1 Tuesday, 18 January 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So good, everybody.
6 Mr. Registrar, could you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case Number
8 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And good morning to you.
10 Mr. Oric, I just want to make sure that you are receiving
11 interpretation as usual in your own language.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, distinguished
13 gentlemen, good morning. Yes, I am receiving interpretation into my
14 language and I can follow the proceedings. Yes.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You may sit down.
16 Appearances for the Prosecution.
17 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning my learned
18 friends from the Defence team. My name is Jan Wubben, lead counsel for
19 the Prosecution, together with Jose Doria as counsel, and Ms. Donnica
20 Henry-Frijlink as our case manager.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Wubben, and good morning to you and
22 your team.
23 Appearances for Naser Oric.
24 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. I am
25 Vasvija Vidovic, together with Mr. John Jones, appearing for Mr. Naser
1 Oric. Together with us our legal assistant Jasmina Cosic and our case
2 manager, Geoff Roberts.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you, Madam, and your
5 Any preliminaries before we bring in the witness?
6 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.
7 MR. JONES: Just one, Your Honour. We received the Prosecution
8 response to our motion regarding authenticity and Rule 68 disclosure --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I haven't read it. I have it. I just got it on my
10 desk, but I haven't read it.
11 MR. JONES: Yes. It's just to say that we wish to seek leave to
12 file a reply, and under Rule 126 bis, it appears that could be -- leave
13 could be sought either orally or in writing. I propose to seek your leave
14 orally just because obviously it saves some time and resources in making a
15 written application. And it might -- it would save the Prosecution
16 possibly also fulfilling the need to reply a response to our application
17 for leave and it goes on and on.
18 The basis, briefly, would be that the Prosecution response refers
19 to the testimony of Ms. Manas and that obviously came after we filed our
20 motion and so that raises matters which we would like to reply to. So
21 that's the basis for our application. And also the Sokolac CD index we
22 received after -- we found after filing our motion.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. As I start, would you have an objection
24 to the Defence filing a reply to your response?
25 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: As I said, I haven't read it. I don't know if my
2 colleagues have read it. My idea is to reserve our decision until after
3 the break, in the meantime we will have seen it, we will consult, and we
4 will take into consideration what you have said and of course there is no
5 objection on the part of the Prosecution, and we'll probably come with a
6 positive reaction.
7 MR. JONES: I'm obliged, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: After the break.
9 MR. JONES: Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: But I don't promise it obviously because we may
11 not -- we haven't seen it, so we have to read it.
12 MR. JONES: Yes, naturally.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. Good
15 morning, everyone.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Mr. Mitrovic. And --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Judge, please.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sorry.
19 Good morning, Mr. Mitrovic, and welcome back. Today as you see we
20 tried to not lose time and to have you escorted into the courtroom as
21 quickly as possible so that we try and start and hopefully finish. I
22 won't promise you that we will finish today, I don't know, but it is
23 possible. We'll try. If we don't, we will continue tomorrow and you will
24 certainly finish tomorrow.
25 You are going to give evidence very soon, and our rules require
1 that before you do so you make a solemn declaration. That's -- would be
2 equivalent to an oath, tantamount to the following, that in the course of
3 your testimony, you will be speaking the truth, the whole truth, and
4 nothing but the truth. The text of this solemn declaration is contained
5 in a piece of paper that Madam Usher is going to hand to you now. Please
6 read it out aloud and that will be your solemn undertaking with us.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you. You may sit down.
10 WITNESS: BRANIMIR MITROVIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: You are a student. What are you studying?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a student when I gave the
14 statement. That's why it's written in the statement that I'm enrolled in
15 a school.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: What are you doing now?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From time to time I work in the
18 construction business, whatever job I can find.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. The procedure here is a very simple one, and
20 I'm trying -- going to try and explain it to you. You will first be asked
21 a series of questions by Mr. Wubben and -- who is representing the
22 Prosecution here; he is the lead counsel. He will then be followed by
23 Mr. Jones, who is one of the lawyers defending Naser Oric. In accordance
24 with the solemn declaration that you have made, your duty is to answer all
25 questions truthfully and fully, irrespective of who's putting them to you.
1 In other words, you do not distinguish between questions coming from the
2 Prosecution, because it's the Prosecution that have summoned you here, and
3 questions from the Defence. You treat them the same; that is your
4 responsibility. You are a witness of the Tribunal now, a witness of the
5 court, and your duty is towards justice and truth.
6 Do you -- have I made myself clear?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [No interpretation].
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
9 So, Mr. Wubben, I leave him in your hands. You can -- with regard
10 to the preliminaries, you can go ...
11 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Examined by Mr. Wubben:
13 Q. Good morning, Witness. I will start with my questions now.
14 First question is related to your personal background. Your name
15 is Branimir Mitrovic?
16 A. [No interpretation].
17 Q. Your nickname is Branko?
18 A. Yes.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it -- one moment, is it Branko or Uki?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Branko is the name they refer to me
21 while I was imprisoned, and Uki is the name I got after the exchange.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
23 MR. WUBBEN:
24 Q. Is your date of birth the 1st May of 1985? I can't hear your
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You were born in Bajina Basta in Serbia?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Your ethnic origin is Serbian?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You are educated as a waiter? I can't hear you. Will you please
7 speak up loud for the microphone.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And speak into the microphones, please, because
9 otherwise we won't -- there are interpreters behind you that have to
10 translate what you say into English and into French. So please try to
11 help us. Thanks.
12 MR. WUBBEN:
13 Q. Let me take you back to the beginning of January 1993. You were
14 living in Serbia in Bajina Basta?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. With your family?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is it correct that you were taken that month - so that's January,
19 beginning January 1993 - by your uncle from Serbia to another place?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What's the name of that place?
22 A. It was Zarkovici village, formerly known as Skelani.
23 Q. And when was that, what date?
24 A. On the 15th.
25 Q. And where were you taken to my your uncle?
1 A. What do you mean where?
2 Q. To what place were you taken. You were brought to a house, a
3 building or...
4 A. He took me to his house in the village.
5 Q. Were your -- were you taken as well to your grandparents?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. Is the name of your grandmother Ivanka Mitrovic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And the name of your grandfather Vidoje Mitrovic?
10 A. Right.
11 Q. And were you taken to the house of your grandparents?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you stay the night in the house of your grandparents?
14 A. Yes. That's where I spent the night.
15 Q. Can you tell the Judges what happened the day after the date of
16 your arrival when you stayed in the house of your grandparents. You
17 arrived on the 15th of January, you told the Judges. What happened on the
18 16th of January?
19 A. On the 16th, in the morning, my grandmother woke me, or rather I
20 woke up myself hearing shooting. I had no idea what was going on. I
21 thought it could be the neighbours because it was their family saints day,
22 and I thought they were shooting in the air. Anyway, my grandmother took
23 me to the basement of the new house next to the old house where I had
24 spent the night. And when I entered that house I stood in the doorway
25 with a view of the meadows outside the village. I was lucky at that
1 moment because a bullet came and hit the floor right between my feet.
2 After that, my grandmother grabbed me and took me to the other end
3 of that room inside the house to hide me behind a cupboard. We spent some
4 time hiding behind the cupboard. And after that my grandmother took me by
5 the hand and took me out of the house. As we were leaving, I noticed a
6 man on the terrace of that new house. The man was dressed in a camouflage
7 uniform. He didn't say anything. He just looked at us. My grandmother
8 took me to a basement elsewhere in the village, the basement of an old
9 house that had not been in use for years at the time.
10 So we entered the basement and stayed there for a while. There
11 was a little window next to the door through which I could look outside.
12 My grandmother looked as well. I could see men in camouflage uniforms,
13 that is soldiers, some of them wore berets, some of them wore red ribbons.
14 I thought that they were Serb soldiers because of those berets and red
15 ribbons, but my grandmother put me right.
16 After a while, the shooting was still going on outside, and a man
17 knocked on our door and opened. My grandmother was standing by the window
18 at that moment. He asked if there was anybody else in there besides her,
19 and she said there was me, her grandson. He had hand grenades around his
20 belt. He was bearded, a large, big man. He said, You are under arrest.
21 You have to come with us to Srebrenica.
22 So we followed him. We had no choice.
23 Q. One moment, please. May I stop you there. When you took hide in
24 that basement together with your grandparents, did your grandparents or
25 you have any weapons with you?
1 A. I'm sorry I didn't mention that. In that basement with us was our
2 grandfather -- my grandfather who had a rifle, but he wasn't using it and
3 he wasn't able to use it. It was just hanging there on a hook, but it
4 wasn't an operational rifle.
5 Q. What happened with that rifle? Did you know or ...
6 A. The rifle remained there after we were arrested. When we were
7 arrested, the grandfather wasn't because he was hiding behind the door, so
8 they didn't see him.
9 Q. Next question is: Was your grandfather a kind of soldier or a
10 guard or not; do you know?
11 A. I think he was a civilian because he was already old.
12 Q. Did he wear civilian clothes or did he wear a uniform?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. The yes is referring to what, a uniform or civilian clothes?
15 A. He was wearing civilian clothes.
16 Q. My next question is related to this man that knocked on the door
17 and asked your grandmother who were in. Can you describe this person
18 further. You spoke about hand grenades. Let me first with --
19 A. Yes. He had hand grenades on his belt. He also had an automatic
20 rifle. In his hand he was carrying a Motorola. I learned later it was a
21 Motorola, but I could recognise it for a radio device even then. He had
22 dark hair. He was wearing a camouflage uniform.
23 Q. A military uniform? When you --
24 A. Yes, yes. I said a camouflage uniform.
25 Q. And he was wearing an automatic rifle. Can you describe that
1 further or ...
2 A. All I know was that it was an automatic rifle -- that bears
3 distinction that I could make. I could distinguish an automatic rifle
4 from the kind that my grandfather had. I didn't know at the time any
5 specific types of rifles.
