1 Tuesday, 24th February 1998
2 (9.00 am)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, ladies and
5 gentlemen. Now we are going to resume our proceedings
6 and if I am not mistaken, we are going to resume with
7 yesterday's witness; is that right?
8 MR. NIEMANN: That is correct, your Honour,
10 (The witness entered court)
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning,
12 Mr. Osmancevic. Please be seated. Now we are going to
13 pursue with your testimony. Now, I would remind you
14 that yesterday you made a solemn declaration whereby
15 you would speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing
16 but the truth. Are you going to go on in the same vein
17 this morning?
18 A. Yes.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please answer the questions
20 from the Prosecutor's Office, if you would.
21 DZIDO OSMANCEVIC (continued)
22 Examined by MR. NIEMANN (continued)
23 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, yesterday, just before we
24 broke up in the evening, you were telling us that you
25 had been taken to various places for trench digging and
1 you mentioned places such as Loncari, Kacuni, Kula, and
2 so forth. I wonder if you would look at the map that
3 I now show you, please. If this map could be put on
4 the overhead projector and I will give you
5 a highlighting pen.
6 Perhaps it could first be marked as an
7 exhibit, the next in order for the prosecution.
9 Show it to Mr. Mikulicic on your way through,
10 please, if you would.
11 Now, looking at it on that particular -- on
12 the video projector there, with that highlighting pen,
13 would you be so kind, if you can, to mark some of the
14 places that you recall that you were taken to for the
15 purposes of trench digging? Could you mark them for
17 When you mark them, tell us which ones you
18 are marking, if you would, for us, just say the name of
19 the place when you mark it.
20 A. Kula.
21 Q. Would you put a heavy mark on that, so we can
22 see it, that is the idea.
23 A. (Witness marked map).
24 Q. Now, that is a good one. The next one? The
25 next place that you went to?
1 A. Kula, Loncari, Bare. I cannot remember the
2 other parts. I mentioned some of them yesterday.
3 I have forgotten -- I cannot find my way on a map so
4 well, but I will try.
5 Q. Yes, if you would. Take your time, there is
6 no hurry. If you look up and see Bare, can you see
7 Bare there?
8 A. I will try. Yes, Kudanic, Nadioci, that
9 region. I found Bare. I know this area, Jazvine,
10 I did not dig there, but I did dig between Rona and
11 Bare. Round about here. (Indicating).
12 Q. If you put a circle round about here. What
13 about on the other side of the river, is there any
14 towns up there you were taken to dig, what about
16 A. I will try and find Loncari, on the other
17 side. Loncari and Komari, I dug there too, in Komari.
18 Q. Do you see Komari there?
19 A. Yes. I can see them. I had a field of my
20 own there but I just passed through there.
21 Q. That is near where you had your own property,
22 was it?
23 A. Yes. A little lower down. That is I dug
24 below my own field, my own property.
25 MR. NIEMANN: Okay. I will tender that, your
1 Honour, if I may.
2 Now, Mr. Osmancevic, you said when you first
3 went to the camp you stayed in the hangar of the camp
4 and it was when you were in the hangar that you were
5 taken out in order to do digging. Can you describe for
6 us, as best you can, the circumstances? What it was
7 like when you went digging these trenches; what were
8 the conditions like?
9 A. At the beginning when we would start off for
10 the trenches, we were not allowed to look around too
11 much, we had to get straight into the truck. Maybe
12 I told you all this before, maybe not. There was this
13 table with the registrar, he would take note of our
14 names and surnames, then we would enter the truck.
15 I remember the driver very well, Padovani,
16 and his order was not to look left or right but just to
17 enter the truck, to be taken to our destination, our
18 digging destination, all the points I mentioned.
19 When we came to the place we were to dig, he
20 said: "If somebody escapes, I kill the rest", that is
21 what the guard would say.
22 Food was brought to us every 48 hours. On
23 the first 20 days it was very difficult, the Red Cross
24 would bring us food. I am not quite sure when the Red
25 Cross arrived with the food.
1 Yes, I do remember the divisions and Kula --
2 Podjele and Kula, we dug a great deal without being
3 given food or water. Perhaps I am speaking a little
4 fast, I can slow down if you want me to.
5 Q. If you could go just a little bit slower it
6 would make it easier for the interpreters, thank you.
7 You were about to tell us of the conditions
8 that you had to work under. For example, how long did
9 you have to work, not every day but what was the sort
10 of longest period you had to work without a break; do
11 you remember that?
12 A. Well, there were no pauses, you were not
13 allowed to have a break or we tried to do this
14 ourselves, but I did not have a watch with me. About
15 48 hours or more, that is what the others told me too,
16 but I was not able to look at my watch and see exactly
17 how long it was, but about 48 hours or more.
18 Q. Did you feel, at any time in danger of being
19 shot from people from the other side of the line, the
21 A. At the beginning, like all of us, we thought
22 we would be there for two or three days, five days at
23 the most. But, when I went digging for the first time,
24 in the swampland I lost all hope of getting away from
25 there ever.
1 Q. Did you ever see soldiers on the other side
2 that were firing in your direction at any stage when
3 you were out trench digging?
4 A. It was difficult to see any soldiers. I am
5 speaking of myself, my own experience. I did not see
6 any soldiers, I could not see them. This was -- you
7 mean the Bosnian Herzegovina Army, but whether there
8 was ammunition -- yes, we could hear rifle fire but
9 high up near Podjele, whereas a journalist from the
10 Croatian side, when two of our fellows were wounded in
11 Bare, the army was not able to shoot there. The
12 journalist, himself, saw this.
13 There is a particular spot where -- well,
14 I will tell you of that event too, because it is in the
15 centre, along the centre, the prisoners were wounded,
16 the detainees were wounded. In front of them there was
17 a soldier and behind them there was a soldier and there
18 was not any shooting there, in front and behind. They
19 asked us about this. Some said it was the army, some
20 said it was not.
21 I personally have my own supposition; some of
22 the prisoners said yes, it was, and they cursed when
23 the journalist arrived.
24 Q. You said you were kept in the hangar for
25 a while. Then what happened after being kept in the
1 hangar; were you moved somewhere else?
2 A. Yes, in front of the second hangar with the
3 cells, which is where the warden was and probably the
4 other guards who slept there.
5 Q. Did you know, or come to know, who the warden
6 of the camp was?
7 A. I learned who the warden was during the first
8 three days. He said: "I am your warden. If anybody
9 needs a doctor or anything else"; we did not think we
10 would stay there for very long. Now, how far he was
11 able to influence any of these matters, I do not know,
12 but we lost hope after several trench digging
13 experiences. Then he worked in Zenica as well. I do
14 not know what he was there in the prison, but somebody
15 told us that he was a policeman, a militia man and that
16 he knew his brother-in-law and he called him on the
18 We did hope that we would be released, but
19 afterwards we lost all hope. From the very beginning
20 I know that we were dealing with Zlatko Aleksovski, we
21 were told this name by the man who worked with his
23 Q. Did you ever see him on the occasions before
24 or after you had been taken out for trench digging;
25 this is Zlatko Aleksovski?
1 A. When we went trench digging, in the instances
2 that I went trench digging, and when our names were
3 written down to go digging, I myself never saw the
4 warden. I never saw him present when our names were
5 taken down. Ljubo was there. I called him Pisar, his
6 nickname is Pisar. Whether he is a guard or whether he
7 has a higher office, I do not know. They did not wear
8 any insignia, maybe they did have some insignia, but
9 I did not know of it.
10 The second was Zec, but the warden in my
11 presence when I went trench digging and while I was in
12 the camp, I never saw him. When we come back can --
13 came back from the trenches he was present, not every
14 time, but on occasion.
15 Q. What did he do. What did you see him do when
16 you came back from trench digging on those occasions
17 that he was there? When he was there, what was he
19 A. Usually at the entrance to the second hangar
20 with the cells. He was outside the hangar. When it
21 got warmer he was on the other side and would be
22 sitting on a bench in front of a fire. When we were
23 returned on several occasions, he would ask us whether
24 we are all there.
25 Q. Would he ask you or would he ask one of the
1 guards whether you were all there?
2 A. Usually he would ask who brought us with --
3 he would talk to Mr. Ljubo, not with us.
4 Q. Mr. Ljubo, I think, was the gentleman who took
5 your names down originally; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that is right.
7 Q. Was there ever an occasion when people were,
8 in fact, missing when you came back?
9 A. Yes. In my presence, while I was digging in
10 Bare, I am quite sure that three people went missing,
11 maybe four. I am not quite certain, but I, myself, can
12 vouch for three, because they were close to me, I was
13 up there.
14 Q. Do you know the names of these people that
15 went missing?
16 A. They live in close by villages, near
17 Loncari. Sunula Pasic, Rasima Salih and the third is,
18 his name is Ramo, he is from Loncari too, and he was
19 wounded, and a young man was in one of the convoys,
20 whether he was a driver or co-driver, he was from
21 Tuzla. He was a Hodza. Whether he actually was
22 a Hodza or not, I am not sure. Whether his surname was
23 Hodza or his nickname was Hodza, but the drivers used
24 to refer to him as "Hodza", "the Hodza". He was
25 wounded there too.
1 Q. What happened when these three went missing,
2 when you returned to the camp? What did Mr. Aleksovski
3 do in relation to these three that were missing?
4 A. I do not know what he did, but when we
5 returned, and there was a lot of torture that day, both
6 with regard to wounds, wounding and they would line us
7 up to shoot us and they did not, but when we came back
8 Aleksovski would ask, I do not know whether exactly he
9 asked Ljubo or Padovani, I think Ljubo was there too.
10 He would have in his hand his list with our names and
11 he would ask: "Are they all there?" Ljubo would just
12 hug Aleksovski and walk off with him towards the
13 hangar. He put his arm round him and I could not hear
14 what he said to him. I do not know what happened after
16 Q. Just to make it clear, the person that had
17 the list when you returned was Mr. Aleksovski?
