1 Monday, 18 October 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
6 everyone in and around the courtroom.
7 This is case IT-08-91-T, the Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and
8 Stojan Zupljanin. Thank you, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 Good morning to everyone.
11 May we have the appearances, please.
12 MR. RINDI: For the Office of the Prosecutor, Francesco Rindi,
13 Joanna Korner, and Crispian Smith.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
15 Eugene O'Sullivan, Ms. Tatjana Savic, and Ms. Jessica Lacey appearing for
16 Stanisic Defence this morning. Thank you.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Dragan Krgovic and
18 Aleksandar Aleksic appearing for Zupljanin Defence.
19 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. And if there are no preliminary or other
20 housekeeping matters, could the next witness be escorted in, please.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE HALL: Good morning to you, sir. I trust that you can hear
23 me in a language that you understand?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. I can hear you very
1 JUDGE HALL: Yes. Please make the solemn declaration that the
2 usher has now passed to you.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
4 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 WITNESS: IVO ATLIJA
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. You may be seated.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE HALL: The solemn declaration that you have just made
10 obliges you under penalty of being dealt with for perjury, under the
11 Statutes which -- under which this Tribunal sits, should you give false
12 or misleading testimony.
13 Could you give us your name, please.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Ivo Atlija.
15 JUDGE HALL: And what is your date of birth, your profession, and
16 your ethnicity?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was on the 19th of May, 1963. I
18 am a civil engineer, technician. And, by ethnicity, I'm Croat.
19 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. And have you given evidence previously
20 before this Tribunal or before any of the courts in one of the countries
21 that comprise the former Yugoslavia?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I testified before this Tribunal in
23 two cases, I believe.
24 JUDGE HALL: In which case I need only remind you of the
25 Tribunal's procedure. That is, that the side calling - in this case, the
1 Prosecution - begins, after which the side opposite. That is, the
2 Defence for each of the two accused would have a right to ask questions
3 of you, and the Prosecution can then re-examine. And at that stage, or
4 indeed at any earlier stage, the Bench may have questions of you.
5 The -- it is expected that your testimony would be completed in
6 the course of the first part of this day. We sit for no longer than an
7 hour and a half at a stretch, because -- for two reasons: One is that
8 the tapes that comprise the record of this Tribunal have to be changed at
9 90-minute intervals and that also allows for the convenience of
10 witnesses, the Bench, counsel, and everyone else. But notwithstanding
11 those settled breaks, if at any time you have the need to take a break,
12 if you indicate that to us, we would, of course, accommodate you.
13 It is expected that the Prosecution would spend a total of an
14 hour and a half in their questions, and each of the accused -- counsel
15 for each of the accused have indicated that they would spend 30 minutes.
16 So with that, I would invite Mr. Rindi to begin.
17 Examination by Mr. Rindi:
18 Q. Mr. Atlija, I would like to ask you a few more questions on your
20 Did you do your military service in 1982 [Realtime transcript
21 read in error "1992"] in Skopje, Macedonia?
22 A. Yes, that's true. I served in Skopje in Macedonia. In 1982, not
24 Q. And in 1983, did you take up a job as a technician at the Central
25 Repair Shop for Ljubija Mines in Prijedor?
1 A. Yes, that's true.
2 Q. And did you leave Bosnia and Herzegovina on the
3 17th of November, 1992?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Atlija, I would like to focus your attention on the
6 events of the 30th of April, 1992.
7 First of all, where were you living on the 30th of April, 1992?
8 A. On the 30th of April, 1992, I was living in Prijedor in an
9 apartment that belonged to my father, and it's in a part of town called
10 Pecani. The street was Akif Seremet Street. I forget the number.
11 Q. Did you go to work that day?
12 A. That morning I went to work like any other day.
13 Q. And when you left home to go to work that day, did you notice
14 anything unusual in the streets of Prijedor?
15 A. The first thing I noticed, crossing the small canal from Pecani
16 to the stadium in Rudar, there's a small bridge, and next to that bridge
17 there was the first check-point or bunker manned by five or six soldiers.
18 And further on, as I was going towards the central work-shop, there were
19 more and more check-points there, especially around the municipal
20 building. At that time, it was also the police station and the court.
21 There were several of those check-point bunkers, and you could see
22 soldiers with all kinds of insignia all the way up to the building of the
23 central work-shop in Prijedor.
24 Q. On who was manning these check-points?
25 A. At those check-points, there were uniformed men wearing the
1 uniforms of the former Yugoslav People's Army with the insignia of the
2 former JNA but also wearing all kinds of other insignia, the Serbian
3 tricolour, the white eagle, the Chetnik kokades from the Second World
4 War. There were people who wore part uniform part civilian clothes but
5 also carrying weapons.
6 Q. What was the ethnicity of the individuals manning the
8 A. Some of them I knew. They were Serbs. But I didn't know most of
9 the people I saw. However, they were all Serbs.
10 Q. You told us that you saw people wearing all kinds of other
11 insignia, among which the Serbian tricolour. Do you know who those
12 individuals were? Do you know if they belonged to any particular armed
14 A. At that time, the town of Prijedor and that whole area belonged,
15 in terms of establishment, to the 5th Kozara Brigade. In other words,
16 the 5th Kozara Brigade covered that area.
17 Q. After seeing these barricades, did you then go to work?
18 A. Yes. I went all the way to the central work-shop without being
19 stopped by anyone, without being asked anything by anyone, and I got
20 there around 7.00 a.m.
21 Q. Who was the director of the repair shop for which you worked?
22 A. The name of the director was Crnkic, I think Ekrem Crnkic. He
23 gathered us all that morning and said that the night before, the members
24 of the Serbian Democratic Party, held by certain units, took over power
25 in the municipality of Prijedor. And they ordered us all to go back
1 home, that companies are closing down, that there is no more work for us
2 to do.
