1 Thursday, 9 May 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody in and around the
7 Madam Registrar, please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is the case IT-09-92-T, The Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
11 Just to place on record that, once again, Judge Orie is not with
12 us because of urgent Tribunal business, and, therefore, Judge Fluegge and
13 I have decided to sit pursuant to Rule 15 bis in the interests of
15 Thank you so much.
16 May we please move into closed session.
17 [Closed session]
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Registrar.
4 Good morning, Witness RM314. Just to remind you that you're
5 still bound by the declaration you made at the beginning of your
6 testimony to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the
7 truth. Understood?
8 WITNESS: RM314 [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning to you, too. And I
11 stand by my oath.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much, Mr. RM314.
13 Mr. Ivetic, good morning to you.
14 MR. IVETIC: Good morning, Your Honour.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic: [Continued]
16 Q. Good morning, Mr. Witness. I'd like to start by calling up
17 another document that should not be broadcast. It's 1D948.
18 Sir, while we wait for the document I believe it is a medical
19 document dated the 16th of July, 1995. And when it comes up, I would ask
20 you to take a look at it and verify that you recognise this as being the
21 document from your first -- one of your first medical examinations when
22 you arrived at the free Bosnian Muslim territory.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Should not be broadcast.
24 MR. IVETIC: Correct, Your Honour, it should not be broadcast.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is correct. This is my
1 first diagnosis.
2 MR. IVETIC:
3 Q. Thank you, sir. Now looking at the line item for your
4 profession, this document lists you as being a soldier, does this accord
5 with what you told the people at the clinic about your status on this
7 A. I was admitted to the Gradina Medical Centre because all other
8 facilities were occupied. We were told that we had to move to the
9 Gradina infirmary and they emptied four rooms in order to put in all the
10 wounded from the -- Srebrenica. So this document was issued by the
11 garrison infirmary where I was hospitalised.
12 Q. Thank you, sir, for that information. And then my question was:
13 Did you in fact -- or does -- does the occupation of soldier accord with
14 what you told the staff at the clinic your status was?
15 A. I didn't say anything. I was a civilian ...
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last part.
17 We did not understand what he said.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Witness, the interpreters didn't hear the last
19 part of your answer. Could you please repeat your answer.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nobody asked me whether I was a
21 soldier or not. And it wasn't me who dictated this certificate. That
22 means that the person who issued this certificate is responsible for its
24 MR. IVETIC:
25 Q. Thank you, sir. The certificate also says:
1 "Wounded four days ago while escaping from Srebrenica. And were
2 wounded in the left hip area."
3 Does this accord with the description of how and when you were
4 wounded that you gave to the medical staff at the clinic?
5 A. I provided the details as to where I was wounded, in which hip,
6 and they received it from the medical centre. So based on the wound,
7 they compiled this diagnosis sheet.
8 Q. And looking further on the sheet, at least the English
9 translation indicates that you're performing messenger or courier duties
10 at the Srebrenica prime school. Is this in fact correct or not?
11 A. That is not correct.
12 Q. If I can ask you to look at the B/C/S original, there's listed
13 for the place of your employment the OS Srebrenica in Bosnian. Would you
14 agree with me that OS Srebrenica can refer also to the armed forces of
15 Srebrenica, the "oruzane snage"?
16 A. No. The defence department was part of the civilian authorities,
17 not the military authorities.
18 Q. I understand that, sir. I'm talking about the abbreviation OS in
19 the Bosnian original. OS Srebrenica, that abbreviation could stand for
20 armed forces Srebrenica. Am I correct?
21 A. According to you, yes. But I was a courier for the civilian
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I would tender this document under
25 seal as the next Defence exhibit number.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam D'Ascoli.
2 MS. D'ASCOLI: No objection, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: 1D948 is admitted into evidence. May it please be
4 given an exhibit number.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D948 receives number D282,
6 Your Honours.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much, Madam Registrar. Under seal.
8 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 Q. Now, sir, in the English the diagnosis is -- is listed as not
10 being legible, but it is in the handwritten B/C/S original. We see it
11 there. I want to ask you -- I know it's in Latin, so I want to just ask
12 you: Did anyone at the clinic explain for you what their diagnoses as
13 reflected on this form of your wound meant?
14 A. No. Nobody explained anything to me.
15 Q. Okay. I'd now like to -- look at another document that also
16 should not be broadcast to the public. And that's 1D946.
17 And, sir, now we have this document on the screen, I'd ask you to
18 take a moment to glance at it and let me know if you can confirm that
19 this is the discharge sheet from the outpatient clinic of the Tuzla
20 garrison of the Armija BiH relating to your discharge from their care?
21 A. Yes. Yes, it is. It is correct.
22 Q. And if we look at the first page where it has listed your
23 military unit, there's listed OS and then the translator's note: Armed
24 forces Srebrenica. Again I have to ask you: Does this accord with the
25 information that you gave the medical care providers at the Tuzla
1 garrison clinic?
2 A. I didn't provide any information to anyone. I was supposed to be
3 discharged, and they wrote this discharge sheets in the same way as they
4 did for everybody else. They should also read the 2nd Corps because I
5 was at the garrison infirmary, not at the Gradina Clinical Centre. So
6 the Gradina Medical Centre was not the one who was supposed to issue this
7 document, but, rather, the garrison infirmary.
8 Q. I'm a little confused, sir. I believe looking at the B/C/S
9 original of the form that it was the "ambulanta garizona Tuzla" that
10 issued this form. Is that what you're talking about, that they were not
11 supposed to issue the form?
12 A. They should have issued it because I was hospitalised at the
13 garrison infirmary because all the beds were occupied in the
14 Gradina Clinical Centre, and I was not the only one there. There were
15 four rooms full of the wounded from Srebrenica.
16 Q. Thank you. Now this document is signed by a medical doctor. Do
17 you recall this doctor as being one of the persons who treated you while
18 you were at the infirmary of the Tuzla garrison?
19 A. Yes, that is correct. On the morning of the 17th of June.
20 Q. Now, on this version, the -- the -- we have again the diagnosis
21 written in Latin that appears on the English and the B/C/S, and I want to
22 ask you, sir: Did anyone at the garrison explain to you -- at the
23 garrison infirmary explain to you that their diagnosis was that your
24 wound was as a result of an explosion rather than a bullet?
25 A. No. That was an entry/exit wound, and it can clearly be seen.
1 Q. I'm asking about the diagnosis recorded by the medical staff that
2 looked at you. Did they explain that their diagnosis as written implies
3 an explosive injury not related to a bullet?
4 A. Well, one could see that the wound was called by -- caused by a
5 gun-shot wound, not an explosion.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Witness RM314, that's not answering the question.
7 The question is: Did anybody at the clinic when you were discharged
8 explain to you how, in their view, you got injured? Did anybody explain
9 anything to you about your injury?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
12 You may proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
13 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour, a much better question. I'd
14 like to tender this document also under seal, Your Honours, as the next
15 exhibit number.
16 MS. D'ASCOLI: No objections, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is admitted. May it please be given an exhibit
18 number and be kept under seal.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D946 receives number D283,
20 Your Honours.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much, Madam Registrar.
22 Yes, Mr. Ivetic.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put a question in relation to this document
24 to the witness, please.
25 We see that this is a form, the document is the a form, you would
1 agree with that, used by the Army of the Republic of
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 In the first line, we see first name, father's name, last name.
4 This is printed. Then somebody has written your name. Behind that, we
5 see "vojna jedinica." That seems to be "military unit" in the
7 This is also part of the printed form. Would you agree with
8 that, Witness?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It is written military unit
10 in the form. But they filled out this form. And they registered all of
11 us as the wounded from Srebrenica.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I just want to make the distinction between the
13 printed part of this document and the handwritten part. Behind the words
14 military unit, in B/C/S of course, what can you read there in handwriting
15 in the first line of the document?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] OS Srebrenica.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you sure that this is OS or could it be JS or
18 something else?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it's OS.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I put this question because in the English
21 translation the translators were not sure about the letter O and put a
22 question mark there, in the translation.
23 At the bottom of this document, on the left side, you see
24 something which is translated as:
25 "Note: After being discharged from the medical institution, the
1 patient should immediately report to the doctor attached to his military
3 This is part of the printed form; is that correct?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Did anyone in your -- in the clinic tell you what
6 that means?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. No further questions.
9 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. I would like to now move on to your 92 ter statement - again this
11 should not be broadcast to the public - P1435, marked for identification.
12 And we should be looking for page 3 in the English at the top of the
13 page. Page 2 in the Bosnian at the very bottom of the page. And it
14 leads onto the next page in the B/C/S.
15 And, sir, the part I want to focus on is this time when you were
16 discovered by the four men in police uniform. When you surrendered to
17 them they asked you if you had a weapon. You said did you not. They
18 looked in your bag and they found a hand-grenade that you had in there.
19 And I want to ask you, sir: How did you happen to obtain a
20 hand-grenade? Was it issued to you by the armed forces of the Armija BiH
21 in Srebrenica?
22 A. No. I was given it by acquaintance of mine on the road between
23 Srebrenica and Susnjari.
24 Q. Okay. Then I would like to focus on the next part of your
25 testimony in this statement, which I believe is on the next page in the
1 B/C/S. It's still on the same page in English. The next part you talk
2 about in the next paragraph is an incident where you were walking and
3 came across the body of a civilian that had blown himself up with a
4 hand-grenade. And I want to ask you, sir: Was it a -- was it a common
5 practice known to you that civilian males from Srebrenica were
6 distributed hand-grenades?
7 A. That's not true. Nobody gave us any grenades. We just tried to
8 solve this in any way we can.
9 Q. Okay. Now you say that you thought the individual had committed
10 suicide based on what you observed. I want to look at another document
11 with you, and this also should not be broadcast. It's 1D940. And this
12 is again the statement that you gave in August 1995 to an investigating
13 judge in Tuzla. And when we get that document, I think we'll need page 4
14 in both languages. And it's near the top, sir. There's the line, and
15 I'll read it for you in English. It says:
16 "At that moment a civilian ran out of the grass in front of me,
17 threw down a hand-grenade on the edge of the asphalt road and killed
18 himself with the blast without wounding a single Chetnik."