6 Q. So your grandmother was then referring to you. And what happened?
7 I will rephrase my question, sorry. Your grandmother confirmed to
8 this man that you were also there, and what happened then after this?
9 A. The man said that we were under arrest and that we had to follow
10 him, that we were going to Srebrenica. Until then -- as I child I had
11 never heard of Srebrenica before. It was a totally unknown concept to me.
12 And when he said we were under arrest, I realised what was going on.
13 Q. When you took a look at that man, he was a soldier, military man?
14 Did he have -- yes? Can you confirm that or not?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he's already answered you that he was
16 wearing a camouflage uniform, so -- carrying an automatic gun with hand
17 grenades around his belt. I mean, what else do you expect?
18 MR. WUBBEN:
19 Q. So this man was a soldier?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Was this man a Serbian soldier or a man from another ethnic
23 A. As soon as he said, You are under arrest, I knew that he was not
24 of the same ethnicity as we. Things became clear the moment he said, You
25 are under arrest.
1 Q. So -- what ethnicity he was? Did you find out? Was this a
2 Croatian or a Muslim or another Serb, as you told the Court?
3 A. I learned later in Srebrenica after my arrest, I learned from
4 talking to various people about my arrest - I didn't learn for certain -
5 but I learned that it was Naser Oric. I said it in my statement. That's
6 the most I could find out, based on the stories I heard from Muslim people
7 during my detention in Srebrenica before I met him.
8 Q. Now, my next question will be: This man referred to as Naser
9 Oric, did he wear also a belt or a ribbon around his head like the other
10 soldiers you noticed around in Skelani upon your arrest?
11 A. Well, I can't remember really now.
12 Q. What did you notice when you left this basement after your arrest
13 by this person referred to as Naser Oric? Where were you taken to?
14 A. We were taken towards the exit from the village. As we were
15 walking, next to us was the house of a neighbour who was celebrating this
16 saints day, St. John Day. And there were people in civilian clothes
17 sitting there drinking and eating the food and the drink that had been
18 prepared for the celebration. So we passed by those people, and we
19 emerged on a meadow where we found more Serb people who had been arrested.
20 There were also more soldiers, armed soldiers. When we arrived there, a
21 soldier gave me his hand and hid me in a ditch to save me from being shot
22 because the shooting was going on. My grandmother was begging all the
23 time that they let me go; however, they didn't.
24 Q. When you saw these soldiers around during that shooting and taking
25 subsequently to your arrest -- to another place, these soldiers were
1 Muslim soldiers or from another ethnic origin?
2 A. Yes, that much is certain. I am certain about that because there
3 were a number of other women from the village, too. That was enough for
4 me to realise what was going on, even though I was very small. Everything
5 became clear.
6 And I forgot to say that as we were being taken away from the
7 village, there was cattle to the left of the road, and I saw a woman.
8 When I first looked she didn't seem familiar, but then I looked again and
9 I realised that it was my grandmother, or rather my mother's mother. She
10 was still alive then, at least to the extent that I could see. I couldn't
11 linger for long enough to be sure, but she was lying on the ground. And
12 then we walked on. They continued to take us away from the village.
13 That's what I forgot to say a while ago.
14 Q. And where were you taken to subsequently?
15 A. They were taking us to that field that I told you about a while
17 Q. And were you taken to that field by those Muslim soldiers you
18 referred to?
19 A. Yes. The Muslim soldier who took us out of the village, that
21 Q. And who did you meet at that field besides yourself? Was your
22 grandmother also with you?
23 A. Yes. My grandmother was brought there with me to that field.
24 Q. And do you recall any other names of ...
25 A. Yes. I remembered Cana, Micana, Stojanka, an old woman who has
1 since died, Mara, and Cane's mother. It was a mistake that I made. It
2 wasn't actually Cane's wife; it was Cane's mother.
3 Q. Cana, where did he come from, from what place, what village?
4 A. I can't remember right now. I may have said it earlier.
5 Q. Can you tell me something about the state of health of this Cana?
6 A. How should I put it? He was a handicapped person. There was
7 something wrong with his leg. He had a bad leg, I think it was the left
8 leg, and his arm, too, was sort of limp like his leg. He did not seem to
9 be in good health.
10 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, may I lead the question to the village
11 where he -- where this Cana comes from?
12 Q. Is it correct that this Cana comes from a place called Pribidol?
13 A. Yes, I think so. I'm not exactly familiar with those.
14 Q. To what village did you and those other persons who were captured
15 go to?
16 A. We passed Mount Gradina. There was a lot of shooting. We were
17 taken through woods and across creeks to a village that I later learned
18 was called Radijevici. I was told later on that that was what the village
19 we were brought to was called. We were supposed to spend the night there,
20 all of us who had been arrested. The escort consisted of one soldier only
21 who brought us to that village. That same night they let me fire a rifle.
22 My grandmother was frightened, but I told her not to be.
23 Q. And where did you finally arrive, in what village?
24 A. You mean after Radijevici?
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. I think the name of the next village was Kragljivoda. We suddenly
2 emerged out of a shrubbery and reached this village called Kragljivoda.
3 Q. And your final destination you did, what town was that you
4 referred to?
5 A. The town was Srebrenica. From Kragljivoda we were taken on a
6 lorry to Srebrenica, straight from one place to the other, to the old
7 police station, the SUP building.
8 Q. And how do you know that the name of that old building is the old
9 police station or the SUP? You were there before or did you find out
11 A. I found out later. And also I read it on a plaque that it was a
12 police station.
13 Q. And so you were taken to that old police station. Were you taken
14 into the building? Can you tell us about that.
15 A. They took us into the building, yes.
16 Q. To what room?
17 A. I was put in the same room as the women, separately, and there was
18 another room where the men were. And I was left in the same room with the
20 Q. Was that on the basement or the first floor or I don't know? Can
21 you tell the Court.
22 A. Yes, on the first floor.
23 Q. On the first floor. Have you been interrogated on that first day
24 of arrival?
25 A. No, not the first day. Later there were interrogations.
1 Q. And did you stay the night in that old police station?
2 A. [No interpretation].
3 Q. What happened the next morning? Can you tell the Court please.
4 A. The next morning he must have obtained permission. The man who
5 was missing one arm came to take me to a flat where he fed me. I spent
6 the night at his place and I spent several days with that man.
7 Q. Now I have to stop you. Thank you. I have to stop you there
8 because I go back again -- I take you back again to that police station
9 where you spent the night.
10 Could you notice whether or not there were any guards in that old
11 police station?
12 A. Yes. Yes. There were guards.
13 Q. How did they look like? Did they wear uniforms or military
14 clothes or civilian? Can you please describe for the Court.
15 A. Well, depending, there were guards with uniforms and those wearing
16 civilian clothes, both kinds.
17 Q. Were these guards armed?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. With what, can you tell -- did you notice?
20 A. Rifles. I can't remember the type, but they were armed. I do
21 know that.
22 Q. And how did they treat you at the police station?
23 A. They treated me quite well. I was not insulted or beaten, nothing
24 like that.
25 Q. Were you -- but you were not free to go? You were detained there
1 or free to go?
2 A. Yes, I was detained there. After the first evening when I was
3 brought there, I was not free to leave.
4 Q. Now, the next morning, as you told the Court, upon military
5 authorisation you were brought to a flat. What gave that military
7 A. This is something that I don't know. I wasn't told. But probably
8 that man would not have been allowed to take me away had he not obtained
9 some sort of authorisation.
10 Q. So you were taken to a flat with that man, and you spent several
11 nights over there?
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters didn't get the witness's answer.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Could you please repeat your answer. Speak
14 into the microphones because the interpreters couldn't hear you.
15 Yeah, usher, perhaps you could move the microphones a little bit
16 nearer, if it is possible. I don't know.
17 MR. WUBBEN:
18 Q. The question was, and I repeat: So you were taken to a flat with
19 that man and you spent several nights over there?
20 A. Yes, at his house.
21 Q. At his house. Did you spend the rest of your time at that flat or
22 were you subsequently taken to another place?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What kind of place, please tell the Court?
25 A. After that, I was taken to this restaurant -- some sort of
1 restaurant. I'm not sure what it was called. That's where I was taken.
2 Later I would stay with the lady cooks there. I slept at the flat of one
3 of these lady cooks. I shared the flat with her and her family.
4 Q. Now, can you please tell me what kind of restaurant that was. Was
5 that a common place for everybody to go or ...
6 A. Well, I believed at the time that this was a place where the
7 military took their breakfast and lunch.
8 Q. You mean that this was a place where Muslim soldiers came to eat
9 or ...
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And were you interrogated during that time when you stayed in the
12 restaurant and the flat of the cook?
13 A. No. I was interrogated later when we were in the flat of that
14 neighbour whose name, as they said, was Mandza. He asked me things about
15 the Serbian army and whether my father was armed, that sort of thing.
16 Q. I will get back to that issue later on. You speak about this
17 person. Earlier you spoke about the person -- the Muslim soldier who
18 captured you and who was referred to as being Naser Oric. Did you after
19 your arrival in Srebrenica meet this person again, this person referred to
20 as Naser Oric?
21 A. While I was staying in that restaurant, a man came over and sat
22 down. There was some sort of the bar or a trestle. He pointed his finger
23 at me. He was facing away from us, but the man pointed his finger at him
24 and said, This is Naser Oric. He is the main man around here. I can't
25 say -- he did look like that man, but I can't be sure that it was him.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 But while he was there he asked one of the lady cooks whether this was the
2 young boy that had been arrested, and she said, Yes. As the two of them
3 were talking, I heard Naser using the very same words saying, No one is to
4 touch this young lad, this is something that I heard, and this person
5 looked very much like the man from before but I was not entirely sure.
