1 Tuesday, 23 May 2000
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.50 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning, ladies and
6 gentlemen. I'll be acting as the Presiding Judge
7 today. Mr. Cayley is in charge, I can see.
8 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President. Good
9 morning. Good morning, my learned friends for the
11 The next witness, Judge Riad, is a protected
12 witness. So prior to the witness entering the
13 courtroom, with your permission, if the blinds could be
14 brought down.
15 Your Honour, we may have a slight technical
16 problem with the transcript. There's no transcript
17 appearing, and the court reporter is indicating to me
18 that in just a couple of minutes it should be working
20 JUDGE RIAD: Good. We have to be patient.
21 But the witness can come in in the meantime?
22 MR. CAYLEY: I think so, Your Honour. That
23 would probably save time.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Madam Registrar, would you order
25 that the witness comes.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honour, I think the
3 technical problems are now sorted out, so we can
4 continue and there will be a record of what we were
6 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning. The witness has
7 got a name, a pseudonym?
8 THE REGISTRAR: "R," Your Honour.
9 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning. I won't call you
10 by your name. I will ask you to take an oath, as the
11 bailiff will indicate to you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly
13 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
14 and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: WITNESS R
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 JUDGE RIAD: Please sit down.
18 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honour, if the witness
19 could just be shown his name just to confirm his
20 identity, and I'll hand that to the Court's officer.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Yes, show him the paper.
22 MR. CAYLEY: Witness, is your name written on
23 the paper that was shown to you?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE RIAD: And it will be?
1 MR. CAYLEY: Witness R.
2 JUDGE RIAD: Witness R.
3 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, Your Honour. Your Honour,
4 with your permission, if the blinds could be raised.
5 JUDGE RIAD: I see. So it is not a full --
6 MR. CAYLEY: No, it's not a closed session,
7 Your Honour. The witness will have his face
9 JUDGE RIAD: So much the better, I hope,
10 because I think some people are in the gallery, coming
11 from some universities. Yes, here they are.
12 Please proceed, Mr. Cayley.
13 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll
14 just wait one moment until the blinds are fully up and
15 then I'll start my examination.
16 Examined by Mr. Cayley:
17 Q. Witness R, I shall call you Witness R so that
18 your identity is protected. You're perfectly safe.
19 Please relax as best you can.
20 You're Bosnian by nationality.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you're a Muslim by faith.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I think you were a member of the Bosnian army
25 until June or July of 1993, at which time you left as a
1 result of injury; is that correct?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. Now, without naming the village to protect
4 your identity, in July of 1995 you were living in a
5 village in the Srebrenica enclave; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I want you to cast your mind back to the 11th
8 of July, to 5.00 or 6.00 in the afternoon on that day.
9 You were in the village of Susnjari. Can you tell the
10 Judge what you recall happened at that time?
11 A. Simply, the enclave was captured by the
12 Serbs, by the Serb army. I heard that it fell, that
13 the town had fallen, simply.
14 Q. What did you do?
15 A. We sent our families, women and children, to
16 the UNPROFOR base in Potocari. I felt that I was
17 capable, as a younger man, that I shouldn't go, so I
18 stayed behind so that more people would gather together
19 and head to the woods.
20 Q. Now, when you speak of more people gathering
21 together to go to the woods, who were these people?
22 A. They were people of Muslim ethnicity who were
23 living in the enclave.
24 Q. Were they men or women or children, or a
25 mixture of all three?
1 A. Mostly men, and women. The children had left
2 towards the UNPROFOR base in Potocari, and most of the
3 women as well, of course.
4 Q. What was the age group of the men who
6 A. From 10 years old up to 60, even 70 years of
8 Q. Now, after you had gathered, what did this
9 group do, this group of what you described as mostly
10 men from 10 to 60 or 70 years of age?
11 A. A kind of column was formed. Those are
12 narrow paths so we knew we had to form lines. And we
13 headed towards the woods, in the direction of Tuzla.
14 Q. Whereabouts were you in this column?
15 A. Somewhere around the middle.
16 Q. On what date did you leave?
17 A. It was the 12th, at about 2.00 or 3.00 in the
18 morning when I set off from that place.
19 Q. Now, I think you were armed. Can you
20 describe to the Judge the weapon that you had with you
21 and how much ammunition you had.
22 A. There was a hunting rifle but not a proper
23 rifle. It's a souvenir of my father, a single barrel,
24 handmade rifle that was very old, maybe 100 years old.
25 I had five or six bullets. Though the gun had never
1 been used in battle and it wasn't a reliable one to
2 shoot with.
3 Q. Now, I know you had an eventful journey
4 through the woods, and the Defence indeed may have some
5 questions for you about that, but I want to move ahead
6 to the 13th of July and I want you to think about
7 approximately the events that happened on the morning
8 of the 13th of July, at 7.00 or 8.00 in the morning.
9 First of all, I'd like to show you a map that
10 you drew for me.
11 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown
12 Prosecutor's Exhibit 159.
13 Your Honour, this is a map which is computer
14 generated. But the witness drew it for the Office of
15 the Prosecutor on Sunday and he's, in fact, confirmed
16 the route that he drew on this map matches the broken
17 line that you see on the map.
18 Q. Witness, does this accurately reflect the
19 route that you took from the Srebrenica enclave,
20 ultimately arriving in Nezuk sometime after the 19th of
22 A. Yes, that is the path.
23 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. Usher, if you could place
24 that map onto the ELMO. That's fine.
25 Q. Witness R, could you point out to the Judge
1 where you were located on the morning of the 13th of
3 A. [Inaudible response]
4 Q. Could you say that again because I don't
5 think the interpreters heard you. Could you speak up?
6 A. It was between Kasaba and Konjevic Polje,
7 somewhere here [indicates].
8 MR. CAYLEY: Let the record show that the
9 witness is identifying an area on the dotted line that
10 lies directly between Konjevic Polje and Nova Kasaba,
11 so on a vertical line running through Konjevic Polje
12 and Nova Kasaba.
13 Q. At what time were you at that location?
14 A. Between 7.00 and 9.00, just then.
15 Q. You can take the pointer off that now. It's
16 clear. Thank you.
17 What were you doing?
18 A. A large group of people had congregated. In
19 my estimate, I think there were 2.000, maybe even 3.000
20 people. It was morning, it had already dawned, and
21 there was an open space without any woods to protect
22 us. But the road had already been blocked,
23 Kasaba-Konjevic Polje, by Serb units so that it was
24 impossible to pass. We were there for about an hour or
25 two, at least I was, and then I decided to move away
1 from that spot into the surrounding woods about 500
2 metres away, and I stayed there the whole day.
3 Q. Now, the 2.000 people that you're speaking
4 of, these were people that had left the Srebrenica
5 enclave and had travelled in the column from the
6 enclave, trying to escape to the free territory; is
7 that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you tell the Judge, while you were hiding
10 in this wooded area, when you said you moved away to
11 the surrounding woods, what you saw from your vantage
13 A. At about 1.00, I saw the Serb army
14 surrounding this large group of people. Everyone
15 separated from the group, 10, 20, or 30 metres, were
16 killed by these troops; that is, they killed all those
17 who were away from the group. However, most of the
18 others were captured and forced towards the asphalt
19 road leading from Konjevic Polje to Nova Kasaba.
20 Q. When you're referring to the large group,
21 this is the group of 2.000 people that you spoke of
23 A. Yes. Yes, that's that group.
24 Q. Did you see anybody actually killed yourself
25 on that day?
1 A. Yes, I did. It was quite a number of people,
2 only I wasn't right next to them to be able to
3 recognise them or know their names. I was at a
4 distance of 500, maybe 300 metres, as the crow flies,
5 and I saw them killing these people, all of those who
6 were around the group; whereas the group itself that
7 was in one group, they were forced forward.
8 Q. Can you recall how many people from the group
9 you saw killed?
10 A. Quite a large number of people. In my
11 opinion, between 200 and 300.
12 Q. Who was doing the killing?
13 A. The Serb troops, the military.
14 Q. And you say that you were at a distance of
15 between 300 and 500 metres from this shooting.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Let's now move on to the 14th of July of
18 1995, and if you can tell the Judge what you did on
19 that day?
20 A. On that day, I took a roundabout route in the
21 direction of Kasaba, and on the way I saw the tanks and
22 APCs and Pragas and other weapons lined up. However,
23 during the night, that is, on the 14th, early in the
24 morning, we managed to cross over, about five or six of
25 us -- actually, six to be precise.
1 Q. Can you show Judge Riad on the map in front
2 of you where it is you crossed the road. I think your
3 route is marked across the road. The usher will put it
4 onto the ELMO.
5 MR. CAYLEY: If you could move it up a bit,
6 please, Mr. Usher.
7 A. Here [indicates]. It was here [indicates].
8 MR. CAYLEY: Let the record show, on
9 Prosecutor's Exhibit 159, that the witness is
10 indicating that he crossed the road between Konjevic
11 Polje and Nova Kasaba at a point which is bisected by
12 the dotted line.
13 Q. Now, let's move ahead in time to the 18th of
14 July of 1995.
15 MR. CAYLEY: If that could be left on the
16 ELMO, please, Mr. Usher, and if you could move it down
17 just a little bit. That's fine.
18 Q. Can you indicate to Judge Riad the route that
19 you took and the point at which you arrived, on the
20 map, on the 18th of July.
21 A. I took this route [indicates], and on the
22 18th of July we got here [indicates], we arrived here
23 [indicates]. The place is called Bajkovica, as far as
24 I knew, though I'm not too familiar with the parts.
25 But some of the men who had already got there before us
1 said that the place was called Bajkovica.
2 MR. CAYLEY: Let the record show that the
3 witness is indicating, on Prosecutor's Exhibit 159,
4 that he followed the broken line then to an area which
5 is marked approximately by the shaded circle labeled
6 "Bajkovica," and he states in his evidence that he
7 arrived at that point on the 18th of July.
8 Q. How many people reached Bajkovica on the 18th
9 of July? How many from the group that had left
11 A. These groups were moving in various
12 directions so one cannot say that they arrived
13 together. But at any event, when I got there, there
14 were about 500 men already there.
15 Q. Did you stay with this group?
16 A. Yes, but very briefly, for an hour, because
17 again we could hear shooting in the vicinity and we
18 were called upon to surrender by the Serb army.
19 Q. So when you were called upon to surrender by
20 the Serb army, what did you do?
21 A. Again, knowing from experience what had
22 happened between Konjevic Polje and Kravica, and
23 fearing that I would be killed, again I decided,
24 together with another group -- there were ten of us in
25 all -- we split from that group and went into the woods
1 again to pass around that road and avoid being with a
2 large group.
3 Q. Now, let's move ahead in time again to the
4 19th of July of 1995, and if you can tell the Judge
5 where you found yourself on that day, and in fact with
6 how many other Bosnian Muslim men you were with on that
8 A. Yes. It is this place here [indicates] that
9 has been marked on the map as Bajkovica, that has been
10 shaded in and encircled in black. Together with ten
11 other Muslims.
12 MR. CAYLEY: Let the record show that the
13 witness, on the 19th of July, again was in and around
14 an area which is marked approximately on the map as the
15 area of Bajkovica.
16 Q. Can you tell the Judge what happened to you
17 and these other men on the 19th of July?
18 A. It was a tragic day. We were in a place
19 where the Serb army had its front trenches, I think the
20 first trenches at the beginning of the war, and we
21 could see the Serb front line at a distance of a
22 kilometre away from us, on a hill, in a wood. It was
23 about 12.00, 12.30, when we were captured. We were on
24 a small path next to these trenches. It was a freshly
25 laid path and one could see that footsteps; I don't
1 know whose they were. We took shelter in some bushes
2 next to this small path, two or three metres away. We
3 were tired, hungry. We sat down to have a rest.
