2 THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL CASE NO. IT-94-2-61
3 FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
4 IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER
6 Friday, 13th October 1995
12 JUDGE JORDA
13 (The Presiding Judge)
14 JUDGE ODIO BENITO
15 JUDGE RIAD
18 THE PROSECUTOR OF
19 THE TRIBUNAL
23 DRAGAN NIKOLIC
5 MR. GRANT NIEMANN and Mme TERESA McHENRY appeared on behalf of
6 the Prosecution
9 Friday, 13th October 1995.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Mr. Prosecutor, or
11 madam Prosecutor, you
12 have the floor, please.
13 MISS McHENRY: Your Honour, with respect to the next witness,
14 the witness has indicated she wishes to testify openly.
15 Therefore, I ask that the protective order be lifted -----
16 (Technical difficulties with interpreters' channels)
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: : [Original in French] Yes, Miss McHenry,
18 you have the floor.
19 MISS McHENRY: Thank you, your Honour. The next witness, your
20 Honour, has indicated she wishes to testify publicly, so
21 with respect to this witness I ask that the protective
22 order be lifted other than for the witness's address.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: : [Original in French] The Registrar will
24 take note of the
25 lifting of that non-disclosure order with the exception,
1 of course, in regard of the witness's address which means
2 that the witness will testify publicly as has been
3 requested. The witness has then been informed of all the
4 rights of protection which the International Criminal
5 Tribunal is able to provide.
6 That having been done, I would suggest you ask the
7 clerk to bring in the witness. You can pass that
8 information on to the witness that has just been given.
9 MISS McHENRY: The Prosecution calls Zehra Smajlovic.
10 ZEHRA SMAJLOVIC, called.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE [Original in French]: Madam Smajlovic,
12 first of all, can you hear me all right?
13 THE WITNESS: [Original in Bosnian] No, I cannot hear you.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: : [Original in French] Can you hear now,
15 Mrs. Smajlovic?
16 THE WITNESS: [Original in Bosnian] Yes, I can hear you now
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: : [Original in French] Please remain
18 standing just the time to
19 read out the solemn declaration for the Tribunal. If you
20 would kindly read that in your language, please?
21 THE WITNESS: [Original in Bosnian] I solemnly declare that I
22 shall speak the truth,
23 the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: : [Original in French] Thank you very
25 much. Please be seated.
1 THE WITNESS: [Original in Bosnian] A bit louder, please.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: : [Original in French] Can you hear, Mrs.
4 Mrs. Smajlovic, the International Criminal Tribunal which
5 is prosecuting the perpetrators of crimes against humanity
6 is here to hear your testimony which the Prosecutor's
7 office thought was appropriate to hear in connection with
8 the case against Dragan Nikolic.
9 We are very appreciative of you being here today and,
10 as for other witnesses, we realise what this involves for
11 you, to come here and tell us about things you have seen,
12 heard, all of the things you have been through, your
13 suffering, and which you are going to try to express to us
14 in your own words.
15 So we are very appreciative of you being here. We
16 are going to be listening very carefully to everything you
17 have to say. You should speak in a peaceful state of
18 mind. This is a place where justice is administered.
19 Feel at home in so far as possible. If you have any
20 problems at any point in time, please do not hesitate to
21 tell us. The Judges, the Tribunal, so far as possible,
22 will do what they can to help you.
23 You have the floor, Miss McHenry.
24 MISS McHENRY: Thank you, your Honour.
25 (To the witness): Ma'am, would you please state you
1 full name?
2 A. My name is Zehra Smajlovic.
3 Q. How old are you, ma'am?
4 A. I am 61 -- 63, sorry.
5 Q. Mrs. Smajlovic, if you have any trouble hearing the
6 interpretation when I am asking questions, please just
7 tell us because we can adjust the volume of your
8 microphone. Is that all right? If at any point during
9 your testimony you would like to take a break, please just
10 let us know that also and I am sure the Judges would take
11 a break. Is that all right?
12 A. That is all right.
13 Q. Mrs. Smajlovic, where were you born?
14 A. I was born in Vlasenica.
15 Q. For how long did you live in Vlasenica?
16 A. 59 years.
17 Q. Did you live with your family in Vlasenica?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. Who was part of your family?
20 A. My family is in Tuzla now.
21 Q. Who was part of your family in Vlasenica? Who did you
22 live with?
23 A. I lived with my husband, with my son. I had two sons.
24 I had a daughter too. One of my sons is in Tuzla, and one
25 of my sons used to live with me in Vlasenica and my
1 daughter got married in a village near Vlasenica.
2 Q. I believe that the court has heard testimony from a Mirsad
3 Smajlovic; is he any relation to you?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Is he any relation to your husband
6 A. Yes, he is.
7 Q. What relation is he?
8 A. He is my -- he is the son of my husband's brother.
9 Q. Ma'am, can you tell the court what happened in Vlasenica
10 in April 1992?
11 A. Yes, I can.
12 Q. Please do so.
13 A. It happened on the 15th, between the 10th and the 15th
14 April. Milorad (Lukic) came -- he is from the Serbian
15 party -- and he invited us to stay. He told us to stay in
16 Vlasenica. He told us that we will not be touched and we
17 would go on living together. After that a lot of us
18 stayed, some of us left. Then on the 21st, the Yugoslav
19 army came. The units that belonged to Vojvodina Corp.,
20 from Vojvodina, they took over Vlasenica together with the
21 Serbs, local Serbs, from Vlasenica and the surrounding
23 That is how in the next morning, around 3 o'clock,
24 they entered the town, and when they got up the next
25 morning we saw tanks in the streets, soldiers, and we also
1 saw the local Serbo Chetniks, as we called them. They
2 were together with them. They wore camouflage uniforms.
3 They were masked. They had socks -- they wore socks on
4 their heads and faces -- stockings on their faces.
5 Then I left Drum. It is a local cemetery, local
6 Muslim cemetery. That happened around the 25th April.
7 I cannot recall the exact date but I went to our cemetery,
8 the Muslim cemetery, and I saw a tank stationed there and
9 which belonged to the Yugoslav army, to the Vojvodina
11 I went there. I passed there. I saw it. I saw the
12 tank and I was stopped and they asked me: "Where are you
13 going, grandma?" I told them: "Well, I want to go over
14 there. I have some family over there". Then they said:
15 "What is this happening here? No-one is shooting, not a
16 single bullet has been shot and they, the Serbian party,
17 they called us. They invited us here. They told us
18 that allegedly Muslims were slaughtering Serbs in
19 Vlasenica, but here we realised that not a single bullet
20 had been shot. We have been cheated". A soldier told me
21 that and he told me not to go there. He said: "Go back.
22 You will be better over there." I did not know that
23 soldier. He wore a helmet on his head and also an olive
24 green uniform and he was dressed for the tank.
25 So I went back, and in front of the Ministry of the
1 Interior building I saw a lot of soldiers around there, a
2 lot of soldiers belonging to the Yugoslav army, and also
3 some local Serbo Chetniks. I saw them standing there.
4 They asked for identity papers. They did not ask me
5 anything so I went back home. That is how it happened.
6 Q. With respect to the soldiers from Vojvodina, what towns
7 are part of Vojvodina, in particular is -----
8 A. We do not know. They did not tell us. He did not tell
9 me. He did not tell me where he was from. He just said
10 that they belonged to the Vojvodina Corps., Vojvodanskih
12 Q. With respect to the Vojvodina Corps. do you know the
13 relationship between the Vojvodina and Novi Sad?
14 A. Well, I think that Novi Sad is in Vojvodina.
15 Q. At some point did the soldiers from the JNA army leave
16 A. Well, no, they stayed there a while. I do not know how
17 long, how many days they stayed there, but probably
18 between 10 and 15 days, but we could not move around a
19 lot; we were not allowed to. So later on they went. They
20 left. Those, the Serbo Chetniks, while they were there,
21 they already starting taking men to the police building.
22 They took them for interrogation. Then they released some
23 of them, some of them were held. Then they left. I do
24 not remember the exact day they left.
25 I did not move around a lot because I was not allowed
1 to. Later on when I went to buy cigarettes I saw that
2 they had tanks. I realised that they had left weapons to
3 them, and near the Panorama Hotel there were tanks around
4 the hotel as well, and the tanks were also near the
5 cemetery. The tanks stayed and the soldiers had left.
6 They left the tanks to the Serbo Chetniks.
7 Then they started to arrest people, to evict people.
8 They started taking people to the camps. I was once
9 chased away from my home and then one of them, a soldier,
10 told me: "Grandma, go back to your house; you will not be
11 touched. You can go on living freely." Then they took
12 other people to the camp.
13 There was Mahmutovic Mina, Mirsad's wife, who had a
14 sick child and the soldier told her: "You can stay home
15 with your sick child. You are young. You can take care
16 of the grandma". The next day Mina left. Her husband had
17 been taken to the camp, and then she left the camp as
18 well. I stayed alone. I went back to my house from
19 Mina's house. So I stayed there for a while.
20 Then I also started hiding because I thought tha
21 some people would be left alone in the town, but then they
22 did not. They took many people to the camp.
23 I stayed in my house for a while. Then Aco Djuric
24 arrived, Pero's son, and also Sinisa Miljanic and Elvis
25 Djuric, Aco's brother, and they started to take us away
1 from our homes. I went to Kicic Huma, her husband was
2 there too. He was hiding. Aco approached them and he
3 started to beat her husband. He started to beat her too
4 and I told him: "Aco, do not do it. You know that you
5 used to live together with my cousin. You grew up
6 together. Your mother is a Muslim. Do not do that. It
7 is not good what you are doing. You can have pity on
8 us." So he went to me and then kicked me twice here and
9 I had bruises all over. He told me: "If you tell anyone
10 about this, I will kill you, I will kill you on the
11 spot." So I did not say anything.
12 So we went to the camp and that is how we arrived at
13 the camp. First, they did not let us in the camp. We
14 waited outside a little bit. We saw three buses there,
15 buses that they used to take people to Batkovic, towards
16 Bijeljina, only Muslim men. There I recognised a lot of
17 people I knew, children of the people I knew from my
18 neighbourhood, from my street. I recognised Mirsad,
19 Nurija, Hasim -- there were many of them, I cannot
20 remember all of them -- Suljo Mujanovic, Djemel
21 Mujanovic. I recognised them as they were on the bus and
22 that is how they stood. They had to put their hands
23 behind their heads. Then the soldiers left and then we
24 were taken inside the camp. Then in the camp I saw some
25 women -- yes
1 Q. Can I go back for a minute? First of all ---
2 A. Yes, you can.
3 Q. -- going back to the time when you were still in the town,
4 before you were brought to the camp, did you have any
5 discussions with anyone about the existence of a Crisis
6 Committee, Kruzni Stab, in Vlasenica?
7 A. Yes. I was -- I got confused a little bit. I apologise.
8 This is the first time for me here. I forgot to tell you
9 about Olja. Olja was our neighbour and I remember him
10 passing, walking with his wife and he told me: "Hello,
11 Zehra", and I told him: "Hello, Olja. Olja, what is
12 going on here? How come your wife is so nicely dressed?"
13 He said: "Well, she is working in the Crisis Committee".
14 I said: "What kind of Crisis Committee is that? Where is
15 it? How come it cannot protect us?" Then he said: "I do
16 not know anything about it. It is in the Bauxite
17 company". It was located on the outskirts of Vlasenica.
18 Then he said: "That is where it is." So I said: "What
19 do you think of this?" He said: "I do not know.
20 I cannot tell you anything. I am not allowed to tell you
22 I tried again to ask him to help me somehow.
23 I wanted to ask him if he could help me get on the bus and
24 not end up in the camp, if I could somehow leave for the
25 -- on that bus. He said: "Well, you can try", and that
1 is what I did. I went to the bus station and I saw many
2 people standing there. They were putting them on the bus
3 and they told me: "Grandma, go back home. Do not go
4 anywhere. You are not going to be touched. I can
5 guarantee you that. I will take care of you. I wil
6 visit you from time to time. Do not worry."
7 So I went back to my home and I stayed there until
8 Aco took me away from my home.
9 Q. Did you ever have any conversation with Olja about people
10 detained in Susica camp and asking why they were being
12 A. No, I did not. He did not tell me that. He was not
13 allowed to. He just kept silent. I realised that he did
14 not mean anything. He was not malicious, but he just
15 kept silent. They were not allowed to talk to us, to
17 Q. When you were brought to Susica, when Aco came to your
18 house, were you brought to Susica voluntarily? In other
19 words, did you want to go or were you taken there
21 A. I was forced to. He beat me, yes, he kicked me with his
22 shoes here. I had bruises all over. I just had to; we
23 were forced to go. They were beating us as we were
24 leaving our houses and they just took all the people from
25 the street and then they took us to the camp.
1 Q. Do you know approximately what time this was that you were
2 taken to the camp?
3 A. It was the 30th June.
4 Q. How many other people were taken with you to the camp?
5 A. About 20 people, 20 women and children.
6 Q. Were these people from the same street that you lived on?
7 A. Yes, but also from other streets from the neighbourhood.
8 Q. The people who brought you to Susica, were they local
10 A. Yes, they were locals, all neighbours
11 Q. Were they in uniform?
12 A. Yes, they had olive green uniforms. Aco had one and Elvis
13 too, Sinisa Miljanic had his jeans on and black jacket on.
14 Q. I would like you to go to the time period when you were
15 brought to the camp. Can you describe when you were
16 brought inside, the physical structure of the camp and
17 where you were brought?
18 A. That was a large room with some 20 metres long and some 15
19 metres wide. When we were -- the door was very large.
20 The building was called the hangar and it had a very large
21 door through which we entered, and through which people
22 would also leave.
23 I can only say that as soon as I entered I saw there
24 women children, men, many men; I cannot tell you how
25 many. It is very difficult to decide how many people
1 there were. We were all very frightened and could not
2 think calmly or we could not count but there was a large
3 number of people. When I entered there I saw Fikret
4 Arnaut and Cece, nicknamed Cece. He was sitting on the
5 concrete floor. He was swollen.
