1 Tuesday, 4 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. May I call the case
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam [Realtime transcript read in
9 error "Macedonia apple"] Registrar, would you call the case, please.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, this is case number IT-99-36-T, the
11 Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I like this if you see the transcript it says good
13 morning, Macedonia apple Registrar.
14 Mr. Brdjanin, can you follow the proceedings in a language that
15 you can understand?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, I
17 can. Once again, good morning, Your Honours, yes, I can follow you in a
18 language I understand.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You may sit down. Appearances for the
21 MS. RICHTEROVA: Good morning, Your Honours, Anna Richterova and
22 Denise Gustin, case manager. Mr. Nicholls will join us a bit later.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam and good morning to you both.
24 Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin?
25 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. My
1 name is Milan Trbojevic. I'm an attorney at law. Appearing today with my
2 colleague Ms. Marela Jevtovic.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down and good morning to
4 you, too.
5 So let's continue from where we left yesterday. Sir, I ask you to
6 repeat your solemn declaration, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: WITNESS BT83 [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down. And Madam
12 Richterova will be continuing with her --
13 MS. RICHTEROVA: No. I concluded.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sorry, Mr. Trbojevic will go ahead with his
15 cross-examination. Yes.
16 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Trbojevic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. I should like to ask you a couple of questions in order to clarify
21 certain things. In your statement that you gave on the 14th of March,
22 2000, page 2, paragraph 3, you spoke about previous departures of the
23 citizens, and you also described how the situation became increasingly
24 exacerbated. Do you remember that?
25 A. Could you please repeat the date and the year of the statement,
2 Q. The 14th of March, 2000. That's at least the date that I see on
3 the statement.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I think, if you're going to ask questions on his
5 statement, he should be provided with a copy of it, please, usher.
6 Page and line, please? Page 2, paragraph 3, in the Serbo-Croat
7 version or in the English version?
8 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] In the Serbo-Croat version.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So, Witness, go to page 2, paragraph 3,
10 please. And you are being reminded, supposedly, that you spoke about
11 previous departures of the citizens, and how you particularly describe how
12 the situation became increasingly exacerbated and you are being asked
13 whether you remember that. Yes, now, your question, Mr. Trbojevic?
14 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. In this portion of your statement, it is indicated that Serb
16 soldiers were going there and back, that they were the ones who had lots
17 of weapons and did a lot of shooting around. Now I want to know whether
18 there were any mobilised or non-mobilised soldiers who were members of the
19 Muslim or Croat community, and who also appeared in the area with weapons.
20 A. Members of the Muslim or Croat community, with weapons, either
21 mobilised or not, were not in the area at the time.
22 Q. Is it true to say that there were citizens of Muslim ethnicity who
23 were members of Croatian units?
24 A. No, it isn't.
25 Q. Could you --
1 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown P1679,
3 MS. RICHTEROVA: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
5 MS. RICHTEROVA: But this is one of the documents which belongs to
6 the witness which was mentioned by Julian Nicholls on the previous
7 occasions and we cannot use this documents in open session. These
8 documents should be used only with the witness 7.144.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
10 MS. RICHTEROVA: And not with other witnesses. And in fact, it's
11 not only that the document should be used in private or closed session, it
12 shouldn't be distributed or shown other witnesses.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me have a copy of the document itself. Is it on
14 the ELMO already or not yet? Not yet, okay. Madam Registrar, could we
15 have a copy of it because this has not been indicated before.
16 Has this been used by any other witness already?
17 MS. RICHTEROVA: No. And if you can go to the last page you can
18 see the signature of the person I'm referring to.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
20 MS. RICHTEROVA: Page 5. And it should be used only with the
21 witness. We --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: The position is very simple. First of all this
23 document has not yet been tendered in evidence as an exhibit. That's
24 number 1. Correct?
25 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yeah. It's only preexhibited.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly. So the fact that it has a number
2 P1679 means nothing for the time being because it has not yet been
3 tendered in evidence and that means that you cannot make use of it unless
4 you try to tender it yourself, and you cannot tender it yourself because
5 it is one of those protected privileged documents coming from an UN --
6 we'll redact that but it's a privilege from an UN agency so you need to
7 take that into consideration, Mr. Trbojevic, you cannot make use of it.
8 We can only make use of it actually if Mr. Whoever what is his name will
9 be taking the witness stand next week or the week after will tender it in
10 evidence and even then its use will be very limited and needs to be in
11 closed session in any case.
12 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just wanted to
13 quote several sentences as a foundation for my question for the witness.
14 We don't have to know the author of this report. It doesn't have to be in
15 closed session. I just asked whether there were any Muslims in Croatian
16 army and here, it says that such and such a formation joined this other
17 formation and covered a certain amount of the territory and so on and so
18 forth. And I need just a few sentences from this report. I don't need to
19 mention the author of this report.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Trbojevic, you cannot because this is a
21 privileged document which, for all intents and purposes, has not yet even
22 been tendered into evidence.
23 Yes. So your answer is a very clear no. You can put any question
24 you like but not with specific reference to this document or even expect
25 to show the document to the witness. You can put the question in this
1 form: We have information that. Do you confirm or do you not confirm?
2 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. You heard the President of the Chamber.
4 A. Yes, I'm very pleased with what I heard.
5 Q. This is a report that will be part of the -- of the record when we
6 hear this witness. It has nothing to do with you but it will be
7 considered as an official document. The crux of the case being the fact
8 that mention was made of Muslim units who joined Croatian units in the
9 relevant area with the purpose of dividing this area.
10 A. I think that this is just a lie and fabrication, because I was
11 there in the area, I was present in all those locations, and you, you have
12 just heard about it, you have just read about it.
13 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness now be shown one
14 of our reports, P0671, a domestic report, if I can call it that way?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Trbojevic, next time please do give us an
16 indication of what documents or exhibits you are going to make use of in
17 the course of your cross-examination, because as it is, we come to this
18 sitting completely without any of the documents that you intend using,
19 especially if they are documents coming from other municipalities, you
20 know, such as this one.
21 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] My apologies, Your Honour. I am
22 aware of the fact that this is my obligation. However, this belongs to
23 the new binder that's been provided to us by the Prosecution and this is
24 why I was convinced that you have it.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] 0671?
1 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead.
3 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. This is a report to the main staff of the VRS by the command of
5 the 1st Krajina Corps of the 9th of June, 1992. Under item 1, paragraph
6 2, we see the following: "From the territory of the Prijedor, Sanski
7 Most, Kljuc, and Bosanski Novi municipalities, members of the green
8 berets, who were broken into groups, that were fragmented into smaller
9 groups are attempting to pull out and move into Cazin Krajina. There is a
10 possibility that in the municipality of Kotor Varos, the Green Berets and
11 HOS, Croatian Defence forces members, will commit provocations opening a
12 new trouble spot."
13 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, we are in municipality of Bosanski
14 Novi not in Kotor Varos, so I object this document.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Have you finished with your question,
16 Mr. Trbojevic?
17 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I have only one more sentence,
18 Your Honour that I wish to read.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's finish with the question first and see whether
20 it is relevant or not.
21 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. On page 2, under paragraph 3, the last sentence, if you would be
23 so kind and have a look at it, please? Just before item number 4, states
24 as follows: "In the area of Mount Kozara and Mount Grmec there are about
25 300 members of green berets, who are attempting to get to Cazin Krajina in
1 groups." That's what we read here?
2 A. Yes, that's what we can read here.
3 Q. My question to you is as follows: Does it follow from this report
4 that in this border area, inside the town of Novi and around the town,
5 Muslim or Croatian units could be found, as it is stated in this document?
6 Were these units there at the time?
7 A. Sir, I'm very sorry but I have to say that this sounds ridiculous
8 to me. This report is dated the 9th of June, 1992. The entire population
9 of that area had already been displaced and evicted by that day. Men were
10 in camps, women were taken to Croatia or some other countries, so this
11 mention of men who are fleeing towards Croatia could only refer to some
12 individual cases of people who were afraid and wanted to escape from the
13 area. The mention of green berets and some other armies or soldiers is
14 pure fabrication and a lie.
15 Q. Let us go back to the local issues in Novi. You told us that the
16 majority of Muslims had been dismissed from work. Do you remember stating
17 that in your testimony?
18 A. Yes. I mentioned the names of the people that I knew.
19 Q. Would you agree with me that it is actually true that this was the
20 consequence of a general situation? Most of the companies had to stop
21 working because able-bodied Serbs had joined the military, the supplies
22 were cut off, there was no electricity, and practically speaking, the
23 industry, the economy, could not properly function? Would you agree with
24 me that that was the general situation in the area?
25 A. No, I do not agree with you at all.
1 Q. Is it your testimony, then, that the companies continued to work
2 normally but Muslim workers were dismissed from work?
3 A. Yes. That is my opinion.
4 Q. Is it true to say that power shortages were very frequent at the
5 time, that the electricity was cut off more often than not?
6 A. At what time?
7 Q. In the spring of 1992.
8 A. As to whether it was cut off more often than not, what the ratio
9 was, I don't remember. I don't think it was 50/50 but I know that one
10 part of the area was particularly affected by power shortages and -- but I
11 don't know what the percentage would be.
