International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

  1. 1 Tuesday, 24th March 1998

    2 (9.10am)

    3 (The accused entered court)

    4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, ladies and

    5 gentlemen. We shall continue our case. Can I have the

    6 number, Mr. Registrar, please?

    7 THE REGISTRAR: It is case number

    8 IT-95-14/1, the Prosecutor versus Zlatko Aleksovski.

    9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much.

    10 I think that I have learned of the sickness of

    11 Mr. Marchesiello. We wish him good health and a speedy

    12 recovery. Mr. Prosecutor?

    13 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honours.

    14 Mr. Marchesiello has been appointed to the bench in

    15 April. He will take up his appointment in April. He

    16 will no longer be returning to the Prosecutor's case.

    17 He has taken up a senior position.

    18 My name is Niemann. I appear with my

    19 colleague, Mr. Meddegoda, Ms. Sutherland and Ms. Erasmus

    20 for the Prosecution.

    21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Can we have the

    22 appearances for the Defence, please?

    23 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, your Honours.

    24 My name is Goran Mikulicic, representing, together with

    25 my colleague, Joka, the accused.

  2. 1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much.

    2 Shall we continue, Mr. Niemann, with the witness, of the

    3 Prosecution, I think. It is Mr. Meddegoda today?

    4 MR. MEDDEGODA: The first Prosecution

    5 witness this morning is the witness listed in

    6 paragraph 4; he is witness number 3 in paragraph 4 of

    7 the inventory of witnesses dated 20 March 1998 and, in

    8 respect of that witness, your Honours, I am seeking to

    9 apply for protective measures. The witness has

    10 indicated to me that he would wish to testify under a

    11 pseudonym and also the image of his face be distorted

    12 during the course of his testimony. Therefore, I move

    13 that your Honours be pleased to grant the protective

    14 measures sought by this witness. If your Honours are

    15 inclined to grant a pseudonym, the witness would be

    16 known as Witness L.

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We were informed that the

    18 Defence has no objection to this. Is that true,

    19 Mr. Mikulicic, that you have no objection?

    20 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, the Defence has

    21 no objection.

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.

    23 Mr. Usher, can you bring down the blinds, please?

    24 (The witness entered court)

    25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, Sir. Do you

  3. 1 hear me well?

    2 THE WITNESS: Yes.

    3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You are going to read the

    4 solemn declaration that will be handed to you by the

    5 usher.

    6 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that

    7 I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but

    8 the truth.

    9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You may be seated,

    10 please. You are going to answer questions which the

    11 Prosecutor, Mr. Meddegoda, is going to put to you, if

    12 you please.

    13 WITNESS L

    14 Examined by MR. MEDDEGODA

    15 Q. Good morning, witness. Their Honours have

    16 been pleased to grant the protective measures you have

    17 sought before you testify before the Tribunal, and

    18 therefore you will be known as Witness L for the

    19 purposes of the record. Before you testify, I would

    20 hand over to you a sheet of paper, and I would ask you

    21 to look at the sheet of paper and confirm whether the

    22 name which appears on that sheet of paper is your name

    23 or not.

    24 May I please ask the usher to hand it over?

    25 (Handed).

  4. 1 A. Yes.

    2 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, if that could be

    3 shown to learned counsel for the Defence. Your

    4 Honours, I am moving to produce that sheet of paper

    5 with the witness's name as an exhibit under seal.

    6 THE REGISTRAR: It will be exhibit number

    7 79.

    8 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness L, you are Bosniak

    9 by ethnicity?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness be asked

    12 to speak into the microphone?

    13 MR. MEDDEGODA: Could you speak into the

    14 microphone?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Your religion is Islam?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. Could you state what your age is?

    19 A. I am 30.

    20 Q. Witness, in 1992, you served as a member of

    21 the TO?

    22 A. Yes, yes.

    23 Q. And, as a member of the TO, could you

    24 describe what your function was?

    25 A. My duties were mostly to keep watch in the

  5. 1 village.

    2 Q. You were part of the village patrol, so to

    3 speak, as a member of the TO?

    4 A. Yes, yes.

    5 Q. When did you join the TO?

    6 A. In 1992.

    7 Q. Did you continue to be a member of the TO at

    8 the time the conflict broke out in your village?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. And do you know between which parties the

    11 conflict broke out in your village?

    12 A. Yes, between the HVO and the BiH army.

    13 Q. And when was that?

    14 A. On 27 January 1993.

    15 Q. Where were you on that day, on 27 January

    16 1993?

    17 A. In my village.

    18 Q. And did anything happen to you on that day?

    19 A. Yes, members of the Croat Defence Council

    20 gave us an ultimatum that we should surrender.

    21 Q. And what time was the ultimatum given to you?

    22 A. I did not understand the question.

    23 Q. What time was it when the ultimatum was given

    24 by the HVO?

    25 A. I think it was the day before -- I do not

  6. 1 remember the exact date, but it could have been the

    2 26th of January.

    3 Q. What happened when the ultimatum was given to

    4 you?

    5 A. We did not agree -- we sent a man to tell

    6 them -- tell the HVO that we would not surrender. He

    7 went, and they would not let him come back to the

    8 village.

    9 Q. What did you and the other villagers do when

    10 he was not allowed to come back?

    11 A. We, after that, when again they addressed an

    12 ultimatum over the loud speaker, and said that if we

    13 did not surrender they would start shelling, we

    14 evacuated the civilians and, half an hour later, that

    15 is what happened.

    16 Q. What happened after you evacuated from the

    17 village -- after the village was evacuated?

    18 A. The shelling started by the HVO.

    19 Q. Where were you when the shelling started?

    20 A. In the village.

    21 Q. What happened thereafter?

    22 A. After that, the other members who were there

    23 also withdrew. I stayed on in the village. HVO

    24 members entered the village and captured me.

    25 Q. How did you know they were HVO members who

  7. 1 captured you?

    2 A. The people who captured me did not have any

    3 insignia -- at least I did not notice any -- but, while

    4 they were taking me in, I saw some members with

    5 insignia.

    6 Q. And what type of uniform were they attired

    7 in?

    8 A. They had camouflage uniform. They were well

    9 equipped -- they had automatic weapons, Motorolas and

    10 handcuffs.

    11 Q. Could you tell this court what happened after

    12 you were captured by the HVO?

    13 A. After I was captured, the members who

    14 captured me started to mistreat me. They hit me twice

    15 with rifle butts in the head and injured me.

    16 Afterwards, they tied my hands behind my back and they

    17 led me in the direction of the school at Bare. On the

    18 way they also mistreated me.

    19 Q. After you were arrested, did you hear a

    20 conversation on the Motorola between the HVO soldiers

    21 and some others?

    22 A. Yes. An HVO member had this Motorola in his

    23 hand, and he was guiding the shells towards the

    24 neighbouring village with it and, just then, a shell

    25 fell near us. He started cursing his own people,

  8. 1 telling them to drop those shells a little further away

    2 and not so close.

    3 Q. You said you were taken to a school building

    4 after your arrest, to a building in Bare?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. On the way to the school building, were you

    7 mistreated by anybody?

    8 A. Yes. HVO members, on the way from the

    9 village to the school, mistreated me. They hit me with

    10 rifle butts, mostly in the head.

    11 Q. And at any point in time were you ordered to

    12 take off your boots by the members of the HVO who

    13 arrested you?

    14 A. Yes. It was near a stream -- they ordered to

    15 take off my boots, which they threw away, and I had to

    16 cross the stream twice, to the other bank and back

    17 twice. Then they took me in front of the school at

    18 Bare.

    19 Q. What happened after you were taken to the

    20 school building in Bare?

    21 A. They handed me over to their commander. I do

    22 not exactly recall his name, but I think it was Vuleta.

    23 Q. How long were you at or near the school

    24 building?

    25 A. I do not remember exactly how much time

  9. 1 I spent there, but I was there, and from there, I was

    2 transferred by bus to Busovaca.

    3 Q. Where in Busovaca were you brought to by bus?

    4 A. To the bus station in Busovaca.

    5 Q. Did anybody escort you when you were brought

    6 by bus to Busovaca?

    7 A. Yes, there was an HVO member and the driver,

    8 who was driving the bus.

    9 Q. What happened when you were brought to the

    10 bus station in Busovaca?

    11 A. I was taken in front of a cafe bar and I was

    12 told to wait. After a short while, the same HVO member

    13 came and he took me again to the bus station.

    14 Actually, the cafe bar was at the station, too. It was

    15 all nearby.

    16 Q. And from there, were you taken anywhere else?

    17 A. Yes. From the bus station in Busovaca I was

    18 taken to the Kaonik camp.

    19 Q. Could you describe to this court what

    20 happened upon arrival in the Kaonik camp?

    21 A. At Kaonik, I was admitted by someone --

    22 I think his name was Marko Krilic, who wrote down my

    23 name in a book. He took off the handcuffs I had, and

    24 he took me and he drove me to the outpatients' clinic

    25 in Busovaca.

  10. 1 Q. And why were you driven to the outpatients'

    2 clinic in Busovaca?

    3 A. They cleaned my wounds, they bandaged them,

    4 and then they took me back to the Kaonik camp.

    5 Q. Do you recall to which building in Kaonik

    6 camp you were brought to -- what type of building was

    7 it that you were brought into in the Kaonik camp?

    8 A. Yes. It used to be a hangar of the former

    9 Yugoslav army and that is where the prison had been

    10 made.

    11 Q. Before being taken to the clinic, were you

    12 brought -- is it the same building that you were taken

    13 to upon arrival?

    14 A. Yes.

    15 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, may the witness

    16 be shown an aerial photograph of the camp, which has

    17 already been produced in evidence -- there are five

    18 copies.

    19 Could the usher please place the photograph

    20 on the ELMO?

    21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Registrar, the number

    22 of the exhibit?

    23 THE REGISTRAR: It is exhibit number 80.

    24 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, could you please

    25 look at the photograph on the projector and, with the

  11. 1 pointer, show the building to which you were brought to

    2 in the Kaonik camp on that day? Could you please show

    3 it on the picture that is on the ELMO?

    4 A. (Indicates).

    5 Q. Could you please circle that building using a

    6 highlighter that is on the table and mark it with the

    7 letter "A".

    8 A. (Witness marked photograph).

    9 Q. You were first brought to that building in

    10 the Kaonik camp; is that right?

    11 A. Yes.

    12 Q. And is it from that building that Marko

    13 Krilic took you to the outpatients' department or

    14 outpatients' clinic --

    15 A. Yes, yes.

    16 Q. And to which building were you returned after

    17 being treated at the outpatients' clinic?

    18 A. To the same building.

    19 Q. And where in that building were you put into?

    20 A. (Indicates).

    21 Q. What type of building was that -- was it a

    22 building --

    23 A. That was a building, as I already said, where

    24 the hangar was, and that is where the prison was built,

    25 with cells, for the prisoners.

  12. 1 Q. Were you put into a cell in that building

    2 after you were brought back from Busovaca?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. Do you recall which cell you were put into?

