1 Wednesday, 25th February 1998
2 (9.00 am)
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, ladies and
5 Everyone can hear me, loud and clear?
6 Interpreters up and at it? Fine. Good morning to you
7 as well.
8 I suggest we resume our proceedings with our
9 fifth witness this week; is that right, counsel for the
11 MR. NIEMANN: Yes.
12 MR. MEDDEGODA: Good morning, your Honours.
13 The Prosecution's first witness this morning is also
14 a witness whose name appears on the inventory of
15 witnesses, dated 16th February. He is witness number 5
16 on that inventory. In respect of that witness, too,
17 your Honours, I am seeking the indulgence of the court
18 to afford protective measures.
19 I am seeking, your Honours, that the witness
20 be assigned a pseudonym and that he be known as
21 Witness C and also that the court be pleased to grant
22 him facial image distortion during the course of his
24 I understand my learned friend, counsel for
25 the Defence, has no objection to my application.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, can you go
2 along with that?
3 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, your Honours.
4 We do not have any objections.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Fine. So, we will take the
6 appropriate measures to provide the said protection.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I thought I might
8 just mention something in relation to the number of
9 witnesses that are seeking protective measures.
10 I thought it -- in some cases it is not as common for
11 witnesses to seek it, but in this case, it is
12 particularly so, having regard to the area where the
13 witnesses are coming from.
14 Your Honours maybe aware that under the
15 Dayton Agreement and under the pursuance of the
16 parties, the attitude of the government of Bosnia
17 Herzegovina is, where possible, people should return to
18 the areas they have come from. A lot of the people
19 went to Zenica and the intention is that they will go
21 Because of the tensions that were there and
22 the hostilities that occurred, there is great fear by
23 the people of going back to the community. That is why
24 there has been so many applications in this case. We
25 are grateful for Mr. Mikulicic's consideration of the
1 position in regard to that.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much,
3 counsel. Also thank you to counsel for the Defence for
4 your understanding and cooperation.
5 JUDGE VOHRAH: Mr. Meddegoda, when the next
6 witness comes, if we do not want his identity to be
7 ascertained by his date of birth, just find out how old
8 he is.
9 MR. MEDDEGODA: Very well, your Honour.
10 (The witness entered court)
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, sir. Can you
12 hear me?
13 A. Yes, I can.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please read out the solemn
15 declaration that the usher is handing to you.
16 THE WITNESS: Do you want me to speak into
17 the microphone so that everyone can hear me?
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Just read it out,
20 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please be seated.
24 Thank you very much for being here this
25 morning. You are now going to answer the questions
1 which the counsel for the Prosecution is going to be
2 putting to you.
3 WITNESS C
4 Examined by MR. MEDDEGODA
5 Q. Good morning, witness.
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. I do not want to disclose your name and your
8 personal details, details of identity and the details
9 of where you come from. I am tendering to you a sheet
10 of paper on which your name is written. I ask you to
11 look at the sheet of paper and confirm whether the name
12 on the sheet is your name. (Handed).
13 A. Okay. Yes, it is.
14 MR. MEDDEGODA: Can it be shown to learned
15 counsel for the Defence, and your Honours. (Handed).
16 My Lords, I am tendering this sheet with the
17 name of the witness as an exhibit. Thank you, your
19 Witness, you are Bosniak by ethnicity?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And your religion is Islam?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Would you tell this court what your age is?
24 A. I am 63.
25 Q. Thank you. Witness, do you recall the 27th
1 day of January 1993?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. On that day, where were you?
4 A. I was at my home. I was supposed to have
5 dinner together with the rest of my family.
6 Q. Did anything happen to you when you were at
7 home that evening?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Could you tell this court what happened to
10 you that evening?
11 A. Yes, I can.
12 Q. And what happened?
13 A. HVO soldiers arrived in the village and they
14 took myself, my neighbours and my son. They searched
15 the village and they took us forcibly to the prison.
16 Q. How did you know that those soldiers who
17 arrived in the village were HVO soldiers?
18 A. They were wearing insignia, "HVO" insignia.
19 Q. What type of uniform were they wearing?
20 A. Camouflage uniforms.
21 Q. About how many soldiers -- do you recall
22 about how many soldiers came to your village?
23 A. Between eight and ten. It was dark and we
24 were supposed to leave our homes with our hands behind
25 our necks, so we were not -- we could not look around.
1 We were lined up against a wall and the six of us --
2 five of my neighbours and myself -- this is how we were
3 taken away.
4 Q. Altogether six of you were taken with your
5 hands behind your neck?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Where were you taken to?
8 A. They took us to Busovaca, to the police
9 station and we simply stood there for a while. We were
10 still on the bus. From there we left by bus to the bus
11 station in Busovaca.
12 Then we were told to go out, to get out, to
13 get off the bus and to stand against the wall, and our
14 hands were still behind our necks.
15 After we got out, we were lined up against
16 a wall and at that moment a truck arrived, an FUT truck
17 which had an anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on it.
18 The crew got out and started beating us and
19 that is when I sustained most of my injuries.
20 Q. Who were the members who got out of the
22 A. HVO soldiers.
23 Q. You said you were beaten badly on that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were the other five members of your village
2 also beaten by the soldiers?
3 A. Yes, they were, but I was the one who
4 received most blows.
5 Q. And when you were beaten, did anybody
6 intervene at that stage?
7 A. Well, one of the HVO soldiers, the one who
8 had taken us from the village and who was escorting us,
9 did intervene, but it was too late.
10 Q. And where were you beaten? On which part of
11 your body were you mostly beaten?
12 A. I was hit in the back and my spine.
13 Q. You said you still suffer from those
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. And what happened thereafter?
17 A. The HVO soldiers forced us on the bus again.
18 Q. After being forced into the bus, what
20 A. We started out in the direction of Smreka, in
21 the direction of the building called the 11 Plavih.
22 Q. Did the bus stop at the 11 Plavih building?
23 A. Yes, it did.
24 Q. Who accompanied you to the 11 Plavih
1 A. HVO soldiers.
2 Q. What happened when the bus stopped at 11
3 Plavih building?
4 A. At that point we were ordered to get off the
5 bus and then they started searching us. They found
6 a small calendar on me, which had a "BiH" sign
7 imprinted on it.
8 Q. What happened when they found the calendar on
10 A. Ivan Popovic, nicknamed Isus, he forced me to
11 eat the calendar. I had to eat it because he was ready
12 to hit me. I was terribly afraid and I think
13 I urinated a little.
14 Q. The calendar you referred to is a pocket
15 calendar, is it not?
16 A. Yes, it was a small plastic calendar.
17 Q. Were you beaten on this occasion?
18 A. After we got off the bus, they carried out
19 the search and after I had eaten the calendar, we were
20 forced to go into the building, the 11 Plavih
22 Q. Now, what happened as you were going into the
24 A. The same soldier was there again. We could
25 not simply enter the building, we were supposed to pass
1 between two rows of soldiers and nobody could pass
2 through that row without being hit.
3 Q. In what position were you taken when you
4 entered the building?
5 A. I do not understand your question. What do
6 you mean by "position"?
7 Q. When you walked into that building, were you
8 forced to keep your hands behind your neck?
9 A. I said several times, all the way from the
10 house to the prison, we had to keep our hands behind
11 our necks.
12 Q. And what happened when you went to the 11
13 Plavih building?
14 A. The same HVO soldiers ordered us to sit
16 Q. Did you sit down?
17 A. Yes, we did. We had to.
18 Q. Did you see other people in the 11 Plavih
19 restaurant when you went in?
20 A. Yes, I did. I saw some civilians, Muslim
21 civilians from Busovaca and also some people from the
22 village of Prosje.
23 Q. For how long were you inside the 11 Plavih
25 A. I could not tell you exactly for how long
1 because we were afraid. It was dark, it was night-time
2 and there were many provocation. It was difficult
3 really to hold out, but I think we were kept there for
4 about one hour or two hours.
5 Q. And did anything happen to you whilst you
6 were inside the building?
7 A. No, but there were lots of provocations and
8 lots of mistreatment, you know, all the bad things.
9 Q. You mean there were lots of verbal
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. After being in the building for about an hour
13 or two, could you tell this court what happened?
14 A. The same HVO soldiers, including Ivan
15 Popovic, who was there all the time, they ordered us
16 back into the bus. After we left the 11 Plavih
17 building the procedure was the same again, we had to
18 run the gauntlet and nobody could pass through it
19 without being hit.
20 Q. When you and your colleagues got into the
21 bus, where were you taken to?
22 A. We were taken to the Kaonik prison.
23 Q. Was it only the six of you from your village
24 who were brought in the bus or were there others
25 brought as well?
1 A. There were others as well, people whom we had
2 found in the 11 Plavih building.
3 Q. You said you were brought to Kaonik; where in
4 Kaonik were you brought to?
5 A. To the camp, to the prison.
6 Q. What was this camp before the war?
7 A. It used to be a warehouse that belonged to
8 the former JNA. There were several depots there.
9 Q. Could you tell this court what happened upon
10 reaching the camp?
11 A. They ordered us to get off the bus and enter
12 the camp. They took down our personal details when we
13 were already in the prison.
14 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, I wish to show
15 an exhibit to the witness. With your permission, the
16 usher would be pleased to show an exhibit to the
17 witness, and there are copies for your Honours as well
18 as a copy for the learned Defence counsellor.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution exhibit
21 number 27.
22 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you.
23 Witness, could you please -- usher, could you
24 please place the photograph on the ELMO?
25 Witness, could you look at the photograph on
1 the ELMO and tell the court at which point you got off
2 the bus in the Kaonik camp premises?
3 A. (Indicating on map). The bus brought us
4 here. This is where we got off the bus, here, at this
6 Q. Having got --
7 A. -- in front of this building.
8 Q. When you got off the bus in front of that
9 building, where were you taken to?
10 A. We were taken to one of the prison
12 Q. Could you identify which prison building you
13 were taken to?