18 A. I do not know if he had his own list, but
19 Ljubo quite definitely did have the list.
20 Q. Did you ever see Mr. Aleksovski with a list;
21 whether it be his own or anybody else's does not
22 matter, did you ever see him with a list?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Now, how often did you see him in the camp,
25 Mr. Aleksovski, in the whole time you were there? Did
1 you see him only once or twice or did you see him on
2 a number of occasions?
3 A. On a number of occasions. I saw him
4 throughout my time at the camp, either when we returned
5 or when we left for the trenches. Several times,
6 particularly in the summer time when the days got
7 warmer and he was outside more often.
8 Q. Did you see him more often when you were in
9 the cells as opposed to the hangar?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you ever, on any occasions, have
12 a conversation with Mr. Aleksovski, while you were in
13 the camp?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. On how many occasions, can you recall?
16 A. Only once.
17 Q. Can you tell us approximately when it was
18 that you had this conversation?
19 A. It was when I was transferred to the second
20 hangar, about a month -- 20 days or a month later.
21 I do not know exactly when I was transferred, but
22 Aleksovski did not come to the door, the guard came to
23 the door and took me to the place where he lived and we
24 talked there about the problems; shall I carry on and
25 tell you about that or not?
1 Q. Yes. You might tell us firstly where it was
2 as precisely as you can, that you were taken to. You
3 said, "the place where he lived". Where was that in
4 the camp?
5 A. It was at the entrance to the second camp,
6 right by the door. I do not know exactly whether it
7 was on the left or the right; left-hand side or
8 right-hand side, but it was on the entrance. He had
9 his office there, in fact.
10 Q. You have described that as, "the camp". Is
11 that where the cells were?
12 A. Yes, where the cells are. That is where
13 I talked to him for the first time. We were already in
14 the cells. That was about a month later, 20 days after
15 I had been taken there.
16 Q. Now, tell us, what did he say to you and what
17 did you say to him, as best you can recall? What was
18 the nature of the meeting that you had with him?
19 A. The guard was present, the guard who came to
20 take me to call me to the telephone because one of my
21 neighbours had been taken prisoner with the BiH army
22 and he told me that my mother was a witness for that
23 neighbour, that he had committed some crimes, and that
24 I was to telephone. They gave me a number in Zenica
25 and to talk to my mother.
1 But, as my mother is a diabetic, I was not
2 able to talk to her. My sister came to the phone and
3 Aleksovski was present during that telephone
4 conversation, along with the guard.
5 Q. Who told you to make the phone call; the
6 guard or Mr. Aleksovski?
7 A. Aleksovski told me, because he had already
8 called another prisoner, who worked with his
9 brother-in-law. He also called him to come. He stood
10 by the telephone and one of the receivers was held by
11 Aleksovski, the other was held by me. The telephone
12 had two receivers. I said: "Yes, were you a witness?
13 You should withdraw your testimony." That is what
14 I said. But she did not go to testify against this
15 neighbour, in actual fact.
16 Q. Who told you that you should tell your mother
17 to withdraw her testimony?
18 A. To withdraw her testimony, the guard told me
19 this. I do not know whether he did too, but I know
20 that -- I remember that he said to the guard: "Well,
21 Stipe until the neighbour comes out, we are not going
22 to let him out either, Stipe will come."
23 Q. "Until the neighbour goes out, we are not
24 going to let him go either"; tell us who you mean by
25 that. "Until the neighbour goes out", what does that
1 mean; until the person was released in Zenica, is that
2 what you are saying?
3 A. In Zenica they meant Vinko Vidovic by that.
4 Q. Until he was released, you were not going to
5 be released, is that what you meant, by that you said
6 there? Until the neighbour goes out --
7 A. Yes, yes, that is correct.
8 Q. So, your release was to be dependent upon the
9 release of this person in Zenica?
10 A. That is right. Although I did go out
11 although Vidovic was still there. He was released
12 later on. That is what I heard, or maybe he did not
13 leave by that time, I do not know.
14 Q. Where was Vinko Vidovic being held, do you
16 A. Somewhere in Zenica. I do not know, I did
17 not pay any visit to him because it was not possible to
18 go there, to visit people there, and I had problems of
19 my own.
20 Q. Did you have an understanding that he was
21 being held in custody or was he free, or what did you
22 understand when you made this phone call?
23 A. My understanding was that he was in
24 detention, since he had been captured as a soldier.
25 Q. Now, after you had made this phone call and
1 spoke to your sister, what happened then? What
2 happened after that?
3 A. After that, he told me that I should not talk
4 too much over the telephone, so I just, you know, said
5 that I was okay and I told her to tell the mother to
6 withdraw the complaint. Then she said that she did not
7 even do that, that she did not even lodge a complaint.
8 So, Aleksovski just nodded his head. He
9 stopped -- he cut me off and that is basically what
10 happened until Vidovic is released. After that I was
11 left alone, they no longer called me about that. I was
12 returned to the cell.
13 Q. Was that the only time that you ever had
14 a conversation with Mr. Aleksovski that you can
15 remember, or was there any other occasion?
16 A. I told you that I used to see him, but that
17 was the only conversation that I had with the
19 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you.
20 Now, you mentioned in your evidence how you
21 were taken to the cells. Yesterday, you marked on
22 Exhibit P18 the place -- the hangar that you first went
24 If the witness could be given P18 again,
25 please. I would like you to mark with the highlighter
1 the letter "B", the location of the cells, if you can
2 remember, in Kaonik camp that you were taken to, that
3 is the second location. (Handed).
4 If you could put a big "B" for me at the spot
5 where you think the cells are that you were taken to
7 A. (Witness marked map).
8 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you.
9 Now, would you look at the photograph that
10 I now show you? Perhaps that might be marked the next
11 exhibit number in order.
12 Could you please show it to Mr. Mikulicic
13 before you show it to the witness? Perhaps you might
14 return the exhibits on the ELMO to the Registrar,
15 please. (Handed).
16 Your Honour, I am not sure that I actually
17 tendered Exhibit P18. If I have not done, I now tender
18 that, it having been marked on the two occasions.
19 Just looking in that photograph that is now
20 appearing on the screen, do you recognise that at all?
21 It is not a terribly good photo but you may be able to
22 recognise it.
23 A. Yes, I can recognise the photograph. I can
24 see the table at which we used to sit and eat. I do
25 not remember the number of the cell.
1 Q. Are you able to mark approximately, to the
2 best of your ability, where your cell was, the cell
3 that you were put in?
4 A. (Witness marked map).
5 Q. Perhaps you might put the letter "A" there
6 for me, so we can be sure that is where it was.
7 The windows into the cells themselves, where
8 are they? Can you indicate those from that
10 A. Well, I do not know exactly about the others,
11 but this is one of them. (Witness marked map).
12 Q. Let us mark it with the letter "X". I wonder
13 if you could do something else for me. Could you draw
14 an arrow pointing in the direction of where
15 Mr. Aleksovski's office was. Draw an arrow. I know it
16 probably is not shown there but if you draw an arrow in
17 that direction.
18 A. (Witness marked map).
19 MR. NIEMANN: Fine. I tender that, your
21 The arrow is very faint, but it is at the
23 Perhaps if you show the witness that one too,
24 please. (Handed).
25 The next photograph, might that be marked the
1 next exhibit number in order, please? I tender the
2 photograph that was just marked by the witness.
3 Mr. Osmancevic, did you know where any of the
4 other prisoners in the camp were kept, in the cells
5 were kept?
6 A. Across my cell there was some drivers whom
7 I did not know very well, but in the big -- in the
8 large hangar there were some people I knew. Down
9 there, as we used to sit at the table, because we used
10 to eat together, people would come out from other
12 There was a man -- two men from Karina
13 region, a Croat and a Muslim. They ate with us and
14 they were also exchanged with us, but the Croat was
15 kept by them.
16 The two of them I think were members of the
17 army and that is how they were captured.
18 Down there, down the corridor, there was
19 a Croatian soldier whom I never saw. I only heard him
20 scream as he was being beaten. And there was another
21 one who used to eat with us. I think he was an Arab,
22 and there was a man by the name of Hando from Han
23 Bijela, who also used to eat with us. He was in one of
24 the cells down there.
25 I do not know exactly which cell exactly they
1 were kept. Anyhow, they were in the lower part of the
2 corridor. Across my cell, there were those drivers and
3 my neighbours and here, this Croat must have been
4 because we used to hear him -- we used to hear noise
5 coming from that direction. (Indicating).
6 Here, on the other side, I am not sure
7 whether the Arab was there or whether it was Hando who
8 was kept there. Anyway, the two of them were kept
9 here, in this area.
10 Q. Okay, you must just for me do the following,
11 where you think the Croat was kept, you might put
12 a "C". Just write the letter "C", where you think he
14 A. (Witness marked map).
15 Q. Where you think the driver was kept you might
16 put the letter "D".
17 A. (Witness marked map).
18 Q. Where you think the Arab person was kept you
19 might put the letter "A" for me.
20 A. (Witness marked map).
21 MR. NIEMANN: That is E, it appears as E
22 there. Thank you.
23 I tender that, your Honours.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecutor's Exhibit 21.
25 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, if I may, I ask
1 that we go into private session. It is just a matter
2 of turning the sound off outside, if I could, please.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes.
4 (Private Session)
13 Page 538 redacted - in private session
15 (Open session)
16 MR. NIEMAN: Mr. Osmancevic, were you then
17 subsequently registered with the ICRC?
18 A. Yes, I was
19 Q. After you became registered by the ICRC did
20 circumstances in the camp change?
21 A. Yes, they did, quite a bit. After wed were
22 registered by the ICRC and given blankets we did not
23 remain the hangars for very long. The situation was
24 somewhat better.
25 It really meant a lot for us when the
1 situation was quiet at the front-line because whenever
2 there were problems at the front-line, we had problems
3 as well. When there was fighting going on in the
4 battlefield, we would be taken out to dig trenches and
5 if one of their soldiers was killed, there would be
6 retaliation and so on. As long as the situation was
7 quiet, we were left alone as well.
8 After the ICRC registered us, I was
9 transferred to the other hangar, next to the warden's
10 office. The food was much better there. It is true
11 there were people coming from the field, soldiers who
12 would enter the cells. They used to beat people, abuse
13 us verbally, and so on, but you could say that the
14 situation improved after we had been registered by the
16 Q. Were you then exchanged?
17 A. After two months and six days, I was
18 exchanged, yes.