    5 A. Yes, number 15.

    6 Q. At the time when you were put into that cell,

    7 where there already other prisoners in that cell?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. About how many were there?

    10 A. I do not know exactly, but I believe it was

    11 about 20.

    12 Q. Do you know to which ethnic group those other

    13 prisoners belonged to?

    14 A. Muslims.

    15 Q. After you were put into that cell, were you

    16 taken out on labour detachments?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. And when was that?

    19 A. I do not recall exactly, but I believe it was

    20 the following day -- the 28th.

    21 Q. Do you know where you were taken to?

    22 A. To Podjele.

    23 Q. How were you selected to be taken to Podjele?

    24 A. You see, we were all brought out of the cells

    25 into the hallway, and Marko Krilic was there calling

  13. 1 out, and 20 of us went to Podjele to dig.

    2 Q. Could you describe to this court what

    3 happened at Podjele when you were taken there to dig?

    4 A. We were brought to the Lasva River to dig

    5 some trenches there in the morning around 8 o'clock.

    6 We were guarded by the HVO members, one of whose name

    7 was Zare -- I believe he was the commander of this

    8 group. We were not allowed to sit down and rest. We

    9 asked for water and they gave us water from the Lasva

    10 River.

    11 This went on throughout the day until around

    12 8 o'clock in the evening, when another group of the HVO

    13 members arrived, who were more decent than the previous

    14 ones. They allowed us to sit down and rest, to light up

    15 a cigarette in case we smoked, and then, later, around

    16 10 o'clock, they took us to the village of Podjele

    17 itself, and there they gave us some food to eat.

    18 We continued to dig, with some breaks in

    19 between, until 11 o'clock the following morning. At 11

    20 o'clock another group of prisoners arrived, it was the

    21 same number as we, and we went back to the camp.

    22 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, may I have

    23 permission to show to the witness a map of the area?

    24 This map, too, has already been produced in evidence.

    25 I am submitting five copies for your Honours as well as

  14. 1 to learned counsel for the Defence. (Handed).

    2 May that be assigned the next number?

    3 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit 81.

    4 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, you have said that

    5 you were taken to Podjele the next day. Could you

    6 please, looking at the map that is on the ELMO, and

    7 using one of the markers, highlight the area that you

    8 were taken to for trench digging?

    9 A. (Witness marked map).

    10 Q. Could you please mark that with the letter

    11 "A"?

    12 A. (Witness marked map).

    13 Q. You said you were brought back to the camp

    14 the next morning; where in the camp were you brought

    15 back to?

    16 A. I do not know exactly -- I believe it was

    17 cell number 6.

    18 Q. Were there other occasions on which you were

    19 taken for trench digging whilst you were detained?

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. And where were you taken to next?

    22 A. Prosje.

    23 Q. What time of the day was it when you were

    24 taken to Prosje?

    25 A. I believe it was in the morning -- some time

  15. 1 around 8 o'clock, and until about 10 o'clock in the

    2 evening.

    3 Q. What was the selection process on this

    4 occasion?

    5 A. You see it was similar like the first time --

    6 we all came out in the hallway and Marko Krilic was

    7 calling people out. Whoever was called out stepped

    8 outside and then we were taken in trucks from the camp

    9 to the location where we were supposed to dig.

    10 Q. Were you taken elsewhere for trench digging?

    11 A. Yes, Milavice.

    12 Q. In relation to the time you were taken to

    13 Prosje, how many days thereafter were you taken to

    14 Milavice -- how many days after were you taken to

    15 Milavice?

    16 A. I do not know.

    17 Q. How many prisoners were taken to Milavice?

    18 A. I believe there were 20.

    19 Q. Was it the same process of selection of

    20 prisoners?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. For how long did you have to dig in Milavice?

    23 A. The same -- let us say from 8 o'clock in the

    24 morning until dusk -- I do not know exactly.

    25 Q. You said it was Marko Krilic who called out

  16. 1 the names of the prisoners. Do you know what his role

    2 was in the camp?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. What was he wearing -- do you remember what

    5 kind of attire he was wearing?

    6 A. Yes, camouflage uniform.

    7 Q. And did he have any insignia on him?

    8 A. I do not remember.

    9 Q. For how long were you in the camp, witness?

    10 A. From 27 January until 8 February.

    11 Q. And it was on 8 February that you were

    12 released from detention?

    13 A. Yes, there was an exchange and I went to

    14 Zenica.

    15 Q. About how many prisoners were exchanged on

    16 that day?

    17 A. I am not sure about the number, but I believe

    18 it was about 400.

    19 Q. You said after your release you went to

    20 Zenica?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. From there, did you go anywhere else?

    23 A. From Zenica, I went back to my family again,

    24 and I joined the BiH army.

    25 Q. After joining the BiH army, where were you

  17. 1 posted to?

    2 A. This is a village that is adjacent to my

    3 village -- no, no, no -- I was assigned to Kruscica.

    4 Q. Do you remember the time when fighting broke

    5 out in that area?

    6 A. Yes, on 16 April 1993.

    7 Q. And on that day between whom did the fighting

    8 break out?

    9 A. Between the members of the army and the

    10 members of the HVO.

    11 Q. What happened when fighting broke out in your

    12 area?

    13 A. The Croat Defence Council forces attacked

    14 with all their might, my village -- the place where

    15 I was staying. At one point six of us, a group of six,

    16 were in a forest where we were patrolling. We spent

    17 the entire day there, and some time close to the end of

    18 the day a colleague of mine and I fell asleep, and

    19 again the HVO members came and took the two of us

    20 prisoner.

    21 MR. MEDDEGODA: You said you and a colleague

    22 of yours were taken prisoner.

    23 Your Honours, the Prosecution intends to call

    24 the colleague who was taken prisoner with him, and, in

    25 respect of that witness, the Prosecution intends to

  18. 1 make a similar application for protective measures.

    2 Therefore, I do not want the witness to come out with

    3 the name of that colleague. Instead, your Honours,

    4 I am tendering to the witness a sheet of paper with the

    5 colleague's name on it so the witness can confirm

    6 whether it is the same person with whom -- whether that

    7 person was arrested together with him.

    8 May the usher be please asked to show the

    9 sheet of paper to the witness to confirm whether the

    10 name appearing on that sheet is that of his colleague?

    11 (Handed).

    12 A. Yes.

    13 MR. MEDDEGODA: Yes, it may be shown to the

    14 Defence.

    15 THE REGISTRAR: It is exhibit number 82.

    16 MR. MEDDEGODA: I do tender that as an

    17 exhibit under seal.

    18 Witness, you said that you and your

    19 colleague, whose name you confirmed as that which

    20 appeared on the sheet of paper, were arrested by the

    21 HVO?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 Q. And, after being arrested, where were you all

    24 taken to?

    25 A. We were arrested at a place called Pecine, we

  19. 1 were taken to Zabrde. After Zabrde, after that we were

    2 taken to the school in Gornja Veceriska.

    3 Q. For how long did you stay in the school in

    4 Gornja Veceriska?

    5 A. I think it was about two nights, and the

    6 members of the Croat Defence Council were coming

    7 there. They mistreated us, and they shot over our

    8 heads. We slept on the concrete, we had nothing.

    9 Q. And where were you taken to thereafter?

    10 A. After that, I believe it was two or three

    11 days later, the HVO members arrived again. They

    12 blindfolded us and tied our hands behind our backs with

    13 a wire, and they took us out. In the meantime, one of

    14 the two of us asked them where they were taking us, and

    15 one of the members told us that we were being taken to

    16 be executed.

    17 They placed us on a tractor, and they drove

    18 us across some hills -- at least that was the sensation

    19 that we had. Since we were blindfolded and we could

    20 not see, they brought us to some village where we could

    21 hear voices of women and children, and they transferred

    22 us to a trunk of a small passenger vehicle. After a

    23 short period of time, we were again transported --

    24 I believe this was a van or a bus, but I am not sure of

    25 it.

  20. 1 We were brought to a location which I had

    2 never seen before. They took the blindfolds off --

    3 there were five or six soldiers present who had

    4 stockings over their faces. They untied our hands

    5 there, and they put us in some kind of a manhole, which

    6 was about five metres deep. We climbed downstairs into

    7 it -- it was some kind of either a water main or sewers

    8 with some vents. We were there from the moment we were

    9 brought there until it got dark.

    10 Q. Did you spend the night in the manhole?

    11 A. No.

    12 JUDGE VOHRAH: Mr. Meddegoda, what is the

    13 relevance of all this evidence -- does it bear on the

    14 charges at all?

    15 MR. MEDDEGODA: I am seeking to elicit from

    16 the witness -- from here onwards he was taken to Kaonik

    17 camp where he was detained and subject to mistreatment.

    18 So, were you taken out of the manhole at any

    19 point in time that day?

    20 A. Yes, as soon as we reached that spot, when

    21 they took off the blindfolds, and untied our hands,

    22 they put us in this manhole, and, just before dark

    23 fell, an HVO soldier came -- a fair young man, who

    24 called us to come out -- we did. He offered us some

    25 food. As it was cold in the manhole, we could not eat

  21. 1 -- we were shivering -- our hands were shaking, so we

    2 asked him if he could give us a blanket to warm

    3 ourselves. He said he would see, and he left.

    4 A short while later, he came back and told us

    5 to come out again and he took us to a container, where

    6 there were blankets -- quite a lot of them -- and there

    7 were lunch packets -- packed lunches there, too.

    8 Q. You spent the night in the container, did

    9 you?

    10 A. Yes, he told us to clean it up a bit, because

    11 the blankets were thrown all over the place, and to

    12 sleep there. That is what we did.

    13 Q. What happened the next morning?

    14 A. The next morning, the same soldier, HVO

    15 soldier, came and took us to the same manhole, and shut

    16 us up there. We spent some time there -- I do not

    17 recall exactly how long -- and then he came back again,

    18 called out one of us. As my colleague was the first,

    19 he went out. I waited inside -- I was locked up

    20 there. He was taken away for interrogation. When my

    21 colleague returned, they took me. This lasted about

    22 half an hour. I came back.

    23 A little later again, they came to fetch us

    24 again, and they took us --

    25 Q. Where were you taken to?

  22. 1 A. They took us to some kind of a mobile

    2 armoured vehicle -- a vehicle, like a transporter. We

    3 were escorted by the military police, and they

    4 transported us to the Busovaca camp.

    5 Q. You said you were escorted by the military

    6 police. The military police of which army escorted you

    7 to the Busovaca camp?

    8 A. The police that escorted us to the Busovaca

    9 camp belonged to the army of the Croat Defence

    10 Council.

    11 Q. And by the "Busovaca camp", you mean the

    12 Kaonik camp to which you were earlier brought to and

    13 from which you were released?

    14 A. Yes.

    15 Q. And could you tell this court what happened

    16 upon arrival in the Kaonik camp?

