1 Friday, 23 January 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, case number IT-01-47-T, the
7 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
8 [The accused entered court]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 Appearances for the Prosecution, please.
11 MR. WITHOPF: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, Counsel.
12 For the Prosecution, Tecla Benjamin, Ekkehard Withopf, and the case
13 manager, Kimberly Fleming.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Withopf.
15 Appearances for the Defence.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
17 Edina Residovic, counsel; Stephane Bourgon; and Mirna Milanovic, legal
18 assistant. Thank you.
19 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
20 Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Mr. Mulalic, legal assistant.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 The Chamber greets all present, the Prosecution, the Defence, and
23 the accused.
24 We shall finish this week with two witnesses. We are going to
25 start immediately. If there are not any preliminaries, we are going to
1 bring the first witness into the courtroom.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning. I'm going to ask
4 you whether you hear the interpreters, first of all.
5 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. You're going
7 to give me your name and your family name.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Drago Pesa.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When were you born?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 25 September 1954.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where were you born?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Travnik municipality, in the
13 village of Podovi.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm unemployed. I was a mining
17 technician before.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where do you currently reside?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the place where I was born.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You have
21 been asked to testify on behalf of the Prosecution. First of all, you
22 are going to read the text that Madam Usher is going to show to you.
23 Please read it in your own language.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: DRAGO PESA
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You may
4 be seated.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As I have already told you, the
7 Prosecution has invited you to appear as a witness. You are a witness of
8 the Prosecution. During your testimony, you are going to be asked to
9 answer questions put to you by the Prosecution, who are sitting on your
10 right-hand side. After these questions, the Defence counsel, who are
11 sitting on your left, will have the right to ask you questions. There
12 are six of them, but only two will be asking questions. And the three
13 Judges, who are sitting in front of you, can also ask you questions to
14 clarify some things.
15 When you answer the questions, try to be as complete as possible
16 in your answers. If you don't understand a question, the person who has
17 put the question may be asked to rephrase it. Have you understood that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to give the floor to
20 the Prosecution for their examination-in-chief.
21 Let's be clear. We have two witnesses today. You have the
22 floor, Prosecution.
23 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning,
24 Your Honours.
25 Mr. President, before we begin, I just wish to draw to your
1 attention that on the trial schedule, I was schedule to do this in 0.5 of
2 an hour, and I wish to inform the Trial Chamber that I may just need a
3 little more time. Thank you.
4 Examined by Ms. Henry-Benjamin:
5 Q. Good morning, Mr. Pesa.
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. You indicated to the President of the Trial Chamber that you were
8 born in Podovi in the municipality of Travnik. Could you tell the Trial
9 Chamber at that time what was the ethnic composition of Podovi.
10 A. At that time, the village was inhabited predominantly by Muslims
11 and Croats.
12 Q. Could you give us a figure breakdown?
13 A. There were about 300 Croats and a lot more Bosniaks.
14 Q. Thank you. And could you tell the Trial Chamber in that period
15 in time what was the relationship basically between the villagers.
16 A. The relationship between Croats and Muslims, that is, Bosniaks,
17 as far as the local population is concerned, the relationship was very
18 concrete. There were some minor misunderstandings, but those would be
19 overcome by reaching agreements. And there were no major problems, so to
21 Q. Thank you. Mr. Pesa, could you come a little closer to the mic,
22 please. Could you speak a little closer in the mic. Thank you.
23 Are you married?
24 A. Yes, I am.
25 Q. And do you have any children?
1 A. Yes. I have eight -- that is, nine children. I had nine
2 children. Eight are still living, and one son of mine was executed by
3 shooting, so he died.
4 Q. Could you tell us what year, in what year he died.
5 A. In 1993. On the 8th of June, 1993.
6 Q. Thank you. In 1992, Witness, war broke out in Bosnia. Could you
7 tell us whether the onset of the war, if there was an invasion of
8 foreigners in Bosnia.
9 A. Yes. They started arriving in early 1992 in an organised manner.
10 They arrived in vans and minibuses. Most of them were from Arabic
11 countries, as a matter of fact. Yes.
12 Q. Did you refer to these foreigners by any particular name?
13 A. We had market days when our produce was sold in Mehurici.
14 Bosniaks, Muslims would tell us that those people who had arrived
15 originated from Arabic countries. They were different in the way they
16 behaved, their culture was different, and they differed in their
17 appearances. They were different from the local Bosnian-Herzegovinian
19 Q. Thank you, Witness. But do you know if they were described by a
20 particular name? Do you know? Were they called by a particular name?
21 A. They were for the most part Arabs, and I didn't know their names.
22 They wore the typical clothes worn in Arab countries. They wore
23 headpieces around their heads. They were armed.
24 Q. Okay, Witness, yes, you can describe them, but this group of
25 people, do you know if they were called by a particular name? Were they
1 given a name? Not individual persons, but the group. Was the group
3 A. They were called something like Mujahedini, Mujahedins.
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Pesa, were you a member of any army at any time?
5 A. Yes. I was a member of the Territorial Defence, which comprised
6 of both Croats and Bosniaks, that is, Muslims. That was in 1992 up to
7 February 1993.
8 Q. And after 1993, were you a member of the JNA?
9 A. No. Those were my last days in the Territorial Defence, when my
10 colleagues --
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. In line 11, it
12 seems that in her question my learned friend mentioned the JNA, and the
13 witness has never said that he was in the JNA in 1992.
14 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: My apologies, Mr. President. In fact, I
15 meant to ask him if he was ever a member of the JNA. I'm sorry.
16 Q. Mr. Pesa, were you a member of any other army in 1993?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Were you a member of the HVO?
19 A. Once we were expelled, I joined HVO units in Nova Bila. And
20 before that, I served in the army, the ex-Yugoslav army, in the years
21 1973 and 1974.
22 Q. Thank you. Mr. Pesa, could you tell this Trial Chamber in the
23 spring of 1993, if you can recall, if there was anything significant to
25 A. Yes, precisely so. From the village of Miletici, my mother's
1 brothers and their children, which constitute my close family -- a
2 terrible slaughter took place in Miletici. Croats were slaughtered
3 there. Franjo Pavlovic was slaughtered together with Tihomir Pavlovic,
4 Ante Kozina, Stipo Pavlovic. Their heads were cut off. They were put on
5 a plate. Their hearts were taken out. And crosses were drawn on their
6 foreheads and the lower part -- I don't know what to call it -- their
7 lower body organs were cut off and put into their mouth. Those people
8 who were still alive had to drink the blood of their children.
9 And when they started putting them away - let me just add this -
10 they put them on buses and they started transporting them towards
11 Mehurici. However, close to the tunnel, when they were still on the
12 buses, the driver was ordered to -- to push the bus down the precipice
13 beneath the tunnel. However, the driver refused to do that. His
14 conscience, I suppose, would not allow him to do that. I'm sorry, I am
15 very moved. I'm sorry for sounding like this. The driver had received
16 an order to drive them to Poljanice to a cowshed. They were supposed to
17 be burnt down in that cowshed. I don't want to mention this person's
18 name. If I have to, I can mention his name. I can tell you who this
19 person was. This person is still alive. I know him very well. I
20 thought well of him. So this didn't happen.
21 They drove them to a school and in that school --
22 Q. Okay, Witness, thank you. That was quite helpful. Thanks. But
23 we need to move on. And could you describe for me the prevailing mood in
24 Bosnia and in particular your village in and around May of 1993.
25 A. I've just said that. If somebody in the village next to you
1 would live through all that, would that meet with the compassion of their
2 co-villagers? If you saw all these atrocities, I don't think that
3 anybody on this earth might feel comfortable after that.
