1 Tuesday, 1 July 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 8.37 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, could you
7 please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Today is Tuesday, July 1st, 2008, and I greet our witness. I
12 welcome Madam Prosecutors, and I welcome Mr. Seselj as well as everyone
13 helping us.
14 Witness, will you please stand up. Could you please give me your
15 name, surname, and date of birth.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Redzep Karisik, and I
17 was born on the 13th of July, 1952, in Sjenica in Serbia.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have a job at the
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I'm not employed at all.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are you unemployed or retired?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm unemployed and registered at
23 the job centre. I want to retire.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Have you already
25 testified in front of an international court or maybe a domestic court
1 regarding the events that occurred in the former Yugoslavia or is this
2 the first time that you will testify?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, today's the first time I am
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Would you please
6 read the solemn declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
8 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: REDZEP KARISIK
10 [The witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] May I give you some information
14 on what will happen now.
15 You will be asked questions put to you by the Prosecutor. I'm
16 sure that you have met Ms. Biersay while preparing for this hearing.
17 Ms. Biersay has one hour and thirty minutes for questions. After that,
18 Mr. Seselj, who is on your left, will also put questions to you, and this
19 will be the cross-examination. The three Judges on the Bench in front of
20 you can also intervene and ask questions at any time.
21 Please try and be very specific in your answers. If you do not
22 understand the meaning of a question, ask for the person putting the
23 question to you to reformulate it.
24 Furthermore, you have just made a solemn declaration, which means
25 that now you are a witness of justice, you are in the hands of justice.
1 You have undertaken, with the solemn declaration, to say the truth and
2 only the truth.
3 Furthermore, we will have 20-minute breaks every hour and a half
4 so you can rest, and we also need that break in order to change the audio
5 and videotapes. However, if at any moment you feel ill at ease, just
6 raise your hand and I will break, I'll make a break.
7 Also, if you have a question, just ask the Judges.
8 I want to tell you all this so we will have a smooth hearing.
9 Ms. Biersay, I'll greet you once again, and you have the floor.
10 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Examination by Ms. Biersay:
12 Q. You described that you were born in Serbia; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Where did you grow up?
15 A. I grew up in Serbia until I was 15, in Sandzak.
16 Q. And where did you go after you turned 15?
17 A. Then I went all over Yugoslavia.
18 Q. And could you describe for us generally those areas that you went
20 A. Yes, I can. Banja Luka, that's in Bosnia; Kutina in Croatia;
21 Zajecar in Serbia, Kladovo -- I participated in work campaigns, so I'm
22 familiar with all of Yugoslavia.
23 Q. Where did you have your education, in what area?
24 A. Well, I completed the building construction school in Banja Luka.
25 I also engaged in sport, and I was busy with sports and with building
2 Q. Where have you spent the majority of your life, in what area?
3 A. In Mostar.
4 Q. Well, do you live in Mostar now?
5 A. Well, I go here and there, but I'm in Mostar, yes.
6 Q. For how long did you live in Mostar?
7 A. Thirteen years.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Thirteen, the interpreter is not sure.
9 MS. BIERSAY:
10 Q. I'm sorry. For how many years did you live in Mostar or have you
11 lived in Mostar?
12 A. Thirty years.
13 Q. And what profession did you have before you described the Court
14 you no longer have a job? What were you doing before?
15 A. I did all sorts of things, all sorts of things; building
16 construction, I participated in youth work campaigns.
17 Q. I would like for you to describe to the Trial Chamber the ethnic
18 makeup of the Mostar area before the war started. Now, you described
19 that you were born in Serbia. Are you Serbian or are you something else?
20 A. Well, at the time I was a Muslim. Now I'm a Bosniak. Before the
21 war, we lived as one. You didn't know who was a Serb, who was a Muslim,
22 who was a Croat, until this terrible war came along. And then when those
23 so-called clever men caused a war, it was only then that we found out who
24 was what.
25 Q. Is there a river that flows through Mostar?
1 A. Yes, the River Neretva.
2 Q. And could you describe to us -- you just talked about Muslims and
3 Serbs in the Mostar area. Were there also Croats in the Mostar area?
4 A. Yes, yes, yes.
5 Q. Could you describe for us generally where they lived in relation
6 to the river that flowed through Mostar; right bank, left bank, and so
8 A. Yes. For the most part, the Croats lived on the right bank of
9 the River Neretva, and the Serbs and Muslims and Croats lived on the left
10 bank. There were people on all sides, in Vrapcici, Bijelo Polje there
11 were mostly Serbs and Croats and Muslims. And in Sehovina, south of
12 Mostar, it was the same. There were mostly Muslim and Croats and down
13 there in Buna and further on, and up there in Nevesinje, Bileca and
14 Gacko, that's how it was.
15 MS. BIERSAY: Madam Registrar, could we please have 65 ter
16 number 4273, please.
17 Q. While we're waiting for the map, could you describe to the Trial
18 Chamber what military presence was in the Mostar area before the war
19 started in 1992? Were there any military barracks in the area?
20 A. Yes, there were military barracks in the town of Mostar. There
21 were two, the north camp and the south camp, two barracks in town.
22 Q. Do you know if there was a military airport in or around Mostar?
23 A. There was a military airport near Sokol. The airport was down
24 there in Soko, Rodoc.
25 Q. You've just described the military presence in Mostar before the
1 war started. Where, specifically, did you live in Mostar before the war
3 A. In the suburb of Dalejka [phoen].
4 Q. Were there any type of military shooting range or anything like
5 that near your home?
6 A. Yes, yes, there was, in Gornji Zalik, not far from the area I was
7 familiar with. That was the first automatic shooting range in the former
8 Yugoslavia. It was a perfect automatic shooting range.
9 Q. And given the proximity of the shooting range to your home, did
10 you have any opportunities to interact with the JNA soldiers who would
11 come there?
12 A. Yes, with the officers and the soldiers, the privates, because I
13 lived nearby, nearby the shooting range, about 100 or 200 metres away
14 from it. There were five soldiers working there to maintain the shooting
16 Q. Did you do compulsory military service in the JNA?
17 A. Yes, I did, in 1970 and 1971, in Tito's Guard in Valjevo.
18 Q. So you just described that you were familiar with the types of
19 JNA soldiers who would come to the shooting range. Were you also
20 familiar with the types of JNA soldiers who would be in and around town,
21 connected to the barracks?
22 A. Well, I knew the four soldiers employed on maintaining the
23 shooting range because there was a playing field there and we would --
24 two were from Novi Sad, one was from Belgrade, and the fourth was from
25 Drvar. They were active-duty soldiers. They served for 18 months.
1 Later on, it was reduced to 15.
2 Q. I'd like to now direct your attention to approximately April of
3 1992. Around that time, did you notice any JNA reservists coming into
4 the area?
5 A. Yes, they did come.
6 Q. And what did they look like? Did they look like the JNA soldiers
7 that you were already familiar with?
8 A. They looked like JNA soldiers by their uniform, but not by their
9 behaviour. And what they looked like, they had long beards and long
10 hair, and they weren't as disciplined as the regular soldiers.
11 Q. And when you say they weren't as disciplined as the regular
12 soldiers, could you describe to the Trial Chamber what you mean by that?
13 A. Well, what I mean is the following: Real soldiers had their hair
14 cut and they were polite and well-behaved. These men didn't have any
15 commanders. They obeyed no one. They did whatever they wanted, these
17 Q. You described that they had the long beards and hair. Did they
18 seem different to you in any other way; for example, through their
20 A. Well, they each spoke their own -- in their own accent. I can
21 tell what people in Serbia speak like, talk like. I can speak that
22 dialect, and so I could tell.
23 Q. Did all of these JNA reservists have the Serbian dialect or were
24 there different kinds of dialects spoken by them?
25 A. Different.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. This sort of question
2 can't be put. It's not a Serbian dialect, it's an Ekavian dialect. The
3 Serbs speak Ekavian and Ijekavian, so you can't call the Ekavian dialect
4 the Serbian dialect. And the Muslims in Sandzak also speak the Ekavian
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You already said this.
7 Ms. Biersay, please take what Mr. Seselj said into account.
8 MS. BIERSAY: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The witness might complete
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in Tito's time, some people
12 called you "Comrade," other people called you "Sir." I think that the
13 people spoke every dialect. Serbia speak Ekavian, Montenegro, Bosnia.
14 That's not just one nation. All people, whoever lived in Serbia, spoke
15 Ekavian. I can't say that Serbs and Muslims did not speak Ekavian or
16 Roma. They all spoke the same.
17 Q. Mr. Karisik, where were these JNA reservists that you describe?
18 Where were they stationed, as far as you could tell?
19 A. The south camp and the north camp and Vrapcici.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, there's a small detail
21 that emerged. I know we've seen a good number of witnesses, but I've
22 never asked them this question.
23 Obviously, you're someone who travelled a lot in Serbia, you know
24 Serbia. So these reservists who came in town and who had beards, before
25 these events and before the war, could you tell us whether in Serbia men
1 were used to wear beards, it was quite commonplace, and to see someone
2 with a big beard was very normal? Could you tell us whether those people
3 who came with those long beards came into Mostar but were very different
4 from the people you were used to seeing before?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can answer your question. I used
6 to wear a beard, myself. It was this long [indicates]. But there was
7 preparation going on for that war, the war was being prepared, and there
8 were people who didn't cut their hair or shave, and they had hair down to
9 here [indicates]. And the way they behaved and everything. If I wear a
10 beard, okay, but I won't be unkempt; I won't be dirty. I used to wear a
11 beard, too, even though I was a sportsman and participated in youth work
12 drives, I still wore a beard. But I wasn't preparing for war, because in
13 those reserves, those reservists who came from Serbia, there were also
14 Muslims in the reserves, and as soon as they saw them coming, they fled.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay.
16 MS. BIERSAY:
17 Q. Could I clarify something you just said? You said that when they
18 saw them coming, they fled. Who fled?
19 A. If I had a house, I would have run away. If I had somewhere to
20 run to, I would have run.
21 Q. What would you be running away from? What were people running
22 away from?
23 A. Well, they were running because they were afraid.
24 Q. And what were they afraid of?
25 A. They were afraid because they saw what was happening in Croatia.
1 There was a war first in Slovenia, then in Croatia, and then it came to
3 Q. You just described the arrival of JNA reservists. Was there
4 another wave of military-type people that came after the JNA reservists?
5 A. They came and went. You didn't know who was who, who was doing
6 what. Everybody wanted to be in command. Everybody wanted to have their
7 say. And whoever was weaker fled from whoever was stronger.
8 Q. I'd like to go back to the JNA soldiers that you got to know
9 because they were coming to the shooting range next to your house. Did
10 you ever talk to them about who these different military people were who
11 were coming into the Mostar area?
12 A. Well, I've forgotten their names. It was a long time ago, 16 or
13 17 years ago, and I'm sorry. Well, I'd like to see them again today,
14 I think.
15 Q. What did they tell you about the people -- the reservists and the
16 JNA soldiers and the other people who were coming into Mostar? What did
17 the JNA soldiers that you knew say about those people?