12 Q. What was the situation with fuel? Is it true that there was no
13 fuel or that there was very little fuel at the time?
14 A. Well, in my opinion, the situation was already very difficult and
15 one could not normally obtain fuel, which means that you had to rely on
16 the black market, and similar so-called businesses. The profiteers.
17 Q. I'm trying to come to the conclusion that some of the companies
18 stopped working because of the power shortages, because of the fuel
19 shortage, and because the supply lines towards Sarajevo, Belgrade and
20 Zagreb were severed, and that that was in essence the reason why some of
21 the companies stopped working.
22 A. Sir, that can only be your conclusion. As far as I'm concerned,
23 the profiteers had as much fuel as they wanted to but they just wanted to
24 keep the prices very high so that they could make money, because of the
25 situation. Well, of course, if the situation was such, then the companies
1 could not function normally, that is true.
2 Q. You told us that there were a lot of checkpoints in the area, but
3 that these checkpoints were manned by local residents whom you more or
4 less knew and you were able to go through these checkpoints without being
5 controlled or searched?
6 A. Yes, that is correct.
7 Q. Can we therefore conclude that only unknown individuals were
8 stopped at checkpoints?
9 A. Sir, I didn't spend my time sitting on those checkpoints. I don't
10 know what they did with other people. I told you about myself.
11 Q. Page 2, paragraph 9, you state that Mr. Hajro Nakic had left in a
12 convoy and thus saved himself. Can you give us some more explanation,
13 please? What convoy did he join?
14 A. That's what I heard. I heard that he went from the camp,
15 Trnopolje, together with a convoy but as to how, I really don't know. And
16 what I said about him saving his neck, I said because I knew that Serb
17 soldiers were looking for him, probably because they wanted to do him as
18 much harm as they could.
19 Q. You said in your testimony yesterday at one point that somebody
20 named Gojko Ostojic, I believe you said, went to talk to the soldiers, and
21 when he came back, he informed you that it was dangerous for you to stay
22 in a group in Donji Agici because that would make you dangerous even for
23 the local population. Who did you mean exactly?
24 A. That is exactly what I said. At that moment, I was thinking that
25 that's what it meant for those Serbs in Donji Agici.
1 Q. Can I conclude, then, that even those Serbs from Donji Agici were
2 afraid of the shelling, that they too could be targeted?
3 A. Well, I cannot make that conclusion. My conclusion was that he
4 simply meant that they wanted us to go in order to avoid problems with the
5 army for the Serbs and perhaps other citizens in Donji Agici.
6 Q. In your testimony yesterday, you described that on two occasions,
7 you went to Donja Puharska, if I remember this correctly?
8 A. I went to Donja Puharska directly from Donji Agici, that is on the
9 12th of May, and after my release from the fire department camp, that is
10 on the 30th of August, 1992.
11 Q. Could you please tell me about the road from Novi to Donja
12 Puharska? Was it free of checkpoints?
13 A. The road from Novi to Prijedor was interspersed with checkpoints.
14 Q. How did you pass through them?
15 A. With stopovers in Blagaj and the regular control, without stopping
16 in Svodna.
17 Q. Can I then conclude that it was possible to go through these
18 checkpoints easily, without problems?
19 A. I don't understand why you insist on making conclusions. I cannot
20 make any conclusions. I'm only speaking on my behalf about events and
21 cases I'm aware of personally.
22 Q. Okay. I'll concentrate on you personally. Did you have any
24 A. Personally I was mistreated on checkpoints in Blagaj and in Svodna
25 I already told you I didn't have to undergo a check at all.
1 Q. Do you know Jusuf Ramic in Donja Puharska?
2 A. (Redacted)no one (Redacted) Donja Puharska (Redacted)
3 Q. The reason I'm asking is that according to certain information,
4 one of the headquarters of Territorial Defence was located in Donja
5 Puharska and this Jusuf Ramic was its leader. Your trips to Donja
6 Puharska are not related to that, I suppose?
7 A. Of course not. You are again mentioning pure lies and
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Madam Registrar, please, I think we ought to
10 redact his previous answer, the one which answered the question, do you
11 know Jusuf someone in Donja Puharska? His answer, the witness's answer,
12 ought to be redacted, okay?
13 Yes, go ahead, Mr. Trbojevic, please.
14 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. As for the time you spent at the stadium, did it ever happen that
16 groups of soldiers coming back from the front line or combat actions
17 attempted to enter the stadium and take their revenge on detainees or
18 mistreat them?
19 A. While I was at the stadium, and as far as I was able to see, that
20 happened only once, when two soldiers, two armed soldiers, came and lined
21 up all the detainees in single files, going from one to the other and
22 telling us that they were looking for two Muslim men, and they named
23 them. They didn't find these men and left.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: But, sorry, what has that got to do with football?
25 How do you associate that with the question that was put to you, group of
1 soldiers coming back from the front line or combat actions? Do you know
2 that these two armed soldiers were coming from the front line? And why
3 would they come to the football stadium if they were coming back from the
4 front line?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for whether they had come from
6 the front line, I don't know that. All I know is that they were wearing
7 military uniforms and carried automatic weapons.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Was it the first time that you saw soldiers wearing
9 military uniforms and carrying automatic weapons in the stadium? Was it
10 the only occasion? Or were there other occasions?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mentioned this as a case that
12 happened in the area of the stadium where we were located during daytime.
13 It was on the turf of the stadium. Usually soldiers stayed outside,
14 around the stadium and on the stands.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Go ahead, Mr. Trbojevic.
16 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. So you cannot testify about a single case when guards at the
18 stadium prevented anyone from outside from entering the stadium and
19 mistreating people?
20 A. As I told you, I didn't see anything of the kind.
21 Q. You mentioned the signing of those statements about leaving the
22 municipality and transferring the title to one's property to the municipal
24 A. I would like to say that I did not mention this actually.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: He said that -- I remember him answering the
1 question yesterday when he was asked whether he had signed anything, he
2 said he never signed anything but that members -- other members of his
3 family did.
4 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I wanted to show the witness one
5 of those statements and ask him to read it. Can I have document P1627,
6 please? I'd like to have it shown to the witness.
7 Q. Would you be so kind as to read this document? You don't have to
8 read it aloud.
9 A. I would like to refuse to read this, if I may, because I'd never
10 seen a statement of this sort. I'm not familiar with it.
11 Q. All I'm asking you is to look at it and tell me if signing away
12 one's property is mentioned anywhere in this document, whether in the form
13 of donation, transfer of ownership, relinquishing, whatever.
14 A. In my opinion, sir, this text is drafted by your side and was only
15 signed by our people. What it means for me is that people had to sign
16 this if they wanted to save their necks and leave.
17 Q. Do you agree that it says no where in this document that they had
18 to give up their property and give it away?
19 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, the witness never seen this
21 JUDGE AGIUS: But it makes no difference, the fact that he has not
22 seen it before makes no difference. He is being asked to look at it today
23 and state whether that document contains a declaration that property is
24 being renounced to -- in favour of the Republika Srpska. And he's
25 expected to say yes or no. Look at the document. If it says so, say yes,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 it says so. If it doesn't say so, say no it doesn't say so. And if you
2 have any remarks like you had just a couple of minutes ago, then you are
3 perfectly entitled to make them too. But it's a perfectly legitimate
4 question. It doesn't mean to say that if this document doesn't say that
5 there is property being abandoned in favour of Republika Srpska, that in
6 effect it wasn't. There may have been other documents and other decrees,
7 orders, municipal decrees, laws or whatever.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What this document says is that one
9 renounces for good one's property for the purpose of leaving the
10 municipality of Bosanski Novi.
11 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: No microphone for counsel.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I hearby declare that I own no real
14 estate in Bosanski Novi municipality under my own name and that I'm
15 permanently leaving Bosanski Novi municipality." That means in my book
16 that anyone who had any property or perhaps had some property did not dare
17 to admit to it.
18 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. We won't be needing this document again, thank you. Can this
20 witness be shown his own statement dated 12th of August, 1999?
21 Could you please look at it? Do you see your own signature on
22 each page?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can I just mention by the way that in the heading, in the header
25 of the statement, your name and country of residence are mentioned? So we
1 should take care not to mention them. Could you tell me where was this
2 statement done?
3 A. As it says on the cover page, it was done in Sanski Most.
4 Q. On the cover page, we see the title of the agency and its
5 headquarters. Do you mean to say that you were in Sanski Most on the day
6 when this statement was made?
7 A. Yes, I was in Sanski Most on that day.
8 Q. Could you please look at page -- there are no page numbers here
9 but the ERN number is 00935059, in the top, right corner. That's page 3.