4 Q. Thank you. In just one word, would you describe that around May
5 of 1993 the mood would be tense? Would I be correct in asking that
7 A. Precisely so.
8 Q. Was the presence of soldiers visible on the streets in that time?
9 A. My house is close to the main road which connects all of these
10 villages. Every morning I would see them doing their morning training.
11 They would be shouting out slogans, " Allah-U-Ekber," "Tekbir," and they
12 were also saying, "This is going to be a Turkish land."
13 Q. You tell us "they." Could you tell us what you mean when you say
14 "they." Who are you talking about?
15 A. Most of them wore green bandannas on their heads. And those from
16 Arabic countries sported long beards. They had long knives and they also
17 had automatic and semiautomatic rifles and similar kinds of weapons.
18 Q. Thank you. Mr. Pesa, can you recount for the Trial Chamber the
19 events that took place on the 7th of June, 1993, as you can remember.
20 A. I am a Croat, but I would like to receive the interpretation in
21 Croatian when it comes to months.
22 On the 5th of -- on the 7th of June, we didn't know what was
23 going on. We were already at the mercy of events, and everybody had to
24 manage as they could. Since my family is very numerous, I had many kums
25 among Bosniaks, Muslims. A lot of Muslims were godparents to my
1 children, and I didn't think that anything like that could ever happen to
2 us, because we relied on each other. And if I had something, my
3 neighbours could rely on having the same thing. So I could never imagine
4 that something like that could ever happen.
5 Q. Witness, could you tell us, then, now that you have given us the
6 preamble, what transpired on the 7th of June, 1993.
7 A. Yes. I'm going to tell you about the 7th of June, 1993.
8 I thought there was no need for me to go anywhere. I thought I
9 could stay. However, when I got up that morning, a man came up to my
10 house. I had never seen him before. He asked me what my ethnic
11 background was. I said I was a Croat. And then he told me, "You have
12 this much time to leave your house." And then I told him, "What did I
13 ever do to you?" However, my wife and my children were in a state of
14 panic. And then I said, "Did I ever do anything bad? Please don't touch
15 my children. Kill me rather than them." And he said, "No, we are not
16 going to kill you. We're just giving you a deadline to leave your
17 house." But those people with green bandannas, I believe that they were
18 members of the Muslim forces in cooperation with these Arab people from
19 the Arabic countries. They were standing on the side, and they
20 supervised this man who came up to my house.
21 Then I said to my wife and my children, "Go and -- go and collect
22 some of your things and just flee, just run away." I had a young boy
23 that I had to carry. We were walking by a stream from the Malinska
24 [phoen] cave.
25 Q. Excuse me. Did you leave the house? Did you leave the house?
1 A. Yes. Yes.
2 Q. Okay. So could you tell us where you went.
3 A. We went towards Postinje, and then via Postinje we went towards
5 Q. Could you tell us briefly who was in the group that was en route
6 to Maljine.
7 A. The villagers of Podovi and my family.
8 When we arrived in Podovi, it was a living hell out there. We
9 were enclosed from all sides. Those who managed to escape saved their
11 Q. From Maljine, did you go to any other village?
12 A. We went towards Krpeljici. But then when the late Sreco Bobas
13 said that we should go towards Borovi -- this is where my relative was
14 killed. I can't remember his name. He had a licence to carry a pistol.
15 They found this pistol on him, and that's why they killed him.
16 Still Sreco told us that we should go towards Borovi, and I told
17 him, "Sreco, this is an open space. There are sniper shooters around.
18 They will kill us." No sooner did I say that, the late Sreco fell on the
19 ground, and then I said, "Let's go down to the stream and continue along
20 the stream in order to get to Krpeljici."
21 Q. On your way to Krpeljici, could you describe for the Trial
22 Chamber what happened.
23 A. Well, you see, we came across obstacles that you had to be very
24 careful. You couldn't go through open spaces that provided no cover, but
25 you had to take shelter in the bushes.
1 Q. Why did you have to take shelter in the bushes? What -- cover
2 from what? Why did you have to take shelter in the bushes?
3 A. Cover from attack, because I was with my family and I wanted to
4 save them. But we managed to pass through, all of us, except for this
5 son of mine who remained a captive, as well as my mother and father. But
6 afterwards, we joined this brother of mine and we managed to reach
7 Krpeljici eventually.
8 Q. So it is your evidence to this Chamber that on your way to
9 Krpeljici you were in the line of fire? Am I correct?
10 A. Oh, yes, indeed. It was horrific. It was as if you were in
12 Q. Did anything in particular occur while you were in the line of
13 fine? Did you see anything happening to anybody?
14 A. There were people killed. But I personally, I couldn't recognise
15 those people because my main concern was to save my family.
16 Q. Thank you, Witness. That's understandable.
17 Now, when you got to Krpeljici, tell us what happened. Did you
18 stay in Krpeljici or did you move on?
19 A. No. We moved on towards Nova Bila. However, we were met there,
20 but again we were going through the bushes to reach Nova Bila, which was
21 held by the HVO.
22 Q. In Nova Bila, were you able to find out any information at all
23 about any members of your family, while you were in Nova Bila?
24 A. Yes. When I arrived there - that was the next day - Pavo Barac
25 had escaped from an execution site, as well as Puselja -- I can't recall
1 his first name. He is now in America. His left shoulder had such a hole
2 in it that you could put a cup in. Then Marijan Bobas, who died
3 recently; and Ljuban Puselja; and Vlado Puselja, who escaped from the
4 execution site. And when Pavo Puselja came to Nova Bila, I was already
5 in the HVO by then in Nova Bila. My superior told me, "Drago, go to the
6 hospital down there. I won't tell you anything in advance. You'll learn
7 everything over there." When I arrived there, Pavo was absolutely out of
8 his mind and he said, "Drago, I escaped execution, and I saw your Tihomir
9 and the others, unarmed men who had surrendered because they never
10 imagined that anything like that could happen and that my Tihomir and the
11 other young men -- they were fine young men -- they were all shot dead .
12 Q. Thank you, Witness. Upon hearing this -- this bit of news with
13 respect to your son, did anything personally happen to you?
14 A. Yes. At the moment when I heard that -- before that, I had dark
15 hair, and then overnight all my hair went white. And from that time,
16 I've had an ulcer. I was hospitalised for 21 or 22 days, and from that
17 time on I have never recovered. And to this very day I still feel the
18 same pain.
19 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, would the Court allow the
20 witness to have some water, please.
21 Q. Witness, you can have some water at this point in time, if you
23 Could you tell the Court -- there came a time, Witness, when you
24 were released from the hospital.
25 A. We were expelled on the 8th of June. I believe that was in
1 mid-July or maybe the end of July or even the beginning of August.
2 Q. And where did you go to?
3 A. I went to stay with some relatives in Nova Bila, those who had
5 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber why you didn't go back to your
6 own home.
7 A. Why I didn't go home? Who would go back in such a situation,
8 when all this had happened? I think it was better in hell.
9 Q. And you may take your time now, but could you tell us if you ever
10 found or if the body of your son was ever found.
11 A. Yes. I received it in an exchange. This was in 1994, January or
12 February, something like that, in 1994, the beginning of January or
13 February, when they told us that they had received seven corpses in an
14 exchange from the Muslim Bosniak authorities.
