1 Tuesday, 20 May 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you follow the proceedings in a language you can
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down. Appearances for the
16 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours, it's Joanna Korner,
17 Julian Nicholls, assisted by Denise Gustin, case manager.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you. Appearances
19 for the Defence?
20 MR. CUNNINGHAM: [Microphone not activated]
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for the counsel.
22 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Sorry, Your Honour. David Cunningham, Barbara
23 Baruch, and Vesna Anic assisting the Defence.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank and good morning to you, too.
25 Any preliminaries before we bring in the witness?
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I do have a couple of matters to raise
2 but I think they can wait until after the witness is concluded.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. May I draw your attention, Ms. Korner
4 and the Defence team as well to a decision given by Trial Chamber II in
5 the Stakic case on the 16th of May?
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that was one of the matters I was going
7 to raise, but I can do that very quickly.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
9 MS. KORNER: I'm not sure that it was actually copied to the
10 Defence in Brdjanin.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: In fact it wasn't copied to the Defence, and this is
12 one of the reasons why I'm raising it in open court so that they become
13 aware of it if they are not already aware of it. Because it does have a
14 bearing in one way or more with regard to the protective measures that may
15 need to be put in place regarding the military expert.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I spoke to Judge Schomburg's legal
17 officer yesterday who asked whether it should be copied to the Defence and
18 I said it should. So they should be getting it at -- the Defence in this
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
21 MS. KORNER: But, Your Honour, all we would simply ask is: As
22 Your Honour rightly says we have under the rules we had to apply for the
23 variation in protective measures to the Stakic Trial Chamber. They in
24 summary have said: We don't mind, that it's up to you the judges of this
25 Trial Chamber what protective measures you impose. Your Honour, we
1 withdrew our original filing because we were told we had to go back to the
2 Stakic Trial Chamber. If Your Honour wants, we can refile that because
3 the variation we are asking for is indicated in that, but I imagine that
4 the Defence of Brdjanin must have had the original filing in any event.
5 All I'd ask is that Your Honours make a decision, without us having to
6 refile, unless Your Honours feel it's necessary.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: But if it has been withdrawn, Ms. Korner, how can I
8 reactivate it? You'll have to file it again.
9 MS. KORNER: All right. We will refile it.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a very simple procedure, but technically it has
11 been withdrawn so it's not before us.
12 MS. KORNER: All right. We'll refile this afternoon or this
13 morning, thank you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: So that's number 1. Number 2, Ms. Korner probably
15 you are aware there is Mr. Ackerman's response or the Defence response to
16 your 92 bis motion regarding Bosanski Petrovac, and also the Defence is
17 raising objections to the various Bosanski Petrovac exhibits that
18 reference was made to yesterday.
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I do want to raise that response. I
20 have a little bit to say about it and how it impacts on the next witness.
21 But it may well be this will take a little longer, so I wonder if we could
22 leave it to the end of this witness.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly.
24 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's bring the witness. Anything from the
2 Mr. Cunningham: No, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. So let's bring the witness
4 in. And usual precautions, Madam Registrar, while he walks in, to make
5 sure exactly.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Good morning to you, sir.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Before we proceed, may I ask you to repeat the
10 solemn declaration that you made yesterday, please.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
12 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 WITNESS: WITNESS BT91 [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Please be seated.
16 Madam Baruch?
17 Cross-examination by Ms. Baruch: [Continued]
18 MS. BARUCH: May the witness have Exhibit P1800 in front of him.
19 Q. Good morning, sir.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. I'd like to clear up something about this exhibit. Perhaps you
22 haven't testified about it but it's relevant to other testimony in this
23 case. I want to see if you agree with me with regard to the items on this
24 exhibit, which unfortunately I do not have in my own language. That's why
25 I need your analysis of it. Could you briefly look through the sentences
1 in this exhibit, and I can point out some of the particular ones, item 5,
2 which I think is on the second page -- I'm sorry, item 7 on the second
3 page. I'm trying to establish, Mr. Witness, that everybody in this list
4 of convictions did not get the same sentence and everybody did not get the
5 maximum sentence. So we'll just review a few of them. Item number 7,
6 that person only was given a fine; is that correct? Do you agree?
7 A. Yes. That's what it says here.
8 Q. Thank you. And I apologise but I have to ask you that because we
9 weren't provided it in my language.
10 And he was -- person number 7, he was convicted of the same
11 offence, that is listed next to your name, one of the later numbers, I
12 think number 34, is that -- do you agree he was convicted of the same
14 A. I don't know. This is the first time that I'm seeing this, and
15 seeing the conviction of this person. I don't know who was convicted for
16 what reason.
17 Q. Well, then, let's go through it a little more slowly. Item number
18 7 where it says "Bog" --
19 MS. KORNER: Can I interrupt for a moment? To save time, Your
20 Honours, if this is an important document, we will arrange for it to be
21 translated so that everybody can see what everybody got, rather than
22 spending time with the witness.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: We can even save time in another manner. I mean I
24 appreciate what you have just stated, Ms. Korner, but let me take over for
25 a minute or two, Madam Baruch, and I will put a question to the witness
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 myself, because I presume this is the -- ultimately the question that you
2 are meaning to put to the witness.
3 Witness, having gone through this document, it appears obvious
4 that there were several other persons charged and found guilty of exactly
5 the same crime, criminal offence, as you were. That is possession of a
6 firearm, illegal possession of a firearm or of explosives. The thing is
7 that you got three years, according to this decision in 1994, while it
8 seems that others got away with a different sentence. Some of them for
9 imprisonment but much shorter than yours, for a shorter period than
10 yours. Others by even a fine, just a fine. Do you have an explanation
11 for that? Can you tell us why you think you got three years and others
12 got less? Is that -- is it where you were --
13 MS. BARUCH: Not so much why but just that he agrees that
14 everybody did not get the maximum sentence.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: But I'm putting it to him because it appears from
16 the document itself even if you don't know the language, and by now I have
17 learned a little bit the language.
18 MS. BARUCH: Me too, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. So can you give us an explanation? Why
20 were you sentenced for three years, if we are talking of that rifle that
21 you even doubted whether you needed a permit for, and others got a fine?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't give an explanation. I
23 don't know what this is about. This is the first time I'm seeing this
24 document, and hearing of this.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I just raise one other matter? It
1 was put that three years was the maximum sentence. From what is that
3 MS. BARUCH: I'm just -- in response, Your Honour, he got a three
4 year sentence but others - I think he will agree - got as little as fines
5 or just a few days, 18 days.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: The point that Ms. Korner is making is that it seems
7 that you said not so much why but just that he agrees that everybody did
8 not get the maximum sentence.
9 MS. BARUCH: Yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that --
11 MS. BARUCH: That's all I'm --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: The source on which you're relying that three years
13 is the maximum?
14 MS. BARUCH: I don't pretend to even know the maximum, Your Honour
15 but I know at least that for my --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
17 So do you have an explanation why you were sentenced to three
18 years and others got much less than you?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't, because I don't know
20 about this. If I knew, I would have given you an explanation.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's proceed.
24 MS. BARUCH: Okay.
25 Q. So with the agreement that this document will be provided in
1 English to everybody, I need not ask you any more questions about this,
2 Mr. Witness.
3 My client, Mr. Witness, my client, who speaks your language, says
4 that yesterday an interpreter erroneously translated one of your answers.
5 So I would like some help from you in clearing up whether or not there was
6 a mistake, and here is what the question is about. I asked you if later
7 on, when you were in detention, you learned about other people who had
8 rifles or weapons in Lisnja at the time that weapons were supposed to be
9 turned in, and it was translated: I said did anybody give you that
10 information, not question you about it but give you information, that is
11 your other detainees? And the answer that I got in English is: "Well,
12 when talking between each other, we would hear that because all of us were
14 Now my question to you is this: My client said your response
15 was: "Some people said they had weapons and some people said they did
16 not." Is that your answer?
17 A. I can't recollect now what I said yesterday, whether I said it
18 this way or that way. There were stories to the effect that there had
19 been weapons and that there had not been weapons.
20 Q. Okay. That's what I wanted to clear up.
21 Now, in your statement --
22 MS. BARUCH: Your Honour, perhaps we need to go into closed
23 session because I want to talk about his statement.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go into private session, please.
25 [Private session]
12 Pages 15933 to 15938 – redacted – private session.
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
17 MS. BARUCH:
18 Q. So, Mr. Witness, did you spend a lot of time watching these
19 political programmes from Serb -- on Serb television?
20 A. No, I didn't. On average, depends.
21 Q. Well, you just said "on average." How often would you watch
22 political programmes on Serb television in a week? Or didn't it interest
23 you much?
24 A. Well, let me tell you, I can't give you a period of time since I
25 don't know it. I can't tell you what I watched last month, let alone what
1 I watched ten years ago.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move to another topic, Madam Baruch.
3 MS. BARUCH: Sure.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
5 MS. BARUCH:
6 Q. In your statement, Mr. Witness, you talked about the Muslim
7 representatives from the village of Lisnja passing on the order to
8 surrender guns two times. Who were the Muslim representatives from the
9 village of Lisnja, to your knowledge?
10 A. I know that it was conveyed on the first occasion. On the second
11 occasion I wasn't there so I don't know. At the time, Gvozdjar, Enver,
12 and Mirsad Pekic, I think were the contact persons.
13 Q. Were those the only two Muslim representatives to the Prnjavor
14 assembly from Lisnja?
15 A. I don't know that.
16 Q. Okay. You said yesterday that the relationship between Lisnja and
17 the authorities was good. Did you need any special permits to travel out
18 of Lisnja in 1992?
19 A. What do you mean? To go abroad?
20 Q. No. I mean to travel within Bosnia.
21 A. I don't know when it started, but one needed permits to go to
22 Banja Luka. Not for Prnjavor, but if you wanted to go to Banja Luka you
23 needed to obtain certain permits.
24 Q. Did you ever obtain such a permit?
25 A. I think that I did not, because in the beginning, one could still
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 travel in a normal way and later on they introduced permits.
2 Q. And everybody needed a permit to go as far as Banja Luka; is that
4 A. I don't know that. Most probably everybody needed it because
5 there were some checkpoints along the way.
6 Q. Do you know where those checkpoints were?
7 A. I heard that they were somewhere in Klasnice.
8 Q. Was there a checkpoint in Lisnja?
9 A. No.
10 Q. I have a question about the patches on the uniform of some of the
11 soldiers you saw. I think you described them or agreed with Ms. Korner
12 that it was something about white eagles. When did you see patches that
13 would tell you the soldiers were white eagles?
14 A. When the soldiers were on the truck, one could see the insignia,
15 and the story going around was that those were the eagles. That was the
16 first and the last time that I came across them.
17 Q. Okay. So would it be correct, Mr. Witness, that in fact you
18 couldn't get a very clear view of the patches on the truck that just drove
19 through, but later on somebody told you that they were eagles? Would that
20 be correct?
21 A. One could see the patches, not quite well, because the truck was
22 on the move. However, the story going around was that they were eagles
23 and that's what they were shouting as they drove.
24 Q. What did they shout as they went?
25 A. They were shouting, "We came to kill you, we are going to kill
1 you. This is a Serb state." And things like that, along those lines.
2 But I would like to point out once again that they didn't harm anybody.
3 They simply passed through.
4 Q. I understand that they didn't harm everybody. You made that quite
5 clear. And I think you've also just clarified that you didn't really get
6 a good look at their patches. Would that be correct?
7 A. I said yesterday that I saw some patches. I think they were white
8 and of a certain shape. I'm not very familiar with those patches but
9 that's when I saw them.
10 Q. I understand that you saw patches, they were white and a certain
11 shape, and you aren't familiar with them. Did you conclude that this unit
12 or this division was -- these soldiers were from the white eagles because
13 that was the rumour in the village, that's what the villagers or someone
14 told you?
15 A. Perhaps, because there was a comment and that was concluded.
16 Q. You said yesterday that a patrol came looking for you, and for
17 others, and suggested or indicated that you decided with someone else that
18 he would not go to the SUP office with you and that he was SDS. Who was
19 that person? I'm sorry, SDA.
20 A. Yes. That was Rahimic, Osman, I think is his first name.
21 Q. Osman Rahimic went with you -- was talking with you before you
22 went over to the SUP station? The man that we talked about yesterday who
23 had been hiding in the woods for some days? That man?
24 A. Yes, yes. That very man.
25 Q. By the way, have you ever seen a written statement or has anybody
1 talked to you about a written statement by Mr. Rahimic?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Have you seen any videotapes or statements by anyone other than
5 A. No.
6 Q. You said you were a SDA member when you were in Germany. Can you
7 tell me what one did to become a member of the SDA? Did you pay dues?
8 Did you sign some kind of a membership application? How did you become a
10 A. Just like with any other party. One becomes a member, pays
11 membership dues, and so on.
12 Q. Do you remember when and where you paid your membership dues?
13 A. I paid my dues in Cologne in Germany, but when, I couldn't tell
14 you that.
15 Q. Before you actually paid dues to become a member, had you ever
16 attended a SDA meeting?
17 A. Well, no, not really. I don't believe I did. We socialised, got
18 together in Germany.