6 I looked at him and said: "Cice, what happened?"
7 He said: "Look at me and you will see". He said: "Give
8 me a glass of water" and somebody said, somebody came to
9 him to give him water because at the corner of the
10 building next to the door there was a can of water, and
11 she was -- she tried to give him water but then the
12 soldier said: "No, I kill you if you do that", so she
13 turned back without giving him the water. So the evening
14 came and then this devil came.
15 Q. Before we get to that, Mrs. Smajlovic, can I ask you
16 couple of other general questions about the camp? In
17 particular, do you have any idea about --
18 A. Yes, you may.
19 Q. -- how many women were at the camp when you arrived there
20 besides your group of 20 women and children?
21 A. There would be some 50 women, if not more. I honestly say
22 I could not count and there were lots of children as well,
23 lots of children, and quite a number of women. I cannot
24 give you the exact figure, because I did not count and we
25 were not even allowed to look around too much.
1 Q. Were there more men than women in the camp when you were
3 A. Oh, yes. There were many more men than women, yes.
4 Q. When you were brought to the camp was any property taken
5 from any of the detainees?
6 A. No, not at once. At first they did not take anything but
7 later they did. Later they did, two or three days later.
8 This devil, Nikolic, told us, he entered the building, he
9 shouted, cursing our Muslim mothers. He had a cigarette
10 in his hand and he said: "Look, listen, you are less
11 worth for me than this cigarette butt. This cigarette
12 butt is more valuable than you are. Anybody who has
13 anything on them, cigarettes, matches, gold, anything,
14 please throw it on to the floor into the centre of the
15 hangar, of the room", and so they did, people did that.
16 I did not have anything. I only threw my packet of
17 cigarettes and the lighter, cigarette lighter.
18 When all of this was on the floor, he called two
19 people, two detainees, asking them to collect all of these
20 objects. He brought two buckets and they put it -- pu
21 the objects into the buckets. They took it outside in
22 front of the door and came back. What happened with these
23 objects later, we do not know. Whether it was for himself
24 or whether it was for somebody else, we do not know
25 because he closed the door of the hangar.
1 Q. Was any record made of what property each detainee was
2 turning over?
3 A. No, not at all, nothing. Nobody made any record. No
4 record was made, nor was there an opportunity to do that.
5 Q. Do you know whether or not this property was ever returned
6 to the people to whom it belonged?
7 A. Never, never. Nobody ever had anything returned that had
8 been taken away from them.
9 Q. When you said there were other women there, were you the
10 oldest woman who was at the camp?
11 A. Yes. I saw another woman that was older than me. She
12 must have been 75 years old, maybe 80. That was Hacic,
13 the woman's name was Hacic, but I forget her first name
14 now. She was also in the detention room. Then later she
15 wanted to go to the toilet, they would not allow her, and
16 then Dragan Nikolic came and said: "Bind her", so they
17 bound her hands and feet. They tied ropes around her
18 hands and feet so that she could not actually go to the
19 toilet and she had to urinate in the room where we were.
20 Q. Do you know at any time while you were at the camp was
21 there a woman named Hasna Cakisic at the camp?
22 A. Yes. She was brought after me, some 12 days after me.
23 Q. Do you know approximately how old she was?
24 A. I would say that she was 65, not more than that, I should
25 say, 65 years old. Again I cannot judge very well bu
1 I know her, I know her family, but I never asked her
2 exactly how old she was.
3 Q. Inside the camp were the women kept -- can you describe
4 where the women were kept versus where the men were kept,
5 and if there were any areas within that big room used for
6 special purposes?
7 A. Let me try to describe this. This is the hangar, the
8 large, large room, the hangar. One side -- men were on
9 one side, the other side, the corner, was empty and we all
10 women were on this side, and there were buckets in the
11 other corner which were used for urination and
12 defecation. This was our toilet, if you like. At the far
13 end were people who were being beaten and when Nikolic
14 decided who he would beat there were people by these
15 buckets and they were taken out to be beaten then.
16 Q. When you refer to Nikolic, do you know his full name?
17 A. Nikolic Dragan was his name. His father was -- oh,
18 I forget the name of his father now.
19 Q. Did you know Dragan Nikolic before you arrived at the
21 A. Yes, I used to know him. I used to see a lot of him.
22 I knew his father and mother.
23 Q. Do you know what Dragan Nikolic's role in the camp was,
24 what was his position?
25 A. He was the commander of the camp.
1 Q. How did you know he was the commander?
2 A. He told us himself. He said: "I am the commander of this
3 camp. You should know that there is nobody above me."
4 That is what he told us in front of everybody. He said:
5 "I am your God and you have no other God but me"
6 Q. You were starting to tell us, Mrs. Smajlovic, about what
7 happened the first night you were at the camp when Dragan
8 Nikolic came in, I believe?
9 A. Yes, he walked in. Dragan Nikolic, he shouted and yelled,
10 swore at, swore our Muslim mothers, cursed, said: "You
11 should know that I am the one who is responsible for this
12 outfit. I am responsible for you. You are in my hands.
13 I can do what I like."
14 Then he approached Fikret Arnaut and then he took him
15 out, started beating him in front of the hangar. The door
16 was open. He had a bandage on his hand and something dark
17 on the fingers. I do not know what it is because I am not
18 familiar with these objects, but there was first a bandage
19 on the fingers and then something very dark on his
20 fingers. The man who was beaten started crying for help,
21 for mercy. Then he took two other prisoners, Agic, Rasim
22 Agic, his son I mean, but I have forgotten the name now
23 and Alija Ferhatovic, Muharem, the son of Muharem
24 Ferhatovic. These two were called out to pour water out
25 of a bucket over this man that was lying there.
1 Then we saw that Dragan was removing his bandages and
2 in front of the hangar there was the guard house and Zija
3 was taken there from the hangar to help the guards, to
4 work for them. She also poured water for Dragan. He
5 washed his hands. She gave him the towel. Then she came
6 -- he came back into the hangar, came to Fikret Arnaut
7 and started kicking him with his feet and shoes. This was
8 like a rabid dog. You could not watch that. The screams
9 were horrible to hear and cries for mercy.
10 Then Dragan would leave and the door was locked. Th
12 door was closed again and that is the way it was. That is
13 the way it was from the first night on when we came to the
15 Q. You just described, as I understand you, the first night
16 when Dragan Nikolic beat Cece Arnaut. After that first
17 night, did you ever see ---
18 A. That was the story.
19 Q. -- Cece Arnaut beaten at any other time?
20 A. This was every night. Every night for two times as long
21 as I stayed there in the camp for 20 days. Every night
22 the same punishment, the same beating. He was completely
23 broken. He was being dragged out, then dragged from
24 outside back into the hangar, and this was done by the
25 detainees who had to do this. Ferhatovic and Agic, they
1 were -- they poured water over him and were then forced to
2 drag him back into the hangar. So, he was a very strong
3 and powerful man, and he said: "I cannot go on like
4 this." Then Nikolic said: "I cannot kill this manure".
5 He would curse his Muslim mother and it went on. It was
6 repeated on and on, again and again.
7 Q. Was there a man named Ismet Dedic at the camp when you
8 were there?
9 A. Yes, there was.
10 Q. What do you know about Ismet Dedic? Do you know where he
11 was from or where he lived?
12 A. He was from Gerovi. Gerovi is some 15 kilometres away
13 from Vlasenica, maybe not even 15, 10 kilometres.
14 I cannot tell you exactly. I know his family because my
15 daughter is married there in Gerovi and he used to work in
16 the Bauxite company. He got a flat in Vlasenica and h
17 lived there with his wife and children. He was a nice
18 man. I know him -- I knew him.
19 He was brought to the camp and each night and each
20 day, they just kept bringing more people to the camp from
21 the town, from the surrounding villages, so the camp was
22 getting full. So he approached Dedic. Dedic was sitting
23 at that moment with his head bent down. He told him:
24 "You are a very nice man" and then he walked out.
25 Q. Who was this?
1 A. Dragan Nikolic.
2 Q. Other than the time you saw Nikolic say to Mr. Dedic that
3 he was a nice man, did you ever see any other contact
4 between Dragan Nikolic and Mr. Dedic?
5 A. No, never. No.
6 Q. Did you ever see anything happen to Mr. Dedic?
7 A. After he had said that he went out and then he came back
8 again, and again he had those bandages on his hand and he
9 had the black finger on his hand again. He went to Dedic
10 and he kicked him and then Dedic got up, and followed
11 Nikolic out. Then he started beating him, stomping on him
12 with his military boots on. He beat him so much you could
13 not recognise him any longer.
14 So then he came back in the hangar, and he called
15 Ferhatovic and Agic. He called them out. So they went
16 out. Then they brought Dedic in and put in the punishment
17 corner inside the hangar. You could not recognise Dedic's
18 eyes, mouth. He had blood all over his face. So he
19 gurgled a little bit in that corner for maybe one hour,
20 hour and a half, and then he died.
21 Then other prisoners knocked at the door and th
22 guards opened the door, and then they threw inside a
23 plastic bag. Then they wrapped him, wrapped Dedic, in the
24 bag and they took him out.
25 They stayed out for about 15 minutes and then they
1 came back inside. We asked them: "What happened? Where
2 did you bury him?" Then Ferhatovic just motioned, meaning
3 he did not know anything. He was not allowed to say
4 anything. He knew that he would share the same fate.
5 That is what I know about Dedic.
6 Q. When you say Ferhatovic motioned, which Ferhatovic are you
7 referring to?
8 A. Alija Ferhatovic.
9 Q. When you described when he was beating him and stamping on
10 him, who is "he"? Who was beating Mr. Dedic?
11 A. Dragan Nikolic.
12 Q. Was there also a man named Mevludin Hatunic at the camp
13 when you were there?
14 A. Yes, there was.
15 Q. Would you like to take a break or would you like a glass
16 of water, Mrs. Smajlovic?
17 A. No, I am all right. I will drink water later, but I can
18 speak now without drinking any water. So just continue,
20 Q. Did you know Mr. Hatunic before you were at the camp?
21 A. Yes, yes. He lived not far from me. We were all people
22 from Vlasenica. I used to know them, I used to know their
23 parents, their children, their wives. I knew everybody.
24 He was a plumber, and he worked in Vlasenica.
25 Q. What, if anything, did you observe with respect to
1 Mr. Hatunic at the camp
2 A. Yes, he was -- they called him to repair the plumbing or
3 water supply. He went. He worked for a day and
4 he -- I cannot tell you which day that was. It is very
5 difficult for me. I just cannot remember the dates and
6 the days when things happened because in this horror we
7 lost track of time. Anyway he came. He walked into the
8 hangar, followed by Dragan Nikolic and Dragan Nikolic
9 said: "Ah, you and I will go out now".
10 So he took him out and beat him and beat him, and
11 shouted: "What will you be singing and what have you been
12 singing? You went there to a Serb and he offered brandy,
13 you drank it and you said that your bird will sing one
14 day." But he never said anything about any bird singing or
15 anything. He did not say anything. Of course, he was not
16 drunk. He knew what was happening and then he would not
17 have done that.
18 So, Nikolic took him out and beat him again with the
19 bandaged hand, with a black object on it, and he hit him.
20 The man cried for mercy, cried for help, and eventually
21 when he fainted, he looked like dead. Then again Nikolic
22 called Agic and Ferhatovic, Alija Ferhatovic. They came,
23 they dragged him into the hangar and he started groping
24 and turning around.
25 You could not see his face properly because it was
1 all disfigured and he was groping, came to Cece, to Bego.
2 Bego took him, slowly put him to his punishment corner and
3 so he was there for an hour or two. He gurgled. He
4 suffocated and then he died. Ferhatovic and Agic came put
5 on him on a stretcher, wrapped in a plastic bag, took him
6 out and again they came back after 10 to 15 minutes. W
7 knew that the burial must have been taking place somewhere
8 not very far from the hangar.
9 Q. Was there also at the camp a man named Galib Music?
10 A. Yes, there was.
11 Q. Did you know Mr. Music, beforehand do you know anything
12 about him?
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. Where was he from?
15 A. He was from Vlasenica. He was a born Vlasenica man, just
16 like I am.
17 Q. Do you know about how old Mr. Music was?
18 A. I would say he was roughly 60, not more than 60. I would
19 say 60, 61 or 2, not more than that.
20 Q. Do you know whether or not before he was brought to the
21 camp Mr. Music and Mr. Dragan Nikolic knew each other?
22 A. They were actually first next door neighbour, first
23 neighbours. Their houses were one next to the other and
24 they knew each other very well.
25 Q. What, if anything, did you observe happen to Mr. Music
1 while you were at the camp?
2 A. He, Dragan Nikolic, came and Galib Music was seated
3 smoking a cigarette. Dragan entered and called him out.
4 Again on that occasion he had a bandaged hand plus that
5 dark object. He took Galib out, Galib, and started
6 beating him. Galib cried for mercy. Then he could not
7 speak. Then he trampled him with his heavy shoes, beat
8 him all over the body, the kidneys -- and this was
9 impossible even to watch such a beating.
10 Then again the same thing happened. Again he called
11 Alija Ferhatovic and he called the other man. They came
12 They dragged Galib into the hangar and he lived for no
13 more than half an hour after that. He died. Somebody
14 knocked on the door of the camp from the inside. The
15 guards came, gave them a plastic bag or plastic something,
16 put him on the stretcher and took him out and again came
17 back fairly quickly, fairly soon.
18 Q. While you were at the camp, were you ever there when some
19 visitors came from outside the camp?
20 A. Yes, a number came. Some five to six people would come
21 with Dragan Nikolic, and then Dragan would say -- now,
22 this was a van, a van or minibus, rather, with the company
23 name of Elastik on it -- so they would come and Dragan
24 would enter with them. On the first occasion when they
25 arrived they took six or seven, seven people. He took
1 them out in the morning, and they came back round
2 6 o'clock in the afternoon. They brought them back. They
3 entered the hangar but Pasic did not come back, Ekrem
4 Pasic, I think that was the name. I do not know his first
5 name. He is not my next door neighbour, so he lived some
6 distance from my house. So I know that his name was Pasic
7 and I think it was Ekrem. Ekrem was probably his first
8 name. He was not brought back.
