And, again, we will speak about what happened by the river in a
3 short while. On that day, when you drove to the river, were you in the
4 red Passat?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And at any point in your conversations with Mr. Lukic did he tell
7 you how he got the red Passat?
8 A. I never asked him that. I don't think he would have told me. But
9 other people told such stories, especially later on, after awhile, after
10 my leg healed and after I took up again my work at the restaurant, I was
11 in a position to hear lots of stories from various people. So I came to
12 learn that he had killed that woman and that he had taken her car.
13 Q. Now --
14 A. But he didn't tell me anything. I don't think that he was the
15 kind of person who would ever tell me what he was doing. He's very
16 cunning, you know.
17 Q. You heard Witness VG84 testify here and describe Milan Lukic's
18 group using an old red van that had no muffler and made a loud noise as it
19 approached. Did you ever see members of Milan Lukic's group using that
21 A. I don't think so. I don't think I'm familiar with that. I may
22 have, but I don't remember.
23 Q. When you say you may have, you think you may have seen that van or
24 you may have seen Milan Lukic's group with that van?
25 A. I never saw Lukic at the wheel of a truck, no, not him. He always
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 had a passengers car. After the war he had a jeep, a green jeep. But I
2 never saw him drive a truck.
3 Q. Now, you've told us that Milan Lukic did not talk about the things
4 he did, but I ask you, did you hear other people talk about some of the
5 bad things that he was engaged in?
6 A. Yes. There were stories that went around.
7 Q. When is the first time you heard one of these stories?
8 A. See, what happened is that I went to hospital at one point in
9 time. I learned about an incident involving a train in Strpci. It was
10 widely discussed and talked about even in the media, and there were
11 certain doubts -- he was suspected of having taken out some people out of
12 that train. And I also know about the killing of Stanko Pecikoza. There
13 were so many stories that went around in those days, that he was -- that
14 he had organised everything, that he had masterminded everything.
15 Q. At the time that you were present with him in Musici, you learned
16 soon after that day that he and members of his group returned to that
17 village, raped some women and took some men away who have not been seen
18 since; is that correct?
19 A. It's not that I learned that there. It was only when I came here
20 that I was able to learn about that fact from Witnesses 55 and 59, and I
21 didn't know about that, especially -- in particular that rape case. How
22 would I know that? I never went with him to Musici again.
23 Q. I want to draw your attention to your interview on the 16th of
24 November, and I'm referring to page 44. Do you recall saying, and I
25 quote, "And as far as who was with him," referring to Milan Lukic, "or
1 whom he raped, I really don't know. But I know he did not do good
3 Do you recall giving that answer?
4 A. Yes, that's what I stated. I don't know who was raped. It's not
5 a good thing.
6 Q. I want to ask you what you know about the White Eagles. You knew
7 that there were paramilitaries who called themselves the White Eagles in
8 Visegrad; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And these were Serbs; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And were the members of the White Eagles from Visegrad or were
13 they from Serbia?
14 A. Serbia. I mean, they were not necessarily, all of them, from
15 Serbia. They may have been from Montenegro as well, but I don't know.
16 But none of them were from Visegrad.
17 Q. What was their relationship to the Uzice Corps, that you know of?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Did you ever see members of the White Eagles and the Uzice Corps
20 patrolling together?
21 A. I don't think so. I don't think it would have been possible for
22 them to be together. I don't think that it would have been allowed by the
23 military police. They were separate. Those others were led by the
24 officers and military commanders under orders. They didn't dare cause any
25 trouble while they were there, at least I didn't hear about any such
1 thing, as long as the Corps was there.
2 Q. Did members of the White Eagles man or staff any of the
3 checkpoints around the town?
4 A. The army manned those checkpoints.
5 Q. Were you aware that the White Eagles were committing crimes
6 against the Muslim population of Visegrad?
7 A. I would see them occasionally in the street. They sometimes had
8 paint over their faces and they looked untidy. And after the arrival of
9 the Corps -- after the Corps left, they started looting and doing all
10 kinds of things. They always had some paint on their faces, most of the
12 Q. Aside from looting, were you aware that they also killed people?
13 A. Yes, I'm sure they did. I didn't personally see, but I'm sure
14 they did.
15 Q. And to your knowledge, were their victims predominantly Muslims?
16 A. Yes, only Muslims, I think.
17 Q. When did you first become aware of their reputation for committing
18 these types of crimes?
