1 Thursday, 27 May 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning. Madam Registrar, would you please call
6 the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Momcilo Krajisnik.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. I'm aware that presumably today this
10 witness, Mr. Begic, will for the first time mark an exhibit, and sometimes
11 there is a need that marking is done not only on the request of the
12 Prosecution but sometimes the Defence wants some additional marking.
13 Let's try to have one plain rule: Marking for the Prosecution is done in
14 blue, and marking for the Defence is done in black, so that later on we're
15 always able to identify whether the specific marking was made on the
16 request of the Prosecution or of the Defence.
17 If there is no preliminary issue, I'd like to ask Madam Usher to
18 escort Mr. Begic into the courtroom.
19 And for the record, as far as the appearances are concerned, we
20 see that Mrs. Annink has taken over again from her colleague of yesterday,
21 and Mr. Stewart is still absent. Mr. Resch and Mr. Hannis being present
22 for the Prosecution, and Ms. Loukas for the Defence.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Begic. Please be seated. May I
25 remind you that --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: -- you're still bound by the solemn declaration that
3 you gave yesterday at the beginning of your testimony, that you would
4 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Yes.
5 Mr. Resch, please proceed.
6 WITNESS: RAJIF BEGIC [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Examined by Mr. Resch: [Continued]
9 Q. Good morning, Mr. Begic.
10 A. Good morning.
11 Q. When we left off yesterday, you had told us about the events, the
12 beginning of the events on the 31st of May, and some soldiers escorting
13 you and some of your family members from Donji Begici up to Gornji Begici;
14 is that about correct?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 MR. RESCH: For Your Honours' information, the events of 31 May
17 are referred to in Schedule A to the indictment, incident 14.2.
18 Q. Approximately how many soldiers were there in Gornji Begici when
19 all of the -- all of the Muslim citizens were gathered there?
20 A. I couldn't really say how many there were exactly, how many
21 soldiers in all throughout the village, because the whole village was
22 somehow under an occupation. You could see soldiers everywhere; around
23 every corner, around every hedge, behind the houses, so I really can't
24 give you an approximation or the exact number at all.
25 Q. That's fine. What did the soldiers ask you to do, you and the
1 other men and women and children?
2 A. When our group from the direction of Donji Begici arrived in
3 Gornji Begici, at that point in time the inhabitants of Gornji Begici who
4 were in their basements -- in the basement or cellar of Safet Begic's
5 house were ordered to step outside and line up on that little square in
6 the little hamlet, and that's what they did. They went outside. We were
7 in the process of arriving, and we were ordered or, rather, the order came
8 that the men should line up on the left-hand side of the road and the
9 women and children should go into Ismet Kurbegovic's house.
10 Q. Did these soldiers tell you or -- tell you what you were to do
11 after you'd lined up on this left side of the road?
12 A. Yes. They said we should make a column, stand in line one by one,
13 turn towards -- our faces turned towards them. So we stood up against a
14 house, and we were left alone. The women and children had already left
15 that area, the area where we were standing. So we were left there on our
17 Q. Did these soldiers tell you where you were going?
18 A. The soldiers told us that that group would go towards the Vrposki
19 [as interpreted] bridge where buses would be waiting to transport us to
20 Sanski Most.
21 Q. The transcript says "Vrposki bridge." Do you mean Vrhpolje
23 A. Yes, Vrhpolje bridge. There was just one Vrhpolje bridge.
24 Q. Did you walk or were you put into buses or trucks? How did you --
25 how did you start out?
1 A. From that place, we went towards the Vrhpolje bridge two by two,
2 in a column two by two, not taking the road leading to the bridge but
3 going across the vineyards, which is the area between Begici and Hrustovi.
4 It's a hilly area. We went through some orchards in order to arrive at
5 the Vrhpolje bridge.
6 MR. RESCH: If Exhibit P117 could be put on the ELMO for the
7 witness, please.
8 Q. Mr. Begic, if you could just take a blue pen, and on that map just
9 draw the route, to the best of your recollection, where the -- your group
10 started on the 31st of May and the route that you took to Vrhpolje bridge.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. For the record, the witness has indicated a blue line starting in
13 Begici, heading initially south, thereafter south-east and then turning
14 eventually back up to the north, ending at Vrhpolje bridge.
15 Do you remember approximately how many soldiers were escorting the
16 group of men from Begici towards Vrhpolje bridge?
17 A. We were escorted by eight soldiers, eight armed soldiers.
18 Q. Did you know the names of any of these soldiers?
19 A. I only knew Jadranko Palija. He was the leader of that group
20 escorting us, whereas I didn't know the others.
21 Q. Approximately how many men were there with you? How many
22 prisoners, I think it's fair to say.
23 A. There were about 20 of us.
24 Q. Were you all Muslims?
25 A. Yes, we were all Muslims.
1 Q. Do you recall the names of any of the other 19 men, approximately,
2 who were with you?
3 A. Yes, of course I do.
4 Q. Please tell us.
5 A. There was Ceric Miralem, with two sons, Ceric Enes and Ceric
6 Midhet. Then there was Hakija Begic with his son Muharem Begic, and then
7 there was an elderly man called Sacir Begic. And with us also there was
8 Safet Begic, Muhamed Begic with his son Fuad Begic, and his grandson
9 Elmedin Begic. Then there was Nail Begic. Ismet Kurbegovic was another
10 one, Munib Begic, Nedzad Begic, myself, Ismet Dizdarevic with three sons,
11 Muhamed Dizdarevic, Mirsad Dizdarevic, and Enes Dizdarevic. I think I've
12 given you all their names.
13 Q. That may not add up to 20, but is it possible there were some
14 other men who were there that you don't remember their names?
15 A. You mean up on the bridge or escorting us?
16 Q. Sorry. Let me be clear. Other prisoners. You don't necessarily
17 remember all the names of all the prisoners?
18 A. No, I do remember them all, but I don't know if I've missed any.
19 If I've given you 20 names, then that's it, but I said about 20, but I
20 know them all, and I think that I have stated who they were, but I might
21 have missed some, although I do know who they were.
22 Q. That's fine. Along the way to the bridge, did anything -- did
23 anything happen that you recall?
24 A. Yes. Walking towards the bridge or, rather, going towards the
25 bridge, setting out from the village of Begici, we were first stopped by a
1 weekend cottage which was in an orchard near Begici, and a group of Serb
2 soldiers were resting up there, and they stopped us. They provoked us,
3 swore at us. But truth to tell, they didn't abuse us physically at all.
4 So after stopping there a while, we set off again in the direction of the
6 And let me just add that some of the prisoners on that day had
7 terrible consequences from -- that is to say they had been physically
8 beaten up. When they were -- Kurbegovic Ismet, Begic Sacir, when the Serb
9 soldiers entered the village in the first place, and our neighbours beat
10 them up twice while they were entering the village, so that -- and they
11 were suffering from the beatings. So we had Mr. Begic Sacir, who was
12 walking along with us, and we had to drag him along, in fact, because we
13 were told that if he lagged behind, he would be killed. They would kill
15 Once we arrived in Hrustovacka Stanica, the first hamlet, across
16 the bridge across the river Sanica, while we were crossing the bridge,
17 Miralem Ceric, who had some heart problems, seemed to have a heart -- be
18 having a heart attack. He had problems with his heart at that point, and
19 his son Enes Ceric, who was helping him to walk along, lagged behind the
20 column a little bit. And Jadranko Palija, at that point, took the two of
21 them out and, right by the bridge across the river Sanica, took them to
22 the former abattoir, the slaughterhouse, which was used by the butcher,
23 and all trace is lost of them after that.
24 Q. Did you hear any shots from this butcher shop?
25 A. Our column didn't lag behind. When I heard one shot, I turned
1 round and several seconds later I saw Jadranko coming out of the
2 slaughterhouse, placing his pistol back in its halter and joining up with
3 the column again.
4 Q. If you could take a look at Exhibit P117 on the ELMO. Do you see
5 a photograph of the butcher shop?
6 A. Yes. It's photograph number 3.
7 Q. Do you recall approximately along that map where that butcher shop
8 was located, along the route that you drew? If you could take the pen and
9 draw, I think it would be appropriate, a number 3 to identify where you
10 remember the butcher shop.
11 A. As you can see, it is located right by the bridge across the river
12 Sanica. That would be here, right up against the bridge.
13 MR. RESCH: For the record, the witness has indicated a number 3
14 at the location where the route turns immediately to the north.
15 Q. As this -- as your group continued along, was anyone else shot
16 before you reached the Vrhpolje bridge?
17 A. After coming up onto the road again leading from Sanski Most to
18 Kljuc, there's a crossroads, and on that crossroads Jadranko Palija took
19 Ismet Kurbegovic out, and I mentioned the man a moment ago. As far as I
20 know, he accused him of being in possession of a sniper, and allegedly
21 that's why they had beaten him up. So at that point in time when Jadranko
22 took him out at that crossroads, he pointed a pistol at him and asked him
23 where his sniper was. Ismet said he didn't have any sniper, and then he
24 killed him in cold blood, right up on the road.
25 Q. Did Jadranko Palija kill anyone else on the way to Vrhpolje
2 A. Yes. After killing Ismet Kurbegovic, we continued along our
3 journey. We didn't stop at all. We continued going towards the bridge,
4 and 50 metres from the bridge, before we reached the bridge -- we were
5 walking on the left-hand side towards the bridge. Behind us at that
6 point, a small army van turned up with just one driver in it, and when he
7 passed by the column, Jadranko stopped him and got in next to the driver.
8 The window was open on the driver's side, and Jadranko ordered Irfan Begic
9 to come to the other side of the van. Irfan went to the other side of the
10 van and, without a single word uttered, this one who was sitting in the
11 van shot at him with a pistol. And Irfan's body fell to the ground in a
12 puddle by the road.
13 Q. How far away were you when Jadranko Palija shot Irfan Begic?
14 A. Well, the width or breadth of the road; two and a half to three
15 metres, perhaps.
16 MR. RESCH: Could the witness be shown the next -- the photograph
17 which has not yet been marked. Could this be given an exhibit number,
19 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P118.
20 MR. RESCH:
21 Q. Mr. Begic, do you recognise the photograph, the bridge in the
22 photograph in front of you?
23 A. Yes, I do. That is Vrhpolje bridge.
24 Q. On this photograph, can you see the location where Jadranko Palija
25 shot Ismet Kurbegovic on the 31st of May, 1992?
1 A. Yes, you can see that. If you look here, you'll see a crossroads,
2 so we were coming from the Hrustovo direction and moving on the left-hand
3 side, and at this place, the very crossroads but on the other side, there
4 was a Stop sign. So it was right up at the Stop sign where Ismet
5 Kurbegovic was shot and killed.
6 Q. To the best of your ability, could you just put a number 1 and
7 circle it where you recall Ismet Kurbegovic was when he was shot.
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. Can you see on this photograph where Jadranko Palija shot Irfan
11 A. Yes, you can see it much better here. So as I said, approximately
12 50 metres before the bridge.
13 Q. Could you put a number 2 where Jadranko Palija shot Irfan Begic.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. When you arrived at Vrhpolje bridge, were there any other
16 soldiers, any additional soldiers there waiting?
17 A. Yes, there were many soldiers there at the bridge itself. To the
18 left of the bridge there was a group of soldiers waiting, and at the
19 crossroads where the road forks off to Kozica and Sanski Most, just by the
20 bridge, a bit further down, there was a bunker, and you could see other
21 soldiers there inside the bunker.
22 Q. Approximately how many soldiers were waiting at the bridge when
23 you arrived?
24 A. I can't say exactly. I didn't count them. If you count those
25 inside the bunker and those standing around it, I think about 50 soldiers.
1 Q. Did these soldiers have weapons?
2 A. Yes, they all had weapons.
3 Q. Did you recognise any of these soldiers that were waiting at the
5 A. I did. I recognised some soldiers like Marinko Acimovic, Predrag
6 Stojnovic, Zivkovic.
7 Q. Did any soldiers -- any of these soldiers that were waiting at the
8 bridge say anything to you?
9 A. Yes. They kept taunting us after we'd arrived, and as we were
10 walking on the left-hand side towards the bridge, they told us to cross to
11 the other side of the bridge and to line up one-by-one by the fence along
12 the length of the bridge.
13 Q. Could you put a number 3 at the location where you were ordered to
14 line up.
15 A. [Marks]
16 MR. RESCH: For the record, the witness has indicated a 3
17 approximately mid-span of the bridge.
18 Q. The soldiers that you found when you arrived at the bridge, you
19 gave us some of their names. Do you know their ethnicity?
20 A. They were Serbs. Among them there was also Nenad Kaurim, another
21 man, Vidovic, and an ambulance driver who was not wearing a uniform.
22 Q. Did you know Nenad Kaurim from before?
23 A. Yes. I knew all of them from before, all those lads. Some of
24 them were my schoolmates. Some of them we used to play sports together.
25 We were neighbours. I knew them all.
1 Q. Did Nenad Kaurim say anything to you at the bridge?
2 A. Yes. Nenad told us to line up along the side of the bridge, to
3 take our clothes off and our shoes so they could search us. He swore at
4 us. He kept saying bad things about us. And he said that on that day,
5 they would kill 70 Muslims because seven Serb soldiers had been killed
7 Q. At the bridge did you or any of the other Muslim prisoners attempt
8 to attack the Serb soldiers?
9 A. No, we didn't.
10 Q. Okay. Mr. Begic, could you tell us what happened at the bridge.
11 What did the soldiers do to you and the other Muslim prisoners?
12 A. They searched us quickly. They took away everything that we had.
13 We threw our clothes in front of us down on the bridge, down the middle of
14 the bridge, and then they asked whether there was anyone among us who
15 could jump nicely into the river, and none of us said anything. And then
16 Marinko Acimovic pointed at Midhet Ceric, who was the first in line
17 looking from left to right. He said that Cera was very good at jumping
18 into the water, and he ordered him to jump. Cera turned round, he climbed
19 the fence, and jumped off. You could hear him swimming underneath the
20 bridge as he was passing by.
21 Marinko Kaurim and Zeljko were standing on the other side of the
22 bridge, and they pointed their automatic rifles at him. When he appeared
23 a little further down the stream, they fired a barrage of bullets at him
24 and you could see his dead body floating down the river.
25 Q. Did the Serb soldiers force anyone else to jump off the bridge?
1 A. Yes. After killing Cera, they said, "Come on, the next one." And
2 it was Munib Begic's turn next. Munib Begic tried to explain something to
3 them, to talk to them. However, they'd have none of that, and they
4 cracked him over the head with a bat. So having been hit several times,
5 he decided to jump, and he jumped the same way, and he swam underneath the
6 bridge, and the same three or four soldiers fired at him. So his dead
7 body, too, could be seen floating down the river.
8 Q. Looking again at the photograph Exhibit P118, what direction does
9 the river flow?
10 A. The river flows this way. So from Kljuc on towards Sanski Most.
11 Q. Could you just draw an arrow on the map in the direction that the
12 river flows.