9 Then the door was closed. We asked: "Where is
10 Ekrem?" They said: "He is no longer there. He does not
11 exist any more". We knew that he was killed. Then Dragan
12 started to shout in front of the camp. The door was ajar
13 and you could hear everything that happened outside.
14 Also, his voice was very strong and clear because he was
15 yelling all the time. So he asked: "Where is he?" and
16 the man came: "Oh, well, forget him." So I understoo
17 that. I mean, Dragan Nikolic was asking about Ekrem, I am
18 sure, and the other answered: "Well, you know, forget
19 him" which means he had been killed.
20 Later we learned that when he was taken there, then
21 he said: "But do not say that to anybody, do not spread
22 the word". I do not know who it was that said that.
23 Somebody came to us women and said: "I was there. Dika
24 Zubovic was there", because he was a friend of Dika
25 Zubovic. He spoke about Ekrem and he came to her and
1 said, I do not know his name, Ali Hodjic, I think, but I
2 do not know the first name, and he said, well, they were
3 digging a canal, a trench, or something, I do not know,
4 and that he was a bit further away from the rest of the
5 group and when they stepped out of the canal a shot was
6 heard and they waited for Ekrem to appear. He did not
7 appear and then they left. So they were told that Ekrem
8 had been killed in that canal.
9 Q. While you were at the camp did anyone ever visit the camp
10 who came on a helicopter?
11 A. No, no with helicopter. A helicopter flew over -- the
12 door of the hangar was open. We were outside. We were
13 eating. The helicopter flew over. I do not know who was
14 there. They started shooting. The guards started
15 shooting -- Nikolic as well -- and then Nikolic said:
16 "Ah, this is our God over there in helicopter" but who
17 was there, I do not know. I could not see who was in the
18 helicopter because I was in the camp and he was in the
20 Q. When you say the guards and Nikolic were shooting, do you
21 mean they were shooting at the helicopter or they wer
22 shooting for some other reason?
23 A. No, not at the helicopter, no, no. They were shooting for
24 joy. The helicopter had flown away and they were so
25 joyful that they thought they could celebrate by
1 shooting. They were rejoicing seeing the helicopter and,
2 as far as I know, the helicopter then landed in the
3 Vlasenica football field.
4 Q. While you were at the camp did you learn anything about
5 some detainees delivering letters?
6 A. This was Nikolic who sent, first, Biba Hadzic who took a
7 letter to Cerska sent by Nikolic while her two sons
8 remained in the camp. Then the letter was an invitation
9 or an order for Cerska to surrender. So then Biba left
10 for Cerska. Then the Muslims, when she came to Cerska did
11 not allow her to go back to the camp so we do not know
12 exactly what happened, but later they sent Mejra Sabic and
13 she was sent. She also left with the letter but never
14 came back. Then Fata, Fata Osmanlic was sent, but none of
15 them ever came back from Cerska to tell us exactly what
16 happened. The Cerska authorities, our soldiers there,
17 Muslim soldiers, did not allow her to go back to the camp,
18 so they remained in Cerska until Cerska was occupied, but
19 when Cerska was occupied they were brought to Tuzla, they
20 came to Tuzla.
21 Q. With respect to at least the first letter that Biba Hadzic
22 had, how do you know that the letter was an order for
23 Cerska to surrender?
24 A. Her son told us that, that Biba had gone to Cerska, that
25 she was sent with a letter asking, calling on Cerska to
1 surrender. That is what I know
2 Q. Approximately, if you know, how far away is Cerska from
4 A. 25 kilometres perhaps, not more than that, 25 to 30,
5 perhaps. 25, I think, is more like it. Between 25 and 30
6 kilometres. I am sorry, I cannot be precise. I know
7 Cerska but I never worried about how many kilometres it
8 was distance from Vlasenica. Roughly 25 kilometres.
9 Q. When were you released from Susica, Mrs. Smajlovic?
10 A. It could have been the 19th or 20th July.
11 Q. Can you describe the circumstances surrounding your
12 release, how it worked?
13 A. Nikolic came and he said: "I will send you to Kladanj, so
14 that you can go over to your people, to Ustashas", that is
15 how he called, how he called our army. So we waited
16 there. He did not know who will be selected to go. It
17 was around 6 o'clock in the afternoon. He came back again
18 and he said: "You, you, you". He selected some people as
19 he wanted and he had one truck and one bus. So it was my
20 turn, and he told me: "Get up". So I got up and that is
21 how we went.
22 The bus was full and the truck was full as well,
23 fully loaded. They loaded us as straw, but a lot of
24 people were left behind, a lot of men, women and
25 children. Then when we left the camp we reached their
1 checkpoint first, and on that checkpoint we were ordered
2 to get off the bus and the truck and then they started
3 selecting young women, girls. The first one was only 14
4 and the second could have been 16 or 17, and then they
5 selected other young girls. I knew them all. They were
6 from Vlasenica. There were many young women there, youn
7 and beautiful women, even some children.
8 So they started separating them from us, older women,
9 and putting them aside in the street. When that was over
10 they selected about 20, 27 young women. You just could
11 not watch and I could not tell how many they were. But
12 I was so sorry for those young women, girls, children.
13 One of them was a very young mother. She could have been
14 25. Two sisters they were, one of them was pregnant and
15 one of them had a small child with her. The child was
16 maybe three years old, not more than that, and they were
17 also selected.
18 Then they started yelling: "We want the Muslims to
19 see what our seed is", that is what, the expression they
20 used. Then they cursed us again, swore. You could not
21 watch it. Mothers were crying. Their children were being
22 separated and I stood aside. It was so hard for me and
23 I started to cry. I had just left the camp, so I was very
24 tired, very hungry and dirty. It was so difficult for
1 There was a fence near the road and one of them, one
2 of them, a soldier was standing there. He held a rifle in
3 his hand and he said: "Grandma, stop. Do not cry. It is
4 not my fault". I could see tears in his eyes and he
5 said: "Grandma, please, do not cry. It is not my
6 fault". Then I just kept silent. I bowed my head and
7 I cried. Then he said: "Just walk straight in the middle
8 of the road. Do not stray aside from the road because it
9 is mined. So once you reach that place there is a hotel
10 over there". It was in the wilderness. There is a forest
11 over there and a river as well and we people fro
12 Vlasenica, we used to go to that hotel before, and then he
13 said: "When you reach the hotel there is no-one up
14 there. Then you should speak very loud because it will be
15 dark so as your people will not shoot to us because they
16 will not know who is coming", and that is how we arrived
18 It was difficult. There were many roads there, many
19 logs on the road. It was completely dark and when we
20 reached that place where our people were, they had to
21 carry me. I could not walk any more, so they just carried
22 me. Two young men who approached me, I do not know them,
23 they carried me and then we arrived at Ravne where our
24 soldiers were and then they called some buses, and that is
25 how we arrived at Kladanj.
1 I spent the night at Kladanj and the next day I was
2 transported into Tuzla in a school building, and that is
3 where I found my husband, my family, my children when
4 I got there.
5 Q. With respect to the young women who were taken away, did
6 you ever see or hear from any of those young women again?
7 A. No, never. Never -- any of them. They are just no longer
8 there. We know -- we know that, and Dragan Nikolic knows
9 about it very well. That is what he did actually.
10 MISS McHENRY: I do not have any more questions for this
11 witness, your Honour.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: : [Original in French] Mrs. Smajlovic,
13 the Judges have several
14 additional questions to put to you. We would suggest a
15 break and we would resume at 11.30. You will come back
16 because, as I have said, the Judges do have several
17 questions for you. That way, you can make the most of th
18 break. We have our witness assistance facilities here,
19 the people have been taking care of you since you have
20 come to The Hague. So during this break you will be seen
21 to and we will resume in 20 minutes at 11.30. The meeting
22 is adjourned.
23 (Short Adjournment)
24 (11.30 a.m.)
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: : [Original in French] Prosecution,
1 please, before giving you
2 the floor, I would like to ask Mrs. Smajlovic how she is
3 feeling, if she is feeling all right? Did you rest a
4 little bit, did you?
5 A. Yes, I am feeling all right. Thank you. Thank you very
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: : [Original in French] You have the
8 floor, m'am.
9 MISS McHENRY: Thank you. Mrs. Smajlovic, is there anything
10 besides what you have asked you and what you have already
11 testified to that you would like to tell your Honours
12 about what happened?
13 A. Yes, there is.
14 Q. Why do you not please tell us?
15 A. When I was in the camp, Dragan Nikolic came on 10th July
16 and he took 12 men Muslim, 12 Muslim men, and said: "They
17 are going to cut grass", but these men never came back to
18 the camp. They never returned, nor have they ever sent
19 word of their whereabouts to anybody.
20 Q. Do you know who any of these men were?
21 A. There was there somebody called Hasanovic, Hajro called,
22 nicknamed Hane, but I do not remember his second name.
23 There was a man called Hasanovic then Bego Topcic, Ali
24 Hodjic, Mustafa Ali Hodjic and Redjo Ali Hodjic. Thes
25 were the people that I knew very well. I saw them leave
1 the camp and the rest I did not know so well or I did not
2 recognise them.
3 Dragan was yelling and there were other Serbian
4 solders who were with Dragan, so it was difficult to
5 register everything, but I knew that he said he was taking
6 12 men who will go and cut grass. So he started pointing
7 at them and selecting them, but these were the ones that
8 I recognised. That is all.
9 MISS McHENRY: Thank you, Mrs. Smajlovic. Thank your,
10 Honours. I have nothing further.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Thank you, madam.
12 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you. Madam Smajlovic, while you were
13 at the camp did you see any women working in the guard
14 house washing dishes, making coffee, cleaning the place?
15 A. Yes, they were washing the dishes. This was done by Sija
16 Zepcanin and Biba Hadjic, these two.
17 Q. At the camp were you physically mistreated?
18 A. No, women were not mistreated, none of them, only this old
19 woman that was once tied by Nikolic because she asked to
20 go to the toilet when it was not the time to go.
21 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you, madam. No further questions.
22 JUDGE RIAD: Mrs. Smajlovic, you were in the same hangar or
23 camp with the men. Were you mixed or was there a barrier
24 between the men and women in such a way that you had your
25 intimacy reserved?
1 A. No, no. We were together in the same hangar but men were
2 at one side and we were on the other side, women and
3 children, but there was no barrier.
4 Q. So, in fact, you were living together, you could see eac
5 other in every way?
6 A. Yes, of course, yes, we could. That is true. We could
7 see each other and we saw the whole room.
8 Q. You were treated like men, I mean, using the toilets and
9 all that sort of thing, you had to do it in the hangar?
10 A. Yes. We had to use the buckets. There was a corner and
11 there were actually two corners, and we women were a bit
12 ashamed. There were men there, my brothers were there, my
13 sons were there, children and all people from Vlasenica
14 and the surrounding area, and they were all younger
15 people. So there were only a few people my age, the rest
16 were younger people. I would call them like my children,
17 you know.
18 So I was ashamed and there were other women who were
19 very embarrassed, but we had to do it and what we did was
20 we took a blanket, and then one would be holding the
21 blanket and the other would be doing, urinating or
22 whatever. So the blanket was put there.
23 Q. You said that you were taken in a truck, all of you, to
24 the camp. When you were taken in the truck and you said
25 there were 20 women and children and so on to the camp of
1 Susica, how did they choose you? Were they choosing
2 certain people and leaving others or just collecting
4 A. When they took us to the camp, you are asking about our
5 being taken to the camp, or when we were leaving the
6 camp? Are you asking about the arrival in the camp? I
7 did not .....
8 Q. The very first taking of people to the camp. Whom were
9 they taking exactly? Were they taking only Muslims o
10 were they taking the opposition or people who fought
11 against them? What was their determining criteria?
12 A. You see, they were collecting only Muslims, only Muslims.
13 This was the only criterion and there was no other
14 criterion, just being a Muslim or not being a Muslim.
15 That was the only thing for them. They did not worry who
16 he was, whether he was -- what their occupation was. The
17 important thing was that he was a Muslim or she was a
19 Q. You also said that nobody would talk to you because there
20 was an order that nobody would talk to Muslims; is that
22 A. That was true. They did not -- they were not allowed to
23 talk to us. No Serb or a Serb woman, man or woman, were
24 not allowed to talk to us Muslims. My neighbours, next
25 door neighbours, would pass and I would say: "Good
1 morning" when I saw them or "Good afternoon" or "Good
2 evening" or whatever. They would just lower their heads
3 and would not even answer my greeting, "Good morning" or
4 "Good evening". They would just lower their heads and
5 pass as if they had never seen me before while they had
6 used to drink coffee with me, we used to have chats
7 together. We were very good friends, but I do not blame
8 them, you see. They were acting on some kind of orders,
9 prohibition orders, and that was it.
10 Q. When did this start exactly?
11 A. That started on 21st April when the JNA entered Vlasenica
12 and when they captured Vlasenica. Up to that date
13 everything was nice and fine.
14 Q. In the camp you said that Nikolic would choose a man an
15 beat him and he would die later inside the hangar like
16 Dedic and Music. What made him choose these people, in
17 particular? Did they have a special role in the
19 A. No, they had no special role at all. They were nice, fine
20 people but they were Muslims and that, I think, was the
21 only reason. They did not choose anybody in particular,
22 just Muslims, and they took them one after the other.
23 Q. When you were packed in the truck after leaving the camp,
24 you said that they stopped the truck and they selected
25 girls between, like, 15 years old, 16 years old, and there
1 was -- they took 27 young women. What did you hear about
2 these women afterwards and what happened to them?
3 A. Not a word was ever heard from them. Nobody ever heard
4 from them after that. We do not know whether they exist
5 at all.
6 Q. But you said that you heard the soldiers saying, and
7 I quote you: "We want Muslims to see how our seed is"; is
8 that right?
9 A. That is right. That is exactly what they said.
10 Q. That is all you heard after that?
11 A. Yes, that is all. That is all. Nothing more.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Mrs. Smajlovic, let
14 me assure you I am
15 not going to put many questions to you, but you stayed in
16 Susica camp for some 20 days; the men went out to work in
17 the forest. What were the women doing meanwhile?