15 Q. Do you recall where you had to collect your son?
16 A. Yes. We went to an area known as Prahulje, near Nova Bila, and
17 they let us see those corpses to see whether we could recognise members
18 of our families or relatives or children.
19 Q. Were you able to identify your son?
20 A. Yes, I was.
21 Q. Could you describe for this Trial Chamber what you saw when you
22 saw your son.
23 A. When we were identifying these bodies, they were in nylon plastic
24 bags. As they had been taken out of the ground, they were extremely
25 muddy. We unzipped the bag, tore open the nylon, and when I looked, the
1 colour of the hair, the body was still in relatively good condition so I
2 could recognise him. And as my son had served the army in Dolac, he had
3 completed his service and he was wearing military boots.
4 Q. Witness, may I interrupt here. Could you tell the Trial Chamber
5 if the son who was in the army, is that the deceased son you're speaking
6 of or is that somebody else, the one who was in the army?
7 A. No, he wasn't in the army, but he was wearing the boots of my
8 older son. They had exchanged their footwear. However, when we took
9 those boots off his feet -- and this woman who was overseeing this, she
10 said, "Pesa Miomir." And I said, "Madam, I apologise, it's Pesa Marinko."
11 But on the boots, on the inside of the boots there was written "Pesa
12 Marinko," so I knew immediately the boots were of my older son.
13 And I continued looking, and I washed the boots a little to be
14 able to read more easily the first and last name of the owner of the
15 boots. And so we came to the conclusion that that was indeed my child.
16 However, later on when we took him out of the bag, his head was facing
17 towards the right, his hands were tied with wire, as well as his legs.
18 These are so moving facts, and I do apologise. The bullet had entered
19 his forehead, and there was another entry wound in the chest, and the
20 exit wound was larger. The entry wound was about 1 centimetre in
21 diameter, and the exit wound was twice that size.
22 Q. And were you able to identify the other bodies that were with
23 your son's body?
24 A. Well, you see, when you have a child in that situation, you focus
25 everything and your whole attention on the child. Just then I didn't
1 really pay much attention to the others, once I had found my own son and
2 saw him in that state with his hands tied, his legs tied. Your brain or
3 your memory, your mind focuses on that child of yours, to identify him.
4 Q. Okay, Witness. Thank you very, very much. That was very good.
5 But I'd just like to know, with your son, not being physical
6 identification, but could you tell us in terms of numbers how many other
7 bodies did you see?
8 A. I also saw Balta Mate's wife; Ljubica Ceko; Mijo Tavic. I'm
9 sorry, I think there were four or five or six others there, but two
10 bodies were not identified. And it said "NN," name unknown. And those
11 who were with my son, I knew them, because they were recognised by
12 members of their family, their relatives or -- or so on.
13 Q. Thank you, Witness. And finally, could you tell the Trial
14 Chamber if you were given the opportunity to dispose of your son.
15 A. Yes. I buried him there at Prahulje. There's a morgue right
16 next to the cemetery, about 100 metres away. And you had to do this at
17 night, because the Muslim and Bosniak forces had targets that they shot
18 at, both during daytime and during the night. But all the burials took
19 place during the night.
20 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber presently how you feel and how
21 you're coping at this moment from the effects of your experience.
22 A. I would just like to add that during the night we would bury the
23 dead because there was shelling.
24 And now I'll answer your last question.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. You see, I would like to underline that this was a stressful
2 event, but I have other children and I would like to bring up those
3 children as good and honest human beings with integrity to treat everyone
4 well regardless, because God said "forgive others so that you may be
5 forgiven." And that is my motto; it always has been, regardless of
6 everything. And I have children who are still friends with Muslims and
7 Serbs. I have told my children, "You mustn't nurture hatred towards
8 anyone." And the fact that such an evil has been done to me, I will cope
9 with that, my suffering, my pain. But I don't want you to feel that. I
10 have eight children, wonderful children.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 A. Believe me. They have Muslim colleagues and friends.
13 Q. Thank you, Witness.
14 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, this concludes the
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you.
17 Mr. Pesa, you are -- will now have to answer some questions put
18 to you by Defence counsel. I would like to ask you two points of
19 clarification only. They don't have to do with the very painful facts
20 that you have just described to us.
21 Questioned by the Court:
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said at the very beginning
23 that when you saw the Muslims coming from Arab countries arriving, they
24 appeared to be organised. That is what you said. What prompted you to
25 say that? These foreign Muslims who arrived, what prompted you to say
1 they were organised? And if so, by whom?
2 A. I was in the Territorial Defence in Mehurici, which means I was
3 in the communications centre in the TO, so I had communication with those
4 people. And they told me, "Our brothers are coming to our assistance.
5 Our brothers from the Islamic countries, to assist us in our war
6 operations." However, that made me feel uncomfortable, because I thought
7 to myself, If we are all from Bosnia and Herzegovina, I never favoured
8 that damned war. Why should we kill each other? We had no reason to do
10 And they held the third floor of the elementary school. I went
11 to that school, and I graduated from that school and I know it like my
12 own home. And they said to me the following: "They don't know who is a
13 Serb or a Croat. They are simply fighting against Christianity. They
14 are against Christianity." They don't care whether you're a Serb or a
15 Croat. They only treated Muslims and Bosniaks as human beings. And four
16 or five of these vans would come, full of them.
17 If I may add: I had a little boy. He was small. And he killed
18 a snake. It was a coffee bar. And then because this little boy had
19 killed the snake, he was threatened with a knife.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My second question, which will
21 refer you to the painful event that you described a moment ago, has to do
22 with the exchange when you were able to collect the body of your body --
23 of your son. I'm sorry. You said there were people engaged in this
24 exchange. And those people who were there, to the best of your
25 knowledge, who were they, the people who facilitated the delivery of your
1 son's body?
2 A. I don't know how to put it. It was a kind of cooperation, an
3 exchange between the HVO and the Bosniak Muslim representatives or
4 military representatives, people who were responsible for the exchange of
5 the living or the dead or those killed.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 I will turn again towards the Defence. Has Defence counsel any
8 questions for this witness, taking into account, of course, his
9 condition, being the father of a victim. You have the floor.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Pesa.
13 A. Good morning to you too.
14 Q. I'm Edina Residovic, Defence counsel for General Hadzihasanovic,
15 and I wish to express my condolences for having lost your son, but I will
16 ask you to answer a few questions.
17 A. Yes, do. Do.
18 Q. You said that up until February 1993 you were in the Territorial
19 Defence; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. It was then that certain tensions increased between the Army of
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the HVO, and so you thought it was best to
23 leave the TO.
24 A. That was the advice I got from my well-intentioned Bosniak Muslim
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Immediately after that, guard duty started to be organised in
2 your village and you joined the HVO and took part in organising those
3 guards; is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In answer to a question from our learned colleagues and the
6 President, you told us how these foreign fighters came to your area.
7 Tell me, is it true that those foreigners spoke a language that you
8 couldn't understand?
9 A. Yes. It was the Arabic language.
10 Q. You also testified that they passed by your house and did
11 physical exercises, chanting certain words. They were speaking Arabic,
12 weren't they?
13 A. Yes. I have to explain a little -- Only those who wore those
14 green bandannas, who were wearing those Arabic clothing.
15 Q. Thank you. But let me ask you briefly: You speak about the
16 killing of your neighbours in Miletici. When that happened, you were not
17 in Miletici, were you?