3 Q. Once you received this news from your director where did you go?
4 A. From the central work-shop I went to the bus terminal in Prijedor
5 because I wanted to go to Ljubija by bus, and then to go to Brisevo to
6 see how my parents were doing and what the situation was like in Brisevo.
7 Q. After having had this conversation with the director of your
8 office, did you understand what the purpose of the barricades that you
9 had seen in Prijedor was?
10 A. I understood, in part. But when I got to the bus terminal in
11 Prijedor, I found there people I knew who worked in the town hall and in
12 the court and who told me that the members of these Serb units who set up
13 the check-points forced them to go back. They did not allow them to go
14 to their workplaces in the court, in the police, in the town hall. And
15 then I understood that it was the purpose not to allow non-Serbs to go to
16 their work and that the Serbs can therefore take over all the important
17 positions in the municipality of Prijedor.
18 Q. You told us that you went to Brisevo that day. How long did you
19 stay in Brisevo?
20 A. On that day, I did go to Brisevo, and I stayed there until the
21 17th of November, 1992.
22 Q. What was the ethnic composition of Brisevo?
23 A. Brisevo village was a purely Croat village.
24 Q. And whilst you were in Brisevo, the period going between May to
25 July 1992, did you ever go back to Prijedor?
1 A. No. At that time I -- I wasn't going to Prijedor at all.
2 Q. Did you hear of any of your fellow villagers going to Prijedor
3 from Brisevo?
4 A. Not that I heard. But I heard that a special permit from the
5 Serbian authorities in Ljubija was necessary to go to Prijedor. Later
6 on, however, one villager, Pero Dimac, managed to get that permit, went
7 to Prijedor, but he was turned back. Unfortunately, he was later killed
8 in Brisevo.
9 Q. Did members of all three ethnicity need this permit to travel to
11 A. No. The Serbs did not.
12 Q. And do you know who was the authority who was entitled to give
13 this permit to travel?
14 A. That permit was issued by the Serbian Crisis Staff in Ljubija.
15 And it was headed by Taranjac brothers Bosko and Djoko. Now what
16 position exactly they occupied, I don't know.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, Slobodan and Djoko.
18 MR. RINDI:
19 Q. Mr. Atlija, you told us that from -- the day after, from the 30th
20 of -- from the day after the 30th of April, 1992, you resided in Brisevo.
21 I would like to know if you knew whether the non-Serb inhabitants who
22 stayed in Prijedor were able to move freely around Prijedor, in Prijedor?
23 A. In those days, I did not know. However, later on, from talking
24 to those who had stayed in Prijedor, I learned they were not able to move
25 freely. They had to display on their windows white flags. And some said
1 they had to wear bands on their sleeves, distinguishing them as
3 Q. Were they able to get out of their houses at night and move at
4 night in Prijedor?
5 A. I heard from them that a curfew had been imposed on non-Serbs in
7 Q. Mr. Atlija, I would now like to move forward a little bit in time
8 and bring your attention to the early hours of the morning of the
9 27 May 1992.
10 Where were you that day?
11 A. In my parents' house, in Brisevo.
12 Q. What happened that day?
13 A. Exactly at 4.30 in the morning, the first explosions were heard.
14 We were attacked by artillery.
15 Q. Who conducted this attack?
16 A. The shooting came from Serbian villages Rasavci and Ostra Luka.
17 Q. Do you know which forces conducted the attack?
18 A. From what I know, at that time Ostra Luka belonged to or was
19 under the control of the 6th Krajina Brigade. And Rasavci, I think, were
20 covered by the 5th Kozara brigade, but I'm not sure exactly where the
21 border, the boundary, between these two brigades lay.
22 Q. How long did the attack last?
23 A. Almost all day.
24 Q. Now, from the period going from the 28th of May, so immediately
25 after the attack against Brisevo, until approximately the
1 24th of July, 1992, were you and inhabitants of Brisevo able to travel
2 freely in the municipality of Prijedor?
3 A. We were able to move around only in a very restricted manner. We
4 could go to Brisevo and Stara Lika; but towards Rasavci, Ljubija,
5 Ostra Luka, Carakovo, Hambarine, Biscani, that area was already occupied
6 by Serbian forces. They had set up check-points or bunkers, armed
7 Serbian patrols were going around. It was not possible to move freely.
8 MR. RINDI: Could the Court Usher please display on the screen
9 Exhibit P01526. And could the court usher also give a marker to the
11 Q. Mr. Atlija, can you -- could you please take a look at the map
12 which is in front of you. Can you identify, can you see Brisevo?
13 A. Yes, it's marked on the map. Can you see it clearly.
14 Q. You just told us about check-points. Could you please mark where
15 those check-points were, in the map?
16 A. Yes. For instance, this road that goes from Brisevo to Ljubija,
17 at the entrance to Ljubija there were check-points. I believe there were
18 two bunkers. Also, if you wanted to go from Brisevo towards the Muslim
19 villages Zecovi, Carakovo, Hambarine, there is a hill there called
20 Kurevo. It's a wooded hill. In the area of that hill, Serb forces had
21 set up patrols and check-points, because in the forest in Kurevo a large
22 number of Muslims who had fled from these Muslim villages were hiding.
23 Also, if you wanted to go towards Ostra Luka and Rasavci which are not
24 marked here but they are here close to the Sana River, if you wanted to
25 go towards thesis villages from Brisevo you would come up against several
1 check-points. And at the entrance to Rasavci, at one place, there was
2 even a recoilless gun.
3 Q. Do you know when these check-points were established?
4 A. I can't tell you the exact date, but all this was happening in
5 May and June 1992.
6 Q. And do you know which forces manned these check-points?
7 A. Serb armed soldiers. Now, which exactly units held which
8 check-points, I don't know how they divided it between them. But this
9 whole area, Prijedor and Sanski Most, were covered by these two brigades
10 I mentioned, the 5th Kozara Brigade from Prijedor and the
11 6th Krajina Brigade of Sanski Most.