19 Sir, is this part truthfully and accurately recounting what you
20 told the investigating judge in Tuzla on this occasion?
21 A. Yes, it's correct.
22 Q. And is -- is this the same incident you describe in your
23 statement that we just looked at?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. And so is it now your testimony that you actually eye-witnessed
1 the individual running out of the grass and throwing the hand-grenade?
2 A. I didn't see him throwing the hand-grenade. He was on a higher
3 ground in respect of me. When they noticed me on the asphalt road, the
4 policemen and soldiers in camouflage uniforms shot over our heads and
5 shouting, Surrender. He was above me. And, in fear, he threw the
6 grenade and killed himself. Later on, after I was captured and taken
7 towards the school, they asked me if he was my brother, and whether I
8 knew him. And then they ordered me to pull him by the legs onto the
9 grass. He was lying on the asphalt road with his face down, and there
10 was a lot of blood. In other words, I don't know the identity of that
12 Q. I'd like to look at another document with you. And, again, this
13 also should not be broadcast. And it is 1D944 in e-court.
14 And if we can have the second page in both languages. Sir, this
15 is a 2006 proofing session that you had with the Office of the
16 Prosecutor. And I want to ask you about -- it's the last item on the
17 second page in the English to see if this accords with what you just told
18 us. And I will read it for you. It's actually going to be the next page
19 in the B/C/S, I believe. Yes. There you go. It's the lasts item on the
20 page in B/C/S now as well, sir.
21 And it says there:
22 "The witness also indicated that references in his prior
23 statements to his having observed an individual commit suicide by
24 detonating a grenade are incorrect in that no such direct observation was
1 Does this report made by the Prosecution accord with what you
2 told them and what you truthfully describe about this incident?
3 A. Yes, that is correct. I didn't see him kill himself. I simply
4 found him on the asphalt road.
5 MS. D'ASCOLI: Your Honours, just for the record, I don't think
6 it's fair to put a contradiction to the witness as the witness just said
7 what -- now confirm in his answers meaning that he didn't directly
8 observe that. And that is what is recorded in the ICTY statement. So I
9 think this corresponds to what we read now in the proofing note that the
10 explosion, let's say, wasn't directly observed. So just ... it's
11 fair [Overlapping speakers] ...
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Overlapping speakers] ... what's your objection,
13 madam --
14 MS. D'ASCOLI: That I think the witness is being presented with
15 contradictions that are not actually true.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Must a contradiction necessarily be true,
17 Madam D'Ascoli?
18 MS. D'ASCOLI: I'm saying on the basis of what he just said, the
19 follow-up question was not the contradiction the way was put to him.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: I thought the question was, Does this statement,
21 this report accord to what you told the Prosecution. The answer to that
22 is yes or no. And I think the witness answered the question.
23 Objection overruled.
24 MR. IVETIC:
25 Q. Sir, I want to ask you in relation to the hand-grenade that you
1 had on your possession, do you recall what type of hand-grenade it was
2 and what type of prior experience you had had with such devices?
3 A. First of all, I didn't see the man. I didn't see him kill
4 himself. It was just that the hand-grenade detonated. The Serb soldiers
5 and policemen were firing over our heads, shouting to surrender. I
6 didn't even see the man close to me in the grass or -- until I saw him on
7 the tarmac, dead.
8 Q. Sir, perhaps -- perhaps I misspoke or you did not understand my
9 question. I was asking in relation to the hand-grenade that you had in
10 your possession in your bag. What type was it, and what experience or
11 instruction had you had prior --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you split the two questions?
13 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: What type was it?
15 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
16 Q. What type was it, the hand-grenade in your bag?
17 A. It was a standard hand-grenade, which was not activated. It was
18 in my bag that had been given to me by a man in order to have it at hand,
19 should I fall into the Serb hands. As regards any previous experience, I
20 served my term in the JNA --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm going to interrupt you, Witness. Please try
22 to listen to the question. You're not being asked to explain how you
23 acquired it. You're just being asked to explain what type it was. You
24 said it is a standard hand-grenade. If that's the entirety of your
25 explanation of what type it is, stop there.
1 Yes, Mr. Ivetic.
2 MR. IVETIC:
3 Q. You say it was a standard hand-grenade. Was it a standard
4 offensive or defensive hand-grenade, because I understand both are in the
5 arsenal of the former JNA?
6 A. I don't know what type of hand-grenade it was.
7 Q. At the time that you were given the hand-grenade by the
8 acquaintance, were you given any instruction as to how to use it?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Now I'd like to move on to ask you to return to the point in time
11 when you were with the column of able-bodied men as you set out from
12 Srebrenica when the Serbs were approaching.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you go there, Mr. Ivetic. I asked you to
14 split your question, sir. You have not asked the second part of your
15 question. You asked if he was given instructions when he acquired it and
16 not asking what prior experience he has --
17 MR. IVETIC: I apologise.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- of hand-grenade.
19 MR. IVETIC: I apologise, Your Honour. I thought he already
20 answered when he said he had used them in the JNA.
21 Q. Can you tell us what type of prior experience you had handling
22 this particular type of hand-grenade?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Was there any colour code on the grenade in question that you had
25 in your possession?
1 A. It was simply black.
2 Q. And I'm having trouble understanding your last answer. Is
3 that -- did you have prior experience handle this particular type of
4 hand-grenade, is perhaps the better question.
5 A. I answered a moment ago. I said no.
6 Q. Now, as I said I'd like to move back in time to the point when
7 you were with the column of able-bodied men setting out from Srebrenica
8 and you were -- I want to look at the Popovic transcript where in open
9 session you talked about some items related to the 12- to 15.000 men that
10 you mention in your 92 ter statement. If we can have 1D952 and page 63
11 in e-court at this moment.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is 952 to be publicised?
13 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, it was in public session in Popovic
14 so ...
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
16 MR. IVETIC: And further I believe that the nature of the items
17 will not identify this witness.
18 Q. Sir, I will read for you since we only have it English, as the
19 transcripts are in English, and please follow along and I will ask you to
20 first verify if this is all accurate and in accord with your recollection
21 of your testimony and then some follow-up questions. Beginning at
22 line 1:
23 "Q. And approximately a third of those were armed. That was in
24 your statement; correct?
25 "A. In one part, yes. However, the exact information --
1 "Q. Those are your estimates. So according to your estimates,
2 4.000 to 5.000 armed soldiers were in the column towards Tuzla. Do you
4 "A. No.
5 "Q. You would still agree the column was 12.000 to 15.000 and
6 about a third of them were armed, from what you could see; correct?
7 "A. I was talking about Buljim when I mentioned one-third, and
8 as for the entire column and how many people went through the lines, you
9 have to ask somebody else that.
10 "Q. Well, I'm asking you, sir, because you're here and I'm going
11 to ask you another question. In your statement, you indicated when the
12 column started out that there were armed men, able-bodied men with arms,
13 that were spread out between and amongst the people who were not armed;
15 "A. It was people returning to bring across people without
16 weapons who did not manage to cross the first Serb lines at Buljim in the
17 early morning.
18 "Q. Now, did all of the people that you observed in that column
19 who had arms, hunting rifles, pistols, grenades, whatever, were they all
20 in camouflage uniforms or were some of them just dressed like civilians,
21 like you?
22 "A. No. Many of them were in civilian clothes."
23 Now, sir, do you confirm and stand by this testimony from Popovic
24 as being both truthful and accurate?
25 A. Yes, I stand by this testimony, and that is the truth.
1 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to move along to page 87 in e-court to
2 present you with another portion of your prior testimony. And this time
3 if we could focus on line 4. And again, sir, I will read it for you and
4 ask you some questions relative to the same:
5 "Q. Earlier you testified about Susnjari and about the number of
6 people to be found in Susnjari. You said that since you mentioned that
7 one-third of the men were armed among the able bodied people, you did not
8 mention Susnjari but about Buljim when you testified in the Krstic case;
9 is that right?
10 "A. Yes.
11 "Q. I'd like to read out this part of the testimony, your
12 testimony in the Krstic case.
13 "Ms. Faveau: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Mr. President.
14 "Q. You said page 3240 [In English] 'I went with all the other
15 men towards the village of Slatina and Susnjari upwards.' And then the
16 Prosecution [sic] asked you this: 'About how many other men were
17 gathered in the area of Susnjari when you got there?' And you responded:
18 'Well, there were about 12 and 15. I can't give you an exact figure but
19 there were a lot of us.' And then the question was: 'Do you know
20 roughly how many of those men might have been armed in some way?' And
21 your response was: 'As far as I was able to note, about a third, I would
22 say, with hunting rifles, with not very strong weaponry, hunting rifles
23 and other types but a third of them, I would say, not more.'
24 "[Interpretation] Do you agree that in the Krstic case you did
25 mention or you did speak about Susnjari and you were mentioning 12- to
1 15.000 people and a third of them were armed."
2 And if question go on the next page:
3 "A. Yes.
4 "Q. Was your testimony accurate?
5 "A. Yes.
6 "Q. Was it also fair to say that when you arrived in Susnjari,
7 somebody told you to line up so that civilians and military would be all
8 mixed together?
9 "A. All the men who arrive there were there. I don't know what
10 you mean when you say ... military. All the men, irrespective of age,
11 they were all there."
12 Now, sir, do you stand by this selection of the Popovic
13 transcript as being truthful and accurately depict what your testimony
14 was, as you remember it?
15 A. Yes, it is truthful and I stand by it.
16 Q. Then I'd like to look at one other selection about the column and
17 that's in 1D949, which also is a public session transcript, and I don't
18 believe it will identify the witness. And we're looking at page 7 in
19 e-court which should correlate to transcript page 2341 of the Krstic
20 trial. And if we could look at line 3 onwards, sir. And again I will
21 read so you get translation of what the transcript says and then I'll ask
22 you the same questions as with the other selections:
23 "Q. Was that the evening of the 11th or was it noon on the 12th?
