1 Tuesday, 1st December, 1998
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 10.10 a.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Please be
5 seated. The hearing is resumed. Good morning to our
6 friends, the interpreters. Can everyone hear me? The
7 Prosecution, the Defence, good morning. Please have
8 the accused brought in.
9 (The accused entered court)
10 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) I think that
11 we can resume where we left off, Mr. Tochilovsky.
12 Witness A, can you hear me? Let me ask you
14 THE WITNESS: (Interpretation) Yes, I can,
15 Your Honour.
16 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Have you
18 THE WITNESS: (Interpretation) Yes.
19 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Are you ready
20 to resume?
21 THE WITNESS: (Interpretation) Yes.
22 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Very well.
23 Mr. Tochilovsky, continue, please. Do not make the
24 witness repeat what he has experienced but focus solely
25 on the points that appear, to you, not to be quite
1 clear and which contribute to your case. Thank you.
2 Please continue.
3 WITNESS: WITNESS A
4 Examined by Mr. Tochilovsky: (Continued)
5 [Witness answers through Interpreter]
6 Q. Witness A, yesterday you told us that Goran
7 Jelisic had been in uniform. Can you describe what
8 type of uniform it was?
9 A. Yes. It was the uniform --
10 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Just a moment,
11 please. I would like to draw the attention of the
12 Registry to the fact that documents have been given to
13 us, Mr. Registrar, the documents on Witness A, in which
14 the name of the witness appears. These documents, can
15 they circulate?
16 THE REGISTRAR: (Interpretation) These are
17 documents solely for your attention and for the benefit
18 of the Defence. It is to facilitate the procedure.
19 The other documents that will be distributed will be
20 those that I will show to the witness.
21 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) I think that,
22 in that case, we have to be very careful to treat these
23 documents with the utmost confidentiality.
24 Generally speaking, Mr. Prosecutor and
25 Mr. Londrovic, when you give us a document, perhaps it
1 would be better to leave out the name. "Witness A"
2 would be quite sufficient for the future because, in
3 this way, these documents circulate quite a bit. That
4 is what I wanted to say, but let us continue.
5 MR. TOCHILOVSKY:
6 Q. Witness A, could you describe the uniform?
7 A. The uniform was the same as worn by the
8 policemen of the former Yugoslavia. It was blue, a
9 blue short-sleeved shirt, darker blue trousers, and
10 boots on their feet.
11 Q. Can you --
12 A. That was the first time while he was
13 officially the director of the camp. Later on, he wore
14 a military camouflage uniform. That's all that I can
15 say about it.
16 Q. Witness A, can you tell the Court on which
17 part of the arm you saw the scar, on which part of
18 Goran Jelisic's arm?
19 A. As is written in my statement, it was on his
20 left arm, roughly here (indicating), the upper arm, and
21 he would personally show it to us. As far as I can
22 remember, his arms were not so hairy at the time as
23 they are now.
24 Q. Do you remember exactly which arm, left or
25 right, it was?
1 A. I can't remember exactly. I can't be quite
2 sure, but I think it was his left arm.
3 Q. If you are not sure, does that mean that it
4 could be either the left arm or right arm?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: If I could have the
7 assistance of the usher, Mr. President, in placing the
8 Prosecutor's exhibit in front of the witness and
9 distributing it to the Defence.
10 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Yes,
11 Mr. Londrovic?
12 MR. LONDROVIC: Your Honours, because of the
13 transcript, I would like it to be noted that Witness A
14 showed clearly that Jelisic had a scar on the upper
15 arm, left arm, on his upper left arm. That's what he
16 showed to the Court. That is my objection, Your
18 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Yes. You said
19 what you said. I don't think Mr. Tochilovsky has any
20 objection to that.
21 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: Actually, there is no
22 objection because the witness said that he's not sure
23 whether it was the left or right, the left arm or the
25 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Yes, the
1 witness expressed two incertitudes, whether it was left
2 or right, and then he mentioned the hair on his arm,
3 but we decided not to reconstruct the identification.
4 And having said that, what you have just said has been
5 entered into the record.
6 Has the exhibit been distributed?
7 THE REGISTRAR: (Interpretation) Yes, it is
8 Exhibit number 3.
9 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Number 3, is
10 it on the ELMO?
11 It is a public exhibit, Mr. Tochilovsky, is
12 it not?
13 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: Yes, it is public.
14 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Then it should
15 appear on the monitor. Please put your question to the
16 witness, Mr. Tochilovsky.
17 MR. TOCHILOVSKY:
18 Q. Witness A, can you tell the Court whether the
19 uniform on the person in the photo is the uniform you
20 saw on Goran Jelisic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you see the bandage on the arm of the
23 person in the photo?
24 A. Yes, I can.
25 Q. Was Goran Jelisic's scar on the same part of
1 the arm as you can see in the photo?
2 A. As I said a moment ago, I cannot recall
3 exactly because a long time has passed since, and the
4 fear I was in and considering everything I saw and
5 everything I experienced, I have done my best to forget
6 it all. But I cannot recall exactly whether that was
7 where his scar was because when he was showing it to me
8 and my group of detainees, when he was showing us this
9 scar, he wasn't wearing a bandage. He didn't have a
10 bandage on his arm. So whether it was his left or
11 right arm, I'm not sure, as I have just said. That's
12 all I'm able to say about it.
13 Q. Witness A, yesterday you mentioned in your
14 testimony the refrigerator truck where you had put the
15 bodies of those killed. Can you describe the truck?
16 A. I saw the truck only from behind where the
17 door was which was open, and the first and second and
18 third time I carried the dead bodies of the inmates
19 into the refrigerator truck, the door was open, and
20 there were dead bodies there already of detainees
21 already killed before that.
22 I would see such refrigerator trucks before
23 the war. They were vehicles belonging to the Bimex
24 Company, the slaughterhouse, and they were used for the
25 transportation of meat and which, within the framework
1 of their criminal intentions, were used for the
2 transportation of dead detainees.
3 Q. Do you remember what colour the truck was?
4 A. It was white.
5 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: If I could have the
6 assistance of the usher, Mr. President, in placing the
7 Prosecutor's exhibit in front of the witness and
8 distributing it to counsel.
9 THE REGISTRAR: (Interpretation) It is
10 Exhibit number 4.
11 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: Can you put the photo on
12 the ELMO to see the left upper corner? Yes.
13 Q. Witness A, can you tell whether the car in
14 the left upper corner is similar to that refrigerator
15 you put the bodies in?
16 A. It is not just similar, it is the same, only
17 perhaps the registration plates may not be the same.
18 And the vehicle that I saw had the door open, the back
19 door of the refrigerator.
20 Q. Yesterday you described to us the killings on
21 the first night upon your arrival to the camp. Do you
22 remember how many times that night the soldiers took
23 volunteers from the hangar and how many of them never
24 returned back?
25 A. I don't think any one of us detainees could
1 give you the exact number, and neither can I, but it
2 was between 25 and 30 times where people were taken
3 out. And after each of these groups left, one or two
4 of the group would return. One could never tell how
5 many people would come back alive, whether it would be
6 one or two that would come back to the hangar. But
7 according to my recollection and estimation, if we were
8 to multiply 25 to 30 groups by four, this would mean
9 more than a hundred, and half or less than half
10 returned to the hangar alive.
11 Q. Witness A, I would like to ask you about one
12 specific incident. Yesterday you mentioned an incident
13 when Goran, after killing the man, said, "Another
14 balija less." Do you remember whether Goran Jelisic
15 used any force to keep the man on the grate, on the
17 A. Yes, he did. That man was forced to lie down
18 on the asphalt, to put his head on the grate of the
19 drainage canal. Of course, he resisted, and then Goran
20 knelt on his back to keep him down on the concrete.
21 Q. Could you describe to the Court the incident
22 when a person who was married to a Serb was killed?
23 A. Yes, this was roughly three or four days
24 after my arrival at Luka. One of the guards entered
25 the hangar and cried out aloud, so that we could all
1 hear him, whether there was anyone who was married to a
2 Serb woman. And a youngish man in his 20s got up
3 smiling, and he said, "I am married to a Serb woman."
4 The guard told him to come out. The man almost ran out
5 because I assumed that he thought that his wife had
6 come to take him out of the camp, to take him home, but
7 he was wrong, as were the rest of us.
8 There was noise outside. There was cursing.
9 I have to apologise to the Court in the first place for
10 having to cite what the guards said and Goran Jelisic
11 and Ivan Repic, because these are not words to be used
12 by a decent man. These were words like, "Look at the
13 balija. He's sleeping with our Serbian woman. He is
14 humiliating our religion. He is making children with
15 our Serbian woman." We could hear blows and screams,
16 "Why are you doing this? My wife knows that I am a
17 good husband. My wife knows that I have not harmed a
18 single Serb, and she can confirm this, as well as her
19 family," but nobody listened.
20 The blows could be heard, the cursing, and
21 then a familiar sentence, "Lie down and put your head
22 against the grate." I couldn't see this because I was
23 inside. After that, a shot was heard but without a
24 silencer because this time perhaps another weapon was
25 used, maybe a rifle or a pistol, without a silencer.
1 The man did not return. We assumed that he too was
3 Q. Could you recognise the voice of the person
4 who had told the man to put his head on the grate?
5 A. I and the rest of us, in the course of the
6 night, had heard this voice, and it was a voice we
7 could always recognise. It was the voice of Goran
8 Jelisic. If one hears a voice on a daily basis for at
9 least 10 or 15 times a day, he couldn't mistake it for
11 Q. Witness A, could you describe to the Court
12 the incident when the person who went to fetch some
13 water was killed?
14 A. Every day we were allowed to go to the toilet
15 and to pour some water into a bottle. We would go out
16 one by one. They would never let two or three
17 detainees out at the same time. They would let one go
18 if he needed to go to the toilet, and when this one
19 reached the door of the hangar, then it was the next
20 one's turn, and that is how things were on that day
22 We were standing in the hangar in a row
23 behind the door. I was the third or fourth in the
24 line. The door was open just enough for a man to get
1 This man, coming back carrying two bottles of
2 water, halfway back, one of the bottles slipped from
3 his hands. Whether he dropped it because it was wet
4 from the water while he was pouring it into the bottle
5 or whether he dropped it because of the blows he was
6 receiving from the soldiers, from the guards, as he was
7 coming back, I cannot tell. Anyway, the bottle fell.
8 Then he was beaten even more fiercely by the soldiers,
9 and that man was also led to the grate and killed in
10 the same way as all the others, over the grate; the
11 difference being that this was the second time that
12 they didn't use a weapon with a silencer. Whether it
13 was a rifle or a pistol, I cannot tell because I didn't
14 see it, but I saw little of that man while he was in my
15 field of vision as I could see him being beaten.
16 After that, he disappeared from my sight, so
17 I couldn't see him, but I could hear his moans, his
18 pleas, "Don't, please. It's not my fault that I
19 dropped the bottle. It was wet." He never even dared
20 mention the blows he was receiving because all of us
21 were beaten going to the toilet or to fetch water, on
22 the way there and on the way back. But all these pleas
23 were to no avail. A shot was heard, and the man did
24 not return to the hangar. We never saw him again
1 Q. Did you recognise the voice of the person who
2 called the man to the grate?
3 A. Yes. It was the same voice, the voice of
4 Goran Jelisic.
5 Q. Witness A, yesterday you mentioned that there
6 was a day when Goran came into the camp and announced
7 that there had been an order to stop killings. What
8 date did that happen?
9 A. In my recollection, this could have been 16
10 May of 1992, because on that same day, another prisoner
11 was brought in who had already been beaten up and
12 abused, and he later told me that he had been arrested
13 on 16 May, 1992, in the morning, in the early morning
14 hours, so that I could say that this was 16 May, 1992.
15 Q. Did you have a watch or calendar to see what
16 day it was, or was your impression based only on that
17 person you encountered?
18 A. No, we had nothing on us, not even personal
19 documents, let alone watches or calendars, because
20 everything had been taken away from us after we arrived
21 in the camp, all our valuables. So that my statement
22 is based on my memory and on the basis of the statement
23 of this prisoner who was brought there on that day. I
24 am not mentioning the name of this prisoner because I
25 want to protect his identity. I believe that he
1 deserved that. I think that he went through a lot; in
2 fact, too much happened to him. So I would not want
3 him to get into a situation where he would have to
4 re-experience all this, and this is why I am protecting
5 the people who were there with me.
6 Q. Witness A, after the Luka camp, you were
7 detained in Batkovic camp as well; is that correct?
8 A. Excuse me. This was the Batkovic camp near
9 Bijeljina. Perhaps there was a typographic error in
10 the statement as it was written down, but it's with a
11 "B"; it's Batkovic.
12 Q. Do you know whether Goran Jelisic visited the
13 Batkovic camp at the time when you were detained there?
14 A. I would have to give you a more detailed
15 answer to that question. We were transferred, this was
16 in early July 1992, and we were transferred to
17 Batkovic. I remember that on 16 August, I escaped,
18 together with another detainee, we escaped from the
19 camp, and three days later, we were captured again.
20 Then they beat us up, they really roughed us, and
21 according to the other detainees, other camp inmates'
22 statements, those people who were in Batkovic, I was
23 not around on the day when Goran Jelisic arrived in the
24 camp because I was hidden on a farm which was about
25 three or four kilometres away from Batkovic because on
1 that very same day, the International Red Cross was
2 visiting the camp, and as we were in such a shape that
3 our own mothers would not recognise us, we were hidden
4 from them.
5 So that on that day, I was not in the camp,
6 but the other camp inmates told us that he came to
7 the -- Batkovic came and was inquiring whether there
8 were any inmates there who had survived the May of
9 1992, the camp inmates who had been detained in the
10 Luka camp.
11 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: Mr. President, I have
12 concluded my examination, and I would like to ask that
13 the exhibits which were shown to the witness be
14 admitted into evidence. Now is the opportunity for the
15 Defence to ask questions.
16 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Certainly.
17 But before the Defence takes the floor, I would like to
18 specify something. My colleagues and myself have asked
19 the registrar to take these documents I am showing to
20 you back because we want the name of Witness A to be
21 redacted from these documents, so I will ask all the
22 members of the Defence and all the members of the
23 Prosecution team to give these documents back to the
24 registrar. The registrar will give them back to you,
25 and the name of Witness A will have been redacted from
2 Mr. Registrar, of course, you may proceed as
3 you wish to redact the name of Witness A from these
5 Is there any objection on the part of the
6 Defence that the Prosecution Exhibits 1 to 4 be
7 tendered into evidence? Mr. Greaves, any objection?
8 Mr. Londrovic?
9 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, I don't think we
10 have any objection to that.
11 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Very well
12 then. Mr. Greaves, you have the floor, and you may
13 cross-examine the witness.