4 We were sitting there for some 15 minutes
5 when we heard the Serb troops calling out that we
6 should surrender. We couldn't see them because we were
7 in the bushes, and if we were to get up they would be
8 able to detect us. We hoped that we would manage to go
9 unnoticed. However, not more than half an hour after
10 their arrival, heavy shooting started above our heads.
11 It went on for about ten minutes, and again they were
12 shouting that we should surrender. And one of my
13 comrades raised his hands. One by one we followed. I
14 was the last one to do that.
15 We came out to this path, which was only two
16 or three metres away from us. I was the last in the
17 group. I had a green shirt on. When I came out, there
18 were two to three Serb soldiers on either side of the
19 path that we took to reach them. We were slightly
20 hit. However, I was hit the most because I had a green
21 shirt, and I can show you the scars I still have here
22 on my chin, and of course elsewhere too. I was beaten
23 up the worst.
24 We reached this path. They took us some 30
25 or 50 metres away and they told us to lie down on our
1 stomachs, with our heads down and our hands stretched
2 out. I then heard one Serb soldier saying, "Stari is
3 coming," meaning the old man, "and he will tell us what
4 to do." He can't have been far away, this Stari, maybe
5 50 or 100 metres away and he arrived very soon. He sat
6 next to a tree and he asked, "Where is the rest of this
7 army?" A soldier was carrying a radio transmitter, a
8 Rup 12, which was next to this man they called Stari,
9 and the soldier was sitting next to him, and they kept
10 asking us where the other army was, the rest of the
11 army. And one of us was saying that there were some
12 close by, where the 500 men had stayed behind, and then
13 Stari telephoned immediately, giving instructions. And
14 I heard him saying to his soldiers, "The Vukovi," or
15 the Wolves "will deal with that."
16 Then he ordered us to give up all the
17 documents or valuables and money that we had on us. We
18 could only turn around to take out everything we had.
19 Though I didn't surrender all my documents, most of the
20 others did. And then the interrogations started one by
21 one, asking us how many troops there were, what
22 happened in Srebrenica, who the commanders were, and so
24 The first thing that happened was that a
25 young boy between 15 and 16, he was first asked how
1 many men the brigade in Srebrenica had. The boy didn't
2 know; he had not belonged to the army anyway because he
3 was so young, as far as I know. And he said that there
4 were between 30 to 50 men in a brigade. He ordered a
5 soldier behind him, there was a Serb soldier standing
6 behind each one of us with an automatic rifle pointed
7 at our backs, and he ordered this soldier to take him
8 away. He took this young boy to the right of us as we
9 were lying there, at a distance of some four to six
10 metres from us, and we just heard a single shot. I
11 didn't hear a sound of a voice or anything. And the
12 soldier came back.
13 The second was again a boy who was already
14 disabled. He was disabled from childhood, that is, he
15 had two fingers missing on his left hand. And he was
16 asked how he had lost those fingers. He told him the
17 truth, that he had lost them as a child using an old
18 hunting rifle, and that the rifle went off and took
19 away his fingers, and that he wasn't a member of the
20 army and I knew that he wasn't. He ordered that he
21 should be taken away too. The soldier who was standing
22 behind him with a gun pointed at him said, "I wouldn't
23 like to do that now." I think he refused the
24 commander's orders. The commander looked at him and
25 said to another soldier that he should take him away,
1 and that is what he did. He took him to the right,
2 three metres away from us. Again we heard a single
4 I was the third. Stari said to me, why was I
5 talking so much. He asked me where the army was and
6 where it was moving. As I didn't know, I told him I
7 didn't know where they are and where they are going
8 to. I said there were men and they were on the move
9 but I couldn't tell him exactly where they were. He
10 immediately ordered this soldier behind me to take me
11 off. As I was getting up, I felt awful so that I only
12 just managed to get up. I took my time. And he asked
13 me, "What's wrong? Why aren't you getting up?" I
14 looked at him because he was the one who had beat me
15 the most and he knew very well what was wrong. But I
16 managed to get up, nevertheless, and when I did I saw
17 this other man who had been shot, who was lying on his
18 side, and I could see that he was dead by the colour of
19 his skin.
20 As the ground was uneven, there was a slope
21 there where they were sitting and we were lying on this
22 small path, I headed towards this comrade who was
23 already dead, so I went slightly down the slope. I
24 turned my head and looked at the soldier cocking his
25 trigger, with his automatic rifle pointed at me. The
1 distance between him and me was one metre, and when he
2 stretches out his arm it couldn't have been more than
3 half a metre. He fired the shot which hit me here
4 [indicates]. I can show the doctor's certificate of
5 where the shot hit me in my left shoulder.
6 I was waiting to die, but I still felt quite
7 well, and I thought that I would die a little later.
8 However, I survived. It was very hard to live through
9 this. A Serb soldier, after I fell to the ground, sat
10 down some two or one and a half metres away from me, so
11 I could see a part of his boots. He was sitting there
12 smoking and looking at me. I couldn't breathe because
13 he might notice and repeat the shot. The worst part
14 was that I was bleeding all over, and when I was
15 beaten, there was blood coming out my mouth and nose
16 and ears, so the ants were attracted by the blood and I
17 had to keep my mouth open to be able to breathe, and
18 these ants were coming into my mouth and I could hardly
19 endure it. However, I managed until late into the
21 It was already dark when they left this
22 spot. While I was lying there, another man was taken
23 out. I could feel it and not see it because he passed
24 by me, led by this soldier, to a spot three or four
25 metres away from me. And the same scene repeated
1 itself: one shot and he fell. I could hear him
2 breathing his last sigh of life. And lying there, I
3 could hear more of these shots, more of these
4 comments. Stari pointing at us, having probably
5 captured some other soldiers, he was saying, "See how
6 your soldiers have fared lying there in the woods?"
7 And that is the end of that story.
8 Q. Now, Witness, I just have a number of
9 questions to clarify what you've said. Now, you spoke
10 in your testimony about a man called Stari. How was he
12 A. Yes, that's what they called him, Stari. He
13 had a military uniform on, without any insignia or
14 rank, and it was a camouflage army uniform. He was
15 somewhat older, he was bald, he had hairy arms, short
16 in build. That's what he looked like, what I was able
17 to notice at least.
18 Q. Now, you said in your evidence that the
19 soldiers looked to Stari for instructions. Did Stari
20 appear to be in charge on the ground at this spot?
21 A. Yes. Yes, Stari was in charge there. That
22 was obvious. You could notice that quite evidently.
23 Q. Now, you say that you saw another soldier
24 with a radio transmitter; do you recall that?
25 A. Yes, I do. There was a soldier with a radio
1 transmitter, a Rup 12. I knew this because I had done
2 my military service in the former Yugoslav People's
3 Army and I could recognise this type of radio
5 Q. And you saw, I think, Stari on the radio
6 passing instructions to another unit; is that correct?
7 A. Yes. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. And those instructions, I think you said in
9 your evidence, concerned the other group of 500 Muslim
10 men who were still in the woods; is that correct?
11 A. Well, yes, that's how it was. One of them
12 explained that the group was there and he gave strict
13 orders that the group should be finished off.
14 Q. And again, just for absolute clarity, you're
15 talking about the other group of 500 Muslim men in the
16 woods. That's the group that he said should be
17 finished off.
18 A. No. The group at Baljkovica, where I arrived
19 on the 18th. There wasn't another group in the woods.
20 There were the ten of us there who had left on the
21 18th, and on the 19th we gathered at that place where
22 we were executed.
23 Q. So when he said, "Finish them off," who is he
24 referring to?
25 A. Well, that group. That group was there where
1 we explained it was. And as the group was there, you
2 could notice some voices, some people were groaning who
3 were not able to go further away. Quite simply, they
4 didn't know where to go.
5 Q. And how many were in that group? How many
7 A. About 500 people.
8 Q. Now, when you were taken to be shot yourself,
9 you only saw one other dead man; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. But you stated in your evidence how two men
12 had been taken away to be shot before you. Where was
13 the other man?
14 A. Yes. We were taken to the left, the other
15 one was taken to the right. So that -- the fern was
16 fairly high so you couldn't see properly, that is to
17 say, I didn't even have time to look, to look at that
18 first one, the first one that was shot, that young
20 Q. Now, while you were lying there after you had
21 been shot, how many further shots did you hear; do you
23 A. There were a number of shots. One, two or
24 three minutes after me, as far as I was able to assess,
25 although it was a very difficult moment for me and I
1 can't give you a time span. But very shortly after me,
2 one was taken off; I'm certain of that. But several
3 shots were heard. Now, I don't know whether they took
4 them off to the right-hand side, perhaps where that
5 first young boy had been shot, or perhaps they had
6 taken them off further from me, that they were not as
7 close to me. And I couldn't see anything at that
8 moment because, as I said, my head was facing
9 downwards, into the ground, and I couldn't see
10 anything. All I could do was hear things.
11 Q. Let's go back to uniforms again. I realise
12 these were very difficult moments for you. Do you
13 recall on any of these Serb soldiers, on any of these
14 50 soldiers, seeing any badges on them?
15 A. Yes, there were some signs, insignia. On the
16 left-hand arm, as far as I was able to notice, although
17 as I say, this was a very short space of time and it
18 was all very difficult for me to see. I had my head
19 down on the ground, to the left. But on the left-hand
20 arm there was a yellow insignia. Perhaps there was
21 some other colour there but it was predominantly
22 yellow, and there was a yellow sort of circle and it
23 said "The Krajisnici," men from Krajisnici, something
24 like that, on this circle in this patch. It was
25 difficult to make it out because he moved his arm
1 around so I couldn't actually see. But I'm certain of
2 that. And that was the patch that most of the soldiers
3 had on them. But I think, that is to say, I'm quite
4 sure, actually that it said "Drinski" on some of the
5 patches as well. I just saw the "Drinski", the word
6 "Drinski". What the "Drinski" was after what the
7 other word was, I couldn't see. I couldn't see the
8 whole of this circle on the patch, just the "Drinski"
10 As far as the Krajisnik or Krajisnici are
11 concerned, I'm 100 per cent certain of that.
12 Q. Now, you said later into the evening the
13 Bosnian Serb soldiers left.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What did you do after they'd left?
16 A. Well, I'd been lying there for quite some
17 time, and when I was sure that there were no more
18 noises, and nobody around, and it was already dark, I
19 raised my head a little to see if there was anybody
20 about anywhere, just to make sure, but I didn't hear
21 anybody. So I raised my head and I found it very
22 difficult to get up because I had become rigid from all
23 that lying down. But I did manage to raise myself a
24 little and sit down, and I saw that there was nobody
25 anywhere around.
1 I called out two or three times, "Is there
2 anybody alive" in a quiet voice but nobody responded to
3 my call. One of the people lying next to me, I was
4 able -- I looked to see if he was alive, but he gave no
5 signs of life, he was already dead. I touched him to
6 see. But I didn't have the strength to examine the
7 others, to see what had happened to them, as I was in
8 the woods and it was dark. But I did manage to see
9 that he was dead, and I carried on towards free
11 Q. Could you just indicate to Judge Riad on the
12 map next to you the route that you took from
14 A. It was this direction here [indicates], with
15 the dotted line. The dotted line shows the route
16 towards Nezuk.
17 MR. CAYLEY: Let the record show that the
18 witness is showing, on Exhibit 159, a route leading
19 from an area shaded Baljkovica, across the
20 confrontation line to the town or village of Nezuk.
21 Now, if the witness could be shown
22 Prosecutor's Exhibit 151, and this shouldn't go on the
23 ELMO because it identifies the witness. And if he
24 could be shown 151A which is the Bosnian version.