24 "A. It was in the evening of the 12th -- no, I'm sorry. It was
25 between the 11th and 12th. We started out on the 11th, at about 2.30,
1 and in the evening we arrived at Susnjari at about 10.00. We had a
2 consultation there. So that at about 12.00 midnight, that is to say we
3 started out, the night between the 11th and the 12th.
4 "Q. What was this consultation you referred to?
5 "A. Well, we lined up so that as many people could cross as
6 possible, because the Serb lines were very near and there were a lot of
7 us. Around Csusi and the surrounding hills, that's where they were.
8 "Q. Was someone leading the consultation or leading this large
9 group of men?
10 "A. No. They just tried to line us up so that people with
11 weapons and without weapons would be mixed up together, and if we came
12 across an ambush, to prevent as many people losing their lives as
14 And, sir, now having listened to this selection of your testimony
15 from Krstic, do you stand by the same as being truthful and accurate?
16 A. Yes, it is truthful and accurate.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. IVETIC: Now at this time, Your Honours, I think I do need to
19 go into private session to discuss one topic that may lead to the witness
20 being identified if it's in open session.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 10912-10915 redacted. Private session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: And straight into closed session again. I'm sorry
20 about that.
21 [Closed session]
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 [Private session]
11 Pages 10919-10920 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
5 Yes, Madam D'Ascoli.
6 MS. D'ASCOLI: Yes, Your Honours. Thank you. I do have some
8 Re-examination by Ms. D'Ascoli:
9 Q. Sir, well, I just have a few additional questions that I want to
10 ask to clarify the record.
11 While I know that after you testified three times already before
12 the Tribunal it is very difficult for you to be here and to go through
13 all your evidence, right? So I'll try to -- I understand that and so
14 please bear with me. I'll try to be brief.
15 Now, yesterday my colleague Mr. Ivetic spent quite some time
16 yesterday and today discussing some of your prior statements.
17 One of these statements that Mr. Ivetic showed to you yesterday
18 was a handwritten statement, your handwriting, dated the
19 31st of July, 1995, and written at the Tuzla garrison infirmary. This
20 was admitted as Exhibit D00281. This was discussed yesterday at
21 transcript pages 10877 to 10882. You might remember also Judge Fluegge
22 asked you some questions and clarifications about it.
23 Now, I believe there was some confusion about which statement
24 that was what you believed that was, so I'll try to clarify that so
25 please bear with me.
1 We researched the provenance of this handwritten statement and we
2 saw we received it from the ABiH 2nd Corps headquarters in Tuzla.
3 MS. D'ASCOLI: So I want to call up 65 ter 28893 and if I can
4 please have the first page of both the English and the B/C/S on e-court.
5 Your Honours, this is a newly up loaded documents that was not on
6 our 65 ter exhibit list. It is a daily report of the
7 ABiH 2nd Medical Battalion of the 2nd Corps with attached handwritten
8 statement dated 31st of July, 1995. There is the same handwritten
9 statement that we -- you know, I discuss was admitted as D281.
10 This document was disclosed in its entirety.
11 MR. IVETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Should not be broadcast, I think. Is that
14 MS. D'ASCOLI: That first page, yes, not to be broadcast. Thank
15 you, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: You've given quite a lot of evidence. Can we get
17 to re-examination, please.
18 MR. IVETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... no objection.
19 MS. D'ASCOLI: Sorry?
20 MR. IVETIC: No objection to the use of the document. It was the
21 first page I was missing in e-court yesterday, so ...
22 MS. D'ASCOLI: Yes. We didn't see it yesterday so I'm showing it
24 Q. So if we read -- if we -- well, if we read the date we see that
25 it is dated the 31st of July and the reporting issue is unauthorised
1 remarks or statements given to the media.
2 Now, sir, do you see the document on the screen? And can you
3 read the paragraph after the -- after it says "reporting issue"? Now we
4 read that, "Due to a failure on the part of the staff at the reception of
5 the Tuzla garrison infirmary to carry out their tasks properly, persons
6 who were not identified," according to your written statement, took a
7 statement from you, from the witness. And then, okay, we have the
8 signature, the -- the security commander -- reporting commander also says
9 that statements will be taken by Nurse Rasema, and the person at the
10 reception that you mention in your statement. Now yesterday in answering
11 one of the questions --
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please slow down.
13 MS. D'ASCOLI: Yes, sorry.
14 Q. Yesterday, in response to a question by Judge Fluegge, you said
15 that you didn't have an intention of giving a statement whatsoever. I
16 was rather forced by those who were securing the infirmary to make this
17 statement. This is line -- well, this is it page 10882 lines 3 to 5.
18 And then when asked -- when you were asked to explain what you mean by
19 "they," you said that -- yeah, they introduced themselves as security
20 officer of the infirmary.
21 So, now, my question is, because we see that this document,
22 which, you know, like is a daily report attached to your statement and
23 your statement of the same date, the 31st of July, while in your
24 statement, in your handwritten statement attached to this document, you
25 discuss, you explain what happened on the 27th of July, when unidentified
1 person together working with journalists came and asked you to give a
2 statement, so were you trying to say or is it your testimony that --
3 well, sorry. Let me put it this way --
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think you must ask a question.
5 MS. D'ASCOLI: Yes, exactly. Sorry, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Don't testify.
7 MS. D'ASCOLI: Yes, yes.
8 Q. So is this statement the handwritten statement attached to this
9 document, the one dated 31st of July, is that the statement you gave to
10 the security officers of the infirmary to explained what happened --
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Ask questions.
12 MS. D'ASCOLI: Yes, I'm asking if it's two different statements
13 that we're discussing. One --
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: One question at a time.
15 MS. D'ASCOLI: Okay.
16 Q. So, sir, maybe if we can go to the second page of this document
17 so that the handwritten statement appears on the -- on the screen?
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yeah. Go how you want to go, but please ask
19 questions, Madam D'Ascoli.
20 MS. D'ASCOLI: Yes.
21 Q. Sir, is this handwritten statement the statement that you gave to
22 the security officer of the infirmary to explain what happened some days
24 A. Yes, that is correct. I had to give this statement under duress,
25 despite my wishes. And this statement is incomplete. It is true that it
1 was given to the men who provided the previous document, in which it says
2 that it is incomplete.
3 Q. Witness, my question is: Are we talking about two different
4 events and two different statements: This one that you gave to the
5 officers of the infirmary, because they -- to explain what happened; and
6 a separate one that you referred to in this statement, that was the one
7 that the -- the unidentified person and the journalists asked from you.
8 Are we talking about two different statements?
9 A. Yes. The second statement signed by the 2nd Corps was not the
10 one I gave. This one I gave under duress, and it's inconsistent with
11 that, but since I was in the garrison infirmary, he came to see me and
12 said, You must give a statement to me because I'm a security officer here
13 who must obtain information.
14 So this is my statement. And I think it's one and the same
15 statement; only he inserted a reservation there that it was incomplete.
16 Q. When you said this is not consistent with the -- with the
17 previous one, you mean with the statement that you gave to the
19 A. The statement that is on the screen now was not the one I gave to
20 the journalist but, rather, to Smajo Elezovic, a security officer at the
21 infirmary. And one can see that the previous document was signed by
22 Major Elezovic. Only the paper that is handwritten is the one that I
24 Q. Okay.
25 MS. D'ASCOLI: Well, Your Honours, I would add this document -- I
1 would tender this document into evidence. I don't think there's a way of
2 adding it to the previous one so I would just tender it as a separate
3 Prosecution Exhibit.
4 MR. IVETIC: That's fine, Your Honour, no objection.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] sorry. Is this
6 document 28893. That's what you called earlier.
7 MS. D'ASCOLI: Yes, Your Honours, that's a correct 65 ter number.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. 28893 is admitted into evidence.
9 MS. D'ASCOLI: Under seal.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: May it please be admitted into evidence and given
11 a number under seal.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Document 28893 receives number P1441,
13 Your Honours.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Under seal.
15 Now, Witness, when you say you wrote this statement under duress,
16 did the person or persons who were forcing you, tell you what to write?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, no. They gave me a piece of
18 paper and told me to write a statement about what I had lived through. I
19 started writing --
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: You answered my question. Thank you so much.
21 Yes, madam, you may proceed.
22 MS. D'ASCOLI: Yes, thank you, Your Honours.
23 Q. Sir, during cross-examination yesterday, you refer a number of
24 times to your mental psychological state after the execution you survived
25 and while you were at the infirmary in Tuzla.
1 Can you tell us for how long overall you were in the infirmary
2 for your wound and how long did it take you to recover physically and to
3 fell better emotionally?
4 A. I don't know the exact date, but I think that I stayed at the
5 garrison infirmary about two and a half weeks. After that, I was
6 discharged, but I had to go to the closest local clinic to have my wound
7 bandaged. We were all displaced, and I have to say that after everything
8 that I went through, the situation is not improving. I am still feeling
9 more and more ...
10 Q. Do you want to complete the answer? I just see, "I am still
11 feeling more and more ..."
12 A. Well, both physically and mentally. I need to undergo a surgery.
13 But what can I tell you? For as long as I can sustain as it is now, I
14 will try to move on and -- with my life.
15 Q. I understand, sir. Can you tell us how the situation was like
16 when you arrived at the Tuzla infirmary? Were there many wounded? Was
17 the situation -- how was the situation like.
18 A. The situation was chaotic. The wounded were arriving virtually
19 every minute. The Gradina Medical Centre was overbooked. We couldn't be
20 admitted there, so they moved us to the infirmary where the doctors
21 provided medical assistance to us, and documents can confirm that it was
22 the BH Army who did it.
23 So what else can I say? Everything was chaotic. Nobody knew
24 exactly what to do. They used all these forms to provide discharge
25 sheets. There was a lot of discussion about that, and so on and so
2 Q. When they took care of you and of your wound, did you tell the
3 doctors or whomever assisted you, the date when you were wounded?
4 A. Yes, I told them the date when I was wounded. When I received
5 the first proper care at Gradina, I remember the surgeon shouting at me
6 and asking me, Why did you wait so long? I just felt that he was making
7 incisions around the bones because the wound was already old, and that's
8 all that I can remember.