19 A. Everybody was afraid of them. They were very rude, and we didn't
20 know them. We didn't dare have any contact with them. They were to be
22 Q. Between the 19th of May and the 7th of June, did you see houses of
23 families that you knew to be Muslims, did you see any of those houses
24 being burned?
25 A. Occasionally, there would be a house here and there. There was
1 one I remember in the town which belonged to Dr. Zejnil Safet, and then
2 another one belonging to Mujo Seta which was set on fire. Alija
3 Sabanovic's was also set on fire downtown. There weren't that many. I
4 mean, one is already one too many, but ...
5 Q. These houses were set on fire prior to the 7th of June?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. Would it be correct to state that most of the crimes committed by
8 the White Eagles were committed in the night, after dark?
9 A. Most probably that was the case, yes.
10 Q. And would it also be fair to state that most of the crimes were
11 committed against the unarmed civilian Muslim population of Visegrad?
12 A. I think that's correct, yes. Yes, for sure.
13 Q. Is it your opinion that they were present in Visegrad to profit
14 from their commission of crimes against Muslims?
15 A. I personally think that they had not come to assist or help
16 anyone, that their objective was to plunder property, that they couldn't
17 care less as to who was Muslim and who was a Serb. That is at least my
18 opinion. And I think that wherever they went, they behaved the same way.
19 What was important for them was to loot, and then after they were done
20 with the looting, they would leave.
21 Q. You told us on Tuesday that you fled Visegrad for a period of
22 time, and that when you returned, the Uzice Corps was already present in
23 the town; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. When you returned to Visegrad, were the White Eagles also already
1 present in the town?
2 A. I don't know, but I'm afraid I cannot tell you exactly. I don't
3 think that they dared do any such things. But all I know is that we did
4 not hear about such incidents during the time when the Uzice Corps was
5 there. I don't think that they would have dared because of the presence
6 of the military police as well, and the command.
7 Q. On Tuesday you told us a little bit about your addiction to
8 alcohol. I want to ask you a few questions about that now. On Tuesday
9 you told us that once you start drinking, that it is very difficult for
10 you to stop; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You also said that if you are not too deep into it, you can get
13 yourself out by going to the out-patient clinic and get an infusion to
14 pull out of it; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you describe for us what happens to you if you do get too deep
17 into it? What happens then?
18 A. Oh, well, then I just go on drinking. I drink a lot and it goes
19 on for several days. I stop eating altogether. I can go on for three or
20 four days without eating anything, and my body craves alcohol, especially
21 in the morning when I get up. And I become very exhausted, very weak.
22 It's a very strange feeling, as if I'm floating in the air.
23 Q. When you say you stop eating, would you stop eating every time
24 that you would get this deeply into a bout of drinking?
25 A. I couldn't eat at all. Sometimes even if I did eat something, it
1 would only be something very small, I would eat only very, very little,
2 because I simply couldn't eat.
3 Q. So would I be correct in saying that every time you drink heavily,
4 you are unable to eat?
5 A. Yes. I would spend three or four days without eating. I mean, I
6 wouldn't have a single bite of anything.
7 Q. In fact, you told us on Tuesday that in order to get out of it,
8 not only do you need an infusion, but you need some assistance in eating
9 again; is that correct?
10 A. Yes. I receive treatment, vitamins, Beviplex, in particular,
11 which was supposed to boost my appetite. I was also given medication to
12 calm down.
13 Q. I now want to ask you about your work in the Territorial Defence.
14 Is it correct that you began to work with the Territorial Defence after
15 the 19th of May, when a mobilisation order was issued from the local Serb
16 Territorial Defence of Visegrad?
17 A. Yes. It was on the 19th of May that we were mobilised. I was in
18 the village of Prelovo.
19 Q. Now, from the time that you were mobilised on the 19th of May
20 until the day that you say you went into the hospital, you no longer
21 worked as a waiter; is that correct?
22 A. No.
23 JUDGE HUNT: I'm not sure whether that means it's not correct or
24 whether he didn't work.
25 MR. GROOME:
1 Q. Can you clarify that? Does that mean that you no longer worked as
2 a waiter?
3 A. I no longer worked as a waiter. Just to make ourselves clear, if
4 you're referring to the entire period of time -- no, you said until the
5 14th of June. From the 19th of May until the 14th of June, when I broke
6 my leg, no, I was not working as a waiter during that period of time.
7 Q. Did the Panos restaurant remain open during that period?
8 A. No. The only thing that still worked was the section next to the
9 Panos restaurant, and it was called Grill. It only belonged to our
10 establishment. But the restaurant itself did not work. Panos was
12 Q. And on the 19th of May, you reported to the TO, or Territorial
13 Defence, command in Prelovo; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, the last time that you worked for the TO in Prelovo was the
16 28th or 29th of May; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. During that time period, were you given any days off?