19 Q. I think --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. What year was this, sir? When you
21 became a member of the SDA in Germany? What year are we talking about?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I arrived in Germany - I don't
23 exactly know which month - but that was in 1993.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm establishing this because then you can regulate
25 more or less your questions as to relevancy, because if we are talking
1 about 1993, in order to proceed with the questions on his SDA membership,
2 we need to tie it up with the events that happened before or significant
3 events that happened later that have a connection with the previous events
4 in any case.
5 MS. BARUCH: Okay.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks.
7 MS. BARUCH:
8 Q. I think yesterday you said that you had driven a SDA member to
9 Sarajevo when you went to visit one of your relatives there, before your
10 detention. Did you say that?
11 A. Yes. I remember that. I didn't take him there as a SDA member.
12 It's just that I went to Sarajevo myself and he asked me if he could come
13 along and I said yes.
14 Q. And was that in the year 1992?
15 A. No. I think it was before that, because in 1992, one couldn't
16 pass through to Sarajevo. That was way back while the roads were still
17 open and passable, when people moved around normally.
18 Q. Would that have been the case in 1991?
19 A. Most probably.
20 Q. And so you said we would socialise and get together. Did many of
21 the people that you socialised with and got together with, were they
22 members of the SDA?
23 A. How would I know? It's a private matter.
24 Q. I would imagine, Mr. Witness, that since the multi-party system
25 was rather new in the former Yugoslavia at that time that many people
1 would talk about political affiliations. Did you never do that?
2 A. No, I didn't. I was never very active in party policies.
3 Q. You said party policies or did you mean politics?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Probably it's the translation, a translation error
5 because it's party politics that we talk of.
6 MS. BARUCH:
7 Q. Do you agree with that, Mr. Witness? And this Mujanic that you
8 saw at the police station, what was his name, please?
9 A. Mujanic. I think his first name was Semijad or something like
11 Q. Okay. And you saw his name on the exhibit, right? The one that
12 we looked at before?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. Who told you that your wife had turned in the rifle to the
16 A. Well, when we talked in the culture centre, my wife told me.
17 Q. Oh, so you didn't know until she told you at the culture centre
18 that she had actually turned the gun in; is that correct?
19 A. Well, I naturally didn't know. I didn't know anything since I was
21 Q. Okay. So then just so that I understand something. You said when
22 you went to the police station on Monday, you were interrogated and you
23 were interrogated in SUP and later moved over to -- I think you were
24 interrogated, sorry, in MUP and then later moved over to the SUP cells.
25 At that point, you didn't know that your wife turned the gun in; is that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. I didn't even know that there was a request to surrender weapons.
3 I didn't know anything.
4 Q. Okay. So then when the police were questioning you, I think you
5 said his name was Dragan Mehtic, was he asking you about your having any
6 weapons at that time, before you went to the cultural centre?
7 A. Since that was -- that went on quite briefly, he didn't really ask
8 me anything. He just asked me what the situation was like in Lisnja and
9 things like that.
10 Q. So Dragan Mehtic at the police station, before you went to the Dom
11 Kultura never asked you about guns; is that your testimony?
12 A. Well, that wasn't really an interrogation. They left me standing
13 there alone all by myself to wait.
14 Q. I think there were about two days time before you went to the
15 cultural centre. That whole time you were just waiting, not interrogated?
16 A. No. It wasn't two days. I spent one day sitting in an office and
17 then the second day, or I don't know whether it was during the night or
18 during the day, they transferred me to a cell.
19 Q. And until you went to the cultural centre, nobody questioned you
20 about guns? That's your testimony?
21 A. No, no. Nobody asked me anything in the cell.
22 Q. Or at the police station?
23 A. No.
24 Q. I'm going to change the topic now. I want to talk about
25 Mr. Milankovic. You recall that you said that you saw him at the Dom
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And at that time, he was wearing civilian clothes but you
4 recognised him because you had seen him before in Knin; is that right?
5 A. No.
6 Q. You didn't recognise him at that time?
7 A. How could I --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think the problem is he never
10 mentioned the Knin.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly.
12 MS. BARUCH: Okay.
13 Q. So did you recognise Mr. Milankovic from some place else that you
14 had seen him, Mr. Witness?
15 A. I saw Mr. Milankovic before the war broke out.
16 Q. Where was that?
17 A. Well, in town. I used to see him.
18 Q. And you told this Court that you knew that he had several
19 convictions and was a criminal. Do you recall saying that? Before the
21 A. As far as I remember, I didn't say he was a criminal. I said that
22 he had that reputation, as an offender, somebody who had been convicted
23 several times, and that was his deportment in general.
24 Q. Thank you. That's what I was trying to find out, whether that was
25 a reputation that other people had told you about, because my question to
1 you, Mr. Witness, is: Isn't it true that the Milankovic, the Veljko
2 Milankovic that you saw at the Dom Kultura was actually pretty nice and
3 very considerate of the health and welfare of the people who were being
4 detained? Isn't that true?
5 A. At that time, his attitude was exactly what you described.
6 Q. Okay. So everything that you observed about Milankovic at that
7 time was of someone who was making sure that detainees had food and water
8 and could see their families and their families could bring them bedding
9 and what they needed, correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. Okay. I just was trying to make sure that we understood that what
12 you personally observed about Mr. Milankovic was very different from what
13 you had heard in the past. We agree about that, don't we?
14 A. I agree with that.
15 Q. And not only did Mr. Milankovic reassure you about your safety but
16 you also said the police chief came and reassured you about the safety and
17 the guards even told you that the conditions would be very high at the
18 Sloga factory, correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. And --
21 A. The chief acted in similar way as well.
22 Q. And as time passed, the guards didn't even continue to accompany
23 you to toilets, they let you wander around the grounds, you and the other
24 detainees, correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And all along the time that you were there, there were people who
2 had been questioned but were being released and so conditions improved on
3 a daily basis while you were there at Sloga; isn't that true?
4 A. True.
5 Q. And when you were interrogated, the people who were interrogating
6 you, they were concerned about weapons and organised opposition to the
7 authorities at Lisnja, those were what they were questioning about; isn't
8 that true?
9 A. Well, topics were different. They would ask you why this, why
10 that, what state are you living in, and there were all kinds of topics.
11 Q. I'm sure that they were wanting to know something about you
12 individually, but didn't you see the big picture of their questions was a
13 concern about security, who was having weapons, who was organising
14 opposition? Didn't you gather that from the questions and your
15 conversations with other detainees?
16 A. Well, they asked things like, are you a member of the SDA? Are
17 you this, are you that? The questions were non-specific. There had been
18 no prior incidents in Prnjavor caused by people from outside.
19 Q. Do you remember Ms. Korner saying to you: Did he ever admit to
20 being involved in organised, armed combat? You remember she asked you
21 that yesterday? And you said: I couldn't answer that because -- I
22 couldn't admit to that because I wasn't present at organised, armed
24 A. I don't even know that there was any such thing. That's why I
25 couldn't answer.
1 Q. Yes but my question is: That's what you were being sometimes
2 interrogated about, weren't you?
3 A. Resistance, I don't know, nothing.
4 Q. Okay. You were being asked about resistance but you didn't know
5 anything, correct?
6 A. How could I know? I wasn't there, was I?
7 Q. Maybe it's the interpretation, Mr. Witness. My question doesn't
8 go to whether you could know or couldn't know, but the questions that you
9 were being asked, they were trying to find out about armed resistance,
10 weren't they?
11 A. I don't remember that they asked me that.
12 Q. Okay. Now, you said yesterday that you started your compulsory
13 work obligation before you left Sloga. Isn't it true, Mr. Witness, that
14 everybody was mobilised and some people refused mobilisation?
15 A. I don't know anything about people refusing mobilisation.
16 Q. Well, were you mobilised? Did somebody call you up to fight?
17 A. No, no. I wasn't. The only mobilisation I had was my work
19 Q. Nobody ever called you up to serve in the army? In the military?
20 A. From the beginning of the war, no.
21 Q. From the beginning of the war until you left to Germany, no,
22 nobody ever told you you were being mobilised? Do I understand that
24 A. Nobody asked me to go to the front. They only told me that I
25 should do work obligation and I responded to that.
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13 English transcripts.
1 Q. I'm sorry for being so confused but I heard that everybody of
2 military -- every man of military age who was healthy was mobilised at
3 that time. Did you ever hear anything like that?
4 A. I don't know.
5 Q. Did you ever hear that Izetbegovic had announced publicly that
6 Bosniaks should refuse mobilisation? Did you ever hear that rumour?
7 MS. KORNER: Can we identify the --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't hear that either.
9 MS. KORNER: Can we identify the period that we are talking about.
10 MS. BARUCH:
11 Q. Prior to the time that you left for Germany, January of 1993, so
12 we are talking about 1992 and even 1991, did you ever hear --
13 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, no, there is a real difference between the
14 mobilisation in 1991 and the mobilisation in 1992.
15 MS. BARUCH: That's fine, Ms. Korner, thank you for that. I will
16 rephrase my question.
17 Q. In 1991, did you ever hear that Izetbegovic ever said Bosniaks
18 should refuse mobilisation?
19 A. I personally didn't hear that.
20 Q. And in 1992, did you ever hear, even by rumour, that Izetbegovic
21 said that people -- Bosniaks should refuse mobilisation?
22 A. I personally didn't hear that.
23 Q. Okay. And in any event, it wouldn't have affected you because you
24 would never have received a mobilisation order, correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Okay. I'm sorry, sir, I don't remember exactly how old you were
2 but would you agree that in 1991, you were a male of military age, capable
3 of being in the armed forces? Would you agree with that?
4 A. In 1990, I was seriously ill and that is probably why I wasn't
5 called up. I have documentation proving that I was seriously ill at the
7 Q. I'm sorry to hear that. Can you tell me what that was?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session and is it really
9 important, Madam Baruch?
10 MS. BARUCH: I'm trying to find out about how long it would have
11 lasted and things of that nature.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So you can direct the witness to that question.
13 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
15 MS. BARUCH:
16 Q. Did you ever, Mr. Witness, have any conversations or hear that
17 there were Muslims in the Lisnja commune or Lisnja area who had very
18 extremist views?
19 A. I don't know. I can't say that because I simply don't know.
20 Q. That's fine. When we ended the session yesterday, I was referring
21 to the place in your statement where you said that you saw people in the
22 jail cells, that would be before you went to the Dom Kultura, whose name
23 was Seperovic, Halilic, and if you give me a second, one other, Dzinic.
24 And at the time you gave your statement, you said: "I can remember their
25 given names in time." Can you tell me, I think you said it was Abdulah
1 Seperovic. What about Dzinic? Do you remember his first name?
2 A. There were a few Dzinics and they lived a bit further from me in a
3 different village.
4 Q. Well, perhaps I can just direct you to where I'm getting this
5 information. I see in the statement that you gave the Prosecutor's
6 investigator that you said, and I'm going to quote to you, from page 3 of
7 your statement:
8 "As they walked me out of the cell, I walked past this cell in the
9 same building that had bars. I could see that inside this cell were many
10 men from Lisnja, including the family names of: Abdulah, Seperovic;
11 Dzinic; Halilic and others. I can remember their given names in time."
12 Now, after all of this time, since you gave your statement, do you
13 remember who you saw in those cells by the name of Dzinic and Halilic?
14 A. There were a few of them. I don't know who you mean. I know
16 Q. I can't help you further because I was reading from your own
17 statement, Mr. Witness.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I just interrupt? That last answer
19 will have revealed who he was.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. You are right.
21 MS. KORNER: Could we have that redacted and I'm grateful to
22 Mr. Nicholls who actually spotted that.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
24 Witness, as far as possible, try not to mention relationships or
25 names or events that would reveal you're identity.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, also at this point, I appreciate this is
2 Ms. Baruch's first cross-examination but I am at this stage asking what
3 the relevance of this is and whether we could move on.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: What is the relevance of this particular question,
5 your last question?
6 MS. BARUCH: Yes.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Or last series of questions.
8 MS. BARUCH: Yes. It was to tie it to the other people who had
9 been convicted of possession of weapons and also so that we know when he
10 talks about a person in his statement, just exactly who they are. But I'm
11 about to leave this area, since I've assumed -- I must assume,
12 Mr. Witness, that you cannot remember the first names of the people that
13 you saw. Would you agree?
14 A. I can't remember. Maybe if I saw him now, I would.
15 Q. Okay. And I want to go back to Sloga for a minute. Did you know
16 or hear at the time that you were at Sloga that there were at least two
17 Serbs detained at Sloga who had sold Bosniaks guns illegally and grenades
18 illegally and that they were detained at Sloga during the time you were
19 detained there?
20 A. I don't know if they were. There were stories to that effect but
21 there was not much communication between --
22 Q. Okay. So I think we've established you didn't know to your own
23 knowledge but you had heard that, correct?
24 A. Yes. There were stories and rumours about this person being there
25 or that person being there.
1 Q. So when you said that there were only Bosniaks at Sloga, you
2 aren't exactly sure because you didn't know everybody who was at Sloga or
3 what their ethnicity or background was. Would that be correct?
4 A. I didn't know. I was not in the position to know it. It was not
5 up to me to know everybody.