18 A. Nothing special. We just stayed in the camp. We did not
19 do anything. They did not force us to do anything, to
20 work. We just sat there
21 Q. The children in the camp, what did the children do?
22 Children like to play, they like to run around, keep
23 busy. So what was that like for the children in the camp?
24 A. Well, the children just sat down. They were not allowed
25 to move around. They were with their mothers sitting in
1 their laps, and they brought, according to Nikolic's
2 orders, Sija Zepcanin she used to bring milk to children,
3 a biscuit. Then for lunch they also had some food, the
4 same food as we had. In the evening for dinner children
5 received a cup of milk or a biscuit or if they had some
6 spare bread they would give them a slice of bread. I also
7 received some food from guards when Nikolic was away.
8 They would give us either some milk to us elderly women.
9 I was very weak at that time.
10 Q. Since you have moved to where you are now, have you seen
11 any women survivors of that camp? Have you talked and
12 what can you tell us on that score?
13 A. I did not talk to them a lot. I know several women but
14 I seldom visit them. I live away from them. I do not
15 like to walk around too much. I am not really fit.
16 I have problems walking around. So I did not have many
17 conversations with them, but Dika Zubovic was there and
18 Fadila Karavic. She lives in Gracanica and that is far
19 from where we are. Then there was this woman Kicic, she
20 lives in Tuzla but, you know, you have to pay for the
21 ticket and visit her and I do not have any money so
22 I cannot see them very often. So I did not have many
23 conversations with them.
24 Q. You went through that some three years ago now. You are
25 at the International Criminal Tribunal which one da
1 should listen to the defence. Now I would like to know,
2 to finish, what your feelings are about all you have lived
3 through. Do you feel hatred, sadness, a feel of revenge,
5 A. I feel -- let me try to tell you. I feel that had my son
6 done something like that and had I seen it with my own
7 eyes, I would have testified against him as I am
8 testifying against Nikolic. I would not be sorry because
9 I would ask punishment for my son if he had done anything
10 like that, because this was pure hatred and the only
11 reason was to try to destroy the Muslim nation.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Thank you, Mrs.
13 Smajlovic. The Tribunal
14 is very appreciative for you having testified. We realise
15 it was not easy for you. You will be seen out. You will
16 be cared for by the witness people. We hope you will have
17 a safe journey home to your new home, and we do hope that
18 you will find the piece of mind you deserve in the future
19 thank you very much.
20 THE WITNESS: [Original in Bosnian] Thank you very much.
21 (The witness withdrew).
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Prosecutor, you have
23 the floor.
24 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour. Your Honours, that
25 concludes the evidence we wish to call from the
1 eyewitnesses themselves. We have previously provided your
2 Honours with the documentation that was placed in support
3 of the indictment, plus additional material. The
4 statements from witnesses who were not called at these
5 proceedings, we would ask your Honours if the order for
6 non-disclosure that has been issued could be applied to
7 those statements. But in order to give some evidence o
8 the contents of some of those statements, we would seek to
9 call an investigator from the Office of the Prosecutor's
10 Investigation Section, Investigator Paepen. He, if your
11 Honours please, will give some evidence of the contents of
12 some of the more of the important statements that are
13 submitted in support of the indictment.
14 Subject to your Honours' order, Investigator Paepen
15 will not make reference to the names, addresses or any
16 other identifying material contained in the statements.
17 He will merely give a brief summary, if your Honours
18 please, of the contents of the more significant of those
19 statements. Subject to your Honours' orders, I will then
20 seek to call Investigator Paepen.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] With regard to the
22 orders, the Registrar
23 perhaps can tell us exactly what the situation is. We had
24 an order for partial non-disclosure, so Mr. Paepen is
25 going to testify publicly with full disclosure of his own
1 identity. So we will keep the order, except that as far
2 as this person goes we will lift it but we will keep for
3 the testimony. So we will lift it for Mr. Paepen but we
4 will maintain the order for the testimony that will be
5 referred to. Is that right? Can you agree with that,
6 Mr. Prosecutor? I admit it is a bit complicated.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Not entirely. Your Honour, Mr. Paepen's
8 evidence, what he will give and what he will say, is
9 contained in the statement. We do not seek that the
10 non-disclosure order apply to that. We merely seek that
11 the non-disclosure order apply to the statements
12 themselves and to the names and addresses of the witnesses
13 contained in those statements, but what he says is fo
14 public disclosure.
15 Just before I call Investigator Paepen, your Honours,
16 there is a statement which we will refer to and is listed
17 by the number 7.15. That is a statement by a witness of
18 the Prosecutor and the Prosecution will no longer rely
19 upon, and we ask that that be specifically excluded from
20 the material in support of the indictment.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Mr. Registrar,
22 please. Yes, 7.15 I am
23 not acquainted with, but if you have decided to withdraw
24 that from the file that is fine. When we take the overall
25 decision we will rule on this matter as a whole. Simply
1 as you said, the statement was among the documents that
2 had been provided to the Judge for confirming the
3 indictment. That statement was in the indictment under
4 Rule 47.
5 MR. NIEMANN: It was, your Honour.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Now you are asking
7 that it be withdrawn.
8 We will take a decision on that, but we will tell you what
9 the decision is when we take the final decision on the
10 case as a whole.
11 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] With regard to Mr.
13 Paepen's testimony he
14 is an investigator; is that correct.
15 MR. NIEMANN: That is correct, your Honour.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] So the Registrar is
17 going to draft a
18 decision to submit. So that everything be perfectly clear
19 to everyone, Mr. Paepen is not a victim. He is here
20 summoned by the Prosecutor in the same way as Dr. Gow
21 was. So he is an investigator. He is going to testify
22 publicly in line with Rule 61. So unlike the othe
23 witnesses who were victims and did not want their
24 addresses known, Mr. Paepen is going to be mentioning a
25 number of names and it is in respect of those names that
1 the Prosecutor is asking us to see to it that they remain
2 confidential, that they are not disclosed.
3 So now it is a matter for the Registrar to come up
4 with the appropriate order. It is a bit complicated but
5 we know the Registrar will be able to do it.
6 One last question for you, Mr. Prosecutor. The wish
7 of the Tribunal, but it is only a wish, we will hear out
8 all the witnesses, and as you can see we are quite
9 attentive, but the wish of the Tribunal would have been
10 for us to finish by the end of the morning in hearing
11 testimony. If that is not possible we can go on this
12 afternoon. Did your office then plan to make a statement
13 just so that we can organise our work for today? You have
15 floor sir.
16 MR. NIEMANN: My colleague, Miss McHenry, will wish to make a
17 statement to your Honours in conclusion. I cannot be
18 certain that Mr. Paepen will finish in an hour, but I will
19 endeavour to move him along with such speed as I can
20 muster to achieve that end.
21 Your Honours, in relation to something that fell from
22 your Honour, Mr. Paepen will not mention the name of the
23 witnesses. He will refer to them by reference to the
24 statement number in your Honours' dossier. In fact I hand
25 to your Honour the list of references that Mr. Paepen will
1 relate to. Your Honours, will see the statement number
2 and your Honours will see in the right-hand
3 column -- sorry, the right-hand column is the list o
4 numbers and in the right-hand column is the actual names.
5 It is those names that we are seeking to be kept
6 confidential. When Mr. Paepen refers to the number your
7 Honours will see the name to which he is making reference,
8 which is the statements that are contained in your
9 Honours' dossier. At the conclusion of his evidence he
10 has the statements which he can submit to your Honours for
11 the record if that is required, but those statements are
12 statements that are already in your Honours's dossiers.
13 As I said, this is not all the statements. This is
14 just a selection of the more important ones. There are
15 numerous other statements which your Honours have already
16 had access to and no particular reference will be made to
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Maybe when we listen
19 to Miss McHenry we
20 could go into this. Just to make things clear, under this
21 Rule 61 hearing that is coming to an end can we take it
22 that the Prosecutor's Office thinks the major testimony is
23 in this list which will remain confidential, and then the
24 testimony we heard physically?
25 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, and all the other statements as well, but
1 rather than go through every statement and have every
2 statement summarised, which would take probably two days,
3 it is better, we thought, just to rely on the most
4 important statements, but we do seek to rely on all the
5 statements when it comes to your Honours considering
6 evidence at the conclusion of the matter.
7 This is merely a selection that we have made based on
8 our assessment of what we think are the most important
9 witnesses and it is done this way in order to do it a
10 quickly and as efficiently as possible.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Last question, Mr.
12 Prosecutor, but it is
13 more for your colleague now. I understand from
14 Mr. Paepen, we are not going to restrict him in this way,
15 he should say what he has to say, but it is just a view to
16 organisation. Miss McHenry, maybe you can tell us how,
17 long do you plan to speak in your conclusion since there
18 should not be any questions, just a few questions, just a
19 rough idea?
20 MISS McHENRY: Your Honour, I would estimate it would be
21 approximately between half an hour and 45 minutes,
22 although obviously I will take your guidance on that
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Fine. I believe we
25 can call Jozef
2 Mr. Jozef Paepen, called.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Can you hear, Mr.
5 A. I do, your Honour.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] So if you could
7 kindly read out the
8 solemn declaration.
9 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth,
10 the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] You have the floor,
12 Mr. Prosecutor.
13 MR. NIEMANN: Would you state your full name?
14 A. My name is Paepen Jozef.
15 Q. You are a citizen of what country?
16 A. I am a Belgian citizen.
17 Q. Where were you born?
18 A. I was born in Belgium.
19 Q. What is your current occupation
20 A. Since 1st July 1994 I worked as an investigator in the
21 Office of the Prosecutor, of the Tribunal.
22 Q. Prior to that what was your position?
23 A. I was an officer of the Belgian Military Police.
24 Q. In July of 1994 were you part of a team assigned to
25 investigate certain incidents relating to a particular
1 camp at Susica in Vlasenica?
2 A. Yes, I was.
3 Q. Very quickly, for the benefit of their Honours, can you
4 tell them how you went about that process of
6 A. As soon as we got the assignment we got information and
7 gathered information from the media, non-government
8 organisations, Bosnian authorities. From this
9 information, sir, we got the witnesses's names and then we
10 started to interview different witnesses. When
11 I interviewed most of those witnesses of course we got
12 access to more names.
13 Q. You and your team then proceeded to take a series of
14 statements from these witnesses?
15 A. Yes, sir, we did.
16 Q. Have you for the purposes of giving your evidence today
17 prepared a summary of some of those statements, in
18 particular the statements that you considered to be the
19 more important of all of the statements that were taken in
20 relation to this investigation?
21 A. Yes, sir, we selected 14 statements for that purpose.
22 Q. This is 14 out of some 50 odd statements; is that right?
23 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Prosecuting Counsel,
1 me, regarding
2 these documents, will they be made available to the
4 MR. NIEMANN: They have already been made available to the
5 Tribunal, your Honour. The statements have, but I think
6 Mr. Paepen has further statements, further copies of
7 them. The copies have already been made available. They
8 are the original dossier.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Yes, the original
10 dossier contains all
11 the testimonies, 7.46, and all the rest of them, but the
12 testimonial made before the Tribunal which will be part of
13 the transcription, as is the case for all the other
14 testimonials, but as part of the written version, will the
15 witness be able to deliver his document to the Tribunal or
16 is it just a personal document that he possesses?
17 MR. NIEMANN: I understand, your Honour, he has prepared notes
18 to assist him in giving the evidence as expeditiously as
19 possible. Those notes are not in a form I would imagine
20 would be of assistance to anyone except the witness, but
21 if your Honours wish to have the notes I do not think
22 there would be any difficulty in them being made
23 available, but he will be referring to them in order to
24 assist him to organise his evidence, in a manner to assist
25 him to deliver it as expeditiously as possible.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] As far as I am
2 concerned, I am not asking
3 for the personal notes of the witness. I was just
4 referring to what we did with Dr. Gow, because Dr. Gow did
5 submit a type of memorandum, a type of written note. If
6 this does not apply to the present witness we will not
7 insist on this point. I was just raising the question,
8 regarding the question of whether, in fact, Mr. Paepen ha
9 produced some sort of memorandum; if not, there is no
10 problem, Prosecuting counsel, and I will not pursue the
12 MR. NIEMANN: No, he has not prepared one. He has not prepared
13 a formal statement, in other words.
14 (To the witness): Mr. Paepen, when you refer in the
15 course of evidence to particular statements how is it that
16 you intend to identify the statement for the benefit of
17 their Honours so they know which one you are referring to?
18 A. The statements will be referred to by the number of
20 Q. OK. Starting, firstly, with the first statement, can you
21 proceed to give a summary of those statements that you
22 have specifically selected?
23 A. Yes, sir. The first statement is the statement which is
24 referred to under No. 7.27. This statement is of a 40
25 year old witness from Vlasenica who is a mechanical
1 engineer. It is a statement about general information
2 about the situation in the city of Vlasenica until the
3 takeover by the Serbs.
4 The witness states that during the elections, the
5 multi-party elections, in 1990 he was elected and, as a
6 result of that, he was elected President of the Executive
7 Council in the city of Vlasenica. In the city of
8 Vlasenica there was a parliament which consisted of about
9 60 people. 27 of those delegates were Serbian, 26 were
10 Muslims from the SDA party and seven were from the
11 opposition. From this parliament an Executive Council was
12 constituted. The Executive Council was composed of six
13 people from which our witness was the President. Beside
14 the President there were two other Muslims and there were
15 then three Serbian.
16 Our witness states that he being the President of
17 Executive Council which are Muslim -- I am sorry, I have
18 interference -- as I told, the President of the Executive
19 Council, he was a Muslim. The Mayor was Serb. The
20 President of the police was also a Serb. In the city this
21 police was composed of about 170 reserve policemen. About
22 110 of these people were from Serbian nationality, the
23 others Muslims.
24 Our witness sent messages to the national
25 authorities, and the national police authorities urged the
1 local authorities to change the number in order that the
2 two ethnic groups would be represented as they were in
3 number, that means around 50 per cent for each. However,
4 the witness states that the police chief and the mayor,
5 both of Serbian nationality, they did not comply with the
6 situation and the request of the national police
8 The witness states further on that prior to the war
9 irregular military units were formed in the area of
10 Vlasenica. This matter he put to the national government
11 in Sarajevo, and he had several meetings with the military
12 JNA command of the troops who were based in a city Han
13 Pjesak which is not so far from Vlasenica.
14 The Serbian soldiers were arresting Muslim people,
15 and when the witness made this available, these remarks to
16 the Serbian Colonel, the answer was just simple: "You
17 know, they are soldiers. Things like that can happen."