25 Q. Witness, this is a letter of discharge from
1 the war hospital and it essentially describes the
2 injury to your left shoulder. Can you just confirm,
3 for our record, that these in fact are your medical
5 A. Yes, they are my medical records.
6 MR. CAYLEY: Judge Riad, the English
7 translation is Exhibit 151.
8 Q. Now, Witness, I just have a few more
9 questions for you. I'm not going to show you this
10 statement, but this is a statement -- although in fact
11 the Defence may wish to, but this is a statement that
12 you gave to the Bosnian authorities on the 26th of
13 August of 1995, and you and I have already discussed
14 this. You state, and I'll read slowly for the purposes
15 of the record, at the beginning of that statement:
16 "I was together with the majority of the
17 inhabitants on the defence lines in the area of
18 Susnjari and Jaglici."
19 And this is referring to early July. Now,
20 you will recall in your evidence you stated that you
21 had left the Bosnian army in June or July of 1993.
22 Were you on the defence lines in July of 1995, or is
23 that statement incorrect?
24 A. I was not on the defence lines at that time,
25 in 1995, in June, because, as I've already said, I left
1 in June/July 1993, I left that army; that is to say, it
2 wasn't actually an army in my opinion, even up until
3 then, it was the Territorial Defence, in fact. And
4 with the proclamation of the demilitarised zones there
5 was no army in Srebrenica because the weapons had been
6 taken away from the overall Territorial Defence.
7 Q. Now, I just have a couple more questions for
9 MR. CAYLEY: Judge Riad, if we could go into
10 closed session because I want to ask him about one of
11 the survivors, and if he starts naming individuals who
12 are executed and the survivors, he will identify
14 JUDGE RIAD: For how long, do you think, for
15 the gallery?
16 MR. CAYLEY: A couple of minutes.
17 JUDGE RIAD: A couple of minutes. Thank
18 you. You can draw the curtains.
19 MR. CAYLEY: The curtains don't need to go
20 down. We can have a private session, just so that the
21 public feed is cut for a couple of minutes.
22 JUDGE RIAD: We don't need to draw the
24 MR. CAYLEY: No, Your Honour.
25 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 MR. CAYLEY:
1 Q. Now, you've said that the execution took
2 place on the 19th of July, and I know this is not a
3 time that you were inspecting your watch regularly, but
4 do you recall approximately what time these executions
5 took place?
6 A. I think it was about 12.30. From 12.00 to
7 1.00 in the afternoon, in that time.
8 Q. How many of your male relatives did you lose
9 during Srebrenica?
10 A. Many. I lost many members of my family. My
11 brother, my father, and a lot of other family members,
12 practically all of them.
13 Q. Are you one of the few male members of your
14 extended family still alive?
15 A. Yes, I'm the only one.
16 MR. CAYLEY: Judge Riad, I have no further
17 questions of the witness, so I can offer him for
19 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Cayley.
20 Would you rather have a break now before the
21 cross-examination starts? Who will assume the
22 cross-examination, Mr. Visnjic or Mr. Petrusic?
23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning,
24 Mr. President. Witness R's cross-examination will be
25 done by me. I am counsel Petrusic. And we agree with
1 your proposal to have a break now.
2 JUDGE RIAD: Good. Then I'll ask the witness
3 to have a rest and to come back. You know the
4 procedure here is that you will be asked questions by
5 the Defence counsel, who will help finding out the
6 truth which we are all searching for here.
7 So we will adjourn for half an hour. Thank
8 you very much.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.50 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.23 a.m.
11 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Petrusic, would you proceed,
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Petrusic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Witness R, good morning to
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. I'm going to put some questions to you in
18 keeping with the procedure, and I shall try not to have
19 to take you back to everything that you lived through.
20 A. Yes. Please go ahead.
21 Q. My first question, Witness R, is who told you
22 that you had to leave the Susnjari area on the 11th of
24 A. From two men, two men I don't know, who
25 passed through the region and explained to the people
1 that the women and children should be sent towards the
2 UNPROFOR base in Potocari, that is to say, and anybody
3 else who wanted to, and the ones who didn't want to,
4 that they should gather in one spot and take to the
6 Q. Were they soldiers, members of the
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina army?
8 A. For the most part they were not soldiers.
9 And in fact at that time there was no army of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina. What did exist was the Territorial
11 Defence, until the demilitarisation of Srebrenica. So
12 with the gathering of these people, there were those
13 who were, perhaps, in uniform but they came by the
14 uniforms in their own way, they got them themselves.
15 Q. Witness R, these two individuals, my question
16 is directed towards them, were they wearing uniforms,
17 military uniforms?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Witness R, you gave a statement to the State
20 Security Service of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
21 on the 26th of August, 1995; do you remember that?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President,
24 I should like to have this statement shown to the
25 witness and the Trial Chamber.
1 JUDGE RIAD: Madam Registrar will handle
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] For you to be
4 able to follow, I have marked the passages on page 1
5 that I'm going to discuss.
6 Q. Witness R, this statement, that is to say,
7 the signature at the end of it, is it your signature?
8 A. Yes, it is. It's my signature.
9 Q. Is it your statement, therefore?
10 A. I think it is. I didn't read through the
11 whole of it, but looking at the signatures, they are
13 Q. Witness R, my learned colleague Mr. Cayley
14 indicated a portion of this statement, read it out, and
15 I should like to say that in the first sentence you
16 state the following, after the first sentence which
17 ends with "Zeleni Jadar," you go on to say: "I was
18 together with the majority of the inhabitants on the
19 defence lines in the region of Susnjari and Jaglici."
20 Did you, in fact, state that?
21 A. That I was in the vicinity of Susnjari and
22 Jaglici, yes, but that I was at the lines, no.
23 Q. Further on you say that: "At around 1800
24 hours, on the 11th of July, 1995, after the breakdown
25 of the defences of Srebrenica, two soldiers unknown to
1 me came to Susnjari and told the people that women,
2 children, and the elderly should retreat to the UN base
3 in Potocari, while the men of fighting age were, with
4 the other civilians, to try to break through the enemy
5 lines and reach the free territory with the remaining
7 Did you tell that to the State Security
8 Service on the 26th of August?
9 A. No, I didn't say that the two soldiers were
10 there, and that I said that we went towards this
11 breakthrough, I did not -- to try to break through, I
12 did not use the word "breakthrough," "proboj," in
13 respect of the army and weapons. I think that most
14 probably, according to the stories, how it was
15 recounted, they drew up this statement.
16 Q. But you did sign the document nonetheless,
17 did you not?
18 A. Yes, I did sign it. However, as I was not
19 confronted with the giving of -- I had never given
20 statements before this case, I cannot agree. I don't
21 agree that I said all this in this particular way and
22 that every word is as I said it and that it means
23 something. I am not a lawyer myself, and what I did
24 was recount the events.
25 Q. Do you consider that the people who took down
1 your statement were qualified, educated, and trained to
2 do so?
3 A. Well, I don't know the people who took the
4 statement down, I just met them; that is to say, they
5 found me and they called me to give a statement. They
6 just introduced themselves.
7 Q. Do you consider that they forged your
9 A. Well, judging by this, perhaps they added
10 some words of their own to it. That is a possibility.
11 Q. Witness R, as far as you are aware, how many
12 able-bodied men gathered in Jaglici or Susnjari on the
13 11th of July?
14 A. I cannot give you an exact figure because I
15 didn't count them, but it was a very large group of
16 people. But they were not all of military age. There
17 were some from 10 up to 60, and even 70 years of age,
18 and they were mostly civilians, civilian persons.
19 Q. You had a hunting rifle, an old hunting
21 A. Yes, with one barrel, handmade, as a souvenir
22 from my father.
23 Q. Did you notice that possibly some other
24 members in the group had similar weapons, hunting
1 A. Yes, there were a number of such weapons, but
2 not a large number; a few.
3 Q. Was any military, so-called military weapons
4 left over, automatic rifles, Kalashnikovs,
5 semi-automatic rifles, the kind of weapons used by the
7 A. There were some but very, very few.
8 Q. Witness R, did you hear from your fellow
9 citizens when you crossed into free territory, did you
10 hear anything in connection with the part of the column
11 that was armed?
12 A. I heard about a part of that column that
13 crossed over, a very, very small number of people, that
14 they were assisted by the BiH army at the crossing at
15 Baljkovica to pull out. A certain number, how many, I
16 don't know, I didn't see them, but they didn't really
17 have any weapons. At the beginning they didn't.
18 Q. So when the column was formed, they didn't
19 have any weapons?
20 A. They did have weapons but not real weapons.
21 They had some hunting rifles and some Kalashnikovs,
22 automatic rifles. They had something.
23 Q. As you were going from Susnjari, Jaglici, to
24 Buljim and descending towards the Konjevic Polje-Kasaba
25 road, was there any exchange of fire within the group
1 you were moving with, within the column?
2 A. At one point, near the village of Kamenica,
3 this large group congregated and we were surrounded,
4 and there were shots fired from all sides. I cannot
5 say that I saw shooting or fire exchanged within the
6 group, because of course one cannot hit one's own when
7 everyone is seeking salvation. But there was shooting
8 and you couldn't really tell. It was coming from all
9 sides, and anyway, we were totally encircled.
10 Q. Did you hear anything about possibly
12 A. There were several killings in a large group
13 between Konjevic Polje and Kasaba. In this large
14 group, several wounded persons killed themselves, and I
15 saw that. They simply couldn't go any further. They
16 were lying down, they put grenades under their bodies
17 and committed suicide. They had no other choice.
18 Q. Sir, you were living in a locality close to
19 Srebrenica which was part of the demilitarised zone.
20 Tell me, please, did you ever hear about the existence
21 of a military formation called the 28th Division, under
22 the command of Naser Oric?
23 A. Yes, I did know of the 28th Division,
24 everyone knows that, but it was the Territorial Defence
25 and that was at the beginning. Simply, everyone
1 defended his own village until Srebrenica was
3 Q. So after the demilitarisation of Srebrenica,
4 there was no 28th Division, nor Naser Oric there.
5 A. I'm not saying that they weren't there.
6 Naser was there; I saw him. But as for the army, it
7 was not there. I didn't see them.
8 Q. Does that mean that Naser was the commander
9 of a unit without troops?
10 A. I don't know how I can answer that question.
11 If there are no troops, how can he be a commander?
12 Q. But you said that you saw Naser and that he
13 was a commander.
14 A. I saw him as a person. I couldn't see him as
15 a commander. I don't know how I can say he was a
16 commander. You can tell me someone here is a
17 commander, but how can I know that?
18 Q. On three occasions since 1995 to the present,
19 you gave statements to the Ministry of the Interior, to
20 the State Security Service, and to the team of
21 investigators of the Prosecutor's Office.
22 A. Yes, I did give those statements.
23 Q. This was in August 1995.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Your recollections in August 1995 regarding
1 those events -- and you must understand me, please, I
2 do not wish to insist on the horrors that you
3 experienced -- but I have to say that your
4 recollections then were surely fresher than they are
5 today. This is a biological fact, I might say.
6 A. One might say that I am in a more focused
7 state of mind now than then. It was fresher, more
8 recent, but the concentration, after a time has gone
9 by, can improve.
10 Q. Witness R, today you are telling us about an
11 event involving a large number of people, a very
12 significant event, when, according to you, about 200
13 people were executed in Konjevic Polje, close to the
14 group which numbered about 2.000 people.
15 A. They were not people who were executed, lined
16 up and executed. Some people were sitting; some were
17 standing. But all those who were separate from this
18 large group, who were some distance away from the group
19 were simply killed because they were surrounded on all
21 Q. Perhaps I didn't use the right expression.
22 But according to your testimony, 200 people were
24 A. As far as I can tell, the number is between
25 200 and 300. I didn't count them.
