1 Friday, 22 October 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So good morning. Mr. Registrar, could you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number
8 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Oric, good morning to you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you follow the proceedings in a language that
12 is -- that you can understand?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, I can. I can
14 follow everything.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Appearances for the Prosecution.
16 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours. My name is Jan Wubben,
17 lead counsel for the Prosecution team, together with Ms. Patricia Sellers
18 and Ms. Joanne Richardson, and our case manager Ms. Donnica
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, I thank you, and good morning to you and your
22 Appearances for Naser Oric.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour and my
24 learned friends, my name is Vasvija Vidovic, and together with
25 Mr. John Jones I appear for Mr. Naser Oric. With us are our legal
1 assistant Ms. Jasmina Cosic and our CaseMap manager Mr. Geoff Roberts.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you Madam Vidovic. Good morning to you and
3 the rest of your team.
4 Any preliminaries before we start? Yes.
5 MS. RICHARDSON: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
7 MS. RICHARDSON: There is one housekeeping matter I would like to
8 address. We received a list of the Defence exhibits yesterday evening,
9 and the only clarification we're seeking with respect to this list is
10 there is -- there is on the list the transcript of the Deronjic interview,
11 and there's an indication that the Defence will be using pages 9, 10 and
12 11. The Prosecution would ask for further clarification because there
13 were at least three interviews of this individual and as such a number of
14 tapes as a result and we are seeking to establish exactly which interview,
15 what day, and what pages.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think that information can be easily
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is the transcript
19 of an interview held on the 23rd of June, 2003, and it's on tape 2073A,
20 pages 9, 10, and 11 on the English transcript, as we have both the Bosnian
21 and English versions.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Any further remarks?
23 MS. RICHARDSON: No, Your Honour. Thank you.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. The other thing we wanted to raise ourselves
25 is in relation to the Defence motion for -- regarding possible adjudicated
1 facts to be taken into account. I don't know if the Prosecution is in a
2 position to anticipate its response in other words.
3 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, I will give the floor to Ms. Patricia
4 Sellers for that.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sellers, please.
6 MS. SELLERS: Good morning, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
8 MS. SELLERS: Yes, the Prosecution will respond to the Defence
9 motion. I think that we can safely inform both counsel and the Bench that
10 we will be opposing the motion.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Incidentally, just for the record because I
12 also so discovered this morning that this fact was not known to my two
13 colleagues, I was -- I composed part of the Trial Chamber that decided the
14 Deronjic case, so that I want to put it on record that I was one of the
15 three Judges in the Deronjic case.
16 If there is nothing else we can bring in the witness. And also
17 incidentally because -- I'm not saying it is related, but we're talking of
18 more or less the same area, the same time frame. I was also one of the
19 three Judges which handed down the sentence in the Dragan Nikolic case, so
20 that you should know if -- I suppose you both knew this, but I'm just
21 putting it down for the record.
22 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
23 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour. I have only a minor issue, a
24 minor request. It is from last week. We kept in the neighbourhood of
25 this courtroom the originals of our exhibits handed -- we handled last
1 week, meaning that they are available on short notice, but that's a kind
2 of everyday organising. Is it possible to -- with the allowance of the
3 parties to put them, those originals back again in the lockers of the AV
5 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't ask us, you know. We're not going to tell
6 you yes.
7 MR. WUBBEN: Through you, Your Honour, I'll ask Defence counsel.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: The only thing, Mr. Wubben, is this, that I suppose
9 the best thing would be to keep them under lock and key where they belong.
10 MR. WUBBEN: That's the evidence unit.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the rule that should be followed. And then
12 if the Defence intend calling or requesting for production of the
13 original, I would suggest that you inform the Prosecution beforehand, at
14 least a day before, saying, "We will be contesting the -- or for our
15 purposes we require the original," and you will have a good time, realtime
16 within which to bring these documents either up or down because I don't
17 know where they are kept. So --
18 MR. WUBBEN: That's a fine arrangement. Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the rule should be that once you've finished
20 with them here they should go back to where they belong and not kept in
21 any other place. All right?
22 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Because in that case you would be responsible for
24 their custody if you retained them under your custody, and I don't think
25 you should shoulder that responsibility.
1 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. The witness.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Mr. Rankovic.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it that you are receiving interpretation of
7 what I am saying in a language that you can understand. Am I correct?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So welcome to this Tribunal, and I thank you for
10 having come over to give testimony. Before you start giving evidence, our
11 Rules require that you enter a solemn declaration, something similar and
12 certainly equivalent to a oath. The purpose of this declaration is to get
13 you to state formally that in the course of your testimony you will be
14 speaking the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The text
15 of the solemn declaration is contained in a piece of paper that the lady
16 who is standing next to you, Madam Usher, will be handing to you. Please
17 read out that declaration aloud and that will be your solemn declaration
18 with us.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
20 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 WITNESS: MILO RANKOVIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And I will try to explain very briefly what's going
1 to happen. You will be first asked a series of questions by
2 Madam Richardson from the side of the Prosecution, who have called you as
3 a witness, and when that set of questions is finished, I hope at the end
4 of the -- by the end of this first session before the break, after that
5 you will be cross-examined by Madam Vidovic who is appearing for the
6 defendant in this case, Naser Oric. At the end there maybe some questions
7 from us here.
8 I wish to remind you of something which is fundamental. The
9 moment you have taken your place there and sat down on that chair, you are
10 no longer a witness of the Prosecution. You are a witness of this
11 Tribunal, carrying the responsibility and also the duty to speak the
12 truth. And in giving us your version of the events in answering the
13 questions that are put to you, your duty is to answer fully and truthfully
14 every question that is put to you irrespective of who is putting the
15 question to you, irrespective of whether it's coming from the Prosecution
16 or from the Defence. The important thing is that you answer fully and
18 So I now invite Ms. Richardson to put her question to you.
19 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Examined by Ms. Richardson:
21 Q. Please state your full name?
22 A. My name is Milo Rankovic.
23 Q. And what is your marital status?
24 A. It's good.
25 Q. Are you married?
1 A. Yes, I am.
2 Q. Do you have any children?
3 A. I have three.
4 Q. And how old are they?
5 A. One was born in 1977, the other one in 1978, and the third one in
7 Q. Where do you live?
8 A. In Bratunac.
9 Q. Where in Bratunac?
10 A. In the village of Jezestica.
11 Q. And in what municipality is Jezestica?
12 A. In Bratunac.
13 Q. And do you live in any particular hamlet in Jezestica?
14 A. The new part of Jezestica called Polje.
15 Q. How long have you resided in Jezestica?
16 A. Since 1953. I was born there.
17 Q. What do you do for a living?
18 A. I am a joiner, but I am also a salesman.
19 Q. Now, could you describe the village of Jezestica?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Describe the village of Jezestica in
23 relation to which period of time, now or --
24 MS. RICHARDSON: I'll clarify, Your Honour.
25 Q. In 1992, how many village -- how many houses are contained in the
1 village of Jezestica?
2 A. In the old part 54, and in the new part about 60 or so. These
3 were new buildings.
4 Q. And how many people resided in Jezestica in 1992?
5 A. In 1992, in the beginning of that year, we all lived in Jezestica,
6 some of us in the old part and some of us in the new part. And there were
7 512 inhabitants according to the list of inhabitants.
8 Q. And that included residents in the old and in the new part of
10 A. Yes. Yes. All of that was called Jezestica.
11 Q. And what is the ethnic make-up of Jezestica?
12 A. It was Serb.
13 Q. And what --
14 A. Purely Serb.
15 Q. And your ethnicity is also Serb?
16 A. Yes.
17 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, if I may, I would ask the usher to
18 hand an exhibit. I should first ask -- I should first say that what I'm
19 holding in my hand is a map. I'd ask that it be pre-marked for
20 identification and assigned a number for the Prosecution. I understand
21 that the Defence already has copies.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number will be P377.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, Ms. Richardson, I'm suggesting to my
24 colleagues to close a blind eye for today, but I don't want to see this
25 kind of thing. This is giving -- this is giving evidence, giving
2 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: The moment you say Jezestica, okay, where Jezestica
4 is, it's harmless, but the moment you say attacked 8th of August, 1992,
5 you're making a statement that you shouldn't make in one of the documents
6 you're tendering in evidence. I am allowing it because basically I don't
7 think the issue will arise whether there was an attack on the 8th of
8 August or not. The question is who attacked who and whether -- what kind
9 of an attack it was. But if there is an objection on the part of the
10 Defence, I will ask you to withdraw this and replace it by a proper map.
11 MS. RICHARDSON: That's fine, Your Honour.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we do object to this
13 document for another reason also. We ask that in future such large
14 markings be not included in the map, because apart from suggesting what
15 happened, the lettering covers an important part of the map, one that's
16 important for us. Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So how easy is it for you to replace it?
18 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, it's not a problem. We can replace
19 it as soon as we have a break.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. In the meantime, can we make use of it,
21 Madam Vidovic, for the purpose of this witness and then have it replaced
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you for being practical in your
25 approach. I think I sent a message. This is the second time this has
1 happened. The first time was with photos with an indication of what the
2 photo represented underneath. There will not be a third time.
3 MS. RICHARDSON: I understand, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's go ahead.
5 MS. RICHARDSON:
6 Q. Mr. Rankovic, what you see in front of you marked for
7 identification as Prosecution Exhibit 377, and I would ask you to take a
8 look at it and ask if you've seen it before. Have you seen this map
10 A. No.
11 Q. Well, if you take --
12 A. No. I'm seeing it now for the first time.
13 Q. All right. If you take a look at it for a moment, is there -- can
14 you seem the village of Jezestica on that map?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. And as you look at the surrounding area of Jezestica as indicated
17 on the map, can you see the hamlets contained in Jezestica in 1992?
18 A. The village of Jezestica is noted here, but I don't see the
19 hamlets. The centre is down there, and then you can see Kjevici,
20 Djermani, and Rankovici and all the other hamlets if you climb up the
21 hill, and it's about half an hour's walk. However, if you're in Polje,
22 the new part, then you don't see those hamlets from there.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, how far away is the new part of town from the old
24 part of town, distance?
25 A. The new part from the centre, from my house where I was, of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 new part of the village of Jezestica, it's half an hour's walk to all
2 these hamlets, all these Djermani, Kijevici, Rankovici, and so on.
3 Q. If I just bring your attention back to this map, there are some
4 hamlets reflected on this map but not all?
5 A. Djermani is here, but not all of them, no.
6 Q. Okay. Thank you.
7 A. You're welcome.
8 Q. Now, are you familiar with the surrounding areas, and by that I
9 mean the areas that are surrounding Jezestica, the other villages?
10 A. Yes. Siljkovici, then there's Kravica or Opravdici, Mandici,
11 Colakovici. All these villages are around Kravica.
12 Q. And what is the ethnic make-up of those villages? And we can
13 start with Kravica.
14 A. Yes, we can start.
15 Q. What is the ethnic make-up? Are they --
16 A. The ethnic make-up of Siljkovici is Serbian, Kravica, of course,
17 Popovici, Colokovici, Orcenovici, Opravdici, all of those are Serb
19 Q. And how far away is the nearest Muslim village?
20 A. The nearest Muslim village is Sandici in the direction of Konjevic
21 Polje, and then there's Glogova in the direction of Bratunac.
22 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, if I may, I have another map. I
23 would ask that a number be assigned for identification, and we have copies
24 for -- the Defence already has copies of the maps, but there are
25 additional copies present. Thank you.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number will be P394.
2 MS. RICHARDSON:
3 Q. Mr. Rankovic, what you're holding in front of you --
4 A. Let me just take another pair of glasses, please. Yes, we can go
6 Q. Have you seen what is now marked for identification as
7 Prosecution's Exhibit 394 before? Have you ever seen this map?
8 A. No, I haven't.
9 Q. If you look at the map for a moment, can you tell me if Jezestica
10 is represented on that map?
11 A. Yes, I can see Jezestica.
12 Q. And can you also see some of the surrounding villages and
13 municipalities on that map?
14 A. Yes, I can.
15 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, if I would -- if I may, we can have
16 the -- the map placed on the ELMO.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly.
18 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you.
19 Q. Mr. Rankovic, could you look at this map and tell us what is the
20 ethnic make-up for the village of Kravica on the map?
21 A. It was a Serbian village.
22 Q. The village of Glogova?
23 A. It was a Muslim village, but there are three Serbian houses at the
24 very edge of the village.
25 Q. Bratunac?
1 A. It was a mixed community.
2 Q. Potocari?
3 A. There was a minority of Serbs. The majority was Muslim.
4 Q. Now, you indicated that -- that there is a Muslim village as close
5 to the village of Jezestica. And correct me if I'm wrong if it's a
6 village or a hamlet. Could you point exactly to -- on the map where that
7 village or hamlet is located, if you can?
8 A. Close to Jezestica village?
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. It's Mocila [phoen] near Magasici. It was a hamlet.