6 Q. Just for purposes of what somebody else has said, would it be
7 correct or incorrect that everybody in Prnjavor was -- everybody was
8 wearing a military uniform in 1992? Is that correct or incorrect?
9 A. When you say all, I don't know who you mean.
10 Q. I'm trying to find out if everybody, all the males, at least, were
11 wearing military uniforms in Prnjavor in 1992. Is that correct?
12 MS. KORNER: Town or municipality?
13 MS. BARUCH: Let's keep it as municipality, Mr. Witness.
14 A. The question is not clear. I don't know who you mean, men, women,
15 where, how?
16 Q. Okay. Would it be correct that in 1992, in Prnjavor municipality,
17 you would see men in civilian dress?
18 A. Yes, of course. There were men in civilian clothes.
19 Q. Okay. And that would be true even if Prnjavor, the town? You
20 would see men in civilian clothes; isn't that true? Yes?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. Okay. And even Serb men, you saw Serb men who were wearing
23 civilian clothes? For example, you told us Milankovic was wearing
24 civilian clothes. Isn't that true?
25 A. Yes. When he arrived to see us, he wore civilian clothes.
1 Q. Okay. I'm just trying to establish - help me here, if you can -
2 that Serb men in Prnjavor in 1992, at least some of them were wearing
3 civilian clothes, not everybody was wearing a military uniform, correct?
4 A. Correct. People who worked in the municipal building and such
5 other places, they wore civilian clothes.
6 Q. And even young children, even Serb young children, they would be
7 also be wearing civilian clothes in Prnjavor, the town and the
8 municipality? That would be correct too, isn't it?
9 A. Of course, of course.
10 Q. Okay. Now, you gave your statement October 25th of 2001, which
11 was I think about nine years after the events that you recorded, and at
12 that time, you spoke with an investigator from the Prosecutor and there
13 was an interpreter present. Does that comport with your recollection?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you remember the name of the investigator?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Would you agree that it was Paul Brady or you just have no idea?
18 MS. KORNER: That's Grady.
19 MS. BARUCH: Grady, I'm sorry, thank you. My typing is poor.
20 A. I don't remember the name.
21 Q. That's okay. How long did you speak with Mr. Grady in October of
23 A. I don't recall the exact time. We talked for a while.
24 Q. Was it more than one day that you spoke with him?
25 A. No, no.
1 Q. And did you speak with an investigator from the Prosecutor on more
2 than one occasion back in 2001?
3 A. Only once.
4 Q. And the next time you saw somebody from the Office of the
5 Prosecutor was the day before you began your testimony, on Sunday?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And did you -- how many statements did you give? Did you give
8 only one written statement to your knowledge?
9 A. Yes, only once, down there.
10 Q. And during the time that you spoke with Mr. Grady back in 2001 and
11 also on Sunday, did anybody, Mr. Grady or any other person from the Office
12 of the Prosecutor or any other person who was present, did they show you
13 any documents or videotapes?
14 A. The only thing I read was my own statement.
15 Q. Did you ever contact the Office of the Prosecutor after having
16 given your own statement to say that something in your statement was
17 incorrect or misleading? Did you ever do that?
18 A. I don't know -- what specific period do you have in mind? When I
19 gave the statement, the statement remained the same. Now, when I have
20 read the statement, there -- I may have come across some tiny
22 Q. Okay. My question was: Since October 25th of 2001, did you ever
23 contact the Prosecutor or attempt to contact the Prosecutor to tell them
24 that there was something you thought needed to be changed or added to?
25 MS. KORNER: Can I just make it absolutely clear so that
1 Ms. Baruch knows, the witness doesn't keep a copy of the statement.
2 MS. BARUCH: I was just going to ask him that.
3 MS. KORNER: I think Your Honours know the system but Ms. Baruch
4 doesn't. The witness is not supplied with a copy.
5 MS. BARUCH:
6 Q. Did you ever contact the Prosecutor to say that you wanted to add
7 something to the statement that you had given them?
8 A. No.
9 Q. The reason I ask, Mr. Witness, is because there are three things
10 that you have come to court now that -- to tell this Court about that you
11 didn't mention at the time. October 25th of 2001. And I'm wondering if
12 you had a full and fair opportunity to tell the Prosecutor the
13 investigator for the Prosecutor everything that you knew with regard to
14 the Brdjanin case back in 2001.
15 A. I told them what I knew.
16 Q. And they mentioned --
17 A. And it was a long time ago in any case.
18 Q. Okay. And you were told that the investigator was talking to you
19 because of the Brdjanin case; is that correct?
20 A. When I gave the statement, I just gave the statement about the
21 situation in Prnjavor. I wasn't told which cases would be used in.
22 Q. You weren't told that your statement would be used in this
23 particular case; is that right, Mr. Witness?
24 A. At that time, we just gave our statements. There were a few of us
25 who gave our statements. We didn't know anything. We just gave our
2 Q. Can you tell me where you gave your statement? In what facility?
3 A. There is a building, I don't know who belongs to, in Sanski Most
4 this was, and I don't know whose building it was. It was a building, just
5 a building, not any important building.
6 Q. And did you all give your statements at the same time?
7 A. They called me. I went there, gave my statement, and went on to
8 tend to my own business.
9 Q. Of course, Mr. Witness, but you said there were a few of us who
10 gave your statements. Did the few of you either travel together or go
11 into the -- excuse me, or go into the waiting room together or go in and
12 give your statements together?
13 A. I was on my own when I gave my statement, and I heard that other
14 people had also given their statement. When and how, I don't know.
15 Q. Were you told who the other people were who had given their
16 statement? By anybody.
17 A. No.
18 Q. Okay. Aside from speaking with the Prosecutor's investigator back
19 in 2001 and on Sunday when you spoke with somebody from the Office of the
20 Prosecutor, have you talked about your testimony with anybody else?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Have you ever in your lifetime had any instruction or assistance
23 with regard to how to testify or how to phrase your testimony?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Have you discussed what you might say here at the Tribunal with
1 any other person besides the Office of the Prosecutor including friends or
2 relatives or officials or representatives of any entity or organisation?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Have you kept any notes with regard to the incidents that occurred
5 in 1991 and 1992, private notes, for yourself?
6 A. No, I haven't kept anything.
7 Q. Would it be correct, Mr. Witness, because I have heard so, that in
8 1991 and 1992, there were frequent outages of electricity in the
9 Lisnja-Prnjavor area, maybe even wider than that area? Was that correct?
10 A. Yes. There were outages, yes.
11 Q. And would it be correct, then, that if you watched television,
12 when you watched television, it would have been during the day? Would
13 that be correct?
14 A. When there was no electricity, we couldn't watch television, and
15 it was not that the electricity was out every night.
16 Q. Okay.
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, while Ms. Baruch is looking can I say I
18 did a check and it's right to say that my instructions are that the
19 witness read through the bundle of documents from Prnjavor as well as his
20 statement when he was here on Sunday. I want to tell Ms. Baruch that.
21 MS. BARUCH:
22 Q. So, did you forget, Mr. Witness, that you did read a bunch of
23 documents as well as your own statement - would that be correct - on
25 A. I just skirmished through them, but I didn't know that you were
1 also asking me about that. I just skimmed those documents.
2 Q. But, Mr. Witness, I'm asking you about every document that you
3 reviewed prior to giving your testimony. It's quite important. So you
4 have seen quite a few documents; is that right?
5 A. Yes. I saw the document about the sentencing. That's what I
6 saw. And some orders, military orders that I saw for the first time.
7 Whatever I saw, I saw those things for the first time in my life, and
8 that's what I said yesterday.
9 Q. Okay. So any information relating to those documents, you didn't
10 have that before you actually were shown the documents; is that correct?
11 A. That is correct. The only thing I saw before that was my own
13 Q. You said yesterday that one of the guards who had beaten up one of
14 the detainees at Sloga was drunk at the time and came back and
15 apologised. Do you know that guard's name?
16 A. I know the guy very well. He is from a neighbouring village but I
17 can't recall his name.
18 Q. Do you remember the name of the person he apologised for hitting?
19 A. Dzinic was his last name. And his nickname was Celija, but I
20 can't remember his first name.
21 Q. Okay. Did the person who had hit you, did he apologise to you?
22 A. No.
23 Q. I think you said in your statement that you didn't tell any of
24 your fellow detainees that you were hit. Do you agree with that?
25 A. I didn't understand.
1 Q. Is it correct that you did not tell any of your fellow detainees
2 that you had been hit?
3 A. This is correct. I didn't tell anybody.
4 Q. And when you say "anybody," you mean anybody at the time, you
5 didn't tell any other guards, you didn't tell any authorities, you didn't
6 tell any other detainees?
7 A. The guards were there. They were present.
8 Q. My question is whether you told -- reported it. Did you report it
9 to any other people who hadn't been there?
10 A. No. No. I didn't report it to any of the detainees, and one of
11 the guards was present when this happened.
12 Q. But you didn't report it to his superior; is that correct?
13 A. I believe that he was the most superior one, the one who hit me.
14 I don't know who it was. I don't know his name.
15 Q. Why did you believe he was the most superior one?
16 A. Because he came from Banja Luka. I thought that he had a higher
17 authority, than the others, but I don't know his name.
18 Q. I want to ask you a question about the structure. Was it always
19 the case that the police, to your knowledge, were supervised for that
20 region, the region of Prnjavor, were supervised from Banja Luka? From
21 Banja Luka police?
22 A. I don't know. I don't know anything about those legal
23 structures. I really wouldn't know that. I don't know how this was.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We need to stop here because we have already
25 gone beyond the time limit that we have. We'll have a break of 25
1 minutes. Thank you.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Brdjanin is here. Let's bring the witness in,
5 please, and we'll proceed.
6 Yes, Mrs. Baruch.
7 MS. BARUCH: Yes, Your Honour.
8 Q. I only have a few more questions, Mr. Witness. The compulsory
9 work detail that you did, was that an alternative to military service?
10 A. I couldn't tell you that.
11 Q. Did you know other people who refused to be mobilised who also you
12 saw at compulsory work detail?
13 A. While I was there, there were perhaps some 200 or 300 people who
14 had a work obligation, and later on, depending on the need, that number
15 would grow. There were all kinds of people.
16 Q. After you were released from Sloga, you knew some people who
17 weren't being detained who were in compulsory work detail, correct?
18 A. When they released us from Sloga, we rested for a day or two, and
19 then some people were added to the group that had arrived and we started
20 with our work obligation. We worked at two or three sites. I really
21 don't know all the people and I don't know who worked there.
22 Q. Did you have conversations with your fellow workers, the people
23 you worked with, in which perhaps one or two would say, "I refused
24 mobilisation and that's why I'm here doing this work detail"?
25 A. I didn't discuss that. I don't know about that.
1 Q. So you didn't speak with your fellow workers about their
3 A. No.
4 Q. And of course at the end of the day when you finished your work
5 detail, you were allowed to go home and you were not under guard, correct?
6 A. While working, at the site where my group worked, there were no
7 guards there. The kitchen was established and things were in order. I
8 have to be frank about it.
9 Q. Okay. Mr. Witness, again, you know I don't speak your language
10 and my client says that at the end of our conversation about these
11 soldiers that passed through your town, that had some kind of an emblem,
12 that you said -- my client tells me that in your language, you said: "If
13 they were or weren't white eagles, I don't know." Is that correct?
14 A. The story going around was that there were. Now, whether they
15 were or were not, I don't know about that.
16 Q. Thank you. That's what he said you said. I just wanted to get
17 the translation correct. And just one other short area, the guard who had
18 hit you that day, who said you lied to him, did he have any insignias or
19 rank on a special uniform? Or was he wearing what all the guards wore?
20 A. That person was not a guard. He was an interrogator wearing
21 civilian clothing.
22 Q. Okay. And everything you know about him, somebody else told you
23 where he was from, what his position was; is that correct?
24 A. Well, I heard that he was from Banja Luka and that he came from
25 something called DBO.
1 Q. I understand that. I just wanted to make sure that that was
2 something you heard, somebody else told you, it wasn't because of a
3 uniform and it wasn't because this person -- this -- the man himself told
4 you that. Would you agree with me?
5 A. He didn't say anything, and he never wore a uniform. Always
6 civilian clothes.
7 Q. Thank you very much.
8 MS. BARUCH: I pass the witness. Thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Baruch. Is there re-examination?
10 MS. KORNER: Just one matter, please.
11 Re-examined by Ms. Korner:
12 Q. The soldiers who drove through your village shouting at you and
13 asking why you'd surrendered your arms, it was suggested to you that you
14 didn't know whether or not these were Serbs or not. Can you think of any
15 reason why Muslim soldiers would have done this?
16 A. I don't believe that it exists.
17 Q. That what exists, I'm sorry?
18 A. I don't believe that there was a possibility for Muslims to do
19 that, especially in Prnjavor municipality, where there was a relatively
20 small number of Muslims living. There were fewer Muslims there than in
21 some other municipalities. So they really could not have organised it,
22 the Muslims.
23 Q. I want to return just briefly to this question of why you called
24 them white eagles. Were you able to see as they drove through your
25 village the patches on their uniforms?