12 Q. You told us there were a number of villages in which you were
13 able to travel to. What was the ethnic composition of those villages?
14 A. We were able to move south towards Stara Rijeka. Stara Rijeka is
15 a majority Croat village. And for a while we were able to go towards
16 Gornja Ravska, which is to the left of the Ljubija, which is also a
17 majority Croat village. However, in the end of May, I believe, a
18 check-point was set up on the road which forks from Redka [phoen] towards
19 Gornja Ravska, so we were no longer able to go up to Gornja Ravska.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I would like to suggest to my learned
21 friend if he wants to tender this document, maybe we should --
22 MS. KORNER: It's tendered. It's an exhibit.
23 MR. RINDI: It's already an exhibit. It's already into evidence.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Just a second.
25 JUDGE HALL: Well, well, if you --
1 MR. ZECEVIC: If you're willing to tender the -- this exhibit
2 with the markings as a new exhibit, then on this markings we should put
3 some numbers or letters. Otherwise we won't be able to -- to use this
4 document at all.
5 MR. RINDI: Well, Your Honours, the markings that he did are the
6 check-points. There's nothing else that he has marked.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: First of all, that's -- that's not correct. First
8 of all, one of the markings shows the village of Brisevo. The other
9 markings show the -- the road that they could take towards the Sana
10 municipality village. He just talked about that. Therefore, and -- he
11 was -- he marked a certain hill also, so ...
12 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Rindi, I agree with Mr. Zecevic. It would
13 be more helpful if the -- if a legend of some sort were inserted into
14 the -- into the map by the witness before it's exhibited.
15 MR. RINDI: Okay.
16 Q. Mr. Atlija, could you please mark with a -- with a C the
17 check-points that you just marked? If you could just write a small C
18 next to the check-points that you marked in the -- in the map.
19 A. Right. I understand.
20 Q. And could you mark with an M the villages that you were able to
21 reach without going through check-points?
22 A. This is a bit unclear, I'm sorry.
23 My apologies. It's a bit unclear. But I can't really control
24 the pen to write where I want it to write.
25 Q. I think -- I think this is fine for our purposes.
1 Mr. Atlija, I would like to move on to another topic.
2 Do you know what the distance from Brisevo to Hambarine is,
4 A. As the crow flies, some six to seven kilometres. If you take the
5 road, the distance is perhaps as many as 12 or 13 kilometres.
6 Q. Could you see Hambarine from Brisevo?
7 A. One could see Hambarine from the Brisevo hills.
8 Q. Are the two villages located at the same altitude?
9 A. I think that Brisevo is on higher ground than Hambarine. It is
10 up to 500 metres above sea level, I think.
11 Q. Do you know what happened on or about the 22nd of May, 1992, in
13 A. About that date, there was an incident in Hambarine. I think
14 that there were four Serb soldiers in a car who tried to go from Prijedor
15 via Hambarine to Ljubija. The Muslims had also erected a control -- a
16 check-point or a bunker, whatever you want to call it, at Hambarine.
17 They stopped them or tried stopping them, and there was an exchange of
18 fire. I know that there were wounded. I don't know if there were any
19 dead among them.
20 Following the incident, the Serb authorities --
21 JUDGE HALL: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Rindi, if I
22 may interrupt briefly. I'm not sure from the questions you're now asking
23 whether you're through with this map. Because if are you moving on to
24 something else, it should be exhibited.
25 MR. RINDI: Yes, Your Honours, and I meant to do that. And I
1 would like to ask to tender the map into evidence. I'm through with this
3 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the marked version of document
5 P01526 shall be given Exhibit P01659, Your Honours. Thank you.
6 MR. RINDI:
7 Q. Do you know what happened after the incident that you just
8 described in Hambarine?
9 A. After the incident, the Serb authorities in Prijedor issued the
10 inhabitants of Hambarine with an ultimatum. They were supposed to
11 surrender Alisic Aliskovic, who was a policeman before the war, as well
12 as other individuals responsible for the incident. Otherwise they would
13 be exposed to an attack from the Serb forces. This is something that was
14 repeatedly broadcast over Radio Prijedor.
15 What the deadline was, as part of the ultimatum, I don't know.
16 Maybe a day or two. I know that the inhabitants of Hambarine did not
17 agree to the ultimatum and did not surrender the individual. When the
18 deadline expired, a Serb attack on Hambarine followed.
19 Q. Did you see -- did you see the Serb attack, this attack from
21 A. Together with Milan Buzuk, I went to -- I went on a hill on that
22 day, which afforded a relatively good view of the situation at Hambarine.
23 So we were able to see the attack unfolding from Prijedor and the
24 Prijedore field on Hambarine.
25 Q. Do you know how long the attack lasted, approximately?
1 A. I think that it lasted one day.
2 Q. Do you know what happened to the non-Serbs living in Hambarine
3 after the attack?
4 A. Quite a few women and children from Hambarine arrived in Brisevo.
5 They simply fled their homes. It was from them that we heard what had
6 happened at Hambarine. We were able to see for ourselves were houses on
7 fire, and we could hear fire. Women and children were in a poor state.
8 They were panic-stricken and kept repeating the same words: "They have
9 torched everything, killed everyone, raped us," and such-like.
10 Q. Do you know if the non-Serbs who were living in Hambarine after
11 the attack continued to live in Hambarine.
12 A. Most of those who fled and reached us in Brisevo tried to go to
13 Stari Majdan in the Sanski Most municipality. However, a couple of days
14 later, two Serb soldiers came, together with a Croat called Stipo from
15 Stara Rijeka. They tried to persuade these refugees, women, children,
16 and elderly men, to return to Hambarine. However, only a handful of them
17 agreed and went in the direction of Hambarine. Later on, we heard that,
18 unfortunately, most of those who had returned to Hambarine were killed.