13 A. [Marks]
14 MR. RESCH: For the record, the witness has drawn an arrow
15 indicating that the river flows from the left to the right as shown on the
17 Q. From where you were standing on the bridge, could you see the men
18 after they'd jumped into the water and passed underneath the bridge to the
19 other side?
20 A. I'm afraid I don't really understand the question. If you jump
21 into the water, you can see that, because these people were standing next
22 to me. When they were passing underneath the bridge, you can't actually
23 see them until you can see the other side of the bridge. That's ten or 15
24 metres down the river, and that's when you can see the body passing
25 underneath the bridge, but not before that point.
1 Q. Approximately how far is it from the surface the bridge to the
2 surface of the water?
3 A. Roughly speaking, six or seven metres, the drop. Perhaps more.
4 About six or seven metres. Up to ten.
5 Q. The soldiers that were shooting at the prisoners after they jumped
6 off the bridge, were they standing on the opposite side of the bridge?
7 A. Yes. As I said, they were standing on the other side of the
8 bridge, looking down the river to the right of the bridge. That would be
9 this side.
10 Q. Could you just draw a number 4 approximately where the soldiers
11 who were shooting were standing.
12 A. [Marks]
13 MR. RESCH: For the record, the witness has indicated a number 4
14 on the right-hand side of the bridge on the downstream side.
15 Q. Did the soldiers continue to order prisoners to jump off the
17 A. Yes. After Munib Begic had been killed, the next one was Mirsad
18 Dizdarevic, one of the three sons of Ismet Dizdarevic who was also there.
19 He was ordered to jump. This time they didn't beat him. He jumped. They
20 fired at him. The same thing as with the two that came before.
21 After him, it was the turn of their youngest brother, Enes
22 Dizdarevic, who had turned 15 on that very day or was about 15 years of
23 age, give or take a month or two. He was also ordered to jump. Without
24 thinking twice, he crossed the fence, and at that moment Jadranko Palija
25 walked up to him, raised a gun to his left temple and from a distance of
1 about one metre shot him. His body was left hanging from the fence. And
2 then Jadranko pushed the body with his leg from the fence and the body
3 dropped into the river. Meanwhile, the soldiers kept firing away at the
4 already dead body.
5 After that, next to Enes there was Elvedin Begic. They wanted to
6 question him. Briefly, they asked him who the commander had been at the
7 village of Begici. Elvedin said he didn't know, that there was no one.
8 At that point in time, one of the men hit him, and then the other soldiers
9 came up and started beating us, all of them. It was from that moment on
10 that they started beating the prisoners, all those who were at the bridge,
11 including myself and everyone else. People were bleeding, and they would
12 take them off the fence, back to the middle of the bridge, and there they
13 would kick then and beat them.
14 There was a house there, and --
15 THE INTERPRETER: There was chaos there, the interpreter's
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- the man who was questioning
18 Elvedin asked him whether there were any weapons back in the village and
19 he said he didn't know, there had been no weapons. He said, as far as I
20 can remember, I had a rifle, and then all of them, including Kaurim,
21 started beating me. Jadranko walked up to me and told me to open my
22 mouth, and he placed the barrel of an automatic rifle into my mouth and he
23 was about to start firing, but Jadranko [sic] told him not to kill me on
24 the bridge but, rather, to order me to jump down. So Jadranko said,
25 "Okay, jump."
1 I climbed over the fence just like everyone else, and I jumped off
2 the bridge into the river, down the stream. I hit my head after I'd
3 jumped because I plunged headlong into the river, so I hit a stone that
4 was in the river with my head. I paused for a while just underneath the
5 bridge. There was water all around, and you could still hear moans coming
6 from those who were still on the bridge and were being beaten.
7 I halted, and in a way took leave from my life. I took off the
8 white shirt that I still had on. I pushed it down beneath the surface. I
9 reckoned they would probably shoot me anyway, but I decided not to swim
10 but, rather, to try to dive and reach the left river bank. And if I could
11 manage that and dive down through the branches in the water, maybe I had a
12 chance of staying alive, and in the end I succeeded.
13 Q. You eventually reached the bank of the river?
14 A. Yes. I dived through the bullets. They were still firing, I must
15 say, but I kept looking at the white shirt that I had left behind, and the
16 water carried it off in front of me, and I could see them firing, and the
17 bullets were flying by my body. Fortunately, I was not hit. I managed to
18 dive as far as the left river bank - you can see the couple of trees that
19 were on the opposite river bank - and I surfaced again in the shrubbery
20 that was just over the water, and I stayed there, holding onto the
21 branches so they couldn't see me.
22 From there I could see the bridge. However, I couldn't tell by
23 the faces of the people falling into the water who they were. I was
24 looking through the branches, and it was at some distance. My temple was
25 bleeding. There was blood coming into my eyes. Therefore, I could not
1 discern clearly who the next men were to jump. I reckoned there were
2 about three or four other people who were made to jump, just like the ones
3 before, and I didn't know what happened to the rest of them. I did find
4 out later.
5 You could hear a long burst of fire. After the beating, after the
6 killings, you could hear a rather long burst of fire. I believe that that
7 was when they were killed. There was silence after that and you heard
8 nothing more, no one moaning, no one being thrown into the water.
9 Q. Of all the men, all the prisoners who you named who were at the
10 bridge that day, do you know if any of them survived?
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. Have you seen any of them alive after that day?
13 A. No. Over the following days, I was staying near the mouth of the
14 river, near Sanica, because I was, myself, facing a difficult situation.
15 I was trying to search that portion of the river, hoping that I would find
16 survivors who could perhaps help me, but I found no one.
17 Q. One of the men you mentioned who was at the bridge was Nedzad
19 A. Yes, my younger brother.
20 Q. Have you seen your younger brother since that day?
21 A. No, never.
22 Q. You eventually made it to a Serb neighbour's of yours, I believe,
23 to his house?
24 A. Yes. You don't want me to talk about the other developments
25 during those days, you just want me to talk about how I met my neighbour?
1 Q. I think we can move ahead to meeting with your neighbour, and I
2 think you were eventually taken to the medical centre in Tomina?
3 A. I spent several days at the mouth of the Sanica River, and that's
4 where I came to. It was one of the nights, I think it was Thursday
5 evening, there was a storm, and I decided to try to go to Vid Krlic's
6 [phoen] house. We had been on friendly terms with those people, and we
7 were even godfathers to each other's children, and I hoped that they could
8 help me or perhaps provide some information or some medical assistance.
9 I took advantage of the stormy weather and approached their house
10 that night. The next morning, I announced my presence to them. I didn't
11 come knocking at the door during the night, but rather, I came out of the
12 stable and announced my presence to their sons who came out the next
14 They took me into the house, and Zeljko told me that there were no
15 more survivors, that all of them had been killed at the bridge. His
16 mother was also there inside the house, Andja Krlic, and Svetko from the
17 town, who was a relation of theirs. I'm not sure what the reason was for
18 his presence at the house. I told them what had happened. Andja Krlic
19 said that Jadranko Palija, on his way back that day, first came to see
20 them and said that he had tried to save their neighbours, the Begics, but
21 he couldn't, he said, because the other people were attacking the bridge
22 and that's why everyone was killed.
23 At that moment my reaction was a bit brusque. I think I swore at
24 them, saying that that was not true because Jadranko Palija personally
25 killed the people there and that there was no fighting going on. I told
1 them that the bridge never came under attack but that, rather, that was a
2 deliberate killing.
3 I talked to them briefly, and I asked to be given some clothes to
4 wear. They brought some alcohol which I used to clean my wounds. I
5 dressed the wounds on my head and my chest, and then I nodded off for a
6 while. A little later, I heard voices. Neighbours had arrived and
7 surrounded the house. I was ordered to come out.
8 Once I was outside the house, standing there were the same people
9 who had beaten their neighbours; Ismet Kurbegovic, Sacir Begic, Ranko
10 Cosic, Ilic Vico, Bosko Stojkovic, and a colonel whom I had not known
11 before. A lieutenant.
12 The four of them arrived, and this lieutenant, who was their
13 superior, asked them to tell them something about me. Andja Krlic and
14 Zeljko Krlic told him that I could stay with them for a while, that they
15 would nurse me back to health and keep an eye on me. However, three of
16 the neighbours insisted that I be transferred immediately to Tomina, to
17 the hospital there to undergo tests, allegedly. They tried to get a car
18 to take me there, but I -- they couldn't find a car. And then after a
19 brief consultation, they decided to take me there.
20 So then we got into the car, and we went to Tomina. Near the
21 elementary school there was a health station there, and Dr. Majkic was the
22 physician who helped me. He cleaned the wound on my head. I told him
23 about what had happened. I'm not sure why I did. And then they took me
24 to the school where I was to be interrogated, allegedly, by Gojko Saula
25 and Nedjo Sucur. When I came outside the school, I saw Gojko Saula
1 leaving the school accompanied by Nedjo. He had received a phone call, an
2 urgent call for him to come back to town. He turned to Nedjo and told him
3 to interrogate me thoroughly and to leave me in the school building's
5 Nedjo and myself went to the school building and into an empty
6 room, classroom. We talked about what had happened.
7 Q. Can I stop you there for just a moment. This Nedjo Sucur, was he
8 a soldier?
9 A. Nedjo Sucur was a reserve officer of the Serb army.
10 Q. Do you know what unit he belonged to?
11 A. A unit of the 6th corps. In terms of rank, I'm not sure which
12 rank he held.
13 Q. Did Nedjo Sucur talk to you about the incident at Vrhpolje bridge?
14 A. Yes. We talked about the whole thing. Nedjo recounted his own
15 version of events in quite some detail, saying that whatever happened in
16 that area was not supposed to happen and that he had nothing to do with
17 the killings, that it wasn't his platoon that did it, that he felt awfully
18 sorry about some of the people who were killed then. He told me about --
19 he asked me about how everything happened when we arrived at the bridge.
20 He asked me if I remembered who fired at us.
21 Q. What did you tell him?
22 A. And he would have heard if it had been his soldiers, he said.
23 Q. I'm sorry, what did you tell Nedjo Sucur about what happened at
24 the bridge?
25 A. At that moment I told Nedjo that we had arrived at the bridge, and
1 while being in the process of arriving, the soldiers were beating us. As
2 soon as we reached the bridge they started beating us and throwing us off
3 the bridge into the water, therefore I was not able to see anything. It
4 all happened very quickly, and I don't know who the soldiers were who were
5 there. I couldn't -- I didn't even dare name those who I was sure were at
6 the bridge.
7 Q. Why didn't you tell him the names of the soldiers who were at the
9 A. I don't know. At that moment, I felt that it wouldn't have helped
10 me and that it was better for me if I didn't say, didn't give the name of
11 the soldiers, although after a brief conversation, he called Nenad Kaurim
12 to the classroom and asked me whether I recognised the soldier, whether I
13 knew him, and I said I knew that it was Nenad Kaurim, that I knew him from
14 school, that I knew him from the checkpoint when he manned the checkpoint,
15 because there were checkpoints that had been erected before that, several
16 months prior to that, and that that's how I knew him. I said I don't
17 remember him being on the bridge, so that he told Nenad he could leave
18 after that brief encounter.
19 Q. You said it you felt it wouldn't have helped you to identify the
20 soldiers. Did you feel intimidated or threatened during your questioning
21 by Nedjo Sucur?
22 A. Nedjo Sucur didn't threaten me once during the interview. Not
23 only that, but I had the feeling that I could trust the man, but the very
24 fact of naming some of the soldiers I thought was not a good idea then and
25 there, although I didn't think that any -- that I could expect mercy from
1 any of them, but I didn't name the soldiers.
2 Q. After your questioning, where were you taken?
3 A. After that questioning, Nedjo went on to the second part, that is
4 to discuss the events that took place in the area of Hrustovo Vrhpolje,
5 and he told me that there had been some battles and fighting in Vrhpolje
6 and that some people had been captured -- well, no, he didn't tell me
7 about any capturing of the soldiers that stayed behind in Hrustovo. Some
8 armed units, armed Muslim units, which I didn't know.
9 And he also told me that he was shot at from Vrhpolje too. And he
10 said that it was all a very ugly picture, all this that had gone on, that
11 he was sorry, and that the inhabitants of Begici and Hrustovo, that they
12 were in Tomina and that I would be escorted there as well. So he wanted
13 to join me up with my mother and my youngest brother, who were in Tomina
14 at the time, and he that I shouldn't tell anybody else about any of these
15 events and that he would save me, and what he meant was that he would
16 leave me in Tomina. And also he said that if ever I managed to leave
17 Bosnia alive, that I should tell everybody that he saved my life. And I
18 of course agreed to do that, and that's where our conversation ended.
19 We got into his car, and they drove me off to Tomina, where my
20 parents were or, rather, my mother, my brother, and some other refugees
21 from the village of Hrustovo, in that house there, and that's where I was.
22 I stayed there for about 20 days or one month in that house.
23 Q. Where were you -- where were you taken or where did you go after
24 you left Tomina?
25 A. I think it was the 4th of June when a couple of cars belonging to
1 the Serb army turned up, and they had loudspeakers, and they ordered all
2 the refugees from the neighbouring villages who were in Tomina at the time
3 to come out of the houses, to line up by the Palma coffee bar, which is
4 where the buses were parked to take them away. They said that nobody
5 should attempt to hide, so that all the refugees from the surrounding
6 villages came out onto the road where the buses were that day, and those
7 were the buses they used to transport us to the camp of Krings, which was
8 in Sanski Most, towards Uzlovci. And that was in the morning, at around
9 10.00 a.m., on the 4th of June, I think.
10 Q. How long were you held at Krings camp?
11 A. In Krings -- well, I think it was the next day when they rounded
12 up the women and children and some elderly persons. They gathered them
13 together and took them off in an unknown direction. We stayed in the
14 Krings camp for another two days, I think, and then after those two or
15 three days, we were transferred by trucks to Manjaca camp.
16 Q. When you were at Krings camp, were you free to leave?
17 A. No, we were not free to leave.
18 Q. Were you ever charged with a crime?
19 A. No. In Krings, they made a list of the people who stayed behind,
20 but I didn't see them beat anyone. In the evening, someone might come
21 into a room and mistreat them and threaten them with a knife, but there
22 were no incidents, actually, nothing actually happened. There was no
23 beating or -- there were no beatings or killings.
24 Q. Who -- who was guarding the prisoners at Krings?
25 A. At Krings there were the Serb soldiers again, the reserve
1 formation of the Serb army, and they would take turns, replace each other.
2 It was not always the same soldiers. Other guards turned up the next day,
3 for example, whom I did not know.
4 Q. You said you were transported by truck to Manjaca?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Were other --
7 A. Trailer trucks.
8 Q. Were other prisoners transported in other trucks to Manjaca at the
9 same time that you were?