1 A. As far as I could see, I can't tell you whether all of them had
2 same patches, and on one of their arms they had something resembling an
3 eagle with outstretched arms and there were shouts to the effect, the
4 eagles, and things like that.
5 Q. The regular army, the JNA, or the TO, did they have those types of
6 patches on their uniforms?
7 A. No. The Territorial Defence had uniforms of the former JNA, the
8 regular type of uniforms that the JNA used.
9 Q. And what type of uniforms were they that these men in this lorry
10 were wearing?
11 A. They had some darker looking uniforms, multi-coloured ones, and
12 then they had black bandanas, masks, and then gloves without fingers. So
13 they looked different from the uniform worn by the JNA.
14 Q. Yes. Thank you very much, sir. That's all that I ask.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Ms. Korner, by any chance, did you
16 intend showing the witness any photos?
17 MS. KORNER: No, I didn't.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So as far as Sloga factory is concerned,
19 you stick to the diagram, the sketch that he made.
20 MS. KORNER: I do, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Any questions?
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, Ms. Baruch is --
23 MS. BARUCH: Am I permitted to ask two follow-up questions?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Not really, no, but if there is something
25 extraordinarily important, sometimes we do make an exception but very
1 rarely so.
2 MS. BARUCH: I don't think it's extraordinarily important. I'm
3 sure the Court can conclude the same as me.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So we leave it at that. And, sir, that brings us to
5 an end. I do not have any questions to ask you. Neither do my two
6 colleagues, Judge Janu at my right and Judge Taya. It is -- the only
7 thing remaining for me to do before you leave this courtroom is to thank
8 you for having come over to give your testimony. You will now be escorted
9 out by the usher, and you will be given all the attention and -- you
10 require, you need, to enable you to return to your country. I thank you
11 once more.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: So next --
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour may I deal now because I propose to leave
16 court with Your Honour's leave -- oh, to deal with the next witness, but
17 can I first of all raise the exhibits produced through these witness?
18 Exhibit P1780 was under seal which contains this witness's name. 1781 was
19 the photograph of Milankovic. 1782, the photograph --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
21 MS. KORNER: The photograph I'm just checking Your Honour just in
22 case -- I just want to make sure I have produced them all properly. 1782
23 was the photograph of the patch showing the wolf. 1783, again under seal,
24 was the witness's sketch.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 MS. KORNER: And 1800, again under seal, was that criminal file
2 which we've undertaken to get translated. And that I think is all the
3 exhibits that were produced.
4 May I raise the question of Mr. Ackerman's objections to the
5 Petrovac documents and explain what I see as a problem? Can I tell Your
6 Honour, I don't imagine Your Honours have the binder with you for
8 JUDGE AGIUS: No.
9 MS. KORNER: But every document bar 2 is objected to for the
10 reasons so-called set out in this motion.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
12 MS. KORNER: Now, Your Honour, I was under the impression that
13 this sweeping assertion that AI -- anything that came from AID was suspect
14 or forged had gone by the board for two reasons. The first being that in
15 the Prijedor municipality, although there were documents from AID, no
16 objections were raised, and the second being that many of the documents
17 from AID had been accepted by the Defence and indeed used to their
19 Your Honour, you will recall yesterday I said this and
20 Mr. Ackerman said no. The problem which arises is a twofold one. First,
21 if this whole scale and sweeping objection is maintained, then in order
22 for Your Honours to add any -- give any weight or credence to the
23 exhibits, I have to show indicia of reliability. That I can do with the
24 next witness who is very familiar with many of these documents but I will
25 to have go through with him those documents, and that will take
1 considerable time, as Your Honours know. Otherwise, I will be making a
2 selection with some reluctance as Your Honours know because I like to read
3 documents to the Court.
4 Your Honour, so in any event, can I say again, not one iota of
5 evidence has been put before the Court to show that these documents are
6 forged. Or that documents as a class come from AID must necessarily have
7 the stigma of a potential forgery.
8 The second matter is this: Your Honour will recall that yesterday
9 Mr. Ackerman had told the Court that he'd sent an e-mail saying he was
10 missing a number of documents, and I asked if those were specified, and I
11 was told yes. Well, we've now looked at the e-mail and, Your Honour, it
12 is clear that if the e-mail is correct, Mr. Ackerman has been objecting to
13 documents that he's never seen. He's just looked at the index, seen that
14 they came from AID and objected. And not only AID these days, also from
15 the police department at Bihac because some of the documents come from
17 Your Honour, many of the documents have stamps and signatures
18 which come from AID and to which objection is taken. Your Honour, in
19 addition to that, there is an objection to a -- one of these news reports,
20 the thing they used from Banja Luka Radio and there has never been any
21 objection to that before. The objection as stated, it's P1832, is
22 unreliable news report. And I'm not sure I follow that objection at all.
23 The only two that are not objected to is P1813, because that was obtained
24 from Mr. Blagojevic [phoen], the secretary to the regional assembly in
25 Banja Luka, and then the Crisis Staff, and one which is 1841, because it
1 was submitted by the next witness. But in actual fact, the witness
2 submitted other ones as well, although it doesn't appear on the index,
3 because we have used the copy we obtained from AID.
4 Your Honour, if I may say so, I don't think, and I understand that
5 perhaps because of the circumstances, in which Mr. Ackerman was, that he's
6 applied his mind to this at all, and I would ask that before the witness
7 is called, we hope sometime tomorrow, to begin, that perhaps Mr. Ackerman
8 might reapply his mind to these objections because as I say, Your Honour,
9 I'm extremely conscious of what Your Honour said yesterday about the
10 time. I'm anxious not to have to waste time but it's important because
11 these are important documents, that we establish to Your Honours'
12 satisfaction that they are documents on which Your Honours may rely and
13 that I will have to do if this objection is maintained.
14 Your Honour, the other problem is raises is this: It is clear
15 that the next witness probably won't finish today. Therefore, Mr. Hidic
16 will not start until sometime tomorrow and then we have Thursday and then
17 we have a Friday court maintenance. Next week, as Your Honours know, we
18 have arranged for Mr. Kieser, who is the gentleman, the expert, from
19 UNESCO to be here. I'm sure Your Honours will appreciate that he's a man
20 with many, many travelling commitments because of his job and it's very
21 important that we get him on on the Tuesday. We have a witness who is
22 supposed to be coming next week, who equally cannot afford to be away from
23 work for the length of time that it might be suggested. One of the
24 problems is that VWS will only bring a witness here on Friday or on
25 Monday. The witness is due to testify on Monday but again it looks
1 unlikely that he's going to get on. One of the solutions would be if Your
2 Honours were to have any influence with VWS, that they would agree to
3 bring him here on a Sunday night so that he needn't be away from work
4 otherwise from the Friday through until the Thursday. But, Your Honour,
5 those are the problems. I think the most urgent one at the moment to sort
6 out is if Mr. Ackerman can have another look at his objections to these
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Madam Baruch or Mr. Cunningham?
9 MR. CUNNINGHAM: If I may speak to this, I will talk to
10 Mr. Ackerman as soon as we leave the Court and get in touch with the
11 Prosecution to see what can be done about these exhibits, to ensure that
12 this case moves as expeditiously as possible.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: If I may, I would suggest to you, Mr. Cunningham,
14 that you try to do this during the next break rather than after the
16 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Very well.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Because if you can come back with some kind of a
18 feedback from Mr. Ackerman, that can be communicated to Ms. Korner before
19 we adjourn today, that will be better.
20 I think you will appreciate that if we are talking of documents
21 that the Prosecution needs to refer the next witness or the next couple of
22 witnesses to, I mean, we need to decide on the matter by not later than
23 tomorrow morning. Preferably, I would prefer to decide orally today, if
24 that is possible.
25 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I will call him during the next break and report
1 back to the court.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I appreciate that. Thank you.
3 So next witness doesn't enjoy any protective measures, if I
4 remember well, no?
5 MR. NICHOLLS: That's correct, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So let's bring the next witness in.
7 MS. KORNER: And if Your Honours will excuse me?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner, you are excused. Thank you.
9 With regard to the other witness that you mentioned possibly
10 bringing him on Sunday, let's talk about it again tomorrow. We should be
11 in a better position to make an assessment of where we stand because also
12 we have Friday, which is off this week, so that may be problematic. In
13 that case, I will intervene tomorrow straight away with the office.
14 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much, Your Honour, I'll raise the
15 matter tomorrow.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you and welcome to this Tribunal. I
19 will be explaining a few things to you before you start giving evidence.
20 The most important thing that we must go through, in the first place, is
21 that you are required under our rules that before you start giving
22 evidence you make a solemn declaration equivalent to an oath that in the
23 course of your testimony, you will be speaking the truth, the whole truth
24 and nothing but the truth. The text is contained in a piece of paper that
25 the usher is going to hand to you, and my request to you is to read that
1 aloud and that will be your solemn declaration with this Tribunal. Thank
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
4 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 WITNESS: RUSMIR MUJANIC
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down. Very briefly,
8 you're here to give evidence in this trial, which has been instituted
9 against Radoslav Brdjanin. I am the Presiding Judge, my name is Carmel
10 Agius. I come from Malta. I am flanked on my right by Judge Janu from
11 the Czech Republic and on my left by Judge Taya from Japan.
12 You will first be asked a series of questions by Mr. Nicholls,
13 whom presumably you have met already. You have a duty to answer each and
14 every question that he asks of you as fully and as truthfully as possible
15 unless we stop you from answering a particular question.
16 He will be followed by the Defence team for Mr. Brdjanin, I don't
17 know who will be conducting the cross-examination. It will be
18 Mrs. Baruch. And again, your duty is to answer each and every question
19 that is forthcoming from the Defence, as truthfully and as fully as
20 possible. You have no right to draw -- to make a distinction between
21 answering questions coming from the Prosecution and answering questions
22 coming from the Defence. They both have the same rights and you have just
23 got one obligation: To answer truthfully and fully. Thank you.
24 Mr. Nicholls, he's in your hands.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours.
1 Examined by Mr. Nicholls:
2 Q. Sir, I'm going to try -- as I told you when I first met you,
3 things move quickly in this courtroom. We are going to try to get through
4 most of your testimony or all of it today, so please remember try to
5 answer my questions as directly as you can while still making your answers
6 as complete. Could you please state your name and where you were born.
7 A. My name is Rusmir Mujanic. I was born on the 5th of January,
8 1962, in the village of Lisnja, Prnjavor municipality.
9 Q. And you are a Bosniak; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, you grew up in Lisnja and spent most of your life there other
12 than your military service, and after going to school there --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. After going to school there, you opened your own company, a
15 logging company, which worked in the area and also in Croatia; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So although you travelled around, from the time you were born up
19 through December 1992, your home was Lisnja; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 MS. BARUCH: Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
24 MS. BARUCH: I have tried not to make objections to leading
25 questions by the Prosecutors when they just involve preliminary matters
1 but once we get into more important events, I'm going to object to leading
2 questions by the Prosecutors and so I will try to -- at this point but
3 understand that I do have general objections to leading by the
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, they will take your objections one by one
6 as they come along. Thank you.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm going to move through
8 this background quickly is the reason I'm doing this.
9 Q. You were married and had a family and had your life in Lisnja up
10 until 1992. Now, were you interested --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In 1991, what were your main interests? Were you interested in
14 A. No. I was mostly doing agricultural work and so on.
15 Q. Well, did you follow political developments on the television, in
16 newspapers, or on the radio?
17 A. I wasn't that interested in it.
18 Q. Now, did you belong to any political party in 1991 or 1992?
19 A. No.
20 Q. I'd like to ask you a couple of questions about your village and
21 your municipality that you grew up in and lived in. If I could give --
22 MR. NICHOLLS: This is a new map, Your Honours. I'd like to give
23 to the witness.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Do we have it or not?
25 MR. NICHOLLS: I hope so.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Does it have a number already?
2 MR. NICHOLLS: This will be P1801.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: So we don't --
4 MR. NICHOLLS: We don't have it numbered.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Presumably we don't have it, because the map that we
6 have does have a number already. Thank you. You gave me a blank.
7 MR. NICHOLLS:
8 Q. Sir, could you just take a look at that map of Prnjavor
9 municipality for a second and let me know if that looks like a reasonably
10 fair and accurate map of the municipality.
11 A. Yes. This is Prnjavor actually, not Prijedor.
12 Q. Yes, Prnjavor, sorry if I said Prijedor. Can you please point to
13 your village, Lisnja.
14 A. [indicates]
15 Q. Thank you. Now, what was the ethnic composition of Lisnja? Who
16 lived there? Was it Muslims, Serbs, Croats, other people?
17 A. Lisnja was 100 per cent Muslim village.
18 Q. And about how many homes were there in Lisnja? How many houses?
19 A. Around a thousand houses. I'm not in the position to give you a
20 correct number.
21 Q. And I'm speaking in early 1992, say January 1992, what was the
22 population of Lisnja, your best estimate?
23 A. I would say 20 per cent or 10 per cent, between 10 and 20 per cent
24 had been living in Germany, working there.
25 Q. But in numbers of people, how many Muslims lived in Lisnja, do you
1 think, at the end of 1991, say, beginning of 1992? If you don't know,
2 that's okay.
