1 Monday, 26 January 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, will you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: Thank you.
10 [Interpretation] Can we have the appearances for the Prosecution,
12 MR. WITHOPF: Good afternoon, Your Honours, good afternoon,
13 Counsel. For the Prosecution, Daryl Mundis, Ekkehard Withopf, with the
14 case manager, Kimberly Fleming.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And could the Defence introduce
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President.
18 Good afternoon, Your Honours. On behalf of General Hadzihasanovic's
19 Defence, Edina Residovic, Stephane Bourgon, and Mirna Milanovic as legal
20 assistant. Thank you.
21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
22 On behalf of Mr. Kubura, Mr. Rodney Dixon, Mr. Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and
23 Nermin Mulalic, our legal assistant.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We wish to bid good afternoon
25 to all those present, so good afternoon to the representatives of the
1 Prosecution, the Defence, as well as the accused.
2 We have a witness planned for today, and I think some protective
3 measures will be requested. For that purpose, I would like to ask the
4 registrar that we go into private session.
5 [Private session]
12 Pages 1920 – 1937 redacted. Private session.
25 [Open session]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.
2 MR. MUNDIS:
3 Q. Witness, you just told us that the younger ones went to the
4 barracks there. Were you in fact also taken to the former JNA barracks
5 in Travnik?
6 A. Yes. Yes.
7 Q. Upon your arrival there, did anyone welcome you or make any kind
8 of announcement to the group of people arriving by lorry at the barracks?
9 A. I know there were some troops and officers. Fikret Cuskic was
10 there. And they said -- when we arrived there, they said, "Welcome."
11 They said, "You'll be with us now." It was all right at the beginning,
12 and then they said later, "You will have to report. You'll have to be
13 mobilised," and so on.
14 Q. Witness, do you know what position Fikret Cuskic held at the time
15 you arrived at the former JNA barracks in Travnik?
16 A. I think he was a battalion or brigade commander, something like
17 that. I know that he was a high-ranking officer. He was some sort of a
18 commander, either of a battalion or of a brigade. I think he was the
19 commander of a battalion there.
20 Q. Do you know which battalion or brigade he commanded?
21 A. The 17th Krajina Brigade.
22 Q. What was your reaction upon being notified that you were being
23 mobilised into the ABiH?
24 A. I first asked whether it would be possible for me to rest, first
25 of all, to come to my senses. They knew very well what it was like --
1 what it had been like in the town in which I had come from. They knew
2 the living conditions and the threats we had faced. And then there were
3 some others who asked me, "What are you saying? You want to join the
4 Chetniks. You don't want to join the Muslims," and so on. And then I
5 started quarreling, resisting, and the tension rose. And finally, I
6 know -- I remember that they took me down into a basement. I was wearing
7 black trousers and a black jacket. And they said, "Look at the Ustasha.
8 He's dressed like a Ustasha," and so on.
9 Q. Can you describe the basement of the building that you were taken
10 down into. What was in the basement?
11 A. There was a big hall, a long hall. You go down a flight of
12 stairs, and then to the left at the end I could see -- this is something
13 I saw later. I didn't realise this immediately. I was scared when I saw
14 the basement. I didn't look around a lot, but they took me to the right
15 part and locked me up in a room. It was a small narrow room. In fact,
16 it wasn't small. There were a number of people who were lying down there
17 and sitting in the room. I entered the room, and they left me among
18 those people.
19 Q. Witness, can you tell us approximately how many people were in
20 that room and the ethnicity of those people, if you know it.
21 A. There may have been about ten of them. There were Muslims, and I
22 don't know how many -- I know of about two Croats who were there at the
23 time, because when I got in, I didn't communicate with them much. It's
24 not really a place where you would engage in any conversation.
25 Q. Can you describe for us --
1 A. Then this one, who had brought me there, who had shoved me into
2 the basement, I had about 500 German marks on me, which he took from me.
3 And later on this military policeman - because he was a military
4 policeman - I would see him, later on in Zenica. He was Alagic's
6 Q. Witness, you told us he was a military policeman. How did you
7 know he was a military policeman?
8 A. They all wear those white police markings.
9 Q. What kind of clothing was this individual wearing?
10 A. A military uniform.
11 Q. Do you recall where on the uniform the white police markings were
13 A. On their sleeves.
14 Q. Do you know, were there any insignia? Or did you otherwise know
15 what military unit this military policeman belonged to?
16 A. It said the "17th Krajina" and the "27th Krajina Brigade in
17 formation." But the 17th Krajina Brigade was the only unit there, no
19 Q. When you say "it was the only unit there," do you mean the
20 building that you were detained in?
21 A. In that entire barracks. They were there and another building of
22 the 27th Brigade. That was the brigade in the process of formation.
23 They were in another building. But as far as I know, it was never
24 formed. That brigade was supposed to be the 27th Banja Luka Brigade.
25 However, after everything that happened there, that brigade was never
1 formed, and all those people from Banja Luka fled from Travnik.
2 Q. Witness, can you please describe for the Trial Chamber the room
3 in the basement that you were kept in.
4 A. It was a room of about 6 or 7 metres long and about 3 or 4 metres
5 wide, perhaps. To one side, there were wooden planks on which we lay
6 down. And this was below street level, so that the window, which was
7 high up next to the ceiling -- and if anyone wanted to look inside, he
8 would have to kneel down to peep inside.
