1 Thursday, 17 February 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, good morning to you. Could
6 you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Oric, can you follow the proceedings in a
10 language that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, ladies
12 and gentlemen. Yes, I can.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. You may sit down.
14 Appearances for the Prosecution.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours. My name is Jan Wubben,
16 lead counsel for the Prosecution, together with co-counsel, Mr. Gramsci
17 Di Fazio, Ms. Joanne Richardson, and our case manager, Ms. Donnica
18 Henry-Frijlink. And also good morning to the Defence team.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Wubben, and good morning to you and
20 your team.
21 Yes, Madam Vidovic, appearances for Naser Oric.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
23 morning to my learned friends. I am Vasvija Vidovic. Together with
24 Mr. John Jones, I appear for Mr. Naser Oric. We have with us our legal
25 assistant, Ms. Jasmina Cosic, and our case manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Vidovic, thank you, and good morning to you
2 and your team.
3 Any preliminaries? I see -- yes.
4 MR. WUBBEN: Only short to update --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Wubben.
6 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour. Only short, to update Your
7 Honours. Yesterday there was a question about P99, about the
8 everyone-for-everyone exchange. It was a question regarding the analysis
9 on handwriting. We, as a Prosecution, did, as you know, the signature --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that I know.
11 MR. WUBBEN: -- and the outcome of it, we tried to -- we tried to
12 get the information about the possibilities, the opportunities, to do the
13 handwriting analysis, but there is not enough material to execute that on
14 an expert level.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I am grateful -- I am grateful for that
16 information, Mr. Wubben.
17 Any preliminaries on your part?
18 MR. JONES: Yes, Your Honour, just two matters. One is that I
19 understand that the DVD of the Telering programme which we saw yesterday
20 is being copied by the technical people this morning. Apparently, it is a
21 long process, and the technical --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: You burn one from the other. It's as simple as
24 MR. JONES: This is what we're informed by the technical people,
25 that only recently do they have the equipment for burning DVD to DVD.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: That's true, that's true. That I can confirm.
2 MR. JONES: We certainly have never had that equipment.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, that I can confirm.
4 MR. JONES: That's being done, and I understand the copy of the
5 DVD will be available this morning to the Prosecution. We informed that
6 of that yesterday. That's one matter.
7 The second is that, due to the miracle of Amazon, I have copies of
8 War Hospital for everyone. Perhaps this is a good moment to pass it up.
9 I understand the Prosecution already have their copy. So I have one for
10 the Registry and one for each of Your Honours.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: This is the book we were referring to yesterday, no?
12 MR. JONES: Yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: One goes into the file, of course. Thank you.
14 MR. JONES: And in effect, I'll be asking for the whole book to be
15 given an exhibit number.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So the book itself, Madam Registrar.
17 Yesterday, we said 493. What was the number?
18 THE REGISTRAR: D198.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: D198.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: So what I suggest is the following: That will be
22 D198, this will be D199, because that is a bundle that you are using for
23 the purpose of examining the witnesses.
24 MR. JONES: That's correct.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: This, I take it, will be used for other purposes as
2 MR. JONES: Yes, in case there are pages which I refer to which
3 weren't in the bundle, and also generally it was just so that the extracts
4 wouldn't be completely out of context. If need be, they can be read in
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That's fair enough. Thank you. Thank you,
7 Mr. Jones.
8 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, if I may.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
10 MR. WUBBEN: Mr. Jones referred to -- that the copy is with the
11 Prosecution. We didn't receive a copy of the book from Defence counsel.
12 We have to rely on library or private initiatives in that respect. When
13 it comes to handing over of such a book to the Bench for context purposes,
14 it should be that a copy should also be available for the Prosecution.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I agree with you.
16 MR. JONES: May I say, Your Honour, when I said the Prosecution I
17 understand has a copy, it's because Mr. Wubben said they had made copies
18 of the book, so I understood that they had their own copy. I might add I
19 bought these copies at my own personal expense, and I'm happy to buy a
20 copy for the Prosecution as well.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I appreciate that, Mr. Jones.
22 MR. JONES: It may take some time because I'll have to order --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Maybe they will have less objections today.
24 MR. JONES: Hopefully.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Shall we bring in the witness? Today, as I told
1 you, we'll finish at 12.30, because at 1 then I start a new case, another
3 [The witness entered court]
4 WITNESS: NEDRET MUJKANOVIC [Resumed]
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 MR. JONES: Yes, good morning, Dr. Mujkanovic.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning from the Bench as well, Dr. Mujkanovic.
8 We are proceeding with the cross-examination. May I just remind you that
9 you are still testifying under oath, your duty to speak the truth, the
10 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 Mr. Jones.
12 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Jones: [Continued]
14 Q. One preliminary matter, Dr. Mujkanovic. I think yesterday, at the
15 end of the session, there might have been a misinterpretation. I
16 certainly wasn't blaming you for any delays or any interruptions. I
17 understand that it might have been misinterpreted to suggest that I was
18 saying the witness had caused delay, and I certainly wasn't --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: What are you saying? I'm lost.
20 MR. JONES: I can explain, Your Honour. At the end of yesterday's
21 session, I said with the delays and interruptions, that we may be here for
22 some time. I understand from my colleagues that was interpreted to
23 suggest that it was the witness I was criticising, in the interpretation
24 in Bosnian.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I see, I see.
1 MR. JONES: I certainly wasn't --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Because I wasn't aware. I mean, I usually follow
3 everything, and I can assure you I don't miss a word, but I don't follow
4 the proceedings in the original language and in the interpretation at the
5 same time.
6 MR. JONES: Yes.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, that's important for you to clear up.
8 MR. JONES: I wanted to make that absolutely clear.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, yes.
10 MR. JONES:
11 Q. Now, you saw the video of the Telering programme yesterday which
12 was on the OBN TV Telering show, aired on the 29th of April, 2004. I'd
13 simply ask you this: Do you stand by the comments which you made on that
14 programme about the situation in Srebrenica?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And in that interview, you mentioned that people actually died of
17 starvation in the enclave as a result of the food crisis. Can you confirm
18 that that did occur?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. JONES: I would simply ask that the programme -- the DVD and
21 the transcript be given a Defence exhibit number.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Didn't we give it one yesterday?
23 MR. JONES: I think we didn't because I wasn't proceeding to ask
24 any questions about it. I could be wrong.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: You can help me there.
1 THE REGISTRAR: They didn't.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: They didn't, no. So the DVD itself will be given
3 now D200.
4 THE REGISTRAR: 200.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: And the translation, or the transcript which we had
6 yesterday will be given D200.1. D200.1, all right?
7 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
8 MR. WUBBEN: A request to the Defence counsel, if he can also be
9 specific to referring to what time frame is mentioned there.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: In the DVD?
11 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: The starvation.
12 MR. WUBBEN: The starvation.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thought you were referring to the DVD.
14 MR. WUBBEN: No.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
16 MR. JONES: I'm sorry, I think the witness understood the question
17 and answered it.
18 Q. Could you tell us when starvation occurred in the enclave, if
20 A. My whole statement is in relation to my stay in Srebrenica, from
21 the 5th of August, 1992 to the 22nd of April, 1993. This is the time
22 period that I have in mind, the period through which I stayed in
24 Q. So it would be right to say that people were dying of starvation
25 right throughout that period, from August 1992 through to April 1993?
1 A. Starvation peaked in December, January, and until as late as early
2 March 1993. When the parachuting operation was launched, food parcels
3 were dropped from planes into the Srebrenica enclave. Therefore, December
4 and January especially were difficult months, when a great number of
5 people, because of poor intake of rich foodstuffs, simply starved.
6 Q. You mentioned yesterday Eric Dachy who arrived with an aid convoy
7 in December 1992 and again in March 1993. Did he tell you on either
8 occasion about the difficulties he had had getting the convoys into
10 A. Yes, he even wrote me a letter. It was a well-known fact that
11 Serbs prevented no convoys -- that Serbs allowed no convoys to enter
12 Srebrenica, and then the first convoy was given a green light in 1992,
13 when Eric promised that he would send more medical supplies, bandages,
14 medicines, some equipment, things that the war hospital was in bad need
15 of. The next convoy came in six or seven days later, in early December,
16 and that was the last entry of any convoy until late March or early April
17 the next year, 1993.
18 Q. Did you understand from your conversations with him that the Serbs
19 were obstructing food, deliberately obstructing food from entering the
21 A. Based on my conversations with him -- rather, I should say, that
22 was when I was introduced to him, that was when I first met him, and the
23 Serbs then allowed for the entire convoy, including journalists and some
24 other people, to enter the enclave. It was quite a sight at the time,
25 because everyone could see what life was like in the enclave. They were
1 given the right to stay for about three hours, if I remember well, inside
2 the enclave. Eric wanted to use the time as best as he could to look at
3 the hospital, see the way we worked there, to visit the patients. He
4 realised that we had a problem there and he said he would try to get some
5 medical supplies for us, such as medicines and bandages, but that he
6 couldn't guarantee anything. He said he would remain adamant and try his
8 It wasn't easy to enter Srebrenica. I can illustrate this with
9 another example. There was a field hospital that was donated by the
10 French government, led by Mr. Bernard Kouchner. I think it had been in
11 Serbia for about a month, waiting to be allowed entry into Srebrenica. It
12 was necessary also for doctors and medical supplies to join the convoy.
13 However, this field hospital was never eventually allowed in, and it had
14 to be sent back to France. This was a recurring problem with convoys and
15 with medical supplies coming in.
16 Based on all of this, it's easy to conclude that the only way for
17 Srebrenica to get the necessary foodstuffs, the basic necessities, and in
18 order for an institution like our hospital to function, was to drop
19 supplies from the air. Planes would do that at night. Those were brown
20 parcels containing meals, soldiers' meals, lunch packs, dry rations. They
21 would drop these supplies by plane, such as basic medical supplies, some
22 instruments, bandages, that sort of thing. That was the only way these
23 supplies could come in. This happened before -- this was done by March,
24 when these air drops were organised to drop the necessary food and medical
25 supplies into the enclave.
1 Q. Thank you. And when the air drops started, did you hear or learn
2 that people from Srebrenica, Muslims, were killing each other over the
3 food which was contained in these drops? Could you say yes --
4 A. Yes. Yes, I heard about several cases of people killing each
5 other in order to get some food. There was no way to say how long this
6 would go on for. I must say that this operation from Srebrenica was
7 coordinated by a number of officers who came in escorting General
8 Morillon. They stayed and he left. They were tasked with coordinating
9 the entire operation. There were several journalists present there, too;
10 Tony Birtley from ABC News, there was a photographer from Berlin, Philip
11 von Recklinghausen. I knew them both well because they were both my
12 patients. They had both been wounded seriously on two different
13 occasions. I performed surgery on them, and then even after three days,
14 Tony was not allowed to leave Srebrenica. It was only on the third day
15 that he was allowed to leave for Split, and from there on to London.