3 A. I don't know the exact number but I would say between 4.000 and
4 5.000, according to my estimate.
5 Q. Now, the village is marked in green on this map, Puraci, Mravice,
6 Galjupovci, and Konjuhovci, are those in the correct places on the map, as
7 far as you remember Prnjavor?
8 A. Yes. Galjipoljci, for example, this is a mixed village, Serbs,
9 Croats and so on.
10 Q. Can you just tell me very briefly, those villages I've just named,
11 the other ones marked in green on this map, what was the ethnic
12 composition of those villages? Who lived in those villages?
13 A. Mravice, for example, was a Muslim village. Konjuhovci as well.
14 Galjipoljci was a village with mixed population. Puraci is also part of
16 Q. Okay.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: I think I'm done with that for now, if that could
18 be entered into evidence.
19 Q. Now, briefly, when you were working and you had your company and
20 you worked in Croatia, before the war in Croatia started, what were the
21 relations like between Muslims and Serbs in Prnjavor?
22 A. They were good. There were no problems at all.
23 Q. What happened to your business, to your profession, after the war
24 in Croatia started?
25 A. Because of the war in Croatia, the business simply died down. We
1 could not work any more. We had to dismiss people, because there was just
2 no work there any more.
3 Q. How many employees did your company have before it was closed
5 A. Up to 50 people.
6 Q. And what was the ethnic makeup of your employees? Were they all
7 of one ethnicity or different -- were Serbs and Muslims employed by you?
8 A. There were Muslims, Serbs, even Croats. We didn't really pay any
9 attention to the ethnicity of these people.
10 Q. Okay. Now, I don't expect you to remember exact dates from 10,
11 11, 12 years ago, but can you tell me when things began to deteriorate in
12 relations between the Muslims and the Serbs in Prnjavor and in Lisnja?
13 A. Let's say in 1992, these relations started being tense, when the
14 parties started promoting themselves and one could already feel the
16 Q. What about in 1991, in your statement you talked about a rally
17 that you heard about. Can you tell me about that.
18 A. Yes. In Prnjavor, there was a rally which was held by this guy
19 Zelenbaba and he said, "Sell your cow, buy yourself a weapon." And they
20 were singing ethnic songs and one could hear them over the loudspeakers.
21 Q. Just to be clear, were you at this rally or did you hear about
22 this from somebody else?
23 A. I heard that.
24 Q. Okay. Now, did your family remain with you all through 1992 or
25 did they go somewhere else?
1 A. I could sense that something bad would happen, I had a
2 premonition, so I sent my wife and my children together with my father to
4 Q. And approximately when was that that you sent them out of
6 A. I can't remember the exact date, but in any case, it was in April.
7 Q. Okay. That's fine.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd like to show the witness P82, please.
9 Q. Sir, I believe you looked at this -- I believe you looked at this
10 document before you testified. This is a security services centre Banja
11 Luka 20th of September, 1991, report on the activity of armed groups on
12 the centre's territory.
13 MS. BARUCH: Excuse me, I don't have that in -- I don't believe --
14 oh, yes, I do, I'm sorry.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
18 Q. I'm not going to go over this whole document, sir. I think you
19 read pages 1 to 3 before. If you start looking at page 2 on your B/C/S
20 version, that's the page with a footnote at the bottom of the page,
21 footnote 1, Milankovic. That is the bottom of the first page of the
22 attached report on the English version. Have you found that page? I can
23 provide my page in B/C/S if that's -- all right.
24 Now talking about armed groups on the Banja Luka security services
25 centre territory, the paragraph in the middle of the page, in the B/C/S
1 version, states: "Particularly characteristic is a group of about 30
2 armed persons from the Prnjavor area. Since 11 July, when they returned,
3 uniformed and well armed with pistols, automatic weapons, bazookas, and
4 grenades from training in the SAO of Krajina this group comprised
5 initially of 25" --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow down for the
7 interpreters. Thank you.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: I apologise.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Ms. Baruch, I see you and Mr. Cunningham
10 lost. We are at bottom of page 1 of the report.
11 MS. BARUCH: Thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So you skip the first two pages of the document,
13 which is a letter, and then you come to the report itself and it's the
14 bottom -- the last paragraph on the first page.
15 MS. BARUCH: Thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead. And please slow down, Mr. Nicholls,
17 because I don't want the interpreters to feel -- to have problems.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, I apologise.
19 Q. "This armed group comprised initially of 25 persons, mostly," and
20 it says where they are from, "but later joined by a few other persons, has
21 been consistently committing brazen and gross violations of law and order
22 since their arrival, their overall activity has been complicating and
23 exacerbating the security situation throughout the municipality and even
24 beyond. According to intelligence gathered so far, the most extreme in
25 these activities manifested by this group are Veljko Milankovic," and then
1 some other persons are named. And the footnote to Mr. Milankovic states,
2 who his father is, that he was born in 1955 in Kremna in Prnjavor and has
3 been criminally prosecuted seven times and brought before a misdemeanour
4 court 17 times and is the leader of the group operating in the Prnjavor
6 And if we look a little further to the next paragraph, I'll
7 paraphrase, and you can read along, that this group has been making their
8 existence known through firing guns individually and as a group, and in
9 villages and also at religious and other gatherings and at public
10 meetings, where they are causing problems. The next paragraph states that
11 this group on local and main roads at gunpoint and in a drunken state,
12 they stop vehicles and citizens, demand to see identification papers,
13 conducts searches, insult people, and abuse them.
14 Finally, if we skip the next paragraph, and follow on --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down.
16 MR. NICHOLLS:
17 Q. We see that this group individually and as a group, they provoke
18 and harassed the Muslim population with the aim of precipitating
19 interethnic fighting. The centre of Prnjavor in the presence of a large
20 number of citizens, some of them were aiming their weapons at the cars of
21 Muslim individuals. And then it talks about shooting and harassment of
22 the Muslim population.
23 Does that - what I've read to you - agree with your version, the
24 B/C/S version?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, you were present during this time in 1991. Could you please
2 tell the Court whether you agree with this Banja Luka security services
3 centre assessment of the situation and problems in Prnjavor?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Were these types of incidents, the types of incidents you were
6 referring to in your statement where you say: "Problems were beginning to
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, in what --
10 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm done with that, thank you.
11 Q. In the document we have just looked at, it talked about the --
12 Veljko Milankovic's group setting up checkpoints, harassing people. Can
13 you tell me if you were aware of checkpoints being set up in 1991 in your
14 municipality and who was manning those checkpoints?
15 A. Yes. Veljko Milankovic had the checkpoint on Vucjak. Then there
16 was a checkpoint at the fish farm, and later on in Lisnja but yes that was
17 later on.
18 Q. Now, these other checkpoints, who was in charge of these
19 checkpoints? If you arrived at one of those checkpoints, who was going to
20 stop you?
21 A. The army that belonged to Veljko Milankovic, the so-called wolves.
22 Q. I -- what I'm getting at is: Were there other checkpoints that
23 were manned by anybody else, by police or military or any other groups?
24 A. We as the TO had the right to control Muslims and others whoever,
25 if we found that there was something suspicious. That was the authority
1 that we had.
2 Q. Okay. Now, who ordered the setup of these checkpoints, as far as
3 you know?
4 A. Our order arrived from Banja Luka, Captain Nedjo was showing it to
5 us because I was also a member of the TO.
6 Q. Okay. We will talk about the TO as a subject in a minute. So now
7 when you're talking about checkpoints, orders from Banja Luka, you're
8 talking just, you're talking about TO checkpoints; is that right, to be
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, who was -- you've just said Captain Nedjo. Who was Captain
12 Nedjo and what was his ethnicity?
13 A. He was a Serb, and he was a captain in the Territorial Defence of
15 Q. Now, these checkpoints that were set up, TO and otherwise, could
16 Muslims, Serbs, and Croats all pass through those checkpoints without
17 problems, or did the checkpoints apply differently to different people,
18 did different ethnicities have more or less difficulty passing through
19 these checkpoints?
20 A. For example, as one left Lisnja to go to -- towards Mravice, there
21 was a checkpoint. I knew these people, they asked for IDs, if you didn't
22 have your ID on you, then they will tell you to go back. You couldn't
24 Q. And my question is: Were these restrictions applied to people of
25 all ethnicities equally? Was it just as hard for a Serb as a Muslim to
1 get through one of these checkpoints?
2 A. No. This was only for Muslims, for just one ethnicity, or rather
3 for Muslims and Croats.
4 Q. Now, you were a member of the TO; is that what you started to say
5 a minute ago?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. If you remember, approximately, when were you mobilised, called
8 up, into the TO again and issued a weapon?
9 A. Very hard for me to answer that question. It was a long time ago,
10 but I believe it was in 1991.
11 Q. All right.
12 A. In late 1991, that is.
13 Q. Okay. And tell me just briefly about your TO unit. Was that a
14 Lisnja unit or just for the village of Lisnja or did it encompass a wider
16 A. It was the Territorial Defence of Lisnja village but there were
17 also five Serbs from neighbouring village, so it was a mixed TO.
18 Q. Okay. If there were five Serbs from a neighbouring village, how
19 many Muslim TO members were there from Lisnja?
20 A. There were around 40 of us altogether, I should think.
21 Q. And were you issued a weapon once you were called up of mobilised
22 as a Lisnja TO member?
23 A. Yes. I had a machine gun. There were two machine guns in the
24 village and there were also M48 rifles with 30 bullets each and my machine
25 gun had 150 bullets.
1 Q. And briefly can you tell us what a M48 rifle is, what kind of
2 rifle is that?
3 A. Those are old rifles, God knows how old they were. Some of them
4 were even out of order, out of the 30 that we had, maybe half of them were
5 in a proper working order.
6 Q. Thank you. And just briefly, can you tell the Chamber about what
7 your duties were as a TO member at that time? What activities did you
8 engage in as a TO member?
9 A. We made sure that there were no unrests in the village, or if
10 somebody carried illegal weapons, we had the authority to take them away.
11 So we made sure that nobody created any problems.
12 Q. Just one question: Why -- was it normal or did it seem surprising
13 to you that there were five Serbs from a neighbouring village in your TO
14 Lisnja unit?
15 A. I don't know. I found it normal. I did not make any distinctions
16 at all.
17 Q. And you stated in your statement that in around March of 1992, the
18 problems really started. Can you tell us what you meant by that, what
19 kind of problems started or escalated in and around March?
20 A. We were patrolling during the night, it was in Puraci. We were on
21 the main road. We could hear gunfire. There were tracer bullets to be
22 seen. And we could hear singing and then there was the other exit towards
23 Glavica [phoen] which is another Serbian village. There one could see the
24 inscription on the asphalt, this is Serbian land, and one could see and
25 witness all sorts of provocations.
1 Q. You said you could hear singing. Can you be a little more
2 specific about why you -- what kind of singing that was or why it would
3 bother you or create apprehension in you?
4 A. For example, there was gunfire and there were -- the songs, the
5 words were, "You are a goner, Alija," Alija being a synonym for a Muslim.
6 And then there were other words saying, go away to Turkey; in other words
7 this meant -- well, this is a Serbian land, and there is no room for you
9 Q. Were there any problems other than that with other shooting events
10 or with people driving in Lisnja shooting? Can you describe any other
11 events that you experienced?
12 A. Yes. On the main road between Banja Luka and Prnjavor and
13 Derventa, as lorries would pass by, probably carrying ammunition, they
14 were escorted by combat helicopters, there were troops there, and they
15 would shoot towards the houses and they didn't even think twice whether
16 there was maybe somebody in those houses, they would break the glass on
17 the windows of these houses.
18 Q. Now, specifically, you said lorries and carrying ammunition.
19 Which -- do you know which soldiers these were or who these people were?
20 A. That was the army, I don't know. The Serbian army.
21 Q. And as a TO member, did you report these incidents or try to do
22 anything about them?
23 A. Yes, we did. We reported to Captain Nedjo but nobody reacted to
24 that and nobody tried to prevent these things, and we ourselves didn't
25 dare do anything on our own.
1 Q. Why didn't you just -- we can move on, but why didn't you dare as
2 a TO member to do something on your own? I mean, there were 40-odd
3 members and you had some arms.
4 A. If somebody came to attack us, how would we have defended
5 ourselves? The weapons we had were no weapons at all. We were a minority
6 there, as a matter of fact.
7 Q. All right. Now, I want to move on to another topic, also about
8 weapons. At any time were the people of Lisnja called upon to surrender
9 their weapons? I'm not talking just about the TO.
10 A. Yes. There was a meeting and the security captain was there,
11 Captain Nedjo was there, and also there was a guy from Banja Luka, an
12 officer, I don't know who he was exactly, and there were three of our
13 representatives there, and we were required to hand over our hunting
14 rifles. And they gave us two or three days deadline to do it, and then we
15 did it and we took all these weapons to Prnjavor.
16 Q. Now, how did you -- if you remember, how did you find out about
17 this order to turn over hunting rifles? Was this communicated by the
18 police, by the military, by civilian authorities, or was it just something
19 you heard from a neighbour? How did you find out about this requirement?