9 Q. Can you describe if the room you were in had any kind of door.
10 A. I know there were iron bars. I'm not sure. I think there was a
11 door, but it was very hot and there was no air, so the door was quite
12 frequently left open and only the bars remained. So there was a door and
13 iron bars, and this door led to a small corridor, and then there were
14 large iron bars, which led to the right, to the rooms where they did the
15 beatings and so on.
16 Q. Do you have any recollection as to how many rooms were located in
17 the basement of the building where you were detained?
18 A. I can't really tell, but behind those bars, the first set of
19 bars, then I think there were another one or two rooms behind those bars.
20 I'm not quite sure. I couldn't walk around much. But there was at least
21 another one room, but not more than two or three, behind those bars that
22 I mentioned. That part of the corridor was walled -- partitioned.
23 Q. You mentioned "that part of the corridor," Witness. Were there
24 other parts of the corridor? And if so, were there additional rooms or
25 offices on the other parts of the corridor in the basement of that
2 A. There were other rooms. There were other rooms in another part
3 of the corridor. And at the very other end was a military prison that --
4 they called it that -- and that is where they held prisoners in detention
5 who had committed certain errors, members of the 17th Krajina Brigade.
6 They were their soldiers, but they were being disciplined. They had
7 committed certain errors or violated rules, and they were being held
9 Q. Do you know to what purpose any of the other rooms in the
10 basement of that building were being put to use?
11 A. In one of those rooms, they beat us. And later on, when - I
12 don't know how to put it - when the civilian police got me out of there
13 with the help of people from my town, I later saw that they used it as
14 their command. The operations group -- the commander of the operations
15 group would be sitting there when fighting against the Croats. Cuskic
16 was there and all the others.
17 Q. Do you know which operations group had offices in the basement of
18 that building?
19 A. During those battles, there was also a clinic, where they brought
20 the wounded combatants for treatment, in that same corridor, in one or
21 two of those rooms. When you walk down the steps, close to the staircase
22 there was this clinic for wounded soldiers. Then to the left was the
23 command and the communications room. And these high-ranking officers,
24 who were in command of the fighting, they sat there.
25 Q. Witness, I want to return now to the time when you first arrived
1 in this basement cell. Do you recall approximately what time it was when
2 you were first taken to this cell?
3 A. It was late afternoon, something like that. It was in the
4 afternoon. I can't quite remember.
5 Q. You told us there were about ten people in the room when you
6 arrived. Did you know any of these people or had you ever seen any of
7 these people before?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How many of these people did you know, and from where did you
10 know them?
11 A. I knew one of them, one or two. I knew them from before. We
12 were from the same town.
13 Q. Had these people arrived with you on the lorries from your home
15 A. No. They were already there when I arrived. They had been there
16 from before. They may have come earlier on, but not on that day, not on
17 the same day.
18 Q. Did you -- upon your arrival or shortly thereafter, did you
19 discuss with the other ten people in the basement cell why they were
21 A. I'm afraid I didn't understand your question.
22 Q. Do you know why the other ten people were being detained in the
23 basement of the former JNA barracks in Travnik?
24 A. They were all accused of being either Chetniks or Ustashas.
25 Q. Could you tell -- or were there any visible signs of injury on
1 any of the other ten people at the time when you first arrived in that
2 room in the basement?
3 A. Yes.
4 THE INTERPRETER: I think the witness said yes.
5 MR. MUNDIS:
6 Q. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber what types of
7 visible injuries you noticed on your fellow detainees at the time of your
9 A. They all had -- they were all black and blue. They had all been
10 beaten up, each and every one of them, and they had bruises.
11 Q. Witness, can you please tell the Trial Chamber what happened to
12 you in the evening or night of your first day in the basement of the
13 former JNA barracks in Travnik.
14 A. When night fell, they took me outside and they beat me for
15 several hours, forcing me to admit that I had been with the Chetniks,
16 that I had been in Kozarac, in Prijedor, and I don't know where else.
17 Q. Witness, when you say "they took me outside," can you tell the
18 Trial Chamber who it was that took you outside.
19 A. Ferguson and this other one, who was the commander of the camp,
20 as they called him. Ferguson was the name of the person who beat
22 I would just like to say that the entire 17th Krajina Brigade
23 knew about him, the command, and even the command threatened ordinary
24 soldiers, "If you don't listen, Ferguson will get hold of you." So this
25 is not the first time for them to hear of him. This Ferguson was a big
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 guy, enormous.
2 I heard from -- I heard he came from a village near Jajce,
3 Donji Vakuf or something like that. And he would beat everyone inside.
4 Later on I saw that even the commander of the prison - and it was a
5 prison of the 17th Krajina Brigade - even he was afraid of him. And once
6 he drew a pistol on him, threatening to kill him -- rather, Ferguson did.
7 He threatened to kill him. Because he is so big, that is why they
8 nicknamed him Ferguson, after a tractor known as Ferguson.
9 Q. Let me -- let me stop you there, Witness. So Ferguson was a
10 nickname for this person who took you out.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you know what his real name was?
13 A. They all knew him as Ferguson. The whole of Travnik knew him
14 only as Ferguson.
15 Q. Okay. Witness, now, you told us that Ferguson and the person who
16 was known as the commander of the camp took you outside. Did they
17 actually take you outside of the building, or did they take you outside
18 of the cell?