14 A. To this one here. (Indicating).
15 Q. Please could you encircle that building with
16 the highlighter that is on the table and mark it with
17 the letter "A"?
18 A. (Witness marked map). Because I was kept in
19 two buildings, I was first taken to this one, then
20 I was transferred to another one.
21 Q. Of those two, which one were you first taken
22 to? Could you place the letter "A" on the building to
23 which you were first taken?
24 A. I will. (Witness marked map).
25 Q. Then you said -- from there you said you were
1 put into the next building which you have marked.
2 A. Yes, after about 10 days, we were transferred
3 to another building.
4 Q. Could you mark that building with the letter
6 A. (Witness marked map).
7 Q. Thank you. You said that upon arrival in the
8 first building, on arrival at the camp, your personal
9 details were taken down?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Who took down your personal details?
12 A. There was this man with very fair complexion
13 and blond hair.
14 Q. What was he?
15 A. Well, he was an official there. He was
16 supposed to take down our details, the details from all
17 persons detained in the camp. He was also wearing
18 a camouflage uniform.
19 Q. Were the details of the others who were
20 brought taken down as well?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. After your details were taken down --
23 personal details were taken down, what happened to you?
24 A. They took me to a cell, together with my son,
25 Hamid, and others were taken to other cells.
1 The cells were crowded so we could not fit
2 into one, so they sent, for example, two of us into one
3 cell and then three or four others to another,
4 depending on how crowded the cell already was.
5 Q. In the cell into which you and your son were
6 put, about how many were there already?
7 A. It was pretty crowded. Maybe 18 persons, so
8 we were between 18 and 20 inside the cell.
9 Q. Could you describe the cell to which you were
10 put in that evening?
11 A. What do you mean? What kind of description
12 do you want --
13 Q. Describe the cell and the conditions within
14 the cell.
15 A. The conditions were very bad. It was an
16 untenable situation in the cell. The Kaonik prison had
17 been established only recently and the work was not
18 completed yet. There were some wooden planks that were
19 put on the cement floor. There was some straw on the
20 floor, some military clothing that used to belong to
21 the former JNA, the clothing was left in one of the
22 warehouses, and we also had a blanket or two.
23 Q. Was there any heating in the cell?
24 A. No, no light at all. We did not have any
25 light in the cell.
1 Q. About how long did you spend in this
2 particular cell that you were first put into?
3 A. It is difficult to say because it was so
4 painful and I was afraid, so I cannot tell you the
5 exact number of days I spent there. Between seven or
6 ten days maybe.
7 Q. During the time that you spent in the cell,
8 were you able to hear or observe what was happening in
9 the building outside -- within the building, outside
10 your cell?
11 A. Every evening we could hear, and that was the
12 most difficult thing to bear for me, because I had been
13 badly beaten and I could not sleep at all and we did
14 not even have enough room to lie down, so I would
15 simply sit down, lean next to one of my colleagues. So
16 I kept listening to those cries and moans coming from
17 the corridor.
18 Q. And what time -- you said you heard them
19 mostly because you could not sleep in the nights?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. At any point in time were you taken out of
22 your cell?
23 A. I was never taken out of my cell for
25 Q. But were you taken out for anything else,
1 other than beating?
2 A. Well, only to get some food for lunch and for
3 dinner. Only then were we taken out. Also when we
4 wanted to go to the toilet.
5 Q. You said you were suffering from great pain
6 as a result of the beatings. What did you do about
8 A. Yes, that is right. I requested to be taken
9 to the doctor.
10 Q. And were you taken to the doctor?
11 A. Yes, I was.
12 Q. Where were you taken to?
13 A. I was taken to the health centre at Busovaca,
14 which was controlled by the HVO.
15 Q. Were you given any treatment at the health
17 A. Well, I cannot really say that it was any
18 help at all.
19 Q. After you were brought back from the health
20 centre were you put into the same cell?
21 A. Yes, I was.
22 Q. And you said you were moved from that cell
23 into the other building, which you marked with the
24 letter "B"; how many nights did you spend in that
25 building, in the second building?
1 A. About eight to ten days, but it was
2 terrible. I cannot remember much because I was in
3 a great deal of pain.
4 Let me say something that I forgot to say
5 a minute ago, that I slept -- I said that I had slept
6 in the shed and fallen there, I did not say that I had
7 actually received my injuries in the camp.
8 Q. To whom did you say that?
9 A. To the doctor when I was taken to the health
10 the centre. I said that I fell off the shed. I did
11 not dare say that I had been beaten by the HVO
13 Q. So you told an untruth for fear of the HVO
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, when you were in the camp in the cell,
17 did you see other prisoners being taken out of their
19 A. Well, you cannot see from the cell. Let us
20 get that clear. You can just hear the screams after
21 the beatings, the thud of the beating.
22 Q. Did you hear the names of other prisoners
23 being called out?
24 A. It was usually a roll call because lots of
25 people were taken to do hard labour, they were taken to
2 Q. During your stay in the camp, did you have
3 occasion to see who the commander of the camp was?
4 A. Yes, when we were taken out for lunch, for
5 food, I did, yes. Perhaps once or twice, we saw him
6 about once or twice in passing.
7 Q. Do you know who the commander of the camp
9 A. Zlatko Aleksovski.
10 Q. Would you be able to recognise him if you see
11 him today?
12 A. Yes, and his picture -- I have a picture from
13 earlier days when we were in Kaonik.
14 Q. Could you look around in this court and say
15 whether the camp commander, Zlatko Aleksovski, is
16 present in this court today?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And is he the gentleman -- could you point
19 out where he is seated?
20 A. On the left-hand side.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Fine. The transcript
22 should make clear that the witness did point towards
23 Mr. Aleksovski.
24 MR. MEDDEGODA: You said that you saw him
25 about two occasions in the camp?
1 A. Yes, that is right.
2 Q. During your stay in the camp, at any point of
3 time, did the ICRC visit the camp?
4 A. Yes, except the worst thing was that the
5 register is not taken down when the prisoner is
6 brought, but when the Red Cross comes, not before
7 then. That is the first time they take the register,
8 they take the particulars.
9 Q. Were you visited by the ICRC?
10 A. The ICRC visited all of us who were there.
11 Some of us went to do the labour and when we were all
12 collected, all there together, they would take down our
14 Q. And about how many days after your detention
15 were you released from prison?
16 A. I cannot quite answer that question exactly
17 because I was too ill and too much afraid to remember
18 exactly, but it was about 20 days -- some 20 days.
19 Q. Do you know who organised the release -- who
20 organised your release?
21 A. It went via the Red Cross. As far as I was
22 able to understand.
23 Q. And upon being released, where did you go?
24 A. We went home, most of us returned home. In
25 most cases we went back to our own homes.
1 Q. After your release, have you been taking
2 treatment for the injuries caused as a result of the
4 A. Yes, when I got home, because we did not have
5 any doctor. We had to go down back to Busovaca again
6 and Busovaca was under HVO control. So, only what we
7 could do at home, we put balms on our wounds and some
8 other home medicines because we had nobody to go to, or
9 where to go.
10 Q. After your release, did you have occasion to
11 see Mr. Aleksovski?
12 A. Yes, we saw each other somewhere around
13 July. It was in July.
14 Q. Of which year was that?
15 A. 1993.
16 Q. And what were the circumstances in which you
17 saw him in July 1993?
18 A. My village was burnt on the 19th April --
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Sorry to interrupt you.
20 Mr. Mikulicic, you wanted to intervene?
21 MR. MIKULICIC: I apologise for interrupting
22 the questions by my learned colleague. I would like to
23 answer these questions because it is a period which is
24 not incorporated into the indictment.
25 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, although it does
1 not relate to the period of the indictment, I am
2 seeking to admit the evidence for the reason that it is
3 an item of evidence which pertains to establish the
4 identity of the accused. For that reason, I submit
5 that this evidence is both relevant and admissible,
6 your Honours. Because the question at issue is also
7 the identity of the accused. That is a vital issue
8 that has to be established by the Prosecution, one of
9 the limbs to be established by the Prosecution.
10 It is my submission that this item of
11 evidence which I intend to lead through this witness
12 would further the issue of identity of the accused
13 because the witness has seen the accused when he was in
14 the camp and there was also an occasion on which the
15 witness saw him thereafter.
16 I must also submit that I am sure my learned
17 friend is not taken by surprise because this is part of
18 the statement of the witness and the statement has been
19 disclosed to the Defence well in advance of the
20 witness's testimony.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, if I may, two
22 more words from me. May I say something else?
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Go ahead.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: The Defence in no way opposes
25 the identification of the defendant by the witness. In
1 that sense it is outside the time limit of the
2 indictment and, therefore, not within procedural
3 limits. (Pause).
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Chamber admits the
5 question only for the purpose of identification of the
6 accused. So, if it is necessary for the purpose of
7 identification, then we can admit that question. Only
8 for that purpose. Please proceed, counsel.
9 MR. MEDDEGODA: Very well, your Honours.
10 Witness, you said you saw the accused
11 thereafter in July 1993?
12 A. Yes, when he came in the evening after
13 midnight to myself and a relation of mine and when he
14 expelled this cousin's parents from their house --
15 MR. MIKULICIC: This has nothing to do with
16 the identification of the witness, because he
17 identified the defendant earlier on. He showed him
18 out, pointed him out in the courtroom and the Defence
19 has no criticisms there.
20 It does have opposition to this description
21 of events which step outside the time limits
22 incorporated by the indictment. So any questions and
23 answers of this kind we are definitely opposed to.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Go ahead, counsel.
25 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honour, I am not
1 intending to elicit evidence which is going to cause
2 prejudice to the accused. I am only getting this
3 evidence in order to further the evidence of this
4 witness about the identity of the accused so he
5 corroborates himself, having seen the accused, not only
6 within the Kaonik camp but also thereafter and today,
7 therefore, his identity of this accused in this court
8 today would further be strengthened as a result of this
10 I am not for a moment relying on the actual
11 incident that happened, but in order to establish that
12 the accused, in fact, saw him thereafter and his
13 identification of the accused today is a valid
14 identification and it is for that purpose that I intend
15 to lead this evidence.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: But, counsel, are there any
17 doubts as regards identification of the accused?