1 Q. Can you explain, Witness R, the fact that
2 never in any of your previous statements, and there was
3 this professional team of investigators interviewing
4 you which, in the opinion of the Defence, could not
5 have allowed themselves the luxury of leaving out such
6 an important event, was never mentioned?
7 A. Yes. In every statement they kept cautioning
8 me that it wasn't important that -- that it was
9 important to say only what I actually saw. If I was a
10 little further away, that wasn't important.
11 Q. You were cautioned to that effect by the
13 A. Yes. They told me that I should recount the
14 things that happened to me, whereas other people would
15 tell about other experiences. .
16 Q. Further in your statement, one notes that you
17 mention for the first time today units that you
18 describe as Drinski.
19 A. Yes. I mostly spoke about the Krajisnici,
20 Krajiska. But in thinking over what actually happened,
21 I could see one letter, like "D", like "Drina", like
22 "Drinski". So in my opinion, there were soldiers with
23 such insignia as well.
24 Q. You just mentioned a single letter?
25 A. Yes, one letter. It was on the left sleeve,
1 and they always faced us or were behind us. My head
2 was bent, looking at the ground, so I couldn't turn
3 around to read whatever it said. So we could see very
5 Q. But you saw the letter "D"?
6 A. Yes, "Drinski". Maybe I wasn't able to
7 decipher each and every letter, but "Dre" and then one
8 naturally concludes that it must be "Drinski".
9 Q. Witness R, the investigators that interviewed
10 you in August certainly asked you about units, because
11 you mentioned Krajisnici and such like. Can you
12 explain then, as this happened to you, why did you not
13 mention then the unit that was wearing this emblem with
14 the word "Drinski" or something like that?
15 A. I just explained a moment ago that thinking
16 back to that event, I was reminded that I saw "Drinski"
17 on a few of those soldiers. Not all. Most of them
18 were "Krajiska", "Krajisnici", most of them.
19 Q. In what alphabet was that written?
20 A. In view of the fact that I studied Latin and
21 Cyrillic scripts, there was no Cyrillic, as far as one
22 could remember. But this was a very difficult moment
23 when you can't notice or hear or register everything.
24 It is hard to imagine, and it is hard to be certain at
25 that moment.
1 Q. Yes, I quite understand. But as far as I'm
2 able to understand from what you just said, both
3 scripts were represented, the Cyrillic and the Latin.
4 A. Well, since "K" is written in the same way in
5 both scripts, the letter "K" was there. And since the
6 letter "R" has only one more line, it is "P" in the
7 Latin script and "R" in the Cyrillic script, the two
8 are similar again. And I studied both scripts at
9 school, so it's not so confusing to me. I can read
10 both. But as far as I can remember, it was in Cyrillic
11 script, but it's quite possible that it might have been
12 in Latin script.
13 Q. So you're not sure.
14 A. Yes, I'm sure it said "Krajisnici",
15 "Krajiska", or something to that effect.
16 Q. Witness R, I'm asking you about Drinski.
17 A. Well, that's a different question. You asked
18 me about the Krajisnici. As for Drinski -- I don't
19 know how I can explain this to you. Everything I have
20 said about Krajisnici also applies to Drinski. I
21 studied the Latin and Cyrillic scripts, and that is how
22 I deciphered the patch.
23 Q. So my question is: Are you sure that it was
24 one or the other script or a mixture?
25 A. I'm sure that it said "Krajisnici". And
1 thinking things over well, I have a feeling that there
2 was "Drinski" too. This is a feeling. But
3 "Krajisnici", "Krajiska", that I'm sure of.
4 Q. So regarding "Drinski", you have a feeling
5 that it was there?
6 A. Yes. As to what I feel now and remember now,
7 I must underline once again that these were difficult
8 moments, and in such moments it is difficult to expect
9 a lot, because just imagine if you were in such a
10 situation, how you would feel.
11 Q. To wind up this cross-examination, when you
12 crossed over to free territory, did you learn from your
13 friends and acquaintances, who had also crossed into
14 that territory, anything about who had crossed the
15 Rajkovici mountain, the confrontation line there, that
16 an agreement had been made between the commander of the
17 Zvornik Brigade and the commander who led that group;
18 in other words, that an agreement had been reached to
19 open the lines at Bajkovac and to allow the convoy to
20 pass?. This was on the 17th or the 18th of July,
22 A. I sorry, I didn't hear that, but I know that
23 they went through similar troubles with the assistance
24 of the BiH army that somehow managed to deblock the
25 area to help this group pull out. That is what I
1 heard. But that there was an agreement, I didn't hear
2 anything about it; nor did I see the Serb army allowing
3 anyone to pass, nor did I hear about any such thing.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President,
5 the Defence has no further questions.
6 Witness R, thank you.
7 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Petrusic.
8 Mr. Cayley, would you like to respond?
9 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honour, I have no further
10 questions for the witness. Thank you.
11 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Cayley.
12 Questioned by the Court:
13 JUDGE RIAD: Witness R, I would like to just
14 clarify a few points which you mentioned.
15 When you spoke of what Mr. Cayley called a
16 vantage point in the woods -- I don't know how they
17 translated that in Serbo-Croat because "vantage point"
18 is a very sophisticated word -- I think you saw between
19 200 or 300 people killed by the Serb troops. Were they
20 killed in the fighting or was it a summary execution?
21 Were you able to see that?
22 A. Yes, I saw that. It wasn't in fighting, it
23 was killing people at random, people who were standing
24 there, who had decided to surrender to the Serb army
25 because they didn't know where to go. And they were
1 waiting for the Serb army to approach them, and as they
2 approached them, the Serb troops, they killed those
3 around. I assume they killed them. Anyway, I saw
4 people falling to the ground and being shot at. What
5 actually happened --
6 JUDGE RIAD: You saw that very clearly from
7 where you were?
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE RIAD: You saw the shooting or you saw
10 the bodies on the ground?
11 A. I saw the bodies, and I saw a man, as he was
12 hit, falling down. Some people crying out, screaming
13 out, I saw that.
14 JUDGE RIAD: So you saw the whole event and
15 not the aftermath, just people lying down. You saw and
16 heard the shots?
17 A. Yes. It was from the nearby woods. It
18 wasn't far away, as the crow flies. If we were to
19 measure this distance, it would be 300 to 500 metres
20 away. And as we were on the hill and they were down in
21 the vale, one could see it.
22 JUDGE RIAD: Very good. Now, when you spoke
23 about this old man, Stari, among other things which you
24 said, he said, "The Wolves will deal with them," if you
25 remember what you said. What did you conclude from
1 that? What is the meaning of "Wolves" and what is the
2 meaning of "deal with them", if you can put that in the
3 context you are in?
4 A. The Wolves, I think, were -- as I could hear
5 from others, that they were a unit, a Serb unit. And
6 when he said they would deal with them, what I thought
7 he meant was that they would catch them and do
8 something. I don't know what. Probably what he did
9 with us. That was my idea.
10 JUDGE RIAD: What they did with you, it means
11 shooting or killing, what you said about yourself.
12 That was your conclusion?
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 JUDGE RIAD: Now, speaking of you, you were
15 shot at a distance of one metre, and you were lying
16 down on the ground in your blood until night. Now,
17 were you in shape to move after that? Did you have the
18 strength to start moving after that? What happened
19 exactly? Did somebody carry you or were you able to go
21 A. There was no one there to help me. I managed
22 to get up. It was hard. I was all stiff. But by
23 budging left and right, I managed to sit up. And after
24 sitting for five to ten minutes, I somehow managed to
25 climb up against a tree to get on my feet. As I was
1 wounded in the shoulder, I could walk. I hadn't lost
2 so much blood as not to be able to walk. I could walk
3 with difficulty but ...
4 JUDGE RIAD: Very good. Just with reference
5 to the insignia you thought you saw, the Drinski
6 insignia, you said you had the feeling that this
7 insignia existed. Can you just explain how this
8 feeling came to you? What gave you this feeling? You
9 heard people mentioning the word or you read it? If
10 you can try to know the origin of this feeling, if you
12 A. Well, it is difficult because this Stari who
13 was giving orders said, "The Wolves will deal with it,"
14 and I thought he meant the Drina Wolves because I had
15 heard of that unit.
16 As for Krajisnici or Krajiska, I am sure of
17 this emblem. It is a yellow-coloured patch on the left
18 sleeve worn by all these soldiers. But when I think
19 hard, I have a feeling that there were soldiers who
20 were also wearing similar patches with the word
21 "Drinski." But I have this feeling now after a long
22 period of time and after thinking hard. For Krajiski,
23 Krajisnici, or Krajiska, I am sure of that. It was a
24 yellow patch, and I can show you this patch. If you
25 can get a hold of an example of this patch, I'm sure I
1 would be able to recognise it.
2 JUDGE RIAD: The Krajisnici. You are
3 concentrating on the Krajisnici badge; is that right?
4 This is the thing you are sure of?
5 A. Yes. There are three possibilities;
6 Krajisnici, Krajiska, or something to that effect. I
7 think it said "Krajiska," "Krajisnici," something to
8 that effect.
9 JUDGE RIAD: And did you have an idea of
10 where these people would come from?
11 A. No.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Did you hear them speak? Did
13 you hear their dialect?
14 A. Well, the dialect amongst the Serbs, at
15 least, is similar, so I can't judge by their speech.
16 JUDGE RIAD: So you don't know whether they
17 were coming from Serbia, from Bosnia.
18 A. No, I couldn't tell.
19 JUDGE RIAD: That's all the questions I
20 wanted to ask you. I would like to thank you very much
21 for coming and congratulate you for getting out of this
22 great ordeal alive and safe and sound. Thank you very
24 Mr. Bailiff, we'll have to take him out.
25 MR. CAYLEY: Judge Riad, before the witness
1 leaves, we have a number of exhibits that need to be --
2 JUDGE RIAD: Good. Before he leaves. Then
3 before he leaves, I would like to ask him if he would
4 like to add anything to what he said. Anything you
5 would like to mention, to tell the Tribunal? You have
6 come the whole way, and you are entitled to be heard.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was my
8 only wish, to have the opportunity to tell about what
9 happened to normal people so that they can feel and see
10 what they did, so that they can remember what they
11 did. That's all.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much, Witness R.
13 I can't say your name.
14 Mr. Cayley.
15 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honour, there are a number
16 of exhibits, and I think my learned friend has one
17 exhibit too.
18 First of all, Exhibit 151, which is an
19 English translation of a letter of discharge and
20 medical report, and Exhibit 151A, which is the original
21 of that report in the Bosnian language. I would apply
22 for formal admission into evidence of those two
23 documents. They should remain under seal because they
24 identify the witness.
25 The second item is Exhibit 159, which is the
1 map which the witness originally drew a trace, which we
2 then incorporated into a computer-generated image of
3 what he drew us. That document does not need to be
4 under seal.
5 And then lastly, if the private session --
6 where he gave evidence in private session could remain
7 under seal, because he does identify an individual in
8 that part of his evidence.
9 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Cayley.
10 Does the Defence have any document to present
11 into evidence?
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] The Defence
13 has no objection regarding the documents tendered by
14 the Prosecutor. And I think D19 is the exhibit shown
15 to Your Honours which we would like to tender.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Cayley.
17 MR. CAYLEY: If I can add in respect of D19,
18 and I'm sure my learned friend won't object, it should
19 be under seal because the document identifies the
20 witness. It has his signature and name upon it, so it
21 should remain under seal.
22 JUDGE RIAD: I think we have to keep it under
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.
25 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you. Now, Witness R,
1 we'll ask you to leave, and thank you again. We better
2 draw the shutters.
