1 Wednesday, 25th March 1998
3 (The accused entered court)
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, ladies and
5 gentlemen. Good morning to the technicians and the
6 interpreters, are you ready?
7 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, thank you.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning to everyone.
9 We are going to continue our case, but, before that,
10 I should like to say something. As we did in previous
11 weeks, more or less mid way through the week, it would
12 be in order to make an assessment of our work. One
13 notes that the Prosecutor has announced 12 witnesses
14 for this week, and we have only heard three of them.
15 This situation draws attention to at least
16 three things: first, the right of the accused to have
17 an expeditious and fair trial must be ensured
18 throughout; secondly, the Aleksovski case has been
19 separated from other trials and, consequently, has its
20 own life and rhythm; and, thirdly, the road to reach
21 the Kaonik prison is very often a long and repetitive
22 one. The Trial Chamber does not wish to bring any
23 pressure to bear on the parties, but simply to organise
24 ourselves and to appeal in favour of the rights of the
25 accused to an expeditious and fair trial.
1 I think that we could proceed at a slightly
2 faster pace. Therefore, the Trial Chamber is concerned
3 by the situation and I think that we should have a
4 status conference next Friday at 2.30 to think over our
5 case with a view to completing it as soon as possible,
6 because, as you know, the Tribunal has other cases that
7 need to be conducted.
8 After having said that, we are going to
9 resume the hearing and, Mr Registrar, can you give us
10 the case number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. IT-95-14/1, the
12 Prosecutor versus Zlatko Aleksovski.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much.
14 I turn towards the Prosecutor. Can we have the
15 appearances, please?
16 MR NIEMANN: My name is Niemann. I appear
17 with Ms. Sutherland, Mr Meddegoda and Ms. Erasmus for the
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: For the Defence, please?
20 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, your Honours.
21 My name is Goran Mikulicic. I represent the Defence
22 together with my colleague, attorney Joka.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Prosecutor, I give you
24 the floor. I should like to ask both parties whether
25 you are agreeable with the status conference within the
1 framework that we have proposed.
2 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. Does your
3 Honour wish me to address those matters that you
4 directed to us in terms of the expedition of the
6 I would have thought that the progress of
7 this Prosecution has been timely and expeditious and
8 that the evidence has been as finely tailored I think
9 as it can be in the circumstances. There is a great
10 deal of matters that rest upon the Prosecution to
11 prove. The road to Kaonik may be a long one, but it is
12 also one necessary to establish the status of the
13 individuals. It is going to be incumbent upon your
14 Honours eventually to determine whether they were
15 prisoners of war or whether they were civilians. That
16 becomes blurred in the context of these proceedings,
17 because of the nature of the conflict.
18 You have people who were spontaneously taking
19 up arms in order to defend their villages, which puts
20 them into a different category to people who are
21 regular members of the armed forces, and that is a
22 matter that requires differentiation and can only be
23 established by evidence and it is also necessary to
24 have an understanding of the nature of the conflict,
25 otherwise the whole issue of human shields and trench
1 digging becomes meaningless -- so the evidence cannot
2 be limited to just what happened in the Kaonik camp.
3 If a number of charges in the indictment
4 relates to trench digging and human shields, the
5 evidence cannot stop just because someone is told to go
6 out and dig a trench. That is not the end of the
7 matter. Digging a trench may or may not contravene the
8 Geneva Conventions. What contravenes the Geneva
9 Conventions is if they are obliged to dig a trench in
10 the face of danger, and again that is another matter
11 that has to be established by evidence. It is not a
12 straightforward matter; it is a matter of assessment.
13 One has to hear the atmosphere in which these people
14 worked to get an appreciation of whether or not that is
15 what was happening.
16 There are cases where these people were
17 performing work which the Prosecution would not allege
18 at all was in contravention of the Conventions, such as
19 market gardening and so forth around the camp. So, it
20 is because of these issues that that burden is upon the
21 Prosecution to prove -- that may appear to be tedious
22 but nevertheless are necessary.
23 Further, your Honours, the right to an
24 expeditious trial cannot possibly in our respectful
25 submission be interpreted in such a way as to deprive
1 the Prosecution of presenting its case. The accused
2 certainly is entitled to an expeditious trial, and we
3 do all we can to comply with that requirement, but the
4 Prosecution must have the right to present its case,
5 and that is what we are doing and we are endeavouring
6 to do it as expeditiously as possible.
7 With that, your Honour, might the witness be
8 brought in?
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Excuse me, perhaps we
10 should also hear the opinion of the Defence on this
11 matter, and specifically regarding the status
12 conference, Mr. Mikulicic. I am sorry, Mr. Niemann.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: At this point in time, the
14 Defence has no objection regarding the proposal of the
15 Trial Chamber for a status conference, which it finds
16 to be absolutely acceptable. As regards the way in
17 which the Prosecution is conducting its case, the
18 Defence would not like to reproach anything at this
19 point in time in view of the fact that the Defence
20 requires reciprocity when its case comes, and the
21 possibility to present its evidence, at least in the
22 same way as the Prosecution has done.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
24 The equitable principle will certainly be guaranteed.
25 Mr. Niemann, we can resume with the hearing
2 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honour pleases.
3 (The witness entered court)
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, Sir. Can
5 you hear me?
6 A. Yes, good morning.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yesterday, you took a
8 solemn oath. Are you aware of that today, that you are
9 bound by it today as well?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, you are
12 going to continue to answer questions which Mr. Niemann
13 is going to put to you.
14 WITNESS M (continued)
15 Examined by MR. NIEMANN (continued)
16 Q. Witness M, yesterday in the course of your
17 evidence you spoke of a first meeting you had with a
18 representative of the Red Cross. I think at that time
19 you said that, at least during part of the time that
20 this representative was there, Mr. Aleksovski was
21 present; do you remember that?
22 A. Yes. He was present when they came and, when
23 we came out of the cell to sit around the table where
24 we had our meals, and when the registration of the
25 prisoners began, then she would ask Mr. Aleksovski to go
1 out so she could talk to us without his presence.
2 Q. During the time when Mr. Aleksovski was
3 present with the representative of the Red Cross, did
4 you hear any conversation transpiring between them --
5 between Mr. Aleksovski and the Red Cross representative
6 about matters pertaining to the camp?
7 A. I did not hear anything in particular,
8 because, if they did have a conversation, then they
9 would do so to the side -- slightly away from those
10 present. Until they came the second time, when I know
11 that Ms Beatrice told Aleksovski that, since we had
12 been registered by the Red Cross, that we must not be
13 taken to do labour where we were not safe, and
14 especially not to the front-lines, and to do forced
15 labour such as we had been doing.
16 Q. And, when she had told him this, were you
17 taken out again, or did the requirements for you to go
18 to the front-line then cease?
19 A. After that, after I heard her say this to
20 him, that we must not be taken there, because we had
21 been registered by the Red Cross, and that whatever
22 happened to us, Mr. Aleksovski would be responsible.
23 After that, that night, we went to a neighbouring
24 village, Strane -- about midnight we went to dig
1 Q. Can you remember that particular incident
2 when you went to Strane, what happened that night?
3 A. Yes. They came about midnight -- some of
4 their soldiers came -- gentlemen from the camp, the
5 guards, Marko Krilic was there, and another guard, and
6 then they took us out of the cells, about 20 of us, and
7 we were taken up to Strane to dig trenches.
8 Q. Did there come an occasion when you had a
9 second meeting with the representative of the
10 International Red Cross at the camp?
11 A. What do you mean?
12 Q. Did you meet again with someone? Did the
13 lady from the Red Cross come to the camp another time
14 after the first occasion?
15 A. Yes, after the first time, I think she came
16 another three times. The first time I complained
17 that I needed to see a doctor, because I had these
18 visible scars on my face from the mistreatment I had
19 been exposed to in the camp, and I asked to see a
20 doctor, because I was feeling pain in my back, in my
21 head and all over my body. She told me that she would
22 pass this on to the prison director and that I would be
23 taken there, but nothing happened.
24 A second time when I complained again, after
25 this second time, Mr. Aleksovski, in the evening, took
1 me to the local clinic in Busovaca.
2 Q. And what happened -- can you tell us this
3 incident? Did he come into your cell and say anything
4 to you? How was it that he took you there?
5 A. I had already lost hope that I would be taken
6 to a doctor, so it was well into the night when
7 Mr. Aleksovski came into my cell, and told me to follow
8 him. I went out with him and we went outside the
9 building where the cells were. There were another two
10 prisoners waiting for him. He put us in his own car
11 that he used to drive, and he drove us to the local
12 clinic in Busovaca. When we got there, he told us to
13 wait in the corridor until he went to the doctor's
14 surgery to see something. After that, he came out, a
15 couple of minutes later, and told us to go in one by
17 As we entered, the other two went before me
18 -- I was the third -- and, when my turn came, they
19 asked me my name, where I was from, and why I had
20 come. I told them my name, but I changed my surname,
21 because I assumed that my surname could affect my
22 safety, but Aleksovski came up to her and told me to
23 tell her my name and where I came from, and, when the
24 lady doctor asked me where I had pains and what they
25 were due to, I told her that they were pains from the
1 digging, but Aleksovski smiled and said, "Tell the
2 truth. Tell her that there was a dance down there."
3 Then I told her that I had been beaten and that I had
4 pains as a result and the lady who examined me, she had
5 lifted my T-shirt, but she put it back down, saying,
6 "Go away, I will not treat you here. If you get out
7 alive, let them in Zenica treat you."
8 Mr. Aleksovski was present throughout this
9 time and he just laughed at it all. She gave me three
10 pills. I did not know what they were. We went out, we
11 got into the car again. Mr. Aleksovski addressed all
12 three of us then and said, "You see, I took you to the
13 doctor, so do not complain again that I did not take
14 you to see a doctor and that you were not given any
15 medical treatment," though, in my particular case,
16 I was not given any treatment.
17 Q. Did you have any expectation after that as to
18 whether or not you would be required to go trench
19 digging again?
20 A. I did not expect to be taken again, because
21 I really was in a terrible condition. I could not hold
22 any tools, I could not bend down properly like I used
23 to be able to, and so I had expected them to spare me
24 at least until my exchange, so I was spared for a day
25 or two, until they needed me again, so again they came
1 for me and I was again taken to dig to Polom, a nearby
2 hill near Busovaca.
3 Q. At any stage did you think about or do
4 anything in order to render yourself unable to go
5 trench digging while you were in the camp?
6 A. Yes, at the beginning, while we were
7 mistreated on a daily basis and constantly and very
8 badly, so I told my colleague who was with me in my
9 cell that he should break my arm so that at least they
10 would not force me to dig and I would not be mistreated
11 on the front-line. So, I thought to myself, if I had to
12 be mistreated in the camp, at least I would not be
13 mistreated on the front-line, because I was constantly
14 mistreated, both in the camp and on the front-line --
15 not just me but everyone else -- all the other
16 prisoners who were there, too.
17 Q. During the time you were in the camp, did you
18 know or come to know a person called Omer, from Teslic?