18 A. They said, "It's just the Territorial Defence that's come here.
19 There will be some kind of exercise and it will all be over in a week.
20 It's not going to last long." That's what they said.
21 Q. Did that happen or did something else happen?
22 A. Then the worst happened. Somebody managed to set -- to start a
23 fire. They put a cistern in front of the building and then set fire to
24 the thing, and then it all blew up.
25 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber whether or not these JNA
1 reservists and others were stationed in places like Bileca, Trebinje,
2 Nevesinje; do you have any information about that?
3 A. Well, there is information, but what kind of information, the
4 active-duty army withdrew when the order came. The real army withdrew to
5 Serbia. That was the order, and the real army withdrew. Now, who joined
6 the reservists and who stayed on, they stayed on. They had weapons,
7 military weapons. They had everything the army left behind. It's just
8 that the army took away light weapons. Everything else remained, because
9 the active-duty soldiers withdrew when the order came for them to do so.
10 Q. Do you know when they withdrew?
11 A. I can't remember.
12 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber what the JNA soldiers said about
13 Seseljevci and Red Berets?
14 A. Well, until they begin doing evil things, there wasn't so much of
15 that. But as soon as they started doing evil things, then, yes, that's
16 what happened. There were all sorts.
17 Q. When you say "all sorts," all sorts of what?
18 A. All sorts; rape, slaughter, killings, everything. But until the
19 killing started and -- well, life was normal, you live normally. But as
20 soon as all that started, all kinds of things started, well, then it was
21 just chaos.
22 Q. I don't want to focus on what happened as far as crimes yet.
23 What I'd like you to do is to describe for the Trial Chamber what
24 military units or formations were present in Mostar after April 1992.
25 A. When the army withdrew, the real army, the reservists remained.
1 And afterwards, those people who joined up with them, the paramilitary
2 units who nobody commanded. Everybody wanted to have his own, his own
3 company to go and fight, loot, kill.
4 Q. What paramilitary units were present in Mostar?
5 A. Seselj's men, I don't know who commanded them or who was their
7 Q. Mr. Witness --
8 A. I don't know who was their vojvoda, but somebody fought to be a
9 vojvoda. Now, who the vojvoda was and who gave orders, you, Comrade,
10 know that.
11 Q. Mr. Karisik, because we have the time that the Trial Chamber just
12 discussed, you have to listen very carefully to my questions and answer
13 just the question so that we can move forward in an efficient manner.
15 A. Yes, I can go on talking for a whole night and a whole day if
16 you'll let me.
17 Q. I know, but we only have 90 minutes and we have to be very
18 efficient. So my question --
19 A. Well, you can extend the time, then, and then we can go on,
20 continue on and on.
21 Q. No, I'm afraid we can't. So my question to you is : In addition
22 to the Seselj's men that you described, were there other military
23 formations or units who were present in the area of Mostar, in and around
24 the time period that we're talking about?
25 A. This is what -- who was there: The Green Berets, as they were
1 called, the Seselj's men as they were called, Chetniks, as they called
2 them, the White Eagles, and who knows what else, what other kind of
3 soldiers. And whatever kind of army turned up like that, I would flee, I
4 would have fled. You didn't know who anybody belonged to.
5 Q. Did you have your family members leave the area of Mostar because
6 of your concerns?
7 A. A colleague of mine, a Croat, suggested that I do that, and I
8 prepared my -- I got my wife and children ready, and he drove them away.
9 I couldn't go, but he drove them away.
10 Q. And why couldn't you go? Why did you stay?
11 A. I couldn't go. I had things to attend to for the company. I had
12 my duties there.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment. What company
14 were you working for?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Vranica.
16 MS. BIERSAY:
17 Q. And what kind of company was it? What did they do?
18 A. A construction firm.
19 Q. At some point, did it happen that you were forced to work
20 collecting garbage in and around the Mostar area?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you describe for the Trial Chamber how that happened?
23 A. We were -- we were held for two and a half months in Zalik, Upper
24 Zalik, Lower Zalik, and north camp part of town. There was Matkovici,
25 and we were there in a collection centre, and from there we would go and
1 clean garbage and everything else.
2 Q. What collection centre were you in?
3 A. Some of them were in the shelters. In Zalik, there are two
4 shelters. And some of us went to some houses or went home, but then we
5 had to report from our homes.
6 Q. Let's take one step back for a minute.
7 You described to the Trial Chamber that at some point, you
8 were -- you were working with this company that you described; is that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And at the same time, you described that people eventually made
12 their way to these shelters. Could you describe why people were going to
13 shelters in the first place?
14 A. Well, that was sort of safest for them. They were safest there.
15 Q. What were they trying to be safe from? What were they afraid of?
16 A. They were afraid. When the others started looting the houses,
17 they were frightened that they would kill them in the houses.
18 Q. In addition to looting, was there any type of gunshots heard or
19 were there any kind of shellings in and around the area?
20 A. Yes, shells were falling from the hills all over, on the left
21 bank and on the right bank too.
22 Q. And were those things going on at the time people decided to go
23 into shelters?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. At some point, did the Serb forces take over the left bank of the
1 River Neretva?
2 A. They took control of the left bank straight away, while the real
3 army was still there, the JNA. That side was taken.
4 Q. And on what side were the shelters? Were they on the left bank
5 or on the right bank?
6 A. The left bank.
7 Q. And where did you live, on the right bank or the left bank?
8 A. The left bank.
9 Q. After the left bank of the Neretva area of Mostar was taken over
10 by Serb forces, is that when you had to do forced labour?
11 A. Yes, that's when I went.
12 Q. Who told you that you had to do this kind of work?
13 A. Matkovic said, the one that was in Zalik. He had the warehouse
14 and everything.
15 Q. And who is he?
16 A. He was a Serb, and he was the main man down there.
17 Q. How many people were told that they had to do work that was not
18 their choice? Do you know, approximately?
19 A. Well, sometimes there were 50, sometimes 60, sometimes 40,
20 depending on who was able to come. Some people weren't healthy, they
21 were ill, so they stayed home.
22 Q. Could you describe for the Trial Chamber what kind of work you
23 were forced to do?
24 A. All kinds of work. We cleaned the garbage, took it away; washed
25 the streets; loaded up construction materials, equipment; offloaded,
1 loaded up, that kind of thing.
2 Q. When you did this kind of work, was there anyone guarding you?
3 A. Yes. Two soldiers were there.
4 Q. Do you know the names of any of the people who guarded you while
5 you were forced to do this kind of work?
6 A. I've forgotten their names, but they didn't touch us.
7 Q. When you were doing this forced work, was there still fighting
8 going on?
9 A. Well, there was shooting up in the hills, but it was quiet in
11 Q. Who is Milan Skoro?
12 A. Milan Skoro was a former policeman.
13 Q. And what, if anything, did he do in connection to your forced
14 work that you had to do?
15 A. He issued orders, telling us where and what we should do. He
16 would say, "Go there, go over there."
17 Q. While you were doing this forced labour, did you see any of the
18 units that you talked about; Seseljevci, or Red Berets, or any other
19 units like that?
20 A. There were, but you couldn't distinguish who was who. Some had
21 cowboy hats, others had caps. You couldn't really tell who was who: Who
22 was commanding people over here and people over there.
23 Q. You described people going into these shelters. You said there
24 were two shelters; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. Do you remember approximately when people started going into the
3 A. Straight away from the 2nd of April, when the water tank
4 exploded. Not two days went by.
5 Q. And where is this water tank that you just talked about?
6 A. Right up the wall by the barracks, not two metres away in north
8 Q. Approximately how many people would go into these shelters or
9 into the specific shelter that you're talking about, how many people?
10 A. There were women and children and men, and 500, 600 in a shelter.
11 Gornji Zalik, Donji Zalik, Upper and Lower Zalik, part of town.
12 Q. And am I correct in saying that by that, you mean that they came
13 from all the areas around the barracks?
14 A. The whole area, Zalik, Gornji Zalik, Donji Zalik, and all the
15 settlements 'round about when the shelters were made.
16 Q. When people first started going into the shelters, were there
17 non-Serbs as well as Serbs?
18 A. There were Serbs, and Croats, and Muslims, gypsies, anybody who
19 didn't want to go to war.
20 Q. Did that change after a while? Were there only non-Serbs who
21 were staying inside the shelter?
22 A. I was just there for a night in that shelter, and I didn't go
24 Q. Where did you go?
25 A. I was at home, the four of us in houses. We slept around in
2 Q. When you say "the four of us," are you talking about family
3 members or other neighbours?
4 A. No, neighbours.
5 Q. After the water tower you described was blown up, were you taken
6 into custody for interrogation at the north camp?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is completely out of order.
8 Which water tank was blown up? A tank truck was brought to north camp,
9 an explosive was planted there, and then the tank truck was blown up, and
10 otherwise the Prosecutor is posing increasingly leading questions.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this water tank which
12 exploded, which is mentioned in the Prosecution's submissions and in the
13 Prosecution's brief, did somebody put an explosive there? What actually
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it wasn't a water tower. There
16 was water or fuel, petrol. We're not talking about a water tower or a
17 water truck. I wasn't there to fill it up with explosives or planting
18 explosives there. If it was positioned there, it might have been
19 positioned -- well, explosives or shells or petrol, fuel, might have been
20 put in there, that kind of thing.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In other words, it's a water
22 tank, it's not a fuel tank?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what kind of tank it
24 was. Let me put myself right. It might have been for water. It might
25 have been for petrol. It might have been for fuel. It might have
1 been --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Ms. Biersay.
3 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Did there come a time that you were taken to the north camp for
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Who interrogated you there?
8 A. I was interrogated by the army, the real army, 14 of us, but then
9 they let us go. We spent a night there. They asked who was shooting at
10 the army. I didn't know who was shooting. I wasn't shooting. If I was
11 shooting -- if I were shooting, I would have been where the shooting was
12 going on. So don't say I'm a Zenga when I'm not a Zenga.
13 Q. Do you know anyone with the last name Savic?
14 A. There's a Savic from Rastani, but I don't know his first name.
15 All I know is that that's his surname, Savic. He took us to north camp.
16 We spent the night there. They interrogated us and then they left us go.
17 They sent two to Bileca and they let the rest of us go.
18 Q. How many of you were taken to north camp for interrogation?
19 A. Fourteen.
20 Q. I'm sorry, could you repeat that again?
21 A. Fourteen.
22 Q. While you were at the north camp, were you sitting in a chair,
23 were you laying down on a bed?
24 A. We weren't given anything. We could just stand like
25 this [indicates] on our knees, with our hands behind our backs, tilted to
1 the side. You couldn't even stand straight.
2 Q. At some point, now directing your attention to June of 1992, did
3 you try to leave by going through the town Potoci?