10 Have you found it?
11 A. Not that number, but I can see page 3, the third page in the
13 Q. There is another number here ending in 774. In the first third of
14 the page, the sentence beginning with the words, "At the fire department
15 in Bosanski Novi, more than 20 inmates were killed." Have you found it?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you explain this in greater detail? Because according to what
18 you said, there were 15 of you plus 4 that you had found in the Una
19 Hotel. That makes 19. So how did you come to this number of 20?
20 A. I'm very glad you asked this question. Yesterday I had no time to
21 mention this. From the beginning of the second week of our stay at the
22 fire department camp, they brought every day or every other day, sometimes
23 two, sometimes one, sometimes even three, new Muslim men in all sorts of
24 vehicles, and in all sorts of ways. Every newcomer would be said to have
25 been captured behind Matkovici and they said that this newcomer had been
1 as far as Dvor and had been captured, and since there were no camps there,
2 everybody was brought to the fire department camp. Also, there were a lot
3 of civilians captured between Prijedor and Bosanski Novi. Also, while
4 attempting to cross over the border to Croatia. All these civilians were
5 kept between one and three days on that location. Within that time, they
6 would beat them up badly so as to almost disable them before they drove
7 them away, and these people never returned. So this figure here is not
8 only correct but it could be even higher.
9 Q. If I understand you correctly, these are people who were brought
10 to the Vatrogasni Dom and taken away?
11 A. I already told you how they were brought in. Sometimes in the
12 trunk of the car. Once they brought three men in the trunk of a small
13 Volkswagen Golf. All three were blindfolded.
14 Q. Can you tell me a bit further down below, in that statement, it
15 says that the vice-president of the SDA party, it says the following night
16 Resad Berberovic, the secretary of the SDA and Abdulah Huzeirovic from
17 Blagaj were taken away and beaten. Zeljko Bosancic, Janjetovic and
18 Djuric, who drove the military police van took them away. Now comes your
19 explanation. Resad and Abdulah were killed on that occasion. Zoran Maric
20 from Maricka in Prijedor municipality killed Abdulah on the bridge over
21 the Sana River in Blagaj. He was shot and found in a bush by women,
22 whereas Resad Berberovic was killed somewhere above the River Sana."
23 Could you explain that, please?
24 A. I swear to this because I know this personally, that they were
25 taken away and killed, and as for the fact that they were killed somewhere
1 above the River Sana is something I heard and I could suppose that much
2 after Isakovic's murder. Plus the fact that they have not been found to
3 this day. That tells me that they probably have never been buried.
4 Q. So you eye witnessed when they were taken away?
5 A. Yes. They were taken away before my very eyes.
6 Q. And where did you take this description from?
7 A. I told you already.
8 Q. Is it something that you heard from someone?
9 A. I heard it from the families of these people.
10 Q. Where does Maric, Zoran fit in here?
11 A. It was a military policeman from Prijedor who was in Bosanski
13 Q. Was he at the fire department?
14 A. He was a military policeman at the fire department. If I say
15 military policeman, that's -- I mean one of the people who were at the
16 fire department. I knew Abdulah Huzeirovic because we met two or three
17 years previously at the football field. He was the goalkeeper. In
18 fact --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, Maric was acquainted
20 with Huzeirovic, they knew each other as football players. One was centre
21 field and the other was goalkeeper.
22 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. When you mentioned that were you beaten, you mentioned baseball
24 bats as one of the instruments.
25 A. I did.
1 Q. Did you really mean it or did you simply mean some wooden sticks?
2 A. I certainly meant it, I'm sorry to say, and as far as I know,
3 baseball bats are made of wood, and I saw such bats being broken on the
4 backs of inmates. Two Salkic brothers were especially badly beaten with
5 these bats. They were brothers from Urije and it all happened in this
6 period that I talked about 15 minutes ago. The Salkic brothers belonged
7 to the group of people who have never been heard from since.
8 Q. I'm asking you because baseball bats were not on sale in shops.
9 It's not something that you could buy, and we were not familiar with
10 baseball bats except from movies. How come they were so common in
11 Bosanski Novi at the time?
12 A. If you really want to know, why don't you ask your soldiers? They
13 brought them from somewhere apparently. That's all I can say in answer to
14 your question.
15 Q. Thank you very much.
16 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Is there re-examination?
19 MS. RICHTEROVA: No, thank you.
20 Questioned by the Court:
21 JUDGE JANU: Sir, do you have any explanation for the fact that
22 from Mlakve stadium, just from hundreds of men, just a group of 15 was
23 taken to the fire station and kept there for such a long time?
24 A. As far as I know, they said they had received those lists from
25 higher authorities and that we would be questioned at the hotel. Later
1 on, they were kept -- we were kept at the hotel for only three days before
2 being transferred to the fire department, and there we gave statements
3 similar to those that we had previously given at Keraterm and in Bosanski
4 Novi. So no particular charges were brought against me personally, and I
5 don't think anyone else was ever charged, including those people who are
6 missing to this day.
7 JUDGE JANU: As you lived together and became to know each other,
8 could you trace any common denominator, for example that there were
9 allegedly rich people or educated people or anything like that?
10 A. After I was released, of course I thought about it all, and it was
11 perhaps possible to reach a conclusion of some sort, because, for
12 instance, me and my two friends from Gornji Agici, just as two
13 acquaintances from Suhaca and Slovare, we all had parents working in
14 Germany. The vice-president and the secretary of the SDA, whom I
15 mentioned before, as well as Ismet Muslimovic, were, according to their
16 stories, detained because of the positions -- they were left behind
17 because of the positions that they had. I don't know what happened with
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you ever heard of the following names? And if
20 you have, did you know these persons? Camil Alic? Fehim, Mehmedagic,
21 Samir Izmirevic? Did you know of any of them?
22 A. I knew Camil Alic.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you see him at the stadium?
24 A. No, I didn't see him at the stadium.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: The other two persons you didn't know?
1 A. No, I didn't.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Did you at any time during your stay in the
3 stadium come across a certain person by the name of Balaban?
4 A. No. I never saw him.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Someone nicknamed Trnka?
6 A. If I may make a correction, he was nicknamed Trnika [phoen]. I
7 knew him because I was able to see him from time to time on the buses of
8 the Kozaraprevoz company from Bosanski Novi. He worked there as a
9 conductor for a while and he also washed buses and did similar jobs.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: But you didn't see him at the stadium?
11 A. I didn't see him at the stadium.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That brings us to the end of your
13 testimony, which means that you can now return to your country of
14 residence, to your home. For this purpose, you will be assisted, given
15 all the assistance you require by the officers of this Tribunal, but
16 before you leave this courtroom it is my duty as the Presiding Judge in my
17 name and on behalf of the two Judges that sit with me in this trial, and
18 also on behalf of the Tribunal in general, to thank you for having
19 accepted to come over to give evidence in this trial. Thank you and you
20 will now be escorted out of the courtroom by the usher. Have a safe
21 journey back home.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: So we have 7.66 now?
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: And 7.66 enjoys the same --
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour. Pseudonym and image distortion,
3 Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly so we can stay as we are but in open
5 session. Do you expect this witness to take the rest of the morning?
6 MR. NICHOLLS: I think that's likely, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Please make sure that we finish with all these
8 witnesses by the end of the week.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. Can I make sure that Your Honours have
10 everything? We --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We have what weave given which is basically the
12 statement (Redacted) -- sorry, it is 2nd February, 2003.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And then 26 June, 2002?
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Plus a diagram, plus another statement of the 8
17 April, 2000.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: That's right, thank you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Plus a list of what could be documents, exhibits,
20 that could be made use of and these are the attachments that come with the
21 two statements and the P1683 Bosanski Novi photos. And please, Madam
22 Registrar, redact from the records the initial part of my intervention,
23 that is --
24 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I think you've been given a
25 supplemental information sheet for Witness 7.66.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but I'm going to refer, but before I do that,
2 I'm referring to line 22 -- page 22, line 8, where I put -- where I
3 mention a date. But before I mention the date of the statement, I
4 mentioned another date and that ought to be redacted, just out of
6 Then you are right, we have a supplemental information sheet.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: I apologise, Your Honour, that's an error. There
8 shouldn't be one for this witness. That's for my next witness, if
9 everybody can disregard that? It's got the wrong witness number on it.
10 It's my fault.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So what number would that be?
12 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll redistribute it with the correct number and
13 that will be --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I'm tearing it, in other words.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: That will be -- 7.88's will be virtually
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So let's bring the witness in, please.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, sir.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You've never given evidence before this Tribunal?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This is my first time.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And therefore I'm going to explain to you very
1 briefly what's going to happen. First thing that is going to happen is
2 that you are going to make, to enter a solemn declaration, equivalent to
3 the oath, to an oath, that in the course of your testimony, you will be
4 saying the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This is
5 required under our rules, before any witness starts giving evidence. The
6 text of this solemn declaration is contained in a piece of paper that the
7 usher, the gentleman who is standing to your left, will be handing to
8 you. Please read it out aloud and that will be your undertaking with this
9 Tribunal that you will be telling us the truth.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
11 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 WITNESS: WITNESS BT84
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down. You know
15 Mr. Nicholls?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls is appearing for the Prosecution, as
18 far as you are concerned, and he will be conducting what we refer to as
19 the examination-in-chief. He will be asking you a series of questions to
20 which you are requested to give an answer, a short, concise but precise
21 answer. Don't answer more than you are asked. The formula is a very
22 simple one. You just answer the question, the whole question, and nothing
23 but the question. If you don't, you are only make matters worse. We will
24 have problems. You will be here for days on end.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll do my best.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: After that, you will be asked questions on
2 cross-examination by the Defence counsel appearing for Radoslav Brdjanin,
3 who is the defendant, who is the accused in this case. You have no right
4 to make any distinction between Mr. Nicholls and Mr. Trbojevic. Both of
5 them are here dining their duty and your responsibility is to answer all
6 the questions put to you irrespective of who is putting the question in
7 complete and truthful manner. So Mr. Nicholls will start with his
8 examination-in-chief. Thank you.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. The first piece of
10 business, I think, is to show the witness the first exhibit.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Just look at that piece of paper, please, see
12 whether your name is printed out correctly. Don't read it. Just tell me
13 yes or no.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So show that to the Defence counsel and to
16 us. And that will become Exhibit P16 --
17 MR. NICHOLLS: 31, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: 31, and it will be received and kept under seal.