14 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, you will recall
15 yesterday that you kindly offered that if I needed a
16 little bit of extra time, you would be sympathetic to
17 such a request. Can I just say this, please? Last
18 night, we were quite late, and I was able only to speak
19 to the Defendant for a very short period. I wonder
20 whether you would be kind enough to give me half an
21 hour before I commence my cross-examination, please?
22 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Of course,
23 Mr. Greaves. Of course.
24 MR. GREAVES: I am obliged, Your Honour.
25 Thank you very much.
1 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Mr. Registrar,
2 this will give you the opportunity to redact the
3 documents we have handed back to you. We shall suspend
4 the hearing until 11.15.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.46 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.25 a.m.
7 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) The hearing is
8 resumed. Thank you, Mr. Registrar, for having redacted
9 these documents. It is not proper for the witness's
10 name to appear in such documents.
11 Mr. Greaves, the Judges have been very
12 generous. You have had more than a half hour to
13 prepare yourself for the cross-examination.
14 MR. GREAVES: Thank you. I am extremely
15 grateful to Your Honours, it has been most helpful, and
16 I am genuinely very grateful.
17 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Well then, you
18 may start. How long will you need, approximately, for
19 this cross-examination?
20 Mr. Tochilovsky, you had something to say?
21 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: Can we have the accused
22 brought in?
23 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Of course. Of
24 course. The accused should be brought in.
25 (The accused entered court)
1 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Thank you for
2 reminding me of this, Mr. Tochilovsky. Mr. Jelisic is
3 now among us.
4 All right. Mr. Greaves, you have the floor.
5 How long do you need, approximately?
6 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, although counsel
7 are often known for getting time estimates wrong, I
8 would hope to be finished by lunchtime.
9 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Very well
10 then. You may proceed.
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Greaves:
12 [Witness answers through Interpreter]
13 Q. Good morning, Witness A. Witness A, I
14 represent Mr. Jelisic in this trial, and I am going to
15 ask you a number of questions on his behalf this
16 morning. If you don't understand my question, please
17 ask me to repeat it, or ask me to ask the question in a
18 different way. Don't be shy. Will you do that for me,
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Witness A, I would like to ask you, please,
22 about the process by which you came to give a written
23 statement to the Office of the Prosecutor. Do you
24 recall doing that on the 21st of May of this year?
25 A. No, I cannot recall the exact date, and it
1 wasn't one statement that I gave.
2 Q. Well, I want to concentrate, and we have
3 details of a written statement that is recorded as
4 having been taken on the 21st of May, and it's that one
5 I want to ask you about, and I think the two gentlemen
6 who interviewed you were a Mr. Basham and a
7 Mr. Buckley. Does that help you?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. What I'm going to do first,
10 Witness A, is I'm going to show you the English
11 language version of that with a number of signatures on
12 it, and I'd ask, perhaps, if the usher, please, would
13 kindly show him the English language version of his
14 statement of the 21st of May, please.
15 THE WITNESS: Excuse me. May I ask a
17 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, I think the
18 witness wants to inquire something of Your Honour.
19 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Of course,
20 Witness A. We were just discussing something. My
21 colleagues and myself would like to have a copy of this
22 witness statement, but maybe it can be put on the
23 ELMO. But now, Witness A, feel free to ask your
25 THE WITNESS: Yes. I don't see a reason why
1 I should look at this statement in English because I do
2 not speak English. I don't think that there is a need
3 for me to look at it.
4 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Quite right,
5 Witness A, but this statement has been signed by you;
6 isn't it the case? You have signed the English version
7 of your statement. But I think there is something
8 that's added to this English statement in
10 Mr. Registrar, can you help us on this
11 particular issue?
12 Witness A, you have to be aware of one thing,
13 and I'm speaking -- I hope if I make a mistake, the
14 Prosecution team will correct me -- you have given this
15 statement with the help of a Serbo-Croatian
16 interpreter, and, of course, the Office of the
17 Prosecution obtains translations of this statement in
18 the two official languages of this Tribunal, English
19 and French. I hope I'm not wrong, Mr. Tochilovsky or
20 Mr. Bowers. I'm sure that this statement was read out
21 to you by the interpreter in the language you
22 understand, and then it was translated into English.
23 So today, if the Defence feels the need to
24 put some questions to you, questions related to these
25 statements, then you will have to answer these
1 questions, and if you need any help, the interpreters
2 in the booth will help you understand what is said in
3 the English version of your statement, and if you need
4 some more help, then, of course, we will do everything
5 we can to help you.
6 Do you agree with what I've just said to the
7 witness, Mr. Tochilovsky?
8 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: Yes, that's correct. When
9 any witness for the Tribunal is interviewed by the
10 investigators, the interpreter is present. The
11 interpreter would interpret any word, would translate
12 the statement, and then the witness would sign the
13 English version of the statement.
14 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Thank you,
15 Mr. Tochilovsky. So what we are going to do is hand
16 this statement to the witness. Mr. Greaves is going to
17 refer you to a particular part of this statement, but
18 the interpreters in the booth will interpret for you
19 the passage read out by Mr. Greaves. You will get an
20 interpretation in Serbo-Croatian, and if you need more
21 time to understand what is said to you by Mr. Greaves,
22 then we will take the necessary time; the important
23 thing being that you understand fully what is said to
24 you. But don't worry at all. Take all the time you
25 need. We are quite used to that procedure. All the
1 witnesses who come before us, all the witnesses from
2 the former Yugoslavia who come before us, are faced
3 with the same difficulties you are faced with, but
4 Mr. Greaves I'm sure will help you as well as the
5 interpreters and everybody in this courtroom.
6 MR. GREAVES: I can go further than that.
7 I've actually got a copy in Bosnian for him which I am
8 going to show him after he has identified the document.
9 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Well, yes,
10 Mr. Greaves, if you have a Serbo-Croatian version of
11 this statement, you can hand the statement to the
12 witness, but, of course, this is an open session, no
13 names should be read out, no information should be
14 communicated. Go on, Mr. Greaves.
15 MR. GREAVES: What I'd like him to do is just
16 acknowledge publicly that the English version is the
17 one that he accepts that he signed with the
18 declarations at the end. If we can quickly do that,
19 then I will give him, once he's done that, the Bosnian
20 copy, and then we can work from the Bosnian copy.
21 That's what I intended to do to be as helpful as I
22 could to him.
23 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) No objection
24 from the Prosecution?
25 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: We don't have any
1 objections, but we should keep in mind that the pages
2 in the translated statement and the pages in the
3 English version will be different, could be at least
5 MR. GREAVES: I'm very conscious of that, and
6 I'm going to give the witness plenty of time to find
7 the relevant passage. His Bosnian, as you know, is
8 much better than mine, so I will do it as carefully as
9 I can.
10 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Very well.
11 Mr. Greaves, you have the floor.
12 MR. GREAVES: Thank you very much, Your
14 Q. Witness A, I just want you to understand, I'm
15 not trying to take advantage of you by making you look
16 initially at the English copy. I just want you to look
17 at your signatures to start off with, and then I'm
18 going to give you the Bosnian copy that you and I can
19 work from. All right? Do you understand that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you very much. Could I ask you, first
22 of all, to look at the first page, which has got the
23 title and your name. Don't read your name out or
24 anything like that. But at the bottom right-hand
25 corner, is that your signature at the bottom right-hand
1 corner of the document?
2 A. Yes, it is my signature.
3 Q. And looking at each of the pages until you
4 get to the end, did you also put your initials on each
5 page, again I think on the bottom right-hand corner?
6 A. Yes, that is correct. We put these initials
7 because it would have taken too long, so I was just
8 advised to initial each subsequent page.
9 Q. That's fine. And then if you look, I think,
10 at the last two pages in that bundle that you've got
11 there, at the back of the document, on the last but one
12 page, again is your signature there, plus a date, plus
13 the signatures of the two interviewers?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And then on the final page, is there, I
16 think, also a signature of the interpreter and also a
17 date underneath a section of text?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Looking again at the front page, if you
20 would, please, I think there is a date which is May
21 1998. I know it's in English, but I think you ought to
22 be able to recognise that. It's about two-thirds of
23 the way down.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you very much. Perhaps you can now
1 have a copy of the document in Bosnian, and then we can
2 work from that.
3 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, I'm very conscious
4 that I have neglected to get a copy in French of this
5 statement, and I do apologise. I'm afraid it didn't
6 cross my mind to get copies for you in French, so I
7 will go as slowly as I can so that Your Honours can
8 pick up the text as we go along.
9 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Well, maybe we
10 could put the English version of his statement on the
11 ELMO, since the witness has his own copy of the
12 statement, but be aware of the names which appear in
13 the statement.
14 MR. GREAVES: If Your Honours can arrange
15 that the picture on the ELMO does not go out to the
16 public, that will prevent any name which is
17 contained --
18 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Then I will
19 ask for the English copy of the statement to be handed
20 over to me only.
21 MR. GREAVES: Thank you very much.
22 Q. Witness A, Mr. Tochilovsky explained that the
23 page numbers where the text is found that I'm referring
24 to may be different in the English version and the
25 Bosnian version. What I want you to do is please take
1 your time in finding the section that I'm referring you
2 to, and if you can't find it, we'll do what we can to
3 help you; is that all right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I want to ask you, first of all, Witness A,
6 please, about your arrival at the Luka camp and what
7 you told us about that yesterday. The account that you
8 gave to us yesterday was this: After your arrival at
9 the camp and being lined up against a wall, you say --
10 would Your Honours just give me a moment, please.
11 You told us yesterday that some of the -- the
12 soldier who was put in charge of you started to abuse
13 you and some of the soldiers started to abuse you,
14 calling you Chetniks and started beating you and
15 threatening to kill you and saying that nobody was
16 going to save you.
17 Do you remember saying that to us yesterday?
18 A. My apologies. I need to correct you. They
19 didn't call us Chetniks because they were Chetniks.
20 They called us balijas, a Turkish gang, a fictitious
21 people, a non-existent people, things like that.
22 It is true, as I stated yesterday, this is
23 what happened. They beat us, they called us what I
24 have just quoted, and they said that we would not
1 Q. You're quite correct. In fact, you described
2 the soldiers calling each other Chetniks. That's my
3 fault, and I apologise to you for doing that.
4 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, I'm about to
5 direct him to a short section on page 3 of the English
6 language version. It is the third paragraph from the
7 bottom of that page, the second and third from the
8 bottom of the page.
9 Q. Witness A, if I can direct your attention to
10 it, you will find a paragraph which begins with the
11 following phrase: "We arrived at Luka sometime in the
12 afternoon." Take your time, but if you can tell us
13 when you've found it, that would be helpful, please.
14 A. I did find it.
15 Q. Thank you very much. I'd like to you read
16 that paragraph and the next paragraph. Just read it to
17 yourself, please, if you would be so kind.
18 A. Shall I read it through the end of the page?
19 Q. I'm just going to take you over the page in a
20 moment, but the first question I want to ask you,
21 Witness A, is this: The account that you give in your
22 statement on the 21st of May does not contain any
23 reference to the threats to kill you and not to save
24 you at that stage of your arrival at Luka.
25 A. This is exactly how it happened, that I was
1 told to speak concisely and that much more detail would
2 be said during my testimony. I think if I had said
3 everything that I knew, this statement would have been
4 about 150 pages long.
5 Q. Of course, but just to make sure that you're
6 being an accurate and reliable witness, I want to take
7 you through one or two of the details, so please bear
8 with me.
9 MR. GREAVES: Thank you very much. I spotted
10 Your Honour was having a conversation.
11 Q. It's right to say that on the next page,
12 Witness A, you do say that you were beaten by some of
13 the guards, and so I accept that. I don't want to be
14 unfair to you at all.
15 I want to ask you next about the conversation
16 that you say or the words that were spoken by
17 Mr. Jelisic when he first came to meet you after your
18 arrival at Luka, and I'm going to remind you as to what
19 you said in evidence yesterday.
20 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) My colleagues
21 and myself, Mr. Greaves, wish you to stick to the
22 questions that have been put to the witness during the
23 direct examination. Of course, we accept the fact that
24 you resort to the witness's statement. Of course, you
25 can put questions that are directly related to his
1 statement, but please bear in mind the questions that
2 have been put to the witness during his direct
4 MR. GREAVES: I had hoped that I was dealing
5 with, and I am reading from evidence which he gave
6 yesterday, and the exercise I'm conducting is to
7 compare that with what he declared in a declaration to
8 be true, to the best of his knowledge of belief. And
9 the exercise is --
10 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) I was not
11 criticising you, Mr. Greaves, not at all.
12 MR. GREAVES: I'm being overly sensitive, and
13 I do apologise.
14 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Please go on,
15 Mr. Greaves.
16 MR. GREAVES: Thank you.
17 Q. Do you have a passage, please, Witness A,
18 which says, "Goran introduced himself to us as Goran
19 Jelisic," which, I think, is shortly after the passage
20 which you've just read?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And it goes on in the following way: "He
23 told us he was the commander of the gathering centre
24 where we would be interrogated. If we were innocent,
25 we would be sent home. If guilty, we would be
2 Is that a fair translation of what you've got
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In evidence yesterday, you said this, that
6 the conversation was: "We would be interrogated, and
7 who would be found guilty would be killed, and who was
8 going to be found not guilty would be released. And in
9 his words, he said that he did not believe there was a
10 single body who was not guilty."
11 Do you accept that those two versions are
12 different, the one from another?
13 A. They are different because, as I just stated,
14 not everything was taken down, that is, everything I
15 stated, because it was all done concisely. And I was
16 told that during the trial we would go into more
17 details so that I would be able to present the full
18 situation and all the events which took place.
19 Q. All right. Let's move on to another section
20 of the -- so that you can have an opportunity to deal
21 with what I suggest to you are a number of differences,
22 and I'll take you through them. Again, during the
23 course -- you were asked by Mr. Tochilovsky yesterday
24 to explain the word "balija," and you said this: "What
25 he meant to say, that all balijas were guilty, they
1 should all disappear, they should all die, they would
2 all be eradicated, and 'balija' was for Muslims. In
3 other words, he was saying that all Muslims were
4 guilty, that this nation did not exist, that we had
5 been invented, that we descended from the Turks. So
6 that was the meaning of it, that the Muslims were
7 guilty for the simple fact of being alive."
8 That's what you told us yesterday. Again,
9 none of that appears in your statement of the 21st of
10 May, does it, Witness A?
11 A. Yes, but if you look at it more closely, this
12 was the first introduction, that is, when we first
13 arrived in the camp. The second one was in the hangar
14 when he introduced himself as Adolf, when he said that
15 he was Goran Jelisic, also called Adolf, that he headed
16 the group which blew up the bridge and killed a hundred
17 people. And it was in the hangar that the first
18 threats were issued, as Mr. Tochilovsky asked. So he
19 introduced himself twice. And this was when we first
20 arrived and were lined up against the wall outside.