16 There was no way to tell how long these air drops would continue.
17 It was a day longer each time they took a decision. There was a lot of
18 confusion because people were trying to grab as much food as possible, and
19 to have some to put aside. Sometimes people were killed as a result of
20 these clashes. Once we found two bodies in the south sector of the
21 Srebrenica area, in Vojna, I mean the town itself. This must have been
22 recorded by Tony Birtley, too.
23 Q. If I could ask you to look, and Your Honours to look, at page 130
24 of the War Hospital, and if the witness could be shown D198, page 130.
25 There's an extract which I'd like to read. This extract, just by way of
1 background, describes a sight that you and Eric Dachy, from MSF,
2 apparently saw once air drops started. Page 130, and I'll just read it
3 into the record. It's just two paragraphs.
4 "Eric sees fires burning and, in the light of the waning gibbous
5 moon, makes out an unreal sight - long, black snakes wriggling slowly
6 across the snowy white mountainside. He is spellbound. The true meaning
7 of the image sharpens under Nedret's narration.
8 "The snakes are lines of hungry, exhausted Srebrenica residents
9 who struggle up the mountain, desperate for manna-like provisions falling
10 from the sky. Awaiting supplies being airdropped by the U.S. air force, a
11 small city's worth gather around burning car tires. Many, recently
12 expelled from their villages by the Serb advance, have walked miles to
13 Srebrenica only to find themselves stuck outdoors in the freezing cold
14 with no food."
15 So my question is, and I think you've answered it already, but do
16 you recall witnessing that sight with Eric Dachy?
17 I can put it a different way. Do you remember explaining to Eric
18 Dachy what this sight was?
19 A. I said that I had been staying at the Domavija Hotel. From the
20 balcony of my room, you had a clear view of Bojna. The distance is
21 perhaps 1.000 metres as the crow flies. Every night people came with
22 torches and waited for the air drops to start. You can never tell when
23 these would begin. They usually started late in the evening, from 11.00
24 on. But people were already standing there, waiting.
25 As I was watching this, I had the impression that this was a large
1 town that I could see in the distance. I was using a jeep vehicle at the
2 time that the Medecins sans Frontieres had given me to use. Eric asked me
3 to get into the jeep and for us to go from the hotel to the area. He
4 wanted to see for himself, and Tony Birtley was with us too. We took the
5 road up the hill known as Bojna. We stayed there briefly and then drove
6 back. I can tell you that there were thousands of people there, flailing
7 torches, lighting fires, waiting.
8 And then the tactics of the drops themselves changed. Sometimes
9 -- for a while, they would drop parcels into the Bojna area, into the
10 woods, with huge parachutes. These palettes or parcels would sometimes
11 weigh between 800 and 900 kilogrammes, depending on what was in them.
12 This was the reason that patients often came in to see me whose bones were
13 smashed or crunched by these heavy parcels falling on their limbs. We
14 launched a protest saying this was not all right. As soon as someone
15 grabbed hold of an entire parcel, that's when they started shooting at one
16 another, because people would fight for possession. They changed that
17 then, and they would throw small individual parcels from the planes all
18 over the streets and town. There was always a possibility that one of
19 these smaller parcels would never be found. Those were rather large
20 planes making the drops, and as they flew in the night, the sound became
21 somehow blunt because, when they would dive was when they would begin to
22 drop the parcels. The planes would nose-dive, and then they would start
23 dropping the parcels over the houses and streets.
24 Q. So they switched from large palettes to distributing I think
25 what's called "meals ready to eat," which were then picked up?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You mentioned going with Tony Birtley, and Eric Dachy to see this
3 sight. Did Tony Birtley film what was going on on that occasion?
4 A. Yes, he did.
5 Q. Do you remember roughly when that was?
6 A. It was March 1993. It was approximately March. That was the
7 period, anyway.
8 Q. If you turn to page 132, there's another section dealing with this
9 phenomenon, and I'll just read it:
10 "While the supplies are desperately needed, spreading the staff
11 of life has spread suffering and death, too. The first attempts at
12 airdrops fell into areas near Serb control, and Srebrenicans fetching the
13 supplies came under sniper fire. The airdrops have also lured soldiers
14 from their posts, leaving front lines vulnerable to Serb attacks. Even
15 worse, the huge palettes, although tied to parachutes, have crushed
16 several people. The desperate have fought and killed one another over the
17 contents. With no clear distribution system, gathering supplies is a
18 fight of the fittest.
19 "Eric --" and that's Eric Dachy -- "watches, transfixed. When he
20 finally returns to bed, the scene that burns behind his eyes is that of a
21 Sisyphean struggle - people crawling on all fours, clawing their way up
22 the mountain in a bid for survival. He dreams of apocalypse."
23 My question from that is: Would that accurately describe life as
24 you saw it in Srebrenica, taking the whole time you were there, a daily
25 fight for survival?
1 A. It is a bit hard for me to go back to that period. You have to
2 understand me. It's been several days now that I have been vividly living
3 through this period of 1992 and 1993, which makes me exceptionally
4 emotional, and it is sometimes hard for me to talk about these things.
5 It's been going on for too long now in order for me to speak about these
6 things with equanimity. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me
7 in my life. I don't think anything worse than that can happen. It was
8 literally from the month of December through to the period when the first
9 convoys started coming in in late March 1993, it was virtually a struggle,
10 an everyday struggle for survival.
11 The people lost any emotions they had in them because they were
12 overcome by their instincts. I am an eyewitness of the atrocities that
13 took place in Srebrenica, something that people in general find very
14 difficult to understand. This drive, this basic instinct of survival, is
15 something terrible.
16 I remember the first convoys that set out from Tuzla for
17 Srebrenica, bringing food. It was late March 1993. As the convoy
18 returned to Tuzla, it carried women, children, and elderly. It was a
19 terrible sight. You could see mothers leaving their babies behind to
20 clutch at the trucks and reach Tuzla, because Tuzla meant that they would
21 be able to continue living. The children left behind were brought over to
22 the hospital, and we were hardly in a position to take care of the
23 children. I don't know what happened to them later on. But there were
24 several cases where mothers left their own children behind just to ensure
25 that they could go on living. It was the basest of instincts for
2 I've been telling you this in the past days as well, that this was
3 a matter of study by psychologists, to see what takes place in people in
4 an enclave, isolated, without the basic preconditions for normalcy. What
5 happens to people when they become beasts, lose any sense of what it is to
6 be humane. That is why I ask you to show consideration for me because it
7 is very difficult for me to linger with my thoughts in that period. I
8 would very much wish to forget the period, although I probably never will.
9 Q. All right. Well, I won't try to enter into too much vivid detail.
10 In fact, the last subject which you're discussing I want to pick up. But
11 firstly, just on the convoys to Tuzla, did you learn that people were
12 actually crushed to death on the way to Tuzla?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Judge Eser is rightly pointing to me that --
14 perhaps it's the case of, again, knowing what time period you have in
16 MR. JONES: Well, the witness was just referring to convoys which
17 left in March 1993.
18 Q. Is it correct that that's in March 1993, that the convoys came in
19 with food and left with people?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Jones, because again, I'm --
21 Dr. Mujkanovic, are you all right? Are you all right?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, it was late March.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm asking you whether you are all right, whether we
24 can continue, or whether you need a break.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We can continue. We can continue.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Please draw our attention straight away if you need
2 a break. We fully understand that people who have lived through the
3 trauma of war find it difficult to testify in a court of justice,
4 particularly after the lapse of so many years. So any time you require a
5 break, please let us know.
6 Yes, Mr. Jones, I apologise to you.
7 MR. JONES: Not at all, Your Honour.
8 Q. It was just that question, really: The convoys which left for
9 Tuzla with people on board in March 1993, did you learn that people were
10 actually crushed to death on the journey?
11 A. I didn't have any such information.
12 Q. But you saw the convoys as they were leaving, as they were leaving
13 Srebrenica. Would it be right to say that they were jam-packed with
15 A. They set out from Srebrenica, from outside the post office
16 building. We had an agreement with Mr. Larry Hollingworth from UNPROFOR
17 who coordinated these convoys, and the agreement was that one convoy
18 should -- that is, one truck should be secured for the wounded. Usually a
19 convoy had some ten trucks. So the first thing we wanted to ensure was to
20 evacuate the wounded women and children, and for the rest of the trucks,
21 the deal was that the refugees from Cerska and Konjevic Polje should have
22 priority in leaving. They had already been there.
23 Unfortunately, while arranging for this first convoy with
24 Mr. Hollingworth, I thought that we would actually be able to achieve
25 something, that we would have an orderly way of setting up the convoy,
1 although it was made up of trucks. And I remember the trucks lined up in
2 front of the post office building and the hospital, and then Mr. Larry
3 Hollingworth and I climbed on top of the post office and we had a
4 megaphone and we thought that we were going to coordinate the whole
5 process and tell the people who should step forward and board the trucks.
6 However, all of a sudden, the stampede started, where people started
7 flocking to these trucks, trying to climb on top of them. And at a
8 certain point, we couldn't control the whole process, and Mr. Hollingworth
9 said everyone should leave, get off the trucks, or the convoy would not
11 Unfortunately, nobody wanted to leave, to dismount the trucks, so
12 they simply had to have the convoy start. And as the convoy started, more
13 people started flocking towards it and trying to clutch at the trucks. I
14 escorted the truck with the wounded up until Potocari, and I remember that
15 the drivers were trying to get organised as to who should start the truck
16 first, and that's how they went ahead. That's how I knew what was going
17 on with the convoy up until Potocari. But as the convoy proceeded, I
18 wouldn't be able to tell you what happened to it. I can't tell you
19 whether somebody got crushed or killed. I never heard any such thing at
20 the time.
21 Q. Thank you. And is it right that Tony Birtley also filmed that
23 A. Yes. He also filmed an interview with General Morillon, he filmed
24 the attacks on Srebrenica, whatever was taking place at the time when he
25 was filming. On the 1st or the 2nd of April, 1993, he was then severely
1 wounded and operated on in the hospital in Srebrenica, together with the
2 commander of the UNPROFOR forces who were there. I believe his name was
3 Captain David McDonald, from Canada.
4 Q. And I believe you saved Tony Birtley's leg.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, you spoke about the stresses and strains of living through
7 that period. As a medical practitioner, would you agree that the constant
8 shelling, the food crisis, being under siege, affected the general mental
9 health of the population, too?
10 A. I've tried to explain this a couple of minutes ago. There was a
11 total transformation of the mindset of the people. Their basic instinct
12 surfaced, whereas their emotions disappeared. And of course, instincts --
13 it's the animals who are driven by their instincts, the instinct for
14 survival particularly. And it was from this transformation of the people
15 that all the other difficulties stemmed, all the rows and conflicts.
16 Q. Now, you were asked on Monday about Kemal Mehmedovic, nicknamed
17 Kemal from Pale. Was he also nicknamed Kemo?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, you said he was a difficult personality with a very bad
20 temper; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Now, firstly, you told us of an instant where, from 30 metres
23 away, he had what you thought might be a human head. On that subject,
24 firstly, would you agree that, from what you saw from that distance, what
25 Kemo could have been carrying could have been, I don't know, a Halloween
1 mask or something resembling a head?