19 Q. What date was that; do you remember -- the
20 date of your exchange?
21 A. I believe it was on the 19th June.
22 Q. 1993?
23 A. I guess 1993.
24 MR. NIEMANN: I think, your Honour, I have
25 tendered all the exhibits that I have shown to the
1 witness. If there is any of them which have not
2 formally been tendered I do so now.
3 I have no further questions.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, considering the
6 fact that the witness was talking about an event which
7 has been unknown to the Defence until now -- namely,
8 the telephone conversation in the office of the accused
9 -- I would kindly ask the court to enable me to have
10 some consultations with my client. I would like to
11 have a short break, please.
12 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, if I just might
13 say, firstly we have no objection, if your Honours are
14 disposed to give Mr. Mikulicic a break, we do not object
15 to that.
16 I would like to indicate on the record that
17 we did indicate to Mr. Mikulicic that this conversation
18 that he now refers to was something we learned of when
19 the witness came to The Hague just very recently to
20 testify, that was the first we heard of it. We wrote
21 to Mr. Mikulicic and told him there was a conversation,
22 so it is not quite as though he has never heard of it
23 before, but certainly he has not heard of the details
24 of it and it was not in the statement.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Chamber agrees, and we
1 are going to have a recess. I think three minutes,
2 would that be sufficient?
3 THE INTERPRETER: If the interpreter
4 understood that rightly, whether it was three or
5 another figure?
6 MR. MIKULICIC: Did you say "three minutes",
7 your Honour?
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: 30 minutes is what his
9 Honour said.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honours.
11 (9.53 am)
12 (A short break)
13 (10.25 am)
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We shall now resume our
15 proceedings. Mr. Mikulicic, please proceed.
16 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC
17 Q. Thank you, your Honours.
18 Mr. Osmancevic, my name is Mr. Goran
19 Mikulicic. I am the Defence counsel of Mr. Aleksovski.
20 I am going to ask you several questions. Would you
21 please answer them to the best of your ability.
22 Mr. Osmancevic, before the conflict in the
23 Lasva Valley, where did you live?
24 A. Jelinak.
25 Q. Is that village in some way divided? Are
1 there several parts of the village or is it a exact
3 A. It is a exact whole.
4 Q. Am I wrong if I say that there is the upper
5 and lower part of the village?
6 A. One part -- I do not know how to explain it
7 to you -- one part has an upper and lower part, upper
8 and lower part of the village, but in the upper part,
9 there are no Croats. In the lower half, I, myself,
10 have a neighbour who is a Croat. He is my neighbour,
11 and all this lower half is for the most part a mixed
13 Q. That was to have been my second question.
14 Let me repeat: what is the national composition -- what
15 was the national composition of the village of Jelinak?
16 A. You mean in percentages?
17 Q. Not in percentages, I am sure you do not know
18 that. Was that exclusively a Muslim village or were
19 there some other nationalities living in Jelinak?
20 A. It was not exclusively Muslim. The Serbs
21 lived a little apart, but all of us were there, Croats
22 and Muslims in Jelinak proper.
23 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, you said that you had a Croat
24 as a neighbour. Can you remember their names?
25 A. Vidovic Vinko, Ivo Brnada, Plavcic Zilan,
1 Brnada Niko, Brnada Slavko and several others.
2 Q. Was one of the neighbours perhaps Mr. Stipe
4 A. Yes. He was at the cross-roads a little
5 further off from me, about 500 metres away from me.
6 Q. But you knew him?
7 A. Yes. We went to the brigades together. We
8 worked together.
9 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, where did you go to school and
10 what school did you finish?
11 A. I went to school in Zenica to the metallurgic
13 Q. And before that?
14 A. Before that to the primary school in Kaonik.
15 In fact, eight forms of primary school and four classes
16 in Putis.
17 Q. Was it regular schooling?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, did you serve in the JNA Army
20 before the war?
21 A. Yes, in Sabac.
22 Q. Were you commissioned in any way?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Awarded a commission?
25 A. No.
1 Q. A rank?
2 A. No.
3 Q. You said in your introduction that in 1992
4 you were a member of the Patriotic League; is that
6 A. Let us get things clear. I do not know if
7 you are mixing things, by Territorial Defence,
8 Patriotic League, and whatever. The Patriotic League,
9 the real army perhaps existed, but in the village, in
10 the villages, as I told you earlier on, the Territorial
11 Defence, we were altogether. Whether it existed later
12 on before the conflicts or after the conflicts as the
13 Patriotic League, I do not recall. But I know that we
14 were all in this TO, Territorial Defence, before the
15 army was formed.
16 Q. Yes, I am asking you this so that you can
17 explain to me whether, during the events in the spring
18 of 1993, whether you were a civilian or a soldier?
19 A. I was in civilian clothing, just like my
20 other neighbours, Croats, but they were in uniforms
21 and --
22 Q. I am asking you, were you a civilian or
23 a soldier?
24 A. If I am a soldier -- if I were a soldier
25 I would have been ready from top to toe.
1 Q. So you were a civilian, is that my correct
3 A. Yes, civilian.
4 Q. Tell me, Mr. Osmancevic, were you a member of
5 any political party at the time?
6 A. No, I am not a member of any party, but I did
7 vote for my own side.
8 Q. That is your own personal affair, I am not
9 asking you that.
10 A. I just wanted to tell you that.
11 Q. Tell me, Mr. Osmancevic, was there any
12 fighting around your village?
13 A. What fighting, if Stipe Andrijasevic's son
14 guaranteed security and safety and a little bit of
15 armaments, but it was mostly hunting, weapons and as
16 they were together in the militia at the time, when the
17 HDZ took over the leadership, they were in the militia
18 until we had to give up all our weapons and they said
19 they guaranteed our safety, and you can see what kind
20 of safety they guaranteed in the long run.
21 Q. I am not quite sure that I have understood
22 the answer to my question: was there any fighting
23 around the village of Jelinak?
24 A. No, no fighting at all. While we were in the
25 village and when we were taken from the village there
1 was not any fighting but afterwards there was. Some
2 went to dig trenches but I did not have to go to dig
3 trenches, they did not ask me to dig trenches.
4 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, do you recall the day when you
5 were brought to Kaonik?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. Tell us, please, who brought you to Kaonik?
8 A. I was -- brought by imprisonment, or who
9 transported me?
10 Q. Who was with you?
11 A. I know that my neighbour, Plavcic Mirko drove
12 the van, the blue van, he is also a neighbour, he lives
13 near Stipe, he was the driver. The co-driver was from
14 Setulija, another village. I know him from my school
15 days, but I cannot recall his name.
16 Q. Was this transport van secured in any way?
17 A. I saw no security upon entrance into the van
18 because if someone guarantees your safety, then they
19 will not put a sock over your head.
20 Q. Who took you in when you came to Kaonik, did
21 anybody take you in there?
22 A. On that particular day, nobody, on that
23 night. Who took us in? The guards of the camp, Cakic
24 Anto and some others.
25 Q. You said guards. Who were the guards?
1 A. I know that they were in uniform and that
2 they had an insignia, an emblem of the Croatian Defence
3 Council, HVO. The insignia had the letters "HVO".
4 Q. Can you differentiate between the guards and
5 the soldiers?
6 A. No, I cannot. They all had the same
8 Q. I think you mentioned yesterday the defenders
9 of the homeland.
10 A. There was some elderly people in front of the
11 prison, the home guard, and they brought some of the
12 people -- cigarettes to some of the people they knew,
13 people whom they had worked with or were neighbours
14 with. There were two of three of them, and one was
15 a Serb.
16 As I said, if he was in camouflage, then he
17 had civilian trousers. If he had camouflage trousers
18 he would have a civilian jacket or vice versa. But
19 these were only older people. Those who were there all
20 the time and who were younger, they were in uniforms
21 like the warden all the time.
22 Q. Now, what was their function when -- you
23 mentioned these elderly people?
24 A. They did not enter into the hangars, they
25 were in front of the hangars. I just saw them as
1 ordinary guards. When we were let out in those first
2 few days, we had no lavatory. When we were transferred
3 to the other hangar we did have a lavatory, but when we
4 would go out to dispose of the -- to empty the empty
5 the buckets.
6 Q. These home guards, did they have any weapons?
7 A. Yes, some old 48s from the JNA Army, some old
8 rifles. They did not have any automatic weapons.
9 Q. So, if I understood you correctly, at the
10 time when you were brought to Kaonik, there were two
11 types of guard?
12 A. Yes. It would appear so; some older guards
13 and some younger guards. They would say that they were
14 the home guard. They would call themselves the home
16 Q. As far as you know, did some of the guards go
17 to the front-lines, if necessary?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you tell us something more about that?
20 How do you know that?
21 A. Well, I know that because Dzemo Medugorac,
22 a good guard, he was from Medugorac, he said Dzemo went
23 to the front-line or somebody else would be said to come
24 back to the front-line.
25 Q. When they went up to the front-line, who
1 looked after the detainees?
2 A. Well, there were not only two guards. There
3 were the ones -- the bullies who beat us. I told you
4 who the real guards were. They were the guards and the
5 real guards, there were few of us in the camp, so we
6 did not need many guards to guard us.
7 Mr. Ljubo and the warden took shifts. There
8 was always somebody there. They were the guards,
9 whereas the bullies were others. Those who did not go
10 up to the front-line. If somebody did not want to go to
11 the front-line so he, himself, was beaten. My friends
12 used to tell me that he had, in fact, not wanted to go
13 up to the front-line.
14 Q. Who beat him, I do not understand? Who was
15 beaten by whom? Did you see this, did you witness
17 A. I did not, no, but I heard the screams,
18 cries, the noise.
19 Q. I am not going to ask you more about that
20 because you saw nothing yourself.
21 Tell me, Mr. Osmancevic, you have described
22 the fact that one of the detainees, one of the
23 prisoners, was Semsudin Kovac and that he escaped. Do
24 you know what the circumstances of his escape were?