19 A. Outside those iron bars, the first set of bars and then the
20 second set of bars, so there in the corridor.
21 Q. And this is the corridor in the basement of the building, the JNA
22 barracks in Travnik.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, this person Ferguson and the person that you've called the
25 commander of the camp, what were they wearing?
1 A. Military uniforms.
2 Q. Do you remember if they also had the white military police
3 armbands on their uniforms, or not?
4 A. I can't say with certainty. I think the person who was the
5 commander did have an armband. I think that Ferguson did too, but I'm
6 not sure.
7 Q. You've told us that you were beaten. How long did this beating
9 A. Two, three, four hours. I don't know. I can't say. Time either
10 flies or stretches out endlessly.
11 Q. Other than Ferguson and the commander of the camp, did any other
12 soldiers or military policemen participate in this beating?
13 A. Yes. Anyone could come in, any one of the members of that 17th
14 Battalion. Anyone could come in and beat. But so did the military
15 police of the 17th Krajina Brigade.
16 Q. Do you recall how many people participated in the beating you
17 received on the first day you were detained in the former JNA barracks in
19 A. Two or three of them together, then two or three would be sitting
20 down, taking a rest. And then when one group tires, then the next group
21 takes over.
22 Q. How were you beaten by this group of soldiers and military
24 A. With a spade handle or a pickaxe handle. I'm not quite sure.
25 There was a pickaxe and iron bars and the police truncheons, and they
1 kicked us a lot. They had boots on their feet, and they would kick us
2 with them. Then they would take a big towel, and one end they held in
3 their hand and the other they soaked in water. Then they would beat with
4 that wet towel wherever they could, but mostly on our backs.
5 Q. During the time you were being beaten, Witness, did any of these
6 individuals who were beating you say anything to you?
7 A. They say, "Confess. Why were you with the Chetniks?" And I
8 said, "I wasn't with the Chetniks. I was mobilised. I was at the
9 beginning only in Croatia for a month. And when I saw that the Chetniks
10 had arrived singing Chetnik songs," and I explained to them that an Ilija
11 was killed from behind, that the Yugoslav army had killed him, had shot
12 him in the back, and he was with us. And when I saw this, the first
13 chance I had I grabbed to escape from that battlefield to reach my own
14 town. And later I had problems there. I said I wasn't a Chetnik. "Then
15 you're an Ustasha," they said. "Why are you wearing black?" They were
16 just finding excuses to beat me.
17 Q. Witness, what happened after the beating finished several hours
18 later? What happened to you?
19 A. Then in a way they helped me reach the room. And once I was
20 thrown inside, I don't really remember. I don't really know what
21 happened after that. I don't know. Somebody may have helped me.
22 Someone may have given me some water. I know when people were brought
23 back from beatings they asked for water. Maybe I asked for water too,
24 but I don't remember.
25 Q. Witness, how long were you detained in the basement of the former
1 JNA barracks in Travnik?
2 A. Seven or eight days.
3 Q. During the remaining seven or eight days that you were detained
4 there, were you physically mistreated on any other occasion?
5 A. I don't understand the question.
6 Q. You've just told us about being beaten on the first night you
7 were detained. You remained in the basement of the former JNA barracks
8 in Travnik for another six or seven days. On any other day were you
9 similarly mistreated?
10 A. Yes. Every night they beat me, every night, as they did the
11 others who were detained with me. And they would take other detainees
12 who were there, and they beat me.
13 Q. Can you describe these other beatings for the Trial Chamber.
14 A. They were all the same. The beating was the same. People would
15 come in; other soldiers take their place and start beating; then the
16 military policemen, the brigade police of the 17th Brigade. One group
17 beat me. Then others beat me. The detainees beat me. Every night it
18 was the same story all over again.
19 Q. How was it, Witness, that the detainees beat you, your fellow
20 detainees? Why did they beat you?
21 A. They were forced to do. When they were too tired to beat, then
22 they would bring others, other detainees, and say to them, "You beat
23 him." And if they refused, then they'd say, "Beat him or I will beat
24 you," and then they do.
25 We'd known each other for a long time, and yet he had to beat me.
1 It was hard for him. And afterwards, when we went back to the room, he
2 would come and complain and apologise, "I'm sorry, but I had to do it."
3 And I'd say, "Never mind. I forgive you."
4 Q. Witness, when you say "we'd known each other for a long time,"
5 are you referring to one of the other detainees that you'd known from
6 your home town?
7 A. Yes, I am referring to him, yes.
8 Q. Witness, of the approximate ten people who were detained with you
9 in the JNA -- former JNA barracks in Travnik, did all of those people
10 survive the detention in that basement cell?
11 A. No. One man died one night. And he was taken out in the
13 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what you recall about that
14 incident, who this person was, the circumstances of his death.
15 A. I didn't have any contact with him. I know he was a Croat and he
16 was young. That night I think he was the first they took out to beat.
17 And when they shoved him back in, they took me out. And when I returned,
18 they were saying, "He's dying. He's done for." No one can help each
19 other. We couldn't help each other, because if they saw us helping each
20 other, they would start beating again. Someone beat on the door,
21 calling, "Ferguson," and then he came and said, "So what? Let him die."
22 And then he said, "Well, he'll die here. Take him away." And then he
23 said, "Nothing's wrong with him," and later on they took him out.