4 A. I started to flee from there, I couldn't take it anymore, towards
5 Jablanica and then, well, to Bijelo Polje, where they captured the four
6 of us with a Land Rover, and I recognised Mladin Kandic. He was a former
8 Q. Did you recognise anybody else?
9 A. No, no, I didn't recognise anybody else.
10 Q. And who were the others that you were travelling with or trying
11 to escape with?
12 A. [No verbal response]
13 Q. Mr. Karisik, one minute. Let me ask you -- what are you looking
14 at? Are you looking at a statement that you provided to the --
15 A. No, no, no, I'm looking at Enes Mezet, Omer Hasic and his wife.
16 The four of us started to flee, we started to escape.
17 Q. And when you were taken by the people that you just mentioned,
18 including this Kandic, is that correct, where did they take you?
19 A. They took me 19 kilometres away from Mostar towards the north,
20 Rakovac, the post.
21 Q. When you say "post," what do you mean? Is it a post office?
22 A. Yes, post office, the PTT, which was part of the settlement
23 there. That's where the post office was.
24 Q. And while you were there with the others, were other people
25 brought in as well as prisoners?
1 A. They brought in two more men from Podvelezje. They caught them
2 at Rujiste, and they shut them up in a WC.
3 Q. And what is Podvelezje?
4 A. Podvelezje is a settlement with inhabitants. Five or
5 six thousand inhabitants it had.
6 Q. Did you at any point while you were being held at the post office
7 ask Mandzic to let you go?
8 A. Since I knew him, I said to him, "Let me go. I'm gone to look for
9 my wife and children." I lied to him just to make him release me. He said,
10 "A bullet to your head rather than let you go." "But why?" He kept quiet.
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear a part of what the
12 witness said after he said "my wife and child," that he had gone looking
13 for them and he lied.
14 MS. BIERSAY:
15 Q. After you asked to let them go, what did he say to you?
16 A. Nothing. He said, "A bullet to your head rather than let you
18 Q. How many days did you spend at the post office, approximately?
19 A. Three days and three nights.
20 Q. Where were you taken next?
21 A. To Sutina.
22 Q. And what is in Sutina?
23 A. That's where the cemetery is, the municipal cemetery.
24 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honours, before us is the map, 65 ter
25 number 4273, which depicts, Konjic, Mostar and Nevesinje and some other
1 areas. We'd move for the admission of the map at this time before I
2 proceed to another map.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: For what purpose? What is it going to show us?
4 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, we believe --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is the purpose of showing
6 us this map?
7 MS. BIERSAY: This map before the Court is to orient the Court
8 with respect to Mostar and the surrounding villages, as described by the
9 witness, and it includes Vrapcici, which he will address, and the
10 location of Nevesinje, with respect to Mostar as well.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: I suggest you wait to seek admission until the
12 witness has provided his information onto the map, because a bare map is
13 worth nothing, in my view.
14 MS. BIERSAY:
15 Q. Mr. Witness, directing your attention to the map before you
16 that's on your screen --
17 A. I can see the map very well. It's like this: Let me explain to
18 the Trial Chamber.
19 Sutina, that's where -- well, there's a pit there. Twenty-two
20 were killed.
21 Q. One minute, please. One minute, please. Could you show the
22 Court, by touching the screen, the River Neretva that flows through
24 A. I can do that. Here [indicates], right by Mostar.
25 MS. BIERSAY: Is it possible for him to make a mark so we can
1 capture an annotation?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. I think there's no
3 point in the witness marking the River Neretva, which can be clearly
4 seen. It's best if you show us where Sutina is and where Uborak is and
5 mark that.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's five or ten kilometres.
7 MS. BIERSAY: Madam Registrar, could we now move to 65 ter
8 number 2863, please.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, does that mean that
10 the Prosecutor has desisted from tendering this document? What's most
11 important is -- this map is to see where Sutina is, because to be quite
12 honest, I don't know where Sutina and Uborak are, and the witness would
13 show us that.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, on the map before you,
15 do you see Sutina?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It just says "Vrapcici," here. It
17 just says "Vrapcici." It doesn't say Sutina. It doesn't say Uborak
18 either. Uborak is up there where the military barracks is where there
19 was a rubbish dump next to the barracks. It doesn't say Uborak it just
20 says garbage dump is. It doesn't say "Uborak" here. It just says
21 "Vrapcici," all of Bijelo Polje, all of Vrapcici. There isn't that place
22 marked here.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand you well,
24 Vrapcici -- Sutina is next to Vrapcici.
25 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, if I could interrupt for a moment, if
1 we could have 65 ter number 2863, I think this would assist us all. The
2 first purpose of the map was to give us an overall geographical
3 orientation for the Court. We're now going to zoom into the specific
4 area, which is 65 ter number 2863.
5 It's a pretty dense file, so it's taking some time to load. So
6 while it's being loaded:
7 Q. Mr. Karisik, could you describe for the Trial Chamber what
8 happened when you got to Sutina, the Sutina cemetery?
9 A. Where the administration of the cemetery was, there was a team
10 questioning people. And when Kandic got there to be questioned, the
11 people in there said, "They're not for here. Take them to Vrapcici."
12 Q. And do you remember the name of the person who said, "They're not
13 for here. Take them to Vrapcici"?
14 A. I didn't go inside. I don't know who was there or how many
15 people there were inside.
16 Q. Where did you -- where were you taken after they took you from
17 the Sutina cemetery?
18 A. Along the main road, some 600 or 700 metres down the road, to the
19 stadium in Vrapcici, the changing rooms; locker room, that is.
20 Q. How big was the locker room where you were taken?
21 A. Well, the locker room, I didn't measure it, but it was less than
22 30 square metres, all of it together.
23 Q. When you arrived at the locker room and they took you inside,
24 were there already people inside the locker room?
25 A. There were 37 men there.
1 Q. Were there any women there?
2 A. Yes, there were women and children too.
3 Q. For how long were you kept in the Vrapcici stadium's locker room?
4 A. Six days and six nights.
5 Q. And during those six days and six nights, did the number 37
6 change of the people who were kept in that locker room?
7 A. Yes, they brought in people every day and every night.
8 Q. And how large a number was there of people in the locker room?
9 A. Ninety, in my opinion.
10 Q. While you were there, did you meet anyone who had been there
11 longer than you had been there?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. And who was that?
14 A. Omer Brekalo from Kuti Livce.
15 Q. How long did he say he had been kept in that locker room?
16 A. Twenty days.
17 Q. Did you recognise any of the guards who were bringing people in,
18 into the locker room?
19 A. I only recognised [indiscernible] from Nevesinje. His name was
20 Mico Bunjas. He used to work with me in Vranica for 15 years. I didn't
21 know his real name. They called him Gunjar, but his name was Misa Vucic.
22 I didn't even know his real name. We called him Gunjar. He didn't even
23 see me.
24 Q. Could you describe for the Trial Chamber what it felt like to be
25 in that locker room with 89 other people in June? How did it feel?
1 A. Well, I longed for death, because before I arrived, 50 Croats
2 were taken to Bileca, and we thought they would kill us all. We thought
3 they wouldn't take us to Bileca to be exchanged.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, "I expected to die."
5 MS. BIERSAY:
6 Q. While you were kept prisoner in the Vrapcici locker room with
7 these other 89 people, were you given food, water?
8 A. Those six days? Only once. On the fourth day when I went to
9 Podvelezje, I drank and had my fill.
10 Q. After you'd left the locker room?
11 A. Yes, after.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you say that you drank
13 water, but only after four days. I'm a bit surprised. Are you
14 absolutely sure that you could only get a drink once and that you had to
15 stay four days without anything to drink?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm sure, only once, only
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if I understood you well,
19 you drank once in four days and you ate once in six days?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right. You understood
21 me well, and I said it right.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Biersay.
23 MS. BIERSAY:
24 Q. Could you describe to the Trial Chamber how you were finally
25 taken out of the Vrapcici locker room? When did that happen?
1 A. It was nighttime, about 10.00, 10.30 p.m. A white van stopped in
2 front of the door. A bearded man got out. He had a helmet on. He wore
3 a uniform. And he said, "You are going to another place." And we
4 thought, well, where are we going. There were five or six of us who were
5 there together, and he said, "You're going somewhere else." And we got
6 into the van. Five or six of us whom I know got on, and then others got
7 on as well, 15 or 20, as many as could be packed into the van.
8 Q. Where were you in the van; were you in the back or the front?
9 A. At the front.
10 Q. So by "front," you mean the part closer to the driver?
11 A. Yes, but there was a partition between us and the driver. We had
12 no contact with the driver.
13 Q. And what happened next after everyone was crammed into that van?
14 A. The van started. We didn't know where we were going. It wasn't
15 an asphalt road, it was a dirt road; after some ten minutes, that is.
16 First there was this asphalt and then this dirt road or macadam. And
17 then the van stopped. The man opened the door, and the people at the end
18 started getting out. And as they were getting out, this man started
19 shooting them down with bursts of fire.
20 I remember well one who -- one prisoner who got out said,
21 "Dragan, we know each other. We've known each other for 30 years." And
22 he just shot him down. So whoever got out of the van, I don't know how
23 many there were, and I remained. Are there more? "Yes, get out." But I
24 couldn't stand up because my legs were shaking, I couldn't stand up, so I
25 said, "I can't get up. Kill me here in the van." Then he swore at my
1 Ustasha mother. He slammed the door shut and he said, "We'll kill you in
2 another way." And he took me back to Sutina, where I had been first.
3 The van pulled up. He said, "Get out." But I couldn't stand up.
4 I crawled out on my knees. There were two of them with beards and
5 helmets. It was night. I didn't know them. And the one who tied me up,
6 he spoke Ekavian, Serbian, the way I speak, and that's how I know he was
7 from Serbia, by his speech. He used the word "Bre," he swore at my
8 Ustasha mother, but I am no Ustasha and no Zenga. I crawled out on my
9 hands and knees, and I was beaten. He handcuffed me to the radiator and
10 left. I said, "Why are you handcuffing me? You're going to lock the
11 door anyway." And then he hit me again and left. I don't know for how
12 long I stayed there handcuffed to that radiator. He switched the engine
13 on and left in the van. I was handcuffed by one hand. I'm sorry, I
14 didn't bring the handcuffs here. I've kept them as a souvenir, and I
15 wish I'd brought them here to show you. I managed to wrench it off and
16 escape through the window. And it was five days later that I was able to
17 eat and drink my fill.
18 Q. How long did it take you to wrench out of the handcuffs?
19 A. About ten minutes. I was fit and strong.
20 Q. And how did you do it, how did you get out of the handcuffs?
21 A. I had a little pen knife, so I blocked something so it wouldn't
22 turn, and then I managed to break one of the links in the chain. So one
23 end of the handcuffs remained on the radiator and the other end on my
24 hand, on my arm, but I managed to break the chain.
25 Q. Where did you go after you were able to break out of the
2 A. Through the window, through the cemetery, up the hill, and then
3 to Podvelezje.