19 Q. Do you know who killed -- did you hear who killed those who
20 returned to Hambarine?
21 A. I don't know their names, unfortunately. The only thing that we
22 were able to hear from those who were lucky enough to survive and flee in
23 the direction of Stari Majdan and Sanski Most was that they were members
24 of Serbian formations, military and paramilitary.
25 Q. Mr. Atlija, I would like to ask you another question with regard
1 to the attack. Did you hear what happened to the properties of the
2 inhabitants of Hambarine during the -- during and after the attack?
3 A. Based on what the survivors from Hambarine told us, property was
4 plundered. In the course of the attack and after the attack, smaller
5 groups of armed Serb soldiers went there and plundered properties. And
6 once a home would be plundered, it would be set on fire.
7 Q. Who -- who controlled Hambarine after the attack?
8 A. After the attack, it was the Serb forces who controlled it.
9 Q. Mr. Atlija, from your village, was it also possible to see
11 A. One can see Kozarac from Brisevo like it's on the palm of your
12 hand, especially when the weather conditions are good.
13 Q. Do you know what is the approximately -- approximate distance
14 between these two villages?
15 A. The distance is greater than to Hambarine. I think it's between
16 12 and 15 kilometres as the crow flies.
17 Q. And, again, were Brisevo and Kozarac located at the same
19 A. I don't know the altitude at which Kozarac is, but it's at the
20 foot of the Kozara Mount, so I guess that Brisevo is on higher ground.
21 Q. Do you know what was the ethnic composition of Kozarac in
22 May 1992?
23 A. Kozarac was a majority Muslim place which had a number of other
24 ethnicities, Serbs, Croats, Ruthinians, Krajinians [as interpreted], and
25 other minorities. But the majority population was Muslim.
1 Q. I would like to focus your attention on the 24th of May, 1992.
2 The last part of May 1992.
3 You just told us that you could see Kozarac from Brisevo. Do you
4 remember noticing anything unusual on or about that day?
5 A. At the time, from the vantage point in Brisevo, we were able to
6 see houses on fire in Kozarac, individual houses and groups of houses.
7 But it did not last over only one day. It lasted several days. One
8 could hear shooting. But the distance was too far for us to be able to
9 see any soldiers.
10 Q. Could you see this with your naked eyes?
11 A. Yes, I saw that with my own eyes.
12 Q. And you told us that you also heard the sounds of weapons. Do
13 you know if they were like -- did they sounded like small-calibre weapons
14 or big-calibre weapons?
15 A. Fire could be heard from all manner of weapons, from automatic
16 weapons, infantry weapons, as well as explosions of shells, though I
17 can't tell you what the calibre was. Experts might be able to do that.
18 Q. Did you learn what occurred in Kozarac that day?
19 A. Later on, from the stories of the survivors, we learned that
20 Kozarac had been attacked by the Serb forces. Likewise, we were told
21 that the inhabitants of Kozarac tried to put up resistance, but the
22 situation was hopeless.
23 Q. And from whom did you hear this?
24 A. From the survivors in Kozarac.
25 Q. And --
1 A. However, the then-Radio Prijedor also reported on the successful
2 actions of the Serb army in the liberation of Kozarac and so on.
3 Q. Do you know, after having spoken to the survivors, what happened
4 to the local residents during the attack? And I mean to those who were
5 not directly participating to the hostilities?
6 A. The story was for the most part identical to that from other
7 places, like Hambarine. They said that they were attacked by the Serb
8 force, that most of the men were killed, others were taken to camps.
9 That women were tortured, raped, that their property had been plundered.
10 However, I was not able to see what exactly was going on from Brisevo.
11 Q. Do you know what happened after -- you know, after having talked
12 with survivors, what happened to the houses in Kozarac during and after
13 the attack?
14 A. As I said, they themselves said that their houses were first
15 looted and then set on fire. As for the houses burning, I was able to
16 see that for myself from Brisevo. I didn't need anyone to tell me about
18 Q. Do you know what occurred to the inhabitants of Kozarac? Do you
19 know if they continued to life in the village after the attack?
20 A. Most of them tried to leave the area. According to what we
21 learnt later, most of them managed to pull out through -- across the
22 Kozara Mount. Some of them reached Croatia. Other civilians managed to
23 reach Stari Majdan. According to what the survivors said, quite a few of
24 them were killed or captured and taken to various camps so that there
25 were no Muslims left in Kozarac.
1 Subsequently, I heard that quite a few of them were transported
2 to Central Bosnia and exchanged for captured Serb soldiers or civilians.
3 I can't be more specific about it. At any rate, this took place around
5 Q. I'd like to move on to a different topic.
6 You told us about listening to Radio Prijedor. During these
7 attacks that you just described, did you often listen to the radio or
8 follow the news?
9 A. We continued listening every day, as far as we were able to. We
10 didn't have electricity so we used car batteries, but we had to use them
12 Q. And did the media report about the conflict in the Prijedor
14 A. Yes, there were media reports, but always after the same pattern,
15 that the Serb forces had at last managed to liberate a fundamentalist
16 stronghold of Kozarac or Hambarine. They also reported that a large
17 number of fundamentalists had been killed. This was the way that they
18 referred to the local residents, local Muslim residents there. So it was
19 along those lines. It was more of a propaganda than a news report.
20 Q. How -- how -- how was the -- how were the non-Serbs portrayed in
21 the media?
22 A. As I said, the Muslims were fundamentalists and the Croats were
23 and remained to them, I suppose, the Ustashas. They referred to us as
24 the Ustashas, a genocidal people. The Muslims were fundamentalists.
25 They would also specifically say that the Muslim forces were the
1 Green Berets, then we were the Ustasha forces. It would happen only
2 rarely in that period of time that one would hear the term "Croat"
3 broadcast over the radio. We were either referred to as fundamentalists
4 or as Ustashas.