20 A. Well, there was this meeting and our representatives were there,
21 there was somebody from Banja Luka, there was a security officer, there
22 was Captain Nedjo there, with the police of course, and the police
23 informed us -- actually it was our representatives who informed us about
24 this requirement to turn over the weapons.
25 Q. Okay. Just for clarity, were you present at this meeting?
1 A. I was not.
2 Q. What happened to the two machine guns which had been issued to the
3 TO -- to your TO unit?
4 A. Captain Nedjo came and he said they are needed at the battlefield
5 since there was a shortage of weapons and we had to surrender them.
6 Q. And what about the M48 rifles?
7 A. They remained until the end.
8 Q. You were never specifically asked to turn that in?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Now, from what you heard about this meeting and the request to --
11 or the order to turn in weapons, can you just tell us a little bit about
12 what your representatives told you about how urgent this was? I mean, was
13 this sort of an optional activity that there was a request that you could
14 turn in weapons or were any threats made if this order wasn't complied
15 with? Tell us what the feeling in the community was when you heard about
16 this requirement to turn over hunting rifles.
17 A. We resigned ourselves to that. We knew what would happen if we
18 failed to surrender. Everybody had a good thought and decided that they
19 had to surrender weapons, and if we didn't surrender them, we know what
20 would have happened. They would have killed us because they already
21 started surrounding Lisnja.
22 Q. Who is "they" when you say "they" in that answer you just gave?
23 A. I mean the Serbs, police and the army.
24 Q. Who had started surrounding Lisnja at this time when there was an
25 order that the weapons be turned in?
1 A. There were troops there, soldiers, with the SAO Krajina insignia
2 and the police.
3 Q. Now, you said there was a deadline. Were there any threats made
4 of what would happen if the weapons were turned in? You said you thought
5 you knew the people thought they knew that they would be killed but were
6 any threats specifically made about what would happen if the weapons were
7 not surrendered?
8 A. Well, they said in order to avoid major consequences, it is better
9 to surrender weapons in order to avoid any problems.
10 Q. All right. So there was sort of a promise that there would be
11 peace and there wouldn't be problems if you did surrender the weapons?
12 Did I understand you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, if you know, did this surrender of weapons apply to all
15 ethnicities equally? Were Serb villages being disarmed at this time?
16 A. No. Just Muslims, non-Serb population.
17 Q. Now, how do you know that? What's your basis for knowing that, if
18 you could explain, please?
19 A. I can say that because Mravice also had to surrender weapons.
20 Only Muslims had to, as did Konjuhovci, Galjupovci, and so on.
21 Q. All right. Now, were weapons in fact surrendered based on this
22 order? And did you personally surrender any weapons, if you could answer
23 both those questions.
24 A. Yes. I have a brother-in-law working abroad, so I had two hunting
25 riffles, a sniper, and another weapon, and I surrendered that
1 immediately. I took that to the police, and a neighbour took us in a
2 truck there. In fact, he loaded us all in the truck and we went there and
3 surrendered that to police.
4 Q. Which police station was this? In which town?
5 A. In Prnjavor.
6 Q. And to whom did you physically surrender these guns? Can you sort
7 of describe the process? Were people lining up or were names called out?
8 What actually happened when you surrendered these weapons?
9 A. No. We were lined up in a row, carrying our weapons and as we got
10 there, we approached two policemen and as we surrendered the weapons, they
11 issued receipts to us.
12 Q. How many people did you see there surrendering weapons at the same
13 time that you surrendered yours? Was there a lot of people there or just
14 a few or --
15 A. Some people surrendered earlier. We had a three -- two- or
16 three-day deadline, so whenever people had time, they went into
17 surrender. We went in a group of perhaps 30 people.
18 Q. Okay. Besides the police who were present, was anybody else
19 present supervising the surrender of weapons?
20 A. Yes. There were soldiers there. I know that they had SAO Krajina
21 inscription on it. They cursed our mothers, they said: "Here you are
22 surrendering weapons. We are going to kill you." And so on.
23 Q. How many soldiers were there when you surrendered your weapons,
24 your brother-in-law's weapons?
25 A. I had my brother-in-law's weapons there. There were two trucks
1 there as well but we couldn't really look around because we knew that
2 there were quite tense, they were cursing us, cursing our mothers. We
3 knew that they were ready to kill us. That was their desire. They sort
4 of were there and were saying: "I hope -- we hope we did not come in
6 Q. Now, were these soldiers, did they appear to be just there or were
7 they taking part in the process, helping the police, in the taking of
8 these weapons?
9 A. They were invited to come there and we concluded that based on the
10 fact that they said to us: "We hope we didn't come in vain," that means
11 that they had been invited.
12 Q. Now, to your knowledge, did anybody from Lisnja refuse to
13 surrender their weapons and were there any further calls from the
14 authorities demanding that weapons be surrendered?
15 A. Nobody refused to obey. Everybody surrendered their weapons.
16 Q. Maybe I'm not being completely clear. You spoke in your statement
17 about some groups, two groups of men who took some weapons and ran off.
18 So I guess they didn't surrender them. Can you describe that, if you
19 remember it, that incident?
20 A. Those were other weapons. People who were issued automatic
21 weapons, then several days later, the same thing happened. They said that
22 if we failed to surrender weapons before noon, we would be considered
23 enemies and be killed. There was a group of people, some 20 to 30 people,
24 who indeed had been issued those weapons without ammunition or anything
25 else, and they left.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Nicholls, Judge Janu is drawing my
2 attention to a very important matter. Your previous question was --
3 contained two questions in one actually. And the witness answered only
4 the first part of the question and not the second. The question was:
5 "Now, to your knowledge did anybody from Lisnja refuse to surrender their
6 weapons?" That was answered. "And were there any further calls from the
7 authorities demanding that weapons be surrendered?" This part of the
8 question has not been answered.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: I apologise. That was a bad question. I think he
10 was just getting to it talking about the automatic weapons, but I can ask
11 that again.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please.
13 MR. NICHOLLS:
14 Q. You responded to a call to surrender weapons and you turned over
15 these weapons as you've told us about the process. After that, were there
16 any other calls besides the one you responded to, to surrender weapons?
17 You started talking about automatic weapons. Can you explain that,
19 A. Yes. That was the call to surrender people -- weapons that had
20 been purchased by people earlier, so there was a call to surrender those
21 weapons and there were no further calls to surrender hunting weapons.
22 Q. All right. And now you were saying that some people did not obey
23 that second call to surrender those weapons; is that right?
24 A. Yes. People were bringing in the weapons they had purchased.
25 That was in the culture centre. There were the premises of the local
1 commune there and this is where they surrendered the weapons. A group
2 came in and they collected those weapons and they went to an elevation
3 called Vinogradije.
4 Q. That group -- just to be clear, that group that you say took the
5 weapons and went to this area, were they Muslims or Serbs?
6 A. Muslims.
7 Q. And before we move on, how many -- how big was this group? How
8 many men were in this group that took the weapons?
9 A. 20 to 30 people.
10 Q. You served in the military for a couple years, correct, and you
11 were a member of the TO?
12 A. Yes. I was a member of the TO.
13 Q. And you saw the Serb -- the regular armed forces of VRS,
14 Milankovic's men, these other soldiers that you saw when you surrendered
15 your weapons, and the police. What kind of resistance do you think these
16 10 to 20 -- these 20 men could put up against all those other forces, if
17 they wanted to?
18 A. No kind of resistance whatsoever. They had no ammunition to begin
20 Q. All right. Now, I want to move on a little bit. There were these
21 tour surrenders of weapons. Other than this one incident you talked
22 about, people in Lisnja did surrender their weapons, that's what I
23 understand your testimony to have been. Did that secure the peace of
24 Lisnja? Did everything carry on peacefully after you obeyed those orders
25 or were there further problems?
1 A. When the weapons were surrendered, we were then surrounded from
2 all sides, Veljko Milankovic's men were there as well, police, then there
3 was a group from Laktasi, I know that for a fact. They surrounded the
4 village, dug out trenches. Then they told us that we have to leave the
5 village or else we would be considered enemies so we went down to the
6 sawmill and all of us went down there to the sawmill.
7 Q. All right. Now, how long after you had surrendered your weapons
8 did this take place, that there was this announcement that everybody had
9 to leave Lisnja?
10 A. Immediately after the weapons were collected, people started
11 fleeing. There was nothing else to do. Then they used a loud speaker to
12 announce to us that we had to leave the village, whoever failed to leave
13 the village would be considered an enemy.
14 Q. Now, try to -- if you can, try not to -- try to, if you can,
15 answer my questions specifically rather than saying "they" to refer to
16 people. That would be helpful. Who is the "they" who announced that
17 everybody had to leave the village? Who made the announcement over these
18 mega phones?
19 A. That was Radivojevic, Milankovic. They said that to us in Lisnja,
20 that we had to go down to the sawmill and if we didn't, we would be
21 considered enemy.
22 Q. All right. How -- how many -- where was the sawmill in relation
23 to the centre of Lisnja? How far away was that?
24 A. Not more than 2 and a half kilometres.
25 Q. And was this order obeyed? Did the people from Lisnja leave their
2 A. Yes. I was among the first to leave. I put women and children in
3 my tractor's trailer and I headed towards the sawmill. There was a column
4 of a kilometre and a half of people leaving. They couldn't go down later
5 on in trucks, cars and other vehicles, so they just left their belongings
6 and went down there on foot.
7 Q. The whole village?
8 A. Yes. Some people remained who had been working the land and they
9 didn't know about what was going on so there were very few people in that
10 group, and another group that remained were the handicapped persons and
11 the elderly who couldn't leave.
12 Q. All right. So virtually everybody who could, left; is that fair?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What happened at the sawmill when you got there and all these
15 hundreds or thousands of people arrived?
16 A. Well, we got down there to the sawmill and we were there, fenced
17 in by a wire. Nobody touched us there. I got rid of my uniform, as I
18 didn't have any weapons or anything else. Then a man came from the
19 Territorial Defence and Veljko Milankovic, and they started cursing and
20 they collected the weapons and that's how it was.
21 Q. And was the whole of the village able to be kind of contained or
22 were people spreading out? I mean, when you say "fenced in," can you
23 describe a little more for me what -- what it was like to be there that
24 day, after leaving your village.
25 A. Well, down there, some people were fenced in by wire and then
1 there was a restaurant called Europa there as well, and then there was a
2 house across the road that had a large basement and some people were in
4 Q. Okay. Now, you mentioned Veljko Milankovic, I think, was there
5 and we've read a little bit about him. But did you know who he was
6 before -- well, had you ever met -- did you personally see Veljko
7 Milankovic at the sawmill?
8 A. I didn't know him from before. Later on, I learned that that was
9 Veljko Milankovic. I had never seen him before, nor did I know him.
10 Q. But did you personally see this man who you later learned was
11 Veljko Milankovic, at the sawmill?
12 A. Yes. He was some ten metres away from me.
13 Q. All right. Now, other than his men, who -- who was in charge of
14 the sawmill? Who was guarding the people from Lisnja or telling people
15 what to do? Who was in charge there?
16 A. Veljko Milankovic, Radisic. There was another officer whom I
17 don't know.
18 Q. Now, I think we might have covered this but I don't remember if I
19 asked you: Do you remember the name of the unit or what the name was that
20 Veljko Milankovic's men was called?
21 A. Wolves from Vucjak.
22 Q. All right. Did they have any particular symbol or insignia or
23 patch that identified members of that unit?
24 A. Yes. They had an emblem with a wolf's head and there was an
25 inscription underneath saying Wolves from Vucjak.
1 Q. Did you see men wearing those patches when you were at the
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you said also that, if I heard you, that some more weapons
5 were surrendered at the sawmill. Can you tell me which weapons those
6 were? Just tell me what that was about.
7 A. Those were M48 rifles from the Territorial Defence, which nobody
8 requested us to surrender until the last day, and then that day when
9 Milankovic was there, all those weapons were collected. Also people who
10 had pistols with licences, also surrendered them because that's what
11 Milankovic and Radisic required them to do.
12 Q. All right. And this is a bit of a silly question, but why did you
13 surrender? Why were these weapons surrendered on that day? Why did you
14 agree and obey to give those weapons up to Mr. Milankovic?
15 A. We had to surrender them.
16 Q. What did you think would happen if you didn't?
17 A. They would have killed us.
18 Q. Now, how long were you personally detained at the sawmill? I take
19 it from your description that you weren't free to leave. But tell me how
20 long you were detained there.
21 A. Until the noon of the following day. That's exactly when they
22 released us.
23 Q. And was that everybody in the village or some of the people? Was
24 that the whole village was held for that time?
25 A. No. A group of, I don't know how many people, around 250 to 300
1 people left for Prnjavor in buses.
2 Q. When was that?
3 A. That was on the -- in the evening, they took away Senad, who had a
4 shotgun wound in his left shoulder, whereas the other people were driven
5 away in the morning at around 10.00.
6 Q. All right. And who were the people who were put on these buses
7 and taken to Prnjavor? Were those men, women, children, or a mix? Can
8 you just tell me.
9 A. Only men who were fit.
10 Q. Now, what else did you observe happening at the sawmill while you
11 were held there? Were the men and the women -- you said some men were
12 taken away by bus. Were the men women and the children from your village
13 allowed to mingle and stay wherever they wanted inside that area or were
14 they separated in some way?