2 A. At the time, I didn't know the man. It was shortly after my
3 arrival in Srebrenica. I didn't know who he was or who many of the other
4 people were, in fact. I only got to know them later on.
5 It was in the late afternoon hours, just before dusk. There was a
6 truck carrying wounded. Many of them were wounded as a result of them
7 stepping into a land-mine field, and many among them were amputees, so to
8 say. For many of them, both legs had to be amputated. Since it was the
9 period shortly after we had set up the hospital facility, we did not have
10 a special area set aside for conducting a triage. I stepped outside for a
11 minute to have a smoke, and then they told me that there was a truck full
12 of wounded arriving.
13 At that point, I repeat, there were many, many people in front of
14 the hospital, because that's what always happened. Whenever wounded were
15 brought in, people would flock to see if, among them, there were their
16 relatives or friends. There was always as many as 200, 300 people in
17 front of the hospital. And as the truck was trying to break through the
18 crowd --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm going to interrupt you. Please answer the
20 question, because each time you're going to be here for two weeks. You've
21 been complaining that you have been already too long here, but the way
22 you're answering the questions, you're going to be here for two weeks. I
23 hate to stop you, because I hate interrupting anyone, but we can't go on
24 like this. It was a very simple question.
25 When you saw Kemo holding something in his hand, which we have
1 been given to understand was --
2 MR. JONES: Or might have been.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: -- might have been a human head, do you have any
4 doubt in your mind that it could have been something else and not a human
5 head, but something resembling a human head, like a Halloween mask? Given
6 the circumstances and what you saw, do you have any real doubt in your
7 mind that it wasn't a human head? Just answer yes or no.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I cannot claim with
9 certainty that it was a human head, but what struck me from the distance
10 that I was looking at him was that it was a human head.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Was he saying anything in regard to what he was
12 holding in his hand? Kemo, I mean.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was far away from me, some 25 to
14 30 metres.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You didn't hear him say anything, in other words.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't hear what he was
17 saying. I didn't know the man at all.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
19 Yes, Mr. Jones.
20 MR. JONES:
21 Q. Yes. And you have no idea, do you, where he found that head, if
22 it was a head; whether it was a Serb head, a Muslim head, or anything of
23 that nature, do you?
24 A. I don't know anything about this. I don't know if it was
25 someone's head or not. I only told you what I saw and what made me
1 believe that this is what I saw.
2 Q. Right. Now, concerning Kemo, isn't it right that you became aware
3 from the moment of your arrival in Srebrenica, or soon after, that there
4 were a number of individuals like Kemo who were out of control?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Based on what you came to know of Kemo and his personality, do you
7 agree that if Naser Oric, for example, had tried to control Kemo, he,
8 Kemo, probably would have killed Oric?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: It's speculation at its best, Mr. Jones. You either
10 forget the question or you rephrase it.
11 MR. JONES: Let me put it this way:
12 Q. When you were -- when you came to The Hague and spoke to the
13 Office of the Prosecutor, didn't you express an opinion to them to the
14 effect that if Naser Oric tried to control Kemo, Kemo probably would have
15 killed him?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And do you confirm that opinion here?
18 A. One-hundred per cent.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, you mentioned yesterday - I think it was
20 yesterday or perhaps the day before - a Mrki, a Mrki Mandzic. Do you
21 agree that there were quite a few people in Srebrenica with the nickname
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Can you estimate how many Mrkis you knew or came across during
25 your time in Srebrenica?
1 A. There were three of whom I knew who were nicknamed Mrki.
2 Q. Did you know Hazim Mrki from Voljevica?
3 A. Yes, Hazim Mrki and Mrki Mandzic and Sabahudin Mrki, I knew them
5 Q. Thank you. Now, turning to a different area altogether, I have a
6 question about Serbs and their uniforms. We've already discussed uniforms
7 on the Muslim side. Now, you told us that you treated wounded Serbs at
8 the hospital. Isn't it correct that some of them were in civilian clothes
9 but you ascertained that they were soldiers?
10 A. I don't understand the question. Which wounded are you referring
12 Q. Wounded Serbs at the hospital who you treated.
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. Weren't some of them in civilian clothes but you formed the
15 opinion, or you became aware, that they were, in fact, fighters or
17 A. I never formed any opinion as to whether they were fighters or
18 not. I simply regarded them as the wounded, brought into the hospital,
19 rather than thinking about them being fighters or not. And I never talked
20 to the wounded about what their capacity was.
21 Q. Yes. It was really just whether, in your experience, whether, on
22 the Serb side, people were fighting who were not in uniforms. Is that
23 something which you ever learned?
24 A. The only thing I can say is that there were also Serbs who were
25 wounded, some of whom wore a uniform and others wore civilian clothes.
1 Now, whether they were fighters or not, that's something I cannot say.
2 Q. Thank you. You went to forward command post, I believe, for
3 certain actions, at least for Bjelovac, in December 1992; would that be
5 A. Not Bjelovac. This area is not far from the hospital, up on a
6 hill, perhaps some 5 to 6 kilometres away from the hospital. I wasn't at
7 the forward command post of Bjelovac, or whatever it was called. I went
8 over there with Ramiz Becirevic who wanted to look into the possible way
9 of pulling out wounded and bringing them into the hospital. It wasn't an
10 official forward command post.
11 Q. Okay. I was wondering if, when you were in that position, in
12 Zaluzje, were you able to observe the Serb military from there?
13 A. No, I couldn't. I was only able to see a line of people going in
14 the direction of the Drina River.
15 Q. All right. You told us that you saw Serb aeroplanes shooting on
16 the people in Bjelovac; that's right, isn't it?
17 A. I saw Serb aircraft crossing the Drina and shooting, firing upon
18 the people from machine-guns.
19 Q. Did you also see Serb aircraft dropping bombs on Bjelovac?
20 A. I just saw one aircraft, so there was just this one aircraft that
21 I saw, and they shelled and fired upon the people who were on the ground.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: What kind of a plane was it? Can you describe the
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not an expert in planes, but
25 these were fighter planes. Now whether it was a MiG-21 or 29, but such
1 planes bombed Srebrenica daily. I just don't know whether it was a 21 or
2 a 29, I only know that they were very fast and that they were used to bomb
3 the town itself.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We're talking about -- I'm only limiting my question
5 to the aircraft you saw dropping bombs on Bjelovac. Do you recall what
6 kind of a plane it was?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One of the fighter planes, probably
8 a MiG-21, perhaps 29, although I'm more inclined to think it was a 21,
9 it's a fighter plane.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you exclude categorically that it could have been
11 a biplane with a propeller, an engine propeller?
12 MR. JONES: Perhaps we should fix the time as well when the
13 witness made these observations, just to be clear.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you exclude this possibility?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I fully exclude this possibility,
16 Your Honour, because during everyday shelling, that is, bombing of
17 Srebrenica, I was able to clearly distinguish between the different planes
18 arriving to bomb Srebrenica. So this was definitely not a plane with a
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Please stick to Bjelovac, to the attack on Bjelovac.
21 Stick to that one. I'm not asking you with regard to other instances when
22 you saw planes. When you saw this plane in Bjelovac, so you exclude that
23 it was a propeller aircraft?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do exclude the possibility.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Would you be able to give us an indication at what
1 time of the day it was that you saw aircraft bombing -- dropping bombs on
3 MR. JONES: Actually, I think it was fighter planes shooting.
4 That's perhaps the confusion. He's referred to MiGs shooting on the
5 population. I asked whether he had seen bombs dropped, and he said he
7 JUDGE AGIUS: He said dropping bombs as well, I think.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This occurred in the afternoon
9 hours, early afternoon, it might have been perhaps 1.00 in the afternoon.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Was it fighter planes shooting or also dropping
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't dropping bombs. There
13 were missiles fired, and there was fire from a machine-gun.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think we've heard enough on that.
15 Yes, Mr. Jones, please.
16 MR. JONES:
17 Q. I may come back to it. In fact, I've skipped ahead in dealing
18 with the actions to Bjelovac, and I actually want to go back and start
19 with Jezestica and the time shortly after your arrival in Srebrenica. To
20 do that, I want to look at another passage in War Hospital, and it's pages
21 83 to 84, and I'll just read the section:
22 "Nedret, still wearing his green, blood-covered gown, strides out
23 of the hospital to take a much-needed break. In all of his weeks on the
24 front line near Tuzla, he has never experienced anything like this.
25 There, he worked with trained surgical colleagues and had an advanced
1 hospital close by. Here, the buck stops with him, but the commanders who
2 chose to wage this all-out attack --" and that's clear from the context
3 that's referring to Jezestica on the 8th of August, 1992 -- "don't seem to
4 have considered this. He catches sight of one of them, Hakija Meholjic,
5 climbing the hospital driveway to check on his injured soldiers.
6 "'You should have warned me about the offensive!' Nedret yells
7 at him. He would advised the commander to hold off until the medical team
8 was prepared to receive casualties. 'You're waging war like Indians!' he
9 says. He insists that soldiers include him in all future military
11 So I have several questions arising from that. First of all, do
12 you recognise that as an account of an exchange which you had with Hakija
13 Meholjic very shortly after your arrival in August 1992?
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 MR. JONES: 83 to 84.
16 A. I remember this exchange. I really can't say whether the other
17 person involved was Hakija Meholjic or not. The author of the book claims
18 so. My impression, the way I remember it, it was actually Akif Ustic, the
19 person I talked to. But this was a comment that I made. I knew nothing
20 about anything, and then in the afternoon, suddenly, dozens of wounded
21 began streaming in. I was quite unprepared. That's why I made the
22 comment about them fighting like Indians. This is certainly something
23 that I said at the time. I also said that we didn't need to know when
24 actions would occur and be carried out, but that we should be told ahead
25 of time so that we could prepare the hospital and ourselves to receive the
1 wounded, the casualties.
2 Q. Yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what any doctor would have done.
4 MR. JONES: Yes.
5 Q. There's a reference there of you wanting to be involved in
6 planning. Wasn't your concern simply to have adequate warning so you
7 could prepare the hospital so as to be able to give people the best
9 A. Precisely. I think what I asked for was perfectly normal.
10 Q. It says there that "the commanders," plural, "who chose to wage
11 this all-out attack..." Is it your understanding that the decision to
12 attack Jezestica, if you know, was taken by a number of commanders?
13 A. This is two days after my arrival. I knew none of those people,
14 nor was I aware of the fact that there was an attack in the offing. I was
15 just taken aback. I didn't know the people or that an attack was in the
16 pipeline. I didn't know where this attack would occur. Suddenly, wounded
17 people started coming in, and that's when I realised. But I can't tell
18 you anything about them planning or not planning. The only comment I made
19 at the time was the one you referred to, above.