11 Q. Could you assist us by pointing to where it, in your estimation,
12 it would be located on this map?
13 A. Between Jezestica in the direction of Glogova.
14 Q. And I -- Madam Usher is -- if she can assist you in pointing to
15 exactly where on the map and if you can point to it.
16 A. [Indicates]
17 Q. Could you just put an X or some indication as to where this
18 village is located.
19 A. [Marks]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And could he put now his initials next to it,
22 MS. RICHARDSON:
23 Q. And could you put the initial of your first name and your last
24 name next to that mark.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Now just returning to the village of
2 Jezestica for a moment. What type of public facilities do you have -- or
3 did you have - excuse me - in Jezestica in 1992? And by that I mean were
4 there any schools, et cetera?
5 A. In 1992, we just had a reading room financed by the villagers, and
6 we put a memorial plaque with the names of the people killed in the war,
7 and that was on the wall of the reading room. We also held meetings
8 there, had vaccination campaigns for children and other conventions, and
9 we also sat there and watched television.
10 Q. Did you have a police station or school or any other public
12 A. No, we didn't. The nearest police station was in Bratunac and an
13 elementary school in Kravica.
14 Q. Did you have relatives residing in the village other than your
15 wife and children?
16 A. All of us lived there. We went to work from there. Some worked
17 in Kravica, some worked in Bratunac, and a lot of us worked in the field
18 as well.
19 Q. Did you have any relatives? You mentioned your wife and children.
20 Did you have any other relatives residing in Jezestica? In 1992.
21 A. Yes. I had relatives. Younger people worked in the field,
22 elderly people lived in the village, and we all shared common surnames.
23 Q. Did you have any immediate members of your family, a mother or an
24 immediate family living in the village other than relatives, other than
25 maybe distant relatives, but did your mother or father also reside in
2 A. I lived with my mother and my father's sister. They lived in the
3 old part of Jezestica, and I built a new house in Polje where my wife and
4 our three children lived.
5 Q. Now, you indicated that there were at least one Muslim village
6 close to Jezestica. Could you tell us what type of relationship the
7 members of your village had with the members of the Muslim villages in the
8 surrounding area? In other words --
9 A. The hamlet of Mocila, which is part of the Serbian Magasici
10 village, we went on very well before the war broke out.
11 Q. And what happened when the war broke out? Did this change the
13 A. Of course the relationship changed. Not exactly the sentiments
14 among the people.
15 Q. Now, do you remember any particular event in early 1992 that
16 changed the relationship between the -- the members -- the residents in
17 your village and the surrounding Muslim villages?
18 A. In 1992, early 1992, in mid-April, we felt that our neighbours,
19 for example a forest keeper who passed through our village, there was a
20 feeling of uneasiness. I don't know what was the root of that. I
21 couldn't say. The emotions were something -- were different from April
22 onwards. They were not the same as they had been in 1990 or 1991.
23 Q. And did the members of your village take any action as a result of
24 this change in the relationship with your neighbouring -- with the
25 neighbouring Muslim villagers?
1 A. Let me tell you, I cannot say that we have undertaken anything.
2 It wasn't a normal situation. There was no cooperation, as they had to --
3 they used to come to plough our fields. And of course certain changes did
5 Q. Did there come a time when your village established a village
7 A. Village guards were established in mid-April, and due to that
8 feeling of uneasiness, we heard different things. It was not properly
9 organised but just -- we just -- we were just kind of vigilant in the
11 Q. Well, why don't you explain to us exactly the -- the make-up of
12 the village guard. Who was in the village guard?
13 A. For example, every hamlet, and I am from the hamlet Rankovici,
14 there were ten or 12 of us, and we were on duty or just kept patrolling
15 above the village due to the fear that we felt.
16 Q. And who organised the village guard?
17 A. We organised ourselves. I cannot pinpoint anyone in particular.
18 We just sat together, ten or 12 of us from that hamlet, and we agreed to
19 patrol the area during the night.
20 Q. And why did you establish this village guard?
21 A. The reason was fear, because we heard that they were keeping their
22 guards. So that was simply the -- the simple reason was fear.
23 Q. And when you say "they," who are you referring to?
24 A. The Muslims.
25 Q. Now, could you tell us whether the village guard had any weapons?
1 A. [No translation]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: There is a problem with the interpretation. We did
3 not get a single word of what the witness said in reply to the question
4 that was put to him. And I don't know if I am being heard by the
6 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, Your Honour. We apologise.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay. These things happen.
8 Sir, we had a problem with the interpretation. We did not have
9 translation of your reply to the question put to you by Madam Richardson.
10 I am going to read out again the question that was put to you and then
11 could you please answer it again. The question was: "Now, could you tell
12 us whether the village guard had any weapons?"
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. We had our own weapons,
14 licensed shotguns, pistols, and things like that.
15 MS. RICHARDSON:
16 Q. And where did you get these weapons?
17 A. Those were licensed weapons. We were members of the hunting club,
18 and we held those weapons in our homes.
19 Q. And you had these weapons prior to 1992?
20 A. Yes, before 1992. Some people had weapons for 20 years. I cannot
21 say exactly for every particular case.
22 Q. And did you have uniforms that you would wear while on patrol?
23 A. No, we didn't. We -- and I am speaking for myself, I served
24 military service in 1972 and came back in 1973. I was issued an army
25 uniform in 1974 because we had normal drills thereafter in Han Pijesak and
1 other places. A dozen of us from my village went to these exercises and
2 drills in 1976, for example, and I kept -- we kept these uniforms at home.
3 So whenever we received summons every second year we put on those uniforms
4 but we kept them in our houses. We didn't have any other uniforms.
5 Q. Now, you mentioned a few minutes ago that there were 12 people in
6 the village guard, 12 men. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. And could you explain to us how yourself and these other
9 individuals patrolled the village?
10 A. We just walked above the village from one end to the other end.
11 We just passed through the village, and that was about it.
12 Q. And when did this take place, what time of day or night?
13 A. During the day, we worked normally. The passage was free. But
14 only with the first darkness we went out.
15 Q. And how did one go about joining the village guard? Was this a
16 volunteer type service or was it required?
17 A. No one required that, because we in our village or hamlet of
18 Rankovici, we just sat together, the ten or 12 of us, and we agreed to
19 whether we are going to keep watch or not. There was no single organiser
20 among us. We just had a brotherly agreement.
21 Q. And do you recall the approximate ages of the men who were part of
22 the village guard?
23 A. Well, you know, there were elderly men who had served in the
24 military. We didn't want to have young boys. Maybe two or three men were
25 over 60 or 70 years of age.
1 Q. When you established the village guard - when I say "you," not
2 necessarily you, but when the village guard was established - did you
3 receive any assistance from the VRS, the Serb army?
4 A. No, we didn't.
5 Q. Did you receive any uniforms from them?
6 A. No, we didn't.
7 Q. Any weapons?
8 A. No, no.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Services?
10 A. Who would have given us money?
11 Q. Mr. Rankovic, were you ever mobilised by the Serb army, VRS?
12 During 1992 to 1993.
13 A. Not in 1993.
14 Q. In 1992 were you mobilised?
15 A. No, I wasn't.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So perhaps he can tell us because, from the tone of
17 his answer, he was indeed mobilised at some point in time. It seems to
18 have been certainly not in 1992 and not in 1993. So perhaps he can tell
19 us when he was mobilised.
20 MS. RICHARDSON:
21 Q. Mr. Rankovic, can you tell us when -- if you were not mobilised in
22 1992 or 1993, when, if at all, you were indeed mobilised?
23 A. The whole time I spent in the village of Jezestica, in my village.
24 In the Rankovici hamlet, as is my last name, incidentally, and I spent the
25 whole time there.
1 Q. Let me repeat the question. Were you ever contacted by the Serb
2 army at any point after the conflict began and advised that you had to
3 serve the Serb army?
4 A. No, I wasn't.
5 Q. Did you receive any documentation that indicated that you were
6 part of the Serb army or mobilised by the Serb army?
7 A. No, I didn't.
8 Q. Okay. I bring your attention to August of 1992. Do you recall
9 what occurred in your village?
10 A. On the 8th of August, 1992, I was at home in Polje. We were
11 working as normally, and then I heard a detonation from the direction of
12 Djermani and Kijevici, the Serb hamlets. I went up with my cousin Mile.
13 We climbed up a hill, and two or three hours later the women, children,
14 men, everyone came down to the area called Polje.
15 The people who had been up there said they had been attacked, that
16 everything was burning. I didn't see that because I wasn't there. And
17 then two or three hours later, we went to see what was happening from the
18 direction of Brdo. Five or six of us went to one side, and when we
19 climbed up a hill near the cemetery where my village of Rankovici is, we
20 saw that everything had been burnt. There was still smoke and flames
21 rising from the houses. Everything had been burnt down, the old part.
22 From the top of that hill you could see Kijevici and Djermani and
23 all these other hamlets just as you could see the hill called Gajice on
24 the right-hand side. You could see Rankovici, Djermani, and Kijevici on
25 the other side, and we counted 45 houses. They had all been burnt except
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 for one house which was a new house and it was empty and that one stayed
3 Q. Do you recall what time of the day the attack occurred?
4 A. Between 11.00 and 11.30.
5 Q. And again, could you tell us what led you to believe that there
6 was attack taking place?
7 A. We thought there was an attack because you could hear the
8 detonation. And after that shooting started right after the detonation.
9 We all had weapons. Who was shooting, well, you needed half an hour to
10 get down, and the people who fled from the burning houses came down and
11 they told us.
12 Q. And what -- what did they tell you?
13 A. They said they had been attacked from such-and-such an area.
14 Djermani had been attacked from the direction of the village of Jaglici.
15 Rankovici had been attacked from the side of Dijecila [phoen], Cizmici and
16 so on. So they were attacked from that side.
17 Q. Did they give or tell you who attacked them?
18 A. No. They didn't tell us who had attacked them. They just said
19 they had been attacked from the direction of the neighbouring villages.
20 Q. And did they tell you whether it was an army or civilians
21 attacking them?
22 A. No, they didn't say it was an army. I even heard people say that
23 they were all in civilian -- it was all mixed, a mixed uniform. It was a
24 mixture of civilian clothes, camouflage uniforms, olive-grey uniforms.
25 And that happened on both sides that there was this kind of mixture of
1 clothing. So nobody said it was an army attacking.
2 Q. But did they indicate that there were soldiers?
3 A. No, they didn't say it was soldiers, because everybody put on what
4 they had, parts of uniforms and other clothes. So they didn't say it was
5 a single uniform, that the uniforms were all the same. Everybody was
6 wearing whatever they had.
7 Q. Did they give any indication as to the ethnicity of the people
8 that were attacking them?
9 A. They didn't say that, but these people burst out of the woods in
10 the direction of those villages, coming from the direction of those
11 villages. They frightened the people, and of course the women and
12 children fled. And in my hamlet, as well as in Djermani and Kijevici,
13 well, my people saw them taking away food and cattle and other livestock
14 from those houses. That was in my village of Rankovici.
15 After that, in Djermani and Jecmista they killed two brothers and
16 their mother, Dragan Mladjenovic and Andjelko Mladjenovic and their mother
17 Savka Mladjenovic. They killed them. And in Rankovici they killed my
18 brother and my uncle who was on his way from Maljine, and he was killed in
19 a garden. Those were the two casualties we had in Rankovici.
20 Q. Okay. If I can just bring your attention back to what you just
21 mentioned pertaining to where the attacks came from. You mentioned that
22 they -- you were told that the individuals came from certain villages, the
23 people who attacked Jezestica. What were those villages? Did they
24 mention that to you? What direction?
25 A. From the direction of Cizmici they attacked Rankovici and from the
1 direction of Jaglici and Susnjari they attacked Djermani and Kijevici.
2 Q. And what is the ethnic make-up of those villages?
3 A. Muslim.
4 Q. Could you - if I could have Madam Usher's assistance - could you
5 point to where on the map? And this is Prosecution Exhibit 394 where you
6 were told that the attackers attacked from, what direction, if you can
7 identify it?
8 A. From here that's where Jaglici is, and from this part that's where
9 Cizmici is.
10 Q. And those are Muslim villages?
11 A. Yes, Muslim villages.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: For the -- for the record, the witness indicates an
14 area at -- between Glogova and Jezestica on the right-hand side of these
15 two villages on the map on which he previously put his initials. That is
17 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you.
18 Q. Now, if we could go back just a bit. You testified that you were
19 able to see the attack taking place in the old part of the village. Could
20 you tell us exactly where you were when you were able to observe the
22 A. When the attack started, I said I was at home. After the
23 burnings, we -- two or three hours after that, I climbed up to the
24 cemetery near my village of Rankovici. And from the top of that hill you
25 could see Kijevici, Djermani, and Rankovici burning.