3 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, Your Honour, I think so.
4 Judge Riad, while this is taking place,
5 Mr. McCloskey and I will change places because he's
6 leading the next witness, unless you wish to take a
7 short break at this time.
8 JUDGE RIAD: No, we can continue. Perhaps
9 you can ask him if he wants to lead the witness.
10 [The witness withdrew]
21 [Open session]
22 MR. McCLOSKEY:
23 Q. Witness S, you are a Bosnian by nationality;
24 is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And a Muslim by faith.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you tell us where you were living in July
4 of 1995 and who you were living with?
5 A. I lived in Srebrenica with my family, my wife
6 and two children.
7 Q. And on July 11th, did you decide to do
8 something along with your family?
9 A. On the 11th of July we had to separate. I
10 decided to go with the other men, to take to the woods,
11 and my wife and children remained and went with the
12 other people to the UNPROFOR base at Potocari.
13 Q. Can you briefly describe the circumstances
14 why you decided you had to leave your home and your
15 family had to leave their home.
16 A. Well, I saw that the situation was a chaotic
17 one, a terrible one, and there was no other way out.
18 We could only expect death down there because we had no
19 protection from UNPROFOR, and we decided to take to the
21 Q. Is that because the Serb army had taken over
22 Srebrenica on the 11th?
23 A. Yes, it had already taken over half the town,
24 from the hill of Bojna. And there was no reason to
25 wait any longer, there was no possibility for safety.
1 Q. Your family went to Potocari, and where did
2 you go?
3 A. I went with all the other men towards the
4 village of Slatine and Susnjari, upwards.
5 Q. About how many other men were gathered in the
6 area of Susnjari when you got there?
7 A. Well, there were about 12.000 and 15.000. I
8 can't give you an exact figure, but there were a lot of
10 Q. Do you know roughly how many of those men
11 might have been armed in some way?
12 A. As far as I was able to note, about a third,
13 I'd say, with hunting rifles, not very strong weaponry;
14 hunting rifles and other types. But a third of them, I
15 would say. Not more.
16 Q. Did you, yourself, have some kind of
18 A. No. No.
19 Q. Did you have some military explosive?
20 A. In my bag I had a hand grenade which I put
21 there, if I were captured by the Serbs, to be able to
22 take my own life.
23 Q. When you set off -- what time did you set off
24 from Susnjari?
25 A. Well, from a field in front of a house, I
1 left there at around noon, between 12.00 and 1.00,
2 towards the Bojna hill.
3 Q. Was that the evening of the 11th, or was it
4 noon on the 12th?
5 A. It was in the evening of the 12th -- no, I'm
6 sorry. It was between the 11th and 12th. We started
7 out on the 11th, at about 2.30, and in the evening we
8 arrived at Susnjari at about 10.00. We had a
9 consultation there. So that at about 12.00, midnight,
10 that is to say, we started out. The night between the
11 11th and 12th.
12 Q. What was this consultation you referred to?
13 A. Well, we lined up so that as many people
14 could cross as possible, because the Serb lines were
15 very near and there were a lot of us. Around Causi and
16 the surrounding hills, that's where they were.
17 Q. Was someone leading the consultation or
18 leading this large group of men?
19 A. No. They just tried to line us up so that
20 people with weapons and without weapons would be mixed
21 up together, and if we came across an ambush, to
22 prevent as many people losing their lives as possible.
23 Q. When you say "they," -- so there were some
24 people leading this, or trying to communicate to the
25 large group?
1 A. Well, there was the head of the municipality,
2 those in charge of civilian authority, and some others
3 who were in Srebrenica in the course of the war, the
4 chiefs of some secretariats for example.
5 Q. Did you notice military people too that had
6 been in the military?
7 A. Well, there was the Territorial Defence. It
8 wasn't an army, because it was a demilitarised zone, so
9 there was just this sort of Territorial Defence if the
10 situation would arise, as it in fact did.
11 Q. So there were some Territorial Defence people
12 there also.
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. I know you spent some time through the woods,
15 but I'm going to -- the counsel for the Defence may ask
16 you about that, the Judge, but I would like also, I'd
17 like to take you, if I could, through the 12th and
18 start out with the late evening hours of the 12th. If
19 you could tell us where you were on the late hours of
20 the 12th and what you recall happening then, and then
21 work your way onto the morning of the 13th when you
22 were captured.
23 A. On the 12th, at 11.30, I crossed the first
24 Serb lines. At about 2.00, 2.30, there was an ambush
25 towards the village of Kamenica --
1 Q. You mean 11.30 a.m. and then 2.30 p.m. on the
2 12th there was an ambush?
3 A. No, at noon on the 12th, because I was at
4 Buljim, in front of the first Serb lines from the
5 morning, from 5.00 a.m. until 11.30. We were not able
6 to cross over, and the column was interrupted. And at
7 11.30, I crossed the first Serb line with a group and
8 then we came across an ambush by a stream. And
9 sometime in the afternoon I reached the Kamenica Hill,
10 where I saw a lot of soldiers who had gone ahead. The
11 situation was one of chaos. First of all, they said
12 that the wounded should go in front, and I took a
13 wounded man and went in front. But towards evening we
14 went to the village of Kamenica and moved on towards
15 the village of Unice [phoen]. As we were going down
16 from the village of Kamenica I drank a lot of water,
17 and by 12.00 we went up through the village of
18 Burnice. I felt very sleepy and I don't know what time
19 it was, 12.00, 12.30, and I lost consciousness. I woke
20 up in the morning at around 3.00 a.m. and got to
21 Konjevic Polje.
22 Q. So this is the morning of the 13th that you
23 got to Konjevic Polje.
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we show the witness
1 what is marked as Exhibit 176, and could that be placed
2 on the ELMO, please.
3 Q. I believe you've told us previously that you
4 were near the intersection at Konjevic Polje. Could
5 you point out just roughly where you found yourself the
6 morning of the 13th. You can just point with your
7 finger on that map. No, you've got the pointer.
8 That's great.
9 A. I found myself by the road, between Kravica
10 Rijeka and the road towards Bratunac.
11 Q. Okay. Why don't you use the pointer and show
12 us what you mean.
13 A. It is this section here [indicates].
14 Q. That's the -- you're pointing to the
15 intersection just, it looks like, perhaps a kilometre
16 south of the little dot that says "Konjevic Polje."
17 Can you describe the situation you found
18 yourself in that morning. What occurred?
19 A. When I came to, regained consciousness, I
20 looked at my watch and it was about 3.00 a.m. I was in
21 some grassland and then went into a cornfield of some
22 kind. And I saw that I was in a very grave situation.
23 As I knew the terrain slightly from before the war, I
24 saw a bridge which goes towards Kasaba. I thought
25 about what I was going to do next, and I went down
1 towards the river, which flows from the Kravica
2 direction and it flows under the bridge and joins up
3 with the Jadar River. But I thought that the river was
4 enormous, it looked enormous to me, and then when I
5 looked down to the River Jadar from the bridge it
6 seemed even larger and I thought that it would take me
7 off. So I went back to the field, that cornfield
8 actually, and I sat down there. There was a burnt-down
9 house there. In front of it there was a slightly newer
10 house which had not been burnt to the ground. And I
11 took some tobacco out of my pocket and wanted to roll a
12 cigarette to make myself feel better. But when I got
13 the tobacco out, I put it on my knee, rested it on the
14 knee of my leg, and I just couldn't get my fingers
15 together to roll up a cigarette, I felt so awful. And
16 I shook my head to see if that would help me regain
17 consciousness fully and to feel better, but it didn't.
18 And then I heard that there were some people
19 close by, and I tried to go into a house which had been
20 partially burnt down. At the entrance to that house,
21 at the stairway, I stepped on a brick, that is to say,
22 a tile from the roof, and it snapped. And the people
23 saw me and started shouting at me. They said,
24 "Surrender. We can see you." And they shot up in the
25 air above me and I put my hands up, put my bag up on my
1 shoulder. They told me to approach, towards the
2 asphalt road, which led from the intersection to
3 Bratunac. I came up to these group of men, and they
4 said, "Put your hands up," and I raised my hands even
5 higher. They asked what I had in my bag. "Do you have
6 any weapons?" I said I did not, and they told me ...
7 Q. Witness, as you know, what you're saying has
8 to be interpreted. I can tell that you're going a
9 little -- if you can just slow down a little bit and
10 just tell us the main things that occurred.
11 A. At that moment the first policeman came up to
12 me, he took my bag away, took out the hand grenade
13 which was in the bag and which I had intended to commit
14 suicide with. He asked me what I had in my pockets.
15 Then he searched my pockets and took out the tobacco,
16 he took out my lighter from my pocket and wallet, in
17 which I had 310 German marks. I had my passport, my ID
18 card, my diary and telephone directory with the
19 telephone numbers of my family abroad, and I had a
21 Q. Did he take --
22 A. Which I had for work --
23 Q. So he took all those identification
24 documents. That's the first thing -- that's one of the
25 first things that this person you've described as a
1 police officer took; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, can you describe what this person you've
4 described as a police officer was wearing, and what the
5 other people that he was with were wearing who captured
6 you that morning at Konjevic Polje?
7 A. There were several of them there. They were
8 standing five to ten metres away. They had dark blue
9 uniforms and slightly multicoloured. They weren't all
10 blue, they were the mass type of blue uniform and they
11 were all in one. They had a belt around their waist in
13 Q. Did you notice any insignia?
14 A. No.
15 Q. After they took all your ID documents, what
16 happened? And tell us when you come to a point where
17 you were able to recognise someone so we can stop.
18 A. That other policeman, the second one who was
19 standing next to the one that had taken my documents
20 from me, he said, "Lie down so I can slit your
21 throat." I laid down by the roadside and said, "Go
22 ahead. Slit my throat. Go ahead." But a third person
23 was there and he said, "Don't touch him. Leave him
24 alone," and he told me to get up. I got up, and he
25 said to the other one, "Take him up there." And he
1 took me off towards a school building.
2 And in the meantime, while they were shooting
3 at me, a civilian jumped out of the grass, he threw a
4 grenade. He was on half of this asphalt road. He was
5 of medium height. He had a check jacket on and his
6 face was covered in blood. They shouted at me and
7 said, "Is that your brother?" And I said no, it's
8 not. They asked me whether I knew him, and I said I
9 didn't. And he said that I should pull him off the
10 asphalt road, onto the bank, the grassy bank by the
11 side. I took him by the legs and pulled him over.
12 Q. Let me ask you, what exactly did this person
13 do with the grenade?
14 A. I think that he had this grenade and he threw
15 it, and he killed himself on that road.
16 Q. With the grenade?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And that happened before you were captured or
19 after you were captured?
20 A. I think while they were shooting at me, he
21 must have been close by, some 50 metres away. I didn't
22 notice him, but I found him there dead.
23 Q. Let's get on with your testimony. You said
24 that you were taken to a place near a school. Where
25 were you taken?
1 JUDGE RIAD: Can we just dwell on this man
2 with the grenade? Did he throw it on himself to commit
3 suicide, or did he throw it at the people shooting at
4 Witness S?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. Just to try to confirm that, did the person
7 with the grenade use that grenade to kill himself, or
8 did he throw it at the Serb soldiers?
9 A. I think that he tried to run across the
10 road. I was a little further away so I didn't quite
11 see it. And he had no other way.
12 Q. Do you know if the explosion of the hand
13 grenade killed him or whether Serb bullets killed him,
14 or could you tell?
15 A. His face was covered in blood and he had a
16 jacket on him. I couldn't see any other wounds. And
17 he was lying face down, with his arms spread out on the
18 asphalt road.
19 Q. Did you see the hand grenade explode?
20 A. No. It was fear, probably. There were five
21 or six of them, they were shooting over me from
22 automatic rifles. I was scared so I didn't see.