19 Which leads me to the next point, sir, and that is when you were
20 interviewed by the Office of the Prosecutor, you asked for certain
21 protective measures aimed mainly to protect your identity while you give
22 evidence here. I think you already know that the --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: -- this Trial Chamber has accepted your request and
25 you are being given protective measures as follows: First, you will not
1 be referred to by your name but by a nom de plume, by a pseudonym. You
2 are BT84? BT84. That's how you are known here.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And not by your name. Secondly, you see that the
5 back of you, there is a curtain plus a board. That is used to hide your
6 identity. If you switch on video mode on your monitor, on video mode, you
7 will see how you appear to the public who may be following these
8 proceedings. They won't be able to see your face but they will be able to
9 see that camouflage that you can notice now on your monitor. So that's
10 what you asked for. That's what has been accepted by this Trial Chamber.
11 Now, Mr. Nicholls will proceed with the questions. And for the
12 first part of the questions, we go into private session, which means that
13 the public won't even be hearing your voice and what you will be saying
14 for the first series of questions, which will deal with who you are and
15 where you come from.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So we go into private session, please.
18 [Private session]
12 Page 14118 – redacted – private session.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
4 [Open session]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd ask that the witness be shown the map that we
7 have been using, P1624.
8 Q. Sir, if you could look at that map for a moment, I showed that to
9 you earlier. Could you tell us whether that's a fair and accurate map of
10 Bosanski Novi, of the municipality? You can look at it on -- where -- to
11 your right, if that's easier than looking at the screen.
12 A. I think it's accurate enough.
13 Q. Could you please point out Alici?
14 A. [indicates] Going from Bosanski Novi towards Blagaj Japra and
15 Blagaj Rijeka, then you pass through the local community of Maslovare,
16 which also includes Ekici and Alici and this is where Alici is located,
17 between Suhaca and Blagaj Japra.
18 Q. Thank you. And what was the ethnic composition of Alici at the
19 end of 1991? Who lived there?
20 A. Only Muslims lived in Alici and Ekici.
21 Q. Now, in the area you've pointed out on the map, you correct me if
22 I'm wrong, but when you -- in the late 1980s, and up into 1991, relations
23 between all of the people in that area was pretty good, relations between
24 Serbs and non-Serbs, and Muslims?
25 A. One couldn't complain. The relations were very good up until the
1 beginning of the war in Croatia. At that time, one could already notice
2 certain tensions. People no longer recognised each other on the streets.
3 Q. And can you please tell me now about any radio broadcasts you
4 heard, either at the end of 1991 or later on, which may or may not have
5 increased these tensions?
6 A. I listened to the music on the Bosanski Novi radio station on
7 several occasions but I also listened to the news, and the music was
8 usually accompanied by statements in which Muslims were referred to as
9 terrorists, and there was already talk about the fact that Muslims had to
10 surrender their weapons.
11 Q. Can you tell me when you first started hearing radio broadcasts
12 stating that Muslims should surrender weapons? If you can put a month on
14 A. I don't think I can remember the month but it was at the very
15 beginning, when Suhaca, Hozici and Agici, when the populations of these
16 villages was displaced. So it was during that period of time.
17 Q. Just to be clear, did these radio broadcasts state that Muslims
18 should surrender their weapons or that all people should or civilians?
19 Can you be a little bit more specific as to who was ordered to surrender
21 A. No. Reference was only to Muslims and Muslims extremists. That's
22 what I personally heard.
23 Q. Now, do you remember hearing on the radio that Muslims living in
24 the villages around Alici should surrender weapons? And if you do, can
25 you tell me which villages those were?
1 A. No. It was the entire valley of the Japra River, not only
2 specific villages, Ekici or Alici but the entire area of the Japra River
3 valley, that is the Muslim population of that area.
4 Q. Did you personally surrender any weapons on the basis of these
5 radio broadcasts?
6 A. I had a pistol for which I possessed a legally valid permit, but
7 there appeared at one point in time some military police, and I gave this
8 pistol to one of them. I don't know exactly who the person was but I know
9 that the patrol was led by Rajko Karlica. I gave them the pistol and I
10 wanted to keep the permit but he said that the pistol would be returned to
11 me once the state becomes legal.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls, let's tackle the bull by the horn
13 straight away, because he's just mentioned a name Rajko Karlica, and in
14 his second statement, namely the one of 26th of June, 2002, he says -- he
15 corrects himself and says that it was wrong in mentioning this name, it
16 should be another name. Could you just ask him whether he confirms the
17 name Rajko Karlica or whether he wants to change it?
18 MR. NICHOLLS:
19 Q. That's right, sir. Are you sure about that name, Rajko Karlica or
20 is it possibly a different name, the name of the person you're speaking
22 A. No. We didn't understand each other. I gave my pistol to a man
23 whose name I don't know, but with this military police was also this
24 person by the name of Zoran Karlica. As for Ranko Karlica, we will talk
25 about him later.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: I will clear that up, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I hope you do. Be careful I won't allow you to put
3 a direct question.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: I won't ask the name. It's in the second
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay.
7 MR. NICHOLLS:
8 Q. We are going to break fairly soon, sir, but could you tell me,
9 slow down a little bit, and tell me how you came to be in this field, or
10 the place where you surrendered the pistol and who else was there. Tell
11 me how that came about.
12 A. I was in the village of Ekici visiting Ferid Ekic in his house
13 when this military police came in a patrol vehicle, in a jeep. They
14 confiscated Ferid -- they hid his pistol. They confiscated all legally
15 possessed pistols and as for this person, I gave him my pistol but before
16 that, I had gone to my house on an APC to get it.
17 Q. In your statement, you refer to seeing many people from different
18 villages gathered as part of a process of surrendering weapons. Can you
19 explain how you saw that? What happened?
20 A. When the weapons were being handed over in Ekici, actually this
21 happened only later. I saw here on the photograph the location. It was
22 below one of -- below this house that people from Suhaca and Hozici, I
23 don't know how many of them there were, but the group included women,
24 children and men who had come on tractors and other vehicles to this
25 location here, just below the house that you can clearly see on the map.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't know if we should break now, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so. Let's have a 25-minute break. Thank
3 you. Be careful that while the witness is going out, the rules are
4 observed. Thank you.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
9 Could the witness be shown a photograph, P1683.16?
10 Q. Sir, I'm going to continue to ask you some questions about the
11 surrender of weapons from the villages of Alici and surrounding villages.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Usher, I don't know if you can -- if you could pull
13 the whole, the ELMO back a little bit because I can't see the witness?
14 Thanks, that's fine.
15 Q. Sir, could you take a look at that photograph and tell me if you
16 recognise it -- where that -- what is depicted there, where is that field
17 and what is that house, that building?
18 A. I know this house very well. It still stands in the same place
20 Q. Sir, excuse me, if you want to point, you need to point not at
21 your monitor but at the photo to your right. Sorry. Go ahead.
22 A. I was saying, below that house, you can see the meadow where the
23 people were gathered on that day. Over there, stands a monument from the
24 First World War. This is a very familiar house. Somewhere here on the
25 road, I saw Ranko Karlica, who was mentioned a little while ago. I don't
1 believe that he was a leader of any kind. He was a simple soldier
2 carrying a regular rifle. He was only obeying orders. It was on this
3 road that I saw a tractor with a number of rifles on it, mostly hunting
4 rifles, perhaps there was an army rifle among them. These weapons were
5 about to be surrendered. The troops were going to Suhaca or Hozici. I
6 couldn't see very well. Supposedly to search houses, look for weapons. I
7 don't remember what exactly was their explanation.
8 Q. Okay.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd like to show the witness his statement from
10 April 2000 to the Office of the Prosecutor I'm showing the witness, it's
11 been opened to page 3 which is the same section in both B/C/S and the
12 English translation. Excuse me, the B/C/S translation and the English
14 Q. Now, is that the statement you gave earlier, sir? That's just a
15 yes or no question. Is that your statement?
16 A. Yes. This is my statement but I'm not sure whether this reference
17 to Ranko is correct. I'm not sure Ranko was his name. Perhaps it was
19 Q. Okay. Let me take you step by step. You're jumping ahead a
20 little bit but that's what I was going to ask you about. In the third
21 paragraph down which begins, "When I came to Maslovare, I saw 10 to 15
22 Serb soldiers dressed up in olive uniforms, olive green uniforms." Couple
23 of sentences later it states, "He was Rajko Karlica and was a driver by
24 profession and drove a bus in Dvor Croatia." Now, I think what you just
25 told me is you're not sure that the first name is correct. Did I
1 understand you correctly, that you're not sure about the first name?