4 Q. When you left, did you have the part of the handcuffs still
5 around your wrist?
6 A. Yes, until the next day. They only took it off when I got up
7 there. A policeman called Zajko used a needle to take it off. He
8 unlocked it with a needle in five seconds.
9 Q. After you escaped from the Sutina cemetery, where did you
10 ultimately go after the handcuffs were taken off? Where did you end up?
11 A. I went down to Mostar when the BH Army liberated Podvelezje.
12 That's when I went down to Mostar.
13 Q. Now, I'd like to direct your attention to the map that's before
14 you, which is 65 ter number 2863. Could you, using --
15 A. Yes, okay.
16 Q. Starting at the bottom --
17 A. Yes, yes, Sutina, Vrapcici stadium, Vrapcici up there, Uborak.
18 It's marked up there, so now you can tell everything, where everything
20 Q. The markings that are on this map, are they accurate? Is that
21 where Uborak is; is that where Vrapcici stadium is?
22 A. Well, it's marked here, "Uborak," "Vrapcici," the stadium,
23 "Sutina" down there, and "North camp" and "Zalik."
24 Q. And where the north camp --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, you're going to
1 ask for this map be admitted, so maybe you could ask the witness to place
2 a "1" next to Uborak," a "2" next to the stadium, a "3" next to Sutina, a
3 "4" next to the north camp.
4 MS. BIERSAY: Yes, Your Honour.
5 Q. Could you please put a "1" the area Uborak? If you put a "1."
6 You can actually use it to write on the screen. It's like a pen.
7 A. Uborak [marks].
8 Q. And could you please put a "2" next to the Vrapcici stadium?
9 A. Vrapcici stadium [marks].
10 Q. And then a "3" next to Sutina?
11 A. [Marks].
12 Q. And a "4" next to the north camp?
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. How long would it take to drive from Uborak down to the north
16 A. Well, it depends on whether you use the main road. Five minutes,
17 five minutes. If you use the dirt road -- there may be an asphalt road
18 through Vrapcici here, so if you don't go down there towards the Neretva
19 but use the asphalt road, then it's 10 minutes or 15.
20 Q. When you were being -- when the people in the van were being
21 taken out and shot, did you know where you were at that time?
22 A. No. No, I didn't know.
23 Q. And when is it that you learned that -- you learned where the
24 location of that shooting was?
25 A. I only learned that when I arrived in Sutina, when I was tied up.
1 That's when I found out.
2 Q. How did you find out?
3 A. Because my company had built the city cemetery and the
4 administration building and everything. I had worked on the
6 Q. So you knew, when you were in Sutina. How did you later find out
7 that you had been taken to the Uborak location?
8 A. I learned that only later on, when the mass grave was found, when
9 north camp was liberated, and Vrapcici and Bijelo Polje. I identified 22
10 persons in Sutina and 88 from Uborak.
11 MS. BIERSAY: At this time we would move for the annotated
12 version of 2863 as well as the original, so we'd seek the admission of
13 both versions of the map.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Madam Registrar,
15 could we have a number for the annotated mark -- the annotated map and
16 another number for the more general map, number 4273.
17 THE REGISTRAR: The annotated map will become Exhibit P479, and
18 the original map will become Exhibit P480, Your Honours.
19 MS. BIERSAY: And, Madam Registrar, if we could now have 65 ter
20 number 7248, please.
21 Q. Do you recognise this list that's before you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And who do you recognise those people to be? Who are they?
24 A. They were all with me in Vrapcici. They were killed at Uborak.
25 MS. BIERSAY: At this time, we'd move for the admission of 65 ter
1 number 7248, please.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, can we have a
3 number for this exhibit.
4 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit P481, Your Honours.
5 MS. BIERSAY:
6 Q. So just to be clear, these people you recognise as people who
7 were with you in the Vrapcici locker room; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You also described that you participated in the exhumation of the
10 mass grave, and where was that mass grave, the Uborak-related one? Where
11 was that mass grave in Uborak? Could you describe it?
12 A. The rubbish dump 88 in Sutina, next to the River Neretva, 22.
13 That was a separate mass grave.
14 Q. With respect to the 88 who were found at the Uborak dump -- it's
15 a dump, that's how you describe it? It's a rubbish dump; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you identify other people, as well as the names that we just
19 saw on this exhibit? There were other people that you knew; is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And did you participate in the identification of those other
23 bodies as well?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Were you present for the actual exhumation, the bodies that were
1 being dug up? Were you present for that part or did you just see the
2 bodies after they were taken out?
3 A. I went from Sutina to Uborak and from Uborak by car to Sutina.
4 Q. In addition to the -- could we go back to the previous exhibit,
5 please. I believe it's P481.
6 These 18 people on this list, do you know the ethnicity of any of
8 A. There were Croats here, Marko Mihalj. I identified him by his
9 shoes and his socks, because he couldn't walk. I called his son to see
10 whether that was his father. I recognised him by his shoes and his
12 Q. Now, you described a Croat. Do you know the ethnicity of the
13 other people on that list?
14 A. They were all Muslims, now Bosniaks.
15 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, would this be a good time for a pause?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, let's have a break.
17 According to our computations, I think you have 18 minutes left.
18 We are now going to break for 20 minutes.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.00 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 10.22 a.m.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, you have the
22 floor. Sorry.
23 [The accused entered court]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have resumed our hearing,
25 and Ms. Biersay has the floor.
1 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Just by way of clarification, the Prosecution had asked for the
3 admission of the original 65 ter number 2863, with the annotation. That
4 was the second one that had the local places marked. And we'd also moved
5 for the admission of the first one, the orienting one, with Mostar and
6 Nevesinje, which is 65 ter number 4273.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We already have two exhibit
8 numbers. This has been done already, Ms. Biersay.
9 MS. BIERSAY: And with respect to --
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, as far as Exhibit
12 number 2863 is concerned, you would like the map to be tendered; in other
13 words, the annotated? Which do you wish to tender into evidence, the map
14 that has been marked or the one that hasn't been marked?
15 MS. BIERSAY: We'd like to have both, Your Honour, as an A/B
16 grouping if the Court prefers.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 MS. BIERSAY: Mics, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, the Trial Chamber
20 has just deliberated on the matter and holds that the mark -- the map
21 that has been marked is enough. There is no need to tender into evidence
22 a map that has not been marked. We already have an exhibit number for
23 this map.
24 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, then for clarification, map 2863,
1 with the witness's annotations, is Exhibit P479, and the first map
2 bearing 65 ter 4273 is Exhibit P480. Thank you.
3 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you for the clarification.
4 And at this time, Your Honour, the Prosecution would end its
5 examination-in-chief, and to the extent there's any redirect permitted,
6 we would ask for the reserve time to be used then.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 Witness, just some recommendations before the cross-examination
9 starts, which can be a delicate moment.
10 You will have to answer the questions that will be put to you by
11 Mr. Seselj. Please remain calm and answer the questions. Sometimes you
12 may not like the questions, but the accused is entitled to ask any
13 question he likes. So please stay calm.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I have the right to answer.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And wait for him to finish his
16 question before you answer. Count until five.
17 Since you are going to be speaking the same language, the
18 interpreters have to have enough time to translate what you are saying.
19 So when he puts a question, count until five and then answer.
20 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I first have to say that
22 telephone wasn't working this morning or the fax machine. So there were
23 some attempts to send me some documents via fax, but that was
24 unsuccessful because the machine just gobbled up whole sentences. I just
25 wanted to draw your attention to that.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
2 Q. Mr. Karisik, I think there is no reason for you to be nervous,
3 although the Judges brought that to your attention and cautioned you,
4 because I think you testified truthfully, and within the framework of
5 what you told to us, I see nothing that I would have to challenge
7 So I would like to start off by asking you a question outside the
8 circle incorporated into the Prosecution questions. The representative
9 of the OTP started from April 1992, but since you lived in Mostar, you
10 should know that the conflicts between the JNA and the Croatian military
11 formations started already in September 1991 in Mostar. Right?
12 A. I'm not a military analyst for me to know any of these things.
13 Q. But you were present. You know of the conflict.
14 A. Well, I did follow it. They are things that I follow.
15 Q. So before the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina broke up, before the
16 Serbs and the Muslims and the before the proclamation of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, we're talking about September 1991; right? You can't
19 A. I can't remember. As I say, I'm not a politician. I don't deal
20 with politics, nor am I interested in politics. I'm just sorry that the
21 conflict broke out in the first place. I'm very sorry for that.
22 Q. In April 1992, the proclamation of independence for
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina came. The Western powers proclaimed that, and in
24 April the war broke out between the Serbs and Muslims, and there was no
25 war before that. So for a full seven months, September, October,
1 November, December, January, February, March, and the beginning of April,
2 for a full seven months it was exclusively a conflict between the JNA and
3 the Croatian paramilitary forces in the Mostar area; right?
4 A. It was all over the place, on the whole territory, and it
5 incorporated Bosnia too, that part of Croatia and --
6 Q. Wherever there was a high concentration of Croats, there were
7 conflicts; right?
8 A. No. Wherever you Serbs wanted to have your republic, like you
9 got it in Bosnia, and you would have got Knin, too, had you gone on.
10 Q. Let's not have any philosophical questions here or deal in
11 politics. Let's just look at the facts. The conflict between the JNA
12 and Croatian paramilitaries lasted for a full seven months, right, before
13 April 1992; isn't that right? And there was shooting in Mostar?
14 MS. BIERSAY: He has already posed this question to the witness.
15 The witness has said, "I don't know. I'm not a politician. I don't
16 remember." And he's asked the question at least three times now.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please listen to what
18 I'm about to say.
19 Mr. Seselj has put a question to you. This question is
20 important, because the events that occurred in April 1992, which relate
21 to the Serbs, on the one hand, and the Croats and the Muslims, on the
22 other hand, taken like that one has the feeling that the problems began
23 to arise in April. But in light of Mr. Seselj's question, purportedly
24 there were paramilitary formations that were Croatian in Mostar. Did you
25 know that, did you not know that? And if Croatian paramilitary forces
1 were present, there may have been a confrontation between these Croatian
2 paramilitary forces in Mostar and the Serbs before April 1992. What can
3 you tell us about this? Do you know about this or don't you?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I can't really say.
5 As to conflicts, whether there were any before that, I don't know.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have to put you
7 right. It was a conflict between the JNA and the Croatian paramilitary
8 forces, not a conflict between the Serbs and Croats, because in the JNA
9 you had Muslims too; not in large numbers, because a portion of them
10 failed to respond to the mobilisation call, but there were quite a lot of
11 them. And it was still officially the JNA as the sole military force of
12 Yugoslavia of the day.
13 MS. BIERSAY: I object to Mr. Seselj testifying. He should
14 simply put the question to the witness and have the witness respond. But
15 these types of explanations amount to testimony.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, first of all, I
17 have not made a mistake. On line 19, page 37, I mentioned the Croatian
18 paramilitary forces. This is what I said. I did not say anything else.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But you said, Mr. President, that
20 they were in conflict with the Serbs, and that's where you corrected what
21 I said erroneously. I said "with the JNA," but you turned the "JNA" into
22 "Serbia." You said "Serbia."