25 Did you see anything yourself?
1 A. I said I did not work with him and I did not
2 see why he escaped or where he escaped to, just like
3 none of the others saw this. Nobody saw it.
4 Q. Tell me, please, do you know whether, during
5 your stay in Kaonik whether there were any other
7 A. One of the ones who went digging, he escaped
8 but he returned. That was during the attack. There
9 was an attack while we were trench digging and I saw
10 him wearing civilian clothes later on when I left
11 Loncari. He went off with a pickaxe and everybody
12 wanted to escape from the grenades. That is that
13 particular person.
14 Q. Did you hear of any other escapes apart from
15 Semsudin Kovac?
16 A. Here in the camp, no; from the camp, no.
17 Q. When you say, "here in the camp, no", did you
18 hear of any other escapes elsewhere?
19 A. Well, if I take into account the other
20 prisoners, then there was always a lot of talk about
21 who disappeared, who was wounded, who was killed, and
22 so on. But I did not pay attention to those stories
24 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, do you perhaps know that some
25 of the prisoners in some other way left Kaonik or was
1 released from Kaonik in some other way? Apart from
2 escape or exchange?
3 A. I cannot remember. Perhaps -- but if
4 I remember later on, I will tell you.
5 Q. You talked about the conditions prevailing in
6 Kaonik and the food, in particular. What kind of food
7 did the guards eat? What food did they get? Do you
8 know what food the guards were given?
9 A. Yes. When we were transferred to the second
10 hangar with the cells, the food was better there.
11 I think that the guards ate the same food. They did
12 not eat together with us, but we were told they were
13 given the same food.
14 Q. You described the conditions in the prison.
15 Mr. Osmancevic, can you tell me please: during your stay
16 in Kaonik, did you notice or see the existence of
17 anything? I have in mind covers, heating, blankets,
18 heating or any kind of facilities which you were
19 lacking in?
20 A. Yes, in the first hangar. We did not have
21 any of this in the first hangar, but when we were
22 transferred to the second hangar we did have blankets.
23 The food was better, as I already said.
24 Q. Yes, you did. I just wanted to tell you, was
25 there anything that you saw that existed but you were
1 not given -- you did not have access to, when you went
2 to the prison?
3 A. Yes. I dug a lot without any pause and on
4 the last day, when we were to be exchanged, we were
5 taken to Kula to be exchanged. As far as food and
6 blankets are concerned, we did have food and blankets.
7 As far as any rest was concerned, during our
8 digging, we did not have any rest. We had to dig
9 trenches for 48 hours or more. No water or food.
10 Q. You mentioned Kula. Do you perhaps know who
11 the commander at Kula was?
12 A. No.
13 Q. You mentioned Loncari. Can you describe to
14 us who took you to Loncari, if you know who did? Who
15 took you there?
16 A. As far as I remember, it was Padovani with
17 the truck. There were vans as well. The van, whether
18 they took me to Kratine, Loncari, and who the driver
19 was I am afraid, I cannot remember.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 A. Perhaps I might remember later on.
22 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, let us go back to the
23 telephone conversation that you described earlier on in
24 the office of the warden.
25 Who came to fetch you, to take you to the
1 office for that telephone conversation?
2 A. Stipe Andrijasevic, my neighbour came to
3 fetch me.
4 Q. He is your neighbour?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Will you describe for us, please, in
7 connection with that telephone conversation, what the
8 role of Vinko Vidovic was? He was also your neighbour?
9 A. Yes, that is right. Well Vidovic's role is
10 the following: When I was brought by Stipe
11 Andrijasevic, who came to the camp, to my cell, to
12 fetch me, he said: "Come out for a moment".
13 Q. In as much detail as possible.
14 A. He came, Stipe, to my cell. He said: "Would
15 you come out?". He called out my name and surname.
16 Even if I did not want to, I had to. I came out of the
17 cell. He took me to the office where there was
18 a telephone and the warden was there and Vidovic --
19 Vinko's father was there. I knew him. He was an older
20 man. I think Stipe's younger son was there too.
21 He asked me -- Stipe: "Do you know why you
22 have been brought here?" I said: "No". "Do you know
23 that Vina has been taken prisoner?" "No", I said. "Do
24 you know that your mother is a witness -- Vina is being
25 tried in Zenica and your mother is a witness?". "No,
1 I have no idea. How would I be able to know? You know
2 that I am in the camp and how I was brought here".
3 Then, the agreement -- then we had this
4 agreement whereby we would remember somebody and
5 remember the telephone number. I said: "You know that
6 I have nobody in Zenica; nobody has a telephone in
7 their flats". "Try to remember", they said. Then
8 I remembered Miro Hadzic had a sister in Zenica.
9 I went to him, to fetch him and he gave me
10 the telephone number. He was taken back to his cell.
11 Then I phoned this number and asked him to call my
12 mother to come to the phone.
13 Stipe Andrijasevic wanted my mother to
14 withdraw her testimony, because Vidovic Vinko said that
15 she was one of the witnesses in that case.
16 I called Amidzic's sister and this is what
17 happened tomorrow. I asked them -- I said I would ring
18 them the next day. I did ring them the following day
19 again and I did not talk to my mother, but I talked to
20 my sister.
21 Q. What is your sister's name? It is Fatima, is
22 that right?
23 A. Yes. I asked my sister whether what they
24 said about my mother was true. The warden had one of
25 the receivers by his ear. I was told not to talk too
1 much, not to say that I was in prison but to say I was
2 alive and well, to talk about Vina in that particular
3 case, to withdraw my mother's testimony. My sister
4 said she was never a witness, she never went and none
5 of these other things that they were saying -- and the
6 warden looked at Stipe and I shrugged my shoulders and
7 said: "There you are, my mother is not a witness".
8 Then the warden cut off this telephone line
9 -- the telephone line. Stipe said: "Does your mother
10 know that you are in our hands?" The warden then said:
11 "We are not going to release him until Vina is
12 released, that is what it boils down to". I stood
13 around in the office for sometime. Vina's father did
14 not say a word during all that time. He just cried
15 because he was sorry for his son.
16 Was I clear enough?
17 Q. Yes, you were clear enough. Let me just ask
18 you several more questions: while you were waiting for
19 the telephone connection, did you have anything to
20 drink, perhaps? Were you given coffee?
21 A. No. I had nothing to drink.
22 Q. Tell me, Mr. Osmancevic, what you have just
23 described to us in this entire event over the telephone
24 conversation, if I have understood you correctly, and
25 please correct me if I have not, your neighbours were
1 included, Stipe, Vina Vidovic. They are all people who
2 you know previously.
3 Am I correct in saying that they asked you to
4 do them a service?
5 A. Yes, it would appear that way. But what
6 service could I do? My sister told them my mother was
7 a diabetic, that she could not leave her house --
8 Q. I am sorry for interrupting you, so your
9 mother did not supply them with any testimony, any
10 statements. So it was a misunderstanding, in fact, if
11 I have understood correctly?
12 A. Yes, misunderstanding, but I understood
13 something, that I was being asked to do something.
14 Q. Tell me, Mr. Osmancevic, you said that on the
15 19th June you left Kaonik; is that correct?
16 A. Well, I think it was the 19th June. I have
17 a ticket --
18 Q. All right, the date is that not important.
19 What I want to ask you is something else. Do you know
20 what happened with Vinko, when was he released and was
21 he ever released?
22 A. He was accused -- condemned of something --
23 I do not know. I was not able to follow the case, but
24 I think he was exchanged later on. When and how I do
25 not quite know, but I do know that people said he was
1 exchanged somewhere around Mostar.
2 Q. When was this exactly, before or after you?
3 A. After me.
4 Q. How long after your release?
5 A. I do not quite know.
6 Q. Can you tell me whether his release and your
7 release coincided? Did it have any relationship -- was
8 it linked?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Mr. Osmancevic, are you personally -- were you
11 beaten ever in Kaonik personally? Did anybody hit you
12 in Kaonik ever?
13 A. Me and two other people were never beaten.
14 This was just luck. It depended on luck whether you
15 were beaten or not beaten. But unfortunately, I did --
16 my luck ran out when I dug trenches. I had to dig
17 trenches all the time but I was never beaten. I was
18 lucky there.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: No more questions, your
20 Honours. Thank you.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Counsel for the
22 Prosecutor's Office, any further questions?
23 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour.
24 JUDGE VOHRAH: Witness, in your
25 examination-in-chief, you used the expression "the
1 Hodza", what do you mean by "the Hodza"?
2 A. Hodza, that is how they called him. Whether
3 Hodza was his last name or whether he was a Hodza, I do
4 not know.
5 JUDGE VOHRAH: Thank you.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Osmancevic, you are now
7 done with your testimony here before the International
8 Criminal Tribunal. We would like to thank you most
9 heartily for having come to this Tribunal. Thank you
10 very much.
11 A. Thank you.
12 (The witness withdrew)
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Counsellor, would you like
14 to bring in the next witness?
15 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, before I call
16 the next witness for the prosecution, I would wish to
17 make an application similar to the one I made yesterday
18 in respect of the witness. His name -- the next
19 witness's name is contained in the inventory which was
20 filed before your Honours' court dated 16th February.
21 It is in an inventory of witness statements and the
22 name appears at number 4 on that list.
23 In respect of that witness, your Honours,
24 I am seeking permission of your Honour's court to have
25 protective measures in place, moving your Honour's
1 Chamber so that pseudonym "B" -- that the witness be
2 assigned a pseudonym, and the letter "B" be assigned to
3 the witness and he also be granted face as well as
4 voice distortion in his testimony.
5 Your Honours, I have indicated this to my
6 learned friend, learned counsel for the Defence, and
7 I understand that he has no objections to my
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic?
10 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, we have no
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Chamber agrees, and
13 would ask that the appropriate measures be taken.
14 (The witness entered court)
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning. Please
16 stand. Thank you for having come here this morning.
17 You are now going to read out the solemn declaration
18 which the usher is going to be presenting you with.
19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please be seated. Now, you
23 are going to answer the questions which the counsel for
24 the Prosecutor's Office is going to be putting to you.