1 The people who had fled to us told us about the attack. I didn't
2 see the attack itself, but only afterwards when I went to get my brother
3 and my uncle, three or four hours after the attack, after they had
4 finished burning and looting, we went up there and collected their bodies
5 and brought their bodies down to Polje. I am speaking of the hamlet of
6 Rankovici now.
7 Q. Okay. Now, what was the -- you said you went back to the
8 village -- you went to the village about half an hour after the attack --
9 MR. JONES: I think he said three or four hours after the attack.
10 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: You're right, Mr. Jones.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Three or four hours.
13 MS. RICHARDSON:
14 Q. Thank you. And what did you observe when you went to the village,
15 the old part, yourself?
16 A. First we climbed up to the top of the hill from which you could
17 see all those hamlets, and then we looked around and patrolled around a
18 little to see what was happening, and they had withdrawn in the direction
19 of Cizmici back in the direction from which they had attacked, and then we
20 collected the bodies of my brother and my uncle and carried them back to
21 Polje, to our houses, which had not been burnt at that time. And while we
22 organised the carrying of these bodies and the collection of the corpses,
23 after we had done this, in the evening the village guards returned up
24 there because we were afraid there might be another attack and that the
25 new part of the village might be attacked. We were in the grip of fear.
1 Q. Were you able to observe the condition of the houses in the old
2 part of the town while you were there?
3 A. Well, yes. These were old-fashioned houses. They were old. They
4 were made of wood, and every house had been burnt down to the ground, to
5 the basement. When I was interviewed in Milici for the first time, I
6 don't remember the name of the gentleman who interviewed me in 2001, but
7 he went with me to walk along this line. He asked me if I would accompany
8 him, and I did. I took him to the line we held, and I showed him the
9 entire line. I showed him the view of Jecmista, Djermani, and Kijevici
10 and where the late Andjelko's head had been cut off, and I had showed them
11 where that had been. And I don't know if he's here still, but he can
12 confirm what I'm saying.
13 Q. Now, you also mention that you were told that livestock had been
14 carried away. Could you tell us a little bit more about exactly what was
15 told to you about what was taken from the old town during that attack?
16 A. Yes. When we climbed up to the cemetery, the people who were
17 there holding guard at that line, when the burning started and the
18 shooting, they were afraid, but they observed what was happening. And
19 they heard shouting, yelling, things being taken out of houses. And then
20 there were ox and cows, calves, sheep, everything that a farmer normally
21 has, all this was being taken away. And they saw -- people from my
22 village saw them driving off the cattle and livestock in the direction of
23 Cizmici. So we thought it was people from those villages. I don't know
24 about Djermani. The people there would know. But I'm sure that their
25 livestock were being taken off in the direction of Jaglici. I didn't see
1 them going in the direction of Glogova or some other villages.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Richardson, just to draw your attention, since
3 I made it clear we will have to finish with this witness today, how much
4 more do you reckon you have?
5 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I think at least another 45 minutes,
6 possibly less.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a break at 10.30, and then I can only
8 give you 15 minutes more after that, because that would be exactly
9 dividing the time equally between the two parties and leaving enough time
10 for us to ask questions if we need to. So you have 25 -- just less than
11 25 plus 15. Try to finish in those.
12 MS. RICHARDSON: Fine. Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Now, let's just come to where you testified that there were bodies
14 recovered from this first attack. Do you remember the names of the
15 individuals who died in the attack?
16 A. I will never forget them.
17 Q. Could you tell us who they were?
18 A. Yes. I'll start with my hamlet of Rankovici. Srecko Rankovic and
19 Milan Rankovic. From Djermani and Kijevici, Dragan Mladjenovic, Andjelko
20 Mladjenovic, whose head was severed, Slavka Mladjenovic, Slavka
21 Stjepanovic, Milosav Stjepanovic, Vojin Bogicevic, Serbo Djuric. That's
23 Q. Now, what condition were the bodies in?
24 A. The bodies -- well, for example, my brother had been pierced by a
25 bullet, as had my uncle. When we got up to where this had happened, I
1 went back to Kijevici and we found the late Dragan, and his head had been
2 cut off. We found the case of his pistol for which he had a licence. We
3 didn't find his mother Savka until about ten days later when we were
4 searching the garden, and then we found some hair and some clothes among
5 the weeds in the garden. That's what we found of her.
6 My brother's legs had been broken. Dragan Mladjenovic was his
7 name. The others were all shot with bullets.
8 Q. Now, where were these bodies recovered? Do you remember?
9 A. The bodies were found -- my brother's body was found exactly 30
10 metres above our house. And most probably while we were doing that they
11 shot at us. They were -- got afraid, and they left the body there. And
12 he was closest to the firing place, and we had hard time going closer and
13 recovering his body. Whereas for the other bodies, we brought them to --
14 all of them to Polje, the new part of Jezestica.
15 Q. Now, you mention that you had found the body of Andjelko
16 Mladjenovic and his head had been -- I'm sorry, why don't you tell us what
17 condition his body was in?
18 MR. JONES: Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: He has already said that his head was severed.
20 MS. RICHARDSON: That's fine.
21 MR. JONES: It's also, Your Honour, that I know on the last
22 occasion this subject came up that Your Honours were prepared to hear
23 evidence of people having died, but is it really necessary to enter into
24 possibly gory details?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. I don't know why she is asking the
1 question, because she has already mentioned that this gentleman Andjelko
2 Mladjenovic had been decapitated. There are further details that you want
3 to know I'm not going to stop you, but are they relevant?
4 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour, this is --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Go ahead then. Let's not waste time.
6 MS. RICHARDSON:
7 Q. Did you discover what happened -- did you ever recover the head of
8 Mr. Mladjenovic?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Rather was it -- does he know whether it had, because
10 why does it -- did it have to be him to recover it. Ask him whether it
11 had did it have to be him to recover it?
12 MS. RICHARDSON: Or anyone. Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Do you know if the head of Andjelko Mladjenovic was ever
15 A. No. His head was never found. I dressed his body. I have seen
16 how he had been beheaded, and the injuries on his brother, and we in fact
17 never recovered them.
18 Q. Did you at any -- did you at any point come to learn what happened
19 to this head?
20 A. At the time, we didn't know. There were rumours that it had been
21 taken to Srebrenica. There was an article in Novosti describing that it
22 had been carried through Srebrenica, but I myself didn't see that. It was
23 just a newspaper article.
24 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, if I may at this time, I would like
25 to have a document marked for identification, and I would have copies
1 available for -- I believe Defence counsel has -- was already provided
2 with copies.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose this is the document that you referred to
4 - one of you - yesterday --.
5 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: -- as being an additional document, no?
7 Yes, Mr. Jones.
8 MR. JONES: We wondered if there was a date or some further
9 details about of that article because we see none on the face of it.
10 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, at this time, we're having the
11 witness testify from what was presented to us yesterday by him. We're in
12 the process of determining exactly when this article was published. But
13 for the time being, we're simply going to present what was given to us by
14 the witness. And also I would like to have it tendered into evidence.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may ask one
16 question. The Prosecution is probably delivering some different articles.
17 What we had received from them yesterday is an incomplete article. It
18 doesn't say which publication or which date it bears. So if everyone else
19 has this kind of document, then I object to it being like that. We don't
20 know the source. We don't know the date when it was published.
21 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I understand Defence counsel's
22 objection. As I said before, we're tendering this document as it was
23 given to us by this witness. It pertains to his account of the events and
24 what he later learned about the -- what happened to the head of the
25 individual that died. It certainly is probative and relevant to our case
1 with respect to the attacks as well as the presence.
2 We will, Your Honour, in the interests of best evidence to present
3 to the Court, determine exactly when this article was published and we
4 will, as we are in the process of trying to determine exactly when this
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It's being admitted as it is now with the
8 understanding that you will do your utmost to provide more information on
9 where and when this was -- was published. Failing which, obviously, there
10 will be the normal consequences you would expect in the circumstances.
11 Mr. Registrar, I'm giving you this. I suggest the Prosecution
12 will tell you exactly how they intend to present it, whether they are
13 going to fix it to -- I don't know. It's up to them, not to me. And what
14 number shall we give it?
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number will be P395.
16 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I'm tendering the original.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Usually they tender the original. Usually they
18 tender the original. The thing is this: Whether it should then be
19 tendered like that or whether it should be stuck or partly glued to a
20 piece of paper.
21 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: That's up to you. I'm not going to --
23 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour. We will ensure that this is
24 preserved in a way that can be used by Your Honours later on.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, both sides, because other side which may not be
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 relevant as far as contents are concerned may be relevant to establish the
2 authenticity when you later on provide the source.
3 MS. RICHARDSON: Indeed. Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's proceed, please.
5 MS. RICHARDSON:
6 Q. Mr. Rankovic, I would ask you to take a look at the newspaper
7 article that's in front of you. Are you familiar with this article? Are
8 you familiar with that article, Prosecution's Exhibit 395?
9 A. This article, yes, it is familiar to me and what it says.
10 Q. When did you receive this article?
11 A. I didn't receive it. I don't know whether it was a year or two
12 ago while I was reading the press from my neighbours, and through the
13 conversation, they found out that I was supposed to be questioned. His
14 relatives just asked me, "Milo, could you please take some evidence with
15 you to corroborate these rumours that were circulating."
16 Q. Thank you. And what does this article pertain to?
17 A. It pertains to, I don't know, these stories, and there are some
18 historical data there referring to our reading house. And in the Second
19 World War, there were 144 victims whose names were carved in the plaque,
20 but the plaque was in the meantime broken. So the journalist who wrote
21 this made a connection there, and that's how I came about to learn about
22 this story.
23 Q. What is the title of the article?
24 A. "Head As A Trophy."
25 Q. And who's head is being referred to in the article?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we need to proceed along those lines.
2 We can read the article.
3 MS. RICHARDSON: That's fine, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I mean, provided the translation is not being
5 contested as accurate, then we can, we can --
6 MS. RICHARDSON: That's fine, Your Honour, I'll go on.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: What I would rather hear the witness say is whether
8 he knows from which newspaper this was cut. And relatively if he can
9 indicate to us the time when this article was published.
10 MS. RICHARDSON:
11 Q. Mr. Rankovic, do you know what newspaper published this article
12 and when it was published?
13 A. This is the newspaper called Vecernje Novosti, or evening news,
14 but as to the date, I can't say, but it's definitely Vecernje Novosti.
15 Q. Thank you?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you -- do you think it was published more or
17 less at the time, say, in the period 1992, 1993, or is it a recent -- more
18 recent article?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No. It was published certainly
20 after the year 2000. 2002 or 2003. I cannot say. I cannot be precise on
21 that. I made an oath to tell the truth, and I'm not going to invent any
22 dates that I don't know.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I only know that it was the Vecernje
25 Novosti newspaper, but as for the date, I don't know.
1 MS. RICHARDSON:
2 Q. There is -- I just have one last question regarding the article,
3 Your Honour. There is a sort of witness -- Mr. Radenko [sic], there is a
4 picture on this article. Could you tell us who this picture is, who's in
5 the picture?
6 A. That's the picture of Andjelko. I know him. He is my wife's
7 relative, he was, and I knew him ever since he was a child. So I watched
8 him going to school, to Kravica. He passed by my house every day and we
9 were very closely related.
10 Q. Just in the interests of time, I could move along. Thank you,
11 Ms. Usher. Mr. Radenko, I would like to bring your attention to January
12 of 1993. Do you recall what happened in your village during that period?
13 A. In January 1993, on the 7th of January I was also at home. That
14 was Christmas. My mother, my father's sister were there. We were
15 preparing things for holiday just like everybody else. And at around
16 5.30, we heard one strong detonation coming from the direction of Djermani
17 hamlet and other villages. It was something unusual. Nobody expected
18 that. And when someone gets frightened, we burst out of our houses. We
19 gathered together. And then after about half an hour, the people who were
20 holding the line, they all came from the two sides, Kijevici, Djermani,
21 Rankovici, Potkonici and other hamlets. And they also again went
22 downwards in fear, and they were fleeing saying, "We have been attacked
23 again." So the crowd of us withdrew to two sides towards Kravica. And of
24 course we wanted to pull out. We passed by the river, which is also
25 called Jezestica. We stopped there at the house of Goran Djuric. It is
1 by the asphalt road, and that is where we stopped. There were some 50
2 people plus and some 15 women on that side, whereas on the side of
3 Kijevici and Djermani, they walked along the left side, and we were on the
4 right side.
5 So we remained there for some time looking at the houses burning,
6 and that was a repetition of the previous event. The whole of Jezestica
7 was on fire, and we saw people. We heard shots. We saw people entering
8 the house. I saw some 20 people going into my house where they spent
9 about 20 or 30 minutes. Then they carried out things. Although it was
10 far away, but I could see that they were taking out my fridge and whatever
11 they needed. I couldn't see if they were collecting any cutleries. They
12 just collected what they wanted. That was for my house.
13 As for the people who withdrew to Djermani and Kijevici, they
14 everybody's house on fire, and the entire village -- that section of the
15 village of Jezestica was burnt on the 7th of January. So all of us were
16 safe. Nobody got killed on that line.