19 A. I don't think I was, because it was the very beginning. There was
20 a lot of work. The kitchen needed to be fully equipped. I don't think I
21 was given any day off.
22 Q. Your testimony was -- do you recall whether it was the 28th or the
24 A. Well, I think I was in detention for three or maybe four days.
25 I'm not sure. The 28th, 29th, thereabouts.
1 Q. And you went into detention because on your last day, either the
2 28th or 29th, you refused to carry the night-time meal, the night-time
3 meal, because you were afraid; is that correct?
4 A. I always tried not to have to carry that night-time meal. But the
5 chief reason was that the front line had been moved for another five
6 kilometres which meant that I would have to carry it another five
7 kilometres to supply that.
8 Q. But the last meal that you participated in the preparation or
9 delivery of was the lunchtime meal on the 28th or the 29th; is that
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. So your service with the Territorial Defence in Prelovo was a
13 total of either nine and a half or ten and a half days; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, incidentally, when the front line moved, it moved to the
16 village of Rujiste; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And the village of Rujiste is the place where the Lukic family
19 lives; is that correct?
20 A. It is. There are also the Lipovac family, Ivanovic family; Kadic
21 is another family living there.
22 Q. Were you friends with some of these other families that you are
23 now telling us about?
24 A. Well, I did know them, but that was very far away from me. It's a
25 village. Besides, they don't all live there. A number of them work
1 abroad; a number of them were in Serbia.
2 Q. Did any of the families, particularly the Lukic family, have to
3 evacuate the village because of the fighting around the village?
4 A. I don't know what you mean by "evacuate it."
5 Q. Did any of the people have to leave their homes because it was not
6 safe for them to remain in the village so close to the front line?
7 A. I think that Dragan and Milan Lukic left. Milan Lukic, that's an
8 elderly man, and his brother. I learned that when I was on the front line
9 in 1993. They took their livestock and all and went to Serbia, and I
10 think spent about a year there. I'm not sure how long. Two brothers,
11 elderly men, both of them, Milan and Dragan Lukic.
12 Q. Were their homes in Rujiste destroyed as a result of the fighting?
13 A. By Muslims, you mean?
14 Q. By either side.
15 A. No, none of the houses had burnt down.
16 Q. Were any of the Lukic family hurt in this fighting in their
18 A. Milan Lukic was killed in 1993, I believe.
19 Q. I'm asking you now to tell us about the time when you were in
20 Prelovo, from the 19th of May until the 28th or 29th of May. During that
21 period of time, was anybody hurt from this village that you are aware of?
22 A. No, I'm not aware of that. I don't know. No, I'm not aware.
23 Q. Now, when you were mobilised, you received a specific instruction
24 to go to the quartermaster in the Prelovo command; is that correct?
25 A. It is.
1 Q. And your responsibility in the Territorial Defence was to assist
2 in the transportation of food from the town of Visegrad up to Prelovo,
3 where it was then distributed to the soldiers on the front line; is that
5 A. Not food -- meals were prepared there. So what we carried over
6 there were foodstuffs; that is, we would purchase that in Visegrad and
7 then carry the foodstuffs. And the kitchen itself was in Prelovo, so
8 that's where the meals were prepared, where the food was prepared.
9 Q. Now, you were involved in both aspects of that job. Isn't it true
10 that you were involved in transporting the foodstuffs from Visegrad to
11 Prelovo; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And isn't it also true that you were also involved in the
14 preparation and distribution of that food after it was cooked in Prelovo?
15 A. Yes. I would transport it further on. There was a cook who took
16 care of that, again an elderly man.
17 Q. You yourself were not engaged in any combat activities on the
18 front line, were you?
19 A. No, I wasn't. That was not my duty.
20 Q. At some point, or I should say on the 28th or the 29th, you are
21 arrested and you are placed in the Uzamnica barracks that was being used
22 as a detention centre; is that correct?
23 A. It is.
24 Q. You told us on Tuesday that during your work in Prelovo, you
25 continued to drink; is that correct?
1 A. It is.
2 Q. And would I be correct in saying that you continued to drink quite
4 A. Well, yes.
5 Q. What time of the day would you typically begin to drink when you
6 were working in Prelovo?