19 A. Yes, I knew Omer in person. I was with him
20 in cell number 6 for about 15 days, I think. He came
21 later from somewhere -- he was brought in to cell
22 number 6. After that, we were together in cell number
23 12, and Omer was killed at Polom. I do not know which
24 side killed him -- during forced labour he was killed
1 Q. When you say "forced labour", what was he
2 doing, do you know?
3 A. None of us wanted to go to the front-line
4 where we were exposed to fire, and nobody wanted to dig
5 trenches for their army. We were forced to do that --
6 we had to do it.
7 Q. And did you understand that Omer was involved
8 in trench digging at the time when he was killed?
9 A. Yes, he went to dig trenches. He went there
10 repeatedly -- I went with him for three days. After
11 that, I was taken to Kula, and he was taken again --
12 his group was taken to Polom and when we got back to
13 the camp, I asked my colleague, with whom I was from
14 the first day, I asked where Omer was and he said that
15 Omer had got killed, and that they had brought him,
16 after being killed, to Busovaca -- they had taken him
17 to Busovaca.
18 MR. NIEMANN: I would ask you at this stage,
19 if you would, to look at a photograph that I now show
20 you. If your Honours please, we have a copy, a black
21 and white copy, of this photograph. Might the original
22 colour one be the next exhibit in order?
23 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit 86.
24 MR. NIEMANN: Might a copy be given out?
25 Could it be put on the ELMO?
1 Just looking at that photograph, do you
2 recognise it, Witness M? (Handed).
3 A. Yes, this is the interior of the building
4 where the cells were, where I was put up for a while.
5 MR. NIEMANN: Could that be placed on the
6 overhead projector?
7 Witness M, I would ask you to put it on the
8 screen so we can all see it.
9 When you say that that was the one of the
10 cells that you went to, can you be more precise? When
11 did you go there? Were they the first cells that you
12 went to, or did you go somewhere else first, or can you
13 be more specific about that, explaining what these
14 cells are?
15 A. Yes. This is the interior of the building
16 where the cells were. This, starting from this side,
17 this is cell number 2, 3, 4 (indicating). Over on the
18 other side is 5, and you cannot see that in the
19 picture, there was the cell where I was. I spent about
20 one month in that cell number 6. This was the toilet
21 for the prisoners, and this was a toilet and a bathroom
22 for the staff -- for the guards and other personnel who
23 were working at the camp and this man here (indicating)
24 is also familiar to me, and I say that this is Marko
25 Krilic, that he is the deputy commander of the camp.
1 I can even recognise him from the back,
2 because I have a very vivid memory of him, and so
3 I recognise him, that it is exactly him.
4 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that, your Honours.
5 You mentioned a moment ago that this was a
6 part of the camp or the cells in which you were for
7 part of the time. Were you in any other part of the
8 camp at any other time during the course of your stay
10 A. Yes, I was transferred to another hangar,
11 which was up from the hangar where I was originally,
12 and this happened some time in the period between 15
13 and 20 May 1993, when I was called out among the
14 prisoners and we were in a group of about 50 or 60
15 persons -- we were called out. We came out in front of
16 the building where the cells were, and we sort of
17 waited there -- some kind of an exchange.
18 Mr. Aleksovski was present there as well as Mr. Zarko --
19 he supposedly was engaged in this exchange, and then
20 there was some kind of roll call -- they were selecting
21 certain men.
22 In my view, this selection was made according
23 to the age groups and when they finished this process,
24 the older men and the men who were unable to work were
25 put to one side and I was with the other group and we
1 were ordered to go to this other building, to this
2 other hangar, which was up from the building where the
3 cells were, and, when I came to the hangar, I found
4 about 50 to 60 people there. They were in pretty bad
6 They were in 10 times worse condition than
7 the men who were in the prison, because at least in the
8 prison they had these pallets on which one could lie
9 down and get some rest, whereas in this hangar there
10 were some mini pallets where very few people could
11 stay, and the rest were on the floor, which was a
12 concrete floor, or some -- there was less food. It was
13 sort of food fit for dogs.
14 I spent seven days there and I had no
15 container to eat from, so I had to share a container
16 with another one or two persons. Nobody gave me
17 anything to eat from -- some kind of mess tin or
18 anything that I could use for food.
19 MR. NIEMANN: Just looking at Exhibit 85 for
20 me, if you would, which is an exhibit you have looked
21 at before -- perhaps that could be put on the overhead
22 projector -- I think he has seen that.
23 Picking up one of those pens -- the marker
24 pens that are there, are you able to mark with the
25 letter "C" this second hangar that you were taken to on
1 this occasion that the exchange took place?
2 A. (Witness marked photograph).
3 Q. Was it in front of the hangar marked "B" on
4 that map that the people were first assembled for the
5 point of exchange, or was it in front of hangar C, can
6 you remember?
7 A. Yes, part of the people were between hangars
8 marked with "B" and "C". People were sort of lined up
9 and called out. That is where the selection was made.
10 In my view, those who were unable to work, those who
11 were sick, who were older, that is when they were
12 separated out and they were taken to the village of
13 Skradno -- they were not exchanged, they were taken to
14 the village of Skradno -- and myself and another group
15 of men who were taken from this line-up, we were taken
16 back to the building marked with "C" and that is where
17 I spent a week, in this building "C".
18 Q. When you were taken out on this day that this
19 exchange occurred, it was about middle May I think you
20 said that it happened?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Had you either hoped or expected that you
23 were going to be exchanged yourself on that day?
24 A. When I was called out, I had expected to be
25 exchanged and I sort of rejoiced because I said,
1 "Finally the day has arrived when I will be
2 exchanged." However, all that happened was I was
3 transferred from building B to building C.
4 Q. Do you know why you were transferred from
5 building B to building C -- do you know why that
7 A. Yes, there was a group of HVO soldiers there,
8 and two or three military soldiers and one of those
9 military policemen was a school friend of mine -- his
10 name is Marko Kulic and he was present there, and they
11 were sort of shouting from that position and the
12 director knew that I was from this village, so he said,
13 "Oh, no way is he going to go on that day to be
14 exchanged, because he is from this village" and this
15 was the reason why I was not exchanged at that time.
16 Q. I think it is obvious, but just to make sure
17 it is clear for the record, by "director" you mean the
18 accused, Mr. Aleksovski?
19 A. Yes, yes. Aleksovski was present almost
20 throughout this time until I was taken to the building
21 C, and I think he even stayed behind after those people
22 were taken away and I was taken to building C -- he
23 remained with these people. He was there the whole
24 time, from the moment when I came in front of the
25 building until I was taken to building C, Mr. Aleksovski
1 was present there.
2 MR. NIEMANN: I would like you to look at
3 another exhibit, Exhibit 70, and I will ask you if you
4 recognise this exhibit. Again, I would like it placed
5 on the overhead projector. (Handed).
6 Witness M, that is a photograph, but I am
7 wondering, looking at it, whether it is a photograph
8 that appears to be familiar to you?
9 A. Yes, it is familiar to me. This is the
10 building C where I stayed for seven days. I recognise
11 certain people there, also -- the guard and, again,
12 Mr. Krilic.
13 Q. Can you point to the guard that you recognise
14 as Mr. Krilic -- can you point to him on the screen?
15 A. This (indicating), this is Mr. Krilic.
16 Q. That is the gentleman with the back to the
17 photograph, appearing to walk into the door with the
18 number 12 above. Do you recognise anyone else there?
19 A. Yes -- yes, these are some of the prisoners
20 who were staying in this building. This is the
21 interpreter, who was with the International Red Cross.
22 This is one of the guards, named Anto, from Busovaca.
23 Q. And the witness is pointing to the person
24 standing on the platform second from the right of the
25 photograph looking at the photograph?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you see the lady that was from the Red
3 Cross that you have spoken of, who was there with
4 Mr. Aleksovski on the occasions that you mentioned in
5 your evidence -- do you see that lady in the photograph
6 at all?
7 A. No, this is not Ms Beatrice.
8 Q. I am sorry, I apologise. Is there anything
9 else about the photograph that you recognise? Do you
10 recognise anyone there who was with you at any stage
11 when you were taken trench digging?
12 A. Yes, this young man with a shopping bag and
13 some kind of paper in his hand (indicating) in jeans
14 and T-shirt -- short-sleeve T-shirt who is stepping out
15 of the building was a young man who dug with me one
16 night -- the night when they -- when they took us to
17 Strane after the visit of the International Red Cross,
18 and this gentleman here, who is walking towards the
19 door (indicating) in this track-suit was also an HVO
20 soldier, and he slept in one of the cells, which was at
21 the entrance and above that cell there was a cross, so
22 he went to the front-line from there, and would come
23 back and slept there.
24 I do not know whether he was in prison there,
25 or whether he was on some other duty, but he brought me
1 food several times into the cell, while I was staying
2 in building B. And also on the second day of my
3 staying in prison, he brought me the food that was
4 later thrown at me, and down here (indicating) are the
5 men from Zepce. This man is from Zepce, and he was
6 helping me -- he had a handkerchief or something and he
7 was dipping it in water and he was putting like a cold
8 compress or something, he was trying to help me to cool
9 off my bruises.
10 This is a man from Vitez (indicating), and
11 then I recognise some of the faces, but I do not know
12 where they are from. They were from different areas.
13 I know them by face, but I do not know exactly from
14 which area each individual was.
15 Q. I think that is good, thank you.
16 When you were in the hangar that you have
17 marked C, did you become ill at any stage?
18 A. Yes, when I came to the hangar which I marked
19 with the letter "C", I suffered a crisis of sorts -- it
20 just came over me and I was very sick. I had terrible
21 pains in the back area, and the gentleman that I showed
22 you, who was from Zepce, he was tending to me. He was
23 dipping his handkerchief in water that was there in the
24 building -- he was putting it on my back to help me.
25 This helped a little and the other prisoners also
1 cheered me up so that I would not give up -- I was in a
2 terrible shape, and regardless of my health condition
3 I was forced to go and dig regardless of this condition
4 -- I had to go to dig and work every day, so that is
5 how it went.
6 Q. And, when you were in the camp, do you
7 remember seeing some prisoners there that were of Arab
9 A. Yes, when I got there, maybe two or three
10 days later -- in fact, the first couple of days I heard
11 some kind of moans coming from the cells 2, 3, 4 and 5,
12 but I did not know what was going on, until one day
13 I came out to go to the toilet and I could see an Arab,
14 who also had come out to go to the toilet, so this is
15 how I found out that they were there, and then, once,
16 while we were digging in the village of Strane -- this
17 is the first time we went there -- I met a man who went
18 with them, who apparently was their driver. I met this
19 man and he said that there were about 10 or 11 Arabs,
20 and that two Bosnians were also with them.
21 So, this is how I knew that there were some
22 Arabs there, and they had special treatment. They were
23 treated differently than we were. They called them
24 mudjehadeen and they were saying that they were
25 different from us somehow, so they beat them more
1 severely than they did us, and, as far as I know, the
2 UN also came to visit them, so they were exchanged in
3 mid May. That is when the exchange of these Arabs took
4 place, and they left the camp and, as far as I know,
5 they spent about three and a half months in there.
6 Q. Do you remember at any stage when you were in
7 the cell block which you marked with the letter "A"
8 there being a cell there that had a padlock on it?