20 Q. All right. Now, I'd like to refer to an earlier passage in War
21 Hospital, at page 80, again referring to this action, and I'll read it
22 into the record:
23 "Days after Nedret's arrival, the fighting around Srebrenica
24 intensifies. Groups of local soldiers launch offensives and others fend
25 off Chetnik advances. On August 8 --" that's 1992 -- "with the hospital
1 already full, the staff overwhelmed, and part of the enclave under fire, a
2 group of soldiers plans a surprise raid on the Serb village of Jezestica,
3 where Serb soldiers have directed cannon fire at a neighbouring Muslim
4 village for months. The action begins around noon. Some Srebrenicans
5 stumble into a minefield and are carried back to the hospital. The
6 remaining soldiers, many of them friends or family members of the dozens
7 of Muslim men executed by Serbs in nearby Glogova at the start of the war,
8 fire off a grenade and rush the village. Hand-to-hand fighting ensues,
9 and casualties mount."
10 Now, my questions following from that are based on the fact that
11 you were in the hospital, weren't you, when this action happened, and you
12 were receiving the wounded?
13 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, may I learn the question? Because there
14 is a question mark but I'm not -- I don't know the question as such, or do
15 I mistake it?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: He is being asked -- I'm sorry. I take it that he
17 is being asked, with reference to the paragraph or the section that has
18 been read out to him, to the events mentioned therein, whether he was,
19 when this action happened, whether he was in hospital and whether he was
20 receiving the wounded from that particular military operation or action,
21 whatever you call it.
22 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: That's how I understand the question.
24 MR. WUBBEN: I apologise.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think I can understand it otherwise.
1 MR. JONES: Yes, that was the question.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Dr. Mujkanovic, would you like me to repeat the
3 question to you, or not?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That would be fine, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. The question is this: You've heard Mr. Jones
7 read out to you from page 80 of this book about military activity in
8 Jezestica at a particular time, and you were being asked, since this
9 paragraph mentions wounded persons, persons getting wounded, you were
10 being asked whether you were in hospital at the time this event occurred,
11 and whether you were receiving the wounded for treatment.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
13 MR. JONES:
14 Q. Right. Now, did you hear from the wounded that they had attacked
15 Jezestica because there was artillery there which had been directing
16 cannon fire at neighbouring Muslim villages?
17 A. We weren't in touch at the time, and the people who were coming in
18 were seriously wounded. There must be records of what we did at the
19 hospital on that day. There were three parallel tables on which we
20 performed leg amputations. These people had strayed into a minefield, and
21 dozens of people came in whose legs had been blown to bits. It was a
22 scene of chaos at the hospital. I didn't even know who they had been
23 attacked by or why the attack had taken place. It was as simple as that.
24 Q. Just on that subject, very briefly, isn't it right that you had to
25 perform amputations without anaesthetics because you didn't have that
2 A. It wasn't only a matter of amputations. All sorts of surgery,
3 over 600 operations, were performed with no anaesthetics to hand, opening
4 up people's heads, people's stomachs, amputating their limbs. Later on,
5 when we got some anaesthetics, those were no first-rate anaesthetics but a
6 diluted version.
7 Q. Isn't it right that you had to amputate because of the risk of
8 gangrene setting in very quickly?
9 A. They would have bled to death had we not performed surgery, no
10 question about that, especially those who had been wounded in the stomach.
11 If you don't open their stomach immediately, they would soon die. It was
12 a matter of days, maybe two, three, or four days, but they would have been
13 dead. That much is certain. And this way at least they survived, even if
14 they had to be operated on with no anaesthetics.
15 Q. Is it right that you also didn't have material for blood
17 A. No. We had no such thing.
18 Q. And is it right that that also caused a much higher level of
19 fatalities than would otherwise be the case?
20 A. That much is certain. That's certain.
21 Q. Now, just sticking with this action and the wounded which you
22 received a bit longer, and only if you can help, do you recall receiving
23 any wounded who were from Jaglici, Cizmici, or Glogova, any of those
25 A. I can't remember the specific villages. When I think back, I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 remember one wounded particularly, Dalibor Djozic, nicknamed Zele. An
2 anti-aircraft gun shot him in the left upper arm. During night hours, he
3 was brought in and I had to amputate his upper arm. This lad formed an
4 emotional tie with me after that, so he stayed at the hospital and his
5 left upper arm had to be amputated. I remember that person very well.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Was he from Jaglici, Cizmici, or Glogova?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was from a place called Kazan,
8 which is a neighbourhood in Srebrenica not far from the hospital.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That doesn't help you at all.
10 MR. JONES: That's all right.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's jump to something else, please.
12 MR. JONES:
13 Q. Was that Zele a civilian policeman later on, later on in 1992?
14 A. I'm really not sure that someone who did not have an arm could
15 work as a police officer. I don't think he actually had a job. He just
16 moved about town. He had been a drummer before the war, so he was quite a
17 popular person. But I guess this made it impossible for him to keep on
18 playing music. I don't think I've ever seen a police officer without an
19 arm. But if you say so, it should be possible to prove and verify what he
20 actually was.
21 Q. All right. I have one final question concerning this incident,
22 and I'm going to look at page 82 of War Hospital. Again, this is dealing
23 with the wounded from the action on Jezestica. It reads:
24 "Some patients stopped breathing as if paralysed while their
25 hearts continue beating and blue blood oozes from their wounds. The
1 doctors suspect that the Serbs used chemical weapons in the counterattack.
2 The Yugoslav Army is known to have weaponised several chemical agents,
3 including the nerve agent sarin. Doctors try injecting some of the
4 patients with atropine, a medicine that blocks nerve receptors
5 overstimulated by the chemical agent. It helps some of the men, but not
6 the one Fatima --" and that's Dalbasic -- "is trying to save, who dies."
7 Now, given that you were in the ward that day, treating patients,
8 were you one of the doctors who treated these people and who suspected
9 that the Serbs were using Sarin, a deadly nerve gas in the counterattack
10 on Jezestica?
11 A. There was one thing that we couldn't find an explanation for at
12 the time. During the amputations, first the blood would change colour;
13 then there would be patients who simply stopped breathing and died right
14 there on the table. We tried to find an explanation for these sudden
15 changes in their behaviour as patients who had been wounded, the reactions
16 of their body during the actual operation. We thought that maybe poisons
17 had been used, and that's why we tried to counter the effect of these
18 poisons, to re-establish the normal breathing functions during an
20 Q. And subsequent to that, during the rest of your time in
21 Srebrenica, did you ever become aware that the Serbs were using chemical
22 weapons against the enclave?
23 A. This is not something that I can state categorically. This would
24 require a very thorough medical study and a well-founded expert opinion.
25 My speculation would lead to nothing. There were strange forms of
1 behaviour by patients, strange things that would happen during their
2 treatment or the operation itself, something that might have indicated
3 things like the use of nerve gas or poison. But this is not something
4 that I could state or ascertain offhand, like this, with no thorough
5 examination of the issue.
6 Q. Finally, just on that subject, in July 1995, were you in Tuzla
7 when the column of people arrived from Srebrenica, after the fall of
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you become aware of stories from the people who fled
11 Srebrenica that chemical weapons had been used against them?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sorry, what's the relevance of all this, what
13 happened in 1995?
14 MR. JONES: The indictment goes right until the end of 1995, and a
15 large number of my questions --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: But it's your client who is being accused --
17 MR. JONES: Of course, Your Honour. Of course, Your Honour. Our
18 client is charged under Article 7.3 of the Statute on the basis of command
19 responsibility, and relevant to those charges is the whole command
20 environment, what the strength and deployment of the enemy forces were,
21 what he could do under those circumstances. And so the fact that there is
22 a foe which is deploying chemical weapons against the population is
23 pertinent to the general situation. If that's a problem, I'll withdraw
24 the question.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, if you look at Counts 1 and 2, they are
1 very specific as regards a time frame. If you look at Counts 3 to 6, they
2 are also very specific as regards to events and time frame. So I don't
3 see how this -- what might have happened - I'm not saying that it didn't -
4 but what might have happened in 1995 could have a bearing on --
5 MR. JONES: It's a matter which I'd prefer not to discuss in front
6 of the witness. We can raise it at another stage. The date 1995
7 certainly appears in the indictment.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course it will, but the indictment is what it is
9 and the counts are what they are, and they are very specific, particular
10 to events and to dates. So I would suggest that you move to something
12 MR. JONES: I'll move on to the Podravanje action.
13 Q. As far as the Podravanje action was concerned, didn't hay, bricks,
14 and other essential items get destroyed by the torbari [Realtime
15 transcript read in error "tobari"], if I can refer to them that way,
16 despite requests by the army, or by the fighters, that those items be
18 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
20 MR. WUBBEN: -- yesterday, we already referred to that issue
21 through questioning by the Prosecution. Now, when it comes to the
22 Podravanje action, we have the testimony of a witness that there is an
23 action and there is a time before and a time after. When he gave
24 testimony yesterday, he was specific in his testimony when it comes to the
25 time, so it should be also very specific in the question, I would suggest
1 and advise. And whenever there is within the question also a confirmation
2 needed for a qualification, like torbari, that that should be another
3 question. So no question within questions, and with the vagueness of the
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's take them one by one, and I'm sure that
6 Mr. Jones will agree with me. Let's take torbari, and not "tobari" as it
7 appears in the transcript; torbari. I would suggest that you first ask
8 the witness whether he has ever heard the word "torbari," and if he has,
9 what does he mean by "torbari," so that we at least are sure, and the
10 Prosecution too, that we are on the same wave length. We'll start with
11 that first.
12 MR. JONES: And then if afterwards I could be given a few moments
13 to read Mr. Wubben's objection so I can understand it.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I can give you an adjournment, if you want.
15 MR. JONES: I think I'll need it.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's start. Have you ever heard of the word
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: What do you understand by the word "torbari"?
20 I'm sorry, I'm taking over for this simple part.
21 MR. JONES: I'm happy for you to do so, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: What does "torbari" mean? What is your --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a generic name for those
24 people over there. They carried bags slung over their shoulders or on
25 their backs. They would enter villages prior to or after an operation,
1 looting food and taking food and foodstuffs away. That's what they did.
2 And these are the civilians that I was talking about yesterday who would
3 wait for the army to seize control of a village before storming the
4 village themselves. Then they would pick stuff up and they would leave.
5 Carpetbaggers, the so-called carpetbaggers.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: If I were to look into a dictionary of your
7 language, would I find the word "torbari"?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps you would, but I don't
9 believe you would find the same meaning described. "Torbar," a very
10 simple explanation would be, a person carrying a bag. That's all there is
11 to it.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Judge Eser.
13 JUDGE ESER: Just for clarification, this word "torbari," did it
14 already exist before the war or was it invented in that time?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was the first time I heard the
16 word used. I had never heard the word used before, not in the same
17 meaning, at least.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the President, please.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
21 With regard to the rest of the objection made by Mr. Wubben, I,
22 too, feel a little bit confused, Mr. Wubben, what you mean. Could you
23 explain? Because it looked to me more of a suggestion to Mr. Jones than
24 an objection. I can't understand what you meant, to be honest. Perhaps
25 you could --
1 MR. WUBBEN: Well, the question by Mr. Jones referred to the
2 destruction in a view -- in particular with a view to an action. Now,
3 yesterday we learned from the witness testifying in court that he was --
4 he witnessed certain events happening not directly through the combat
5 action, or when the combat action took place, but after that. Now, when
6 the question refers to a specific action, and a question relates to --
7 includes the fact that hay had been destroyed during that action, or
8 suggests that, then the answering should be very specific and pointed out
9 that yesterday he testified that he was only present after the action.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I see, I know what you mean now.