17 We stayed at Goran Djuric's house, and after that we tried to
18 withdraw towards Drina. Those who were killed were killed within 200
19 metres of Goran Djuric's house, and that is where there were -- their dead
20 bodies were found on the 23rd of March, where we came to undig them
21 because they were buried either in the shallow ground or somewhat deeper.
22 So we managed to find some of them. Some we didn't. Among them was Drago
23 Lazic. And also my mother's father and uncle were killed in their houses.
24 And Radomir Jovanovic is still missing. We never found his
25 remains, and we assume that he was killed. We just found his army jacket,
1 nothing else, and some underwear, but the body was never recovered.
2 Q. Mr. Rankovic, could you tell us -- could you describe for us the
3 attackers, what they were wearing?
4 A. The attackers, as much as we could see because there was a field
5 covered with snow, but as much as I can tell, they were dressed in white
6 uniforms. Some had similar to the ones we had on. And also civilian
7 clothes and some camouflage clothes. So when they came, a couple of them
8 had horse-driven carts, and there was a layer of snow. They were pulling
9 out oxen carts, agriculture machinery, cookers, and things that they just
11 While they were carrying that out, we could see whether a house
12 was entered by a person in a white uniform or in civilian clothes. We
13 also saw some women carrying things from the houses, bed linen and things
14 like that. I couldn't see any particular details like a frying-pan or
15 smaller items like that.
16 Q. When -- when the attack occurred, were the women present? The
17 women that you just testified were carrying things away, were they present
18 or did they come later on?
19 A. They came later on. The first stage they drove us out, then first
20 men come to carry things out, then women come to take things out, and then
21 they set houses on fire. So they drove all those items away, but I don't
22 know where they took them. I didn't have time to -- to wait and see where
23 they would end.
24 Q. Thank you. Do you know the ethnicity of the women or the people
25 who were attacking the village?
1 A. The men and women and their ethnicity, we recognised the women by
2 the dresses they wore, the costumes they wore, and men looked like men.
3 For example, if they were to say otherwise and to tell that our women wore
4 skirts and their women wore dimije, which is a kind of trousers or
6 Q. So what was the ethnicity of the women that you could identify?
7 A. They were Muslims because they had these dimije on.
8 Q. And the men that were carrying items or things out of the houses
9 that you observed, were they in uniform?
10 A. As I told you, there were three types of clothes, just like we
11 did. Before the outbreak of the war, we were all together, and we wore
12 the same uniforms, drab olive winter uniforms. They also had white
13 uniforms or clothes, and some of them were in civilian clothes. So I saw
14 three types of clothes, the white ones, the uniforms, and the civilian
16 Q. How many of them were there?
17 A. I cannot tell you. Most probably there were lots of them because
18 they managed to burn more than 60 houses. Therefore, there must have been
19 many of them, because this area is quite large around Kravica. So viewing
20 from Rankovici as far as to Djermani, Kijevici and downwards to Gradac and
21 other places, it's a huge area.
22 I saw some 20 people coming downhill from Jezestica after the
23 attack. Some other people saw other men at different locations. I
24 personally saw about 50 or 60 men approaching the houses across this
25 clearing, but some people -- my co-villagers saw some other people at some
1 other places.
2 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we need to stop here for a break. I thank
4 you, sir. You will be escorted by Madam Usher. We will have a 25-minute
5 break. Thank you. We'll start at 11.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Richardson.
9 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Mr. Rankovic, with respect to the attack that took place in August
11 of 1992, August 8 specifically, and January of 1993, did you ever learn
12 who the leader was of the individuals who attacked your village?
13 MR. JONES: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
15 MR. JONES: I would object to that question. In evidence, this
16 witness has referred to a mixture of attackers whom he didn't actually see
17 himself dealing, first of all, with the 8th of August. He learnt from
18 various people what had happened.
19 For the January 1993 action, he referred to civilians, women,
20 people in all sorts of different uniforms. There is no suggestion
21 anywhere that this witness might have any first hand knowledge firstly
22 that these people were organised into any sort of a group, that -- had any
23 sort of a leader. He's being invited to speculate. That's what I'm
24 concerned about.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: We will see whether he will be speculating or not
1 depending on what knowledge he has, so let him answer the question and
2 then depending on the question we will draw conclusions. Whether it is
3 mere speculation, but this is the system, again, for you and for me it
4 sounds a little bit high-handed, the way the question has been put, but
5 the system how it works here is exactly the opposite of what we are used
7 MR. JONES: I understand that. It's just from his evidence this
8 morning it seems a huge leap to go to a leader.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly, but you will need to learn to be patient
10 like I do. And --
11 MR. JONES: Certainly, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Because at the end of the day, since most of the --
13 or a good chunk of the evidence is based on hearsay here, at the end of
14 the day you took it home with you and you put it in the appropriate
15 pigeonhole and then later on in the day you decide if you're going to give
16 it any importance at all, whether you consider it hearsay evidence
17 worth -- worth considering, worth having probative value, in other words,
18 or whether it's just hearsay amounting to speculation and nothing else.
19 MR. JONES: Yes. It's just to register our concern about that
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Unfortunately the situation is like that. I'm
22 not used to it, you're not used to it. But I have been here doing this
23 three years and I have got used and I control myself. Thanks, Mr. Jones,
24 anyway for pointing that.
25 Yes, I suppose you will repeat the question, to the witness.
1 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: And I apologies for interrupting you,
3 Ms. Richardson.
4 MS. RICHARDSON: We can do that.
5 Q. Mr. Rankovic, did there come a time that you learned who was
6 responsible or the leader of the individuals who attacked the village in
7 August, and then further with respect to the attack, in January of 1993?
8 A. I do not know exactly who was the leader. What do I know? I
9 can't tell you the name of the person. I didn't see him either on the 8th
10 of August. Well, if I had seen him, he would have killed me, of course.
11 I heard that there was a leader of the Serbian army. I heard of a
12 certain Naser Oric, but I neither saw him nor do I know the man. I just
13 heard about him. I did not see any of the attackers. I can't say whether
14 it was Huso, Haso, or Meho. I didn't see any of my neighbours from
15 Jaglici, Susnjari or Glogova, so I can't say I recognised him.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's enough.
17 MS. RICHARDSON:
18 Q. Just a follow-up question. You testified that you heard there was
19 a leader of the Serbian army. Is it the Serbian army or the Muslim army?
20 A. You want me to say?
21 Q. No. I'm asking -- actually I can rephrase --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Reading the transcript of what you said it says here
23 that you said, "I heard that there was a leader of the Serbian army." Did
24 you say that or did you say, "I heard that there was a leader of the
25 Muslim army"?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I said was just as there was a
2 leader of the Serb army whose name I don't know, there was also a leader
3 of the Muslim army. I heard that this was Naser Oric, but I don't wish to
4 speculate because I neither saw nor heard him, and I don't know him. I
5 didn't see Huso or Haso or anyone.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair enough. Thank you. Ms. Richardson.
7 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you for clarifying.
8 Q. Now, the attackers that you observed in January, in your opinion
9 were they acting as a group? Were they together?
10 A. They divided into groups. One group came from the direction of
11 Jezestica. Jezestica has four hamlets. There's Polje, there's a part
12 called Gradac in the direction of Glogova. Then there's Rankovici in the
13 centre. To the right there's Kijevici and Djermani. We were attacked
14 from all sides, Siljkovici and so on, from the direction of the villages
15 around Kravica.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Richardson, you have got not more than
17 ten minutes.
18 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Rankovic, when you were attacked, you fled the village at
20 some point in January of 1993, your village?
21 A. Yes. We fled in the direction of the River Drina. That was on
22 the 7th of January, 1993. The women went to Bratunac to stay with their
23 relatives and friends because everything had been burnt down.
24 Q. While you were fleeing, did you observe anything in the direction
25 that you were fleeing?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes. When we arrived at a plateau in the direction of Branjevici
2 there was a hill called Sampon [phoen]. From there you could see the
3 whole area. You can't see Kravica because it's in the valley, but you can
4 see Siljkovici, all of Jezestica, Mandici, Opravdici, all that part around
5 those villages. And we saw them burning. Everything was on fire.
6 Q. And what is the ethnicity of these villages that were on fire?
7 A. Serb villages.
8 Q. Now, did there come a time when you returned to Jezestica
9 following that attack in January, on January 7th of 1993?
10 A. We didn't go back to Jezestica. That evening we men stayed on
11 that plateau and that's where we were until the 23rd. And then we went
12 back. We didn't actually go back, but a pathologist arrived to collect
13 the remains, and then I went by my house because we wanted to see the
14 condition our houses were in. So I passed by my house. I saw some
15 graffiti in my garage, and I saw that mortars had been placed there
16 because my mother and I found some packaging behind the garage where our
17 water fountain is. And then my mother went back to stay with her sister
18 in Bratunac.
19 Q. You said you -- you just testified you saw some graffiti. Could
20 you tell us what kind of graffiti? Did it say anything?
21 A. It said "SDA." It's still there in my garage, in my cellar. I
22 didn't paint over or whitewash it. They were there. They probably slept
24 Q. And what is SDA?
25 A. What, do I know what SDA is?
1 Q. Do you know what it stands for, SDA? Is it some kind of
3 A. What do I know? It's like a party.
4 Q. That's fine.
5 A. It's a Muslim designation. I can't speculate about it. I just
6 read the letters S-D-A on my wall. It's still there. You can still see
8 Q. Thank you?
9 MS. RICHARDSON: At this time, Your Honour, I would ask the usher
10 to assist. I have a series of photographs. I believe these were
11 previously marked for identification, Prosecution's number 365. Copies
12 were already provided to the Defence, and I would have -- ask if the
13 witness -- if we could put it on the ELMO one by one.
14 MR. JONES: We just want to check that these are not the
15 photographs which have been marked.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, they probably are, Mr. Jones.
17 MR. JONES: Then we should adopt the same course as before.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 MR. JONES: I'm also wondering if the witness has been shown the
20 photographs beforehand, which would be another concern.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly. So I don't know we are dealing with
22 the same technicians last time when we --
23 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, we have rectified the problem as I
24 understand it as it was then.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I see. All right. Let me see them, usher,
1 before you hand them in, please. Yeah, it has been -- Mr. Jones, it has
2 been rectified. The writing, in other words -- or the words have been
4 MR. JONES: That's fine.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So do we.
6 MS. RICHARDSON: I would only add, Your Honour, if I could have
7 the usher's assistance again, we are adding two photographs to that set,
8 and we do have copies for the Defence.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Come on, let's move.
10 MS. RICHARDSON: If I may, Your Honour --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: What is the problem. Can I understand what the
12 problem is? Go ahead. Please put the first photo you need to show the
13 witness on the ELMO and let's proceed, because you have -- you're running
14 out of time, and I'm not extending it.
15 MS. RICHARDSON:
16 Q. Okay. Mr. Rankovic, I would ask that the usher place the first
17 photo on the ELMO and ask that you take a look at it and tell me if you
18 can identify what you're looking at. Sorry. Number 01087833. Oh, sorry.
19 7834. Excuse me.
20 Can you take a look at that and tell us if you recognise what that
22 A. This is a photograph of our reading room. The inscription up
23 there with the five-pointed star was there. It's been taken down. That's
24 the reading room of the village of Jezestica.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Next photo.
1 MS. RICHARDSON:
2 Q. Next photo, please. 0108735. Do you recognise that, what's in
3 the photo?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Richardson, I think you're wasting time. This
5 is an enlargement. It's very obvious even to --
6 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, I'll proceed quickly.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Move to something else.
8 MS. RICHARDSON: Could I have the next photo.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The same.
10 Q. And if we could proceed. It's the same?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Again.
12 MS. RICHARDSON:
13 Q. The next photo, please.
14 A. This is Sreten Stjepanovic's house.
15 Q. Thank you. And the next --
16 MR. JONES: We didn't catch the number of that picture so we can't
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, the ERN number, please.
19 MS. RICHARDSON: ERN number 0187038.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Next or whichever you want to show.
21 MS. RICHARDSON:
22 Q. The next photo down from -- do you recognise that picture? ERN
23 number 01087839?
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters did not catch the name.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you repeat your answer, sir, please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't see it very well.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Show -- show -- let him -- instead of looking at the
3 monitor, look at the picture itself. Look at the photo. Can you see it
4 better like that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Milovan Jovanovic's house.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Next one.
7 MS. RICHARDSON:
8 Q. Next.
9 A. Vaso Bogicevic's house.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Next -- this is for record purposes,
11 01087840. Next one.
12 MS. RICHARDSON: Next, please.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: 01087841.
14 MS. RICHARDSON:
15 Q. And whose house is this?
16 A. This is the house of Vaso Bogicevic, and the other one is of Mitar
17 Jovanovic. Mitar Jovanovic's house.
18 MS. RICHARDSON: Just for the record, Your Honour, that 01087840,
19 the next house is 01087841.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: He said that already, Ms. Richardson.