9 A. I am sorry, I did not understand the
11 Q. When you were in cell block that you
12 marked "A" -- that is the first cell block that you
13 went into with the individual cells in it -- do you
14 remember one of those cells having a lock on the door?
15 A. Yes, yes. That was cell number 4. It was
16 locked in this period when the first Arabs were
17 exchanged and then another Arab from Syria was brought
18 in and his cell was always padlocked and it would be
19 unlocked only when the food was brought to him and when
20 he was taken out to go to the toilet. For a while
21 I was taking food to this cell, and I saw that the man
22 who was kept there was in a horrible condition, that he
23 had been beaten and mistreated, and I thought it was
24 terrible -- from early May up until my exchange, which
25 was on 19 June 1993, he was beaten up every day, he was
1 abused, and different men took turns in doing these
2 things to him.
3 I recall a detail; when the International Red
4 Cross came to visit us, they went from cell to cell to
5 see who was there. When they came to cell number 4,
6 Mr. Aleksovski was with this gentleman from the Red
7 Cross and we were sitting around the table, where we
8 were taking meals. When the gentleman from the Red
9 Cross asked why this cell was locked, he said that this
10 was some kind of a food storage room and that there was
11 no need for them to enter there -- there was no need
12 for them to see it, so they did not have the key, they
13 could not open it, so they passed that cell and came
14 over to us and talked to us; in other words, they did
15 not want to report him to the International Red Cross.
16 I do not know whether they reported him
17 later, but, while I was there, they were not reporting
18 him there, and he stayed behind me, after I was
19 exchanged. I do not know whether this person survived,
20 whether he came out later, after me.
21 Q. When Mr. Aleksovski said that it was a food
22 store; did he say whether or not there was anyone in
23 there, or did he just say that, that it was just a food
25 A. He said that it was a food storage room and
1 that there was no need for them to open it up, that
2 there was no need to look into that room, that there
3 was no-one there, that there was no need for them to go
5 Q. Apart from being taken to dig trenches, were
6 you required to do any other kind of work around the
7 camp during the time that you were interned there?
8 A. Yes, if we did not go to dig trenches, we
9 would go to do some work privately for the guards -- we
10 did work in their gardens, cut their grass, so those
11 were sort of like household work. It was something
12 that they did not do that we did for them.
13 Q. And where did you do this work? Was it in
14 the camp or inside the camp and outside the camp?
15 A. Outside the camp. We went to Mr. Stipo
16 Andrijasevic to plant potatoes; Mr. Miro, who was also a
17 guard in the camp, we went to cut grass for him;
18 Mr. Anto Cakic, we also went to cut grass; to one of
19 their soldiers we went to plant potatoes and onions and
20 within the compound of the camp we also planted onions
21 and some potatoes.
22 MR. NIEMANN: Might the witness be shown
23 Exhibit 46, please? (Handed).
24 Witness M, would you look at the photograph
25 you are now shown and can you tell me whether you
1 recognise that photograph?
2 A. This is a building within the compound of the
3 Kaonik centre, which was a former JNA barracks
4 (indicating). This was the building where their army
5 was housed, some kind of interventions platoon that was
6 housed up here on the first floor (indicating). This
7 is the entrance to the building (indicating). To the
8 left is a door leading to their kitchen, where food was
9 prepared for them (indicating) and also here
10 (indicating) there are toilets and bathrooms. I went
11 there a couple of times to clean their kitchen, and to
12 clean their toilets and bathrooms, and I also went
13 upstairs under armed escort of their soldiers to make
14 their beds where they used to sleep and rest.
15 MR. NIEMANN: And would you mark -- looking
16 again at Exhibit P85, please, which is the other
17 exhibit that we had there a moment ago -- I think it
18 may have gone back -- P85 (Handed). Can you point out
19 on P85 where this particular building is that you have
20 just pointed to in Exhibit 46 -- where is it located?
21 Again, with a marker would you put the letter "D" on
22 it, please? Can you point to it and then put a "D"
23 where this building is located?
24 A. Here it is, this is this building
25 (indicating). It is here. This is the building where
1 their army was accommodated (indicating) -- their
2 kitchen (indicating), that was where their army stayed
3 (indicating) and we went there to clean up, and do some
4 other jobs that were not for animals. Everything that
5 was filthy, while they were there and before and after
6 they left, we had to clean up. The toilets were in a
7 terrible condition, and so was their kitchen. We had
8 to scrub it all clean, make it shine.
9 Q. Would you put a "C" there with a pen for me
10 where that place is -- sorry, "D", I do apologise?
11 A. (Witness marked photograph).
12 Q. Apart from those chores that you had to
13 perform that you have already described, was there ever
14 an occasion when you were required to dig graves?
15 A. Yes, I went once to dig graves.
16 Q. Where did you do that -- sorry?
17 A. That was in the environs of Busovaca in the
18 village of Ravan. They came to fetch us about
19 midnight, they boarded us into a van, 8 of us, and we
20 were driven there to dig two graves, and we dug them
21 during the night, not in day time, but during the
23 MR. NIEMANN: Just looking at the next
24 photograph I show you -- I have a copy for your Honours
25 and for Mr. Mikulicic -- (Handed). Perhaps that might
1 be given the next number in order?
2 THE REGISTRAR: The number is 87.
3 MR. NIEMANN: Witness M, during the time
4 that you were kept at Kaonik, were you ever required to
5 dig trenches or dig installations for the HVO in the
6 Kaonik area itself?
7 A. Yes, one day I dug in the Kaonik area at this
8 road -- this is the school building that I went to, the
9 school I went to (indicating) and there is a path
10 (indicating) leading to the school and we dug somewhere
11 here (indicating) some kind of a dugout or trench for
12 the HVO. In my opinion, it was for some kind of
13 Defence -- probably to defend the bridge and this road,
14 because, one could see well from that spot the bridge
15 used to cross the Lasva Valley and go on to Busovaca.
16 Q. I think it might be easier if we turn it
17 around that way, it is a bit easier to follow. Looking
18 at this particular photograph, I should have asked you
19 -- it is obviously a photograph of the area that you
20 recognise -- can you point to where the Kaonik camp is
22 A. Yes, here it is (indicating). This is the
23 compound of the camp. This is building B (indicating),
24 the one where the cells were; this is the building
25 where there were no cells (indicating) -- it was a
1 hangar in which I spent seven days, and down here
2 (indicating) is the building that I just marked with
3 the letter "D", and this is the road (indicating)
4 leading from building D to building B and C and these
5 are some other buildings (indicating), in some of which
6 of the material was housed.
7 Q. Can you point again, just so we understand
8 it, in relation to the camp, where it was that you dug
9 this particular dugout -- can you point to that?
10 A. Here (indicating) just here.
11 Q. Would you put with the pen a circle, please,
12 at that spot?
13 A. (Witness marked photograph).
14 Q. Do you have any idea where the front-lines of
15 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina were in relation to that
16 spot that you have marked -- do you have any idea of
17 that? You may not know, but if you do know?
18 A. They were far from this. I do not see much
19 purpose in this dugout. In my personal opinion, they
20 wanted to protect this bridge, at least that is what we
21 gathered from the conversation from the soldiers who
22 were present and who forced us to dig. The HVO lines
23 were far from this in the villages of Strane, Podjele,
24 Loncari, Jelinak and further on, so there was
25 absolutely no front-line there or anything, so I do not
1 see what the purpose of that dugout was.
2 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that photograph, your
4 I would ask you to look at a map that I am
5 going to show you, and on that map, I would like you,
6 if you would, to look at it closely, and, if you can,
7 to mark on it the places that you were taken for trench
8 digging during the period of time that you were in the
9 camp at Kaonik. (Handed).
10 THE REGISTRAR: It is exhibit number 88.
11 MR. NIEMANN: If it is easier for you, you
12 can mark it first like that, because it is easier for
13 you to see, and then you can explain it to us on the
14 screen. So mark it first, if that is easier for you,
15 the places where you went trench digging.
16 A. Very well. (Witness marked map).
17 Q. Perhaps you could put that on the screen for
18 us now and point to those places and tell us the names
19 of them as you go through them.
20 A. Let me start from the first time that I went
21 digging. This is the village of Strane (indicating).
22 This is close to Strane and it is called Komar. Close
23 to Komar in the direction of Loncari and Putis is
24 Bakije. Then I went digging in Loncari. I spent some
25 time here at Kula digging, I also dug at Solakovici but
1 not actually in Solakovici, but away from Solakovici.
2 There is no name here, so that is why I have indicated
3 it with an arrow -- not in Solakovici itself, but close
4 to it, because Solakovici was under the control of the
5 BiH army. I also dug in Carica and at Polom. I dug at
6 another place, but I cannot remember what it was
8 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that.
9 Do you remember how long you were in the camp
10 at Kaonik, for what period of time?
11 A. In the period from 19 April until 19 June
13 Q. Do you remember now approximately, of that
14 time, how much you were taken out to dig trenches?
15 A. Out of the time I spent at Kaonik, I did not
16 go digging or doing some other forced labour -- perhaps
17 for seven days -- perhaps there were seven days
18 I stayed, and, while I stayed behind, I stayed behind
19 either because I was too beaten up, and because they
20 wanted to beat me up, or there was not any work to do.
21 Otherwise, throughout the period I spent at the Kaonik
22 camp, I was taken to dig trenches and do other forced
23 labour that I was ordered to do.
24 Let me also mention a detail -- I counted
25 once I had on my two palms 56 blisters and when
1 I complained, "I cannot really hold any tools in my
2 hand", I would be given some bandages or some rags to
3 wind them around my palms so as to be able to go
4 digging again.
5 Q. During the time that you were in the camp,
6 did you have opportunities to have showers or baths or
7 wash your body?
8 A. Not once, from the moment I was captured on
9 16 April until I left on 19 June 1993 -- not once did
10 I have a bath. They cut my hair once -- I do not know
11 why -- at Kaonik, probably because of lice or some
12 other such reason, because we had no hygiene. We did
13 not even wash or wash our hands, only when we went to
14 the toilet, if you had a chance and if the guard would
15 let you wash your hands and maybe your face and that
16 was all.
17 Q. And what about clothing, were you given fresh
18 changes of clothes at any time when you were in the
19 camp, and, if so, how often?
20 A. What clothing I had on me, that was what
21 I took away with me. The vest I wore throughout that
22 time rotted -- it fell apart -- it was rotten, so
23 I threw it away while I was still in the camp. I had
24 some boots that I was given by the guards, because they
25 took my boots -- I was given a pair that were too big
1 for me, and they gave me some kind of trousers, but
2 they took mine -- my military trousers -- and they gave
3 me some kind of civilian trousers and I spent my entire
4 time in the camp wearing this, and that is in those
5 same clothes I left. I never had any change of
7 Q. At one stage during the course of your
8 evidence you mentioned that you cleaned up the premises
9 of the HVO intervention squad. What do you understand
10 by that -- what does that mean, do you know,
11 "intervention squad" or platoon?
12 A. It means a unit was ready to intervene in a
13 conflict that may occur, so there would be rapid
14 deployment, like a special unit.