11 MR. JONES: I'm still not sure if I -- an objection which takes 10
12 lines to state --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: It is an objection, it is an objection. In actual
14 fact, the objection is that you shouldn't be asking the witness questions
15 relating to events that he was not present at when they happened. And
16 Mr. Wubben is saying that yesterday, or whenever it was, the witness, with
17 regard to this military action, arrived on the spot only at a certain
18 point in time, when certain things had already happened and others started
19 happening or were happening in front of his eyes.
20 MR. JONES: Yes. But that's --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: So he's asking you to split the question and not to
22 mix together in one basket what he couldn't have seen because he wasn't
23 there and what he could have seen because he saw -- he told us he saw it
24 yesterday. This is more or less how I am understanding. I am not
25 suggesting at any time - don't misunderstand me, Mr. Wubben - that you
1 were not clear in your objection, but I'm not suggesting that you are
2 deficient either, Mr. Jones.
3 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour. That's why I'm somewhat
4 puzzled, because do I understand Mr. Wubben to be arguing that there's a
5 hearsay rule, and witnesses are not able to speak about things that they
6 didn't see themselves? Because surely this witness can speak about things
7 he learned before, after -- the Prosecution showed this witness many
8 documents months before he arrived, so --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's not waste time --
10 MR. JONES: Precisely, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: -- let's go to the question that you had, and if
12 necessary, I'll take it up myself.
13 MR. JONES: That's fine, Your Honour. I have questions framed
15 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, you told us that Zulfo Tursunovic wanted hay to be
16 preserved before the Podravanje action so that refugees would have hay to
17 feed their horses with; is that correct?
18 A. Not only their horses; livestock in general, including cows.
19 Q. And despite that, you saw the torbari - and I'll use that term -
20 destroying hay and other material which could have been used to feed
21 livestock; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, I saw people do that sort of thing.
23 Q. Is it also true that you saw dead bodies of Serbs in Podravanje,
24 and that all of the ones you saw were in uniform, except for the body of
25 one woman?
1 A. That's true.
2 Q. And isn't it also true that, as far as you're aware, looting and
3 destruction by the torbari was still occurring days after the military
5 A. Yes, I did say that, didn't I?
6 Q. Didn't the fighters from Srebrenica also capture a tank from the
7 Serbs in Podravanje?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. If you're aware, was that tank captured from the Bracan elevation,
10 above the bauxite mine?
11 A. I don't know exactly where it was captured. I know that it was
12 captured, and I saw it right there, while I was still in the Podravanje
14 Q. And isn't it right --
15 A. The tank had an anti-aircraft gun, a three-barrelled gun, attached
16 to it, 20/3. There was a tank, and behind the tank there was an
17 anti-aircraft gun attached to it. The type was 20/3, that was the type of
18 the weapon.
19 MR. JONES: All right. I see the time, Your Honour, and it might
20 be an appropriate moment for a break.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Jones. We'll reconvene --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the president, please.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: There will be a 30-minute break during which time
24 the three Judges will be having a meeting. Thank you.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.10 a.m.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Apologies for the delay, but we were
3 still in camera discussing one -- two of the pending motions.
4 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones.
6 MR. JONES:
7 Q. Dr. Mujkanovic, I'll try to ask you very brief questions and you
8 can provide brief answers, and hopefully we'll make enough progress here
9 that we can be finished with your testimony on Monday.
10 Now, referring to this tank which was captured in Podravanje,
11 isn't it right that the driver of the tank was -- sorry, let me rephrase
12 that, that a Muslim fighter tried to drive the tank and he was somewhat
13 inexperienced and he drove over a woman's body, smashing her head.
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. After the action in Podravanje, didn't the Serbs retaliate with
16 massive shelling, as well as aerial bombardment, of Srebrenica?
17 A. They did.
18 Q. Now, you mentioned on Tuesday how people from Suceska were
19 involved in the Podravanje action. Isn't it right that Suceska is right
20 by Podravanje?
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. Were you aware, or did you become aware, that the Muslims in
23 Suceska were getting shelled by the Serbs in Podravanje in the days and
24 weeks before the action?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Now, you said that Zulfo's unit was probably in Podravanje because
2 you received a lot of wounded who were from Suceska. Is it right that not
3 all able-bodied men from Suceska were necessarily in Zulfo's unit?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. And did you also receive a lot of wounded who were from villages
6 in the Vlasenica municipality; for example, Dzile, Stedra, Nurici?
7 A. I consider all these to be Suceska, because Suceska comes under
8 the municipality of Vlasenica. Now, I cannot speak of the individual and
9 specific villages.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, let's talk about the action in Fakovici on the
11 5th of October, 1992, and if I can preface my question by going back to
12 something you said earlier. You said that the worst situation of
13 starvation was in early 1993, but is it right that even in October 1992,
14 there was a severe food crisis in Srebrenica?
15 A. That's correct, throughout the period, in fact. But it did peak
16 in December, January, February, March, therefore, end of 1992 and the
17 beginning of 1993. But throughout the period there was shortage of food.
18 Q. So did you understand that the Fakovici action specifically was
19 carried out because of the vital need for resources - food, ammunition,
21 A. Not only this action. I said that practically all the actions
22 were carried out because there was need for food, ammunition, and other
23 things. So I would not pick out just the Fakovici action, but I would
24 rather highlight that all the actions were carried out in order to obtain
25 food, ammunition, and medicines, so that this was always the goal before
1 and after the Fakovici action. I also said that this area was under
2 nobody's control, not even the military, and the civilians were basically
3 present in the entire area.
4 Q. Okay. And so when I come to the Bjelovac and Kravica actions, I
5 won't revisit this theme. I take it from your answer that they were also
6 actions carried out for food and ammunition.
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. Now, in Fakovici, you learned, didn't you, that two or three
9 four-barrelled anti-aircraft guns and many weapons were captured from the
10 Serbs in Fakovici?
11 A. I stated that I learnt of the Fakovici action only when the
12 wounded started arriving. Zulfo Tursunovic was one of them, and he told
13 me that he had captured one four-barrelled gun. I don't know how many, in
14 fact, were captured. But he told me how it had happened that he was
15 wounded; that he was basically on his way to capture the four-barrelled
16 gun, and in the process he was wounded.
17 Q. And did you understand that a lot of food and a lot of medicines
18 were also captured at Fakovici?
19 A. A certain amount of medicines and medical supplies were brought
20 in, in fact, but I cannot speak of the quantities of food that were
22 Q. Now, I'm going to move on to the Bjelovac action. Still, one more
23 question on Fakovici. This phenomenon you've described, sociological
24 phenomenon, of the torbari following the fighters into towns after
25 actions, is that also the same phenomenon, as far as you know, which took
1 place in Fakovici?
2 A. This phenomenon was a recurring one. And not only did they enter
3 into villages after the fighters, sometimes they would go to these
4 villages before actions. And that's why sometimes we would basically have
5 civilians brought in as wounded before the fighters that were wounded came
7 Q. Thank you. Now, turning to Bjelovac and the action on the 14th of
8 -- 14th to 19th December, 1992, is it a fair summary of what you've told
9 us that this action concentrated on Muslim villages that had been occupied
10 by the Serbs?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And did you learn from Muslims from that area who had fled to
13 Srebrenica that, in early 1992, the Serbs had ethnically cleansed
14 thousands of them from that area?
15 A. Yes, I did hear -- I did learn.
16 Q. And did you hear that when the Serbs expelled the Muslims, they
17 often stole the Muslims' livestock and belongings as well?
18 A. I knew that they were Srebrenica, because the Serbs first entered
19 Srebrenica which was then liberated. I knew that they had set on fire the
20 entire neighbourhoods of the town. Now, as for the Muslim villages and
21 whether they had been looted or not, I really can't say anything about
23 Q. Okay. Did you hear that the Serbs had a massive military presence
24 in this area, along the Drina? And I'm talking about the period in
25 December 1992.
1 A. Yes. The so-called Drina Corps was concentrated over there, and
2 of course a corps is a large military formation that can number several
3 tens of thousands of soldiers.
4 Q. There were, weren't there, a lot of corn fields in this area?
5 A. Yes. This is a very fertile area, on the left bank of the Drina
6 River. It is a plain where the population mostly farmed the land,
7 cultivating grain, vegetables, fruit.
8 Q. And did you hear or understand, learn, that the corn had not been
9 harvested by the Muslims because they had been forced out in the spring of
11 A. Yes, I did learn about this, and there were many people from those
12 parts who would, at night, prior to the actions that had taken place
13 there, go into the fields, harvest the corn, and then return to
14 Srebrenica. Because I've already told you that there would be a night or
15 two nights that would be calm, and then the third night, mines would be
16 laid along the corridors where it was known that the civilians would
17 usually pass. And then, as a result of that, you would have a great many
18 civilians mutilated, and many of them actually got killed in the
20 Q. And did the Serbs also put booby-traps in the fields and also in
21 the cellars, which would be triggered when Muslims tried to go back and
22 get food?
23 A. Yes, that's how it happened. First they would let them pass
24 across the certain area, and then -- thus luring them, and in the end,
25 would lure them into such traps.
1 Q. Again, just dealing with what you know, did that create a
2 pressure, pressure from these civilians, on the fighters to go in and
3 secure the area so that they could safely gather food?
4 A. I wouldn't be able to answer this question. I'm not sure.
5 Q. That's fine. Now, did you also learn that Bjelovac was successful
6 because of the surprise tactic of fighters going around from the Drina and
7 taking the Serbs by surprise?
8 A. That's how it was, roughly, yes.
9 Q. And I understand, and correct me if I'm wrong, that you did have
10 conversations with some of the fighters who participated in the action,
11 and they told you a lot of what had happened. Would that be right?
12 A. Yes. I said that I spoke to Safet Omerovic, who was one of the
13 participants in this battle.
14 Q. And his nickname is Mis; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did he tell you that a frontal attack from the hills was not being
17 contemplated because the Serbs had fortified their positions in the
19 A. I've explained this in my earlier testimony here. The civilians,
20 as soon as they realised that there was chaos in this particular area,
21 they managed to break through the lines. And I said that it was a
22 multitude of people going in the direction of the Drina River.
23 Q. Didn't Mis tell you that they had eliminated a barracks of
24 soldiers which also had armoured vehicles, and that they captured a tank
25 and two APCs in Bjelovac?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes, he did. He told me about it all.
2 MR. JONES: If you'll bear with me for a moment, Your Honours.
3 Q. We've spoken a bit about planes which you saw, fighter planes.
4 We've already had detail about that, so I'm not going to go into any great
5 detail, but isn't it right that what you saw were fighter planes from
7 A. That's correct. I did see the direction they came from, or
8 rather, I'm speaking about this one plane that I saw.