25 (11.00 am)
1 Please proceed.
2 WITNESS B
3 Examined by MR. MEDDEGODA
4 Q. Witness, could you -- witness, I am giving
5 you a sheet of paper now. Could you look at the sheet
6 of paper and confirm whether the name which appears on
7 that sheet is your name or not? (Handed).
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 MR. MEDDEGODA: Perhaps it could be shown to
10 learned counsel for the Defence. I am tendering, your
11 Honours, that sheet of paper containing the name of the
12 witness as an exhibit.
17 A. Yes, I am.
18 Q. Your religion is Islam?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Maybe we could adjust the
21 witness's microphone. Please see to that, usher.
22 Can you hear me, sir?
23 A. Yes, I can.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Can the interpreters hear
25 as well? I think we can pursue.
1 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, do you remember 25th
2 January, 1993?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. On that day, do you recall where you were?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. And where were you on that day?
7 A. I was at home in Busovaca, my neighbourhood.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: One second, please.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, I apologise for
10 interruption, we do not hear anything, my client or
11 myself. We cannot hear the voice of the witness.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Could the technicians make
13 the appropriate arrangements? Is it possible to get
14 this working?
15 Just one minute, sir.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: I can hear the interpreters,
17 I can hear the Prosecutor and I can hear the court, the
18 judges, but I cannot hear the witness.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: So the problem is that
20 Mr. Mikulicic can hear everyone, except for the
21 witness. (Pause).
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Can we continue? Has
23 everything be settled? Mr. Aleksovski, can you hear me?
24 MR. ALEKSOVSKI: Your Honours, I can hear you
25 very well, but in order to listen to the witness I have
1 to take off my earphones, I think it is a bit
2 complicated but other than that it is okay. I do not
3 know, I will try to listen to the witness now that he
4 starts speaking and see if I can hear very well.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Fine. Thank you. Well,
6 maybe the technicians would want us to have a recess so
7 they can get all this working properly.
8 So I have not been given an answer; 10
9 minutes to get this worked out.
10 Right, I do apologise, Witness B, but we are
11 going to have a recess for technical reasons.
12 MR. MEDDEGODA: Before the recess, can I have
13 redaction of line 2 on page 44.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes.
15 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you, your Honour.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Now, we are going to have
17 a 10-minute recess to get these technical problems
18 straightened out.
19 (11.11 am)
20 (A short break)
21 (11.27 am)
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I think we should be able
23 to resume now. So counsel for the Prosecution, please
25 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, you said you recall
1 25th January 1993?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. And where were you on that day?
4 A. I was in Busovaca, in Ravanjska road, in the
5 neighbourhood of Ravanjska.
6 Q. Were you alone on Ravans --
7 THE INTERPRETER: The microphone?
8 MR. MEDDEGODA: Were you alone in the
9 neighbourhood of Ravanjska Street?
10 A. On that morning, I went to have coffee to my
11 neighbour's house, together with three other neighbours
12 and we did not finish the coffee and members of the
13 HVO, round 6.00 am, opened fire and started firing at
14 us. The house started burning.
15 Q. And what did you do when the house started
17 A. We put out the curtains and couch and we hid
18 under the stairway. The members of the HVO kept
19 shooting all day long and we simply could not leave the
21 Q. How did you know that there were members of
22 the HVO who were shooting?
23 A. I could tell by their uniforms and HVO
24 insignia and also because they held the power in
25 Busovaca and they had something against us, simply
1 because we were Muslims and the area where we lived was
2 a Muslim area. There were only Muslim houses in that
3 area, that is why they were shooting at us.
4 Later on I was taken prisoner by them.
5 Q. What was the uniform that is worn by the HVO
7 A. They wore camouflage uniforms. Some of them
8 were wearing civilian clothing but most of them had HVO
9 insignia with Croat chequer boards on it.
10 Q. For how long did this firing last?
11 A. Throughout the day, the whole day, until
12 5.00 pm when they started approaching our houses and
13 when we surrendered.
14 Q. Together, you too surrendered to the HVO
15 forces on that day?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. And together with you, did others surrender
18 as well?
19 A. Yes, my neighbours surrendered as well.
20 Q. How many others surrendered together with
22 A. There were three more persons who surrendered
23 apart from myself.
24 Q. Do you know -- did you happen to know any of
25 the HVO soldiers who came to your village -- who came
1 to that settlement that day?
2 A. I know the Pusic brothers, Smoljo --
3 brothers, they were all my neighbours from Busovaca
4 from the Busovaca Valley area.
5 Q. After you and the other three surrendered,
6 what happened?
7 A. Then the HVO soldiers started mistreating
8 us. I had to walk around barefooted and they also
9 forced me to go to the house of my neighbour and one of
10 the brothers of the HVO soldiers forced me to go
11 there -- forced me to break into his house and he was
12 shooting around and he said: "Look here, this is all
13 a Croatian area, only one population only, one ethnic
14 community should be living in this area", and things
15 like that.
16 Q. You said you were forced to break into
17 a house of one of your neighbours?
18 A. That is correct, yes. I was forced by an HVO
19 member to do that.
20 Q. And what happened when you -- did you force
21 yourself into that house?
22 A. He fired the rifle all around the house. He
23 had a Kalashnikov, he just broke into the house and he
24 fired a burst of gunfire all across the room.
25 Q. After that, what did you have to do?
1 A. After that, they collected us, there was
2 a commander here and they wanted to shoot us, they
3 wanted to execute us, but then one person came --
4 I think he was a commander -- and he started cursing at
5 them, "let these people go".
6 Then this commander -- I suppose he was
7 a commander -- we had to raise our hands like this, put
8 them behind our necks, and we were taken to the Kaonik
10 Q. How were you taken to the Kaonik camp?
11 A. From my neighbourhood we went to the bus
12 stop. They made us walk with our hands behind our
13 necks and Zeljo Bubreg, the driver from the Zenica
14 Trans company, took us in his bus to the camp.
15 JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: I am sorry, but I do not
16 know whether it is necessary to switch off and on the
17 microphone every time.
18 MR. MEDDEGODA: I thought that when the witness
19 answers-- it is so sensitive that his voice might.
20 JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: Okay.
21 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you, your Honours.
22 Do you know what the Kaonik camp was prior to
23 the war.
24 I think I have got to switch it off.
25 A. It was not a camp, it was a former JNA
1 barracks; I know that because I used to pass by when
2 I went to Zenica by bus. We used to pass by Kaonik.
3 On the right-hand side there is this Lektif cafe. Here
4 the cafe, there was the entrance to the JNA barracks.
5 The HVO had a plan about that. They wanted to destroy
6 the Muslim population and they set up a camp there and
7 organised the cells and everything.
8 Q. About what time was it when you arrived at
9 Kaonik camp?
10 A. It was in the evening. It was between 5.00
11 and 6.00 pm on that same day.
12 Q. When you arrived at the camp, at what point
13 did you have to get off the bus?
14 A. When they took us in, the bus started out
15 from the main road and then there is a 100 metre long
16 dirt road and we had to walk to one of the hangars with
17 our hands behind our necks.
18 We were forced to do that by the HVO
20 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, I am tendering
21 an aerial map of the Kaonik camp, which I would be
22 pleased if the usher could show to the witness.
23 There are copies for the court as well as for
24 learned counsel for the Defence. That document, your
25 Honours, may be marked as Prosecution Exhibit P22 --
1 P23, your Honours. (Handed).
2 THE REGISTRAR: This will be P23, yes.
3 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you.
4 Witness, could you place the photograph on
5 the ELMO?
6 A. Where do you want me to point?
7 Q. Could you, please, point out the place at
8 which you got off the bus when you reached Kaonik camp?
9 A. Just a second. There is this road here.
11 MR. MEDDEGODA: You may take your time with
12 that --
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Sorry to interrupt, but --
14 MR. MEDDEGODA: Please show on the photograph
15 on the ELMO, on the projector. If you point it out on
16 the photograph on the projector. Thank you.
17 A. This is the main road leading to Zenica, and
18 this is the turn that you have to take to go to the
19 Kaonik camp. These are the hangars. (Indicating).
20 This is the one were I was brought to.
21 Q. Before getting to the point were you were
22 brought to, can you tell this court the point at which
23 you had to get off the bus when you reached Kaonik
25 A. Well, at some point here, on the road -- on
1 the way from the barracks to the hangars.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 Then when you got off, you said you had to
5 walk a distance to your hangar?
6 A. We had to put our hands like this.
7 (Indicating). They brought us here in front of this
8 hangar here.
9 Q. You had to have your hands behind your neck?
10 A. That is right.
11 Q. Which hangar?
12 A. To this one here. (Indicating).
13 Q. Could you please circle that building and
14 mark that with letter "A"? If you use the marker and
15 circle that building and mark it with the letter "A".
16 A. (Witness marked map).
17 Q. Now, when you were taken to the hangar, could
18 you tell this court what happened to you?
19 A. On that evening, when I was brought there,
20 there were about two or maybe even 300 Muslims there.
21 The HVO members kept bringing in more Muslims to the
22 hangar and there were only wooden pallets in that
23 hangar and maybe a blanket that was supposed to be
24 shared by two persons in that hangar.
25 On the same evening -- maybe around 2.00 or
1 3.00 am -- members of the HVO arrived, including
2 Mr. Aleksovski, and they came to make a list of us.
3 I know him, I can recognise him. He introduced himself
4 as the prison warden. He said he was the warden of
5 that prison. He said -- he told us his name.
6 Q. Yes, could you, please, look around in this
7 court and say whether Mr. Aleksovski, the person who
8 introduced himself as the warden of the prison, is
9 present in this Trial Chamber today?
10 A. There he is. That is the gentleman in
11 question. (Indicating the defendant).
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Perhaps it should be made
13 clear in the transcript that the witness pointed
14 towards Mr. Aleksovski. Thank you.
15 MR. MEDDEGODA: You said that HVO members at
16 that time made a list of the persons who were brought?
17 A. That is right.
18 Q. Would you describe to this court how the list
19 was made?
20 A. Well, they brought some candles and some
21 military torch lights. There was a table there. We
22 were standing in a line and they put down our names as
23 we would approach the table, each of us.