    17 A. Yes. Since they had transported us in this

    18 vehicle to the Kaonik camp, we came out at the entrance

    19 gates, and, from there, we went on, on foot, to the

    20 actual prison building, where, in front of the door,

    21 the commander of the prison was waiting -- Zlatko

    22 Aleksovski -- with several more guards.

    23 Q. Did the commander of the prison say anything

    24 when you entered the camp building?

    25 A. Yes, he introduced himself as the camp

  23. 1 commander. He ordered them to take off what we had, if

    2 we had parts of camouflage uniforms, and the laces of

    3 our boots.

    4 Q. What happened thereafter?

    5 A. Then we were put up in cell number 6. We

    6 were there for a while when members of the HVO military

    7 police came. Their names were Zarko and Miro. They

    8 started mistreating us -- that is me and my colleague.

    9 We were lying on the pallets. They jumped on the

    10 pallets and started hitting us, and kicking us in the

    11 back, in the kidney area, and in the head.

    12 This went on for some time. They apparently

    13 seemed to have tired and they said they would go and

    14 have a rest and that they would be back. They did come

    15 back -- the same two men, Miro and Zarko. Miro started

    16 hitting my colleague, and Zarko stood by watching. At

    17 that moment, the prison commander came, Zlatko

    18 Aleksovski and he told Zarko, "What are you waiting

    19 for? Why do you not act in the same way as Miro?" And

    20 he obeyed and Zarko also started hitting me.

    21 This ended. Afterwards, some HVO members --

    22 they were also in the prison I think -- and they

    23 brought us lunch, or dinner, whatever it was -- anyway,

    24 it was some food. Then again Zarko and Miro came in,

    25 who threw these beans into our face. It was still warm

  24. 1 -- I mean the food -- and then they started

    2 mistreating us again.

    3 My colleague fainted at one point and I shook

    4 him, fearing that he was dead. But he came to. After

    5 that, someone came in -- I think he, too, was an HVO

    6 member, who was there in the prison -- not captured but

    7 he was there. His name was Goran Medugorac. I know

    8 that previously he was in Zenica and he was a member of

    9 the HOS. He started mistreating me, and he was saying

    10 that I had allegedly mistreated him earlier on during a

    11 dispute.

    12 Q. What was the mistreatment that you had to

    13 undergo this time at the hands of Goran Medugorac?

    14 A. It was physical mistreatment; beating, blows

    15 mainly in the kidney area, and at the head.

    16 Q. And as alleged by Goran Medugorac, do you

    17 remember mistreating him elsewhere?

    18 A. No, I had never even seen him before.

    19 Q. Could you tell this court what happened to

    20 you in the camp thereafter?

    21 A. After that, Anto Cakic came, who ordered me

    22 -- as I was beaten up, I had to lie down. Anto Cakic

    23 ordered me to stand at attention. He would come in

    24 every 15 minutes to check whether I was still standing,

    25 and, when he came, he would occasionally hit me with

  25. 1 his leg or with his fist, and this went on like this

    2 until some time around 10 o'clock in the evening, when

    3 this same Anto went off somewhere, and I did not see

    4 him again until somewhere before the end when I was

    5 about to be exchanged. I learned later that he had

    6 gone to the front some place, and that he had been

    7 wounded there.

    8 Q. Witness, whilst you were detained in the

    9 camp, were you taken out of the camp on labour

    10 detachment -- I am referring to your second stint of

    11 detention in the camp?

    12 A. Yes. After all of this, the very next day,

    13 we were taken to dig at a location called Strane.

    14 Q. Looking at the map before you, could you mark

    15 the location Strane with the highlighter that you have

    16 beside you?

    17 A. (Witness marked map).

    18 Q. Witness, you also, earlier on in the course

    19 of your testimony, said, referring in the course of

    20 your first period of detention, that you were taken to

    21 dig trenches in Prosje and again in Milavice?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 Q. Could you please mark those places on the map

    24 that is before you, Exhibit 81?

    25 A. (Witness marked map).

  26. 1 Q. And what is that place that you marked?

    2 A. No.

    3 Q. What is the name of the place that you

    4 marked?

    5 A. Milavice.

    6 Q. Could you also mark Prosje on that map?

    7 A. I have marked Prosje.

    8 Q. Witness, I think you have marked Podjele,

    9 Milavice and then Strane?

    10 A. Prosje.

    11 Q. Okay. You said you were taken to Strane;

    12 about how many prisoners were taken to Strane?

    13 A. About 20 prisoners.

    14 Q. What did you have to do in Strane?

    15 A. We had to dig large trenches for an

    16 anti-aircraft gun which was on a truck -- a small TAM

    17 vehicle. While we were digging, HVO members guarded us

    18 with automatic rifles, while later -- I do not know

    19 what time it was exactly, because we left at 8 in the

    20 morning and perhaps around noon -- lunch came. HVO

    21 members who brought the lunch started to mistreat the

    22 prisoners, especially those who were wearing, shall we

    23 say, camouflage parts of uniforms -- anything in

    24 camouflage.

    25 Q. Were you mistreated by the HVO members on

  27. 1 this occasion?

    2 A. I personally was not, but, when the digging

    3 was over, as all I had on me was my underwear and long

    4 pants, they ordered me and another colleague to climb

    5 up out of the trench and to tread on the earth that we

    6 had dug out. A sniper on the side of the army was

    7 shooting.

    8 Q. And by "the army", which army do you mean?

    9 A. The BiH army. We were stamping on this earth

    10 -- luckily, we were not hit, but bullets were whizzing

    11 past us. When we finished it all, on the way back

    12 towards the truck, we had to carry with us to the truck

    13 the casings of the anti-aircraft gun, which they were

    14 collecting and I do not know for what reason.

    15 Q. For how long were you engaged in digging in

    16 Strane?

    17 A. This was in the morning -- I think from about

    18 8 until just before darkness fell. As I had been

    19 beaten up, I could not really dig -- I just had to

    20 shovel the earth. I could not bend down.

    21 Q. After that, were you brought back to the camp

    22 that evening?

    23 A. Yes. That evening I was taken to the camp,

    24 again to cell number 6. When we got there, my

    25 colleague and I, the cell was bloodstained. We saw

  28. 1 that somebody had been there while we had been away.

    2 We lay down. A short while later another two prisoners

    3 appeared escorted by the guards. They came in. They

    4 were also bloodstained. They were also mistreated in

    5 our cell while we had been away digging and they stayed

    6 with us. When they closed the door and left, we were

    7 able to ask them what had happened and they told us

    8 that, before, they had been in the hangar. They were

    9 taken to dig that same day, like us, and both of them

    10 were wounded there -- one in the back and the other in

    11 the arm, but later I learned the name of one of the two

    12 of these two prisoners and it was Omer Lugonjic, and

    13 I cannot recall the name of the other one.

    14 MR. MEDDEGODA: I will take a few more

    15 minutes. Will I proceed or would your Honours be

    16 inclined to take a break and reconvene?

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I think that we should

    18 have a break to give the witness a rest, and we, too,

    19 need a break -- all of us -- so we are going to have a

    20 20 minute break now.

    21 (10.26am)

    22 (A short break)

    23 (10.55am)

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Meddegoda, please

    25 proceed.

  29. 1 MR. MEDDEGODA: Very well, your Honour.

    2 Witness, before the recess you described to

    3 this court your experiences whilst trench digging in

    4 Strane and what you observed after returning from

    5 trench digging -- what you observed in the camp. Were

    6 you taken elsewhere for trench digging?

    7 A. Yes. I was taken -- I do not know exactly,

    8 but, in any event, we were taken to Kula, Loncari,

    9 Polom -- those were the places -- Popece.

    10 Q. Looking at Exhibit P80, could you please,

    11 using a highlighter, mark those places that you have

    12 just mentioned on the map that is before you, the map

    13 that has been marked P80 -- I think that is P79 --

    14 sorry, P81. Looking at P81, could you please mark

    15 those places that you just mentioned -- those places

    16 that you were taken for trench digging?

    17 A. (Witness marked map).

    18 Q. As you mark them, could you say what those

    19 places are? Where is that?

    20 A. Carica.

    21 Q. Loncari?

    22 A. Loncari, Kula.

    23 Q. Witness, using the same marker, may I ask you

    24 to mark those places that you circled on the map -- you

    25 have marked Prosje, a place you were taken for trench

  30. 1 digging during your first period of detention in the

    2 camp; could you mark Prosje with the letter "B"?

    3 A. Yes. (Witness marked map).

    4 Q. And Milavice, also during your first period

    5 of detention, with the letter "C"?

    6 A. Yes. (Witness marked map).

    7 Q. Then during your second period of detention,

    8 you were taken to Strane; could you mark Strane with

    9 the letter "D"?

    10 A. Yes. (Witness marked map).

    11 Q. And Carica with the letter "E"?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 Q. Loncari which you marked a while ago with the

    14 letter "F" and Kula which you marked last with the

    15 letter "G"?

    16 A. (Witness marked map).

    17 Q. Witness, you said you were taken to Carica.

    18 Do you remember you being maltreated whilst you were

    19 trench digging in Carica?

    20 A. Yes, I was taken to Carica on several

    21 occasions. I cannot remember exactly -- in fact,

    22 Carica and Kula I was taken several times -- to the

    23 other places only once, and I was abused there by

    24 members of the Croat Defence Council, and it was one

    25 person and his name was Anto Condra. He beat me and

  31. 1 mistreated me, and, later -- I did not say that in my

    2 statement, but he would come to the prison afterwards

    3 inebriated and besides me, he mistreated other inmates

    4 who were in the cell. This happened in cell number 12.

    5 Q. Other than these places that you marked in

    6 the map, were you also taken to Polom on any occasion

    7 for trench digging?

    8 A. It was called the Polom, not Prolum, but,

    9 yes, I was. This was at Carica location.

    10 Q. So is that the time you were taken to Carica

    11 that you were also taken to Polom, is it?

    12 A. Yes, every time.

    13 Q. Witness, now on those places that you were

    14 taken to, were any of those places on the front-lines?

    15 A. For instance, Podjele, where I dug, was not

    16 on the front-line. At Strane, it was the front-line. At

    17 Polom, also; at Kula I dug also at the front-line, and

    18 beside the front-line, it was also -- I do not know what

    19 it was called.

    20 Q. On the map that is before you, could you also

    21 mark the area of Polom that you just mentioned where

    22 you had to dig on the front-line?

    23 A. (Pause). (Witness marked map).

    24 Q. And could you mark that with the letter "H"?

    25 A. (Witness marked map).

  32. 1 Q. Witness, do you also remember what the

    2 conditions in the camp were like?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. How would you describe those conditions?

    5 A. You see, as far as the conditions in the camp

    6 are concerned, I consider them very bad. We could go

    7 out to the toilet -- we had to knock on the door and

    8 announce the number of the cell. When we would say

    9 this, the guard would come, who was on duty -- he would

    10 open the door -- and we had to be very quick. We were

    11 given a very short period of time and we had to come

    12 back fast. The toilet was within the prison. I never

    13 had a shower throughout this period. The food was

    14 horrible and I also want to say that anybody could come

    15 of the HVO members at any time and could abuse anyone

    16 that he was looking for down there.

