1 Thursday, 1 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar. Would you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, ma'am.
10 For the record, all the accused are here.
11 From the Defence teams, I only notice the absence of
12 Mr. Stojanovic and Mr. Bourgon.
13 Prosecution, it's Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Nicholls, Mr. Thayer. Anyone
14 else behind the column?
15 All right. Any preliminaries? The matter that you wish to deal
16 with, we'll deal with it as soon as we conclude the other issue that we
17 had -- we were dealing with yesterday.
18 MR. JOSSE: That's fine, Your Honour. I'm in no rush.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Neither are we.
20 Any other preliminaries? None. All right. So I suggest we go
21 into closed session. And please bring in the witness.
22 [Closed session]
11 Pages 17274-17277 redacted. Closed session
5 [Open session]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Isailovic.
7 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your indulgence,
8 could I come closer to my clients so I can explain why the blinds have
9 been raised so he understands what's going on?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Merci, Madam. I would even go further than that.
11 Let's have a break of five minutes, and you can speak to him in private in
12 the room outside. So we'll have a five-minute break or as long as you
13 need, Madam. If you need more than five minutes, we will be here waiting.
14 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, ten minutes is what I
15 need, if I could have ten minutes, please.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
17 For the time being, if the cameras could not focus on the
18 witness's face, please. So we'll have a ten-minute break.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 --- Break taken at 9.24 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 9.38. a.m.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: So welcome back, Madam Isailovic. Have you had an
24 opportunity to advise your client, explain to him what the situation is
1 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Yes. I
2 was able to explain him briefly what was the nature of these proceedings.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
4 So Mr. Jokic, what's going to happen now is I'm going to explain
5 to you the procedure that we intend to follow, and I'm also going to
6 explain to you what is provided for in our rules, and then I will proceed
7 with our conclusion for today, which will be followed by a written order
8 in the course of the day.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Before I proceed, Mr. Jokic, I take it that you are
11 still determined not to testify. I just need a confirmation of that.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not feel fit.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So according to Rule 77 of our Rules of Procedure
14 and Evidence, the Tribunal, in the exercise of its inherent powers, may
15 hold in contempt those who knowingly and wilfully interfere with the
16 administration of justice, including any person who, being a witness
17 before a Chamber, contumaciously refuses or fails to answer a question.
18 You have repeatedly refused to testify, and in these
19 circumstances, the rules provide in (C) of the same Rule 77 that when a
20 Chamber has reason to believe that a person may be in contempt of a
21 Tribunal, the Trial Chamber can -- has the following options: It can
22 direct the Prosecutor to investigate the matter with a view to the
23 preparation and submission of an indictment for contempt, following which,
24 were the Prosecutor in the view of the Chamber has a conflict of interest
25 with respect to the relevant conduct, direct the registrar to appoint an
1 amicus curiae to investigate the matter and to report back to the Chamber
2 whether there are sufficient grounds for instigating contempt proceedings,
3 or ultimately to initiate proceedings itself.
4 We have reason to believe that you may be in contempt of the
5 Tribunal and our decision is to opt for the last of these options, to
6 choose the last of these options, namely to initiate proceedings
8 Paragraph (D) of Rule 77 further provides that in such cases, when
9 the Trial Chamber decides to initiate proceedings itself, it can issue an
10 order instead of an indictment, and either direct amicus curiae to
11 prosecute the matter or prosecute the matter itself. We have decided to
12 prosecute the matter ourselves.
13 We need to advise you that the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, in
14 parts 4 and 8 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, apply mutatis
15 mutandis to proceedings under this rule.
16 Last but not least, because this you will to have deal with in
17 consultation with the registrar and your counsel for the time being, any
18 person indicted or charged for contempt shall, if that person satisfies
19 the criteria for determination of indigence established by the registrar,
20 be assigned council pursuant to Rule 45. Madam Isailovic has been
21 assigned to you, I take it, for the purpose of the subpoena and not for
22 the purpose of contempt so following our order, which we'll issue in the
23 course of the day, you will need to initiate negotiations with the
24 registrar for assignment of counsel for the purpose of the contempt
25 proceedings if you satisfy the criteria laid down in the directives that
1 are applicable.
2 Our consideration, our decision, is that on the face of it, by
3 refusing to testify, you have contravened Rule 77(A) on the face of it,
4 and in terms of Rule 77(C), we have reason -- we have reason to believe
5 you to be in contempt of the Tribunal.
6 We have, as I told you, decided in the particular circumstances
7 that it is appropriate to initiate proceedings in terms of Rule
8 77(C)(iii), to be such -- such proceedings to be prosecuted by the Chamber
9 itself in terms of Rule 77(D)(ii). The charge against you will be
10 formulated in the course of the day and it will be issued in a written
11 order and you will be served with a copy of it in due course.
12 I've got nothing to add for the time being. Next time we meet,
13 Mr. Jokic, will mark the beginning of the contempt proceedings against
15 I think the witness can leave the courtroom now.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Isailovic, I apologise to you for having
18 addressed you as Madam Ismailovic -- or I pronounced your surname wrongly
19 on a couple of occasions. My apologies to you. I am in the habit of
20 doing that. Thank you.
21 Thank you for your assistance, Madam Isailovic.
22 [Witness's counsel leaves the courtroom]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's start from here. Mr. McCloskey, I stand to be
24 corrected because we were involved in discussions on this matter and in
25 preparing for this morning's sitting, and I haven't had a chance to verify
1 after yesterday evening. Two days ago, I asked you to be kind enough to
2 respond to the Beara team's confidential motion. I don't intend to go
3 into details as to its merit. I just mention that. And I had directed
4 your attention that we needed your response by yesterday evening. I again
5 stand to be corrected. I haven't -- by yesterday evening, I hadn't come
6 across your response. Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
7 MR. NICHOLLS: It was filed yesterday afternoon, around 5.00, 5.30
8 p.m., somewhere around there, Your Honours, electronically filed.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for correcting me and my apologies to you.
10 We'll see it and -- it still hasn't arrived. Have you been notified of
11 it, Mr. Ostojic or not?
12 MR. OSTOJIC: No, we have not, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So that disposes of that matter.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: We could send out courtesy copies right away. When
15 we filed it yesterday afternoon, we explained that it was a deadline
16 filing and I will try to get that out right away.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. The next thing, yesterday we had Mr. Josse
18 wishing to address the Chamber for about ten minutes on the Prosecution
19 motion to add 18 documents to the 65 ter list in relation to the -- or to
20 Witness number 30. I think we can mention his name freely, no? Yes.
21 MR. JOSSE: I'm absolutely sure there won't be an application for
22 protective measures for this gentleman.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I wouldn't imagine so. In any case, there have
24 already been decisions in relation to his testimony, so I wouldn't expect
25 protective measures but I just wanted to make double sure. Before I give
1 you the floor, did any of the other Defence team file any response?
2 Because again once more we haven't come across any filings.
3 MR. JOSSE: Not as far as I'm aware and I've discussed it with
4 some of them, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So Mr. Josse could you kindly deal with
6 this issue and you have as much time as you require.
7 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, let me begin by making it clear that, in
8 fact, so far as the motion is concerned in relation to these 18 exhibits,
9 there is no opposition. And it may be that what I'm about to say in
10 summary, the Trial Chamber would like put into writing. However, bearing
11 in mind the shortness of time, I thought the Trial Chamber might want me
12 to include this in effect in relation to the exhibit issue because it's
14 On the 30th of October, very helpfully, my learned friend
15 Mr. Thayer provided the parties with the proofing notes of General Smith,
16 whom he saw on, I think the 22nd of October, and then had telephone
17 conversations with on the 27th and the 30th of October. One particular
18 entry on that proofing note is a real concern to us, and in effect we want
19 to move that the Prosecution be prevented from asking the general any
20 questions in relation to that area.
21 I have briefly spoken to Mr. Thayer and he tells me that he
22 proposes to ask some questions so far as that area is concerned. Your
23 Honour, perhaps the best thing is if I ask that the proofing notes be put
24 on the ELMO and the Trial Chamber will have in front of them the -- one
25 aspect of these notes that I'm concerned about. I'm -- as the Court knows
1 from previous submissions that I've made, I always take the view that if
2 I'm going to deal with matters like this, the Court needs to know exactly
3 what the matter in hand is, if the submission succeeds then no doubt
4 you'll put it out of your mind. If it fails, you're going to hear about
5 it any way.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let me, however, consult with my colleagues
7 because this becomes necessary each time it arises.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for that, Mr. Josse. We agree completely
10 with your submission. Let's have it disposable. If there is an extra
11 copy that you can make available, Mr. Thayer, then Mr. Josse can keep his.
12 MR. JOSSE: I've got several, in fact.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Then it's not a problem.
14 MR. JOSSE: Up, please. Up. Up. That's fine, thank you. About
15 the middle of the page, the Court will see, and I will read this out, it
16 says, "He," obviously referring to General Smith, "Recalls that on the day
17 he left Zepa for the last time, he encountered General Gvero at a
18 check-point at the outskirts of Zepa. When they got out of their
19 vehicles, Gvero told him that Mladic was heading to another front and that
20 Gvero was now in charge of the Zepa operation. He next saw Gvero in
21 Mrkonjic Grad on the 31st of July."
22 This in our submission is a significant and important allegation.
23 It's not an allegation that has been made by any witness hitherto. Let me
24 be clear, Your Honour, the fact that Smith and Gvero met in Mrkonjic Grad
25 on the 31st of July was certainly known to us and that's not the part we
1 are quibbling about. It's the sentences immediately before that one.
2 To the best of our knowledge, not only has this allegation not
3 been made by any witness before, but it's not been made by any witness
4 before, but it's not been made in any form at all in this case. It's
5 certainly not in the indictment. It's not in the pre-trial brief, nor was
6 it in my learned friend's opening statement. Indeed, in essence, the
7 pre-trial brief at paragraph 182 makes it clear that the Prosecution case
8 was that it was General Tolimir who was in charge of events at Zepa.
9 Our objections are twofold. First of all legal and technical. So
10 far as the legal and technical basis is concerned, we place particular
11 reliance on the fact that this allegation was not alleged in the
12 indictment. We submit that if such an allegation is to be made, it needs
13 to be made by way of a specific averment to that effect in the indictment
14 and that because that has not been done, the Prosecution should be
15 debarred from leading this evidence.
16 But aside from that legal and technical objection, perhaps more
17 importantly, on this occasion, we can show real prejudice if the Trial
18 Chamber allows the Prosecution to lead this evidence.
19 Assuming that we are right and that this is a new allegation and
20 not one that's previously been made, we submit that had we been made aware
21 of it at an earlier stage, we would undoubtedly have conducted our case in
22 a different fashion. It's a subject that we would have explored with a
23 significant number of witnesses who have already given evidence in this
24 case. Namely, whether our client was present in and around Zepa at the
25 time as alleged in these proofing notes by General Smith. In particular,
1 and this list is not exclusive, we would have explored it with Witnesses
2 Dibb, Joseph, Savcic, Milovanovic, Palic, Torlak, and Skrbic. I choose
3 them in particular because none of them were protected. And perhaps
4 others. But certainly those in particular.