24 Q. Do you know if he was still alive when they took him out?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time. Perhaps this is the
2 approximate time for our break.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But, Mr. Mundis, will you
4 put your question to the witness once again, because we didn't hear the
5 answer. Will you repeat your question to the witness, please.
6 MR. MUNDIS:
7 Q. Witness, when they took this young Croat out of the cell, was he
8 still alive?
9 A. No. No, he wasn't.
10 Q. Who took him out of the cell?
11 A. The soldiers, Ferguson and the Krajina soldiers. Someone was
12 with him.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. We're
15 going to have our technical break. It is quarter to 4.00. We will have
16 a 25-minute break and resume at ten past 4.00.
17 So will the registrar take all the necessary measures for the
18 witness not to be seen by the public gallery. Thank you.
19 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 4.11 p.m.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll now resume, and we'll go
22 into open session.
23 The Prosecution may take the floor.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 I would ask that the witness be shown the electronic version of
1 Prosecution Exhibit 39, which was tendered into evidence last week. I'd
2 like to show him the electronic version.
3 Q. Witness, the screen in front of you should have Prosecution
4 Exhibit 39. Do you see that in front of you?
5 A. Yes, I can see a building. I see a building.
6 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what this building is that you see
7 before you?
8 A. I think it's the building in Travnik, the barracks.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. MUNDIS: I'd ask that another photograph be shown to the
11 witness, with the assistance of the usher, please.
12 Q. Witness, if you could please take a look at the photograph on the
13 machine to your right. I know it's also visible on the screen in front
14 of you, but if you could please look to the photograph to your right. Do
15 you recognise what's depicted in the photograph that you see in front of
17 A. I think that's the basement we were in, that there are other
19 Q. Witness, if you could please date that photograph and --
20 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, would you prefer the pseudonym
21 or --...?
22 It needs to be taken off the ELMO.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 Witness XE, write down on the photograph your first and last
25 names, make a note of today's date, the 26th of January, 2004, and write
1 "XE" on the photograph.
2 THE WITNESS: [Witness complies]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Is the Prosecution tendering
4 this -- requesting that this be tendered into evidence?
5 MR. MUNDIS: Yes, we are, Mr. President. We'd ask that that be
6 tendered under seal, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll show this
8 photograph to the Defence and to the accused; to the Prosecution -- they
9 haven't seen it yet. They haven't seen what has been noted. Show it to
10 the Trial Chamber.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And, Mr. Registrar, could we
12 have an (redacted) number.
13 THE REGISTRAR: The (redacted) number will be P49, under seal.
14 MR. MUNDIS:
23 (redacted). And
24 this had been agreed with the Serbian army, because when I got there, on
25 the first day in Travnik he saw me. We spoke to each other briefly, and
1 then he heard a story about the military police over there, that they'd
2 been beating someone. And they said, "We'll beat him, but he just won't
3 collapse." They said, "We'll beat him every night." I got used to those
4 beatings. The Serbs would beat me.
5 But when I'm beaten by Serbs, it's not so bad as when the Muslims
6 beat me. The Serbs find fault with me because I'm a Muslim. And then
7 when I think I'm safe, when I'm with Muslims, then I'm beaten by Muslims.
8 Why does this happen? I don't know. I thought I'd solved this, but then
9 that lawyer who had helped a lot of people, he came to the conclusion
10 that I was that person. He put two and two together. And then he went
11 to the civilian police and the civilian police came and they contacted --
12 they phoned the police in the 3rd Corps -- the military police in the 3rd
13 Corps, and together with the civilian police they arrived, and there was
14 a lot of confusion then because after those beatings, those daily
15 beatings, I was no longer able to stand up. I could only remain lying
16 down. They weren't able to get me out. The police of the 17th Krajina
17 Brigade didn't allow them to take me out. The Krajina Corps military
18 police and the civilian police and that lawyer, they were there. And
19 some special police forces came. They wanted to take me out.
24 Q. Witness, let me briefly interrupt. Do you know who the
25 high-ranking officer who came and ordered them to release you was?
1 A. He was a fairly high-ranking officer in the military police of
2 the 3rd Corps. That was the corps police who got me out. Whereas, those
3 who were detaining me, they were members of the police of the
4 17th Krajina Brigade. And those who took me out were the police from the
5 corps and the civilian police and the commanders who had appeared down
7 Q. Once --
8 A. I only saw that they had -- that he was very respected. They
9 respected him. They weren't afraid of him, but, you know, the kind of
10 respect they show for high-ranking officers.
11 Q. Once this high-ranking officer military police officer arrived,
12 were you in fact then taken away from the basement cell in the barracks
13 in Travnik?
14 A. I wasn't able to walk. They took me out on a stretcher. An
15 ambulance came.
16 Q. Where did they take you?
17 A. To the civilian police station in Travnik.
18 Q. What did you do upon arrival at the civilian police station in
20 A. I was questioned by the civilian police. They made a record of
21 the interrogation. They asked me some questions. They saw I had been
22 beaten. They knew who had beaten me. They knew everything. But they
23 asked me, "Who beat you?" I was sick. I'd been beaten. I said, "Leave
24 me alone. You know who beat me. You know that very well." But they
25 said, "You've got to make a statement, though." So they questioned me
1 there, and I spent two or three hours there.