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I find it strange, since you lived in Mostar, that you didn't
1 know about this conflict between the JNA and the Croatian paramilitaries.
2 Now, in the autumn of 1991, Mostar was, in actual fact, divided along the
3 Neretva River, on the one side, on the left bank, it was the JNA that was
4 in control, and the Croatian paramilitaries controlled the right bank?
5 A. I was a construction worker and I was working on site. I didn't
6 really live in Mostar. I was on site.
7 Q. Well, in the autumn of 1991, were you working in the field?
8 A. I was in Germany.
9 Q. And where did you --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers slow down and make pauses
11 between question and answer. It's impossible to follow at this speed.
12 Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. You are going
14 too fast, both of you, and the interpreters can't keep track. Please go
15 more slowly, speak more slowly.
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
17 Q. When you returned before the new year, the conflict between the
18 JNA and Croatian paramilitaries was still going on, although there was a
19 ceasefire, but Mostar was, to all intents and purposes, divided, so you
20 couldn't go to whichever part of Mostar you wanted freely?
21 A. The JNA took the left side and you couldn't go anymore, you
22 couldn't cross.
23 Q. And the right side was held by the Croatian paramilitaries;
24 right? And the Muslims still did not involve themselves in the conflict,
25 when you came back from Germany just before the new year; right?
1 A. You can come and go. You could go to Germany and to Bosnia and
2 come back to Bosnia.
3 Q. But since you lived on the eastern bank of the Neretva River, you
4 couldn't cross over to the western bank, could you?
5 A. I came from the right bank to the left bank.
6 Q. How?
7 A. Nicely, I came.
8 Q. Did the JNA have control of the bridges?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. On the other side, did you have the Croatian paramilitaries?
11 A. There was nobody except soldiers. It was only the reserve force.
12 Q. And who had control of West Mostar?
13 A. You had soldiers on whom the JNA to the last withdrawal --
14 Q. Whom [as interpreted] is the hill above Mostar?
15 A. Yes, but the right bank.
16 Q. Yes, a large hill where the JNA was until its withdrawal in 1992?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. But who controlled the western part of town? There was no JNA
19 down there, was there?
20 A. That's where the main hospital was. By the old hospital, the
21 military hospital.
22 Q. Just a moment. Who held control of the largest portion of West
23 Mostar when you arrived?
24 A. It was under the control of the civilian -- well, the civilians
25 that controlled it before.
1 Q. What army controlled it?
2 A. Army? There was no army on that side. You didn't have to ask
3 yourself who was in command.
4 Q. Well, who went to war against the JNA, then? Who did -- who
5 fought against the JNA, then?
6 A. The reservists. The reservists were the ones that caused all the
8 Q. Let's leave problems aside for a moment. I know what you said
9 about problems. But on the one side we had the JNA with its reservists,
10 with its reserve force, its regular troops and reserve force, and who was
11 on the opposite side, the opposing side?
12 A. You have Bosnia. Bosnia had its army.
13 Q. I'm talking about 1991, when you came back from Germany, before
14 it was recognised.
15 A. All you had was the JNA and the reserve force.
16 Q. Well, who was the adversary, who was opposed to them then?
17 A. They wanted to rule themselves.
18 MS. BIERSAY: This is asking, in a different format, the same
19 question that seven to ten minutes ago the witness answered, which is he
20 did not -- does not know about Croatian paramilitaries being in conflict
21 with the JNA in 1991.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you have answered, but
23 we are a little bit surprised by your answer, and I shall tell you why.
24 According to what I understand, you went to work in Germany and
25 you came back before the end of the year 1991. You have East Mostar and
1 West Mostar. In West Mostar, were there any military present? Did you
2 see any at the time?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were no paramilitaries over
4 there then.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are you quite sure?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certain, sure and certain, except
7 on the left side the reservists, that was the TO, Territorial Defence.
8 That's all I can say.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And during this period at the
10 end of 1991, January, February, March 1992, was there no fighting that
11 pitched the JNA against those people in West Mostar, according to what
12 you know? Was there any fighting or not?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
14 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
15 Q. You didn't find any combat going on because Vance's plan was
16 already in force, which established a truce between Croatia and the
17 Republic of Serbian Krajina, right, so that the fighting stopped in
18 Herzegovina too; right?
19 A. Owen's plan was not adopted.
20 Q. That wasn't Owen's plan, that was Vance's plan.
21 A. Yes, I apologise. They drew maps here and there, but none of it
22 came into being.
23 Q. All right. Since you didn't see any military forces on the West
24 Bank of Mostar, I'm not going to insist upon that anymore.
25 Now, what do you understand by the term "Seselj's men,"
2 A. "Seselj's men"? Well, soldiers who had command, that is,
3 Seselj's men.
4 Q. An army commanded by Seselj?
5 A. Well, if you were the commander, that's how they got their name.
6 Somebody who has an army, it's his army. If you had command there, who
7 else's army would it be there? Were there any other Seseljs?
8 Q. Did you ever see this army of Seselj's?
9 A. I just saw the -- I heard the soldiers with their dialect and
10 knew that they were from Serbia, and they called them "Seselj's men."
11 Q. So what you're saying is that you heard other people refer to
12 them as being Seselj's men?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you heard them speaking Ekavian?
15 A. Yes, they're speaking the same way as I'm speaking now.
16 Q. And that's all, is it? You know nothing more that could identify
17 them in any way?
18 A. I wasn't with them, so how could I know?
19 Q. All right, fine. Now, when you were in Vrapcici and Sutina, did
20 you see Seselj's men over there, perhaps?
21 A. I was incarcerated, so from inside I couldn't see who was
23 Q. All right, fine. We'll move a little faster now, I hope.
24 On the 2nd of April, there was this explosion in front of north
25 camp barracks; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And a tank full of explosives was brought in with some metal
3 parts, who knows what, a tank truck, and it exploded in front of the
4 barracks; right?
5 A. Well, I don't know what was in it.
6 Q. All right. But the explosion took place, and it destroyed the
7 barracks, to a large extent; right?
8 A. It destroyed the wall and the surrounding parts.
9 Q. And some of the dormitories were destroyed, et cetera, things
10 like that; right? Is that right?
11 A. Well, there was something like that.
12 Q. There was, right. The whole wall to the building toppled down
13 and you could see the inside of the building, the dormitories and so on?
14 A. There were storehouses, storage space, dormitories, but I
15 couldn't see all that.
16 Q. You were arrested for the first time when the army conducted an
17 investigation as to who planted the explosive?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. That was in April. They held you for a month and they released
20 you. They had two Croatian suspects, and they sent them to Bileca, to
21 the military prison there, is that right, two of them?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And they let the rest go?
24 A. Yes, and 12 of us remained.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down. Thank
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're going too fast.
3 Mr. Seselj, please go more slowly, because the interpreters are having a
4 hard time.
5 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
6 Q. So of the 14 people, two were suspects. After making their
7 statements, they went to prison, and 12 persons were released. Did the
8 soldiers beat you while they were interrogating you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Who beat you?
11 A. I wasn't beaten because I was in the middle, but the ones who
12 were at the back were beaten, the reservists, not the real soldiers, not
13 the real army.
14 Q. Well, the reservists are the army too.
15 A. Not as far as I'm concerned, no.
16 Q. And why did they beat people?
17 A. I don't know. They beat the ones who were behind. I was in the
18 middle, so I don't know why they beat those over there.
19 Q. Afterwards, you were captured when you tried to escape from the
20 eastern part of Mostar in June; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And do you know that the JNA withdrew from Mostar before the 19th
23 of May, 1992?
24 A. As I told you earlier on, I didn't follow all this. I didn't
25 delve into politics. I wasn't interested in politics at all. The real
1 army withdrew. The people that served in the army, they withdrew.
2 Q. All right. Now let's lighten up. I have a statement here which
3 you gave to the Security Services Centre, the Ministry of the Interior,
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Mostar, on the 23rd of May, 1995. Do you remember
5 giving that statement?
6 A. Yes, I do remember that, but I had a disagreement with them.
7 Q. Over what?
8 A. Over some photographs, pictures, because each photograph was
9 taken -- they said they had pictures of inmates, of the detainees, and
10 they didn't give me the footage taken with a camera, the pictures taken
11 with a camera, so I had a disagreement with them, I argued with them, and
12 I wanted to ask them whether they had the pictures here. They said they
14 Q. All right, since you had a disagreement with them. Now, that
15 statement is four pages of densely-typed text; do you remember it right?
16 A. Yes, I remember it in my head.
17 Q. You signed every page?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In that statement, you nowhere mentioned Seselj's men, there's no
20 mention of a single Seselj's man. Do you remember that?
21 A. I think it's in there somewhere.
22 Q. Well, let's put it on the ELMO and see whether there is any
23 mention of Seselj's men anywhere. We'll look for that. Do you have
24 that? It's 0363-1490. My copy can be put on the ELMO, and we'll look at
25 it together. You should have this, Judges, the statement made by this
1 gentleman to The Hague investigators. It follows on from the statement
2 given to the Muslim police, and you can see that in the third paragraph.
3 And in the fourth, it says the investigator from the Office of the
4 Prosecutor "asked me to say more about the information I had given and
5 clarify some issues discussed in my previous statements." So the OTP is
6 treating these two statements as one, so they should have provided the
7 other one and had it ready. This is not a special -- or, rather, a
8 separate statement given to The Hague investigators, but rather a
9 statement referring to the one given to the Muslim authorities. So I'm
10 only attempting to draw attention to the lackadaisical way this is being
12 So let's have a look now at the statement to see whether you
13 mention Seselj's men anywhere. Let's see the entire page, please.
14 So that's the statement. We can see your signature there. Is
15 that your signature? Well, that's the first page of the statement. Can
16 you find the expression "Seselj's men," or "Seselj," or "volunteers of
17 the Serbian Radical Party" mentioned here?
18 Mr. Karisik has this statement, it appears. No?
19 A. I didn't give statements to the military Muslim police.
20 Q. Were the policemen Croats? Who were they?
21 A. I'm not interested in that.
22 Q. You gave it to the official organs of your state. All I want to
23 know is whether there's any mention of Seselj's men here. Let's turn to
24 page 2. You're much faster than we are. Let's look at page 2 and see
25 whether there's any mention of Seselj's men there.