    17 Q. Did you have heating inside the cell in which

    18 you were detained?

    19 A. No.

    20 Q. Did you have sleeping facilities inside the

    21 cell?

    22 A. Yes. This was something called pallets.

    23 There were some wooden boards and, on top of them,

    24 there were some blankets -- somewhere, there were no

    25 blankets, and there were blankets with which we covered

  33. 1 ourselves -- I had one and almost everybody did.

    2 Q. On those occasions, witness, when you were

    3 taken out for -- when you and the others were taken out

    4 for trench digging, is it that -- what was the

    5 procedure for selection during your second period of

    6 detention?

    7 A. The procedure of taking prisoners to dig,

    8 that is, to forced labour, was as follows: Marko

    9 Krilic would read out the list; we were in the cells,

    10 and, when he would read out my name, I would say the

    11 number of the cell, the guards would open the door, and

    12 we would step outside into the hallway and that is

    13 where we lined up and then we were transported in the

    14 trucks to the location where we were to dig.

    15 Q. Witness, in the course of your testimony this

    16 morning you also referred to your colleague, and I

    17 showed you a sheet of paper with the name of your

    18 colleague written on it. Is it the same person that

    19 you referred to as your colleague throughout your

    20 testimony?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. Witness, do you remember until when you were

    23 detained in Kaonik camp for the second time?

    24 A. Until 19 June 1993.

    25 Q. And do you know the circumstances under which

  34. 1 you were released from prison on 19 June 1993?

    2 A. Yes, an exchange took place. I do not know

    3 how it came about, but at any rate an exchange took

    4 place, and we were released.

    5 Q. And do you know whether any organisation was

    6 involved in the exchange or in the release of

    7 prisoners?

    8 A. I assumed that it was the Red Cross, because

    9 they came to visit us while we were in the camp.

    10 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, may the

    11 witness be shown Prosecution exhibit number 80. I have

    12 just a few more questions of the witness. That was the

    13 aerial photograph of the camp, your Honours.

    14 (Handed).

    15 Witness, you have marked on that aerial

    16 photograph, Prosecution exhibit number 80, the building

    17 that you have circled with the letter "A" and that is

    18 the building where you said that you were first

    19 detained?

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. During your second spell of detention, could

    22 you show on this map in which building you were

    23 detained?

    24 A. It is the same building -- can I mark it,

    25 please?

  35. 1 Q. Yes, please proceed to mark that building.

    2 It is the same building that you already marked as "A"?

    3 A. (Witness marked map).

    4 Q. You said when you were brought to that

    5 building on the second occasion in April 1993, upon

    6 arrival, the camp commander introduced himself to you?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. Would you be able to recognise the camp

    9 commander?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. Witness, could you please look around this

    12 court and say whether that camp commander is present in

    13 this court today?

    14 A. Yes, he is.

    15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Registrar, will you

    16 please give us the -- that he looked in the direction

    17 of the accused, Mr. Aleksovski.

    18 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, is he the same camp

    19 commander that ordered Zarko to do the same thing as

    20 Miro as when you and your colleague were being beaten

    21 and abused in the cell?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, I have no

    24 further questions in examination-in-chief.

    25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Witness L, we have every

  36. 1 respect for your suffering and the pain you went

    2 through, but you will now be answering questions that

    3 Mr. Mikulicic may be asking you under the same solemn

    4 oath.

    5 Mr. Mikulicic or Mr. Joka?

    6 Cross-examined by MR. JOKA.

    7 Q. Mr. L, I am Mr. Joka, attorney representing

    8 Zlatko Aleksovski. I will ask you a number of

    9 questions. First, by way of introduction, what is your

    10 formal education?

    11 A. I have not completed any school.

    12 Q. But which school did you go to?

    13 A. I completed elementary school and now I am

    14 attending part-time.

    15 Q. Four grades?

    16 A. No, eight grades of elementary school.

    17 Q. Do you speak any foreign language?

    18 A. No.

    19 Q. I will not ask you anything about your first

    20 stay at the Kaonik camp but only your second. Could

    21 you tell us with greater precision when you went to

    22 Kaonik for the second time?

    23 A. I cannot tell you exactly, because I cannot

    24 remember, but I think it was around 19 or 20 April

    25 until 19 June 1993.

  37. 1 Q. Very well. In that context, can you tell the

    2 court -- I am talking about your second stay at Kaonik

    3 -- when were you registered by any international

    4 organisation?

    5 A. I do not recall exactly.

    6 Q. Was it at the beginning of your stay, the

    7 middle or towards the end?

    8 A. I cannot tell you for sure, but I think it

    9 was about 15 days after I arrived at the camp.

    10 Q. You have told us how you were captured and

    11 accommodated in Gornja Veceriska and you were there

    12 mistreated by the HVO?

    13 A. Yes.

    14 Q. Did you or your colleague -- the person whose

    15 name we are not mentioning, so I will continue calling

    16 him your colleague -- were you or your colleague

    17 injured in any way on that occasion?

    18 A. No. These were light injuries -- bruises on

    19 the head and that sort of thing.

    20 Q. But what were they from?

    21 A. From blows.

    22 Q. What kind of blows -- with the hand, with a

    23 fist, with the palm?

    24 A. With a fist, with a fist.

    25 Q. Were you hit in the eyes, the mouth?

  38. 1 A. Here (indicates), on the cheek.

    2 Q. Tell us, later on, when you were in the

    3 manholes that you described to us, the storage space

    4 with the pipes and vents, was anyone there mistreated

    5 -- you or your colleague?

    6 A. Yes, my colleague was.

    7 Q. Does that mean that somebody beat him?

    8 A. Yes, I did not see that, but, judging by what

    9 he told me, he was mistreated.

    10 Q. He was beaten by whom?

    11 A. By an HVO member, whom I did not see.

    12 Q. Did they beat you?

    13 A. No.

    14 Q. Very well. You are back in Kaonik now. Who

    15 were you with in the cell?

    16 A. With my colleague.

    17 Q. Just the two of you?

    18 A. The moment we arrived and until the next day

    19 in the evening, the two of us were alone.

    20 Q. Did you or your colleague provoke any kind of

    21 incident?

    22 A. No.

    23 Q. You described the event with the two members

    24 of the HVO police, Zarko and Miro, is that not so?

    25 A. Yes.

  39. 1 Q. How do you know their names?

    2 A. We learnt later.

    3 Q. From whom?

    4 A. We heard them calling each other by name.

    5 Q. You did not know those people from before?

    6 A. No.

    7 Q. You mentioned somebody called Medugorac?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. You told us his name and first name. You

    10 said that you had never seen the man before. How do

    11 you know his name?

    12 A. I know his name -- I learnt his name after

    13 all of this, maybe a month later -- he took me out

    14 asking me to wash his underwear and the clothing he was

    15 wearing, and, while I was washing it he sat there, and

    16 he spoke about himself, what he had done, where he had

    17 been and that sort of thing.

    18 Q. Does that mean that you learned from him why

    19 he was in Kaonik?

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. Did he tell you why he was in Kaonik?

    22 A. No, he just told me that he had been in

    23 Zenica and he had done something. After all that, the

    24 two of us -- it is rather strange -- but we somehow got

    25 close -- we became kind of friends.

  40. 1 Q. At the beginning, you said that there were

    2 other Croats at Kaonik?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. Do you know why they were there?

    5 A. No. I know that Micic was there -- I do not

    6 remember his first name -- he was also sitting there as

    7 you put it -- he was from Kakanj -- there was someone

    8 called Mladen. There was another HOS member from

    9 Zenica whose name was Dzemo who was also there in

    10 detention, in the prison.

    11 Q. What was the attitude of those people in

    12 relation to you?

    13 A. In most cases, they treated me correctly.

    14 Q. What about the other prisoners, the other

    15 Muslim prisoners?

    16 A. I cannot tell you about the others -- they

    17 will probably be able to tell you best. I can only

    18 speak on my own behalf.

    19 Q. Very well. How did they treat you?

    20 A. I said at the beginning, as far as Medugorac

    21 is concerned -- no, I am thinking about the others --

    22 he treated us -- his attitude towards us was such that

    23 he would mistreat us, the Muslim prisoners who were

    24 there -- he did not mistreat me, though. I cannot say

    25 that he did. The others did not mistreat me, either --

  41. 1 I cannot say they did when they did not.

    2 Q. Do you know what Dzemo's ethnic group is?

    3 A. Well, he was a Muslim, most probably.

    4 Q. You told the Trial Chamber about the incident

    5 with the -- a man called Anto Cakic. Do you know who

    6 Cakic is?

    7 A. I know Cakic from before. I knew him from

    8 prison and I still know him.

    9 Q. How did you know him from before?

    10 A. I lived in the municipality of Busovaca and

    11 Busovaca is not far, so we would see each other in

    12 Busovaca and elsewhere.

    13 Q. Did Cakic know that you were at Kaonik for a

    14 second time?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Was this subject discussed between the two of

    17 you?

    18 A. Yes. At least, in my opinion, that was the

    19 reason why he mistreated me.

    20 Q. Will you please explain yourself to the

    21 court?

    22 A. He was not aware of my first stay, but he

    23 must have learnt about it from somebody else, that

    24 I was there for a second time.

    25 Q. Maybe I did not understand you. Why would he

  42. 1 mistreat you -- just because you were there for a

    2 second time?

    3 A. Well, probably, yes.

    4 Q. When talking about Cakic, you said he did not

    5 come that evening because he had to go to the front.

    6 What about the other guards?

    7 A. I do not know exactly how many guards there

    8 were that night, but all the guards went somewhere --

    9 there was just one left, whose name I do not know.

    10 That is it. Afterwards, I learnt, when Anto Cakic came

    11 back, that he had been wounded that night when he went

    12 somewhere and that is why he was not in the prison for

    13 a certain period of time. I cannot remember for how

    14 long.

    15 Q. Did I understand you well, that that night

    16 there was only one guard left?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. Let us move to a different issue. Were there

    19 other people at Kaonik apart from this Cakic, who knew

    20 that you were there for a second time, either

    21 neighbours or guards, or anyone else?

    22 A. I do not know, I do not know.

    23 Q. You do not know. A moment ago you were

    24 telling the court about the conditions in prison and

    25 you said that the food was poor. Was it cold or cooked

  43. 1 food?

    2 A. Let me see. There were periods when we had

    3 cooked food and other periods when we had cold food.

    4 The food was terrible, especially when the conflicts

    5 were on between the HVO and the BiH army, then the food

    6 was the worst.

    7 Q. And when was it at its best?

    8 A. There were times when the food was good.

    9 Q. Will you tell us what you mean when you say

    10 "good" or "bad" food when you are talking about

    11 Kaonik?

    12 A. For us, everything was good, whatever food we

    13 were given. The two of us would eat from one plate

    14 with a slice of bread each, and there was a soup with a

    15 couple of macaroni inside. This was served twice a

    16 day, and then I do not remember when this was exactly

    17 when we would get somewhat better food.