21 Q. I'd like to move on now to another part of
22 your evidence yesterday and ask you about that. You
23 described later on in that day how you were sitting
24 until the evening, and then the door of the hangar was
25 closed. Do you recall telling us that? This is the
1 first day that you were at Luka.
2 A. What do you mean? Where did we sit, in the
3 hangar or outside? We did not sit outside. We stood
4 outside, and I don't how long. It could have been an
5 hour or two. As I said yesterday, minutes appeared as
6 hours, hours as days, days as years.
7 Q. I think by this time you had actually gone
8 into the hangar and you had sat down, and it was after
9 that that the door was closed.
10 A. Yes, not completely.
11 Q. I'd like you to look a bit further down,
12 probably, the page we've just been looking and look for
13 a paragraph, please, that begins: "About an hour after
14 our arrival."
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I'd like you, please, just to read to
17 yourself that paragraph, the next paragraph, and down
18 to a phrase which says: "The Serbs closed the door at
19 around 8.00 p.m."
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you, Witness A. Yesterday you gave
22 evidence about hearing what was going on outside after
23 the door was closed, and I'll remind you of it. You
24 said this: "Outside, singing could be heard, their
25 Chetnik songs, provocations to the effect, 'Balija,
1 you've had it. There's a little left for you. We will
2 exterminate you,' and things like that. Then music
3 could be heard from a tape recorder, and during the
4 night," and then you describe how property was stolen
5 from you.
6 Again, Witness A, in the account which you
7 gave on the 21st of May to the Office of the
8 Prosecutor, there is no reference to the racial threats
9 that you said yesterday were being made, is there, and
10 do you accept that there's a difference between the two
12 A. Yes, the difference does exist because, as I
13 stated earlier, everything was supposed to be concise,
14 to refer just to what was done with respect to the
15 accused who is present here.
16 And, secondly, I believe that I am a bit
17 better behaved than some of the guards who were there,
18 and I did not want to use some of the abusive language
19 in the presence of certain ladies. And yesterday and
20 today, I attempted to moderate my language because
21 there are ladies present in the courtroom even today.
22 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Don't worry
23 about the ladies who may be present in this courtroom,
24 Witness A. We are Judges. We all work in the
25 interests of justice. We can hear everything that you
1 may have to say. Please, tell us quite freely and
2 openly everything that you have heard.
3 But give us a minute, please, as I would like
4 to discuss something with my colleagues.
5 Mr. Greaves, the Judges deliberated a point
6 concerning this case, of course. The Judges are
7 beginning to have some experience with this Tribunal,
8 and they would like to tell you that it is not
9 impossible for there to be contradictions between a
10 statement given several months ago.
11 When was it given, Mr. Tochilovsky, in May?
12 MR. GREAVES: It's May, Your Honour.
13 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: The statement was given on
14 May 21st this year.
15 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) The rights of
16 the accused is something that we are as concerned about
17 as the rights of the Prosecution, but what the Judges
18 would like is that if you wish to highlight the
19 contradictions, that you do so on broad issues, seeing
20 things from a broader perspective, because truly
21 between painful events that took place several years
22 ago, one or several statements given several months
23 ago, and the emotional pressure that the victim finds
24 himself in, in a courtroom, of course, this is your
25 right, and we don't want to prevent you in any sense,
1 but you may find contradictions over this or that
3 What the Judges would like, in order to
4 ascertain the truth, which is their prime mission, is
5 to see that if there may be contradictions, that they
6 be indicated in a broad sense. I am saying this not at
7 all in order to prevent you from doing what you want to
8 do. It is just an observation to explain to you why we
9 deliberated at the bench. Having said that, you may
11 MR. GREAVES: In view of what Your Honour
12 said, can I just perhaps ...
13 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Yes. Judge
14 Rodrigues has an observation to make.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: (Interpretation) Excuse me,
16 Mr. Greaves, but my concern is a question of
17 communication. The statements that you are now using
18 are not familiar to the public nor are they familiar to
19 the Judges; therefore, if the witness is asked to say
20 here in the courtroom what he said in a statement, in
21 that case, we could collect the statements and that
22 would be a document. So it is a question of
23 communication here. To be able to communicate, we have
24 to share the documents, after all; and therefore, I
25 think that the cross-examination should focus on the
1 questions which the witness answered here in the
2 courtroom. Of course, as the President has said, you
3 have every right to continue. Thank you.
4 MR. GREAVES: Your Honours are obviously
5 concerned at what I'm trying to do, so let me
6 explain ...
7 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Mr. Greaves --
8 excuse us, Witness A, but we're at the beginning of the
9 trial. It is complicated for you, but it is important
10 for the Judges to maintain a balance between the rights
11 of the accused, the rights of the Defence and the
12 Prosecution, and of both counsel.
13 So please continue, Mr. Greaves.
14 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, in view of the way
15 in which you have expressed your concerns, I would like
16 to just explain what I'm trying to do so that you
17 understand what the purpose is.
18 I'm afraid that is going to involve me making
19 a comment about the witness's evidence, and my learned
20 friends will have to forgive me, but it's necessary.
21 There are two things. The first is, as
22 you've rightly pointed out, the task of the Judges of
23 this Tribunal is hopefully to secure an answer as to
24 what the truth is. This is a truth-finding process.
25 In so doing, you have to assess each of the witnesses
1 who is called before you and determine amongst
2 yourselves whether those witnesses are, first of all,
3 accurate and reliable; and secondly, are they truthful
4 witnesses? I'm not suggesting to this witness that he
5 is being untruthful, but I am questioning whether he is
6 an accurate and reliable recounter of events. That's
7 the first point.
8 The second point is this, and this is to what
9 my questions are at present directed, is that the
10 Defendant is charged on this indictment, this count for
11 which he is standing trial, with genocide. One of the
12 issues that you will have to determine is whether or
13 not there was, in fact, a genocide taking place at the
14 relevant time, and one of the issues within that issue
15 you will have to determine is, was the violence that
16 was being used and the killings that were taking place,
17 was that directed towards a group?
18 The comment that I make is this and the point
19 that I am seeking to extract from this witness, I hope
20 with proper care, is that he alleges in evidence a
21 number of racial threats several times during the
22 course of his evidence. It is a matter of comment
23 that, with some exceptions, those racial threats are
24 not recounted by him when he first gave an account of
25 those matters, and that takes me back in a circle to
1 the task that you have to do in determining the truth,
2 which is to assess the accuracy and reliability of the
3 witness, and these issues, the fact that he did not
4 mention those matters when first asked about them, and
5 they are plainly very important matters, the fact that
6 he did not mention important matters is a matter for
7 you to consider, in my submission, when you look at the
8 accuracy and reliability of the witness.
9 That is the point. I hope I am doing it as
10 carefully as possible and as kindly as possible to the
11 witness. I'm not trying to suggest to him that he's a
13 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Very well,
14 Mr. Greaves. You may continue.
15 MR. GREAVES: Thank you for allowing me to do
17 Q. Witness A, perhaps I can make it a bit
18 shorter rather than taking you through each of those
19 items where I say that you have not mentioned the
20 racial threats in your earlier statement.
21 Can I ask you this: Have you discussed the
22 nature of the indictment against Mr. Jelisic with
24 A. What do you mean, whether I discussed it? I
25 don't understand the question. With whom do you mean?
1 Q. Well, for example, have you discussed -- let
2 me give you an example, Witness A. Have you discussed
3 the importance of the racial element of the charge of
4 genocide with any person, whether it's a lawyer or an
5 investigator or anything like that?
6 A. Genocide? I gave my statement. I was asked
7 what Mr. Jelisic had done, but as you noted a moment
8 ago, I didn't see threats, religious insults. You
9 can't see that; you can only hear it. As I also said,
10 in answer to your first question, this was the first
11 statement I gave, on the 21st of May, and it was in
12 brief, because in court, things are discussed in much
13 greater detail, and only later did I learn that the
14 accused admitted everything except genocide.
15 And what do you think, Mr. Defence Counsel?
16 What do you imply under genocide? Genocide is killing
17 of one people, of members of one people. Did you ask
18 the accused whether he killed a single Serb? They were
19 mostly Muslims and a few Croats, but they were also
20 men, human beings, who, for him, were nothing.
21 Nothing. I think that that is genocide. I think that
22 is sufficient, even without insults on ethnic grounds
23 and without curses, cursing Muslim mothers and Ustasha
24 mothers, Croatian mothers, and everything else. Isn't
25 it sufficient that he killed so many Muslims? Ask him
1 whether he even hit a single Serb, not to mention kill
2 him, or whether he cursed his Serb mother or Chetnik
3 mother. No. That never happened. It was Muslim and
4 Croatian and balija mothers and Turkish mothers and all
5 kinds of other names that he called them.
6 Q. Witness A, please help me. From where did
7 you learn that the Defendant had pleaded guilty to a
8 number of killings but had pleaded not guilty to
9 genocide? Where did you learn that?
10 A. Well, I'm not so crazy not to have listened
11 yesterday and today. I'm intelligent enough to
12 understand that all this time, reference is being made
13 to genocide, genocide, and no one is mentioning the
14 number of people who were killed but they're talking
15 only about genocide. So probably he admitted those
16 killings and he has not admitted to genocide. In my
17 opinion, that is my opinion, genocide and the killings
18 are one and the same thing; just as I said a moment
19 ago, he didn't kill a single Serb. So one doesn't have
20 to be too clever to be able to deduce some things as to
21 what he did and what he didn't -- what he confessed and
22 what he didn't. So this is just my assumption, that he
23 probably confessed.
24 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Please go on
25 to your next question, Mr. Greaves.
1 MR. GREAVES: Thank you very much, Your
3 Q. Witness A, you've mentioned the question of
4 how many people were killed and the numbers of people
5 who were being killed, and you've told us today, I
6 think, that during the course of that initial period at
7 Luka, some 100 people were taken out, of whom less than
8 half returned. Do you recall being asked questions
9 about that by Mr. Tochilovsky?
10 A. I have to make a correction. I said that
11 during one night, more than 100 people were taken out,
12 and not during the whole short period of time that I
13 was in Luka, but every night, more than 100 people were
14 taken out, and less than half returned to the hangar.
15 And this was not the initial period because, as I have
16 heard from other camp inmates, the Luka camp was an
17 execution ground for the Muslims and Croats even before
18 I reached the camp, and I got there on the 11th of May,
20 Q. So are you saying that it was 100 people in
21 all who were taken out and of whom less than 50
22 returned during the whole time that you were at Luka or
23 just the first night?
24 A. That was what happened during each night.
25 More than 100 people would be taken out in groups of
1 four, and then one or two would come back. Because we
2 were so scared, we couldn't count. Perhaps they
3 counted because they only existed for them as numbers;
4 no one had a name or a surname or an address, except
5 that one address and that was the Luka camp.
6 Q. If Your Honours would give me a moment,
8 Just help us about this. On the first night
9 that you were there, how many people do you say were in
10 the compartment of the hangar?
11 A. The first night?
12 Q. On the first night, yes, Witness A.
13 A. There could have been between 25, 30, 35 men,
14 because after my group, other people were brought in.
15 Q. At what time were they brought in?
16 A. As I mentioned yesterday and today, I didn't
17 have a watch, so I can't tell you the exact time.
18 MR. GREAVES: If Your Honours would give me a
19 moment whilst I speak with ...
20 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Mr. Greaves?
21 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour, thank you for
22 giving me the opportunity to discuss the matter with my
23 fellow counsel.
24 Those are all the questions I have for this
1 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Very well.
2 Thank you.
3 Mr. Tochilovsky, do you have any additional
4 questions within the framework of your right to
5 re-examine --
6 MR. GREAVES: I might say that my learned
7 friend Mr. Londrovic has got some questions. Perhaps
8 you would be kind enough to permit him to ask those
10 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) In that case,
11 I have to consult with my colleagues, because
12 previously we had another rule and that was that only
13 one attorney for each examination, but perhaps this
14 rule was not explained to you, so I will consult with
15 my colleagues.
16 Mr. Greaves, in agreement with my colleagues,
17 as you have just come and we weren't precise enough
18 about this, we are going to allow Mr. Londrovic and
19 Mr. Babic, if he wants to, to intervene, but for the
20 future, let it be quite clear: For one examination,
21 one attorney.
22 MR. GREAVES: I was certainly going to say
23 that I was going to ask your indulgence. Because I've
24 just arrived and started preparing this case, it was an
25 indulgence I was going to ask for on this occasion, and
1 Your Honours have understood that point entirely, and I
2 am grateful to you. I give way to my learned friend,
3 Mr. Londrovic.
4 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Quite. But
5 this is the only exception we are going to make, for
6 this witness, so exceptionally, Mr. Londrovic, please
7 ask your questions, as you wish.
8 MR. LONDROVIC: (Interpretation) Your
9 Honours, thank you. I shall try not to tire the
10 witness excessively.
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Londrovic:
12 [Witness answers through Interpreter]
13 Q. Sir, in your statement yesterday, you said
14 that you were mistreated for the first time on the 3rd
15 of May, 1992. Could you explain to their Honours where
16 and how?
17 A. On the 3rd of May, I was mistreated in the
18 hospital where I was captured by the Chetniks, like all
19 the others who were in the hospital where we had sought
20 shelter from the shooting. There were about 150 or 200
21 of us, men, women, and children, old people, the
23 Q. Can you give us the name and surname of any
24 one of those Chetniks who mistreated you?
25 A. I can. Dusan Tadic, Pero Zaric --
1 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: Objection, Your Honour. We
2 expect questions which are relevant to direct
4 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) It is a rule
5 that needs to be applied with flexibility,
6 Mr. Tochilovsky, so for the moment, we will allow
7 Mr. Londrovic to proceed. I am not forgetting our
8 Rules of Procedure, but as you know, it needs to be
9 applied with flexibility.
10 There was an objective. What is your purpose
11 in asking this question, please?
12 MR. LONDROVIC: (Interpretation) Your
13 Honours, the purpose is for the witness to explain what
14 he experienced there and, at the end, I'm going to ask
15 him whether Mr. Jelisic was there when he was
16 mistreated in the hospital.
17 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Proceed,
18 Mr. Londrovic, please.
19 A. As I said, I was mistreated by Dusan Tadic,
20 Pero Zaric, and Zeljko, I don't know his surname. He
21 used to have a taxi in Brcko. And Dragan Tanackovic.
22 All the others in this group were from Serbia, so I
23 didn't know any of them by name or by sight. They were
24 simply foreign to me.
25 I had to do all kinds of things because of
1 the blows. Because the shooting had started around the
2 hospital, there were even shells exploding, so I had to
3 go out to the ambulance to get from Dusan Tadic some
4 ammunition and bombs which he had forgotten because he
5 had fled as they were shooting at him on his way to the
7 After that, there were many other incidents
8 that occurred. Later on, they got reinforcements.
9 When darkness fell, reinforcements came of some 50 or
10 100 men -- who knows? Who could know the exact figure?