5 Q. Did they say who bore -- I mean, did the media, did the radio,
6 talk about who bored the responsibility for these event, which party, you
7 know, bore the responsibility for -- for the -- for the conflict?
8 A. They kept saying, before an attack on a Croat or Muslim village,
9 that the fundamentalist forces were provoking in direction of Kozarac or
10 at Hambarine, or that fundamentalists helped the Ustashas in sabotage
11 actions in the direction of Bihac. Shortly afterwards, we would hear
12 reports that the Serb forces were successful in liberating the
13 fundamentalist stronghold of Hambarine, Biscani, Kozarac, Kozarusa, and
14 all the other villages in Prijedor municipality.
15 Q. Was this a true account of what was happening?
16 A. To my knowledge, it was not an accurate account of what happened.
17 We didn't have the capabilities of provoking anyone because we didn't
18 know -- we knew that we didn't stand a chance. And I'm talking about us
19 from Brisevo. And I believe that the inhabitants of the Muslim villages
20 around Prijedor thought along the same lines, because they didn't stand a
21 chance in a confrontation with the Serb forces. They didn't have
22 weapons, logistics, the necessary men or skills to confront the forces of
23 what was, by then, the former JNA.
24 Q. You talked about listening to Radio Prijedor. Did non-Serbs,
25 meaning Muslims and Croats, have a voice in this radio? Was their view
2 A. I don't know about that. I didn't hear once that any of the
3 members of the -- of the Muslim or Croat ethnicity could give any
4 comments or say anything about these events.
5 Q. Mr. Atlija, I would like to move to another -- to another topic.
6 I would like to focus your attention on the early hours of the
7 24th of July, 1992, the early hours of the morning. Do you remember
8 where you were that day?
9 A. I was in my parents' house, in Brisevo.
10 Q. And do you remember what occurred that morning?
11 A. Yes. Early in the morning, at around 4.30, the artillery attack
12 on Brisevo commenced.
13 Q. Do you know -- well, first of all, how long did the attack last?
14 A. The attack lasted on the 24th and 25th of July, 1992, up until
15 the early -- the late evening hours on the 25th of July.
16 Q. And which forces conducted the attack against Brisevo?
17 A. From Ljubija and Prijedor, it was the 5th Kozarac Brigade; and
18 from Sanski Most, it was the 6th Krajina Brigade.
19 Q. Mr. Atlija, I'm not going to ask you to go through all the
20 dramatic events of that day because we already have adjudicated facts
21 which are covering these particular facts and this is already into
23 I would like to focus your attention on what happened to the
24 houses of the inhabitants in Brisevo during and after the attack.
25 A. Houses were systematically looted and then set on fire. During
1 the two days of the attack, 68 homes were plundered and set on fire. We
2 counted them specifically.
3 After the attack, smaller groups came and looted and burnt the
4 houses that were still intact. And these were smaller groups of armed
5 Serb soldiers who would take down doors, window-frames. All the fittings
6 and furnishings that could be taken away were looted.
7 Q. What kind of loots -- what kind of goods were looted?
8 A. TV sets, video recorders, refrigerators. So household
9 appliances. But as well as pieces of furniture, electrical fittings,
10 even clothing. It may sound ridiculous, but they especially focussed on
11 underwear and socks.
12 Q. Mr. Atlija, I would like to move on to another topic.
13 At the beginning of your testimony, we established that you left
14 Bosnia on 17 November 1992, and you told us that you were living in an
15 apartment owned by your father. What happened to your property when you
17 A. When I left Prijedor - it was the 30th of April, 1992 - I went to
18 Brisevo. I left the apartment locked. I was told a couple of days later
19 that Milan Mutic, a Serb from Donja Ljubija, had moved into my
20 participant and that it would be better if I didn't attempt to go back or
21 even close to the apartment because I would be killed if I do so.
22 Q. And you're referring to your apartment in Prijedor, are you?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. And when you left, did you keep your property -- did you keep the
25 property of this apartment when you left Bosnia?
1 A. Officially, yes. However, the condition for getting a permit to
2 leave Bosnia-Herzegovina by the Serb authorities in Prijedor was that we
3 would to sign a declaration that we were leaving all our movable and
4 immovable property of our own free will to the local authorities. And I
5 signed it voluntarily, quote/unquote. Because if I didn't sign it, it
6 meant that I would not get a permit allowing me to get out of that hell.
7 Q. And so that include your apartment in Prijedor? You had to sign
8 a document on this as well, on that apartment as well?
9 A. No. The document -- document stated all the movable and
10 immovable properties. So it included everything that an individual had,
11 no matter if it was a house, a car ...
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. RINDI: Your Honours, this concludes my examination-in-chief.
14 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
16 Yes, Mr. Aleksic.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Aleksic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Atlija.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. I am Aleksandar Aleksic, one Mr. Zupljanin's lawyers, and I have
21 just a few questions for you.
22 As you said to my learned friend, you had given a statement to
23 the investigators of this Tribunal from the 18th to the
24 20th October, 2000; correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And after that, you testified twice before this Tribunal in the
2 Stakic and Brdjanin cases?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, for the events in your village, Brisevo, that you just
5 described, in your statement and in the Brdjanin trial you said that on
6 that day, or, rather, during those days, you did not see a single
7 policeman taking part in the attack on your village.
8 A. I did not see anyone in police uniform.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, for the attack on Hambarine and on Kozarac, you
10 gave us a lot of information about that today. Some of it first-hand,
11 some of it heard from others.
12 A. I always make a distinction between what I saw with my own eyes
13 and what I heard from others.
14 Q. I agree completely. Now, from your own place, from Brisevo, you
15 said that Hambarine was rather far away but you were able to see in the
16 distance some people moving during the attack but you were not able to
17 make out which units they were.