    18 Q. Was there beans -- were there beans?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. You mentioned heating, that there was no

    21 heating?

    22 A. No.

    23 Q. Was there heating anywhere else in that

    24 building?

    25 A. Yes, there was a stove, but it was not

  44. 1 sufficient to heat the whole prison.

    2 Q. Was the stove burning during the winter, that

    3 is, while you were there?

    4 A. Yes.

    5 Q. Do you know where the commander's office was?

    6 A. I do.

    7 Q. Did he have a stove of his own inside?

    8 A. I do not know.

    9 Q. Are you a believer?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. Did you have the possibility to pray?

    12 A. No.

    13 Q. Who prevented you from doing that?

    14 A. Nobody prevented me -- we did not ask.

    15 (redacted)

    16 A. Yes.

    17 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what the

    18 ethnic composition of the village was before the

    19 outbreak of the conflict?

    20 A. We were all Muslims in the village -- there

    21 was just one Croat home with an elderly woman living

    22 there. She left before the conflict.

    23 Q. Were there any incidents with that single

    24 house?

    25 A. No.

  45. 1 Q. Do you know that somebody removed the cross

    2 from that house?

    3 A. No. I think the old woman died before the

    4 conflict actually.

    5 Q. Do you know where the village of Pezici is?

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. Is it in the same area we are talking about?

    8 A. Yes, it is nearby.

    9 Q. Do you know what happened in that village of

    10 Pezici during the war?

    11 A. I do not understand what you mean.

    12 Q. In the military sense, was there a conflict

    13 between HVO units and the BiH army?

    14 A. Yes, HVO units attacked -- now we are going

    15 back to 27 January, they attacked our village and the

    16 next day they attacked the village of Pezici.

    17 Q. How did events develop in that village?

    18 A. I was not in Pezici at the time.

    19 Q. But do you know?

    20 A. No, I do not.

    21 MR. JOKA: Your Honours, I have no further

    22 questions, thank you.

    23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Meddegoda, do you have

    24 any further questions in re-examination?

    25 MR. MEDDEGODA: I have no questions in

  46. 1 re-examination, except that I would wish to move for a

    2 redaction of an answer that went down in

    3 cross-examination. The answer is on page 45 of the

    4 transcript, line 3, where there is a reference to --

    5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Okay, you are right.

    6 Please show it to Mr. Joka. (Handed).

    7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Witness L, can you hear

    8 me?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In connection with the

    11 conditions in the Kaonik camp, you said that all the

    12 HVO members could come in whenever they wanted and

    13 mistreat the detainees -- did I understand you well?

    14 A. Yes.

    15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Who were these HVO members

    16 -- were they working in the camp, or did they come --

    17 were they soldiers, were they guards?

    18 A. No, they were mostly people coming in a

    19 drunken state and they could enter the cells whenever

    20 they wanted -- at least, in my cell. I do not know

    21 about the other cells.

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Witness L. We

    23 wish to thank you for coming here, and we wish you a

    24 safe journey home. Thank you very much.

    25 (The witness withdrew)

  47. 1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, please

    2 proceed.

    3 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please, the

    4 next witness, who is referred to in the motion of the

    5 Prosecutor in paragraph 4 -- the fourth witness that

    6 appears in paragraph number 4, if your Honours please,

    7 on page 3 of that motion of 20 March 1998, has sought

    8 also measures for the protection of his name and

    9 identity, and we have given that information to

    10 Mr. Mikulicic and, as I understand, there is no

    11 objection to that.

    12 We would ask that the image of his face be

    13 distorted in a similar way to the last witness, and

    14 that he be given the pseudonym "Witness M", if your

    15 Honours, please.

    16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, is that

    17 all right with you?

    18 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, it is fine --

    19 the Defence has no objection.

    20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you.

    21 MR. NIEMANN: In that event, I call

    22 Witness M as our next witness, your Honour.

    23 (The witness entered court)

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, Sir. Can

    25 you hear me?

  48. 1 THE WITNESS: Yes.

    2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You are going to read the

    3 solemn declaration given to you by the usher.

    4 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare

    5 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth and

    6 nothing but the truth.

    7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You may be seated.

    8 THE WITNESS: Thank you.

    9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please, pull your chair up

    10 closer to the microphone, thank you. You are going to

    11 answer questions that the Prosecutor, Mr. Niemann, is

    12 going to address to you.

    13 WITNESS M

    14 Examined by MR. NIEMANN

    15 Q. Witness, their Honours have granted you

    16 certain protections with respect to your identity, so,

    17 throughout the course of your examination, I will be

    18 referring to you as "Witness M", do you understand?

    19 A. (Witness nods head).

    20 Q. For that reason, you should not give your

    21 name during the course of your evidence in answer to a

    22 question. Would you look for me for the moment at

    23 Exhibit 82, please? Would you just open this piece of

    24 paper -- look at the name that is contained there and

    25 can you tell me whether or not that is your name

  49. 1 (Handed).

    2 A. Yes.

    3 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps that might be shown to

    4 Mr. Mikulicic.

    5 Witness, would you look at the piece of paper

    6 that I am now showing you and can you tell me whether

    7 or not the name of the village that you resided in

    8 prior to the war in January 1993 is written on that

    9 sheet of paper? (Handed).

    10 A. Yes.

    11 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you. I tender that, and

    12 might it be tendered under seal?

    13 Witness M, what is your ethnic background.

    14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Excuse me, this is exhibit

    15 number --

    16 THE REGISTRAR: It is 83.

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much. You

    18 may proceed, Mr. Niemann.

    19 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour,

    20 I omitted to wait for that.

    21 Witness, what is your ethnic background,

    22 please?

    23 A. I am a Bosniak Muslim.

    24 Q. And what is your age?

    25 A. 24.

  50. 1 Q. Now, in the early part of 1993 -- and when

    2 I speak of the early part of 1993, I am talking of

    3 January of that year -- were you in the army of

    4 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    5 A. Yes, I was a soldier in the army of

    6 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    7 Q. And where were you engaged -- you were on

    8 military duty, were you?

    9 A. Yes, I was engaged in the municipality of

    10 Travnik near -- the town of Travnik on the front-lines

    11 against the Chetniks.

    12 Q. When you say "Chetniks", who do you mean by

    13 that?

    14 A. The Serb and Montenegrin aggressors who

    15 attacked Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992.

    16 Q. And did you, from time to time, when you were

    17 off military duty, return to your village during that

    18 year, the early part of that year?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. And, apart from the Serb and Montenegrin

    21 forces that you were fighting, was there any other

    22 unrest in the area at the time that developed during

    23 early January 1993?

    24 A. In the territory of the municipality where

    25 I lived, there were a few incidents with the Croat

  51. 1 Defence Council, and the tensions spread on 26 and 27

    2 January, and at that time I was at the front-line, as

    3 I said before, in the Travnik municipality.

    4 Q. When these tensions developed between the

    5 Croats and -- had this been expected or anticipated

    6 by you?

    7 A. I never expected it personally, neither did

    8 the people in my village, because we had good

    9 co-existence with the Croats.

    10 Q. Who were the predominant ethnic group in your

    11 village -- the Muslims or the Croats?

    12 A. Muslims.

    13 Q. And you spoke of 26 and 27 January 1993.

    14 What in fact occurred?

    15 (redacetd)

    16 (redacetd)

    17 (redacetd)

    18 (redacetd)

    19 (redacetd)

    20 Q. Did you then later, in the month, travel back

    21 to your home?

    22 A. Yes, I came to my village on 2 February.

    23 Q. When you came back, what did you discover?

    24 A. When I came back, I saw that the village was

    25 laid to waste -- in one part of the village all the

  52. 1 inhabitants had fled to neighbouring village and in

    2 another there were a few villagers left.

    3 Q. What did you do then?

    4 A. I joined in the defence of my village -- the

    5 defence was organised -- for future developments.

    6 I was assigned to the front-line against the Croats.

    7 Q. So, now you became involved in the conflict

    8 with the Croat forces; is that right, as opposed to the

    9 Serb/Montenegrin forces?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. What role did you play in this? What were

    12 you to do? What were your military duties in relation

    13 to this -- what were you required to do?

    14 A. I was a regular soldier, who was assigned to

    15 the front-line, but, during this period, after I had

    16 come back to the village, some kind of a truce was

    17 signed between the BiH army forces and the HVO forces,

    18 which lasted until that second conflict which started

    19 on 16 April 1993, so that there were no particular

    20 conflicts in the village in this intervening period

    21 from when I returned to the village until 16 April when

    22 the new conflict broke out.

    23 Q. And, on 16 April, where were you specifically

    24 on that time -- at that time?

    25 A. I was assigned to a village watch -- a

  53. 1 village guard in the village that was again

    2 neighbouring my own village.

    3 Q. And what happened?

    4 A. On that day, somewhere around 6 o'clock in

    5 the morning, the shelling started on the part of the

    6 HVO -- the shelling of the village where I was on guard

    7 duty, and a neighbouring village which, until that

    8 time, had not been attacked.

    9 Q. And what transpired as a result of this

    10 shelling and this attack that took place?

    11 A. I do not know -- we knew that we were

    12 attacked by the HVO, but that was the only thing that

    13 was clear at that point. We did not know anything else

    14 -- why and how.

    15 Q. Later on in the morning, say at about 11 or

    16 near to midday, were you captured?

    17 A. Yes, because, from that position, you could

    18 see the village. I saw my village burning -- houses

    19 there, on fire and, at that moment, an HVO unit

    20 appeared, which took us prisoner -- myself and a

    21 colleague of mine.

    22 Q. When you were taken prisoner, did you notice

    23 the way your captors -- the people that took you into

    24 captivity, did you notice how they were dressed, the

    25 soldiers, and the HVO?

  54. 1 A. Yes, they were wearing camouflage uniforms

    2 with visible HVO insignia on the left sleeve.

    3 MR. NIEMANN: Would you look at Exhibit 79,

    4 please?

    5 Your Honours, while we are waiting for the

    6 witness to receive the exhibit, I might ask for a

    7 redaction on page 52, lines 12 to 13. I think it has

    8 already been shown to your Honours.

    9 Just looking at this piece of paper that you

    10 are now being shown, witness, there is a name that

    11 appears there. Was that person with you at the time

    12 that you were captured?

    13 A. Yes.

    14 Q. And where were you taken when you were

    15 captured?

    16 A. We were taken to a nearby weekend house

    17 settlement -- a place called Zabrde. That is where we

    18 were tied up by the HVO soldiers. We had to put our

    19 hands behind our backs. They tied us up with wire, and

    20 then they bound us together with wire and then we were

    21 taken to a village of Gornja Veceriska.

    22 Q. At Gornja Veceriska, where did they place you

    23 then?

    24 A. We were in Gornja Veceriska that day -- we

    25 spent the night there, and the next day. They tied us

  55. 1 up, they blindfolded us with some fabric, and we were

    2 taken to Kace near Novi Travnik.