5 And, Your Honour, the failure of the Prosecution to alert us to
6 this particular significant, important allegation prior to the 30th of
7 October prejudices us in a real and significant way for reasons that I
8 hope are obvious.
9 In addition to that, and this is a subsidiary point, we contend
10 that this allegation might have some further legal impact inasmuch as it
11 might trigger requirements under Rule 67(A)(1)(a), in relation to a
12 defence of alibi. I'm not going to go into this in a great deal of detail
13 because that particular rule, which I'm not going to read out, uses the
14 word "alleged crime." And the question of course is whether the
15 allegation that my client was in Zepa at the time means that he was
16 present at the site of an alleged crime. It's not an altogether easy
17 issue and it's not one -- I don't know whether it's been decided in this
18 particular Tribunal.
19 But it certainly means that it raises the spectre of us perhaps
20 having to deal with that at this particular stage and of course, it will
21 also mean that we will have to expand our investigations to look for
22 potential witnesses who could counter the allegation as made in these
23 proofing notes. So, Your Honour, we submit that this is a profound and
24 important allegation and for the reasons that I've set out in this brief
25 oral submission, the Prosecution shouldn't be allowed to lead it.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Josse. Mr. Thayer?
2 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning. Good
3 morning to Your Honours, good morning to everyone.
4 The information at issue here was provided for the first time to
5 the Prosecution in this proofing session that's referred to in these
6 notes. This is entirely new information to the Prosecution that General
7 Smith brought forward in the discussion of some of these documents
8 concerning generals -- General Gvero's involvement in the Zepa events. It
9 was something that he just flat out mentioned and frankly it took me by
10 surprise because I'd never heard this information myself, nor seen it
11 anywhere. But he has a very clear, distinct recollection of these events
12 and we notified Defence counsel. The context, I think, in terms of any
13 surprise or prejudice needs to be understood with respect to General
14 Gvero's involvement as charged in the JCE forcibly to remove the civilian
15 population from Zepa.
16 We do not understand the Court to have required the Prosecution to
17 plead every piece of evidence tying each of these accused to the JCEs in
18 which they were charged. There are numerous pieces of evidence which the
19 Court has already heard that we allege tie General Gvero to that JCE
20 forcibly to remove the Muslim population from Zepa. Some examples, Your
21 Honours, 65 ter 1320, the phone conversation intercept between General
22 Smith's military assistant, Colonel Baxter, in which he arranges through
23 General Gvero a meeting to discuss with General Smith the resolution of
24 the Zepa situation. In that conversation General Gvero is clearly well
25 informed and reveals that he's obviously close to Mladic. That
1 conversation, in fact, results in a meeting on the 25th, memorialised in
2 65 ter 191 -- actually in 65 ter 2747 in which there is a meeting held
3 between Generals Smith, Mladic, and Gvero to discuss the events in Zepa.
4 We have 65 ter 191 in which General Tolimir communicates to
5 Generals Miletic or Gvero as stated on the communication regarding the
6 agreement that had been reached on the 24th between Mr. Torlak and General
7 Mladic, and in which he notes the obstacle of the fate of the Srebrenica
8 men to an overall agreement. And we also have on that same day the 25th
9 of July, 65 ter 182, where General Mladic issues an order regarding
10 restricting access to Zepa which is directed to General Gvero's sector.
11 And we also have another meeting on the 31st of July, again held to
12 resolve the issue of Zepa and the fate of the military-aged men in
13 Mrkonjic Grad which we have referred to already again attended by Generals
14 Smith, Mladic, and Gvero.
15 All of this evidence has been known to Defence counsel, I would
16 say respectfully, for years, 18 months in some case to two years. This
17 has been pled in our pre-trial brief, at page 60. These specific meetings
18 and documents are specifically referred to. They are specifically
19 discussed in Rick Butler's Main Staff command responsibility report at
20 pages 25 to 26 and the foot notes therein.
21 This new information provided by General Smith is perfectly
22 consistent with this hands-on, active role played by General Gvero in
23 these events. To that extent, this is no change in theory, it is not a
24 surprise. If anything it is perfectly consistent with what the
25 government's theory has been -- with the Prosecution's -- I time travelled
1 there for a moment, Your Honours. Forgive me.
2 And it's interesting that my friend referred to alibi. I was
3 thinking during his address that we had an order from the Court directing
4 parties to file notices of alibi or alibi and we had known. We understand
5 the positions of some of Defence counsel that in a JCE alibi is an
6 inchoate concept. We disagree. But Defence counsel has chosen its
7 strategy. This new information is not inconsistent with the Prosecution's
8 evidence, which has been long known to Defence counsel. And there is no
9 reason for General Smith not to be able to testify about it, to be
10 challenged upon it, and if Defence counsel has to undertake some
11 additional investigation, or based on the testimony as it comes in, if
12 Defence counsel feels that it can make a showing that additional
13 questioning of other witnesses on this limited topic is something that is
14 necessary, then we can address that issue. But it's not a reason to
15 foreclose this testimony from General Smith, which is relevant and, again,
16 fits in perfectly consistently with what the evidence is.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse?
18 MR. JOSSE: Well, all I've got to say is it may be consistent but
19 it is completely new. We have chosen a particular way of defending this
20 case in the light of the allegations hitherto made, and we can
21 categorically say that we would have chosen a different course had this
22 allegation been known to us when this trial started. And on that basis,
23 we submit that General Gvero has been prejudiced. It's also all very well
24 my learned friend saying that we can, on showing good cause, ask for these
25 various witnesses to be brought back here. It's an awful lot of
1 witnesses, all of whom could undoubtedly have given germane evidence on
2 the point in question.
3 And finally, my learned friend makes light of the fact that this
4 has not specifically been averred in the indictment. We submit that this
5 is a matter of such significance that it really needed to be averred in
6 the indictment because otherwise it makes a nonsense of the
7 particularisation that the Prosecution have chosen to embark upon in this
8 indictment in relation to each of the accused. Because this is such a
9 significant allegation, for it to raise its head, it needs to be in the
10 indictment, we submit. But Your Honour, I do emphasise that though I
11 place reliance on that legal and technical basis perhaps the stronger
12 ground here is the prejudice to the way this Defence has been run
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you, Mr. Josse. We'll consider
15 your submissions in due course and we'll come back to you but obviously
16 you don't expect a decision now.
17 So otherwise, as regards the admission or not the admission,
18 sorry, the inclusion of these documents in the 65 ter list for the purpose
19 of General Smith's testimony, there seems to be agreement, so your motion
20 is granted in the absence of any objections, Mr. Thayer.
21 When I say your motion, it's the Prosecution's motion, not yours.
22 Third thing, yesterday -- Madam Nikolic, I'm going to address you.
23 Yesterday -- I'm going to read out to you briefly the exchange of
24 submissions and comments that went on between you and I yesterday, Madam
1 At a certain point in time, I told you, you said, "As I asked the
2 Chamber today on page 43 of the transcript, the request of my Defence team
3 was for the Trial Chamber to allow to exceed ten pages, it wouldn't be
4 more than 15 pages. The interpreters didn't follow that, that's one
5 thing. Another thing, on behalf of the Defence teams who jointly wrote a
6 submission regarding about the testimony, we would like the Trial Chamber
7 to exceed, that is, to extend the deadline for our objection until 9
8 November 2007, that is an extension of only three days which would enable
9 us to prepare an adequate submission.
10 "Page 82, submission, not objection."
11 JUDGE KWON: Page 17270.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
13 The thing is, at the end of the sitting, our attention -- our
14 attention was drawn to whether, from the transcript, from what you had
15 said, it was clear as to which submission or filing you were referring to.
16 And the reason for this is the following: That if you intended or you
17 were referring to the appeal from our decision in Butler, okay, I'm
18 referring obviously to Butler, then unfortunately, I have to go back on
19 what I granted you on behalf of the Trial Chamber yesterday because it's
20 not within our competence to grant any extensions of time or of length
21 of -- I think you would agree with me that those have to be addressed to
22 the Appeals Chamber, but as it was, I don't think we were on the same wave
23 length yesterday. I apologise to you and to everybody for not catching up
24 exactly what you meant. But again I take back whatever we granted
25 yesterday. Please be advised that that needs to be addressed to the
1 Appeals Chamber, and I hope that is clear enough to you.
2 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours, good day to
3 my colleagues. I thank you for this clarification and I immediately
4 noticed my own error after I read the transcript when I returned to the
5 office, so I'm grateful for this clarification of your position. And I
6 expect, as far as your approval for additional pages for our submission,
7 has remained the same. So if I may consider that as something that's
8 approved and I thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, submission, which submission? For the --
10 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Again, we have a problem with the
11 translation. I'm going to be very brief. The submission that has to do
12 with strike from the record.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: That stands. That stands, Madam Nikolic.
14 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Before we move to the next witness, ladies and
16 gentlemen, you will recall that sometime back, Mr. McCloskey voicing also
17 the concerns of the Defence teams, briefly addressed the Trial Chamber on
18 whether you would be receiving any information, any directives, in
19 relation to the Rule 98 bis proceedings and should there be a decision to
20 proceed with the case, then also in relation to the preparation of the
21 Defence cases, particularly the time frame which will be required for the
22 filing of all 65 ter documents.
23 I want to put your mind at rest that we had not slept over this or
24 shelved it or put it in deep freeze. We have been actively thinking and
25 discussing about all this, and we haven't come back to you before now for
1 the very simple reason that the situation was shifting. We got an
2 impression that there were only 16 witnesses left and that the case would
3 be over more or less at end of November. That lasted very short time.
4 We are now talking of the first week of February, considering the
5 short break that we are giving you to round up your preparations for
6 another important witness. But we have been actively discussing this, as
7 I said, and we believe that the time now calls for the matter to be dealt
8 with and be determined because we do have a view of the end of the tunnel
9 which we can work with.
10 We have got ideas, of course, because we have been discussing, as
11 I said, but we wouldn't like to reach any decisions before giving you,
12 both of you, the opportunity to be heard. We'll hear what you have to
13 say, what your wishes or what you believe are your requirements in this
14 regard, and together, then, we'll -- that will help us come to a complete
15 time frame which we will communicate to you once we have reached a
17 For this purpose, we had in mind inviting you to make oral
18 submissions, the sooner the better. It all depends actually on the
19 witness schedule that we have at the moment, and how long you would -- you
20 expect to take, how much time you require, to make your submissions to the
21 Trial Chamber. Of course, we will be discussing with you a few issues as
23 So I would suggest we choose together a sitting when we will deal
24 with these issues, and as I said, the sooner the better. Now, we have a
25 situation arising, Mr. McCloskey, whereby instead of hearing the testimony
1 of the guy who left the courtroom earlier on, we will be having contempt
2 proceedings. That might take longer or shorter. I don't know. But it
3 certainly requires an interval of time for the preparation of the case, on
4 his part in particular, and for the registrar to assign him counsel and
5 whatever. So I don't know how you intend to fill in that space because
6 there will be a space. We do have a witness now who is, I suppose, ready
7 to testify. We can start with him today.