9 Q. And how long were you --
10 A. I apologise, if this is the specific event we're talking about.
11 Now, in the course of Srebrenica being bombed, I saw several types of
12 planes, because Srebrenica was exposed to at least 50 air raids. The
13 planes involved included the ones mentioned by His Honour, but there were
14 other smaller planes also involved in the attacks on Srebrenica, because
15 they would usually fly in pairs. They'd be active from a higher altitude
16 so that anti-aircraft guns could not reach them. They were out of their
17 range, because their range was some 2.000 metres, and above that the
18 ammunition would simply disperse. So it will be from that altitude that
19 they would bomb Srebrenica. And now, when you would have fighter planes,
20 those were MiGs flying very fast, and as they would bomb Srebrenica, they
21 would basically raze to the ground the entire building.
22 It's true that there were two types of planes; there were those
23 with propellers and then the other ones that I suppose were MiGs, because
24 that's what the JNA had, it had fighter planes, MiG 21 and 29.
25 Q. I'm asking you now about Bjelovac. If you could just remind us
1 when you made these observations, and for how long? Of airplanes. You
2 said in the afternoon, and then for how long? How long were you watching?
3 A. It was very brief. We were able to follow the attack which lasted
4 less than a minute, because the plane fired, made its attack, and then
5 looped, turned around, and went in the direction of Serbia.
6 Q. And it caused a great number of casualties among the Muslim
7 civilians; would that be right?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. Now, you referred to this biplane, the plane referred to by His
10 Honour, and you appeared to be aware of that biplane or biplanes. Were
11 you ever aware of where the biplanes were flying from, were taking off
13 A. To the extent we heard or knew, based on intelligence that was
14 known around Srebrenica, they'd take off from a locality near Bratunac,
15 called Stale. That was the -- perhaps not the official name of the area,
16 but that's how it was known.
17 Now, the fighter planes, MiGs, took off from the Ponikve airport
18 in Serbia, airfield in Serbia.
19 Q. Are you aware that the fighting in Bjelovac lasted about four
21 A. They lasted long, at least three to four days.
22 Q. Did you gather, from speaking to fighters who fought in Bjelovac,
23 that there was fierce resistance from the Serbs and a counterattack from
24 the Serbs?
25 A. I wasn't aware of the details concerning the fighting, but I know
1 that actions usually lasted one or two days. But this particular one
2 lasted longer. I remember that we were under great pressure in the
3 hospital. Now, I didn't go into details to analyse whether this was due
4 to a counterattack. I know that it lasted three or four days. There were
5 many wounded, among whom many were civilians.
6 Q. Now, wasn't Hakija Meholjic in Sase for this action, firstly?
7 A. His unit was tasked with going to Sase, and later on I went to
8 Sase with Hakija, when they were pulling out some goods from a storage
9 facility there. This was after the -- in the new year. They were taking
10 some generators for power, and so on.
11 Q. Yes. Did you gather from Hakija, or from men in his unit, that
12 they captured a huge amount of items, such as food, weapons, howitzers,
13 and multiple rocket-launchers? I'm afraid you have to give a verbal
15 A. Yes. I saw this when they brought it over in front of the
16 Domavija Hotel. I told you that I stayed at the Domavija Hotel and would
17 return there every night. I believe that in addition to foodstuffs, they
18 captured large amounts of detergents, soap, and other such items. And I
19 saw that there was a four-barrelled gun, a 20/4 type of a gun in front of
20 the hotel. I also saw a modified multiple rocket-launcher practically
21 made from a missile launcher dismounted from a plane. So it wasn't a
22 classical JNA multiple rocket-launcher, it was a remodeled, refashioned
23 one that they had captured. I believe it was of 60 millimetre in calibre.
24 That's what the missiles were.
25 Q. And was a howitzer also captured?
1 A. I didn't see a howitzer there, so I can't tell you whether they
2 had captured it or not. I told you what I saw.
3 Q. Were you also aware that a tank and two APCs were captured in
5 A. Yes, yes, I was aware of this, and I did see them driving the two
6 APCs as they came into Srebrenica.
7 Q. Did you understand Sase to be a major Serb stronghold?
8 A. I wouldn't be able to say whether Sase was a major Serb
10 Q. Right. I'm going to move on to Kravica, and just a few questions
11 about Kravica, although I may come back to it on Monday. And if we could
12 look at pages 108 to 109 of War Hospital, I'm just going to read one short
13 passage there, starting at the bottom of page 108. And it's stated --
14 I'll wait until you have it. The bottom, the bottom paragraph:
15 "With aid convoys on hold and Serb forces engaging in a strong
16 counterattack, supplies peter out. The doctors horde the remaining
17 medicines. Almost a month after the last convoy, food is again in
18 desperately short supply. Srebrenica soldiers plan an offensive on Serb
19 villages, calculating the expected weight and types of goods that might be
20 captured in different places. They choose January 7, Serb Orthodox
21 Christmas, the second time they have launched an attack on an Orthodox
22 holiday. And they choose Kravica, a historic centre for Serb nationalism
23 whose inhabitants fought against the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th and
24 early 20th centuries, and armed and trained local Serbs for this war."
25 Did you understand from fighters you spoke to that that date,
1 Orthodox Christmas, was selected, again, for the element of surprise?
2 A. It is possible.
3 Q. And did you understand the action in Kravica to be driven by the
4 desperate need for food?
5 A. That's what I said before, that all the actions had, as their
6 objective, the search for food.
7 Q. And did you also understand Kravica to be a historic centre for
8 Serb nationalism and the place where local fighters had been armed and
9 trained for this war, the war in 1992?
10 A. I didn't know that Kravica was a centre of Serb nationalism, but I
11 knew that before the war, some seven to eight months before the outbreak
12 of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in 1991, Kravica could not be passed
13 through, that it had been blocked, that two Bosniaks had been killed there
14 as they were on their way from Konjevic Polje to Kravica, so that even
15 before the official outbreak of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there was
16 an incident in Kravica. And although this took place on the main road,
17 the police were unable to do anything about it.
18 Q. Isn't it right that you were told about what happened in Kravica
19 -- sorry.
20 A. If I may just apologise and say this: If I were to say that
21 Kravica was a centre of Serb nationalism in Bosnia-Herzegovina, I might,
22 by doing so, offend those at Pale, because they would consider Pale to be
23 a centre, or those in Srebrenica. So I can say that Kravica was one of
24 the places where Serb nationalism was prominent.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, did Zele, you mentioned earlier, did he tell you
1 about the Kravica action?
2 A. No. Zele might have been one of those who told me various things
3 about the action, but Zele was an amputee. One of his arms was amputated.
4 It was Mis who told me about the Kravica action. It was after the action
5 that he came to see me at the hospital and told me all about it.
6 Q. Did he tell you that a haystack was lit on fire as a signal?
7 A. Yes, that's right. This was a signal for the start of the action.
8 Q. And is it right that sometimes -- or let's deal with Kravica, that
9 this was also to send a signal to the Serbs to leave the area? When they
10 would see something burning, they would understand that there was an
11 attack and they would then flee?
12 A. I wouldn't be able to claim either way.
13 Q. But are you aware that a way was left out for the Kravica Serbs,
14 namely, towards the Drina, towards the north, so that they could flee
15 without being entirely encircled?
16 A. I wasn't aware of these details either. I wouldn't be able to
17 state either way.
18 Q. Right. And then finally, on Kravica, I think you've told us this
19 already, but wasn't it only after Kravica fell that Srebrenica was linked
20 up with Cerska and Kamenica and Konjevic Polje?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Right.
23 A. A safe corridor was established between Konjevic Polje and
24 Srebrenica, and further on up towards Cerska, but not a corridor that
25 could be used for traffic along the road. It was a corridor which
1 actually ran across the hill, and then from Konjevic Polje on to
3 Q. Is that hill, is that Ravni Buljim, or is that another path?
4 A. You had to take the road that I took across Gornji Potocari or
5 Buljim. It's just one road, but there are several ways to take that road.
6 You can go a bit further to the left or to the right. It was just a
7 corridor. You had to pass Kravica in order to get to Konjevic Polje.
8 Q. Now, after Kravica fell, isn't it right that the Serbs launched a
9 massive counterattack?
10 A. I can't remember.
11 Q. Are you aware of a winter offensive which was launched by the
13 A. No.
14 MR. JONES: With the usher's assistance, I'd like to show a
15 document to the witness. It's D184. It's a document of the War
16 Presidency, dated 17th January, 1993, and the ERN is 01858496.
17 Q. Now, this is titled "Protest." Just looking at the content of the
18 document, would you first agree that this is the sort of appeal for help
19 being sent out from Srebrenica which you referred to yesterday?
20 A. I must say, I've never seen this document before. If I may just
21 be allowed two or three minutes to go through it and see what it says.
22 Q. Yes, of course.
23 A. I've finished.
24 Q. Now, this document refers to a number of things, but, among
25 others, massive artillery and air attacks on Srebrenica from the Serbs,
1 including by forces from Uzice, with tanks, et cetera. Was that the
2 situation in Srebrenica at the time, in the Srebrenica enclave at the
4 A. Yes. Yes, I said that in my statement also. Srebrenica was
5 subjected to daily shellings by mortar and long-range artillery pieces
6 positioned in Serbia. Air strikes too for a while were a daily reality.
7 Five past three, you could set your alarm clock, because that was when the
8 air strikes would regularly start. So yes, it is quite true to say that
9 Srebrenica was both bombed and shelled.
10 Q. You agreed that after the 7th of January, Srebrenica was linked up
11 with Konjevic Polje, Kamenica, and Cerska. Isn't it right that in this
12 period, those enclaves, that Konjevic Polje, Kamenica, and Cerska were
13 greatly under threat in this period, middle of January 1993 and onwards?
14 A. Well, the whole area of the Cerska and Konjevic Polje enclaves
15 shared Srebrenica's fate. They were spared no attacks and no shelling.
16 Q. Wasn't Naser Oric in fact away from Srebrenica for a lot of this
17 period, from January the 17th, 1993, through February and March, precisely
18 because he was on the front lines, fighting to stop the Serb advance?
19 A. If you look at this protest, it refers to an offensive which was
20 carried out in the south-east of the Srebrenica enclave, whereas Konjevic
21 Polje and Cerska are in the north. Therefore, it's very difficult to see
22 these things tally, I mean what happened in Konjevic Polje on the one hand
23 and what happened in the south-east of the enclave, in Skelani. It's true
24 that the offensive was first launched in Skelani, but I have no idea what
25 was happening in Konjevic Polje and Cerska at the time. It's really
1 difficult for me to say whether an attack was under way there, too. I'm
2 not perfectly clear about all these things, but here I am, and we can seek
3 to clarify this together.
4 Q. If I can concentrate more specifically on Naser Oric and the
5 extent to which you saw him in January, February, March 1993. So my
6 question was, really: Isn't it true that with these offensives going on,
7 he was not in the town of Srebrenica very much during that period?
8 A. Over the previous days, I said that I would see Naser whenever he
9 came to the hospital. That was how we usually met. He always came to the
10 hospital after an action or a battle, no matter whether offensive or
11 defensive. He would visit the fighters. We would have a conversation,
12 that sort of thing. As for the period of time that you have suggested,
13 it's very difficult for me to say. I'd be speculating to tell you that I
14 saw more or less of him during that particular period. I did see him
15 occasionally. Whenever he returned after these battles, that was when and
16 where we met. Sometimes we met in town, that sort of thing.