24 In the meantime some of the people were
25 returned during that night. People who were over 60 or
1 who were severely sick, they were returned to their
2 homes by the HVO soldiers during that night. But those
3 who were taken back on that night were later on
4 returned to the camp again.
5 Q. Were you also registered that night?
6 A. Yes, I was.
7 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, I would submit
8 that, at this stage, your Honours be pleased to move
9 into private session for a few questions and answers
10 that I would wish to go down on the record which
11 otherwise would reveal the identity of the witness.
12 For that reason, I would submit that your Honours, we
13 please move into private session.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Fine. We will move into
15 a private session then.
16 (In private session)
13 Page 573 redacted - in private session
9 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, perhaps we may
10 go into open session at this stage.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We are now in open
13 (In open session)
14 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you.
15 After the registration in the camp, where
16 were you put into?
17 A. In camp A, that is where we were that night.
18 On the pallets we had to crouch down, two sharing
19 a blanket in that hangar.
20 Q. Do you know where your other neighbours were
21 put into that night?
22 A. That night I said -- as I said -- when I came
23 there were about 300 and the second morning there were
24 about 500 Muslims in the hangar.
25 Q. And did anything happen to you the next
2 A. The next morning my name was called out.
3 I cannot say which of the guards called out my name. A
4 member of the HVO took me to the settlement where
5 I lived.
6 Q. Do you know who took you to the settlement
7 where you lived; do you know the names of those HVO
8 guards who took you to the settlement where you lived?
9 A. Yes, I do. Ivcan Rajkovic and Niko Grubesic.
10 Q. What happened when you were taken to that
12 A. Members of the HVO took me to that
13 settlement. When we got there we had a rifle from the
14 settlement -- a Romanian rifle for the settlement,
15 which I gave them. It was with a neighbour in
16 a chicken coop.
17 Q. You gave that rifle to the HVO soldiers who
18 took you there?
19 A. Yes, that is right.
20 Q. After that, were you brought back to the
22 A. Yes, I was. That is right, they took me back
23 to the camp.
24 Q. When you were brought back to the camp, were
25 you returned to the same building that you had spent
1 the previous night, or were you returned to a different
3 A. They took me back to the same building. On
4 that day, 20 or 30 of us were called out by name.
5 There was a roll call for 20 or 30 of us from
6 hangar A. They took us to this other hangar, where
7 there were 16 cells. I think Mr. Aleksovski ought to
8 know this, 16 original prison cells here.
9 Q. You said you were taken out of that building,
10 which is marked as, "hangar A", and taken to
11 a different building; is that right?
12 A. Yes, that is right.
13 Q. Could you, please, point out on the map that
14 you have on the projector to which building you were
15 taken on that occasion?
16 A. Building B.
17 Q. Thank you. How many of you were taken to
18 building B?
19 A. About 20 or 30 of us group were taken and
20 sent to cells. I was taken to cell number 6.
21 Q. Together with you, were others put into cell
22 number 6?
23 A. There were 16 cells. Most of us that were
24 called out were taken to cell number 6.
25 Q. Do you remember the names of any others who
1 were put into cell number 6, together with you?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honour, I would submit
4 that my next question and answer would be moved into
5 private session, your Honours.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Fine, we are now in private
8 (In private session)
24 (In open session)
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We are back in open
2 MR. MEDDEGODA: Now, could you describe the
3 interior of cell number 6, to which you were put into?
4 A. Yes, I can. The cell was located on the
5 right-hand corner next to the lavatory on the other
6 side of the hangar, on the far side of the hangar.
7 The cell had two small windows, 40 by 60
8 centimetres on the outer side. It had the entrance
9 door, a wall and bars, iron bars above the door.
10 The cell was, looking at it in length, it was
11 about 50 to 60 centimetres long and two metres wide and
12 it had wooden boards where we sat and slept.
13 Q. And in that cell, did you have heating
15 A. No. There were two stoves in the corridor,
16 but then one of the stoves was taken away and there was
17 one in a hangar -- this hangar. (Indicating). The two
18 stoves were divided between the two hangars and the
19 stoves were in the corridors, not in the cells; no
20 heating in the cells.
21 Q. Were there any electric lights in the cell?
22 A. Not in the cell, but in the corridor and so
23 as there was the iron bars above the door, then there
24 was a little light coming in through the iron bars into
25 the cell.
1 Q. From inside the cell, could you observe what
2 was happening outside?
3 A. We could see what was happening in the
4 corridor. There were roll calls and when members of
5 the HVO would call out the name of a Muslim, for
6 example. While the Muslim said which cell he was in,
7 then you would hear beating and you would hear water
8 being splashed across him to bring him to after the
10 Q. Witness, I would advise you not to be so fast
11 in your answers so the interpreters will be able to
12 translate your answers accurately.
13 A. Very well.
14 Q. Who was taking the roll calls out in the
16 A. Members of the HVO, the guards who were on
18 Q. What happened when the roll was called out?
19 A. Whoever was called out knew that he would get
20 a beating. They called out the names of the people who
21 had been taken to dig the trenches and to form human
22 shields, Muslims.
23 Q. Was your name ever called out by HVO
25 A. Yes, it was. After seven to eight days spent
1 in the cell my name was called out.
2 Q. What happened when your name was called out?
3 A. When they called my name out, 19 other
4 Muslims were called out by members of the HVO and we
5 were taken by truck to the "11 Plavih" inn to dig
7 Q. You said you were taken by truck to 11 Plavih
8 inn, by truck?
9 A. Yes, that is right.
10 Q. From there, where did you have to go?
11 A. From there, once again accompanied by the HVO
12 guards. The 11 Plavih is the name of an inn. They
13 took us to dig communication trenches at Prosje.
14 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, may I tender
15 five excerpts of Exhibit P34 for the court, as well as
16 learned counsel for the accused and the witness?
18 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution's exhibit number
20 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, could you look at the
21 exhibit on the ELMO and point out Prosje, where you
22 were taken to dig trenches? Could you look at the
23 projection on the projector? Prosje, that is the place
24 where you were taken to that day?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. Could you mark that with the letter "A"?
2 A. (Witness marked map).
3 Q. Could you describe to this court what
4 happened in Prosje?
5 A. When we got to Prosje we were divided up by
6 the HVO soldiers to our positions for trench digging
7 and dug-outs and we dug the whole day until late at
8 night, until about midnight. There was no maltreatment
9 there, they were fair on that occasion, the members of
10 the HVO who were with us, and about midnight, around
11 midnight, they took us back to the inn, the 11 Plavih
12 inn and we were taken back to the Kaonik camp.
13 Q. Was that the only occasion on which you were
14 taken to dig trenches?
15 A. No, the next morning we, with a RAB, we were
16 taken from Krcevine to Kula to dig trenches again the
17 next morning. Petrovic was the driver of the RAB
19 Q. How many detainees were taken on that day to
20 dig trenches?
21 A. 20 of us. 20 of us. Myself and 20 others.
22 Q. Would you please mark on the map that you
23 have on the projector the place to which you were
24 taken, the place in Kula to which you were taken for
25 trench digging on that day.
1 A. (Witness marked map).
2 Q. Could you please mark it with the letter
3 "B"? For how long did you have to dig trenches in
5 A. We dug trenches that whole day and the whole
6 night. In the morning they told us that
7 representatives of the ICRC had come to see us, to
8 verify us, and to take down our names as detainees in
9 the Kaonik camp.
10 Q. Then were you brought back to the camp the
11 next morning?
12 A. Yes. We dug the whole day and the whole
13 night. Then on that morning they took us back to the
14 camp so that the Red Cross could make -- register our
16 Q. So when you went back to the camp that
17 morning, did the Red Cross arrive?
18 A. Yes. It was there.
19 Q. And were you registered by the members of the
20 Red Cross?
21 A. Yes, I was. I have their identification card
22 of the ICRC. I have an ID from them.
23 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, I would tender
24 a copy of the ID card of the Red Cross pertaining to
25 this witness as Prosecution Exhibit 25. (Handed).
1 THE REGISTRAR: P25.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I think we are talking
3 about a protected witness. I am not sure you want to
4 identify the witness, do you?
5 MR. MEDDEGODA: It may be under seal so the
6 identity of the witness is not revealed. It need not
7 be put on the ELMO, your Honour. It may be shown to
8 learned counsel for the Defence.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Fine.
10 MR. MEDDEGODA: For how long did the
11 registration process take?
12 A. About -- it took us up to noon. By noon.
13 They had finished by noon, and as soon as the Red Cross
14 had left, the HVO read out our names again, did the
15 name control, Krilic Marko was one of the HVO guards.
16 The roll call was taken once again and we were sent
17 back to Kula to continue digging.
18 Q. For how long did you have to continue digging
19 in Kula?
20 A. We dug a whole day, the whole night. Then
21 they took us back to camp for the Red Cross visit.
22 Then we were taken back that whole day and another
23 night. So all in all it was two days and two nights.
24 Q. Was there any mistreatment when you were
25 digging trenches in Kula?
1 A. Yes, there was, by the members of the HVO.
2 Three groups of 20 of us, 60 people were beaten up on
3 that occasion. I was one of them. I took a serious
5 Q. Could you describe to this court what
6 happened to you on that occasion?
7 A. One of the members of the HVO -- their
8 nicknames were Hosovac, Maglajlija and Kakanjac and
9 many other members of the HVO, some of them were masked
10 with socks over their heads and faces. They started to
11 call us out by name, one by one or two by two. They
12 took us out and started hitting us, beating us.
13 Q. Were you beaten as well?
14 A. Yes, I was. That is exact. I was beaten
15 amongst -- I was taken out amongst the first, one of
16 the HVO members ordered me to open my mouth. When
17 I opened my mouth, he cocked an automatic gun in my
18 mouth. I managed somehow to move my head away and the
19 gun went off round my shoulder, but none of the bullets
20 hit me, I do not know how. The rifle fell from my
21 mouth to my shoulder and went off, he fired it.