6 Q. So you stayed over there in the restaurant. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes. Yes, I spent quite a number of days there.
8 Q. Did you visit beside that restaurant, that military restaurant,
9 also other buildings --
10 MR. JONES: I don't think he agreed it was a military restaurant.
11 He said how soldiers would sometimes come and have breakfast and lunch, so
12 I would object to that characterisation.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think it's a characterisation; it's probably
14 Mr. Wubben's English.
15 MR. JONES: Could be, but can he just refer to the restaurant.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Point taken. You don't need to worry about,
17 Mr. Wubben. Go ahead.
18 MR. WUBBEN:
19 Q. Were you taken to another building in Srebrenica, apart from that
20 restaurant where the military came to eat?
21 A. Yes. I was taken to the hospital and to the prison. I would be
22 taken to the prison almost on a daily basis when the cooks brought the
23 prisoners food, breakfast or lunch.
24 Q. And the cook who brought the food to the prison, was that the cook
25 you stayed with?
1 A. Depending. It wasn't always that one, but very often she was the
3 Q. And that was on a daily basis during your stay in Srebrenica, that
4 you visited --
5 A. Going there, you mean?
6 Q. Yeah.
7 A. Yes. Whenever I was in the restaurant, almost every single time,
8 I went to see my grandmother.
9 Q. Can you tell me where that prison building is in Srebrenica?
10 A. It's just behind the court.
11 Q. Can you describe to the Judges how this prison looked like, the
12 interior of it, upon entering. What do you see?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I -- Mr. Wubben, to help you and to get over this
14 quicker, if you have got anything, either video or photos, to show him
15 perhaps we can go through it faster. Because I don't think this is
16 something that there are contentions about. You know, I mean. It's -- so
17 if we could show him either a video that you have or photos, he would
18 recognise the place, and that would be it and we could move.
19 MR. WUBBEN: Okay.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: If you agree with it. Because if you have some
21 other reason why you are asking -- then obviously I will let you ask the
23 MR. WUBBEN: It will limit the questions. The purpose was not a
24 direct refreshment from looking at the video but upon his own recollection
25 and words. But I'm able now to limit my question.
1 Q. So you paid a visit frequently to your grandmother?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you described the -- where your grandmother was in the prison.
4 She was in a cellar, a room? Can you please tell the Court.
5 A. Yes, she was in a room.
6 Q. How did the room look like?
7 A. It was more like a cell. It was a room in actual fact, but it
8 looked very much like -- I'm not sure how I should put it. It wasn't
9 quite finished in a manner of speaking or decorated.
10 Q. Were there beds, chairs?
11 A. Only mattresses. There was a stove there that they were given for
13 Q. How was your grandmother doing in that room, that cell?
14 A. I think it was fine. Whenever I came, she never complained that
15 anyone had touched her or anything like that.
16 Q. Were you able to visit that cell on arrival in the prison, to go
17 into the cell?
18 A. Yes. Every time the meals were brought, I was allowed to enter.
19 Q. So you were more or less free to go in the prison?
20 A. Yes, but not all over the place. Around that room, yes, I was
21 allowed to enter.
22 Q. Did you also notice a toilet?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you describe what you saw?
25 A. It was quite untidy. The tiles were in pieces. Quite untidy.
1 Q. And were there more than one toilet?
2 A. I only saw that one.
3 Q. What can you tell the Court about guards? Were there any guards,
4 and, if so, how were they dressed?
5 A. There were guards, like I said before. Sometimes they would be
6 dressed in civilian clothes and sometimes they would be wearing camouflage
7 uniforms, the military uniforms, the green kind, same thing as before.
8 Q. And how did the guards treat the female prisoners, did you notice?
9 A. At least to the extent that I noticed, they were not very strict
10 with them. I did notice once that a girl ended up on a stretcher, which
11 probably meant that a guard had slapped her, which would seem to imply
12 that there was more severe treatment meted out to these female prisoners
13 as well.
14 Q. Well, please, there's no need for speculation. I just asked you
15 what you noticed. It's a notice -- notification.
16 Besides these female prisoners, were there also male prisoners?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Were they also put into a cell or a room?
19 A. Yes, the room.
20 Q. Where was this cell or room? Was that close to the female room
21 for the female prisoners were?
22 A. At the end of the hall.
23 Q. At the end of a hall. How do you mean?
24 A. The door was straight down the corridor. There was a room, one to
25 the left and one to the right. And this door was at the end of the
2 Q. Have you been able to take a look in that cell as well, in the
3 cell of the male prisoners?
4 A. It did happen a couple of times that I could look, but I was not
5 really allowed, like, in that other room.
6 Q. And what did you see when you took a look into that cell when you
7 were able to do so?
8 A. There were quite a number of men there in a poor state. They were
9 lying on the floor on blankets. That's what it was like. They were a
10 sorry sight.
11 Q. You tell a number of -- quite a number of. Can you give an
12 estimation to what extent -- how many men you saw?
13 A. It's difficult to say exactly. I can't be certain about it now.
14 I couldn't commit myself.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: But roughly. If you don't remember with exact
16 precision, it doesn't matter. But a rough estimate. Were there more than
17 ten or less than ten?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thereabouts. I would say 15 and
19 upwards, but there were certainly 15 men there, that's as least as much as
20 I can remember now.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Does that explain it?
22 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, thank you.
23 Q. Did you also witness how the guards treated the male prisoners?
24 A. Yes. I was able to see several times. I looked on as they were
25 beating them. That was at least what I saw how the guards treated them.
1 Q. How many times did you witness any beatings of those prisoners?
2 A. Well, maybe two or three times, possibly more.
3 Q. And where did those beatings take place or those -- of those male
5 A. It was out in the hall, just outside that room.
6 Q. Earlier you referred to a hall or a corridor. What do you mean?
7 A. Well, you leave the room and you have the hall right there, just
8 next to the door, if you know what I mean.
9 Q. Yes. My question now is: There is a corridor and a hall. Where
10 did the beatings in effect took place?
11 A. In that hall just outside the room. They would take people out of
12 the room and start beating them right there, close to the wall.
13 Q. Sorry. Could you repeat then again. Because just outside the
14 room, as you told the Court, there was a corridor. And at the end of the
15 corridor there was this room of the male prisoners. That means that
16 outside the door of the male prisoners, there's still the corridor. Let's
17 revisit that --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: This is why I told you before and if you have either
19 a video or photos, go straight to them because we would have spared this.
20 As I suspect that we are having interpretation -- in the sense
21 that we are being told it's a hall when in actual fact it's a hallway or a
22 corridor that is meant. But I don't know, because although I know a few
23 words of the witness's language, I don't know it all. So I can't
24 really -- and I wasn't following him in his own language.
25 When you saw these things happening with these -- to these male
1 prisoners, where did you see these things happening, in which part of the
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said a moment ago it was a
4 corridor, a hallway. At the end of the hallway, there was a room where
5 the men were, the men's cell. So it was a corridor or a hallway. At the
6 end of the hallway there was the men's cell. They would just take them
7 outside of the cell. They wouldn't take them anywhere else. Just outside
8 of the men's cell they would be beaten.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I think that explains it as I suspect.
10 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you.
11 Q. So they were beaten outside the cell. By who were they beaten if
12 you know -- sorry. By who were they beaten --
13 A. Well, by the guards.
14 Q. So --
15 A. The guards beat them, but also sometimes I cannot say precisely
16 who these men were, but I know they worked there as guards.
17 Q. And how did they beat them?
18 A. With wooden clubs that looked like baseball bats, with bars, with
19 their hands, with their feet, whatever was convenient.
20 Q. And how long did those beatings last?
21 A. Sometimes they would last for 15, 20 minutes.
22 Q. And were they beaten up one person by one person or several
23 persons at the same time?
24 A. It depended from time to time. Sometimes they would beat one man
25 alone, sometimes they would beat several men at the same time, taking them
1 out in groups.
2 Q. What was the reactions of those male prisoners while they were
3 beaten up?
4 A. They moaned, they shrieked, they cried.
5 Q. Did you notice also the consequences of these beatings to the
6 bodies of -- or faces of the prisoners?
7 A. Yes, I did. I could see that perfectly well, I could see the
8 wounds, injuries, blood, bruises.
9 Q. And were you able also to identify the name of one or more
10 prisoners who were beaten up like that?
11 A. Yes. There is a man I still know and see today. His name is
12 Ilija. His home village is Cosici. I singled him out because he was
13 frequently taken out alone. He was beaten frequently. I don't know if
14 there was a particular reason for it, but anyway I remarked upon him and I
15 remember him.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Wubben, let me clear this up, I think, at this
18 You told us before that you were taken together with these cooks
19 to the prison several times, that you went with them several times. Would
20 this be once a day or more than once a day? And if it's -- let's answer
21 that question first.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean in one day how many times
23 we would go to the prison?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sometimes we would go twice a day.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: And would that be during the day or also during the
2 evening or during the night?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Always by day.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
5 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you.
6 Q. For how long did you stay in Srebrenica?
7 A. 21 days.
8 Q. And what did you notice about the men being in charge in
9 Srebrenica? Who were in charge in Srebrenica? Did you notice any names
10 or persons?
11 A. I would often see and hear Muslim people talking. I understood
12 from their conversations that it was Naser and a man named Mandza. And
13 just before my exchange, I found out there was also a Zulfo Tursun as I
14 learned later. At the time I only heard his name as Zulfo.
15 Q. Earlier this morning you spoke already about this person called
16 Mandza with a view to any interrogation. Can you tell the Court about
18 A. Do you mean what he looked like to --
19 Q. No. About this person. He interrogated you?
20 A. Yes. While I was staying at his apartment -- in fact, the people
21 who brought me to his apartment said that that was his name, Mandza.
22 Q. And what was his function being in charge in Srebrenica?
23 A. I don't know. But I know that people said that -- I don't know
24 which way to put it.