15 Q. On the day of your exchange, the day that you
16 were exchanged -- I think you said 19 June 1993 -- did
17 you have a conversation with Mr. Aleksovski on that day?
18 A. Not I -- I did not talk to him, but, on the
19 day of exchange, when, thank God that it happened, when
20 officials of the Red Cross came to the building,
21 building B, they came and they called out the names of
22 those who were to be exchanged. Then there seemed to
23 be a hitch over one of the soldiers that Mr. Aleksovski
24 did not want to release, so Mr. Aleksovski and
25 Ms Beatrice had a conversation. Ms Beatrice insisted
1 that this man be released, but Aleksovski had his
2 reasons why he did not want to let him go -- Hamdo.
3 Mr. Aleksovski said, "Let us go over here, let
4 us not talk in front of the others, in front of the
5 other prisoners, but let us go to my office to discuss
6 it." 10 or 15 minutes later they came back, and this
7 prisoner was released, the one Mr. Aleksovski did not
8 want to have released, so he was released, too, and
9 then they saw that this man could not walk at all -- he
10 had been beaten up so badly that last morning in the
11 camp, so he came out slowly and we helped him to walk
12 outside the building in front of building B, and then
13 we headed towards building D where the Red Cross buses
14 were waiting, and there was a commission of the HVO and
15 the BiH army.
16 On the way from building B to building D
17 that I marked, Mr. Aleksovski addressed me and my
18 colleague and said, "You will be rewarded if you come
19 back here. You will not get out alive again," but
20 thank God this wish of the gentleman did not come true.
21 Q. The person that you have referred to
22 variously as "the director" and "the commander" and
23 "Mr. Aleksovski", do you believe that you would be able
24 to recognise that person again if you saw him?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Would you please look around the courtroom
2 and if you see that person, would you point to him with
3 your hand, please?
4 A. There he is (indicating), that man who was
5 the Mr. Director in the camp throughout the time.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Registrar, we must
7 record that the witness has pointed in the direction of
8 Mr. Aleksovski.
9 Mr. Niemann, do you need much more time to
10 finish with your examination-in-chief, or shall we have
11 a break?
12 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, I think I am
13 finished, but it would be convenient to me if we had
14 our break and I had an opportunity to review -- I think
15 I have completed all the questions I wish to ask, but a
16 break would be convenient for me, your Honour.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, we are going
18 to have a 20-minute break.
20 (A short break)
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann?
23 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions,
24 your Honour.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Niemann.
1 Mr. Mikulicic, I assume that you have questions for the
3 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honours
4 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC
5 Q. I am Goran Mikulicic, I represent the accused
6 in this matter, and I am going to ask you some
7 questions. Please answer them to the best of your
9 Mr. M, what schools did you finish?
10 A. Secondary school -- trades school, I am a
12 Q. Do you speak any foreign languages?
13 A. Not fluently, but I speak a little bit of
15 Q. When you say "a little bit", what do you
17 A. What little I speak, I can comprehend what
18 I am told, but I am not very good with the language so
19 that I could express myself what I am asked.
20 Q. Mr. M, during the events that you described,
21 were you a member of any political Party?
22 A. Yes, I was a member of a political Party of
23 the Democratic -- Party of Democratic Action in 1991,
24 when the elections took place. However, I did not
25 engage in political activities very actively.
1 Q. Mr. M, are you a religious person?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you regularly observe your religious
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Witness M, during your testimony, on several
7 occasions you said that you did not give your full name
8 -- your real name, that you concealed your identity at
9 the doctor's in Kaonik, et cetera. Why did you do
11 A. Because whenever I would mention my last
12 name, I would be mistreated -- I would be beaten and
13 things like that. This happened on several occasions
14 while I was in the camp.
15 Q. Forgive my interrupting you, but why was
16 that, can you explain this, can you clarify it?
17 A. No, I cannot, but people who beat me could.
18 Q. But people who beat you are not here, so I am
19 asking you. Is your name identical with the name of a
21 A. Yes, it was a hamlet.
22 Q. Did something happen in this village which
23 was connected to why you were treated in a way at the
24 mention of your name?
25 A. I do not know what could have happened. What
1 I know is the HVO forces attacked our village. I know
2 that they did not manage to take the village, and
3 I assumed that that was why I was beaten, because of my
4 last name.
5 Q. Mr. M, you said that you were a believer, that
6 you observe your religious rite on a regular basis.
7 Did you have an opportunity to do that during your
9 A. I did this the way I could under the
10 conditions that were available then.
11 Q. Did anybody prevent you in doing some?
12 A. Nobody prevented me, but I hid what I did.
13 Q. Is it true that at Bajram, which is your
14 religious holiday, a hodza came?
15 A. No, he did not come.
16 Q. Did you ever see a hodza, a religious priest
17 in the camp while you were there?
18 A. While I was there, I did not see him, and
19 I know hodza from Busovaca from very well.
20 Q. Mr. M, how were the guards dressed?
21 A. They were camouflage uniforms.
22 Q. Did they have any kind of insignia?
23 A. Yes, they had HVO insignia.
24 Q. All of them or some of them?
25 A. Some of them -- for the most part they had
1 them on their jackets. When they took off their
2 jackets they did not have any insignia on their shirts.
3 Q. Do you recall on the uniform worn by the
4 director, was there any -- were there any insignia
6 A. Yes, the HVO insignia.
7 Q. Are you sure of it?
8 A. I am sure of it.
9 Q. Did you notice anything else on the uniform
10 -- was there any rank?
11 A. No, I did not see any insignia and I am not
12 familiar with the HVO ranks insignia, either, so I did
13 not see any such thing.
14 Q. Mr. M, during your testimony you said that you
15 were together with your colleague and we will not
16 mention his name, but I think that we all know who it
17 is. You said that you were placed in the same cell
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And in the beginning were you two alone?
21 A. Yes. Later on, other people were brought in.
22 Q. We are talking about the beginning. Is it
23 true that, at the very beginning, you were physically
25 A. That night?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. Yes, that first night I was mistreated.
3 After that first night, my colleague was mistreated.
4 Q. Let me go back to what happened to your
5 colleague. Is it true that you said that you slept all
6 night and the following morning you saw the colleague
7 all bloody in that cell?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is it true that he told you that he was
10 beaten all night that night?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Is it true that you slept in the cell all
13 night that night?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you tell me how big a room it is?
16 A. It is two and a half metres by two metres --
17 something like that.
18 MR. MIKULICIC: May I ask the usher's
19 assistance to help me show the witness exhibit number
20 86? (Handed).
21 Mr. M, who is this person?
22 A. Marko Krilic, deputy commander -- he is the
23 deputy of Mr. Zlatko Aleksovski.
24 Q. Mr. M, has this person their back to us?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How do you recognise him?
2 A. By what he is wearing, by how he is built --
3 I recognise him by his watch, by the short sleeves on
4 his shirt, by the shoes that he is wearing, because
5 I rarely saw him wearing boots -- such details.
6 Q. But you do not recognise him by his face?
7 A. That is correct, but I claim that this is
8 this person 100 per cent.
9 Q. You are also saying that you recognise him by
10 his short sleeves?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Can I ask the usher to please
13 show the witness a photograph marked as Exhibit 70?
15 Mr. M, during your testimony, you also
16 recognised Marko Krilic in this photograph?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you show him to us one more time?
19 A. (Indicates) it is this person.
20 Q. Is this a person that has the back turned to
22 A. Yes, it is the person who is walking in.
23 Q. We do not know this because he is a static
25 A. But I know where he is going. Maybe he is
1 going backwards.
2 Q. How do you recognise him?
3 A. This is a picture from the back, and, in my
4 mind, it is the same person, because I saw this person
5 enough times to recognise him, whichever way he is
6 turned and I know him well enough, and he is vivid
7 enough in my memory.
8 Q. Regardless of the fact that you cannot see
9 his face?
10 A. Regardless of the fact that I do not see his
11 face, I can recognise him.
12 Q. Mr. M, you have extraordinary ability.
13 A. Thank you.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Now, can you show me --
15 Mr. Usher, can you just leave that photograph there for
16 a moment? Mr. M, could you please focus on the person
17 standing on the platform second to the right, who is
18 this person?
19 A. It is one of the guards in the camp.
20 Q. Do you see an insignia on him?
21 A. I do not. He is wearing -- he is a sort of
22 sloppy soldier. He does not look like a soldier. He
23 is all unbuttoned and everything.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you. Mr. M, -- Mr. Usher,
25 we have no further need for this photograph, I thank
2 Mr. M, you described your encounters with the
3 Red Cross official?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In which way did you contact her -- directly,
6 or through an interpreter?
7 A. Through an interpreter.
8 Q. In which way did she communicate with the
10 A. Through an interpreter.
11 Q. Mr. M, is your knowledge -- let me first ask
12 you, what language did the Red Cross official use?
13 A. English.
14 Q. Is your knowledge of English sufficient to
15 understand what she was saying?
16 A. At that time, I did not speak enough English
17 to understand.
18 Q. Is it not true that you stated previously
19 during your testimony that she was saying something to
20 Zlatko Aleksovski?
21 A. Yes, through an interpreter, I said that.
22 Q. Did you not say that when they spoke they
23 pulled aside?
24 A. Yes, they went -- they pulled back so that
25 they would not be behind our backs, but on the other
1 side of the table where we were sitting to be
2 registered and to send messages to our next of kin that
3 we were alive.
4 Q. Mr. M, you said that you were taken to see a
5 physician in Busovaca?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You said that you were there with another two
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you know the names of these two persons?
11 A. Yes, but I would not like to reveal their
12 identity. I think that their names are in the
13 statement, and they are from the village of Jelinak.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Mr. M, I would like to ask you
15 to write down their names on a piece of paper and then
16 we will show this piece of paper to the Prosecution and
17 then enter it into evidence.
18 Is the Prosecution agreeable to this
20 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
21 (Witness writes on piece of paper)
22 MR. MIKULICIC: Mr. M, the two persons whose
23 names will go unmentioned, in respect of their
24 identity, what kind of injuries did they have, why did
25 they see a doctor?
1 A. I do not know -- they had certain painful
2 areas in the back. I did not enter into the
3 examination room together with them. We walked in one
4 by one.
5 Q. How were you transported from Kaonik to the
6 doctor in Busovaca?
7 A. Mr. Aleksovski took us there in a vehicle.
8 Q. Were there any guards with you as escorts?
9 A. No.
10 Q. If I understand you correctly, it was the
11 three of you, the three prisoners, and Mr. Aleksovski?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Were you tied?
14 A. No.
15 Q. When you came to the clinic, you said that
16 you entered the physician's office one by one?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. When one of the three of you entered, where
19 were the other two?
20 A. We were in the hallway -- we were there right
21 next to the door.
22 Q. Were you under any kind of guard?
23 A. No, we were not.
24 Q. Mr. M, you described what kind of medical
25 treatment you received in Busovaca?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You described how during your entire stay in
3 Kaonik you spent a total of seven days there, and the
4 rest out working?
5 A. Yes -- not working entirely. I would be
6 taken there and back, but it was only seven days that
7 I did not leave the compound.
8 Q. Mr. M, you described all the medical
9 complaints that you suffered through that. When you
10 were released, did you go to see a physician in Zenica?