18 I think the witness did identify the accused here in
19 this courtroom. So, I am not sure I see the purpose
20 you are pursuing here in terms of identification --
21 MR. MEDDEGODA: If my learned friend concedes
22 the identity of the accused, in that event I will not
23 proceed further with this question.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Well, I think that the
25 accused has been clearly identified by the witness. So
1 I think we can leave it at that.
2 MR. MEDDEGODA: Very well, your Honour.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please proceed.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: I apologise, one more point
5 from me. If your Honours have determined that any
6 further description of the events is superfluous,
7 I would like it struck from the record, what the
8 witness said when he described events outside the time
9 limits incorporated by the indictment.
10 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, I doubt whether
11 the witness said anything outside -- about the events
12 outside the time frame incorporated. Before the witness
13 could narrate the incident, my learned friend's
14 objection was recorded and I think the witness was
15 precluded from saying anything except that he remembers
16 seeing the accused coming to the house that evening,
17 sometime in July 1993.
18 The witness has not said anything that the
19 accused did that evening, or could not proceed to say
20 anything about the accused, apart from the fact that he
21 saw the accused in July 1993.
22 Your Honours may disregard that evidence.
23 When an assessment of the evidence is made, your
24 Honours may disregard the evidence. I do not think at
25 this stage there is any need to expunge or redact any
1 material from the record, your Honours. (Pause).
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Chamber has decided to
3 go on with the testimony, leaving the statement as it
4 stands. It is redundant, as it were, and it in no way
5 is detrimental to the accused, so we will go on with
6 the witness's testimony now. So please proceed,
7 counsel for the Prosecution.
8 MR. MEDDEGODA: Very well, your Honours.
9 Your Honours, in that event, if your Honours
10 are not expunging any answer that went down on the
11 record, I have no further questions, your Honours, in
12 examination-in-chief from the witness. Thank you, your
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, I take it
15 that you would like to proceed with your
16 cross-examination? Do go ahead.
17 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC
18 Q. Thank you, your Honours.
19 Good morning, witness number C, I am
20 Mr. Mikulicic, the Defence counsel for
21 Mr. Zlatko Aleksovski. I am going to ask you several
22 questions and would kindly ask you to answer them to
23 the best of your ability.
24 A. As far as I am able, yes.
25 Q. Witness C, you told us in your introduction
1 in the indictment of the events of 27th January 1993
2 when HVO soldiers came to your village. Could you,
3 please, tell us now whether you know what they were
4 looking for in your village?
5 A. Well, quite simply, they wanted to take us
6 prisoner, not only myself, but everybody in the
7 Busovaca municipality, to be locked up, was to be
8 locked up. It was not only me, it was everybody else
9 as well.
10 Q. Tell me, please, Witness C, did the soldiers
11 search your brother's house and your house and the
12 houses of the other villagers?
13 A. Yes, they did.
14 Q. Did they on that occasion take anything away
15 from your brother's house or your own house?
16 A. Yes, they did.
17 Q. Could you tell us what they took from your
18 brother's house?
19 A. They took a rifle and they took a hunting
20 rifle from my house.
21 Q. What kind of rifle did they take from your
22 brother's house?
23 A. A semi-automatic rifle.
24 Q. Did they confiscate any weapons from your
25 neighbours' houses?
1 A. I do not remember.
2 Q. Do you recall what happened with those
3 weapons, where were they taken to?
4 A. They were taken to the police station in
5 Busovaca, HVO police station in Busovaca. When we went
6 to the bus stop there.
7 Q. Could you, please, tell us, Witness C, are
8 you a soldier -- were you a soldier or civilian at the
10 A. I was a civilian.
11 Q. And your brother?
12 A. He was also a civilian.
13 Q. You told us that when you were taken to
14 Busovaca, to the bus stop there, that you were beaten?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You said that a man came to you -- that a man
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you know what the man's name was?
20 A. Yes, from the group that took us from the
21 village, I do know.
22 Q. Could you tell us his name?
23 A. His name was Batinic Ivica.
24 Q. How did Batinic Ivica intervene?
25 A. Well, he criticised him.
1 Q. Who did he criticise?
2 A. The soldiers who beat us up.
3 Q. Is it correct that Ivica Batinic was opposed
4 to this to protect you?
5 A. Yes, I am telling the truth. I said I would
6 tell the truth and I am telling the truth.
7 Q. After that, you said that you were taken to
8 the 11 Plavih restaurant?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. Tell me, please, is that building in any way
11 linked to the Kaonik buildings?
12 A. The 11 Plavih was the command of the units in
13 Donja Polje, Smreka.
14 Q. Is that the same territory as Kaonik or is it
15 further off from Kaonik?
16 A. It belongs to the Busovaca municipality, but
17 one is on one side of Busovaca and the other is on the
18 other side.
19 Q. How far away?
20 A. About three or four kilometres.
21 Q. When you were brought to Kaonik, you said
22 that your particulars were taken there. Who did that?
23 Who registered you?
24 A. I said in my statement that an elderly man
25 who had a white pale face, he was blond. But this was
1 in the evening, there was no light, our hands had to be
2 behind our backs so I was not quite able to see very
4 Q. The man you have just described, was he one
5 of those people who came to fetch you in your village
6 and took you to Busovaca to the 11 Plavih building or
7 was it somebody else?
8 A. It was a man from the Kaonik camp. And I saw
9 him later on, on several occasions, but I was not
10 interested in knowing who he was.
11 Q. Can we then say that it was one of the guards
12 in the Kaonik building?
13 A. No. It could only have been a warden, or an
14 officer of the warden.
15 Q. Did anybody talk to you when you came to
16 Kaonik? Did anybody say anything to you from the camp
18 A. No.
19 Q. You said, Witness C, that amongst the guards
20 in Kaonik camp you recognised some of your neighbours
21 and acquaintances?
22 A. Yes, amongst the guards. Are you asking me
23 amongst the guards?
24 Q. Yes, I am asking you about the guards?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. Could you, please, tell us who those people
3 A. Well, I know them from sight, by sight,
4 Juresic Kebo, Sakic Ljubo. Then there was Basic, Faca
5 was his nickname.
6 Q. What was their conduct towards you?
7 A. Towards me personally, they were correct in
8 their conduct, and I think for the other prisoners they
9 would have been the same, but when a smaller group of
10 soldiers would come, they were impotent, they do
11 nothing about it. A guard in the evening was on guard
12 in the evening and then a bigger or smaller group would
13 open the cells up and maltreat the inmates or curse
15 Q. Why could not they stop the group doing what
16 they did?
17 A. Because they were drunk, more or less. They
18 were either drunk or they were drugged. There was
19 a great deal of noise in the corridors, a lot of
20 cursing going on and then if a guard was to protect
21 him, then they would -- the mafia would beat him up
23 Q. Yes, I understand. Could you please tell us,
24 Witness C, you described that you were injured and you
25 said you were taken to the doctor. Who took you to the
2 A. The HVO soldiers and my neighbours.
3 Q. Do you remember the name of the doctor you
4 were taken to?
5 A. No, I do not, because I never used to go to
6 doctors, to the health centre at all, so I do not
7 know. And I was not taken on that particular day.
8 Q. So, you did not go to the health centre very
9 often, so you did not know the names of the people
10 working there?
11 A. No, but it was a man, a male doctor. I was
12 taken to a male doctor.
13 Q. Do you remember if he wrote anything down
14 pertaining to your injuries when you were brought to
16 A. He just examined me.
17 Q. Did he write anything down, did you see him
18 write anything down?
19 A. No, he just told me that he -- I should be
20 taken to a surgeon at Bila, but there were no
21 conditions for this to be done.
22 Q. Why did he say there were no conditions?
23 A. I do not know why he said that. He did not
24 have the facilities. He was unable to take me to Bila,
25 to the surgeon there.
1 Q. After that, you were taken back to Kaonik?
2 A. Yes, I was.
3 Q. When the counsel asked you a moment ago, you
4 said that there was no heating in the cells?
5 A. No, there was not.
6 Q. Was there any heating in the corridors?
7 A. There was some stoves made up of some
8 primitive stoves with primitive pipes in the
9 corridors. Above the doors there were bars and so some
10 heat and light came into our cells through the iron
11 bars above the doors.
12 Q. You said that you were taken out of your
13 cells for food, for lunch or dinner. Did you ever
14 notice the guards eating together with you?
15 A. No, I did not.
16 Q. Did you notice where the guards took their
18 A. No, because while we were eating, we were
19 left alone, nobody was with us there. Once we had
20 finished there, we were taken back to the cells
22 Q. Tell us, please, Witness C, was there any
23 fighting around your village at that time, any gunfire?
24 A. Yes, there was, up above the village, and we
25 were under the control of the HVO, my village.
1 Q. Could you please tell us when you say "above
2 the village", how far was this shooting from your
4 A. Well, the fighting took place some five
5 kilometres -- maybe 10 kilometres -- away, or not --
6 not less than three kilometres away, 3, 5, 10.
7 Q. You said that when you came to your cell you
8 found some old uniforms there. Could you clarify
9 this? What kind of old uniforms?
10 A. From the former JNA, Yugoslav People's Army.
11 Coats and some of their blankets.
12 Q. Did you use those things?
13 A. Yes, because we had nothing else.
14 Q. Who gave you those uniforms and blankets?
15 A. We found them in the cells, in the rooms in
16 the cells.
17 Q. Were you in that way able to keep away the
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Witness C, I am not quite sure that
21 I understood you correctly, so please correct me if
22 I am wrong. You said that you had a picture of
23 Zlatko Aleksovski, a photograph; is that right?
24 A. No. I said that if I saw one of his
25 photographs I would be able to recognise him.
1 MR. MIKULICIC: Sorry, I did not understand
2 you correctly, witness. Thank you for clarifying
4 I think that would be all from our side.
5 Thank you, your Honours.
6 A. Can I say a few words please?
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You would like to add
8 something, sir?