2 A. Yes. I think his name is Ranko.
3 Q. What about the last name? Are you sure the last name is Karlica
4 or do you think it might be something else?
5 A. Yes, his last name is Karlica. That is correct.
6 Q. Thank you. You can put that statement down now. That's okay.
7 Now, when you were showing us the photo of the field and you were
8 looking at it you said that the people were gathered there and you pointed
9 to the meadow. Can you tell me which people these were? In other words,
10 who were these people, where were they from?
11 A. Those were people from Suhaca and Hozici, men, women, children,
12 all the Muslims, in other words.
13 Q. How long were you present in that field with these other people?
14 A. I was there for about an hour and a half, maybe two hours, because
15 I didn't belong with that group, because residents of Alici were not there
16 in that field, only residents of Suhaca and Hozici.
17 Q. And why was it only residents of Suhaca and Hozici? How did you
18 know that? Who told you this is supposed to be residents of Suhaca and
19 Hozici today?
20 A. I don't know who said that, who gave that order. I was there by
21 chance because I had been on my way to do some shopping and I found these
22 people standing in the field. I stopped to talk to this Ranko Karlica and
23 ask him what is going on? And he told me these people were from Suhaca
24 and Hozici and they had come to surrender their weapons before they can go
25 back home. I'm saying that I was free to move about. I wasn't ordered to
1 be there that day. We in Ekici were sort of protected by these neighbours
2 because they told us themselves that we are not guilty of anything, that
3 we should leave Alici.
4 Q. Let me make sure that was correct. Your neighbours stated that
5 you, the people of Alici, were not guilty of anything, and that you should
6 leave Alici or should not leave?
7 A. No. They told us that we should not go anywhere, that no harm
8 would come to us, that nobody would touch us. However, things turned out
10 Q. We will get to that later. Can you just tell me which neighbours
11 were these who told you that you would be safe there in Alici and you
12 shouldn't leave?
13 A. I don't know if I dare mention the name but the sons --
14 Q. You don't need to mention the names. Were these Serb neighbours
15 from Serb-neighbouring villages? Is that what you mean?
16 A. No. Those were our Serb neighbours and they told us there was no
17 need for us to go anywhere like the residents of Suhaca and Hozici, that
18 our hamlet would be left alone.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you. Just before we move on, you talked about the
20 citizens of Hozici and Suhaca who were in this meadow which you pointed
21 out to us surrendering weapons. Were these all men, were they men, women
22 and children? Can you describe the people briefly?
23 A. I didn't understand the question.
24 Q. The people who you saw in the field surrendering weapons, were
25 those all men or were there also women and children there?
1 A. A couple of men were only involved in the surrender of weapons.
2 Women had nothing to do with it.
3 Q. And were the people who were in that field -- you said that you
4 were free to move, that you were not held there. Were the other civilians
5 you were -- who were held there, the people from these other villages,
6 Suhaca and Hozici, were they free to leave, as far as you could tell?
7 A. No. They were not free to leave. At least not for three or four
8 hours. Those people stayed there for another three or four hours after I
9 left. I heard that they returned to their homes only later.
10 Q. And do you know what was going on at their homes while they were
11 being held in the meadow, in the field?
12 A. It's a funny question, it seems to me, because of course I can't
13 know what was going on at their houses while they were there. I heard
14 that their houses were searched, turned upside down, I don't know what
15 they were looking for really.
16 Q. If you don't know, that's fine.
17 Now, after this search which you viewed, you said you were able
18 to -- you were able to move around and you were able to leave. After this
19 incident, were you -- did you -- were you -- could you continue to move
20 freely as you wished throughout the area or did anything change to stop
21 you from moving around Bosanski Novi?
22 A. After this gathering, in the meadow, I personally was free to go
23 about, to go to Bosanski Novi or anywhere else, but when Suhaca Hozici,
24 Blagaj Japra and all the other villages were evacuated, when the residents
25 went to Blagaj, in that period, I wasn't free to go to Suhaca, Hozici,
1 Blagaj or anywhere else. During all that time, I stayed in Alici.
2 Q. Do you remember the date when the people of Suhaca and Hozici were
3 taken to Blagaj?
4 A. I believe it's somewhere in the calendar for 1992. It must be
5 marked somewhere. It may have been the 23rd or the 24th, May or June. I
6 think it was May.
7 Q. If you could put the statement down, you don't need to look it up,
8 that's all right. We can continue and I'll -- we'll get to the calendar
9 later. In any event, when you saw -- can you tell me what you saw on that
10 day when what happened to the people from Suhaca and Hozici and Maslovare?
11 A. That day, I happened to be visiting my father-in-law, and I saw
12 people on tractors, vehicles, horse-drawn carts, from Suhaca, Hozici and
13 other places driving to Bosanski Novi in a sort of convoy. It was a
14 terrible sight to see people who were forced to release their animals from
15 stables and abandon them. The animals were running wild, screaming. I
16 simply can't make sense of it. It was a terrible scene.
17 Q. Thank you. And could you just give the Chamber an idea of the
18 scale of the convoy that you saw? I don't -- I know you can't tell us
19 exactly how many people were in it but how large was this convoy?
20 A. The convoy, as far as I could see, because I really couldn't
21 linger there, it was the first time I ever drove a tractor. It was the
22 tractor belonging to my father-in-law. We loaded up our belongings and
23 went to our house in Alici, but as far as I could see from a distance, it
24 was a kilometre long, more or less. I can't be more specific.
25 Q. That's fine. Thank you. And also on this day, the day of -- when
1 all these people left their villages, did you see any damage to any of
2 these villages, to any buildings in any of the villages?
3 A. That day, when people were leaving their homes, I didn't see
4 anything. I didn't see whether anyone was killed, whether anything was
5 destroyed. That day I didn't see anything.
6 Q. In the days after -- immediately after you saw this convoy
7 leaving, did you see any damage to any of those villages, to any of the
8 homes in those villages?
9 A. I wasn't allowed to go to Suhaca or Hozici. I knew there was no
10 one in those villages, only robbers, looters went there at that time.
11 Q. And after this convoy left, can you tell us briefly what life was
12 like for people still living in Alici and Ekici?
13 A. I can try. During that month, from the 23rd or 24th April, before
14 this incident with Alici happened, everything was more or less all right.
15 People came and told us that we should feel safe. They asked us if anyone
16 was bothering us. Later on, things changed, but in the village of Josava,
17 which you can see on the picture, somebody was allegedly killed, an
18 officer or a commander, I don't know, but I believe that as far as this
19 incident in Ekici is concerned, I think that someone named Bogdan Grab is
20 responsible. I don't know this Bogdan Grab person because I moved into
21 these parts from elsewhere. I wasn't a local.
22 Q. Okay. I'd like to show you just, to clear up some dates, your
23 statement from 2nd of February of this year. Just -- the one you've just
24 made. I'm going to show you the last page, last attachment to that
25 statement, which is a photocopy of a wallet calendar from 1992. It's
1 marked KW/MB 14. And just look at that a second. Do you recognise that
2 photocopy of the wallet calendar front?
3 A. Yes, I recognise it.
4 Q. If you look at the side, which has markings on it, I'm sorry that
5 the photocopy is not better quality but if you can look at that, do you
6 recognise markings on the calendar?
7 A. I do. So between the 23rd and the 24th was this convoy from
8 Suhaca and Hozici to Blagaj.
9 Q. Let me stop you a second and just explain what these markings are
10 and you tell me if I'm correct. Under May, you've written "Suhaca" and
11 marked the dates 23 and 24; is that right?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Did you personally write "Suhaca" there and mark those two dates?
14 A. Yes. This is my own signature, and I can testify to that.
15 Q. In June, you've written "Alici" and marked the dates 22 and 23,
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. And in July, you wrote "Karlovac" I believe and marked the dates
19 23 and 24?
20 A. That is right.
21 Q. Can you just tell the Trial Chamber when you made these marks,
22 when you marked these dates, and when you wrote the names of these places
23 on your wallet calendar from 1992?
24 A. I didn't dare make these markings in Bosanski Novi or Alici. Any
25 document found on you was a danger. But when I went to Karlovac, around
1 the 23rd or the 24th, I found this calendar somewhere and made these
2 markings for the first time.
3 Q. And it's fairly obvious but why did you make these markings? Why
4 did you want to preserve these particular dates?
5 A. Simply because, how shall I put it? Because it's history, because
6 I wanted to remember what happened, when I had to leave, when I went to
7 Germany and so on.
8 Q. And you kept this card with you since that time, in fact you still
9 have this card, don't you?
10 A. I still have it. Unfortunately I didn't bring it here but I have
11 it and I believe it is valuable proof.
12 Q. Now the markings for the 23rd and 24th of May where you wrote
13 Suhaca, there, you were indicating the time that all the people left
14 Suhaca and when you saw that convoy; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. You can put that down now, if you like.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, I think we should, if we may, go into
18 private session.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session, Madam Registrar,
21 [Private session]
12 Page 14133 to 14140 – redacted – private session.
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. We are in open session now.