8 But I don't know what the situation you have to enlighten us on
9 this. I don't know what the situation is going to be as soon as this
10 witness finishes his testimony, whether, in other words, you have another
11 witness -- we do have one on Monday, for sure. We have one on Monday for
12 sure but I don't know what the position is going to be tomorrow, and I
13 don't know what the position is going to be the rest of the -- of next
14 week. So if you can help us.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. Thayer has all the
16 details on those, and although I wanted to just, as you brought up the 98
17 bis issue and oral submissions, I just would throw out one idea that I
18 will discuss with counsel but that, as we know the new law on 98 bis was
19 designed to make things shorter and briefer, and I'm not sure it had us in
20 mind when it said that. I mean, seven Defence counsel and the
21 Prosecution, because as you can imagine, that will -- that could take two
22 weeks, if we just had a few hours each for each person we have, as you
23 know, a large indictment. You may want to consider, and I'll discuss it,
24 that this be done in writing and that any oral submissions be very limited
25 to what the Court wants to hear.
1 It's not hard for the Prosecution to put our side in writing but
2 we're willing to of course go oral as well, but we might save sometime if
3 we went back to the old system but that's just an idea, food for thought,
4 and on the more practical matters I will turn it over to Mr. Thayer.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, it may well be that when we
6 amended the rule way back in 2004, we were not -- we did not have in view
7 the -- this particular case, but the rule as it stands now specifically
8 refers or uses the words "After hearing the oral submissions of the
9 parties," and that was in lieu of what we had before, which provided for
10 written submissions. But in any case, we'll allow you the opportunity to
11 discuss amongst yourselves, and then to provide us with a date when we
12 could have this constructive exchange of views here, which would enable us
13 to come to a decision within the shortest possible time. Yes, Mr. Thayer?
14 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, we do have the next witness available.
15 The Defence has estimated about four hours of cross for him. It's likely
16 to be shorter, just --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Four hours?
18 MR. THAYER: It's likely to be shorter given the nature of things.
19 In either case we've advised our friends that the gap filler is available,
20 as always, on the issue of the Drina Corps collection. So if necessary,
21 he will be available, suited up, tomorrow to fill out the day. As for the
22 remainder of the schedule, it seems to me that it's intact as of today.
23 We have General Smith ready to go Monday morning. We've estimated
24 five days for him, direct and cross. He is available for that additional
25 day. After the break we'll see if we need it. I think the schedule is
1 still solid after that as well. So with respect to the witness that was
2 here earlier today, depending on what happens, we'll find the time to
3 insert him down the line, if that becomes necessary. But I think we can
4 proceed on the schedule that we've gotten. We'll just have to play it by
5 the ear until then.
6 If I may, I didn't want to interrupt Mr. President the points you
7 were making just now. I did have a thought that occurred to me on my
8 friends' issue with the proofing note, a light bulb went off in my head.
9 I haven't had my coffee this morning so I'm a little slower than even
10 usual, but if I could just address this one thought that came to me on
11 that issue. We faced a similar situation with respect to General Gvero's
12 involvement in the Zepa JCE with Colonel Trivic, who you may recall,
13 commander of the Romanija -- 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade testified.
14 As happens, he said something to me in a proofing session which
15 was new information, he in fact placed General Gvero at one of the Zepa
16 forward command posts during these -- this time in question. That
17 information was communicated to my friends in the proofing note, and they
18 were able to deal with it. It was brand new information, information that
19 no party had heard before, just like this information coming from General
20 Smith. We have no control over that information or when we get it. But
21 when we heard it we disclosed it and my friends were able to deal with it.
22 So I don't see why at this point we have to take this extreme step
23 of excluding the information when they have been able to deal with such
24 information in the past. Placing General Gvero in the heart of these
25 matters, as we've pled he has been.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We still don't have an answer as to when we are
2 going to have an opportunity to hear submissions on what I mentioned
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So I take it that you are going to have mutual
6 discussions and then you come forward with a proposition for --
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse.
9 MR. JOSSE: For the avoidance of any doubt, and I don't think
10 Mr. Thayer is suggesting otherwise, of course in cross-examination Colonel
11 Trivic resiled from that position in effect or certainly said that he
12 couldn't be certain about it, and said that he might well have be
13 confusing what he was saying about our client being at the IKM with seeing
14 him at the Zivanovic leaving party. So the position is rather different,
15 in our submission.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Josse.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's have the break now, 25 minutes, and we start
19 immediately with the next witness afterwards. Thank you.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Why isn't the witness present?
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: Good morning, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, good morning, Mr. Vanderpuye.
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: Good morning, Your Honours. Mr. President, the
1 witness had indicated that he would prefer the extension of the protective
2 measures that were granted to him previously. I had indicated that to
3 Defence counsel in both my proofing note and in a follow-up e-mail that I
4 would make an oral application to the Court. As you know, he was on stand
5 by yesterday. I proofed him on Monday. So that's the reason why he's not
6 here just now.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I see.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: The protective measures that were extended in the
9 previous matter were just a pseudonym.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection from any of the Defence teams? None.
11 So that is granted. We will be told, I think, what number.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: It would be PW-169.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: PW-169, okay.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And that's the protective measure that
16 is being granted. I think we can bring the witness in.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, sir.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, so much.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We are soon going to proceed with your testimony,
23 and --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And before we do so, I want to tell you two things.
1 First, that we have just finished discussing your wish expressed to the
2 Office of the Prosecutor to have the same protective measure that you
3 enjoyed when you testified previously in another case restated today, and
4 the Prosecution made the request. No Defence team opposed it. And
5 therefore, we have granted you the protective measure of being able to
6 testify under a pseudonym.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me finish. With a pseudonym instead of with
9 using your real name.
10 But before you start giving evidence, our rules require that you
11 make a solemn declaration that you will be telling us the truth. Madam
12 Usher is going to give you the text of this solemn declaration. You've
13 seen it before. Please read it out aloud and that will be your solemn
14 undertaking with us.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. I solemnly declare that
16 I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
17 WITNESS: WITNESS PW-169
18 [Witness answered through interpreter].
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So, I thank you so much, sir. Please make yourself
20 comfortable. Take a seat.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We will start, now start hearing your testimony.
23 Mr. Vanderpuye will go first for the Prosecution. He will then be
24 followed by the Defence teams. We don't expect your testimony to finish
25 today, although we'll do our best. In any case, it won't last beyond
1 tomorrow at the latest.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Vanderpuye.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. Again good morning to
5 you. Good morning to my colleagues.
6 Examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
7 Q. Good morning to you, sir. May I have 65 ter 2932 please shown to
8 the witness? Sir, please look at that document. Don't tell us what's on
9 it, and can you tell us if that's -- if you're the person that's named on
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Can you show it to one or more of the
13 Defence teams who wish to see it. Yes. Do you wish to go into private
14 session for the first part, Mr. Vanderpuye?
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, please, thank you, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session.
17 [Private session]
11 Pages 17301-17302 redacted. Private session
22 [Open session]
23 MR. VANDERPUYE:
24 Q. Witness I just wanted to direct your attention to the events of
25 the 11th of July 1995. Do you remember that day?
1 A. I do.
2 Q. And in relation to that day, did you decide to take some action
3 with respect to the safety of yourself and your family?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. Can you tell us what you did that day?
6 A. On that day, I was gathering hay in the meadow for my cattle.
7 Q. And then what happened after that?
8 A. In the early evening, perhaps about two hours before night fall,
9 we saw this column from other villages, people walking, and then people
10 called out to me from the other fields around, they said, "Let's go home,
11 Srebrenica has fallen." So I got home and at home I found my neighbours
12 at this particular point, and with packed bags and they said, "What are
13 you waiting for? Do you see that everybody is on the move?" And they
14 said somebody came from the civilian protection, and they said that the
15 old and infirm should go to the UNPROFOR base at Potocari; whereas
16 military-age men should go through the forest.
17 So I, together with my family, left. I took a few things and took
18 the horse and set out towards Potocari. I arrived in Potocari, it was
19 already night-time. They told us that we were going to the battery
20 factory where the UNPROFOR base is. When we got close to the factory,
21 there were already lots of people around, other factories. So what was
22 all of this about? They said that that we couldn't go to the battery
23 factory, but that we were supposed to stay up there. So we stopped there
24 by this first factory on the left-hand side when entering Potocari.
25 Q. Let me just stop you for a moment. About what time was it that
1 you got this information about --
2 A. It could have been around 9.00. I'm not sure. It could have been
3 around 9.00.
4 Q. Let me just finish my question. I know that sometimes a take a
5 little long to ask them but -- what was it that you were doing -- about
6 what time was it that you received this information that Srebrenica had
8 A. Say around 5.00, when they told me that Srebrenica had fallen, and
9 that we should go to Potocari.
10 Q. And how long after you received this information did you set out
11 to Potocari?
12 A. Well, maybe -- well, say it was like half an hour, because this
13 field where I was gathering hay was about five minutes away from my home.
14 It wasn't further away than that. So I left my home around half an hour
15 later, say it was around 5.30, say up to 6.00, most probably.
16 Q. And did you leave with your family or other people?
17 A. With my family, and then I caught up with other people, so we
18 walked in this column, with people we did not know, from my area, that is.
19 Q. Without telling us their names, with whom from your family did you
20 leave at that time?
21 A. I left with my wife, my daughter-in-law, one of my grand
22 daughters, and my daughter. So there was five of us there.
23 Q. And how is it -- how did you actually go from your town to
24 Potocari? How did you travel there?
25 A. I had a horse, so I rode the horse. We were travelling across the
1 hills where it's closer, and they were with me on foot.
2 Q. And is there any particular reason why you went on horse while
3 they went on foot?
4 A. Well, I was unfit. In 1982, I injured my leg and it's hard for me
5 to walk.
6 Q. About how long did it take you to get from your town to Potocari
7 after you left?
8 A. About three hours.
9 Q. And around what time did you arrive there?
10 A. In Potocari, you mean?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. It could have been around 9.00.
13 Q. Was it dark?
14 A. Dark, dark.
15 Q. And where did you go initially when you got to Potocari?
16 A. To the compound where the Sacmara factory is.
17 Q. And can you tell us where that is in relation to the UNPROFOR
19 A. Before the UNPROFOR compound, say about 500 metres away, I'm not
20 sure but it's about 500 metres before that. That's where this factory
22 Q. And were you directed to go to that particular building, or did
23 you just decide to go there on your own?
24 A. Well, we went to where there was enough room to sit down. We
25 found some room around that factory.
1 Q. Did you receive any information as to what was going on at that
3 A. Nothing, nothing.
4 Q. And where did you spend the night?
5 A. We spent the night there at that compound, in the parking lot
7 Q. And was that with several other people or with just your family?
8 A. Well, there were lots of people. This compound was full. It all
9 got full.
10 Q. Can you tell us what happened the morning of the 12th of July?
11 A. Some people went down there to the gate of the UNPROFOR base to
12 ask what would happen to us then. Then they would come back from there,
13 and they said that there would be some transportation for Tuzla, that we
14 should wait. They didn't know when or who would transport us, but they
15 said that they were told that there would be some kind of transportation.
16 So that is how we saw Serb soldiers getting close to these factories
17 around there. Some of them setting hay on fire. So we already saw them,
18 those who were on the edge saw the Serb soldiers getting closer.
19 On that afternoon, I cannot remember exactly what time it was,
20 perhaps it was around 2.00, the first convoy arrived, and they said some
21 vehicles have arrived to take people. I went around the column and, in
22 front of the compound of Ekspres Strela, and then by the slaughterhouse
23 and then I got to the road. There were roadblocks, barricades, there.