10 A. The day we were supposed to go to Manjaca, Krings turned up in the
11 camp, or, rather, one or two trailer trucks belonging to the Agrokomerc
12 firm, and there were some of the prisoners who were in Krings, and they
13 were loaded up onto the trailer trucks, although I think several people
14 stayed behind in the Krings camp. I don't know what happened to them
15 afterwards. Perhaps they arrived later on or perhaps they were released,
16 I don't know what happened to them. But once the truck was full, we were
17 driven off to the sports hall which was in town, and we were told that we
18 were going to wait for another truck that was being loaded up, that other
19 people would be coming and taken to the sports hall or other camps around
20 Sanski Most.
21 We waited until the afternoon for these other trucks and for the
22 convoy to be complete, and once all the trucks were full, we set off
23 towards Manjaca.
24 Q. Do you know if anyone died during this transfer in the trucks from
25 Sanski Most to Manjaca?
1 A. Yes. In the trucks to Manjaca, 20 prisoners succumbed, especially
2 those who were beaten up in the camps in Sana, in the Betonara firm or in
3 the MUP building. And I know that on the road to Manjaca they died,
4 because when we arrived at Manjaca, when they called out our names when we
5 stepped off the trucks and lined up, some of the people did not respond
6 when their names were called out. And then the prison guards or camp
7 guards would find the person lying dead in the truck. We heard them
8 saying, "This one's dead." Then they would set them to one side, separate
9 them. And according to what people said, I know that there were 20 such
11 Q. When you arrived at Manjaca, who was guarding that camp?
12 A. Manjaca as a camp was unknown to us. We couldn't see who the
13 soldiers were for a long time. We didn't see their faces for a long time
14 because the inmates, when they arrived, the prisoners were ordered -- we
15 were ordered to lower our heads and put our hands behind our backs. Our
16 hands weren't tied behind our backs, but we had to clasp our hands behind
17 our backs, and we were on no account allowed to raise our heads, so that
18 we prisoners were not able to see who was actually guarding us. We know
19 that they were Serb soldiers, of course, and they introduced themselves as
20 such, but it was only after some 20 days had gone by, perhaps a little
21 longer, that we were able to see where we were and who the people around
22 us were.
23 Q. For how long were you held at Manjaca camp?
24 A. I was held at Manjaca camp until the 16th of December, which --
25 when I was released.
1 Q. Where did you go when you were released?
2 A. They disbanded the camp three times or, rather, there were three
3 departures; on the 14th, the 16th, and the 18th. I was released on the
4 16th of December and taken to Karlovac, the town of Karlovac, and from
5 there I went to -- continued my journey to Slovenia.
6 MR. RESCH: Could I have the final exhibit, the exhumation report,
7 given a number and the B/C/S shown to the witness.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P119.
9 MR. RESCH: Your Honours, this is a document entitled "Record on
10 the Investigation and Exhumation of Bodies of Bosniaks from Mass Graves by
11 the Bridge in Vrhpolje, Sanski Most Municipality."
12 Q. Mr. Begic, could you take a look at pages -- the final two pages,
13 19 and 20, in the original version.
14 MR. RESCH: Your Honours, that's pages 20 and 21 in the English
16 Q. There are 15 names, starting with Hasib Kadric, ending with Fuad
17 Begic. Do you recognise any of these names as the other prisoners who
18 were killed on the 31st of May, 1992, at Vrhpolje bridge?
19 A. On this list we see under number 3, Irfan Begic; number 4, Muhamed
20 Dizdarevic; number 11, Ismet Dizdarevic; number 12, Mirsad Dizdarevic;
21 Miralem Ceric, number 13; and Hakija Begic, number 14; and Fuad Begic,
22 number 15. These are the people who were on -- with me that day.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Begic.
24 MR. RESCH: Your Honour, that's all my questions.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Resch. I'm wondering whether it would
1 be wise to start cross-examination right now where we would still have ten
2 minutes to go or whether to have an early break.
3 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, I think it's probably better to have an
4 early break so I can do it in one component, and also in the interim I can
5 get the lectern from the Prosecution.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Begic, we will first have a break, and
7 after the break you will be examined by Ms. Loukas who is counsel for the
9 We will adjourn until a quarter to eleven.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.20 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, welcome again in court.
13 MR. STEWART: Good morning, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, are you ready to cross-examine the
16 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed.
18 Cross-examined by Ms. Loukas:
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Begic.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. Now, Mr. Begic, first I want to take you to some evidence that you
22 gave in relation to checkpoints. Do you recall giving that evidence?
23 A. Yes, I do recall.
24 Q. Now -- and I think you indicated that the people at the
25 checkpoints were in fact your Serb neighbours dressed in army uniforms.
1 Do you recall that evidence?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Now, are you aware of there being checkpoints set up by Muslims as
4 well in your surrounding area generally?
5 A. Yes, I do. I remember.
6 Q. Now, the other aspect was I think you gave evidence that -- in
7 relation to a person Mijatovic. Do you recall giving that evidence when
8 you were giving the evidence about checkpoints?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. And you were asked, you know, if he was a member of any particular
11 military unit, and your response was: "Well, I really can't say. I think
12 it was all the 6th Krajina group throughout that territory. Now, whether
13 that unit had a special name, I really can't say."
14 So, Mr. Begic, it would be true to say that whether it was the 6th
15 Krajina Brigade is just your opinion, and you really can't be certain
16 about that. That is correct, is it not?
17 A. I wouldn't say that it was my opinion, but as I said in my first
18 statement, I was present at a meeting which was organised by Branko
19 Basara, for example, in March 1992, and it was held in Tomina, and Branko
20 Basara personally said that the 6th Krajina Brigade was in charge of that
21 area. So I came to the conclusion that all the units there, working there
22 and operating there, belonged to the 6th Krajina Brigade in fact.
23 Q. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Begic. Now, I just want to remind you of an
24 answer that you gave in your previous testimony, and that's at page 6385
25 of the transcript in the case of Mr. Brdjanin and the late General Talic.
1 You were asked this question and I just want to remind you of it, okay:
2 You said that there were certain soldiers at this checkpoint and you said
3 that they belonged to the 6th brigade. How did you know that they
4 belonged to the 6th Brigade?"
5 Your answer was: "As I've already said, over the media one could
6 hear that the 6th Brigade was deployed in the area. No mention was made
7 of any other units. At least, I don't know of any others. They wore the
8 insignia on their clothing of the Serb army, and I believe that there was
9 an indication that it was the 6th Krajina Brigade, but I'm not sure of
11 Now, you, of course, recall giving evidence in that particular
12 case, Mr. Begic?
13 A. Yes, of course I do, yes.
14 Q. And of course what you said on that occasion was the truth?
15 A. Correct, yes.
16 Q. So the -- the answer that you gave there, "I believe that there
17 was indication that that was the 6th Krajina Brigade, but I'm not sure of
18 that," that's the truth?
19 A. As I have already said, I personally heard from Colonel Branko
20 Basara that in the area was the 6th Krajina Brigade, and I myself was
21 distributed in the reserve force of the 6th Krajina Brigade which was
22 operating in Sanski Most as a member of the TO. And through the media, on
23 the radio, all we heard about was the 6th Krajina Brigade. No other units
24 were ever mentioned.
25 Q. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Begic. Now, moving on to another area. You
1 gave evidence in relation to the 25th of May, 1992, yesterday. Do you
2 recall giving evidence in relation to that particular day?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Now, I think that you gave evidence that on that day you went and
5 hid from the soldiers. That's correct, is it not?
6 A. That is right, yes.
7 Q. Now, just in relation to that, those particular soldiers that came
8 on the 25th of May, it would be true to say, would it not, that your
9 identification of them is based on conversations that you had with your
10 mother. That's correct, is it not?
11 A. Yes, correct.
12 Q. Now -- oh, just in relation to this area of the -- of the men at
13 the checkpoints, I just want to remind you of another answer you gave.
14 "Would you allow for the possibility that these men that you saw --"
15 sorry, this is page 6385, for the Court.
16 The question is: "Would you allow for the possibility that these
17 men that you saw that were wearing Serb symbols on their uniforms belonged
18 to certain paramilitary units?"
19 Do you remember being asked that question, Mr. Begic?
20 A. Yes, I do remember.
21 Q. And your response was: "I would not be able to say because I
22 don't remember very well these symbols, so I'd rather not assert anything
23 regarding the symbols and which unit they belonged to."
24 Do you recall that answer?
25 A. Yes, that's what I said.
1 Q. And of course when you gave evidence on the last occasion, you
2 were telling the truth?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And so it would be true to say, would it not, that -- that you
5 don't remember very well the symbols and you'd rather not assert anything
6 regarding the symbols and which unit they belonged to.
7 A. My answer was that they were members of the 6th Krajina Brigade.
8 Now, whether in the area or around about our villages there was any other
9 smaller unit and whether it had a name of some kind, I wasn't aware of
10 that, I didn't know about that, so I don't wish to testify. But I do know
11 that at the checkpoint at Stojinici the commander was Ranko Cosic, the
12 commander of those units. Now, what their unit's name was or what some of
13 them were called, I never knew.
14 Q. Now, do you allow for the possibility, Mr. Begic, that there were
15 paramilitaries in the area at that time?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Okay. And that's even though you expressed this uncertainty in
18 relation to this question on the last time you gave evidence?
19 A. Yes, despite that. Despite that testimony, I still claim that I
20 was not aware of any other units, at least not that I was aware of any
21 other unit with the exception of the 6th Krajina Brigade.
22 Q. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Begic. Now, moving on to another area. Just
23 in relation to the 31st of May, and you were asked this question: "Do you
24 know what unit these soldiers were from?"
25 MR. RESCH: Could we have a page number?
1 MS. LOUKAS: That's page 87 from the transcript yesterday, for the
2 benefit of the Court and the Prosecution.
3 Q. So page 87 from the transcript yesterday, you were asked this
4 question: "Do you know what unit these soldiers were from?" Do you
5 recall that question in relation to the 31st of May?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Oh, you don't recall the question. Okay. I'll give you the
8 answer. That might prompt your memory. "No, I don't know which
9 particular unit they belonged to, but I think they were all members of
10 that unit which was located in a school in Klijevci." Do you recall that
11 answer now?
12 A. Yes, I do. I recall that answer because my understanding of the
13 question was which soldiers came to our village on that day, which unit
14 they belonged to, knowing that on that day our neighbours had arrived in
15 our village, and they belonged to Klijevci, and my understanding was that
16 those would have been soldiers belonging to a unit that was part of the
18 Q. Okay. So that was your understanding; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, just in relation to that day again, the 31st of May, I'm just
21 going to remind you of an answer you gave in the Brdjanin and Talic trial
22 and ask you to confirm that. Do you understand where we're going now?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, in relation to the 31st of May, you were asked this question
25 at page 6389: "All the soldiers that arrived in your village that day,
1 were they wearing the same uniforms?"
2 And your response was: "The day they rounded us up on the 31st,
3 there were different ones. There were those in SMB, the normal colour of
4 uniforms, and camouflage uniforms, military camouflage uniforms. Some
5 were wearing a helmet that day, and others had different hats on their
6 heads. So I didn't look closely at their insignia."
7 So do you recall that question and answer from your previous
8 evidence, Mr. Begic?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. And do you agree with me that you of course told the truth on that
11 prior occasion?
12 A. Yes, by all means.
13 Q. Now, just in relation to arriving at the bridge, I might remind
14 you of another answer you gave on the previous occasion, and that is that
15 -- again, that's on the 31st of May, when you arrived at the bridge. And
16 you were asked this question, and I might give you a previous answer just
17 to give you the context properly. Answer: "As we arrived at the bridge,
18 one could notice a bunker at the crossroads towards the villages of Ilija
19 and Tomina, and in the bunker around it there were quite a few soldiers.
20 We were taken over by five or six of them who were standing right next to
21 the bridge."
22 You were then asked this question: "These soldiers that you're
23 talking about, were they regular soldiers?" And your answer was: "No."
24 Do you recall that question and answer from the previous trial?
25 A. Yes, I recall that.
1 Q. And of course when you gave that evidence you were telling the
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And so these soldiers, as far as you could see, were not regular
5 soldiers; correct?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. Just one final question, Mr. Begic. You also gave evidence today
8 at page -- page 22 and page 23 of the transcript today in relation to who
9 was guarding you at Krings. Do you recall giving questions in relation to
10 that area of your testimony today?
11 A. Yes, I recall that.
12 Q. And you indicated that that was the reserve formation of the Serb
13 army. Do you recall that?
14 A. Yes, I recall that.
15 Q. And of course the basis of your assertion about that is, I
16 suppose, that they were Serbs and wearing uniforms?
17 A. Yes, but one thing I would like to add is their age. They didn't
18 seem to be regular soldiers of a regular army. Someone aged about 50
19 could not have been a regular soldier belonging to a regular army unit.
20 Q. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Begic.
21 MS. LOUKAS: No further questions, Your Honours. I might
22 indicate, Your Honour, that I will be tendering the previous evidence
23 given in cross-examination by the witness so that the answers that have
24 been given from the context of the previous trial will be available to
25 Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I noticed that you, I would say, used limited
2 portions of that testimony. I have got no idea how many pages we would
3 receive if you were to tender the whole of the cross-examination.
4 MS. LOUKAS: Well, Your Honour, it was a relatively short
5 cross-examination, so we're actually dealing with a very tiny amount. I
6 can indicate, Your Honour, that it's -- yes, it's here, Your Honour.
7 That's the nature of it.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Resch, is there any need to re-examine the
10 MR. RESCH: No questions on re-examine, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: No questions. Yes.
12 MR. RESCH: Well --
13 JUDGE ORIE: No, please proceed.
14 MR. RESCH: With respect to the additional -- the submission of
15 the previous cross-examination, I believe it's the Prosecution position
16 that we would like seven days to review those materials and put in any
17 materials from the direct examination that would put the cross-examination
18 in context.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That would introduce new evidence on which the
20 Defence would then have had no possibility of asking additional questions.
21 It's relatively short. How many pages were there?
22 MS. LOUKAS: [Microphone not activated]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps under these circumstances, Ms. Loukas, I
24 think you referred to a couple of pages, for example, 6385, 6389, so a
25 very limited number. I would say even if you take the context into
1 account, it might not be more than five or six pages.
2 MS. LOUKAS: That's correct, Your Honour. It's very limited. In
3 fact, I don't need to tender the entire cross-examination. I can
4 streamline it and limit it in that way.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If that would be possible. And perhaps you
6 could, in the copy you give to the Prosecution, you perhaps immediately
7 now indicate what pages you use, so make that selection right away so that
8 you can look at it, Mr. Resch, on the spot, and then I think there would
9 be no further need to check on whether there's anything else because it's
10 just the parts read by Ms. Loukas, and then of course you can see what the
11 previous ten lines and following ten lines, but it's so limited that I'd
12 rather not take any risk by introducing other parts of the examination in
13 chief that we would have to recall the witness, so rather deal with it
14 right away.
15 MR. RESCH: Your Honour, in this case with these limited numbers,
16 that's probably okay, but if this is a -- effectively a Rule 92 bis
17 submission, the Rules do allow certain time limits for response and such,
18 but again, if the pages are such that we have no objection --
19 JUDGE ORIE: One could even consider, Ms. Loukas, you have read
20 all the relevant portions you wanted to draw the attention to, so you
21 could even reconsider whether 92 bis (D) would be necessary at all.