9 A. Yes, I would.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You do have something more
11 to say, do you?
12 A. Yes. For the conditions in the second
13 building where we were taken to, the kind of conditions
14 there for survival.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Counsel, both for the
16 Prosecution and the accused, do you think it would be
17 worth hearing more on this particular point? Go ahead,
19 MR. MEDDEGODA: Unless the witness has
20 something more to add -- if your Honours would permit
21 me, I could ask the witness what he has to add about
22 the conditions in the second building and then my
23 learned friend may, in that event, if he wishes to, ask
24 further questions in cross-examination.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic?
1 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, the Defence
2 considers that the witness has already testified as to
3 the situation in the second building. The Defence had
4 no questions with regard to re-examination, so I do not
5 think my learned colleague should have any questions
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Witness C, you have now
8 concluded with your testimony. The Chamber has been
9 sufficiently enlightened as far as those conditions go,
10 so we would like to thank you for having come to this
12 I do not know whether you might have any
13 questions, I do apologise? No. That is it, thank you
14 very much.
15 A. Thank you.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you for the
17 Prosecution, I suggest that we have a recess once
18 Witness C has left the courtroom.
19 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please.
20 (The witness withdrew)
21 I might suggest that all the screens and
22 things be left in place because the next witness will
23 be seeking protective measures.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Fine. We are going to have
25 a 20-minute break.
1 (10.20 am)
2 (A short break)
3 (10.50 am)
4 MR. NIEMANN: If it please the court, your
5 Honours, the next witness has sought certain protective
6 measures; namely, that the image of his face be
7 distorted and that he be accorded a pseudonym rather
8 than use his name.
9 In his case, your Honours, might he be
10 referred to as "Witness D"? He is the witness that
11 appear in the inventory of witnesses as witness
12 number 6, your Honours. We have raised the matter in
13 correspondence with Mr. Mikulicic and we understand
14 there is no objection to the application, your Honour.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, that is fine
16 by you, is it?
17 Maybe you could show the witness in. First,
18 if you would lower the blinds.
19 (The witness entered court)
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning. Can you hear
21 me, sir? Please read out the solemn declaration which
22 the usher is giving you now.
23 A. I solemnly declare that I will speak the
24 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please be seated.
1 You are now going to answer the questions
2 from the counsel for the Prosecutor's Office.
3 WITNESS D
4 Examined by MR. NIEMANN
5 Q. Witness, the court has afforded you certain
6 protective measures. As a consequence of that, I will
7 not refer to you by your name during the course of your
8 evidence, I will refer to you as "Witness D".
9 I ask you to look at this piece of paper
10 which I now show you. It has written on it a name.
11 I would ask you to look at the name that appears
12 there -- do not say the name -- and simply tell me
13 whether or not it is your name; "yes" or "no".
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. NIEMANN: If it could be shown to
17 Mr. Mikulicic and the bench. Your Honours, I tender
18 that under seal.
19 I ask you that, during the course of your
20 evidence, you are not to refer to your current or
21 previous address.
22 Can you tell me how old you are?
23 A. I am 27.
24 Q. And by religion, are you Islam or Muslim?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In 1993, were you in the army?
2 A. Yes, I was.
3 Q. And what position did you have in the army?
4 Where were you located?
5 A. I was a soldier.
6 Q. On 25th or 26th January 1993, did hostilities
7 commence in and about the area of Busovaca?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What happened on that day?
10 A. At about 3.00 pm in Kacuni fighting started.
11 We happened to be in the centre of Busovaca so we did
12 not know what was happening, exactly.
13 Q. When the fighting started, were you a soldier
14 at the time? Were you defending the town of Busovaca?
15 A. No, no, we were not.
16 Q. What were you doing?
17 A. When the fighting started, we simply took
18 shelter somewhere.
19 Q. And where did you take shelter?
20 A. We went to a cottage house in the vicinity of
21 our house.
22 Q. At that very time were you dressed in
23 military uniform yourself?
24 A. No, I was not.
25 Q. Were you carrying any arms?
1 A. We did not have any weapons, the weapons were
2 at the front-line, the front-line against the Cheekiness.
3 Q. Were there any BiH soldiers in Busovaca at
4 the time?
5 A. Well, there were some soldiers, but we, we
6 did not offer any resistance.
7 Q. What happened after you took shelter? What
8 happened after that?
9 A. We stayed in the shelter for about five or
10 six days, until 30th January. Then after that we left
11 home. In the morning, around 10.00 or 11.00 am HVO
12 members arrived and they asked for weapons. They asked
13 each of us for weapons.
14 Q. How did you know that they were HVO members?
15 A. They wore HVO insignia.
16 MR. NIEMANN: Might the witness be shown
17 Exhibit P17, if your Honours please?
18 Witness, we will show you an exhibit now. We
19 would like to put it on to the overhead projector
20 there. If you would look at it for me, you might, with
21 the pointer, point to it on the machine beside you. If
22 you recognise any of the pictures shown, point to them
23 on the screen if you would, please. (Handed).
24 A. (Indicating on picture).
25 Q. Perhaps you might point again for us, if you
1 would, the one that you recognise. It is upside down,
2 but that does not matter.
3 For the record, you are pointing to the
4 second photograph, number 2 -- numbered "number 2".
5 Thank you. That was the one you recognised
6 on the uniforms of those soldiers on that occasion; is
7 that right?
8 A. Yes, that is right.
9 Q. What did they do? They asked you for your
10 weapons. Did you have any weapons to surrender to
12 A. No, we did not.
13 Q. Did you recognise any of these people? Were
14 they people that you knew?
15 A. I recognised two of them, Dario Lastro and
16 Marijan Varesak.
17 Q. Were they all soldiers or were some other
18 organisations represented by these people?
19 A. They were just simple soldiers.
20 Q. Now, after they asked you for the weapons,
21 what did they do then?
22 A. They did not find anything and then they
23 lined us up and we had to walk to the centre of
24 Busovaca in a line, one by one. Then they searched us
25 near a bus, which then took us to Kaonik, to the Kaonik
2 Q. When you say "us", who is "us"? How would
3 you describe "us"?
4 A. The 18 of us from my street.
5 Q. Of these people, what was the ethnic
6 background of the 18 people in the street?
7 A. Muslims.
8 Q. When you -- you say you went to the centre of
9 Busovaca; how long did you stay there before you were
10 taken to Kaonik?
11 A. They just carried out a search which took
12 about five to ten minutes.
13 Q. What were they looking for, do you know?
14 A. I guess they were looking for pistols or hand
15 grenades, I do not know.
16 Q. Was anything taken of you at the time?
17 A. No, nothing.
18 Q. Did all the Muslim people that were in your
19 street go into the street and off to Kaonik or was it
20 just some of them?
21 A. 18 of us were taken there, but some elderly
22 people had remained, maybe three or four of them, and
23 two families remained in there.
24 Q. Now, when the soldiers were asking for your
25 weapons, did they have any documents with them relating
1 to weapons or anything of that nature that you can
3 A. They had a kind of paper, this is probably
4 something that they had seized in the company
5 headquarters. It was a list of formations and units
6 and it was a list of people issued with some kind of
7 weapons, although we did not actually have any
9 Q. Were you specifically addressed by a soldier
10 in relation to a weapon, yourself?
11 A. They were looking for snipers, sniper
13 Q. Did they suggest that you might have had
14 a sniper rifle?
15 A. Yes, they were looking for sniper rifles.
16 Q. What did you say to them when they asked you
17 for a sniper rifle?
18 A. I told them I did not have any and I also
19 told them that weapons I had been issued were some
20 automatic rifles but that those weapons were actually
21 at the line, near Visoko, at the front-line near
23 Q. What time did you arrive at Kaonik?
24 A. In the afternoon, sometime in the afternoon.
25 Q. Again, are you able to remember the date,
1 what date this was?
2 A. It was on 30th January.
3 Q. 1993?
4 A. Yes, 1993.
5 Q. When you arrived at Kaonik, what did they do
6 with you?
7 A. They through us into one of the cells,
8 I think it was cell number 16. After that they took
9 a roll call and they put us up in room where they
10 carried out the interrogation. Krilic Marko and Marko
11 Petrovic were the interrogators, they were wearing
12 camouflage uniforms at that time. They asked us about
13 weapons and they had that list with them.
14 So they interrogated us for about five or ten
15 minutes and then they took us back to the cell.
16 Q. Did they tell you why you had been arrested
17 and put in the cell?
18 A. They said it was for security reasons.
19 Q. Did they suggest that you had any particular
20 sort of weapon or was it just a general sort of
21 question about weapons?
22 A. They asked for specific weapons. Hand-held
23 rocket launchers, M53 machine-guns, everything according
24 to the list that had been drawn up, this is what they
25 were looking for.
1 Q. Did you have a possession of any of these
2 types of weapons?
3 A. No, no, I did not.
4 Q. Now, of the other prisoners that were there
5 when you arrived, did you recognise any of those
7 A. In cell number 16, we found two persons
8 there, one was from Zenica and I did not know the other
9 one -- well, I did not know the first one either, but
10 I just happened to know that he was from Zenica.
11 Q. Did anyone receive any beatings or anything
12 of that nature during the period of time that this
13 questioning went on when you first arrived?
14 A. No, not in our group.
15 Q. What was the age group of the prisoners that
16 were there in those cells, so far as you were able to
18 A. From 13, 14 years old until 65 maybe.
19 Q. How many people were 13 years of age, or that
20 young, that age group?
21 A. There was one boy who was there with us and
22 he was between 13 and 14 years of age. He was from
24 Q. What happened then? Were the people all kept
25 together or was there some separation process that went
2 A. I was transferred to another cell, cell
3 number 12. Around 6.00, they through Fehim into our
4 cell, he had been badly beaten up.
5 Q. Did he tell you what happened to him?
6 A. He said that HVO soldiers had beaten him. In
7 the town. In the town of Busovaca.