1 Do you have page 2?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. We don't have to read the whole text, because it's almost
4 identical to what you stated orally here, and what you spoke about sounds
5 very convincing. I don't want to cast doubt on your personal
6 experiences. You might have made a mistake due to the state of mind you
7 were in, but that would be immaterial. However, there's no mention of
8 Seselj's men here.
9 Let's look at page 3.
10 So here we are on page 4. Is there any mention of Seselj's men
12 A. [No verbal response]
13 Q. It appears to me there's no mention of that.
14 A. No, I haven't found it.
15 Q. Well, I didn't expect you to find anything like that.
16 Now, let's -- can I have the document back, please.
17 Now, Mr. Karisik, on the 10th of June, 2004, you spoke with
18 The Hague investigators; is that correct? It says here the 10th of June.
19 You have that statement. I see you have the statement before you. I
20 didn't object to your following along, referring to the statement,
21 although that's not really permitted here, but I didn't object because I
22 thought you were being sincere.
23 MS. BIERSAY: For the record, the witness did not consult the
24 statement. He flipped through it. I asked him if he was looking at it.
25 He said, "No," and he flipped it back, and he did not refer to it after
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but he had it in front of
3 his eyes.
4 Proceed, Mr. Seselj.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As I didn't object, I don't want to
6 enter into a discussion with Madam Biersay on this issue, so as to avoid
7 wasting time.
8 Q. Do you remember that on the 10th of June, 2004, you gave a
9 statement to The Hague investigators?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. You have the statement here?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. You see the front page. What ask it say? There's your name
14 there, and it says "10th of June, 2004," at the bottom of the page. So
15 Mr. Karisik, I'm interested in the following: When you started this
16 interview, The Hague investigators had before them the statement you had
17 previous given to the police; is that correct, in 1995?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. They had that statement, and they say here that you gave that
20 statement to the Security Services Centre in Mostar, Ministry of the
21 Interior, on the 23rd of May, 1995. It's in paragraph 3 of your
22 statement to The Hague investigators.
23 And then in paragraph 4:
24 "I have now been asked by the office of the prosecutor
25 investigator who is interviewing me at this time to expand the
1 information provided and to clarify some issues discussed in my previous
3 It's in paragraph 4. You can also see it on the monitor?
4 A. Yes, I can find it, yes.
5 Q. And you were able to see that they're only interested in trying
6 to find out something about Seselj or Seselj's men. They were trying to
7 dig something out, suggesting that to you, hoping to get something from
8 you about that. Do you remember?
9 A. Well, it was a long time ago. You can dig something up,
11 Q. Well, people dig tunnels and mines, so you can dig that up too.
12 A. Well, yes, anything can happen.
13 Q. I agree with you, Mr. Karisik. I see that you're a very honest,
14 sincere man, you always speak your mind. So they insisted on that
15 conversation for a long time, and in the end you confirmed something of
16 what they were insisting on; is that right?
17 If Madam Biersay continues doing these gymnastics, she'll get
18 very tired.
19 Now let's go to page 4 and see what it is they dug up. Let's
20 turn to page 4, and let's have it on the ELMO for the public to see,
21 since this is public testimony. So let's have it here. In paragraph 9,
22 you say, and this is what The Hague investigators are actually putting in
23 your mouth:
24 "After that, we started seeing Seseljevci in town. Some
25 Seseljevci wore white hats. Some had todays on and some had sajkacas on,
1 and some had cockades on their hats. They settled in the neighbourhood
2 of Sehovina, East Mostar. The Nevesinje Serbs populated this settlement.
3 Seselj comes from East Herzegovina."
4 Did you see in Mostar, too?
5 A. No, I didn't see you, comrade. I didn't see you, but I heard
6 that Seseljevci and White Eagles and Chetniks were coming. Whose army
7 that was, I just said everyone wanted their own army. Whoever went to
8 war had an army of his own.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, on paragraph 9 it says
10 Seselj comes from East Herzegovina. Someone reading this would feel that
11 you, yourself, saw Mr. Seselj in Mostar. The way it's written, that's
12 what one could infer from this.
13 When the investigator spoke with you, did he ask you whether you
14 had seen Mr. Seselj? Why is this written? Why is there this sentence:
15 "Seselj comes from East Herzegovina"?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I gave the statement to someone. I
17 didn't see that, personally. I didn't see him myself.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
20 Q. It then goes on to say:
21 "Some Seseljevci came from Serbia, and there was some locals who
22 joined them. We noticed that some local Serbs joined the Seseljevci and
23 others supported them. There are a lot of people talking in town that
24 some have gone to join the Seseljevci and some had joined the JNA reserve
25 forces. We also noticed they started wearing cockades and sajkacas.
1 Everybody could recognise them by their appearance."
2 Were these your own words or were they inserted of the OTP?
3 A. I said that they wore sajkacas and beards and white hats, and I
4 say that. Whose were the White Eagles, whose were the Green Berets,
5 whose were the Chetniks, whose were Seselj's men? They were all
7 Q. So you couldn't tell the difference, you couldn't tell them
9 A. Well, it didn't say or it wasn't written on their foreheads
10 whether they were JNA or Seselj's men or whatever. If they put on a
11 cockade on their hat, it was a cockade. If it was a moon and star, it
12 was a moon and star. If it was a white hat, it was a white hat.
13 Q. Did you hear that Draskovic's men were there?
14 A. Well, I'm telling you, I didn't know who was in command of whom.
15 Q. All right. Very well, sir, but you mention that again somewhere
16 here. In paragraph 14, for example, "we also heard from the JNA
17 soldiers, who were in the firing range, that there were Seseljevci and
18 Red Berets in Mostar."
19 So you always heard it from someone. You couldn't really tell,
20 yourself, who were Seselj's men, who were White Eagles, who were the
21 Serbian Guard?
22 A. Well, other people told me.
23 Q. All right. I won't deal with that any longer. I won't weary
24 with that.
25 As you still live in Mostar, are you aware that the District
1 Public Prosecutor's Office in Mostar, as early as in 1993, on the 16th of
2 February, submitted a motion to initiate investigative proceedings
3 against persons who were suspected of having perpetrated a crime against
4 Muslims in Sutina and Borak? Do you know that an investigation was set
5 in motion?
6 A. I didn't know that.
7 Q. You don't know that. Well, based on that motion, so that we
8 don't have to look at both documents, the District Military Court in
9 Mostar, on the 2nd of March, 1993, issued a decision on conducting an
10 investigative procedure.
11 Can we have that on the ELMO, please, although this is a document
12 given to me by the OTP in some set of documents I was given. If there is
13 any -- there is no ERN number because only the English version had an ERN
14 number. There's a number of the translation here.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do we have this document?
16 MS. BIERSAY: I'd just like to clarify, Your Honour.
17 This morning, after the break, the Prosecution was presented with
18 two documents with a fax line reading: "June 30th, 2008, 8.54 a.m."
19 There is no ERN numbers, as we do put on our documents typically, and I
20 am unsure of why Mr. Seselj thinks we gave this to him if it arrived at
21 8.54 this morning -- yesterday, sorry, that would have been yesterday,
22 but we received it nonetheless. Even though the fax line says "June
23 30th," which would have been yesterday, we received it today after the
24 first break. But irrespective of that, I'm not sure if Mr. Seselj is
25 speaking about the ones he gave us today or some other document.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] At the bottom of the page here, you
3 have the "Reg 9061 Doc/MB." Those are your markings for translation.
4 Why there's no ERN number, how should I know. It was on the English
6 MS. BIERSAY: It is not the markings of our documents, and again
7 I would ask why is a document that has a fax date of June 30, 2008, why
8 does Mr. Seselj believe that this is a document from us? We received
9 this for the first time today in B/C/S, I might add, and I have no idea
10 why he thinks that.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, as Ms. Biersay just
12 said, why can you say that this document comes from the OTP? Maybe it
13 does. Maybe your associates found it and faxed it to you, but if they
14 did so, then there would be an ERN number on this document, and it's not
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, let the OTP look for
17 it. It's their document. It wasn't found by my associates. I received
18 this document. Why there's no ERN number, let the OTP explain. Let them
19 look in their archives to see if they have this document or not. Why is
20 there no ERN number?
21 Every time I get material from the OTP, should I check that
22 there's an ERN number? Just imagine that. I received that from the OTP.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, Mr. Seselj is
24 telling us that this document does come from the OTP. Maybe he's right,
25 maybe he's wrong. I don't know. Please check that it is not your
1 document, it does not come from the OTP.
2 MS. BIERSAY: Mr. President, Mr. Seselj is the one relying on
3 this document. The burden is on him to show the provenance of this
4 document. This is not our document. All the documents that we provide
5 to Mr. Seselj have an ERN number so that we can track exactly this kind
6 of thing. And as has been pointed out to me, the number at the bottom
7 left of this document is, I believe, a registry number when they receive
8 these documents in B/C/S and they submit it for translation.
9 So, again, I would again tell the Trial Chamber that this is not
10 our document. We did not provide this document to Mr. Seselj, and the
11 burden is on him to prove what the provenance is.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, the plot thickens,
13 obviously. I don't think we should shed any light on this at the moment.
14 It's quite marginal to know whether it comes from the OTP or from your
15 associates. The important thing is the content of this document.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I can't accept that.
17 Ms. Biersay has just said that this is a registry number, it's not the
18 registry of my expert team for the Defence, it's the registry of the
19 Tribunal. Now, whether I received this several years ago, how should I
20 know and why should I care? It was given to me through the official post
21 of the Tribunal. Now, whether it was sent to me directly through the
22 Registry or the OTP, or whether it arrived from some other trial as an
23 exhibit or piece of evidence, why should I care?
24 If the Prosecutor doubts the authenticity of the document, they
25 can contact the Cantonal Court in Mostar right away and check it out,
1 verify whether it's right or not. I think she's intentionally leading us
2 astray. I did not create the document. We have the registry number
3 here. I didn't submit it for translation. I received it from the
4 competent organs of the Tribunal. And when I say "competent organs," I
5 mean the OTP and Registry. And now you want me to tell me how I received
6 this. How should I know? You've sent me half a million pages of various
7 documents so far, so how should I know? And this is a registry number
9 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Sorry, Mr. Seselj, you received
10 this by fax or how? How did you receive this document?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I received this by hand, which is
12 how I receive official documents from the Registry and the Tribunal. I
13 gave them to my legal advisers and assistants to study, and they sent it
14 back -- they faxed it back as a piece of material which would be
15 interesting for the cross-examination of this witness.
16 Now, the Registry can look at the number there and tell us -- let
17 us know where the document is from and what the document is. But as far
18 as I'm concerned, what is important for me is that it's got this official
19 title "The District Court of Mostar," the date and the reference number.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right, that's what's important.
21 All the rest is very marginal.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Karisik, it says here -- let's look at this together -- that:
25 "Zjelko Soldo, an Investigating Judge of the Military District
1 Court in Mostar, in the criminal proceedings against Milan Skoro and
2 others accused, accused of committing genocide under Article 141 taken
3 over from the Criminal Code of the former SFRY, with respect to a request
4 for an investigative procedure to be set into motion, tabled by the
5 military prosecutor KT number 37-93 of the 16th of February, 1993, brings
6 in the following decision about conducting an investigative procedure
7 against the following individual."