9 I remember that at 10.00 I was taken to the garrison infirmary
10 and that if I needed another surgery the next day they would send me back
11 to Gradina. I stayed there for a week bedridden, and, after that, I had
12 to use crutches.
13 Q. So you said you told them about the day. Which is what -- what
14 did you tell them? When your -- when you were wounded, which day you --
15 did you tell them that happened.
16 A. I told them that on the second day after the breakthrough, I was
17 captured on the morning of the 13th, and that in the afternoon of that
18 same day, I was shot, and that on the 13th I was alone in the forest, and
19 that on the 14th, I headed off towards Goldric [phoen] and I described my
21 Q. Yes. And as you testified also yesterday, I think you said the
22 executions by the Jadar river happened some time between 10.00 or 11.00,
23 before 12 -- 12.00 in the morning of the 13th; correct?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Sir, my colleague Mr. Ivetic also spent quite some time going
1 through your prior statements and transcripts and discussing different
2 issues from both statements and transcripts.
3 Now, out of those discussed yesterday, there are two inaccuracies
4 related to -- brought to your attention yesterday and related to your
5 ICTY statement of 16 August 1995 now marked with -- as P1435.
6 So I want to recapitulate these inconsistencies, you know, to
7 make -- just to have a clean record. The first one was your occupation,
8 well, current occupation back in 1995 which was recorded on the front
9 page of the ICTY statement as member of the Bosnian army, soldier, and
10 yesterday you said this was incorrect. So this was the first one?
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam D'Ascoli, I have a concern that your prefix
12 to your questions are just so long.
13 MS. D'ASCOLI: Okay.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: You could just asked this witness --
15 MS. D'ASCOLI: [Overlapping speakers]
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: In one of your statements this is what they say
17 your job is. Can you explain that. Okay? Just ask him to explain the
18 job, member of the --
19 MS. D'ASCOLI: Well, I think the witness explained the job, so my
20 question was a different one. I was just recapitulating for the record.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Put the question. Put a different question.
22 MS. D'ASCOLI: Okay.
23 Q. So, sir, now, besides these two inaccuracies in your ICTY
24 statement, can you tell us if these are so fundamental to impact the
25 substance and the core parts of your evidence about events at
1 Konjevic Polje and the shooting at the Jadar river of which you are a
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Ivetic.
4 MR. IVETIC: I think that is asking for a legal conclusion.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: I still don't know what counsel is asking:
6 Besides these --
7 MS. D'ASCOLI: [Overlapping speakers]
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- two inaccuracies in your statement and the core
9 part of your evidence about events at Konjevic Polje and the shooting at
10 the Jadar river, I'm not sure what --
11 This has nothing to do with the job --
12 MS. D'ASCOLI: [Overlapping speakers] Your Honours, I'm asking --
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- title as explained on the statement, which I
14 thought is what you were going to ask about.
15 MS. D'ASCOLI: Your Honour, my question was whether besides those
16 two inaccuracies which was our -- which I was recapitulating for the
17 record, but then I'm skipping that part, besides, you know, and
18 considering those two inaccuracies, if the substance of the statement in
19 relation to the events at Konjevic Polje, the execution on the Jadar
20 river which he survived, if that fundamental part is correct. And if you
21 stand by that, by the evidence in your statement?
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Re-examination is not for reasserting what you
23 have said but for clarifying any things that need clarification. We know
24 that. One, you don't have to recapitulate. We've got it on the record.
25 You're duplicating the record. Two, he has not being cross-examined on
1 the substance of events that took place, and therefore there is no need
2 for you to ask him whether he stands by that.
3 But, anyway, carry on, Madam D'Ascoli.
4 MS. D'ASCOLI:
5 Q. Well, my question was whether the witness stands by the
6 truthfulness and accuracy of the evidence that you, sir, provided in your
7 ICTY statements.
8 After I get an answer, then I rest my re-examination.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Ask for the answer, ma'am.
10 MS. D'ASCOLI:
11 Q. Sir, do you stand by the truthfulness of the evidence provided in
12 your ICTY statements, the three that we discussed yesterday?
13 A. Yes, I do. I stand by those statements.
14 Q. Thank you, sir.
15 MS. D'ASCOLI: That concludes my re-examination, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam D'Ascoli.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. RM314, that brings us to the end of your
19 testimony. The Chamber would like to thank you very much for coming to
20 testify. We understand that you've testified in a number of cases and
21 you probably are getting tired of coming here. We appreciate that once
22 again you've come. We wish you a safe trip back home. You may now stand
23 down. You are excused from further attending.
24 May the Chamber please move into closed session.
25 [Closed session]
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam D'Ascoli.
3 MS. D'ASCOLI: Yes, Your Honours. There's still the issue of the
4 three MFI statement of the witness. P1435, 1436, and 1437. I would ask
5 them to be admitted into evidence, considering -- after, you know, the
6 witness was cross-examined on those statements by the Defence counsel.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Ivetic.
8 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, we made our submissions in writing and
9 orally yesterday. I don't need to burden you with repeating them.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. The three statements 1435,
11 6, and 7 are admitted, and then marked for identification. Status may be
12 removed. May they be kept under seal.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Anything else, Madam D'Ascoli.
15 MS. D'ASCOLI: No, Your Honours. Thank you. If I may be
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Hochhauser, are you ready to call your next
19 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, ma'am.
21 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm told we need to go into closed session again
23 for this witness.
24 MS. HOCHHAUSER: That's correct.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: May we please go into closed session.
1 [Closed session]
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, ma'am.
17 Good afternoon, Witness RM297. You have asked for --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- protective measures. I wanted to just remind
20 you that because of the protective measures you asked for we're not going
21 to call you by your name. We're going to call you by your pseudonym. We
22 will be calling you RM297. The other protective measures that you have
23 is that of face distortion so your face will not be seen by people
24 outside this courtroom.
25 You understand that?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Can you then please make the
3 declaration to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing else. And
4 please stand up.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: RM297
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may now be seated. You
10 will now be examined by Madam Hochhauser who is the representative for
11 the Prosecution. She is to your right.
12 Madam Hochhauser.
13 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Thank you and good morning, Your Honours,
15 Examination by Ms. Hochhauser:
16 Q. Good morning, Witness RM297. As the Chamber has just informed
17 you that will be how we refer to you in this courtroom. If we could have
18 65 ter number 28879 on the monitor, please, not to be broadcast.
19 And, Witness, when you are able to see what's on the monitor in
20 front of you, can you confirm for the Chamber whether that accurately
21 records your name and date of birth.
22 A. Yes.
23 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Your Honour, I would tender this under seal.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's admitted into evidence. 28879 under seal,
25 may it please be given an exhibit number.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document 28879 receives number P1442, under seal,
2 Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
4 MS. HOCHHAUSER:
9 Q. And you have also given statements to the
10 Office of the Prosecutor of this Tribunal on several occasions, including
11 statements dated 20 August 1996, 14 June 2001, and 13 and 14 August 1995;
12 is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 MS. HOCHHAUSER: If we could please have 65 ter 28878 on the
15 monitor, also not to be broadcast outside of the courtroom, please.
16 Q. Now, as this is coming up on the monitor, I'll ask you whether
17 yesterday you had an opportunity to review the statement dated 13 to
18 14 August 1995?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And now --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, looking at the monitor, do you recognise that to be that --
23 what's showing on the monitor now, to be that statement?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now yesterday in reviewing this statement, you noticed that in
1 the B/C/S translation, there were two translation errors which you
2 corrected. First, at page 2, paragraph 2 --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. -- of B/C/S -- I'm just going complete the question before -- I
5 know that you suspect already what I'm going to ask you, but if you can
6 let me put the full question to you.
7 First at page 2 paragraph 2 in the B/C/S where it gives the date
8 for the fall of Srebrenica, it should read "11 July" not "1 July"; is
9 that right?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. And, secondly, on page 3 of the B/C/S, in the last sentence of
12 the third paragraph on the page, the sentence referring to
13 General Mladic, it should read "after he finished his speech, the
14 prisoners said thank you, commander," where it now reads in the
15 translation "his soldiers," instead of "prisoners"; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. [Overlapping speakers] of those were correct in the English.
18 So also in your statement -- in this statement, at page 3 in the
19 English and B/C/S -- in both English and B/C/S, you talk about your
20 brother whose first name appears in the statement, and you describe that
21 you were separated from him in the Sandici meadow when you were ordered
22 onto trucks and have not had news of him since.
23 Now without saying his name because it is written in the
24 statement, can you tell the Chamber if you've had any more recent
25 information on your brother than the time that you made this statement?
1 A. Well, yes. They say that they found some of his bones but the
2 mortal remains are not complete.
3 Q. But you were informed that -- that some of his remains were
4 identified; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. Now, other than -- well, and actually -- again without saying
7 your brother's name, the first name of which appears in the statement,
8 does he share the last -- the same last name as you do?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, other than these two translation corrections and the
11 additional piece of information that we've just discussed, are there any
12 other changes or corrections that you would make to the statement after
13 having reviewed it?
14 A. I don't think so.
15 Q. So if you were asked the same questions today that you were asked
16 when you gave that statement back in 1995, would you provide the same
18 A. I think I would provide the same information.
19 Q. Okay. In substance, even if not the exact same language, the
20 same substantive information.
21 A. Well, one cannot repeat each and every word.
22 Q. Okay. But the substance of what you would say, it would be the
23 same; is that right?
24 A. Of course.
25 Q. And is the information in that statement both truthful and
1 accurate, to the best of your recollection?
2 A. It definitely is.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
4 be asked to move closer to the microphone. Thank you.
5 MS. HOCHHAUSER:
6 Q. Witness, I don't know if you can hear the note, but the
7 interpreters are asking you to move your chair a little bit closer to the
8 microphone. They're having a little bit of trouble hearing you. Closer.
9 Closer to it.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Court Usher, can you help the witness there to
11 make sure he gets closer to the microphone.