17 Q. You mentioned, in the context of recognising Naser Oric's
18 signature, that at a certain time, you were receiving messages from him
19 precisely because he wasn't able to come to the hospital, and my question
20 is: Weren't there more of these messages in that period --
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. -- weren't there more of these messages in this early 1993 period
23 than in 1992, if you remember?
24 A. The messages were sporadic. They were at their most frequent
25 during the evacuation of the wounded from Srebrenica, which was supposed
1 to take place in March. This failed on account of Serb shelling, several
2 times. That was when I received most of these messages. But again, I
3 can't specify how frequent they were in a certain period, or when they
4 were less frequent. But this was not our usual means of communication.
5 It was only when he couldn't personally make it to the hospital to discuss
6 things with me that he would send a message. Therefore, it's very
7 difficult for me to see the messages in relation to any particular event,
8 except for the evacuation at the time when the fiercest fighting was going
9 on in the south-east of the enclave. This was an example of a time period
10 when he was not able to come to the hospital personally, and those were
11 usually the times that I received messages from him.
12 Q. And, sorry, in what period was that, roughly?
13 A. You're talking about the messages, aren't you?
14 Q. The period when you say the fiercest fighting was going on in the
15 south-east of the enclave, can you give us a time period for that?
16 A. From mid-February to on or about the 17th of April, that was the
17 fiercest offensive that was ever carried out against Srebrenica at the
19 Q. So is it right, then, that between mid-February and mid-April
20 1993, you saw less of Naser Oric than you had done previously?
21 A. That's correct, yes.
22 Q. Okay. Because he wasn't visiting the hospital, I take it.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Right. Now, moving to a different area now, and in fact slightly
25 back in time, we have a video. It's Prosecution Exhibit V000-3939. It's
1 just three minutes long. It's P318.
2 MR. JONES: I should ask the booth, I think, to switch to Defence
3 mode. If the technical booth could give me an indication when it's on
4 everyone's screens, that would be helpful.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: For once I had hoped there are no technical
6 problems, but there are. So we will all need to wait a couple of minutes,
7 I think, until this is all sorted out. The technician is on his way.
8 MR. JONES: A couple of minutes doesn't pose a problem.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: In any case, I mean there is nothing we can do from
10 here, from our end, at least.
11 [Technical difficulty]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he has arrived.
13 MR. JONES: Okay. I think the technical hitch wasn't so major.
14 Perhaps you could freeze -- yes.
15 Q. I'm going to play the video, but I'll just freeze it there just
16 for identification purposes. Do you recognise the figure in the middle?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. That's Naser Oric, isn't it?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And I believe, when we play the video, we'll see that you were
21 present at this gathering. Do you recognise the other people on Naser
22 Oric's left as being a Dutch journalist and his driver?
23 A. The photograph that I'm looking at, you mean the one on the right?
24 Q. Yes, sorry.
25 A. The bearded man.
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. On Naser Oric's left, yes, that is, indeed, a journalist who came
3 to Srebrenica in the early days. I think it was in August. It was just
4 after I arrived.
5 Q. Right. So could the date on the screen be correct, 19 August
7 A. Well, yes, I can see the date. I'm sure that it was in August.
8 I'm just not sure whether it's the 18th or the 19th.
9 Q. We'll play the video for three minutes now.
10 [Videotape played]
11 MR. JONES: Sorry, my apologies, we're not going to play the full
12 three minutes, we're going to stop it before then. Stop it there, in
14 Q. This is simply a question about physical appearances. Would you
15 agree, firstly, that Naser Oric had at that time, August 1992, a rather
16 distinctive fringe - I don't want to say anything insulting to my client -
17 but a rather stringy fringe, if I can put it that way?
18 A. Yes, and a little beard too.
19 Q. And did he have that beard the whole time that you knew him in
21 A. I think so, yes.
22 Q. We'll play a bit further on.
23 [Videotape played]
24 MR. JONES:
25 Q. That's you, isn't it?
1 A. Yes. Yes. This is perhaps not the best frame to choose.
2 [Videotape played]
3 A. Yes, that's me.
4 MR. JONES:
5 Q. Now, I just have a question, in looking at this video, do you
6 agree that that man looks a lot like Naser Oric?
7 A. Well, I could agree, yes.
8 Q. But it's not him, is it?
9 A. No, it's not him. There were a lot of people who looked a little
10 like Naser, bearded people, that sort of styling. Crew-cut, short hair,
11 beards, it was a fashion back then, you could say.
12 Q. Isn't that right, that there were, in fact, if I may put it this
13 way, Naser-imitators, people who adopted his look?
14 A. Yes, that's true, very much so. He was their idol. They styled
15 themselves after him in terms of haircut, in terms of their beards, and so
17 Q. That's all we're showing of the video. While we're on Naser's
18 physical appearance, would you agree that he's about 180 centimetres tall?
19 A. I must be 184, and he's just slightly shorter than I am, which
20 would make it about 180, yes, thereabouts.
21 Q. And while we're at it, would you agree that he has brown eyes?
22 A. It's been long since I last saw his eyes, but I think they're
23 probably brown, a dark brown.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, we saw Naser Oric there in the video. He wasn't
25 surrounded by armed bodyguards or anything of that nature; is that right?
1 From when you saw him in the town, he didn't go around with tens of armed
3 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, I object to this. I'm not aware whether
4 or not we saw from the video that he was not surrounded by armed
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the objection needs to be sustained. The
7 video only shows one particular spot, we don't know about the rest, so
8 it's easy to rephrase your question, Mr. Jones, and ask him whether it was
9 the norm for Mr. -- for your client to be surrounded by bodyguards or not,
10 and whether he was surrounded by bodyguards on that occasion.
11 MR. JONES: Yes, I'll take Your Honour's first question.
12 Q. Was it normal for Naser Oric to be surrounded by bodyguards?
13 A. I don't know who they were. I'm not familiar with any people that
14 may have been Naser Oric's bodyguards.
15 Q. Right. I'm actually going to move to another area now. I'm going
16 to look at some documents. We have plenty of time.
17 You were shown a lot of documents, and you told us in a number of
18 cases that the signature was similar to that or resembled that of Naser
20 MR. JONES: Now, with Your Honours' permission, I'd be grateful if
21 we could conduct an exercise which is, if the cameras could just show our
22 legal assistant here for a moment, we're just going to conduct an
23 exercise, the purpose of which will be obvious in due course. I don't
24 know if the camera is able to --
25 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour --
1 MR. JONES: Let's just wait and see.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Wubben, I think I know what's coming up.
3 MR. WUBBEN: If you know, Your Honour --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. I would rather wait, I would rather
5 wait, before I will let you say what the objection is.
6 MR. JONES: With the usher's assistance, could the usher please
7 take a piece of paper and show it to the witness. If it could be placed
8 on the ELMO.
9 I can explain, Your Honour. I can anticipate the Prosecution's
10 objection, and I'll explain very clearly the purposes of this exercise.
11 This witness has been asked whether certain signatures resembled
12 that of Naser Oric, or were similar to. We have a signature which we
13 would like to ask the witness whether it's similar to or resembles that of
14 Naser Oric. I don't see how there can be any objection to that.
15 Q. So the question is, Dr. Mujkanovic, do you agree that that
16 signature resembles or is similar to that of Naser Oric?
17 A. This one looks very much like Naser Oric's signature.
18 MR. JONES: Thank you. We'd ask for that to be given an exhibit
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All of them or ...
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the President, please.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Which ones of them? All of them or some of them?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if I may show exactly which
24 one. This one sort of doesn't, but this one really does. [Indicates].
25 And then this one and this one, and all the rest. The top two perhaps
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 don't quite look like it, but the remaining four very much resemble his
3 MR. JONES: Thank you. If that could be given an exhibit number.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
5 MR. WUBBEN: Just a short -- to clarify. There was no objection
6 from my side, it was a request for clarification for the exercise.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: But at the end of the day, I mean, it's --
8 MR. WUBBEN: It's the way -- how he put it. Thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's not waste time on this.
10 MR. JONES: Right.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Because at the end of the day, the more professional
12 the forgery, the more resemblance there is.
13 MR. JONES: I think the point is an obvious one.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
15 MR. JONES:
16 Q. Now, turning to one of the documents --
17 MR. JONES: I'm sorry, first we'll need an exhibit number.
18 THE REGISTRAR: D201.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So D201.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
21 MR. JONES: Now, with the usher's assistance, could the witness be
22 shown P176, please. That's ERN 03720933.
23 Q. Now, you said on Monday that the operational staff was, you
24 thought, established in late September 1992. Now, this document is dated
25 the 3rd of September, 1992. So isn't it right that this document, that
1 the date on this document as the date of the establishment of the
2 operations staff doesn't seem right to you, it seems too early?
3 A. It seems too early, yes. As far as I know, this occurred in
4 mid-September 1992.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, I hate to have to intervene, but although the
6 document bears a date as -- the date of the 3rd of September, 1992, if you
7 read point 3, it says "The Chief of Staff is authorised to establish and
8 start the work of the operations staff of the Srebrenica armed forces, by
9 the 17th of September, at the latest." So we are basically talking of
10 mid-September, as the witness says.
11 MR. JONES: Yes, that's what I'm coming to.
12 Q. If we look at paragraph 4 of that document, it says: "The
13 operations staff, headed by Osman Osmanovic, might be united into an
14 integral entity." Firstly, are we right to understand that as meaning
15 integral within the Srebrenica staff? It's envisaged that the operations
16 staff would be integrated into the Srebrenica staff?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
18 MR. WUBBEN: I do not know what my learned friend means with
19 "Srebrenica staff," while his is "armed forces staff" at the top.
20 MR. JONES: My apologies.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben is right, Mr. Jones.
22 MR. JONES: Yes.
23 Q. Would that be correct, that it was envisaged that the operations
24 staff might be united into an integral entity with the Srebrenica armed
25 forces staff?
1 A. Not that I'm aware of. The operations staff was set up and worked
2 as an operations staff. I'm not sure what it was supposed to become part
3 of or not. I'm not sure exactly what they mean by uniting the staff into
4 an integral entity. I'm not sure what they mean by the establishing of a
5 command body and this necessity that they seem to be discussing here.
6 Q. Let me put it this way: Is it right that the operational staff
7 was established as a parallel to the OS staff, the armed forces staff, as
8 opposed to being established by the armed forces staff, so that there were
9 two staffs?
10 A. I really can't answer this question. I don't know, and I don't
11 think I'm clear about this. Osman Osmanovic was the chief of the
12 operations staff, and we know the members. If there was a parallel staff
13 that was functioning at the same time, it's really not something that I
14 can comment on.
15 Q. Okay. Well, we might come back to that when we look at the war
17 MR. JONES: For the moment, could the witness please be shown P8,
18 which is 01239518.