2 Then someone called Esad came. And I think he was a security
3 officer in the 17th Krajina Brigade. And they wanted to transfer me to
4 the hospital from there. They wanted to transfer me from the police
5 station to the hospital so that I could be provided with medical
6 treatment. I was lucky in that I had withstood the beating better than
7 others, perhaps. I don't know. But I managed to survive all those
8 beatings, and they wanted to take me to hospital. But when he appeared,
9 when this person called Esad, this security officer from the 17th Krajina
10 Brigade, he said, "What do you mean a hospital? Taking him to a hospital
11 would amount to a scandal, because the military police has been beating
12 Muslims and so on." So he said, "Don't do it." Then a quarrel broke
13 out. The civilian police and the corps military police wanted to
14 transfer me to hospital, whereas the others didn't want to do so. I
15 said, "Just take me somewhere so I can be provided with treatment. I'm
16 going to die." (redacted)
22 So that's what happened. And then somehow they agreed that they
23 should avoid a scandal, that this shouldn't be made public knowledge, and
24 they transferred me then. They agreed that I should go to the clinic and
25 that I should be treated there. I -- then someone said something about
1 someone having taken money. They said, "We'll find him. The corps
2 police is here." And they found that military policeman, but they only
3 found 300 German marks on him. He had already spent 200 marks, he said.
4 So they returned 300 German marks to me and then they took me to that
5 clinic. And I remained lying in that clinic and they fed me for a few
6 days, turned me over to prevent me from getting bed sores. I wasn't able
7 to turn over myself. (redacted)
20 (redacted). He confiscated the
21 photographs from him, so that the civilian police didn't have any
22 photographs. Later all the medical documents disappeared, all the
23 documents about being treated in the clinic. All of that disappeared.
24 Q. Witness, when you told the Trial Chamber that the civilian police
25 said it would be reported to the corps, do you know what corps they were
1 referring to?
2 A. To the 3rd Corps. It was the 3rd Corps.
3 Q. Witness --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll redact page 37, line 3.
5 We'll redact this from the transcript.
6 Please continue.
7 MR. MUNDIS:
8 Q. Witness, approximately how long did you remain in the infirmary
9 at the barracks?
10 A. Over 20 days.
11 Q. Were there other people in the barracks infirmary at the time you
12 were there?
13 A. Yes, there were. There were other people there. I was in a
14 room. I think there were two or three beds in it, but I can't remember.
15 I'm not sure.
16 Q. Do you recall any of the other people who were in the infirmary
17 at the time you were there?
18 A. I can't remember.
19 Q. Do you recall the approximate date or month and year that you
20 were discharged from the infirmary?
21 A. I can't remember. I was released. I was discharged -- well,
22 I remember I was standing in front of the infirmary, in front of the
23 entrance. The entrance was facing the village of Bojna. That was a
24 Croatian village. And we were standing there. At the time, I was
25 feeling better. I could walk. We were standing there, and the soldier
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 who had set off to have a check-up in the infirmary fell down. We headed
2 in that direction, and then we noticed that he'd been hit by a sniper.
3 And I remember that that was the first person to be hit. I couldn't say
4 whether he was killed or only wounded, but that was the first person to
5 be hit on that day.
6 (redacted). That's
7 when the war with the Croats started for real. And then we moved into
8 the basement. The infirmary moved into the basement, the same basement
9 that I was previously detained in -- not the same basement, the same
10 hall. It was in another room. The cell I was in was at one end of the
11 hall, and at the other end of the hall. When we got down there, the
12 command had already moved down there in the communications room and the
13 infirmary had been moved there. They set up an infirmary down there.
14 Q. Witness --
15 A. And I remained there. That was emptied at that point.
16 Q. Witness, upon being discharged from the infirmary, where did you
18 A. There was fighting at the time, and I went around in the
19 ambulance. I remember I -- I helped. We would collect the wounded with
20 the ambulance. A civilian had been hit on the street. They said he had
21 been hit. (redacted)
25 (redacted) And while we were transferring him,
1 he died. And I helped by going around in the ambulance, by driving
2 around in the ambulance while the fighting was ongoing.
3 Q. Witness, upon your discharge from the infirmary, where were you
5 A. At the time of the fighting -- the fighting didn't last for very
6 long, not for a very long time. I was feeling better, and then they said
7 I couldn't remain inside and that I had to leave. A lot of Croatian
8 houses had been abandoned. A lot of flats had been abandoned. Maybe not
9 all of them, but a lot of Croats had left Travnik. So for a certain
10 period of time I slept in the secondary school with the other refugees.
11 And as I didn't have the status of a refugee, I tried to get the food I
12 could. I'd buy food with my own money. And then I would sleep in those
13 abandoned Croatian houses in the village there.
14 Q. When you say "in the village there," was that still in the town
15 of Travnik?
16 A. Bojna. I think that's the name, opposite the barracks. From
17 that village, that's where the Croats attacked the barracks from.
18 Q. How long did you remain in or around the town of Travnik
19 following your release from the barracks?
20 A. I don't know. Several days. And when they said that the roads
21 had been opened, someone told me, "You know, I think you should flee from
22 here. A lot of noise has been made because of what happened to you. I
23 believe that if you stay on" -- this is what he heard -- they heard that
24 people from the Krajina Brigade would kill me. And then when I had the
25 first opportunity of getting a lorry -- getting onto a lorry, I did that
1 and left.