23 Q. Did you see him throw the hand grenade away
24 from himself?
25 A. No. He may have been some 40 metres away
1 from me, so I didn't see him. I just saw him dead.
2 Q. Why did you think there was a hand grenade
3 involved in his death?
4 A. That's what they told me, and the blood was
5 still hot. When I picked him up first by the arms, and
6 then the legs, my arms were bloody and his blood was
7 warm, so it was a fresh wound.
8 Q. Okay. It's important that when you're
9 testifying, just testify about what you saw and heard,
10 and if someone -- if you're testifying about what
11 someone else told you, make sure you tell us that also,
13 A. Okay.
14 Q. Can you tell us where you were first taken by
15 these men?
16 A. They took me to an area in front of the
17 school. There was a like a small shed. And there were
18 a couple of soldiers in camouflage uniforms in that
19 shed. There were two other men that I knew. There
20 were traces of blows on them. The man brought me
21 there, a man I knew, and he told them, "Don't anyone
22 touch him." But they tried to enter, there was one
23 with a rifle there who was watching over us, they
24 wanted to come in and beat us and they said, "Look at
25 him, how big he is." Afterwards a man came talking to
1 me, asking me where I had worked, what I did, where I
2 was during the war, did I have money, had they taken
3 the money from me, and things like that.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I think we've
5 reached the point where he recognises some people, so
6 we should go into private session, I believe.
7 JUDGE RIAD: Okay. Madam Registrar, please
8 order a private session.
9 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Exhibit 177. And could you
19 put that on the ELMO, please.
20 Q. Do you recognise the little building depicted
21 in 177?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you tell us where you were taken in
24 relation to that building, and show us with your
1 A. He took me along this path [indicates], and
2 then I entered the house from this side [indicates].
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: For the record, he shows that
4 he entered this little brick building, in the forefront
5 of the photo, from what would be the right side.
6 Q. You've already testified that there were at
7 least two Muslim men you knew in there that were
8 captives, and a Serb policeman that you knew. What
9 occurred in the building, and where did you go next?
10 A. The Serb policeman brought me there, and
11 apart from us -- next to us were soldiers in camouflage
12 uniforms, and he disappeared. He later came again and
13 told us that we had to go somewhere for some officers
14 to question us. And then he led us from this small
15 building forward, along this path, across a meadow, to
16 another house.
17 Q. Now, the person that led you to another
18 house, was that a Serb policeman that you had known
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And he wasn't the one you just saw very
22 briefly and then disappeared, he was the one who you
23 saw for a longer period of time.
24 A. Yes. Yes.
25 Q. In fact, this one Serb policeman was with you
1 most of the time in Konjevic Polje, until you were
2 given to the execution squad; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right. So you were -- where did you go
5 from that little brick building in the last exhibit?
6 Where did this policeman take you?
7 A. We crossed a meadow, towards the crossroads.
8 I don't know how many metres away exactly.
9 Q. Where did you go?
10 A. When we got in front of this house, we found
11 there four men in uniform who were sitting around a
12 table lengthwise, and there was another table at right
13 angles and we stood next to that table. To my left was
14 the policeman I knew, and to my right were another two
15 policemen whom I did not know.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we show the witness
17 Exhibit 178, and could we put that on the ELMO. .
18 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. McCloskey, I suggest that in
19 five minutes we have a break.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's fine.
21 JUDGE RIAD: And we will resume at a quarter
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. President,
25 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you. I'm sorry to the
2 Mr. McCloskey, I suggest that in five minutes
3 we have a break and we'll resume at a quarter past
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
6 JUDGE RIAD: Perhaps, Mr. Petrusic, can we
7 continue until 2.15?
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your
9 Honour, Mr. President. Yes.
10 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
11 Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. Can you point with the pointer again to the
14 house where you were taken to the outside, where these
15 men were?
16 A. Next to this big building [indicates], in
17 front of this tree [indicates].
18 Q. Do you remember those trees?
19 A. Yes. Yes.
20 Q. You've always told us that you remember those
21 two apple trees. Are those the two apple trees that
22 you recall?
23 A. Yes. Yes.
24 Q. Now, can you describe the men that questioned
25 you, how many there were and what they were wearing.
1 A. Yes. One of them was sitting at the head of
2 the table, and the other three to the side. And the
3 one sitting at the head questioned us most. When they
4 lined us up in front of this other table, he said,
5 "Don't lie. We know everything." And then he asked
6 me where I was, what I was, where I worked. I answered
7 some questions, and he said that he didn't believe me.
8 Then he went on to the man next to me, and then on to
9 the third man.
10 The officers who were sitting around the
11 table had a bottle of liquor in front of them and four
12 small glasses, and they were drinking this alcoholic
13 beverage. Then they questioned us in some detail.
14 They told us about certain things, whether we had heard
15 about them, some operations, offensive operations
16 against Srebrenica. I said no.
17 And then later they asked us whether we were
18 hungry. We said we were. And from a wooden hut they
19 brought us two small loaves of bread and some salami.
20 We started eating. We took a little. We didn't have
21 much strength. And they encouraged us, "Why aren't you
22 eating?" And we said we couldn't. And they said, "Are
23 you thirsty," and we said we were. And then he ordered
24 one of the policemen to bring us water. He went into
25 the house and brought us water. We drank.
1 In the meantime, while they were still
2 questioning us and we were answering, along the asphalt
3 road from Bratunac, 12 buses came with women and
4 children on board, and they told us to leave the food
5 and to turn around and face the road, which we did.
6 After that they asked us, "Did you see that?" We said
7 yes. Then they said, "Turn around." And then he said,
8 "You see how respectful they were of us, that they
9 didn't force too many people onto the buses but only as
10 many as could sit down." And I said, "Yes, you're
12 And after a short while this policeman came
13 up, the one who was sitting at the head of the table.
14 I must not mention his name yet. He said, "Take them
15 down there." And then this policeman took us into this
16 house, in front of this house, and when we entered that
17 house --
18 Q. Let me stop you there. Before we get to this
19 new policeman that you -- you know at least this
20 policeman's first name; is that right?
21 A. It is the same one who took me to the small
22 house and brought me from that small house to the
23 people who were interrogating me.
24 Q. So it's the same guy that you've been talking
25 about all along?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, I want to ask you some more particular
3 questions about the person that you said was sitting at
4 this table that first asked you questions. Can you
5 describe what he was wearing?
6 A. He was wearing a camouflage uniform. His
7 sleeves were turned up. He had a moustache. And the
8 other one, or rather the third one at the end of the
9 table was grey-haired --
10 Q. Let's just stay with this one guy first.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The first one with the moustache, what colour
13 uniform was he wearing, camouflage uniform?
14 A. It was the colour of camouflage uniforms worn
15 by their officers.
16 Q. It wasn't blue.
17 A. No, no. No, no.
18 Q. It was a regular soldier's camouflage
20 A. Yes. All four were wearing this military
21 camouflage uniform.
22 Q. All four of the men that were at this table,
23 that were participating in the interrogation, were all
24 in military camouflage uniform, not blue.
25 A. Yes. But the one at the head of the table
1 put most questions, and the one at the end. The other
2 two kept quiet. They just looked at us; they didn't
3 ask us much.
4 Q. Okay. The person at the head of the table,
5 he had a moustache; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What did he tell you about himself?
8 A. He told us that he had been in command of the
9 operation on Srebrenica in 1993, in the area of Kade
10 Voda and Osmace. And he told us how many shells they
11 fired. They expected to find thousands dead, but they
12 only found four soldiers dead in a bunker.
13 Q. Did he tell you his nickname?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you tell us his nickname?
16 A. Yes. He said, "You have heard on the
17 Motorola the name Cica. That was me."
18 Q. You said there was a grey-haired man at the
19 other end of the table. Can you describe that person.
20 A. He was a little taller than this one. He was
21 a little plumper. And I just remember the way he
22 looked at us, as he was closest to us. He had grey
23 hair. He was maybe over 50, a couple of years over 50,
24 in my opinion.
25 Q. About how tall?
1 A. He was sitting down. Once they got up very
2 briefly -- actually, these two in the middle were
3 saying that General Mladic was coming, so we didn't
4 dare turn around. They jumped up. The one at the head
5 of the table said that it wasn't General Mladic; it
6 wasn't his car. And then he said, "You've had it if
7 Mladic comes." And then they looked, and then they sat
8 down again, saying it wasn't Mladic. We didn't turn
9 around, so we didn't see what colour the car was.
10 Q. How tall was, your best guess, the
11 grey-haired fellow?
12 A. Well, maybe 170, 180 centimetres. He was
13 quite heavy. In his 50s; 55 maybe, in that age group.
14 Q. Thank you. One last question before we
15 break. About what time did this occur, where these
16 people were interrogating you?
17 A. About -- between 7.00 and 9.00 in the
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Thank you, Your
20 Honour. This may be a good time to break, on your
22 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. We'll
23 resume at twenty past one. Thank you.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.53 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 1.24 p.m.
1 JUDGE RIAD: Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Your Honour. I
3 just noticed the defendant coming in.
4 Q. Witness S, we had just left off and you were
5 about to be taken from the place where you'd been
6 interrogated by four people in camouflage army
7 uniforms, and you were being taken by the police
8 officer that you'd known. Where did he take you this
10 A. Well, there's a detail that I forgot to tell
11 you. While I was being interrogated, they asked us
12 whether we drank alcoholic beverage and I said we did,
13 and he said to another policeman to bring us a glass.
14 Then he poured some alcohol from the bottle. I took
15 the glass first and swallowed the alcohol, but I felt a
16 sort of shock going through me. I passed the glass on
17 to the other one, he took a sip, and then to the third
18 and he returned the glass back to me. I took another
19 sip, as much as I was able. I passed it around again.
20 The next man just took a little bit and said he didn't
21 want any more, and so on. And I drank the whole of
22 that glass full of this alcohol myself.
23 And then the policeman took us off into
24 another house which was empty. It didn't have a door.
25 We were on the ground floor level of that house, and
1 there were three rooms on the ground floor. They took
2 me to the one furthest away, on the right-hand side, at
3 the window to that room; that is to say, there was just
4 a wooden frame round the window, and on the window
5 there was just some plastic.
6 In the room there were two mattresses, one on
7 each side, and in another corner there was a small
8 stove. The policeman whom I knew told us, "Don't
9 anybody try to escape. You can't escape." And having
10 drunk that alcohol, I began to regain consciousness.
11 A boy was brought in after that, he was 14 or
12 15, he was barefoot, and the policeman asked him where
13 he was from. He told him. He asked him his name. He
14 asked him whether he knew a man, that is to say, a
15 policeman who was that person's neighbour. He asked
16 him whether he was hungry, the boy said yes. Then he
17 said, "Take some tins and eat them." The young boy
18 began to eat. He was frightened.
19 Another policeman came in asking for that boy
20 because allegedly the boy had wounded some policeman by
21 the road. They began to beat him outside in the
22 hallway. They took him off somewhere, they searched
23 him for a rifle -- for a pistol, then they returned
24 him, they brought him back.
25 After a certain amount of time had passed,
1 they brought in another man whom I knew as well. And
2 later on they brought yet another man in whom I did not
3 know, and the second policeman asked me whether I knew
4 him and he asked me some other things from before the
5 war. And later on they brought in another man; he was
6 a Muslim whom I did know.
7 We stayed there for some time. I talked to
8 the policemen about the people -- to this one policeman
9 about our common acquaintances. He would ask where
10 they were, what they had been in the war, and he said,
11 "See what your government has done to you. It's sold
12 you out. Why didn't you stay with us?" I said that I
13 didn't know. At one particular point I just said that
14 I was just beginning to feel better and coming to, and
15 he said, "Well, it's difficult."