22 MS. LOUKAS: That's what I'm just thinking, Your Honour.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
24 MS. LOUKAS: I'm having problems with this microphone. Your
25 Honour, I would indicate that I will actually give it some thought. There
1 may not even be a need to tender that material at all, quite frankly. The
2 relevant matters I wanted to deal with, I dealt with with the witness. In
3 fact, what that -- what I could do is just -- there's just one further
4 question I'd need to ask, and we could leave it at that, quite frankly.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If that would save paper, that would save all
6 kind of complications that would cause us to ask the witness to come back,
7 which is not something --
8 MS. LOUKAS: Which of course we want to avoid, Your Honour. So I
9 think having covered those matters and highlighted the relevant portions
10 of the previous cross-examination, there is no need for me to add to the
11 Trial Chamber's bundle of papers. There is just one more question I would
12 need to ask the witness.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Ms. Loukas. Then put the one question you still
15 have in mind to the witness.
16 MS. LOUKAS: Perhaps it might be two, Your Honour, but it's one
17 small area.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MS. LOUKAS:
20 Q. Now, Mr. Begic, I just want to ask you about the statement you
21 gave to the Bosnian authorities some time ago. Do you recall that?
22 A. Before some time, yes.
23 Q. Yes, that's correct. In fact, I'm referring to when you were
24 present with Mr. Adil Draganovic. Do you recall that?
25 A. Yes. So that's the first statement that I gave to the Bosnian
2 Q. Yes. That's correct, Mr. Begic, yes. Now, who was -- who was in
3 fact writing down what you were saying during that record of interview?
4 Do you recall?
5 A. I think Adil Draganovic was there and Mr. Zijad -- I can't
6 remember his last name. Zijad --
7 Q. That's okay, Mr. Begic. The name of the other person doesn't
8 matter. All I wanted to know is who was actually writing down what you
9 were saying.
10 A. Mr. Zijad.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Begic.
12 MS. LOUKAS: There's no further questions.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you. Judge El Mahdi has one or more
14 questions for you, Mr. Begic.
15 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'd like to clear up two
18 points if I may. The first is -- or, rather, the first concerns the
19 incident that took place on the 31st of May at the point in time when you
20 were crossing the bridge. You said, or, rather, that's how I understood
21 it, that a certain Muharem Ceric and his son were taken, and a certain man
22 called Jadranko, and you heard later on a shot, and you saw Jadranko with
23 a pistol which he was putting back into its halter.
24 If I understand correctly, there were two people, Ceric Muharem
25 and his son, but you heard just one shot and you didn't speak about the
1 other person, the son. Did the son came back? Did he disappear?
2 A. His name was Miralem Ceric, if I can put you right there. He was
3 an elderly man, and this event happened on the Sanica River, crossing the
4 bridge, on photograph number 3. And I've already said that Miralem Ceric
5 was -- had a heart condition, and after walking for some time across the
6 hill, he had some heart problems, and his son Enes Ceric helped him along,
7 helped him walk in the column. As they lagged behind the column several
8 metres, Jadranko at that point took the two men out of the column and took
9 them into the slaughterhouse where the cattle were slaughtered.
10 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. That's just what I said.
11 But later on, you said that you heard one single shot, and Jadranko came
12 back, but you didn't speak of the son. What happened to the son, Miralem
13 Ceric? What happened to the son?
14 A. As far as I remember, and the statement I gave two years ago, I
15 said on the opposite side of the river. So we passed by the hamlet of
16 Hrustovacka Stanica where there were some ten houses, maybe more, and we
17 crossed the bridge. At that point in time when we were crossing the
18 bridge, all the houses were on fire. They were burning. And there were a
19 lot of soldiers among those houses who were shooting up in the air. Many
20 cars were coming back. There was general chaos. And when I said that I
21 heard just one shot at that point in time, the roof tiles were shattered,
22 you could hear shots from other weapons. So I didn't say I heard two
23 shots fired from a pistol. I heard one bullet fired, and I stand by that,
24 one bullet fired by him. Now, whether he shot again, shot a second time,
25 I can't say. But it is true that after that shot that I had heard coming
1 from nearby, I did see him come out from where he was and place his pistol
2 back into the halter and continue along with the column.
3 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But you're confirming that
4 Miralem, the father, as well as his son, were taken out, taken off by
5 Jadranko; is that right? And that you heard one single gunshot, but you
6 didn't see the two people again; is that right? That is to say Miralem
7 Ceric and his son.
8 A. Yes, that is right. That is correct. The three of them went into
9 the slaughterhouse, you could hear a shot, and you just saw Jadranko
10 coming out himself and joining the column. We didn't see the other two
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Do you remember the names of the
13 people whose bodies were identified? And I'm going to read them out in
14 English. [In English] Investigation of bodies of Bosniaks from mass
15 graves by bridge. [Interpretation] And you identified, I believe, Miralem
16 Ceric, but do you remember that you ever saw the name of his son? Did you
17 see his son's name?
18 A. No, I did not see his son's name there.
19 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Thank you.
20 Now, another question, please. If I understood you correctly, you said
21 that on the 31st, after the incident that took place on the bridge, you
22 went to Tomina. Is that right?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And you also said that you stayed
25 there for 20 days; right?
1 A. Yes, that's what I said, about 20 days.
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, but later on you said that
3 on the 4th of June, vehicles turned up, armed vehicles, armoured vehicles,
4 and they came to fetch you and transport you to Krings. So there seems to
5 be a problem there. That is to say the principal incident that took place
6 on the bridge took place on the 31st of May, and then you went on to say
7 that you stayed in Tomina approximately 20 days, and then on the 4th of
8 June you say that they came to fetch you. So there's a problem of time
10 A. Yes. Five days went by from the 31st. That was a Sunday. On
11 Friday, I was transferred to Tomina. So that was the 5th or the 4th. And
12 then on the 4th of June, that's a little more than 20 days. I apologise.
13 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] I still don't understand. If you
14 say that the 31st of May was the date of the incident on the bridge, and
15 you went to Tomina, you stayed there for 20 days, where does that leave
16 us? And on the 6th of June, you were taken to the camp, Krings camp.
17 A. On the 4th of June.
18 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. But how could you have
19 stayed in Tomina for 20 days? That's impossible, looking at the
20 mathematics of it.
21 A. Yes, you're quite right. I didn't pay attention to -- of looking
22 at the dates, from one date to the other, to give you the exact number of
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 A. Yes, you're quite right, Your Honour. It is more days.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Begic, since I have no further questions
2 for you, this concludes your -- yes, is there any question that arises
3 from the questions by the Bench?
4 MS. LOUKAS: [Microphone not activated]
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 MS. LOUKAS: Always the microphone. Yes. I'm not sure Your
7 Honours have any further questions. I thought Your Honour was about to
8 wrap up at this point, so there was just one point I wanted to make.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MS. LOUKAS: And that is this: I just wondered if I could ask one
11 further question on cross-examination, with your leave, because there was
12 a question I neglected to ask on that last topic I was dealing with.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You may do so, please.
14 MS. LOUKAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Further cross-examination by Ms. Loukas:
16 Q. Mr. Begic, just in relation to when you were giving that Bosnian
17 statement, you mentioned that the other person was writing it down. I
18 can't remember their name for the moment. Their name was Zijad.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Zijad.
20 MS. LOUKAS:
21 Q. Zijad, yes. Now, they were writing it down. Who was dictating?
22 A. He and Mr. Draganovic together. They took my statement and based
23 their report on that.
24 Q. Yes, I see. And I think it's the case, is it not, that at one
25 stage -- well, I'll just give you this question from your previous
1 cross-examination, just to remind you about it, okay? Just to put you in
2 context. And it's this: "Question: In your written statement of the
3 16th of April, you said, 'I was taken to the SDS headquarters near the
4 school --'"
5 MR. RESCH: Your Honour, could we have a page number, please?
6 MS. LOUKAS: Sorry. 6391.
7 Q. "I was taken to the SDS headquarters near the school." "I should
8 like to know whether you were taken to the school or to a house next to
9 the school." And your response was: "No. They took me to the school,
10 but I don't remember saying that it was the SDS headquarters."
11 Do you recall that bit of your cross-examination, Mr. Begic?
12 A. Yes, I do recall that. And what I added was that inside that
13 school, there was a unit, an army unit, that was stationed there. I knew
14 some of the soldiers slept in the school building. I think their
15 headquarters was actually at the school building.
16 Q. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Begic. Yes, I think that's the last
17 question, Mr. Begic. I think I'll allow you to go home.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Resch.
19 MR. RESCH: Your Honour, I did have a question following up on His
20 Honour Judge El Mahdi's questions.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Begic, although Ms. Loukas allowed you to
22 go home, you have to stay for a second because there's another question
23 for you.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Resch.
25 Further examination by Mr. Resch:
1 Q. With respect to the time line issue, the incident at Vrhpolje
2 bridge was on the 31st of May?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You were unconscious after that incident for a few days, so that
5 takes us up to the 1st or 2nd or 3rd of June, approximately, when you went
6 to your neighbour's house. Is that about right?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. From your neighbour's house you eventually went to the medical
9 centre in Tomina?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And from that point, from approximately the 3rd or 4th of June, it
12 was another 20 days or so that you stayed in Tomina before you were then
13 transported to Krings, so sometime late June, is it possible early July?
14 A. Yes, that's how it was.
15 Q. Okay. So it was probably early July when you went to Krings, not
16 the 4th of June -- I'm sorry, to Manjaca. From Krings to Manjaca was
17 sometime in early July?
18 A. Yes. Yes. I apologise for the small errors that I made in
19 relation to the dates June, July.
20 Q. That's okay. I think we've cleared that up.
21 MR. RESCH: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Resch.
23 Mr. Begic, you've answered all the questions. It's not the first
24 time that you are in this Tribunal, so you are aware that questions come
25 from both parties and from the Bench. You answered them all. I'd like to
1 thank you for having come to The Hague, and I'd like to wish you a safe
2 trip home again.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, would you please escort Mr. Begic out of
5 the courtroom.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Is the Prosecution ready to call its next witness,
8 Mr. Resch?
9 MR. RESCH: The Prosecution is, Your Honour. Before we do that, I
10 want to move into evidence the Exhibits P116 through P119.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because I think we could do that, at least, if
12 Ms. Loukas has made up her mind meanwhile on the tendering of the
13 transcript as an exhibit or whether we just leave it to the portions read
15 MS. LOUKAS: I'm happy to leave it to the portions that have been
16 read out, though I will make one point, Your Honour. An insistence on a
17 seven-day 92 bis aspect in relation to should the Defence be wishing to
18 tender a particular portion, I think is a little harsh, shall I put it
19 that way, in view of the fact that in terms of equality of arms, we're
20 dealing with eight different counsel on the Prosecution's side popping in
21 and out and there's just two of us to deal with everything over here. So
22 I think that that particular approach is, if I might say, a little severe.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course it is -- under 92 bis, it's -- I
24 mean, that's what you call more or less an inequality doesn't change the
25 Rule as such, but in the application of the Rule, of course, we could try
1 to accommodate the parties.
2 Mr. Resch.
3 MR. RESCH: Your Honour, if in the future the Defence could advise
4 the Prosecution in advance of the witness's testimony which pages they may
5 want to offer, then that would allow us to take a look and see if there's
6 any other cross or any additional previous testimony that may need to go
7 in and we could probably deal with this ahead of time easier than we could
8 at the end of cross-examination.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart.
10 MR. STEWART: I'd like to make a comment, Your Honour. I've been
11 listening to this. It is completely artificial, this problem proposed by
12 the Prosecution, and frankly, when it comes to the overall weight of the
13 case and the huge amounts of material that we're presented with, often
14 very late, and the huge amounts of material that we have to digest, to
15 suggest that this creates any significant problem at all for the
16 Prosecution is entirely artificial, and to try to take advantage of the 92
17 bis procedures in this way to suggest that there is any serious problem we
18 regard as -- well, I used the word artificial. It simply cannot be a
19 problem by comparison with the position that the Defence face where we may
20 not be able to take technical advantage of such matters as 92 bis but the
21 reality is that we are constantly faced with vast amounts of material at
22 the last minute.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Let me be clear. What is done here is that, for
24 reasons of efficiency, the Defence has relied on very small portions of an
25 earlier testimony and providing the -- the sources well in advance, but
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 perhaps, Mr. Stewart, the Prosecution, which has provided under 92 bis
2 sometimes more than a thousand pages, fears that, perhaps without reason,
3 that the Defence might ever do the same and, therefore, reserve their
5 I'm not saying that there's any justification for such fear at
6 this moment, but one thing is true, that the Prosecution has provided huge
7 amounts of transcript pages. So therefore, let's leave it at this very
8 moment to the -- this case. We see that we have solved problem, and Mr.
9 Resch has asked the attention for a proper opportunity to prepare, and I'm
10 certain that he'll keep that in mind if he provides the Defence with lots
11 of material so that the Defence will have a proper opportunity to prepare
12 as well.
13 MR. STEWART: I'm much obliged, Your Honour. I'm quite confident
14 Mr. Resch will do that, and I'm quite confident we will deal with real
15 problems when they really arise.
16 JUDGE ORIE: All right. Let's not spend more time on it.
17 Madam Registrar, could you guide us through the exhibits.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P116, map of the ethnic composition
19 of Sanski Most in 1991 and 1995.
20 Exhibit P117, overview map of Hrustovo and Vrhpolje map, with
21 names of villages and hamlets located around Hrustovo and Vrhpolje, with
22 eight photos, and the map was marked by the witness.
23 Exhibit P118, photograph of Vrhpolje bridge.
24 Exhibit P119, Record on the Investigation and Exhumation of Bodies
25 of Bosniaks from Mass Graves by the Bridge in Vrhpolje, Sanski Most. And
1 P119.1, the English translation.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Since there are no objections, all these exhibits are
3 admitted into evidence.
4 I'd like to make one observation, Mr. Resch. At the beginning of
5 the introduction of P Exhibit 117, I said something about the small
6 pictures. I noticed, nevertheless, later, when the witness had testified
7 about the butcher shop, you asked him whether he could find a butcher shop
8 on this. Under 3, he said. Well, it reads next to number 3 that that's
9 the butcher shop. I don't think that this would be a real contested
10 issue, but I think it would have been better that if you want to put such
11 a question to the witness that you leave out in your exhibit the
12 indication that it's a butcher shop, and it would have served quite well
13 to have it located in the area, or if you give eight pictures that he
14 could choose, but he hardly could do anything else than choose number 3.
15 At least, I would have done that.
16 Apart from that, I do understand that the Prosecution is ready to
17 call its next witness. There are no protective measures effective at this
19 Mr. Resch, is it you who is going to deal with the next witness?
20 MR. RESCH: No, Your Honour. It's Mr. Harmon. So if it's
21 possible, I'd asked to be excused, and I believe Mr. Harmon will step in.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. RESCH: Actually, it's myself and Ms. Annink being excused and
24 a new team coming in for the witness.