24 UNPROFOR put this rope there. And then behind the rope, they were
25 standing there, so they saw -- we saw this road narrowing down, the road
1 that we would be taking to get to the buses. So I saw these barricades
2 and up to the buses, these camouflage -- soldiers in camouflage uniform,
3 they were all lined up in this column of people walking by.
4 Q. Could I stop you for a moment.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazarevic?
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, I don't want to interrupt my colleague, but I
7 believe that I heard from the witness that those guys were holding each
8 other's hand right in front of this rope and I don't see this in
9 transcript. So maybe he can clarify this with the witness.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I suppose the witness has heard what
11 Mr. Lazarevic has just commented or remarked. Do you agree with
12 Mr. Lazarevic, Witness?
13 MR. VANDERPUYE:
14 Q. If could you answer Mr. President's question, sir? My colleague
15 has put to you that part of your testimony isn't in the record here,
16 referring to soldiers holding hands.
17 A. It was UNPROFOR. It wasn't the Serb soldiers. On the road. Serb
18 soldiers were down the road, lined up down the road, by the battery
19 factory to the trucks and the buses and the Serb soldiers were not holding
21 Q. Could you just describe the uniforms that you saw these Serb
22 soldiers wear, as best as you remember?
23 A. They had multi-coloured uniforms, dark green and even a bit darker
24 than that. Multi-coloured uniforms. I cannot tell you exactly but dark
25 green and even darker than that. Really dark green, multi-coloured. They
1 are not white. They are even darker green.
2 Q. When you say multi-coloured, do you mean a type of camouflage?
3 A. Camouflage, camouflage, yes.
4 Q. And about how many soldiers, if you can estimate, Serb soldiers,
5 did you see lined down this road?
6 A. Well, I cannot -- well, say four or five metres, one next to the
7 other, but there would be four or five metres between them and then 120
8 metres or so or even more than that, up to the buses. Maybe even 50
9 metres. I'm not sure. I'm not sure. Perhaps it was about ten soldiers,
10 about ten, for sure, who were lined up by the canal and then there were
11 other soldiers just standing around.
12 Q. And did you at any point receive some direction with respect to
13 boarding these buses or the transportation that had been provided?
14 A. Nothing, because I didn't even get close to those buses. As soon
15 as I passed by that roadblock a Serb soldier took me by the shoulder and
16 told me to go left to the other end of the road and to stand there, and I
17 saw our elderly men standing there already. They had been singled out.
18 And they said, "You just go and stand there. That's what they
19 told me to do too." So I just stood there and they were still separating
20 these men and separating them and separating them, and when they singled
21 out this group, there were about five or six soldiers around us, they
22 said, now go up there to that house, it was a new house that hadn't been
23 built completely. It just had a roof on it.
24 Q. When you were asked to step over to one side of the road and stand
25 there, were you there with your family at that time?
1 A. No. No. I asked that soldier why are you separating us? Why are
2 you separating me from my family? And he said, "You have time to go but
3 let the women and children go earlier on. You go left." And that's how I
4 left. My family went towards the buses.
5 Q. Did you see other men being separated from their families as well?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. And about how many of you were told to stand over to one side of
8 the road?
9 A. Perhaps about 20 of us were there.
10 Q. And were you able to see what happened to your family once that
11 soldier told you to step over to one side of the road?
12 A. Well, I saw that they went towards the buses and then I couldn't
13 see anything any more, what was going on around the buses. I couldn't see
14 then. I couldn't know. They did reach the bus, though. I saw that.
15 Q. After the group of about 20 of you had gathered, what happened
17 A. Then they told us that we should not stand there, that we should
18 go up to that house that hadn't been completely built yet. We went to
19 that house and they followed us and we entered that house. We were there
20 on the ground floor. And then we sat down.
21 Q. The soldiers who directed you to go to the house? Were they
22 wearing the same uniforms as the ones you had seen lining up the road,
23 lining down the road?
24 A. Yes, yes, in the same uniforms.
25 Q. And were they -- were they armed?
1 A. Yes, everyone of them had an automatic rifle. I didn't see any
2 other weapons, just automatic rifles, Kalashnikovs.
3 Q. About how far from the road was this house that you've described?
4 A. I cannot tell you exactly, perhaps it was about 50 metres, maybe
5 even more than that. Well, as far as I can tell, it's around 50 metres.
6 Q. Were you escorted there by the soldiers?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. When you arrived at the house, tell us what happened.
9 A. Then they were guarding that house, the soldiers were standing in
10 front of the house, some would threaten us about what they would do to us
11 that night, some took out knives saying that they would slit our throats,
12 and then someone said that that one should move away, that he had nothing
13 to do with us, that he shouldn't touch us. They were not all behaving the
15 Q. Okay. And can you tell us what the conditions were like in the
17 A. The house didn't have a floor. It just had brick or block
18 constructed walls. There was a ground floor, there were no windows or
19 doors. We went in. There was a large room, and we sat down in that large
21 Q. Were you given any water and any food during the time that you
22 were there?
23 A. No, nothing.
24 Q. And at the time that you arrived at this house, were there other
25 men inside, other --
1 A. No. We arrived first at the house.
2 Q. Okay. And after you arrived at the house, were there other men
3 that came afterwards?
4 A. Yes. Groups were arriving of about 20 people, and then they were
5 sitting in front of the house. There was no more room in the house. When
6 the basement was filled or the ground floor was filled, they were sitting
7 in front of the house then. These were all men. I remember we were
8 asking the soldiers why we were being separated. They said we don't know
9 anything why you are being separated. We don't know anything about what
10 would happen. And then, after a while, again, we asked and said, "Do you
11 know why we are being separated now?" And then one said General Mladic is
12 coming now, so you can ask him why you're being separated. We don't know.
14 Then the same route that we took from the road, an officer came,
15 bare headed in a camouflage uniform. He had rank insignia, and he was
16 escorted by three or four soldiers. He entered through the door of the
17 house, and he said, "Good day, neighbours." He said, "Did you see what
18 Alija has done to you? Were you thinking that the NATO pact would save
19 you? But we are not afraid of the NATO pact. We were bombed by them but
20 they couldn't do anything to us. Now, Srebrenica has fallen and Gorazde
21 will fall, and Bihac will fall, then Sarajevo." So he went on
22 enumerating, and then he said Tuzla will be the last to fall.
23 Why didn't you go to Fikret Abdic? Why did you stick with Alija?
24 Then I said I'm not interested neither in Fikret Abdic nor in Alija. What
25 I want to know is why we are being separated from our families. And he
1 said, we have Serbs -- 180 Serbs who are captured in Tuzla, so we need 180
2 of you in order to effect an exchange because your people won't let them
3 go. And I'm going to exchange you, he said. Then he went back, the same
4 way that he came to the main road.
5 Q. By your estimate, as best as you can, about how many men were in
6 this house and around the house during this time?
7 A. Later, I can confirm that when we got to the buses, there were two
8 buses, they were full. All of us fitted into those two buses. We didn't
9 do any counting. The two buses were packed. People were standing up in
10 the aisle. Not everyone was able to sit down.
11 Q. And of the men that were in and around the house during the time
12 that you were there, were there any young men with you?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Okay. Could you tell us what kind of men were with you?
15 A. They were all of my age, and at the same level of disability, and
16 there were even some men who were older and more disabled than I. Some of
17 them even had walking sticks.
18 Q. About how long after this conversation, or I should say this
19 speech that you've described, how long after that did you actually go to
20 the buses and leave that house?
21 A. Perhaps an hour to an hour and a half. I'm not sure but that's
22 about how much time passed.
23 Q. And about how much time had passed from the time that you first
24 arrived at the house until the time that you boarded the buses, if you can
1 A. We spent four hours in the house definitely, maybe even a bit
2 longer, but I'm not sure, but definitely about four hours.
3 Q. And how was it that you were taken from the house or you went from
4 the house to the buses?
5 A. When it just got dark, the sunset, but you could still see quite
6 well, they told us, well, the buses are here, stand up now and go out.
7 You can go to the road in front of our soldiers. The buses are waiting
8 for you. Those who were outside stood up first and then they left. Then
9 we left the house last, and I could see soldiers lined up at a distance of
10 ten metres, one from the other, and they told us, well, go in front of our
11 soldiers. And I could see a column in front of Serbian soldiers going
12 past and they were just saying, hurry up, hurry up. Then we turned a
13 little bit to the right. We made a semi-circle across the fields. We got
14 to the battery factory, and I could see they were entering the last bus,
15 the men.
16 By the time I crossed over, the last bus was full and then they
17 were going into the first bus. I got into the first bus. General Mladic
18 was standing next to the first bus on the right side, with another two
19 soldiers standing next to him. They were observing as we all went in.
20 When we all went in, a soldier went in with an automatic rifle and stood
21 next to the driver. Then General Mladic entered, he told the driver,
22 "Close the door and follow the red car, just go after them." The red car
23 was standing in front of the buses. The driver closed the door, the red
24 car set off. Mladic stayed by the side of the road. He didn't go in the
25 red car. We set off then. We asked the driver where are we going now?
1 He said, well, you heard what he said. I don't know anything more. All I
2 can do is follow the red car, wherever they go, I will go.
3 Q. Let me just stop you for a second. During the period of time that
4 you were separated from your family up until the point that you were taken
5 to the bus, did you have your belongings with you?
6 A. No, I didn't. I had nothing.
7 Q. Now, were the belongings of the other people that were separated
8 from their families taken away from them up until that point?
9 A. No. They had their things with them, whoever had what with them,
10 but nothing was taken away.
11 Q. Now, you said that the driver had indicated that he was to follow
12 this red car. Tell us what happened on that bus trip and where you went?
13 A. Yes. The road went through Bratunac in the direction of Serbia,
14 up to the Drina. When we came to Bratunac, he took a different road,
15 turning towards Kravica. He didn't reach the bus station. A little bit
16 before the Bratunac bus station, he turned right, through the town. Since
17 it was night, I could see next to a building there was a school. We
18 passed it. And then we stopped at a place. There were about 10 or 15
19 Serb soldiers waiting for us there. Then another bus opened its doors and
20 they said, "Get out and go to the warehouse here."
21 So we were leaving the bus and getting into this warehouse. It
22 was an abandoned warehouse, not familiar to me before then. Us from both
23 buses went inside this warehouse and sat down. We were surrounded by
24 guards at the door. After a little while, vehicles would come again and
25 people were entering the warehouse once more, until the warehouse was
1 filled. When it was full, and it couldn't fit in any more people, nobody
2 else came. Nobody else was brought in.
3 Q. Now, you indicated that you went past a school. Can I ask you how
4 do you know that it was a school that you had gone past?
5 A. Yes. Because it had large windows. Schools usually have a lot of
6 windows. Other buildings have smaller and fewer windows. So that's how I
7 know that it was a system of school -- a school system. And then someone
8 came in front of the door and said, in a sharp voice, "12 of you should
9 work according to the assignment that was given to you. Is that clear?"
10 And the group said that it was clear to them. And again, there was
11 silence. Then they came with torches and turned them on us.