18 A. I wasn't, but I was told all this by one of the persons who
19 escaped, and that is Bozo Pavlovic.
20 Q. You also never attended the identification of those bodies from
22 A. Yes, I did, when they were being buried up there, between Susanj,
23 and there's a cemetery that exists, and there are photographs. And the
24 priest had the photographs, and his name was Pero Karajica, I think. I'm
25 not quite sure. But I think that is how it was. He was in possession of
1 all these photographs, the photographs of the misdeeds that were
3 Q. Later on you saw those photographs.
4 A. Yes, those photographs still exist to this day.
5 Q. And what you told Their Honours about the appearance of those
6 bodies was based on what you saw on the photographs; isn't that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you very much. I have no further questions.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Does the other Defence team have any questions?
12 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have no
13 questions of this witness. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Does the Prosecution have any re-examination for this witness?
16 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, we don't have any
17 re-examination for this witness.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 Mr. Pesa, your testimony is over. The Chamber fully appreciates
20 the effort you had to make to be able to testify about those very painful
21 memories, and we thank you for making your contribution to the
22 establishment of the truth within the framework of this case, and we wish
23 you a safe return home.
24 I'm going to ask Madam Usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too, and good luck to
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We still have another half hour
4 before the break. Perhaps we can begin with the next witness. Can we
5 bring him in, please.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. Can you
8 hear the interpretation, please?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been invited by the
11 Prosecution to testify. I would like to hear your first name and your
12 last name. Can you please say that for the Trial Chamber.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I would like to greet
14 all present. My name is Vinko Tadic.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When were you born and where
16 were you born?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was born on the 15th of October,
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where were you born?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Cukle, Travnik municipality.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. What is your
22 current occupation?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am a shop assistant, a tradesman.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where do you currently reside ?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I currently reside in Nova Bila,
1 Travnik municipality.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been invited to give
3 your testimony. For that reason, we shall ask you to take a solemn
4 declaration. Please read the text in your own language.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You may
8 be seated.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 WITNESS: VINKO TADIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As I have already told you, the
13 Prosecution thought that it would be useful for the establishment of the
14 truth if you came and gave your testimony. You are first going to answer
15 the questions put to you by the Prosecution, who are seated on your
16 right. After those questions, the Defence counsel representing the
17 accused, who are seated on your left, can also ask you questions. The
18 three Judges, who are sitting in front of you, can also ask you questions
19 if they deem it necessary to clarify some things or if they think that it
20 would be necessary to establish the truth.
21 While answering, try to give as complete answers as possible. If
22 you do not understand a question, you can always ask the person who has
23 put the question to repeat it or to rephrase it.
24 We are going to begin. Your -- the beginning of your testimony
25 will take 25 minutes. Then we shall have a break. And we will continue
1 at five minutes to 11.00.
2 I'm going to give the floor to the Prosecution, who are going to
3 start their examination-in-chief. Prosecution, you have the floor.
4 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Examined by Ms. Henry-Benjamin:
6 Q. Good morning, Mr. Tadic. You indicated to the Trial Chamber that
7 you were born in Cukle in the municipality of Travnik. And could you
8 kindly tell the Trial Chamber or give the Trial Chamber an idea of the --
9 a breakdown of the ethnic composition of Cukle. Thank you.
10 A. As far as Cukle is concerned, there were 70 per cent Croats and
11 some 30 per cent were Muslims, that is, Bosniaks.
12 Q. Thank you. And could you assist the Trial Chamber with what was
13 the relationship, the relationship that existed between the villagers of
15 A. The relationship between the local population was good up to
16 1993, when this conflict broke out.
17 Q. Thank you. Witness, were you ever a member of the JNA? And if
18 so, could you tell the Trial Chamber the length of period that you
19 served. Thank you.
20 A. I was in the JNA from 1985 for the next 13 months. I served in
21 Belgrade, and I was a member of Tito's Guards.
22 Q. Were you -- did you serve in any other capacity, military
24 A. No, never.
25 Q. Were you a member -- were you ever a member of the Home Guards in
2 A. When it comes to being a member of Home Guards, before the 6th of
3 June, when I was captured, 20 days prior to that the locals started
4 organising themselves into the so-called village guards. People were
5 already afraid, and there was a feeling of uncertainty among the people.
6 However, we did not carry any arms. It was just to give us a feeling
7 that something was happening, that something was being done.
8 Q. On the morning of the 6th of June, 1993, could you tell the Trial
9 Chamber where you were.
10 A. On the 6th of June, 1993, I was on the slopes of Mount Vlasic.
11 To be more precise, I was in Konjska. This is where sheep were and
12 nomads guarded sheep there and they had their huts where they stayed
13 during the summer, while they were looking after the sheep.
14 Q. And whilst there, did you hear anything? Did you observe
16 A. Before that, on Saturday -- the day when I was captured was
17 Sunday. So on Saturday I set out from Cukle with my late father, because
18 my brother, his sister and their -- his wife and their four children had
19 already been up there with the sheep. We came up there, and on the road
20 from Cukle to Konjska we could already hear shots from the sector of
21 Mount Vlasic and from the sector of Mehurici and from the sector of Stari
22 Travnik. We didn't know what was going on. When we arrived up there, we
23 found some women and children there and some shepherds, who were there
24 together with my brother and his family. And then they told us that
25 allegedly conflicts had already started in Travnik and that some forces
1 were firing from the sector of Mehurici.
2 Q. Did there come a time when you were approached at your shack?
3 Did anybody approach you? And could you tell us what transpired as a
4 result of that.
5 A. On Saturday, we arrived there late in the afternoon. We spent
6 the night up there. And then in the morning, sometime between 6.00 and
7 7.00, at dawn, my father got up earlier than anybody else. He was
8 outside. We were still not awake. We were in one shack: My brother,
9 myself, my brother's wife, and his children. There was Nikola Volic and
10 his wife and his son.
11 We could hear some sort of noise coming from outside. We got up
12 to see what was going on. As we looked out, we could hear the noise, and
13 my father told me, "They are asking us to surrender. They're saying that
14 we are captured." We didn't know what was going on, because we hadn't
15 seen any army. There were no positions of any sort up there.
16 Q. You have told this Trial Chamber that "they" had said, "We are
17 captured." Could you explain to the Trial Chamber what do you mean by
18 "they," who you mean by "they," who are you referring to as "they."
19 A. As the situation developed, we found out what this was all about.
20 First some five or six young men appeared wearing military uniforms. On
21 the left arms, they had green bands. They were quite angry, and they
22 wanted to gather all of us from our shacks. And the number of people who
23 were approaching the shacks increased with time.
24 Q. Witness, at that time, did it appear to you if there was any
25 particular person in charge? Was this ...?
1 A. During the course of events, as I was being captured, as we were
2 all being arrested, only a few children remained in the shacks. They
3 were very young, these children. And a man approached me, a man whom
4 they referred to as Hadzija. He held a bomb, a grenade in his hand. He
5 approached me. He wanted to hit me. I managed to avoid that, and then
6 they gathered us all and started taking us downhill towards Mehurici.
7 Q. Now, these men that you said, who guarded you and started to take
8 you on to Mehurici, would you be able to describe for the Court in detail
9 how they were dressed and what they looked like physically, briefly.
10 Thank you.
11 A. There were some 13 or 14 of them altogether. They all wore
12 military uniforms, camouflage uniforms. They were armed. They carried
13 rifles of all kinds, different models. And I noticed two soldiers who
14 also had backpacks with tromblons in them. And on the left arms, they
15 had dark green bands.