8 Q. Did he say why he had been beaten?
9 A. No, he did not.
10 Q. Now, you mentioned that there was one boy who
11 was 13/14 years of age and that there were older men,
12 as old as 65. Did they stay in the cells with you or
13 were they separated out from the cells?
14 A. They were separated on the following day.
15 When we returned from the digging, I found some new
16 people in the cell, the elderly men were gone. So, in
17 my cell, there were no elderly people any more.
18 MR. NIEMANN: I would like you to look for me,
19 if you would, at Exhibit 20, if that could be shown to
20 the witness. Again, if it could be placed on the
21 screen. (Handed).
22 I understand we have some copies of that for
23 your Honours of that photograph and Mr. Mikulicic.
25 Witness D, just looking at that photograph
1 that now appears on the screen beside you there, could
2 you, with your pointer, point to the cell that you were
3 placed in?
4 A. (Indicating on photograph).
5 Q. Can you remember what number that cell was?
6 A. I believe it was cell number 16.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Just for the record, your
8 Honour, the witness has pointed to the right-hand side
9 of the photograph, the cell door the furthest away on
10 the right-hand side of the photograph.
11 How long did you stay in that cell for, that
12 you have just pointed to?
13 A. Until the interrogation, maybe for about two
14 or three hours.
15 Q. And does the other cell that you were moved
16 to, does that appear on this photograph at all?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Can you, looking at the photograph, assist us
19 by describing the direction that the other cell was
20 located at? I know you cannot point to it, but can you
21 assist us in pointing to the direction of where the
22 other cell was? Can you do that?
23 A. The cell was located on the right side from
24 the lavatory.
25 Q. Perhaps with your pointer, you might point in
1 what direction, if you were walking down the cells,
2 which way you would find it.
3 A. (Indicating on photograph).
4 MR. NIEMANN: The witness is pointing to the
5 left-hand side of the photograph and coming up to the
6 face of the photograph. Thank you, that could be
8 Now, the next day, what happened then? What
9 happened to you on the next day?
10 A. They took a roll call in the morning; they
11 took about 30 of us in a truck, in a civilian truck to
12 a location called Milavice. 15 of us got off the truck
13 at Milavice and the rest of the group continued to the
14 Prosje location.
15 Q. And was that boy of 13 or 14 years of age
16 with you on that occasion?
17 A. He was with us on the second or the third
18 day, when we were at Prosje, I saw him there while we
19 were digging.
20 Q. Now, when you got to Milavice, what happened
21 then, what were you required to do?
22 A. We had to dig dug-outs, we had to fix them,
23 we had to dig communication trenches between the
24 dug-outs. We worked until 9.00 pm without any food or
1 Q. When you were working in these dug-outs, did
2 you have any notion of where the front-line was at that
4 A. We could only make assumptions as to where it
5 might be, maybe 5-600 metres away.
6 Q. Was there any firing or fighting going on
7 across the lines?
8 A. Yes, there was some sporadic shooting,
9 sporadic fire.
10 Q. Were you given food and water and rest while
11 you were digging these trenches?
12 A. No, we did not get any food or water. We did
13 have small breaks of about five or ten minutes, just
14 enough to have a cigarette.
15 Q. In January, what were the conditions like for
16 digging -- early February, I think, probably?
17 A. Very bad. It was cold, the earth was frozen,
18 we were not -- we did not have warm clothes. The
19 conditions were very bad.
20 Q. What time did you work up to in the day or
21 night, approximately?
22 A. Until 9.00 or maybe 10.00 pm, we worked until
23 9 or 10 on that first day.
24 Q. Then what happened?
25 A. Then we would go to the barracks and sleep
1 there and the next day we were taken to dig trenches
3 Q. Who called you out to dig trenches, who was
4 it who came and told you to come out?
5 A. The roll call was usually taken by Marko
7 Q. When you were asked to come out, where did
8 you come out from the cell? Where did you go
10 A. We would meet in the corridor, we would wait
11 for everybody to get out of their cells, then they
12 would put us on to a truck and the truck would take us
13 to the location where we were supposed to dig.
14 Q. Was any record kept of who was being sent and
15 who was left behind, that you could see?
16 A. No, I am not aware of that.
17 Q. Now, do you recall any incidents where people
18 were injured or killed when they were taken to trench
20 A. I heard about the killing of two persons at
21 the Kula location, Ermin Elezovic and Jasmin Sehovic
22 were killed.
23 Q. You never saw that yourself, you simply heard
24 of that?
25 A. No, I did not see that but I did see when
1 Nedzab Delion was hit several times by an HVO member as
2 he was getting off the truck. He was simply telling
3 him that he should not try to escape.
4 Q. And did you ever see any other beatings or
5 mistreatment of the people, of the prisoners, the
6 detainees when you were taken trench digging?
7 A. No, I did not.
8 Q. Do you recall any incidents where detainees
9 were forced to beat each other; did that ever happen?
10 A. Yes, that happened at Kula. We learned that
11 when we came back, that people were forced to hit each
12 other with shovels. It took place on 8th February,
13 I believe.
14 Q. Again, it is not something you, yourself,
16 A. No, no, I did not see that.
17 Q. How many places were you taken to in order to
18 dig trenches? How many different places?
19 A. Four.
20 Q. Do you remember the names of those places?
21 A. Prosje, Milavice, Kovacevac and Kula.
22 MR. NIEMANN: If the witness could be shown
23 a copy of the map. If this might be marked the next
24 exhibit number in order. I believe there are copies
25 there for the witness, your Honours and one for
1 Mr. Mikulicic. (Handed).
2 Witness D, I want you to pick up
3 a highlighter pen -- I can see a pink highlighter pen
4 which you have beside you, if you study that map so you
5 are familiar with it and take your time, see if you can
6 see on the map the places there named that you were
7 taken to for the purposes of trench digging. When you
8 have identified where the places are, I would like you
9 to put it on the overhead projector before you actually
10 mark it and mark it on the overhead projector, the
11 plan, so we can see. Could you do that for me?
12 A. Yes, I can.
13 Q. Just do it on the machine beside it and then
14 we can all see what you are doing. Just tell us the
15 name of the place when you are marking it, if you
17 A. Kovacevac. Kula. But on this map, you
18 cannot see Prosje and Milavice. (Witness marked map).
19 Q. Well, just point -- just draw a line in the
20 general direction, would you, of where they are, if you
21 could just draw an arrow for us in the direction that
22 they are.
23 A. (Witness marked map).
24 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you. I tender those, your
25 Honour, as the exhibit number in order.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: What number might that be?
2 THE REGISTRAR: P29.
3 MR. NIEMANN: You mentioned that on one of the
4 occasions you went to Prosje that the 13-year-old boy
5 went with you. Did you actually work with him on that
6 day, or did he work with somebody else?
7 A. He worked with his father.
8 Q. But were they near you? Could you see them
9 or were they separated from you?
10 A. They were some 10 or 15 metres away from me.
11 Q. Could you see them working during the day?
12 A. Yes, I could.
13 Q. Was the 13-year-old boy required to work
14 under the same conditions, as you could observe, as the
15 men were?
16 A. He had to do the same work as his father.
17 They brought wood, they had to cover the dug-outs, and
18 so on.
19 Q. Now, did the Red Cross ever visit Kaonik camp
20 when you were there?
21 A. Yes, they did, on the third or the fourth
22 day. They made a list so we were all registered with
24 Q. What happened after you were registered with
25 the Red Cross?
1 A. Nothing, we just continued with the same kind
2 of work, we went on digging dug-outs.
3 Q. Did the Red Cross say what would happen to
4 you at any stage?
5 A. They said that there would be an exchange, in
6 about a day or two, but the exchange took place only on
7 8th February.
8 Q. Were you exchanged on that day?
9 A. Yes, I was.
10 Q. And approximately how many people were
11 exchanged on that day?
12 A. About 420 people.
13 Q. Did the Red Cross say anything to you about
14 trench digging, that you can remember, or
15 representatives of the Red Cross?
16 A. No, I do not remember.
17 Q. Did you have to go trench digging after you
18 had been visited by the Red Cross or did it cease then?
19 A. We still had to dig trenches.
20 Q. What were the conditions like in the camp,
21 can you remember? What was the food and heating and
22 blankets and water and sanitary conditions like? Can
23 you describe those?
24 A. The food was just some simply boiled food and
25 two people had to share one plate. We could not take
1 a bath, we could not shave ourselves. We used to sleep
2 in the cell, 20 or 25 of us together, so there was not
3 enough room. Some people would lie down and some
4 people had to sit down and sleep.
5 Q. When you were in the camp, -- when you were
6 actually kept in the cells, do you recall any incidents
7 of anyone being beaten or mistreated?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Could you hear anything going on outside the
11 A. No.
12 Q. When you were exchanged, how many people were
13 exchanged, approximately?
14 A. As far as I know, we all left the camp.
15 Q. Where did you go after you were exchanged?
16 A. There were three options: Kacuni, Zenica and
18 Q. What option did you select?
19 A. I went to Zenica.
20 Q. The guards at the Kaonik prison, do you
21 remember how they were dressed?
22 A. In camouflage uniforms with "HVO" insignia.
23 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions,
24 your Honour.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, you have some
1 questions, I suppose?
2 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honours.
3 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC.
4 Q. I would like to welcome you, Witness D. My
5 name is Mr. Mikulicic, I am the Defence counsel for the
6 defendant, Zlatko Aleksovski. I am going to ask you
7 several questions I would like to ask you to answer to
8 the best of your ability.
9 Tell us, please, at the time when you were
10 taken prisoner, what were you wearing?
11 A. Civilian clothes.
12 Q. You said in your statement that the soldiers
13 of the HVO searched the neighbourhood, searched the
14 houses in your neighbourhood. You said that they had
15 a list; is that right?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. You also said that the list was seized
18 somewhere. Can you tell us in greater detail where
19 this list came from?
20 A. From the HQ, headquarters, of the company,
21 the Busovaca HQ company's headquarters.