25 Q. Do you recall that he put questions to you in the field of
2 A. Do I remember if he asked me questions then? Yes, he asked me
3 questions while we were at his apartment.
4 Q. Regarding what issues?
5 A. He asked me questions about the Serb army, about my dad --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We've covered this already, Mr. Wubben.
7 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, only that this person called Mandza
8 interrogated him, he confirmed in the earlier stage. And then I moved to
9 another area adding to it --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. If you look at the transcript you will find
11 that he has already said that this Mandza asked him about the Serbian army
12 and about his father, whether he was a soldier and -- he's already said
14 MR. WUBBEN: I apologise.
15 MR. JONES: Also, Your Honour, the witness keeps saying he was
16 asked questions. Mr. Wubben insists on being interrogated.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And this was a 7-year-old boy being
18 interrogated, you know? I mean ...
19 MR. WUBBEN:
20 Q. About this other person Zulfo, what can you tell me about him,
21 Zulfo Tursun?
22 A. Zulfo Tursun I saw for the first time when the exchange took
23 place. Outside the prison there were men, and I realised who Zulfo was, I
24 realised which one was Zulfo. Zulfo was teasing this man called Cana,
25 that he would not be exchanged because he had attempted an escape before.
1 Cana indeed escaped from the prison once before and was caught and taken
2 back. But on that occasion, on the exchange day, Zulfo was telling Cana
3 that he would be punished by not being exchanged.
4 Q. Now, this Zulfo, what was his function? Why was he in charge in
5 your opinion?
6 MR. JONES: I'm not sure he said Zulfo was in charge. Again, we
7 are talking about this 7-year-old boy. I don't see where Mr. Wubben is
8 getting this idea that a 7-year-old boy knew who was in charge of
9 Srebrenica, or knew that Zulfo was in charge. Without any more
10 background, we're entering into the realms of total speculation on the
11 part of a 7-year-old.
12 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, we can find out whether or not it is
13 speculation. Someone can learn --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's stop arguing, Mr. Wubben and Mr. Jones.
15 Mr. Mitrovic, in your opinion from what you could see, not
16 speculating, can you tell us what kind of a role this Zulfo was filling --
17 was fulfilling or not?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Without speculating, I cannot affirm
19 that he had a specific role or what role he was playing.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Did he behave in a way which to you showed at the
21 time that he was an authority there?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, he displayed certain signs
23 of -- he displayed certain signs that could leave the impression that he
24 was somebody around there.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And who else, apart from him, displayed such signs
1 of authority?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From what I noticed on that day, it
3 was just Zulfo. In addition to that, there was Naser Oric. The time when
4 I saw him in that canteen, the restaurant, when he said that nobody must
5 touch me. And the fact that the cooks said that he was the main man
6 around there.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And that gentleman was the one who
9 said that nobody must lay their hand on me.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: And this Mandza, was he a man who showed signs of
11 authority or not in your opinion? And I don't want speculation. I want
12 your assessment at the time.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my opinion, yes. He was a man of
14 authority there.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
16 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
17 MR. WUBBEN:
18 Q. Speaking about an exchange, had your grandmother been involved in
19 any exchange?
20 A. My grandmother was released before I was. More precisely, she was
21 not exactly released. She was given an envelope that she was to take
22 somewhere. And after handing in that envelope to whomever, she was told
23 strictly that she must return to Srebrenica otherwise I would not be
25 Q. And did she return to Srebrenica?
1 A. No, she did not.
2 Q. And subsequently you were told to be exchanged as well?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. What happened? When did the exchange take place?
5 A. The day before I was transferred to the prison where I spent that
6 night. And as far as I could understand from the talk among the guards,
7 it was not yet certain that the exchange would take place the next day.
8 However, the next morning when we got up we were taken outside. And the
9 procedure began, the preparations for the exchange.
10 Q. Next question: So you were taken into the prison?
11 A. I don't understand what you mean. I said we spent the night
13 Q. Yes. Was that prison behind the court building?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. How long did you stay -- how many nights did you stay there? Was
16 it only one night or longer?
17 A. Yes, it was one night.
18 Q. And please tell what happened the following morning with a view to
19 that exchange.
20 A. They woke us up, took us outside to the yard, a former parking lot
21 as far as I understood. There were the wives of Cana and Mican present
22 there because Mican was not quite all right. The men that had been badly
23 beaten were not taken out. And from the talk among the people there, I
24 understood who Zulfo was. And that's where and when we were told that the
25 exchange would take place on that day. Until then, it was yet uncertain.
1 Q. You noticed that Cana was not quite all right. What do you mean
2 by that?
3 A. Well, what should I tell you? You could tell by looking about him
4 that he was not in possession of his mental capacities and he was not
5 physically all right either.
6 Q. And what did you find out about this person earlier referred to by
7 you as Ilija was beaten up?
8 A. I found out from the women's talk that he had been released before
9 me. It's not rumours; it's things that I've heard from the old women
10 talking about among themselves. And in addition to that, I didn't see him
11 in the last two or three days.
12 Q. So where did the exchange take place?
13 A. In a place called Vitez overlooking Srebrenica, halfway between
14 Srebrenica and Skelani.
15 Q. And did you meet your family back again?
16 A. Yes, after the exchange.
17 Q. And did you also meet this person -- this Muslim soldier who
18 captured you being named -- or referred to as Naser Oric after your
20 A. Did I meet Naser Oric after the exchange? You mean after
21 everything was over? Well, I didn't meet up with him personally, no.
22 Q. Did you ever saw a photograph or picture or a video later on in
23 the media?
24 A. Yes. I saw his picture in some newspapers, and I saw him on a
25 videotape at a friend's house.
1 Q. And was this person that you saw referred to as Naser Oric?
2 A. Yes, that's the person. That's the man whose picture I saw in the
3 newspaper and on the videotape. I don't know who made the recording, but
4 he was there.
5 Q. And did he look the same person as the person who captured you?
6 A. I said it looked very much like the person who captured us, but I
7 also said that I couldn't be sure.
8 Q. And did you also notice pictures or videos in the media referring
9 to the ICTY, the Tribunal here in The Hague?
10 A. Yes. I read some sort of chronicle or update concerning the
11 Tribunal and some coverage or newspapers, and while later I watched a
12 videotape. I didn't follow closely, but I did read something.
13 Q. And did you identify the same person referred to as Naser Oric or
15 MR. JONES: I don't understand what that question means really.
16 Is it --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I'll be dealing with it for the time being.
18 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm staying put, but I will be dealing with it very
20 soon, Mr. Jones.
21 Try to answer the question. In other words, you're being referred
22 to these photos or videos relating to the -- to this Tribunal in which
23 it's being put to you that you saw Naser Oric, it's being put to you. Do
24 you recognise that person? Did you recognise that person in those videos?
25 Let me come straight to it myself.
1 You told us in your testimony that there was more than one
2 occasion in which you came face-to-face with a person that either told you
3 himself that he was Naser Oric or you were told he was Naser Oric. The
4 first time is when you were captured in the cellar of your grandmother's
5 house. Then you met this same -- then you met another person when you
6 were in the canteen, in the restaurant, and you were told, That man is
7 Naser Oric. And you told us you're not hundred per cent sure that the
8 person you saw in the restaurant was the same person that had captured you
9 in your grandmother's home. So we may be talking of the same person; we
10 may be talking of two persons, two different persons.
11 Now, later on you saw several photos, you said, and you also saw
12 videos, and now you're also telling us you also saw photos and videos
13 relating to this Tribunal and I take it the trial of Naser Oric. You've
14 seen all these photos. I'm asking you to compare now these photos that
15 you have seen, the videos that you have seen showing this man that you say
16 is Naser Oric with the person that you saw the first time in your
17 grandmother's cellar when you were captured. Would you say that the
18 person that captured you in your grandmother's place and the person you
19 saw in these photos and videos are the same person or not? Just take them
20 one by one.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't tell. I couldn't tell
22 whether it was the same person.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And my next question is: You were told while you
24 were in the canteen, in the restaurant in Srebrenica, That person is Naser
25 Oric. Now, try to remember. The person that you saw in that restaurant
1 and the face -- the person you saw in these photos and in these videos, is
2 it the same person or not?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In that case, I can say it's
4 the same person. The person I saw later in the newspapers is the person I
5 saw in the canteen. But I cannot go as far as to say it was the same man
6 that captured us.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's it.
8 I think we can have a break now and we'll continue afterwards.
9 25 minutes.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones, we had said we will give a decision
13 on your oral request to be permitted to file a reply. Unfortunately, one
14 of us hasn't received the motion as of yet, so we will come back to it
15 after the next break.
16 MR. JONES: That's fine.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
18 Yes, Mr. Wubben, he's all yours again.
19 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honours. One question is left before
20 I will go to Sanction for a video. Please be informed that I will not
21 make use of photographs, so it will be the video.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It's up to you. I mean, we never interfere in that.
23 MR. WUBBEN:
24 Q. One question. You told the Judges that you spent the night, one
25 night in the prison prior to your exchange. That was the prison of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 building behind the Vukovar court. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In what room did you spend the night?
4 A. The room -- can I have a minute, please, to focus on this. The
5 room where the women were, that's where I spent the night.
6 Q. Was that the same room where also -- room with the women were.
7 Was that the same room where prior to that your grandmother was staying?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. WUBBEN: I would like to go now to Sanction and show part of
11 the videotape.
12 Exhibit Number P446, Your Honour. And I made a selection within
13 this tape in various parts so we can go easily.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: That's good. Go ahead with it.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Please start the video.
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. WUBBEN:
18 Q. Please, Witness, take a look at the video. Please, Witness, I
19 have a question. Do you recognise to identify this building?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What building is this?
22 A. This is the police station where I spent the night, the first
23 night following my arrival in Srebrenica.