16 Q. Were you able to notice whether these bands had any inscriptions
17 on them, or were they just plain armbands?
18 A. They had oval green insignia bearing the word "MOS." And they
19 had a crescent and a star. They had an oval patch. I don't know whether
20 all of them had them, but I noticed that a few soldiers had the oval
21 patches with a star and a crescent.
22 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, at this time I'd be grateful
23 if the witness can be shown Exhibit P4.
24 Q. Witness, could you assist the Court whether or not with the
25 description that you have given us, if you are able to identify any of
1 those armbands or the insignias on the armbands that you just related to
2 the Court.
3 A. It looked like the patch under number 9, only the patch that I
4 saw had a star above the crescent and below the crescent there was the
5 word "MOS." And it was turned differently, upside down.
6 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, could the document be marked
7 and tendered into evidence, please.
8 [Prosecution counsel confer]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can he be shown a hard copy of
10 this document to be able to put his initial on it. Do you have a hard
11 copy of this document?
12 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, this particular document has
13 already been tendered as Exhibit P4.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] However, at -- so in this case,
15 the transcript will be enough and it will say that the witness has
16 recognised the patch under number 9. So we can admit this into evidence
17 -- we can admit -- we are going to be satisfied with the fact that the
18 witness has visually recognised on the screen a patch which is not quite
19 identical to the one that he saw. He has told us that there were other
20 elements on the patch that he saw on that day, elements different to the
21 one that he has seen on the screen.
22 Witness, we are talking about the patch number 9. Did you see
23 the 7th Muslim Brigade being mentioned on the patch that you saw?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it didn't say "The 7th Muslim
25 Brigade." The only thing that I saw was "MOS" written in white; however,
1 it was turned upside down. The crescent and the star were at the bottom,
2 and beneath those two there was the word "MOS" in white.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
4 Proceed, Madam Prosecutor.
5 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President. This exercise was
6 just basically for clarification of the badge. Thank you.
7 Q. Now, you told us previously that you were instructed by a
8 particular individual to move on towards Mehurici. Did you follow the
9 order? Did you comply with the order?
10 A. The orders that were issued from the moment we were captured were
11 issued by the person they called Hadzija. I don't know his first name or
12 his last name; I only know that they referred to him as Hadzija. From
13 the very first moment, they wanted us to gather all the sheep in one
14 place and they wanted the sheep to be taken downhill to Mehurici,
15 together with us. This was not possible. The attempt failed. They were
16 in a rush. They gave up, and then they decided just to take us, the
17 women, and children, and the men that they had captured.
18 The terrain was very difficult to negotiate, and we found it
19 very, very difficult to go downhill.
20 Q. When you finally arrived at Mehurici, could you tell the Trial
21 Chamber where did you go to and if the group were still intact or if the
22 group was broken. Could you explain to us what happened on your arrival
23 at Mehurici.
24 A. We were walking all of us together. They were on the two flanks
25 of the group. They escorted us.
1 Just before we arrived in Mehurici, when we had already descended
2 from Mount Vlasic, we arrived as far as the village called Poljanice. We
3 noticed a large number of soldiers who were heavily armed. Some of them
4 wore military uniforms; some of them wore civilian clothes. They were
5 heavily armed. According to my estimate, they were over 100 troops who
6 were ready to start moving. They started cursing us as we were passing
7 by them, escorted by the troops that had captured us.
8 Q. Thank you. And you got to Mehurici. And where were you taken?
9 A. As we arrived in Mehurici, we were taken to the primary school
10 there. They put us on the ground floor in the sports hall. We stayed
11 there for some hour or hour and a half, and then we were separated; the
12 men were separated from the women and the children.
13 Q. Where did the women and children stay?
14 A. The women and the children stayed in the sports hall, and we were
15 taken some 100 or 150 metres away from the school to a concrete shed.
16 There was a number of concrete sheds there. This used to be a forger's
17 workshop. And they put us there. There was a concrete floor. There was
18 some two or three wooden benches. So this seems to be an old
19 blacksmith's workshop.
20 Q. Could you tell us the measurement of the room. Could you give us
21 a description of the measurement of the room.
22 A. The room was 3 by 3. It was very dark. There was just one
23 little round opening that was covered with some pieces of cloth. I
24 believe that it served as ventilation. It was a small room, 3 by 3.
25 Q. How many -- could you tell the Trial Chamber how many members
1 were in your group. How many people were in your group?
2 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you the exact figure, but there were
3 over 10 of us, between 10 and 13. I can tell you the names of the people
4 who were there at the beginning. And then some others joined us later
6 Q. Could you assist us with the names, please.
7 A. I'll try. The first was my brother, Jozo Tadic; then Nikola
8 Volic; Dragan Volic; Frano Volic; his son, whose name was also Frano; his
9 son Mladen Volic; Ferdo Tadic, my brother; Mato Tadic, my father; Mijo
11 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, I think since we are very
12 close to the break this might be a convenient time for us.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
14 Witness, we're going to break for 25 minutes. This will allow
15 the technicians to change the tape. We shall resume at five minutes to
17 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We are going to
20 continue with the examination.
21 Madam Benjamin, you have the floor.
22 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Witness, at the time of the break, you were in the process of
24 describing the room where you were, in which you said that it was a room
25 in a blacksmith's shop, or it was a blacksmith's shop. Could you please
1 describe for the Trial Chamber this room; its measurement, you know, its
2 physical appearance, please.
3 A. The room was roughly 3 metres by 3. On the floor was concrete.
4 There were three wooden benches on the sides, and at the back there was
5 an opening, a round opening, circular in shape, of some 30 centimetres in
6 diameter, which used to be used for ventilation purposes and it was
7 blocked up with rags. So it was totally dark. And there was a wooden
9 Q. Much obliged.
10 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, if it please it is Court now,
11 I would wish to show the witness some pictures, which is my intention to
12 tender into evidence.
13 Q. Witness, on your screen you will see the first picture, which at
14 the top right-hand corner says "0124-08187." Could you indicate to the
15 Trial Chamber if you recognise this picture.
16 A. That is a series of sheds. There were five or six such sheds
17 attached to one another, and roughly, that would be the door to the room
18 that we were held in, where these barrels are to the side. There were
19 some benches where the guards used to sit who were guarding us and who
20 were on duty there. And across the way, there was a house with a
21 four-cornered roof, a civilian building, and they would gather in the
22 yard in front of that house. They would shout all kinds of insults and
23 they would provoke us. But this was on the other side of the road to the
25 Q. Very well.
1 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Could we have the second picture, please.
2 Q. And could you do the same with this picture for us. Could you
3 tell us if you can identify this picture.
4 A. As for the interior of this room, I see a window there and some
5 things there. In those days, it was completely empty. And as I was
6 saying, there were about -- there were three wooden benches, but I don't
7 remember there being any window. There was just a round hole that was
8 left there from some sort of old ventilation.
9 Q. When you say "a round hole," you mean an opening of some sort?
10 Is that it?
11 A. Yes. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Could we move on to picture number 3.
14 Q. And this, I believe, can you help us with what appears to be the
15 interior. Does this look familiar to you?
16 A. It is an interior, but I see there now it seems to be with
17 flooring, et cetera. But in those days it was completely empty. There
18 was nothing inside. And there was just concrete on the floor. And where
19 this window is now, that would roughly be the position of that
20 ventilation opening which was blocked up, as I said.