18 A. No, it was too far away.
19 Q. As far as Kozarac is concerned, you said that Kozarac is even
20 farther away on the other side. You were not able to see, but you heard
22 A. You could see houses burning. That was visible.
23 Q. Several times today you used the term "unit" in Croat, and I know
24 what that means. When you say "unit," you mean a military unit?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. You also spoke about the distance to other places, Carakovo and
2 Rizvanovici, and you said it was similar as with Kozarac. You were not
3 able to see, or you were able to see very little but you were able to
4 see -- sorry, to hear explosions.
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. The Prosecutor questioned you about what Prijedor was doing and
7 what the reports were. Do you know that the Muslim forces had attacked
8 Prijedor from several directions on the 30th of May, 1992?
9 A. I know from what I heard later that there was a conflict in the
10 end of May 1992. Now, how many people participated in the attack and who
11 exactly they were, I can't say. I know that this attack failed, this
12 Muslim attack failed. Most of them were caught or liquidated. I don't
13 know exactly what happened to them.
14 Q. Thank you. Just one more question.
15 The last point you discussed with the Prosecutor, that you left
16 behind all your movable and immovable property, this document you signed,
17 you did not sign: I leave apartment such and such, in such and such a
18 street, which is my property. No specific data was in that document.
19 A. No. It was just as I said: All my movable and immovable
21 Q. It was generally phrased, without any specifics about that
23 A. Yes. Only in general terms.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Atlija. I have no further questions.
25 A. Welcome.
1 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Mr. Aleksic.
2 Counsel for Stanisic, is there any ...
3 MR. ZECEVIC: We have no question. We agreed with the Defence of
4 Zupljanin that they will lead in cross-examining this -- these witnesses,
5 the crime-base witnesses, and in order not to use the -- the Court time.
6 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: We will not question -- or cross-examine this
9 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Rindi, do you have any re-examination?
10 MR. RINDI: I just have one quick question, Your Honours.
11 Re-examination by Mr. Rindi:
12 Q. Mr. Atlija, talking about what you told us about signing a
13 document leaving the properties, movable and immovable, to which
14 authority did you have to sign this document?
15 A. Signed that document and submitted it at the police station in
16 Prijedor. Along with that document, we had to submit so-called
17 certificates that we had paid our electricity, water, and telephone
18 bills. And I have to emphasise we did not have any telephones in
19 Brisevo, but we had to pay the bills and such.
20 After filing these documents and signing them in the police
21 station in Brisevo, I got a paper saying that I was allowed to move out
22 from the area of Prijedor.
23 Q. Do you know -- so those were documents through which you had
24 transferred your property; is this correct?
25 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Rindi, hasn't this already been covered? I
1 mean, the effect of --
2 MR. RINDI: Okay, I'll --
3 JUDGE HALL: If an argument is going to be made about the effect
4 of this -- these documents, and it is a matter Mr. Aleksic opened, how
5 helpful it is, I confess, is lost on me. But is there any point in
6 pursuing this, Mr. Rindi?
7 MR. RINDI: Okay, I'll conclude my examination-in-chief -- yeah,
8 my re-direct examination.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Witness, is it right that there were two
10 attacks on the village of Brisevo? One the 27th of May; and the other
11 one, the 24th and 25th of July? Two separate attacks?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct. There were two separate
13 an attacks. After the first attack when we got into contact with the
14 Serbian army in Rasavci and Ostra Luka, they told us that the first
15 attack was just a warning to show us what would happen to us if we are
16 not loyal to the Serbian authorities. They said they would search our
17 houses and if they find any kind of weapon in a house, the owner of the
18 house would be killed and the house torched. However, that search never
19 occurred. Instead, there was a second tragedy attack in July 1992.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, there is one matter that I ought to
22 raise, which is this:
23 Your Honour will recall some weeks ago we had a legal argument
24 about the question of exhumations. We've not had a ruling from the
25 Trial Chamber yet on it, and we don't appear to have got much further.
1 But I feel I ought to say this: This witness can actually deal with
2 exhumations in some detail because he attended a number of them in 1998
3 and can give evidence of who was there.
4 Now if there is an real, live dispute from the Defence on the
5 question of these exhumations, then this witness is able to deal with
6 them, although that's not the purpose for which he was brought. And I
7 mention it now, as he's gone a great deal faster than anybody could have
9 So, Your Honours, I think it may be worth, perhaps, if
10 Your Honours were to adjourn slightly early, so that I can speak to
11 Mr. Zecevic and find out what the situation is. Because, as I say, this
12 witness is in a position to deal with exhumations personally.
13 JUDGE HALL: I suppose there is a practical aspect to your
14 intention, Ms. Korner, but I foresee certain procedural hurdles, and --
15 but, nevertheless, taking it one step at a time, I would accede to your
16 suggestion that we rise now without releasing the witness and -- to allow
17 counsel to consult. And see where we go from there.
18 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Your Honour, that would be very helpful.
19 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Atlija, you're not yet released as a witness.
20 You would have -- you may have gathered, from what has just passed
21 between counsel and the Bench, that there may be other issues on which
22 you could be of assistance to the Chamber, but we're unable to determine
23 that at the moment.
24 So we're going to take the break now and resume at, I suppose,
25 the ordinary resumption time of 10.45.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, yes, that would be very helpful.
2 JUDGE HALL: Yes. Thank you.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 --- Recess taken at 10.14 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, thank you very much for the extra time
7 that you gave us.
8 Can I just mention the purpose of the transcript that Mr. Dobbyn
9 has now joined the OTP's team for this morning.