5 MR. NICHOLLS:
6 Q. If you remember my question, can you tell me what you did next?
7 Tell me what --
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Was that a question for me?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours. If that could be, the
12 diagram, P1632 under seal, please?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
15 Q. Sir, if you could continue and tell us what you did next? You had
16 just started telling us about how the home was in flames, the animals had
17 been set free. What happened next?
18 A. At that moment, I was still on the tree. There was -- there
19 were -- the forest was green and I had a green track suit on so I was
20 almost invisible. I did not climb down from the tree until 11.30 p.m.
21 because the Serbian cemetery was located in the vicinity, not far from the
22 place where I was. There were women and children there, and the distance
23 between the tree and the cemetery was perhaps 150 metres as the crow flies
24 so it was only at about 11.30 that I climbed down from the tree. After
25 they had already left the cemetery. You could still hear the shooting but
1 from afar.
2 As I climbed down, after I climbed down from the tree, I went to
3 the Serb cemetery. It was some 50 metres away from me, and I lay down in
4 the grass there. There was no one in the vicinity. And I could see -- I
5 could hear the shooting coming from the place where the massacre had taken
6 place. It must have been around half past midnight or 1.00, I'm not
7 sure. And it was only at about 3.30 or 4.00 in the morning when it
8 dawned, and when I was able to see, that I started hearing the noise that
9 tractors made. So I think that looting was going on at that time,
10 although one could still hear individual shots, but I didn't notice
11 anything. I then went in the direction of Meho Alic's house and further
12 into the forest. Below this forest, I don't know how to explain this, I
13 was just above the place where the massacre had taken place, some 500
14 metres away from the spot, and I could see some -- something which looked
15 like sacks. I couldn't recognise anyone, but I'm sure that those were the
17 Q. Let me go back a bit. In your statement, you heard at one point
18 you heard women and children crying or screaming. And then later on, you
19 heard villagers singing. Could you describe the singing and when that
20 happened in the sequence of events and who was singing?
21 A. After the shooting, after I had already took shelter in the
22 forest, that is right after I had locked up the house and when the
23 shooting started, I fled into the forest and at that time I could hear
24 screams and cries coming from this group of women and children while the
25 shooting was going on at Johici [phoen] but I heard the singing for the
1 first time when they were at the Serb cemetery. I couldn't hear
2 everything clearly but I remember one particular song which went like
3 this: "A Serb mother gave birth to," me and something along those lines,
4 which was sung by those women and children who were gathered there and who
5 were Muslim.
6 Q. At any point, did you see the men and the women and children of
7 the villages separated? In other words, were the women and children
8 brought one place or the men one other place at any time?
9 A. I have to tell you first of all that I was not able to see them.
10 I could only hear them. I could hear the noise of the tractors when women
11 and children were boarding them, the tractors that eventually took them to
12 the Urije neighbourhood in Bosanski Novi. As for the men, they were taken
13 in the direction of Ranko Karlica's house down the road that is.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours I'm sorry I would like to go back into
15 private session and use this diagram again just to make it clear where the
16 witness was.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Private session, and
18 usher, you can hand the previous diagram sketch to the witness, please,
19 that's P1632.
20 [Private session]
12 Page 14144– redacted – private session.
12 Page 14145 – redacted – private session.
10 [Open session]
11 MR. NICHOLLS:
12 Q. Thank you, sir. Now --
13 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll wait for the blinds to go up.
14 Q. Please tell me what happened after the shooting stopped. What did
15 you do?
16 A. So this happened about 1.00, 1.30 after midnight. I remained
17 hiding in the grass. You could hear sporadic shooting all around. I
18 remained hiding in the grass until half past 3.00. It was early morning
19 hours. It was cold and wet, and I was wearing only a track suit. I went
20 back home, although nothing remained of my home, but there was a stable
21 standing still, at least partially. I found a jacket in that stable. I
22 put it on and went to Meho Alic's house.
23 Q. And what did you see on the way to Meho Alic's house? Did you
24 see anything that you remember sticking out in your mind?
25 A. When I set out towards Meho Alic's house, I was actually going in
1 the direction of Bosanski Novi through the woods, and passing by Meho
2 Alic's stable, I saw a body lying in the ditch, wearing no shoes, only
3 socks, lying face down. I turned the body over. I thought -- I saw it
4 was Jusuf Alic. I saw it wasn't Jusuf Alic, Meho's brother. I saw it was
5 Fadil Ekic.
6 Q. Now, don't say their names but at this point, did you know where
7 your family was? And what had happened to them?
8 A. No. At that point, I didn't. It was only in the afternoon that I
9 found out what happened with them. That is when I came to Bosanski Novi.
10 Q. Okay. And what did you do next after seeing Fadil Ekic's body in
11 this ditch, in the canal?
12 A. I didn't do anything. I continued on my way towards this woods,
13 in the direction of Bosanski Novi, and it was from the woods that I was
14 able to see this massacre that happened near the Muslim cemetery.
15 Q. And when you say from the woods you could see this massacre that
16 had happened, just please to be clear for the record, what did you see?
17 A. Well, I saw these bodies lying like sacks. I can't describe to
18 you what it looked like.
19 Q. And please continue and tell us, tell the Chamber how you made
20 your way towards Bosanski Novi.
21 A. So I made my way to Bosanski Novi through the woods. I ran into a
22 patrol, or rather a checkpoint manned by the police or the army, I'm not
23 sure. I didn't wait to run into them. I went around them towards a
24 hamlet near Urije, and I went to visit Mustafa Alic. There I saw women
25 and children in a group, and I asked them about my own wife and children,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 but they were not to be found there. I called in another house of another
2 man I knew, Hasib Alic. His daughter-in-law offered me coffee and a
3 couple of cigarettes, and I felt relief for a moment. I asked again about
4 my wife and children, but they couldn't tell me anything about them. I
5 was lost. I didn't know where to go. I ran into another person --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Trbojevic?
7 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was told that
8 translation in -- on page 54, line 6, does not correspond to what the
9 witness said.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: But you bring that up when he's finished answering
11 the question, not in the course of his answering the question. Let him
12 finish first. That's not fair. It shouldn't be done that way.
13 Yes, continue, sir. You were saying, "I called in another house
14 of another man I knew, Hasib Alic, his daughter-in-law offered me coffee
15 and a couple of cigarettes and I felt relief for a moment. I asked again
16 about my wife and children but they couldn't tell me anything about them.
17 I was lost. I didn't know where to go. I ran into another person."
18 That's when you were stopped and you can continue from there.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't Hasan, it was Hasib Alic.
20 Any way, as I was saying, I didn't know rightly where to go. At that
21 moment another man came by and asked me who I was looking for. I said I
22 was looking for my wife and children. He asked me, (Redacted)
24 (Redacted) And I went to the house to which he had directed me and found my
25 wife and children there.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose we ought to redact where he says where
2 he -- where he came from, all right? So that I don't repeat the name
3 myself. We are talking of line 11 on this page, page 55. And line 12.
4 Are you from that place? And he said, "Yes, I am." Go ahead. Before
5 you go ahead, yes, what was your point?
6 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was told that
7 interpretation was not correct in line 6, page 54. It doesn't correspond
8 to what the witness said.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: What --
10 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I don't want to say what exactly
11 is in issue so that the witness can repeat his answer without being
12 influenced by me.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Nicholls, could you read to the witness
14 what he said on page 54, line 6? And we then ask him to confirm it or
15 correct it or change it if it's the case?
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour, I'm just having some
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not reading it myself because I am having
19 problems with my --
20 MR. NICHOLLS:
21 Q. Yes, sir.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
24 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I ask my learned
25 friend to repeat his question rather than reading out -- reading back the
1 answer of the witness.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: No. We read back the answer the witness said. If
3 necessary, we will read the question as well.
4 MR. NICHOLLS:
5 Q. Sir, I asked you this question earlier, in relation to the
6 massacre: I said, "And when you say from the woods, you could see this
7 massacre that had happened, just please to be clear for the record, what
8 did you see?" Your answer was: "Well, I saw these bodies lying like
9 sacks. I can't describe to you what it looked like."
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that what you said? Or did you say something
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's what I said.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go ahead, Mr. Nicholls. And of course you can
14 put the question to him on cross-examination, if you want.
15 MR. NICHOLLS:
16 Q. Now, once you met up with your family, I'll try to get back to
17 where we were, you spent sometime in Bosanski Novi, in the town; is that
19 A. Well, before that, I spent two, maybe three weeks at that house
20 and at that time, we were also attacked. I don't know who those people
21 were, soldiers or whoever, and that hamlet of Susce [phoen] or what the
22 name of it was, I don't remember, everyone from that hamlet fled to Urije.
23 After that, I didn't go back to that house. I remained in town.
24 Q. And what did you do during those two or three weeks? Did you feel
25 you could move about? Tell me what your life was like, briefly.