15 A. Well, women mostly went to the restaurant and to the house, to the
16 rooms upstairs. So the women and children were there and in the
17 restaurant, whereas we remained outdoor.
18 Q. Now, while you were there, did you see or hear of Veljko
19 Milankovic directing any military operations or making any orders, not
20 just about people who were being held there or the surrender of weapons
21 but telling soldiers what to do?
22 A. Yes. I heard about that.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You heard about that or -- the question was
24 different. Did you see or hear of Veljko Milankovic directing any
25 military operations or making any orders? You didn't see but you heard of
1 it; is that correct?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I both saw and heard it.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: So you saw it with your own eyes and you heard it
4 with your own ears.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words, you heard the -- Veljko Milankovic
7 directing. You didn't hear of Veljko Milankovic directing, you heard
8 Veljko Milankovic himself directing military operations. Is that correct?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I wasn't far from him so I
10 could both see it and hear it as he was lining up his unit.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: The question was a little bit -- or hear of Veljko
12 Milankovic directing. And I could see that what he was saying was not
13 exactly in reply to your question. Or there was some kind of
14 misunderstanding in any case. So let's proceed, Mr. Nicholls. Yes,
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour, for clearing that up.
17 Q. Can you tell me what you saw and heard him directing, that the
18 military should do? And you referred a bit in your statement about the
19 movement of guns or artillery, can you tell us about that, if you remember
21 A. Yes. He wanted a multiple rocket launcher and recoilless gun to
22 be brought there and to be deployed in a village near Pavlovo Brdo. So
23 those weapons were brought in there and then they issued a half an hour
24 ultimatum. There was a Hodza, Jusuf, there and he wanted the young men
25 who collected the weapons to return and to surrender so that there would
1 be no problems there. So a lot of those young men returned indeed and
2 threw away their weapons and ammunition which they couldn't use any way.
3 As they were coming back, there were hitting these young men with butt
4 rifles -- rifle butts, and then Hodza returned as well, and then they
5 started shelling Lisnja.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to stop here for the time being. We will
7 resume in 25 minutes from now. Thank you.
8 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 12.57 p.m.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
11 MR. CUNNINGHAM: May I interrupt?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Cunningham.
13 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I apologise for the interruption. The Court had
14 asked me to contact Mr. Ackerman to determine what if any changes there
15 were in the Defence positions with respect to the objections that he
16 filed. He indicates to me that he wishes to stand which those
17 objections. At the end of the day, I will speak with Mr. Ackerman again,
18 if there is any change from that position, we will contact the Office of
19 the Prosecutor immediately and let them know.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And we will wait then and we will hand down an
21 oral decision tomorrow morning. Okay? Thank you.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. One point before we move
23 back to the testimony, the Prosecution would like, and if it's acceptable
24 to the Court, to consider sitting a full day on Thursday. That would be 9
25 to 12.30 and then 2 to 4.30 and also next week, to try to get caught up.
1 Ms. Korner has checked with VWS and they have no problems with that. I've
2 told Mr. Cunningham about that proposal in the break and I think the
3 Defence needs more time to think about it, but that's one idea we have to
4 speed things along if possible.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So you're suggesting this Thursday, 9 to --
6 MR. NICHOLLS: 12.30 and then a break and then 2 to 4.30 --?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Or 2.15.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: 2.15, whichever the Court --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Because usually it's 2.15, especially if there is an
10 another Chamber sitting, they -- what did you say?
11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
12 MR. NICHOLLS: That's why if it's possible it could move things
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's hear what the Defence has to say.
15 MS. BARUCH: I think we need to look at the witnesses and consider
16 that, but I do know one thing, Your Honour. My client is in a very small,
17 uncomfortable place in the back here, without a toilet in the room, and he
18 spends a lot of time, a lot of his time, waiting there like during our
19 lunch hours and things like that. Would it be a different courtroom, with
20 a different cell? Or did I understand Chuqing correctly that it would be
21 this courtroom?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: If I read Ms. Chuqing correctly, she is suggesting
23 that this courtroom, this particular courtroom, will be available
24 throughout the whole, the entire week. That's next week.
25 MS. BARUCH: I'm just pointing that particular problem out to the
2 JUDGE AGIUS: What I want to know is this: When we sit in
3 Courtroom III or in Courtroom I, is Mr. Brdjanin kept in a different room?
4 MS. BARUCH: When I appeared before the Court months ago, the cell
5 area that he had was bigger, with a bathroom in it, and somewhat more
6 comfortable. I'm not saying that a jail cell would ever be comfortable,
7 but this one in particular is very small and no bathroom there in it.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And is he kept in this small cell only when we are
9 sitting in Courtroom II?
10 MS. BARUCH: I can't -- if you give me a chance? Yes, sir.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I see. All right. Ms. Chuqing, where is she? She
12 is disappeared. Yes, Chuqing, we need to see first whether there is any
13 other courtroom available for us to sit the entire day next week. I
14 suppose --
15 THE REGISTRAR: It's impossible, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: It's impossible. So next thing I would like is to
17 ensure -- to see what the alternatives are, in other words, where
18 Mr. Brdjanin could be kept so as to lessen the inconvenience as much as
20 At the same time, Mrs. Baruch, this courtroom is usually used by
21 Trial Chamber III or Trial Chamber I, I think in another trial, one week
22 after the other, and the accused is kept therefore in this room. I'll see
23 what I can do. I'll see what I can do. In the meantime, do you agree
24 that we sit on Thursday extended hours on a different time schedule and
25 the entire of next week unless of course we have problems?
1 MS. BARUCH: May we please try it on Thursday?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: We will try it on Thursday, okay.
3 MS. BARUCH: And with some consideration for the comfort of my
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
6 MS. BARUCH: Okay, thank you.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We try it on Thursday, but we then need to know
8 because VRS would need to be put in a position where they can bring over
9 witnesses. In other words, we will have to organise ourselves.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: That's right, Your Honour. Thank you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So Thursday, Madam Chuqing? All right?
12 You need to make some adjustment to the Court schedule. 9 to 12.30. Then
13 resuming at 2?
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Whatever the Court prefers.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Resuming at 2.00, up to.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: 4.30 is what I'm told is the suggestion but
17 whatever fits your schedule.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Resuming at 2.15 and stopping at 4.30. Resuming at
19 2.15 and stopping at 4.30, all right with you?
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We try first Thursday and then we see.
22 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
24 Q. Sir, I want to go back to the question we were on just before the
25 break. I'm sorry that you had to wait through this scheduling matter that
1 had nothing to do with you. You stated - I believe it's off the screen -
2 that you heard and saw personally Veljko Milankovic asking or ordering
3 that this rocket launcher and recoilless gun be moved on a hill, and I
4 think you said they did it for him or something like that.
5 Can you tell me who it was that Milankovic was asking to move
6 these artillery or weapons on to this hill.
7 A. He was talking to an officer. I don't know who he was. I don't
8 know his name. But in any case, he was an officer.
9 Q. A VRS officer, is that what you mean?
10 A. Yes.
11 MS. BARUCH: I'm going to object to the Prosecutor leading the
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Where is he leading him?
14 MS. BARUCH: Just now when the witness said "an officer," and the
15 Prosecutor suggested the kind of officer as opposed, for example, to
16 Mr. Milankovic's office.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a perfectly legitimate question, Madam Baruch.
18 I accept it. Go ahead. He's not leading him. It's not what a leading
19 question is.
20 MR. NICHOLLS:
21 Q. You may answer the question, if you know the answer.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: And also, Madam Baruch, the practice of this
23 Tribunal as to leading questions, it's much, much more wide, it's much
24 wider than it is in any domestic jurisdiction that you know. The same --
25 that you are familiar with, as also with my jurisdiction. Here we proceed
1 unless it is absolutely very much undesirable to have the question put the
2 way it is put, we don't normally stop the attorney from using leading
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Now, were you able to see whether this order was carried out? In
7 other words, were you able to see any movement of a recoilless rocket --
8 of a rocket launcher or a recoilless gun?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, one other thing before the break you said that this was
11 Veljko Milankovic and you didn't know him beforehand. How did you find
12 out, if you remember, who told you that guy there is Veljko Milankovic or
13 could you specifically tell us how you learned who this man was who was
14 giving orders?
15 A. When this order was being issued, there was a neighbour of mine,
16 standing next to me, who knew him and he told me: Well, this is the guy,
17 this is Veljko Milankovic. I myself had not known him before that.
18 Q. All right. Then you started talking about how the Hodza went to
19 try to get some young men who had not surrendered their weapons and that
20 these men came back. Just to be clear, is this part of the same group of
21 people who you said took some weapons and went up into the woods or is
22 this completely unrelated to that group of people who took the weapons and
23 went up into the woods that you were talking about?
24 A. It is that same group of people who went up to that hill,
25 Vinogradije and then the Hodza came to them and then they returned, they
1 were beaten up, they were beaten by rifle butts, and then they were taken
2 behind Prnjavor.
3 Q. Okay. Now, we will move along but you've said this was the
4 village of Lisnja which was held at the sawmill. Did you see anybody you
5 knew who was of Serb ethnicity who was a prisoner there?
6 A. Yes. There was a man who used to come to us, we used to receive
7 Serb refugees and accommodate them in our houses. All the refugees were
8 then brought and taken away, and this Serb was the only guy who remained
9 there. He was curious to see what was going on. He says: Well, let me
10 see what's going on? You seem to be very good people here.
11 Q. All right. Other than him, were there any other of Serb ethnicity
12 you saw being detained at the sawmill?
13 A. No. I didn't see any other Serbs. He was the only Serbian person
14 whom I saw.
15 Q. All right. Now, did the people from your village who were held at
16 the sawmill offer any resistance that you saw while you were there? Did
17 they put up any fight against Milankovic or any of the other troops or
18 police who were there?
19 A. No. They didn't put up any resistance. They didn't try to
20 fight. They wouldn't have stood a chance, even if they had.
21 Q. And as far as you know, was there any resistance from the people
22 who had remained in Lisnja behind who couldn't come to the sawmill?
23 A. No. There was no resistance. They didn't have any weapons, so
24 nobody as far as I know put up any resistance. That's as far as I know,
25 because I was by the sawmill at that time.
1 Q. Okay. Now, could you actually see from your position by the
2 sawmill, the village of Lisnja or any part of it? Can you describe what
3 you could see of Lisnja.
4 A. You could see 65 to 70 per cent of the village of Lisnja from the
5 place where we were.
6 Q. All right. Now, I'd like to go through this bit quite quickly.
7 And I won't lead unless counsel doesn't object. But were you personally
8 threatened by any soldier or person --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Here for the --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Time being, just ask him whether he was threatened,
12 don't suggest by whom he could have possibly been threatened.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: I apologise, Your Honour.
14 Q. Were you threatened personally in any way, directly, while you
15 were held at the sawmill?
16 A. Yes. A person called Tito Potok asked me to start jump the
17 Mercedes but I couldn't do it. I don't know how to do that. So I said I
18 would try to find somebody who could do that but I couldn't find anybody.
19 My brother-in-law came by and said: "Try -- run away because he is
20 looking for you to kill you. Hide amongst the women and the children."
21 And that's what I did. I hid amongst the women and the children. I was
22 there all night and then all the follow morning, I left that place.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you. And just to be clear, my translation says start
24 jump this car. Does that mean -- could you describe what that means? Is
25 that starting it with jumper cables or starting it with without a key or
1 what does that entail?
2 A. That means without a key. To hot wire, to use wires to ignite
3 the -- to start the engine.
4 Q. All right. Now, tell me whether you saw that rocket launcher and
5 recoilless gun? Did you see that gun fire at any time while you were at
6 the sawmill, either of those guns, sorry.
7 A. Yes. I did, because that was some 100 metres away on that hilltop
8 and one could see everything.
9 Q. Did you see who anybody order that the guns be fired or did you
10 just see them start firing?
11 A. No. I didn't see that, but Milankovic issued that order. I was
12 very close to him, and I heard him saying that he would open fire on
13 Lisnja if those lads did not return very quickly.
14 Q. All right. And when that rocket launcher and recoilless gun did
15 start firing, where was the fire directed to? Could you see where the
16 target was, what was hit, if anything?
17 A. Well, the fire was opened on the village. I don't know where
18 exactly. I know that two shells fell very close to the mosque and I know
19 that the -- my brother-in-law's house was set on fire actually its roof
20 was set on fire by a shell. That's what I could see.
21 Q. All right. You say "the village." That's your village, Lisnja,
22 is that right, that was being shelled?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Approximately how long did that attack last?
25 A. Some ten or so shells were fired, were launched.
1 Q. And just to be clear, could most of the people who were gathered
2 there see this shelling of their village or were you in some unique
3 position where only you could see it?
4 A. Most of the people could see that. I was not there by myself.
5 Because there is this house and the restaurant -- and a few metres around
6 the corner, if you're standing there, you could see everything.
7 Q. All right. And you started talking about it but was there
8 anything else that you could see damaged by this shelling of Lisnja? You
9 said some shells landed near your mosque. You talked about your
10 brother-in-law's house. Anything else?