16 After some more time had gone by, another man
17 came, I knew this man as well, and he said --
18 Q. Was this new man a Serb or a Muslim, this new
20 A. He was also a Serb and he came and said these
21 four men should go downstairs, these other ones should
22 stay where they are. So we left the house by the
23 crossroads, we crossed over the road, and they took us
24 to a warehouse of some kind which was situated on the
25 banks of the River Jadar.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go into private
2 session briefly again.
3 [Private session]
13 page 3266 redacted – private session
13 page 3267 redacted – private session
7 [Open session]
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: If the witness could refer to
9 Exhibit 178 again, which should be up there, and if we
10 could put that on the ELMO.
11 Q. Now, do you see on this photograph, 178, the
12 area where the warehouse was that you were taken to
13 that day? And could you point to it if you see it,
14 just the general area.
15 A. You can't see the warehouse now. It was
16 destroyed. There was never a petrol pump here before
17 the war. He was here [indicates] -- it was here
18 [indicates] in front of the petrol pump, this area
19 here, the general area of the petrol station.
20 Q. All right.
21 A. That was built on part of the area where the
22 warehouse stood.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: For the record, he's pointing
24 to an area on the left-hand side of the photograph
25 where you can just make out some big yellow bars which
1 is a petrol station.
2 Q. Now, you were taken to this very area by
3 Mr. Ruez of the Office of the Prosecutor relatively
4 recently, and you took him around to all these places,
5 didn't you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What happened at this warehouse?
8 A. When we went into the warehouse, before the
9 war there was an agricultural chemist there, and the
10 warehouse was 15 or 20 metres long, and you could buy
11 medicines for agricultural purposes. When we entered,
12 there were two rooms. One room actually was the
13 entrance to the warehouse itself.
14 So when I went into this smaller room, they
15 started shouting at us, and (redacted)
16 (redacted) And they started shouting,
17 they said, "Take your clothes off." They began beating
18 us. We took our clothes off and they lined us up along
19 the wall. And while they were lining us up, I counted
20 12 people, Muslims, who were in their underpants.
21 Their clothes had been taken off. I began to be
22 afraid. I began to shake. He said, "Why are you
23 shaking" and began to beat me. And I noticed a
24 colleague of mine from the company I worked for, we
25 worked together, amongst the Muslims, that is. And
1 they beat us there, they inflicted blows on us, and we
2 fell to the ground.
3 And then a young man turned up. He was
4 between 18 and 20 years old. I noticed him too. At
5 the first point, he asked me where I was, what I had
6 been doing, what I was (redacted)
7 (redacted), "Why did you (redacted) make these people take their
8 clothes off? They are (redacted) going to go for an exchange."
9 He said, "They won't be exchanged, I'm going to kill
10 them all," and a young man that I had buried some 40
11 days ago. And he said, "If anybody is going to kill
12 them, I'll kill them. I did this 15 days ago." And
13 then they hugged each other and went outside.
14 Later on another man with a moustache came
15 in, he was thin, and said, "Put your clothes on." The
16 four of us dressed, began to dress. We took up our
17 clothes. The other one said that they couldn't find
18 their clothing, and he said he'd bring them some. And
19 he went into some room and brought some clothing, as
20 much as he was able to carry. The people then dressed
21 themselves but they said, "This isn't my clothing," and
22 he said, "Don't be choosey. Put anything you can find
23 on because that's all there is."
24 Then from that small room they transferred us
25 into this larger room, which was where the shop was,
1 and there were some bars there but no glass. They
2 lined us up against the wall and beat us. I was beaten
3 most and I was a little frightened. But after I had
4 drunk the alcohol, I felt a bit better. Our hands had
5 to be up against the wall and our stomachs had to be up
6 against the wall. They hit me on my back, on my head,
7 with their clubs or batons.
8 Next to me throughout that time was my bag,
9 and then he said, "Who does the bag belong to?" I said
10 it belonged to me, that it was mine. He told me to
11 turn around. I turned around, he said, "Open the bag
12 and throw out the things you have in it." I did so. I
13 threw them out onto the floor. There was a pair of
14 trousers, a couple of T-shirts that I had taken with
15 me, some bandages. I had some injections to stop
16 bleeding, something like that, I got it from
17 humanitarian aid, and I took this along with me just in
18 case I happened to be wounded, so I could dress my
19 wounds. Then he began to inflict wounds on me, he
20 said, "What do you need that for?" I fell on the
21 ground again, and they beat me again.
22 And after some time a bus parked in front of
23 the warehouse. There were no signs up on the bus. I
24 wanted to try and remember, but there was nothing
25 written up on the bus. It was driven by a blonde
1 lady. I think she had a white shirt on and she had the
2 sort of bicycle, short trousers on, she was wearing
4 come and board the bus. Put your hands behind your
5 neck. Get into the bus, and don't you dare sit down.
6 Don't any of you dare sit down."
7 And as they were boarding the bus, and when I
8 boarded the bus, my seat was at the back, and standing
9 between the seats, I looked to the back of the bus and
10 on the front door there were these two men, these
11 uniformed people, and Deronjic was amongst them, two at
12 the front and two at the back. And then I was
13 wondering where this bus was going to go, and I
14 thought, if it starts for Kravica, then that would be
15 the end of it. But the bus moved towards Drinjaca.
16 It wasn't a long ride. The bus stopped once
17 again. And they put on the music in the bus louder,
18 and when the bus stopped he told us to get out. We got
19 out of the bus --
20 Q. Let me stop you there for a second. Can you
21 tell me -- I want to go back to the house where you
22 were being beaten right before you got onto the bus.
23 What were the people wearing that were beating you in
24 that house? What kind of uniforms?
25 A. They had camouflage military uniforms,
1 trousers and the kinds of shirts they wear, and they
2 had rifles with a folding butt, automatic weapons.
3 Q. I think you mentioned, or it was at least
4 translated as a baton. Do you remember being hit by
5 anything that was like a baton, the kind that police
6 carry, or was it just rifles?
7 A. Well, they beat us with anything they could.
8 He got hold of my hair and threw me down on the
9 ground. My worst moment was when he stepped on my head
10 in his army boots and pressed me down against the
11 concrete. They beat us with all kinds of things.
12 Q. Can you recall seeing any baton, a billy
13 club, a stick, anything like that?
14 A. Yes. Yes. The one with the moustache would
15 come from time to time and I think he would go down
16 there, underneath the warehouse, which is where there
17 was a cellar of some kind, the cellar to this
18 agricultural warehouse. He went down there. And I
19 think that the people's clothes had been down there,
20 people who had undressed. They asked for our
21 valuables, for our money, asked who had taken our
22 money. So this man with a moustache would come from
23 time to time. He would go downstairs and then come up
25 Q. I just want to identify, if I could, what
1 kind of implements you were hit with. Did you see a
2 stick or was it just rifles, or could you tell?
3 A. I saw the stick when he was carrying it. It
4 was about 60 or 70 centimetres long. I think it was
5 wooden. But they beat me most with rifle butts and the
6 barrel, against my back, my head, and the spine.
7 Q. When you got on the bus, how many Serb
8 soldiers were on the bus?
9 A. Four.
10 Q. What were they wearing?
11 A. The same soldiers who were beating us, they
12 were the same ones. On the front door was the one I
13 knew, and another one, and the other two, the one with
14 the moustache and another one, were at the back door.
15 Q. Do you recall if any of those four soldiers
16 were armed with weapons while they were on the bus?
17 A. Yes, they all had automatic rifles, with a
18 folding or collapsible butt.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. If we could
20 direct the witness to Exhibit 176, which may be up
21 there already.
22 Q. Now, if you could just take a look at that.
23 Do you recall looking at this map last night and
24 pointing out to a little area where the bus stopped,
25 and do you see that area marked on this map that you
1 pointed to last night?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Could you point out the little area where the
4 bus stopped now with the pointer?
5 A. It is this yellow dot [indicates], on a large
6 bend. To the right there's a river and to the left
7 there's a parking area for one bus. But he stopped
8 where there was a widening of the road. He crossed
9 over to the other side of the road, and we got off
10 then. And they lined us up next to the road and I was
11 thinking of jumping over the fence of the road, but
13 the moustache said, "No, not there. Let them come down
14 to the river." Then they told us to cross over --
15 Q. Sorry, I just signalled for you to stop for a
16 moment. Can you tell us how many Muslims got off that
17 bus and were lined up there along the road, how many in
19 A. There were the 12 and us four, which makes it
20 16, and two of them stayed behind in the house and
21 nothing is known about what happened to them.
22 Q. Including that person you described as a
23 15-year-old boy, he was with you outside the bus.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. How many of the armed Serb soldiers were with
1 you outside that bus?
2 A. In front of the bus or in the bus?
3 Q. Well, how many came to this spot with you?
4 How many Serb soldiers came with you? I know four came
5 with the bus. Any more than those four?
6 A. No, no more. Just the four of them. And the
7 bus just stopped, we got off, the bus moved forward,
8 and I think that it later went back. It stopped just
9 for a moment for us to get off.
10 Q. Then tell us what happened to you and the
12 A. As I said, they lined us up against this
13 fence, but (redacted), the man with the moustache, said, "Not
14 there. Let them come down." There was grass next to
15 the road. We went downhill for some 15 or 20 metres,
16 and then they lined us up alongside the river, and he
17 told us that we should get to the river. I was
18 somewhere in the middle of that line, so I was third in
19 line towards the Jadar River. When we got there, we
20 were lined up against the river bank. I was third from
21 the left. To my left was the man I knew; behind me, I
22 don't know how far, there was another one, two others
23 at the other side. And we waited for our lives to end
24 there, and we expected -- there was half a minute or a
25 minute of silence, and just then the images of my
1 children appeared in my mind and I thought I was done
3 However, the man who was standing in front of
4 me, he was hit here [indicates]. I saw the bullet pass
5 through his shirt. I expected the shot to hit me. It
6 hit me on the left hip and I threw myself into the
7 river. I was wearing a leather jacket. My face was in
8 the water, and I held my breath for as long as I
9 could. I raised my head a little to catch some
10 breath. He noticed me raising my head, and I felt the
11 bullets whizzing around my head. I ducked under the
12 water again. And then I got hold of a rock in the
13 water with my hand, and unnoticed I turned my head to
14 the left to catch some breath, and with my right hand I
15 pulled myself to the centre of the river.
16 I was wearing this leather jacket. It was
17 blown up. And he perhaps didn't notice that I was
18 turning around, though I did it as indiscernibly as I
19 could. And then the current started carrying me down
20 river, I let go and then I hit my head against a rock.
21 Then I turned on my back and they saw that I had
22 turned. They opened bursts of fire on me. I didn't
23 believe I hadn't been hit. I just spread out my arms
24 and let the current carry me. And they couldn't follow
25 me any more because there was a small canyon, a
1 hillside and a road and a concrete embankment. I
2 thought I was dead.
3 Again I raised my head and I saw them going
4 back to the road. Later I got hold of a rock. I stood
5 on it, I looked over my body to see whether there were
6 any wounds in my stomach. I knew that I had been hit
7 on the left side. I went out of the river, crossed the
8 meadow, reached a water tank. I was terribly thirsty.