10 Your Honours, I've spoken to Mr. Zecevic, and, effectively,
11 because there are many things still needing resolution in the question of
12 exhumations, in particular, as I say, Your Honours' ruling on the legal
13 argument we had some weeks ago, the best thing or the most sensible
14 thing, we both agree, is that we merely note that Mr. Atlija can give
15 relevant evidence on exhumations. And we would seek leave to re-call him
16 if -- if it becomes necessary. And, really, I don't think there's much
17 further -- must more we can do today, in the light of still many
18 outstanding issues.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 MS. KORNER: And, Your Honours, then -- once Your Honours have
21 thanked Mr. Atlija, if I could just raise two other connected
22 administrative matters.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
25 We are wondering, though, and if I sound tentative it is only
1 because of a natural judicial reluctance to stick our finger into an area
2 which counsel is still working out among themselves, but for purely
3 practical reasons - and let me say, parenthetically, that the -- we
4 haven't forgotten the ruling that we are to deliver; it's a matter that
5 we have under more or less active conversation - but the oral submissions
6 that we would have received on the -- I think it was the
7 18th of September, highlight the -- certain troubling areas in this whole
8 question of exhumations. But that exercise also illuminated that the
9 parties pretty well know where they stand.
10 That having been said, and you, Ms. Korner, in your report, when
11 we resumed, about the results of the consultation that counsel would have
12 had, as to the possibility of the witness being re-called to deal with
13 this, we're wondering whether, before the witness is released, whether
14 the parties could not make use of his presence here, both for reasons of
15 economy and also to minimise inconvenience to the witness, of exploring
16 with him the areas of concern from an evidential point of view so we
17 would have that on the record and so that if the eventual disposition of
18 the Chamber on the motion about the exhumation is such that further
19 evidence has to be led, at least we wouldn't have to go back over what
20 this -- over the assistance that this witness could give.
21 MS. KORNER: Funnily enough, Your Honour, that had occurred --
22 that was what my suggestion was to Mr. Zecevic, that as he was here, I
23 could simply take him through. I don't know whether Your Honours have
24 got a copy of his statement, but it is should be -- it's probably
25 uploaded in e-court. This is the statement he made in 2000 -- in fact,
1 October 2000, so ten years ago, almost exactly, and he dealt with persons
2 that he, himself, had personally buried, and then a number of exhumations
3 that took place during 1998, which run from page 14 of his statement
5 Now, Your Honour, I -- I had thought maybe it would be better
6 just to run through that with him very quickly. But, of course, and it's
7 my fault entirely, because I regret to say that it only occurred too me
8 whilst I was listening to his evidence this morning and checking his
9 statement that this was a matter he could deal with. And I gave
10 Mr. Zecevic no notice of what I was going raise until I raised it.
11 So I don't know whether he's in a position to deal with anything
12 this morning.
13 Additionally, he asked for the underlying material for some of
14 the entries in the database, and that's -- he asked for that quite a long
15 time ago, and it's taken some time to put that together, together with a
16 spreadsheet which is hyper-linked, unfortunately. That is going to be
17 disclosed to him today.
18 So it really is a question of whether Mr. Zecevic would feel in a
19 position to ask any meaningful questions of this witness while he is
20 here. And as far as I'm concerned, I would simply deal with it by two or
21 three sentences, namely, that you were present at a number of exhumations
22 in 1998, all of which -- the details of which are contained in your
24 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
25 Mr. Zecevic, why can't we proceed in the proposed manner?
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, it is correct what Ms. Korner just
2 said. We asked for the underlying material to be disclosed to us. The
3 underlying material has not been disclosed up to this point in time. We
4 were notified that it would happen probably today.
5 Now, without the consultation of the -- or our analysis of this
6 underlying material, there is -- there might -- if we -- if we are able
7 to analyse the underlying material, we might not be even challenging
8 the -- the -- the certain victims from -- from the area or from the
9 incidents which this witness can -- can talk about. Therefore, on the
10 other hand, without analysing that material and without being put on
11 notice that this is going to be the -- the matter which -- which we will
12 cross-examine the witness about, we are not prepared at this point - and
13 I'm sure my friends from the Zupljanin Defence will agree with me - we
14 are not prepared at this point to cross-examine the witness on these
16 Now, that being the situation, it might be just, so to speak, a
17 waste of Court time that we go into this -- this process with Ms. Korner
18 leading evidence about the -- these facts where, in fact, we will have to
19 re-call the witness for cross-examination. Or it might be the case that
20 we don't challenge that particular exhumations.
21 Therefore, that is -- that is unfortunately our position where we
22 are at this point, and I'm -- I understand that the Trial Chamber is
23 anxious to -- to deal with that the most efficient way, but,
24 unfortunately, I don't see that it -- that this -- that this would make
25 that much sense at -- under these circumstances.
1 Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE HALL: Is there any -- I'm phrasing this question to
3 Ms. Korner, but the -- I'm inviting the Court Officer to -- to indicate
4 the practicality of the question that I'm asking, and that is, the -- if
5 the -- Mr. Zecevic is able to analyse this material today, whether it is
6 a possibility, is juggling the witnesses for the remainder of this week,
7 and coming back to this with the present witness, say, tomorrow, or the
8 day after?
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, there is, because the witness who is --
10 the third one is today, the one that Your Honours ordered to come back
11 for cross-examination, in fact it appears there was a misunderstanding by
12 VWS, so he's only arriving tonight. So we have the witness that
13 Mr. Dobbyn is about to call, and then we have a series of witnesses, but
14 there's no reason why we can't juggle to that extent, if Your Honours
15 would like to deal with it that way.
16 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
17 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Atlija, you may have gathered, from what you've
18 heard pass between the Bench and counsel, that instead of you're being
19 released immediately, we're looking at a number of possibilities, among
20 them is your -- delaying your departure from The Hague for a few days to
21 avoid your -- the possibility of your coming back in -- sometime in
23 Could you tell us what your personal arrangements and personal
24 convenience is in that regard, if your present departure is delayed by a
25 day or two?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't mind. If it suits the
2 Court, I don't mind staying on.
3 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. Well, what we would do at this stage is
4 to excuse you while we explore, between the Victims and Witness Unit, on
5 the one hand, and counsel on the other, as to whether we would take your
6 testimony later in the week. So you're not released at this point for
7 the reasons that we have discussed but you're excused, and you be
8 informed, certainly in the course of today, as to where we're going in
9 terms of your possible continued testimony. Thank you.