22 Q. Did anything else happen to you?
23 A. He cursed me, he cursed my balija mother.
24 Then he threw the rifle away. I do not know whether it
25 was an automatic gun, a Kalashnikov, or what. He took
1 a semi-automatic rifle with a bayonet, he cursed me and
2 my balija mother again and he scratched me here. You
3 can see the mark here, with the knife and across my
4 nose. So across my neck and across my nose.
6 Q. What happened to you thereafter?
7 A. I was taken out many more times after that.
8 We dug trenches all the time and in the meantime the
9 members of the HVO would take out from the line one or
10 two people and beat them up seriously, gravely beat
11 them up.
12 Q. You said you had to dig trenches after coming
13 back from the camp, after the registration by the ICRC
14 the whole day and the whole night; am I right?
15 A. Yes, that is right.
16 Q. What time was it when you finished digging
17 the trenches?
18 A. We dug trenches the whole day and the whole
19 night. In the morning, as they had beaten up myself
20 and my colleagues, four of us were beaten up. Then
21 they saw that we were no longer able to dig. The next
22 morning they took us back to the camp.
23 Q. How were you taken back to the camp?
24 A. They took us back by truck. Myself and my
25 three colleagues who were very gravely beaten. Us, the
1 Muslims who were with us, through orders by the HVO
2 guards, they carried us and threw us into the RAB
4 Q. When you came back to the camp, were you
5 taken for any medical examination?
6 A. Yes. I was taken along with two of my
7 colleagues. I was taken by the members -- I do not
8 know who they were -- in camouflage uniforms with the
9 HVO insignia and they took us to the medical centre in
11 Q. Who requested that you be taken to the
12 medical centre in Busovaca?
13 A. We asked to be taken to, but they saw the
14 condition we were in, that we needed help, we could not
15 get up. It was just a formality, a pure formality.
16 The sisters there did not even touch me with a finger.
17 It was a pure formality.
18 Q. You and your other beaten colleagues
19 requested that you be taken to the doctor?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. To which health centre were you taken?
22 A. I was taken to the health centre in Busovaca,
23 near the petrol pump, where IFOR is stationed now, but
24 it was always a health centre there.
25 Q. What happened at the health centre?
1 A. Before me, my two colleagues were taken
2 there, Lah Ahmed and Cakara, and Ibreljic Mustafa, who
3 succumbed to his wounds. He was beaten up so badly
4 that he died as the result. Me and my colleague were
5 taken -- they told me to take off my clothes, to bare
6 myself up to my waist, to bare my chest. They asked me
7 who I was, what I was, and when I said I was born --
8 that I was -- they cursed my balija mother. When
9 I said "helijode" instead of the Croat equivalent for
10 1,000, which is "tisoco", nobody wanted to look at me.
11 They were nurses, female nurses.
12 Q. In short, you were not examined at the health
14 A. No, I -- I did bare my chest but nobody came
15 up to me. I do not know if they even wrote my name
16 down or gave me tablets or an injection, nothing.
17 Q. You were not treated for your wounds?
18 A. No. They did nothing, absolutely nothing.
19 Q. After that, were you brought back to the
21 A. Yes, I was.
22 Q. For how long -- for how many days thereafter
23 did you spend in the camp?
24 A. About three to five days because I did not
25 want to dig any more trenches, I was returned to
1 hangar A. I was taken back to hangar A to sleep on the
2 pallets. There was over 100 of us there, 150/200 of us
3 who had been beaten up. As we were unable to dig
4 trenches any more, we were taken back to hangar A with
5 the wooden pallets on the floors.
6 Q. You said about three to five days later --
7 you said you spent about three to five days thereafter
8 in the camp?
9 A. Yes, that is correct. After having been
10 beaten up, and on the eighth or ninth day the
11 International Red Cross came back and I was exchanged.
12 Q. In the exchange, where were you taken to?
13 A. I was not taken. The ICRC members, when they
14 came to verify us, I asked them whether there were
15 any -- what rights we enjoyed as detainees, as
16 prisoners. They said that there were three
17 possibilities: one possibility was to remain in
18 Busovaca, but that nobody on the side of the HVO could
19 guarantee our safety there.
20 The second possibility was to be taken to
21 Zenica, the third to be taken to Kacuni under the
22 control of the army.
23 Q. Where did you hope to go?
24 A. I went to Kacuni.
25 Q. Now, during the days that you spent in the
1 camp, witness, did you have sufficient food to eat and
2 water to drink and also water to wash yourselves?
3 A. While we were in the camp, we got two pieces
4 of bread, very thin pieces of bread, a plate -- one
5 plate for two prisoners. We had to eat from the same
6 plate. It was very watery beans. The food either was
7 not salty or very salty. As for water, we would knock
8 on the door of the cell if we were thirsty. If the
9 guard was good he would ask the HVO to bring us water;
10 if not he would not, he would say: "What do you want
11 water for?".
12 MR. MEDDEGODA: That is all, your Honour, in
13 cross-examination. Thank you.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Prosecutor.
15 Mr. Mikulicic, would you like to proceed with your
16 cross-examination at this stage? Please proceed.
17 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC.
18 Q. Thank you, your Honours.
19 Witness B, my name is Mr. Mikulicic, I am
20 Defence counsel for the accused, Mr. Zlatko Aleksovski.
21 I will ask you a couple of questions and I will ask you
22 to give me an answer to these questions to the best of
23 your recollection.
24 A. I will, thank you.
3 Q. For how long?
4 A. For about two or three years.
5 Q. You mean prior to the conflict before 1993?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And before that?
8 A. I lived in the vicinity of Kacuni.
9 Q. Did you know many people in Busovaca?
10 A. I did, because I worked in Busovaca. I also
11 worked in Zenica, but I used to pass through Busovaca
12 on my way to Zenica. This was my municipality.
13 Q. Did you have any problems with your health
14 before? Did you have to see a doctor often, before the
16 A. No. I can prove that. As for my health,
17 thank God, it has been very good always.
18 Q. Let us go back to the day when you were taken
19 to Kaonik. You said that early in the morning HVO
20 soldiers came to your house?
21 A. No, no, no, it was not early in the morning.
22 Early in the morning I went to my neighbour's house to
23 have coffee with him and sirens were sounded around
24 6.00 am and members of the HVO opened fire on the
25 Muslim neighbourhood from all sides.
1 Q. What did HVO soldiers want from you?
2 A. What they wanted from me? Before the
3 conflict, HVO soldiers had all power in the area and
4 the area was decorated with chequer boards, the Busovaca
5 was simply covered with them, and they kept telling us
6 things, like us being Muslims, not being welcome
8 Q. Maybe you have not understood me, Witness B.
9 I wanted to know whether HVO soldiers wanted something
10 from you, whether they wanted you to surrender
12 A. Who do you mean by "you"?
13 Q. You personally?
14 A. Me personally?
15 Q. Yes, I mean you.
16 A. They wanted to know whether I kept
17 anti-aircraft weapons, rocket launchers, things like
18 that, but there is evidence to that. There is not
19 a single house -- Muslim house -- were weapons were
20 hidden, and you know very well which houses were burnt
21 down and which were not during the conflict.
22 Q. But did you have any weapons, any weapons
23 that you gave over to the HVO soldiers?
24 A. Me personally, I did not have anything. In
25 my street we had a rifle called Rumunka which
1 I surrendered to them, but it was not my personal
2 property. It was a rifle called Rumunka.
3 MR. MEDDEGODA: If I may interrupt my learned
4 friend. I am moving for a redaction of a line which
5 I have sent to the Registrar. Thank you, your Honour.
6 Mr. Mikulicic may be shown the answer which
7 needs to be redacted. (Handed).
8 MR. MIKULICIC: No objections.
9 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: Is it correct that you
11 surrendered to the HVO soldiers two hand grenades?
12 A. Two hand grenades, yes, that is correct, when
13 they came to arrest me.
14 Q. Could you tell us, where did you get those
15 hand grenades from?
16 A. Where I got them from? Well, I bought them
17 before the fall of Jajce. I cannot tell you exactly
18 who sold them to me, whether it was a Croat or Muslim.
19 Anyway, I bought them in Busovaca.
20 Q. Could you tell us why, to what purpose, did
21 you purchase them?
5 Q. Let me repeat my question: why did you buy
6 these two grenades?
7 A. I bought them with my own money. You mean
9 Q. No, I do not mean how, I just want to know
10 what did you intend to use them for?
11 A. What I wanted to use them for? I simply
12 wanted to have them. It was war time. I cannot tell
13 you what my intention was. In the name of Allah --
14 I do not know what to tell you. I just wanted to have
15 them. That is it.
16 Q. What did HVO soldiers tell you when you
17 surrendered these two hand grenades to them?
18 A. Nothing. They just forced me to walk around
19 barefooted. They forced me to break into my
20 neighbours' houses, houses belonging to Smoljo and
21 Pusic. I was forced to walk around and it was
22 a January morning, a cold morning, I was forced to walk
23 around barefooted. They would not let me put on
25 Q. Could you tell us whether you were a civilian
1 or a soldier at that time?
2 A. Of course I was a civilian. If I had been
3 a soldier -- and let me tell you there was not a single
4 dug-out in our street, not a single trench. We did not
5 even stand guard in our street. Of course I was
6 a civilian, I was wearing a civilian clothing when
7 I was arrested.
8 Q. After that you were taken to Kaonik?
9 A. That is right, to the camp.
10 Q. You said in chief that the Kaonik prison was
11 set up by the HVO, according to a previously conceived
13 A. Yes, it used to be a barracks. It is
14 correct, just wait a second. It used to be a JNA
15 barracks, that was this hangar A, where we were brought
16 to, and the barracks was under the control of the HVO.
17 Let me tell you, you know who built all those cells?
18 Muslims or Croats?
19 Q. I do not know, witness, that is why I wanted
20 to ask you.
21 A. Well, I know because I was there. That is
22 why I am telling you.
23 Q. Do you know when this construction work was
25 A. Not long before that, because you could see
1 that the paint was quite fresh on the walls. No, not
2 long time before that.