9 On this tank there was a tap, and I went round this
10 reservoir; there was no water. I had a big wound, so I
11 tore up my shirt to be able to dress the wound but I
13 I dragged myself up higher, and there was a
14 meadow there. And I saw a rather large building and I
15 wondered what that could be. Before the war I knew
16 there was a kind of TO barracks there of the former
17 Yugoslavia, and looking through the woods I saw a
18 monument. There used to be an old mosque there. And I
19 spent two and a half hours there drying my clothes and
20 thinking what I should do. I was bleeding heavily. I
21 tried to move but it was difficult. And I was lucky
22 that my bones were not fractured. So I broke off a
23 wooden stick, put on my clothes, and continued uphill,
24 partly through the meadows, partly through the woods --
25 Q. Excuse me, Witness S. Let me interrupt you
1 to go back and clarify a couple of things.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we show the witness
3 Exhibit 182.
4 Q. Witness S, were you able to find the river
5 bank with Mr. Ruez this summer and actually show him
6 the spot where you believed this to have occurred?
7 A. We found -- though at first we couldn't find
8 it, and then they told me it was lower down. I told
9 them, it can't be lower down because the tank is on the
10 other side. We have to find it. And from that spot
11 you can see the bend in the direction of Drinjaca. We
12 went down to the river. They said, "It must be here."
13 I said, "It can't be there." And then I recognised the
14 path we took going down. But there is no widening of
15 the road there. We saw a tree had fallen. Nobody
16 could have cut it, just its branches had been cut. So
17 when the water is high, it carries away whatever there
18 is. So I think it must be here [indicates]. And from
19 the other side of the road we saw that some water was
20 coming through. There are two big rocks which I
21 recognised very well because I hit my head against one
22 of them.
23 Q. All right.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: For the record, the witness
25 has pointed to the general rocky area by the bank of
1 the river as the place he recalls this execution taking
3 Could we also show the witness Exhibit 183,
4 and I'm hoping we have a colour shot of that for the
6 Q. Now, you mentioned that you were wounded in
7 the side; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you bear the marks of those gunshots
10 today, do you not?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You were shot in the back by the troops, were
13 you not, the back and in the side?
14 A. He hit me in my hip from behind, and the
15 bullet passed right next to the bone and it cut through
16 some tendons, so I couldn't walk properly.
17 Q. We took a Polaroid photo of you today. I
18 think that's upside down. Yes. Can you show us the
19 entry wound, point that out for us? I know this isn't
20 the best photograph.
21 A. This is the entry wound. It was much larger
22 here [indicates], the exit wound. And when I was
23 bandaging it, my whole fist could go inside. And my
24 veins could be seen, the ligaments. And I thought to
25 myself if the bone had been fractured, then I won't be
1 able to get anywhere.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: For the record, he pointed to
3 a small area to the right side of the picture of a scar
4 that he referred to as the entry wound, and then on the
5 left side of the picture, a much larger scarred area
6 that's been referred to as the exit wound.
7 Q. Witness S, in order to give you a chance so
8 you can finish up today, I know that there's more to
9 this story and that you survived a difficult hike
10 through the woods and weren't able to get out to Nezuk
11 until the 16th of July. But at this point I'm going to
12 stop my questions so the Defence counsel can ask
13 questions, and then of course the Judge will ask
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: I have no further questions
16 at this time, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
18 Mr. Petrusic, would you like to start and
19 then we can see if you can finish, or you can continue
20 tomorrow. You decide.
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I shall try,
22 Mr. President, to finish today, bearing in mind what I
23 have already notified you about, the medical treatment
24 for General Krstic, but in any event to spare the
25 witness coming into the courtroom again.
1 Cross-examined by Mr. Petrusic:
2 Q. First of all, good afternoon, Witness S.
3 Because of the protective measures, I can't address you
4 by name.
5 A. I understand that.
6 Q. (redacted)
9 A. (redacted)
12 Q. So you had both professional and private
13 contacts with Serbs before the outbreak of hostilities,
14 or rather the conflict in the municipality?
15 A. Yes, very good relations.
16 Q. Can you tell us something about those
17 relationships, from your own personal experience?
18 A. I don't know which friends you're referring
19 to, my friends or Serbs as a whole?
20 Q. I'm talking about --
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm
22 sorry to interrupt. If you can let the witness know
23 about being too particular about friends and things,
24 because otherwise it will identify him.
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, my
1 learned friend. My question referred to very general
2 relationships, no specific relations between the
3 witness and his friends and acquaintances.
4 A. I had very good relations with certain
5 individuals and with my neighbours. We hear one
6 another even today, with some of them. But there are
7 others whom I knew very well as a child. I better not
8 talk about any details, how we knew each other. If we
9 go into closed session, I could tell you about that.
10 Q. Witness S, can it be said that those
11 relations at the global level between Serbs and Muslims
12 in the area, until the outbreak of hostilities, were
14 A. Well, until up to a year before the actual
15 beginning of the war, I did have good relations. But
16 many friends surprised me who used to be on very good
17 terms with me.
18 Q. So the cooling of relations on both sides
19 occurred, as you say, about a year prior to the
20 beginning of the war.
21 A. As I say, a year before the war. Though I
22 still have friends that I communicate with, but after
23 everything I've gone through, how can you trust them,
24 and who can you trust? Just imagine a situation when
25 you meet a man in the street every day, you say hello
1 to him, and at the end he kills you just because you
2 have a Muslim name. Is that the deign of a human
3 being? I can understand some things, but some things I
4 simply cannot. If I had been an important man, I might
5 understand it. But for an ordinary citizen, with a
6 secondary school education, I think there's absolutely
7 no explanation.
8 Q. In Srebrenica, or rather the protected area
9 of Srebrenica, was there any armed formation?
10 A. There was the Territorial Defence, and
11 UNPROFOR -- there were people who had organised
12 themselves in all the villages until UNPROFOR arrived.
13 After UNPROFOR arrived, I don't know any more, I don't
14 know that anything existed, but maybe -- there probably
15 was but I'm not familiar. I was no longer in the
16 Territorial Defence. I was in civilian. I engaged in
17 various business activities.
18 Q. Are you aware of the column that was formed
19 in Susnjari? And who led that column?
20 A. What do you mean who led it? Let me tell
21 you, it was a situation where people had no choice.
22 You have death on one side and on the other. And there
23 was no organisation, it was just an attempt to save
24 one's life, if possible.
25 Q. You said that a part of the column was armed
1 with some kind of weapons.
2 A. They weren't really properly armed. They
3 were just people who had weapons from before the war
4 and those that found them during the war. You know
5 very well that we had conflicts with the Serbs over
6 Srebrenica before UNPROFOR arrived. We know very well
7 what happened in Bratunac. And what should we have
8 done? To wait for the same fate to befall us as in
9 Bratunac, close the stadium and then call out people --
10 Q. Excuse me, Witness. That part of the column,
11 did it have a military leader?
12 A. Believe me, I am not aware of that. I was a
13 civilian. I can't say what I don't know, but whatever
14 I do know I will tell.
15 Q. When you were interviewed by these four
16 officers, that conversation or interrogation, was it
17 conducted in a correct manner?
18 A. On their part, yes. While we were there,
19 nobody beat us or touched us. They gave us something
20 to eat and to drink. I told you what happened at the
22 Q. I really don't want to remind you about
23 that. Somebody mentioned that you should have been
25 A. Yes. This young man of about 18 or 20, he
1 was very young, he had short blue pants on, a belt, and
2 a pistol in a leather holster, a blue T-shirt, a beret,
3 and he said that to this man that I said I knew, and
4 after all that they gave each other a hug and went out
5 in front of the warehouse where we were.
6 Q. Do you believe that somebody prevented him
7 from carrying out this idea of an exchange?
8 A. You mean somebody who would not allow us to
9 be exchanged? I really don't think that he had the
10 power to do anything, in view of the other people I
11 saw. He was a young man of 18 or 20. That is my
13 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President,
14 I have no further questions.
15 Witness S, thank you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
17 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Petrusic, thank you very
19 Mr. McCloskey, would you like to respond?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just one question.
21 Re-examined by Mr. McCloskey:
22 Q. Could you tell us what time the execution
23 occurred by the banks of the Jadar River?
24 A. It was in the morning, between 9.00 and 11.00
25 or 12.00. I don't know exactly because when this was
1 happening to me, when I got out near the reservoir, my
2 watch had stopped. Maybe it had stopped while I was
3 being beaten. But anyway, it all happened before
5 Q. On July 13th.
6 A. Yes. Yes.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go into private
8 session for one last question, for the same reason
9 we've been going into private session, Your Honour.
10 [Private session]
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE RIAD: We are in open session now.
5 Questioned by the Court:
6 JUDGE RIAD: Witness S, I would like to ask
7 you one question which you passed quickly. You said
8 when you were interrogated by these four men in
9 uniform, the policemen, you saw 12 buses coming with
10 the women and children. What happened to these 12
11 buses? Do you have an idea of where they took them?
12 A. At that time those policemen who were wearing
13 blue camouflage uniforms were not questioning us. But
14 the four men who I assume were officers, military
15 officers, they gave us to eat and then they told us,
16 "Turn around to face the road." We did and we saw
17 these buses. They were not overcrowded, there were as
18 many people as there were seats, and they told us, as I
19 have already said, "You see how we treat your people
20 properly." And those buses went off towards Milici,
21 Vlasenica, and on from there. We just saw them for a
22 moment because we had to turn back to face them.
23 JUDGE RIAD: So you don't know what happened
24 to the buses, or to the people inside the buses.
25 A. No. No.
1 JUDGE RIAD: What about these military people
2 who were questioning you? Did you notice any insignia
3 on their clothes, what division they belonged to?
4 A. They didn't have any insignia. There was
5 something in me, there was hope in me that I would
6 survive all that, I had some strength of some sorts.
7 But I didn't notice any insignia because their sleeves
8 were rolled up, and one had even buttoned his sleeve up
9 there. So there were no ranks or anything on their
10 chests, around the pockets or on the sleeves, as far as
11 I could see.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Now, apart from the questions
13 that were asked of you, would you like to add
14 anything? Is there something you would like to say
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Regarding
17 everything, or regarding just my statement and my own
19 JUDGE RIAD: Regarding everything, and your
20 experience. It has to be relevant to what's happening
21 in your part of the world.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think
23 after all this, the most important thing is that I have
24 survived, though my health is poor. I have come here
25 to tell the truth, and I thank the attorneys of the
1 accused who treated me correctly, and everyone else. I
2 would like to appeal to this Tribunal, if it can, to
3 bring the people who did this to me so that I can look
4 them in the face and we can clear everything up, and
5 for Attorney Petrusic to be there too so I can tell him
6 how this could have happened. When you meet somebody
7 in the street every day and say hello and then he turns
8 around and kills you, it's something I find
9 incomprehensible. And I think friendship with those
10 people who did this to me is over forever. That's as
11 much as I have to say.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much, Witness S.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too,
14 Your Honour.
15 JUDGE RIAD: And now you can be taken out.
16 Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: We do have some exhibits,
18 Your Honour. We want to tender them.
19 JUDGE RIAD: You want to tender some
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I'd like to tender some
23 JUDGE RIAD: But you know that the accused
24 has to leave. Shall we allow him to leave and we
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: If the Defence has no
2 objection, yes. This shouldn't be a problem.
3 JUDGE RIAD: Good. So we'll ask for the
4 accused to be taken away.
5 [The accused withdraws]
6 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. McCloskey, you want a closed
7 session or an open session?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, an open session. No
9 problem. They are Exhibits 176, 177, 178, 182, and
10 183. I can describe them if counsel wishes but ...
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] We have no
12 objection to the documents tendered.
13 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much. So please
14 tender them in.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. I would tender
16 those, then. Thank you.
17 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Petrusic, do you have any
18 exhibits to tender?
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Not in
20 relation to this witness, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much. I'd like
22 to thank both the Prosecutor and the Defence counsel
23 for this prompt day, trial day.
24 We will resume tomorrow at 9.30.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
1 2.18 p.m., to be reconvened on
2 Wednesday, the 24th day of May, 2000,
3 at 9.30 a.m.