21 MS. RICHARDSON: I'm just putting that on the record, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I said them myself.
23 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm moving along.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is Drago Djuric' house.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: The reference is 01087842.
1 MS. RICHARDSON: And the next house, Your Honour, on that picture.
2 Q. Do you recognise that, Mr. --
3 A. Vidasava Bogicevic's house.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And the reference is 01087843. Next.
5 MS. RICHARDSON: Could we have the next photograph?
6 Q. Do you recognise that photograph? If you could just -- yes,
7 please. Go ahead.
8 A. Milisav Rankovic's house.
9 Q. 01087845. Could we have the next photograph, please?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: You have already exceeded the ten minutes that I
11 gave you, madam. I don't know if you want to go through all this
12 exercise, but I --
13 MS. RICHARDSON: Well --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have any further witnesses on -- coming from
15 the same village that he comes from?
16 MS. RICHARDSON: Just a moment, Your Honour. No, Your Honour,
17 unfortunately we don't, so we can just speed it along.
18 Q. Do you recognise that village, Mr. --
19 A. Yes, Krsto Djukanovic's house.
20 MS. RICHARDSON: For the record, 010 --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: 87846. Come on, let's move Madam Richardson,
22 because I don't want to involve the Tribunal in keeping this person until
23 Tuesday here. Or until Wednesday
24 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Or until Wednesday.
1 MS. RICHARDSON: I think that that's --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The witness said Bozit Sitinovic's [phoen]
4 MS. RICHARDSON: Okay. Thank you.
5 Q. The next photograph, do you recognise that house? 01087848.
6 A. Mladen Simic's house.
7 MS. RICHARDSON: Okay. Your Honour, I think we can conclude with
8 that very last picture. I just have one question.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: His own?
10 MS. RICHARDSON: Sorry.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Let you show him his own?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, they didn't.
13 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, Your Honour, I do have it in here.
14 Q. A final photograph. Do you recognise that house?
15 A. This is my house. Of course I recognise it.
16 Q. Thank you. ERN number. 01087851.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 MS. RICHARDSON:
19 Q. Now -- now, these pictures -- these pictures, what do they show?
20 What is reflected in these pictures? Were these how your -- your -- the
21 houses that you just identified for us looked after the attack?
22 MR. JONES: Which attack.
23 MS. RICHARDSON: The attack of January 1993.
24 MR. JONES: Your Honour, I object to this way of proceedings
25 because there are a number of houses here. They have suffered -- some of
1 them, it appears, very -- whole damage, or varying degrees of damage. If
2 this witness is going to give any helpful evidence about what happened, he
3 would need to say, well this house, this bit of damage was or wasn't there
4 on a certain date, this other bit was -- these houses as we know have been
5 reconstructed. In the meantime these photographs were taken years later.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right I take it over. Witness, you have
7 identified a number of houses all of which at first glance appear to have
8 suffered some kind of damage; is that correct.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you tell us -- can you tell us approximately
11 when that damage was caused to these houses, whether they were all damaged
12 more or less at the same time on the same occasion or whether they were
13 damaged on different occasions for different or various reasons.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we reckon that they were
15 damaged, all of them, on the 7th of January, and while they were holding
16 this line, they removed the joinery or burnt what was not burnt once then
17 realised that we had to -- that they had to withdraw. Maybe it had --
18 didn't happen on the same day because we stayed there for -- they stayed
19 there for a certain period of time. It doesn't mean that it was all done
20 on the same day as it looks in the pictures.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it also possible that some of them --
22 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: -- that some of the houses you identified may have
24 been damaged on the occasion of the 8th of August or not, 8th of August,
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Not a single one.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes Madam Richardson.
3 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you Your Honour. I just have two
4 additional questions, and then I'll end my direct examination.
5 Q. Mr. Rankovic did you receive compensation for any of the items
6 taken from your home from any one?
7 A. No. In 1994, or 1995, I was given some 5.000 German marks which
8 was not enough to cover even the window frames as you could see from the
9 picture that the house was damaged, and I received only 5.000 German
10 marks. Some people received donations and mended their house with that.
11 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour. This concludes my
13 JUDGE AGIUS: This, registrar, this photo over here, has it been
14 tendered or not? Are you tendering this photo or not?
15 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes we are, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: And you haven't asked the witness any question on
17 this photo.
18 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, if I could just have the usher's
19 assistance for one second and we can get this completed.
20 Q. Mr. Rankovic, I'd ask you to take a look at the photograph being
21 shown to you. That is ERN 01087863. And ask you if you recognise what's
22 in the photograph.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: If you know, you know. If you don't know, you don't
24 know, but we cannot waste time.
25 MS. RICHARDSON:
1 Q. It's --
2 A. I don't know.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: He doesn't know.
4 MS. RICHARDSON: That's fine, Your Honour. I will complete at
5 this point. Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: But do you want to tender it into evidence or not?
7 MS. RICHARDSON: No, Your Honour. We'll leave it.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Madam Vidovic. You can take that photo away.
9 He's finished with it. And --
10 Mr. Rankovic, you're now going to be asked a series of questions
11 by Madam Vidovic who is appearing for the defendant.
12 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
13 Cross-examined by Ms. Vidovic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Rankovic.
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. Could the usher please put Prosecution Exhibits P394, that's the
17 map that we have seen today and shown to the witness, and I suppose it
18 will be helpful to the witness to answer the questions that I'm going to
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Vidovic.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Rankovic, you said that you were born in the Bratunac
23 municipality and that you spent the whole of your life in Bratunac
24 municipality. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes, up to this date.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Also, you said that the defence in your village was established in
2 mid-April. Is that correct?
3 A. It wasn't established. We organised that.
4 Q. You organised that.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You also said in response to the Prosecutor's question about the
7 situation prevailing at the beginning of the war, that is in April and May
8 and the following months that preceded the attack that we are discussing
9 now, that is the attack of the 8th of August, you described the situation
10 as being unpleasant in the area.
11 A. Yes, definitely it was unpleasant.
12 Q. In response to the Prosecutor's question, you said that the
13 defence of your village undertook no action in the surrounding area.
14 A. No action was taken. We remained in our villages.
15 Q. Could you please show on the map again where your village of
16 Jezestica is and where the village of Glogova is.
17 A. This is the village of Jezestica and this is Glogova.
18 Q. Isn't it true that it is in close proximity, that Glogova is very
19 near to your village?
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the answer.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Again. May I appeal again to you, Madam Vidovic and
22 to the witness in particular, since you speak the same --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: -- since you speak the same language and whatever
25 you're saying needs to be translated to us, please allow an interval of
1 time between question and answer so that the interpreters in the meantime
2 can catch up with you and translate to us. Because otherwise, if one
3 jumps over the other immediately without an interval we will miss a part
4 of the testimony. In fact, at the moment, for example, they did not catch
5 up with you. They don't know what you replied to the previous question or
6 to the last question that Madam Vidovic put to you.
7 And the question was -- you're looking at something different
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Can you please answer my question?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Isn't it true that it is in close proximity, that
13 Glogova is very near to your village.
14 A. Yes, between my house and the entrance of Glogova across the
15 village and Magasici it will take about one hour.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. How far in kilometres?
18 A. Approximately up to four kilometres to the centre of Glogova.
19 Q. Mr. Rankovic, is it possible that you didn't notice any happenings
20 in the village of Glogova in April and May of 1992?
21 A. I personally didn't. I am telling you only what I know, but what
22 I don't know I cannot say.
23 Q. Do you know what was happening with the Muslim population of
24 Magasici village? There were Muslims there at the time as well.
25 A. I don't.
1 Q. Mr. Rankovic, did you pass through that area in the period between
2 May and August 1992?
3 A. I passed in 1992. I went for a celebration of Djurdjev Dan, and
4 later I went to my house, and I passed through the woods.
5 Q. On that occasion, did you notice burnt houses in Glogova and the
6 burnt mosque?
7 A. No, I didn't. I passed down the roundabout way. I didn't have
8 any need to go through Glogova.
9 Q. All right, Mr. Rankovic, let us move on. When exactly the
10 conflict in Bratunac break out?
11 A. I don't know when the conflict in Bratunac broke out.
12 Q. You mentioned that Bratunac was a mixed community. Isn't it true
13 that the area of Bratunac before the war had more than 21.000 Muslims and
14 about eleven and a half thousand Serbs?
15 A. Well, let me tell you, when I was young, I worked on the ground,
16 and I stayed in my village until 1980, and then I opened my own store. As
17 I -- and I was not interested in Bratunac because I went to work in
18 Belgrade. So I know very little about Bratunac and everything else.
19 Q. I'm asking you about the beginning of the war in Bratunac in 1992.
20 Do you know perhaps what happened to the Muslims of Bratunac in early
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. Did you ever hear about any happenings, any events, any killings
24 in the elementary school called Vuk Karadzic?
25 A. Well, I did and I didn't. I don't know. I'm going to tell you
1 today only what I know. What I don't know, I cannot speak about.
2 Q. What did you exactly hear?
3 A. I cannot the say. I cannot tell you anything off the top of my
4 head and I cannot invent things that I never saw. What I testify of
5 testify to is what I've seen with my own eyes.
6 Q. Yes, but during your testimony --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but when you testified about this, you were not
8 testifying about things that you knew. In fact, you even described it as
9 "there were rumours." So you did testify on rumours. So you need to
10 decide whether you're going to testify on facts that you know about only
11 and leave out rumours completely or not, but you personally came here to
12 The Hague with this document in hand, which you handed to the Prosecution
13 and testified about it, even though you described it as a rumour.
14 This is why in the beginning I told you you cannot distinguish or
15 discriminate between the Prosecution or the Defence. Your duty is to
16 answer truthfully and fully each and every question which is put to you
17 irrespective of who is putting the question to you.
18 Let's proceed now, Ms. -- Madam Vidovic.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. It was
20 exactly what I wanted to ask the witness.
21 Q. During your testimony, you heard about -- you testified about what
22 you heard. What did you hear about the events in Bratunac?
23 A. For instance, I heard that the Muslims were expelled there on the
24 2nd of August, and that's what I omitted to say before. A relative of
25 mine, Milisav went --
1 Q. Mr. Rankovic, could you please answer to my questions, but we'll
2 come to that later. Therefore, you said that the Muslim population were
3 expelled from Bratunac. Isn't that true?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Mr. Rankovic, isn't it true that the defence of the area of
6 Kravica, including your village, was organised months before, maybe even
7 the whole year before with respect to the time that you mentioned in your
8 testimony today?
9 A. I don't know about that.
10 Q. Mr. Rankovic, are you saying that you did not take active part in
11 organising the defence?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Mr. Rankovic, you were not even an ordinary citizen of Jezestica.
14 You were a member of the local board of the SDS, which was under the
15 Bratunac Serbian Democratic Party.
16 A. I was a member of the SDS, but this is unrelated.
17 Q. Could you please speak slowly so the Judges can hear your answer.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you repeat your --
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Could you please answer my question. Therefore, you were an SDS
21 member of Jezestica which was under the Bratunac Serbian Democratic Party
22 branch? You were not an ordinary citizen. Therefore, you were involved
23 in politics.
24 A. No, I wasn't involved in politics.
25 Q. Isn't it true that you were a member of the SDS local board of the
1 Jezestica that was part of the Bratunac Serbian Democratic Party?
2 A. Yes, I was.
3 Q. When did you join the SDS?
4 A. I cannot tell you exactly.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I now kindly ask the usher to put on
6 the ELMO documents number 00835830, and I would like to note at the same
7 time to the Trial Chamber and to the Prosecution that the English
8 translation has the mark L0041625, and it refers to the extract from the
9 SDS list of the Bratunac 1990 list of membership.
10 Q. Mr. Rankovic, could you please look at page 00 --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We don't -- we don't have this.
12 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I will tell you now the page number
13 it's 008358 -- [In English] Okay. Only.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. Thank you.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will be D29.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: D29. Thank you, Madam Vidovic.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. I would like to ask the witness to look at page 00835830 and
19 number 484 on that page. If the usher could push the page up a little bit
20 so we can see number 484.
21 Mr. Rankovic, do you see this now?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. Is it true that you joined the Serbian Democratic Party on the
24 26th of August, 1990?
25 A. Well, as I said, I don't know the date, but I did join, yes. I
1 can't remember the exact date, as I said.
2 Q. Very well. Is it correct that you remained a member of the SDS
3 throughout the year 1991?
4 A. Well, nobody ever invited me to go there, nor did I go, nor am I a
5 member of any party now.
6 Q. Are you trying to say that you were not a member of the SDS during
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's put it in a different way.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Did I understand correctly that you were not a member?
11 A. As I say, I admit that I was a member. I don't know what the
12 years were.
13 Q. Is there any need for me to show you evidence that you were a
14 member of the party, the SDA party, in 1991?