25 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, if I could use the time while we're
1 waiting for Mr. Harmon.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. STEWART: An issue which has just been left for the moment we
4 haven't dealt with because I think it does, in fairness, at least require
5 Mr. Harmon to be in court and when neither he nor I have been here the
6 last couple of days, is the question of the small clip of correspondence
7 which we handed to the Trial Chamber, I think it was possibly even before
8 the -- I forget before which adjournment, but it was some weeks ago
9 anyway, correspondence between myself and Mr. Harmon and then between
10 myself and Ms. Del Ponte, and at some point while Mr. Harmon and I are
11 both in Court it would be convenient to deal with that matter.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I have to bring this back into my mind exactly
13 what position the Chamber takes in this respect and whether we have
14 expressed anything about it already.
15 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour hasn't. Well --
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: As far as I remember, but I will stand corrected if
18 we look at it again during the next break, the Chamber took notice of it
19 and since there was no specific question of interfering specifically, the
20 Chamber left it to that, but if the parties think that any position should
21 be taken or that any position should be expressed, then we'll consider,
22 first of all, whether we'll do that, and second, what -- if the first
23 question has been answered in the positive, what that position would be.
24 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, the reason I raised it now is because
25 it seemed to me that after a little while it would be necessary for the
1 Trial Chamber to have the opportunity of refreshing its mind on that
2 correspondence. So I raised it so that the Trial Chamber would have the
3 opportunity at some point, perhaps over a break because there isn't very
4 much material, to do that, and then to raise the matter while Mr. Harmon
5 is in Court.
6 What I would wish to do is that, if the Trial Chamber could, and I
7 would be extremely grateful if the Trial Chamber could at some point find
8 some time to just quickly refresh yourselves as to the content of that
9 material, then I would be able to raise the particular question which I
10 wish to raise.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll do that, but I hope you will excuse us
12 for not having the correspondence exactly in mind.
13 MR. STEWART: Absolutely, Your Honour. I assumed that it wouldn't
14 be at the top of Your Honour's mind at this moment, which is why I bring
15 it up so that you do have that opportunity.
16 JUDGE ORIE: We'll take that opportunity.
17 Mr. Harmon, you are taking the next witness, which is a witness
18 without any protective measures, and is Mr. Kirudja; is that correct?
19 MR. HARMON: Yes, that's correct. Good morning, Mr. President,
20 Your Honours, Counsel.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you now please escort the witness
22 into the courtroom.
23 MR. HARMON: Before the witness is escorted into the court, if I
24 could have the lectern. We seem to have only one lectern for a busy
25 courtroom and I would appreciate having the usher's assistance in having
1 it brought to this side of the courtroom.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Usher is --
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kirudja, may I invite you to stand. Before
5 giving evidence in this court -- you followed my first words?
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Before giving evidence in this court, the Rules of
8 Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn declaration that you
9 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. May I invite
10 you to make that declaration of which the text is now handed to you by
11 Madam Usher.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour. I solemnly declare that I
13 will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kirudja, please be seated.
15 WITNESS: CHARLES KIRUDJA
16 JUDGE ORIE: I saw, Mr. Kirudja, that you were unloading your bag
17 and you have quite some documents in front of you. May I instruct you not
18 to consult these documents unless given permission to do so, because you
19 are -- of course, if you have to consult them, please tell us so it's
20 clear whether you're consulting your memory or whether you're consulting
21 any papers.
22 THE WITNESS: Understood, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon. Mr. Harmon, counsel for the Prosecution,
24 will examine you. Please proceed.
25 Examined by Mr. Harmon:
1 Q. Good morning, Mr. Kirudja.
2 A. Good morning, Counsel.
3 Q. Mr. Kirudja, I'm going to ask you some questions about your
4 background, and the way I propose to proceed is I will identify some
5 information and merely ask you to affirm the information is correct. So
6 let me begin, Mr. Kirudja, with the following: You were born on the 20th
7 of April, 1946. You are a citizen of Kenya. You hold a bachelor's degree
8 with honours in applied economics from the University of Nairobi; an MBA
9 from York University in Toronto, Canada; and a Ph.D. in management science
10 from the University of Western Ontario, in Canada; is that correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. You joined the United Nations in 1977. During your United Nations
13 service in the former Yugoslavia, you served as civil affairs coordinator
14 in Sector North in Croatia from April of 1992 until March of 1994. From
15 March of 1994 to August of 1994, you were assigned to the UNPROFOR United
16 Nations Protective Force headquarters in Zagreb on civil affairs related
17 issues; and from August of 1994 to June of 1995, you served as a delegate
18 and special representative of the Secretary-General to the government of
19 the Socialist Federal Republic -- I'm sorry, the Federal Republic of
20 Yugoslavia; is that correct?
21 A. That is correct.
22 MR. HARMON: If Mr. Kirudja could be shown the first exhibit,
23 which is a copy of his statement. If I could have a number for that
25 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P120.
1 MR. HARMON:
2 Q. Mr. Kirudja, do you have a copy of Prosecutor's Exhibit 120 in
3 front of you?
4 A. I have a copy of a document that I recognise to be a statement
5 from me.
6 Q. And that is a statement that was taken from you between the 13th
7 and the 23rd of September, 1999, and on the 28th and the 29th of
8 September, 1999; is that correct?
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. And your signature appears at the end of that statement, and your
11 initials appear on the pages of that statement; is that correct?
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. Is that a true and accurate copy of the statement that you signed
14 and initialed?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 MR. HARMON: For the record, Your Honour, Mr. Kirudja's original
17 statement was considerably longer. It was 62 pages of text, and it had
18 277 numbered paragraphs. I have redacted paragraphs that were not
19 relevant, and I have, therefore, submitted to Your Honours as Exhibit 120
20 the abbreviated redacted statement of Mr. Kirudja.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that the full statement was disclosed at an
22 earlier stage to the Defence.
23 MR. HARMON: That's correct.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
25 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, could I comment? Yes, indeed it was.
1 I think this is just the appropriate point to mention this. It would have
2 been helpful if we had known of the redactions sooner, because, with
3 everything else that's to be done, although it wasn't difficult for me to
4 see that the second half of this statement was less relevant than the
5 first half, that was fairly obvious from an intelligent reading,
6 nevertheless until about 48 hours ago, I was working on the footing and
7 the assumption that Mr. Kirudja's statement which was going to be used for
8 evidence was the 60-something page statement, and it would have saved time
9 and it would have saved effort, given that both are at a premium, if I had
10 known that rather earlier. It's not -- I don't say this is the biggest
11 issue in the case because I was able to form, I hope, an intelligent
12 assessment of the relative weight but I do make that comment.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Harmon, there are is quite some time
14 restraint on all parties, and if it is clear that only part of a statement
15 will be used, I don't know exactly when you disclosed, I would say the
16 abbreviated version of the statement to the Defence, but if this is done
17 well in advance of the witness appearing in court, it certainly would
18 facilitate the other party. I would expect the same from the Defence, but
19 I think it's a fair comment made by Mr. Stewart.
20 MR. HARMON: I take Mr. Stewart's point, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
22 MR. HARMON: We're going to tender this statement, Your Honour,
23 pursuant to Rule 89(F). And now if I could, with the Court's indulgence,
24 read a summary of the written evidence that is found in Exhibit 120. I
25 have provided a copy of this summary to both the Trial Chamber and to
1 Mr. Stewart.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's true. I think we've -- yes. And you're
3 going to read the summary.
4 MR. HARMON: I am.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
6 MR. HARMON: This, Your Honour, is a summary of the written
7 evidence. I proceed as follows: Mr. Kirudja is a United Nations employee
8 who has been with the organisation since 1977 where he has held numerous
9 important positions. From April 1992 till March 1994, Mr. Kirudja served
10 as a civil affairs coordinator in one of the four United Nations protected
11 areas, those were known as UNPAs, Sector North in Croatia. From March
12 1994 until August 1994, he continued to work on civil affairs related
13 issues at UNPROFOR UNPF headquarters in Zagreb; and from August 1994 to
14 June 1995, he served as delegate of the special representative of the
15 Secretary-General to the government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
16 Mr. Kirudja, who is a citizen of Kenya, holds a bachelor's degree
17 from the University of Kenya, a master's degree from York University, and
18 a doctorate from the University of Western Ontario.
19 Mr. Kirudja's statement describes the mandate of the UNPROFOR
20 mission in Croatia and his role as civil affairs coordinator in Sector
21 North. His responsibility was to ensure that the UN mandate in Sector
22 North was implemented. He arrived in Sector North on 19 April 1992.
23 Sector North occupied a part of Croatia that was on the border
24 with Bosnia, the two countries separated by the Una River. The
25 international border between those two countries in parts of Sector North
1 was, for all intents and purposes, non-existent since Sector North was
2 controlled by the Croatian Serbs and Bosanski Novi was controlled by the
3 Bosnian Serbs.
4 On 26 May 1992, Mr. Kirudja met with the mayor of Dvor, Jugoslav
5 Borojevic, and others. Dvor is located in Sector North on the Croatian
6 Bosnian border directly across the Una River from the municipality of
7 Bosanski Novi. The mayor informed Mr. Kirudja that 5.000 Bosnian Muslims
8 from Bosanski Novi would be travelling from Bosnia to Austria and Slovenia
9 through Sector North and that he, the mayor, had agreed to this
10 development on two conditions; that the passage be filmed by an
11 international television crew to demonstrate that they had passed through
12 Serb-controlled territory safely and that UNPROFOR and ICRC be responsible
13 for them during transit.
14 The mayor explained that he had spoken to the mayor of Bosanski
15 Novi in Bosnia and confirmed that the Bosnian Muslims were leaving
16 Bosanski Novi "voluntarily." Mr. Kirudja inquired why the mayor of Dvor
17 was speaking on behalf of a mayor from a different town in a different
18 country. Mr. Borojevic replied that Bosanski Novi was part of a "new
19 reality" in the form of the "Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
20 Mr. Kirudja concluded that for all intents and purposes, the international
21 border in this section of Sector North was non-existent.
22 Mr. Borojevic endeavoured to convince Mr. Kirudja that the Muslims
23 from Bosanski Novi wanted to leave and telephoned the mayor of Bosanski
24 Novi, Mr. Pasic, but Mr. Kirudja declined to speak to him. After this
25 meeting, Mr. Kirudja concluded that the mayors of Dvor and Bosanski Novi
1 were acting in concert to engineer a massive evacuation under the guise of
2 humanitarian assistance, beginning with some 5.000 Muslim residents of
3 Bosanski Novi and to talk UNPROFOR into accepting responsibility for the
4 transit of these people.
5 On the following day, having failed to convince Mr. Kirudja to
6 participate in this scheme, a delegation from Bosanski Novi arrived
7 unannounced in Mr. Kirudja's office. This delegation included Radomir
8 Pasic, the mayor of Bosanski Novi; Rade Palija, a member of the Bosanski
9 Novi municipal Executive Committee; and the Bosanski Novi chief of police.
10 Mr. Pasic informed Mr. Kirudja that 5.000 of Bosanski Novi's 13.000
11 Muslims had asked the authorities for protection and had conveyed their
12 wish to travel in a convoy to Austria and Germany. Mr. Kirudja inquired
13 why Muslims wanted to leave their homes if everything was as peaceful as
14 portrayed. Mayor Pasic responded, "I admit that the Muslims have been
15 under pressure from armed Serbian irregulars," implying that the regular
16 forces of law and order had nothing to do with the harassment of the
17 Muslims. He informed Mr. Kirudja that two Muslim spokespersons from
18 Bosanski Novi had been identified, a gentleman by the name of
19 S. Bajraktarovic, a local SDS leader, and Fikret Hamzagic, an elected
20 member of the Bosanski Novi municipal government.
21 Mayor Pasic also informed Mr. Kirudja that the authorities of
22 Bosanski Krajina had decided that all armed troops were to be disarmed and
23 that the disarming process was carried out in the following manner:
24 Between 6 and 8 May, meetings were held between the SDS and the SDA. An
25 agreement was reached that all paramilitary groups were to be disarmed by
1 11 May. A schedule of disarmament, village by village, was discussed with
2 a deadline of 9 May for the completion of this exercise. The SDA said
3 that they still had arms so that no arms were collected from them. Mayor
4 Pasic said that 5.000 people from certain villages had refused to disarm.
5 Based on his conversations with the Bosnian Serb representatives,
6 Mr. Kirudja concluded that the Muslims did not want to leave voluntarily
7 and that they were being forced out of Bosanski Novi because they had
8 first refused to sign allegiance to a newly created Serb Republic of
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina and that this was later compounded by their refusal
10 to relinquish whatever arms they had for self-defence.
11 Mayor Pasic continued. He said that: "The Serbian police had
12 been attacked and that the conflict began." He said that "The region had
13 been under the authority of the Serb Republic of BiH since 10 May and that
14 the legal authorities were thus forced to respond against Muslims since
15 none of them had disarmed."
16 I may have misquoted what is said. "Since some of them did not
18 Mr. Kirudja asked members of the Serb delegation why Serbs -- why
19 the Serbs and the Muslims could no longer live together as they had in the
20 past. And mayor Pasic replied, "The former police officers who were
21 Muslims refused to sign loyalty oaths to the new government."
22 Mayor Pasic went on to explain that the Muslims were not true
23 pacifists, and their unwillingness to fight was due more to their military
24 weakness. He said that there were 7.000 refugees from Croatia living in
25 Bosanski Novi, and according to Mr. Kirudja, seemed to inadvertently admit
1 that the evacuation of "disloyal" Muslims would have the consequence,
2 intended or not, of making room for Serbs who had been displaced from
3 elsewhere. Mr. Kirudja had the impression that the evacuation of Muslims
4 would not be the last and that a mass expulsion of non-Serbs -- non-Serb
5 populations from Serbian-controlled territory in Bosnia could be expected.
6 At the end of the meeting, Mr. Kirudja informed the Serb
7 delegation that it was absolutely unthinkable that the United Nations
8 would ever be recruited in the manner proposed to make refugees out of
9 people still living in their own homes. Mayor Pasic noted that
10 Mr. Kirudja's attitude was "uncooperative," and asked him for the names of
11 his superiors.
12 On the 1st of June, the mayor of Banja Luka, Mr. Kupresanin,
13 called Paolo Raffone, a civil affairs member of Mr. Kirudja's staff, and
14 said that the mayors of Bosanski Novi, Prijedor, Kljuc, Dubica, Sanski
15 Most, and Banja Luka had information to the effect that the Muslim
16 population did not trust the Serbian authorities and that 15.000 persons
17 had already left their usual place of residence and started moving toward
18 Dvor and that another 15.000 could follow shortly and that UNPROFOR and
19 the Western countries should find a way to protect the Muslim civilian
21 On the 9th of June, Mr. Kirudja received a report from UNHCR
22 containing the summaries of the interviews of two men who had escaped from
23 Bosanski Novi, in which they detailed the -- an attack by the local Serbs.
24 Mr. Kirudja reported up his chain of command about the events he was
25 seeing in Bosnia. For example, on the 16th of June, in a report entitled
1 "Humanitarian Disaster in the Making in Bihac and Along the Bosnian
2 Border," he expressed his fear that "Behind the border, the mountains and
3 the forests, unspeakable atrocities may be unfolding."