    3 Q. When you got to Kace, what happened then?

    4 A. At Kace, we were placed in a some kind of a

    5 manhole -- I do not know what purpose it served for --

    6 I know it was very cold and there was a strong stench

    7 coming from it. After we were placed in this manhole,

    8 my colleague and I were taken out, one by one, and

    9 taken to a structure nearby, where the HVO forces were

    10 accommodated, and I was beaten up in the office of

    11 their security officer by an unknown man. I had my

    12 back turned to him when he started beating me, so that

    13 I was not able to see his face, nor would I be able to

    14 identify him.

    15 I was beaten up, and then they asked of me to

    16 give a statement, and what they were interested in was

    17 what kind of forces we had, even though at that time

    18 I did not know what kind of forces the BiH army had,

    19 and then, after that, he told me that a decision was

    20 taken that myself and my colleague would be executed,

    21 and he asked me whether I had any family in Zenica or

    22 Travnik so that they would be notified after we were

    23 executed so that the location of our execution would be

    24 passed to the next of kin.

    25 Q. Now, just going back just a little bit, from

  56. 1 the time that you were captured through to this moment

    2 when you were told that you were to be executed, had

    3 you been beaten at any stage, other than the incident

    4 that you just spoke of?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. When you were beaten on that other

    7 occasion --

    8 A. Yes, yes, I was beaten. The first time we

    9 were beaten up there in the school in Gornja Veceriska,

    10 we were in the hallway there of that school. They gave

    11 us some card boards, so we could lie down and rest --

    12 it was on a concrete floor, and we were beaten up

    13 there; we were mistreated by both the civilians and the

    14 soldiers who were there. We stayed the night there in

    15 Gornja Veceriska and the next day a group of 10

    16 soldiers came, and we were beaten there and we were

    17 beaten up pretty heavily.

    18 Q. And when you were beaten on these occasions,

    19 did at any stage you lose consciousness?

    20 A. Yes, I lost consciousness at Veceriska, but

    21 they would again beat me back into consciousness.

    22 Q. Now, after you had been told that you would

    23 be executed, what happened next -- what was the next

    24 thing that happened?

    25 A. They took me back to the manhole, and then my

  57. 1 colleague was taken out also to give a statement, and

    2 after he returned back to where I was, he was also told

    3 that we would be executed.

    4 Q. And did you spend another night in the

    5 manhole?

    6 A. We were in the manhole until the dusk and

    7 then a guard who was there -- I do not know whether it

    8 was on his own initiative or under someone's orders,

    9 but I think it was just his good intentions -- he took

    10 us out of the manhole and placed us in a container

    11 which was near the manhole, and then again early in the

    12 morning, before it dawned, we were transferred back

    13 into the manhole and, as the guard said, for his own

    14 security's sake, because as he said, he was not allowed

    15 to take us out of the manhole.

    16 Q. And the next morning, after you had been put

    17 back into the manhole, what happened after that?

    18 A. Yes, we were put back into the manhole and we

    19 spent about three or four hours there, and then we were

    20 again called out, we came outside, and two HVO military

    21 policemen were waiting there for us, and further down

    22 in front of the building, I saw a group of their

    23 soldiers, of whom I thought they were the firing squad.

    24 Q. Did you and the colleague that you have

    25 identified when you looked at Exhibit 79 say anything

  58. 1 to each other in relation to this?

    2 A. Yes, I would tell my colleague while we were

    3 still in the manhole, and not knowing what would

    4 happen, we were somehow sure that they would kill us,

    5 but I would say to him that there was a possibility

    6 that we might be massacred -- mutilated -- before being

    7 killed, so I said to him, "If they do start to mutilate

    8 us and torture us, let us try and escape, so let them

    9 kill us with rifle shots". We agreed to behave in that

    10 way and that is exactly what we would have done, I am

    11 sure, if they had started to torture us and mutilate

    12 us.

    13 Q. But instead of doing this, what happened --

    14 instead of them doing that to you, what happened to

    15 you?

    16 A. Yes, when we reached this group of soldiers,

    17 who were in front of the building where I had been the

    18 day before, two soldiers, or two military policemen

    19 stepped out -- one of them, I learned that his name was

    20 Zlatko Nakic and they told us to get into the bus. The

    21 bus had the Red Cross sign on it. We entered the bus,

    22 and the driver was already there inside, and we asked

    23 him where we were going. He told us, "You are going to

    24 Kaonik". I felt relief, because I had assumed -- or,

    25 rather, I knew that there was a camp there, but I also

  59. 1 knew that there were civilians there, so there was a

    2 greater chance that I would stay alive.

    3 Q. This colleague that you were with, whom you

    4 identified when you looked at Exhibit 79, had he been

    5 to Kaonik before, so far as you knew?

    6 A. Yes, he had already spent some time there

    7 during the conflict in his village. He had been

    8 captured, and taken to the Kaonik camp, and he had

    9 spent there, I think, about 15 days, the first time he

    10 was there.

    11 Q. Had you ever been to the Kaonik camp during

    12 the course of that year, 1993, when it was used as a

    13 prison?

    14 A. I did not quite understand the question.

    15 Q. Had you been there before like your

    16 colleague, to Kaonik?

    17 A. No, I had not.

    18 Q. So, this was to be your first time?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. When you arrived at Kaonik, tell us what

    21 happened?

    22 A. We arrived at Kaonik under armed escort, from

    23 the place we got off the bus, and then we reached the

    24 building where we were put up. We were met there by a

    25 group of guards and the director of the camp.

  60. 1 Q. And how did you know this person was the

    2 director of the camp, as you call it?

    3 A. I did not know straight away, but, after

    4 entering the cell, my colleague told me who was who,

    5 because he knew, as he had been there before, and he

    6 already knew the persons who met us, so that I learnt

    7 the name then, and who was in charge of the prison.

    8 Q. And who did you learn then was in charge of

    9 the prison?

    10 A. It was the man who was in charge -- everybody

    11 called him "director" -- Zlatko Aleksovski.

    12 Q. Did you see how he was dressed on the first

    13 occasion that you saw him?

    14 A. Yes, he was wearing a camouflage uniform with

    15 HVO insignia on his sleeve.

    16 Q. Did he say or do anything when you first

    17 arrived at the camp on that occasion?

    18 A. I cannot really remember. I remember that he

    19 laughed, that he was making some sort of jokes at our

    20 expense, but we were mistreated there by one of the

    21 guards, and Mr. Aleksovski was present throughout that

    22 time while we were searched and taken to the cell.

    23 Q. In what way were you mistreated?

    24 A. The first thing they did to us, we had

    25 already been searched 10 or 15 times -- I cannot

  61. 1 remember exactly -- wherever we went, we were searched,

    2 though we had nothing on us; everything was taken

    3 away. All I had were some gloves when I reached

    4 Kaonik. They took away those gloves, too, and the

    5 guard who was harassing us, he told us to turn around

    6 to face him, to look straight ahead, or, rather,

    7 sideways, so that he could point his gun at our noses,

    8 as he said.

    9 Q. What happened after that?

    10 A. After that, they took us to cell number 6 of

    11 this building where the cells were.

    12 MR. NIEMANN: Would you look at this

    13 photograph that I now show you?

    14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, excuse me for

    15 interrupting you, but I think it is time for a

    16 15-minute break, if you do not mind; I hope it does not

    17 upset your questioning?

    18 MR. NIEMANN: That is fine.

    19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, we will have

    20 a 15-minute break.

    21 (12.08pm)

    22 (A short break)

    23 (12.30pm)

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, please

    25 proceed.

  62. 1 MR. NIEMANN: Witness, before we go on,

    2 through my fault, I may have been misleading when

    3 I spoke of the village that you lived at. I just ask

    4 you to look at this sheet of paper, if you would, for

    5 me. I think precisely is this the village where you

    6 live? (Handed).

    7 A. Yes.

    8 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that under seal and

    9 perhaps it could be shown to Mr. Mikulicic.

    10 THE REGISTRAR: It is exhibit number 84.

    11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please proceed,

    12 Mr. Niemann.

    13 MR. NIEMANN: Just to clear up that matter,

    14 witness, the other village that I showed you on the

    15 other slip of paper, that is a neighbouring village, is

    16 it, where the attack first commenced in January 1993?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. We are at the part of your evidence where you

    19 said you were taken into cell number 6 in the building

    20 when you first arrived and I was about to show you a

    21 photograph and would you look at this photograph for

    22 me, please, and see if you can identify it? (Handed).

    23 THE REGISTRAR: It is exhibit 85.

    24 MR. NIEMANN: Witness M, I want you to look

    25 at this photograph for me, please, and can you tell me

  63. 1 whether it looks familiar to you?

    2 A. Yes, it is familiar.

    3 Q. Can you pick up a coloured pen there on the

    4 side of the projector? Can you mark the place where

    5 you first arrived -- when you first arrived at the

    6 Kaonik camp where you alighted from your bus, are you

    7 able to mark that?

    8 A. (Witness marked map).

    9 Q. Would you put for me the letter "A" there,

    10 please -- not "E" but "A"?

    11 A. (Witness marked map).

    12 Q. From there where did you go? Using the red

    13 marker, can you colour the direction that you went from

    14 there?

    15 A. (Witness marked map).

    16 Q. And with the letter "B" can you put a mark at

    17 the place where you say you went inside into cell

    18 number 6?

    19 A. (Witness marked map).

    20 Q. And, when you first arrived at the camp in

    21 April 1993, can you tell us which building the office

    22 of the commander was, Mr. Aleksovski, was it in

    23 building A or building B when you first arrived?

    24 A. It was in building B.

    25 Q. Did his office later change to another place

  64. 1 during the time that you were at the camp, or was it

    2 always at B?

    3 A. It was here, but the prisoners who were in

    4 the camp made a new office for him at the entrance to

    5 building B. It was not moved to another building -- it

    6 was in the same building.

    7 Q. Thank you.

    8 Once you were put into the cell, what did you

    9 see; what was the first thing you saw -- can you

    10 describe the interior of the cell for us, that is, cell

    11 number 6?

    12 A. In the cell, there were pallets and, to the

    13 left, as we entered, there was like a straw mattress

    14 and the guard who brought us there told us that we

    15 could not lie on that straw mattress, but to the right

    16 on the boards, the wooden boards, the pallets that had

    17 been made there.

    18 Q. And did he say any reason why you could not

    19 lie on it, or he just made that statement?

    20 A. He did not give any reason. He just told us

    21 that, and we knew that we could not, so we sat in the

    22 part where there was no straw -- there was just a

    23 blanket.

    24 Q. What happened that night when you were in the

    25 cell?

  65. 1 A. That night one of the guards came in -- his

    2 name was Anto Cakic. He entered and he ordered us to

    3 stand in one corner, one of us in one corner and the

    4 other one in the other, so I went to the left-hand

    5 corner of the cell, and my colleague went to the

    6 right-hand corner, and he said he would be back, and he

    7 left the cell.

    8 Q. How did you know this person was called Anto

    9 Cakic?

    10 A. I know, because my colleague, when he was

    11 there for the first time, had met him, and before the

    12 war broke out on the territory of the municipality, I

    13 knew him by sight.