22 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, my defendant has
23 asked for a two-minute break for consultations with
24 me. May this be allowed? May we just have two minutes
25 in the courtroom, please, so that I can confer with the
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. Do take two minutes,
3 and only two minutes, please. (Pause).
4 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, we are ready to
5 continue. May I continue with my cross-examination?
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, thank you. Please
8 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you.
9 Well, you said that the list that the
10 soldiers had when they searched the houses was seized.
11 Could you repeat where it was seized?
12 A. In the health centre. By the company
13 command, from the company command.
14 Q. What company are you talking about?
15 A. The Busovaca company.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: To which army did it belong?
17 THE INTERPRETER: I am sorry, I did not hear
18 the answer.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: You said that fighting around
20 Kacuni began in those days; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Do you know what kind of weapons were used in
23 that fighting?
24 A. I was not directly there, but I heard that
25 they were the Zoljas, the hand-held launchers.
1 Q. Can you describe the kind of weapons they
2 were? What do you mean by a "Zolja"?
3 A. It is an anti-armoured weapon.
4 Q. Can you describe it in closer terms? It is
5 a rocket launcher, hand-held rocket launcher?
6 A. Something like that, yes.
7 Q. Do you know who used the hand-held rocket
8 launchers in the fighting?
9 A. I said I was not present, I was in Busovaca
10 at home.
11 Q. So you do not know this?
12 A. No, I do not.
13 Q. Let us go back to the events when you were
14 brought to Kaonik. You said that you were told you
15 were there for safety reasons, security reasons; is
16 that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was that explained to you by anybody, that
19 statement, was it explained to you?
20 A. We were told -- we were told we were there
21 for security reasons.
22 Q. Who told you that?
23 A. I am not quite sure, Marko Krilic.
24 Q. Was that person a guard in Kaonik or was it
25 an HVO soldier who took you to Kaonik; do you know who
1 it was?
2 A. No.
3 Q. You said you were sent to the cell and that
4 there were younger people and older people in that
5 cell; is that correct?
6 A. I saw them in Prosje. The youngest I saw in
7 Prosje, not in the prison --
8 Q. I did not understand you. Would you repeat
9 what you said?
10 A. The youngest person I saw in prison, I saw in
11 Prosje, where we dug the dug-outs. That was the
12 youngest person that I saw.
13 Q. Well, if I understand you correctly, are you
14 talking about the boy you mentioned earlier on?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Does that mean that you did not see the boy
17 in the prison?
18 A. I did not see him in the cell that I was
19 located at that particular time.
20 Q. But you saw him on the digging site?
21 A. Yes, that is right.
22 Q. Do you know where the boy comes from, which
23 village he is from?
24 A. He is from Ocehnici.
25 Q. Do you know what his name is?
1 A. I do not know his name, but his surname is
3 Q. How do you know how old he was?
4 A. By looking at him.
5 Q. Did you see any document from which you were
6 able to deduce how old he was?
7 A. No, I did not.
8 Q. How old would you say I was, for example?
9 A. 45.
10 Q. How far is the village of Ocehnici from the
11 site where you saw that boy?
12 A. The boy is from Ocehnici and the location --
13 the locality is about 1.5 kilometres away.
14 Q. You said that he was together with his
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you see his father in Kaonik?
18 A. No.
19 Q. When you were taken from Kaonik to the
20 localities you talked about for digging purposes, who
21 watched over you? Who guarded you?
22 A. The soldiers on the front-line, the HVO
24 Q. So, if I have understood you correctly, they
25 were not the guards from Kaonik camp?
1 A. No, they were not.
2 Q. Do you know who the commander on the Kula
3 front-line was?
4 A. No, I do not.
5 Q. You told us earlier on that during the time
6 you worked in these localities, that shooting could be
7 heard in the background?
8 A. Sporadic shooting, yes.
9 Q. Did you see anybody of the people who were
10 together with you in that locality, whether they were
11 wounded or injured by that shooting?
12 A. I do not know.
13 Q. Did you see anybody wounded?
14 A. No.
15 Q. You explained to us that you were taken to
16 four different localities, two of which you noted on
17 the map and two which you did not because you could not
18 find them on the map. How far are those locations --
19 please enumerate them one by one -- away from Kaonik?
20 A. Milavice and Prosje, they are about six or
21 seven kilometres away from Kaonik.
22 Q. Kula?
23 A. About five.
24 Q. Tell us, please, what the food was like in
25 the Kaonik camp?
1 A. It was cooked food, ordinary food. Two
2 prisoners would eat from one plate and one piece of
3 bread would be divided between them.
4 Q. Could you tell us where you took your meals,
5 in the cells or inside?
6 A. No, in the corridor.
7 Q. Did you see where the guards were having
8 their meals?
9 A. No, I did not.
10 Q. Do you know what kind of food the guards ate?
11 A. I do not know.
12 Q. Tell us, please, Witness D, on 8th February
13 1993, you were freed, released?
14 A. Yes, that is correct.
15 Q. Can you tell us whether that was on an
16 exchange basis or whether it was release, because you
17 said that all the people had left Kaonik?
18 A. I was exchanged.
19 Q. Who were you exchanged for?
20 A. I was exchanged with the prisoners who were
21 in Kacuni of the Croatian nationality.
22 Q. Who imprisoned these people of the Croatian
23 nationality in Kacuni?
24 A. I do not know.
25 Q. Do you know how many prisoners of the
1 Croatian nationality were released on the occasion?
2 A. About 30 to 40, I believe.
3 Q. How many prisoners were released from Kaonik?
4 A. They were all released, about 420 of them.
5 Q. Is it correct that nobody remained in the
7 A. As far as I know, we were all released.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honours. The
9 Defence has no more questions.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, do you have any
12 MR. NIEMANN: No.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: So then, Witness D, you
14 have concluded your testimony. We would like to thank
15 you most heartily for having come before this
17 (The witness withdrew)
18 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, the next witness
19 has also sought protective measures, similar to this
20 witness who has just testified. The witness is seeking
21 the image of his face not appear unless it is distorted
22 and that he be assigned a pseudonym. In his case, it
23 would be "Witness E", if we refer to him as that.
24 This witness appears on your Honours' list
25 which was filed by the Prosecutor as witness number 8.
1 We have raised the matter with Mr. Mikulicic and, so far
2 as we know, there is no objection to this application.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Counsel for the accused?
4 MR. MIKULICIC: No objections, your Honours.
5 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, at this stage --
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I am sorry, Mr. Niemann.
7 I was just thinking that it might be good to have
8 a 10-minute break and then we could go on non-stop
9 until the end of today's proceedings with this
10 witness. I think we all need a rest, including the
11 interpreters, and I do think it might be a good time
12 for a break.
13 What do you think, counsel for the
14 Prosecution and for the accused?
15 MR. NIEMANN: I am in your Honours' hands.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: We agree with your suggestion,
17 your Honour.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Then during the recess, we
19 could show the witness in and then we could get on with
20 the questioning right away.
21 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honour pleases, we will
22 arrange that.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: 10 minutes. Thank you.
24 (11.50 am)
25 (A short break)
2 MR. NIEMANN: While we are waiting, at this
3 stage, your Honours, I might indicate that witness
4 number 7 on the list will not be called.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: So, can we have the witness
6 brought in?
7 MR. NIEMANN: We are arranging that, your
8 Honour. I think the staff are not here.
9 (The witness entered court)
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good afternoon. Can you
11 hear me? Fine. Please read out the solemn
12 declaration, which the usher is now going to hand you.
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, please be
18 Please answer the questions which the counsel
19 for the Prosecution is going to be putting to you.
20 Mr. Niemann, please proceed.
21 WITNESS E
22 Examined by MR. NIEMANN
23 Q. Witness, their Honours have awarded you
24 certain protective measures for your security. As
25 a consequence of that, I will refer to you, in the
1 course of your evidence, as "Witness E". When you are
2 giving your evidence, please do not give your current
3 or past address, during the course of the evidence.
4 I would like you to look at the piece of
5 paper that I now show you. This piece of paper has
6 a name on it. If it is your name, would you say "yes"
7 or "no", please, but do not mention the name that
8 appears on the piece of paper. (Handed)?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps that could be shown to
11 Mr. Mikulicic and their Honours. I tender that as the
12 next Prosecution exhibit number in order, and might it
13 be under seal?
14 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution exhibit 30.
15 MR. NIEMANN: Witness E, how old are you?
16 A. I am 30.
17 Q. Witness, what is your religion?
18 A. I am a Muslim.
19 Q. You might have to sit forward a little bit,
20 just so your voice can be clearly picked up when you
21 are answering my questions, thank you.
22 Witness E, I would like to take you to 15th
23 April 1993 at approximately 5.00 to 6.00 pm in the
24 afternoon when I think at that stage you were at your
25 home and something happened. Do you recall that date
1 and time?
2 A. Yes, I do recall.
3 Q. What happened?
4 A. Around 5.00 or 6.00 pm I was not exactly at
5 my home but I was in the village and two trucks with
6 soldiers arrived and they encircled the village.
7 After that an HVO commander, Andrijasevic,
8 who was in charge of the area, he ordered that all men
9 should gather at one point for the purpose of an
10 agreement or a meeting. We gathered there, but to no
12 Then later a smaller vehicle arrived, a van,
13 that was driven by Mirko Plavcic and they transported
14 us in groups to Kaonik.
15 Q. These soldiers -- you said there was an HVO
16 commander; were they HVO soldiers that surrounded the
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. How do you know they were HVO soldiers?
20 A. They wore those insignias, HVO insignias on
21 their sleeves.
22 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps quickly the witness
23 might be shown Exhibit P17.
24 Witness E, would you look at the exhibit that
25 you are now being shown? It is going to be placed on
1 the overhead projector beside you. With the pointer
2 that there is there in front of you on the table, could
3 you point to the document that now appears on the
4 screen? That particular photograph, if any, you
5 recognise as being the ones worn by the soldiers on
6 that particular occasion?