11 -- under the leadership of the so-called Major
12 Mauzer. I later learnt that his real name was Ljubisa
14 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Please proceed
15 to your next question, Mr. Londrovic.
16 MR. LONDROVIC: (Interpretation)
17 Q. Sir, when you were suffering all this, was
18 Goran Jelisic present?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Witness A, when explaining your detention in
21 the Batkovici camp near Bijeljina, you said that the
22 International Red Cross arrived on the 16th of August.
23 A. No. I said that I escaped from the Batkovici
24 camp, together with another detainee, on the 16th of
25 August, and I do not wish to mention the name of this
1 other detainee, and we were captured again on the 19th
2 of August, and from there, we were driven -- first we
3 were beaten in the school in Brezovo Polje, and then we
4 were transferred by truck from Bijeljina to the
6 I don't know exactly when the Red Cross, the
7 International Red Cross came, but I do know, as I said,
8 that I heard from many detainees that when the Red
9 Cross had left and when the accused had left, we heard
10 that he came, but when exactly, I don't know. As I
11 said a moment ago in my statement, I escaped from the
12 camp on the 16th of August, so I was absent until
13 perhaps the 23rd or the 24th because I was detained in
14 the barracks in Bijeljina for four or five days as
16 Q. Sir, this period that you have just told us
17 about, was this the period when Mr. Jelisic came to
18 Batkovic camp, because you said a moment ago that you
19 had heard that he had come to the camp?
20 A. Yes, I heard about it.
21 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) I'm sorry.
22 I'm not getting the translation very well.
23 Please proceed, Mr. Londrovic.
24 MR. LONDROVIC: (Interpretation)
25 Q. Let me repeat my question, Witness A. You
1 said that you were absent from the Batkovic camp from
2 the 16th of August until the 23rd of August. Is that
3 the time period, and this was in 1992, is this the
4 period that you heard Jelisic came to the camp?
5 A. No, that is not that period. I heard this
6 after one of the times when we were concealed at a
7 cattle farm, which is about three or four kilometres
8 from the Batkovic camp.
9 Q. Can you answer my question, please? When did
10 Jelisic come to the Batkovic camp?
11 A. I don't know what to tell you.
12 THE INTERPRETER: The Presiding Judge is not
13 getting the interpretation.
14 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Please try and
15 repeat your question, Mr. Londrovic.
16 MR. LONDROVIC: (Interpretation) Your
17 Honours, my question to the witness, Witness A, was
18 whether he could specifically tell us when Mr. Jelisic
19 came to the Batkovic camp.
20 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) I'm sorry.
21 There is a serious technical problem. I'm not getting
22 any interpretation into French. We will have to
23 suspend the hearing for a few minutes, five minutes.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
1 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) The hearing is
2 resumed. Can the accused be brought in, please?
3 (The accused entered court)
4 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Mr. Londrovic,
5 you have the floor. First of all, can the interpreters
6 hear me? I can hear you perfectly as well, so thank
7 you very much. Everything is ready. Thanks to the
8 technical team for their efficiency.
9 But maybe, Mr. Londrovic, you can go over the
10 few questions that I did not get into French. Maybe
11 you could put the questions to the witness once again.
12 MR. LONDROVIC: (Interpretation)
13 Q. Witness A, could you specify more precisely
14 the period in which the accused, Goran Jelisic, came to
15 the Batkovic camp, the Batkovic camp near Bijeljina?
16 A. As I said, I cannot give you the exact day,
17 the exact date, because in the period between the 16th
18 and the 19th, I had escaped. Then I was recaptured,
19 then taken to Bijeljina where we were beaten. Then
20 they brought us back to Batkovic. I cannot recall when
21 it was exactly that I heard from the other inmates when
22 the International Red Cross first arrived to register
23 them and when it was that they came for the second and
24 third times. I also cannot say when exactly he came to
25 the camp and asked when it was that -- whether there
1 was anybody from the Luka camp.
2 Q. Witness A, can you tell us the month, if you
3 can't tell us the date?
4 A. This was late August, late August, somewhere
5 around there, or maybe early September because I was
6 not there for much longer after that, because on 11
7 September, I was transferred to the camp in Doboj.
8 Q. Thank you. Witness A, while you were at Luka
9 in Brcko, were any detainees released from Luka?
10 A. Yes, there were some releases. Some Serbs
11 came, many Serbs came, and got their acquaintances out,
12 so there were a few who were released. Some were then
13 re-arrested and detained so that these releases weren't
14 very meaningful. Even the people who were released
15 were perhaps at a greater risk than those of us who
16 were in the camp, even though the threat of being
17 killed was the same, except that there were a lot more
18 murderously inclined individuals in the city to use, so
19 people had more numerous occasions to get killed, if I
20 may say so.
21 Q. Witness A, could you tell us who it was who
22 released the detainees from the camp?
23 A. I cannot say who it was, who released the
24 detainees from the Luka camp, but I know that the
25 former police investigators, that is, from the SUP,
1 they would interrogate the detainees, and Major
2 Djurkovic was also present there, and most probably
3 Jelisic was also present. I never asked to be brought
4 out because there were people who, if they saw a
5 Serbian acquaintance, they would talk to him and
6 request that they intervene so that they would be
7 released, but this was not happening very often.
8 Q. Witness A, now you just talked about the
9 release of individual prisoners from Luka, and if I
10 understood you correctly, those people were released on
11 the basis of some friendships and acquaintances?
12 A. Yes, there were some friendships, but there
13 were also interrogations.
14 Q. Can you tell me, were there any group
15 releases of detainees while you were there?
16 A. How do you mean "group releases"? How big a
18 Q. Let's say within 10, 15 minutes or within an
19 hour, up to 100 people would be released.
20 A. I did not experience any such thing.
21 Q. I see. Were there releases of groups of 50
22 or 60 people?
23 A. I don't know, perhaps seven, eight, up to
25 Q. So ten at the most. On which basis were
1 these detainees released?
2 A. As I just stated, for the most part, these
3 were friendly relations. I don't know if I can call it
4 that. We all expected that some former neighbour or
5 friend would come, somebody who had any pull there, and
6 that they would intervene so that we would be released
7 to go home. But for the most part, such hopes
8 would wane because those former neighbours and friends
9 were no better, and some could even have been worse
10 than Jelisic. Maybe they did not bloody their own
11 hands, but they may have pointed -- they may have
12 fingered people who were still at home.
13 Q. Witness A, you mentioned Mr. Djurkovic.
14 Could you describe him for us, and could you tell us
15 what position he was in?
16 A. Yes, I can describe him. I cannot tell you
17 the exact height. I think it's ridiculous for me to
18 try to give you the exact measurements of his because I
19 did not measure him. He may have been slightly taller
20 than I am. He had a moustache. He wore the uniform of
21 the former JNA. His rank was Major. He wore a hat, a
22 so-called Tito hat. So that's about it. You couldn't
23 call him very thin or very corpulent.
24 Q. Can you tell us what his position was, that
25 is, of Major Djurkovic?
1 A. I couldn't tell you the exact post. Maybe
2 he, himself, could tell you about this or the accused,
3 Jelisic, because they were almost in daily contact.
4 But in my estimate, he had a higher position, that is,
5 the accused was subordinate to Djurkovic.
6 Q. Can I understand that to mean that the
7 accused, Jelisic, had to obey and carry out the orders
8 of Djurkovic?
9 A. Yes, something like that, that is, during the
10 time when Major Djurkovic was there, that is, present
11 at Luka.
12 Q. Was Major Djurkovic present there at the same
13 time period when the accused was present?
14 A. No, not always. Djurkovic would be there
15 during the day, and Jelisic was there pretty much
16 non-stop, that is, day and night, with the exception
17 of, and this is what I heard from the other inmates at
18 Luka, that he took part in the torture of people in the
19 police station and even the killings in the police
20 station downtown. As I said, I heard this from other
21 prisoners at Luka.
22 Q. Sir, you said that you heard about this
23 incident at the police station, didn't see it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You said that you saw Goran Jelisic
1 constantly at Luka camp?
2 A. Yes, and that is true, except for the moments
3 when he was not there.
4 Q. Was he there during the day? Did he sleep
6 A. Yes, he slept there. In fact, he didn't have
7 time to sleep because of the killings. I believe that
8 he didn't have any time to sleep. He was so busy. He
9 worked so hard.
10 Q. Witness A, my colleagues of the Prosecution
11 showed you a few photographs of the hangar, and there
12 were some offices which were to the right of the
13 hangar. Could you please tell us who else occupied
14 those offices, except for the accused, Jelisic, if you
15 know their names?
16 A. I'm sorry, Counsel, but I believe that you
17 may not have understood what I said yesterday. Do you
18 believe that I was spending any time with them? I was
19 just a number there. I was just expecting when I would
20 be killed. Do you think that they would all come to
21 the hangar and give me their hand and say, "Hello, I am
22 such and such"?
23 All I could do was read through their
24 behaviour, through their actions. I could only hear
25 that "I'm Mr. Death. I'm coming for you today or
1 tomorrow." I did not expect to hear their names. I
2 never heard their names. If I heard their names, what
3 I heard was "Ivan." We called him "Repic" because it
4 means ponytail. He had it in a ponytail. I heard the
5 name "Miroslav." I never heard his last name, I never
6 heard his address, so I cannot give you such
7 information. Only the accused could give you this
8 information, who they were, who spent the night there,
9 and who was present there.
10 Q. Witness A, did you hear of a person called
11 Enver and whose nickname was Sok?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you describe him for me?
14 A. He may have been slightly shorter than I am,
15 a bit stocky. I even had an opportunity to talk to
16 him, actually, to listen to him rather than ask him
17 anything. So I listened to this story of his, that he
18 came from Croatia. I cannot recall exactly now whether
19 his mother was Croatian and his father Albanian from
20 Kosovo, or the other way around. He was called Enver.
21 Sometimes people referred to him as Sok.
22 He would come to Luka. On one occasion, he
23 took us to the custom-free zone, and we cleaned there.
24 There was some beating there. This is what I can tell
25 you about Enver.
1 Q. Did you see whether Enver killed anybody in
2 the camp?
3 A. No, but I did hear from other detainees that
4 he did.
5 Q. Witness A, were you interrogated at Luka?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can you tell us who did the interrogation?
8 A. It was the accused, in fact, in the presence
9 of the already mentioned Ivan Repic and Miroslav.
10 Before me, another detainee was interrogated. I don't
11 know what he told them, but anyway, there was no list,
12 but then my name was heard. They were calling me out.
13 I went out. I headed towards the exit, and Ivan, known
14 as Repic, told me to hurry up. I did, and when I
15 reached him, he started to hit me, and he said to me,
16 "Who told you to hurry?" I slowed down. Then he
17 said, "Why are you slowing down?" And it went on like
18 that until we entered the administrative building.
19 I stopped. They told me to go in. I was
20 standing in the corridor. I didn't know where to go
21 because there were four or five doors leading from that
22 corridor. Again, he started yelling at me and hitting
23 me, and as he did so, I managed to reach a door that he
24 opened. I entered, and the accused was sitting at a
25 table. They told me to sit down. I did. I sat on a
1 chair without a back -- without elbow supports but
2 there was a back. On one side, there was Ivan Repic,
3 and the other, Miroslav. The accused asked me
4 questions. While he did so, the other two would beat
5 me with their hands and feet.
6 On the table, there was a copy of a medieval
7 weapon known as a topaz or a mace that was used maybe
8 200 or 250 years ago. Ivan Repic would hit me with it,
9 and they took turns hitting me while questioning me at
10 the same time and me answering those questions.
11 Q. Witness A, can you tell me specifically the
12 questions that the accused put to you during the
14 A. The same questions that were put to me were
15 put to others. "Where is the pistol?" I said I didn't
16 have one. Then they said that, "You do. You're
17 lying. Who has weapons? Who is in the Green Berets?
18 Who is in the Ustasha forces? Who is Alija's
19 soldier?" To list the names of people who had
20 weapons. Where was my father's pistol? and that sort
21 of thing.
22 Q. Witness A, can you tell us when you saw Goran
23 Jelisic in the camp for the last time?
24 A. I cannot recall the exact date because after
25 the order on the discontinuation of further killings
1 and mistreatment, he stayed on in Luka. A new camp
2 director arrived, known as Kole, Konstantin Simonovic,
3 whom I know well because he is from Brcko. His
4 mother's name is Vera. He has a daughter called
5 Monika -- or a sister Monika. No, this Kole had --
6 this new director had a sister called Monika. The
7 accused was living with her at the time, her name is
8 Monika, and together with the accused, she participated
9 in the killing and mistreatment of detainees, in the
10 looting and plunder of property.
11 The accused, as we learnt from the stories
12 recounted by soldiers, he became the commander of the
13 so-called intervention squad which, during the day,
14 would tour the city and visit what they called "newly
15 liberated" parts of the city, which we considered to be
16 occupied parts because they had occupied them, and they
17 would engage in what they called "mopping-up
18 operations," but we knew what that meant. They would
19 continue their killings, looting, and mistreatment. He
20 would come in the evening. During the daytime, he
21 would not be there. Then he would come in the evening,
22 together with his intervention squad, in the evening,
23 and my impression was that this new so-called director
24 of the camp was actually subordinated to the accused
25 because the accused still had the main say in the
1 mistreatment, in orders, in continued abuse of the
3 Q. Witness A, is that your personal impression?
4 You just said that was your personal impression.
5 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Mr. Londrovic,
6 could you please finish with that question and then we
7 can have our break? You have another question to put?
8 Please go on.
9 MR. LONDROVIC: (Interpretation) No, we can
10 resume after the break.
11 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) We will
12 adjourn until 2.30.
13 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.10 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
2 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) The hearing is
3 resumed. Have the accused brought in.
4 (The accused entered court)
5 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Mr. Londrovic,
6 it's your turn.
7 MR. LONDROVIC: (Interpretation) Thank you,
8 Your Honours.
9 Q. Witness A, before the break, we were
10 discussing your statement to the fact that you had
11 heard that the accused Jelisic was the commander of an
12 intervention squad, platoon, which participated in the
13 mopping-up operations in the town, and you explained
14 what that meant.
15 Why did you not mention this matter, which I
16 consider to be very important, to the investigators of
17 the Office of the Prosecutor when you talked to them on
18 the 21st of May, 1998?
19 A. Because, as I said at the beginning of the
20 hearing today, the written statement that I gave on the
21 21st of May this year, if they had written down
22 everything I saw and experienced and that happened in
23 the Luka camp, if they had written all that, that would
24 have been more than 150 pages, a whole book, rather
25 than these couple of pages. I made a statement in
1 brief, as I was required to do, and even that lasted
2 all day and until after midnight. I was told that
3 everything would be discussed in detail in court, and I
4 think that this is mentioned in my statement in a
5 couple of sentences.