21 Q. Thank you. Could you assist us with -- as you said earlier on,
22 that door was the entrance door. Could you assist us if this is that
23 very entrance door that you first described in the first picture.
24 A. To be quite frank, I don't remember what the door looked like,
25 what colour it was. But I can claim with certainty that there was a
1 wooden door. It was just put together very roughly. Now, what colour
2 they were, whether it was this door, I don't remember, but there was a
3 wooden door. That, I know.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Next one.
6 Q. And this picture, 0124-8191, does that look as you have been
7 describing? Does that look ...?
8 A. So that would be this line of sheds, a row of sheds. And in one
9 of them we were held. Here at the corner, where you see the beginning of
10 this metal fence, this area behind the metal fence would be the area that
11 they would lead us through to take us for some sort of interrogation.
12 There was a building there owned by the Sebesic company. And there was a
13 restaurant there, and they took us there for interrogation. And after a
14 while, they would take us to the toilet there too.
15 Q. And finally, 0124-8192. Could you help us with the location of
16 this. At what -- what direction is this?
17 A. We can see this row of sheds. This is the macadam road that led
18 to the cattle market. And where you see the man standing, that is the
19 direction leading towards the school, towards the centre of Mehurici.
20 And you can see a bit of the building where that restaurant used to be,
22 As for this old building next to the Ugar restaurant, they would
23 take us to this old building, to the toilet there.
24 Q. Thank you very much, Witness. Before we tend the same into
25 evidence, could you tell this Trial Chamber why you would want to tell us
1 that you are absolutely sure that these pictures that you have described
2 are, in fact, that particular blacksmith shop that you were talking
4 A. Because -- I can claim 100 per cent because I used to come there
5 before, when there was a blacksmith shop there, before the war, before
6 the conflict. I would come there often to Mehurici and I would go to the
7 cattle market there. And this -- in this old building, on the front
8 side, there's an asphalt road, and there was a registry there, registry
9 offices there.
10 Q. Thank you very much.
11 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, may these pictures be
12 tendered into evidence, please.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We are going to
14 follow a certain order, because there may otherwise be some difficulties.
15 Let us first take the last photograph, 1892.
16 Witness, on the photograph 1892 that you have in front of you,
17 there are three doors. As you were -- when you were detained there,
18 which door did you use? The central door, the one to the left, or the
19 one to the right?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We entered through the central
21 door, the door in the middle.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So we can infer
23 that you were held in the room behind that door; that is where you were
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We were told that to the right,
2 where we see the gentleman standing, that there was a restaurant and that
3 they went to the toilet in the building that we see the wall painted in
4 white. Is that where you went to the toilet?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think they took us here to this
6 old building. But in view of the fear we were in, I am not quite sure
7 whether it was this big building or the old building, but one of the two.
8 But it is more probable that it was in this old building that we were
9 taken to.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can we see that building on the
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, we can see this side of it, to
13 the right of these sheds. This old building there.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 So we are going to give an exhibit number to this photograph.
16 Will you please mark on the photograph your full name and today's date.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And today's date?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 THE WITNESS: [Witness complies]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Will you please show this
21 document to the Prosecution; to the Defence counsel, please; the accused;
22 the Chamber is going to look at the document too.
23 Mr. Registrar, can I have a final exhibit number for this
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be P42.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] P42.
2 Now we're going to go on to the preceding photograph. Could the
3 Prosecution show us the photograph on the monitor, please. So this is
4 photograph ending with the numbers 91. And the witness told us that he
5 took the door we saw there to enter the small yard and to be taken for
6 interrogation. There was a kind of yard with a line there and that you
7 took this door.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We didn't take this door. We came
9 out of the door between the barrels. Behind the fence, there was a small
10 gate, and we passed through it to go for interrogation.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. He's telling us that he
12 took the door in the middle, between the barrels. They came out of that
13 door. Then they took a small gate behind the fence to go to the place of
14 the interrogation, which was in the restaurant. Is that right? Is that
15 where you were interrogated? Is that right?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The photograph
18 you're looking at and that you have a copy of, will you please sign your
19 name and put today's date on it.
20 THE WITNESS: [Witness complies]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Show the photograph, please, to
22 the Prosecution, to Defence counsel, please, to the accused, to the
24 Can I have an exhibit number, Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be P43.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] P43.
2 Prosecution, will you please show us on the video the next
3 photograph, ending with the number 90.
4 When examined by the Prosecution, the witness was not able to
5 tell us whether this was indeed the door which he saw at the time.
6 Witness, the photograph that you're looking at now, could it
7 correspond to the central door and the room in which you were detained?
8 If you don't know, tell us. Say no.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is certainly the same room,
10 but I must repeat: I cannot claim with certainty that that was the same
11 door. I know that it was a wooden door, but this photograph shows the
12 interior of that room. Now, whether that was the same door or not, I
13 can't remember. But there was a wooden door; I know that.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As for the room, you can't tell
15 us either whether that was the room in which you were detained=?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As regards the room, the interior
17 of the room, it was identical to this one. There was a concrete floor.
18 You can see here some sort of covering. But in those days there was
19 nothing; there were just three wooden benches inside. So that is it.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So please write
21 your name and today's date on the photograph.
22 THE WITNESS: [Witness complies]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can we have a
24 new exhibit number, please.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be P44.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Can we have the next photograph, please; 89, ending with the
3 number 89.
4 Witness, this photograph shows a room. And you told us that to
5 the best of your memory there was an opening that does not correspond to
6 this window and that you couldn't tell us whether this was the room in
7 which you were detained; is that right?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As regards the interior of the
9 room, it is full of things on this photograph. But the room that we were
10 in didn't have this square window; instead, there was a round opening
11 that probably was used for ventilation purposes before, but it was
12 blocked up with rags. So we were staying in a room that was identical to
13 this one, regarding the walls and everything else except the window.
14 There was just concrete on the floor and nothing inside except for the
15 three benches.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please put your
17 name on the photograph and today's date.
18 THE WITNESS: [Witness complies]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the photograph with the
20 number 89, can we have an exhibit number, please.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be P45.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] P45.
23 Next photograph, please, the last digits being 88.
24 Does this photograph and the door shown on it, is it the entrance
25 door through which you went to enter the room you were held in?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is 100 per cent that
2 door. That is the outside of the room viewed from the door -- from the
3 road, I'm sorry. Yes. There was only that one door.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what about the window at
5 the bottom of the photograph? That is not the window that existed when
6 you were there.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it didn't. There wasn't any
8 window of that shape and size. So roughly, instead there was this
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could this window have been put
11 there later on?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably, but I must say that at
13 the time it did not exist. That, I can claim with certainty.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the opening that you
15 mentioned, was it in the place where the window is on the photograph?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, roughly on that same wall,
17 that is, the black wall of that room.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Put your first and
19 last name on the photograph and today's date, please.
20 THE WITNESS: [Witness complies]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can I have an
22 exhibit number for this, please.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be P46.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] P46.
25 No more photographs; is that right?
1 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: One more --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Another one. I see, 87.