7 A. (Indicating).
8 MR. NIEMANN: I think we have to wait because
9 it is not appearing on the screen, your Honours.
10 Now, can you point to it not on the
11 television screen but on the overhead projector beside
13 The witness pointed, your Honours, to
14 photograph number 2. Might that be now returned to the
16 The people that were taken to the Kaonik
17 camp, on that occasion, who were they?
18 A. The people who were taken there? Could you
19 clarify that for me, please?
20 Q. Who did they take to Kaonik camp on that day?
21 A. They took the people from that village.
22 Q. Were these people Croats and Serbs and
23 Muslims or was there only one particular group?
24 A. One particular group, yes, they were all
1 Q. And were -- what were the sex? Were they
2 males and females or just males?
3 A. Only males.
4 Q. And what was the age group of the people that
5 were taken? What did it range from, that you can best
7 A. It ranged from 25 or 23 to 60.
8 Q. What time did you arrive at the Kaonik camp,
10 A. Just before dark.
11 Q. When you arrived there, where did you go,
12 firstly? Where were you taken?
13 A. We were first taken into the hangar. After
14 we got in, they ordered us to press our hands against
15 the wall and not to turn around. That is how we
16 remained standing for about two hours, or even more.
17 Q. Who ordered you to do that?
18 A. The guards who were there at the camp.
19 Q. Were they the same people that had brought
20 you to the camp or were they new people, so far as you
21 were concerned?
22 A. They were some other people.
23 Q. And were you searched?
24 A. Yes. They said that everything relating to
25 the army, any documents, should be handed over to
2 Q. Anything else? Was anything else taken from
3 the people?
4 A. Yes, whoever had watches or gold or jewellery,
5 that was all taken.
6 Q. What about money, was any money taken off the
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did they take anything off you?
10 A. No, they did not take anything from me.
11 I managed to hide it later on.
12 Q. Did you have any military papers pertaining
13 to yourself on your possession at the time?
14 A. No, I did not have it on me because when
15 I was arrested at home I think I was wearing a suit and
16 my documents were not there, they were left at home, so
17 that is how I did not have anything on me at that
19 Q. Were you in the army immediately prior to
20 your arrest?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And what position did you have in the army?
23 A. It is not clear to me what exactly you mean
24 by "position".
25 Q. Well, did you have any rank?
1 A. No, I did not.
2 Q. Were you on active duty on the day you were
4 A. No, I was not.
5 Q. Were you in military uniform?
6 A. No, I was not.
7 Q. (Question Inaudible).
8 A. No.
9 Q. And immediately prior to the time you were
10 arrested, had you been performing military duty?
11 A. Prior to that, well I was, but maybe it was
12 one month prior to that.
13 Q. When the people were being searched in the
14 hangar, was anyone mistreated, that you saw?
15 A. Yes. While they were taking us into the
16 hangar, one of us did not raise his hands on time and
17 then the soldier hit him a couple of times.
18 Q. Do you know the man who was hit, do you know
19 his name?
20 A. Zakir Bulut. He was hit by Anto Kristo. He
21 used to go to school with me, that is how I knew him.
22 Q. After you had been through this process, were
23 there any other people brought into the hangar that
25 A. Yes, people from another village were brought
2 Q. Were these people Muslims too?
3 A. Yes, they were.
4 Q. What village were they brought from?
5 A. From the village of Loncari.
6 Q. Were they processed in a similar way to the
7 way you had been processed?
8 A. Yes, they were. Whoever was brought in, that
9 way -- has to go through the same procedure as we did.
10 Q. Did you spend the whole night in the hangar?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Where did you sleep?
13 A. On the concrete floor, there was nothing on
14 the floor, on the floor of the hangar.
15 Q. Was there any heating in the hangar that
17 A. No.
18 Q. What happened on the next day?
19 A. Almost every day new people were brought in
20 from various locations and then a few days later three
21 more persons were brought in from the Osmancevic
22 family, but they did not stay there very long.
23 We were there until we were taken out for
24 digging trenches.
25 Q. When -- you mentioned that incident of the
1 Osmancevic family. Can you go into some more detail
2 about that? Who brought them in and who was there when
3 they were brought in?
4 A. They were simply thrown into the hangar and
5 maybe an hour later a military policeman came with the
6 warden and another person, whose name I do not know,
7 and they were simply taken away and we have not heard
8 anything about them, to this date.
9 Q. You mentioned the warden. Who was the warden
10 that came with the police?
11 A. Zlatko Aleksovski.
12 Q. You also mentioned being taken to the
13 trenches to dig trenches, or dig. Where were you
14 taken? What were the names of the places you were
15 taken to?
16 A. We were taken to Ahmici, Loncari, Jelinak,
17 Kula and Podjele locations.
18 Q. When you were taken to these locations, who
19 took you there?
20 A. We were taken by HVO soldiers, who were there
21 at those lines. They would come up and select
22 a certain number of people and they would take us
24 Q. Was there any guards or officials from the
25 camp on hand when you were selected to be taken for
1 trench digging?
2 A. Yes, there would always be a guard and the
3 warden would sometimes be there as well.
4 Q. Again, just for the record, when you say
5 "warden", who do you mean by that?
6 A. Zlatko Aleksovski.
7 Q. Was any record kept of the people that were
8 taken for trench digging, that you could see?
9 A. Yes, there was a soldier who was in charge of
10 keeping some kind of record. He would always draw up
11 a list of persons who were supposed to go to various
13 Q. Was that soldier, so far as you could
14 ascertain, part of the camp administration or a soldier
15 from outside the camp, that you could tell?
16 A. Well, I think that he was from the
17 administration, most probably so, yes.
18 MR. NIEMANN: And I wonder if you would do
19 something for me. I will show you a map and on that
20 map I would ask you to mark for me in a highlighter pen
21 the places that you mentioned that you were taken to
22 for trench digging.
23 I have copies for your Honours, whether your
24 Honours need it or not, I am not sure because it is the
25 same map that has been produced. Perhaps the copy that
1 is shown to the witness might be given the next exhibit
2 number in order of the Prosecution, please.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 31.
4 MR. NIEMANN: Witness E, would you please
5 study the map for a moment that is in front of you
6 there. We then want to put it on to the screen beside
7 you. With the highlighter pen, I would like you to go
8 through and mark the places that you can remember that
9 you were taken to for trench digging. Can you do that
10 for me? Do it on the actual video machine.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When you mark it, tell us which ones you are
14 A. (Witness marked map). Do you want me to
15 encircle the location?
16 Q. Yes, that would be fine. Put a circle around
17 it, that would be fine. What is that one?
18 A. That is Kula. (Witness marked map).
19 Q. The next one.
20 A. Ahmici, Jelinak, Loncari, Podjele. (Witness
21 marked map).
22 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you.
23 I tender that, your Honour, that exhibit.
24 I would now like to show the witness another
25 map -- another photograph, if I may. Perhaps it could
1 given the next number in order. Your Honours, there is
2 a copy of this for your Honours and for the Defence.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 32.
5 MR. NIEMANN: Witness E, have a look and study
6 this photograph for me again, if you would, please.
7 Tell me, by looking at it, if you can recognise what it
8 is a photograph of.
9 A. It depicts locations around the camp where we
10 were taken to work.
11 Q. Could you, firstly -- are you able to,
12 putting that on the projector again, if you would do
13 that for me, with your pen, could you mark the location
14 of the camp? On this occasion I would like if you
15 would give it the letter "A", the camp site. On that
16 photograph, can you mark the camp site with the letter
17 "A" on the photograph?
18 A. (Witness marked map).
19 Q. That is excellent, thank you.
20 Now, by looking at that photograph, are you
21 able to see any places that you were taken to to dig
22 trenches? If you can see those places, the places
23 where you had to dig trenches, could you, again, draw
24 a circle for us? Would you tell us the name of the
25 place, then we will give it the next alphabetical
1 letter, "B", for the next one? Would you do that for
3 A. Yes. (Witness marked map).
4 Q. What is that that one?
5 A. That is Podjele.
6 Q. And the next one: what is that one?
7 A. That is Jelinak, "C". "D" for Loncari.
8 (Witness marked map).
9 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that, your Honours.
10 I think that is all there is on that photograph.
11 Apart from having to go out and work outside
12 of the camp digging trenches, were there any other
13 duties that you had to perform outside of the camp
14 during the period of your imprisonment?
15 A. We were taken to Podjele several times. We
16 did some work on the bridge there. Those were wooden
17 bridges and had to be cemented.
18 We also went to do agricultural work for
19 several times.
20 MR. NIEMANN: That is fine. I would like you
21 to look at the next photograph, if you would, for me,
22 please. Again, it is a more expanded version of the
23 photograph we just looked at. (Handed).
24 Again, there is a copies for your Honour, and
25 one for the Defence. Might it be awarded the next
1 Prosecution number?
2 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 33.
3 MR. NIEMANN: Just study that for a moment, if
4 you would, for me, please, Witness E. I would like
5 you, if you would, to mark on it -- if you can see it
6 there -- the Kaonik camp. Perhaps you might put
7 a circle around the Kaonik camp, then a letter "A".
8 And the place in Podjele where you had to work on the
9 bridges. If you mark that and put a letter "B".
10 A. (Witness marked map).
11 Q. That is the Kaonik camp, it?
12 A. Yes, that is right.
13 Q. Would you put a circle around the location at
14 Podjele where you had to repair the bridges?
15 A. (Witness marked map).
16 Q. If that could be marked with a "B".
17 A. We worked on one more locality a little
18 further off. I do not think you can see it on this
19 map, but somewhere around here, up here.
21 MR. NIEMANN: We will leave that one for the
22 minute. Thank you.
23 We will leave that to be tendered into
24 evidence, if your Honours please.
25 You mentioned going to Ahmici. When you went
1 to Ahmici, who took you there?
2 A. A member of the HVO came and later we were
3 told that his name is Cisko. He selected 20 of us, in
4 the presence of Zlatko Aleksovski, and he took us to
5 the village of Ahmici.
6 Q. When you got to the village of Ahmici, what
7 did you see?