6 Q. Witness A, the statement in English consists
7 of 17 pages and, obviously, the interview lasted some
8 time, you just said, in fact, that it went on until
9 after midnight. So, please, don't feel offended, but
10 this answer that you have given is not a convincing one
11 for the Defence.
12 May I now ask my next question? You said
13 that in Luka, not a single Serb was killed and that
14 nobody's Serb mother was cursed. Do you still insist
15 on this statement?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. My last question, let us go back to the
18 beginning when you were explaining that on the 3rd of
19 May, 1992, you were mistreated in the hospital. Can
20 you tell us how many days you spent in the hospital
21 before being brought to Luka?
22 A. I think that it is not difficult to work it
23 out: From the afternoon of the 3rd of May until the
24 11th of May. I don't remember exactly whether it was
25 noon or after noon, so that it is easy to work out how
1 many days I spent there.
2 Q. What did you do while you were in hospital?
3 A. What did I do? I did whatever was dangerous,
4 whatever the gentleman Chetniks didn't want to do. I
5 would distribute food across areas that were open to
6 fire, I was at gunpoint of Chetnik weapons, I was
7 within firing range of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
8 which was defending the town, which was defending its
9 compatriots. Because it was not written on my forehead
10 that I was a Muslim, they didn't know who was moving
11 around in that area, who was looking for shelter, in
12 order to carry out the duty assigned to him, and if I
13 hadn't carried out those duties, I would have been
14 killed in the hospital.
15 Q. Witness A, did you feed the wounded in the
16 hospital? Did you bring food to the wounded?
17 A. To the patients in the neuropsychiatric
18 department. I carried food from the main hospital
19 building to the old building where the neuropsychiatric
20 patients were put up. And I think, Your Honours, that
21 this question, as to what I did in hospital, is not
22 relevant to this case because the accused is being
23 tried here for crimes committed in the Luka camp and
24 not in the hospital because he wasn't present there.
25 Q. Witness A, tell me, did you see any wounded
1 people in the hospital?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you tell us what nationality they were?
4 A. What nationality?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Do you think that I had the occasion to ask
7 the wounded what their names were, whether they were
8 Serbs, Croats, or Muslims? They certainly weren't
9 Muslims or Croats.
10 Q. If they were not Muslims or Croats, can we
11 deduce from that that they were Serbs?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can we also say that by then the armed
14 conflict had started between the Serbs, Muslims, and
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. LONDROVIC: (Interpretation) Thank you,
18 sir. I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Thank you,
20 Mr. Londrovic.
21 Mr. Tochilovsky, do you wish to use your
22 right to re-examine briefly? What do you want to do?
23 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: Your Honours, the
24 Prosecution doesn't have any further questions for the
1 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Thank you,
2 Witness A. I am now going to ask my colleagues, the
3 Judges of the Trial Chamber, to clarify a few points,
4 not at all to ask you to relive the Calvary you went
5 through but just for the Judges to have a correct
6 impression of what happened.
7 I turn first to my colleague, Judge Riad.
8 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) Good afternoon,
9 Witness A. I am going to call you "Witness A" because
10 we mustn't call you otherwise, but that has nothing to
11 do with our respect for your identity. Can you hear me
13 A. Good afternoon. Yes, I hear you well.
14 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) I should like
15 to follow the painful path that you went through. You
16 come from the village of Brcko, don't you?
17 A. From the town of Brcko.
18 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) The town of
19 Brcko. I see. Until you left Brcko, you saw
20 atrocities in the town, or did these occur after you
22 A. I beg your pardon. I'm not quite sure I
23 understood you well, but I shall try and answer it. I
24 was in Brcko from the beginning of the conflict. The
25 conflict started on May the 1st. In the part of the
1 town called Grcica, and it is from that direction that
2 firing could be heard. I lived at the other end or the
3 opposite end of the town. All my neighbours and
4 friends sought shelter in safe places. They were
5 afraid because nothing good could come of the fire. We
6 had been listening to the news and we knew what was
7 happening in Sarajevo, in Croatia, so that we more or
8 less knew what was taking place. And the conflict in
9 the part of the town where I lived did not start until
10 the 3rd of May, 1992, in the afternoon.
11 As my house was close to the hospital, I went
12 to the hospital. My mother was very ill, a serious
13 patient. Because I hadn't been home for a couple of
14 days, I went to hospital to see whether she had gone
15 there to seek medical attention, as when I came home, I
16 didn't find anyone there.
17 When I arrived at the hospital, only a couple
18 of hours after my arrival, the Chetniks barged into the
19 hospital. Heading the four I had mentioned, and there
20 were ten of them in all, I already mentioned Dusan
21 Tadic; Pero, a former karate athlete; Zeljko, the taxi
22 driver; Dragan Tanackovic; and the other four who had
23 come from Serbia and whom I didn't know, whom I saw for
24 the first time in my life.
25 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) If I may
1 interrupt you? You said that they came from the
2 territory of Serbia. How did you know that they came
3 from Serbia? They were therefore not from Bosnia.
4 A. Well, you see, they were not from Bosnia, and
5 I concluded this from the way they spoke because they
6 speak the Ekavski dialect, whereas we in Bosnia,
7 including the Serbs in Bosnia, we use the Ijekavski
8 dialect, even though they're now trying to adjust to
9 the Ekavski dialect, but this is common knowledge, and
10 it is very easy to recognise the dialect and the
11 accent, so there was no doubt in our minds where they
12 came from.
13 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) Were they in
14 uniform, Serbian uniforms, or were they civilians?
15 A. No, they wore military camouflage uniforms
16 with various caps. One of them had a hat. Others had
17 red berets, two or three of them. One of them had a
18 helmet on his head.
19 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) This camouflage
20 uniform, is that combat gear? Is it combat gear?
21 A. I think there's no difference. I know they
22 were wearing camouflage uniforms under full combat
23 gear, fully armed, armed to the teeth, and also I can't
24 recollect exactly on which side of the shoulders, on
25 the epaulets, they had ribbons which they changed.
1 Every day they wore a different colour. I suppose this
2 was to help them identify themselves.
3 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) Let me go on to
4 another matter. You entered the Luka camp on the 11th
5 of May, 1992. How and why were you arrested? Was
6 there any particular reason? What were the grounds for
7 the arrests that they were making of you and others?
8 Was it random or was it a selection of people?
9 A. You see, in the hospital, there were the
10 nurses who were necessary to care for the patients and
11 future wounded, and since the group that I belonged to
12 was not necessary there -- we didn't have any medical
13 training, and we were Muslims, with two exceptions.
15 (redacted). The other exception was -- I'm sorry for
16 mentioning the name. I will not mention the name of
17 the other one. He was half Serb, half Croat. I think
18 his mother was Serb and his father was Croat. All the
19 others were Muslims.
20 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) You said you
21 were arrested because you were Muslims. Was that the
22 only reason? Was that a sufficient reason to be
24 A. Yes, yes, yes.
25 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) When you were
1 in the camp, you said that they made 100 people come
2 out in groups of four every night, and only one or two
3 would reappear, the others disappeared. On what basis
4 were the people selected to go out, in your view, in
5 order to be massacred? How were they selected? Was it
6 absolutely at random, to get rid of everyone, or was
7 some kind of reason given to determine the priority for
8 the extermination of people?
9 A. Let me repeat once again that when we arrived
10 at Luka, no one took down our names, know whether we
11 were rich or not, know what kind of education we had,
12 who we were, what we were. They simply knew that we
13 were Muslims and Croats, and the selection of victims
14 was, I think, completely at random. They simply wanted
15 to destroy us, to eradicate us.
16 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) You also said,
17 and I took note of it, that Jelisic said that there was
18 no room here for the balijas. Did that mean that the
19 balijas needed to be totally massacred or, perhaps,
20 that they should simply leave the area? How did you
21 understand that statement, that there was no room for
22 balijas? Should they disappear from the planet or
23 should they simply leave the area of Bosnia and go and
24 live elsewhere?
25 A. Judging by what was happening in Luka, in my
1 opinion, as many Muslims as possible needed to be
2 killed and, if possible, for them to be eradicated.
3 But, by chance, people of other ethnic groups, Serbs --
4 I can't call them all Chetniks. They are not all the
5 same because they were among the people who helped us.
6 I don't want to mention any names because that could
7 embarrass them, even though the war is long since over,
8 not such a long time ago, actually. And the people who
9 managed to leave with the help of those friends somehow
10 managed to cross over to the free territory and to
11 report what was happening.
12 There were even Serbs who took photographs,
13 at least these are things that I heard later, so that
14 the International Community learned about what was
15 happening, probably. And then it was thanks to the
16 intervention of the International Community that this
17 order had to be issued to stop the killing and
18 mistreatment of people, and this was sometime around
19 the 16th of May, as I have just mentioned.
20 Their aim was to kill as many as possible,
21 and those who were not killed, to have them resettled
22 in other countries in Europe, or the world, or in other
23 parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) You just said
25 that there were people who took photographs. There is,
1 here, a rather strange photograph and a tragic one. It
2 is Exhibit number 3. Who could have taken such a
3 photograph of the execution of a man with the corpses
4 on the ground? Were they Serbs taking these
5 photographs? Who were they? It is a document tendered
6 by the Prosecution, number 3. How could anyone go in
7 and see this and take a photograph? The people who
8 were executing people, did they act like the Nazis and
9 take photographs of their misdeeds?
10 A. To be quite honest, there may be two
11 assumptions that could explain this photograph. They,
12 themselves, may have taken it or, rather, they must
13 have taken it, it must have been taken by a Serb, but a
14 Serb who wanted to sell this somewhere abroad or to the
15 media, maybe foreign media, or a Serb or a Chetnik who
16 wanted to have a memento of how these two peoples were
17 being destroyed, so that the third, their people, could
18 continue to live.
19 Because it is impossible that any Muslim
20 could have got inside, especially into the Luka camp,
21 because they couldn't even walk freely in town, despite
22 the passes that were issued by the police. These
23 passes were just a false hope for those who received
24 them. They would get them today, they'd go home, and
25 then the next day, they would be brought back. Either,
1 as we already heard from the stories of others who were
2 brought then, they would be released in the morning and
3 killed in the evening in their own homes, or in the
4 apartments, or flats where they had sought shelter
5 because some of them couldn't go back to their own
7 Others lived in parts of the town where
8 fighting was still ongoing, so that it was unsafe
9 there, and it was impossible to restore normality to
10 life. So that my conclusion is that this photograph
11 could not have been taken by a Muslim or a Croat.
12 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) You said that
13 the accused, Mr. Jelisic, entered into the hangar and
14 said, on the 16th of May, that an order had been issued
15 to stop the killings, and everybody was happy. Did he
16 also tell you, when he was doing the killings, that he
17 had an order to do them or was it he, himself, who
18 wanted to appear to be the big boss who had the right
19 to decide about life and death?
20 A. As I mentioned in my statement, which I gave
21 on the 21st of May this year, he entered -- this is
22 described very briefly in the statement, as are all the
23 other incidents -- he entered, together with
24 Major Djurkovic and another captain in uniform. I
25 think he was a captain by rank. He was wearing a
1 uniform of the former JNA, and he was accompanied by a
2 couple of guards. And he simply said --
3 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) Just a moment,
4 please. The uniform was the JNA uniform? He was a
5 captain of the JNA?
6 A. Yes, of the former JNA. Major Djurkovic and
7 this captain were wearing those uniforms.
8 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) Please
10 A. They entered, escorted by a couple of
11 soldiers, guards, and we were told that he had received
12 an order from the command - he knows best who from -
13 that the order had come to stop the killing, the abuse,
14 the mistreatment.
15 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) I understand
16 that very well. You told us that, but that was to stop
17 the killing. But when executions were taking place,
18 did they say that they were doing them under superior
19 orders or was it as stated in the Prosecution brief,
20 that Jelisic had absolute power to do what he wanted
21 with the prisoners? Can you confirm that he had this
22 absolute power, the accused, or was he executing
23 orders, like at the end when he received orders to stop
24 the executions?
25 A. I didn't hear anyone give him any orders to
1 kill, nor did he say that he had been given orders to
2 kill. He simply did it.
3 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) So he didn't
4 say that he had orders, but he did tell you that he
5 received orders to stop?
6 A. That is the only occasion when he said that
7 he had received orders to stop the killing and the
8 mistreatment. That was the only occasion, during the
9 time I was in the camp, that he told us that he had
10 received any orders.
11 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) And after he
12 stated that, did they, indeed, stop with the
14 A. He, alone, can know. After that, on rare
15 occasions did someone else come to the camp. We would
16 hear shots from the hangar. There were even some moans
17 and pleas, but we didn't see that, but the mistreatment
18 continued. Even he personally enjoyed mistreating and
19 beating up two prisoners, whose names I will not
20 mention now and, according to what one of them told us,
21 he called up the Croatian military authorities to
22 arrange an exchange for that particular man, one of the
23 two, and for another prisoner who was also a Croat by
25 And according to what this prisoner, who was
1 beaten up, told us and whom I couldn't recognise, he
2 was so badly beaten and disfigured from the beating, he
3 told me that the accused had forced him to talk to
4 someone from the military authorities in Croatia and to
5 beg them to have him exchanged. And while he was
6 talking to this person, a representative of the
7 Croatian military authorities, by phone, Jelisic beat
8 him with whatever he could get a hold of, even with the
9 metal part of the fire hose, with spades, chairs, the
10 police truncheon, simply with anything he could lay his
11 hands on.
12 As, according to what we were told by this
13 prisoner, they refused any negotiation on a possible
14 exchange, he continued to mistreat him and to beat him,
15 and only when he lost consciousness did they bring him
16 to the hangar door and left him there at the door.
17 They called two prisoners to come and take him to his
18 place because every time that man was taken out, and it
19 was every night, after this mistreatment, he couldn't
20 walk. The same happened with another prisoner, and it
21 was terrible to look at these people.
22 In my opinion, a human being is incapable of
23 doing such a thing. Only a beast, an animal, can do it
24 that has no heart, no feelings, a beast who simply
25 kills without being hungry, who is killing out of
2 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) Are you talking
3 about Jelisic?
4 MR. LONDROVIC: (Interpretation) Your
5 Honours, I do apologise --
6 A. I apologise for having to say this, but that
7 is what I consider him to be.
8 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Just a moment,
10 Mr. Londrovic?
11 MR. LONDROVIC: (Interpretation) Your Honour,
12 I, personally, and my colleagues have every
13 understanding for the gentlemen, but because he said
14 that he was a civilised person, I don't think he should
15 insult the accused because the principle here is that
16 one is innocent until proven guilty. So I should
17 appeal to him not to call him a beast and insult him in
18 that way.