    14 Q. When he told you to do this, to stand in

    15 either corner of the cell, what was the next thing that

    16 happened?

    17 A. After that, he came back in, and he started

    18 beating my colleague, and he started bleeding from the

    19 nose from the beating, and then he told him to go and

    20 wash his nose in the toilet, which was in the

    21 building. While my colleague was walking out, he

    22 approached me and he hit me on the left side of my

    23 face. He asked me where I was from.

    24 Q. What did he hit you with on the side of your

    25 face?

  66. 1 A. With his fist.

    2 Q. Did he hit you with a full fist, or did he

    3 hit you hard, or was it just a light blow -- can you

    4 remember?

    5 A. It was a hard blow, because I started

    6 bleeding from the mouth from the blow.

    7 Q. And what did he say to you then?

    8 A. He asked me where I was from and what my

    9 father's name was. I told him my father's name and

    10 where I was from. He then said that he knew my father,

    11 that he had been an acquaintance of his before the war

    12 had broken out, and he told me that I could lie down

    13 and go to sleep, whereas he would beat my colleague all

    14 night.

    15 Q. Did he say that, that he would be beaten all

    16 night, your colleague?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I apologise, Mr. Niemann,

    19 but I think we have a minor technical problem -- I have

    20 just been informed -- regarding the French

    21 translation. Perhaps we need to stop for about five

    22 minutes to try and deal with the problem. Will five

    23 minutes be enough? We will rise for five minutes.

    24 (12.44pm)

    25 (A short break)

  67. 1 (12.50pm)

    2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, I think the

    3 technical problem has been resolved, so please proceed.

    4 MR. NIEMANN: Witness M, did you then do as

    5 the guard had said and that is lay down on the pallet

    6 and go to sleep?

    7 A. I asked him whether I could go to the

    8 toilet. He said I could, so I went to the toilet, and,

    9 when I came back, I did what he told me.

    10 Q. And what happened then?

    11 A. As I was very tired, because it was the third

    12 day that we had not slept properly, I just heard them

    13 come in once to beat my colleague. I fell asleep and,

    14 in the morning, I woke up, I saw my colleague lying

    15 next to me. I asked him what had happened. He told me

    16 that they had beaten him that night, until some time

    17 before dawn, and this was visible on him.

    18 Q. When you say your "colleague", that is the

    19 person whom you identified earlier when I showed you

    20 that name, Exhibit 79?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. What happened then, after that?

    23 A. After that first night in the Kaonik camp,

    24 the next day Mr. Aleksovski came with five or six HVO

    25 soldiers and they entered our cell. Mr. Aleksovski told

  68. 1 them, addressing the soldiers, he said, "These are the

    2 men from the place where I come from".

    3 Q. He used the name -- at least part of the name

    4 of the place where you came from, is that right, which

    5 has been tendered now as Exhibit 84?

    6 A. Yes. Then two soldiers came up to me and

    7 started beating me.

    8 Q. These soldiers that were with Mr. Aleksovski

    9 and who started to beat you, did you understand them to

    10 be guards or were they regular HVO soldiers?

    11 A. I did not think that they were guards,

    12 I thought that they were regular HVO soldiers.

    13 Q. And did they in fact beat you?

    14 A. Yes.

    15 Q. Did Mr. Aleksovski stay there, or did he go

    16 away when they started to beat you?

    17 A. He was there -- he was present when they

    18 started to beat me and they beat me so badly that I did

    19 not even notice where Mr. Aleksovski was, but my

    20 colleague told me that he was there all the time,

    21 standing at the door and laughing while they were

    22 beating me and that, later on, he told another two HVO

    23 soldiers to beat my colleague.

    24 Q. When you say "he told" them that, are you

    25 referring to Mr. Aleksovski?

  69. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. What did they beat you with, and what did

    3 they beat your colleague with, these soldiers?

    4 A. One of the soldiers, who was beating me, had

    5 a police truncheon. His name is Ivca Kristo. I do not

    6 know the other one's name. This Ivca beat me with this

    7 truncheon and with his feet, whereas the other one

    8 kicked me, beat me with his fists, in any way he could.

    9 Q. Did you retain your consciousness throughout

    10 this beating, or did you lose consciousness?

    11 A. After the first beating, I was still

    12 conscious, but, when they went out the first time, Ivca

    13 addressed us and said that they would beat us every

    14 half hour. I do not know whether half an hour went by,

    15 but they came back after that and they beat us again.

    16 That day they beat us six times while we were in cell

    17 number 6.

    18 Q. Did you see Mr. Aleksovski at any other time

    19 during the course of these beatings?

    20 A. No.

    21 Q. Did you hear Mr. Aleksovski say anything to

    22 the guards other than what you have said, that "these

    23 are from the village" -- your village -- apart from him

    24 saying that, did he say anything else to the guards

    25 that you can remember during the course of your

  70. 1 beating?

    2 A. I heard them saying in the corridor, when

    3 they went out for the first time, when they were

    4 walking through the door, that he told them that there

    5 would be a party in cell number 6 during that day. The

    6 party, I assume, implied that we would be beaten, and

    7 this came true.

    8 Q. Was there any other word used during the time

    9 that you were at the camp to describe people being

    10 beaten -- was there any other word that was used from

    11 time to time that you can remember now?

    12 A. I know that, while they were beating me, they

    13 were saying it was a "dance party".

    14 Q. By "dancing", what did you understand by that

    15 -- what were they doing when they were

    16 so-called "dancing"?

    17 A. This word, a "dance", we understood to mean

    18 mistreatment, beatings, and we proved to be right, as

    19 well as various kinds of provocations.

    20 Q. You said that you were beaten about six times

    21 on that day. Was it always the same people that beat

    22 you, or did the people that beat you change at all,

    23 that you can remember?

    24 A. They were not always the same people who

    25 came. Ivca came that day three times. After that,

  71. 1 some other unknown people came. I know that one of

    2 them came from the surroundings of Vitez, and he came

    3 just when they had brought us food in the cell. Before

    4 that, I had to go to the toilet and I did not dare go

    5 outside, nor did I dare ask anyone for permission, so

    6 I used the can that was in the cell, thinking that it

    7 was there for that purpose and I relieved myself in

    8 it. The guard, or one of the soldiers, had come in

    9 before that with the food. I went to relieve myself

    10 after that in this tin can that was in the cell and the

    11 man who had brought in the food came in again, and

    12 asked me where I had relieved myself. I told him,

    13 "Here" and he said, "Well, who told you to do that?";

    14 I did not know what to say.

    15 Later, they told me that, after that, if you

    16 had to go to the toilet, but you could only go during

    17 meal time, and if you needed to go to the toilet, you

    18 could use these cans that were in the cell -- you were

    19 not allowed to knock on the door often to be let out

    20 and then the soldier who had asked me where I had

    21 urinated threw the food at me and started beating me

    22 again. He beat me so badly on that occasion

    23 that I lost consciousness.

    24 He would go out of the cell and then come

    25 back again. A second time when this soldier was

  72. 1 beating me I asked him to kill me rather than torture

    2 me any longer and then he said, "It is easier to die

    3 like this". What he meant was that he would continue

    4 torturing me until I died.

    5 Q. When you urinated in the can, did you look at

    6 your urine?

    7 A. My urine -- I always had this urge to urinate

    8 and, in my urine there were visible traces of blood

    9 from the previous beating and from the current beating.

    10 Q. Were you in pain in parts of your body when

    11 you had this beating -- did any particular part of your

    12 body feel in particular pain?

    13 A. After this second time, when the soldier beat

    14 me up in the cell, after this meal we did not eat,

    15 I was lying helplessly -- I could not feel anything in

    16 my legs; I was all numb, so was my back. After some

    17 time, I heard somebody talking on the door -- there was

    18 a dialogue going on between two people to the effect

    19 that, "They are alive or they are not alive" and then

    20 one of them said to the other, "Go and check and see if

    21 they are alive". He opened the cell, entered, and

    22 pulled me by my big toe. I just managed to move my

    23 head to the right so that his comment was, "Good, they

    24 are alive" and he went out after that.

    25 A little later, two others came in -- I know

  73. 1 their names -- I met them in the camp -- Goran

    2 Medugorac and Micic Zoran, who were there in the camp

    3 as some kind of guards, or really they were under some

    4 sort of arrest -- that is what I gathered. They were

    5 HVO soldiers, and they came again to beat my colleague,

    6 saying that he had been beaten less and that they would

    7 make up for it so that he would catch up with me and

    8 then they beat him.

    9 Q. How were they dressed, this Zoran Micic and

    10 Goran Medugorac, how were they dressed?

    11 A. They were wearing camouflage uniforms.

    12 Q. What was your condition, your physical

    13 condition like after these beatings, can you describe

    14 it for us? Were you bruised; did you have full use of

    15 your arms and legs -- can you tell us?

    16 A. After this mistreatment the first day,

    17 I could not move at all. I had a visible scar on the

    18 left-hand side of my face -- I forgot this detail,

    19 while they were beating me, they were saying to one

    20 another that they not beat me on my face so that it

    21 would not be visible. However, one of them kicked me

    22 in the face with his boot, maybe by accident, and my

    23 face was -- my whole body was black and blue down to

    24 the ankles, and up to my neck -- there were visible

    25 bruises all over my body.

  74. 1 Q. Did you maintain the feeling in your limbs,

    2 in your arms and legs?

    3 A. Some kind of feeling remained, but after all

    4 that, after everything I suffered in the camp, I am not

    5 able to do things that I was able to do before and that

    6 concerns both my limbs, my spine -- I still have pain

    7 in the chest and back areas. This comes occasionally.

    8 Q. Do you recall an incident a few days after

    9 you had been taken to the Kaonik camp, when you were

    10 taken out of your cell?

    11 A. Yes, what happened was Mr. Aleksovski and

    12 Mr. Marko Krilic, who was his deputy, came to get me and

    13 my colleague in our cell. They told us to get out and

    14 follow them and, in front of the building which I

    15 marked as "B", a TV crew of some sort was waiting.

    16 They did not introduce themselves to us; they did not

    17 say what TV they were from -- they spoke our language

    18 and we could understand them well.

    19 Mr. Aleksovski said, "Here is CNN to tape you"

    20 and one person from the TV crew approached us -- he was

    21 I guess the reporter, and he introduced -- identified

    22 us as the soldiers of the Muslim forces. I reacted to

    23 that, and I told him that we were not soldiers of the

    24 Muslim forces, but that we were soldiers of the Regular

    25 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mr. Krilic approached and

  75. 1 said, "You are going to say what you are told to say.

    2 You are a member of the Muslim forces and that is how

    3 it is going to be". I said, "Very well" and again they

    4 started taping something.