7 A. I never stopped.
8 Q. So would you drink or take a drink as soon as you woke up in the
10 A. That is what I usually did.
11 Q. Now, you remained in Uzamnica barracks until you were released to
12 attend the funeral of your cousin; is that correct?
13 A. I was released when he was killed, after he was killed.
14 Q. Now, Mr. Domazet has introduced two documents into evidence today,
15 and from those documents we know that your cousin was killed on the 1st of
16 June and buried on the 6th of June. Does that agree with your
17 recollection of his death?
18 A. Well, I was released on the 1st, when he got killed, and I know
19 that they couldn't pull him out straight away. Now, how many days then
20 passed by, I wouldn't know, because he was killed in the woods so it took
21 time to find him, to get him out. And I attended the funeral.
22 Q. But you're certain that it was on the day that he was killed that
23 you were released; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the entire time that you were imprisoned, you were on a hunger
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And why did you go on a hunger strike?
4 A. Because I had been detained.
5 Q. When was the last time on either the 28th or the 29th that you
6 took food?
7 A. Oh, dear, I don't know. How can I know any such thing?
8 Q. Did you refuse all of your meals in Uzamnica?
9 A. Well, not the first day, because I thought they'd let me go,
11 Q. So either on the 29th or the 30th of June, you ate the food that
12 was offered you in Uzamnica?
13 JUDGE HUNT: Have you got the right month there? We're talking
14 about May, aren't we?
15 MR. GROOME: I'm sorry, I apologise. Yes, I apologise.
16 Q. So either on the 29th or 30th of May, you ate the food that was
17 offered to you in Uzamnica?
18 A. Well, I guess that was the case. All I know is that I did go on
20 Q. And you didn't -- once you stopped eating, you did not eat again
21 until you were released from gaol?
22 A. That's right. Dr. Vasiljevic came to give -- to administer an
23 infusion. Now, whether he came that day or the day before my cousin was
24 killed, but it was then that I was given infusion. Now, I wouldn't know
25 the -- exactly, I wouldn't be able to give you the exact date. All I know
1 is that when they told me he had been killed, they let me go.
2 Q. And why was it that you were given an infusion?
3 A. Well, that doctor is a relative and he knows, he knew about my
4 drinking problem.
5 Q. Using your manner of describing your own drinking habits, how deep
6 were you into your alcohol addiction on the day you were arrested?
7 A. I don't know. I could always have a drink, and I kept it well, I
8 remained on my feet regardless. So what do I know?
9 Q. I know that you do not drive, but would you have considered
10 yourself too drunk to get behind the wheel of a car or operate machinery?
11 Would you have been too drunk for that?
12 A. I'd be too afraid to drive. I'd be just too afraid.
13 Q. Because of the amount of alcohol that you were consuming at that
15 A. Well, I don't think I'd be able to drive a car. I really don't
16 know how to tell you. I mean, your reflexes are not all that good when
17 you drink. But besides, I never -- I never had a driving license, so I
18 really don't know how it is.
19 Q. In your mind, did your drinking affect your ability to do your job
20 in Prelovo properly?
21 A. Well, yes, naturally. I know when I work my regular job as a
22 waiter, I know what a huge difference it is. Whenever -- I mean, whatever
23 kind of work might be at issue. Even when you sleep there is a
25 Q. Would you agree with me that your incarceration in Uzamnica is
1 also consistent with your superiors deciding that you should be punished
2 for being drunk at work?
3 A. Well, I think, yes, that was their chief reasoning.
4 Q. So their reason for putting you into gaol had more to do with you
5 being drunk on duty than your refusal to go to deliver food at night; is
6 that correct?
7 A. Well, I don't really know what they thought. Perhaps they thought
8 that I would sober up and -- no, you know, when I drink and then I stop,
9 then I just don't drink for another three or four months. And then if I
10 start drinking again, then -- when I start drinking, then it's hard for me
11 to pull away. Very seldom it was that I, for instance, would get drunk
12 and then stop the next day. Yes, it did happen now and then, but not very
14 Q. Mr. Domazet has provided the Prosecution with some of the
15 statements of some of the Defence witnesses that will come in a few weeks
16 to testify. Have you had an opportunity to see those statements?
17 A. Yes. Dr. Goran Loncarevic's, Alexander Moljevic's. Are you
18 referring to the medical people or all the statements?
19 Q. I'm just asking you, have you seen the statements generally? Have
20 you had an opportunity to read them?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. And do you realise that one of those witnesses will take the
23 witness chair and intends to tell us that the reason you were placed in
24 gaol was because you were drunk? Is that person mistaken or is that
25 person correct?