24 Q. Was this is police station you also referred to as the SUP
1 A. Yes. It's the same building where I spent the first night.
2 MR. WUBBEN: Please continue the tape.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. WUBBEN: We are at 2 minutes, 45 seconds.
5 Q. Do you recognise this part of the building?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What is it --
8 A. This is the entrance to the police station.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. WUBBEN: Please continue the tape.
11 [Videotape played]
12 MR. WUBBEN: We arrived at 2 minutes 50 seconds.
13 Q. Do you recognise this part?
14 A. Yes. This is a flight of stairs leading to the first floor, and
15 you can see the corridor, too.
16 MR. WUBBEN: Please continue.
17 [Videotape played]
18 MR. WUBBEN: Stop.
19 Q. Do you recognise this part?
20 A. Yes. This is the reception room with the guards were.
21 MR. WUBBEN: And for the record we arrived at 2 minutes, 55
22 seconds picture.
23 Please continue.
24 [Videotape played]
25 MR. WUBBEN: Please continue. Further, please.
1 [Videotape played]
2 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you. Stop.
3 Q. So this was the staircase leading to the first floor where you
4 spent the night?
5 A. [No interpretation].
6 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you. 3 minutes 30 seconds for the record.
7 Q. And I didn't notice the oral answer, please. Did you recognise it
8 as such?
9 A. Yes, yes. These are the stairs.
10 MR. WUBBEN: Now, please continue 12 minutes, 10 seconds on the
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. WUBBEN: Stop.
14 Q. Do you recognise this building?
15 A. Yes. This is the building that I didn't recognise at the time.
16 Q. Do you recognise it now?
17 A. Yes, I do. But I do not know which specific building it is or
18 what it housed, if you know what I mean.
19 Q. Is it close to the prison?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Close to the prison behind the Vukovar building -- Vukovar court
22 building --
23 A. Yes --
24 Q. I apologise. I rephrase the question, please.
25 Is that building close to the Srebrenica court building?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 MR. WUBBEN: Please continue.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. WUBBEN: Stop, please. We arrived at 12 minutes, 44 seconds.
5 Q. Do you recognise this?
6 A. Yes. This is a passage between the court and the building that
7 I'm not familiar with. The passage leads to the prison.
8 Q. To what prison?
9 A. The Srebrenica prison where I was.
10 Q. Where you were. And also where your grandmother had been
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. WUBBEN: Please continue.
14 [Videotape played]
15 MR. WUBBEN: Stop.
16 Q. Do you recognise this picture?
17 A. Yes. To the right you can see the court building.
18 MR. WUBBEN: Please continue.
19 [Videotape played]
20 MR. WUBBEN: Stop. Thank you. We arrived 14 minutes, 14 seconds.
21 Q. Do you recognise that picture?
22 A. Yes. This is outside the prison in Srebrenica.
23 Q. Is there also an entrance to see for you or don't you recognise it
24 as such?
25 A. What do you mean an entrance? I do recognise it. There must be
1 an entrance to the prison somewhere here.
2 Q. Okay.
3 MR. WUBBEN: Please continue.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MR. WUBBEN: Stop, please.
6 Q. Do you recognise this?
7 A. Yes. That's the entrance to the prison.
8 MR. WUBBEN: For the record, we arrived 15 minutes, 23 seconds.
9 Please continue.
10 [Videotape played]
11 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you.
12 Q. Where does this door leads to, if it is a door?
13 A. To the entrance to the prison itself.
14 MR. WUBBEN: Please continue.
15 [Videotape played]
16 MR. WUBBEN: Stop, please. We arrived 16 minutes, 9 seconds.
17 Q. What do you recognise here?
18 A. This is outside the reception room where the guards used to be.
19 MR. WUBBEN: Did I already put the seconds? 16 minutes,
20 9 seconds.
21 Please continue.
22 [Videotape played]
23 MR. WUBBEN: Stop. One further. Stop. Thank you.
24 Q. Do you recognise this at 16 minutes, 51 seconds?
25 A. Yes. This is the reception room where the guards used to be.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. WUBBEN: Continue, please.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. WUBBEN: Stop. We arrived at 17 minutes, 25 seconds.
5 Q. Can you tell us what you recognise?
6 A. This is a view of the corridor inside the prison building.
7 Q. And where would you locate the prison cell of the male prisoners,
8 if so?
9 A. Straight down the corridor, at the end of the corridor.
10 Q. And when you referred to in your testimony about the beating up of
11 the male prisoners, where did it took place in this picture, if so?
12 A. Straight down. I'm not sure how I should explain. They would be
13 taken out of that room to the corridor outside the room. And it was near
14 the entrance to the lavatory next to the wall.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, please continue.
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. WUBBEN: Stop.
18 Q. Do you recognise this picture 18 minutes, 29 seconds?
19 A. No.
20 MR. WUBBEN: Please continue.
21 [Videotape played]
22 MR. WUBBEN: Stop.
23 Q. Do you recognise this picture 18 minutes, 57 seconds?
24 A. Yes, this is the lavatory.
25 Q. Was this the room referred to you as a toilet?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. WUBBEN: Please continue.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you. For the record, 19 minutes, 10 seconds.
5 Q. Do you recognise this?
6 A. Yes. This is the room in which the male prisoners were kept.
7 Q. Now, the picture before was the toilet, lavatory. It was on --
8 near this spot where the male prisoners were beaten up. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes. It was very near, next to the wall.
10 Q. Thank you very much.
11 MR. WUBBEN: That ends my questions, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Wubben.
13 Mr. Jones.
14 MR. JONES: I just want to make sure the lectern doesn't fall off
15 like last time.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: And if you need a short break, we'll give you a
17 short break.
18 MR. JONES: I think that's fine now.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Jones:
21 Q. Yes, Mr. Mitrovic, I just want to start, just so we're absolutely
22 clear about the passage of time since the events about which you're
23 testifying. You were 7 years old at the time. Correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And this was 12 years ago, so you're now 19 years old?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Isn't it right these events must seem like an eternity ago to you,
3 like a very long time ago?
4 A. Yes. It seems to me as if a long time had gone by.
5 Q. And you've no doubt spoken a lot to people over the last 12 years
6 about these events? You've told other people what happened and spoken to
7 them about it?
8 A. Yes. From time to time I've talked to some people.
9 Q. Would that include speaking to your grandmother about the events?
10 A. Well, yes. That's only to be expected, isn't it?
11 Q. Yes. So she's told you about what it was like for her, the
12 experience, what she saw, what she heard, and you've told her about your
14 A. Well, not in great detail, but I think it is only normal that we
15 discussed these things.
16 Q. It's absolutely normal, and there's no reproach at all. I just
17 want to establish that.
18 You also mentioned Ilija. I take it that's Ilija Ivanovic who you
19 still know and you still see?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And have you also spoken to Ilija about these events in
23 A. No, no.
24 Q. So you've never spoken to Ilija and Ilija has told you it was
25 terrible, I was beaten in this way or that way and that sort of thing?
1 A. No. Once we broached the subject but we didn't get very far. It
2 was not really a discussion.
3 Q. How often do you speak to Ilija or how often have you spoken to
5 JUDGE AGIUS: In which time frame are you referring? Since those
6 events to date?
7 MR. JONES: Yes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: In these last, in other words, 12, 13 years.
9 How many times have you met Ilija and spoken to him?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's really hard to say how many
11 times exactly. But we did not really discuss any details of our
12 respective experiences in Srebrenica. This is not something that we have
13 ever done.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: But have you met, say, more than --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the President, please.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you met more than five times in these 13 years?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's really difficult to say. I
18 really can't remember how many times exactly. I really don't know.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones.
20 MR. JONES:
21 Q. Now, again just as a preliminary, I think it's fair to say that
22 most people remember very little of what happened to them when they were
23 7 years old, apart from some vague recollections. So you'll forgive me if
24 I appear to be testing your recollection from time to time.
25 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, I have an objection. I don't know the
1 expertise of my learned friend regarding child psychology, meaning that he
2 can't state as an expert what a child can remember or not when it comes to
3 certain events that become very emotional for a certain child. So the
4 start of the question might be rephrased.
5 MR. JONES: I think a certain amount of common sense is permitted.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll soon find out, Mr. Wubben. We'll soon find
7 out. We'll soon find out from the questions and from the answers.
8 MR. WUBBEN: But in the beginning, Your Honour, if I may, with all
9 due respect, there is an assumption that a 7-year-old child and, in
10 addition, that people in general do not know very much about these kind of
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed.
13 Move with your questions, Mr. Jones.
14 MR. JONES: Your Honour, I think Mr. Wubben is making a song and
15 dance about nothing. It was really as a preliminary so the witness
16 understands that we want to know what he recollects and not what people
17 have told him since then, so it's just so that the witness is clear why
18 I'm asking him certain questions. I'll move on.
19 Q. Before you were captured on the 16th of January, 1993, you told us
20 that a bullet nearly hit you, I think that it went between your legs or in
21 front of you. Now, it was very dangerous in that situation, wasn't it?
22 A. Yes. That was the morning. I was on the ground floor of the new
24 Q. Yes. So there were bullets flying around. You told us there were
25 soldiers you saw with grenades. Didn't you feel safer when you were taken
1 out of the village and I'll use the term evacuated, because that's what we
2 say it was, but in any event when taken out of the village, weren't you
3 safer than when you were there?
4 A. I'm afraid I don't understand the question. What are you trying
5 to suggest?
6 Q. Did you feel safer after you were taken out of the village by the
7 soldier away from the bullets and the combat action? Is that something
8 you felt?
9 A. You mean if I felt safe personally?
10 Q. Safer when you left the village, when you were taken out.
11 A. Well, as I said when I was in that field, that soldier grabbed me
12 and sheltered me from being hit by a bullet, anyone's bullet, in a ditch.