18 In order to try to change this, and the witness asked th
19 Colonel that Muslim people would be also be allowed to be
20 a part of those irregular troops and put them under one
21 command. This demand was refused by the Colonel who told
22 that Muslims were not allowed to have weapons because if
23 they would have weapons they would shoot at the Serbs.
24 Later on, the witness says that in his function as
25 President of the Executive Council a lot of Serbs came to
1 his office and they believed that he was a Serb mayor.
2 They came to him and they made complaints, asking him why
3 they, as Serb civilians, Serb citizens, did not yet have
4 received the weapons, because a lot of the other Serb
5 people had already received weapons. As he said: "But
6 who delivered the weapons?" The answer was that the
7 weapons were delivered by the army.
8 Another incident in the beginning of the month of
9 April 1992, the witness together with the Serb mayor went
10 to a spot where a shooting had taken place. When arrived
11 at this place, he saw several Serb children carrying
12 weapons. When he asked them: "How do you come to those
13 weapons? Where do they come from?" they said they were
14 given to them by the army.
15 Q. I think that he speaks also in his evidence about a Crisis
16 Committee being established, does he?
17 A. Yes, sir, he does.
18 Q. He gives general evidence about the background of what
19 happened leading up to and continuing on immediately after
20 the takeover?
21 A. Yes, that is right.
22 Q. Thank you. Would you move on to the next witness now?
23 A. I can, sir. The second witness is referred to unde
24 No. 7.1. This witness is a 59 year old lady. The lady
25 was not in the camp, but her daughter-in-law and 12 year
1 old grand-daughter were in the camp. In order to be able
2 to move into the city of Vlasenica and to go from the
3 place in the city where she lived to the camp, which is
4 only a few hundred metres away from her home to the camp,
5 she needed a passport, a kind of laisser passer. This
6 laisser passer was to be asked at the city authorities.
7 She got one and we got the document in her possession.
8 Q. A copy was made available during the course of the
10 A. Right, sir.
11 Q. The next witness?
12 A. Our next witness is referred to under the No. 7.33. The
13 witness is a female witness, 60 years old, whose son was
14 in the Susica camp. The witness says that after the
15 takeover by the Serbs, immediately people, Muslim people,
16 were arrested. First of all, the young men; some of them
17 were sent back to their homes and then they were arrested
18 again. The witness says that at the takeover, the Hodja,
19 the Imam, had to tell the people to turn over the
20 weapons. After that Serbs started looting the houses.
22 continued during the months May and June, and at the end
23 of the month of June her son was arrested at her home. A
24 few days later she was arrested.
25 When she arrived at the camp she found back her son,
1 her son who had been severely beaten up. I quote the
2 witness: "When the older men were transported from the
3 camp to Batkovic, I heard my son, Fikret, asked to Dragan
4 Nikolic if he could go with them. Nikolic yelled: 'You
5 do not talk' and he put his bayonet in Fikret's mouth.
6 The bayonet stayed in my son's mouth. My son was
7 allegedly not wounded by the bayonet because I did not see
8 any blood at this moment, but I was not able to talk to my
9 son before I left the camp. When I left the camp my son
10 Figret was still able to walk. I believe this his
11 shoulder was broken because it was badly swollen. The
12 right side of his face was swollen. His right eye was
13 closed." End of the quote.
14 Q. Now the next witness?
15 A. The next witness is a 63 year old man. The statement is
16 referred as a No. 7.2.
17 Q. Just in summary form what can you tell us about this
19 A. In summary form, sir, this man has been arrested while
20 working at the field. He was working together with his
21 daughter. He was arrested by four men who were wearing
22 the JNA uniform. This happened on 1st June 1992. He was
23 brought to the Susica camp where he was interrogated first
24 time, then a second time. During this interrogation he
25 had been beaten and assaulted with a rifle butt.
1 Three or four days after his arrival at the camp
2 Dragan Nikolic, the camp commander, whom he knew
3 personally because he had worked with his father, told him
4 to give him all the valuables, money, jewels also ID cards
5 with the promise that they would receive it back later on,
6 but they never received it back. The witness names a few
7 of the camp guards and during his stay he was a witness,
8 he saw some people who had been beaten and who died as a
9 result of the beatings
10 Q. Does he name those people?
11 A. Yes, sir, he does.
12 Q. What names are they, the ones that he saw killed?
13 A. The ones that he saw killed were Handzic, Durmo, Asim
14 Zildzic, a man called Zekic, Kolarevic and then two other
15 people whose name he does not know. During his stay at
16 the camp our witness also witnessed the incident with the
17 bayonet when the camp commander put the bayonet in the
18 mouth of the victim Arnaut.
19 Q. Thank you. The next witness?
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Prosecuting counsel,
21 if we could pay
22 attention to one particular point here regarding
23 confidentiality. You have just mentioned this incident of
24 the bayonet and you mentioned the name of somebody. We
25 have, in fact, concealed the name of the sister. I would
1 like to point that fact out because we do have to pay
2 attention to this particular question. Do you agree with
3 that, Prosecuting counsel.
4 MR. NIEMANN: I do, your Honour, and I would ask the witness to
5 be careful about that.
6 (To the witness): When you are giving answers would
7 be careful not to .....
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir, I will. The next witness, your Honour,
9 is a female, 70 year old witness. The statement is
10 referred to under number 7.6. In the summary this witness
11 was taken out with the rest of the people from her street
12 around 24th June to the Susica camp. She witnessed that
13 detainees were beaten by Serb soldiers. Also this witness
14 witnessed some people who died as a result of the beating.
15 Q. Can you name those people that she witnessed being killed
16 A. Yes, she witnessed the killing of the people named Dzevad
17 Saric, Mevludin Hatunic and a man called Ismet.
18 Q. Did she make any observations as to who carried out in
19 whole or in part the activities in relation to these
21 A. This witness says that killings were done and the beatings
22 were done by Nikolic, sir.
23 Q. Is there anything else you want to say in relation to
25 A. This witness has personally been beaten by Dragan Nikolic,
1 the camp commander, and as a result of that there have
2 been established medical documents at her return.
3 Q. The next witness? The next witness, sir, is under the
4 statement, refer No. 7.34. It is a 64 year old factory
5 worker. The man lived in Vlasenica and after all the
6 events that happened in Vlasenica he decided to escape.
7 Together with a neighbour he tried to escape through the
8 woods but on the date of the 12th July 1992 he was
9 arrested in a village of Zeravic. From there they were
10 brought to the local village and then they were brought to
11 the SUP building, that is the police building in
13 In this building the witness has been beaten
14 severely, interrogated, and he states that his teeth were
15 beaten out. Then from this police building the witness
16 has been brought to the Susica camp where at the day of
17 his arrival and the day after the witness saw die two
18 people. One -----
19 Q. Can you give the names of those people?
20 A. Yes, sir. One was the name Music -- he did not know th
21 first name -- and the second one is Galib Music.
22 Q. Did he make any observations as to who participated in or
23 carried out these killings?
24 A. This witness, sir, it was the day of his arrival. The
25 people were laying inside of the building and he did not
1 see the beating himself. He just saw the people laying
2 there and dying as a result of the beating and the lack of
4 Q. Thank you. The next statement?
5 A. The next statement is a 40 year old carpenter. The
6 statement is referred to under No. 7.35. Again this
7 witness has been arrested while working at his field. The
8 day that he was arrested was 2nd June. The man was
9 brought also to the Susica camp. In this camp he
10 personally also witnessed the death of several people,
11 people who died as a result of beatings by camp personnel
12 or by the camp command.
13 Q. Have you got the names of those?
14 A. Yes, sir. The people who were beaten and who died as a
15 result of those beatings were Durmo Handzic and Asim
17 Q. Did he also observe an incident in relation to the person
18 called Cece Arnaut?
19 A. Yes, sir, he did. He was also a witness on 30th June when
20 the commander Dragan Nikolic put a bayonet into the mouth
21 of that man.
22 Q. The next statement?
23 A. The next statement is a statement of a 33 year old
24 housewife. This statement is referred to under No. 7.37.
25 This witness lived in a neighbourhood of Vlasenica and she
1 was there together with her two children, a son of 11 and
2 a daughter of five.
3 Because of the events and attacks in the area they
4 decided to run to the woods but they were arrested, and
5 they were brought to the Susica camp where they stayed for
6 about 20 days. She says in the camp men were separated
7 from the women, no proper toilet facilities, no food
8 during the first days. She says that Dragan Nikolic who
9 she knew from before, because she was a brother's working
10 colleague, was in charge of the camp. This witness saw
11 the killing of three people: Mevludin Hatunic, Galib Music
12 and a man called Mustafa.
13 Q. The next witness?
14 A. The next witness, sir, the statement of the witness who is
15 a 30 year machinist in an enterprise. This man -- I am
16 sorry this statement is referred to under the No. 7.10 --
17 this man is from the village of Papraca where he was a
18 member of a political party, President of the SDP, Social
19 Democrat party. The witness states that in the period of
20 4th April 1992, also in Papraca, ultimatum was given to
21 the Muslims in order to hand over the weapons, and they
22 had the time to do that until the 8th April.
23 Many Muslim people fled immediately after the
24 ultimatum, but a few days later, since everything seemed
25 to be calm, they returned, also our witness did. On
1 31st May 1992 all people were ordered to get at a
2 particular place from where they were taken to the
3 Vlasenica school. They stayed for about eight to nine
4 days in the school and then they were transported to the
5 Susica camp in Vlasenica
6 The witness recognised Dragan Nikolic as the camp
7 commander. Nikolic told the prisoners that he was the
8 commander. During his stay in the camp he witnessed the
9 beating of Durmo Handzic by Dragan Nikolic and the witness
10 states that Handzic died the next morning. Also, the
11 witness states that during his stay in the camp people
12 named as Zekic Kolarevic and Ferhatovic -- excuse me,
13 Ferhatbegovic were taken out. Then the witness heard
14 shots and the people were never seen again.
15 Q. Thank you. The next witness?
16 A. The next witness, a statement referred to as the No. 7.19,
17 a 31 year old shoe factory worker from the village of
18 Papraca. On 31st May the witness was arrested while
19 working in the fields and brought also then from his
20 village to the school in Vlasenica.
21 Around 8th June he was brought to Susica camp. The
22 camp commander was Dragan Nikolic. The witness states
23 also that the following people were badly beaten and died
24 as a result of the beating: Durmo Handzic, Asim Zildzic.
25 Further on during his stay in the camp, Muharim Kolarevic,
1 Dzevad Saric, Zekic and Rasid Ferhatbegovic were called
2 out and then the witness heard screams and gun shots. The
3 witness states that he did not hear Nikolic that night.
4 Q. The next witness?
5 A. The next witness is a statement referred under the
6 No. 7.41. It is an 18 year old female student who lived
7 in Vlasenica and was taken prisoner together with her
8 mother, two sisters and brought to the Susica camp on
9 1st July. Dragan Nikolic whom she knew from before the
10 war was the camp commander
11 1 During her stay until 22nd July, she remembers that a
12 man called Mevludin Hatunic as being interrogated and
13 beaten by Dragan Nikolic. She says that when Hatunic came
14 back, his face was swollen, he was vomiting blood and he
15 died. Also the man Galib Music was taken out and beaten
16 by Nikolic. A few days later this man died also.
17 Q. Thank you. The next witness?
18 A. The next witness statement referred to as No. 7.42, a
19 36 year old driver from Vlasenica. The witness states
20 that the Serbs issued an ultimatum to the Muslims to hand
21 over their weapons, and this was in April 92. He was
22 arrested on 2nd June with the other man, women and
23 children from his street and he was taken to the Susica
24 camp. He states that upon arrival at the camp their
25 belongings and documents were taken by the Serbs. Nikolic
1 Dragan was in charge of the camp, and the witness knows
2 him because he is a former working colleague of him in the
3 Alpro factory in the Vlasenica.
4 Between the 20th and 25th June his brother and
5 another man were called out by Nikolic and they were
6 severely beaten. When his brother came back he had a
7 wound at his cheek and seven of his ribs were broken.
8 Another of the witness's brothers was also severely beaten
9 several times. The witness further on states that Durmo
10 Handzic, Asim Zildzic, Esmir Smajlovic and Mirsad
11 Smajlovic were taken out by Nikolic and severely beaten.
12 Both Durmo Handzic and Asim Zildzic died as a result of
13 the beatings.
14 The witness states that when Asim Zildzic returned
15 into the hall, or was brought back into the hall, one o
16 his eyes was out of the socket. A few days later after
17 the killing of those people, the witness states that
18 Muharem Kolarevic, Dzevad Saric and Zekic were taken out.
19 The witness states that he heard then cries and some
20 shots. This witness also recalls the incident when the
21 camp commander, Dragan Nikolic, put the bayonet in the
22 mouth of one of the prisoners.
23 Q. The name of that prisoner?
24 A. I am sorry, sir?
25 Q. The name of the prisoner who he saw put the bayonet in the
1 mouth of?
2 A. The man, the name is Arnaut Cece, "Cece" is the nickname.
3 Q. The next witness?
4 A. The next witness is the statement is referred under the
5 No. 7.13. The witness is a 43 year old construction site
6 worker from Vlasenica. He knew personally Dragan Nikolic,
7 the camp commander. During his stay into the camp the
8 witness also witnessed the beating of Durmo Handzic and
9 Asim Zildzic by Dragan Nikolic. The witness also states
10 that when Asim Zildzic was brought back he saw that one of
11 the eyes of the victim was out of the socket.
12 Further on, the witness states that Muharem Kolarevic
13 was called out by Nikolic after which a gun shot was
14 heard. This witness also states about the incident when
15 Dragan Nikolic put the bayonet in the mouth of a prisoner
16 -- the same prisoner as mentioned before.