4 On the 20th of June, Jens Brosted, the UNHCR protection officer,
5 wrote to the Bosanski Novi Mayor Pasic, reminding him that "The forced
6 mass transfer of population on purely ethnic or racial basis has been
7 declared a crime against humanity in international law." This written
8 admonition reinforced a message that had been orally conveyed repeatedly
9 to him and to his colleagues.
10 On the 22nd of June, another group of persons was spotted on the
11 football stadium in Bosanski Novi. This group signalled the Danish
12 UNPROFOR patrol with white flags and had signalled SOS.
13 On the 4th of July, 1992, Mr. Kirudja sent a report to his
14 superiors, informing them that he believed that the football field
15 detainees were "only the tip of the iceberg involving the concerted action
16 of local Serbian authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina trying to establish
17 a Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina free of Muslims." In his
18 lengthy letter, he identified concentration camps -- "concentration camps"
19 at the following locations: "Keraterm, Trnopolje, Omarska, and Manjaca,"
20 and he described the treatment of Muslims and other minorities in those
21 camps as "reportedly atrocious, with regular beatings, deprivation of
22 food, water, poor shelter, et cetera."
23 On the 20th of July, the Croatian Prime Minister, Franjo Greguric,
24 reluctantly agreed to permit 4.000 Muslim residents of Bosanski Novi to
25 enter Croatia, and Mr. Kirudja, who remained opposed to the transfer of
1 these people from Bosnia, viewing this as complicity in ethnic cleansing
2 that was likely to recur, assisted UNHCR and UNPROFOR in the movement of
3 these people. The transit through -- this transit of people through
4 Sector North took place. Mr. Kirudja believes that instead of 4.000
5 people being "evacuated," the number of persons moved exceeded 9.000. The
6 process took an entire day.
7 Prior to the 8th of August, the United Nations civil police in
8 Dvor estimated that another 28.000 persons wished to transit through
9 Sector North. The Serbian authorities claim that the UN had to assist in
10 the evacuation "or the Muslims will suffer." Rather than submit to what
11 UNHCR considered blackmail, the UNHCR declared that it intended to
12 delivery relief supplies directly to the people in question and
13 arrangements were made for 270 tonnes of humanitarian aid to be delivered
14 to Banja Luka.
15 On the 12th of August, a coordination meeting in at Tapusko
16 attended by UNHCR, ICRC, ECMM, UN CIVPOL, the UNMOs, DanBat, and UNHCR's
17 field representative from Sector North concluded that the problem of
18 28.000 potential refugees was not really a humanitarian problem but rather
19 a political problem related directly to the policy of ethnic cleansing.
20 It was agreed that the solution to the problem could not be found solely
21 by the humanitarian agencies at UNHCR and ICRC and by UNPROFOR.
22 Another meeting was held with the local Serb authorities from Dvor
23 and Bosnia-Herzegovina present, and the UNHCR representative outlined the
24 official response towards any potential refugees. Sobered by the UN
25 Security Council's threats to use force to deliver humanitarian aid, the
1 pressures to organise a convoy to evacuate the potential 28.000 refugees
2 seemed to be dropped. However, the Bosnian Serbs came back, asking for
3 another 5.000 non-Serbs to be evacuated from the area. The individuals
4 making this request included Mr. Pasic, the mayor of Bosanski Novi, the
5 mayor of Dvor, a representative of the SDS in Bosanska Kostajnica, a
6 representative -- an SDS representative from Kostajnica, and Murid Saflic,
7 a representative of Muslims from Bosanska Kostajnica. The members of the
8 delegation advocated the movement of the 5.000 people.
9 Mayor Pasic said, among other things, that they - referring to the
10 Muslims - realised that "it is impossible to live side by side with the
11 Serbs." And that the Muslims were not "willing to accept their
12 obligations". He went on to say that if the Serbian side is not
13 respected, there could be massive deaths on both sides.
14 Mr. Kirudja and representatives of UNHCR, UN CIVPOL, DanBat
15 refused to acquiesce to another evacuation and the Serbs requested another
16 meeting on the 19th of August.
17 On the 19th of August, a delegation of Serbs and Muslims from
18 Sanski Most, Bosanska Krupa, and Prijedor arrived at the headquarters in
19 Sector North. The Serb delegation included the SDS president of Sanski
20 Most, Vlado Vrkes, the chief of police from Sanski Most, representatives
21 from Prijedor, and two Bosnian Muslims who represented Muslims and Croats
22 willing to leave Sanski Most and Bosanska Krupa. Mr. Kirudja and two
23 field representatives from UNHCR were present.
24 The Serb Muslim delegation intended to convince the UN to change
25 its policy against mass evacuations and to assist in the organisation of
1 another convoy through Sector North that would serve to evacuate up to
2 11.000 Muslim "applicants." Mr. Kirudja was given a printed list
3 detailing 7.782 names of persons "ready" to leave voluntarily. Mr. Vrkes,
4 the SDS president of Sanski Most, informed Mr. Kirudja and the UNHCR
5 representatives that the Muslims had been offered a declaration for their
6 signature, stating that the signatories were leaving the area voluntarily,
7 that they had no wish to come back to the area, and that they were leaving
8 their property to the authorities in the respective areas from which they
9 were leaving.
10 The UNHCR representatives rejected the request, stating
11 specifically that UNHCR would not assist with the removal of people but
12 that it would assist people in the location of their present residences
13 and homes. The meeting was concluded.
14 Thereafter, no further requests were made to Mr. Kirudja to have
15 Muslims transit through Sector North. However, well into September, a
16 stream of individuals from Bosnia seeking refuge arrived daily in Dvor in
17 Sector North. UN CIVPOL estimated that between 30 and 50 persons crossed
18 the border into Dvor every day.
19 Your Honour, that concludes the summary of the written evidence
20 submitted in Prosecutor's Exhibit 120.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, may I first ask you one question, but I
22 noticed that you -- the summary contains a line about Muslim spokesmen to
23 be identified, the names are mentioned, and one of them is
24 Mr. Bajraktarovic, and it then reads "local SDS leader."
25 MR. HARMON: Which page?
1 JUDGE ORIE: At least I find that on my -- I'll read it to you as
2 it appears in the transcript. "He informed Mr. Kirudja that two Muslim
3 spokespersons from Bosanski Novi had been identified, a gentleman by the
4 name of S. Bajraktarovic, a local SDS leader, and Fikret," and then --
5 MR. HARMON: Thank you for bringing that to my attention. That's
6 clearly an error. That should be SDA.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Should be SDA.
8 Mr. Stewart.
9 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, we had noticed that, but thank you for
10 that correction. We were concerned about that.
11 My only other comment was there was a paragraph, I don't know
12 whether it was just inadvertent to go over that, on page 3 there's a
13 paragraph that starts "On the 6th of May..." Mr. Harmon didn't read that
14 out. He may have simply jumped over it as is easily done. While I'm
15 mentioning it, could I just say that I believe it would be helpful with
16 these 89(F) summaries if acronyms such as DANCON were given a very brief
17 explanation, because otherwise they are a bit mysterious for the very
18 purpose for which these summaries are prepared.
19 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I intend to ask the witness to clarify
20 that. I'm summarising what's literally in the statement and the statement
21 does not have those clarifications in it. That would be augmenting his
23 MR. STEWART: The point resolved then, Your Honour, yes. I don't
24 need to pursue that but as long as it's resolved one way or another, no
25 problem at all.
1 JUDGE ORIE: That's fine.
2 MR. HARMON: If I may read the paragraph that was omitted that was
3 brought to my attention, I would do so.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. Stewart for bringing that to my
7 The paragraph that was omitted reads as follows: "On the 6th of
8 May, DANCON informed Mr. Kirudja that 350 displaced persons had been
9 gathered on a football field in Bosanski Novi. That they were seen loaded
10 on buses and headed toward an unknown destination in Bosnia. This was the
11 first time that a collection of a large number of people had been detected
12 by DANCON's reconnaissance.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
14 Mr. Kirudja, you might wonder why statements are read instead of
15 hearing your testimony. That's done for efficiency reasons, but since we
16 can admit written statements for the public character of this trial, we'd
17 like the public to know what is in that statement, and this does not
18 replace your testimony, but it's just to go through some parts a bit more
19 quickly. You'll certainly get questions about your statement or whatever
20 other subject both by the Prosecution and by the Defence, but not until
21 after the break.
22 We will have a break until a quarter to 1.00, Mr. Harmon, because
23 we had an early first break, so in view of tapes, assistance of
24 interpreters and technicians, we will have to have the second break early
25 as well.
1 So we will adjourn until a quarter to one.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.53 p.m.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, please proceed.
5 MR. HARMON:
6 Q. Mr. Kirudja, Mr. Stewart raised the issue of acronyms, and as you
7 will see and as the Court will see, the exhibits that I propose to tender
8 of awash in a sea of acronyms, so let me just go through these acronyms,
9 and I would like you to confirm what these acronyms mean. UNPA is a
10 United Nations Protected Area; is that correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. UNPROFOR stands for United Nations Protection Force; is that
14 A. That is correct.
15 Q. DANCON or DanBat stands for the Danish Battalion, the military
16 force -- military unit that was assigned in Sector North; is that correct?
17 A. A little amplification.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. The military forces deployed there came in battalion level, and
20 when we're referring to the entire battalion, then it will be DanBat. Each
21 battalion is made up of military companies. If we're referring to a
22 specific company deployed in a certain location, then it's called DANCON.
23 In that case it will have a prefix like DANCON C, or DANCON company C or
24 company A, that's what it would mean.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja, for that clarification. UN CIVPOL stands
1 for United Nations Civilian Police?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. ECMM stands for the European Community Monitoring Mission?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. UNMO stands for United Nations Military Observer?
6 A. Yes, a little amplification.
7 Q. Yes?
8 A. I mentioned earlier battalions are formed military fighting
9 forces. Along with those military forces we had teams of military
10 observers deployed separately and parallel with those battalions. So when
11 we are referring -- and they had a separate command structure. So when
12 we're referring to UNMOs, we are referring to those military observers and
13 whatever command system they come under.
14 Q. Thank you. UNHCR stands for United Nations High Commissioner for
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. ICRC stands for the International Committee of the Red Cross?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. I think I have hit all the acronyms. We may come across some more
20 in these exhibits and I will ask you about them when we come across them.
21 Thank you.
22 Now, Mr. Kirudja, since you were based in Sector North, why don't
23 we start with a brief explanation by you to the Trial Chamber in respect
24 of the situation in Croatia. Can you tell us what happened in Croatia
25 that led to the creation of the UNPAs, the United Nations Protective
2 A. United Nations had, of course, in the regular business at its
3 headquarters following that there had been conflict in the former
4 Yugoslavia, and by the end of 1992, the late Secretary of State Cyrus
5 Vance had attempted to deal with that conflict in the former Yugoslavia
6 and had come to a sort of cease-fire, an interim agreement which
7 identified where those areas of conflict were in Croatia and had an
8 agreement that was signed by representatives of the government in Belgrade
9 and in Zagreb, and the representatives in the former -- in Croatia, of
10 those parties that had been engaged in that conflict that were invariably
11 referred to as Croatian Serbs or local Serbs.
12 That agreement became known as the Vance Plan and was codified in
13 a Security Council Resolution which led to the mission United Nations
14 Protection Force being deployed in Croatia in the specific regions that
15 Cyrus Vance had indicated.
16 Q. Now, let me have the next exhibit, a map, shown to you. I take it
17 the exhibit number will be 121. Is that correct?
18 Mr. Kirudja you have before you Prosecutor Exhibit 121. This
19 depicts four separate UN zones or UNPAs. Can you just orient us through
20 this map very quickly.
21 A. Yes. I have a map in front of me here with the title "Map 1," and
22 it shows the Republic of Croatia, and in blue boundaries it depicts where
23 the areas of conflict were and in respect of which the assets of UNPROFOR
24 were to be deployed. You will see on the easternmost part of that map
25 where in red you see Belgium, Luxembourg, and Russia in red, referring to
1 the battalions that were deployed in that area. That area bounded by the
2 blue line became known as Sector East.
3 To the left and west, where you see the caption UN Western Zone,
4 you see in red Argentina, Canada, Jordan, and Nepal, referring to the
5 battalions that were deployed in that area and which in UNPROFOR became
6 known as Sector West.
7 Go to the bottom and the left, where it says UN southern zone, you
8 see Kenya, France, and Czech, referring to the deployment of the
9 battalions from those countries, and it was known as Sector South.
10 And last, you will see UN northern zone, and you see that in red
11 Poland, Denmark, and Nigeria within the area bounded in blue, and
12 somewhere below that, also in red, France but not necessarily in the UNPA
13 area. I will get to that later. But that is Sector North, and that is
14 where I was deployed as the civilian affairs coordinator.
15 Q. If we could go to the next exhibit, Mr. Kirudja. And I take it
16 this next exhibit is a map which bears the number 122. Do you have that
17 in front of you, Mr. Kirudja?
18 A. I have a map.
19 Q. Let me ask you, since I have seen this map before, this map
20 depicts, while it says Sector North at the bottom, this depicts not only
21 Sector North but a part of Sector South; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, you're correct.
23 Q. Could you tell us, looking at this map, where the boundary between
24 Sector North and Sector South is located?
25 A. There is an area in blue that you can see, and a little below
1 that, if you go to the western middle part of this map where you see the
2 acronym "POL," Poland, and if you go down there, there is a little line
3 there that shows where Poland deployment is, and you could go all the way
4 just north of Titova Korenica. That is where sector north ended. The
5 entire Plitvice Park that you can see there was part of Sector North.
6 Q. Thank you very much. That's the boundary line between Sector
7 North and Sector South?
8 A. Yes, the rest of the blue area in the north, of course, is Sector
9 North in its entirety.
10 Q. Now, while we're focusing on this map, Mr. Kirudja, I would like
11 you to explain to the Court what became known as pink zones.
12 A. This map that you have in front of you, you see in the legend --
13 let me begin on the legend. The blue line with intermittent dots that
14 says international border, that blue line you can see effectively
15 separates Bosnia and Herzegovina from Croatia as an international border,
16 and it shows the southernmost edges of United Nations deployment. And you
17 can see it is running all the way to Draksinoc [phoen] on the left-most
19 You will then see, guided by the legend on the map, something
20 called "confrontation line," that red thick line that runs above,
21 sometimes below, the blue areas that are Sector North. That is the line
22 depicting, when we arrived, where the Serb forces were still confronting
23 Croatian forces in their foxholes by April when we arrived. That is shown
24 as "confrontation line."
25 Now, what happened was, our mandate was to deploy, in accordance
1 with Vance Plan, that had named earlier, before the UN was deployed,
2 opstina by opstina, meaning municipality by municipality, where the UN
3 would be deployed. So when we arrived, we were easily apprised of a
4 problem in the interpretation of where our boundaries of deployment were
5 going to be, the difference being between the Croatian government side and
6 the Croatian Serbs. I will start with the Croatian government side.