13 And I was safe at that point because he was sheltering me. So of course
14 at that point in time I did feel safer.
15 Q. Is that the same soldier who captured you, the one who protected
16 you in the trench?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Going back to the soldier who captured you, isn't it right that he
19 was friendlier than it sounded from your testimony today in that he
20 actually said, Grandma, to your mother [sic], Grandma, is anyone else with
21 you? And he didn't actually say, You're under arrest. Would that be
23 A. Yes. He asked whether anyone was with my grandmother. I was
24 alone in a corner at the time, and then my grandma told him that her
25 grandson was around. And then after he took us out he told us we were
1 under arrest. That was later.
2 Q. He wasn't aggressive towards you and your grandmother, was he?
3 A. No, no. He wasn't -- I can't say that he was or he wasn't.
4 Q. Didn't you see a lot of that soldier during the day because you
5 were with him for -- well, I don't know, you tell us how long were you
6 with that soldier for on that day?
7 A. On that day, that soldier took us to that meadow and he didn't
8 return the same day. So I never saw him again.
9 Q. So you saw him for maybe half an hour, an hour, two hours?
10 A. No. Like I said, I didn't see him again. He took us to that
11 field or meadow and I didn't see him after that.
12 Q. I'm trying to make this point: That isn't it right that he got a
13 good look at you and you got a good look at him. You both saw each other
14 clearly over a period of time?
15 A. Yes. During the arrest, or rather whilst we were being captured
16 in the basement. And while he was taking us to that meadow, the field --
17 like I said, he took us out of the house and after that I didn't see him
18 again at all.
19 Q. Now just skipping slightly forward, you referred to seeing in a
20 restaurant a person who was pointed out to you as Naser Oric. And you
21 said that he asked, Is that the boy that was arrested? So it's right,
22 isn't it, that he didn't say, Is that the boy I arrested?
23 A. No. What I said is that I'd heard when talking to that lady
24 cook -- what he asked was, Is this the boy who was taken prisoner. He
25 never said, Is this the boy that I took prisoner.
1 Q. And he didn't recognise you, did he? He didn't show any signs of
2 recognising you?
3 A. No, no.
4 Q. Now, let's -- just going back again to when the soldier protected
5 you from bullets by covering you in a ditch. You then said that your
6 grandmother pleaded with the soldiers to let you go. My question is: At
7 this stage you're miles from your home in Bajina Basta, the village where
8 you'd been -- had fallen. You were a 7-year-old boy. Would it have felt
9 safe for you then to wander off on your own and try to get home?
10 A. Well, to recapitulate, you said something to the effect of they
11 let me go; that's not what happened. My grandmother started crying and
12 asked them to let me go, but this is not what actually happened, if you
13 see what I mean.
14 Q. I think there was a mistake in translation --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me help you, Mr. Jones.
16 At this point your grandmother is pleading with the soldier to let
17 you go. That's what you told us. Now, was it -- did it make sense to let
18 you go? Let you go where? I mean, there was fighting going on. I mean,
19 would you have been safe? Where would you have gone?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can't say. I do remember
21 that she mentioned a ruin that was just across the road, an old ruin, and
22 something about leaving me there. But this came to nothing.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Right.
24 MR. JONES: Right.
25 Q. Now, I'm moving to your arrival in Srebrenica. Now, you've
1 recalled lot of detail about events back then. And so my following
2 questions concern what you recall of seeing in and around the town of
3 Srebrenica, not just when you arrived but for the whole 21 days, I think
4 it was, that you were there. So if I could preface that by asking you:
5 You spent a lot of time on the streets in Srebrenica, didn't you, during
6 your stay?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You wandered around during the day, you didn't have anything to
9 do, and so you walked around, met people, spoke to people. Would that be
11 A. Well, I wasn't really walking around too much, but I did spend
12 time outside. Usually I would go from the restaurant to the prison or
13 from the restaurant to the flat where I stayed with that lady cook for a
14 while. That's where I walked. Once I left the flat alone but I was soon
15 returned because probably it would have been too dangerous for me to walk
16 around on my own.
17 Q. You saw the situation on the streets and roads of Srebrenica,
18 didn't you? Did you see a great many people living out on the streets,
19 camping out there, cooking food on the streets. Do you recall that?
20 A. Not really. I don't believe there were too many people there, at
21 least not that I noticed, too many cars or too many people coming and
22 going, at least to the extent that I did move about the centre of
23 Srebrenica. What I told you was all I noticed. There was a market there
24 on one of the days, and that was all.
25 Q. Right.
1 MR. JONES: I want to show just a very short video clip and just
2 to anticipate if there are any objections from the other side. It's
3 really extremely innocuous. It's a video we saw during the opening
4 speech, and it just shows some street scenes in Srebrenica in early 1993.
5 It's not evidence or anything as such. It's just to see if that will jog
6 the recollection of the witness, whether he will agree that that was what
7 the conditions were.
8 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, I had some discussion with Defence
9 counsel this morning prior to the start of the trial today. And just for
10 the record, I have not been given a copy of this video, only a reference
11 in an e-mail that there will be a video shown to this extent.
12 MR. JONES: That's okay then.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ESER: May I just ask you a question. What was the
15 distance, as far as you can remember, between this so-called restaurant
16 and the prison? In other words, how many metres do you think you had to
17 walk between the restaurant and the prison? Approximately.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me see. Maybe 80 to 100 metres.
19 There was just one building in between. You came out of the prison and
20 around the corner was the ...
21 JUDGE ESER: And when you went from this restaurant to the prison,
22 did you pass any larger place or market or something like that?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't pass by the bazaar, but
24 I saw it and I knew where it was; it was slightly further up. I learned
25 later that I was passing by a department store. Then there was the
1 courthouse and just before the courthouse there was another building. I
2 didn't go inside. I didn't know what it is.
3 JUDGE ESER: Thank you.
4 MR. JONES: If I could just follow that up with a question.
5 Q. How long did it take you to walk from the apartment where you were
6 staying to the restaurant?
7 A. I couldn't tell you that now. I read in the year 2000 my
8 statement - and I don't know how it came to be recorded there - that it
9 was a couple of metres. I don't know how it could have come across that
10 way. It wasn't a couple of metres, because that building was behind the
12 Q. So was it a 5-minute walk, 10-minute walk, 20-minute walk?
13 A. Could you repeat that question?
14 Q. Yes. When you walked from the apartment where you were staying to
15 the restaurant, roughly how long did that take you?
16 A. Let's say 10, 15 minutes.
17 Q. During that time you were walking through the streets and you were
18 seeing life around you?
19 A. Yes, for the most part.
20 Q. I'll show you the video and it's very -- I'll just show a few
21 seconds of it.
22 MR. JONES: If the booth could please play the video and I'll say
23 stop when we need to.
24 [Videotape played]
25 MR. JONES:
1 Q. Just look at that scene, those images, Mr. Mitrovic.
2 MR. JONES: That's all right. We don't need the sound.
3 And in fact we can stop there.
4 Q. Mr. Mitrovic, in fact seeing those images, does that reflect a bit
5 of what you saw when you walked the streets in early 1993 in Srebrenica?
6 A. I did not see scenes like this, nothing like what I saw on the
7 screen now. I probably didn't go around that area. I must have moved in
8 a different area of Srebrenica, because I didn't see scenes like this. I
9 could see people milling about. I could see that bazaar, whatever they
10 were selling there, and that's it.
11 Q. Let's speak about conversations which you might have had. I'll
12 put it to you that people talk to young children quite naturally. Do you
13 recall any conversations which you had with refugees or other Muslims
14 which they told you about where they'd come from, about what the food
15 situation was, and that sort of thing, any recollections at all?
16 A. Well, let me see. I think the situation with food wasn't very
17 good like everywhere else during the war. I ate the same food over and
18 over again every day. Myself, and I suppose the others, weren't much
19 better off.
20 Q. What I'm driving at, Mr. Mitrovic, is that you've told us this
21 morning of recalling specific conversations in the restaurant concerning
22 Naser Oric, and you've told us about very specific events. And so as I
23 mentioned, I'd be testing your memory. Can you tell us of any
24 conversation which you had in the whole time you were in Srebrenica where
25 somebody told you, a Muslim told you, about the conditions of life there?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I could hear people talking, for instance at the apartment where I
2 was staying when people gathered there at night. And I could understand
3 from what they were saying that their life wasn't easy.
4 Q. How many people were in the apartment, staying in the apartment
5 with you, approximately?
6 A. I don't know if they were a family, but four or five people were
7 staying in that apartment all the time, and there were more people coming
8 to visit in the evenings.
9 Q. Were these refugees or were these people from Srebrenica?
10 A. That much I don't know. I didn't ask and -- I didn't try to
11 elicit any information from them and I didn't dare to ask.
12 Q. Do you remember the names of any of the people who you stayed with
13 at that apartment -- who were staying at the apartment where you stayed?
14 A. No. I don't remember the names of the people I met in that
15 apartment. If I had given a statement right after the war, maybe I could
16 have remembered it then.
17 Q. You were at that apartment for more than two weeks, weren't you?
18 Would that be right?
19 A. Yes. But in those 21 days most of the time I spent in that
21 Q. That's what I'm driving at, Mr. Mitrovic, is that you spent a lot
22 of time in that apartment. You spent much less time in the prison, and
23 you spent only a brief time in the restaurant when you told us that Naser
24 Oric was pointed out to you. So I what I'm trying to establish is, is
25 this -- do you have genuine memories of Srebrenica or are you recalling
1 specific events that you've been told to recall?
2 A. No. What I remember, I remember really. And as for Mr. Naser
3 Oric, I didn't want to say that it was 100 per cent him. But it is not
4 true that I am saying things that I heard from other people before the
5 war. I'm telling things that I remember.