    5 The reporter's questions were what were our

    6 names, where were we from, and then he asked us about

    7 the conditions of the place where we were. He asked us

    8 about the food, what the accommodation was like,

    9 whether we were being beaten, whether we were being

    10 mistreated and such details -- I did not know what to

    11 tell him. I wanted to tell him that the food was

    12 awful, that the conditions were terrible, but, while

    13 I was waiting to respond, Mr. Krilic approached me and

    14 said, "The conditions are fine, the food is fine, the

    15 accommodation is fine. Do not complain. You have

    16 nothing to think about". I said, "I did not know this

    17 until now, so fine" and then he also said, "When they

    18 ask you about the conflict between the Croats and

    19 Muslims in Bosnia, you are going to say that the

    20 Muslims are responsible for all of that. They do not

    21 want to live together with the Croats, that you

    22 attacked them first" and things like that. That is

    23 what I said to this TV crew, which was taping us.

    24 Q. Was the television stopped while you were

    25 told what to say by Mr. Krilic?

  76. 1 A. Yes. If I hesitated about any answer, if

    2 I said anything that was not convenient for them,

    3 immediately the gentleman would say to stop taping and

    4 Mr. Krilic would come over and he would tell me what

    5 I was to say. That is, what they wanted me to say.

    6 Meanwhile, Mr. Aleksovski was two or three

    7 metres away from us and observing it and he would

    8 occasionally laugh and occasionally he would throw in

    9 remarks like, "You should feel honoured by having CNN

    10 taping you and visiting you". However, I could not see

    11 any logos or anything that would let me know this was

    12 CNN or international television. Later, from a Croat,

    13 I learned that it was a local TV crew from Busovaca.

    14 Q. When you were in the camp at Kaonik, were you

    15 ever visited by the Red Cross?

    16 A. Yes, the Red Cross visited us on several

    17 occasions -- probably four or five times while I was in

    18 the Kaonik camp. They first came maybe 10 days after

    19 my capture and this includes the places where I was

    20 before arriving in Kaonik, so on 24 and 25 May [sic]

    21 they arrived for the first time, and the person who

    22 came was introduced herself to us as Ms or

    23 Miss Beatrice. We came out to be registered. When

    24 this was happening, I had an impression we were not

    25 supposed to be registered on that occasion, so we came

  77. 1 into the area where we were taking meals. There was a

    2 table in the hallway in the building B, and Ms Beatrice

    3 asked me when I was captured. I told her the date of

    4 my capture. She was surprised and she asked me, "So

    5 how come you have not been registered yet?" I said

    6 that I did not know -- I gained the impression that she

    7 had been there before in the camp, but that they did

    8 not want to show me to her, which was the practice in

    9 the camp -- certain prisoners were not shown.

    10 So we were registered that time, and she

    11 asked all the prisoners whether there was anyone there

    12 who was in need of medical care. Among others

    13 I reported for medical care, because you could see

    14 bruises on my face. She asked me where I got that, and

    15 I told her that I accidentally hit myself with a

    16 shovel. I knew if I told her I had been beaten

    17 that I would be punished, so I told her I injured

    18 myself with a shovel while digging and that I needed

    19 medical care, because I have pains in my back.

    20 However, I subsequently received no medical

    21 care and the next day I was taken to dig again and we

    22 dug that day.

    23 Q. When this Red Cross lady came and spoke to

    24 you, was the camp commander, Mr. Aleksovski, there at

    25 any stage during the time that she spoke to you, that

  78. 1 you can recall?

    2 A. When we came to the hallway, we were

    3 registered and we were interviewed by the

    4 representatives of the ICRC and Mr. Aleksovski was

    5 present. He had some conversation with the gentleman

    6 from the ICRC. We did not listen in and, after that,

    7 these gentlemen from the ICRC requested Mr. Aleksovski

    8 to leave the room and she wanted to talk to us alone

    9 and then she asked us what the conditions were in the

    10 camp, what the food was like, whether we were taken to

    11 perform any kind of labour, what was it that we did, so

    12 she asked a number of things on what was going on in

    13 the camp, whether there were any killings taking place,

    14 and things like that.

    15 Q. And were you prepared to tell her at that

    16 stage -- answer all of her questions that she asked

    17 you?

    18 A. Not only myself, but not one of the prisoners

    19 dared to talk about it, because we knew that they did

    20 not come to take us for an exchange, but only to come

    21 and talk to us, so that we could send a message to our

    22 families that we were alive. Nobody dared talk about

    23 these conditions in the camp, because we were

    24 suspicious of an interpreter who was with the ICRC, and

    25 later these suspicions proved true, after our first

  79. 1 complaints and after we needed to go to see the doctor

    2 -- the lady from the ICRC, she did not speak any

    3 Bosnian and I do not know whether the interpreter did

    4 not want to interpret, or whether he did interpret and

    5 the gentleman from the camp refused to take us to be

    6 provided with medical care.

    7 Q. I just need to -- I think you said that it is

    8 recorded here on the transcript that you said this

    9 meeting was 24 and 25 May -- was it 24 and 25 May or

    10 was it earlier than that that she came first time?

    11 A. When she first came, it was 24 or 25 April.

    12 Q. You mentioned there that you had told her

    13 that you had gone trench digging, or you had been

    14 working, I am sorry, I think -- at least you mentioned

    15 that you had been trench digging. When did this first

    16 occur -- when did you first go to dig trenches?

    17 A. I went for the first time on my second day of

    18 staying at the Kaonik camp, in the morning. Mr. Stipo

    19 Andrijasevic in the camp came and told us to get up.

    20 He walked into the cell and told us to get up. We

    21 could not get up. We just looked at him from where we

    22 were lying and he yelled at us, "Why aren't you getting

    23 up" and we helped each other get up and we came out

    24 into the hallway. Then we were brought out in front of

    25 the building with the cells and Mr. Aleksovski and

  80. 1 Mr. Krilic were there, and some other men in uniforms --

    2 members of the HVO -- and then they put us in a van and

    3 drove us to the front-lines in the village of Strane to

    4 dig trenches for their soldiers.

    5 Q. Were the people that were selected to go and

    6 dig trenches at the front-line, did they appear to you

    7 to be selected randomly, or were they selected

    8 according to some system, or in some formal way?

    9 A. It was not at random. In my view, it could

    10 not have been random, because a list existed and if my

    11 name was on the list, I was selected to go and dig, so

    12 it was not by accident or random.

    13 Q. When you arrived at Strane on the front-line

    14 to dig these trenches, what happened then? When you

    15 got there, what did you see and what happened?

    16 A. When we arrived at the front-line with the

    17 HVO, the group where I was supposed to dig in a truck

    18 on which an anti-aircraft gun was mounted and we were

    19 supposed to make it operational and we were given some

    20 tools to dig with. I was unable to work and the people

    21 who were in the group with me saw that I was in

    22 horrible shape and they told me, "You just move around

    23 a little bit here and pretend that you are digging, but

    24 do not really work". This is what went on until lunch

    25 arrived.

  81. 1 With this meal, a group of soldiers arrived,

    2 led by a certain Zarko. I knew him from before in

    3 civilian life, from the town of Busovaca -- I know that

    4 he lived in the Kacun area. He arrived with this group

    5 of soldiers. Before we took our meal, he lined us up

    6 on a hill where we had been digging and he ordered us

    7 all to crouch. We did, and then Mr. Zarko went from one

    8 prisoner to the next and asked where we were from, how

    9 we were captured and things like that.

    10 He arrived -- he came to me and he asked me

    11 where I was from and I lied about the village that

    12 I was from. I did that, because I knew how I fared in

    13 the camp when I mentioned the name of my village, so

    14 I kind of assumed that I would fare the same if

    15 I repeated it. So I told him that I was from Vitez.

    16 Zarko had some kind of a rope in his hand and then he

    17 started whipping me with this rope and, as I sat down

    18 from these blows, he ordered me to crouch up again and

    19 he ordered one of his soldiers to bring a stick out of

    20 the forest.

    21 He brought a stick and he handed it to

    22 Zarko. He tested it by hitting the ground with it to

    23 test to see whether it was strong enough and it broke.

    24 Then he told the soldier to bring him a better one, so

    25 the soldier went back into the forest and brought

  82. 1 another stick to Zarko.

    2 At that moment, I was expecting him to beat

    3 me with this stick and I expected a hard blow, but he

    4 surprised me and started hitting me with his fists and

    5 kicking me, so instead of a stick, he beat me this

    6 other way. Then he sent me down hill to go and have a

    7 meal. I went, but I could not even open my mouth

    8 properly -- I could not eat, so I just took a couple of

    9 bites -- I dipped in my pieces of bread in the mouth,

    10 and no sooner did I start eating, I was already

    11 summoned back to the soldiers, they surrounded me and

    12 the beatings started again on the part of the HVO

    13 soldiers.

    14 Q. Why could you not eat, what was wrong with

    15 your mouth?

    16 A. The reason why I could not eat was my mouth

    17 was swollen from this whipping of Zarko's with this

    18 rope.

    19 Q. When they brought you back, what did they do

    20 to you then?

    21 A. Where back?

    22 Q. You went down and had something to eat and

    23 then you said that, before you could even finish your

    24 meal, they brought you back. What happened then?

    25 A. Yes, then they told me to sit down. They

  83. 1 pointed to a place where I was to sit down. Then they

    2 surrounded me and they started questioning me and

    3 started abusing me. Among the soldiers, I recognised

    4 one, because we went to school together and he told

    5 them that I was from this village, from where I come,

    6 and then, again, they started beating me.

    7 Q. What did they beat you with on this occasion?

    8 A. They beat me with whatever they had at hand.

    9 They also kicked me. I lost consciousness several

    10 times there, and as I would come to they would beat me

    11 again and so it went and then Zarko told me to go back

    12 up there and finish the job that we had started and

    13 that, after that, snipers were going to shoot at me.

    14 Q. What did you understand by that when he said

    15 that snipers were going to shoot at you, what did you

    16 think he meant by that?

    17 A. Well, he had a sniper rifle in his hands and

    18 I understood that to mean that his sniper was not good

    19 enough, that he will test it on me, whether it is an

    20 accurate weapon.

    21 Q. And what happened then after that, did you go

    22 back to start trench digging again, or start digging

    23 again?

    24 A. I went up there, I was not able to dig, and

    25 then this group of people who were working with me came

  84. 1 back and, a little while later, we were all told to

    2 assemble at a particular spot and we were told that

    3 every prisoner, that is, that two prisoners should each

    4 carry a box of spent cartridges or casings of shells to

    5 a particular place.

    6 When my turn came, I was told to carry a

    7 crate on my own, and it was filled with casings and

    8 they said, "If one of these casings falls out, we will

    9 kill you". We were supposed to go downhill and, thank

    10 God, I did not lose any of these casings, otherwise

    11 I do not know what would have happened.

    12 After that, we were again placed in a vehicle

    13 in which we came from the camp, and we were taken back

    14 to the camp.

    15 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I notice it is now

    16 1.30. Is that a convenient time?

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, I think it is time to

    18 break. We can stop here and resume tomorrow. Until

    19 tomorrow.

    20 (At 1.33pm the matter adjourned until

    21 Wednesday, 25th March 1998, at 9.00am)