11 A. When I was released in Zenica?
12 Q. Yes, my question is, did you go to see a
13 physician once you arrived in Zenica?
14 A. Yes, I understand your question -- I did not
15 go to see a physician, because, with the Red Cross
16 card, I could not prove my identity in order to get
17 medical treatment; in other words, I could -- all my
18 personal documents were taken away from me, so that
19 I could not get any treatment in Zenica. I had to have
20 other documents issued -- replacement documents, and
21 I was born in the municipality of Busovaca, and I had
22 to go there to have my documents reissued, which was
23 impossible, so I gave up on getting medical treatment.
24 Q. Did I understand you correctly, that you
25 wanted to see a physician, and you were turned down, or
1 you did not go there at all?
2 A. Let me explain -- when I arrived in Zenica,
3 people who had been beaten, who had medical problems,
4 were selected and, since I had no personal hygiene,
5 I never bathed during my stay in Kaonik, I first
6 insisted to go to our family so that we would clean
7 ourselves and then go to see a doctor and two or three
8 days later I went to the doctor's with this Red Cross
9 ID and I could not receive any treatment -- the
10 conditions in our country at that time were very
11 different than they are now.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honours.
13 I have no further questions.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, do you have
15 any additional questions.
16 MR. NIEMANN: Nothing in re-examination,
17 your Honour.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Registrar, the exhibit
19 is number?
20 THE REGISTRAR: It is D4 of the Defence and
21 I suppose that there is a request for it to be admitted
22 into evidence.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, I think that was
24 implicit and the Chamber has granted admission.
25 THE REGISTRAR: So the number is D4.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much.
2 Witness M, the Trial Chamber has no further
3 questions for you. Therefore, you have completed your
4 testimony. The International Criminal Tribunal wishes
5 to thank you very much for coming, and wishes you a
6 safe journey to your country. Thank you.
7 A. Thank you, your Honours.
8 (The witness withdrew)
9 MR. NIEMANN: Might I ask the last exhibit
10 be admitted under seal, if your Honour pleases.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: I thank my learned friend --
12 that should have been my proposal, but I forgot to --
13 omitted to mention it -- of course I agree.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you.
15 Mr. Niemann, are you going to request
16 protective measures for the next witness?
17 MR. NIEMANN: Yes. This application will be
18 made by my colleague, Mr. Meddegoda, who will be taking
19 this witness through his evidence.
20 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, the next
21 Prosecution witness we wish to call is witness number 5
22 in paragraph 4 of the motion dated 20 March 1998, and
23 in respect of that witness, too, your Honours, I am
24 making an application on his behalf seeking protective
25 measures. I am seeking that the witness be assigned a
1 pseudonym and, also, that the image of his face be
2 distorted during the course of his testimony. If your
3 Honours are inclined to grant the application, the
4 witness may be assigned pseudonym N -- he will be known
5 as Witness N.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic?
7 MR. MIKULICIC: No objections, your Honours.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, we will take
9 the measures that we took for the previous witness.
10 Are the technicians ready for that? I think that we
11 can have the witness brought in.
12 MR. MEDDEGODA: I am calling Witness N, your
14 (The witness entered court)
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, Sir, do you
16 hear me well?
17 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please read the solemn
19 declaration that the usher is handing to you.
20 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that
21 I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but
22 the truth.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You may be seated. Will
24 you please approach the table a little bit to be closer
25 to the microphones?
1 A. Very well.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much. You
3 are going to answer questions which the Prosecutor,
4 Mr. Meddegoda is going to put to you, please.
5 WITNESS N
6 Examined by MR. MEDDEGODA.
7 Q. Witness, their Honours have been pleased to
8 grant protective measures, therefore you will be known
9 throughout the course of your testimony as Witness N.
10 Before I start, may I ask you to read the name written
11 on the piece of paper and would you confirm whether
12 that is your name or not?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. That may be shown to my learned friend and
15 also I tender that document under seal.
16 THE REGISTRAR: It is exhibit number 89.
17 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, you are Bosniak by
19 A. Yes, I am.
20 Q. And your religion is Islam?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Witness, I take you -- could you state what
23 your age is?
24 A. 37.
25 Q. Witness, I take you back to the events of
1 January 1993. Do you remember the day when you were
3 A. Yes, I do remember.
4 Q. When were you arrested?
5 A. It was 25 January, in the afternoon.
6 Q. And it was 25 January in which year?
7 A. The year was 1992 -- 25 January.
8 Q. Is it 1992 or 1993 -- which year were you
9 arrested -- 25 January 1992 or 1993?
10 A. 25 January 1993 -- in 1991 it started but on
11 25 January 1993 is when it happened.
12 Q. And where were you at the time you were
14 A. I was in my house with my family.
15 Q. And who arrested you when you were in your
16 house with your family?
17 A. The soldiers of the HVO army arrested me and
18 among them were those with the HV insignia of the
19 Croat army.
20 Q. Could you tell this court what these soldiers
21 were dressed in?
22 A. The soldiers were dressed in camouflage
23 uniforms, they had caps on top of them, they had
24 helmets and they were fully equipped.
25 Q. What do you mean by saying they were "fully
2 A. They had weapons, they were dressed
3 completely, they wore stockings over their faces, they
4 had helmets.
5 Q. Were any of these soldiers carrying weapons?
6 A. Yes, they had long barrelled weapons, all of
8 Q. Do you recall about how many soldiers were
9 there at the time you were arrested?
10 A. I cannot say certainly, but there were
11 definitely more than 10.
12 Q. What happened after you were arrested?
13 A. We were brought out in front of the house, we
14 were driven together down the street with the other
15 neighbours with children. The houses in the
16 surrounding hills were on fire, there were soldiers
17 walking around in the streets carrying weapons. It was
18 an event that was hard to describe. At times, we could
19 not -- why, how? We started towards the centre of town
20 where a bus was waiting. As we were approaching buses
21 we saw their soldiers looting Muslim businesses or
22 stores, and on one side there were kiosks and the women
23 and children had been separated out, and we were
24 ordered to board the bus.
25 Q. After being ordered to board the bus, were
1 you driven in the bus in any direction?
2 A. We were taken -- after the bus was full and
3 it was packed -- it was overcrowded -- and we were then
4 taken in the direction of Kaonik to the Kaonik camp.
5 Q. What happened upon arrival at the Kaonik
7 A. We were brought there, we passed a building
8 which was past a gate and this building was where the
9 Croat soldiers were staying. We passed that
10 building, and a short distance later the bus came to a
11 stop, we got off and we were taken -- the HVO soldiers
12 were behind us and we were taken to a hangar.
13 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, would the usher
14 please show -- I am tendering an aerial photograph of
15 the camp which has already been tendered. May the
16 usher be asked to hand over a copy to the witness, and
17 there are copies each for your Honours and for
18 Mr. Mikulicic. (Handed).
19 THE REGISTRAR: It is exhibit number 90.
20 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, could you carefully
21 look at that aerial photograph that has been given to
22 you, and, placing it on the ELMO that is beside you,
23 could you point out the building to which you were
24 brought in Kaonik camp?
25 A. We were brought to this building
1 (indicates). This was a hangar, the one we were
2 brought to the first time, this building here, and this
3 was the prison (indicates) with cells, this other
5 Q. Could you please, using one of the markers by
6 your side, mark with the letter "A" the hangar building
7 that you were first brought to?
8 A. (Witness marked photograph).
9 Q. You also said the building next to that was
10 the building with the cells; could you please mark that
11 building with the letter "B"?
12 A. (Witness marked photograph).
13 Q. Upon being brought to that hangar building,
14 do you remember what happened?
15 A. We were all crowded into a group. There were
16 other people there too, I do not know exactly how many,
17 and Mr. Aleksovski came -- that gentleman (indicating)
18 and he issued orders -- whether we had anything on us,
19 any hard objects or anything in their pockets, they had
20 to empty all those things out, and the order was given
21 that all of us should turn against the wall, to face
22 the wall.
23 We did as we were ordered. We faced the wall
24 and raised our hands against the wall.
25 Q. What happened after you faced the wall,
1 raising your hands?
2 A. This did not last long -- a couple of
3 soldiers approached and they searched us by hand, to
4 make sure that there was nothing left in the way of
5 arms or knives or anything like that. As they did not
6 find anything on any one of us --
7 Q. Witness, you said when you were brought in,
8 Zlatko Aleksovski was present?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you remember what he was dressed in,
11 Mr. Aleksovski?
12 A. He was dressed in camouflage uniform. He was
13 heavier, he was of medium height, he was more fair --
14 his hair was fair, though he has lost weight now.
15 Q. Did he address the prisoners who were brought
16 into the hangar building?
17 A. Yes, he did. He said, "I am the director of
18 the Kaonik prison, and you are now my responsibility."
19 Q. In addition to Mr. Aleksovski, were there
20 other camp officials present at the time you were
21 brought in?
22 A. There were -- only I do not recall their
23 names, who they were.
24 Q. And what were those camp officials dressed
1 A. Also in camouflage uniforms.
2 MR. MEDDEGODA: Mr. Usher, I will not need the
3 photograph any more.
4 Witness, could you tell this court what
5 happened after you were searched inside the hangar?
6 A. After having been searched in the hangar, the
7 order was given, after the search was made and our
8 things put aside, to turn around again and again we
9 formed a group. It was almost dark and there was no
10 light inside. We were told that we would stay there
11 under his orders, and that evening there were pallets
12 that we would lie on. Those of us who did not have
13 pallets -- these pallets were wide -- one pallet was
14 for two people, for two men. Some people had blankets,
15 some did not, but nobody really cared -- we were all in
16 a panic and frightened.
17 Q. What happened to you the next day?
18 A. The next day, in the afternoon, men were
19 rounded up in that same hangar and the order was that
20 15 to 20 men should get ready, that is, those whose
21 names were called out from a list, that they would be
22 used as a human shield.
23 Q. Were names called out from a list at any
24 point in time that day?
25 A. Yes, the names were called out. I do not
1 remember exactly what time it was, but somewhere around
2 1 or 2 in the afternoon, and we were a human shield
3 until 5 or 6 and the names were called out.
4 Q. Witness, could you tell the court who called
5 out the names of the prisoners?
6 A. The names of the prisoners were called out by
7 Marko Krilic.
8 Q. Do you know who Marko Krilic was?
9 A. Marko Krilic was the deputy of the director
10 of the camp, because Marko Krilic introduced himself
11 when we were forced down from Kula and he told us when
12 Aleksovski was absent, that he would stand in for him
13 and carry out his duties.
14 Q. What kind of dress was Marko Krilic dressed
16 A. Marko Krilic was also dressed in a camouflage
17 uniform -- he had boots.
18 Q. What happened after your names -- was your
19 name called out by Marko Krilic?
20 A. Yes, it was.
21 Q. What happened when your name was called out?
22 A. After my name was called out, a bus, a
23 Centrotrans bus was waiting -- the same bus that had
24 brought us to the camp and when the names were read
25 out, Ljubo Brnjic was ordered to tie up the men, and
1 Ljubo Brnjic said that he could not tie up the men
2 whose names had been called out, so Drago Pusic did it.