8 A. The houses were still aflame. There was
9 nobody there. Everything was burnt or burning. There
10 were several animals that had been killed lying around,
12 Q. Did this person that you later came to know
13 as Cisko, did he say anything to you when you arrived
15 A. Yes, when we got to the place where we were
16 supposed to dig the trenches, he told us that if
17 anybody tried to escape -- and he took out a huge knife
18 which was still covered in blood -- and he said: "If
19 anybody tries to escape, he will be killed in the same
20 way the children in Ahmici were killed."
21 Q. How long did you have to stay there digging
22 trenches that night?
23 A. We were there the whole night, until the
24 morning and then were taken back.
25 Q. How many people were in the hangar in the
1 time that you were kept there?
2 A. About 200 to 300, and later on more people
3 were brought in from Travnik and other places, people
4 we did not know.
5 Q. Can you describe the conditions in the hangar
6 in terms of what you were given to eat and the sanitary
7 conditions and sleeping conditions?
8 A. The sleeping conditions; there were some
9 pallets, wooden pallets. Later on we brought these
10 into the hangar and lay on them. As far as food is
11 concerned, at the beginning they would give us one to
12 two loaves of bread per 100/200 people and we had to go
13 to the toilet in the hangar in a sort of larger bucket,
14 latrine or bucket.
15 Q. You spoke of Cisko taking you to Ahmici.
16 Were you taken to other locations by Cisko?
17 A. Yes, later on he selected a group of 20 of
18 us, above the village of Loncari. We started -- we had
19 already started digging, but he lined us up into two
20 columns and he said: "Anybody who comes under me, who
21 is a Muslim, will have to learn to make the sign of the
22 cross first, that is a rule with me."
23 After that, as he recognised one of his
24 co-workers from his company, he told him to step out
25 and show us how to do this. He stepped out, he did not
1 know how to make the sign of the cross and he was told
2 how to do this. When he did it, we stepped out one by
3 one and had to make the sign of the cross ourselves,
4 after which we returned to our digging jobs.
5 Q. Now, were you able to gain a sense of how
6 close you were to the front-lines while you were digging
7 these trenches?
8 A. Well, as the crow flies, let us say about 100
9 to 200 metres. Two to three kilometres.
10 Q. And was there any fighting or military
11 activity going on at the time when you were out digging
13 A. No, while I was there, there was not.
14 Q. Were you always kept in the hangar or were
15 you later moved somewhere else?
16 A. Afterwards, when they took us out, say one
17 month later, the ones that remained in the hangar, they
18 took us out, and the elderly, and they sent us to the
19 village of Skradno and we were under house arrest.
20 There was 18 of us and we were then transferred to the
21 hangar with the cells.
22 Q. When you went to the hangar with the cells,
23 do you know who was being kept there or some of the
24 people being kept there? Not necessarily by name, but
25 perhaps by description?
1 A. Yes. In one of the cells I knew some of the
2 people and we would meet in the lavatories from time to
3 time. There were 11 Arabs. In a solitary confinement
4 cell there was a man from Travnik and some others,
5 probably one of their soldiers. He was in this
6 solitary confinement cell.
7 Q. During the time that you were there, did
8 anything happen to these 11 Arab people?
9 A. Yes. They were often -- often cries were
10 heard coming from the cell. They were maltreated, they
11 were beaten. You could hear this noise coming from the
12 cells and the man in the solitary confinement cell we
13 could hear similar noises coming from that cell too.
14 Q. Do you know who was doing these beatings?
15 A. No, I do not.
16 Q. How often did they occur?
17 A. Practically all the time. HVO soldiers or
18 some of the staff would go -- every day we would hear
19 this, every day people would be beaten up, almost every
21 Q. Were you ever addressed by the commander of
22 the camp?
23 A. Yes, at the beginning he said: "I am the
24 commander. Everything that you need, there will not be
25 any problems ..." and so on and so forth.
1 Q. Were you, at any stage, registered by the
3 A. Yes, on the 19th April.
4 MR. NIEMANN: You spoke of the two hangars,
5 the first one that you went to, then the cell block.
6 I ask you to look at the photograph I am now going to
7 show you. I ask you if you recognise the photograph.
8 We have photocopies of the photographs, your
9 Honours. Hopefully in due course we will be able to
10 replace those with actual prints. At this stage we
11 only have photocopies and I apologise for that, your
12 Honours. Likewise with Mr. Mikulicic, we will provide
13 him with copies. (Handed).
14 THE REGISTRAR: P34.
15 MR. NIEMANN: Might that be placed -- once you
16 have looked on it -- on the overhead projector. Again,
17 with the pointer, can you point out with the pointer
18 what it is that you know about this photograph that you
19 could draw our attention to?
20 A. This hangar here is where we are for the
21 first month. We were later on transferred to this
22 second hangar with the cells. (Indicating).
23 MR. NIEMANN: The first hangar indicated by
24 the witness is the shown in the foreground of the
25 photograph, it is the largest building appearing in the
1 foreground to the right-hand side of the photograph.
2 The building more distant pointed to by the
3 witness on the left-hand side of the photograph, the
4 witness described as the building with the cells.
5 Are these two places contained within the
6 Kaonik camp; is that right?
7 A. Yes, that is right.
8 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that photograph.
9 I have another photograph I would like you to
10 look at for me, if you would.
11 Again, your Honours, we have a copy.
12 (Handed). If it could be given the next number, your
14 THE REGISTRAR: P35.
15 MR. NIEMANN: Do you recognise that
17 A. Yes. That is the hangar with the cells.
18 Q. Looking at that photograph now, can you point
19 to the entry to the cells, the main entry?
20 A. (Indicating on photograph).
21 Q. And on the -- there is what appears to be two
22 windows on either side of the entry that you have just
23 pointed to. Do you know what rooms those windows go
25 A. On the left-hand side was the warden's
1 office. On the right-hand side were the guards.
2 Q. And by "the warden", who do you mean, just
3 for the record?
4 A. Zlatko Aleksovski.
5 Q. Where were the cells, did they have any
6 windows that you can point to?
7 A. The cells were to the right, three to the
8 right. (Indicating on photograph). Then across the
9 hall on this side, there were three more. Then they
10 would stretch along the left-hand side. I am not quite
11 sure how many. Three here, two toilets there, and
12 three cells along here. (Indicating on photograph).
13 Q. Thank you.
14 A. As far as I am aware.
15 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that photograph, your
17 Could the witness be shown Exhibit P20?
19 Just looking at that photograph, do you
20 recognise that photograph?
21 A. This -- in this room, this is where the
22 guards were, with the bars on the windows. These are
23 the three cells. I was in this one here, cell 16, 15
24 and 14. Across the hallway was cell number 11, which
25 were the villagers of Loncari. This is the table where
1 we had our meals. (Indicating on photograph).
2 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you. If that could be
3 returned to the Registrar, I would be grateful.
4 During the time that you were held captive in
5 the Kaonik camp, did you loose any weight?
6 A. Yes, about 42/43 kilos was my weight when
7 I was released.
8 Q. What were the sanitary conditions like in
9 terms of being able to shower and bath and so forth
10 during the time you were there?
11 A. While I was in the camp, more than two
12 months, I never had a chance of taking a shower.
13 I never took a shower.
14 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I am going to now
15 ask the witness to describe an event, where he may
16 mention names of people who have previously been
17 assigned pseudonyms. For that reason, may we go into
18 private session, while the witness describes this
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, would you
21 object to that or not?
22 MR. MIKULICIC: No objections, your Honours.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Fine. We are now in
24 a private session then.
25 (In private session)
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1 your Honours.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We are going to go back
3 into open session. Fine, proceed.
4 (In open session)
5 MR. NIEMANN: When were you released from the
6 Kaonik camp?
7 A. I was released on the 19th June.
8 Q. Were you released in a group or were you on
9 your own? Can you just describe the circumstances of
10 your release?
11 A. There was a group of us with the guard. I do
12 not remember his name. We were harvesting the grass
13 and they said he had an important piece of news for us
14 and he told us that there would be an exchange in the
15 afternoon and that we could go home. That is exactly
16 what happened.
17 The Red Cross came and their HVO soldiers
18 from Zenica were brought and then we were released, all
19 of us except one Arab person who remained there.
20 Q. Just going back to the time when you were in
21 the camp, the guards that were in the camp, the camp
22 guards as opposed to soldiers in the field, can you
23 recall how they were dressed?
24 A. They were in camouflage uniform.
25 Q. Did you notice any markings or insignia on
1 their uniform?
2 A. I do not remember.
3 MR. NIEMANN: No further questions, your
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, how much time
6 do you think you might need for your
7 cross-examination? Because we cannot go beyond 1.15
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, we will have
10 quite a few questions for this witness, so with the
11 court's indulgence, I propose that we wind up today, so
12 that I do not interrupt my cross-examination. I would
13 like to begin my cross-examination tomorrow. That
14 would be my application, your Honours.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, would you like
16 to say anything on that score?
17 MR. NIEMANN: Well, your Honours, the only
18 point I make is that we have Professor Biancini who
19 will testify tomorrow. I expect -- I had planned his
20 evidence would probably take all the morning, but it
21 may not. We may be able to do both.
22 That was the only consideration I had. 15
23 minutes is not much time, so I am not wanting to press
24 Mr. Mikulicic, if he feels he would prefer not to
25 interrupt his cross-examination.
1 I just indicate that it may have the
2 consequence that we do not completely finish Professor
3 Bijancini. We will have to see. That is as best as
4 I can put the it.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: So then, perhaps we should
6 take account of what the counsel for the accused has
7 said. We will give due time to the Defence. After
8 that tomorrow, we will be hearing the Professor. We
9 will leave it there for today.
10 We would like to thank you, Witness E, for
11 having testified before this Tribunal. If the usher
12 would be so good as to bring down the blinds.
13 See you all tomorrow then.
14 (1.03 pm)
15 (The hearing adjourned until 9.00 am
16 on Thursday, 26th February 1998)