19 A. I said that I apologised to Their Honours and
20 to the gentlemen from the Prosecution, to the Court
21 officials, but sometimes I simply can't control
23 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Mr. Londrovic,
24 I think there is a question of dignity. The witness
25 has taken a great deal of risk to come and testify
1 here. I think that he experienced things which,
2 fortunately for you and for me, at any rate, we have
3 not experienced, and I don't know anyone who did, and
4 perhaps one should understand that a certain number of
5 expressions may escape him, and this is the first time
6 that he is in the presence of the accused, in the same
7 room as he, so perhaps I think we should try and
9 Judge Riad, you may continue.
10 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) I heard you
11 explain how those atrocities were committed, but my
12 question was, and perhaps you don't need to use these
13 expressions like "beast" and all that, but did he have
14 pleasure, did he gain pleasure from doing this?
15 Because one can kill following orders, one can kill and
16 execute, and one can really enjoy executing somebody,
17 and that is what I'd like to hear you answer, rather
18 than using expressions such as "beast" and so on,
19 because beasts kill only to eat.
20 A. What I have stated, if you will recall it
21 from my statement, is that precisely at the time when I
22 was in that group which was called out when the accused
23 was there, when he killed a victim, and he said, "One
24 balija less," I don't think that this was killing on
25 orders. I think that this was killing out of pleasure,
1 out of some kind of hate against my people.
2 This victim could have been a Croat, could
3 have been a Muslim, could have been a Catholic. It was
4 simply out of hate, out of pleasure, out of desire to
5 annihilate one or the other people, to destroy a people
6 both psychologically and physically.
7 My opinion is that those of us who survived
8 from this group, we all believed that what they were
9 trying to do was to inflict as much pain upon us as
10 possible so that we could see our friends, our
11 neighbours dead there, and that we would pass this on
12 to those who had stayed in the hangar so that they
13 would be psychologically destroyed, so that they would
14 destroy their self-respect, that they would humiliate
15 them, so that they would beg for their lives even
17 In other camps where I stayed afterwards, we
18 were offered to change our names, to change our faith,
19 not to be Muslim anymore, to be a Serb, to be
20 Orthodox. Just as I was offered it, other members of
21 my people and of the Croats were offered the same.
22 They simply wanted to destroy us, both mentally and
24 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) Please take
25 some rest. Please try to relax and take some rest.
1 A. I want to continue because I believe it is
2 going to -- I will feel even worse later on.
3 I can go on, but I don't want to talk about
4 this anymore. If you have any additional questions,
5 Your Honours, please, do ask them.
6 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) All right. I
7 don't know if you said this or if the Prosecutor said
8 this in his preliminary statement, but I remember
9 hearing that Jelisic was saying that he was proud of
10 the fact that he could kill 20 or so Muslims before
11 even taking his morning coffee. Did you say that or
12 did the Prosecutor say that? At any rate, did you hear
13 Jelisic say that at some point in the camp?
14 A. I did not hear it from him directly, but I
15 heard it from others who were with me in the camp.
16 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) And my last
17 question to you will be this one: I think that you
18 yourself told us that Jelisic had stated that all
19 Muslims were guilty, but guilty of what? Did he
20 specify what Muslims were guilty of?
21 A. He did not explain why we were guilty, simply
22 the Muslims were guilty, all Muslims were guilty. That
23 was -- how shall I think of it? -- because we are
24 Muslims, they called us a Turkish gang. Why? I was
25 born in Bosnia. I was a Muslim from Bosnia, not from
1 Turkey. They called us balijas. This is a word that
2 comes from times past. I don't even know when. Maybe
3 my grandfathers, great-grandfathers would know that
4 word and its original meaning. From what I know, at
5 that time it meant a rich peasant, but they called us
6 balijas, as a peasant, I guess. If you wanted to
7 offend somebody in the territory of the former
8 Yugoslavia, if he lived in the city, if he was a
9 city-dweller, he would be called a peasant, "You ugly
10 peasant," and that would be an offence; and this word
11 "balija" could be interpreted and is interpreted as an
12 offence. I myself do consider it an offensive word, as
13 well as if somebody calls me a Turkish gangster and if
14 they curse my mother and things like that.
15 JUDGE RIAD: (Interpretation) Thank you,
16 Witness A, for answering my questions.
17 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Thank you,
18 Judge Riad. Judge Rodrigues, do you have any questions
19 you would like to put to the witness?
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: (Interpretation) Yes, thank
21 you, Mr. President. One question only.
22 THE WITNESS: My apologies, please.
23 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Please take
24 your time, Witness A. Would you like to take a break?
25 Would you like to take some rest? Would you like a
1 five-minute break?
2 THE WITNESS: No, no. Please, go on. I can
3 go on.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: (Interpretation) Witness A,
5 I have only one question that I would like to put to
7 Yesterday, you stated that in the Luka camp,
8 you had heard some songs saying, among other things,
9 that the balijas would be exterminated. Do you
10 remember telling us about these songs yesterday?
11 A. Excuse me, Your Honour. Perhaps there may
12 have been a slight misinterpretation. Yesterday I said
13 that songs could be heard and shouting could be heard,
14 Chetniks shouting, "Balijas, we'll eradicate you, we'll
15 destroy you." And the songs which were played on the
16 cassette player were songs about some Chetnik warlords
17 from World War II and they were celebrating those
18 warlords through those songs. What they did in
19 battles, they exulted them in these songs. Even we had
20 to sing those Chetnik songs. We were ordered to do
21 so. If it was noticed that somebody was not singing
22 along, he would be beaten; if somebody was not singing
23 loud enough, he would fare the same.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: (Interpretation) But let's
25 go back to my question, my initial question. These
1 songs you heard in the camp, who sang them and why were
2 they sung, and, in fact, was it a cassette which was
3 played, or were individuals actually singing these
4 songs? Where did they actually come from: from
5 individuals or from tapes that were played in the camp?
6 A. These songs were played from cassettes which
7 had been recorded even before the war. They had them.
8 I could hear them in town. They would try to sing
9 along; in other words, to sing along with the voice
10 that was on that tape. They would sing about Draza
11 Mihajlovic, of a certain person called Sindjelic, and
12 other Chetnik cut-throats from World War II.
13 In between the songs, they were shouting how
14 we all should be annihilated, we should be eradicated,
15 and then they also played a Bosnian song. If I recall
16 correctly, it was sung by a Bosnian Muslim, and I'm
17 just going to give you the title of the song which was
18 about how Bosnia is crying, which described the
19 suffering of people throughout Bosnia, because this
20 song was recorded in my town just as the war was
21 beginning in Zvornik, the war was already in Bijeljina,
22 in Sarajevo, and other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
23 while playing this song, they looked to see whether any
24 one of us would try to sing it. It was a mournful
25 song; it was very sad for us because we saw what was
1 going on around us. Before the war, in our town, we
2 were not aware what was going on in Bijeljina, Zvornik,
3 Sarajevo, and other areas of Bosnia. Only when we
4 experienced, when we saw with our own eyes what was
5 going on, then we realised what had happened to other
6 people, and we became very attached to this song. It
7 became very meaningful to us. But woe to us if anybody
8 would try to sing this song. They would beat these
9 people up. This was really to kill us within, to kill
10 us inside, and it wasn't just once that they did this,
11 they did it at least ten times.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: (Interpretation) Thank you,
13 Witness A. I don't have any further questions for you.
14 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Thank you,
15 Judge Rodrigues. As for myself, I have only a few
16 questions I would like to put to you, Witness A. I
17 know that you are very tired.
18 Let's go back to what happened before you
19 were arrested. Just before your arrest, did you take
20 part in any military action? Were you in any way
21 involved with the military formations on the ground?
22 Were you engaged politically? Did you play some kind
23 of particular role militarily or politically before
24 your arrest?
25 A. No, Your Honour. I was a soldier of the
1 former army before the war, and I completed those
2 duties. I completed them in 1981. Had I known what
3 would happen, I would never have done it.
4 Before the war, I was a member of the then
5 Communist party, but the last three or four years
6 before the war, I was a member of no party. I was not
7 interested in the party. I had my own family. I was
8 preoccupied with other things. I was not interested in
10 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Now I would
11 like to ask you some questions about life inside the
12 camp. Were any activities organised on a regular
13 basis? For example, were you all reassembled in the
14 morning? Was there a roll call? Were you obliged to
15 hear some politically-motivated speeches, or did you
16 just remain in the hangar without doing anything
17 special? Were you left to yourselves in the hangar?
18 Was there a roll call in the morning? Were you called
19 out? I haven't quite understood all what you said
20 about life inside the camp.
21 A. During the period of killings until the order
22 was issued to stop the killing and mistreatment, there
23 were no lists, just as I said. There were no
24 activities except the sad one when we had to, both
25 myself and the other ones who survived, to load our
1 dead compatriots onto the trucks, and as I said, some
2 were not loaded onto the trucks, some were just thrown
3 into the Sava River, some were piled up and then
4 transported somewhere else. There were no other
5 activities except for the activities of having to
6 listen to their insults, their tortures, their
7 beatings, because they would enter and we would sit on
8 the concrete. They would just enter, and they called
9 us, just as I said, Turkish gang and so on and so
10 forth, cursed our mothers. I don't want to repeat
11 myself anymore.
12 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Of course
13 not. I don't want you to repeat anything you've said
14 before. When three or four detainees were called
15 outside the hangar and taken outside the hangar, apart
16 from those who did come back alive and healthy, in a
17 sense, were there any detainees who came back hurt?
18 I'm sorry. My question is the following:
19 Among the four, three or four detainees who were taken
20 outside the hangar, all those who were beaten outside
21 the hangar were killed afterwards, weren't they?
22 A. Let me give you an example. The group with
23 which I came out, all four of us were beaten and
24 insulted, and all the victims were beaten until they
25 were forced to lie down on the pavement and put their
1 head against the grate and then the perpetrator would
2 step on their back and shoot in the back of the head.
3 The rest of us would also be hit while we were carrying
4 the victim or while we waited around, waiting for the
5 selection of the next victim, or we would re-enter the
6 hangar. But as far as the wounding of any of us who
7 survived by firearm, no, nobody was injured or wounded
8 in that way.
9 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) The impression
10 we get is that the accused was managing everything but
11 there was no real commander in the camp; nobody was
12 controlling all that was done inside the camp. But
13 this camp, did anybody know about it? Did the ICRC,
14 for example, know about this camp, or was it a camp
15 that was situated outside the town and that nobody knew
17 A. What shall I say to that? I don't believe --
18 it is possible, as I answered one of the questions
19 before, I believe it was a question posed by one of
20 Your Honours, one of your colleagues, I believe that it
21 is possible that some of the pictures, like this one
22 here (indicating), have gone out to the world, and it
23 is possible that one of them did take a picture which
24 was then published, and so they may have felt that they
25 were under pressure by the International Community and
1 so they felt that they had to transfer us, to stop with
2 killings and torture; it is possible that this is why
3 we were transferred to the Batkovic camp, in order that
4 we would not be found by the humanitarian organisations
5 in Luka, even though we were not allowed to talk in
6 Batkovic either. I was, for instance, not found by the
7 International Red Cross there; I was only found in
8 Doboj in 1993 by the international organisations.
9 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Thank you very
10 much, Witness A. We have no further questions for you,
11 but there is one thing I would like to say: If you
12 feel you want to add anything to what you have already
13 told us, if there is anything you would like to say
14 publicly in front of this Tribunal, please do so now.
15 As far as we are concerned, we have no other questions
16 for you, but feel free to express anything you would
17 like to add.
18 THE WITNESS: I don't know. Maybe -- maybe I
19 can ask a question of sorts, if I can ask your
20 permission for that?
21 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Of course, you
22 may put your question. Of course. If it's a question
23 to the Judges, just put the question to us and we'll
24 try to answer to the best of our ability.
25 THE WITNESS: Since the accused, as I can
1 see, has not one Defence counsel, but I realise that
2 out of three counsel, two come from the occupied
3 territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I would like to
4 ask them, because it is impossible that the Tribunal
5 should be paying for three counsel, I would like to ask
6 the Defence, in fact, the two counsel from the occupied
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina, whether they ever thought with
8 whose money the accused is paying them, and is it
9 possible that my 5.500 German marks is among that money
10 and the money of the other persons who were robbed by
12 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Witness A, I'm
13 sorry, but you cannot put this question to Defence
14 counsel. Of course, by coming here, you have greatly
15 contributed to our work and you, as all of us, wish for
16 a better world and a civilised world. The only way for
17 us to answer to barbaric behaviour is to resort to
18 civilised means and to behave ourselves in a civilised
19 way. The accused has a right to have a fair trial. If
20 he is considered to be guilty, we will say so on the
21 last day of this trial. Let us not speak about money.
22 Let us not put this kind of issue to Defence counsel.
23 I am sure that all the people who are working
24 for this trial share and greatly sympathise with you
25 and with all that you have been through, but we are not
1 an investigating committee, we are Judges. Our aim is
2 to try the facts, to see what the accused may have
3 done, to see what he hasn't done. It is not an easy
4 task, but all the people that are working and that you
5 see in this courtroom are trying to help us achieve
6 this aim, and I'm taking this opportunity to thank
7 everybody, because we are all trying to achieve a very
8 difficult aim. We are all faced with huge
10 Maybe I am disappointing you. Maybe this
11 answer is a disappointment to you, but I cannot allow
12 this debate to be entered into in this courtroom.
13 If you don't have anything further to add, I
14 will only just say that we all thank you for coming
15 here. We are well aware of what it has meant for you
16 to come before this Tribunal. You are still young, and
17 we wish you a more serene and happy life from now on.
18 You have been granted a number of protective
19 measures. We need to raise the curtains to allow the
20 witness to leave the courtroom, so maybe we can take a
21 break. And if the next witness is a protected witness,
22 then he can be brought in the courtroom before we
23 resume the hearing.
24 We will resume our work at 16.00 hours.
25 --- Recess taken at 3.40 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 4.09 p.m.
2 (The witness entered court)
3 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) The hearing is
4 resumed. Please have the accused brought in.
5 (The accused entered court)
6 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Witness B, can
7 you hear me? It is the President of the Trial Chamber
8 who is addressing you. Will you remain standing for a
9 few minutes? Will you first identify the name written
10 on a piece of paper as yours without repeating it? Do
11 you have the name? The Prosecutor is giving it to the
12 usher, and please check that that is, indeed, your
14 THE WITNESS: Yes.
15 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) You will
16 remain standing for a few minutes to read your solemn
17 declaration given to you by the usher. Please
18 proceed. Read it, please.
19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
22 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Thank you,
23 Witness B. You may be seated.
24 You are a witness enjoying protective
25 measures. Let me explain. At the request of the
1 Prosecution, the Chamber has granted these measures
2 which means that the hearing is public. You may speak
3 without fear because these measures are such that you
4 cannot be recognised or identified. Nevertheless, I
5 call on the parties to be very careful that your name
6 or the name of another person may not slip out. We
7 thank you for coming.