12 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Thank you. Okay. Your Honours, at this point I
13 would tender 65 ter 28878 into evidence under seal.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: 28878 is admitted into evidence. May it please be
15 given an exhibit number under seal.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document 28878 receives number P1443, under seal,
17 Your Honours.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Registrar.
19 Yes, Madam Hochhauser.
20 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Your Honour, with the Court's permission, I
21 would like to read a summary of the witness's evidence for the public.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may go ahead, ma'am.
23 MS. HOCHHAUSER: On 14th March of 1993 after being forced from
24 him home municipality, RM297 and his two brothers moved to the protected
25 enclave of Srebrenica where they remained until the fall of that enclave
1 on 11 July 1995.
2 On that date, the witness and one of his brothers decided to join
3 the other able-bodied men in escaping through the woods. They assembled
4 with thousands of other Muslim men in the nearby village of Susnjari,
5 which if I've mispronounced is S-u-s-n-j-a-r-i.
6 On 12 July, the witness and this -- and this group of Muslim men
7 set off in a long column. The witness split off from the main column
8 with a group of about a thousand men who were mostly civilians, a few
9 soldiers, and some wounded.
10 As they were in the woods, Bosnian Serb soldiers called to the
11 Muslim men to surrender and promised that if they did, they would stay
12 alive. After one night in the woods, the witness and the men he was with
13 surrendered in a meadow to a group of soldiers wearing the insignia of
14 the Army of Republika Srpska. They were held in that meadow where in the
15 afternoon General Mladic came and addressed the witness and other
16 prisoners, promising them that they would be exchanged. Later that same
17 evening, the prisoners were boarded onto buses and trucks and were taken
18 to Bratunac. The witness spent that night, 13 into 14 July, inside of a
19 truck parked outside of the Vihor garages. During the night, soldiers
20 shouted out for prisoners from certain villages, and those who answered
21 were taken off the trucks. RM297 could hear the sounds of beating,
22 screams, shots being fired, and those prisoners were not seen by him
24 The next day, 14 July, the trucks and buses left Bratunac in a
25 long convoy of vehicles, and the witness was brought with the other men
1 to the elementary school in Orahovac.
2 The witness estimates that when people stopped filing in, the gym
3 held approximately 1.000 men and the prisoners were all packed together
4 tightly against each other.
5 When one prisoner yelled out that they should not be killed, that
6 prisoner was taken out of the hall. The witness heard shots and screams
7 and that prisoner was never seen again. The men were eventually brought
8 row by row to the exit of the gymnasium where they were each given a
9 glass of water and blindfolded. Once blindfolded, the prisoners were
10 told they were being taken to a camp in Bijeljina and they were loaded
11 onto trucks. Instead the trucks drove the short distance to a field in
12 Orahovac and the witness, along with the other men he was with were told
13 to get off the truck. The witness and the men he was with were lined up
14 in rows and shot at. The witness managed to survive these executions by
15 feigning death as he lay under the body of another victim.
16 As he lay underneath and amongst the dead bodies, RM297 could
17 hear that approximately every 10 to 15 minutes, a new truck full of
18 prisoners would arrive, and those prisoners were executed, were killed,
19 in the same manner.
20 The witness could hear that this continued for hours.
21 After night-fall, as the witness lay still underneath -- still
22 underneath the dead bodies, he heard some of the executioners speaking to
23 one another and he recognised the first name and the distinctive voice of
24 Gojko Simic, a man that RM297 had known for years. Later that night when
25 the soldiers were distracted, RM297 was able to escape into the woods.
1 As he ran away he got turned around at one point and found himself back
2 at the killing site and saw that the field was covered in bodies. After
3 several very difficult days of moving and hiding, RM297 managed to reach
4 safety in Muslim held territory.
5 And, Your Honours thank you for your patience with the length of
6 that summary. That concludes it.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Hochhauser.
8 MS. HOCHHAUSER: And if I may, I have a few questions for the
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may, ma'am.
11 MS. HOCHHAUSER:
12 Q. Now, Witness RM297, as you know the Judges have already read your
13 statement and are very familiar with the information you put in it, so
14 I'm only going to ask you a few additional questions.
15 First, can you please tell the Judges why was it that you decided
16 to leave Srebrenica on the 11th of July?
17 A. We decided to do that as we knew what was going to happen with
18 Srebrenica. Srebrenica was not the only one. There were several such
19 locations. It's just that never else were 8- to 9.000 people killed in a
20 few days. There was Visegrad, Vojnica, Foca, Prijedor, Sanski Most,
21 Kljuc and elsewhere. The people there had a very similar experience to
22 ours. It's just that such a large-scale genocide did not take place
23 anywhere else other than Srebrenica.
24 Q. Sir, when you say "we knew," can you just tell us what it is
25 that you -- that you anticipated, what you feared was going to happen
1 that made you leave? And can I also ask you to slow down.
2 A. Well, you know, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic are friends.
3 And before Srebrenica fell, they said they would take revenge on
4 Srebrenica. The very fact that Ratko Mladic arrived there confirms that.
5 He called Srebrenica Srpska, Serbian Srebrenica, and he promised to take
6 revenge on the Turks and the janissaries.
7 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you some specific questions directed at
8 specific parts of your testimony -- of your statement, okay?
9 Can you -- on your -- excuse me. In the statement which is now
10 in evidence as P1443 -- yes, as P1443, on page 4, in both languages, in
11 the third paragraph, you talk about --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could we have it on the screen, please,
13 Madam Hochhauser.
14 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Yes.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Under seal. It should not be broadcast.
16 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Under seal. Thank you.
17 And it would be page 4 in both languages.
18 Q. And as it's coming up, Witness I know this feels like jumping
19 around in -- in the statement and in -- in the whole story of what
20 happened to you, but if you can just try to focus on specifically what
21 I'm drawing your attention to, okay?
22 In page 4 in -- it's in the third paragraph in the English and
23 it's slightly lower down in the B/C/S, you discuss seeing a -- a
24 United Nations APC while you and the other men were being driven to the
25 gymnasium. Can you tell the Chamber whether you ever saw that APC again
1 later and what were the circumstances.
2 A. As we were going from the quarry in Zvornik to Divic, the people
3 saw that an APC, an UN APC, was also part of the column. When we arrived
4 in Orahovac in the courtyard, they parked to the left. There were two
5 uniformed soldiers in UNPROFOR uniforms with automatic rifles. Their
6 rifles were not UNPROFOR rifles, though. On the APC, it no longer read
7 UNPROFOR but the letter C. In the Cyrillic script, it is S. There was a
8 50-year-old man in civilian clothes probably trying to pass off as an
9 interpreter. They did not address us. We were ordered to get off the
10 trucks and to run to the school building. I had a leather jacket on.
11 The person standing some way away instructed us to leave our clothes on a
12 pile and he told me to leave my jacket there as well. All of my
13 documents were in it. We barged into the hallway and we turned left
14 after some 5 to 6 metres. When we entered the hall it was already half
15 full or more than half.
16 Q. Witness, I'm sorry to interrupt you.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Hochhauser, try to control your witness.
18 Witness, can we just try to answer the question that was put to
19 you. You were asked: Did you ever see that APC after that day. Can you
20 give us that first?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Thank you very much. That's what you
23 asked, Madam Hochhauser, so you can't ask the next part of your question.
24 There would be no circumstances of seeing it again.
25 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Okay.
1 Q. Sir, the APC in -- in the statement, you describe seeing it on
2 the road. Did you see it again at the gymnasium, that's the second time
3 that you saw it, when you describe it was then painted with Cyrillic
4 lettering on it?
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Who is testifying, Madam Hochhauser?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
7 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Judge, Your Honour, I'm not trying to testify.
8 I'm trying to clarify what the witness said because he did address a
9 second time and I understood from your question that that might not have
10 been clear.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
12 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Okay.
13 Q. Now, I would like to ask you now several questions about your
14 treatment during the whole time-period that you were detained. So from
15 the meadow until you made your escape from the pit in Orahovac, okay? So
16 that's the time-period that I'm addressing.
17 Did you, during that time-period, ever see or hear any of the
18 Serb soldiers take names or write lists of names at any point during this
19 time period?
20 A. No.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would that be a convenient time, Madam Hochhauser,
22 to take a break?
23 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Yes, it would be fine, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
25 May the Chamber please move into closed session.
1 [Closed session]
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Registrar.
21 Before you continue, Madam Hochhauser, I've got one little point
22 to raise here with the Defence.
23 Mr. Lukic, Mr. Groome said this morning - and it was in closed
24 session unfortunately - there are -- said something about
25 Witness Riedlmayer, and what the Chamber would like to know is do you
1 still need the 30-day extension of time starting from today, when is the
2 day you are now being provided with the translation, or are you
3 comfortable to meet the deadline?
4 MR. LUKIC: Thirty days from today, Your Honour. Thirty days
5 from today.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Then 30 days from today we give you. The
7 deadline is then set at 10 June.
8 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're welcome.
10 Madam Hochhauser, you may proceed.
11 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 If we can please have the statement, P1443, back up on the
13 monitor, not to be broadcast. And it's at page 3.
14 Q. In what is the second -- sorry, I would describe it as the second
15 full paragraph in the English, and the first large -- large paragraph in
16 the B/C/S version.
17 You describe in that portion of your statement being in the
18 meadow and Mr. Mladic arriving. And it says there:
19 "He promised us we would get some water."
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you receive any water after that?
22 A. Well, yes. We had been receiving water before Mladic's arrival.
23 But he told us that we would be going to the hangars, that we would not
24 be given any supper, only water.
25 Q. And after seeing him -- after that exchange with -- excuse me.
1 After being addressed by Mr. Mladic when you were brought to the
2 gymnasium, were you given any food or water?
3 A. No. Well, we did receive water but not enough.
4 Q. Can you tell us, please, and I'm referring to the entire time of
5 your detention, from the time -- from the meadow when you first
6 surrendered yourself until the -- the execution field, so that whole
7 period. Can you tell -- can you describe, please, how the Serb soldiers
8 spoke to you and the other prisoners? What kind of language was used?