1 A. Well, all the food and drink I had was what the neighbours brought
2 me. That's all I had. But from that house, I want to say I went two or
3 three times to Alici village to bring back some food, some vegetables. I
4 don't know on which of these occasions it was exactly, (Redacted)
6 (Redacted) I saw four soldiers on
7 a horse-drawn cart. At the time I was wearing a working overalls and they
8 looked at me and they probably thought I was one from their side, that I
9 was going to the village to loot, and they continued on their way. And
10 when they disappeared from sight, I went back to the woods and, looking
11 from Meho Alic's house, they probably realised I was no longer there. I
12 skirted around below Salih Dedic's house and below the Muslim cemetery and
13 saw an excavator belonging to the public utilities enterprise of Bosanski
14 Novi. I believe the name of the company was Kosmos [phoen]. Whether this
15 excavator was working there for a while, digging graves or something, I
16 don't know. At any rate, I saw two big piles of earth. I was looking
17 from a distance of about 200 metres. I crossed the road and I can prove
18 that at any time. I crossed that road and never looked back. I went
19 through the woods and at that time I saw those three or four soldiers on
20 the horse cart. Those were strong, young men, and they set Meho Alic's
21 house on fire. Seeing that, I was seized by fear. I didn't stop after
22 that. I apologise if I'm speaking too fast. I can slow down a little.
23 Q. I think you're doing fine. When you came back to where your house
24 had been from Urije, you said you were looking for property and coming
25 back to get food. Were you able to find anything? Was there anything of
1 your personal property remaining which you were able to bring back with
3 A. No. I didn't find anything. A sack of corn flour was lying on
4 the ground, but I couldn't take that either because the sack was damaged
5 by the moisture or whatever. It had cracked.
6 Q. Other than -- you also told us about the house of -- being set on
7 fire which you observed on that same trip back to your home, did you see
8 any other damage to houses that you haven't told us about? (Redacted)
10 (Redacted) I can't explain
12 (Redacted) In those days, the houses had not yet been
13 destroyed, although they had been looted. I saw clothes scattered on the
14 ground, and various items that they were trying to drive away.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls, you have earned two medals for
16 this. We need to redact the last part, the last sentence of his question,
17 and the entire answer. Okay?
18 MR. NICHOLLS:
19 Q. And can you tell me now, if you remember from your memory, without
20 looking at your statement, whether you learned -- whether the men killed
21 in that massacre, if you knew any of those men? Knew them personally?
22 A. You mean out of -- from the victims?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. (Redacted)
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Trbojevic?
1 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I object to this
2 question because the witness didn't mention that he recognised anyone from
3 that group of people that was allegedly massacred.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So rephrase your question, Mr. Nicholls.
5 MR. NICHOLLS:
6 Q. Sir, I know at the time you didn't actually -- you couldn't see
7 who was being killed on this date but can you tell me, if you did, how you
8 learned later who the victims were and whether these were men that you had
9 personally known?
10 A. I knew all those people, (Redacted)
11 (Redacted) At the time, of course, I
12 couldn't recognise them when they were lying on the ground but I found out
13 later who was missing, who were the victims.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, we go into private session for a while.
15 [Private session]
12 Pages 14155 to 14160 – redacted – private session.
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: And he goes through these documents and the
25 understanding is that he does not mention any of the names of his family
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: If I could have the usher give a set to the
3 witness? Which are in his language.
4 Q. All right, sir, we are coming to the last area of questions I have
5 for you. That is going to be about the process of how you and your family
6 eventually left Bosanski Novi municipality in 1992. You provided me with
7 some documents this weekend, on Sunday, and we will be referring to
8 those. I'll have to ask you to explain how they were obtained and what
9 they meant to you. First of all, just to bring us up to date of when all
10 of this took place, after what had occurred in -- what you've testified
11 about, you went and you stayed with your family in a house in Urije for
12 sometime. After that, you went to Bosanski Novi with your family; is that
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. Thank you. While in Bosanski Novi, and if I may just lead for a
16 minute to set this scene, you began the process of doing what you needed
17 to do to leave the municipality and to leave the RS; is that right?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. Now, can you tell me how you learned what this process was, what
20 you as a Muslim needed to do, what steps you had to take, in order to be
21 allowed to leave the municipality? Where did you learn what you needed to
22 do? Who told you?
23 A. It was my wife who took care of all these documents. If it was
24 necessary to go to the police, to the National Defence secretariat or the
25 municipality, it was my wife who went there to obtain these documents,
1 because I didn't dare move around, but these documents were necessary for
2 the purposes of our leaving Bosanski Novi. If one wanted to leave, one
3 needed some sort of proof that he didn't have any criminal record, any
4 outstanding debts, and similar documents. I did have a permit which
5 allowed me to move around but it was not sufficient, so on one hand, the
6 situation with these documents was good because you could obtain them, but
7 on the other hand, it was also bad because it only referred to the Muslim
8 people. These movement permits were only for Muslims, and I could move
9 around with it but it also revealed my identity.
10 Q. And you mean that, just to be clear, the Serb population did not
11 need these types of permits to move around, correct?
12 A. No. At any rate, no.
13 Q. Now, if you can just tell me very briefly why was it that you
14 didn't want to go out and that you had your wife obtain this series of
15 documents that you needed in order to leave?
16 A. The reason was very simple. (Redacted)
19 Q. Sir, I didn't ask -- can we just go into private for one second
20 for this answer I didn't anticipate what he was going to say?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly and redact in any case the last part of
22 his answer, Madam Registrar, please. Careful, please, in answering the
23 question that you don't mention names of places or whatever that could
24 identify you. We are doing our best to hide your identity and you keep
25 mentioning names.
1 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay we are in open session.
25 MR. NICHOLLS:
1 Q. And I need to make one correction to Your Honours. The statement
2 taken by the OTP, this most recent one to which these are attachments,
3 states that the attachments are marked with KW and two initials. Those
4 initials are not actually the correct. You'll see there is two here which
5 are referred to in the statement, it's two separate initials following the
6 KW on the actual -- these are the documents?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
8 MR. NICHOLLS:
9 Q. Sir, without reading the names of the persons in these documents,
10 let's talk about them, how your wife got them, and why she needed them.
11 The first one, which you should have in the copy of the original in your
12 language, is marked KW, two initials and then the number 1. It's dated
13 the 5th of July, 1992 and it's from the Serbian Republic of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina Bosanski Novi municipality, secretariat for public
15 services and general administration. This is a record of the declaration
16 of property ownership made by the persons present on 5 July, 1992, in the
17 premises of Bosanski Novi municipality for the purpose of permanently
18 leaving the territory of the municipality. It then states the officials
19 present, and somebody under the name client. And then we have the
20 declaration which states, "I hereby declare that I do not own any real
21 estate in Bosanski Novi municipality in my own name and that I am
22 permanently leaving Bosanski Novi municipality together with my family,
23 who do not own any real estate either." And finally that the declaration
24 it states, "I make this declaration with full responsibility, without
25 coercion and with full awareness for the purpose of obtaining
1 documentation for permanent emigration and departure from Bosanski Novi
3 Is that what it states? Is that a correct translation from the
4 original which you provided?
5 A. Yes. It is correct.
6 Q. Can you tell me, I know that you didn't personally get this but
7 when your wife brought this back and you knew she was going out to get it,
8 what was the purpose of this document? Why did you have to get this
9 foundational document stating that you did not own any real estate and
10 that the intent to leave was permanent?
11 A. It was all because of the fear that we experienced. We were just
12 trying to survive. It is true that here it says "voluntarily" but it was
13 not voluntarily. It was done by force. I don't think anyone would
14 voluntarily leave their homes, their property. All of these people left
15 under pressure, as was the case with the residents of Suhaca and other
17 Q. Now, where it states on -- it's on page 2 of the English, on page
18 1 of the -- of your copy, I hereby declare that I do not own any real
19 estate in the municipality, and neither do my family, and we are leaving
20 permanently, is that true that nobody in the family owned any real
21 estate? Did you own any real property in Bosanski Novi municipality when
22 this was signed?
23 A. I had a house. I had a piece of land, a car, some cattle, all
24 this was my property.
25 Q. I think it's pretty obvious from your earlier question but --
1 earlier answer, excuse me, but why was this signed then, with the false
2 statement that there was -- that the family owned no property and was
3 leaving permanently?
4 A. I was doing what they wanted me to do. If I had declared that I
5 did own property, maybe I would have been in trouble. It was much easier
6 for me to say that I didn't have any property and leave.
7 Q. All right. Now, at the end of this document, it states, "That
8 this declaration is for the purpose of obtaining documentation for
9 permanent emigration and departure." Was that your understanding that you
10 needed this document, this declaration, in order to get other documents
11 that you needed in order to leave with your family?
12 A. Let us make it clear. Of course I fully understood what this
13 meant. It was all about money. They wanted to take the money. No one
14 actually saw me with this paper in Bosanski Novi.
15 Q. All right. And before I forget, these documents and the one we
16 are going through, was your wife required to pay any fees, we'll call
17 them, to obtain these documents?
18 A. At that time, she had to pay for all of these documents. I don't
19 remember the amounts involved. It was in millions at the time. The local
20 currency in Republika Srpska was the dinar. I don't know how much it was
21 worth but millions were involved, but worthless.
22 Q. All right. Let's look at document number 2, which your wife
23 obtained, also on the 5th of July, 1992. That is a declaration stating
24 that the person signing the document lives in the -- a joint household,
25 the joint household, and it's essentially a list stating the names of all
1 the members of the household, and at the bottom, of the English, page 1,
2 it states that this declaration is to be used for - and it's filled in -
3 is moving out. And then it's signed and stamped. Can you tell us what
4 your understanding of why this document, this declaration of all the
5 members of the family needed to be signed and obtained?