8 First, the Prosecution will be asking you
9 questions in these proceedings against the accused,
10 Goran Jelisic, who is here present. After that, you
11 will be answering questions by the attorneys of Jelisic
12 and then by the Judges.
13 Mr. Prosecutor, the floor is yours.
14 WITNESS: WITNESS B
15 Examined by Mr. Tochilovsky
16 [Witness answers through Interpreter]
17 Q. Good afternoon, Witness B. Witness B, let me
18 ask you some background information first. How old are
20 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry. We can't hear
21 the witness very well. Could he speak into the
23 MR. TOCHILOVSKY:
24 Q. I will just repeat my question. Can you tell
25 us, how old are you?
1 A. Fifty-three.
2 Q. Are you of Muslim ethnicity?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Where did you live before the war?
5 A. In Brcko, the part of the town called Grcica.
6 Q. Witness B, can you tell us whether you were
7 detained in Luka camp? Were you detained there?
8 A. I was. Can I begin with the date?
9 Q. Yes, please.
10 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Speak simply,
11 in your own words without any fear. You are addressing
12 Judges, expressing yourself as you wish. If you forget
13 something, don't worry. The Prosecutor will either
14 interrupt you or he will come back to questions which
15 he considers useful to put to you, so please proceed.
16 A. I was at home until May the 6th when soldiers
17 came and took us to Laser. I was in Laser for two
18 days, from the 6th until the 8th. On the 8th, we went
19 by bus from Laser to Luka. About half past one or 2.00
20 in the afternoon, I saw --
21 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Excuse me.
22 What month was this and what year?
23 A. It was the 8th of May.
24 MR. TOCHILOVSKY:
25 Q. May I interrupt you, Witness B?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. Did you see Goran Jelisic upon your arrival
3 at Luka?
4 A. I assume that Goran Jelisic was in Laser on
5 the 6th of May because I recognised him on the 8th of
6 May when I got to Luka. I recognised him by his
7 speech. On the 6th of May, he was there. He came in
8 the evening with somebody known as Cupa and with
9 another guard.
10 Q. Could you make it more clear? Was it in
11 Laser Company?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Please continue.
14 A. In the restaurant.
15 Q. Is that the place where you first saw Goran
17 A. I saw him for the first time. It was dark,
18 and there was no light in the restaurant. But anyway,
19 when I arrived on the 8th of May, I recognised his
20 voice. I didn't know that it was Goran Jelisic, but I
21 recognised his voice on the 8th of May when I saw him.
22 Q. Did Goran Jelisic introduce himself, either
23 in Laser Company or in Luka camp or in both?
24 A. He didn't introduce himself in the Laser
25 Company. They entered there. They started shouting.
1 They started beating, seizing money and personal
2 documents. A couple of times, they leaned people
3 against the wall, and this Cupa would hit them. They
4 would curse at each other saying, "Don't hit him so
5 hard. Let me beat him a little." I was scared. This
6 was the first time I had seen people being beaten and
7 money being stolen from them.
8 Then he said to the guard, "Cock your rifle
9 and point it at them," meaning us, and that is what the
10 guard did.
11 Q. Excuse me. Who said that?
12 A. I think it was Goran Jelisic. It was his
14 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) When you
15 answer, will you please face the Judges? Thank you.
16 MR. TOCHILOVSKY:
17 Q. Do you remember Goran Jelisic introducing
19 A. In the Laser, he didn't introduce himself.
20 In Luka, he did. When we got off the bus, we all
21 entered the hangar. And as the bus approached the
22 hangar, the door was open, and I could see that the
23 hangar was full of people. The bus stopped right in
24 front of the door. There were guards there, there were
25 a lot of them, and they told us to get off and to go
2 As we entered, on the right-hand side, there
3 was a big box, into which personal documents were
4 thrown, ID cards, driving licenses, passports, if
5 anyone had one, and they ordered me too, as I came off
6 the bus, to throw my documents there. I had my ID
7 card, and I put it into the box which was overflowing
8 with these documents, and then we entered.
9 When all of us from the bus had got in, I was
10 in the second bus, I saw that it was full of people.
11 The left-hand side of the hangar was full of people.
12 One young woman was sitting on a chair to the right,
13 the guards were on the sides at the entrance to the
14 hangar, and she was sitting on this chair, and I saw
15 that she had some kind of band-aid on her chest, and
16 she said that the Muslims had cut off her breast. She
17 was an attractive young woman, and I saw that she had
18 this breast, and she said that the breast had been cut
20 So when we came off the bus, Goran entered,
21 and he saw how many of us there were. And he laughed
22 and said that there were many of us, and he started to
23 say, how come we had stayed in Brcko. He said that we
24 had started the war, that we wanted the war against the
25 Serbs, and no one had any such ideas. We wanted the
1 war, according to him, not they, that we hate them.
2 Then he ordered the guards -- he introduced
3 himself. He said, "My name is Goran Jelisic, known as
4 Adolf. You will get to know me well. I am the boss
5 here." And we stood there listening to him. We had
6 to. And he behaved boastfully and then arrogantly.
7 And then he told the guards, "Collect all those
8 documents," and they did, and they took them across the
9 way to the office. Goran followed them. He didn't
10 come back, neither Goran nor the other two who had
11 carried the documents. The rest stayed to watch over
12 us. You know what the position of prisoners is.
13 Q. Witness B, may I interrupt you. So Goran
14 Jelisic, you made it clear that he introduced himself
15 as Adolf. But my next question is: Did you see
16 killings committed by Goran in Luka?
17 A. I did.
18 Q. Can you tell the Court about those killings?
19 A. Yes, I have to tell you things in order.
20 This, that I was telling you about, lasted for about an
21 hour and a half or two. Then Goran Jelisic came
22 carrying these personal documents, and the guard
23 followed him, also carrying some ID cards and
24 passports. And then he said, "I'm going to start
25 reading and whose name I call will be executed," and he
1 said, "Whose name I call must go outside," and then he
2 smiled and said, "Don't be afraid. I was joking. The
3 names I read out, the people will go home." And quite
4 a number of people went out that day, and, indeed, they
5 got discharge papers and they left.
6 When he came back a second time, he was
7 carrying two documents. He read out the names of two
8 men, "Zahirovic" was the surname, but they were not
9 from Brcko. And he asked, "What are the two of you
10 doing in Brcko?" And these two men said, they told the
11 truth, "We came to visit our relatives to celebrate May
12 Day with them." He said, "You haven't come to
13 celebrate May Day. You have come upon orders. It's
14 not for May Day that you have come. You have some kind
15 of a plan." But they insisted that they came for May
16 Day, but the war started.
17 And then he took out these two men, and he
18 said, "As you've come to celebrate May Day, this will
19 be your last." He took them out and they were killed.
20 He asked for three volunteers to carry one of them.
21 Then he called for another three volunteers, and they
22 carried the second. I don't know where they were
23 taken. In any event, both of them were killed, and he
24 said, "That will be your May Day celebration."
25 Q. Can you describe other killings you saw in
1 the camp committed by Goran Jelisic?
2 A. Yes. On that day, he had killed two
3 already. Then night came, the killings continued. He
4 would always come asking for three or four volunteers.
5 I hadn't been called out yet, but my turn would come.
6 The younger and braver ones went out.
7 In any event, the killings started, and
8 whoever carried a body said that Goran was there with a
9 pistol next to the grate where the people were killed.
10 Q. Can you tell the Court about the killings
11 which were committed on the day when you cleaned Goran
12 Jelisic's office?
13 A. Yes, I was cleaning. The guard came because
14 all the younger men had to go and work elsewhere, and I
15 was well advanced in age. I also applied to clean a
16 hangar. It had to be cleaned well, and we did clean
17 it. As I was coming out of the hangar, and I was going
18 from the hangar I had cleaned to the one where we had
19 been detained, the guard said to me, "Old man," or
20 something, "can you clean this office too," and I said,
21 "I can." So I entered the office. There was broken
22 glass on the floor. They had eaten some roast lamb,
23 and there were broken bottles. I cleaned it well.
24 And I heard Goran's voice, and I got
25 frightened immediately. I hurried up. I hurried to
1 finish the cleaning so as to reach my hangar, and after
2 a couple of minutes, I finished the cleaning. I put my
3 jacket on a sign next to the grate, I think it was a
4 traffic sign prohibiting parking, and I had left my
5 jacket there because it was quite warm.
6 Q. May I interrupt you, Witness B.
7 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: If I could have the
8 assistance of the usher, Mr. President, in placing the
9 Prosecutor's exhibit in front of the witness.
10 A. Yes, if you can, yes, the picture. It would
11 be better so that I can show how it was.
12 THE REGISTRAR: (Interpretation) Exhibit
13 number 6, and the sheet of paper on which the name of
14 the witness appeared was Exhibit number 5.
15 MR. TOCHILOVSKY:
16 Q. Witness B, have you had an opportunity to
17 indicate some locations on the photo relevant to your
19 A. The image is not stable, but here it is.
20 This is the grate. There should have been a traffic
21 sign here, but it's gone. Here was the pavement. I
22 cleaned behind here, this office there. Around here,
23 where this pole is, was where I would come, and I was
24 about here when Goran entered (indicating), entered the
25 hangar, and there was a young man, dark-haired. I came
1 to this side, to where my implements were, and he said,
2 "What are you doing here?" And I sort of fell silent
3 because I sort of lost my ability to speak, and so I
4 just pointed that I was cleaning here, and then he
5 said, "Stop where you are." This was here
6 (indicating), almost at the grate itself.
7 Q. Witness B, are you referring to point X-4 as
8 the place where you were staying?
9 A. Yes. This is where my jacket was, and he
10 picked it up and he said, "Is this yours?" And he
11 said, "Don't take it. Just stand here." So he took
12 the young man from this hangar and took him to the
13 grate, and the young man came over here (indicating).
14 He said, "Kneel down," which he did. He said, "Put
15 your head down." You can see the edge of the pavement
16 here. But he said, "Place it right next to the
17 grate." And Goran stepped up and he fired two shots in
18 the back of the head. This was the first time that I
19 saw a murder, a killing. The body just collapsed. And
20 then he said, "Three volunteers." He had a strong
21 voice. He said, "Three volunteers." And I saw that
22 the volunteers were coming out. They picked up the
23 dead body. Two of them picked it up by a shoulder each
24 and a third by the legs, and they took it behind the
25 shed, behind this structure here (indicating), and a
1 guard escorted them as they went to throw it into a
3 Again, I reached to pick up my jacket, and he
4 said, "Stop. Don't." And so I stood still. I still
5 could not muster any voice. I was all in sweat. It
6 was the first time that I had seen a murder.
7 Then he came out with another young man; he
8 was blond, had a broken nose. He did the same thing.
9 He brought him here, he ordered him to kneel down, he
10 knelt down, then he told him, "Put your forehead
11 against the edge of the pavement." The young man
12 refused to do it, and then he ordered him again to do
13 it. They started going back and forth. He started
14 cursing him. The young man still refused to put it
15 there. Then he grabbed him by the neck and pushed it
16 down, pushed the whole head down to the pavement and
17 stepped on him, and then he pulled the trigger. The
18 young man fell, and then again he called for three
19 volunteers. Another three volunteers came out of the
20 hangar, and they carried him behind the shed where the
21 dead bodies were being thrown.
22 I still stood there. When the second person
23 was killed, he said -- he asked me, what did I do? I
24 was still without any voice. I still couldn't produce
25 a voice and I was all sweaty, and I just stood there.
1 And then he said, "Well, are you done?" And I kind of
2 signalled that I was. He went into the office to see,
3 and it was really all spic and span, he even
4 complimented me, and then he said, "This is really well
5 done. You can take your jacket. You're not going to
6 be killed." I did not know whose office this was, I
7 just knew that I had to clean it. Then he told me, "Go
8 back into the hangar. You're not going to be killed."
9 Q. Did Goran Jelisic make comments about these
10 killings? Did he ask you whether you could do that?
11 A. Yes. He asked -- this was on 9 May. It had
12 just dawned. Between 7.30 and 8.00, he brought in a
13 man. He was a tall man, strong, he may have weighed
14 100, 120 kilos even. So he brought in this man in the
15 hangar, and I saw that his hand was bloody. His right
16 ear had been cut off, so he was carrying his ear in his
17 hand, and I saw -- and he also was mopping his head
18 with a handkerchief. We all got up - all of us were
19 sitting around against the wall of the hangar - we all
20 got up, and he said to this man, he said, "Crouch." He
21 crouched in the middle of the hangar facing us. The
22 blood was still dripping and he was still trying to
23 clean the blood and he was still holding his ear in his
24 hand, and I asked myself, Good God. Can something like
25 this exist, that there is this sight of a man holding
1 his own ear in his hand?
2 He knew that we were predominantly Muslim.
3 He said, "Muslim brothers and, if there are any Croats
4 among us, please kill me so that this criminal does not
5 kill me." And Goran went around offering the pistol to
6 one after another in order to kill him, and then he
7 said -- he said, "You are no people. You are nothing.
8 You should all be killed." There was another guard
9 with Goran. He had a sword or a sabre which was more
10 than one metre long, and as Goran saw that none of us
11 dared to do this -- and this man kept begging us to
12 kill him. So Goran ordered, "Get up." And as this man
13 was leaving, he ran towards him, and as he was -- he
14 was about to leave, he hit him with this sabre, as this
15 man who was still holding that ear in his hand, and
16 this man sort of bent a little and came out, and as he
17 was crossing over to this grate, he was killed. This
18 was not even ten seconds later.
19 Then Goran asked for four volunteers this
20 time because he was a heavy man, so four men came out
21 and threw him behind the shed where the rest of the
22 bodies were thrown; and so this poor man with his ear
23 cut off, that was his end.
24 Q. Witness B, let me ask you a question again
25 about that incident at Goran Jelisic's office when you
1 were standing at the traffic sign. After the killing
2 of those people, did he express anything about his
3 feeling about those killings?
4 A. You know how he behaved? I think that he
5 took pleasure in doing this because he was so powerful,
6 he was viewed as a god. It was nothing for him to kill
7 a man. He believed himself to be the most powerful
8 person in the world, and he was, in Brcko. I cannot
9 understand this. He was a young man, a handsome man,
10 and to do this ... But he killed.
11 Q. Did Goran Jelisic ask you whether you can do
12 the same?
13 A. He did, yes, and he asked me this, and I
14 couldn't talk. He was offering us to take the pistol.
15 "He is your man," he said. "Kill him." How? How
16 come? He didn't do anything to me. How come -- I
17 can't kill a fly, let alone a man.
18 Q. Did he ask you such a question at his office
19 where several people were killed at the grate? Did he
20 ask you why you were so scared, and did he express
21 anything about that?
22 A. Yes. He said, "What kind of man are you?
23 You do not dare kill anybody, beat anybody. Look at
24 us." We all had to stay silent. There was nothing for
25 me to say. What was I going to say? I cannot hate
1 somebody, let alone kill him. And, I don't know, he
2 may have taken pleasure in this. A young man, to be
3 doing this, I cannot understand that.