8 Put that on the overhead projector, please, and as we're dealing
9 with 30 names here, they don't have to be in public. It's enough for
10 Mr. Karisik to take a look at it together with me, so that we can see,
11 Mr. Karisik, that all the 30 individuals on that list, with all their
12 basic data, that they were all inhabitants from Mostar, Vrapcici and
13 Nevesinje, and not a single one of them was from Serbia. That's what it
14 says here. Take a look at the list.
15 A. Well, I'm glad that you raised that issue. You don't have to
16 have 30 people, but I'm happy to see that. I've never seen that, but it
17 has to come out, this kind of thing.
18 Q. All right. Now, do you know that the Cantonal Court of Mostar
19 tabled a request to the State Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina to unleash
20 criminal proceedings for the killing of Muslims in Sutina and Borak; do
21 you know about that?
22 A. Well, I do know -- I know this court in The Hague. I'm not
23 interested in the court in Bosnia. It can be whatever you like. I'm
24 interested in the Tribunal in The Hague, because in Bosnia they pull this
25 way and that way.
1 Q. All right. Look at this list, please.
2 A. Why should I look at it? I have all these names in my head.
3 Q. You don't want to look at the list?
4 A. Well, not really.
5 Q. You guarantee that there's nobody from Serbia among those 30?
6 A. Nobody.
7 Q. There are 330, not 30. But Mr. Karisik --
8 A. You don't have to convince me. We're not here to convince each
9 other of anything. You guarantee that there is nobody there from Serbia
10 among these 30.
11 Q. Well I'm not guaranteeing anything. I'm looking at the list.
12 A. Well I don't want to look at the list. Why should I look at the
13 list. You're guaranteeing that among those 30 names there's nobody from
15 Q. Well, do you want to have a look at the list?
16 A. All right, I'll look at the list then.
17 Q. Well, I'm happy to see you're in a better frame of mind and want
18 to look at the list now. Let's have it on the overhead projector so
19 Mr. Karisik can see the list. You don't have to mention any of the
20 names, some you have already mentioned, some you have not mentioned.
21 Now, since they haven't been tried yet and the State Court of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina agreed to try three of these people, whereas all the
23 rest were sent back to the Cantonal Court in Mostar, we're not going to
24 mention any names -- perhaps there's somebody innocent here, not to
25 mention names, but let's go through the list to see where these people
1 come from.
2 Place it on the overhead projector, please. How come I can't see
3 this on my screen. Ah, it's come up now?
4 Right, number 1, can you see that there? His address is Mostar,
5 Zarek 17; right? Just say "yes" or "no?"
6 A. All right, then I'll say "yes."
7 Q. Number 2, the address is Vrapcici 178; right?
8 A. Yes, that's your court over there in Mostar.
9 Q. It's your court.
10 A. Well, it's your court. I have a court here, now. I'm just
11 interested in this tribunal. I'm not interested in the court in Mostar.
12 I'm interested in this court here.
13 Q. I agree with you, I'm going to agree with you, but let's move on.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please, the problem is
15 not to know which tribunal should deal with this case. We have a
16 document coming from the Mostar tribunal, Mostar court. Mr. Seselj would
17 like you to confirm that the names mentioned are the names of people who
18 live in Mostar or around Mostar. That's all he's asking, and he is
19 asking you to check the addresses of these people.
20 Proceed, Mr. Seselj.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Let's move on.
22 Q. Number 3, can you see that this person's address was Mostar,
23 Potoci, no number?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Let's move on to number 4. Was this man's address Mostar, Sutina
2 A. You mean number 4?
3 Q. Yes. You know him, don't you?
4 A. Yes, I do know him.
5 Q. Well, there you are, then. Do you know some of the ones before,
7 A. No.
8 Q. Well, you mentioned some of them.
9 A. Well, I mentioned all sorts of people, but it's of no interest.
10 Q. Just be patient, have a little patience. I know it might be
11 difficult for you to go through this list, but let's try it. Let's look
12 at number 5. Does it say that the address is Mostar, Vrapcici 18? --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Number 6, does it say that his address was Vrapcici, no number?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Number 7, does it say "Mostar, Vrapcici 127"?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Number 8, does it say "Mostar, Zivote Neimarovica Street,
19 number 17"?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Turn to page 2 now, please. Number 9, does it say that his
22 address is in Vrapcici, and then -- it says "Vrapcici, Mostar," right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Number 10, does it say the address is Mostar, Prigradjani
25 number 72"?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Number 11, does it say "Vrapcici, Mostar" there for the address?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Number 12, does it say the address is Mostar, Zalik 7/c?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Number 13, does it say that he is from Pluzine, near Nevesinje?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is Nevesinje the neighbouring municipality to Mostar, does it
9 border on Mostar?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Fine. Now, number 14, does it say that the address is Vrapcici
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Number 15, does it say that his address is Vrapcici, Mostar?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you mentioned him before, didn't you? Number 16, does it say
17 the address is Cicevo-Konjic, with an address for residency in Mostar,
18 Zeljusa, no number; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And Konjic is a neighbouring municipality of Mostar, too?
21 A. Right.
22 Q. Number 17, does it say that his address is Mostar, Vrapcici
23 number 44?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Number 18, does it say that the address is Mostar, Vrapcici 13?
1 A. I think the number is 18. It's either 15 or 13.
2 Q. It doesn't matter. Vrapcici 13 or 15?
3 A. I think it says "15."
4 Q. All right, then, Vrapcici 15. I agree with you straight away,
5 you see, sir.
6 A. No problem.
7 Q. Let's move on. Number 19, does it say that the address is
8 Potoci, Humi-Lisani, Mostar?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. That's a village neighbouring on the Mostar municipality?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Number 20, does it say it's Vrapcici 256?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Number 21, does it say that the address is Vrapcici 228?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Number 22, does it say that the address is Vrapcici, Mostar?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Let's move on to the third page now, please. Number 23, does it
19 say that the address is Mostar, Vrapcici 140?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Number 24, does it say that the address is Mostar, Vrapcici 32?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. 25, it is this Boro Antelj?
24 A. That's what it says.
25 Q. Did you hear that Boro Antelj was the commander of Draskovic's
1 Serbian Guard in Konjic?
2 A. No, I didn't hear about that. That's why I say I don't dwell in
4 Q. All right, so then we're not going to speak about politics, but
5 is this the address of Mostar, Vrapcici no number?
6 A. Which number did you say?
7 Q. 25.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Number 26, is this Mostar, Vrapcici 22, the address?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. 27, is the address Mostar, Vrapcici, no number?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. 28, is the address there Kuta Livac, Mostar?
14 A. Yes. What's the name?
15 Q. Kuta Livac. Kuta Livac, Mostar then.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So 29, is it Kuta Livac? It says "Livce" here.
18 A. It's Kuta Livac, Mostar.
19 Q. I don't know Mostar well, but anyway, number 30, is this Mostar,
20 8 Duk 1 Street?
21 A. Did you say 8 Duk 1?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. I can't remember what street it is.
24 Q. That's not important, but that's what it says there, isn't it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So can you see that the court from Mostar held these as suspects,
2 30 people, and accused them, and most of them were from Vrapcici, which
3 is a part of Mostar, right, the outskirts of Mostar, right, and all the
4 rest were from Mostar except for one person from Nevesinje and one person
5 from Konjic; right?
6 A. There is this man from Foca, too.
7 Q. He used to live in Foca and then moved to Mostar; right?
8 A. No, he was in Foca.
9 Q. But Foca is in Herzegovina?
10 A. Yes, it is, but --
11 Q. All right, fine. Now, we have a description of the crime that
12 took place in Sutina and Uborak, and the names of the victims are
13 mentioned here. We don't need to go through that because it's something
14 that actually happened, so I can't deny any crime. If a crime took
15 place, it has to be investigated, and thank you, Mr. Karisik, that will
16 be all of I have no further questions for you. Thank you for having the
17 patience to go through the list with me.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I've been through a lot more
19 than the list.
20 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] I understand you perfectly.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Biersay, any redirect?
22 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 The first thing I'd like to address, I think it's an error in --
24 perhaps Mr. Seselj misspoke or perhaps it's a translation error.
25 Page 17, line 21, the witness said he'd stayed one day when being
1 interrogated at the north camp, and in his question posed to the witness
2 at page 44, line 13, I believe, Mr. Seselj is attributed as saying "one
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's not what I said. It's a
5 translation error. I said "one day," and I identified the fact that
6 Mr. Karisik was arrested by the JNA in April 1992, held for one day, and
7 then he was arrested when the JNA had already withdrawn in June 1992.
8 MS. BIERSAY: So then with that, I believe that page 44, that
9 line 13 should be corrected to read "one day," not "one month."
10 Re-examination by Ms. Biersay:
11 Q. I'd like to turn your attention to the local statement that
12 Mr. Seselj showed you. Do you have that statement before you, the one
13 from 23 May 1995?
14 A. 23rd of May, 1995, is that the one you mean?
15 Q. Yes. And if I could now direct your attention to the beginning
16 of the second paragraph that begins: "Dana, April 9, 1992 ... ," do you
17 see that paragraph?
18 A. The 3rd of June, 1992? Yes, I see that.
19 Q. The paragraph that begins: "Dana, April 9, 1992." In that
20 sentence, do you refer to Chetniks?
21 A. I'm talking about Seseljevci, Chetniks, the White Eagles, the
22 Green Berets. There was all of that, all of that, all complete. Now,
23 who commanded them, I don't know.
24 Q. So was that what you clarified with the investigators from the
25 ICTY, you clarified what you meant by "Chetniks" in your 1995 statement?
1 A. All of them together.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. The Prosecutor doesn't
3 have the right to proceed in this way because she's misleading the
4 witness. The whole paragraph must be read. We can see when Mr. Karisik
5 set off for Zalik with the other people there, that they were intercepted
6 by a Land Rover, a police vehicle with four policemen inside, and that
7 among them he recognised one of them, a former MUP worker of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now, he can repeat, he can keep saying all complete,
9 "Seseljevci," and who knows who else, and a hundred others; but here in
10 the statement he is being very precise. He recognised one man as local
11 being a local and the other four were policemen. That's what it says in
12 the paragraph you just quoted from.
13 MS. BIERSAY: Now if you could turn to, I believe, it's page 3,
14 the second paragraph that you see on page 3.
15 Q. Do you have that second paragraph that begins: "Dana, June 13,
17 A. Yes, yes, yes.
18 Q. I'd like you to count nine lines down from the beginning of that
20 A. On the 30th of June, 1992, at around 2230 hours, on the premises
21 of the locker room, two unknown soldiers entered. Two had helmets and
22 beards. They were wearing olive-green uniforms. One of them was around
23 35 years old and the other one was around 45.
24 Q. And could you now read the sentence that begins: "Kada se
25 vozilo"? I apologise for my pronunciation.
1 A. When the vehicle stopped, one of the Chetniks -- so I said
2 Chetniks because they had beards, that's why I called them Chetniks. One
3 of the Chetniks got out, opened the door and ordered them to step out.