12 Q. Okay. Let me just stop you for a second and we'll get to this,
13 but about how many people were brought to this location?
14 A. The warehouse where I was?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. At least 400.
17 Q. And of those people, were they all elderly or infirm?
18 A. Yes. All elderly and/or infirm.
19 Q. Okay. And where were you brought when you first got off the
21 A. When we went out there in Bratunac, to this warehouse where we
22 were held for 24 hours?
23 Q. Yes. Could you describe what the interior of that building was
25 A. The building was white inside, painted white, but it was dirty.
1 You couldn't really see much of the white. It was all scrawled over, the
2 children had been scrawling all over the walls, the walls were crumbling.
3 It seemed as if it was abandoned.
4 Q. Was it a brick building or was it made of some other material?
5 A. It was a brick building.
6 Q. And could you describe the floor of the building?
7 A. There was no floor, but they were just the planks where the floor
8 used to be, and there was sand in between the planks, and that's what we
9 were sitting on. As you entered, there was a glass two metres high. It
10 was frosted glass, reinforced glass, and it was from two metres up all the
11 way to the ceiling. There was nothing on the sides. There were no
12 windows on the sides.
13 Q. When you refer to a glass, as it reads in the record, are you
14 talking about a window or are you talking about some other structure?
15 A. It was a window, it was just a large window, from one end to the
16 other of that warehouse. It was like a window, but you were not able to
17 open it. It was closed, it was large, and you could see that it was
18 reinforced glass.
19 Q. And the interior of the space, was it an open space or was it
20 divided into rooms?
21 A. In the morning, I saw that there was another smaller room. As for
22 the large one, I don't know, I didn't see it. I saw that in the morning
23 and there was a corridor and then to the left side there was a smaller
25 Q. And can you describe the entry to that building?
1 A. The entrance to the building, I think, well, there was a kind of
2 awning in front of the building. The door was large, although there was
3 no door, and the entrance was in a straight line. There were no steps.
4 Q. Did you learn at any time while you were there what that building
5 was and where it was?
6 A. I found out later, but I didn't know it at the time, because some
7 said it was a warehouse. I could see that for myself. It couldn't be
8 anything else, but later I found out that such a warehouse was made in
9 Kravica and that this one was abandoned and then all the cooperative
10 things that were there were transferred to Kravica, to the Kravica
11 warehouse, and that this one was abandoned.
12 Q. Did you find out at any point where this particular warehouse was
13 in Bratunac?
14 A. They told me later that it was behind the school, Vuk Karadzic. I
15 couldn't really tell. They didn't tell me anything as to how many metres
16 away, and I couldn't really estimate that from the bus or anything, how
17 far it was from the school.
18 Q. When you were -- from whom did you learn this information?
19 A. I heard it in the warehouse. They said that this was a co-op
20 warehouse. I didn't really ask any more. Then later in Tuzla I found out
21 that it was a cooperative warehouse until a warehouse was built in
22 Kravica, and then when it was built in Kravica, I asked, all right, so was
23 this one abandoned and they said, yes, a warehouse was made in Kravica and
24 then this one was abandoned.
25 Q. From the time that you were first brought to this location, about
1 how long were you there while other people were being brought in? Until
2 about what time?
3 A. They were bringing people in until about midnight, until 12.00.
4 They didn't have any more room there, and they didn't bring any more
5 people in because the warehouse was full.
6 Q. And can you tell us what the conditions were like in the
7 warehouse? Was any provision made for food and water and that kind of
9 A. Nothing. We were just suffocating in that warehouse. It was hot,
10 and then the heat spread from one to another, and we were suffocating, and
11 they didn't give us food or water. Only the next day in the morning did
12 they start bringing water to us.
13 Q. And did -- did anybody complain about that?
14 A. Yes. We did complain but they just fired over our heads and said,
15 "Silence. I'm going to kill you all if I hear another word from you."
16 Q. You mentioned that the soldiers came in at some point with
17 flashlights. Tell us about that.
18 A. Yes. And then they asked who is from what village? They were
19 asking about some villages around Bratunac. Some immediately responded
20 and then they continued, are there any people from Glogova, actually they
21 asked about Glogova first. Is there anyone here from Glogova? I don't
22 know if two or three people responded, elderly men from Voljavica. Is
23 there anyone from Hranca? And then people said, yes, they pointed the
24 torches at them, and then they said, those who had torches pointed at them
25 should get up and leave.
1 Then that person would stand up and said, "Should I take a bag?"
2 And then said, "No, no, you won't be needing anything anymore." Then when
3 they went out they went to the left side, the same side that we entered.
4 And this person was giving them a command, "Go there in front of them."
5 He would go there, and then we would hear just blunt blows. Some people
6 were moaning, screaming, when they were hit with something on their head.
7 You wouldn't hear a word. And then we would hear something like, "All
8 right, he's finished. Just drag him off over there."
9 And then again, they would come with the torch, point it at
10 people, pick who they wanted, they didn't ask anymore who you were or
11 where you were from, just the people that had the torches pointed at them
12 had to get at and go outside.
13 Q. Did it appear to you that while this was going on that the
14 soldiers were picking certain people, that there was any pattern to it?
15 A. The next day we saw that they were picking those who looked a bit
16 fitter than those who were completely infirm. There was already when it
17 got light, so they were choosing people. But when they were just pointing
18 the torches at people, you couldn't really tell who they were choosing. I
19 think that they were actually choosing people who seemed to be more fit.
20 Q. And about how many people did you see selected during the night?
21 A. I didn't count, but in my estimate perhaps about 40 were taken out
22 that night.
23 Q. Were any of the people that were taken out that night actually
24 returned or brought back into the -- into this building?
25 A. I will say later how many there were. When they beat somebody
1 there and they were all bloodied, then they would point the torch at them
2 and say, "Look how they are." Two would be taking him under the arm pits
3 and then they would just shove that person at us, and then they would
4 command that they be dragged at the sides of the warehouse. So that
5 happened from time to time. In the morning when it got light, then we
6 found out that out of those people who had been beaten, five had died.
7 They took out five people out of those who had been beaten.
8 Q. And overnight, did you hear any shooting at all that night?
9 A. There was just one shot. They shot Hamed Efendic. There were no
10 more shots.
11 Q. And did you see Hamed Efendic actually taken out of the building
12 at some point?
13 A. Yes, I did. He was -- that's what the people who were next to
14 him. Him and Ibran Mustic [as interpreted] were brought in by car. The
15 two of them came in by themselves, and the people who were next to them
16 asked them how did you get here? And they said we were brought here by
17 car. And then Ibran Mustafic was taken out first. There was some kind of
18 shouting, a sort of quarrel amongst them, and then Ibran did not come back
19 any more. Then they called Hamed Efendic. Hamed went out. You couldn't
20 hear anything of what happened there. All you could hear was a shot,
21 actually four bullets maybe. And then they said, "You can drag him away.
22 He's finished. He's dead. Drag him off." You didn't hear any more
23 shots, anymore. You could just hear blunt blows on those people who had
24 been taken out.
25 Q. Now, of the five people that you indicated that had died and were
1 taken out in the morning, I should say rather after that, can you tell us
2 what happened?
3 A. In the morning? In the morning, when it got light, they were
4 complaining that they couldn't hold these people any more in their laps.
5 They wanted them to be taken out. Then they permitted that these people
6 could be taken out, then they dragged them by the arms or the legs. They
7 dragged them out. And I could see them taking out five dead people. Then
8 when those people came back, they were crying, we asked them what's going
9 on? What's happen being outside? They said, you should see the pile of
10 dead who are here behind the warehouse. It's a horror. And they were
11 just there crying. They sat down.
12 Then we were allowed -- well, you could hear some kind of
13 machinery coming there, buses, trucks. Then one of the soldiers came and
14 he said, "I need ten people. I need them to do something." We didn't
15 know what this was about. But they -- we -- the others had told us what's
16 going on outside so nobody wanted to go outside but it already got light,
17 so they chose you, you, you, about ten people who were supposed to go out.
18 And it was quiet for about an hour or so. And then again you could hear
19 those trucks leaving the warehouse. And those ten either never came back
20 to be with us in the warehouse again. We don't know what happened to
22 Then again, they started to take people out and kill them. Then
23 we were allowed to use a room that was just next to the warehouse to use
24 it as a toilet.
25 Q. When you say again they started to take people out and kill them,
1 how do you know that?
2 A. Well, we would know because one of them would come and say, "You,
3 get up." And then when he'd get up and leave, then you could hear a blow
4 and then a fall. We could hear all of that. We knew that that person had
5 been killed and then the next one would be taken. When they let us go to
6 that toilet, then they would take someone by the shoulder and then that
7 person would be taken to the left and they would say, you go here, and who
8 would not be taken by the shoulder, then that person would go to that room
9 that was used as a toilet.
10 My turn also came to go and when I was getting out then one man
11 was taken by the shoulder. And I was watching from this room how three or
12 four of them were on one side and three or four on the other side, and
13 this person -- this other person was watching him holding an automatic
14 rifle, and then this person holding an automatic rifle would say come to
15 me, come to me, and then he would start moving towards him, between the
16 others, and then the one from the left-hand side hit him with an iron bar
17 on the head, and on his back, and he fell. The first soldier on the
18 right-hand side had an axe and hit him on the backbone with an axe, and he
19 fell while this man was still holding the axe.
20 I saw his legs and feet, but I didn't hear any screams or anything
21 like that. I went back to the warehouse after that. This went on until
22 the afternoon. In the afternoon, again, we heard trucks coming, two
23 trucks came, the same procedure, again they asked for ten and then ten
24 would be assigned, who would go to do something, and then they would be
25 separated and they would go.
1 Q. Let me just ask you, about how many people in your estimation were
2 killed from that morning, the day light, from daylight, until that
3 afternoon? And just so the record is clear, we are talking about the
4 morning of the 13th of July.
5 A. Well, around 40 were killed on that day.
6 Q. And about how many in your estimation were killed over night, that
7 is from the time that you arrive until the time you arrived on the 12th,
8 until daylight on 13th?
9 A. Oh, you mean during the night only? Until dawn? Is that what
10 you're asking me or --
11 Q. That's right.
12 A. Oh, during the night, around 40.
13 Q. All right. Now, that afternoon, tell us what happened.
14 A. Then these vehicles arrived again, two of them, again they
15 selected ten people to go and do something for them. That's what they
16 said. Again, there was some quiet for about an hour while these vehicles
17 were leaving the warehouse, both vehicles left. Those ten never returned
18 to our warehouse either, those ten who got out then.
19 Then there was a bit of quiet, nothing was going on then. Then we
20 asked these soldiers what they are -- these guards what they are going to
21 do with us? And they said, "We don't know. We don't know what's going to
22 happen to you tonight." And then one of them said, now you've got Mladic
23 coming and you can ask him what's going to happen to you and where you'll
24 be going. Mladic appeared on the -- at the door, between these two
25 guards, and then all of us said in a single voice, why are you torturing
1 us here? Why are you not taking us away if you said you would? He said
2 well an agreement could not have been reached until now, if an agreement
3 was possible with you, this wouldn't have happened in the first place.
4 Now you're being taken to Kalesija for an exchange. But one
5 should get up and count you so that I could give you all transportation.