11 MS. BARUCH: Excuse me, I don't know if the question is directed
12 to while he was -- while the witness was at the sawmill.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
14 MS. BARUCH: Okay.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Baruch.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll ask that again.
17 Q. During this shelling, what buildings were you able to see or what
18 damage could you see was caused from where you were positioned at the
19 sawmill during the shelling?
20 A. I saw some houses aflame, but I could not see exactly what houses
21 those were until the following day when we were released at noon and when
22 we went there.
23 Q. All right. Now, during this shelling of Lisnja, were you able to
24 see any return fire from Lisnja, any kind of resistance, anything that
25 would show you that -- that there was a response to the shelling from the
1 village in Lisnja?
2 A. No.
3 Q. What happened after the shelling stopped? Tell us what happened
5 A. Veljko Milankovic lined up his troops and ordered them to launch
6 an attack, and then troops started from the other side, there were some
7 troops from the Laktasi area that arrived. In any case, the whole area
8 was encircled.
9 Q. All right. How many troops, if you can give me an estimate, did
10 you actually see there, Veljko Milankovic's men and other armed soldiers
11 or men?
12 A. Where we were, there was some 50, not more, men. And there were
13 also policemen there.
14 Q. All right. Now, did Veljko Milankovic say or do anything to
15 protect his men while he was sending them off to attack Lisnja, as you
16 said? Did he take any precautions?
17 A. Yes. He took 20 hostages. I was close and I managed to hide.
18 There were 20 hostages and among them was a Serb who volunteered, so they
19 were -- these hostages were put in a -- in close confinement and they --
20 it was said that if anything should arrive to any of the soldiers, these
21 people would be killed.
22 Q. Now, do you know to those people, the hostages? Were they killed
23 or were they eventually -- or were they not killed?
24 A. No, they were not killed. Later on, they were transferred to
25 Prnjavor with all the others.
1 Q. Now, I don't know if you were or not, but were you able to see at
2 all what Veljko Milankovic's men were doing once they entered Lisnja?
3 Could you see that or any activity?
4 A. No. I could not see anything.
5 Q. Now, what -- you spent the night at the sawmill?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And the next day, I think you said around noon, you were released;
8 is that right?
9 A. That is right.
10 Q. Was everybody who remained released at that time or were you
11 released before other people?
12 A. Some two hundred and -- or thirty people were taken by buses to
13 Prnjavor, and the rest of us were released.
14 Q. And were you told anything upon your release, what to do, where to
15 go, what was going to happen next, to the people of your village?
16 A. They didn't say anything. Before that Radivojevic [Realtime
17 transcript read in error missing word "Radivojevic"] said that fit men
18 would be taken to one side and that not so fit would be taken to another
19 side. Then he changed his mind and then he told us that we could go to the
20 village only afternoon, after 12.00, after the mosque in Puraci had been
22 Q. Thanks, could you say the name of the person who told you this? I
23 don't think that was picked up on the transcript. Who told you that the
24 fit men would be taken to one side and that the others would be placed
25 somewhere else?
1 A. His name was Radivojevic.
2 Q. And who was he?
3 A. I don't know what position he held in Prnjavor, but he was on the
4 top. He also wore a uniform, a multi-coloured uniform.
5 Q. You mean camouflage?
6 A. Yes, a camouflage uniform.
7 Q. Where did you go after -- at noon that day, when you were allowed
8 to leave?
9 A. I went home.
10 Q. And what did Lisnja look like when you arrived back home? Not
11 just your house but the town as a whole, if you can describe what you saw.
12 A. It was a ghost village, a lot of smoke, roofs were crumbling in,
13 and when I came close to my house, I saw that it had been set on fire. My
14 brother's house was intact. There was a lot of smoke. Barns had been set
15 on fire and also livestock was burning and you could feel that terrible
16 smell in the air.
17 Q. Were any homes still burning, still on fire?
18 A. Yes. Some 76 houses were still burning and some outbuildings as
19 well, and barns.
20 Q. And could you tell whether any property had been stolen, if there
21 had been any looting and was anything taken from your families' or
22 anybody-you-know's house?
23 A. In my brother-in-law's house, nothing was there. Everything had
24 been taken away, couches, beds, and I heard from Osman Rahimic, he was
25 watching everything from a forest, from a tree, and he saw neighbours,
1 civilians, the army, taking away our property, our things.
2 Q. Now, do you know whether any civilians from Lisnja were injured or
3 killed during the shelling and/or -- well, just during the shelling,
5 A. Yes. In the morning, Tito Potok told us: "I had killed these
6 guys. There they are, up there, lying." And then he ordered a group of
7 us to go there to collect the bodies by a tractor so a few men went there
8 and collected the bodies. And on that same evening, Avdic, Senad, who had
9 been shot earlier on had a penetration wound in the left shoulder.
10 Q. All right. Now, just to be clear, did Tito Potok tell you that
11 he'd personally killed these men or that they had been killed because I'm
12 not 100 per cent sure from your answer. Because I asked --
13 A. Yes. He said that he personally had killed them.
14 Q. All right. Now, was there a mosque in Prnjavor in Puraci? I may
15 be pronouncing that incorrectly.
16 A. There was a mosque in Puraci, yes.
17 Q. Did you see anything happen to that mosque around the time you
18 were released from the sawmill at noon?
19 A. Before noon, a tractor came by, carrying some green boxes and
20 sometime around noon, one could hear detonation, an explosion, and then
21 one could see the top of the mosque caving in, crumbling in.
22 Q. And when you went -- well, were there any mosques in Lisnja,
23 actually in the village?
24 A. Yes, there was a mosque in the main street, and as I was walking
25 by it on my return, I could also see that it was burning.
1 Q. Okay. I'd like to show you a photo now, P1796.1. This is a photo
2 you were shown on Sunday. Can you tell me, if you can, it's not the best
3 photo in the world, can you tell me what's depicted here, if you recognise
4 this spot.
5 A. Yes. This is Turbe, and this is the house of a neighbour of mine,
6 whose name I cannot recollect now, and this is where the mosque was, right
8 Q. I couldn't see it. Could you indicate again where the mosque
10 A. [indicates] I think it should be somewhere here but I don't know
11 from what direction the picture was taken. There were some remains here
12 but they are not depicted in this photograph.
13 Q. All right. And which mosque used to be at the spot? Which of the
14 ones that we talked about?
15 A. Mosque in Carsija, in downtown area.
16 Q. Of? Of which village? Of Lisnja?
17 A. Yes. And I just remembered this house here belongs to Husein
19 Q. All right. Thank you. I'd like to show you another photo. The
20 next one is 1796.2. Just tell me what that is.
21 A. These are the new foundations.
22 Q. Of? Just for the record, could you say what it's the foundation
24 A. For the mosque.
25 Q. All right. Thank you. I'm finished with that.
1 Now, can you just tell us what was going through your mind and how
2 you felt as you walked through the town you'd been born in that day after
3 you were released from the sawmill and how what you saw and what had
4 happened to you made you feel?
5 A. Well, I felt bad. All I wanted was to run away from there and
6 forget about everything.
7 Q. All right. I'd like to go through just a few more documents with
8 you, sir. P657, please. This is the 2nd of June, 1992, 1st Krajina Corps
9 command, regular combat report. This is a document you looked at very
10 briefly on Sunday as well, sir. If you look at the last sentence of
11 paragraph 1, it states: "In Lisnja village, an armed conflict occurred
12 between Muslim extremists and the army of the Serbian Republic of BH.
13 Some of the Muslim extremists were captured while a rather large number of
14 them pulled out towards Crni Vrh." I'm sorry for my pronunciation. Can
15 you tell me what's true and what's not true in that sentence as somebody
16 who was present?
17 A. Nothing is true in this sentence. First of all, they didn't go
18 towards Crni Vrh. I know though that they did get the weapons, these 30
19 to 30 young men. However, there was no combat, no bullet was fired by our
21 Q. All right. And in the last sentence of paragraph 2, which
22 states: "In the area of Derventa there continues to be occasional
23 artillery fire, while because Muslim extremists have failed to hand in
24 their weapons, the Muslim population of the area of Lisnja village has
25 been expelled." Can you comment on that sentence, please.
1 A. First of all, all of the weapons in our possession were
2 surrendered. However, when we were in the camp, they forced us to, for
3 example, buy weapons and then surrender them to them. However, we did not
4 have any more weapons.
5 Q. What about the last part of the sentence, about the village of
6 Lisnja having been expelled? Is that accurate?
7 A. Yes. We were expelled to the sawmill. We left the village. And
8 we returned and then again in 1995, the entire population of Lisnja was
9 expelled again.
10 Q. All right. Right now let's stay with 1992.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd like to have the witness look at P659, please.
12 Q. This is a -- another 1 KK combat report, regular combat report of
13 3rd June, 1992. Sir, I'd like you to look at the -- again the last
14 sentence of paragraph 2. Which states: "Measures have been taken to
15 continue mopping up the areas of Kozarac, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Kljuc,
16 and Lisanja [phoen] village near Prnjavor." I think that's Lisnja. On
17 3rd of June, 1992, after Lisnja had been shelled, who was in control of
18 the area around Lisnja and who was militarily in control of Prnjavor?
19 Does this statement seem true, that there was this mopping up
20 going on?
21 A. Yes. There have been mopping up going on. However, without the
23 Q. All right. I'd like the witness to take a look at P1775, please.
24 This is a Javnost Article dated the 27th of February, 1993. Sir, there
25 are two photos on the page in the B/C/S original you're going to be
1 shown. These are the same photos I showed you on Sunday, although when I
2 showed you them on Sunday, there was no text, it was just the photos.
3 Could you tell me who you recognise in those pictures, in those photos?
4 A. I can recognise Veljko Milankovic.
5 Q. All right.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Can we have it put did -- is it on the ELMO or
9 not? No. Let's start from there.
10 MR. NICHOLLS:
11 Q. Can you point him out, please.
12 A. [indicates]
13 Q. And in the other photo -- well it's obvious.
14 A. This and this is Veljko Milankovic.
15 Q. Is there any -- is that the same man you saw giving orders at the
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. All right. Thank you. I'd like to show the witness now a
19 document which does not have an exhibit number. It's been listed. It's
20 disclosure number 4.631, English ERN number is 0110-3705. It's the 5th of
21 June, command of the 1st Krajina Corps, order. It has been provided.
22 MS. BARUCH: Excuse me, since it does not have a document number,
23 can I see a copy of it as well?
24 MR. NICHOLLS: It's got 4.631 on the top right, it's probably the
25 only -- we have an extra copy if you need one.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: It was distributed this morning, no?
2 MS. BARUCH: Yes, okay, I've got it.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: I think it was earlier -- oh, this morning.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Your question?
5 MR. NICHOLLS: The witness doesn't have it yet.
6 Q. Now, this order in paragraph 2 states: "I appoint Lieutenant
7 Veljko Milankovic as battalion commander who will carry out and receive
8 all orders from the commander of the 327th Motorised Brigade." And it is
9 signed by Major General Momir Talic. Is that what you have in front of
10 you, sir?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. My question is about paragraph 2, during the time that you saw
13 Veljko Milankovic, what did his relationship appear to you to be to the
14 regular VRS armed forces, at the sawmill or later, if you saw him again?
15 A. I saw him there with a senior officer. I remember him talking to
16 the officer and asking for a recoilless gun from him, and the officer
17 consented to it.
18 Q. All right. That will be P1802.
19 Only one more document I want to show you, sir. This one also
20 does not have an exhibit number. It's on our list, it's disclosure number
21 4.2128, it's a 1 KK document dated 23rd of June, 1993, a request for
22 action. And if you look at point 5 of this request for action, to the
23 main staff of the Republika Srpska -- of the army of the RS, it's a
24 request for the proposal of decoration of several people, including Veljko
25 Milankovic. Now, given what we talked about, the activities of Veljko
1 Milankovic, as early as 1991, what you personally saw him do, what do you
2 think of this order requesting that he be decorated for his services?
3 A. It is natural that they wanted Veljko to be decorated, because he
4 did many bad things. That's why he was decorated.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I'm going to move on to a large last
7 JUDGE AGIUS: That will be tomorrow.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. And I'll try to finish very early tomorrow
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes. This last document you referred the
11 witness to, is it -- are you tendering it as an exhibit?
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, I'm sorry, P1803.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: P1803.
14 MS. BARUCH: May I have the night so I can come back and comment
15 on it? I don't know what Mr. Ackerman has had before or what notice he
16 had of that exhibit.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: It's been disclosed. It's on our list.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: It's disclosed today obviously.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: It's been disclosed. I don't know what time but it
20 has been disclosed a long time ago.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: So we will reconvene tomorrow, 9.00.
22 Ms. Chuqing can I have the timetable for Thursday so that I will
23 announce the hours that we are sitting. Thursday, we will be starting at
24 9.00 in the morning. We start at 9.00 in the morning and we finish the
25 morning sitting at 12.30. Then we will reconvene at 2.00 and finish at
1 4.00. And that basically means we will gain an hour a day while we sit.
2 These hours, we will be gaining one hour's hearing time.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
6 1.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
7 the 21st day of May, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.