2 Q. And where did you go in this lorry?
3 A. I went to a place, to a reception centre for refugees. That's
4 where I slept on the floor for several days, like all the other refugees.
5 And then when I arrived there, as I was -- as I had already been
6 registered by the International Red Cross, I went there and asked the
7 International Red Cross to help me flee from Bosnia, to help me be
8 transferred, to give me either money or food or something like that. But
9 they weren't able to do so.
10 I had some German marks and I'd get a little food. Later I
11 received some sort of a voucher which enabled me to get some bread and
12 some tinned food. And then I looked for work. They said, "Go to the
13 hospital." I'd go to the hospital --
25 Q. Witness, what kind of police were in the Music School?
1 A. It was the police that was part of the 7th Muslim Brigade.
2 Q. Do you recall the approximate date or month and year that you
3 went to the Zenica Music School and spoke to the 7th Muslim Brigade
5 A. It was perhaps in June, but I don't really remember. In June,
6 the end of June, the beginning of July. I can't remember exactly.
7 Q. When you spoke to the military police in the Zenica Music School,
8 were you asked any questions? And if so, please tell the Trial Chamber
9 what you were asked.
14 (redacted). I'm afraid that they might kill me." And this
15 policeman who was at the desk at the entrance to the building, he said,
16 "Don't be afraid. They're drunks, trash." He said, "If they take you in
17 here, they won't be able to touch you. We'll protect you." So he then
18 asked me to examine something. I can't remember what I examined. It had
19 to do with something from the Koran. He asked me to recite something.
20 When I was small - when I was young - we'd go to the mosque. Children
21 would go and I'd go too. I had learnt quite a lot from the Koran. He
22 wanted to check whether I was a real Muslim or whether I was only
23 pretending to be a Muslim. He said, "Very well. Go and report to the
24 barracks in Bilmiste." I went there. I don't know if he gave me some
25 sort of a document, piece of paper, but I went there and reported to
1 them. They asked me what I knew to do. I said I knew how to work in the
2 hospital. I knew how to drive. I can help with the work that is done in
3 hospitals and with the wounded and so on.
4 They asked me whether I was afraid of going to the field -- going
5 into the field. I said no. They said, "Okay, go and see Hasan." Hasan
6 saw me. He said, "You'll go with the company. Very well."
7 So when I didn't go to the company, when the company wasn't in
8 the field, I'd help in the infirmary. I'd help with the wounded, by
9 putting bandages on them and so on. There were a lot of Hasans there.
10 There was Hasan a technician, there was Hasan a doctor, there was another
11 Hasan who was a doctor. There were a lot of them, and they were all
12 called Hasan.
13 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I'd ask that we briefly go into
14 closed session so I can ask the witness a few questions.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going into private
16 session now, please.
17 [Private session]
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.
6 MR. MUNDIS:
9 A. I did. I went there at the beginning to get some supplies from
10 someone over there. I wasn't driving. Another person was driving. He
11 knew the route and everything. They said that there were some bandages
12 there for the brigade, for the infirmary, bandages and other medical
13 supplies for the infirmary.
14 Q. When you went to Mehurici to retrieve these medical supplies, did
15 you speak to any specific individuals or were you told to liaise with
16 anyone in particular, or what were you told to do in order to obtain
17 these medical supplies?
18 A. I don't know. We went there. When we got there, we saw that
19 there were many foreigners there. We went there. And I don't remember
20 everything. And we collected those things. We picked them up. I don't
21 remember the details.
22 Q. What were these foreigners doing in Mehurici?
23 A. I don't know. They were there. They were living there. They
24 were fighters, warriors.
25 Q. Do you know if these fighters and warriors were members of the
1 7th Muslim Brigade?
2 A. Yes, they were.
3 Q. How do you know that?
4 A. They told me when I went there. They told me, "They are our
5 fighters over there. They belong to us." They told me that we were
6 going to see them. Some of them wore insignia; some didn't. They didn't
7 all wear insignia. Some wore the green insignia of the 7th Muslim;
8 others didn't. Some had insignia; some didn't.
9 Q. Do you know, Witness, the names or other designators of any of
10 those subunits of the 7th Muslim Brigade that were in Mehurici?
11 A. They were known as El Mujahed, El Mujahed. I was quite new
12 there, and I was told that this was the El Mujahed Platoon and that we
13 were going to see them.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Can we please go into private session,
25 Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll go into private session.
2 [Private session]
12 Pages 1970 – 1982 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.
5 MR. MUNDIS:
6 Q. Witness, can you briefly describe for the Trial Chamber what
7 happened once your unit arrived in Vares.
8 A. I went with another company. I was assigned to another company.
9 I said, "I'll go down there with you. I'll go into the attack with you."
10 They said, "All right." On the way down there, they said Vares had been
11 abandoned, the Croats have abandoned Vares. That was a report. They
12 said that the night before they had broken through. They said, "I heard
13 that the Blue Falcons have broken through and another sabotage brigade,
14 but not part of the 7th Muslim Brigade. It was another brigade. They
15 weren't part of the 7th Muslim Brigade." They said that the road was
16 open and that the Croats had fled. We descended there. No one fired a
17 shot. There were a few shells that came in our direction from somewhere.