3 Q. Do you remember how the men were tied?
4 A. They were also dressed in camouflage
6 Q. Do you remember how the prisoners were tied
7 by Drago Pusic?
8 A. There was a white rope and we were ordered to
9 put our hands behind our backs, and he took a white
10 rope, and tied us in groups of five. The whole group
11 numbered 15 men -- the remaining five did not need to
12 go, so just this group of 15 men were tied up.
13 Q. What happened after you were tied up?
14 A. After being tied up, we were ordered to board
15 the bus with our hands tied behind our backs, one by
16 one to climb up the steps into the bus and to go to the
17 far end of the bus.
18 Q. What happened after you got into the bus --
19 after you and the other prisoners who were tied got
20 into the bus?
21 A. The bus set off towards the village of
22 Skradno, but it did not go all the way there -- it
23 stopped at a bus station where there is a kind of
24 widening of the road and we were ordered to get off the
25 bus with our hands still tied and, when we got off the
1 bus, the soldiers were standing behind our backs, and
2 ordered us to move on towards the village of Skradno,
3 so we went along the road and we reached the bridge
4 known as Sendoline Kuce.
5 We passed the bridge and, as soon as we
6 passed the bridge, we were ordered to -- after crossing
7 the bridge -- to spread out towards the village of
9 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, might the
10 witness be shown the document that I wish to tender at
11 this stage? There is a copy one each for your Honour
12 and one for Mr. Mikulicic and I tender that as the next
13 exhibit in order.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Excuse me, Mr. Meddegoda --
15 witness, could you put your headphones on your head
16 like this? It would be more comfortable for you
17 I think. Is that not better?
18 A. Yes, yes, thank you.
19 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit 91.
21 MR. MEDDEGODA: You have before you an
22 aerial photograph. Could you carefully look at that
23 photograph and --
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. -- point out in that photograph, if you
1 could, the premises of the Kaonik prison facility?
2 A. This is the compound (indicating) with the
3 hangars, with the gate here (indicating), the exit from
4 the Kaonik barracks. The road joins the main road to
6 Q. Could you, on this photograph, if possible,
7 show us --
8 A. We reached this cross-roads at the bridge of
9 Sendoline Kuce -- we crossed the bridge and we were
10 deployed here to face the village of Skradno
12 Q. Could you please mark on that photograph the
13 place at which you were deployed facing the village of
15 A. This bridge -- this is the bridge
17 Q. Perhaps the bridge could be marked?
18 A. We crossed the bridge.
19 Q. You crossed the bridge?
20 A. And on the other side of the bridge, here
21 (indicating) and this is the road leading to Skradno
23 Q. In which direction is the village of Skradno
24 -- could you draw an arrow in the direction of the
25 village of Skradno, witness?
1 A. (Witness marked photograph). Here -- it is
3 Q. At the point that you -- could you mark the
4 bridge that you have marked on this photograph -- could
5 you place the letter "A" on the bridge? Witness, it is
6 not too visible. Could you mark it a little outside
7 that area, and draw an arrow towards the bridge?
8 A. (Witness marked photograph).
9 Q. The point at which you and the other
10 prisoners had to stand, could you mark that point with
11 the letter "B". Maybe you could mark it outside and
12 then draw an arrow in that direction?
13 A. (Witness marked photograph).
14 Q. Witness, you said that you were standing
15 there together with the others, facing the village of
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. For how long did you have to stand facing the
20 A. We stood there -- I do not remember exactly
21 how long, but I know that somebody came out of the
22 group to negotiate with the Croat soldiers at
23 Skradno. We stood there tied up -- I do not remember
24 exactly for how long -- tied up like that. After some
25 time the order was given that they had agreed that the
1 village would surrender.
2 Q. Do you know -- you said somebody came out of
3 the group; out of which group did somebody come out to
4 negotiate with the Croat soldiers?
5 A. This group that had escorted us -- I do not
6 recall exactly which one of the Croat soldiers it
8 Q. What type of uniform were those soldiers
10 A. Camouflage uniforms with HVO insignia.
11 Q. What happened after this negotiation?
12 A. After the negotiations, again we were ordered
13 to turn around and to go towards the main road towards
14 the bus, and we did, with our hands still tied. We
15 went to the bus, which we boarded again. Still tied
16 up, we got in, one by one, and then the bus started off
17 again towards the Kaonik cross-roads. We reached the --
18 we did not go as far as the cross-roads, but we stopped
19 in front of a shop, and there was a warehouse to the
20 right of that shop, and again we were ordered to get
21 out of the bus, tied up, and to go towards the Kaonik
22 cross-roads -- there was the old road to the left.
23 Q. Having got off the bus --
24 A. No, to the right -- to the right is the road
25 leading to Podjele.
1 Q. Having got off the bus, witness, what did you
2 and the other group have to do -- the others in the
3 group have to do?
4 A. We had to get off one by one, we were still
5 tied up, and we went towards Kaonik -- the old road,
6 leading to Podjele. We were still tied up. Close by
7 were building blocks.
8 Q. Could you please, looking at the photograph
9 that is on the ELMO, could you please point out the
10 place that you went to after getting off the bus, and
11 I suggest you use --
12 A. Here, this is the main road. We were tied up
13 (indicating) and we got to this cross-roads here, the
14 first one (indicating). To the right is the road to
15 Podjele, and to the left is the old road. Here, on one
16 side, is the building block facility and another one
17 across the road (indicating). There is a building left
18 from an old rail track, and in this building
19 (indicating) there were the Croat soldiers and we
20 were ordered to pass along this road, and to stop to
21 form a line, because we were tied up in groups of five,
22 so we had to stand crossways on the road.
23 Q. Could you place a mark at the point you had
24 to stand?
25 A. (Witness marked photograph).
1 Q. Could you please place the letter "C" at that
3 A. (Witness marked photograph).
4 Q. When you were standing there, witness, which
5 direction were you facing?
6 A. We were facing the village of Strane, which
7 was from the main Vitez/Zenica road, in this area here
9 Q. How long did you stand facing the direction
10 of Strane?
11 A. We stood there for a longer period. Behind
12 our backs were the soldiers facing the railway hangar
13 -- they were behind our backs firing from firearms,
14 occasionally, whereas a group of Jokers was crossing
15 from Vujicas Kuce behind the old school building
16 towards this pine wood and, at that moment, Darko came
17 full speed from the upper end, and he was in a vehicle,
18 and we were standing there tied up in a line, so we did
19 not know whether we should go left or right, but he
20 managed to fly past in his vehicle, and we just moved
21 away. He stopped his vehicle, and he asked a man
22 whether it was true that his brother had been killed,
23 and he offered him a cigarette from his packet.
24 Q. Do you know who Darko is?
25 A. Darko Kraljevic, born in Vitez -- he was also
1 a leader of this group called Jokers.
2 Q. You said there was firing by the soldiers who
3 were behind you, and you also said that the firing --
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. -- was over your head?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In which direction was the firing directed
9 A. They were firing in the direction of the
10 village of Strane.
11 Q. For how long did this firing last?
12 A. The firing did not last long. Two men --
13 actually, I do not know the exact number -- went off to
14 negotiate the surrender of the village of Strane,
15 because there was no chance for them. The village had
16 to surrender, because they had already almost reached
17 the village of Strane, because they had passed the old
19 Q. Do you know what the ethnic composition of
20 the village of Strane was at the time?
21 A. At the time, it was a purely Muslim village.
22 Q. Do you know whether the village of Strane
23 finally surrendered to the HVO?
24 A. The village of Strane surrendered -- it was
25 agreed -- apparently they had surrendered, and we were
1 no longer needed as a human shield.
2 Q. What happened thereafter?
3 A. After that, we were ordered again to turn
4 around and to go on foot, tied up as we were, along the
5 middle of the road towards the barracks of Kaonik
6 (indicating) and behind our back there were HVO
7 soldiers who were on the move, also.
8 Q. Witness, on this occasion that you were used
9 as human shields that afternoon, you said there were 15
10 of you who were used, who were taken -- 15 prisoners
11 were taken tied, five together, in three groups?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you remember or do you know any of the
14 other prisoners who were used as human shields? I want
15 to know whether you know the names, I do not want you
16 to divulge the names?
17 A. Yes, yes, I know their names, but I cannot
18 remember just now, this minute, because they were all
19 men of some repute, because they wanted to select such
20 people to be used as human shields.
21 Q. After you were returned to the camp, were you
22 returned to the hangar building, or were you returned
23 to any other building in the camp?
24 A. We were returned and, when we came through
25 the gate, we passed the building where the Croat
1 soldiers were staying and, again, we went up that road
2 to the hangar where we were originally brought to.
3 Q. About two or three days later, were you taken
4 out of the camp again?
5 A. After that, we were again taken out --
6 certain groups should go to the village of Kula, to go
7 to work, to dig trenches -- dugouts.
8 Q. Were you taken to dig trenches, to the
9 village of Kula?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Could you describe to this court the
12 procedure that was adopted for selection of prisoners
13 to be taken for trench digging?
14 A. The procedure of selection was similar -- a
15 list was provided of men who were supposed to go to dig
16 at Kula. Among others, I was on this list.
17 Q. And, together with you, do you remember how
18 many prisoners were taken to Kula?
19 A. It was approximately -- I do not know the
20 exact number -- 12, 15, up to 20 people.
21 Q. What did you and the group of other prisoners
22 have to do in Kula?
23 A. At Kula we were forced to dig trenches.
24 Q. For how long did you have to dig trenches?
25 A. We dug all day, all evening, until 5 o'clock
1 the following morning when a truck arrived and took us
2 -- it was the same vehicle that had brought us from
3 the barracks to Kula, except that, at Kula, we did not
4 get all the way there, so we could not pass through it
5 -- it was a very bad road, a lot of big rocks, so we
6 came to the end of the village where the Croat
7 houses were, and, from there, we went on foot to the
8 place, to the location where we were to dig trenches
9 and dugouts.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Meddegoda, I am sorry
11 for interrupting you, but perhaps it would be
12 convenient to have a break now, and we will continue
13 after a 15-minute break.
15 (A short break)
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Meddegoda, please
19 MR. MEDDEGODA: Thank you, your Honours.
20 Witness, before the short break, you said
21 that you went to Kula to dig trenches.
22 Your Honours, may I ask the usher to hand
23 over copies of this map to the witness. There are
24 copies for your Honours as well as Mr. Mikulicic, and it
25 may be given the next number in order.
1 THE REGISTRAR: It is exhibit number 92.
3 MR. MEDDEGODA: Could you carefully look at
4 the map that is on the ELMO and mark on that map the
5 place in Kula that you were taken to dig trenches?
6 A. This is the village of Krcevine
7 (indicating). We came through the village of Krcevine,
8 where there was a mix of Croat and Muslim
9 households, and then up to Merdani, where we came to
10 some Croat houses, across from the village of
12 Q. Could you please mark that place that you
13 were taken, using the highlighter?
14 A. (Witness marked map). There were Croat
15 houses there. I cannot find these Croat houses, but
16 approximately it is around there, Merdani,
17 Solakovici --
18 Q. That is all right, could you please place the
19 letter "A" at the place that you have just marked on
20 the map.