17 Q. Thank you. The next witness?
18 A. The next witness statement referred to under the No. 7.46,
19 a 31 year old female, son of technician. This witness was
20 arrested on 24th June 1992 together with her father, th
21 sister and two children and she was taken to the Susica
22 camp. Dragan Nikolic was the commander of the camp and
23 she knew him because he was a school mate of her brother.
24 The witness was taken out one night out of the camp and
25 she was raped in a house outside the camp.
1 Q. Then what happened? Was she then released on 27th June,
3 A. The witness a few days after that was released. A lot of
4 the women were transported, but some of them were not
5 allowed to go and were sent back to their homes. She was
6 one of the women who was forced to stay in Vlasenica, and
7 she only left the 15th September 1992.
8 Q. Does that the complete your summary?
9 A. This was the complete summary, sir.
10 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Judge Odio Benito,
12 you have the floor to
13 ask questions.
14 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you. (To the witness): Mr. Paepen,
15 did you personally speak with all of these witnesses?
16 A. No, I did not, your Honour.
17 Q. But you were in charge of the investigation?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did you speak with the witness referred as 7.1, for
21 A. No, I did not, your Honour.
22 Q. What about the other female witnesses? Did you speak to
24 A. I spoke with the 7.46, I did.
25 Q. The 7.?
1 A. 46. The last one, your Honour
2 Q. Did you ask her, this witness, what happened with her
4 A. Yes, your Honour, I did.
5 Q. And?
6 A. I saw also her sister. She was interrogated by my
7 colleague. They were both on the same day present. My
8 colleague interrogated her and I interrogated this
9 witness. The sister was not raped, your Honour.
10 Q. Was she physically abused or mistreated or -----
11 A. The sister was brought the same night together with the
12 witness out of the camp, but this witness said that she
13 was not raped. They have been with that man in the rooms,
14 one of the rooms, of the house where the witness had been
15 raped, but the sister said she was not raped, and she was
16 not sexually harassed.
17 Q. Let me ask you, did you know if the interrogator who
18 interviewed the witness referred as 7.1 asked her what
19 happened with her daughter-in-law and her grand-daughter
20 at the Susica camp?
21 A. Yes, your Honour. The question was asked and the witness
22 together with her daughter-in-law, her grand-daughter and
23 her grandson who was not in the camp, they managed to get
24 on a bus and they could leave Vlasenica and then to the
25 Muslim territory, your Honour.
1 Q. The witness referred to as 7.41 ---
2 A. Yes, your Honour.
3 Q. -- you spoke about, she was 18 years old?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. She was taken to the camp with her mother and two
6 sisters. In our paper we have heard of rapes, but you di
7 not mention anything about this?
8 A. About this witness?
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. When the witness left the camp about 150 women were taken
11 off that convoy at the place called Palamic. Sometime
12 time later about 100 were liberated and could come to the
13 Bosnian territory, but about 50 of them were kept in
14 Palamic and there is no news about them. One of those 50
15 was her sister. Now the witness said that a lot of the
16 women who were there might have been raped.
17 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you very much, Mr. Paepen. No
18 further questions.
19 JUDGE RIAD: The testimony which you mentioned of 7.6 was
20 concerning a female of the age of 70 years?
21 A. Yes, your Honour.
22 Q. I did not exactly catch at the end, you said she was
23 beaten personally?
24 A. Yes, the witness states, your Honour, that at certain
25 moment she was interrogated by Dragan Nikolic in the
1 presence also of other men, other guards, and that at that
2 interrogation she had been beaten on her hands by Dragan
3 Nikolic, sir.
4 Q. In the case of 7.46 concerning a female of 30 years old,
5 when she was taken out of the camp and being raped ----
6 A. Yes, your Honour.
7 Q. Did she mention who committed this crime?
8 A. We have, I believe, a nickname, sir, of the man who did
9 it. This name is Slidan.
10 Q. Nikolic was around?
11 A. She states that Nikolic was not part in that. They wer
12 taken out by two men, she and her sister, and a third
13 female person has been taken out by a man called Obrenovic
14 Zoran, but not Nikolic at that moment, sir.
15 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
16 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Excuse me, may I ask a question?
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Yes.
18 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Were these men under Nikolic's orders?
19 A. As far as we know, your Honour, these men were not part of
20 the regular camp guards from which we have names, but were
21 of the so-called Specialists who frequently came into the
22 camp, and which are mentioned by several witnesses as
23 taking part in beatings. These were the irregular called
24 specialists also, your Honour.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Mr. Paepen, in what
1 you have told us this
2 morning you have not made any reference to the presence of
3 children. We had the feeling there were children. Could
4 you comment on that?
5 A. Your Honour, in some of the statements it was mentioned
6 that children were present in the camp. The lady who had
7 had laisser paisser brought food to the camp, also for her
8 daughter-in-law and for her grandchild, but we have other
9 information also that women were brought there with the
10 children. However, the information we got is that they
11 stayed for a short time, two or three days, and then were
12 put on buses to Kladanj or Srpske or eventually Tuzla.
13 That means at that time the areas free territory, Muslim
15 Q. Yes. Well, that questions brings me to a further
16 question, Mr. Paepen. We listened to 12 or 13 witnesses
17 who were called by the Prosecution. Needless to say w
18 listened to the witnesses as attentively as possible. It
19 is not for the Tribunal to go into too many points, but
20 nevertheless it has our responsibility to clear up certain
21 matters in the absence of the defence and just for human
22 reasons we did not want to put the witnesses in a
23 difficult situation. But when there is a trial the
24 witnesses will have to respond to the questions from the
25 defence counsel.
1 I say this because we have noted that there is some
2 contradiction in what the witnesses have said, for example
3 just to mention a few when it comes to whether children
4 were present or not, when it comes to the number of people
5 who were held in the hangar, the fact that some people
6 were maltreated and others were not, etc. We understand
7 that this is not surprising; the victims suffered and we
8 cannot expect them to be acquainted and remember every
10 My question is the following. As an investigator for
11 the Prosecutor's Office did you draw up an overall summary
12 note to be able to tell your office, and why not the
13 Tribunal, what the basic conditions are that everyone
14 agrees on, for example, the dates, the time period during
15 which the camps were running, the number of men and women
16 who were held there, etc? Have you drawn up such a
17 document, perhaps even just for your own use as
18 Prosecuting Counsel do, where you can say on the basis of
19 all of the testimony we have gathered we can be
20 practically sure in saying that between a given day in May
21 1992 and June 1992 there was a camp in Susica that was
22 laid out in such a such a way that probably so and so man
23 people went through it, that there were about so many
24 women there? Of course, there are considerable
25 differences. We have heard some witnesses say there were
1 only two women there; other witnesses have said there were
2 a lot of women there. Did you go ahead with a document
3 along these lines and, if you do have one, could you make
4 it available? Perhaps if we resume, if you want to think
5 about that, maybe you could tell us how you plan to deal
6 with this concern on the part of the Judges.
7 A. Your Honour, we made after the statements and taken in
8 account information that we had from other sources, we
9 have made an analysis concerning the camp, when we can say
10 that the camp existed from the beginning of June until in
11 September, for this period September is, if I may say so,
12 the end of the major occupation of the camp, because at a
13 later stage we have some information that during visit at
14 the camp a few prisoners were still held -- and a few, it
15 is not more than 10.
16 Concerning the numbers of the female persons in the
17 camp, it is very difficult, it was very difficult to put
18 exact numbers, this is the same for the male persons,
19 because the witnesses who were available for us were taken
20 in at different dates. We have witness statements of
21 witnesses from different villages and different areas who
22 were brought. As I told, people who came from Papraca who
23 were absolutely not familiar with the people from
24 Vlasenica, and who came in, they only knew their own
25 people. They had their concerns about their own and they
1 could not give much information about people from the
2 other area
3 Now, concerning female persons, a lot of them came in
4 the camp, stayed there for, as I told, one or two days and
5 were then moved towards the free territory. This is the
6 general, also general conclusion of most of witnesses. A
7 few women have been kept for a longer period, but most of
8 the male witnesses who were in the camp between, let us
9 say, the period of 2nd June and then transported towards
10 the camp of Batkovic, it was three days at the end of
11 June, 27th, 28th and 30th. After that period not so much
12 male persons were there any more. It is very -- it is
13 very difficult to put an exact number of the female
14 persons who were in the camp.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Mr. Paepen, the
16 Tribunal would like to
17 thank you for your testimony. If you would care to
18 present an analysis and response to the last question
19 I raised, if that was agreeable to the Prosecutor's
20 office, where you spelled out everything that was common
21 to all the testimony, that is to say, where there was
22 agreement on the part of all the witnesses, I think that
23 would make things easier for the Tribunal for these
24 proceedings and for the future.
25 The Tribunal, having heard the Prosecution's
1 questions and your answers and with your information,
2 those listening, the media, those passing on this
3 information, I think you have made it clear how difficult
4 it is for the investigators, for the Prosecutor's office,
5 to carry out proceedings on a territory that is in a state
6 of war, and where these horrible things are taking place.
7 Thank you very much, Mr. Paepen. You may leave the
8 courtroom, sir
9 (The witness withdrew)
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Before adjourning
11 (and we will be
12 resuming at 2.30 this afternoon) I would like to turn to
13 the Prosecutor's officer and, in particular, to
14 Miss McHenry, so you are going to be summing up -- I see
15 Mr. Niemann is rising, so let me talk to him. As I said
16 at the beginning, the Prosecutor's office is one and
17 indivisible so when it comes to the nice things we have to
18 say about it, but with regard to your concluding comments
19 that we are looking for the hearing, I would like to make
20 this clear before we break, in case you have some work to
21 do -- this is for the benefit all those listening -- we
22 are working on the basis of the indictment as admitted to
23 a Judge of this Chamber who is present in these
25 If you are planning to change your indictment partly
1 or wholly, you know there is a special procedure under
2 Rule 50. That is what I wanted to say. We do have our
3 Rules of Procedure that cover indictments. So we are
4 going to adjourn and resume at 2.30 this afternoon.
5 (Luncheon adjournment)
6 (2.30 p.m.)
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Prosecuting counsel,
8 the floor is yours.
9 MISS McHENRY: Thank you, your Honour. First, I would like to
10 discuss a few preliminary matters. One is with the
11 assistance of the clerk, we would like to submit some of
12 the supporting documents for Dr. Gow's assertions that
13 I believe Judge Riad, in particular, had asked and we had
14 stated that, although we might not be able to submit every
15 potential bit of support for his evidence, we would make
16 submission of some of the important parts. That was just
17 prepared today and, as Judge Jorda looks at it, we are
18 submitting it to the Registrar at the same time and,
19 presumably, it will be translated into French as soon as
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Thank you very much,
23 MISS McHENRY: We would also ask at this time that all the
24 documents that have been introduced in this hearing be
25 formally admitted as evidence. I believe all those
1 documents have previously during the course of the hearing
2 been given to your Honours.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] That is quite right.
4 Yes, we approve
6 MISS McHENRY: With respect to your Honours' question
7 immediately before the break about potential amendments,
8 let me advise the court at this time the Prosecution is
9 not seeking an amendment of the indictment. This is not
10 to suggest at some future time, particularly in
11 preparation for trial after the defendant is apprehended,
12 I believe there would probably well be amendment sought at
13 that time but at this time we do not believe it necessary
14 or appropriate.
15 With respect to the last matter raised by your
16 Honours, which is a question directed at -----
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] So, Prosecuting
18 counsel, let me turn to
19 the Registrar before you start. Please note, Registrar,
20 that the Tribunal registers the documents provided
21 throughout the hearing as documents fully given to the
22 Tribunal so that they may be perused and used as seen
23 fit. Then, as procedural documents, please note th
24 documents submitted during the testimony of Dr. Gow. We
25 also register, we also note, that in this case against
1 Dragan Nikolic we still have your indictment which has
2 been confirmed by Judge Odio Benito under Rule 47 of our
3 Statutes. Thank you.
4 MISS McHENRY: Your Honour, with respect to the last matter
5 that you raised immediately before the break, a question,
6 I believe, directed to Mr. Paepen which is whether or not
7 there is some sort of final analysis of sort of
8 everything. I do not believe that that there is such a
9 document existing, although during the course of my
10 argument, my closing argument, I will discuss why that is
11 and what other things there are that do exist that might
12 satisfy some of your Honour's concerns.
13 If I may proceed? Your Honours, we have heard over
14 the past five days some of the evidence against Dragan
15 Nikolic. The case is a strong and simple one; one which
16 illustrates often in frightening detail what happened. It
17 does this by being a case about individuals. Certainly,
18 it is a story of the individual witnesses who testified
19 here this week who, with great courage and with great
20 eloquence, came here and testified before the world.
21 It is hoped that the voices of these witnesses will
22 speak for other victims and serve as an aid to recovery
23 and a remembrance of some of the victims who did not
24 survive. As many of the witnesses' testimony established,
25 this is also the story of some individuals, including some
1 Bosnian Serb individuals, who with dignity and courage
2 acted to help in some way their victims often at risk to
4 The individual this story is most about is Dragan
5 Nikolic; a person in an official capacity; a person with
6 responsibility over the lives of many; a person who
7 permitted others and was permitted by others to kill,
8 torture, assault and otherwise abuse detainees in the most
9 horrible of ways.
10 By speaking of individuals, I do not mean to suggest
11 that Nikolic and his crimes were not part of something
12 larger, because he was and his crimes were. What I mean
13 is that even when crimes are done as part of something
14 bigger involving other individuals, this Tribunal is about
15 individual choices and individual criminal responsibility.
16 War is tragedy. It inevitably involves suffering and
17 death. It is not, however, an activity conducted without
18 legal rules. These rules, International Humanitarian Law,
19 exist to mitigate, where possible, human suffering during
20 wartimes. These rules are universally recognised as
21 establishing the outer limits of acceptable conduct.
22 Murder, torture, inhumane treatment and the other crimes
23 committed by Dragan Nikolic at Susica camp are prohibited
24 at all times in all contexts.