6 One man got up and counted us and said there is 296 of us. And he said,
7 all right, wait a bit now, you're going to have transportation now, and
8 then you're going to move on. He left, we heard vehicles arriving there,
9 and then they said to us, "Come on, get up. The buses are there. One by
10 one in a column to the buses."
11 So I got up too and when I got out, it was still day-time, it
12 wasn't dark yet. I saw a Boksit Milici and a Centrotrans Sarajevo bus.
13 As for the rest I didn't even look what kind of buses they were. I
14 entered the Centrotrans Sarajevo bus. That's how we all boarded. When I
15 got into the bus, to the left of the bus --
16 Q. I'm sorry, just finish your sentence and I'll ask you a question.
17 A. All right. Say about ten metres away from the bus, there was
18 General Mladic standing there and about ten soldiers standing in front of
19 him, and he was showing his hand this way and saying something to them.
20 Then when it got dark, we set out. Again, one Serb soldier would enter
21 the bus and stand next to the driver. The soldier had an automatic rifle.
22 And we said, "Where are we being taken now?" And he said, "Well, most
23 probably you're being taken to Kalesija to an exchange as he told you,"
24 and he said, "What did Maddic say to you?" And we said what it was, and
25 then he said well then most probably you are being taken for an exchange.
1 Q. From the time that you arrived at that building until the time
2 that you left, that is as a group, did you -- were you allowed to keep
3 your property, your things that were brought?
4 A. See, I always forget to say something. In the morning, when all
5 of these people were taken away, when everything was over, then one man
6 came to the door, and well he was tall with dark hair, short dark hair,
7 also wearing a camouflage uniform, he said, "Now all of your things, your
8 IDs, wallets, watches, hand in all of that." And then we were giving all
9 of this to the people who were the next to us, and he was just throwing
10 all of this into a bag, and then he said money, money, too. So people
11 were giving all their things for as long as they had anything, and then at
12 one point he said if I find anyone with any money left, I'm going to
13 build -- bring dogs now and they are going to find out whether you have
14 some money left. So people again gave more money. Then he left and then
15 there weren't anything left there. That happened in the morning. I
16 skipped that. I didn't tell you about that.
17 Q. And during the time that you were there from the 12th into the
18 13th, the afternoon of the 13th, were you provided with any food or water?
19 A. Water, yes. From the morning. I told you. We had enough water
20 in water bottles, plastic ones, up to five litres. There was enough
21 water. As for food, we didn't ask for any, they didn't give us any, but
22 nobody really felt like eating because we were having such a hard time
23 that no one could eat. We could only drink water. When we saw what was
24 being done to us, no one really felt like eating any longer.
25 Q. At the time that you boarded the buses, was it dark outside? Was
1 it light outside? Do you remember?
2 A. I remember. Before it was dark, we boarded the buses, but this
3 was just before dark so we waited for the lights to be turned on, we were
4 waiting there, in all the buses, we didn't go anywhere. When the lights
5 were on, then the buses set out.
6 Q. How many buses were there at that time?
7 A. Six buses, I think.
8 Q. And about what time, if you can estimate, did you set out from
9 Bratunac, from this area?
10 A. Well, between 8.00 and 9.00. That's when it got dark too. I
11 cannot tell you the exact hour, but in any rate when the first lights were
12 turned on in town, that's when we left.
13 Q. And did you -- did you stop anywhere en route to the -- your
14 ultimate destination?
15 A. We stopped at Drinjaca, perhaps we were there for a few hours on
16 the buses, and we asked the driver why are we standing here? What are we
17 waiting for here? And he said, I can just see the bus in front of me.
18 When it sets out, I will follow it. If you know, then I know where we are
19 going too. I don't know a thing, he said. So we just sat there on the
20 bus and then when the bus before us started, then we started too.
21 Q. Where were you taken, if you can recall the route that you took?
22 A. We got out to the road that leads to Serbia from Bratunac. We got
23 to the Drina. On the Drina there is a bridge crossing over to Serbia. We
24 did not cross that bridge. We turned left. We went down the Drina to
25 Zvornik. We were in Bosnia.
1 Q. Did you stop in Zvornik?
2 A. No, no. We didn't stop in Zvornik.
3 Q. And where did you go?
4 A. We passed through Zvornik. It's called Karakaj, this place, so
5 when we were near Karakaj we went left.
6 Q. And how long did you continue in that direction, if you can
8 A. That I cannot tell, how long it was that we were driving. We
9 stopped by a school at any rate and we saw a group of Serb soldiers there,
10 perhaps ten or 15 of them in this group that was standing there, the buses
11 stopped, the bus in front of us stopped so we stopped too. Then the
12 driver said, "You'll be getting out here for sure." In front of us we
13 already saw men getting off and they were entering a gym of a school that
14 was by the road. As they got out, the buses in front of us, the people
15 from the buses in front of us, then we got out too. One by one. And
16 there were six buses or whatever. And then we all got out and entered
17 that gym.
18 Q. About what time did you arrive at this school?
19 A. It's possible that it was 2.00, after midnight. I'm not sure
20 about that, though. At any rate, it was after midnight.
21 Q. And that would have been on the night of the 13th of July into the
22 14th of July?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. All right. Could you describe the inside of this gymnasium, as
25 you've described it? Just briefly, if you could.
1 A. On the left-hand side there was a house, a residential house.
2 Before that house, we got out of the bus. We walked in front of that
3 house, the gym was in front, and on the right-hand side there was this
4 school. The school door was -- now, was the gym linked to the school or
5 not? I don't know. I couldn't figure that out.
6 But at any rate, it had its own entrance into -- well, the gym had
7 its own entrance. As we went by, and to the left, we entered the gym
8 straight away.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vanderpuye, if you don't mind, could we have the
10 break now?
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: This would be fine, thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: 25 minutes break. Thank you.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.48 p.m.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, Mr. Vanderpuye.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You were supposed to take one hour.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm sorry if I've exceeded my time. I thought I
19 had estimated an hour and a half, but apparently that's not what's
20 reflected in front of you. So I apologise for that. I shouldn't be
21 longer than 15 minutes or so.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE:
24 Q. Just before I continue where we left off, I wanted to ask you,
25 witness, you indicated on page 46, in the transcript, that you were told
1 that the warehouse you were in in Bratunac was behind the Vuk Karadzic
2 school. Can you tell us when it is that you heard that for the first
4 A. I saw that, that we passed by a school, and that then we got to
5 the warehouse. And that's how I saw that it was passed a school.
6 Somebody told me that this was a cooperative warehouse, that some
7 agricultural cooperative had used that warehouse. And then when they made
8 new warehouses in Kravica, they abandoned this one and moved the
9 cooperative to the Kravica warehouse.
10 Q. And when did you learn the name of the school that it was behind?
11 A. I knew the school from before, but I was told in Bratunac, I knew
12 about the school before, but I never went there but I was told that the
13 name of the school was Vuk Karadzic school in Bratunac.
14 Q. That same night, on the 12th?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. I just wanted to go back to where we were. I think I left
17 off, and I'd asked to you describe the inside of the gym you were taken to
18 on the night of the 13th into the 14th of July. So tell us what you were
19 able to observe when you went inside.
20 A. I saw in front, as I was entering the gym, that there was the hoop
21 to play basketball. On the right side there were the windows, halfway up
22 the walls of the gym, and then some equipment that was around the windows.
23 On the left side, the windows were also placed quite high on the
24 walls of the gym, not at around the middle. And then a little bit before,
25 to the left side, there was the side door to the gym.
1 Q. Can I please have in e-court 65 ter 1697. I just want to show a
2 photograph, if I could. Do you see this photograph on the screen in front
3 of you?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. Okay. And do you recognise what's depicted in it?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. Okay. Can you tell us what you see? Tell us what you recognise
8 about this photograph.
9 A. I recognise the hoop, the entrance door, the side door where this
10 person is bent over, next to the side door, this man.
11 Q. Okay. And the entrance door you're referring to is, is that the
12 other door in the photograph? Or other opening, I should say. There are
13 two openings. Do you see that?
14 A. This door, where this person is bent over, that's the side door.
15 That's where we would exit the gym. And the other door was where we would
16 enter the gym.
17 Q. Thank you very much for that, Witness. Could I show you 65 ter
18 1693, please? That's another photograph. Do you see the photograph in
19 front of you now?
20 A. I do.
21 Q. Do you recognise what's depicted in this photograph?
22 A. I think this is the side door and this is the basketball hoop.
23 Q. All right. Thank you for that. And could I just have in e-court,
24 please, 65 ter 1691? Do you see this photograph now in front of --
25 A. I do, yes.
1 Q. What does this photograph depict?
2 A. We see the school and the gym.
3 Q. And which is the school and which is the gym, if you could just
4 indicate which side of the photograph you're looking at?
5 A. The school is on the right-hand side and the gym is on the
6 left-hand side. Between the school and the gym, you can enter the gym
7 through the door, entrance door.
8 Q. Okay. Thank you for that. If I could, I'd like to show you 65
9 ter 1698. Do you see the photograph in front of you, sir?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. Do you recognise what's depicted in this photograph?
12 A. This is not quite clear to me, but I think that this is where the
13 TAM small truck was parked, and this is where we exited and entered the
14 TAM, using this door.
15 Q. Okay. Thank you for that. I just want to continue with your
16 testimony at this point. During the time that you were inside the gym,
17 can you describe the kind of conditions that you were held in?
18 A. While there were just a few of us, the ones who arrived with the
19 four buses, the conditions were all right. But when the warehouse got
20 full and when the last trucks and buses had brought people in, and when no
21 more could enter the gym, then we were told to stand up, to face the door,
22 and to step backwards, and then we were stepping backwards, and they were
23 firing over our heads and saying, "Back, back, back, we will shoot you."
24 And that's what we kept doing until we made room for even the last ones to
25 enter, and then when they entered we were told to sit down. And then when
1 we sat down, those who managed to sit down first were able to sit down.
2 The others could only sit in our lap. There was no more floor space for
3 others to sit and that's when it got very stuffy, tight, and we wanted to
5 Q. When was it that the last people arrived, the last prisoners
6 arrived, at the school?
7 A. I'm not sure. I'm not sure. It's been a long time. How can I
8 remember everything? But it was about 10.00 when they arrived, the last
10 Q. 10.00 in the morning or at night?
11 A. In the morning, in the morning, at 10.00.
12 Q. And were you given any food or water to drink while you were held
13 in this gym?
14 A. Nothing, nothing. They gave us nothing then.
15 Q. And did you see any interactions between the soldiers and the
16 prisoners while you were held inside the gym?
17 A. No, no, no. The prisoners just said, "Why are you making us
18 suffocate here? Why aren't you taking us for an exchange?" The soldiers
19 said that they knew nothing about an exchange. They said that they cannot
20 say anything as to what's going to happen to us.
21 Q. Did anyone complain about the conditions to the soldiers?
22 A. One man jumped up, just this one man, who complained and said that
23 he didn't want to stay there any longer, that he suffocating, why are they
24 torturing him? And they said, you come out here, and cool off a bit. He
25 went out through the entrance door where we had all entered, a burst of
1 gunfire was heard, and he never returned again. That was the only
2 rebellion there was. That was the only person who got out. Then nobody
3 complained. We all kept quiet.