21 Do you know whether this was on the
23 A. Yes, those were the front-lines, which were
24 established in the area of Solakovici.
25 Q. On the front-lines of which army were you
1 digging trenches?
2 A. The HVO army -- the army of the Croat
3 Defence Council.
4 Q. Do you know whether, in the place in Kula and
5 the others dug trenches, do you know whether you and
6 the other prisoners had to undergo any maltreatment?
7 A. In the afternoon, when we were assigned, we
8 were going up a road -- we had to take tools, pickaxes
9 and shovels, we formed a column and we finally arrived
10 at a field. We then were assigned to certain posts
11 there. It was still cold and the soil was still
12 frozen, and we were told to dig these communication
13 trenches. As we were digging it, we were throwing the
14 earth downhill. The soldiers, who were guarding us,
15 were uphill from us. When we dug there at that time,
16 we were digging without stopping for two hours, and,
17 meanwhile, we were mistreated. If we wore some better
18 jackets and the soldiers liked it, even though it was
19 cold, we had to take it off.
20 So we had to dig for two and a half hours
21 without letting go of the shovels or pickaxes. We
22 became exhausted, we were forced to face downhill from
23 where we had come, and we were made to run downhill, in
24 a column, one by one, and then we were told to go on to
25 the next location. As we walked, they kicked us.
1 We were exposed to that kind of abuse. Then
2 we were ordered to dig up the road itself, which was
3 just too much. We had to obey the HVO orders, but,
4 again, it was all frozen. We could not even open any
5 holes with these pickaxes -- it was impossible. This
6 went on until dusk. We were again ordered to run and
7 face this field. We passed those trenches that we had
8 dug, and then there were some small woods across from a
9 clearing that was slanted a little bit, and there a
10 group of soldiers -- about 10 HVO soldiers -- and this
11 was already dark and we were exhausted and tired -- the
12 trenches were 50, 60, in some places 70 centimetres
13 deep, they were uphill and soil was being shovelled
14 downhill towards the village of Solakovici.
15 The snow was still present in the shady
16 areas, and then this unspeakable abuse ensued -- the
17 HVO soldiers, who had been with us during the first
18 part of the digging, but now this was a different group
19 of soldiers with us, wearing camouflage uniforms, and
20 they started abusing us, beating us with rifle butts,
21 with shovels -- it was indescribable. There were
22 moments when one felt like crying like a small child,
23 and there were moments when you wanted to die from all
24 the abuse that people were subjected to.
25 Q. Witness, you said that you and the others had
1 to dig until the morning. What happened after you
2 finished digging?
3 A. Yes. There was a man there -- we all
4 received a lot of beatings. We could not stand up, so
5 to speak. There were people who were taken out --
6 neighbours -- he would be given a shovel or a pickaxe
7 and they had to beat each other with them. One of them
8 was wearing glasses. HVO soldiers took them and
9 smashed them with his boot and then they ordered them
10 to beat each other.
11 In those moments -- there was a man called
12 Cakara -- he was taken out to a field off to the right
13 from where we were digging -- again, the soil had been
14 thrown downhill, and the depth of the trench was such
15 that there was already the water showing. They did not
16 set any limit to how deep we should dig. So he was
17 taken out there, and he was soon unconscious, he was
18 sort of lost and he said, "People, let me go, I would
19 like to have a cup of coffee".
20 Q. Was Cakara a prisoner who was brought from
21 Kaonik to dig the trenches?
22 A. Yes, the prisoner who was in the camp was
23 taken to Kula with a group of people who went there to
24 dig. Exhausted as he was, he was asked where he would
25 want to go and they said: "You have three ways -- you
1 can go up there, down there towards your own, towards
2 Solakovici" and he said, "People, let me go, where you
3 say." You could see that he was beside himself. Then
4 he said, "I am going downhill towards the trench."
5 Then they pushed him and jumped him and at that moment
6 he was ordered to be taken to one of the two houses
7 that were nearby -- there was a Croat house.
8 We were completely exhausted by this time.
9 There were people with fractured ribs there among those
10 people. There was no person there who had not been
11 either abused or badly beaten.
12 Q. Witness, you said you were digging until the
13 morning, and, after that, in the morning, you were
14 returned to the Kaonik camp, were you?
15 A. Afterwards, we were taken below these
16 Croat houses and we came to a road where to the left
17 there was a stone house, which was abandoned, and we
18 were taken into this house, to a room, and several
19 soldiers remained there to guard us, and we were there
20 exhausted and beaten up. We were thirsty and hungry.
21 There was a gallon -- a container with some sweet dates
22 and then we were given this container filled with these
23 dates and then we distributed them among ourselves.
24 Then, late that night, the military police
25 came -- the HVO police -- wearing hats, and they opened
1 a door, they cursed our balija mothers and said, "Who
2 ordered you to be here? Get outside." And then we
3 were tired and beaten up, but we had to run outside,
4 and we had to run down the road in front of them, and
5 we came to these two small houses where there is an
6 orchard to the left, and a wooden fence.
7 There we were ordered to dig all night,
8 through a plum orchard from one end to the other.
9 There, we were not mistreated any longer. There were
10 soldiers there who were guarding us and who ordered us
11 where to dig, and around 4.30 to 5 o'clock, we were
12 ordered to stop digging, that another group was going
13 to come, and we were ordered to help the people who
14 were in a bad condition, even though we were all
15 exhausted, and badly beaten, but we had to go and take
16 those people from those houses. We were in T-shirts
17 and shirts. We had no jackets on, so we walked up that
18 road towards the lower end of Kula -- the village of
19 Krcevine where a truck waited for us.
20 Q. In that truck you were brought back to the
21 Kaonik camp?
22 A. The truck was parked, and exhausted and
23 beaten up as we were, we could not climb on board,
24 because the gates were up, so we had to help each
25 other, so two people would push one person up on to the
1 truck. Once we all boarded, we were ordered that
2 nobody was allowed to peak above the gates, until we
3 reached the Kaonik barracks.
4 During the drive in this truck --
5 MR. MEDDEGODA: Could you please stop --
6 JUDGE VOHRAH: Make your witness answer
7 your questions directly. Do not let him ramble.
8 MR. MEDDEGODA: Very well.
9 Witness, after having boarded the camp, you
10 and the other prisoners were brought to the Kaonik
11 camp; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And to which building were you returned to in
14 the camp?
15 A. We were returned to the building where the
16 cells had been built.
17 Q. That was the building that you marked
18 with --
19 A. Yes, that is the one I have marked before.
20 Q. With the letter "B" on Prosecution
21 exhibit --
22 A. Yes, if I can only look at it, please.
23 MR. MEDDEGODA: May the witness be shown
24 Prosecution Exhibit 90, your Honours?
25 A. Yes, this was the hangar where we were
2 Q. You might like to place it on the ELMO so
3 that it can be seen by the judges and by the court.
4 You were returned to the hangar that you have marked
5 with the letter "B"; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that is right.
7 Q. And, in that building, were you put into a
8 particular cell?
9 A. Yes, I was placed in cell number 13.
10 Q. And, thereafter, were you taken to dig
11 trenches to any other place?
12 A. Yes, we were put in several groups so one
13 group went one day, another group went another day.
14 Q. Now, where were you taken thereafter to dig
16 A. The next time I was taken to the village of
17 Prosije. You go uphill.
18 Q. Witness, could you please mark the village of
19 Prosije on the map that has been produced and which is
20 before you, and which has been produced as Prosecution
21 Exhibit P92?
22 A. (Witness marked map).
23 Q. Could you place the letter "B" at the point
24 that you have marked?
25 A. (Witness marked map).
1 Q. Other than Prosije, were you taken elsewhere
2 to dig trenches?
3 A. I was taken to the village of Bakije.
4 Q. Could you please look at the map and mark the
5 village that Bakije that you were taken to?
6 A. (Witness marked map).
7 Q. Could you place the letter "C"?
8 A. This is in the direction of Loncari.
9 Q. Were you also taken to Podjele to dig
11 A. Yes, I stayed at Podjele for two days and two
12 nights and the commander there was Zare from Kotovarac
13 and his sidekick called Tyson. He took off his T-shirt
14 so he would walk around bare-chested and we were told,
15 "Do not even think about not carrying out his orders,
16 because otherwise you will see what will come to you",
17 and there were also two women with him. There we dug
18 for two days and two nights -- from some Serb houses
19 towards the chapel, and this was also front-line --
20 overlooking the village of Merdani.
21 Q. Did you continue to stay in the building with
22 cells throughout your detention in the camp after you
23 were transferred from the hangar building?
24 A. As groups went and others came, there was a
25 lot of movement among the cells. The HVO members who
1 had allegedly looted and were in custody, they were in
2 cell number 1, their doors were unlocked all the time
3 and they were free to move around, up and down the
4 corridor. I no longer remember the numbers of the
5 cells, but, anyway, we were switched around all of
6 those cells.
7 Q. Did you have -- was there heating facilities
8 inside the cells in which you were detained?
9 A. No, no.
10 Q. Did you have the facility to wash yourselves
11 during your period of detention?
12 A. No, no. Under no circumstances, because you
13 had to knock for him to open the door for you to go
15 Q. Witness, during the time you spent in Kaonik
16 camp, were you visited by an international
18 A. Yes. The Red Cross organisation, they came
19 to register us.
20 Q. Do you remember when the Red Cross came to
21 register you?
22 A. I remember very well. We were down there in
23 those cells, in the hangar -- this was 2 February 1993
24 -- when they put on the tables white sheets of paper,
25 the conditions were to be made to appear better.
1 Q. Witness, you were in the Kaonik camp until
2 8 February 1993?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 Q. And that was the day on which you were
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Witness, you said in the course of your
8 testimony that, when you arrived in the camp, the
9 commander of the camp, Zlatko Aleksovski, was present?
10 A. Yes. The moment when -- on the evening of 25
11 January, in the afternoon, when we were taken to the
12 hangar, he came, and he said, "I am Zlatko Aleksovski.
13 I am the director of the Kaonik prison, and you are now
14 under my authority."
15 Q. Would you be able to recognise Mr. Aleksovski
16 if you see him again?
17 A. I would at any moment in time. There he is
18 sitting over there next to the policeman.
19 MR. MEDDEGODA: Could it be recorded that
20 the witness pointed in the direction of the accused.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes.
22 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, I have no
23 further questions, and before I wind up, I tender
24 Exhibits P89 to 92 into evidence.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Meddegoda.
1 Mr. Mikulicic, do you have questions for this witness.
2 Please proceed -- it is going to be Mr. Joka.
3 Cross-examined by MR. JOKA.
4 Q. Thank you, your Honours.
5 I am attorney Joka, Defence counsel for
6 Zlatko Aleksovski. In view of the time, I will go
7 straight to Kaonik -- the road to Kaonik will not take
8 long, so tell the Trial Chamber, please, what your
9 educational background is?
10 A. I have completed secondary school.
11 Q. Which one?
12 A. A commercial school for tradesmen.
13 Q. How many years does it last -- is it four,
14 six or eight?