25 By bringing this case and now by bringing this
1 Rule 61 hearing, we condemn all such violations of
2 International Humanitarian Law and we put Dragan Nikolic
3 and all other perpetrators and potential perpetrators on
4 notice. No matter your position, high or low, no matter
5 how famous or unknown your crimes may be, no matter what
6 your nationality or ethnic origin, actions such as those
7 taken here violate the most basic tenants of international
8 law accepted by all nations. As such, you may b
9 prosecuted, and the efforts to bring to light your crimes,
10 and to bring you to justice, will not cease.
11 Dragan Nikolic is accused here or imprisoning more
12 than 500 civilians, of subjecting them to inhumane
13 conditions, of plundering their property, and of sending
14 many to another prison camp, where their suffering
15 continued. His is also accused of killing eight of the
16 detainees, of torturing 10 others and causing serious
17 injury or great suffering to others.
18 Dragan Nikolic was the camp commander at Susica. As
19 such, under Article 7 of our Statute, he can be held
20 culpable for both his personal participation in crimes,
21 and for his responsibility as a superior who could have
22 prevented or punished the crimes of those he supervised.
23 The evidence showed that Nikolic ruled Susica with an
24 iron hand. As he himself said to the detainees: "I am
25 your God and your law". He was at the camp almost all the
1 time. He controlled what went on at the camp and the
2 actions of the guards. But rather than use his position
3 to protect the basic rights of the detainees, imprisoned
4 solely because they were Muslims, Nikolic permitted, nay
5 he encouraged, abuse. He permitted the guards and he
6 permitted others from outside the camp to assault, torture
7 and even kill the detainees.
8 He created, by his own example, an environment where
9 sadistic physical and mental abuse of the detainees was
10 common place. Under the law, Nikolic is thus responsible
11 for the offences at the camp without the necessity of his
12 personal participation. Additionally, however, in almost
13 all, if not all, the cases of the charges in thi
14 indictment, Nikolic is also responsible through his
15 personal participation.
16 I would like to briefly discuss the crimes charged in
17 indictment one by one. I would also like to present the
18 court with the assistance of the clerk with a chart
19 detailing which witnesses had specific testimony relevant
20 to a particular count. The chart that I am presenting may
21 not include a reference to every witness with relevant
22 testimony, but I hope it identifies the major witnesses
23 with respect to each charge.
24 By the term witnesses here, I use the term to include
25 both witnesses who have testified this past week as well
1 as the many more witnesses who have provided written
2 statement and who will come to The Hague to testify at
3 trial. As your Honours know, the Prosecution is relying
4 on both the oral testimony and the written statements
5 previously submitted in this proceeding. There are some
6 crimes, in fact, where the Prosecution's evidence is
7 entirely in the written material.
8 What emerges from the witness who testified is a
9 ghastly picture of the crimes and of the suffering
10 experienced by the victims of those crimes. As we also
11 saw during the hearing, that suffering continues, both
12 with respect to the surviving victims, the witnesses to
13 the crimes and the families of those who did not survive.
14 Here I am going to try to summaries and synthesize
15 the various witnesses' testimony rather than repeat the
16 details of what every witness said. I do not believe it
17 is necessary, or even helpful, for me to discuss the
18 testimony of each witness. Not only is that evidenc
19 already before your Honours, more importantly, the
20 standard in this case is not proof beyond a reasonable
21 doubt or even preponderance of the evidence. This
22 proceeding is for your Honours to confirm that, taking
23 into account all the evidence and reasonable inferences to
24 be drawn, there exist reasonable grounds to believe that
25 the accused has committed the crimes charged in this
2 As stated by Judge Sidhwa, "The evaluation is to be
3 made at the pretrial stage of the proceedings, and not
4 what may turn out subsequently in the light of changing
5 facts". Later: "The evidence, therefore, need not be
6 overly convincing or conclusive; it should be adequate or
7 satisfactory to warrant the belief that the suspect has
8 committed the crimes".
9 As a concrete example of the different standard for a
10 Rule 61 proceedings as opposed to a trial, I would offer
11 the following example. If I were to go into a room filled
12 with several people and call out "Michelle", and of those
13 persons turns her head, I would suggest that there are
14 reasonable grounds to believe that the person who turned
15 her head is Michelle. I do not suggest that the evidence
16 of this is beyond a reasonable doubt, or even conclusive,
17 because there are other plausible reasons which could
18 explain what happened. I do submit, however, that it is
19 evidence sufficient for a reasonable belief.
20 Many of Dragan Nikolic's crimes were committed
21 against, and in the presence of, people who knew him and
22 his victims. Accordingly, in many cases the witnesses
23 have vivid recollections of what happened during th
24 crimes. As is natural, they often saw or heard different
25 parts of the crime, and as is natural, particularly given
1 the conditions here, the witnesses sometimes remember
2 things differently. Indeed, it is remarkable that there
3 are not more differences.
4 But it is not necessary at this time, certainly not
5 in these proceedings, to resolve any apparent
6 inconsistencies. Although it is not necessary, or,
7 I would suggest, even appropriate to try to resolve
8 apparent inconsistencies at this stage, because your
9 Honours have raised the issue, I would like to address
10 this issue in more detail than I had originally planned.
11 First, the Prosecution does not suggest (and has
12 never meant to suggest) that it is inappropriate for your
13 Honours to note inconsistencies. It is always advisable
14 for the Prosecution to be aware of such issues and it is a
15 natural human reaction of persons to wish to resolve
16 inconsistencies, since when hearing a story one wants to
17 understand it wholly and correctly. But, of course, it
18 must be realised that there are different kinds of
20 Some may be the result of both the summary nature of
21 the testimony that witnesses gave and the emotional nature
22 of the testimony. It is also the case that the witnesses
23 were not asked to clarify, or not sure that there was not
24 a misunderstanding because of translation or other
1 It is also the case, as I believe has been previously
2 pointed out, that the witnesses here were often at the
3 camp at very different times. Mrs. Smajlovic came at th
4 same time that many of the witnesses who testified earlier
5 in the week were on the bus leaving. Mr. Pasic was there
6 for only one night.
7 There are other issues that, just because of the
8 question involved are ones that the witness could never be
9 expected to accurately know. I would suggest that some of
10 what went on above Dragan Nikolic are some things that
11 these witnesses may well not know. I would suggest that
12 the number of the people in the camp is something that the
13 witnesses would not be expected to know. The numbers were
14 constantly changing. The conditions were such that it was
15 hard and, even in the best of circumstances, it is a
16 difficult task, certainly one that I believe I would never
17 be able to estimate.
18 We are sure, the Prosecution is sure, that it is at
19 least 500 people, and that is what the indictment charges,
20 a minimum of 500 people. We believe it was more than
21 that, several thousand, but we have only charged a minimum
22 of 500. So, I would respectfully submit that is all we
23 need to know for sure.
24 The other inconsistencies, the kind I mentioned
25 before, are the result of the fact that all humans
1 remember and see things differently. I have never had and
2 do not know any Prosecutor who has ever had a case without
3 inconsistencies; indeed, I would be suspicious if I were
4 presented with such a case.
5 So I think there are two important questions to keep
6 in mind when thinking about such inconsistencies: (1) Do
7 they go to an essential element of the offence? If not,
8 they are much less serious and may not need to ever b
9 resolved. (2) Are they of such a character that they
10 render a witness not credible about the essential
11 elements? I would respectfully suggest that in this case
12 there are no inconsistencies whatsoever that come close to
13 rising to these levels.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Yes. If I could just
15 break in for a
16 moment, just a slight break, we have a slight
17 interpretation problem.
18 (The Presiding Judge addresses Interpreters)
19 Sorry to interrupt you, Prosecuting counsel. Please go
21 MISS McHENRY: Your Honours, for all these reasons that I
22 have just talked about, your Honours, I would notify
23 you that the Prosecution does not have the summary that
24 your Honour asked about, which is a summary that really,
25 sort of, treats everything and resolves it as something
1 close to the final answer.
2 I will point out to your Honours that in the dossier
3 that was initially received by Judge Odio Benito (and is
4 now before your Honours) there is both an overview of
5 Vlasenica and the camp. That may answer or, at least,
6 give the Prosecution's belief as to some of the general
7 questions, and with respect to the specific counts in the
8 dossier there is also a section entitled "Allegations"
9 which tries to summarise and synthesize the various
10 witnesses' testimony -- similar to what I am going to try
11 to do in just a minute myself.
12 Your Honours, just as I will not discuss the
13 testimony of every witness for similar reasons, I will
14 not, unless your Honours desire it with respect to
15 specific count, repeat the elements of the offence which
16 Mr. Niemann previously described in his opening. I do
17 have, however, for your Honours' consideration, if you
18 desire it, copies of the Prosecution's submission on the
19 elements of the offence that were submitted to the Tadic
20 Trial Chamber. I have checked. They were previously
21 submitted and they are part of the record in Tadic. They
22 are currently being translated. My last information was
23 that the French version will be available on Wednesday.
24 I would like briefly to touch upon the jurisdictional
25 requirements common to each of the offences under Articles
1 2, 3, and 5 of our Statute. Generally the acts committed
2 by the accused here against specific victims have given
3 rise to three separate charges: Grave breaches of the
4 Geneva Conventions under Article 2, violations of the laws
5 or customs of war under Article 3, they are specifically
6 identified as being violations described in Common Article
7 3 of the Geneva Conventions, and lastly crimes against
8 humanity under Article 5 of our Statute.
9 All of these require that there have existed an armed
10 conflict. With respect to meeting this jurisdictional
11 threshold, I direct your attention to the recent Appeal
12 Chamber's decision in the Tadic case which found that an
13 armed conflict exists whenever there is resort to armed
14 forces, armed force between States or protracted armed
15 violence between governmental authority and organised
16 armed groups, and the additional finding that an armed
17 conflict did exist in Bosnia-Herzegovina between at least
18 the period 23rd May 1992 to 31st December 1992. I note
19 that the indictment here against Dragan Nikolic fall
20 completely within that period.
21 I would also direct your attention to the testimony
22 Dr. Gow and to the testimony of all the witnesses about
23 the events occurring round Vlasenica, both of which
24 substantiate the position that an armed conflict began in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina by early April 1992, that the conflict
1 has continued, that the conflict in Vlasenica was closely
2 related to the hostilities occurring in other parts of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina and, indeed, that the conflict in
4 Vlasenica was part of a larger Vlasenica military
6 With respect to Article 2, as also set out by the
7 recent Appeals Chamber decision in Tadic, the conflict
8 must be shown to be international and the victims must
9 have been persons protected by the Geneva Conventions.
10 Here we have more than established reasonable grounds to
11 believe that this conflict was international.
12 First, we had Dr. Gow's testimony indicating, among
13 other things, that (1) in April and part of May there was
14 a conflict between the independent State of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the SFRY; (2) that at the
16 conclusion of this period the newly constituted FRY left
17 behind a conquering army in possession of much of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and (3) that the FRY continued to
19 assist the forces of the Bosnian Serbs in a variety of
21 Further, in this case we had testimony from the
22 witnesses from Vlasenica concerning the direct involvement
23 of the Novi Sad Corps. from Serbia. Not only did the
24 witnesses state that the Novi Sad Corps. was involved i
25 the armed takeover of Vlasenica in April and May 1992, the
1 witnesses also established that the Novi Sad Corps.
2 provided continuing support to the local armed forces
3 after this time by leaving significant amounts of
4 equipment and weapons to the local Bosnian Serbs forces.
5 Further, as stated by the Appeal Chamber's decision,
6 International Humanitarian Law applies from the initiation
7 of such armed conflict and extends beyond the cessation of
8 hostilities until a general conclusion of peace is
10 Regarding whether the victims were protected persons,
11 the testimony establishes that the victims, and indeed all
12 the detainees at Susica camp, were civilians incarcerated
13 solely because of their status as Bosnian Muslims. As
14 civilians all the detainees are persons protected by the
15 Fourth Geneva Convention of 12th August 1949 relative to
16 the protection of civilian persons in times of war.
17 Turning to the Article 3 charges, the Prosecutor must
18 demonstrate that the acts or omissions of the defendant
19 violate the wars and the customs of war. The accused here
20 is charged under Article 3 with murder, torture and cruel
21 treatment. As recognised by the Appeal Court's recent
22 decision, such acts as these, described in Common Article
23 3, have been accepted as International Humanitarian Law
24 applicable in all armed conflicts regardless of
25 classification as internal or international.
1 With respect to Article 5, crimes against humanity,
2 the acts of the accused must have been knowingly committed
3 as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed
4 against the civilian population. This has bee
5 established here by Dr. Gow's testimony concerning the
6 attack against non-Serbs in places throughout
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and by the witnesses' testimony
8 concerning the fate of the civilian non-Serb population in
9 and Vlasenica, and their own fate when later sent to other
10 prison camps, including be Batkovic and Doboj.
11 Among other things the testimony concerning the
12 status of non-Serbs, in particular Muslims, around
13 Vlasenica at that time included restrictions on movement,
14 restrictions on employment, restrictions on the conduct of
15 financial matters, forced deportation and the imprisonment
16 and worse of civilians.
17 Turning to the individual acts in the indictment, the
18 first two counts in the indictment are based on the
19 murders of Durmo Handzic and Asim Zildzic. Sometime
20 between 13th and 24th June 1992 these two elderly men were
21 called out of the hangar. After being called out they
22 were savagely beaten by Dragan Nikolic. During the
23 beatings Durmo Handzic was questioned about the
24 whereabouts of his son, and Asim was questioned about a
25 weapon. The men cried that they did not know the answers
1 and they screamed in pain. They were beaten to
2 unconsciousness and water was thrown on them to revive
3 them and the beatings started again.
4 During part of this event another detainee, Mirsad
5 Smajlovic whom you heard testify yesterday was also called
6 out and beaten for a portion of the time. When the
7 beatings finally stopped, Durmo Handzic staggered back
8 into the room and Asim Zildzic, unable even to walk, was
9 dragged in by other detainees. Asim Zildzic died almos
10 immediately afterwards. The following day, after being
11 denied his last wish to be permitted to see the daylight
12 outside, Durmo Handzic also diet.