1 A. I think he is right. Well, yes.
2 Q. Now, would you also agree with me that what you're calling a
3 hunger strike, refusing to eat for two or possibly three days, that that
4 is equally consistent with something that happens to you quite frequently
5 when you drink alcohol?
6 A. Well, yes. I wouldn't have been able to eat much anyway,
7 especially those first days.
8 Q. So let me ask you again, was your not eating as a result of your
9 addiction to alcohol or was it the result of your decision to go on a
10 hunger strike?
11 A. I did not want to eat, and what -- I mean, who knows at such a
12 time? And I wouldn't have been able to eat much. I could never eat when
13 I drank. Even if I did eat, that would be very little.
14 Q. Can you tell us about the Uzamnica gaol? Was it crowded?
15 A. No. There was only one other man with me, Pero Simcic, and he too
16 was arrested when drunk.
17 Q. And what was his ethnicity?
18 A. Serb.
19 Q. Were there Muslims present in the gaol?
20 A. No, they were not with us. If there were any, they were not with
21 us. We were in a separate room.
22 Q. Were you aware of Muslims being detained in another part or
23 another room of the gaol?
24 A. Yes, there were some. I don't know how many. But we were kept
1 Q. And how did you become aware of Muslims in the gaol? Could you
2 hear them, or were you told that they were there?
3 A. Well, it was said, but I just don't know what to tell you. I
4 don't know how many and why they were there, because we did not have any
5 contact with them. As a matter of fact, this Simcic, he spent there
6 only a day, or maybe two, I'm not sure.
7 Q. So just to summarise what you were doing between the 19th of May
8 and the 14th of June, when you say you went into the hospital, from the
9 19th to the 28th or the 29th, you worked in Prelovo until you were
10 arrested; that's correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And from the 1st to the 14th, you were not incarcerated, and you
13 were in the town of Visegrad; is that correct?
14 A. It is.
15 Q. Now, you've already told us that you yourself never fought on the
16 battlefield with the TO. My question to you is did you ever tell anyone
17 that you fought with the TO on the battlefield?
18 A. I was on the front in 1995, not on the front, on the front line,
19 not on the battlefield. But that I participated in taking the front
20 lines, no, I did not do that. How shall I put it? When front lines are
21 attacked, no, I didn't do that. But I was in sheds, I stood guard, and
22 things of that sort.
23 Q. Can you tell us what is different between "front line" and
24 "battlefield"? Can you describe the difference?
25 A. Well, when you establish a front line, for instance, we hold it
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 on one side, and then a kilometre or two away, perhaps more, perhaps less,
2 is where the Muslims hold their front line. And then you make a shed or
3 something. You have a stove; you can make a fire. But nobody ever
4 touched anyone. They left us alone, we left them alone, and that was
6 Q. And the battlefield would be the area between the two front lines;
7 would that be correct?
8 A. Well, now, if -- just in case they attacked us or if we attacked
9 them, then, yes, that would be it. But it just didn't happen, that, no.
10 Q. I want to ask my question again to you and I want you to just
11 focus on the period of 1992. Did you ever tell anyone that in 1992 you
12 had fought with the TO on the battlefield?
13 A. No. I was never on the battlefield.
14 Q. I want to ask you a few specific questions about your work in
15 Prelovo. How many trips would you make between Visegrad and Prelovo each
17 A. At least one; at times, two, if I needed to bring something more
18 for the kitchen. But once -- there would be one trip a day to get the
20 Q. And what vehicle would you use?
21 A. We had a van.
22 Q. And was that an official Territorial Defence van?
23 A. It was the van which belonged to Sumarstvo, to the forestry
24 company, which had been requisitioned for the Territorial Defence, so that
25 the driver who worked for the company also drove that vehicle.
1 Q. Now, on the nights that you would stay in your own home, would you
2 get a ride up to Prelovo in this van?
3 A. No. You mean when I went home, from Prelovo to my home?
4 Q. I'm asking you about from Visegrad to Prelovo. Would the van pick
5 up the foodstuffs in Visegrad, collect you, and then go up to Prelovo for
6 the day's work?
7 A. No, I had to go. I had to go there to get these foodstuffs,
8 being the quartermaster.
9 Q. You had to go to Visegrad?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And would you meet the van in Visegrad?
12 A. No. It would stop by my house, because my house is before
13 Visegrad, and pick me up.
14 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, do you want me to break there?
15 JUDGE HUNT: Thank you. We will resume at 9.30 in the morning.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.00 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Friday, the 26th day of
18 October, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.