15 A. Elementary school plus three of secondary
17 Q. Did you study any foreign language?
18 A. Russian and French -- that is what you
19 studied add school.
20 Q. Do you speak Russian or French?
21 A. Yes, I can understand Russian, because
22 I studied it in secondary school.
23 Q. What is your profession?
24 A. I am unemployed.
25 Q. But what were you in those days before you
1 were detained -- what did you live off?
2 A. I lived off my labour. It depended what kind
3 of job I could find, so I worked for a living.
4 Q. So you had no permanent employment?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Were you, in those days, and I am referring
7 to the period before you were taken to Kaonik, were you
8 a member of any political Party?
9 A. No, no, not at all, I was never interested in
10 any Parties.
11 Q. You said that, on 21 January 1993, you were
13 A. On the 25th of January 1993.
14 Q. Did you have any weapons, or anyone else in
15 your house?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did your co-villagers have any weapons?
18 A. I do not know, because I was not interested
19 in what other people were doing.
20 Q. You described your arrival at Kaonik, and you
21 said that the prison director introduced himself. Did
22 he give you his full name?
23 A. Yes, that evening, when there were many
24 people in the hangar.
25 Q. Did he give you his name -- his first and
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You described how he was dressed?
4 A. In an uniform.
5 Q. Did he have any insignia?
6 A. I did not pay any attention.
7 Q. Did you see any or not?
8 A. I did not.
9 Q. You described how you were tied up, and taken
10 to be used as a human shield. You told us who called
11 your name out. Do you know who compiled that list?
12 A. I do not remember who compiled it. I do not
13 know who compiled it. I just know that Marko brought
14 it and read out the names.
15 Q. You described this incident to the Trial
16 Chamber, that you were used as a human shield at two
17 locations, Podjele and Strane?
18 A. No, Skradno was the first and the second one
19 was near Kaonik facing Strane.
20 Q. This second occasion, you said that you were
21 used as a human shield near the bridge.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you know which is the first village that
24 you were facing, the closest village?
25 A. We had passed Sendoline's houses and then we
1 were deployed towards the village of Skradno.
2 Q. But is there another village before Skradno?
3 A. There was Sendoline Kuce to the right.
4 Q. Have you heard the of Vujica's Kuce?
5 A. Vujica's houses is behind the old school at
6 Kaonik. That is where Vujica's houses are.
7 Q. Could you show us that on the map?
8 A. Yes, gladly.
9 MR. JOKA: This is Exhibit 91. Could I ask
10 for the usher's assistance, please? (Handed).
11 A. Kaonik, the barracks, the hangars, this is
12 the road leading to the main road out of the barracks
13 where it joins the main road -- the main road takes you
14 to the bridge. To the left across the bridge is the
15 road going to the village of Skradno, this upper part
16 is the village of Skradno -- that is where the village
17 is. The Vujica's Kuce is over here. Then we go back
18 from the bridge on the main road towards Kaonik. We
19 come to the old road for Kaonik and the road leading to
20 Vujica's houses. Then we pass on --
21 Q. Sorry for interrupting; Vujica, you showed
22 them over to the right and now to the left?
23 A. This is the old road -- this old road leads
24 to the old bridge, and right is the road to Podjele, so
25 we went along the road towards Kaonik. Then we turned
1 back along the main highway to Vitez and we come to the
2 old school, and over here are Vujica Kuce.
3 Q. But you showed us Vujica Kuce on the first
4 locality and now you have indicated them on the second
5 as well?
6 A. No, that is not correct. The first locality
7 was when we crossed the bridge.
8 Q. Maybe you were confused?
9 A. No, no, I was not -- no confusion. I know
10 very well that the village of Skradno is across the
11 bridge and you have to take the opposite way -- take
12 the main road that takes you to the highway and then to
13 the left towards Vitez, and here is a Muslim cemetery
14 and then there is a road leading to Vucijas Kuce and
15 the old school building.
16 Q. I am referring to the position near the
17 bridge. Can you show us that bridge once again,
18 please. Let us forget the first episode -- I am
19 talking about the second episode all the time?
20 A. Human shield -- there is the Lasva River,
21 there is a new bridge here, from the main Vitez/Zenica
22 road leading to the factory -- building block factory.
23 Then, to the right, where the human shield was, that is
24 the road leading to Podjele and the old road leading
25 towards the old bridge.
1 Q. Very well. Could you tell us, please --
2 A. I am at your service.
3 Q. -- in these villages that you have described,
4 Skradno, Strane, Podjele, were there BiH army members
6 A. I do not know who and what was there. I just
7 know that fire was not opened from these villages.
8 Q. Did I understand you well, you were not fired
9 at from these villages?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. That is all regarding your use as human
12 shields. You have described to the Trial Chamber your
13 five forced labour incidents. When describing it, at
14 least for the first time, you said that this went on
15 the basis of a list. Do you know who made up that
17 A. I do not know who made the list, but I just
18 know who read out that list.
19 Q. Tell us, are you a believer?
20 A. I am.
21 Q. Do you perform religious rites?
22 A. It depends on the opportunity.
23 Q. While you were there, those 15 days, did you
24 perform your religious rites?
25 A. There were no conditions for us.
1 Q. What kind of conditions?
2 A. The conditions were very difficult.
3 Q. But what are the conditions that you require
4 in order to pray?
5 A. You have to be clean, and in order. You have
6 to have water, you need to have a small rug to be able
7 to pray on.
8 Q. Is it essential to wash the hands or in some
9 other way?
10 A. Yes, you have to wash your hands and your
11 feet and your ears.
12 MR. JOKA: We have heard other explanations,
13 but I would not go into that now.
14 I have no further questions, your Honour.
15 MR. MEDDEGODA: I have no questions in
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Meddegoda, have you any
19 MR. MEDDEGODA: No questions, in
20 re-examination, your Honour.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Witness N, the Trial
22 Chamber has no further questions for you. Therefore,
23 you have completed your testimony here at the
24 International Criminal Tribunal. We thank you for
25 coming, and we wish you a safe journey home
1 A. Thank you.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Will you pull down the
3 blinds, please?
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Prosecutor, are we
5 going to take advantage of the time that we have left
6 to introduce the witness, or shall we begin tomorrow?
7 MR. MEDDEGODA: I may take advantage of the
8 time. There is another witness. I could introduce the
9 witness to the court and also go along to take his
10 evidence up to a convenient point so that he could
11 continue tomorrow.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Very well. Mr. Usher, will
13 you please pull down the blinds so that the witness can
14 be escorted out.
15 (The witness withdrew)
16 MR. MEDDEGODA: The next Prosecution witness
17 is also a witness on whose behalf I would wish to apply
18 for protective measures. He is witness number 6 in
19 paragraph 4 of the inventory file dated 20 March and,
20 on his behalf, too, your Honours, I would move that
21 your Honours be pleased to grant him a pseudonym and,
22 also, that the image of his face be distorted during
23 the course of his testimony.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, do you have
25 any objections?
1 MR. MIKULICIC: The Defence has no
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, we are going
4 to grant the requested measures, and I should like to
5 ask the technicians to take the necessary steps.
6 I assume they have already been made. In that case, we
7 can have the witness brought in, please.
8 MR. MEDDEGODA: I am calling Witness O, your
10 (The witness entered court)
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good afternoon. Can you
12 hear me.
13 THE WITNESS: I can.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please read the solemn
15 declaration that the usher has given to you, please.
16 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare
17 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and
18 nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You may be seated, thank
20 you. You are now going to answer questions which the
21 Prosecutor, Mr. Meddegoda, is going to put to you,
23 WITNESS O
24 Examined by MR. MEDDEGODA.
25 Q. Their Honours have granted you protective
1 measures. Therefore, during the course of your
2 testimony, you will be known as Witness O. I would
3 advise you not to reveal any details that would divulge
4 your personal identity. Witness, could you please --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Witness, could you please look at the name on
7 the sheet of paper and confirm whether that name is
8 your name or not (Handed).
9 A. It is.
10 MR. MEDDEGODA: If it could be shown to
11 learned counsel for the Defence.
12 I tender that document under seal, your
14 THE REGISTRAR: It is document 93.
15 MR. MEDDEGODA: Witness, you are a Bosniak
16 by ethnicity?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Your religion is Islam?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And could you state what your age is?
21 A. Age?
22 Q. Your age, not your date of birth?
23 A. I am 43.
24 Q. Witness, I will take you back to the events
25 of January 1993. Do you remember the day when you were
1 arrested in January 1993?
2 A. Yes, of course.
3 Q. When was that and on which date was that?
4 A. On 25 January 1993.
5 Q. Where were you at the time you were arrested?
8 Q. Who else was with you at your house that day?
9 A. My wife and two children.
10 Q. Was your father also with you in your house?
11 A. My father came later.
12 Q. What happened when you were at home on 25
14 A. In the morning, around 5 o'clock, we heard
15 the siren, I went downstairs with my family to the
16 ground floor of the house, and I suspected that
17 something was wrong.
18 Q. What happened towards the afternoon of that
20 A. I was captured that afternoon and taken to
21 the camp.
22 Q. Who captured you that afternoon?
23 A. HVO soldiers.
24 Q. What were those HVO soldiers dressed in at
25 the time they captured you?
1 A. In camouflage uniforms -- camouflage
3 Q. What happened to your wife and the other
4 members of your family?
5 A. They were all chased out of the house. We
6 went out through the window, we did not dare go out
7 through the door, because they were shooting around the
9 Q. And getting out of the window, where were you
10 taken to?
13 Q. What happened at the restaurant -- what
14 happened at or near the restaurant in the centre?
15 A. They separated the women and children from
16 the men. There were many of us there. After a while,
17 a bus arrived and the men were boarded on to the bus,
18 and we were driven off to the Kaonik camp.
19 Q. Do you remember where you got off the bus
20 when you went to the Kaonik camp?
21 A. We got off the bus within the compound of the
22 camp where the canteen used to be. We entered through
23 the gates of the camp and we did not proceed by bus,
24 but on foot.
25 Q. And, proceeding on foot, where were you taken
1 to within the camp compound?
2 A. We reached a hangar. When we got to the
3 hangar, you had to use some steps. There were pallets
4 laid out in the hangar. There were many of us there,
5 and we had to face the wall like this (indicating) and
6 behind our backs were the soldiers, HVO soldiers, and
7 Mr. Aleksovski --
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Meddegoda, I am sorry
9 for interrupting you, but we have reached the Kaonik
10 camp and I think perhaps we could stop here and resume
11 the testimony tomorrow.
12 MR. MEDDEGODA: That would be a convenient
13 point to stop. Your Honours, before your Honours
14 adjourn, may I move for redactions of two portions,
15 that is a redaction at page 89, line 13, and, also, a
16 redaction at page 90, lines 18 to 19.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. I think they have
18 already been redacted. For the morning, as you perhaps
19 know, we will start at 10 o'clock, because the
20 courtroom is occupied by another case, and we are going
21 to proceed until 2.30pm. So, you will be able to have
22 a break for lunch, you can plan for that, so we will
23 stop now. Thank you.
24 Witness, we will see you again tomorrow.
25 (At 1.30pm the matter adjourned
1 until Thursday, 26 March 1998, at 10.00am)