18 No one was wounded.
19 We entered Vares. At the entrance to Vares, as soon as we
20 entered, we entered Donji Vares and we saw in the window of a flat -- I
21 don't know who it was, but a member of the Blue Falcons. He waved to us.
22 A short time passed. And we came across a large group in some sort of a
23 house. They were Croats and then some Muslims opened the windows and
24 they said, "We are Muslims." They all gathered. And troops and UNPROFOR
25 arrived. I think that they were Swedes. Yes, that's when the troops
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 dispersed. Everyone dispersed.
2 No one looked at anyone any more, and then -- I don't know how to
3 put it. Some sort of looting started. I don't know what to call it.
4 People went from house to house, flat to flat. I no longer knew anyone.
5 I lost track of everyone. I no longer remember how I got to Gornji
6 Vares. In Gornji Vares it was chaos. Later I heard after the war these
7 people have entered and those people entered, no one entered. It was the
8 7th Muslim Brigade that entered Vares and occupied it. And then
9 towards nightfall the Sarajevo Swallows and men from Tuzla arrived.
10 We were already there, and everyone took care of themselves. We
11 were hungry, thirsty. And I remember that afterwards I found a beer
12 somewhere. I thought I should open it up. And I was afraid because
13 someone might report me to the police. We weren't allowed to drink, to
14 do anything. I opened the beer and had a beer after so many years.
15 I came across people driving cars, motorbikes, lorries, et
16 cetera. And later other troops arrived, other troops from other corps.
17 These troops came from all over the place. I remember that I met a
18 civilian carrying a rifle. I asked him, "What's happening?" He said,
19 "You are looting my town." He said, "I used to be a policeman here
20 before the war. I'm a Muslim. What are you doing?" I said, "Leave me
21 alone. See what the others are doing." It was chaos, complete chaos.
22 Q. Witness, you've described people driving cars, motorbike,
23 lorries, et cetera. Who were these people driving these vehicles?
24 A. Troops, the troops.
25 Q. Do you recall seeing any other type of personal property being
1 looted, other than these various vehicles that you've described?
2 A. I couldn't look into other people's vehicles. I didn't know what
3 people had in their cars. But they said that there would be a
4 checkpoint, that the brigade would set up a checkpoint at the exit from
5 Vares, and they said that no appliance should be taken out, that the
6 military police would confiscate everything. That's what we were told.
7 Later on I left. I got out. I no longer remember how I managed
8 to do so. I think we got out on foot. I remember some sort of camera
9 when we were leaving. We were all leaving Vares and heading back to some
10 village. I can't remember the name of the village. I set off on foot.
11 Later the lorries left, went out of the town. Some people left in
12 lorries; others would find cars. But on the whole, I know that an order
13 had been issued according to which all cars, all vehicle, all appliances
14 should be handed over in the barracks upon arrival in Zenica. I know
15 someone who didn't hand some kind of a Zastava car over. A neighbour was
16 with me. He took a car and sold it to someone for 400 German marks. He
17 sold it for 400 German marks to someone. Later he had problems with the
18 military police. They pursued him. I don't know exactly what happened.
19 I think he may even have been imprisoned for that act.
20 Q. Witness, you told us earlier about seeing UNPROFOR troops in
21 Vares. Did you have any contact with any UNPROFOR troops in Vares?
22 A. They tried to provide some kind of protection. I don't know.
23 The troops broke through -- broke into something, and they tried to
24 prevent this. They said, "You're looting. Look at what you're doing.
25 You're going to destroy the entire town." I can't remember everything,
1 but I know that there was some sort of a quarrel with them, and an
2 interpreter was present. He sounded like a Croat. And someone said,
3 "What are you doing here, Ustasha?" And he turned around. I can't
4 remember. I think there were two armoured vehicles there, and they then
5 went to protect some other building. I don't know this for sure, but I
6 heard that they went to protect UNHCR warehouses and so forth.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time. I think this might
8 be an appropriate time for our next recess.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's 25 to 6.00.
10 We'll have a 25-minute break, and we'll resume at 6.00.
11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
12 --- Recess taken at 5.37 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 6.08 p.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will resume our work
15 now. It is eight minutes past 6.00. We can go on until 7.00.
16 Mr. Mundis, please continue.
17 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 The Prosecution has completed its direct examination of the
19 witness. We have no further questions at this time.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
21 We are now in open session.
22 Questioned by the Court:
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness XE, you are now going
24 to answer questions which will be put to you by Defence counsel, but I
25 myself have a few small questions in order to clarify some questions put
1 to you and which you have answered.
2 You said that you were, as a nurse or as a medic, integrated
3 within the 7th Muslim Brigade. When you were a member, did you receive a
4 salary or were you a member without being paid? Did you receive a salary
5 or not?
6 A. I did not. I don't remember whether received some aid now and
7 then in food, but not in money. As far as I can remember, we did receive
8 any money.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But when you reported for
10 recruitment, you were not obliged to join. You could have gone
11 elsewhere. So you were recruited on a voluntary basis. It was your own
12 decision to be recruited. And you didn't raise the question of a salary.
13 A. No, I didn't.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you were recruited, you
15 became a soldier; right? And having become a soldier, were you given
16 documents or military rules? Any documents of a religious nature? Were
17 you given any documents?
18 A. As far as I can remember, no.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You told us with a great deal
20 of emotion in your voice a moment ago the bad treatment that you
21 suffered. Being a high-level sportsman, you must have been accustomed to
22 receiving blows. But the blows that you received were heavier than those
23 that you received practicing your branch of sports on the sports arena?