4 Q. Now, at some point, were you directed to leave this gym?
5 A. Yes. When General Mladic came, then he said this to us. We were
6 told or rather the guards told us, they said now you're going to have
7 Mladic come here and you ask him what's going to happen to you, and he
8 appeared again with a few soldiers at the door and we said why are you
9 making us suffocate here? Why are you torturing us? Why don't you take
10 us somewhere?
11 And he said to us, what can I do about it when your government
12 doesn't want you and I have to take care of you? He said, now, some of
13 you will go to Fikret Abdic and others will go to Bijeljina. And we said,
14 we have no water, and he said when you go out then you'll have water to
15 drink, you won't have any water before that. He said that and he went out
17 Q. And at some point after that, were you provided with water?
18 A. Whoever went out realised that there was water there and they
19 would be blindfolded.
20 Q. Okay. And did you see how these people were provided with the
21 water or how it is that the blindfolds --
22 A. They had some kind of buckets or something. There was this table
23 out there. When it was my turn, the soldiers would take buckets, bring
24 water, and then take them away again when they were empty. Then there was
25 this little thing, it wasn't plastic but it was a metal pot, a little pot
1 or a little glass like thing, and that is how we'd get some water.
2 Q. Okay. And how were these -- how were the prisoners blindfolded?
3 A. Before that when we were supposed to go out, two soldiers brought
4 this kind of thing. Some kind of cloth cut into pieces. And they put it
5 by the entrance door, and they said to these two men now who is going to
6 be the two men tying people's eyes? And then you'll have water to drink.
7 And then two of our men volunteered. They got up and that is how our
8 people got up, one by one.
9 Now, did they first drink water? Were they blindfolded? Doesn't
10 matter. They would get blindfolded, they would drink water, and then we
11 would leave the hall.
12 Q. Do you remember anything distinctive about these particular
13 soldiers that brought the blindfolds?
14 A. I don't remember anything. They were in camouflage uniforms like
15 the other soldiers.
16 Q. Were you blindfolded yourself at some point?
17 A. Yes. When I was getting out. That's when they blindfolded me. I
18 had some water to drink, and then I went towards the little TAM truck.
19 The floor was so high up that it was on the same level as the door of the
20 TAM truck, so we didn't have to climb up on to the little truck. You
21 would just walk in. When I got on to the little TAM truck, I sat there
22 right next to the back. It was covered with a tarpaulin, but the
23 tarpaulin was taken back so we could see everything that was going on from
24 behind. When the little TAM truck set out, the red car that was behind us
25 followed us.
1 One soldier had an olive green grey uniform. He did not have an a
2 camouflage uniform. He sat next to the driver. There was this red car,
3 and he opened the door and he held the door with his right-hand, and in
4 his left hand there was an automatic rifle. And he held that between the
5 door and the car, and he said don't talk, don't remove your blindfolds.
6 And that is the way it was as we were travelling along the road. Then we
7 turned off into a pasture, and we saw lots of dead bodies. We thought
8 that we would stop there too but we didn't. We went further on. When the
9 little TAM truck stopped again and turned off, then we saw another heap of
10 dead bodies. That's when the truck stopped. Two soldiers opened the
12 I was the last one sitting there and then I would be the first to
13 get off, and then he took my foot and told me where to stand and where to
14 get out, and not to talk. That's how they got us all off the truck. As
15 soon as the truck left, bursts of gunfire were opened and they shot in our
16 backs. So the man behind me fell on me. I fell on my stomach and that is
17 how I remained, lying there. They were shooting, people were moaning and
18 showing some signs of life, once they all fell, this was individual.
19 When the gunfire stopped, they moved away, I didn't dare look
20 because they could see then that I hadn't been killed. So I just kept
21 quiet until the other truck came and brought in these other people. Then
22 say about five or six metres away from me, the little TAM truck turned to
23 the road where we were. Then I turned my head a bit, and I saw them
24 getting them off the TAM truck and lining them up in four lines. As soon
25 as this truck left, they immediately started shooting at them, bursts of
1 gunfire. That's how they killed them too and that's how this went on in
3 As soon as the red car would come, then it would go back, they
4 would wait for the little TAM truck. The little TAM truck would stay
5 there until it was unloaded. Then this went on for a while until once the
6 red car came, parked, the little TAM truck turned off, and General Mladic
7 was there and the soldier from the red car with the automatic rifle
8 following the buses, he stood by the car until they were all unloaded from
9 the truck, until they were all killed. The TAM truck left, and then when
10 everybody was dead, Mladic sat in the back seat of the car and the soldier
11 with the rifle sat in the front seat next to the driver, and then they
12 went away. That's how the killing continued.
13 Behind me there was a yellow excavator that was digging a grave.
14 When it got dark, it was a bit cloudy and there was a bit of a drizzle.
15 Another excavator came and that excavator moved away a bit, they stood
16 next to each other, they turned on their headlights, and then the two TAM
17 trucks were coming in and they were killing people under these lights.
18 One little TAM truck would go away and the other one would come in. The
19 red car would escort the TAM truck until the other one would be unloaded,
20 so it was the same car escorting both trucks. That's what went on until
21 sometime at night.
22 Q. Okay. Let me just ask you about how many people can you estimate
23 were in that gym with you before this killing started?
24 A. When the gym was full, when the last group arrived, as we were
25 sitting all next to each other, we asked what do you think, how many
1 people are there in this gym? When you would look around you would just
2 see heads and it's a big gym. No one said that there were less than 2 and
3 a half thousand people there. We didn't really count, though. I cannot
4 say that. That's the way it seemed to us. It seemed to us that no one
5 had stayed behind, that everybody came to that gym. There were that many
6 of us there.
7 Q. Now, you've obviously survived this. When you made -- how was it
8 that you managed to make your escape, if you could just tell us briefly?
9 A. I can. When it got dark and when those excavators came and when
10 started killing under the lights, then I stayed a bit further away, ten or
11 15 metres away from those lights so there was no light cast on me. I got
12 out from under the dead bodies, and then I crawled for about ten metres
13 where the dead bodies were. There were these bushes about one metre tall.
14 Behind this bush there was a bit of shrubbery, perhaps a little tree.
15 Then I hid there so even if they would turn on the lights, they couldn't
16 see me. I turned around and then I watched them doing what they were
18 Q. Did you -- did you know about approximately where you were at that
20 A. Well, I didn't know where I was. I mean, I didn't even know what
21 place this was or how far away it was from Zvornik. I knew that I was --
22 it was on the left-hand side. Then Tuzla would be on the left.
23 Q. Do you recall anything distinctive about anything that you
24 observed while you were making your escape?
25 A. While I was lying there, I was watching this, and I saw this high
1 iron fence and there was a road underneath, but I could not see what was
2 there. There was this poplar tree above me, so I couldn't realise what it
3 was that was there. Later on whether I told people in Tuzla, they told me
4 that this is actually an underpass underneath a railway so that that was
5 the fence of the railroad.
6 Q. Could I just have 65 ter 1707 shown to the witness, please?
7 A. Right. This kind of fence, yes. Now, is it a railroad or is it a
8 road? Whatever. I saw this fence or railing as I was lying there.
9 Q. And does the area, that is what's depicted in the photograph, is
10 that similar to the area or the area that you were there that night?
11 A. It is similar, it is similar.
12 Q. Now, with respect to your escape, did you escape alone or did you
13 escape with other people?
14 A. There was this other man too who was alive. When the last little
15 TAM truck came, it stood there, it didn't go back. When all these people
16 were killed, there was no more gunfire, then what was said was there is no
17 one left at the gym, everybody was brought here, then one of these
18 soldiers said should we come with you or should we stay behind? And this
19 voice said, no one said that you should come with me and you're not going.
20 If another vehicle comes to pick you up, then you won't be here anyway and
21 if another vehicle doesn't come, you will stand guard here until the
22 morning. So this little TAM truck left. I continued to lie there. They
23 got close to those excavators and then they were smoking.
24 A bit later, there were lights on again and again you could hear
25 the truck coming. A similar little TAM truck came and they boarded the
1 truck and left. Oh, yes they turned off the lights of the excavator, the
2 sky became clear, there was moonlight, and then I got up and I started
3 shouting, is anyone alive? If someone is alive, let's go. And then all
4 of a sudden I heard a voice from the heap of dead bodies, and he said
5 there's me, and we got up and left. Behind us, there was a bit of a
6 thicket, and he said, let's go by this grave uphill and I said, I can't
7 walk, I have a bad leg. Let's go through a better place where the woods
8 are not so thick.
9 So then we went along this pasture land and there was a lot of
10 grass there, and as we were walking through the grass we looked around and
11 this man said to me, they will see that we escaped. And I said well what
12 can I do about it? I can't go uphill now when there is this forest, and
13 then when we -- we saw where there were lots of trees and where there were
14 few trees. We took a bit of a break --
15 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you, and I know you have a lot to say but
16 do you -- did you learn this person's name at some point?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And did you meet anybody else during your escape?
19 A. Yes. In the morning, yet another man joined us, from the same
21 Q. And if I could just pop into private session for a second? And
22 then out again?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session for a while.
24 [Private session]
8 [Open session]
9 MR. VANDERPUYE:
10 Q. With respect to these two individuals, did you arrive in the free
11 territory together with them?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. When was that, if you recall?
14 A. On the 19th, I think it was a Wednesday, but again I'm not sure.
15 I knew that but it's been a long time, and it's hard for me to remember
16 all of this with certainty. I think it was a Wednesday, on the 19th, but
17 now I'm not sure.
18 Q. Okay. Well, I don't have any further questions for you, so I
19 thank you.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Vanderpuye. Now I have on my list
21 all the Defence teams. Let me go through the list. Mr. Zivanovic, you
22 asked for 30 minutes. Will you stick to that or --
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I believe that I will finish by the end of the
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Then go ahead. One moment because you have a
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. My name is Zoran Zivanovic,
4 and I'm Defence counsel for Vujadin Popovic in this trial. I'm going to
5 put a few questions to you in relation to your testimony. You testified
6 that in 1982, you had an accident and --
7 A. Yes, yes. And I remain disabled.
8 Q. As far as I can remember, because of that, you were singled out in
9 Potocari into this group of men who -- that consisted of the elderly and
10 disabled, am I right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you tell me, please, you were a member of the army of
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you tell me whether while you were a member of the army of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, you had weapons?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I found that you made your first statement about all of this on
19 the 21st of July 1995, to the Ministry of the Interior, or, rather, the
20 department of the Ministry of the Interior in Zivinice?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could we please have a look at this statement of yours, 1D440.
23 You're going to see it now on the screen.
24 I beg your pardon. It's the 25th of July. It wasn't the 21st,
25 the 25th. That's when the statement was taken.
1 A. It doesn't matter.
2 Q. And it was given to the state security sector in Tuzla. That is
3 what is stated here. Could you please look at the bottom of this
4 statement? There is a signature there. Could you please tell me whether
5 it's your signature?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. It is. Could you please now look at the last page, page 4, of
8 this statement in e-court? We are just going to look at the last
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. It says here this statement has been read back to me and I have
12 participated in its formulation myself. I therefore accept it as my own
13 which I confirm with my signature, and am willing to repeat it before a
14 court: Underneath it there is your signature again, right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can we just go back to the first page now, the first page of this
18 A. Yes, fine.
19 Q. Could you please look at paragraph 1 of your statement? This
20 introduction and then it says statement, and could we look at the second
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. It reads as follows: "I was a member of the army of the Republic
24 of Bosnia-Herzegovina until the demilitarisation of Srebrenica and until
25 it was declared a protected -- a safe haven, when I turned in my weapons."