9 A. They only swore at our Turkish and Balija mothers. Otherwise,
10 they did not insult us in any other way. The soldier who had a black
11 scarf, he said to every group that arrived, that the governments were in
12 negotiations and that there will be an exchange, all for all.
13 Q. And when you say "they only swore at our Turkish and Balija
14 mothers," was that -- can you describe the circumstances of that?
15 A. Well, of course, they swore at our Turkish and Balija mothers,
16 saying that this was the Serbian land, and that the Serbian army was
17 invincible. We were forced to keep silent, but we know very well how
18 difficult it was.
19 Q. Turning specifically to the time-period of the executions in the
20 field, can you tell us if you heard any exchanges between wounded men and
21 the Serb soldiers who had been shooting them; and, if so, what was said,
22 what you heard?
23 A. There was a seriously injured man. He asked to be finished off.
24 Only God knows how he felt. One of the Serb soldiers, because, of
25 course, all of us were lying prostrate on the ground, the -- he just
1 said, Slowly, slowly.
2 Q. When you say "he said, Slowly, slowly," who said? The wounded
3 person or someone else?
4 A. One of the Serb soldiers.
5 MS. HOCHHAUSER: If we could please have on the monitor, P1132,
6 which is the book of photographs, maps and aerials used with Witness
7 Jean-Rene Ruez. And if we could begin at page 129 in e-court, and I
8 don't know if anybody else has available to them the hard copy of that
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Not in court here, but ...
11 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Okay. So then page 129 in e-court, please.
12 Q. Witness, can you -- Witness, in June of 1999, did you accompany
13 Investigator Ruez from the OTP to certain sites described in your
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now I'll ask you to look at what is now on the monitor. And if
17 we could please show --
18 A. Yes. That's the school. In this narrow part --
19 Q. Witness, I'm not going to ask you to mark anything on it. If you
20 can put down the pen for one second.
21 MS. HOCHHAUSER: I'm going to ask, please, if we can display page
22 129 and then flip to 130, through 133, so the witness has an opportunity
23 to see each of those photographs, in turn.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do I need to show you something?
25 MS. HOCHHAUSER:
1 Q. I'm going ask you as you look at these to tell us whether those
2 are locations that you went to with Investigator Ruez.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And are those the locations that you pointed out as having been
5 described in your statement?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, if we could please turn to page 134 of this exhibit in
8 e-court. Can you tell us what it is that we're looking at in this
10 A. Well, these are the bullet-holes fired by the soldiers who were
11 standing at the door.
12 Q. All right. And what were the circumstances in which those shots
13 were being fired?
14 A. Well, there was a commotion among the people, it was very hot,
15 there was not enough air, and they fired these warning shots from the
17 Q. If we could please turn to page 142 and 143 in e-court. And,
18 Witness, can you tell us if you recognise this location -- the location
19 that's shown on pages 142 and 143 of Exhibit P1132?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And from where?
22 A. Because when I escaped, I ran across the railway track. Because
23 when we first arrived, I didn't know the place where we came.
24 Q. And did you point out those locations to Investigator Ruez as --
25 as the field that you had been in?
1 A. Yes.
2 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Now, Your Honours, if we could move briefly into
3 private session for a series of questions that might have some personal
4 detail in the answers.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
6 [Private session]
11 Page 10952 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much, Madam Registrar.
21 When you are ready, you may start, Mr. Lukic.
22 Witness 297, you're now going to be examined by Defence counsel,
23 Mr. Lukic. Mr. Lukic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We are hearing a buzzing
2 sound in our earphones. Can something be done about it? Thank you.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Registrar, if you can help.
4 Witness, did you -- can you hear the lawyer in a language you
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: He said to you good afternoon. I didn't hear you
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said good afternoon. But maybe
10 not loud enough.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
12 You may proceed.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Sir, both of us speak the same or similar language, so kindly
15 wait for a while after my question and I will wait a while after your
16 answer so that everything can be recorded.
17 Let me start with the period quite before the events that are the
18 core of your testimony, and gradually we'll come to that.
19 You used to be a member of the armed forces after the start of
20 the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. At that time, both your bothers were alive.
23 A. Yes. Actually, I had three brothers.
24 Q. One of your brothers was killed in 1992.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Your brothers were also members of the Territorial Defence in
2 your native town. I'm not going to mention the name.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Were you and your brothers at that time served any call-up papers
5 to the JNA?
6 A. No. But, Mr. Lukic, there was no JNA at the time. JNA was
7 extinguished in the early 1990s. Immediately after the separation of,
8 first, Croatia and Slovenia, and then Macedonia and Bosnia, the JNA
9 ceased to exist.
10 Q. Did other people receive call-up papers in 1991 and 1992?
11 A. No, no.
12 Q. The units that you belonged to after the beginning of the war
13 were not under JNA command.
14 A. No, they were not.
15 Q. At the time, just like all other members of your nation, a kind
16 of mistrust towards the JNA?
17 A. Well, of course. We could have been the JNA only during the
18 period of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia when everybody
19 respected one single constitution and one single law, regardless of
20 whether it was Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Vojvodina,
21 et cetera. We had one single army and we trusted it, but this
22 unfortunate army of ours was the one who killed us.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Witness, I'm going to ask you to slow down. I can
24 hear the interpreter rushing very much trying to keep a pace with you.
25 So if you could slow down when you answer questions, please. Thank you.
1 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Q. You felt mistrust towards the Serbs as well at the time; is that
5 A. No. We conducted negotiations with our Serb neighbours. We make
6 agreement that, let's say, tonight a Serb will keep guard and then the
7 Muslim would come to replace him. However, when the Muslim comes, the
8 Serb was not there, and that is the reason why we lost our trust in them.
9 Q. Would you agree with me that in that period there was a
10 disruption in interethnic relations in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. Well, of course. There would not have been any disruption of
12 that kind had it not been for this Serbia of yours and that army which
13 you prefer to call the Yugoslav People's Army.
14 Q. In your area, did you receive any instructions from the Muslim
15 political leadership not to join the JNA?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Can we please have 1D958 in e-court. I'm going to show you your
18 testimony in the Karadzic case in order to refresh your memory about what
19 you said on that occasion. I need page 25 in e-court, and then we'll
20 move to the next page, which is 1363, transcript page lines 24 and 25,
21 and then the first two lines on the next page.
22 I'm going to read in English so that can you receive an
24 [In English] "Q. The question was whether Muslim soldiers and
25 officers were leaving the JNA pursuant to instructions of your leadership
1 and did your leadership prevent the response to the call-up."
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: We're trying to find this. I'm not finding it,
3 Mr. Lukic. If you can tell us again the number.
4 MR. LUKIC: Line 24. And it starts ...
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Line 24 on this page says something else.
6 MR. LUKIC: Twenty-five, sorry.
7 MS. HOCHHAUSER: The transcripts read -- transcript reads that
8 you were calling our attention to page 1363 of the original transcript.
9 That is not what is actually being shown on the monitor.
10 MR. LUKIC: Can I see the top of the page, please. Then we have
11 to move 30 pages ahead. If this is page 25, then we need 55.
12 Now we can see. I -- thank you. Now we can see at line 24 the
13 question was:
14 "Whether Muslim soldiers and officers were leaving the JNA
15 pursuant to instructions of your leadership, and did your leadership
16 prevent the response to the call-up?"
17 Answer --
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: If we can get the page turned over, please.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 MR. LUKIC:
21 Q. Answer, line 3:
22 "A. Yes, it did."
23 [Interpretation] Does it refresh your memory that you actually
24 confirmed --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The speakers overlapped.
1 Could Mr. Lukic repeat his question.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, the interpreters ask that you repeat
3 your question because you are overlapping. You're speaking all at the
4 same time. Can you please wait for each other to finish what one is
5 saying before the other answers.
6 Repeat your question Mr. Lukic, please.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you. Kindly wait for me to conclude my question. Is it
9 correct, therefore --
10 A. It is correct.
11 Q. Wait, please.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Witness, please wait for Mr. Lukic to finish
13 his question before you answer.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And make a pause, please, because the
15 interpreters need the time.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. So let's try again. Is it correct that your leadership provided
19 instructions to the effect that people should not respond to JNA
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Thank you. Did you receive instructions from the same leadership
23 to join Muslim armed formations?
24 A. Well, to tell you directly, in our small towns and places where
25 we were, we did not have such instructions.
1 Q. Did you hear of something like that in the media?
2 A. Well, of course, everyone tried to protect themselves.
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina is the only state in the world that was attacked and
4 that did not have an arm force and yet it was attacked by this strong,
5 unfortunate JNA, which carried out an aggression with our own weapons
6 against us.
7 Q. Thank you. You went one way, and your family the other, to
8 Tuzla; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. As a matter of fact, you were withdrawing with your unit to
11 another position.
12 A. No. We did not withdraw with our unit. We were withdrawing
13 because we were being driven away.
14 Q. Later, you arrived in the area of Konjevic Polje; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it correct that in the territory that you reached in
17 Konjevic Polje, there were no Serbs left who had lived before -- who had
18 lived there before?
19 A. In Konjevic Polje, there were no Serbs. There were no Serbs in
20 Konjevic Polje but there is a church constructed on Muslim land. I think
21 it must be the only place in the world where there are no people who
22 worship a particular religion and yet their church is there.
23 Q. Is it your testimony today that your forces controlled the
24 territory in which, before that, there had not been a single Serb
1 A. No, no. There were Serb villages there. But in Konjevic Polje
2 itself, there were no Serbs.
3 Q. How did the Serbs from the villages where they lived before
4 leave? How did they come to leave?
5 A. It's well known how they left. They attacked us from all sides
6 and we had to -- well, because we were attacked from three sides, and we
7 moved them. They went away. I don't know where to. Whereas, the other
8 two sides remained.
9 Q. When you say that you moved them, you mean you drove them away?
10 A. Well, it may seem like that but we didn't --
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
12 MS. HOCHHAUSER: I'm sorry to interrupt. I'm just going to start
13 objecting to the general nature of these questions that are directed to
14 sort of general -- generalised events in the conflict, as opposed to this
15 witness's personal experience and knowledge during that time.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: I think that this witness does have this experience
18 and he is testify about his personal knowledge. He tells us when
19 something in general he is not informed about. But I can even rephrase
20 the question and ask him more specifically.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Go ahead.