7 They had maps showing we were to be deployed up to the edge of
8 whatever opstina was named by Cyrus Vance, and if you traced the edge of
9 that opstina, that's where you should be deployed according to the
10 Croatian side. And you can see the blue line. That's that. The blue
11 line actually is the edge of each opstina that comprised Sector North. On
12 the left-most, the opstina of Slunj, followed by the opstina of Vojnice,
13 followed by the opstina of Vrgin Most, followed by the opstina of
14 Petrinje, Dvor, and ending with Kostajnica. That would be the edge of
15 where we should be deployed, according to the Croatian side, with a little
16 modification. I won't complicate the explanation beyond that.
17 Not so according to the Serb side. The Serb side had a
18 confrontation -- maps showing where they had taken this war and where they
19 had stopped and where their troops were deployed up to the confrontation
20 line. That is where the Serbs wanted us to be deployed up to that edge.
21 The differences, as you can see, where they are in pink it is where a new
22 opstina, not named in Vance Plan, was involved, and it was behind the
23 confrontation line of the Serbs. And where an opstina named by Cyrus
24 Vance, and the Serbs had not taken their confrontation line up to the edge
25 of that opstina, it will still remain in blue. As you will see on top.
1 But this became such a big problem that these areas which are in
2 pink became a subject of the Security Council Resolution 802 telling us
3 what, in addition to the Vance Plan, our responsibilities were in those
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. Now, if the next exhibit could be shown
6 to Mr. Kirudja. This also is a map, Mr. Kirudja, and this will be exhibit
7 -- Prosecutor's Exhibit 123.
8 Now, Mr. Kirudja, this is a document you prepared at my request.
9 Is that correct?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. And this, as we can see above the legend on the top, it says
12 approximately -- "approximate sector boundary," and your signature appears
13 underneath that; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, it does.
15 Q. This does not purport to be as accurate as a surveyor's map but
16 generally the approximate boundary lines of Sector North; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, the purpose of this map, Mr. Kirudja, is to show the
19 municipalities in Bosnia that will be the subject of our discussion
20 throughout your testimony, and I have, for the Court, on the monitor an
21 enlarged version of the area that I'm going to be referring to. But this
22 depicts, does it not, Mr. Kirudja, accurately the location of Bosanski
23 Novi, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Bosanska Dubica, Banja Luka, and other
24 municipalities; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, the municipalities bordering on the sector to which we were
1 located and beyond are named in the map.
2 Q. Now, we're going to be hearing and seeing in documents reference
3 to the Bihac pocket. Can you identify for the Judges the area known as
4 the Bihac pocket?
5 A. Actually, this map is not as good as the one you took away for
6 that purpose. If I may indulge you.
7 Q. All right.
8 A. If you can return the map you just gave me.
9 Q. Before we get that, I'll withdraw the question and I'll come back
10 to that question because --
11 A. It is shown there in total, the pocket and the boundaries.
12 Q. I will come back to that in just a moment then.
13 The -- actually -- actually, I'll take that back. Why don't we
14 show the previous exhibit to Mr. Kirudja.
15 Referring once again to Prosecutor's Exhibit 122, Mr. Kirudja, can
16 you identify for us the location of the Bihac pocket and tell the Judges
17 what the Bihac pocket was.
18 A. Thank you. Your Honour, I have both maps in front of me, and I
19 hope you have both of them in front of you, but I will start with the one
20 I had just been handed over right now.
21 You see yellow. The west part of Bosnia and Herzegovina in
22 yellow. You will see two or three towns inside that yellow. Bihac, see
23 that one? Cazin, and Velika Kladusa, and you see bounded by what is also
24 a boundary of confrontation line by the military, whoever made this map,
25 has bounded. That is the area in our document, and my language we often
1 refer to as the Bihac pocket ourselves, or when the Serbians are speaking
2 to us, they end up referring to it two ways; Cazinska Krajina, or -- yes,
3 you hear that being referred to as Cazinska Krajina. But it is made up by
4 three municipalities; Bihac, which is also a name of the town, the main
5 town. The municipality too is also known as Bihac. Then there is the
6 municipality of Cazin, which is also the town, the name of the town. And
7 then the municipality of Velika Kladusa, which is also the name of a town.
8 On the left-hand part of that, where you see no name, is actually
9 municipality of Bosanska Krupa.
10 Q. So if we go to Prosecutor's Exhibit 123, I think those
11 municipalities that you identified, Mr. Kirudja, that form the Bihac
12 pocket can clearly be seen. Is that correct?
13 A. Right.
14 Q. All right. If we could have the next exhibit, Mr. Kirudja. This
15 will be Prosecutor's Exhibit 124.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you just one question for my better
17 understanding. If I look at the two maps, P122 and P123, I see that the
18 confrontation lines as depicted, that Bihac, the city of Bihac is in it.
19 THE WITNESS: Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: On the other hand, we also see on map 123 that the
21 opstina of Bihac is far greater.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: When you're referring to the Bihac pocket, are you
24 referring to the area surrounded by the confrontation lines, that means
25 excluding quite a part of the opstina of Bihac but including the city of
1 Bihac or would it cover the whole opstina of Bihac?
2 THE WITNESS: More or less the earlier interpretation. It is
3 important to remember, Your Honour, that Bihac was one of the protected
4 safe zones by separate United Nations Security Council, but that came
5 much, much later. So what you see in the boundary there would be more in
6 reference to where that safe area was. When we are talking about the
7 pocket ourselves, we talked about, obviously, most of it, almost all of
8 it, whatever the event led us to. So we were not really too bound by the
9 edges of that.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for your clarification.
11 Please proceed, Mr. Harmon.
12 MR. STEWART: Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. STEWART: Since there's just a short break in Mr. Harmon's
15 questions, we noticed that the three maps that the witness has been
16 looking at so far and the Trial Chamber has seen all have different dates,
17 and although I think it was implicit in one of the answers the witness
18 gave, it might be a help if the witness were possibly asked to give some
19 specific confirmation as to the relevant dates for his evidence so that
20 there isn't any question of any discrepancy as far as dates are concerned,
21 because if there is, it would be better to know that now rather than leave
22 it to be cleared up later.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, could you invite the witness to --
24 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, with these exhibits -- these exhibits
25 bear reference, for example, Prosecutor's Exhibit 121 has at the top a
1 date, "early 1993."
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. HARMON:
4 Q. Mr. Kirudja, does this map accurately show the location of the
5 UNPAs in early 1993?
6 A. This is the first map that we started with.
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. Which I don't have here, but I don't need to, I can respond to the
9 question. The question is important, because these maps are taken from
10 the archives of the UN, and as a time line as these events changed when we
11 started in 1992, specifically to the question you raise, would they be
12 accurate representations as of 1992 when we began. It wouldn't be.
13 Because when we started out, Bosnia and Herzegovina, there was zero
14 conflict, there was no presence whatsoever of the UN. As time line
15 developed, they updated the maps, and you will see in that map -- for
16 example in Bihac pocket, you will see -- that's what I said earlier, that
17 is France, battalion from France shown in that map. Even if I don't have
18 it, you should see France.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 THE WITNESS: There was no France in April. There was no one
21 there in April. I mentioned to you earlier when this area became a target
22 of the Security Council much later as a safe area because of the events
23 which will unfold as the evidence comes up, there was a presence of the UN
24 in those areas inside Bosnia. So there is truly a time line to be borne
25 in mind as you look at these maps.
1 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, the purpose of these maps is just to
2 show general locations and accurate locations in relation to Bosnia. I
3 don't want to dwell and it is not in issue where the boundaries are in
4 Croatia. It's just for purposes of orienting us geographically for
5 purposes of understanding Mr. Kirudja's testimony.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 THE WITNESS: If you permit, Your Honour --
8 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, we would be glad to have that
9 confirmed. I'm sorry. We would be glad to have that confirmed, but I
10 must say that the detail then in which we've gone into these matters in
11 the last 15 minutes or so, it raises the question whether that was of any
12 great value.
13 THE WITNESS: That's what I want to respond to.
14 MR. STEWART: I was responding to Mr. Harmon primarily,
15 Mr. Kirudja.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to keep it orderly. I blame myself for
17 interfering in examination in chief.
18 Mr. Harmon, I would like the witness to clarify the issue and then
19 we go again in the normal orders.
20 Please tell us what you had in mind.
21 THE WITNESS: In April, at the time, those maps are accurate with
22 regard to the deployment of UN troops in the UNPA. So that the map is
23 accurate when it shows you the deployment of DanBat, PolBat, and all those
24 units in the UNPA, the map is accurate regardless of the future
25 development of the events. My comment was only limited to any deployment
1 of battalions you see across the international border into Bosnia.
2 JUDGE ORIE: That's clear. Thank you.
3 Mr. Harmon.
4 MR. HARMON:
5 Q. If we could go to the next exhibit, please, which is Prosecutor's
6 Exhibit 124. Mr. Kirudja, you have that before you. Again, Mr. Kirudja,
7 this exhibit is a map prepared by you showing the approximate location,
8 boundary lines of Sector North. It bears your signature; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, it does. And again bearing in mind the comment from the
10 learned counsel, the date of this map and boundaries were drawn in
11 connection with another testimony in a different trial.
12 Q. But the purpose of this map really, Mr. Kirudja, is to identify
13 some cities that are located in Sector North. Tapusko, that was the
14 location of your headquarters in Sector North; is that correct?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. We're going to be hearing about the city of Dvor, which is also
17 marked on the boundary line between Bosanski Novi and Dvor; correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And Kostajnica?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. That was the location, was it not, of the Danish battalion?
22 A. Yes. Again, amplification. The battalion headquarters, the
23 Danish battalion headquarters was in Kostajnica. The company, Company C,
24 their headquarters was in Dvor and their other headquarters of different
25 companies that are not shown here but if they are mentioned in the text we
1 could clarify.
2 Q. All right. Now, also marked in pink, I believe, are locations
3 that we'll be hearing about in your testimony and in the exhibits that are
4 located in Bosnia; Bosanski Novi, Blagaj, Japra, Suhaca, Donji Agici, and
5 Gornji Agici; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Kirudja, which ethnic group controlled Sector
9 A. On arrival, when we deployed in this sector, within those
10 approximate boundaries, that area was under the control of what I
11 mentioned as Croatian Serbs as -- or local Serbs, depending on the
12 appellation that was being used.
13 Q. Now, I'd like to focus on the Vance Plan. If you could very
14 quickly summarise for us, what was the Vance Plan and what were its
16 A. The Vance Plan basically gave us our mandate and our guidelines of
17 what it is we had to accomplish while we were deployed there. For
18 simplicity, I can distil that into three sequentially interlinked
19 priorities. The first priority was this area had already military units
20 facing each other. Our priority was to demilitarise and demobilise those
21 units that were already facing each other when we arrived and caused them
22 to agree to give up all the weaponry they had militarily deployed in that
23 area, and in accordance to the Vance, they had agreed to place those
24 weaponry in the hands of the United Nations forces, those -- and that they
25 had agreed there would be what was known as the double key. They would
1 have a key to those weapons, and we would have another key, like in a
2 combination lock in a bank where two people are required to go and recover
3 the contents. That's priority number one.
4 Priority number two, because there is no authority or, rather,
5 because the Croatian government authority was not effective in that area,
6 Vance Plan and the UN Security Council recognised someone had to have both
7 authority and the responsibility for day-to-day order that would be kept
8 in there. According to the Vance Plan, we had recognised only the
9 municipal structures that existed prior to the conflict, meaning the mayor
10 and the local police of each opstina was a recognised authority. Their
11 responsibility was law and order. We didn't have that responsibility.
12 Very important. That was their responsibility. Ours was to monitor how
13 they executed that responsibility for law and order. They were allowed to
14 keep the police forces they had, only on condition that those police
15 forces had light side-weapons. We deployed our own civilian police to
16 monitor how they went about exercising that responsibility for law and
17 order. That's priority number two.
18 Priority number three, we had as a mandate, as a mission, to
19 ensure that the conditions would improve such that all those people who
20 had been displaced or run away from there as refugees would have the
21 ability to return there voluntarily, and that was the component of civil
22 affairs component that would look into the humanitarian and the local
23 infrastructure that would be improved such that the people would want to
24 come back by themselves.
25 Footnote: You notice with those three responsibilities I didn't
1 mention any political responsibility to solve the basic problem that led
2 to the conflict. This mission, when it started, didn't have that
4 Q. Now, at the time you were in Sector North, where was -- was there
5 a headquarters component to your organisation that was located in
7 A. Correct. And it ties to the last remark I made, that the mission
8 didn't have the mandate to sort the basic problem that led to the fighting
9 in the first place, but the UN assumed that this fighting was only limited
10 to Croatia, and there were no signs of any problem in Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina, and in their estimation at that time, the UN headquarters
12 decided, for neutrality or impartiality's sake, the headquarters -- the
13 UNPROFOR headquarters would be deployed in Sarajevo rather than anywhere
14 either in Belgrade or in Zagreb where the signatories enabling this
15 mission were validated.
16 Q. Mr. Kirudja, I would like to focus on your staff in Sector North.
17 Can you tell the Trial Chamber about your staff, the numbers of people
18 working for you and with you.
19 A. I will give you an overview of how all the assets that we had
20 worked with each other. We had the military side of our assets. That was
21 as we discussed earlier; three battalions, each battalion was with three
22 companies deployed inside that area that you have in front of you. Each
23 battalion had its headquarters, and we had our headquarters in Tapusko,
24 coordinating all those areas.
25 On the other hand, we had civil police, commanded by a chief of
1 police who was in Tapusko. We had various units often co-located with the
2 military but separate and distinct from the military companies, known as
3 police CIVPOL units.
4 We had military observers, as I mentioned earlier, deployed on the
5 edges of this map, often across in the confrontation line in places like
6 Karlovac, Zagreb, Sisak, and across the international boundary in Velika
7 Kladusa, in Bihac. We had military units and their deployment around
8 that. We had also civil affairs officers, and we had a full contingent
9 that were both civil and political affairs that were deployed accordingly.
10 In other words, there was a totality of information and flow arriving at
11 my headquarters from all these assets. I mention this so you get an
12 understanding of what you have from me, where it comes from. From all
13 these resources as they are deployed in that manner, all of them
14 generating as a requirement a flow of information up each command line;
15 the military command line, the military observers' command line, the civil
16 police command line, the civil affairs, and all of them coming into our
17 situation room in Tapusko.
18 Q. Mr. Kirudja, also operating in Sector North, I believe, were
19 representatives of ICRC, ECMM, and UNHCR; is that correct?
20 A. Correct. And those were also deployed in their own command --
21 deployment areas but coordinating very much with us. As a matter of fact,
22 the UNHCR was located in our headquarters. The ICRC, because of its
23 mandate, obviously, would not be co-located with us, but they were also
24 co-located inside the sector.
25 Q. And those representatives from those NGOs were also a source of
1 information for you; isn't that correct?
2 A. Pretty much so. And very often they would be not only the source
3 but we would be invited or they would invite us to certain meetings when
4 we thought their presence was necessary, which was very frequent.