19 Q. Now, in this document, it appears the president of the War
20 Presidency is appointing Osman Osmanovic to the chief of staff of the
21 Srebrenica armed forces. Firstly, Naser Oric isn't appointing Osman
22 Osmanovic, is he, in this document?
23 A. That's what it says here.
24 Q. Now, on Monday, you told us that "The supreme commander of the
25 armed forces is the War Presidency." So is that right, that the supreme
1 authority in Srebrenica was the War Presidency?
2 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
4 MR. WUBBEN: Are we talking now about the military, the civil
5 authority or another authority? Please, Defence counsel should be --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: If I understand Mr. Jones' question, he's limiting
7 himself to the military.
8 MR. JONES: No, Your Honour. My question, and in fact it's a
9 question which the witness can probably help us with, but that this was
10 the supreme body above all civilian and military authorities.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I see, all right.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The highest organ of authority is
13 the civilian authority and the War Presidency. That was the highest body
14 of authority in Srebrenica. Therefore, the military authorities were
15 subordinated to the civilian authorities. That's how I believe -- that's
16 what I believe the case was.
17 MR. JONES:
18 Q. Yes, thank you, that's clear. Now, this document is dated the
19 14th of October, 1992, and it says, at paragraph 4, that "the tenure of
20 Osman Osmanovic is to commence on the 14th of October, 1992," and at 5, it
21 says that the decision comes into effect on the day of its adoption. So,
22 in other words, and is this your understanding, that Osman Osmanovic was,
23 in fact, appointed to his post on the 14th of October?
24 A. Yes, that's what one can conclude on the basis of this document.
25 That was the de jure situation, but de facto, Osman Osmanovic assumed his
1 duties in late September 1992, which means before the War Presidency
2 actually issued its decision appointing him, that is to say, one month
4 But I can perhaps clarify this. The War Presidency met
5 approximately once a month, and probably this item appeared on their
6 agenda scheduled for the 14th of October. This might be one of the
7 explanations why this actually took place one month later.
8 Q. If we can perhaps look at the war diary, at least a couple of
9 pages of what's been described as the war diary. It's P84.
10 For the record, the ERN for the entire war diary is 02115040 -
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Which particular page would you like to refer to the
13 witness, please?
14 MR. JONES: My apologies. 02115050, so about ten pages into the
15 document. And I should just say that we requested a re-translation of
16 certain parts of the war diary.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I was told that yesterday.
18 MR. JONES: We can perhaps deal with that on another occasion,
19 because it doesn't concern any of the passages that I'm going to --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I asked whether this matter needed to be discussed
21 here, and I got the impression that it might later on but not necessarily
22 at the time.
23 MR. JONES: Perhaps as a preliminary on Monday or something.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's all right. It's all right. I
25 understand its importance, Mr. Jones, and we will discuss it in due
1 course. I didn't raise it myself, although I discussed it with my staff.
2 MR. JONES:
3 Q. So it's page 5040. This is a meeting on the 14th of October,
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the best thing is to have the corresponding
6 page in English. Do you know the corresponding page in English,
7 Mr. Jones.
8 MR. JONES: I'm afraid not. The copy I have --
9 MR. WUBBEN: If I may help.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Wubben.
11 MR. WUBBEN: If it is 5040, then it is page 0309070 and 65.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't get that. What does that mean, 030907 --
13 MR. WUBBEN: And then 6.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And then 6.
15 MR. WUBBEN: We have page 42 at the end for the B/C/S version,
16 Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
18 MR. WUBBEN: So from there it's -- might be where to start.
19 MR. JONES: Yes. Due to the fact that I normally work from the
20 electronic copy, I just used the B/C/S ERN, and it also means that I don't
21 have my copy in front of me.
22 Q. But I have a note that we see on that page, 5050, "The meeting was
23 called to order by O. Osmanovic. He said we were faced with problems
24 regarding the functioning of the system, War Presidency, two staffs,
25 civilian protection."
1 I don't know if you see that, Dr. Mujkanovic. "The meeting was
2 called to order by O. Osmanovic. He said we were faced with problems
3 regarding the functioning of the system, War Presidency, two staffs,
4 civilian protection."
5 A. Yes, I can see that passage.
6 Q. This relates to the question I posed earlier, whether that
7 reference to two staffs would be to the operations staff and staff of the
8 Srebrenica armed forces, if you know?
9 MR. WUBBEN: Objections, Your Honour. This question includes
10 something the witness already clarified, that he isn't aware of any other
11 staff beside the operations staff.
12 MR. JONES: It might jog his memory.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead, Mr. Jones. The objection that has
14 been raised by Mr. Wubben has a lot of sense too, eh.
15 MR. JONES:
16 Q. Let me put it this way: You were a member of the operations
17 staff, weren't you, Dr. Mujkanovic?
18 A. Yes, the operations staff, yes.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It seems to be what Mr. Wubben told us, 03090706,
20 but I can't find the words or the part that was --
21 MR. JONES: Yes, it's certainly there in the Bosnian, because the
22 witness has found it. As I say, I'm working from a different version. If
23 it poses a problem, Your Honour, we can come back to this on Monday.
24 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, if I may assist.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 MR. WUBBEN: I find the quotation mentioned by my learned friend,
2 it's under translation 03090711. There we have the minutes of the meeting
3 in October 1992.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I see, yes.
5 MR. WUBBEN: And there is the agenda, paragraph 1, and the next
6 sentence is, I believe, quoted.
7 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you. I'm obliged.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. Wubben. That is extremely
10 MR. JONES:
11 Q. Yes. So really my question is: As a member of the operations
12 staff, do you know what Osmanovic, Mr. Osmanovic, was talking about when
13 he referred to "two staffs"? And if you don't know, then don't worry.
14 A. I don't.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I think there is -- or there may be an explanation
16 in the text itself, I don't know. But it says "the civilian protection
17 staff." If that is a correct translation, because I don't know if it is a
18 correct translation.
19 MR. JONES: What I see is "civilian protection," not "civilian
20 protection staff."
21 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what I have in English here.
22 MR. JONES:
23 Q. Were you aware of a civilian protection staff, Dr. Mujkanovic?
24 A. Yes. I even knew the president of the staff. I believe his last
25 name was Halilovic, or something or other.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: And, again, Mr. Jones, I mean, I'm -- I find myself
2 comforted in what I'm thinking by looking again at the entire -- the first
3 part, which says, "The meeting was called to order by Osman Osmanovic. He
4 said we were faced with problems in the functioning of the system." And
5 there you have a colon, and you see it, "the War Presidency, two staffs,
6 civilian protection." And then later on, further down, you see "the
7 civilian protection staff as part of the Secretariat for National Defence.
8 The staff is also the supreme command of the units." So I think what was
9 bothering or -- what was in Mr. Osmanovic's mind at the time - I think, I
10 mean, I stand to be corrected, obviously - were precisely these two
12 MR. JONES: In fact, Your Honour, I think, because we probably
13 with this witness will be entering into the realms of speculation, I'll
14 turn to another area.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And you have six minutes, because we'll
16 have to stop at 12.30.
17 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks.
19 MR. JONES:
20 Q. I'm going to revisit, just briefly, a couple of issues concerning
21 the food crisis in Srebrenica, and sorry if it's -- if it seems a bit of a
22 jump, but there are a couple of matters I still need to clarify.
23 Now, in Srebrenica, isn't it right that, because there wasn't
24 enough flour, people were making bread from corn husks and that sort of
25 thing, bread surrogates?
1 A. Yes, it was a surrogate of bread. I wouldn't really call it
2 bread. And you would make it from corn stalks. You would take the corn
3 off and then use the corn stalks. And then they were also using another
4 type of a tree which had some sort of an outgrowth which was like buds,
5 and then you would pick those and make flour out of those and then bake
6 bread. That's what people ate.
7 Q. Right. I'd just like to look at another passage in War Hospital.
8 It's pages 113 to 114, and it's describing the situation in early January
9 1993, and I'll read it:
10 "Serb warplanes again blast Srebrenica, in violation of the
11 no-fly zone declared by the United Nations. With no new aid supplies, no
12 new offensives for the hapsi to collect food, and thousands of new
13 refugees, food supplies vanish. People, especially those displaced from
14 their homes in the villages, turned to old war recipes, pounding flour out
15 of corncobs, tree buds, and the pulp of apples and pears. The diet
16 constipates, but the doctors have no laxatives to offer."
17 My question really was the public health issue generated by people
18 eating this improvised bread. Is it right that it was pretty
20 A. Yes. I had several cases of ileitis, that is when the
21 intestines get entangled, and one of the young girls there died as a
22 result of this condition. That's when the human diet starts involving
23 something that cannot be digested, like twigs or branches, because this
24 was no normal diet, really. This cannot be considered as food, it had no
25 nutritional value.
1 Q. People got pretty sick, having to eat this stuff.
2 A. There were cases where a surgical intervention was possible, but
3 they were undernourished due to inadequate food, diets, lack of vitamins
4 and minerals and so on, which made them liable to pneumonia, different
5 kinds of ailments. So when I said that people were dying of starvation, I
6 also meant that they were dying as a result of a number of ailments
7 resulting from undernourishment. We had premises that were not located in
8 the hospital but in Crni Rijeka - that's a neighbourhood in the town -
9 where we put up these patients.
10 Q. Was there also a public health crisis caused by the lack of a
11 clean water supply?
12 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you anything about water, whether there
13 was shortage of clean water or not, because we didn't have the
14 possibilities to verify the quality of water. But I'm sure that the
15 quality was below the acceptable one. But since we never tested water at
16 the sources, people simply drank the water that they had available.
17 Q. Weren't you aware at a certain point that there was a risk of an
18 epidemic breaking out because of the lack of a clean water supply?
19 A. There was always a lurking danger and risk of epidemics and
20 outbreaks of infectious diseases.
21 Q. And finally, on the public health issues, isn't it right that the
22 hospital where you worked was rife with lice, that many, many of the
23 patients had lice?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 A. One of the things that we received in aid was the substance
2 necessary for the prevention of lice infestation. But that's one of the
3 things that seems to be a -- accompany war.
4 MR. JONES: Thank you. I think, given the time, I can stop there,
5 and I hope to be finished by --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Jones. We will continue on Monday,
7 Monday, as you know, we are sitting in the afternoon.
8 MR. JONES: I wasn't aware of that.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we are sitting in the afternoon. I think the
10 entire week is in the afternoon, if I remember well. Correct me,
11 Mr. Siller, if I am wrong, but I think --
12 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, shouldn't it be, on the Thursday, if I
13 may, and the Friday that those are the morning sessions?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Could be, could be, could be. But I am certain, I
15 am sure, that we start with the afternoon, with an afternoon for sure.
16 Okay. Have a nice weekend. In the meantime, take every opportunity to
17 rest, Mr. Mujkanovic, because we're still not over with your testimony. I
18 think there are a few days more, I would expect.
19 MR. JONES: For my part, I plan to be finished by Monday.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Monday. And then I am sure there will be a
22 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And I certainly can assure you that there will be
24 interventions from the Bench.
25 MR. JONES: All right.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So we may be talking of an extra -- of another two
2 days, at least.
3 MR. JONES: It's a matter for Your Honours.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.30 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Monday, the 21st day of
7 February, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.