22 Okay. Carry on, Mr. Lukic, and please stay relevant to the
23 issues before us.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 Q. Do you know how many Serbs were killed in the area controlled by
1 your forces after your arrival?
2 A. I don't know exactly.
3 Q. After the Serbs left the area, you are familiar with a case in
4 which Slobodan Stojanovic, a boy of 11, was killed.
5 A. As for the child, I am sorry for it because it was not to blame,
6 but the rest of the Serbs were, in particular, his father and where the
7 other Serbs were. They did not want to send their children, but they
8 sent that one child so that they would not lose their heads.
9 Q. Could we please see 1D961 in e-court. In the Karadzic case, you
10 were shown this photograph. Do you recognise the boy?
11 A. Yes, this is the child.
12 MR. LUKIC: We will just tender this into evidence, Your Honours.
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm advised, Mr. Lukic, that there is an
15 attachment with writings attached to this photo.
16 MR. LUKIC: There is a text newspaper's text.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sure, so if you're tendering the photo maybe you
18 must tender it separately, upload it separately, because we tender the
19 photo only and not what is attached to it.
20 MR. LUKIC: The gentleman confirmed what is in the text, in the
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: No. Not before us. Where? Where did he confirm
23 that? He's just confirmed this photograph.
24 MR. LUKIC: That he knows about the killing of this --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, no, no. He knows about this chart. And
1 that's what you are tendering. That's what we have seen. We haven't
2 seen any text.
3 MR. LUKIC: Okay. Can we see the text of the document, please.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yeah, go ahead.
5 Why are we being shown a newspaper article now?
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 MR. LUKIC: It's ...
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The witness testified about his knowledge about
9 the fate of this child. Isn't it -- that sufficient? Why do we need a
10 newspaper article? This has no -- not a specific relevance for our case.
11 MR. LUKIC: I will ask additional question and maybe it will be
12 clear then.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, did you know that the boy was killed by a
14 woman, Elfete Veseli, a member of the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
15 A. That's what I heard. But, Mr. Lukic, if only one child were --
16 Muslim child were killed like this, it would have been much better. One
17 must admit that he was a victim too, but when Bosniak children were being
18 killed none of you from Serbia put any captions saying, One executioner
19 or four one victim. What about the 200.000? What words should be used
20 for 200.000? 100, 600 children were killed in Sarajevo alone.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Witness, Witness, Witness, Witness can I ask you
22 to please listen to the question carefully and just answer the question
23 that is put to you. It is understandable that you might want to tell
24 your story, but, you know, we -- your story has been told elsewhere, but
25 here we would like to get answers to the questions that are put to you.
1 We have very limited time. I asked you to please listen carefully and
2 just answer the question.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. And not say more.
5 Yes, Mr. Lukic, please go on.
6 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: And if the witness is going on, please stop him.
8 MR. LUKIC: Okay. I will. Thank you.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, you heard the Court's instructions. In
10 future, I will have to cut you off if you expand too much.
11 A. You cut me off? I have the right to say it. And the Judge has
12 the right to cut me off.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay, okay, okay. I'll do it then.
14 You go ahead.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Who are you to cut me off? Only
16 the Judges can.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Did you know that in Konjevic Polje -- well, you say that no
19 Serbs lived there, but I'll give you this example. The father of
20 General Simic lived there. General Simic was the commander of the
21 East Bosnia Corps.
22 A. I don't know that. What I do know is that some 30 years ago
23 there were only two houses on the right side coming from Drinjaca to the
24 town and there were two Serb houses there. I think they sold them and
25 left. I don't think there was a single Serb there.
1 Q. As one enters Konjevic Polje and the area there, one does not
2 find a single Serb there.
3 A. I'm telling you that there were no Serbs. Perhaps in Paljevici
4 only or in Drinjaca but not in Konjevic Polje. As far as I recall, that
5 was so. I did not reside there, but I don't think there was a single
6 Serb house.
7 Q. So from there, you went to Srebrenica; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In your view, how many weapons were there in Srebrenica?
10 A. Whatever weapons we had, we handed them over. Some may have had;
11 some others didn't. Unless people kept it hidden. I guess UNPROFOR
12 would know how many pieces of weapons there were. I don't know.
13 Q. Can we have D270 in e-court. You know who Ramiz Becirovic was?
14 A. I didn't know him personally. I was from another municipality,
15 and he was from Srebrenica.
16 Q. Did you know that at the time he was Chief of Staff of the
17 28th Division of the land forces of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
18 A. It wasn't called division at the time. It was established only
19 once Srebrenica fell.
20 Q. We have a document dated the 11th of August, 1995, before us.
21 This is page 1. This statement was taken from Mr. Becirovic.
22 We need page 4 in the B/C/S in e-court, and page 5 in the English
23 version. Please look at the paragraph beginning with, "Once UNPROFOR
24 arrived." Actually, no, the one after that:
25 "After we got those two agreements on the demilitarisation of
1 Srebrenica, we had to disarm completely. We barely managed to secure
2 some older weapons in disrepair to hand over to UNPROFOR while the troops
3 hid the rest at their homes. It was a custom for the troops to keep
4 their weapons at their homes and only exceptionally were they handed out
5 to other troops at the line. It was never permitted to have weapons
6 grouped in one place."
7 Would you allow for the possibility that Mr. Becirovic was better
8 informed than you were in terms of what was going on with the weapons in
10 A. Well, if Mr. Becirovic was in that position, of course, he knew.
11 I didn't know. I was just a fly on the wall.
12 Q. Thank you. You never went to the confrontation line, or did you?
13 A. No. I never went. I did stand guard, but I never took part in
14 any operation or clash.
15 Q. Did you know that in Konjevic Polje some drivers from the Glinica
16 company were killed?
17 A. When?
18 Q. In 1992.
19 A. Well, this is the first I hear it, from you. I didn't know about
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
22 Q. I'd like you now to focus on the period when you and other men
23 assembled in Susnjari.
24 When you set off, you were at the rear of the column; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Since you were at the rear, and you were walking behind the
3 others, can you remember how many dead bodies you saw?
4 A. Immediately as we set off, there were five or six victims by a
5 stream. I don't know who had killed them. And then, later on, when we
6 came to a hill, there were at least dead bodies there -- 50 dead bodies
8 Q. Is it true that during your journey you saw around 500 dead
10 A. I never said that.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have 1D956 in e-court,
12 please. We need page 844 of the transcript, which corresponds to page 13
13 in e-court.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That was in private session, at least the top of
16 MR. LUKIC: We have to go to private session.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
18 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 MR. LUKIC: I read lines from 10 to 12.
16 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
18 Yes, Mr. Lukic, yeah.
19 MR. LUKIC: Then we have to move to next page, 844, from the
20 transcript. We need lines -- from lines -- from number 20, further on.
21 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, that's now in private session, Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: Yeah.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: So may the Chamber please move into private
1 [Private session]
11 Page 10969 redacted. Private session.
22 [Closed session]
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Registrar.
17 That's right, Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Q. While the column was on the move from Susnjari towards Tuzla, did
20 you notice that some people turned and went back towards Srebrenica and
22 A. I didn't see them myself, but I did hear that some people
24 Q. Alongside you in the column were some people in camouflage
1 A. Yes, there were a few of them.
2 Q. Do you know anything about the fighting that was going on during
3 the moving of the column?
4 A. Probably in this pile of 50 dead bodies we knew nothing about
5 that. We, who were in the rear.
6 Q. You decided to surrender, and you went out onto the road where
7 you were met by the Serb soldiers; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. As soon as you appeared, they asked you -- you to give them
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you have a feeling then that they are being involved in some
13 criminal activities?
14 A. Well, they were involved in crime throughout the war. They never
15 did any -- any honest thing.
16 Q. When you surrendered, where were you in the column? Were you
17 still in the rear? Were you in the middle? Or at the head?
18 A. Well, let me tell you, I think I was somewhere in the middle.
19 Q. After a while, the people who were guarding you rotated; is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And what were you told about these newcomers?
23 A. When the rotation came, the man with the black scarf said, These
24 are Arkan's Men. I didn't see any specific insignia. I only noticed
25 that they wore new camouflage uniforms.
1 Q. After you were taken prisoner, you were -- you were taken to a
2 meadow in Sandici and that is where you were told to sit down on the
3 ground; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You were sitting in rows about 20 metres long; is that correct?
6 A. Well, to tell you the truth, maybe less, maybe more. I wasn't
7 able to assess this exactly. If I had known that things will come to
8 this, I would have tried to remember them better.
9 Q. It's all right. This is a rough estimate, and thank you for
11 So, at the end of the day, when all the people gathered together,
12 can you tell us how many rows were there?
13 A. Well there were many of them. I cannot tell you now how many
14 rows there were, but there were quite a few of them.
15 Q. Well, it's all right. If you can't do it, fine.
16 There were some women and -- and -- young women with you when you
17 surrendered; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. They were allowed to board the buses; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. There were also boys under the age of 15 with you as well; is
22 that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And they were also allowed to leave.
25 A. Well, when they released woman and the child of about 10 years of
1 ages and two young girls, one of them who was the prettier one, the
2 soldiers shouted at the one with the black scarf, Leave her, we might
3 need her. But he kept quiet, didn't make any comment and said, There's a
4 bus down there. And he told some boys to join them. Some dozen boys who
5 were maybe of my height but very young went down there. There was one of
6 them to was very tall, but he was told that he should sit down because he
7 was capable of carrying a machine-gun, and after that, he did not let
8 anyone else go.
9 Q. It hasn't been recorded as some dozen young boys were allowed to
10 board the buses; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You said that at one point, General Mladic appeared.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You were told by someone who was with you, because you personally
15 didn't recognise him.