15 A. No. I accept that. I was a member. I'm not any more. But
16 nobody ever contacted me about it.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. We are
18 satisfied with the response.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps he can tell us -- just a moment. Perhaps he
20 can tell us when he stopped paying the membership fee.
21 Do you recall when you stopped paying the membership fee to the --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember. I paid a
23 membership fee only once, on only one occasion. After that, I never went
24 there any more.
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Are you trying to say that in 1991 you did not pay your membership
3 A. As I'm telling you, I don't know.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's -- let's move on, Madam Vidovic.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well. Very well, thank you,
6 Your Honours.
7 Q. So it's correct that you joined the SDA [as interpreted] very
8 early on, is it not?
9 THE INTERPRETER: There was no audible reply from the witness.
10 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Would --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: First of all, one moment, because the transcript
13 says SDA. That should be the SDS. That's to start with. And I think you
14 can skip this question -- forward, Madam Vidovic, because if he joined in
15 1990, then the answer is obvious.
16 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well. I did not understand
17 whether the document I tendered has received a number. Yes, thank you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It is D29.
19 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Rankovic, members of the SDS received instructions for their
21 work from the SDS leadership, did they not?
22 A. I don't know anything about that.
23 Q. But you were a member of the SDS.
24 A. Yes, I was, but there was a narrow circle. It wasn't me or my
25 children in the house who knew. As I said, I don't know anything about
2 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Would the usher please put on the
3 ELMO document number 00349515.
4 Q. The document of the president of the S [as interpreted],
5 Dr. Radovan Karadzic, of the 15th of August, 1991. It's "Entitled
6 Operating Instructions Obligatory For Everybody". Witness, please look at
7 item four of this document which reads: "Every member of a local board
8 must be entrusted with maintaining contact with ten to 20 households."
9 Mr. Rankovic, as a member of the SDS you certainly knew about this
11 A. I'm not -- no, no. I didn't. I certainly didn't know about it,
12 because I was not active as a member. I had family problems, so I was
13 more concerned about my family problems than about the party.
14 Q. Are you trying to say that you yourself were not an active member
15 of the SDS and that you did not go to SDS meetings?
16 A. Yes. I'm talking about myself.
17 Q. Could this document that has been shown to the witness be given an
18 exhibit number.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, it will be D30, Madam Vidovic.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Rankovic, is it correct that apart from you, the SDS had
22 another 25 members in your village of Jezestica?
23 A. I'm not aware of that either.
24 Q. Are you trying to say that you just went there, signed up, and
25 then you knew nothing further about it?
1 A. All I know about myself is, well, perhaps when the first meeting
2 was held. After that, I didn't attend any more meetings. And I can only
3 speak for myself.
4 Q. Do you know perhaps that Mr. Miladin Bogdanovic was also a member
5 of the SDS?
6 A. No, I don't.
7 Q. Do you know that the SDS was very active in Bratunac, including
8 your area?
9 A. Well, as I say, I'm not a politician. I didn't go to any meetings
10 in Bratunac. I wasn't all that interested in politics. And I'm speaking
11 now about myself, about me personally.
12 Q. Mr. Rankovic, the SDS was moreover preparing defence lines and
13 units for war in the area in 1991. Do you know anything about this?
14 A. No.
15 Q. You never heard about that?
16 A. No, I didn't.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will only mention
18 that we ask the Chamber to take notice of the judgement in the Deronjic
19 case. I will now read two brief parts of the interview given by Mr.
20 Deronjic to the Office of the Prosecutor on the 23rd of June, 1993.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no. This is not the way to do it. Could
22 the usher please escort the witness out of the courtroom for a while,
24 [The witness stands down]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I had to stop you because the way to do it is
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 precisely along the lines that was raised by yourselves earlier on. The
2 practice is or shouldn't be or it's not desirable that you tell the
3 witness who said whatever you're going to put to him. You select whatever
4 you want to put to the witness without telling him who said that. You
5 just put to the witness, "What do you have to state as regards the
6 following statement," or, "Would you agree with the following statement,"
7 but you don't tell the witness who has made that statement or on what
8 occasions, et cetera.
9 Now, unfortunately, he has already heard the name of the person
10 that -- so I would suggest to you that you skip this part and come to it
11 later on and you move along with some other questions. At least we'll try
12 to save what we could save, because otherwise I would -- I would have to
13 tell you no, you cannot put this question. I'm going to allow it, but
14 after some time. First you proceed with other questions. When you come
15 to it, you tell the witness, "If I were to suggest to you that this is
16 what happened on such-and-such and day and such-and-such a place, would
17 you agree or not?" But you don't tell him, "This has been stated to us by
18 Mr. Deronjic," or whoever.
19 MS. RICHARDSON: Your Honour, if I may in addition, I would object
20 to the Court having to take judicial notice of it, if that's where --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I am not taking -- we are not taking judicial
22 notice. This is why I'm saying you put to the witness this statement and
23 then ask the witness whether he agrees with that statement. It doesn't
24 mean -- it's not tantamount to --
25 MS. RICHARDSON: That's fine, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: -- taking judicial notice. I mean... And obviously,
2 if there is not going to ever be agreement on the part of the Prosecution
3 re: the suggested matters from the Deronjic case to be taken as judicial
4 notice of -- and then obviously we are not going to. It's as simple as
5 that. Yes. Let's bring the witness in. I think -- have you understood?
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Yes, I have understood.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's bring the witness in again.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Rankovic, let me explain very briefly. We
11 had to send you out of the courtroom. Can you hear me?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We had to send you out of the courtroom for a while
14 because we had to rectify something. Madam Vidovic was going to read out
15 to you an extract from a statement by Mr. Deronjic. That cannot be done,
16 so we will move to the next question.
17 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
18 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Rankovic, as a member of the SDS, you are aware of the fact
20 that the SDS organised Crisis Staffs, are you not?
21 A. No, I'm not. If they did something in Bratunac and Kravica, I
22 don't know about it.
23 Q. Do you know anything at all about the Crisis Staffs?
24 A. Nothing. I was in my village the whole time.
25 Q. Are you aware of the fact that the Crisis Staffs organised lines
1 of defence?
2 A. I'm not aware of that. I told you where we were.
3 Q. If someone were to say that there were three small Serb areas or
4 small regions in the Bratunac area, including Kravica, and that in 1991
5 detachments were organised there, would that be correct?
6 A. I'm not aware of that, nor do I know anything about it.
7 Q. Very well. Thank you.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would now ask the
9 usher to put on the ELMO Defence document D4. D4. Which is an order on
10 mobilisation in the Serbian municipality of Bratunac issued by the Crisis
11 Staff on the 16th of April, 1992.
12 Q. Mr. Rankovic, please take a look at this document. Is it not
13 correct that this document a purpose to declare a state of emergency for
14 all citizens in the Bratunac municipality as of the 16th of April, 1992?
15 A. I don't know, but as I said in mid-April we had the village
16 guards. I don't know anything else.
17 Q. Does the holding of this guard, the beginning of the guard, have
18 any connection with the date of this mobilisation?
19 A. No. I don't know. I said it happened in mid-April. That's when
20 we started holding the guards.
21 Q. Mr. Rankovic, do you agree that Jezestica is a village belonging
22 to the Kravica commune and that belongs to Bratunac municipality?
23 A. Yes.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Would the usher now put on the ELMO
25 document 01320274. 013202747, which is a decision of the government of
1 the Serbian municipality of Bratunac on the payment of remuneration to
2 members of the Territorial Defence of Bratunac municipality and others for
3 May 1992, and BiH Serb army units in the area of Bratunac. And the date
4 is the 25th of June, 1992.
5 Q. Please let me finish my question. Would you please look at the
6 first part of this decision. I quote: "This decision determines the
7 remuneration for May 1992 for members of the Serb army of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina, that is the battalion in Bratunac, members of the Territorial
9 Defence of Bratunac municipality..." So behind the comma it says,
10 "Members of the Territorial Defence of Bratunac municipality." And then
11 also before replying, please look at part II, that says, "Members, that is
12 persons attending the training at the army camp in Skelani and volunteers
13 shall be paid remuneration for May in the amount of 50.000 dinars in cash,
14 and 17 persons in the Skelani camp also have the right, they're entitled
15 to remuneration amounting to 20.000 dinars in coupons."
16 My question, sir: Is it correct that there was a military camp in
17 Skelani for training in May 1992? Are you aware of that?
18 A. I have visited Skelani only twice in my 50 years. I've only
19 passed through once in 1970. I don't know anything about Skelani. Either
20 Skelani --
21 Q. In respect to this, I'll rephrase my question. Is it true,
22 Mr. Rankovic, that the volunteers from Serbia had been paid to fight in
23 the area of Bratunac?
24 A. I don't know anything about that either.
25 Q. Is it possible that you, as someone who was a member of the SDS,
1 could have ignored to such an extent what had been happening in your
2 municipality, to be unaware totally of anything that was happening around
3 you in Bratunac, even in the village of Jezestica?
4 A. Just as I don't know now because I work in the field and I go home
5 twice a month and then I go back to work, maybe the same happened at the
6 time. All those major members who were involved knew about that but I
7 wasn't such a member and I don't know about things.
8 Q. Before I proceed with my next question, can this please -- this
9 document be tendered as a Defence exhibit, and the number is 013202747.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, and this will be Defence Exhibit D31.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Rankovic, you said that apart from the tension and unease that
13 you felt in Jezestica before August 1992, it was peaceful.
14 A. Yes.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please put on the
16 ELMO document number 01 -- so document 01321099, dated 29th September,
17 1993. That's the document issued by the Bratunac military post, seized by
18 the Prosecution, and it is part of the financial package of documents
19 seized by the Prosecution, and it is entitled "Record Sheet For A Dead
21 Q. Mr. Rankovic could you please look at this record sheet and it's
22 content. It's clear this refers to Mihajlo Uzelac, a volunteer from Zemun
23 who was killed in combat operation on the 29th of June 1992 in Jezestica.
24 Now, in connection with this, my question is: Mr. Rankovic, Zemun is a
25 town in Belgrade near Serbia, isn't?
1 A. I don't know. I said that Jezestica is a large area. It
2 stretches all the way to Magasici. Whether he was there and my hamlet
3 Rankovici, I didn't see him there. I don't know.
4 Q. Mr. Rankovic, why the volunteers from Serbia were getting killed
5 in June 1992 if there was peace at the time?
6 A. I told you, I don't know. I cannot say whether he was killed or
8 Q. Do you mean that you knew nothing that volunteers from Serbia were
9 getting killed in your village?
10 A. Not in my village. I don't know.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could this document be given a
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Be given a number and the document
15 number is 01321099.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This document can become Defence Exhibit D32.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Rankovic you yourself just told us about an incident that
19 occurred on the 2nd of August 1992 which involved your relatives Ljubomir
20 Rankovic and Milislav Rankovic who were wounded in Jezestica -- in Glogova
21 on the 2nd of August, 1992. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. What were they doing in Glogova at the time? Those were your
24 relatives from Jezestica.
25 A. Yes, correct. They went from our village Rankovici. They drove
1 their wife -- wife to the doctor, to Glogova. There was a barricade on
2 the road, and the Lada car skidded off the road because there were shots
3 coming from the water. Both men were wounded. They ran away, and the
4 woman remained in the car and the car was set on fire.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could the usher please
6 put on the ELMO document number D22, Exhibit -- Defence Exhibit D22.
7 Q. Could the witness please look at page 02887. Mr. Rankovic, what
8 actually happened in Glogova on the 2nd of August, 1992? Could you please
9 look at --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. When are we getting this document?
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] This D22 document. I'll wait for a
12 while before I ask my question, Your Honours.
13 Q. Therefore, Witness, you have looked at this document, I hope. Can
14 you look at the names under numbers 2, 9, 24, 31, 36, and 46 -- 43 on this
15 list. Do you wish to say that they were just passing by and driving
16 through Glogova?
17 A. Believe me, I know nothing about this. I am familiar with five
18 people from this list at the most.
19 Q. Did you notice that these two relatives of yours are on this list?
20 A. Yes, I have.
21 Q. Would you agree with me that Glogova is a Muslim village?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. Would you agree with me that this took place precisely a few days
24 before the attack on your village?
25 A. I don't know.
1 Q. All right. Thank you. Let me ask you another question. You said
2 that you are originally from the village of Rankovici, which is a hamlet,
3 in fact, of Jezestica.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Let me ask you this. Are you aware that precisely in the section
6 of your small village of Rankovici artillery weapons were deployed, for
7 example, a gun?
8 A. No, I'm not aware. It wasn't impossible -- it was impossible,
9 because it was a village in a valley.
10 Q. Either you don't know or there wasn't one.
11 A. No, there wasn't one.
12 Q. Do you know Goran Djuric known as Talijan?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Do you know where his house is?
15 A. On the 7th of January.
16 Q. Isn't it true that even there -- that there was even a gun above
17 his house?