3 The photograph with the last digits being 87, this photograph was
4 the first that was shown to you, and you told us in response to a
5 question from the Prosecution that this was the door you entered through
6 when you were taken to the room in which you were detained; and that this
7 photograph showed what you called the blacksmith's shop. Is that right?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is the entrance door.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You will note that
10 on this door, at the bottom there's a cement slanting piece. Do you
11 remember this piece that is shown on the photograph, leading up to the
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember 100 per cent
14 whether it looked quite like this, the area in front of the door. But I
15 don't remember there being any step. It was on a same level as the road.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Above the door, there seems to
17 be an iron -- a small iron roof. Do you remember that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember whether it was
19 there or not.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't remember; I see.
21 He doesn't remember the roof, nor the slanting piece of cement
22 leading to the door.
23 Put your name on the photograph and today's date, please.
24 THE WITNESS: [Witness complies]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can we have an
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 exhibit number for this photograph.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be P47.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] P47.
4 The Prosecution, you have the floor again to continue your
6 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, for the record, may I state
7 that these pictures were taken in the year 2002. Thanks.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Microphone not activated] Can you also tell us
9 the month when these photos were taken? Do you know the date -- the day
10 and the month?
11 Mr. Withopf, maybe you can give us more detail.
12 MR. WITHOPF: All right. Mr. President, Your Honours, since my
13 colleague at the time wasn't part of the trial team yet, I can provide
14 you with the information necessary. If my recollection is not completely
15 wrong, this photograph was taken in April 2002.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
17 Madam Benjamin.
18 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Witness, now that we have described the physical appearance of
20 the room, could you describe the conditions that operated at the time
21 while you were confined to that room. Could you tell us.
22 A. The conditions were terrible. At the very beginning of our
23 detention, there were some 10 or 11 of us in that room. After the
24 general attack, some other people were brought in and detained together
25 with us. There were three benches inside. Only a few people could sit
1 on them. There was nothing to sleep on. There was also a black plastic
2 bucket that we used to relieve ourselves in. That was at the beginning.
3 Later on they started to take us out to go to the toilet.
4 Q. During this period of confinement, could you tell the Trial
5 Chamber were you fed? How was your eating?
6 A. At the beginning, for the first three or four days we did not
7 receive any food or water. It was only after three or four days that
8 they would start bringing us three or four tins a day and a loaf of
9 bread. But all this was terrible. This was not food, nothing to speak
11 Q. During your confinement, were you personally subjected to any
12 form of interrogation at any time?
13 A. On the 8th of June, two days after our arrest, when the general
14 attack took place, when the other Croatian villages were attacked and the
15 population expelled from them, some three or four days later some other
16 people joined us. The school had been full of Croat civilians, women,
17 children, some elderly people as well. After that, some 15 days later
18 there was an exchange. The civilians went towards Nova Bila, where they
19 were exchanged --
20 Q. Witness, excuse me for one moment, for interrupting. But at this
21 point in time, could I ask you to tell the Court during your confinement
22 in the shop if you were ever subjected to any questioning of any sort.
23 That's the question. Thanks.
24 A. Yes, of course. I was interrogated. But I just wanted to follow
25 a certain order.
1 They did take us out to that building for interrogation. That's
2 where the Ugar restaurant was. Two men in military uniforms with white
3 belts waited for us there, and we were taken for interrogation one by
4 one. These two men came. And this lasted for two or three days. So
5 these two young men were there for the two or three days, and they waited
6 for us and they interrogated us.
7 Q. Were you subject to any mistreatment at all during your
9 A. There were all sorts of ill-treatment during interrogation. They
10 introduced to -- themselves to us as military policemen from Zenica.
11 They were my age. One of them was interrogating us and the other was on
12 the other side of the desk. He had a knife in his hand. He was
13 threatening us. They were interrogating us about Croatian units, the
14 HVO. They asked us about some movements that we didn't have a clue
15 about. We didn't know why we were detained and why we were subjected to
16 such conditions, why we were put in this place.
17 Q. And these men who described themselves as military policemen,
18 were you able to identify if they came from any particular battalion?
19 A. They introduced themselves as military police from Zenica. They
20 had white belts and pistols. I can't remember their names. I had never
21 seen them before, and I never saw them after that.
22 Q. Thank you. Were there any injured persons in your group in the
23 blacksmith's shop with you?
24 A. Once we were joined by some other people, on the 8th of June,
25 after the general attack. Zeljko Puselja came. He was wounded in one of
1 his arms. I don't remember which one. His arm was fractured and the
2 wound had never been treated properly. He was heavily wounded. He had
3 escaped the execution site in Bikose a few days earlier.
4 Q. Thank you. During your trips to the other buildings, tell the
5 Trial Chamber if you were able to observe anything about these buildings,
6 the occupants, you know, what the building looked like. Could you assist
7 the Trial Chamber, please.
8 A. Once the civilians were exchanged, once our civilians, women,
9 children, and elderly people left, they took us up there to clean some
10 sewage pipes around the school. We did that for two days. And while we
11 were doing that, we noticed a number of soldiers around the school.
12 Q. Could you describe in detail for us if you at that time was able
13 to recognise what battalion these soldiers may have been from, or who
14 they were.
15 A. I did not dare stare too much, but on the third floor of the
16 school we noticed Mujahedin units. They wore arms. They had short
17 beards. And their -- the colour of their skin was somewhat darker. They
18 were on the third floor of the school.
19 On the second floor of the school, there was also a number of
20 troops. Allegedly they had come from Krajina. And also, there was the
21 7th Muslim unit.
22 Q. Thank you. Continue. Were you ...?
23 A. And on the first floor, there was also an army, the BH Army, as
24 they called it at that time. In any case, there were troops on all three
25 floors. They humiliated us; they insulted us. While we were on the
1 cleaning detail, they humiliated us and they were supposed just to guard
3 Q. For how long did you remain at the blacksmith's shop?
4 A. I stayed for about a month in that room, until the moment I was
5 transferred to another prison, the KP Dom in Zenica.
6 Q. And, Witness, finally, from the KP Dom could you tell us where
7 you were transferred to or what happened.
8 A. After my transfer from the KP Dom, there was an exchange. We
9 didn't know anything about the exchange. They just put us on buses, and
10 we were exchanged in the area of Zepce.
11 Q. And when you got to Zepce, did you join any army, any particular
13 A. When I arrived in Zepce some 10 or 15 days later, I joined an HVO
15 Q. Finally, Witness, for this Trial Chamber could you tell us how
16 you feel now with respect to your experience in that period of June 1993.
17 Thank you.
18 A. To be honest, I'm trying to forget and leave all that behind. It
19 is impossible though. It has left -- it has made an impact on my mental
20 health, on my physical condition. I'm a 70-per cent-disabled person, but
21 what can I do?
22 Q. During that period, did you lose weight or did you maintain your
23 weight? Could you tell the Trial Chamber.
24 A. During my stay in the KP Dom Zenica, the conditions were
25 terrible, the food was poor. And when I arrived in Zepce, I had lost 26
1 kilos. There were some other people though who were on the very brink of
3 Q. Thank you, Witness.
4 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, Your Honours, this is the
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam Benjamin.
7 Before I give the floor to the Defence, I have some questions to
8 ask you in order to clarify things.
9 Questioned by the Court:
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you were arrested, what
11 was your status? Were you a civilian or were you a soldier? Were you a
12 member of the HVO at the time?
13 A. When I was arrested, I was arrested as a civilian. I was a
14 shepherd. I was guarding sheep. However, the units that captured us,
15 judging by their treatment during the arrest and during my detention,
16 they treated us as soldiers, HVO soldiers; although we were not HVO
17 soldiers. We were never on any lines. There were no lines at the time.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you were interrogated in
19 the restaurant by these two soldiers who were always the same, the
20 questions that they asked you, what was the objective of these questions?