16 A. When Ratko Mladic and a group of officers or ordinary soldiers
17 came with him, the people in the rows started shouting, Here comes
18 General Mladic.
19 I hadn't seen Ratko Mladic before. When I reached the free
20 territory in Tuzla and I saw him on TV, I was 100 per cent sure that it
21 was him.
22 Q. You say that when he addressed you -- well, in doing so, did he
23 insult any of people assembled there?
24 A. No. He came at dusk, and he said, Good evening, neighbours. And
25 we said, Good evening. He told us the governments are in negotiations
1 and tomorrow you will be exchanged all for all. We said, Thank you,
2 commander and we applauded. After that he said, You will go to the
3 hangars, you will have water, but there will be no dinner. After he
4 left, I don't know if it was an order or not, but the first row started
5 boarding the vehicles and the second and the third, and when it was my
6 turn to go, I went down to the truck and they told us, get on the
7 trailer. It was the kind of truck which transports raw materials from
8 mines with high trailers and sides. I saw a young man in uniform,
9 perhaps around 30, with a goatee and a black Serbian cap with the
10 kokarde, and he said, I will go with this one, meaning with this vehicle,
11 and the driver.
12 Q. To go back to the movement of the column before the surrender, I
13 omitted a question. Did you see any people in the column committing
15 A. Up there in the forest, I saw a man kill himself. It was not
16 en route, but when we were up there and while they were inviting us to
18 Q. After that, you were transported to Bratunac.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Today you said the soldiers shouted out names and took some
21 people away.
22 A. No, not soldiers. People would approach a bus or a truck and ask
23 if there were people -- people from Bljecevo, Potocari, Glogova or
24 Usmolici [phoen]. If somebody responded they asked for his name and his
25 father's name and then they would take him away.
1 When we arrived there, there was a driver who was driving some
2 supplies up to the people. He had a truck without registration plates.
3 I -- he said it was from a Vihor garage. I don't know even know whether
4 that is the case. In any case, on one side there were garages and on the
5 others some buildings. When we arrived there, a boy peaked through the
6 curtains and an elderly woman shooed him away. When they took people
7 away we could hear blunt blows and moans, and then they would say, Stop
8 it, stop it. And one could hear a burst of fire and it all fell silent.
9 It went like that throughout the night. I don't know how late in the
10 evening or at night it was, but a Serb soldier approached our truck and
11 asked if there were people from Srebrenica. There was a man sitting in
12 the nearest corner to him and who got up and he said, I am. The question
13 was, What village were you from. And the man answered, From Ljeskovik.
14 And he didn't want him to take him away.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last short
16 sentence. We did not catch it.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: The interpreters didn't hear the last short
18 sentence that you gave right at the end of your answer. Could you please
19 repeat that.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is that a question for me?
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] yes. You said:
22 "There was a man sitting in the nearest corner nearest to him and
23 who got up and he said, I am."
24 And then "want to take him away." We don't know -- you didn't
25 finish that.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That man, since he was quite close
2 to the trailer, that man was close to the soldier and when he asked if
3 there was someone from Srebrenica, the man said, I am. And I know the
4 man by his first and last name. I used to know him. He asked him from
5 what village he was, and he said from Ljeskovik, so it means that they
6 didn't want any people from that village. He told him to sit down and
7 the same man ended up in Orahovac.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: Thanks.
10 Q. [Interpretation] In your view, how many people were taken away in
11 Bratunac, in that way?
12 A. Maybe 100 or 200. I have no idea. It lasted the whole night.
13 They didn't take people dozen by dozen, but one by one. Some were hit
14 with rifle-butts. One of them was being told that he would have to sing
15 the songs from an entire cassette tape. I have no idea what cassette
16 tape they were talking about, and I don't know who the man was.
17 Q. When you left Bratunac, could you hear someone shouting that they
18 should wait for UNPROFOR?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So you waited another two or three hours at the place they said
21 UNPROFOR should be waited for, so you were stopped and waited a few
23 A. Well, we waited for maybe two, three, four hours. In any case,
24 it was long. It was very hot. The sides of the trailer were made of
25 metal and luckily the driver brought us some food as well, some water as
1 well. A boy of 15 or 16 from Bratunac who brought us some water too. He
2 was quite well built and he asked for Ismet Ramic, who was a shoemaker
3 from Bratunac. The people wanted to know why he was looking for that
4 man, and the boy answered, He is my neighbour.
5 Q. Did UNPROFOR representatives show up?
6 A. No.
7 Q. I'll ask you about the moment of your arrival in Orahovac at the
8 Grbovci school; correct?
9 A. Yes, some call it Orahovac, other Grbovci. That's how people
10 refer to it. I used to know it as Grbovci rather than Orahovac.
11 Q. In the gym where you were put in, all of the people were seated
12 on the floor; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Among you there were four boys; correct?
15 A. Yes. The boys were separated. Closest to the door. They were
16 given a blanket, whereas the rest of us were not. In my view, one of
17 them was so young that he wasn't older than 10. Judging by his stature,
18 he was about 10 years old, whereas, there was another boy of 11 who
19 weighed as much as 60 kilo.
20 Q. What happened with the boys?
21 A. When I reached the free territory, I asked whether four children
22 had been released, and they said that they had. If not, I can tell you
23 that they were killing everyone from 10 to 70 years of age. I know a
24 neighbour of mine from my village who was 70. And there may have been
25 older people than that whom I didn't know.
1 Q. You did not count the people in the gym.
2 A. I didn't.
3 Q. The people who guarded you in the Orahovac gym, did they
4 introduce themselves?
5 A. The ones that stood at the door with the weapons that were very
6 young, most of them held rifles like this. When someone spoke to them,
7 saying, soldier, they would respond, We are not soldiers. We are
8 Karadzic's Chetniks. It's just that we don't have any beards.
9 They were all very young, and I don't think that they could grown
10 beards, in any case.
11 Q. As a matter of fact, you didn't know who those people guarding
12 you belonged to.
13 A. They belonged to the Serbs. Who else? They were Serbs.
14 Q. Perhaps I didn't formulate the question quite properly. Did you
15 know what unit they belonged to?
16 A. No, we didn't. We were not familiar with any particular unit of
17 the VRS.
18 Q. Let's now go forward in time, in 1999, when you were on-site with
19 Mr. Ruez. Would you agree with me that, at that point in time, you did
20 not manage to locate the execution site. Mr. Ruez took you there.
21 A. I did recognise the location. It's just that -- well, I don't
22 know where exactly I lay. In any case, on the other side of the railroad
23 there was a corn field. I ran through the corn field. When we came to
24 the location, the corn had already been reaped, and only stalks were
25 left, swaying in the wind.
1 Q. So what are you saying? Could you or could you not recognise the
3 A. I recognised it. But, Mr. Lukic, let me tell you this: If I
4 blindfold you, if I put you under a tarpaulin on a truck and let you out
5 somewhere you had never been before and then bring you back four years
6 later, you wouldn't recognise it either. I never saw it before. I only
7 saw it from the other side of the railroad from the corn field. I was
8 brought there blindfolded under a tarpaulin, and you wouldn't know
9 either, I'm sure.
10 Q. I am not blaming you for anything. I'm just asking whether you
11 would agree that you couldn't recognise the location when you went there
12 with Mr. Ruez.
13 A. I recognised the location. But I never saw that plot with my
14 bare eyes until then and even when I took off the blindfold, it was dark.
15 Q. Fine.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In that case we'll have to bring up
17 1D955. We had some problems with e-court yesterday, and that is why we
18 split the transcript in two parts. This is the second part. 1D955. We
19 need page 798, which is page 5 in e-court, in the second part. We're
20 interested in lines 23 through 25, as well as line 1 on the next page.
21 I apologise. It must be the first part of the document, and
22 we're interested in page 783. That is to say, page 5 in the first part.
23 Yes, lines 23 through 25. I'll read it out in English:
24 [In English] "Q. And my last question is that when you visited
25 the sites where the shootings took place -- and that was -- this question
1 was asked by my colleague -- but you did not recognise those sites, did
3 Answer on the next page --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I recognised the location.
5 MR. LUKIC: "A. Yes, because I was blindfolded."
6 THE WITNESS: No, no. I recognised it. After I fled I crossed
7 the rail tracks and there was immediately a corn field there. When we
8 came to the site, as I told you, one could still hear the stalks of the
9 corn in the field.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. In your testimony in the Popovic case on the 25th of August, when
12 you were asked whether it is true that you didn't recognise the location,
13 you said:
14 "Yes, because I was blindfolded. When I was brought there, the
15 only thing I could see were the dead in front of me."
16 A. No. When we were brought there to be executed, my group, when I
17 looked in front of me, at my feet, I saw a dead man. I have three
18 children, and they immediately came to my mind. I thought I would never
19 see them again. And I started praying to God to die as a religious man,
20 not a atheist, and I could only ponder and picture death at that moment.
21 Fear is not great at such a point in time. People about to be
22 executed are not all that afraid.
23 Q. Just before we break for the day, tell me this, please: Are you
24 telling us that what you said in the Popovic trial was not correct?
25 A. No, no. Perhaps I did say it. I'm not saying I didn't. But I
1 know, I'm certain 100 per cent, that that is the location. When I fled
2 across the railroad, the people standing next to the digger fired shots,
3 probably at me, but I didn't -- I wasn't injured. I ran halfway into the
4 field and I thought, Well, the corn is pretty high and, still, they may
5 see me. That's why I went down to my knees. I went through the corn
6 field, came out to the back, and there was a small forest there where I
7 could hear water running, but I couldn't see it.
8 Q. Thank you. It is time to conclude for the day, and we'll have to
9 continue tomorrow.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.
11 Witness, we have to break for the day. You'll have to come back
12 tomorrow morning at 9.30 in this same courtroom. May we -- we are just
13 going to adjourn now. But before we do that, can we ask that the -- go
14 into closed session for you to leave the court.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 [Closed session]
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Madam Registrar.
11 Well, we stand adjourned to tomorrow, Friday, the 10th of May, in
12 Courtroom III at 9.30.
13 Court adjourned.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.19 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Friday, the 10th day of May,
16 2013, at 9.30 a.m.