6 A. This could be obtained and was obtained in order to have all
7 members of the family on one list. You also had to have this document. I
8 don't know why they used it, what the purpose of the document was, but
9 again it is one of the documents that no one ever saw.
10 Q. If we move on to document number 3, that's headed "Serbian
11 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bosanski Novi municipality, municipal
12 Secretariat of National Defence." It's a decision and it states that the
13 decision is made pursuant to Article 141 of the law on general
14 administrative procedure number 47/86 and in connection with the decision
15 on the ban imposed on leaving the territory of the Autonomous Region of
16 Krajina by the Autonomous Region of Krajina war staff and at the request
17 of a person, is named, and a decision states that this person is
18 authorised to leave the territory of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. If
19 you read some more, sir, it explains that the -- it repeats itself that
20 this request was made and it's being granted, that there are no legal
21 obstacles to the person mentioned leaving the Autonomous Region of Krajina
22 and that an appeal can be filed against the decision with the Banja Luka
23 Regional Secretariat for National Defence within 15 days of its receipt.
24 Your wife obtained this document as well, correct?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. And again, this was on the list of things which you knew you
2 needed to put together in order to be able to permanently leave?
3 A. This is also one of the documents that was used for this purpose
4 but no one ever requested it.
5 Q. I understand that you're saying that these weren't checked by --
6 at a later date. If we could look at number 4, this document is a permit
7 and it's headed and the translation Serbian Republic of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ministry of the Interior, Banja Luka security services
9 centre, public security station, Bosanski Novi, permit issued by the
10 police essentially. "The following permits is hereby issued pursuant to
11 Article 171 of the law on general administrative procedure and item 4 of
12 the Bosanski Novi Crisis Staff order regarding criteria for departure."
13 I'm sorry, this one is dated 6 of July, 1992, when it was obtained. And
14 this document states that the person obtaining the document is allowed to
15 permanently leave the area of Bosanski Novi municipality in the direction
16 of Ljubljana with family members. Items 2 and 3 are of interest to me.
17 It states in item 2, the person mentioned in the above item and family
18 members shall move out with the following movable property. And on the
19 original we can see that this was typed in, personal items, clothing, bed
20 linen and item 3, this certificate is only valid with a certified form on
21 a citizen's permanent cancellation of residence registration. And it's
22 signed by a chief.
23 Can you tell me about this document that your wife obtained on 6
24 July, what you understood what this was for and what personal property you
25 were allowed to bring with you when you left?
1 A. This was also necessary for the purposes of getting out of
2 Bosanski Novi. But once again, no one saw this document, but this one was
3 not enough. One also had to have a so-called cancellation of residence,
4 which was obtained from the police. So this document was valid only with
5 that one. As for the property, I didn't carry anything. My wife had a
6 bag containing some food and clothing for the children but this was very
8 Q. So your family applied, and on this document it was listed what
9 personal property the family was allowed to bring with them, is that -- do
10 I have that right? That consisted of clothing and bed linen? Is that
12 A. I was allowed to take my clothes, bedding, et cetera, but I
13 couldn't in fact because everybody -- everything was burned down. All we
14 had was in that bag that my wife was carrying, the travel bag. That's all
15 we had. That's all we could actually take away.
16 Q. All right. Items 5, 6, 7 and 8, the short documents obtained by
17 your wife also on the 6th of July, and these are residence cancellations,
18 if I'm right. Can you explain to me what these are?
19 A. These cancellations of residence are supposed to be attached to
20 this previous document. KW 4. So without this KW 4, this paper was
21 meaningless. At any rate, nobody ever checked any of these documents.
22 Their only purpose was to get us to pay money for them.
23 Q. And just for the record, these documents are all the same but
24 there is a different person, different family member, listed on each
25 numbered document, correct?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. If we look at the documents 9, 10, 11 and 12, those are also
3 similar documents, the same form used for all of them. These are headed,
4 again, Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ministry of the Interior
5 Banja Luka security services centre public security station, Bosanski
6 Novi, 7th July, 1992, permit allowing a person named, a family member, to
7 travel from Bosanski Novi by taxi to outside of Bosanski Novi.
8 And on each of them it is listed that this travel will be from 7th
9 of July, 1992, or they are good to indefinitely. Can you explain just
10 what these are, please? It's fairly self-evident, you needed these
11 permits as well to be able to physically leave; is that correct?
12 A. Well, you see, all these permits and certificates had the same
13 purpose. They said we would not be able to leave without them. However,
14 when the UN came, when the convoy came, nobody ever asked us to produce
16 Q. Okay. Well, let me just get through the documents and then you
17 can -- I think we will still finish in time -- you can tell the Chamber
18 about how you actually physically left with your family. Numbers 13 and
19 14, -- excuse me, 12 and 13, were also very similar but relate to just two
20 different family members. These are documents issued by the Bosanski Novi
21 basic court, they each have a different number, these were issued on the
22 13th of July, 1992, and they essentially state that there are no ongoing
23 criminal proceedings against the persons named in the documents. Your
24 family had to obtain two of these; is that right?
25 A. Right. My wife and I.
1 Q. They didn't --
2 A. Minors were not required to have these documents.
3 Q. And that's correct, in all this time when you went through all
4 this, there never were any type of charges pressed against you? You were
5 never accused of committing any crime or being part of any kind of
6 criminal activity or rebellion, were you?
7 A. As for me personally, I have no criminal record. You know how old
8 I am. I was never convicted of anything. I don't owe anyone anything. I
9 can look everyone in the eyes with a clear conscience.
10 Q. Number 14, which I'll just go over quickly we talked about this,
11 this is a calendar that you filled in these -- these dates which were
12 important to you once you had left the municipality and once you had left
13 the RS. Right?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. And as we said the first mark was the 23rd and 24th of May, and
16 that related to the --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he has testified about this already,
18 Mr. Nicholls, and he also explained when and where he made those -- he
19 entered those marks, markings on the calendar.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: I guess the only thing is I don't know I just don't
21 remember, 23rd and 24th of July, I think it's clear what those dates those
22 related to what happened in -- that he testified about in the village.
23 Excuse me of June.
24 Q. You marked the 23rd and 24th of July. What happened on those
25 dates? And I think -- yeah, please tell me what happened then.
1 A. You mean (Redacted) or in Karlovac, in June?
2 Q. In July, you successfully left Bosanski Novi municipality,
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We redact that.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was when the UNPROFOR convoy
6 arrived with their own trucks and freight vehicles. We were parked on the
7 road in Bosanski Novi for about five or six hours. On the road from
8 Bosanski Novi to Krupa, so we boarded these trucks and crossed over to the
9 Croatian side, to Dvor. We waited again in Dvor for quite a long time.
10 We were apparently waiting for some people who had been detained at the
11 stadium to join us. Some of them arrived, some of them didn't, and after
12 that, we continued on our way to Karlovac, and from Karlovac on to
14 Q. This is towards the end of July?
15 A. We didn't stay long in Karlovac. Maybe two or three days. We
16 stayed in the open air, in a field. We had some mattresses, food. We
17 didn't stay there long.
18 Q. I think that's just about all the questions I have for you. The
19 only last point is you -- you said to me the other day, just sort of out
20 of the blue, that with all that had happened to you and your family, you
21 felt fortunate. Why is that? Could you explain that?
22 A. Well, I can't really understand those neighbours of mine, and I
23 wonder to myself how come none of these people managed to escape? How
24 come they didn't even try to escape? And then I understand their
25 reasoning. Why should I be running away from my own home, from my own
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 land, when I'm not guilty of anything? And I personally believe that I
2 would never be running away by night, if the army comes, I wouldn't
3 surrender to anyone of my own because I didn't trust anyone. I would
4 sooner run away and save my life.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: No further questions. And I'd like to admit these
6 new documents, they need exhibit numbers, 1633.1 through 1633.14.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. Nicholls. They are so
9 MR. NICHOLLS: And they should be under seal, I think.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: They will be admitted under seal, Madam Registrar.
11 I take it, Mr. Trbojevic, that you prefer to start your cross-examination
12 tomorrow or right now? We have got five minutes left.
13 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would prefer to
14 start in the morning.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. How long do you expect your cross to
17 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] 30, 40 minutes. I don't think it
18 will take longer. But if I may draw your attention to the last sentence
19 uttered by the witness, it was not correctly interpreted.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
21 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] The witness said something to the
22 effect that the army had no clear orders, that chaos reigned and the
23 interpretation didn't mention that.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, sir, you have heard what Mr. Trbojevic has just
25 said. Is he correct? Is he right? Did you express yourself in those
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know what the
3 gentleman means. What I was trying to say is that there were no clear
4 orders, nobody knew who was saying what. It was the reign of chaos. I
5 could have killed anyone without being punished. I had my own rifle. I
6 could have done what I pleased. How this gentleman here understood my
7 meaning, I really don't know.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls? Okay. So that brings us to the
9 end for today. We will reconvene tomorrow morning, please God, 9.00. And
10 sir, you're expected to finish your testimony tomorrow so that you can
11 start making your own preparations to return back home. Thank you.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
13 1.43 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
14 the 5th day of February, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.