13 Count 3 of the indictment is the murder and wilful
14 killing of Mevludin Hatunic. Mrs. Smajlovic testified
15 about this crime and you have additional written
16 material. The evidence indicates that the house of
17 Mr. Hatunic had been taken over by a Serb family and
18 Mr. Hatunic made some sort of negative comment about
19 that. Dragan Nikolic found out about the comment and
20 decided to punish Mevludin Hatunic for daring to make such
21 a comment. The punishment was death. Over the next day
22 or so Mr. Hatunic was repeatedly beaten by Dragan Nikolic
23 and he died from his injuries.
24 Count 4 to 7 of the indictment are based on an event
25 involving four detainees: Dzevard Saric, Muharem
1 Kolarevic, Musa Zekic, Rasid Ferhatbegovic. A number of
2 witnesses have evidence about these murders, but perhaps
3 the most chilling testimony came from Hasim Ferhatovoic
4 who was called out during the incident and buried the
5 victims and Ibro Osmanovic who was almost killed himself.
6 The evidence reveals that late one night Mr. Saric,
7 who had frequently been beaten by Dragan Nikolic before,
8 was called out, as was Muharem Kolarevic. Some soldiers
9 who were friends of Dragan Nikolic had come to the camp
10 and they with Nikolic's acquiescence and participation led
11 this incident. Detainees remaining in the hangar could
12 hear beating, yelling and then some shots. Hasim
13 Ferhatovoic and his brother Alija called Gitza were called
14 out of the hangar, and when they found the two men both o
15 whom appeared to be dead. Hasim and his brothers were
16 ordered to move the bodies to another location and they
17 did that. While they were still outside Musa Zekic,
18 another detainee, was then ordered to come out of the
19 hangar, and he too was killed.
20 When the two brothers Hasim and Gitza were ordered to
21 bring the body of Musa Zekic to the location where the
22 other bodies were, it was discovered that Muharem
23 Kolarevic was no longer there. Apparently, as it later
24 turned out, he had been critically wounded rather than
25 dead and he had managed to crawl some distance away before
1 dying. In any event, because Muharem Kolarevic could not
2 be immediately found, the soldiers raised a cry of
3 escape. They then, accompanied by some police officers,
4 went into the hangar and made the accusation that an
5 escape attempt had been made.
6 Ibro Osmanovic made the mistake of drawing attention
7 to himself by slightly raising his head. He was picked as
8 a person who tried to escape. One of the guards who had
9 been a friend of his intervened on his behalf, and he was
10 not taken and Rasid Ferhatbegovic was selected in his
11 stead. Immediately after being taken out Rasid
12 Ferhatbegovic was killed.
13 Count 8 charges the murder of Ismet Dedic.
14 Mrs. Smajlovic testified about his death and there is
15 additional written evidence. Ismed Dedic was killed by
16 being beaten to death by Dragan Nikolic. The witnesses do
17 not know why Nikolic did this. They only know that he did
19 Count 9 is the inhuman treatment of Galib Music. B
20 way of clarification with this count I would like to add
21 that although the evidence now indicates that Galib Music
22 died from this mistreatment, because the state of the
23 evidence regarding proof of death was not as clear when
24 the indictment was first returned, Dragan Nikolic is not
25 here accused of the death of Mr. Music, but only of
1 inhumane treatment.
2 Galib Music had the misfortune of having been a
3 neighbour of Dragan Nikolic before the war, and he was
4 accused of having been a supporter of the SDA, the Muslim
5 party. Galib Music, a man in his 60s, was called out by
6 Dragan Nikolic, and then while outside the witnesses could
7 hear screams and Nikolic yelling. Sometime after
8 Mr. Music was brought back to the hangar he died from his
10 Counts 10 and 11 concern the assault Fikret Arnaut,
11 called Cice. Cice was repeatedly, sometimes daily,
12 assaulted by about Dragan Nikolic, often in the hangar in
13 front other detainees
14 Count 10 is based upon a particular incident where,
15 as part of trying to obtain information or punish him,
16 Dragan Nikolic forced Cece Arnaut to put back his head and
17 Dragan Nikolic then put his bayonet down the throat of
18 Cice, cutting him in the process.
19 Count 11, charging great suffering, is based on the
20 repeated beatings that Nikolic inflicted on Cice.
21 Count 12 is the assault of Mubin Music. The evidence
22 for this count is contained in the written material.
23 Dragan Nikolic accused Mubin Music of knowing where a
24 weapon, a Kalashnikov, was. In order to find out if Mubi
25 Music knew where the weapon was and to force him to tell
1 if he did, Nikolic assaulted Mubin Music by threatening
2 him and also putting a bayonet down his throat.
3 Counts 13 and 14 are the torture and inhuman
4 treatment of Suad Machmutovic, a man Nikolic accused of
5 having a vehicle with something on it resembling a
6 Croatian flag. Suad Machmutovic testified during this
7 hearing finishing yesterday morning. He told you about
8 his beatings when Dragan Nikolic hit with a police baton,
9 kicked him after he had fallen to the ground, beatings
10 where he lost consciousness and beatings from which he
11 still feels the affects.
12 In addition to the physical beatings, Nikolic, while
13 ordering Suad Machmutovic to provide information about a
14 neighbour, put a cocked pistol in his mouth and pulled the
15 trigger. Suad Machmutovic realised he was still alive.
16 He realised the gun had not been loaded.
17 Counts 15, 16 and 17 concern a series of three
18 assaults committed by Dragan Nikolic and others against
19 Sead Ambeskovic. Mr. Ambeskovic testified here earlier in
20 the week. He was beaten the first day he arrived at
21 Susica camp with axes, bars and rifle butts, and he was
22 beaten the next day again with iron bars and other
23 instruments. During the second beating he lost serval
24 teeth and had his ribs broken. Two days later he was
25 beaten again, this time with a baseball bat.
1 Counts 18 is the inhuman treatment of Redjo Cakisic,
2 another witness who testified during this hearing. He was
3 beaten when he first arrived at Susica and again about 10
4 days later. On the second occasion Dragan Nikolic calle
5 out Mr. Cakisic and brought him to two solders. Dragan
6 Nikolic presented Mr. Cakisic to the soldiers and said:
7 "Here, I have brought you something for dinner." The
8 soldiers then bear Mr. Cakisic so badly that he could not
9 stand up for seven days. While he was being beaten, while
10 he was lying on the ground screaming and moaning, Dragan
11 Nikolic continued his normal routine in the guard house
12 some five metres away.
13 The last count based upon an individual victim was
14 the causing of great suffering to Hasna Cakisic. Most of
15 the evidence supporting this count is contained in the
16 written material. At the time she was brought to Susica
17 Hasna Cakisic was 68 years old. She was at Susica camp
18 for almost one month. While there she was brought out for
19 interrogation serval times because Dragan Nikolic wanted
20 to know where her son was, and during the interrogation
21 she was slapped in the face and hit with the baton on her
23 Counts 20, your Honours, is the unlawful confinement
24 of civilians and all the testimony attests to this. Count
25 21 concerns the appropriation of property. The refers to
1 property including jewellery, money, watches, that the
2 victims of Susica were forced to turn over and never
3 received back.
4 Count 22 is the transfer of civilians from Susica
5 camp to Batkovic camp. Every male witness who testified
6 reported that the men from Susica camp were transferred to
7 Batkovic where they often remained detained for another 12
8 to 13 months.
9 Count 23 charges Dragan Nikolic with committing
10 crime against humanity by participating in the persecution
11 of more than 500 civilians by maintaining the camp in
12 which Muslims and other non-Serb people were detained
13 based on the fact that they were Muslims.
14 Count 24, the final count, charges Dragan Nikolic
15 with a crime against humanity by participating in inhuman
16 acts against the more than 500 detainees at Susica, by
17 endangering their health and welfare by providing
18 inadequate food, by providing living conditions failing to
19 meet even basic minimal standards, and by creating an
20 atmosphere where the detainees feared for their personal
22 This count is based upon the recognition that every
23 person who was at Susica camp, even those themselves never
24 beaten, were still the victims of inhuman treatment. Day
25 after day these people were crowded on to a concrete
1 floor, men, women, children, all together, no place to
2 sleep, almost nothing to eat, no place to bathe, no place
3 even to go to the bathroom. Every day these witnesses had
4 to think about whether or not the next victim to fall prey
5 to Dragan Nikolic, the next victim to be tortured or
6 killed, might be them.
7 This, your Honours, is the indictment. The evidence
8 here more than establishes reasonable grounds to believe
9 that the accused Dragan Nikolic committed all of these
10 violations of International Humanitarian Law. I therefore
11 ask your Honours to confirm all counts of the indictment
12 and to issue an international arrest warrant for the
13 arrest of Dragan Nikolic.
14 If your Honours do confirm all or a portion of thi
15 indictment, I would then ask for the opportunity to detail
16 the Prosecution's efforts to gain custody over Dragan
17 Nikolic, efforts which have been unsuccessful due to the
18 failure of the Bosnian Serb administration in Pale to take
19 appropriate action and arrest Dragan Nikolic. At that
20 later time we would respectfully suggest that referral to
21 the Security Council is appropriate.
22 Your Honours, that is the conclusion of my
23 presentation and, unless you have any questions, thank you
24 very much.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] On the last point,
1 Prosecuting Counsel,
2 may I take it, along with my colleagues in the Tribunal,
3 that you are blaming the refusal to co-operate on the part
4 of a State, you are charging the lack of co-operation, you
5 are asking that we take note of that and that the matter
6 be referred to the Security Council? So you are referring
7 to a State or to States?
8 MISS McHENRY: Your Honour, I am referring to a State as
9 defined in our rules of procedure which state: A State as
10 defined is a State member or non-member of the United
11 Nations or a self-proclaimed entity de facto exercising
12 governmental functions whether recognised as a State or
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Yes, fine. That was
15 the answer I wanted
16 you to give, so that we be certain that that is the
17 request that you were putting to the Tribunal. The second
18 comment I should like to make, by your leave, but I would
19 like to hear what you have to say, having thus made your
20 statement you consider that some of the major parts of the
21 indictment, should the indictment be approved in it
22 entirety. Under Rule 61C once the Tribunal has confirmed
23 the indictment the Chamber will ask the Prosecution to
24 read out the relevant parts and to give an account of the
25 efforts made to gain custody. To my mind and my
1 colleagues' minds that means that when we hand down our
2 decision either we will confirm the indictment in its
3 entirety or will confirm it only in part, but subsequently
4 you will have to read out the relevant parts of the
5 indictment. If we can confirm it is in its entirety, I
6 take it that you might agree that the Tribunal would read
7 that indictment, but that way you would not have to
8 re-read what you have told us today. I would like to hear
9 your view.
10 MISS McHENRY: Your Honour, I am in accord with you that that
11 is what the Rules set out with respect to technically who
12 -- I think it would be fine for your Honours to read it
13 on our behalf and we would welcome that, in fact.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Even were it not
15 confirmed entirely, we
16 could still stick to that procedure.
17 MISS McHENRY: Yes, your Honour. I agree with you there also.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] These procedural
19 issues, turning to those
20 listening to us, this is an international jurisdiction,
21 and we have to abide by international law. We want to set
22 an example and we do have to respect our own rules. Each
23 judicial step we take is a novelty for the Prosecution as
24 well as for the Judges.
25 I would like to hear your view on another matter.
1 There is all the efforts that will have been deployed in
2 respect of the confirmation by Judge Odio Benito. Have
3 you provided us with the proof of the efforts? Let m
4 make this clear, one of the purposes of this procedure is
5 to make public -- that is why this is public -- the
6 elements of the indictment against Dragan Nikolic, so to
7 make these well known and also to deliver an international
8 arrest warrant if we are convinced it is appropriate. But
9 the Prosecutor's office has to tell us that the efforts
10 have been made in terms of serving the indictment, and
11 telling Dragan Nikolic that these proceedings are under
12 way. So, do we have a document showing that these efforts
13 have all been made or would you rather sum them up briefly
15 MISS McHENRY: Your Honour, as I understand the Rules, after
16 your Honours have confirmed the indictment, under the
17 Rules, the Prosection, but I think it would be the
18 Prosecution could ask that the Trial Chamber do it on its
19 behalf, a reading, in effect, shall describe the efforts
20 made to have the arrest warrant served.
21 This morning, your Honours, the Prosecution has asked
22 the Registrar to submit to your Honours the Prosecutor's
23 application that the indictment be submitted to the Trial
24 Chamber, which includes an accounting of the efforts made
25 by the Prosecution to have Dragan Nikolic arrested and to
1 inform him of the charges against him. The supporting
2 documents have also, I believe, been referred to your
3 Honours. They are in both French and English.
4 I would suggest that it is probably just technically
5 more in keeping with the Rules to do it at the hearing in
6 which your Honours indicate which, if any, portions of the
7 indictment -- I have it in front of me if your Honours
8 would like me to describe such efforts at the presen
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Maybe we can do that
11 at the hearing where
12 we will be handing our decision. I will give you the
13 floor on that occasion. You will go into the elements
14 that would leave us to believe that you have done your
15 utmost in terms of the serving the indictment, and either
16 we will withdraw and deliberate, or whatever, we will take
17 the decision then as to whether an international arrest
18 warrant is appropriate. It may seem a bit lengthy, but we
19 do want all these listening to us to understand what is
20 involved. Do you have anything you would care to add?
21 MISS McHENRY: Yes, your Honour. With all due respect, and
22 I do not mean to suggest for one minute that your Honours
23 would not find that everything that we have done, that we
24 have not done our utmost. I do not read the Rules to
25 indicate that you are required to confirm the indictment
1 to pass on the efforts made by the Prosecution, although
2 it does appear that your Honours would have to do that
3 under 61E in order to notify the Security Council.
4 So, it is a sort of technical requirement because, we
5 are assuming your Honours confirm all or a portion of the
6 indictment, we do suggest that referral to a Security
7 Council is appropriate. I would be asking your Honours to
8 find that the failure to effect personal service was due
9 in whole or in part to a failure or a refusal of a State
10 to co-operate with the Tribunal. That is, in fact, why
11 I asked the Registrar this morning to make you had all the
12 supporting documentation.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Yes, we have taken
14 note of that. That is
15 quite true. The hearing relating to Rule 61 and th
16 proceedings against Dragan Nikolic is closed. The
17 Tribunal will be make its decision public, Friday 20th, at
18 11 o'clock.
19 (The proceedings adjourned)