6 Q. Did you play with other Muslim children when you were in
7 Srebrenica during those 21 days?
8 A. Yes, yes. That kind of thing happened.
9 Q. Do you remember the names of any of your playmates in that time?
10 A. No, no.
11 Q. Now, you told us you were taken to the SUP and it was put to you a
12 couple of times that you were interrogated. Isn't it correct that you
13 were simply asked some questions, that it wasn't a fierce interrogation
14 lights in your eyes, gestapo-style interrogation, you were simply asked
15 some questions?
16 A. Right.
17 Q. It was also put to you -- in fact, it was the Prosecution who said
18 that you were removed pursuant to a military authorisation. You don't
19 actually know, do you, what authorised you to be taken from the SUP to the
20 apartment [Realtime transcript read in error "to/from"], do you?
21 A. That's right. I don't know. It must have been done with
22 somebody's approval, somebody's permission because it couldn't have been
23 possible for me to be taken there without anybody's knowledge or approval.
24 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, if I may and also be of assistance of my
25 learned friend. In the question as translated or typed out on the
1 monitor, was authorised for you to be taken to the SUP from the apartment.
2 I think it is in reverse.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: It should be -- thank you, Mr. Wubben, for pointing
4 this out. It should be the other way around.
5 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
7 MR. JONES:
8 Q. So, in other words, you assumed that someone must have authorised
9 you to be taken from the SUP. You don't know if it's civilian or military
10 or who authorised it?
11 A. Right. I have no idea.
12 Q. Now, you've mentioned a one-armed man. I think -- was he the one
13 who took you from the SUP?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. And was he a policeman as far as you know?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Do you remember that he was called --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: No means what? No, he wasn't a policeman; or no, I
19 don't know?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, he was not a policeman.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
22 MR. JONES:
23 Q. Well, he wasn't in any uniform?
24 A. No, he wasn't. And I said so before.
25 Q. Do you know whether he was called Zele. Does that name ring a
2 A. I really can't remember that. I would like to know his name
3 because he treated me decently and everything, but I really can't
5 Q. Can you describe him at all apart from the arm? Can you describe
6 his hair, for example, his hair colour?
7 A. No. All I know was that he was of medium height, slightly stalky,
8 but I can't remember his hair colour.
9 Q. That's fine. How about his age? Did you have some idea of his
11 A. I don't know. He could have been 30, 35. He was middle-aged,
12 let's say.
13 Q. And is that something which -- that was your impression at the
14 time as a 7-year-old that you saw this man and he must be between 30 and
15 35, or is that now looking back you think that he must have been that age?
16 A. Well, it's probably true that I didn't give it any thought at that
17 time. I didn't look at a person and think how old he was. But when I was
18 giving the statement in 2000, that man was mentioned and I said what I
19 said according to what I remember. I couldn't remember much. I remember
20 that he had only one arm, that he was of medium height, but not much else.
21 Q. Yes. Well, I was going to ask about your 2000 statement, because
22 in that statement - and it's page 6, seventh paragraph - I don't need to
23 refer you to the text but speaking of Mandza you said: "The Muslim
24 soldier called Mandza lived very close to the lady's apartment that I
25 stayed at. I think he was married and had two children. I think that
1 Mandza was about 33 to 34 years old at that time in 1993."
2 Now, I ask about that because I'm not sure if as a 7-year-old
3 one's able to estimate an age that exactly. So that's my question. At
4 the time you saw Mandza, did you think, Ah, he must be around 33 to 34?
5 A. No. It was an estimate in response to the questions.
6 Q. Was it suggested to you that he would have been around that age?
7 A. Do you mean that somebody else suggested it to me?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. No.
10 Q. Now, turning to the apartment where you stayed, the woman who --
11 in whose apartment you stayed was called Bahra, wasn't she? Is that
13 A. Now, again that is something that I found out later after I
14 returned from the prison. I learned that the woman's name was Bahra.
15 Q. And you were perfectly well treated the entire time you were in
16 Srebrenica, weren't you?
17 A. Yes, basically. It's true that on one occasion - and I can't tell
18 you exactly at what time it was now - I spent half a day or an entire day
19 with a man who was a bit on the rough side with me. But then that
20 incident in the canteen happened, and I thought the cook must have told
21 Naser that this man was a bit heavy-handed with me. And that's why he
22 said what he said. I mean when he said that nobody must touch me.
23 Q. And leaving that incident aside, would it be fair to say even the
24 people were pretty nice to you when you were in Srebrenica, friendly?
25 A. To me, yes.
1 Q. And you were taken to see your grandmother every day that you were
2 in Srebrenica. Would that be correct?
3 A. Every day.
4 Q. Now, we've spoken about the restaurant where you've said you saw
5 soldiers. Isn't it right that there were also refugees there as well and
6 other civilians?
7 A. I did not see civilians in the strict sense of the term, refugees
8 as you put it.
9 Q. You saw people not in uniform at the restaurant?
10 A. Yes. But they too were probably troops. I used to see them, but
11 not often. I also saw some refugees on occasion.
12 Q. And for the ones in civilian uniform or civilian clothes, are you
13 saying they had -- they all had weapons with them and that's why they're
14 troops, or are you just speculating?
15 A. Yes, some of them had weapons. That's why I say that I cannot
16 really ...
17 Q. Now, you went with the cook Bahra and I think you said with other
18 cooks to the prison with the food. Isn't it right that the food was the
19 same for the guards and the prisoners at the prison?
20 A. There was no big difference between the meals. It was much the
21 same for everybody.
22 Q. And wasn't the food that was being prepared at the restaurant and
23 taken to the prison, wasn't it pretty much the same as what the people
24 were eating throughout Srebrenica or at least in the apartment where you
1 A. Do you mean the food that was cooked in the canteen, was it
2 similar to the food I ate at the apartment with the people I was staying
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. Yes, it was much the same food for everybody. There was not much
7 Q. And the men at the prison received two meals a day. Would that be
9 A. I cannot confirm with any certainty one way or another. They did
10 get two meals a day. I can't say anything about three meals.
11 Q. It was two that I said. There might have been a mistranslation.
13 Now, as far as the women are concerned, you saw the women,
14 including your grandmother, every day. They were perfectly well-treated,
15 weren't they, as far as you could see?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And wasn't there a stove in their room to keep -- to ward off the
18 cold and to keep them warm?
19 A. Yes, there was a stove.
20 Q. Now, as far as the men's cell is concerned, you never actually
21 entered it, did you?
22 A. No, I didn't go inside, but I could look inside from the hallway.
23 I could come really close, a couple of times at least, when breakfast or
24 lunch was distributed to them.
25 Q. Did the guards stop you from going into the men's cell?
1 A. It all depends -- yes, they did stop me from going inside. But it
2 all depended on who the guard on duty was, what kind of man he was.
3 Sometimes they let me come up really close up to the door.
4 Q. Generally did you get the impression that the guards didn't want
5 you to see the men and the condition they were in?
6 A. It's difficult to say now, but I don't think looking back that
7 they wanted to keep me from seeing. But they did not generally let me go
8 there. They didn't even let me get close, except for those occasions when
9 meals were distributed.
10 Q. That's what I'm trying to understand, Mr. Mitrovic, is why the
11 guards would allow you, a 7-year-old boy at the time, to stand and watch
12 while they beat prisoners with sticks for 15 to 20 minutes as you told us.
13 Is that really right, that that occurred?
14 A. Yes, that really happened. Sometimes I would stay in the prison
15 for as long as one or two hours. I was near the reception room, and from
16 the doorway of the reception room I could see. Not with their explicit
17 permission, of course, but I could see the beatings.
18 Q. Weren't you horrified at seeing this, and wouldn't that lead you
19 to go to your grandmother and to not stand there and watch what must have
20 been a very disturbing sight?
21 A. Right. But while these men were beaten the women's cell wasn't
22 open for me to go in. Sometimes I was left in their safekeeping. And if
23 I hadn't been that young, I would have been even more horrified -- today I
24 would be more horrified than I was then.
25 Q. You said that there were sounds when the -- when the men were
1 being beaten, that they were shouting and screaming. That's something the
2 women would have heard in their cell, wouldn't they?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. If it was happening every day, then they would have heard it
5 happening every day?
6 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, isn't that speculation?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: In a way it is I think, Mr. Wubben. I think your
8 objection can only be sustained.
9 Thank you, Mr. Jones.
10 MR. JONES:
11 Q. Now, just finally a few last questions. I might be able to
12 finish, actually, fairly soon --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the President, please.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: If you are going to finish very soon, do you have
16 the next witness here or not?
17 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour.
18 MR. JONES: Apologies. I did say yesterday --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I know, I know. Would it be practical -- I don't
20 want to force anything on you. Please don't misunderstand me. I know you
21 have certain procedures to follow. But would it be possible to bring the
22 witness here?
23 MR. WUBBEN: We will find out. We will contact Victims and
24 Witnesses Unit.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
1 MR. JONES: Yes. Just a couple of final questions.
2 Q. You said that on the day of your exchange Zulfo said to Cana, I
3 think his name is, and perhaps in jest, that because he tried to escape he
4 wouldn't be released. Now, you told us also that Cana was mentally
5 retarded even before his capture. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes. He was a bit like that, but my apologies, I don't think I
7 said if he had escaped. I think he had been out of the prison and then
8 some people brought him back. He did say that, but not quite the way you
9 said it.
10 Q. That's it. Just to be clear. Cana in fact basically drifted off
11 and was found and was brought back. Would that be correct?
12 A. Yes, but not on that day. That happened before, days previously.
13 I'm not sure exactly, but not on that same day.
14 Q. You mentioned how -- I think when you saw him on exchange that he
15 was mentally not well. You're referring -- that was his general state of
16 mind, wasn't it, that he was mentally retarded; that wasn't as a result of
17 any mistreatment as far as you could tell?