3 Q. But do you know how long before that?
4 A. Well, I was not there at that time, but I can
5 guarantee that it was not long before that. I used to
6 pass by Kaonik and I knew what hangar A looked like as
7 opposed to hangar B. You could tell that it was done
8 for Muslims, for Muslims to be kept there and they used
9 to say that openly. They used to say: "These cells are
10 waiting for you, balijas".
11 Q. Did you see that construction work being
13 A. Tell me, is there any barracks that you could
14 really get close to and see for yourself what is
15 happening? But the mortar was fresh, I am telling
17 Q. What time do you exactly have in mind?
18 A. Not more than a year before that.
19 Q. Does that mean that there were no hangers
20 before that?
21 A. There was this hangar. Only the cells were
22 built later on.
23 Q. Is it true -- it is true, is it not, that you
24 did not see for yourself when the cells were built?
25 A. Yes, you are correct, I did not see.
1 Q. Who brought you to Kaonik?
2 A. We were not brought there. They drove us
3 there. It was Bubreg Zeljo in his bus that drove us
4 there. There were also some HVO members who were
5 escorting us and carrying weapons.
6 Q. But who took you in at Kaonik?
7 A. Who did what?
8 Q. Who took you in? Who spoke to you when you
9 got to Kaonik? Did anyone speak to you?
10 A. They just told us to put our hands behind our
11 necks and they brought us to the hangar and the doors
12 were closed and nobody spoke to us.
13 Q. Did you know Mr. Aleksovski from before?
14 A. No, I did not. I met him on that occasion,
15 when those people came to verify us. He said that he
16 was the warden of the prison and he said what his name
17 was, Aleksovski. That is when I met him.
18 Q. Did he say anything else?
19 A. He did say something, but I do not know.
20 Q. Could you remember exactly what he said?
21 A. I do not know. I do not know whether it was
22 him or another HVO member that said that, you know,
23 what I mentioned about those who were elderly or sick.
24 I do not know whether it was him who spoke about them
25 or one of his colleagues. Anyway, somebody said that
1 those people would be returned to their homes.
2 Q. But some of them were, indeed, returned?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 Q. Do you remember how it was established who
5 was sick and who was not?
6 A. Some people had their medical documentation
7 on them, like diabetes, heart condition, you know,
8 things like that.
9 Q. What about other people?
10 A. Well, those who were above -- over 60, those
11 were released.
12 Q. You said that on the following day, the HVO
13 soldiers took you back to Busovaca?
14 A. That is right.
15 Q. And that you handed over a rifle to them on
16 that occasion?
17 A. That is correct, yes.
18 Q. How did they know about the existence of that
20 A. Well, they kept taking roll calls and one of
21 my neighbours said that there was a rifle there. In
22 the meantime, my name was also called and I was taken
23 there and when they asked about the weapons, I gave
24 them the rifle that we had over there in our street.
25 Q. And where did you get the rifle from? Did
1 you buy it as well?
2 A. No, I did not buy it, I cannot tell you that;
3 I do not know: I do not know where it came from, its
5 Q. Apart from that gun, did anybody from your
6 neighbourhood turn over any arms?
7 A. Not from my neighbourhood, no. The members
8 of the HVO know this. I do not remember, no. Nobody
10 Q. Were you taken to the mahala alone or anybody
12 A. Anybody was taken. I cannot say exactly.
13 They took me and others. The guards kept calling out
14 names. The people who were taken away were brought
15 back, beaten up and others taken and so on.
16 Q. So you do not know whether anybody else laid
17 down his arms from the mahala?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Does that mean that only you had two grenades
20 and a rifle?
25 Q. Tell me, please, Witness B, you said that you
1 were taken out from Kaonik to the terrain to dig
3 A. That is right.
4 Q. Who took you from Kaonik to the terrain, to
5 the area?
6 A. The guards in the camp who read the roll
8 Q. Who accompanied you to the digging site?
9 Were you accompanied, escorted by the guards from
10 Kaonik or by some other people?
11 A. Once I was taken to Prosje, twice -- I cannot
12 say exactly. They put us into the truck. Whether they
13 were these guards or others, I do not know, but they
14 were members of the HVO. Whether it was guards or some
15 other escorts I cannot say, because when you are in the
16 truck you put your hands behind your back and we are
17 told to lie down, so I could not really see.
18 Q. On the digging site, were you watched over by
20 A. There were members of the HVO, there were the
21 lines there. Members of the HVO, generally speaking.
22 Q. Were you watched over by the same guards who
23 were in Kaonik or some other individuals?
24 A. Some other individuals. Some other members
25 of the HVO. They were not guards from the Kaonik
2 Q. You described the events when you were
3 harmed, injured, and you said that, at your request,
4 you and some others were taken to the health centre at
5 Busovaca, to a doctor?
6 A. That is right.
7 Q. Do you know any one of the medical staff in
8 Busovaca health centre?
9 A. Beforehand, or when you were taken there?
10 Q. When you were taken there. Or before, prior
11 to the event.
12 A. Previously I did know some of the staff.
13 Dr Rozika Kordic. But on that occasion there were two
14 female nurses or doctors, I do not really know, some
15 others walked up the corridor. When I was there there
16 were two females there. Whether they were nurses or
17 doctors, I do not know, they did not say who they
18 were. But I did not know them. They were unknown to
20 Q. Did you learn later on who these two women
21 were, whether they were nurses or physicians or
23 A. No, no, how? Who would tell me that, when
24 the health centre was in the hands of the HVO, how
25 could I learn that?
1 Q. Does that mean that after these events, you
2 never returned to Busovaca?
3 A. I passed through Busovaca, but never -- no
4 Muslims, sir, no Muslim ever, not only myself but no
5 Muslims who were sent out of Busovaca ever returned.
6 Q. Can you tell us of the injuries you
8 A. I had two broken ribs here; I had a knife
9 wound here and across my nose, knife sore and my nose
10 was broken up.
11 Q. Do you remember whether your wounds were
12 registered into a physicians' record? Was a record
13 made of your wounds and injuries?
14 A. Where, in Busovaca, you mean, or in the part
15 under the control of the army?
16 Q. In Busovaca.
17 A. I did not see them write anything. They just
18 said -- no, I cannot say. I cannot guarantee one way
19 or the other.
20 Q. How did you feel, health-wise, after the
21 examination? Were you mobile, were you able to move?
22 A. Well, I was just able to move. Somebody had
23 to lift me because for two months I was not able to get
24 up. I had to be raised by some individuals. But once
25 they managed to get me up, I was able to move around
1 a little.
2 Q. Did you seek medical aid later on when you
3 had left Kaonik camp?
4 A. Yes, I did, in Zenica. And then they put
5 some balms on me, made from honey. Some balms were
6 placed on my wounds.
7 Q. Who did this for you? Who administered these
8 honey balms?
9 A. Well, in the hospital when I was in Zenica
10 there were no tablets, no injections, no X-rays, there
11 was no electricity, so some of the doctors, when they
12 sent me home and then my wife administered these
13 honeycomb balms on my wounds, because there were no
15 Q. After the examination at the Busovaca health
16 centre, were you sent out to work?
17 A. No, I was not.
18 Q. How come you never went to dig the trenches?
19 A. When I had returned from the health centre,
20 they took me back to hangar A and all those members of
21 the HVO who were Muslims -- the Muslims who were there,
22 nobody went back to work from there.
23 Q. Is it correct to say that you refused to do
24 any more hard labour?
25 A. They came -- some of the guards came to me
1 from time to time and all those who were of a certain
2 age were told to stand up. As I was not of that
3 particular age, I was not taken. I said: "I cannot
4 walk, sir", and there were no problems there.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: You told us earlier on --
6 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honour, if I may
7 interrupt my learned friend. I am moving, your
8 Honours, for the redaction of lines 2 to 6 on page 75
9 of the proceedings and of line 1 on page 81 of the
10 proceedings. These may be shown to my learned friend,
11 your Honours. (Handed).
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please proceed, counsel.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, thank you, your
15 Witness B, you told us earlier on that you
16 were in cell number 6?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. Who was with you in cell number 6? You
19 mentioned Emin Saracevic, Senad Ermercic and Novalic
20 Edin; do you remember any other names?
21 A. Yes, I do, but it is not essential.
22 Q. Could you tell the court what their names
24 A. No, I do not want to tell you their names.
25 Why are those names so important to you?
1 Q. Witness B, do you refuse to answer the
3 A. No, I do not refuse to answer the question,
4 but why are they important? I guarantee that Brizo,
5 Senad Ermercic and Novalic were there. I cannot
6 remember any more names. I do not refuse, no, I would
7 gladly tell you, but I just cannot recall the other
9 Q. Witness B, can you tell us whether, during
10 the time you spent at Kaonik camp, there was another
11 person of the same name and surname as yourself? Was
12 there anybody else of that name?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honours.
15 I have no further questions.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
17 Counsel for the prosecution.
18 MR. MEDDEGODA: No questions.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Well then, Witness B, you
20 have concluded with your testimony. Thank you very
21 much for having come before this Tribunal.
22 Just one second, let us bring down the
24 (The witness withdrew)
25 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, as regards the
1 next witness as well, I am seeking measures for
2 protection. Of course, in his case, I am only moving
3 for a pseudonym to be assigned to him and that he be
4 assigned the letter "C", as well as --
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Sorry to interrupt you.
6 Given the fact that we only have 15 minutes remaining,
7 I think we should take due account of peoples' needs.
8 Perhaps it would be best not to start now
9 because we would be cutting off the witness in the
10 middle. I do not know what you think, but I think we
11 leave it there for today.
12 MR. MEDDEGODA: I am inclined to agree with
13 your Honours. In that event, the witness could be
14 summoned to court tomorrow.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, can you go
16 along with that?
17 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes. We agree, because really
18 there is no point in examining the witness for about 15
19 minutes and then interrupting him. It is better to
20 start tomorrow and hear the whole testimony.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. Thank you very much
22 for your cooperation and for your understanding.
23 We want to do things as expeditiously as
24 possible, but there are other aspects that we do have
25 to take into account as well. I think it is best for
1 us to call it a day and then tomorrow we will be back.
2 See you all tomorrow.
3 (1.00 pm)
4 (Hearing adjourned until 9.00 am on
5 Wednesday, 25th February 1998)