5 Q. Let me ask you about the preparation of reports. Can you describe
6 about -- can you give us some help about the preparation of reports, how
7 often they were prepared, why they were prepared, and where they went.
8 A. As you can understand in a large organisation like the United
9 Nations, there are reporting requirements and designated channels of
10 information. Each of these assets were required to report up their chain
11 of command daily, and that situation room I described was the nerve centre
12 of reports that would be coming from these various units, and I had,
13 obviously, full access to that flow of information coming in that
14 situation room along those channels, as I mentioned.
15 On top of that, I had, as the senior-most civilian, dealings with
16 non-official channels. When people wanted to discuss or even complain
17 about the UN, I was the address where they came. So there were other
18 non-official interactions that actually came into that area and addressed
19 to the civil affairs coordinator.
20 Q. Did you receive information from local Serbs, local Croats, Serbs,
21 Croats, Muslims from Bosnia as well?
22 A. Indeed. Because this was a country prior to the fighting that was
23 seamlessly connected, very early that area that we talked about called
24 Bihac was a nerve centre of life, not just in Bihac but in the surrounding
25 area, that is the confrontation line. The largest hospital was in Bihac.
1 A huge airport was in Bihac. Immediately there was a confrontation line,
2 the people were cut off. And there is only one or two arteries of roads
3 which had to pass through there. So if they wanted to go to Zagreb, on
4 the left-hand corner there is one artery. If they wanted to go to Sisak,
5 on the other. And all of that passed through this Serb-controlled area.
6 If anyone who came in there who was not Serb, they couldn't do that
7 without our help. So almost within the month, April, May we were there,
8 we were seized with requests, can we transit, can we -- can you help us
9 this way or that way across the border from Bihac?
10 Q. Did you also receive information from refugees?
11 A. Information?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. As the refugees came through requesting help to transition through
14 that -- through that sector, we would ask, "What are you running away
15 from? What is the problem?" And slowly by slowly as they came, we got to
16 hear their stories.
17 Q. And did you, in your reports, attempt to analyse the situation or
18 give information about the political situation in your theatre, about the
19 military situation, and about social developments?
20 A. We're duty-bound to do that, to keep our superiors aware of the
21 reality that they had assumed in the mission and how that reality was
22 playing out. Example: Assuming peace across the border from Bosnia was
23 an assumption which was rapidly proving to be untenable. So part of our
24 reporting is not just to report that a hundred -- the first time ten
25 people came looking for assistance to cross, the reasons why they were
1 looking for that assistance had to be part of the report.
2 Q. And those people who were debriefed as they were coming across the
3 border, they were debriefed by representatives from the UNHCR, by
4 representatives from ICRC, by the civilian police, by UNPROFOR; is that
6 A. Indeed. They were telling their stories at the point as --
7 depending on how comfortable they felt with whoever they are looking at.
8 In the first place, they may not have been comfortable and were too
9 frightened to talk. So depending on who it is they had met, they would
10 tell their story.
11 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, this is a convenient place.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Harmon. I asked Mr. Harmon to ask
13 Mr. Tieger to come for the last ten minutes -- there are only five
14 remaining minutes -- because the Chamber would like to inform the parties
15 about an issue which is irrelevant for this witness.
16 So, Mr. Kirudja, you're excused for the day, but we'd like to see
17 you back tomorrow morning at 9.00 in this same courtroom, and I want to
18 instruct you not to speak with anyone about the testimony you have given
19 today or the testimony still to be given in the days to come. So please,
20 would you keep that in your mind, and then we'd like to see you back
21 tomorrow morning.
22 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Usher, could you please escort
24 Mr. Kirudja out the courtroom.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. President, I'm not sure Mr. Tieger is outside the
2 courtroom. With the Court's permission, could I use this phone?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. HARMON: Mr. Tieger is on his way, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: He is on his way. Then we will ...
6 Mr. Tieger, I asked you to come to the courtroom because I'd like
7 to inform the parties, and there's hardly any time left, but perhaps even
8 get a very brief response or at least give an opportunity to give any
9 comment in 30 seconds.
10 The Chamber has still to decide on the issue of 92 bis in respect
11 of the testimony of Mr. Babic, which we expect next week. It took us
12 quite some time to get a good oversight over the material, because
13 although you made the selection, it is a selection of 1.100 pages out of
14 1.250. So therefore the Chamber is a bit concerned that 92 bis might
15 become counter-productive to its own aims, and therefore 1.100 pages, 87
16 exhibits of which the Chamber, and of course it took us some time to have
17 at least a global look at it even if we didn't analyse it every single
19 We also have some concerns about the level of relevance. I'm not
20 saying that it's irrelevant, and everything is related to everything, but
21 the level of relevance of the whole of the testimony, even the selected
22 pages, is not always that clear and we see quite a different level of
23 relevance on some parts as well.
24 Another issue is that, as you know, this Chamber is very much
25 concerned about the public character of this trial, and how to handle
1 1.100 pages of 92 bis by giving summaries is not something that at least
2 is resolved by just putting it on the Chamber's table.
3 Therefore, the Chamber has provisionally made up its mind on how
4 to deal with the matter, and although the Defence has not objected the
5 admission of all of the 1.100 pages and the 87 exhibits, the Chamber would
6 like to deal with it in a different way. But before giving a final
7 decision, I think -- of course we have to write that down and to give a
8 proper reasoning -- first of all I would like to confront you with it,
9 what I'm doing at this very moment, and at the same time give you an
10 opportunity, we have not many days left, at least already to start
11 thinking about how to solve it. On from this very moment.
12 The Chamber is inclined to solve the matter in the following way:
13 We will not admit 1.100 pages of transcript. We will not admit 87
14 exhibits, but we'll not -- we're not saying we will not admit them, but we
15 want this material to fit into the viva voce testimony.
16 Just to give you an example of what we have in mind: For example,
17 if the witness comes at a certain moment during his viva voce testimony,
18 he comes to a -- well, let's say he comes to the arrest of Mr. Martic or
19 if he comes to any disagreement on what position in a political meeting to
20 take, that you could then switch from your viva voce testimony. Say, for
21 example, if you touch upon that point, you say, well, Mr. Martic was
22 arrested or was not arrested and then you could ask the witness, Did you
23 testify about the arrest of Mr. Martic in the Milosevic case? And then
24 introduce the relevant portion but then relate it linked to the viva voce
25 testimony of that moment to introduce the relevant portion by way of 92
1 bis. That means that you'd say you testified, you then address the
2 Chamber and say we find this on pages so-and-so and so in the transcript,
3 and you give, for example, a summary of three or four lines on what this
4 testimony was at that time so that we get linked every portion of
5 transcript to the evidence we receive at that moment. That would require
6 you to make another selection, as a matter of fact, and not 1.100 pages
7 out of 1.250 but to fit that in the line of your questioning. The Chamber
8 would then very much like you to already indicate to the Defence this and
9 this and this will be the portions we'll use in support, because that's
10 then how it will be used, in support of the viva voce evidence, avoiding
11 that we have to go into every detail if we touch upon a certain subject if
12 these details are not of that major importance so that the Defence is able
13 to prepare on it.
14 And I'm aware that it takes some additional effort to do this.
15 And of course we will then admit that portion of the transcript in
16 evidence, and therefore you should keep carefully in mind that of course
17 it should meet the requirements of 92 bis (D). That means it should not
18 deal with the acts and the conduct of the accused.
19 A similar approach would then be for the -- for the exhibits.
20 So the Chamber expects, as a matter of fact, looking at the level
21 of relevance and the level of detail sometimes, and also the focus on
22 Mr. Milosevic very often or on Croatia in the Milosevic testimony, we
23 would then expect that the final number of pages could be a smaller part
24 of what you had in mind when you introduced the 1.100 pages.
25 Well, we can -- the Chamber was thinking about not more than 200
1 in bits and pieces well located into the viva voce testimony.
2 That's what we have in mind. We have not much time left. First
3 of all, you should not be confronted with it too late, but it really took
4 us some time to see how we could resolve this matter and how we could
5 avoid that 92 bis instead of adding to the efficiency would finally
6 augment enormously to the material that would otherwise never have been
7 introduced in evidence. This is what we are inclined to decide. This is
8 what we made up our mind and to now professionally will very quickly
9 deliver a decision, but I'd like to give you if it were only half of one
10 minute to just -- to respond to that.
11 MR. TIEGER: Well, Your Honour, first of all, thank you for the
12 opportunity to address the Court on this issue.
13 I want to separate the prospect of the solution the Court has
14 crafted as a general response and helpful refinement of the 92 bis process
15 from my concerns about the application of this solution in this case.
16 My main concern is that it does come late in the day. I have
17 attempted to craft an examination in court that meets the concerns the
18 Court addressed, including the public nature of the trial and the
19 specification or identification of relevance. This -- it would be a
20 considerable exercise to re-craft it at this point, although the
21 preparations were based on the absence of an objection and the appearance
22 that it was proceeding in that fashion.
23 I can also say that I think at this point, after the efforts that
24 have been undertaken by all parties, including the legal officers and the
25 Court, it would now add more time to the process. I hope to move -- I'd
1 hoped to take advantage of the fact that we appeared to have arrived at a
2 stage of general agreement about that material and focus in court on a
3 summary that would identify the relevance and move us through very quickly
4 and then a primary focus on that information which is more appropriate for
5 viva voce testimony.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the response from the Defence.
7 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, we would -- we'd prefer not to
8 have to give a response immediately. We see -- except to say that we do
9 see a very great deal of force and common sense, if I may respectfully say
10 that --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the Chamber is grateful --
12 MR. STEWART: -- for what the Chamber is suggesting. When we don't
13 we very politely, I hope, Your Honour, when we don't see those elements we
14 usually do make our view plain as well, I hope politely and respectfully
15 to the Trial Chamber. Though in this particular case we genuinely do.
16 Your Honour if I were to say more, I think I would get into the
17 broader issues of how effectively and efficiently the parties could
18 resolve exactly this sort of issue if we had the opportunity of doing it.
19 And one of the reasons why we didn't put any specific objections and to
20 raise any specific matters in relation to Mr. Babic's testimony is frankly
21 we simply didn't have the time to do it, and we just took a robust
22 decision that we just had to put that on one side and just let others sort
23 it out.
24 It's not a satisfactory way of proceeding, Your Honour. You know
25 our views on that. We would be grateful for the opportunity of -- well,
1 first of all, I'd like to discuss it with my team as well. May we give
2 some thoughts on this in the morning, Your Honour?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think you could do that. May I suggest, Mr.
4 Tieger, having listened to you, would -- would a delay of the decision,
5 and then I'm mainly focusing on the transcripts more than on the
6 introduction of the -- of the statement of Mr. Babic under 89(F), the new
7 statement, the statement focusing more on the Krajisnik case rather than
8 on the Milosevic case. As far as the transcripts are concerned, would it
9 be a solution that at the end of the testimony, where sometimes perhaps
10 reference is made to parts of the transcript, which has happened a couple
11 of times, yesterday and today as well, that we say well, having heard the
12 testimony and having seen where we touched upon certain subjects of the
13 earlier testimony, that we then define what pages are really of importance
14 to have admitted into evidence. Because otherwise, we get a lot of books
15 where there's no direct relation any more with what happened in the
16 courtroom. The link between the testimony and the 92 bis, especially here
17 where Mr. Babic appears to testify. It would be different if it is a
18 witness of course who testified on a limited subject, but this is a huge
19 number of subjects which, just by reading, not always the relevance the
20 Prosecution sees in it is always clear enough and which would make it more
21 difficult to -- for the parties to digest and also for the Chamber to
22 digest the material and to evaluate it in a proper way.
23 Would perhaps -- but perhaps you could think that over as well,
24 that we then limit the number or identify the specific relevant portions
25 of the testimony during the testimony of Mr. Babic.
1 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, could I suggest a compromise solution
2 which I hope satisfies our mutual concerns as we've expressed them today,
3 and perhaps that could be that that decision could be made after -- after
4 the testimony and also on the basis of the summary of the 92 bis testimony
5 that the Court hears, which has been prepared. And that way if the --
6 there is material that falls outside the ambit of both the testimony and
7 the summary --
8 JUDGE ORIE: You have summarised all the 1.100 pages with all the
9 subjects as we find them on the subject index?
10 MR. TIEGER: I would say it's fair to say I took the submitted
11 material and provided what I hoped would be the most useful summary to the
12 Court. I suspect that if the Court were to draw some kind of conceptual
13 boundaries around that summary you would find material that's included in
14 the submitted material that doesn't fall within there, and that might be a
15 way of refining or reducing the scope of the actual submitted material,
16 and of course I would be happy to work with the Court officers in
17 identifying where those areas can be found.
18 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber would not mind if you would take a bit
19 more time then for the examination-in-chief. I mean, we do understand
20 that it might take you a bit more time. I think you suggested on the
21 basis of the 1.100 pages and the 87 exhibits that you would need another
22 six hours. If -- if would you take, well, let's say, eight or perhaps
23 even nine or ten and if the Defence would take another, well, 60 per cent
24 of that time, approximately, but perhaps here we should be a bit more
25 balanced and not stick that much to the 60 per cent rule as to -- it's not
1 really a rule but -- but I would say a mutual expectation at this moment,
2 then it would not -- we could take a bit more time to compensate a bit for
3 the reduction or at least the more strict selection of material that would
4 be then finally submitted and admitted into evidence.
5 We could leave the decision until after we heard the testimony,
6 although then of course whatever has been touched upon during the viva
7 voce testimony, it should be clear that of course it should become part of
8 the evidence. So we have to take decisions then. But whatever has not
9 been touched upon but is nevertheless in these transcripts, we could delay
10 a decision perhaps on that.
11 Let's give it some thought. I express the concern of the Chamber.
12 We will have to come with a decision anyhow soon, but the Chamber thought
13 it wise just to inform you about it.
14 The Chamber, on the other hand, would very much like to finish the
15 testimony of Mr. Babic next week. So -- and I ask the parties to be as
16 efficient as possible in that respect. So when I say the Chamber wouldn't
17 mind if six hours would be eight, the Chamber would mind if it would be
18 ten or 11 or 12, because we might not finish then next week, and that's
19 for various reasons of some report. Although, finally, the Chamber is
20 also aware that sometimes matters develop in such a way that it would be
21 unfair to say we have to stop because we decided we would not take more
22 time, and that's -- I mean, finally, the fairness is the basic -- the
23 basic aspect and nothing else.
24 So when I urge the parties to see whether we can try to deal with
25 it in some four days with some support of written material but also
1 limited, that we'd very much like to finish next week but if it's
2 impossible, then time schedules, finally, are not the decisive element.
3 I took already far too much time from the interpreters. I
4 apologise for that. Mr. Tieger is to be blamed for just five minutes, but
5 I took 15 minutes more, so I'm double to be blamed. The same for
6 technicians. Unless there would be something that really needs to be said
7 at this very moment, I'd like to spend a couple of minutes tomorrow
8 morning again and then we'll decide on the matter.
9 We stand adjourned until tomorrow morning, 9.00, same courtroom.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.59 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Friday, the 28th day of May,
12 2004, at 9.00 a.m.