18 A. I don't know. I was in the old part, and we were in the upper
19 part, and I don't know anything about that.
20 Q. Didn't you just tell us that you were above his house?
21 A. No, I didn't say above his house.
22 Q. My question was: Didn't you mention that you had been near his
24 A. I was in his house on the 7th of January, and from there I pulled
25 out as I told you before.
1 Q. Are you telling me that there was no gun there?
2 A. I didn't see one.
3 Q. You told us today that there was nothing suggested that would
4 constitute a military target; is that correct?
5 A. As far as we were concerned, no, there wasn't.
6 Q. So how would you describe this gun?
7 A. I don't know. I didn't see it.
8 Q. How far the village of Vresinje is from Rankovici?
9 A. The village of Vresinje is about half an hour away.
10 Q. Can you tell us in kilometres, please?
11 A. It's a half hour walking distance.
12 Q. How much is that in kilometres?
13 A. Perhaps about two and a half kilometres.
14 Q. Do you know that there was artillery there as well?
15 A. No, I don't.
16 Q. Let me ask you something else now. Mr. Rankovic, you seem to be a
17 person who is well oriented in time and space.
18 A. I don't understand what you mean.
19 Q. That means that you are a person giving us reasonable and sensible
21 A. I don't know what you mean.
22 Q. You are giving us pretty clear answers.
23 A. Yes. And what I know, I know. And what I don't know, I don't
25 Q. Let me ask you: Do you know that all the capacities in the
1 territory of Republika Srpska, which was called at the time the Serbian
2 republic, were utilised for military purposes, including even private
4 A. No, I don't. I don't know.
5 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please now put on
6 the ELMO document which begins with the page --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I hope --
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm only going to use a small
10 JUDGE AGIUS: But I hope that it is legible, you know, because the
11 copy in English that we are receiving is legible, but the Serbian -- the
12 copy in Serbian is in most page pages --
13 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm only going to use
14 a small portion of this document. And can the page of this document
15 number 00876246 in the B/C/S version be put on the ELMO, as I believe it
16 is legible. And I'm going to quote it, and I ask the witness to look at
17 point 7, because we are only going to focus on it only. Could you please
18 push the paper a little bit up.
19 So page 00876246. And on that page there's item 7.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, the corresponding page in the
21 English version of this document bears ERN number 01900311, and that is
22 page 5 of the said document.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Could the witness please look at item 7 entitled quartermaster
25 support and the use of the reserves in capacities of the territory. And I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 quote: "In implementing the quartermaster support of units, the basic --
2 the principal way of providing support would be by relying on the capacity
3 POT and the territory -- that capacity from the territory will be used as
4 follows, to include civilian bakeries, slaughterhouses, warehouses,
5 agriculture farms, agriculture cooperatives, et cetera, commodity reserves
6 of companies, farming estate, agriculture cooperatives and individual
7 farms and that was an order signed by General Djukic of the army of the
8 Republika Srpska.
9 My question is: Jezestica is an agriculture community, and you
10 certainly know that the VRS used the facilities, including the farming
11 estates, agriculture cooperatives, private utilities and -- and
13 A. Yes. Jezestica is a farming community. We sow wheat, and we
14 live on farming. We didn't have any factories. You are fully aware of
16 Q. My question is: Is it true that bakeries, slaughterhouses were
18 A. We didn't have either bakeries or slaughterhouses, not even in
20 Q. Did you have farmers who could offer produce to the army?
21 A. No. We just produced and grew potatoes, wheat, beans.
22 Q. You had mills?
23 A. Yes, we did.
24 Q. Did the army use the mills?
25 A. We used them until the 7th of January. There were five of them.
1 Three were demolished and only one was, in fact, in action.
2 Q. My question was: Did the army use those mills?
3 A. No, not the army. We, the local population, used it for our own
5 Q. All right. Thank you.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could this document be given -- be
7 tendered into evidence.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, and that will be Defence Exhibit D33. Again, I
9 please appeal to you to allow a little bit of interval because you're not
10 giving a chance one to the other.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know if it's
12 time for a break now, but this would be a most convenient time for a
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly, madam. We will have a 25-minute
15 break starting from now, which basically means we start at ten to one.
16 Ten to one.
17 --- Recess taken at 12.26 p.m. ^Q
18 --- On resuming at 12.55 p.m.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, while we wait for the accused, the
20 next witness that we have, the next witness that we have, I'm being asked
21 to indicate because this witness is already here. Will you be able to
22 finish with this witness in one day? The next one. You had anticipated
23 two hours.
24 MS. SELLERS: Excuse me, Your Honours. The Prosecution will take
25 possibly two hours for direct examination.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So we should -- I wouldn't imagine that you are
2 going to take four. Yes.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is a very
4 important witness for us, and I think -- [In English] We are talking
5 about -- [Interpretation] We're talking about Mr. Eric now, Slavisa Eric,
6 as I understood it, and we shall need at least two or two and a half
8 JUDGE AGIUS: But -- no. Well, again, we will put our foot down.
9 That witness must finish in one day. So on Tuesday, try and see how
10 you're going to arrange about distributing the time amongst you, and we
11 will need to finish him -- that person in one day. I -- does he have
12 protective measures or -- no. But we'll do our utmost to finish that
14 Forgive me when I say him. It might be her, but some names I --
15 confuse me. I don't know whether they refer to males or to females. This
16 is a male. This is a male.
17 MS. SELLERS: Yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So we'll do our utmost to finish on Tuesday.
19 Okay? Thanks.
20 Yes. Let's try and conclude. You have -- try and finish five
21 minutes before time, please. At least, I mean. Because I have to rush to
22 the airport. At 2.30 I have to be at Schiphol.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will be
25 Q. Mr. Rankovic, you are saying you were not a member of any military
1 unit before August 1992, apart from the village guard.
2 A. No, I wasn't.
3 Q. Let me remind you, Mr. Rankovic, that today, before this Tribunal,
4 you took -- made a solemn declaration you would speak the truth?
5 A. Yes.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Would the usher now put on the ELMO
7 document number 013353322, which is document 013353322 and is a part of
8 the document which is the payroll for July 1992 for persons from military
9 post paid for official or troop trips and remuneration. And this is
10 something that was disclosed to us by the Prosecution and is part of the
11 set of documents confiscated from the Bratunac Brigade.
12 Q. Mr. Rankovic, please look at number 2124, which is -- has the name
13 Milo Rankovic. And beside the name it says "Platoon commander" who was
14 present from the 1st of June until the 30th of June. That's at the end of
15 the column.
16 Please move the document a little to the left. A little to the
17 left. A bit more.
18 And then in parentheses in the first column next to the name --
19 or, rather, at the end it says "Milo" where the name Milo Rankovic is, and
20 it seems that the commander received the salaries. But I will ask the
21 witness about that.
22 Mr. Rankovic, is it true that your name is on this list?
23 A. This is not true. Maybe somebody else signed this, but I didn't.
24 Q. Is it true, Mr. --
25 A. I'm saying somebody might have signed this on my behalf, but this
1 is not my signature.
2 Q. Mr. Rankovic, is it true that you were in company Jezestica 2
3 where you were a platoon leader?
4 A. No, that's not correct, because I was up there in my village, the
5 village of Rankovici. So I couldn't have been a platoon commander.
6 Q. Is there any other person having the same name and personal
7 details as you, including your father's name, Vaso, in Jezestica?
8 A. Can I respond?
9 Q. I will show you this on another document.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Let him answer the question first.
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Yes, please answer this question.
13 A. As you're mentioning my name -- my father's name, I don't recall
14 my father. I have no father. He was killed in 1954.
15 Q. What was your father's name while he was alive?
16 A. Vaso.
17 Q. So your father's name was Vaso.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you give any explanation why this document should say that you
20 were a platoon leader or commander if you were not?
21 A. I was not. Maybe somebody had a reason of their own to write this
23 Q. Before I move on to another document, would you please take a look
24 at this list of names, Jezestica 2. Please move it a little to the right.
1 Today you mentioned certain people who were killed on the 8th of
2 August, 1992.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Were they civilians?
5 A. On the 8th of August, 1992, there were four civilians among them,
6 the two women who were killed and Milo Stjepanovic.
7 Q. Please look at the name under number 2129, this list of Jezestica
8 2. Is the name of Serbo Djuric there which you mentioned today?
9 A. Serbo Djuric?
10 Q. Yes. 2129.
11 A. It says Djordje. Underneath is Serbo.
12 Q. Please look at number 2134. Andjelko Mladjenovic?
13 A. Yes, I see it.
14 Q. 2135, Dragan Mladjenovic?
15 A. Dragan Mladjenovic.
16 Q. Can you turn the page, please. 2195, Milosav Stjepanovic?
17 A. Yes, an elderly man.
18 Q. You mentioned him as well?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. Were these people combatants?
21 A. Stjepanovic Milosav was not.
22 Q. Why?
23 A. Because he was an elderly man.
24 Q. Why would his name be on this list?
25 A. These are people killed in August.
1 Q. This is a list for the payroll for July, remuneration or salaries
2 paid for July in 1992.
3 A. Well, I don't know who put a man on that list who was over 70
4 years of age. I just mentioned those who were killed on the 8th of
6 Q. Witness, are you trying to say that in your milieu, in your
7 community there were no combatants over the age of 70?
8 A. No, there weren't, no.
9 Q. Does the name of Golub Eric mean anything to you?
10 A. I knew him, but I'm talking only about my village.
11 Q. Do you know that he was a combatant?
12 A. I don't. I can just talk about Milosav Stjepanovic.
13 Q. Very well. Thank you.
14 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I wish to tender this document, and
15 I will put a few questions about the attack itself.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This will be Defence Exhibit D34.
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Today you spoke about this article. There was a lot of testimony
19 about the article you brought. You are familiar with it. Do you need to
20 look at it again?
21 A. You mean the newspaper article?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. There's no need.
24 Q. The subtitle says "Andjelko Mladjenovic also known as Biba was
25 killed defending his village of Jezestica at Bratunac." Does this
1 indicate that this person was a combatant?
2 A. He was, but he was ten metres away from your house. If you can be
3 a combatant in your own house, then he was.
4 Q. Are you trying to say that these people had no weapons at home?
5 A. Of course we had weapons. I said that.
6 Q. Is it true that you fought around your houses on that occasion?
7 A. We weren't fighting. We were protecting our houses.
8 Q. I asked you about the 8th of August. Did you fight for your
10 A. Well, of course.
11 Q. So you fired shots near your houses?
12 A. How could they have been shooting when they were killed in front
13 of their house?
14 Q. Well, what I'm asking you was: Were they killed in the fighting,
15 because it says here Andjelko was killed defending his village?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: You see the end result of you jumping on him before
17 he's even finished he's even finished his answer -- his answer to your
18 question and he doing exactly the same thing is that the interpretation is
19 suffering and some of the answers he is giving you are not in reply to the
20 questions that you are putting, and I'm sure it's a problem of
22 JUDGE ESER: Just a question of language. The witness was telling
23 that he was defending, and your question, at least in the English
24 translation, you asked for whether he was fighting. Now, do you mean
25 fighting in a different sense than defending? It's only for reasons of
1 clarity. If he was telling about defending, and you asked him -- went on,
2 asking about fighting.
3 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] In our language and in our area,
4 "defence" implies fighting. Defensive fighting. There is defensive
5 fighting and then there is fighting during an attack. Defensive fighting.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Judge Eser is satisfied with the explanation.
7 Let's proceed.
8 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise for speeding up. I
9 was trying to finish as soon as possible.
10 Q. Mr. Rankovic, would you please tell us whether it is correct that
11 on the 7th and 10th of April, 2001, you made statements to the Office of
12 the Prosecutor in the police station in Milici and in your house in
14 A. I did give a statement in Milici.
15 Q. And in your house in Jezestica?
16 A. Well, they came from Milici. They followed me, and we went out
17 onto the field. They were from Milici, and they asked me questions.
18 Q. Very well. On that occasion, you were asked to make a truthful
19 statement about what you personally had seen, and you signed it; is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I would now like to ask the usher to show the witness part of his
23 to show the witness part of his statement given on that occasion on page
24 02026552. That's the page in the English version. And it's page 03063441
25 in the Bosnian -- or the B/C/S version.
1 Q. Can you look at it, please? Please look at this part of your
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there a specific part from this page that you
4 require the witness to look at? Otherwise, he'll have to read the entire
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. I will tell you. Explaining the damage to the 54 houses that had
8 been burnt, you said -- can you locate that part?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the paragraph which finishes then with the
10 list of the nine persons that were killed. Can you find it?
11 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Have you found it, Witness? Yes? You said, explaining these 54
13 houses that had been burnt, you said some had been slightly damaged, some
14 damaged a bit more, and some completely burnt to the ground. This is
15 correct, is it not, Mr. Rankovic?
16 A. That's correct, yes.
17 Q. Today, you said something different.
18 A. That's the old village up there, 54 houses. That was the attack
19 of the 8th of August.