1 A. I mean until those people who had weapons handed them in, whereas
2 I did not have any weapons at all. I was disabled. I was in the medical
3 service along with the wounded. So that I could say fetch some water for
4 them or light a fire for them when it was cold, and when they surrendered
5 their weapons, well, this is a bit of a mistake.
6 However, regardless of the mistake, I did say that, when we
7 surrendered our weapons. But I was referring to all the soldiers who had
8 surrendered their weapons. I myself due to my disability, could not have
9 had any weapons. I was just there to help in the mess and in the medical
11 Q. I understand that you are not denying that you've stated what is
12 written here?
13 A. Yes. But they surrendered the weapons. It wasn't that we
14 surrendered the weapons. When they surrendered their weapons and when
15 there was demilitarisation. Until then I was no longer a member of the
16 army. That's just a small mistake that was made. When they did, not when
17 we did. I don't know who actually wrote this. I really cannot walk
18 without a cane for a hundred metres, so I was there helping out in the
19 mess so that I could help say wounded people, fetch some water for them,
20 light a fire, things like that.
21 Q. Along with this sentence, where it says, "When I handed over my
22 weapon," it says, "From then on, I was not armed."
23 A. All right. Yes. Well, all of this that is written, I believe
24 that was written, but from then on, no one was armed. But now what they
25 wrote about me, well, that's different.
1 Q. Are you claiming that from the moment when the demilitarisation of
2 Srebrenica was proclaimed, no one was armed any longer? Because everybody
3 surrendered their weapons?
4 A. As far as I know, everybody surrendered their weapons and now as
5 for what I don't know, well...
6 Q. I'd like to ask you about something else now. From Potocari, from
7 this house where you were, when you were singled out with these other
8 elderly and disabled men you were taken to this warehouse?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you tell me, how big was this room, this warehouse where you
11 were put up?
12 A. If it's stated anywhere in my statement how large the room was, I
13 say that that was how large it was. Now, I've forgotten. I really
14 couldn't say. It's been eight or nine years since then. So I cannot give
15 you the size of the room. It was a large room. I am not able to tell you
16 now, but if I ever mentioned the size of the room in my statement
17 previously, that's how big it was.
18 Now, if I were to estimate it, I would say it was more than 15
19 metres, up to 20 metres, and it was eight metres wide but it's -- I'm not
20 sure. It was a long time ago. It's something that I've forgotten now.
21 Q. If we were to compare it to the room where you were put in
22 Potocari, was that warehouse bigger or smaller?
23 A. It was bigger. We couldn't all fit into the house. There were
24 more people, three times as many people in front of the house than in the
1 Q. If you compared the warehouse with the school or the gym where you
2 were, can you say if it was bigger or the same?
3 A. It was smaller, much smaller.
4 Q. Can you please tell me, this warehouse, the way you described it
5 according to how you remember it, it was at one point completely full and
6 you were there at the time as well?
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. And there were about 400 people inside at that time?
9 A. According to my estimate, because later there were 296 when we
10 were leaving the warehouse so that's almost 300. At, I think that in a 24
11 hour period, about 80 were killed and then those ten who were taken out in
12 the morning and the ten who were taken out in the evening, so it's 100
13 that went missing, they were not with us. So it was almost 400 people.
14 Q. When you were in the gym, which was in Orahovac, can you please
15 tell me if the soldiers who were guarding you were inside the gym or
17 A. They were outside. They were at the entrance, at both entrances.
18 There were two each. And then some would just come up to the door and
19 they would observe and then they would leave, but there were two posted at
20 each door and they did not enter the gym.
21 Q. Can you please tell me, if you remember, when you were taken out,
22 when you were -- when was it your turn to leave that gym?
23 A. Well, again, it's something that I've forgotten. Perhaps in my
24 first statement, I told you what -- how it was correctly. I gave you the
25 time, but now I'm unable to tell you. It's possible, from what I can
1 remember, that the sun was still high and that it was probably between
2 5.00 or 6.00, but I cannot remember that now. But I do confirm that in my
3 first statement, if I said the time, then I confirm that that would be the
4 correct time.
5 Q. I'm going to remember -- I'm going to remind you of that
6 statement. Just give me a moment, please. I want to find it. It's the
7 same document, 1D440, page 3. The second paragraph, you can see a
8 sentence that says, it's in the second paragraph, line 6, "I came, it was
9 my turn at around 2000 hours." And you said the same thing, I think you
10 said the same thing four days before then, when you were giving your first
11 statement to the SUP?
12 A. All right. Very well. I stand by my first statement. I cannot
13 stand by what I'm saying right now. I mean, it was ten years ago. I
14 confirm my first statement.
15 Q. Thank you. Just one more thing I'm going to ask you. You said
16 that you saw on a number of occasions, during all of these difficult
17 events that you went through, that you saw General Mladic?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. And now, I saw that in one place in the transcript, you said that
20 you saw him six times?
21 A. In total, during those three days.
22 Q. Yes. Three -- six times during those three days. And I'm
23 interested in the last time that you saw him, and that was on that day
24 when you were executed, and when you saw him the last time, according to
25 what you said?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. Can you please tell me now that if that was still in the day-time
3 or was it already dark or were the lights on?
4 A. It was still day-time. It was nice. The excavators hadn't
5 arrived yet. It was still day-time.
6 Q. And can you tell us approximately, once the execution was carried
7 out, after you fell, was that after that? How long after that?
8 A. Well, I cannot remember exactly.
9 Q. Thank you very much, sir. I have no further questions.
10 A. Thank you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic. The shortest on the list
12 would be the Pandurevic team. Do you still intend to cross-examine this
13 witness, Mr. Haynes?
14 MR. HAYNES: Very unlikely.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ostojic or Mr. Meek? I don't know who will be
16 dealing with this witness.
17 MR. MEEK: Yes, Your Honour. We could go ahead and start today if
18 you want.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please do.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Meek:
21 Q. Dobar dan.
22 A. Good day.
23 Q. Sir, you've just testified a few moments ago at page 75, on
24 today's transcript, lines 5 through 7, that -- and you said, "All right.
25 Very well. I stand by my first statement. I cannot stand by what I'm
1 saying right now. I mean, it was ten years ago. I confirm my first
2 statement." Do you recall that testimony?
3 A. Yes. I cannot always tell you the exact time. About the time
4 that I said, I confirm the time that I gave in my first statement. As for
5 the time right now, I cannot always remember exactly what time it was, but
6 it's in my first statement.
7 Q. Are you sure you're not in that statement claiming that you stand
8 by your first statement and that you confirm that first statement, and you
9 cannot stand by anything you said today, including the time period?
10 A. Only the time, not the other things. The rest, what I'm saying
11 today, and in my present testimony, in my first statement, I stand by
12 everything that I said there, but if you ask me what time did you go
13 there, what time did you leave, what time did you get there? This is
14 something that I cannot remember exactly. As for what I'm talking about,
15 about what happened, I stand by what I am saying now. I have always stood
16 by every statement that I made.
17 Q. Sir, let me ask this question: If all these years later --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. -- you cannot be sure about the times or various times, how can
20 you be so sure about the various numbers that you've given us today in
21 court, of the other people that were with you in this location or that
23 A. What was more or less important what time I left, what time I
24 came, I wasn't interested in that so much. So perhaps I forgot that. But
25 the crime that took place is something I can never forgets and the people
1 who were there, who were these people, I cannot forget that until the day
2 I die. The horrors that were there were where I was.
3 Q. Do you recall approximately the time that you left Bratunac on the
5 A. I left Bratunac when the lights were coming on, in the town.
6 That's when I left. As for the time, I didn't look at a watch. That's
7 when we entered the buses, and we waited, and then when the lights began
8 to come on, that's when we set off.
9 Q. Now, at that point in time, were you familiar at all with what
10 time the lights normally came on in Bratunac?
11 A. I really wouldn't know.
12 Q. Okay. And again, you will agree with me, sir, that this -- these
13 events that you've described today, being in the gym, in the first
14 warehouse, taken to the gym, that it was a very confusing time?
15 A. I don't know what would be confusing to me.
16 Q. Well, according to your testimony, there were a lot of people in a
17 small area, correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you didn't know what was going to happen to you, and everybody
20 else didn't know what was going to happen to them, correct?
21 A. We didn't know.
22 Q. Were you concerned?
23 A. How could we not be concerned? First they started killing in
24 Bratunac, so we weren't even thinking that anyone would survive that.
25 Q. Besides being concerned, you were worried, correct? Yes or no.
1 A. Definitely.
2 Q. And again, if you can answer me yes or no, not only were you
3 worried about yourself, you were worried about your family, correct?
4 A. Absolutely, yes.
5 Q. You hadn't had much sleep or rest in the period 24, 48 hours
6 before this, correct?
7 A. Correct, no.
8 Q. And according to your testimony, you were under a disability,
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And were you on medication before you took off to head towards the
12 free territory?
13 A. I never used medication. I have a leg injury that cannot be
14 treated. So I have a disability, but I do not require any medicines.
15 Q. Very lucky for you, sir. Does the leg injury which led to your
16 disability, does it cause you pain in your leg?
17 A. Always, if I'm sitting, and my leg is down, then it swells up.
18 Only when I'm lying down, then the circulation improves. When I hold my
19 head -- my leg horizontally. If I am sitting for a long time and my legs
20 are bent or they are down, then I experience discomfort.
21 Q. And sir, you would agree with me that you were experiencing
22 discomfort in your leg during the time period that we're talking about,
23 being, as you've told us, jammed in small areas and buses and the school,
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. And even through your -- all right.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I have to stop you.
3 MR. MEEK: Can I have one more question.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But there is a trial in the afternoon, go
5 ahead with your last question.
6 MR. MEEK:
7 Q. Okay. Again, sir, just to sum this up, you had a lot on your
8 mind, you were worried about yourself and your family, you were scared,
9 you were concerned, your leg was hurting you, you hadn't had much sleep
10 for a few days and I put it to you, sir --
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. -- you have to agree with me, I think that you really don't know
13 how many people were in that school, it's just something you heard, those
14 numbers you heard, once you reached the free territory, fair statement?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let him answer the question.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the gym or in the warehouse? In
17 the gym, we estimated. I always said nobody counted but we made an
18 estimate because it was an enormous room and as the others were saying,
19 they said there is over 2.500 people here. That's what I said. Nobody
20 counted. As for Bratunac, we were counted so I'm giving you exact
21 figures, and you will see that in the statement, if there is one missing,
22 then you can say that I'm not speaking the truth.
23 Q. Sir, I thank you very much. I just wanted to make sure that other
24 people told you they estimated that. Thank you very much for today.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: We will continue tomorrow, Mr. Meek. Sir --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Together, it's not my
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, sir. We'll continue tomorrow morning at
4 9.00. Thank you.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Friday, the 2nd day of
7 November, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.