4 Q. Did he say that "it is nice to kill people"?
5 A. Yes, he did say that. He said that it was
6 nice to kill. "You cannot kill." He said that we
7 asked for a war. We never did. Who needs a war? And
8 apparently we had started the war. This is what we
9 were told. And it's well-known who started it.
10 Q. Witness B, did Goran Jelisic mention the
11 number of Muslims he had killed?
12 A. No, he did not mention that. He simply
13 entered the hangar, he would stand there, and he would
14 point out. He'd say, "You come out. You and you and
15 you." And he, for the most part, sought out young
16 men. And sometimes he had some kind of a piece of
17 paper and he was looking for specific names. He would
18 ask, "Is such and such a person here in the camp?" And
19 we didn't know them, but -- we didn't know who these
20 people were; he could have known that. But we didn't
22 Q. Did he mention that there is a figure of
23 those Muslims that he would like to reach in killing?
24 A. Yes, he mentioned when he came, whenever he
25 came, he would be -- not very inebriated but sometimes
1 he would come, and one time he said -- it was either 76
2 or 86, one of those two figures. I'm not sure of this,
3 which number, which figure is the precise one; I heard
4 him say that, but I don't remember well. He said
5 either 76 or 86, one of those two. And he said, "I
6 haven't reached --" I don't remember what number he
7 mentioned, to what number he was going to go.
8 Q. Witness B, can you tell the Court what
9 happened to Ribic Smail and who was Mr. Ribic Smail?
10 A. I think that Smail Ribic was the number 2 man
11 in the local municipal government in Brcko. I believe
12 that he was like a deputy, but he was a prominent
13 person. Can I tell about the incident?
14 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Please go
15 ahead, Witness B; that is, if Mr. Tochilovsky has no
16 more precise question to ask you. But if you want to
17 give us your explanation of this particular event,
18 please do so, but please face the Judges when answering
19 the questions.
20 A. Let me tell it. He took him in the car, that
21 is, he took Smail and a Serb. I had not known that he
22 was a Serb, but later I heard from a neighbour that he
23 was a Serb, so he was a Serb; and apparently this Serb
24 wanted to take Smail, to help Smail go to Germany to
25 where his wife was, and they were both captured, and
1 Goran took out the both of them. I immediately
2 recognised Smail. Five or six days before, I saw him
3 in this political meeting in Brcko, and I thought to
4 myself: He's not going to come out of Luka alive.
5 So he took them out of the car. They were
6 holding hands, and he was going to show the people what
7 love there was between Serbs and Muslims.
8 Q. Excuse me, Witness B. To whom are you
9 referring to when you say "he"? Was that Goran
11 A. Goran Jelisic, yes.
12 Q. Please continue.
13 A. So he said, "Look how they love each other, a
14 Serb and a Muslim? We beat them so much in Bijeljina
15 that we couldn't separate them. That's how much they
16 love each other and that's how we brought them to
17 Luka." And indeed, Smail came -- got out of the car
18 first, and I saw them holding hands. They barely
19 managed to enter the hangar. They entered the hangar
20 and off to the right -- they went to the right. I saw
21 that they were barely walking. And so they put them
22 right there immediately. As they were walking, they
23 just sort of collapsed, and Goran left.
24 Then later, they came, that is, the guards
25 came, and they beat them again. This neighbour of mine
1 who was sitting next to me, who knew the Serb, told me,
2 "This one is a Serb. And do you know who the other
3 one is?" And I said, "Yes, I do." So the young man
4 started shivering, and I said, "Just calm down. This
5 is how things are right now."
6 The Serb asked for water. He was thirsty. A
7 large bucket of water was brought in, and this man
8 brought them a bucket filled with water, and they were
9 still lying down, they couldn't get up, and then he
10 threw the water over the two of them. He said, "Here's
11 the water." That bucket was filled with water. And
12 then they started coming in, the guards, and Goran with
13 them, and they beat them. He seemed to be particularly
14 irritated by the fact that these two were fond of one
16 And then that night, it was probably between
17 2.00 and 8.00, everybody came and beat them. They were
18 all completely beat up. I was in another hangar; that
19 is, it is the same hangar, but I was in another part.
20 And if you show me the picture, I can point it out to
22 Q. What happened to those two men?
23 A. It could have been 7.30 or 8.00 -- this is
24 how we estimated, because it was dark, we didn't have
25 watches -- first the Serb was killed and then the other
1 one was killed, and the volunteers carried them out,
2 and they also were then ordered to bring water from the
3 bathroom to wash the blood. I was in another part of
4 the hangar. As the door -- it was a large door but
5 there was a little crack, so I saw there was a little
6 canal and I saw blood running or -- so they had to wash
7 it with buckets of water so that all the blood would be
8 washed away.
9 So, anyway, the two of them were both killed,
10 and he said, "If I am capable of killing a Serb, what
11 about you Muslims? You're not even a people. When I
12 can kill my own fellow Serb, then you can all be
14 Q. Witness B, did you carry dead bodies in Luka?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. While carrying those bodies, did you see
17 piles of bodies, and how many bodies were in the pile?
18 A. Yes, let me tell you. There were some people
19 who carried quite a number of bodies, and after awhile,
20 they were too afraid to continue doing that, so I
21 decided at one point that I had to also volunteer.
22 When they asked for a volunteer, I
23 volunteered, together with another two men. And so we
24 approached this grate. There was a dead body lying by
25 it. I took the body by the legs, and the other two
1 took it each by an arm, and we were told by a guard to
2 take it behind a shed. And we may have crossed about
3 30 metres, and we saw that he was a pretty heavy man,
4 that the body was heavy. When we came to this canal, I
5 saw 10 to 15 bodies there.
6 I was shivering as I was holding those legs,
7 and then this guard said, "Guys, you have to swing him
8 so that you can hoist him on top of the pile," and
9 that's when I saw that there were at least 10 to 15
10 bodies there, because there was quite a pile there
12 Q. Do you know how the bodies were taken from
13 the camp?
14 A. Yes, we could hear trucks in the night, but
15 the people who carried the bodies out, they probably
16 know exactly. They probably loaded them onto the truck
17 and drove them off somewhere, I don't know where, but
18 the trucks would come at night, the big Bimex trucks
19 that used to transport meat.
20 Q. Witness B, did you see Goran Jelisic when you
21 moved dead bodies?
22 A. I did. I saw him. I carried four bodies.
23 When I carried the first body, Goran was standing there
24 with a pistol. He wasn't afraid of anyone. He was the
25 boss. The second body that I carried, there was a
1 smaller pile just behind the shed, and the third body
2 that I carried, I carried it behind the hangar on the
3 railroad. There were five or six men, and I saw that
4 they were lying down and their heads were put across
5 the rail tracks. The fourth body that I carried was
6 also to the tracks, and I saw three or four men. One
7 of them was in pyjamas. I think he used to be in the
8 hospital. And as I carried this body, the body of the
9 killed man, the guard told me to put his head on the
10 track, and I said, "Why? Why should we do that?" And
11 he said, "Well, don't you see? This is their pillow."
12 And that is what we did. He was gurgling, the man
13 hadn't died yet, but all their heads were on the
14 tracks, and he said, "This is their pillow."
15 There were four of us on that occasion. We
16 put the body there. I was the fourth, the last one,
17 the younger ones went in front to get to the hangar as
18 soon as possible, and then the guard said to me, "So
19 you're the last one," and I thought that I was going to
20 get killed, but he told me, "Take a bucket and a broom
21 and wash the area from the grate to the rail track so
22 that there will be no traces."
23 As I ran cleaning this area, I saw Goran next
24 to the grate, and I had just finished. The guard was
25 standing by me all the time. And he said, "Make sure
1 you clean it well so that no traces of blood are left,"
2 and I had to do it, and I did. And then he said,
3 "You've cleaned it well. Take the bucket back." Then
4 I saw three volunteers carrying another killed man
5 where I had already cleaned, and I said to the guard,
6 "Look, I've just cleaned it and there's more blood
7 again," and he said, "Just keep quiet and go back in.
8 Someone else will clean this."
9 Q. Witness B, how were you supposed to behave
10 while carrying dead bodies for Goran Jelisic?
11 A. It is hard to describe it. I sometimes
12 prayed to God that I'd be killed too because I couldn't
13 watch it anymore, but you just had to do these things.
14 You don't even feel fear. You just had to carry those
15 bodies, and you had to do whatever they told you to
16 do. I wasn't even afraid anymore. I could have laid
17 down with those dead bodies. I didn't feel any fear.
18 You just had to do this, and I thought to myself, "I
19 can't hope to get out of this alive and go back to my
20 family." I thought it was all over for us.
21 Q. Before I ask you the next question, I just
22 want to remind you that you're not supposed to mention
23 any names which would reveal your identity.
24 My next question is: Do you know of any
25 incidents where bodies were thrown into the Sava River?
1 A. All these people who were carried in some
2 sort of a sheet, they were thrown into the Sava. My
3 neighbour, for instance, he carried bodies that were
4 thrown into the Sava. All the people who were on the
5 rail track behind the hangar were taken to the Sava and
6 thrown in. The people who threw them in know. They
7 were loading these bodies, and I don't know exactly
8 what was happening, but I know that a number of them
9 were thrown into the Sava. These were volunteers that
10 had to do this in the evening.
11 Q. Did Goran Jelisic exercise authority over
12 other camp staff and over detainees in Luka?
13 A. He was the most powerful man there, and all
14 the Serbs feared him. He was the greatest. Everyone
15 was afraid of him. Even the soldiers were afraid of
16 Goran because he was the boss.
17 Q. Can you tell the Court how the killings in
18 the camp were stopped?
19 A. One morning it had dawned, we were all
20 awaiting what would happen next, and Goran entered with
21 a captain. By the way he spoke, I guessed that he was
22 a Montenegrin. And Goran was carrying a piece of paper
23 because all of us had been interrogated for exchange
24 and for labour around town, as if it appeared that they
25 wouldn't be killed, but nobody believed it. And then
1 he came with this paper, and he lined us up, and he
2 said, "Let me read you the order." I think it was
3 around the 18th of May. We didn't really know the
4 date. We guessed.
5 He started reading. Anyway, the world
6 appeared to have learned about the killings in Luka in
7 Brcko, and then he said, "Was anyone killed here?" And
8 we didn't dare to say anything, we said "No," and the
9 whole world had learned of the Luka in Brcko. And he
10 was reading this, and he said, "As of today, you must
11 know that not a single man will be killed with a bullet
12 but from beatings. If anyone succumbs, that's another
13 matter, but anyway, no one in Luka may be killed from
14 now on."
15 We were happy but we didn't believe it, and
16 that is how it was from that day on. Not a single man
17 was killed with a bullet from that day on.
18 Q. Witness B, you were detained in the Batkovic
19 camp as well; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you see Goran Jelisic in Batkovic? Did
22 he visit the Batkovic camp?
23 A. Yes, he did.
24 Q. Can you describe that visit?
25 A. I think it was September because I was
1 released on the 12th of October. There were two
2 hangars too. There were more people in the first
3 hangar, and they separated us into the second hangar,
4 and we heard that Goran Jelisic had arrived. I was
5 terrified because there were about ten of us from Luka
6 in this hangar there. What he was looking for, I don't
8 He came to this hangar, and the director said
9 that there were some people from Brcko there, and we
10 all laid down and covered ourselves with blankets. He
11 entered the hangar and he asked the guard, "Tell me, is
12 there anyone from Luka from the month of May," and he
13 said, no, that they had all been exchanged. He didn't
14 believe him and he said, "That can't be right. There
15 must be at least one or two of them," and this one
16 said, "No, all the people from Luka have been
17 exchanged." He was irritated and angry, and he left.
18 I don't know what he really wanted, but I
19 nearly died of fear. What he was looking for, I don't
20 know, but thank God this director said that there
21 wasn't a single man from Luka, and there were at least
22 ten of us there.
23 Q. Thank you, Witness B.
24 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: Mr. President, I have
25 concluded the direct examination, and I would like to
1 ask that the exhibit which was shown by the Prosecutor
2 to the witness be admitted into evidence, if the
3 Defence have no objections.
4 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Are there no
5 objections on the part of the Defence?
6 MR. GREAVES: I think not.
7 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Very well.
8 Who is going to cross-examine this witness? It can
9 only be one of the Defence counsel. We have another
10 quarter of an hour.
11 Witness B, you're not too tired to recall all
12 these painful experiences? Can you hold on for another
13 quarter of an hour or so, and then we will adjourn
14 until tomorrow?
15 We are not meeting in the morning. I just
16 take advantage to inform the Prosecutor and the Defence
17 that we will be resuming work tomorrow at 2.00 p.m.
18 If you feel well enough, Mr. Londrovic, you
19 are going to cross-examine. You are now going to be
20 asked questions by the attorneys for the Defence.
21 Mr. Londrovic?
22 MR. LONDROVIC: (Interpretation) Your
23 Honours, if I may suggest that we adjourn so that we
24 can have more time to prepare for the
1 You were kind enough today to allow both of
2 us to cross-examine today, that is, Mr. Greaves and
3 myself, and we would take advantage of the time this
4 evening and tonight to prepare ourselves well for the
5 cross-examination tomorrow, and it will be only one of
6 us, so we don't want to disrupt the rules in any sense
7 any further.
8 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Is there any
9 objection on the part of the Prosecution?
10 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: The Prosecution has no
12 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Since the
13 Prosecution agrees, this will allow the witness to
14 recover a little.
15 In any event, we have no hearing in the
16 morning because one of the Judges is busy with another
17 case, and we can prepare for a rather long afternoon
19 Mr. Registrar, we will begin at 2.00 p.m.
20 Then you can prepare for the cross-examination. The
21 hearing is adjourned.
22 The registrar has something to tell me.
23 THE REGISTRAR: (Interpretation) I think
24 Mr. Greaves has an observation to make.
25 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) I beg your
1 pardon, Mr. Greaves.
2 MR. GREAVES: I wanted to catch Your Honours
3 before you disappeared this evening. There was one
4 matter I omitted to deal with at the end of Witness A's
5 evidence. The two statements, one in English and a
6 translation thereof in Bosnian, should properly be
7 admitted as exhibits, not for the truth thereof, but as
8 a matter of impeachment.
9 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) No objection?
10 MR. TOCHILOVSKY: No, no objections.
11 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) Very well.
12 The exhibits have been admitted. What number are
14 THE REGISTRAR: (Interpretation) D1 and D1A
15 for the English version.
16 JUDGE JORDA: (Interpretation) The hearing is
17 adjourned. We will resume tomorrow at 2.00 p.m.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
19 5.16 p.m., to be reconvened on
20 Wednesday, the 2nd day of December, 1998
21 at 2.00 p.m.