20 Q. Yes. But I understood you to say today that all the houses had
21 been burnt.
22 A. That's not correct. I was speaking of the old houses up there on
23 the 8th of August.
24 Q. I am referring to the 8th of August, Mr. Rankovic, and this part
25 of your statement refers to the 8th of August.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes. And they were all burnt. That was old Jezestica, the old
2 Brdo or hill area. And they were all burnt, except for one which is a new
4 Q. Mr. Rankovic, your statement three years ago was closer in terms
5 of time to the event that you described. Why would you then say something
6 that was not correct?
7 A. I didn't say anything that was not correct. I can make a list of
8 each household.
9 Q. I will not insist on this point. I will now ask you,
10 Mr. Rankovic, a few questions about the 7th of January, 1993.
11 Talking about this today, you mentioned some people who were
12 killed, and you said that one of them was wearing a military jacket.
13 Would you please tell us who these people who were killed were. Were they
14 civilians or were they soldiers?
15 A. There were some civilians among them, women and elderly men.
16 Among the 19 that were killed on Christmas, there were civilians. There
17 were two women among them, Nevenka and Vida. Then there was also Milo
18 Jokic, an elderly man. Mitar Nikolic was also an elderly man. The others
19 were between 25 or 26 and 50 years of age.
20 Q. Was Vida Trisic a civilian?
21 A. Vida Trisic?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. Certainly she was.
24 Q. Among these people who were killed, how many were combatants?
25 A. Combatants? Well, there may have been, what do I know, 13 or 14.
1 Q. Only 13 or 14?
2 A. I'm speaking about when we were retreating. I can't say we were
3 all there. Some went off to the right. There were only -- there was only
4 us in that house. I'm not talking about all of Jezestica. We weren't all
5 in that house.
6 Q. I'm asking you, to the best of your knowledge, among the people
7 killed on that day in Jezestica, how many were combatants?
8 A. Fourteen or 15, as far as I know in that house where I was.
9 Q. Please tell me, were they at the time fighting with the attackers?
10 A. How could they have been fighting when we were in that house and
11 when we were retreating and fleeing? How could they have been fighting?
12 If they remained behind and fought, those were people who were fighting.
13 Q. Those remained to fight, were they fighting? Were they offering
15 A. Not me. I was retreating. I didn't look to see.
16 Q. I asked you: Were the combatants there fighting, not were you
18 A. Well, whether they were shooting or not, I can't say.
19 Everybody -- it was every man for himself. I don't know what the others
20 were doing.
21 Q. I will now ask you about the attackers. Today you described them.
22 Is it true to say that among the attackers there were civilians, women?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Children?
25 A. I didn't see any children, but I did see women.
1 Q. How many?
2 A. Well, as far as we were able to see, 50, 60. I don't know. I
3 couldn't count them. But they were there.
4 Q. Is it true to say that these women and civilians you described
5 today took food, livestock, and torched property?
6 A. If they hadn't torched it, it wouldn't have burnt down. I'm sure
7 they took property away. I saw it and so did other people from hilltops.
8 Q. Very well. It seems, Mr. Rankovic, that these people had come
9 after the 7th of January, 1993, to take possessions from your villages.
10 Is that true?
11 A. I cannot say whether they came on that day or ten days later to
12 collect what was left behind. I can't say. The only thing we know, that
13 things were missing from the houses.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't receive the interpretation.
15 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I will repeat my question because I
16 don't know, Your Honours, if you heard the answer.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We heard the answer, but we did not get the question
18 or what you commented afterwards anyway. I think you ought to repeat the
19 question and he will repeat the answer. I think that's --
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I asked you, Mr. Rankovic, is it
21 true that those people came after the 7th of January to take possessions
22 from your villages? Could that be true?
23 A. When I returned on the 23rd, I just found what I found behind my
24 house. So whatever they couldn't take away on that day, they took it away
25 later. They stayed there for about a month.
1 Q. Do you know who these people were? Did you see if those were
2 civilians, army, anyone taking things away?
3 A. I know that it was organised. Whether there were civilians, I
4 would only say that they were all taking things away. I saw them taking
5 my deep freezer and my -- my cooker, and also did my neighbours and my
6 relatives. If I had been there, I would have known more exactly.
7 Q. Thank you, sir. Therefore, you did not return to Jezestica until
8 mid-March 1993?
9 A. We only came on the 23rd to collect dead bodies, to see the
10 houses. And there was no place for us to return because everything was
12 Q. Is it true, Mr. Rankovic, that there was fighting and that the
13 Serbian forces had been trying to recapture this area and put it back
14 under their control?
15 A. There was no fighting. I don't know, in fact. They just
16 retreated, and I don't know to which positions they withdrew. And that
17 gave us an opportunity to come closer to the houses, because there was a
18 line established about the village.
19 Q. Are you trying to tell me that there was no fighting waged during
20 the winter offensive, a huge winter offensive in January, February, and
21 March 1993?
22 A. I will tell you that I left on the 7th or, rather, the 9th of
23 January. I wasn't there, and I cannot tell you anything. I wasn't there,
24 and I don't know.
25 Q. All right. Thank you. Do you know that the Serbian forces had
1 recaptured Kravica?
2 A. When we returned.
3 Q. Did you perhaps hear that -- that fierce fighting was involved in
4 this recapture?
5 A. As I said, I was in Serbia until the 23rd of March. So did my
6 wife, because her father was killed.
7 Q. All right. Mr. Rankovic, let us go back now to the photographs of
8 the houses that you identified today.
9 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please put on the
10 ELMO the photograph number 01087870. 22 October 2004
11 Q. That's the photograph which was shown immediately after this
12 memorial plaque on the wall. I said before we saw these photographs.
13 Could you please look at this photograph on the ELMO. Can you see
14 it? Isn't it true, Mr. Rankovic, that this damage could have been
15 inflicted only by heavy artillery weapons? You and I survived the war,
16 isn't that true?
17 A. I fully believe that this could be caused by heavy artillery, but
18 I cannot say where and how. I don't know.
19 Q. Doesn't this indicate that there was burning or, rather, damage
20 caused by artillery?
21 A. I don't want to be -- to lie to you or to myself. This was caused
22 by artillery. I came here to tell the truth.
23 Q. Now I would like to draw your attention to the house number
24 01087843. Could we please just correct in the transcript -- it's all
25 right now. Thank you very much.
1 The house beneath. Thank you.
2 Witness, could you please look at the house.
3 A. Yes, I'll look at it.
4 Q. Doesn't this photograph indicate at all any damage caused by fire
5 or is it something else?
6 A. This is most certainly the result of burning, because you see that
7 the windows were torn away and all the slabs were ruined. And my house as
8 well as all the other newly built houses suffered the same fate.
9 Q. According to which do you draw this conclusion?
10 A. Judging by the wall. Judging by the interior, the basement, 22
11 October 2004 the -- how could this wooden part be black and the rest of
12 the house white?
13 Q. What are you are describing I honestly don't see.
14 A. I pass by this house on a daily basis. Therefore, I know.
15 Q. Let me put to you another question. Mr. Rankovic, do you know who
16 did this?
17 A. It was not us, certainly. No one would set his own house on fire.
18 We took years and worked places in order to be able to build these houses.
19 Q. I'm just asking you, do you know who did this and when?
20 A. This was done on the 7th of January. And who did this, I don't
21 know their names. I didn't see them. Do you want me to finish?
22 Q. Did you see this with your own eyes that this house was set on
23 fire and who did this?
24 A. We saw with our own eyes that it was burning, but we don't know
25 who set it on fire. It wasn't their neighbours, definitely.
1 Q. I'm asking you whether it was a civilian or a soldier.
2 A. I made a statement that both the civilians and the soldiers and
3 the people dressed in white were involved there, but I don't know who
4 exactly put this house on fire.
5 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
6 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I wouldn't
7 dwell on this issue any longer.
8 Q. I will only ask you one more question. At the time when the war
9 was going on in 1992 and early 1993, did you had any knowledge of the
10 command structure of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. No, we didn't.
12 Q. Thank you very much.
13 A. I haven't finished. No, we didn't. I only knew that we were
14 attacked, that our neighbours from those villages attacked, but who
15 commanded them, whether it was Huso or Haso, or anyone else, I never saw
16 them and I cannot say. I cannot put the blame on anyone because I don't
17 know them.
18 Q. That means that you -- you had been attacked by your neighbours
19 from the local surrounding villages.
20 A. Yes, from those directions.
21 Q. Thank you very much.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions,
23 Your Honours.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Is there -- my apologies to
25 the interpreters for not switching on the mike.
1 Is there a re-examination, Ms. Richardson?
2 MS. RICHARDSON: Yes, just quickly, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please go through it as quickly as you can.
4 Re-examined by Ms. Richardson:
5 Q. Mr. Rankovic, you just testified that when you were asked about
6 the attacks from the neighbouring villages, do you know whether the
7 neighbours in those neighbouring villages attacked your village, or did
8 they come from that direction?
9 A. They came from that direction. So logically if the attack came on
10 to Rankovici, perhaps it could have come from Cizmici and any other
11 direction. I don't know. That was an all-out attack on the village. So
12 it came from the sides where these villages are situated.
13 Q. And these are Muslim villages?
14 A. Yes, they are.
15 Q. Now, Defence counsel inquired whether or not soldiers and
16 combatants had been killed in the attack on 7 January 1993. Could you
17 tell us, the individuals who died as a result of that attack on your
18 village, were they members of the village guard?
19 A. They were members of the village guard. For example, in Rankovici
20 or Djurici and Kijevici, a smaller number of them were killed on
21 Christmas, but we sustained a heavier attack. And this is the left side,
22 and that is where the majority of the fatalities took place, because
23 families were closer knit together, and the families in Djermani and the
24 other hamlet suffers less.
25 Q. So were they members of the VRS or were they members of the
1 village guard?
2 A. Members of the village guard. As I said, we had the uniforms we
3 had been issued long before the war. We put them on what we had, just as
4 they did. Some of them wore civilian clothes, et cetera.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Just answer the question. Don't tell us a whole
7 MS. RICHARDSON:
8 Q. And respect to the women you saw during the attack, did the women
9 come at the same time the village was attacked initially, or did they come
10 later? The women you observed taking items away from the village.
11 A. They came later.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: That's it, finished.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They came later after their army or
14 combatants, or call it what you will. They first took things away, and
15 then the women followed, took oxen-driven carts and took away the
16 remaining possessions.
17 MS. RICHARDSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Mr. Rankovic, you still have a few
19 minutes to bear with us. Judge Brydensholt would like to put a question
20 to you.
21 Questioned by the Court:
22 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: You mentioned that you had uniforms which all
23 of your -- your other citizens in your village also had, and you mentioned
24 that the Muslims as well had some sort of uniforms which they have had for
25 many years, I understand. Among the uniforms you had from your time
1 serving in the army, was there any white uniform for winter combat or was
2 that a new thing you saw in January?
3 A. At that time, we saw just a few white uniforms. They were not
4 exactly military, and there were some civilians. So there were just a
5 few, about ten or a dozen of them.
6 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: But could that white uniform, or what you call
7 it, be something the persons have got from the army when they were
8 demobilised, when they have served their time in the army, or was it their
9 private -- what kind of clothes was it?
10 A. We who served the army earlier had the same uniforms. Then you
11 had civilians. And as for these, I wouldn't know whether they were army
12 personnel or not. I really don't know.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge --
14 JUDGE ESER: The question I had had is already answered.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, I see. All right. Okay. I just want this
16 because the question Judge Brydensholt put to you is very important.
17 Basically you and your other villagers that had, as you explained to us,
18 in your household uniforms that you use once every two years, amongst
19 those uniforms did you also have white uniforms? You and your colleagues
20 in the village and in the area where you lived. For example, if on the
21 7th of January you decided to wear a white uniform, would you have found
22 one in your house or not?
23 A. No. We didn't have those white uniforms. As I said, during the
24 attack by our neighbours, I saw that some ten or 15 of them were wearing
25 white, but we didn't have such uniforms. And basically the previous army
1 never had this kind of uniform before.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So, Mr. Rankovic, on behalf of
3 Judge Brydensholt who comes from Denmark and Judge Eser who comes from
4 Germany and myself, my name is Carmel Agius, and I come from the island of
5 Malta, and on behalf of the Trial Chamber and also of the Tribunal I would
6 like to thank you for having come over here to The Hague to give evidence
7 in this trial against Naser Oric.
8 You will be escorted now by Madam Usher, and you will be given all
9 the attention and assistance you require in order to facilitate your
10 return back home. On behalf of everyone in this courtroom, I would like
11 to wish you a safe journey back home.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: So I think we can call it a day. We will resume on
15 Tuesday, please, God. And the next witness you, you know where he is, and
16 we will all be endeavouring to finish with that witness on Tuesday. Have
17 a nice weekend, a long weekend this time. Thank you.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.40 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day of
20 October, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.