24 A. I was beaten by five or six men at the same time over there.
25 They beat me with military boots and rods and wooden -- pieces of wood.
1 No one is accustomed to being beaten like that. I don't know how you can
2 imagine that anyone can be accustomed to being beaten with iron rods and
3 wet towels. You don't find that anywhere.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 I shall now give the floor to the Defence for their questions.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, before I begin
7 with my cross-examination of this witness, the Defence teams for both
8 accused would appeal to the Court for their understanding so that we
9 could begin the cross-examination tomorrow, because according to the
10 schedule the witness was planned for today and tomorrow morning. We have
11 completed most of our preparations, but since the cross-examination is
12 linked to the statement made by the witness here in the Tribunal - and he
13 covered several areas - we feel that if we were to begin the
14 cross-examination tomorrow the process would be simpler, easier for the
15 witness, and thoroughly well prepared.
16 There's also a small technical reason why we appeal to Your
17 Honours for your indulgence: Namely, at the beginning of the proceedings
18 today, we familiarised the Prosecutor with a previous statement by this
19 witness given in the police station in Boden in Sweden, and we have not
20 received the complete translation into B/C/S. This is a statement that I
21 believe I will use in the cross-examination of this witness. And as the
22 Prosecutor doesn't have it in translation, it should be translated
23 overnight because the witness cannot follow the cross-examination if I
24 show him the statement only in English. So for reasons of efficiency and
25 in order for us to be better prepared, we appeal to Your Honours to allow
1 us to begin our cross-examination tomorrow. But, of course, we will
2 abide by the ruling of the Court. Thank you.
3 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, before taking a position on the
4 request of the Defence, perhaps if my learned colleague or colleagues
5 could give us some indication as to how long they anticipate their
6 cross-examination lasting. We do have another witness scheduled for
7 tomorrow. And as Your Honours are well aware, the Prosecution, being
8 under certain time limits, as well as constraints on witnesses, before we
9 take a stand on their request, if they could indicate a total amount of
10 time for both Defence teams, if both teams will in fact be
11 cross-examining, that could be very helpful.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in view of the
13 rather complicated testimony, covering a wide range of topics, I believe
14 that General Hadzihasanovic's Defence will need an hour and a half on the
15 outside, if we organise ourselves properly and have all the translations
16 ready and copied to be distributed to all the parties and Your Honours.
17 Thank you.
18 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence of
19 Mr. Kubura will probably take about half an hour for the
21 We would like to point out something else, that like the Defence
22 for General Hadzihasanovic, we have been cooperative and sought to make
23 the best of the time available to us. So I think this will not affect
24 the possible testimony of the next witness who is planned for tomorrow.
25 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution has no objection to
1 commencing the cross-examination of the witness at the outset of
2 tomorrow's courtroom schedule.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Chamber has
4 heard both parties.
5 If I understood correctly, the Defence will take one hour and a
6 half for the cross-examination of this witness, and the Defence counsel
7 for the second accused, about 30 minutes. So that will take a total of
8 two hours, without any prejudice regarding possible re-examination by
9 the Prosecution. Therefore, there is a chance for the second witness
10 planned for tomorrow, that his testimony may not be completed tomorrow.
11 We have 40 minutes left. Regardless of the technical reason that
12 you have elaborated on, are there perhaps some questions that may be put
13 to the witness without this affecting the questions planned for tomorrow?
14 Would there not be some rather simple questions which could save some
15 time tomorrow? This is just a suggestion that I am making. There may
16 perhaps be some questions that don't require a great deal of reflection
17 until tomorrow that could be put to the witness.
18 Madam Residovic.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I certainly could
20 ask some questions. But as I have said, I feel that if we were to have
21 more time to put our thoughts in order, the cross-examination would be
22 shorter. But perhaps I could start with some general questions for a
23 period of 15 minutes. And after that, would you allow me to resume
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you will have
1 about 15 minutes for some general questions, and then we will continue
2 tomorrow. That will not be a problem.
3 Therefore, Witness XE, you will have some general questions put
4 to you by the Defence counsel, which will help us save some time for
5 tomorrow, and we will continue tomorrow.
6 You have the floor.
7 We are now in open session. If you wish to go into private
8 session, let me know, please.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good evening, Mr. XE. My name is Edina
12 Residovic. I am Defence counsel for General Hadzihasanovic. I would
13 like to ask you first of all to listen to the translation of my question
14 in English and only then to provide an answer so that everyone in the
15 courtroom can follow more easily. Do you understand what I'm saying?
16 A. No, I don't. What am I supposed to wait for?
17 Q. In your headphones, you can hear the interpretation of my
19 A. So you want me to wait for it to be done into English?
20 Q. If you don't wait for the interpretation, then my question and
21 your answer will overlap and those present in the courtroom who don't
22 speak our language will not be able to follow.
23 A. Very well.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now go into private
25 session, please.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going into
2 private session now.
3 [Private session]
12 Pages 1994 – 2000 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The open session is continuing
10 for me to be able to close the sitting. And as I have said, we will meet
11 again tomorrow at quarter past 2.00 to continue the testimony of a
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.43 p.m.,
14 to be recommenced on Tuesday, the 27th day of
15 January, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.