10 MS. KORNER: Would Your Honours just explain that because he's --
11 he may be coming back to give evidence Mr. Rindi can't speak to him until
12 that's been decided. He probably got that translated.
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
15 Mr. Atlija, inasmuch as you are still sworn as a witness, counsel
16 from neither side can have any communication with you. And in such
17 conversations as you have, you are -- should not discuss your testimony.
18 And -- I -- I could say, before the witness is excused, that VWU has
19 confirmed that they have no difficulty with his present stay being
20 extended. So we see where we go from there.
21 So if the usher would -- the usher may escort you from the
22 courtroom for the time being. Thank you.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 MR. ZECEVIC: I would just like, for the record, Mr. Cvijetic
25 joined us in the Defence team.
1 Also, Your Honours, just a practical matter. It is my
2 understanding that the disclosure about the exhumations is roughly 3.000
3 pages. If -- if Your Honours expect us to -- to cross-examine -- to be
4 prepared to cross-examine this witness, then perhaps you could order
5 the -- the Office of the Prosecutor that they -- that they sort of
6 specify the portions of the documents which are -- which are in
7 connection with the testimony of this witness so we can -- so we can
8 concentrate on that and be prepared to cross exam him in 48 hours or so.
9 Otherwise, it -- I don't think we will be able to even find the relevant
10 portions of the material by the time the witness is re-called.
11 Thank you very much.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's not an unreasonable request, and
13 we'll do that. The reason it's been delayed is because we've have to
14 check that the hyperlinking was actually to the right documents. And we
15 certainly intend to disclose today, and that will be -- will indicate
16 which of the documents relate to this witness.
17 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. So could we expect a report from counsel
18 tomorrow morning as to where we are with this witness?
19 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, Your Honours, if we do -- if we do receive
20 the disclosure today, we will be able to give our opinion on it tomorrow.
21 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, can I -- as I said, can I just use
23 this opportunity - because, in fact, we've gone more speedily, if there's
24 such a word, than we anticipated, although the next witness is ready - to
25 raise two matters concerned with outstanding decisions.
1 Your Honours, we did apply for a summonses for two of our
2 witnesses to -- who are reluctant to testify. I think one was ex parte
3 and one was open. It's gotten a bit confused at the moment, and I think
4 it's really ex parte only, because the Defence have no right of a reply.
5 And we always tell the Defence if we're issuing summonses. But we do
6 need -- I know there's been correspondence about this. We do need to
7 have a decision particularly on ST-250 who's due to testify Friday week.
8 Can I say that the suggestions that were made, namely, videolink
9 and/or protective measures, are not going to work. The witnesses are not
10 interested. They just don't want to come, full stop, or testify. Both
11 have been canvassed with them. So we would ask, in order to get ST-250
12 by -- here for Friday week, could we have the witness summons, please, as
13 soon as possible. And the same with ST-252.
14 And, Your Honours, lastly --
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Korner, before we leave this matter, could
16 you just confirm that the issue of a possible video-conference combined
17 with protective measures had been raised with both of the witnesses,
18 because it slipped out of the transcript, I think.
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I understand it has. I understand
20 contact was made with them and their response was the same.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: And there's also an issue about the whereabouts
23 of one of -- one of the witnesses. Do you have the -- the place of
24 residence of one of them?
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'll -- I did see the exchange of
1 e-mails, and I'll check. I was told verbally, but I'll double-check
2 that, that we do have places of residence for both.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'll check that and revert to you
5 perhaps after the next break.
6 And, Your Honours, finally, on administrative matters, we are -
7 and I know this is my, as it were, theme song - but we are a little
8 concerned about some of the outstanding matters, some of which date back
9 quite a long time. Can I just raise a couple of them.
10 At the pre-trial conference on the 4th of September of last year,
11 the Trial Chamber issued an oral decision on our motion of the
12 29th of February, 2008, saying that all of the witnesses we had applied
13 to submit pursuant to Rule 92 bis in that motion had been accepted
14 because they fulfilled the requirements, but we still haven't had a
15 written decision. And we need that because of the documents that are
16 associated with them.
17 We still await matters relating to the Rule 66 (C) motion, which
18 was filed, I believe, on the 8th -- yes, the 8th of May, 2009. We've had
19 some decisions on it but not complete. And the same with the
20 26th of May, 2009.
21 And, finally, Your Honours, may I just raise this: We did file,
22 in February, I believe it was this year, a -- no, March, a motion
23 relating to documents which had been MFI'd and whether they could be
24 submitted as part of a small bar table motion. We would be very grateful
25 if we could have a decision on that because we're now in the process of
1 putting together the bar table motion for documents which we have not
2 been able to put in through witnesses. And it would be very helpful, I
3 think to all sides, although it really affects us rather than the
4 Defence, to see how Your Honours rule on that MFI one.
5 Your Honours, there are a number of outstanding -- other
6 outstanding ones relating to witnesses which I think I've mentioned
7 before, but, I think, Your Honour, we really are hopeful, or hoping, that
8 we could get decisions on some of the ones, the earlier ones from last
10 Thank you.
11 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
12 Is the OTP ready for its next witness listed?
13 MR. DOBBYN: Yes, Your Honours. The OTP is ready to call
14 Witness ST-024, and this witness has protective measures in the form of
15 pseudonym and closed session testimony.
16 JUDGE HALL: Yes. This witness, having previously been granted
17 protective measures as Mr. Dobbyn says, we will -- of pseudonym and
18 testimony in closed session, we would now revert to closed session.
19 [Closed session]
11 Pages 16113-16158 redacted. Closed session.
2 Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 19th day
4 of October, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.