18 A. Yes. I did not say that that was a result of mistreatment. He
19 was like that, and that's what he was like when he was brought in.
20 Q. Now, finally you mentioned that when you were in Srebrenica you
21 heard I think you said stories, maybe a lot of stories, about Naser Oric.
22 Is that right?
23 A. Quite a lot of stories, yes.
24 Q. Is it right to say that at that time he was something of a legend?
25 A. Well, people were talking about him. My conclusion was that he
1 was some sort of a leader; that was the only conclusion that I could
2 reach, nothing else.
3 Q. He was spoken of with awe and with respect. Would that be
5 A. Yes. No one ever said anything bad about him, at least not any of
6 the people that I was in touch with at the time.
7 Q. And when you heard all these stories, I take it that you didn't
8 take them all at face value; you would have taken it with a pinch of salt?
9 A. Well, of course you can't quite understand everything at once.
10 It's difficult to say what is bad and what isn't until things clear up a
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. JONES: No further questions.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: So is there re-examination, Mr. Wubben?
15 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour. I have no questions.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge Brydensholt, do you have any questions?
17 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge Brydensholt, who comes from Denmark, would
19 like to put some questions to you.
20 Questioned by the Court:
21 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Well, if I go back to your evidence regarding
22 the 13th to the 16th of January in Skelani when you were arrested, did you
23 explain that when you were brought by the man who has arrested you to this
24 meadow or field you passed your neighbours who were having a meal, kind of
25 feast. Could that be true, or was that a misunderstanding?
1 A. No, no. I didn't walk passed my neighbours. Those people were
2 soldiers, too, wearing camouflage uniforms. I didn't say anything about
3 the feast day. Preparations were underway for a feast day, so there were
4 things to drink and eat there. We just happened to pass them on the way
5 to the meadow.
6 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Then when you came to this SUP building, I
7 understand that you were saying that you read on a plaque that it was the
8 police building. Were you able to read when you were 7 years old so that
9 you could --
10 A. Yes. Yes, I was able to read.
11 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Do you remember now how did this shield look
12 like you read?
13 A. I really can't remember the colour. I think it was blue, but I
14 don't think the plaque's around any longer.
15 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Okay. Now, the man with the one arm who
16 brought you away from the prison, what did he do? Was he a guard or
17 soldier or have you any idea what was he doing during the day?
18 A. I don't know. He may as well have been a guard, but he did not
19 wear camouflage uniform. He just came to pick me up and I spent several
20 days with him. I did not see him again after that, but I did not believe
21 that he was actually a soldier bearing all of that in mind and he was
22 missing an arm after all.
23 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Yes. Did he also stay in the apartment
24 together with you during those days when you were in this apartment?
25 A. Later, no. I spent several nights -- or rather, the next day when
1 he took me to his place, I think. Later on I found out the name was
2 Kazani. It was a small house, but I don't think that's of any importance.
3 I spent the night there. But if you're asking me about later, where I was
4 staying later in that building staying with the lady cook, he was not
5 there if that's what you have in mind. And now that I think about it, I
6 seem to remember that they referred to that person as Zele, as counsel
7 suggested a while ago. It's coming to me gradually. It does ring a bell
9 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Okay. Did you say that you also were taken to
10 the hospital, not only to the prison to visit your grandmother but also to
11 the hospital. What was the purpose of that?
12 A. Yes. Well, I don't know. I know they took me there. It was a
13 room where some persons were lying. They gave me some tea to drink. I'm
14 not sure what the reason was. They said, This is so that you can tell
15 people that we gave you tea while you were at hospital once you are
16 released, so you can tell others. I'm not sure if that was the real
17 reason for me being brought there or not.
18 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: You told us about your connection afterwards,
19 after your release with Ilija. What kind of relationship do you have with
20 him? Does he live where you live now? Why is it that you see him and how
22 A. As for the location of his house, I think he lives across in
23 Serbia in Bajina Basta. But I think he's from Cesici. I think he owns a
24 house there. But he has family in Skelani, so that's why we occasionally
1 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Okay. And when you meet where do you meet?
2 Does he come to your home or how are your relationship?
3 A. No. It's a friendly relationship. Whenever we meet we say hello
4 to one another, but we're not really that close.
5 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: So you don't sit together and you don't have a
6 real opportunity to discuss what occurs when you were in Srebrenica during
7 the war? That's your explanation?
8 A. Well, I don't think he ever came up to me to say anything like
9 that, nor did I for that matter. I have no reason to discuss this with
10 him, if you see what I mean.
11 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: And when you went to the prison to visit your
12 grandmother, you were, I understand, allowed to go into the cell where she
13 was together with the other females. Was the door locked behind you so
14 you were locked up together with them, or could you leave through the door
15 and spend some times outside? You said you were sometimes wandering
16 around in the prison.
17 A. Yes. The door was opened when meals would be brought in. And the
18 lady cook, sometimes two lady cooks, would stay there until lunchtime was
19 over. I was not kept from coming in as far as those cells were concerned.
20 I was not kept from seeing my grandmother or anything like that.
21 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: For how long a time -- you say during
22 lunchtime. What would that mean when the door was open? How long a time
23 do you suppose?
24 A. Well, how should I tell? Sometimes I would stay for an hour or
25 two. I would stay there and then afterwards I knew that I would be left
1 with the guards. That was when I could stay a little longer. But
2 whenever I was -- whenever I came to the cell with the lady cooks, I was
3 only able to stay for as long as they were around. But I never tried to
4 return to those cells on my own, therefore I really can't say.
5 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: What I would be interested to know is: Was
6 the cell door to the ladies' or females' cell, was it locked -- was it
7 locked during lunchtime? Was it locked afterwards?
8 A. Yes, yes, locked.
9 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Judge Brydensholt.
11 Judge Eser. Judge Eser comes from Germany, and he also would like
12 to put some questions to you.
13 JUDGE ESER: I just have one question with regard to the statement
14 which you gave in July 2000. At that time you have been 15 years old.
15 The statement has been referred to several times, and you have been
16 confronted with certain statements which you made at that time. Now, at
17 the end of the statement in the English version, I read to you: "This
18 statement consisting of a total of nine pages has been read over to me in
19 the Serbian language."
20 Now, you have signed the English version, not the Serbian version.
21 Now, my question is: When this statement was read to you in Serbian, did
22 there already exist a Serbian version? What had been read to you, was it
23 read from an English -- as far as you can recollect from an English paper
24 and translated into Serbian, or do you know whether there already existed
25 a Serbian original?
1 A. I'm afraid I don't quite understand your question, sir. It was
2 probably translated from Serbian into English, the statement that I gave
3 back in the year 2000.
4 JUDGE ESER: We have here your statement in English. There's also
5 a version in Serbian. And there -- the -- my question -- and I wonder
6 that you -- on the one side you signed the English version, but there's no
7 signature on the Serbian version. And so my question: If at the time
8 when this statement was re-read to you was already written in Serbian, why
9 your signature was not put on the Serbian version but rather on the
10 English version?
11 A. The Serbian version, I'm really not sure why it's there. I'm
12 quite unable to understand this myself why the Serbian version was not
14 JUDGE ESER: So it seems as if you have signed something at the
15 end of each page which you have not really read on your own but which was
16 read to you in your own language. Is that correct?
17 A. I'm afraid I don't quite see where you're going. If you could
18 please simplify the question, Your Honour, because I find it very
19 difficult to understand what exactly you're getting at, the very essence
20 of what you're asking me, if you could just please simplify it.
21 JUDGE ESER: This is the case as with almost all statements we
22 have. And perhaps the Prosecutor could explain at one point how this was
23 handled. Just to tell you once more: What we have here is an English
24 version of your statement of 2000 and a version in the Serbian language.
25 And your signature is on the English version and not on the Serbian
1 version. Also you have stated that it was read to you in Serbian. Do you
2 now understand why I am a little bit wondering whether there was -- if
3 there already existed a Serbian version it would have been normal to sign
4 the Serbian version, not the English one.
5 A. To the best of my recollection back in the year 2000 I did sign
6 the Serbian statement. It was given to me to read and I signed it.
7 That's at least what I remember.
8 JUDGE ESER: Okay. Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I see that Mr. Wubben would like to enlighten
10 Judge Eser.
11 MR. WUBBEN: Yes. Of course I didn't witness this statement
12 and -- being typed. But the normal practice is indeed that there is an
13 interpreter certified -- who can certify, as you find out on page nine of
14 nine of the interpreter certification, and the practice is that the
15 questions are put in English and then translated in B/C/S, the answer in
16 B/C/S and then translated back into English. And that has as an
17 outcome -- and again this is my experience on questions put forward to
18 projected witnesses. And then finally there is a statement who is -- and
19 then I can refer to the page nine of nine of that English statement in
20 which in the paragraph 3 the interpreter stated: "I have orally
21 translated the above statement from the English language to the Serbian
22 language in the presence of Branimir Mitrovic, who appeared to have heard
23 and understood my translation of the statement."
24 So that's the normal practice, as I can see it.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I think that explains it clearly.
1 Now, Mr. Wubben, we're finished basically. If you don't have the
2 other witness coming over, we're finished. Can you inform the Trial
3 Chamber if the witness -- if it's possible to bring the witness after the
4 break or not?
5 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, we are in the middle of the proofing of
6 that witness, so we are not in a position --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We can -- that is perfectly
8 understandable. It's not a problem with us. We were just trying to make
9 full use of the time allotted to us, but unfortunately we cannot today.
10 So we will need to adjourn. We will resume tomorrow morning at
11 9.00. I don't know which courtroom. This one, in this claustrophobic
12 Courtroom II.
13 I'm also reminded that it is an important day for our usher. It's
14 her birthday, so on behalf of the Trial Chamber we wish you all the best.
15 Thank you.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.27 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 19th day of
19 January, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.