4 Q. I'd like to turn your attention to the statement that you gave to
5 the ICTY, so the other statement that Mr. Seselj went through with you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. First of all, this
7 can't be left in the air -- up in the air like that, because where it's
8 most important, the Prosecutor stops, and here's what happened: It says
9 when it first group started to get out, then this one person, one of the
10 soldiers whom the witness referred to as a Chetnik, started shooting and
11 killing, and then Ramo Kolar [phoen] recognised that soldier and said,
12 "Dragan, we've known each other for 30 years," and Dragan killed him
13 straight away.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not "Kolar," it's "Kuko."
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Kuko. I read it out wrongly,
16 it's "Kuko." So this is obviously a falsification by the Prosecutor.
17 Obviously somebody recognised the local man who was doing the killing.
18 This Ramo Kuko, who was killed, recognised this person because he had
19 known him for 30 years.
20 So the essential point is something that the Prosecutor is trying
21 to gloss over.
22 And secondly, my second objection is the Prosecutor does not have
23 the right now to ask the witness to look at a statements he gave to
24 The Hague investigators and the Prosecutor. As you cautioned him,
25 Mr. President, last year, and your colleague, Judge Harhoff, what he can
1 do is remind somebody of a date, number, and so on. But the Prosecutor
2 cannot ask the witness to comment on the statement to The Hague
3 investigators. That is something the Prosecutor cannot do. That is
4 something that I can do, but not the Prosecutor.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, I know what you
6 would like to demonstrate, but the problem is we have a text that is in
7 B/C/S, which Mr. Seselj has just read out an excerpt of, when he
8 discussed Mr. Dragan. You didn't mention this, but he seems to be a
9 local. And now you would like to refer to his statement which he gave in
10 1994 on the same topic; is that right?
11 MS. BIERSAY: In 2004, Your Honour, not -- it's not on the same
12 topic. I have covered the points I wanted to, which was in his previous
13 statement in 1995, the witness mentioned "Chetniks," and explained to the
14 Court what he meant by that, meaning Seselj's men, White Eagles, and he
15 puts them altogether in that group; so I am moving on to another issue,
16 which is with respect to paragraph 9 in the statement, which was put
17 forth to the witness by the accused. I would like to ask the witness
18 about this statement that Seselj's come from East Herzegovina. So that's
19 my purpose.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Mr. President, I come
21 back to the previous statement. The Prosecutor failed to explain why she
22 kept quiet about a key fact, glossed over it, and that is that one of the
23 soldiers who did the killing was recognised on the spot. That's the crux
24 of the matter. And, secondly, her interpretation is bad, because we have
25 the witness saying before us that he concluded that there were two
1 Chetniks because they had beards.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the same vein, Witness, I
3 thought the accused would have put to you a question on this, but this
4 wasn't mentioned. I would like to get back to the person who stood
5 guard, a person going by the name of Gunjar. I apologise for my
6 pronunciation. You said you had worked with him for 15 years, this
7 Gunjar whom you recognised. Was he a local or was he one of Seselj's
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Gunjar, you mean? What party he
10 was, I don't know. What side he was, I don't know, whether he was a
11 Chetnik or in the Seselj's, or White Eagles, or Green Berets. I don't
12 know. I was held captive.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But this Gunjar, you worked
14 with him for 15 years, so you knew him, didn't you?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was a cook.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And he lived next to where you
17 lived, didn't he? He didn't come from Serbia?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, he was from Nevesinje
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Ms. Biersay.
21 MS. BIERSAY:
22 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber if there were locals associated
23 with these Chetniks or Seselj's men, as well as people from other places
24 who were Seselj's men or Chetniks? Were there both locals and people
25 from other places?
1 A. Well, I can't say definitely now who was on what side, or party.
2 There was Seselj's side, and then there was the Green Berets' side, and
3 then there was the Vuk Draskovic side. Everybody had his own party or
4 side, and it depended where people decided to go.
5 Q. But those people, even though they had different sides, what the
6 Trial Chamber would like to know is: Did they all come from that area,
7 Mostar, or did people come from outside, from other places, to Mostar?
8 A. They came from Montenegro and Serbia, from all sides. People
9 came there from all sides.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Once again, the
11 Prosecutor is intentionally causing confusion. Reservists did come from
12 Serbia, from the Uzice corps, and also from Montenegro; volunteers came
13 in while the JNA was there until the 19th of May, after the 19th of May,
14 nobody came to Mostar.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, when you raise this
16 objection and say the Prosecution is causing confusion, do you believe
17 the Trial Chamber can be manipulated in this way, because the Prosecutor
18 is going to put a question to the witness? You may trust the Bench. The
19 Bench can weigh both the question and the answer. There is no confusion
20 in the minds of the Judges. There is a question that's being put, there
21 is an answer that's provided, and the Judges will weigh all of this
23 When you say that Ms. Biersay is causing confusion, I will turn
24 around and tell you, no, there is no confusion. The Prosecution holds
25 that it is her duty to do redirect and put additional questions, because
1 you highlighted through your questions a number of issues which clearly
2 are not to the liking of the Prosecutor. This is why the Prosecutor is
3 putting additional questions to the witness, to try and see how things
4 stand, and is trying to put this in line with the Prosecution's
5 standpoint, which may not be the same as that of the Bench. So let the
6 Prosecutor put her questions, and the Bench and the Judges are perfectly
7 capable of drawing their own conclusions.
8 Please proceed, Ms. Biersay.
9 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Now could you turn your attention to paragraph 9 of the statement
11 that you gave to the ICTY. Mr. Seselj asked you some -- he read it, and
12 the Trial Chamber also asked you a question about it.
13 So what I'm interested in, there is a sentence that says Seselj
14 comes from East Herzegovina. I don't know if you know this, but do you
15 know where Mr. Seselj comes from, what area he comes from in general?
16 You were born in Serbia and you spent 30 years in Mostar. Do you know
17 where Mr. Seselj is from, in that sense?
18 A. Trebinje.
19 Q. And where is that, geographically?
20 A. Trebinje is in Herzegovina, towards Montenegro, that area.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I have to object again.
22 The Prosecutor knows full well where I was born, and it states that in
23 the indictment. It says where I was born, and it says that I was born on
24 the 11th of October, 1954, in Sarajevo.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Question [as interpreted],
1 with this question Ms. Biersay wanted to highlight the fact that the
2 witness, before the OTP investigators, when he mentioned you, meant to
3 say that you came from Eastern Herzegovina and did not mean to say that
4 you were coming from Eastern Herzegovina to Mostar. That is the meaning
5 of her question.
6 Please proceed, Ms. Biersay.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I really don't understand anything
8 now, Mr. President. You said the point of her question was that I came
9 from Eastern Herzegovina to Mostar. That's what was interpreted to me.
10 I never visited Mostar during the war. If that is a new case of the OTP,
11 that I came to Mostar from East Herzegovina, I should be told about it.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, with her question,
13 wanted to highlight the fact that you are a native of -- that you come
14 from Herzegovina. To be a native of and to come are two totally
15 different things, and to come from. And the witness confirmed this,
16 because he was asked where Mr. Seselj came from, and he said that
17 according to him, he came from Eastern Herzegovina. That's what the
18 witness said, since you are a native of Trebinje.
19 Ms. Biersay.
20 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. I'd now like to turn your attention to the list, the two
22 pieces -- the two documents that Mr. Seselj gave you. And he went
23 through the 30 names on that list, and specifically, for the record, this
24 is the fax that's dated June 30th, 2008, and the time stamp says "8.56
25 a.m." One set of documents goes from page 11 to page 14. It has "P-11"
1 to P-14" and the other has "P-7" to "P-10."
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. This is a document I
3 received from the OTP, and I mentioned it on the 8th of November of last
4 year in my opening statement.
5 MS. BIERSAY: I'm not sure what the objection is. I'm just
6 making a record of the document we're looking at.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's not at issue, whether you
8 received the document or not. What we're interested in and why
9 Ms. Biersay is addressing this document again and what it is she wants to
10 demonstrate, and where the documents come from, is really secondary.
11 Please put your question.
12 MS. BIERSAY:
13 Q. The 30 names that you read with Mr. Seselj, do you know each and
14 every one of these people?
15 A. I know some quite well.
16 Q. And of the 30, how many do you think you know, approximately?
17 A. Well, I know five really well.
18 Q. So when you previously described how there are people coming from
19 other places, like Serbia or Montenegro, did any of those people give you
20 their full names?
21 A. Well, each of them had a nickname. When people go to work or
22 when they go somewhere, they don't want to be called by their first and
23 last names. They just use their nicknames.
24 Q. Do you know that Branislav Vakic was declared vojvoda by Seselj
25 and that he was in the Mostar area from May to June of 1992? Did you
1 know that?
2 A. He knows, himself, that he declared him. If he did something, it
3 will be found out.
4 Q. Do you know that? Have you ever heard that name before?
5 A. Not yet. These names were mentioned, but how many of them will
6 be found guilty in the end, that remains to be seen. I'd like to see
7 that, whether they will be people from outside or whether they're local
8 people from Bosnia-Herzegovina, that remains to be seen. Time will tell.
9 Q. But my question to you is: Do you know someone by the name of
10 Branislav Vakic, yes or no?
11 A. I don't know him personally. I may have seen him around or on
12 pictures. I didn't have personal contacts with him. I can't recall.
13 It's been 17 years since then.
14 MS. BIERSAY: The Prosecution has no further questions,
15 Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
17 Witness, on behalf of my colleagues and I personally, also, I'd
18 like to thank you for having come to testify, and I wish you well and a
19 safe journey home.
20 I shall ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, and goodbye.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have some administrative issues
23 to raise, so please don't break early.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give you the floor, I
2 shall read out an oral decision relating to a particular witness, but I
3 need to find this document.
4 Let's move into private session, please.
5 [Private session]
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I request that you review
6 your decision for Witness VS-1051, testifying tomorrow under Rule 92 ter,
7 bearing in mind the principles established by yourselves.
8 This is a witness who is the first to testify about the crimes
9 that happened on the Borak Lake and the place called Zijemlje.
10 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, I would ask that we move to private
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, I'm not mentioning any
13 names, so we cannot move into private session.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, nonetheless we
15 shall move into private session, because VS-051 [as interpreted] has been
16 granted protective measures. Registrar, please.
17 [Private session]
11 Pages 8829-8837 redacted. Private session.
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours --
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have nothing further.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Tomorrow, then, in
12 open session, we will start with the witness. We will very quickly move
13 back into private session because protective measures were granted.
14 Ms. Biersay, one last thing?
15 MS. BIERSAY: Yes, Your Honour. In the morning, it is my
16 intention to address the protective measures for 1052. And given the
17 time, would the Trial Chamber prefer that I do that in the morning?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We will deal with this
19 tomorrow morning.
20 So the hearing is adjourned, and we will meet tomorrow at 8.30.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.14 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 2nd day of
23 July, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.