21 What did they want to find out from you?
22 A. The objective was to find out about arms, the whereabouts of the
23 Croatian units, their strengths. They wanted to know things that we
24 didn't know anything about.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was that an oral interrogation
1 or did you have to put your questions in writing? Did they write
2 anything down during these interrogations?
3 A. This was more like a provocation, without any notes being taken.
4 People were just ill-treated, physically abused, kicked and hit. One
5 young man, whose name is Ivica Jankovic, he was seriously injured in the
6 head. They didn't want to administer first aid. We, other detainees,
7 tried to help him, to stop his bleeding.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] While you were in the
9 blacksmith's shop, did the Red Cross visit you? Did anybody else visit
10 you? Did the members of your family visit you? Did anybody visit you
11 during the stay in the blacksmith's shop?
12 A. From the time we were arrested, when the conflict started, a few
13 days later the Red Cross representatives tried to enter Mehurici;
14 however, the Mujahedins and the MOS wouldn't allow them to do that. And
15 it was only at their ninth or tenth attempt that they managed to reach us
16 and register us. If they hadn't done that, I'm sure that I would not be
17 alive today.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So they came to the
19 blacksmith's shop to see you?
20 A. Yes. They came to see us. They registered us. And we were
21 given Red Cross cards with our names on them and other details.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question: You have
23 just told us that you are a 70-per cent invalid. Who is it who accorded
24 you the disability? Is there a commission who accorded you this
25 disability status?
1 A. Yes. I have documents. And as for my disability status, it was
2 accorded to me after the exchange in Zepce. When I joined the HVO, two
3 or three months later I was heavily wounded. I was treated. And in
4 respect of my detention and the injury that I sustained later on, I was
5 accorded 70-per cent-disability status.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
7 I'm going to give the floor to the Defence for their
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Tadic. I'm Edina Residovic,
12 Defence counsel for General Hadzihasanovic. I'm going to ask you just a
13 few questions to clarify some things.
14 You have stated that after the 8th of June a number of other
15 people were brought to the blacksmith's shop. One of them was wounded.
16 Is it true that this was Zeljko Puselja?
17 A. Yes, I'm 1.000 per cent certain. He had escaped an execution
18 site. He was recaptured and brought to the blacksmith's shop.
19 Q. When he entered, you immediately saw that his arm was dressed.
20 A. Yes. He had his arm fractured. He was heavily wounded. And the
21 lad is today --
22 Q. Is it true that Zeljko Puselja told you that another HVO soldier
23 had also managed to escape the execution site? His name is Darko
24 Puselja. He was also heavily wounded and he was immediately transferred
25 to the hospital in Zenica. Is that correct?
1 A. Darko Puselja was not an HVO soldier. He was a minor at the
2 time. It is true that at the moment when the execution was being carried
3 out in Bikose, he was there. He managed to escape the execution site.
4 He was captured and transferred to the hospital in Zenica. And then
5 through some channels from that hospital, he managed to join his
6 relatives in Zenica. So he was not executed at the end of the day.
7 That's what I'm trying to say.
8 Q. You've also told us that after the exchange of civilians, you
9 worked on the cleaning detail around the school. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. While you were on the cleaning detail around the school, you
12 never entered the school; you never climbed to go to the first, second,
13 or the third floor.
14 A. We only went to the first floor. And on that day, we were all
15 beaten by the soldiers who were hanging around the corridors. They held
16 wooden batons in their hands. They asked us to take some garbage. We
17 were cleaning some sewage pipes around the school, and then on the
18 windows we could see people and we could hear shouts coming through the
19 windows from the school.
20 Q. While you were on the cleaning detail and while you were being
21 taken for interrogation, you were guarded by the civilian police from
23 A. We were not guarded by the civilian police. We were guarded by
24 some other people whom I knew by sight. I knew even some of their names.
25 I can't remember their names at the moment. In any case, I knew them by
1 sight. I still know them. They were not civilian policemen. They were
2 reserve police or some service. I don't know what kind of service they
3 were. They didn't wear civilian police uniforms, in any case.
4 Q. Thank you very much. I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 I'm turning to the other Defence counsel. Mr. Dixon, you have
7 the floor.
8 MR. DIXON: Your Honour, we have no questions on behalf of
9 Mr. Kubura for this witness. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Dixon.
11 I'm turning towards the Prosecution. Any re-examination?
12 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, there'll be no re-examination
13 of this witness.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
15 Witness, your testimony is hereby finished. You have answered
16 the questions put to you both by the Prosecution and the Defence. We
17 would like to thank you for your contribution towards finding the truth.
18 We wish you a happy journey back home.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to thank you as well.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to ask Madam Usher to
21 take you out of the courtroom.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we have completed the week.
24 Next week -- is the Prosecution able to give us their plan for
25 next week? I'm giving the floor to Mr. Withopf.
1 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, next week the
2 Prosecution will present five witnesses. Yesterday in the afternoon the
3 updated and amended witness schedule list for next week has been filed.
4 There's basically only a change in order of the witnesses and one
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We have a
7 witness -- one witness on Monday; two on Tuesday; one on Wednesday; one
8 on Thursday; and two witnesses on Friday; is that correct?
9 MR. WITHOPF: That's correct, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Next week we
11 shall sit on -- in the afternoon on Monday to Thursday and on Friday we
12 shall sit in the morning.
13 I understand the Defence wanted to know whether there will be an
14 interruption during which they will be able to regulate the issue of the
15 archives of the European Union. As I have already indicated to you,
16 there will be a day off on the 2nd February, which is a bank holiday, and
17 we are also going to have the 6th of February on Friday off because the
18 courtroom has to undergo regular maintenance. So the first week of
19 February, two days will be off. The first one will be a bank holiday,
20 and the second one will be Friday, which is scheduled for maintenance.
21 So you will have two days during which you will be able to gain access to
22 the archives to the extent to which you will have the possibility to
23 access the documentation.
24 I also understand that you wanted to find out about the Easter
25 period during April. It seems to me at the moment that Friday will be a
1 bank holiday and Monday will be a bank holiday. In April there, will be
2 two days without sitting: The Good Friday and the Easter Monday. I don't
3 know the dates. If the Defence counsel believe that they need more days
4 in order to be able to prepare, you can tell us, but please do it as soon
5 as possible. Let us know so I can advice the Registry. We will then be
6 able to plan for the months of March and April. If you estimate that
7 during the Easter period you will need a few more days for preparation,
8 bear in mind that we already have two days of bank holiday. That's
9 Easter -- that's Good Friday and Easter Monday.
10 Do the parties have any remarks at this point? I'm turning
11 towards the Defence. Any questions? Any issues to be raised?
12 I'm turning towards the Prosecution. Any issues to be raised at
13 this stage? Mr. Withopf.
14 MR. WITHOPF: Very briefly, Your Honours, since we have now been
15 informed that Friday, the 6th of February there will be no court session,
16 I wish to use this opportunity to emphasise and to request that this day
17 doesn't count against the half-year's time frame the Prosecution has been
18 given to present its case.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding the 6th of February,
20 it appears on the provisional schedule of the Registry, which indicated
21 that there was court maintenance on the 6th of February.
22 Having exhausted the agenda for this sitting, we will adjourn,
23 and we will all meet again on Monday at quarter past 2.00 in the
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.58 a.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Monday, the 26th day of
2 January, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.